30/09/2013

Reading - September 2013


Everyday Maths For Grown-Ups by Kjartan Poskitt (2010)
Does exactly what it says on the tin. It didn't tell me much I didn't know - the maths goes up to maybe the first year or two of secondary school - but it covers a number of techniques that are taught now, as opposed to those I was taught, so it was useful from that point of view.
Lori's Little Secret by Christine Rimmer (2006)
Romantic consequences arising from a fairly unbelievable premise, although no less likely than other books or films. I thought the hero was a bit mean sometimes and I didn't like that.
The Week (7 September 2013 / Issue 936)
The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce (1906)
An amusing and occasionally very sharp, cynical take on a dictionary. I read Project Gutenberg's online edition, using my mobile phone in spare moments, most usually (TMI alert!!) when on the loo at work. Full of excellent quotes, such as the definition of a dentist: "A prestidigitator who, putting metal into your mouth, pulls coins out of your pocket." Additionally, a great source of band names; see the definition for "regalia". I bagsy "Sons Of The South Star".
The Firm by John Grisham (1991)
An old favourite. Grisham was company during the long, lonely weekends in Boston during my stay there in '98 (actually it was only about 8 weeks and it wasn't that bad; I don't mind my own company, although you can have too much of a good thing). I'm not quite sure why I like the story so much, but it is well told.
The Week (14 September 2013 / Issue 937)
The Week (21 September 2013 / Issue 938)
Guitarist (October 2013 / Issue 373)
The Chariot Makers by Steve Matchett (2000)
A useful primer on the inner workings of the modern Grand Prix car, written by a former Benetton mechanic. Despite being thirteen years old - more, presumably, if you take into account when it was written rather than its publication date - it is only dated in details, which says something about the ossification of Formula 1. I'm not sure about the narrative structure placed around the technical details, but it serves a purpose, I suppose.
Dilbert And The Way Of The Weasel by Scott Adams (2002)
Amusing but over-long exposition of how most people get through their days in pointless office jobs. A charity shop purchase which will go back now I've read it.
Get Fit Cycling by Dave Smith (2005)
Excellent introduction to cycling, and, while brief, manages to contain useful sections on stretches and weight training too. I would have liked a little more information at times, but overall, helpful.
Guitar Electronics For Musicians by Donald Brosnac (1983)
This began life as a ring bound, privately published, amateur publication, and it shows. Brosnac has a good reputation in guitar circles, and there's lots of useful information in the book - somewhere. Unfortunately it is obscured by an atrocious structure, so that descriptions of similar aspects of circuitry are in completely different chapters. It reads more like a scrap book of notes, clippings and articles that the author assembled over several years and then published as-is. It is also very out-of-date, although this matters slightly less because guitar electronics has moved on little, in general, in the thirty years since this was published.
Life In The Fast Lane by Steve Matchett (1995)
An insider's view of the 1994 season at Benetton Grand Prix - the year Schumacher won his first world championship - written by one of the team mechanics. This was Steve Matchett's first book and originated as a diary, and the fact that he was not - at the time, anyway - a writer is sometimes quite clear. It is unfortunately a little fragmented in places, and some of the detail will be dull unless you are really, really interested in Formula 1. Luckily, I am.
The Olivetti Chronicles by John Peel (2008)
The Week (28 September 2013 / Issue 939)

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