Recent reading, and listening

in music •  last month

I've posted some book reviews on Steemit, but I've got behind recently. I don't get through that many books, but I've been posting other stuff. I'll go through the recent reads and also write something about how I log my reading and music listening.

Books

Logicomix

This is a comic book about mathematician/philosopher Bertrand Russell and his quest to get to the nub of what truth means in mathematics. I think it's partly fictionalised, but it covers his encounters with other prominent thinkers with their differing outlooks. I do like maths, but this is about esoteric stuff where it can take hundreds of pages to prove 1+1=2. The comic does not go into all those details as it's more about the people and their personalities. It seems many of them went mad in the process.

The Long Mars by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

This is not pictured as I had an ebook. I've been catching up on this series after reading the first part years ago. It starts in the near future where people find they can travel to 'parallel Earths' and the human race undergoes a whole new migration into new territory. It lacks the humour of most Pratchett, but it explores some interesting ideas, such as the evolution of a new type of humans who are vastly more intelligent than us. This one does go to Mars, but that's only one of several threads. I have two more volumes to go and I will read those at some point to see where it ends up.

Don't Panic by Neil Gaiman

As a big Douglas Adams fan I just had to read this. It tells the story of how the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy came about on the radio and evolved into books, stage plays, a TV series and a movie. It also covers some of his other works. There's so much detail in there with some excerpts that didn't get in originally. It led me to this documentary about the TV show.

It mentions The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut, which is now on my to-read list.

Arsenic Lullaby

I bought this comic from the creator @ArsenicLullaby as related here. You can read lots of his work on his feed, so I advise you to check that out as long as you are not too easily offended.

Logging my media consumption

It's in my personality to record what I have done. I've tried various ways to log what books I've read over the last ten years or more. At one point I used a simple plug-in on my own website. Then a friend led me to LibraryThing which I used for a few years. Later I found that others I knew were using Goodreads. That makes the process pretty convenient with an app that can scan barcodes or even recognise book covers. Most of the links above are to that site. You can see on there what I'm currently reading. I just don't get through that many books in a year.

Since 2004 I've been logging most of the music I listen to using last.fm (previously Audioscrobbler). This is an automatic process via music apps that support it directly or extensions. I have their app on my phone and even a browser extension that picks up plays in Youtube and other sites. The latter does pick up some non-music videos, but I don't always bother to delete those from my history. I'm not listening to as much recently as it's less viable when I'm at my current work. Previously I've used their streaming feature that can play music it thinks you will like based on your history. That seems to need a premium account these days. You can still see lots of cool stats. The social site of both these sites is not too active for me, but feel free to follow me on either of them.

last.fm

Some other sites I've used for this sort of thing don't even exist any more. It would be great to see equivalent 'dapps' built on Steem as the blockchain lasts forever. These services give some idea of what books and music people really enjoy, but of course the data could be faked. I've seen last.fm accounts that seem to be playing music 24/7 and I don't imagine people listen in their sleep.

Read and rock on!

I'm Steve, the geeky guitarist.

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I remember the Hitchikers TV series very well, it looks very dated now but seeing as its 1981 that's not surprising. Might be good to watch the whole thing again.

I see you been listening to 4.5, its not bad but quite patchy I think.

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HH TV is dated, but you can see in the documentary that they tried to do some good effects. The book says that Adams didn't get on with the director.

I listened to Book of Regrets after mentioning it and thought I'd listen to the rest. Don't Hate Me is great.

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The effects even then were cheesy, but it made you laugh for sure. That's what it was all about, that crazy story.

I really am not keen on the new 'Don't Hate Me' with Ninet, I prefer the solo version from Stupid Dream. He did sing this at the HCE concert as well as the rest of 4.5, but as Ninet was absent I got the version I prefer.

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The effects were better on the radio of course :)

I expect I've heard the original Don't Hate Me. Will have to look it up. Ninet has her moments. Her solo version of Routine at the Albert Hall was heartwrenching.

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I love Ninet and Routine is amazing, even when she sings it all, but I think I'm too used to the SD version of Don't Hate Me.

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Great sax solo on this.

I've read Logicomix, it is great. As a mathematecian and a greek, I feel rather proud of it (wirters and artists are greek!) Good choice and very glad to see it presented in your post. As for the others, although I like both Gaiman and Pratchet (just recently read Good Omens) I have not read those, but I will have them in my to-do list... together with some millions more entries :)

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There's never enough time to read everything good. It would help if I was on Steemit less :)

I've only managed to complete one book recently and that was The Energy Bus by Job Gordon. It's a typical personal training type of book - was an easy read and I actually got quite a bit from it.

I used to read a hell of a lot before the kids arrived. I was a massive fan of Stephen King and Ian Rankin - actually I still am but haven't spent much time with them (well any really).

I've been using my time doing some coding courses which seem to help me sleep! I quite fancy getting some audio books for my journey to and from work as I spend around 2.5 hours in the car every day.

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Long drives are a great opportunity for audio books and/or podcasts. You could get through a book a week I should think. My journey is so much shorter now. I get some come home on the train with my daughter now as she's working up the road from me for a year.

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That must be nice :) Is she out on a University placement?

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Yes. Got a nice job doing the sort of research she wants to do. Handy that she can live at home and save some money.

There are some very rare authors I find a bit hard to read, and I think Stephen Baxter is one of them. That book has been taking dust, if one may say so, in the internal memory of my kobo for quite some time. I absolutely love sir Pratchett's Discworld but the reviews I quickly browsed of the Long Earth were mixed so I always choose something else to read.

Do you think the story itself is good? This would be a good reason to finally start it ☺

Also I've mentioned it before but as an e-reader enthusiast, I like Calibre both because I can synch books from my kobo with it, and because I keep in it a list of all books I've read. And if your Calibre file is in a folder shared with Onedrive, or the like, you effectively have an online and local library!

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I'm a bit torn about the Long Earth series as I find them a little frustrating whilst still dragging me in. I don't feel it's wasted time for me, so they have something. I don't think I've read any of Baxter's own books.

I read books on my phone that are mostly from the Google shop. I have bought some from Humble Bundle and imported them into Google for convenient reading. I don't have a dedicated e-reader, but my daughter has a Kindle. I've heard good things about Calibre.

lol man lol!!.,,,.....

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An interesting list.

I just couldn't get into the Long Earth series. I tried the first two, but it just didn't capture me. I don't think the collaboration worked as well as Good Omens. Now there's a good read!

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Good Omens is great. There's a TV version coming next year. I don't know how writing collaboration works, but it could result in less than the sum of parts. I do want to see how it turns out

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I'm really looking forward to that too. I hope it comes down here at some point ;-)

I have always been a Vonnegut fan ever since I read "Slaughter House V". I have never read the book you mentioned though. Honestly, I am not much of a reader. I wish I was, but I just can't usually hold my attention that long on one particular thing. I have never found any of the video adaptations of Hitchhikers Guide to be as good as the book.

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Did you listen to the radio series? It's different to the books that were written later. Then the later books were done for the radio. It's all fun

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No, I haven't had a chance to listen to the radio series. I might have to check it out sometime.

Hello @steevc, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. The Creative Crypto is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!