This is an indispensable guide to physics that offers readers an overview of the most popular physics topics written in an accessible, irreverent, and engaging manner while still maintaining a tone of wry skepticism. Even the novice will be able to follow along, as the topics are addressed using plain English and (almost) no equations. Veterans of popular physics will also find their nagging questions addressed, like whether the universe can expand faster than light.
I quit about 10% through. I just couldn't handle the bad jokes and cutesy comments. The science is handled at a good, conversational level, if the authors weren't beating you over the head with their attempts to be "hip" and "with it," wink wink nudge nudge. Enough. It's rare for me to abandon a book, but I can't stand it any more. One of the worst science books I've ever encountered - and not because of the science!
1 of 4 people found this review helpful
When Ben, a suburban family man, takes a business trip to rural Pennsylvania, he decides to spend the afternoon before his dinner meeting on a short hike. Once he sets out into the woods behind his hotel, he quickly comes to realize that the path he has chosen cannot be given up easily. With no choice but to move forward, Ben finds himself falling deeper and deeper into a world of man-eating giants, bizarre demons, and colossal insects.
I can't tell you anything without giving too much away. It's the Odyssey on acid. I loved it.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Prudence "Roo" Jones never thought he'd have a family to look after - until suddenly he found himself taking care of his orphaned teenage nephew. Roo, a former Caribbean Intelligence operative, spends his downtime on his catamaran dodging the punishing hurricanes that are the new norm in the Caribbean. Roo enjoys the simple calm of his new life - until an unexpected package from a murdered fellow spy shows up. Suddenly Roo is thrown into the center of the biggest storm of all.
I posted a long review of this on Goodreads and don't have the energy for more. Summary: intriguing world building and politics, an interesting protagonist, followed by a series of dumb decisions on the part of the protagonist and villain leaving us with ... well, the typical James Bond villain explaining his eeeeeevil plot and then putting our hero into a ridiculously complicated death trap and leaving him unattended. I really enjoyed Arctic Rising and I did like the first part of the book - dealing with the tropical storm, for example. The rest? Save your credit.
Private investigator Jasmine Sharp's father was murdered before she was born, and her mother went to self-sacrificing lengths in order to shield her from the world in which he moved. Since her mother's death, all she has been able to learn is his first name - and that only through a strange bond she has forged with the man who killed him: Glen Fallan. But when Fallan is arrested for the murder of a criminal her mother knew since childhood, Jasmine is finally forced to enter his domain: A place where violence is a way of life and vengeance spans generations.
This is hands down the best Brookmyre book I've ever read (including Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks), and makes the short list for my favorite mystery book period. You need the context of the first two books to get the full benefit of the emotional impact and connections here. Some you can see coming - and then there are the others. Love it. Will be re-reading the whole trilogy after a bit, too. (Please let there be more.) Hilary McLean's narration is outstanding as well.
Future imperfect: Three years after her famous husband's death, Cordelia Vorkosigan, widowed vicereine of Sergyar, stands ready to spin her life in a new direction. Oliver Jole, admiral, Sergyar Fleet, finds himself caught up in her web of plans in ways he'd never imagined, bringing him to an unexpected crossroads in his life. Meanwhile, Miles Vorkosigan, one of Emperor Gregor's key investigators, this time dispatches himself on a mission of inquiry into a mystery he never anticipated - his own mother.
This is a very personal, character-driven novel, nostalgically touching on so much that has gone on in the entire Vorkosigan series. Coming back to focus on Cordelia on Sergyar is brilliant.
I loved this book, but I tend to love the world-building and characters more than a plot. For comparison, A Civil Campaign is probably the most similar in structure (even including a scene which made me laugh about the disastrous dinner party in that book).
I may have to start with Cordelia all over again after this reminder of why she is an astonishing, captivating character.
Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon it's just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean - for 227 days. Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle.
I rarely if ever stop reading a book. I gave up on the Life of Pi because of Martel's condescending, know-it-all writing style. I like a smart writer and a smart protagonist, but I do tire when they both tell me how brilliant they are. Groan.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful
Simon Darcourt, an inventive killer with a sense of humour, is creating his own celebrity talent show, one that is generating more publicity than its contestants have ever had in their lives. The catch is that those lives won't be very long. The police turn to Angelique de Xavia, a cop who has crossed his path before. However, the police are not the only people who want Darcourt. Now she's faced not only with tracking him down, but also with the task of ensuring she doesn't end up dead once she's served her purpose.
Simon is one of the most entertaining villains I've had the privilege to encounter. The "good guys" pale in comparison. I came into this without having read the earlier books, but I don't think I missed much there. Fun read, and I do enjoy a book where you're rooting for the villain, even if he is a bad, bad man.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
It's not the dead that seem strange to Quirke. It's the living. One night, after a few drinks at an office party, Quirke shuffles down into the morgue where he works and finds his brother-in-law, Malachy, altering a file he has no business even reading. Odd enough in itself to find Malachy there, but the next morning, when the haze has lifted, it looks an awful lot like his brother-in-law, the esteemed doctor, was in fact tampering with a corpse, and concealing the cause of death.
I wanted to like this so much. Timothy Dalton is a wonderful narrator and there is a sultry, atmospheric quality to the writing that appealed to me. However, the characters were never fully formed on the page, and the plot was not a mystery. I would question the characters' motivations if I ever saw them as people themselves. A disappointment that I would not recommend.
11 of 14 people found this review helpful