Skip to content

Posts in 'Books' category

Book review: "Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less"

The book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown, carries a very important message: you shall not seek to do more, but rather to do less things, but do the ‘right’ ones. When people succeed in life (even moderate success), they are encouraged to do more and hence de-focus. In general, our society promotes the concept of doing more and more, which makes it hard for us to just say ‘no’ to additional commitments, even if those commitments invoke activities are not within our priorities. As Greg McKeown nicely puts it: if you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.

Continue reading "Book review: "Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less""

Book review: "Think Like a Rocket Scientist"

The book “Think Like a Rocket Scientist” by Ozan Varol (a real rocket scientist, actually), has nothing to do with Security. However, I do have the habit of sharing recommendations on such resources as well, and this piece is certainly worthy of such a recommendation.

The text promotes the deployment of thought processes that are often used in engineering and science (primarily in rocket science, where mistakes are costly), by everyone. The motivation of this book is probably a quote brought by Carl Sagan: “Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge”; a statement with which I could not agree more.

The book covers a few principles and delves into each one of them with excellent examples and historic facts, all written in an engaging style. Some of the topics that the author discusses are:

Continue reading "Book review: "Think Like a Rocket Scientist""

Book review: "Permanent Record"

The book “Permanent Record” is best known for its author, Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who released enormous amounts of secret NSA documents to the press, alleging that the intelligence community in the US violates the rights of citizens for privacy by implementing wide-reaching programs of wholesale surveillance. This is the second book I review that discusses Ed Snowden and his revelations; the previous book I reviewed was “No Place to Hide” by journalist Glenn Greenwald.

Continue reading "Book review: "Permanent Record""

Book review: "Data and Goliath"

After sitting in my reading list for years, I finally got to read “Data and Goliath” by Bruce Schneier. Overall, this book is as well written as all of Schneier’s books, and is just as scientifically accurate (to the best that I could tell). However, whoever the audience for his book is, they may find it missing essential parts that make it not just a pleasant read, but also a useful one.

Continue reading "Book review: "Data and Goliath""

Book review: "Creativity, Inc." by Ed Catmull

This is an untypical management book. Aside of the fact that it is very well written, it is full of insights that you can actually relate to and use. It makes sense, and unlike other management books that “make sense” because they preach obvious trivialities, this one brings up points that are truly insightful.

Continue reading "Book review: "Creativity, Inc." by Ed Catmull"

Book review: "No place to hide" by Glenn Greenwald

I just finished reading the book “No Place to Hide“, by the journalist Glenn Greenwald. The book talks about the revelations from Edward Snowden on the actions taken by the NSA, as well as about their implications. It is not the  book you can’t take your hands off, but it is certainly a worthy read and conveys a very well elaborated message.

Continue reading "Book review: "No place to hide" by Glenn Greenwald"

Book review: Little Brother

I have just finished reading Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. This book presents the story of a typical but tech savvy teenager who falls victim to harassment by the Department of Homeland Security and the police state, where every citizen is constantly tracked and monitored as a potential terrorist. The story is fictitious, of course, but those who follow the reaction of some nations to the terrorism threat and the ever increasing amplitude and sophistication of wholesale surveillance, cannot miss that while the story is factually fictitious, it is not at all implausible.

Continue reading "Book review: Little Brother"

Book Review: Liars and Outliers

I finally got to read Bruce Schneier’s new book: “Liars and Outliers". The book is pleasant to read, but truth be told, I was slightly, just slightly, disappointed.

The book is written in Bruce’s style, which I like and appreciate. Like all of his books and essays, it is crystal clear, and is extremely well-written. It is written in a way that makes it comprehensible by absolutely everyone. Not too many people with Bruce’s knowledge can write in such clear style.

What I less liked about this book is its overall triviality. Bruce Schneier is excellent in using trivial down-to-earth facts and notions to get his point across. This is one of the best features of his texts. However, in “Liars and Outliers” I feel it went a bit too far. The book does not take you from the trivial to the “Wow!” but mostly repeats the discussion of trivial phenomenons that bring to trivial conclusions. The discussions
are interesting, and the points made are valid and worthy, but I cannot avoid suspecting that the book could be cut down to half of its length without losing much of its substance.

Book review: The Myths of Innovation, by Scott Berkun

I have just finished reading The Myths of Innovation by Scott Berkun. This 248-pages book describes how the work on innovation, and innovation in general, deviate from how we often perceive it, and from how it is presented by the media. It essentially carries the message that innovation is not some “magic” happening, but rather it is a lot of hard work, often carried out by many people.

Continue reading "Book review: The Myths of Innovation, by Scott Berkun"