Read 100 Books in 2017 - JUNE

  • Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig
  • King Lear by William Shakespeare
  • Wise Fools in Shakespeare by R H Goldsmith
  • The Lear World by John Reibentanz
  • The Fools of Shakespeare by Frederick Warde
  • Shakespeare's Motley by Leslie Hotson
  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman (re-read)
  • Fool by Christopher Moore
  • Ms Marvel Vol 1 by Willow G Wilson (re-read)
  • Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Favourite: Everything I Never Told You - there was full on crying when I finished this one, and I tore through it in about a day and a half. Closely followed by Ms Marvel - a re-read with my 9-year-old son who has now declared her his favourite super hero EVER). Oh and The Princess Bride for the most meta fairy story ever to exist.

Least Favourite: Hey, guess what my dissertation's about. I actually enjoyed all my research reading, though Frederick Warde is talking out of his ass. I also felt a bit disappointed by Aftermath, despite loving both Chuck Wendig and the Star Wars EU. It read too much like a screenplay and had waaaaay too many minor/incidental characters to allow me to actually give a shit about the main ones. Kinda like Rogue One (sorry).

Next up: If We Were Villains by M L Rio - and probably not much else because now I have to stop reading and actually WRITE my frickin' thesis. 

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Read 100 Books in 2017 - MAY

  • Saga Volume 7 by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
  • The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett (re-read)
  • Rawblood by Catriona Ward
  • The Bone Readers by Jacob Ross
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J K Rowling (re-read)
  • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (re-read)
  • The Good Immigrant (ed) by Nikesh Shukla
  • Shakespeare's Clown by David Wiles
  • Performing Shakespeare's Tragedies Today (ed) by Michael Dobson
  • Praise of Folly by Erasmus
  • The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Favourite: Don't make me choose - so many good books this month. Favourites-plural were The Good Immigrant, Rawblood, and on a dissertation-nerdy level, Erasmus is my dude (no, seriously). Also enjoyed Long Way... Planet and Knife of Never Letting Go and Bone Readers for totally different reasons (a romp of a space opera; high-stress close POV sci fi; Caribbean murder mystery). There were ALSO a coupla re-reads on there, which are always fun. All in all a very enjoyable reading month.

Least Favourite: Honestly, I didn't not-enjoy any of them. 

Next up: More Shakespeare, and Chuck Wendig's Star Wars: Aftermath.

Join the #Read100Booksin2017 Facebook group here, check out our Writers' HQ video updates here, and stalk me on Goodreads here.  

Posted on May 31, 2017 and filed under Life, Projects, Reading.

She Drew the Gun - Poem

I honestly don't have any words for all the shit that's happening in the world at the moment but this song/poem by She Drew the Gun sums it up pretty fucking well.

Listen/read and please please VOTE on the 8th of June. 

Poem - She Drew the Gun

Can't believe what I'm reading when I open these sheets
They've got police gettin' busy and cleaning up the streets
'Cause that's what we need now to make the place neat
Take the homeless man's rags, no sleeping bags, no place to sleep
Because we're far too civilised around here to see
An unkempt human being, a broken human being
Open up your eyes are you seeing what I'm seeing?
Yeah a misplaced made to feel disgraced human being
Well it's not enough to just pretend that you don't see him
You can't stand the sight so you've got to disappear him
Well I hope you feel more comfortable doing your sight-seeing
Taking pictures, buying fucking Union Jack magnets and key rings

Life give me something to believe in
No lies, just something to believe in
Am I the only one that's grieving?
These things that belong to you and me that they are thieving

And how long until they build a wall and call it a private city?
They got walls made out of laws to exclude you and me
And now they take away our right, to fight those laws for free
No legal aid, no more justice, only for the wealthy
Oh but they're trying to build a more healthy society
So that everybody knows you don't get nothin' for free
No scroungers, no living room loungers, living off me

Can I suggest you're seeing exactly what they want you to see?
A monster, a cancer, threat to your liberty
How 'bout a scapegoat for their crimes, a victim of the times
Everything that you're not meant to be
How 'bout a badly prepared, scared human being?
How about a necessary cog in their economic machines?
'Cause if there was no unemployment tell me how would things be
Would you still feel lucky to be working 40 hours a week?

We're like a caged bird and they got us by the beak
Give us enough to eat, enough to sleep, enough to tweet
But there's not enough space between the ground and our feet
We're singing songs of freedom but we're not flying free so

Life give me something to believe in
No lies, just something to believe in
Am I the only one that's grieving?
These things that belong to you and me that they are thieving

And this whole world's got me hurting
Got me feeling undeserving
Got me questioning my worth in this sad system that we're serving
Found no place in this twisted race for property
Is making profit the sole aim of humanity?
Protect the banks, bring out the tanks if they disagree
While we're at it let's invest some more in military
All our friends have shares so why shouldn't we?

And now the markets are demanding that we give away for free
Everything that our grandparents fought for to some company
It's called wealth creation, yeah, it's more efficient you see
Well sorry I forgot the free market would set us free
I forgot to only think about I am and me
While brothers and sisters have nothing to eat
Brothers and sisters, at home and overseas
So I can't lie down and I wont let it be
While we are working for a market that doesn't work for we

These things that they're thieving, they're yours and mine
You know that they're still stealing, but there's still time
If you feel this way too

Posted on May 23, 2017 .

Read 100 Books in 2017 - APRIL

  • Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre
  • Shakespeare: The World as a Stage by Bill Bryson
  • 1606: The Year of Lear by James Shapiro
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • Dunsinane by David Greig
  • The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

Favourite: Dunsinane. Set directly after the events of Macbeth (except, spoiler, Lady MB survives) it's a darkly funny power struggle. 

Least Favourite: Vernon Good Little - this one's been sitting on my shelf for years but I kinda wish I hadn't bothered. Like something crawled out of Chuck Palahniuk's arse and wrote a book.

Next up: Rawblood by Catriona Ward - bit of gothic horror to warm the cockles...

Join the #Read100Booksin2017 Facebook group here, check out our Writers' HQ video updates here, and stalk me on Goodreads here.  

Read 100 Books in 2017 - MARCH

I'm in the process of researching for my final Masters essay and about to get down and dirty with my dissertation so expect to see a fair amount of Shakespeare and theatre-related books on here from now until September. In the meantime, I'm trying to sneak in as many different genres and authors as I can to stop my brain from imploding. 

Here's this month's haul: 

  • The Paper Magician by Charlie M Holmberg
  • Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? by Lorrie Moore
  • The First Person and Other Stories by Ali Smith
  • Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
  • The Power by Naomi Alderman
  • Shakespeare's Wordplay by M M Mahood

Favourite: THE POWER! I cannot express how amazing this book is. Read it. Read it now. Then buy another six copies and throw them at people in the street. 

Least Favourite: The Paper Magician - but only least fave out of a strong bunch. It's a clever little story and an interesting concept, but it felt a little too YA for me.

Next up: Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre - something I picked up on a whim yeeeeears ago after it won the Booker but never got round to reading.

Join the #Read100Booksin2017 Facebook group here, check out our Writers' HQ video updates here, and stalk me on Goodreads here.  

Posted on March 31, 2017 and filed under Projects, Reading, Writers' HQ.