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2022.07.08

Books From 2022 (So Far)

Every year I try to compile a list of games, books and movies I experienced. Let’s go.

I continue to read (listen in fact) almost every day for the past years. It’s in my daily routine when I walk the dogs. It’s a very different proposition from laying down and dedicate some time to read them. I have a urge of a secondary task when I am performing a no-brainier routine, just as.. walking the dogs. Otherwise, I just feel wasting my time my just walking and no thinking.

This is the list of this year’s books that I ingested. These lists are -definitively- not comprehensive ones. Since I’m not updating my GoodReads personal records nor writing about them in this blog, they are just the ones I remembered. I may edit this post if I remember other items.

  1. Piranesi (Susanna Clarke) (9β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…): Piranesi lives in a fantastic place. He forgets a lot, but keep detailed notes. A great mystery.
  2. The Well of Ascension
    The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2)
    (Brandon Sanderson) (8β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…)
    : just after the events of the first book, the protagonists now have to maintain the power they acquired. Fascinating.
  3. Steal Like an Artist
    Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative
    (Austin Kleon) (8β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…)
    : great super-short book about creative process. He incentives people to leap forward in creative work disregarding self judgment. Get inspired and try to copy work of other in order to practice and find one own voice.
  4. Keep Going
    Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad
    (Austin Kleon) (8β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…)
    : another small but very motivational work from Austin Kleon. Do not stop creating. Do small iterative works until it’s done.
  5. Show Your Work!
    Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered
    (Austin Kleon) (8β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…)
    : another small piece of Austin. Create a blog, Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok account and show people what you being working on. Even hobbies stuff, like sketches. Eventually it could become your masterpiece.
  6. Parable of the Talents (Octavia E. Butler) (8β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…): is the sequel of the excelent Parable of the Sower (Octavia E. Butler) (9β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…), telling about the protagonist is her daughter.
  7. The President Is Missing (James Patterson, Bill Clinton) (7β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…): modern cyber terrorism thriller. Very beliable. Tips and ckecks done by no other than Bill Clinton!
  8. The Power of Habit
    The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
    (Charles Duhigg) (7β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…)
    : a modern classic self-helping book. It starts preaching the power of understanding and controlling habits. The it exemplify, chapter after chapter, the different facts of habits interfering in our decision making. Very good.
  9. Different
    Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd
    (Youngme Moon) (7β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…)
    : essay about competitive advantage of being different in the market. Curiously enough, the second half of the book she acknowledge that being different might not be important depending on the situation and market. Good book.
  10. Communication Skills Training
    Communication Skills Training: How to Talk to Anyone, Connect Effortlessly, Develop Charisma, and Become a People Person
    (James W. Williams) (7β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…)
    : comprehensive discussion about communication skills. Nothing fantastic. But very good.
  11. Justice
    Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?
    (Michael J. Sandel) (7β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…)
    : several philosophical aspects, situations and approaches of what is justice. It does not, however, present definitive answers about anything.
  12. The 4-Hour Body
    The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman
    (Timothy Ferriss) (5β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…)
    : several tips about proper workout, diet and routines to get the body you want.
  13. The 10x Rule
    The 10x Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure
    (Grant Cardone) (4β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…)
    : sales people kinda talk. Super aggressive, alpha behavior about using all your power and willing to achieve goals and success. I tried to focus the core messages and occasional motivation in his words, but it’s hard to not get pissed with the alpha male dominant attitude.
  14. Think Sex and Grow Rich
    Think Sex and Grow Rich: How to use the power of your sex drive to succeed in business
    (Marcus El) (4β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…)
    : it tries to sell the idea that we are driven by sex and we should channel this constant desire towards business goals. It starts fun, then became very tedious.

From the second part of 2021 that was not in the mid 2021 list

  1. Dune (Frank Herbert) (8β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…): read in 3 nights in order to watch the movie. Loved it.

For more books, you can check my online read list on GoodReads.

edited in 2022-07-14 because I forgot some books. In fact, I believe there are even more.

2021.12.31

Game List 2021

Last year I published a post of my played games but the title was mistakenly name Media List 2020. It was a games list so this year it was properly named. This year I wrote much less about each individual game, so I dedicated a small space to comment each entry.

By far, the most important game I played was Cyberpunk 2077. At least, it was supposed to be the most loved and commented game. Whatever, here is a list of games of all games I played this year.

2021-01-13: Totally forgot to include both Battlefield 4 and Battlefield 1.

Finished

Not finished yet (for a reason or another)

Most of them I barely started. Just to check the general flow or if it was working at all. Some It’s WIP. Few are collecting dust.

Not finished yet (still from previous years)

Yet, there are some games that I did not quit definitively, but they are still to be played (therefor, not yet rated). A few are event still installed.

Continuous playing

I play them eventually. Most of them, strategy games.

Next games in my radar

Finally, here a list of games that I already have in my collection that I plan to play in the next months.

  • Hitman: I’ve never finished Contracts, but just because I was obsessed for being perfect. I hope to play more relaxed this one.
  • Assassin’s Creed Syndicate: hope to be better then the 3.
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (7β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…): liked the first title, Deus Ex: Human Revolution (8β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…). I hope to like this one too.
  • We Are There Together: I bought to play with my wife using family feature on Steam (she shares all my games). HOWEVER, it is not included in the Play Together, so I am required to buy twice. :/ Trying to convince another soul to play with me.
  • Heavy Rain : I will play this critically acclaimed story-driven games from Quantic Dream with my wife.
  • Beyond: Two Souls (8β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…): another story to play accompanied.
2021.12.31

Movie List 2021

Just a list of movies that I’ve seen this pandemic year.

  1. Be Kind Rewind
  2. Best in Show
  3. Borat
  4. Borat Subsequent Movie
  5. Bridesmaids
  6. Coming 2 America
  7. Cruela
  8. Don’t Look Up
  9. Enola Holmes
  10. I Care a Log
  11. I’m Thinking of Ending Things
  12. Incendies
  13. Judas and the Black Messiah
  14. Lady and the Tramp
  15. Last Knights
  16. Live Twice, Love Once
  17. Mank
  18. Minari
  19. News of the World
  20. Okja
  21. Radioactive
  22. Roma
  23. Shadow
  24. Sound of Metal
  25. Sound of Silence
  26. The Chamber
  27. The Dig
  28. The Father
  29. The Informer
  30. The King
  31. The Midnight Sky
  32. The Trial of the Chicago 7
  33. Us
  34. Wasp Network
  35. White Tiger

Documentary

  1. American Factory
  2. Honeyland

Animations

  1. A Cat in Paris
  2. Luca
  3. Soul
  4. Your name

Shows

  1. Loki (S1)
  2. Mandalorian (S1, S2)
  3. Morning Show (S1)
  4. Queen’s Gambit (S1)
  5. Ted Lasso (S1 S2)
  6. The Spy (S1)
  7. This is Us (S1)
  8. Tiger King (S1)
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2021.09.24

Rating Badge

As a programmer and businessman, I try to organize the world. So, I created a unified Ratings page consolidating all reviews that I did. Games, boardgames, books, movies and TV shows.

A few of them I wrote a full blog post. But most I did not. That was driving me crazy. I often mention the same games/movies on multiple posts. When it happens to a piece of art that I did not previously reviewed, I felt a pressure to do so. I even might do so, but now it’s not required anymore. Now the non-reviewed-but-rated are properly acknowledged. And I shall have the consistence.

I’m going to scan, in the next days, all previous blog posts to cross reference, but the main step was done.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Also, in a similar vain the previous post, Rating Art, I decided to give my ratings a more visual appeal. For now, beside the numeric 0-10 rating, it will show the according number of stars.

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2021.09.03

Rating Art

Rating things is a real art. Specially if we are rating art. Not much thought is put on it; eventually things start to get complicated and ambiguous.

Time

Also cultural references also change. What was good 100 years ago might simply be unacceptable nowadays. There are plenty of movies, sculptures, paintings and songs that portrait racism, misogyny or prejudice that were normal at the time. It’s complicate to reevaluate them using our modern mental framework.

Also, our own taste changing with time. Things that were cool when we were young might embarrassing years later. #cringe

Technology

Some technological improvements make it change our quality perspective. A silent or black-and-white movie, a radio quality song recording, an Atari Pong. But today, it’s hard sell to have such limitation in a modern piece of art.

Sometimes, these technological changes make plainly impossible to appreciate the art later on. For video games it’s particularly affected, since the medium in which it is consumed is part of the experience. Virtual Boy headaches during hours and hours of playtime were part of the nostalgia, but how to compare with a modern XR game if the hardware itself is hard to find and make it work?

Single Fixed Scale

Finally, we have to reduce all the rich details into a numeric scale.

I prefer an infinite positive scale, that always grows with new titles, would be better. So Pong would never be in the same league as a modern AAA 3D adventure story-driven game. But at the same time, one could honestly appreciate an old movie almost the same as flashy new one.

So having a single fixed scale, from 1-5, 0-10, percentage, or even the super weird American F-A concept, is a easier way to deal things. Almost everyone uses this in some shape or form.

My take

There are much to discuss.

At least for now, I’m going to simplify a bit my ratings. I use a 0-10 scale, with .5 decimals. There is no need for these decimal point. An 0-10 scale is enough to separate good from bad. Numerically, 9.4 is better then 9.3. But in practice, it most convey the information that is an amazing game/movie/book, not that one is better then the other. The details I expect to point are a qualitative analysis in each review.

Also, using half-points in practice doubles the range. It’s in fact a 20 point scale. No need for such granularity.

Updating all these past ratings with decimal points, rounding them up or down, depending each case.

One might notice that I’ve never used the 1-3 ratings and barely used bellow 6. It’s not a problem with the scale per se. It’s more about the selection process that occur before consuming a game or movie. I try to focus on award winning, previously mentioned and commented by someone else before. I might eventually rethink this scale to englobe all bellow threshold in a single category and focus on the above threshold scale.

This way I tend to consume only reasonably good products and, therefore, only set reasonably good ratings! Good for me, if you ask.

Bruno π•„π”Έπ•Šπ•Šπ”Έ