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Bod’s Stuff of the Year

It’s bit late but if you still have some Christmas shopping to do, here’s a few ideas of things I’ve liked over the past twelve months.

Anyway, hopefully there are a few ideas for late Christmas presents or even some New Year’s retail therapy. Do your bit for the economy and spend, spend, spend!

Gadget of the Year

Don’t care which model you get but Amazon’s e-reader is probably the must have for any geek. It slips into a large coat pocket and you can have your favourite books with you where-ever you are. The only problem with it is that it is far too easy to buy books and you will find yourself spending more than you used to on books. But for me, it’s my favourite gadget.

Geek-out Extravaganza

It might be expensive and completely indulgent but if you are a Star Wars nut; then Star Wars: The Blueprints is a must have. The packaging is gorgeous and the content, especially from the filming of the original series, is sublime. Treat yourself, you’ll love it. Just hide the receipt!

Games(s) of the Year

I am already loosing sleep to Star Wars: The Old Republic (had a great gaming session with Storagezilla) but my Game of the Year is not really a game but a collection of games; can I recommend that you all support the Indie Games industry and especially Humble Bundle, some fun games at pocket money prices and you get to support independent games companies and charity at the same time.  There are other indie games bundles out there, it’s worth keeping an eye out for them.

Fiction Book of the Year

There’s been some great fiction this year, Neal Stephenson told a cracking tale in Reamde and really hit form again; William Gibson’s Zero History was full of ideas and great fun but for me, a new City Watch tale from Terry Pratchett was always going to be the highlight. Snuff takes Captain Vimes into the country and out of his beloved city, as he struggles with the duties of Lord of the Manor, he stumbles into a murder. The ensuing tale is Pratchett at his best.

Non-Fiction Book of the Year

The sad and expected demise of Steve Jobs lead to the early release of Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography. I think it is a credit to Steve and his family that this rounded picture of him was allowed. A deeply flawed genius; this book does not shy away from the flaws whilst painting the picture of the driven genius. If you love Apple or even if you hate Apple, it’s worth reading and perhaps reflecting on the bit of Steve which is in us all, certainly Biography of the Year. Pencil Me In: A Journey in the Fight for Graphite is a allegorical tale of technology introduction in education; I think many of my readers will both find relevant and fun [especially recommended to Chuck Hollis and Matthew Yeager].

But my non-fiction book of the year is The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers: 1.3 Billion People, 1 Secret Regime; as power continues to move eastwards and China continues its rise to become the dominant economic super-power, this book details how China has pulled itself out of the doldrums and transform its economy. Anecdotes are well used to demonstrate ideas and why China will not transform into a Western-style democracy any time soon.

Album of the Year

I’ve enjoyed House Of Cards by Emily Baker, Suck It And See by Arctic Monkeys and especially enjoyed the collaboration between Lou Reed and Metallica in the form of Lulu. The return of Atari Teenage Riot’s aural assault was a welcome return by the Teutonic terrors, Is This Hyperreal?.

Still, I have to agree with the Mercury Music Prize panel and make PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake my stand-out album of the year. As English as it gets, PJ’s anger and passion for our homeland’s current place in the world is a powerful piece from an artist who never fails to push our buttons.

Computer Component of the Year

SSD, get one! It changes your desktop experience, I use the Crucial variations but do your research and transform your desktop computer.

One Comment

  1. Suresh says:


    Agree with you on Kindle. Had a friend coming from US buy me one. The user experience is terrific. My daughter is loving it and has downloaded lot of free books available at Amazon. To me the fact that I can convert pdfs into kindle format and read it is a boon. As you said, you can carry both your technical and non technical books with you.

    As far as reading books was concerned, I ticked off one book from my bucket list. Completed ‘War and Peace’. Extraordinary tale and Tolstoy deserves all the praise he gets.

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