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Reviews Written by
Gina Bianchini "Gina" (San Francisco, CA United States)
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Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age
Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age
by Paul Graham
Edition: Hardcover
18 used & new from CDN$ 16.60

5.0 out of 5 stars As Interesting for Non-Technical Types As Hackers, July 19 2004
A friend of mine introduced me to this book and I am glad that he did. While I am not a programmer and, as a result, got lost a couple of times in the essays, "Beating the Averages" and "The Dream Language", I wholeheartedly recommend this book.
It clearly and crisply explains the art and science of programming and where it fits into a larger historical and social context. It also provides many thought-provoking insights for technical and non-technical folks alike.
You can see in Graham's writing style his passion for simple, succinct prose as well as code. It was a very pleasurable read.

The Paradox Of Choice: Why More Is Less
The Paradox Of Choice: Why More Is Less
by Barry Schwartz
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 20.05
23 used & new from CDN$ 15.70

17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great book if you haven't taken Psych 101, June 2 2004
I was expecting alot more from this book than it provided. That isn't bad, but in an effort to set expectations (which this book advocates) I wanted to write a review to let people know what it does and doesn't do.
The Paradox of Choice is a great introductory read if you have never heard of things like Opportunity Costs, Anchoring, Escalation of Commitment, etc. It does a great job of outlining various psychology realities around why choice actually creates more anxiety and depression. If you want to learn about these topics in simple, plain English, this is your book.
If you know about these topics already, have taken Psych 101 somewhere, and want to understand best practices of companies and individuals managing choice, this is going to be a disappointment. Of 11 chapters, only 1 was dedicated to how to effectively manage the barrage of choices one is faced with everyday in this society. And that chapter was pretty skimpy on specifics.
What I found lacking in this book were specific examples of how individuals effectively handle choice in a positive, proactive way. For example, what is the decision process of a satisficer (a term used in the book) for going to college or buying a car?
Furthermore, I would have liked to have seen this author talk about ways we as consumers and businesspeople can influence companies to begin to edit down the number of brands, products, and therefore choices we have to make on a regular basis.
Granted, holding this book to such a high standard might just be my desire to see this topic delved into further given the importance of it to our satisfaction with our everyday lives, but I still was expecting more. At least from a hardcover.

Wedding Season
Wedding Season
by Darcy Cosper
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.85
36 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to like this book but couldn't, June 1 2004
This review is from: Wedding Season (Paperback)
I will say upfront that I love chick lit and I really wanted to like this book. However, the Wedding Season was a 330-page disappointment.
The characters were alternatively cardboard or unlikable and I thought that none of the situations, conflicts, or tensions were developed enough so I actually cared.
The two worst things about the book were the passive aggressive nature of our heroine as it related to the villianess and the "I just believe in marriage too much" epiphany. The whole thing was just a little too much to take.
Read Bridget Jones Diary again. It's a better use of your time.

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