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Nano Book Review

Joined 1 year, 7 months ago

All books are audiobooks. I have CFS so bad I'm stuck in bed. Suggestions welcome. Low-excitement preferred.

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Nano Book Review's books

Stopped Reading

reviewed I, Robot by Isaac Asimov (Robot (1))

Isaac Asimov: I, Robot (Paperback, 1984, Del Rey) 4 stars

ROBOPSYCHOLOGIST Dr. Susan Calvin had seen it all when it came to robots. As a …

It's entertaining

3 stars

I've read other Asimov and enjoyed his work immensely, but this one was.. Okay? Like, its a collection of short stories that center around the logic in the three laws of robotics, but the problem is that some of the logic the characters employ isn't exactly logical? It was rather annoying to be screaming at the book about an obvious solution where the book also seemed to pride itself on being cerebral.

Robert A. Heinlein: Starship Troopers (1994, Amereon Ltd) 4 stars

Good Writing, But Not a Great Story

3 stars

A guy joins the army on a whim and becomes an infantryman. Eventually he also signs up to be an officer in a similarly spontaneous fashion. They fight space bugs and we hear multiple lectures about psychology and society that are clearly just the author preaching to his captive audience. Good writing, but the story doesn't really go anywhere. The main character does some growing, but we never actually see that happen, he just reacts differently as the book goes on. Realistic? Sure. Compelling? Nah.

Joe Haldeman: The Forever War (The Forever War, #1) (2003) 4 stars

The Forever War (1974) is a military science fiction novel by American author Joe Haldeman, …

A Decent Book for The Most Part

3 stars

A man is drafted into the space army and shipped around the galaxy fighting for galactic supremacy. He doesn't exactly love the war, but he doesn't seem to have many particularly strong opinions about most things. Pitched to me as the anti-war antidote to Starship Troopers, the main thing I took away was that Starship Troopers wasn't exactly pro-war either, only the protagonist was. Still, it was interesting to read both!

Sy Montgomery: The soul of an octopus (2015) 4 stars

"In this astonishing book from the author of the bestselling memoir The Good Good Pig, …

No Better Title

5 stars

I can think of no better title for this book. Sy dives into the personality and lives of octopuses. They clearly have souls, perhaps multiple souls; they play, they dream, and everything in between. This book is well worth your time, come meet the people who live under the sea.

Steven Sloman, Philip Fernbach: The Knowledge Illusion (Paperback, 2018, Riverhead Books) 4 stars

Great Information, Middling Delivery

4 stars

Everyone thinks they know more than they actually do. Yes, everyone. We must. If we knew how much we didn't know we'd all be paralyzed with ignorance. When you prove to people how little they know, they don't like it. They especially don't like it if their ideas weren't rational in the first place. Most of the shit we know we know because other people told us.

Even so, society is mostly okay.

Jennifer Ackerman: What an Owl Knows (2023, Penguin Publishing Group) 4 stars

For millennia, owls have captivated and intrigued us. Our fascination with these mysterious birds was …

One Owl is One Owl

5 stars

From an elf owl that can fit in your hand, to a fish owl the size of a fire hydrant, these birds are more diverse and charismatic than you ever knew before. Are they instinctive hunters? Do they have to learn how to hunt? Yes! Do they sleep in trees, do they sleep in burrows? Yes! Are they thriving, are they endangered? Yes, yes, yes. There's so much to learn and so little time, might as well start now!

Michelle Alexander, Michelle Alexander, Michelle Alexander: The New Jim Crow (Hardcover, 2010, New Press) 5 stars

As the United States celebrates the nation's "triumph over race" with the election of Barack …

Lawyers know how to present an argument

5 stars

A long and detailed account of racist systems of control in America, with a strong focus on the current one, mass incarceration. Michelle makes a solid and even-handed case for calling mass incarceration the new Jim Crow, all while acknowledging and explaining the important differences. Read the tenth anniversary edition, which comments on the events since the book's first publication, it's well worth it.

Erich Maria Remarque: All Quiet on the Western Front (1982, Ballantine Books) 4 stars

This edition is in Hebrew. Youthful, enthusiastic, they become soldiers. But despite what they have …

Dead On

5 stars

Erich must have been to war, there is no other way he could have done such a good job describing the horrors, joys, banalities, and excitement of rest war. There is no other way he could have known how a person becomes completely changed by it, hollowed out by it, and yet must continue on. If he hasn't, he is an even better writer still.

Michael Shur: How to Be Perfect (AudiobookFormat, Simon & Schuster Audio) 5 stars

From the creator of The Good Place and the cocreator of Parks and Recreation, a …

Pretty Good, But a Bit Unsatisfying, Just Like Moral Philosophy

4 stars

Somewhat the companion book to the series The Good Place, Micheal teaches us the basics of moral philosophy from his own perspective. Or rather, he teaches us other people's teachings as he understands them. Michael puts his experience as a comedy writer to good effect, making the often dense prose of philosophy into an enjoyable read.

Fred Rogers, Fred Rogers: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Poetry of Mister Rogers (Hardcover, 2019, Quirk Books) 4 stars

It's Decent, But I Would Read Something Else

3 stars

This is actually an amalgamation of excerpts from other work previously written by Fred Rogers and compiled in order to make more money with the 2019 movie by the same name. It's got a forward which is also just an article on Fred that appeared elsewhere. It's a decent book I suppose, but you should really just read books Fred intended to write, I think.

Terry Pratchett: The Carpet People (2013, Clarion Books) 4 stars

A Light Bit of Fun

5 stars

This rework of his very first book is a lot of fun. We follow along with various kinds of people as they struggle to understand the world of the carpet and how they're going to preserve society. As Terry himself put it, he used to think fantasy should be all about fighting and battles, but has since decided that not fighting is a lot more interesting.

Emily Jane: On Earth As It Is on Television (2023, Disney Publishing Worldwide, Hyperion Avenue) 3 stars

Pretty Dang Mid

3 stars

The first half takes forever and nothing particularly interesting happens. In the second half, interesting things do happen, but they take a while to develop.

I think part of the problem is that it's supposed to be humorous, but none of the jokes land so it's quite a lot of filler for very little plot. If it wasn't listed as a comedy by my library, I wouldn't have known it was supposed to be funny.

Robert Reid: Year Zero (2012) 4 stars

Year Zero is a 2012 science fiction novel by Robert Reid. It was published by …

Pretty Decent, But Somehow Not Better

3 stars

A sci-fi comedy centered on copyright violations, the book is pretty mid. It's entertaining, and the resolution makes for a very good payoff, but it just doesn't quiet pull you in. Maybe it's better in written form than in audiobook. Afterall, Hank Green liked it, and I like Hank Green.