Monthly Archives: November 2009

Books acquired in November

Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai The Swoop: How Clarence Saved England by P. G. Wodehouse My Name Is Legion by Roger Zelazny Land of Green Plums by Herta Muller Ake: The Years of … Continue reading

1 Comment

November Books

Non-fiction: 6 (YTD 86) Fiction (non-sf): 6 (YTD 58) SF (not Who): 5 (YTD 84) Doctor Who / Torchwood / Benny: 6 (YTD 66) Comics: 1 (YTD 26) 4 (YTD 64/325) by women (Morrison, Goonan, Wilhelm, Armstrong) 1 (YTD 15/325) … Continue reading

1 Comment

Tun

I may well be at the Tun this Thursday. <small voice>would anyone have a spare bed?</small voice>

1 Comment

More consumer whinge

Mr Didier Bellens Chief Executive Officer and President Belgacom Boulevard du Roi Albert II, 27 B-1030 Brussels (Faxed from a neighbouring office) 30 November 2009 Dear Mr Bellens, I am writing once again (ref my previous letter to you of … Continue reading

1 Comment

November Books 23) A History of the Middle East, 24) Islam: A Short History

Occasionally my reading programme drags two related books separately to the top of the “to read” pile, and this was one of those occasions. Both of these are excellent and short guides to their respective subjects. November Books 23) A … Continue reading

1 Comment

The answer to the previous question

I don’t remember the other guy at all; apparently his name is Brian Gorman.

1 Comment

Gibbon, Chapter X

Reading Gibbon’s "Decline and Fall" – Chapter X, which is mostly about the Goths Almost entirely about the barbarians – mainly the Goths – with the deadly succession of shortlived emperors mere background detail. And this seems right – the … Continue reading

1 Comment

Test yore skilz

If you know what I look like in RL, see if you can spot me on this photograph: http://www.rathmorereunion2010.co.uk/

1 Comment

November Books 22) As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner

Continuing my occasional dips into classic literature with this intense stream-of-consciousness tale of a poor Mississippi family, fulfilling their wife and mother’s dying wish to be buried in her inconveniently distant home town. The family dynamics are weird and understated, … Continue reading

1 Comment

November Books 21) Farewell Great Macedon, by Moris Farhi

This is a fascinating might-have-been, a six episode script for the first season of Doctor Who telling the story of a murder conspiracy against Alexander the Great, by Moris Farhi. It is moderately thrilling stuff: the plot is tight; the … Continue reading

1 Comment

More on Catherine Ashton

This cartoon is in today’s European Voice, along with a profile of Catherine Ashton: There is no explanation in the article of why she is depicted in this way, so a lot of European Voice readers will be mildly puzzled.

1 Comment

November Books 20) The Swoop, or How Clarence Saved England, by P.G. Wodehouse

I saw a reference to this in Michael Moorcock’s article about writing a Doctor Who book and got it from Project Gutenberg. It is a hundred years old this year, having been published on early 1909. Moorcock describes this as … Continue reading

1 Comment

The Waters of Mars (and The Circus of Doom [and The Adventure of the Diogenes Damsel])

The Waters of Mars was shown while I was driving across southern Connecticut to catch my plane from JFK last weekend, so it was a day or two before I caught up with it. I enjoyed it. I think RTD … Continue reading

1 Comment

Sudan

Well, I have very nearly caught up with myself after my 17-day trip which included five countries, five hotels and three overnight flights. I can’t write much here about the actual trip to Juba, but I can share with you … Continue reading

1 Comment

Gibbon IX

reading_gibbon: Chapter IX: The state of Germany till the invasion of the Barbarians This chapter does what it says in the title, giving us an account of the Germans largely (and occasionally critically) based on Tacitus, and ending by wondering … Continue reading

1 Comment

Three Sixth Doctor Books

November Books 17) Time Of Your Life, by Steve Lyons I rather enjoyed this vicious satire on television, including biting swipes at Mary Whitehouse and the cancellation of Old Who in 1989; meanwhile the Doctor, just poist-Trial, is wracked with … Continue reading

1 Comment

One interesting thing about Catherine Ashton…

…and I am not being even slightly ironic: She has a full-sized Dalek in her living room.

1 Comment

Linkspam for 20-11-2009

sevenorora: The British "press" at its best? Fair comment (tags: eu Belgium) qcjeph: Seriously, stop it Couldn’t agree more! (tags: humour funny internet livejournal)

1 Comment

Didn’t see that coming…

…that is, not the second half of it. I have to say that Cathy Ashton has not made a big splash in her first year in Brussels; the next few years may be a different matter.

1 Comment

November Books 16) King Leopold’s Ghost, by Adam Hochschild

More or less by coincidence, this is the second book about Congo that I have read this month. This is the story of an earlier era, of the awful exploitation, rape and murder of vast numbers of Africans under the … Continue reading

1 Comment

Linkspam for 18-11-2009

"I am not a number! I am a free bland!":The Prisoner I had been looking forward tothis, but it sounds like it was pretty terrible. One comment that caught my eye: "A few days ago, I would have been willing … Continue reading

1 Comment

Elizabeth I and Ireland

I spent last weekend in the unlikely location of the UConn campus in Storrs, Connecticut, at a conference on Elizabeth I and Ireland. As some of you know, I have an unhealthy obsession with my ancestor, Sir Nicholas White, who … Continue reading

1 Comment

November Books 15) Beyond The Sun, by Matthew Jones

I only realised after reading this that I had already heard the excellent audio adaptation which includes Sophie Aldred and Anneke Wills. The original book is very good too, and I think would be reasonably penetrable for someone who hadn’t … Continue reading

Comments Off on November Books 15) Beyond The Sun, by Matthew Jones

November Books 14) Nature Girl, by Carl Hiaasen

As ever, a reliably hilarious tale of antics in Florida – this time with less political commentary than some of the other Hiaasen books I have read, but compensated by even more vivid characters, only one of whom is too … Continue reading

1 Comment

November Books 13) Medea, by Euripides

This is a short but tough play. At the opening, Medea resents Jason for bringing her to Corinth and then abandoning her for the local princess: she swears revenge, and using her own children by Jason as unwitting tools, poisons … Continue reading

1 Comment

November Books 12) Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang, by Kate Wilhelm

This is a rather unusual Hugo winner. It’s a curious amalgam of the great post-holocaust novels Earth Abides and After London on the one hand, and the suspicion of clones latent in Brave New World on the other. The depiction … Continue reading

1 Comment

November Books 11) Notre Dame de Paris, by Victor Hugo

I love Les Miserables, both the novel and the show (NB to those who know only the latter – Gavroche is the Thenardiers’ son and therefore Eponine’s sister), and of course everyone knows the stereotype of the Hunchback, so I … Continue reading

1 Comment

Aminatou Haidar update

She has been deported to Spain, apparently because she wrote “Western Sahara” rather than “Morocco” as her country of residence on her immigration form and refused to change it. In terms of international law she is entirely correct, but to … Continue reading

1 Comment

Aminatou Haidar

I don’t often post work-specific stuff here but this is so outrageous that I must. Aminatou Haidar is a human rights activist from the Western Sahara, most of which has been occupied by Morocco for the last thirty years. Last … Continue reading

1 Comment

For those who hadn’t already heard…

…Michael Moorcock to write Doctor Who book. Of course, he has already included the Doctor and a Dalek in one of his earlier works!

1 Comment