Quick Book Review – The Bookshop on the Corner

I stumbled onto “The Bookshop on the Corner” as I was searching for other books like “A Man called Ove“. Amazon recommended it.

This book follows a young British woman who, after losing her job as a librarian, picks up and takes a leap of faith to follow her dream and finds a far better life.

I especially enjoyed it because it parallels my current situation where I’m actually sitting here at my last day on the job getting ready to take my own leap of faith toward a better life. I totally liked reading this book and looked forward to every page. I think my favorite kind of books are those about people like me who live in other countries. I spent a lot of time looking up Scottish words and looking at the other books that are mentioned that really exist! I might have to read some of them.

It is a nice adventure. I highly recommend it. Get “The Bookshop on the Corner” at Amazon. I know you’ll enjoy it.


Quick Book Review – Walden

waldenI’ve always known of this book chronicling Writer/Poet Henry David Throreau’s venture into living simply in the woods of the 1800s but never managed to read it.

Now that my life is reaching the point of launching into my retirement in the country, building my own house and living as simply as possible, I thought it might be an appropriate read.

Walden is pretty much as you might expect from an 1800s poet.  He’s quite the windbag.  It’s an interesting story however drawn out it may be.  There are a lot of great observation on mankind in general and the struggle of life.  It’s good stuff if you can decode it.

It’s often the worst problem with poets that they can’t just come out and say something.  It always has to be encoded in extra words as to almost make what they are saying imperceptible to the regular man.  I’m neither a fan of poetry nor over description.  I want it told like it is.

I made it about 3/4 of the way through this book before being overcome.  I think it is best read by skimming and ignoring the boring.  You get the point.   Sometimes you just have to fast forward.

Overall, the book is a great read.  Especially if you have a lot of spare time on your hands.  Something that might be possible if you actually moved out into the woods far from regular society.  Kind of ironic.

If you weren’t forced to read this in school, maybe you will like it now.

Get it from Amazon.

Quick Book Review – The Phoenix Project

51zJtQeycpL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_This book was recommended to me by a co-worker so I thought I would give it a try.

The Phoenix Project, by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford is a well written book about an auto parts company IT department suffering through internal strife.  They are bombarded by users requests, the Audit department, System Security and upper management demands while being expected to deploy a massively underfunded and over rushed highly public project.

Any IT department worker will be able to relate to this story.  I found it dangerously realistic and it stressed me out so much that I had to stop reading at Chapter 15.

Not only was it hyper-realistic, the names of some of the characters were spot-on with people in my IT department.

Brent – The guy who knows it all.
Laura from HR.
Steve who owns the company.
Chris at the help desk.

I swear it must have been written by someone who knows us.   These names made it feel way too close to reality and I just had to stop.  I’ll read more later.  I want to know how it ends but I can’t take anymore stress.  If I was there, I would definitely quite post haste.

I have a feeling that the book is a learning tool that will give you information on how to deal with such a situation and IT operations in general and I want to learn.  Our IT department is not far from experiencing the same thing in our future.

Maybe it’s the same everywhere.  I’m glad my IT career is almost over.  IT is not as much fun as it used to be back in the early days.  Now there is too much security and regulation.  Now it just sucks.  I’m glad I was a part of the good times.  Sucks to be new at it.

Anyway,  Great book!  I hope to finish it after I retire.  Get it on Amazon.

Quick Book Review – The Phoenix Project

thphnxprjctI originally was looking for a book by the same name something to do with an office or IT environment.   A co-worker suggested it but this one looked more interesting.  I’ll read the other one later.

The Phoenix Project by M.R. Pritchard starts with a power outage in Phoenix AZ.  Our heroine, Andie, walks out of the city to her nearby small town to get back to her home and family where she finds that it has been taken over by a ruthless man running a project to start a new society.

The premise is extremely interesting but the application left me disappointed.  It always annoys me when someone has a great idea for a book then doesn’t come through with the goods.  It’s kind of like opening your first present on Christmas and finding a shirt.

You’ll have to suspend some belief when reading this story.  It’s not Bad per se.  It’s just lacking from my point of view.  Maybe you will like it.  It was probably intended for female readers.  I stayed with it all the way through but I was glad when I reached the anticlimactic sudden ending.

I totally love the idea of taking a town and starting a utopian society.  I would be all for that.  Doing it by jumping into an existing society, drugging everyone and expecting them to change their whole life is unrealistic.

To do it properly, find or build a town and invite people who are interested in forming a utopia to move in.  I’ll bet you anything you would have a waiting list.  I would be first in line.

Give me a house, pair me with a wife, assign me a job according to my abilities and we’re talking total happiness.   Who wouldn’t like this?

It also annoys me that ALL Utopian books always end up with contention making everyone want to escape.  Let’s see a book where everyone is happy.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  Somebody start writing and let me know when it is ready.


Quick Book Review – The Graveyard Book

tgvydbkI swear I didn’t go out looking for another orphan book.  This one just happened to be one.

I’ve been wanting to read a Neil Gaiman book for a long time.  Tried one once before but it didn’t suit me.  This one, however, worked.

Bod Owens turns up in the graveyard as a toddler right as his family is brutally murdered.  He was next but happened to conveniently toddle off in the night.  He is taken in and raised by the Ghosts of the graveyard while enjoying the freedom and powers the graveyard has to offer.

He meets many different souls both alive and dead during his young adventures until he finds out his killer is still looking for him.

I enjoyed this story while being able to relate to young Bod.  I felt especially familiar with Bod’s ability to “Fade”.  I have that power myself and can walk unseen among the regular people.  I’m glad I can finally give my power a name.  I could probably use it for evil and be an amazing shoplifter if I was not such a nice person.

I liked the fact that there were some illustrations sprinkled throughout the book.  More books should have illustrations.  Why not?  The pictures could have been a little better but I still liked them.

If you are looking for an easy yet interesting book to read then try Neil Gaiman’s, “The Graveyard Book”.  I rather enjoyed it.

Quick Book Review – The Old Curiosity Shop

tocspI thought I would check out “The Old Curiosity Shop” mostly because:

  1. It was free with Amazon Prime
  2. Charles Dickens
  3. It sounded Curious

I like the idea of reading a book written back in the early 1800s.  It was such a different time from now.

I got through about three chapters and had to stop because the reading is tedious.  The old style of speech was causing my reading speed to drag.  When I noticed that I had only read 3% of the book I made the executive decision that, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

I did a little googling on the book and found that the BBC made a movie of it in 2007.  Amazon doesn’t stream it.  I could buy the DVD for $9.99 + shipping but decided it wasn’t worth that to me.

I decided that reading the Plot Summary would do for this lifetime experience.  Maybe in the next life where people will have nothing else to do but read books.

It looks like a good story.  Someone should rewrite it.

Quick Book Review – The Misremembered Man

51kCqHxJj-LI was drawn to this book by its title.  “The Misremembered Man” sounded like something a person like myself could relate to.

Set in a small town in Ireland, this book follows a few characters by jumping back and forth in time.  It took me a while to figure it out and maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned it but that doesn’t give away the story.

I’m have not been into romance books in the past and this might not be classified as “Romance” but it is the getting together of two people who are meant for each other in a different way.

The story seemed a bit slow in parts for me but it was still good and interesting enough to keep my attention.  I also liked the part about the orphanage.  I’ve always been drawn to orphanage stories perhaps because the kids are forced to live together and one might never have to be alone.

This particular orphanage would not really be a place I would want to grow up.  Here, the nuns beat the children and force them into slave labor.  It caused a bit of a conundrum in my brain because aren’t nun’s supposed to be good?  The God thing and all?  Evil Nuns seem to be a strange contradiction in terms but the stranger part is that from their point of view, they are good and doing God’s work.   Don’t get me started on the whole Religion contradiction thing.  As noted at the end of the books, such orphanages actually existed even into the 1990’s.  Mind blowing.

Anyway… It was a good book and I recommend giving it a try.  Get it on Amazon.

In the end, I was able to relate to Jamie in many ways.  Glad I read it.