Monday, August 11, 2014

Review: Errornomics: Why We Make Mistakes and What We Can Do To Avoid Them


Errornomics: Why We Make Mistakes and What We Can Do To Avoid Them
Errornomics: Why We Make Mistakes and What We Can Do To Avoid Them by Joseph T. Hallinan

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



I didn't finish book. I read the first three chapters and then returned it for a refund from the Amazon kindle store. Maybe I have a thing against journalists writing books this-a-nomics etc (think Gladwell and the like) but I find these books lack substance. It could be personal preference but I believe there are better books written by people such Kahneman.

I would recommend saving your money and avoid this book.



View all my reviews

Friday, August 8, 2014

Review: Steve Jobs


Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



This is the third Walter Isaacson book I have read and is my favourite. It is very well written. It is also not crammed with English professor language like his prior books I have read which is refreshing. My affection for the book should not be mistaken for admiration of Steve Jobs. I will be the first concede the man was something special. His genius and imaginative streak assisted him to achieve more than many other mortals could ever dream of achieving. However, in technical terms (as Isaacson puts it), he was an a$$hole. Some would call him a narcissist but in many ways I found him to be malicious and untrustworthy. Nevertheless, this is an excellent book which tells the tale of a very complex man. May he rest in peace.





View all my reviews

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review: Benjamin Franklin: An American Life


Benjamin Franklin:  An American Life
Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I read this book after I read Walter Isaacson's book on Einstein. This book too was enjoyable and interesting. I could level the same criticism as I did for Einstein which is that you need an English degree to read the book. Often the author could have used much simpler language. Other than that, the book was great. It was refreshing to see that an icon such as Benjamin Franklin was very much human. He made many mistakes over his life and had an awful relationship with his son. We will, of course, remember him for his many ingenious inventions, writings and ideas. He was also more a pragmatic man than an idealist. Everything is a shade of gray in Franklin's world - nothing is black and white.

The book was also useful as a means to learn about American history. I was also interested to find out more about other countries Franklin lived in. Unknown to me he spent many years outside America in Britain and France.

I would recommend this book for those interested in finding out more about Benjamin Franklin.



View all my reviews

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Review: Einstein: His Life and Universe


Einstein: His Life and Universe
Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



This is possibly one of the longest books I have read but I am eventually finished. I have always enjoyed reading biographies and this one was no different. While this is a merely one account of Professor Albert Einstein I found it very insightful. We as humans have to wonderful ability to romanticise great people and I believe Einstein is no different.

Einstein was a very complex soul and definitely not a model citizen. He was no doubt one of the smartest people of his generation but very little of what he wrote seemed to have ever been proven (well what I can see from the book being a layman). He was theoretical physicist who engaged in many thought experiments but never had the empirical evidence to back it up (other than his bending light theory). He was a celebrity of his time and was not shy of the limelight even though he claimed he shunned it. Having said that, Einstein left his make on history and the world is a better place for having experienced him.

The book was generally well written. My only complaint is the author favoured using many unfamiliar words and I constantly had to make use of the built-in Kindle dictionary. This could be a function of my limited intelligence but I thought there was often a simpler word that could have been used.

Overall, I would recommend this book to learn more about the famous Professor Albert Einstein.



View all my reviews

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Review: Writing to Learn: How to Write--And Think--Clearly about Any Subject at All


Writing to Learn: How to Write--And Think--Clearly about Any Subject at All
Writing to Learn: How to Write--And Think--Clearly about Any Subject at All by William Knowlton Zinsser

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



This book is built on an interesting concept. The power of writing should be used across multiple disciplines and not just in the English classroom. The book is about writing in plain English and takes aim at those who hide behind jargon and are obsessed with sounding intelligent. The book has two parts. The first deals with writing in general while the second has many examples of writing across different disciplines (from mathematics to arts). I enjoyed the book and recommend it.



View all my reviews