Tag Archives: books

“The Chimes” by Anna Smaill

  I’ve just finished reading a rather intriguing and gripping novel called “The Chimes” by Anna Smaill, a New Zealand author. It was long listed for last year’s Booker prize, but I only came across it when I googled “dystopian … Continue reading

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From Bethnal Green to Elephant and Castle: the language of place, the roots of English music and its twisted offspring

Two rather different evenings yesterday and today. Last night I was at St John’s Church in Bethnal Green to hear three talks on the Language of Place and some folk music from the Memory Band; tonight it was the irrepressible … Continue reading

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I Was There is here!

Eight years in the making, my music book, “I Was There – A Musical Journey”, finally emerges from the printers! This edition isn’t for sale, but I’m working on a version that will be ready for selling soon. So watch … Continue reading

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Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink, by Elvis Costello

I’ve just finished reading Elvis Costello’s autobiography, “Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink”. The book got mixed reviews when it came out. Good in parts, seemed to be a theme. Some critics objected to the length, the detail, the supposed name-dropping. … Continue reading

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Peter Ackroyd’s History of England

I’ve recently finished reading the first two volumes of Peter Ackroyd’s history of England. Ackroyd, if you don’t know him, is an acclaimed novelist as well as a respected historian and biographer. His best known novel is probably “Hawksmoor”; his … Continue reading

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“I Was There” – my musical journey

  A big thing happened for me today. I finished the first draft of my music book, working title “I Was There – A Musical Journey”. The title reflects how I’ve always been there in spirit if not reality and … Continue reading

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Morrissey – the Autobiography

I’ve just finished reading Morrissey’s “Autobigraphy”.  And an excellent read it is too. It’s written in a discursive, sometimes quite poetic style. There are no chapters – just a long narrative, which is mostly chronological. There is a lot of … Continue reading

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A great read: “The Sleepwalkers” by Christopher Clark

In this year, 2014, the one hundredth anniversary of the start of the First World War, we are not short of commemorative books and films, with much more to come, I’m sure. The BBC had a brilliant three part drama, … Continue reading

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On reading “Bleak House” and “David Copperfield” by Charles Dickens

This summer just past, inspired by reading Clare Tomalins’s biography of Charles Dickens, “A Life”, I’ve read two of his magnum opuses, both around a thousand pages long. “Bleak House” and “David Copperfield”. Both were truly magnificent. The kind of … Continue reading

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Charles Dickens – an amazing life

I’ve just finished a superb biography of the 19th century British novelist, Charles Dickens, by Claire Tomalin. “Charles Dickens. A Life”.   It came out in 2011 and I got it for Christmas that year, but have only just got … Continue reading

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