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  1. Today
  2. It is a good start, and they get better as they go along as well. I like Feynman; What Do You Care What Other People Think? is an interesting account of his time on the Warren Commission, investigating the loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger. I've been reading Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman! in stages on my Kindle, that is good as well. You might find Moondust, by Andrew Smith interesting.
  3. Charles Dickens

    Last Saturday was the first time I've been in a bookshop since lockdown started, and I did look at a copy, but it was a bit dog-eared so I left it. I'm not in hurry; if I don't get a copy for a while it's not a problem!!
  4. Welcome Back! An Update

    It was pretty stressful but we’re back so it was worth it . Thanks for pointing that out, I hadn’t noticed until you said it. It looks like our actual profiles are fine so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem, I’ll look into it!
  5. Finished The Blessing by Nancy Mitford, and that was a hoot, especially the blessing child Sigi
  6. July already! So, I’m reading Don’t Tell Alfred in the final book of The Penguin Complete Novels of Nancy Mitford
  7. Time for some updates, I'm so happy that the forum is back. Please excuse the brevity of some of my mini reviews as my memory of my thoughts about some of the book is a little hazy. Six Easy Pieces by Richard Feynman (2/5) 6 fundamental physics theorys explained for non-scientists. I have a decent grasp of physics but I have to admit that a lot of the stuff in this book went completely over my head. This appears to be common complaint from other reviews I have read. Airframe by Michael Crichton (1/5) A pilot of a commercial flight declares an emergency to ATC and informs the controller that he will require 40 ambulances on landing. 94 passengers are injured, 3 dead, and the aircraft interior looks like a war zone. Can the investigation reveal what happened during this flight? Positives, this was a quick read. Negatives, just about everything else. I know a lot about aircraft and how they work, having worked on them for 20 years. I'm pretty sure Crichton read the basics of flight but misunderstood some of the concepts as this book is absolutely littered with technical errors. There are also loads of errors in how the FAA works and how incidents are investigated (a company is not allowed to carry it's the investigation into incidents where there are injuries or deaths). The final 'cause' of the incident is realistic and something similar has happened in the past but it was lazily written in my opinion. Finally, a unionised work force trying to kill a member of staff on a regular basis on company property is laughable. A History of Britain Vol 1 by Simon Schama (4/5) I listened to this on audiobook over the course of about a month. The first volume covers 3500BC to AD1603 and covers a lot of ground in that time. I found it very interesting and the narrator added a few flourishes which helped to keep me engaged. I'm currently listening volume 2. The Shallows by Nicholas Carr (4/5) Do you ever feel like you struggle to concentrate when doing things but remember that you used to be able to with little effort? Do you feel 'dumber' than you used it? The cause could be the internet, how you use it, and how it uses you. This book looks into how our use of the internet is changing our brains in both a physical and practical sense. This book really spoke to me and how I have felt about my own mental capacities over the last 3 or 4 years. There are loads of scientific studies explained in this book along with some advice on how you can start to change your relationship with the internet to help reverse this trend. Lockdown by Peter May (2/5) The blurb proclaims this book to be "The crime thriller that predicted the world in quarantine". The book starts with a note from the author saying that he originally wrote this book about 15 years ago and that publishers turned it down for being too far-fetched. Now that we are faced with the reality of a modern day pandemic the publishers decided that it was realistic and chose to print it. Call me a cynic but I think originally the publisher chose to pass on it because it is simply not very good, and then decided to publish it now as an attempt to cash in. It's not terrible, it's just not very good and feels like a first draft with minimal editing done. Apollo 11 by David Whitehouse (4/5) This is a non-fiction book looking at the history of the race into space and then to the moon. It is really well written and contains loads of information that was new to me. There are also some really good colour photos in the middle of the book with the main players in them. I would perhaps have liked a little more technical detail about why certain things went wrong but this is a minor criticism. The Thirst by Jo Nesbo (3/5) Harry Hole novel #11. There is a new killer on the streets who is targeting women via the internet dating app Tinder. It would appear that he or she is a modern day vampire, but who is it and can the police catch them now that Harry Hole is not working as a detective any more? I've really enjoyed the Harry Hole books so far and while this isn't a bad book I was left feeling a little disappointed by the time I had finished it. The story is really well worked web of intrigue with plenty of things to keep you thinking but I felt that there were a few too many wrong turns. I pretty much sussed out who was involved in the crimes fairly early on but my biggest let down was how the final act played out. There is no way Harry would have been permitted to reveal the killer in the way he did and he made such a basic error I refuse to accept it. I'm hoping that Nesbo soon winds up the Harry Hole books before they continue on a gradual slide. The way Henning Mankell ended the Wallander series was pretty much perfect and while Nesbo can't end the Harry Hole saga in the same way he needs to end it when the time is right. I know there is another book for me to read but I think that the time is now.
  8. Charles Dickens

    Did you ever find that "real" copy of Pickwick Papers Raven? Sadly copies of the older classics are becoming more difficult to find in paperback or hardback. Somehow it feels wrong to read them on kindle etc., though I expect their authors would be fascinated! Summer is usually my time for some fantasy or folklore type reading but I've been feeling a pull to stretch my brain a little lately (must be all the old repeats I've watched during lockdown!) so now that my local Library is soon to re-open I'll soon be able to mull over a full over the range. Meanwhile, finishing off my dual time Avalon novel ... Happy All!
  9. Welcome Back! An Update

    I'm glad to see the forum back! Thank you for all your efforts . It must have been a stressful time for you . I haven't browsed the forum much yet other than the main index and this topic. The only thing I've noticed, is that when I hover over your, or anyone else's, name, it used to show bits of the member's profile, but now it says: There was a problem loading this content.
  10. Yesterday
  11. Hi everyone! I'm so happy the forum is back online and I'm so sorry we've been down for so long. I tried to keep in touch with everyone while the issues were ongoing but I know some of you probably won't have seen any of the updates. I won't go into too much detail about the issues we had because it's quite a long story and I'm sure you don't want me to bore you with it but, basically, the update we tried to implement last Tuesday (partly in the hope it would fix some of the loading issues we were having) caused a series of errors that took the site down entirely. Then our backup, the thing that is supposed to protect us from errors like that, failed. I am aware that there may be some existing issues but I'm pretty happy with all the checks I've done so far. If anybody notices anything odd though (missing posts for example, or messages) please let me know straight away. There is one database we use to run this forum which has caused many problems, basically because it is huge. It needs to be separated into smaller databases but that is something I can't do myself. Over the next few days I'll be trying to find someone who can help us with it but until then there may still be times when the forum is a little slow. I think that's all I need to tell you right now! I'm so happy and so tired, so now I'm going to have a nice long sleep and I'll speak to you tomorrow!
  12. Earlier
  13. It's being a while since I has a book log (two or three years). Since have plenty of time on my hand, and there are a few great books that I've read in 2020, I would like to review some of them. For the moment, this is the list of particularly good reads I've had in 2020. Lonely Courage: The True Story of the SOE Heroines Who Fought to Free Nazi-Occupied France - Rick Stroud The Other Bennet Sister - Janice Hadlow The Pied Piper - Nevil Shute
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