2018 Book Reviews

Books Jon read in 2018:

What's The Future and Why It's Up to Us

Tim O'Reilly

Reviewed January 15, by Jon. Tim O'Reilly, like me, is a technological optimist. This book is fundamentally about how artificial intelligence will shape society. Rather than taking a dystopian view, so common now int he press, O'Reilly shows us how this can benefit society - if we take control of it. He views technology as a force to improve productivity but also says we should harness it rather than let it happen to us. There is a lot to like about this book. I found it a complete and cogent manifesto that organizes and gives voice to many of the things I believe. O'Reilly ranges far and wide through a bunch of topics - including the over financialization of our economy, which leads to investing in technology to the exclusion of workers. He shows that the obsession with "shareholder value" to the exclusion of human values is at the root of the dystopian visions and how we can address by valuing and developing people. This is a big book that is well worth reading.

WTFPurchase WTF from Amazon.com

JavaScript&jQuery: Interactive front-end web development

John Duckett

Reviewed January 7, by Jon. In redesigning the all new ribee.com, I found John Duckett's companion book to JavaScript&jQuery, HTML&CSS really valuable for its welldesigned format and informative style. As I got into designing rizbee.com behaviors - menus and Google maps, I found that I needed to program in JavaScript and jQuery. Like its companion book, JavaScript&jQuery, is really well designed. I have a lot of programming experiences, but it is not recent. I found this book was a great reference in helping me come back up to speed. I referred to it frequently in writing the initial behaviors for rizbee.com, then skimmied it later to give me an overview of what is possible. If you can only read one book to learn JavaScript and jQuery, this is the one I'd recommend.

Javascript&jQueryPurchase JavaScript&jQuery from Amazon.com

candyThe Hollow Man: A Novel

Oliver Harris

Reviewed January 5, by Jon. This is a detective novel about London reprobate detective Nick Belsky. Belsky has absolutely no moral compass. He finds a Russian mobster who was killed and moves into his mansion and assumes his life. The book is about Belsky investigating the murder of the Russian's young assistant who turns out to be a teen hooker in a relationship with another cop. In sort of the Harry Bosch tradition but with no seeming redeeming moral fiber, Belsky lurches from one crisis to another throughout the book. This is an easy, entertaining read and I did find myself identifying with Belksy as he novel progressed - as horrifying as that might seem.

Hollow ManPurchase The Hollow Man from Amazon.com

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