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Vermilion Sands
3.92
really liked it
J.G. Ballard makes me uncomfortable. In computer animation there is the concept of an uncanny valley. We empathise with and find aesthetically ...more
May 12, 2011
May 02, 2009
 
Nothing to Be Frightened Of
3.81
it was amazing
A thoughtful and eloquent extended essay that grapples with the concept of death. Perhaps to prove its own point, it offers no firm resolutions, and ...more
May 24, 2009
Sep 02, 2008
 
Century Rain
3.93
did not like it
After reading The Man in the High Castle I realised that I was reading this book for the wrong reasons. This is a book of ideas that lacks any ...more
Dec 28, 2009
Jun 01, 2009
 
The Bone People
4.05
it was amazing
I feel like an idiot for leaving this in my to-read pile for so long. I guess I never really knew what to expect, or even what the book was about, and ...more
Sep 29, 2011
Apr 11, 2009
 
Station Life In New Zealand
3.60
liked it
A fantastic account of one brave woman's experience of travelling to New Zealand and making a life in Canterbury between 1866 and 1868. Through her ...more
Apr 07, 2009
Aug 21, 2008
 
A High Wind in Jamaica
3.78
liked it
Starts brilliantly, with a vivid portrait of a young colonial family in Jamaica, and with the evocative storm which propels the novel's children into ...more
Dec 27, 2011
Aug 23, 2011
 
Biophilia
4.11
really liked it
A series of personal essays from one of America's foremost entomologists and naturalists. The book is now twenty years old and a contemporary reading ...more
Sep 14, 2007
Aug 21, 2008
 
Flat Earth News: An Award-winning Reporter Exposes Falsehood, Distortion and Propaganda in the Global Media
4.14
really liked it
I once attended a seminar held at Auckland University by feature writer Steve Braunias, who asked us what we thought journalism was about. "The ...more
May 18, 2009
Dec 29, 2008
 
Lands of Memory
4.02
it was ok
I'll be frank: this pretty much bored the hell out of me. As sentences drifted into emotional reflection after emotional reflection that piled up on ...more
Jun 07, 2009
Dec 29, 2008
 
Ogilvy on Advertising
4.18
really liked it
I really enjoyed this. David Ogilvy lays out his wisdom on all aspects of the advertising industry: how to write an ad, how to run an agency, how the ...more
Apr 10, 2009
Apr 11, 2009
 
James Joyce
4.32
really liked it
Took forever to finish, but worth the read. Ellmann's biography is as much the story of Joyce the writer and literary giant as it is of Joyce the ...more
Apr 19, 2009
Aug 21, 2008
 
Blood Meridian
4.17
it was amazing
I started Blood Meridian too casually, reading only a page here or there, until I was at least fifty pages in. When I realised I was missing too much, ...more
Jan 22, 2010
Jul 13, 2009
 
Notes from Underground
4.16
really liked it
Within four or five pages I'd realised that I'd already read a book that was strongly influenced by this one: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. Both ...more
Aug 13, 2009
Aug 12, 2009
 
Consider the Lobster: And Other Essays
4.23
it was amazing
David Foster Wallace is held up as some sort of literary genius, and maybe that's true, but it hardly matters when a book is as fun to read as this ...more
Jul 28, 2009
Jul 01, 2009
 
The Man in the High Castle
3.62
it was amazing
I wouldn't really call this science fiction. Although this book explores some quite heavy ideas around the Many Worlds interpretation of quantum ...more
Dec 27, 2009
May 02, 2009
 
A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments
4.25
it was amazing
What I really love about David Foster Wallace's essays are their humility. He has genuine compassion for his subjects and, despite having more ...more
Aug 12, 2009
Jul 01, 2009
 
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
4.07
it was amazing
I wish I'd paid more attention to Bourdain while he was alive. I loved this book and I loved him: a triple threat of the most interesting virtues: ...more
Jun 17, 2018
Jun 17, 2018
 
Bedlam: London and Its Mad
3.55
liked it
Started off very slow - as a popular history I guess you have to stay fairly close to your sources, and when the sources are few you don't have much ...more
Dec 27, 2011
Sep 04, 2010
 
The Last Werewolf (The Last Werewolf #1)
3.47
it was amazing
So much fun, and a pleasure to read after a couple of quite dry books. It is as well-paced and as well-plotted as The Da Vinci Code, but with the ...more
Dec 28, 2011
Mar 26, 2011
 
A Visit from the Goon Squad
3.66
really liked it
Not much to say about this book that hasn't already been said. It's inventive, clever, moving and very hip. I liked the way Egan would move back and ...more
Sep 24, 2011
Sep 30, 2011
 
Dying: A Memoir
3.78
it was amazing
Wise and touching. Well worth a read.
Jul 16, 2016
Jul 16, 2016
 
Kafka on the Shore
4.14
it was ok
Too light, too hokey, and too insubstantial for my tastes. Although all the ingredients were there: a melding of reality with dreams, strange ...more
Jan 27, 2011
Dec 01, 2008
 
The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity
3.94
liked it
For someone who works in the web industry, this is all very common sense. Web products live or die on interface design, but traditional software ...more
Nov 30, 2008
Sep 29, 2008
 
The New Penguin History of The World
4.00
it was amazing
A single volume of world history isn't going to provide much depth about any one nation or era. But if, like me, you've never studied history formally ...more
Sep 20, 2007
Aug 21, 2008
 
Management of the Absurd
3.82
really liked it
Management literature for nihilists. Farson offers insights into the nature of groups, leaders, organisations and change and exposes paradoxes at all ...more
Aug 24, 2008
Aug 21, 2008
 
Darkmans
3.63
did not like it
Bloated, baggy and really, really boring. Supposedly high-brow lit meets Terry Pratchett, so, you know, really painfully unfunny. Takes about 800 ...more
May 10, 2008
Aug 21, 2008
 
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
4.45
it was amazing
The dark side of 'fake it 'til you make it.'
Jun 19, 2018
Jun 18, 2018
 
Mao: The Unknown Story
3.82
did not like it
Terrible. A catalog of atrocities with no attempt at analysis or reflection beyond claiming that Mao was a monster in pretty much everything he did. ...more
May 10, 2008
Aug 21, 2008
 
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
4.02
it was ok
On the one hand it's a vivid evocation of the olfactory world of pre-Revolution 16th Century France. On the other, it's the misanthropic story of a ...more
Sep 02, 2007
Aug 21, 2008
 
All The Pretty Horses
3.99
it was amazing
A moving, masculine tragedy; a love story for blokes. Stylistically speaking, this thing is pure poetry without being effete or ornate: it's like ...more
Sep 11, 2008
Aug 21, 2008
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