28/02/2014

Reading - February 2014

Be My Enemy by Christopher Brookmyre (2004)
Dark but entertaining.
The Week (1 February 2014 / Issue 956)
Guitarist (March 2014 / Issue 378)
Going Deaf For A Living by Steve Lamacq (2000)
Amiable amble through Steve's music-related life so far. He has a few trenchant observations on the inanities and idiocies of the music business. He has a few interesting stories of encounters with bands on the indie-er end of the spectrum. He has an enteraining chapter on the infamous Gallagher brothers interview on Radio 1. A bit ho-hum overall though.
The Week (8 February 2014 / Issue 957)
The Week (15 February 2014 / Issue 958)
Things Can Only Get Better by John O'Farrell (1998)
Fever Pitch for political activists (not an original observation, obviously). Very entertaining, while making some interest points. First is his observation that "Labour was only a left-wing party for five or six years really", which I'm sure some would argue with but I can see the logic. Second is his assertion that he never wants to be an MP. Perhaps he never expected to win in Maidenhead in 2001 or in Eastleigh in 2013.
The Dead Of Jericho by Colin Dexter (1977)
About fifteen years ago I ploughed through all the Morse novels in one almost continuous go. Now I'm not sure why. This is slow and unsatisfying, both from a solution point of view (the main death appears to be a suicide and turns out to be ... a suicide), and from a character perspective, because Morse doesn't really develop at all. It suits a certain mood I suppose.
Shakespeare by Bill Bryson (2007)
Characteristically jolly, informative and succinct account of what we know of Shakespeare and his life - which is to say, not much, and this book is accordingly slim. Bryson also pours gentle scorn on those who would seek to make definitive statements about Shakespeare's thoughts, attitudes and deeds based on no evidence - in particular, those peculiar people who remain convinced that Shakespeare was not the real author of the plays. 
How To Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great! (Second Edition) by Dan Erlewine (2012)
Erlewine has an almost legendary reputation in guitar circles, partly as a result of this book and partly as a guitar tech to the stars. There's a ton of information in this book about setting up guitars, some of it I've never come across before in almost thirty years of playing and reading about the instrument. The level of detail involved in a setup is daunting. Now, if only this could be presented with the same level of quality as the Haynes guitar manuals, it would be perfect.

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