Monthly Archives: December 2014

A quick look back at this year

Image: maroonweekly.com

Image: maroonweekly.com

Well, it’s New Year’s Eve, and I’m waiting expectantly for Queen and Adam Lambert’s live concert on BBC1 just prior to midnight. This is the time to look back over the past year, and to remember what’s gone on. At the end of last December, I did a lengthy post with links to a variety of my previous blog articles. I’m not going to do that this year, though- I’m just linking two posts:

I think these sum up the year pretty well. Now, on to 2015! I hope you all have a very good. prosperous and happy new year.

New books: December and CHRISTMAS!

There’s quite a few to be getting on with here! First of all, those bought over the course of December:

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  • Kurt Vonnegut –  Slaughterhouse 5     25p
  • Louis de Bernieres –  Red Dog     25p
  • Penelope Lively –  Treasures of Time     25p
  • Brendan O’Carroll –  The Chisellers     25p
  • Andrew Shail & Robin Stoate –  BFI Film Classics: Back to the Future     50p
  • Niccolo Machiavelli –  The Prince     50p
  • Frank Parkin –  Past Masters: Durkheim     50p
  • Tom Baker –  The Boy Who Kicked Pigs     50p

The first four books were from a library sale, and I do already have a copy of the Vonnegut book, which I had for free from my Sixth Form when they were clearing out their library. However, this copy here is a lot better, so for the price I thought it worth ‘upgrading’. Also, I never realised that Tom Baker (i.e. The Fourth Doctor) had written a children’s book. Oh, here I could go off on a ‘children’s literature as adult literature’ rant, but I won’t.

Now for Christmas! I hope you all had a goodtime, and here are some of my new books:

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  • Carol Ann Duffy –  The Christmas Truce     –     Dorothy Wordsworth’s Christmas Birthday
  • In Flanders Fields: Poems of the First World War
  • Russell Brand –  The Pied Piper of Hamelin

The WWI book is a rather nice copy, in a slip case, and the Russell Brand book is a (whisper it!) children’s book, but also illustrated by Chris Riddell, one of my favourite illustrators.

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  • The Jedi Path
  • Book of Sith
  • The Bounty Hunter Code

Yep, I like Star Wars. In fact, I really like Star Wars. And these are rather indulgent books, made to look like they’re written by various characters, and annotated by others.

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  • Brian May with Simon Bradley –  Brian May’s Red Special: The Story of the Home-Made Guitar that Rocked Queen and the World
  • Glenn Povey –  Pink Floyd Treasures

I also really like Queen. And Pink Floyd.

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  • Mock the Week’s Only Book You’ll Ever Need
  • Chris Fern & George Speake-  Beasts, Birds and Gods: Interpreting the Staffordshire Hoard
  • Paul Parsons & Gail Dixon – The Periodic Table:  A Field Guide to the Elements

That last book is going o come in quite useful for reference at work, and the Hoard book is of particular interest, as it looks into the animal imagery of the Hoard and places it in a wider Anglo Saxon context. Also, George Speake works at the Institute of Archaeology in Oxford, so I may have come across him once or twice in my time there.

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Erm…

meir tree

You may be forgiven for thinking that that is a pile of rubbish piled in a heap. To be fair, you wouldn’t be far wrong. However, you may be surprised to find out that that is in fact the Christmas tree provided for our end of the city. I’m not sure how much it set our wonderful Council back, but I’m sure that it is probably more than it would cost to repair some of the listed buildings around the city that are falling apart, and more than I earn a year.

After a quick Google search, it turns out that Durham had a ‘tree’ like it a few years back, and here you can see that at least it looks better at night when it’s lit up:

Image: trimdon.com

Image: trimdon.com

However, at the end of the day it’s still a pile of carrier bags. It looks like someone’s had some fun with a few wheelie bins on a night out. Any thoughts?

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New books: November

Dark evenings and a need for sleep. Neither are very conducive with blogging. Anyhoo. Here are my literary purchases from November- and all of them were 50p each:

What a truly terrible quality image. For that I apologise.

What a truly terrible quality image. For that I apologise.

  • Marcel Proust – Swann’s Way
  • Theodore Fontane –  Effi Briest
  • Sam Selvon –  The Lonely Londoners
  • Muriel Spark –  The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
  • John Mortimer –  Paradise Postponed, Titmuss Regained, and The Sound of Trumpets
  • Ernst Junker –  Storm of Steel
  • Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell –  Muddle Earth
  • Eric Hobsbawm –  The Age of Capital 1848-1875, The Age of Empire 1875-1914
  • Antoine de Saint-Exupery –  Southern Mail/Night Flight

Yes, you may have guessed that ‘Muddle Earth’ is a children’s book- I own it in hardback, but don’t really fancy reclaiming this from my parents’, and so intended to hunt out a cheap soft back. I didn’t expect to come across one quite so soon, to be honest. It’s worth getting just for the illustrations- I love Chris Riddell’s images in everything he illustrates- but it also helps that it is a ridiculously entertaining read. So what if it’s children’s fiction. I don’t believe that exists as a genre or a category anyway. But that’s for another post.

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