From My Armchair: 18 May 2015


Visit My Goodreads Profile at:
http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4675745-kevin

Well, I did come full circle as I mentioned in my last newsletter – I even managed to get pneumonia again. Perhaps I shouldn’t haven’t mentioned that – but that’s the way it goes I guess. I am well on the road to recovery now and in fact I feel really quite healthy, apart from being really tired, which is probably a hangover from the illness. I am however only one day delayed from my ‘hoped for’ posting of my latest update ‘From My Armchair,’ so that isn’t too bad all things considered. I did take a break from my other Blogs in recent days, but didn’t from ‘At the BookShelf‘ and ‘The Book Stand,’ though I did lessen the number of posts.

I have done a lot of reading in the last 7-10 days and by a lot I mean I have probably read well in excess of 1000 pages and probably closer to 1500 pages. So plenty of reading going on here. I have enjoyed all of it and look forward to the next bit of reading over the next 7-10 days. I don’t think I’ll get anywhere near as much reading done in that time though, as I doubt I’ll be taking as much time off work sick as I did in the last little while – certainly I don’t plan to anyhow.

 

Social Networks, Web Applications & Other Tools

I have been adding books to my Goodreads profile and into my Access database, which continues to be a very slow process. I don’t think I’ll ever complete this project, especially with the number of ebooks that I keep adding to my collection. I really would like to get my entire library, both taditional and digital, into some form of manageable and useful order. It is very difficult to know just what I have in my ebooks collection – I pretty much know my tradional library like the back of my hand. It really is the digital library that is proving quite the handful, in a virtual sense of course. Perhaps I need to look into Calibre a bit more than I have. I can’t say that I am too familiar with Calibre. I think I just really need to speed up my cataloguing activities and focus on those ebooks that really are going to be of use to me first and foremost.

I did post a quote to Goodreads as an experiment and will need to post a few more before I am convinced either way as to the usefulness of the quotation section of the Goodreads experience. The quotation section of Goodreads is probably more geared towards the social sharing side of things rather than personal curation for latter use in research, writing, etc. So it will certainly have its purpose in my overall curation plan for quotes, but may not answer entirely to my requirements. Perhaps I will have to settle for my WordPress-Evernote solution that I have been thinking about for some time, as mentioned in the previous newsletter/update.

 

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:

 

Born Digital – Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives, by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser

I am current 42% through this one, which is all about the first generation of people born into the digital age. It is a bit dated now, but none-the-less a very worthwhile read and I would say a useful one for children and parents alike. I should be well and truly finished this book by the time of the next update judging by my current progress.

 

The Tin Ticket – The Heroic Journey of Australia’s Convict Women, by Deborah J. Swiss

I am currently about 15% (Kindle) through this one. I originally purchased this in paperback for my mother as a birthday gift and then purchased a Kindle copy for myself a couple of weeks ago. It’s a good, nonfiction read.

I have been blogging my way through this book and you can follow my posts (in order of appearance) at:

Book Review: Beginning
Book Review: Chapter 1 
Book Review: Chapter 2

 

The One Year Bible – KJV

I am currently about 23% 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 (on the Kindle), which means I need to be reading more of it (same as last week). I guess the other books are proving far more interesting.

 

Finished Reading:

I have finished reading a two 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 7, which according to the widget at Goodreads has me currently 10% behind schedule, which is 2 books. However, those two books are covered in the two 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. So I have improved since the last update and will more-than-likely do so again by the time of the next update.

 

Humble Orthodoxy – Holding the Truth High Without Putting People Down, by Joshua Harris

I really enjoyed this book. Read my Review at:
Book Review: Humble Orthodoxy

 

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

I also really enjoyed this book. Read my review at:
Book Review: Iron Kingdom

 

Purchased & Added to Library: NEW

I have added quite a number of ebooks to my collection since my last update. These are listed below:

Russians in the Past War, by Gennady Kuznetsov
Proverbs for Kids – A Family Devotional Guide, by JoHannah Reardon
Elly’s Ghost, by John R. Kess
The American, by Cezar Giosan
Warrior Prince: The Life of Owain Glyndwr, by Ian Skidmore
A Gift for Mommy, by Robin Dawn
A View from the Hole, by M. Larry Thornton, Dennis A. Hooker
The Complete Guide to Home Freezing and The Amazingly Delicious Home Freezing Recipes Cookbook, by Polly Ann Lewis
Humble Orthodoxy – Holding the Truth Without Putting People Down, by Joshua Harris and J. D. Greear
God Knows My Name – Never Forgotten, Forever Loved, by Beth Redman
Memory Makers for the Family – Creating Unforgettable Moments, by Cinder Sanders
The Brotherhood of the Red Niles, A Terrorist Perspective, by Dan Perkins
The Tin Ticket – The Heroic Journey of Australia’s Convict Women, by Deborah J. Swiss
A Final Reckoning – A Tale of Bush Life in Australia (Illustrated), by G. A. Henty
Little Buggies – A Rhyming Guessing Book for Little Ones (Baby – Age 5), by Cindy Bracken
Journey Across the Four Seas – A Chinese Woman’s Search for Home, by Veronica Li
Spring is Here! A Children’s Picture Book About Spring, by Heidi Pross Gray
The MacArthur Bible Commentary, by John MacArthur
The MacArthur Study Bible (NKJV), by John MacArthur
The Holy Bible – English Standard Version (with Cross-References)
Secrets of the Big Data Revolution, by Jason Kolb and Jeremy Kolb
60 Things God Said About Sex, by Lester Sumrall
Family Deceptions, by Loretta Giacoletto
Quest for the Lost Treasure (Interactive Pirate Adventure in a Beautifully Illustrated Picture Book for Ages 3-8), by Gerry Gaston and Laura Livi
Section 132, by Helga Zeiner
Vietnam Veteran Memoirs, by Mack Payne
Impact My Life – Biblical Mentoring Simplified, by Elisa Pulliam
Impact My Life Study Guide – Biblical Mentoring Simplified, by Elisa Pulliam
Heroes and Monsters: An Honest Look at the Struggle Within All of Us, by Josh James Riebock
The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, by Mike Michalowicz
Darc Murders Collection, by Carolyn McCray and Ben Hopkin
Plain Jane – A Mystery/Thriller Not for the Faint of Heart (Harbinger Murder Mystery Series), by Carolyn McCray
Trophy Child – Saving Parents from Performance, Preparing Children for Something Greater Than Themselves, by Ted Cunningham
Jesus Killed My Church, by Randy Bohlender
Hangings, Sinkings and Trust in God – Life and Death Onboard British Warships During the 1700’s and 1800’s, by Peter Brent and George Shirley

 

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:
http://bookstand.tumblr.com/

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:
http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/101137-particular-baptist-reading-group

From My Armchair: 08 May 2015


Visit My Goodreads Profile at:
http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4675745-kevin

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:
http://bookstand.tumblr.com/

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:
http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/101137-particular-baptist-reading-group

From My Armchair: 28 July 2012


I am doing a little experimenting here, just trying to get a good format together for a new post I’ll be doing here on a regular basis (I hope). I thought I might start to do a regular reading progress type post, or something like that. It will probably be a weekly summary of what I’m reading and other book news ‘From My Armchair.’ There you go, that can be the title of the regular post. That is, book news from my own reading experience and exposure to books on a personal level, including updates from my personal library – that sort of thing.

Now to work out just what I’ll include in the post – it could be something like a newsletter I suppose. So straight up, there can be this sort of preamble blurb thing going on. Just a bit of a ramble about book stuff from a personal perspective. Then I can put down a few sub-headings with some structured content, relevant information and comments. Sounds like a plan I think. It will probably take a couple of weeks to come together and look presentable, at least to me anyhow. So it will be a work in progress for a while.

Something else I’m going to do is clear my reading list at Goodreads and have a new start there also. That way I can tie everything together and have a continuous and consistent story as far as my experience with books is concerned. That way, when I do this weekly post, ‘From My Armchair,’ I’ll be able to pass on a summary of my reading activity as recorded at Goodreads.

 

Social Networks, Web Applications & Other Tools

Under this head I think I can provide a summary of what I’m involved in as far as social networks and web applications are concerned. I use quite a number of social networks, web applications and tools in the area of books and reading, with a variety of applications and functions. All useful in their own way I believe. I think they provide a good means to not only glean useful information, but to also maximise the benefits of my books and reading for a whole range of activities that I am involved in. I like to see my books not only as entertainment and an escape from the world for a while, but also as tools for accomplishing many things within the world.

I currently use Goodreads as my social network for books/ebooks. I once also used Shelfari, being torn between the two, but now that Shelfari has closed the better of the two networks has continued as far as I am concerned. I am trying to use Goodreads as my online catalogue for books, so slowly I am adding them all to it. I also use a database on my own PC, which I am trying to sync with Goodreads, though I enter the information to both manually. It will take some time to get all of that done as I do have a large number of books.

 

Currently Reading:

I like to read and prefer reading to television viewing. I don’t like to waste my time and prefer to use my time in worthwhile pursuits. I do watch a small amount of television, but that is usually to further my intellectual development, so I watch documentaries, news programs and the like. I do watch the occasional program to wind down from time to time, but prefer to watch a DVD for that purpose as most of the stuff on the Idiot Box is just a lot of rubbish lol.

I usually have several books on the go at one time, but have found in recent years that I tend to not finish a lot of books also. That hasn’t always been the case, but it seems increasingly so now. I’ll be cutting down on the number of books I’m reading at any one time in the future, to try and ensure I finish what I start more often than not.

Currently, I am reading two books – well one actually, but about to start another. These are listed below:

– The Bourne Identity, by Robert Ludlum
– Killing Calvinism: How to Destroy a Perfectly Good Theology from the Inside, by Greg Dutcher

 

Finished Reading:

The Hunt for Red October, by Tom ClancyI did have a few books underway and these were all listed at Goodreads, but I cleared these a little while ago and gave myself a fresh start. One book I completed recently was ‘The Hunt for Red October, by Tom Clancy. I read the Jack Ryan series of books by Clancy some time ago and recently decided I’d read them again. I also watched the film again to see how close to each other they were – there was quite a difference between the book and the film. I have a post about this which I’ll link to below.

For more visit:
https://atthebookshelf.wordpress.com/2012/07/29/1614/

 

Purchased & Added to Library:

I have recently acquired a large number of ebooks, many for free from Amazon, including the following books:

– Killing Calvinism: How to Destroy a Perfectly Good Theology from the Inside, by Greg Dutcher
– The Discipline of Grace: God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness, by Jerry Bridges
– Beyond Belief – The Real Life of Daniel Defoe, by John Martin