Reviews and Comments

Nano Book Review

Joined 10 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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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.

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.

How to Argue With a Racist (Hardcover, 2020, The Experiment) 4 stars

Racist pseudoscience has become so commonplace that it can be hard to spot. But its …

Needed To Be Longer, But Decent Anyway

4 stars

The book, in fact, does not teach you how to argue with a racist. Arguing with a racist is largely a fruitless endeavor. Instead, it takes an honest look at some of the claims that racists make, and demonstrates that there is essentially no scientific evidence for any of them. In some arguments the book does well. In others it needed to spend more time. Still, it's an enjoyable look into genetics and race.

Verbal judo (Paperback, 1994, Quill) 4 stars

When you react, the event controls you. When you respond, you're in control.Verbal Judo is …

Good Advice, But a Little Repetitive

4 stars

This book will teach you the basic principles on how to get what you want from people, even when they're being unreasonable. If you find yourself dealing with assholes all day, this is the book for you.

Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World (2014, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) 4 stars

There's Way More Science Out There Than You Know

5 stars

It's a book about material science that opens with the narrator getting stabbed! What more could you ask for‽

From the multiple crystal forms of chocolate to the chemical reactions that make cement, Mark combines a love of materials with excellent narrative and takes you through a small sampling of the amazing materials that make our everyday life possible. Stuff matters, indeed.

The Psychology of Money (Hardcover, 2020, Harriman House) 4 stars

Doing well with money isn’t necessarily about what you know. It’s about how you behave. …

Pretty Decent, I suppose....

4 stars

Lots of solid advice, and yet somehow forgettable? I guess this is the essence of good finance: it's boring, it's obvious, it's uncontroversial. But you know what? Everyone needs a reminder every once in a while. If you haven't thought about your financial plans in a while, be it to pay off all your bills, or retire in luxury, maybe now is a good time to have another look.

The Secret Garden (Hardcover, 2008, Oxford University Press, USA) 4 stars

Ten-year-old orphan Mary Lennox is sent to live in a largely uninhabited mansion on the …

Started out good and then just went flat

2 stars

So, only after reading the whole thing did I learn that this is supposed to be a kid's book, but like...I dunno. It kinda sucks? The prose is very good, to the point where the first half of the book is excellent, but then everyone's problems are solved by the magical powers of the outdoors and positive thinking and then the book ends.

Around the World in 80 Days (2014) 4 stars

Around the World in Eighty Days (French: Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours) is …

The old style of adventure, entertaining, but not enthralling

4 stars

Mr. Fog goes on a romp around the world to prove a bet, that it can be done in less than 80 days. It comes down to the wire, as you would assume it just, and yet the ending still manages to exceed your expectations. It's a quick and easy read, but still decent fun.

How Jesus Became God (Hardcover, 2014, HarperOne) 4 stars

New York Times bestselling author and Bible expert Bart Ehrman reveals how Jesus’s divinity became …

Stuff They Didn't Teach You in Sunday School

5 stars

Jesus went around talking about how he was the Son of God, but also God Himself and also the Holy Spirit, right? Psh you THOUGHT.

Jesus went around talking about how the Son of Man was about to come and bring an end to the current era of evil. Everyone would be resurrected and judged for their deeds. This would happen in his lifetime.

Except that didn't happen. So how did Jesus become God?

Gonna hafta read and find out!

Angry White Men (2017, PublicAffairs) 4 stars

One of the headlines of the 2012 Presidential campaign was the demise of the white …

Too long, but is objective about things people often dismiss

4 stars

This book is about the kind of person who thinks white men are actually the most discriminated class. It's way too long and it spends a lot of time repeating itself. The problem is, it also has lots great insights into issues that I've never seen anyone else try to tackle objectively. It's good, just repetitive. Oh, and the introduction weirdly claims the march of progress is inevitable.

The innovator's dilemma (2000, HarperBusiness) 4 stars

In his book, The Innovator's Dilemma [3], Professor Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School describes …

An Organization is Not the People It's Made From

4 stars

A quick read, this short book is all about why big organizations fail to adapt to changing markets and technology. The book is rather old, so the references are fairly dated, but the concepts are still salient. Organizations and people are not the same thing, and knowing which people to assign to a task is just as important as knowing what organization to put them in.

Possibility of Life (2023, Harlequin Enterprises ULC) 5 stars

Questions just raise more questions, in a good way

5 stars

Jamie thinks deeply on exactly what the title suggests. Are we alone? Are we special? What would an alien look like? Sound like? Think like? Pondering the big questions about aliens teaches us as much about ourselves as it does extraterrestrials. Even just thinking about the questions we bother to ask can be revealing. A book with no answers is sometimes the best kind of book.

Braiding Sweetgrass (AudiobookFormat, 2016, Tantor Audio) 5 stars

Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how …

Scientific and Spiritual

5 stars

Robin writes of her life as an ecologist and a native American. Her appreciation for plants and animals blends scientific rigor with spiritual connection and stewardship. The book is a memoir of her attempts to reconcile science, capitalism, and her native understanding of our world. The other living beings around us have so much to teach, and we have a responsibility to learn.

Heaven’s River (Paperback, 2021, Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency) 4 stars

More than a hundred years ago, Bender set out for the stars and was never …

Winging it never seemed so easy

4 stars

For some weird reason Dennis forgot how to write for the first few chapters and the last few chapters, but the rest of this long book is just plain excellent. It's it fourth in the Bobiverse series, and the style is completely different, but it's still a good book anyway. If you wanted more of the same, you'll be disappointed, but the book is so well written you'll forget your were expecting something else.