1. How to tell I’m not feeling well at work

    How to tell I’m not feeling well at work

    1 week ago  /  2 notes

  2. NPR Challenge: I, Robot

    After reading what I was expecting to be a thrilling fantasy ride in 20,000 leagues I jumped back to Sci Fi, honestly expecting I, Robot to be a more analytic and boring array of robot based information. However just like 20,000 leagues my expectations were so utterly wrong.

    I, Robot is a series of short stories told by a main narrator about the development of robots, with the main theme being Asimov’s three laws. These short stories range from the human attachment to these metal creatures all the way up to inevitable problems with creating an entire world run by them.

    There wasn’t a single moment throughout this book that I ever wanted a break from reading it, I found the whole things fascinating till the last word (which was strangely enough about the economic climate of Europe, something which I never thought would hold my attention). 

    One thing I appreciated about this book is its analytical look at Asimov’s three laws. He seems to set these three rules before proceeding to give the most obscure and interesting use cases about when they would succeed and when they would fail spectacularly.

    Ratings: 
    Enjoyment during: 4.5/5
    Enjoyment after: 4/5
    Would buy: 4/5

    Current Progress: 44 Read

    2 weeks ago  /  3 notes

  3. NPR Challenge: 20,000 Leagues under the Sea

    First up, I would like to start by saying I am aware that the english version of this book lost a lot in the translation. With that in mind…

    This book was akin to torture during the reading process. There were many wonderful parts of it which kept me moving forward, but for every speargun shark fight there were dozens of pages describing the taxonomic trees of sea classification.

    As a random example you would have a scenario in which the main characters are next to the porthole, looking out at the streaming sea life and describing the various types of squid they can see. Next thing you know the book has devolved into a really serious description of the various families the squid belongs to, how to tell them apart and other animals related to this particular group. In some sections it would get as deep as describing the flesh and taste of each animal.

    Honestly though, outside of this (which leaves less than half the book) the story was rather wonderful. The idea of Captain Nemo refusing to converse or deal with humans and creating his own utopia to deal with the situation is romantic and interesting. The characters are also wonderful, if not a little old fashioned and stinted.

    When I had finished this book I looked back at it with fondness, now being able mentally edit out all of the offending sections surrounding the plot. For the first time I would tell anyone asking that this book is not worth reading, perhaps a summary is a better idea.

    Ratings: 
    Enjoyment during: 1.5/5
    Enjoyment after: 4/5
    Would buy: 2/5

    Current Progress: 43 Read

    2 weeks ago  /  2 notes

  4. 2 weeks ago  /  4 notes

  5. NPR Break.. or maybe challenge?: Words of Radiance

    I am not 100% sure this is a break, basically one of the books earlier in this challenge had its sequel released. I loved the first so much I jumped on the second immediately.

    I have been waiting for this sequel the second I learnt that it was in the works. This books series I adore, it feels very similar to the Mistborn trilogy but with a more ‘epic fantasy’ kind of setting. While the Mistborn trilogy feels very small due to the setting primarily being the one city this series has the characters spanning the world, making it feel like a cohesive world.

    I bought the hardcover copy of this book, only to find that span over 1000 pages in a very solid lage book format it was near impossible to read in any comfortable situation. In the end I bought a copy of the ebook so I could functionally read this, but the hardcover looks incredible on the shelf next to the other Brandon Sanderson books.

    On top of this, after finishing the book I discovered that every single Brandon Sanderson book seems to exist in the same universe, with a grand god like figure spanning all the worlds. I love world building of this size (reminds me of how the Dark Tower series spans all of Stephen King’s books) and I am frantically waiting for more from him.

    Ratings: 
    Enjoyment during: 5/5
    Enjoyment after: 5/5
    Would buy: 4/5

    Current Progress: 42 Read (still)

    3 weeks ago  /  2 notes

  6. NPR BREAK: October Daye Novels

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    I received a shipment from Book Depository last week, so took a break from the NPR list in order to catch up with some of my favourite authors. First up is Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire.

    I love these books so much, but they are a little bit of a guilty pleasure.

    For those that have not read any of the books in the ‘October Daye’ series they are primarily about a fae detective. While she operates in the mortal realm she tends to deal in investigation work for the fae courts. Each book in the series is an individual investigation, and the series has excellent ongoing plot.

    The good thing is, even though these are primarily detective-ish books, they are pulpy enough that I can imagine reading them again and again.

    Ratings: 
    Enjoyment during: 4/5
    Enjoyment after: 4/5
    Would buy: 5/5

    3 weeks ago  /  0 notes

  7. NPR Challenge: The Amber Chronicles

    I felt that I had been taking the easy road. There were so many series on my list that had 3+ books, and I have only really tackled one largish series (The Sword of Truth). So I jumped on the Amber Chronicles, 2 multi book series each spanning 5 books.

    The world building in these books are fantastic, they paint a world that is so complete (mainly because the beings in this book work on a much higher universe spanning plane). Each of the 2 series had me so excited to continue reading, however both suffered from the same end of series situation. The first cycle (the corwin cycle) spent the last book in an odd almost drug fueled wandering that just reminded me of that episode of the simpsons where Homer has the ridiculous chilli. While the second cycle literally suddenly finished up in the last 5% of the fifth book.

    However I did enjoy 8 of these 10 books easily, regardless of the last book in each cycle being a bit of a let down. For those who are interested in world building I would recommend you give them a read.

    Ratings: 
    Enjoyment during: 3.5/5
    Enjoyment after: 4/5
    Would buy: 3/5

    Current Progress: 42 Read

    1 month ago  /  0 notes

  8. NPR Challenge: Starshop Troopers

    I have been looking forward to this book. Generally I have always put Starship Troopers forward as a good example of a good pulp Sci-fi movie. The feel of the world, the advertisements at the start, the world building are just fuel for an eventually action sequence with men in armour shooting at bugs.

    However the book turned out to be entirely different.

    This book is not really about the war with the arachnids. Don’t get me wrong, that war happens, but it’s not the focal point of this book at all. In fact this book is more about being in the military as a grunt (or so it seems). The majority of the book is devoted to his tales of training, being involved in small squads and moving up to the eventual goal of becoming someone with a small command.

    I was happy with the eventual involvement of the bug army, and the ending was wonderful and definitely not something that hollywood would have been interested with (there are a handful of changes). It wasn’t exactly what I expected, but it was fun.

    Ratings: 
    Enjoyment during: 4/5
    Enjoyment after: 4/5
    Would buy: 4/5

    Current Progress: 41 Read

    1 month ago  /  0 notes

  9. NPR Challenge: I am Legend

    A friend commented over christmas that she hated this book, everything in it contradicted the zombie movie that she had enjoyed. I can see where she was coming from, the makers of the movie obviously started with the idea of vaguely following the backstory to this book but were waylaid along the way.

    I Am Legend is the story of the last survivor in a world that has been taken over by vampires, not zombies as the movie hinted at (although the movie creatures did definitely show an aversion to sunlight). As the book progresses he passes between varied levels of a scientific process and insanity, sometimes seemingly teetering back and forth multiple times in a chapter.

    I honestly can’t say much more about the process without ruining it, but if follows the idea of the alternative ending to the movie. It’s definitely not one of those books that I want to tell all my friends about, but I cannot deny I enjoyed reading it.

    Ratings: 
    Enjoyment during: 4/5
    Enjoyment after: 2/5
    Would buy: 2/5

    Current Progress: 40 Read

    1 month ago  /  0 notes

  10. Wow I really fell off the wagon with updating the NPR challenge. Now I have 12 books to comment about >.<

    1 month ago  /  0 notes