Janu­ary Read­ing pt 1

My goal this year is to read 100 books, but also regu­larly write small reviews of them. Here’s the first instal­ment, with Alan Garner, Seanan McGuire and Matt Weso­lowski.

Categorised as Books

Margate Activ­ity Books

I’ve made a children’s activ­ity book about vari­ous loca­tions in Margate, with open-ended draw­ing and writ­ing activ­it­ies that encour­age obser­va­tion, explor­a­tion and creativ­ity, with very clear layouts and instruc­tions. Suit­able for age 7+.

March Read­ing I

In the Bonesetter’s Wait­ing Room, The Making of Home and Woman on the Edge of Time. Indi­an medi­cine, social history, the brutal­ity of psychi­at­ric hospit­als and ecofem­in­ist utopi­as.

Categorised as Books

Tim and the Hidden People

Tim and the Hidden People is a series of children’s school read­ing books from the late 70s/​early 80s that a lot of schools had. They have a strange, bleak folk-horror atmo­sphere, and the illus­tra­tions in the first three collec­tions are a little uncanny valley. Tim is always walk­ing along lonely canal paths with strict instruc­tions to not look over his shoulder and tie the silver string around a partic­u­lar tree or else.

The Shame Pile

My living room has a very handy built-in book­shelf (although the amount of differ­ent compart­ments meant it took a long time when I moved in to paint over the old nicot­ine-stained paint). The major­ity of my books live on the bigger book­shelves in my bedroom, but the living room houses the Shame Pile.

Categorised as Books

Ichi-go ichi-e

This was my April 2014 piece for Story­board , a writ­ing site with monthly prompts run by a friend. I couldn’t think of a story idea, so I wrote a kind of essay instead.The theme that month was “Ichi-go ichi-e”: a never again moment. I couldn’t think of a story, so I decided to talk a little about ways other writers have handled the theme. I suppose you could call this a casu­al essay. I’m afraid it won’t be closely argued or metic­u­lously foot­noted, and it is quite loosely put togeth­er, but maybe it will give people some good recom­mend­a­tions of things to read

Ivan Bilib­in

I thought while stuck at home I’d do regu­lar posts show­ing things I like which other people may not have heard of. Ivan Bilib­in was a Russi­an artist most famous for his lavishly illus­trated books of fairy tales taking inspir­a­tion from Japan­ese wood prints, Russi­an icon paint­ing and Ye Olde Slavon­ic script.

Diana Wynne Jones zine- digit­al edition

A few years back I made a zine with articles about writer Diana Wynne Jones (prob­ably best known for writ­ing Howl’s Moving Castle), and an inter­view I conduc­ted with her before she sadly died. The paper edition is still avail­able here, but for the fore­see­able future I can only send phys­ic­al copies to the UK. So I’ve made a digit­al edition for people to read.

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.

Categorised as Books

Caecili­us est in Horto

If you study Latin in the UK, there’s a very good chance you will use the Cambridge Latin books from the 1970s. Although they’re forty years old, they’re still in print (and also on the Apple Store), and have a special place in people’s hearts. 

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.

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.

Altern­at­ive London 1969/​70

I found this book in a char­ity shop. It’s a prac­tic­al guide to altern­at­ive living in London from 1969/​70 cover­ing a wide range of topics from rent laws, to sexu­al­ity, drugs and communes to join. This is the first edition, there were yearly updates through­out the 70s.

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 …

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.


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

Categorised as Books, Films

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.

Knock Three Times

Knock Three Times is not a well-known book, which is a pity.

Categorised as Books

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.

The District Without Qual­it­ies?

So I’m back in the UK. For good now. Most of this week has been taken up with house-hunt­ing, arran­ging vans etc. More on that soon. I don’t like to count my chick­ens before they’re hatched.

However, I was tidy­ing up the folders on my computer this week, and found these miscel­laneous photos of Vienna from Febru­ary.

Diana Wynne Jones zine

I have a zine of articles about children’s writer Diana Wynne Jones (of Howl’s Moving Castle et al) I wrote this zine in 2011, also managing to inter­view her before she sadly died (you can also read the inter­view online here). The origin­al edition was 1/​6 of an A3 sheet, made on a Riso­graph machine. This was great when I still had access to an A3 Riso machine, but after I didn’t it was very expens­ive and diffi­cult to reprint, so it went out of print. Recently I did a new edition, with all-new illus­tra­tions, in a much more conveni­ent stand­ard A6 size

Miyazaki’s Read­ing List

When I was in Japan I went to the Studio Ghib­li Museum just outside of Tokyo. Sadly pictures were not allowed inside, but I wrote about it in my zine of the trip. I highly recom­mend the museum, it’s magic­al. The book­shop was also stocked with Miyazaki’s own favour­ite books, as well as books related to the studio’s films. I didn’t buy anything, as they were all in Japan­ese, and it would take me forever to read anything, but I noted down a lot of less well-known books I saw in the shop to compile a read­ing list (help­fully the copy­right tends to list the author’s names in roman text rather than try to make it fit katakana). Unfor­tu­nately I wasn’t able to write down the Japan­ese author’s names in most cases as read­ing unknown names writ­ten in kanji is very tricky. However Miyaza­ki made a list of clas­sic children’s books (includ­ing a lot of the usual suspects like The Secret Garden) else­where which also includes some Japan­ese recom­mend­a­tions.

Polly’s read­ing list

Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, based on the folk tale Tam Lin and Eliot’s Four Quar­tets, is one of my all-time favour­ite books. The gifts of clas­sic books that the prot­ag­on­ist Polly receives from Tom, the other main char­ac­ter, are an import­ant part of the plot, but not listed anywhere in the novel. I made this read­ing list of the books for the zine of essays about Diana Wynne Jones that I made.

This Means Noth­ing To Me

I have been in Austria for a week and a half now for teach­ing work. I meant to update last week, but some brutal 7.30 am start times, heavy snow, a lot of plan­ning to do outside the classroom, and a diet of pure stodge in a small town with few dining options (and even fewer options for veget­ari­ans) tired me out. It feels strange to be in small-town Austria, where not much tends to happen, while polit­ic­al turmoil with dire consequences for many vulner­able people goes on around the world.

Defeat­ing the To Read pile

I’ve spent most of this after­noon sort­ing out my books, and making a pile of the unread ones. It turns out I have 84 unread books. Over the next six weeks it looks like I’m going to have a lot of time on my hands, unless a new job or a large chunk of money magic­ally presents itself, so I’ll try to get through a good chunk of these.

Here is a list of the books, arranged alpha­bet­ic­ally by author:

Categorised as Books

Char­ity shop finds

I haven’t found as many good char­ity shop items lately as over the summer, but there’s been the odd few things. I got this vase for £2, which I’ve planted an aloe vera in, for my own plant version of Sideshow Bob.

Godless heathenry

The next issue of Being Edit­ors will be about C.S.Lewis and Phil­lip Pull­man. As a sneak preview, and to give contrib­ut­ors an idea of what my own reli­gious (or more to the point, non-reli­gious) back­ground  is, here is the article I wrote which leads in to anoth­er about why That Hideous Strength is a guilty pleas­ure- if you’d like to contrib­ute, find out more here

That Hideous Strength has always been a weird guilty pleas­ure. I’m not a Chris­ti­an, never have been, and didn’t grow up in a reli­gious envir­on­ment. People enjoy the Narnia books because they’re good children’s books and writ­ten with charm and wit, and they don’t Jesus you too hard (except for the last one). That Hideous Strength is noth­ing like that, the plot is weirdly cobbled togeth­er, and it’s full of rail­ing against every single one of C.S.Lewis’ person­al bugbears as a sexist old Chris­ti­an univer­sity don of the 1950s, and he doesn’t both­er to hide it. The relent­less sexism, homo­pho­bia and evan­gel­ising makes me want to throw the book against the wall as the godless hell-bound pinko lefty I am, but it’s just so glee­fully bizarre that I actu­ally quite enjoy it and have re-read it count­less times.

Categorised as Books, Zines

Book reviews: the birds and the bees and T.H. White

As I mentioned in my previ­ous post, I’ve arranged the book reviews in groups loosely on the same theme. Here’s the first set. More to come.

H is for Hawk Helen Macdon­ald
The Bees Laline Paull
The Sword in the Stone (The Once and Future King, #1) T.H White
The Witch in the Wood (The Once and Future King, #2) T.H White
The Ill-Made Knight (The Once and Future King, #3) T.H White
The Candle in the Wind (The Once and Future King, #4) T.H White
The Book of Merlyn (The Once and Future King, #5) T.H White

Categorised as Books

Danmark & Sverige

Tomor­row I’m going on holi­day to Copen­ha­gen for 5 days, some­where I’ve never been before. I’ve visited Iceland, Finland and Esto­nia before, the outliers in the Nord­ic group of coun­tries, and all in the winter, but I’ve never visited the core three Scand­inavi­an coun­tries in their famous long-dayed summers (although I’ve been in the High­lands of Scot­land in the summer before, which is very simil­ar). Copen­ha­gen is with­in a short train ride of Malmö in Sweden (in fact Scania used to be in Denmark at one time), so I’ll kill two birds with one stone and visit Sweden too. As well as Copen­ha­gen, I’m going to try to visit Roskilde, the Louisi­ana Art Museum and Elsinore, which are all nearby. (I’m not going to Lego­land because it’s at the other end of the coun­try, and I’ve been to the UK one loads for work anyway).

Penguin Little Black Clas­sics

I bought some of these tiny 80th anniversary Penguin books the other day. Each book is around 50 pages long, and has short stor­ies, poems or extracts from writers from around the world. The perfect size to keep in a bag for spare moment read­ing. There are 80 differ­ent ones to choose from, and each one costs a bargain 80p. In pick­ing the books, I went for authors I had never heard of, or writers like Cavafy I’d heard of but never checked out. Hope­fully I’ll discov­er some­thing I really like. The full list of titles can be seen here.

Categorised as Books

Not gate-crash­ing a funer­al

I actu­ally atten­ded this funeral/​memorial for children’s writer Diana Wynne Jones over 2 years ago. I had meant to write about it for a long time, but I didn’t want to write anything without having the programme of speak­ers from the event to hand, and it stub­bornly disap­peared until recently when I had a big clear out of papers (and faded with some print rubbed off after 2 years), so here it is.

A baker’s dozen of books

1) Oper­a­tion Mince­meat- Ben Macintyre
2) The Pyram­id- Ismail Kadare
3) The Mirror Maker- Primo Levi
4) The Third Miss Symons- F.M. Mayor
5) The Making of the Brit­ish Land­scape- Fran­cis Pryor
6) The Years of Rice and Salt- Kim Stan­ley Robin­son
7) The Moving Toyshop- Edmund Crispin
8) Travels with a Type­writer- Michael Frayn
9) Mail Order Myster­ies: Real Stuff from Old Comic Book Ads- Kirk Demarais
10) How to Build a Girl- Caitlin Moran
11) Fannie’s Last Supper- Chris Kimball
12) The Gallery of Regret­table Food- James Lileks

13) A Winter Book- Tove Jans­son

Categorised as Books

Profess­or Knatsch­ke

My univer­sity library had a massive stack of print­ing industry annu­als from the 1890s through to the 20s. I always enjoyed look­ing through them because the illus­tra­tions and articles they chose to show­case new print­ing tech­no­lo­gies were often really odd, and were good to photo­copy for collages and zines. Next to them on the shelf was a strange little book called Profess­or Knatsch­ke. It’s a comedy book writ­ten and illus­trated in 1912 by Alsa­tian satir­ist Jean-Jacques Waltz, aka Hansi, about a clue­less German profess­or and his daughter’s trip to Paris, mock­ing both the French and the Germans (but mostly the Germans) in a more inno­cent pre-WW1 pre-Nazi era. I always really liked the illus­tra­tions (and Elsa K’s obses­sion with making gifts embroidered with “inspir­ing” mottoes) , and now it’s avail­able free online as a copy­right-free ebook.

Books, books and more books

At one point I was writ­ing brief reviews on here with my thoughts about vari­ous books I’d been read­ing. I’ve got out of the habit of doing that, and meant to get back in to it. I’ve been keep­ing track of my read­ing on Goodreads for years, but a list­ing and a star rating doesn’t feel like enough. I thought it would be too much to do the whole of this year’s read­ing, so here’s the last few months of books.

Categorised as Books

Bacchae prints for sale

I still have a couple of these 22×25 cm /​ 8.5×9.5″ riso­graph prints based on the Bacchae by Euri­pedes left.

The text says “ἔμαρψα τόνδ᾽ ἄνευ βρόχων λέοντος ἀγροτέρου νέον ἶνιν ὡς ὁρᾶν πάρα.” which means “I caught this young lion by myself, without a trap”. Pentheus’ moth­er, having run off into the woods with Dionysus to be a maen­ad, kills her son in a frenzy because she thinks he’s a lion, and then parades his head around the stage boast­ing about the lion she’s killed. That old plot cliché.

The Phantom Toll­booth

I recently watched this docu­ment­ary about the Phantom Toll­booth, one of my favour­ite books when I was young­er. (I still have the same battered, dog-eared paper­back copy). Milo, the main char­ac­ter, is a boy who is always bored and doesn’t see the point in anything.

Fire & Hemlock riso­graph prints

Someone reques­ted one of these riso­graph prints based on Fire & Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones (one of my all time favour­ite books) recently, but I thought I had run out. When I was re-organ­ising some things thought recently it turned out I had 10 left after all. £10 + post­age from the shop.

Golden Hands Book of Crafts

While I was at my grandparent’s place, I scanned some books. Here’s the Golden Hands Book of Crafts from the 70s. I have some of the magazine of the same name, which I scanned before. You can see that here. Most of the tutori­als in the book weren’t very excit­ing, but there were some nice 70s stock pictures.

There’s More to Life Than Books You Know Pt I

So, long time, no see. I’ve been work­ing very long hours at the day job, and I have also been without a computer. That should hope­fully be sorted by next week though. Today I’m visit­ing my family, so I can add text-based things here, but no photos. There’s quite a back­log of photos running. I managed to break my phone, do some­thing very pain­ful to my shoulder and have my laptop spon­tan­eously die in the space of 3 days. I’m a disaster zone for hire. If you want anything spoilt or broken in the near future, let me know, my rates are reas­on­able

Categorised as Books

Diana Wynne Jones Inter­view

A couple of years ago I inter­viewed the children’s writer Diana Wynne Jones, my favour­ite writer grow­ing up. I was compil­ing a zine of articles about her work. Unfor­tu­nately I didn’t finish the zine before she died of cancer, because I’m a terrible procras­tin­at­or, and she never got to see it. When I get a chance, I have anoth­er entry to add about attend­ing her funer­al.

Febru­ary books and films

Not a great deal to report here, I haven’t read that much or seen many films because I’ve been busy doing unfun things. Less of that, please.


1) Lies My Teach­er Told Me: Everything Your Amer­ic­an History Text­book Got Wrong- James W Loewen

Categorised as Books, Films

Songs based on books- a playl­ist.

Here’s a short playl­ist I made of songs based on (good, enjoy­able) books, with some short descrip­tions for people who haven’t read the books in ques­tion.

Categorised as Books, Music

70s interi­or design book

Here are some scans from a 1970s interi­or design book- House by Terrence Conran. Some of the stuff in it is really really 70s look­ing, and some is very clean and time­less-look­ing. The pictures I’ve scanned are a mix of the two categor­ies. I just scanned the pictures that appealed to me, as it’s a massive book. Some of them are a little grainy due to the print­ing tech­nique. I scanned anoth­er 70s interi­or book I have here.

Books I read in Janu­ary

One of my new year’s resol­u­tions was to read an aver­age of 2 books a week, and see an aver­age of 1 new film a week. I’ve managed the books this month, but I haven’t seen any new films. I caught up on about 20 hours of Scand­inavi­an detect­ive shows and watched a lot of tv docu­ment­ar­ies though, so it’s not like I didn’t see anything. I just have to see one more film each of the rest of the months this year.

Categorised as Books

Books of 2012

I star­ted using Goodreads this year to keep track of my read­ing. Here’s my list of books. It looks like a lot, but over a year it’s only just over 1 a week, which isn’t that good going, seeing as I’m a fast read­er (more visu­al than audit­ory).

Categorised as Books

Death and the Penguin

I set myself a project recently of doing mock book covers. First up is Death and the Penguin, by Andrey Kurkov. I did both English and Russi­an versions of the cover. I’m not sure how success­ful it is, though. The map I used in the collage is of Kiev.

Golden Hands Monthly

got this stack of 70s craft magazines in a junk shop in Devizes a few years ago. That place was amaz­ing, a multi-floored cavern of junk. It’s gone now, I think. Here’s some photos.There’s the usual ultra-cheesy raffia work projects and crocheted plant hold­ers and so on, but the clothes patterns are actu­ally mostly pretty nice, which is why I bought the magazines. What I’ve scanned is a mix of nice things and weird stuff though. I also couldn’t scan double page spreads very easily, because the bind­ing on the magazines is dodgy, and I didn’t want to pull them about too much in case they broke. These issues are from 1972 and 1973. I have anoth­er issue from 1976, but it’s prin­ted on much cheap­er paper (the paper qual­ity wasn’t ster­ling to begin with) and the contents are pretty dull.

Visu­al Diary

As part of my MA, we were required to keep a creat­ive diary keep­ing track of the profes­sion­al prac­tice lectures, research, read­ing, exhib­i­tion visits and gener­al inspir­a­tion. I finally got around to scan­ning some of the one from my second year. In the first year I used blog posts for the same purpose, but I felt the need later on for a phys­ic­al record.

Costumes for Plays and Play­ing

When I was a kid I used to borrow this book again and again from the local library. The first thing I ever sewed myself was from it. A friend of mine at juni­or school’s older sister was in a school play of Toad of Toad Hall, and we went to watch. When you’re 7, 13 year olds seem incred­ibly impress­ive. What impressed me even more were the weasel costumes. I wanted one for myself. Armed with an offcut of brown fabric and a toy sewing machine I’d got at a boot­fair, I made a hood with ears like the ones in the book. It was wonky, and I was a bit ashamed of it though, and wished I knew how to sew straight (look­ing back, I’m not sure the toy sewing machine was actu­ally capable of a straight seam). My opin­ion of my sewing projects has improved slightly since.

Nature All Around

These are some pictures I scanned from a 1970s kids book at my dad’s house called Nature All Around. My uncle used to work for a non-fiction publish­er and we always seemed to have strange free books from his work around the place. It has draw­ings and photo­graphs of things chil­dren can spot around the aver­age brit­ish garden/​field/​beach and inform­a­tion about the lives of the vari­ous creatures.

Explor­ing the World of Robots

I’ve had this book since forever. It was part of a set of educa­tion­al books that were a hand me down from my cous­in. The others in the set were pretty stand­ard, on topics like anim­al migra­tion or cars, but this one is a bit odd. The others in the set have long gone to the char­ity shop or anoth­er relat­ive, but I’ll always keep this book.

Being Edit­ors #1- Diana Wynne Jones

So I’ve got the first issue of my children’s liter­at­ure zine done. The first issue is devoted to Diana Wynne Jones. There was a lot more I wanted to say on the topic, but it just kept grow­ing and grow­ing, so I cut it short at 60 pages, and I’ll prob­ably do anoth­er DWJ zine in the winter. (The next issue of this zine is about Oliv­er Post­g­ate). Thank you to the contrib­ut­ors.

Categorised as Books, Zines

All the cheese­cloth & macrame you can eat

I got this 70stastic book for £1 from a char­ity shop, mainly because of the pictures. The textu­al parts are worthy and Blue Peter-ish, with lots of making things out of tea chests and copy­dex (why doesn’t tea tend to come in chests these days?), guides to home tie-dying, and sentences like “and kitchen foil gives a touch of glam­our”.

Like the librar­i­an said … every­one respects the dead

Yester­day I got the dvd of Kids for £2, and I watched it with Vicky & Tukru. V had some­how never seen it, and the last time T had seen it was about 10 years ago when her down-with-the-kids history teach­er had played it at school (yeah, Finland …). When I was about 15 or so it was my all-time favour­ite film along with Heav­enly Creatures. I don’t know what that says about me. If I’d seen the film now as a 26 year old, it wouldn’t amaze me (maybe creep me out instead). I think what made the impact on me at the time was that in the age before cheap DVDs and easy down­load­ing, it was the first really raw film I’d seen, and I was obvi­ously long­ing for rawness at the time. Glossy Holly­wood high school films had abso­lutely no relev­ance to my life

Not as sad as Dostoyevsky, not as clev­er as Mark Twain

10. Alias Grace- Margaret Atwood
11. Notes from Under­ground- Fyodor Dostoyevsky
12. Seeing Things- Oliv­er Post­g­ate
13. Letters from a Lost Uncle- Mervyn Peake
14. Queuing for Begin­ners- Joe Moran

Categorised as Books

Livre, buch, kitab

8. The Atom Station- Halldór Laxness trans. Magnus Magnus­son
9. Sweets: the History of Tempta­tion- Tim Richard­son

Categorised as Books

More books

4. 99 Ways to Tell a Story- Matt Madden
5. Fragile Things- Neil Gaiman

Categorised as Books

An excit­ing life lived in the world of books

I got this idea from Lee. Keep a running list of the books you read in one year, with a brief (or in depth depend­ing on your whims) comment on each. I’m hardly a liter­ary crit­ic, so don’t go expect­ing devast­at­ing incis­ive­ness.

You couldn’t peel me away from a book when I was young­er. I still read plenty, but I do squeeze a few other things into my life here and there.

I reregis­ted with the local library, now I’m back in Kent til whenev­er. When I asked how many books you were allowed to take out, they told me “30, and please make full use of it, we need the borrow­ings”. So I did, although I could only phys­ic­ally carry 16 home, because too many of the books I wanted were hard­backs. I have a lot of time on my hands at the moment, and not much money, and I’m feel­ing a little anti-social/mis­an­throp­ic of late, so the library is my friend.
You couldn’t peel me away from a book when I was young­er. I still read plenty, but I do squeeze a few other things into my life here and there.

I reregis­ted with the local library, now I’m back in Kent til whenev­er. When I asked how many books you were allowed to take out, they told me “30, and please make full use of it, we need the borrow­ings”. So I did, although I could only phys­ic­ally carry 16 home, because too many of the books I wanted were hard­backs. I have a lot of time on my hands at the moment, and not much money, and I’m feel­ing a little anti-social/mis­an­throp­ic of late, so the library is my friend.

Categorised as Books

Toy Theatres

Here are some pictures I scanned from a library book about toy theatres.

Fiction chro­mat­ic­ally

Tidy­ing up books. After moving house multiple times and getting rid of a lot, I’ve got a weird selec­tion left. Also photostitch likes the break the laws of phys­ics.

Categorised as Books


Since becom­ing unem­ployed I’ve applied for a lot of jobs, wrangled with the job centre, read quite a lot of library books, done some draw­ings (more of that later), tried and failed to do a sour dough bread starter and star­ted freak­ing out about apply­ing for a masters.

Here’s some of the books I’ve been read­ing or re-read­ing. Brief descrip­tions only, because I’m not partic­u­larly in the mood for writ­ing.

Categorised as Books

Book Nook

I’ve got a book nook on the land­ing up to my room. I organ­ised all the books by colour. The penguins clas­sics etc are on the other book­shelf because they have boring black/​silver spines. A pity, because my favour­ites are mostly amongst those. I got the poncho/​blanket thing at the last Sue Ryder sale I went to. I think it’s pretty much what you’d get if you asked someone’s nan to knit you an Irish super­hero outfit.

Categorised as Books

Lady into fox

I’m off work with a stom­ach bug today, I’ve been under the weath­er all this week. This morn­ing I read Lady into Fox by David Garnett. He’s one of the Blooms­bury set who isn’t really famous (apart from the indig­nity of having a less popu­lar Andrew Lloyd Webber music­al based on one of his books). The book was bril­liant, about a bour­geois 1880s coun­try couple and their life after the wife suddenly turns into a fox.

Right now I’m doing lots of laun­dry, writ­ing about Roman emper­ors, and work­ing out what bland food I can have for lunch.

Book Cover Archive

This website is ace. It’s just loads of scanned book covers, but really beau­ti­fully designed ones.

Categorised as Books