Reading - March 2014

God Explained In A Taxi Ride by Paul Arden (2007)
Where the greatest minds of history have failed, a former advertising executive unsurprisingly also fails.
The Week (22 February 2014 / Issue 959)
The Week (1 March 2014 / Issue 960)
Guitarist (April 2014 / Issue 379)
Crosstown Traffic by Charles Shaar Murray (1989)
I'm not a big fan of biographies, but although this has some of Jimi Hendrix's life history, it's primarily a cultural analysis of his influences and influence on rock music. Inspired and interesting enough to forgive the occasional lapses into NME style inky-speak (which, to be fair, Shaar Murray did help create). Full of wonderful little insights and easily fulfilling the basic requirement of any book about music: it made me want to go and listen to Hendrix's albums again.
Pandaemonium by Christopher Brookmyre (2009)
Darker and with a higher body count (particularly of the good guys) that usual. Big target: organised religion and what it will do to protect its own hegemony. Compelling as ever, some nicely drawn characters, as ever, but a little less satisfying that some of his other books.
Running For Peak Performance by Frank Shorter (2005)
Concise but informative book about running. Contains some useful information about training that isn't running (weight training and so on), but generally no new info over other books I have read.
The Week (8 March 2014 / Issue 961)
The Week (15 March 2014 / Issue 962)
The Week (22 March 2014 / Issue 963)
The Making Of Pride And Prejudice by Sue Birtwhistle & Susie Conklin (1995)
This isn't just an enjoyable behind-the-scenes look at the classic 1995 BBC costume drama, but an insightful, er, insight into just what it takes to make such things. The first thing that strikes me is just how many people are involved - something that should be obvious to anyone who spends more than ten seconds considering the matter, but nevertheless easy to forget. The second is the sheer scale of effort involved in making it. Some poor soul has to note every single action and prop for continuity purposes. Now that's a job for someone with an eye for detail.
Can You Keep A Secret? by Sophie Kinsella (2005)
Sophie Kinsella's more famous "Shopaholic" series fails to strike a chord with me but this is a very funny romcom. It's firmly in the Bridget Jones vein of hapless woman caught in misunderstandings and mishaps partly of her own making, but all working out for the best in the end, and I could easily see it being made into a film. I enjoyed it very much.
The Week (29 March 2014 / Issue 964)
Make Room For Daddy by Andrea Edwards (1990)
The title Make Room For Daddy is one of the worst I know of, but that aside, this is one of my favourite romance novels, a sweet, gentle story set in Chicago about a baker and the man who moves in next door.

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