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Stephen Hampshire (Huddersfield, UK)
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Dublin
Dublin
by Edward Rutherfurd
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £7.19

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A collection of spellbinding tales, 8 Jun. 2005
This review is from: Dublin (Mass Market Paperback)
I have to admit that I was initially put off both by the cheek of this book trying to cover so much history, and by the sheer size of it! I eventually got over that reaction mainly because the early history of Ireland is one of my fascinations, and I'm very glad I did.
I think Dublin can best be thought of as a series of much shorter novels, rather than a monolothic whole. Each of those mini novels is fascinating from a historical perspective and utterly compelling as a work of fiction. The author really does have the knack of painting full characters very quickly, and they draw you into the story.
The only criticism I would have is that the bridging sections between those mini-novels are sometimes a little awkward, reading like a clumsy history lesson. A couple of times I noticed myself being forcibly reminded of the author's presence in these sections before being sucked into another wonderful story.
In summary, though, Dublin is an excellent book - one you'll read much quicker than you expect to!


Mind Hacks: Tips & Tricks for Using Your Brain
Mind Hacks: Tips & Tricks for Using Your Brain
by Tom Stafford
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.15

69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative and, more importantly, fun!, 3 Mar. 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've only just finished reading it, but I have a feeling this will be one of those books that you keep coming back to. There's a lot of scope for flicking through and reading bits that catch your eye.
A lot of this is down to the layout - within each section the points are made in short "hacks", each one capturing a particular trick of the mind to reveal the (occasionally hackish) way it works.
If an optical illusion can trick us into thinking that two identical objects are different sizes, why do our hands know the right size when they go to pick one up? This is one of the hacks, and it proves that visual information is processed on two paths - the motor control is happening before the processing of context. Or does it? Many of the hacks raise questions which have not been settled, so readers can explore the controversy for themselves.
The authors have an infectious enthusiasm for the subject which is manifest in a lot of links and supplementary reading (as well as a blog). It's certainly a good idea to have the internet accessible to you while you read so you can look up the demos they link to, or you'll find your copy overflowing with bookmarks like I did.
Two minor notes of caution - not all of the hacks are tricks that you can actually try out. Especially at the beginning of the book many of them are textbook information presented in the "hacks" style. This is a fun book, but the science is there as well so be prepared for it! The other potential irritation is that, because the hacks are designed to stand on their own, the book can feel a bit repetitive if you try to read it cover to cover.
Overall, though, an excellent roadtrip through the workings of the mind, with plenty of opportunity for picking up party tricks along the way. There'll even be some serious lessons for anyone interested in the way senses are processed for interface design etc. I can thoroughly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in how the mind works.


Dive Into Python
Dive Into Python
by Mark Pilgrim
Edition: Paperback
Price: £31.49

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars python made simple...but not too simple, 12 Nov. 2004
This review is from: Dive Into Python (Paperback)
This book is perfectly aimed at people who have some experience of programming. It takes for granted that you are familiar with basic concepts of programming in general and object-oriented programming in particular, and gets on with telling you how Python works.
The structure is very hands-on - showing you how to accomplish particular tasks in a very fast, but clear, way.
What I found was that this book finally persuaded me as to Python's strengths.
On top of that it's very readable, and well supported by useful examples that are readily applicable to real world problems.


Welkin Weasels (1): Thunder Oak
Welkin Weasels (1): Thunder Oak
by Garry Kilworth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dissappointing, but still good, 21 Oct. 2004
Garry Kilworth is a great author, there's no question about that. House of Tribes is a wonderful book, and in my view many of his short stories are even better.
Of course I am an adult, and this is a children's book, but I'm sure that most children would find this as patronising as I did. The story is quite interesting, but you never really feel that the obstacles are anything other than yet another in a sequence of hurdles in the depressingly linear quest.
The weasels themselves make for great characters, but they are not sufficiently developed. All in all this is a story of unfulfilled potential.


Six Easy Pieces: Fundamentals of Physics Explained (Penguin Press Science)
Six Easy Pieces: Fundamentals of Physics Explained (Penguin Press Science)
by Richard P Feynman
Edition: Paperback

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars he is the master, 19 July 2004
Feynman is an unusual genius in that he also has a gift for explaining things in a way that makes them appealing.
This is not the book for you if you want to wrestle with the complexities of quantum theory, but it is fascinating to hear more fundamental physics explained by one of the subject's stars.


The Complete MAUS
The Complete MAUS
by Art Spiegelman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.89

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars essential, 19 July 2004
This review is from: The Complete MAUS (Paperback)
this book should be read by every living human
it is the most compelling and moving work about the subject i have ever read. spiegelman manages to capture both the scale of the atrocity and the depth of the human tragedy at a personal level through his father's story.


SVG Essentials
SVG Essentials
by J. David Eisenberg
Edition: Paperback
Price: £21.36

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SVG in practice, 17 May 2004
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: SVG Essentials (Paperback)
This book is great for people (like me) who've grasped the idea of SVG from an introductory chapter in a general XML book, but want to get to grips with the detail of the language.
Where it really scores is with practical examples of things you can do with SVG, particularly sripting it.


City Of God (Cidade De Deus) [DVD] [2003]
City Of God (Cidade De Deus) [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Alexandre Rodrigues
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.72

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brazilian Goodfellas, 17 May 2004
Let's keep it simple - this film is brilliant.
It's beautifully shot, powerfully acted, and heartbreakingly realistic.
Buy two in case you lose one.


Web Design in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference (In a Nutshell (O'Reilly))
Web Design in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference (In a Nutshell (O'Reilly))
by Jennifer Niederst Robbins
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars O'Reilly come up trumps again, 13 May 2004
The ever-excellent O'Reilly hit the spot again with this comprehensive but concise reference.
You'll need to have some html experience to get into this, but it does what O'Reilly do so well - explain something simply without assuming that you are a "Dummy". Works both as a tutorial and a reference.
Invaluable for anyone who understands a little bit about how html works (and CSS etc) but can't remember all the tags and attributes off the top of their heads. Buy it now.


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