tysolna: (bookshop)
Not as many books as in January, but it was a hectic sort of month.

#9 Phill Jupitus, "Good Morning Nantwich" - Mr Jupitus' adventures in modern breakfast radio. He was the first DJ on the BBC 6 Music breakfast show, and this book relates everything that led up to it and how his stint on that show ended. What I particularly like are the notes of music tracks appended to each chapter, so if you youtube the songs, you get a Phill Jupitus mixtape in the bargain.

#10 Elizabeth Bear, "All the Windwracked Stars" - I was in the mood for some Science Fiction (I still am). This is an intriguing sideways end-of-the-world tale steeped in Norse mythology. There are valkyries, powerful swords and the wolf that swallowed the sun, but there are also Technomancers and animal/human hybrids called "Moreaux". It starts like a fantasy, turns into a murder mystery, and ends in recognition. I liked the story with all its twists and turns and beautiful imagery. Well written, too, and I was sad to see it end.

#11 Richard Reynolds, "On Guerilla Gardening" - This one jumped out at me on the "returned non-fiction"-section in the library. Guerilla Gardening is a great concept, one that should be practiced more often. Also, since I've read this, I have become aware of empty spaces and the multitudes of litter strewn around the streets. It makes me want to take a plastic bag everywhere I go just to pick up stuff.

#12 Chris Beckett, "The Holy Machine" - Some more Science Fiction, this time in a world where the Reaction has turned most of the world into religion-led states, and anything scientific is banned (there are some rather graphic descriptions of how in America scientists were made to recant and confess their sins, reminiscent of Galileo et al). Scientists have fled to an Utopian state where everything religious is banned and science flourishes, where cheap labour is provided by human-like robots (up to and including the very human-like sex robots), and people spend time in a virtual world much like Second Life, only with all senses involved.
The novel tells the story of one man who falls in love with a sex robot and flees with her to the Outside (being the fanatically religious states), but it is mainly concerned with the conflict between science and religion (and religion with religion), and with what happens when either of the two rule by excluding the other, and journeys of self-discovery, with hints of Asimov.
tysolna: (bookshop)
#1 James May, "Notes from the Hard Shoulder" - A rather good collection of newspaper columns which occasionally deal with motoring issues. For someone who admits to having trouble holding a pen (probably due to an accident involving cars and/or Jeremy Clarkson), he has a pleasing way with words. Sometimes, though, the column format seems to limit him, forcing him to finish it before it has run it's course. Still, thoroughly enjoyed it.

#2 James May, "How to land an A330 airbus" - What Real Men need to know in order to be more than, in the author's words, "things for keeping sperm at the correct operating temperature": How to land a plane, deliver babies, drive a steam locomotive, eat (in a do-or-die situation) their best mate, escape from a holiday camp, defuse a German WWII bomb, and play the bit of Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" that everyone knows. A fun read, even if the author betrays himself in the part about steam locomotives which is written with such a love and passion that one might think he only thought up the rest of the book in order to have somewhere to put that bit in.

#3 Ben Aaronovich, "Rivers of London" - Bought on a Friday, started on a Saturday and finished the same day, it is that gripping and well-written. A police / detective story involving magic, strange creatures, dogs, gods and a Jaguar (the car, not the animal), my first thought was "Harry Potter meets Torchwood", but it is far better than that. Gruesome, funny, fascinating, good characters and a cracking good plot. I'll never look at Covent Garden the same way, that's for sure.
I see that there are going to be further books in this series. Guess who will be buying them.

#4 & #5 Terry Pratchett, "Lords and Ladies" and "Carpe Jugulum" (again) - Don't really need to tell you about Pterry, do I? Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg rule, ok.

#6 Jon Holmes, "Status Quo and the Kangaroo" - A collection of rock apocrypha and the perfect book to read on the loo in the morning. Short, laugh-out-loud funny stories about the escapades of rock stars - or rather, what people have told or been told about various rock stars. The author leaves it for us to decide whether they are likely to be true or really only taking the mickey. Although I do believe the one about Ricky Martin's prevention of sweat stains.

#7 Barry Cryer, "Pigs Can Fly" - Snippet-length stories, tales and names-changed-to-protect-the-innocents, told as if you sat next to him in the pub. There is so much more to him than I knew from "Clue".

#8 The Uxbridge English Dictionary, seventeenth edition (approx.), completely revived - collected from the offerings of "I'm sorry I haven't a clue". I particularly like the definitions where you have to think around a corner or two to get it. Definitions include: "Balderdash: A rapidly receding hairline", "Debasement: De room under de ground floor", "Fuselage: Not many that big", or "Heathrow: What the baggage handler does".


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