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I have seen headlines for a lot of articles today about Elizabeth Siddall/Siddal, also known as Lizzie, Victorian artist and poet, who died much too young; I’m planning to Spotify said articles tomorrow, and will post the link here. Every one of these pieces is testament to Elizabeth not having been forgotten in the 186 years since she was born. She is one of my favourite artists, and it’s tragic that her adult life was so marked by illness and heartbreak, by addiction and depression, affecting her strength and ability to get the renown as an artist that her work deserved. You can read more about her life here. Continue Reading »

“The Colour of Magic” by Terry Pratchett (Published June 21st 2012 by Corgi (first published 1983)). Image via Goodreads.

Before I begin the review proper, some advice to fellow reviewers, but also to myself: write the review as soon as possible after finishing the book (also, don’t break your arm; that’s generally sound advice, but it has really set me back with various projects). Otherwise, you have to read the book again; admittedly, this is not necessarily a bad thing, as it definitely wasn’t in the case of Terry Pratchett’s first Discworld novel, The Colour of Magic (first published in 1983). As I discussed here, my first reading project (possibly my only reading project, depending on book availability) of the year is to read the full Discworld series, in publication order, borrowing all the books from public libraries. My progress will be recorded on this page, which irritatingly is not behaving quite as I would have it, so bear with any weirdness. Blame it on magic leaking out.

On my second reading (as part of this project) of The Colour of Magic, I read the book more slowly, and even took notes – which awoke one of the beasts in my head to whisper “Research project?” all too enticingly, but for now I’m managing to keep said beast dormant. But this gave me the opportunity to really luxuriate in Pratchett’s language – it’s so rich and witty – and to see the jokes I missed before. This is one of the joys of this book; it’s great as a quick, entertaining read, and also incredibly rewarding if you read it more slowly, contemplatively. So this post will definitely be full of spoilers, if you’ve not yet read the book. If such is the case, I’ll say goodbye to you here, but you should read The Colour of Magic as soon as you can; it really is a great introduction to a marvellous world. Continue Reading »

Life is quiet – well, sort of – then suddenly everything comes along at once. On Sunday 5 July, I finally attended Glasgow’s first Comic Con of the year, after many years of never quite managing to do so; if you missed it, there is another Comic Con at the SECC in September, on 26 and 27 September to be precise. Unfortunately, I will miss that one, as I will be visiting friends in Toronto. My partner in crime for this month’s Comic Con was the Officer of the Glasgow chapter of Geek Girl Brunch International. There will be a separate blog post on our trip, but a good time was certainly had by all. Continue Reading »

This book review has been a long time coming! I was originally due to post it as part of Perrin’s virtual book tour back in March, as organised by France Book Tours, but, as I mentioned, broke my arm really badly, right in the shoulder socket, and so have been out of commission for a good while. I’m back at work now (huzzah), albeit with limited duties, and Absolutely No Carrying of Large Piles of Books Under Any Circumstances. Continue Reading »

Trinity College, Downtown Toronto (St George) campus, Toronto University.  My photo, 19 September 2014.

Trinity College, Downtown Toronto (St George) campus, Toronto University. My photo, 19 September 2014.

Canada plays quite a part in this blog; Canada is one of the reasons for this blog’s very existence! So it is with great delight that I realised today that it is five months until my next visit. My first trip was entirely for the purpose of library research and presenting a paper at the Ninth International Conference of the Book, with the exception of a full day at Niagara Falls, but I knew that I wanted to return to see more of Toronto, and of the whole country. Continue Reading »

Today is World Poetry Day. It has been celebrated since 1999, when UNESCO established it, in part to reaffirm “our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings”. You can see the full explanation, of wich I have quoted only a small part here, at the above link.

Because I’ve been watching a lot of fairytale-themed films and television series recently, including Grimm, Once Upon a Time, and (tonight) the film Enchanted, I decided to post here, without any analysis thereof, three poems on similar themes. I have not added any pictures to this blog post either, that you may create your own pictures from the words you read. Continue Reading »

Cherbourg's Old Irish studies, 17 March 2015 (my photo).

Cherbourg’s Old Irish studies, 17 March 2015 (my photo).

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