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These Days: A Novel Paperback – March 24, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Cheng is a gifted writer and the book is well-crafted--the story is engaging and the writing itself is superb. Although his two main characters have very different approaches to technology, Cheng is careful neither to glorify nor demonize technology, choosing instead to show both its possibilities and its limitations." —Jonathan H. Liu, Geekdad

"A rare and beautiful expression of technology and how it affects those who build and use it. Jack has crafted an honest and accurate, yet distant and reflective portrayal of living through glowing screens; it's completely of the moment and completely removed from it." --Bill Couch, Product Engineer at Twitter


"Jack Cheng's remarkable voice rings out not loud and clear, but calmly; crystalline. It's a voice that sticks with you." --Diana Kimball, Community Team at SoundCloud


"These Days is the first novel I've read that accurately portrays the New York tech startup scene." --Iz Derdik, Chief Technology Officer at Aviary

About the Author

Jack Cheng was born in Shanghai and grew up in Michigan. He has worked in advertising and technology as copywriter, designer, and art director. He lives in Brooklyn.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1.00 edition (March 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1482692414
  • ISBN-13: 978-1482692419
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,826,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. D. Estrada on May 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Time is the most valuable asset you have to invest in your life. Although intangible, it has its own weight, its own personality and cannot be recovered once spent. You can't earn more time than what you have in this life, for however long you live. Those are some pretty deep thoughts to come from reading a book, the thing is that reading These Days, I read myself in one of the characters while being able to compare the value of life experiences.

The details in life, the unexpected, the thrill of success, the pain of failure and disappointment, the elation of joy, the desire to switch an answer after you handed in the test, the exhaustion we sometimes go through, the satisfaction of knowing you did your best and the end result, be it good or bad just for the sake of closure. All of these things floated up while I read.

If I had to compare this book to anything, I'd compare it to a good cup of tea. You see, tea has nuance, it has structure, it is delicate, it has minutiae, it begs to be drunk slowly. This is not a book to blitz through; it's one to enjoy a sip at a time. For me, tea keeps me grounded, it's something I use as a reboot or a stabilizer... it's something that forces me to slow down or get burned. These days is a book that after finishing it is like a wonderful cup of tea. It's a book about time and technology, about how we use the time we have and how technology can either bring us closer or break us apart.

A wonderful read that urges the question, what is the next book going to be about?
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Format: Paperback
Jack writes a beautiful novel that takes us through the relationship of two 20-somethings who have alternate views on memory, love, and technology. His novel explores what it means to make a memory - in a relationship, of a place, with a partner - and how the modern digital tools we take for granted contrast with older, analog tools.

I loved this novel. Jack hit a home run. Buy it. Read it. Buy a paper copy, write a love note, and give it to someone you love or leave it in a coffee shop to be shared and enjoyed.
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Format: Paperback
I received a hardback copy of this book after backing it on Kickstarter, but I ended up reading it in advanced-copy PDF form before I even got the hardback. The book has a lot to recommend it; it's depiction of the startup world is so accurate that one of the fictional startups in the novel crossed the fiction-reality gap and is now a successful app! The protagonist's decisions, especially those he makes about his relationships and love life, often leave you wincing, and the ending left me wondering whether there'd be a sequel.

Highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the only book I've seen that's captured nyc's tech community in an authentic way. If you work in nyc so many of the settings from the opening scene at the red hook Ikea to the incubator the character works at will be already well known to you.

Coupled with its handling of a lot of themes many of us think about from the role of technology in our lives to the balance of work and relationships These Days is a must read.

It's also fun to recognize the real world startup parallels to the ones in the book.

Support this book, not just because of the amazing and transparent kickstarter route that let readers see the process of its creation, but because it's a novel worth having on the physical bookshelf you want others to see.
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Format: Paperback
'These Days' is a book that is best read by those who have had the courage to make the leap from the expected to risky path of defining your career or those thinking of.

While reading the novel, I felt I was reading my emotions put into words when I went through a similar transition, including the frustration, the fear, the paralysis and finally the excitement of creating something of your own. In essence I felt like I was Conner Vast.

But 'These Days' wasn't simply about Conner, there was also a beautiful crafted interplay with K. From the excitement of meeting, chasing, falling, and inevitably the sad realization that not all things are meant to be are what brought the relationship alive.

Overall what I loved about this book is that it felt like I was reading my own diary, but because of that you realize that others also experience similar emotions. For some reason that feeling is calming because it makes me feel like I've been understood. I'm sure anyone who decides to read 'These Days' will come back to it again and again when they need a book that 'understands' them

Thanks Jack for a great read, can't wait for the next one!
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Format: Paperback
As a geek always struggling to find the balance between the digital world and the "real" world, These Days was a wonderful read. The characters were highly relatable and I thought the perspectives of both Connor and K were compelling without being preachy. Looking forward to re-reading it soon.
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Format: Paperback
I couldn't put the book down. I started on the plane ride out to my vacation and finished the last few chapters on my way back. The characters and situations felt like Jack was writing about the same situations and people I hold as friends, women I've dated, and studios I've worked in. It was so specific and so relatable that I know it has changed the way I view my digital & physical interactions with people and made me incredibly aware of the mediums that I interact through.
Since backing the Kickstarter, the author has written about the writing and publishing process behind the whole project providing even more value and understanding of his work.
Can't wait for the next book.
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