Author Archives: Timothy

fireworknewyear August 08

Librivox reaches ten thousand free audiobooks

A quick note to congratulate Librivox on its eleventh anniversary, and reaching a milestone.

Cochrane (2) July 29

Autobiography of a seaman by Lord Thomas Cochrane

Cochrane was a British captain during the Napoleonic period. His life was the raw material on which many later writers of historical fiction drew. The influence on Patrick O’Brian and C.S. Forester, for example, is marked. For readers wanting naval daring, the biography written by his son is a better read. There is a bit […]

7 July 12

Reading diary: May and June

More graphic novels than you could sensibly shake a mallet at

7 July 08

The Invisibles by Grant Morrision

Literature is meant to allow you access to the life experience of others. That’s a big claim, but if the only think you can say about a book is that it was amusing, then it wasn’t really about anything, and you could have read a better book, which both amused and attempted something deeper. The Invisibles […]

Supergod June 13

Supergod by Warren Ellis

Supergod is about the end of the world. A scientist responsible for the destruction of humanity sits, drunk and high, speaking into a communication device which appears to be a tape recorder. He recounts the arms race that led to the apocalypse. Several nations built “gods”, and these gods went to war. Each one breaks […]

letterschesterfield2 June 03

Letters to His Son on the Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman by Phillip Stanhope, Lord Chesterfield

This book came about accidentally. Lord Chesterfield was high officer in the British Government during the Eighteenth Century, and wanted his natural son to be able to follow in his footsteps, into the diplomatic service. To allow his son to overcome the disadvantage of being a bastard, Chesterfield paid for a magnificent, practical education, where the […]

smile May 24

The graphic novels of Raina Telgemeier

As she enters her teens, Raina falls over and knocks out her front teeth. Smile is a graphic novel that charts her progress through orthodontic correction, and how her (minor, temporary) cosmetic impairment alters her social life and emotional development.  I was concerned that the technology she mentions has been surpassed but, “invisible’ braces aside, it […]

book-406806_960_720 May 06

The most banned books make the best reading

The American Library Association has put out the annual list of most challenged books for the past year.  I always think these lists are excellent for finding books that are unlikely to be dull, so, let’s have a look and see what’s available in City Libraries. As is often the case, the ALA list indicates […]

file0001279225405 May 04

Reading diary – March and April 2016

Sick kids and podcast addiction have gotten in the way of reading. What a lot of graphic novels… The Annihilation Score by Charles Stross Charles Stross’s Laundry series is brilliant, a cross of Lovecraftian horror and Le Carre with a humourous twist, and but you shouldn’t start here.  The series has been chugging along since The […]

6 April 29

Saga: the book which will convince you to read graphic novels

So, for the last few years I’ve advocated strongly that all the staff in my library, and all of our Book coasters readers, should at least try the graphic novel format. I’ve talked about four-color heroes and  biographies of concentration camp survivors, surreal dark fantasy and nostalgic Americana,  Biblical interpretations and Tori Amos lyrics, books […]

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