May 2nd, 2016

ni

Northern Ireland Assembly Election 2016

That's the unimaginative title I have given to an ebook full of summaries of the material on the Northern Ireland Elections website, including also my piece for last Thursday's News Letter. It is now available at an Amazon near you: .co.uk, .com, .ca, .au, .de, .fr, .es, .it, .nl, .jp, .br, .mx and .in. Buy it now, before Thursday's election, so that you can follow the count on Friday and Saturday!
lovejoy

Whispers Under Ground, by Ben Aaronovitch

Second paragraph of third chapter:
By five twenty that morning at least thirty of us had converged on Baker Street, so we started out for Ladbroke Grove en masse. A couple of DCs hitched a lift with me while Stephanopoulos followed on in a five-year-old Fiat Punto. I knew one of the detectives in my car. Her name was Sahra Guleed and we’d once bonded over a body in Soho. She’d also been one of the officers involved in the raid on the Strip Club of Doctor Moreau, so she was a good choice for any weird stuff.
I am really enjoying this series of occult detective stories set in contemporary London. This is a straightforward murder investigation of an American student who fell into bad company, except that the company is seriously strange and the student turns out to have had political connections back home. I like the way Aaronovitch continues to peel back the onion layers of multicultural London's hidden communities; I didn't think he handled the American elements quite as well, but that's not the story he's telling. Great fun - perhaps funnier and less grim than previous books in the series - and I look forward to the next one.

This was the top sf book from my unread pile recommended by you guys at the end of last year. In the course of the year so far, I also read the next six books on that list, Ancillary Mercy, Flatland, Uprooted, Ms Marvel v 2, Sorcerer to the Crown and The House of Shattered Wings, so my next in that category will be Frankenstein Unbound, by Brian Aldiss.
shakespeare

30 Days of Shakespeare: Day 13 - your favourite romantic scene

It's a skeevy play in some ways, but I do like the end of Much Ado About Nothing:

Benedick: Which is Beatrice?
Beatrice: [Unmasking] I answer to that name. What is your will?
Benedick: Do not you love me?
Beatrice: Why, no; no more than reason.
Benedick: Why, then your uncle and the prince and Claudio
Have been deceived; they swore you did.
Beatrice: Do not you love me?
Benedick: Troth, no; no more than reason.
Beatrice: Why, then my cousin Margaret and Ursula
Are much deceived; for they did swear you did.
Benedick: They swore that you were almost sick for me.
Beatrice: They swore that you were well-nigh dead for me.
Benedick: 'Tis no such matter. Then you do not love me?
Beatrice: No, truly, but in friendly recompense.
Leonato: Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman.
Claudio: And I'll be sworn upon't that he loves her;
For here's a paper written in his hand,
A halting sonnet of his own pure brain,
Fashion'd to Beatrice.
Hero: And here's another
Writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her pocket,
Containing her affection unto Benedick.
Benedick: A miracle! here's our own hands against our hearts.
Come, I will have thee; but, by this light, I take
thee for pity.
Beatrice: I would not deny you; but, by this good day, I yield
upon great persuasion; and partly to save your life,
for I was told you were in a consumption.
Benedick: Peace! I will stop your mouth.
[Kissing her]

Here's David Tennant and Catherine Tate. You're welcome.



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