Dancing on the Edge by Stephen Poliakoff

bookshelves: summer-2014, film-only, play-dramatisation, published-2013, music, racism, cults-societies-brotherhoods, nazi-related, journalism, mystery-thriller, period-piece

Read from May 30 to 31, 2014


Description: The series follows a black jazz band’s experiences in London in the 1930s. Made up of talented musicians and managed by the compassionate yet short-tempered Wesley Holt, the band gets a gig at the Imperial Hotel, by the way of the cunning journalist, Stanley Mitchell. They prove to be a hit, and become a success at the hotel. Countless aristocrats—and the Royal Family—ask the band to play at parties. The media rush to interview and photograph the band—including the ambitious American businessman, Walter Masterson and his enthusiastic employee, Julian. The band’s success spirals, they’re being offered record deals. But tragedy strikes, setting off a chain of events that may wreck the band’s career.

Chiwetel Ejiofor
Matthew Goode
Angel Coulby
John Goodman
Anthony Head
Jacqueline Bisset
Composer: Adrian Johnston

(view spoiler)

That ending – there is a sequel in the pipeline, dontcha fink? Excellent fayre.

Dancing On The Edge: Mel Smith and Matthew Goode

My Poliakoff Past:

3* Shooting the Past
TR Blinded by the Sun
4.5* Playing With Trains
5* She’s Been Away
4* The Tribe
3* A Real Summer
5* Dancing on the Edge
2* Soft Targets

Busman’s Honeymoon (Lord Peter Wimsey, #13) by Dorothy L. Sayers

bookshelves: spring-2014, mystery-thriller, radio-4x, series, published-1937, play-dramatisation, britain-england

Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from May 16 to 30, 2014

 

Description: Lord Peter Wimsey and his bride, mystery writer Harriet Vane, start their honeymoon with murder. The former owner of Tallboys estate is dead in the cellar with a misspelled “notise” to the milkman, not a spot of blood on his smashed skull, and £600 in his pocket.

Classic Serial

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007jwgl

Episode 1/6: Honeymooners Lord Peter Wimsey and his wife soon find their marital bliss disturbed. Dorothy L Sayers’ mystery with Ian Carmichael.

Episode 2/6: With Noakes dead, the superintendent has his suspicions, but posh sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey is not so sure.

Episode 3/6: With more questioning over Noakes’s murder, there’s revelatory evidence from Lord Peter Wimsey’s cleaner.

Episode 4/6: Not Why, But How: Lord Peter Wimsey and his bride try to recreate the lead-up to the circumstances of Noakes’s murder.

Episode 5/6: Crossed in Love: As the murder victim’s debts start mounting up, Lord Peter Wimsey becomes suspicious of his niece.

Episode 6/6: With no clear murder suspect, the removal men’s arrival helps Lord Peter Wimsey to spot a vital clue.

The theme tune is taken at 2mins 40secs from Paul Whiteman, Henry Busse “WHEN DAY IS DONE” (1927)

4* Whose Body? (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #1)
2.5*Clouds of Witness (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #2)
3* Unnatural Death (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #3)
3* The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (Lord Peter Wimsey, #5)
3* Strong Poison (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #6)
3* Five Red Herrings (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #7)
3* Have His Carcase (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #8)
3* Murder Must Advertise (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #10)
3* The Nine Tailors (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #11)
3* Gaudy Night (Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, #12)
4* Busman’s Honeymoon (Lord Peter Wimsey, #13)

The Private Journals of Edvard Munch: We Are Flames Which Pour Out of the Earth by Edvard Munch

Recommended for: Don, Laura, Susanna, Fionnuala
Read on May 29, 2014

Watch the Full Film (3:32:03)

La Belle Epoch Norwegian style.

From wiki: Hans Henrik Jæger (2 September 1854, Drammen, Norway – 8 February 1910, Oslo) was a Norwegian writer, philosopher and anarchist political activist who was part of the Oslo (then Kristiania) based bohemian group Kristianiabohêmen. He was prosecuted for his book Fra Kristiania-bohêmen and convicted to 60 days’ imprisonment in a supreme court ruling in 1886. He and other bohemians tried to live by the nine commandments Jæger had formulated in the Fra Kristiania-bohêmen.

The following year, he was forced to flee Norway. He had been sentenced to 150 more days in prison after the Norwegian government learned that he had sent 300 copies of Fra Kristiania-bohêmen to Sweden under the auspices of a volume of Christmas stories. He was a friend of Edvard Munch, and was the subject of one of Munch’s paintings.

And so to Paris…

And now Berlin, where he meets up with August Strindberg

Dagny Juel-Przybyszewska (8 June 1867 – 5 June 1901) was a Norwegian writer, famous for her liaisons with various prominent artists, and for the dramatic circumstances of her death. She was the model for some of Edvard Munch’s paintings. She had relationships with Munch and briefly with August Strindberg. In 1893, she married the Polish writer Stanisław Przybyszewski. Together they had two children. She was shot by a young lover in a hotel room in Tbilisi in 1901, three days before her thirty-fourth birthday. See also The Legs of Izolda Morgan

How I feel for you, Munch, what with your poor health and existential angst.

Doubling Back by Linda Cracknell

bookshelves: spring-2014, afr-kenya, britain-scotland, nonfiction, published-2014, radio-4, bellybutton-mining, bettie-s-law-of-excitement-lost, fraudio, next, snoozefest

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Laura
Read on May 29, 2014

 

BOTW

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b044jbjf

Description: A beautiful and moving memoir where the author retraces walks undertaken by others, from the Highlands of Scotland to the Swiss Alps and Kenya.

In 1952 Linda Cracknell’s father embarked on a hike through the Swiss Alps. Fifty years later Linda retraces that fateful journey, following the trail of the man she barely knew. This collection of walking tales takes its theme from that pilgrimage. The walks trace the contours of history, following writers, relations and retreading ways across mountains, valleys and coasts formerly trodden by drovers, saints and adventurers. Each walk is about the reaffirming of memories, beliefs and emotions, and especially of the connection that one can have with the past through particular places.

Episode 1: Dancing, Kicking Up Her Legs: The author visits a hillside above Loch Ness following in the footsteps of the Scottish novelist, Jessie Kesson.

Episode 2: Baring Our Soles: While walking barefoot through Kenya, the author discovers the connection between feet and politics.

Episode 3: In His Footsteps: Today, Linda bravely retraces the Alpine ascent made by her father in 1952 and in doing so discovers some truths about the past and about her relationship with her lost father.

Episode 4: The Heaven Above and the Road Below: Linda sets out to walk from her front door to the Isle of Skye and, in doing so, uncovers memories of the past and finds inspiration for the future

Episode 5: Walking Home: Linda Cracknell looks to the future as she walks the pilgrimage route of St Cuthbert’s Way between Scotland and England and as she follows her own footsteps around her home town of Aberfeldy in Perthshire.

I don’t know so much, when first-worlders aren’t donning Dr Martens and buddhist robes, they are swanning around belly-button-mining for yet another sub-par travel snooze-fest. BBC BOTW last week was made of the same paltry fayre: Stringer: A Reporter’s Journey in the Congo

Sharpen up BBC book selectors!

The Search for the Panchen Lama by Isabel Hilton

bookshelves: spring-2014, hardback, one-penny-wonder, paper-read, tibet, lifestyles-deathstyles, nonfiction, politics, philosophy, biography, buddhism, religion, history, journalism, published-1999

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Karen Witzler
Read from May 11 to 28, 2014

 

Gedhun Choekyi Nyima

Withdrawn from Huntingdon Library.

Opening: Choekyi Gyaltsen, more widely known as the tenth reincarnation of the Panchen Lama, died on a freezing night in January 1989 in his own monastery of Tashilhunpo, in Tibet.

Tashilhunpo Monastery བཀྲ་ཤིས་ལྷུན་པོ་ོ་, Shigatse, Tibet

Page 18: ‘The Potala was built by the Great Fifth Dalai Lama, the first of the Gelugpa hierarchs to assume secular power. His accession as King of Tibet in the seventeenth century had brought a measure of peace to a country riven for more than a hundred years by sectarian warfare.’

Firstly a thank you to Karen for for bringing this book to my attention.

This lengthy history is very interesting, however it is written in a non-linear way, making it hard to keep the facts straight. I especially enjoy that Ms Hilton recognises this growing Western trend of Dr. Martin wearing maroon-cloaked accolytes hanging on the robes of the court in exile. Example on Page 6: ‘The hotel* is the chief exhibition room for what the Dalai Lama’s brother, Tenzin Choegyal, later called the Shangri-La Syndrome – Westerners who are seeking answers to a variety of personal questions by means of the Tibetan Cause.’

*Hotel Tibet, Dharamsala

Overall though, this is not a book I would recommend other than to those with more than a passing interest, as the lay-out of information is too haphazard. One thing I did learn, and it is an important point, the young lad I spied overhead at Yonghegong must have been Gyaincain Norbu. So for that learning point alone this book has been useful.

TRIVIA

Bon or Bön also Bonism or Benism (Chinese: 苯教, Běnjiào) is the term for the religious tradition or sect of Tibet more accurately called Yungdrung Bon today.

Zezhol Monastery of the Tibetan Bon Religion at Dengqen County of Qamdo prefecture

The Tibetan Book of Proportions

The Rose of Tibet

bookshelves: mystery-thriller, tibet, published-1962, under-500-ratings, adventure, hardback, handbag-read, paper-read, spring-2014, casual-violence, one-penny-wonder, ouch, religion, buddhism, a-questing-we-shall-go

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Karen Witzler
Read from May 15 to 27, 2014

 

Bagged a first edition hardback. Smashing. The prologue states that this story is mostly true so even though some of it may appear ‘out there’ Charles Duguid Houston’s story is, we assured, a fictionalised account of a true adventure. He left for Inda in 1950, and returned on a stretcher in 1951 with a sensational story to tell.

Opening: In the summer of 1949, when he was twenty-seven, Houston found himself having an affair with a married woman. She was thirty, and he was not in love with her, and he had only gone into it because he was bored and lonely. He didn’t think that the affair would outlast the summer, but it did, and by the autumn, when he started school again he was wondering how to end it. He was a bit digusted with himself.

Charles’s half brother, Hugh Whittington, is missing, presumed dead after an avalanche in Tibetan pass, and for the life insurance company to pay out to the families of the four men team, death certificates will have to be acquired. Restless, weary of his art teacher job, and ambivalent regarding the two women in his life, Charles makes the journey…

Great adventure tale along the lines of ‘She’ and ‘Lost Horizon’
3.5*

On Architecture, Volume II: Books 6-10

bookshelves: architecture, how-to, published-27bc, skim-through, skoolzy-stuff, nonfiction, e-book, roman-civilisation

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Simon Keay
Recommended for: Chris Ethier
Read from May 26 to 27, 2014

 

Read here: http://academics.triton.edu/faculty/f…

Okay, because I can be very silly, this second group of books will start off with Vitruvian Penguin:

The proper opening to Book Six is thus: It is related of the Socratic philosopher Aristippus*, that being shipwrecked and cast ashore on the coast of the Rhodians, he observed geometrical figures drawn thereon and cried out to his companions: ‘Let us be of good cheer because I see the traces of man.’

Corinthian atrium from #Pompeii at the House of M. Epidius Rufus …

The reason for visiting Vitruvius is the question of concrete, and did the Romans use it. The answer lies in the first chapter of Book VII:

First I shall begin with the concrete flooring, which is the most important of the polished finishings, observing that great pains and the utmost precaution must be taken to ensure its durability.

HUZZAH! Job done.

*Aristippus glorified bodily pleasure and Epicurus glorified intellectual pleasures – Aristippus may have been the forefather of the sexual revolution. Both believed there was no afterlife for the Gods to exact revenge in.

Aristippus had a nose to the carnal.

Aristippus, Rome Palazzo Spada