softcover books

All posts tagged softcover books

Net Force - (1998 book), by Tom Clancy image

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(on Wikipedia)

In a world where everyday people use the internet through total-sensory virtual reality, a specialist intelligence agency tracks down murderers and terrorists.

Slow and confusing, this book isn't just a challenge to read, it's a challenge to read with a straight face. One of the risks of speculative science fiction is that they can get very, very, wrong in their predictions. This book hand-waives people being transported into a magical world with no explanation as to how it's possible or what it's like. It is vague in everything it demands the reader suspend their disbelief in. It is awed at 900 Mhz computers. This is definitely a 1998 book that had way too much hope for its future.

The Hobbit - (1937 book), by J.R.R. Tolkien cover

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(on Wikipedia)

An unlikely little hero is swept into an travel-adventure through dangerous lands to recapture the lost treasures of a fallen Dwarvish kingdom.

Considered a classic fantasy book, it's definitely a children's book from it's narrative tone. It's slow and awkward in a lot of places, and takes too long to pick up into anything interesting for me. Perhaps it's because I had read it long ago, and perhaps it's because of the staggering quality of its associated movies, but I didn't like it.

Definitely not recommended as an entry into fantasy fiction, in spite of its popularity. Veterans of the genre may as well read this just to say they have.



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Sphere - (1987 book), by Michael Crichton cover

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(on Wikipedia)

The United States Navy discovers a crashed craft, and includes a cross-disciplinary team in its investigation.

I liked it, though I found it rather simple. I had already seen the movie that was inspired by this book, which I really liked, and that likely coloured my views.



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The Chronicles of Narnia cover

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(on Wikipedia)

Some kids are given Lantern rings for transporting around.

I read a decent ways in before getting bored. The combination of language (English-age) and language (audience-age) made it tiring. It's definitely a book to be read aloud to a 10 year old girl, and I respect that. I'd, even, be the one to do the reading aloud.. but not the listening.

This is a seven volume unabridge compilation, presented in the author's intended reading order.

Much Ado About Nothing - (1623 play), by Shakespeare - Signet Classic image

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(on Wikipedia)

An man works to undermine his brother's happiness by meddling with his son's marriage. Also two smart people dual with words.

A pretty good book, though my reading of the Signet Classic was seriously interrupted by footnotes. Not because of the shifting up/down to read them, but because the footnotes are crammed all together. Given that this book is 1/4 commentary, axing one for clearer footnotes would have been amazing. Maybe another edition will be better. I intend to collect many of this particular play.



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the-prince-1910-by-niccolo-machiavelli-cover

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(on Wikipedia)

A tactically-minded man creates an instruction manual for action and understanding in the realm of high-lords of kingdoms.

At under 70 pages, this book may be thin but it's incredibly dense. I found myself reading paragraphs three times before moving on. Although nothing in it surprised me, I can still easily recommend it. It's been, somehow, given a bad name. I only found a slight tinge of "evil" creeping in at about the half-way mark, but nothing inexcusable.

I understood it well enough to add strong commentary, and to give much improved explanation in the latter half which draws from the former. It's interesting to me that the author himself didn't catch on to the trends in his own advice.

Like The Art of War - (~476 BC book), by Sunzi, people have interpreted this text for all manner of uses such as the business world.



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bushido-1924-01-03-book-minoru-tanaka-cover

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(on Wikipedia)

A book on Bushido, the old way of the samurai, as created in conversation with an old master-turned-monk.

In a time when the others were softening up, a samurai who had lost his master and left to live in a monastery spoke in hushed tones to a friend about the old ways he grew up in. Although he and others insisted the manuscripts be burned, the promises were broken when they were kept secret. They would be later compiled and published, and even later translated from its original Japanese.

A particularly interesting book. Although most of it is definitely not directly-applicable today, I think anyone who already has a sufficient "wisdom" (whatever that means) will find bits and pieces of insight.



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propaganda-1928-by-edward-bernays-cover

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(on Wikipedia)

The author works to sell the notion of propaganda as a skill and service, inventing what is best described as "ethical propaganda". He used this to manufacture his relevancy and sell his career. This book is particularly interesting in that the author and what he writes can itself be understood by what is written. The teaching can be used on itself.

Its first half is boring as hell to me, but I guess it would have been fascinating back then. A little after the half-way point it has grown very dark, talking about leaders instead of elected officials and manipulation instead of representation.

It does show its age in a number of places, but its stories are trivially generalizable.

So far I guess I'd put this on an intellectual's book shelf, though it all seems obvious and not even particularly collectible. I'm not sure if it would "red pill" an everyday person or even be interesting to one.

TODO - re-read and especially the other essays.

Not the cover of my edition.
Not the cover of my edition.

Entertainment > Reading >

I'm either stupid or arrogant to say that this isn't particularly good. I'll have to re-read it yet again before I can either give a description or a proper opinion.

  1. 1942 - The Myth of Sisyphus

    • First translated into English in 1955.
  2. (other essays noted below) TODO

nightwork-2003-book-by-t-f-peterson-cover

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(on Wikipedia)
hacks.mit.edu

A book on a particular aspect of culture and events in the history of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

It glimpses into one aspect of "playful hacking", pranks and practical jokes.

  • Properly titled Nightwork - A history of hacks and pranks at MIT
  • ISBN 9 780262 661379
  • "Institute Historian T. F. Peterson" is likely a play on the MIT cultural acronym "IHTFP".