What I Read in 2018

What I Read in 2018

I read 20 books in 2018. Here is every book, ranked.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer Michelle McNamara 5 of 5 stars American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road Nick Bilton 5 of 5 stars Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon Jeffrey Kluger, 5 of 5 stars Astroball: The New Way to Win It All Ben Reiter 5 of 5 stars
The Consuming Fire

The Consuming Fire

In The Consuming Fire, Scalzi builds on a fun, fast, political story of an empire nearing ruin. If you haven’t, I recommend reading The Collapsing Empire first. Not only does this story pick up just moments after the first book but I feel that neither of these work well as stand-alone novels. These are stories that are working towards something much bigger, which is how I feel more series should be written.
American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road

American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road

I’ll be honest, if I didn’t know the broad strokes of this story before reading this book, I’d think it was purely fiction. The way Bilton writes this, it reads like he was right there documenting everything as it happened. American Kingpin is one of very few books that I absolutely could not put down. While I find the subject matter interesting, the way Bilton unfolds this story is the most amazing part.
Reinventing the Beige Book Page

Reinventing the Beige Book Page

A government website gets a new look

Awhile back I listened to an episode of NPR’s The Indicator1 and was intrigued by the idea of the Fed’s Beige Book. I went looking for this “book”, thinking it’d be a pretty interesting read on occasion. I wasn’t wrong, but what I found was a site that is awfully dated. I understand it’s the government and keeping things nice and pretty isn’t exactly a priority. Needless to say, I thought it could use a refresh so I decided to do a quick mock up of a redesign.
Airframe

Airframe

There's trouble on board TPA's Flight 545, and it could hurt more than the passengers.

Airframe has non-stop action and intrigue from the beginning. I could not put this book down until it was over. Crichton does a great job of laying out the airline industry - manufacturers, operators, FAA, and everything in between - in a way that is awfully close to reality. I’ve worked in the airline industry for 6+ years so there could be a bit of bias creeping in when I say even the “data dumps” were interesting, but those few times are the only places where this story could be considering anything less than break-neck.
No Man's Sky is Back

No Man's Sky is Back

The space exploration game just got a huge update and is still very pretty.

Well, it never really left. I’m the one that left. I loved the space exploration part but that got old pretty fast. I played it on PS4 when it came out and it felt a bit shallow and underwhelming. Now I’m starting over on the Xbox One X and I have to admit, the 4K and HDR look amazing. This game now feels like what I was hoping for at release.
The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors

After spending a week in Colorado, I recognize the necessity of getting away from it all.

Colorado, USA
Last week my wife and I took a vacation. We spent 5 full days (along with 2 days worth of driving) in the mountains of Colorado fishing, hiking, reading, relaxing, and generally decompressing. Going through my day-to-day routine might bring consistency, but it also can wear me down after awhile. Couple that with the stresses of work and the world at large and I’m amazed I don’t have headaches more often.
On Roseanne

On Roseanne

We all know Roseanne Barr screwed up, but did social media make it easier?

I’m sure you’ve heard the news regarding Roseanne Barr, her tweet, and subsequent show cancellation.1 I’d like to talk about that for a few minutes. If you’re reading this hoping for a left or right-leaning argument for or against Roseanne Barr, you’re in the wrong place. Social media platforms have become a game-changer in many ways. People are able to stay in touch with distant family members and friends, share pictures, or have discussions with people that they know.