This is a book of interviews with (or essays by) lots of people involved in the business of writing: literary agents, publishers, editors, writers, writing teachers. This is what makes this book so valuable -- the variety of subjects (agenting, editing, contracts and taxing, publishing with big houses, small press publishing, self publishing, fiction, non-fiction, young adults books, picture books, graphic novels, poetry -- you name it, it's covered here) and the stress on nuts and bolts of writing business and its practical issues(though along the way you can gain lots of motivation as well). I was a bit disappointed at the beginning of the book because the first couple of sample queries and proposals were from already established writers with previously published books. This did not seem much of a challenge -- it seemed pretty obvious that a proposal or a query coming from a writer with such pedigree was bound to be successful. But interviews with writers about making a breakthrough and publishing their first books followed in due course, as well as interviews with agents, editors and publishers that had more too say about publishing your first novel. It is a very useful book full of valuable information and advice -- the book to read and reread if you are interested in the subject.
A weird assemblage of three stories presented as an "Easy Italian Reading". Good easy reading books usually contain interesting and entertaining reading material. This one is made of the three pieces written by Alfonso Borello which undergone some grammar and vocabulary simplification.
The first story is quite boring, with a big chunk of it being a philosophical discussion between Socrates and his colleagues about the nature and interaction of love and beauty.
The second piece is moderately interesting; it is an article about healthy versus unhealthy food habits which ultimately argues that osteoporosis is caused by consuming too much meat and thus reducing the quantity of calcium in blood.
The third story is devoted to the tragic fate of Tanzania's albinos with many a graphic description of monstrosities perpetrated by witchcraft customers hunting for albino's bodyparts. It's a moving and shocking story, but is it a suitable material for an Easy Italian reader? Well, it's up to you to decide. On the whole, it looks as if the author pulled these three stories from his portfolio at random and decided to re-market them for the audience looking for an easy reading material.
If you consider learning a foreign language but have any kind of doubts about your ability to learn it or about how to proceed, this is a perfect book for you -- a treasure-trove of motivation bust and practical advice. Also if you've been actually trying to learn one or more foreign languages but without much success, this well be a very helpful book for you. Even if you are already passionate about learning languages and made a tangible progress with one or more of them, this will be inspirational and enriching book for you and -- you will still find lots of useful tips for language learning and will be reassured that what you do is not a crazy obsession but a quest shared by many others.
The author is clearly passionate about languages; his advice is knowledgeable and sincere. Unlike so many others, he does not proclaim himself a discoverer of the best, the one and only, way to learn a foreign language but instead shares a lot of his personal experience and valuable advice, stating that the most important thing to succeed is to be passionate about learning the language. I couldn't agree more.
I didn't expect much from this book (fluent in three months, it's sounds like another marketing gimmick), but it turned out to be one of the best books about language learning I've ever read.
Fourteen lectures about the Dead Sea Scrolls by a professor who has been actively researching in this field for many years. He is passionate about the subject and has interesting theories and suggestions regarding many topics, but, unlike some other Modern Scholar lecturers, Lawrence H. Schiffman always takes care mentioning competing theories instead of stating his own position wrapped into "it is obvious that" or "as everybody knows".
I don't recommend this book if you are a software engineer or manager, or any other kind of insider in the software development. You'll find little useful or interesting information here and lots of annoying demagogy. The only informative places were those that quoted books and articles on the matter written by professionals. However, the author did have one true epiphany: at the middle of the book he wrote that if the reader were a software engineer, he probably had thrown his book into the other corner of the room by then. I would have done the same if it wasn't an audio book. By the way, the reader of an audio book suited the overall annoying and dilettante tone very well by over-dramatizing every single sentence.
I can't see how outsiders can be interested in this book either: the detailed agony over databases, widgets' libraries and GUI design that is so familiar to software developers must be pretty boring to anybody else.
The only audience I can recommend this book to are journalists that don't know much about the matter but nevertheless want to come up with an "insightful" book about software development.
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