Category: non-fiction

Bookends for Bloggers

January 7, 2012 non-fiction 2

This week visiting the boy was awesome, with lots of time off together and one of our best dates ever at the revolving Sundial restaurant at the top of the Westin in Atlanta (so awesome!).  Unfortunately, the boy also had a lot of work to do.  Fortunately, this left me lots of time to work on my blog and read some 006 books on blogging, which I’ll be reviewing here 🙂 Read more »

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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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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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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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001 – The First Book!

December 12, 2011 non-fiction 0

One book down, only about 998 to go!  Wrong – Why Experts Keep Failing Us And How To Know When Not To Trust Them was a really interesting a read, a good start to the project 🙂  What shocked me most in the book was the finding that 2 in 3 high-end research papers are later refuted by other papers!  As someone who will probably cite other scientists work a lot and perhaps pursue time-consuming projects based on this work, I found this kind of terrifying. Read more »

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Of UFO’s and Trivia

December 9, 2011 non-fiction 2

My first thought looking at this section was to wonder if I’d wandered into the fiction section by mistake!  Who knew that tales of chasing Sasquatch and interviews with politicians about government contact with aliens were categorized under 001 in the Dewey Decimal system?  This category also included some collections of interesting facts and other books pertaining to the categories official label, “Knowledge”.  Strangest of all was a book about “the allies of humanity”, which you can view here.  It looks incredibly bizarre, but I might have to add it to my reading list since I don’t want to judge it too harshly until I’ve given it a chance.

For now, I’ve decided on an interesting looking book entitled “Wrong” and subtitled “Why Experts* Keep Failing Us – And How to Know When Not to Trust Them”.  As a hopeful scientist-to-be, I think this could be  really worthwhile read.  I don’t know if I will agree with the criticisms in the book, but either way I’ll learn something! If not mistakes to be avoided than certainly something about public misconceptions about science.  Starting out, I anticipate a little of both.

For those of you wondering what happened to 000:  Having just finished my undergrad degree in computer science, I couldn’t bring myself to read more computer books for fun!  So at least for the moment, I’m planning on skipping zero, but perhaps I’ll come back to it later.

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