I love (almost) everything Bill Bryson writes, especially A Brief History of Nearly Everything. More recently, Shakespeare was good but not great. I am now only through the FIRST chapter (of six) in this book, Made in America, and it is horrible. At least half of this chapter is a repeat of Bryson's etymology lessons in Shakespeare, and the rest is like someone literally reading from a dictionary.
This book is (so far) devoid of the meandering but amusing "yarns" of which Bryson typically makes good use. This book is bland, repetitive, shallow and lacks any coherent overarching story upon which to hang what feels like a Google look-up of a list of words.
Mr. Roberts tone was flat and uninteresting. It is neither pleasant, nor does it convey any emotion as to better inform the reader when something of excitement is going on. Admittedly in this book there seems to have been no such excitement, but I expected more. I miss Bill Bryson's voice narrating, and Mr. Roberts was notably bland.
I would be thrilled to learn my purchase bought Mr. Bryson a drink or fine meal. Given how poor this book has been, he owes me one.
Come back to us Bill Bryson. We miss you.
The latest in the Sebastian St. Cyr series does not dissappoint. The mystery and plot line was inspired by Tennyson's Lady of Shallot and I just loved the symbolism as well as the interweaving of various aspects of the poem into the storyline. I recommend reading the poem both before and after so you can spot the various references. The mystery itself is well planned and interwoven with the protagonist's life. It is the characters, however, that keep you coming back to this series. They are realistic, sympathetic and I've become quite attached to them. The author has a bit of a sarcastic sense of humor and this comes out in some of her characters. Watch for the reference to a "brace of partridges". This and several other comments had me laughing out loud. I highly recommend the series, but, though each one stands alone, I heartily recommend starting at the beginning and let the story of Sebastian's life unfold. The narrator's lovely accent lends itself to easy listening and accents the story wonderfully.
I love this series. It combines great plot lines and mysteries that keep you guessing with some wonderful characters that I have grown quite attached to. Sebastian St. Cyr, the lead man, not only solves murder mysteries, but has many of his own mysteries to untangle in his own life. The characters have taken on a life of their own and I can't wait for the next installment in the series. The narrator has a wonderful English accent that blends well with the storyline and characters as well. Highly recommend - but try to read the first books in the series prior to this one.
There is legitimate and fascinating dialog which surrounds the topic of innovation and the companies such as P&G which have embraced it. This book is largely written by and about Procter & Gamble, and P&G's overt and intentional application of "innovation as a process" as to how they have succeeded in their markets. With those expectations in my mind, I was shocked to find how almost intentionally bad this book is. Half way in I have found it to be a painful regurgitation of their required SEC filings denoting their acquisitions and brand changes, grossly over-saturated with the word "innovation." Apparently the primary author was of the mind that saying the word "innovation" was a reasonable substitute for describing any applied process for bringing innovation into another company or environment.
I would strongly encourage anyone who is interested in the topic of innovation to look for OTHER sources, such as books by the team at IDEO (Consider "The Art of Innovation" and "Ten Faces of Innovation") The author and publisher of this book ought to be ashamed, and I am very sorry I purchased it much less spent the time to listen.
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