Monday 24 March 2014

Lyra’s Oxford / Once Upon a Time in the North

Philip Pullman, 2003/2008
(March 2014)

I read His Dark Materials about 13 years ago now, and I absolutely adored them, and I will never read them again.

Wednesday 19 March 2014


Miyuki Miyabe, 2000 [Daniel Huddleston, 2013]
(March 2014)

I might maybe, tentatively, suggest the Haikasoru are raising their game, and not before time. Following The Melancholy of Mechagirl this is the second recent book of theirs where the writing is actually readable. I realise that ‘not actively awful’ is a pretty low bar, but previous efforts contained prose that, while well-intentioned, was clumsy and frequently bordered on the violent; prose that really wanted to help you carry your shopping but somehow tripped on its own shoelaces, broke all your eggs, then smashed you in the face with a half-brick.

Friday 14 March 2014

Excuses Excuses

So I’ve been quite slack at responding to comments here of late. Apologies. I’ve been incredibly busy recently and this has come as a bit of a surprise. Normally this time of year is relatively relaxed, what with the end of term and all. This year though I’ve had a perfect storm of visiting relatives, academic deadlines, and increased training responsibilities that’s made it pretty difficult to carve out blogging time.

So this is a slightly regretful announcement that there’ll be reduced operations here for the next few weeks. I enjoy this too much to give it up, but it’s a means to an end and in the short term I need to prioritize those ends a bit more judiciously. I’ll probably slap up a couple of book posts, as I need to read to stay sane and reading and writing about it have become inextricably linked in the last couple of years, but there’s unlikely to be anything more substantive until mid-April(ish). I need to replenish and restock and there are only so many ways I can write (or desperately try to avoid writing) “Abe’s a loon,” before repetitious tedium really kicks in.

In the meantime though I’m trying to get my retaliation in first with the inevitable newbie questions about Japanese use in class. If this seems relevant to you and you fancy a trip over to my other joint to let me know when I’m going wrong, it’d be much appreciated –

Enjoy your spring break, those of you who get one.

Monday 10 March 2014

Friday 7 March 2014

Silent Movies

So here’s a thing I’d like to share with you: Lupita Nyong’o is fucking gorgeous, isn’t she?

Wednesday 5 March 2014

Asterix and the Picts

(February 2014)

I adored Asterix when I was a kid, so reading this involved getting smashed in the face by nostalgia with the forced of a carelessly tossed menhir (or indeed caber). I am thus utterly incapable of offering anything even remotely resembling an impartial or considered view on the matter.

Monday 3 March 2014


There's a metaphor for something here, I'm sure, but I'm tired of waiting for the right topic to present itself and you all deserve to see this. Happy March.