Remote, by Jason Fried and DHH (the founders of 37signals/Basecamp), justifies the benefits of home working and offers some sensible procedures and techniques to ensure you and your team remain integrated and productive. The book is written as a series of short essays, all raising issues and skimming over solutions. There’s little depth – if you want that, listen to Matt Mullenweg’s (founder of WordPress) Distributed podcast – but as a quick introduction to the pros and cons of remote working, you can’t go wrong with this short, light read.
Interestingly, after completing Metropolis, I picked up Remote by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, which talks-up home/remote working. Early on in that book, they predicted the working from home movement (greatly accelerated by Covid19) would result in the decline of cities – people would choose to live in cheaper, larger properties out of the city. Being a city person, I disagreed with this statement, and after reading Ben’s Metropolis, I realised why.
It’s easy to label cities as dirty, violent, over-priced, etc, but that’s missing the point. They provide means of collaboration of ideas and resources, social opportunities and much more. Throughout history, cities like Uruk (six thousand years ago) have drawn people to them – to the point now where the majority of people live within them.
This well researched book does have it’s flaws. There are a few odd transitions which seem shoe-horned in, and a few chapters really could’ve used a trim (repeated discussions on the benefits and troubles of walking in a city, too many film plots explained) but otherwise this is an excellent book that I can see myself dipping in and out of in the future.
This is the first book by Nicole Krauss I’ve read, but it certainly won’t be the last. This collection of short stories have mostly been printed elsewhere, so fans of her writing may have read them before. The stories, Jewish influenced, explore relationships – the coming together and drifting apart. They’re quirky but intelligent, the writing poetic and lyrical. A lovely read.
One of the most silliest, most oddest, most charming books you’ll read. When, in the opening pages, I was given detailed instructions on how to make a cup of tea, I wasn’t quite sure what to think. By the end, I got it. Not one to read cover to cover in one sitting, just pick up and put down when you’re pottering, read a few pages, drift onto something else. I’m off to organise my herb rack now…
An interesting, but flawed book. Perdie is a victim of domestic violence, and with Ella (the Devil) looking over her shoulder, waiting to influence outcomes, she has an opportunity to try a different route through her life.
Interesting, because it was a good idea, kind of like a Sliding Doors concept.
Flawed, because I felt the execution wasn’t quite right. Ella’s voice, while initially interesting, broke the plot too often for too long, with monologues that contributed less than intended. Also, it was a pity the alternative timelimes were limited to just one – after the setup, I felt there was scope to play with this, with more divergence, or parallel threads perhaps.
Still, a good holiday read! 4/5
This is a fantastic read.
Bregman’s premise is that humans are a pretty decent species, and not the monsters that the media portrays through dodgy reporting and dubious science. The sections where he tears into widely reported examples of human selfishness and aggression – such as the Stanford Prison Experiment, the Milgram experiment, the self-destruction of Easter Island, Kitty Genovese’s murder (all of which I’d heard of and believed the established narratives) – was eye-opening and shocking, shocking in the sense that they’re still being used today, decades later, in school text books.
Right now, where societal divisions are being utilised for politcal gain, and it’s too easy accept that society would implode without the controlling hand of the state, it’s refreshing to read that humands are better than that. Leaders have to try hard to instill the hatred that’s the cancer of our current time, so when that leadership changes, there’s hope for us all.
An excellent book, read it.
Before the Coffee Gets Cold is definitely a marmite book – you’ll hate it or love it. The story is undeniably charming, well structured and original. The issue is with the writing. Forget what you’ve been told about good writing – “don’t jump point of view”, “show, don’t tell”, “trust the intelligence of the reader” – all those rules are broken multiple times on every page. If you can tolerate that, and it was a struggle, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful story.
This beautifully written debut novel follows an unamed tight-rope walker (called Mouse by her friend) – her ups, her downs, and her bad but well intended decisions. The magical realism is nicely played, and the story structure is excellently created.
The reason why I gave it 4 stars and not 5, was the narrators voice was mature, confident, educated. Mouse, hence her name, is timid, hides under lorries to watch the world, and states as a teenager that she’s only conversed with four or so people in her life. This gave me the impresion that this was the writings of an older lady, at the end of her life, writing her memoirs, which wasn’t the case.
Still, a very enjoyable book, and highly recommended.
This is the second book by Adrian that I’ve read, the first being Walking to Aldebaran. Both are well written, with strong plotting, but this one would be my least favourite. The Doors of Eden took a long time to not go very far. The cat & mouse chasing, well, rats & trolls, could’ve been slimmed down, extra chapters didn’t add to the story.
The biggest issue for me was the characterisations. With such a large PoV cast, half a dozen or so, it’s hard to get attached to any of the characters. The story begins with Mal, who could’ve led the story, but by the time weaker characters diluted her presence, that emotional involvement in their plights dissipated.
A solid 4*, an interesting story, but the execution could’ve been better.