February 12th, 2008



Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I'd like you to unfurl the bunting yet again, roll out the barrel, find quietselkie a daiquiri and do the Happy Dance to welcome squirrel_monkey. Who has probably already looked at this and is unfriending me as we speak...
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sad kitteh

roy scheider

You'll all have heard about this already, but I want to mention the passing of Roy Scheider, who I thought was an absolutely outstanding actor and seemed, the one time I saw him interviewed, not long after Jaws came out, to be a thoroughly decent man as well.
His connections with science fiction included 2010, which I enjoyed immensely, mostly because of his performance as Heywood Floyd, and SeaQuest DSV, which I have many happy memories of, mostly involving Stephanie Beacham.
I have a feeling Scheider was one of those actors you don't really miss until they're gone, and then you realise just how good they were.
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    morten harket

simon hoggart

I wanted to introduce you to Simon Hoggart, who is The Guardian's political sketchwriter and a journalist whose work I like very much. He has a gentle, very polite, very English sense of humour, not dissimilar to that of Miles Kington. I realise many of the situations and personalities he talks about here will be meaningless to those of you on the other side of the village pond, but he's worth looking at just for his writing, and he does tell some very entertaining stories.

In the most recent sketch here, he mentions an American site called Electoral Compass. I don't know whether you've heard of it, but I gave it a try and it turns out I'm politically closest to Obama.

We're off to Poland tomorrow, to celebrate the fiftieth wedding anniversary of Bogna's parents. I'm unlikely to find myself in a posting situation, or even a chance to check what's been going on - although you never know - so look after the villages while I'm gone. We're back next Tuesday.
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    the alan parsons project

ah, bugger, i forgot...

A short while ago I was tagged by pds_lit with this questionnaire, which apparently I have to fill in before tagging four others. I forgot all about it and I'd better do it now because the chances of my remembering it a week from now are as near to zero as makes no difference.

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?

I can't recall this ever happening.

If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?

Special Agent Pendergast from the Preston Child novels - the Terra Cotta Army exhibition at the British Museum.
Commander Adama from the new Battlestar - anywhere he wanted to go, really.
I'd quite like to take Aragorn to the Ritz for tea, just to watch his face as they explain the dress code to him.

Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realize it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?

I don't entirely understand this question, but I have a feeling Crime And Punishment may be in there somewhere.

Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?

Never done this.

As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realize when you read a review about it/go to ‘reread’ it that you haven’t? Which book?

Or this, although I have bought a book, started to read it, thought, `This is kind of familiar,' and then remembered I'd already read it.

You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why?

The Ipcress File. It's a good book.

A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?

It would have to be Polish.

A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?

Night Soldiers, by Alan Furst. Never get tired of that book.

I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)?

Can’t think of any.

That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leather-bound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favorite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.

It's a room with lots of books. And a comfy chair.

Apparently, I now have to tag four others, so look out


And the very best of British luck to you.
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    the alan parsons project