May 28 2010

List Too Long For A Tweet

Category: BooksChrisM @ 7:58 pm

Unless you are @janeslee, or have a particular interest in which books I’ve read in the last three or so weeks, you can probably safely ignore this post. If you are janeslee, do I know you in real life?
I just noticed that you were in Wales, and despite my current location being Astana, Kazakhstan, we are based in Swansea when we are back in Britain.
Anyway, as you may guessed, my answer to your query of “what you reading that’s keeping you intrigued?” wouldn’t fit within 140 characters, so I’m writing this here and will reply to your tweet with a link to this post.

John Birmingham – Final Impact
Jasper Fforde – Something Rotten
David Gerrold – The Man Who Folded Himself
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky – Destination: Amaltheia
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky – The Final Circle of Paradise
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky – Prisoners of Power
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky – Roadside Picnic
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky – The Time Wanderers
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky – Poor Cruel Folk
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky – Monday Begins On Saturday
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky – The Gigantic Fluctuation
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky – Spontaneous Reflex
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky – Probationers
Harry Turtledove – The Man With The Iron Heart

I haven’t found a very well stocked English book shop here in Kazakhstan suddenly, these were all read on my MP4 player than can read plain TXT files. (Obviously I own all these books in paper form back in the UK, and wouldn’t dream of downloading e-books otherwise… /end-arse-covering)

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Apr 20 2008

Books Than Will Kill Your Brain

Category: Books,In The MediaChrisM @ 1:03 pm

Reading does, in general, expand your mind, help you to think in new directions, and even relax you after a stressful day.
Cracked has listed five books that maybe should not have ever made it past their draft version, and will most probably not push your brain to a higher plane of consciousness…
In case you need tempting to click on over to the article, here is the list of titles described…

    Much Ado About Nothing: The Restored Klingon Text
    Winning Lotto/Lottery for Everyday Players, 3rd edition(!)
    How to Solve Sudoku: A Step-by-Step Guide (52 Brilliant Ideas)
    Supercharging Quantum-Touch
    More Joy … : An Advanced Guide to Solo Sex

With such quality titles, how can you not go and read more about them?

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Mar 19 2008

RIP Arthur C Clarke

Category: BooksChrisM @ 5:37 am

Not much to add, I know little about the man’s private life, but enjoyed many of his books. Thanks for all your work.


Mar 14 2008

Eating Mole’s Behinds?

Category: Books,In The MediaChrisM @ 8:53 pm

One of my favourite author, Terry Pratchett has said “”Personally, I’d eat the arse out of a dead mole…” Not a strange attempt at grabbing publicity for his books, but rather a (humorous) reference to the lengths he’d go to, to try and find a cure for Alzheimer’s. Although relatively young (for such a neurone-wasting type of disease) to have been struck down, he hasn’t shied away from the media, nor withdrawn into self pity, he hopes to bring further press to the cause. He has also just pledged close to a million dollars (£494,000) to the Alzheimer’s Research Trust. To read some more on this, head on over to this article.

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Feb 20 2008


Category: Books,Windows MobileChrisM @ 9:21 pm

A fellow forum member over at XDA Developers has been busy writing a program to automatically recognise bar codes from the built in cameras available in some PDAs. The potential uses are only limited by your own imagination, I’m considering seeing how difficult it would be to export the ISBN numbers from my books back home into a database. The reason? I can’t remember the titles of some of the books from my favourite authors, and I don’t want to end up with two of one title the next time I order one online. I could just write them down I suppose, but wheres the challenge in that 😉

Remind me to dig out the link to the software later…

Feb 13 2008

Sparse Posting

Category: Amsterdam,Books,Eating Out,Friends,Personal,WordPressChrisM @ 9:44 am

Quick explanation for those of you who thought I had given up on posting here, or had no internet access – I am currently still deep in the process of setting up my other 18 sites. They were originally created as static (well almost, too long a story to recount here) pages, and whenever I needed to make amendments, it tended to take a long time. Deciding to swap hosts, I took the opportunity to also use WordPress as a CMS system for these sites. This has meant a fair amount of preparatory work; I am now manually importing each old article into individual blog posts, tidying up the strange snippets of code that snuck in here and there, and then finally tweaking the theme for each to get what I need. I’ve completed this process on about 1/3 of the sites, however in terms of work, I am only 1/5 done at max – some of the sites only have 50 or so articles to import, whilst the ones left are closer to 200 🙁
Anyway, once this process is complete, I’m hoping to start earning some money from them again (the reason they were originally created), and any future amendments will be a lot easier to carry out, be it on an individual page, or site-wide. Until then, this blog will continue to be updated less frequently. Sorry.
I still have a large back log of posts to write here, ranging from the ‘missing’ book reviews, last year’s Amsterdam trip reports, and a lot of Eating Out posts, since meeting Oz Dave, Chris2 and Eric.
Finally, although not as concrete as I originally hoped, a trip to Amsterdam and short time in Britain is still a possibility around my birthday (4/20 for any American schmokers reading this 🙂 20th April for anyone else). Since the ACD (Amsterdam Coffeeshop Directory) forums are still down, and is getting ever more full of trolls, I decided to source a new site for reliable information…
Virtual 'Dam website and forums - Everything Amsterdam, virtually
Virtual ‘Dam is looking good so far 🙂 (Nope, not another sponsored post, just happy to recommend the site to others interested in all things related to Amsterdam.)

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Feb 06 2008

Plasma Mountains

Category: BooksChrisM @ 4:18 pm

A recent idea I had for a science fiction book…
Inhabitants on a planet, completely unlike our own. Not being carbon or even silicon based, they view energy in a much closer manner to the way we ourselves conventionally see matter, with their local geography mainly consisting of huge electric lakes and plasma mountains.
OK, so perhaps I should stick to short blog posts, and skip out on fiction writing?


Oct 25 2007

Books Finished – Reviews To Catch Up Soon

Category: BooksChrisM @ 6:20 pm

I have finally finished the collection of e-books stored on my PDA. However, I know that the book reviews here stalled a long time ago now. I hope to return to the book reviews a little later, as well finding some new books to read. The Terry Goodkind ‘Sword of Truth’ series is one I would like to continue reading, see here for my Wizard’s First Rule review. One area described within the books is the garden of life, where the evil Darken Rahl carried out his dark magic. The scenes involving the young boy were mildly disturbing, but most of the rest of the book was well worth reading.

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Sep 15 2007

What If…

Category: Books,Kazakhstan,PersonalChrisM @ 9:23 am

Things had happened a little differently in Russia, around 1917? Many historians have debated as to the exact order of events around the time of the revolution, and for a long time some people claimed they were the sole survivors of the Tsar’s family.
We now know that no one survived the assassinations, however when I came across a fellow blogger who was writing short stories, I suggested alternative history as a genre, and that the main character be called Ekzhol. I have no idea if that name is viable, or even if it could mean something rude, so my apologies to anyone who either giggles or seems embarrassed by it.
Anyway, Jenn Scott has now finished the story and published it on her Before I Am Famous blog. Do check out her writings, and in case you come across this post after her story has slipped from the front page, you can access the post directly here – Preservation.
My thanks to her for taking the time to do the research and write the story, I hope my readers will consider adding her blog to their list of sites they regularly check 🙂

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Aug 12 2007

FINALLY Finished The Recategorization

Category: Books,Personal,Windows Mobile,WordPressChrisM @ 3:21 am

It took a while, but all 1100 (or near enough) posts on this blog have now had new (mostly additional) categories assigned to them, where appropriate. If you check the category list on the left hand side, you will see the new additions. Although I could have added more, I wanted to try and keep to some sort of order, and I did not want a large collection of categories with only one or two posts. There are of course some exceptions, but mainly in areas that I intend to blog on more in the future.
Speaking of future posts, I really need to finish off the series of book reviews, as I only have another 3 or 4 left to read on my PDA. That said, I do have a few more lying around on one of the hard drives somewhere, and Oleg kindly put me in touch with a couple of sites that should be able to provide a few more. So, as we have just passed the 20,000 visits, in a little over a year, many thanks to those of you who visit. For new comers, please do check through the older posts when you get a chance, and feel free to leave comments if you have something to add or ask…


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