Meadowland: the private life of an English field – book review…

Meadowland: the private life of an English field by John Lewis-Stempel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a beautiful book from a wonderful writer.

One is taken through the life of a real English (Herefordshire) meadow from Jan 1st to Dec 31st wonderfully detailing what most wouldn’t notice but what to a meadow is crucially important aspects of its eco system.

Sadly, and i mean extremely so, farmers like John are being driven out and intensive farming is systematically destroying not only the countryside, fauna and flora, but also England as a sustainable island. But it is heartening to know that the real countryside and those that care for it are still out there and keeping these isolated islands of Nature alive so that hopefully, one day, if its not too late, we can wake up and stop the intensive farming and remake our countryside – fingers crossed.

I will certainly be reading more of John’s books in the future and totally recommend this one to anyone with even the slightest interest in the Nature of rural England.

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Temporal Contingency (Big Sigma Book 4) (book review)…

Temporal Contingency by Joseph R. Lallo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another great addition to this incredible series.

I’m not usually a fan of temporal sci-fi stuff as most of what’s out there tends to run up its own arse and leave the reader or viewer with their heads shoved up there’s, but this book doesn’t feel like that – Joseph plays some great temporal ‘get out of jail free cards’ that certainly worked for me.

And he’s really pushing the boat out with ‘Ma’ on this one. She’s definitely become my favourite fictional AI.

Anyways, great stuff, and can’t wait for Big Sigma #5 and the next chapter in Ma’s life – which i hope isn’t too long in coming.

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The Big Sigma Collection: Volume 1 (book review)…

The Big Sigma Collection: Volume 1 by Joseph R. Lallo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a great collection.

Having really enjoyed ‘Bypass Gemini’ i jumped straight into the rest of the books.

This collection also features 3 short stories that give more background to some characters in the main novels, which were really enjoyable to read.

I really can’t say enough about Joseph’s writing, i’m a total fan and totally hooked. Even though the known universe is about to end if nothing’s done, Joseph still manages to get lots of fun and shenanigans in the stories and makes it work so well.

Really good sci-fi as well. Pushing the boundaries but never overstepping.

And now all that’s left to do is read the last book in the series… ‘Temporal Contingency’

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Zwift Innsbruck Challenge…

Another challenge completed…

#gettingfitter #growingyoung #lovezwift

Bypass Gemini (Big Sigma #1) (book review)…

Bypass Gemini by Joseph R. Lallo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Now this is a writer who is obviously having fun.

Admittedly there’s a thin line between a writer having a lot of fun with a story and the story becoming a little ridiculous and this book does seem to skim a little close to that line on occasion, and then it’s just up to the reader whether they might feel that line has been crossed. For me, at least, i just enjoyed this as a totally fun read. And right about now in my life i really needed a good fun read.

While my normal taste in sci-fi is rather highbrow – Le Guin, etc. – this book came like a refreshing breath of fresh air in it’s nothing but a full on romp around the galaxy with broad array of characters and shenangians. Yes, there’s a serious side to it, millions are going to die unless our protagonist can sort his shit out, but that doesn’t hold Joseph back from having fun with it along the way.

As in all of Joseph’s books, the characters are wonderful, widely varied and really brought to life, leaving you wanting further appearances in future books.

You can find this book for free on Amazon and then if you like it you can buy the rest of the series – so it’s a proper ‘try before you buy’. And i think that’s another great thing about Joseph, in that he gives away the first books in his 3 series as tasters and then let’s the reader make their own minds up freely as to whether they want more or not. I got hooked in this way on ‘Book of Deacon’ then ‘Free Wrench’ and now this. And that for me is the mark of a good book, do you buy the rest of the series or walk away and never come back? The answer to all 3 of Joseph’s series is yes, yes and yes again for me. I bought the rest of the books to this series straight away and can’t wait to read more.

So get yourselves over to Amazon and give Joseph’s writing a try if you haven’t already done so. For fantasy you want ‘Book of Deacon’, for steampunk ‘Free Wrench’ and sci-fi it’s this book ‘Bypass Gemini’.

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Zwift World Hack Update…

Just updated the ‘Zwift World Hack’ page to include Innsbruck.

#gettingfitter #growingyoung #lovezwift

Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy (book review)…

Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy by Miyamoto Musashi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another book that’s sat on my Kindle for years unread. But having just finished David Kirks’ books it really felt like the right time to read this.

It’s hard to judge this book in any real contemporary terms because it simply has no place in the contemporary world. It’s an anachronism from a time and place that is no more and will never be again.

It is aimed solely at the samurai warrior, but maybe there are those who are ultra competitive who do contact sports, and also military personnel, that could still gain a lot from reading it – which doesn’t apply to me.

It is, however, an incredible view into the mind of one of the greatest strategists (swordsmen) from Japanese history, and it really gives you the genuine thoughts and attitude of a Samurai in regards to fighting and killing with swords. It’s probably the most amoral thing i’ve ever read, and in that aspect alone it’s quite wonderful because it is so genuine.

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Cipher Hill (Free-Wrench #5) (book review)…

Cipher Hill by Joseph Lallo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

More wonderful, shenaniganic fun aboard ‘Wind Breaker’.

Sadly, for now, this is the last book in Joseph’s ‘Free Wrench’ series, but i certainly hope he’ll be adding some more at some point. Captain Mack and the crew are just too much fun to leave them here forever.

I really can’t say enough about Joseph’s writing, it’s perfect in every way. His ‘Book of Deacon’ series is just the same quality of writing and so far he has never left me disappointed at buying any of his books.

If you enjoyed watching ‘Firefly’ then i would totally recommend a look at this series of books – i really can’t see you being disappointed.

Once i’ve cleared my Kindle backlog a little more i’ll definitely be diving in Joseph’s ‘Big Sigma’ series next before coming back to re-read the whole of ‘Book of Deacon’ adding in the new stories that Joseph has added since i last read it all. Writers like Joseph is why i love books.

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Sword of Honour (book review)..

Sword of Honour by David Kirk
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. Far better than the first – which i gave 4 stars.

Looking back over the 2 books it felt to me like David gained in confidence writing tales about Musashi and also that he has come to know him better – like he’s beginning to get inside his head more.

But then i suppose the first book was more about Musashi the youth, just beginning to find himself, and this book is more of Musashi as a young man puzzling over what he’s found and finding more – and this reflects well in the writing of both books.

Once again, David’s writing is superbly descriptive without overdoing it. The story just keeps on moving and i just didn’t want to put it down – like the first book, no pregnant pauses await within, it’s just full gas all the way.

I do hope #3 won’t be too long, i’m hooked!

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Lewis Hamilton’s Diet…

What makes Lewis so able to do all the things he does in life and still be leading this year’s title race by 40 points?

A plant based diet (that’s a euphemism for vegan diet)…

“Health-wise, I’m super healthy. I went on a plant-based diet last year – I started here last year – and it’s been the best year of my life physically.”

#gettingfitter #growingyoung