October 2015 archive

Review: Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

From Goodreads: From best-selling author Walter Isaacson comes the landmark biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

In Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, Isaacson provides an extraordinary account of Jobs’ professional and personal life. Drawn from three years of exclusive and unprecedented interviews Isaacson has conducted with Jobs as well as extensive interviews with Jobs’ family members and key colleagues from Apple and its competitors, Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography is the definitive portrait of the greatest innovator of his generation.

Jennie’s Thoughts: I’ve had this book on my shelf since it was first published, but kept passing it over for some reason. When I did pick it up, I was almost immediately engrossed, both loving and loathing Jobs as I read.

It’s rather interesting to get such a detailed biography of someone who impacted the world during my own lifetime. I’m used to reading biographies of people that founded or presided over our country, or of people who haven’t directly impacted my own life, but I’m typing this on a MacBook with my iPhone next to me, my iMac in the other room, and an iPod stuffed with music somewhere in this house.

The insight into the creative process left me flabbergasted and awed. Learning more about Steve Jobs as a person left me a little queasy, but not enough to turn me off from ordering to new iPhones last night. :)

This is a thick book, but I highly recommend it for anyone who’s a computer geek, tech nerd, or anyone else, because Jobs impact really did change the world.

Review: The Martian

The Martian by Andy Weir

From Goodreads: Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—& a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Jennie’s Thoughts: I had multiple friends rave about this book last year when it first came out, but for some reason it took me this long to pick it up. Which is a travesty because it’s SUCH a Jennie book. Science and snarky characters and crazy suspense = my kind of story.

Oh, man, did this book bring the suspense! It was told in alternating points-of-view between Watney and NASA personnel, and each time you start to think things are going to calm down, some crazy awesome stuff happens and then everything is insane again. Watney is the perfect narrator, bringing the snark and levity, but also bringing the heart. This is the worst review I’ve possibly ever written for a book I loved (5 STARS!) but it’s hard to describe without SPOILERS.

So, if you’ve been avoiding this because you think it’s too heavy a subject or not something you’d enjoy, I highly suggest you get yourself on the library hold list and give it a whirl.