January 20th, 2008

laptop, geek, MacBook, bursting, breakout

End of the World Blues

This year, I've decided I'm going to keep track of what I read, and here seems to be a good place to do that. I'm just making notes, really, not reviewing: I don't really do literary criticism beyond, "well, that was crap."

So. I've just finished End of the World Blues, by Jon Courtenay Grimwood. Grimwood gets better and better (I thought the first of his I read was absolute pants, and only got hooked by his Arabesk series because I hadn't noticed that it was by the same author when I bought the first one.) He's now progressed well into the realm of books that I want to read again as soon as I've finished them because I know that there will have been a lot of stuff I missed, and that knowing how the twin timeline/universe lines roughly hook together by the end will help me make more sense of them the second time through. End of the World Blues is the reason I'll be tired tomorrow morning, because I've been reading into the early hours of the last couple of not-going-to-work-in-the-morning days.

Lighter, but no less entertaining, was Bill Bryson's autobiography, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. This is a wonderful chunk of 1950s Iowa seen through the young author's eyes, and a very revealing view of the childhood that turned Bill Bryson into the charming, off-kilter maniac he is today. I "read" this one as an audiobook.

Oh, and I also ploughed through Ken Pearson's Writing Humour: How to Write Funny Articles, Columns and Letters for Profit and Pleasure. I'm not sure how much advice you should take on this sort of thing from a book that's not actually funny, but it did have some good tips here and there, and a sensible section on how to get into print, how to organise yourself, how to track your writing, and so on.

I'm hoping that Adèle Ramet's Writing short stories and articles: how to get your work published in newspapers and magazines will be better.

Those are both from the library.