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50 Book Challenge 2012 – Book 22-24

50 Book Challenge 2012 – Book 22-24

22. George R.R. Martin – A Clash of Kings (1999)       

AClashofKings

After reading the first ‘Song of Ice and Fire’ book I knew I’d be reading on with the rest of the series, I just read a couple of books in between to have a “breather”. Once again George R. R. Martin has written an epic book where lots happens and it wasn’t hard to keep on reading. I’m loving a lot of the characters and I’m not really sure why I hadn’t picked up the series before as a few friends had recommended it. The only thing I don’t like about these books is that the author is making me like people on various different sides in one big battle, they can’t all win…..

Whilst reading this one I actually watched the first season of the Game of Thrones HBO television series which I also enjoyed as it stuck so closely to the book. I’m glad I’ve been reading the books first though as I’ve enjoyed seeing the TV programme fluff out parts of the book where characters are just mentioned, whilst also knowing about other stuff going on that isn’t mentioned in the TV programme. It feels like I’m getting the full picture!

23. J. K. Rowling – Harry Potter Prequal (2008)  

It might be cheating counting this in my book challenge, but screw it I’m including it! This was a very short story written by J. K. Rowling essentially for a charity auction. It starts to tell the story of an adventure that James Potter and Sirius Black had some time before Harry Potter was ever born. It was interesting getting into her easy reading stories again only to be distraught that its over so quickly.

It may be bad of me to say this but I really hope J. K. Rowling looses all her money for some reason and is forced to write a series of Harry Potter prequals!

24. J. K. Rowling – The Tales of Beedle the Bard (2008)     

tales-of-beedle-the-bard

 I’m not sure why I never got round to reading this before but this is another short story from J. K. Rowling which is actually the book of Wizarding children’s stories that is mentioned in the final Harry Potter book. Whilst the stories themselves are similar to children’s fairy tales I quite enjoyed the comments by Albus Dumbledore after each one where he essentially comments on the stories and how they are interpreted in the wizarding world. His comments added a much more interesting level to what could have been a pretty basic short collection of 5 fairy tales. I’d defiantly recommend this quick read to anyone who likes the Harry Potter books (who doesn’t?)

Terry Alderton – Udderbelly Festival

Terry Alderton – Udderbelly Festival

TerryAlderton

On Saturday I took Cesca to see Terry Alderton at the E4 Udderbelly Festival. After attempting to go into the Royal Festival Hall we found out that the Udderbelly gigs are actually contained inside a large purple upside down cow!

The weather was really great so while we waited for the doors of the cow to open we sat in the outside bar area and had a drink. Once the doors were opened we entered the cows belly where a good sized seating and performance area has been set up. The seats are first come first serve but I’d paid a little bit extra for ‘Sirloin Seats’ (a couple of rows near the front and centre are reserved with purple covers) so we had some great seats for an unobstructed view.

Terry Alderton gave a great set with lots of laughs. Cesca hadn’t seen any of his material before and she seemed to have a great time, as did I. I’ll be keeping an eye out for the udderbelly again next year.

British Computer Society Application

British Computer Society Application

Throughout university I was a student member of the British Computer Society (BCS) but after graduating I didn’t upgrade my membership to an Associate Membership (AMBCS).

Now that I’ve been working for almost 3 years I’ve decided to rejoin as a Professional Member (MBCS) and just submitted my application today. Hopefully it will help with my career/professional development and I can start on the path for Charted Engineer (CEng)

50 Book Challenge 2012 – Book 18-21

50 Book Challenge 2012 – Book 18-21

18. George R.R. Martin – A Game of Thrones (1996)       

a-game-of-thrones

As I mentioned before instead of watching the TV series Game of Thrones I decided to read the books first. Well it took a little while but I finished it and I really enjoyed it! George R. R. Martin has created a great fantasy world and I found all the characters compelling (often with other fantasy books there is a character I get bored of!) The twists and turns in the story are great and the timing of them seems to be just right with hardly a moment of the 800+ pages dragging on, I can see how this would translate perfectly into a TV programme.

I’ll definitely be reading on into the rest of the series.

19. Frank Abagnale & Stan Redding – Catch Me If You Can (1980)       

Catch Me

Wanting something a little lighter after Game of Thrones I picked this book, the true story of Frank Abagnale which has also been made into the film of the same name starring Leonardo DiCaprio. This was a really fun book; its about a young man coning his was across the world one dodgy cheque and pilot suit at a time. Whether the story is 100% true I’m unsure as its quite a wild one, but either way it made for a good read.

20. Philip K. Dick – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968)       

AndroidsElectricSheep

I’ve never actually watched Blade Runner all of the way through (something I plan on correcting) but this is the book it was based on; a story about Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter of androids. Essentially the story is about Deckard hunting down 6 fugitive androids which are the latest models (close to human), but this is surrounded by an odd post-nuclear war Earth with a weird religion, a 24 hour TV programme and people owning animals is a symbol of status; to the point where Deckard owns an electric sheep to pretend he’s richer. The book was an interesting read, questioning the difference between being an android and being a human, but it was a little odd at times.

21.  Michael Crichton – The Andromeda Strain (1969)       

AndromedaStrain

The story of a team of scientists investigating the appearance of an organism from space which kills a number of people, fast. I enjoy virus breakout stories as it involves a lot of quick problem solving (and often messing up) by the characters and ‘The Andromeda Strain’ delivered on that. I liked the layout of how scientists may have prepared for possible extraterrestrial viruses (there’s a pretty cool containment facility where the scientists work) and the story went along nicely, my only complaint would probably be that it ended quicker than I’d hoped!