A monograph discussing the 2013 Doctor Who 50th anniversary special. An engaging and freewheeling exploration, too, probing the episode’s links to wider Who canon, its storytelling approach, and to the ways it exemplifies a postmodern attitude to story. By no means the final word on the episode, but Stuart offers plenty to think about, and makes some interesting connections.
Reflections on creative writing: access, opportunities, and restrictions in 2021. An excellent short overview, with comedy writer Cohen bringing his decades of experience to the table. A focus throughout on the impacts of coronavirus and the internet, and on the need to both re-evaluate goals and directions while seeing new realities as chances. Recommended.
An overview on current thinking on diet and nutrition. A clear, comprehensive and accessible account of contemporary science related to diet, obesity, and weight control. As might be expected, there’s a lot of bad advice/science to overcome, and a radical rethinking of nutrition advice given made, so the Western obesity epidemic might be approached. Recommended.
A collection of one-and two-line gags, puns, and wordplay from the UK stand-up comedian. And that’s it: the book does exactly what it promises. There’s about 1000 well-crafted little jokes here, some obviously selected as they work better in print rather than delivered on stage. All tastes catered for, from the cheekily rude to the impressively inventive.
An overview of the development of motion pictures, from pre-photographic days to the present. Good-looking but insubstantial introduction: the scope of the subject renders this patchy despite its intentions. A sense of Boardman working towards something: the follow-up volume (on UFOs) is a more focused beast. The images are great though.
An autobiography of comedian Steve Martin, charting his early life and stand-up career. Excellent, clear-sighted, and well-written: whether you like Martin or not, there’s a lot here on creativity, persistence, and on being able to walk away, while also dealing with family relationships with honesty and perception. Recommended.
An overview of John Carpenter’s 1978 horror movie. Thorough monograph, focusing on the film in close textual terms rather than in terms of its position in wider generic terms. Plenty here for fans of the film, of Carpenter, and of 1970s US cinema. Recommended.
A chronological history of UFO sightings and associated lore. Rendered in crisp graphics and accompanying text, somewhat similar to a book-length infographic, this is a clear, comprehensive and accessible introduction for just about all ages, with a few dry jokes along the way.
An overview of building architecture and of the spatial design of cities, from a transgressive perspective. The book’s a little light, padded, and a touch overwritten, but nevertheless a hugely enjoyable and illustrative exploration of social control, our assumptions about design, and about how burglars approach questions of space and movement. Recommended.
This monograph – one of a new series – offers stand-up Boyle a little bit of a platform to let fly from. And it’s great stuff, too. Boyle 2.0 is a supremely effective satirist (or as much as one can be) and the craftsmanship of the gags on display here is terrific too. Lots of fun, plus I learned something about 1707.