February ended just as strong as January in the book a week in 2012 challenge. I’m finding that this is a much easier task than I had originally anticipated. The biggest key is making time to read, which for me and probably most people is leaving the TV off. So here’s a quick recap of what I read in February.
What Technology Wants
This was a tough book to finish. Truth be told, I started it last year sometime and had to put it down. It wasn’t bad, it was just a touch book to read – but one that I always came back to wanting to finish. Kevin Kelly is the founder of Wired magazine and throughout this book he compares how technology has evolved over centuries with how biological evolution has evolved. He shows that they follow a similar path of evolution and to fully understand where technology has been and where it is going, you need to understand how biology has evolved. Fascinating stuff but again its not light reading.
Read the full review here.
The Purple Cow
The Purple Cow is about standing out and being unique. Whether that’s creating a unique product that people can’t help but buy or maybe it’s about standing out in a job search and making yourself look better and more unique than everyone else.
Think of it this way, (paraphrased from the book) if you’re driving out in the country and you see a cow grazing in the field. It’s a beautiful cow in a beautiful field. You can’t help but admire the cow. But then you see another cow and another and soon you see a whole field full of cows. All beautiful but all the same. These cows while once aw-inspiring are now kinda boring. What then happens if you see a Purple Cow!? Be the Purple Cow.
This is a modern mythology story where all of the Gods from the past are walking amongst humans in the heartland of America. As people migrated or were brought to the America, they brought with them their Gods and idols. They worshipped and feared their Gods and in this new land, that’s all it takes to bring the Gods to life. Over the years however, these Gods are growing weak because people do not worship them any more and new Gods are appearing all the time (media, technology etc..) These new Gods are waging a war with the old Gods.
The story focuses on one character who gets caught in the middle, his name is Shadow. He was just released from prison (a few days early) just to be notified that his wife (the person he’s been longing to see again) was killed in a car crash. These coincidences brought Shadow to work for Wednesday (the Norse God Odin – more famously the father of Thor) who was trying to rally the old Gods to fight against the new Gods and restore the power to its rightful balance.
In a lot of ways this story is somewhat vague. It requires the reader to have faith and believe that everything will be explained and for the most part by the end of the book, it is. Its an interesting tale and if you’re into mythology, this might be a great book for you.
The Day of The Jackal
A great spy novel. This has been heralded as the first modern day spy novel that all others spy novels after it have been influenced by in one way or another. It was written back in the 60’s and that doesn’t hurt it a bit even 50 years later. It’s a fast-paced thriller well worth your time.
If you like this, and you should read it, you might also check out A Very Private Gentleman. It has the same European flare and distinction that makes this so fun. The latter is a bit more slow and scenic but the similarities between the two main characters is undeniable.
And if you’re interested, the Library has been updated.