The rewards of simplicity : a practical and spiritual approach

From  Virginia Pisciotta
Author:  Pam & Chuck D. Pierce
The rewards of simplicity : a practical and spiritual approach
Given the popularity of the Hoarder’s TV show, there is no shortage of books dealing with handling clutter.  This book goes beyond (but does include) the usual helpful suggestions for getting rid of excess stuff, taking a broader and deeper view of the things (not always material) that clutter and complicate our lives.  The book is written from a spiritual point of view and the authors (both ministers)  use both Scripture and their own experiences to teach others how to simplify all aspects of their lives and free themselves from the anxiety that often comes with cluttered and complicated lives.  The last paragraph in the postscript sums the book up nicely, “Simplification is not about making life easier.  It is about clearing away the cobwebs that obscure our vision.  It is about choosing that ”good part” and discarding the rest.  It is about being free from the distractions that keep us from truly knowing and fellowshipping with our families, our friends and our God.”

Automate this : how algorithms came to rule our world

From Ellen Druda
Author:  Christopher Steiner
Automate this : how algorithms came to rule our world
Every day more and more aspects of our modern lives are assisted or guided by computer-made decisions.  Decisions that used to take humans hours, days, or years to study and interpret are now figured out by a computer algorithm in micro-seconds.  The highly competitive financial markets were the leaders in using automation to make fast choices about buying and selling, and the science has filtered down into speech recognition patterns, medical diagnosis, musical composition, customer service, and much more.  The book is an eye-opener on the subject.  For better or worse, the bots are here to stay.

Brain Jack

From Megan Teen Book Reviewer
Author:  Brian Falkner
Brain Jack 
Brian Falkner’s newest creation brings the reader inside the inner workings of a teenage technological mastermind. Brain Jack is a fast paced thriller that keeps the reader enticed throughout. This book, however, could leave the reader confused with the technical terms and tech savvy jargon. This mysterious Sci-Fi thriller explores a world with vastly advanced technology. In our present world that is constantly fixed upon the newest and fastest technology, Brain Jack amps up our fixation and explores the possibility of taking technology too far. Falkner brings the level of technology to a whole new medium. He brings the reader into a world where not only computers can be hacked into… so can the mind. New mind video games dominate society and produce over obsessive game addicts. These new video games surpass the present day creations like the Wii or Xbox that require controllers and screens. In this alternate world, the brain functions as both the controller and the screen. Your very own neuro connection will allow you to put away your keyboard mouse and even your computer screen and let you operate solely using your own brain. The brain is described as acting like a piece of technology, which leads the reader to ponder the possibility of a brain hack. Brain Jack resembles the very popular mind warping Inception, yet leaves the reader similarly confused. Far from being a must read, Brain Jack is enticing as it dramatizes the growing technological aspects of society.

Best iPhone apps : the guide for discriminating downloaders

From Charlene Muhr
author: Clark, Josh
Best iPhone apps : the guide for discriminating downloaders
Recently, I purchased the newest model of the iphone.  Over the past few weeks I have slowly become familiar with this marvelous phone and it has become apparent that I needed to learn more about apps.  Josh Clark provides just this information in BEST Iphones Apps – The Guide for Discriminating Downloaders.  The book is divided into seven categories:  At Work, On the Town, At Leisure, At Play, At Home, On the Road, and For Your Health.  The Best App is given a page of description, with some instructions, and highlighted with a photo of the app screen.  In some app categories there will be an honorable mention with a brief description and sometimes a photo of the app screen.  I was amazed to find that so many of the best apps were free or relatively inexpensive.  This is an excellent book for iphone users.

Fade to Blue

From Rosalia Milan
author: Beaudoin, Sean
Fade to Blue
Sophie thinks she is losing her mind.   She thinks a broken down ice cream truck is following her around and she’s having horrible nightmares where she wakes up with bruises that shadow what happened in her dream.  What makes this book especially interesting is that it shows the beginnings of a dystopia.  Normally in a book about a dystopia you see the after affects of some change in government, technology or the environment.  The reader sees how the effects of a positive or negative change have corrupted the way the world works.  In this book you get to see a brilliant technological development that is being perverted by a small group of people in such a way that how the world works is going to be changed and not necessarily for the better.