The Book List #31

The Book List #30

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
year: 2013 | pages: 531 | rating: 3/5

Doctor Sleep follows Dan Torrance, who is now a middle-aged recovering alcoholic, and Abra Stone, a special little girl with "the brightest shining," who must be saved from killer paranormals. I started reading Doctor Sleep with some huge reservations; The Shining is my favourite novel by King and it's a tough call to write a sequel to such an amazing book thirty-five years after its publication. I can't help but feel as though Doctor Sleep would have been better off as a standalone novel, I might have liked it a little more. The writing is strong yet I found the story was weak, I just didn't buy it. The throwback references to The Shining seemed more like a gimmick, shoehorned into the story in order to cash in on its success rather than a genuine expression of King's desire to return to the original novel.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
year: 1961 | pages: 256 | rating: 5/5

This is an adorable, endearing little book that I wish I had read as a child. The Phantom Tollbooth is about a little boy, Milo, and how he learns to enjoy life after discovering a magical tollbooth that mysteriously appears in his apartment. The tollbooth takes him on a magical journey to the Land of Expectation, the Doldrums, the Mountains of Ignorance, and the Castle in the Air. I am making it sound super goofy but, trust me, this book is a little gem.

Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh
year: 1930 | pages: 224 | rating: 1/5

In Vile Bodies, Evelyn Waugh satirises the "bright young things" - London's decadent youth between World War I and World War II. I was hoping it would be similar to The Bonfire of the Vanities, however, it wasn't; I didn't enjoy this book at all. I didn't like the story, I couldn't relate to the characters, and even though the book was incredibly short, I become bored very quickly of reading it. I guess that serves me right for buying a book based on its cover.

Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson
year: 2009 | pages: 182 | rating: 2/5

Content Strategy for the Web aims to help the reader plan and implement a successful online content strategy. The text is a little dry and the content isn't very useful to creative business owners - it's more for "men in suits" who aren't familiar with modern marketing methods.

Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising by Ryan Holiday
year: 2013 | pages: 56 | rating: 3/5

A book that looks at modern examples of "growth hacker marketing." Companies like Gmail, Facebook, AirBnb, and Evernote are showcased, examining how multibillion dollar brands have built their success without using (on the most part) traditional marketing techniques. Growth Hacker Marketing is a good introduction to these modern marketing techniques but not super useful if you're already aware of the basics.