Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Alrightreads: November

Last month's theme was a little exhausting, so this month I rehabilitated with worthless trash and another safe round of repeats after hitting 300.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Alrightreads: October

Being able to read what I want is way too much freedom, so I took a quick glance at some of the "books" on my "shelves," trying to identify a common enough theme that would narrow things down and force me to read things I'd never bother with if not the association, and decided to make this funny foreigners month.

More specifically/generally, that means either: (i) things written about funny foreign cultures/people, either by funny foreigners themselves or by normal people, or (ii) just anything that wasn't originally written in the English language. I read the English translations though, obviously. I'm not magic.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Alrightreads: September

Another month of repeat authors/series/themes in reverse chronological order, because why not keep imposing pointless rules on myself?

I don't like these repeat months all that much, I'd rather be reading something new. But what can you do? Next month, only titles starting with Z.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Alrightreads: August

So am I just going to keep listing every book I ever read from now on, like some kind of Art Garfunkel? Hopefully it's just for the rest of the year. Next year can get its own damn gimmick.

It's not going to quiet down any time soon, as this month my wife got an new phone for her birthday and I inherited the old one, so I now have a portable, fun-size e-reader and audiobook player (I don't know if it has other functions).

Now I can keep reading while pretending to sleep! It's like being eight again. Hopefully I won't ruin my eyes as much this time.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Gareth Shinks' Absolutely Boring, Normal Day (demo)

I was putting together a blog post of synopses for things I'm clearly never going to write – story concepts anarchically bashed out on Notepad between cryptic password reminders and dream notes, older ideas languishing sadly in the '2011 Stuff' folder – when I was astonished to see that I had actually got round to writing this one.

Or at least made a determined start on it before getting visibly ground down by the tedious task and spoiling it before quitting. I wrote this a few years ago while stranded in a Malaysian city for several weeks, for reasons that I won't bore you with because you're about to be bored out of your goddamned mind as it is.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Alrightreads: July

So I did my arbitrary 100 books. Not all were equally worthy, and my attention wandered during some of the ones I didn't really enjoy but forced myself to get through in the name of fun. It's almost like it's all just a meaningless activity to give me something to do and cut down on the TV.

So there's no point stopping now; only stopping pretending it's some kind of challenge or achievement. Will I still bother to read as much without the fear of defeat pushing me on? One way to make sure could be to actually read things I might actually like. Which probably means things are going to get even more repetitive.

So to begin/end I went on a victory lap/month, revisiting favourite authors from the year so far and giving less favourite ones a second chance. It turns out you're allowed to do that.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Dream journal: Celebrity edition

I'm struggling for themes, and since a sizeable quantity of the recent dreams I bothered to jot down after waking (I said waking) involved a famous person of some kind, let's go with that. I'll tell you now that these aren't the sexy type of celebrity dreams - they exclusively feature quite old men.

Here are 20 more interesting-only-to-me unconscious adventures.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Alrightreads: June

After spending a month at the grown-up table (with a couple of exceptions), it was back to lightweight books in both senses for June. It was much more enjoyable, taking me back to those days of dipping in and out of several library books a night. Do you remember libraries? And pavements? And weather?

It's not only so I can get through this quicker. I prefer concise stories that are less likely to leave me lost and confused when my attention wanders every couple of chapters (especially treacherous with audiobooks) and having to catch up with the Wikipedia summary that's been floating in my tabs all week.

And when there's the occasional non-fiction topic I feel like reading about, and I convince myself to turn to an authoritative book on the subject rather than click through a few quick web pages that would satisfy that curiosity in a matter of minutes, I'd rather not be bogged down with the encyclopaedia.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ranking the Dizzy games, even though it's 2015 and I'm nearly 30

When listening to audiobooks, I like to have something to keep my eyes busy without being too much of a distraction to the old noggin. I used to do this by going on day trips and walking around. More recently, I've been playing through every one of Codemasters' Dizzy adventure games on Amiga and Spectrum emulators. I am nearly 30 years old. I liked some of them better than others.