In preparation for some major changes to my own web site (when I get time, ho ho), I’m importing our book catalogue here into Shelfari.

We have a perfectly serviceable system here what I wrote in ColdFusion, that looks up Amazon’s web service and grabs all the details from the ISBN number, but that won’t do what I want.

So I output a text file, and uploaded it to Shelfari, and it gaily processed it, and then threw away hundreds of ISBNs, which I am having to do manually – slow and tedious.

*Anyway* – the point of this is that you will find me on Shelfari as (no surprise) ramtops, so if you would like to friend me or whatever they do there, that would be vair nice.

Please note we only have about 1600 books, which I suspect is a very small number to some of you. But we do love and cherish them all.

Don't you just hate it …

… when a book goes missing.

We watched a documentary about Able Archer and the nucular war that almost happened.

It reminded me of a couple of books I wanted to read again: Trinity’s Child, and Down to a Sunless Sea.

The first was on the shelves, exactly where it should be, and has gone on the “to read” heap (which now needs a Sherpa to navigate). The second is gone – lost. Not even in the book database, so really gone. And out of print, although I can get a second hand copy, and I will.

The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner | Khalid Hosseini

This is another of those books which has received stonking reviews, and every one of them is entirely justified. I finished it yesterday on the Hammersmith and City line, and attracted one or two odd looks as the tears poured down my face.

This book is … astonishing. A hugely evocative portrait of Afghanistan over 30 odd years, and a story of love, loyalty and betrayal. The characters are so finely drawn, and yet the end of the first “section” hit me like a blow in the chest.

This is one I will read and read again – highly recommended.

The Book Thief

The Book Thief | Markus Zusak

The Book ThiefI’m always a bit nervous of books which have hugely glowing reviews, and for the first half, this simply didn’t work for me, although I can see why others loved it so. And then, suddenly, it grabbed me, and I could barely put it down.

A story, narrated by a most unDiscworldlike Death, of a small town outside Munich during the second world war. A tale of an ordinary, yet extraordinary family and their friends and neighbours, of love and courage and the power of words. I’ll join in the paeons of praise and tell you all that you should read this, you really should. It will make you weep.

hello dear – did you get the things we needed? (an occasional series)

We sallied forth to the Eye Hospididdle this afternoon for perlmonger‘s occasional checkup. No doubt he will tell you himself at some point, but they don’t want to see him any more unless he has another attack of something MSish, and they say his sight is improving steadily in the afflicted eye. Which is nice (this is an understatement).

The EH is convenient located smack in the middle of Broadmead, the main shopping area in Bristol; a place we never go if it can be avoided, because it is vile. However, we took the opportunity to purchase such exciting things as bath creme, and shower gel, and underpants for Pete (lets not go *there*, ok?), and some face flannels.

And four DVDS (The Queen, V for Vendetta, Goodfellas and Children of Men), two books* (Making Money, the new Discworld, and Double Vision by Tricia Sullivan). And a really nice moss green Per Una top from M&S.

Lunch was a nice steak pasty from the Specialist Pasty Shop, or whatever they’re called, which I shall now go and record on Photocena. And supper is sossidge, which is always good, followed by home made strawberry cheesecake.

*only 2 books? Well, yes – as I currently have 12 books on the actual, physical, to-read heap, and loads more marked in our database that I want to get to.

a rude awakening

I had a bit of an insomniac night – between 3 and 4 a.m. is my bad time. So when the doorbell rang at 7:45, I was asleep; dreaming of having to make boeuf stroganoff for captainblue, while my mother was hanging the laundry of bed linen on the line. Lets not go there, eh?

anyway, I digress.. The postie had two packages – one addressed to perlmonger, and unbranded, and an Amazon one. I bore them upstairs, with an accusing “been buying books again, have you?”. Because I’ve never been guilty of that, oh no.

he looked genuinely confused, which is of course his normal expression, and started to open the unbranded box. I took the Amazon one and found it was addressed to me! It turned out to be a book that marypcb recommended a few weeks ago, and I’d put it on my Amazon wish list. From whence it was despatched, by a CIX user who has signed up for the food site I’m writing – I was really touched. And now I’ll be able to write a decent UI as well. What was it? O’Reilly’s Designing Interfaces by Jennifer Tidwell. Such a kind thought.

perlmonger was still struggling with his parcel, but as he was barely awake, didn’t have his glasses on, and had cut his fingernails yesterday, he had to go and get his mini Leatherman. And it turned out to be the 5 CD set of “The Life and Music of Richard Thompson”. Which I ordered using his Switch card.

so he’s off the hook, for now. And I have much ripping to do.

bookish goodness

popped into Waterstones yesterday to pick up the new Terry Pratchett, and emerged somewhat poorer … those three for two offers are very tempting.

my reading heap grows ever higher …

also picked up The Catnip Kit – the little darlings go crazy for the stuff, so I thought I’d have a bash at growing our own.
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