Thursday, 11 February 2016

Invisible Cities

(February 2016)

I’m just going to park this here, as another of the foundation texts for this month’s reading. Not going to do much more than that as, to be honest, I’m completely incapable of saying anything intelligent about it within the timeframe I’ve given myself. (Also, bronchitis). Let’s just say that, taking the project as a whole, I don’t think that will be a problem, so I’m just going to leave a space here for a link to the eventual summary where I’m clearly going to tie it all up nicely and we’ll all be able to bask in my powers of for-, and indeed in-, sight.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

The Death and Life of Great American Cities

(February 2016)

We’re going to kick off Arbitrary Theme Month with a couple of foundation texts, the cover blurb of the first of which informs us that it is “perhaps the single most influential work in the history of town planning.” Now, I realize that on first reading this sounds a little like being the most famous Belgian, but that in itself is a measure of how little thought we (still) seem to give one of the most important fields of human organization.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Native Speaker

(January 2016)

Kind of a novelty read this, in that I’ve just wrapped up almost a year’s worth of study on the Native Speaker Ideal and this seemed like an appropriate way to top things off. Also a great (by which I mean flimsy as all hell) excuse to start collecting these Penguin Drop Caps editions.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Forthcoming Attractions

Done! The deadlines are gone, dissertations submitted, and its all over bar the shouting/final marks. And what better way to celebrate than by catching up on all those books I've not been reading for the past three years? I'm pleased to announce that February will be Arbitrary Themed Reading Month here on this is how she fight start. Go on, guess what the theme is...

Monday, 25 January 2016

The Sandman: Overture

(January 2016)

A surprisingly simple story told outstandingly well. Your sensawunda here in full effect, and more importantly it doesn’t feel spurious or unnecessary in the way a lot of the other outgrowths of the Sandman mythos have done. Beautiful stuff, even if I am unfortunately too far removed from the original series to pinpoint many, if not most, of the loose ends being tied up. Still, I suppose that’s the secret to good fan service, isn’t it? Throw it in in a way that doesn’t distract from the rest of the story or alienate the your less fanatical readers. Still disappointed by the relative absence of Death though, but then I always am.

Friday, 22 January 2016


(January 2016)

Jackson! Hunt! Sixkiller! The adventures of our improbably monikered cyber-mystic park rangers continue apace, and I for one couldn’t be happier. 

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

The Dark Defiles

(January 2016)

And so as winter sets in and the cold (theoretically) descends, I find myself yearning for the muscular embrace of a hefty slab of epic fantasy. Thus I finally get round to finishing Morgan’s A Land Fit for Heroes trilogy, which is clearly an explicit deconstruction of the genre so is all ever-so-slightly clever-clever, but also swords! and dragons! and blood oaths!

Monday, 18 January 2016

A Room of One’s Own / We Should All Be Feminists

(December 2015)
(January 2016)

I read these and they were good and I sadly have very little to say about them that hasn’t been said many, many times already. If I had the inclination, knowledge, or talent I’d offer some thoughts on the differences and similarities between the two, and what that tells us about the progression of gender (and indeed racial) politics over the last century, but I regret that I find myself falling short on all counts. Nonetheless, both are clearly necessary, if in markedly different ways.

Friday, 15 January 2016


(December 2015)

Oh, wow. This shouldn’t have taken me so nearly as long to finish as it did. Nothing to do with the book, sadly, which deserved much more concentration than I was able to give it, but such is life.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Lumberjanes / Saga

Noelle Stevenson et al, 2015
Fiona Staples et al, 2015
(November 2015)

Lumberjanes required me to get my eye in somewhat (expectations, etc), but now that I’m better acquainted with what I’m going to be getting I can honestly say that this is worth the hype. The second volume is even better than the first: heartful, intelligent, and just laugh-out-loud funny. I love this series.