Archive for August, 2013

DAY 3. – The longest book you’ve read.

August 31, 2013 Leave a comment

Unfortunately it seems that my sleeping pattern still wasn’t quite back to normal, as a brief lay down at around 9pm yesterday resulted in me not waking up until gone 10am this morning hence the no post last night.

Anyways moving on to the next topic of the 30 day challenge, the longest book I have read.

Which I was fairly sure was going to come from one of two series, Wheel of Time or The Malazan Book of the Fallen and I am pretty sure I am right. It is possible that I have read others that are off a similar length or perhaps even longer but taking a good look around my book collection these are the ones that stand out.

After a little Googling and a trip to Wikipedia it turns out that 4th book in the Wheel of Time “The Shadow Rising”  takes the biscuit at a massive 1001 pages and 393, 823 words, almost 3000 words more than “Toll the Hounds” from Steven Erikson.

It also has some of my favorite parts of the story, the history of the Aiel, Matt gets his Medallion and Spear, and Perrin first steps up to become a leader in his own right.

I can’t really talk about it much more for fear of spoiling it for anyone out there who has not yet read the Wheel of Time so I guess that is the end of tonight’s blog, with the exception of telling that if you haven’t read it is worth doing so, all 4,056,130 words and 11,916 pages of it.


DAY 2. – Favorite side character

August 29, 2013 Leave a comment

Before I could make this decision I had to really think about what I would call a “side character”, it could technically apply to anyone who isn’t the main protagonist but many of the people that came to mind in my opinion are really main characters in their own right.

Matt or Perrin for example from the Wheel of Time are both favourites of mine for different reasons but whilst they are part of the group that surrounds Rand, they get to much page time to really be anything other than main characters.

Similarly Monk, Painter and Seichan from the Sigma Force series are all in contention but again the “heroes” are so interchangeable in the books that no one of them could really be called a “side character.”

Last of all before narrowing it down to final two, Death from the Discworld series was a strong favourite but again with a chunk of books in which he is the main character I decided it really wasn’t a fair choice.

So in the end it turned out be a battle between two characters from the same series, to be honest it is more than likely this is influenced by my recent reading material but it came down to either Shade or Darkhorse from Richard Knaak’s  Dragonrealm series.

It was a tough choice, but in the end I settled on Shade.

This shadowy warlock, first crops up in original book Firedrake introducing himself with his enigmatic statement “you can call me Simon, this time.”

A being both respected and feared by both his friends and enemies and character you never really know you can trust, cursed to walk the Dragonrealm as a result of his failed attempt at immortality he is torn between the powers that he tried to harness to achieve his goal, being reincarnated after each death never knowing if he will serve the powers of good or evil.

He has spent a majority of his years either committing acts so heinous they remembered across the centuries or desperately trying to make up for the destruction that he caused in his previous incarnation.

As the series goes on we learn about this shadowy warlock, which add depth to this already complex character. Its somewhat of a shame that the books detailing some of the history of the world and his first incarnation make it a little too obvious who he is considering that up until this point in the series he has never given his actual name, this could have been achieved with a little more suspense and surprise I felt.

I first encountered this book about 8/9 years ago and at the time was disappointed  it was a solo effort, it was only recently after reading some of Knaaks Warcraft titles that I even became aware a series existed.

Recently Shade has got his own book, but I have yet to have to chance to read it as  I still have one or two of the proceeding books to catch up on.

DAY 1. – A book series you wish had gone on longer OR a book series you wish would just end already.

August 28, 2013 Leave a comment

As with most of these questions this one was pretty difficult, there are so many series that I have come to the end and genuinely felt sad that I would no longer be visiting that particular county of the imagination and any that I have wished would just end already were in a positive way simply so I could experience the ending or get the pay off that I had been waiting for as opposed to just hoping it would be over.

Two such series that would fall pretty much into either category would be the Dark Tower series and the Wheel of Time, there where periods in both where I wished that they would just get on with it and bring the epic conclusion that I knew would be waiting, at the same time upon reaching that end point I couldn’t help but feel a sense of loss and a longing to return to both worlds.

Although after some careful consideration my nomination for this would have to be The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson and it would definitely fall under the “Wish had gone on Longer” category.

I loved these books, whilst only a trilogy not the usual sprawling epic of traditional fantasy series it managers to deliver an epic story in those three books that can sometimes be lacking in many a 10 book marathon

With at least to my knowledge two unique magic systems, a host of interesting and unique “monsters” a band of heroes that you can really get behind and splattering of twists along the way this is one of my favourite fantasy series and it was my enjoyment of these titles that led to faith in him to finish the Wheel of Time.

If you haven’t yet read it I strongly recommend you do, it is one that any fantasy reader and writer should pick up as an example of someone trying to do something a little different with the genre. 

The 30 (ish) Day Book Challenge

August 27, 2013 1 comment

So I was searching WordPress as I often do for like minded readers and writers and stumbled upon this challenge over at  



As an avid reader it sounded pretty interesting, and as a blogger with some kind of inspiration deficit disorder it sounded like the perfect way to get me back into the writing habit as well as share some of my own reading material some of which perhaps you haven’t heard of and may be inspired to read.

I am going to make once addendum to the challenge which is that I may not complete them on 30 consecutive days, this isn’t as you might suspect so that I can have a night off but more that as inspiration seems to be in so short supply if it does strike I want to be able to make use of it!

The list below are the topics to be covered and I can already see some seriously tough questions as well as think of a few titles perhaps rearing their heads more than once.

I would love to hear from you if you are also completing the challenge and your own thoughts on the each post in the comments below.

DAY 1. – A book series you wish had gone on longer OR a book series you wish would just end already.
DAY 2. – Favorite side character.
DAY 3. – The longest book you’ve read.
DAY 4. – Book turned into a movie and completely desecrated.
DAY 5. –  Your “comfort” book.

DAY 6. – Book you’ve read the most number of times.
DAY 7. – A guilty pleasure book.
DAY 8. – Most underrated book.
DAY 9. – Most overrated book.
DAY 10. – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving.
DAY 11. – Favorite classic book.
DAY 12. – A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t.
DAY 13. – A book that disappointed you.
DAY 14. –  Book that made you cry.
DAY 15. – A character who you can relate to the most.
DAY 16. – Most thought-provoking book.
DAY 17. – Author I wish people would read more.
DAY 18. – A book you wish you could live in.
DAY 19. – A favorite author.
DAY 20. – Favorite childhood book.
DAY 21. – Book you tell people you’ve read, but haven’t (or haven’t actually finished).
DAY 22. – Least favorite plot device employed by way too many books you actually enjoyed otherwise.
DAY 23. – Best book you’ve read in the last 12 months.
DAY 24. – Book you’re most embarrassed to say you like/liked.
DAY 25. – The most surprising plot twist or ending.
DAY 26. – Book that makes you laugh out loud.
DAY 27. – Book that has been on your “to read” list the longest.
DAY 28. – Favorite quote from a book.
DAY 29. – A book you hated.
DAY 30. – Book you couldn’t put down.

Everybody hates Mondays (or in the case of this week Tuesdays!)

August 26, 2013 Leave a comment

My holidays are finally over.

Whilst technically I returned on Friday morning, due to travel times and today’s Bank Holiday tomorrow will be the first day back at work and back into the real world.

I’m not looking forward to the Alarm tomorrow, I still haven’t totally repaired my sleep cycle resulting in both yesterdays “nap” and despite that not waking up until noon today, hopefully however this has been significant sleep that tomorrow won’t be quite as tough as expected to drag myself out of bed.

As I shall be a little more settled it should also herald the start of some more meaningful blog posts (we hope) there is a few things that I would like to do and I have had a few more ideas for SFU so perhaps I can even add some more words to my count!

Categories: Uncategorized

Early Evening nap

August 25, 2013 Leave a comment

I know what you’re thinking.

Two days James, that’s all you managed, two days and already you have missed a post.

Well to be fair you might not be, I didn’t actually say how often I was going to post, on what days or at what times so maybe you are not thinking that at all.

Unfortuantly (especially as I have to be back at work on Tuesday) it seems I am still somewhat jetlagged/haven’t caught up on the missing sleep from travelling on Thursday,

After an early start to a very tired and grumpy Wife to the airport, I then proceeded to take my first serious solo drive, after returning I made myself a “quality” microwave burger for tea (you can tell Wife is away when you Co-Op shop doesn’t contain a single fresh ingredient), and then started reading a book.

Approximately 20 minutes ago I then woke up, hence the late post. I am now stuck with the problem of being wide awake, but desperately needing to get my sleeping patterns back on track, whilst a day off tomorrow does mean I could play games to the early hours and then grab so shut eye throughout the day, I’m fairly confident that would just make Tuesdays wakeup call a lot worse!

I’ve been driving in my car, it’s not quite a jaguar

August 24, 2013 2 comments

A few weeks back now I took my Driving Test.

You will be pleased to know that I passed, the following weekend I made an offhand comment about how I should get a car and how it was sunny outside.

Whilst you might not see the connection in these two things, if you follow Wife’s blog you will know that these where the precise reasons that spurred her into purchasing her car a little over a year and a half ago, it was no more than 30 minutes after my comment that she told me to get my coat and shoes on, we were going shopping.

So three weeks later (Yesterday) and after a significant amount of faffing around, I had my shiny new car delivered. Like hers it is a Peugeot 107, although mine boosts 5 doors not 3 and is red!

As we had only returned from our holiday for a few hours, and not slept in over 24 hours at the point of its delivery I took the considered opinion that driving it upon delivery would not have been a good idea, so despite wanting to play with my new toy we waited until today to go for a drive.

The idea was to drive a little around the local area to get used to the car and then make a trip to the local town of Camberley where a good friend and work colleague of mine works, as my intention is now to drive to work and pick him up along the way and it made good sense to familiarise myself with the route.

Whilst out she suggested that we take a trip to see her Head of Department to drop off some coffee bought whilst on our holidays, a gift we often bring back for her.

Taking me on a 25 mile trip incorporating both the M3 and the M25, whilst my journey to and from work will involve motorway driving specifically on the M3 it seemed somewhat of a baptism by fire being that this was my not only my first drive in the new car but also my first without an instructor present.

You will be glad to know we got there and back safely and I am assured that at no point did Wife fear for her life, she is away for the next three days so this should give me plenty of time to get used to solo driving, something based on the pleased expression on Wife’s face at sitting in the passenger seat I may not get to experience all that often!


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