Checking out Kindle Unlimited
Miscellaneous / July 18, 2014

As I anticipated in my reading roundup, this morning Amazon launched its ebook and audiobook subscription service, Kindle Unlimited.  It’s not yet available to Canadians, but I was able to use my company’s US address to sign up for the 30 day free trial to check it all out. Kindle Unlimited is competing with other ebook subscription services such as Scribd and Oyster.  I currently have a Scribd subscription, but I tend not to use it very much, mainly because it’s not tightly integrated with the rest of my ebook library.  Also, I’m not so fond of the app for Android – it doesn’t have the same options as full Kindle books. The good Like most of the Amazon ecosystem, Kindle Unlimited is very easy to use.  You can browse the titles from the Kindle Unlimited link on the homepage: When you choose a title it will say Read for Free Also you can navigate from your Kindle Fire:  a KU book will say Read for Free Note that you cannot pick up audiobooks on their own.  They must be paired with a Kindle Unlimited ebook with Whispersync for Voice.  There is a section called Listen and Take the Story…

Introducing my parents to the iPad and the world of the internet
Miscellaneous , Tech Reviews / July 5, 2014

Recently at work I won an iPad Mini (non Retina display) in a raffle.  I never win anything so I was ecstatic – my coworkers joked that I was like a kid at Christmas.  I FELT like a kid at Christmas!  Now, I already have a much loved Kindle Fire HDX and iPad 3, so I knew I was going to rehome one of them.  It’s an understatement to say I read a lot and listen to audiobooks a lot, for which the Fire is perfect, so it was the iPad 3 or the new Mini.  I was very surprised when my mother expressed an interest in the iPad and going online.  My parents did have internet access several years ago, but let it lapse because of slowness and lack of use.  Since then, better broadband coverage has come to their area of Scotland, so I hope slowness will no longer be an issue.  My father doesn’t seem as enthusiastic about the internet at this point.  I suspect my mother was always the more interested, but previously the internet was connected to the computer my father uses for video editing and she was always too nervous to use it in…

My top five books of 2014 – so far…
Book Reviews , Miscellaneous / July 1, 2014

Since we’re now into July – halfway through the year! – and I’m 50 books through my 100 book challenge for this year I thought it was time to stop and review my top picks from the first half of 2014.  So without further ado, here they are. [book-info title=”The Empire Striketh Back” author=”ian-doescher”]  My first pick for my top books of 2014 so far is Ian Doescher’s William Shakespeare’s Star Wars.  This includes Star Wars: Verily a New Hope and The Empire Striketh  Back.  For those of you who have not read my reviews, Doescher has taken George Lucas’s epic space opera and rewritten it in the style of William Shakespeare, compete with iambic pentameter and nods to Shakespeare plays.  It’s incredible how well the Lucas’s epic saga works in Shakespearean language.  The audiobook by Random House Audio is a full cast radio play complete with John Williams music and sound effects and is a must-listen.  It narrowly missed out on the Audie audiobook award.  The Jedi Doth Return is released on July 1st and I’m fairly confident it will make my top audiobooks list, too.  Check out Doescher’s Educator’s Guide for more background info.  I wish these had been…

Separating audiobook reviews from ebook reviews
Miscellaneous / May 18, 2014

As my regular readers may have noticed, I review books in both ebook and audiobook format.  I thought it might be interesting to split these off for those of you who have a preferred format. eBook reviews can be found here.  Audiobooks reviews are here.  The full review listing is available on the homepage. Enjoy.

Separating audiobook reviews from ebook reviews
Miscellaneous / May 17, 2014

As my regular readers may have noticed, I review books in both ebook and audiobook format.  I thought it might be interesting to split these off for those of you who have a preferred format. eBook reviews can be found here.  Audiobooks reviews are here.  The full review listing is available on the homepage. Enjoy.

A Tour of my iTunes library – TV edition
Miscellaneous / January 5, 2014

Following on from my post yesterday on the movies I have in my iTunes library I’d like to share with you the TV shows in which I have chosen to invest my hard earned cash.  I would also like to direct your attention to a post I wrote some while ago on what I consider quality drama.  In most cases the shows I have purchased fall into that category.  So without further ado, let’s get on with it. Battlestar Galactica.  This is Ron Moore’s updating of the classic space opera about the humane survivors of a genocidal robot attack.  Moore had the good sense to ground this series in real and relatable characters who were portrayed by excellent actors.  The whole drama stemmed from humans dealing with other humans and their interrelationships as well as situations well beyond their experience amidst the chaos of struggling for survival.  Moore’s next project is bringing Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series to the small screen, and given how much I enjoyed Galactica I am very excited to see this. Doctor Who.  Regular readers of my blog will know that I have recently gone through a real Doctor Who phase.  I’ve always enjoyed the series but…

A Tour of my iTunes library – TV edition
Miscellaneous / January 5, 2014

Following on from my post yesterday on the movies I have in my iTunes library I’d like to share with you the TV shows in which I have chosen to invest my hard earned cash.  I would also like to direct your attention to a post I wrote some while ago on what I consider quality drama.  In most cases the shows I have purchased fall into that category.  So without further ado, let’s get on with it. Battlestar Galactica.  This is Ron Moore’s updating of the classic space opera about the humane survivors of a genocidal robot attack.  Moore had the good sense to ground this series in real and relatable characters who were portrayed by excellent actors.  The whole drama stemmed from humans dealing with other humans and their interrelationships as well as situations well beyond their experience amidst the chaos of struggling for survival.  Moore’s next project is bringing Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series to the small screen, and given how much I enjoyed Galactica I am very excited to see this. Doctor Who.  Regular readers of my blog will know that I have recently gone through a real Doctor Who phase.  I’ve always enjoyed the series but…

A Tour of My iTunes Library – Movie Edition
Miscellaneous / January 5, 2014

As most of you know, I spend a lot of my free time reading.  That doesn’t mean however, that I don’t have a reasonable film and TV collection so I thought it might be nice if I took you through it.  Whereas with books I’m comfortable spending $8 or so on a book about which I’m not 100% sure, as films and TV series cost between $20 and $50 I am a lot choosier about what I add to my collections. Movies My movie collection can be roughly divided into three categories: musicals (yes, I am a closet Andrew Lloyd Webber fan – so what?) great dramas with excellent scripts and acting and finally fun family movies. In terms of musicals I have: Alegria.  This is one of the Montreal based Cirque du Soleil’s shows.  If you have not seen CdS before, you really should check them out.  There are no animals involved, just incredible human acrobatics with stunning production values and visuals.  Fun fact; the founder of Cirque du Soleil, Guy Laliberte, became Canada’s first space tourist. Cats.  This is a filming of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical about, well, cats.  Thin on plot, some catchy tunes, but wonderful…

A Tour of My iTunes Library – Movie Edition
Miscellaneous / January 4, 2014

As most of you know, I spend a lot of my free time reading.  That doesn’t mean however, that I don’t have a reasonable film and TV collection so I thought it might be nice if I took you through it.  Whereas with books I’m comfortable spending $8 or so on a book about which I’m not 100% sure, as films and TV series cost between $20 and $50 I am a lot choosier about what I add to my collections. Movies My movie collection can be roughly divided into three categories: musicals (yes, I am a closet Andrew Lloyd Webber fan – so what?) great dramas with excellent scripts and acting and finally fun family movies. In terms of musicals I have: Alegria.  This is one of the Montreal based Cirque du Soleil’s shows.  If you have not seen CdS before, you really should check them out.  There are no animals involved, just incredible human acrobatics with stunning production values and visuals.  Fun fact; the founder of Cirque du Soleil, Guy Laliberte, became Canada’s first space tourist. Cats.  This is a filming of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical about, well, cats.  Thin on plot, some catchy tunes, but wonderful…

Virtual Bookshelf Tour
Miscellaneous / November 8, 2013

Hello, I’ve spent some time this afternoon adding my virtual library to my blog.  You can find it under Virtual Bookshelf on the top menu – the books are under sub categories.  They link to amazon.ca if you are interested in buying one of the books. For audiobooks, I’ve not imported my entire collection – the ones there are ones that I particularly enjoyed listening to in audiobook format. Enjoy!