Book Report – Nomadland

In an effort to learn more about the lifestyle we’re proposing to set out on, I read the book, “Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century” by Jessica Bruder. I’ll admit, I mainly picked it up because of the cool Airstream on the cover. I thought it would be kind of lighthearted and newsy – and the title fit in with my perceived notions.

This was a heavy book. Mentally.

Very well written, it was a deep dive into the lives of certain full-time van dwellers as they worked on the road and tried to stay afloat. It was about scraping and scrimping, working hard labor for farm harvests, Amazon, and campgrounds. These are all jobs I’ve read about as we’ve been learning about full-timing, but this was a point of view I hadn’t yet experienced. Bruder gave a no-holds-barred commentary on how difficult the work can be.

Eyes opened.

While I don’t think I would recommend the book to people who are “just” into camping, I think it’s an important read for those who want to learn more about alternate walks of life in the US. It’s a lifestyle somewhere in between transient and almost homeless, full of people who are fiercely independent and willing to work hard long into retirement age, as long as they have their idea of freedom.

I give it a solid B-.


Book Report for Learning Basic CSS

Do you want to pick up some CSS and don’t know where to start? Have you asked yourself… [self] what is this CSS thing? Then the book CSS & CSS3: 20 Lessons to Successful Web Development by Robin Nixon could be for you.

I wanted to re-familiarize myself with CSS and the minutiae of its details, so I picked up this book at the library. Overall I would say it starts at a good pace for beginner’s, explaining an HTML document and how CSS can be used. The book gives good tips throughout for things to do and not do.

All of the examples were toy examples, which I feel was fine for the introduction of the topic. If you want to follow along, there is code available that could really help a person on the color and animation related sections.

The pace was good, and the topics were introduced in a very discrete and isolated way. If you are looking to get introduced to CSS styles in a bite size way without getting too many details then this book does the job. A person could easily skip around in the book without much trouble, if you were interested in a specific concept.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone wishing to start from knowing nothing about CSS, and moving to a place where you can be comfortable creating, understanding and modifying CSS. This is a great primer for getting the basics, and it was easy reading.

What the book was not… I did wish there was a CSS troubleshooting section that gave tips on how to deal with interacting and resolving situations when using 3rd party CSS libraries. That might be an advanced topic for most, but once your in the weeds of that kind of situation it is good to know what to do to get the job done. The book did not promise advanced CSS, and it did not deliver that, but I can still wish it was practically perfect in every way.

For next time I need to find a book that covers the more advanced situations in which I find myself.