Monthly Archives: August 2013

August Books 29) In Loco Parentis, by Ken Riley

In Loco Parentis: A light-hearted look at the role of a Cambridge Tutor is a memoir by Ken Riley, who was the Senior Tutor of Clare College, Cambridge, for 22 years from the 1970s to the 1990s, including my time … Continue reading

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August Books 28) The Crown of Dalemark, by Diana Wynne Jones

I had not realised that this is actually the fourth and final novel in a sequence of which I had read only the third, and that more than thirty years ago, so I found myself struggling a bit with events … Continue reading

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In Memoriam Seamus Heaney (1939-2013): from The Cure At Troy

History says, don’t hope On this side of the grave. But then, once in a lifetime The longed-for tidal wave Of justice can rise up, And hope and history rhyme. So hope for a great sea-change On the far side … Continue reading

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August Books 27) The Tunnel at the End of the Light, by Stefan Petrucha

This is part of a less well-known Doctor Who spinoff series, the Time Hunter novellas published by Telos. I have to say that it left me rather unimpressed, basically a story of inhuman horrors in a post-Blitz London; I seem … Continue reading

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August Books 26) Rebus’s Scotland: A Personal Journey, by Ian Rankin

In this book, Rankin pulls back the curtain to show us where Inspector Rebus came from. He introduces us to Fife, to Edinburgh, to Scotland as a whole, and to how his own personal history intersects with that of his … Continue reading

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Wednesday reading

Current Royal Assassin, by Robin Hobb The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, by Bryan Talbot The Murder at the Vicarage, by Agatha Christie Last books finished The A.B.C. Murders, by Agatha Christie Eleanor, Countess of Desmond, by Anne Chambers Tell My … Continue reading

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An A-Z Book Meme

…to mark the end of the holiday, what better way to unwind after a two-day drive than with a book meme? With thanks to for flagging it up. Author you've read the most books by: Almost certainly Terrance Dicks. I … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 24-08-2013

Special dying person wisdom @jay_lake says: "Be kind, and don’t miss your opportunities."(tags: )

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August Books 25) Spore, by Alex Scarrow

Just published today, this is the latest of the short Who ebooks published by Puffin for the 50th anniversary. It being August, it is the Eighth Doctor’s turn, in a brief but effective tale of body horror: a flesh-absorbing alien … Continue reading

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August Books 24) Tell My Horse, by Zora Neale Hurston

Strongly recommended to me by , and very much worth reading. Hurston combines the research instincts of the anthropologist with the communication skills of a born story-teller, and looks in detail at local cult practices, especially regarding the undead, in … Continue reading

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August Books 23) Eleanor, Countess of Desmond, by Anne Chambers

I think this may have been Chambers’ first book, before her best selling biography of Grainne O’Malley, the pirate queen. It is journeyman stuff; there is no very clear differentiation between other people’s research, Chambers’ own findings, and her speculation … Continue reading

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August Books 22) The A.B.C. Murders, by Agatha Christie

I have to say that after The Mysterious Affair at Styles, I was getting a bit dismayed by the Christie formula, and wondering how many more genteel tales of homicide I could take. But The A.B.C. Murders is a cut … Continue reading

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August Books 21) The Dalek Project, by Justin Richards, ill. Mike Collins

A rather decent standalone Eleventh Doctor adventure, in which he gets drawn back to the First World War where the basic concept of Victory of the Daleks is brought into an arms race plot where the evil pepperpots have persuaded … Continue reading

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August Books 20) The Best of Tardis Eruditorum, by Philip Sandifer

All of Sandifer’s essays are available on his blog, and all of them will eventually be available in book form as well; but for people like me who find the blog pieces a bit long to digest in the usual … Continue reading

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Bechbretha

At a garden-party in Hillsborough, County Down, ten or more summers ago a swarm of bees rolled all its thingamy into one ball and lodged in the fork of a tree. There was mayhem. A few of us had the … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 22-08-2013

Far too late and quietly the party sort of says the right thing about David Miranda and Schedule 7 Lib Dem fail.(tags: ukpolitics waronterror libdems ) 8 Real Spies And Actual Bad Guys Who Got Shorter Sentences Than Bradley Manning … Continue reading

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Wednesday Reading

Current: Tell My Horse, by Zora Neale Hurston The Crown of Dalemark, by Diana Wynne Jones Eleanor, Countess of Desmond, by Anne Chambers The A.B.C. Murders, by Agatha Christie Last books finished [Doctor Who] The Dalek Project, by Justin Richards … Continue reading

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August Books 19) The Mysterious Affair At Styles, by Agatha Christie

Written in 1916, set in 1917, published in 1920, this was Agatha Christie’s first murder mystery and also the first novel starring Hercule Poirot – already described as old and a refugee from occupied Belgium, yet with another fifty years … Continue reading

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August Books 18) Resistance, by Anita Shreve

Top ten books available in English tagged “Belgium” on LibraryThing: King Leopold’s Ghost, by Adam Hochschild The Sorrow of Belgium, by Hugo Claus The Lady and the Unicorn, by Tracy Chevalier Villette, by Charlotte Brontë Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness Travel Guide: Brussels, … Continue reading

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August Books 17) The Dalek Generation, by Nicholas Briggs

Very nice to get a book by the bloke what does the voice of the Daleks, which is actually about the Daleks, autographed by him including the word "EXTERMINATE", which you have to imagine being read by Briggs doing his Dalek … Continue reading

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August Books 15) Far North, by Sara Maitland; 16) Far North, by Marcel Theroux

I was tickled by the thought of two books with similar titles by rather different authors to the extent of deciding to read them at the same time. They are, however, very different in format. Sara Maitland offers a series … Continue reading

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August Books 14) Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, by Hergé

Even the most enthusiastic Tintin fan must admit that this, the first of the Adventures of Tintin, is one of the least impressive of the entire series. (The best order to read them is probably to start with Cigars of … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 16-08-2013

How are those with mental health problems treated by @Atos? More on the British govt’s war on the disabled.(tags: ukpolitics disability ) How could Atos class such a sick man as fit for work? A case from Lancashire.(tags: ukpolitics disability … Continue reading

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August Books 13) Eater of Wasps, by Trevor Baxendale

The wasps surrounded him, settling on his face and hands. He yelled and brushed them away, felt the inevitable stings on his hands and his fingers. More were flying around his head, crawling in his hair and on his neck. … Continue reading

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August Books 12) The History of The Hobbit, vol 1: Mr Baggins, by John D. Rateliff

Having finished the History of Middle Earth series, I have made a start on the two-volume History of The Hobbit which I acquired a couple of years ago. It is actually rather good – as well as following through the … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 15-08-2013

E.B. White explains why he wrote Charlotte’s Web ‘A book is a sneeze.’(tags: writing ) Humanities! Science is not your enemy, it’s a friend who owes you money 1) Steven Pinker; 2) UK higher education policy.(tags: ukpolitics ) A-levels day: … Continue reading

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Wednesday reading (a little late)

Current: Far North & Other Dark Tales, by Sara Maitland Far North, by Marcel Theroux Resistance, by Anita Shreve [Doctor Who] The Dalek Generation, by Nicholas Briggs The Mysterious Affair at Styles, by Agatha Christie Tintin in the Land of … Continue reading

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August Books 11) Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, by Jeanette Winterson

When I left the infant school in disgrace for burning down the play kitchen, the headmistress, who wore black tweed because she was in mourning for Scotland, told my mother that I was domineering and aggressive. I was. I beat … Continue reading

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August Books 10) Shakespeare’s Planet, by Clifford D. Simak

He stopped dead in horror. Affixed above the door was a human skull, grinning down at them. Carnivore saw him staring at it. “Shakespeare bids us welcome,” he said. “That is Shakespeare’s skull.” One of Simak’s typically low-key stories, with … Continue reading

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August Books 9) Shakedown, by Terrance Dicks

This New Adventure is an expanded novelisation of a 55-minute video made in 1994 and starring Jan Chappell (Cally from Blake’s 7) as the captain of a space yacht whose crew includes Carole Ann Ford (Susan, the Doctor’s granddaughter), Sophie … Continue reading

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