Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Next

Next, Michael Crichton

Interesting to read this while reading Pinker's Blank Slate: many of the arguments are similar. An attempt to find a center between the absolutely against and absolutely liberal on genetic manipulation.

The stories are what I suppose is classic Crichton: hard to put down.

L'insoutenable légèreté de l'être

L'insoutenable légèreté de l'être, Milan Kundera

Easy to read. Gripping story, light but firm. Beautiful form and thought.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Inside the Tornado, Geoffrey Moore

Inside the Tornado, Geoffrey Moore

I liked the part where he says that this book is not really inventing any new marketing principles, but it is presenting them in a way that high-tech entrepreneurs--typically engineers--can understand them. That's how it feels. It feels like vague, hand-wavy marketing practices are being converted into equations.

I also like when he tells stories about real companies. One could compose an entertaining book just by compiling analyses, in hindsight, of all the failures and succcesses over the last decade of the high-tech industry. I wish Moore had done more of this; but his objective is pedagogy, not entertainment.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Crossing the Chasm

Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers, Geoffrey A. Moore

This is the first time I've read a business book, and it went well.

Geoffrey is satisfactory with anecdotes, decent with humour. Most parts of this book are a good read in the way the front page of the economy section is a good read. If there is any discomfort in the style, it is the huge number of typos and linguistic errors in my copy. While I don't find typos and errors significantly distracting, their density in this book at least somewhat checks its humour. I suppose it's like the phenomenon of someone stumbling over a joke.

As for its theses, it's certainly opened my eyes to business in general. Techie that I am, I am grateful to have spent just the short time it takes to read this book, for the number of puzzling marketing and behavioural questions on which it sheds light.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Liasons dangereuses

Liasons dangereuses, Choderlos de Laclos

The other book I know that is written in correspondence, La Nouvelle Heloïse, sometimes gets awkward. There's this one scene in LNH where the hero is writing, in a letter, that someone is opening the door to his hiding place in his lover's bedroom, and so he has to end the letter, and escape. One feels that if the author wanted to narrate such moments of suspense, then he should not have chosen letters as his medium.

LD, on the contrary, is always believable. That is, the action is such that the authors of the letters always have an obvious motivation to write letters. Through this, and other aspects, the book solidly reassured me of its structure.

Other than that, the story is engaging, often exciting, and it is a good read upon which to pass several multi-hour sessions.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Trois jours chez ma mère

Trois jours chez ma mère - François Weyergans

Structurally fascinating, contentually mind-numbing.