Sniper One

Read Sniper One by Dan Mills yesterday.

After finishing Columbine yesterday I’d no intention of starting another book the same day. While browsing through Amazon this one came up in one of those “People who liked this liked these” selections. I thought I’d read the first page or two just to get a flavour of the book.

This genre is not one I seek out. I recall reading an Andy McNab book many years ago set in the Gulf War (I think) and although I admire anyone who puts themselves in harm’s way the style of writing and the subject didn’t feel compelling.


This book though .. wow. Apart from cooking the dog’s tea and taking them for a walk I didn’t stop reading. Armageddon (the film) was on last night and I love that film but the book took precedence.

Their heroic stand created a modern-day Rorke’s Drift.

An excellent read.


Completed Columbine by Dave Cullen today.
I knew the basics, I recall seeing the cafeteria footage at some point so being able to read an acclaimed book that gave a complete picture was interesting.


What shocked me the most was the way the churches swooped in after the event in what they obviously saw as a major recruitment drive. I knew that scientologist cult members did this but to read about others doing it was horrific.

It was also wrong wrong wrong for the church to continue to ply lies about one of the shot. They know for an absolute fact that what they proclaim is wrong yet they continue to spout it.

But hey, that’s christianity for you.

If you do want to know more about the whole Columbine event, read this book.

In Order to Live

Today I read In Order To Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom.

Didn’t plan to read the whole thing but TV was crap, couldn’t be bothered with housework.


I did not expect huge amounts of detail about the North Korean regime, after all, how can a child pick up the detail that an adult would. But the indoctrination she went through becomes clear in the last few chapters of the book.

Yeonmi has a remarkable tale to tell though. A worthy read.

give it a name

Yesterday I finished I Wanna Be Yours by John Cooper Clarke.

Been a fan of his since the eighties and it was one of those books where I couldn’t help but read it – in my mind – with his voice. It brought back many memories of places, bands and foods (Chesswell Mushrooms anyone?). It is really well written, amusing, entertaining and informative – who would have guessed that Bernard Manning is a significant figure in his fledgling career. The writing and vocabulary is extraordinary.


If you at all a fan of Dr JCC, or want a good glimpse into the birth of punk and the London / Manchester scenes then I highly recommend it. Great book.

A re-read

I’ve said for a long time that I thought The Stand by Stephen King was my #1 book. I read it on release, read it a few times and was amazed by the depth that the unabridged version brought when it was released in 1989.

I’ve changed my mind.

I first read Firestarter (by the same King) in Omni magazine back around 1980. Loved it and bought the book on release. For some reason I don’t think I ever re-read it, or if I had it’s not in the last 20 years.
I could remember the opening. I could remember the scene at the end. But the rest of the story arc I’d lost.
Wanting to take a break from reading non-fiction but not wanting to read a new book, I noodled through Calibre and saw Firestarter.


Over the last 3 days I read it again and I am so glad I did. It is amazing.

While I still love The Stand, and intend to now re-read the unabridged version again, Firestarter takes the #1 spot.



Saw an app called Ziffit. Similar to Music Magpie – send in your old books, CD’s etc and they’ll send you cash. I’ve a fair few books which I will never read again or hve been left here by the girls. Every paperback I scanned came in at less than 10p. No hardback came in over 3 quid. That is ridiculous pricing. So they are all now boxed and when the library re-opens I’ll donate them to the book sale.

I tried some CD’s. Same silly prices, so they too will go to a sale.


Got my Kindle Paperwhite yesterday. This is better then a book. Why? Because I can read it any position, that’s why. I do most reading at night, in bed. I can sit up, or lie on my side, or not wear my glasses, or lie on my front and I can still read it. The Kindle Keyboard needed the external light and that got in the way – the Paperwhite does not have that. It is excellent.

The one annoyance is that there is a “We suggest” line of books on the Home screen where Amazon push their wares. Not good. I hate ads. So I had to use Parental Controls to switch off the store. No biggie – I use Calibre to manage what goes into the Kindle and it’ll never access the store anyway. (and yes, my Kindle purchases are de-drm’d and backed up).