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Posts Tagged ‘2006’

Snakes in Suits

In Book Reviews on June 29, 2014 at 6:00 am
HarperCollins 2006

HarperCollins 2006

Nustshell blurb: So, apparently there are a lot of psychopaths in the corporate world. This book tells you how to identify those people and how to deal with them.

This book was recommended to me by a colleague (whose name I will withhold in order to protect her anonymity). Obviously, this book is merely for the lolz because I work in an office filled with really nice and well-adjusted people. Not a psychopath in sight. Nope. Not a single one.

Ahem.

This book can actually apply to people outside of the corporate world and, in fact, I was able to look back on past relationships and realise that some of those people were psychopaths. The authors of this book warn about diagnosing and labeling people as psychopaths, though, as only a qualified psychiatrist should make that judgement.

What they did encourage you to do is to be able to identify people who exhibit psychopathic tendencies so that you can understand better how to deal with them.

I’m going to go ahead and spoil it for you because it made me laugh. Basically, if you are in a relationship or work with a psychopath, do not confront them. Step away from the psychopath and under NO circumstances should you EVER call them a psychopath. Not to their faces anyway. The best idea is to try to avoid them as they are great schemers and manipulators. They will always turn things around to where you get the shaft.

I’m simplifying things, certainly, but that’s the gist.

In spite of making me giggle a little bit, it did make me think about myself and the people around me. I’ve always had low self-esteem and it’s within the past few years that I’ve been able to really recognise my self-worth. I’ve been working really hard to get rid of my hang-ups which is another thing that this book recommends. One of the things that a psychopath will do is to capitalise on a person’s insecurities. If you get rid of your insecurities, the psychopath will have less ammo with which to obliterate your career or your life in general.

I’m simplifying this book in a huge way and the things that they talk about are actually rooted in science as well as common sense, so I felt as though it was pretty sound advice. It was a good read and it has made me more aware of the actions of people around me as well as my behaviour around other people. After all, who is to say that I’m not a psychopath?

(I’m not, by the way.)

The Redbreast

In Book Reviews on June 1, 2014 at 6:00 am
Vintage 2006

Vintage 2006

Nutshell blurb: Harry Hole is a detective trying to solve a case involving a rare gun, WWII Nazi sympathisers and his murdered partner.

This was the first book I’ve read by Jo Nesbo. I’ve noticed that he is one of the most popular authors on the tube. I always see people reading his books and I’ve wanted to give them a go so I finally have.

I wasn’t disappointed.

I tend to not read too much crime. It’s not because I don’t like it, but it’s because most of the crime books I’ve read have super annoying characters in them. To be fair to the genre, I haven’t read that many of them but the ones I have really put me off. In so many cases the main character is ridiculously handsome, phenomenally talented (more so than any actual, living human being), a super athlete, catnip to the ladies, he single-handedly solves every case he comes across, speaks 15 different languages, has read every book that was ever written AND committed them all to memory. You know the kind of character I’m talking about.

Super. Annoying.

I gave this book a try and was pleased to find out that the main character is just a regular guy. He has a few social issues in that he’s not great with people but he’s relatable. My eyes didn’t roll at any time during the reading of this book.

It was especially interesting because it flashed back to the 40s and Norways involvement in WWII.

One thing I did have a problem with (which was my own stupid fault) were the names. This book takes place in Norway and I’m not really very familiar with Nordic names. When I read, I do so very quickly. Unfortunately, I didn’t make allowances for names that are foreign to me. So, I read along as I normally do. You know, at the speed of light. And then when I got to the end and the plot twist/reveal, I was a bit confused because I’d gotten some of the names mixed up. It was quite an interesting twist, but it felt somewhat diminished by my idiocy.

Next time I read one of Mr. Nesbo’s books (and I definitely will be reading more), I will make a note to pay special attention to the names. It’s not difficult, but the fact that I wasn’t paying as close attention as I should have at first made it tricky at the end.

I feel so uncultured.

World War Z

In Book Reviews on July 10, 2013 at 6:00 am

WWZ

Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd 2006

Nutshell blurb: This book is a collection of stories in interview format from the survivors of a zombie apocalypse.

I really liked the idea behind this book. The stories were interesting, diverse and some of them were quite hair-raising. I liked the idea of having a collection of interviews from all over the world because it gave us a view of what was happening in more than one place. Many times, post-apocalyptic stories focus on the survival of a small group of people or even on just one person. This view of the zombie invasion gives us a great look at it from many different angles and it was really cool to read about the different ordeals various people went through.

I’m not sure if this mode of storytelling really works for this genre, however. I feel that the whole point of zombies is that they’re scary. They’re meant to terrify us into setting up fortifications in our houses and to start rigorous training exercises to ensure that we’re in tip top shape in case of a zombie infestation. (Or is that just me…?) Anyway, for me, this book lacked immediacy. We are so far removed from any action as we’re having it recounted to us by people who survived. Which is another thing. They survived. Their lives may have been in danger during the stories they tell, but the fact that they’re sitting there telling us about their experiences means that they’re alive. That’s another bit of immediacy taken away from me. (Not that I wish for people to die, but I certainly want it to be a possibility.)

I also saw the film last week. I’m really glad that I didn’t pay attention to the critics (I seldom do because I like to make up my own mind about things) because I really enjoyed it. There were a lot of complaints (which I read AFTER I saw the film) about the ‘soft’ ending (which I won’t spoil for you) but I didn’t have a problem with it. It did wrap things up a bit neatly but I don’t mind. I and found it to be an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours. I was entertained.

The book and the film are two completely different animals. One has nothing to do with the other except the fact that they both have the same name.

Off in tangent land and speaking of names… Every time I looked at the book, my eyes would land on the surname of the author (Brooks) and I would see the M of his first name and my brain would instantly think of Mel Brooks. How cool would it be if he wrote a zombie novel? Food for thought, people.

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