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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Last book you read and rating
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Showing posts 1 - 25 of 356, descending (reverse)
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08/23/2015 08:23:57 PM · #1
Chocolate Wars - the 150 year rivalry between the World's greatest Chocolate makers

Rating, it's so boring that I may never get to the end of this saga.
How could anyone take such a fascinating subject and drag it thru the ... oh, alright, you read it and tell me my semi-not-so-sweet review is wrong.
10/16/2014 03:27:16 PM · #2
Dataclysm 10/10 - extremely well written, humorous and fascinating book about online data. The author sheds light and tries to show human behavior through the immense data collected as a founder of an extremely popular dating website and gives examples that reveal who we really are on a macroscopic scale. it also goes into interpreting data collected from other sites such as facebook and google.

the book does a good job of remaining unbiased and shows the ugly side of data collection and its possible abuses aw well.

highly recommended.

12/20/2012 11:44:58 PM · #3
The Bone People - Keri Hulme
I'm trying to read every Booker, Giller, and Pulitzer prize winner. This was one which wasn't crossed off, now I know why it took so long. Book was terrible.

419 - Will Ferguson
This year's Giller prize winner. It's a quick read, even at 400 pages. One of the better books I've read this year.
11/27/2012 09:40:12 PM · #4
I finally found some time to pick up a book! And believe it or not, this was my choice...

A Nation of Wusses by Ed Rendell

7/10 - Rendell's autobiography is an easy read about some of his political exploits from his time as District Attorney to his time as Governor of Pennsylvania. This does not seem to be a deep well of wisdom to draw from, rather it is a good collection of stories about his different political campaigns and achievements. The chapter I enjoyed the most was about his time as Mayor of Philadelphia when he had to take on the unions to balance the budget and turn the city around. He cared about union labor but had the realization that basic accounting principles rule when it comes to budgets. He laid out his campaign to win the battle of the budget by rewrititing the rulebook for the way labor worked in the city and cinching the purse a little tighter where it mattered. Part of the story about re-writing the rules told how the labor was set up to change a light bulb. It was a 4 man team consisting of a laborer to carry the ladder, a carpenter to set the ladder up, an electrician to climb the ladder and change the bulb, and a supervisor to oversee the team. Throughout the book, the stories reveal a few specific details along with a big picture overview of what he accomplished, and he uses a tough talking Philly attitude throughout!
11/27/2012 07:22:53 PM · #5
77 Days in September by Ray Gorham

7/10 - Another post-apocalyptic story, I seem to be drawn to these for some reason!

'Terrorists' manage to detonate a nuclear device a couple of hundred miles above the USA. The result is an EMP which destroys everything electronic and electrical across the whole country (this is all valid science apparently) , resulting in a breakdown of society. The story focusses on a guy who decides to walk 1,500 miles to get home. A good read, quite captivating. But I couldn't get past the question of why he didn't cycle...
11/02/2012 01:16:08 PM · #6
Pines by Blake Crouch

10/10 - Superb, couldn't put it down. (Well, I finally did put it down at about 4am once I'd read the last page!)
09/16/2012 11:53:01 PM · #7
Last read: Galileo's Dreams - Kim Stanley Robinson - An extraordinary story, part biography and part fanciful invention.

Current read: Ghostwritten - David Mitchell - 50 pages in and promising.
09/16/2012 10:46:42 PM · #8
Gone Girl Gillian Flynn

6/10 - I wanted to like this book and the first two thirds of it were great...the ending is just plain stupid though.
09/14/2012 06:48:03 PM · #9
No Easy Day by Mark Owen and Kevin Maurer.

8.5/10 - I wanted to see what all of the fuss was about. It was a good story about the author's experience as a Seal, specifically his time with DEVGRU aka Seal Team 6. Of course all the hubbub was about the story of the assault on UBL's compound in Pakistan... It was great to read it in the words of someone who was there, but it wasn't packed full of secret Seal strategies or classified details about their equipment, missions etc.
09/12/2012 11:11:42 PM · #10
Trapeze by Simon Mawer

6.8/10 Fictional tale centering around the woman who served in the French Section of the SOE in 1941 - 1944. I picked it up because I did not know anything about 39 woman who were trained as spies. The story is told from the viewpoint of one young woman her training and time spying. A good read - not great. I would have given it a 7 or possibly an 8 because it starts off a bit slow and then was disappointed that the author did not have a special section at the end of the book talking about the historical background (which a good chunk of authors I have read in the past do)

09/12/2012 11:06:58 PM · #11
Originally posted by spiritualspatula:

Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection
7/10

I picked his up completely on a whim when I was strolling through the bookstore. For all intents and purposes, it's exactly what it seems to be- an amusing tale of a person struggling with the overwhelming amount of health/fitness info out there today. If you keep up with health/fitness news much, you probably have a good idea where this book is largely going to go, and it is pretty entertaining while still touching upon and briefly explaining various recent studies etc. It's not a reference, it's an entertaining commiseration.


A plug for the an older book by the same author... The Know it All.

Also, if you like Krakauer Into Thin Air and Eiger Dreams, you'd probably enjoy David Roberts' Mountain of My Fear and The Last of His Kind.

Dead Man Provenance. Simon Worrall
7/10 Interesting insight into a master of forgery.
09/12/2012 10:41:24 PM · #12
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Rebecca Skloot

9/10 thought provoking story of a forgotten woman who unknowingly has become one do the most important tools in medicine.
09/12/2012 01:25:04 PM · #13
Our Kind of Traitor,John LeCarre

8/10 If you like this breed of book, well, the man just keeps evolving. Wildly devilish twists and turns, classic LeCarre understated presentation.

9 Dragons, Michael Connely

9/10 This is the latest (I think) of his Harry Bosch novels, and it's a runaway freight train of a book, if you favor the police-detective-against-all-odds type of book.
09/12/2012 11:44:26 AM · #14
My Summer reading list;

Shadow's Edge (A Night Prowler Novel #1)
8/10 Loved it. Like Twilight, but more exciting and with human-panthers instead of vampires.

Nerves of Steel (Hart and Drake #1)
2/10 Romance-detective type story. God, when will this book end? Please, no more!

Blues Highway Blues
9/10 Great fun. A romp through the history of blues.

Invasion: Alaska
7/10 One of these 'what if' stories set in the near future. Works quite well, the politics gets boring, but the battle scenes are really well written.

The Lion, the Lamb, the Hunted: A Psychological Thriller
4/10 Disappointingly predictable, with an irritating back-story.
09/12/2012 11:04:59 AM · #15
What's the matter with Kansas

9/10
09/12/2012 10:55:05 AM · #16
Originally posted by mike_311:

Originally posted by Venser:


Citizen Coors - 8/10
At least I know the history of how Coors Light come about. It was purposely designed to have no flavor or alcohol, go figure. They wanted people to buy as much as their shitty beer as possible and it's working.


interesting tidbit, the mountains on the coors light can turns blue at the temperature that beer loses its flavor.


Losing flavor would mean it actually had some to begin with.
09/12/2012 10:53:21 AM · #17
Edge of Dark Water Joe R. Lansdale 8/10

A dark coming of age story set in East Texas.
09/12/2012 10:31:05 AM · #18
Originally posted by Venser:


Citizen Coors - 8/10
At least I know the history of how Coors Light come about. It was purposely designed to have no flavor or alcohol, go figure. They wanted people to buy as much as their shitty beer as possible and it's working.


interesting tidbit, the mountains on the coors light can turns blue at the temperature that beer loses its flavor.

Message edited by author 2012-09-12 10:31:40.
09/12/2012 10:24:38 AM · #19
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius - 7/10
Bought this book mainly for title alone. It's about David Eggers raising his brother after the death of both his parents in a relatively short time span. Was entertaining enough to keep the pages turning, but not enough that I'd recommend it to most people.

The Honest Truth About Dishonesty - 9/10
Decent book with lots of experimental evidence. It's a quick read so I upped it's score. If you've already read Predictably Irrational, you'll know exactly what to expect here.

Citizen Coors - 8/10
At least I know the history of how Coors Light come about. It was purposely designed to have no flavor or alcohol, go figure. They wanted people to buy as much as their shitty beer as possible and it's working.

Heaven Is For Real - 0/10
This book is terrible. Apparently is the factual tale of some boy going to heaven and back. I have complete disdain for all religions, but I just had to read this once I saw it on the best seller list. Everything is anecdotal evidence, not an ounce of validity, and the father apparently has no motive or anything to gain, you know being a pastor and all.
09/12/2012 09:41:42 AM · #20
ok so i just finished the Hunger Games. What a relentlessly depressing story. I didn't find it to be anything special, however the emotion, strife and torment was well captured. the way this girl was torn between feelings, manipulated, used was unforgiving and i caution anyone that hasn't read it, it isn't a very uplifting story. I do like that the ending isn't entirely happy and that through all she went through, she was so torn apart that she inst easily able to pull herself back together. The overall story is just an emotional assault on a once strong young girl and how her experiences just broke her.

I haven't seen the movie yet and i'm curious to see how they handle it becuase it doesn't seem it would translate well to a movie. the plot was, eh, nothing special, typical post apocalyptic story of an oppressive society and its rebellion. The meat of the story was that it was an account of this young girl and the torment she goes through, told entirely through her eye and thoughts.

Message edited by author 2012-09-12 09:45:28.
07/27/2012 03:09:17 PM · #21
Originally posted by Pug-H:

The Hare with Amber Eyes - A Hidden Inheritance, by Edmund de Waal.

Very interesting family history dealing with a Jewish family that made a huge amount of money and had large houses and art collections in Odessa, Paris and Vienna; it centres around a collection of Japanese netsuke (small carvings in wood or ivory) and how they survived "confiscation" by the Nazis in Vienna and how they came back to Japan and finally being passed on to the author, who's an established British ceramicist.


there is a lovely review of this book by Frances Wilson in the Sunday Times. I intend to get/read the book. thank you.
07/27/2012 01:14:01 PM · #22
A Scanner Darkly by Philip K Dick

8/10

This tells the story of a narcotics agent that is performing surveillance on himself. This happens because the drug cartels have infiltrated all levels of government, so the agents wear "scramble suits" which make the person impossible to see, so their superiors literally have no clue who they are, just that they are a part of a group of people. Dick loves multiple realities and blurring the lines of identity, and this work does just that. Great writing and mannerisms for the junkies. Haven't seen the movie with our pal Keanu, but definitely plan to. Downey seems like a hell of a great choice to cast for it.

Lies, Inc. by Philip K Dick.

6/10

A dystopian future finds the heir of a crumbled interstellar travel company attempting to make the solo journey to a new colony 18 light years away after their principle competitor has invented teleportation and destroyed their fortune. The only problem is that the teleportation to the new colony is only in one direction. What foulness awaits at this new and highly hyped utopia?
This book has an AWESOME premise, and could have gone very far, but it falls short for me. Admittedly, part of this may be due to the fact that this story was rewritten and chopped up into two portions for publishing originally, and this complete version was somewhat assembled after Dick's death (though he did write it previously). I wish there was more to it, that things were just fleshed out more.

Adventure Sports Photography: Creating Dramatic Images in Wild Places by Tom Bol.

6/10

I picked this up because the writer lives in my relatively small city and is a decently successful photographer. He's also a contributor over at Kelby Training and various other places. It was kinda cool to see these images in the book that I could instantly recognize the location, so I knew what challenges he faced in getting the shot. Unfortunately, beyond this, there wasn't much more. Lots of the book is way too focused on gear and name plugging. I'd love to get a count for how many times he says Elinchrom or Quadra. This isn't to say that a book about lighting adventure sports should be devoid of technical info, but that you don't need to say Elinchrom Quadra or Ranger every paragraph. Give us a diagram or something, or call it an 1100 w/s light. He's got some good suggestions, and even if I found some of his lighting setups a bit harsh and lacking finesse, it was a worthwhile read. Just wish it wasn't so filled with plugs.
06/12/2012 06:51:33 AM · #23
Hull Zero Three by Greg Bear

6/10

Bought this one as I had enjoyed other books of his, (Eon, Eternity, The forge of God, Anvil of Stars) found this one somewhat disappointing however, perhaps my tastes have changed in the 10-15 years since I read his other books...
06/12/2012 06:33:49 AM · #24
The Sentinel by Arthur C. Clarke

8/10

A good assemblage of classic Clarke short fiction, this one has typical stories of exploring space and the new frontier, discovering and facing the unknown. Each one starts off with an explanation by the author, which I rather enjoyed, and (my copy, at least) is illustrated. A good intro to Clarke if you're not familiar with his work, but also good for longtime fans, as it has the beginnings of what later became books, as well.
05/17/2012 04:38:37 AM · #25
Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection
7/10

I picked his up completely on a whim when I was strolling through the bookstore. For all intents and purposes, it's exactly what it seems to be- an amusing tale of a person struggling with the overwhelming amount of health/fitness info out there today. If you keep up with health/fitness news much, you probably have a good idea where this book is largely going to go, and it is pretty entertaining while still touching upon and briefly explaining various recent studies etc. It's not a reference, it's an entertaining commiseration.
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