Review: The Evernote Bible – Guide to Everything Evernote, Including: Tips, Uses, and Evernote Essentials
A good, short book on getting the best out of Evernote. Concentrates on what you’re trying to achieve, rather than how to do it in the software, which improves the book’s longevity, given the ever-changing nature of Evernote. As a long standing Evernote user, this book still gave me a few tips. I did notice one or two technical inaccuracies while I was reading, however, and the proof reading of the book is not brilliant in places.
This was not one of Peter F Hamilton’s best, though I did still enjoy it. Shame, because some of the themes it addresses (particularly the differences between the generations) are fascinating. What’s nice about this book is that it explores the genesis of some pieces of technology that Hamilton frequently uses in other books, most obviously that of regeneration of the human body. Having read several of his books in which such technology is taken for granted, it was nice to read a story that dealt with its roots. Also nice to see him write a near-future story, and be so on the mark with some of his predictions for future technology. His vision of an “always published, always on, always available” lifestyle has turned out to be pretty accurate – don’t forget this was written over a decade ago, before Facebook, Twitter, and carrying the internet around in your pocket.
Ultimately, what lets this book down most is the sex. There’s too much of it, the story relies on it too much, and it’s between people who are too obviously beautiful (always a flaw of Hamilton’s IMO). If it wasn’t for that, this would be a great book. As it is, it’s just a good book.
A steampunk novel set in 19th Century America, with zombies to boot? That sounds like a riot. And it is! Obviously, with a premise like that, this book was never going to be a challenging read. In fact it’s probably just about in YA territory. But it was a lot of fun to blast through, and even the zombie plotline hangs together better than you might think. So if you’re in the mood for a story with lots of action, incredible machines and over the top characters, you could do worse than this.
I know this book is very highly regarded, and I read Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and thought it was wonderful, but I just couldn’t get into this book. It’s a tale of middle class Americana, much in the style of Ira Levin or even Tom Wolfe, but I just couldn’t buy into the “reportage” style in which the book is written. To me it grated, and I ended up feeling that Eugenides had only used such an unusual writing style to conceal the fact that there wasn’t a lot to the story itself. I’m probably doing the book a great disservice by saying that, but it wasn’t really for me.
I hated the religious content in this book. Really hated it. I thought it was preachy and overbearing and I thought that the whole book was going to be riddled with it. I hated it so much that I nearly gave up on this book; boy am I glad I didn’t. The rest of the book (which you can take to mean “the stuff that everyone knows about the guy on the lifeboat with the tiger”) was riveting reading and well worth the pain of some of the early sections. In fact, they more than made up for it, hence this book only dropping one star (though it did nearly only make 3 stars). You’ll need a strong stomach for some of it, but the rewards are great, as this book is un-put-down-able in parts. I don’t know what the film is like, but I really enjoyed this book. Just be prepared to knuckle down and get through some of the early sections.
Mark Forsyth’s forays into the English language are entertaining, knowledgeable and fascinating. I loved the Etymologicon and I enjoyed the Horologicon almost (but not quite) as much. To get the most out of his books, however, they require repeated reading, at least for me, because otherwise you just forget most of it, and believe me, this is material that you don’t want to forget.
The Horologicon loses one star for me, simply because there was a point towards the end where Forsyth lost my attention somewhat. However, this is probably my own fault, since he does warn us in the introduction that you should treat this work as a reference, to be dipped into, rather than as a book to read from cover to cover. There’s probably a word that describes my decision to ignore his advice and suffer the consequences, though I don’t know (or remember) what it is!
I’ve never read a lot of Sherlock Holmes, and I’d been wanting to read some Sherlock Holmes ever since the BBC’s excellent “Sherlock” reboot, as much as anything to compare Benedict Cumberbatch’s interpretation of the character with Conan Doyle’s original. I found this a great, quick read, and was happy to discover that the engimatic, complex quality of Sherlock Holmes was clearly there from the start. A Study In Scarlet is a lot of fun to read, and an excellent introduction to the Holmes character that I look forward to seeing fleshed out further in later Holmes stories.