Rosie Reads: Walter Isaacson – Steve Jobs


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.



Rosie Reads: Mark Webber – Up Front

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.