Recent Book Activity
The Private World of Georgette Heyer
The Last Dragon
The Giants and the Joneses
Flight of Time
The Sirens of Surrentum
THE CHARIOTEER OF DELPHI
The Slave-girl from Jerusalem
The Fugitive from Corinth
The Colossus of Rhodes
Lost: Fifty Suns
First Prize for the Worst Witch
Album of Exotic Fish
Write a Tune for £1000
Muse Sick: A Music Manifesto in Fifty-Nine Notes
A Wayside Tavern
The Black Unicorn
Wizard at Large
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Recent(ish) NewsEAB and I have now passed our sixth wedding anniversary (we were married in January 2017). We are still working at fitting both our book collections into not many bookcases, which in turn means some more books coming up for release. In addition, TimDevereux died in April 2018; and my brother and I have cleared his house, giving me a few more books for release. (We did have a legal duty to try and sell them.) In any case I shall not try and revive his BookCrossing account.
EAB now has her own BookCrossing account TempleCloud.
MeI'm not sure what to say about me. I'm a Christian (Church of England) and a Musician (Piano, Bassoon), not necessarily in that order. During the week, I work as an electrical engineer; at weekends, a church organist, although after 12 years playing twice a Sunday I don't want a regular slot again! As hobbies I write music and collect old computers. I still find time to read a lot of books, mainly by dint of having no television set.
I read mostly Science Fiction and Fantasy, but also some historical novels. My favourite authors are Diana Wynne Jones, Georgette Heyer and, more recently, Lois McMaster Bujold. I also enjoy Cornelia Funke, and am trying to read her books in the original German. EAB is trying to broaden my reading!
Apart from fiction, I collect technical books related to electrical engineering (or music or computers). I will often buy and read a textbook on an obscure subject simply because it looks interesting. Finally, in relation to my organist's job, I collect hymn books - full music editions if possible.
I have now finished my degree with the University of Gloucestershire. (Alas, the Open Theological College is no more!) I intend to release some of the books I have read during the course of my studies.
New ProjectA project that started as something to read to my mother when she was in hospital, and I then revived as a lockdown project, seems to be taking up a lot of my time now: translating a series of "middle grade" children's books from German into English. I discovered the Drachenhof Feuerfels series in 2011, when living in Germany. So far I have translated four books, and am working on the fifth. Teaching myself to translate lieratuer had been quite a journey of discovery! If I ever find a publisher, I shall post here, of course, but I seem to be operating well outside most publishers' business models.
Return from GermanyIn 2012, I returned to England from Germany, where I'd been living for about a year. I hoped to have more books for release here, not least because it takes me many times as long to read a German book as an English one, and to be visiting some of my old favourite zones again, but it's taking me a while to get back into it. Maybe now I no longer have a full-time job...
Message in a BottleOn the way over to Germany, I released Passage by Connie Willis in a bottle in the North Sea. Two weeks later it turned up, also in Germany, as my one hundred and fiftieth catch!
Release project in memoriam Diana Wynne Jones, 1934-2011My favourite author died recently. I first heard of BookCrossing on a mailing list of her fans. In her memory, I tried to release some of her books. These are the ones I managed:
Dark Lord of Derkholm
Crown of Dalemark
Eight Days of Luke
Power of Three
This is no longer a live project, but the list might get added to in future.
Reading StatisticsI'm not going to make you scroll through pages and pages of book lists! Just a brief summary of my reading:
2022: I read
91 books, of which:
37 I'd not read before, 54 were re-reads;
85 were fiction, 6 non-fiction;
(to my shame) all were in English, none in German;
75 I read myself (including reading to EAB), 16 EAB read to me.
I din't even finish Der Fluch der Aurelia. Maybe I'll do better in 2023.
2021: I read 97 books, of which:
40 I'd not read before, 57 were re-reads;
89 were fiction, 8 non-fiction;
95 were in English, 2 in German;
82 I read myself (including reading to EAB), 15 EAB read to me.
That's not many in German! I have been working on English translations of some of my favourite German books, which I am not counting here, so I have actually been reading a lot of German! And EAB and I got ourselves anothe Drachenreiter book for Christmas, which I am reading at the moment (as I write this)
2020: I read 63 books, of which:
27 I'd not read before, 36 were re-reads;
50 were fiction, 13 non-fiction;
59 were in English, 4 in German.
This must be an all-time low on total books read! Actually I have a major project on the go, which involves reading but doesn't show up here. Also, EAB and I are reading aloud to each other a lot at the moment, and I was only counting books I read to her in these stats. From 2021 I shall count books she reads to me.
2019: I read 91 books, of which:
54 I'd not read before, 37 were re-reads;
77 were fiction, 14 non-fiction;
86 were in English, 5 in German.
That's far more German books than I usually manage. Perhaps that's why I didn't read so many over all. I also managed a much higher ratio of new reads to re-reads. I generally aim for equal numbers, but I often find myself reading whole series of which none (or just the most recent) is new to me, and missing the target.
2018: I read 106 books, of which:
42 I'd not read before, 64 were re-reads;
97 were fiction, 9 non-fiction;
105 were in English, 1 in German.
At least now the course is finished I'm reading more again. Only one German book again, and that a re-read, but we bought some more new German books while on holiday in October, and I hope to read more German books in 2019 as a result. One of them was 80% finished at Jahreswende
2017: I read 93 books, of which:
34 I'd not read before, 59 were re-reads;
84 were fiction, 9 non-fiction;
91 were in English, 2 in German.
When I posted these stats, I said that both the German books were re-reads. Actually, I read die Feder eines Greifs for the first time in 2017. Not so much non-fiction now my course is finished.
2016: I read 95 books, of which:
39 I'd not read before, 56 were re-reads;
76 were fiction, 19 non-fiction;
94 were in English, 1 in German.
Yes, just like 2015, only one German book, and that a re-read. And another German book to add to my pile of those I've got part way through and given up (I managed about 100 pages). Hoping for better in 2017, though!
2015: I read 120 books, of which:
54 I'd not read before, 66 were re-reads;
108 were fiction, 12 non-fiction;
119 were in English, 1 in German.
Only one German book - Shame! - and that a re-read.
2014: I read 123 books, of which:
44 I'd not read before, 79 were re-reads;
115 were fiction, 8 non-fiction;
117 were in English, 6 in German.
2013: I read 92 books, of which:
43 I'd not read before, 49 were re-reads;
79 were fiction, 13 non-fiction;
89 were in English, 3 in German.
2012: I read 106 books, of which:
45 I'd not read before, 61 were re-reads;
96 were fiction, 10 non-fiction;
98 were in English, 8 in German.
2011: I read 110 books, of which:
53 I'd not read before, 57 were re-reads;
99 were fiction, 11 non-fiction;
103 were in English, 7 in German.
2010: I read 127 books, of which:
63 I'd not read before, 64 were re-reads;
108 were fiction, 19 non-fiction;
125 were in English, 2 in German.
2009: I read 119 books, of which:
60 I'd not read before, 59 were re-reads;
97 were fiction, 22 non-fiction;
117 were in English, 2 in German.
2008: I read 123 books, of which:
61 I'd not read before, 62 were re-reads;
105 were fiction, 18 non-fiction;
118 were in English, 5 in German.
The Books listed on my shelfI intend eventually to list my entire collection here. You will see many books marked as Permanent Collection, but most of these are available for loan. A word of warning, though. Many of my books are quite heavy hardbacks, and if I lend them outside the UK I may ask for something in trade, even if it's only the loan of another book in return.
Any book marked "Available" can be traded, or if you ask nicely enough, given away. Most of these are meant to be released, though.
One Hundred and Seventy-Nine Wild Catches!I've been neglecting BookCrossing recently, but I hope to do a bit more once this pandemic is over. This is now a scrollable list with links to the books. My thanks to Ardik, on whose profile I found the code to do this.
Time Twister A lovely journal entry, which I somehow missed!
Split Second Another one before I made release notes.
Four Little Engines
The Little Train Two genuine wild catches within a couple of days!
The Year the Swans Came
The Happy Prince
The Vor Game
Ethan of Athos
Flora Segunda of Crackpot Hall
My Friend the Wolf
The Last Raven TEN years from release to catch!
Little (Grrl) Lost Four and a half years from release to catch, but it may have found a good home now!
Reginald F Dweebly Thunders On
The Prisoner in the Opal (before I made release notes, yet again)
The Blitzed Brits
Sea Dogs Six years and seven months for this one!
Strata Another book not found for five years. Where has it been?
Das Mädchen von Atlantis
The Last Starship from Earth (Caught by a young new BookCrosser. I hope he or she grows up reading)
Sommerfrische (my first uncon book, before I got home to make notes)
The USA (Horrible Histories Special)
Travel Beyond the Ordinary
Best Murder Stories (Released in Nottingham, found 4 years later in Belper)
Beast (Again before I made release notes)
Das geheimnisvolle Verschwinden des Moghul (found by another person learning German)
Passage (my "message" in a bottle, released in the sea)
Dip in Road
The Potter's Field
Starstormers (another with two wild catches!)
The Name of this Book is Secret
Ender's Game, yet another before I made release notes
Test Your Cat
The Street Lawyer
Werewolf versus Dragon
The Shivering Sands
Cliff's Notes on Men
The Exile Waiting
Spotted Pigs and Green Tomatoes
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
The Colours of her Days
Accomodating Brocolli in the Cemetary
A World Out of Time
On, Off (This is my only genuine TRIPLE jump. Some interesting gaps in the record, too!)
Yes Prime Minister - five years release to catch!
The Story of Wimpy, a Wump
The Dragon Lord
River of Dancing Gods (over six years from release to catch!)
The Illustrated Mum
Focus on Love
How Green are your Wellies
Lives of the Monster Dogs
A Book of Fairies
Bill's New Frock
Why can't a Man be more like a Cat?
This Life I've Led
The Water Babies
Eines Tages geht der Rabbi (What's it been doing since Gelsenkirchen?)
The Winter Sleepwalker
100 Essential Scientists
The Bad Beginning (No release notes again)
Mysterious Christmas Tales
Dictionary of Doodles
Mop and Smiff Down on the Farm
The Story of the Proms (Released during the 2006 season, journalled during the 2007 season.)
The Hand of Mary Constable
The Sea Shall Not Have Them
Great Short Stories
Lady of Hay (Found by someone who appreciated the themed release, even without notes!)
Salt in my Porridge
Over the Hills and Far Away (This book and I Bought a Mountain were released on the same walk)
I Bought a Mountain
The Descent of Anansi
The last Vampire (It seems I forgot to make release notes. It's travelled, but I've no idea how far...)
Something More (Seems to have done a silent catch, release and journalled catch in just three days!)
The Silent Miaow
The Philadelphia Experiment
Savage Sisters and Hang Spur McCoy (Caught and journalled the same evening!)
Here Be Dragons (I rather liked this review)
The Perils of Pushing Forty (Before I made release notes)
Master of Whitestorm
Day of the Jackal Before I made release notes, again!
The Book of the Banshee
An Angel for Molly
Hunting the Ghost Dancer (And a second wild catch a year later!)
Fool's Errand (Yet another before I made release notes.)
Dagger of the Mind
The Hounds of Skaith (Another book caught twice! If finding it in a friend's pocket counts...)
Vampires (Before I had time to make notes, again.)
The Cruel Sea
Wombat in the Wild (Another challenge book has got two new readers!)
Little Bear (Yes, it's another challenge book!)
Mr Toad of Toad Hall (Fifth catch for the challenge, also without notes)
The Python Project (Fourth catch for the challenge, and no release notes)
Little Book of Frogs (A third catch for the challenge)
British Butterflies (Another catch for the You're Such an Animal challenge)
Duckling Diary (My first catch on the Animal release challenge, before I made release notes)
Claudine Married (Looks like it moved around a bit before it got journalled)
Out of the Dust
Gifts of Unknown Things (The most enthusiastic new BookCrosser I've hooked, I think)
The Dream Master (Took over a year and a half, but good journal entry!)
The Pawns of Null-A
September (Good to know that public transport releases still get journalled!)
Orphan of Angel Street (Another catch from a new member in Cornwall!)
The Black Tide (Left on a seat on a tube station platform)
The Dragon and the George (Was it really kicking around the students' union for three years?)
Live and Let Die (Caught while I was still making release notes for the previous week's books)
Wizard in Wonderland (Caught before I got home to make release notes)
Rebecca (Another book with a second wild catch!)
The Visitor (dubious releasing a teenage book at a university. But at least it was logged!)
A Village Affair
Last Man at Arlington (Very encouraging catch from two kids, before my release notes again!)
Master of the Five Magics (Another book with two wild catches! Looks set to die this time, though)
The Big Losers
Rennschwein Rudi Rüssel (One of the first books I released in Germany, caught after I got home)
The Remittance Kid (Probably my least gratifying journal entry ever)
Farewell, My Lovely (Three days! Wonderful! I've seen a book sit here for nearly three weeks!)
Der Feenring (My third German catch. Is three times a charm?)
Wolfsblut (German translation of White Fang) (another that beat my release notes)
War Crimes for the Home (Released (and caught) in Scotland, now going to America!)
Das Geheimnis des Pater Brown (my first wild catch in Germany)
Children of the Lens (The first catch at one of my favourite release spots)
The Stainless Steel Rat Joins the Circus
Venus (At last another book to be caught twice!)
Giles Cartoons 18th Series
The Sounds Between (Yet another for which I didn't have time to make release notes)
Deck the Halls
Richer than All His Tribe (This one, too, has had its second genuine wild catch!)
The King Beyond the Gate
Waylander (The third book of mine found by arturogrande)
Dragonsbane (Catches are coming in thick and fast!)
Beauvallet (I think I know the person who caught this!)
Damiano (another who was too quick for me)
Making Toys from Wood
Zoovet (Books do get passed on by non-crossers!)
Beethoven's Third Symphony (I'm rather pleased with this!)
The Man who Fell to Earth (This one has brightened someone's day...)
The Great Escape
101 Things to Do during a Dull Sermon
The Englishman who went up a hill (... and this one has brightened someone's week!)
Teach Yourself Conjuring
Nebula Award Stories 3 (No release notes, because I made the notes for the wrong book!)
An Introduction to Paper, its manufacture and use
Thunder on the Right
Intervention (It's nice to have a local BookCrosser who goes hunting!)
Flashman and the Redskins
Where You Belong (Probably the most gratifying catch I've had.)
The business of management : art or craft?
Politically Correct Bedtime Stories
The shape of futures past : the story of prediction
The World in Winter
A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah!
Tomorrow & Tomorrow (The first book of mine to score two genuine wild catches.)
Ordinary Jack (Another one without release notes because I was too slow.)
The King of Elfland's Daughter (I really had no excuse to be so slow making release notes on this one!)
I don't count charity shop releases in this category, though. I've donated over a thousand books with pre-numbered labels, and I've had journal entries for some of them, but a charity shop is too obvious - both as somewhere to give away a book, and somewhere to go looking for one. (That said, I once almost bought one of my own releases. Oops!). I do have a couple of semi-wild catches - books that were in the almost-wild, and got caught:
The Mouse Butcher At the 2010 Unconvention, the hotel had some public bookshelves in the lobby. Becky suggested we fill them, I offered this book, and it has been caught and released again there.
Burke's Connections. Caught by someone after the release walk in Swindon. My name is on the release, although it wasn't one I actually took into town.
Der mit dem Wolf tanzt I have no idea what I did with this book. The number is an early pre-numbered label, but I have no recollection of sticking a label in a German book, and I have no idea how the book got to Berlin. I've not been there since before I was a BookCrosser!
April Fools (I think this was originally a charity shop release, but I'll include it for its two wild catches!)
The Vampire Tapestry (caught by another bookcrosser at the Unconvention)
Treasure Hunting (I left this in a geocache, and it was "found" by the cache's owner)
Dragon on a Pedestal (Release notes for the church book stall, but donated to a school library and journalled by a pupil)
Prime Suspect 2 (In two minds as to whether this release counts as wild. It was at the unconvention, and we (a table of bookcrossers) gave it to our waitress at a restaurant. And now it's turned up in Munich, of all places.)
My Wild FindsWithin a few weeks I have found two wild books, after over two years as a bookcrosser without finding a thing.
The Diary of a Killer Cat (Released in Coalville by a local bookcrosser)
The Inflatable Shop (This was in a geocache, a hidden store where you can drop things off for people to find, with GPS information on the web. I don't have GPS, so finding was a bit harder.)
Release project for 2004I intended to release a book into the wild each day during 2004. Books were to be genuinely in the wild, not aimed at any particular Bookcrosser. Advance releases don't count, but if I missed one (through illness, for example) I had to make it up as soon as possible.
In the end, I released (as near as I can judge) 397 books into the wild during 2004. (I had hoped to make it 400, but...) By the end it was getting to be a bit of a bind, though. I was missing days most weeks, and the release for new year's eve was made in 2005. Three months in Germany - for which I had to buy German books specially - didn't help. I still have a box or so of books for release, so I expect to go on releasing, but not at quite the same rate!
Book Rays I've StartedFor a while I tried to send some of my favourite books and authors on rays, to increase their circulation. All these stalled pretty early on, and I don't intend to revive them.
The Silver Metal Lover is one of my favourite books ever. The ray will never close, so PM me if you'd like to take part.
Power of Three was my favourite book from when I was 10 years old until well into my twenties.
Charmed Life, probably the best-known book by Diana Wynne Jones, and The Lives of Christopher Chant, a prequel, will be travelling together as a single ray.
The Dragon in the Sea is a really good future thriller by Frank Herbert.
Pre-numbered LabelsI used to run a charity book stall from time to time, usually at events connected with my parents' church (in Somerset) or mine (in Leicestershire). Before the recent problems with pre-numbered labels, I put many labels on books offered for sale or leftovers (which went to charity shops)
298969-297068, 497698-497757, 660200-660339, 1139030-1139239 and 1170200-1170599 in 2003; 1189833-1190133, 1206069-1206368, 1284310-1284510 and some random numbers in the range 1347XXX (for which I had difficulty in downloading labels) in 2004.
Vanishing BooksA few of my books I have registered, but haven't appeared on the system. Unfortunately, some I released before I discovered the problem.
So far, vanishing books I've released:
Black Man's Palaver (Isobel Ryan), released in Coalville in early 2004 (I think)
Mysterious Miss Slade (Dick King-Smith), released in Birmingham 17 July 2004
The Silver Madonna, released in Birmingham 17 July 2004
Dream Date, released in Coalville 11 December 2004
Giraffe in a Jam (Lucy Daniels), released for a release challenge
And some I managed to spot before releasing:
Everything You Always Suspected Was True About Advertising
Three Great Historical Romances
Focus on Love (Mandy Anson)
The Works (edited by Paul Cookson)
Short Walks to Country Pubs
Several changes of software later (back at BookCrossing.com) some that I thought had totally vanished are coming back; others that I thought had come back have vanished again. I really have no idea what is happening here!