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Not a book geek, alas

Not a book geek, alas

There’s this Facebook/Livejournal/blog meme passed to me from aamused, kiri (and no doubt others), saying:

“The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?
Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read. Tag other book nerds.”

(Note that the BBC’s own list of the top 100 books as voted for by the British public are very different to what you see below)

Alas, it’s going to be a tough one for me to fill out, since the pleasure of books is something I seem to have lost as the years have gone by, thanks to my lack of an attention span. Time was, I could start a book at 9pm, and finish it only to realise it was dawn outside and it was 5am. Nowadays, I glance at my watch when watching a sitcom…

But here goes with the book meme, and the list of books I have/haven’t read…

Strippers and Oscars

Strippers and Oscars

(Yes, it’s a UK blog post NOT about the damn earthquake that may or may not have happened. For the record, I noticed it but thought it was a rumbling truck along the highway)

The bookshops are groaning and heaving under the combined weight of memoirs from strippers, high-class escorts, prostitutes, vigorously sexually active women. There’s so many of the darn things it’s hard to figure out a good one to read.

Fortunately, Oscar has come to the rescue. It turns out that the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Juno‘s first book was a stripping memoir.

She blogs. Amusingly, partly about her outrage to find people were selling their shoes based on the fact she wore them to the Oscars. Or something.

So Skarlett isn’t the only clever witty funny – and gainfully employed – person in Los Angeles…

Don't go on an apocalyptic binge

Don't go on an apocalyptic binge

Thanks to a random link I stumbled across, I’ve just spent the last fifteen minutes giving into my inner fascination with apocalyptic fiction and browsing through Wikipedia’s rather substantial list of post-apocalyptic fiction, reminding me of the UK’s relatively substantial contribution to the genre – The War Game, Threads, Day of the Triffids, 28 Days Later and culminating in World War Z, a gripping account of the Zombie World War.

Right now, I feel rather ill, nauseous and sick right now (bit like radiation poisoning, I’d imagine). Which is amazing given that with the notable exception of 28 Days Later and Day of the Triffids, I’ve never actually had the courage to sit through the rest of the above. But I will have to resolve to buy World War Z, not least because the British government apparently starts its fight back against the zombies from Conwy, less than a mile away. So at least I have somewhere to run to when the zombie hordes invade.

Any suggestions on how I can wash my brains out? Because I don’t want to feel like this for the rest of the day!

No more Christopher Robin

No more Christopher Robin

Sarcasmo’s Corner decries a news story that in Disney’s forthcoming Winnie The Pooh movie, Christopher Robin is being replaced by a six-year-old tomgirl.

Like Sarcasmo, I first reacted with more than a small hint of outrage at more descreation of our beloved childhood characters. Then I thought again.

Christopher Robin is/was the symbol of British chilren’s literature – but he was also stuffy, introverted and somewhat boring. A lead into the wonderful world of Pooh, but he didn’t actually really do anything. Mention the Poohniverse to anyone, and it’s all Pooh and Eeyore. Not Robin.

If we are all to embrace a wonderful diverse non-sexist/racist universe which embraces things like sexual equality, then we need to revise some of our childhood stories for a new generation. After all, Pooh was written in a time when women weren’t exactly expected to amount to anything much. Now they are, so why not change the odd character?

Of course, if it doesn’t work, I’ll be calling for their heads on a spike the size of Mars. But give Disney, for once, a chance first!

Entertainment overload…

Entertainment overload…

As usual, Armando Iannucci says it best: “The sooner we set limits to the … stuff we’re prepared to be entertained by, the happier we will all be.”

As I look around at:

– the 40 Gigabytes of TV programmes I have downloaded and yet to watch
– the CDs I haven’t heard yet
– the DVDs/tapes I’ve borrowed from friends that I haven’t handed back yet
– the Amazon DVDs I’ve hired that I haven’t even opened, two months on
– the pile of VHSs of ancient TV recordings I haven’t seen
– the four waist-high piles of magazines I haven’t read through
– the two shelves of books I haven’t read
– the six computer games and ten console games that still lie there

I really ought to realise this and get rid of it all and hark back to a minimalist existence and give up on trying to use all this stuff.

But what’s really sucking my time? Web surfing. Endless web surfing. Stuffing my brain with useless trivia and opinions that might come in handy in the pub one night, but otherwise never gets used. Oh, and playing Civilisation III. Endlessly.

Maybe I need to join a self-help group or something. But that’ll take time out of sorting out my entertainment backlog. Although on the plus side I might bump into Helena Bonham-Carter.

See, Fight Club is not a film I would normally watch. But a neighbour brought it round one night, we watched it and it was a fantastic film, and I really ought to buy/read the book. And it’s moments of entertainment bliss like that I’m scared of missing out on.

Naked attempt to get more links

Naked attempt to get more links

I’m promised that if I link to The Friday Project and their superlative re-launched The Friday Thing and London By London, they’ll link back.

If I actually lived in London any more I’d definitely link to them but instead I don’t. So I read the emails from the London By London thing and sigh about what a together (albeit pricey) media scene London has, with magazines and fanzines galore, and the seminal Time Out.

Not quite as good as the US equivalent – hell, St. Louis (a friendly Mid-Western city with half a McDonalds arch as its main highlight) has the much better Riverfront Times. Amazing considering it’s free – and the “alternative listings” section is a hilarious hoot. Plus it feels like if I could only find an interesting enough feature to write about, I could contribute – it’s a city newspaper for the people by the people. At least that’s my rose-tinted view of it.

Over here in Cardiff, we get erm… one freebie monthly paper-mache magazine that only seems to get distributed in fashionable clothes shop, so it never catches my eye for obvious reasons. It feels more like an advertorial for various clothing / beauty / music / film products, and there’s no feel within said magazine that Cardiff is alive, let alone any articles or features that don’t involve promoting a product. Shame really.

Zadie Smith on why she loves London

Zadie Smith on why she loves London

BBC NEWS | Zadie Smith on why she loves London – Zadie Smith wrote White Teeth, in case you haven’t heard of her. A few interesting points, although it reads more like a Q&A interview than an actual article.

Choose a book…

Choose a book… – A British site to help you choose a book based on your mood.

Select four key words or phrases from a list including bleak, beautiful, sexy, funny, disturbing, violent, (and so on). The site suggests books which match your criteria and lets you read short extracts. Then you can follow a link to your local library’s online catalogue to see if the book of your choice is available to borrow.

Pretty cool!

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