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Cannot wait to hear your thoughts on 'the Irish one'!

How long are you away for? Seems a bit ambitious to me. Do you do anything apart from read on holiday?

Iain: You are not the first person to say that.

Jo: I am away for two weeks. I tend to get through 10-15 when I go away each year. A couple of these are not books I intend to finish in that time, though. We do lots of stuff apart from reading but I don't drive so I do lots of reading when I am a passenger.

Utter rubbish. 10 - 15 books in 2 weeks. So a book a day? Allowing time to eat, sleep, go to the toilet and other leisure activities, you'd have no more than 7 hours to read a book. Tosh! I've heard of speed reading but not light-speed reading. Pull the other one Scott and stop trying to impress so much.

Who's this Jimbo cunt?

Hayley, my comment was aimed at those who don't fall for BS not sycophants like you. Move along.

Ahh, Jimbo my dear boy, thank you for your comment. It is always heartening when people take the time to leave messages on the blog. Most kind.

I take it from the nature of your comment that you are one of those slow readers. That may explain your incredulity, so charmingly expressed, as to my attempts to read so much while I was on holiday (I had a lovely time, thanks for asking). I envy you. As a fast reader I often wish I could linger a while and luxuriate on the page, take in the prose, absorb the poetry of great writing but sadly I cannot do anything to control the natural pace of my reading (I have tried but I always revert to type). I suspect this is why I prefer plot over style and why much literary fiction leaves me cold. It is my loss, I am sure.

Now, as you are a slow reader it is entirely possible that you have yet to make it to the end of my blog post. At the risk of revealing a spoiler I need to point out that I never really had any intention of reading them all, hence my final couple of sentences about making a dent and reporting back. Think of the pile as a longlist, something to ensure I had all possibilities covered while I was away.

Your confusion is, perhaps, understandable and I accept your apology in the spirit of reading and of spreading the word about good books.

Hope you didn't miss me too much while I was gone. I shall attempt to write more blog posts to delight and amuse you now I am back.

Maybe there's a Slow Reading movement, like the Slow Food movement? But even so, I don't see how it could take (or one could bear) 7 hours to read Robin Hobb.

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New Arrivals

Currently Reading

  • Andy Weir: The Martian

    Andy Weir: The Martian
    I don't have any intention to see the film in the cinema, I'll wait till it is on Netflix or something, but I am intrigued enough to read the book.


Dipping Into

Now Playing

My Books

Books Read: 2015

Quick Flicks

Kindle Sampled

  • Gaia Vince: Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet we Made

    Gaia Vince: Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet we Made
    This won a big science award recently and I can see why. Proper clever but also highly readable. The author looks at how man has created the era we now love in and, more to the point, can it be defined as a new epoch. Don't let the title put you off like it nearly did me. (****)

  • Owen Jones: The Establishment

    Owen Jones: The Establishment
    I have some sympathy with the premise of this book but found the author's style to be verging on tabloid with sweeping generalistions and soundbites. (**)

  • David Adam: The Man Who Couldn't Stop: The Truth About OCD

    David Adam: The Man Who Couldn't Stop: The Truth About OCD
    Part study of OCD, part memoir of a chap who thinks he is going to catch AIDS from everything he touches. If you have an interest in the subject then I suspect this will be bang on the money for you. I wasn't quite compelled enough to read on. (***)

  • Albertine Sarrazin: Astragal

    Albertine Sarrazin: Astragal
    A few pages into some of the most overwrought and pretentious writing I have come across for a while I realised I was reading the intro by Patti Smith rather than the novel itself. Only a few pages of the novel are included in this sample and they are better than the intro. (***)

  • Peter Stanford: Judas: The troubling history of the renegade apostle

    Peter Stanford: Judas: The troubling history of the renegade apostle
    I heard this chap interviewed on Australian radio so checked out his book. His premise is that Judas wasn't necessarily the chap who shopped Jesus and that that bit of the story was made up later. I suspect the whole bloody Bible was made up later, but that's another matter. Enjoyed the sample of this and will read the rest. (****)

  • M. D. Lachlan: Wolfsangel

    M. D. Lachlan: Wolfsangel
    I was quickly sucked in to this Viking novel. Very keen to read on. (****)

  • Eva Stachniak: The Winter Palace

    Eva Stachniak: The Winter Palace
    A novel based on the early life of Catherine the Great. Having read a lengthy biography of her last year I was impressed by how well Stachniak stuck to the facts while also bringing to life. (****)

  • Phillip Adams: Bedtime Stories: 21 Years Behind the Mike at RN's Late Night Live

    Phillip Adams: Bedtime Stories: 21 Years Behind the Mike at RN's Late Night Live
    Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I listen to this chap's Australian radio show and always find him to be a measured and intriguing presenter and interviewer. I am equally enamoured with his memoir. (****)

One You May Have Missed

  • Ian Holding: Unfeeling

    Ian Holding: Unfeeling
    Unforgettable novel told from the point of view of the son of a white Zimbabwean farmer whose land is reclaimed by an armed mob. I thought it was an oustanding debut and am surprised the author didn't go on to bigger and better things.

Big Mouth at the Movies

  • : The Imitation Game

    The Imitation Game
    The exposition clunked around more noisily than Turing's machine. Pretty good despite that. (***)

  • : The Lost Boys

    The Lost Boys
    Saw this at an outdoor screening at a garlic farm. Still enjoyable. (***)

  • : That Awkward Moment

    That Awkward Moment
    Stupid. Juvenile. Kinda funny. (***)

  • : Before I Go To Sleep

    Before I Go To Sleep
    Interesting amnesia thriller featuring the highest paid chemistry teacher in Britain (if Colin Firth's house is anything to go by). (***)

  • : Dallas Buyers Club

    Dallas Buyers Club
    Great performances and I appreciated the fact that it never took the sentimental route. (****)

  • : The Fighter

    The Fighter
    Great performances all round. (****)

  • : Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road
    Confused. Terrible dialogue. And what little CGI they did use looked rubbish. A huge disappointment. (**)

  • : Jiro Dreams Of Sushi

    Jiro Dreams Of Sushi
    Documentary about the best sushi chef in the world. Made me really want some eel nigiri. (****)

  • : Me Without You

    Me Without You
    Second time I've seen this. It was the film that made me realise Michelle Williams was amazing. (****)

  • : Meteora

    Beautifully shot. Not enough plot. (***)

  • : Untouchable

    One of the most successful French movies of all time. I can see why. (****)

  • : Involuntary

    Swedish film that cleverly looks at group dynamics and how they influence the actions of the individual. Sort of cinema verite in style, the shots of often framed as if you are a voyeur looking on. (****)

  • : The Fall

    The Fall
    What a great movie. Amazed I had never heard of it before. Stunning cinematography. Loved it. (*****)

  • : Where the Truth Lies

    Where the Truth Lies
    Interesting thriller. Not a classic, by any means, but worth a look if it's on the telly. (***)

  • : Guardians of the Galaxy

    Guardians of the Galaxy
    Good fun, I thought. Not the best film in the world but a cut above the usual superhero stuff. (****)

  • : The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya

    The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya
    Unlike any animation I have seen. Quite stunning. (****)