Read me to sleep

In which I drift off to a good book, or Life of Pi.

I have four bookcases with 600 books. They range from a history of the bible to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson via Marx and bridges. From Roald Dahl to Jose Saramago through Hugo and Melville. Like everything else in my life there is an eclectic mix of topics. Also like everything else they are just sitting there collecting dust.

I was once able to set myself a target of reading fifteen books a year, and could achieve that. A combination of plenty of alone time and a comfortable toilet seat meant I could power through a book in a week or so. Now I seem to take an age just to get through a chapter. I love reading, but what can I do to read more?

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Late Review : Mr Nonsense

In which we read another Mr Men book.

A now vital part of the evening bedtime routine for the little dinosaur is storytime. As the Feliciraptor is still at an age where she shows no preference for any book I can read to her what I like (within reason, apparently Game Of Thrones is no suitable). So at the moment I working through the Mr Men series and just reached Mr Nonsense.

Ignoring the fact that Mr Nonsense is just a rehash of Mr Silly (spoiler: Mr Silly turns up in this story) the most disturbing part of this story was a certain issue with the hydrological cycle that affects the residents of Nonsenseland (the home country of Messers Nonsense & Silly).

In Buzzfeed clickbait style: “It started snowing in Nonsenseland and you won’t believe what happened next!”

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Fictional places to go

Fiction is a wonderful place to be, there are so many opportunities for wonder and amazement it’s unsurprising that they offer up a myriad of locations I would love to visit. Choosing just a few of the places I want to go to is difficult, I could choose some very easy places like Paris, New York or Rome. Yet where is the adventure in going on holiday? I want to be wowed by amazing architecture or events that I can’t experience in a photo or film.

I could go to the echoes of places that have been captured in fiction, whether it be Les Miserables or Gladiator, but somehow that feels even less real than completely imaginary locations. It is like being offered cheese and having to have processed yellow slices. Instead I am going for bacon.

So keeping that in mind here are just some of the places I want to go.

Fiction is a wonderful place to be, there are so many opportunities for wonder and amazement it’s unsurprising that they offer up a myriad of locations I would love to visit. Choosing just a few of the places I want to go to is difficult, I could choose some very easy places like Paris, New York or Rome. Yet where is the adventure in going on holiday? I want to be wowed by amazing architecture or events that I can’t experience in a photo or film.

I could go to the echoes of places that have been captured in fiction, whether it be Les Miserables or Gladiator, but somehow that feels even less real than completely imaginary locations. It is like being offered cheese and having to have processed yellow slices. Instead I am going for bacon.

So keeping that in mind here are just some of the places I want to go.
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Two legs good

In which all books are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Four legs good, two legs better! All Animals Are Equal. But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others. – Animal Farm, George Orwell.

This has to be one of my favourite literary quotes, or at least it is one of the few that I really remember. As an impressionable teenager it was the first time that I really understood that while an admirable goal, equality was never achievable.

 

It is a more poetic way of saying “Life ain’t fair”, but without the underlying tones of “shut up and stop whinging” that “Life ain’t fair” carries with it. You can struggle to create a fairer society but unfortunately there are those that will just be treated more fairly than others. Why should this be?
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There goes Mr Humbug

In which I’m visited by three ghosts.

Me and Mrs G have just finished watching one of the classic Christmas standards, A Muppet’s Christmas Carol, and it got me thinking about some of the glaring issues the story raises. Other than the glaring problems with anthropomorphic animals and Michael Caine singing, what becomes of Scrooge?

I should admit that the version we watched was found on my hard drive and had hard coded Swedish subtitles so the opening number was a lot more fun to sing.

My real issue is not with the furry puppets but with the original source material. Thanks to some spirited intervention Ebenezer is a reformed character and turns into Mr Christmas (awesome wrestler name – finisher the Christmas Angel headlock). I know that he no longer has to worry about children chortling with glee at his demise and he has all the turkey he can eat but he built a successful business based on his *ahem* Scrooge-like tendencies and now he has decided to turn his life around.

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