Monday, October 22, 2018

Review of "The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet"

Brief Summary: "The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet" is about an interstellar story about a collection of different species on a journey to a planet that has just joined the GC.

Long Summary: As a fan of Science Fiction stories about space I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The book begins following a female character, Rosemary, and how she cam to be on the Wayfarer. She joins a crew of humans and aliens on a tunneling ship. The crew immediately makes her feel welcome even after they learn about her past. The crew goes on a long voyage together to complete a tunnel to a new part of the galaxy that has just joined the GC. The job doesn't go as planned but the crew sticks together as a family.

I cannot recommend this book enough. I am looking forward to reading the other two books in the series as soon as I can. I enjoyed the character development, the world development, and the plot. There is so much to love and the descriptions are so vivid without being too wordy. If you are looking for a space adventure with different species all interacting together as a family unit you will enjoy this book!

Rating: 4.8/5

Other Works: Record of a Spaceborn Few, A Closed and Common Orbit

Monday, October 8, 2018

Review of "Death's End" by Cixin Liu

Brief Summary: Death's End wraps up the series of books written by Cixin Liu about the Dark Forest.

Long Summary: The final book in the series presents the final twists and turns humanity faces with regards to the Dark Forest. In an effort not to give any spoilers I am going to just generally address the book. The book follows the Sword-holder, Cheng Xin, in her effort to preserve humanity in the dark forest era. She makes several, in my opinion, questionable decisions regarding the fate of humanity. Her decisions cause a cascade to happen and drives the plot and humanity forward into the dark forest. Cheng is put into hibernation several times and wakes up to make decisions for humanity. In the end her decisions seals humanities fate.

Overall I enjoyed the series and am glad I took the time to read. The characters lack a slight bit of development and relationships are not explored deeply. I appreciate the world building and thought provoking nature of the books.

Rating: 4/5

Other Works: The Wandering Earth, Ball Lightning

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Review of "Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear" by Elizabeth Gilbert

Brief Summary: Of all the self-help books I have read thus far Big Magic is my favorite.

Long Summary: The applicable content was packed so tight into Big Magic I found myself taking notes. One reason I was so deeply affected was the message on not being perfect. Getting things done is better than being perfect at them. There will always be a dissenting opinion to what you have done. If you are happy with the product take joy in that and use that joy to move on to the next en devour. Creativity was also emphasized as a key product for a happy life. I would say tend to look toward the strife of an activity instead of reveling in the joy of an activity. Being a trickster and figuring out how to game the system is presented for making the strife more manageable.  Here are a few notes I took: Creative living is where magic lives
Fear is not original
Fear is allowed to come along with creativity and me but doesn't get to vote and certainly isn't allowed to drive
You do not need anyone's permission to live a creative life
Take those 15 min left in your day to create (not Facebook)
Perfectionism should not have your time
Nothing is ever beyond criticism
If you are not actively creating something you are destroying something
Done is better than good
Be a trickster and figure out how to game the system
Move toward wonder through creativity
Move on from failure
Stay busy
Use combinatory play to find your way out of a problem
Any motion beats inertia


I recommend reading for anyone who needs perspective on how to get things done without being perfect.

Rating: 3.5/5

Other Works: Eat Pray Love, The Signature of All Things, etc