The notable novels I read included Doggerland and The Wall, but most impressive by far was Richard Powers' The Overstory. I'm looking forward to Margaret Atwood's The Testaments and Rosewater by Tade Thompson, which I got as a xmas present. I also got the compelling Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu. The non fiction books that I enjoyed most and am influenced by include: Tim Morton's Being Ecological, Yuval Noah Harari's 21 Lessons for the 21st Century and Ken Krimstein's graphic novel The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt. Red Rosa by the ever brilliant Kate Evans was a late find (published 2015) but none the less brilliant: why isn't Kate Evans acclaimed as the greatest living graphic novelist? Or perhaps she is? Apart from the Marvel franchise, particularly Avengers: Endgame, I found it to be a poor year for movies. Joker was dark and okay. And I have to admit to not having the emotional strength to watch Ken Loach's Sorry We Missed You yet. I was looking forward to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood but couldn't get to see it yet either. Gig-wise, Seckou Kieta's AKA Trio stole it from The Selecter's 40th anniversary tour. My favourite album by far is The National's I Am Easy To Find, a different kind of National album and very rewarding for its innovation. A shout out also for Trash KIt and their album Horizon, an intriguing mix of township jazz and - well - your guess is as good as mine! Top comedy gig was the delightful Bridget Christie at the Mach Comeday Festival and the revelation that is Johnny and The Baptists at the Abeystwyth Comedy Fest weekend: check them out if you have even half a chance!
And Quercus Burlesque's gig in Mach wasn't to shabby!
A new right wing, US subservient government in the UK makes it imperative to consider again the issue of Trident Replacement and the tactic of Mutually Assured Destruction with goes hand in hand with a policy of Deterrence. A Nuclear Refrain takes a fresh look at the issues through the less familiar lenses of emotion, empire and democracy. And it does so in an innovative and, dare I say, entertaining way. If we need to be the change we want to see in the world, we also need to ground and envisage that change in art that is creative, inclusive and inviting. To read more about A Nuclear Refrain, check out our courageous and innovative publisher Punctum Books. To buy the book as seasonal treat for yourself or as a gift, here's one option (not my favourite but...)
I am he as you are he as you are me, and we are all together
I said, hey what's going on?
A story, essay, lyric or rhyme with no reason almost every day... or at least sometimes, randomly