Monday, July 23, 2018

Review of Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey

Brief Summary: Desert Solitaire is a magnificently written book about one of my favorite U.S. Parks.

Long Summary: Arches and Canyonlands national parks have held a special place in my heart since I saw them in college and I was happy to be transported back by this book. Mr. Abbey is very eloquent in his description of the natural world. He seems to be very adventurous and transports us to those places with him through his writing. The narrator for the audio book almost made me think he was the author. I did fall asleep to this book once but only because the reader was so soothing and the descriptions of locations so vivid.
I would recommend this book if you are interested in the natural world and detailed descriptions of adventures in them.

Rating: 4/5

Other Works by the Author: The Monkey Wrench GangFire on the Mountain, etc

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Review of "The Three-Body Problem" by Cixin Liu

Brief Summary: The Three-body problem is a foreign science fiction book with many twists and turns and a not so satisfying ending.

Long Review: My first foreign book has been an interesting read. First, I do plan on finishing the series even with the dark notes. I am intrigued how the problems will be dealt with and do not like being left hanging as I was at the end of the first book. This book starts with a look into the past and lays the ground work for the end of the book. While I didn't appreciate this in the beginning and thought it made it hard to get into the book, in the end I understood why the details were recounted. There is a large amount of scientific talk in this book. I have not been in physics for many years and find these things interesting but also that they go very in depth. Listening on 1.25x probably did not make it as easy to understand either.

Overall I would recommend this book if you are interesting in sci-fiction from a non-native author and can handle physics jargon and doomsday problems.

Rating: 3/5

Other works by the Author: The Dark ForestDeath's EndBall LightningThe Wandering EarthTaking Care of Gods

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Review of "What Happened" by Hillary Clinton

Brief Summary: What Happened is an interesting recounting of the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton's perspective.

Long Review: Disclaimer: I do not want to make this a political review but I am only human so my political leanings may influence my review.

Overall the book was a good review of what Hillary felt happened in the 2016 election. The story recounts details about her she run for president in 2008, her time as Secretary of State, and the election of 2016. Hillary also shares details about her life and childhood which helped me understand her as a person and why she may have made some of the decisions she did in the election.  The one criticism I have of the book is the layout. The book doesn't exactly follow the logical progression from deciding to run until after the election. The book is generally laid out in chronological order but there are a few instances where details are referred to that have been previously covered.

All in all I am glad I read the book and will be looking for more non-fiction political books to listen to in the future from both sides of the aisle.


Other works by the Author: Hard ChoicesIt takes a VillageLiving History Stronger TogetherAn Invitation to the White House

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Review of "Hidden Figures" by Margot Lee Shetterly

Brief Summary: "Hidden Figures" is a historical non-fiction documentary retelling the stories of the black women who supported the work done at Langley.

Long Review: Delving into the work of the females computers at Langley was enlightening. While the civil rights movement was going on outside of their workplace the black women inside Langley were fighting to get recognized and evolve in the changing new world of computing. While I listened to the whole book I have to say the book was kind of dry. I would have appreciated if the story was more written as a narrative from beginning to end instead as separate parts. The characters were picked up again throughout the book which made the book hard to follow as well. All in all I am glad I read the book but I found it rather dry.

Rating: 3/5

Other books by Author: none

Monday, July 2, 2018

Review of "You are a Badass" by Jen Sincero

Brief Summary: "You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life" is a self-help book with great points buried underneath positive mindset living.  

Long Review:  Self-help books are easy to listen to but not so easy to implement and this book is no different. The backbone of this book has very good pointers on how to make positive changes in ones life. I appreciate the positive mindset but do not agree with changing your vibration and tapping into the source energy. Meditation and positive thinking can help you to deal with your own trappings getting in the way of where you want to go. In my opinion, I do not feel believing something is going to happen will make it happen. 
All in all an alright self-help book but there is some woo-wooness to get through for the concrete messages.