Books

Category archives for Books

The Cover of My Upcoming Book

Ever since I started blogging in 2005 I’ve been talking about my Östergötland project, where I’ve been chasing the elite of the mid-to-late 1st millennium in one of Sweden’s richest agricultural provinces. This project has produced a number of journal papers, talks, radio appearances, archive reports and additions to museum collections. But there hasn’t been…

Len Fisher is an Australian physicist based in England. He’s also a foodie involved in molecular gastronomy. In 2002 he published an essay collection on the UK market, The Science of Everyday Life, which has now been re-issued for US readers. Before looking at the book’s contents I have to comment on how Fisher’s US…

What Makes High Elves High?

One of the stranger concepts in Tolkien’s writings is that of “High Elves”. Why are these elves high? It has nothing to do with drugs, though in the Tolkien Society we used to joke about them smoking lembas. And it has nothing to do with stature, though nobility and body height go together in Tolkien,…

The Perfection of the Hideous

In the car yesterday I listened to two excellent narrations of Lovecraft short stories. And I marvelled upon re-encountering the opening paragraph of “The Picture in the House” from 1919. Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places. For them are the catacombs of Ptolemais, and the carven mausolea of the nightmare countries. They climb to…

Rob Thurman Gets Her Tenses Wrong

I’m a picky reader when it comes to entertainment, and if I don’t like the first 50 pages of a novel I rarely continue. The most recent casualty of this policy is a book I was very kindly given by Birger Johansson, Rob Thurman’s The Grimrose Path (2010). Its a modern urban fantasy with angels…

Earl Birger Rules

Birger Johansson is an awesome guy. We’ve never met, but he’s one of Aard’s most prolific and witty commenters. And then, out of the blue, he suddenly tells me that he’s got some free shipping to spare on Amazon and sends me a hoard of books, a DVD and a graphic novel! THANK YOU BIRGER!…

Should I Put Together an Aard E-Book?

Here’s an idea that I’d like some reader feedback on. Would it be worthwhile to put together an EPUB e-book, about as long as a 200-page paperback, of selected blog entries of mine? I’m thinking I’d organise it in thematic sections and sort each section chronologically. And publish the thing for free on Smashwords. If…

Best Reads of 2009 and 2010

Looking for a good book? Here are my best reads in English of the past two years. 2009 The Colour of Magic. Terry Pratchett 1983. Lavishly ornate humorous fantasy. Dancing with strangers. Inga Clendinnen 2003. On contacts between the first English penal colony and the aboriginals at Sydney Cove in 1788-92. On the Origin of…

Eager For Better E-Book Deals

I’m eager to start reading more e-books. I rarely re-read books (except for work), and my friends rarely borrow paper ones from me, so I have little reason to hang on to paper books. E-books would be just the thing. But the prices aren’t any good. I either have to pay more for an e-book…

What Makes Civilization? Sid Meier?

Reviewing David Wengrow’s What Makes Civilization? is made difficult by the discrepancy between its title and its contents. Out of about 240 pp in total, only ~180 are intended to be read, the rest being comprised of bibliography, index etc. And these pages do not offer meditation on the necessary conditions or definition of civilisation.…