Book Reviews

The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems…and Create More by Luke Dormehl (Ebook)

The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems...and Create More by Luke Dormelh

I finished reading this non-fiction book about algorithms last night. It is about how algorithms are now being used for all kinds of uses, and how some of those uses are very problematical, and I very much enjoyed reading the book. Continue reading

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The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout

The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout

This nonfiction book by a clinical psychologist is about sociopaths, those one out of twenty-five people (on average) who have no sense of conscience. In a larger sense, it also covers why the rest of us do have consciences, and I very much enjoyed reading this book. Continue reading

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We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

This book is one that I have always loved, although the last time I read it was before I started keeping my Books Read lists in 1999. I finished re-reading the book ahead of our Third Tuesday Book Club meeting tomorrow night (August 15th, 2017) to discuss the book; it is a novel that centers around a notorious murder, but it is more about bullying and isolation than about the murder. Continue reading

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The Waking Engine by David Edison

The Waking Engine by David Edison

I was lent this debut novel by my son and daughter-in-law; it covers, with a very broad canvas, life and death, and rebirth, in a mix of fantasy and science fiction. I very much enjoyed this book, though I will not claim to understanding all of it (whether that is failure on my part, or the author’s, I have no way of knowing). Continue reading

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Hemingway Didn’t Say That: The Truth Behind Familiar Quotations by Garson O’Toole (Ebook)

Hemingway Didn't Say That: The Truth Behind Familiar Quotations by Garson O'Toole

This non-fiction book is a wonderful exploration into how quotations that everyone knows can be attributed to the incorrect persons. I very much enjoyed reading this book. Continue reading

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Kiss My Asterisk: A Feisty Guide to Punctuation and Grammar by Jenny Baranick (Ebook)

Kiss My Asterisk: A Feisty Guide to Punctuation and Grammar by Jenny Baranick

I finished reading this non-fiction book yesterday before bed, and I enjoyed having my grammar lessons given in such a humourous way. Continue reading

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The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

the brief wondrous life of oscar wao by junot diaz

I first read this book in June 2009 for my Third Tuesday Book Club, and I have now read the book again as the 2008 Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It is a powerful, funny, heartbreaking book about love, curses, and the Dominican Republic, and I enjoyed reading this book. Continue reading

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Sycamore Row by John Grisham (Ebook)

Sycamore Row by John Grisham

As usual, I finished this book a day ahead of my Third Tuesday Book Club meeting tomorrow night (July 18th, 2017); it is a stand-alone sequel to A Time To Kill, and is a great book, which I very much enjoyed reading. Continue reading

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Beethoven’s Skull: Dark, Strange, and Fascinating Tales from the World of Classical Music and Beyond by Tim Rayborn (Ebook)

Beethoven's Skull: Dark, Strange, and Fascinating Tales from the World of Classical Music and Beyond by Tim Rayborn

This is a fun and breezy non-fiction book about music in general and musicians and composers (or decomposers, in some cases) in particular. I very much enjoyed reading this book. Continue reading

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A World Without Smells by Lars Lundqvist (Ebook)

A World Without Smells by Lars Lundqvist (Ebook)

This amazing book is about what it is like to live with Congenital Anosmia, the state of being born with no sense of smell. As someone who has Congenital Anosmia, this is the first time I have read a book that spoke so deeply to me about a condition that most of the world does not even recognize exists, and I loved reading the book. Continue reading

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A Time To Kill by John Grisham (Ebook)

A Time To Kill by John Grisham

I first read this book in April of 2000; I read it again (via Overdrive on my tablet), because I will soon start reading Sycamore Row, which is the sequel to this book, for my Third Tuesday Book Club. I had forgotten most of the plot of the book since 2000, and I had also forgotten how good a book this was, and I very much enjoyed reading it. Continue reading

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Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (Ebook)

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

This nonfiction book is about how economics theory can be used to explain wildly different concepts. The book is quite readable, and I enjoyed reading it. Continue reading

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When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

As usual, I finished reading this non-fiction book a day ahead of my Third Tuesday Book Club meeting on June 20th, 2017; unusually, it is a non-fiction book (not fiction, as most of our books are), and, unusually, I will not be attending the Third Tuesday Book Club meeting, as I am going out of town that day. This was a very enjoyable book, and I very much enjoyed reading it. Continue reading

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The Mummy: A History of the Extraordinary Practices of Ancient Egypt by E. A. Wallis Budge

The Mummy: A History of the Extraordinary Practices of Ancient Egypt by E. A. Wallis Budge

I finished reading this somewhat old-fashioned book today; but although it was written in 1894 (assuming it is the same book as The Mummy: A Handbook of Egyptian Funerary Archaeology), it must be observed that when one is talking of Ancient Egypt, not a whole lot changes from year to year. I very much enjoyed reading this very thorough book. Continue reading

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The Noonday Devil: Acedia, The Unnamed Evil of Our Times by Jean-Charles Nault, Translated by Michael J. Miller

The Noonday Devil: Acedia, The Unnamed Evil of Our Times by Jean-Charles Nault

I finished reading this non-fiction Catholic book today, which explores Acedia, which, although it became subsumed in the deadly sin of Sloth, is not laziness. And I enjoyed reading this book, and recommend it to those weary of their lives. Continue reading

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13 Things that Don’t Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time by Michael Brooks (Ebook)

13 Things that Don't Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time by Michael Brooks

I finished reading this non-fiction book today via Kindle on my tablet; it is a very readable exploration of things that science both can and cannot prove or disprove, and I very much enjoyed reading this book. Continue reading

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The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom That Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot by Jonathan Witt and Jay W. Richards

The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom That Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot by Jonathan Witt and Jay W. Richards

This non-fiction book is an exploration of the politics of J. R. R. Tolkien, the Oxford philologist and don, as expressed in The Hobbit and in The Lord of the Rings (and, very occasionally, to The Silmarillion and other writings of Tolkien); the authors also refer from time to time to Peter Jackson’s three-movie epic based on The Lord of the Rings (2001 – 2003, which I do not care for).  Having said that, this is a very entertaining book, and a must-read for those who love Tolkien and for those interested in how Tolkien’s opinions in favor of economic freedom and small government. Continue reading

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