transmission
13Jan/19Off

heaven?

Fear of Music

Garry Mulholland

The follow up to This is Uncool is Mulholland's choice of the greatest albums since Disco and Punk (the original was just singles).
This book is very similar in style to This is Uncool. It's tone is much angrier and (to me as someone who was on message boards during the poptimism/rockism thing) it's a more political than personal in some choices this time around.
I've docked it point for the off tangent ranting in some entries and for the rather bleak view takes of even the best music in the final few choices.
It's a cheap and interesting read for any pop music nerd in your life.

Rating: B

25Dec/18Off

errand?

The Belgariad

David Eddings

pawn of prophecyThis five volume series is an expertly and cynically constructed slice of epic fantasy.
Nearly every clich├ęd trope of the genre is trotted at one point or another but the sheer pace of storytelling stops it from becoming boring.
I've read this series many time but even after all this times I find myself enjoying some of the characters and rooting for the (inevitable) happy ending.
It's outdated, generic as all hell but it's one of my comfort reads.
If you're looking for a quick, easy-to-read fantasy fix then this is an acceptable option.

Rating: C+

13Dec/18Off

tanzania?

A Gift From the Comfort Food Cafe

Debbie Johnson

Single mum Katie has slowly been putting her life back together in the little Cornish village of Budbury. Her past littered with broken and dysfunctional relationships and when a possible new love interest arrives on the scene she doesn't know how to react. The fifth book in the Comfort Cafe series isn't quite up to the standards of the earlier books.

Rating: B-

10Dec/18Off

auction?

Married By Morning

Lisa Kleypas

A historical romance where a governess with a secret pass becomes involved with charges' older brother.
The two leads are enjoyable but the whole story is incredibly cliched and it took a bit of motivation to finish the whole story once the 'scandal' was revealed to be nothing the heroine could reasonably be blamed for.

Rating: C+

4Dec/18Off

mate?

Coming Home to the Comfort Food Cafe

Debbie Johnson

The third Comfort Cafe book tells the story of Zoe. Zoe has taken on the responsibility for her best friend's teenage daughter Martha after the friend dies from cancer.
Escaping to Budbury to distance her charge from the trouble she's getting into at home things take an unexpected turn when the kid's Australian father turns up to help.
Decent story and the extended cast really works.

Rating: B

3Dec/18Off

briar?

Sunshine at the Comfort Food Cafe

Debbie Johnson

The fourth Comfort Cafe book tells the story of Willow. A pink-haired young woman who is entirely devoted to the care of her Mother Lynnie who suffers from Dementia. With a little help from the community she's able to work enough to keep her head above water. Her little cleaning business brings her to an old residential home where she meets the millionaire geek, Tom, who has bought the place.
This is an enjoyable contemporary romance with a great cast of recurring characters

Rating: B

2Dec/18Off

mutant?

Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe

Debbie Johnson

This is an enjoyable contemporary romance. Part of a series centred on a village cafe in Dorset.
In this one we follow the perspective of Becca. She's a graphic designer from Manchester and she comes to Bunbury to visit her sister for Christmas.
Notoriously immune to the charms of the festive season She finds herself falling for the charms of the villagers and in particular for the handsome Irishman Sam.
I liked that Becca was less than thrilled by Christmas and that she could be spiky and difficult with people. All too many Christmas romances (both novels and films) have protagonists filled with starry-eyed joy at the prospect of all things Christmas.
I particularly liked that the characters actually talked to each other about their feelings (a pet peeve of mine is the dumb misunderstanding) but on the other hand some of the plot points were clunking and obvious.

Rating: B

8Nov/18Off

stan?

This Is Uncool

Garry Mulholland

In this collection of reviews Mulholland picks the best singles from Punk to the Milennium.
Of course this is a highly subjective thing but writes persuadingly on the worth of Pop in general and specifically on critically derided musical genres like Disco.
I vehemently disagreed with some of his opinions (mainly about your more earnest 80's rock acts) but learned enough to want to listen to a whole lot of music that I'd never even thought of checking out before.
It's super cheap right now second hand but for the sake of your wrists don't buy the hardback like I did!
If it matters I bought this because it came highly recommended by Kieron Gillen.

Rating: B+

2Oct/18Off

teal?

To All The Boys I've Loved Before

Jenny Han

I only read this one because I enjoyed the Netflix movie.
Lara Jean Covey is put in a pickle when her unsent love letters are mysteriously posted. It would be embarassing enough but one of them is to her older sister's very recently ex-boyfriend.
Almost accidentally she finds herself fake dating another letter recipient called Peter Kavinsky.
It's a pretty good young adult fake dating story but it doesn't work as well as the movie.

Rating: B

30Sep/18Off

americium?

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

Hank Green

The first novel from the younger Vlogbrother is a fast-paced & whip smart Science Fiction thriller and also a deeply considered meditation on the nature of fame - especially fame gained through a carefully constructed persona on the Internet.
Recently graduated from college struggling graphic designer April May stumbles across what she initially assumes is a temporary art project in the streets of Manhattan. On a whim April and her friend Andy put up a Youtube video about the giant robot statue and she accidentally finds herself famous & at the centre of a huge worldwide story.
The central characters are well drawn and the feel of April's world feels completely natural even when weird things happen.
It's great fun to read and also seriously thought provoking. I'm just blown away by how good it is for a debut novel.
This is another book that I part read and part listened to. The narrator of the audiobook does great work and if you're an audiobook person it's definitely work checking out.

Rating: A