MetaAutomation by Matt Griscom

Filed under:Technical — posted by Randolph on November 16, 2018 @ 3:47 pm


MetaAutomation by Matt Griscom

MetaAutomation is a collection of software automation patterns that, when combined, provide a greater value to your company than the sum of the parts.

The book presents a collection of software automation patterns that should be in every QA organization’s library. Most of the patters are fairly well known, but almost every organization I’ve seen still needs one or more of them. Having them in this collection makes this a valuable
book that should be in any software organization’s collection.

Fools and Mortals CD: A Novel by Bernard Cornwell

Filed under:Adventure,History — posted by Randolph on November 15, 2018 @ 3:21 pm


Fools and Mortals CD: A Novel by Bernard Cornwell

Bernard Cornwell takes a break from his traditional military-based historical fiction to tell the story of an actor, Richard Shakespeare, the younger and estranged brother of William Shakespeare. It is a coming-of-age story about Richard, but it is more a story about late 16th century theater and politics.

The story itself would have made a good Shakespeare play, it has love, politics and betrayal. The author brings the stage to life and gives the reader a good feel for life in the Elizabethan period.

In his usual way, Cornwell tells a very good story. The characters are real and the situations believable.

This isn’t what I expected when I started, I didn’t read the jacket and was expecting a typical Bernard Cornwell novel, but I was pleasantly surprised and could not turn away.

Star Trek Psychology: The Mental Frontier edited by Travis Langley

Filed under:Science — posted by Randolph on November 2, 2018 @ 3:57 pm


Star Trek Psychology: The Mental Frontier edited by Travis Langley

This is a collection of short papers on common subjects in psychology. It uses Star Treck characters and events to provide examples and explain concepts. Each paper is written by different experts in the field paired with someone more experienced in writing to the common man. Editing is done well, as each paper has a similar style, making the collection feel coherent.

I found the book both interesting and easy to read. The use of Star Trek to drive ideas home makes it easy to understand and (hopefully) remember.

The book is part of a series, Psychology of Popular Culture. I plan to read more of this series.

The Dark Wind by Tony Hillerman

Filed under:Chee/Leaphorn,Mystery — posted by Randolph on October 14, 2018 @ 2:32 pm


The Dark Wind by Tony Hillerman

Jim Chee has been transferred to a team commanded by Captain Largo. His duties are to investigate the repeated sabotage of a windmill, solve the killing of a man by a witch and to solve a robbery case. When a drug-running plane crashes and several people are killed, things get more bizarre. The crash and related murders are outside of Chee’s jurisdiction, but all the events seem interrelated.

The story takes the reader into the Navajo and Hopi cultures as Chee tries to sort things out. Even the cultures are tied into the crimes.

When the solution unravels, Hillerman has intertwined everything into a fully satisfying solution.

Building Fiction: How to Develop Plot & Structure by Jesse Lee Kercheval

Filed under:Writing — posted by Randolph on October 3, 2018 @ 3:55 pm


Building Fiction: How to Develop Plot & Structure
by Jesse Lee Kercheval

In this book, Jesse provides clear steps and ideas to build structure and characters into a story. The book is well-written with clear goals and organization. She goes through different stages of writing discussing topics such as point of view, opening statements, building characters. She also compares the complexities and requirements of a book, short story and novella among others.

I found it easy to read and informative. She touches on ideas other books haven’t covered without going into great details.

How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny

Filed under:Mystery — posted by Randolph on September 13, 2018 @ 2:46 pm


How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny

This is the ninth novel in the Inspector Gamache series of books. Gamache is investigating the apparent suicide by a woman who is using an assumed identity. He unveils a tragic story of the woman’s past. This investigation provides a background to the culmination of events involving his former second-in-command and friend, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and the Chief of the Sûreté, Sylvan Franceur.

Gamache returns to Three Pines for his base of operations because of it’s lack of connectedness to the outside. This allows all the familiar characters of Three Pines to become a part of the story.

This is a well-told mystery, although it deviates from the traditional mystery in that it has major themes continuing through the series. This book brings it all to a close and set up what looks like a change in the series with the next book. The writing is excellent and the characters engrossing. But the series should be read in order!!

French for Cats by Henry Beard

Filed under:Humor — posted by Randolph on August 2, 2018 @ 5:37 pm


French for Cats by Henry Beard

This book takes the form of a normal phrasebook as intended for cats. Or at least what humans would expect a cat to say in various situations. It is a light and quick read and the French itself is accurte and useful, but knowing some French is useful, as a few of the “translations” are jokes in themselves.

Mon dieu! Un petit livre pour des chats! Maintenant il peut miauler en deux langues! Aucune paix pour l’homme.

The First World War by John Keegan

Filed under:History — posted by Randolph on July 31, 2018 @ 2:17 pm


The First World War by John Keegan

John Keegan’s book provides a very thorough look at World War I. It details the politics, both international and internal to each of the primary countries, in addition to the military status, targets and goals. It also summarizes the affects the war had on the world while raising some interesting questions. It is an excellent way to learn about this war and how it affected the world, something that is being forgotten in our schools.

How to Read Poetry Like a Professor: A Quippy and Sonorous Guide to Verse by Thomas C Foster

Filed under:Literature — posted by Randolph on May 14, 2018 @ 9:18 am


How to Read Poetry Like a Professor: A Quippy and Sonorous Guide to Verse by Thomas C Foster

Thomas Foster discusses different elements of poetry to raise the awareness of the elements and the appreciation of poetry in the reader. Foster does a good job of making it interesting and easy to foolow and remember. I’ve enjoyed his other books, as his writing style is easy to read and has a lot of good information.

Foster covers a variety of styles, explaining what elements make it what it is. He uses limited technical jargon and carefully explains them when he does.

His writing is easy to read and informative. I plan to seek out other books of his to read.

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Filed under:self-help,Writing — posted by Randolph on February 20, 2018 @ 10:43 am


Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

This book is mostly a supportive book written in a self-help style, and almost a spiritual style. It has a lot of anecdotes detailing her experiences dealing with all the roadblocks that we encounter or put up in our own path. She has a neurotic sense of humor that makes the book entertaining at the same time.

In this book, she writes a lot about the publishing process, adding a hearty dose of reality to want-to-be writers.

This book came recommended to me, although I can’t remember the source. I felt the book got off to a slow start. The first few chapters leaned more toward the spiritual style which didn’t appeal to me, but later chapters had more useful information. Overall, I found the book an enjoyable read, even if it didn’t give me all I was expecting.


next page


image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace