Probably the most interesting, significant and readable book that I’ve read in the last decade or so is A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. It’s fairly hefty at 500 odd pages but even so I’ve read it throughout twice and have listened to the book on CD version also, I like to listen in bed in the early hours. When I acquired the CD’s I inadvertently loaded them into my computer which resulted in them being installed into iTunes and consequently whenever I listen to iTunes on shuffle I get an occasional chapter on some aspect of the history of science sandwidged between Dylan and whoever. I don’t mind that one bit.
He’s a fabulous humorous writer with enormous curiosity which he uses to investigate and explain basically the history of almost everything we know and how and when we discovered it.
I’ve always loved the way he begins the book, by describing us in a most unique but totally complete fashion, I just found that introduction at youtube and I’d like to share it with you; it’s well worth the listen.

Car’tune Co’mic

jesus-and-mary-twinsSo I hope everyone has seen this site before – it’s why the internet was invented according to barbryn and I:

I have nine days left to finish a massive bit of artwork for a major (the major) exhibition of the year around these parts – so what better use of my time – than knuckling down and … and .. and

….faffing about with comic strips.

Monkey gone to Hoobes

Question is, what would you merge?
Does Eeyore pick up the mic and sing Cohen?
Does Andy Capp sing AC/DC?

Give us your wish list
if it’s a bit more obscure show me some links –
‘spill pints for creativity.
Tank Girl has got to work with Kenickie lyrics, right?

Continue reading

A Rum Do….

illustration by RANTaGHOST
Dear Webcore, to wish you a very Happy 60th Birthday, here’s a long short story written to a secret formula by a team of your fellow Recommenders. We hope you don’t mind making an exception to your non-fiction habit, seeing as it’s such a special occasion. The RR writers’ workshop takes strange delight in presenting:


DV Valentino, propelled by a whirl of thoughts, turned and beckoned to his legs, urging them to please keep up. Two steady elements – his non-beckoning hand holding the flat bottle in his pocket, a little more firmly as he crossed the bridge with its view of the drop between the iron railings; and directions committed to memory as he turned right at the bridge end and the river’s murmur emerged from the receding traffic noise. The river reflected muscovado in the last drops of sunset and the early fizz of street lamps. There was a party of special things to do. Continue reading

Your literary questions…..answered!

As you may remember I asked for your questions for a literary podcast I was producing, fab responses from the Spilliverse, which I printed off and took with me to the recording. There wasn’t time as part of the actual podcast to get the presenter to pitch them in, but I took a quick few minutes to road-test them afterwards (hence the background crowd noise)  with the author Russel D McLean, who is a Dundee based crime writer, who has had four successful books out, and is working on the fifth. Russel only had a scant few minutes before he had to rush off to the next engagement so we nipped through ’em sharpish, skipping any questions that may have warranted a long answer (time constraints, soz if I skipped your question). So, here are your literary questions…..answered!!

This was lots of fun, thanks guys, hopefully it will evolve further, with your help.


Literary Help Needed!

Good day to you fair ‘Spillers – I’m hoping to pick your gigantic communal brain on literary matters. I am about to start producing literary podcasts for a client, and need your help please. The podcasts will have a basic format where an author reads and is interviewed and takes questions from an audience. All well and good and quite straight forward. What I quite like the idea of is the same five awesome/bizarre/funny/deep questions being asked of the different authors, kinda like an EOTWQ with a literary bent, which I think would add up to an interesting feature – and this is where I need your help please!

If you can put your amazing questions in the comments I will be most incredibly grateful – no such thing as a bad question! Thank you so much!

zanxeo and the gorilla’s gold

1 Always Gold Radical Face
2 Gold For The Price Of Silver (Erot Collaboration) Kings Of Convenience
3 Inside The Golden Days Of Missing You Silver Jews
4 Gold Sol Seppy
5 Gold Mine Gutted (Her Space Holiday MIx) Bright Eyes


1 Black Gold Foals
2 Cream of Gold_mix2 Astrid Swan
3 Realms Of Gold Hopewell
4 The Golden Boy Parov Stelar
5 Solid Gold The Golden Filter
1 Calypso Gold Princeton
2 Turn It Gold (Derek Allen Remix) Hestra Prynn
3 Gold In The Fire (We Have Band Remix) Monarchy
4 Gold, Tan, Peach, And Grey Bodies Of Water
5 Attack on Golden Mountain Subrosa
Continue reading

Readers ! Please recommend !

OK, so I’ve got a couple of weeks window to read whatever I want, before hitting the linguistics textbooks again.

I’m looking for some decent music related books. Anything’s OK really, biography or music related. I’ve just read a book on Joe Strummer and the Clash by Kris Needs (pretty good, conjured up the smells and sounds of the times, maybe a tad fawning), finally finished the book on Bowie that goes through every song he ever recorded (pleasingly anal and detailed, with plenty of social comment, but there seemed to be some kind of copyright restriction on quoting lyrics, as there were hardly any and loads of boring musical descriptions, which was really annoying) and “31 Songs” by Nick Hornby, which was probably the worst book on music I have ever read. It was very sad to see the man who wrote the inspirational record nerd bible “Hi-Fidelity” reduced to a moaning, middle-aged, bore, complaining about the state of modern music.

So, some recommendations would be very much appreciated, you know what kind of things I like !