Richard P. Feynman – Surely You’re Joking Mr.Feynman (Adventures of a Curious Character)

BRIEF: A collection of hilarious and somewhat unbelievable stories and anecdotes from the Nobel Prize Winning Physicist and all round mischievous character – Richard Feynman.
CONS: The stories were compiled from tapes of conversations between Feynman and his friend Ralph Leighton and were directly transferred to paper, this unfortunately means there is literally no timeline of what’s going on, the only guide you have is the war and the name of his wife at the time! I also found myself very confused by some of the more intellectual tales of experiments and discovery, he was a true genius and I won’t even try to pretend I understood any of the physicsy stuff that was mentioned.
PROS: Richard P. Feynman, no word of a lie, was an absolute nutter. His stories have left me in awe at how anyone can lead such a wonderfully adventurous life, get themselves into so much trouble and mischief and still win a Nobel Prize. Every single story in the book only makes him more human. He was truly extraordinary! Ordinary like everyone else in the way that we spend our life on an emotional rollercoaster of love, laughter and tears. But that extra bit is the special bit! He had unbelievable drive and curiosity which helped him achieve so many wonderful things in his lifetime! If you’re looking for a book to inspire you to tackle the world head on and have the time of your life doing it, this is the book for you!!
RATING: 8/10


Stephen Hawking (with Leonard Mlodinow) – A Briefer History of Time

TIME TAKEN TO READ: 3 days (my attention span isn’t great)
BRIEF: The classic Science book [A Brief History of Time] has been condensed in to an easier more accessible version of its self. It is a book that explores the state of space-time, time travel, string theory and how we can unify the laws of physics that we have already defined.
CONS: This is a hard read guys, be warned. Not because it isn’t interesting, but it really does require all your best attention. I would also like to warn anyone that whilst the blurb says that it can ‘guide non-scientists’, I only stopped studying physics and maths 2 years ago and I will have to read this at least twice to be able to come to terms with the sheer amount of mind boggling stuff! I would definitely recommend gettin’ yer thinkin cap on for this one.
PROS: I absolutely adore Physics and this book has sparked my thirst for knowledge all over again. There are lots of analogies and images throughout the book that actually do a brilliant job in simplifying some of the concepts that are mentioned. And despite me saying it is a hard read, it is also exceptionally well written. I can’t actually sing anything but praise for the book itself.
RATING: 8.5/10

Val McDermid – Splinter the Silence

BRIEF: Mysterious suicides of outspoken feminists spark the interests of a super duper clever clinical psychologist (Tony) and his recently retired inspector pal (Carol)
CONS: I have no idea what on earth Carol or Tony look like or how old they are, I’d like to think it’s because I haven’t read any other books of the series but it would’ve been nice to know at least a couple of details. I also found the ending of the story a bit too rushed and wishy washy. A crummy ending to a good story. Bummer.
PROS: It’s set up in’t North with place names that I know very well (apart from Bradfield, where the bloody ‘ell is Bradfield?!) it’s an easy read but it manages well in tackling issues of cyber-bullying and online trolls especially related to feminism. There are also some really loveable characters in the story that I became quite invested in, and if these are a feature of other McDermid books, I will definitely read another!
RATING: 7/10

David Lagercrantz – The Girl in the Spider’s Web

BRIEF: David Lagercrantz continues the legacy of Stieg Larsson’s characters: Lisbeth Salander and Michael Blomkvist. The new book sees Salander and Blomkvist reunited in a tale of gang warfare and industrial espionage.
CONS: For anyone who has read Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series you will know how much a of a maniac Salander is, unfortunately or maybe fortunately for some, the character is somewhat watered down in Lagercrantz’s sequel. I was hoping more of the same anger and rage that makes the character so enticing in the original stories, but alas I didn’t get it. I also felt like you really needed to have your head screwed on about industrial espionage before reading it, it took me a good few chapters (and a BBC World News special report) to realise that stealing industry secrets is a BIG deal in the world today and big companies don’t like to share. How selfish. Unfortunately, I also got absolutely no closure from the end of the book, I hope this is because there’s scope to continue Blomkvist and Salander’s antics, but it felt like a shoddy ending to me.
PROS: Right at the beginning, there is a very handy reminder of all the characters that are important in the Millennium universe. For people like me who read the original series over 5 years ago. This was a handy reminder of the nutcases you might have forgotten about. I also really enjoyed the storyline! Even though it took me a while to realise the gravity of the whole industrial espionage thing, from that point on I was totally engrossed and couldn’t put the book down. Like every good crime novel should do, it had my jaw down by my waistline at least 3 times. All in all, I absolutely loved it. But maybe that’s because I was totally obsessed by Salander in the first place.
RATING: 8/10