Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Number Go Up

Wednesday, July 10th, 2024 | Books

Number Go Up: Inside Crypto’s Wild Rise and Staggering Fall is a book by Zeke Faux which tells the story of FTX, Teether, Sam Bankman-Fried and other players in the crypto industry.

It’s not a complete history of crypto: digital currencies are already well established when the book begins but it does take you through Bankman-Fried’s rise and fall. Is is heavily critical of crypto, asking where any of the supposed benefits are (fair point) and examining its use in money laundering with the journalist visiting sites in Cambodia where victims are human trafficked and forced to run crypto scams for gangs.

It seems a little unfair to make crypto the villain, rather than global inequality or lake of regulation in these states. They did the same thing with cash or fake fiat bank accounts before crypto, and better money laundering controls would work with crypto, too. It also ignores the idea that maybe the true value of crypto is the blockchain, regardless of whether crypto turns out to be useful.

But it was a fun read, and at the same time, brings some attention to human trafficking which is sorely needed.

Mostly Harmless

Sunday, July 7th, 2024 | Books

Mostly Harmless is the fifth and final novel written by Douglas Adams in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy triology.

The first couple of books wrapped everything up in a beautiful circle. Since then, it has taken various plot devices to keep the story going and explain how the Earth is back again. Mostly Harmless gets back to good old-fashioned science fiction which still maintaining the dry humour of the series.

Also, I’m sold on being the sandwich maker on Lamuella. Sounds lik a good life. That said, it was more difficult to follow what was going on than previous books. But definitely worth a read if you like Douglas Adams.

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2024 | Books

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish is the fourth novel in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams. It follows on from Life, the Universe, and Everything and forms the fourth part of the trilogy in five parts.

It is very different from the previous novels. Which are science fiction. This is a romance story. With a few aliens thrown in but only at the end. Still an enjoyable read and a good addition to the series. And the rain good is good, too.

Life, the Universe, and Everything

Tuesday, June 18th, 2024 | Books

Life, the Universe, and Everything is the third novel in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. It tells the story of the robots of Krikkit and their attempt to destroy the universe.

It’s a great read filled with fun characters like Agrajag. Not fun for Agrajag, of course, but they’re not real so it’s fine. It does feel like an add-on to the originals, though. The first two novels wrap up nicely and this has to invent a whole new series of events to get the science fiction back on track. But it does and it’s entertaining.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Sunday, June 9th, 2024 | Books

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe is a novel by Douglas Adams and a sequel to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Like the first, it roughly follows the radio series but with more detail. It’s laugh-out-loud funny in parts and a fun read.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Saturday, June 1st, 2024 | Books

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a novel by Douglas Adams. Of course, you almost certainly knew that already. The type of people who read me blog and the type of people who like h2g2 almost certainly have a strong cross-over.

I’ve never actually read the novel because I was worried it would deviate too much from the radio series (the original and presumably best) and so I put off reading it. Now that I have, it is actually very similar to the radio series and basically the same story. But still worth a re-read.

The Graveyard Book

Thursday, May 23rd, 2024 | Books

The Graveyard Book is a fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman. It’s apparently written for young adults but I’m not sure I would have really noticed. It’s perfectly readable and entertaining for adults. Similar to Stardust and not-as-dark but otherwise similar to Netherwhere.

It follows the adventures of a boy who grows up in a graveyard with supernatural parents after his family are murdered. Well worth a read.

Be Useful

Saturday, April 27th, 2024 | Books

Be Useful: Seven Tools for Life is an inspiration-style self-help book by Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is part auto-biography with each rule taken from his life and illustrated by the success it brought him.

The rules are typical for what you would expect in this kind of book: set a vision and work your arse off to get it. But Schwarzenegger places an emphasis on humility and listening, documenting his failures as much as his successes. For example, he hates the term “self-made man” because it ignores all of the people who helped him.

There is a dichotomy in the message. You have to ignore the nay-sayers. But you also have to work together and build consensus with others.

People without vision are threaten by those who have it

It is written in a very conversational style, or at least read this way. Schwarzenegger narrates the audiobook and it is peppered with jokes, apologies if his dog makes any noise and a sense of wonder at some of the amazing people’s stories he uses in the book.

I did take exception when he talked about Reg Park coming from a “small industrial town” in the north of England. Reg Park came from Leeds. It is the second biggest city in the sixth largest economy in the world. And we didn’t even get a name-drop 😆.

Counselling Adolescents: The Proactive Approach

Friday, April 26th, 2024 | Books

Counselling Adolescents: The Proactive Approach is a textbook on youth counselling by Geldard & Geldard. It’s one of the classic textbooks on counselling young people.

It’s an interegrative counselling philosophy. There are bits of SFBT, Person-Centred, Transactional Analysis, psychodynamic and behavioural approaches in here. It’s also a little dated but not out-of-date. That said, I didn’t find it quite as useful as many of my colleagues have.

The Godfather

Thursday, March 14th, 2024 | Books

The Godfather is a 1969 novel by Mario Puzo which famously produced two amazing films and a third film.

The novel itself was so good. I read it on a recommendation not sure if I would like the genre but it was a gripping read and I really enjoyed it.