Book log September 2016

http://julesjones.dreamwidth.org/642714.html

I'm busy tidying up the notebooks I use to write on the bus, and came across my book log notes for the books I read in September last year. As it happens, two of these are in the sale at Amazon UK and Kobo at the moment. :-)


Agatha Christie -- Murder on the Orient Express

There isn't really a lot I can say that hasn't already been said by hundreds of reviewers on LibraryThing. It's a classic bottle mystery--a murder and a group of people in an isolated venue, in this case the Orient Express trains stranded in a snowdrift. It's great fun watching Poirot piece together all the red herrings to find that some are clues after all.

Kobo

Amazon UK
Amazon US


Agatha Christie -- The Murder on the Links

Poirot novel set in France, with Poirot butting heads with the local police investigator. Poirot is asked to come urgently by a man in fear of his life. The widow's story does not quite hang together, and yet she is genuinely shocked and distraught by her husband's death. Red herrings abound, and as usual Hastings repeatedly gets hold of the wrong end of the stick--or in this case, the length of lead piping. Enjoyable Poirot fare, although nothing outstanding.

Kobo
Amazon UK
Amazon US


Lindsey Davis -- The Silver Pigs

First of the Falco books, a mystery series set in Ancient Rome during the reign of Vesparius. Marcus Didius Falco is a PI. That's public informer, a role remarkably similar to that of the private investigator in the modern era. And as with the classic gumshoe mystery, Falco has an office/flats at the top of a seedy low rent tenement building.

The novel is as historically accurate as Davis could make it, but human nature hasn't changed much over the last 2000 years. Falco rescues a damsel in distress, and finds himself sucked into a case involving theft and corruption in the silver mines of a backwards colony at the fringe of the Empire.

Excellent mystery, with an appealing lead character and careful world building. I loved this, and will be reading more of the series.

Kobo
Amazon UK
Amazon US

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replacement for Multifox

http://julesjones.dreamwidth.org/642376.html

I used to use Multifox, a useful little add-on for Firefox that allowed you to use multiple identity profiles in Firefox. This meant I could allocate tabs to different identities so I didn't have to log out of one and back in again for another on various sites - for example, having a set of tabs open for my wallet identity while also working on my pen names' Twitter accounts. Multifox was pulled by Mozilla from the available add-ons a few months ago (the writer surmised because it wasn't compatible with some new protocols). This made me sad, but a spot of googling last week turned up the information that Mozilla have been working on similar functionality in the form of Containers.

Containers is a new tool still under development, and as such not yet available in the standard release of Firefox. However, you can sign up to FireFox Test Pilot, and install various "under development" things to play with, including Containers. From the Test Pilot description:

Containers let you create profiles in Firefox for all of your online lives. Custom labels and color-coded tabs help keep different activities — like online shopping, travel planning, or checking work email — separate. Because Containers store cookies separately, you can log into the same site with a different account in each Container, and online trackers can’t connect your browsing in one container to another. So you can keep your shopping self separate from your social self from your work self, without worrying about being followed around the Web.

The Test Pilot things are added onto a standard debugged release of Firefox, but for those who really like living dangerously a version of Containers is also available in Firefox Nightly.

I've only been playing with it for a few days and haven't really explored everything I can do with it, but I like it so far. There are several other Test Pilot experiments on the go at the moment - I've also installed Snooze Tabs, although I haven't really done anything with it yet. I think it's one some of my friends would find useful.



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Return of the Amazon/Kobo offers post

http://julesjones.dreamwidth.org/642200.html

Haven't posted one of these in a while, because I haven't posted much at all. But the latest Amazon UK "buy our ebooks" is a "start a series from 99p" promotion, and I spotted a couple of books that might be of interest. Some are also price-matched on Kobo UK, and possibly other online retailers. Do check the price before you click the buy button, because it can change.

The full promo page is at http://amzn.to/2rCe3xN. Items particularly likely to be of  interest to you lot:

"The Silver Pigs", the first in the Falco series from Lindsey Davis about a private eye in Imperial Rome. I tried this on the recommendation of other sf fans and loved it - it's a good chance to try the series to see if you like it. £1.99 at Kobo and Amazon

"The Ides of April", first book in the Falco: The New Generation series. Just added that one to my own collection. :-) 99p at Kobo and Amazon

Agatha Christie's "The Murder at the Vicarage", the first of the Miss Marple novels. £1.49 at Kobo and Amazon. I'm in the middle of re-reading this right now, because it was there on my Kobo when I wanted some cheerful murder.

"The Long Earth" by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter - £1.99 at Kobo and Amazon.

"The Atrocity Archives: Book 1 in The Laundry Files" by Charles Stross. If you're an sf&f fan and haven't read this - buy this book. And not just because Charlie's a mate of mine from sf writing circles. It's the start of a series in which the eldritch horrors of Lovecraft are all too real, and one of the UK three letter agencies is devoted to putting off the forthcoming invasion for as long as possible. Charlie lovingly pastiches various spy, mystery and thriller series along the way. (There was much squeeing amongst the crit group for a later novel when we realised that we were reading a chapter starring avatars of Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin.) £1.49 at Kobo and Amazon.

"The Vesuvius Club" by Mark Gatiss. Yes, *that* Mark Gatiss, written before he became much more famous for his scripts than his novels. Edwardian derring-do, with more than a little tongue in cheek, in multiple senses. 99p at Amazon only.

That's just a sampling - I could quite easily buy another dozen interesting-looking books off that list were I not horribly aware that there are four dozen still queued up on my Kobo...


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Moving to Dreamwidth

http://julesjones.dreamwidth.org/641880.html

In light of the recent changes in the LiveJournal Terms of Service, and the manner in which they were implemented, I'm moving to Dreamwidth. For now I will continue to cross-post, but I intend to turn off comments on the LiveJournal copy. I've already changed most of the existing posts on LJ to friends-only. I will probably intermittently friends-lock the LJ mirror of posts going forward, not least because I see no reason why I should provide content now LJ shows advertising on my posts to readers who arent logged in even though I have a paid account.

I have a paid LJ account with a year of credit and I don't intend to delete it entirely for some months, in part because it allows me to do maintenance work on communities and RSS feeds for myself and others. (For example, I was the last mod standing for the LiveJournal copy of Bearing Witness, so I've done the necessary working on transferring it to Dreamwidth and shutting down the LJ mirror.) You should, however, assume that this LiveJournal account may not be here for much longer. If you're staying on LiveJournal only, or using it as your primary feed, please follow the RSS feed for my Dreamwidth account.

Lots of my friends have moved, but I haven't tracked down everyone on Dreamwidth yet - please comment if you want to let me know where/who you are, including if you're staying on LJ so I can make sure I have your feed on my DW following page.



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