Happy September bookwyrms. One month closer to Spooky Season and my basic ass is getting stirred up for the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte and the imminent prospect of reading spooky ghost stories by candlelight when it starts getting dark at 5pm again. Reading-wise, I read one whole book in August, and it was a heap of tripe to boot. A bad month for books here. I feel like this was mainly the topic of last month’s roundup too, where I was mainly just watching old wrestling shows from the mid ’90s and thus got no reading done then either. “Hey, ‘book blogger’ here. What’s that? Do I actually read books? Lol don’t be daft”. So what have I been spending my time doing then?
Well, there’s still been a lot of the aforementioned watching of mid ’90s wrestling shows, but on top of that I’ve been getting super into hours long video essays on really weird, esoteric subjects like the philosophy of game design and longform film analysis. Yeah I might love books, but I’ve always been something of a philistine when it comes to appreciating most art forms on anything more than a superficial level, and every now and again I get interested in what smarter people than me have to say about art. The first time I did this was in my early twenties, when I ended up reading Ways of Seeing by John Berger. If I’m being honest I was only reading it in a vain attempt to impress my artist ex-girlfriend who I desperately wanted to take me back at the time. I took it to this indie punk gig held in a tiny loft room in Durham that we were both gonna be at and sat conspicuously reading it in the corner between bands, one eye on the door to see if she’d arrived yet. She didn’t even turn up. Being 22 was fun. Nevertheless, it actually ended up being a fantastic book that critiques traditional western cultural aesthetics by raising questions about hidden ideologies in visual images. Ever since then that same itch returns every once in a while and this time I’m scratching it by bingeing hbomberguy’s in-depth video analyses of play conditioning in Dark Souls and storytelling techniques in the Fallout games.
Me and my gf had a lovely bank holiday break this past weekend too. We travelled like 5 miles up the road and stayed in a converted railway carriage for three nights in the Rowlands Gill countryside. It had some serious Cottingley Fairies-meets-Pan’s Labrynth vibes so I’m surprised we made it back at all and didn’t find ourselves imprisoned in a sinister fairy ring to be honest. I did get bitten by a tick though, which may be the extent of the fairy mischief, or just, you know, nature being gross. I had to ring the doctor yesterday to ask if I was gonna get Lyme Disease, so don’t mind me I’ll just be anxiously watching for the development of a nasty rash for the next three weeks. Tick bites aside, not being able to travel abroad has def meant we’ve been appreciating some of the beauty on our own doorstep much more and we’re thinking of doing a trip to Whitby soon and also doing a walk of Hadrian’s Wall at some point.
I would like to read more this month, I’ve missed it. I have all these plans I want to put into action for the blog too. At least in theory. Turns out that’s just not how I’ve wanted to spend my time in practice these past couple of months though. So maybe some of that will start happening in September. No promises mind; I’ve made promises in the past and ended up doing screeching u-turns cos it turns out planning stuff and posting consistently on a schedule just isn’t how I like to blog. Embrace the chaos I say. Tentatively speaking though I think there’ll be a bit more stuff here this month – the book reviews in particular have been sparse since the end of May, so I’m hoping to get a few more of those out into the world. Tune in next month to hear why this didn’t happen and why I actually spent all my free time eating Pringles and reading the Warhammer 40k wiki.
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