Book reviews for March 2022

Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters by Steven Pinker

Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters by Steven Pinker

4/5

 

Zeroes by Chuck Wendig

Zeroes by Chuck Wendig

2/5

 

Escape from Yokai Land (Laundry Files, #7.5) by Charles Stross

Escape from Yokai Land (Laundry Files, #7.5) by Charles Stross

3/5

 

The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield

The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield

4/5

 

(Related: #Resist; Go-arounds: LEGO and Legislative Service; San Francisco November 2016 Propositions)

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Book reviews for January 2022

The Anomaly: A Novel by Hervé Le Tellier

The Anomaly: A Novel by Hervé Le Tellier

4/5

 

Quantum of Nightmares (Laundry Files Book 11) by Charles Stross

Quantum of Nightmares (Laundry Files Book 11) by Charles Stross

4/5

 

What's Eating the Universe?: And Other Cosmic Questions by Paul C.W. Davies

What's Eating the Universe?: And Other Cosmic Questions by Paul C.W. Davies

4/5

 

This Is What Happened by Mick Herron

This Is What Happened by Mick Herron

3/5

 

The Catch (Slough House, #6.5) by Mick Herron

The Catch (Slough House, #6.5) by Mick Herron

3/5

 

The Marlyebone Drop (Slough House, #5.5) by Mick Herron

The Marlyebone Drop (Slough House, #5.5) by Mick Herron

4/5

 

The List (Slough House, #2.5) by Mick Herron

The List (Slough House, #2.5) by Mick Herron

3/5

 

(Related: #Resist; Go-arounds: LEGO and Legislative Service; Get ITHCWY By Email)

(You might also like: Bees; Transit of Mercury; Going Chrome)

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Book reviews for November 2021

The Dark Hours (Renée Ballard, #4; Harry Bosch Universe, #35) by Michael Connelly

The Dark Hours (Renée Ballard, #4; Harry Bosch Universe, #35) by Michael Connelly

4/5

 

Invisible Sun (Empire Games #3) by Charles Stross

Invisible Sun (Empire Games #3) by Charles Stross

4/5

 

Better off Dead (Jack Reacher, #26) by Lee Child

Better off Dead (Jack Reacher, #26) by Lee Child

3/5

 

First Person Singular: Stories by Haruki Murakami

First Person Singular: Stories by Haruki Murakami

4/5

 

Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar

Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar

5/5

 

(Related: #Resist; Go-arounds: LEGO and Legislative Service; San Francisco Shoreline Timelapse)

(You might also like: Worst special TiVo offer ever; Staying Chrome?; Boris: Make London a National Park!)

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Book reviews for November 2020

The Saints of Salvation by Peter F. Hamilton

The Saints of Salvation by Peter F. Hamilton

4/5

 

Dead Lies Dreaming (The Laundry Files, #10) by Charles Stross

Dead Lies Dreaming (The Laundry Files, #10) by Charles Stross

4/5

 

Poseidon's Wake (Poseidon's Children) by Alastair Reynolds

Poseidon's Wake (Poseidon's Children) by Alastair Reynolds

3/5

 

The Sentinel (Jack Reacher, #25) by Lee Child

The Sentinel (Jack Reacher, #25) by Lee Child

4/5

 

(Related: #Resist; Point Reyes - Drakes Estero; Nonfiction)

(You might also like: Devils Kitchen; How to backup Google Photos to Google Drive automatically after July 2019 with Apps Script; Near-plurality of idiocy)

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Book reviews for December 2018

The Late Show (Renée Ballard, #1; Harry Bosch Universe, #29) by Michael Connelly

The Late Show (Renée Ballard, #1; Harry Bosch Universe, #29) by Michael Connelly

4/5

 

The Wandering Earth by Liu Cixin

The Wandering Earth by Liu Cixin

5/5

 

The Labyrinth Index (Laundry Files, #9) by Charles Stross

The Labyrinth Index (Laundry Files, #9) by Charles Stross

4/5

 

(Related: #Resist; Street View; Point Reyes - Drakes Estero)

(You might also like: BBC My Sounds, hiding podcasts behind a 'Beware of the Leopard' sign.; Download.com goes nuclear; Zombie Robs)

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Book reviews for February 2018

The Killer Angels (The Civil War Trilogy, #2) by Michael Shaara

The Killer Angels (The Civil War Trilogy, #2) by Michael Shaara

4/5

 

Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami

Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami

4/5

I just wish each short story was a whole book.

 

Dark State (Empire Games #2) by Charles Stross

Dark State (Empire Games #2) by Charles Stross

4/5

It's going to be a long, long wait for the third book...

 

(Related: Go-arounds: LEGO and Legislative Service; Build Back Betterer; Has France Cracked Fixing Education?)

(You might also like: StackOverflow DevDays; Catfood: Earth, PdfScan and Weather; El Capitan)

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Book reviews for August 2017

Empire Games (Empire Games #1) by Charles Stross

Empire Games (Empire Games #1) by Charles Stross

4/5

 

The Delirium Brief (Laundry Files, #8) by Charles Stross

The Delirium Brief (Laundry Files, #8) by Charles Stross

4/5

 

The Thirst (Harry Hole #11) by Jo Nesbø

The Thirst (Harry Hole #11) by Jo Nesbø

4/5

 

The Revolution Trade (The Merchant Princes, #5-6) by Charles Stross

The Revolution Trade (The Merchant Princes, #5-6) by Charles Stross

4/5

 

The Traders' War (The Merchant Princes, #3-4) by Charles Stross

The Traders' War (The Merchant Princes, #3-4) by Charles Stross

4/5

 

Influx by Daniel Suarez

Influx by Daniel Suarez

4/5

 

The Bloodline Feud (The Merchant Princes, #1-2) by Charles Stross

The Bloodline Feud (The Merchant Princes, #1-2) by Charles Stross

4/5

 

(Related: #Resist; Street View; Brexit Prize)

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Book reviews for July 2016

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017
The Nightmare Stacks (Laundry Files, #7) by Charles Stross

The Nightmare Stacks (Laundry Files, #7) by Charles Stross

4/5

 

The Girls by Emma Cline

The Girls by Emma Cline

3/5

OK, but lots of foreshadowing, not much shadow.

 

(Related: Go-arounds: LEGO and Legislative Service; LEGO, now for Girls; Nonfiction)

(You might also like: Bay Snaps; Life, Non-locality and the Simulation Hypothesis; News: Case made for 'ninth planet')

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Book reviews for May 2016

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017
When to Rob a Bank by Steven D. Levitt

When to Rob a Bank by Steven D. Levitt

3/5

I didn't realize this was just a collection of blog posts! There are some good ones for sure (my favorite is the evisceration of Good to Great for the exact same reasons that I hate that book). But it's just some blog posts and they're mostly too short and not fleshed out.

 

The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins

The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins

2/5

I'm not really sure what the point of this book is. I guess Dawkins is trying to bring people round to believing in science and so the main device used in the book is to mock religions and myths for a while before sketching in a light summary (very light for the non-Biology sections) of some area of science. If you're in it for the science then you're going to be mostly disappointing. If you're not of a scientific bent then you're going to be alienated by the heavy handed myth bashing and so I don't think you're going to be in a positive frame of mind to listen to what Dawkins has to say when you get the science bit. Not recommended for either audience.

 

Three Tales from the Laundry Files by Charles Stross

Three Tales from the Laundry Files by Charles Stross

3/5

 

The Mind Club by Daniel M. Wegner

The Mind Club by Daniel M. Wegner

3/5

The central theme of this book is some research about how people feel about different kinds of minds. At it's heart it's a Harvard Business Review style quadrant analysis with the two dimensions being doing and feeling (and doers doing things to feelers). This isn't nearly as interesting (or difficult) as actually trying to understand different minds. This is touched on briefly and mainly via that experiment where people report that they made a decision half a second after their body started doing the thing that they decided to do. Which is fascinating and hard to explain but it's only really a detour here. The meat of the book is how people feel about dogs and dead people and gods. There are some interesting anecdotes and the book is saved by the good humor and gentle snarkiness of at least one of the authors.

 

(Related: I didn't think I'd ever fall for fake news on Facebook; The Harvard Business Review Fallacy; The Trust Project, Fake News and a Partial Facebook Uninstall)

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Book reviews for November 2015

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017
The Children Act by Ian McEwan

The Children Act by Ian McEwan

3/5

 

So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

4/5

 

Traveling Sprinkler by Nicholson Baker

Traveling Sprinkler by Nicholson Baker

4/5

 

The Annihilation Score (Laundry Files, #6) by Charles Stross

The Annihilation Score (Laundry Files, #6) by Charles Stross

3/5

Too much flat pack furniture assembly, not enough slaying of eldrich horrors. Also I miss Bob.

 

(Related: #Resist; Go-arounds: LEGO and Legislative Service; The Trust Project, Fake News and a Partial Facebook Uninstall)

(You might also like: What do you get when you multiply six by nine? Brexit.; News: Case made for 'ninth planet'; Scott Adams)

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I Thought He Came With You is Robert Ellison's blog.

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