Wednesday, April 4, 2018

March Books - A Review

"UX for Beginners" by Joel Marsh was worth the read. I presently have a variety of computer books on the go that relate to a course I am taking and O'Reily books are my first choice for coding books. This was a light read compared to most coding books. Joel Marsh has a blog where he discusses the ins and outs of UX and this is a compilation or as the title states "A Crash Course in 100 Short Lessons". He uses humour and illustrations to cover a wide range of topics and it was a great way to become more comfortable with the many types and labels of UX Design. Anyone curious about the topic would benefit from reading this book, it has definitely assisted me in understanding the more technical books I am reading.

"Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline had been on my pile of books to read for a while, my husband read it to my daughter when it first came out. Of course I have been to see the movie now and I am not sure whether I should have read it just before. Both the movie and book were enjoyable but I feel I may of liked the movie better if the book wasn't so fresh in my mind. I really try not to judge movies by what was left out or neglected from the plot of a book but often it is hard to maintain that mindset :). It always becomes apparent how easy it is to pick apart a movie and how they changed continuity when the book is fresh in your mind. Should have read the book earlier.

"The Strange Case of the Alchemists Daughter" by Theodora Goss and "Strange Practice" by Vivian Shaw are both introductions to new series. Both involve characters which are inspired by other literary works. "The Strange Case of the Alchemists Daughter" starts with us meeting Mary, the daughter of Dr Jekyll who then proceeds to solve a mystery with Sherlock and Watson. This mystery involves the secret society her father belonged to and the meeting of the daughters of other mad scientists, including Mr. Hyde's(Does that make her a step sister?). It is a gothic mystery with a good mashup of some favourite literary monsters. "Strange Practice" protagonist Dr. Greta Helsing, daughter of Abraham Van Helsing, is a doctor who administers care to the many monsters of London. Both are slow paced novels and character development is the main goal of the authors, something often done in the start of a series. I will probably pick up the second book in each series to see what adventure the ladies venture on next.

"The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern is another book from my "To Read " pile in my bedroom. The author does beautiful descriptive writing which adds to the story and sets the mood. It is so much more then a love story or the typical fantasy novel, it's whimsical and slightly dark. In many ways it is a modern fairytale and I have always loved fairytales. "The Book of Speculation" by  Erika Swyler also includes a circus but in a more indirect manner. This book is broken into two time lines one is from the perspective of a librarian researching a book and then his family, the other time line involves a circus which ties to the book he is researching and also his family. It involves the history of Circuses or Traveling Shows, something which I find very intriguing so it kept me reading. At times it is hard to like the main character and his manner or interaction with others but it is all part of the development of the plot. I enjoyed both of these novels for different reasons but the theme of circus performers has been strong this past month.

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