Posts

Heather-Anne MacLean, TaylorMade Solutions

Book Review: The President is Missing

I don’t normally do a book review on a piece of fiction on this blog, however, I am making an exception this time as there is a definite connection to cybersecurity, privacy and trust.

I picked up this book as I needed a book for my vacation. I had originally picked up The Woman in Cabin 10. It was a really good read, not cybersecurity related, and I blew threw it much quicker than I thought, but I digress.

When I picked up The President is Missing, I have to confess that I wasn’t sure what to expect. My first experience with a book by Clinton was My Life. It wasn’t a positive experience. I couldn’t finish it. I think it is the first book ever that I just could not finish. While Clinton is a very intelligent person, I just can’t imagine that someone can recall that level of detail of their lives, including what one wore on what day when a child. The detail was incredible and made it overwhelming and unbelievable, but again I digress.

I decided to buy the book because of James Patterson. He has an impressive pedigree and a great writing style.

So, the review? What did I think?

Well, I was pleasantly surprised. First because it was about cybersecurity and secondly, if you are a fan of Dan Brown, it has a similar feel, without the very clear formulaic approach. I have read all of Brown’s books and have enjoyed them, the last one, somewhat less. In fact, Origin felt was so predictable and obvious I have absolutely forgotten what the book was even about. I had to look up the name to reference it here.

The President is Missing has a good storyline and I am hoping that people who read it might have an increased awareness of what can happen to an entire country’s critical infrastructure – water supply, water quality, ecommerce, banking systems, electricity grid and military response and capabilities should a cyberattack happen. The authors do a really good job of describing just what could happen so that the lay person would get it. At the same time, I am hoping that people knowing that this is a piece of fiction won’t think that the impact or ramifications of a cyberattack are also fiction, because it is not.

The details about the workings of the White House, the US government and the Secret Service, etc. were well done. Of course, Clinton and others thanked in the book brought that reality to the book.

I also liked that there were some twists and turns and with most whodunits I tend to get a good idea of the main protagonist very early on because I like them, read them and watch them in movies a lot. In The President is Missing, I did began to wonder, but it did take a little longer, which is a good thing.

So, in the end, I do recommend this book as an entertaining and interesting read. And my hope is that people will get some insight on the ramifications of a cyberattack on our critical infrastructure and give people more of the desire to support our elected officials in making decisions supporting the protection of our critical infrastructure against attacks.

Want to talk more about cybersecurity or cybercrime impacts your business, reach out to us. We would love to work with you.

Book Review: The Confidence Code by Katty Kay & Claire Shipman

I first heard of this book while listening to The Current, a show on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.  The interview, with host Anna Maria Tremonti, was fantastic.  In fact, I thought that the interview was so good, so interesting and so inspiring, I did two things:  1) I waited for the podcast to be posted and then I shared it on Facebook/and emailed it to a number of really fantastic women I know. and 2) I bought the book.  The Confidence Code is written by two very fascinating and talented women:  Katty Kay and Claire Shipman.   Based on the interview  and who the authors are, I had very, very high hopes for this book.   heatherannemaclean.wordpress.com, taylormade solutions (canada)

What’s it about from Indigo?:

“Confidence. We want it. We need it. But it can be maddeningly enigmatic and out of reach. The authors of the New York Times bestseller Womenomics deconstruct this essential, elusive, and misunderstood quality and offer a blueprint for bringing more of it into our lives.

Is confidence hardwired into the DNA of a lucky few-or can anyone learn it? Is it best expressed by bravado, or is there another way to show confidence? Which is more important: confidence or competence? Why do so many women, even the most successful, struggle with feelings of self-doubt? Is there a secret to channeling our inner confidence?”

I have three main observations of the book:

1.  For a significant part of the book I did feel like I was back in school doing research for my thesis.  While there is some really interesting research taking place on confidence, I feel that the book was a wee bit heavy on that content.  Thankfully there were some really interesting discussions about women whom they met with and talked about confidence.  I feel there is great value in reading all the content on these fantastic women and I thank the authors for sharing that information.

2.  For two women writing a book on confidence and exploring how women think and feel about confidence and how we need to be more confident, I was really struck by the fact that in their introduction they say “As reporters, we’ve been lucky enough to explore the power corridors of the world looking for stories….” These are two very talented women.  “Lucky enough”?  Really?  I think luck may only have a small amount to do with it.  After hearing the interview and knowing the subject matter of the book, I was really surprised to read those words.  Right there in the beginning of the book, a book on confidence, they diminished their skills, expertise and training. Ladies, you are talented and accomplished.  Don’t set the tone with saying that you were lucky.

3. There is hope!  Maybe I have more of the confidence genes discussed in the book, as I don’t feel held back or afraid to do “something”. I was pleased to see that all women have hope and that we shouldn’t be relegated to be in jobs or roles that they don’t want.  It all comes down to working on your confidence and being authentic.  I really liked the fact that they arrived at this conclusion.  We all can’t be Hillary Clinton, Opra Winfrey or even Marissa Mayer.  For that matter we can’t all be Barak Obama, George Clooney or Richard Branson.  These are all individuals and therefore, we need to be unique.

Overall I am glad that I read the book.  So, I do recommend it, particularly women that might be struggling with their level of confidence.

Like this post, feel free to follow me on Twitter.