Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe

Okay, first I’ll get the gratuitous pics out of the way…

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Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts – AV edition

01. I went to ’80s Mania’ a fortnight ago – Cutting Crew, Paul Young, Wang Chung, Go West and Taylor Dayne. I know, brilliant line up and they were all realistic about their performance (I think it was Cutting Crew who began by saying “We’re only playing four songs. One you’ll think was by REO Speedwagon and one you’ll know…I guess we could just play that one three times?!” Continue reading

Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney – a literary mixtape

It’s had a squillion reviews on Goodreads; it was a re-read for me; and it’s packed with pithy one-liners – all good reasons for a literary mixtape for Jay McInerney’s eighties classic, Bright Lights, Big City.

If you haven’t already read it, get on it – it’s a brilliant snapshot of grief in its denial phase, set against eighties New York with its largesse, its cocaine, its filth, its beautiful people.

4/5 It holds up.

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Saturday Night / Cold Chisel

The night has already turned on that imperceptible pivot where two A.M. changes to six A.M. You know this moment has come and gone, but you are not yet willing to concede that you have crossed the line beyond which all is gratuitous damage and the palsy of unravelled nerve endings. Continue reading

Six Degrees of Separation – from Picnic at Hanging Rock to Love in a Cold Climate

It’s time for #6degrees. It’s unquestionably the least demanding bookish meme on the interwebs, so join in!

This month we begin with Joan Lindsay’s Picnic at Hanging Rock (thanks to Brona for the suggestion). My first link is to Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography, Born to Run. That might seem an unlikely link but I’ve seen Springsteen twice in the last few years, and both times Hanging Rock was the backdrop. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. Michael Bond will be missed but his wonderful voice will live on. Paddington is far more relevant today than some people realise – he is, after all, an immigrant, just trying to make a home in a new place.

“It’s as I said in the beginning … young [Paddington] Brown has a way of bringing people closer together in the end.” Continue reading

100 RPM – One Hundred Stories Inspired By Music by Caroline Smailes

Any book that begins with a playlist and an introduction by Nik Kershaw is obviously going on my reading list.

A quick Nik Kershaw refresher before I get into the nitty-gritty of 100 RPM – One Hundred Stories Inspired By Music, edited by Caroline Smailes –

And a little reminder of when I met him… Continue reading

The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak

Five thoughts about The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak –

01. It’s full of glorious eighties details (so beautifully accurate that I’m wondering if it’s a tiny bit autobiographical…?).

We played marathon games of Risk and Monopoly that dragged on for days and always ended with one angry loser flipping the board off the table. We argued about music and movies; we had passionate debates over who would win in a brawl: Rocky Balboa or Freddy Krueger? Bruce Springsteen or Billy Joel? Magnum P.I. or T. J. Hooker or MacGyver?*

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Top ways to make me buy a book

It’s not particularly hard to get me to buy a book. I’ve mentioned some triggers here and here. But publishers, if you’re reading, here are some moreContinue reading