I’ve made a conscious effort to stay off Twitter outside of working hours, partly because it’s full of terrible people and primarily because it’s a waste of time I could be putting to much better use by making music and reading books. Here are a few things I’ve read in the last few weeks that I’d heartily recommend.
An oral history of Joy Division, one of the UK’s most important bands. I thought I’d heard it all before â€“ I’ve read lots of books about Joy Division and by members of Joy Division â€“ but it turns out I hadn’t. The book’s a little pretentious in places, but that tends to happen with this band.
Here’s a fascinating pop anecdote: I once met the late Tony Wilson, Joy Division’s label boss and indie music legend. He told me he didn’t like my T-shirt.
A collection of personal essays about bisexuality. I found this absolutely fascinating, and not just because I know and admire some of the contributors.
Part memoir, part travelogue, Queer Intentions is compelling and fascinating: Abraham travels the world to discover how LGBT+ people live and love. The book covers everything from the sass of drag conventions to the brave souls marching for Pride in very anti-LGBT+ parts of Eastern Europe. I bought this one from Category Is books, Glasgow’s very best bookshop.
There are huge gaps in my knowledge of Scots writers â€“ for example, I haven’t read Alastair Gray’s famous Lanark; it’s currently in the to-read pile next to the sofa â€“ and that means Ali Smith is new to me. A friend gave me There But For The, which I loved, and then loaned me Hotel World, which I loved even more. I was in bits at the end.
It’s been a while since I devoured a big daft thriller, and this is very big and very daft. Lehane is a fantastic writer and the first half of Since We Fell is superb; the second half, while fast and gripping, gets very silly indeed. This is a gourmet cheeseburger of a book: it might be a cheeseburger, but it’s a very good cheeseburger.