Tag: Wings

Laszlo Bock – Work Rules! | Review

Title: Work Rules!

Author: Laszlo Bock

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 406

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Laszlo Bock - Work Rules

Laszlo Bock – Work Rules

 

This book was interesting, but it also dragged a bit and got a little tedious towards the end. In fact, the only reason that I picked it up is because I had to write a review of it for a client, although with that considered it was actually pretty good. Bock used to work for Google and spearheaded many of their innovative HR campaigns, and in this book he shares his secrets on how they approached people management.

It’s interesting because they ran all sorts of different tests to see what worked and what didn’t. Many of their findings were counterintuitive, which Bock explains by comparing it to aircraft design during the war. The designers noticed that certain parts of the plane such as the wings and the tail were more likely to be damaged on the aircraft that were returning from combat, and so they focussed their attention on reinforcing the cockpit. Why? Because the planes that were damaged in the cockpit weren’t returning at all.

Because of all of this, it’s a pretty interesting read. It’s a masterclass in thinking outside the box and has a bunch of great ideas on how to keep people happy and engaged in the workplace. I just think it would have been more enjoyable if it had been 100 pages shorter, and I don’t think that Bock’s writing style did it any favours. It’s not that he’s a bad writer, it’s just that writing isn’t his main thing. He does a good job of conveying information here, but I’m not necessarily convinced that it flowed well or that it built up and conveyed a sense of emotion.

Still, if you want to learn how Google does things then there aren’t any better books than this one to help you to understand the way their minds work. Bock also sources pretty much everything he says and so there’s also a comprehensive appendix at the end if you want to read any further on any of the topics that are covered. I just wouldn’t recommend picking this up as your main read because it might put you in a bit of a slump. I read it a chapter at a time in bed and it worked out just perfectly.You can make of this review what you will. Read it or don’t bother!

 

Laszlo Bock

Laszlo Bock

 

Click here to buy Work Rules!.

 


George R. R. Martin and Lisa Tuttle – Windhaven | Review

Title: Windhaven

Author: George R. R. Martin and Lisa Tuttle

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 388

Rating: 8/10

 

George R. R. Martin and Lisa Tuttle - Windhaven

George R. R. Martin and Lisa Tuttle – Windhaven

 

This book was interesting, because one of the writers is George R. R. Martin, the guy behind the A Song of Ice and Fire series which, in turn, was adapted into a TV show as Game of Thrones. I’ve always thought it’s strange when two authors work together on a single book, mainly because it’s difficult to tell who contributed what.

Luckily, I’m happy to judge the book without giving too much of a damn who wrote it – I’ve always thought that the identity of the author is unimportant, and I think that if publishers switched to accepting manuscripts based on their merit, rather than who wrote them, we’d see a lot more talent in front of a mainstream audience.

But that’s neither here nor there. What we have here is a book that A. E. van Vogt – whoever that is – described as both romance and science fiction, but that I see more as a straight up fantasy novel. It follows the life of a woman called Maris, who challenges tradition and finds that this challenge could have led to unexpected consequences.

 

George R. R. Martin

George R. R. Martin

 

See, Maris wants to be a flyer, a right which is traditionally handed down through blood. Anyone can fly, but they have to have a certain passion for it, and Maris certainly has that passion – she wants to soar in the skies on her metal wings, delivering messages between the islands.

The story line started slowly at first, at least for me, but I soon found myself getting dragged into it, although I did find it hard to love the characters from time to time. But the cool thing is that the characters are defined by the events that surround them, and vice versa. That makes them feel fully fleshed out, and more realistic than they might otherwise have felt.

Overall then, this was a fun little read, and one that would be suitable for younger readers, as well as for folks like myself who just like a cracking read, a well-told story that obeys all of the rules of a classic fairy tale without actually managing to be one. I read it in just a couple of days – I gobbled it up.

 

George R.R. Martin

George R.R. Martin

 

Click here to buy Windhaven.