Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Review: The Comic Book Story of Video Games: The Incredible History of the Electronic Gaming Revolution

 So, let's start off saying that my husband and my older son are both pretty big video game junkies, so this review sort of takes into account their perspective as well, perspective from the experts in my household, haha.

This book covers the basic overview of the history of how we got from Pong to crazy highly detailed graphics and controls with so many buttons I have no idea how to even begin to play Destiny or Overwatch. (Halp.) With anything comic or graphic-based, the artwork is an important consideration when reading.  This book reminds me of some old-school, retro style comic illustrations, which is apt for a book that showcases the history of something. Both my husband and son agreed.

This would make a good gift more so for the older video game (and often, at least in our house, also comic book) enthusiast in your life. There are some jokes and references my son sort of got, sort of not. He's 10, so that's understandable. If you yourself find the evolution and stories behind the creation of this mega industry appealing, this is a great way to get a good overview of how it happened, a fun and easy read that actually gives you some knowledge about a subject.

Fun fact, this author has some other graphic novels/comic form 'history of' books-- like the history of beer. Yum. Beer. ;-D

If you really want to get in-depth about it, there are some really detailed books out there about the subject, and about different aspects of the subject (relevance in pop culture, specific companies, etc.) like Console Wars, etc.

*This book was received for free from Blogging for Books for an unbiased review.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

'The Heirs' Review by Susan Rieger

The Heirs is a book that I was lucky to read at the right time, in the right mood. It's one of those books.

It's a complex novel of family, wealth, what holds people together and what drives them apart. It's relatable in that emotional way for the everyday Joe who doesn't have millions (i.e. me), and at the same time it's so far removed from most people's lives that you can't help but feel better at the fuckedupedness of the Falkes clan.

A family of five boys whose father dies leaves behind and exposes secrets that totally shake up their world. And, while this isn't a Wes Anderson movie (I know, right?), and this concept of elite families and their hidden crazy seems to run amok in many books these days, this one was just plain fun, and eloquently written.

If you feel like escaping the mundaneness of your little life and enter the somehow still dramatic mundaneness of the New York Elite, give this one a shot.  Love, death, sex, family, and the all important dollar bill are universal themes, after all.

*This book was received for free from Blogging for Books for review.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Red Teaming: How Your Business Can Conquer The Competition By Challenging Everything - Book Review

Red Teaming by Bryce Hoffman provides a unique look into the concept of Red Teaming - basically playing Devil's Adversary in a systematic, critical way that allows intelligence and military agencies to test our their strategies in increase chances of success.

We are full of bias, groupthink, and our culture often encourages you to 'go with the flow' instead of challenging the process. This can be disastrous for a business organization, and, in the case of the military, often deadly.

Red Teaming as a concept without the name has existed for a long time, but the origins of this as a particular methodology here in the US lie in failed missions and bad planning after 9/11.  Bryce Hoffman, the author of this book, was able to attend the selective military training for Red Team groups, (which is a fun introduction and first part of this book) and in turn has taken these seemingly combat-type tactics and applied them to business acumen.

I am a total nerd about anything that helps me to become a more strategic, more creative and more engaged thinker, and this book hit the nail on the head.  Well fleshed out, easy to follow and builds upon itself as you progress through the chapters (psychology, how to start, various techniques, etc.), Red Teaming is an important business book that can immediately be put into practice and will stand the test of time - these lessons aren't bound by an era.

If you have any interest AT ALL in about challenging the status quo, driving your business forward, or becoming better at your job - you should definitely read this book.

*Note: This book was provided for review for free for honest, unbiased review by .

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Boss Bitch by Nicole Lapin: A Review

Boss Bitch by Nicole Lapin is billed as a '12-step plan to take charge of your career.' I'm a fan of anything with 'Bitch' in the title automatically, and, based upon the blurb, it seemed up my alley - a funny, feisty, strong woman who doesn't take any shit and provides some guidance to other women who are getting started on their career path. As much as I wanted to LOVE this.. I only liked it. It's an easy read, and the advice she provides (especially regarding branding yourself and running a business) is solid. She's got skills, and the confidence to share her expertise and her failures, which is awesome.

However.. at this point in my career, it's all sort of.. common sense at this point. She's definitely writing for a younger (than my grey haired, 34 year old self) audience. Which is totally fine, but it feels a bit patronizing for me. I'm all about cheese and ridiculous memes and saying silly things (Everyone I work with is younger than me. Really. Everyone.) and talking about Bey and 'spro bros', buuuut... It's amusing on a t-shirt and fine coming out of your mouth every now and then, but I don't particularly have the desire to read it. Kind of also ruins the longevity of a book?

Am I right? Disagree? Well - cash me outside howbow dah? :-D

Ha, go ahead and give it a go if you are in your early 20s and looking for some confidence and career guidance, but maybe leave it behind if you are old af like me.
*Note: This book was received for free for a review from Blogging For Books.

Review: Girl and Flame: A Novella by Melissa Reddish

 What a beautiful little book! I loved this. Almost poetry. Sweet, strange and full of feeling.

*Note: This book was received for free from LibraryThing.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Review: 'Unfair' by Adam Benforado

At a time like this, a book like 'Unfair' by Adam Benforado seems more and more relevant.  I started reading this awhile ago, but had to put it down because it was hard to get through (after elections, not even going to lie)

Regardless, it's an important book to read. Our justice system is broken, and we are all guilty until proven innocence.

Simple cognitive forces are directing our perception of guilt and innocence, and the first step in correcting these issues is understanding them. This book achieves what it sets out to do.

Understanding that intuition drives so much of what should be looked at in a neutral light, no matter how unbiased we strive to be, can be a hard fact to swallow, but it's very true.

While I, personally, believe there are other, underlying issues beyond this that have had a deep and lasting negative impact on our criminal justice system, this is an important and engaging read that will make you think about your reactions and look at well-known historical and current court cases in a new light.

*Note: This book was received for free from for review. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Review: Slow Fires by Justin Smillie

Well, I am the worst. It's been a hellacious year of ups and downs. But that's a whole other blog post. This one.. is about: Slow Fires: Mastering New Ways to Braise, Roast, and Grill.

This one, again, was chosen for the Chef Hubs, because I am nice like that. From both our perspectives, it's quite beautiful, like most cookbooks, but it's more than pretty pictures.

The layout is clean, separating Braising, Roasting, Grilling into their own specific sections, ending with Foundations and Finishes. Each section starts with preparation and technique, giving you the fundamentals before diving into the recipes.

That being said, this isn't really the easiest cookbook for the layman. (Read: me). However, Chef liked it just enough. It highlights more unique flavor pairing, ingredients, and concepts while keeping the foundation in place, because a good roast chicken is a good roast chicken.

This presents some really fun ideas beyond the backyard BBQ bash where dad wears a 'Kiss The Cook' apron and overcooks the steaks. 

If you've got some time, and are willing to dive in and give yourself a challenge, especially if you are a home cook, this is a delicious way to try.

Note: This book was received for free from Blogging for Books.