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  1. Today
  2. Site "not secure"

    Mine is showing this too. I use Google Chrome. It comes up in the address bar.
  3. What makes you think I'd have a clue about Bond's sugar predilection?
  4. All the Way From America ~ Joan Armatrading We were going to our first concert in ages last week ... Elton John. Cancelled
  5. Yesterday
  6. 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).
  7. 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!)
  8. 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..?
  9. 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!
  10. I'm part way through another book (although seriously tempted to give up on it) so I haven't started yet. Thoughts so far??
  11. 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
  12. Last week
  13. Stonking read - really hope you enjoy this (although 'enjoy' is probably the wrong word!).
  14. 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.
  15. 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...
  16. I went to get Ben Aaronovitch's new Peter Grant book, False Value, today and was tempted by the sale shelf, so I also ended up getting The Five by Hallie Rubenhold and Monstrous Little Voices: New Tales from Shakespeare's Fantasy World. And now I think I should start reviewing some of the books I've already read! Help the Witch by Tom Cox 3.5/5 - I really liked it. This book was completely different to what I expected. I imagined it would be a bit like Zoe Gilbert's Folk, but perhaps a bit darker (not that Folk isn't already pretty dark...) and less magical. I feel like varied isn't a strong enough word for the sheer range of subjects and styles it actually covers, but the only other word I can think of is mad, so lets stick with varied... There are haunted houses and giant, vengeful hares (those were more along the lines I expected), but there are also robots you can step inside and talking tomatoes. Cox clearly has a quirky and vivid imagination, and it was fun going on this 'varied' journey through generally unconnected stories. There was one story I didn't particularly like, which is mainly why I didn't give the book 4 stars. 'Speed Awareness' came after a part of the book I thought was really good, where you get to piece together a story through various listings in a newspaper, so maybe that made it seem more disappointing, but it really just felt didactic and predictable to me, to the point of being quite cheesy. It sticks out like a sore thumb from the rest of the book, which is genuinely original and clever. I can only imagine that maybe the author feels strongly about traffic accidents caused by speeding, which is fair, but it just seemed odd in the context of the book. An overall good and very interesting collection though, which I'd be happy to recommend. Soot by Andrew Martin 2/5 - It was ok The idea behind Soot sounds great. We basically begin in 1799 with a man who's in debtor's prison. A mysterious benefactor pays half his debt and buys him a month of freedom, on the condition that in that time he must find the killer of a murdered artist. The start is promising. We get introduced to some interesting and shady characters, learn a bit more about the murder and how our protagonist is going to trace potential suspects. I was quite hooked at this point, gathering clues as each suspect comes to light, but then it all went a bit downhill... I think part of the problem was that nobody really seems to care about the murder. There's really no urgency or emotion associated with it. The ending was poorly tied together and seems like the author intended there to be a second book, although I don't think there is one. I had fun reading this for maybe 80% of the book, but it fell flat by the end, so for that reason I would not recommend it.
  17. Got mine today! Have you tried the glow in the dark front cover out yet? It’s quite spooky!
  18. Its been a while since I've read a book. I miss the excitement of buying and reading books. I'm going to start reading again this year with this challenge. I guess Im going to begin with "A book written by a female author" with Wendelin van Draanen's Flipped. Thanks for the challenge!
  19. Madeleine's Book Log - ongoing

    "Dear Mrs Bird" by A J Pearce - the main character of this book, despite the title, is actually Emmeline (Emmy) Lane - it's 1941 and WW2 is devastating London, but Emmy wants to be a Lady War Correspondent, and when she gets a job at what she thinks is one of the London newspapers, she's thrilled. But when she reports for work she finds that she will in fact be working on a magazine, "Woman's Friend", answering readers' problems, which is where Mrs Bird comes in. She is Emmy, and her colleague Kathleen's, terrifying boss and to say she rules with a rod of iron is an understatement. She also vets readers' letters and won't answer anything even mildly salacious eg anything to do with Man Trouble and romance in general. But Emmy, a kind soul, feels sorry for many of the readers, and finds even more to empathise with when she is dumped by her fiancé who promptly marries someone else. So she starts replying personally to those readers who have enclosed an address and before long she occasionally slips a reply into the magazine, having been reassured that Mrs Bird never reads her own column. But discovery is of course inevitable, and coming after a personal tragedy, Emmy finds herself bereft on all fronts. However she is nothing if not resilient, and for me this was when the book really took off, as she tried to pick up the pieces of both her life and career. Overall this was an enjoyable book, the first half is very breezy but it does become darker as the war inevitably takes it's toll when it comes very close to home for Emmy and her friends. Emmy is a great character, well meaning and kind (a bit like Jane Austen's Emma but not so scheming, I wonder if the choice of a similar name is coincidental?) but I found Mrs Bird to be something of a cliche and a bit two dimensional, she's the epitome of the classic English lady dragon! But a nice read, well-written and very evocative of the war-time spirit. 8/10
  20. Where do you read?

    I used to read books on our local coffeeshops but I stopped since 2017 since most customers are getting loud so it ruins the mood and experience for me. Can't find a new place to read especially on weekends so I just stayed at home most of the time even though there's too many distractions and temptations to procrastinate my reading.
  21. What Are You Watching Now? - 2020

    Currently resting after days of garage work so I'm currently trying to binge-watch The Good Place from Season 1 to Season 4.
  22. Got it! (But I've been at a beer tasting tonight and I'm not going to start it now!) Nothing planned for tomorrow night, however...
  23. The Exphoria Code by Antony Johnston (3/5) Another one of my charity shop finds, selected because of the blub on the back. Our main character Brigitte Sharp is an M16 computer hacker who is slowly getting back to normal after a field operation goes wrong. In her own opinion she isn't a 'Jane Bond' and she is far more comfortable behind a computer hunting the bad guys at distance. She is a bit of a loner and spends a lot of her time on the internet and in particular on message boards dedicated to the goth scene. She becomes intrigued by some ASCII art published in an obscure french language goth group which leads to a mole in the Exphoria project. This was a pretty entertaining read but nothing ground breaking. I can't help but feel a bit tired of the amount of computer hackers in a similar mould as Lizbeth Salander appear in books these days. Bridge, as she likes to be known, works for the government instead of being a complete lone wolf but a lot of the other typical characterisations are there. I sussed out who the mole was very quickly but I am unsure if this was intentionally easy to demonstrate how inexperienced Bridge is in the field with real people. Overall it was a good book and I am a little disappointed there isn't a next one in the series yet.
  24. Coffee or Tea?

    I love coffee.
  25. Your Favorite Ice Cream Flavor

    I'll never get tired of Salted Caramel Flavor.
  26. No joy, will have to wait until tomorrow!
  27. There was a man and he had eight sons. Apart from that, the was nothing more than a comma on the page of History. Sourcery by Terry Pratchett
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