Framing the Dialogue

Book Reviews

Bad Blood

In this true story, Elizabeth Holmes fancied herself the next Steve Jobs…and she had the drive and personality to make many others feel the same.  This is based on a true story (I know that I’ve said this already, but if you read the book you’ll understand) yet it reads like a bizzaro world novel about Silicon Valley and the way that community “works”.  The subtitle of the book should tell you enough “Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup”.  The hook for you to read is that Holmes’ company was at one point valued as $10 billion.  

Name of the Devil

“The clues are here—at least the clues to what happened physically. But they don’t explain how or why. We have an explosion, but no victims. Just traces. Something tells me there’s more to this than just a bomb or a gas explosion.”

Author Andrew Mayne is fast becoming one of my favorite writers.  Name of the Devil is his second in the Jessica Blackwood series (I mistakenly read the second one first).  Blackwood comes from a magical family; that is they are a famous family of magicians.  She threw away her cape for an FBI badge and uses her magician skills to solve crimes.

One Year After

An EMP, actually several, are exploded over the United States, ending “civilization” within on second.  In his first novel, One Second After, William Forstchen gave us a glimpse of what that might look like in a small North Carolina town.  Now in One Year After, we get to see what is happening one year later in the same town.  We see society start to reemerge, but not all things happening are progress.  There is a “central” government, but are they for the people.  The folks in Black Mountain have a lot to do to continue to maintain their quest toward returning to normalcy.

Killing the SS

Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard have a gold mine of a formula for best selling novels.  I’d not read the past few after Killing Reagan as I thought that one was a bit of a stretch.  I heard good review of Killing the SS so I picked up a copy to read.  I was not disappointed.  The book chronicles “The Hunt for the Worst War Criminals in History.”  Their unspeakable crimes horrify us to this day.  

You know most of the names; now see what happens to them after the war.  One thing that astonished me was how openly some of these murders lived after the end of World War II.  Many barely changed their name.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

“But when you stop and really think about it, conventional life advice—all the positive and happy self-help stuff we hear all the time—is actually fixating on what you lack. It lasers in on what you perceive your personal shortcomings and failures to already be, and then emphasizes them for you. You learn about the best ways to make money because you feel you don’t have enough money already. You stand in front of the mirror and repeat affirmations saying that you’re beautiful because you feel as though you’re not beautiful already. You follow dating and relationship advice because you feel that you’re unlovable already. You try goofy visualization exercises about being more successful because you feel as though you aren’t successful enough already.”

The Frozen Hours

On the heels of a victory in World War II, Communist North Korea decides to test the defenses of South Korea and her American backers.  Unfortunately for the South, corruption and a state of unpreparedness gives the North a relatively easy path to control great swaths of the country.

“By 1950, in the five short years since the end of World War II, the extraordinary military might of the United States has been deflated almost completely. Throughout the world, governments are far more concerned that the next great war might begin along the hostile borders that now spread through Europe. What military strength the Americans still possess is mostly positioned where they face off against the Soviets along the border between East and West Germany. Korea, like most of Asia, has become an afterthought.”

JET

“She took one more look at the carnage in the little internet café that had been her livelihood for the last two years and inhaled a deep breath. Nothing good would come from stalling the inevitable, and with any luck, she now had an element of surprise in her favor…Highlight She shook herself mentally, forcing her pulse back to normal. The old instincts were rusty, yet it was all coming back in a rush. A third boom reverberated across the waterfront street, and a staccato popping of secondary fireworks followed it, the glow from the red and blue blossoms illuminating the night sky.”

Foundation

Far into the future, Hari Seldon predicts the end of the Galactic Empire and comes close to being executed for his views.  He is the creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory. He convinces those who wish for his death to allow him to preserve knowledge and save humanity, The best minds in the Empire are gathered and taken to a bleak planet at the edge of the galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for future generations. He calls this sanctuary the Foundation.  The novel takes us through a series of crisis as the Empire falls apart and Hari’s followers work to save civilization.

Neuromancer

Neuromancer by William Gibson is described in the Amazon page; “Neuromancer was the first fully-realized glimpse of humankind’s digital future—a shocking vision that has challenged our assumptions about technology and ourselves, reinvented the way we speak and think, and forever altered the landscape of our imaginations.”  I read this as part of my desire to read more classic novels.  Having read this, I still have a hard time writing about what the book was about.  That’s why I relied on Amazon’s description.  I even had a difficult time pulling quotes from the book for my review.

A Prayer for Owen Meany

A prayer for Owen Meany mostly happens aroung the early 1950s.  A boy’s best friend, Owen Meany, believes he is God’s instrument.  An event in 1953 becomes life-changing and what happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary.  What should have been an end of a friendship only strengthen this bond between two young boys; one from a family of wealth and the other a son of a granite quarry owner.