Category Archives: Books

Norwegian Wood

  When people see that you’re reading Norwegian Wood, there are two possible responses: “What’s that?” and, of course, “Isn’t it good?” Ah, the sixties. They were a time. I think, despite my constant exposure to Japanese film, that this … Continue reading

Mistborn: The Final Empire

  When it comes to fantasy, “accessibility” is a watchword. So often, good ideas are buried so far beneath dry prose and leaden world building that they are scarcely given a chance to surface. It’s not so much a problem … Continue reading

Maybe the Moon

Maybe The Moon is Armistead Maupin’s biggest deviation from type in his career. The first non-Tales book he wrote, it’s a paean to a departed friend and gives Maupin a chance to reveal a different voice. This voice can be … Continue reading

I Am Number Four (novel)

Young adults! Why do we write fiction for and about them? All they care about is pretty girls and punching bullies! Or pretty boys and standing up to bullies, possibly through punches, as the case may be. The point stands: … Continue reading

I Shall Wear Midnight

I’ve finally done it. I’ve run out of unread Discworld books. No more Discworlds until the next one. This used to be the case with me all the time from 1998 to 2006, but the flavour of “no more Discworld … Continue reading

Mary Ann in Autumn

Michael Tolliver lives! … Again! A three year gap is significantly less than eighteen years. On top of that, this is the first Tales of the City book that I have read contemporaneously. Do you have any idea how strange … Continue reading

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

It’s hard to tell what Amy Chua was thinking when she wrote Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Is she seeking approval for her parenting methods, which she unwittingly but directly claims has successfully raised approximately 1.3 billion of her … Continue reading

Kill the Dead

What if they threw a zombie outbreak and nobody cared? Sure, there are people dying in the streets, but they’re just humans. They don’t even know how to do magic? Who gives a damn about them? That seems to be … Continue reading

Unseen Academicals

When you read a Discworld book, you read it on two levels: its worth in the overall Discworld canon and its worth as a single cohesive novel. When I started my undertaking of rereading the entire Discworld set a few … Continue reading

Michael Tolliver Lives

I know that an exclamation mark would be hyperbolic, but I think that, after an 18 year absence, “Michael Tolliver Lives!” is an appropriate title. Abandoned by his author in 1989, Michael Tolliver has been up to a lot in … Continue reading