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Saturday, 17 January 2009


Charles Frith

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth. It's a beautiful book.

Paul H. Colman

Sorry to hear that, Amelia.

I'm reading 'Terror and Consent' at the moment, which is a bit serious but really very interesting and certainly worth reading.

On a lighter note, are you a Family Guy fan? If not, buy every series on DVD and prepare to watch the best entertainment available.

Hope all goes well.

Ian Fitzpatrick

'The Soul of a Chef' by Michael Ruhlman - a fantastic read even for those with little interest in the culinary world. A fascinating look into the creative process.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery.


Really sorry to hear that.

If you haven't read it already, Leaving Microsoft to Change The World is an inspiring tale:


Stephen Davies

Wishing you a sharp recovery!

I recommend reading 'The Future Files - 5 trends that will shape the next 50 years' by Richard Watson.


I did 6 weeks at home post op last Summer. Series 1-7 of Buffy did the trick for me. Perfect as not too much brain work required to keep up and the ideal length to watch between naps.

David Comay

My wife and I recently listened to Julia Child's My Life in France which was fascinating. It will make you hungry though.

Best of luck with your recovery!

Le'Nise Brothers

Rome is brilliant, 30 Rock is compulsive and Lipstick Jungle is a lovely trashy Sex and the City follow on.

Good luck with the op!


Family Guy, 30 Rock, Californication, Arrested Development, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Gomorrah should keep you occupied for some time. Best wishes.


And Weeds.


These are such a brilliant mixture of High-Brow, Low-Brow, No-Brow!! Thank you all
My friend David FBed me with these book suggestions, and they all sounded great so thought that I would add them here too:
Watching the Door by Kevin Myers (drinking shagging and getting shot at in early 70's Belfast)
Places in Between by Rory Stewart (almost zen like book which sees the author travel on foot across Afghanistan)
Occupational Hazards by Rory Stewart (same man now our man in Basra getting shot at)
Emperors Children - f scott fitzgerald meets 9/11 Manhattan
The Last Campaign (thurston clarke) - the story of Bobbie Kennedy's doomed campaign. Mesmerising and tragic.
JG Ballard - Miracles of Life. Quite frankly I cannot think of a finer memoire


Get better soon. This is laugh out loud...



Ouch; hope it all goes well and recovery is quick.

Now, if I had some palliative time on my hands, I'd be looking to catch up with 'Sports Night', Aaron Sorkin's pre West Wing show, set in an ESPN-like network show; and finish David Foster Wallace's 'Infinite Jest'. When else are you going to get the chance to read 1150 pages...

Rob Mortimer

Studio 60 (or whatever the number is) on the Sunset Strip was a really good show. Sad it got cancelled.

Hope all goes well.


How about The Wire? I've just got into it and I'm hooked.

Ramzi Yakob

I'm sorry to hear that Amelia - I hope it isn't too nasty and you come out just fine on the other side.

As far as box sets go... where to start.

The Wire is a must - all 5 seasons of it. That's a week or 2 taken up right there.

The box set of the Band of Brothers is always welcome next to my TV, and if you've never watched the series, I strongly recommend you do if you're interested in WW2.

If you're a Sean Bean fan, then I'd suggest the box set of Sharpe as well - its amazingly cheesy, but its fun.

Hope you mend soon :-)



My best wishes! I was laid up for 3 months following spinal surgery, and had all the very best intentions that I was going to use this time to read a tonne of books, see all the films I'd always meant to see but never got around to....and found that actually I did very little of this, because pain meds and pain meant I had bugger all concentration, and found it really really hard to keep focused / follow the train of thought when reading or watching films. Obviously your mileage may vary, and I hope your recovery is swift and painless, but also just to say don't feel disheartened if you find you're not up to all the things you thought you would be doing!

However, assuming you're not zonked out as I was, I'd recommend (bookswise) Quirkology by Richard Wiseman, Ben Goldacre's Bad Science, and This is Your Brain On Music by Daniel Levitan. Also old but good - 'The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat' - and generally anything by Oliver Sacks.


Hi Amelia,

Sorry to hear you're going to be holed up for a few weeks. I hope things aren't as drug induced as what Linders has just described and if so I'd recommend the following:

Books: Carter Beats the Devil - Glen Gold (early 20th century magician, quite fast paced and intriguing, great read)

Long Walk to Freedom - Nelson Mandela (that should take a month to plough through!)

TV: The Wire all 5 seasons, Family Guy (all seasons) as long as you don't have stitches that will be irritated by laughing!! Three Colours Trilogy - Krzysztof Kieślowski (I'm sure you've seen them, but if not they're amazing)

Hope you make a speedy recovery and look forward to catching up soon.

Ash x


Oh no - I had no idea about this when I saw you last night. Wish you a speedy recovery. As for things to do, if you haven't watched Mad Men that's a good DVD set to get on with, and Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts if you haven't read that. I just read A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz and though its huge, it is also entertaining in bits.


Just one more thing...

Columbo Box Set.


Mat Morrison

Another vote for the Wire. On the book front, it's harder to say (it's a more personal issue.) If it were me, though - I'd take stuff that I know I could geek out on (read "genre fiction"), and that would take AGES to read:

Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon and the Baroque Cycle trilogy -- "historical SF")

George R. R. Martin (Song of Ice and Fire series -- "gritty fantasy meets the historical novel")

Robertson Davies (The Deptford Trilogy -- magic realism from a dour Canadian)

William Gibson (the old cyberpunk stuff and/or Pattern Recognition)

E F Benson (the Lucia series -- fabulously funny pre-war social commentary)

P G Wodehouse (just because)


A few years ago I got sucked into an A&E reality show called Rollergirls. Its about a Austin, TX-based roller derby league. It was my secret indulgence for some time. If I was laid up for a while, it would be on my list.

Josh Bullmore

All the best Amelia.

Books-wise: the wonderful, escapist, food-obsessed sicilian Inspector Montalbano novels


TV: in case you haven't had enough of hospitals, check out Grey's Anatomy, which my wife got me hooked on

Radio: Adam & Joe on 6 music always get me giggling



I've heard good things about Summer Heights High:


Not caught it myself


there is only 1 thing to do if you are crock for a period of time!





Hey Amelia - we're thinking of you here at VCCP.

May I recommend Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine if you've not read it already.

On the DVD front I'm a big fan of shameless, Green Wing and the Mighty Boosh as well as Family Guy.

Make a speedy recovery

Barn x

Victor Houghton

Just catching up with the blogs. Sorry to hear you're incapacitated. Idea: subscribe to free language lessons on iTunes!

Nicolas Papaconstantinou

If you're still under house arrest - and we're several weeks on, now, so you might not be - can I suggest Elephant Words?


It's daily fiction from a rotating roster of writers, based on a weekly image, and it is sometimes very good indeed.

(I should add for clarity that I run the site, so may be biased!)


Six Feet Under is a must. My favourite thing on television - ever. Nicola


Proust. Now or never.

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