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Category: Life: Books

Books: Holiday reading

I’m going on a little holiday soon and so want to take a number of books to read. I’m tempted to buy:

And thanks to various recommendations (particularly Kirstie Haxby and Martyn Drake), I’m also going to be ordering:

Any other recommendations? (Thanks Tim – but I’ve already got all the Ben Elton books, along with all the Robert Llewellyn ones)

Book Review: php|architect’s Guide to E-commerce Programming with Magento

I’ve decided to switch the back end of my side-line e-commerce dance wear and leisure wear clothing site from ClickCartPro to Magento. Why? Well, Magento is cheaper (moot point as I’ve already brought the licence for ClickCartPro), Open Source (so’s ClickCartPro), is more flexible (so it seems), has more options and it’s another shopping cart system for me to learn and have experience with (plus it does seem to be growing in popularity quite a bit).

However, the switch has come with a price: it’s quite a complex bit of kit! So, since Waterstones had an offer on and I needed to buy some other books I purchased php|architect’s Guide To E-Commerce Programming with Magento from them (Waterstones’ price is £19.99 and Amazon’s is £18.99: both with free shipping. It’s also available as a PDF for $29.99 from the publisher’s site). Why did I buy this book? Well, it was the only Magento book Waterstones (or Amazon) had!

Books: Author Michael Crichton dies, 66

Best-selling author Michael Crichton has died in Los Angeles aged 66 after a “courageous and private battle against cancer”, his family has said.

Boo! Michael Crichton got me hooked on his books with “The Andromeda Strain” and since then I’ve worked through “The Terminal Man”, “The Great Train Robbery”, “Congo”, “Sphere”, “Jurassic Park” (before and after the movies), “Eaters of the Dead” , “Rising Sun”, “Disclosure”, “The Lost World”, “Airframe” (which I re-read on a plane đŸ˜‰ ), “Timeline” (very disappointed in the movie – the book had so much potential), “Prey”, “State of Fear” and most recently “Next” and I’ll probably read his next novel which is due out in May (posthumously).

I loved quite a few of his movies, but just couldn’t get myself into ER.

Goodbye to another great author!

Life: Switching back to Amazon

A month or so ago, I was scouting around on UK Nova for some interesting “B.T’s” to download (my justification: I pay around £20 a month for a TV licence and NTL Cable Basic TV package, but I haven’t turned by TV on for a month), and then I saw 2DTV for download – but with a note that it was available for just £4.99 from so I went off to buy it on DVD (I try and keep “as legal as possible”).

Whilst there, I notice they had Red Dwarf DVDs for sale (note: I already have every single Red Dwarf episode on “recorded from TV” tape and all but the last series on commercial VHS) and The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy TV Series for sale (again, I already have this on 3 commercial VHS tapes). I ended up spending over £120 there!

However, I’m having to switch back to Amazon for my purchase for Red Dwarf [Order from] series 6 and Amazon also have a number of books I wanted for Christmas (Ben Elton’s Past Mortem [Order from] and Tom Sharpe’s Wilt in Nowhere [Order from] ) and need to get the purchase price up to cover shipping…

I did intend to buy the books from my local Borders book shop, but they were expecting me to pay full retail price AND only had them in Hardback…

Books: Harry Potter etc etc

I’m now in possession off an authentic, hard-cover copy of Harry Potter And The Order of The Phoenix – even though I had no intention of actually buying it. £16.99 for a book is a bit pricey for me (unless it’s a specialist book: I’ve paid nearly £100 for a copy of the “Programmers Reference Manuals for RISC OS” before), and even WH Smith’s reduced price of £12.99 didn’t get my fancy (my Mother brought my sister a copy for that price).

But when I calmly manoeuvred my extra big trolley into Macro (a “trade only, usually in bulk” style supermarket) to buy a dishwasher, I noticed they had Order Of The Phoenix available for just £8.99! Normally, Macro adds VAT (17.5% of the purchase price) onto goods as they are intended for business use (and businesses can then claim the VAT back afterwards), but books are VAT-free!

So, Harry Potter and the Order Of The Phoenix cost me just £8.99 from Macro! Can any body get any cheaper, and if so, where did you get your copy from?