Monthly Archives

November 2012

Autobiography & Biography, Book Reviews, Books

Rosie Reads: Walter Isaacson – Steve Jobs

November 18, 2012


I’m a bit of an Apple fan girl, I love the simplicity and design of their products and how beautiful they look. So when someone I worked with offered to lend me Steve Jobs biography, I jumped at the chance.

After turning the first couple if pages I became slightly daunted, it’s the only biography I’ve ever read where there were a list of people and how they knew Jobs, so I was quite worried it might be difficult to follow. Thankfully I was completely wrong.

The book starts by looking at his childhood, how he grew up and then delves into his hippy years and starting Apple, where they’d quite often have to force him to shower, as he didn’t believe in it.

At the beginning Jobs comes off as a bit of an arrogant ass, but further into the book you begin to understand why and that he was just acting in the interest of his company to create a company full of A Players.

We then follow his ousting from Apple, the creation of Next, his time at Pixar and then his return to Apple.

The books moves in a fairly chronological order, sometimes the beginning of the chapters would talk about things which happened before the end of the last chapter, though it really wasn’t that hard to keep up with it.

In terms of detail, it’s by far the most in depth biography I’ve ever read, by the end of the book I really felt like I had a pretty good grasp on who he was and what motivated him.

One thing that really fascinated me was Steve’s ‘Reality Distortion Field’ as it was called. He had the power to empower people and make them think that they could actually do things that they didn’t think they could do. Without that, there’s no doubt that Apple wouldn’t have been able to create the products they did, they would have created B Class products, which left users frustrated.

It’s fantastically written, and interviews with Steve, his family and people he worked with, even the likes of Bill Gates, allows the reader to get the full picture.

On starting this book I really didn’t know a lot about Jobs at all, so I learnt an awful lot from it, I can’t believe I had no clue he had something to do with Pixar.

As odd as it might sound, after reading it I’ve got a whole new appreciation for my Apple products, even the iPad I’m writing this on now. Jobs accepted nothing less than perfection and convinced Apple’s engineers they could do things they didn’t think we’re possible.

I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good biography, not just Apple fans.


Autobiography & Biography, Book Reviews

Rosie Reads: Mark Webber – Up Front

November 15, 2012

Mark Webber Up Front Book CoverI’ve been meaning to post this review for a few weeks now, but just haven’t got round to it.

Anyone who knows me will know that I’m a huge Formula 1 fan and that I was seriously frustrated by how difficult it is to get a copy of Mark Webber’s book. You see, it’s only available in Australia, it’s no long being printed and to ship it across to the UK is quite expensive.   Luckily for me, one of my friends came over from Australia in September and very kindly searched for and brought me a copy over with him. (Thank you AJ!) 

The first thing that struck me about this book, was the pictures. Every single page is full of beautiful high quality images, with the text slotted around it. It’s almost as if it was a picture book to begin with and the text was an after thought. I imagine that even if you aren’t an F1 or Motorsport nut, you’d find the pictures interesting – perhaps that’s just me though.

The beginning of the book is bit of a recap on the 2009 season and talks you through his recovery from a broken leg and his determination to take part in pre-season testing for the 2010 season. His determination and strength is pretty admirable. Having never broken a bone *touch wood* I don’t really know what it’s like, but to drive a Formula 1 car, being under the huge amount of G forces their body is put through, with a broken leg, really can’t be easy.

From pre-season testing onwards, the book is split up by race weekend, where we get a really detailed behind the scenes account of each weekend and what was really going on at Red Bull.

What I really admire about this book is Webber’s brutal honesty. He’s renown in Formula 1 for not sugar coating his words, he says how he feels. However reading this book you realise that despite everything Red Bull said, there were quite serious issues between the Aussie and his German team mate Sebastian Vettel. Things which Webber himself alluded to in interviews, but would never have got away with explaining fully at the time.

Using images on each page, which may be some on track action or Webber preparing for a race or celebrating, really helps to you to understand the emotion he’s feeling and makes it so much easier to relate to. Obviously we don’t all have issues with our F1 cars or World Champion team mates, but we all know what it’s like to be frustrated and elated.

I’ve read a few Formula 1 drivers autobiographies and biographies, but for me, this is the best one by far and Webber’s brutal honesty is a huge part of the reason why. I’m a huge Formula 1 fan and Red Bull are my chosen team, so reading through this there were a few open-mouth moments, which shocked me.

Up Front is a brilliant read for any Formula 1 or Motorsports fan – providing you can get your hands on it. I wish they’d publish it on eBooks if they’ve decided they aren’t going to re-print it.


Steel Panther – Live Review

November 7, 2012

Me and my fiancé saw comedy glam metal band Steel Panther at Wolverhampton Civic Hall last night.

I can’t stress how much I hate driving around Wolverhampton. Bus lanes appear from nowhere and then disappear, there are one way systems everywhere and no right turns, it takes years to actually get to a car park. I could see carparks as I was driving past them, I just couldn’t get at them! Needless to say it stressed me out far too much, and I now refuse to drive around Wolverhampton.

Falling Red

We arrived half way through their set and unfortunately, as is the case with most support bands, the audio quality is never top notch and you can’t understand a word they’re saying. I was convinced one of the songs was called ‘Shave the Face’, strangely enough, it wasn’t. Musically, they sounded good. What really bugged me was their backdrop made no sense, it looked at soviet russian and just didn’t look right with the band. This is what working in marketing does to you kids!

Steel Panther

They bounded on stage and started with Supersonic Sex Machine, in all their sparkly and spandexy (it’s a word) glory. After a couple of songs, we had a good 5 or 10 minutes of banter in the form of clearly rehearsed but still funny jokes as members of the band took jibes about each other. Lead singer Michael Starr spotted a 10 year old kid in the crowd and proceeded to educate him in how to live a rock and roll lifestyle, which was pretty damn funny. 


There were a few songs off the new album Balls Out; Just Like Tiger Woods, It Won’t Suck Itself, If You Really Really Love Me (Video above) and That’s What Girls Are For. There were also a few off their old album Feel The Steel; Turn Out The Lights, Asian Hooker, a lovely acoustic version of Community Property and a totally badass and 80’s Party All Night.

Now Party All Night, is what I imagine a glam metal concert back in the 80’s would have been like and is the closest I’ll ever get to an actual 80’s gig. Starr called up members of the audience to join him on stage, only the scantily clad females of course, who else? For the members of Steel Panther that must have been their idea of heaven.

Steel Panther Live

The most impressive thing of the night for me though, was lead guitarist Satchel’s five minute long guitar and drum solo. I’ve never seen guitar playing like that live. He dabbled in a bit of Guns n Roses, Black Sabbath, Metallica and much more. A couple of minutes in, he proceeded to run up behind the drums and started playing the bass drum while playing guitar, that’s what I call multitasking.

As he got closer to the end of the solo he dabbled in a bit of symbol bashing too. It was absolutely brilliant. There’s a video below, which is only the last two and a half minutes of it, never the less, it’s worth a watch.


I can’t express how brilliant they were live. They sound fantastic on CD, but live they’re even better and I honestly didn’t expect Starr would be able to sing that well live, he’s got a fantastic voice. Not only did they sound great, they entertained.

There are so few bands who sing and entertain now, they tend to do one or the other. They were really funny, making the crowd laugh and bass played Lexxi would be adjusting his lip gloss and hair in breaks, all staged of course.

Something else which surprised me was the amount of guys in their 30’s/40’s dressed up like members of the band, which was great, I felt under dressed. They were wearing patterned leggings, and honestly I’ve never seen a woman pull off patterned leggings as well as some of those guys did.

Me and Tom were gutted that they didn’t play Gold-Digging Whore, but I guess that means we’ll just have to go back and see them next time they come to the UK, yay!

Would I go see them again? Hell yes!

NaNoWriMo, Writing

NaNoWriMo Update

November 5, 2012

We’re now on Day 5 of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, for short.

My novel’s going quite well so far, but I’m struggling to find the time to meet the target. Yesterday I got no writing done at all, mostly because I was busy watching the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and then blogging about it.

To any of you taking part in NaNoWriMo, how do you manage to fit in two hours of writing each day, when there aren’t enough hours in the day as it is? 

Mine, unsurprisingly is Motorsport related. I would explain what it’s about yet, but I don’t entirely know myself! I have a rough idea, but as for the exacts, I don’t know.

To those of you taking part, how’s your novel coming along?

NaNoWriMo, Writing


November 1, 2012

I, like so many other bloggers and writers, have decided to take up the NaNoWriMo challenge. This consists of somehow, not a clue how at the moment, producing a novel which is at the very least 50,000 words long by the end of November. 

I’ve been giving it some thought this evening and so far, have no clue what I’m going to write about. My inner forensic scientist is drawn a little towards the idea of a crime novel, but I don’t know any more than that right now.

Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo? If so, how did you decide where to start?