Data science for dummies.
A very entertaining intro for those of us who aren't techno-current. Lots of different fields of enquiry used for examples. Enough of the author's personality to keep it lively.
Fun for all --
Strictly chick-lit fluff, silly, funny, very amusing. Not bound for the classic shelf, but quite good for what it is.I was worn out and grouchy, and this was an excellent listen to lighten my mood. Really liked the narrator, will look for more stuff she does.
These books aren't great literature, but they are fun reads, and the narration is good. Too much "He said......" "She said......." "He said......", and there's just no way to read that gracefully Dufris does as good a job with it as anyone could. He does good work with voices..
To be honest, it took me a while to warm up to Daniel McEvoy, the -- dare I say "hero"? -- of Plugged. Daniel is a cross between Chili Palmer of "Get Shorty" and some sort of comic book Ninja (anybody old enough to remember Remo Williams?) But he IS funny. Boy, is he funny. There are about half a dozen plot lines, skillfully interwoven, with at least that many characters I want to get to know better. The Jewish doctor living in Daniel's head is a hoot, and Daniel's military shrink alone is worth the price of the book.
And then, there's the narrator. Who is this John Keating guy? Why haven't I listened to 47 other things he's narrated? He catches exactly the right tone for each chacracter.
NOTE: I read a lot of YA fiction, and as a retired teacher of precocious adolescents, I love the Artemis Fowl books. This is NOT an Artemis Fowl book. Middle school librarians, be warned.
If Agatha Christie visited P G Woodehouse for the weekend, this is what you might get! It's a mystery, yes, but read or listen for the wonderfully eccentric characters, gathered for a birthday party that you just know won't end well. The plot structure is intersting: the first half centers around Inspector Alleyn's wife, included in the house-party as a sort of artist-in-residence; after the murder, she goes home and is replaced by the Inspector himself, down to investigate the crime. The narrator gets a big thumbs up.
If you are looking for an edge-of-the-seat, can't-put-it-down mystery. look elsewhere; that's not what Ngaio Marsh did. There is a mystery, and it offers a few twists and surprises, but read (or listen) for the characters. Marsh liked to take a group of eccentric people and close them up in a British country estate for a few days of festivities, then let us watch them interact, murder and all. This was Marsh's first novel, and not my favorite; still, I enjoyed it. The narrator is good: the story is dialogue-driven and the voices are generally well-delineated enough to distinguish the speakers. One caveat: the Russian visitor's accent pretty much drove me up the wall; fortunaterly, someone interrupted every time he opened his mouth.
Let's get this out of the way: this is not for the squeamish.
That said, I liked it. I'm an old lady, and this book reminds me why I liked sci-fi so much back in the day. Interesting questions: 1.How do you coexist (peacefully?) with those whose entire world view/value system is totally different? 2.What is the end-result of the belief that all ethical systems are equally valid? The author gives us a "world" in which various alien races interact, with the understanding that each has the right to practice its own form of legal and/or social justice, regardless of how that may violate the practices and beliefs of others. Citizen of Planet X, living on Planet Y, offends against Planet Z, Planet Z gets to call the shots on the consequences -- and since Planet Z sees no problem with penalties that Planets X and Y consider barbaric, well, that's tough, but we've got to keep the peace, so we'll just have to live (or die) with it.
The writing is a bit uneven. Sometimes I thought I was listening to a section I had already heard; other times, I backed up to see if I had skipped something because of gaps in the narrative. Still, I liked the main characters, who don't so much develop as unfold. Some of the plot was totally predictable, but it was still a good story. The narrator was new to me, and I liked his work. The change in voice was effective, and the aliens were nicely spooky.
I enjoyed Inkheart but totally adored Inkspell. The idea of being drawn into a favorite book is so captivating, and Funke blends her fantasy with just enough realism to take us with her delightful characters. If you haven't read or listened to Inkheart, do so immediately so that you can move on to this wonderful sequel. Of course, the books must be taken in order. And, please please please tell me there's going to be a third installment.
As for the narrator, Brendan Fraser is the best reader since Frank Muller. Not the same, mind you, but the first person I've thought was anywhere near as good. Let's have lots more by him. He can vary his voice to suit the various characters so smoothly that the narrative and dialogue flow seamlessly. I am from the deep south, and I appreciated hearing a southern accent that didn't sound idiotic.
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