Book Review: Beginning Hibernate by Jeff Linwood, Dave Minter

Begining HibernateSweet introduction to Hibernate. I can’t believe it doesn’t cover migrations (and I’m sure some people will point out migrations it’s not part of Hibernate, but without it, there’s no good way to maintain a production database).

The book is on the short side for a computer book and that’s a huge plus. Even then, if you are going to do Spring Boot, like I am, there’s quite a few sections of the book you can skip.

★★★☆☆

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Book Review: My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

22405This is the most British thing I ever read. It’s quite funny but in my usual fashion, I have lots of questions about the reality of these people.

★★★☆☆

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Book Review: The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War by Robert J. Gordon

the-rise-and-fall-of-american-growth-2I read it as an audiobook and it doesn’t make a good one. It’s full of figures, numbers, charts, diagrams, etc which get lost in the audio version. This might cause a bias on my review.

The book feels thoroughly researched. I caught a couple of small errors but most time when I thought “What about this or that” the book answered my objection a couple or paragraphs earlier.

The first two parts cycle between a dry list of numbers and little stories or descriptions that are very interesting. It is, as the title suggest, very American centric but every now and then it compares USA with Europe.

The last part is different, specially the last two or three chapters, which talk about the present and the future. I was heavily entrenched in what this books call techno-optimisim. Techno-optimists believe progress is happening and it will accelerate. AI will solve all problems and destroy all jobs. We also believe robots are the biggest source of unemployment today. This book made me challenge these assumptions. I’m not sure what to believe. Some of the conclusions that you may arrive at from the information here can be very xenophobic/protectionist.

The postscript, America’s Growth Achievement and the Path Ahead is great and concise. I think it should be mandatory reading to be a politician of any kind. Actually, the US should elect Robert J. Gordon as their president.

★★★★☆

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Book Review: The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday

81SLYRdcbaLThis book is a sort of different explanation of the concepts of Stoicism. The book claimed the original works by Seneca and others are very accessible but I found The Obstacle is the Way way easier to digest.

This books claims obstacles are a good thing and tries to prove it with many examples of people that achieved great things thanks to their obstacles. I’m not sure I agree. I think there’s a survival bias I that analysis similar to the one the author points to when looking at a list of millionaire college drop outs.

I wish the book would prove things by using data instead of anecdote but I’m giving it four stars because it this book made me think. It made me think about my current obstacles and the attempt of thinking of them as a positive thing made me find new solutions (or reconsider previously discarded solutions). I still thing they are obstacles and that they are bad for me, but they seem more surmountable. That’s no small feat for a book.

★★★★☆

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Book Review: Opening Skinner’s Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century by Lauren Slater

711eVpNBKRLThis book is very entertaining and contains a lot of details I wasn’t familiar with but to be honest, not many that are important in my opinion; so, if you are as familiar as I am with the great psychological experiments, it’s just entertainment (and I’d say good one).

I really like that she managed to locate and talk to some of the participants of the Milgram experiment. I never gave too much thought about the impact the experiment might have had on their lives. At the same time she ignored some of the more important Milgram findings: adding a white coat and other authority symbols increasing compliance by a lot.

★★★☆☆

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Book Review: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People 3I think I had my expectations wrong for this book. I was expecting it to focus on business and professional growth when most of its focus is on relationships and families. And when it addresses the professional life, it’s from the point of view of a manager/leader of a big company.

It has some interesting concepts such as the emotional account that I think if everybody followed them it would make the world a happier place. But I strongly disagree that there’s a correlation between following those values and one being more effective. For example, the book asserts that if you treat people respectfully, they’ll respect you back. This is not true. This is not how the world works. This is not how the brain work either and some of the facts about the brain that this book cite have been proved false.

Lastly but not least, the book gets awfully preachy, jumping into religion like if that was fact or proof of anything.

All in all I think the book pretends to be scientific but it’s very dogmatic. I’d recommend avoiding it.

★☆☆☆☆

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Book Review: Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE by Phil Knight

71KkAKYWcuLI always saw Nike as this faceless, soulless multinational corporation. I never thought it’s origin was not dissimilar to Apple’s: they were rebels. They fought tooth and nail against incredibly bad odds and prevailed. This book eradicated my dislike for this company.

★★★☆☆

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Book Review: Profit First: A Simple System To Transform Any Business From A Cash-Eating Monster To A Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz

71VbPsg3rfL._SL1500_Definitely interesting and a recommended read for any small business owner. I listened to the audio-book and it was compelling enough that I bought the hard-cover to give it a second read and look at the charts and tables.

Profit first is essentially taking the profit out of revenue before your company eats it away. Obviously there’s a lot of nuances and techniques to make it work and that’s what the book explores and exposes.

★★★★☆

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Book Review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

I feel there’s a lesson in this book I could apply to make my life better but I’m having trouble distilling it. I’m going to re read it after reading another book.

The writing style was surprising but it shouldn’t have been based on the title. It was a fun entertaining read if nothing else.

★★★☆☆

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Book Review: Overcoming Anger And Irritability by William Davies, James Le Fanu

51BO+7v7CtL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_It’s a very short book and it feels very actionable. I have the impression it applies more to people that have bouts of anger than someone who has an annoying constant background level of anger.

★★★☆☆

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