When it came to teaching this semester, this book was an AMAZING help. Seriously super useful. It's got a great layout and some fun exercises (thoughWhen it came to teaching this semester, this book was an AMAZING help. Seriously super useful. It's got a great layout and some fun exercises (though my student never would have been able to understand all that without my help). So while it's a great teaching tool, I'm not sure that someone who was self-teaching themselves could use this one as well. Probably just need a really good dictionary with it!...more
It took me a whole month to read this book. Youch. Med school is really kicking in with no free time thing at the moment.
But back to the book, from wIt took me a whole month to read this book. Youch. Med school is really kicking in with no free time thing at the moment.
But back to the book, from what I recall it really was great. What I enjoyed the most was the classic science fiction cornerstone that this novel represents. I wasn't reading it for the story or adventure so much as I was for the inevitable knowledge that this would bring to my future scifi books.
That said, it didn't disappoint. It did bore me a bit at times, and the dialogue seemed downright childish at times, but aside from that it was definitely worth reading.
From the description of the book, I would have expected it to be more Paulo Coelho and a lot less annoying than it was. Frankly, this book was so off-From the description of the book, I would have expected it to be more Paulo Coelho and a lot less annoying than it was. Frankly, this book was so off-putting because it was so badly written. Some minor errors like "an heavenly" repeated enough get me too annoyed to enjoy anything.
As well as grammar, there are some serious issues with the book premise. The main character wants to just be a humble shepherd, not a sea captain like how his father wants, so he decides to run off to see to seek his own adventure. Where is the logic in that? I realize that this story needs to start from somewhere, but at least be consistent in reality if you want us to believe in all the mystical bits too.
I think I'll stick to my beloved Coelho in this genre. Either that or wait til this author gets an editor worth her salt to actually read it. ...more
I was given this book in a gift exchange. It is so much more than I ever imagined. It is incredible!
--- Feb 23, 2012:
This is a pretty aJune 24, 2015:
I was given this book in a gift exchange. It is so much more than I ever imagined. It is incredible!
--- Feb 23, 2012:
This is a pretty awesome "cookbook". I say cookbook in quotes, because it's not really that. It's more like a how-to book on becoming a great chef (from level good). Detailed information on which herbs and spices and ingredients and all what you need for cooking go well together (or super excellent together or not at all!)
Based on both experience from some of America's top chef's as well as molecular biology research, this book is definitely a first of the sort that I've ever found. As someone who is frustrated with most cookbooks out there, since they really only detail recipe's which need to be followed in detail (with very specific ingredients!) this book is really something awesome.
I read all the introduction bits, but I feel that I'll be referencing the detailed lists very often in all my future experiments! I really feel like gifting this book to my siblings (and anyone who also adores cooking) but perhaps the first book written by this author is a better starting point? I will try and find a copy and see if I can't just spice up my life a bit more!...more
This is one of those really tricky books. The kind that really don't suit a 'review' or even any ratings. I feel it's one of those "you get as much asThis is one of those really tricky books. The kind that really don't suit a 'review' or even any ratings. I feel it's one of those "you get as much as you put in" type stories. That on the one hand.
On the other hand, this book is acclaimed for being hilarious and wonderful and I really didn't feel much of either. Yeah, the puns were pretty punny in a few cases, and the stories (since this is really a bunch of short stories strung together about the Saloon) were pretty interesting, but I didn't feel that there was much else to it.
So why do I rate this book 4 stars, if at all? Well, the last two stories really moved me. Most notably the second-to-last one. I won't give any more details, except that it really resonated. And hell, what else is a book supposed to do?
So, while I may have missed the gist of the hilarity, I did find a few lovely bits that I'll take on with me....more
As far as detective mysteries go, they mostly bore me, since I tend to figure out whodunit way beforehand. In this book it wasn't so bad. I was kept aAs far as detective mysteries go, they mostly bore me, since I tend to figure out whodunit way beforehand. In this book it wasn't so bad. I was kept amused and in thrall by the world and cultures the author had created and by the time I actively tried to figure out whodunit because I was pretty bored, the main character, Marîd was already on his way to get him.
There are a few key elements about this novel which I really enjoyed. First and foremost was that this portrayal of the future was like our now, only with a few more high tech things (i.e. the surgeries which modify your brain and allow you to stick in 'daddies' and 'moddies' to alter your own skills, personality, etc). All the squalor and pain were still there... humanity hadn't reached that next level up. And yet, at the same time, it wasn't a terribly dystopian world. Yeah, things had gotten a little shitty and there seemed to be pain and war and disease everywhere, and yet isn't it adversity that makes the best of people? Between these two aspects Effinger found the best possible balance, I feel. At least for the type of story he was trying to unveil.
As to the characters: they're just put out there, and accepted. We see everything through Marîd's eyes, so we get his ideas and thoughts on people as well. He's (compared to someone of today's caliber) oddly accepting of transgender's and regenders and in-between genders. His drug, alcohol and sex habits notwithstanding, he actually is an honorable and decent man in a world that is anything but and forced into situations which will second guess his own ideals and mindsets.
It's a book that got me pondering about our own world and how we view our own culture. How I personally view drugs and sex and money and killing and vengeance and all the other topics that have been raised.
For all that, it was immensely well written. I at no time was too irritated... just at times a bit bored because not much was happening ((view spoiler)[all those bodies building up, and then chasing down a bunch of endless dead ends makes for frustrated reader. More dead bodies! (okay, not really. seriously, don't do that!). (hide spoiler)]). Overall a really good book. Thanks for the read, Kim!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
A lot of the stories in here were repeats from previous (or future?) publications by xcite. Due to that I'm voting down. The originals were all very fA lot of the stories in here were repeats from previous (or future?) publications by xcite. Due to that I'm voting down. The originals were all very fun, though!...more
As adaptions of other novels go, this one was pretty amusing. Based on Sherlock Holmes (and he does come up as an absent character) and his types of aAs adaptions of other novels go, this one was pretty amusing. Based on Sherlock Holmes (and he does come up as an absent character) and his types of adventures, this is an erotic twist on the whole thing. It was a series of 5 or 6 short stories in which Ambrose Horne has to solve some sort of erotic-based mystery.
Because of Sherlock appearing in absentee, I'm sure you've surmised that this book is set in the same era. That was about the most interesting part for me, mainly due to the fact that the characters would say awesome things like "Let us speak frankly." and then proceed to keep talking around the subject (at least in a modern sense!)
This book had me more reflect upon the writing style, and how the author was certain that she was actually getting the proper diction of such fascinating folks set in such an interesting time, rather than the supposed mystery occurring, or the erotic bent of the whole thing. I doubt that was the intention, but it really did give me some fun ideas on how to procure proper writing styles for peasants of the 1800's.
Anyway, an amusing book, but without the fun mind trip it would have been really dull. ...more
Alright, so normally I don't pick up a book and read it all the way trough in one (or one and a little) sitting unless it's captivating and usually fiAlright, so normally I don't pick up a book and read it all the way trough in one (or one and a little) sitting unless it's captivating and usually fiction. Yet, this non fiction book on one man's experience in buying a zoo I read from 1 am to 6 am and then the last 15% after I woke up at noon. Finished the whole thing before 1 pm.
My point was that all these crazy things have gotten my mind spinning and yet I stay up an entire night to read an (albeit rather humerus) account of a man acquiring a run down zoo against all odds and all the crazy things that happen when you decide to do something so majorly insane.
All I know is that one day, I'd given the chance, I too will buy a zoo. Hopefully I too will have amazing encounters with wolves escaping, jaguars tearing through containers and ballistic monkeys. But if I can't have that, I definitely will continue to visit zoo's and animal parks and happily endorse them with plenty of cash spent. Why? Because not only did this book show me how incredibly ballsy and clinically insane you have to be to buy a zoo, but also that it's one of the best things you could do for animals at this time.
I'd always been one I'd those people who'd happily debate on keeping animals locked up in fake environments vs. freeing them to be hunted and poached and driven to extinction. I think I've finally found my footing on this issue, and it's on the sides of the animals.
I plan to watch this movie / tv show. And if I'm ever in England I am definitely stopping by to invisibly help continue this amazing endeavor. That said, I still like fiction works more, but this book gripped my heart. ...more
So you know those books that get published as fiction because if they were produced as non-fiction no one would buy them / believe them? I sorta haveSo you know those books that get published as fiction because if they were produced as non-fiction no one would buy them / believe them? I sorta have a feeling that this is that type of book.
This has been the most fucked up, craziest, most interesting, too realistic and plain dead frightening book I have read in a long time. I'd rate it up there along with It, The Shining and Prey under scariness level. While we're comparing this book to others, though, I might as well throw out there that it's like an odd mix of Buffy, Prey, Fight Club, reddit.com/r/Glitch_in_the_Matrix, the Matrix (movie), Chrestomanci and hell, a ton more I can't even think of anymore. Needless to say, it's a wild crazy mix of a story which will turn the insane sane and the sane insane.
I think for me it was the former.
So the plot is incredible. Over the top amazingness. And the characters are annoying and realistic and just way too into themselves. Also the writing is really good. Essentially, it's an amazing book, but one that you might just end up hating. Go for it....more
I tend to stay away from time travel stories ever since I read The Time Traveler's Wife. Don't know why, but that book rather ruined the whole phenomeI tend to stay away from time travel stories ever since I read The Time Traveler's Wife. Don't know why, but that book rather ruined the whole phenomena for me.
Thankfully, this book has rekindled my fire!
The Rose Garden is part romance, part time travel mystery, part historical adventures and part pure whimsical magic. And somehow Kearsley managed to wrap them all together into a really well written piece of art!
Eva's sister has just died, and in order to 'bring her where she belongs' she returns to their childhood summer spot of the Cornish wilds of England. But while dealing with her grief there, she manages to slip between the veils of time about 300 years into the past. While drifting in between with no logic that she can grasp, Eva ends up falling in love with a smuggler who is living in the house back in the early 1700's. She's torn between staying with him and staying in her time, but realizes that there is ultimately nothing keeping her in the present.
Or is there? She has very good friends and perhaps a love interest there as well. Not to mention a really great future in her career. And yet is love worth leaving your own time for?
The things that got me the most in the book were the heart-wrenching details of love (hopeless romantic here) and the nifty sci-fi time travel bits. At first I wanted to figure out the logic of it all as well, and was planning on writing a pretty scathing review tearing the logic to shreds, but by the end of the story it all made perfect sense.
Now, as a California girl, I'd love to go visit this rough and tumble coast and see it's magic firsthand. Definitely dropping by one day!...more
I love fairytale adaptions. I find them to be some of the most creative work out there. Mainly because within the rigid structure of what everyone seeI love fairytale adaptions. I find them to be some of the most creative work out there. Mainly because within the rigid structure of what everyone see's as the main "tale" there are a lot of plot twists and interesting turns that an author can build into a story. Mostly this makes for better tales. Occasionally, such as in this case, it just leaves the reader a bit annoyed, somewhat pleased the story is finally over and perhaps a bit joyous at the transpired events.
For me, I felt most of the latter with this adaption. It's unfortunate, but compared to the gist of the other works in this genre that I've read, this one is really badly written. There were a lot of gaping plot holes which made me re-read passages to figure out what happened to the action (in a type of manner that suggest the author had to cut page length down) and then there was the whole incredulity factor.
I realize that the author took a bit of freedom with the 'historical' aspect of the tale, but talking about curing irons just made me consider electrical ones... I have no clue how they would look like back then. (Just know how regular iron's looked, and those had to be regulated extremely carefully least they burn a hole in the masters clothing! I wouldn't want to see an inexperienced maid come near all those wigs... or the real hair!)
Anyway, aside from all the issues I had, it was a nice, flouncy, kinda silly romance. I did enjoy how the story tied up again from beginning to end, but there just seemed to be an elemental bit missing.
Still, since the third in this series came recommended by a friend, I'll continue with number two and then see about number three. Perhaps the author learned in the meantime? :)...more
A really interesting book on the science of our world. Mixed in with music, geometry, physics, and so much more. The problem is that it's not very welA really interesting book on the science of our world. Mixed in with music, geometry, physics, and so much more. The problem is that it's not very well written. It raised many questions for me, the most pertinent one of which was "where did he get this information from?"
The lack of sources, though, don't stop this book from being amazing. I really enjoyed it, and if it may be something up your river, check out the author's website. Free ebook on there....more