Books

2019 in Books

Every year I take part in the Good Reads challenge. My target this year was 52 books. I completed it with one for luck- 53 books this year. As I read each book I took a photo for instagram and gave a brief opinion- I’ve copied and pasted them all here. I've separated them into categories, but left them in the order read within the categories.... Read More...

Magic Stories From Around the World (1986)

Here is another scan of a vintage book I have had since I was a child. This is a collection of myths and legends from around the world. It was originally Czech and translated to English, and has a large selection of central European stories less known in the UK, along with stories from places like the high Arctic and Polynesia. There are also lovely illustrations by three prominent Czech illustrators.... Read More...

The Ghost Stories of M.R. James

Around this time of year on the Solstice there are two things I like to do as a personal tradition- go for a walk to Botany Bay around sunset and read the ghost stories of M.R. James. Includes full text of Whistle My Lad, and links to read the stories and watch the 1970s films for free.... Read More...

Cadbury’s Novelty Cookbook

I got this late 70s/early 80s book from a charity shop a while ago. A lot of families in the UK had it when I was a kid I think. I got it out because I promised to make my friend a really ludicrous birthday cake from inside. The recipes are fine, various flavoured sponge cakes with buttercream icing (albeit with gratuitous Cadbury's product placement in every recipe). It's the choice of cake themes in the book that's a bit odd ...... Read More...

Diana Wynne Jones conference notes

A couple of weeks ago I went to an academic conference in Bristol focused on the works of Diana Wynne Jones. She is probably best known for writing the book that the Studio Ghibli film Howl's Moving Castle was based on, but she has around thirty other books aimed at a variety of ages. Even the ones aimed at children have a surprising amount of psychological and literary depth, and a willingness to explore very dark issues not usually found in books for that age group, giving her work a huge appeal to adults and academics.... Read More...

Midsommar

Last night, I saw Midsommar, a film I've had my eye on for a while. It's received very mixed reviews in the press, but I loved it. I felt it was pretty much what you'd get if you got Alexander Jodorowsky to direct the Wicker Man... Read More...

Behemoth Lives!

Margate is currently hosting a variety of art events related to T.S.Eliot (who wrote the Wasteland here almost a century ago), including a weekend dedicated to cats over Easter. I created this print based on Bulgakov's the Master and Margarita, and a giant painted banner version of it to hang up at the show. It was a bit last minute, but I got it all done on time. The show is on at the Viking Gallery off Northdown Rd over the long Easter weekend and until the 7th of April.... Read More...

Sea Serpent Bookplates

I've made these printable bookplates, in both A4 and US Letter sizes. Four per page. They are for personal use only- you may not sell copies you have printed, host these files on another site, or use the artwork for any other commercial purpose. The downloads are free, but if you like and use them, a pay-what-you-want tip is very much appreciated.... Read More...