The books I read in December 2023

Jan 12, 2024

Bookclub 100DaysToOffload

Reading time: 3 minutes

Here’s a quick summary of the two books I read in December 2023.

Steven Levy: The perfect Thing

A book about the Apple iPod, which Steven Levy calls “the perfect thing”, even though he acknowledges that there is no such thing as a “perfect” thing, but he justifies it by saying that it was perfect for the time it appeared in and for what it was.

He goes over the inception of the iPod, the situation of the internet in the late 90s/early 2000s with Napster and the illegal filesharing networks, how the music industry completely screwed up recognizing the potential of the internet for digital music distribution and clung to sueing each and everyone who dared to threaten their established business model until Steve Jobs came along and basically forced them to license their catalogue for the iTunes store, and the cultural significance of the iPod and how it propelled Apple into the pantheon of the most valuable companies on the planet.

It was an interesting read, a bit too uncritical at times for my taste (personally, I loved the idea of the iPod back then, but hated the fact that it could only be used in conjunction with iTunes), but a nice throwback into the internet culture of the early 2000s nonetheless.

Michael Crichton: Sphere

While I was on Christmas Vacation at my parent’s house, I found this book by chance on my brother’s bookshelf and I thought, hey, why not have something easy and entertaining to read over the holidays.

A group of scientists is brought to a secret military operation somewhere in the middle of the pacific ocean, where an object is discovered under water that is initially thought to be an alien spaceship and then turns out (mild spoiler here) that it’s actually a crashed US spaceship from a few dacades in the future. Inside they find a mysterious black sphere, and then (of course) strange and inexplicable things start happening and (of course) people start dying.

It was exactly what I expected, entertaining, decently suspenseful and with an interesting (though not totally satisfying) twist and ending. Not the best book I’ve ever read, but it was fine and it kept me entertained over the holidays.

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