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Photo-a-day 334: Angel

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This is Alexander Millar’s lifesize sculpture of a working man, which echoes Gormley’s Angel of the North and the artist’s own previous career as a window cleaner. It’s currently to be found in the bus station at the Metrocentre.

This 1,910th post was filed under: Photo-a-day 2012, .

Weekend read: Another night to remember

The Costa Concordia disaster seems like it happened years ago to me – but it happened only back in January. Vanity Fair’s article on the sinking was the best I read, and parts of it still send a shiver down my spine today! It’s definitely worth a read.

This 1,909th post was filed under: Weekend Reads.

Photo-a-day 333: Soup

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These pouches of soup have been in the bottom of my bag for well over a year now. I bought them after a run of days when, for various reasons, I didn’t manage to get out of the office for lunch. Since I’ve bought them, it’s only happened once, which is why I still have most of them in the bottom of my bag…!

On the basis of this (admittedly rather limited) evidence, I conclude that the purchase of dried Campbell’s soup guarantees you time to eat lunch. Buy some today!

This 1,908th post was filed under: Photo-a-day 2012.

Review: A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French

This book is a terrible match for me. It’s squarely and unashamedly aimed at middle aged women, it’s full of stereotyped characters and irritating text-speak, has a plot that’s largely predictable from the blurb alone, and a “twist” that’s both obvious and pointless.

And yet… I found it really quite endearing. It’s a novel of the “mental chewing gum” variety – no thought required – but it’s a pretty good example of that kind of book. It has genuine humour and genuine warmth. While the characters were stereotypical, dull, and at times a little irritating, I did begin to care about where their stories would lead: particularly Oscar, whose part steals the show.

The format’s a sort of modern take on the epistolary form, with different characters narrating each chapter in the first-person, as though they are writing in their own diary. This works especially well when the different characters narrate the same incident from their own differing points of view – a device which is frequently played for laughs in this book, with great success. Others have become irritated by the writing styles, and particularly the text-speak style used for Dora, but I think it all fits together quite well.

A Tiny Bit Marvellous was a quick and easy read, and I enjoyed it despite myself. It isn’t by any means a book that I’d return to for a second reading, but I’d definitely consider reading Dawn French’s next novel.

A Tiny Bit Marvellous is available now from amazon.co.uk in paperback and on Kindle.

This 1,907th post was filed under: Book Reviews, .


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