Hardware and Software and Books, Oh My!

From time to time Mike and Dave will get some goodies in the mail to check out so that we can share with you what is worth spending some coin on, and what to stay away from!

Not only do we review hardware and software, but the occasional book crosses our path too. Listen in weekly, or check back here to keep up with TechTalk reviews!

Gear | Books | Software

Books

10/27/2007

Demon: A Memoir

By Tosca Lee

"You're late. Do you know how long I have waited for you here? An eternity, you might say."

And so the human, Clay, is introduced to Lucian, the demon. Clay, a struggling editor, is propositioned by Lucian to ghostwrite his memoir ... the memoir of an angel who fell from the grace of God alongside Lucifer.

This is a suspenseful, driven book that does a great job of combining a tense story arc with what could otherwise have been dry theological points. Tosca Lee manages to make these new thoughts and ideas about old stories and concepts really come alive for the reader. I can't count the many times I scratched my head and said "Aha! That makes sense - why didn't I think of that before?!"

Although a first novel for Tosca, it does not read like one. It is engaging, well-written, and succinct. She does a great job of continuing the story one chapter at a time, and breaking it up into manageable chunks, although that is the one quibble I do have; at times the breaks from Lucian's storytelling seemed artificial. I don't know that they were needed as frequently as she had them, and seemed placed specifically to engender some tension that might have been missing otherwise. Additionally, a more in-depth exploration of Clay's mental evolution and interior landscape between the demon's storyline would have been appreciated.

That being said, there are no heavy marks against this book - it's well worth your time and money, and we loved having Tosca on the show to talk about the book herself! This is a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat and make you think at the same time; what more can you ask than that?


  TechTalk Rating:
  Interview Permalink: http://techtalk.podomatic.com/entry/2007-10-29T10_26_48-07_00
10/6/2007

GooglePedia

By Michael Miller

Better than the iPodPedia (at least for currently iPodFree me!), this is a great book - Mike does an excellent job detailing the many and varied things that Google can do (at the time of his writing anyways!). Click HERE to listen in to Dave and I as we talk to Mike on October 6th about the book and Google in general.
  TechTalk Rating:
  Interview Permalink: http://techtalk.podomatic.com/entry/2007-10-07T19_17_48-07_00
7/7/2007

Hooked

By Matt Richtel

Hooked starts off quite literally with a "bang" – and then just keeps rolling!  I enjoyed this book, and couldn't wait to read the next chapter to find out what our hero, Nat Idle would get himself mixed up in.  Nat is styled after a Hitchcockian everyman anti-hero in a high-tech world, where things seem to just keep happening to him, not due to him. This muddle through it, "why me?" attitude gets tossed out the window (along with his cell phone) mid-way through the book and Nat evolves into a Fletch-like character intent on resolving the mysterious ways of evil VC's and big-shot tech corporations – even at the risk of his own life and sanity.

  Overall a great read that deserves the category "high-tech thriller" but with technology never entering at the expense of reader involvement, understanding, or plot development.  Matt does a fine job of giving vent to some of his predictions and insights about technology without letting us in for a diatribe on the topic – a tricky edge that many authors have difficulty with.  A bit loose at the end, and a denoument that strains our credulity, but still all in all a great summer read!
  TechTalk Rating:
  Interview Permalink: http://techtalk.podomatic.com/entry/2007-07-01T18_53_10-07_00