Birthday week finished with a flourish - gig tickets to see The Vaccines and comedian Sarah Millican (yippee!) as well as a complete Teach Yourself German course, some Killing Joke and crime novel A SINGLE SHOT by Matthew Jones, which has a blurb from the brilliant Daniel Woodrell, so I'm looking forward to it. Anyone read it?
And I've finished my first university assignment, thank goodness. If I never again see another article on The Big Society it will be too soon. I'm taking the rest of the day off and tonight we're off out to see Bombay Bicycle Club at the Glasgow Barrowlands.
This weekend's cinematic viewing was Korean film MOTHER and the new JANE EYRE remake. In MOTHER A young man with learning difficulties is arrested and imprisoned for the murder of a teenage girl. His doting mother sets out to prove his innocence. Tragedy, melodrama, black comedy, violence, poetry - this film has it all. Understated, surprisingly, and with gorgeous cinematography. A real gem. I'm not a huge fan of the Bronte sisters (they're all a bit lacking in humour and a bit too much brooding hand-wringing for me) but the latest remake of JANE EYRE is really enjoyable. I really enjoyed the way the story was told, and the settings are perfect. If I had one quibble, it's that Michael Fassbender is far, far, far too good looking to play Rochester and Mia Wasikowska is too pretty to play Jane (although I was less bothered by this as she looks appropriately severe, and the character's spirit really shines through).
And now, the Scottish crime fiction news and reviews.
The lovely Aly Monroe talks to Shots about how childhood memories influenced her new novel ICELIGHT.
Talking of lovely people - Chris Ewan is interviewed by Len Wanner over at The Crime Of It All..
Caro Ramsay went down well at Stirling's Off The Page book festival.
A review of NO REST FOR THE DEAD a group whodunnit in which several big names, including Alexander McCall Smith, wrote a chapter each, a review of Val McDermid's TRICK OF THE DARK, And one of Kate Atkinson's STARTED EARLY, TOOK MY DOG.
More on Val McDermid, here's a great podcast interview with her.
A day in the life of an independent bookstore.