31/08/2020

Reading - August 2020

Maskerade by Terry Pratchett (1995)
Most of my copies of Discworld novels are secondhand. This one cost all of £1.49 - excellent value. This story is basically a whodunnit, with lots of jolly good fun and amusing nods to musical theatre (The Phantom of the Opera in particular of course, even down to referencing Michael Crawford obliquely). Read it in afternoon waiting for C at a hospital check up. I enjoyed it more this time than last time, for some reason.
 The Look of the Century by Michael Tambini (1996)
Despite owning this book for over twenty years, I don't think I have ever read it in full before. (Actually, if I'm being honest, I still haven't, as I skipped the A-Z of designers at the end). It's a look at design through the twentieth century, a big, glossy book full of pictures of arresting furniture, clothes, packaging, electronics, toothbrushes - you name it, it's probably here! - through the years. It's difficult to read, both because it's quite heavy and because it's very bitty. There's lots of interest here for the casual observer (i.e. me), although some of the text is a bit erratic and in a couple of cases I spotted inaccuracies which makes me wonder about the validity of all of it. It's also interesting to note that while Tambini can summarise each decade, he several times states that the 90s was impossible to summarise. This strikes me as a facet of being in the middle of changing times; twenty years later, I'm sure the 90s can be summarised.
White Picket Fences by Tara Taylor Quinn (2000)
Third, fourth or possibly fifth time around, and this still moves me. I'm such a soppy old thing sometimes.
The Guitar Magazine (Sept 2020 / Issue 384)
Plenty of interesting music profiled this month, and a nostalgic trip down Denmark Street. I never bought a guitar there (although I did buy a Strat in nearby Soho Soundhouse once) but I've been going there since I was a teenager and ogling the vintage instruments, and even occasionally buying a knick-knack or two. It's kind of sad to see it now.
Thank You For The Days by Mark Radcliffe (2009)
As he says, not an autobiography, but a selection of notable or interesting moments in his life. And it's not just a collection of celeb encounters (although there are a few, of course), but includes scenes from his childhood too. Entertaining and interesting, and I find his style of self-deprecation amusing rather than unconvincing. Nice bedtime reading due to its episodic nature.
She Did A Bad, Bad Thing by Stephanie Bond (2007)
Boilerplate romance: studly, alpha male and a shy, unassuming woman who comes out of her shell. Predictable but nice enough. (Side note: I borrowed this as an e-book from the library and read it on my Kobo, now returned by my mum who never used it, as far as I can tell! Very convenient.)
Wham! George & Me by Andrew Ridgeley (2019)
Interesting, if un-engaging, history from The Other One.

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