I found this book on in a bookcase at work and spent the second half (and then some) of my lunch break reading it. The story of Marty is great, to the point, and tugs at the heartstrings--a good reminder to do a little better and care about people.
The first thing that hooked me about this book is that it that the author farms just outside of Bismarck. Local connection! I had never heard of him or the farm, but Anna was given the book by someone so we threw it on the bookshelf to read eventually. Then we happened to see Gabe at the recent Pride of Dakota exhibition and said we already had the book, which he had on display. I bought some horseradish beef sticks from him (actually were not amazing tasting...) and made a mental note to read the book soon.
So I brought the book to read over Christmas vacation and it was a great read. It was very interesting to read about advanced or maybe even "hippy" farming techniques. Never have I felt such desire to buy some destitute land and spend 15 years bringing it back to life--hopefully that fades rapidly! I have limited knowledge of the other side of the story (traditional farming) so it would be interesting to hear that perspective. But everything in this book does seem to make sense.
As I am a former employee of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, both summers during college and 4.5 years full time, this book told some stories I had heard already but also filled in a lot of very interesting history that I knew very little about. I really should have read it while I still worked in Medora. I would also recommend it--more mildly but still--to residents of Bismarck who are interested in history. Relatedly, my occasional search queries about the book led me to stumble upon readnd.org which seems like a nice resource for finding books related to North Dakota.
The biography is well split in topics between personal and Gold Seal. Likewise the balance in coverage of Harold's two marriages is good. The almost entirely linear narration means that cuts to a backstory (a literary device that I find quite annoying) are graciously kept to a minimum, and I enjoyed the frequent foreshadowing at section and chapter ends. Though there were a few that I couldn't figure out even with my substantial existing knowledge-base.
I'll say that my great rating does include that the topics covered are of great interest to me, and for the average person it would probably be ranked as a good biography.
These stories and thoughts of the author's travels around the western US capture the experience of long-distance motorcycle riding in an incredibly great way. I found myself nodding in agreement so often, having had many of the same thoughts, encounters, and feelings on my trips.
A lot of the writing is very good--so expressive, yet there are a few instances where some camp or amateurishness pokes through. I guess many editors would fix that, but would it lose some authenticity in the process? I think so, and I think overall the result is great.
There are philosophical sections, and the first thing that comes to mind when I heard motorcycles combined with philosophy is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I recommend Freedom's Rush 100x more unless you are a philosophy major. Long ramblings about Phaedrus are out and replaced with relatively simple wonderings and views inside the author's head. That's all I need. And the ratio of motorcycle to philosophy is much better too.
This was a great end to the trilogy, featuring some of the grandest sci-fi themes I have encountered.
Very good read! Plenty of great spaceship-type action, and grand plot strategies that reminded me of the style of the Foundation trilogy. But also I really enjoyed the sequence where the main character dreams comprehensively about spending time with the perfect woman.
I think I am getting better at processing Chinese names as they were a little easier to remember in this second book of the trilogy.
I first played Minecraft ten years ago, while I lived in my apartment in south Fargo. I lived there from January 2010 until mid-2011 so I'm going with 10 years...close enough!
It was loads of fun back then as I played on a server with a group of people that I knew at Microsoft. A few years after that I played for a couple months on a server that I ran, with my brother and a few of his friends joining in. And a couple months ago I decided to give it another try, with the goal of hunting down some achievements (hence Bedrock edition on PC) and beating "the end".
Achievement collecting has gone pretty well and has made me explore some game mechanics that I never would have otherwise--textbook good use of achievements. I haven't gotten to the end yet but I think I will get it done sometime. I recently saw a guy speedrun a random seed in 30 minutes or so which blew my mind.
I have played this a lot! The Star Challenges are what appeal to me the most--I have 1026 stars currently. For some of the themes I have trouble distinguishing between whatever two colors they choose to swap for red and black; usually I can fix that by playing with the Android color-blindness compensation settings. I think I have all the achievements too, except for the Daily Challenge ones.
The expert level Spider and Freecell games can be real stumpers. Also harder Klondike can be difficult to strategize. More then once I have asked Anna to figure out a Klondike deal for me and she beats it on the first try.
It is fun to play on PC occasionally too, very nice that all my progress syncs.
Much more going on in this third book, which I really liked. More big events and especially more explanations of the history of the world.
It reminds me of a college class where the lectures were pretty boring but then one day the lecture involved some real-world uses for the stuff we were studying (how some industrial plants use huge inductors to fix their power factor and decrease their electricity bill). I told the professor that I really enjoyed the lecture that day, which he probably already knew because I wasn't nodding off in the back of class...shame. And he responded that you have to lay a little theoretical foundation so that you can understand the exciting real-world stuff. I see a similar parallel here where the first two books were good enough but sometime frustrating, and this one was the big payoff.
After finishing the second book I read some news articles about the "puppies" factions attempting to influence the Hugo voting around the times that these three novels were coming out. Definitely an unfortunate series of events!
I found myself questioning the wisdom of letting the Hugo winners list heavily influence my selection of reading...maybe populism isn't necessarily the best indicator of quality (to be clear, nothing against this trilogy in particular). But on the flip side, I can remember having sympathized with criticisms of other awards (Oscars or similar?) that are selected by industry members, thinking that a group of insiders like that may not be very representative of my interests as a consumer.