#NetGalley


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This is my book review of the book ‘Ancient History’ by Sophie Penhaligon. Thanks to NetGalley for the Advanced Review Copy! The link to the NetGalley page for this book is here.
#AncientHistory #NetGalley

Lovely book — felt like a blend of the movie ‘National Book of Treasures’ meets Netflix series ‘Emily in Paris’ with bits of '50 Shades of Grey' thrown in for good measure! 

The story was quite interesting, and fast-paced without going too deep into Egyptian history or technical archaeology. Almost like a Mission Impossible or James Bond movie — exotic backgrounds and locales but nothing overwhelming! 

The only reason I gave it 4-stars is that I felt the book derailed a bit and went too deep into the romance part. I was not expecting that — my fault perhaps! I was slightly disappointed that the hero did most of the action in the last part.

Still, I will give credit to the author for attempting a new genre. This book combines chick-lit, cozy mysteries, and romance genres. Readers from all these genres will like this book!
A perfect companion for a beach stay or vacation!
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Image by Biljana Jovanovic from Pixabay

This post is a review of the book “Big Breaches” by Neil Daswani and Moudy Elbayadi. I received the book via the NetGalley site, and this book is awesome! Thank you to #NetGalley!

Normally I am very selective about the books I request on the site – it has to pique my interest first! For this book, the description was compelling, and seemed useful for someone like me who works in in the risk management IT space! Happy to say the book exceeded expectations on all counts – this post is a gist of the ‘Whys’! 🙂

[Note – a modified version of this post is also posted on my Medium blog here.]

Did You See The News?

With the recent news about the Colonial pipeline breach and ensuing gas shortage nightmares, everyone is (or should be) concerned about cybersecurity. Whether you work in IT or not! Data breaches have become as common as excessive rains in Mumbai, India – Experian, Facebook, Target! Ugh!

This book offers detailed insight into the how and why, in an easy manner targeting non-technical folks and the general public!

Data Breaches Affect Everyone!

NetGalley Cover — Screenshot from Author’s Dashboard

Data breaches affect everyone, not just gullible senior citizens or folks posting a zillion social media posts!

Preventing such breaches is hard, almost akin to the Border Security Police (BSP) work! BSP personnel have thousands of points to monitor — illegal tunnels, airport passengers, rogue shipments at ports, etc. increasing the odds of failure! Terrorists only have to find a single vulnerability to get in — an overlooked mine, overpower a tired soldier or bribe a single person! Similarly, banks and large corporations have to work tirelessly to keep their digital assets secure — the task is Herculean, thankless and often feels like an uphill (and losing) battle! I worked in credit card fraud analytics and risk management and can personally vouch at the inventive ways cyber criminals attack our orgs!

This book brings explains such incidents in a masterful storytelling method!

AI investments, anyone?

Image from Pixabay

Loved the discussion on investments in information security companies and startups!

Artificial intelligence and machine learning tools are already used for identifying money laundering activities, preventing credit card fraud, and securing digital data related to consumers. Many types of software tools are used for compliance (think GDPR data laws and similar federal regulations). However, as more companies start to use cloud-based vendors and services, tools in this space “cybersecurity cloud services” will also start to mature and become ubiquitous. Perhaps even mandatory!

So I can totally imagine the stocks of those companies soaring as the Zoom stock did once the pandemic started! Money-makers of the future! (This is just a thought, not a guarantee! Not doling out investment advice in any shape or form!) This section on cybersecurity markets and investments is a fascinating read!

Astute readers may even come away with ideas for products (or startups) that fit those niches. I know I have been bursting with ideas that I plan to validate soon!

Conclusion

Must read for anyone who works in IT or financial firms — whether you work in cybersecurity or not!

Amazon book link here.

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Here are my reading stats for the month of April.

Not as impressive as March but good enough given some other priorities that took time away. Overall, quite happy at having completed 16 books this month!

Also since I’ve been scouting books for my #BookReviewBlogChallenge, most of the books I chose were of stellar quality, leading to the high-score ratings this month!

Monthly Reading Stats

  • Audiobooks: Re-read couple of chapters to refresh my memory on some wonderful books.
  • Ebooks: 12 books, including 5 ARC from #NetGalley! ?
  • Books: 4 books totaling 1,232 pages.
  • Avg. Rating: 4.75*

Audiobooks

Not rating these, since I read them last year, but just wanted to review some chapters of interest.

  • Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World. David Epstein. 1:45 hrs
  • Creating Personal Presence. Dianna Booher. 2:00 hrs

Ebooks

  • Whatever Works. Thalma Lobel. 4* ARC
  • Logging Off. Nick Spalding. 5* ARC
  • Your Next 5 Moves. Patrick Bet-David. 4* ARC
  • The Mighty Warrior Kings. Philip Potter. 4* ARC
  • To Bed the Baron. Emma Leech. 5* Pre-order.
  • Think like a Rocket Scientist. 5* ARC
  • Mirror Work. Louisa Hay. 4*
  • Time to Break Some Rules Sweetie. Rebecca Pavlik. 5*
  • Sapphire Beach Cozy Mystery – Volume 1. Angela K Ryan. 5*
  • Influencer. Brittany Hennessy. 4*
  • Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon. Author = Iris Apfel. 5*
  • Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. Robert Cialdini, PhD. 5*

Physical Books

  • The Husband Hunters. Barbara Cartland. 5. 119p.
  • The Greatness Guide2. Robin Sharma. 5. 244p.
  • The Accidental Creative: How to be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice. Todd Henry. 5. 242p.
  • Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World. Tim Ferris. 5. 627p.

Until next time, Adieu and Happy Reading!

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Welcome to Day 02 of #BookReviewBlogChallenge. The theme for today’s book is Travel or Vacations.

For today’s prompt I am choosing the book “Thailand” which I received as an early reviewer copy from #NetGalley.

  • Title – Thailand
  • Author – Narisa Chakrabongse

I’ve always been fascinated by Thailand’s natural beauty after seeing Bond island and the gorgeous Phi-phi island which has been featured in movies galore. My sister-in-law and her family visited the country 2 years ago, and had such a great time that this immediately got added to my bucket list.

This book is a blend between a travel guide and a photography book, with breathtaking images from all corners of the country. Think Fodors meets National Geography. Once you read the book, you will fall in love! ‘

REVIEW SCORE = 5/5 *****

This book is amazing – and anyone reading it will feel compelled to visit the country to experience this beauty. The stunning images and detailed information about culture, important sites and history make it a fabulous read. I love hiking and visiting National Parks, and never knew Thailand had such gorgeous parks! This book just brought Thailand to the top of my travel list, so I can see all these items firsthand.

There is a lot more to Thailand, than just the glitzy streets of Bangkok, and this book catalogs those gorgeous vistas, and getaways. Its hard to pick, but I loved the images of the Buddha statue park, the 300-years-old Sai Ngam and Wat Non Kum temple in the Nakhon province.

For travelers who have never visited this country, this would be fantastic guidebook so they can make the most out of their visit. Others who have visited before, will want to read this to see what they’ve missed and plan a future trip!

So here is the Question of the Day (QOTD) – what is your dream destination? Honest answers please, your favorite travel destination can be completely irrelevant to the book you choose for today! 🙂

Similar Works:

  • Books – “Lonely Planet India” . National Geographic Magazines.
  • TV Series – Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, Lonely Planet documentaries.
  • Genres – Travel, Travel Pictorial Guides, Southeast Asia travel guides

Until next time, happy reading!

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Amazing book – I could not put it down, but then reminded myself that I did not want to end up needing a tech detox (like the hero) and finished it on day 2 ! 🙂 Hilarious, satirical and absolutely adorable! The author has taken a contemporary topic like tech addiction and brought a very fresh look at surviving in the 21st century without the help of modern tech. The romantic angle is delightful without seeming forced!

Highly recommend!

  • Title – Logging Off
  • Author – Nick Spalding

REVIEW SCORE = 5/5 *****

This is another ARC thanks to #NetGalley. I requested the book without even realizing that the author was a bestseller. Happy to report that I went in with minimal expectations, but the book proves why Nick Spalding is so popular!

I will certainly be buying his other books to read in the future! 🙂

As a digital native myself, I totally relate to the panicky feeling at the thought of being completely cut off and having to rely on my “rusty brain” and personal judgement to navigate the world. We’ve almost forgotten the simple joys of life – like taking a joyride to nowhere, sitting in silence without a meditation app or taking a walk in the park to delight in the sounds of nature. This book reminded me to try those more often.

The book is set in the UK, but readers from any country will find it appealing. Giving too much importance to online “influencers” without vetting them, over-reliance on online reviews, GPS map, preferring meetups to talking to plain old friends, etc. The author weaves all these topics into a coherent and entertaining chronicle. Yet, there are scenes to show that technology and hyper-connectivity can have positive outcomes. I appreciate that the author does not take sides in demonizing technology or glorifying it!

Similar Works:

  • Books – “Notes from a Big Country” by Bill Bryson. Other books by Nick Spalding – start with “Checking Out” or “Dumped Actually”.
  • Movies – Late Nights.
  • TV Series – Stand up series by Jim Gaffigan or Amit Tandon.
  • Genres – Humor and Satire, Romantic Comedy, British Humor.

Until the next book, Happy Reading!

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