Posted in books

February 21: Walkaway

Reading this book reminded me of how much I love good science fiction. Cory Doctorow is a favourite author, and this book is a mixture of cyberpunk, post-apocalypse and politics. I like Hubert Etcetera, and wish there was more of him in the story. There is an interesting mix of gender and racial characteristic examination. The rich guy is pretty much always the bad guy, but actually, not quite. A lot of years pass between sections of the book, and there are some disconnects that I would have like reconnected. I enjoyed this book, a lot.

Posted in books

Week 52

Last entry for 2017. No cultural outings this week – a quiet Christmas, followed by a sick in-between week wherein I am fairly sure I poisoned myself and various family members.

I finished my Reading Challenge!

img_0478Some highlights from the list: Yellow Blue Tibia – probably the best pun in a title ever; King Dido -a historical crime novel I would recommend to anyone; The Night Sessions, excellent SciFiCri.

I won some audio books, all Maigret stories, and listened to some of them; I read a few graphic novels, and some children’s books, including The Dark Is Rising, which I wasn’t supposed to finish until the new year, but I couldn’t resist.

I finally got to grips with Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath, and made a dent in the Dickens backlog. There were six cookbooks, and three books I bought because I didn’t think I would get to see the plays based on them, and then actually did get to see them all . There was a new Donna Leon, a new Dave Hutchinson, a new Christopher Fowler, a new Jo Nesbo and a new Ragnar Jonasson (do you detect that I like a crime story?)

Finally, there were two new Hogarth Shakespeares, based on Othello and King Lear.

It was a real challenge to read 100 books this year, as well as keep up my weekly culture outing. Next year’s challenges will be simpler, I think.

Posted in books, Theatre

Week 8


Arcola Theatre: The Cherry Orchard – Anton Chekhov 


I was really looking forward to this. I like the Arcola, and I had seen this cast recently in another Russian revolution play (The Lower Depths).

Sadly, the event didn’t live up to the expectation. The comedy elements suffered from bad timing ( if you’re going to do slapstick, you have to do it well), and the cast seemed as if they couldn’t be bothered to give it their all. The set was good, but the play wasn’t, sadly. I did something I almost never do- in fact I can’t remember the last time I did it- and left at the interval.



The Man in the High Castle has been recently revived for TV, so I thought it was about time I read it. Of course, I’d forgotten how bleak Philip K Dick’s worlds are, and how unsympathetic I always find his characters.  I ploughed through it without a great deal of enjoyment. Winner of 1963 Hugo Award.

In contrast,  Night Sessions was wonderful. A cyberpunk crime novel with religion as motive, set in an alternate near-future. All my favourite sub-genres rolled into one brilliant package. This goes onto my “read again” pile. Winner of 2008 British Science Fiction Award.

Finally, Alice. I wish I hadn’t bought this book. It was a great disappointment. I will say no more.