Parenting is a Contact Sport Review

Like many nonfiction books, including several that we’ve reviewed here on the site, Parenting Is a Contact Sport suffered from a severe case of repetition.  It wasn’t a long book, but however many tens of thousands of words it contained, I could pretty much communicate the same message in a single sentence: have a relationship with your children.  All of the chapters, all of the awkwardly personal anecdotes that were supposed to be hacking my brain and convincing me of the author’s message, could really have been reduced to just that statement.  Granted, some elaboration is useful, but I really don’t think that quite so many words needed to be used.

Small Giants Review

You might remember a post called Keep Dreaming, in which I wrote about the difference between greatness and being a Name.  Small Giants, for all that it is a book about entrepreneurship, is really talking about the same idea: that success and greatness are as much matters of definition as they are of achievement, and that greatness and success do not lie only in what could be considered standard or popular definitions of the concepts.

The Castle of Otranto Review

is how it came to be added to my reading list. However, to be more specific, it is one of the earliest works of Gothic horror, more a precursor to Mary Shelly's Frankenstein than it is to The Lord of the Rings. That is not a genre that I tend to favor, but the idea of reading an early work of speculative fiction was intriguing to allow me to look past that element.

Heavy Planet Review

I don’t think this was quite as strong a science fiction story as Rocheworld or Inherit the Stars, but it was nonetheless enjoyable.  If you’ve enjoyed the other, similar science fiction that we’ve reviewed here on the site, then I would recommend you consider visiting Heavy Planet.  Or, alternatively, sending your favorite, pre-industrial, centipede friend to do it for you.

Human Dimension and Interior Space Review

It's not that this was a major page turner (as you may have guessed from the title). It is mostly a collection of data tables of anthropometric measurements, with some descriptions of how to use them and the considerations that should go into certain spaces, activities, and products. I cannot say that I got through long days during the week I read it by looking forward to reading about the anthropometric design considerations for the typical home bathroom when I got home at the end of the day. It was everything you're probably thinking right now: dry, with little prose, a lot of diagrams, and a lot of information that seems pretty irrelevant to most of us in the course of our everyday lives. It is also a book that I see myself referencing on a regular basis long into the future.

The Truth Review

It's said in the news business that if you only tell the truth, your audience will give you poor reviews, but I won't be giving a negative review for Terry Pratchett's The Truth. Actually, I don't know if anyone says that, but like all of the major news agencies, why would I let a little thing like truth get in the way of a good line? After all, a lie can run around the world before the truth had finished putting on its boots.

The Gates of Athens Review

Maybe it’s because Herodotus is so aptly referred to as “history’s screenwriter,” but I was less impressed by Iggulden’s interpretation of the events in The Gates of Athens than I was with his interpretation of Xenophon’s adventures. Where the story he told of Xenophon’s exploits was very faithful to the history, The Gates of Athens seemed to include a lot more supposition on Iggulden’s part, mostly to add interpersonal drama. Yet he is telling a story about some of the most dramatic moments in recorded history, and I wonder if added drama is really necessary.

Dragon’s Egg Review

I like to consider myself open-minded, and I have long argued for the inadequacy of our definition of life and the limiting ways in which we conduct our search for extraterrestrial beings, but even I would not have considered the possibility of life existing on a neutron star.  Sometimes, I think the more we know about a thing, the more limited our view of it becomes.  It’s not that I had dismissed the possibility of life existing on the surface of a neutron star, but that I had never even considered it.  Fortunately, Dragon’s Egg corrected that unfortunate deficit.

The Heart Led Leader Review

mans are staggeringly complex systems.  An incalculable number of reactions and events must occur correctly, and in proper synchronization, every moment of life for a human being to live.  It is a level of complexity which for all of our science we are still unable to completely understand, and tiny variations produce all of the immense variety of unique individuals in our world.  It is therefore no wonder that so much time, effort, and words have been spent in an attempt to understand how those complex individuals interact together in this chaotic organism known as society.  The Heart Led Leader is another text to add to that body of literature.

Lord Foul’s Bane Review

This book is, I suspect, in its basic essence something that most readers of fantasy and science fiction, or at least writers of it, have thought about at some point: what if I were to somehow be pulled into the protagonist role in the world of one of the stories I'm reading or writing? What would it be like? Could I even accept what was happening, the apparent evidence of my senses? On one level, that is exactly the circumstance in which Thomas Covenant finds himself, and by itself could make for an interesting, enjoyable story, maybe something a little like tumbling through the back of a wardrobe into a magical land.