In which I wrap up February

(1) Things which I have read and enjoyed

I finished Underworld by Don DeLillo! It was pretty mammoth (800 pages, I started it before New Year). It was also pretty damn good. Yes, it dips from the opening, but boy, what an opening, of course it dips. I really like what DeLillo is trying to do with a narrative of the strange interconnections of history - although I think he probably could have lost 150 pages here there and everywhere. Still, on a scale of Big Fat Books of the 1990s it is significantly nearer the Infinite Jest end of the scale than The Corrections end of the scale.

The other book I read this month was Zia Haider Rahman’s In the Light of What We Know - we’ve established that you should all read that, right?

(2) Things which I have watched and enjoyed

The Tellybox people in the UK suggested I watch The Casual Vacancy, which was bad, and which I gave up on after an hour, and Indian Summers, which was also pretty bad and which I gave up on after two and a half hours. Apparently the Raj was bad, y’all, and we should self-flagelate a lot, except not to the extent of not making fabulously orientalist period dramas out of our guilt.

At the cinema I saw:

  • Inherent Vice: hazily, dopily, quotable. A little too langerous in patches, but otherwise a delight.

  • Selma: incredibly powerful, the end.

  • Shaun the Sheep: surprisingly delightful (I was worried it was going to be too kiddy)

  • Focus: utterly daft, do not bother

  • Jupiter Ascending: utterly daft, do do do bother, its imagination is such a joy, and it was so nice to see a big sci-fi film having about something other than white male superheroes watching cities being destroyed.

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

I remained fascinated by Ex Machina, which I saw at the end of January, so I wrote about what it means to create and to be human.

I also had some thoughts about not being a special snowflake, because I’m tired of organisations telling m that if I give them money I’ll be a hero.

(4) A photo from the month gone by

I saw The Decemberists play the Brixton Academy and it was truly fabulous. I love them and their banter.

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 20.01.59

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 20.01.59

(5) In the pile for March

I turned from In the Light of What We Know to Graham Greene’s The Quiet American, which get referenced a lot in that book. Next up is Sarah Hall’s The Carhullan Army, and then - I’m not sure what I’ll pick up next. I have some unread Patrick O’Brians, I just picked up the PB of Jenny Ofill’s Department of Speculation, and The Miniaturist is still in the pile. But. But but but, I have a sneaking suspicion that I might read some William Gibson.

I’m looking forward to seeing Chappie and the Royal Ballet’s Swan Lake

the rules of playing fair

On the subject of, In the Light of What We Know

On the subject of, In the Light of What We Know