Mike Dariano

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Books read in August 2011 (chart)

My reading theme for August was grab books off the table nearest the library check-out and as a result the books were largely pretty bad. My thoughts, from best to worst.

Unbroken: was probably the best book I've read all year. I enjoyed Hillenbrand's previous book, Seasbiscuit, except for it being a bit chewy on the part of the Jockey's lives. This book, like its protagonist, has no fat or excess. It would have been an incredible non-fiction book with the twists, turns, overall story, and the heroes and villains. After reading it I had a better understand of history and wish more of what was taught to me would have been taught like this. The inevitable movie version will be the best war movie since Saving Private Ryan and if done well it will be better. The story is that good.

In the Garden of Beasts: is the story of ambassador Dodd living in Hitler's Berlin. Both this and Unbroken are recent publications which makes now an excellent time to be reading about World War 2. If Unbroken excels in the telling of history this book does well in focusing its light on a small piece. There are probably many books about Germany and Hitler leading up to the invasion of Poland but probably none are as good as this.

The Buffalo Creek Disaster: is the story of the lawsuit following a 1972 coal dam failure that lifted water levels to over 30 feet and killed 125 people. The stories the victims tell of the disaster were the most difficult tragedies I've ever read. Somewhat striking to me, the book written by a the plaintiff's lead counsel, reads quickly though deliberately, a model for any lawyers writing books.

I'm Feeling Lucky: a story of the beginning days of Google. This book wasn't especially well written or compelling on its own. It's about the beginning years of a really incredible company and would probably have been the same story had any one of the first two-hundred people there written it. Very little content on the engineering about not much new about the Google culture.

Puzzle #1 - 12 marbles, 1 defective, find defective one

On viaje

Puzzle - You are given 12 identical appearing marbles, out of which one is defective. You are given a balance of old type i.e a small dish hangs from each end of a rod which is balanced in the middle. So you can conclude if both sides are equal or unequal where heavier side will be lower compared to lighter side. Find the defective marble in three weighings.

Here is the tree diagram for above mentioned problem. It shows how we can find out the defective marble along with its weight - lighter or heavier in three weighing. L here represents lighter, and H represents Heavier.

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