Daily Archives: November 7, 2011

Book Review: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Title: Steve Jobs
Author: Walter Isaacson
Publisher: Little Brown and Co, Hachette Book Group
ISBN: 9781408703748
Genre: Biography
Pages: 627
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5/5

Writing a review about a book on Steve Jobs’ life is not easy. It is close to being very difficult, nonetheless here is a review of, “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson. This might sound a bit strange, however I have never owned a single Apple product and yet I am so taken in by the man behind it all.

Steve Jobs at the same time was also a person and not just the man behind Apple and that’s the beauty of this book. The way it unearths the person behind the persona. I will be very honest – I did not want to read the book when I first laid eyes on it. I was skeptical only because technology as a topic has never been of great interest to me, so I was under the assumption that the book would be all about Apple and its making and nothing else. I am glad that my assumption has been put to rest.

The book is spread across forty seven chapters, talking about the man and his life. It is written in form of stories, which is what makes it so interesting. A lot of interesting people are spoken about throughout the book – from Tony Fadell and his role in the development of the iPhone to John Lasseter and the entire Pixar story. About how Jobs created Mac and then was ousted by the company he founded only to come back to it.

What almost took me by surprise in the book was the fact that the emotional aspects of Jobs’ life were also covered and not ignored. The chapters about his illness and his family around that time almost had me close to tears.
What I thought could have been spoken of more was Apple and what really happened there and how Steve helped fix it, after coming back to it. Nonetheless, what was written seemed alright to me at the end of it all.

Steve Jobs as a book is a great read. It is not a PR piece (as the danger might be in an authorized biography most of the time) nor does it try to glorify the person. Jobs at the same time also gave Isaacson complete freedom to write what he wanted to and did not at any point demand editorial control. The book is a treat for all those who want to know more about Steve Jobs and the kind of person that he was. A fitting tribute to a genius.

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Book Review: I Knew You’d Be Lovely: Stories by Alethea Black

Title: I Knew You’d Be Lovely: Stories
Author: Alethea Black
Publisher: Broadway Paperbacks, Random House
ISBN: 9780307886033
Genre: Fiction, Short Stories
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5

I Knew You’d Be Lovely is a beautiful collection of 13 short stories, written in a magical manner by Alethea Black. The reason I call this collection magical is that it is written from the heart and one can relate to almost all stories. The stories centre on love, communication, longing, fathers, sons, families, loss and the need to not be alone. I Knew you’d Be Lovely is a wonderful collection of short stories that one can read over and over again.

When I started reading short stories, I was very young and over a period of time I have come to realize the importance of this craft. Alethea Black does it effortlessly. The stories get you in a real tight emotional spot at times and that like I said is their beauty.

The collection starts off with, “That of which we cannot Speak” which is centered on two people who meet at a party for the first time, only to realize how important communication is or isn’t. This story is followed by, “The Only Way Out is through” which delicately explores the relationship between a father and his teenage son. “Good in a Crisis” is about a young woman and her need to find love – the search which takes her to an unexpected place. There are ten other stories in the book which are equally wondrous and make the reader think a lot about the human condition.

My personal favourite is, “Mollusk makes a Comeback” which is about a day gone wrong in the already bad phase of Katie’s life and how she hopes and wishes for a better day. I felt I could relate most to the story and what Alethea Black was trying to communicate.

I Knew You’d Be Lovely is a brilliant collection of short stories. The kind that deserves your time and attention and emotions. The kind that you read with a mug of hot chocolate and long after you have finished it, think, think about it.

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I Knew You’d Be Lovely