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Raven

Raven's Reads

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I love my kindle, and haven't found it to be an impediment to my tree book buying - I have hundreds of both! :smile:

I hope I didn't come across as being anti-Kindle. I just like to tease Raven at any chance I get (and he kind of set himself up for it). :D

 

I've contemplated buying a Kindle but I can't justify it when I have an iPad. And I don't read ebooks often enough to worry about the screen being backlit.

 

Kylie relaxes with her books . . .

I wish!

 

I don't have a book light. Or a book mark. You're just making me feel totally inadequate now . . .

 

 

Next you'll be telling us you fold the corners of pages!

 

I am surprised that Frankie gave you access to her Aussie Trip photo collection! :D

Hahaha!

 

I didn't!! My computer's been hacked! :o

:P

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You didn't come across as anti Kindle at all, I was just making an admission (that I perhaps prefer my husband not to properly notice) that I buy both types of reading material in high quantities. :D My kindle hasn't killed the paper page for me, it has become a companion medium to it.   :giggle2:

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I actually think they're the best - the reading experience is the best on the ones that are dedicated e-readers, rather than having the tablet ones which I find the screens unpleasant to read from. How are you getting on with it so far?

 

Well, it arrive on Thursday and I went though the set up at work as I don't have a wireless connection at home. I've found it very easy to use (disconcertingly so when it comes to buying books . . .). Only got the two so far, The Day of the Triffids (as I was wanted to re-read it anyway and I thought reading a familiar book first would be a good way to judge the reading experience) and When Worlds Collide, which is something I've been wanting to read for a few years now. I've started with Triffids and am just over a third of the way through. The lack of a back-light isn't really an issue at this point, because my paper books don't have one either so I'm not missing anything. I like how easy it to change the font size, so when you start to get a little tired you can just up the text size to make reading easier. The dictionary is also a useful feature; I can see myself using that a lot. The inclusion of a basic web browser in this new version is useful to, but only if you know the URL of the website you want to get to (there's no search feature that I can find).

 

Overall, I'd say I'm happy with it at present, it's easy to use and has some interesting features.

 

Next you'll be telling us you fold the corners of pages!

 

I don't know what you do in the privacy of your own home, young lady, but I'll thank you for not suggesting that I practice book abuse in mine!

Edited by Raven

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Well, the Kindle hasn't stopped my physical book buying, as evidenced by the £30.00 + I spent at the weekend! (I've also picked up a few Kindle books for 99p as well).

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I don't know what you do in the privacy of your own home, young lady, but I'll thank you for not suggesting that I practice book abuse in mine!

 

Glad to hear it. :)

 

How are you enjoying Raising Steam?

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I like my kindle too, they are great for reading in the dark and I'm not the best sleeper, so its handy for that.  I like actual books too. :) 

 

Have a great reading year Raven :)

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How are you enjoying Raising Steam?

 

Stalled at the moment.  Partly because I did not want to lug a hardback around at Christmas, but also because I'm finding it hard to summon any enthusiasm for it.  I think I need a long break from Pratchett (and when I say long I mean several years . . .).

 

Have a great reading year Raven :)

 

Thanks!

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When Worlds Collide by Philip Wylie & Edwin Balmer

 

Well, that's one down . . .

Edited by Raven

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Thanks all.

 

I've put Raising Steam to one side for the moment and have cracked on with Foxglove Summer, the latest Rivers of London book by Ben Aaronovitch.  I don't normally buy hardbacks, but this was going for half-price in the Waterstone's sale so it had to be done.

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I finished the latest Rivers of London/Peter Grant novel, Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch, in the wee hours of this morning.

 

I'm really enjoying these novels; they have good characters, good plots and a lot of pop culture references that are fun to spot.

 

It's going to be a long wait for The Hanging Tree in November!

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5th book of the year down and I seem to have had a run on classic science fiction novels recently.

 

Four very different books ranging from Victorian England to post-war America, then back England for two books set in the Fifties and Sixties (In turn, I'm talking about The War of the Worlds, When Worlds Collide, The Day of the Triffids and A for Andromeda).

 

I've written enough about Triffids on here over the years, so I'll skip that one this time around, but the other three were an interesting mix of ideas and writing styles. 

 

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The War of the Worlds

By H.G. Wells

 

The War of the Worlds probably needs little introduction, but I think it is worth highlighting - for those who may not have not read it - just how well written this book is.  Wells paints an incredibly vivid picture without ever getting bogged down in detail and whether it is a description of the Martins moving about in a thunder storm, the details of how their invasion unfolds or simple character scenes such as the narrator talking to the clergyman on the banks of the Thames, Wells writing is bang-on.  Every time I read this book I get something new out of it; it is a genuine pleasure to read something this good. 

 

Highly Recommended.

 

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When Worlds Collide

By Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer

 

Now, if like me you grew up in the Seventies and Eighties, you will probably be familiar with the film version of When World's Collide.  I really like the old American B-Movie Sci-Fi genre and this is one of the best, so when I found it was based on a book a couple of years ago, and that Masterworks had published it as an e-book, I knew it was only going to be a matter of time before I would end up with a Kindle to read it on.  Was it worth the wait? Kind of . . .  As a book, it has dated badly - far worse than the older The War of the Worlds - and I found that despite it being more recent, the world it describes is in some ways more alien to me than the Victorian England of Well's novel.  There is a good slice of melodrama in here, as the book vividly describes the barely contained passions of the stories lead character, Tony Drake, for his fiancé Eve, and there is also a healthy dose of casual racism as Tony talks about his "little brown skinned" "jap" servant Kyto. 

 

Yoiks. 

 

But if you can put all of that to one side, there is some very strong science fiction here.  From the discovery of two planets heading our way, through their initial cataclysmic passing and then on to the Earth's final fate (no surprises, but the title of the book does rather give it away . . .) the science seems very plausible and well thought out.  I don't know if this is the case, but it almost reads like someone wrote a good science fiction novel and then an editor passed it to another author to make it more palatable to a wider audience.  If that is what happened, and I have no idea if it is, then they nearly managed the reverse for the science still stands up where the fluff is just irritating!  For all its faults, though, this was quite an enjoyable read, but it did take a while to get going.  A modern update might not be a bad idea, in this instance.

 

Recommended, but only if you like period science fiction and have a bit of patience.

 

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A for Andromeda

By Fred Hoyle and John Elliot

 

My final book is another science fiction classic, that this time started life on the small screen.  A for Andromeda is probably best known as a 1961 BBC television series that featured a young Julie Christie, but what I didn't know until recently was that the original story was written by the noted astronomer and author Sir Fred Hoyle and that there was a novel based on it.  Having read another of his novels last year (The Black Cloud) I thought I would give this a go.  As with When Worlds Collide, the science is strong but it is let down by the characterisation and the surrounding plot.  Characters act irrationally and none more so than the lead character, John Fleming, who would probably have been locked up in real life (or certainly barred from being allowed anywhere near an experiment of this magnitude!).  This does tend to distract from time to time, and again the story takes a while to get into gear, but the ideas at its core are interesting and well-conceived.  I enjoyed this novel quite a bit, but I would have preferred more exploration of the issues involved than a lot of the rather protracted development and the inclusion of a sub-plot that peters out half way through the book.  This is an easier read than When Worlds Collide - perhaps because it is based in the UK rather than the US - and it shares a lot with other novels of the time by authors such as Wyndham, Ballard and Christopher, and if you are in their company you can't really go far wrong.

 

Recommended, especially if you like your science fiction with a stiff upper lip.

Edited by Raven

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Great reviews :). I haven't actually read War of the Worlds (I've only seen a film of it), but I liked The Time Machine so I hope to read War of the Worlds too at some point.

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A for Andromeda

By Fred Hoyle and John Elliot

 

This does tend to distract from time to time, and again the story takes a while to get into gear, but the ideas at its core are interesting and well-conceived.

 

What are the ideas at its core?

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Great reviews :). I haven't actually read War of the Worlds (I've only seen a film of it), but I liked The Time Machine so I hope to read War of the Worlds too at some point.

 

The War of the Worlds is a much better book that The Time machine, in my opinion (it is better plotted and isn't so much of a speculative piece about class division).

 

What are the ideas at its core?

 

The basic plot is about radio astronomers receiving a message that tells them how to build a computer, which in turn instructs them how to make a person to act as an interface between it and the humans.  The main ideas in the book revolve around why the alien race has sent the message in the first place, what the computer is ultimately trying to do and human greed blinding people to a larger threat.

 

To a point it's a little like the plot for Species, but without the violent alien and casual nudity.

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The War of the Worlds is a much better book that The Time machine, in my opinion (it is better plotted and isn't so much of a speculative piece about class division).

That's great to hear. I liked The Time Machine but I didn't love it, there were a few things I had some issues with. I'll definitely try War of the Worlds sometime, then :).

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It's annoying to get to the end of a book only to find the penultimate page has a binding problem and the page is ripped.

 

That will be a trip back to Waterstone's on Saturday, then.

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It's annoying to get to the end of a book only to find the penultimate page has a binding problem and the page is ripped.

 

That will be a trip back to Waterstone's on Saturday, then.

 

Noooo, what a nightmare.

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It's annoying to get to the end of a book only to find the penultimate page has a binding problem and the page is ripped.

 

That will be a trip back to Waterstone's on Saturday, then.

That is terrible!

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I was able to read and finish it, but it means that the replacement copy I'll hopefully end up owning won't be the copy I've read.

 

I'm sure people out there will understand the nerd anguish I'm experiencing . . . /taleofwoe

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It's like giving birth to a baby, and then having it replaced by another baby. Well, almost the same thing.

 

No, it's exactly like that - you've got it spot on! 

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