“Top Ten Tuesday” is a feature started by “The Broke and the Bookish”, though now hosted by some artsy reader girl in which people list their top ten books that match some given criterion. It changes every week, and happens on a Tuesday. Lots (a frankly ridiculous number) of bloggers take part.
This week, the theme is “Bookstores/Libraries I’ve Always Wanted to Visit”. Off-hand, there’s only one real-world library that I long to visit, and that’s the Library of Alexandria. Because some total bastard burnt it down thousands of years before I was born, and because I still haven’t got around to learning Ancient Greek, that dream withered a while back.
Instead, here is a list of fictional books and libraries that I would be extremely interested in reading/visiting. It is in no particular order, and I am taking advantage of the implied “up to” at the start of “top ten”. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday – Books and Libraries I Covet”
Radio is not fashionable any more. The rot (or the revolution, depending on your view) set in years ago: television, online music downloads and auto-suggested playlists, smartphones. More and more people are listening to podcasts, but podcasts are a very different beast to radio. They’re full of star appearances telling sob stories, built into very specific media niches like weird deep-sea anemones. You have to be the right person for a podcast.
But radio is for everyone. If you have ever been awake late, alone, and turned on the radio, you will know what I mean. A quiet voice on the airwaves is one of the most comforting things there is. This is why people write so many books about the shipping forecast, or mount national protests when the BBC tries to close a station.
All the Light We Cannot See begins just as the lights are going out across Europe. In a bare Paris flat, in a cold German orphanage, in a beachside house with all the doors and windows sealed shut, a single voice is heard on the wireless: a rich, warm voice, explaining what the moon is made of or how electricity works. The kind of voice that can light a fire in a cold room. A voice for radio. Continue reading “All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr (Review)”
Politics is a funny thing. It can feel like another dimension: a strange, rarefied place where people really use phrases like “strong and stable” or “Make America Great Again”. The same cloth-eared impresarios are also obsessed with novelty. New initiatives, elections, treaties, laws and manifestos are constantly being announced.
But in practice, change is rare – and that’s rather unfortunate, because despite its lofty airs, politics affects us all. In practice, people can get hurt. Continue reading “Blood Summit – Robert Pimm (Review)”
News from the world of digital analysis of literature, where a study in the Journal of Cultural Analytics has discovered that women are… missing. Absent. Vanished. Fallen off the bottom of the page.
Back in the good old 1850s, there were plenty of authors who were women. It was the era of the lending library, magazine serials and authors reading out chapters to packed concert halls. But over the next 100 years, the number of women successfully publishing fiction almost halved.
The question is, where did all the women go? Continue reading “The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Women”
“Top Ten Tuesday” is a feature started by “The Broke and the Bookish“, in which people list their top ten books that match some given criterion. It changes every week, and happens on a Tuesday. Lots (a frankly ridiculous number) of bloggers take part. This week’s topic is “anything to do with covers”.
Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday: Clichéd book covers”