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Less Doing, More Living by Ari Meisel

I've read this book before, it's a VERY fast little read, but I needed to pull it back out to review some of the resources to see if they are a match for the business. I opted to re-read the whole thing because it's fast.

I think there are some genuinely good tools discussed in here and the section on how to use a Virtual Assistant is worth the book purchase alone. My copy is from 2014 and some of the apps/programs are already outdated or gone, which is a down-side to writing about edgy-tech stuff. That said, the type of programs I was most interested in appear to have new equivalencies so it's still useful.

Meisel himself comes off as kind of a privileged douche-canoe but, well, I mean what author of a book like this one doesn't? It's pretty much the cost of admission to pull the five things you actually need/can use from the book.

Handy tool, easy to read, worth having around.

Rating: 8 of 10

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Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

This book has been on my to-read shelf for a long time. I didn't mind that I read it, it's a well-written book that keeps you engaged, I just don't know that I liked it. Even Oly is hard to find a way to like, everyone is hard to find a way to like, and there's a sense of "how is this all going to be horrible" with every new situation.

So, well written, I don't resent the time spent reading, but I can't really say I enjoyed it.

Rating: 6 of 10
I love Becky Chambers. Seriously. She is on my short list of favorite authors. I love this world she's created, I love the people she's populated it with, I love her storytelling, and I love how much she makes me think and feel. The worst thing about this book is that her third book in this world isn't out yet.

Rating: 10 of 10
It wasn't badly written, per se, it just wasn't...much? I kept waiting for something to happen (weird, because there's what seems like it should be a BIG something framing the narrative) and it just - you know - didn't.

I also kept ramming up against the wall of "OMG SCIENCE, YOU NEED TO SCIENCE!!!" while reading. Look, I don't need a TON of answers in my speculative/science fiction, I'm not a "hard science or nothing!" person, like, at ALL - but this book needed some research because the world it was creating and describing was frustratingly unsupported and felt truly unsupportable. I think the idea of telling the story from the perspective of a minor was meant to gloss over some of that but it didn't really work.

Also, ending every - single - chapter with a tossed-off "but now we know better/of course we didn't know that would be the last time" sort of thing was annoying as crap.

So, yeah, I didn't hate it so much that it stopped me reading it but I didn't think much of this book.

Rating: 5 of 10

The Scar by China Mieville

While I enjoyed reading this book, I was deeply engaged by it, it's harder to say whether I actually liked it or not. The characters were hard to know, if that makes sense, but the world they inhabited was so lush it was impossible not to keep returning. So, a fun read, just not sure it's a book to love.

Rating: 7 of 10

White Jenna by Jane Yolen

I read the first book in this duo so long ago I had pretty much forgotten it but Yolen was good about bringing me back up to speed. It's a solid read, not a life-changer but good, but it has a really nifty framing quirk in that Yolen gives multiple perspectives on the same action (the myth, the legend, the history, the song, the story) allowing a lot of interesting play between what actually happened and how it becomes remembered. For that alone it's worth the read.

I also really enjoyed how the ending was handled. Fun read.

Rating: 8 of 10

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I picked this up at the Scholastic book fair while I was still teaching high school. It's a fun book in some ways, I think I enjoyed the notes at the end from the author as much as anything, but it won't go down as a lifelong favorite for me.

Rating: 7 of 10

2016 Overview

I'd hoped to at least hit 40, but such is a busy life with 6 months of deep depression in the middle of it. Whee! Onward to 2017!

Books Read in 2016:
1. The Sandman Overture by Neil Gaiman
2. Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor
3. Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies (second edition) by John W. Kingdon
4. The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett
5. Brilliance by Marcus Sakey
6. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
7. I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett
8. The Mighty Book of Boosh by Noel Fielding, Julian Barratt, et al
9. Mind of My Mind by Octavia Butler
10. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
11. Wonderland: The Zen of Alice by Daniel Doen Silberberg
12. Doing Survey Research by Peter M. Nardi
13. Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard
14. City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte
15. Her Fearful Symmetry Audrey Niffenegger
16. Bloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia Butler
17. Tracks by Louise Erdrich
18. You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day
19. Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor
20. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
21. Codex by Lev Grossman
22. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
23. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
24. In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
25. A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor
26. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
27. Somewhere Beneath Those Waves by Sarah Monette
28. The Hidden Oracle: The Trials of Apollo Book 1 by Rick Riordan
29. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
30. Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
This is a fun idea and a fun story. Not my favorite Stroud but a solid, enjoyable read.

Rating: 7 of 10

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

Although I don't love Robert Galbraith as much as I love JK Rowling (let's face it, crime isn't really my fave genre, either) I do enjoy these books. The characters are interesting, I haven't figured out the endings yet (although the clues are there, as I have seen with both books I've read), and they are light, fun reads. I won't likely go out of my way to hunt more of these books down but I will certainly read them as I find them.

Rating: 8 of 10

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