From My Armchair: 08 May 2015

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It has been a long time since my last newsletter, ‘From My Armchair,’ some 8 months at least in fact and back then I had only just begun with my weekly updates. So in reality my weekly update is still something of a new thing and by no means established. Far from being an update ‘From My Armchair,’ this one is more like an update from my sickbed, as I am cast down with the flu – again. That which prematurely cut off my pevious attempts at providing a weekly update, ironically, was in fact illness that had begun with the flu and then developed into two bouts of double pneumonia. So I guess you could say I’m coming full circle, though I would really like to not have to go through pneumonia again.

There were plenty of planned book reviews and comments about books I had read back then, which had included the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins (which were far better than the movie by the way), 20 000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne and a number of other books that I had read and have since read. However, it is probably best to start fresh and not try to offer book reviews on books that were read some time ago – I prefer to offer a review of a book while it is fresh in my mind.

So I’ll press on from this point in time with what will probably be an update ‘From My Armchair’ at very regular intervals, probably somewhere between a week or fortnight between each update, but unlikely to be as precise an interval as arriving on the Blog each Wednesday for example. Neither will it be as ‘regularly challenged’ as the Evernote podcasts, which sometimes don’t appear for several months – though I have to give credit to the guys at Evernote, they do appear to be trying much harder at becoming more regular with their podcasting schedule. Just so we are clear, Evernote is my all-time favourite app/software which I have synced arcross all of my devices, so I’m not meaning anything too mean by my previous comment, just a small affectionate dig. The podcats are great by the way and I have just downloaded episode 38, which I’ll listen to sometime tonight.

So a fresh start it will be, though I do intend holding on to the same ‘sections’ within my update.

If you haven’t come across one of my ‘From My Armchair’ updates/newsletters, the point of it is to simply share where I have been in my reading experiences and adventures with books/ebooks, and generally everything else associated – sort of like the articles I link to in the Blog, except the focus is narrowed down to my own experience in the newsletter/update. I’m sure the newsletter/update will develop over time to include other sections, see some sections removed and hopefully become better with age.


Social Networks, Web Applications & Other Tools

I really haven’t done a lot with the social networking side of books in recent times. I have added some books to my Goodreads catalogue, but the number of books I have (especially ebooks) is growing far faster than I can add them to Goodreads. I also have a Microsoft Access database I use, just in case Goodreads bites the dust. But I’m also thinking that I will use Evernote as a cataloguing tool, especially given the ability to have my catalogue on Evernote with me at all times. That would
be a tremendous advantage.

Sadly the ‘quotes’ social network I had a lot of time for, simply called Quotista, has disappeared. It was a good site, but the owners did little to make it known or allow it to become more than it did. It was disappointing, because it was a great web application I thought. So I will need to look at other avenues for keeping my quotes in an organised and searchable collection. Certainly Evernote provides a private place for that and I have a private WordPress Blog set up for keeping useful quotes also. Neither meet the entire objective I have for quotes though, so I will have to apply myself to this problem soon – I can probably use Goodreads for sharing quotes, but haven’t looked into that enough yet.


Currently Reading:

I have a number of books that I am currently reading. I post progress updates to Goodreads, so that will provide a way to see my current progress at any particular time. So I should probably have a link to my Goodreads profile here somewhere each newsletter. I have just added that to the top of the newsletter and it will be able to be found there in each newsletter.

So what am I currently reading:

Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia 1600-1947, by Christopher Clark

I am currently 27% through reading this book (on the Kindle), which I only started to read a couple of days ago. It’s quite a large book. I have wanted to read this book ever since I got it – there was just something about it that captured my attention and it isn’t letting me down. It is of course about the history of Prussia.


The One Year Bible – KJV

I am currently about 20% through The One Year Bible (on the Kindle), which means I’m a long way from where I should be. I am making up for lost time though by reading two days worth of readings a day until I catch up. There are portions of the Bible to read each day, divided over the course of the year. I am enjoying reading the portions and will hopefully be up to date in about a month or so.


21 Ways to Improve Your Camping Lifestyle, by W. V. Revill

I am about 20% through this book as well (on the Kindle).


Finished Reading:

I have finished reading a number of books since the last newsletter. In the 2013 Goodreads Reading Challenge that I set myself I have marked 25 books to read for this year – I have so far completed 5, which according to the widget at Goodreads has me currently 15% behind schedule, which is 3 books. However, those three books are covered in the three I am currently reading, so no real troubles there. I actually expect to read far more than the 25 I have marked as hoping to read for the year.


Purchased & Added to Library:

I don’t remember the last time I purchased a traditional book, for myself that is. I did recently purchase a book for my mother as a birthday gift, but haven’t bought any for myself in a long time. I now chiefly purchase ebooks and there have been plenty of them. I would estimate that my ebook library has grown by over 500 books in the last 6-8 months, which includes many free ebooks via Amazon. I have actually purchased a good number also. I won’t list all of the ebooks I have added to my library in the last 6-8 months, but in the last week or so I have added the following:

The Delphi Agenda, by Rob Swigart
The Last Jump – A Novel of WWII, by John E. Nevola
The Complete Kings and Queens of England (A Quick Reference Guide), by Nicky Stuart Verra
The Dirty Parts of the Bible – A Novel, by Sam Torode
The Hooked X – The Secret History of North America, by Scott Wolter
The Kinshield Legacy (The kinshield Saga), by K. C. May
The Last Disciple: 1, by Hank Hanegraaff
Sparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every Turn, by Melanie Shankle
An Untamed Land (Red River of the North Book 1), by Lauraine Snelling
The Maiden of Mayfair (Tales of London Book 1), by Lawana Blackwell
Southern Fried Sushi: A Novel, by Jennifer Rogers Spinola
Tomorrow’s Sun (Lost Sanctuary), by Becky Melby
The Justinian Curse, by Mikel Emmanuel De Crus
Community Wins: 21 Thoughts on Building a Thriving Online Tribe, by Bryan Allain
Through the Fire (First Responders Book 1), by Shawn Grady
Grace Walk, by Steve McVey
War Shots: Norm Hatch and the U.S. Marine Corps Combat Cameramen of World War II, by Charles Jones
Every Bush is Burning, by Brandon Clements
Kindle Paperwhite User’s Manual, by Linda F. Thompson


The Book Stand

I have all manner of Blogs and websites at different places on the web. I have three Blogs at tumblr and one of those is a site for ebooks that are currently available for free or are on special. Most of the ebooks highlighted on the Blog are for the Kindle, but there are other selections from time to time. The site is simply called ‘The Book Stand.’

Visit The Book Stand at:

I generally download all of the books highlighted on the site, which is why I have some ebooks you may be surprised at in the list of recently purchased/added books above. If they are free, I might as well download them.


Particular Baptist Reading Group

I have recently started a reading group over at Goodreads called the ‘Particular Baptist Reading Group.’ The group is for Particular and Reformed Baptists in particular, though other Christians are still welcome and will find the reading material of great value. Anyone can join and all are welcome – just keep in mind that it is a moderated, Christian reading group.

The idea is that a chapter/portion of a book will be posted once a week, with discussions concerning the chapter/portion taking place within the group at Goodreads. I haven’t completed the necessary web infrastructure at this stage, but hope to have it all up and running by the end of May 2013, when the first section of the book, ‘The Attraction of the Cross’ by Gardiner Spring will be made available.

Visit and Sign up at:

Article: Tools for Turning a Facebook Page into a Book

The link below is to an article that highlights five web applications that will enable you to turn your Facebook Page into a book.

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Article: Riffle – An Alternative for Goodreads

The link below is to an article concerning a Goodreads alternative – Riffle. 

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Not My Review: The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt

The link below is to a book review of ‘The righteous Mind – Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion,’ by Jonathan Haidt.

For more visit: