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Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets

There's a reason why she was the first billionaire author. These books are dynamite. I'm continually impressed by the imaginative environments, the interlaced plot stucture, and just how fun this book is. Loved it.

Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life's Work

I know what you must be thinking, "Zack is reading Pressfield books so he can pad his yearly book count." In fact, that's incorrect. I'm reading them because they are powerfully motivating despite their small size. This book is about the dedication required to really finish a project at a high level. Perfect timing!

The High Crusade

A delightful frolick through a hilarious what-if situation, what if 14th century Englishmen captured an alien spaceship and went on a galactic adventure? Immensely enjoyable, lighthearted, and very clever. My first read from Anderson and now I want to read much more.

It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want to Be: The world's best selling book

I saw a friend reading this and the large font size appealed to me. Oh look, I thought, I can read a book in minutes instead of hours, how fantastic! What I found was a motivational book with clever typography that suggests that goal setting and grit is necessary to get stuff done. I agree! In line with The War of Art, but with an advertising twist.

Consider Phlebas (Culture)

Finally back to science fiction, this brainy work is an interesting introduction to the Culture series. Originally piqued by the SpaceX naming of their recovery barges after characters in this series, I'm interested to see how it develops. While I enjoy the vivid imagery of this first book, I wasn't particularly in step with the characters or their motivations. Still, it was an interesting read and I've been told the series only gets better.

Betsy-Tacy

After the horrible oppression of 1984, I needed something less dark. I'm not sure it's possible to get more positive than this children's book about two girls growing up together. It is my wife's favorite series from childhood and I'd promised to read it for ages. It was just what the Doctor ordered...I barely even remember the cage filled with rats in room 101 now!

1984 (Signet Classics)

This is a very difficult book to review. I hated it and I loved it, evoking the feeling of doublethink which is a cornerstone premise of the work. If the world is one big computer program, then 1984 is a programmer's manual found by chance that explains how it all works. Politics, power, the manipulation of people. 1984 is the despot's best friend, and the libertarians only hope of freedom. But oh my, it's horribly depressing. Several times I wanted to stop reading, but I had to know if Winston would stand firm. In the end, this is a work of art, written in the fashion of literature, that I don't want to ever read again.

Off to Be the Wizard (Magic 2.0)

Light hearted and sometimes obvious in its humor, this is an enjoyable story of a nerd discovering a kind of magic he can relate to. Perhaps more on the Fantasy end of the spectrum, though the apparatus of the magic is technology, I still enjoyed this diversion from the harder sci-fi of late. It's a series, so perhaps I might read more. Will you like it? Are you a nerd that had a Commodore 64 and wished you could fly? Venn Diagram completed.

Zack

Serializable Service Objects

I have to admit, I really like using Service Objects when I'm working in Rails. By which I mean, a tableless object that has domain knowledge for a particular interaction.

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Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child

A bit off topic for what I normally read, but I really appreciate Gottman's focus on data and research rather than appealing to an authority regarding how to raise a healthy child. A bit jingoist at time (ahem, Emotion Coaching), but I like the approach. Fundamentally, I want to raise my kid without resorting to physical punishments. This seems like a good possibility.