Monday 30 September 2013

There It Is

2.    And you give yourself away

I’m talking about class, of course. We can dress it up in words like ‘socio-economic group’ or ABC1s or whatever, but that’s what it basically boils down to. My parents were both teachers, her dad was a civil engineer, we both have post-graduate degrees and this fact is, to our families and immediate circle of acquaintances, nothing special. Dual-income, 2.4 children, nice house with a garden and foreign holidays on a fairly regular basis. We are quite definitely, smugly, appallingly, middle class. The mothers yelling at their kids in the supermarket are not.

Friday 27 September 2013

There It Is

1.    Only to be with you.

I think I may have finally found one. Or at least had one found for me.

Wednesday 25 September 2013


(September 2013)

I don’t quite know what’s going on here. Not with the book so much, but in trying to get my thoughts on it down on paper (or the screen. You know what I mean).

Monday 23 September 2013


My reading plans for the recent flights didn’t really pan out. Hard to stay too immersed in something if your kids start freaking out whenever there’s a bit of turbulence, and refuse to wear their seatbelts to boot. So the books got canned in favour of more disposable distractions on the iphone, with the result that I spent much of the summer being slightly obsessed with Mirror’s Edge speed runs. This is all the excuse I need to share this video.

Friday 20 September 2013

Of Diplomats, Footballers, Jokes, and Cake

There’s something called Paris Syndrome, which is like Stockholm Syndrome except with less cross-country skiing and more museums. That’s actually a lie. The happy truth is that Stockholm Syndrome, where a group of hostages will come to agree with and support their captors, is in many ways the polar opposite of its Gallic counterpart.

Wednesday 18 September 2013


(September 2013)

Here, in its entirety, is the opening paragraph of Angelmaker

Monday 16 September 2013

Gold Boy, Emerald Girl

(September 2013)

Wow. I read the same author’s The Vagrants a couple of years back, and that was very good in a well-crafted, interesting sort of way, but this is a whole other level. This is truly outstanding.

Friday 13 September 2013


It's like Tiffany never died*

Looks like we got back just in time to experience the last few days of summer. Just in time to experience a little bit of what we’d missed and be oh-so glad that we’d missed it. And then it started raining. And continued raining. And kept raining some more after that.

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Servant of the Underworld

(September 2013)

Historical fantasy, wherein our hero is an Aztec priest investigating a murder he believes his brother is wrongly accused of. A Mesoamerican In the Name of the Rose, if you will. It certainly gets points for originality

Monday 9 September 2013

That's The Way The Money Goes

'Dense and moist' claimed the recipe. The finished item is a bit more than that, though. It wouldn't be stretching things too far to claim the finished cake, as a whole, could be used to repair tractor tyres or as a very effective cosh.

Sliced up though, it's pretty nice. I'd say something about experimenting next time with more baking powder and different oil, but given that treacle in Japan is a good deal more than tuppenny that could be quite a while in coming. All together now...

Friday 6 September 2013

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Robert M. Pirsig, 1974
(September 2013)

One of things I find myself doing, as a result of blogging about every book I read, is picking out quotations I think I could use here. It’s not obsessive, but every so often something will jump out at me as illustrative, or just interesting, and I’ll put it in the final post. After about five pages of Zen… I noticed one. Then after a few more pages another presented itself, then after a few more pages another, and another, and another.

Quite a quotable book then, and definitely relevant to our (by which I mean my) areas of interest. But there are just too many of the damn things. It’s packed too tight to unwrap in a single blogpost and the connections to other stuff I think and have thought shoot out like a web spun by a spider on speed. So I’m not going to quote anything from the book at all. No. I’m going to quote Donald Rumsfeld instead.

Wednesday 4 September 2013

The Boys Vol. 7 and 8

Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson 2010-2011
(August 2013)

More obvious references to stuff I clearly don’t get. Anyone know what’s going on with the priest in Highland Laddie? He’s blatantly a parody of something or other, but I’ve no idea what.

Monday 2 September 2013

The Big Reap

(August 2013)

Say what you like about the Collector books, they rattle along at a fair old click. I don’t think I’ve read anything so urgently plot-driven since, well, the last one. There are a few holes in said plot, but they flash by so fast that you don’t really get time to dwell on them. It opens with our hero Sam getting an assignment to kill Hitler and it just escalates from there.