‘I Don’t Miss It’

Score: 4/5

It’s been a while since I worked in an ‘enterprise’ but this book brought back some awful memories.

All the terms that used to send shivers down my back (like ‘driving business value’) are here.

It’s not that the book is bad - it’s fine, it deals with measuring what works - it’s that I cringe when I read the terms that I’ve heard some folks so badly apply in the past. There’s nothing wrong with driving business value, there’s nothing wrong with trying to drive business value or saying you’re driving business value. There’s definitely something wrong when folks are using that as a catchphrase to do whatever the hell you want.

But that’s not a problem of the book, that’s a problem for those enterprises. Maybe I should send them a copy?

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‘I Just Don’t Know’

Score: 4/5

I honestly don’t know what to make of this.

It’s a book by a religious scholar, published by Oxford University Press, talking about UFOs. That feels pretty weird to me.

I like the treatment it gives the subject of UFOs and their proponents. It treats it all as a religious belief, so it doesn’t try to say that what they say is true, it just tries to examine these beliefs as it would more traditional beliefs.

And that’s great, and worthy, but a big part of me still just wants the details minutely examined to find out the truth.

There’s a case to be made, certainly, that when it comes to beliefs about unknowables there may be no final truth. Sure. But when one of the early chapters deals with the ‘finding’ of a strange material that allegedly came from a crashed spacecraft and that again allegedly could not be constructed in this universe, I’d sure like to see a detailed scientific examination of that material.

But then, would I believe the results of that scientific examination?

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‘This Was Just Great’

Score: 5/5

I’m not a huge fan of fantasy - I tend to prefer science fiction and crime thrillers - but this was great. I enjoyed the setting, the characters were OK (not paper thin or dumb as a box of hair, the way they are in other books), the pacing was good and it was all quite readable.

Might seek out some other work by the author.

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‘Did Not Like This’

Score: 2/5

I didn’t enjoy this book. I didn’t like most of the characters, and I was annoyed at the main character who was supposed to be smart and yet consistently did such dumb things. Maybe it is believable that people are like that. Maybe people actually are like that. It didn’t feel that way to me - it felt like the character was forced to do dumb things to hit certain plot points, and that just ruined an suspension of disbelief I had.

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‘Yes, But Not Much’

Score: 4/5

Oh boy this is a dense book. It is full of facts and figures, all well researched and referenced. And that’s great! But it does make it very hard to read.

It took me a long time to read this book. I’d pick it up, make it through a couple of paragraphs, and that would be enough for my tiny brain for a while.

It covers an important subject and has some interesting views. There’s much talk these days about the energy efficiency of meat, and how a hectare of fields can produce X cattle or Y grain and the grain is invariably more efficient in terms of feeding people. But that’s not the whole story. The book delves into areas like this, finding out where efficiencies exist, where eradicating meat production would introduce waste, and expands upon the costs of an entirely plant-based diet.

It’s not entirely an efficiency question either, I get that. But if you ever wanted to know the details of the costs and energy efficiencies involved, then this is the book for you.

Good luck.

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‘Lots About Asteroid Mining’

Score: 5/5

There aren’t many books about asteroid mining. This is one of the rare ones that’s fiction and fun. Instead of the usual tome that talks about regolith and albedo, this is a nice, well paced science fiction thriller. But more than that, it’s like it’s designed as a primer for asteroid mining - how it could be done, why it should be done, many of the major challenges and trade-offs. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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‘Well, That Was Weird’

Score: 2/5

I’m OK with weird, honest. But this felt a lot less readable than his other work, and the payoff just didn’t feel worth it. I did slog through the whole book, but I’m not sure it was really worth the effort.

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‘Felt A Little Long’

Score: 4/5

Looking back on this book, it felt a little long. I didn’t really care about some of the new characters, or whether they lived or died. That’s probably not good. I was probably supposed to be empathising with them. Dunno if this is a problem with the series or if I’ll grow to like it. I’m not feeling a hurry to read the next in the series though, unlike the Rivers of London ones.

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‘Nice Crypto Trading Introduction’

Score: 4/5

This was a nice introduction to technical analysis for cryptocurrency markets. It gives a bit of background on how some cryptocurrency stuff works, but stuff like exchanges and how to get funds into and out of the crypto sphere are left as links to the author’s site. This is probably for the best because it’s so fast-moving - today’s great exchange might be tomorrow’s awful one and updating books is hard when they’re in someone else’s hands.

Some basic technical analysis patterns are shown, as well as a discussion of how to trade them. Plus a nice section on risk management.

The style is informal and chatty, and it’s pretty great. The only thing I’d like to see is more of it all! More on patterns, more on indicators, more on charting, as well as more-recent (or even current!) charts. The author does occasionally post charts to Twitter, I just wish there were more.

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‘When’s The Next One?’

Score: 5/5

I’m thoroughly enjoying this series now. I think the pacing and backstory have improved a lot recently, and the fact there was less architectural discussion in this one helped a lot too.

More like this please!

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