Monthly Archives: December 2011

My 2011 books poll

My 2011 books poll. Tick if you have read (for any value of ‘read’ which satisfies you). All books are written up on Livejournal and Librarything.

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Books and audios of 2011

Total number of books for the year: 301 (counting the various Gibbon volumes as one). This is up from 278 in 2010 but below 2009's 346 and 2008's 374, thanks to watching old TV episodes (mostly Doctor Who) on my … Continue reading

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December Books

Non-fiction 10 (Total for year 70) Interpreting Irish History, edited by Ciaran Brady Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography Unrecognised States, by Nina Caspersen Gulistān, by Sheikh Muṣleḥ-ʾiddin Saʿdī Būstān, by Sheikh Muṣleḥ-ʾiddin Saʿdī The John Nathan-Turner Memoirs A Narrative of the … Continue reading

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December Books 26) Vanished Kingdoms, by Norman Davies

I was very glad to get this as a Christmas present, a book with fifteen chapters exploring the demise (and occasional revival) of European states. The first eleven chapters look at countries which once existed and appeared to be as … Continue reading

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December Books 25) The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Vols 5 and 6, by Edward Gibbon

I'll do a roundup post on the entire Decline and Fall later in the weekend, but for now I just want to log that I have reached the end. The last two volumes of the original publication deal with the … Continue reading

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December Books 24) The Silent Stars Go By, by Dan Abnett

Latest Doctor Who book from the prolific Abnett, this one with a bit of a Christmassy theme (the chapter titles, like the title of the novel, are all lines from carols), but bringing back the Ice Warriors (who as far … Continue reading

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December Books 23) A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, of the State of Tennessee.

I was startled to find this referenced in the bibliography for Lois McMaster Bujold's The Sharing Knife: Passage, and sufficiently intrigued to track it down on Project Gutenberg and speculate about the author's uncle. It's a book which is quite obviously … Continue reading

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What to read in 2012?

As can be seen from my tally here, I found last year’s poll asking what books on my TBR shelves you have read tremendously helpful in deciding what to read in the course of 2011. Unfortunately, the number of books … Continue reading

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December Books 22) Het Boek Van Alle Dingen / The Book of Everything, by Guus Kuijer

F had to do a report on this book for school, and invited me to read it too. It's quite a fascinating package, and very short at only 100 pages; Kuijer gives a very strong sense of a repressed Dutch … Continue reading

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December Books 21) The Eye of the Jungle, by Darren Jones

A decent enough audiobook read very effectively by David Troughton; aliens intrude into an 1827 British expedition on the Amazon, with some fairly horrific experiments being carried out on their captives – not really one for the younger listener!

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Highlights of my Twitter year

Last year I went to the trouble of searching through my Facebook posts of the past twelve months to see which had attracted most comments. But Facebook's interface has now become so user-unfriendly that I will not waste time on … Continue reading

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Most commented posts of the last year

Further evidence, if any were needed, of the slow fading of Livejournal: two years ago I was able to list 42 posts of the previous twelve months which had attracted 20 or more comments; last year I could only find … Continue reading

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December Books 20) The John Nathan-Turner Memoirs

An unexpected Christmas bonus for us subscribers from Big Finish (unexpected to me at any rate, though I admit I tend to just download my own subscriptions and the occasional podcast and therefore miss a lot of the interactivity on … Continue reading

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December Books 19) Nuclear Time, by Oli Smith

This was the last of the 2010 releases in the main Doctor Who series to hit my reading list, and to be honest it’s not a strong contender. Some interesting concepts, particularly the moving of the Doctor both backwards and … Continue reading

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The Transdniestrian presidential election

I guess it’s possible that you have missed some interesting developments over the other side of Europe, where the voters of the unrecognised state of Transdniestria have kicked out not only the strongman who had run the place since the … Continue reading

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December Books 18) The Dalek Handbook, by Steve Tribe and James Goss

As guides to Who go, this is one of the better ones I have come across, with a main core narrative recounting the televised Dalek stories of Doctor Who (shamefully little space given to The Power of the Daleks, but … Continue reading

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The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe

Well, I thought that was above average for a Who Christmas special. The jokes were funny, the whole thing seemed disciplined in its self-indulgence, Bill Bailey got to do his thing, Claire Skinner is excellent, and it fitted well with … Continue reading

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Δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις θεῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκία!

Luke 2:14, as it might have been presented by the EU: [bg] Слава на Бога във висините, И на земята мир между човеците, в които е Неговото благоволение! [es] Gloria en las alturas a Dios, Y en la tierra paz, … Continue reading

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December Books 17) The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest, by Stieg Larsson

Normally I have several books on the go at any given time, reading fifty pages of one before switching to another. Last night I realised that I couldn’t put down The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest, as Lisbeth Salander’s … Continue reading

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http://www.reizigersprotest.be – the #SNCB / #NMBS clients strike back

We had an exciting general strike yesterday in protest at the government’s planned austerity measures, or as a friend of mine put it on Facebook, “it’s like an ant kicking the other ants in the backside on the assumption that … Continue reading

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You know when someone’s account has been hacked…

…when you get a message with the subject line "hey" and the message consists simply of the hyperlinked phrase "Click here to see the attached photos". That in itself is enough to set off the warning bells. But when the … Continue reading

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December Books 16) First Born, by James Goss

A prequel to this year's Torchwood: Miracle Day series, which fairly leapt off the online shelves at me when I realised it was by James Goss, whose contributions to the off-screen Whoniverse have been pretty impressive, and that two of … Continue reading

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December Books 15) Operation Red Dragon, by Thierry Robberecht, Marco Venanzi and Michel Pierret

Last year I read The Aïda Protocol, the second in a series of earnest graphic novels about the work of Liberal MEPs in the European Parliament; Operation Red Dragon is the first of them, published in 2006, in which our … Continue reading

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December Books 13-14) Interference I + II, by Lawrence Miles

Little to add to what I wrote when I first read these, except to add that in the context of the Eight Doctor Adventures as a series the story seemed slightly more rambling than taken on its own.

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An tAontas Eorpach

Through an administrative glitch I was sent an internal EU document today in its Irish translation. It wasn't terribly exciting but I was struck by the names of the member states as Gaeilge: An Bheilg: An Bhulgáir: Poblacht na Seice: … Continue reading

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Lots of interesting links. (Well, interesting to me.)

Clare College – 2012 Alumnus of the Year announcedAlice Welbourn, who has spent her career working to raise the profile of HIV positive women. Paul Cornell: Social Networking.I love the internet. I live here. You know at parties how people, … Continue reading

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The Earthsea Books

November Books 26) A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula Le GuinDecember Books 8) The Tombs of Atuan, by Ursula Le GuinDecember Books 9) The Farthest Shore, by Ursula Le GuinDecember Books 10) Tehanu, by Ursula Le GuinDecember Books 11) Tales … Continue reading

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The Romans, reappraised

Last time I watched The Romans, just over two years ago, it left me rather cold. On F’s suggestion we watched the first two episodes last night and the other two this evening, and I found I loved it (and … Continue reading

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Gibbon Chapter LXX: Rome from 1300 to 1590

A survey of the history of Rome from 1300 to 1590, which covers the history of Rienzi (which I knew nothing about), the Great Schism (which I did know something about) and the government of Rome once the Popes had … Continue reading

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Three BF audios: First Wave, Five Companions, Army of Death

Somehow I have fallen behind with logging my progress with the latest Big Finish audios, so here are three, in continuity order (which is coincidentally also release order). In The First Wave, the story of Steven and audio-only companion Oliver, … Continue reading

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