Book Reviews

His Dark Materials Trilogy (Philip Pullman)

Northern Lights Children’s Fiction, 8/10 – Dec/Jan 07/08 I love reading children’s books, you know you’re in for an adventure. I watched the movie at the cinema the same day that I finished the book – I can understand why they sweetened the ending because it’s horrible in the book. I find doing the comparisons […]

The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)

Fiction, 7/10 – July/Aug/Sep 2007 This novel is about the relationship of two children growing up in Afghanistan just before the Russian invasion and the rise of the Taliban. The distressing event that occurs on the day of a bitter sweet victory in a local Kite fighting tournament haunts both of them and marks the […]

Programming interviews Exposed (Aug 2007)

Programming, 9/10 – Aug 2007 This book should really be kept a secret because if everyone read it before a programming interview, all the good jobs would be taken. It’s an excellent refresher to put you back to fresh-out-of-uni programming knowledge level. It covers Programming Problems, Logic Puzzles and Knowledge based problems with a very […]

Programming Pearls (Jon Bentley)

Programming, 8/10 – Aug 2007 The chapters on algorithms and efficiency (performance, code tuning and space tuning) make this book brilliant. The explanation and benchmarking of the different sorting and searching technique’s (especially quicksort) are almost fundamental reading for anyone that has a programming interview with a top company. Beware, in amongst the pearls there […]

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (J. K. Rowling)

Fantasy, 8/10 – July 2007 I was dreading the possibility of a dark close to this series but I was delighted with the happy fairy tale ending (Harry Potter is a children’s book after all). I’m going to miss Harry, but I’ve decided if I ever have children, I’ll definitely read it to them. Harry […]

Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)

Fiction, 8/10 – June 2007 I had heard of Jeffrey Archer from various political scandals in the news and I was curious to read one of his books. Kane and Abel considerably raised my opinion of him because I really enjoyed it (apart from the monstrous death of Wladeks sister in the castles prison which […]

A Certain Chemistry (Mil Millington)

Fiction, 3/10 – April 2007 It’s a light-hearted read about the temptation and pain of infidelity. Tom Cartwright, a ghost-writer living in Edinburgh, throws away his girlfriend of 5 years, to chase a unrealistic dream. The characters in the book have a number of brilliantly described personality flaws which I could laugh at but otherwise, […]

Love And Other Near Death Experiences (Mil Millington)

Fiction, 6/10 – February 2007 If you can get past how ugly the site is, is pretty funny. So funny in fact that I randomly decided to buy this book by the author. ‘… You, for example, are stupid and self-pitying, but what civilised observer would censure me for mentioning that you have a […]

Cryptonomicon (Neal Stephenson)

Historical Thriller, 8/10 – November 2006 After reading Snow Crash, I was initially disappointed in this not being in the same genre. But I needn’t have worried – It managed to be an exciting thriller as well as a history book and a science book on computers and cryptography. I really enjoyed the math characters […]

Digital Fortress (Dan Brown)

Thriller, 5/10 – September 2006 The notion that all codes are breakable (the make believe “Bergofsky’s Principle”) caused me to laugh out loud and continue to laugh the whole way through the book. What if the thing TRANSLTR is trying to decrypt is a random piece of junk? The fictitious scalability of TRANSLTR (i.e. can […]

Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)

Thriller, 6/10 – April 2006 Anti-matter contained in magnetised jars, I mean – come off it! This book is so far-fetched that it becomes totally trashy (especially with the poor romantic sub plot). It has the same lead character as the Da Vinci code (Robert Langdon) and also has a Catholic theme but it’s lacking […]

The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)

Thriller, 8/10 – March 2006 This book is an intelligent treasure hunt that doesn’t drop the pace of the action for a minute. It produced a constant trickle of puzzle clues and solutions but at the same time managed to build and build all the way to the end. The storyline is enriched with some […]