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Vox Hunt: Fictional Favorite

Book: Show us one of your favorite works of fiction

I preferred the Second Chronicles to the first. There is hardly a day goes by that I don’t think about the sunbane and natural law. It gave me the URL for this site!

The Bourne Legacy, Eric Von Lustbader

I just finished listening to the unabridged recording of the Bourne Legacy, starring Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne but written by Eric Von Lustbader. It was as gripping a tale as the three that precede it, and equally as forgettable. Just a ripping good and highly enjoyable yarn that will be forgotten as soon as it’s back on the “shelf”.

I listened to the first in the series, The Bourne Identity, after watching the film of the same name. The film and novel are the same in name only; I thought for a few minutes that I had the wrong book – it’s that different! Since then, I’ve listened to all four and enjoyed them all. Great for long car journeys, short car journeys and any kitchen work (dishes, cooking, etc.)

I went for a Hogmanay walk with the last chapter, listening to it as I wandered along a country path with my iPod. No distractions; just a chilly winter’s day.

I’ll probably get tore into the second in the series of George R. R. Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice series, A Clash of Kings next. If it’s as good as the first in the series, I’m in for a treat!

Book Meme

1.  Grab the closest book to you.
2.  Open to page 123 and find the fifth sentence on the page.
3.  Post the following three sentences to your blog.
4.  Name the book and the author.
5.  Tag three more people (and I’m assuming no tag-backs.)

So, discounting the book that is actually nearest to me (Callahan’s Russian-English Dictionary of Science and Technology), I’ll pick the next closest one.

The problem is defined, its feasibility tested, and the entire background for the project is researched very carefully. This is the research design, which can take many forms. But all research designs have certain common elements:

  • A context. The design should reflect a larger set of goals and fit into a larger body of archaeological knowledge

You’ll just have to buy the book to find out what the other common elements are šŸ˜‰

Taken from Archaeology: A Brief Introduction (Ninth Edition) by Brian M. Fagan.

What can I say? I’m working on a Russian>English translation of a book on archaeology and am literally surrounded by dictionaries and textbooks. The first draft is done and I’m now well into the secondary read through. I have until the beginning of the year to complete it, so I’ll no doubt be hard at it all through the holidays.

Favourite Books from My Childhood

What books did you love as a child?

What a great question! There were many, but the two most favourites and the ones which probably influenced my taste in books the most were The Enchanted Wood and The Adventures of the Wishing Chair by Enid Blyton (and the sequels to each of those). I’m so looking forward to when my kids are old enough for me to read them to them.

Then there was the Book of Three, by Lloyd Alexander (and the sequels) which our teacher read to us in Primary 6 (aged 9ā€“10), another influential book, being as it was in the fantasy genre.

The other that stands out was a book about the mysteries of the unknown, about ghosts and UFOs. I was doing some sort of school project when I was in primary school, and this was a book from the school library. I still remember some of the ghost pictures now and it still gives me the shivers!

A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin

I finished the first book of George R. R. Martin‘s series, A Song of Ice and Fire. The first is A Game of Thrones and was rather an enjoyable read (or, in this case, listen, since it is the audiobook that I have, unabridged and read by Roy Dotrice – since having a family, my reading for pleasure time has pretty much disappeared and so I do most of my ‘reading’ in the car through audiobooks).

I had actually had this book, and the two following books, on my iPod for some time, in fact about a year I think, as I remember getting a few chapters into the first book around Christmas time last year and finding it too difficult to get into. It’s not an easy read, by which I mean that there are a lot of characters and relationships to deal with from quite early on. When I started listening to it for the second time, I actually took notes of who was who, how old they were, what houses they belonged to, etc. and that really helped to get past the difficult beginning.

The characters are very well developed and Roy Dotrice is very good with the voices for each character. Although one of the characters (Tyrian Lannister, for those who have read it) seemed to develop a Welsh accent as the book went on!

The book switches points of view between the main characters, and usually when that happens, I have favourites and unfavourites, but that wasn’t the case in this book. There was never a moment when I thought – oh no, not this character again.

There are some unexpected moments, but I shan’t spoil the book by revealing any of them here.

As fantasy books go, it was a refreshing change from the “underdog prevails” type of plot, and there was little evidence of a talisman whose power needs to be unlocked.

All in all, it was a most enjoyable read.

Bookmooch

I heard about Bookmooch on episode 33 of Inside the Net and was intrigued. It’s basically a network of people ‘paying it forward’ with their unwanted books.

I have a load of books that I’ve never read and am not likely to, or have read and am not likely to read again. I did at one time sell such books on eBay, but it was a hassle and I didn’t made much on them. So the idea of ‘mooching’ books seemed to make sense to me. It’s better than giving them to a charity, because only a person who really wants what you have will ask for it.

It works on a points system. You get points (or fractions of points) for listing books that you’re willing to send to other moochers. You get more points for sending books. And then you spend points asking for books. It couldn’t really be more simple. You can set in your profile which region you are willing to ship to. I chose Worldwide – it can be expensive sending books from Europe to the Americas, but I think it’s worth it.

The engine for listing books is really good and well thought out; it basically hooks into Amazon and you can add books simply by entering the ISBN and it grabs the cover art and synopsis from Amazon.

So far I’ve sent out two books – one to Chicago and one to Germany.

I suppose for really expensive books (such as the Archaeology text books I just bought – yikes!) I would probably still use eBay, but for paperback novels, Bookmooch is great! I haven’t yet ‘mooched’ a book, but that’s pretty much because I haven’t the time to read for pleasure these days (sad but true) and most of my book consumption is in the form of audio books in the car.

If you’re interested, listen to the podcast linked above and maybe I’ll see you on Bookmooch.com!