Author Archives: Timothy

September 07

Uncle Remus stories by Joel Chandler Harris

I hesitated to listen to these stories: I’d heard they were racist. I’m OK with working through that sort of material, but was looking for something lighter, so it floated down my listening stack. It’s more complicated than that though… Joel Chandler Harris was a white guy who collected stories in the antebellum South of […]

Revolution cover crop July 19

Podcasters with books

I’ve been deep diving on podcasts recently, so that means I have less to say about books than is usual at my turn.  That being said, many of my favorite podcasters have books in our collection. Let’s work through some of my favorite podcasts with tie-in books, and please add yours in the comments. Dear […]

June 09

Frostiana: a curio for history fans and Doctor Who completists

Recently I watched Thin Ice, a Doctor Who episode set during the final Thames Frost Fair. I knew a book had been printed on the ice, and wanted to track it down. Frostiana is the sort of short, thrown together work you get when someone desperately wants to cash in on a sudden burst of […]

June 02

Just a Minute…BBC Comedy

Occasionally you stumble on an odd little corner of the Library’s collection.  Buried deep in the bowels of the Borrowbox app, we have several seasons of Just a Minute, which is a radio show that the BBC have put out for more than 50 years.  Contestants need to talk for a minute, without hesitation, deviation […]

May 26

Cook’s Illustrated: a magazine that brings the STEAM into cookery

Have you heard the library is pivoting into STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) events?  As part of that push, I asked for us to get this new magazine and Make: which I reviewed earlier. When I say this to people, the connection between STEAM and Make: is pretty straightforward, but they don’t quite […]

May 24

Brood of the Witch Queen by Sax Rohmer and the train wreck that is early pulp

Can you enjoy books you know are on the wrong side of history? Recently I enjoyed the first of the Bony mysteries, even though it’s steeped so deep in 1920s Australian racism. I’ve just tried another book I knew was going to have all kinds of problems, and it’s defeated me. I’m listening to it, […]

May 22

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Solid teen scifi from the author of A Monster Calls, and the chief writer of the Doctor Who spinoff series Class.  The basic premise is that, in this world, there are two types of people, the Indie Kids, who are like the protagonists of teen supernatural TV shows, and the rest of us, who just […]

May 19

The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability

One of the corners of the media empire run by the Green Brothers on the internet is Sexplantions on YouTube, where they try to get their (mainly teen and twenties) audience past the woeful state of sex education in the United States. I was watching it the other day, and there was a video on sex […]

May 12

The Barrakee Mystery by Arthur Upfield

The Napoleon Bonaparte Series (Bony or sometimes Boney for short)  is an early set of detective novels set in Australia, with an aboriginal detective inspector. This first one was published in 1929. The audio warns before heading into them, they are prized mostly for their accurate depiction of life at that time.  What this means […]

May 05

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

This is a hard one to review: when it first came out, was it more shocking than now? I’ve not read it before, but I’ve seen enough of the hard boiled school to know that the farm girl’s mask may fall away and the gay guy is likely to be a villain.  There are twists, […]