Amy Poehler is funny, that's undeniable. And in her biography, she writes about the ups and downs of her career, her passion, being a mom, making mistAmy Poehler is funny, that's undeniable. And in her biography, she writes about the ups and downs of her career, her passion, being a mom, making mistakes, being a good friend and daughter. In her sassy, humourous and sincere voice, she shares life lessons and experiences that shape who she is and her work. There are many great parts in this book, but here's my favourite: "back then there was this wonderful thing called "twilight sleep" where women were given anesthesia at the onset of labor and woke up with a baby. Today "twilight sleep" is when you pass out on your bed while looking at paparazzi photos of Robert Pattinson eating an omelet."...more
It's a feel-good, heart-warming story of a man looking for happily ever after. Though the book is simplistic, I did find myself rooting for the main cIt's a feel-good, heart-warming story of a man looking for happily ever after. Though the book is simplistic, I did find myself rooting for the main character and was pleased when he finally found the one he loves, but that's about it for the value of the book. ...more
The book is a good, comprehensive and interesting introduction to big data and how statistics is applied to solve many problems that we face, from conThe book is a good, comprehensive and interesting introduction to big data and how statistics is applied to solve many problems that we face, from containing the spread of flu to deciding when's the best time to buy a plane ticket. I don't feel enough is written on the risks of big data - privacy and misuse of data certainly are the main ones - but also limitations to our current computational capacity, dealing with uncertainties in data sets etc. are also issues that weren't addressed enough. Statistics is however a fascinating field of applied math and this book did a great job at capturing its uses and promising future in aiding our decision making process. ...more
Amazing book about the complexities and relationship between nationalism, racism and feminism in the USA. Whether the reader has little background inAmazing book about the complexities and relationship between nationalism, racism and feminism in the USA. Whether the reader has little background in social justice issues or is an academic in the field, the book offers interesting insights into race and gender issues that women of colour have to face. Patricia Hill Collins criticizes the shortcomings of social movements in the USA and explain the extent to which these movements have benefited or negatively affected women of colour. This is my first time reading Patricia Hill Collins and I wish I had read her books sooner. ...more
I don't intend to finish the entire book; I only want to read pieces that I find interesting. The fascinating thing is the different ways the argumentI don't intend to finish the entire book; I only want to read pieces that I find interesting. The fascinating thing is the different ways the argument against theism that are articulated in many different forms. However, Hitchens lied we he said the book will "speak to you and engage you every step of the way" even if you're religious. It's pretty clear the book is dedicated to already nonbelievers, and I'm not sure theists will find it helpful. ...more
As riveting and unique as Yoshiko Kawashima's life is, the book failed to portray a believable character. Too much is focused on Kawashima's sex lifeAs riveting and unique as Yoshiko Kawashima's life is, the book failed to portray a believable character. Too much is focused on Kawashima's sex life and other men's sexual exploits and abuse of her, and too little is focused on her life as a spy and a public propaganda figure - one that she is famous for. The novel fails to connect passionately and believably her story arc with the historic background of her time, even though she is an active player in the Asian front of WWII. However, the novel successfully emphasizes that she is an outstanding character for her self-determination and refusal to be a victim. ...more
For those who are economics and statistics enthusiasts, this book offers nothing new or insightful. For those who aren't familiar with the topics, thiFor those who are economics and statistics enthusiasts, this book offers nothing new or insightful. For those who aren't familiar with the topics, this book presents too many fallacies hidden in charming story telling, hence, harmful to the understanding of economics and statistics. What the book does is spark interest for those who aren't familiar with the works of social scientists, but this book must be read with a healthy dose of skepticism. ...more
With varying settings that add flavor and background to each story, these short and neat scenes of romance are new, fresh and exciting. The various peWith varying settings that add flavor and background to each story, these short and neat scenes of romance are new, fresh and exciting. The various personalities of the characters make the erotica collection interesting and colorful. Bebe Wilde succeeded at creating imaginative sex stories while not becoming methodological and boring....more
Charles Yu started with a very simple and interesting idea. Instead of creating a story about the excitement of time travel, Yu chose his main charactCharles Yu started with a very simple and interesting idea. Instead of creating a story about the excitement of time travel, Yu chose his main character to be a normal tech guy. Yu focused his story on an aspect of time travel that pop culture has not explored. And from that idea, the novel offers an observation of our life from the perspective of a science fictional world. That is indeed a very clever and creative idea, which is also the highlight of this unique science fiction novel.
I am not a fan of science fiction, but Yu's writing has some kind of charm and novelty that interests me greatly. Yu doesn't spend too much of his book on just creating a science fictional world. He doesn't spend pages and pages describing this imaginary scientific universe. Instead, Yu draws parallel comparisons between the world we dearly know and the world Charles Yu (the character) is from. To many readers, this novel is a disappointment because it is not really 'science fictional'; it's quite "real". The book's themes and feelings need not a futuristic setting. But by using "time travelling" as a metaphor for regret and nostalgia, Yu offers a different spin on the topic of time and space travel, while allowing readers to relate to his main character on a human level, instead of trying to imagine him as some kind of robot or alien.
Yu defines his own physical world using the same template as our scientific theory. I enjoy reading his theorems, especially since I study physics and math on a regular basis. With all the fancy words and the paradoxes (especially the non-existing object paradox), Yu's definitions aren't just descriptions of the science fictional universe in his novel, they are also Yu's attempts at explaining human emotions in a scientific manner. What if all emotions can be clearly defined like a physics theorem:
"Nostalgia, underlying cosmological explanation for
weak but detectable interaction between two neighboring universes that are otherwise not causally connected.
manifests itself in humans as a feeling of missing a place one has never been, a place very much like one's home universe, or as a longing for versions of one's self that one will never, and can never know."
These fundamental concepts make up Yu's own version of time-travelling: it is a process where one observes a different timeline from the timeline one is currently in. It is a process that relies on human memories, because time travelling is very similar to revisiting memories in our head. And once readers understand Yu's paradigm for time-travelling, they will realize that after all, this science fiction is not a science fiction, but in nature, a novel about the past, mistakes, regrets and how to deal with them.
So perhaps those disappointed readers do have a reason.
And for that same reason, I am very fascinated with the way Yu perceives and constructs time-travelling. It is not a big fancy action-packed rocket-science process that Hollywood movies make it out to be. It can be, rather, a leisure activity affordable to the masses and allows us to relive over and over again moments and milestones that we want to preserve. It is ultimately an private emotional journey that we experience everyday when we think of a happy or sad moment in the past.
"Time travel is not a technology built outside, with titanium and beryllium and argon and xenon and seaborgium, but rather it is am mental ability that can be cultivated. [...] We experience the present and remember the past. We can't remember the present, except what is deja vu but a memory of the present? And if we can remember the present, why can't we experience the past? What kind of machine is this? This machine, what my son and I have built, this is a perception engine, and it works on your mind as much as anywhere else."
As much as I enjoyed the unique ideas that Yu presented, the writing toward the end of the book became heavy and wordy. The verbosity became a flaw instead of a stylistic bonus, and the way Yu wrote theorems was much more appealing than reading paragraphs and paragraphs that present the same thing. That took away from the quality of this impressive debut. However, some lines now and there are such a pleasure to read.
"The good news is, you don't have to worry, you can't change the past. The bad news is, you don't have to worry, no matter how hard you try, you can't change the past."...more