A quick dash round the blogosphere

I have taken a quick dash round my bit of the blogosphere, and have a few links to report:

Problogger (at length) and Google (briefly) both post about a year of blogging, complete with the highlights and the "most read" posts.

Google blog search has now overtaken Technorati as the site of choice for people looking for blogs. Good, it would be nice to stop all this Technorati keywording in favour of an automatic, full-text Google-style search.

Norm/Uriah of Crimescraps writes about the beauty and inspiration of blogging. There are links in the post (via Crimeficreader) that advise on how to start a "reader" blog, in case it is not self-evident. Norm’s post itself is a thing of beauty (courtesy Chicago 1920). Crimeficreader herself, at her own blog, It’s a Crime! , provides information about a summer course in Wales for writers.

Here is another Anita Shreve book to read, over at Reading Matters. At the same blog, Kimbofo also posts about a nifty Waterstone’s widget for instant recommendations of what to read (if you should be short of ideas).

Galleycat picks up on reports comparing and contrasting the book and film of Children of Men (P. D. James). I read this book too long ago to remember it, but I expect I enjoyed it. I missed the film as it was out for about a week (only) in our local cinema, and is not yet available on DVD on Amazon UK. I bought the book for Cathy for Christmas, so may quite soon either read it again, or see the DVD when out, or both. Phil at Brandywine books here posts about P. D. James’s opening sentences. Impressive.

Last time I linked to a Susan Hill post I got rather told off, but I’ll risk it again for this excellent post of hers, on celebrity autobiographies we will never get to read (but would sell). Thank you, Susan! Glad to be spared some of these, and will rather miss others.

Karen Chisholm of It’s a Crime (no exclamation mark) here reviews Shame by Karin  Alvtegen. "SHAME is challenging and sometimes harrowing. It is also compelling, taut, intriguing and, ultimately, uplifting."

That’s it for tonight. A very happy new year to everyone. I look forward to seeing you all in 2007.

The long tail of DVD boxed sets

One of the many modern inventions that I love, but mainly only in the guise of my alternative-universe parallel, fantasy version of myself, is the DVD boxed set. In my real life, I "enjoy" TV entirely vicariously, in other words, I see odd moments of it when my daughters are watching something, or I read about it in the media. Hence there are TV series I would love to watch, but my real persona knows that I am never going to actually watch even one TV show, let alone a series.

The wonderful invention of the DVD boxed set is the answer, together with Amazon and the enabling economic power of "the long tail". On Amazon you can just watch the price drop and drop until you can get a whole series of something for peanuts. Then you buy it and wait for life to change so that you have the time to watch it. Occasionally, circumstances allow you to watch a series, eg when I had a foot operation two summers ago and could not walk for a few weeks, I watched 24 series 3. (Naturally, this was before I discovered blogging, or I would have been doing that instead.)

Dave Lull sent me a fascinating article by Mark Lawson in the Guardian Unlimited about this topic. At the end of his article, Mark Lawson lists his ten best DVD boxed sets ever. Obviously I haven’t seen most of them but the list is not bad. 

I would like to collect some recommendations of DVD boxed sets to buy for the parallel me. I’ve already got some of the 24 series and (as yet unwatched) CSI series 1. Please let me know your favourites.