I am a Bibliophile

A book is a garden for the mind, apparently. I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I do know that I love to read. I write short form reviews elsewhere, and longer winded commentary here.

Some Thoughts on Gamification

If you're playing any sort of a game, the question "Am I winning?" is usually quite easy to answer. "Is my score higher than the other guy?" usually covers it (though if you're playing something like chess it might be a little more complicated than that). If you're playing a computer game the fact that your character is still alive may well be enough to settle this question in your favour.

In life, though, it is a much harder question to answer. It may well be true that, to the healthy mind, it's not something which should ever really matter,

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The Wheel Weaves as the Wheel Wills

On what was, all things considered, otherwise a fairly shitty day, I finished reading A Memory of Light, the final volume of The Wheel of Time. This is, if you don't know, a fourteen book epic fantasy series whose author died prior to its completion. Each of these books is, by itself, around the size of the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy. One or two of them are really very dry, and finishing them comes dangerously close to feeling like work.

So do I recommend that you set out on this 12 thousand page, 4 million word journey? Emphatically

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Book Related Blog Post

I finally broke. I’ve been saying for some time that if the Kindle, or a similarly capable eReader, went under the £100 mark I would splash out and buy one. Until quite recently I had been quite tempted, but this condition was never satisfied. Had I seen one for sale in a bricks and mortar store while I was over in the US of A, I think I probably would have just snapped it up, dollar to stirling exchange rates and relative prices being what they are. But I didn’t, so I didn’t.

Then, suddenly, out of

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For Boobs, Mikael?

Warning: this post contains a picture which includes boobs. Be prepared for that. If your manager is looking over your shoulder, don't click; or at least have an excuse ready. If you're offended by the sight of boobs... well... I'm sorry. But I probably don't know how to talk to you in that case, anyway. Lastly: if you're American, you're not supposed to see this, for some reason.

Please, use your desecration. Oh yes, and think of the children. But not while looking at the boobs. That would be strange.

Anyway.

Ready?

It's the new teaser poster for David Fincher's

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What's the Downside?

I'm reading a Peter F Hamilton book right now. His work isn't perfect, but I like it. He achieves a fairly staggering level of scale, whilst corralling a considerable number of characters who are worth your time1 and develop naturally, if exceptionally. His books are, however, frikkin' gigantic. This one is 725 pages long, and is shorter than a lot of his other work. It's not ideal for reading on journeys, and you wouldn't want to pack more than one of them for a long trip. It's also not like PFH is the only long winded author I read.

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Brave New Worlds

If you were writing a taxonomy of stories you might choose books as a good place to start. Flicking your way through the world's libraries, time and the Dewey Decimal System would eventually bring you to the fantasy genre. There is a lot of fantasy writing out there, and you might choose to subdivide it further. A one potential way of cutting it neatly in twain is like so:

  1. Stories set in our world;
  2. Stories not set in our world.

Simple. Harry Potter, for instance, is set in our world. That's a big part of the appeal. Likewise so are

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Just Can't Recommend Highly Enough

Today I finished "The Girl Who Played With Fire", translated by Reg Keeland from the swedish book of the same name by Stieg Larsson. It's the sequel to 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" (which is called "Men Who Hate Women" in the original swedish), and I really can't recommend the pair of them highly enough (as you might have guessed from the title of this blog post).

I picked the first book up as the combination of the titular character being described as "an expert computer hacker" and the synopsis on the back cover put me in mind of

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