Friends, this is my review of the book Time Line by Michael Crichton, which I read recently. The title of the book seemed to be quite appropriate for the day, being the end of the year. Though this book was written a number of years ago, and has had a film made using the plot, the tale is still a good one.
The idea is that an American business has worked out how to travel to other times using quantum technology, with the idea of producing the ultimate historical experience. The story flits between America, where the technology is based and France, where they are going back to the 13th century, to provide those extra details for an archaeological dig.
But of course things go wrong, the professor is trapped in the past, and a rescue mission needs to be made. Three of his students go back along with two guides from the company. Sadly very quickly the guides are killed, and one manages to come back to the present with a live grenade that goes off, which destroys the launch and recovery area. There is a window of opportunity of 36 hours for the rescue, and the majority of the story covers this time. Can the professor be found, and can the recovery site be rebuilt in time....
Our heroes get caught up in the ongoing war between the English, and the French, along with tension between the nobility and the poor. Add to this the plague, secret passages and romance. The outcome is an exciting believable story. A page turner, with lots of twists, that make it a really good book. Perfect for curling up in front of the log fire with a glass of wine this holiday time.
This was book 10 week 7 fiction 10 (audio book 3) non fiction 0
Friends this is my review of the book The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which I listened to recently as a Librivox recording.
This is the original story, that inspired Jurassic Park and King Kong. It is all about a strange tropical land in South America, that is trapped on a basaltic plateau, where time has stood still. The flora and fauna are mainly from a bygone age, normally found in the fossil record, but here they are alive.
Professor George Edward Challenge, found a sketch book that revealed these living dinosaurs, but when he tries to tell his colleagues about this they do not believe him. So an official investigation is launched to determine if his claims are true. This is the amazing story of what they found.
Not only do they find the world but due to a local guides treachery, they seem to be trapped on this amazing land. But all is not peace and light. They find an ongoing war between an ape like creature and local indians, who are locked in a bitter deadly war to control the land.
The apes throw captured local indians off the top of a cliff onto spikes below killing them for sport, so all does not go well for our heroes when they are trapped by the apes. But to say more would spoil the story.. Can our heroes escape from the apes, then they have to find a way out of the land without being killed. Finally there is the mystery of the sparkly treasure in the blue clay, and does true love win? Well that would be telling.
All I will say is that I am amazed that the final section of the book, it is very different to any film of TV show that I have watched.
This was an enjoyable way of passing the miles on the Motorway, and was book 9 week 6 fiction 9 (audio book 3) non fiction 0
Friends this is my review of the book To Kill a Queen b y Alanna Knight, which I read recently. This is the second 50p market stall Alanna Knight books, and was well worth the money. It could have been helped by the fact that I read a lot of the story using candle light due to the storm causing a power cut. It all helped create the right sort of atmosphere, helping to bring to life the Victorian drama unfolding in the pages.
The hero of the story is again Detective Inspector Jeremy Faro. He is on holiday in Deeside, but soon he is working by royal appointment, and is instructed to find out who has killed some of Queen Victoria's dogs, whilst she is staying at Balmoral.
Of course this is not the whole story, and soon he is investigating a plot to assassinate the Queen before she leaves Balmoral and returns to London. Along the way there are a couple of murders, and the closer Jeremy gets the more his life is in danger.
He is nearly drowned, then shot at, and his past catches up with him, as the chief suspect. Somehow the mystery of the dogs death must be linked to the potential attempt on the Queens life. Can he solve the mystery in time and save the Queen's life.
This was a very enjoyable atmospheric mystery, as book 8 week 6 fiction 8 (audio book 2) non fiction 0
Friends this is my review of the book Blood Hunt by Ian Rankin, which I read recently. This was originally written as a Jack Harvey Novel.
The star of the book is Gordon Reeve, an ex SAS solder, who now runs survival courses for wealthy city dwellers in the wilds of Scotland. Sadly he gets a phone call to say that his brother a reporter has been found dead in his car in San Diego - the car was locked from the inside, a gun in his hand.
Gordon flies out to America to identify the body, and soon comes to realise that his brother has in fact been murdered. After the funeral and back in Scotland he finds out that there have been more visitors than usual to his house and his home has been bugged by professionals.
Gordon sets out to find out why his brother was killed and what he was investigating. In doing so he finds that his past in the SAS comes back to haunt him. He now finds that he is fighting for his and his families life.
It is a good and gripping story – sort of Rebus on steroids. Ian manages to deliver the suspense and excitement of the chase really well.
Well this I think was my last Jack Harvey novel that Ian has written and was an enjoyable read as book 7 week 5 fiction 7 (audio book 2) non fiction 0
Friends this is my review of the book A Quiet Death, which I read a few weeks ago. (The storms, three power cuts and trying to restore data from the backup, have lead to a slight delay in my recording what I have read, but it does not mean that I have not been reading, in fact more so sitting by the fire using the light from a candle)
So getting back to the book. This is the first time I have read an Alanna Knight book, and was not disappointed. The book was set in Victorian Scotland and was very good at painting the atmosphere of what life was like then. The star of the book is a Detective Inspector Jeremy Faro. He has evidently been the star of previous books, and so there was quite a history that came along with him, but this did not matter as Alanna was very good at reminding (or in my case telling first time round) any relevant facts from previous books.
The story hinges around the construction of the Tay Bridge, and a suicide from the semi finished structure. But of course this is a mystery thriller and was the suicide really a suicide or was it murder.
The plot cleverly goes from one mystery to another weaving it tale. Sabotage, bribery and corruption all come into play on this very large building project. It is a very clever fictional tale weaved around real events. In all it was an enjoyable read – fifty pence for the market store well spent.
This was book 6 week 5 fiction 6 (audio book 2) non fiction 0
Friends, as you may be able to guess from the title this is about backups. The other day sadly, my desktop, started emitting clouds of black smoke out of the back, and stopped working. When it had cooled down, and the smoke had stopped coming out I was able to have a closer examination. It seems as if the motherboard has burnt out, as it all looks a bit black. But don't worry everything is all backed up and copied to the cloud isn't it.
I don't know yet if the hard disks have been trashed, I am waiting on delivery of a SATA to usb connector so I can see what is on them. So till then I am reliant on a borrowed laptop and my backup. Arh but what about the cloud. In the last few years I have had four cloud accounts. This is not because I want to but because the cloud service I have signed up to has changed in some way, so I need a new cloud account, and hence I am now on account four. Even that has just notified me that it is changing so I will need to look for another come the new year.
There is one major limiting factor on the cloud – The speed of ones internet connection. If it is not good then this is not an option for large scale backup, but for the small scale – files that are being worked on in the here and now.
So we come back to my backup – I have a couple of external usb disks, that I use, swapping them over as father and son. I normally try and do this at the weekend and midweek. I also use the backup as an undo facility so do not use a complicated all encompassing system, (For our business I use Fbackup 5 which works well) rather I use Karens replicator, with each job coping a folder root. This is relatively quick and easy to do. Having got the files onto the hard disk all it does it update any changes. Roughly every month I do a more major copy to ensure there is not too much rubbish collecting in the backup, as being super cautious I do not use the delete function with the replicator.
So having go a machine and worked out what files I am using I have taken the latest backup and copied that onto a temporary disk, which will now become my live disk (as cant copy the files onto the laptop), and future backups will now run from the temporary disk via the laptop to the backup disk.
So yes it is worth spending a bit on money on a couple of external hard disks, which you can then use as a backup. You should always have two copies of the backup just in case one is damaged in some way and then the backup and all data can be lost.
So now I need to decide do I want a linux or windows machine next, and if the hard disks are not trashed then do I take this opportunity and set them up as a NAS (Network Area Storage). We will have to wait and see.
Friends this is my review of the book The Invisible Man by H G Wells, which I listened to recently as an audio book whilst travelling. This is a book that had a lot of preconceptions. Of course I know all about the Invisible Man as I have seen the TV series.
Well it is nice to be surprised and proved wrong, even if the character that I thought might have been essentially good was in fact the opposite. But I am jumping the gun a little. The hero is a scientist, called Griffin, who manages to make himself invisible. Well that is so long as he is naked.
So with a bandaged face and a heavy coat and gloves, he takes a train to lodge in a country inn whilst he tries to discover the antidote and make himself visible again. But the locals become suspicious, especially when money starts to vanish. So he has to leave in a hurry.
He then coerces a tramp, Thomas Marvel, into becoming his assistant. With Marvel, he returns to the village to try and recover three notebooks that contain records of his experiments. When Thomas attempts to betray the Invisible Man to police, He chases him to the seaside town of Port Burdock, threatening to kill him. Thomas escapes to a local inn and is saved by the people at the inn, but Griffin escapes. Thomas later goes to the police and tells them about the "invisible man,"
Griffin's furious attempt to avenge his betrayal leads to his being shot. He takes shelter in a nearby house that turns out to belong to Dr. Kemp, a former acquaintance from medical school. He hopes that Dr Kemp will help him so he reveals his true identity, as the Invisible Man. He then goes on to explain how he invented medicine capable of rendering bodies invisible and, on impulse, performed the procedure on himself. He then recounts how he got to where he is, which involved theft of clothes from a theatrical supply shop.
He then suggests that he can make Kemp his secret confederate, and tells his plan to begin a "Reign of Terror" by using his invisibility to terrorise the nation, but sadly Dr Kemp denounces Griffin to the police. Things then do not progress well for the Invisible Man, and he is finally killed by the Mob.
The book ends with the revelation that Thomas, his initial assistant had kept the notebooks detailing the experiments.
This was an enjoyable book as book 5 week 4 fiction 5 (audio book 2) non fiction 0
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.