Books

Category archives for Books

Pickwick Afterlife

The final third of Stephen Jarvis’s upcoming novel Death and Mr Pickwick continues in the same rather kaleidoscopic fashion as before. The asides and Chinese boxes are innumerable. We never do get an important female character. The frame story is never developed much. In fact, the book only really has Robert Seymour the artist and Charles…

Sketches of Boz

In the second novel-length third of Stephen Jarvis’s hefty Death and Mr Pickwick, artist and caricaturist Robert Seymour starts in earnest to put ideas together for the Pickwick Papers. Yes, that’s right: here (as maybe in reality) it is the illustrator who comes up with the concept for the book, but being dyslexic and proud…

Google Play Books Ate My Apostrophes

Update 10 April: It pays to report problems like the one described below to Google’s customer support. Seven weeks ago I discovered the problem. One week ago I reported it. Today the problem was suddenly gone, probably because Google updated the two ebooks involved and pushed new versions of the files to my phone. I…

“Matilda”: Class Perspective

In Roald Dahl’s last book, Matilda (1988), we are invited to laugh at the main character’s parents. They hate books, love TV, dress tastelessly and subsist on microwave TV dinners. Yet only when I saw the musical at the Cambridge Theatre in London this past Tuesday, where the mother additionally practices competition ballroom dancing and both…

My Bronze Age Book Is Out

Dear Reader, it is with great pleasure that I announce the PDF publication of my fifth monograph,* In the Landscape and Between Worlds. The paper version will appear in April or May. Here’s the back-cover blurb. Bronze Age settlements and burials in the Swedish provinces around Lakes Mälaren and Hjälmaren yield few bronze objects and…

Childhood Horrors

Ken & Robin have an interesting discussion in the most recent episode of their podcast, on childhood fears. Specifically, they talk about childhood responses to horror stories and movies. I was inspired to write about my own childhood horrors. Luckily there were no actual horrors in my childhood. Nobody around me was violent or insane…

Prequel to Pickwick

Stephen Jarvis’s upcoming novel Death and Mr Pickwick is a sprawling book, in terms both of its 800-page girth and of its structure. I’ve read the first third and decided to write about it now before I forget the details. There’s a present-day frame story about the narrator writing the book, commissioned by an old…

Cover Decided For My Upcoming Book

I’ve finalised the cover of my upcoming book with designer Bitte Granlund! Cover image: detail of a rock-art panel at Hemsta in Boglösa, Uppland. An axe with its characteristic s-shaped haft, an incomplete ship and two cupmarks. According to Johan Ling, the panel’s ship types and the level above the sea indicate a date in…

Help Me Proofread My Book

Bitte Granlund of Happy Book has sent me PDF proofs for my forthcoming Bronze Age book, looking bee-you-tiful! If you’d like to help me proofread it, please email me. Everyone who finds ten errors gets a dedicated copy sent by mail. To my delight, the response to my plea has been strong. At the moment I believe I…

Best Reads of 2014

Here are my best reads in English during 2014. My total was 49 books and 14 of them were e-books. Find me at Goodreads! In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build a Perfect Language. Arika Okrent 2009. Redshirts. John Scalzi 2012. Space…