November Book Review
I have always been an avid reader of books, and will soon have my own published! This month I only read three books as I have been busy on my own. The books consisted of one non-fiction work, one science fiction, and one fantasy book. none of the books were rereads
Despite being a science fiction classic I have not read I robot before. Isaac Asimov wrote a series of short stories in the 1940’s that were compiled into this book. These books tell both the fictional history of an American robotics industry. They weave in questions of morality, humanity, philosophy, and ethics into them.
It was from “I, Robot” that the three laws of robotics originated and later spread into public consciousness. It is one of those influential works that is referenced both by other science fiction works but also by society at large. Following “I, Robot” stories about robots and artificial intelligence became more common.
Often I find reading the classics to be a bit difficult and dull because they are either overdone this point or feel outdated. However, “I, Robot” still felt fresh and exciting to read. Despite being a series I will not actively look for the later books. I think the book was better off as a one shot and cant see more of them improving it.
Outliers: The Story of Success
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell is an in-depth look at the people that stand out for their success. Malcolm argues that a large part of success lies in your environment and how many chances you get to hone your skill. Most of us are aware of the 10,000-hour rule to master something. Malcolm points out that part of the success of many notable people is in the fact that they get more practice before everyone else.
Moving on from the individual the book latter looks at companies, and cultures and their success. For example, Jewish law firms use to be one of the few that would touch merger and hostile takeovers. When those became more popular they were experienced and were able to take over a lot of the market away from the older firms.
I greatly enjoyed this book and did not disagree with many of the larger principles. However, I think the question of culture and what it is acceptable for you to do need more exploration.
Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko is the first novel in six-part fantasy series. The world of Night Watch is much like ours, except there are supernatural forces fo good and evil. The two sides are currently at peace with a truce between the two of them. The forces of good monitor the night in the night watch. Meanwhile, the forces of Evil monitor the day with the day watch.
The novel is broken into three separate interconnected stories. The first two stories are simple and straightforward. It’s the last one that really stood out to me and gipped my attention the hardest. For a novel about “good” vs “evil” it really leaves you questioning what is good and evil. The ethics of the situations keep getting more and more convoluted and difficult to decide.
I do plan to look for and read more novels in the series. The book leaves a few questions open. Night Watch has the distinction of being one of the few novels where I was hoping the protagonists would join the “evil” side. Granted, I am not very convinced that the “good” side is good.