Very soon into it, this became my favourite of Nick Hornby's novels, and that's saying something. I just put it down, and I liked it so much I'm honesVery soon into it, this became my favourite of Nick Hornby's novels, and that's saying something. I just put it down, and I liked it so much I'm honestly half-tempted to pick it straight back up and start in again....more
There’s a video on Youtube of BJ Novak telling the story of “Wikipedia Brown and the Case of the Missing Bicycle.” It’s pretty grainy and the sound quThere’s a video on Youtube of BJ Novak telling the story of “Wikipedia Brown and the Case of the Missing Bicycle.” It’s pretty grainy and the sound quality isn’t that great… and I’ve watched it enough times that when I reached the story in Novak’s first story collection, One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories, I could hear his voice in my head and could probably have recited the story nearly by heart myself.
I love autobiographies and David Beckham was pretty much my first ever favourite athlete (although even as a kid I had the good sense not to like UnitI love autobiographies and David Beckham was pretty much my first ever favourite athlete (although even as a kid I had the good sense not to like United, he somehow escaped the dislike I've harboured for most of their players—I've only recently warmed up to Cristiano Ronaldo despite supporting Real Madrid for quite some time) so I'm a little surprised I haven't read this before. But anyway, it was pretty good, and about what I was expecting; Beckham comes off pretty much as egotistical as you'd think when it comes to talking about the game, but doesn't hesitate to mock himself as far as other aspects of his life go (I enjoyed the account of the awkward beginning of his courtship with Victoria). One thing I like about this compared to some other footballing autobiographies I've read is that he really discusses the relationship between playing club football and international football, perhaps because he's had such an impact (positive and negative) on several of England's recent challenges. It's not the best sports autobiography I've read (that'd probably be Carraghers, although obviously I'm biased), but it's pretty good.
Oh, one complaint though, to the American editors—if someone's willing to read four hundred pages about Beckham, they're not going to have an issue with the term "football" rather than "soccer." Honestly. And also it was only a bit toward the end but it was difficult to tell whether the Ronaldo being referred to was Ronaldo or CR7. I just assumed it was Ronaldo throughout but all of a sudden Beckham was talking about the Portuguese NT and things got confusing. ...more
This is an honest and important book. I don't think I could do it justice in a review except to say that I strongly urge you, all of you, to read it,This is an honest and important book. I don't think I could do it justice in a review except to say that I strongly urge you, all of you, to read it, and think about it, and whether you agree or disagree with Vonnegut's opinions on war and government and America and life, give them some thought, and think about your own opinions as well. Also, this is an incredible quote: "And on the subject of burning books: I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength or their powerful political connections or their great wealth, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and have refused to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles. So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries." ...more
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is my least favourite novel in the series, but that's like saying that white chocolate is my least favourite tHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is my least favourite novel in the series, but that's like saying that white chocolate is my least favourite type of chocolate. It's not that I don't like white chocolate, or that white chocolate isn't awesome, it's just that all other types of chocolate are more awesome, and that's the case with this book. It's probably the most stand-alone of the stories, given that, although Voldemort's young adulthood becomes important in the later stories, mostly what we learn from this is that he was powerful and evil even while at school, which is something of a given. I'm not sure what makes this book a less-favourite-than-the-others for me, although it may have something to do with the monster being the main evil (the basilisk takes precedence over Tom Riddle for the majority of the story) rather than a wizard. But despite this, on my... is it eighth reread now? Ninth? I still love the story (and of course the series it is a part of). ...more
This is definitely one of the stranger books I've ever read, but I did enjoy the mix of post-apocalyptic setting and ridiculous satire. I'm just, hmm,This is definitely one of the stranger books I've ever read, but I did enjoy the mix of post-apocalyptic setting and ridiculous satire. I'm just, hmm, I'm not sure that Harkaway's style is for me—I would've enjoyed the book more if it had been cut down 150 pages or so and had fewer digressions, but I think that would've defeated the whole purpose. There were parts I liked, parts that made me laugh, and storylines that I enjoyed (although they mostly went unresolved), so I don't count it as a loss, but I think it's one of those books that you really have to like the author's style to get into, and it just didn't pull me in the way it clearly has for a lot of people.
Also apparently the author is John LeCarré's son, so I guess I just can't escape LeCarré lately. I never would've guessed from the writing style/subject matter/anything about it, but that's got nothing to do with anything, just a note. ...more
I like the premise of this book a lot—child prodigy who is aging out of his prodigiousness on a road-trip with his intelligent slacker of a best frienI like the premise of this book a lot—child prodigy who is aging out of his prodigiousness on a road-trip with his intelligent slacker of a best friend while trying to figure out why he always goes for (and gets dumped by) the same type of girl. It's quirky, it's fun, and the writing is typical John Green: i.e. quirky and fun. For the most part, I enjoyed it and liked the characters (especially Hollis and Hassan). I liked the footnotes and I liked the math even if I skimmed some of the explanation. The problem I had was I felt like Colin was a bit of a wanker, and not quite developed well enough that his flaws felt like flaws rather than feeling like him being a bit of a wanker. In other words, he was rather annoying. It also bothered me that the female characters in the novel, for the most part, were only characterized in relation to Colin; I understand he's the protagonist but it seemed unbalanced that the Katherines were only there for him to think back on and then work on his theorem, and then Lindsey is his prize for finally figuring it out. In the end, I enjoyed the book as a quick summer read, but I wish it had lived up more to the premise and focused on Colin coming to terms with growing out of being a "child prodigy" instead of him proving his cleverness and getting what he wanted. ...more
This is my least favourite of the Enchanted Forest series, and I'm certain it's because of the change in protagonist. Unlike the other three, TalkingThis is my least favourite of the Enchanted Forest series, and I'm certain it's because of the change in protagonist. Unlike the other three, Talking to Dragons features Cimorene's son Daystar rather than Cimorene herself, who only appears in a few scenes. While it makes sense for the plot of the story, it was a little disappointing after three books about a kick-ass princess and her dragon best friend. After the first three, the tension in this book is a little bit spoiled—Daystar may be wondering who his father is and what the magic sword he carries is capable of, but we already know. Still, it's a fun book like the others, with the same epic-but-lighthearted adventure feel, and I like Shiara the rude fire-witch and the talking lizard Suz, both new characters to this installment. It's definitely the weakest of the books, but after the cliffhanger of book three it's a necessary read, and is still a fun and good wrap-up of the series. ...more