Add a whole pile of new books
authorAlex Chan <alex@alexwlchan.net>
Mon, 3 Feb 2020 22:39:40 +0000 (22:39 +0000)
committerAlex Chan <alex@alexwlchan.net>
Mon, 3 Feb 2020 22:39:40 +0000 (22:39 +0000)
21 files changed:
.gitignore
scripts/add_book.py
scripts/render_html.py
src/covers/from-prejudice-to-pride.jpg [new file with mode: 0644]
src/covers/introduction-to-graph-theory.jpg [new file with mode: 0644]
src/covers/lorenz.jpg [new file with mode: 0644]
src/covers/oh-no.jpg [new file with mode: 0644]
src/covers/provenance.jpg [new file with mode: 0644]
src/covers/the-design-of-everyday-things.jpg [new file with mode: 0644]
src/covers/the-unofficial-lego-technic-builders-guide.jpg [new file with mode: 0644]
src/covers/to-be-taught-if-fortunate.jpg [new file with mode: 0644]
src/covers/why-buildings-stand-up.jpg [new file with mode: 0644]
src/reviews/2019/from-prejudice-to-pride.md [new file with mode: 0644]
src/reviews/2019/introduction-to-graph-theory.md [new file with mode: 0644]
src/reviews/2019/lorenz.md [new file with mode: 0644]
src/reviews/2019/oh-no.md [new file with mode: 0644]
src/reviews/2019/provenance.md [new file with mode: 0644]
src/reviews/2019/the-design-of-everyday-things.md [new file with mode: 0644]
src/reviews/2019/the-unofficial-lego-technic-builders-guide.md [new file with mode: 0644]
src/reviews/2019/to-be-taught-if-fortunate.md [new file with mode: 0644]
src/reviews/2019/why-buildings-stand-up.md [new file with mode: 0644]

index d78b704..6ac44e0 100644 (file)
@@ -1 +1,3 @@
 _html
+
+*.pyc
index 8a05345..1e52921 100755 (executable)
@@ -171,3 +171,6 @@ if __name__ == "__main__":
         out_file.write(b"\n")
 
     subprocess.check_call(["open", out_path])
+
+    from render_html import main
+    main()
index 8f98231..5482612 100755 (executable)
@@ -155,7 +155,7 @@ def render_individual_review(env, *, review_entry):
     out_path.write_text(html)
 
 
-if __name__ == "__main__":
+def main():
     env = Environment(
         loader=FileSystemLoader("templates"),
         autoescape=select_autoescape(["html", "xml"]),
@@ -232,3 +232,7 @@ if __name__ == "__main__":
     index_path.write_text(html)
 
     print("✨ Rendered HTML files to _html ✨")
+
+
+if __name__ == "__main__":
+    main()
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diff --git a/src/reviews/2019/from-prejudice-to-pride.md b/src/reviews/2019/from-prejudice-to-pride.md
new file mode 100644 (file)
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--- /dev/null
@@ -0,0 +1,14 @@
+---
+book:
+  author: Amy Lame
+  cover_image: from-prejudice-to-pride.jpg
+  isbn13: 978-1-5263-0190-1
+  publication_year: '2017'
+  title: From Prejudice to Pride
+review:
+  date_read: '2019-10-29'
+  format: hardback
+  rating: 3
+---
+
+Seems like a good book for young people to learn about some LGBTQ history. It leans quite heavily towards gay/lesbian history, with less discussion of bisexuality/trans people than I’d like, but that might be my personal biases shining through.
diff --git a/src/reviews/2019/introduction-to-graph-theory.md b/src/reviews/2019/introduction-to-graph-theory.md
new file mode 100644 (file)
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--- /dev/null
@@ -0,0 +1,18 @@
+---
+book:
+  author: Robin J. Wilson
+  cover_image: introduction-to-graph-theory.jpg
+  isbn13: 978-0-273-72889-4
+  publication_year: '2010'
+  title: Introduction to Graph Theory
+review:
+  date_read: '2019-10-26'
+  format: paperback
+  rating: 4
+---
+
+I skimmed this in an afternoon, just to get a sense of the book.
+
+Seems well-written, a sensible grouping of topics, good explanations.
+
+I did a term of graph theory in uni, and don’t want to revisit it right now. But if I did, this seems like a good textbook to use.
diff --git a/src/reviews/2019/lorenz.md b/src/reviews/2019/lorenz.md
new file mode 100644 (file)
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--- /dev/null
@@ -0,0 +1,12 @@
+---
+book:
+  author: Jerry Roberts
+  cover_image: lorenz.jpg
+  isbn13: 978-0-7509-8770-7
+  publication_year: '2018'
+  title: Lorenz
+review:
+  date_read: '2019-11-03'
+  format: hardback
+  rating: 4
+---
diff --git a/src/reviews/2019/oh-no.md b/src/reviews/2019/oh-no.md
new file mode 100644 (file)
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--- /dev/null
@@ -0,0 +1,12 @@
+---
+book:
+  author: Alex Norris
+  cover_image: oh-no.jpg
+  isbn13: 978-1-4494-9253-3
+  publication_year: '2019'
+  title: Oh No
+review:
+  date_read: '2019-10-07'
+  format: hardback
+  rating: 3
+---
diff --git a/src/reviews/2019/provenance.md b/src/reviews/2019/provenance.md
new file mode 100644 (file)
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--- /dev/null
@@ -0,0 +1,24 @@
+---
+book:
+  author: Ann Leckie
+  cover_image: provenance.jpg
+  isbn13: 978-0-356-50698-2
+  publication_year: '2018'
+  title: Provenance
+review:
+  date_read: '2019-10-12'
+  format: paperback
+  rating: 3
+---
+
+Unfortunately, this book didn’t really land. There were interesting ideas, and it’s a story in a universe I like, but neither the characters nor worldbuilding worked for me. I read the entire book in a day, but I’m not sure what happened.
+
+I don’t feel any strong attachment to Ingray, and I failed to connect with her. The other characters are defined in relation to her, so they fell flat too. Maybe there’s not enough of her for me to connect with? The scene at the end where she turns down the heirship feels like it should be a big moment, but barely registered for me. (Although, this is another book where I found it easy to disambiguate the character names which weren’t in English.)
+
+And I was very conscious of my poor grasp of the geography. Is Hwae in space, or on a planet? Where are characters travelling to or from? When Ingray and Garal get ejected into space, how do they end up on the Raadch ambassador’s ship? And so on. I don’t have a good sense of place.
+
+I prefer the *Ancillary* trilogy, but even there it took a while for me to connect. I think this will be my last Ann Leckie book for a while, unless I get a sense her writing style has shifted to one that I find easier to read.
+
+(I realise this sounds quite negative, and I’m not trying to be – I didn’t hate the book, but I want to understand why Ann Leckie’s writing doesn’t work for me, when so many other people enjoy it.)
+
+PS I picked up the e/em pronouns, but once again the rest of the gender/name commentary was lost on me. I appreciated the brief mentions of genderfluidity, but I missed a lot of it because I was struggling to work out what was happening in the main plot.
diff --git a/src/reviews/2019/the-design-of-everyday-things.md b/src/reviews/2019/the-design-of-everyday-things.md
new file mode 100644 (file)
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--- /dev/null
@@ -0,0 +1,20 @@
+---
+book:
+  author: Donald A. Norman
+  cover_image: the-design-of-everyday-things.jpg
+  isbn13: 978-0-262-52567-1
+  publication_year: '1988'
+  title: The Design of Everyday Things
+review:
+  date_read: '2019-11-07'
+  format: paperback
+  rating: 3
+---
+
+Some interesting ideas about design, but fairly wordy, and nothing new to me.
+
+I’ve often heard this book held up as a paragon of good design advice, which is why I wanted to read it. There are definitely nuggets of wisdom, but it’s very verbose. I think you could condense the examples and explanations, it’d be shorter and punchier. I skimmed a lot of the book, because if I’d read every word I’d never have finished.
+
+There wasn’t much new to me—I’ve heard most of these ideas before, which probably reflects some of the idealism in my social circle.
+
+I probably won’t read it again, and I’d only recommend it if you’re willing to skim heavily.
diff --git a/src/reviews/2019/the-unofficial-lego-technic-builders-guide.md b/src/reviews/2019/the-unofficial-lego-technic-builders-guide.md
new file mode 100644 (file)
index 0000000..7796ff8
--- /dev/null
@@ -0,0 +1,20 @@
+---
+book:
+  author: Pawel “Sariel” Kmieć
+  cover_image: the-unofficial-lego-technic-builders-guide.jpg
+  isbn13: 978-1-59327-434-4
+  publication_year: '2012'
+  title: The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder’s Guide
+review:
+  date_read: '2019-11-02'
+  format: paperback
+  rating: 4
+---
+
+Clear overview of some engineering fundamentals, excellent illustrations, lots of LEGO history and knowledge
+
+This book explains how to reproduce a whole variety of engineering systems in LEGO. I especially appreciate that it doesn’t assume much prior knowledge – e.g. it explains what a transmission is, and why it’s important, before showing how to build it. I only have a vague grasp of vehicle machines, so that was useful to me. The illustrations are great as well; clear and thoughtfully coloured. Going back to transmissions: having the input/output axles and selected gears highlighted in different colours made it easy to follow.
+
+There’s also a lot of historical information about old LEGO pieces, and their different properties.
+
+I don’t have much LEGO right now, so I can’t see myself building anything from it – but I can imagine myself using it as a real-world engineering reference, if I want a quick primer on how something works.
diff --git a/src/reviews/2019/to-be-taught-if-fortunate.md b/src/reviews/2019/to-be-taught-if-fortunate.md
new file mode 100644 (file)
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--- /dev/null
@@ -0,0 +1,22 @@
+---
+book:
+  author: Becky Chambers
+  cover_image: to-be-taught-if-fortunate.jpg
+  isbn13: 978-1-4736-9716-4
+  publication_year: '2019'
+  title: To Be Taught, If Fortunate
+review:
+  date_read: '2019-09-28'
+  format: hardback
+  rating: 4
+---
+
+I enjoyed this (I’ve enjoyed all of Becky Chambers’ books), but for a short book it was surprisingly tricky to read.
+
+It’s a less utopian view of human space exploration. Forget abundant crews or shiny tech or instant teleportation – this is a crew of four who have to face the harsh realities of space. They have bio-engineering to make themselves suitable to the planets they’re visiting, they have to leave Earth (and everybody they know and love) behind for decades, they have to be careful not to contaminate the world’s they’re visiting. I’m not a space expert, but it all rang true to me.
+
+The focus is on the four human characters throughout, which is great. It keeps the scope tight and interesting – world-threatening or universe-ending apocalypses don’t appear, and it’s all the better for it. But I could have done with more character stuff (which is what I enjoy about the Wayfarers series). I know a lot about extraterrestrial flora and space protocols, but less about the crew.
+
+A content warning: this book pushed my “animal harm” buttons several times. It’s not gratuitous or callous, but a logical reaction by the characters, and highlights the challenges of responsible space travel. Even so, the first instance made me very uncomfortable and I had to put down the book for a week.
+
+It’s a different style to her other books, and I enjoyed it, and it works well as a standalone. I’d love to read more in this timeline.
diff --git a/src/reviews/2019/why-buildings-stand-up.md b/src/reviews/2019/why-buildings-stand-up.md
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--- /dev/null
@@ -0,0 +1,22 @@
+---
+book:
+  author: Mario Salvadori
+  cover_image: why-buildings-stand-up.jpg
+  isbn13: 978-0-393-30676-7
+  publication_year: '1990'
+  title: Why Buildings Stand Up
+review:
+  date_read: '2019-10-20'
+  format: paperback
+  rating: 4
+---
+
+An easy read which gives an overview of some common ideas in architecture – materials, structures, shapes, and so on.
+
+It strikes a good balance between detail and simplicity. It explains enough of the concepts to be interesting, but stops well short of training me to be a qualified architect – which is exactly what I wanted. I learnt plenty of new ideas, but I was never bored. For example: knowing that there are building codes for minimum/maximum load on a structure is interesting to me. Knowing the exact numbers is not, and so the book omits them.
+
+I did skim in parts, and found it easy to do so.
+
+It feels like quite a Western take on architecture – most of the examples are drawn from the US or Western Europe. There was a line about earthquake preventing-structures being quite a recent thing; my impression is that Japan is fairly advanced in this regard.
+
+Recommended if you went a gentle introduction to architecture.