Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The President is Missing By: Bill Clinton and James Patterson

Interesting novel.  This book is a high-tech'ish thriller.  The plot is a massive cyber threat against the United States, a traitor, impeachment proceedings and of course politics.

The book starts off with the President being attacked because it was leaked that he had communicated, off the record, with a terrorist.  Under threat of treason and impeachment, the POTUS denies it all.  You soon realize that the threat of impeachment is the least of his worries.

Surprisingly it appears Clinton takes shots at Obama specifically around the "red line" situation.  Chapter 111 is a little long and made me want to stop reading, but I was too invested in the book, and actually it was not THAT bad.  Later in the book you actually see why the authors did that.  Just when you think you have the entire plot figured out, you soon realize that it is not the case. Of course he takes shots at Trump as well.... but that is par for the course and uses the last chapter as a campaign soapbox, but it was expected.

In summary, the book is really good in my opinion.  I like the fact the Clinton was involved because it does give the book some semblance of believability.  The tech is kind of weak, like explaining what BGP is.  It was a bit painful, but if you are a techie and can get passed that, you will be fine.

Hardcover: 528 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company and Knopf; First Edition edition (June 4, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316412694
ISBN-13: 978-0316412698

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Fear: Trump in the White House By: Bob Woodward

Nothing new here. This book plays out like any day on CNN or MSNBC.  I am not necessarily a Trump supporter, however Woodward makes Trump out to be some ignorant idiot.  Although I did not vote for him, I can tell you that I believe our economy is better than it ever was under Obama.  Because of the environment he has allowed to happen, I have been able to pay off my house.   

Woodward, makes outlandish statements about Trump and his administration.  Specifically that race relations are the worst under his administration.  This is insane.  I have never witnessed, in my lifetime, more racial divisiveness than under Obama, ironically.

As I stated before, I am not a Trump "supporter" but I believe that the Democratic party will do anything and everything to destroy Trump even if he is doing a decent job.  That is a pretty sad state of affairs.  He infers that some how Obama came into the White House with some anointed with some special "president skill" which is insane.  Obama did an amazingly bad job as POTUS in my opinion as did Bush.  Both, and many more before were much of the same.

I like the fact that he challenges his "handlers".  I would rather see someone true to their convictions than someone who is a pushover.  Woodward talks about Trump's handlers telling Trump that certain thing were going to fail from a GeoEconomic perspective, if Trump acted a certain way, yet we see that it actually worked in our favor.

IMHO, past presidents of both parties have contributed to the destruction of the fabric of this country.  

Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 2nd edition (September 11, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1501175513
ISBN-13: 978-1501175510

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Small Fry: A Memoir By Lisa Brenna-Jobs

I enjoyed this book.  Being an "Apple Person" this book struck a cord with me.  I read Steve Jobs By Walter Isaacson's back in 2012 and was immediately addicted to Jobs the man.  Not for the same reasons as many may think.  The man was amazing yet cruel and mean spirited.  

It is hard to not admit that Steve Jobs was, above all else, an asshole.  The stories I heard and read about regarding his daughter Lisa and her mother, were always missing some necessary details.  This book delivered them.  The one resounding point in this book, that quite frankly almost brought me to tears, was the regret one has on their deathbed.

Lisa Brennan-Jobs was no stranger to "daddy issues" from early on.  Seeing her father lauded from every corner of the earth while experiencing the loneliness he created was heartbreaking.  I will say that the level of interaction he DID have with her based on this writing was much more than I originally understood.  This book covers the life of Steve Jobs' daughter, Lisa.  It goes through the ups and down of her "relationship" with her father.

In one interaction in the book, Steve Jobs admits to Lisa that "He is not too good at communicating". The irony was not lost in this statement.  The man solely responsible for the success of all thing Apple, that convinced millions of people, including myself, to buy their products saying that he is not a good communicator was strange at a minimum.

You will walk away feeling sadness, outrage, love and despair for Lisa.  Her ability to become a self-contained, functioning, adult outside the shadow her famous father is heroic to some degree; her multi-million dollar inheritance notwithstanding.  

I recommend this book for anyone knowing about Steve Jobs.  Anyone who does know him will be prepared to read about what we always knew about him,  To those new, you will feel outrage during many times in this book.  You will see a vulnerable and troubled Steve Jobs and how his life affected his life with his family.

Steve Jobs and Lisa Brennan-Jobs

Laurean and Steve Jobs

Lisa Computer - Named after his daughter

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Grove Press (September 4, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0802128238
ISBN-13: 978-0802128232

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath By Ted Koppel

There is nothing really new here for me.  As an InfoSec Practitioner, I have followed most of what Koppel covers here daily from the 'Cyber' aspect.  However this books covers more about prepping and survival than the actual cyber attack.  A lot of the material here though, is covered in the other book I read last year 'Cyber Storm' by Matthew Mather.  I do however believe that it is important to be prepared.  Maybe not to the degree that some of the interviewees stated.  I do think it is important to have food supplies that can last for an extended period of time, weapons and ammunition, supplies, tools and be informed on how to use them all.  If you own an AR15 but have never fired it, chances are you are not going to be able to effectively operate it or can run the risk of losing it to either lack of maintenance or incorrect use.

The book started off talking about the actual vulnerabilities that exists with the power plants and the infrastructure in general, however it then took a 'prepper' turn and which was maintained until the end.  The book was interesting and maybe for someone that has not already taken steps for an EMP and/or  general unrest, it may be very informative, I however am not that person.  I will say that he appears to have interviewed a lot of people for this book.  These days, that is diminishing with the media folks.

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Crown; 1st edition (October 27, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 055341996X
ISBN-13: 978-0553419962

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

I watched this movies years ago when it first came out.  I have re-watched it over and over again because its anti-government messages of which I have embraced more and more as I have matured.  Although the book differs in many ways from the movie, the movie did in fact stay very close to the book save the ending and some other, for the most part, minor details.

Rarely do I find the movie to be better than the book, however in this case, the movie I think, is better than the book.  The book has a lot or repetition in it.  Sometimes I thought I had lost my page and was re-reading something I had previously read.

I recommend this book or the movie.  The book is short so not a lot of investment of time and effort. If you like the movie, you owe it to yourself to read the book.

Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton; 1st edition (August 17, 1996)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0393039765
ISBN-13: 978-0393039764