Six Degrees of Separation: from How to do Nothing to The Word Exchange

It’s not only the first day of August, it’s the first Saturday in August. That means it’s time for this month’s Six Degrees of Separation. We’re starting with a book I’ve heard of this month – Jenny Odell’s How to do Nothing. Continue reading

The Grasmere Journal 1800-1803

418r8liu-il._sx540_sclzzzzzzz_

Read 19/07/2020-27/07/2020

Rating 5 stars

Book 8 of my 10 Books of Summer reading challenge

This beautiful Folio Society edition of Dorothy Wordsworth’s Grasmere Journal was part of my 10th wedding anniversary present from my husband last year. It’s illustrated by Georgie Bennett and has an introduction by Wordsworth scholar Lucy Newlyn. Continue reading

Beastie Boys Book

057130804x.01._sx142_sy224_sclzzzzzzz_

Read 17/05/2020-24/05/2020

Rating 5 stars

Beastie Boys Book opens with Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) talking about the best Beastie Boy – Adam Yauch (MCA). I loved MCA. He was a renegade. He seemed to live life at a million miles an hour, curious about everything, folding his experiences into his creative output. Horovitz knows Yauch was the best Beastie Boy, too. It’s a beautiful tribute to Yauch.

Beastie Boys Book is a collection of reminiscences by Horovitz and the other surviving Beastie Boy, Michael Diamond (Mike D), with essays by music critics, famous fans and musical collaborators mixed in. Continue reading

Set the Boy Free

1780894325.01._sx142_sy224_sclzzzzzzz_

Read 03/05/2020-07/05/2020

Rating 4 stars

I love Johnny Marr. He’s an absolute peach of a human. Mr Hicks bought me his autobiography a while ago now. It’s a hefty hardback that I’ve been reluctant to carry with me on my commute. What better time than a lockdown to read it, then. Continue reading

Ice

0720612683.01._sx142_sy224_sclzzzzzzz_

Read 20/04/2020-26/04/2020

Rating 5 stars

Ice is a post-apocalyptic dystopia full of frozen emotions and Kafkaesque happenings. It’s a difficult book to review. The plot is barely linear, cut through with hallucination and adumbration. There’s an impending climate disaster that influences the action, but at heart it’s an examination of the worst of human nature. And yet it’s not entirely grim, either. Continue reading

Swing Time

0141036605.01._sx142_sy224_sclzzzzzzz_

Read 11/04/2020-20/04/2020

Rating 3 stars

Zadie Smith’s Swing Time is a sprawling tale of how two girls’ lives intersect and separate over the years. It’s about growing up poor but aspirational, a tale of friendship and rivalry, and of the inadequacies of adulthood. Continue reading

Record Play Pause: Confessions of a Post-Punk Percussionist

1472126203.01._sx142_sy224_sclzzzzzzz_

Read 15/02/2020-23/02/2020

Rating 4 stars

Record Play Pause is the first volume in Stephen Morris’s two-part autobiography. Although Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook have both written memoirs, I haven’t read them. I’ve read plenty else about Factory Records over the years, though, including Jon Savage’s recent oral history of Joy Division, which whetted my appetite to read more about the band’s members, in both its incarnations.

Record Play Pause is very Stephen. Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation: from Daisy Jones and the Six to Revolutionary Road

Happy New Year! And I’m starting 2020’s book blogging with 6 degrees of separation because I haven’t quite finished the book I started before Xmas.

I don’t do New Year resolutions, so it’s untrue for me to say I’ve resolved to do all of 2020’s 6 degrees of separations. I’m going to try my best to remember to, though.

January’s chain begins with a book I haven’t heard of. Continue reading