Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Book Review: Death's End by Liu Cixin

Death's End, by Liu Cixin and translated by Ken Liu, is the third and final installment of the Remembrance of Earth's Past series. It chronicles the events following The Dark Forest and focuses on humanity's place in the universe. There is a lot of interesting science/science fiction concepts presented in this hard sci-fi novel, which keep you thinking on it for days on end.

Read on for my review, but bear in mind that as the third in the series there may be spoilers for The Three-Body Problem and The Dark Forest.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Book Review: Tau Ceti by Kevin J. Anderson and Steven Savile

Tau Ceti is part of a series of books where a senior author and a junior one are paired together to write a story. In Tau Ceti, we have Kevin J. Anderson and Steven Savile teaming up to tell a "hard" sci-fi story of a generation ship and its journey to the planet around the star Tau Ceti. I don't remember why I bought this, it may even have been free or bundled with something else. It was pretty low on my to-read list since I wasn't particularly interested in it, but my recent analysis of Goodreads reviews indicated I might enjoy it so I decided to give it a try.

See below for my full review.

Data Science: What Should I Read Next?

As I wrote about last week, I’ve spent a bit of time looking over my reviews on Goodreads to explore trends in what authors I read, how fast I read, and how I review books. In today’s post, we’ll tackle something a little more ambitious: given the data I can readily access from the Goodreads API, can I predict how I will rate books I haven’t yet read?

Let’s dive right in.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Data Science: My Goodreads Reviews

Followers of my blog will know that I read and review quite a few of books throughout the year. I track the books I read and those I want to read on Goodreads and recently came across their API. I decided to figure out how to access it and see what sort of information I could glean from my Goodreads reading history. This particular post explores trends in my reading and reviewing habits, as well as looking at what authors I've read. Next week’s post will discuss my attempt to create a model to predict the reviews I give a particular book. With that model in hand, I can decide what books to read based on my own interests.

Let’s jump right in.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Book Review: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin is the 2016 Hugo Award winning novel. I've read many of Jemisin's work and have enjoyed them greatly, but between life and travels had missed this one. I saw her promoting its sequel, The Obelisk Gate, on twitter; though, so when The Fifth Season won the Hugo, I knew I had to check it out. And I was not disappointed: this is certainly one of the best books I've read this year and certainly one of Jemisin's best.

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall; 
Death is the fifth, and master of all.

See below for my full review. As always, I aim to be mostly spoiler-free.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Book Review: His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik

I've had His Majesty's Dragon, the first of the Temeraire series, by Naomi Novik on my to-read list for quite some time. Having dragons in the Napoleonic wars sounded like an excellent plot point: fantasy combined with history. After being reminded about the series by a colleague at work, I decided to go ahead and read it and find out what it was all about.

Read on for my full review.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Book Review: Hyperion by Dan Simmons

Hyperion by Dan Simmons is a Hugo Award-winning novel that has been on my radar for quite some time. It was described to me as Geoffery Chaucer's Cantenbury Tales in Space and it certainly has similar elements to it. The story revolves around a band of 7 pilgrims as they travel on the world of Hyperion in the brink of war. Each has their own personal motives and one of them is a traitor, but all were selected for this special pilgrimage. They resort to telling their stories to each other to figure out why they are here and what makes them, and Hyperion, special.

Read on for my full review.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Data Science: Republican & Democratic Conventions

In the past few weeks, the two major political parties in the United States of America held their national conventions. While I couldn't listen to all the speeches, I followed the news and paid attention to the overall scene. After they were done, I decided to grab the speeches of the major speakers and see if I could find any obvious trends in their word choices, similar to what I did with my Twitter project. In this blog post, I'll discuss what I can see in the data. You can find my data and all my scripts at this GitHub repo.