Category: Book Reviews

Thoughts On Learning That Reading My Book Review is a Class Assignment

By , June 11, 2011

I just learned that last January (2010), one of my book reviews was included as assigned reading in an AP English class (taught by Ms. Tsuruda at Mililani HS in Hawaii).

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The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education

By , April 28, 2010

After reading some very positive reviews, I was quite disappointed with this book (The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, by Diane Ravitch). While there are many good ideas in the book, it’s excruciatingly repetitive, poorly organized, and fails to persuade. Read more »

101 Theory Drive: A Neuroscientist’s Quest for Memory

By , April 26, 2010

I was intrigued by a brief mention of 101 Theory Drive: A Neuroscientist’s Quest for Memory (by Terry McDermott) in a local bookstore’s newspaper insert, which led me to search out some reviews online. Based mostly on one positive review (by B.T. Shaw, in The Oregonian), I bought the Kindle edition of the book from Amazon on the day it was released.  After finishing the book, I was satisfied because I felt that I’d learned a lot about the biology behind memory; but I was also disappointed because the review had left me with higher expectations. Read more »

Joomla 1.5: A User’s Guide (Barry North)

By , July 24, 2009

July 24, 2009 — Last week, I researched a number of options for “content management systems” and decided to try Joomla. Read more »

And Still We Rise (by Miles Corwin)

By , April 12, 2002

April 12, 2002 — Over the years, I’ve read a number of well-written books about children, education, and juvenile justice, and always I am left with a strong feeling of frustration and despair. This week, I read a very different book, one I strongly recommend you read. Read more »

In the Company of Good and Evil (by Winn & Power)

By , February 21, 2002

February 21, 2002 Last October, I praised an extraordinary book called Dot.Bomb, an entertaining chronicle of the rise and fall of Value America by J. David Kuo. At that time, I wished for more information about Value America’s technology, and a more detailed account of the pre-IPO days. Be careful what you wish for. Read more »

Dot.Con (John Cassidy): Worthless

By , February 10, 2002

February 10, 2002 — Late last year, I read a truly awful book: Stephan Paternot’s A Very Public Offering, a poorly-written account of the rise and fall of  The company has consistently been cited by critics as one of the worst/best examples of absurd internet-stock mania, but this book by the company’s founder offered no real apologies, and provided very little insight.  I don’t blame Paternot, a young man who was willingly manipulated by “market makers,” and who clearly is not a professional writer.

But John Cassidy can make no such excuses for Dot.Con: The Greatest Story Ever Sold. Cassidy offers no insight, and even fails to identify the “con” promised by the book’s title. And his sloppy writing, riddled with factual and typographical errors, insures that the book can’t be accepted even as a “digest” of the events he reports. Read more »

Two More Business Books (Godin & Locke)

By , February 3, 2002

“Survival is Not Enough” and “Gonzo Marketing”

(February 3, 2002 — Over the past two months, during a lull in my consulting work, I’ve read more non-fiction books than I’ve probably read in the past year. I’ve had some good luck, with fun titles like The MouseDriver Chronicles and thought-provoking books like

Alas, I have also suffered through several mediocre business books, which manage to stretch a few interesting ideas wastefully into book length. Read more »

The MouseDriver Chronicles (Lusk & Harrison)

By , February 2, 2002

Another “Must Read” Book for Entrepreneurs, and a “Good Read” for the Rest of Us Read more » (Cass Sunstein)

By , January 21, 2002

I apologize that this particular “Perspective” is long and complex, but I could find no other way to write it. I hope you’ll be patient enough to read this one through. Read more »

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