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A few more reviews

May 22, 2009

I had a day trip up to Vegas to talk at Interop earlier this week, so had time to finish off a couple more of my free Amazon books. There are three to review this time:

  1. Simon Rich’s Free-Range Chickens. Essentially a series of short vignettes, emphasis on short (both the vignettes and the book; this was a very fast read).  It was entertaining, but I’m glad it was free.
  2. Laurie Notaro’s Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death definitely wins a prize for unusual title. It’s a series of stories and essays that, while longer than Simon’s, are still bite-size pieces. While not as purely humorous as Simon’s work, I enjoyed Laurie’s writing more than I’d expected to (I suspect that I’m not exactly the intended audience). At free it was a great deal; I’m not sure I’d pay for it.
  3. David Liss’ The Whiskey Rebels. David’s work is historical fiction, set right before the Whiskey Rebellion in American history (think George Washington and Alexander Hamilton). I generally enjoy historical fiction, although I found this book a little slow in places.  Not so much for the emphasis on financial matters (much of the plot centers on early banking in the US), which I actually enjoyed, but because the author took awhile to set the plot in motion. Once it started the book hummed along at a pretty good clip, and the author’s prose is very readable. This book might actually be worth the $9.99 Kindle price, but personally I’d be tempted to check out Liss’ Conspiracy of Paper or The Coffee Trader first; the former is more highly rated on Amazon, and the latter…  while let’s just say the subject matter appeals to me.

I’m working through this month’s Atlantic magazine now, so I’m not sure what free Kindle book I’ll tackle next.  I might actually take a break from my Kindle for a bit and work through Prototype and script.aculo.us; I’ve been meaning to learn more about some of the higher-level Javascript libraries.

From → Books

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