reading

From My Armchair: 4 August 2012


At the BookShelf

I am into my last days of annual leave, so it is doubtful I’ll be able to read anywhere near as much as I have this last week. I’ll probably have the Kindle out at lunch for a bit, so I’ll still be getting some reading in even while I’m at work. The Kindle has certainly made it a lot easier to have good reading material available no matter where I am. Loving the Kindle.

 

Social Networks, Web Applications & Other Tools

Not a lot has happened with the social networks in the book/reading niche over this last week, except that I have been updating Goodreads on a regular basis as to what I am reading, progress and cataloguing the books as I go.

I did do a quick addition to Quotista, which has a lot of potential but doesn’t appear to be being developed any further, which is…

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Read Today: Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson


I finished reading this book today.

At the BookShelf

Treasure Island was the first major novel of Robert Louis Stevenson. It was first published in 1883 and has remained a much-loved book. First penned as a story for boys, it was as a young boy that I first came across Treasure Island. It was the first real book that I ever read – certainly of my own choice. If I remember correctly, the copy I had was a small book, not much bigger than my hand and illustrated throughout. The illustrations weren’t coloured as such, but I think I may have started to ‘colour them in’ as I read the story several times. The name of the ship, ‘Hispaniola,’ came back to me in one of my first compositions at school. In that early attempt at writing I wrote a story about piracy and a ship called the Hispaniola. I believe I was written into the story, along…

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Reading: The Bourne Identity


Bourne IdentityToday had been quite unpleasant outside. It has been pouring with rain at times, then not. When it hasn’t been it has been blowing a gale and it is also quite cold. It’s bucketing down yet again. So very little has been able to be accomplished outside today. No great outdoors for me on this wet and miserable day.

I have been spending a bit of time, as a consequence of the weather, reading ‘The Bourne Identity,’ by Robert Ludlum. I haven’t read the Bourne series of books before, but have seen the movies many times. I’m a big fan of the Jason Bourne movies. However, having seen the movies it has been difficult to some degree reading the book. The book is very different to the movie, more so than what ‘The Hunt for Red October’ was to the film version. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still enjoying the book and will try and work my way through the other nine books (I believe there are now 10 books in the series).

So I’m making good progress through the first book and as I said, enjoying the read. I’m hoping to complete it before the end of the week, which I think I can achieve relatively easily. I’m approaching halfway through now – on the Kindle. I was only 10% through it a couple of days ago, so progress is going very well.

Goodreads: The Book Reading Social Network


Yacaaba Headland Walk


I ran out of time yesterday to post about my walk up Yacaaba Headland and how I only just avoided being in a storm that was moving in. So today (it’s actually the 27th July 2012 as I type away) I must get two days of posts done, even if I slip this one in back in time, so to speak (as you can with the post time when posting).

BrunchSo I decided to do the Yacaaba Headland walk just before lunch and had lunch in the carpark, while reading the paper. Nothing too healthy – I tend to eat far too much junk when I’m on holidays. So it was a bacon & egg roll, as well as a couple of potato scallops and some chips (and coke of course) See Picture at Left. It was really brunch and I needed the energy boost to accomplish the walk. Sounds like a fair excuse anyhow. You do burn a bit bushwalking and climbing mountains.

So after lunch I set out on the walk. It was a beautiful day, spring like, which was quite strange given it was the middle of winter. It was really quite warm and a great day for a walk along the beach and for being in the great outdoors. The walk to the top of Yacaaba Headland from where I set off was a good 1km along the beach, then a further 1.5km from the beach to the top of the headland. So not a great distance really, though the same ground would have to be covered again on the return, so something like 5km all up. I had plenty of time to cover that distance and I knew that from having done this walk before. So of I went.

First up though was a picture of the scene before me as I got through the sand dunes and onto the beach.

Beach & Yacaaba

ABOVE: The Beach and Yacaaba Headland in the Distance

There were very few people out and about, just a couple of people fishing along the beach and a few walkers as I approached Yacaaba. I could see what appeared like a storm brewing back towards the north and out west. Nothing to worry about at this stage though. Plenty of time.

SpongeOne of the things I noticed along the beach was the amount of debris from the sea. There was a fair bit of what I would call natural debris, such as timber, weed of various types, sponges (See Picture at Right), heaps of shell fragments and even a small fish. However, there was a bit of human debris (rubbish) also, which was a shame. Got me to thinking if anything from Japan would end up here in the long run – from the tsunami. Most of it is heading to the US and west coast of North America, but it wouldn’t be at all surprising if a bit made its way to the Australian east coast.

After a bit more than 1km I reached the headland and began my ascent up Yacaaba. The track to the the top of Yacaaba is easily followed and not too difficult in my opinion. There are some steeper sections and the track can be a bit rocky, loose and a bit unstable underfoot, but not too bad overall.

There aren’t a lot of wildflowers to see there at the moment, variety wise I mean. There are plenty of Wattles in flower of course and the usual Banksias, as well as one or two other flowering plant species to be seen.

Wattle

ABOVE: Wattle BELOW: More Wildflowers

wildflowers  wildflowers

As you walk towards the top you begin to get some fantastic views over Port Stephens and in particular Hawks Nest, Tea Gardens and Winda Woppa. The further up you go the greater the views of course and as you near the top there are views up and down the Pacific Coast. It really is a great place on a clear day for fantastic coastal vistas.

View Towards Tea Gardens

ABOVE: View towards Tea Gardens BELOW: View over the Pacific Ocean

Pacific View

Having enjoyed the views for a while, I decided I had better start the trip back and try and beat the storm that was now rapidly heading my way. It was very dark out to the west and north, thunder could be heard rumbling along and flashes of lightning in the clearly heavy rain off in the distance. So down I went. The trip back down was fairly quick, having observed plenty on the way up and knowing the storm was rapidly approaching the descent was somewhat quicker than the ascent had been. No surprises there really.

Bottom of Yacaaba View

ABOVE: The View up the Coast from the Bottom of Yacaaba – Shows the Approaching Storm.

The view up the coast (as seen in the above picture) was marked by the approaching storm, which became increasingly menacing as it adavanced and I got closer to the car. It doesn’t look too bad in the photo above, but as I neared the car It was fairly severe in its appearance and I just got into the car as the first drops of rain began to drop. It was pouring by the time I got back home (just 5 minutes or so away). Yet the storm was gone as fast as it hit.

Bulahdelah


So I was right about my day when I spoke of it yesterday. Not a lot going on today, so today’s post will be more about yesterday. I hope that makes perfect sense to everyone – it sounded even worse with the original way I was going to write it (I was trying to be clever, so went for simplicity in the end).

Bombah Point Ferry

ABOVE: The Punt at Bombah Point BELOW: On the Punt

On the Punt

To get to Bulahdelah from Hole in the Wall, you need to go via Bombah Point and the ferry service there. I guess you could also call it a punt. Many people still call it that. Anyhow, as the pictures show, it doesn’t cover a great distance. How much is the charge for this journey – at the moment it’s $5.00 AU. Seems a little excessive for something that’s over in less than 5 minutes. Still, there is a wage to pay, maintenance, etc. Still, you wouldn’t want to be doing it too often. You do get a ticket though (see picture at right). Punt Ticket

The road to the punt isn’t too bad for an out of the way road. On the other side between the punt and Bulahdelah though… well, that’s a different story and is typical of gravel roads in this council area. It is full of large pot holes. The road from Hawks Nest to the punt is all sealed. You also go past the Pacific Highway upgrade near Bulahdelah and Mount Alum.

So arriving in Bulahdelah you enter near the old Court House, so I thought I’d stop and have a quick look.

The Court House isn’t open to the public too often. The note on the door indicated it was open on Saturday mornings, but I wouldn’t be too confident in what was on the note, it had been there for quite some time and was rather weather beaten. There are some old bits and pieces laying around the grounds of the Court House, from Bulahdelah’s logging and mining history. Being into history, I enjoyed having a bit of a look at these items, which you do see time and again throughout the region in various museums, parks and even in the bush. The whole region enjoys a similar history, particularly logging.

Bulahdelah Court House

ABOVE & BELOW: Bulahdelah Court House

Bulahdelah Court House

Mining History

ABOVE: Mining History Relics BELOW: Logging History Relics

Logging History Relics

Following the time spent at Bulahdelah Court House, I decided it was time for lunch and if you follow me on Foodspotting or visit my profile page, you would know that I found a cheese and bacon sausage roll (from Bulahdelah Bakery – best bakery in the district) for lunch (I actually had two – naughty), while reading a newspaper parked out the front of the visitor centre. Why there? Well I decided I might as well grab some info. on some areas I’m thinking of visiting in coming days, as well as further down the track. I have a visitor centre practically next door to me, but since I was here I might as well pop in.

Bulahdelah Bakery

ABOVE: Bulahdelah Bakery BELOW: Bulahdelah Visitor Centre

Bulahdelah Visitor Centre

So after that it was back down the highway and to Tea Gardens once again.

For more on Bulahdelah:
http://www.bulahdelah.net.au/

For more on Tea Gardens:
http://www.teagardens.nsw.au/

Reading: The Hunt for Red October and Jason Bourne


I am a big fan of Tom Clancy novels and in particular the Jack Ryan series. A number of years ago I read all of the novels published in the series up until the time I moved house and so for the last 5 years I haven’t read any new ones. When I moved I decided I needed to clean out some of my books (and I have a huge library), so I figured the majority of my fiction books could be cleaned out. I always regretted moving the Tom Clancy novels along, though I figured that at some point I could reclaim them as ebooks, which I am now beginning to do.

A couple of weeks ago I decided to start reading the series again – right from the beginning. I hesitated as to what order I should read them, given that Patriot Games really was set before The Hunt for the Red October, but then settled on the order of the novel release order – so Patriot Games will be next. So I purchased a copy of The Hunt for Red October from Amazon. Of course I decided I might as well watch the movie again, as something of a comparison/contrast. That sort of thing intrigues me you see. I own a Kindle, so I purchased the Kindle version (which can be purchased via the link above).

So having read the first few chapters of the novel I decided to watch the DVD movie (which I have watched a number of times since purchasing the DVD some years ago) again. Now have refreshed my mind by re-reading the entire novel, it is not so much a comparison as a contrast. Certainly there are common threads and similar plots, but there are a large number of differences between the book and the movie. Still, both are quite good in their own right.

So Patriot Games was going to be the next book in the Jack Ryan series and this was to be read next. However, having read something about the 10th book in the Jason Bourne series of novels I thought I must read those also. So to break up the Tom Clancy books I’m going to be reading the Jason Bourne novels also. In fact I have just started the first in the series (again, quite different to the movie), The Bourne Identity (by Robert Ludlum).

BookYap: Book Recomendations


I am about to start using a new web application called BookYap. Put simply, BookYap is an application that recommends books based on criteria you enter. There are over 650 000 books in its database, so chances are it will find a book for you.

You can search for a book by using keywords or the filters it has available (based on personality types). By becoming a registered user, the application learns more and more about you and your reading habits, improving the recommendations it makes for you.

Books appear with thumbnails of their covers and book ratings. A brief description appears by hovering over the thumbnail. You are able to interact with the application and associated community by sharing books you have read and your reviews of them. There is connectivity with both Facebook and Twitter also.

You are also able to add books to a reading wishlist if you like. Books can be purchased from Amazon when you choose a book to read.

Visit BookYap at:
http://bookyap.com/

 

Copia: A Place to Buy and Discuss Books


Copia a social networking site for book lovers. At Copia you can buy ebooks and discuss what you are reading with other book lovers. You can also share your Copia experience with Facebook and Twitter.

There is a desktop reader and an iPad reader that can be downloaded for free.

Well worth a look.

http://www.thecopia.com/home/index.html