The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest Review

I began reading this book immediately after finishing The Girl Who Played With Fire because it begins the day after the the previous book ends. All three books in the Millenium Series are completely engrossing and I simply had to know how the thrilling events at the conclusion of the second book ended up. After the initial chapters of the book let you know how everything ended up, it begins a number of chapter that focus on the Section and how it was formed and everything that led up to what happened in the second book. This can get a little boring but keep with it because the rest of the book is fast paced and action packed. I literally couldn’t put the book down and managed to read the final 2/3 of the book in under 24 hours. When it comes to mysteries and books in a series I hate to talk about the plot too much because I don’t want to spoil anything for the reader and if they really want to know, they can always read about it on Wikipedia. Long and amazing story short, this book is a must read as well as the entire series. Here’s hoping there are more books in this series’s future!

Tim Ferro

SharePoint 2010 Consultant’s Handbook Review

I received a copy of Chris McNulty’s SharePoint 2010 Consultant’s Handbook: A Practical Field Guide to Managed Metadata Services at SPTechCon 2011 Boston. Chris was sitting at his booth giving out autographed copies. I walked right up and asked for one. He signed it and we chatted for a few about where I was from and how he had friends or family there. I was grateful for the book but at the time I was focused heavily on the custom development side of SharePoint 2010 and didn’t fully understand just how useful Managed Metadata was. Fast forward 9 months later and now I am focused on SharePoint farm architecture and information architecture. I recalled that I had received this book and since I needed a better understanding of Managed Metadata Services (and since I just went to Chris’s Managed Metadata session at SPTechCon 2012 San Francisco), I figured it was a sign that I should read the book.

The book turned out to be exactly what I needed and a great read. It was short, informative, and had real world examples. From overview, to set up, to real world scenarios, this is the perfect book for getting into Managed Metadata Services in SharePoint 2010. The title tells you all you need to know about what this book is about. During his session at SPTechCon San Francisco, he debuted his new book SharePoint 2010 Consultant’s Handbook: A Practical Field Guide. Based on his first book, I am going to have to buy, read, and review this one too.

Tim Ferro

Share This Review

Share This! by Deanna Zandt is a well written book with relevant examples but it does not really focus on its tagline of “How you will change the world with social networking”. It is a very nice overview of modern social media and shows how to utilize each for different purposes. It’s a quick read and I would recommend it to anyone over 30 that are new to social media; however, to my contemporaries and younger it is mostly common sense.

Tim Ferro

The Mythical Man-Month is the Bible of Software Project Management

“Few books on software project management have been as influential and timeless as The Mythical Man-Month. With a blend of software engineering facts and thought-provoking opinions, Fred Brooks offers insight for anyone managing complex projects. These essays draw from his experience as project manager for the IBM System/360 computer family and then for OS/360, its massive software system. Now, 20 years after the initial publication of his book, Brooks has revisited his original ideas and added new thoughts and advice, both for readers already familiar with his work and for readers discovering it for the first time.” – Amazon description

I could not have described this better myself. This is the bible of software project management; your PMP is incomplete without reading this book. Some of this reads like a textbook but don’t let that keep you from finishing it. There are golden nuggets of information throughout this book and you will use that information your whole career. The graphs important to me involved development time estimation, frequency of bugs found over time, and of course the main graph of time to complete projects based on total developers. If you are involved at any level of the software development process, you must read this book.

Tim Ferro

Catch as Catch Can Review

If you love Catch-22, Closing Time, and the writing style of Joseph Heller like I do, then you must complete your fanboy knowledge of Joseph Heller and the world of Yossarian by reading this book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book for the following reasons:

  1. There are deleted scenes from Catch-22/Closing Time that add even more depth to the book and characters.
  2. The background of how this phenomenon came to be and what happened after is really interesting.
  3. The non-Catch-22 related short stories are great and are in the same Heller-esk writing style.

As you can see by my reasons for recommending this book, there are really 3 main types of chapters in this book. There are a number of unpublished or previously published short stories by Heller that are entertaining and well written in their own right. Second there are chapters that add to the worlds of Catch-22 and Closing Time. Finally there are chapters that give back-story of Joseph Heller, his life, and how that found its way in to his writings and what happened because of the overwhelming success of Catch-22.

I picked this book up from the library, read it, and returned it quickly without writing a full review. This is not as in-depth as I would like but it needed to be written. Check this book out of your local library ASAP!

Tim Ferro

Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working for Africa

I decided to read this book because it sounded interesting, political, and topical; and it definitely was. This eye-opening book details the unbelievable history of aid and Africa. Until you read this, you have no idea how bad it really is. To top it off, Dambisa Moyo meticulously shows how aid is actually causing African nations to regress and subsequently allowing China to slowly permeate the continent.

This is a fascinating read and I recommend this book, however be aware that it is very detailed and can seem almost academic at times.

Tim Ferro

Closing Time, the Long Awaited Review

If Catch-22 is your all time favorite book like me, then you must stop everything and read Closing Time immediately. This is one of the best sequels ever written and it took me by surprise right from the start.

We last saw Yossarian running out the door during the war, but this book waits decades to catch back up with our favorite character. Now in his 70s, Yossarian has lived an interesting life but still maintains his penchant for hospital nurses. His world these days is vastly different from the first book but it is filled with numerous characters, old and new. Milo and the Chaplain have had interesting lives as well as have ancillary characters from the first book, and the book is an eclectic mix of all their stories.

Towards the end, the book becomes harder to follow and characters begin passing away but once you finish it and reflect, you are left with a wonderful book and story. I could not recommend this book higher if you have already read Catch-22.

Tim Ferro

Don’t Bother Reading Linchpin

I made it through 108 pages of this worthless, psychobabble garbage before giving up and returning the book to the library. Let me save you the time and summarize the book for you: “Working hard isn’t enough, create emotional relationships, the world has changed, linchpins are what’s needed, your lizard brain will tell you otherwise, rinse, repeat”.  After reading this, I now wonder how Seth Godin is held in such high esteem. The entire book could (should) have been a Gen-Y centric blog post but instead it is drawn out over a few hundred pages of bullshit rhetoric. Here’s my advice: don’t read the book, do more than what is asked of you at work, be personable, be important but not indispensable. Counter to what Mr. Godin says, linchpins don’t get promoted because they are too important where they are at and no boss wants to lose that.

Tim Ferro

The Girl Who Played With Fire…

is the amazing sequel to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo! After a year or so break, our favorite protagonists are back at it with a mystery from Lisbeth’s dark past. It twists and turns and exposes more about her than she would want you to know. The climax at the end of the book leaves you hanging as to our heroines fate, but luckily the third book (of the Millennium Series) picks up immediately after this one ends. Another 10 out of 10 for Stieg Larsson.

Tim Ferro

Review of Starbucked by Taylor Clark

“A Double Tall Tale of Caffeine, Commerce, and Culture” just about sums up this book. Starbucked is a short read that is pretty entertaining if you like coffee or business or culture and just want the 30,000 foot view with some interesting and entertaining stories. The history and astounding growth of Starbucks is quite interesting, as are the stories about the history of coffee and the culture surrounding all of them. I recommend this as a quick read but not as highly as some of the previous books I have just reviewed.

Tim Ferro