First In, Last Out Syndrome

I sometimes receive books from publishers – and many more are sent thanks to the website UNRV – in the trust that in return for receiving the book I write a review.  This isn’t usually a problem, as I don’t find too many difficulties with reading and writing.  I’ve even been known to write coherent sentences.

Mainly these books are related to my current research project, are well written, support my personal viewpoint, and I can simply read them and assess the information they contain.  But every now and again a book throws a spanner in the works.  The usual cause of problems is that a book is obviously poorly researched and is simply a regurgitation of previously-published material:  in effect, it is little more than plagiarism.

In my judgement there is, however, a far worse scenario that can arise.

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E-Book? Ee-Bai-‘Eck!

As regular readers may already be aware, I hail from the greatest county in the UK:  Lancashire.  However, throughout the majority of northern England the phrase “Ee Bai ‘Eck” can be used as a sign of surprise.  For example:  “Burnley are back in the football Premier League?  Really??  Ee-bai-eck!”

So the question you may be asking now is, “What has that got to do with e-books”?

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The Hypochondriac’s Guide to not being a Hypochondriac

As usual, my first task in this post is to apologize for the distinct lack of activity on the site in the New Year.  Thankfully, and also as usual, I have reasons for this apparently lackadaisical attitude.


All is based around my continuing health problems.  In fact, I have so many of these at the moment that I have in the recent past been accused of being a Hypochondriac.


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I’m only here thanks to luck

Before the question is asked, this post isn’t just addressing the fact that I’m still here after the cancer.  However, it is here because of the after-effects of the illness:  a bout of self-analysis!  When I look back at my life so far I’m filled with a sense of amazement.  In short, how can somebody from a stereotyped British ‘deprived’ family have ended up writing for a living?  The only possible reason is luck, augmented by the actions of some form of ‘Guardian Angel’ – mine is pictured on the right.  (If you are not a Christian, please use an equivalent based upon your own beliefs.)

In case you are interested/fascinated/intrigued/bloody nosey*, I was brought up in a single-parent family in a council house in Burnley.  (For our cousins in the US, it is hard to describe the term ‘council house’, although ‘social housing’ comes close.  They are houses/flats owned by the government, run by local councils, usually at lower rents for people with low incomes.  If the person involved is unemployed, the government ‘welfare’ can supplement/pay the rent outright.  The British television drama ‘Shameless’ was inspired/based on a council estate in Burnley, and the US programme of the same name is a direct derivation.1)

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Back in the Groove?

First, let me make my traditional apology for not posting for a while.  My excuse?  Family bereavement, the usual medical tests, and, of course, the indexing for ‘Patricians and Emperors’. Click here to read more »

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