Sunday, January 14, 2007

Greetings in Jesus Name

Greetings in Jesus Name! - The scambaiter letters
Mike Berry (aka Shiver Metimbers)

This isn't a book I would have crossed the road to read. Yet having been bought it for Christmas, it took me about three days to get half way through it. It's a very easy read, if you can bring yourself to be interested in the subject matter. And what's that?

Well, all those of us who have email (I wonder what percentage of the population that is now?) will have received SPAM and will have come across one scam or another, usually originating in Nigeria. This book is the story of one valiant protector of the Innocent (Shiver Metimbers), a man who replies to the scammers with the intention of causing them just as much inconvenience and upset as they cause their prey.

It really is just a collection of emails showing how gullible and inept many of the scammers are. Mike Berry's website is his main weapon in the fight against scammers - he publishes all his correspondences here: See the hall of shame.

The book itself, becaused of its post > reply > reply to post > etc. layout is a breeze to read and if you can stay interested long enough to finish one scam after another, its an entertaining read. As I say, easy to read - but only for interested parties.


From a Buick 8

Post Christmas Reading

From a Buick 8 by Stephen King
Greetings in Jesus Name - The Scambaiter Letters by Mike Berry
The Social Life of Information by John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid

All three books have been on the go now for a couple of weeks. Ben (son) and Shiv bought me the Scambaiter Letters for Christmas and the Seely Brown + Duguid book was on my Christmas wish list (bought by daughter Emma, for my birthday earlier in December). The Stephen King was one of three I bought when we were away in Reeth for the weekend towards the end of November. This was a £1 charity shop special.

From a Buick 8 by Stephen King ***/10
Anyone who has read much Stephen King will realise that his work can range from the plain weird right through to the downright scary and the quality of his writing can range from really poor to captivating and enthralling. This, another 'car' story is weird and the pace is quite slow. I have found that I got bored reading it for too long in one sitting (unlike Green Mile and the like) but not because the story is uninteresting (I'm nearly done and still don't know what the outcome, whodunit etc. will be) just because the pace is so languorous. Basically it's a car that comes from 'somewhere else' and tries to deliver alien babies (well - you know) all over a country police station. Bottom line? It's one of those Stephen Kings that you're glad you've read (to maintain your opinion that the man must have a really strange mind) but don't want to read again.

More about the other two later.


What I'm reading now

This is designed to supplement the main blog at and will be link to from there.

I've just started adding a side-bar about the books I'm reading. This will change quickly or slowly, depending upon my workload.

Reading is my main form of relaxation, so when I'm on a 'relax' period, the books will turn over much quicker than at other times. For example, over Christmas, I was reading three books at once. I'm nearly done with one, almost finished another and have hardly started the third (because January came along beofre I could make any headway). Nevertheless, I will comment on them as I go along.

But first of all - why do this? Why would I think anyone is interested in what I have to say about any particular book? Well - I don't always remember the books I've read and it's becoming harder as each year passes, so I thought it would be a good idea to begin listing them somewhere accessible, mainly to remind myslef of the thoughts and feelings I had while reading (or not reading) them. I don't care if others see what I write, so I've made it a public blog - and if they (you?) find my thoughts useful, it's brilliant, a major bonus. But if you don't find it useful - never mind.



Welcome to yet another attempt at making Blogger work for me. I'm hoping that now I have a purpose, I can spend the time required to aquaint myself with the interface. So far - so good. For my own record:

I've called the blog - David Sugden's Blogger Blog and the address is - (I think) - we'll see.

I'm posting this now - and will then explain how i want to use the site shortly, in another post.