NYT Columnist David Carr

NYT columnist David Carr has written a book about his past as a junkie (The Night of the Gun). He cleaned himself up when his twin daughters came into his life. The Times has a lengthy excerpt.

Instead of relying on his spotty memory from his time as a junkie, he went out and interviewed his family, friends, enemies, and others who knew him at the time to get a more complete picture.

A former colleague interviewed Carr two years ago in Rake Magazine.

If I said I was a fat thug who beat up women and sold bad coke, would you like my story? What if instead I wrote that I was a recovered addict who obtained sole custody of my twin girls, got us off welfare and raised them by myself, even though I had a little touch of cancer? Now we’re talking. Both are equally true, but as a member of a self-interpreting species, one that fights to keep disharmony at a remove,

(via kottke)

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

I just finished reading Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. The book was published in 2004. It’s an amazing tale. It is set in an alternative 19th century Britain, where magic is making a comeback after hundreds of years of absence. Mr. Norrell is the only real magician of his age, until Jonathan Strange becomes his pupil.

The novel introduces an ensemble cast. I find that the novel is but only an introduction to a greater story. The book is set in a world where John Uskglass, the Raven King, was a king of an English kindgom hundreds of years ago. It is said that he ruled the North of England, a realm in Faerie and another realm on the far side of Hell.

Towards the end of the book, the Raven King returns. I have read that Susanna Clarke is writing another book in the same world, after what happened in this one. I wish she’d write about the Raven King and tell his story.

The book is being turned into a movie. I recommend it. It was a tantalizing read.

Porn Polaroids Stashed In Books

A man bought some second hand books from a woman. Little did he know that he was in for a surprise. More than a few were hollowed out and contained pornographic polaroids, from softcore to hardcore. (via kottke)

Stuff White People Like Book

The Stuff White People Like book is about to come up. Check out what Christian Lander has got to say on it. There is also a contest.

The System Of The World Update

I just finished reading The System of the World by Neal Stephenson. Great book, great ending. After 3000 pages of stories, I’m a bit sad that it’s over. Oh well, I’ve got Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds to read and by the time I finish that, I’ll be back in Taipei to fill up on books.

I’m too exhausted to write a review or my initial impressions. I’ll save that for later in the week.

JK Rowling And Steve Vander Ark

The billionaire author of the Harry Potter books JK Rowling has gone to court to stop Steve Vander Ark from publishing an A-Z encyclopedia on Harry Potter. She was tearful in court and says that this controversy has stopped her from writing. What a crock! She’s already made a billion. Fan fiction is a fact of life.

Jordan Crane’s Cover Art For Michael Chabon

Beautifully designed cover art by Jordan Crane for Michael Chabon’s latest book Maps and Legends.

Dumping People Because Of Their Taste In Books

An interesting yet superfluous article on how people dump others because of the books that they read. I’m currently reading Neal Stephenson’s System of the World. What does that make me? I do read Umberto Eco.

Against A Dark Background By Iain M. Banks

Against A Dark Background was the 5th novel of Scottish writer Iain M. Banks in the science-fiction genre.

This time, Banks leaves the comfort of The Culture for a whole new setting. It was published in 1993. Against a Dark Background was rewritten from an original work of 1975.

This is the 5th novel from Banks that I have read over a short period of time. Over the last week, I have also read Excession, Consider Phlebas, The Player of Games and The Algebraist.

This is a review of the science-fiction novel Against A Dark Background by Iain M. Banks. It does contain some spoilers.

Continue reading “Against A Dark Background By Iain M. Banks”