Art Kavanagh

Talk about books: a fortnightly email about things I’ve read

26-Nov-2022:
Journalism is about asking questions and refusing to accept whatever the currently accepted narrative is, whether it’s about politics or celebrities. It is not …

26-Nov-2022:
This made me laugh: Morden You Know: jazz standards within the M25

26-Nov-2022:
For some, success is a billion-dollar exit, for others success is a profitable business which employs a dozen people. For some, failure is bankruptcy, for …

24-Nov-2022:
Anne Enright pays tribute to Anthony Cronin in the Irish Times. Reading Dead as Doornails 📖 while I was living outside Ireland in the early 90s had a strong …

23-Nov-2022:
Now reading Wuthering Heights 📚 I’m rereading Emily Brontë’s only novel. Two years ago, in my third post in Talk about books, I wrote about reading it with …

23-Nov-2022:
The toast alarm has been chirping at me all day: it seems that a battery needs to be replaced. But the alarm is mains powered; how can it need a battery as …

22-Nov-2022:
I’ve just finished reading Robert Galbraith, Troubled Blood 📚 I often felt while in the middle of it that at 1000 pages it’s too long, with too many characters …

19-Nov-2022:
More than 14 years (can it really be?) after his death, a previously unreleased solo piano album by Esbjörn Svensson has just come out! How Ted Gioia joined the …

19-Nov-2022:
A few days ago I was thinking of changing the way I insert descriptons (for Twitter tags etc) into longer posts with titles. The way I’m doing it now is a bit …

18-Nov-2022:
I’ve been hand-grinding my coffee for the past 18 months or so. It’s a bit of a chore, with the result that I’ve increasingly been getting around to drinking my …

18-Nov-2022:
The first time I bought a HP LaserJet printer (July 2001) I had to call customer support because I was trying to put the toner cartridge in upside down. The …

17-Nov-2022:
My 52nd post in Talk about books, ending its second year, discusses a trilogy whose plot threads range from the implausible but entirely possible, through the …

17-Nov-2022: An almost insignificant figure: Jonathan Holt’s Carnivia trilogy
Towards the end of the first book in Jonathan Holt’s Carnivia trilogy, a US mercenary who had fought in the Bosnian war of the 1990s whispers into the ear of …

16-Nov-2022:
Can’t happen too soon: Musk testifies he will ‘reduce’ time at Twitter and eventually hand over reins

15-Nov-2022:
I’m thinking about changing the way I do the descriptions for my longer posts (the Talk about books “newsletter” ones). The description is used in the Twitter …

14-Nov-2022:
OK, that makes it 2 days in a row I’ve missed doing my mbnov post. My internal clock, never a good timekeeper, seems to have gone haywire recently. I couldn’t …

13-Nov-2022:
My first thought when I woke up this morning was that I hadn’t posted anything for mbnov yesterday. It’s one of several things I meant to do but let slide. I’m …

12-Nov-2022:
Who could possibly have predicted this? Twitter blue check unavailable after impostor accounts erupt on platform

11-Nov-2022:
In this quirky and fascinating post about “xenoglossy”, Adam Roberts manages to display a cool-headed scepticism about some of the more outlandish suggested …

11-Nov-2022:
When the Tim Westwood scandal broke, people in the book world that I follow on Twitter were asking how soon they could expect the similar truth about a …

11-Nov-2022:
Musk will almost certainly sell Twitter at an eye-watering loss — a tax loss for Tesla. In the best case, he’ll do it soon, giving someone else the opportunity …

10-Nov-2022:
Andrew Marvell’s father, also Andrew, was a minister of religion (officially “lecturer”) at Holy Trinity Church, Hull. The poet said his father had been “a …

09-Nov-2022:
In theory, this conversation could continue until the end of time. Almost certainly it won’t, but it will feel like it is doing so. Infinite conversation …

08-Nov-2022:
I don’t wilfully take up contarian positions in opposition to the consensus view (on films, for example, such as The Matrix 🍿). It just seems to happen that way …

07-Nov-2022:
In a series of 3 posts in Talk about books, under the umbrella heading “Empson’s insightful errors”, I argued that late in life critic William Empson expressed …

06-Nov-2022:
I’m rereading Jonathan Holt’s The Abomination (Carnivia Trilogy Book 1) after a few years and finding it even more enjoyable than I remembered. Holt is another …

06-Nov-2022:
Rosalie Colie’s 📖‘My Ecchoing Song’: Andrew Marvell’s Poetry of Criticism (1970) describes how Marvell alluded to other poets in a critical way. It’s one of the …

05-Nov-2022:
In line with Hamish McKenzie’s claim that Substack is not part of “the newsletter economy”, I’ve stopped describing Talk about books (originated on Substack but …

05-Nov-2022:
I hate the English lyrics to “My Way” (originally «Comme d’habitude»). I mean, “And saw it through without exemption”! What kind of line is that, and how could …

04-Nov-2022:
I’m very fond of the word admiration because it comes from the Latin for “wondering at” and I like the idea of wonder. I associate it with “marvel” and …

04-Nov-2022:
My latest post in Talk about books is about The Changeling by Middleton and Rowley, written in 1622. I don’t think I’d noticed before that it’s not a revenge …

04-Nov-2022: Thomas Middleton and William Rowley, The Changeling
The last time, I wrote about two novels by Ian McEwan and said I said I might post some more on my personal site about the narrative trick that McEwan …

03-Nov-2022:
On this side of the Atlantic, license with an “s” is a verb, while the noun has a second “c”. At least I think that’s how it works, it’s a very long time since …

02-Nov-2022:
Today I’m writing about a play that was first performed in the 1620s. It’s The Changeling by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley, a feast of lechery and …

01-Nov-2022:
Judge Florence Pan has ruled against the merger of Simon & Schuster with Penguin Random House. I’m pretty sure this is the right decision but the rationale …

01-Nov-2022:
I haven’t yet managed to figure out whether I should take part in the November MB challenge, so I’ll try to keep my options open for the time being.

31-Oct-2022:
Noah Smith has a timely roundup of his previous posts about Twitter. His opinion as to what needs to be fixed hasn’t changed much: get rid of the Quote Tweet …

30-Oct-2022:
I just posted on my own site an addendum to last week’s Talk about books post about Ian McEwan’s spy fiction: I wanted to write specifically about the “trick” …

30-Oct-2022:
It’s striking how small a role the Handmaids play in The Testaments 📖. There are 3 narrators, one an Aunt (who wears brown). The second is training to become an …

29-Oct-2022:
Just finished reading Margaret Atwood, The Testaments 📚 I enjoyed this even more than The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s a longer, more complex story with three …

29-Oct-2022:
I’m not going to quit Twitter in haste, even though I dread what the new boss is going to do with it. Maybe he’ll get bored and quickly sell it off cheaply to …

28-Oct-2022:
Science fiction author and Professor of nineteenth-century literature Adam Roberts is one of the people I’ll miss following if I have to delete my Twitter …

28-Oct-2022:
One thing is worse than Twitter now being the private property of a multi-billionaire tech bro: people I follow keep retweeting comments about him. I might have …

28-Oct-2022:
The spooks have been getting their own back [on Suella Braverman]. Is that a form of poetic justice — or a dangerous interference with the democratic process? …

28-Oct-2022:
The price of coffee has gone up since the last time I ordered, so I had to buy just 3 Kg to qualify for free delivery this time instead of 4 Kg as had always …

25-Oct-2022:
Filled in a form online to move my electricity account from the old apartment. At the end, it said it couldn’t complete the switch and I should phone. There’s a …

24-Oct-2022:
I’ve started to read Margaret Atwood, The Testaments 📚 at last. I borrowed the hardback from my sister months ago. It’s about time I got around to it 😎

24-Oct-2022:
Got it on my last chance 😎 🔙🔙🟥🟩 Stupid 297 2/2/2

24-Oct-2022:
I always had a picture of the life I wanted says FT reviewer Janan Ganesh. I never had (not having pictures of anything). I had assumed that I was unusual in …

23-Oct-2022:
My latest Talk about books post is about Ian McEwan’s two spy novels, The Innocent (1990) and Sweet Tooth (2012) 📖 But I seem to have broken the archive page: …

23-Oct-2022: Sweet and Innocent: Spy stories by Ian McEwan
This is my third time to discuss spy fiction in Talk about books. The earlier posts were about Graham Greene’s and John le Carré’s reluctant defectors and Kate …

23-Oct-2022:
Virago founder Carmen Callil remembered by her friend Rachel Cooke: ‘Of course she was difficult’

21-Oct-2022:
How do I end a call on an iPhone when the red button isn’t visible and only the green one is showing? I’ve been restarting the phone but there must be an easier …

16-Oct-2022:
For the past few days Sonny Condell’s “Down in the City” 🎶 has been inexplicably (till now) running around my head repeatedly. It’s the line “I’m up on the top …

13-Oct-2022:
The trend that Substack is part of is not a newsletter trend says Hamish McKenzie. And, a little earlier The term ‘newsletter’ was just a rhetorical device … …

12-Oct-2022:
So RTÉ imposes conditions for interviewing Shane Ross about his book on Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald — certain topics must not be mentioned — and then …

12-Oct-2022:
The web is already drowning in articles that read as if they were generated by machines trained to produce bland uniformity. Anybody deliberately setting out to …

11-Oct-2022:
I’m about to abandon Amy Bloom’s White Houses. It’s not dreadful, but I’m impatient to get on to something else. The description of Hick’s mother’s death was …

11-Oct-2022:
Zuck: Twitter is the clown car that fell into a goldmine. Musk: A clown car? I should be driving that!

10-Oct-2022:
I’ve started to read Amy Bloom, White Houses, a novel based on the long relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok (“Hick”). I’m finding it …

10-Oct-2022:
London Jazz News’s Mothers in Jazz series has now reached Icelandic pianist Sunna Gunnlaugs who has a new trio album coming out soon 🎹 🎶

09-Oct-2022:
Four days late (sorry), my latest Talk about books newsletter post is about Sophie Hannah’s detective fiction series centred on Spilling CID. Sophie Hannah, the …

09-Oct-2022: Sophie Hannah, the Simon Waterhouse/Charlie Zailer series
Sophie Hannah is the author chosen by Agatha Christie’s heirs to write an authorized continuation to the Hercule Poirot series. That was The Monogram Murders …

08-Oct-2022:
🔙🔙🟥🟩 Stupid 281 2/2/2 Tricky but I got there in the (very) end. @cdevroe

07-Oct-2022:
Helen Lewis is back, having spent most of September finishing a book. The Bluestocking vol 251

05-Oct-2022: Talk about books newsletter: another slight delay, I’m afraid
I had intended to write today about four of the 11 novels in Sophie Hannah’s Simon and Charlie series, namely A Room Swept White (2010), Kind of Cruel (2012), …

02-Oct-2022:
His own fortune secure, he’s now decided that it’s best for the world if writers, publishers, agents, and booksellers can’t make a living. Ken Whyte on …

24-Sep-2022:
Two of my favourite recorded performances of “’Round Midnight” are those by Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden (Last Dance) and Jürgen Friedrich (Pollock). But …

24-Sep-2022:
Incidentally, Naoise is my middle name. Until recently it was invariably considered a boy’s name. I’ve no objection to Irish parents appropriating traditionally …

24-Sep-2022:
I finished reading Naoise Dolan’s Exciting Times 📚last night, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s essentially a love story, though an unusually nuanced and …

22-Sep-2022:
Here’s an entertaining and informative speculation by Noah Smith about the ways in which artificial intelligence may resemble Lovecraftian horror.

21-Sep-2022:
Present discontinuous: Tense and tension in J M Coetzee’s Disgrace 📖 Today’s issue of Talk about books newsletter is about J M Coetzee’s 1999 novel, written …

21-Sep-2022:
I should have remembered to edit the email version of today’s newsletter to remove the Twitter embed. It works fine in the web post, but in the email the next 3 …

21-Sep-2022: Present discontinuous: Tense and tension in J M Coetzee’s Disgrace (1999)
Two weeks ago I wrote about two short stories by Louise Nealon and said that I’d post separately about her first novel, Snowflake. That post about the novel is …

18-Sep-2022:
I was enthusiastic about Kavanagh’s poetry while at school and afterwards, until I read Anthony Cronin’s Dead as Doornails which turned me mildly ambivalent. I …

18-Sep-2022:
It took me a whole week to finish rereading Shame (1983) though it’s much shorter than most of Rushdie’s novels. I suspected I’d been unfair to it previously or …

18-Sep-2022:
I just posted this on my personal site about Louise Nealon’s novel, Snowflake 📖. It’s kind of a supplement to my most recent newsletter issue, about 2 of her …

17-Sep-2022:
I only just found out that this live recording exists of Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke playing as a duo in Marciac. I was actually in Marciac that year (2014) …

16-Sep-2022:
Nobody is so awful that they don’t have any redeeming qualities. You can say what you like about Thérèse Coffey but at least she’s opposed to the Oxford comma 😜

15-Sep-2022:
Shorter words are harder. The more letters there are the less the likelihood that there will be several possible answers 🔙🟥🟥 Stupid 258 2/1/2 Stupid word game — …

10-Sep-2022:
I’m now rereading Salman Rushdie’s Shame (1983) for the first time since the 1980s or early 90s. I want to write eventually about it, The Satanic Verses, …

10-Sep-2022:
Much as I love the title’s echo the work of a different Andrew M, I haven’t yet made up my mind to read Instant Fires, reviewed here in the Irish Times. I …

08-Sep-2022:
This issue of Talk about books (newsletter) is a bit later and shorter than expected. I’d intended to write about the novel Snowflake as well as two short …

08-Sep-2022: Two short stories by Louise Nealon, author of the novel Snowflake
Author’s first published story wins prestigious prize, 2017 In 2017, Louise Nealon’s first published short story won the Seán Ó Faoláin prize, which was judged …

06-Sep-2022:
Oh, I didn’t notice till after I posted the link that that interview is available as audio! I just read it in the feed reader without seeing the audio link. I …

06-Sep-2022:
Here’s a fascinating interview by Henry Oliver (who is writing about late starters) with economist Noah Smith. It’s largely about motivation, a topic that I’ve …

01-Sep-2022:
I’ve just finished reading Daphne du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel. I think it may be the first thing by du Maurier I’ve read but it won’t be the last by any …

01-Sep-2022:
Palin into insignificance (again): Sarah Palin loses Alaska special election to Democrat Mary Peltola

31-Aug-2022:
My old bookshelf page had notes or comments for many of the books I had read, from a JSON data template (to which I added the comments by hand as I finished the …

30-Aug-2022:
I stopped updating my bookshelves at the beginning of July. There’s something about tracking my reading that feels wrong to me. But @Manton’s improvements to …

28-Aug-2022:
Finished rereading Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency for the first time in more than 30 years. Hilarious and clever. I don’t remember Adams’s second Dirk …

28-Aug-2022:
Useful search results from the library’s ereading app.

24-Aug-2022:
It’s crime fiction yet again in this issue of my newsletter, Talk about books. I’ve written about The Good Turn, the third book in Dervla McTiernan’s Galway-set …

24-Aug-2022: “People I should trust”: Dervla McTiernan, The Good Turn (2020)
In the second issue of this newsletter, which I sent out in December 2020, I wrote about the first two books in Dervla McTiernan’s crime fiction series, The …

24-Aug-2022:
How authorship of “a delightfully diverse set of papers” was ascribed to JC Shakespeare, who may be related to TA Shakespeare: Terence Eden

23-Aug-2022:
Often when people quote poetry on Substack they enclose it in <pre> tags. This doesn’t look great, particularly in an RSS reader. I suggest putting verse …

17-Aug-2022:
Rather incongruously, this powerful piece, about how highly experienced experts can still make dangerous errors, made me want to listen to some Esbjörn …

14-Aug-2022:
Anne Enright’s introduction to Nuala O’Faolain’s second volume of memoir, Almost There (following Are You Somebody? in 1996) 📚

13-Aug-2022:
I’m playing this piece of shit Yamaha electric grand piano … It’s ugly, but it was loud and it was clear and it was in tune. But you can hear it sounds funny, …

13-Aug-2022:
My upstairs neighbour got a hardback copy of The Satanic Verses 📖 as a Christmas present in 1988 and he gave me a loan of it, so I had read it before the …

13-Aug-2022:
I described Midnight’s Children as “the most important English-language novel of the second half of the twentieth century”. I believe this to be true, though of …

10-Aug-2022:
In the latest issue of my newsletter, Talk about books, I discuss Prison and prisoners in the crime novels of Peter Abrahams, specifically Delusion, Lights Out, …

10-Aug-2022: Fit the crime: Prison and prisoners in the crime novels of Peter Abrahams
Delusion Towards the end of last year, I wrote in this newsletter about Peter Abrahams’s impaired heroes, one of whom was Nell Jarreau, the central character in …

09-Aug-2022:
Noah Smith has done it again: made me read a whole post about crypto. I think I finally understand what NFTs are supposed to be doing.

08-Aug-2022:
Fascinating Twitter thread

07-Aug-2022:
A friend of mine wanted to quote “American Football” in the programme to a play of his own that he was putting on in the Rosemary Branch, Hoxton, in 1996. …

07-Aug-2022:
David Hare on Brian Friel’s Faith Healer, Maggie Nelson, Rachel Kushner, Colm Tóibín, Helen Lewis and others. Matthew Reisz in The Observer

06-Aug-2022:
You’re kidding, right?

03-Aug-2022:
I hate password managers. I’m trying to log in to spectatorworld․com but Keychain will neither show me the saved password nor fill it in automatically. So, I …

03-Aug-2022:
Just testing the ability to put parentheses around an MB username that one user (​@odd​​) mentioned earlier. Update: I tried it with &ZeroWidthSpace; before …

03-Aug-2022:
As a cyclist, I think it’s ridiculous that legislation should encourage pedestrians to rely entirely on their hearing to warn of approaching vehicles. Also that …

01-Aug-2022:
The most important lesson you will learn is that border officials may not know the law and yet are infinitely empowered. Nesrine Malik, Only a country as …

31-Jul-2022:
My descriptions of the short stories I had added to my Mix collection were lost when Mix got rid of comments. I’m starting very gradually to replace some of the …

31-Jul-2022:
The doctor said the reason why the bruises looked so bad was because I have thin skin. I told her I found that remark offensive. She didn’t get it. Seán …

30-Jul-2022:
I was very tempted to abandon Alan Glynn’s Paradime (2016). The opening chapters, in which a man with PTSD flounders hopelessly, were painful to read. But it …

30-Jul-2022:
Thank you, @help, those posts are showing now 😎

29-Jul-2022:
Hi, @help. I’ve noticed that some of my posts containing the book emoji aren’t showing up on the Books discovery page. This one, for example. I thought it might …

29-Jul-2022:
Ted Gioia, How My Career as a Poet Was Killed by Kraft’s Macaroni & Cheese. Yeah, I hate it when that happens.

28-Jul-2022:
… though [Martin] Brest had final cut on the movie, he was strong-armed into recutting it from a weird, offbeat movie about a gangster who wants out into a …

28-Jul-2022:
Johnson led a government that played fast and loose with the rule of law. And continues to lie about it, of course: Joshua Rozenberg

27-Jul-2022:
The new issue of my email newsletter, Talk about books, is about Ted Chiang’s novella (or long short story) from his collection 📚Exhalation (2019), “Anxiety is …

27-Jul-2022: Who knows where the timeline goes?: Ted Chiang, “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom”
“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom” is the last story in Ted Chiang’s collection, Exhalation (2019). At about 19,750 words, it’s one of two very long stories …

25-Jul-2022:
I was fed up trying to read Twitter on a small (iPhone 12 Mini) screen so I created a new Twitter list of people I’m most likely to want to read on my phone, …

24-Jul-2022:
I just added another short story to my list of short stories that are available to be read online. It’s Sarah Hall’s “Wilderness”, which appeared in The …

24-Jul-2022:
I’ve just finished reading Caoilinn Hughes’s first (2018) novel, Orchid & the Wasp. Very ambitious; loosely combining ideas from Deleuze and Guattari, …

23-Jul-2022:
Today was the first day for several months that I’ve been cycling in the rain 🚲. I didn’t notice that the weather app on my phone was showing the wrong …

21-Jul-2022:
Two simple rules for using Twitter. Make sure you’re seeing “Latest Tweets”, not “Home” (which will show you tweets you didn’t choose to see) Be careful who …

20-Jul-2022:
To some people, it’s liberating: They think tracking viewership isn’t a showrunner’s job anyway, and there was never a time when Hollywood decisions felt …

19-Jul-2022:
I’ve finally got around to starting to read Orchid & The Wasp, having bought a copy a few months ago around the time I wrote about Caoilinn Hughes’s short …

18-Jul-2022:
I called my academic friend and wept until she gave me her NCBI log-in details. That’s something you can do? I wish someone had told me earlier. The strange …

17-Jul-2022:
Last week I read a description of Wuthering Heights — here, if you’re interested — that struck me as drastically wrong, so I thought it was as good a time as …

14-Jul-2022:
Because they can. Via The Overspill

13-Jul-2022:
The first book in a series (of 5 so far) set in Restoration London depicts a city experiencing an unaccustomed degree of social mobility, much of it downwards. …

13-Jul-2022: “Like ghosts, while London burns”: Andrew Taylor, The Ashes of London (2016)
When, a few years ago, I wrote a Goodreads review of Andrew Taylor’s historical novel, The Anatomy of Ghosts (2010), I commented that he was “certainly …

10-Jul-2022:
Is anybody surprised by this? I’m a bit surprised that we’re getting to hear about it. Uber broke laws, duped police and secretly lobbied governments, leak …

10-Jul-2022:
In his newsletter, SHuSH, publisher Ken Whyte predicts that sharp increases in the cost of printed books will make ebooks start to seem more attractive again to …

10-Jul-2022:
I’ve updated — for the first time in 3½ months — my page of short stories that can be read online: I’ve added A S Byatt’s “Sea Story”. It’s been available …

09-Jul-2022:
“How do you feel about spoilers?” somebody asked in a Copper discussion thread so, not for the first time on this topic, I went off on a rant.

09-Jul-2022:
Now that I’m no longer using Bookshelves data to populate pages on my Micro.blog or necessarily updating it when I start or finish a book I’m wondering if I …

09-Jul-2022:
I just logged in to Teams on my phone at the weekend, 2FA and all, purely to get rid of the annoying red unread count badge. Why have I still got Teams on my …

08-Jul-2022:
The early middle (formerly known as the dark) ages actually did happen after all. (Sorry if that’s a spoiler, the post is well worth reading anyway). Via Helen …

08-Jul-2022:
The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the ongoing discussions. In other words, they are authorized to speak to the …

07-Jul-2022:
That was a tricky one, @cdevroe. So many possibilities. (I like them like that.) 👍😎 🔙🔙🟥🟥 Stupid 188 2/2/2

07-Jul-2022:
I’ve read Andrew Taylor, Blacklist 📚. For a while the plot seemed overstuffed, too many minor characters being blackmailed, threatened or killed; but the ending …

07-Jul-2022:
Allegedly fake Chagall includes “recurrent iconographic elements of Chagall’s work” but these lack “real presence”, according to authentication committee. “Real …

07-Jul-2022:
So the great Johnson intends to stay on as PM till the new Tory leader has been chosen. I’m trying to think of a phrase that rhymes with “lame duck”.

03-Jul-2022:
Just finished reading Andrew Taylor, The Ashes of London, the first in his series set in Restoration London, starting with the great fire. I’d already read the …

03-Jul-2022:
Sebastian Scotney went to hear Marc Copland, Adrian Vedady and Jim Doxas at the Montréal International Jazz Festival. They’re making a trio album together and …

01-Jul-2022:
I’ve just read Louise Welsh’s The Girl on the Stairs (2012) 📖. I suppose it’s about the way impending childbirth can distort someone’s perceptions, not to …

30-Jun-2022:
The current issue of my newsletter, Talk about books, is about James Plunkett’s 1959 collection of short stories, The Trusting and the Maimed. It’s out of …

30-Jun-2022: James Plunkett, The Trusting and the Maimed (1959)
Some older Irish short stories The One Dublin, One Book read for 2013 was Strumpet City (1969) the best known and most commercially successful of the novels of …

29-Jun-2022:
I’ve deleted the Bookshelf and Books to read pages from my micro.blog, though I’ve kept backups and could restore them if I change my mind. I don’t think I want …

29-Jun-2022:
(The Athletic has a paywall, though unfortunately I couldn’t see it when the Javascript on my browser broke.) Yeah, really ought to get around to doing …

28-Jun-2022:
Natural selection has shaped the living world, he argues, but so too has a sort of formless cosmic drifting that can, from time to time, assemble order from …

28-Jun-2022:
It’s good to be kept informed.

27-Jun-2022:
I just got a very battered but complete and readable paperback copy of Andrew Taylor’s 1988 spy novel, Blacklist, in the post. I would have settled for the …

26-Jun-2022:
Here’s a concert I’d love to have got to. The first time I saw the Brad Mehldau Trio was in the Barbican in Feb 2006. The sound/mix was dreadful until the …

26-Jun-2022:
Hey, I seem to be able to access Substack with Safari again. I’ve no idea what’s changed; can’t help feeling that it probably won’t last. Now to see if I can …

26-Jun-2022:
Can’t help wondering if a data goldmine is actually useful for any purpose and if so for what? How TikTok is turning a generation of video addicts into a data …

25-Jun-2022:
I’ve just started to read Robin Sloan’s 2009 novella, Annabel Scheme, which I downloaded free from his site about 2 years ago but hadn’t got around to reading …

25-Jun-2022:
I found the first series of Westworld very disappointing and didn’t watch any more, only to be told later that it had got a lot better and I was missing out. It …

25-Jun-2022:
I suspect there are going to be plenty of Republican legislators in GOP-controlled states thinking “Oh shit, we got what we were asking for.” The Supreme Court …

24-Jun-2022:
Another look at why I reacted so adversely to le Carré’s Smiley’s People on first reading. “A preferable technique to bribery”: The nature of coercion in …

24-Jun-2022:
You gotta be cruel to be kind Wayne Robins, Nick Lowe’s quality rock and roll revue 🎶

22-Jun-2022:
I’ve read Lucy Foley, The Guest List 📚 and added a brief comment to my bookshelf page: Highly entertaining but very contrived plot. The identity of the murder …

19-Jun-2022:
He added some Verbaluce™ to the drip, and soon I was feeling the same things but saying them better. Verbaluce™ sounds just what I need. Will it be coming to …

17-Jun-2022:
Long but mostly interesting piece from Hamish McKenzie explains (among much else) why Substack took VC funding: Escape from Hell World.

16-Jun-2022:
The current issue of my email newsletter, Talk about books, discusses Kate Atkinson’s spy novel, Transcription (2018), a book I enjoyed even more on rereading …

16-Jun-2022: A fabulist’s adventure: Kate Atkinson, Transcription
As she lies dying on the street outside the Wigmore Hall, having been hit by a car, Juliet Armstrong’s thoughts are all with her son, Matteo, and what she’d …

16-Jun-2022:
The novel … has a million jobs to choose from, and each individual novel can pick what fits. It shouldn’t need saying but it apparently needs regular …

12-Jun-2022:
I renewed the domain name registration of “talkaboutbooks.net” for a second year a few days ago, so I suppose I must be taking this newsletter thing seriously.

12-Jun-2022:
I’m rereading Kate Atkinson, Transcription, which I first read in about August 2020. I’m surprised at how much I had forgotten of the spy fiction plot, though …

08-Jun-2022:
I’ve been enjoying bassist Thomas Fonnesbaek’s 🎶 recordings with Enrico Pieranunzi 🎹 but have just realized that I probably saw him live about 5 years ago. I …

07-Jun-2022:
Last year, I tried to cancel my Irish Times subscription but they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: a year at half price, just €6 a month. If they’re going to …

07-Jun-2022:
I like the Irish Times website redesign. But how long is it going to keep nagging me to enable notifications? Shouldn’t there be a checkbox labeled “Don’t ask …

06-Jun-2022:
Sorry to see the return of MagSafe on the MacBook Air: it’s not a major irritant in itself but it suggests that Apple is focused more on eye-catching gimmicks …

06-Jun-2022:
The most recent issue of Talk about books is longer than usual and a few days late. It’s about the last two books (the 5th and 6th) in Tana French’s series set …

06-Jun-2022: Daughters and fathers: Tana French, The Secret Place and The Trespasser
This will be the last of four posts about Tana French’s series of novels set in and around the Dublin Murder Squad. I wrote separately about the first two …

03-Jun-2022:
This time, it worked. I don’t know what’s going on.

03-Jun-2022:
Now I can’t sign in to The Guardian (which insists on a sign-in before it will let me read anything). I don’t want to stop using Safari (the only browser I know …

01-Jun-2022:
I deleted all my cookies and browser history, and had to sign in to The Guardian again. My password wasn’t what I thought it was, so I had to reset it. I …

01-Jun-2022:
I can’t sign in to Substack any more. Earlier today, I couldn’t use Google, and some other sites. So, I deleted all cookies and Google came back. But there are …

01-Jun-2022:
Here’s an interview with Karen Jennings, author of An Island, that @zioibi and I were nattering about a few days ago 📚

01-Jun-2022: Another slight delay but this will be worth waiting for
I’ve finally reached the last two novels in Tana French’s series about the fictional Dublin Murder Squad. Unfortunately, my discussion of them is going to be a …

01-Jun-2022:
I don’t like the tiny bezels on my 3rd gen iPad Air. The screen could do with being just a little narrower. But the bigger annoyance is that I’m constantly …

30-May-2022:
Try our weights and measures quiz I got 16 out of 18. The two I got wrong were the grams/lb conversion and the number of gallons in a peck (and it beats me all …

27-May-2022:
I was totally on the wrong track today. 🔙🔙🟥🟥 Stupid 147 2/2/2

27-May-2022:
It says here that Sir Richard Dearlove was “a former director of MI6 between 1999 and 2004”. If he was a former director then, surely he’s still a former …

24-May-2022:
I just got an email from the library to say that Ted Chiang’s Exhalation (ebook) 📚 which I had on reserve is now ready to be borrowed. I’ve read just one or two …

23-May-2022:
Read Karen Jennings, An Island 📚 It seemed the most interesting book that didn’t make it from the Booker longlist for 2021 to the shortlist. It’s a powerful, …

22-May-2022:
My ravenous newsletter has been devouring most of what I’ve written these last few months. I’m afraid I’ve been neglecting my personal site (not exactly a …

22-May-2022:
On a whim I thought I’d take another shot at downloading the Copper books app. It has become available in Ireland in the meantime (iPhone only, I think), so …

22-May-2022:
The photo shoot – Osman’s 6 ft 7 next to the diminutive Keyes with her dark fringe and spiky eyelashes – resembles one between Roald Dahl’s BFG and Matilda. …

22-May-2022:
Sandra Newman: Do I want men to go away? No Hard to believe. Even I want some men to go away, some of the time.

22-May-2022:
Long ago, before I knew about aphantasia, I told 2 visual artists that I don’t have a visual imagination. They looked at me askance. I took it as reproach for …

21-May-2022:
Another successful actor/comedian/public personality turns out to have been using his — the examples I have in mind are all male — high profile to build an …

20-May-2022:
A new viral ‘Bionic Reading’ tool … could completely change the way you read and consume content … it says here. Well it might change the way I …

20-May-2022:
Never mind — I found it: How to use the new text editing gestures. First attempts suggest it doesn’t work very well.

20-May-2022:
I’m really starting to hate i[Pad]OS. A particular irritant is when I tap in the middle of a body of text, hoping for the popup that will allow me to “Select …

19-May-2022:
In the rhythm of “The Wife Is Praised”, Empson is alluding to Swinburne’s “Dolores”, jollied up: “I want it more homely and jolly”. But rereading it and writing …

18-May-2022:
William Empson’s wife, Hetta (née Crouse), had a long-standing practice of taking younger male lovers. Her husband wanted to join in the fun. So naturally he …

18-May-2022: And not to yield: William Empson, “The Wife Is Praised”
William Empson lived into his late 70s but his career as a poet was over while he was still quite young. His first volume, Poems came out in 1935, when he was …

15-May-2022:
but if I had a sister, even if I didn’t care for her much, I don’t think I’d be quite so happy to stare at her corpse. And I stare at a lot of corpses. What’s …

14-May-2022:
As I’ve said before, I’m not generally a fan of Emil Viklicky’s piano-playing but I do like the duo album he made with George Mraz, Together Again (to which I’m …

14-May-2022:
Poets are not normally thought of as either efficient or conscientious. The subject is Marvell, of course, but do you recognize the author?

14-May-2022:
I don’t believe it. I read (very nearly) a whole post on the subject of Bitcoin! Quite likely the last one I’ll ever read: Noah Smith (Noahpinion), “What kind …

10-May-2022:
I must remember not to go to Insomnia any more, old habits notwithstanding. I was in one branch yesterday where they still serve espresso in real cups but most …

07-May-2022:
I signed up to the waiting list to get an invitation to Copper books last year. Recently, the invitation arrived with a link to download the iOS app. However, …

07-May-2022:
Once again, we are among reasonably well off students at Trinity College Dublin. Well, yes, on average. Frances is broke and Bobbi is rich, as in Normal People …

06-May-2022:
Windows says it 13° and raining, iOS that it’s 16° and cloudy, with sunny spells expected for the rest of the day. At least iOS has a better idea of my …

06-May-2022:
My favourite Beatle is David Crosby 🎶

04-May-2022:
Finished reading Rosemary Jenkinson, Lifestyle Choice 10mg. The title of this collection should have given me a clue, but I was surprised by the amount of …

04-May-2022:
The latest issue of my newsletter, Talk about books, is about Kazuo Ishiguro’s 2015 novel, The Buried Giant, with a brief reference to When We Were Orphans 📖

04-May-2022: “Solemn oaths undone in cruel slaughter”: Kazuo Ishiguro, The Buried Giant
Each of Ishiguro’s first six novels consists of the first-person narrative of its central character. The Buried Giant (2015) stands apart from them: while it …

04-May-2022:
Mr. Musk works in a way that only the “most confident leaders do,” said Tim Draper, a venture capitalist … “Think J.F.K., George Washington and Ronald Reagan.” …

03-May-2022:
If you could kill Putin, would you? I would. And I’m a total peacenik. Graham Nash on toxic masculinity — there’s another kind? — not least his own 🎶

03-May-2022:
I’ve said before that iOS badly needs a fast way to collapse the selection (either forwards or backwards). What it needs even more is a way to paste the …

03-May-2022:
Is it time to retire psychoanalytic literary criticism? Henry Oliver asks. And he’s not too impressed by Four Thousand Weeks📚 (which I’ve no immediate …

03-May-2022:
I’ve gone back to reading printed books as much as possible. But I don’t print out drafts of my own writing. Not yet anyway though that Paul Graham thread has …

03-May-2022:
Paul Graham reading essays on a phone screen

02-May-2022:
I somehow overlooked The Garlands of Repose when I was writing my thesis on Marvell, though its title comes from “The Garden” and O’Loughlin’s essay on “Upon …

01-May-2022:
… alternative means of resolution, such as meditation and arbitration … Meditation is the current big thing, of course, but I hope it doesn’t entirely displace …

30-Apr-2022:
I went back to Twitter 18 months ago, after a 2-year break. I haven’t regretted my return (though I’ve been a lot more careful about who I followed this time …

28-Apr-2022:
“I’ve just heard that Chapters on Parnell Street is reopening.” Now, that’s how to bury the lede. The Irish Times: Kevin Power can’t stop buying books

27-Apr-2022:
“Ollscoil na Gaillimhe – University of Galway”: so good they named it twice. Or, if you’re counting historically, four times. Irish Times, NUI Galway to change …

27-Apr-2022:
I stopped using the Twitter app on both iPhone and iPad. On iPad I use the web interface in Safari and on iPhone I have Spring Mini (iOS app store link). I’m …

26-Apr-2022:
Preparing to write about The Buried Giant (2015) in my newsletter, I went back to read my previous post about Never Let Me Go 📖. One friend implied that I focus …

26-Apr-2022:
Finished Kazuo Ishiguro, Klara and the Sun📚last night. I’ll need to read this a second time before I have anything to say about it other than that I enjoyed it …

26-Apr-2022:
I’ve started to read Rosemary Jenkinson, Lifestyle Choice 10mg📖. I bought the paperback direct from the publisher after they cancelled her new book: my …

25-Apr-2022:
Years ago, a Dutch friend gave out to me for eating clementines (clemenules), which were obviously the work of humans and not “natural”. That didn’t bother me. …

21-Apr-2022:
I’ve added Orchid & The Wasp to my Suspended bookshelf. I started an ebook edition from the library but I’ve put it aside. I may have temporarily overdosed …

21-Apr-2022:
I’ve been thinking about trying to get a ticket for Tord Gustavsen trio at Bray Jazz festival on 1 May. I saw the trio there (with Mats Eilertsen on bass) in …

21-Apr-2022:
It’s only recently I discovered that the reason I hadn’t been hearing much about Christine Tobin lately was that she had moved to New York 5 years ago. Now she …

20-Apr-2022:
Caoilinn Hughes has published one book of poetry and two novels, all award-winning. Her short stories have won prizes too, but have not been published in a …

20-Apr-2022: Ephemeral Woman in waterlogged landscape: Short stories by Caoilinn Hughes
In the last email, I said that this issue of the newsletter would be about Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant. As it turns out, I have to postpone that for …

19-Apr-2022:
Whenever I update iOS or iPadOS, the update sneakily turns Bluetooth on and it usually takes me a few days (once it took several weeks) to notice that my …

18-Apr-2022:
I’ve been reading some short stories by Caoilinn Hughes online and I came across this Google talk from a few years ago by/with her, which I thought was pretty …

16-Apr-2022:
The Pen Corner🖋 is closing down after 95 years in business. This is sad but obviously not surprising: Much-loved Dublin city shop Pen Corner to close its doors

16-Apr-2022:
I’m wondering again how long it’s going to take the manufacturers and positioners of bike stands to notice that mountain bikes, with extra wide handlebars, have …

15-Apr-2022:
In desperation, I removed this line from layouts/partials/head.html <link rel=“stylesheet” href="{{ “css/main.css” | relURL …

15-Apr-2022: Headings in newsletter posts — and other posts with titles
If you have received this post by email, please ignore it. It’s a test and I intend to try to delete the email before the it is sent out. If I haven’t managed …

14-Apr-2022:
Here’s a great list of neglected or forgotten books that deserve more attention. I found it thanks to John Naughton’s Memex 1.1 blog. The universe is clearly …

13-Apr-2022:
I finished reading Louise Nealon’s Snowflake and I’ve added a brief comment/note to my bookshelf page. I’ll be rereading the book and writing about it in …

12-Apr-2022:
Anne Trubeck’s newsletter on “The problems with indie booskstores” is behind a paywall but the subscription is not expensive and there’s a 7-day free trial. She …

12-Apr-2022:
I’d say unless you’re directly working for Musk, it’s simpler just to ignore him. … (As a general rule, I don’t think it’s worth following anyone with more than …

12-Apr-2022:
… and set a bookmark for the UK front page of the Guardian. Trying to get there by normal navigation eventually became too frustrating on the iPhone’s tiny …

12-Apr-2022:
As I said before I tend to use autocomplete instead of bookmarks for sites I visit regularly. I formed this habit before the iPhone existed, but I continue …

12-Apr-2022:
Henry Oliver quit his job on his 35th birthday to ✏️write a book — about opsimaths. (What would a 35-year-old whippersnapper know about that subject?). I’ll buy …

11-Apr-2022:
The enumerator collected my census form yesterday evening. In the end, I left the time capsule box blank. If humans still exist in 2122, they’re probably going …

11-Apr-2022:
Sophia Domancich, whom I’ve previously heard play in a trio with Simon Goubert (d) and Jean-Jacques Avenel (b), has a solo piano album out, reviewed here 🎶 🎹

11-Apr-2022:
a bunch of smart people can get very big things wrong for a very long period of time, and that period of time may include the present. Noah Smith on why …

10-Apr-2022:
I finished reading Keith Ridgway’s A Shock yesterday and added a short comment about it to my bookshelf page this morning. I’m not sure what to make of it …

10-Apr-2022:
When I saw the name of this trio, HÜM, my first thought was that the album might be by [Daniel] Humair, [René] Urtreger and [Pierre] Michelot but of course it’s …

09-Apr-2022:
I haven’t read much by Roy Foster, here on Conversations with Tyler, but I remember an essay that struck me (nearly 10 years ago) as the most sensible and …

09-Apr-2022:
The Weather app on my phone says it’s 9°C but according to the tips of my fingers it’s more like 3° or 4°.

09-Apr-2022:
I’m full of admiration for Richard Osman and Graham Norton, who managed to build up their author profiles by developing careers as high profile tv presenters …

09-Apr-2022:
Writing about Smiley’s People for my newsletter seems to have shaken loose some recalcitrant ideas and impressions as to why I took against it so badly all …

07-Apr-2022:
Another one from John Self: three new books — but not first books — from Irish authors, Colin Barrett, Adrian Duncan and Lucy Caldwell 📚

07-Apr-2022:
Joyce’s Ulysses and Eliot’s The Waste Land were both published one hundred years ago. John Self looks at other works from 1922, including Katherine Mansfield’s …

07-Apr-2022:
I was in a bookshop on Tuesday so I got the mass market paperback of Louise Nealon’s Snowflake. I’ll start to read it at the weekend, once I’ve finished my …

07-Apr-2022:
Yesterday’s issue of my newsletter (Talk about books) is about 2 spy novels from the late 1970s, by Graham Greene and John le Carré respectively. Reluctant …

07-Apr-2022:
Somebody I follow on Twitter retweeted Elon Musk. I was so tempted to block him. (Musk, I mean, not the other guy, whose tweets are usually interesting.) But …

06-Apr-2022: Reluctant defectors: Graham Greene’s The Human Factor and John le Carré’s Smiley’s People
This time I’d like to take a look at two novels from the late 1970s, both of them by “spymasters”: novelists acknowledged to be in — or rather to constitute — …

03-Apr-2022:
Sad that Pete St John has died aged 89. Sadder still that his maudlin, manipulatively heart-tugging ballads couldn’t have gone to the grave with him 🎶

31-Mar-2022:
Finally! I ordered Smiley’s People (paperback) on 21 February. Last week, the seller and I agreed that it had been irretrievably lost in the postal system. I …

27-Mar-2022:
When I wrote in my newsletter about the Jacobean play 🎭The Revenger’s Tragedy a few weeks ago, I concentrated on the subplot, which doesn’t have a tragic …

27-Mar-2022:
I’ve updated a page I keep of short stories that can be read online, to include (again) a link to Niamh Campbell’s prize-winning “Love Many”. I had previously …

26-Mar-2022:
Only cyclists are allowed to hate cyclists and, permitted such license, I will continue to despise myself every time I roll eyes at the fair-weather crew making …

26-Mar-2022:
I said “tab” in this reply, but in fact I don’t use browser tabs: they’re much too neat and organized for my taste. I open web pages in separate windows; one of …

24-Mar-2022:
I actually finished reading Louise Welsh, The Second Cut a few weeks ago but I’m posting this now because I’ve just added a comment to my bookshelf page: I read …

24-Mar-2022:
I recently read all but one of the stories in Kevin Barry’s That Old Country Music in a library ebook. Last night, I read the remaining story in a (printed) …

23-Mar-2022:
The new issue of my newsletter, which I’ve just sent out, is about Candia McWilliam’s 1997 collection of short stories, Wait Till I Tell You 📖

23-Mar-2022: Candia McWilliam, Wait Till I Tell You
Short stories from Scotland and England in the 1990s How about this for a sentence? She left the house with her raincoat, her handbag and a pair of painful …

22-Mar-2022:
Brad Mehldau is “the greatest living jazz pianist now performing”, it says here. Mehldau is great but for my money Enrico Pieranunzi just about shades it. …

21-Mar-2022:
Mail from the UK has become more snail-like. About a month ago, I ordered two books from different booksellers both via Alibris. Both were dispatched on 21 Feb. …

20-Mar-2022:
Yesterday, I added conditional text to my posts template, to insert some boilerplate into newsletter posts. I was pleased with myself for learning how to use …

20-Mar-2022:
In this help topic about including images in posts, @manton says that newsletter emails are not processed by Hugo: instead MB converts the Markdown to HTML and …

19-Mar-2022:
Alexander Larman in The Critic thinks that film director Joe Wright is a sacred cow. I’m barely qualified to comment, having failed to make it all the way …

17-Mar-2022:
The shuffle process, showing impeccable taste, selected two tunes from the same album, twice. Robert Glasper’s Covered and Maria Schneider’s Data Lords … says …

17-Mar-2022:
I didn’t enjoy the early chapters of 56 Days, where boy (29) meets girl (25) just before pandemic restrictions are imposed: too much of the writing here has the …

13-Mar-2022:
Got it, finally. I’ve updated the Help topic. Here is one of the tidied-up pages: not a “(Dublin Murder Squad, Book 3)” or similar in sight.

13-Mar-2022:
I feel like I’m really close to removing the unwanted garbage in brackets from the titles on my bookshelves but I’m still getting something wrong. Regex gave me …

12-Mar-2022:
Newsletter moves from Substack to Ghost and now I can’t find the RSS feed ☹️. The Whippet

10-Mar-2022:
Twitter suddenly started to show me a Home tab as well as “Latest Tweets”. So, I’ve just deleted the iPad app and I’ll use the web interface instead from now …

09-Mar-2022:
The title of the new issue of my email newsletter, Talk about books, is “Fractured Spaces: Tana French, Faithful Place and Broken Harbour”. It looks at the two …

09-Mar-2022: Fractured spaces: Tana French, Faithful Place and Broken Harbour
When Francis Mackey and Rosie Daly were about to escape their narrow lives and insupportable families, they met in a pub in Pearse Street, Dublin to go over …

05-Mar-2022:
I’d have thought that “reverse ransom” implies either that you pay the kidnappers to keep the victim or they pay you to take her/him back. But apparently that’s …

05-Mar-2022:
Machines will do the nasty jobs; human beings the nice ones it says here: Covid has reset relations between people and robots. I hope the robots are OK with …

05-Mar-2022:
I’ve at last managed to add notes/comments to some of the books on my “Finished reading” shelf, using a data template. Thanks 👏 to @jsonbecker for confirming …

04-Mar-2022:
We don’t write things down to remember them. We write them down to forget. Ha! That explains why I’ve never been much of a note-taker: I can usually forget …

26-Feb-2022:
Talk about books is now seven issues into its second year. Here’s a recap of what I’ve been posting recently and an indication of my intentions for the next few …

26-Feb-2022:
Hi @manton, I’ve noticed recently that when I moved a book from “Want to read” to “Currently reading” and another one from “Currently reading” to “Finished …

25-Feb-2022:
I think today was my first day this year to be out on the bike 🚲 without gloves. I thought I was going to need them — it was colder then usual this morning — …

23-Feb-2022:
In this issue of Talk about books, I look at The Revenger’s Tragedy (printed in 1607), particularly the (main) subplot, which doesn’t have a tragic ending. “A …

23-Feb-2022: “A villain not to be forsworn”: The Revenger’s Tragedy
In 1607, The Revenger’s Tragedy was entered in the Stationers’ Register along with a play by Thomas Middleton, A Trick to Catch the Old One, and it was printed …

23-Feb-2022:
I’ve been writing my newsletter today, so I’m finally getting around to having my “morning” coffee ☕️ at 5.30 pm. I’m looking forward to lunch, though the sun …

22-Feb-2022:
Hamlet Revenge is Henry Oliver’s Favourite Michael Innes book. Mine too. The Common Reader: Six underrated detective novels 📖

20-Feb-2022:
My various posts about aphantasia and SDAM, the first dozen or so of which originally appeared on Medium in 2018/2019, are now all on this page

18-Feb-2022:
What do you call a comedian who doesn’t make people laugh? A podcaster. Dorian Lynskey on Why comedians stopped being funny (UnHerd)

17-Feb-2022:
Record Store Day hasn’t adapted to the modern realities of selling physical music, says Rupert Morrison. Time to take a break from it? Record Store Day is …

15-Feb-2022:
I enjoyed Dervla McTiernan’s The Good Turn but if (unlike me) you’re one of those people who think that heavy reliance on coincidence in the plot of a crime …

15-Feb-2022:
I love this suggestion from Ted Gioia that the record labels should develop a next generation vinyl format. Let’s call it Super-Vinyl. It would have all of the …

13-Feb-2022:
I just finished le Carré’s A Legacy of Spies (2017). I’m very impressed though I have a reservation (limitation period). We find out what Smiley had on Mundt, …

12-Feb-2022:
I’d be most grateful for help from people who know about CSS (and also possibly about Hugo). I’m trying to make a simple theme, which can now be seen on my test …

09-Feb-2022:
The latest issue of Talk about books is “An exemplary case of unacknowledged self-persuasion”: Ian McEwan, Enduring Love. In McEwan’s 1997 novel a successful …

09-Feb-2022: “An exemplary case of unacknowledged self-persuasion”: Ian McEwan, Enduring Love
Joe Rose, the narrator of all but a few chapters of Ian McEwan’s 1997 novel, Enduring Love, is a successful science journalist, a popularizer and explainer of …

06-Feb-2022:
I forgot to do Wordle yesterday so today I’m on a streak of 1.

04-Feb-2022:
I haven’t listened to or probably even thought about After the Gold Rush for more than 45 years. But since Neil Young has been in the news, I’ve caught myself …

29-Jan-2022:
Some of us, by dint of work, have to be engagé … But if others choose not to be, that isn’t an act of dereliction. It isn’t irrational. It is a subtle and …

29-Jan-2022:
Catherine Flynn on Joyce’s Ulysses in the context of Futurism, Dada and Apollinaire’s surrealism: Ulysses and the international avant-garde of Trieste, Zurich, …

28-Jan-2022:
I just ordered a book published in 1991 though Alibris for €3.19 (€10.87 including postage). The next cheapest copy was €76.89 and they had several in the …

27-Jan-2022:
The Substack editor has a word count now, I read incredulously. Surely it always had one? But no, it’s a new feature. I draft all my posts (even tweets, for the …

27-Jan-2022:
With its short justified lines, this Bloomsbury Quid is hard to read and anyway I’ve got the same story in a more standard format. Still, I’m tempted to hold …

27-Jan-2022:
I hate the way the expression “the wrong side of history” has been making a comeback. I often used it back in the late 70s and early 80s (and maybe into the …

25-Jan-2022:
Did you know who wrote “Nature Boy”? I didn’t. (It’s the opening track on an album I love: Stefano Bollani, Jesper Bodilsen and Morten Lund’s Mi ritorni in …

24-Jan-2022:
Irish police rule out foul play over corpse in post office pension incident is the headline in The Guardian. Two men were trying to collect the pension of a …

23-Jan-2022: An infant in its cradle: William Blake’s prophetic serial killers
Michael Dibdin, Dark Spectre Notwithstanding the date shown, this post was actually sent out on 19-Jan-2022. I hadn’t planned to write about Michael Dibdin …

23-Jan-2022: Disappearing ebook
As I mentioned yesterday, I’m rereading John le Carré, The Honourable Schoolboy. The copy I have is an ebook I bought from Apple (then iBooks) in 2011. At the …

22-Jan-2022:
I’m rereading The Honourable Schoolboy, the only Le Carré I’ve read for more than 40 years, having been put off by Smiley’s People 📚. I’m going to reread …

21-Jan-2022:
Wednesday’s issue of Talk about books is titled An infant in its cradle: William Blake’s prophetic serial killers and it discusses Michael Dibdin’s novel, Dark …

21-Jan-2022:
“There are two things you need to know,” she said. “The first is that Gavin came home yesterday happier than I have seen him in a long time. The second—and you …

20-Jan-2022:
I’ve deleted all the posts and pages that I thought might be causing the problem. Mainly, of course, I’ve deleted Wednesday’s long post with a title, the …

16-Jan-2022:
I’m going to mark the death of Jean-Jacques Beineix by watching Mortel Transfert (2001) again. The title is usually Englished as Mortal Transfer, but “Deadly …

16-Jan-2022:
I dreamt about serial killers and CSS. Probably an unconscious pun on CSI: I finished rereading Red Dragon yesterday and I obviously associate it with William …

15-Jan-2022:
That’s Rai (né Umeed Merchant), narrator of Rushdie’s The Ground beneath Her Feet (1999). As someone with aphantasia and SDAM, I’d like to believe Rai is right …

14-Jan-2022:
One thing I wasn’t expecting about getting old is that I no longer need to shave at precisely 24-hour intervals. So, when to shave has become a conscious …

12-Jan-2022:
How Japan created its own jazz 🎶

10-Jan-2022:
Well, that turned out to be easier than I expected. I’ve now got an automatically generated newsletter archive (based on applying the category “Newsletter” to …

10-Jan-2022:
Wordle 205 5/6 ⬜🟨⬜⬜⬜ 🟨⬜⬜⬜⬜ ⬜🟨🟨🟨⬜ 🟩🟩⬜🟩🟨 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 That was a tough one but at least I finished it. Yesterday I had to give up 😳

09-Jan-2022:
I’ve got some details to iron out, but I think I’ve managed to add a description (separate from the Summary) to the heads of my posts with titles (i.e. …

08-Jan-2022:
Wordle 203 3/6 ⬜⬜🟩⬜⬜ ⬜🟩🟩🟩⬜ 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 I was lucky today.

07-Jan-2022:
I enjoy playing Wordle. Ignore the haters. Helen Lewis. There are Wordle-haters, really? Nobody tells me anything.

07-Jan-2022:
Wordle 202 5/6 ⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜ ⬜⬜⬜⬜🟨 🟨🟩🟩🟩⬜ ⬜🟩🟩🟩🟩 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 First time. I should have got it in 4: I had all the letters then, but overlooked the yellow square from the second …

05-Jan-2022:
The new issue of my newsletter, Talk about books, is out. It’s titled “You’ve got a right to be angry: Salman Rushdie, Fury”. This is the second issue since I …

05-Jan-2022: You’ve got a right to be angry: Salman Rushdie, Fury
About eight months ago, I wrote about Midnight’s Children that on first reading I had experienced a sense of “exhilaration”, in spite of what Tariq Ali had …

01-Jan-2022:
A few days ago, I discovered this charming, tiny book exchange in an old electricity box near where I live. I was very tempted to take Louise Nealon’s Snowflake …

01-Jan-2022:
At least the weather in 2022 is better than last year’s, so there’s that.

01-Jan-2022:
London Jazz News reports that Nikki Iles has been awarded the BEM — very well deserved 🎹🎶

01-Jan-2022:
Noah Smith, “Six reasons 2021 was a better year than people think” (4 of them restricted to subscribers). Reading his preamble, I saw that 2021 must have seemed …

31-Dec-2021:
I recently read Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant as an ebook borrowed from the library. Knowing I’d want to reread it soon, I ordered a printed copy but, because of …

30-Dec-2021:
Read Charles Cumming, Judas 62. Mission: Impossible meets Smiley’s People. Who said the Cold War is over? Reviewing Box 88, I said it was “a secret, rogue …

30-Dec-2021:
I find that, contrary to the laws of nature, Gillette Fusion blades are actually less expensive in the local pharmacy than in Dunnes, an 18 Km bike ride away. A …

29-Dec-2021:
I think I’ve found an extremely kludgy, horribly inelegant way to add Twitter cards to my newsletter posts on Micro.blog without having to learn how to hack …

29-Dec-2021:
I was starting to think I should proooobably start thinking about finding somewhere to live that wasn’t 300 too many square feet and 500 too many dollars. The …

27-Dec-2021:
Read: Imran Mahmood, I Know What I Saw. The first-person narrative of a long-term homeless man whose memory is damaged and who is sure he witnessed a murder …

24-Dec-2021:
One thing I didn’t like about using Substack for my newsletter is that, if you hover the pointer over a link in an email, instead of seeing the destination URL …

22-Dec-2021:
I’ve just sent out the first issue of Talk about books to be hosted on Micro․blog: “Peter Abrahams’s impaired heroes”. I love this new feature. For the next …

22-Dec-2021: Peter Abrahams’s impaired heroes
Oblivion, Nerve Damage and Delusion I hadn’t heard of Peter Abrahams until I read Laura Miller’s review of Oblivion (2005) in Salon. It’s my impression that …

18-Dec-2021:
I used <details> and <summary> tags to include two notes in my earlier post about “Marvell and Mortalism” and guess what? NetNewsWire (on both Mac …

18-Dec-2021:
I just posted this on my website: “Marvell and Mortalism: A supplementary note to my essay on ‘A Dialogue between the Soul and Body’”

18-Dec-2021:
Sir Rod Stewart decided to enter a plea to avoid the inconvenience and unnecessary burden on the court and the public that a high profile proceeding would …

17-Dec-2021:
I suppose it would be too much trouble to put the “advance” notice that the cycle path is closed at the bottom of the hill, before we start to climb, rather …

16-Dec-2021:
I’d love to hear Kenny Barron and Dado Moroni but I’m not going to London just to do so. I expect it will turn up on Radio 3 at some point. There’s a wonderful …

16-Dec-2021:
I’ve just had an email from the library to tell me that the ebook of Charles Cumming’s Judas 62 has become available a month earlier than expected. So looking …

15-Dec-2021:
As Martin Amis once wrote of his good friend: “He thinks like a child; he writes like a distinguished author; and he speaks like a genius”. From Tomiwa …

15-Dec-2021:
John Naughton mentions “In the beginning was the command line”, which remains the only thing I’ve read by Neal Stephenson. In 1999, it persuaded me to adopt, …

14-Dec-2021:
So, any ideas which author the next issue of my newsletter should be about?

14-Dec-2021:
I enjoyed this post by Anne Trubek about getting out of academia and into publishing. I started my doctorate too late, and took too long to finish it, ever to …

13-Dec-2021:
Toby Litt is starting a writer’s diary on Substack in the new year. It’s $50 a year, but there’s a 100% discount (reducing the annual cost to, eh, zero) if you …

12-Dec-2021:
This post is for people who are following the RSS feed of Talk about books. That feed now includes all my Micro.blog posts. To get only the posts for the …

12-Dec-2021:
I had a bit of a wobble about moving “Talk about books” from Substack when I realized that each current subscriber will be asked to confirm — an …

12-Dec-2021:
I just finished reading The Buried Giant. I enjoyed it better than anything else I’ve read by Ishiguro, including Never Let Me Go. (I haven’t read Klara yet.) …

12-Dec-2021:
I really don’t want to learn Hugo. I’ve been trying to create an archive page, based on the category “newsletter” (which will automatically be assigned to posts …

09-Dec-2021:
I’ve upgraded to a premium subscription on Micro.blog and, all going well, I’m going to move Talk about books over from Substack. I’ve a few things to work out, …

09-Dec-2021:
The latest issue of my Talk about books newsletter is about Andrew Marvell’s poem, “A Dialogue between the Soul and Body”. The previous issue discussed 9 crime …

09-Dec-2021:
The previous post was kind of a test. I wanted to see what would happen if I used <cite> tags in a post. They had no effect in the timeline but the book …

09-Dec-2021:
Last week I began to reread Milton’s God. I haven’t made quick progress: Empson’s argument is dense and typically idiosyncratic, but I’ll keep at it. I thought …

08-Dec-2021:
This is what I was eating yesterday evening as the storm raged outside: canard à l’orage

08-Dec-2021:
I’m listening to Esbjörn Svensson Trio Live in Hamburg (2007) for the first time in at least a couple of years, maybe much longer. I had persuaded myself that I …

08-Dec-2021:
I’m supposed to be writing my newsletter today, so I’ve tinkered with the Hugo theme of my Micro.blog to add a link to my Bookshelves page just below the …

08-Dec-2021:
John Naughton, who owns a Tesla, characterizes Elon Musk as “three-parts genius and one part fruitcake”. A bit like Dryden’s “to madness near allied”, I …

08-Dec-2021:
To prove I can be ruthless, these are the only editions of Marvell’s poetry that I’m keeping. To be honest, I’m not sure I need both first (hardback, 2003) and …

07-Dec-2021:
The overflow carpark is seriously overflowing this morning.

07-Dec-2021:
I’m not watching You Don’t Know Me on BBC1. The library has the ebook but it’s not available till March, so instead I’ve reserved Imran Mahmood’s next book, I …

07-Dec-2021:
Ted Gioia writes that, when Czesław Miłosz wasn’t allowed back into the US, his wife Janka Miłosz … angrily confronted a bureaucrat at the State Department, …

06-Dec-2021:
Chris Noth on The Good Wife’s Peter Florrick: “I don’t feel any connection to [it]. It’s odd, because I know it was well received. I have an emotional void …

06-Dec-2021:
The inclusion of Danielle McLaughlin’s novel, The Art of Falling, in John Self’s pick of the year’s fiction in The Critic, reminds me that I’ve been meaning to …

03-Dec-2021:
It wasn’t until I’d read more than half of the series that I began to see the pattern: he gradually but perceptibly becomes less conscientious and less law …

01-Dec-2021:
I found the pdf copy of my 2016 piece in Essays in Criticism, “Andrew Marvell’s Gender”. I still had the proof (also pdf) but I’d given up hope of finding the …

01-Dec-2021:
One reason I hate streaming and music download services is that the metadata is rarely clean. Seems the same may be true of some book data used by Bookshelves. …

30-Nov-2021:
I’ve had another go at customizing a Hugo theme but, as before, I’m finding that I can do most of what I want simply by editing the CSS. I’m having problems …

30-Nov-2021:
That’s the 3rd day in a row I’ve had to reboot the MacBook Air to force it to sync with iCloud — and this time it didn’t even work. I seem to be permanently …

30-Nov-2021:
A tweet with 1000 likes and 17 angry vicious replies will still look like a dumpster fire, even though almost everyone liked it! In How to fix Twitter, Noah …

29-Nov-2021:
So, here is the explanation I promised as to why Literal.club is not for me. I don’t need an alternative to Goodreads: I’m happier when I’m not keeping track of …

29-Nov-2021:
The upshot is I’ve no longer had it with Apple and I’m no longer (particularly) glad that I resisted the temptation to get an M1 MacBook Air!

29-Nov-2021:
Rebooting cleared the logjam, I’m pleased to say. But that’s the second time I’ve rebooted in 24 hours. I hope I’m not going to have to do this every day.

29-Nov-2021:
Well, I got my missing iCloud folders back but the Mac has again stopped syncing with iCloud. It says it’s uploading and downloading “items” but at 0Kb/sec. …

28-Nov-2021:
I finished reading Andrew Taylor, The King’s Evil, the third in a series set in Restoration London but the first I’ve read. I’m not going to write about it till …

28-Nov-2021:
OK, this worked: I unchecked iCloud Drive in Finder preferences, rebooted the MacBook Air, and then rechecked iCloud Drive. It took a minute or so to refresh …

28-Nov-2021:
Help! Last week, my MacBook Air wouldn’t sync with iCloud, so I signed out of iCloud and then back in. Now, some folders on iCloud, including Web, containing …

27-Nov-2021:
I had my booster yesterday followed by a restless night but I think that had as much to do with the high winds and rain as with the vaccine. Thanks to said wind …

26-Nov-2021:
I was racking my brains trying to remember Bruno Bettelheim’s name this morning and it just wouldn’t come. I kept thinking “Brigid Brophy”. Right initials, …

26-Nov-2021:
A tweet from Adam Roberts yesterday, comparing the volumes of two collections of Basil Bunting’s poetry (the smaller of the two titled Complete Poems) sent me …

24-Nov-2021:
In the latest issue of Talk about books, I attempt to deal with an entire series of detective novels in a single post. In the end, I had to skip two (Medusa and …

24-Nov-2021:
After my previous post, I tried logging the Mac out of iCloud and logging back in again. Fingers crossed.

24-Nov-2021:
Since I upgrated to Monterey, my Mac won’t sync with iCloud, and it’s extremely frustrating. I also upgraded to iCloud+ so I could use iCloud email with my own …

23-Nov-2021:
Three book reviews that I originally posted on Literal.club. (Charles Cumming, Box 88; Louise O’Neill, After the Silence; and Michael Connelly, The Law of …

23-Nov-2021:
I get really annoyed when I Google the distance from one place to another and I’m told it’s “a 5-minute drive” or “only a short taxi journey”. How do I convert …

23-Nov-2021:
The Wheel of Time is the latest fantasy to plunder Irish culture. Are we okay with that? I don’t see why not — we weren’t using it 😜

21-Nov-2021:
I’m likely to add two paid subscription levels to Talk about books newsletter: PDF and print editions.

21-Nov-2021:
I think I’m going to delete my Literal.club account. I’ve no desire to track my reading, or to rate or review books. I like my choice of things to read to be …

20-Nov-2021:
… a political writer convinced that political dogma (of any sort) is inimical to writing itself … the country’s most popular writer who holds some of our least …

19-Nov-2021:
I’m reading the 4th in a row of 5 of Michael Dibdin’s Aurelio Zen novels 📖 that I’m going to write about in next week’s newsletter. I wonder if that explains …

18-Nov-2021:
And, speaking about toggles in iOS/iPadOS, I’d love a quick (instant!) way to switch smart quotes on and off. As I’ve said before, I usually want curly quotes …

18-Nov-2021:
I wish iOS and iPadOS had a way to toggle “select mode” on and off. I’m fed up trying to position the insertion point precisely only to find that I’ve selected …

18-Nov-2021:
I haven’t read all of this WSJ piece because paywall but the accessible part suggests wired headphones are back because AirPods are “too widespread to be cool”, …

18-Nov-2021:
the press release/back cover copy genre does what I spent decades telling undergraduates not to do: it turns the concrete vague, it generalizes at the expense …

17-Nov-2021:
I just opened the Maps app for the first time since I upgraded to macOS Monterey about three weeks ago and … everything is clearer, sharper, more detailed and …

17-Nov-2021:
I just renewed my .ie domain name for a fourth year, so I guess I must be serious about it. I haven’t been posting a lot there recently as my Substack …

13-Nov-2021:
I just posted A year of “Talk about books” (already). Seriously, a year? The rate at which time is accelerating is increasing. Exponentially.

12-Nov-2021:
I’ve been noticing recently that some pages on my site (hosted on GitHub Pages) don’t fully load, or at least aren’t fully “painted” on the screen. Refreshing …

12-Nov-2021:
The book Antifragile is pretty bad. Like most popular management books, it’s a single useful idea padded out with anecdotes. I haven’t read the book but …

12-Nov-2021:
I’m pleasantly surprised that, among the books I chose last year to rescue from a French attic, are the second and third volumes of Len Jackson’s Foundations of …

11-Nov-2021:
I intend to reread 5 novels in Michael Dibdin’s Aurelio Zen series over the next 13 days, to write about them in the next issue of my newsletter: Cabal, Dead …

10-Nov-2021:
The 26th fortnightly issue of Talk about books, which has just gone out, is about Lucy Caldwell’s 2016 collection of short stories, Multitudes 📖

09-Nov-2021:
I thought I’d missed the opportunity to see Enrico Pieranunzi (with Jasper Somsen and Jorge Rossy) at Koa jazz festival in Montpellier; but the performance has …

06-Nov-2021:
I did worse than I expected on this Kristen/Kirsten/Kristin/Kyrsten quiz, with a score of 5 out of 12. Got both Senators wrong, but Stewart, Bell and Dunst all …

06-Nov-2021:
I never really understood Wordsworth’s “emotion recollected in tranquility”. I now know that’s because what I’m able to recollect isn’t emotion but something …

04-Nov-2021:
“To mitigate the issue with Snipping Tool, use the Print Screen key on your keyboard and paste the screenshot into your document,” recommends Microsoft. “You …

04-Nov-2021:
I took a photo on my phone, and uploaded it to iCloud, intending to edit it on the Mac. 25 minutes later, it still hasn’t shown up on iCloud in the Finder. …

04-Nov-2021:
Among the very limited selection of books that I had sent back from France were two different editions of The Changeling: the New Mermaid one, ed. Joost …

02-Nov-2021:
I’ve finally recovered those books that had spent the last 10 years in my sister’s attic in the south of France that I wasn’t willing to abandon, so I think I’m …

31-Oct-2021:
I was taught art by Patrick McGoohan’s sister at a secondary modern school in Hounslow. I’ve taken a Danger Man approach to pictures even since. Elvis Costello …

30-Oct-2021:
I’ve been reading and writing about Andrew Marvell on and off over the past 25 years and I think the thing about him that I’m most satisfied to have learned …

29-Oct-2021:
Well, I got Windows 11 installed and I find that the taskbar is fixed at the bottom of the screen, and can’t be moved. I’ve no objection in principle to …

29-Oct-2021:
I’m downloading Windows 11. It took just over 2 hours to get to 99% (with the speed fluctuating dramatically). It’s been on the last 1% for ten minutes 🤷🏻‍♂️

29-Oct-2021:
Lucy Caldwell’s “All the people were mean and bad” won the BBC National Short Story Award. A woman and her 21-month-old daughter, on a 7-hour flight home from …

29-Oct-2021:
Dropbox has gradually grown in unpopularity on the Mac it demands all sorts of access (effectively, root) that people are wary about. The Overspill. That’s why …

28-Oct-2021:
I just got from the library You Love Me, Caroline Kepnes’s 3rd book featuring repeat murderer Joe Goldberg. It looks from this Slate story as if the makers of …

27-Oct-2021:
Substack has been adding new “tools for writers”. What interests me most is the one for embedding files, including PDFs. I’ll think about including a PDF …

27-Oct-2021:
This issue of Talk about books newsletter is out and it’s about Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, a book I found disappointing when I first read it more …

26-Oct-2021:
Well, I zapped my Medium account: it’s gone for good. I hadn’t been able to set up redirects for my old “blog” subdomain, so those links are broken. My busiest …

26-Oct-2021:
For me, the hard choice in question 2 here is clearly between options 2 and 3. I’ve finally come down on the side of 2 but if you’d asked me an arbitrary number …

25-Oct-2021:
Every now and then, I get the notion that I ought to read something else by Arthur Phillips (having so far read only his first novel, Prague) but to date I …

24-Oct-2021:
Terence Eden has a post on his blog today about problems with footnotes on WordPress. That prompts me to resurrect my post from 3 years ago about avoiding …

24-Oct-2021:
I have this 5-year-old Bluetooth Boombar, that I’ve generally used with an iPod Touch, but now the battery is starting to go. So, I tried plugging an even older …

24-Oct-2021:
I found out yesterday that the Brad Mehldau Trio is playing the National Concert Hall on 3 Nov — and it was already sold out by the time I heard. So …

24-Oct-2021:
Here’s Mike Collins’s review of the new Marcin Wasilewski Trio album, En attendant. I was afraid at first that I’d been given short measure, but the album’s …

24-Oct-2021:
An album by Enrico Pieranunzi, Thomas Fonnesbaek and Ulysses Owens Jr includes a version of a very popular standard under the title “Alt kan ske” (YouTube …

23-Oct-2021:
I’ve been neglecting my Short stories on the web page, I’m sorry to say. I just updated it for the first time since December 2020, with two-not-one new stories: …

23-Oct-2021:
I keep a page that lists the 19 or so posts about aphantasia and SDAM that I’ve written since April 2018. It occurred to me yesterday that the newsletter issue …

23-Oct-2021:
The Common Reader’s Henry Oliver is Not quite against alcohol, and neither am I. I’ve become a temporary nondrinker during the pandemic, but I don’t like to …

23-Oct-2021:
… a detestable man of extraordinary contradictions … someone who even Steve Bannon pronounces too extreme in his beliefs and intentions for the Trump White …

23-Oct-2021:
I was chatting on Teams yesterday to someone at work who mentioned the need to “eliminate efficiencies”. I think I’ve always been good at that.

23-Oct-2021:
It was this that lost it for the Sun. Enjoyable piece of flash fiction from Adam Roberts (whose Purgatory Mount📖 has just come out in paperback): Earth versus …

23-Oct-2021:
People often complain that Medium hijacks text selection for highlighting, quote-tweeting, commenting etc. I’ve noticed that in Safari on iOS and iPad this …

22-Oct-2021:
This arrived in the post yesterday: the first book by Nobel winner Abdulrazak Gurnah that I’ve owned, or indeed seen. As well as the introduction, Gurnah wrote …

22-Oct-2021:
I suppose the inescapable implication of Douglas Adams’s well known riff on technology is that we can’t avoid getting more suspicious of and bewildered by …

22-Oct-2021:
It’s such a tedious cliché when someone is described as “socially liberal but economically conservative”: without liberal economics, you can’t pay for …

22-Oct-2021:
Since I said that I’m not going to be posting on Medium any more, I continue to get new followers but no new views/reads (to be expected as there’s nothing …

21-Oct-2021:
Getting around to my “afternoon coffee” (a term of Art) at last. (It’s 21:50 here). Actually wondering if I should skip it for today.

21-Oct-2021:
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has died. I’d barely heard of him and haven’t read anything he wrote but I nevertheless referred to him in a post: In defence of flow: A …

21-Oct-2021:
I deleted my Facebook and Amazon accounts; I still use Google for search but zapped my Google account (having used Gmail as my main email provider for 15 …

21-Oct-2021:
I’ve been thinking again about RSS and find that I’m even more convinced than I was when I wrote this post last year that RSS shouldn’t be a separate thing from …

20-Oct-2021:
I’m not sure about Metaverse, but I’m definitely Facebook-averse.

20-Oct-2021:
Salman Rushdie has posted a new short story on Substack. Whimsical, perhaps would-be Borgesian and undoubtedly timey-wimey, it features a (temporary) visitor …

19-Oct-2021:
I got an email from Tesco Mobile (my former phone service provider), saying they owed me a small refund and attaching a PDF purporting to include a barcode I …

18-Oct-2021:
This is my final post on Medium, unless I change my mind again. I’ve enjoyed writing there but I’m going to focus on Substack (Talk about books) and my static …

17-Oct-2021:
Yesterday, I was complaining that I couldn’t set up iCloud email wiith a custom domain address because there was something wrong with my SPF record. Turns out, …

17-Oct-2021:
I’ve moved all the Medium posts that I wanted to keep to my static site and I don’t intend to post on Medium in future. I retained the ugly Medium URLs and …

16-Oct-2021:
I’m trying to set up iCloud mail with a custom domain, but I keep being told to check my SPF record. It looks fine to me, and I’ve tried deleting and recreating …

16-Oct-2021:
As a teenager many decades ago, I meant to read Under the Volcano but somehow never got around to it. I just discovered that it quotes Marvell’s “Clorinda and …

15-Oct-2021:
Wednesday’s issue of Talk about books (about Kazuo Ishiguro’s short stories in Nocturnes) contained a link to my post from 2019 discussing Never Let Me Go …

14-Oct-2021:
I think it’s time Talk about books revisited Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad. I had separate posts about the first 2 novels (of 6 in the series) early on. The …

14-Oct-2021:
I often complain about the slapdash metadata associated with music streaming and downloads. I just had to redownload Nathalie Loriers New Trio’s album, Les 3 …

14-Oct-2021:
The last time I bought an album by Terje Gewelt was over 10 years ago. It was Oslo (2009), with E Pieranunzi on piano, and I got it from iTunes because CD …

14-Oct-2021:
The top ten publications on Substack collectively make more than $20 million a year in subscription revenue, while less popular newsletters typically make tens …

13-Oct-2021:
The latest issue of Talk about books newsletter has just gone out. It’s mainly about Kazuo Ishiguro’s collection of 5 short stories, Nocturnes. Next issue in 2 …

11-Oct-2021:
There were several things I was unhappy with on Google+, including the way it handled links and the inflexibly regular grid layout. When Google announced its …

11-Oct-2021:
Wednesday’s issue of Talk about books is going to be (primarily) about Kazuo Ishiguro’s short stories in Nocturnes. In the meantime, here’s the mini-review that …

11-Oct-2021: Substack discovery: literature
Substack’s “Discover” page can be reached in one of two ways: either straight from the home page or from the Reader at https://reader.substack.com/discover. In …

10-Oct-2021:
No, it’s Andrew Hill. Cedar Walton 🎹 🎶

10-Oct-2021:
I’m enjoying the Marcin Wasilewski trio’s performance of “Riders on the Storm” so much that I’ll never listen to The Doors’ version again. Mind you, I wouldn’t …

10-Oct-2021:
Brexit Destroyed Labour Party, Not Corbyn, it says here. Actually, I’m pretty sure that Brexit at least contributed to Corbyn’s destruction too.

09-Oct-2021:
I wish Esbjörn Svensson Trio had made a live album of the music from Seven Days of Falling. Live in London includes “Mingle in the Mincing Machine” and …

09-Oct-2021:
Usually, for a book this good, this well written, this artful, I would extol it and exhort you, I would send copies to people, I would quote and quote and …

09-Oct-2021:
Spying as a summer job, between A-Levels and university: Charles Cumming’s Box 88 📚

07-Oct-2021:
So, I just ordered the Cambridge Companion to Salman Rushdie (paperback), edited by Abdulrazak Gurnah. I’ll read some of Gurnah’s fiction soon but I thought …

07-Oct-2021:
I’m so glad I cancelled my subscription to the NYT last year, because now I can’t give in to the temptation to read that long “Bad Art Friend” story. I know I …

07-Oct-2021:
It’s 30 years this month since I gave up legal practice. Last night I dreamt that a batch of personal injury cases had been found in which I’d allowed the …

06-Oct-2021:
Kennys’ Bookshop has a new search facility and it’s a lot faster (and, on first impression, more comprehensive) than the old one. If you want to buy from a real …

06-Oct-2021:
Lennie Briscoe was one of my favourite characters on Law & Order. I didn’t know that Jerry Orbach, who played the role, and his first wife, writer Marta …

04-Oct-2021:
I was sure I’d never previously read Brian Moore’s Catholics, about which I posted yesterday. But writing about the ending, and finding the cover image, have …

04-Oct-2021:
The current issue of my newsletter (Talk about books) is about women on the run in novels by Lisa Lutz and Laura Lippman. The next one (due 13 Oct) might be …

04-Oct-2021:
I just learned by browsing Substack that Freddie deBoer thinks The Matrix (1999) is rubbish, while Ross Douthat insists it’s good. That’s all the confirmation I …

03-Oct-2021:
I just posted something about Brian Moore’s 1972 novella, Catholics. Now, back to Ishiguro’s Nocturnes but, first, my “morning” coffee 📖☕️

02-Oct-2021:
One thing I prefer on the Mac to the iPad: I can leave “smart quotes” on as default, and get “straight quotes” when I need them with a keyboard …

30-Sep-2021:
I’ve never used Keynote and very rarely use Numbers but I’ve just gone and downloaded updates to both. Indeed, these days I can go for months without even …

30-Sep-2021:
The newsletter (Talk about books) is due out every other Wednesday, but I held it till this morning so I could read it over with rested eyes. Then I overslept. …

29-Sep-2021:
I hadn’t had a keyboard with a numeric keypad for a long time until I got a Windows desktop late last year. Only a few days ago, it finally occurred to me that …

28-Sep-2021:
As I was reordering my book review posts, I was reminded of this from 6 years ago, about Andrew Taylor’s The Anatomy of Ghosts. I think I need to do a …

28-Sep-2021:
I reordered the book reviews (none recent) on my reviews page into alphabetical order by author surname. I wonder should I arrange by title the posts that have …

28-Sep-2021:
Don’t say you weren’t given fair warning. This is from John Naughton, quoting The Guardian.

26-Sep-2021:
I’m trying out the Safari Technology Preview, as John Gruber recommends before installing Safari 15. It seems fine so far. I never use tabs anyway: one of the …

26-Sep-2021:
I haven’t got a fixed internet connection here so I connect through my phone. Before I had an iPhone, I had to recharge the phone’s battery 2 or 3 times a day …

26-Sep-2021:
I was just trying to write a short note about Brian Moore’s 1972 novella, 📖Catholics📚 when it struck me that I might have been misreading it and that it may …

26-Sep-2021:
JSTOR is so frustrating! It won’t let Keychain suggest a strong password, or automatically store a password once created (you can add it manually to Keychain …

25-Sep-2021:
This is what I have to say about Philip Kerr’s early novel, A Philosophical Investigation. It’s rather more than I was expecting, given the difficulty I’ve …

24-Sep-2021:
Spotify and music streaming generally want to keep a fraudulent payment system in place because they benefit from it, as do the fraudsters, of course, according …

23-Sep-2021:
Felicia C Sullivan writes about her bridge book, the novel Follow Me into the Dark, which I discussed in my newsletter last month 📖

21-Sep-2021:
“Musk thinks Peter [Thiel] is a sociopath, and Peter thinks Musk is a fraud and a braggart.” They’re both, of course, very perceptive people and good judges of …

21-Sep-2021:
“You can now embed NFTs in your Substack posts …” Finally! Exactly the feature I’ve been waiting for with bated breath. (Excuse the sarcasm, I got a bit carried …

20-Sep-2021:
According to my ebook app (BorrowBox) I’m now on page 141 of 140 🤷‍♂️

20-Sep-2021:
Pianist Emil Viklicky remembers bassist George Mraz who died last week. As I’ve said before, Viklicky is not one of my favourite pianists but I often listen to …

20-Sep-2021:
The Irish Times books quiz is unusually easy today. I still got one wrong, though.

19-Sep-2021:
I just read a longish Substack post in NetNewsWire, wanted to ”like” it, so I opened the web page and regretted that I hadn’t read the whole post on the web. It …

19-Sep-2021:
Dave Gelly reviews with enthusiasm Chick Corea’s Akoustic Band Live. I have 2 previous albums by this trio (one live, one studio) that I don’t listen to enough. …

19-Sep-2021:
I love Tot but I’m finding its erratic behaviour frustrating. I accidentally deleted a note on my phone (no idea how) and neither shaking nor 3-finger swipe …

18-Sep-2021:
I’ve had more feedback on my Frankenstein post than on any previous issue of the newsletter and all of it favourable so far. So, naturally, I’m now worrying …

18-Sep-2021:
Somebody just commented on an old post of mine about motivation, productivity and aphantasia, recommending Obsidian. I’ve seen plenty of discussion of Obsidian …

18-Sep-2021:
I just went to turn off autocorrect on my iPad, only to find out that I already did that months ago. It still highlights misspelt words when I try to edit them, …

18-Sep-2021:
Help! The version of Carla Bley’s “Vashkar” on the new Marcin Wasilewski album is ruining those on Arctic Riff for me 🎶 🎹

17-Sep-2021:
Recent mentions of Herbie Hancock on Twitter have sent me back to the album 🎶Herbie Hancock Trio 81🎹, which I haven’t listened to for years. I’m starting to …

16-Sep-2021:
First impressions of Marcin Wasilewski Trio’s En attendant: at 43 mins, it seems insubstantial; and I much prefer their “Riders on the Storm” to The Doors’ 🎶🎹

15-Sep-2021:
The next issue of the newsletter, in 2 weeks’ time, is likely to be about “fugitive women” and to feature Laura Lippman’s Sunburn📚 and Lisa Lutz’s The …

15-Sep-2021:
I just got an email from the company I buy my coffee from, saying that Lavazza are putting their prices up, but not (unless I’m missing something) by how much. …

15-Sep-2021:
The latest issue of Talk about books (newsletter on Substack) has just gone out. It’s Creature and creator in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I loved writing it …

14-Sep-2021:
“I’ll put it on my reading list.” Might do better actually to read it. Alan Jacobs — @ayjay — recommends Richard Dawkins, improbable though that might sound: …

13-Sep-2021:
Microsoft has been messing about with Windows Paint again. When are they going to learn? I had to set a new Registry key to get it even to run, and now it takes …

12-Sep-2021:
Yesterday, I posted something on my static site that, at any time over the previous 4 months, I’d have posted on Medium. Posting on the static site is …

11-Sep-2021:
This is the first thing I’ve posted on my own site since May. I had been posting to Medium (using a custom domain name) in the meantime, but that experiment is …

11-Sep-2021:
The more I look at the draft I have on the Mac, the more I see that it’s a very early draft, missing edits that I made nearly an hour ago. The iPad must have …

11-Sep-2021:
Not only did I lose the last paragraph, but edits that I’d made to earlier paragraphs also didn’t survive. I thought Tot had versions, so that I could go back …

11-Sep-2021:
I really need to be careful when switching between the iPad and the Mac. I just lost the last paragraph of something I’d been writing in Tot on the iPad when I …

10-Sep-2021:
I’m not consistent in choosing filenames (slugs) for posts on my website. Sometimes I’ll use an initial capital for proper names because it’s allowed: the names …

10-Sep-2021:
I just found out that there’s a new Marcin Wasilewski Trio album out today, 🎹En Attendant🎶. I’ve ordered the CD direct from the ECM website. Now playing their …

08-Sep-2021:
Sean O’Neill argues that the significance of Sally Rooney’s Irishness hasn’t been given the attention it deserves. He makes a good, if overstated, case. It …

08-Sep-2021:
The phrase “vanilla JavaScript” has lost none of its power to irritate the hell out of me. Why are tech people so bad at knowing what to call things? Other …

08-Sep-2021:
Problematically, Substack does not identify which authors are part of the Substack Pro programme. Yeah, that’s capitalism for you. Very few businesses …

07-Sep-2021:
Before I deleted my Google account, I had been artkavanagh@gmail.com for 15 years. I regularly got emails — one concerning someone’s mental health and several …

06-Sep-2021:
That’s twice in one day I’ve come across (unrelated) references to Howard Carter and Tutankhamun’s tomb. Coincidence? Almost certainly.

06-Sep-2021:
I’m back doing my own coffee-grinding for the foreseeable. I cycled to Castlebar Aldi on Friday to stock up on their ground espresso but there was none left so …

06-Sep-2021:
When I was writing last week’s issue of the newsletter (about the Jackson Brodie series) I forgot to include a link to something I’d written before, about Kate …

05-Sep-2021:
I write most things that are intended for my own site in nonstandard but valid Markdown, i.e. mainly “plain” text with html tags where necessary. I was using iA …

05-Sep-2021: Innocence, ignorance or complicity (Kazuo Ishiguro) 📚
Ishiguro’s new novel provides the opportunity to take a second look at Kathy from Never Let Me Go I haven’t read Kazuo Ishiguro’s very recent novel, Klara and …

04-Sep-2021:
The latest issue of my Substack newsletter is about Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie series of novels. I expect to feature another of her books, Transcription, in …

04-Sep-2021:
Four months ago, I resumed paying the Medium membership fee to get a custom domain name and hoping for better recommendations. But the quality of items in my …

04-Sep-2021:
One thing (of very many) that annoys me about Google is that, if I click a search result and then follow a few more links from there, the only way I can get …

04-Sep-2021:
I detest websites that make the fan start up on my (Intel) MacBook Air. LinkedIn is one of them if I leave it open too long. That in itself might be a good …

04-Sep-2021:
This WSJ story is the first of the many pieces I’ve read on the Supreme Court’s order on the Texas abortion law to explain the issues in terms that I could …

03-Sep-2021:
I just joined literal.club where my username is @artkavanagh (as it is almost everywhere except Twitter). I deleted my Goodreads account some time ago, so I …

03-Sep-2021:
… perhaps there are no new forms – of writing, of personal connection, of belief in something that gives meaning to the world. Perhaps there is nothing for it …

02-Sep-2021:
The most recent issue of my newsletter, Talk about books, is about Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie novels. I’ve been wanting to write about them for some time 📚

31-Aug-2021:
I just deactivated my Reddit account. I never really felt I belonged there. Interestingly, a deactivated account is not recoverable, while other platforms offer …

31-Aug-2021:
I’ve used autocomplete in preference to bookmarks in my browser since autocomplete started. I visit Charles Arthur’s The Overspill almost every weekday. So, …

29-Aug-2021:
I don’t usually like “very short stories” or flash fiction because, too often, there just isn’t room for the story, or even a story. But I always make an …

28-Aug-2021:
TIL that Rupert Holmes, who wrote the novel on which Atom Egoyan’s Where the Truth Lies🎬 is based, is also responsible for “The Piña Colada Song”. I’m utterly …

28-Aug-2021:
Richard Williams, reviewing Marc Johnson’s solo bass album, Overpass, points out that Charlie Haden, “who recorded many times in a duo setting,” never made a …

27-Aug-2021:
I just wasted a chunk of the afternoon trying to persuade a mod on r/books that I ought to be able to include a link in a discussion post. It seems that the …

27-Aug-2021:
Here’s an interesting view on Sally Rooney’s novels as a “shameless reassertion of white individualism”. Rooney clearly sees economic class, not race, as the …

26-Aug-2021:
Rock musicians aspire to have jazz credibility – even Ginger Baker called himself a jazz drummer, for God’s sake. This cracked me up: an acerbic aside from …

25-Aug-2021:
This is my favourite Charlie Watts story 🎶🎹

24-Aug-2021:
Twitter … satisfies our yearning for an aphorism of banality … an aphorism that closes down rather than discloses … I enjoyed Adam Roberts’s review of Patricia …

23-Aug-2021:
I often use Dir$() in VBA in my day job, to batch process folders of Word documents. But it doesn’t handle subfolders. For years I’ve put off learning an …

22-Aug-2021:
My newsletter, Talk about books, has now reached its 20th fortnightly issue, which means it’s been running for 38 weeks. I just posted a summary of issues 14 to …

22-Aug-2021:
In the current issue of my newsletter, I make the case that ambivalence about justice is more or less universal, arising from our reason/observation/experience …

19-Aug-2021:
I hadn’t seen any of The Good Fight📺 since season 2, but I just caught an episode from season 5 and it’s an utter travesty. It felt more like Ally McBeal than …

18-Aug-2021:
The new issue of Talk about books, my newsletter, is titled Your favourite author’s ambivalence about justice. In 2 weeks’ time I’ll be writing about Kate …

18-Aug-2021:
Alan Jacobs (@ayjay) about rationalists: they’re about “overcoming bias,” about eliminating subjectivity – cognitive errors to them are always about …

18-Aug-2021:
Couldn’t keep my eyes open at 7.30pm yesterday, so I lay down for a late siesta and woke up after midnight. I didn’t want to cook dinner at that hour, so worked …

18-Aug-2021:
Facebook (and in some aspects of their business, Google and Amazon) are the robber barons of the information technology era. That’s how they got so rich.

17-Aug-2021:
Is Dark Spectre (1996) a riposte to Red Dragon (1981)? Thomas Harris’s Francis Dolarhyde kills because of delusions about William Blake. Michael Dibdin suggests …

15-Aug-2021:
Parts of the internet — Medium, GitHub, om.co, the Irish Times — seem to be out today, or at best very sluggish, while other parts — including Micro.blog — are …

15-Aug-2021:
I just posted this on Medium Reverse chronological order? Trying to stop some posts from going out of date

12-Aug-2021:
Medium has broken the Back button. It happens when you’re on somebody’s profile page, click on the “Read more” link under a snippet, and then try to get back to …

09-Aug-2021:
I’m reading Kate Atkinson’s 📖Big Sky (2019) at last and thoroughly enjoying it. The next-but-one issue of the newsletter is probably going to be about her …

09-Aug-2021:
How on earth did they manage to design the USB-A connection so that you always try it the wrong way around first? It’s impressive (if malicious) 😈

09-Aug-2021:
Charles Arthur (the Overspill) says “we are starting to think that reviews really aren’t a good metric for anything”, but honestly I came to that conclusion at …

07-Aug-2021:
But, while he himself would never have taken the extreme measure of slaughtering his loved ones to keep them from coming over uninvited, once someone else does …

07-Aug-2021:
I’ve reordered the book discussion section of my home page to list the posts in alphabetical order by author surname instead of reverse chronological order as …

07-Aug-2021:
Late autumn has come early this year. I seem to have completely missed early autumn, which is annoying 😡

06-Aug-2021:
Alexandro Chen, “Hired to do nothing”, a short story told from the point of view of a man who, on a whim, offers a service for which he doesn’t expect there to …

06-Aug-2021:
How did we build a machine that rewards people for being the dumbest, snarkiest, most kneejerk tribal versions of themselves? And why am I using it??? Helen …

06-Aug-2021:
It seems that the third book in Dervla McTiernan’s Cormac Reilly series, The Good Turn📚, will finally be available in paperback at the end of this month. Oh, …

05-Aug-2021:
Glad they’ve got this (almost) sorted out. UK musicians to be able to tour visa-free in 19 EU countries

04-Aug-2021:
Sophie Hannah tries to explain why so many readers/critics etc think that Agatha Christie wasn’t a very good writer. I’m sure she’s partly right but I think …

04-Aug-2021:
I was in the supermarket, and Dido’s “Here with Me” was playing and I realized for the first time that it’s a completely different song from “White Flag”. OK, …

04-Aug-2021:
There’s another issue of my newsletter, Talk about books, just out. It’s about Felicia C Sullivan’s 2017 novel, Follow Me into the Dark. More in 2 weeks 📖

04-Aug-2021:
John made me outline my self-image. In brief: my best efforts always fail and I must punish myself into being better. He was horrified. I thought everyone felt …

04-Aug-2021:
It’s usually said that the users are the product, but they aren’t even that: they’re the conduit for the product, which is data. Yup. From Snakes and Ladders

03-Aug-2021:
Future Tense editor Torie Bosch set out to praise Microsoft Word, but ended up excoriating Google Docs. I used to be enthusiastic about Word but every time I …

03-Aug-2021:
Martin Hiesboeck is frustrated at the way Taiwan is seen from Europe and believes there’s a lot that Taiwan could do to improve the position: Seeing Taiwan from …

02-Aug-2021:
This bookshop in Louisburgh, County Mayo, opened 5 years ago and I’ve been meaning to visit ever since, but of course it’s been closed for over a year. On …

01-Aug-2021:
This morning I read for the first time a post from Jan 2020 by Ryan Langdon about his shock on learning that some people don’t have an internal monologue. It …

31-Jul-2021:
Economics Substacker Noah Smith is very good on the topic of Twitter. I think I previously posted a link to The Terrific Triviality of Twitter. Now he’s …

31-Jul-2021:
It’s more than 30 years since I read The Handmaid’s Tale. I think it’s well past time that I reread it 📖

28-Jul-2021:
Here’s Dea Poirier on Crime Reads about writing fiction without the ability to visualize. I don’t think I’d ever go as far as filling out an Excel spreadsheet …

27-Jul-2021:
I hadn’t seen this before, and stumbled on it while looking for something else: Eileen Battersby’s ranking of Ian McEwan’s novels. Among the ones to avoid, she …

26-Jul-2021:
The internet is flowing like sludge. I wonder if there can be some kind of sporting event taking place that’s using up everybody’s bandwidth?

26-Jul-2021:
Since I started to use Medium with my own domain, I find that I’m very happy with it as a place to post my own writing. As a place to find things I want to …

26-Jul-2021:
It’s occurred to me that maybe I should sell my iPad Air 3 and my iPhone 12 Mini and replace them both with a regular iPhone 12, but I’ll resist the temptation. …

26-Jul-2021:
I’m finding that I tend to skip over tweets (and Micro.blog posts) that have multiple emojis, much as I used to do with tweets containing more than one hashtag. …

26-Jul-2021:
I hope I’m not being unfair to Alexis Nowicki when I say that I don’t believe that Kristen Roupenian did anything wrong. From the most recent issue of my …

26-Jul-2021:
What iOS and iPad need, IMO, is an easy, unambiguous way to collapse a selection. I’m fed up tapping at the end of a piece of selected text only to follow a …

25-Jul-2021:
Here’s a highly informative post by Richard Williams about Mose Allison, about whom I knew less than I should have. I’m not sure I want a 6-CD box, but I’d love …

25-Jul-2021:
My posts on Medium have been getting much less external (i.e. mainly Google) traffic recently. Maybe this was already happening before I was using my own domain …

25-Jul-2021:
There’s lots to think about in this post from Noah Smith: Why is China smashing its tech industry?

24-Jul-2021:
I noticed recently that when I reposted old posts/articles on Medium, it put them at the top of the timeline instead of slotting them in at the date of first …

23-Jul-2021:
I bought a CD player a few months ago after years without one, and I’ve been using it mainly to play CDs. I just found out that when I’m playing through the …

23-Jul-2021:
I’m fully exempt from having to watch Shyamalan’s Old, because I’ve read the spoilers. Quite entertaining, actually.

23-Jul-2021:
Though I went to school in Sligo and was born and brought up in the county, I’ve been to the Sligo Jazz Festival only once, in 2012. I’d have gone this year but …

23-Jul-2021:
The new lists feature in Medium has something useful that I hadn’t noticed till now: a “Recently viewed” tab that contains a history of the pages you’ve …

21-Jul-2021:
Here’s the post explaining what Medium lists are about and how to make them. It’s all very straightforward: I made two of them ([Book …

21-Jul-2021:
The past two weeks haven’t gone particularly slowly, yet it seems like ages since I’ve sent out an issue of the newsletter. Well, here’s one at last: Uncovering …

21-Jul-2021:
This came in the post today. I think I’ll enjoy reading it.

20-Jul-2021:
The next wave of Facebook Bulletin writers in case you’re interested/curious. There’s nothing here that grabs my attention and I don’t want to have anything to …

20-Jul-2021:
My second attempt at a Medium list naturally had to be about aphantasia and SDAM (severely deficient autobiographical memory)

20-Jul-2021:
Medium has a new feature: user-generated lists. This is my first attempt — Literary discussion and criticism

19-Jul-2021:
I love Law & Order. Particularly seasons 5 through 17, when Jack McCoy was EADA. The first 4 seasons, though they had Steven Hill, might as well be a …

19-Jul-2021:
I was taken aback by the tone of comments on this post about Angular. Not just disagreement but scorn, contumely and vituperation. Someone suggested it was …

19-Jul-2021:
Alan Jacobs (@ayjay) was not happy with the ReMarkable (because of low contrast) or the Kobo Elipsa (poor build quality and unresponsive software), making me …

18-Jul-2021:
I hadn’t thought about BookFunnel for years till, a few days ago, I followed a link that led to a BF landing page. Today I learn (again via Nate Hoffelder) that …

18-Jul-2021:
If you use an email address based on your own domain, don’t ever let that domain registration expire without first changing the email on your Paypal, bank …

18-Jul-2021:
I woke up in the night, thought I had something in my eye and tried to pull on my eyelash to dislodge it. But I couldn’t find the eyelash. So, when I got up …

18-Jul-2021:
Ought-to-correct is such a bloody menace. Why do I ever have it turned on?

18-Jul-2021:
All of my devices (Mac, iPad, iPhone) are plugged in, charging. None of them is near where I want to sit. I guess I’ll just have to read a book.

17-Jul-2021:
I plugged my iPod Touch into the Mac to replace 2 albums that had managed to delete themselves from the former. When I ejected it, the screen brightness had …

17-Jul-2021:
A few days ago I posted a rather gloomy piece about the crisis in the arts. To balance that out a bit, I wanted to remind myself of this more sanguine post from …

15-Jul-2021:
Note to self: next time I order from coffeeclick.ie I’m to get the Lavazza Gran Espresso rather than the Super Crema. (The latter was on special offer last …

14-Jul-2021:
I just posted this on Medium (aka my blog): “Don’t blame the pandemic: the arts were already in crisis”. To the best of my knowledge, it’s not behind the …

13-Jul-2021:
I love this dismissal by @baldur of Kevin Kelly’s “1,000 true fans” notion. I wonder if there’s any empirical evidence either way, though. Has anyone ever …

10-Jul-2021:
I just posted this on Medium: Habits and habitation.

10-Jul-2021:
My Twitter timeline is almost all in black & white this morning. What’s up?

09-Jul-2021:
If you enjoy the Bluestocking, … do howl into the Twitter void about it. I live only in the golden moment of your applause. My favourite Substack newsletter …

08-Jul-2021:
I got a flat tyre 🚲 5 Km from home, on my way back from shopping in Westport. Normally, I’d have a spare inner tube in my pannier but bike shops have been …

06-Jul-2021:
Keychain refuses either to save my password for JSTOR or to suggest a new strong password when I reset it (which I’ve had to do regularly because it won’t save …

06-Jul-2021:
Having tried this approach for several days now, I confirm that leaving the coffee in the Aeropress for just 36 seconds works best for me. I use an espresso …

06-Jul-2021:
Is it possible to crosspost to Twitter using the feed for a particular MB category (e.g. “tweet”)? I’ve tried a couple of times to set this up but I can’t …

06-Jul-2021:
I’m seeing a lot of mildly annoying posts from a particular writer on Medium, so I decide to unfollow her — only to find that I’m not following her. I’m seeing …

06-Jul-2021:
Medium has always tended to behave differently in Safari for iPad than it does in macOS Safari. I just discovered that if you’re editing a post on the iPad, you …

05-Jul-2021:
I just got a text from officialdom asking if I was still living at the same address as when I came back to Ireland in Oct 2020. I’m not, so they asked me to …

05-Jul-2021:
I’m encouraged to find that Andy Matuschak takes the same view as I do on the relative merits of PDF and epub.

04-Jul-2021:
Oddly enough, I wasn’t conscious of this when I was setting up the talkaboutbooks.net domain for my Substack newsletter but it’s just struck me that my reason …

04-Jul-2021:
I’ve been trying the Logitech K380 Bluetooth keyboard (that I usually use with the iPad) with the iPhone. Surprisingly, Cmd-Tab to switch apps doesn’t seem to …

04-Jul-2021:
Scott Flanigan picks 10 tracks by Brad Mehldau I can’t do without. I’d have made some different choices — “50 ways to leave your lover” from Day Is Done, and “I …

03-Jul-2021:
Steven Soderbergh has made another heist movie, his sixth after Out of Sight (1998), the Oceans trilogy (2001, 2004, 2007), and Logan Lucky (2017). So The …

03-Jul-2021:
I may not have lost my taste for coffee after all. I’d taken too seriously a YouTube video that recommended letting the coffee sit in the Aeropress for 2 …

03-Jul-2021:
Like Vincent van Gogh and Marvell’s “Little T C”, Roddy Doyle was given the same first name as an older sibling who had died 📖

03-Jul-2021:
I just posted “A custom domain for my Substack newsletter”. It’s on Medium but not paywalled.

02-Jul-2021:
I’ve been meaning to read Felicia C Sullivan’s novel, Follow Me into the Dark📖, since I found some of her short stories on Medium about 4 years ago. I’ve now …

02-Jul-2021:
Jonathan Carroll is one of the most reliably good writers on Medium. Here’s a snippet from him that I hope you fountain pen enthusiasts will enjoy ✒️

02-Jul-2021:
I’ve been having a bit of discussion about RSS with MarkStarlin over on Medium about RSS feeds (particularly their usefulness for following people/topics on …

02-Jul-2021:
I just deleted two short posts referring to this piece on the Catholic nuptials of Boris Johnson. Let the piece speak for itself, I no longer wish to express an …

01-Jul-2021:
I decided to go ahead and use a custom domain with my Substack newsletter. Still not sure it’s worth it but I like the domain and thought it would be nice to …

30-Jun-2021:
Dustin Grinnell, How to write with aphantasia on Aphantasia Network. Good a reason as any to reup my Reading Wuthering Heights with aphantasia.

30-Jun-2021:
I’m awfully tempted to register a domain name to use with my Substack newsletter. Substack charges $50 to use a custom domain and I’m not persuaded there’s any …

29-Jun-2021:
I just Googled “lost my taste for coffee” and got 14,500 hits. So, I guess it’s a thing. This is worrying 😮 Drinking 3 to 4 double espressos a day is the main …

29-Jun-2021:
I was hunting through the iTunes Music folder (in the file system), to add back music that had once been in my iTunes/Apple Music library but had somehow been …

29-Jun-2021:
Why Amazon’s recommendation system is a disaster. Amazon’s reviews are rubbish. From the Department of Sylvan Ursine Digestion Studies.

29-Jun-2021:
I’ve noticed that my lack of a visual self-image is a recurring theme in my writing about aphantasia. I can’t picture myself-in-the-world. But Googling “self …

29-Jun-2021:
Either the bezels on my iPad Air 3 are too narrow or my thumbs are too big ☹️

28-Jun-2021:
I’ve been trying to log in to NY Review of Books to read one article for free, but it tells me that my password is wrong. So I reset the password and save the …

27-Jun-2021:
I’ve just been listening to Florian Ross Trio’s album Blinds and Shades for the first time in a while. I’d forgotten how good it is 🎶 🎹 😎

27-Jun-2021:
I sat down this morning to write a blog post about “Tech’s unfulfilled promises” over the past four decades, and discovered that I had already written that very …

26-Jun-2021:
I took a trip on a train, And I thought about … doing this more often.

25-Jun-2021:
Here’s a mini-review by Ted Gioia of Bill Evans’s On a Friday Evening, a little known, previously unreleased recording from 1975

25-Jun-2021:
I’m Back on Twitter: maybe for good this time.

23-Jun-2021:
The latest issue of my newsletter is Judicial misconduct: Scott Turow’s judges, prosecutors and defence lawyers. I hope you enjoy it. There’ll be more in 2 …

21-Jun-2021:
I just learned that Craig Venter has aphantasia. Other interesting people who have/had it include the philosopher Derek Parfit.

21-Jun-2021:
The most exciting musical performance I ever attended was by the Brad Mehldau Trio in Sète, July 2008. I’m so tempted to go back for more, but not sure it’s …

20-Jun-2021:
I just got a renewal receipt from Zoho Mail, so I guess that means it’s already a year since I started using my own domain for email. Time flies.

19-Jun-2021:
… in the likely event of McDonald becoming taoiseach? Likely event? More and more, I’m asking myself if I can still live in Ireland if Sinn Féin becomes the …

19-Jun-2021:
This happens every other weekend and I’m getting really fed up with it. The Cancel button is greyed out and there’s no way to dismiss the box. I’ll have to …

18-Jun-2021:
Yesterday, I tweeted a link to an NYT article, “The boys in their summer dresses”. Coincidentally, 3 days earlier, I’d posted a blog post illustrated by a still …

17-Jun-2021:
It turns out that Medium were indeed clearing out bots and spam accounts: Keeping Medium authentic.

17-Jun-2021:
Not that it makes a lot of practical difference, but I seem to have lost 150 followers on Medium all at once. The count has dropped from about 713 to 563 since …

17-Jun-2021:
I’m really enjoying Noah Smith’s Substack newsletter, Noahpinion, at least for now. I’ll get fed up eventually, as I always do when the topic is the dismal …

17-Jun-2021:
NYT: The boys in their summer dresses. I’m afraid I’d look like ram dressed as lamb. Why didn’t this happen 35 years ago?

17-Jun-2021:
In July 2019 I posted a short piece on Medium, What Colm Tóibín said about genre fiction. Then, a few months ago, I moved it from Medium to my own site, as a …

17-Jun-2021:
I hate “recommendations”. I had hoped mine would improve after I resumed my Medium subscription, as reading more paywalled stories would give a better idea of …

16-Jun-2021:
A little over 3 years ago, I learned that most people can form mental images and that those of us who can’t have a condition called aphantasia. Over the next 2 …

16-Jun-2021:
As it’s Bloomsday (the anniversary of the day on which James Joyce’s great novel is set, 16 June 1904), here again is the issue of my newsletter in which I …

15-Jun-2021:
Edward Snowden has started a Substack newsletter

15-Jun-2021:
”Heroes don’t do that.” So glad I’ve never aspired to be a hero (super or otherwise) if that’s true 📺

15-Jun-2021:
Sometimes the saying that “Twitter isn’t real life” is true! But sometimes Twitter actually is real life, like when outrage on the platform gets people fired …

15-Jun-2021:
I’m listening at the moment to “Bud Powell” (song) by Chick Corea (pianist) … or have I got that the wrong way around? 🎶 🎹

15-Jun-2021:
Ireland’s data watchdog loses sole oversight of Facebook in Europe Though the ECJ judgment is being characterized as a “loss” for Ireland’s Data Protection …

15-Jun-2021:
It’s counterproductive to call for Justice Breyer to step down before the midterm elections. For him to accede to such demands would be to accept that the …

14-Jun-2021:
The Guardian: Rightwing firm posed as leftist group on Facebook to divide Democrats. Now there’s a surprise! It looks like a breach of campaign finance laws but …

13-Jun-2021:
Here’s a 2,000 word piece about aphantasia in the NYT by Carl Zimmer (who alerted Adam Zeman to the existence of people who had been aphantasic from birth). …

13-Jun-2021:
I’ve just been followed on Medium by Smokestack Lightnin’. Oh, sorry, no. It’s Substack Writing. That’s good too.

13-Jun-2021:
He changed the lives of many, myself included, with his disdain for hierarchy, humour and generosity … Philippe Sands on “the outstanding public international …

13-Jun-2021:
I should probably make it clear that I didn’t mean “What a clown!” in a good way 😉

13-Jun-2021:
I missed this at the time but it has resurfaced in the context of President Biden’s quotation from Yeats’s “Easter 1916”. Boris Johnson, then Foreign Secretary, …

12-Jun-2021:
I stayed with Ryan Holiday’s Conspiracy📚 to the end, in case there were any surprises. Not sure it was worth it. It’s an intriguing story, but shoehorned into …

11-Jun-2021:
I was chatting with my sister two weeks ago about Donen’s Charade🍿 and mentioned that I’ve always meant to rewatch Jonathan Demme’s remake, The Truth about …

11-Jun-2021:
Here’s a nice coincidence. It seems that President Biden quoted Yeats’s “Easter 1916” during his UK visit. Coincidence because the phrase “where motley is worn” …

11-Jun-2021:
Found it (in another room I can’t remember going into, obviously).

11-Jun-2021:
I had the handle of the coffee grinder in my hand a few minutes ago. I put it down while I was filling the grinder with beans and now I can’t find the handle …

10-Jun-2021:
Really, most science fiction is about economics says Noah Smith, in Science fiction novels for economists. I used to be obsessed with economics but I’ve lost …

09-Jun-2021:
The new issue of my newsletter (Talk about books) is Globalization noir: Alan Glynn’s Winterland, Bloodland and Graveland trilogy. I enjoyed rereading these …

09-Jun-2021:
Is it just me or is the internet excruciatingly sloooooooooooooooooooooooooooow today? I suspect that my phone service provider may be throttling my data …

08-Jun-2021:
having published as only his second book the most important English-language novel of the second half of the 20th century … he still had most of a literary …

05-Jun-2021:
I know what they mean when they say it’s unfair to demonise the whole of the clergy for just a few thousand rotten apples … 50 years of Martyn Turner cartoons …

05-Jun-2021:
Nothing playful or strange or the ahead of time stuff that’s in there. Jeanette Winterson burns her own books because the publisher’s covers and blurbs …

04-Jun-2021:
Well, I held off for almost 6 years but I’ve finally turned off slide over and split view on the iPad. I don’t think I’ve ever invoked them intentionally. I …

04-Jun-2021:
I’ve avoided Medium’s RSS feeds in the past because they included comments/responses as well as substantial posts. It seems they no longer do this, so I’ve …

03-Jun-2021:
I noticed that some albums I’d bought as iTunes downloads had gone from my Apple Music library, so I went to look for them in the iTunes store but they weren’t …

03-Jun-2021:
So, I plugged the iPod Touch into the MacBook Air to copy some music across and it prompted me to download iOS 14.5. It started at “9 hours remaining”, went up …

03-Jun-2021:
Never mind pilates, yoga and whatnot, we should be able to go to falling-over sessions during which we’re pulled, pushed and tripped over willy-nilly until we …

02-Jun-2021:
I suppose what I mean is, on the one hand, since the HTML specification makes it clear that italics aren’t only for emphasis, it annoys me that Medium and …

02-Jun-2021:
I stopped italicizing book and journal titles in posts on Medium and Substack because both of those platforms treat all inline italics as emphasis. In …

01-Jun-2021:
I borrowed Ryan Holiday’s Conspiracy📚 from the library on impulse just because the ebook was available without a wait. Great story but I’m not sure I’m in the …

31-May-2021:
I didn’t enjoy Liz Nugent’s Our Little Cruelties📖 as much as her earlier books. She alternates the internal voices of the 3 Drumm brothers but they’re not …

31-May-2021:
Terence Eden asks What are unusual characters?

31-May-2021:
Who knew? “Pro” at the end of a name can sometimes mean “Programmer’s”: as in “Polish Pro” keyboard layout. Great story about how it became impossible to type …

30-May-2021:
I’m about halfway through Liz Nugent’s Our Little Cruelties (ebook borrowed from the library). It’s Nugent, so the characters are unsympathetic, ghastly. I’m …

30-May-2021:
My first substantial post since I went back to using Medium as my blog. A kind of addendum to last week’s issue of the newsletter: “Still to be plagued in …

30-May-2021:
Not that I’d trust Boris Johnson’s judgment or advice on anything, but maybe it’s time to repeal section 18, Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829. Just a thought. …

29-May-2021:
Now that I’m using Medium as my blog, I thought of importing some blog-style posts from my static site, so I worked out how to handle canonical links. However, …

29-May-2021:
I looked out the window at 5.30 this morning and saw that the sky was a vivid red. It looked beautiful but I thought “uh-oh, shepherd’s warning”. Four hours …

28-May-2021:
Matt Yglesias says that Twitter may be creating “bubbles of fake consensus” across various fields of expertise: science, economics and maybe others. Long, …

27-May-2021:
For weeks (months?) now, whenever I follow a link to a New York Times story it tells me I’ve reached my limit of free articles. Permanently? Or just for this …

27-May-2021:
The fact that this is called The Beast Must Die and features a “Detective Strangeways” suggests to me that diabolical liberties have been taken with the plot of …

27-May-2021:
I’ve never read anything by Patrick O’Brian, (though I heard a bit of one of his novels being read on Radio 4 many years ago — when I used to listen to Radio …

27-May-2021:
Here is the latest issue of my newsletter, Talk about books. The title is “To overreach the devil”: William Empson partly rewrites Marlowe’s Faustus. It’s the …

27-May-2021:
I sought a theme and … think I’ve found one. It’s big and unruly and hard to wrestle with, though.

27-May-2021:
The most recent issue of Ted Gioia’s newsletter, How I became the honest broker, covers a lot of ground and is well worth reading in full. But this passage …

26-May-2021:
So Amazon has bought MGM. (Hat tip @dave 😀.) I’ve got a copy of 12 Angry Men on DVD that I probably haven’t watched for more than 15 years. I suppose I’m …

26-May-2021:
I’ll probably continue to wear a mask in public when I’m fully vaccinated. Two reasons: I broke one of my front teeth last year and I haven’t been able to get …

26-May-2021:
I remember someone complaining about the way iPad and iOS handle text selection now. This person missed the loupe. I’m convinced that the present approach is …

26-May-2021:
there is limited awareness of the culture war debate more generally in the UK – despite a huge surge in related media coverage in recent years, from just 21 …

24-May-2021:
I think the local shop gets McNamee’s wheaten bread in on a Sunday. Yesterday, they had just one loaf left, so I assumed that it was the last of the previous …

24-May-2021:
I was reminded of this post, The upside of SDAM, yesterday, when I found the abandoned draft of an intended companion piece that I’d forgotten about. I’m …

24-May-2021:
Benedict Evans, quoted by Charles Arthur, on the subject of Apple’s ad strategy.

24-May-2021:
He was homeless, so would sleep on people’s floors, devouring their books. Judy Collins, in My favourite Dylan song. It would have worked out cheaper to give …

22-May-2021:
Enticing review by Sebastian Scotney of Moravian Romance, a duo album from Miroslav Vitous and Emil Viklicky. Vitous is definitely not one of my favourite …

21-May-2021:
Here is a short (6 item) list of Substack newsletters that I like and read. I tried it out as a blogroll but I’m not (yet) happy with the way blogrolls are …

21-May-2021:
Speaking about Paul Graham, I keep forgetting to visit his site, though I mean to. The RSS feed from it doesn’t work very well, at least in NetNewsWire. There …

21-May-2021:
John Naughton linked to a 2009 essay by Paul Graham which is a revelation to me. Since learning about #aphantasia, I’ve blamed my scheduling failures on my …

20-May-2021:
I’ve noticed a lot of Substack users asking how to find new writers or newsletters on the platform. I use Google, with site:substack.com added to my search …

20-May-2021:
After trying it for a few days, I’ve removed the “blogroll” (officially called “Homepage links”) from my Substack archive page. It was making the page look …

20-May-2021:
I’ve been driving myself crazy trying to figure out why I can’t get some music to sync from Apple Music to my iPod Touch. It turns out that, though this music …

19-May-2021:
I’m rereading (after a very long gap) William Empson’s 📖 Faustus and the Censor (1987) for the next issue of my newsletter. It will be the third (and probably …

19-May-2021:
Vous n’encaissez pas la vérité! But can you handle the deepfake? via Charles Arthur, The Overspill 😉

18-May-2021:
Microsoft Teams for personal use is now available on the web/desktop as well as on iOS and Android, it says here. I’ve been using it on iPad since Aug/Sep, as a …

17-May-2021:
“There are many ways in which the thing I am trying in vain to say may be tried in vain to be said” Lara Marlowe on the affinity between Beckett and …

17-May-2021:
Legislation will be introduced, the Queen said last week, to “restore the balance of power between the executive, legislature and the courts”. Joshua …

16-May-2021:
Whoever designed the sardine tin, with its thin, springy metal top that practically guarantees you’ll either slice your hand or spray ketchup/oil on yourself, …

16-May-2021:
I’ve been trying out the new “blogroll” feature on Substack. I think it makes the page look too cramped, so I’ll probably remove it and put my list of …

16-May-2021:
It seems that I only ever mention Lawrence Lessig when I write “I don’t usually agree with Lessig, but …”. Here he is On the issues with free speech

16-May-2021:
Well, I read An Anonymous Girl to the end. It got better in the second half and the plot was quite well handled, though utterly daft. I didn’t believe a word of …

16-May-2021:
What’s this about Martial Solal hanging up his piano stool? I went to a trio concert of his in Aix-en-Provence in (approx) 2013 that was billed as part of his …

16-May-2021:
I wish I could get the MacBook Air and iPad to connect to the iPhone’s personal hotspot automatically. Every time I wake one of them from sleep, I have to go …

15-May-2021:
I’m a third of the way through An Anonymous Girl📚 by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen and I’m thinking about giving up. Its premise is extremely contrived; …

14-May-2021:
I swear, if Twitter keeps nagging me to turn on notifications I will delete my account again 😡

14-May-2021:
Here’s more about Substack’s acquisition of People & Company, from one of the latter’s founders.

13-May-2021:
Substack announces that it has acquired People & Company, an organization specializing in “community building”. I don’t know exactly what this means, but …

12-May-2021:
I’ve just sent out the latest (by my count the 13th) issue of my Talk about books newsletter. The title is “Morally neutral at best: Sally Rooney’s …

12-May-2021:
Tried again. Something is downloading this time: 5.69GB of software. Fingers crossed.

11-May-2021:
So, I plugged the iPhone into my MacBook Air and followed the steps to Restore. It says it’s downloading the software but I’m not convinced that anything is …

11-May-2021:
Whenever you change the passcode on your iPhone, or set one up for the first time, the phone should force you to use it the first 5 or 6 times, before it allows …

11-May-2021:
I haven’t read anything by Christopher Priest except The Prestige📚, — my review — and I read that only after (and because of) seeing Nolan’s film. I’d like to …

10-May-2021:
I tweaked the font colour on what I’ve now started to call “my static site” slightly. I know that some people were finding the yellow text too garish, so I’ve …

10-May-2021:
I posted yesterday about using my Medium profile with my own domain. I’m not sure, but at first glance it looks as if Medium’s RSS feeds might no longer include …

09-May-2021:
I had been slowly moving my old posts from Medium to artkavanagh.ie. But Medium has changed in the meantime. It now allows customization of themes and fonts, …

07-May-2021:
Listening for (maybe) the first time since the first decade of this millennium to 🎹 Bill Evans’s album You Must Believe In Spring 🎶. Eddie Gomez’s bass sounds …

07-May-2021:
Enrico Pieranunzi has made so many great albums that I sometimes go for months without listening to some of my favourites e.g. Dream Dance (2010). Forgot how …

07-May-2021:
One of the reasons I got a Nokia flip phone rather than a smartphone last year was that I had been missing T9. I hate using a QWERTY keyboard on a small screen. …

06-May-2021:
After 2 days with my first ever iPhone, I think it’s helping me to appreciate the iPad better: I’d stopped noticing how much I like the latter’s big screen and …

06-May-2021:
I think Substack is down.

06-May-2021:
Why is it bad that investment companies are buying whole estates? Rents in and around Dublin are preposterously high, which is what has attracted the investment …

04-May-2021:
I’ve owned a succession of iPads and iPod Touches but never, till today, an iPhone (it’s a 12 Mini). At first I thought I couldn’t open the sim tray: the …

04-May-2021:
I followed Terence Eden’s advice to hide Trending topics on Twitter. I chose Finnish because not only do I not speak it but it bears no apparent relation to …

03-May-2021:
I just accidentally deleted Kottke.org from NetNewsWire (moving my finger without noticing that it was touching the screen, happens to me a lot). So, I was …

02-May-2021:
Writing about Midnight’s Children for my newsletter emphasized something that should have been obvious, but that I’d missed: I can still love Rushdie’s second …

02-May-2021:
Adam Roberts on Twitter

02-May-2021:
I’ve just finished reading Emma Healey’s Whistle in the Dark. Not at all what the reviews led me to expect (a mystery/crime fiction) and quite slow early on, …

02-May-2021:
In case you were wondering, a reminder as to why I no longer italicize book and journal titles in my Talk about books newsletter.

30-Apr-2021:
Several days late, the newest issue of my newsletter, Talk about books, is finally out. The title is Midnight’s Children: “A thousand and one dead ends”. Next …

30-Apr-2021:
the salvation of humanity coming in the form of a cybernetically enhanced dolphin … Why Johnny Mnemonic isn’t a bad movie. It’s been 30 years since I read …

30-Apr-2021:
This weekend the Bray jazz festival would normally take place. I miss it, and wonder who would have been playing. Next year, eh? 🎶

29-Apr-2021:
One year and 9 days after the last time, I just knocked over a full Aeropress ☕️. I’ll have to remember to be on my guard next April.

29-Apr-2021:
the collapse of Foster’s leadership … relates to her failing to vote against a ban on gay conversion therapy and resuming meetings with the Irish Government, …

28-Apr-2021:
How come Daniel Ek is a billionaire? Spotify really oughtn’t to be making anybody rich.

27-Apr-2021:
I didn’t know Tadd Dameron’s “Hot House” till I recently bought the Corea album Further Explorations🎶, but I recognized that it’s “quoted” in something else I …

27-Apr-2021:
It appears that Will Oremus has accepted Medium’s severance money and left OneZero, though not (so far) for Substack.

24-Apr-2021:
I’m writing about Midnight’s Children for the next issue of my newslettern and found this excellent piece by Rushdie, in which he looks at the significance of …

22-Apr-2021:
Terence Eden has an ingenious way to “hide” Trending topics on Twitter. But I think we need to get rid of them for everybody, not just ourselves. Still, I love …

22-Apr-2021:
Before StackOverflow existed, I used to Google how to do something and the top hit would be a forum reply to someone who’d asked the same question, telling …

22-Apr-2021:
I need to read 300 pages today if I’m going to finish rereading Midnight’s Children in time to write my newsletter at the weekend. I wish I could go and sit in …

22-Apr-2021:
It finally struck me that the line from a song, “We got stars direct in our face” is really meant to be “We got stars directin’ our fates”. Easy mistake to make …

20-Apr-2021:
I really hate liveblogs. Surely there’s a better way to cover events and announcements.

17-Apr-2021:
A woman would have told her where to stick him. But Jones had no female friends. Review of John Sutherland’s biography of Monica Jones, whose student he was at …

16-Apr-2021:
I started to read Salman Rushdie’s Shalimar the Clown (2005) last night, and immediately realized that I’ve started to read it before, probably about 12 years …

16-Apr-2021:
Ha! I got 8 out of 10 in this Game of Thrones quiz and I never read any of the books or saw a single episode of the tv show. (That’s what I do: I ignore hit tv …

13-Apr-2021:
I just came across this 4-year-old post on Scott Turow’s previous novel, Testimony. (Reading current one, The Last Trial, now.) I don’t know enough about …

12-Apr-2021:
I finally got around to ordering this, two years after publication. The price put me off for a while, but in the end curiosity won out. The first editor was my …

12-Apr-2021:
While I was writing yesterday’s issue of the newsletter, about Ian McEwan’s Saturday, it was brought home to me how distorting the book reviews had been, and …

12-Apr-2021:
Apparently, the Charlie Jazz festival at Vitrolles is expected to go ahead this year. I saw the Brad Mehldau trio there 6 years ago. Tinny piano, superb …

11-Apr-2021:
Here’s Richard Williams’s favourable review of the new trio album from Vijay Iyer, Linda May Han Oh and Tyshawn Sorey, Uneasy. That’s the album that @mjkaul …

11-Apr-2021:
The latest issue of my Substack newsletter, Talk about books, has just gone out. It’s titled On ‘Dover Beach’: Ian McEwan’s Saturday. Next issue, in 2 weeks, …

10-Apr-2021:
Instead of reacting to the disaster of the 2008 property crash by resetting national policy to make housing affordable and available, the system did everything …

09-Apr-2021:
Whatever happened to “don’t break the Back button?” I’ve noticed several times on The Irish Times recently that hitting Back brings you back to … the page …

08-Apr-2021:
I missed the fact that Tavernier died a few weeks ago. Here’s a superb reminder of what a great film ’Round Midnight was. I didn’t get to see it till several …

08-Apr-2021:
A few weeks ago, I bought a CD player, the first I’ve owned for about 12 years. And yesterday I ordered on CD an album that I’d already bought as an iTunes …

07-Apr-2021:
Medium gives you no control over what appears in your blogroll, but setting it up is as easy as checking a box. Substack’s homepage links are more versatile, …

05-Apr-2021:
Hemingway feels increasingly irrelevant today, his influence diminished to a vanishing point, his reputation corroded by a dated personal mythos. So says Laura …

05-Apr-2021:
I’ve just moved a dozen or so miscellaneous blog-type posts from Medium to artkavanagh.ie. I’d already moved nearly all my fiction and all book …

04-Apr-2021:
Last night I finished watching the 2018 tv adaptation of Le Carré’s The Little Drummer Girl, one ep a night for 6 nights. I’m wondering if it’s much different …

03-Apr-2021:
I don’t write this in defence of the manifest and ugly inequalities in my country today. But I’m not sure exaggeration to the point of actual mendacity is the …

02-Apr-2021:
I’ve moved some more posts from Medium to artkavanagh.ie, so that I can eventually delete my Medium profile. Today’s moves: Gillian Flynn, Dark Places Kate …

02-Apr-2021:
I will say to this day, the way I made it is an interesting movie that I like. It is not Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities. The problem is that everyone that …

01-Apr-2021:
I have to admit that I usually don’t make it all the way through Matt Stoller’s antimonopoly newsletter, BIG. Today’s issue, though, was on a subject that’s …

01-Apr-2021:
That last post was partly an experiment in posting straight HTML to Micro.blog — HTML is valid Markdown by definition, but I don’t think that all HTML tags are …

01-Apr-2021: PDF is still preferable to ePub
But maybe the optimal page size is larger than I thought This piece was originally posted on Medium in February 2021. I thought I was going to move my posts off …

01-Apr-2021:
It’s 40 years since The Long Good Friday came out. It towers over most of the London gangster films that came later.

31-Mar-2021:
As it’s the 400th anniversary of Andrew Marvell’s birth, here are links to some things I’ve written about him: Andrew Marvell’s Gender (paywall) The paradoxical …

29-Mar-2021:
I’m ripping a DVD for the first time in ages, which means that I’m hearing the fan in my MacBook Air for the first time in living memory. If I were going to …

28-Mar-2021:
I’ve sent out the 10th issue of my newsletter, Talk about books. This one’s called Sarah Waters’s Fingersmith and Wilkie Collins’s Armadale: The complications …

28-Mar-2021:
I’ve been on a bit of a “Round Midnight” binge this morning, listening to versions by Jürgen Friedrich, Keith Jarrett/Charlie Haden, and Bud Powell for starters …

28-Mar-2021:
the voice of leftish Ulster Protestantism, inclined towards trade unionism, the Workers’ Party, and a bit of a gamble, but not above staying in Bloom’s Hotel …

27-Mar-2021:
The winds of March that make my heart a dancer These Foolish Things

27-Mar-2021:
I usually hate nostalgia about literary Dublin; or indeed any aspect of Dublin — it brings to mind a maudlin song by Pete St John that I refuse to name — but I …

27-Mar-2021:
I just Googled the difference between “jointure” and “portion” and got many hits relating to SQL Server. Everything old is new again, it seems.

27-Mar-2021:
Microsoft Exchange/Outlook has just nagged me three times to enter my work email password and 2fa code — on a Saturday! Maybe my own fault for having my work …

26-Mar-2021:
Substack has added/improved some features, including links on the home page, which can be used to create a blogroll. I noticed a blogroll on somebody’s Substack …

26-Mar-2021:
I wish Alboran Trio were still making albums. I’m now listening to this one🎶 🎹

26-Mar-2021:
Casey Newton reports on The mess at Medium. Though I’ve moved almost all my fiction to artkavanagh.ie, I’ve left many of my aphantasia posts on Medium, to …

25-Mar-2021:
Yesterday, I was trying in vain to remember Tim Harford’s surname so that I could search for a podcast episode to which I’d lost the link. Today, I came across …

24-Mar-2021:
On Memex 1.1 yesterday, John Naughton mentioned Tim Hwang’s Subprime Attention Crisis, which was new to me. Reading about it reminded me of this piece I posted …

24-Mar-2021:
More changes at Medium. What I think this means is that Medium is going to focus less on its publications like OneZero and more on individual writers, but it’s …

23-Mar-2021:
Having published her first novel when she was 61, Penelope Fitzgerald … spent the last twenty five years of her life writing some of the best novels written in …

22-Mar-2021:
I’ve never ground coffee till now: I drink it too quickly for it to go stale. But I can’t get the preground kind I like here, so I’ve been ordering 4 Kg of …

21-Mar-2021:
Maybe when you buy a book of short stories, you have to expect that there will be one or two standouts and that many or most will fall flat. Terence Eden is a …

21-Mar-2021:
Oh, Chatterbox Guy is going so fast that he’s going back in time! I get it I don’t think Laura Miller was all that impressed either.

21-Mar-2021:
Adam Roberts didn’t enjoy the Snyder cut but at least he got to let off steam writing about it 🍿

19-Mar-2021:
I was very disappointed when I saw Cutter’s Way (1981)🍿. Eventually, I realized that the fault must be with me, not the film, but I never got the opportunity to …

19-Mar-2021:
There will be no war, but in the struggle for peace not a stone will be left standing. Good discussion by Bruce Riordan of all 9 George Smiley novels. I …

18-Mar-2021:
When you visit a site from that site’s RSS feed, it really ought to know better than to nag you to sign up for its email newsletter. It’s a reasonable inference …

16-Mar-2021:
Christopher Nolan’s Memento🍿 is 20 years old. I still think it’s great, which is more than I can say for any of his later films that I’ve seen. (I stopped …

14-Mar-2021:
I’ve sent out the latest issue of Talk about books (newsletter). The title is An epical forged cheque: William Empson reads Ulysses and it’s the second in a …

14-Mar-2021:
Legendary guitarist and songwriter Richard Thompson has written a memoir, Beeswing: Fairport, Folk-Rock and Finding My Voice📖

11-Mar-2021:
According to Twitter the hashtag “NoTallMen” is trending in Ireland. Wonder what that’s about 🤷

11-Mar-2021:
I just cancelled my digital subscription to the NYT. It’s a surprisingly protracted process. Luckily, I wasn’t in a hurry to go anywhere.

11-Mar-2021:
Steve Goble says It’s time to appreciate Wilkie Collins’s lesser known classics. I couldn’t agree more. The only one he mentions that I haven’t yet read is …

11-Mar-2021:
But they hate us so much that they don’t care what they’re losing … Great piece by Naoise Dolan about autism, lockdown, socializing and more. I’ve noticed that …

10-Mar-2021:
I just deliberately chose to buy an album on CD rather than from iTunes, even though it cost about €8 more (€23.87 as against €16) and will take up to 2 weeks …

10-Mar-2021:
Piers Morgan is “off to spend more time with my opinions”. I almost feel sorry for him when he puts it like that, then I remember that he can probably tolerate …

09-Mar-2021:
I hadn’t known that Anne Sacoolas does not deny causing Harry Dunn’s death. Her lawyer says US won’t waive diplomatic immunity because it wouldn’t be criminal …

08-Mar-2021:
Deathbed regrets: I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time trying to figure out what my purpose in life was, and what I ought to be doing. (OK, I’m not yet at …

07-Mar-2021:
I haven’t yet read Ishiguro’s novel Klara and the Sun📖, but I did find in Constance Grady’s Vox review a statement about an earlier novel that I wanted to take …

07-Mar-2021:
Sorry about this but I’m reposting a link that I already posted here yesterday: Paul Graham and the online essay (by me). By the time it appeared in the …

07-Mar-2021:
A very rare piano solo album by Tommy Flanagan, In his own sweet time. Recorded 1994; he died in 2001 🎶 🎹

06-Mar-2021:
“Once Brad Mehldau went off into one of his twelve-minute rhapsodies, and right there, about nine minutes in, you heard it: Lula-by of Birdland.” Adam Gopnik …

06-Mar-2021:
I just posted Paul Graham and the online essay. The cofounder of Y Combinator sees his main activity as writing “essays” online. It’s a word I was surprised to …

05-Mar-2021:
It’s Bandcamp Friday (the day on which Bandcamp waives its fees, so more money goes to the musicians) and I’ve just bought 2 albums, both by the Sunna Gunnlaugs …

04-Mar-2021:
I know I’m going to order an M1 MacBook Air sooner or later, so why wait? OTOH, I’m still happy with 2019 model, which is less than 10 months old: I bought a …

04-Mar-2021:
It seems that blockchain is the future of digital rights management. Bet you didn’t see that coming 🎶

03-Mar-2021:
Pianist Dan Tepfer, Eric Harland (drums) and Jorge Roeder (bass) play a jazz trio performance 130 miles away from each other, using JackTrip open source …

02-Mar-2021:
I’m glad I didn’t read this Irish Times piece by Roisín O’Donnell before I wrote about her short stories, because it would have coloured my opinion of them. On …

28-Feb-2021:
I never read much serious science fiction. I’ve just now understood why: throughout my 20s and into my 30s, I was a marxist, and couldn’t interest myself in …

28-Feb-2021:
One reason I thought about switching my newsletter to Buttondown is that it’s just about the only newsletter provider that lets you disable the tracking pixel. …

28-Feb-2021:
I’ve just sent out the most recent issue of my Talk about books newsletter. This issue is titled Roisín O’Donnell, Wild Quiet: The “Irish” short story in the …

27-Feb-2021:
I just spent a few hours fiddling about with CSS/design on Buttondown, trying to get my newsletter to look the way I wanted. In the end, though, I decided to …

26-Feb-2021:
I’ve just exported the first three months’ worth of data from Substack (because I’m probably going to switch to Buttondown). I’m impressed and a bit surprised …

24-Feb-2021:
And then I went back to iTunes and found the album immediately, searching for “Corea Clarke White”, rather than “Forever Chick Corea Stanley Clarke” and …

24-Feb-2021:
I just bought something on eBay for the first time in … I don’t know, I’d say about 14 years. I couldn’t find this album on the iTunes Store so I thought I’d …

20-Feb-2021:
Last summer, I wrote a post in which I claimed that PDF is a preferable publishing format to ePub. I still believe that, but I think I was wrong about the …

19-Feb-2021:
I’m waiting and hoping for some major musical artist to say, “Screw this. I’m taking my music off all of the streaming services, and instead will sell it from …

18-Feb-2021:
Substack is offering “Better analytics for your subscribers”. I’m not sure I need this but I’m pleased to know that Substack is rapidly improving its service, …

18-Feb-2021:
Medium is now allowing custom domain names again. I’m thinking about making my Medium profile a subdomain of my own site (e.g.“blog”) but I’m not convinced it’s …

17-Feb-2021:
I’m not watching the tv adaptation of Behind Her Eyes, though I’m sure I’d do so if I had a tv. My original mini-review of the book from a few years ago is now …

17-Feb-2021:
Anyone who refers to film, music, or writing as “content” is simply not a trustworthy custodian of anything of cultural value. Martin Scorsese and Ted Gioia …

16-Feb-2021:
Every web server can – and should – gzip files on transmission. Manually zipping a single file on your server doesn’t save any download time. It doesn’t save …

15-Feb-2021:
A day late but worth waiting for: the latest issue of my newsletter, Talk about books, discusses the second of Tana French’s novels, The Likeness. It’s the …

15-Feb-2021:
I liked Jonathan Carroll’s The Chocolate Conductor, kind of a character study but (unless the narrator is also a fictional character — now I’m not sure) of an …

15-Feb-2021:
Veteran jazz critic John Fordham lists Chick Corea’s 10 greatest recordings. I’ve been meaning for years now to get a copy of Further Explorations but somehow …

13-Feb-2021:
And there are very few opportunities in life to have it both ways; semicolons are the rare instance in which you can; there is absolutely no downside. Hard to …

11-Feb-2021:
I’m remembering Chick Corea by listening to his recording of Bud Powell’s “Tempus Fugit”, with Marcus Gilmore (drums) and Carlitos del Puerto (bass)

11-Feb-2021:
Chick Corea is reported to have died at the age of 79. This has come as a big shock to me 🎹 🎶

08-Feb-2021:
It was the era of supergroups but I’m doubtful if this one would have worked. I might be quite wrong but I don’t think the Miles of that period would have fit …

08-Feb-2021:
Ted Gioia on Twitter: When you finally manage to pay the rent with your streaming royalties 🍿

07-Feb-2021:
Andrew Marvell died from an overdose of an opium-based malaria treatment, Stewart Mottram has found. I’m not so convinced that he would have eschewed quinine …

07-Feb-2021:
Is Brian Moore reemerging from obscurity? This is the second newspaper article I’ve read about him recently. The Emperor of Ice Cream📚 is one of the few early …

06-Feb-2021:
No GAA (Gaelic games) fixtures while the pandemic restrictions remain in force. Not much sport to be found. I hate that shade of green but have to admit that it …

06-Feb-2021:
Felicia C Sullivan is going to post much less on Medium — sorry, paywall — and concentrate instead on her newsletter. I hope this doesn’t mean that we’ll be …

06-Feb-2021:
It seems that Amazon is opening a fulfilment centre in Ireland because of Brexit. Otherwise there’d be delays and tax/duties on goods coming from Britain.

05-Feb-2021:
My three favourite Christopher Plummer films: The Silent Partner (dir. Daryl Duke, 1978) Ararat (Atom Egoyan, 2002) Inside Man (Spike Lee, 2006) I’d like to see …

05-Feb-2021:
This is Elmo, my sister’s dog. I was staying with my sister when the original pandemic restrictions were brought in in March. I took Elmo for a walk almost …

05-Feb-2021:
She lost in 1979 to … [Tory] Tony Marlow, a man who who opposed equal pay on the grounds that it gave power “to any feminist, any harridan, or any rattle-headed …

04-Feb-2021:
It’s not obvious from the photo, I’m afraid, but there were layers of cloud over the “mountains” this morning.

03-Feb-2021:
Though I haven’t yet worn the shoes that one of my sisters gave me for Christmas, because the weather has been so wet and miserable in the meantime, it’s a …

02-Feb-2021:
By me: Citing book and journal titles when posting on Medium and Substack. These platforms treat all inline italic text as emphasis. So how do you cite a book …

02-Feb-2021:
I don’t drink coffee first thing in the morning: I prefer water then. I aim to have my first cup around 11 am but often I don’t get around to it till after …

02-Feb-2021:
I want the Dunning-Kruger effect to be real … says Jonathan Jarry, before concluding that it probably isn’t. But why would he want it to be real? I find it …

02-Feb-2021:
Randell Roberts, LA Times: Cicely Tyson and Miles Davis

01-Feb-2021:
Here’s a close up of some of the books I discussed in the first six issues of my newsletter 📷

01-Feb-2021:
Complaints about the number of books in circulation started as soon as printing was invented. That’s from Lapham’s Quarterly. So, if the claim that there are …

01-Feb-2021:
“You can’t really be in a beautiful secluded part of the English countryside without thinking, ‘Oh man, someone’s going to get murdered soon …’” Richard Osman …

31-Jan-2021:
I’ve just sent out the 6th issue of my newsletter, Talk about books. This one is about Tana French’s first novel In the Woods. (Some of you may have read an …

31-Jan-2021:
While I like Coppola’s The Conversation, I’ve slways felt that it was overpraised. This article does little to dissuade me from that opinion, though it makes me …

30-Jan-2021:
Replacing Calvinism with communism: Simon Kuper, whose biography of George Blake is just about to come out, on meeting the spy in Russia in 2012.

30-Jan-2021:
Ah, I see what it does now. It’s the shortcut for toggling the code font on and off. I didn’t notice before because I didn’t type anything after using the …

30-Jan-2021:
I just noticed that, when I’m in the Substack editor, ⌘-` doesn’t have the expected effect (switching between browser windows in Safari), but does something …

29-Jan-2021:
Well, carrying the bike up and down the stairs turns out to be no big deal. Carrying the shopping up to 4th floor (separately) is a major effort. I had been …

29-Jan-2021:
Gina Gershon’s motorbiking, Die Hard-loving detective was secretly the criminal mastermind behind the “Golden Gang” bank robbers. … in something called …

29-Jan-2021:
I opened up a Robinhood account very early on, but for me, the mobile-only functionality was a dealbreaker. I didn’t want to be trading “on-the-go”. If I …

28-Jan-2021:
The ideal Law & Order: Criminal Intent detective pairing would have been Jeff Goldblum (Zach Nichols) and Kathryn Erbe (Alex Eames). I think that might even …

28-Jan-2021:
Here’s M G Siegler on Twitter’s acquisition of Revue, and what that means for Substack. Having read his analysis, I’m still inclined to stick with Substack for …

28-Jan-2021:
The management company of the building in which I rent an apartment say they’ve disabled the lift because of service charge unpaid (by my landlord, among …

28-Jan-2021:
If I had a suspicious mind, I’d wonder if some person or group had cleverly gone around various crucial open source projects after 2010 introducing subtle but …

27-Jan-2021:
I had been dragging my heels a bit about updating to iPadOS 14.4 until I read about the security bugs that “may have been actively exploited”. All up to date …

27-Jan-2021:
If the company publishes op-eds from the usual suspects in tech about how revolutionary their cryptocurrency-powered food replacements are, the impact it will …

27-Jan-2021:
I just saw the title of a post on Medium by Seth Godin: “Passion is a choice”. I didn’t read the post because paywall but, no, passion is by definition not a …

27-Jan-2021:
Remember that scene from the Sopranos, where Tony’s wife calls to buy 5000 shares of Webonics, after she was manipulated emotionally to so? Institutions and …

26-Jan-2021:
I just searched for a book on Kennys.ie bookshop site and got no hits, so I searched on alibris.co.uk — my usual next step when Kennys don’t have what I want. …

24-Jan-2021:
I’ve never had a problem with TextEdit before, or not that I’ve noticed, but it’s suddenly deleting the wrong paragraphs, and when I undo the delete it restores …

24-Jan-2021:
A cold, bright day. So far, at least. I shouldn’t be surprised if it gets darker later.

24-Jan-2021:
Sir Edward Carson, who prosecuted in Oscar Wilde’s trial for gross indecency, brought to his crossexamination of the playwright “all the added bitterness of an …

23-Jan-2021:
Go home? I am home. Why would you think I was anywhere else?

23-Jan-2021:
I had noticed that Lawrence Lessig has been posting behind the Medium paywall. Here’s his rationale. He also posts “friend links” (which bypass the paywall) on …

23-Jan-2021:
I’m reading Ian McEwan’s The Children Act again and, so far, enjoying it more than I did on first reading, about 3 years ago. I reread Enduring Love in Sep/Oct …

23-Jan-2021:
McConnell, focussed on Republican judicial appointments, “made a Faustian deal for all those judges.” The New Yorker. Well, he got his judges. Faustian deals …

23-Jan-2021:
I bet Netflix will change the ending of Behind Her Eyes. I can’t see how they would make the book’s ending work on tv. You need time and words to sell it. An …

23-Jan-2021:
Small mountains, biggish sky.

22-Jan-2021:
Via Charles Arthur’s Overspill blog, I see that computer makers are finally moving away from the 16:9 aspect ratio. Why did it take so long? I’ve been …

22-Jan-2021:
After an absence of two years, I went back to Twitter at the end of November, starting from scratch with a new account. I’m going to be much more careful who I …

21-Jan-2021:
The frequently visited list in Safari on my iPad is mainly made up of sites that I almost never visit on the iPad, making it a frustratingly useless feature. …

20-Jan-2021:
It’s 25 years since Our Friends in the North first appeared on our television screens. It was great, of course. Gosh, was it dispiriting, though. Defeat after …

19-Jan-2021:
Tech offers me phones-that-are-really-cameras, tablets, smart watches, ereaders, home speakers, media streaming, voice search, and lots of other things, none of …

19-Jan-2021:
Those close to him say that Mitch McConnell has his eye on his legacy, now more than ever. That’s unbelievable. Can he really be so blinkered as to imagine he …

19-Jan-2021:
The overflow carpark is overflowing again.

18-Jan-2021:
I see rumours that Apple will be bringing back MagSafe charging for its new MacBook Pro. While I was sorry to see MagSafe disappear a few years ago, my …

18-Jan-2021:
Of course, these figures are averaged out and based on a basket of goods etc. A lot depends on what you’re actually buying. Essentials like coffee, wine and …

18-Jan-2021:
Ireland is the 13th most expensive country in the world to live, according price comparison website Numbeo … When rent is included, Ireland moves up to 10th …

18-Jan-2021:
If you were wondering what to make of Glose (whose acquisition by Medium was recently announced), Nate Hoffelder has the answer: Glose is a 6 year old social …

17-Jan-2021:
I’ve sent out the fifth issue of my newsletter, “Talk about books”. The title is William Empson and Andrew Marvell’s widow, and I’ve subtitled it “Empson’s …

16-Jan-2021:
We want to rethink the book-reading experience, and we’re hiring. Ev Williams is not being at all specific about what he hopes to achieve with Medium’s …

16-Jan-2021:
The main problem is that it has increased the attack surface against me. There’s yet another database containing my data. That means one more target for those …

16-Jan-2021:
If you’re a fan of the vinyl revival then don’t buy this album. Well do, just not on vinyl. With its pianissimos and pauses, this delicate trio music requires …

15-Jan-2021:
And speaking about ebooks, Medium has just acquired Glose, a French-based ebook “platform” (I’m not sure what that means — apparently not “publisher”). Glose …

15-Jan-2021:
The law firm that led a class action against Apple and big five publishers almost a decade ago over ebook price fixing is now taking aim at Amazon, alleging …

15-Jan-2021:
the gap in stability and user experience has narrowed as Windows has improved and Mac OS has become less stable and more complex — at least that’s how it seems …

14-Jan-2021:
It’s hard to pick a side in the Trump-Giuliani falling-out. On the one hand, Trump has made a habit of leaving people who’ve worked for him high and dry; on the …

14-Jan-2021:
I just noticed that the computer I bought back in November is offering me “3 months FREE of Amazon Music Unlimited”. I hope I’ll be free of Amazon Music …

12-Jan-2021:
Funny to think about Brian Moore as a “neglected” author. In the late 70s and early 80s, I read everything of his I could get my hands on. But I suppose the …

11-Jan-2021:
Simon & Schuster will not, after all, be publishing Josh Hawley’s book, The Tyranny of Big Tech. I don’t mourn the loss to literature: I wouldn’t have read …

10-Jan-2021:
Katherine Whitehorn has died, aged 92. Her column was always one of the first things I’d read in The Observer, when I’d nip out to the newsagent and bring back …

10-Jan-2021:
I posted The upside of SDAM earlier. Severely deficient autobiographical memory brings advantages as well as disadvantages. For example, people who have it tend …

09-Jan-2021:
… his patient became obsessed with committing “creative suicide”, as the ultimate act in his performing career. “I was at pains to say that he could be much …

09-Jan-2021:
The Guardian has a newly discovered short story by Patricia Highsmith, “The world’s champion ball-bouncer”. Reading it makes me glad I’ll never have to be a …

08-Jan-2021:
… the trials of making a documentary about improvisational jazz with Keith Jarrett. He cannot imagine “a more difficult subject about a more difficult person”. …

08-Jan-2021:
I’m pleased to say that Substack is now allowing customized themes. My first attempt uses the sans font for body text, fancy serif for headings and #F6D0FF as a …

08-Jan-2021:
Ted Gioia, Why music ownership matters 🎶 What happens when the mega-corporations who run the streaming services decide to delete a million songs that aren’t …

07-Jan-2021:
I’ve just been reading Stuart Neville’s short story “Echo”, in the anthology Being Various, ed. Lucy Caldwell. It’s a very moving story, told from the point of …

07-Jan-2021:
I was afraid I was going to wake up to the news that Trump had imposed martial law. When I read instead that he had pledged an “orderly transition” I was …

06-Jan-2021:
It looks as if I’m back at work: I had to boot up the Windows pc for the first time in over 2 weeks. There was a moment of panic when I tried to remember what …

05-Jan-2021:
I hope steps are being taken to prosecute Trump before an international tribunal when he leaves office for complicity in war crimes, because of his pardon of …

04-Jan-2021:
When I deleted my Google/Gmail account two weeks ago this video also disappeared from YouTube. So, I’ve uploaded it to Vimeo to make sure it’s still available. …

04-Jan-2021:
It would be oppressive to extradite Julian Assange to the US on espionage charges because of suicide risk, district judge rules

04-Jan-2021:
Snow and cloud on the Nephin “mountains” (hills, really): the view from my balcony this frosty morning.

03-Jan-2021:
I’ve just sent out the 4th issue of my Substack newsletter, Talk about books. This issue is titled Helena’s kink: Jillian Keenan on A Midsummer Night’s Dream. …

02-Jan-2021:
I’m looking at the contents list of Being Various (ed. Lucy Caldwell), trying to remember which stories I’ve already read and, of those, which I didn’t like. If …

02-Jan-2021:
For years now, I’ve been seeing knowledgeable people put Keith Jarrett’s Facing You high up on their lists of solo piano albums. I’ve owned a copy of the album …

02-Jan-2021:
I’m seeing a lot of commentary about The Great Gatsby and other works published in 1925 coming out of copyright. This is true in the US but copyright law is …

02-Jan-2021:
I seem to have completely lost interest in tech. I’m regretting the time I’ve spent over the years reading tech blogs and sites like The Verge or Ars Technica. …

02-Jan-2021:
Here’s another great tweet-length very short story by Hannah Whiteoak. I wish I knew how she does it ✏️

01-Jan-2021:
I hope the UK will do well outside the EU — but not so well that it encourages other member states to leave. It’s a delicate balance.

01-Jan-2021:
I’ve been choosing to write long posts on my 2019 MacBook Air’s butterfly keyboard instead of on the iPad with the superb Logitech K380. Though I think the …

01-Jan-2021:
2020 has just ended in this time zone. Every good wish for 2021 to you all.

31-Dec-2020:
I’ve seen some commenaries online on HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant. Since we don’t get HBO Max here, I downloaded the sample chapter of Chris Bohjalian’s …

31-Dec-2020:
Medium seems to have changed the way it tells you about new followers: it notifies you that you have a new follower but doesn’t say who that follower is, in …

31-Dec-2020:
I’m not usually a fan of extremely short (in this case, tweet-length) fiction, but Hannah Whiteoak does it very well indeed ✏️

31-Dec-2020:
Jazz pianist Frank Kimbrough has died. To be honest, not one of my favourites, but still great, and a great loss 🎶 🎹

30-Dec-2020:
I just read two short stories in a row by Kevin Barry, one in Electric Literature and the other in The New Yorker. Both set in places I used to know. I’ll add …

30-Dec-2020:
TikTok is being sued for the misuse of private informationn about a 12-year-old girl from London. A High Court judge gave permission for the claimant not to be …

30-Dec-2020:
It must be chilly today. My espresso-sized cup of coffee was cold by the time I finished it! ☕️

29-Dec-2020:
Latest addition to my short stories page: Danielle McLaughlin, “Snow Globe”: An artist under commission creates a piece of public art highlighting homelessness …

28-Dec-2020:
Here’s Ted Gioia’s list of the best online essays he read in 2020. I think I’ll be revisiting this page at regular intervals over the next few weeks.

28-Dec-2020:
As a reader of blogs, I dislike WordPress. I particularly can’t stand the way the Follow button distractingly pops up and down in the bottom right corner as I …

28-Dec-2020:
Anna Wiener in The New Yorker asks Is Substack the media future we want? I suppose that depends on what the alternatives are.

27-Dec-2020:
I finished reading Lisa Lutz’s The Swallows yesterday. A very disturbing subject — the sexual exploitation, ridicule and humiliation of young women at a …

24-Dec-2020:
I finally deleted my main Google account — the one I’ve been using as my primary email (Gmail) account since 2005. I’d intended to delete it in October, but …

23-Dec-2020:
Three Days of the Condor is at least as much a Christmas movie as Die Hard is. So there! 🍿

22-Dec-2020:
From Ted Gioia on Twitter: The best decisions I’ve made ran counter to short-term incentives — often the people who prod you into “selling out” are poorly …

21-Dec-2020:
I’ve just sent out the third issue of my newsletter, Talk about books. This issue is titled Reading Wuthering Heights with aphantasia and there’ll be another …

18-Dec-2020:
I read Ulysses three times between 1993 and 1996. It’s time for a fourth reading if I can find my copy. I want to write — for my newsletter — about William …

15-Dec-2020:
The library can (in fact it frequently does) deliver satisfaction, but it is an autumnal satisfaction, one that looks beyond the mirage of permanent ownership. …

14-Dec-2020:
If you report it to customer services – you’ll likely be ignored. It makes me wish that there were public bug trackers for everything! Terence Eden on the …

14-Dec-2020:
I said in previous post that I’d read nothing of le Carré’s since Smiley’s People. Thinking back, I see that I read all his novels up to that. I’ve wanted for …

14-Dec-2020:
John le Carré has died, aged 89. I loved some of his books, thought others were close to self-parody. I don’t think I’ve read anything later than Smiley’s …

13-Dec-2020:
Somebody who can recognizably be described as a “rat-faced little prick” really has no business being a justice of the US Supreme Court. Greg Olear suggests …

13-Dec-2020:
I loved Prince’s music, and he came up to me at the Grammys and said, “You really should write some dance music.” He didn’t say what kind of dance, so I wrote a …

12-Dec-2020:
Emily Olcott remembers the Jazz Standard, yet another venue closed permanently. A 9-minute read but well worth the time 🎹 🎶

12-Dec-2020:
I found out what was wrong with my Twitter summary cards, which weren’t displaying an image. I had left “www.” out of the image URL. That’s better. Should have …

11-Dec-2020:
I had read enough books to pick up on the fact that Genius is a personality-laundering scheme … Two days ago, I hadn’t heard of Agnes Callard. Then @ayjay …

10-Dec-2020:
I just broke my favourite espresso cup (so favourite that it’s the only one I took with me when I moved) by pressing down too hard on the Aeropress. I’ll need …

10-Dec-2020:
On Crime Reads, Nick Kolakowski is describing Neil Jordan’s The Good Thief as “The best heist movie you’ve (probably) never seen”. Not only have I seen it …

10-Dec-2020:
I hope the Bad Sex award stays cancelled permanently. I’ve been saying for years that the Literary Review judges can’t tell the difference between bad writing …

08-Dec-2020:
I’m listening to Robert Glasper’s performance of Radiohead’s “Reckoner” (from his album Covered) for the second time in 20 minutes. I could happily listen to it …

08-Dec-2020:
I’m a bit sad to see the end of the Ikea catalogue, though it’s over a decade since I bought anything from Ikea (and the time before that was 1988), so I …

07-Dec-2020:
“The United States government, from the nineteen-thirties on, became a big insurance company, and it has not been running on an actuarially sound basis.” The …

06-Dec-2020:
I’ve just sent out the second issue of my Substack newsletter, Talk about books. This issue’s called Dervla McTiernan’s female characters: The Rúin and The …

02-Dec-2020:
Novelist Alan Glynn on the appeal of doppelgängers in fiction and films.

01-Dec-2020:
Choose something you’re interested in and scroll to see more like it … Swipe to the left to see related topics and find more of the good stuff. Mix is …

01-Dec-2020:
I just posted on my own site The judgment of critics. For most of my life I’ve believed that the paramount function of the critic was judgment. Then John …

01-Dec-2020:
I think I’ll have my bike back this afternoon. Tomorrow at the latest. And it’s bright and dry today! 🚲

30-Nov-2020:
Blogger Roland Denzel thinks that authors should stop writing about writing. I don’t recommend the post, which makes almost its whole point in the title, but it …

29-Nov-2020:
Now that I’m back on Twitter, I’ve been experimenting with adding “Twitter cards” to some of my static web pages, so that they’re more noticeable. I’m quite …

29-Nov-2020:
The pandemic restrictions are being relaxed from Tuesday in Ireland. First thing I’m going to do is get a new pair of shoes, without holes, and then I can be a …

29-Nov-2020:
I just posted something on Medium introducing my email newsletter. I know it’s been a few weeks since I wrote anything new on my own site, but don’t worry. This …

28-Nov-2020:
I like wearing a mask and interacting (at a safe distance) with other mask wearers. It seems I’m more likely to meet people’s eyes when I can’t see their mouths …

27-Nov-2020:
I don’t think I’ve been faced with a genuine dilemma for a long time, if ever. But I often find myself having to make a choice about something inconsequential. …

27-Nov-2020:
How academia resembles a drug gang (or why recently minted PhDs still live with their moms). Via Helen Lewis’s The Bluestocking newsletter.

26-Nov-2020:
We finally found those tapes from Ronnie’s. Where Bill Evans had a residency in 1968 with Eddie Gomez and Jack DeJohnette. London Jazz News 🎶 🎹

26-Nov-2020:
Yesterday I said that, if the prompts lent themselves to it, I’d explain what I mean when I say I’ve sometimes been a hopeless optimist. Well, today’s does, …

25-Nov-2020:
Substack “Writers’ library” just emailed out a writing prompt: What does “home” mean to you? This wasn’t my reply, to my regret: Why this is home, nor am I out …

25-Nov-2020:
I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I’d never heard of Clare Sheridan, sculptor, “middling novelist” and lover of Trotsky, among other things. Sounds like a …

25-Nov-2020:
It would never be accurate to call me a cockeyed optimist. I’ve sometimes described myself as “a hopeless optimist” but that involved a definition of optimism …

24-Nov-2020:
So, the same weekend that I renew my .ie domain name for a third year, I start a newsletter, rejoin Twitter and (finally) start to try to do something with my …

24-Nov-2020:
I studied law in Ireland in the 1970s and practised as a solicitor for about 6 years in the 80s. As my legal knowledge gets ever further out of date, I no …

23-Nov-2020:
During the 2 years I was off Twitter, I posted various bits of writing that I would certainly have shared there, if I’d still had an account. Like this: “What …

23-Nov-2020:
Yesterday, I sent out the first email from my new newsletter. Now all I need to do is capture some sign-ups. There’s been one microblogger so far. Thank you, …

22-Nov-2020:
I’ve posted the first issue of my Substack newsletter Talk about books. I’m planning to send it out every 2 weeks. I hope you find something in it worth reading …

22-Nov-2020:
Well, I did it, I signed up for Twitter again. Already, I can feel my anxiety rising, and I found myself thinking “I must remove that person from my feed reader …

22-Nov-2020:
I’m thinking about going back to Twitter after a gap of 2 years, mainly to try to drum up subscribers for this newsletter I’m about to start. But it’s striking …

22-Nov-2020:
With the Brexit transition period coming to an end, and agreement apparently still eluding the parties, the nature and effective location of the border between …

21-Nov-2020:
Sorry if I posted my microblogvember post for today twice. I was convinced I remembered posting it earlier but there’s no sign of it in the timeline or on …

21-Nov-2020:
I’m a little bit apprehensive about facing into winter here on the exposed, wind-and-rainswept west coast of Mayo, but only a little bit. I hope the pandemic …

21-Nov-2020:
I’ve been hesitant about starting a newsletter. When I was setting up my previous effort, “Recommended short fiction on Medium”, on Tinyletter, I tweeted that …

20-Nov-2020:
My Microblogvember post yesterday didn’t say quite what I wanted. I hope my enthusiasm isn’t beginning to fade. But it’s more likely the problem is that I went …

19-Nov-2020:
It’s generally been a principle of mine that one should be careful not to waste effort by attempting things that aren’t possible. In spite of that, I find I …

18-Nov-2020:
Throughout my 20s and into my 30s, I believed that society is founded on our mutual dependence and that capitalism, or the private ownership of the means of …

17-Nov-2020:
I found just four emails in my Spam folder. None of them was spam and one was about a delivery that I almost missed (I was still asleep) because I didn’t know …

17-Nov-2020:
Once the level 5 restrictions have been lifted, I’m going to get the train to Dublin and bring my bike down here. Between wet weather and lack of transport, …

16-Nov-2020:
Until my late 50s, I completely misunderstood the idea of memory. I didn’t realize that episodic memory is a thing, even though I often heard people describing …

15-Nov-2020:
Excellent “Quote of the day” on John Naughton’s Memex 1.1 blog yesterday. It’s from Robert Musil and states a truth both simple and obvious (though overlooked …

15-Nov-2020:
Since updating to Big Sur yesterday, I’ve been aware of an urge to change my MacBook Air’s screen back to the default resolution: the text and other elements …

15-Nov-2020:
I’ll be ending 2020 (and spending much of 2021) far from where I expected to be. But that will be nothing new. My motto was There is no Plan A, long before I …

14-Nov-2020:
Reading this BBC history of the ballpoint pen persuaded me that I should finally give up trying to write with a fountain pen. My writing’s always been messy and …

14-Nov-2020:
I decided not to be patient. I knew it was the right choice as soon as I heard the chime. The chime is back! Luckily, I don’t bring my Mac to libraries much any …

14-Nov-2020:
The progress bar on my Big Sur installation has been stalled just 3mm from the end for 45 minutes. Should I be patient?

14-Nov-2020:
I’m not normally a fan of Dusty Springfield — for example I hate how she sings the great Bacharach/David song “I just don’t know what to do with myself” — but …

14-Nov-2020:
I’ve written ✏️ another poem. I make no more claims for it than I did for the previous two. In fact, I think Ahistorical Survey is clearly better than this one. …

13-Nov-2020:
I’m quite pleased with myself: I just moved my bare foot in the nick of time out of the path of a falling pair of scissors (that I’d just dropped while opening …

13-Nov-2020:
But it’s not how it seems, I will figure it out. I guess now’s the right time. How will I ever know? … Brace yourself, you only get one chance … Lauren …

12-Nov-2020:
Lots to think about (and maybe react against) in this New Yorker piece by Hannah Arendt on W H Auden, published in 1975, just over a year after his death and …

12-Nov-2020:
It seems I’ll have to start ordering coffee online to get the espresso roast I like. I’ve never bothered grinding my own because I get through it too quickly …

12-Nov-2020:
In my previous post, I used the word “paths”, partly to stay within the character count, but also to avoid the pavement/sidewalk disagreement. “Pavements” was …

12-Nov-2020:
I was trying to travel light in France with just one pair of shoes, to which the rough paths did as much damage as to my suitcase. I didn’t have time to buy new …

12-Nov-2020:
Two to three years ago, Dan Belmont was one of the undsputed stars of short fiction on Medium. Then he took a 2-year break from writing. He’s back with a new …

12-Nov-2020:
Brexit will make it a nightmare for British musicians to perform in the EU, partly because member-states have different entry requirements. This means that they …

11-Nov-2020:
I’ve finally moved the entire 74,000 words of A Falling Body from Medium to www.artkavanagh.ie which I hope will be its final resting place. Reassembling the …

11-Nov-2020:
Since my work Windows notebook won’t boot up any more, I got a new Lenovo desktop. It’s nice having a big computer and screen again, even Windows. I’m tempted …

11-Nov-2020:
Reports of the death of Sean Connery reminded me of the existence of the “unofficial” Bond film, Never say never again, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen. …

10-Nov-2020:
I find that, without a conscious decision, I’ve given up crossdressing. My soon-to-be elderly legs no longer look presentable in a skirt or dress. I wish I’d …

10-Nov-2020:
Yet another reason to like Kamala Harris, from London Jazz News 🎶

09-Nov-2020:
The battery in my MacBook Air is at 5%. It’s threatening to go to sleep unless I plug it in, but it’s nearly my bedtime so I try to shut it down instead, only …

09-Nov-2020:
On Friday I was advising a writer on Medium who was worked up because he hadn’t been writing regularly for ages. I told him he shouldn’t try to force his …

08-Nov-2020:
Medium’s recent change of style and approach has made it more likely that I’ll post there (though I still intend to give priority to my own site, which is just …

08-Nov-2020:
I often joke that I’m a software, not a hardware, guy: able to make something ephemeral from bits (or ideas) but nothing with a palpable material existence. …

08-Nov-2020:
Advice: don’t read A Clockwork Orange — it’s a foul farrago Of made-up words that bite and bash and bleed. I’ve written better books … So have other men, …

07-Nov-2020:
I bet Trump pardons himself and some members of his immediate family. Who else, I wonder?

07-Nov-2020:
Because of rain and wind, as well as catching up on work, I haven’t been out much to expore the environs of my new apartment. I think this afternoon I’ll take a …

06-Nov-2020:
Twitter says that when Trump leaves office he’ll lose protection as a “newsworthy individual”. This is rank hypocrisy: he’s unlikely to be any less newsworthy, …

06-Nov-2020:
I replaced my defunct Windows notebook with a desktop (really deskside). It’s been 14 years since I used a desktop and I overlooked the likelihood that it …

06-Nov-2020:
I’ve been editing HTML files with TextEdit and puzzling over how to do some things that work differently in other text editors, such as pattern matching/regex …

05-Nov-2020:
But all things are composed here Like Nature, orderly and near: In which we the dimensions find Of that more sober age and mind, Where larger-sized men did …

04-Nov-2020:
I love stills from stage plays. If the play is one I haven’t seen (as all of these are) I can’t help trying to guess at a dramatic scene that the pictures fit …

04-Nov-2020:
I just reread my long short story from early 2018, “Purpose of Amendment”. I can see there’s something there, but I rushed to get it out near to the referendum …

03-Nov-2020:
Sorry to hear that John Sessions has died. I liked him as an actor (particularly) and comedian, even if he did speak in support of UKIP! 📺

03-Nov-2020:
What a disappointment! I got an email from Caffè Nero, apparently offering me the chance to buy their “signature blend” online. Great, I thought, just what I …

03-Nov-2020:
I managed to astonish myself on Friday: I found a document in my suitcase showing that my after-tax income exceeds 3 times the rent on a studio in Pau/Tarbes. …

02-Nov-2020:
Stevens are 2 percent more likely to vote Trump, while Stephens are 14 percent more likely to vote Biden; Deborahs are for Biden, but Debras are for Trump. Of …

02-Nov-2020:
Was it just yesterday I was thinking about leaving A Falling Body on Medium? I’m afraid it won’t work. The customizable themes apply only to posts listed on …

02-Nov-2020:
Blasted Windows: telling me I have “no internet” and that “the DNS server can’t be found” when the actual problem is that my battery is low and I need to plug …

02-Nov-2020:
I haven’t read any of the Jack Reacher books. I recently tried an Eddie Flynn (by Steve Cavanagh), reputedly similar. I found it an unexpected (but compelling) …

02-Nov-2020:
This is hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time. Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson (Thin Lizzy guitarists) don’t agree on anything. I saw the trio lineup …

02-Nov-2020:
25 Feel-Good Films You’ll Want to Watch Again—and Again. theatlantic.com via @dave David Sims writes a whole paragraph on Inside Man (2006) without mentioning …

02-Nov-2020:
When, as a kid, I’d lose or forget something, an adult would urge me to concentrate, try to remember. I didn’t know how. I’d screw my eyes up in an attempt to …

01-Nov-2020:
Now that Medium allows use of a sans font and personalized theme, I might just leave A Falling Body there instead of moving it to my own site as I’d planned. …

01-Nov-2020:
It’s the beginning of the month, so I have three new free reads on Medium. I’d been saving some articles that looked interesting but not enough to resume my …

01-Nov-2020:
I bought Brad Mehldau’s last two trio albums Blues and Ballads (2016) and Seymour Reads the Constitution! (2018) within a short time of each other and I’ve been …

01-Nov-2020:
I just posted Who needs independent booksellers? It’s a question my answers to which haven’t been consistent over the years. I don’t think I’m alone in that 📖

01-Nov-2020:
We’ve been getting a lot of rain. The carpark opposite my new apartment was flooded Thursday, dried out on Friday and flooded again yesterday. I wouldn’t call …

30-Oct-2020:
Ursula Le Guin introduces herself I predate the invention of women by decades. Well, if you insist on pedantic accuracy, women have been invented several times …

30-Oct-2020:
Sharing the internet with America is like sharing your living room with a rhinoceros. It’s huge, it’s right there, and whatever it’s doing now, you sure as hell …

29-Oct-2020:
Is this a coincidence or does it just seem like one? I listened to the Labèque sisters’ album Love of Colours today for the first time in at least 7 or 8 years …

28-Oct-2020:
I just posted “Lining figures” in Microsoft Word: You learn something new every now and then on LinkedIn.

28-Oct-2020:
… when my last book came out someone wrote an article naming me as ‘a forgotten writer’… I suppose I didn’t write enough. You mustn’t let too many years go by …

28-Oct-2020:
Please enter your telephone number as a continuous string without spaces or dashes. Why, do you not have some way of stripping out spaces and dashes?

26-Oct-2020:
In fact I feel more like a drummer … I try to make the piano sing, although it’s really a percussion instrument. I get a great feeling when I use it as …

26-Oct-2020:
The plural use of “advancements” seems quite new. I’ve been seeing it a lot where I’d once have expected “advances”, as in “technological advance{ment}s”. I …

26-Oct-2020:
Lithium-ion batteries are believed to have been responsible for at least 250 fires at recycling and waste facilities across the UK in the year to March 2020. …

25-Oct-2020:
I just posted Writers on writing. A list of pieces/posts etc. available to read on the web in which writers discuss aspects of the craft, process or experience …

24-Oct-2020:
I’ve been wanting to order some books (from, for example, Kennys.ie) for several months now but I was holding off until I had a more-or-less permanent address …

23-Oct-2020:
Having stayed in cheapish hotels for the past 13 weeks (mostly in France) I’ve finally found somewhere to live for the next year. It’s in the bleak far west of …

23-Oct-2020:
The Sunna Gunnlaugs trio was supposed to be playing live in Poland today (I think it’s today) but is streaming from Iceland, where they live, instead. I don’t …

22-Oct-2020:
My favourite coffee in France was Lavazza’s Il Perfetto Espresso, but I found some very acceptable cheaper alternatives, including Lidl’s Bellarom E[sx]presso. …

21-Oct-2020:
Richard Williams on The news from Keith Jarrett 🎶 🎹

21-Oct-2020:
Keith Jarrett is unlikely to perform again, after two strokes in 2018 left him unable to use his left hand. This is very sad for him personally, but we have the …

21-Oct-2020:
From Melville House Press’s Moby blog: Booksta-what? I can’t see the appeal myself. I’m obviously not going to use a Facebook product, but I did try out the …

20-Oct-2020:
Jonathan Carroll, Moving day in your head: what it’s like to start writing a new book.

20-Oct-2020:
”fast, strong, cheap and impossible to use” That (according to the New Yorker) is graphene, no. 6 on a list of Technologies that are just about to solve big …

19-Oct-2020:
I’ve just posted “Short stories on the web”, a list of short stories (not by me!) that I recommend and that can be read online. I previously maintained this …

15-Oct-2020:
I must say I like the new customizable profiles on Medium and the redesign generally, particularly the fonts. Finally, I can use a sans font for body text. It’s …

15-Oct-2020:
Emily Hughes, A definitive ranking of Tana French novels, on Electric Literature

15-Oct-2020:
I just tripped over the USB-C cable that is charging my MacBook Air … and I’m delighted to discover that it actually works better than the old MagSafe, with …

14-Oct-2020:
It’s time we treat Facebook for what it is: A media company, subject to the norms, responsibilities, and behaviors we all expect and demand from our media …

13-Oct-2020: Something weird is happening with Google
I start to type a search term, Google does its autocomplete thing and (as usual) suggests a phrase completely different from the one I want to search for. I …

13-Oct-2020:
Till I watched Stana Katic (“Castle”) apparently speaking precise, formal French aimed primarily at intelligibilty (on French tv, version française), I hadn’t …

13-Oct-2020:
The reference to keg beer as “weasel piss” was one of the things that jogged my memory about “Country”. When I saw the 📺 play I hadn’t yet tasted English beer …

13-Oct-2020:
I turned over to BBC4 last night and caught the last 10 minutes of a play that I recognized as “Country” by Trevor Griffiths. I’d seen it (for the only time) …

11-Oct-2020:
My wife and I both had coronavirus and we were lucky to get it early. I have asthma and so I was quite worried about it. My wife got it from her book group … …

10-Oct-2020:
A new post by me: Anxiety after all. I think I may be experiencing a generalized (I call it unspecific) anxiety, in which anxious feelings survive and persist …

09-Oct-2020:
Because I studied and briefly taught poetry in a university, I habitually think of poetry as something to be interpreted, described, criticized and commented …

07-Oct-2020:
I just revived (briefly) my Mix account, which I’d deactivated in Dec 2019. Not only have I retained most of my followers through 10 months of inactivity — …

07-Oct-2020:
Do you think that Google deliberately steers traffic away from Garrett Camp’s Mix.com? I had assumed it was so hard to find relevant hits because the site name …

06-Oct-2020:
I just started to download Catalina 10.15.7 update. Initially, it was reporting “about 13 hours remaining” and I thought about cancelling the download. Then it …

05-Oct-2020:
… people with SDAM tend to do particularly well in jobs that require abstract thinking … “We think SDAM people, through a lifetime of practice of not having …

05-Oct-2020:
A new short story by me, “A slip of the masc”. A gender-nonconforming man attends the cremation of his ex-wife and uses the occasion to review his life and …

03-Oct-2020:
Speaking about women jazz pianists (and Poland, where Sunna Gunnlaugs will be touring in a few weeks), the CD/trio discussed in this review from London Jazz …

03-Oct-2020:
Icelandic jazz pianist Sunna Gunnlaugs emailed her list telling us that on the first Friday of each month since the pandemic began, Bandcamp waives its 15% fee, …

02-Oct-2020:
While editing my earlier post about France, memory and live jazz, it struck me how very peculiar it is that I’m in Toulouse in October yet not going to attend …

02-Oct-2020:
I just posted “France, memory and live jazz: Once, in real time, without a rehearsal”. It’s partly a continuation of my post from 2 weeks ago, “I think I’m …

02-Oct-2020:
Jimmy Stewart rates me … Vertigo! A much better than usual 7 out of 10 in today’s Irish Times Movie Quiz … with the help of several lucky guesses.

02-Oct-2020:
It seems that Medium has gone back to indicating — with a little star after “x min read” — which stories on its home page are behind the paywall, i.e. almost …

02-Oct-2020:
Adrian Chiles of The Guardian on being diagnosed with ADHD as an adult. I read stories like this obsessively, even though I don’t believe that I have …

01-Oct-2020:
I thought for a moment I’d lost my iPod Touch. I bought it earlier this year, before the announcement of the current iPhone SE, and used its newness to resist …

01-Oct-2020:
That entire £1.67 billion arts package is being used to mothball some of the larger enterprises but none of it is reaching the workforce. Aaron Liddard on the …

29-Sep-2020: Learning to love (or at least use) Apple’s unlamented butterfly keyboard
Shortly after Apple announced the 2020 MacBook Air, I bought a refurbished 2019 model, so I could find out at first hand what the butterfly key switches feel …

29-Sep-2020:
What is the purpose of literary criticism? Rumaan Alam interviews Charles Finch on Slate. Interesting assumption that criticism equates to book reviews. It does …

28-Sep-2020:
There’s a superb version of Paul McCartney’s “Great Day” on the Brad Mehldau Trio album Seymour Reads the Constitution! Somehow I always tune out during it and …

28-Sep-2020:
I’m usually good at cancelling trial subscriptions that I don’t want to renew but I’ve just taken out a year’s sub to The New Yorker. I overlooked it because I …

28-Sep-2020:
For the past 9 years, most of the books I had acquired up to then were inaccessible, languishing at the back of my sister’s attic. Last Thursday, I went to sort …

28-Sep-2020:
Mike Collins (jazzyblogman) has posted a roundup of recent reviews he’s written for London Jazz News. I’ll check out the Peter Hum, whose Ottawa Citizen jazz …

28-Sep-2020:
I’m downloading my Gmail archive from Google, in preparation for deleting my account. The total size is 3.9GB. I went to bed having spent 4½ hours downloading, …

27-Sep-2020:
Somebody goes to the trouble of splitting a post/essay/article into 280-character chunks so as to tweet it and then someone else asks a Thread Reader app to …

26-Sep-2020:
While waiting to recover some print books, I finished Karin Alvtegen’s Betrayal in Apple Books. I had read it before but remembered nothing at all. A realistic …

26-Sep-2020:
Following a visit to my sister’s attic on Thursday, I now have some print books to read again: Ian McEwan’s Enduring Love and two by Michael Dibdin: Ratking and …

25-Sep-2020:
Alan Ralph has written a detailed and perceptive reply to my post from Wednesday about where RSS is or ought to be going.

23-Sep-2020:
A new post by me: Where to now for RSS? I may well be suggesting something that’s been considered and rejected (for good reasons) several times over. If I am, …

23-Sep-2020:
Here’s @ayjay on the way “gaslighting” is currently being used. I’ve been suspicious of this usage without having thought through exactly what about it was …

21-Sep-2020:
I love the fact that you can set up Safari to use Reader View automatically with particular sites. I had done this already with Wikipedia. Now I’ve done it with …

20-Sep-2020:
The Irish Times’s insistence on serving up a mobile site to Safari 14 on a MacBook Air is making me want to throw somebody out the window. I’ve tried changing …

20-Sep-2020:
I hate maps embedded on web pages. They’re often too small to be useful, and if you use a trackpad, you’ll be scrolling down a page and suddenly find you’ve …

18-Sep-2020:
Now I’m getting the desktop version of The Irish Times on iPad and the mobile version on MacBook Air (Safari 14). The world really has turned upside down. I was …

17-Sep-2020:
Since I installed Safari 14, The Irish Times is showing me what looks like a mobile version of their site, with a very annoying back-to-the-top arrow at the …

17-Sep-2020:
With 1.4GB of the 5.27GB downloaded so far, the speed has dropped to 233KB per second and the estimated time left is still over 4 hours.

17-Sep-2020:
I’m trying to download a Windows recovery ISO image (5.27GB) over a hotel wifi connection at about 300KB per second. And I’m not even sure it’s going to work …

17-Sep-2020:
Oh, so that’s where the expression “be kind, rewind” comes from. I’m old enough to have had a collection of vinyl LPs in the 1970s but somehow VHS passed me by. …

17-Sep-2020:
I’ve just posted “I think I’m finally over France: I may have been trying to relive my experiences in actuality because I can’t recapture them in memory”

16-Sep-2020:
I know I’ve said this before but I really don’t get the impetus towards ever thinner bezels. I’ve got the 3rd generation iPad Air and I find the side bezels …

16-Sep-2020:
iPadOS 14: I’m seeing “Update requested” and “Estimating time remaining” for 20 minutes now. Maybe I’ll give up and try again tonight … or next week ☹️

16-Sep-2020:
I finished reading Doug Johnstone’s Hit & Run last night, as iPad battery reached 2%. Fairly compelling plot, but I can’t understand how others were so …

14-Sep-2020:
I’ve started to read Doug Johnstone’s Hit & Run, which I found in Apple Books library. I must have downloaded it when it was free. Plot is OK (crime boss …

13-Sep-2020:
It’s no defence (or mitigation) to say that breach of treaty obligations will be “specific and limited”. Most infringements are. I really don’t want to think …

13-Sep-2020:
Roger Stone … has said Trump should seize total power and jail prominent figures including Bill and Hillary Clinton and Mark Zuckerberg if he loses to Joe Biden …

12-Sep-2020:
I just tried to read a story on LitHub and got this monstrosity. Neither of the apparent “buttons” — “Accept all” or “Read more …” — responds to being clicked …

11-Sep-2020:
Rooting about on an external hard disk that I hadn’t paid much attention to recently, I find that I’ve got all of the first 4 seasons of Orphan Black. I don’t …

11-Sep-2020:
I’ve just posted Even plainer text. A suggestion for writing a basically structured document in plain (i.e. UTF-8) text without reference to an external style …

11-Sep-2020:
Someone who doesn’t need to tell you how clever they are while doing something clever is a political journalist’s nightmare. Tactical boringness is a great …

11-Sep-2020:
I’m having to skip my coffee this morning so I’m not in the best of moods. I’ll make up for it in the afternoon, though ☕️

11-Sep-2020:
Social media itself is not the existential threat. Rather, it’s the way that social media surfaces and amplifies the worst of humanity. Wired. The problem is …

10-Sep-2020:
Pianist Marc Copland writes about the significance and genius of Gary Peacock whom he knew since 1983 and who died a few days ago 🎹 🎶

09-Sep-2020:
Martyn Turner cartoon in The Irish Times

08-Sep-2020:
I got an email from a mailing list to my old address saying at the bottom “If you’ve changed your email address, update your account details”. So I logged on to …

07-Sep-2020:
I’m excited at the prospect of an album by pianist Dominik Wania but I sort of wish it wasn’t a solo album on ECM, which is likely to be subdued and restrained. …

07-Sep-2020:
Of the dozen or so pieces I’ve posted about aphantasia and related topics, the two most important in my view are Aphantasia’s effect on executive function and …

06-Sep-2020:
Another book that had been sitting in my Apple Books library and I finally got around to reading is Yrsa Sigurðardóttir’s Last Rituals. Gruesome, bloody and …

05-Sep-2020:
The great bassist Gary Peacock has died. I’m just going to listen to some of his duets with Marc Copland (piano) 🎶🎹

03-Sep-2020:
I posted something this morning, saying that I’d seen The Matrix only once, hadn’t liked it and thought it was time that I watched it again, 18 years later. And …

02-Sep-2020:
I bought a cheap (not Apple) USB-C adapter to read my old USB drive on the MacBook Air. I couldn’t see it in the Finder, so I tried various diskutil and mount …

30-Aug-2020:
I just posted WhatsApp? Nothing much. Today is the day when I finally delete my WhatsApp account. I’ve posted the story on Medium rather than my own site, for …

29-Aug-2020:
The girl is instantly plunged into Vittoria’s maelstrom, a swirl of tragic backstories, reckless driving, teeming extended families, chain-smoking, and priests. …

29-Aug-2020:
I’ve reluctantly removed Tot from the menu bar on the Mac and added it to the Dock instead. When it’s in the menu bar, it seems that menu commands (e.g. toggle …

29-Aug-2020:
I’m bemused at how much Google’s Material Design has been lauded and imitated. Personally, I find it meh at best, both on Android and in Google’s apps. So says …

28-Aug-2020:
If Hugh O’Flaherty could be forced to resign from the Supreme Court 21 years ago, just for asking the Dublin County Registrar to list a case (which was then …

27-Aug-2020:
In August 1970 Miles was moving from a freer version of the complex music his quintet played in the second half of the ’60s to a direct engagement with funk. …

26-Aug-2020:
Trying to type in the dark on a keyboard without a backlight, I realize that my touch-typing is not as good as I thought it was. The keyboard is quiet but table …

26-Aug-2020:
Adam Roberts did not find it straightforward to format an ebook and send it into the world You know who ne’er must deale with swich annoys? Kates, Virgile, …

25-Aug-2020:
I haven’t any printed books to read for now so I’ve been excavating my Apple Books library. I just read Andrew Taylor’s The American Boy which has been sitting …

25-Aug-2020:
The Irish Times has a go at ranking Christopher Nolan’s films. I used to try to persuade myself that he’d made another film almost as good as Memento. He …

23-Aug-2020:
I’m watching Destroyer, directed by Karyn Kusama and starring Nicole Kidman (also Tatiana Maslany, looking nothing like an Orphan Black clone), on tv (Canal+). …

23-Aug-2020:
Hey, Google, it looks like it hasn’t occurred to you that the fact that there aren’t any hits for my search term might be telling me exactly what I wanted to …

23-Aug-2020:
I Googled find free articles Medium and I got lots of hits telling me how to circumvent the paywall and read premium articles. If I wanted to read premium …

22-Aug-2020:
A new post by me Reading poetry in scholarly editions ✏️

20-Aug-2020:
Malcolm Gladwell has a theory of mystery/thriller/detective fiction. Where I think it falls down is in the idea of “the Northern”, in which category he includes …

20-Aug-2020:
Here’s a short story by Dearbhaile Houston, who is working on a collection of short stories. The title is Viscera and it’s about dissecting the entrails of an …

19-Aug-2020:
The public middle school in Menlo Park, where Schaake now resides, has students who are homeless, although the area’s average home value is almost $2.5 million. …

16-Aug-2020:
I don’t own any Sonny Clark albums (and I’m pleasantly surprised to learn that he recorded a relatively substantial amount before his early death), so I’m …

15-Aug-2020:
The New Yorker has a new story by Haruki Murakami. And this: “You Are My Dear Friend”, by Madhuri Vijay, the story of a thirtyish former au pair who marries a …

15-Aug-2020:
Better to wallow in self-pity over nothing than to have actually screwed up your life. Ted Chiang, Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom, a long short story …

14-Aug-2020:
The view from my hotel room in Pau, Pyrénées Atlantiques.

13-Aug-2020:
I’ve just posted the third and final part of A good masculinity is hard to find. The third part is subtitled “Gender as behaviour” and in it I reexamine beliefs …

11-Aug-2020:
I’m planning to delete my Google account in October, having used Gmail as my email provider for 15 years. I am very tempted to just zap it and take my chances …

09-Aug-2020:
I quite often find myself wondering why I’m still following John Naughton. Then he links to something like this — Ted Gioia, Why Gregory Bateson matters — and …

09-Aug-2020:
I wish iPadOS had the option to type curly single quotes by default but straight double ones. The could call it “really smart quotes”.

08-Aug-2020:
I’ve seen a wild boar fairly close, when it crossed a remote country road in front of me. I don’t think I’d have chased after one, even if it had stolen my …

08-Aug-2020:
Mark Dawson just revealed a corrupt system, writes Annika Karody on the Melville House blog. Dawson is a brilliant marketer but (on the strength of the only …

07-Aug-2020:
Excel doesn’t offer the option to turn off this auto-formatting, and the only way to avoid it is to change the data type for individual columns. Scientists …

07-Aug-2020:
I assumed from the moment that I first heard about wireless charging that it must be wasteful and inefficient as compared with the old fashioned, wired, …

07-Aug-2020:
Jason Kottke has a chili recipe “concocted through practice and improvisation” by one of the most influential musical improvisors ever 🎶

06-Aug-2020:
Here’s a new short story by Naoise Dolan, Family News told from the point of view of an effectively homeless woman who has moved in with her older sister and …

06-Aug-2020:
The Guardian has great pictures from the Isle of Wight festival, 1970, including a pensive Jimi Hendrix and drummer Clive Bunker in full flight. No Miles Davis, …

02-Aug-2020:
I mentioned yesterday that I hand-edit the JSON feed from my personal site. I noticed this morning that JSONLint, the validator I’ve been using, has stopped …

02-Aug-2020:
Another off-cut from my thesis: “Prelate of the grove”: A note on ambition and preferment in Marvell’s “Upon Appleton House” ✏️ Andrew Marvell was no admirer …

01-Aug-2020:
Panic over. I Googled the MacBook Air keyboard problem and it turns out all I needed to do was hold down Cmd-Opt-p-r while booting up. I don’t know what that …

01-Aug-2020:
I edit the JSON feed from my personal site by hand. Realizing that I can’t use the MacBook Air, and having to rely on the iPad Air instead, I felt a moment’s …

01-Aug-2020:
By me: Writing “plain” text. These days, I at least start off most of my writing as unformatted text, the kind I refuse to describe as “plain”. So, maybe I …

01-Aug-2020:
The keyboard on my 2 month old refurbished 2019 MacBook Air, seems to have stopped working. The computer wouldn’t respond, so I rebooted it and now I can’t …

31-Jul-2020:
I’ve just finished reading Kate Atkinson’s Transcription. The end is very satisfying: at once clarifying and confusing, which is appropriate to the theme. It …

30-Jul-2020:
Here’s a very new short story by Niamh Campbell, whose “Love Many” won this year’s Sunday Times Audible award: In An Encounter, a journalist interviewing a poet …

30-Jul-2020:
I’m halfway through Kate Atkinson’s Transcription and enjoying it. With another writer, I’d worry about where this plot is going but Atkinson has a sure touch. …

30-Jul-2020:
After 15 years on Gmail, I’ve switched to Zoho mail (with my own domain name on top). Just now, I noticed that the fan on the MacBook Air was going like the …

29-Jul-2020:
A new post by me: Tech’s unfulfilled promises. Tech held out the promise of helping to free humanity from drudgery, boredom and hard physical work. Obviously, …

28-Jul-2020:
Somewhat ironically, I wrote the previous micropost in a coffee shop because I don’t have a home just yet and I badly needed a coffee. It’s very nice coffee, so …

28-Jul-2020:
Emily Temple asks Is this the end of writing in cafés? I like the idea of writing in cafés, but in practice I tend to drink coffee in cafés and write at home …

26-Jul-2020:
I spent the years between 1988 and 2011 outside Ireland, apart from the occasional visit, but until Friday evening it had been 5 years since I had left the …

26-Jul-2020:
Two months ago, following the release of the 2020 MacBook Air with magic keyboard, I got a refurb 2019 one, partly out of curiosity about the butterfly …

26-Jul-2020:
I’ve been trying to attract some friends and family members away from WhatsApp, so I can avoid making even the tiniest contribution to Facebook’s continued …

26-Jul-2020:
I haven’t posted anything for nearly a week. I had been planning to move from Ireland to France back in March, but that had to be delayed for obvious reasons. …

20-Jul-2020:
The Register reports that “no logging” VPN providers have been storing plain text logs (including passwords) on publicly accessible servers. I’m shocked. …

19-Jul-2020:
Ha! As soon as I posted this, I went back to Tot on the Mac and, sure enough, it’s now showing today’s edits from the iPad. So I know what to do the next time …

19-Jul-2020:
I had been hoping that using Tot on both iPad and MacBook Air would solve the problems I’ve been having syncing text documents between the two using iCloud. No …

18-Jul-2020:
Here’s a marvellous piece in The Guardian Saturday Review by Chris Power, author of the collection Mothers, about reading short stories. It’s full of links: a …

17-Jul-2020:
Suppose the Twitter Bitcoin scam was a kind of decoy to make the world think that the scammers were narrowly focused on crypto and/or too stupid to understand …

16-Jul-2020:
Max Schrems wins another round against Facebook, the European Commission and the Irish Data Protection Commissioner.

16-Jul-2020:
If anything, our results show that Branwell is the least likely member of the Brontë family to have contributed to Wuthering Heights. A study by two digital …

16-Jul-2020:
Unlike Nazism, Marxism wants of course to save victims, but it thinks that the process that makes victims is fundamentally economic. says René Girard. I don’t …

15-Jul-2020:
The zig and zag of rupture and reconciliation makes Normal People mostly a picaresque and inconclusive romance, but also a millennial photo album. Lorrie Moore …

14-Jul-2020:
Google Translate pops up a warning about “Upcoming changes to history”. I think they might be on to something.

14-Jul-2020:
It’s been a while since I’ve seen one of these. Nice to know that some sites are still taking their GDPR obligations seriously 😉

14-Jul-2020:
a truth universally unacknowledged … another of the unknown knowns Fintan O’Toole on what Ireland gained from having Jack Charlton manage our national football …

14-Jul-2020:
Tim Andersen, PhD, I do not believe in the multiverse, the case for realism. Yeah, what he said.

12-Jul-2020:
Trump reportedly suggested selling Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria, according to his acting secretary of Homeland Security at the time. Perhaps a management …

12-Jul-2020:
I’m glad that Micro.blog allows me to fix mistakes in posts. I’ve always understood in theory why Twitter won’t permit tweets to be amended but in practice the …

12-Jul-2020:
Last week I posted part 1 of “A good masculinity is hard to find”. Here’s Part 2 — gender as identity. I’m afraid it’s going to annoy most of its readers. …

10-Jul-2020:
As I’ve said several times, here and elsewhere, I’m not a fan of ebooks. Here’s the contrary view, from a former Micro.blogger.

10-Jul-2020:
In our restaurant that has two stars. In our restaurant that is now a hostile environment of pervasive sexual misconduct. Sarah Gilmartin’s short story, The …

08-Jul-2020:
Why is it so hard to change your email address on a subscription? I want to stop using Gmail (finally), and I’ve changed my email address on my paid …

07-Jul-2020:
Stephanie Soileau, Last One Out Shut Off the Lights. A short story from her new collection 📖

06-Jul-2020:
So, Morricone is dead. I’m not on a music subscription service, and unfortunately can’t share a playlist. Instead, here are 3 🎶links🎹: Ninfa plebea Mio caro …

05-Jul-2020:
A new post by me: “A good masculinity is hard to find: Part 1 – episodes from the early life of an antimasculine male”. The first of three intended posts on the …

04-Jul-2020:
OK, the fix for that Tot bug is straightforward, if counterintuitive. I set up a text replacement, ||, for straight double quotes and turned smart quotes on …

04-Jul-2020:
I think I’ve just found a bug-disguised-as-a-feature in Tot for the Mac. I’ve been happily using Tot for weeks and I’m amazed I haven’t noticed till now. It’s …

04-Jul-2020:
Niamh Campbell’s Love Many, to which I have already linked, is a deserving winner of the Sunday Times Audible award. I’m wary, though, of the notion that …

01-Jul-2020:
Here’s a short story by Felicia C Sullivan, “Even the Toaster Couldn’t Be Trusted: A short story about women who sleep with their eyes open”. It’s behind the …

30-Jun-2020:
Richard Williams has been listening to Lucio Battisti. By chance, I first heard of Battisti only recently when listening to an album by Doctor 3 dedicated to …

30-Jun-2020:
Probably I’m missing something but I can’t help feeling that Modern Monetary Theory is just a catchy new name for something that should be obvious to anyone …

30-Jun-2020:
Magpie sheltering from the rain.

29-Jun-2020:
I am advised to “shield”, keep my head in my shell, isolate with some minimal bubble socialising. Till when? Vaccine or virus extinction. Somewhere over the …

28-Jun-2020:
It makes a change to read a review of an album that I already have, Brad Mehldau’s Suite: April 2020. I haven’t got the vinyl edition of course, but a digital …

28-Jun-2020:
After a gap of about 2 months, Marks & Spencer have got their ground espresso ☕️ back in stock, and it’s sooooo much nicer than what I’ve been making do …

28-Jun-2020:
The sheer number of markets Google dominates — mobile operating systems, general search, online video, mapping, email, display advertising, and browsers — lets …

27-Jun-2020:
By me: PDF is preferable to ePub, even on small screens. Long form texts, including fiction, may lose readers when posted as multiple HTML pages. I think I’ve …

26-Jun-2020:
It’s just struck me that the app/feature I’d most like to see in iPadOS is the MacOS Preview. Preview is great for all sorts of graphic things but it’s …

26-Jun-2020:
This is probably an accurate reading of the situation, if a bit cynical. Richard Murphy on Starmer’s sacking of Long-Bailey.

25-Jun-2020:
Most of the books recommended by Stephen M Tomic (see previous post) are Kindle only. Here’s one that isn’t (though international orders are suspended for now). …

25-Jun-2020:
A few years ago, when I was sending out my weekly newsletter, “Recommended short fiction on Medium”, Stephen M Tomic was among the top writers I recommended. …

25-Jun-2020:
A fleeting chance to share an intimate gig with Fred Hersch on piano and Esperanza Spalding, here on vocals alone, without her bass. The piano-bass duo is …

25-Jun-2020:
So, Bookshop.org will be coming to the UK. (I’m not in the UK, of course, but I buy some books through Alibris.) I think this is broadly good, notwithstanding …

25-Jun-2020:
While I’m on the subject of Keen: I think that the pundits who are comparing it to Pinterest are missing the point. Sure, Pinterest describes itself as a visual …

25-Jun-2020:
I’m conflicted about Google’s experimental Keen: I’d love to ignore it, although I’ve speculated before that AI-driven search and recommendation engines may …

24-Jun-2020:
I don’t usually like audiobooks — without something to keep my eyes occupied, my attention tends to wander — but I’ve been enjoying listening to Helen Lewis …

24-Jun-2020:
I’m sorry to see the end of the Segway though as a cyclist I’m predisposed to think that any trip that could be made on a Segway could more easily be made on a …

22-Jun-2020:
television productions of Shakespeare diverted people from the text and delivered them into the hands of a director. John Henry Jones, paraphrasing his …

22-Jun-2020:
I was culling feeds in NetNewsWire yesterday, mainly expunging those whose content is largely tech-related, and I considered removing Jason Kottke’s. I decided …

22-Jun-2020:
Forgotten plays: No 4 – Howard Brenton’s Bloody Poetry (1984). I saw a revival of this play in the early 90s. I’d read, not seen, some of his early agitprop; …

21-Jun-2020:
I’ve noticed that when I post fiction in multiple parts, the first part gets page views but these drop off quickly. So, as an alternative to proceeding to part …

20-Jun-2020:
I’ve been using Gmail as my main email provider since 2005. I never bothered to move because Google must long since know everything worth knowing about me. …

20-Jun-2020:
Today’s Diverted Traffic from the London Review of Books is William Empson’s Fairy Flight in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I’ve read it before (I think it’s in one …

19-Jun-2020:
Democrats live in permanent fear of losing and trust the powers that be to pick someone whom they think other people would like. I was starting to think …

19-Jun-2020:
Venez nombreux et masqués faire la fête du jazz … The Sunside is probably my favourite jazz club but it’s tiny. The thought of large numbers of people there, …

19-Jun-2020:
Enrico Terrinoni, the Italian translator of Joyce’s works, writes about Joyce’s affinity with Giordano Bruno and Bruno’s presence in Ulysses 📚

18-Jun-2020:
Just as my 3-month Deezer free trial subscription ends, here comes Spotify offering me 3 months for the price of one. However, I think I should forget about …

17-Jun-2020:
Apple removed subpixel antialiasing from macOS in 2018, the same month it retired its last non-retina notebook. Niki Tonsky explains why (and how) you should …

17-Jun-2020:
The card I use to pay my phone provider expired 2 months ago. I paid last month’s bill as a one-off but couldn’t find how to update the card. I’ve since made …

14-Jun-2020:
I’ve updated the list of aphantasia posts on my personal site to add this morning’s I forgot the future and added a new MB category, Aphantasia.

14-Jun-2020:
Hiding from history: Conservative party deletes archive of speeches from internet. Originally posted by @Dave

14-Jun-2020:
I’ve just posted I forgot the future: SDAM, aphantasia and a purpose in life. Before I knew I had aphantasia and SDAM, a psychotherapist asked me what I wanted …

14-Jun-2020:
Living with his family under restricted movement in the Netherlands during the pandemic, Brad Mehldau wrote and recorded an unscheduled and unexpected solo …

14-Jun-2020:
As an island on the periphery of Europe, we should have expected a lower fatality rate than countries like Germany, Denmark, Portugal, Finland and many others. …

13-Jun-2020:
It was okay to publish the now-discredited Steele dossier, because Trump is scum. So says Matt Taibbi sarcastically in a newsletter that @Dave linked to. I …

10-Jun-2020:
What [governments] actually promise is to accept the money that only they can create to settle the tax liabilities that only they can impose. And that is …

09-Jun-2020:
While I was without a Mac, I installed the Linux subsystem for Windows, primarily so that I could run the bash wc command on text files to get their wordcounts. …

09-Jun-2020:
A short story by Niamh Campbell, “Love Many”, shortlisted for The Sunday Times Audible short story award ✏️

08-Jun-2020:
“The Lost Generation, a short story by Rosemary Jenkinson about a school reunion after 25 years, from her collection Lifestyle Choice 10mg 📚

08-Jun-2020:
I got 17/30 or 57% in the font game. I’m annoyed that I got Myriad wrong, as I previously used it a lot. And I misidentified both Helvetica and Arial.

07-Jun-2020:
Emily Temple’s (first) novel, The Lightness is out. I’ll probably wait for the mass-market paperback (as is my wont), though I’ve been looking forward to it for …

07-Jun-2020:
It’s hard to judge whether one’s monthly subscriptions are good value. I don’t pay anything to The Guardian but every so often there’s a message at the bottom …

07-Jun-2020:
Buying the wrong things, part 2. I don’t own a coffee grinder (because I get through it so quickly it doesn’t have time to lose flavour). Yesterday, distracted …

07-Jun-2020:
Ah, now I see. It’s still possible to use Option as a compose key; but to get a circumflex you use Option-6 rather than Option-i. Option + a vowel will give an …

07-Jun-2020:
I seem to have developed a talent for buying the wrong things. I meant to buy two novellas from MHP’s ebook sale, one of them being Wells’s The Time Machine, …

07-Jun-2020:
One thing I’ve noticed about my recently purchased 2019 MacBook Air is that it no longer seems to be possible to use the keyboard to “compose” characters. If I …

07-Jun-2020:
Week 12 (already?!) of Melville House Press’s ebook sale features “a fantastic selection of novellas for $1.99”. Dostoevsky to Edgar Allan Poe, by way of Henry …

06-Jun-2020:
Paolo Amoroso, a former Micro.blogger, recommends a new blog directory. It’s called FindYour.blog.

06-Jun-2020:
I’m going to take out a trial, digital-only sub to The New Yorker, largely so I can read short stories by Alice Munro and others. I don’t intend to renew once …

04-Jun-2020:
I’m still watching Stumptown for now, though it’s not getting any better. In last night’s episode a singer’s manager encouraged an obsessed fan to stalk her, to …

02-Jun-2020:
I’ve been trying to avoid using the word “lockdown” because I don’t believe it’s accurate. I’ve been getting out to walk the dog every day and don’t feel that …

02-Jun-2020:
I haven’t read any of Alice Munro’s short stories. I caught Almodovar’s film Julieta on tv at the weekend and was surprised to see in the credits that it’s …

02-Jun-2020:
Hey, I got 7 out of 10 in this Irish Times quiz about Normal People. I watched only the first episode of the tv series and I haven’t yet reread the book (having …

01-Jun-2020:
Erica Sadun enthuses about the MacOS Preview app, and offers a workshop on its little-known features. It may be the app I missed most when I was without a Mac, …

01-Jun-2020:
London Jazz News will not be posting tomorrow 🎶

01-Jun-2020:
Total Recall at 30: a thrilling reminder of Paul Verhoeven at his best. My favourite Verhoeven movie, even better than Starship Troopers 🍿

31-May-2020:
My final example of book cover art (🎨 day 7) is another Italian book that I knew nothing about until its cover caught my attention and I Googled it. I read a …

31-May-2020:
What avail him now his awards and prizes, The praise expended upon his meticulous technique, His individual new voice? Knocked into the middle of next week …

30-May-2020:
The luminous background colour, the stylized figure, the spare font: this cover is so eyecatching that you wonder why everybody doesn’t do something like this. …

29-May-2020:
I saw this cover and immediately thought “That’s a book I’m going to read”. I’m not sure exactly why (and I still haven’t read it, but it won’t be long now) but …

28-May-2020:
I don’t know what edition of Wuthering Heights this is, but I love the cover (as well as the book). The unkerned, top heavy sans letters (with different Rs) …

28-May-2020:
OK, so now it’s a breach of the rules on impartiality to say that somebody “broke the rules” when he very obviously broke the rules. Should the duty to be …

27-May-2020:
I forgot to add the cover image for Seven Types of Ambiguity when I posted my entry for day 3 of the art 🎨challenge. So, I deleted that post and immediately …

27-May-2020:
I love the old Pelican paperback covers, and William Empson’s Seven Types of Ambiguity is particularly well done. This is one of just 2 instances this week …

26-May-2020:
Day 2 of the final week of the May MB challenge (art 🎨). I’m posting examples of book cover art that have impressed me. I’m not necessarily recommending the …

25-May-2020:
I’m sorry to say that I’ve never been in the least competent in the visual arts. So, for the final week of the May challenge, I’m just going to post examples of …

24-May-2020:
My final (day 7) book recommendation is Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White. It was almost a toss-up between this and the same author’s Armadale. Both have …

24-May-2020:
A list of some of my posts on Medium that I think are worth keeping and don’t fall into the broader categories of fiction, aphantasia or critical book …

23-May-2020:
My first thought was to dispose of the body. Then I’d tell the authorities that Frank left me for another woman. But Tanya (not her real name) knows that her …

23-May-2020:
I said I’ve been adding description tags to some old posts, both on artkavanagh.ie and on Medium. This included several posts about aphantasia, so it made sense …

23-May-2020:
Louise Doughty on the moment when “a slowly swirling mass of ideas”, accumulated search and unconnected scenes coalesced into the kernel of Apple Tree Yard 📖

22-May-2020:
Why are liberals more afraid of the coronavirus than conservatives?, asks Vox’s Ezra Klein. I’m not necessarily more afraid of the virus than of conservatives …

22-May-2020:
My recommendation for day 5 of the book challenge is The Burden of Proof, the second of Scott Turow’s legal thrillers. This one doesn’t have the vertiginously …

22-May-2020:
“The Great Elmore Leonard Renaissance of the Late 90s” by Zach Vasquez on Crime Reads. I love Get Shorty 🍿and Jackie Brown 🎬 but I’ve never seen Out of Sight or …

21-May-2020:
I watched the 4th episode of Stumptown last night. After a promising pilot, this series has been consistently awful. A neat premise and an appealing protagonist …

21-May-2020:
Social distancing in Ridley Road market is one thing I never expected to see. I can remember times when the throng of bodies was virtually impassable. (Suddenly …

21-May-2020:
Now that I’ve got a Mac again, I’m not likely to be doing much browsing on Windows, so I’m switching my default browser from Firefox back to Edge. Firefox is …

21-May-2020:
Book recommendation day 4: Peter Abrahams, Nerve Damage: a dying sculptor gets a sneak peek at his NYT obituary and learns that he might not have been told the …

21-May-2020:
Serendipitously, Catherine Ryan Howard’s Distress Signals, which I recommended on Monday, seems to be Apple Books’ free book of the week, at least in their …

20-May-2020:
Books day 3: Unravelling Oliver was Liz Nugent’s first crime novel and it’s the best (and shortest) of the three I’ve read. A writer of beloved children’s books …

19-May-2020:
It’s so nice to have a Mac again. Looking at the file modification dates on iCloud, I see that it’s a full 18 months since I got rid of the previous one, a 2013 …

19-May-2020:
My 2nd book recommendation is Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children. I’ve read it several times but the most recent was nearly 30 years ago. An extraordinary …

19-May-2020:
I just got a 2019 MacBook Air with 🦋 keyboard. At @Munish’s suggestion, I tried the Apple site for a refurb and found one: presumably old surplus stock. (1) The …

18-May-2020:
My first book recommendation in the May challenge is Catherine Ryan Howard’s Distress Signals. A year apart, two women disappear from a cruise ship in the Med …

18-May-2020:
The [Office of Public Works] is prioritising those who merely drive through the park over those who use it, and over the wildlife that has been flourishing …

17-May-2020:
I just noticed that I’ve been writing less than usual since February, when I got my iPad Air, and decided to make it my main writing device. I do hope those …

17-May-2020:
Melville House Press’s ebook sale has some interesting titles this week. I tend to resist buying ebooks, unfortunately. In the eight weeks that MHP has been …

16-May-2020:
The code is too complicated, the design is too simple. You will not be able to learn anything from studying it. A very minimalist WordPress theme from the …

16-May-2020:
No one wants to operate in a place that people are just passing through; everyone wants to settle where people will stop, and rest, and look around, and talk, …

15-May-2020:
I’ve just gone back and added “Description” meta tags to some of the posts on my site. It doesn’t push them any higher up the search results but it makes them …

15-May-2020:
Spending nearly three months raising a baby she has given birth to, but who[m] she is not biologically related to and will be giving back to his parents …

15-May-2020:
dedicated readers have started buying direct from our websites and those of bookstores that have managed to keep trading online. Something to consider. Sam …

15-May-2020:
If you’re reading a Medium story in a “desktop” browser and you select some text, you can highlight the selection. I just discovered that I don’t know how to …

14-May-2020:
I don’t think I’m going to be using the new iA Writer feature, welcome though it is. It opens the draft in the web MB interface. I’m happier drafting my …

14-May-2020:
There’s been a lot about iA Writer on MB in the last day or so for obvious reasons. Coincidentally, I’d been looking at it again after a gap of some months …

13-May-2020:
Here’s At the Clinic, a short story by Sally Rooney, featuring the main characters from Normal People, published in The White Review 2016 and now free to read.

13-May-2020:
I should have realized that my book 📚 reviews on Amazon would survive the deletion of my account. The only two for which I have permalinks were posted in 2004 …

13-May-2020:
Scott Turow’s favourite among his own characters is Alejandro “Sandy” Stern. I particularly like a much more peripheral character: Stan Sennett, Sandy’s …

11-May-2020:
It’s time to move my crime novel, A Falling Body, from Medium to artkavanagh.ie. For posting on Medium I split each of the 8 chapters (average 9,000 words) into …

08-May-2020:
Although the piano-bass duo is easily my favourite musical lineup, I had ignored the 2012 album, Togetherness by siblings Monica Dominique and Palle Danielsson, …

08-May-2020:
The man who operated the wind machine, an old aeroplane propeller, was decapitated by it one morning outside Moscow. We watched his head fly across the sky and …

08-May-2020:
The CD I ordered on 22 March finally arrived yesterday (I’d chosen the slowest USPS option, which added 75% to the cost of the CD). So I ripped it using iTunes …

07-May-2020:
Just had the notion that I’d like to buy a 2018 or 2019 MacBook Air (i.e before the Magic Keyboard but with retina display). But they’re ridiculously expensive …

06-May-2020:
Strange there’s so little information online about Intromotion, the 1997 album by Esbjörn Svensson Trio and Krister Anderssen, that I’d never heard of till two …

06-May-2020:
I’m fed up with iCloud Drive overwriting something I’ve just written on Windows with an earlier version of the same file from iPad. I thought I could avoid this …

06-May-2020:
I’ve felt since season 2 that The Good Fight is heading towards a scenario in which Diane votes for Trump in November 2020 and Julius Cain, now a Trump judicial …

06-May-2020:
We need to figure out a less optimized version of working from home … says M G Siegler (sorry, paywall).

05-May-2020:
I’m no fan of Elon Musk’s but I can’t help bristling at the suggestion that input forms and database software should dictate what’s acceptable as a child’s …

04-May-2020:
People with aphantasia are more likely to work in a STEM field according to a study led by Adam Zeman of the University of Exeter. This has interesting …

04-May-2020:
I just discovered (on Deezer) an Esbjörn Svensson Trio album that I’d never heard of before. It’s Intromotion from 1997 and it also features Krister Andersson …

04-May-2020:
A few weeks ago I bought Textastic for iPad, thinking I needed a full-featured text editor. I’ve just gone back to the free Pretext. I like the font, the short …

03-May-2020:
I used the phrase “immersed in doings” in an attempt at a poem. I couldn’t remember where I had encountered it, so I Googled it and that led me to Alice Koller, …

03-May-2020:
Nothing new here, just a reminder; but if you’re in the mood for reading some general/crime (mostly short) fiction, you’ll find mine here, free to read ✏️

03-May-2020:
Pick TV’s rerun of Elementary has now reached the end of season 6. I’ll probably hang on for season 7, though there was plenty to dislike about it. Season 7 …

03-May-2020:
According to John Naughton in The Observer, the GDPR is a powerful but essentially unenforced regulation, which makes a mockery of the rule of law. The Irish …

01-May-2020:
I’ve been cycling as an adult for 37 years. Today I finally discovered how to remove the pump connection from a Presta valve without banging my fingers hard …

28-Apr-2020:
But what is only now coming into focus is the impact that Trump’s unprecedented number of judicial appointments is having on the courts … and on the day-to-day …

27-Apr-2020:
The Wonder Spot, Melissa Bank’s 2005 follow-up to her big hit, is the book that Hadley Freeman wishes more people would read. Indeed, she wishes that more …

26-Apr-2020:
Michael Tamblyn, Kobo CEO, says the publisher is … rejecting over 50% of the ebooks submitted dealing with #COVID19 and #Coronavirus. They are filled with …

26-Apr-2020:
I caught most of Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys on tv last night. It’s weird to think that it’s 25 years old: a period piece, really. And I remembered so little. …

25-Apr-2020:
A short story by Anna Breslin, The Other Michael Jones. Emma has barely had time to begin to adjust to grief and bereavement when widowhood is abruptly snatched …

25-Apr-2020:
I just Googled how to stop animated gifs from playing automatically in Firefox, and followed the instructions. It’s too soon to say for sure but I may have …

25-Apr-2020:
I just heard yesterday that Deirdre Bair, biographer of Beckett and de Beauvoir, has died. I’ve heard John Calder, then publisher of Beckett’s prose, being …

25-Apr-2020:
Laughter in Dark Times: Some funny (in both senses) book recommendations by Geoff Dyer, including Eve Babitz, Terry Castle and James Jones’s The Thin Red Line, …

22-Apr-2020:
When I’m listening to music, I don’t usually play two albums in a row by the same artist. But, since discovering those 4 recent albums by Enrico Pieranunzi, …

22-Apr-2020:
The euro seems to have fallen below the dollar in value, at least for small amounts, like the monthly Medium subscription ($5). I don’t know whether that’s …

22-Apr-2020:
I just renewed my subscription to Medium (probably only for a month or two) after letting it lapse in June 2019. A lot more posts are behind the paywall now, …

21-Apr-2020:
Bookmarking this to watch Shakespeare’s Globe performances of The Two Noble Kinsmen and The Winter’s Tale in May. And maybe The Merry Wives of Windsor. Or maybe …

21-Apr-2020:
I was debating on WhatsApp as to how to refer to our current circumstances. “Lockdown” isn’t right because we can exercise and buy food, and “quarantine” is …

21-Apr-2020:
I’ve never owned an iPhone, though I’ve had a succession of iPads and iPod Touches. The new SE tempts me, despite the overlap of functions with what I already …

21-Apr-2020:
Procrastination is the brain’s way of getting essential things done (such as house-cleaning) by tricking us into believing that other things (e.g. novels, major …

20-Apr-2020:
Given that I have an invisible disability and that people tend to assume I’m straight by looking at me, the burden is on me to actively correct those …

20-Apr-2020:
I just knocked over the Aeropress, which contained just enough water and ground coffee to make the equivalent of one double espresso. You’d be surprised at how …

20-Apr-2020:
Pianist George Colligan has a new trio album, Live in Arklow just out. Unless he’s played in Arklow more than once, I was annoyed to have to miss the …

20-Apr-2020:
I just posted this on LinkedIn: From tech to text: What comes after Word and VBA?. Two weeks ago, I was asked to do something I hadn’t done for 10 years: to …

20-Apr-2020:
Several emergency planners and scientists said that the plans to protect the UK in a pandemic had once been a priority and had been well funded for the decade …

20-Apr-2020:
We Live in the Blue Ruin, a short story by Felicia C Sullivan that I enthused about in my (now defunct) “Short fiction on Medium” newsletter nearly 3 years ago, …

19-Apr-2020:
I’m not sure what happened. I must have inadvertantly made the gesture that means “select the entire text and then paste”. Whatever. The gesture that I thought …

19-Apr-2020:
Actually, “disaster” is an exaggeration. But it’s a very annoying setback.

19-Apr-2020:
I decided that Pretext wasn’t going to cut it, so I bought Textastic from the App Store, and somehow overwrote the entire text (10,500 words), with the contents …

19-Apr-2020:
Instead of editing the file on the iCloud drive in Windows, I should copy/move it onto my C: drive, edit it there and save it. Then, when I’m sure there isn’t …

19-Apr-2020:
I use iCloud to swap text docs between Windows and iPad. I keep forgetting to close the file in Pretext on iPad. I then make changes in Windows, go back to …

19-Apr-2020:
And if the arks turn out to be real, don’t get on the one that’s leaving first. Frank McNally in The Irish Times points out the connection between Douglas …

18-Apr-2020:
I’ve been ruminating again as to why people sometimes call basic, nonframework JavaScript “vanilla”; and it struck me that, as an aphantasic, I often don’t know …

18-Apr-2020:
Piano Sketches is an album of six solo piano tracks performed by six Polish pianists, with a jazz sensibility … Can’t wait to hear it. Michał Tokaj is the only …

16-Apr-2020:
The Irish Times has reprinted from the Dublin Review of Books a long essay by Maureen O’Connor in which O’Connor fiercely attacks a profile of Edna O’Brien by …

16-Apr-2020:
In my earlier post, since corrected, I wrongly described Mary-Kay Wilmers as “founding editor” or the LRB (London Review of Books). She was cofounder and has …

16-Apr-2020:
The Guardian has ranked all of Stephen Frears’ films. (Coincidentally, he’s the ex-husband of Mary-Kay Wilmers, whom I mentioned earlier.) There are plenty I …

16-Apr-2020:
Many of Ireland’s bookshops are back online, according to this Irish Times book club email. And I think most will mail books internationally (hard to test as …

16-Apr-2020:
Because the trackpad on my Windows notebook is so awful, I’ve developed the habit of hitting PgDn instead of trying to scroll. But I keep forgetting that in the …

16-Apr-2020:
There are three Belgian writers whose names are known outside Belgium. None of them wrote about their own country. Simenon went to France, Hergé to Tintin-land …

16-Apr-2020:
It was good to see Bernie Sanders endorse Joe Biden’s candidacy on Monday. That shows the Democrats have grasped the most obvious, elemental political truth – …

16-Apr-2020:
Lee Konitz, one of the greats, has died at the age of 92 🎶

15-Apr-2020:
Paolo @amoroso on the unavoidablity of WhatsApp and the unbeatable quality of its network effect. Just hold your nose and pretend to forget that Facebook owns …

15-Apr-2020:
Speaking of Electric Literature, that’s another site I’m thinking about removing from my feed reader, not because it’s a firehose (as LitHub is) but because …

15-Apr-2020:
Here’s an English translation of a short story, The Island at Noon, by Julio Cortázar (who also wrote the story on which Antonioni’s iconic 60s film Blow-Up was …

15-Apr-2020:
I’m fed up of headlines and stories saying that the economy/life/society isn’t going to return to normal. Obviously not. When has anything ever “returned to …

14-Apr-2020:
… the force of the take-off made him “float” off his seat, causing him to stand up and involuntarily grab the ejection handle to steady himself. Man …

14-Apr-2020:
Speaking of Tyler Cowen, I just found this Slate piece from 2006, in which he declines to lament the then-imminent disappearance of the independent bookstore. …

14-Apr-2020:
I’m probably about to remove Tyler Cowen’s Marginal Revolution from my feed reader, perhaps temporarily. Covid-19 has dominated recent posts, and they’re mainly …

14-Apr-2020:
I was one of those people who held out the hope that the iPad would be something wholly different from a laptop … I’m sitting here using an iPad with a physical …

12-Apr-2020:
I’m feeling a bit proud of myself. I wrote a 350-word response — the first draft was longer — to this piece in The Irish Times, written from a runner’s …

12-Apr-2020:
New post from me: Heather Sellers: Learning the lessons of face-blindness and place-blindness. A professor of creative writing gets lost in very familiar …

11-Apr-2020:
After all, people still hesitate to insert cell phones into their fiction—in large part, I’ve always believed, because the classics they grew up reading … don’t …

11-Apr-2020:
Of the several recent Enrico Pieranunzi albums I mentioned a few days ago, the trio album with Ulysses Owens, Jr is a must-have, but I also can’t pass up the …

11-Apr-2020:
As I’ve already repeated ad nauseam, I much prefer printed books to ebooks. I haven’t been buying any of the former recently, though I get daily email reminders …

11-Apr-2020:
Standing in the slow-moving queue outside the supermarket, I couldn’t help getting anxious that most of what I wanted would be sold out. I had to remind myself …

11-Apr-2020:
If you enjoy piano-bass-drums trios, Serbian ensemble Majamisty TriO have made Organic, their new album, available for download for €1 or more. I haven’t …

11-Apr-2020:
Week 4 of Melville House Press’s ebook sale sees a new batch of books reduced to $1.99 for the next 7 days. There are 2 or 3 here that appeal to me 📚

10-Apr-2020:
For years, on a succession of Macs, I kept my iTunes library on an external hard disk. Now, I no longer have a Mac. Most of my music is still on the external …

10-Apr-2020:
And, speaking of Thomas Fonnesbaek, I also learned that he made a trio recording, Groovements, with Aaron Parks. I’d been saying for years that some label …

10-Apr-2020:
Enrico Pieranunzi is nothing if not prolific. Yesterday, I learned of a slew of recent albums I hadn’t known about (because not on his regular CamJazz label), …

09-Apr-2020:
LitHub’s Emily Temple has a list of the best 50 contemporary (with us, that is) long novels. I’m puzzled that she thinks The Likeness doesn’t run to 500 pages: …

09-Apr-2020:
On Electric Literature, Jess Zimmerman asks Why is everyone suddenly obsessed with sourdough?

07-Apr-2020:
It really does remind me of a dysfunctional family with a psychotic, alcoholic dad, where where everybody’s trying to cover for dad. I’ve been thinking about …

06-Apr-2020:
The ruthless economic underpinnings of the internet serve to punish the giver and destroy the spiritual, disinterested essence of the gift. Welcome to the …

06-Apr-2020:
I’m wondering if I’m going to abandon Trigonometry with just 3 of its 8 episodes left to air. Probably not, but it’s slow moving and painful to watch (not in a …

06-Apr-2020:
From The Guardian: Steven Appleby, Why I felt liberated when I started dressing as a woman.

06-Apr-2020:
A short story, Sana and her portrait by Nardine. I haven’t been posting “Short fiction on Medium” for ages, partly because much of it is behind the paywall and …

05-Apr-2020:
I’ve just watched a video from Hampstead Theatre of their 2016 production of Wild by Mike Bartlett, based on Edward Snowden. It’s free to watch till 10 pm …

05-Apr-2020:
Here’s an encouraging post from Alex Tabarrok, who points out that the aim of “lockdown” isn’t simply to flatten the curve (to give health services a better …

05-Apr-2020:
Putin’s Troll Machine is churning out endless fake news about the dangers of 5G in English, while trumpeting the benefits for a domestic audience in Russia. …

05-Apr-2020:
Here’s a brief clip (YouTube) in which Alan Kendle interviews Adam Zeman about dreaming and aphantasia.

04-Apr-2020:
“We hit 3M hard today” tweeted Trump, as if 3M were a foreign terrorist camp. I remember (as if it were just a few weeks ago) a world in which the news that …

04-Apr-2020:
In the war between dog-walkers and cyclists, I’m generally on the side of the latter — I am one, after all. But not when I’m walking my sister’s dog, which is …

04-Apr-2020:
McConnell has been privately asking Republican-appointed judges to retire soon so Trump can appoint their replacements … The utterly shameless Senate majority …

04-Apr-2020:
Brett Nordquist has been making coffee at home a lot more, and describes his method, involving a Chemex and a gooseneck kettle. Just one quibble: I hate it when …

04-Apr-2020:
Appearing to be somewhat emotional in Buswells Hotel, he talked about being humbled by the evident support of his colleagues. Alan Kelly, the new leader of the …

03-Apr-2020:
Prolific, versatile novelist Toby Litt, who teaches creative writing at Birkbeck College, University of London, has a free online course about Starting to …

03-Apr-2020:
I was wondering why Pinterest keeps recommending my own pins to me. It looks as if it might be because it sees them as coming “from Medium” rather than from me, …

03-Apr-2020:
The Bimhuis, a favourite European jazz club in Amsterdam, has been offering audio from gigs for years. More recently, they’ve moved into very classy video. So …

03-Apr-2020:
Ellis Marsalis has died, sadly 🎶 🎹

03-Apr-2020:
From Superhighway 98, How Google Ruined the Internet. Not the whole story, but an essential part of it. Hat-tip to Charles Arthur at Theo V. Erspill.

03-Apr-2020:
New Orleans, with Hurricane Katrina, and Port-au-Prince, with the 2010 earthquake; both events only looked like natural disasters. In fact, they amounted to the …

03-Apr-2020:
A picture of somewhere I’ve been.

02-Apr-2020:
I’m Ian Duncan from Community (which I’ve never seen), it says here 📺

02-Apr-2020:
I know of people for whom the lockdown’s big epiphany has been how much their lives were already confined to the immediate locality. And a 2km radius is …

02-Apr-2020:
Medium isn’t down after all. It must have been just a momentary glitch. Sorry.

02-Apr-2020:
The Guardian has a piece by fantasy novelist Mark Lawrence about being an author with aphantasia. Nothing really new here but it’s worth reminding ourselves …

02-Apr-2020:
Medium seems to be down.

02-Apr-2020:
Today I learned that the play Everybody Comes to Rick’s was originally set in Vienna, not Casablanca. I can’t believe that fact had previously escaped me 🍿

02-Apr-2020:
we have to agree with the Authors Guild that “using a global crisis to advance a copyright ideology that violates current federal law and hurts most authors” is …

01-Apr-2020:
I’ve been watching reruns of Elementary on Pick 📺, but they’re skipping episodes. They skipped the whole of season 4, and two of the final three episodes of …

01-Apr-2020:
Till I read this piece in Slate, I’d never heard of That Girl, which ran from 1966 to 1971, though I remember watching both Donna Reed’s and Doris Days’ shows …

01-Apr-2020:
I got an iPad Air two months ago, having previously had a regular iPad. The Air has a 10.5" screen, squeezed into the same external dimensions as the …

31-Mar-2020:
Here’s the first full trailer for the tv adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Normal People. I’m not sure whether I’m going to watch it, though I’m definitely going to …

31-Mar-2020:
From Six Colors by way of Daring Fireball, a useful tip on how to bring up the emoji keyboard when you have a hardware keyboard attached to your iPad/iOS …

31-Mar-2020:
Fred Kaplan argues that, now that Orbán has been given power to rule by decree indefinitely, Hungary should be expelled from EU and NATO. I can’t see any …

31-Mar-2020:
I try to follow a link from Outlook and get an alert that my organization’s policies don’t allow that. (This is nonsense, everyone else in the company can do …

30-Mar-2020:
Another reason why I think that when we eventually emerge from this crisis it will be into a postcapitalist economy.

30-Mar-2020:
Good ideas in a crisis are good ideas outside of crisis, and bad ideas reveal themselves … This, from Una Mullally in The Irish Times, is kind of what I had in …

30-Mar-2020:
25 of The Guardian’s favourite long reads. And there I was, just saying that I dislike recommendations.

30-Mar-2020:
The magazine was notorious for publishing “second-tier fiction by first-rate writers.” If John Updike couldn’t sell a short story to The New Yorker, he could …

29-Mar-2020:
I’ve been seeing many book recommendations this last 2 weeks, and it’s made me realize that not only do I hate algorithmic recommendations but I’ve never much …

28-Mar-2020:
A week ago, I said that I was not posting, but writing. Now, here are 1,200 words about nothing of any consequence: Music distribution formats. I ordered a CD …

28-Mar-2020:
I greatly enjoyed this LitHub piece by Suzanne Rivecca about her reluctance to accept a perfect-seeming job with a book festival while hating the job she …

28-Mar-2020:
Liz Nugent is one of the most original crime novelists to have emerged in Ireland in recent years. Her characters are dangerous and damaged but fasinating. …

28-Mar-2020:
Last night, the Irish government announced new restrictions on movement and activities. Here’s a list of the kinds of business that are allowed to stay open.

28-Mar-2020:
ICYMI, the Warren for President Tech Team has open-sourced some of the tools they developed for the campaign. I wish they were still using them.

27-Mar-2020:
Following my free trial of Apple Music, I bought a couple of albums but to spread my wishlist purchases over a longer period I also signed up for Deezer 3-month …

27-Mar-2020:
Contrary to his own expectations, Sameer Vasta is finding it hard to write. I’d like to tell him that it’s early days, that these very unfamiliar circumstances …

27-Mar-2020:
They don’t know what they don’t know. Yup, it’s those pesky unknown unknowns again, coming back to bite us harder than ever, in an epidemic of armchair …

27-Mar-2020:
Art Pepper, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and all that junk All of that junk and all of that jazz Play something for the Birdman of Alcatraz. Richard …

27-Mar-2020:
I expect that the global economy we’ll find ourselves in after the present crisis will be in some sense a postcapitalist one. I’m not going to try to predict …

26-Mar-2020:
I went food shopping this morning. Traffic was sparse so it made sense to cross the road in one of the frequent gaps rather than press the button for the …

25-Mar-2020:
this is how an artist should live — oblivious to the possibility of their own importance; ever ploughing silently on ahead with the next impractical, …

24-Mar-2020:
William Davies thinks that the 2008 crash did not result in a fundamental shift in capitalism. I don’t agree. The plutocracy lost interest in (and hope of) …

24-Mar-2020:
Diverted Traffic is a new LRB newsletter, featuring a different piece from the archive each day – chosen for its compulsive, immersive and escapist qualities … …

24-Mar-2020:
Tim Allhoff’s 2014 trio album, There Will Be Light, concludes with a version of Hollow Talk, the song used in the original Danish/Swedish series, The Bridge. I …

24-Mar-2020:
It seems that M G Siegler, whose posts on Medium have hitherto been freely accessible, may have moved behind the paywall. I’ve been considering resuming my …

23-Mar-2020:
Though I started to work from home in 2005, I’ve only just come to realize (reading what others have posted on the subject) that I’m not very good at it. Too …

22-Mar-2020:
As an aphantasic, I’m bad at planning, prioritizing etc. In previous crises, from 1974 to 2008, I’d feel obliged to try to work out where things were going, …

22-Mar-2020:
My month’s free trial of Apple Music is coming to an end and the list of albums I’ll likely buy afterwards is growing. Current favourite is Trilogy 2. Amazed at …

22-Mar-2020:
Matt Stoller warns that huge corporations (like Boeing) may be about to exploit this crisis to extract a bailout — with the complicity of Dems as well as …

22-Mar-2020:
For the next week our top ten bestselling fiction ebooks are just $1.99. (Ebooks only, folks.) From classics like Every Man Dies Alone to newer favorites like …

21-Mar-2020: Not posting, but writing
I haven’t been posting much recently but I have been writing. I recently wrote 4,000 words on the difference between gender identity and gender-as-behaviour, …

21-Mar-2020:
Of my Medium posts about aphantasia, “Aphantasia can look a bit like ADHD” has the second-highest number of page views. It’s frustrating because the follow-up, …

21-Mar-2020:
I couldn’t resist making one of those 4-square grids out of this quotation from Gianrico Carofiglio’s Temporary Perfections 📚

20-Mar-2020:
In the late 00s, I got interested in a number of German jazz pianists, several of whom had been taught by John Taylor in Cologne; chief among them are Jürgen …

20-Mar-2020:
An exasperated Public Health Service put out a news release recommending that older people with chronic diseases like heart trouble should be among the first …

19-Mar-2020:
I’m not sure whether this is a tautology or the next step in my education: I was under the impression that passata was tomato by definition 🍅

19-Mar-2020:
I’ve managed to go all this time without reading any fiction by Anne Enright. Pale Hands I Loved, Beside the Shalimar is a short story from 2000 about loving a …

19-Mar-2020:
This excerpt from Nicholas Delbanco’s book Why Writing Matters about the problem with plagiarism starts with some interesting details of actual cases but …

19-Mar-2020:
one of the joys of an excellent cup of coffee is to savor the taste as it cools … the upshot being that the very best coffee really is “good to the last …

18-Mar-2020:
One of the bars was the original bar from the old 108 pub in Rathgar. Complete with working taps, upholstered booths, bar stools and standard-issue pub carpet … …

18-Mar-2020:
Just as well I bought an iPad Air six weeks ago. It makes it easier to resist the temptation to get the new MacBook Air. For now.

18-Mar-2020:
John Banville, when asked to contribute to a collection of 6-word stories, wrote, “Should have lived more, written less”. Rosemary Jenkinson, A writer’s guide …

17-Mar-2020:
Somehow I failed to notice that Ethan Iverson had left The Bad Plus over two years ago and been replaced by Orrin Evans. Though I’ve heard the trio live twice, …

17-Mar-2020:
Another Apple Music discovery: a solo piano performance of Chico Buarque’s O Que Sera by Tim Allhoff. I already have a solo version by Danilo Rea and live …

17-Mar-2020:
A beginner’s guide to The Ezra Klein Show. The cofounder of Vox introduces the most compelling episodes of his podcast. I’m going to start with Jaron Lanier and …

16-Mar-2020:
Some of the albums I’ll consider buying when my free Apple Music trial ends next week 🎶 🎹: Angelo Comisso, Sturm und Drang Giovanni Mirabassi trio, Summer’s …

16-Mar-2020:
Cet arrêt brutal pourrait engendrer à terme la fin notre activité ! Nous ne bénéficions d’aucune aide extérieur. The survival of one of my very favourite …

14-Mar-2020:
I am really fed up of apps (particularly common on iOS) that automatically linkify URLs, so that they open whenever you try to copy them. Because the only thing …

14-Mar-2020:
Good to see an economist finally recognize that the inflation rate isn’t uniform across the whole economy. It never has been, and we’ve often seen monetarist …

14-Mar-2020:
Around 2004, I lived in a house with original Steven Appleby art on the walls. I met him once and had previously followed his series in (unless my memory is …

14-Mar-2020:
“Installments” with two “l”s looks wrong to me but when I write it with just one “l” I get a squiggly line underneath. I think I’ll ignore the squiggle and …

14-Mar-2020:
The only constitutional freedoms ultimately recognized may soon be limited to those useful to wealthy, Republican, White, straight, Christian, and armed males— …

14-Mar-2020:
“Stay indoors unless you have to leave the house out of necessity, i.e. to shop for food, for health reasons or to walk the dog.” Giulia Blasi on what it’s …

12-Mar-2020:
I’ve never read Donna Tartt’s The Secret History in spite of friends’ recommendations but Emily Temple’s close reading of the prologue on LitHub might be just …

12-Mar-2020:
Another discovery thanks to my Apple Music trial sub, Front Room Songs. I know Florian Ross’s trio work, but this is different: duets between piano and …

12-Mar-2020:
So, Trump has at last done something to counteract the climate crisis, by banning travel — largely air travel, of course — to the US from most of Europe.

12-Mar-2020:
I’m removing Charles Arthur’s The Overspill from my feed reader. I generally don’t follow/subscribe to sites that are updated regularly or frequently. The …

11-Mar-2020:
Paul Krugman reviews Piketty’s Capital and Ideology. I haven’t read any Piketty, but I see his emphasis on inequality as unfortunate. The real problem is the …

10-Mar-2020:
I’m using my month’s free trial of Apple Music to listen to (inter alia) Angelo Comisso’s 2010 album, Sturm und Drang. I got one track, “Nida”, from an All …

10-Mar-2020:
At 62, Amanda Redman is now “the right age” to play Cleopatra, who was 38 at the time of the events shown in Shakespeare’s play. Incidentally, 38 is also the …

09-Mar-2020:
I just exported all my feeds from Reeder 4 and imported them into NetNewsWire for iPad! Thanks, @brentsimmons

09-Mar-2020:
I’m linking to Tyler Cowen’s excerpt from the NYT interview with Anne Enright rather than to the source because I haven’t got a subscription to the NYT 📚

07-Mar-2020:
Paolo @amoroso, formerly of this parish, on why he prefers a chromebook to an Ubuntu box

03-Mar-2020:
I wish I was in Paris tomorrow or Thursday. I’ve seen Pieranunzi in the Sunside twice before and no doubt will again 🎵 🎹

03-Mar-2020:
I’ve been given another month’s free trial of Apple Music. (I don’t normally use a music subscription service.) The search is awful. I just searched for “Flim …

03-Mar-2020:
I love this headline: JavaScript Best Practices — Things to Avoid. I haven’t read the piece (because paywall) but I generally find that in most fields of …

03-Mar-2020:
I can’t quite believe that my Medium post about tropes and subgenres in the first three Cormoran Strike novels is very nearly 2 years old. I’ve since written …

03-Mar-2020:
From 2016, a reminder from playwright David Hare of Georges Simenon’s significance. Hare had adapted Simenon’s little known novel «La Main» for the stage as The …

02-Mar-2020:
The Insomnia app didn’t delete my points after all. It logged me out unexpectedly and without warning. I don‘t know why.

02-Mar-2020:
The Insomnia (Irish coffee shop chain) app seems to have punished me for refusing to share my location by deleting my accumulated points towards a free coffee. …

01-Mar-2020:
Everything good in the world is kindness. Jan Morris is 93 now and has published what may be her last book. (Mind you, she said 2001’s Trieste and the Meaning …

29-Feb-2020:
I really like the iPadOS app Pretext, in which I’ve been doing nearly all of my writing recently. It’s got HTML syntax highlighting but unfortunately recognizes …

28-Feb-2020:
There are tons and tons and tons of things that are effectively “hidden” on any OS. Charles Arthur on Matt Birchler on “discoverability”. I’ve often complained …

27-Feb-2020:
The last time I needed to convert a colour PDF page to greyscale, I simply used Preview on the Mac. Unfortunately, I don’t have a Mac at the moment and it’s not …

25-Feb-2020:
Easons has bought Dubray Books. I first misread the headline as Easons acquired by Dubray and my pulse quickened. Alas …

25-Feb-2020:
I don’t know what The Temple House Vanishing is about. But on the strength of Rachel Donohue’s evocation of 1990s Dublin (which I missed, having moved to London …

22-Feb-2020:
When a short story writer goes long: Brandon Taylor: reluctant novelist 📚

22-Feb-2020:
One particularly annoying thing about iPadOS system ads: they interfere with the use of Cmd-Tab to switch out of the Settings app after I’ve turned Bluetooth …

21-Feb-2020:
My dozen or so posts on Medium about aphantasia tend to get more views than my other posts on that platform. They don’t all do equally well, however. Two that I …

20-Feb-2020:
Just go into a good art museum, and look at what they are stocking in their bookstore. Tyler Cowen lists the many reasons to read art books 📚

19-Feb-2020:
The Dublin Inquirer intends to spin off its cycle collision tracker as a citizen-run project, and would like to hear from Dublin-based people with relevant …

18-Feb-2020:
The boom is back for some people. It always was. Dispatches from an extra on Normal People 📺

18-Feb-2020:
I’ve been reading Lucy Caldwell’s Being Various, an anthology of new Irish short stories by authors who have emerged since 1998. So far, I’ve particularly liked …

16-Feb-2020:
Craig Fehrman, How Obama’s Reading Shaped His Writing. A nice book excerpt on LitHub about the former president as both reader and writer 📚

16-Feb-2020:
Until yesterday, I was unaware that Harold Wilson had sued the members of the The Move for libel in 1967. I later became interested in both Wilson (surprise …

16-Feb-2020:
I’ve just posted In defence of flow. It was prompted by Barbara Gail Montero’s essay Against Flow, which I think I discovered via a Micro.blog post, though I …

15-Feb-2020:
“[The burglars] got distracted by the booze and were here when the police arrived … It puts me in mind of a Joe Orton play.” Inept burglars barely manage to …

13-Feb-2020:
Lyle Mays has died 🎶 🎹

11-Feb-2020:
The most recently modified file in the Documents folder on my Windows notebook is named Working Copy of Working Copy of Untitled 1.txt ¯\(ツ)/¯

11-Feb-2020:
I complained that Sinn Féin rather than the left had gained from the collapse of Irish “civil war politics”. It’s not all bad news: the Social Democrats now …

11-Feb-2020:
“I’m not going to argue for the wider distribution of Nazi material, but I still don’t trust Amazon to be the arbiters of free speech …” The problem is not …

10-Feb-2020:
I just discovered that Slide Over and Split View work in portrait mode. Is this new (maybe in iPadOS)? I really had no idea. This could be a game changer for …

10-Feb-2020:
Oh, it looks as if the Oscars were on. Between the Irish general election, storm Ciara, the coronavirus and my nephew’s birthday I somehow didn’t notice.

09-Feb-2020:
I’m continuing to move my fiction from Medium to artkavanagh.ie and my six-part novella, Dear Old Stockholm is the latest to go. The full list is here.

09-Feb-2020:
A subscriber-only piece in The Irish Times suggests that Irish “civil war politics” may finally be coming to an end 100 years later. I just wish that the left, …

08-Feb-2020:
In iOS 12 (on iPad), I used to use Federico @viticci’s Rename files shortcut to change the filename extension (eg from .txt to .html and vice versa). Having …

07-Feb-2020:
I just signed up for the year’s free trial of Apple tv+. I’m kind of surprised that I’m eligible for it in Ireland. And I’ve no idea what to watch.

07-Feb-2020:
I haven’t been able to find a print copy of Lisa Lutz‘s The Swallows yet so I downloaded the sample chapter from Apple Books 📖 and I’m hooked. Here’s the …

06-Feb-2020:
Facing a structurally similar situation in 1998 and 1999, Clinton secured not only acquittal but a clear political triumph over his adversaries — emerging from …

05-Feb-2020:
I keep forgetting about RTE’s Brainstorm site because it doesn’t have an RSS feed that I can find. But that’s OK: I don’t want to follow it slavishly, …

05-Feb-2020:
The caucus disaster was caused by our abandonment of expertise. … says Mike Elgan, plausibly enough

05-Feb-2020:
I‘m uing an iPad again after 5 months. I got a 10.5" iPad Air, which seems to have about the same external dimensions as the 9.7" iPad, but with …

05-Feb-2020:
I lived in Hackney (Clapton) from 1988 to 1995, then in nearby South Tottenham till 2003 and back to Clapton for another 2 years. These photos are from a …

04-Feb-2020:
People occasionally come up to me and say: “You’re the reason I became a lawyer.” I have to say: “Oh my God. I’m so sorry.” Amy Jenkins has a lot to answer for …

03-Feb-2020:
Though I watched the first season of Ashes to Ashes, I’d never seen Life on Mars, till I caught an episode at the weekend. It featured this song, whose …

02-Feb-2020:
Marco Rubio puts his statement on Trump’s impeachment trial behind Medium’s paywall, presumably to make sure it isn’t read by a large number of people. Very …

02-Feb-2020:
Most (perhaps all) of my formerly favourite coffee shops have thrown out their panino toaster grills and instead “toast” their sandwiches in a small oven. This …

02-Feb-2020: John McPhee’s “Old Man Project”
At 88, he acknowledged that plans for books he had carried around in his head for decades might not now get written, so he had written the stories in one-page …

31-Jan-2020:
Timothy Garton Ash says that former remainers like himself must now work for Brexit to succeed, but not to succeed so well that it encourages other member …

31-Jan-2020:
Each week, Medium emails me view/read figures for my 2 or 3 best performing stories, but I could probably figure these out for myself. It would be more useful …

31-Jan-2020:
I love this review by Laura Miller of Megan Angelo’s Followers. It doesn’t particularly make me want to read the book but the review itself is a well crafted …

30-Jan-2020:
An expanded tenth anniversary edition of Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows will be published in a couple of months’ time. Funny, I was recently thinking I ought to …

27-Jan-2020:
Philip Pullman is one of those angered by the omission of an Oxford comma on the Brexit commemorative £0.50 coin. I agree with Associated Press: the comma …

27-Jan-2020:
I just read a whole novella by Cory Doctorow on Ars Technica. Unauthorized Bread is a very effective polemic against the degenerated model of capitalism we’re …

25-Jan-2020:
I’ve moved two more short stories from Medium to my own site: The Asymmetry of Desire and Voluntary Assumption of Risk. The novella, Dear Old Stockholm will be …

25-Jan-2020:
It’s just occurred to me that my two earlier posts of today are probably in breach of Irish law, so I’m deleting them.

23-Jan-2020:
I’m about a quarter of the way through Louise Doughty’s Apple Tree Yard. I’m still not sure whether I actually like it, but I certainly want to know what …

23-Jan-2020:
I complained last week that the mail app on my Windows Phone was no longer working. Yesterday my battery went completely flat so I had to restart the phone and …

22-Jan-2020:
John Oliver puts his foot down on pointless push notifications, it says here. Surely “pointless push notifications” is a redundancy. I have never allowed a …

22-Jan-2020:
I just added up the word counts of all my posts on the topic of aphantasia and got a total of 19,176. While there’s a lot of repetition and plenty that I would …

19-Jan-2020:
I’ve moved two more of my short stories from Medium to artkavanagh.ie — The Bourne Indeterminacy and Protected. “Protected” is long: about 9,500 words spread …

18-Jan-2020:
It looks as if Audible may have caved over audiobook “Captions”. I certainly hope so. The Audible model was ludicrous: a writer writes a book, an actor reads …

18-Jan-2020:
Bird is the Worm recommends a video of Mats Eilertsen playing “Tundra” from his album Reveries and Revelations. I’ve got a couple of albums where Eilertsen …

17-Jan-2020:
Just saw a headline on The Verge, Twitter hashtags aren’t as useful as they used to be, and wondered if this was a story from 5 years ago that had been revived.

16-Jan-2020:
I stopped using Edge because, if I suddenly changed scrolling direction, it would jump a few pages back in the history. New version still unusable: when I …

15-Jan-2020:
Microsoft has just released the new, Chromium-based version of its Edge browser, so I’m trying it out (on Windows 10). It’s available for Mac as well. Remember …

14-Jan-2020:
Really the only misgiving I had about deleting my Amazon account was the fear that I might not be able to find a replacement stainless steel filter for the …

14-Jan-2020:
I just noticed that the Mail app on my Windows phone (a Lumia 535) hasn’t updated for 10 days. This is the end of the road for Windows phones. I can’t …

13-Jan-2020:
I’d read that the philosopher Derek Parfit had been aphantasic (as I am) but I didn’t know the source of this information till I read this New Yorker profile …

12-Jan-2020:
Two weeks ago, I finished reading Tana French’s In the Woods for the third time, and I’ve now written 2,000 words about it. I’m not going to post them, though, …

11-Jan-2020:
Matt Stoller’s What Is the Point of Economics? looks interesting but I was repeatedly distracted by wondering why “semi-automatic” is hyphenated. Apparently …

10-Jan-2020:
John Siracusa’s Front and Center app is interesting but has no appeal for me: I use Command-backtick to cycle between the windows of the current app, so I don’t …

10-Jan-2020:
Richard Williams looks back on 50 years of Manfred Eicher’s record label, ECM. Williams’s choices wouldn’t be mine: my tastes are more mainstream and tend …

08-Jan-2020:
Elizabeth Wurtzel has died. I am flabbergasted to read that it’s 25 years since Prozac Nation came out. There’s some kind of terrifying time-devouring anomaly …

06-Jan-2020:
Alternatively, I could enable the Windows Linux subsystem, install a distro from the Windows Store (I chose debian), run bash and use the wc command on the …

06-Jan-2020:
When Phil Chevron died in 2013, I tweeted that I’d listened to Let’s Talk about the Weather several hundred times around 1980/81 without ever realizing that the …

06-Jan-2020:
Who are the strangers deep inside, Haunting undaunted, their presence denied? The Radiators’ Ghostown (produced by Tony Visconti) is 40 years old 🎵

05-Jan-2020:
For the past few months, I’ve been writing on a Windows notebook, using EditPad Lite (and Consolas, a lovely font). Until now, I didn’t know if there was an …

05-Jan-2020:
I watched Atomic Blonde on Channel 4 last night. Mostly stylish (Berlin!) tedium interspersed with sickeningly realistic violence, but it picked up at the end …

04-Jan-2020:
Pinterest continues to amuse and frustrate me. I had “pinned” Anil Dash’s post, ‘Link in bio’ is a slow knife. Someone repinned it to a board named Must Have …

03-Jan-2020:
Who said it: Dominic Cummings or Nathan Barley? I got 2 wrong (nos. 3 and 11). In my defence, it has been at least 15 years since I’ve watched Nathan Barley 😉

02-Jan-2020:
50 years ago, on 2 January 1970, my father died. It was just two days after my mother’s 36th birthday on New Year’s Eve. For years my mother reluctantly and …

01-Jan-2020:
Another list of short stories, this time from Future Tense. While I like Future Tense’s nonfiction, I’ve found the few short stories I’ve read to be more …

01-Jan-2020:
Here is Electric Lit’s list of Recommended Reading’s four most read short stories from each of the last 8 years. I haven’t yet read most of these stories so I’m …

31-Dec-2019:
Booker T (of the MGs and “Green Onions”) has written an autobiography “without the aid of a ghost writer”, as Richard Williams puts it, and it sounds …

31-Dec-2019:
This Irish Times story claims that an Irish architect “helped France rediscover” Charlotte Perriand but I suspect it may be an exaggeration. Anyway, an …

30-Dec-2019:
There is massive distrust of the wealthy in this book, and virtually no distrust of concentrated state power. Tyler Cowen on Thomas Piketty’s Capital and …

29-Dec-2019:
I thought my iTunes library (on an external disk for years) had spontaneously disappeared, but it turns out the truly atrocious trackpad on this HP Envy x360 …

29-Dec-2019:
I’ve hesitated to move my fiction from Medium to my own site. While fiction tends not to do well on Medium, my stories have had a trickle of views there, partly …

29-Dec-2019:
Ah, I think I understand now. Put a comma between “independent YouTube channels” and “with a slant towards left-leaning or politically neutral channels” and …

29-Dec-2019:
the algorithm is shown to favor mainstream media and cable news content over independent YouTube channels with slant towards left-leaning or politically neutral …

28-Dec-2019:
You know what the secret of prediction is? Timing. 6/ China implodes, the world wobbles. Ah, well, this almost happened … I was a year early and 10 trillion …

27-Dec-2019:
Nick Drake’s “Day Is Done” played over the closing scene of Coronation Street this evening. I don’t really know the original but it put me in the mood to listen …

26-Dec-2019:
I’m undecided between marginal notes and <details> tags for references. Marginal notes are tricky to position and mean the body text can’t be centred on …

26-Dec-2019:
Ken Harris, the narrator of Carson McCullers’s short story, “Who Has Seen the Wind?” is a familiar literary character: his first book …

26-Dec-2019:
I clumsily smashed a couple of wine glasses while reaching for the Aeropress plunger, so left my coffee to drip through the filter while I carefully swept up …

25-Dec-2019:
Is my memory playing tricks on me or does the ending of Three Days of the Condor take place at Christmas? If it does, that will do fine as my “favourite …

25-Dec-2019:
I’m a bit surprised to find Laura Miller describing the audiobook of Kate Atkinson’s Big Sky (which I haven’t read yet) as “the Rolls Royce of cozy listens”. …

24-Dec-2019:
Vox’s Constance Grady recaps the 2010s in book publishing and offers an explanation as to why the expected ebook revolution didn’t exactly happen (except to the …

24-Dec-2019:
A baker’s dozen of suggestions from Tyler Cowen as to what you can do to “stay weird”. No.10 is obvious but indisputable: Blog rather than tweet. Stay off …

23-Dec-2019:
The good old days of the web may be just around the corner. In part a follow-up to my LinkedIn article from last week about advertising and surveillance …

23-Dec-2019:
I missed the final episode of His Dark Materials on BBC last night. (And, because I’m in Ireland, I can’t access iPlayer.) I don’t feel upset about that. I’m …

22-Dec-2019:
I’m working on turning my long PhD thesis into a much shorter “monograph” on the theme of justice in Andrew Marvell’s work. In the meantime, I’ve posted 3 …

21-Dec-2019:
Zach Vasquez thinks that The Silent Partner would make a better Christmas movie than Die Hard. I’ve seen both films just once, the first about 40 years ago and …

21-Dec-2019:
The hills have eyebrows. (Pic from Getty Images via Buzzfeed 😉)

20-Dec-2019:
After fruitlessly Googling how to hard reset a Walkman A865, I tried Bing and found instructions, but they assume that I can actually get to the home screen. …

20-Dec-2019:
Like @numericcitizen, I came to the end of an experiment this week. In my case, the experiment was not with Micro.blog but with Mix, Garrett Camp’s web …

20-Dec-2019:
I deleted my Facebook account (then only 18 months old) in mid2017, and I only ever dipped a cautious toe into Instagram, but I haven’t been able to break away …

18-Dec-2019:
I asked a friend for his opinion on my Sally Rooney post and he said he finds the fonts and colours inimical to a long read So, I’m looking for suggestions for …

17-Dec-2019:
Before posting an article on LinkedIn 2 days ago, I wanted to read some other examples. LinkedIn doesn’t make it easy to search for articles specifically. I …

17-Dec-2019:
Slate’s Laura Miller on what happened in YA fiction during the 2010s. The genre entered the decade like a lion and now seems to be eating itself alive 📚

16-Dec-2019:
The London Review of Books has relaunched its website and everything — current issue, archive etc — is freely accessible (no paywall) for the next month. An …

15-Dec-2019:
Will Self never wanted to write a memoir … one that leaves him, Montaigne-like, immured in the tower of wisdom, and writing about it with a mixture of …

15-Dec-2019:
This is a bit of an experiment and possibly one I won’t be repeating very often, but I’ve just posted an article on LinkedIn for the first time: Advertising and …

14-Dec-2019:
It looks as if Mix.com is no longer allowing comments on mixed/shared links. I don’t know if this is permanent, a glitch or a temporary experiment. If it’s …

14-Dec-2019:
Where possible, I like to link to an image on, say, a publisher’s site rather than upload an extra copy. That falls down when the publisher subsequently moves …

12-Dec-2019:
I liked the Dexter books a lot. (I enjoyed a lot of the tv series too, but I thought those responsible made some odd choices.) Here’s an interview with Jeff …

12-Dec-2019:
Has anybody got any idea why some Medium URLs end in a question mark (if it is indeed a question mark)? This one, for example: …

12-Dec-2019:
One thing I like about Medium is that I’ve tended to draft posts in a text editor without formatting, while for my own site I’ve been adding HTML markup as I …

12-Dec-2019:
Gladwell discusses le Carré’s The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, the 1963 novel in which Smiley first appears … Wrong. Smiley is the main character in Call for …

11-Dec-2019:
Here’s a sobering post from @JoshNicholas about what happens when the inflexibility of code meets the unpredictibility of the world: Code is fragile

10-Dec-2019:
Not relevant to my previous micropost, but the mention of Ewan Morrison reminded me of this Medium piece from April 2018, Why I’m no longer a self-published …

10-Dec-2019:
I couldn’t support the choice because it was a woman written by a man, when there were three women who’d written women on the shortlist … Ewan Morrison wins …

08-Dec-2019:
I’ve been going through old Medium posts, looking for ones to delete because no longer relevant. Ironically, I’m reluctant to delete this one from nearly 2 …

08-Dec-2019:
When quoting seventeenth-century prose containing lots of italics, I’m often undecided whether to style the italics as emphasis (<em> tags in HTML) or …

07-Dec-2019:
The Corbyn Effect is that bad opinion polls for his party are good news because people are more likely to vote for their local Labour MP if they are convinced …

07-Dec-2019:
I’m working on a longer project at the moment, so there’s nothing new to post. Instead, here’s a reminder of some recent stuff: Sally Rooney’s short stories …

05-Dec-2019:
Fred Kaplan’s Best Jazz of 2019, including a newly released 1999 live recording from Paul Bley, Gary Peacock and Paul Motian 🎵 🎹

03-Dec-2019:
Robert Reich brands Moscow Mitch “the worst Senate Majority Leader in history”. Hard to argue with that.

02-Dec-2019: Ahistorical Survey, a poem
I wrote these two short verse paragraphs at the beginning of August. It felt as if they were waiting for a third to round them off so I put them aside and, I’m …

01-Dec-2019:
By me: I was not born to follow. Why I don’t think the “following” model is satisfactory, either for social media or the open web.

30-Nov-2019:
I listen to a lot of piano-bass-drum trios (because there are a lot to listen to), but I really love the piano-bass duo (sans tambour). Just been listening to …

30-Nov-2019:
I make no great claims for my posts about aphantasia. They’re no more than the uninformed conjectures of an inexpert layperson. But I do think they go into the …

29-Nov-2019:
David Berman thinks that the apparently irresolvable debate between monists (Hume) and dualists (Berkeley) results from a basic difference in how we perceive …

27-Nov-2019:
Everyone seems to assume vast quantities of courage in other people that they cannot seem to find in themselves. Dahlia Lithwick, America’s Descent into Legal …

27-Nov-2019:
Vox’s Constance Grady explains how Tana French solved the problem of writing a series of detective novels in which every case is designed to destroy its …

27-Nov-2019:
I hate the way Word automatically hyperlinkifies web and email addresses. When people edit them subsequently, they nearly always make a total mess of them. I …

26-Nov-2019:
It’s four months since I deleted my Amazon account. Getting by without ordering from the online retailer is at worst a minor inconvenience. Living without …

26-Nov-2019:
John Naughton, Oxford, like the past, is another country. The UK turns itself into a “hostile environment”. Sometimes I find myself missing London, then I read …

25-Nov-2019:
This is strange. I seem to gone overnight from 3,800 followers on Mix to just 18, though when I scroll through the list there are clearly a lot more than 18 …

23-Nov-2019:
Now that I’ve posted the piece on Sally Rooney’s short stories it’s time to get on with my longer-term project: reworking my thesis on the justice theme in …

22-Nov-2019:
Your brain doesn’t contain memories, it is memories, it says here. As somebody with severely deficient autobiographical memory (SDAM), I hope that isn’t …

22-Nov-2019:
I was complaining recently about the difficulty of finding good quality writing on the web using algorithmic search. On ther other hand, it’s easy to find …

21-Nov-2019:
Alex Tabarrok (Marginal Revolution) on why it’s inefficient, expensive and wasteful to require authors to meet a journal’s formatting requirements before a …

21-Nov-2019:
Unfortunately, my hand-rolled JSON feed didn’t work. While validator.jsonfeed.org said it looks valid, the more sensitive parser on Micro.blog says there’s a …

21-Nov-2019:
After months of procrastination, I’ve finally added a JSON feed to my personal site. I created it manually but it should be easy to maintain: each time I add a …

18-Nov-2019:
I haven’t been posting much on Medium recently. Here’s Andrew Marvell (1621–1678), poet: Three essays, which links to three more substantial posts on my own …

17-Nov-2019:
I’ve been meaning to write this for some time. Here it is at last: “Oh my god, shut up”: Sally Rooney, short story writer, my discussion of three short stories …

17-Nov-2019:
I still use Google search, though privacy and surveillance are important to me. That’s because Gmail has been my main email provider since 2005, when I still …

17-Nov-2019:
It’s now a year since I registered the domain artkavanagh.ie and I’ve just renewed it for another year. It feels as if I’m starting to take this web thing …

16-Nov-2019:
I think I’ll be paying a visit to Brother Hubbard of Capel Street soon. Supreme Court judge’s “very specific” dietary choices ☕

14-Nov-2019:
I replaced the CSS stylesheet for my three Andrew Marvell essays (the most recent of which is Religion and divine justice in the work of Andrew Marvell to …

14-Nov-2019:
Adrian Chiles doesn’t like the app that’s replacing Caffè Nero’s loyalty card. I’ve gone off Caffè Nero myself, but more because they no longer have panino …

13-Nov-2019:
By me: Why Google might just conceivably be the future of search. We need something better than the algorithmic search pioneered by Google. The company that …

12-Nov-2019:
Hardly a straightforward test of a hypothesis, this was more a chronicle of how to repeatedly massage data until it yields the desired result. The study that …

11-Nov-2019:
Deirdre Bair on her first meeting with Samuel Beckett. I found her biography useful, though John Calder (then publisher of Beckett’s non-dramatic works) whom I …

10-Nov-2019:
I seriously, if briefly and reluctantly, considered giving up coffee to keep my anxiety in check, but fortunately I think I’ve found a better and less drastic …

10-Nov-2019:
Originally posted by me on Google+ 18 months ago, now rescued and revised: How and where to read short stories. Printed collections the size and shape of a …

09-Nov-2019:
Unlike Scandinavian crime fiction, French’s has a lyrical heart, even if that heart has been broken. Slate’s Laura Miller is very acute in identifying why the …

09-Nov-2019:
Katie Yee on LitHub: Here’s why you should preorder all your books from independent bookstores. Indie booksellers are worth supporting and preserving but tbh …

08-Nov-2019:
Now that I’m eschewing ebooks in favour of the printed kind, I wonder if I should also revert to buying and ripping CDs? Anyway, I just got EST Live in …

07-Nov-2019:
God, I love spoilers. Now I know for sure that I don’t need or want to see the film Last Christmas. Not that I was in much doubt anyway 🎥

07-Nov-2019:
Just finished reading Unravelling Oliver, Liz Nugent’s first novel. It’s melodramatic (everybody’s actions seem to have the worst possible consequences) and at …

05-Nov-2019:
David Heinemeier Hansson balances the MacBook’s flaky keyboard against Windows’s ugly font rendering and doesn’t find a satisfactory solution. I love the …

05-Nov-2019: Liz Nugent, Unravelling Oliver 📚
I’ve just started to read Liz Nugent’s first novel (having already loved her second and found her third quite compelling). This one is looking promising: It …

02-Nov-2019:
I’m about two-thirds of the way through the first draft of a discussion of three short stories by Sally Rooney, all of which can be read online. I’m looking …

01-Nov-2019:
And yet, Pinterest does guess what they’re going to like based on their demography, at least in their first moments after sign-up. If it didn’t, some portion of …

31-Oct-2019:
Dahlia Lithwick, Why I Haven’t Gone Back to SCOTUS Since Kavanaugh: Some things are worth not getting over. The normalization of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

30-Oct-2019:
Winter in Venice is the only original studio album by Esbjörn Svensson Trio that I don’t have, and “The Second Page” is the main reason I might still buy it. …

29-Oct-2019:
I’ve just finished reading Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel from 2000, When We Were Orphans. It has a narrator who is deeply unengaging, self-absorbed and ineffectual. …

28-Oct-2019:
It’s a year since I (re)posted Sophie Hannah plans her novels before she starts to write: The supposed plotter-pantser distinction is a false dichotomy. I still …

27-Oct-2019:
Today’s stylus equipped and mouse-capable iPad shows great promise. But it doesn’t (yet) make it easy for users to discover what it can do, says Jean-Louis …

27-Oct-2019:
I’m rereading a short story on The New Yorker site. Annoyingly, the PgUp and PgDn keys move slightly more than a full screen of text, presumably because of …

26-Oct-2019:
Most of my Micro.blog posts are tweet-like utterances of no more than 280 characters, but now and then I post something a bit longer. I’ve just added a page to …

25-Oct-2019:
This is what I’ve been trying to do my whole life, is to write the “everything book”. Salman Rushdie in conversation with Mitchell Kaplan 📚 🎙

24-Oct-2019:
I’ve been working on this for some time: Religion and divine justice in the work of Andrew Marvell. The original version was cut from my thesis (which I …

24-Oct-2019:
I’ve updated the book reviews page on my site, so that it now includes just about all the Goodreads reviews that I want to keep. In future I intend to post …

23-Oct-2019:
Medium is tweaking the way its Partner Program allocates money from members’ subscriptions to writers who wish to monetize their posts on the platform. It will …

23-Oct-2019:
My follow-up post to LaTeX as a writing tool compares LaTeX and Microsoft Word — and similar word processors.

06-Oct-2019:
EP Thompson talked about history rescuing the past from the “enormous condescension of posterity”. Condescension towards the past has never been more enormous …

06-Oct-2019:
The book I wish I’d written I won’t say that I wish I’d written Larkin’s poems because I remain endlessly glad that he did. Clive James 📚

06-Oct-2019:
Most of what gets described as magic realism isn’t realism at all — and therefore it isn’t magic either but something more like fantasy. Don’t blame magic …

06-Oct-2019:
Then came Oscar, the time of the guns, And there was no land for a man, no land for a country, Unless guns sprang up And spoke their language. The how of …

05-Oct-2019:
Having argued last week that the book review is slowly dying and that this is not a regrettable change, I then inconsistently updated my book reviews page by …

03-Oct-2019:
Me: The book review is slowly dying and we don’t need to mourn it

22-Sep-2019:
So, I just did a search for “Chick Corea Vigilette” on NPR.org and I got hits for “Chuck Berry”, “Chico, California”, “click”, “chock full”, “core”, “vignette” …

22-Sep-2019:
I aimed to dream up a nonsensical political project as self-harmingly loony as Brexit. I’m not sure I succeeded. An extract from The Cockroach, a satirical …

22-Sep-2019:
I was prompted to write this by @Ciaran’s posts on a writing system for lawyers: LaTeX as a writing tool. In this post, I’m comparing LaTeX with HTML/Markdown. …

19-Sep-2019:
Mike Elgan has some good reasons Why we shouldn’t let AI write for us. Of course, translation is a kind of writing too, so his arguments apply with equal force …

19-Sep-2019:
I finally got around to reading Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go (2005), the first of his books I’ve read since An Artist of the Floating World and The Remains …

19-Sep-2019:
In horror movies as in life, you’re supposed to direct your attention toward survival. Sex is a distraction. If you close your eyes for a kiss you won’t see the …

18-Sep-2019:
Instead of clicking the button to accept all cookies, I accepted only the “necessary” ones. As I browsed the (film) site, I saw several places where you might …

18-Sep-2019:
The city as an entity really doesn’t want anything to do with writers anymore—we’ve been priced out, as have all creative people except those from backgrounds …

10-Sep-2019:
That’s the second time in two days I’ve steadied this lightweight notebook while plugging in a USB drive by pressing my fingers against the opposite side of the …

08-Sep-2019:
Survivorship bias in writing and publishing. We all want to avoid irrational thought patterns but it may not be a good idea for writers, publishers and literary …

06-Sep-2019:
I was sorting through some books, deciding which I want to keep and which I’m taking to the charity shop, and I was surprised to find that I don’t ever intend …

02-Sep-2019:
Fraud accounts for much less than 1% of actual value transfers in real world payment systems. Actual value transfers account for much less than 1% of the fraud …

01-Sep-2019:
I watched the last three episodes of season 1 of Westworld last night and then slept badly, with irritatingly repetitive dreams. The series was engrossing …

31-Aug-2019:
Nearly 18 months ago I wrote about the first three Cormoran Strike novels. Now, at long last, I’ve added my thoughts about the fourth novel, Lethal White 📚

29-Aug-2019:
Babies develop werewolf syndrome after medical mix-up in Spain. At least they know the hair-loss treatment works.

29-Aug-2019:
Unfortunately the cheetahs are going extinct faster than the ultra-rich, but that could change very suddenly @dave The ultra-rich are illegally buying cheetahs …

28-Aug-2019:
Microsoft has removed epub support from Edge apparently. I wonder if this is related to the move to Chromium as Edge’s rendering engine? I think it’s …

28-Aug-2019:
I watched the first episode of season 1 of Westworld a few weeks ago. I’ve made several attempts to watch the second but I’ve always fallen asleep 10–15 minutes …

26-Aug-2019:
I’ve started to read Christine Mangan’s Tangerine. Here’s a review I hadn’t read before buying it, from Laura Miller (usually of Slate) in The New Yorker 📖

26-Aug-2019:
I suppose I didn’t really expect to get an answer to this question but it may just be because I didn’t explain myself very well. I’m wondering if “the …

25-Aug-2019:
Here’s a multipurpose, universal rating scheme I devised a few years ago. I believe it should be widely acceptable.

25-Aug-2019:
This award-winning bookshop is in a town about 10 Km from where I’ve been living for the past 3 years and I haven’t visited it yet. The last time I tried to go, …

25-Aug-2019:
My own site isn’t organized as a blog and doesn’t have an RSS/Atom/JSON feed. I’ve considered handrolling one and may still try that. But now that I’ve had to …

25-Aug-2019:
It turns out that I was able to change my username on WordPress.com (but I decided to change the display name instead because the username I wanted was already …

25-Aug-2019:
Tara Sparling, 10 Bloody Brilliant Reasons To Marie Kondo Your Bookshelves. I wanted to comment on this post but WordPress.com made me sign in to an account I …

25-Aug-2019:
“I have started a new book and have doubts about whether it is really a good idea. I try to remind myself that I ALWAYS have doubts but then I think, yes, but …

24-Aug-2019:
I had two rather gnomic microposts yesterday on the subject of Pinterest and grid layout. Here’s the uncondensed version: Pinterest “breaks” the grid — but in …

23-Aug-2019:
Here’s a thought-provoking post from creative writing teacher (and practitioner) Toby Litt on formatting your manuscripts. I’m struck again by the fact that I …

23-Aug-2019:
Obviously, I’m not saying that Pinterest looks anything like one of David Carson’s designs but it does effectively break the grid in the horizontal line and I …

23-Aug-2019:
I didn’t read Anti-Grid Design Icon David Carson Says Computers Make You Lazy … because paywall but I was struck by the idea of anti-grid design, which is new …

22-Aug-2019:
Brad Mehldau has recorded two superb versions of the Beatles’ “And I Love Her”: the solo performance on disc 1 of 10 Years Solo Live and the trio one on Blues …

22-Aug-2019:
MixKit offers “a curated gallery of beautiful art and illustration”, free to use. It’s not clear what’s in it for them, but it looks like it might be a useful …

20-Aug-2019:
this may all be a kind of correlate to income inequality and massive returns for founders… Tyler Cowen on negative nominal — and maybe real — interest rates.

20-Aug-2019:
Though now rightly celebrated in Ireland, for many decades it was in America, among Jewish-American authors, that O’Brien found a writerly community that …

19-Aug-2019:
while “prizes are a wonderful way to showcase a group of authors … the act of picking a winner is corrosive and part of a capitalist model that doesn’t have a …

19-Aug-2019:
Because of my inability to visualize, I’ve always had problems with motivation, planning and focus. I’m working on that but I’m curious to know if people who …

19-Aug-2019:
contrary to what many people think urbanization increases forestation as does increased agricultural productivity. That comes as a surprise to me. Sounds like …

19-Aug-2019:
Fans of romances and thrillers … tend to race through books quickly … A duo writing under the pen name Alexa Riley told The Atlantic last year that they …

19-Aug-2019:
The more we regulate language, the more we communicate a social consensus that it has great power. And in return the more actual power we grant to those …

18-Aug-2019:
I’ve got mixed feelings about this. I’ve had precisely 0% success persuading friends and family to use any alternative to WhatsApp. I’ve now got a very …

18-Aug-2019:
Having recently finished rereading Lethal White, I’ve finally started to write an update to my post from 18 months ago, Robert Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike books …

18-Aug-2019:
I slept much better last night than I had been sleeping recently. I spent the last few hours before going to bed reading a printed book, rather than my iPad …

18-Aug-2019:
when you’re reading on paper and you’re reading on screen, you’re seeing completely different things. Another post about writing longhand, by John Naughton, …

17-Aug-2019:
I just started to read Sally Rooney’s Normal People this evening and I’m about a quarter of the way through. I’d been hesitant to start in case I didn’t like it …

17-Aug-2019:
I’ve been dismissive of ebooks in recent posts. That doesn’t mean that I always prefer to read from a printed page rather than a screen but that I think ebooks …

17-Aug-2019:
I just finished reading Cristina Alger, The Banker’s Wife, about an enormous Panama-Papers-style data leak from a Swiss bank and corrupt Luxembourgeois law …

16-Aug-2019:
Donald Trump and R Kelly considered uninsurable by “disgrace insurance” company

16-Aug-2019:
I am Brimstone and Treacle, it says here. I’ve been called worse, and 5/10 is better than usual for me on the Irish Times movie quiz.

16-Aug-2019:
Hijackers routinely attempt to sign in to sites across the web with every credential exposed by a third-party breach. says Google Online Security blog. Surely …

14-Aug-2019:
It’ll be a lot more than that by the time he’s finished, with any luck QT @dave Trump says he’s losing as much as $5B being president. #resign nbcnews.com

13-Aug-2019:
It‘s being reported that JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank were advised by their compliance departments to sever links with Jeffrey Epstein. That might suggest that …

13-Aug-2019:
But it seemed clear Epstein had embellished his role in the Tesla situation to enhance his own importance and gain attention – something that now seems to have …

13-Aug-2019:
I’m slightly surprised to find that I clearly prefer Enrico Pieranunzi/Mads Vinding’s performance of Gary Peacock’s “Vignette” (on their album Yesterdays) to …

13-Aug-2019:
I almost always use the self-service checkouts to avoid slow queues at the human-operated ones. A wage subsidy is better targeted than the Luddite smashing of …

12-Aug-2019:
Richard Williams writes about a new short story by Haruki Murakami, “Charlie Parker Plays Bossa Nova”, published in Granta.

12-Aug-2019:
I honestly don’t know why Fracture isn’t better known than it seems to be 🍿🎥 You belong in the DA’s office. With all due respect, I didn’t work this hard to …

12-Aug-2019:
LitHub’s Emily Temple has a list of overlooked or forgotten first novels by authors acclaimed for their later work. She includes Kate Atkinson’s Behind the …

11-Aug-2019:
I’ve just finished reading Caroline Kepnes, You: Now a Major Netflix Series. (It’s nice that subtitles are coming back.) I’d already read (and reread) the …

10-Aug-2019: How and where to read and publish short stories
This is a revised and truncated version of a Google+ post of mine from May 2018. Now that Google+ is no longer available to the general public, I’ve been taking …

08-Aug-2019:
I’ve just finished reading Lisa Lutz’s The Passenger and was bowled over by it. It slows down a lot in the middle but that fits the theme, which is partly about …

08-Aug-2019:
I detest the word “societal”. I’ve commented before that if Karl Marx were being translated into English today, we’d have “the societal relations of production” …

08-Aug-2019:
I read the sample chapters on Apple Books of two books by Cristina Alger, The Banker’s Wife and Girls Like Us. On the basis of the samples, I thought the first …

06-Aug-2019:
I wish apps like Apple Books kept my search history as well as my purchase history. I read part of the sample chapter of a book last week and thought I might …

06-Aug-2019:
I just switched my Micro.blog theme from Kiko to Arabica, having seen how nice the latter looks on @gr36’s blog. Also, it might have something to do with the …

06-Aug-2019:
I love these covers, but I’m really fed up hearing “we all judge books by their covers”. We don’t (necessarily). We use covers as a filter to decide which of …

06-Aug-2019:
Sinn Féin once again demonstrate the gaping abyss between what they want (a no-deal Brexit, which they think will quickly lead to a united Ireland) and what …

06-Aug-2019:
the Constitution prevents the government from outlawing the possession of a handgun in the home. Under current precedent, the Second Amendment poses no threat …

06-Aug-2019:
If insulin intended for dogs can be produced for $25 a bottle, why must insulin intended for humans cost up to $470 a bottle? Media often invites us to be …

06-Aug-2019:
That’s The Guardian for you: great for journalism, for web stuff not so great.

05-Aug-2019:
This is so sad. Kathryn Holmquist, whose journalism I used to read avidly, has been found dead on Dollymount beach. The Irish Times has reprinted this vivid …

05-Aug-2019:
I was whining about having to toggle smart punctuation in iOS, for straight quotes in HTML. But I don’t use smart punctuation for dashes, ellipses etc, just the …

05-Aug-2019:
Somewhat belatedly coming to the realization that several of the people I used to follow on Google+ were effectively using it as a feed for their blogs, which …

04-Aug-2019:
There are lots of words that are typed with the left hand only (on a QWERTY keyboard): afterwards, create, treads, verses, Caesar etc. Words that are typed only …

04-Aug-2019:
How Tyler Cowen chooses what fiction to read. What, no Amazon recommendations?

03-Aug-2019:
Very rapid historical shifts in norms do in fact bring various forms of reaction and sometimes overreaction, and pushing back against the overreaction is not …

03-Aug-2019:
Listening to Doctor 3’s live double-CD album, Winter Tales for the first time in a while. I always forget (and am reminded) that they mashup the aggressively …

03-Aug-2019:
Kristen Roupenian on Mary Gaitskill, whose Bad Behavior has been republished 30 years on. There’s quite a bit, too, about the recent New Yorker novella, This Is …

03-Aug-2019:
Here’s a follow-up to something I posted at the beginning of June, Why ebooks aren’t real books. The new post is How ebooks could become real books. It would …

03-Aug-2019:
His son, Gino, blamed the satnav. Hadn’t Rimonti always driven to Italy by his own devices, reading road signs, feeling his way, “like a penguin going home. If …

01-Aug-2019:
The Guardian’s John Fordham ranks the 20 best Miles Davis albums in order 🎶

01-Aug-2019:
The Marcin Wasilewski Trio is so good at cover versions: “Hyperballad”, “Diamonds and Pearls”, “Ballad of the Sad Young Men”, “Message in a Bottle” all sound as …

01-Aug-2019:
This is sad: Marcel Berlins, legal columnist/journalist and crime fiction reviewer, has died. I’ve often missed his columns in the years since he retired.

01-Aug-2019:
I’ve put my most recent post about aphantasia, Does someone with aphantasia dream in colour? on my own site, unlike the previous dozen, which are still on …

01-Aug-2019:
I’ve been using the Micro.blog iOS app on iPad ever since I’ve been here but I think I might switch to the web interface in Safari (still on iPad). Does anybody …

01-Aug-2019:
10 years ago, I had an Archos AV500 on which I could record films and tv off the satellite in France. I’d watch them on an iPod Touch or, later, a …

31-Jul-2019:
Is it normal for foreign allies to edit drafts of presidential speeches? According to Rep. Elijah Cummings … this administration “has virtually obliterated the …

31-Jul-2019: This is my first attempt at a poem in more than 45 years.
This is my first attempt at a poem in more than 45 years. I’m not making any claims for it except to say that it turned out better than I would have expected. …

31-Jul-2019:
Reblogged: @dave “We Can’t Impeach One of the Most Unpopular and Corrupt Presidents Ever and Risk Alienating the Racist Voters Who’d Never Vote for Us Anyway.” …

30-Jul-2019:
Since I first saw them live in 2006, I’d been saying that the Marcin Wasilewski Trio should release a live album. (Their studio albums from ECM tend to be …

30-Jul-2019:
Slate’s Laura Miller is one of my favourite critics. I don’t think I’ve seen a hatchet job from her before, but that’s more or less what she does on Delia …

30-Jul-2019:
Rereading Cal Newport’s New Yorker indie web essay, I was reminded he’d said some Mastodon instances have “an enticing free-form energy reminiscent of the …

30-Jul-2019:
We’re starting with an email newsletter featuring a new approach to video journalism covering political news. John Battelle introduces his new project, Recount …

28-Jul-2019:
This was when there was plenty of rehearsal and studio space cheaply available in Temple Bar, before it became a cultural quarter. “Dublin in those days was so …

28-Jul-2019:
I’d love a quick way to toggle “Smart punctuation” (just in so far as it affects double quotes) in iOS. Generally I want it on, but not inside HTML tags. I’ve …

28-Jul-2019:
Does someone with aphantasia dream in colour? As an nonvisualizer, I thought I knew the answer to that question, until I realized that it’s not as …

27-Jul-2019:
Browne spends 230 pages labouring through the endlessly repetitive disintegration of all that bright promise … Richard Williams reviews the 2 CSNY bios. Maybe …

27-Jul-2019:
When the biggest mistake of your career becomes part of the plot of a film 16 years later.

27-Jul-2019:
I bookmark sites so rarely (tending to rely on autocomplete and the browser history) that I’ve just had to Google how to add a bookmark in mobile (iPad) Safari. …

27-Jul-2019:
The heavily redacted document, based on a two-year investigation, found no evidence that the hackers altered votes or vote tallies, though it says they could …

27-Jul-2019:
Double space after fullstops The full horror of Brexit starts to become apparent in Jacob Rees-Mogg’s style guide. Don’t say you weren’t warned! “Project …

26-Jul-2019:
I’ve already deleted my Pinterest account twice. I think I can refrain from deleting it a third time if I always remember to look at the Following tab (which …

25-Jul-2019:
Actually, Robert Mueller Was Awesome, says Renato Mariotti in Politico Magazine. Mueller got to say what he wanted to say, which is that there is “substantial” …

25-Jul-2019:
Following Mueller’s testimony, Democrats say there’s still insufficient evidence for impeachment. What do they expect, they haven’t even started an impeachment …

25-Jul-2019:
What Colm Tóibín said about genre fiction: And why are so many Irish crime writers angry about it? By me on Medium 📖

25-Jul-2019:
Liked 😎👍: @Dave Richard Neal Slow-Walked Getting Trump’s Taxes—Now He’s Getting Primaried. thedailybeast.com

24-Jul-2019:
My post from Jan 2018, Publishing long form fiction on Medium, still gets regular hits. I can’t say the same for the fiction I’ve actually published there in …

24-Jul-2019:
a serious book that finds a big, sprawling story in what seems like a small, narrow life. Laura Lippman on the importance to her of Herman Wouk’s Marjorie …

23-Jul-2019:
This is really quite bizarre. Seven crime writers, some of them very acute readers, pile on to reassert something we all already know, while defensively …

23-Jul-2019:
Since reading this at The Nib, originally shared by @Dave yesterday, I’ve again gone looking for the evidence on cycle helmets, something I used to do …

17-Jul-2019:
Stevens claimed that he never drifted anywhere; he held that the court had moved inexorably to his right while he steadfastly remained a moderate in the mold of …

17-Jul-2019:
I’ve just finished reading Karin Slaughter’s The Good Daughter, and found it reminiscent of Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places about which I’ve already written. I …

17-Jul-2019:
“… I told him the plot of my first novel … My father goes: ‘Why don’t you write it?’” Camilleri replied that he found it difficult to write in Italian, to which …

16-Jul-2019:
Following my post at the weekend on finding things to read on Medium without subscribing, I was about to recommend a short story, “Crimes of the Face” , by the …

16-Jul-2019:
I finished reading Alan Glynn’s Graveland last night. It shares a problem with the last book in at least one other political conspiracy trilogy (I’m thinking of …

15-Jul-2019:
Yesterday and Saturday, I plugged in my more-than-10-year-old Walkman NWZ-S639F but it woudn’t charge, so I concluded that the battery has finally had it. But …

14-Jul-2019:
You wait decades for one history of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, then two come along at once. Both are reviewed in The Irish Times 🎶🎹📚

14-Jul-2019:
Something good has come out of the Trump administration, an exec order on kidneys. But More than 80 percent of patients in Hong Kong get home-based care, but …

14-Jul-2019: Find stories to read on Medium without subscribing
On Monday it will be 5 weeks since I ended my Medium subscription. I have been tempted to resume it. Most of the posts I see in my feed now are behind the …

14-Jul-2019:
Possessing oodles of data is only an unalloyed good if you can protect it from thieves, hackers and other criminals. If you can’t, then that precious asset can …

13-Jul-2019:
Having read Alan Glynn’s Winterland and Bloodland a few weeks ago, I’ve just started the final book in this loosely connected trilogy, Graveland. I couldn’t …

13-Jul-2019:
I’ve finished My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing. It’s about a (married) couple of serial killers whose victims are all young women and are tortured (for a year …

12-Jul-2019:
Google’s … Area 120, is working on a new social networking app called Shoelace … You use it by listing your interests in the app, allowing it to recommend a …

12-Jul-2019:
I’m now reading Samantha Downing’s My Lovely Wife which was €0.99 on Apple Books. It’s pitched as “Dexter meets Mr and Mrs Smith” but I’m finding it more …

11-Jul-2019:
You know you don’t own your e-books … right? | The Chicago Tribune I thought that looked moderately interesting, so I followed the link — only to find that 14 …

10-Jul-2019:
Just over a week ago, I got fed up of Microsoft Edge’s erratic behaviour and installed Firefox. Firefox is much better but still not right. Scrolling is …

09-Jul-2019:
“This Is Pleasure”, a novella by Mary Galtskill in The New Yorker. Quin, a senior editor in a publishing house, believes he can tell what people “would most …

07-Jul-2019:
Spent 90 mins ripping 3 tv episodes from DVD to Windows notebook SSD, added them to iTunes (whose library is on an external drive) deleted the files from SSD to …

07-Jul-2019:
Tara Sparling methodically summarizes the lessons to be learnt from Giles Coren’s documentary on the failure of his novel. I watched the documentary (parts of …

07-Jul-2019:
Inspired by @kulturnation, I’m finally Preparing to close my Amazon account. Thanks, Michael.

06-Jul-2019:
Returning to the question what to post where, I think my current approach is that anything substantial goes on my own site and inconsequential fluff on Medium. …

05-Jul-2019:
Cork Jazz Festival (like most jazz festivals) is again programming rock and R&B acts to bring in the punters. I’m OK with that: there’s usually only a …

04-Jul-2019:
This approach threatens to cement Dublin’s growing and unwanted reputation as one of Europe’s most costly cities, and one that will become less culturally and …

03-Jul-2019:
My recent posts on Medium have performed poorly. The one originally subtitled Plotting in Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places has done worst, attracting 24 views and …

03-Jul-2019:
Robert Reich on one or two things the Democrats might be getting wrong.

02-Jul-2019:
I keep forgetting to visit RTÉ Brainstorm: a home for new ideas and insights because they don’t seem to have an RSS feed. The site is described as “a unique …

02-Jul-2019:
NBC News: New study shows Russian propaganda may really have helped Trump. Must be from the Department of Ursine Sylvan Digestive Studies. Why did they think …

02-Jul-2019:
Reposting from @Dave — Stop driving in bike lanes ny.curbed.com This applies in Dublin too — and includes taxis.

02-Jul-2019:
I finally got fed up of Microsoft Edge jumping randomly about in the browser history while I was trying to scroll a page, so I downloaded Firefox. I wasn’t sure …

02-Jul-2019:
Robert Reich explains how to accumulate a billion dollars. There are basically only four ways to do it, all of them well tried, none of them what you might call …

01-Jul-2019:
Here’s a new story by Roisin O’Donnell, How to Build a Space Rocket. I enthused about her collection Wild Quiet here recently. 7-year-old Keshika wants to make …

30-Jun-2019:
… the entire federal judiciary costs about $7 billion, not even enough to … fund federal health-care programs for fifty hours.” From The Nonsense Factory: The …

30-Jun-2019:
Matthew Dessem, Dems, Please Don’t Drive Me Away on Slate.

30-Jun-2019:
I found myself, almost without intending to, writing about Liz Nugent’s third novel, Skin Deep. Here’s my slightly better than lukewarm take. While I didn’t …

29-Jun-2019:
Thanks to iOS Shortcuts, I think I’m back to using Apple Notes as my writing tool of choice. I’ve added Find & Replace (kinda), word count, a HTML template, …

29-Jun-2019: Jhumpa Lahiri’s short stories 📚
Domenico Starnone reintroduces Jhumpa Lahiri’s stories in Interpreter of Maladies, on Literary Hub. I knew that I was buying a book of stories, and stories, as …

28-Jun-2019:
I’ve finally managed to write my first Shortcut. The idea is to make it easier to write HTML quickly in Simplenote (which doesn’t have Find & Replace) and I …

28-Jun-2019:
From Electric Literature, a publication that seems to be going from strength to strength since it moved from Medium: 16 Book Covers as Rihanna Outfits 📚

27-Jun-2019:
Last year, I wrote about How I came to love the author-date method of citation after years of preferring footnotes. Now, I’m trying a different approach to …

26-Jun-2019:
I haven’t read any of Neal Stephenson’s fiction, which is perhaps a bit surprising considering the influence of In the Beginning Was the Command Line on my …

26-Jun-2019:
Felicia C. Sullivan, my favourite writer of short fiction on Medium, has gathered links to most of her stories in one place. Remember, only the ones with little …

25-Jun-2019:
Knowing that he did little research, never bothered to check his facts and relied on his literary flair to mask his mistakes, the publishers got serious …

24-Jun-2019:
The cofounder, publisher and managing editor of a local Dublin newspaper that didn’t exist 5 years ago and operates out of a one-room office is nominated for …

24-Jun-2019:
Speaking of Sally Rooney (as I was yesterday), I saw her second novel, Normal People in Lidl for just €7 as part of a “Summer Reads” promotion. At that price, I …

23-Jun-2019:
Sally Rooney is getting a lot of deserved attention as a novelist, but it was her short story, “Mr Salary”, that first caught my attention. Here it is, with two …

22-Jun-2019:
I just finished reading Alan Glynn’s Bloodland, the second in his loosely connected trilogy about political corruption and the machinations of finance capital. …

20-Jun-2019:
I found the episodes of Law & Order, seasons 12 and 13, that I bought from iTunes and that I thought were gone for good (because Apple doesn’t sell tv …

19-Jun-2019:
… a bit like blaming Karl Marx when your Rolex stops working. A luxury, Marriott-owned, 5-star hotel in Vienna does not make a good example of “European …

18-Jun-2019:
Today I went to Raven Books in Blackrock to look for a copy of Alan Glynn’s Bloodland. I found that, but also secondhand copies of Tana French, The Wych Elm, …

17-Jun-2019:
According to LitHub, Everyone on Book Twitter is recommending their favorite short story collections. My choice would be Roisín O’Donnell’s Wild Quiet, at least …

16-Jun-2019:
… the funeral bubble, when it’s kind of all right because everyone’s in it together and swapping stories about the only one who’s missing. I remember that …

16-Jun-2019:
When I posted Why ebooks are not real books a week ago, I was halfway through the Apple Books edition of Dervla McTiernan’s The Ruin. I’ve since read her …

16-Jun-2019:
Here’s a review in the Guardian of Elif Shafak’s 10 Minutes 38 Seconds. I’m looking forward to hearing Shafak at the Dalkey Book Festival early this evening 📖

15-Jun-2019:
He is a firm believer in making things up as opposed to too much research. “Does it matter a jot if the Fugue Protocol is a figment of your imagination so long …

15-Jun-2019:
“So it goes” is not a way of accepting life but, rather, of facing death. It occurs in the text almost every single time someone dies, and only when death is …

15-Jun-2019: Medium’s paywall
Recently Medium has been more insistent in encouraging people who write on the platform to post their stories behind its paywall. I remained oblivious to this …

15-Jun-2019:
The existence of Sweny’s Pharmacy, which sat at the corner of Lincoln Place long before it was mentioned in Ulysses and has remained there ever since, is …

15-Jun-2019:
Tyler Cowen on Marginal Revolution, quoting Arthur C Clarke: Laying of cable for the transatlantic telegraph is an underrated achievement

14-Jun-2019:
My Pinterest following has grown an extraordinary 150% in just one week: I had two followers, now I have five! The growth on Mix isn’t nearly as impressive in …

14-Jun-2019:
I used to think Trump could shoot a man on Fifth Avenue and the Republicans would let him get away with it. Now I think the Democrats would, too. Brian Fallon …

12-Jun-2019:
That’s the second time today that the only way I could end a WhatsApp voice call was by taking the battery out of my phone. The first time, the date reset to …

12-Jun-2019:
I started to read Alan Glynn’s Winterland last night. It seems to be more a conventional mystery/suspense novel than I’d gathered from the reviews, interviews …

12-Jun-2019:
Years ago, when I was living in London, my then flatmate asked me what was the Latin name for Ireland. Hibernia, I told him, and he asked what was the …

11-Jun-2019:
From Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader.

10-Jun-2019:
Reading Uber’s Path of Destruction, I’m wondering how much, if any, of this critique applies equally to AirBnB? It’s claimed that AirBnB’s effect on the …

10-Jun-2019:
I’ve just finished reading Dervla McTiernan’s The Ruin. A bit too much of a procedural for my taste (and I’m getting weary of child abuse stories set in …

09-Jun-2019:
By me: Why ebooks aren’t real books 📖

09-Jun-2019:
An article in Nature about research into predicting future historical significance. I’ve just read the abstract, not the full article which is paywalled. Hat …

08-Jun-2019:
Oh, look! An interview with Matt Bomer that doesn’t even mention White Collar 📺 🍿

08-Jun-2019:
Here’s something for all you notebook enthusiasts.

08-Jun-2019:
Undecided between buying the ebook version of Dervla McTiernan’s The Ruin from Apple Books or Kobo. For Apple: I love the San Francisco font, and while Kobo …

08-Jun-2019:
Oh, so Michael Wolff was implying in his previous book that Trump and Nikki Haley were having an affair. I’d assumed that his hints were being misinterpreted. …

08-Jun-2019:
I finished Skin Deep by Liz Nugent last night. I’ve got very mixed feelings about it but mostly favourable (I think). I definitely want to write something about …

08-Jun-2019:
Surprising figures on trauma injury to cyclists in Ireland: hospitals treated 410 cases of major trauma 2014–2016, of which just 130 involved a motor vehicle, …

08-Jun-2019:
There’s a tradition of nostalgic English nature writing with few European equivalents … I have little patience for this stuff – the writers mourning the past …

07-Jun-2019:
I’m right in the middle of Liz Nugent’s Skin Deep at the moment. I have to say I’m not enjoying it as much as I did her second novel, Lying in Wait but I can’t …

05-Jun-2019:
Mike Elgan found a purple moka maker in his rental appartment in Sicily, which he describes as a “My Little Pony coffee maker”. In case your preteen urgently …

05-Jun-2019:
And while I’m on the subject of Medium, once iPadOS 13 is released, I’ll be ditching the Medium app and using desktop-equivalent Safari to access the site. (I …

05-Jun-2019:
I’ve just cancelled my Medium subscription after 18 months, in which time I’ve paid $90, which doesn’t seem very much. Not totally ruling out the possibility of …

04-Jun-2019:
I just noticed somewhat belatedly that about 30 episodes of Law & Order (all of season 13 and part of season 12) that I bought on iTunes more than 10 years …

04-Jun-2019:
So, @Dave linked to a post by Brett Nordquist about shorter blog posts, which led me to take a look at Nordquist’s blog which also has a nice post about coffee …

03-Jun-2019:
Rumours of Avon’s death are not even slightly exaggerated, I’m sorry to say 📺

02-Jun-2019:
Dave Gelly reviews Alan Broadbent Trio, New York Notes in the Observer. I haven’t heard Broadbent; I think it’s time to rectify that 🎶 🎹

01-Jun-2019:
My parents grew up in rural Tipperary, without electricity. Now, they casually FaceTime me in Berlin, using the Star Trek communicators they pack in their …

01-Jun-2019:
The Irish Director of Public Prosecutions was criticised for refusal to charge Ian Bailey, convicted in absentia in France yesterday of the murder of a …

31-May-2019:
In May 2018, the Irish High Court referred 11 questions for determination by the Court of Justice of the European Union about the transfer of user data by …

30-May-2019:
I felt like I’d been in some ways telling the same story over and over. In my eighth book, Tunnel Vision, I just felt like I was painting by numbers … I …

30-May-2019:
When I read that there’s going to be a television adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Normal People my heart sank. Then I saw it’s being directed by Lenny Abrahamson …

30-May-2019:
Peter Flom, LaTeX for people who think they don’t need it, with a comment from me.

29-May-2019:
Total exoneration my ass

28-May-2019:
👍 Laundry literary programs 😎

27-May-2019:
Hayley Atwell writes in The Guardian about playing Rebecca West in Rosmersholm

26-May-2019:
Matt Yglesias on Vox: Daenerys was right: King’s Landing had to burn. According to him, Daenerys Targaryen wasn’t insane. (I agree, obviously, and she also …

25-May-2019:
A “senior White House official” tells Acosta: “The president’s insane.” He needed to be told? From The Guardian

25-May-2019:
Gosh, did Deadwood really end as long ago as 2006? There’s no doubt in my mind: the rate of acceleration of time is itself increasing, possibly exponentially 📺

25-May-2019:
A few months ago, I dug a 10-year-old Sony Walkman NWZ-S639F out of a box of old stuff. To my surprise, the battery still held a few hours’ charge but, after a …

24-May-2019:
Kara Swisher interviews Ev Williams about — among other things — Medium. I read the transcript because my attention tends to wander while listening to podcasts. …

24-May-2019:
I’ve started to reread Caroline Kepnes’s Hidden Bodies, 3 years after first reading, so I’d forgotten most of the details. It would have made sense to postpone …

22-May-2019: You win or you die?
In life there is no such thing as sex-and-violence; they are different … As a conscious choice, Game of Thrones gave into the idea that there is such a thing as …

22-May-2019:
I’m surprised to discover that, while I obviously want Republicans to lose both the presidency and the Senate (Judiciary Committee!) in 2020, I’d actually like …

21-May-2019:
Mike Elgan thinks the new Google Glass looks awesome. Judge for yourself.😎

21-May-2019:
The magazine Vanity Fair now has a digital archive of everything they published from the time they started publishing in 1913. Melville House reports that the …

20-May-2019:
Much of [Bruce Chatwin’s] work was a byproduct of trying to write this essay—the entirety of The Songlines is actually the result of a research trip to …

19-May-2019:
I published “Andrew Marvell’s Gender” in the journal Essays in Criticism three years ago. I’ve just converted the approved draft (the final version has a couple …

19-May-2019:
Machine learning is much better at doing certain things than people, just as a dog is much better at finding drugs than people, but you wouldn’t convict someone …

17-May-2019:
Just having a look at some recent book cover designs on The Casual Optimist’s blog: it seems handwriting-like lettering and fonts are a thing at the moment. Not …

17-May-2019:
A new journal, Series of Unsurprising Results in Economics (SURE) is attempting to counteract publication bias, reports Kelsey Piper in Vox.

16-May-2019:
Here’s an extraordinary story from last December’s New Yorker that I didn’t see until now, about the only two Google engineers ever to have reached Level …

16-May-2019:
… a ghastly creep called Hans-Peter Schneider – European born, medically trained and in every regard such a tacky Lecter knockoff that Harris should sue himself …

15-May-2019:
This Medium post by Dervla McTiernan prompted me to download the sample chapter of her first novel, The Ruin (which I’d known about but thought was probably not …

15-May-2019:
Murray Waas reports that Jeff Sessions told DoJ officials to lie about his firing of Andy McCabe in March 2018, had a conflict of interest because McCabe had …

15-May-2019:
Melville House Press isn’t happy that Normal People, not Becoming, is Book of the Year. Michelle Obama’s record-shattering memoir Becoming is a classic …

14-May-2019:
Well, this wasn’t exactly intuitive. The Export OPML command is hidden off the bottom of a screen without any obvious hint that scrolling is necessary, and the …

14-May-2019:
I’ve been using Reeder 3 on iPad for a few months. I didn’t sync the app with an online account, just stored my feeds on the iPad. Now, I’ve downloaded Reeder 4 …

13-May-2019:
I’m fed up with web pages where the text jumps around while I’m trying to read it, as ads load, reload and jerkily follow my eyes down the page. Twice today …

13-May-2019:
I haven’t watched any of Game of Thrones or read any of the books but at times I’ve been kind of addicted to/fascinated by some of the online commentary, …

12-May-2019:
Recently I’ve been less inclined to write book reviews (aimed at people who are deciding whether to read a particular book) than discussion pieces (aimed at …

12-May-2019:
This is the most exciting thing I’ve read for some time. Andy Matuschak, “Why books don’t work”. (They don’t work for much the same reasons as lectures don’t.) …

12-May-2019:
By me on Medium: Eluding the algorithm: Web discovery in the aftermath of social media. This is the post I referred to here yesterday.

12-May-2019:
Steve Newman recalls Meeting Paul Robeson at Leamington Spa railway station in the spring of 1959.

11-May-2019: Critics respond to (slightly exaggerated) rumours of the death of the book review
BookMarks has responses from several critics to the Harper’s essay by Christian Lorentzen on the decline of the book review. The passage that caught my eye was …

11-May-2019:
Medium has changed the way it operates its paywall, leading me to think again about my approach to posting on that platform and to rethink what I should post …

11-May-2019:
Last week, I posted a very short list of blogs and personal websites that I recommend. I had intended to post an accompanying piece on Medium at the same time …

11-May-2019:
After paying a lot for very small homes, Londoners have no higher incomes than the UK average. Most inequality occurs within regions not among them … Yup. …

09-May-2019:
The Oxford Handbook of Andrew Marvell is a big (800+ pages), comprehensive book about the subject of my thesis and has my former supervisor as its senior …

09-May-2019:
I need a replacement steel mesh filter for my Aeropress. In the past, I’ve always bought them through Amazon but I don’t want to break my 18-month …

08-May-2019:
Crime novelist Laura Lippman writes in praise of being an “old mother”: a 60-year-old woman with a daughter in third grade.

08-May-2019:
Trump would … buy stock in a company, publicize that he was considering buying the company to pump up its stock price, and then later sell his shares without …

08-May-2019:
Having finished Emma Healey’s Elizabeth Is Missing (a worn and battered copy that I found in a charity shop) last night, I’m finally just about to start Lethal …

08-May-2019:
My two most recent posts on Medium were tagged “Literary Criticism” and drew a disappointingly low number of readers. So I’ve replaced that tag with Book …

07-May-2019:
Hey, it turns out that I’m a snowflake and I’ve only just realized the fact. It seems so obvious once it’s pointed out that I wonder how I managed to overlook …

07-May-2019:
Kevin Smith cast himself as Silent Bob because he couldn’t memorize dialogue: How we made Clerks 🍿🎞🎬

06-May-2019:
I’ve seen Medium users complain that they often don’t see posts from people they’re following on that site. Since Electric Literature departed from Medium I’ve …

06-May-2019:
As for Boris Yeltsin, who became the first president of a post-Soviet Russia, [Gorbachev] says, “I should have sent him off somewhere.” 20/20 hindsight. Via …

06-May-2019:
Trump complains that two years of his presidency were “stollen”. Good to see him becoming diet conscious at last.

06-May-2019:
Novelist Ben Dolnick explains why you should read books in long stretches rather than “in five- or 10-minute snatches before bed”. The speed at which you read a …

06-May-2019:
The umbrella concept of the Indigo store is something like “all of the items in here could be seen as nourishing for your soul, and maybe Instagrammable.” …

05-May-2019:
Making Robert Mueller come out: Dahlia Lithwick sees the special counsel as Boo Radley

05-May-2019:
I’ve posted a very short list of blogs and personal websites that I like. I hope to add to it regularly. I meant to post it simultaneously with a longer Medium …

04-May-2019:
I love this quote from Elif Batuman’s The Idiot, which has just shot up my list as a result. I’ve had Batuman in mind for some time as someone I should read, …

04-May-2019:
The novel as puzzle: Susie Lopez spent four years reading Finnegans Wake and annotating her reading with coloured drawings. (This reminds me that in the early …

03-May-2019:
In UK local government elections, the Liberal Democrats — who support remaining in the EU — have gained substantially at the expense of both main parties, …

03-May-2019:
Here’s a lovely story — hat tip The Overspill — about how a group of YouTube web developers brought about the deprecation of the notoriously …

02-May-2019:
Cormac Larkin interviews Fred Hersch in The Irish Times in advance of Hersch’s solo piano performance at the Bray Jazz Festival tomorrow evening. Unfortunately …

02-May-2019:
I’ve just muted the New York Times on Mix. I’m not a subscriber to the NYT, and I’d been using up my monthly allowance of free stories in seconds without …

01-May-2019:
Mix has updated its iPad app, so that it’s no longer, as I complained the other day, allowing cookie notices and nag screens to block your view of the …

01-May-2019:
Assange gets just two weeks less than the maximum sentence (1 year) for jumping bail.

27-Apr-2019:
I’ve been saying for months that I must read Lethal White and update my post about the Cormoran Strike novels. Didn’t want to buy a monstrously bulky trade …

27-Apr-2019:
I started Emma Healey’s Elizabeth Is Missing yesterday. I’ve had her second novel, Whistle in the Dark, on my list for a while but when I saw the first one in a …

27-Apr-2019: Is Garrett Camp’s Mix growing to resemble its parent?
StumbleUpon, out of which Mix grew, used to give a misleadingly inflated figure for page views because it sent people straight to the recommended page without …

27-Apr-2019:
Here’s my review of Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal, Stealing Fire 📚

26-Apr-2019:
I’ve just finished reading Sophie Hannah’s A Game for All the Family. Much more ludic and darkly humorous than her series novels. I thought I’d figured it out …

24-Apr-2019:
”We have been, I have been the most transparent president and administration in the history of our country by far,” Trump said. The Hill. I’m surprised he’s …

24-Apr-2019: Writing every day
I’ve generally been inclined to scoff at the seemingly ubiquitous advice that a writer should write every day, whether for practice, or exercise, or to avoid …

24-Apr-2019:
… it takes a true savant of exquisitely attuned grievance collection to read an individual reference to “Easter worshippers” as an attempt to avoid …

22-Apr-2019:
I’ve been poking though some of my old posts on Medium to see if I should delete any of them. This one, from the beginning of 2018, still seems kind of …

21-Apr-2019: David Siegel’s “In Reality: A new worldview just for you”
A long, link-filled, occasionally provocative essay by David Siegel on the application of the scientific method to almost anything you can think of. I haven’t …

21-Apr-2019:
Radio critic tries to slap down Paddy Cosgrave while conceding he’s right about tax: he needs to be the smartest guy in the room … he has a lofty air as he …

20-Apr-2019:
Nathan Ward writes on CrimeReads about Kenneth Fearing’s The Big Clock. I bought and read a copy years ago, as a result of having seen the Kevin Costner film, …

20-Apr-2019:
It looks as if Piqd has run out of money. I hadn’t even noticed that they’d pivoted to podcasts. Dommage.

20-Apr-2019:
Overkill’s deceptive attraction: Plotting in Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places. A “spoiler”-rich discussion of Flynn’s second novel. By me on Medium 📚

16-Apr-2019:
”I’ve been called vulgar names, mocked for my appearance, my looks, my weight, my sexuality, and even for the crime of being bald. … a freshly set-up account, …

16-Apr-2019:
Although Om Malik is happy to continue to pay for Amazon Prime, he’s been ordering less stuff from the Everything Store. Slowing retail growth suggests he might …

16-Apr-2019:
Now that I’m no longer trying to write analytically (or maybe I should say academically) about poetry, I’m thinking I ought to read a wider variety, and in a …

15-Apr-2019:
He loves Sally Rooney’s Normal People, he tells me, admiring especially what he calls the “clever rhetorical trick” of how she merges the thoughts of …

14-Apr-2019:
Having spent years studying English literature but never feeling comfortable talking about the structure of a work, I suddenly find myself wondering if that …

13-Apr-2019:
How did Meet Joe Black make $143 million? Well, my flatmate at the time went to see it in the mistaken belief that it was Ken Loach’s roughly contemporaneous My …

13-Apr-2019:
This is happening more and more on Mix: a cookie consent form or data privacy notice blocks the entire preview, so you have to decide whether to consent before …

13-Apr-2019:
By me on Medium: Rereading Kate Atkinson’s Behind the Scenes at the Museum 📚

12-Apr-2019:
Anticapitalist writer umair haque has an interesting (if longwinded) perspective on the failure (which I’m sure is temporary and reversible but at this point is …

12-Apr-2019:
Tess Wheeler had 105 IRL connections on LinkedIn; she took part in a challenge and, 7 weeks later, she had nearly 1K. They brought in exactly no extra business, …

12-Apr-2019:
Rebecca Renner writes about the CIA’s role in the publication of Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago — and Khrushchev’s regrets that the novel was banned in the USSR 📚

12-Apr-2019: You can’t use aphantasia as an excuse, says former Pixel president
Ed [Catmull, former Pixar president] argues aphantasia is not a barrier to success. He told the BBC: “I think the main message is, ‘OK folks you can’t use …

08-Apr-2019:
Benedict Evans draws comparisons between Microsoft’s security problems in the 90s and Facebook’s now. As someone who still tries to use Word VBA in my day job, …

04-Apr-2019:
it’s refreshing to see a novelist so earnestly uncertain about the value of her task—and a complex pleasure to read the novels animated by such ambivalence. …

03-Apr-2019:
He has to keep three balls in the air at once: the biographical story, an interpretation of the fiction as autobiography, and a consideration of the fiction as …

03-Apr-2019:
”What we have to do is Congress has to meet quickly and make a deal. I could do it in 45 minutes … We need to get rid of chain migration … and we have to do …

01-Apr-2019:
In Amanda Craig’s short story, “The Ghost Writer”, a “literary” novelist, whose latest book has been rejected — “Nabokov and Gore Vidal, with a dash of Oscar …

01-Apr-2019:
“If all of the people who hate Ishtar had seen it,” May remarked to her one-time comedy partner Mike Nichols in a 2006 conversation, “I would be a rich woman …

31-Mar-2019:
An excellent discussion by Rob Doyle of Mark Fisher’s k-punk. I must admit I started to read the piece thinking, and rather hoping, it might be about a …

31-Mar-2019:
A significant, influential and brilliantly made film that had a deep influence on me has just turned 20 years old. Here’s a perceptive and thought-provoking …

30-Mar-2019:
To lose one court case may be regarded as a misfortune. Formidable Austrialian literary agent Selwa Anthony has recently lost two, the first involving the …

28-Mar-2019:
I need to submit something in print, so I’ve been writing and editing in IA Writer, exporting as Word, opening the Word doc in Pages to tidy up fonts and …

28-Mar-2019:
Is Joni Mitchell’s Blue (1971) the perfect album? John Corbett thinks so. Read an extract from his book Pick Up the Pieces: Excursions in Seventies Music 📚🎶🎹

28-Mar-2019:
I wonder if Apple will finally, finally, finally listen to this. When you get stories like this in international papers from well-respected writers, it destroys …

27-Mar-2019:
I read Stealing Fire on Scribd back in January but I wanted to get my own copy so, since I’m avoiding Amazon, I ordered it via Alibris. It was mailed to me 8 …

27-Mar-2019:
this is what growing up is all about: finding ways to identify yourself, using the only thing you have—the world—as mirror or antagonist or something in …

26-Mar-2019:
I’m a sucker for courtroom dramas. I still haven’t found a copy of Anatomy of a Murder but I was bowled over by Presumed Innocent when I read it in 1988 (and …

26-Mar-2019:
Remember SmartTags in Word? Neither did I. Microsoft deprecated them in 2010 (about 7 years after I’d deprecated them). But it left the underlying markup intact …

26-Mar-2019:
Spoke too soon Now I’m having my second coffee of the “morning”.

26-Mar-2019:
Finally getting to have my second coffee of the morning. (It’s 4.37 pm here.) then I’ll move on to lunch immediately.

25-Mar-2019:
Hey, Instagram “influencer”! There’s a robot coming for your job …

24-Mar-2019:
There was Russian interference in the 2016 election but no evidence that anyone connected to the Trump campaign was implicated. There is evidence of behaviour …

24-Mar-2019:
The Rubble Club: In Dublin, architects are outliving the buildings they designed. I’m not sorry to see the Setanta Centre disappear but Oisin House and the old …

23-Mar-2019:
Actually, contrary to what I said in my last post, it seems that Electric Literature may have moved on from Medium after all. I still get the “Open in App” bar …

23-Mar-2019:
“Liking Books Is Not a Personality”, says Hannah McGregor on Electric Literature. That’s indisputable, but you’ve got to go with what you’ve got. Incidentally, …

22-Mar-2019: Why feedback is never worthwhile
you probably don’t know how a failing employee (or infuriating husband, or whatever) could most effectively change. It’s an old cliche of marital advice that …

21-Mar-2019:
Disney now controls approximately 75% of the film industry, meaning that a lot more crappy books will be adapted for film while a lot of better books will never …

20-Mar-2019:
I mentioned a while ago that I’d drifted into a semi-intentional boycott of Amazon, in that I noticed I hadn’t ordered anything from them since Nov 2017. But …

19-Mar-2019:
A few days ago, I incorrectly said that I hadn’t read any of Harlan Coben’s books. I’ve just been reminded that I did in fact read The Woods several years ago …

18-Mar-2019:
The final version of my thesis was in Nisus Writer Pro. I imported the RTF into Pages and I’ve been trying to rework it on the iPad. But I’d rather work in …

18-Mar-2019:
Not for the first time, life imitates Law & Order

18-Mar-2019:
I’m going to get a new iPad Air. I don’t know when, but I’m definitely going to get a new iPad Air 😊

17-Mar-2019:
Steve Newman on Medium tells the story of Willie The Lion Smith 🎹 🎶

17-Mar-2019:
I’ve started to move my book 📖 reviews from Google+. The first five (originally posted 2017–18) are Harry Bingham, Talking to the Dead Kate Atkinson, Started …

17-Mar-2019:
Don’t let undeserving people be the instruments with which you hurt yourself. Also, read more short stories, everything from Lorrie Moore to JD Salinger, …

17-Mar-2019:
The data I downloaded from Google+ has filenames that all start with the date of posting, which obviously makes it super easy to find the particular file I’m …

17-Mar-2019:
An unwillingly abandoned town in the mountains, a lawyer turned bestselling crime writer, a New York editor flirting with danger in Calabria, the cultural …

17-Mar-2019:
So why do I do [social media]? Heck, if I was a good businessman, I may not be writer. I do it because I could be wrong and maybe it is valuable! I enjoyed …

16-Mar-2019:
Vulture profiles John Lanchester whose fifth novel tackles climate change and intergenerational inequality 📚 With The Wall, the divide between Lanchester the …

16-Mar-2019:
The poverty of writers (in general and with a small number of notable exceptions) is getting more attention than usual at the moment. A few days ago, I read …

15-Mar-2019:
I’ve updated my “Short Fiction on Medium — recommendations” page to add links to some recently recommended stories, including the one I recommended earlier …

15-Mar-2019: Ellen Ullman is still close to the machine 📚
Pretty graphical interfaces are commonly called “user friendly.” But they are not really your friends. Underlying every user-friendly interface is a terrific …

15-Mar-2019:
I’d heard of Uber Eats, of course, but I have to say that Uber Treats sound much more tempting.

15-Mar-2019:
The Girl in the Mirror. A short story by Jennifer Schmidt about beauty, disguise, selfhood and depersonalization. That’s a lot to fit into about 1,000 words, …

15-Mar-2019:
Simply removing likes would be bad. But even just hiding both likes and RTs could be apocalyptic. Yeah, right 😉

14-Mar-2019:
They probably thought of themselves as law-abiding Americans, with exceptions so minor as to be negligible. In other words, this case illustrates what a low …

13-Mar-2019:
I’ve just resurrected a 23-year-old essay, Finite though unbounded: the abolition of infinity in the poetry of William Empson, which I remember being quite …

13-Mar-2019:
“Every leaf and every grass blade on earth makes more and more sugars as CO2 levels keep rising … We are witnessing the greatest injection of carbohydrates into …

13-Mar-2019:
After doing the job for a while, I wasn’t liberal anymore. I certainly wasn’t conservative. I just resented everyone with opinions and an internet connection. …

13-Mar-2019:
A short story by Sally Rooney in the New Yorker, “Color and Light”. A hotel worker in a seaside town meets a woman who says she writes films and seems to have …

13-Mar-2019:
A few days ago, I was wondering on Micro.blog whether I should get an aluminium Lamy fountain pen or a cheaper, more colourful Safari model. I decided on the …

13-Mar-2019:
The rest of the Internet was a sideshow. It’s just easier if everything is on one platform, I was told. And Facebook’s goal was to be that platform. John …

13-Mar-2019:
The people who were leaving negative reviews [of Captain Marvel] were “review bombing,” a tactic that’s getting more and more common, and platforms still …

12-Mar-2019:
Corey Robin argues that in order finally to escape from neoliberalism, we need to “uninstall” Friedrich Hayek. Hayek translated moral and political problems …

12-Mar-2019:
I’m very pleased with yesterday’s haul from the charity shop. I’ve read Midnight’s Children at least twice, but not within the last 25 years. And I’ve been …

11-Mar-2019:
This new study suggests that ADHD may be especially beneficial when the goal is to create or invent something new without being locked into—and constrained …

11-Mar-2019:
M G Siegler has been thinking about (and perhaps overthinking) The Blogging Mindset Basically, I now feel like I can’t write about anything unless I’ve read as …

11-Mar-2019:
In the worst moments of my life, there is always a joke to be made, and that’s a deep comfort to me. It’s not putting off feelings; it’s part of sad things. …

10-Mar-2019:
Venture capitalists have subsidized the creation of platforms for low-paying work that deliver on-demand servant services to rich people, while subjecting all …

10-Mar-2019:
There’s two types of people: There are “organizers” and “searchers.” Organizing seems like too much work for me. I prefer to search. says Farhad Manjoo. I‘m …

09-Mar-2019:
About 15 years ago, I had an alumin[i]um Lamy fountain pen, but left it behind after a lecture. I’m about to get another Lamy but I’m finding myself drawn to …

09-Mar-2019:
A new border would have to be manned by customs officials, but these would not go there unless they were protected by police and the police could not operate …

07-Mar-2019:
In The phone’s not smart so you might have to be I’m fussing about whether I should keep my newish Nokia 8110 4G or revert to my obsolete, no longer supported …

06-Mar-2019:
Fierce op-ed by Dahlia Lithwick in Slate: The Cowardice of the Cover-Your-Ass Memo. John Kelly and Don McGahn come out of it much worse than Comey and McCabe, …

06-Mar-2019:
I persisted nearly to the end of this story about John Adams possibly referring in letters to Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, despite the text jumping about …

06-Mar-2019:
This is the first personal productivity hack I’ve read in ages that sounds as if it might actually work: There’s an optimal way to structure your day and …

06-Mar-2019:
The US Senate has confirmed a nominee to the federal bench who has just 9 years’ experience of practising law and completed 4 trials. This is not normal. Even …

06-Mar-2019:
Ditch Mitch

05-Mar-2019:
Mix.com, Garrett Camp’s “curated discovery” site (and the successor to StumbleUpon) still feels quite new to me, so I was surprised to be reminded by this old …

04-Mar-2019:
It’s unfathomable that, 18 years after the launch of the iPod, our clothes still have buttons and pocket-flaps, and furniture and doors have protruding handles. …

03-Mar-2019:
Nicole Dieker, who successfully self-published 2 volumes of literary fiction, has some considered advice on how to find your audience/readership I realize that …

03-Mar-2019:
Patience is a virtue I don’t have, unfortunately by me on Medium. For now — and this could change very suddenly — it still makes sense for crime fiction …

03-Mar-2019:
I’m about to start moving my more significant book reviews (i.e. the ones I want to keep) from Goodreads to my own site, starting with the ones that were …

02-Mar-2019:
The day job is starting to interfere with my writing time, I’m afraid. I was so exhausted after yesterday that I slept for 12 hours and woke up at noon, a good …

02-Mar-2019:
Does anyone know if there’s a way to prevent Simplenote from linkifying a URL when you paste it into a note, please? It’s really frustrating when you try to …

28-Feb-2019:
you only officially have to worry about things that are a. Likely and b. Preventable, which seems counterintuitive but is actually really freeing. Says Emily …

28-Feb-2019:
I got 18/22 — and I haven’t even seen Goodfellas

28-Feb-2019:
It’s pretty clear that Michael Cohen is not the brightest person ever to graduate law school. I don’t think he’s stupid enough to admit to lying to Congress, …

26-Feb-2019:
It’s very simple stuff with no literary ambition that I can see I’m inclined to suspect that Will Self wasn’t paying full attention while reading Sally Rooney. …

25-Feb-2019:
The British Library says it will have to end access to Spare Rib digital archive in the case of a no-deal Brexit. But surely it would be open to UK to introduce …

25-Feb-2019:
Jean-Louis Gassée reaches the end of the BeOS story in his “50 Years in Tech”.

24-Feb-2019:
An open letter from the New York State budget director on the lessons to be learned from the Amazon HQ2 fiasco. Hat tip these same elected officials all signed …

24-Feb-2019:
I’ve been trying to rework my doctoral thesis, “Andrew Marvell’s ambivalence about justice”. A bit stuck on the concept of “ambivalence about justice”, I …

23-Feb-2019:
The special counsel has filed an 800-page sentencing memo in Manafort’s case. Maybe this is the “Mueller report” that people were saying a few days ago was …

23-Feb-2019:
Since Accelerando (Vijay Iyer’s second trio album with Stephan Crump and Marcus Gilmore) was released in 2012, I’ve barely listened to Historicity (their first, …

23-Feb-2019:
I just switched the default browser on my Windows 10 (work) notebook from Edge to Chrome, hoping that will stop the erratic trackpad behaviour where attempts to …

21-Feb-2019:
Hi, @tibz. This always makes me laugh. (Not a direct reply to your restaurant post, as I wanted to add the picture.)

21-Feb-2019: Sounds Like Titanic
When you play the violin you are able, for a moment, to leave the female body in which you are contained, the body that signals sex, whether you want it to or …

20-Feb-2019:
President Donald Trump is assembling a sprawling, corporate-style reelection campaign … a top-down structure that represents everything Trump’s improvisational …

20-Feb-2019:
A few weeks ago, when I needed a new Bluetooth keyboard for the iPad, I considered a Keytron but it would have taken weeks to ship, so I ended up with a …

20-Feb-2019:
When I watched Unbreakable back in the primeval 00s, it never occurred to me that it was a superhero origin tale. I saw it as a shaggy dog story whose …

19-Feb-2019:
“At times like these, Corbyn is his own worst enemy”, says John Crace in the Guardian. And, when you think what the competition is like, that’s really some …

19-Feb-2019:
I don’t know that salvation can be found in labor, a notion that combines the most alienating elements of Christianity and capitalism, but I’m not disposed to …

17-Feb-2019:
I’ve been across the Border six times today already, and that’s a normal Saturday — going to the shop, taking my son to get a haircut and to rugby. And now he …

17-Feb-2019:
Author Rob Doyle revisits Arthur Koestler’s first novel, an exploration of the failure of a revolution aimed at liberation 📖

16-Feb-2019:
She is, she thinks, “the only person who went into writing because it was a more stable career than what I was doing …” Tana French interviewed by Alex Clark …

16-Feb-2019:
I was on the Simon & Schuster website and they enticed me to sign up to their email list with the promise of a free ebook. I gave them my email address. …

15-Feb-2019:
Steve Newman’s review of the Branagh-directed, Elton-scripted film, All Is True 🎬 🍿

15-Feb-2019:
There is no good time to admit you’ve been deceiving people, but later is worse. Leo Benedictus in The Guardian on the fabulist author’s dilemma 📖

15-Feb-2019:
Andrea Levy, author of Small Island and several other novels, is dead (of cancer) at the age of 62 📚

14-Feb-2019:
I calculated that as a rule of thumb, and on average, about half of our life’s total medical costs are incurred in the last two weeks of our existence. It is an …

13-Feb-2019:
My congratulations to the genius who hit on the abbreviation “GDPR”. You can type 3 of the 4 letters with the left hand, while holding down the right Shift key. …

11-Feb-2019:
First dates can be unbearably stressful. Luckily for Heather (or is it Anna?), she has a coping mechanism and a concerned doctor. A short story by Yulia …

10-Feb-2019:
I remember once having a problem in my personal life and trying to determine from War and Peace what to do about it and an older writer I respected said, …

10-Feb-2019:
Crime writers I admire defend Dan Mallory: ”He didn’t tell me anything that wasn’t true,” Liz Nugent says. “He was just kind and decent and helpful, but I …

09-Feb-2019:
Oops, I didn’t mean to leave @grayareas out of this reply, sorry.

07-Feb-2019:
I decided several months ago that I’m going to favour printed books over ebooks. So, should I pay €12.60 for the paperback when I could get the ebook from Apple …

07-Feb-2019:
Craig Taborn will be playing solo in Dublin next week 🎶 🎹

07-Feb-2019:
I was embarrassed about how ashamed I felt of this year’s rejections, having so publicly endorsed the belief that collecting rejections can help us be more …

06-Feb-2019:
Instead of thinking about line editing as a forgotten art, one callously consumed by the book business, we should consider it a privilege—a gift—enjoyed by some …

06-Feb-2019:
I thought about buying a cheap Chromebook (a second-hand HP) but decided against it. Now that they run Android apps and some Linux, the “everything in a …

06-Feb-2019:
I just added a public domain picture to “The Paradoxical Ambition of Andrew Marvell’s Third Advice to a Painter” in order to post it to a Mix collection. The …

05-Feb-2019:
Karen Thompson Walker has a new book coming out: The Dreamers, her follow-up to The Age of Miracles. Here, she talks about influences 📚

05-Feb-2019:
The dispiriting tale of forgotten filmmaker Lorenza Mazzetti, who had “undesirable alien” stamped on her passport when she landed at Dover in the 1950s.

05-Feb-2019:
For years I’ve believed that I have vivid dreams but remember only fleeting fragments. Because of curiosity about my aphantasia I’ve just kept a …

05-Feb-2019:
Another fairly close reading of a well regarded, literary short story by Emily Temple on LitHub. This time it’s Robert Coover’s story, “The Babysitter”.

05-Feb-2019:
Constance Grady’s take on the New Yorker/Ian Parker assassination of the literary reputation of A J Finn (aka Dan Mallory), which I mentioned yesterday 📚

04-Feb-2019:
Irish police ask cyclists to take down videos of infringing cars “as you are identifying a particular vehicle”. If it’s impermissible to identify a vehicle, why …

04-Feb-2019:
according to many people who know him, [Dan] Mallory has a history of imposture, and of duping people with false stories about disease and death. The fabulist …

04-Feb-2019:
Cavanagh hadn’t set foot in New York by the time he’d written the first three Eddie Flynn novels. His reference points go from Starsky and Hutch through Kojak …

03-Feb-2019:
These shots remind me of the expression (attributed to Lord Hoffmann, I think): “He took to the law like a cat to water.”

03-Feb-2019:
I wanted to set up an autoreply on one of my email accounts, to say that I’m trying to move away from using email. First, I unsubscribed from all the mailing …

03-Feb-2019:
KonMari is great, it’s just been misdirected at things instead of acts. Rather than scrutinize your possessions, go through everything you do in the course of a …

02-Feb-2019:
During the same period in which socially accepted sadism diminished, economic inequality and economic insecurity have steadily increased. It’s as if the …

02-Feb-2019:
the urban cinemas, such as The Cabra Grand (now a bingo hall) built by Samuel Lyons in 1946, with its shed-like structure hidden behind an elegant art deco …

01-Feb-2019:
Prolific book blogger and Goodreads reviewer, Larry H, assesses Kristen Roupenian’s story collection, You Know You Want This 📚

01-Feb-2019:
Lisa Allardice interviews both the author (Bart van Es) and the subject (Lien de Jong) of the Costa-winning biography, The Cut Out Girl 📚

01-Feb-2019:
We’re always being told that the passive voice is to be avoided if at all possible. So why, in that case, do we have “to be read” lists as opposed to “to read” …

31-Jan-2019:
I haven’t been writing or posting fiction recently: I’m trying to concentrate instead on finally turning my thesis into something readable. But here’s a list of …

31-Jan-2019:
we found that taking the perspective of someone who endorses a counterattitudinal view lowers receptiveness to that view and reduces attitude change … trying to …

28-Jan-2019:
More about the role of “comps” in publishing, this time from Melville House Press 📚

27-Jan-2019:
Bifurcation is not for everyone. But it might be the right option for most writers. Thomas Maloney wrote 2 novels while holding down a full-time job that he’d …

27-Jan-2019:
Broadly speaking, the American tracks are either well known already (John Coltrane, Horace Silver etc) or deservedly obscure (Sunny Harris & the Three …

27-Jan-2019:
Eye-opening piece by Laura B. McGrath in the L.A. Review of Books about “comps” in publishing and how they’re impeding diversity 📖

26-Jan-2019:
Here’s a New Yorker profile of Roger Stone by Jeffrey Toobin from 2008. Trump was very critical of Stone back then for (among other things) a menacing …

26-Jan-2019:
The New Yorker’s Katy Waldman has read both of MacKenzie Bezos’s novels and finds it impossible to approach them without bias though she judges Traps (the more …

26-Jan-2019:
I’ve been thinking for some time that those people who assume that the Republican nominee in 2020 will be Donald Trump are taking far too much for …

26-Jan-2019:
LitHub has an excerpt from Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style containing invaluable practical advice on how to keep your writing …

26-Jan-2019:
I had, of course, seen some headlines about Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg and a dead goat but I’d resisted clicking the links till Om slipped by my defences. …

25-Jan-2019:
Nate Hoffelder complains that Wattpad told everybody except him that it was getting into book publishing. I wasn’t told either, though I did get an email from …

24-Jan-2019:
Designing for the web ought to mean making HTML and CSS says David Heinemeier Hansson on Signal v. Noise.

23-Jan-2019:
I’ve been trying to mix this short story, Mia Gallagher’s “All Bones”, to my Mix collection Short Stories but Mix doesn’t seem to …

22-Jan-2019:
It’s two years since my very first post on Medium, The Language of Ireland. I was reminded of it when someone recently posted about Irish not having words for …

21-Jan-2019:
While I’m on the subject of fonts, the latest instalment of Jean-Louis Gassée’s “50 Years in Tech” touches on the origin of TrueType To ensure wide …

21-Jan-2019:
I’ve been trying out Simplenote as a writing app on iOS. It’s very nearly perfect except for one significant irritant: that blasted Arial font.

20-Jan-2019:
Nicholas Carr’s LARB review of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism Surveillance capitalism’s real products, vaporous but immensely valuable, are …

20-Jan-2019:
I’ve posted The five stages of coming to terms with aphantasia on Medium. It includes a brief summary of my opinions about Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal, …

18-Jan-2019:
Amazon has said that “almost 40” self-published authors have sold more than a million e-books in the history of Kindle Direct … And in 2014, half of all …

18-Jan-2019:
“Let’s face it,” [Marie Kondo] writes in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and puts the next sentence in bold type: “In the end, you are going to read very …

17-Jan-2019:
Gideon Rosenblatt has a good analysis of what went wrong with Google+ and why its failure to be regretted. Hat-tip Om Malik.

15-Jan-2019:
Nicholas Carr has reviewed “Shoshana Zuboff’s epic critique of Silicon Valley, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism” for the L A Review of Books 📖

15-Jan-2019:
With my old Windows notebook, I’d be scrolling down a page, with two fingers on the trackpad when suddenly it would stop scrolling and zoom to 380% …

15-Jan-2019:
How Chris Power solved a problem with “the most autobiographical story” in his collection Mothers, with a device that had been used before and that he’d …

13-Jan-2019:
He hugged like a natural non-toucher who had taken professional instruction in how to overcome his instincts and hug, and then found, greatly to his own …

13-Jan-2019:
I’ve updated Medium’s iPad app is making me want to tear my hair out. The problem seems to be largely with Mix’s app which sends a link to Medium’s app to be …

13-Jan-2019:
I often enjoy Larry H.’s reviews, which he posts on Goodreads and on his blog, “It’s Either Sadness or Euphoria”. I’ve discovered several books I wanted to read …

12-Jan-2019:
“Own that content!” Me, on Medium, revisiting the question when to post there and when on my own site.

12-Jan-2019:
Everything old is new again, from RSS to regular expressions. Quite right, too.

11-Jan-2019:
its status as fiction had largely got lost. In a way, I still feel that this is something to be proud of: the story’s realism, and Margot’s perspective in …

10-Jan-2019:
Already today I’ve read several general statements—e.g. Americans love cars or Americans’ collective denial about … thoughtless accumulation—where the …

10-Jan-2019:
KonMari passed right over my head until it involved books. While I agree that you shouldn’t throw out books just because they don’t give you joy, there are …

10-Jan-2019:
Speaking (as I was) of Patricia Highsmith’s The Cry of the Owl, the plot struck me as conspicuously Simenonesque, rather in the mould of M. Hire or En …

10-Jan-2019:
I’ve never read Highsmith’s The Cry of the Owl (one of the recommendations on this list of psychological suspense novels) though I’ve seen two …

10-Jan-2019:
AeroPress Movie is a documentary revealing the story of AeroPress … Sounds like my cup of … um, you know. I haven’t watched it yet (metered connection) but I’m …

10-Jan-2019:
a man showed his barber a paused video clip of the haircut he wanted, and the barber obliged, shaving the overlaid play button into the side of the man’s head. …

09-Jan-2019:
Laura Miller reviews Kristen Roupenian’s breathlessly awaited collection _You Know You Want This_📚. She finds in “The Good Guy” the same “merciless realism” as …

09-Jan-2019:
Just been trying to “Like” a Goodreads review, having forgotten that I’d disabled Javascript last night. A very frustrating exercise.

08-Jan-2019:
Democrats want equal airtime to rebut Trump’s immigration speech. Why would they need equal airtime to do that?

08-Jan-2019:
New safe straight lines are finite though unbounded. Old epicycles numberless in vain. Then deeper than e’er plummet, plummet sounded, Then corpses flew, when …

07-Jan-2019:
Sally Rooney’s Normal People has won the Costa Novel Award, which means it’s in competition with the winners of the other four categories for Costa …

07-Jan-2019:
Publishing today is in a state of crisis. There is a smaller, not a greater market for serious work than there was 18 years ago when I first started writing. …

06-Jan-2019:
Just about to start reading Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal, on this recommendation from Jennifer Jank. She recommends a lot more besides, plenty …

06-Jan-2019:
The closest thing we will ever have an opportunity to do to have the longest impact on the country is confirming these great men and women and transforming the …

06-Jan-2019:
I suppose it’s to be expected at new year, but I was struck to read two pieces yesterday by women I admire (Jack Monroe and Sara Benincasa in which they …

06-Jan-2019:
Two more book reviews I’ve just posted on Goodreads: Joakim Zander’s The Swimmer and Jonathan Holt’s The Traitor (originally published as The Absolution). Both …

05-Jan-2019:
Here’s my Goodreads review of Catherine Ryan Howard’s The Liar’s Girl which I read in a single sitting (interrupted by a short trip to the shops) yesterday 📚

05-Jan-2019:
By me on Medium: Medium’s iPad app is making me want to tear my hair out. Trying to open a link to a Medium story from another app — in this case Mix.

04-Jan-2019:
Medium seems to have changed the font it uses for titles. The new one looks good but it’s not a sans font which, to me, is one more step in the wrong direction. …

03-Jan-2019:
Kristen Roupenian’s “Cat Person”, may have been mistaken by some New Yorker readers for nonfiction. Ironically, “The Good Guy” …

03-Jan-2019:
I’ve just created a new collection on Mix, titled Political Economy and moved 8 links/stories there from the catch-all General collection. This is probably for …

03-Jan-2019:
China’s economy began to slow in the second half of 2018. The government-reported GDP growth during the September quarter was the second lowest in the last 25 …

02-Jan-2019:
There’s a detailed, informative profile of and interview with Sally Rooney in The New Yorker. Probably the best thing I’ve read about her so far 📚

02-Jan-2019:
A legislative proposal to require motorists to allow a distance of at least 1 metre when overtaking a cyclist has been dropped in Ireland because it would be …

01-Jan-2019:
Humourist Mark Starlin posts a monthly list of his favourite reads on Medium. Here’s his selection for December 2018.

01-Jan-2019:
I don’t really mind having to enter my email every time I log in to Irish Rail’s onboard wifi, but I’d mind a lot less if they wouldn’t troll me with a check …

01-Jan-2019:
Since I discovered the San Francisco font in Apple’s Books app, I’ve maybe, kinda started to get a little bit enthusiastic about ebooks again. The app still …

31-Dec-2018:
Somehow I doubt that Amazon foresaw that it would have to set up its own private legal system to deal with disputes arising in and from its marketplace. I think …

31-Dec-2018:
I just posted a list of all my own fiction which is now available on Medium. There are several short stories, a novella and a novel and they’re all free to …

31-Dec-2018:
I could have sworn I’d just posted a request for info on how to force sync iCloud Drive on Windows 10, but there’s no sign of it on my timeline or micro blog. …

30-Dec-2018:
Yesterday, James Finn in a post on Medium argued that, but for its religious guise, the Catholic Church’s labeling of LGBTQ people as “depraved, disordered and …

30-Dec-2018:
Not just one post on my site yesterday but two: Could subscription reading put paid to the ebook? and Short fiction on Medium — recommendations. Then today I …

29-Dec-2018:
When our current national nightmare is over, if it ever is, everyone — from doctors and lawyers to PR firms and lobbyists — who enabled the bad guys must face …

29-Dec-2018:
Could subscription reading put paid to the ebook? Writers who want to make money should look to subscription services rather than to the Kindle ecosystem. The …

29-Dec-2018:
Standing-only escalators? Why not keep the present rules on downward and short upward escalators, even at the cost of some inefficiency; make longer upward …

27-Dec-2018:
I hadn’t known that Caroline Kepnes’s You has been adapted for Netflix. I still haven’t read the book, even though I loved the sequel, Hidden Bodies 📚

26-Dec-2018:
Now that I’ve finally registered my own domain name, I still want to post some things on Medium. How do I know what goes where?

25-Dec-2018:
Just spent ten minutes trying to figure out how to add a caption to an image in the Medium iOS app. Still no wiser. I know it’s possible because I accidentally …

25-Dec-2018:
When I posted this I hadn’t heard that Eileen Battersby (long serving literary correspondent with The Irish Times) had herself died as a result of a car crash.

24-Dec-2018:
I missed this when it was first pubished. Eileen Battersby remembers Anthony Cronin who died two years ago. As well as being a poet, critic and biographer, he …

23-Dec-2018:
For some reason, nobody has ever done a randomized controlled trial of parachutes. Until now. The results might surprise you (unless you’ve been paying …

22-Dec-2018: The San Francisco font option in Apple Books
I rarely stick with the publisher’s “original” font in Apple Books, because that usually means accepting hyphenation and right-justification into the bargain. …

22-Dec-2018:
I’ve just posted “HTML and Markdown”. Though I think Markdown is (from a writer’s point of view) elegant and enjoyable to use, it’s also frustrating and a …

22-Dec-2018:
I got just 35/75 in the Guardian’s Literary Quiz of the Year, which it says is “not bad”. It would have been one more but I miscalculated in subtracting 39 from …

19-Dec-2018:
”Am I to believe that the hoards of male Tory MPs — some the most obnoxious people I’ve ever come across — feigning outrage are being sincere?” Can’t imagine …

17-Dec-2018:
I think I’ve had it with Reddit. Not because of the misogynist culture — the only subreddit I’m subscribed to is r/Aphantasia, where that isn’t a factor — but …

16-Dec-2018:
Jean-Louis Gassée’s reminiscences of 50 years in tech have reached his 1990 firing by Apple.

14-Dec-2018:
I might prefer that [most readers] don’t finish my book, because who can live up to the imagination of a really good reader? Tyler Cowen on his writing …

10-Dec-2018:
Because of a security flaw, the Google+ shutdown is brought forward by four months according to the Irish Examiner

10-Dec-2018:
I’m not generally a fan of year-end “best” lists but Slate has a spot-on books list from Laura Miller and a piano-rich one for jazz albums by Fred Kaplan 📚 🎶 🎹

10-Dec-2018:
25 years later, I see the words “the blockchain is the new Internet” scrolling down Twitter … I want to shake my news feed by the scruff of the neck and growl: …

10-Dec-2018:
I couldn’t wait to find out how Highsmith would punish her protagonists—or allow them to punish others. Mark Stevens, How Patricia Highsmith helped me leave …

10-Dec-2018:
Tyler Cowen has been listening again to Tom Lehrer. It’s been a while (like maybe 30 years) since I’ve heard any of his music. Funny how you can lose sight of …

09-Dec-2018:
End direct provision in Ireland. It’s brutal and inhumane. People (including families) are living in prison-like institutions for years on end. I’d tweet at my …

09-Dec-2018:
So, I read a story in the Medium app, then try to open it in Safari (so I can bookmark the “permalink”, not the shortened URL the app gives me), and this is …

08-Dec-2018:
This is me on Medium, wondering if there’s an app which will generate a to-do list sorted for 3 variables: importance, urgency and estimated time needed to …

08-Dec-2018:
A few weeks ago, I was defending Medium. Since I’ve been using iPad primarily, I’ve found something that really annoys me: when I visit Medium in …

08-Dec-2018:
Trying again, this time as new post, not reply. Markdown allows for the use of html tags and entities, so it should be possible to strikethrough text by …

06-Dec-2018:
But even for those writers who aren’t gazillionaires, a room of one’s own shouldn’t be an object of ridicule – it’s a tool of the trade. The exciting dust-ups …

05-Dec-2018:
I’m trying to regularize the format of a Word document while Track Changes is turned on. Ugh. I’d never use Track Changes if I had the choice, but …

05-Dec-2018:
a prominent criminal barrister agreed to become a registered police informant in exchange for a promise that her identity would be kept secret. What?! No way …

05-Dec-2018:
Jack Monroe on the importance (and sometimes unaffordability) of tin openers

04-Dec-2018:
Just updated my Medium post from 8 months ago, “Why I’m no longer a self-published author”, prompted to look at again it by a long comment …

04-Dec-2018:
Jeremy Harding on the London Review of Books blog gives a cool, perceptive account of what’s going on with the gilet jaune protests in France: …

04-Dec-2018:
Reposted with Medium url fixed. Another post from me on Medium on the subject of aphantasia. This time it’s “Aphantasia, sex and gender”. And …

03-Dec-2018:
My Goodreads review of Aphantasia by Alan Kendle. TL;DR If you have the condition or an interest in it, you shouldn’t miss this book. If you haven’t …

03-Dec-2018:
If I try to access docs.google.com on the iPad, Google flat-out refuses and insists I use the Google Docs app. Personally, I don’t like that says Charles …

02-Dec-2018:
I’ve just moved The paradoxical ambition of Andrew Marvell’s Third Advice to a Painter from Medium to my own site. I’ll be looking at some of …

02-Dec-2018:
“… my experience with the competitive side of [debating] is that it’s actually like a game. I was going to say like football but I think it’s less …

01-Dec-2018:
I read last week that Google search doesn’t use personalization much any more, partly because it conflicts with context-dependency (based on user’s previous …

01-Dec-2018:
My Goodreads review of Philip Kerr’s Research which I mentioned here last week. As I said then, it’s only the third book of his that I’ve read. With this book, …

01-Dec-2018:
It recently struck me that I seem to have drifted into a semi-intentional, initially unplanned boycott of Amazon. So I checked my order history and … it looks …

01-Dec-2018:
I can’t bring myself to congratulate Julian Gough on being nominated for the Bad Sex Award, a prize that has outlived its raison d’être by many decades. William …

01-Dec-2018:
In this extract from his new book, Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain, Fintan O’Toole likens Brexit to punk … and succeeds in making sense of punk …

29-Nov-2018:
I don’t know if it’s available at an equivalent price everywhere, but I just got Naomi Alderman’s Disobedience from Apple Books store for €1.99, which seemed …

28-Nov-2018:
Another post from me on Medium on the subject of aphantasia. This time it’s “Aphantasia, sex and gender”. And I’m moving my list of …

27-Nov-2018:
I’ve now got 3 piano-bass duo albums featuring Charlie Haden: Nightfall with John Taylor, Last Dance with Keith Jarrett and (last week) Long Ago and Far Away …

27-Nov-2018:
Every time I visit Reddit in Safari for iOS, it nags me to open it in the app. I’m undecided between downloading the app and just staying away from …

26-Nov-2018:
Having started Philip Kerr’s Research late on Saturday, I spent more time than I could spare racing to finish it on Sunday. I enjoyed it without actually liking …

26-Nov-2018:
This made me laugh. I’ve managed at most 4 or 5 pages of Norwegian Wood and I sometimes have the impression that everybody else except me is reading Murakami 📚

26-Nov-2018:
Well, I tried I out Ulysses and Drafts 5 on the iPad, and even bought the iOS version of iA Writer and I still think I prefer Apple Notes to any of them. Of …

25-Nov-2018:
Just started to read Research and I’m enjoying it. It will be only the third book by the late Philip Kerr that I’ve read: A Philosophical Investigation so long …

25-Nov-2018:
Some 11 years after Michael Dibdin’s death and the publication of his final Aurelio Zen novel, I at last got around to reading it. Densely plotted with a range …

25-Nov-2018:
This is exciting! Not just two new Chick Corea albums, but two trio albums to boot. Marcus Gilmore (Vigilette) is the grandson of Roy Haynes, who played on some …

24-Nov-2018:
For years, on and off, I’ve been toying with the idea of registering an .ie (Irish) domain name. This week I did it at last and I’m now trying to …

23-Nov-2018:
It says here that Sarah St. Vincent’s Ways to Hide in Winter is on sale for $1.99 “wherever ebooks are sold”. Except from Apple Books store in Ireland, …

20-Nov-2018:
One reason I’ve tended until recently to buy CDs and rip them myself is that the online stores often incorporate metadata into titles, where it …

20-Nov-2018:
if anything is connected to the headphone jack, the OS shuts off the built-in speaker completely. says Paul Kafasis. I’d bring the severed jack from a set of …

20-Nov-2018:
Gosh, Charlie Haden really was fond of “My Old Flame”, wasn’t he? Great though Lee Konitz is, the chance to hear Mehldau and Haden without him …

19-Nov-2018:
Well that wasn’t intentional but it might be for the best. I’ve just lost access to my Amazon account. I was using an Outlook Live email address …

19-Nov-2018:
Ulysses can’t get started, it seems. So perhaps I’ll be going with iA Writer after all.

19-Nov-2018:
Decision time: I want to buy a writing app to use on iOS (iPad) and I’m vacillating between iA Writer and Ulysses. The former is much cheaper (I don’t need the …

19-Nov-2018:
Late Henry James is difficult in a wholly different way than Finnegans Wake is difficult … says Sam Leith in the Guardian. Word 📚

19-Nov-2018:
We can’t be comfortable with anything we’re constantly justifying. We’re saying it’s just as good as anything else—but if it was, it wouldn’t need justifying, …

18-Nov-2018:
Jobs’ dismissal was a stroke of luck of historic proportions, for Apple and its shareholders, for the industry, for Jobs himself … Jean-Louis Gassée continues …

18-Nov-2018:
I’ve just sent out the final issue of my Short Fiction on Medium email newsletter which had been running for a little over a year. It links to this list …

17-Nov-2018:
I’d forgotten how much I like Arild Andersen’s live album The Rose Window till I started to play it on a whim about 20 mins ago. The pianist, Helge …

17-Nov-2018:
“Have a swell eternity”, William Goldman

17-Nov-2018:
I looked at the falling weekly traffic reports, and counted the ever-declining number of comments, and grew depressed about the inevitability of site traffic …

16-Nov-2018:
Conan Doyle based Professor Moriarty on George Boole, true or false?

15-Nov-2018:
… no one can now conclude that progressives fell flat while the rest of their party was busy retaking the House Early takes were misleading. Progressive …

15-Nov-2018: How I came to love the author-date method of citation
I originally posted this note on Google+ in March 2018. As Google+ is going to be closing to everybody except enterprise users next year, I’m moving some …

15-Nov-2018:
Facebook increasingly turned to Definers Public Affairs, a Washington DC based political consultancy founded by Republican operatives and specializing in …

15-Nov-2018: Why I don’t (entirely) agree with Nikitonsky about Medium
Yesterday @adders linked to a post (on Medium) in which Nikitonsky blasts the idea that Medium is a good choice for blogging. I’m not totally persuaded by this …

14-Nov-2018:
If you read French and like short stories, Flora Cistoldi has some good ones on Medium. The most recent likens an insomniac’s attempt to get to sleep to a …

14-Nov-2018:
You know [an edit button] will be [abused]: trolls will change tweets to alter their meaning, not for typos says Charles Arthur (aka Theo V. Erspill). Typos …

13-Nov-2018:
When I removed myself from Twitter a couple of months ago, I bookmarked Seth Abramson’s feed and I visit it several times most days. Here’s a compelling profile …

13-Nov-2018:
Illuminating interview with Tana French by Lily Meyer about French’s new novel The Witch Elm. This is her first novel not written from the point of view …

13-Nov-2018:
Democrats’ 2018 performance would superficially look more impressive if they somehow managed to go back in time and get creamed in 2016. Matt Yglesias on why …

13-Nov-2018:
Boss Fight Books were told by their printer that Grabbing Pussy and Super Mario Bros. 3 were the exact same length, printed on identical stock, and stacked up …

11-Nov-2018:
I’m trying out a new tagline for my novella, Dear Old Stockholm: Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy loses grip on reality (and on a hammer). One of them goes …

10-Nov-2018:
I just posted what will be my last piece of fiction for several months on Medium: a short story titled “Voluntary assumption of risk”. I’ll still be posting …

10-Nov-2018:
Roger Ebert: Wikipedia editor, from Guernica Magazine

08-Nov-2018:
Here’s a book that’s in stock at Amazon and had a very effective launch campaign … just not at the same time! 📚

08-Nov-2018:
Leucocyte, issued shortly after Esbjörn Svensson’s sudden and early death in 2008, is still not my favourite EST album. But one track, “Premonition II. …

08-Nov-2018:
Trump believes he can get away with flagrant obstruction of justice because the Republicans in the Senate are too venal, opportunist, partisan and corrupt to …

08-Nov-2018:
cyclists have repeatedly proven to be faster through cities than any other form of transport says Charles Arthur. But what’s the rush? You don’t have to be …

07-Nov-2018:
The Republicans holding the Senate, while expected, is disappointing because Trump can expect to continue to have his judicial nominees confirmed. I’ve …

06-Nov-2018:
I’m shocked to hear that Roy Hargrove is dead at 49 🎶

06-Nov-2018:
I wouldn’t say that “romantic suspense novels” are usually my kind of thing but this author, Selena Montgomery (real name Stacey Abrams), seems very interesting …

06-Nov-2018:
It was completely obvious … what [the backstop agreement] meant: in order to avoid both a hard border in Ireland and a “border in the Irish Sea” the UK as a …

03-Nov-2018:
I’ve now posted the sixth and final part of Dear Old Stockholm. When Lucie finishes her evidence, the prosecutor calls a rebuttal witness whose testimony …

01-Nov-2018:
I didn’t know that “Hermione 2020” is a thing. But I understand why it infuriates Kaitlyn Tiffany. I used to feel similarly about The West Wing, back in the …

01-Nov-2018:
Barely two months ago, I had no idea who Peter Casey was; now he’s dominating the Irish Times opinion page. Not for long, I hope.

31-Oct-2018:
I’m looking at pictures of the new iPad Pro with its shrunken bezels and asking myself what on earth are you supposed to hold it by?

31-Oct-2018:
A prosecutor (probably special counsel Robert Mueller) has subpoenaed somebody (“no ordinary witness”) before a DC grand jury and the witness is fighting the …

30-Oct-2018:
I’m the kind of person whose thoughts come in words, not in images. I often say I don’t have much in the way of a visual imagination … That’s the opening of my …

30-Oct-2018:
Actually, I may be wrong about the MacBook Air having a 2732 × 1536 resolution. That’s what Slate is reporting. But Apple’s own site says 2560 × 1600, which …

30-Oct-2018:
I’m disappointed that, at a resolution of 2732 × 1536, the new MacBook Air has a screen ratio of 16:9. That’s too letterboxy for my taste. I think I’m …

28-Oct-2018:
Some apparent disagreement about the title of John Boyne’s forthcoming book. Writing.ie calls it My Sister’s Name Is Jessica but the cover image and the quote …

28-Oct-2018:
The supposed plotter-pantser distinction is a false dichotomy, I argue in a piece I’ve just reposted (from Google+) on Medium: “Sophie Hannah plans her novels …

27-Oct-2018:
I’ve posted the penultimate (fifth) part of my crime fiction novella, Dear Old Stockholm, on Medium. As Lucie’s trial for attempted murder begins, the narrator …

26-Oct-2018:
Classical music isn’t dying, but our ways of experiencing it are becoming ossified. So true 🎶 🎹

26-Oct-2018:
I was trying to explain aphantasia to a friend. When I said “most people are able to form mental images”, she looked perplexed, as if that was the most …

23-Oct-2018:
If we need to fight the scourge of fake news, we need systems of record — Google, Facebook, and Twitter — to shift from being dominated by a time-based news …

23-Oct-2018:
As I’ve said many times since the backstop was agreed, not the customs union but a customs union which is practically indistinguishable from the customs union. …

22-Oct-2018:
When has Sonny Rollins ever not been at the height of his powers?

22-Oct-2018:
I’m having a great Monday morning, so far. A bios update seems to have made it impossible for me to log on to my new work (i.e. Windows) computer. Never …

21-Oct-2018:
I’m now using NetNewsWire on Mac and Reeder 3 on iPad. They don’t sync, of course, but I’ve long believed that sync is more appealing to developers (an …

21-Oct-2018:
By me on Medium: “What’s happened to my “Short Fiction on Medium newsletter?”. TL;DR I’m switching my attention from fiction to try to turn my doctoral thesis …

20-Oct-2018:
It looks as if the 1970s are shortly due to return. And oddly I’ve kind of missed them. They feel like home, in all its familiar dysfunction. an era when we …

19-Oct-2018:
Aaron Parks has just released new album Little Big, by a quartet with Greg Tuohey on guitar. Just listening to the first song on Bandcamp, I suspect it’s not my …

19-Oct-2018:
Fallon & Byrne seem to be determined to force me to view their site in landscape orientation. Not worth the effort. I assume that what I’m looking for …

19-Oct-2018:
Slate recently stopped producing original videos This is news, buried in parentheses in a story that tells us that Facebook can’t be trusted, which is not news …

18-Oct-2018:
If you’ve set your preferences in Apple Books (or its predecessor iBooks) to display ragged right text, but a particular book shows up with a justified right …

16-Oct-2018:
Charles Arthur on Morgan Knutson on Google+ his experience in small non-profits where he was the only person doing a ton of work really did not prepare him for …

15-Oct-2018:
Excellent interview with Ronan Guilfoyle by Cormac Larkin in the Irish Times 🎶 the audience will find it quite difficult to know which parts are written and …

14-Oct-2018:
I’ve just posted the fourth part of my six-part novella, Dear Old Stockholm, on Medium. The narrator gets a visit from two detectives investigating an attempted …

14-Oct-2018:
Twitter claims that t.co, its URL-shortening system, doesn’t retain any user data. Excellent news if true, but the Irish Data Commissioner doesn’t (necessarily) …

14-Oct-2018:
More about aphantasia and ADHD: “Aphantasia’s Effect on Executive Function” by me on Medium.

11-Oct-2018:
I don’t really appreciate they way, when you’re accessing a computer remotely, “scroll” becomes “jump around jerkily and …

10-Oct-2018:
My most-read posts on Medium seem to get most of their views via Google and relatively few from Medium itself. This (or maybe something else) means they haven’t …

10-Oct-2018:
Why isn’t autocorrect smart enough to know when I don’t want a letter i on its own to be capitalized? It’s not rocket science.

10-Oct-2018:
It’s heartbreaking when young children are dependent on a parent who can’t stand them. It’s not the parent’s fault: they can’t …

10-Oct-2018:
Graham Norton: “oddly, in a world that seems to be going to hell in a handcart, Ireland is this wonderful beacon.” Yeah, I used to think that too, when I …

10-Oct-2018:
I bought a new iPad (non pro) on Saturday for €459 and was quite pleased with that. But restoring it from an old backup and then letting the new device back …

09-Oct-2018:
The shutting down of Google+ for consumers fills me with … um, relief. I no longer need to think about what I’m using Google+ for, and why. I think I’m done …

08-Oct-2018:
Julie Parsons’s Irish Times column, “In Praise of Older Books” looks again at A S Byatt’s 1990 Booker-winner Possession. It’s more than 25 years since I read …

08-Oct-2018:
Donald Clarke in The Irish Times: “As we speak, some drunk undergraduate is boring some poor, poor woman to death about the brilliance of Bukowski’s Ham on …

07-Oct-2018:
That’s weird. I’ve just been using an Apple wireless keyboard to type into Notes on the iPad (9.7 inch, non-pro) and I noticed two oddities: it keeps muting the …

06-Oct-2018:
I like most things about Safari; it’s certainly my favourite browser. But I hate when it creates a new “strong” password, doesn’t let me …

05-Oct-2018:
Just unchecked “Show recent items in the Dock” in System Preferences. That’s more like it.

05-Oct-2018:
Just unchecked “Show recent items in the Dock” in System Preferences. That’s more like it.

04-Oct-2018:
Piano solo by Jean @Kapsa 🎹 🎶 👍

03-Oct-2018:
Michael Avenatti has protected his tweets, it seems. This doesn’t look good.

03-Oct-2018:
More from me about how aphantasia can seem to mimic ADHD; this time as a comment on a Medium story, “Adult ADHD? Here are 6 Coping Strategies That Actually …

02-Oct-2018:
Comparing my ancient (in computer years) MacBook Air with the HP Envy x360 that I use for work, I’ve come to the surprising conclusion that I like big …

30-Sep-2018: From Alphasmart Neo to Freewrite Traveler via the Palm Foleo
Nate Hoffelder sees the forthcoming Freewrite Traveler as the spiritual successor to the Alphasmart Neo. I’m sceptical, both because of the Traveler’s Freewrite …

30-Sep-2018:
A perjurer for the Supreme Court The legacy status does not necessarily mean that Kavanaugh would not have been accepted otherwise or that he was allowed in …

30-Sep-2018:
It seems that Jay Rayner, best known as a food critic, also plays jazz piano (in this instance with another double-jobbing pianist, actor Jeff Goldblum). Who …

30-Sep-2018:
If Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed, it will at least be entertaining. I look forward to all the motions for his recusal in cases involving Democrats, leftists and …

29-Sep-2018:
I don’t give a fuck about the law. I want my fucking money. (Donald Trump) Chris Christie must have been one of Michael Lewis’s major sources for The Fifth …

29-Sep-2018:
I’ve just posted the third part (of six) of my crime fiction novella Dear Old Stockholm on Medium. The first part is here.

29-Sep-2018:
Actually, maybe it’s not that Melville House resists being mixed. I seem to have trouble adding anything to Mix at the moment.

29-Sep-2018:
Here are some sensible thoughts from an editor (Michael Barron) on second-person narrative in fiction. I wanted to add this to my Mix collection “Writers …

28-Sep-2018:
“Lindsey Graham to Democrats: ‘You’d better watch out for your nominees’”. Just imagine, if Republicans had behaved in 2016 as Democrats are accused of acting …

26-Sep-2018:
Fintan O”Toole in the Irish Times about Ian Buruma’s sacking as editor of the New York Review of Books: Editors must be willing to take risks with …

24-Sep-2018:
I’ve installed Mojave. There wasn’t enough free space left on the 128GB SSD (5-year-old MacBook Air) so I deleted a lot of video and cleaned out my Downloads …

23-Sep-2018:
Thanks to @jemostrom’s micropost about the Michael Lewis audiobook, I’ve signed up for Audible’s free trial and downloaded The Coming Storm as my first …

23-Sep-2018: