Showing posts from February, 2009

Book of the Week 7 - you will understand why

Before I get to the book I have to admit one thing. I do not own it. I have not read it. I have not even seen a copy of this book in the flesh (or should that be page). I am making this judgment on one thing alone - the title.

Every year The Bookseller magazine awards a prize for the most bizarre book title of the previous year. They have just announced the short list for this year's award and my favourite of the six is "The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-milligram Containers of Fromage Frais" by Professor Philip M Parker. And so on the strength of the title alone this is my seventh book of the week.

Book of the Week 6 - vicariously

The sixth book on this list I have to admit I have not read. Nor do I have any real intention to do so. Not that I think it would suck. I wouldn't list it here if I did but for two real reasons. Firstly with all the books I keep buying and all the review copies that turn up at my door I don't think I will have time. And secondly because I don't think I need to.

My wife was not in the best of moods lately. The factory where she works is being closed down by the end of the year and she won't have a job. Don't know when it will happen but it's coming.

So I handed a book to her to read thinking it might be a pleasant diversion. This is not uncommon in our household. My wife reads incessantly - more than I do. And for the seventeen years we've been together the vast majority of the books she has read have been chosen by me. Not out of control I stress. If you met my wife you would know that is not exactly possible and I would not even dream of trying. But she like…

Book of the Week 5 (only slightly late now)

Fifth on my list was going to be Zoran Zivkovic's The Bridge. It arrived last week from PS Publishing, and I placed it to the top of my reading pile. It gave my reading of the book I was currently partway added impetus as I wanted to start The Bridge as soon as possible.

And I wasn't disappointed. Zivkovic's prose was as wonderful as ever. His plots as offbeat and seemingly almost directionless as ever, and everything was underpinned with the usual wonderful unselfconscious surreality. In short the book is superb and I do recommend you read it.

Here's the link in case you fancy taking a look.

But it's not my week's choice, because of the book that I picked up immediately afterwards. This, even better title, was Steps through the Mist - also be Zoran Zivkovic.

Steps through the Mist is a short story collection. It's not a long book, barely 100 pages, and you can't say that each page is overf…

Book of the week 4 (slightly less belated)

Ok - choice four moves away from fiction and gets more into a phase of nostalgia for me

When I started listening to music all those years ago the very first band I fixated upon was The Who. I am still a fan. As I grew older and became a little more sophisticated I learned to distinguish those parts of the music I liked best. In terms of The Who (and many of the bands I like) it was the power of the bassline that did it for me. So John Entwistle became my first musical hero.

So much so I bought a bass guitar and determined to give it a go. Problems was I had absolutely no talent for it. True to my nature, once I had discovered that I would never be that good at it, I returned to being a fan only.

In the years that have followed I've listened to many, many other artists and bands

I've added Bruce Springsteen (his latest album Working on a Dream is playing as I type), Rush, Yes, Rolling Stones, King Crimson, Tom Waits, Metallica, Dream Theater, Nick Cave, Jethro Tull, Frank Zappa, AC…

Book of the Week 3 (Still Belated, More So I Guess)

Okay, I had meant to catch up on these on the day I started so I could get into the habit of posting one per week. Life however had its usual other ideas. There good interruptions though as we managed to sell the house my in-laws had been living in (we are hoping to get a bigger place for all four of us). So in the middle of one of the biggest housing market slumps we've managed to sell one - albeit at a reduced cost, 20% on the value original put on the house, but hey!

Anyway, book three. This is one that will not surprise anyone who know me. I am a lifelong science fiction and horror fan. And I have some favourite authors - Isaac Asimov, Stephen King, Orson Scott Card, Robert Charles Wilson and Mike Resnick are amongst them.

And it's the last of these that provides my third book of the week for 2009 with the fourth in his Starship Series - Starship: Rebel.

This series tells the story of Wilson Cole, the most decorated officer in the history of the Republic's Space Navy - mu…