This doesn’t bode well, does it?

Vicky Pryce’s new book. About why capitalism causes gender inequality.


Look who blurbs it:

“Superb. An authoritative manual for the men upholding capitalism while holding back women and the economy, and a guidebook for women who want to change the world.”– Ann Pettifor, author of The Production of Money

“A long overdue dissection of the vital subject of gender equality, through Vicky Pryce’s forensic economic lens.” — Polly Toynbee, The Guardian

“A shocking, lucid account of how capitalism holds women back. If we are all to have a future, government policy must fundamentally change. Now.” — Danny Dorling, University of Oxford; author of All That Is Solid and Peak Inequality

“Vicky Pryce lends an eloquent voice and a forensic analysis to the growing worldwide realisation that capitalism needs to change.”– Kate Pickett, co-author of The Spirit Level

“Vicky Pryce is one of Britain’s most distinguished economic commentators. Her impassioned criticism and rich analysis argue powerfully that women’s economic equality is both a moral question, and good economic sense. A clear-sighted call for change.”– Rachel Reeves MP

“Gender equality is an ongoing struggle fought on several fronts. The economic case presented here by Vicky Pryce has never been made so well or so vigorously.”– Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, author, columnist and broadcaster

It’s gonna be tosh, isn’t it?

Want to write Manga?

A slow afternoon and so browsing the jobs boards. At which point:

Looking for Romance/Mystery Writers for Japan Anime/Manga App Games

We are a Japanese game developer in Akihabara, Tokyo.

We are looking for scenario writers in German or English.
Romance game scenario writing (creative writing) in German or English.

The pay is entirely shit. But perhaps the fun of writing the scenario – ie, not the actual storyboards – for a manga attracts?

Books of 2019

As were heading towards Christmas and New Year we’d like to compile a list of books (audio, kindle or the old fashioned paper versions) that you enjoyed this year and would recommend to other likeminded people on here and CT.

[UPDATE] Books not published but read this year also count!

Answers in the comments please.
Read More »Books of 2019


An Oxford-educated feminist author is to have the US edition of her book pulped after she claimed that the UK executed men for being gay in the Victorian era.

Naomi Wolf based her book ‘Outrages: Sex, Censorship, and the Criminalisation of Love’ on a PHD thesis she wrote in 2015, but was found to have made significant factual errors earlier this year.

Ms Wolf said that she found examples of “several dozen executions” of men accused of having sex with other men in the Victorian era, but in an interview with the BBC, it was pointed out that she had misinterpreted court records.

The thing is there really were hangings for sodomy. Just not as many as she insisted there were. But then her thesis was rather built on the mass societal repugnance as evidenced through the law, wasn’t it?

Accuracy in sourcing quotes

Well, yes:

Peter Navarro, an economist who has written a number of books on China, has employed Ron Vara as a source in at least five of his works, quoting his anti-Beijing views.


Mr Navarro batted away criticism of his Ron Vara character, comparing it to director Alfred Hitchcock’s cameos in his own movies.

It was, he told the Chronicle, “refreshing that somebody finally figured out an inside joke that has been hiding in plain sight for years.”


The Telegraph could have done better there tho’:

Ms Morris-Suzuki told the Chronicle of Higher Education, which first reported the story, that she took a dim view of quoting fictional characters and was left “wondering whether there might be other invented sources in Navarro’s work”.

She said she has not discovered any, but did find a quote in one book on China credited to Leslie LeBon, whose credentials are not listed in the book. An online search revealed that Ms LeBon is an architect – and also happens to be Ms Navarro’s wife.


A prize about the civilised arts goes to Europeans

This seems a curious assertion in light of the successive awards for 2018 and 2019 to Olga Tokarczuk (from Poland) and Peter Handke (from Austria). Whatever the merits of these writers – and Handke is certainly a controversial choice – or the congratulations due, the decision fails to demonstrate the widened perspective that Olsson promised. Taking him at his word, it invites questions about how diligent their search can have been, how knowledgeable the jury, and indeed how global a literary prize the Nobel can claim to be.

How terrible, eh?

But, you know, The Guardian. Both sides of the mouth, always:

Afterwards she is whisked away for photos, handshakes, congratulations, the heady stuff of success. Only the following day does she discover what else happened that night. Following her speech, the head of the organisation returned to the stage and made an off-the-cuff comment about this award really ticking “all the boxes”. It was nothing really, just a lighthearted joke, more at the expense of funders and their infuriating rules than the writer who happens to be Indian, English, bisexual, a woman, the daughter of first-generation immigrants.

Damned if you do box tick and damned if you don’t.

Outside the box?

What I learned from my year of reading outside the box
Afua Hirsch
As a Booker prize judge, I encountered stories I would never have consciously sought out, and it was wonderful

Since when has anything at all on the Booker long list been “outside the box”?

The Bone People was both pretty weird and pretty dire but it was right in the mainstream of feminist whining. Come on, when was the last time anything even as imperialist as Kipling made it to that list?

Ah, that’s where it comes from

his apparent adoption of Claud Cockburn’s dictum on the correct attitude to be adopted whenever one talked to a politician — which was to ask oneself, “Why is this bastard lying to me?” —

Or as I’ve been known to copy it: “Why is this bastard bastard bastard lying to me? The bastard.”


JD Salinger estate finally agrees to ebook editions
Author’s son explains that wish for accessibility has persuaded trustees to look past his father’s dislike of digital media

Royalties can be significantly higher on e-editions and there’s only another 61 years to exploit that estate…..

No Logo

It was the bestseller that brilliantly critiqued the political power of the ‘superbrands’ and shot Naomi Klein to fame. Two decades on, we ask her, how does it stand up in our world of tech giants and personal brands?

Well, it made Naomi Klein a brand, didn’t it?

Is Sir Pterry still writing then?

A Christian family that refuses to pay rates and taxes because it is “against God’s will” has been ordered to pay $2.3m by the Tasmanian supreme court.

Fanny Alida Beerepoot and Rembertus Cornelis Beerepoot, who previous owned the Melita honey farm in northern Tasmania, have refused to pay income tax since 2011.

The, umm, idea is slightly Sir Pterry. They don’t owe tax because they and everything belong to God. But the name!

Rembertus being, apparently, the latinised Rembert, meaning “high council” or summat in North German. And Beerepoot – yes, this is something filed from beyond the grave, isn’t it? Neil Gaiman’s been holding this back as part of the literary estate, to be released to amuse us all…..

The Little Big Sister’s New Book

Fresh from her success in selling a book to the People’s Choice (?) little big sister releases the next blockbuster:

Three Hundred Bridesmaids: a romantic comedy novella Kindle Edition
by Jenny Worstall (Author)

The opening scene of ‘Three Hundred Bridesmaids’ takes place on a remote Dorset hilltop in the middle of the blazing hot heatwave of 1976.
We travel back to 1975 and follow Rosie Peach as she starts her first job as a music teacher at Shaston Convent School. It is not long before she falls for the dashing David Hart, but he is haunted by his dark and troubled past and unable to give her the love she craves.
Rosie’s friend and colleague, Grace Browning, cautions Rosie against David as a suitable partner, but what exactly are her motives and who is she intent on pursuing?
The situation is complicated by the arrival of Tristan Proudfoot, a conductor, who has romantic designs of his own.

….Actually, this is the novel that was published as a People’s Friend.

Just as background, little big sis went, along with big big sis, to Shaftesbury Convent…..upon leaving which her best friend went out for some years with a bloke called Tristan. Write about what you know and all that. Little big sis is a music teacher…..

A light amusement

Leonard Cohen with Marianne Ihlen:


Triviality I know but it’s the bloke riding sidesaddle, the women astride (??). Given external genitalia arrangements this might even be sensible…..

Brands, eh?

Serruya previously blamed any instances of overlap on a ghostwriter she said she had hired from freelance services marketplace Fiverr. In an interview with the AP, she denied copying Roberts’ work, and said she had not been notified about the lawsuit, but added that she “could not guarantee” that the ghostwriters she used had not copied anything.

“My books are big. In a book of 120,000 words it’s difficult to know how many supposedly came from a work of Nora Roberts,” said Serruya, who claimed she was using software to analyse her books.

The quality of what you get off Fivver isn’t going to be high. But then it’s the brand – a la Katie Price novels, Naomi Campbell ones – that sells, isn’t it?

I may have mentioned this before

Back of my mind there was a writer at Rolling Stone. Foreign Affairs Desk before PJ O’Rourke. Maybe several peeps before PJ.

Same gonzo journalism. The writer was I think Oz. Used to have a paperback of the columns, decades back. One piece particularly recall was about Papua New Guinea. Started with a Kennedy(?) or a Rockefeller (more likely) being eaten by headhunters or something.

I occasionally try to find that collection of pieces but am rather limited by not being able to recall the blokes name.

Anyone got any idea?

Update – I wrote to Rolling Stone asking them. The editor’s inbox is full….

Super, well done to Robert.

Okker Chic, Michael Thomas, that’s the one.

Is it just me?

Whenever we find these sorts of stories I do have to wonder:

Researchers believe a famed Polish general who fought in the American Revolutionary war may have been a woman or possibly intersex.

A new Smithsonian Channel documentary examines the history of Casimir Pulaski, a Polish cavalryman who became a protege of George Washington.

Was Sir Pterry reading these things from some historical wormhole that only he knew about? Predicting them as a result? Or was he simply vastly widely read and thus knew about these varied surmises before the rest of us?

For those who don’t get the point, Monstrous Regiment is very fun indeed.

Your task today

Is to approach your nearest large newsagent. Sorta Smith’s size one. Who stocks the pocket novels by The Peoples’ Friend. Good clean wholesome love stories. Mills and Boon without the booze or sex.

Jenny Worstall’s “Love and Lies” went on sale today as part of the series. You don’t actually have to buy a copy, although Smith’s does sell them at 50% off if you buy any magazine as well. Hint, hint…..

Sis will be proud of you of course.

And I can confirm that “Jenny Worstall’s novel sold out in her home town on day of issue” and it wasn’t even me nor other family that bought them all. We’re actually one short of the order we need for a proud Mother to hand out to relatives….

Not sold online! Only, as far as I can make out, in Smith’s or other similar large newsagents…..