Tag Archives: books

Look who’s back!

Hello! It’s been a while! Apologies for not posting for quite a few months, but I’m back for the moment. Since I last posted back in January, quite a few things have happened on a personal level. However, in good news, we actually moved house in February! We never thought it would happen, but it did! We are far happier where we are now, as we are on the edge of the City looking out on some lovely countryside- the smell of cows wafting in through the open windows… The only things that I still haven’t got round to unpacking yet are all my novels, as we don’t currently have enough shelves. That’s a job for over the summer. Archaeology, anthropology, astronomy, music, history, etc. etc. are all shelved, but not poetry or novels. Once everything is in it’s place though, I intend to get some shelfies up on here!

I’ve also been buying more books. I’ve definitely slowed down, so they are trickling rather than flooding in, but they are still slowly coming. As such, there’s too many to do new book posts for the past 6+ months, and I can’t recall what I bought when.

Any other news? Oh yes- we’re expecting a baby girl! Still trying to recover from the shock and take it in at the moment, as we really didn’t expect that it would be a girl, but we’re happy. Very happy. More on that later in the year!

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New books: September 2015

[This post was typed up in October, but I haven’t got round to posting it. Some of the things that I say in it are out-of-date by now, but I’m leaving the post as it was written. I’ll add the amendments at the bottom and maybe elaborate in a subsequent post.]


September threw up an unexpected surprise, as well as an unexpected sadness. I was going to do a separate post on both of these at the time, but didn’t get chance to, and it seems a tad pointless now. Anyhoo.

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  • Edmund White –  Chaos*
  • Valeria Parrella –  For Grace Received: Four Stories of Modern Naples*
  • Antoine Francois Prevost –  Manon Lescaut*
  • Todd Solondz –  Storytelling*
  • Malcolm Bradbury –  Inside Trading*
  • Gavin Young –  Something of Samoa**
  • Imme Dros –  Annelie in the Depths of the Night*
  • Philip Gross –  Marginaliens*
  • Sylvia Plath –  Collected Poems*
  • Marivaux –  The Game of Love and Chance*

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  • Nathaniel West –  The Day of the Locust.    50p
  • Thomas de Quincey –  Confessions of an English Opium Eater.    99p
  • Virginia Woolf –  Orlando
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez-  Love in the Time of Cholera***  –  In Evil Hour  –  Chronicle of a Death Foretold
  • Jon McGregor-  so many ways to begin***
  • Charles Dickens –  Martin Chuzzlewit***
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  • Thomas de Quincy –  On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts.    80p
  • Charles Dickens –  The Signalman: A Ghost Story.    £1.99
  • Pu Singling –  Wailing Ghosts.    80p

* 20p

** 10p

*** Library book sale

Now the sad news. All of the books in the first picture were from Webberley’s, which we learnt over the summer is to close in the new year. Webberley’s is the only independent book shop in the city that sells new books (we have several second hand bookshops), and so will be a big, big loss to the city when it closes. On the plus side, there may be another sale… No, I think I’d prefer to have the bookshop still open rather than a few more bargains.

However, some good news that I wasn’t expecting this month. I knew that following the publication of ‘Autobiography’, Morrissey was working on his first novel. However, I only learnt on about the 21st that this was to be published on the 24th, so we rushed to Amazon to place an order. Yes, I know we should have gone to an independent bookshop (or at least Waterstones), but… we can be fickle. I read a few reviews of this on the day it came out, and was slightly surprised that they were so negative. I’d expected there would be some that were less-than-glowing (coz, hey, it’s Moz, and the British press love to hate him just because he is), but was shocked by just how scathing they were. This has coloured my opinion somewhat even before I read it, which I wish it hadn’t. I want to be impartial, or at least not be negatively influenced from the outset. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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[Since this post was originally written, Webberley’s has closed (mid-Jan.), and I read ‘List of the Lost’ (Nov?). Despite the rather unnatural dialogue, I didn’t think it was that bad. There are some wonderful turns of phrase in it, and the ending is actually quite shocking, even if the plot is a tad odd. I do hope he writes more, even if it is just to write a novel that is on the same level as the sublime ‘Autobiography’. I’ll do a full review eventually, but will definitely re-read it, as there are things to pull out of it with repeated readings.]

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Life update #16: Star Wars/Christmas/New Year

Hello! I’ve been absent from here for a while, haven’t I? Apologies for that. I’ve got a book post from September that should have gone up months ago, but it still hasn’t. However, I will get it up over the next few days, along with a combined Oct/Nov/Dec books post, and one highlighting a recent bookish obsession of mine. However, all to come in the NEW YEAR, for it is indeed the last day of 2015. No look back at this year of blogging, as I haven’t really done that much on here this year. Work has just been manic, and sleep/general lethargy caused by being emotionally brick-like and feeling shit has called me more and more often when I would usually be blogging.


However, this holiday I’ve actually managed to spend the nights reading, so I’ve got a good number of books to add to my ever-growing list of things to review. But it’s been good.


Now, I was going to do a post a few weeks back excitedly counting down to the new Star Wars film, but I never did. However, I managed to go and see the new film on the last day of term before Christmas, and loved every moment of it. I picked out a Sarlacc Pit of references to bits in the other films (Easter Eggs, I think they’re called*), and also a wonderful homage to the opening sequence of Raiders of the Lost Ark when Harrison Ford is being chased by a rolling alien creature down a ship’s corridor. I almost cried when Leia returned, and sat agog when [SPOILER]. I still haven’t quite got over it now. A nice point though was when Rey defeats Kylo Ren**, as the entire cinema of Y7-11 students erupted in whoops, cheers and applause. I didn’t expect that reaction. I like to think that it’s due to the school’s entire student body being staunch flag wavers for feminism and ‘girl power’, but something makes me think not***. A wonderful, wonderful film though. I didn’t dislike the prequel trilogy (they were my ‘era’ growing up), but love the way these build on the classic films in their aesthetics. Truly wonderful.

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Image: starwars.com

 


I suppose I should also say a belated “Merry Christmas!” or rather that I hope anyone reading this had a good Christmas. I found on Christmas Day that a work colleague had died suddenly that previous week, so the joy was quickly soured. What a note to leave 2015 on.


*Appropriate in a film released at Christmas. I’ve already started moaning about the Easter chocolates that are out in the shops now, but at least I haven’t seen anything to rival the brazenness of the Tesco Metro in Summertown, Oxford, back in 2011. Crème Eggs on Boxing Day. I kid ye not.

**Autocorrect changed that bit to Roy and Kyle Ren. I think the whole film would be more amusing and yet somewhat less impressive if that were to be the case.

***Perhaps the fact that there was more wolf-whistling during scenes of Roy ascending a flight of stirs, filmed from below, than I imagine there would be if a builders convention had attended the recent Miss Universe 2015 awards ceremony and sat in the front row. I exaggerate, but not much.

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Life update #6 (several months late) and a look to the summer

You may recall that I put up a brief post a month ago advertising the fact that I’d got some EXCITING NEWS to announce in the following days. If you want to look back at it, then ta-dah. It’s here. Now, I think it’s about time I actually told those of you who are interested what that news is. Well: my partner and I… are expecting our third child!!!!! She is actually due in a few weeks, which just shows how late this post is, but better late than never, I suppose! We’re expecting another boy, which is nice, a we’d always envisaged having three boys, but didn’t imagine that it would have happened. We’d have been just as happy to be having a girl, I will add though- we wanted three children first and foremost. I’ll be sure to post when he is born, but sadly there won’t be any pictures.


Next life point. Working in a school means that I’m lucky enough to get the 6 weeks summer break off, and for us, school broke up today. This means that not only should we have the whole of the summer with a new-born before I have to go back to work, but also I should be able to get slightly more posts up and with some sort of regularity. Should be nice. Also, my partner and I are hoping to get our book-filed box room sorted tomorrow, so as we can clear out some of the crap that has been living in there since we moved in just over a year ago, and also so as I can finally get my books (poetry, archaeology, anthropology, music and novels- this last category are still piled high in our kitchen at present) sorted out onto cases and shelves. I’ll take a few snaps as we do this, so will eventually get a post up showing the transformation, allowing me in the end to indulge in some book-porn with a few shelfies.


Quick point about work- next academic year should double my workload (which is always fun) but will also see me teaching archaeology and ancient history to some knowledge-hungry Y7’s- which I’ve never done before. I even get my own desk- I’m moving up in the world! (Although after a couple of days at work scavenging desks when no-one was looking, eyeing up filing cabinets, and testing out comfy chairs, and then the influx of bookcases that should be coming our way in the next few weeks, I think I’m overwhelmed with furniture at the moment).


This summer also sees my partner and I FINALLY get married, which I’m ridiculously exited about. The only thing that puts a dampener on it is the attitude of certain members of the family, who don’t seem at all interested when they should be, and are happy to indulge themselves with all of the trimmings, and yet unprepared to help us with one aspect of our big day. It comes down really to them being too selfish and self-absorbed to give a shit. Then again, it would be nice if these same people cared about the fact that they will have a new baby in the family, rather than seeing our happiness as an inconvenience.

Anyway. I’m getting ranty. Let’s not forget that WE’RE HAVING A BABY!!! I really cannot put into words how excited I am about this, and cannot wait to hold him and keep him safe and never ever let him go. I never used to see myself as a baby person, or even someone who would have children, but after our eldest was born, I really couldn’t imagine not being a dad, an it just felt so natural and right, and all the other clichéd things that fatherhood makes you think.

 

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