The Art of Deception

January 5, 2012 Biography, non-fiction 1

18160The Art of Deception is written by a hacker (or, as he calls himself, a “social engineer”) and describes the ways in which hackers can exploit human nature to bypass security measures.  The book was hyped as being “like reading the climaxes of a dozen complex thrillers”, but I don’t think it lived up that hype.  Although I found it interesting to read about the clever ways hackers go about getting very classified information, it wasn’t exactly edge-of-your-seat reading. Read more »

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Almost Forgotten Four

January 3, 2012 non-fiction 1

Welcome to the new year everyone! I’m currently visiting my boyfriend in sunny Atlanta, so I’m mostly postponing my resolution setting to when I won’t be wasting precious time with him 🙂  However, I am planning on doing a 52 week photography project where I take a picture a week all year.  To do that, I will be starting a new section on the blog, Photography Friday, where I will post each week’s picture.  I will also be participating in the Cannonball Read challenge to read and review books ( blog available here).  This will require me to do more detailed reviews than I’ve been doing so far.  Feel free to share your own resolutions in the comments! Read more »

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Bookends – Finishing the Raine Benares Series

January 1, 2012 Fiction, Urban Fantasy 0

Current Fiction Readings

This week I’ve finally (after waiting a whole day :-P) gotten to read the rest of the published books in the Raine Benares series.  Although the plot in each book is pretty unique, the second and third books did seem a  lot like the first.  One common complaint which I share is that the author reuses words and phrases from book to book.  It’s not unreasonable for the author to recap parts of earlier books, but most other authors are able to do this without directly quoting the previous books.  The direct quotes gave me an unpleasant feeling of deja vu which pulled me out of the current action a little bit. In the first book, I enjoyed all the flirting.  I thought it was enough to give the books a little sex appeal, but not enough I’d be uncomfortable if my mom looked over my shoulder.  But by the third book or so all the almost having sex was beginning to feel kind of ridiculous – it was obvious it was going to happen, but it never did!  The fourth book was one of my favorites, both because something (no spoilers, I promise!) does happen in terms of sex and some of the bad guys begin to get what’s coming to them.  This made for a very satisfying read.  The fifth book was also much more action packed in terms of fighting the bad guys and in Raine’s sex life.  I really liked these last two and can’t wait for the new book this year!

Non-Project Non-Fiction

None this week.  Surprisingly, I’ve actually had less time to read at home than I did my last week at school, so I haven’t done a whole lot of extra non-fiction reading!

Summary

Armed and Magical (book 2) and The Trouble with Demons (book 3) – 4 stars – new engaging plots, but largely similar to the first book in tone, style and wording.

Bewitched and Betrayed (book 4) and Con and Conjure (book 5) – 5 stars – I really enjoyed these two!  Much more satisfyingly action-packed than the previous two books.

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I Can Haz Books?

December 28, 2011 Uncategorized 0

My books came in!  I also stopped by the non-fiction section and picked up some books for the challenge:

005 – The Art of Deception – one of the very few books in this section I’d want to read all the way through, as most are tutorials for computer programs and programming.  This book is written by a hacker and describes the “most serious security weakness – human nature”.  Supposedly like reading a mystery novel.

006 – Click – this section includes books on “special computer methods”, mostly stuff on artificial intelligence.  Click describes the results of data-mining the information we share online, but seems less dry than that description makes it sounds.  Reminds me a little of Freakonomics – both authors search through seemingly unconnected data for conclusions about human nature.

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Home for the Holidays

December 27, 2011 Uncategorized 0

This weekend I finished the next two books in the Raine Benares series, which I started reviewing in my last post, and I’ve kind of been at loose ends ever since.  And by “at loose ends” I mean in danger of finishing the entire third season of Merlin in 2 or 3 days!  Hopefully the final two books in the series will come in at the library soon, although I think I may go get books for 005 and 006 today either way.  Either that or I’ll have to purloin some of the books my little brother got for Christmas…  In the meantime, I hope everyone is having a wonderful break or at least not having too difficult of a time getting back to work 🙂

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Bookends Before the Holidays

December 24, 2011 Uncategorized 0

This week Bookends will just be two books, since I spent most (10 hours!)  of Thursday driving to my parents’ house for the holidays.  Next time I must get some audio books, because otherwise I’ll spend the whole time wishing reading while driving was a viable option!  Anyway, I hope everyone enjoys these reviews and has a wonderful holiday 🙂 Read more »

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The Black Swan

December 21, 2011 non-fiction 0

From the beginning, I could tell this book was going to be tough going.  I’ve read several similar books attacking conventional wisdom, including Freakonomics (right before starting this project) and Wrong (reviewed here).  Of the three, this book was by far the least conversational and most intellectual (ie most difficult to read!).    The book took a lot of time to make a few simple points.  There were also many chapters that started with anecdotes not clearly related to the subject of the book.  This gives the disorienting sensation of having walked into a room and realizing you don’t remember why you decided to head to that room in the first place! Read more »

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The Books Are Winning

December 20, 2011 Uncategorized 0

Yesterday I was in the library for twenty minutes and left with 9 books.  I even know how it happened.  First, I was just going to pick up a book in the 003’s (Systems) and the 004’s (Data Processing and Computer Science), so I did – easily grabbing just the one book which stood out to me in each section.  Then I thought, surely my blog readers would like to hear a little about why I picked the books I did and it should be easy enough to write about the very few other books available. Read more »

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Bookends – Continuing Series and The Secret

December 18, 2011 Uncategorized 0

Current Fiction Readings

I found the most awesome website this week, called lendle.me, which allows kindle users to lend each other books!  Courtesy of some other very nice “lendlers” (as the site calls us), I was able to read both Catching Fire and Mockingjay this week, finishing the Hunger Games trilogy.  I was planning on waiting for my monthly free book which I can borrow as a member of amazon prime, so I was thrilled to be able to read them sooner!  I’ve even been putting off starting other fiction books so I wouldn’t interrupt my involvement in the series.  Yes, I was that drawn into it. Read more »

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It’s Got Character

December 15, 2011 Biography, non-fiction 2

I really enjoyed the way The Man Who Loved Books Too Much was written.  The author’s style was very conversational and she did a nice job of blending descriptions of her own experience with those of her two “main characters” the book dealer/detective and the thief.  I really enjoyed her attempts to understand why so many people love and collect rare books, including dabbling in collecting herself.  As she concludes, a lot of people build an identity out of the books they collect.  For that reason, I very much enjoyed her descriptions of the collectors she met, the sort of books they collected and the the reasons for their collections.    The book was definitely less of a thriller or a mystery than I though it might be, but there were a few moments of tense anticipation and certainly lots of curiosity about what might happen next.  As Erik Larson said in his own review, it really was “the author’s cozy, quiet style” which kept me turning the pages on this one.  I felt like a friend was relating a story to me. Read more »

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