"The proposed Adversity Quotient is supposed to be a measure of how resilient one is in the face of challenges. However, one could also interpret it (from the book's examples) as how indifferent a person is. In this perspective, it is difficult to appreciate the usefulness of the idea."
"AREAS is entertaining but dangerous in the wrong hands. One has to know some choice bits of trivia to "get" the jokes, play on words, or satire. While Hodgman proclaims repeatedly that you should not take anything he writes seriously, some will no doubt confuse his fiction with reality."
"The concept is simple - no one lies except for those who are trying to escape the typical Big Brother government. It is a short book and is only moderately satisfying. I'd suggest reading George Orwell's 1984 instead of this book if you haven't before."
"The concept behind the book is interesting and the parallels between corporations and cults are compelling, but the book lacks the insight I was hoping for. Despite the fact that it is a business style book somewhat antithetical to business, the book doesn't use common, powerful ways to convey the idea as in similar books. I would have preferred to have seen figures and charts more interesting than two circles connected by a double-headed arrow. Only three of the twelve chapters were well constructed; Corporate Cults could have enjoyed a different editor to organize the argument better and cut out the fat."
"Cryptonomicon is in part the historical fiction of three stories. I found the World War II story lines more interesting than the present day one, but all three were well paced. Because each chapter alternates between the three stories, Stephenson has to do some writing tricks to clue the reader into which story he is reading. This makes it rather easy to read a chapter, put it down, and come back to the book later.
One of the few things that annoyed me was Stephenson's high frequency of metaphors and similies. Often he employs multiple to describe one item or event. Overall, it was an entertaining book."
"This book is written for scientists and mathematicians and may not be easily absorbed by the layman. An understanding of calculus is necessary to fully profit from the text. Throughout the book, the problems are typically at least one step above the basic example, thus rendering the example to be of limited help. Several readings of the same information are required due in part to the presentation. Even rudimentary statistical equations such as propagation of errors require extended derivation from the text. However, this book is still better than many statistics books unfortunately."
"The message conveyed by "Death of Common Sense" today is definitely considered Libertarian. Essentially the author makes a case for the removal of detailed laws to allow for personal responsibility to reassert itself. He notes that it is the public's fear of corruption that has led to a government whose actions are stymied by procedures. The book is a little dated now, notedly in the examples, but the topic is still current."
"Don Quixote is a story of a deranged man and his travels with people who humor him. It is funny and entertaining for the first several hundred pages, but at some point, the reader starts to realize exactly how sad it all is. This probably lends to the book being more memorable than if it was simply a gag story. It can be as profound as the reader wants to make it."
"The plot is similar to Ender's Game naturally. However, the plot twist in Ender's Game is written plainly in Ender's Shadow, making it have less of an impact. While I did enjoy this book as much as, if not more than, Ender's Game, I would recommend reading Ender's Game first due to the mentioned difference in perspective on the story."
"If you're interested at all by interpretation of the law, Gideon's Trumpet is a very good read. The author provides background information, explains certain pertinent legal terms, and logically lays out the story of not only this one title case, but the very workings of the United States Supreme Court circa 1963. Several times I found myself laughing and at other times being logically challenged. It is a great, entertaining book for law students and non-lawyers alike."
"Grim's Fairy Tales is a great read, especially if you want to know how children's literature has changed. These stories are almost all violent and some have sexual connotations - they don't talk down to children as if they are incapable of understanding the world."
"This classic starts off fanciful enough with the famous Lilliputian adventure. Each adventure gets more and more scathing in depicting human nature. I didn't quite expect it to be so graphic and incendiary because the only previous exposure to Gulliver was through cartoons. The cartoons, however, whitewash the novel to make them kid-friendly.
It is entertaining reading. I especially enjoyed the barbs at the people who completely forsake the things that work for their unproven, idiotic pet ideas (and the society that encourages it)."
"HOW TO is not a book to give to those seriously depressed, although it is wonderfully (and unintentionally) funny. My only complaint is that much of the content is simply inserted emails without editing. This means that text included in replies appear over and over again. It is a much shorter book if the duplicate text were omitted. I really bust a gut thumbing through it though."
"The main character in "The Idiot" is not so much stupid as naive. He is trusting and unaware of social mores. This in combination with his wealth is what gets him into and out of situations.
I did not really like the book until the very end when the climax occurs. There were many parts where it was difficult to continue because of not really caring about all the aristocratic gossip and psuedo troubles."
"I liked this book when I read it in High School. It may be a little simplistic for an adult though. It pulls out all the now cliche items like meeting Robin Hood and jousting for the maiden. The writing is typically straight forward and easy to follow."
"The story is about a young boy dealing with injury in a time of war. The plot in addition to the reading level make for a good book for youths to enjoy. I still remember it fondly after reading it in sixth grade."
"This history of John Hunter is told in a contemporary style that is quite approachable. Although the author shows a positive bias toward the man, she does take a few moments to bring up his failings. "The Knife Man" is a great narrative and biography pieced together from historical documents."
"When they say unabridged, they mean it! The main story is entertaining, and I enjoyed it. That being said, a considerable amount of time is spent on background and history of tangential items. While this adds to the depth, it slows down the pace and is what makes this a nearly 1500 page novel. One of the few flaws I had with the book was a very common one - the city/world/universe is made up of five people. That thief who just appeared and can decide the fate of a main character? Why it is the same person who ..., etc. The other is that this book was seemingly written before readers were exposed to now common twists; mysterious revelations are not unexpected. But overall, I did like the book and felt the author tried very hard to leave no loose end."
"This collection of IgNoble award winners' summaries is well composed. It has the expected level of humor and musings on the odd research and activities of various people. The book has aged well despite the topical content due to the recurring themes of human desires, failings, and vision."