Tuesday, 28 February 2017

My Back Pages - February 2017



This has to be one of the weirdest February's on record around here. Mild, mild temperatures, thunder, lightening and rain. Alas my reading this month wasn't quite as exciting.

Got four books under my belt this month. Two Nero Wolfes,  a great book about the television industry and a procedural about the Baltimore police homicide squad. 

The Rubber Band is Rex Stout's third Nero Wolfe novel and The Red Box his fourth. The two were written in the 1930's but they're wickedly funny and intriguing as far as detective stories go.

The third book was a fascinating look at that era of television unique to me and my generation, following the so-called golden age of television. The Platinum Age of Television: An Evolutionary History of Quality TV was a delightful and comprehensive look at television from the 60s and 70s onward. It's full of behind the scenes gems mined by TV critic David Bianculli.

The last book of the month fooled me. I remember watching Homicide: Life on the Streets on TV after Bianculli mentioned it in his book. So I thought, hey, why don't I get the book it's based on Homicide: A Year On The Streets. This was a lengthy tome and when I read it I found there to be more narrative than dialogue which I thought was kind f funny. Little did I know, but found out when I got to the end of the book and the author David Simon's notes, that he spent a year with the Baltimore homicide squad and the book is a true story based on that experience. It was a fascinating read. Simon by the way is also responsible for the TV series Homicide: Life on the Streets, The Wire and Treme among others.

So eleven books for the first two months of the year. The number's down this month because I spent a lot of time watching television. The end of The Young Pope and The Affair occurred in February. And I started watching Black Mirror, a quirky yet delightful sci-fi anthology series from Britain. If you liked The Twilight Zone when you were younger you'll love Black Mirror. As well, Billions is back and I started watching Big Little Lies. All in all a pretty full month.

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