Category: Books

  • Book Review: Bad Science, Ben Goldacre

    *Bad Science* is drawn from the Guardian column of the same name, as well as the many other things that Ben Goldacre covers on his [website]( The main focus is on the abuses of science that seem to proliferate in the press and on the Internet. Things such as scares over the MMR vaccine, scares […]

  • Kindle International content pricing – a guide for the perplexed

    I’ve done a little research to work out what the Amazon Kindle is charging for international content in Australia. This is only relevant for people that are not in the US. * Books costs $US 2 more. This is in contrast to the UK, where there’s also VAT added, which adds nearly another $US 2 […]

  • Book Review: The Ascent of Money, Niall Ferguson

    I’m a big fan of money. I don’t just mean in the mundane “it’s nice to spend sense”. Money is a profoundly weird, incredible invention. It is ultimately very hard to explain money, and hard to see how it ever really came into use. The story of money is incredibly interesting. Unfortunately, that’s not the […]

  • Book Review: Discover Your Inner Economist, Tyler Cowen

    When I first started reading this book my wife thought it was a waste of time. She said that I was already pretty much in touch with my inner economist. That’s pretty much true. And overall she was right – I didn’t really get much out of this book. Tyler Cowen is an economist who […]

  • Recent books completed

    Books that I’ve finished since May or so this year: *Six Easy Pieces*, Richard Feynman *Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets*, David Simon *Shambling Towards Hiroshima*, James Morrow *The End of Days*, Gershom Gorenberg *Zoe’s Tale*, John Scalzi *I, Robot: The Illustrated Screenplay*, Harlan Ellison *The Ascent of Money*, Niall Ferguson *The Graveyard Book*, […]

  • Book Review: Hyperion Cantos

    I just recently re-read an old favourite of mine, the *[Hyperion Cantos](* by Dan Simmons. The *Cantos* is a sequence of four books: * [Hyperion]( * [The Fall of Hyperion]( * [Endymion]( * [The Rise of Endymion]( These were well received novels when they first came out – the first won the Hugo award, and […]

  • Harry Potter and the Final Chapter (Spoilers)

    Don’t read on unless you’ve read the book or don’t care about spoilers.

  • Harry Potter and the Penultimate Evening

    One more night until Book 7. The only real purpose of this post is to provide fair warning: as of Sunday morning, I may be posting spoilers to this blog. I won’t put anything on the main page or the feed, but be warned that any Harry Potter post from Sunday may have spoilers for […]

  • Harry Potter and the Structural Plagiarism

    The Harry Potter books look like they’re pretty strongly in the Fantasy genre: dragons, magic, centaurs, etc. But there’s actually an older genre that the Harry Potter series shares a lot more with, the boarding school novel. Boarding schools are getting pretty rare these days – the idea of sending kids as young as 10-years-old […]

  • Harry Potter and the Book to Film Adaptation

    Adapting a book to film is not easy. There are not many succesful examples around, and what few there are (Blade Runner, for instance) drift a very long way from their source material. The five books of the Harry Potter film series so far have been a distinctly mixed bag. Why? In my opinion, because […]