Sunday, February 03, 2008

Some Not-So-Light Reading

My good lady wife has started along the road to her PhD this weekend, disappearing off to university for the whole of Saturday and Sunday. With the temperatures pushing 40 and with the kids rattling around it's been too hot and too noisy to work, but that does mean I've been able to catch up on some reading, in between keeping the little ones entertained.

One of my objectives during my UK trip last month was to pick up a stack of books I'd not normally be able to get here in Australia. One such volume was Thrill-Power Overload - the history of British comic 2000AD - by my old workmate David Bishop.

I'd been hanging out to get my hands on a copy for a while, but with no local branch of Amazon in Australia the cost was prohibitive. The sheer weight of the volume itself would bump up the cost of shipping to close to the price of the book itself - it's a hefty work and no mistake. So my plan was to simply buy one in Blightly and carry it back in the hand-luggage.

And it's been well worth waiting for - I've been a reader of 2000AD since the early 80s, and having the opportunity to see what went on behind the scenes is fascinating. It doesn't hurt that I know a few of the people named in the book (not least David himself, who edited 2000AD back in the 90s) but even without that the stories of creative tussles and brushes with cancellation make for absorbing reading.

And while I'm extolling the virtues of Books By People I Know, you should also check out The First Emperor of China by Jonathan Clements.

I've been reading this parallel to T-PO and, as someone who knows nothing at all about Chinese history I've found it immensely enjoyable. Of course, it helps that the Emperor's rise, reign and replacement were steeped in blood and intrigue. Great stuff.

That sounds like the student returning home now, so I'm off to see how her first test went. Bizarrely, I was the one who had the bad night's sleep last night, troubled by dreams of turning up for exams without having done any revision whatsoever ...


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