Review: Little Women

Little Women
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t know how I could have possibly gotten around to this book, seeing that I had intentionally avoided this one like a plague. It’s Little Women, for crying out loud, and a genre loving tech savvy literature nut has standards to maintain. However, as I’m under my own edict to try classics of all sorts this came around for its turn.

I didn’t know what to expect, since as with most classics I have no clue what they are about. And this book turned out to be one of the best I’ve had the pleasure of reading. A book that I can safely say I’ve been fortunate enough to have read.

One again proving the adage that has been oddly applicable to me in my life thus far: never say never.

It didn’t start with a bang, with each chapter feeling like short, self contained but loosely connected stories. They all seemed to be fables for kids. Alcott masterfully tells the stories of the Marches and their neighbours, and soon their extended families, weaving the stories like lessons in and of life. I found the book incredibly warm, comfortable, wise and enlightening. I felt all kinds of emotions with this one, and it’s beginning to be clear to me books I attribute 5 stars to evoke strong emotions for me and linger long in memory (or at least threaten to, since I just finished this book 30 mins ago).

This is a delightful book. Heartily recommended, for children aged 6 to 600.

View all my reviews

Review: How to Sweet-Talk a Shark: Strategies and Stories from a Master Negotiator

How to Sweet-Talk a Shark: Strategies and Stories from a Master Negotiator
How to Sweet-Talk a Shark: Strategies and Stories from a Master Negotiator by Bill Richardson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Incredibly entertaining read. Richardson recounts visits and negotiations with despots and dictators around the world, and some closer to home in the States as well. Plenty of anecdotes mixed in with negotiation tips, it’s almost less of a howto than it is a collection of essays highlighting memorable encounters. I thought it very interesting to see what actually goes on in a negotiating session between people in high-office (the ability to call for press conferences and how it can be ‘used’ was particularly eye-opening).

Mostly, I was surprised how fun it was. Recommended, if you have either a passing interest in politics or negotiation, or just fun stories.

View all my reviews

Review: The Plagiarist

The Plagiarist
The Plagiarist by Hugh Howey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A very simple, quick read/listen. Nothing spectacular, and a predictable ending. Writing wasn’t too bad though.

View all my reviews

Review: Contact

Contact
Contact by Carl Sagan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent book. Asks the questions on religion, and Sagan cleverly turns it on its head in this wonderful tale. Ends with a conundrum that neither answers nor completely ignores the existence of a higher being. One would almost say Sagan intentionally left the question unanswered, because truly, would it be possible that we would be able to communicate to extraterrestrials which by definition would be more advanced than humankind, and what kind of contact would it be? Wouldn’t it be akin to magic? And therefore be subject to faith? A very hopeful book.

I saw the film and absolutely loved it (Foster was amazing in it, and it’s truly a testament to her powers that she completely, and I mean completely, dwarfs McConaughey’s performance. The contrast was almost painful to watch). The book has more details that the film changed, and the book is still different enough to warrant a read. Recommended.

View all my reviews

Review: Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting

Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting
Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting by Ed Schmidt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Loved the performance on this one. Freebie from Audible.

View all my reviews