As a big fan of the show, I read this to try to satisfy my need for Game of Thrones before season 5 starts. I'm surprised at how closely the show follAs a big fan of the show, I read this to try to satisfy my need for Game of Thrones before season 5 starts. I'm surprised at how closely the show follows the book, but it was also nice to get more back story on certain characters and plot lines. Although certain aspects of this book are less graphic than the show portrays them, I would still only recommend this to readers who are okay with adult content....more
I feel like this book was a little truer to the characters and storylines that we're familiar with from the show, and as such it was very enjoyable. TI feel like this book was a little truer to the characters and storylines that we're familiar with from the show, and as such it was very enjoyable. The only problem was a couple of characters who make return appearances were so similarly illustrated that it was hard to tell the difference between them and it became a bit confusing. Otherwise this was very fun and I'm looking forward to more in this series....more
I didn't necessarily think a book about people making a movie would be interesting, but this isn't just any movie, and I was surprised at how many funI didn't necessarily think a book about people making a movie would be interesting, but this isn't just any movie, and I was surprised at how many fun and interesting stories there were. I found myself laughing out loud several times and even got tears in my eyes in a couple of parts. To be able to revisit the film and see a behind-the-scenes view breathed new life and appreciation into a movie I have seen many, many times. This is a quick, upbeat book and listening to the audiobook it was great to hear "Westley's" voice along with several others who were on the project. If you have any love for The Princess Bride, put this on your to-read list....more
Bill Bryson has a knack for taking difficult to understand subjects and whittling them down to basic facts and illustrative points that make you feelBill Bryson has a knack for taking difficult to understand subjects and whittling them down to basic facts and illustrative points that make you feel a bit like you're at the most interesting dinner party ever. His conversational style makes this easy reading and this book is a bit more focused than his other book that I've read, At Home, (which was equally fascinating but tended to go on long tangential journeys).
While this book focuses mainly on the science of how we came to be here, Bryson also recounts many interesting stories of scientific discovery: who did the discovering and how they came to discover it. More than just being conversational and interesting, Bryson manages to instill a sense of wonder by the end: wonder about the universe around us, wonder at how we came to be here, wonder that we're here at all....more
I loved The Rosie Project and this sequel was very enjoyable, but it did suffer from one fatal flaw. (view spoiler)[...being that one of the characterI loved The Rosie Project and this sequel was very enjoyable, but it did suffer from one fatal flaw. (view spoiler)[...being that one of the characters - Rosie - suffers from the character device of Being Stupid. This is a terrible way to introduce conflict into a book, in my opinion, and Rosie's actions made no sense whatsoever. I could not relate at all to Rosie's reasons for wanting to leave Don. I realize that pregnant women aren't always rational, but the book's arguments about her motivations were very weak. It was repeatedly stated that Rosie was bonding with the baby more than Don due to instincts taking over. Nothing is more un-instinctual than leaving a consistent breadwinner and stable home when you have a child on the way. Even with Don's social shortcomings, he's vastly preferable as a father due to his strong impulse to prepare, make a safe and consistent living environment, and his willingness to help and improve himself. Him not forming an emotional attachment to the baby was also a pretty weak reason for leaving. He could form emotional attachments (he had done so with her), and many men have a hard time understanding what's coming until the baby is born, not just Don with his social oddities. It was hard to relate to Rosie or even really like her toward the end of the book. I should be clear: I like Rosie as a character. I just think her actions were used to create tension in the plot without making sense and that simply didn't work. (hide spoiler)] Aside from that fatal flaw, I liked the book. Don's character is great and it's really fun to see the world from his perspective, he's a great "unreliable narrator." Many of the things that happen to him are humorous and it's fun to understand the implications of some of the things he does before he does himself (if ever). I'm still looking forward to more books with these characters, I just hope that the shortcomings of this book are not repeated....more
The creator of the popular website xkcd.com and former NASA roboticist Randall Munroe has compiled a book based on the "What If" section of his websitThe creator of the popular website xkcd.com and former NASA roboticist Randall Munroe has compiled a book based on the "What If" section of his website. Readers can ask absurd hypothetical questions (From what height would you need to drop a steak for it to be cooked when it hit the ground?), and Munroe will do his best to legitimately answer the question. He will run computer simulations, solve equations, research scientific publications, and consult with experts in various fields. Not only does he answer the questions, but he delivers the information in the most interesting way possible, often pushing things to extremes in order to see what would happen if things got really crazy.
His explanations are also full of fascinating information: "The ISS moves so quickly that if you fired a rifle bullet from one end of a football field, the International Space Station could cross the length of the field before the bullet traveled 10 yards.*"
And often he adds hilarious interjections or observations: "*This type of play is legal in Australian rules football."
When contemplating reading this book, I wasn't sure I would enjoy it or be able to understand everything. Instead I was surprised at how readable and entertaining it was. Everything is explained in easy (and often hilarious) ways to understand, and in the process you can learn really interesting things about how the universe works. I am now a committed reader of the "What If" section of xkcd.com and I can easily recommend this book to anyone looking for an interesting, fun read....more
This book nicely completes the series and continues to astound me as one of the best audiobooks I've ever heard. The problems of the previous book werThis book nicely completes the series and continues to astound me as one of the best audiobooks I've ever heard. The problems of the previous book were gone here and I really enjoyed the monologues of various characters (especially Vader), showing their inner feelings as well as fun writing like play on words, irony, wit, etc. I also especially loved the dialogue between two stormtroopers musing on the word "if." I'm not sure if it's the voice actors doing an amazing job or if it's the fun writing, but this one echoed a similar one in Verily a New Hope that I loved. There were quite a few "ditties" or Elizabethan songs that were at most amusing and at worst very odd. Hearing Han sing a ditty about love was weird, but not as absurd as Jabba's courtiers singing an Elizabethan version of "Damn it feels good to be a gangster" (Tis well to be a gangster). I understand we're just having fun here, and overall the enjoyable writing and wonderful audio production made this a delight to listen to....more