Date Archives December 2013

2013 reading highlights

I’m always a bit suspicious of those “Best books of 2013” articles. I read lots of them anyway, and carefully note down all the recommendations, but still I can’t help wondering how people can pronounce judgement when they can’t have read more than a tiny fraction of the thousands of books on offer. So these are not the best books… Read More

Interactive apps for books: Q&A with author Vince Kamp

Personally, I like reading traditional, app-free books. I like to immerse myself in a story, taking a break from all the pictures and links and interactivity. But I also recognise that things are changing, and that people have different reading styles. The digital world offers so many new possibilities, from ‘enhanced’ ebooks to interactive apps. It’s important to keep up… Read More

The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan

OK, how good is this opening paragraph? My father still lives back in the road past the weir in the cottage I was reared in. I go there every day to see is he dead and every day he lets me down. He hasn’t yet missed a day of letting me down. He smiles at me; that terrible smile. He… Read More

The limits of automatic recommendation systems

I was reading an article in NewScientist the other day about a system devised by academics at Royal Holloway, University of London, which “could form the basis of a recommendation system that makes suggestions based solely on an automatic assessment of the text.” Unlike Amazon’s recommendations, which look at sales, and those on sites like Goodreads, which look at reader… Read More