Book Review: The Time Traveler’s Wife

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am torn between the opinion that The Time Traveler’s Wife was a very powerful love story you should read and thinking it was overly romanticized – this kind of love doesn’t exist! The story is an interesting take on time traveling and what it might look like if your ability to time travel was due to an abnormal set of genes. These time-travel genes would exert themselves in your behavior and make you disappear, usually at a time that is most inconvenient. Furthermore, you travel into either the past or the future and land buck-naked with no possessions on your body. Why was your disappearing behavior triggered? It could be do to stress and anxiety at the present moment, or for no reason at all.

At the beginning, I was immediately perplexed by the logistics of how Henry’s time traveling can happen. I kept reading and kept reading, hoping that Niffenegger would provide an explanation on the how. For example, I kept questioning “Is there a parallel timeline?”, or “Why aren’t events causal across the past, present and future?”, and “How can he keep his job as a librarian?”, as well as “Why is young Clare so accepting of Henry as a 40 year old man?” After a quarter of a way through, as a reader, you begin to accept the fact that you won’t get your answers to all these questions and you’ll just have to accept the world as it comes.

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La Sagrada Familia photo by Enrico Perini

Book Review: Origin

I will forever remain a Dan Brown fan, and a large part of my contributing to his fandom is due to the consistency of his writing style and the themes he brings up in an engaging and thrilling way. It is not Brown’s style to be convoluting or overly complex in his storytelling. He has subplots going in parallel to the main plot, but nothing that will make readers lose track of what happened last to whichever character. It’s a simple good-guy-vs-evil-religious-nut kind of novel.

Origin is no different than his previous works in this regard, to some readers’ dismay. Professor Langdon finds himself in the middle of a mystery murder and races through time and historical towns to find the answer to the classic “Who dun it?” question. I love this setting – Barcelona, Spain – and feel compelled to visit it as soon as plane tickets come down. Just look at this beautiful La Sagrada Familia basilica that is STILL in the works to this modern day since 135 years ago!  Continue reading

Book Review: Ready Player One

This one was very easy to get into, and by goodness, it’s being turned into a movie as we type! Front the beginning, I was sucked into this gloom, gray, dirty, dusty world, and as a new world, it was captivating! I mean, there is no more meaning to life than the one we’ve created in the virtual world, isn’t it? Ernest Cline’s new world was one I could easily imagine – the feeling is similar for me while reading The Giver or Hunger Games. It was a dreary one, and Cline gave this dystopia a new take with nostagic video games.

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Mind you, I never played video games longer than 30 minutes. I’ve never owned a console until I turned eleven (I think), and that was only a Game Boy Advanced. Computer or other TV games, I never got into them and didn’t bother trying to ask my parents to buy it for me. I also didn’t have anyone to play with.

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Not here to crush dreams, but to crush entropy

Chaos begone!

Very good read on Medium by Rands about project managers and the need for them when your company is growing a tad too big. Don’t be afraid to slim down on your responsibilities to what you really need to be doing (for instance, managing code, not people). A good project manager will be able to provide clarity amongst all the moving pieces because that is what they are there to do. They have the big picture view of where everything is and what’s going on so you can focus on what you are best at.

A good project manager is one who elegantly and deftly handles information. They know what structured meetings need to exist to gather information; they artfully understand how to gather additional essential information in the hallways; and they instinctively manage to move that gathered information to the right people and the right teams at the right time.

Source: https://medium.com/@rands/entropy-crushers-fd552252dfff#.dduq017qe

Project Management – Manage Wha??

You would be person #5 who I have told that I got a “promotion” at work this past January! (!!!!) I put quotations around promotion because it wasn’t a direct move up the work ladder, but more a sideways leap into a different team and a completely new role. I gain a lot more responsibility, and I’m hungry for it.

I’m now a project manager at my start-up! Way to go me! *pats self on back*

The position encompasses working with other project managers, engineers, and some business partners down the road. Because of how different this job is compared to my previous duties, I am trying to get myself into a mindset of ultimate learning. Learning at work from my new colleagues and learning at home on my own with the textbook I borrowed, “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)”. There’s a whole line of published materials on this kind of stuff, and it may strike someone to find that there’s so much you can write about how to manage projects. I don’t know if this will lead me to certification, but it’s a start to moving forward in my career.

I haven’t done this much learning since college! Kind of exciting, really.