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Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival
reviews

Review: Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival

★★★★☆

I had never heard of Astor's land and sea expeditions to the Northwest, perhaps because the second war with Great Britain dominates U.S. history of that period. This book is an entertaining page turner, as rough in parts as the wilderness landscapes in which it's set. There's more than enough adventure, characters, and conflict for at least a couple of seasons, should Netflix come calling.

Spunk & Bite: A Writer's Guide to Punchier, More Engaging Language & Style
reviews

Review: Spunk & Bite: A Writer's Guide to Punchier, More Engaging Language & Style

★★★★★

Having received a healthy diet of Strunk & White in school, I picked up this book for the witty title alone. Though replete with examples from well-known authors, it's Plotnik's own punchy style that lends authority to each of his points. Now twelve years since publication, his guide to contemporaneity and use of pop culture references seems even more relevant.

My copy is now well-marked with a Ticonderoga #2, as most of the suggestions are practical for writing of any form. I'm hopeful it has a decent shelf life as a useful reference now and again.

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2017 ThoughtWorks Technology Radar

ThoughtWorks has released their latest technology radar (PDF), a semi-annual analysis of the industry landscape from their vantage point as software consultants.

I've enjoyed reading past issues as a way to mindfully keep up with trends and discover new tools. With topics broken down into techniques, tools, platforms, and languages & frameworks, past reports have helped clarify my thinking and given me a concrete way to talk about patterns and techniques already in use.

I'm excited to see Apex and Netlify get mentions this year.

I'm also a little puzzled how GraphQL fell off the radar without landing in the Adopt category. Maybe because it's already arrived.

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