Sunday 1 October 2017

Favourite book

We were talking this afternoon, and I got asked "What is your favourite book?"

And while I was running through many thousands of possibilities, the supplementary question was "And what would you take to a desert island?"

I found the second question easier - I chose "The Feyman Lectures", a three volume set that would keep me busy for years improving my understanding of physics.

I found "favourite book" a lot harder to name, but eventually I went for "Lord of the Rings". I've read it twice, which is something I almost never do.

1 comment:

  1. Choosing a favourite anything is always tricky. For passing a lot of spare time, anything by Feynman is always an excellent choice.

    My favourite book (or rather audiobook - long story) would probably be something by Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams (unabridged of course and, for the latter, read by the author.

    Both are naturally great wordsmiths. Everything they wrote, even short non-fiction pieces, was a joy to read and had their unique style. If pressed I would think long and hard about Good Omens, Discworld and Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, then definitely choose Last Chance to See.

    It is as entertaining as it is thought provoking - a true masterpiece that should be on everyone's reading list, now more than ever given the state of the world. Not bad for something the publisher went ahead and published unfinished, due to Adams's infamous relationship with deadlines. ["I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by."]

    But I hear you cry, 'it was only published as an abridged audiobook'. Yes... and no.

    The multimedia CD-ROM version was a collection of photos from the trips and Douglas reading the complete book. (More or less complete - more so than the first edition of the book.) The Windows edition was intended for 3.1, but can be run up to Windows XP. However that isn't neccesary. Fortunately the content is stored in standard file formats - DIB for the photos and WAV PCM for the audio. So one can enjoy it with any decent image browser and media player, or even convert the latter to play on your personal audio player of choice.

    Original copies are extremely rare. But fortunately there is a copy available to download for free from The Internet Archive (

    It should ideally be enjoyed alongside the original BBC radio series, which was made available to stream on the BBC web site in 2008 (to coincide with the new TV series). But alas this has been broken and abandoned since 2015. (Illegitimate 3rd party sources may be available.)