OK, where did June go? That was a bit blink-and-I-missed-it… It’s probably fairly telling that of the things in my ‘pile for June’, I only knocked-off the ones I actually had tickets for… Comics Unmasked for July, maybe?
(1) Things which I have read and enjoyed.
Tigerman - Nick Harkaway.
Tigerman, Tigerman, does whatever a Tiger can…
Yeah, someone had to go there, so I sacrifice my dignity on the pyre of cultural reference awesomeness that helps make Tigerman so fabulous. I loved it. If you think that it’s mix of surreal fantasy with big ideas might make it ‘not one for you’, I really want you to think again and try it.
God and the Gay Christian - Matthew Vines. I don’t want to write too much here, as I have some longer thoughts (both fragmentary and sustained) about this one that I’ll be trying to get down and get out over the next month. But it was a thought-provoking read, and if it’s a topic and conversation you’re interested in then it’s a very good starting place.
Also, I gave up and have been re-reading Shotgun Lovesongs (which I originally read over Easter), just to see if it really was that good. It really is. Pair it with The Art of Fielding and start planning a road trip to the mid-west.
(2) Things which I have watched and enjoyed.
In one magical week that just about sums up my cultural tastes I saw Arcade Fire at Earl’s Court, One Direction at Wembley, and the Royal Ballet’s last triple bill of the season, The Dream / Connectome / The Concert. And they were all MARVELLOUS. The end.
(Except not quite)
I will tell you that One Direction know how to put on a show, and get you all home before midnight on a school night, which is not to be underestimated.
Also that Edward Watson, Natalia Osipova and Steven McRae are a great, limby, triple threat in a ballet, and you should keep an eye on James Hay, because his Puck in The Dream was phenomenally fizzy and great fun.
And that Arcade Fire are possibly currently the greatest live act known to music, that they hold sway even in the great shed of Earl’s Court, and that the whole event was very definitely something of a religious experience.
I also watched the BBC’s Under Milk Wood, which is actually magic and to be watched if you get the chance again, and I saw The Fault in Our Stars at the cinema (having not yet read the book, but knowing what happened…) which I enjoyed very much, terrible moment in the Anne Frank House notwithstanding…
(3) Things which I wrote that I’m fond of…
Only a couple of pieces this month. I wanted to write about a million responses to the Slate piece against reading YA, and came up with this On Reading YA - which was then written much more lucidly by someone else.
Associatedly, I really liked this list of YA books to read.
(4) Most Distracting Thing on the Internet.
Teju Cole livetweeting the World Cup. I really don’t do football at all, and I’ve not watched a second of this tournament yet. But my twitter has been ablaze with it, and Cole has been the most ‘blazey’ part of that. Try this little piece of timeline for size.
Also, Wimbledon, because the internet has given the BBC the facility to let us watch almost every match that we might want to watch, which means I can abandon some of the show-court thumpings for outside-court wrangles.
(5) In the pile for July
Open City, by Teju Cole, which I’ve just started reading. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer, which is London Book Club’s book, and which I’m going to read and write about in lieu of being present. Augustus, by John Williams, before I have to give it back to @kloklo (also because CICERO). Literary Deathmatch at Foyles. Boyhood, Richard Linklater’s new movie, because it looks amaaaazing, and I love Linklater. Begin Again, the new film from the guys who made Once. I usually experience trepidation about Kiera Knightley in things, because I’ve never found her convincing, but I loved Once, I love Mark Ruffalo, and the trailer looks delightful.