Consumption

Thoughts on things I’ve experienced.

Planning the pages: 2020 edition

OK, let’s do this thing before the month gets away from me.

At least the floor’s cleaner this year.

Here’s a list of books. This will be the third year I’ve tried to plan out what I’d like to read in the coming months. Naturally, I never really get through the whole list – or even half of it. That’s kind of the point, though: this is a selection of works that I use to spur me onwards: to remind me that there’s great things out there that I want to read. (more…)

Book review: Empire of Imagination

Empire of Imagination: Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons & Dragons.Empire of Imagination: Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons & Dragons by Michael Witwer.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

I’ve started 2020 as I mean to go on: as a big ole nerd. And what better way to begin than with a biography of the uber-nerd: the one who popularised a specific type of fantasy role-playing game, which would move beyond basements into the halls of power?

Looks like he rolled low for charisma.

No better, I guess.

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2019 consumption: a look at some stuff I liked

So here we are again.

I remember not to answer the phone, though.

Once more, it’s the point of the year where I write a usually-lengthy post about the things I’ve enjoyed this year. I write a bunch of stuff about the cultural bits and pieces I’ve consumed through the year and figure out what was good and what wasn’t, in the hope of providing something of a portrait of my entertainment consumption over the past twelve months.

Previous versions are here, herehere, here, here and here if you need an introduction.
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Book review: Angelo Badalamenti’s Soundtrack from Twin Peaks

Angelo Badalamenti's Soundtrack from Twin Peaks.Angelo Badalamenti’s Soundtrack from Twin Peaks by Clare Nina Norelli.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

Obviously this is going to be a five-star review. From me? Given my love of Twin Peaks this can hardly be a surprise for anyone.

Though I’m inclined to go soft on anything vaguely Lynch-adjacent, there’s no need with Norelli’s excellent entry in the 33 1/3 series of works: it’s a solid entry, which offers thematic, technical and widescreen views of the sonic doings in that small town in the Pacific Northwest, where there’s always music in the air.

Not pictured: Douglas firs, midgets.

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Book review: 100 Bullets: Brother Lono

100 Bullets: Brother Lono.100 Bullets: Brother Lono by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

Turns out you can’t kill an enormous hard-arse that easily.

I mean, we’re talking about Lono here – assassin, arsehole and walking slab o’ beef – so it shouldn’t be surprising that he’s still alive.

We’ve all been to malls, Lono.

He wasn’t exactly comprehensively erased during the course of 100 Bullets, so it makes sense that his story didn’t conclude in the dying issues of the series.
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Book review: Exercises in Style

Exercises in Style.Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau (tr. Barbara Wright).
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

So there’s this guy.

He’s riding a bus. During the ride, he sees a bit of space-based altercation between two dudes.

Later, he sees one of the dudes receiving advice about his jacket.

This is all that happens in this book. And it happens almost one hundred times. There, I’ve saved you the effort of reading it, right?

Let’s just say there’s a little more to this book than that. (more…)

Book review: Deadman Wonderland, Vol. 7

Deadman Wonderland, Vol. 7.Deadman Wonderland, Vol. 7 by Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

So after a bit of a break – a couple of these in a row is more than enough candy popcorn for anyone – I’m back into the world of imprisoned, superpowered teens, and the creepy overlords that love [to experiment on] them.

As expected, it’s more of the same. By which I mean INCREDIBLE VIOLENCE and some creepy fan service for boob-focused shut-ins.

Subtle. 

Same same then, eh?
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Book review: The Way of Zen

The Way of Zen.The Way of Zen by Alan Watts.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

I have, of late, decided that I need to spend a little more time working on meditation, on myself. I’ve carried out a fair bit of investigation, mostly in mindfulness, but I’ve decided that I need something a little more rigorous: something I can make a more concerted effort with.

So it was that I decided to read up a little more on Zen. And what better place to start than with Alan Watts? Known for his copious writing on religions and esoterica, his The Way of Zen is considered a landmark work, something that introduced Zen Buddhism and Eastern philosophy to younger, Western audiences. (more…)

Games update? Sure, why not.

So I guess it’s time for a gaming update. I haven’t written about what I’ve been playing for a while because I just can’t seem to gather the impetus to do so.

I mean, it’s not UNrepresentative.

The next couple of weeks are going to be hectic as fuck – the house is almost completed and we’ll be moving within the next fortnight – so I guess now’s as good a time as any to cover the missing bits. So let’s do this!

(I understand if you don’t want to, frankly.)

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Book review: Why We Sleep

Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams.Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

A book on the problems that problems sleeping could have. Does that sound good to you? I mean, the author has given TED talks, been hired by Google and has done the media rounds since this has been published, all on the strength of his scholarly interest in the effects of the Land of Nod.

A book on sleep. Written by a scientist. It’s pretty lucky that it isn’t a big snooze, then, isn’t it?

Any excuse.

*pause for laughter*

All right then. (more…)