Monday, September 24, 2012

High Performance MySQL - by Baron Schwartz, Peter Zaitsev and Vadim Tkachenko

I've worked a lot with MySQL, over the past few years. I'm completely self-taught, however, and obviously, I've had gaps to deal with. While Google is dandy in a pinch, a book like this really fills in the blanks and provides a far more comprehensive understanding. Granted, if you're just starting out with MySQL, this is probably not the best book for you. Just looking at it from a learner's perspective, you'd better have at least a basic grasp under your belt or this book is going to be a tough one to tackle. If you've got a good background in it though, and are looking to be a real expert in the field, I'd definitely recommend this book. Even if you've already read the second edition, this third edition is definitely worth the purchase as the information is updated and the authors really expand previously presented topics. My overall take: It's well written, well organized and easy to reference when needed.

Simply Grilling

This book is a little off my normal reviewing course, but as a grilling newbie, I thought I'd better check this one out. We bought our first grill at Home Depot, put it all together, and fired it up. I'll just say our results were mixed. Obviously I needed help, and this book came at just the right time. Jennifer Chandler takes the "science" out of grilling, and explains things in a simple, clear way. She lays out each recipe, giving you the full range of keys for a successful barbecue. With each recipe, she provides all the needed information - from the ideal grill temperature, to where to place the meats, veggies, etc. to outstanding sauces, rubs and marinades. But this book goes beyond classic grilling fare as well. You'll find everything from a grilled pizza to grilled fruit and veggies. This is definitely the book for anyone who's not a natural grill master. Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson through BookSneeze - their book review program. I wasn't required to post a positive review. These are my own opinions on this book.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Charlatan's Boy: A Novel

This has got to be one of the quirkiest books I've read in a while - and that's not a bad thing. The narrative was absolutely charming, and the author writes in such a natural, flowing way. The dialogue felt natural and was a pleasure to read, and the author did a wonderful job of character development. The story wasn't particularly edgy, and it didn't have any unpredictable twists; however that didn't stop me from wanting to turn the page. While I can't say that this book has reached my top ten list, I give it major kudos for being so absolutely unique. My final observation: This book is touted as "faith fiction". I can't say that I found much that was faith-related. Apparently some found a number of interesting parallels, but if those were the intention of the author, I failed to catch on. Overall, a fun little read, and I'd look for more from this author in the future. Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah through Blogging for Books - their book review program. I wasn't required to post a positive review. These are my own opinions on this book.