Alicia, who produces the thedigitaldiarist website on Neocities, posted a link to one of her follower’s YouTube channels, Clever Dick Films, about a series of documentaries on Doctor Who. I wrote in a note to her yesterday of an old book I have from when I studied Film Theory way back when. My lecturer, John Tulloch, had written a book on Doctor Who with Manuel Alvaredo. Tulloch used episodes from the show in his course. I thought that rather than trying to say anything further through the Neocities notes, I would put a short blog post here about the book. I checked Amazon and they currently have one paperback and one hardback copy remaining. Naturally, you could look that up, but I like to feel useful. The Amazon link is here.
Some of the material in the book might be considered a bit out of date now, especially given that the series was rebooted in 2005. The book examines the show in the context of the television industry and its audience, and applies Marxist and Structural approaches to analyse the show, overall, as well as specific episodes. It takes a roughly chronological approach by focusing on the different doctors, and follows the development of the show and its ideology over time, including its development from a science fiction show to its increasing use of self-parody and self-reflexivity during Tom Baker’s period when Douglas Adams was script editor for a short time. The book also considers how the show approached the social dynamics of power as well as issues like the environment. There are two Appendices. The first lists every episode in table form from the first season with William Hartnell as the Doctor (‘An Unearthly Child’), through to the end of season 6 with Peter Davidson as the doctor (‘The Five Doctors’). The table includes the name of every episode, the writers, directors and designers, script editors and, of course, the actor playing the doctor. Unfortunately, it doesn’t also list the doctor’s companions for each episode.
The second appendix gives a short reading list. Again, this is probably woefully out of date by now.
I had other books on the show years ago, but they weren’t academic texts and I’m not really sure if I still have them.
My apologies to Alicia who wrote that she would love to know more about the book, given that her interest may merely have been a politeness. But I don’t mind the opportunity to ramble on about an old book that took my interest many years ago. Rambling on about books is what this website was made for!
I went to our local Salvation Army Store yesterday to see if I could pick up a few cheap books for my new Street Library. A lady in my street told me she likes thrillers, whichI don't read, so I wanted to pick up a couple, along with anything else that might be interesting. I placed James Patterson's The Big Bad Wolf in my library yesterday afertnooon. I noticed this morning that it had already been taken, replaced by a Wilbur Smith book!
I guess picking up some thrillers was a good idea!
I went to Penrith last night with the intention of buying Susanna Clarke’s new book, Piranesi. I read Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell years ago and loved it, so I was always going to buy Clarke’s new book, especially since it’s been released as a beautiful hardcover.
But as a sign of my weakness whenever I enter a bookstore, I also bought Ken Follett’s prequel to The Pillars of the Earth (another great read from years ago), The Evening and the Morning, and Avni Doshi’s Burnt Sugar, which appealed to me most out of the Booker shortlist this year. I’ve also read Follett’s sequel, World Without End, but another indicator of my addiction is that I’ve had the third book in the Kingsbridge Novels, A Column of Fire, sitting on my shelf for several years waiting to be read. I just have so many books I want to read and so little time to read them!
The 2020 shortlist for the Booker Prize has been announced, with Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light not making the cut. I admit I was disappointed. I read the book earlier this year and thought it was more than worthy of winning Mantel a third Booker for her Thomas Cromwell series. It would have made her the only author ever to have won three times.
What’s more, this will be the first time since we started this website in 2017 that I haven’t picked/guessed the winner. Naturally, I will read the winner some time after it is announced in November. I will probably enjoy it and think it good, but know secretly my book should have won!!!
I’m about halfway through Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea, but won’t get that finished until early next week, given my week ahead. I will be starting this year’s International Booker winner after that, The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld.
This year marks the 25th anniversary for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. It was originally set to be announced on 3 June this year, but was delayed due to COVID-19. After the long wait, Maggie Farrell was announced as the winner in an online ceremony overnight, for Hamnet, her novel inspired by the death of Shakespeare’s son from the plague at age 11.
Others on the shortlist this year were:
The Women’s Prize website has a reading challenge/digital bookclub to mark the 25th anniversary. You can join in as the book club reads all of the 24 previous winners (one per week) then vote for your favourite before November. Each of the books has a downloadable reading guide and discussion points.
Toriaz’s Street Library has now been published on the Australian Street Library site. For anyone interested enough to take a look at the page, click on the image below:
Meanwhile, Toriaz emailed me a review last night for Nick Bradley’s The Cat and the City, and then messaged me, asking whether I could pick up her copy of the book to scan parts of the cover not available online. I decided to make it a walk this morning and took Lucy, our dog, to visit. Lucy had the privilege of being the first dog to be tethered to the carabiner attached to the library for wandering dog lovers. To be truthful, it was done for the photo:
Over the weekend I helped Toriaz complete her Street Library. I first wrote about Street Libraries in this blog back in March, which put the idea into Toriaz’s head to have one outside her house. Toriaz decided to document the final stages of its construction for this blog post, so what follows is a small photo gallery of the progress of her Street Library towards completion:
I wrapped up the book giveaway promotion for TCK Publishing.com this morning. I’ve contacted the winners and have sent their emails to the publisher to facilitate them receiving their prize.
This was an unexpected request from the publisher, but it has been welcomed as a new experience and because it suggested that we could do more than just review books on this site in the future. I’d like to thank TCK Publishing.com for considering us for their promotion. Advertisements for the two giveaway books will remain on our front page until the end of the week. There are links at the bottom of those advertisements which will take you to the authors’ websites and their pages on Amazon.com.
I helped Toriaz make some more progress with her Street Library over the weekend. She bought a post and platform for the library and I cut her some diagonal supports from wood I had. The pictures show her putting on the undercoat, and the finished purple on the pieces. The plan is to construct the whole thing next weekend if the weather cooperates.