Date Archives September 2011

Giveaway!

I haven’t done much writing this week. I’ve been helping my wife launch her new photography website, fotodisiac. I have learned more about CSS, mySQL databases, wp-config files and the like than I ever wanted to! Anyway it is finally up and running now, and to celebrate, she is giving away a book, Tom Ang’s How to Photograph Absolutely Everything. To win the book, all you have to do is leave a comment on the site before this Sunday. Click here to enter. [Link removed as the contest is now… Read More

“Social Ecology and Communalism” by Murray Bookchin

This book is a good, short introduction to the ideas of Murray Bookchin. He draws on anarchist and socialist thought to come up with a model of social organisation that will be more fair not only to humans but also to the planet. Bookchin’s thesis is that capitalism has reached crisis point, both socially and ecologically, and new modes of thought are needed to create a better society in which to live. He derides environmentalists who focus only on conservation or protecting nature in isolation, without addressing social issues. To… Read More

10 hours to live – please act now!

Troy Davis is almost certainly innocent, but he is still scheduled to be executed at 7pm EST today (midnight UK time). There is no physical evidence against him – he was convicted of murder purely on the testimony of witnesses, seven of whom have since recanted their testimony. Several said they were coerced by police into testifying. Nine people have signed affidavits implicating another man for the killing. Still, Troy Davis will die tonight. Please take action by emailing the Georgia parole board. They’ve already denied an appeal for clemency,… Read More

“The Sense of an Ending” by Julian Barnes

Update: In response to some of the comments on this review, I have written a newer post that explains the ending. I bought a signed copy at Highgate Bookshop, took it home and read it from cover to cover without stopping. That’s partly because it’s a short book (150 pages, with fairly large type and liberal use of white space) but also because it really drew me in and made me want to read more. The clever thing about the book is that much of it is quite abstract musing… Read More

New review for On the Holloway Road

On the Holloway Road picked up a good review from Emma over at Book Around the Corner yesterday. I don’t normally tell you about every review, but I wanted to highlight this one particularly because of a beautiful description of my main characters, Jack and Neil. Emma compares them to Sal and Dean in Kerouac’s On the Road, who she calls “day butterflies, the colorful ones who fly playfully from one flower to another under a sunny sky.” On the other hand: I saw Jack and Neil as night butterflies…. Read More

Lists

I love lists. So many books, so many thoughts and ideas condensed into a single, well-ordered list. I came across a good one over the summer, listing the top 105 works of 20th century Arabic literature. Wanted to link to it to remind myself where it is, and also because I thought it might be interesting for some of you as well. I bookmarked it as well, but am I the only person who obsessively bookmarks half the sites on the web and then never ever goes back to visit… Read More

“Maybe This Time” by Alois Hotschnig

I found Maybe This Time a very unsettling collection of short stories. I mean that in a good way. Being unsettled is often the prelude to thinking about things in a new way, and to me that’s one of the most important functions of literature. The stories are very varied in style and content, but many of them deal with the question of identity in one way or another. In the first story, The Same Silence, The Same Noise, a man becomes addicted to spying on his neighbours. Yet he… Read More