Blog Archives

Zero Limit

This is billed as “Artemis meets Gravity“, but it would be more accurate to say “Deep Impact meets Eastenders“. The main plot element is that a rogue asteroid mining operation accidentally puts the rock on a direct impact course for … Continue reading

Friday, May 3, 2019 in Reviews

The Spy. Why?

While this is an enjoyable read, it prompts one big question. Why did the author feel that a heavily fictionalised re-telling of this utterly thrilling true story was needed? In the preface Gross says that he wants to tell “the … Continue reading

Sunday, April 21, 2019 in Reviews, Thoughts on the World

Darwin’s Cipher

I like a good techno-thriller, but since the death of Michael Crichton and with Phillip Kerr moving onto German detectives and unpleasant tales of first-person murdering pickings have been thin. I have enjoyed the works of Daniel Suarez, and the … Continue reading

Saturday, April 20, 2019 in Reviews

Software Design Decoded

This is a delightful little book on the perennial topic of how a software architect should think and behave. While that subject seems to attract shorter books, this one is very concise – the main content is just 66 two-page … Continue reading

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 in Agile & Architecture, Reviews

The One Man

Overall this is a cracking WWII thriller, set around the concept of an Allies break in into Auschwitz to rescue a specific prisoner who holds information vital to the Manhattan Project. Andrew Gross has done a great job of capturing … Continue reading

Friday, September 30, 2016 in Reviews

All Tide Up

Like it’s predecessor, Man Up!, this is a knock-about farce based around the capable but somewhat cursed sports agent, Patrick Flynn. This time the key protegé is a nymphomaniac Russian tennis player, but otherwise the cast of gangsters, hit-men (& … Continue reading

Monday, April 25, 2016 in Reviews, Thoughts on the World

The Eerie Silence

This book is a review, at the 50 year point, of the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI), and a consideration of how it may evolve in the future, by the scientist who heads several of its key committees. It’s a … Continue reading

Saturday, April 23, 2016 in Reviews

Influx

Daniel Suarez is billed as the new Michael Crichton. While a few of his novels have come onto my radar, this is the first I have read. Based on this showing there’s a great deal of promise, but the fairly … Continue reading

Friday, April 15, 2016 in Reviews

Mother Tongue

Amusing exploration of the English Languge, but needs a refresh Continue reading

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 in Reviews

Cloud Design Patterns

This is a very useful introduction to key cloud concepts and how common challenges can be met. It’s also a good overview of how Microsoft technologies may fit into these solutions, but avoids becoming so Microsoft-centric that it becomes useless … Continue reading

Saturday, June 13, 2015 in Agile & Architecture, Reviews

Service Design Patterns

One of the most influential architecture books of the early 00s was Enterprise Integration Patterns by Gregor Hohpe and Bobby Woolf. That book not only provided far and away the best set of patterns and supporting explanations for designers of … Continue reading

Friday, June 5, 2015 in Agile & Architecture, Reviews

Next Generation SOA

This book sets out to provide a concise overview of the current state of, and best practices for, Service Oriented Architecture. While it may achieve that for some managerial readers, it is simultaneously too general for those with more background, … Continue reading

Thursday, May 28, 2015 in Agile & Architecture, Reviews

Man Up

This is a comedy thriller very much affecting the style of Carl Hiaasen. Hiaasen’s latest, the hilarious Bad Monkey, uses almost exactly the same Floridan and Bahamian locations, and reading this book almost immediately afterwards did feel a bit like … Continue reading

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 in Reviews

Resistance

This is a fascinating book, although its title and blurb are rather misleading. I was expecting something along the lines of a Welsh Defiance (the story of the Belorussian Otriads which successfully battled the Nazis behind the Eastern Front), or … Continue reading

Saturday, April 26, 2014 in Reviews

World War Z – The Book

“The World At War” with Zombies! Continue reading

Saturday, July 6, 2013 in Reviews, Thoughts on the World

El Dorado Blues

Like the predecessor novel, Wahoo Rhapsody, this is an enjoyable romp which charges on at an impressive pace. As a complete antidote to all the “Templar Treasure” novels of recent years, while this does feature a long-buried fabled treasure, which … Continue reading

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 in Reviews

Occupational Hazards

Rory Stewart is almost unique as a commentator on the post-war development of Iraq and Afghanistan in the last decade. Following an early military career and extensive travel in the Muslim world, he then spent over a year trying to … Continue reading

Saturday, April 27, 2013 in Reviews

How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog

Professor Chad Orzel and his mad mutt Emmy are back, this time to explain the concepts of relativity. I enjoyed enormously the companion book on quantum physics last year, and was very much looking forward to seeing the other great … Continue reading

Friday, April 26, 2013 in Reviews

Responsive Web Design

There are, broadly speaking, two types of technical book: those which attempt to bring large amounts of knowledge comprehensively covering a subject area under a single cover; and those which concentrate on really communicating the core concepts of a topic. … Continue reading

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 in Reviews

Utter Folly

As good as Tom Sharpe at his best Continue reading

Monday, April 15, 2013 in Reviews

I Do Solemnly Swear

Pedestrian Thriller Continue reading

Thursday, October 18, 2012 in Reviews

Seventeen Equations That Changed The World

Inspiring but occasionally challenging look at the maths behind the modern world Continue reading

Sunday, May 27, 2012 in Reviews

The Crusade of Darkness

This is an intense, dark, mediaeval mystery, set in turbulent 13th Century Italy. Giulio Leoni makes Dante Aligheri the central character who travels as Florence’s ambassador to Rome, but who rapidly becomes embroiled in investigating a series of murdered and … Continue reading

Monday, April 30, 2012 in Reviews

Wahoo Rhapsody

Very enjoyable Hiaasen-style romp Continue reading

Saturday, April 28, 2012 in Reviews

How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog

Amusing introduction to a complex field Continue reading

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 in Reviews

Resurrection

A new science fiction tale which bears comparison with the old masters Continue reading

Sunday, April 22, 2012 in Reviews

Deep Six

Rip-roaring yarn, but also an interesting period piece Continue reading

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 in Reviews

The Etymologicon

If you’re a closet etymologist or casual linguicist, like me, then this is the book for you. Mark Forsyth leads a merry ramble through the tangled roots of the English language, identifying verbal histories and connections which are sometimes quite … Continue reading

Saturday, March 17, 2012 in Reviews

The Grand Design

Humour and Philosophy, but Ultimately Unsatisfying Continue reading

Thursday, October 6, 2011 in Reviews

The Templar Salvation

A Rip-Roaring Romp, with Cutting Questions on Christianity Continue reading

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 in Reviews