Raising Steam – Terry Pratchett

Well After a while of self imposed exile, following my son’s birth, I’m back and have a few reviews. My apologies for the long wait, not that anyone has been waiting. However I have a few reviews in my head and as such should have a more regular posting schedule in the future.

Now for the first in a while.

Raising Steam – Terry Pratchett

Audiobook – Audible.

Read by Stephen Briggs

12 Hours and 20 Minutes


What can you say about Terry Pratchett. The man has created a world so rich and in depth that it has managed to span a 30 year time period without losing any wit, charm or sense of wonder. 40 books in 30 years, is a phenomenal achievement in any field, but to keep things from stagnating and becoming repetitive is nothing short of amazing.

I have to say that this is going to be a rather bias review. My love of Pratchetts work meant I had this pre ordered on audible months before it came out, and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed. It follows the age of steam engines arriving to the Disc.

As with many of the Discworld novels it follows the parallel tracks of Satire and politics (excuse the pun) and as it follows the jack of all trades Moist von Lipwig in his third outing as a main character. However it also mixes other favourites with everyone from Sam Vimes, The low king of the Dwarfs, Harry King and more making appearances

As with most of Pratchetts work its hard to go into too much detail without giving away the plot, but suffice to say it is a fast paced well oiled machine powering through the Satirical landscape. As with most it can be read as a standalone novel but I would implore you to read the first 39 novels first, or if you don’t have time at least Going Postal and Making Money which introduce us to Moist .

As mentioned this version reviewed is an audiobook read by Stephen Briggs. Once again he brings the characters of the Discworld to life. Recently I have found my ability to sit a read a book severely curtailed in the form of a bouncing baby boy. I have however found myself listening to Audiobooks with increasing frequency. The Discworld novels are some of the best and that is in no small part to Briggs’ talent.

The book is a brilliant anniversary present for Discworld. Happy 30th.

The Audiobook is wonderfully read and well worth it for people who don’t have time to sit and read at the moment.

9 out of 10.


A Small update

Hello All.

Well Charlie (formerly known as Beanie) came a wee bit earlier than expected. I have a backlog of reviews to upload, however finding the time at the moment is a problem. Expect 6-7 reviews back to back over the next month or so. Most of these will be books however there will be some Music thrown in there. but for now, peace to you all.


On “Geek” Versus “Nerd”

I’ve always wondered if there was a difference and now we have proof. Brilliant article.


To many people, “geek” and “nerd” are synonyms, but in fact they are a little different. Consider the phrase “sports geek” — an occasional substitute for “jock” and perhaps the arch-rival of a “nerd” in high-school folklore. If “geek” and “nerd” are synonyms, then “sports geek” might be an oxymoron. (Furthermore, “sports nerd” either doesn’t compute or means something else.)

In my mind, “geek” and “nerd” are related, but capture different dimensions of an intense dedication to a subject:

  • geek – An enthusiast of a particular topic or field. Geeks are “collection” oriented, gathering facts and mementos related to their subject of interest. They are obsessed with the newest, coolest, trendiest things that their subject has to offer.
  • nerd – A studious intellectual, although again of a particular topic or field. Nerds are “achievement” oriented, and focus their efforts on acquiring knowledge and skill over trivia and memorabilia.

Or, to…

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Conflict Watch: The Deteriorating Syrian Civil War and Humanitarian Crisis

Fantastic and insightful article into an escalting and worrying humanitarian crisis.

Normative Narratives

The Syria sinkhole

The Syrian opposition recently offered a dangerous ultimatum, which is symbolic of the overall deterioration for the prospect of a political transition in Syria:

“The Syrian opposition will not attend the proposed Geneva conference on the crisis in Syria unless rebel fighters receive new supplies of arms and ammunition, the top rebel military commander said Friday.

‘If we don’t receive ammunition and weapons to change the position on the ground, to change the balance on the ground, very frankly I can say we will not go to Geneva,’ Gen. Salim Idris said in a telephone interview from his headquarters in northern Syria. ‘There will be no Geneva.’”

“Mr. Assad’s military position has been strengthened by flights of arms from Iran and the involvement of thousands of fighters from Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group. The change of fortunes on the battlefield was illustrated last week when the Syrian military…

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The New Guard

Well this is my first post from the S4. I’ve had the phone about 4 hours now and I think I am getting to grips with it. It’s different but not in a bad way, however it will need sone work to get fully up to speed after all these years appleing it up.

So far so good.



The Hunger Games — Book Review

A Fantastic review on a Fantastic Series of Books. Don’t be put off By the Young Adult Title, They are an engrossing read.

Open Book Journeys

Hunger GamesThe Hunger Games

Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic Fiction
Published: 2011
Type: Kindle edition

What’s it about?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before – and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and…

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The end of an era

Well with one and a bit days to go, it’s the end of an era. For the last 4 years I have done everything through my iPhone, but on Tuesday my phone association with apple ends. As I type this up on a horrendously broken screen (to the point that I am actually relying on autocorrect) I would like to say its been fun. Lets hope my new S4 measures up from Tuesday onwards. This will be my last iPhone post… Not sure how I feel about that.