31/03/2020

Reading - March 2020

Back Story by David Mitchell (2012)
I have no particular interest in David Mitchell and so I'm not quite sure why I picked this up (ex-library stock, £1, bargain! ... actually maybe that's why). Anyway, I'm pleased I did. In between mildly entertaining musings about a variety of subjects inspired by his daily walk, he tells his life story and reveals that, rather than being the young fogey he sometimes comes across as on panel shows (or possibly as well as), he has been pretty single-minded in his pursuit of a career in TV comedy. It's pretty much all he's done, mundane placeholder jobs aside. He writes exactly as he sounds, and it's an interesting read. I just wish the front photo wasn't quite so off-puttingly larger than life. I found myself leaving the book face-down most of the time!
The Guitar Magazine (April 2020 / Issue 379)
The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr & George Spafford (2014)
DevOps gets lots of mentions around work, but I haven't read anything about it really, until now. This is a novelised description of the issues DevOps is supposed to solve and how it does that (it reminds me, in principle, of The One Minute Manager). A few chapters in, I wasn't sure I was going to carry on; it's all a bit too close to situations I've been in, with ludicrously unrealistic demands and politics galore. But it's a well-told story, and I wanted to know how it worked out (and whether the horrible marketing VP was got rid of!). I have a feeling the story wouldn't be of much interest to anyone outside the industry, but there's plenty to learn here if you do work in it. Thanks to James for the lend!
Emma by Jane Austen (1815)
Having recently watched the new film, I felt it necessary to reacquaint myself with the source material (the language gets to you after a while). It is, of course, lovely, and has much more depth that can be fitted into a two hour film (which, while visually stunning, gets many things wrong). Now I'm seeing if I can persuade K to read it.
Men At Arms by Terry Pratchett (1993)
A "police procedural", according to the man himself, albeit with the usual Discworld idiosyncrasies and pin-sharp observations of certain character types. I last read this two years ago and I know it well, so wasn't sure if I might have overdone it, even if it is the next in sequence. But I enjoyed it just as much as ever. A very good entry point into the Discworld canon, imho.

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