More guilty pleasures

Sometime during 1994 I bought one of my favourite albums of all time: Siamese Dream by The Smashing Pumpkins. Even today (boom-tish) that album sits proudly in my music collection and doesn’t sound dated. I can’t say the same for many other albums I own from the same time period. Superunknown from Soundgarden stands as … Continue reading More guilty pleasures

Who Reads?

Us readers know how awesome we are. And if we ever socially interacted with people everyone would realise that. We also want to know that we’re not alone. In a holistic sense. Obviously alone in the physical sense because otherwise someone would try to interrupt our reading. Sensing our need for connection to a nationwide … Continue reading Who Reads?

More Books You Haven’t Read

I have written previously (here, here) about how people like to pretend they have read something they haven’t. To summarise my take on this phenomenon: Stop it! People claim to have read books (1, 2, 3, 4) and watched movies they haven’t in order to appear more intelligent. From the new list that I will discuss … Continue reading More Books You Haven’t Read

My art is better

This week everyone was so pleased to have another chance to stick the boot into Britney Spears after the release of a recording of her singing rather terribly, allowing us to compare it to the auto-tuned album version. Britney is one of the celebrities people love to hate (South Park parodied this beautifully), and this … Continue reading My art is better

Love it or Hate it

To read genre or not to read genre: that really isn’t the question. With surprising regularity there are articles written explaining why people should be reading certain types of books. It isn’t just books, of course, but I’m trying not to be distracted…. puppy! The thing that these articles have in common is snobbery. From … Continue reading Love it or Hate it

Can you name a book?

Sounds like a simple challenge, right? Name a book, any book at all. In the long tradition of asking Americans general knowledge questions on the street and filming their glorious ignorance, I present this video from Jimmy Kimmel. Before we all laugh and point at the Americans and insult their intelligence, let’s remember that you … Continue reading Can you name a book?

The Art of Comics

Do you like comics? I’m not talking about movies based on comics. I’m not talking about comic fandom that can only be solved Utopia style. I’m talking about the art of storytelling that only the mix of art and narrative can manage. How Utopia deals with comic fans: I have previously discussed how some fail … Continue reading The Art of Comics

Literary Fiction in Crisis

Literary Fiction in Crisis was the headline lede for a series of articles in The Guardian last month. Long known as a balanced and inclusive arts publication (/sarcasm) they sought to highlight a serious problem and a solution for literary fiction. In case you haven’t heard, people aren’t reading literary fiction. Book sales are dropping. … Continue reading Literary Fiction in Crisis

Let’s bash the ‘airport’ novel

Do you like backhanded compliments? Do you like to make basic mistakes and misrepresentations of the entertainment industry? Well, you’ll love this article by Nick Cohen. The genius of bad books By Nick Cohen From James Bond to Jack Reacher, we’re suckers for an uncomplicated hero. But there is an art to the action novel, … Continue reading Let’s bash the ‘airport’ novel

That isn’t literature too

I recently reblogged an article from The Conversation about how awesome the Harry Potter books are, but how snobby (some?) literary people are about them. The vitriol and chastisement of the Harry Potter books reminds me of a time when I too was not on the Potter bandwagon. Oh how wrong I was. Stupid kid’s … Continue reading That isn’t literature too

That isn’t literature

When I think of literature I think of an older guy sporting a greying moustache, sipping a sherry, wearing a smoking jacket, seated in a library of leather-bound books in front of a simmering log fire. The guy speaks with an aristocratic English accent and expounds on the greatness of some book that other older … Continue reading That isn’t literature