As per usual, Lois is spot on the issue. Her writing is tight and interesting. However, in her desire to stay true to Vorpatril's character, she ends up sacrifising the humour and devilish twists that a Miles narrative offered.
In fact, the funniest scene was when Miles makes a brief appearance, and Lois's dialogue blossoms, so to speak. But, straight away, that sword is back in its scabard, as the Vorpatril narrative takes over, and we are back at Mr Straightlace and a unique situation.
In Cetaganda, Vorpatril came off as the opposite to Miles, where Miles was the studious/hard working spy and Vorpatril as the seducer and debonair type. Sadly, that element isn't explored. Instead, Vorpatril becomes a staid and boring character who realises he's becoming a tired old bachelor.
Tej/Tez tries to cover up the blankness of the Vorpatril's narrative, but again, all I can say in despair is, "Miles, Miles, where are you!?"
Everything. It's clear, well written, narrated and invaluable.
Surely you're joking Mr Feynman! and The Thunderbolt kid come to my mind. Even though both of these are memoirs, they surprised me. Well, this book surprised me, was challenging and a real eye opener.
There's only one! Jeremy Harbour!
Go Do! Coz there's nothing better!
Just get it. It will change your life for the better.
Brandon Sanderson comes to young adult fiction finally.
Firstly, the magic. To an extent the magic in this one is similar to some of the Japnese manga cartoons where people battle using "playing cards".
Characters are interesting and very reminiscent of the mistborn series with particular characteristics defining people. Michael Kramer's narration also gives you the same feeling - but do note the sameness is in style not in the background or storyline. So, overall it's good.
Story is interesting, and covers an alternate dystopian world. But, it's interesting nonetheless. Some of the world weaving felt a bit strained and hence I've rated it as 4 stars rather than 5. I think the background could have been built up more particularly, the underlying politics and government structure/beliefs.
Overeall, it's a good book and I recommend it with the hope that the background storyline becomes more fleshed out in a sequel.
Excellent pot boiler! Taut writing by Garth Nix and colourful characters mean that this book is a hit.
In a futuristic dystopian world, a reality altering event means all the adults are gone and kids brains are being farmed by the "Overlords" in a sick game. Our heroes go about trying to fight the overlords with the help of AI.
Overall, I was totally hooked and enjoyed it. My only minor problem was with the storyline vaguely being similar to movies from the 60s, but you hardly notice it. The characters get you hooked as you move from scene to scene. The scenes are interrupted by "audio" excerpts from the characters in different scenes - just to provide an interlude. It makes for a great effect as it is not so commonly used, even though its a well known method.
This is a laudable effort to use a story to convey messages about business. There were some good business insights in there about business.
The problem I found though was that there were too few insights compared to the length of the book, and the story was so cliche - that the business authorship showed.
Eric Greitens yaks on. He's got a good story but an average editor. Great insights into war torn country as he tours them as an aid worker. Some drawn out insights from boxing in his college days. Great travel story about China. Fascinating interactions with war torn refugees.
But, Eric's voice grated a bit. He really should have gone for a narrator other than himself.
He also showed some insight into the bigger issues. To an extent though, it lacked the profoundness that the title suggested. Yes, there are reasons to go to war and Eric's got some - but these were written more plainly than I would have liked. I guess watching Zero Dark 30 gives you some convuluted notion of a high level perspective - and it reduced the impact of Eric's service period.
However, Eric does have a good cause post service, and it is worth applauding.
This is a an above average book, with fascinating insights into Japan's corporate culture. Worth having a listen - as it talks about Olympus's scandal or ie Japan's Enron as dubbed by the author.
But as reviewers externally have questioned - there were some questions that weren't clearly explored, if not answered (possibly due to legal issues), e.g. why Kikukawa et al, did a few things, and more insight into why Michael Woodford (MW) was scared about a threat to his life, but later on went back to Japan.
However, leaving those questions aside, its a unique insight into corporate Japan, particularly in the 2nd half of the book when the wheels start moving.
I guess, I'll have to be satisfied with the unsaid things that NW didn't say due to confidentiality, particularly around his aborted board challenge. In the end, it is the only known case and book about a real life whistleblower who was also the CEO/President of his company.
Let me say this first. The story is interesting and cool. The narrative is engaging.
But I didn't like it and I couldn't finish the novel. Sometimes, a novel can be good, without you liking it, and this is one of them for me. I guess, this is a fantasy novel - so some things are going to be unrealistic - hey, there's gods and kids with strange supernatural powers. But, for me, there is something basically inhuman in this entire narrative.
See, human beings are motivated by a number of motives - love, hate, anger, desire to succeed, desire for fame, power, etc. They all meld together to form us as human beings. These novels are focussed purely and purely on power and control. You know this is going to be a sole focus, when getting eating extra breakfast to be fit becomes a discussion about who has power. It's an interesting perspective to look at from a distance. Love and approval only came up in one scene where parents were involved. The characters otherwise were just focussed on power otherwise.
But somehow, it grated, and eventually it got too much and I gave up. But hey, if you think of books like pop corn and don't want to think about what they are saying, go ahead. But I warn, this book acts very pretentious and logical - but when you get right down to it, it's inhuman and disgusting in an indescribable way.
This is an excellent, smart, at times funny but extremely emotional book. You will need tissue box, I am afraid. Don’t let that dissuade you though. It’s worth it.
There is humor, intellectual stimulation, emotional over stimulation – it’s got it all. The author does tell you that the book is completely fictional, but it’s hard to believe that he could write it so realistically. Overall, a not to be missed book.
This is a great book and I highly recommend buying it. There’s some great knowledge to be had here.
David McRaney is a journalist with a psychology major and carefully dissects our mental quirks and explains how they lay us low. The book is extremely insightful in explaining these mental quirks, the why’s and the how’s. And, David is bloody good on providing a convincing argument.
I think some people might find the title “you are not so smart” confronting. However, the book does make you eat humble pie. The bad thing and the good thing are the same though – the author doesn’t offer detailed solutions for each of the quirks (he does offer some). He does leave it up to people to come up with more detailed strategies. I would have preferred a longer book with more aspects covered on how to deal with these specific issues. Still, this is a great introductory book and a must get. It is smart and has some dry humor. I enjoyed it so much, that I emailed all my friends with to get this book.
Don Hagen does an excellent narration of the book as well.
Dr Davis outlines a number of USA specific diet issues. He opens with aplomb, directness and gets right on to the issue. Wheat is plain bad, and not just “can be in circumstances” – he calls it to be bad, and explains why so. The book comes with a pdf with recipes on food alternatives to wheat – which I thought was great to have.
As a fit person, who maintains weight and nutrition – I am comfortable with eating wheat. However, for an average layman who doesn’t want to go the whole hog, or pay for quality education and monitoring, this is a good book. Clearly, the book is meant for people who eat processed wheat (I don’t eat processed wheat, at all, e.g. breads, etc.). Wheat is quite pervasive and the list that Dr Davis provides proves so.
The book has also motivates (albeit by fear) to get rid of wheat. However, in some minor criticism, Dr Davis at times labours on the same point over and over again. As other reviewers have stated, in the end, Dr Davis comes round to the key point – the big issue is carbs. You need to replace carbs with lean proteins while avoiding grease. I eat a fairly controlled amount of carbs and so should all people – as all processed foods, fast foods these days have enough carbs to give an elephant indigestion. If you are thinking, “Hey, I’ll replace bread with rice.” – well you’ve got another thing coming. Dr Davis advises in the end against rice based, potato based or tapioca based starches as well – i.e. all high carb alternatives.
Losing weight is more than a fad and needs careful dietary and exercise management. This book might help you with the first step but people need more help and support to get further.
As a book, it has its moments, which are great.
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