How the Internet Happened: From Netscape to the iPhone by Brian McCullough — A Review

howInternetHappened.jpgHow the Internet Happened: From Netscape to the iPhone by Brian McCullough

RaeleighReads rating: love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236

I never know how I’m going to feel about non-fiction books when I pick them up, whether I enjoy the subject or not. They can often be dry, boring, slog-of-a-reads. That wasn’t the case for me with Brian McCullough’s How the Internet Happened.

McCullough takes us through the history of the internet from the founding of Netscape by Marc Andreessen and Jim Clark all the way to the present day and the ubiquity of smart phones, which didn’t hit their stride until 2007 with Apple’s iPhone.

McCullough’s voice is conversational, almost peppy. I moved through each chapter with ease, often smiling at his analysis of some of the events I experienced personally as a young person in the early aughts. I still remember when Facebook first made its way through my dorm in 2005. It was an odd feeling knowing I could stay connected to all of the people I had gone to high school with, and it was even odder to recognize that we were able to keep up with each other without ever having to interact at all, without ever having to have a conversation. Go ahead and roll your eyes at me younger people. I know you want to. At that time though, the idea of an online social network was extraordinary.

I enjoyed being able to read about some of the big names behind companies I take for granted today – Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Jerry Yang and David Filo – the yahoos who started Yahoo!, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google. And not only that, but it was really interesting to read about the dot-com bubble and eventual burst. I was about 10 when the dot-coms were having their heyday, and about 15 when that bubble burst. Of course, as a kid I had no idea what that internet thing was or the impact it would eventually have on my life.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable and informative read. It has certainly sparked my interest in reading even more accounts of this time period and the phenomenon known as the internet.

Thanks to NetGalley and W. W. Norton & Company for my review copy.

Expected publication: October 23rd 2018 by Liveright

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

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The Proving by Ken Brosky — A Review

theProvingThe Proving by Ken Brosky

RaeleighReads rating: love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236love--coffee-png-image-52236

A post-apocalyptic YA series in the same vein as Veronica Roth’s Divergent, but with a science fiction angle.

After an asteroid enters Earth’s orbit, covered in creatures called Specters, life for humans is drastically altered. The specters, sort of like ghosts, sort of like large insects or animals, can kill by simply passing through you. In an effort to combat these creatures, humanity has walled itself off from them with something called Xenoshields, and they’ve divided themselves into Clans and free citizens.

The clans:  Spartans are tough, military people trained to shoot, kill, and wield machinery. Clan Athens is made up of healers, biologists, and the like. Clan Persia is full of tech geeks. Parliament is exactly what it sounds like. These are the government folks. Then there are Historians, those tasked with objectively recording (and memorizing) everything they see.

At ages 13 and 18, the Young Adults and New Adults of Earth, respectively, must go through something called the Proving. Normally, everyone stays behind the Xenoshields in their cities, but during the Proving, the New and Young Adults must go outside the walls.

In this first book, we follow Skye (Spartan), Cleo (Persian), Ben (Athenian), Gabriel (Parliament), and Seamus (Historian) along with Skye, Cleo, Ben, and Gabriel’s younger siblings as they complete the Proving. The characters are three-dimensional, complex, and at times surprising. So, I thought they were really well done. I personally felt myself drawn to Skye. She’s incredibly tough, but you can tell that she’s got one of those soft, gooey, caramel centers. I can’t wait to see how her arc plays out in the next book.

When the group first gets together they seem to be a bit of a motley crew. They don’t really mesh well and they have a tendency to argue or boast. But then, all too soon, they are outside of the walls and taking on the Proving. What follows after they pass through the Xenoshield is a hair-raising, action-packed thrill ride. And that ending! Oh my god, I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book in this series and find out what the heck has happened to our group!

Now, just one complaint because overall I enjoyed this very, very much. The story is told from alternating perspectives, and at times, they aren’t handled well. I often found myself confused at who was speaking or from whose perspective the story was being told. That was really frustrating because it caused the action and the fast pace of the story to stutter. If the alternating perspectives had been tightened up a bit more or been made clearer, this probably would have been a five-coffee-cup read for me.

I’m not sure when book two of the Earth-X Triology will be out, but I can’t wait to read it!

Happy reading, lovelies!

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite Book Blogs & Bookish Websites


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Favorite Book Blogs & Bookish Websites

I really like this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. In no particular order, I’m listing my top ten favorite book blogs and websites. Click on the links to take you directly to these resources. Hope you guys enjoy!

  1. Literary Hub. This website holds a special place in my heart because it is the very first bookish website I found. It is the best website for finding articles about literary fiction. They also keep on top of new releases, current literary trends, and perhaps the best thing about it, it leads you to other bookish websites! I highly recommend signing up for their newsletter so you don’t miss out on any new happenings in the literary world.
  2. Book Marks. This is the review portion of Literary Hub’s site. Is that cheating? Ah well, go check it out anyhow!  Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 9.33.12 PM
  3. The Bibliotheque. I love the aesthetic of this blog! It’s so pretty 😀 It also has a great mix of book talk, lifestyle posts, and helpful tips for newbies on things like Bookstagram.
  4. BookRiot. Another bookish website I found early on, and again, I recommend signing up for one of their newsletters. I’m partial to this website’s yearly challenge — Read Harder. I also really like their comics and young adult sections. Their writers seem young and forward-thinking, so I always enjoy what they have to say. Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 9.34.51 PM
  5. Howling Libraries. I discovered Destiny on Goodreads first, but then HAD to check out her blog. Honestly, it was her amazing pink hair that drew me in. But it was her thoughtful (and frequent) book reviews that kept me coming back.
  6. Fiction No Chaser. This one is a new discovery. The blog is run by Jess & Teagan, and what I love about it most is that their reviews come with a “pairs well with” section (for those of you 21 and older!). In their most recent post, they tell you how to make a painkiller to go along with their review of The Ruthless Gentleman. So clever! I ❤ it!: Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 9.36.14 PM
  7. One Book Two. Two ladies. One book. Two reviews. At least, that’s how it is most of the time. They don’t always get two reviews for the same book. BUT, I just really like that they try to give two points of view. Plus, they usually have a recommendations section at the end of the reviews where you can find similar books that you might enjoy.
  8. Simply A Book Drunkard. I’m realizing I may have a thing for literature + cocktail themed blogs…A good place for short, concise reviews. The blogger, Milou, is Dutch, and her reviews are great! I also really like her series Down the TBR Hole. She’s currently on the sixteenth post in that series (as of the time of writing this).Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 9.37.36 PM
  9. CrimeReads. If crime is your thing, I hope you know about this site as it holds a plethora of information on all things crime lit. As you may notice, this is another offshoot of Literary Hub. I think I may be obsessed. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  10. The Walrus. The link provided is to the Books & Fiction section of the website. Just trust me on this one. Most of the articles are thought pieces inspired by books. Check it out!!!

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As always, let me know your thoughts on the best book blogs or websites in the comments section. Or, link me to your TTT. Happy reading, loves!

Sunday Quotables

Has anyone been on any wild adventures this summer — literary or otherwise? I haven’t taken a vacation this year, but I have had my head stuck in books, which is kinda the same thing. Right?

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Happy Sunday!