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Everything posted by Krey20

  1. Once again, sorry for the delay, but I've sorted out my website and the BGO bookmarks are once again available to download... http://kenreynoldsdesign.co.uk/design/book-group-online-bookmarks/ Happy guerilla marketing, everyone.
  2. Hi all, just to let you know the BGO bookmarks are unvailable for download at teh moment, and have been for a month or so. I've had website issues and have been plugging away to re-vamp the site and restore parts of it. The bookmarks are on my list and will be made available again as soon as I can get to them. Sorry once again, and I'll let you know when they are back up.
  3. I heartily agree with this sentiment.
  4. Sorry for double posting... A terrible place to do it! *sigh* I can't add much to the wonderful things that have been said about David here, but I can't help thinking about how relationships are forged over the internet, and how you can feel as though you truely get to know people without any 'proper' real world interaction. Unfortunately, in situations like this the real world does intrude on our litte oasis in the vast watelands of the internet.
  5. There never seem to be the correct words to express imense sadness at news like this. I join in and agree with all the wonderful comments made by others in reference to David's personality which shone though his words and gave us a hint of the real man behind them. He will be sadly missed, but the tight-knit nature of this small online community will stand as an achievement that he was intergral in creating. Thank you once again, Hazel, for being the bearer of good and bad news over the last few months. I can't imagine how hard it's been for you.
  6. So very glad to read your post David. Hope you are back quicker than expected, but know you are in our thoughts in the meantime. All the best.
  7. Hi all. Managed to watch the first episode of Sherlock series 3, with the explanation of how Sherlock avoided his death in the pevios series. I've loved this reinvention from the start and think the writing, production and acting have always been stellar. I could only watch this episode with one eye because of my little one so hopefully somone else can answer a question I'm left with. If Mycroft had the assasins threatening Mrs. Hudson, Lestrange & Watson, covered taking them out of play, what was the ultimate point in Sherlock faking his death? Am I being dense or have I missed something? Looking forward to the next episode regardless.
  8. I'd like to add my best wishes for the upcoming year as well.
  9. That did make me smile. I'm guessing this is a football conersation we've had before? I'll do my best not to keep this sort of banter going, as it's an inappropriate thread.... ... There's only one way to travel from the top though. But my team certainly won't be troubling the top spot... this season at least.
  10. Amazon Blurb: Sergeant Amy Callan and Lieutenant Caroline Cooke have a lot in common. Both were army high-flyers. Both were aquainted with Jack Reacher. Both were forced to resign from the service. Now they're both dead. Found in their own homes, naked, in a bath full of paint. Apparent victims of an army man. A loner, a smart guy with a score to settle, a ruthless vigilante. A man just like Jack Reacher. The fourth Reacher novel in the series... I felt this one was the weakest of teh four I've read in the sequence. The writing is up to par, the mechanics of the plot are well done, but it was obvious to me 'whodunit' at around the halfway point. From then on reading the book was an exercise in studying how the author went about dropping breadcrumbs and how he would go about the big reveal. It was nice to have a bit of bleed over from the last book with Jodie making anohter appearance, but she was simply used in this book to question Reacher's lifestyle and inate wanderlust. All I can say in conclusion is that I completed the book knowing that I had figured out the ending. This, in it's way is a compliment. I was still interested enough to carry on and have the details filled in. There is somehting about the way it all sweeps along that makes the Reacher books so readable.
  11. Amazon Blurb: For Jack Reacher being invisible has become a habit. He spends his days digging swimming pools by hand and his nights as the bouncer in the local strip club in the Florida Keys. He doesn't want to be found. But someone has sent a private detective to seek him out. Then Reacher finds the guy beaten to death with his fingertips sliced off. It's time to head north and work out who is trying to find him and why. The third Reacher Novel by Lee Child, and I must say my favourite so far. We find out a little more about Reachers past and the villian of the piece is by far the most interesting of advisaries. I didn't telegraph the big twist which was satisfying and enjoyed the plot as it raced along and unfolded. The most enjoyable part of the book was Child's depiction of New York, the sense of place in the novels shines through and becomes integral to the feeling of the story. Having Reacher travel from place to place is a master stroke when each new setting is painted with such detail and evokes different feelings. THe setting is what sets each new Reacher novel apart from it's previous incarnations.
  12. Amazon Blurb: Jack Reacher, alone, strolling nowhere. A Chicago street in bright sunshine. A young woman, struggling on crutches. He offers her a steadying arm. And turns to see a handgun aimed at his stomach. Chained in a dark van racing across America, Reacher doesn't know why they've been kidnapped. The woman claims to be FBI. She's certainly tough enough. But at their remote destination, will raw courage be enough to overcome the hopeless odds? The second Reacher Novel from Lee Child. I felt it was an improvement on the first. I enjoyed the way unfolding of the plot, it had me guessing a lot more. It was nice to read a strong and capable female character as well. The villan is probably the most deranged individual Reacher has met in the selection of books I've read this far. It can be difficult to discuss these novels, as there are no hidden depths, no clever sub-texts. It's all on the surface, all on show. That's what makes it exciting to read.
  13. Amazon Blurb: Jack Reacher jumps off a bus and walks fourteen miles down a country road into Margrave, Georgia. An arbitrary decision he's about to regret. Reacher is the only stranger in town on the day they have had their first homicide in thirty years.The cops arrest Reacher and the police chief turns eyewitness to place him at the scene. As nasty secrets leak out, and the body count mounts, one thing is for sure. They picked the wrong guy to take the fall. The very first Jack Reacher novel, and it's a good introduction to a seemingly enduring character. It's the charater of Reaher himself that takes centre stage in the adventures. He's uncompromising, a law unto himself. A former Military Policeman, he leaves the army to become an off the grid drifter. Among his many talents, it seems, is to attract trouble and consistently be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The plot is quick, and harsh. There is enough mystery to keep interest high, but I was dissapointed to find that I had guessed a few major plot points ahead of times, so a third of the books was simply filling in the details. Having said that, it was enjoyable. I admire the craft in the writing. To be able to write a taught pacy thriller is a skill in itself. Even if the Reacher books are the literary equivalent of a chinese meal (consumed and quickly forgotten) I for one am happy to keep munching my way through them. They make an excellent escape and they make reading enjoyable.
  14. I'll be starting the fifth Reacher novel after my current read. I've been consuming them on an alternate basis with other books. They seem to act very well as somewaht of a palette clenser! This is not to diminish them, of course. They are perfect for my current reading situation. I had a long period of time when I simply did not read, it was quite disconcerting. I used 'Killing Floor' as an easy read to get back into the swing. It was good enough, pacy, action packed all the usual Reacher descriptors, but I solved the main puzzle behind the crime with about a third of the book left, making the rest of it an exercise of colouring in between the lines. I gave Reacher a break for a while and began alternating with other books. I have come to realise that I apprecaite the Reacher books on a strange level. They are quick and easy to read. I may not be bowled over by the chaterisation of plots all of the time, but I am always gripped, always interested. They make me enjoy the simple act of reading, itself. I can't make a bigger recommendation than that. And yes, I saw teh Tom Cruise film... Terrible, casting. But without prior exposure to the books perfectly watchable.
  15. After having the disc languish on top of the blu-ray player for 2 weeks, we finally got around to watching World War Z (I pronouce it Zed). It was quite good. I missed out on a lot of the build up and hype, so felt I could view it for what it was. I thought it a nice cross over between virus and zombie films. As a result of the long delay, we have taken the decison to cancel our LoveFilm subscription. Since the littel one came along we really don't get the time to watch as many films as we used to and we aren't getting good value out of the service... How grown up and boring. Oh, well. When she's a bit older I should have a huge list of films I want to watch!
  16. I'm a bit more of a lurker on the boards recently, but I have made a point of popping back to check on this thread in particular. It is lovely that a remote group on individuals on the internet can be bought together to make a thoughtful and lovely gesture in the real world. My thoughts continue to go out to David in the hopes of his swift and complete recovery.
  17. Sending my best, get well soon, David.
  18. I'd second House of Silk. I've never tried a Holmes story outside of the orignal Conan Doyle stories. It would be a welcome excuse to pick one up, if such an excuse was ever needed.
  19. You make some excellent points, and I have come to the same conclusion after reading a few books into the drug culture of pro cycling. It is the negligence of the governing body that has allowed the culture of cheating to flourish, and in fact be a nessecity to those sportspeople that wanted to excel. It is a strange situation where young people grow up with the aspiration of wanting to be a pro cyclist, and they are eventuallly faced with teh choice between cheating to achieve their dreams of giving up on them. This is why a writer called Paul Kimmage is so outspoken on the subject. He was part of the professional peleton for a few years as a clean rider before having to leave the sport because he couldn't compete and refused to take drugs. The UCI has a lot to answer for, and this book hints at the troubles, double standards and special treatments it gave it's 'golden goose' Armstrong during the time of his dominance. The body will probably never have to answer for it's past transgressions. However, with the recent election of a new UCI president (the man that has overseen the recent boom in British cycling) maybe there is hope of a new culture to be nurtured? To enjoy sport you have to take the leap of faith that it is a level playing field, and that it is fair. The only issue I take with Armstrong is this. Yes, most of the peleton were cheating, but Armstrong took it to a whole other level. He was cheating beyond the norm, he looked for each and every way to improve his performance. The most reprehensible revelations to me were not actually relating to the drugs he took, or his 'cheating' it was the tactics threats and actions he took to cover his tracks, the lives he tried to ruin and the people he hurt. I find that far more offensive. It's not that he cheated, it's that he built a huge legend on top of achievements that were false and this is a result of the monetary rewards (corporate sponsorship etc), not the prestige of winning.
  20. I guess, in a round about way, my recent reading spluge on pro cycling related books has been leading up to this title. I followed the Lance Armstrong USADA investigation and his eventual (if belated) admission with great interest, yet strangely I did follow the sport all that closely during Armstrong's dominance. I have simply know the rough outline of his legend. Cancer survivor, seven time winner of the Tour de France, what's not to admire? What's not to love? It's the mixture of real life drama and sporting excellence that all great stories are made of... I never knew how dark the story actually was. It would seem there is an awful lot of dirty work that has to be done in the background to sell such a legend. David Walsh was never a believer in the Armstrong myth, he was one of the few journalists that hounded the cyclist throughout his dominant years, at no little cost to his professional and private life. In this book he spins a narrative from the very beginning of his love for the sport of cycling (and sport in general) to the moments that the curtain was drawn back for him regarding performance enhancing drug use. From that time he was a force to feret out the cheats. Walsh tells of his first meeting with a young Armstrong before his very first tour through how he was treated by the 'Armstrong Camp' throughout his constant questioning and disbelief of what was happening. It's a tough story to tell, because there is no doubt Walsh must feel vindicated after over a decade of people refusing to belive his stories. Yet the narrative is never smug, it never has the tone of a man that wants to preach 'I told you so.' It's written more with a sense of relief. The stages and complexity of the Armstrong doping system is quite eye-opening. Armstrong and his 'team' do not get painted in a good light, they are shown to be bullies in the grandest sense. Threatening (and actually following through in some cases) to ruin people's lives to protect the intergrity of his legend. Even after all of the cycling books I have read leading up to this one, I was caught out with a few surprises and stories I hadn't known. Walsh does a good job of bringning together over 20 years of his career (and life) into a book that sums up his struggle to reveal the truth. Not only reveal it, however, but to have that truth believed. He is humble enough to point out some of his own flaws, especially regarding how he treated some of his sources, but their stories are what make the whole thing so fascinating. I would reccomend this book to anyone with a passing interest in cycling, and anyone who accepting Armstrong's achievements at the time without a questioning glance. Walsh's description of the Opera interview is worth a read on it's own, as is the section that suggests Armstrong's cancer could have been casued by his drug use in the first place... There are also huge questions that implicate how lax the bodies that test and run cycling have been for decades. On a side note, walsh has written a few books in the past regarding Armstrong (before the admission), I'm told by others, there is a lot of repitiion in this tome, but it is the most up to date.
  21. For anyone with an interest in cycling, the the Tour or the USADA investigation into Lance Armstrong, this book has become required reading. Tyler Hamilton was an integral part of the US Postal team that helped Lance Armstrong win his first few Tours de France. He decided to testify against Lance Armstrong and admit his own history of doping. This book is his public testimony. This is yet another good prgression from the other cycling books I've read. If David Millars book gave me an insight into the doping culture in pro cycling, this book kicked the doors right open. Hamilton is forthright and honest about everything he did. He isn't accusatory, blowing the whistle on everyone and anyone, he is always making a point of placing his own indescrations on view first. He doesn't back down or try to hide from his own actions. Like David Millar, he makes his case for taking drugs rather well, but Hamilton is far more blase about it. It seems once he made his mind up, he went all in. I guess that was his personality. I got a better understanding of how the drugs actually enhance a cyclists performance from this book too. You might think a doped rider can simply sprint away from a field of clean riders with ease and that's it, but in cycling it's actually a lot more perverse. The drugs don't make you a better, stronger athelete, they allow you to endure and suffer more. To feel more pain, go further beyound the physical limits. Yes, it's cheating, but the descriptions in this book highlighted to me, that it certainly wasn't easy. For example, Hamilton rode a stange in the Giro de Italia after crashing. To deal with the pain he gound his teeth and wore 11 of them down to nothing. Through all of the cycling books, I'm glad to have been educated on the mechanics of the sport. How it is an individual sport, but the individual cannot possibly succeed without their team. Cycling fascinates me (especially the grand tours) because it is a test of physical endurance, mixed with the tactics of a three week long chess game. This book was popular because of the revelations about Armstrong, but there is much more here. Hamilton is a likeable enough character, and to a certain extent you begin to side with him as the realisation falls that the problem is not necesarliy the individual doped riders, they are a by-product of the problems within the sport.
  22. The second book on my little literary cycling oddessy, and it turned out to be an excellent companion piece to the Bradley Wiggins autobiography 'My Time'. In Wiggins' book the subject of doping in professional cycling is treated with contempt and dirision. It is almost batted away as an acusation. I can fully understand this position from a clean sportsperson, but it does not take into account the past drug culture of the sport, and the trust it has lost in the media as a result. David Millar's book is a brilliant insight into that drug culture, it is an introduction to the murkier side of professional cycling, how even the most honnest, good intentioned sports person can be corrupted by their surroundings. Going into this book I had a vague understanding of the drugs culture in cycling. I followed the USADA investigation into Lance Armstrong with interst and was shocked by a lot of the revelations. Even after that, I had a black and white view of doping in cycling, and sport in general. I simply thought, they take drugs to cheat. If they take the drugs they instantly win. David Millar's book blurred that definite black and white view into a huge mass of grey. I won't spell it all out, but needless to say, this is an autobiography, so there is the usual biographical content, which gives excelent context for his eventual 'fall'. I found his writing voice quite eloquent, and his honesty refreshing, in a sport where dopers are usually plagued with denial. By the end of it, I still didn't agree with what Millar, and many others have done to themselves and to their sport, but I understood it a lot better, and I do actually admire Millar for his 'recovery'. He has set himself up as an anti-doping ambasador and leads the fight to clean up the sport. This book was published in 2011, I believe, so it misses out any reaction to the USADA report on Lance Armstrong. He was very outspoken at the time nd I was easily able to find news reports from Millar with his reactions. Like the book, it all makes for very interesting, if at times, uncomfortable reading. But that is entirely the point.
  23. I've always had a passing interest in professional cycling. This curiosity and glancing admiration was put into sharp focus with Bradley Wiggins perfomance in the 2012 Tour de France. I've always been a very enthuistic spectator. In fact I can sit myslef down to watch any competitive sport for enjoyment. From that TdF I began idly following the pro cycling events covered on TV (much more than you would think lately, with the 'cycling boom' caused by Wiggons' success). Of course this overlapped into this years race and watching Chris Froome pick up the torch from 'Sir Brad'. As I watched this years TdF I thought it was high time I tried to educate myself on the sport as it was becoming obvious that something had clicked inside me beyond mere interest or admiration. This book was my starting point. It's written well enough, I can believe it is Wiggins voice narrating it all. There are some nice insigts into the inner workings of Team Sky and the Tour itself. The most interesting insights I found were those of the inner workings of his mind shortly before the beginning of, and during his definative time trail stage to clinch the Tour. The mental preparation and motivation was quite fascinating. Wiggins does have a previous biography, which I'm guessing coveres his early life and career in a lot more detail. There are references and a few 'highlight packages' in there to give a bit of context, but the narrative mainly focusses on 2009-2012. An arc that covers a low point in his life to the highs of the Tour and Olympics. This is an obvious read if you have a passing interest in cycling. No matter what your opinion of Wiggins is, he is a British sporting icon. I'm not sure if this book won me over to his personaitly. I think he is far too shy and private in himself to ever be fully open with the media or fans. But I have to admire how he manages to be himself despite his public image ascending so quickly. Reading this book didn't make me like him more, in fact it might have made me like him a little less, but I did get a great understanding of what it takes to suceed in the toughest physical endurance event in the world. The comitment and dedication that is needed is immense, and his sporting achievements in the space of a few weeks in the great sporting year of 2012 were the highlight, which is staggering in itself. My version of this text was the Kindle edition. I have a feeling it had been updated in the beginning of this year in response to the 'Lance Armstrong Revelations'. What Wiggins has to say on the subject of doping in his sport is uncomprimising and ridgid, it was actually a good introduction for me to do further reading.
  24. Something else I have discovered, since taking up ebooks is how much more I appreciate physical, paper and ink books. I still buy them to complete ongong collections I already have, but if I add something totally new it is usually a special edition of a well loved story or a nicely presented collection. I have always had a weakness for beautifullly designed and presented books. Now I read ebooks, it feels very special to buy a 'real' one.
  25. I haven't read all of the way back to the beginning of this thread, but I wouldn't be surprised if there is a post from me saying I'd never use e-books over paper and ink... ... So, last weekend I bought my second kindle. I had the Keyboard Kindle bought for me as a gift a few years ago, and it totally changed my opinion. After using it for a week or so I remember thinking that the designers and developers had properly sat down and thought about how people 'physically' read. Holding a 'book' needing to turn the page etc. The design was spot on and I never looked back. It all made sense to me, I live in a small flat, my real book collection has always threathened to take over the place and this was an excellent compromise. I don't mind the agreement with Amazon so much. I get why people are offended that they are 'renting' the right to read a book instead of proper ownership. My response is that if Amazon goes under, I would assume it would be due to some sort of apocalypse and we'll all have bigger things to worry about that our e-book library, (this is said with a little portion of my tongue in my cheek, but you get the gist). Having said that I will back up my owm librbay to a hard drive, in case one day i might have to crack them for free usage. I updated to the Kindle paperwhite, mainly so I could read in the dark, without disturbing the baby or my very tired wife. Of course I visited Amazon today to see that an updated version of the device is due to go on sale in October! *sigh* this always happens to me. Though having looked at the extra featues, I'm still very happy with my purchase as there is nothing revolutionary for me, as the paperwhite I have is still such a large step up on the Keyboard version I have been using. I The light is excellent, a little inconsistent at the bottom of the screen in full darkness, but not a problem. I sometimes imagine there is a slight flicker of the light when turned down in th dark, but that might be due to tired eyes. I enjoy the 'time to end' feature... I could go on. I think it's an excellent product, and I really do believe and have always thought, that the developers of the kindle range has the interests of the reader close to it's heart.
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