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« December, 2016 »

Useful, Usable, Desirable: Applying User Experience Design to Your Library   book icon  
by Aaron Schmidt (2014)

read: 30 December 2016
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

This book is really optimized to be a reference work for libraries wanting to do a UX overhaul. Schmidt and his co-author Amanda Etches do a great dissection of the many different ways a library interacts with users and then how to improve all of these ways. It can be a little overwhelming if you are a small library that can maybe only do a few things, but the tone is friendly and the examples are quite good. I’m happy I picked up this book and I plan to give it to a favorite library.

N.E.R.D.S.   book icon  
by Michael Buckley (2009)

read: 30 December 2016
rating: [0]
categories: fiction, ya

I liked but did not love this book. I think I was expecting a YA nerd story but what I got was a tween thriller. Which is FINE, it was a fun book to read though maybe I was not its target demographic.

The Kill Artist   book icon  
by Daniel Silva (2000)

read: 27 December 2016
rating: [+]
category: fiction

Read a thriller I liked off of the new shelf, enjoyed it, and then was happy to find out that it was one of a long series. Started at the beginning and the first book is pretty good so far. A little bit of Israel/Palestine relations stuff that I’m not totally sure I understand, but generally speaking, enjoyable with interesting characters.

The Fall of the Year   book icon  
by Howard Frank Mosher (1999)

read: 18 December 2016
rating: [+]
categories: best in show, fiction

Its hard sometimes for me to read Mosher because he’s got this sentimentality to his writing that pushes all of my buttons exactly right. So if I’m not in a place in my life where it’s okay to be transported somewhere else, I sometimes stay away from his stuff. But this was the right time for the right book and I enjoyed this collection of loosely connected vignettes from the people who inhabit Mosher’s just-barely-fictional Kingdom County.

An Incomplete Revenge   book icon  
by Jacqueline Winspear (2008)

read: 17 December 2016
rating: [+]
category: fiction

I was worried about this book at first because it featured Roma characters and often novelists can use this effect for some “color” in the story without actually knowing or caring much about the Roma themselves. This was not a problem in this story which fleshes out some of Dobbs' background by way of what she knows about Roma culture. Not perfect, but not bad.

Your Money: The Missing Manual   book icon  
by JD Roth (2010)

read: 8 December 2016
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

A great easy to read book full of explanations and links and examples about how to get yourself out of debt and start saving money. I am pretty well-versed in this sort of thing and I felt like I learned a bunch of stuff.

Presumption of Guilt   book icon  
by Archer Mayor (2016)

read: 6 December 2016
rating: [+]
category: fiction

October is when the Mayor books come out. This one has a character form an older book, the Tag Man, as well as a good regular old “What is going on?” story. Mayor’s gotten a bit predictable to me but I don’t mean that in any way negatively, I just find his characters sort of reassuring. No big major surprises here (no one dies, no marriages get wrecked) and that was a pleasant aspect to this.

The Takedown   book icon  
by Corrie Wang (2017)

read: 6 December 2016
rating: [+]
categories: fiction, ya

I enjoyed this very tech-forward look from a high schooler’s perspective on the downsides to the social media panopticon. Kyle is a senior at a fancy prep school in Brooklyn with cool friends and a bright future when all of the sudden her world is turned upside down with a leaked sex tape that looks like it’s of her. How she and her friends respond to this fills up the bulk of this story which takes place in the near future where tech is slightly more advanced than now, or is it?

Appreciated a lot of the causal intermingling of tech and social lives in this book. Felt that some of it was a bit hand-wavey about some of the legal and moral implications (there is one specific part where people are talking about the sex-with-minors part that felt very not true=to=life about how such things are dealt with in America today) of all this tech. And, like many tech stories, this one is about the digitally plugged in and doesn’t really stop to give much time to class or poverty issues. Not that every book has to be everything to everyone, but it did seem noticeable in its absence.

I found the main character likeable but also sometimes unreliable in a way that felt refreshingly teenaged. Not sure how I felt about the ending but that’s mostly because I was really deep in to the story.

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