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  1. Yesterday
  2. Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

    Yep I read they were developing it for TV.
  3. City of Halves by Lucy Inglis

    London. Girls are disappearing. They've all got one thing in common; they just don't know it yet \. Sixteen-year-old Lily was meant to be next, but she's saved by a stranger: a half-human boy with gold-flecked eyes. Regan is from an unseen world hidden within our own, where legendary creatures hide in plain sight. But now both worlds are under threat, and Lily and Regan must race to find the girls, and save their divided city. This is not so much a review, but some of my thoughts. Overall, I really enjoyed this - Regan could have become rather stereotypical, especially to someone like me who's a bit cynical about romance and male characters in YA, but he was written at just the right level.. ie I ended up with a bit of a crush on him myself, but he wasn't annoying! ;-) I love the London which Lucy has developed, there were some great ideas and creatures, and having them set in a city I know is always a bonus. However, I did feel that all of these ideas and creatures were rushed, and not developed to their full potential. The story also kicked in rather quickly, I would have liked to have seen a slower build up, with some mystery around Regan and his world. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I realised that I actually wanted a trilogy or series, which is quite unusual for me. I usually like to see everything rounded up in one book, but in this case, I think Lucy had so much more to share, that I wanted it spread out and developed more. There were things I wasn't sure about in the book, but also aspects which I loved, but I don't want to give anything away. If anyone else has read this, I'd love to have a spoiler-tagged discussion. Overall, I would recommend it, especially to those who like the idea of an other London lurking in the shadows, and those who like a fast paced read. I have Crow Mountain by the same author, which I will certainly pick up, and I'm also tempted by her Georgian History book. Please let me know if you read it, I'd love to know your thoughts.
  4. Last week
  5. Yes, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost own the production company that are working on it, if memory serves!
  6. Willoyd's Reading 2020

    Life Without Diabetes by Roy Taylor *** I've been getting a bit bogged down with my reading, as trying to tackle The Luminaries for one of my book groups has coincided with my annual report writing binge on local birds, which means the book has stuttered somewhat. Have finished the report now (thank goodness!), but found this interesting looking quick read in the local bookshop, so read that this weekend - iinteresting to me at least as having been found to be prediabetic, I've been reading up on ways of tackling it to ensure it doesn't go any further. Anyway, the first few chapters on the research the author and his team have carried out at Newcastle University was as interesting as expected, both confirming some of my reading and challenging other parts of it. Unfortunately, the second half, when he talks about how to implement the results (basically to lose weight, whatever weight you were at to start with) was horribly wishy-washy and vague - and certainly no help for those who struggle to keep weight off once lost. So, 4 stars for the first 6-7 chapters, and 2 for the rest, averaging out at 3. Definitely worth reading though if this is a topic you need or want to read about - it's important stuff (and by odd coincidence, it's cropped up in the papers today). Am going to move on to Emma for now. We went to see the film last week, and both loved it, and want to reread the book asap, not least because a little uncertain in some places as to how book and film tie in, and want to review whilst fresh in the mind. Coincidentally, the film was scripted by Eleanor Catton....the author of The Luminaries. So at least I'm sort of sticking with the author! Other book acquisitions: False Value by Ben Aaronovitch The Beast, The Emperori and The Milkman by Harry Pearson Ground Work by Tim Dee Orison for a Curlew by Horatio Clare Belonging; the Story of the Jews 1492-1900 by Simon Schama (Kindle deal) The Library Book by Susan Orlean (Kindle deal)
  7. Funny story & Joke Corner

    Someone we know has been possessed by an owl.
  8. What's the weather like?

    And another very windy, and quite wet weekend, not quite so cold though.
  9. Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

    Apparently the series is being adapted for TV.
  10. A Book Blog 2020 by Books do Furnish a Room

    The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson This is an account of the 1854 cholera epidemic in London and of the work of John Snow who through his scientific investigations managed to establish that cholera was waterborne and that the source of this outbreak was the Broad Street pump. This was going against the scientific opinion of the time a miasmic theory which argued that air, small and conditions were responsible. The book covers a variety of areas: history, biography, detective work, epidemiology and scientific investigation. Johnson uses a Victorian novelist’s trick and takes a chapter to introduce each player. The first chapter introduces the city of London and then the main players, John Snow, Rev Henry Whitehead, Edwin Chadwick and William Farr. The account of Snow’s investigations is fascinating. The descriptions of the conditions in London before the sewer system was built was pretty stomach churning. I never realised that most basements/cellars were used as cesspits. Also the descriptions of the myriad citizens who in varying ways made a living out of the waste has its own fascination. It’s a great story and I knew a bit about Snow, but I was less aware of the role of Whitehead. He was working as a vicar in the area and knew and visited many of those who died. He did a good deal of the detective work that supported Snow’s thinking. Snow, of course, was already known for his work on chloroform and anaesthesia and would have had a place in the history of medicine just for that. Johnson’s introduction to the book is a good summation: “This is a story with four protagonists: a deadly bacterium, a vast city, and two gifted but very different men. One dark week a hundred fifty years ago, in the midst of great terror and human suffering, their lives collided on London’s Broad Street, on the western edge of Soho. This book is an attempt to tell the story in a way that does justice to the multiple scales of existence that helped bring it about: from the invisible kingdom of microscopic bacteria, to the tragedy and courage and camaraderie of individual lives, to the cultural realm of ideas and ideologies, all the way up to the sprawling metropolis of London itself. It’s the story of a map that lies at the intersection of all those different vectors, a map created to help make sense of an experience that defied human understanding.” The book is somewhat repetitive at times: and then there is the epilogue, which leaves the subject of the book and is much more speculative. Johnson looks at increasing urbanization, arguing we are becoming a city planet and looking at what might put this at risk. He focuses on various types of terrorism, individual with weapons and explosives, portable nukes, chemical and biological. Here Johnson is in a more reflective mode, but it is very speculative and not really on the mark with too much painting terrorists as pantomime villains and not enough analysis. Skip the last chapter. 6 and a half out of 10 Starting Exquisite Cadavers by Meena Kandasamy
  11. I finished The Case of the Gilded Fly, and didn't think too much of it (dull plot, odd motives, peculiar character interactions, and some misogyny to top it off). As it was the first in a series, I still might try another at some point, just to see if the author's style improves. I'm about to start Harold Lloyd: The Man on the Clock by Tom Dardis, which is a biography of the silent film star.
  12. Site "not secure"

    It's because if you have google chrome version 68 or later it shows a 'not secure' warning when the site doesn't have an ssl certificate. Not having the certificate means information that goes through this site isn't encrypted, so it wouldn't be safe to share card details here, for example, because it's less difficult for someone to access information shared through the site. The software we use does have it's own security to keep your accounts safe and, to the best of my knowledge, that includes the passwords you might se for your account (although I'm happy to look further into how they secure that information). An ssl certificate would cost an extra £60 a year, on top of the software, hosting and domain renewal costs, and I honestly just can't afford to do that right now.
  13. Site "not secure"

    Yes, it's showing in the address bar at the top. Left click on it and it tells you that the site is vulnerable to hacking. I use Opera.
  14. Site "not secure"

    Mine is showing this too. I use Google Chrome. It comes up in the address bar.
  15. What makes you think I'd have a clue about Bond's sugar predilection?
  16. All the Way From America ~ Joan Armatrading We were going to our first concert in ages last week ... Elton John. Cancelled
  17. Site "not secure"

    Not seeing this myself; what browser do you use? And where is the message coming from? (the browser or your AV software).
  18. Having spent a good part of the afternoon reading I'm now about a third of the way through; good so far, but I do have a bit of a bugbear with it (will explain when I have finished it!)
  19. Site "not secure"

    I've noticed for a while now that this website has been displaying as "not secure", i.e. passwords, sensitive info, etc., could be easily stolen by hackers. Is this something that will be addressed at some point? Hopefully members here are not using the same password across multiple sites, otherwise... uh oh..?
  20. Where do you read?

    I've seen people reading in my local Costa but I have no idea how they concentrate with all the noise and moving around! I find it much harder to read in public spaces, even in the library, small noises distract me much more than they would at home. I would say my favourite place to read is in bed, but I love being able to read outside when the weather's nice too. I've got a while to wait before I can do that again though... at the moment my book would probably blow away!
  21. I'm part way through another book (although seriously tempted to give up on it) so I haven't started yet. Thoughts so far??
  22. A Book Blog 2020 by Books do Furnish a Room

    Comyns is well worth a try Willoyd But You Did Not Come Back by Marceline Loridan-Ivens This is a brief novella written in the form of a letter written by Loridan-Ivens to her father. Loridan-Ivens is a French Jew and in 1944 when she was fifteen she was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau with her father. She returned from the camps, he did not: hence the title. As you would imagine the descriptions of the camps are difficult to read. This describes the arrival of a group of Hungarians: “They undressed them, sent them to the gas chamber – the children, babies and old people first, as usual” The very ordinariness of the phrase is what is chilling, it becomes normal. Loridan-Ivens takes her father through her life, in the camps and afterwards. One thing she does return to again and again is that whilst she was in the camp her father did manage to send her a note starting, “to my darling little girl”. However, apart from that one phrase she cannot remember the rest of the note and cannot understand why. The description of the difficulties of life after the camps is telling, as is the guilt of those who were not sent to the camps (her brother and sister who escaped the camps, both committed suicide). Loridan-Ivens vividly describes her struggle to make any sense of her life: “Why was I incapable of living once I’d returned to the world? It was like a blinding light after months in the darkness. It was too intense, people wanted everything to seem like a fresh start, they wanted to tear my memories from me; they thought they were being rational, in harmony with passing time, the wheel that turns, but they were mad, and not just the Jews — everyone! The war was over, but it was eating all of us up inside.” With her second husband Joris Ivens, she made documentaries looking at issues of oppression. As she writes this she is in her late eighties and laments the rise of Anti-Semitism again and in particular in France. Her film work is significant and especially “A Little Birch Tree Meadow” from 1973 which follows the life of a survivor of Birkenau. She was very much involved in the intellectual ferment of the left bank in Paris in the 50s and 60s and in the struggle for Algerian independence. A brief and powerful account of one survivor of the Holocaust with a passionate defence of humanistic values. 8 and a half out of 10 Starting Late Victorian Holocausts by Mike Davis
  23. Stonking read - really hope you enjoy this (although 'enjoy' is probably the wrong word!).
  24. The Last Film You Saw - 2020

    Went to see Emma with OH today. It's had mixed reviews, but we loved it. It's not classical, but there's some real bite, and love the somewhat irreverent approach. Anya Taylor-Joy is excellent, as are most of the women (although feel Jane Fairfax was a bit underused). Men are fine, but several didn't quite fit the parts for me, especially Johnny Flynn, who played it well but was simply too young. Loved Bill Nighy as Mr Woodhouse though.Sets, costumes etc were cracking (OH, a bit of a specialist, commented that for once the sewing looked genuinely hand-done). Not perfect, but I'd go and see it again tomorrow.
  25. Nothing planned, but stuff happened (i.e.more beer). Have read the first chapter or so, however! I've taken the dust jacket off my copy so I can read it without fear of damaging it. It is one of the glow in the dark versions, however, so I expect at some point I will be sitting in the dark marking "Oooo" noises. That does happen fairly regularly, however...
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