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February 23, 2014

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I actually need music to write as it helps me block out ambient noise. Stars of the Lid get heavy rotation on my headphones and, as you say, their stuff is perfect for reading to.

I would recommend you take a listen to Lowercase Noises as you like this. Ambient drone guitar stuff. Again perfect to read and write to.

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Currently Reading

Books Read: 2015

  • Noson S. Yanofsky: The Outer Limits of Reason: What Science, Mathematics, and Logic Cannot Tell Us

    Noson S. Yanofsky: The Outer Limits of Reason: What Science, Mathematics, and Logic Cannot Tell Us
    Looks at the stuff right at the edge of what we can understand, compute and reason across mathematics, physics, philosophy and linguistics. I managed to comprehend about 70% of it. It stretched me but I enjoyed the stretching. (****)

  • Jonas Karlsson: The Room

    Jonas Karlsson: The Room
    Bloke finds unused room in his office and goes there when he needs a few minutes' break from his humdrum job, only no one else can see the office. They think he is off his trolley. Delightfully droll satire, reminded me of Magnus Mills. (****)

  • Irene Handl: The Gold Tip Pfitzer

    Irene Handl: The Gold Tip Pfitzer
    Sequel to The Sioux and picks up, in both plot and tone, pretty much where the last one left off. (***)

  • Irene Handl: The Sioux

    Irene Handl: The Sioux
    The Benoirs are an extremely rich French family living in New Orleans who rally round one of their number when her marriage hits the skids. Handl has created an intensely annoying but oddly compelling cast of characters. Impressive if not entirely pleasurable. (***)

  • Seiichi Hayashi: Gold Pollen and Other Stories

    Seiichi Hayashi: Gold Pollen and Other Stories
    A beautifully-produced hardback highlighting some of the work of one of the acclaimed 'alternative manga' artists of the 60s and 70s. Unfortunately the stories themselves are either poorly translated or just don't travel well. A shame as it looks gorgeous. (**)

  • Bryan Lee O'Malley: Lost At Sea

    Bryan Lee O'Malley: Lost At Sea
    Bought this for Ethan's birthday but gave it a sneaky read before wrapping it. Good, but not as good as his more recent books. (***)

  • Walter M. Miller Jr: A Canticle For Leibowitz

    Walter M. Miller Jr: A Canticle For Leibowitz
    Cracking post-apocalyptic fiction with lots of monks. (****)

  • Bryan Lee O'Malley: Seconds

    Bryan Lee O'Malley: Seconds
    Lent to me by my son. A colourful, weird and wonderful graphic novel. Great fun. (****)

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Big Mouth at the Movies

  • : Diva

    Diva
    Been meaning to watch this ever since I saw Betty Blue back in the 80s but only just got round to it. I feared it would be all style over substance but it actually turned out to be a pretty good crime thriller. (****)

  • : Brothers

    Brothers
    Subtle and brilliantly acted. Liked it a lot more than I expected to. (****)

  • : Whiplash

    Whiplash
    An OK movie elevated above the norm by two excellent performances. (***)

  • : Timecrimes

    Timecrimes
    Great bit of timey-wimey nonsense. Liked it a lot. (****)

  • : More Than Honey

    More Than Honey
    Interesting documentary about bees. Didn't blow me away but kept me watching. (***)

  • : Happy-Go-Lucky

    Happy-Go-Lucky
    I thought this was going to irritate me but I ended up being quite charmed by it. (****)

  • : Our Day Will Come

    Our Day Will Come
    Bonkers road movie in which Vincent Cassel goes off on one in revenge for discrimination against redheads. Or something. (**)

  • : La Strada

    La Strada
    Supposedly Fellini's first masterpiece but it was painted with too broad brushstrokes to work its charm on me. The off-putting dubbed dialogue and sound effects didn't help either. (**)

  • : Birdman

    Birdman
    Inspired, ambitious, bonkers. (****)

  • : Inglourious Basterds

    Inglourious Basterds
    Only just got round to watching this. It is ridiculous but lots of fun. Also, an amazing about of subtitled dialogue for a major American film. (****)

  • : Le Mepris

    Le Mepris
    Brigitte Bardot, Jack Palance, Michel Piccoli and Fritz Lang star in a beautifully shot but terribly pretentious movie. Palance is awful throughout. (**)

  • : Labor Day

    Labor Day
    Was this a box office flop? I think it might have been. Shame, it was very good. (****)

Quick Flicks

Kindle Sampled

  • R. Taggart Murphy: Japan and the Shackles of the Past

    R. Taggart Murphy: Japan and the Shackles of the Past
    Although I am a bit of a Japanophile I could definitely learn more about its history and current political climate. This book strikes me as perfect for that purpose and I will be ordering up the print edition. (****)

  • Simon Paul Wilson: Yuko Zen is Somewhere Else

    Simon Paul Wilson: Yuko Zen is Somewhere Else
    The influence of Haruki Murakami is obvious in this self-published novel but, you know what, it is actually pretty good and a lot of fun. It could do with a bit of an edit but if you decide to go for the ebook at under two quid I doubt you'll have many complaints. (***)

  • John Waters: Carsick

    John Waters: Carsick
    Legendary cult movie director hitchhikes across America. Every bit as weird and entertaining as you'd expect. (****)

  • Alonso De Ercilla y Zuniga: The Araucaniad

    Alonso De Ercilla y Zuniga: The Araucaniad
    This is, apparently, the great epic poem of Chile and the first major piece of literature of the Americas. The sample only included the intro and some sample stanzas but I must confess I am somewhat intrigued. (***)

  • Hermione Eyre: Viper Wine

    Hermione Eyre: Viper Wine
    A weird cross between Sarah Waters and Neal Stephenson with a bunch of deliberate anachronisms thrown in. Very odd but very good. (****)

  • Sarah Gorham: Study in Perfect

    Sarah Gorham: Study in Perfect
    A collection of essays about perfection. The sample doesn't provide quite enough for me to make a full assessment but I was enjoying it. The full book is a bit too expensive for me to make the leap though. (***)

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