Thursday, May 26, 2011

Gawd help us, another one!

Brit Jnr Minor is due on 29 November 2011.

Elif Batuman

I review Elif Batuman's fantastically entertaining book The Possessed here. If you're in the Book Club you can win a copy. I've exchanged a few emails with Elif (she's lovely and very, very smart) after getting her address from the inestimable Dave Lull, a fan of hers.

Via Elif I got in touch with her UK publicist, Henry Jeffreys, another lovely person whom I met in London last week at the inaugural Dabbler booze-up summit. Henry is now The Dabbler's wine correspondent, and Granta will be supplying monthly books for the club.

Thus the interconnections of the web and indeed, life. If you want to meet interesting people who might well change your life, you could do a lot worse than join the League of Dabblers.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Bob

I contribute to the Dabbler's compendium post marking Bob Dylan's 70th birthday.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Word spreads 2

Blogmanship is currently top of the tree in The Browser's Arts and Entertainment page.

Take that, New York Review of Books and Times Literary Supplement!

Blogmanship - the word spreads

It's very gratifying to see some budding blogmen taking enthusiastically to Noseybonk's recommended ploys. See these highly amusing comment threads at Metafilter and Reddit.

The fifth and final extract, including Hostmanship and Blogwomanship, was on Friday's Dabbler. Plenty more unserialised material in the book proper.

Buy it today you tightfisted swines! If you really do hate eBooks, you can always follow Recusant's excellent eLuddite example: buy the PDF for a mere £2, print it, staple it together to form a sort of pamphlet and read it on the Tube (or bus or train etc).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blogmanship 4 - Advanced techniques...

...including Moral Indignationship, Above-the-fray play and Wriggling Out of Arguments you have Clearly Lost, in today's Blogmanship extract on The Dabbler.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

Blogmanship - buy it now!

All this week The Dabbler is serialising Noseybonk's hilarious and essential new handbook Blogmanship – Or, How To Win Arguments On The Internet Without Really Knowing What You Are Talking About.

Part 1 is here.

You can buy the complete eBook for just £2 as a PDF direct from The Dabbler, or as an eBook from or for £2.81 (or $3.99).


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ulysses and lonely cities

Over at the Dabbler I 'review' James Joyce's Ulysses, if you can believe such a thing. Some very good comments trail it.

And today's Lazy Sunday is about feeling miserable in New York, Paris and London.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Monday, May 09, 2011

The blowy instruments

I'm on Lazy Sunday duties at the big D - horns in pop, including Dexys, Love, The Specials and Radiohead ft Humphrey Lyttelton.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Wasting my vote

Funnily enough, I voted ‘Yes’ to AV in the end - as predicted a last-minute decision, and largely because the other vote – the council election – gave me a clear indication of the particular failings of FPTP.

Bristol St George West, not a salubrious area, is a straight fight between Lib Dems and Labour. I would naturally want to vote Conservative, but it’s a waste of time. Therefore I voted for the Lib Dems, purely as a tactical vote against Labour.

What I really wanted to do was put Conservative as my first choice, to indicate my preference, but Lib Dem second, so that I can say “Assuming my guy doesn’t win, I’d rather the Liberal got in than the Labour man”.

Which AV would have allowed me to do.

In the end Labour got in to Bristol St George West, and doubtless the AV vote will be No, which doesn’t concern me unduly.

I didn’t ‘waste’ my vote on the Lib Dem candidate – I just voted for the losing side. But I was forced to vote for him despite not wanting him, because going for the Tory really would have been wasting my vote.

The Shadow Line

Over at The Dabbler I review The Shadow Line (BBC 2). Not glowingly, it must be said.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Never meet your idol

Via Jon Hotten I find this flesh-crawlingly weird Huffpo article by one Steve Mariotti, about his encounters with his intellectual idol Ayn Rand.

After the first meeting:

This incident cut me deeply. I was so scarred by the rejection that I couldn't even tell anyone about it for 15 years.

And after the third:

It was like someone had taken a hot knife to my stomach...This final communication hurt so much that I have never talked about it until now.

You really have to read the whole thing to believe it.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


Also at the Big D, I contribute to the Dabbler Book Club's review of Germania by Simon Winder.

Germania is a book that pulls off the remarkable trick of being simultaneously very entertaining and very boring. Weird.

The Book Club is doing a novel next, and we've also got publishers queuing up to give away freebies, prize draws etc, so make sure you join today - it's free.

Weekendus Mirabilis

Lots of things to be patriotically proud about this weekend. Our gutter press is not one of them but Kate is – a sensible pretty English upper middle-class girl who, having been going out with a Prince for a decade, bravely enters her gilded, paparazzi-patrolled prison with eyes open.

So, a cynicism-defyingly joyful Royal Wedding, Manchester United lose and they kill Osama bin Laden; yes, I’d call that a pretty good weekend.

But it’s back to work now, a mega-Tuesday, the hangovers have accumulated and, to put the tin lid on it, it’s my birthday.

Cheer yourself up over at The Dabbler with my selection of four songs that will make you LOL.