(Recent) ‘book club’…

I haven’t done one of these book clubs for a while but…

Classics on Kindle…

1) Journey to the Interior of the Earth by Jules Verne

2) From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne

3) The Time Machine by H. G. wells

4) The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

5) The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells


6) Battle Earth l, ll and lll by Nick S. Thomas

7) Bruneleschi’s Dome by Ross King

8) Surface detail by Iain M. Banks

9) Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (in progress)

All of the above were read on the Kindle except 7) and 9). All are well worth reading and if you haven’t read the classic sci-fiction books they also offer a unique historical perspective . The Battle Earth books were the light reading ones on the list but very good, even if the 2nd and 3rd books lost their edge a bit.



Digital Dracula…

I finished my 1st digital book a couple of weeks ago – Bram Stoker’s Dracula! I’ve previously seen the 1992 film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, but had missed the book.

So, given the massive selection of free Kindle e-books, all of which are out of copyright, i’ve started to work through them. Dracula was written in 1897 so the pace and language of the book is somewhat different to modern styles, but I found this quite refreshing. It was slightly long-winded in parts but there was definitely an underlying tension or feeling of suspense, which made me want to read it every night. I can imagine when it was first published, it would have been quite shocking.

The interesting approach was to tell the story from the actual diary or journal entries of the characters, meaning each section had a different style and perspective. Very well thought through. I would rate it as 8 out of 10 and rightly one of the classic books.

My next trip into the free book store is Robinson Crusoe (1719), so i’ll review that once i’ve got through the final 70% of the book.


Book club…

I haven’t updated the old book club for a while so here it is…

I finished Alex Ferguson’s Autobiography a while ago and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in football or post-war British history.

As a Liverpool fan, I wasn’t sure about even reading it(!) but I read Jamie Carragher’s autobiography last year and he said it was the best book he’s ever read, so that was enough of a reason for me. Sir Alex is basically the most successful football manager of all time (again, that pains me to say it!), and i’m very glad to have read the book. There is so much in there about his past experiences in Scotland and how those experiences have formed the present day club that is Man United.

For anyone interested in history, there is a lot in there about British industry, particularly about the docklands area of Glasgow, around Govan. He paints a detailed portrait of life in general in Glasgow which was amazing to read. He also goes into a lot of detail on particular games and he seems to have an amazing memory.

I’ve also just finished Brunelleschis Dome, by Ross King. It’s the story of the building of one of the great structures, the dome of which is the largest masonary dome ever erected – Santa Maria del Fiore, in Florence. Certainly on my list of European cities to visit with the family. Again, a book not just about the main subject, but about history and civilisation. Well worth a read and an inspiring book.

Also in exciting Christmas-based book news, my generous Mum gave me a Amazon Kindle, which i’ve already downloaded a number of digital books for. It’s amazing! So far i’ve downloaded Darwin’s Origin of Species, Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Dante’s Inferno – all for free! There’s an amazing ‘top 100 free’ books section on the Kindle store with a huge range of classics. More on all that soon.


Amazon Kindle…

I was getting quite excited about the new Amazon Kindle…until I realised I didn’t need one!

But, the idea is a good one. The Kindle is basically an e-book (but it also displays newpapers and magazines), but it also has internet browser and MP3 player and is small enough to fit in the pocket. The Amazon digital library apparently has over 400,000 titles and the Kindle can hold 3,500 books!

There have been many of these types of ipad/PDA devices, but i’ve never been tempted to jump on board, until now! E-book + MP3 player + Internet browser…ideal.


I’ve read a few articles recently about the impact of the printing industry, particularly newspapers and magazines, in terms of the waste and chemicals used to make them. That in itself is a good reason, and if prices come down in 6 months or so, even better.

I’m also not a fan of huge amounts of books – bad reaction to my growing up with thousands of my Mum’s books which are left to die in piles + just the waste of space! I’ve shifted so many boxes of books around in my life and that has certainly led to an annoyance with their bulkiness & weight and amount of space they take to store!

It seems the technology has just made the ‘next stage’ leap from the basic concept and initial stage, to the more mass-market stage, including much better performance. This is also reflected in the price, meaning you get far better value for better overall features.