the best bookshelf in the world ever?


read more about it here


Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged, Making Evil Look Innocent

i was really interested to hear this week that melissa anelli from pottercast finally managed to interview the infamous laura mallory. melissa is a smart lady and i can’t wait to read this interview, though sadly i am going to have to wait for the book she is writing to see it. as much as i enjoy a good laura mallory dissing i am particularly intrigued by this because i know that, despite being the webmistress of one of the two biggest potter fansites (the other being mugglenet, of course) and one of the most prominant figures in the hp fandom, she will aproach it with objectivty and maturity rather than just screaming fangirl bile.

it was really fascinating… really illuminating and i feel i can write fairly about her now. i have a grudging respect for her conviction… (but) it was frustrating – every time you get into a really heated arguement you hit up against the wall of belief.. when someone says ‘this is what i believe’ there is nothing you can say to that…

harry potter the musical?

from yahoo news:

Theatre casting directors are searching for the next Harry Potter to star in a musical based on the smash-hit books.

Producers are already working on a script for an all-singing, all-dancing show of J.K. Rowling’s stories to open at London’s West End next year.

Now a search is on for a young boy to take over the role from Daniel Radcliffe who played the wizard Potter on screen as well as a big-name composer to write the music for the Theatreland show.

A theatre insider says, “The musical has the potential to be huge. You are already off to a head start with the most popular book of recent times. Everyone loves the characters and the mythical world Rowling has invented.

“The difficulty is condensing the seven books into a manageable show. They are exploring various ideas. One possibility is to tell the whole story. Another is to just take a single plot.

“The plan is for spectacular flying scenes, live Quidditch and big showdowns with Voldermort.”

speaking as someone who loves musicals and potter i’m less thrilled than you’d imagine. there are so many potential pitfalls in doing this that it could quite easily be completely awful. not least because i’m not convinced they would make a good hash of the score. most recent musicals (taboo, wicked) no matter how spectacular seem to have really rubbish songs.
and all singing all dancing kids are a hard thing to make lovable.

i wonder if alan parker is free?

…and i’ve finished it.

The Deathly Hallows by ~annatar86 on deviantART

the inevitable and legnthy deathly hallows review

the safe-to-read bit:

firstly let me say that i am bereft it is over, but happy and satisfied with it’s conclusion. for me the book is a 9.5/10 and didn’t let me down at all. it is grim, dark and in places quite cold but it is at it’s core the logical conclusion of the series and it’s twin themes: love and death. the overall feel is slow and arduous but it is a grief-ridden and tiring build up that leads to an anthemic climax.

my full review is over here to spare the wary. i want that page to be spoiler-friendly – so stay away unless you’re done/don’t mind reading about MAJOR plot points. it’s spoilerific folks!

edit: aapologies, comments are now enabled on the page

Adults react to teenagers as they do to dogs � you know, two are cute, five are scary and twenty a riot

i’m delighted to read that scott westerfield has written a fourth book in the uglies trilogy called ‘extras’. a fourth book in a trilogy? how very douglas adams i hear you say… well in mr westerfield’s own words

Uglies, Pretties, and Specials are one story, the coming of age of Tally Youngblood. Or, as I half-jokingly refer to it, �The Making of an Eco-Terrorist!� And that story is done.

So what�s Extras? Is it just . . . extra?

Well, no. It�s not just extra, it�s more.

Warning: Mild spoilers begin here, and they�re non-mild if you haven�t read Specials yet. (highlight to read)

Extras is set a couple of years after the �mind-rain,� a few earth-shattering months in which the whole world woke up. The cure has spread from city to city, and the pretty regime that kept humanity in a state of bubbleheadedness has ended. Boundless human creativity, new technologies, and old dangers* have been unleashed upon the world.

Culture is splintering, the cities becoming radically different from each other as each makes its own way into this strange and unpredictable future . . .

It�s Diego times a planet, and it�s a pretty interesting time to be fifteen.

That�s how old my protagonist is. That�s right, Tally Youngblood is not the viewpoint character of Extras! Deal with it. Sometimes one needs new fish to fry.

But will Tally be making a guest appearance? Well, it�s not like she retired at the end of Specials. But maybe I should let her answer:

“Be careful with the world, or the next time we meet, it might get ugly.”

oooooh, so exciting. unfortunately i’ll have to wait until october to read it – but i’m sure it will be worth the anticipation.

my review of ‘pretties’

Don’t hold your breath but the pretty things are going to hell

i just finished reading the ‘young adult’ novel ‘pretties’ by scott westerfeld:

“But you’re….”
“Pretty? Think again” She smiled. “I’m Tally Youngblood. My mind is very ugly. And i’m taking your car”

‘pretties’ is actually the second part of a trilogy of books starting with uglies which i’m embarassed to say i hadn’t actualy read before i started ‘pretties’. i was aware that it was a sequel but i was given it by a friend and decided to have a bash at it anyway. i’m sure that there are several things i missed due to this however the fact that the central character, tally, is amesiac herself at the start of the book allowed me to discover a lot of the backstory along with her. that said, whilst it didn’t hamper my enjoyment i’m sure it would be advisable to read them sequentialy.
without giving too much away (it’s that kind of a book) ‘pretties’ deals with a sort of dystopian future where everyone is made ‘pretty’ at the age of sixteen. this involves some rather incredibly plastic surgery as well as increased improvements in health and lifespan. however, it soon becomes apparant that ‘prettieness’ is more than just skin deep…

i really loved the way this book was written. it is funny, emotionaly engaging and a real page turner. the ‘pretty’ characters talk in a kind of invented valley girl speak (‘that is so pretty-making’, feeling ‘totally bubbly’ etc..) which as the book progresses becomes more and more a deliberate and subverted ‘language’. because the novel has a deceptively light feel to it i thought that it could probably be equally enjoyed by the gossip girl types as well as those who allready prefer more chilling thrillers.
there is a lot of amazing visual imagery in the book (tatoos that spin in accordance with your heart rate, gem stone eye decals, hot air balloons, wardrobes that talk) and it paints a very vivd mental picture for you. because of this i also couldn’t help thinking it has the potential to make a wonderful film or tv series.
dealing predominantly with issues of conformity, social pressure, self, friendship and romance ‘pretties’ retains an overall fun feeling whilst having some unexpectadly dark pockets.
i will definately be reading the third book ‘specials’ very shortly and will then, i guess, double back and read ‘uglies’.
highly reccomended.


i have now read all three and they were all just as good, specials being *perhaps* my favorite. great series.

May the love hidden deep inside your heart find the love waiting in your dreams

so, i finally got my filthy little mitts on dirty blonde today. i am so excited i can hardly speak. i have been stroking the cover most of today. i haven’t let myself do anything more than peek yet though, i’m saving it for monday when i can sit down with a coffee and cake and enjoy it cover to cover…


check out this lovely microsite by moonwashedrose

Your mother’s cunt! Your mother’s cunt!

a few reviews i’ve been meaning to catch up on:

The Departed Directed by Martin Scorsese

i loved it. i loved it. i loved it. i cannot tell you how much i loved this film. perfectly cast, intelligent, pacey, tight, with a clever, twisty plot and oh my god so funny dialogue. i had been warned about how violent it is but no-one had warned me that i would piss myself laughing every time mark whalberg opened his mouth. i have nothing bad to say about this movie – even leonardo was on top form. i can’t wait to see it again.

oh, and it’s worth it’s ticket price for jack’s rat impression alone…


Brand Failures: The Truth About the 100 Biggest Branding Mistakes of All Time
by Matt Haig

i read this on holiday and found it both fascinating and strangely full of guilty schadenfreude pleasures. it covers the various aspects of why branding fails either over time or at the initial launch stage and is crammed full of case studies ranging from the sublime (earring magic ken) to the ridiculous (harley davidson perfume) which are all put through a grisly – if often head-smackingly obvious – post mortem. a surprisingly good holiday beach-read.


Nothing But Blue Skies
by Tom Holt

every review or quote i have read of tom holt has compared him to douglas adams. i am a HUGE douglas adams fan. the combination of thee two factors has long both put me off reading holt and piqued my curiosity. so finally i gave him a bash…
before i go any further let me state that it doesn’t come close to the deceptively genial english wit that adams is nothing short of a genius at however this was by no means a bad book. the adams reference points are all obvious enough – bewildered everyman, surreal and unexpected happenings, much conversation about the british weather. i don’t recall a lot of tea though…
it’s a gently humorous novel intersperced with moments of brilliance such as where he posits that the ‘great british empire’ was purely born out of a desire to get away from the rain to somewhere warmer, like india. and that the empire only collapsed due to the invention of things like duvets and central heating.
i will probably read some of his other books, but it was definately a pleasant amble rather than a must-read page turner.

An autobiography is an obituary in serial form with the last installment missing

i’m a big reader of both biographies and autobiographies – though my favourites have often been by ‘normal’ people like edwin wintle, augusten burroughs, alexandra fuller and lauren slater. however despite the volumous amounts of jordan/jodi/geri drivel the celebrity world has thrown up many gems too (errol flynn, john lydon and the recent chris heath biography of robbie williams being notable examples) so i was particularly excited to hear that adam ant was publishing his memoirs:

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sadly the best thing i have to say about ‘stand and deliver’ (what else?) is that it is a feat of epic proportions to make that interesting a life sound quite so fucking dull. it is worth pointing out that i love adam (with or without ants) but found myself skim reading whole chunks of this book. punk, souxie soux, pop fame, heather graham, manic depression – there is a lot of material there – and yet i found it sludgy, self indulgent and boring. sometimes a little ‘ghost’ writing is a good thing. i’ve always credited him as a bright man, and i still think he is, but he is surely not a very self aware one.

still, how about a bit of classic antmagic to help us all forget?

the announcment of billie piper’s autobiography on the other hand was, ironically, a much more take it or leave it affair for me:


jacketed with a kerry katona identikit cover and a given the, frankly awful, title ‘growing pains’ i approached with trepidation. generally those under 30 should on no account publish autobiographies but this was, surprisingly, one of the notable exceptions. billie herself says in the book that she wanted to call it ‘dog years’ (surely a better title?) for this exact reason but that her publisher nixed the idea.
my inclanation to read this in the first place stemmed partly from loving her as rose but also having seen her interviewed in real life and thinking she seemed like a really genuine lass, a feeling that has only been increased having read this. it is in no way a muck raker – other than her own muck – and she is very generous with those she writes about, richie neville and chris evans included. she is very even in discussing her problems with her parents attributing these issues squarely with herself as well as her family – though surely they must take a little of the blame for allowing a 14 year old girl to go on the road with only a middle aged male manager as gaurdian?
she offers a very different perspective on her pop carear (brutal honesty about the quality of the material and the limits of her vocal talent) and her marriage (not in fact the worst thing that ever happened to her) from the recieved media wisdom and having grown up split between the weird polar opposites of a scholarship place at the infamous sylvia young’s midweek and ‘bucket bongs’ in a field in swindon at the weekend aknowledges those aspects of her life that are celebrity cliche (eating disorders, depression, exhaustion) with a ballsy, unself-pitying candour that is beyond rare in celeb memoir.
don’t get me wrong, it’s not a literary masterpiece but it’s well worth a read and will only serve to endear you to her.

a few choice quotes…

on teenage fashion:

the look at the time was all about scraped back hair and scrunchies, from which carefully selected strands would hang like tampon strings down the side of your face.

on anorexia:

the only tip you’ll get out of me is this: the tissue thing was bollocks – it didn’t work. not only was i still hungry, i nearly chocked on a ball of tissue when it momentarily got stuck in my throat. that would have been a nice way to go.

on her ‘casual’ look:

work-horse to domestic bliss. dolly bird to something the cat dragged in.

‘weak’ voice or not, ‘honey to the bee’ is a very underrated piece of pop lovlieness…

Crawling round the alleys in camden town

i just finished reading ‘The Last Party: Britpop, Blair and the Demise of English Rock’ by John Harris which parallells the acsension of britpop, the labour party and the ‘rebranding of britain’ in the latter half of the nineties. it was a far more interesting and in-depth read than i was expecting with bands like elastica and menswe@r getting a surprising amount of coverage alongside the blur vs oasis story. my beloved suede also got a very fair hand, aknowledged as part-instigators of the scene that they have long since dissowned. particularly intreresting was the thread running through it tracing attitudes to the union jack – from morrissey being lambasted for wearing one on stage in the early nineties through the flag waving of noelrock to the infamous brit awards geri moment. there was also a decent amount of attention given to the political side of what is essentialy a music book – allthough it did make a particularly ill-timed and dispiriting read what with the last gasps of the ‘cool britania’ dream crumbling around us as we speak…

definately worth a read.