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Brian.

Pagemaster Brian
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About Brian.

  • Rank
    This too shall pass
  • Birthday 11/24/1980

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  • Reading now?
    A book
  • Location:
    SE England

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  1. Two new books for me to start today. First is Start Where You Are by Pema Chodron, a spiritual/buddhist book about accepting what cannot be control and living in the present. Second, a classic, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen which I haven't read before.
  2. Most of it also seems to be available in youTube but the quality looks quite low so I suspect it has been ported from VHS.
  3. Next up for me is another Willoughby Book Club read, What We Owe by Golnaz Hashemzadeh Bonde.
  4. The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday (2/5) Ryan Holiday is marketer, entrepreneur, and writer who likes to talk and write about Stoicism and what benefits it can have in the modern world. I've seen a few of his YouTube videos and I have an interest in Stoicism so I have bought a few of his books. I picked this up yesterday afternoon as I was feeling a bit bored and fancied something different. By early evening I had finished the book and while that is usually a good sign, in this case it is not. The book isn't bad, there just isn't much substance to it and could easily have fitted into an essay. The core message is good but at times it is poorly argued. Holiday uses a lot of examples from history and while the American ones are not particularly familiar to me a few of the European ones are. Viktor Frankl is a great example of Stoicism but Margaret Thatcher and Erwin Rommel I would arge are not. In the end this was a big disappointment, I had expected more and I wonder if this is another case of an 'internet blogger' expanding a little on their blog posts and turning it into a book.
  5. I had hoped to update this weekly, slipped a little bit last week as I didn't get as much reading in as I hoped. In Search of the Dark Ages by Michael Wood (4/5) A side effect of watching the TV series Vikings is that I became aware how little I knew about British history, expecially the early leaders and their provenance. I saw this book online and thought it looked like a good primer on the dark ages so picked it up. What I wasn't aware of at the time is that it was written as an accompaniment to a BBC TV series from the late 70's, early 80's. The people the book picks out to explore are Boadicea, King Arthur, Sutton-Hoo man, Offa, Alfred the Great, Athelstan, Eric Bloodaxe, Ethelred the Unready, and William the Conqueror. All of these are covered in an introductory level of detail and provides good information backed up with sources. The writing is engaging and I found this to be a great toe dip into the huge subject of the dark ages. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (5/5) After decades of reading this book is has final achieved something that no other book has. It made me cry. On the surface this is a very simple tale about a grumpy old man called Ove who is the local busybody and thinks everyone else is an idiot. We learn that he lives alone after the death of his wife and decides in a rather matter of fact way that he should kill himself. This isn't done in a depressing way because apart from anger Ove doesn't really do emotions. Not wanting to cause any inconvenience he cleans the house and leaves instructions for what to do after his death. I don't want to write anything else for fear of spoiling it but the book was a solid 4/5 for me until the final chapter when it had me in tears and bumped itself up to a 5/5.
  6. Willoyd's Reading 2020

    Checked checked this out and it looks really good, I'll have to get a copy for myself.
  7. Shelving books

    I think I'm the only person who can make sense of my shelves. I have a section of fine press books and those I want to keep but the rest are kind of all over the place but it makes odd sense to me. Nothing is in genre order or alphabetical but they are arranged roughly by book height as I like the maching aesthetic.
  8. Winter Supporter Giveaway

    Awesome, my 2 favourite things, books and tea
  9. Willoyd's Reading 2020

    Good luck with your reading year. It's good to see someone else on here reading as much non fiction as I do.
  10. Happy reading for 2020 Gaia.
  11. Read-a-thon 2020

    Definitely abandon books you don’t like, life is too short. I generally give a book 50-100 pages and if I still hate it, it gets DNF’d. My dark ages book is a much slower read as it’s packed with information so as a result I read about 100 pages yesterday.
  12. I've had a very strong start to the year and read 3 books already, I don't think I've ever started a year strongly before. One of the threee is an audiobook as I have decided to make more of an effort to listen to audiobooks this year. Some people don't think audiobooks count but I don't subcribe to that way of thinking. An Inconvenient Death by Miles Goslett (3/5) A non-fiction book investigating the death of Dr David Kelly shortly after he inadvertently went head-to-head with the UK government's claims that Iraq could launch a biological or chemical weapon within 45 minutes. Kelly was probably the foremost expert in the UK when it came to biological weapons and was regularly engaged in weapons inspections in Iraq. An off the record discussion he had with a journalist was quoted in an article and lead to him being called before a select committee hearing and being questioned extensively. Goslett covers this apsect of the story in the first parts of the book but then goes into great detail about inconsistencies and suspicious things surrounding his suicide.I generally don't go in for conspiracy theories but a decent sized group of highly qualified doctors have questioned some of the findings and these questions have never been properly answered. Their doubts sound perfectly reasonable and really did make me think that there is something suspicious about the whole affair. I found the book interesting enough but it did get a bit repetitive after a while. Another issue I had with it is that Goslett seems to really go after inconsistencies in accounts given by Dr Kelly's wife. I understand bringing them up once but he really takes aim at her and almost tries to imply she may have had something to do with his death which is in bad taste at best. Witness accounts are notoriously unreliable, especially when there is a strong emotional connection. Red Dwarf Omnibus by Grant Naylor (5/5) This was an audiobook 'read' and I have read both Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers and Better Than Life before as stand alone books. This audiobook mashes both those books together and also some other parts from the TV show into one big story covering the Red Dwarf world. It is narrated by Chris Barrie who is frankly superb and I listened to this over the course of 2 nights while at work. I love everything about this, the story is great, the characters strong, the performance superb, and to top it all off it's really funny as well. I would highly recommend this to any Red Dwarf fan. Police by Jo Nesbo (5/5) Starting this book, the 10th book in the Harry Hole series I was struck that I had forgot exactly what had occured at the end of the last book. I thought this was a bit odd until I checked out my goodreads account and realised there has been three and a half year gap between my reading of book 9 and 10. As I really enjoyed the series so far this seems like a huge gap but I fell in love with Wallander in the inbetween years and he took priority for me over Harry Hole. Back to the book, this is a big one at 640 pages which encompasses a multitude of interlinked plots. I don't really think I can say anything else without spoiling it but Nesbo uses a lot of misdirection to keep you guessing as to what is going on. From memory this is also by far the darkest of the Harry Hole books and a part of the book had me pretty gutted at the outcome of one incident. It's not perfect and I understand some of the criticism in reviews I have read since finishing it but I just could not put it down. I rarely spend the entire day reading but yesterday I just had to finish it and for this reason I have to give it 5/5.
  13. Read-a-thon 2020

    I just had to finish Police before I went to bed last night so my pages for Friday was in the region of 480 pages. I plan to make a start on In Search of the Dark Ages by Michael Wood at some point today.
  14. Read-a-thon 2020

    I had forgotten that the read-a-thin was this weekend but I have spent most of the day so far read Police by Jo Nesbo. I would estimate I’ve read about 300 pages so far and I’m hoping to finish the book tonight.
  15. I finished up with 68 books read in 2019 which I am very happy with given how slowly I started the year.
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