June and July Reading

Well my June reading post got a bit missed, it was written but I forgot to publish it. So today you get a combined June/July reading list.

In June I went to BeachPress and I traveled home via bike which meant 700km of riding and lots of listening time. The first 3 books listed were all started and finished on that one 4 day trip and I’ve listened to them all before.

1 Pathfinder

Have I mentioned that I really enjoy Orson Scott Card books? Take a look at my reading list for the last few months and you’ll see at least one book by Card each month.

This month started with a listen to Pathfinder. The basics are that Earth wanted to make sure that humans couldn’t be destroyed by the destruction of one planet (common theme in Card’s books) and sent out a colony ship. Well the pilot has some special brain and when they jump to faster than light travel, his brain causes the ship to split in to 19 ships.

They found 19 colonies and leave the “expendables” to care for humans. Expendables are like humans in appearance but are machines that live forever, essentially. The final command of the pilot, Ram, is to place walls around the 19 colonies and that they stay up till humans get the technology to bypass the walls. At that time the expendables are to be commanded by the human that made it past the wall.

So this book is about 3 extraordinary humans which are descendants of Ram that have time based psychic powers and use them to get through the wall. Of course there is betrayal, even from the parents of the exceptional children, and other tense events to work through but eventually the wall is breached and the story ends.

I’ve read this a few times and it’s always enjoyable.

2 The Memory of Earth

The Memory of Earth is the first book in a series. Again the earth is in peril and a colony ship is sent out to make sure that humans survive. Like I said, Card uses this theme a few times.

In this instance the humans have been genetically altered so that a powerful computer called the Oversoul can communicate with them. The goal of the Oversoul is to make sure humans don’t develop technology that would let them wipe out the world.

That means no planes (since they could carry war outside a local region) no bombs or gun powder.

The problem is that the original designers figured that in 20 million years humans would have evolved and not need the Oversoul, at which point Earth would have been restored and the Oversoul could take people back.

Unfortunately people are still pretty vile 32 million years later and the Oversoul is stretched thin as its satellites die. It can do less and less and war is coming.

This first volume sets up the Oversoul and how it works. It sets up our leading families that are receptive to the Oversoul. Some want to follow and some fight the leading of the computer.

The whole goal of the Oversoul is to take a group of people back to the Keeper of Earth so it can get replenished and continue its missions.

The book ends with our leading family in the desert outside their beloved city as exiles. They don’t have the supplies or map to get to the Oversoul, yet they are simply trusting.

3 The Call of Earth

Book 2 gets us the map (called the Index) and supplies that are needed. We see Nafai (the youngest son) take charge, just like the Oversoul wants. That creates some tension between him and his older brothers since they don’t want to listen to their little brother.

Really who wants to listen to their 14 year old sibling spout wisdom.

It sets us up for the third book where our heroes start the travel to the Oversoul.

4 The Passion Conversation

This book talks all about building advocates for your business and word of mouth marketing. There are lots of awesome stories about how Brains on Fire did just that with awesome results.

Unfortunately that is where it ends. There is little real direction for you to accomplish building advocates or creating a word of mouth marketing campaign.

In the end it feels more like a book selling how awesome Brains on Fire is than anything a business owner could put in to practice.

5 Earthfall

This is the second last book following Nafai and his family as they land on earth and build a life with the Digger and Angel populations. Really this book feels rushed to me. There is so much more to explore but Card just didn’t take the time.

It ends with split in the human populations and war, which we always new was coming.

I enjoy the rest of the series so the 12 hours of audio at 2x really is only a single bike ride and sets us up well for the last book.

Even if it is a rushed set up.

6. Boundaries

While it focused on family, friends and church there are lots of take away items for business.

Don’t take the crap you shouldn’t have to, like yelling clients and profanity filled emails.

Now on to reading in August.