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Something Instead of Nothing: An Essay from Eating the Dinosaur

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I just finished reading Chuck Klosterman’s latest book, Eating the Dinosaur and i didn’t like it. Before i get into why i didn’t like it, i do want to say that i thought his essay about Kurt Cobain (Oh, the Guilt) and Garth Brooks (The Passion of Garth) to be really interesting. Also, the Time Machine and Abba essays were okay. I then had somewhat of a problem with the rest. I have 4 main reasons.The first and main reason i didn’t like the book is this: Chuck writes about what he’s interested in. His past books were about Rock N Roll, Reality TV, Billy Joel, Dixie Chicks and other things. They had an interesting take on items i liked and were very familiar with. These essays expanded my thinking on these topics. For example, i had never realized that the Dixie Chicks were that similar to 80’s Van Halen, nor had i thought about how Billy Joels was a unique kind of cool different than almost all other rock stars (on a coolness range from white to black, he’s an orange). Also, past essays celebrated both the subjects and the concepts. The current essays are about philosophical views on the world. He asks questions and makes statements about society such as, * Why we like or hate people who fail * Why we interact with popular advertising in the manner we do * Why Chuck hates laugh tracks in TV shows and america’s approach to humor * Why NFL Football is great * Why watching people (voyeurism) is exciting: (because there’s a possibility for anything to happen)These are the topics of this book and they are just nowhere close to as interesting as his previous topics. His book of interviews, IV, had a great interview with Val Kilmer. Nothing here touches that.Reason number 2 for not liking this book is that there are lots of quotes in the book. For some reason my Kindle never shows who says these quotes. That makes them WAY less interesting and just frustrating. Don’t read this book on a kindle.My third reason is that I didn’t like the prose. I think i know why this is. I’ve tracked down Kloserman on podcasts and now seen him speak twice. I know what he sounds like in person. So much so that i now hear his voice talking when i read his text. Do you know when you notice someone is saying the word “like” too much and all of the sudden you find yourself pay attention to them actually say the work “like” over and over instead of whatever it is they are trying to say? Well, this happens with me and Chuck. He uses the words “idiom’ and italicizes his word “must” and i can hear his emphasis. It bothers me. Maybe i’ve just read too much of his stuff.Finally, the last essay in the book is about his dislike of technology and I completely disagree with his opinion regarding the Internet. He has a part in the book where he criticizes anyone who publicly praises the internet because he argues they only like it because it now makes them relevant. He says,”the only people who insist the internet is wonderful are those who need it to give the life meaning.” I can’t begin to say how wrong that stance is.At the end, Klosterman comes off as a guy who is just bitter that the world is changing. He reminds me of people who refuse to watch television, won’t own cell phones and only listen to music on vinyl. Grow up.
Never Let Me Go

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Really good book. At times i thought it was slow but it does make you think. The three relationships are telling. I really liked it.
Daemon

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I just read a really good book called Daemon by Daniel Suarez (his first novel) about what someone could do if they had amazing control of the internet, a lot of free time and lots of moneyMatthew Sobol, the best game designer in the world, has died. With his death, a stunning series of events begins to take place, starting with the deaths of a few programmers, and extending to the endangering of the entire world. Very few people can hope to stop his plan.The story is incredibly fast. There are no slow parts. There is lots of plot, lots of detail and many characters. It's similar to a Michael Crichton novel except better. More accurate stories, more realistic, more detailed, more interesting characters.The book is a cross between The Stand and The Matrix, two of the epics of our time. Like The Matrix, technology plays a central role in this story, and like the former, it about what happens to the people who are trying to cope with the world changing all around them.This is not a masterful piece of literature. It's book candy and really tasty.
City of Thieves: A Novel

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This book is really great - one of the best books i've read in a long time. The story starts with a screenwriter (the guy who wrote 25th Hour) talking to his grandfather about WWII. It's his story that takes us to Leningrad in 1942 when he was 17. The grandfather gives us more but then leaves the session telling Benioff, "you're the writer, make it up." And he comes up with a fantastic taleIt's not that long but is still a great story of friends, war, snipers, girls, and a box of eggs. Read it
Open: An Autobiography

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Great read. Found it really interesting to hear about his life and emotional path. Would highly recommend it.
Wo gute Ideen herkommen.: Eine kurze Geschichte der Innovation.

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Good read with some fascinating stories about innovation
The Guards: A Novel

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Not nearly as good as the reviews would have you believe. Just ok
Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture

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Really interesting story. If you're going to Florence, definitely read this book before going as it gives you a good bit of history without being boring.
1776

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Really enjoyed this book. Had no idea about the details surrounding The Revolutionary War. It's also interesting to hear about George Washington. Even though everyone pretty much considers him to be the bomb now, i had no idea that he had no idea what he was doing and almost f'd it all up. A great read though.
The Little Book

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The beginning of this book is amazing. Learning about Wheeler and Dilly is just great storytelling. However, half way through the book starts to get a bit out there and, some might say, ridiculous. It never gets off the rails but it wobbles. The first part i give a 5 out of 5 and the second half a 3 out of 5. It is a good book about time travel and Vienna and the turn of the century. I really enjoyed almost all of the book and would recommend it to others.
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