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Friday, July 01, 2016

Comic Cuts - 1 July 2016

Well... that was a stupid thing to do.

And that's all I'm going to say about the referendum. Mel had Friday off because she was going to visit Harry Potter World and we were feeling so let down that we went out for a long walk. It was a gorgeous day without a cloud in the sky. The only people we met were a couple walking a beautiful and super-friendly Samoyed. They, too, were fuming; perhaps not surprising as we live in quite a liberal area that actually has to deal with many foreign visitors, both tourists visiting Colchester (the oldest recorded Roman town in the UK) or students coming to the University of East Anglia, about ten minutes down the road from where we live. Wivenhoe might be small, but it's quite cosmopolitan, and we're the better for it. Sadly, even Colchester voted to leave.

Anyway, it hasn't been all doom and gloom. We went to see Sara Pascoe on Tuesday evening and it was a hoot. We saw her on her previous tour (her first) and this second visit to Colchester Arts Centre was even better than the last. I think everyone was in a receptive frame of mind to be entertained and Pascoe didn't dwell too much on recent events.

I was expecting her set to concentrate on elements of her new book (Animal) but this was far more rambling as she dips into stories about travel (she's been to Australia), her boyfriend buying her a toothbrush for Christmas and her inability to give a decent hand job. (No, I'm not going into details.)

Mel picked up a copy of the book, which we got signed... ditto Lorraine and Sarah who work with Mel and, technically, with me, as I work for the same firm, although I work from home.

Time for some random scans.

I do love old crime novels. Milne–more famous for creating Winnie-the-Pooh and the other inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood, of course—wrote this classic locked-room mystery novel in 1922. Like Crime at Christmas, the setting is a party at a house. The former is an English country house, the latter an isolated town house with large grounds. I read the latter recently and it was OK. Not quite up to Agatha Christie's standards, but an entertaining read. One day I'll get around to the Milne.

The other two are more recent. Spies of Warsaw was made into a BBC TV series a few years ago. Kolymsky Heights, meanwhile, is a thriller involving a secret laboratory in Siberia, which Philip Pullman, no less, has called "The best thriller I've ever read." Recommendation enough for me to pick it up, although  I still have quite a few books to get through before I can get to it, including a couple of other Russian-set crime novels, Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith and Tatiana by Martin Cruz Smith. But before those, I've got the new Lisbeth Salander novel (the one by David Lagercrantz) and I've promised myself that I'm going to read Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch as Mel has now read all five of the series and highly recommends them.

And that doesn't even start to relieve the teetering piles of books on my bedside table, many of them books in series that I want to crack on with, e.g. the last of John Harvey's Resnick novels, the last in John Varley's Rolling Thunder novels, the second book in James S. A. Corey's Expanse series, the second book in Fred Pohl's Gateway series, the many other books in Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar collections, which I started re-reading ages ago, etc., etc., etc.

I desperately need more hours in the day!

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