Sunday, May 1, 2016

April Book Reviews

Mastering Inventory by Philip E. Meyer
I'm a little ashamed to admit how much I enjoyed this book.  It's as nerdy as you think.  Most of my previous accounting jobs involved recording inventory transactions and so it was really interesting to delve deeper into how all of that works.  I ended up getting an 88% on my test, which I'm somewhat disappointed with, but that means I passed and it counts towards my certification.

Mastering Double-Entry Bookkeeping by Steven Sahlein
This book isn't required for the bookkeeper certification, and I'm already familiar with double-entry, since that's what basically all accounting systems everywhere use, but I thought it would be good to fill in any gaps.  I'm really glad I decided to read this book.  A lot of it was review (or totally obvious) but there was plenty that was beneficial and I think it will make it easier to work through the other courses.  This one didn't have a test, but I did really well on the quizzes throughout, so I feel pretty good about it.  I didn't like this author as much.  There was kindof a weird tone to the writing (somewhat condescending) and I think there were some details that were forgotten throughout the book, as if it just wasn't edited very well.

Allegiant by Veronica Roth
The end of this book completely redeemed it for me.  I was so frustrated with all of the weird details (Why did she keep mentioning how so-and-so's thighs were touching the chair?  This happened like four times!) and the complete flatness of Tobias's personality that it was hard for me to get into it.  It got better in the middle and the end was pretty great.  I'm curious to see whether the movie is as good as the book - the others were incredibly similar, which makes reading the books somewhat pointless, but I still enjoyed them.

Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse by John Joseph Adams
I love apocalypse stories so much (too much?) and so of course I had to read this.  I had a pretty bad opinion of the book most of the time I was reading it, but now that I'm done I think I enjoyed it more than I thought I did at the time.  What?  I know, it doesn't make sense.  Some of the stories weren't very well-written, or edited, and that was disappointing.  Still, I think the point of having a collection of apocalyptic short stories is to see the various ways that the authors create the end of the world scenario, and that part was mind-bending.  I love the multitude of ideas presented here, the many ways they showed humanity falling apart or staying strong, and the quirky little stories.

The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield
This book is the story of Rosaria's conversion to Christianity, the end of her lesbian relationship and marriage to a male pastor, and their adoption of four children.  I can't cover all of the significant things in this book, but I will say this:  It's a critique of the Christian church and the way that they deal with homosexuality and people who are otherwise "different."  It's also a critique of liberalism and the loss of tolerance for diversity of opinions, especially within universities.  It briefly covers the foster care system and some of the problems present there, and it talks about the heart-breaking but wonderful work of adoption.  Rosaria is very intelligent and logical, and that's how she tells her story.  It's dense and basically impossible to get everything the first time through, but some of the points she made will stick with me forever.  I definitely want to read this book again someday, along with anything else she writes.

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