In which I wrap up May

(1) Things which I have read and enjoyed.

The Girl with all the Gifts - MJ Carey. AKA (in my home at least), That Zombie Novel that Joss Whedon Recommended on Twitter. I really enjoyed the exploration of how zombie infection works (actual science!) and where he author chose to take it at the end. About which, no spoilers.

Otherwise - I was stumped by fiction. The Rapture of the Nerds (Cory Doctorw and Charles Stross) didn’t do it for me at all, and took me all month to chug through. I’m determined to finish Goodbye to All That (Robert Graves) because I’m interested in it as a historical document - but I’m not enjoying the reading process.

Two essays for you instead: (1) Kathryn Schultz on Geoff Dyerside note: if you’ve not read any Dyer, I recommend this piece in the LRB, on the experience of having a stroke. I generally love his essays, and But Beautiful is a stunning evocation of jazz:

“It’s pretty and then dangerous as he reaches so high the sky blues into the darkness of space before reentering, everything burning up around him.”

And (2) Ta-Nehisi Coates on The Case for Reparations in The Atlantic. Probably the most important essay you’ll read all year.

(2) Things which I have watched and enjoyed.

The cinema has mostly been a bust. Transcendence wasn’t transcendental - though I found its ideas interesting. And Two Faces of January was a nice, old-fashioned thriller for grown-ups, but it wasn’t a great, old-fashioned thriller.

On’t’telly, the BBC’s Young Musician of the Year is always a treat, and the kid who won is so great.


And at the ballet, I saw the Royal Ballet’s Triple Bill of Serenade, Sweet Violets and DGV, which were a delight, interesting but not quite working, and a delight, and I am now listening to Michael Nyman’s MGV - Musique à grande vitesse a lot. I’m also ready for there to be more of Edward Watson dancing with Natalia Osipova in my future.

(3) Things which I wrote that I’m fond of…

Not a lot, because of reasons - though I quite like my Transcendence post.

Instead, given that I spent a week in Scotland, have some recommendations:

  • walk on East Sands in St Andrews (followed by crumble and chai at the Northpoint cafe on North Street)

  • coffee at Brew Lab

  • lunch (or dinner, but you can walk in at lunch) at Timberyard, for a special treat

  • Museum Lates at the Musuem of Scotland (just don’t silent disco into Will Gompertz, like I did…)

(4) Most Distracting Thing on the Internet.

Well, baseball comes to me through the internet, and @kloklo has officially got me hooked, so that’s probably it right now. I have worked out how to make MLB.TV play through my telly-box (I love the future), which means it can be on while I putter around and do things, like it is now - but I’m not as well attuned to it as I am to cricket, so it is more distracting a background.

(5) In the pile for June

  • Tigerman, by Nick Harkaway

  • Open City, by Teju Cole

  • Augustus, by John Williams

  • Belle

  • The Fault in our Stars (someone lend me the book?)

  • Connectome / The Dream / The Concert at the Royal Ballet

  • Arcade Fire at Earl’s Court

  • One Direction at Wembley

  • Comics Unmasked at the British Library

  • Wimbledon...

on reading YA

no bed for those caught out by musical genius...