A list of unread book lists

A few days ago, I wrote briefly about the need to make a list of all the book series I’ve started and haven’t yet finished.

Inspiration struck and I worked out how to do it easily and with productive laziness. Each book in a series on Goodreads links to the list of all books in the series. And since it’s a list maintained by the Goodreads community, there is no need for me to keep individual track of which books are listed. All I need do is track the lists, and the next book that I want to read. If I ever miss a book, then coming back to the list will give me the next one. I will only remove the link to the list once the series is 100% complete (or I’ve given up on it).

Doing this also cleared up my “Want to Read” list because instead of the remaining books, I have only the next listed.

Here are the results of my first hour of work on this. It contains the lists of books that were already in my “Want to Read” list. Now I have to go through books read for those series I’ve forgotten about and want to revisit.

Interestingly, there was no series in Goodreads for Walid and the Mysteries of Phi so I went and created one. 

Books

Graphic novels

The Hoonitron

Ken Block is famous for driving obscenely over-powered vehicles with great precision in a form of motor sport called gymkhana. Recently he took his new Audi S1 “Hoonitron” around Las Vegas.

The Hoonitron is a fully electric vehicle and that makes a difference. The sound of an electric whine is different from a combustible roar and that felt wrong to me – it was disconcerting. A lack of gear changes, up and down, and missing backfires meant a lack of information from what I am used to.

Humans are meaning making machines. We are continually using our senses to understand our world and our place in it. When the information we expect is missing, the meaning we make is different, if we can make of it something meaningful at all.

For clarity, I’m not saying Ken’s electric vehicle is wrong. My nervous system has not yet adjusted to the new reality and that felt odd. It would be easy to push back and complain. I’d feel physically better. Instead I chose to wonder what a new world full of electric vehicles will look and sound like.

A single list to watch

This afternoon I’ve combined my watch lists from multiple streaming services into a single list with JustWatch. We are in a golden age of television and I have too much to keep track of. With each service having its own watch list, I never get the full picture of all that I am part way through, or would like to watch.

Instead I end up jumping from one to another, and not watching anything. Now everything is side-by-side and there are some other benefits as well.

  • I can launch a show directly from JustWatch and track episodes or movies
  • Shows that are between seasons, will activate again when that new first episode drops
  • I often watch the latest movie trailers and now I have somewhere integrated to keep track of them
  • JustWatch will indicate what platforms content is on. Sometimes, shows I’m watching are both available for purchase and available on my local free-to-air channels at the same time. Saves me $$$.
  • It also lists items which are on special. Again, saves me $$$.

Newsfeed excerpts are a form of paywall

I’ve written in the past about my preference for newsfeeds to provide the full text of their posts rather than an excerpt that hints at content and requires me to visit a website for the full content (see here, here and here).

19 years on and there are still feeds which only provide an excerpt.

Unless the publishing platform being used prevents a full text feed, the only reason I can think someone would use excepts is to drive traffic to a site to increase hits to increase advertising revenue.

Similar to online newspapers with a paywall.

Maybe I’m naive and believe good writing, shared in full, will bring people to my site to read more. If I’m wrong, then that’s ok with me as I write to prompt thinking in others first and foremost.

Unfinished tales

Every now and then I use Amazon/Audible’s Matchmaker tool to see if there are any Kindle books for which I’d like to purchase the audiobook cheaply.

Today I picked up Leadership and Self Deception and The Anatomy of Peace for $9 total.

I realised I need to make a list of all the book series I’ve begun and enjoyed but have not yet finished – either because I move onto something else, or because new books have been released.

It never ends.

Civilization VI failure

On Sunday I started playing Civilization VI. Today I lost badly and that’s ok because I was learning all the time.

Having played Civ II, IV and V in the past, I was familiar with the fundamental structure of the game. After my first attempt on Sunday afternoon it became clear I needed to go back to basics. I found some good tutorials on YouTube and a play through of a science victory scenario. All made perfect sense, so why today’s thumping?

Civ is a complex game with many related concepts that form part of the gameplay. I missed almost all of them. As I fell behind the A.I. civilisations, I started noting what wasn’t working as expected. That told me which areas I needed to ask about. Asking meant time reading documentation on the points I’d missed and the rest of the game trying what I had learned. For this play through, it was too little, too late. The next will start much stronger.

That’s how learning works. Know what you should do, try it, and when you fail, ask the questions you need answers to. Then try again. Ask more questions, and repeat.

I can take the loss, though I wish the Peter the Great of Russie didn’t denounce me as such a bad ruler time and again.

Crazy coincidence

I have a relatively new car. It’s done just over 3,000km. Here is a crazy coincidence from earlier today.

  • The odometer read 3,000km while I was stopped at traffic lights.
  • The odometer read 2,000km while I was stopped at traffic lights. There are not so many traffic lights where I live that this would be at all likely.
  • The two sets of traffic lights were less that 3km apart.
  • Both readings were after I had been away at a client, on a 500km+ round trip. The route taken each time, completely different.

I’m loving the feeling of wonder I am experiencing at all that.

Fear of missing out

FOMO generates extra dollars for the gaming industry, both PC/console gaming and board/tabletop games.

Two words. DLC and Expansion.

Both represent additions to the base game. The call is strong. After a conversation last night with a friend about this very point I learned there is an expansion to SmallWorld I didn’t know about, and there are some expansions for Civilization VI that I don’t have.

Immediately, I want to buy them. Knowing full well I’ll never use them.

I’m not the only one.

Blogging is a concernful activity

I made two posts in January about types of bloggers. The first listed four types of bloggers, and the second was my declaration that I was an observational blogger.

Renard’s post on The Case of Bloggers Wanting Different Things reminded me of my own, and also got me to thinking about concernful activity – the idea that we are always acting to take care of what is important to us.

Sometimes, we don’t know what is important, and blogging, journalling and writing in general are ways to discover that. To go meta, these are all forms of conversation and without conversation figuring out anything is impossible.

I too share Renard’s wish:

If by chance, you have not figured out what it is that you want from blogging, I do hope that you figure it out real soon.

Your friendly local game store

At the edge of your consciousness you may be aware that over the past few years there has been a resurgence in board games, tabletop role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, and tabletop wargaming like Warhammer.

These games, which have always been situated in the home, also take place in public at your friendly local game store. Here you can buy the games themselves, any number of game expansions and accessories, and find other gamers to play with.

Driving back to my hotel today I saw a store I’d missed in the past and to get outside I took a walk.

After visiting the first of two stores today I was struck with how similar the feeling of walking into a local friendly game store that isn’t your own, is like the feeling I get when walking into any place of worship. It’s welcoming, but not necessarily where you belong. Don’t let that put you off. Any question you ask will be answered with genuine assistance and interest. Most stores are not like that at all.

These are the signs you are in a friendly local game store.

  • The manager, usually the store owner, may get up from a table where they are playing games and ask if they can help.
  • There are tables laid out in the centre of the store, with people playing games. All the stereotypes apply. Young to middle-aged males, often with long hair (scalp or beard), and frequently wearing black. If your nose is sensitive, there may be a stale odour in the air too. As I said, all the stereotypes.
  • People will be engaged in animated conversation which makes no sense to you at all.
  • The prices may astound you. It’s a hobby, and all hobbies are expensive.

I aborted my role-playing activities during Covid. Part of that was due to my anxiety running and also part because the weekly Sunday afternoon visit to my friendly local game store were aborted. It may be time to visit again when I get home.