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Category Archives: Books

I take your divided attention for a single word.



What is Wool?

This is Wool; or, to be accurate, Wool – Part One.

It’s a book. Science-fiction.

It’s fantastic. Captivating writing.  Great setting.  Interesting characters.  Better questions. Clever clever twist.

It’s short.  It clocks in at under 50 pages on my Kindle.  It won’t eat up your valuable time.

At the moment its free. It won’t burn any of your valuable money.

If you want to know more, there is this gem of a resource.


It’s a great book, in a great package at a great price. 

What’s not to like? 

Except that the fact you’ll be wanting more at the end of it.

But they thought of that.  More is here.


You start reading enough fantasy and science fiction novels (and I’ve discovered I like fantasy) you start to see a pattern carved into the generic heart of the genre.

Somehow it seems to be important to forge a protagonist through a particular series of  harsh fires. As if somehow, being unable to have the normal upbringing that most people encounter is a pre-condition to being exceptional.

That pattern has the following cut:

I have turned into a major Goodreads fan.

For those of you who don’t know, Goodreads is a social networking site for book lovers, premised on the idea that recommendations from people you know are more valuable than recommendations from an algorithm that tries to discern what books a customer may enjoy based on what they previously bought (cough *Amazon* cough). 

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that many of my friends are on Goodreads. So, as you’ve probably inferred, I’m not getting as much value from that social side of the Goodreads experience.

It turns out that I  don’t know many people who (a) read voraciously and (b) are on Goodreads (I hope that the main reason for my social poverty is (b) and not (a)).

So how come I’m spending so much time on Goodreads?

Its value boils down to three things: (1) Memory (2) Anticipation and (3) Understanding. Goodreads has helped me get all three in relation to my bibliophilia. Let me explain how:

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The-road (WinCE) It’s a rare book that you can read shivering on a cold day and feel only the cruel edges on the prose. Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’ is such a book.

The Road follows the journey southwards of an unnamed father and son, a decade after a great, unexplained cataclysm (which appears to be a nuclear winter) has destroyed civilization. The father leads the boy, through the desolate landscape, along vacant highways, towards the sea.  They are sustained only by the vague hope of finding warmth, food and more “good guys” like themselves. Carrying only what can be salvaged from the passing remnants of civilisation, they must avoid the savage bands that roam their path.

The characters transform the standard post-apocalyptic survival genre into a captivating horror because of the intimate father-son bond which keeps both alive in this bleak world. Fighting for each other, motivated only by their desperate, life-gripping need to stay for each other, they provide a frightening lens to view survival.

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Since I last wrote about Rebus, seven weeks ago, I’ve jumped another six novels in the series. This is a good time, before we come to Rebus’ retirement in another five books, to chart how the series has changed and to acclaim some impressive developments.

The six new books are:

§ Let it Bleed (1995)

§ Black & Blue (1997)

§ The Hanging Garden (1998)

§ Dead Souls (1999)

§ Set in Darkness (2000)

§ The Falls (2001)

Within these six books there are three things that stood out for me.

Award winning author Ian Rankin is best known for his his series of detective novels featuring gruff Scottish Detective Inspector John Rebus. The series spans twenty years and twenty novels, starting with Knots & Crosses in 1987 to the 2007 release of Exit Music.

I’d never read any of the books before, so when Rich bought it to my attention I was intrigued by the opportunity to read the series from start to finish.

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