Friday, 11 March 2016

The Customer Satisfaction Saga, volume II

As I recently related, my bank has begun asking me for feedback on my banking experience. I assumed this was a one-off affair.

I was wrong. Last week I paid in another cheque. When I returned, the email awaited me, its link glowing bright with witchfire.

Something stirs within my breast.

How satisfied were you with the overall service you received?


What could we have done for you to rate it a five?

We've been here before - last time I wrote you a romance novelletta on the topic. You only ever ask me for feedback when I've been paying in cheques - I don't know why.

Now, I don't know about you, but I personally find the amount of joy and satisfaction I can receive from paying in cheques is limited. Like washing up, buying milk or laying waste the cities of degenerate empires, it is merely another bit of routine day-to-day business to be dealt with. Sometimes it is quick and painless; sometimes it requires spending half my lunch hour walking across the city and the other half walking back, interspersed with a lunch-hour-obliterating twenty-five minute wait behind someone with only a rudimentary understanding of the concepts of money, consumer rights and personal hygiene.

We have, in this weak and decadent society, perhaps grown too accustomed to convenience. We have high expectations; and thus, it is only when those expectations are not met that we feel any emotional response. Attaining swift and efficient customer service merely renders that service invisible; it does not overjoy. Only when standards slip do our hearts stir, and that with the contemptuous rage that sends red-blooded men in screaming hordes against the walled citadels of the very gods.

What, in any case, does it mean to be a five? To what might we compare it? I have spent fuming hours in queues waiting for the simplest paperwork to be completed; I have had long, delightful conversations full of wit and charm (little of it mine, alas) in otherwise customer-free premises when my time was plentiful. To be sure, the absence of queues is pleasant, but this seems rather the absence of a negative than the presence of a positive factor. The human mind has these little foibles.

On the other hand, I have sat with friends on long winter evenings, evoking gales of laughter that delighted my heart; I have climbed determinedly to the heights as the evening drew near, and watched the sun set on the timeless waters far below me; I have stolen the kiss of a maiden with a gleam in her eye; I have crushed my enemies, seen them driven before me, and heard the lamentation of the women.

As you can see, it is conceptually difficult to establish how precisely one might allocate an arbitrary five-point scale across the staggering breadth of human experience, and more specifically, how one might then achieve the treasured five within the extraordinarily narrow experiential window of "paying in a cheque".

Curiously, it is usually when some mishap befalls us that active satisfaction (that is, a positive upward deviation from the average) has the opportunity to come into play. The possibility of the negative brings with it relief and gratitude that the challenge has been overcome. When the challenge seems small - such as the requirement to type two or three dozen numbers in accordance with the figures writ upon a scrap of parchment - the gratitude for services rendered is also small. Man is, after all, fickle and uncaring.

And so to the hypothetical. How might that five have been achieved? Why, then, as we have demonstrated, through the greater service demanded of greater obstacles.

Had I perhaps been beset by the lackeys of Ratshar of the Red Hand, scourge of the west, as I spoke with Lucy; had she sprung from behind the counter, seizing the blade of one of the fallen, and fought at my back until the floor ran an apple's depth in blood and there was no more killing to be done; had she hurled herself at dread Ulric Broken-Eye as he fell upon me, drawing his gaze and granting me one vital moment to turn aside his mighty axe; had she taken up one of those curious little pens with the chain attaching it to the base, and wielding it as an improvised garotte, cut off the vile incantations of Nagoth-Var, lich-lord of the Kingdom of the Serpent, as he sought to rot the very flesh from my bones - then, mayhap, the fabled five would be yours.

But that is another tale, for another time.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Er barelyn lioaragh: rang-oaylleeaght / On book reviewing: types of review

Go here for English

Er y yerrid, ta mee er geau beggan traa smooinaghtyn er barelyn lioaragh. Lhaih mee art ny ghaa, as tweet ny ghaa, hug orrym y smooinaghtyn shen. Cha noddym loayrt er y teihll foalley, agh er yn eddyrvoggyl, ta'n chooish shoh ny bun arganeys ennagh, as ny keayrtyn t'ee cur ferg er sleih. Er lhiam dy vel scanshyn mooar ayn bentyn rish bun-eieyn er dooghys as dean baghteyrys.

Cha noddym cur freggyrt feeu da lheid y chooish chramp, er chor erbee. Ny yei shen, by vie lhiam screeu beggan* mychione eddinyn baghteyrys, caghlaaghyn aght dy heiltyn barel lioaragh, ny deanyn oc, as cre'n fa ta mee screeu barelyn 'syn aght reih aym.

Friday, 4 March 2016

The Customer Satisfaction Saga

So a while ago, I paid in a cheque at my then-local bank branch. It was an extremely ordinary experience. I walked to the bank (having, admittedly, had to take a bus several miles to find a branch), joined a short queue, and went to a counter. I handed the staff a cheque and my account card, and asked her to pay the former into the latter. She did. I left.

A few days later, I was invited to complete a survey about my experience. This intrigued me, and so I did. I hadn't realised cheque-paying-in was considered such a pivotal moment.

What followed, sadly but inevitably, were a series of questions that proved surprisingly difficult to answer. Sadly I no longer have access to the actual questions, but I recall most of them being about rating things on a 1-5 scale, from the friendliness of the staff to how much I felt they cared about resolving my problem. Had I taken any leaflets with me? (I had not). How pleased was I with the time taken, with the facilities, with the hairstyles of the staff?

Eventually it all got a bit much for me, and the inevitable dam burst, right about here:

How satisfied were you with the overall service you received?


What could we have done for you to rate it a five?

Look, don't feel bad. There's only so enjoyable you can make paying in a cheque. There's really no opportunity to turn that into a memorable and anecdote-worthy occasion, short of taking the opportunity to set me up with another single customer in what will be the start of a passionate and enduring romance. THEN maybe we'd look back on this cheque-paying-in experience fifty years from now and tell our grandchildren how Anna changed our lives that day. We'd raise our glasses to the wedding photo on the mantlepiece (digital by then of course - not just the photo, but the mantlepiece, and probably the whole house) where Anna stood beaming beside us, still wearing her nametag, now promoted to Senior Romance Executive.

I mean, you have my contact details, and a massive customer database full of eminently-matchable transaction histories. The option's still open to you, is what I'm saying. That five is within your grasp. Reach out, and seize the future.

I have, as yet, received no reply. I understand some of these algorithms are very complex, and a lot of banks seem to have very old computers. I remain optimistic.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Listening Project 2016: February

I started a pointless project to listen to every UK No. 1 Hit of the past 15 years, and here it begins.

We begin with albums from 2000.

The February playlist

  • Shania Twain - Come On Over
  • Travis - The Man Who
  • Gabrielle - Rise
  • Oasis - Standing on the Shoulder of Giants
  • Travis - The Man Who
  • Santana - Supernatural
  • Moby - Play
  • Tom Jones - Reload
  • Whitney Houston - Whitney: The Greatest Hits
  • Bon Jovi - Crush
  • Tom Jones - Reload
  • S Club 7 - 7
  • Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP
  • Richard Ashcroft - Alone with Everybody
  • Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP
  • Coldplay - Parachutes
  • The Corrs - In Blue
  • Ronan Keating - Ronan
  • Craig David - Born to Do It
  • Robbie Williams - Sing When You're Winning
  • Madonna - Music
  • Radiohead - Kid A
  • All Saints - Saints & Sinners
  • Texas - The Greatest Hits
  • U2 - All That You Can't Leave Behind
  • Westlife - Coast to Coast
  • The Beatles - 1 dagger

Friday, 19 February 2016

Yn Scaa Harrish Innsmouth: Thie Ghilman

S’doillee dou cur ennym er yn ennaghtyn v’orrym rish y chooish ghroamagh shen. Cooish cheoie, cooish voght; arraghtagh, atçhimagh. Va skeeal y yilley groseyragh er my aarlaghey son lheid y taghyrt, agh ‘syn ‘eill hene v’eh boiragh anveaghee quaagh. She skeeal lhiannooagh v’ayn gyn ourys, agh va jeeanid as atçhim keoie shenn Zadok er chur anvea orrym. Nish v’eh geyraghey as covestey marish yn ‘eoh v’aym er-dyn toshiaght er y valley shoh as y scaa shaghnagh mollaghtagh er.

Veign creearey y skeeal reesht ny s’anmey, foddee, as feddyn aynsyn cree cochaslys shenndeeagh ennagh; cha baillym nish agh gyn smooinaghtyn er. V’eh çheet dy ve anmagh gaueagh —va’n ooreyder aym taishbyney 7:15, as va’n barroose cour Arkham faagail Kerrin y Valley ec hoght—myr shen ren mee eab dy reaghey my smooinaghtyn, shirrey aigney kiune as jeantagh. Hooill mee dy tappee trooid straiddyn follym, shaghey mullee scartey as thieyn tuittym, cour y thie oast raad va mee er dashtey y valeese, as raad yioin y barroose.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Listening Project 2016

This year, I'm not doing Reading Project. Not because I don't have too many unread books (I do), but because I didn't succeed last year, and also because shelf space is currently less of an issue due to ebooks.


A couple of recent conversations reminded me of just how ignorant I am about music. I like music, don't get me wrong, but in the same way I like films: I sometimes watch them, but I don't recognise most actors, let alone directors, and I don't always remember very much.

From what I remember, this stems from two things, but primarily from practicality. While I was at school, I commuted about eight miles by train, so I listened to a fair bit of music on my little radio (this was before MP3 players) or occasionally to CDs on a walkman. However, reception wasn't so great. You'd meet new music at school because people talked about it and you heard new things at parties and so on.

At university I was both busy and insomniac, and reception wasn't great, but I still listened to stuff. Radio announcers and adverts seemed increasingly annoying though, so I tended more and more towards CDs. This meant listening to stuff I already owned, except on the rare occasions someone lent me a CD (which is how I got into Belle and Sebastian, for example). My parents are into classical, big band and rock mostly, so at home that's what we'd tend to have on, or factual programming, rather than music.

I also realised that I can't listen to music, other than instrumentals, while working. Words dig into my brain and distract me despite my best efforts. The same applies while reading, so although in theory I had a lot of time to listen to music, in practice most of it wasn't available for music-listening. And when I was in my room with music-playing equipment, I was usually working, reading or trying (often ineffectually) to sleep. My university days weren't particularly full of parties, I was mostly preoccupied with juggling three subjects, too many hobbies and health, and I deeply dislike clubbing. So... not so much in the music line.

Then I got my first job, in Wales. Reception was appalling and despite my best efforts it wasn't really feasible. My next job landed me in a house whose reception was nuked by a nearby factory. There was no point turning a radio on unless you wanted white noise to shut out distractions, although I did eventually get a digital radio.

At the same time, I'd discovered podcasts, and started downloading programmes rather than being tied to the radio (this was before fast internet was a given; all this streaming and listen-again stuff wasn't an option). Now I could transfer programmes, and music, to an MP3 player and just listen to things I wanted, without the frustrating babble of hosts and adverts.

So basically, I stopped hearing new music because it was hard to listen to the radio at all, and fell back on existing CDs and easily-downloadable podcasts. I mostly listen to podcasts these days, but listen to music when I can't concentrate or sometimes when running - though it needs to be the right kind of music.

Anyway, I want to do something about it, and I've decided to attempt a sort of Listening Project. I will start in 2000, and listen* to every UK Number 1 album from 2000 to 2015.

* providing I can get hold of them without spending money, because I'm not buying a few hundred CDs or a few thousand MP3s, thanks.

Rules of Listening Project

These are the participants:

ArtistAlbumReached number one
Shania TwainCome On Over05-Dec-99
TravisThe Man Who09-Jan-00
OasisStanding on the Shoulder of Giants05-Mar-00
TravisThe Man Who12-Mar-00
Tom JonesReload14-May-00
Whitney HoustonWhitney: The Greatest Hits21-May-00
Bon JoviCrush04-Jun-00
Tom JonesReload11-Jun-00
S Club 7718-Jun-00
EminemThe Marshall Mathers LP25-Jun-00
Richard AshcroftAlone with Everybody02-Jul-00
EminemThe Marshall Mathers LP09-Jul-00
The CorrsIn Blue23-Jul-00
Ronan KeatingRonan06-Aug-00
Craig DavidBorn to Do It20-Aug-00
Robbie WilliamsSing When You're Winning03-Sep-00
RadioheadKid A08-Oct-00
All SaintsSaints & Sinners22-Oct-00
TexasThe Greatest Hits29-Oct-00
U2All That You Can't Leave Behind05-Nov-00
WestlifeCoast to Coast12-Nov-00
The Beatles119-Nov-00
TexasThe Greatest Hits21-Jan-01
Limp BizkitChocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water28-Jan-01
DidoNo Angel04-Feb-01
Eva CassidySongbird18-Mar-01
StereophonicsJust Enough Education to Perform15-Apr-01
AshFree All Angels29-Apr-01
Destiny's ChildSurvivor06-May-01
ShaggyHot Shot03-Jun-01
TravisThe Invisible Band17-Jun-01
Destiny's ChildSurvivor22-Jul-01
David GrayWhite Ladder05-Aug-01
Atomic KittenRight Now12-Aug-01
David GrayWhite Ladder19-Aug-01
StaindBreak the Cycle26-Aug-01
JamiroquaiA Funk Odyssey09-Sep-01
Macy GrayThe Id23-Sep-01
DidoNo Angel30-Sep-01
Kylie MinogueFever07-Oct-01
StepsGold: Greatest Hits21-Oct-01
Michael JacksonInvincible04-Nov-01
StepsGold: Greatest Hits11-Nov-01
WestlifeWorld of Our Own18-Nov-01
Robbie WilliamsSwing When You're Winning25-Nov-01
StereophonicsJust Enough Education to Perform13-Jan-02
The Chemical BrothersCome with Us03-Feb-02
Enrique IglesiasEscape10-Feb-02
Sting & The PoliceThe Very Best of Sting & The Police24-Feb-02
Barbra StreisandThe Essential Barbra Streisand10-Mar-02
NickelbackSilver Side Up17-Mar-02
Céline DionA New Day Has Come31-Mar-02
BlueAll Rise28-Apr-02
DovesThe Last Broadcast05-May-02
Ronan KeatingDestination26-May-02
EminemThe Eminem Show02-Jun-02
OasisHeathen Chemistry07-Jul-02
Red Hot Chili PeppersBy the Way14-Jul-02
Bruce SpringsteenThe Rising04-Aug-02
Red Hot Chili PeppersBy the Way11-Aug-02
Eva CassidyImagine25-Aug-02
ColdplayA Rush of Blood to the Head01-Sep-02
Atomic KittenFeels So Good15-Sep-02
Paul WellerIllumination22-Sep-02
Elvis PresleyELV1S29-Sep-02
Will YoungFrom Now On13-Oct-02
Foo FightersOne by One27-Oct-02
David GrayA New Day at Midnight03-Nov-02
BlueOne Love10-Nov-02
WestlifeUnbreakable: The Greatest Hits Volume 117-Nov-02
Robbie WilliamsEscapology24-Nov-02
Avril LavigneLet Go05-Jan-03
Justin TimberlakeJustified26-Jan-03
Kelly RowlandSimply Deep09-Feb-03
Massive Attack100th Window16-Feb-03
Justin TimberlakeJustified23-Feb-03
Norah JonesCome Away with Me02-Mar-03
Linkin ParkMeteora30-Mar-03
The White StripesElephant06-Apr-03
ColdplayA Rush of Blood to the Head20-Apr-03
MadonnaAmerican Life27-Apr-03
Justin TimberlakeJustified04-May-03
BlurThink Tank11-May-03
Justin TimberlakeJustified18-May-03
StereophonicsYou Gotta Go There to Come Back08-Jun-03
RadioheadHail to the Thief15-Jun-03
BeyoncéDangerously in Love29-Jun-03
The CoralMagic and Medicine03-Aug-03
Robbie WilliamsEscapology10-Aug-03
Eva CassidyAmerican Tune17-Aug-03
The DarknessPermission to Land31-Aug-03
DidoLife for Rent05-Oct-03
R.E.M.In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–200302-Nov-03
DidoLife for Rent16-Nov-03
Michael JacksonNumber Ones23-Nov-03
Will YoungFriday's Child07-Dec-03
DidoLife for Rent21-Dec-03
Will YoungFriday's Child04-Jan-04
DidoLife for Rent11-Jan-04
Katie MeluaCall Off the Search25-Jan-04
Norah JonesFeels like Home15-Feb-04
Katie MeluaCall Off the Search29-Feb-04
George MichaelPatience21-Mar-04
Guns N' RosesGreatest Hits18-Apr-04
D12D12 World02-May-04
Guns N' RosesGreatest Hits09-May-04
KeaneHopes and Fears16-May-04
Avril LavigneUnder My Skin30-May-04
KeaneHopes and Fears06-Jun-04
FaithlessNo Roots13-Jun-04
KeaneHopes and Fears20-Jun-04
The StreetsA Grand Don't Come for Free27-Jun-04
Scissor SistersScissor Sisters04-Jul-04
McFlyRoom on the 3rd Floor11-Jul-04
Scissor SistersScissor Sisters18-Jul-04
The StreetsA Grand Don't Come for Free25-Jul-04
Red Hot Chili PeppersLive in Hyde Park01-Aug-04
Maroon 5Songs About Jane22-Aug-04
The ProdigyAlways Outnumbered, Never Outgunned29-Aug-04
The LibertinesThe Libertines05-Sep-04
Natasha BedingfieldUnwritten12-Sep-04
EmbraceOut of Nothing19-Sep-04
Green DayAmerican Idiot26-Sep-04
Joss StoneMind Body & Soul03-Oct-04
R.E.M.Around the Sun10-Oct-04
Ronan Keating10 Years of Hits17-Oct-04
Robbie WilliamsGreatest Hits24-Oct-04
Il DivoIl Divo07-Nov-04
U2How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb28-Nov-04
Robbie WilliamsGreatest Hits19-Dec-04
Green DayAmerican Idiot02-Jan-05
Scissor SistersScissor Sisters09-Jan-05
The KillersHot Fuss16-Jan-05
The Chemical BrothersPush the Button30-Jan-05
KeaneHopes and Fears13-Feb-05
Scissor SistersScissor Sisters20-Feb-05
DovesSome Cities27-Feb-05
50 CentThe Massacre13-Mar-05
StereophonicsLanguage. Sex. Violence. Other?20-Mar-05
Tony ChristieDefinitive Collection27-Mar-05
Natalie ImbrugliaCounting Down the Days10-Apr-05
Basement JaxxBasement Jaxx: The Singles17-Apr-05
Bruce SpringsteenDevils & Dust01-May-05
Steve BrooksteinHeart and Soul15-May-05
FaithlessForever Faithless – The Greatest Hits22-May-05
GorillazDemon Days29-May-05
OasisDon't Believe the Truth05-Jun-05
James BluntBack to Bedlam double-dagger10-Jul-05
James BluntBack to Bedlam double-dagger11-Sep-05
David GrayLife in Slow Motion18-Sep-05
Katie MeluaPiece by Piece02-Oct-05
Franz FerdinandYou Could Have It So Much Better09-Oct-05
SugababesTaller in More Ways16-Oct-05
The ProdigyTheir Law: The Singles 1990–200523-Oct-05
Robbie WilliamsIntensive Care30-Oct-05
WestlifeFace to Face06-Nov-05
Il DivoAncora13-Nov-05
MadonnaConfessions on a Dance Floor20-Nov-05
EminemCurtain Call: The Hits04-Dec-05
The StrokesFirst Impressions of Earth08-Jan-06
James BluntBack to Bedlam double-dagger15-Jan-06
Hard-FiStars of CCTV22-Jan-06
Arctic MonkeysWhatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not29-Jan-06
Jack JohnsonIn Between Dreams26-Feb-06
Corinne Bailey RaeCorinne Bailey Rae05-Mar-06
David GilmourOn an Island12-Mar-06
Corinne Bailey RaeCorinne Bailey Rae19-Mar-06
Journey SouthJourney South26-Mar-06
EmbraceThis New Day02-Apr-06
MorrisseyRingleader of the Tormentors09-Apr-06
The StreetsThe Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living16-Apr-06
Shayne WardShayne Ward23-Apr-06
Gnarls BarkleySt. Elsewhere30-Apr-06
Snow PatrolEyes Open07-May-06
Red Hot Chili PeppersStadium Arcadium14-May-06
OrsonBright Idea04-Jun-06
Sandi ThomSmile... It Confuses People11-Jun-06
KeaneUnder the Iron Sea18-Jun-06
LostprophetsLiberation Transmission02-Jul-06
MuseBlack Holes and Revelations09-Jul-06
James MorrisonUndiscovered06-Aug-06
Christina AguileraBack to Basics20-Aug-06
Snow PatrolEyes Open27-Aug-06
Snow PatrolEyes Open10-Sep-06
Justin TimberlakeFutureSex/LoveSounds17-Sep-06
Scissor SistersTa-Dah24-Sep-06
The KillersSam's Town08-Oct-06
Robbie WilliamsRudebox29-Oct-06
Girls AloudThe Sound of Girls Aloud: The Greatest Hits05-Nov-06
JamiroquaiHigh Times: Singles 1992–200612-Nov-06
George MichaelTwenty Five19-Nov-06
WestlifeThe Love Album26-Nov-06
Take ThatBeautiful World03-Dec-06
Amy WinehouseBack to Black14-Jan-07
The ViewHats Off to the Buskers28-Jan-07
Norah JonesNot Too Late04-Feb-07
MikaLife in Cartoon Motion11-Feb-07
Amy WinehouseBack to Black25-Feb-07
Kaiser ChiefsYours Truly, Angry Mob04-Mar-07
Ray QuinnDoing It My Way18-Mar-07
Take ThatBeautiful World25-Mar-07
Kings of LeonBecause of the Times08-Apr-07
Avril LavigneThe Best Damn Thing22-Apr-07
Arctic MonkeysFavourite Worst Nightmare29-Apr-07
Linkin ParkMinutes to Midnight20-May-07
Maroon 5It Won't Be Soon Before Long27-May-07
RihannaGood Girl Gone Bad10-Jun-07
Traveling WilburysThe Traveling Wilburys Collection17-Jun-07
The White StripesIcky Thump24-Jun-07
EditorsAn End Has a Start01-Jul-07
The Chemical BrothersWe Are the Night08-Jul-07
The EnemyWe'll Live and Die in These Towns15-Jul-07
Paul PottsOne Chance22-Jul-07
Kate NashMade of Bricks12-Aug-07
Elvis PresleyThe King19-Aug-07
Newton FaulknerHand Built by Robots26-Aug-07
Hard-FiOnce Upon a Time in the West09-Sep-07
Kanye WestGraduation16-Sep-07
James BluntAll the Lost Souls23-Sep-07
Foo FightersEchoes, Silence, Patience & Grace30-Sep-07
Bruce SpringsteenMagic07-Oct-07
StereophonicsPull the Pin21-Oct-07
The HoosiersThe Trick to Life28-Oct-07
EaglesLong Road out of Eden04-Nov-07
WestlifeBack Home11-Nov-07
Leona LewisSpirit18-Nov-07
RadioheadIn Rainbows06-Jan-08
Amy MacdonaldThis Is the Life13-Jan-08
Scouting for GirlsScouting for Girls20-Jan-08
Jack JohnsonSleep Through the Static10-Feb-08
The FeelingJoin with Us24-Feb-08
Amy WinehouseBack to Black – The Deluxe Edition02-Mar-08
The KooksKonk20-Apr-08
The Last Shadow PuppetsThe Age of the Understatement27-Apr-08
MadonnaHard Candy04-May-08
ScooterJumping All Over the World11-May-08
  1. Each album should be listened to in order (but not repeatedly, in case of returns to No 1.)
  2. Each album should be listened to completely
  3. Songs I really don't like can be cut short early
  4. Songs I can't get hold of are disqualified
  5. Songs I can't get hold of without paying are disqualified
  6. Songs that are actually offensive are disqualified
  7. Bands that are actually offensive are disqualified

Additional rules

  • Friends and well-wishers (heck, enemies) are welcome to recommend albums that are not UK No. 1 Hits for my listening.
  • Recommendations are not guaranteed a place in the Listening Project 2016
  • Friends and well-wishers are warned that I might completely hate your music
  • Enemies are warned that I might love your music
  • Albums submitted by friends should have lyrics available somewhere to satisfy my curiosity
  • There are (of course) no language limits on friend-albums, although languages that I understand at least a little bit would be preferable to appreciate the music

This list is horrifically anglophonic. If I can find lists of No 1 Hit Albums for the UK's minority languages, I'll consider incorporating those too.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Shalee lhaih 2015: coontey s'jerree

Go here for English version. Note, this is rewritten from scratch, not a direct translation.

Jerrey 2015

Jerrey nah shiaghtin jeig as daeed dy lieh ny Shalee Lhaih. As jerrey ny Shalee Lhaih mygeddin. Owatta!

Hoshiaght: cha daink lhiam ee. V'eh foym giarrey ny lioaryn ry-lhaih aym dys 50 er y chooid smoo. Va 159 aym hoshiaght, er lhiam; mysh 159 aghterbee.

Ta 65 aym nish. Myr shen, cha rosh mee y dean. Caillt!

Fark orrym! Dy jarroo, ta foddey ny smoo aym. 'Sy vlein agglagh shoh, chionnee mee ymmodee lioaryn son blass taitnyssagh as beggan aash (verrym "follit" orroo). As hooar mee lioaryn elley nagh row er y rolley hoshiaght. Trooid as trooid, va 150 lioaryn elley aym rish jerrey ny bleeaney; shen 309 lioaryn.

Lhaih mee 82 lioaryn ass y carnane lioaryn aym. Agh ny smoo, lhaih mee 85 lioaryn elley. Cha nel mee er screeu baghtyn orroo, er y fa nagh row ad 'sy çhalee. Agh, ga nagh vel mee er gooilleeney y shalee, s'taittin lhiam gra dy vel mee er lhaih 167 lioaryn ayns 2015.

Shoh beggan staddyssaght:

  • 105 manga (77 follit)
  • 28 "bea cadjin" (11 follit)
  • 9 teihyssyn skeealaght (0 follit)
  • 14 far-skeealaght sheanse (2 follit)
  • 63 aitt (54 follit)
  • 48 skeealyn ayns scoillyn (36 follit)
  • 61 chooish ghraih (50 follit)
  • 29 'syn Çhapaanish
  • 1 'sy Vretnish
  • 0 'sy Ghaelg (atreih!)
  • 30,000 duillag (er y chooid sloo - cha row coontaghyn duillag ry-gheddyn ec dagh ooilley lioar)

As shoh ny baghtyn:

  • Hug mee 5* da 15 lioaryn (10 follit)
  • Hug mee 4.5* da 11 lioaryn (3 follit)
  • Hug mee 4* da 72 lioaryn (42 follit)
  • Hug mee 3.5* da 29 lioaryn (6 follit)
  • Hug mee 3* da 26 lioaryn (21 follit)
  • Hug mee 2.5* da 6 lioaryn (3 follit)
  • Hug mee 2* da 4 lioaryn (0 follit)
  • Hug mee 1.5* da 1 lioar (0 follit)
  • Hug mee 1* da 1 lioar (0 follit)
  • Hug mee 0.5* da 1 lioar (0 follit)
  • Cha dug mee baght erbee da 13 lioaryn nagh lhaih mee

Lioaryn share lhiam 'sy vlein shoh chaie:

  • Barakamon, straih manga liorish Yoshino Satsuki, chammah's y fo-straih Handa-kun. She skeealyn bea cadjin t'ayn, bentyn rish ellyneyr penneyrys ta garraghey dys ellyn beg çheerey; ta Handa-kun soilshaghey magh ny laaghyn scoill echey. T'ad nyn jees lane dy aitt, lane dy vioys as kenjal taitnyssagh.
  • Straih Imperium liorish Jody Lynn Nye. Ta aght schlei ec y ven shen, as ghow mee ram soylley jeh. T'ee screeu ard-charracteyr doillee lane vie, as ta skeeal cramp goll er anchoodaghey dy aashagh.

Lioaryn smessey 'sy vlein shoh chaie:

  • Fall, liorish Lady Beela. Ta Baarle lane vrisht ec y lioar shoh, as cha nel y (skeeal? çhaghter? eie?) aynjee baghtal chamoo fondagh.
  • The Night Land liorish William Hope Hodgson. Cha dod mee lhaih y lioar shen er chor erbee; she glare ymmodee-chramp t'ayn, trome çhiu, as hooar ee barriaght orryms.
  • 聲の形 liorish 大今良時. Ghow mee toshiaght er y chied ym-lioar. She ard-charracteyr groamagh t'ayn, gyn grayse erbee, as hooar magh mee dy nee skeeal groamagh t'ayn myrgeddin. Rere baghtyn elley, ta'n straih mychione surransee shirrey caarjys jeh tranlaasee oc. Boghtynid.

Lioaryn scanshoil elley:

  • The Wirral Home Guard, liorish Alfred Jaeger. Coontey jeh bea 'syn Arrey Thie screeuit ayns 1945. V'eh ennaghtagh dy liooar, aghterbee.
  • Aria/Aqua liorish 天野 こずえ. She skeeal far-skeealaght sheanse kiune t'ayn, cooie son beggan aash.
  • The Hill of Dreams liorish Arthur Machen. Dy verragh peiagh erbee coontey jeh'n lioar shoh dou, cha veign jerkal rish goaill soylley jeh. She skeeal quaagh t'ayn, agh ta niart as blass bea aynsyn gyn scansh da'n cleayn lettyragh.

Fockle s'jerree

Cha bee'm geiyrt er y çhalee shoh ayns 2016. Cha daink lhiam ee, hoshiaght, myr shen cha nel bree aym. Cha nel mee son aayannoo shalee chaillt fo vlass failleilys. Foast, by vie lhiam cur bree erbee t'aym cour shalee ennagh elley. Chammah's shen, ghow mee toshiaght, ayns ayrn, er y fa nagh row monney reamys aym; va'n çhalee shoh my lhiettal veih kionnaghey ymmodee lioaryn elley as broojey ny skelllooyn aym. Agh ta mee er narraghey dys lioaryn-l mysh 100% nish, as myr shen cha nel y brod cheddin ayn. T'adsyn soie gyn boirey er y cho-earrooder aym.

S'treisht lhiam dy bee 2016 ny smoo kenjal na 2015. Aigh vie.

English version

End of Reading Project 2015

Week fifty-two-and-a-half has come to an end, and with it, Reading Project 2015. Finally!

So baldly, I didn't manage it. I aimed to cut my unread pile down to no more than 50 books. I began with 159 (or thereabouts, as I slightly lost track!).

I have 65 in the pile now. Which is to say, I failed.

Hang on, though. It's much worse than that... due to a horrendous year, I ended up buying a ton of extra light reading (both parsings are accurate). These are marked as "extras" below. And I kept finding yet more books lying around, and was given a few. Altogether, 150 additional books made their way into my hands, for a total of 309 books.

I read 82 books from the pile, but I actually read another 85 newly-acquired books. I didn't review these, as they weren't part of the project. Although I didn't make my goal, I'm pleased that I read 167 books in 2015.

A few statistics for the record:

  • 105 manga (77 extras)
  • 28 "slice-of-life" stories (11 extras)
  • 9 anthologies (0 extras)
  • 14 sci-fi stories (2 extras)
  • 63 tagged "comedy" (54 extras)
  • 48 set in schools (36 extras)
  • 61 romances (50 extras)
  • 29 in Japanese
  • 1 in Welsh
  • 0 in Manx, sadly
  • 30,000 pages (minimum - quite a few don't have pagecounts in my library software so I can't include them)

And my verdicts:

  • I gave 5* to 15 books (10 extras)
  • I gave 4.5* to 11 books (3 extras)
  • I gave 4* to 72 books (42 extras)
  • I gave 3.5* to 29 books (6 extras)
  • I gave 3* to 26 books (21 extras)
  • I gave 2.5* to 6 books (3 extras)
  • I gave 2* to 4 books (0 extras)
  • I gave 1.5* to 1 book (0 extras)
  • I gave 1* to 1 book (0 extras)
  • I gave 0.5* to 1 book (0 extras)
  • I left 13 books unrated because I got rid of them without reading.

My favourite books of the year:

  • Barakamon, a manga series by Yoshino Satsuki about a calligrapher who moves to a small island. It's full of life and quiet fun. Its spin-off, Handa-kun, is equally fun presenting his time at school.
  • The Imperium series by Jody Lynn Nye. I'm coming to love her writing; the characters here really worked for me, and I found this take on the "spacefaring empire" trope very compelling.

My least favourites!:

  • Fall, by Lady Beela. This graphic book (hardly a graphic novel) has a vague and ill-articulated premise that's probably something to do with love or whatever, I'm not really sure? It's apparently trying to be meaningful and symbolic, only I couldn't tell what was going on because the English is flat out appalling. I'm pretty tolerant of the odd linguistic slip, but I too have my standards. This book genuinely should not have been published.
  • The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson. Apparently a sci-fi horror story of some kind, but I couldn't get past the contorted prose and weird viewpoints of the first chapter; coupled with a setting that I can't place anywhere on the historical-mythical-fantastical spectrum because of said writing, I was baffled and headachey and gave up.
  • 聲の形 by 大今良時. I prefer my characters to have at least one redeeming feature, and my stories not to consist solely of people doing bad things to each other. Synopses of the series sound like the whole thing is about people seeking reconciliation with people who were horrible to them, because... reasons? I don't care.

Other significant books:

  • The Wirral Home Guard, by Alfred Jaeger. A surprisingly moving account of life in the Home Guard, written just at the end of the war.
  • Aria/Aqua by 天野 こずえ. This quiet, low-key sci-fi story is very soothing for me.
  • The Hill of Dreams by Arthur Machen. I wouldn't expect to like this book if anyone described it to me, and it's definitely weird, but there's something powerful and true-to-life about it despite the literary tendences.

Final thoughts

I'm not going to repeat this next year. For starters, I didn't succeed this year, and that would make it feel less a new project than a second attempt under the taint of failure. Also, I'd like to spend a bit more of my energy (if I'm allowed any in 2016) on other projects. Finally, part of the motivation for RP2015 was simple physical space issues with my books. I've been moving comprehensively onto e-books, and although I've acquired a huge number of extras, almost all of them sit quite happily on my hard drive. The push to read stuff and clear space - and perhaps more importantly, to discourage me from just buying up more paper books - has dropped off considerably. It's just not as necessary now.

I hope this year will be kinder than the last.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Shalee lhaih 2015: shiaghtin 52

Go here for English version. Note, this is rewritten from scratch, not a direct translation.

21d - 27oo Mee ny Nollick

Jerrey nah shiaghtin jeig as daeed ny Shalee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

Wizard's Holiday (Diane Duane)

Shoh ym-lioar elley 'sy 'traih fansee baljagh da'n aeglee. Atreih, hooar mee fy-yerrey nagh row eh er y rolley ry-lhiah aym... She skeeal anaasoil t'ayn as ghow mee soylley jeh. As y straih shoh bentyn rish ymmodee seihill rere sheiltynys, by vie lhiam fakin skeeal ta dy jarroo bentyn rish seihll elley as joarreeyn myrgeddin. V'adsyn anaasoil dy liooar. Er y laue elley, cha nee lane skeeal t'ayn; shimmey cooish nagh vel feayslit ec y jerrey, as t'eh kianglt dy baghtal rish y nah skeeal. Myr shen va blass neuchooilleenit er as cha mie lhiam shen. My she straih t'ayn, as cha nee yl-lioar, share lhiam dy vel dagh ym-lioar lane 'sy hene. Ta shen cur feaysley ennaghtagh dou, as chammah's shen, ta mee cliaghtey lheimmeyragh jeh lioar gys lioar elley gyn tort, myr shen t'eh ny sassey dou cooinaghtyn y skeeal t'ayn...

Fockle s'jerree

Lhaih mee 1 lioar agh cha nel eh er y rolley, va 64 aym yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie, myr shen ta 64 faagit dou nish. Shegin dou lhaih 14 lioaryn ayns 0.5 shiaghteeyn. Boghtynid.

Screeuym art s'jerree ta cur goontey giare jeh'n lane shalee, as myr shen.

English version

21st - 27th December

The end of week fifty-two of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read this week:

Wizard's Holiday (Diane Duane)

Another volume of the urban fantasy series. Alas, after reading it I found that (inexplicably) this volume alone is not on my to-read list! It's a good story and I found it interesting, particularly because it explores the "other worlds and aliens" aspect of the series, which is relatively unexploited given that's a major part of the premise. See also: Who, Doctor... The aliens and the other world presented were interesting to deal with, and I liked seeing the other family members get more spotlight too. On the downside, this volume explicitly leads into the next; as well as the overt not-exactly-cliffhanger at the end, there are unanswered questions raised by the story. I personally sighed about that, since I feel in a series like this (not a quadrilogy or whatever) each volume should be self-contained in terms of plot. That's not a theoretical point, it's just how I like things to work; partly because it's more convenient given my butterfly reading habits, and partly because I want closure.


I read 1 book that wasn't listed this week, I had 64 last week, so 64 are still left over. I have 14 books to read in three days, which is clearly not happening.

I'll be writing a wrap-up post to give an overview of this reading project.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Shalee lhaih 2015: shiaghteeyn 50 as 51

Go here for English version. Note, this is rewritten from scratch, not a direct translation.

7oo - 20oo Mee ny Nollick

Jerrey kied shiaghtin jeig as daeed ny Shalee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

Veg. Wahll, lhiam mee manga noa, ram bloggaghyn as y lheid, agh ghow mee aash jeh'çhalee shoh - as failt!

Fockle s'jerree

Lhaih mee 0 lioar, va 64 aym yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie, myr shen ta 64 faagit dou nish. Shegin dou lhaih 14 lioaryn ayns 1(.5) shiaghtin.

English version

7th - 20th December

The end of week fifty-one of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read this week:

Nothing! Well, lots of blogs and things, and a bit more manga, but primarily I was taking a blissful rest from the project.


I read 0 books this week, I had 64 last week, so 64 are left over. I have 14 books to read in 1.5 weeks.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Shalee Lhaih 2015: shiaghtin 49

Go here for English version. Note, this is rewritten from scratch, not a direct translation.

30oo Vee Houney - 6 Mee ny Nollick

Jerrey nuyoo shiaghtin as daeed ny Shalee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

Veg. Wahll, lhaih mee meeryn ass ymmodee lioaryn, agh cha lhaih mee lane lioar erbee. Hoig mee dy dod cooilleeney'n çhalee, agh... begin dou scuirr jeh dagh ooilley red elley, as lhaih dy tappee gyn cur monney geill, as verragh eh strooys orrym. As va strooys dy liooar orrym mleeaney, chaarjyn. Myr shen, ta mee jus lhaih dy meein as shen myr t'en. Cha nel bree erbee ec yn çhalee shoh; cha nel eh orryms ish y chooilleeney, she teaym hene v'ayn. Ren mee streppey dy jeean dy cooilleeney gyn scansh da trimshaght as cooishym cramp as boirey. Agh cha daink lhiam ee. As shen myr t'eh chammah.

Fockle s'jerree

Lhaih mee 0 lioar, va 64 aym yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie, myr shen ta 64 faagit dou nish. Shegin dou lhaih 14 lioaryn ayns 3 shiaghteeyn.

English version

30th November - 6th December

The end of week forty-nine of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read this week:

Lots of bits of books, but no complete books. I realised that, although I probably could complete the Reading Project, I'd have to basically throw out everything else I want to do, and focus exclusively on reading books quickly and without much time to digest. And what's the point? It's been a stressful year already; there's no reason to give myself additional stress for a project that doesn't fundamentally matter. So I've chucked it in and I'm just reading for pleasure.


I read 0 books this week, I had 64 last week, so 64 are left over. I have 14 books to read in 3 weeks.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Shalee lhaih 2015: shiaghtin 48

Go here for English version. Note, this is rewritten from scratch, not a direct translation.

23oo - 29oo Vee Houney

Jerrey sheyoo shiaghtin as daeed ny Shalee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

バクマン y.l. 5 (大場 つぐみ, 小畑 健)

Ny smoo 'syn aght cheddin, dy firrinagh. Y red smoo douys 'sy lioar shoh, shen cowraghey Nakai. Ta'n lioar son jannoo feniagh jeh: fer ta lane soit er aaghoostey y coorse keirdey echey, as ta lane vaiht ayns cooish ghraih lieh-chioneagh marish Aoki. As dy jarroo, t'eh streppey dy chosney caa elley myr ellyneyr. Agh dy jarroo, t'an aghtey echey boirey orrym er dy fa dy vel blass stalker 'sy chooish: t'eh graih echey er Aoki as cha nel eh goaill rish yn aigney eck. Cha noddym jannoo briwnys dy nee drogh-aghtey t'ayn, agh ec y traa cheddin, er lhiam dy vel feysht ayn tra ta'n skeeal shoh dy voyllaghey myr shoh. Dy jarroo, ta skeealyn gilley dy cadjin cur trimmid er surranse as daanys myr Firrynys, as foast shoh y caa ynrican echey son raa ellynagh. As ta fys aym myrgeddin dy bee Bakuman cur briwnys elley er aghtey Nakai rish jerrey y skeeal. Agh ayns shoh, cha nel eh baghtal, as shen kyndagh rish freggyrtyn ny karracteyryn elley son y chooid smoo. T'adsyn ooilley gra "agh, she Red Deiney t'ayn as shegin da jannoo eh"; cha nel fer erbee smooinaghtyn "chaarjyn, ta Nakai ny hoie çheumooie jeh thie ben scarr jeh as graih echey urree, gaghinaghey son caa elley as treishteil dy jean eh meeinaghey e cree liorish surranse. Shen neuchooie."

Fockle s'jerree

Lhaih mee 1 lioar, va 65 aym yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie, myr shen ta 64 faagit dou nish. Shegin dou lhaih 14 lioaryn ayns 4 shiaghteeyn.

English version

23rd - 29th November

The end of week forty-eight of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read this week:

バクマン v. 4 (大場 つぐみ, 小畑 健)

More of the same. The main event in this volume is Nakai's effort to reignite his manga career after a major setback. I was actually a bit concerned by the portrayal of Nakai in this book. The story essentially treats him as making a heroic effort to convince Aoki to give him a second chance as her co-creator. And to an extent that's true, but he's also locked in a completely one-sided crush on Aoki, and that adds worrying elements to this. The thing is, he's obsessively pressuring Aoki to accept him, motivated by a messy mixture of romantic feelings and desire for success as a manga team, and refuses to accept her decision to part. It's not easy to distinguish his actions (essentially guilt-tripping her, while making a big show of his manly humility and endurance) from just plain old being a stalker. He won't accept her decision, he's certain they could work out if she'd give him another chance, and he's sure that if he just proves to her how much he loves her cares about their work, she'll take him back. And she does. I know that it's a story, and a boys' story at that where this kind of macho stuff is lauded. And I know that the line isn't quite as clear-cut in this case, because she's also his only real chance at artistic success. And I also know (having read the story before) that Bakuman will take a much firmer line with Nakai and his behaviour later in the series. Nevertheless, I felt like here it was a little dubious, and perhaps most because the reactions of the other characters were generally "he has to do this Man Thing" rather than anyone going "dude, you're sitting outside the house of a woman you fancy begging for another chance and hoping to soften her heart through suffering, that is not okay."


I read 1 book this week, I had 65 last week, so 64 are left over. I have 14 books to read in 4 weeks.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Shalee Lhaih 2015: shiaghtin 47

Go here for English version. Note, this is rewritten from scratch, not a direct translation.

16oo - 22h Vee Houney

Jerrey shiaghtoo shiaghtin as daeed ny Shalee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

バクマン y.l. 4 (大場 つぐみ, 小畑 健)

Ta'n skimmee gaase ny smoo 'syn ym-lioar shoh, as myr shen ta possan dy ellyneyr ny s'lhea 'sy chooish. S'cosoylagh ve nee possan smoo saympleyragh t'ayn myrgeddin, smooinaghtyn dy ghow shin toshiaght marish tree gillyn scoill ard-cheeayllagh. T'eh cur ram geill da mynphoyntyn y çhynskyl manga, agh by vie lhiam shen dy firrinagh. Ta'n skeeal croghey er oirr credjaltys gyn tuittym foast. Ta beggan bree bea çheet my vlaa ayns ny reagheyderyn myrgeddin. Er y laue elley, ta bree Kaya er skellal roish çhelleeragh, as cha nel wheesh persoonid ayn nish. S'kenjal eh dy vel ee baighey bree ayns obbyr ny gillyn, agh cha by vie lhiam dy ren ee treigeil dean e hene erbee dys cooney lhieuish. Ta leshtal 'sy skeeal, agh er lhiam dy row blass lajer reih reagheyderagh ayn; cha nee eiytys dooghyssagh aigney Kaya hene t'ayn.

As mish my ynseydagh Shapaanish, s'doillee eh toiggal y skeeal shoh dy cruinn; cha nee focklaght ta bun y chooish, agh ennaghtyn. Shimmey anchaslys beg bentyn rish ennaghtyn, ymmmyrkey as cosoylaght ta goll er cowraghey liorish grammeydys cramp. Cha nel eh my lhiettal jeh toiggal bun y skeeal, agh y blass t'er ny keayrtyn.

The Wirral Home Guard (Harold Jager)

She lioar veg neuchramp t'ayn - ny lioaran, bunnys. Ta blass formoil meeammyssagh urree, as ga dy vel blass scoillaragh ayn myrgeddin, rish lhaih eh chreid mee dy row yn ughtar aaloayrt ny cooishyn shoh dou 'sy thie lhionney, bunnys. Va bree gleashagh ayn, soilshaghey magh bea ayns 1944, chammah's feniaght chadjin as fuilliaght hene-scryssagh y theay. T'ee screeuit lane vie; va Jager dooishtey bree ny buill dy lajer, son mac yn ard erskyn ooilley, as va firrinys ny skeealyn lane loaghtagh. Ta trimshaght neuimraait ny hrooid y liooar, agh foast ta maynrys ry-akin ayns sheshaght chaarjyn rish traaghyn doillee, as ayns currym jeant dy biallagh. Dy jarroo, va beggan troo orrym nagh ghow mee ayrn 'sy çheshaght shen, ga dy nee boghtynid eh shen - ta mee booisagh nagh row y feme orrym! V'eh foym cur y lioar shoh gys Oxfam erreish dou lhaih eh, as rouyr lioaryn aym, agh dennee mee dy row eh orrym freayll ee as cur ee dy ammyssagh 'sy skelloo reesht. Va aigney orrym dy yannoo curteish, bunnys. She lioar imlagh as neuheiyagh t'ayn, as y lioar smoo gleashagh lhaih mee rish foddey.

Fockle s'jerree

Lhaih mee 2 lioar, va 67 aym yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie, myr shen ta 65 faagit dou nish. Shegin dou lhaih 15 lioaryn ayns 5 shiaghteeyn.

English version

16th - 22nd November

The end of week forty-seven of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read this week:

バクマン v. 4 (大場 つぐみ, 小畑 健)

This volume brings a welcome broadening of the cast, giving a broader (and perhaps more typical) range of manga artists to follow. It's a little heavy on the details of the industry, but to be honest I quite like that. The story hovers on the fringes of credibility, and I liked the way Yuujiro is humanised more in this story. From a learner's perspective, this is a bit hard to follow, not because of the vocab but because a lot of nuance regarding emotions, attitudes and probabilities is imparted through complex syntax. It's not necessarily a problem for following the story, but working out exactly how people feel about things is tricky. Kaya had lost a fair bit of her oomph this time, and turned into a bit of a tagalong. It's nice that she's invested in their struggles, but having her drop her own ambitions to be supportive didn't sit too well with me, despite the excuses. It feels like an editorial decision rather than a natural outcome of her character.

The Wirral Home Guard (Harold Jager)

This is a short, simple book - almost a pamphlet really. It is written with irreverent formality, and although it takes a somewhat scholarly tone, I can almost hear the author recounting this all. I found it quietly moving, a small reminder of what it was like to be alive in 1944, and the everyday heroism and self-effacing endurance of so many ordinary people. It is surprisingly well-written, really bringing out a sense of place, especially for a local like me, and evoking the reality of the stories he shares. There is a lot of unspoken sadness in here, but also a lot of joy in the hard times shared with good friends, and in the sense of duty done. It even makes me feel a little wistful not to be part of that cameraderie - though I can only be glad I didn't have to. I was planning to send it to Oxfam (too many books), but I felt the need instead to respectfully shelve it. It was a little hard not to salute. This is, humbly and unobtrusively, the most moving thing I've read in a long time.


I read 2 books this week, I had 67 last week, so 65 are left over. I have 15 books to read in 5 weeks.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Shalee Lhiah 2015: shiaghtin 46

Go here for English version. Note, this is rewritten from scratch, not a direct translation.

9oo - 15oo Vee Houney

Jerrey sheyoo shiaghtin as daeed ny Shalee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

バクマン y.l. 3 (大場 つぐみ, 小畑 健)

Ta tree cooishyn ec bun yn ym-lioar shoh: scansh aggindys dy ynsaghey jeh sleih elley; y scansh t'ayn eddyr ny by vie lhiat screeu (ny jannoo) as ny ta cooie myr cooid earishlioar er lheh (ny myr obbyr er faill); as cormid beaghee as obbree. As ad ard-jeean dy gheddyn conaant er straih-skeeal 'syn earishlioar, t'ad jannoo eab er ard-chaghlaa dys obbyr yiow lhaihderaght smoo. By vie nagh dooar ad bac shallidagh, agh lhiettrimys mooar - cha lhisagh eh ve aashagh da fer ta screeu skeealyn folliaghtagh inçhynagh goaill toshiaght er skeealyn caggee.

Ta cooishyn graih nyn mun arganeyn 'sy lioar shoh. S'doillee da Saiko toiggal nagh vel manga hene dean ynrican Shuujin, foddee; as cooish ghraih lane whaagh echeysyn, cha nod eh toiggal aght sleih elley. Er lhiam dy vel y skeeal shoh dellal rish ennaghtyn mie dy liooar, as y keayrt shoh t'eh bentyn rish ard-deanyn garraghey dy tappee rish aase, as streppey dy hoiggal ny h-arraghyn shen as goaill rish reddyn myr t'ad nish. By vie lhiam chammah yn aght jeean ta Kaya gobbraghey dy chiangley marish Shuujin, ga dy nee fer aeg corvianagh t'ayn gyn tort, wheesh currit da'n dean echey nagh vel eh cur monney geill da ennaghtyn sleih elley. Agh foast, t'ee ennaghtagh dy liooar, as cha nel aigney eck dy lhiantyn rish gyn failt.

Fockle s'jerree

Lhaih mee 1 lioar, va 68 aym yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie, myr shen ta 67 faagit dou nish. Shegin dou lhaih 17 lioaryn ayns 6 shiaghteeyn.

English version

9th - 15th November

The end of week forty-six of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read this week:

バクマン v. 3 (大場 つぐみ, 小畑 健)

In this volume, there are three main themes: the difference between what you want to write and what can get published in a specific magazine; the importance of willingness to learn; and work-life balance. The artists run into their first major hurdle when, eager to get into publication with unbecoming haste, they try a radical shift in style to something more populist. I was pleased to see that this was presented as a genuine obstacle, and not something to be shrugged off. Meanwhile, Shuujin's relationship causes tension with Saiko, who struggles to grasp the idea that manga might not be Shuujin's exclusive focus. The interplay between the characters always pleases me; here it brings out the way priorities change rapidly during adolesence, and the struggle to come to terms with those changes. I like Kaya's sensitive, yet determined attitude to getting together with Shuujin, in the face of Shuujin's unthinking self-absorption.


I read 1 book this week, I had 68 last week, so 67 are left over. I have 17 books to read in 6 weeks.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Shalee Lhiah 2015: shiaghtin 45

Go here for English version. Note, this is rewritten from scratch, not a direct translation.

2h - 8oo Vee Houney

Jerrey queiggoo shiaghtin as daeed ny Shalee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

バクマン y.l. 2 (大場 つぐみ, 小畑 健)

Yl-lioar fondagh, lane dy haghyrtyn ta seiy y skeeal er oaie. S'mie lhiam y kiangley quaagh t'ayn eddyr Shuujin as Kaya: cleayn, cooidjaghtys as cohirreydys covestit, as ta blass ennagh er y vroish ta tayrn gy scooinaghtyn kianglaghyn caardjyn scoill aym nagh doig mee ad er chor erbee, agh v'ad cummal seose dy mie aght ennagh. Dy jarroo, ta'n kiangley shoh ny smoo anaasoil na coardailys quaagh Mashiro as Miho ta jeant er dreamyn gloyrnvianagh aegid.

Ta'n skeeal shoh jummal stiagh mooarane dy 'ys er y çhynskyl manga, as myr shen t'eh trome nish as reesht. Agh t'eh soilshaghey magh caslys so-chredjal jeh wheesh dooillee ta bea ellyneyr manga. Ta'n sterrym ennaghtagh shen goll er mooadaghey foast ayns aignaghyn jeigeyryn gloyrvianagh as jerkallys neuresoonagh oc.

The Little Worm Book (Janet and Allan Ahlberg)

Lioar veg lane d'aitt mychione feeiud as boggey dhianeyn. She boghtynid t'ayn, dy jarroo, aitt teaymagh hene. Ta duillag ny ghaa ayn hug orrym gearey er ard: Dhiane Mooar ny Seer, myr sampleyr. As ta caslyssyn Yanet Ahlberg er feie ny lioar as ad keshal lesh bree. Ny share gyn lhiggey da paitçhey credjal y chooid - veagh molley agglagh ayn! - agh she bolgum spoyrt t'ayn.

The Colour of Water (Kim Dong Hwa)

Skeeal smooinaghtagh er kynney, appaghey, doostey keintyssagh as caghlaaghyn graih. 'Sy nah lioar shoh, ta beggan fys ec Ehwa er y dooghys keintyssagh eck, as t'ee gappaghey dys ben aeg ayns ynnyd paitçhey. Ta'n skeeal graih 'sy lioar shoh feer tappee, dy jarroo - cha nel eh lane vaghtal wheesh dy hraa ta goll shaghey, agh t'eh corlhiemmey er oaie er lhiam. Ny yei shen, ta coraa meein y skeeal moogey blass joltee erbee. Dy jarroo, she coloayrtyssyn dowin graihagh Ehwa as e voir ta cooid smoo y skeeal, as ad resooney magh keeallyn "graih", "bwoirrinys" as "poosey". Foddee oo gra dy nee e voir hene ta feniagh y skeeal, as Ehwa y fakider ta soilshaghey magh dooin y bea oc.

Fockle s'jerree

Lhaih mee 3 lioar, va 71 aym yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie, myr shen ta 68 faagit dou nish. Shegin dou lhaih 18 lioaryn ayns 7 shiaghteeyn.

English version

2nd - 8th November

The end of week forty-five of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read this week:

バクマン v. 2 (大場 つぐみ, 小畑 健)

A good solid volume with lots of development. I like Shuujin's rather strange relationship with Kaya, a mixture of attraction, companionship and competitiveness - it has some verisimilitude to it that reminds me of schoolfriends' relationships that often left me puzzled. In truth, it's vastly more interesting than Mashiro and Miho's far weirder relationship built on lofty ideals.

There's lots of insight into the industry in this volume, which can get a bit heavy. It nicely showcases the challenges of even trying to get into manga, and how this emotional rollercoaster grows even more exaggerated in the hands of idealistic teenagers with unrealistic ambitions.

The Little Worm Book (Janet and Allan Ahlberg)

A delightful little book about the joys of worms, with the charming illustrations I expect from an Ahlberg book. Though the whole thing is sheer nonsensical whimsy, there are some particularly bizarre entries that really put a smile on my face. Of course, a child reading this could be in for some serious disappointment if they take it as truth! A little mouthful of fun.

The Colour of Water (Kim Dong Hwa)

A thoughtful exploration of family, growing up, sexual awakening and different kinds of love. In this second book, Ehwa is becoming more aware of her sexuality and becoming less of a child, more of a young woman. The actual romance arc is quite fast, as the book seems to compress time quite a bit, but its gentle tone prevents it feeling rushed. The loving, deep conversations between Ehwa and her mother actually form most of the story as they explore the concepts of romantic love and marriage.


I read 3 books this week, I had 71 last week, so 68 are left over. I have 18 books to read in 7 weeks.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Shalee lhaih 2015: shiaghtin 44

Go here for English version. Note, this is rewritten from scratch, not a direct translation.

26oo Jerrey Fouyir - 1d Vee Houney

Jerrey kerroo shiaghtin as daeed ny Shalee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

Star Light, Star Bright: The great short fiction of Alfred Bester, volume 2 (Alfred Bester)

Dhossan mie dy chaghlaaghyn skeeal liorish ughtar fondagh. Shimmey çhaglym "skeealyn share X" ta lhaiht aym, agh dy cadjin ta scansh eddyr oc. By vie lhiam dagh skeeal 'sy lioar shoh. T'ad cur ny smoo geill da sleih na sheanse, as ta fir beggan quaagh ry-akin dy kinjagh. Ta Bester goaill stiagh skeealyn soit er eie sheansagh chammah's fir elley ta fansee hene, bunnys. Ta blass aitt ayn myrgeddin son y chooid smoo, agh she aitt dorraghey t'ayn.

バクマン y.l. 1 (大場 つぐみ, 小畑 健)

Cha lhaih mee eshyn yn çhiaghtin shoh, agh toiggal dy ren mee lhaih eh 'syn Çhapaan hene y vlein shoh chaie.

Fockle s'jerree

Lhaih mee 2 lioar, va 73 aym yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie, myr shen ta 71 faagit dou nish. Shegin dou lhaih 21 lioaryn ayns 8 shiaghteeyn.

Wahll, ta cosney beg ny share na veg.

English version

26th October - 1st November

The end of week forty-four of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read this week:

Star Light, Star Bright: The great short fiction of Alfred Bester, volume 2 (Alfred Bester)

A very solid collection (as you'd expect from a "best of") from a very good author. The stories range across a wide scope of sci fi, and most have a fantastical quality, as well as a tone that sits somewhere between dark humour and wry stoicism. Quirky individuals are a recurring theme. Though the stories are mostly relatively hard science, all touch on the human element and some focus on that above all. Bester also throws in a couple of stories without any science at all, such as the titular Star Light, Star Bright and a rather cheery post-apocalyptic story.

バクマン v. 1 (大場 つぐみ, 小畑 健)

I didn't actually read this this week, but I did come to the conclusion that I actually read it in Japan last autumn, and can take it off the list and move on to volume 2.


I read 2 books this week, I had 73 last week, so 71 are left over. I have 21 books to read in 8 weeks.

That's a pleasant change, helped along by a very long train trip down to London and back.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Shalee lhaih 2015: shiaghteeyn 41, 42, 43

Go here for English version. Note, this is rewritten from scratch, not a direct translation.

5oo -25oo Jerrey Fouyir

Jerrey queigoo shiaghtin as daeed ny Shalee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn tree shiaghteeyn shoh chaie:

Hug mee jerrey er lioar fy-yerrey imshee!

るるいえあんてぃーく (内山 靖二郎)

Shoh tree skeealyn jeant er bun gammanyn Call of Cthuhu. T'eh beggan gollrish lhaih script drama: ta coloayrtys ny karracteyryn ry-lhaih, agh nyn mast'oc ta cowag elley ayn eddyr ny cloiederyn hene, mychione obbraghyn y ghamman as taghyrtyn y skeeal. Beggan quaagh, foddee, agh va mee cliaghtit rish dy leah.

Ghow mee taitnys jeh ny skeealyn hene ta bun contoyryssyn ny karracteyryn. She gamman Americaanagh t'ayn, rere skeealyn Americaanagh, as by vie lhiam geddyn reayrtys Shapaanagh er y clane. Ta ny skeealyn soit er bun lane Shapaanagh, kianglt rish shennaghys as cultoor ny çheerey, as va blass er lheh orroo er y fa shen. Share lhiam y chied as treeoo skeeal; va'n nah skeeal rere aght "scoagh fuilltagh" as cha mie lhiam y lheid, ga dy row bun anaasoil echey. By vie lhiam chammah lhaih ayrn s'jerree dagh skeeal; t'ad ceau beggan traa loayrt er taghyrtyn y gamman, as cur coyrle da'n cheilley. S'mie lhiam feddyn magh barel sleih elley er lheid ny cooish.

Cheau mee tree shiaghteeyn er y lioar shoh. Cha noddym lhaih 'sy çhengey gyn cur lane gheill da, as erskyn shen, shimmey fockle quaagh ta ry-akin 'sy lioar shoh! Ry-yerkal, dy jarroo, agh foast... v'eh orrym shirrey cooney carrey Shapaanagh dy hoilshaghey keeal kanji goan nagh row ry-akin 'syn 'ockleyr aym! Ta ennaghtyn cooilleenee aym, agh foast nee'm tashtey y kiare ym-lioaryn elley son laa elley, er lhiam!

Fockle s'jerree

Lhaih mee 1 lioar, va 74 aym yn cheayrt s'jerree, myr shen ta 73 faagit dou nish. Shegin dou lhaih 23 lioaryn ayns 9 shiaghteeyn.

Er lhiam foast nagh chooilleenin y dean! Agh cha verrym seose.

English version

5th - 25th October

The end of week forty-three of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read this past three weeks:

Hey, I finally finished a freaking book!

るるいえあんてぃーく (内山 靖二郎)

A fun collection of "replays" of Call of Cthulhu games. These are basically the opposite of dramatised readings, I suppose? It's not a novelisation in the way some fantasy books are transparently based on D&D sessions, but more like reading a playscript, with a mixture of in-character dialogue and out-of-character commentary. It sounds weird, but it really isn't hard to get used to.

The stories are interesting, and I particularly enjoyed getting a Japanese perspective on a setting that I normally only see through American or British eyes. The GM has written three original scenarios with a basis in Japanese culture, and there are a lot of references in both story and commentary to Japanese tropes. The second story is deliberately trying to evoke a "splatter horror" feel, and so I liked it rather less than the other two, but the premise was still interesting. I also liked the little discussions after each game where they talk about what worked, what didn't, and what to work on for next session. I get the impression the scenarios were rather linear, but it's not really fair to conclude that from a writeup like this.

This took me three full weeks to read, partly because to read Japanese I really need to sit down and concentrate, and it's been quite hard work, with an awful lot of unusual vocabulary. Still, worth it! I'll keep the next four volumes for another time, though...


I read 1 book in three weeks, I had 74 last time I posted, so 73 are left over. I have 23 books to read in 9 weeks.

Yeah, that's not happening. And yet, onwards we go.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Shalee lhaih 2015: shiaghteeyn 38, 39, as 40

Go here for English version. Note, this is rewritten from scratch, not a direct translation.

14oo Mean Fouyir - 4oo Jerrey Fouyir

Jerrey daeedoo shiaghtin ny Shalee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn tree shiaghteeyn shoh chaie:

A Prisoner in Fairyland (Algernon Blackwood)

Ghow mee toshiaght lhaih y skeeal shoh er y traen, as shegin dou gra, tra rosh mee y stashoon, v'eh foym gyn fosley eh reesht. She skeeal ennaghtagh ymmodee-focklagh t'ayn, soit er meiyghid as mynfalsoonyn - gollrish Hans Christian Anderson - as wandreil gyn dean baghtal.

Agh hrog mee eh reesht dy yannoo shickyr roish my scryss mee eh, as eisht va mee lhaih jeih duillagyn. Chreid mee nagh dod mee cur shilley bieau ny hrooid yn oie shen: she prose ta cree as feeuid y skeeal shoh, my ta feeuid echey, as er lhiam dy lhisin cur ammys da liorish lhaih dy currymagh. Ta red ennagh echey, kied echey focklagh yn aght screeuee; er lhiam dy row eh feeu sooill chairagh rere eh toilçhinyn hene, gyn jiooldey leah.

Lhaih mee ny smoo gyn boirey, as hoig mee dy nee skeeal kiune boggee t'ayn as y aigney kiart orrym. Shoh skeeal dy cheau oie liauyr geuree rish yn aile, as tey çheh ry-laue. Agh fy-yerrey, ta'n kiunid cheddin gastyral bun y chooish: cha row mian lajer aym dy 'eddyn magh feaysley yn skeeal, son cha row drama erbee chamoo folliaght erbee 'sy chooish, as she skeeal liauyr ass towse t'ayn. Myr shen, ny smoo feeynaid na skeeal hene. Ta feaysley ennagh ayn gyn ourys, agh by haittin lhiam goaill rish dy nee bun-cheeal cadjin moralaght thie rere aght Andersen, as scuirr jeh. Hroggym eh reesht laa ennagh, foddee.

Fockle s'jerree

Lhaih mee 1 lioar, va 75 aym yn cheayrt s'jerree, myr shen ta 74 faagit dou nish. Shegin dou lhaih 24 lioaryn ayns 12 shiaghteeyn.

Er lhiam nagh chooilleenin y dean.

English version

14th September - 4th October

The end of week forty of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read this past three weeks:

A Prisoner in Fairyland (Algernon Blackwood)

I began reading this on the train, and honestly I was inclined, on reaching the station, not to pick it up again. It's that genre of wordy, ambience-focused story full of sentiment and petty philosophy, like Hans Christian Anderson, and generally not really going anywhere.

However, I picked it up just to confirm that before striking it from my list, and found myself reading another page or ten. Then I felt like I couldn't just quickly skim the rest, as I'd intended, but needed to somehow do justice to it by slow careful reading of the prose, which is the meat and merit of the thing if it has any, and I ought to put it by for the next day. There's something to it at least, however prosy it might be - something that feels to me like it deserves a fair reading on its own lights, not a hasty dismissal.

I did read on without much trouble, and found it a gentle, relaxing read when I was in the right mood. It's something to while away a long winter evening, with a mug of tea to hand and maybe a crackling fire. Eventually though, that long gentleness undermines it. I didn't feel any particular pull to find out what happened, because there was no real sense that anything was happening - it's more like a very long vignette than a story per se. I'm sure there's some kind of resolution, but I felt content to assume it was one of the standard Andersenian morals and leave it at that. Maybe I'll come back to it one day.


I read 1 book this week, I had 75 last time I posted, so 74 are left over. I have 24 books to read in 12 weeks.

I'm not very optimistic.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Shalee lhiah 2015: shiaghtin 37

Go here for English version. Note, this is rewritten from scratch, not a direct translation.

7oo - 13oo Mean Fouyir

Jerrey shiaghtoo shiaghtin jeih as feed ny Shalee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

Veg. Wahll, ny smoo manga.

Fockle s'jerree

Lhaih mee 0 lioar, va 75 aym yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie, myr shen ta 75 faagit dou nish. Shegin dou lhaih 25 lioaryn ayns 15 shiaghteeyn.

S'treih lhiam gra dy bee eh doillee coilleeney'n obbyr nish, er lhiam. Agh cha dod mee lhaih, dy jarroo. Eddyr drogh-haghyrtyn 'sy lught-thie, goaill toshiaght er staartey noa, shirrey aaght as ooilley shen, cha row bree aym son lioaryn agh adsyn s'aashagh ad y lhaih.

English version

7th - 13th September

The end of week thirty-seven of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read this week:

Nothing but manga.


I read 0 books this week, I had 75 last week, so 75 are left over. I have 25 books to read in 15 weeks.

My goal isn't looking very promising, but between family crises, starting a new job, moving to a new city and trying desperately to find somewhere to live - all simultaneous - I haven't had the energy for anything but the easiest reading.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Shalee lhaih 2015: shiaghtin 36

Go here for English version. Note, this is rewritten from scratch, not a direct translation.

31oo Luanistyn - 6oo Mean Fouyir

Jerrey sheyoo shiaghtin jeih as feed ny Shalee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

Ny smoo manga.

Fockle s'jerree

Lhaih mee 0 lioar, va 75 aym yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie, myr shen ta 75 faagit dou nish. Shegin dou lhaih 25 lioaryn ayns 16 shiaghteeyn.

English version

31st August - 6th September

The end of week thirty-six of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read this week:

More manga.


I read 0 books this week, I had 75 last week, so 75 are left over. I have 25 books to read in 16 weeks.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Shalee lhaih 2015: shiaghtin 35

Go here for English version. Note, this is rewritten from scratch, not a direct translation.

24oo - 30oo Luanistyn

Jerrey queiggoo shiaghtin jeih as feed ny Shalee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

The heads of Cerberus (Francis Stevens)

She skeeal quaagh t'ayn, ga dy ghow mee soylley jeh. Cha nel mian echey dy reih genre erbee: hoshiaght, er lhiam dy nee skeeal cur-er-creau t'ayn, gollrish The Citadel of Fear. Agh dy leah ta shin feddyn fansee oalyssagh, anflaunys skittagh (foddee?), contoyrtys, as FSS sheiltynagh. Er lhiam nagh row eie baghtal ec Stevens er ny by vie lhee foddee? Agh cha dod mee feddyn reayrtys gerjallagh er y skeeal. Chammah's shen, va blass garroo er, myr dy row eieyn mie eck agh cha cheau ee traa dy liooar dyn go-unnanaghey roish cur magh. Ta blass shaghney ennagh er jerrey y skeeal, as soilshaghey magh liauyr er metafishag y skeeal, agh cha dod Stevens jannoo skeeal sheansagh resoonagh jeh cooid chraa-laue oalyssagh. She kynney Alice in Wonderland t'ayn, as cha nod oo jannoo fansee baljagh trome-chooishagh jeh. Ta ny karracteyryn gyn annym, as cha nel eh cur geill dy liooar da'n daa hare (Bertram as y chaillin echey) er lhiam. Ta ard-haghyrt y contoyrtys taghyrt ass shilley y lhaihder - ta shin feddyn magh myechione ayns cooyl-reayrtys, liorish cowag eddyr sleih ta son molley y cheilley, myr shen cha nel eh baghtal cre ta ry-chredjal as cre ta ny breag. Cheau mee traa taitnyssagh er y skeeal, as bioghey turrys traen, agh cha noddym gra dy nee obbyr hare Stevens t'ayn er chor erbee.

Fockle s'jerree

Lhaih mee 1 lioar, va 76 aym yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie, myr shen ta 75 faagit dou nish. Shegin dou lhaih 25 lioaryn ayns 17 shiaghteeyn.

English version

24th - 30th August

The end of week thirty-five of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read this week:

The heads of Cerberus (Francis Stevens)

This was a distinctly odd story, though not unenjoyable. Primarily, it doesn't want to settle on any particular genre - the opening suggests we're in for a thriller along the lines of The Citadel of Fear, but it rushes through mystical fantasy, maybe-satirical dystopia, adventure and conceptual sci-fi, giving the sense that she just didn't know what she wanted. It also felt a bit rough and ready, as though Stevens had some cool ideas but hadn't spent quite enough time making them fit together before publishing this. The ending is rather a cop-out, accompanied by a big chunk of exposition of the story's metaphysics laboriously tagged on, as though Stevens wants it to be a sci-fi story that makes sense rather than a handwavey mystical journey, but it... isn't. It's like trying to make Alice in Wonderland a serious urban fantasy work. The characters are rather flat, and the best two (Bertram and his friend) are sadly neglected. The most interesting part of the adventure happens offscreen, and we learn about it all retrospectively, in dialogue, in a scene where it's not at all clear whether whether anyone's telling the truth. I had a reasonable time with this story, and it pleasantly whiled away a journey, but I can't call it one of Stevens' strongest works.


I read 1 book this week, I had 76 last week, so 75 are left over. I have 25 books to read in 17 weeks.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Shalee lhaih 2015: shiaghtin 34

Go here for English version. Note, this is rewritten from scratch, not a direct translation.

17oo - 23oo Luanistyn

Jerrey kerroo shiaghtin jeih as feed ny Shalee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

Kyndagh rish taghyrtyn bea lane trimshagh reesht, cha nel mee er lhaih agh shenn vanga as manga noa, gyn çheet er y charnane lioaragh er chor erbee.

Fockle s'jerree

Lhaih mee 0 lioar, va 76 aym yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie, myr shen ta 76 faagit dou nish. Shegin dou lhaih 26 lioaryn ayns 18 shiaghteeyn.

English version

17th - 23rd August

The end of week thirty-four of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read this week:

Nothing. Due to yet another week of horribly sad life events, I have read nothing but old and new manga, and haven't touched my reading pile.


I read 0 books this week, I had 76 last week, so 76 are left over. I have 26 books to read in 18 weeks.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Shalee lhaih 2015: shiaghtin 33

Go here for English version. Note, this is rewritten from scratch, not a direct translation.

10oo - 16oo Luanistyn

Jerrey treeoo shiaghtin jeih as feed ny Shalee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

A wizard alone (Diane Duane)

Va lhaih y skeeal shoh ny sassey na lhaih y fer s'jerree, ga dy vel eh er bun trimmid baaish. Va keimaght vie echey, as ram taghyrt, gyn çheet dy ve fud-y-cheilley. By vie lhiam fakin karracteyr scanshoil as autism echey, as va blass anaasoil ry-akin 'sy chooish shen. Aght elley, er lhiam dy vel jannoo noo hene jeh Darryl gientyn crampyssyn elley: cha nel eie erbee ain er cre'n cummey beagh er pishagagh "cadjin" autistagh, as s'treih lhiam shen.

Er lhiam dy vel doilleeid elley ayn, as shen cadjin dy liooar tra ta sleih soilshaghey magh mynchooidyn - ta'n chooish lomarcan jannoo beaynchroo jeh red erbee. Cha nel agh un fer autistagh 'sy skeeal, as she neuloghtynys hene t'ayn (dy lettyragh); myr shen, ta blass ennagh yn Oaldey Ooasle ry-hoaral. Cha nel mee son cremmey, myr ta; jus screeu ny smooinaghtyn haink dou.

魔法使いの嫁 y.l. 1 (ヤマザキコレ)

Skeeal neughooghyssagh quaagh taitnyssagh. Er lhiam dy nee skeeal graih t'ayn, agh cha nel shen baghtal foast. Ta keimaght chiune echey ga dy vel ymmodee taghyrtyn ayn, as cha nel eh ro-voal noadyr. S'mie lhiam y reayrtys shoh er seihll pishagagh, as ny cretooryn t'ayn, goaill stiagh sannish cour Lovecraft! Shimmey red nagh vel mee dy hoiggal foast, agh s'cummey lhiam shen. Ta ny karracteyryn folliaghtagh dy liooar derrey nish, as ta mian aym dy 'eddyn magh ny smoo mynyngione.

Fockle s'jerree

Lhaih mee 2 lioar, va 78 aym yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie, myr shen ta 76 faagit dou nish. Shegin dou lhaih 26 lioaryn ayns 19 shiaghteeyn.

English version

10th - 16th August

The end of week thirty-three of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read this week:

A wizard alone (Diane Duane)

I found this one a much easier read than the last, despite the focus on grief. It was well-paced and there was plenty going on, but not enough to be confusing. The presence of an important character with autism was nice to see, and some interesting ideas came through. That being said, having Darryl be autistic and an actual saint causes complications - we end up with no idea what an ordinary autistic wizard might be like, which is a shame. I do also feel like it runs into slightly awkward territory (a perpetual dilemma with minority representation) because the only autistic character is innocence incarnate, and that raises shades of the Noble Savage. It's not really a criticism, just something that came to mind as I read.

魔法使いの嫁 v. 1 (ヤマザキコレ)

A pleasantly weird supernatural story; probably a romance, but it's hard to tell so far. The pace is gentle but not dragging, and I like the peculiar world of magic and its creatures that's slowly building up (including a nice Lovecraft shout-out). There's still plenty I don't really understand, but I don't mind. The characters are intriguing and rather guarded so far, and I look forward to finding out more about them.


I read 2 books this week, I had 78 last week, so 76 are left over. I have 26 books to read in 19 weeks.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Shalee lhaih 2015: shiaghtin 32

Go here for English version. Note, this is rewritten from scratch, not a direct translation.

3oo - 9oo Luanistyn

Jerrey nah hiaghtin jeih as feed ny Shalee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

Unnatural Selection (Jonathan Green)

Skeeal contoyrtyssyn steampunkagh taitnyssagh dy liooar. Va'n prose beggan garroo nish as reesht, as er lhiam dy verragh aavaght elley blass noa er myr skeeal "taitnyssagh as so-lhaih". She ym-lioar nane t'ayn, agh nagh vel ad loayrt er ny traghyn t'er ngoll shaghey! Ny keayrtyn er lhiam dy row mee er goayl skeeal-roish ennagh. Ta Green soilshaghey dy jeean dy nee seihll groamagh t'ayn, as ta shen cur blass elley er yn ard-charracteyr. Cha nod fer berçhagh ooasle ve ny 'eniagh glen as eshyn goaill ayrn 'sy chorys heshoil t'ayn, agh t'eh jannoo reddyn feeu ny yei shen. Red elley, cha nel eh jiooldey insh dooin ny ta goll er, as folliaghey eh derrey jerrey'n skeeal; ta fys mie ain dy leah, as she cummey as jerrey y feaysley ta bun as bree y skeeal. Ghow mee soylley jeh'n skeeal trooid as trooid, as she seihll steampunkagh mie t'ayn. Ta blass garroo er y phrose, agh s'baghtal dy nee aght as daltyn ta cummal seose y lioar, as ta Green screeu adsyn mie dy liooar. Kionneeym y nah lioar, foddee, as yeearree dy bee ny karracteyryn ny smoo, wahll, nyn garracteyryn, rish sheeyney y skeeal.

The Color of Earth (Dong Hwa Kim)

Bea-skeeal caslyssagh mie er bashtal mychione aase 'syn Chorea. Ta caillin feaysley magh beggan er veggan bun as keeayllyn caillinys as bwoirrinys, 'sy chorp as 'sy chultoor mygeayrt eck. Ga dy vel blass bardaght lajer ayns ny coloayrtyssyn dy mennick, ta smooinaghtyn as ennaghtyn aeglee ainjyssagh ry-akin (as ry-chooinaghtyn!) ayns shoh.

Fockle s'jerree

Lhaih mee 2 lioar, va 80 aym yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie, myr shen ta 78 faagit dou nish. Shegin dou lhaih 28 lioaryn ayns 20 shiaghteeyn.

English version

3rd - 9th August

The end of week thirty-two of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read this week:

Unnatural Selection (Jonathan Green)

An enjoyable, action-packed steampunk adventure story. The prose was somewht clunky, and another editing pass could have boosted this into "action-packed and well-written". This is volume one of the series, but at times the references to past events made it feel like volume two, as though I was missing something. Green is cheerfully frank about how grim the setting is for all but the upper classes, and this paints the protagonist as something less than a real hero. You can't be likeable when you're knowingly part of that system, but his exploits are still unselfish. I also appreciated Green letting the reader know what's going on, rather than trying to hide it all. Overall I enjoyed the story, and I thought the world was a satisfying take on the steampunk theme. The prose is a little rough around the edges, but action and style are clearly the focus here, and Green delivers that well enough. I'll consider getting the next book, and hope that we might see some more depth to the characters as the story continues.

The Color of Earth (Dong Hwa Kim)

An excellent graphical memoir of growing up in Korea, and a young girl's slow unfolding discovery of what it means to be a girl, both biologically and culturally. A lot of familiar, believable childhood emotions and thoughts come across here, despite the rather poetic flavour many of the conversations have.


I read 2 books this week, I had 80 last week, so 78 are left over. I 78 books to read in 20 weeks.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Shalee lhiah 2015: shiaghtin 31

Go here for English version. Note, this is rewritten from scratch, not a direct translation.

27oo Jerrey Souree - 2h Luanistyn

Jerrey kied shiaghtin jeih as feed ny Shalee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

ぢごぷり y.l. 1 (木尾 士目)

Skeeal elley lioarish Kio Shimoku, screeudeyr Genshiken. By vie lhiam Genshiken ass towse myr shen va mian niartal aym dy 'akin yn obbyr shoh. Shoh caghlaa dhyt! Ta'n skeeal shoh mychione moir neuphoosht as carrey eck troggal oikan. She skeeal doillee t'ayn, ayns ayrn, as y chooid elley ny obbyr ynsee, foddee? Ta ram fysseree ayn, aghterbee, as ta Shimoku cur soilshey da ymmodee doilleeidyn cadjin bentyn rish oikan noa. T'eh so-lhaih as ta anaase aym er eddyr-obbraghey y jees. Red quaagh, ta'n cabdil s'jerree ny aaçhentyn as ymmodee karracteyryn noa t'ayn, bentyn rish ad 'sy scoill - she caghlaa çhelleeragh t'ayn as va mee fud y cheilley rish tammylt jannoo eab dy hoiggal.

Fockle s'jerree

Lhaih mee 1 lioar, va 81 aym yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie, myr shen ta 80 faagit dou nish. Shegin dou lhaih 30 lioaryn ayns 21 shiaghteeyn.

English version

27th July - 2nd August

The end of week thirty-one of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read this week:

ぢごぷり v. 1 (木尾 士目)

Another work by Kio Shimoku. I'm a big fan of Genshiken, so I was keen to see anything else Shimoku might have worked on. This is very different! It's a story about a single teenage mother and her friend raising a newborn baby. It's partly educational, partly just a rather tough story about these two and their efforts to look after Yume-chan. Quite readable though. The last chapter suddenly becomes a flashback with a load of new characters, which was somewhat confusing.


I read 1 book this week, I had 81 last week, so 80 are left over. I have 30 books to read in 21 weeks.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Shalee lhaih 2015: shiaghtin 30

Go here for English version. Note, this is rewritten from scratch, not a direct translation.

20oo - 26oo Jerrey Souree

Jerrey jeihoo shiaghtin as feed ny Shalee Lhaih. Va shiaghtin treih agglagh ayn, as cha dod mee lhaih ny lioaryn va foym. Chionnee mee carnaneen dy vanga gennal as lhaih shen. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

Sumomomo, Momomo y.l. 1-5 (Shinobu Ohtaka)

Reayrtys noa er y shenn skeeal "ellynyn caggee, poosey reaghit rolaue". Cha nel anaase erbee ec yn ard-charracteyr firrinagh er y lheih; share lesh studeyrys son çheet dy ve ny leigheyder. Ta eiyrtyssyn aitt kyndagh rish shen, as by vie lhiam eddyr-obbraghey ny karracteyryn. Ny s'anmey ta'n eie shen scughey; er lhiam dy ren ad coayl shickyrys 'syn eie shen "fer lane chadjin as possan dy ellyneyr caggee boirey er", as arraghey y skeeal. Hoshiaght ta ard-ven y vrastyl echey ny caillin chadjin jesh, as t'ee soie dy mie ny hoi ny caillinyn keoie caggee elley, agh t'ad jannoo caggeyder jee dy leah. As ny smessey, rere aght boiragh manga, cha dod ad scuirr jeh cur bikini streng urree "son ta niart yn ellyn caggee eck er bun nearey" as lheid y boghtynid. Scuirr jeh! T'eh cur dwoaie er lheh orrym son s'mie lhiam cooid elley y skeeal.

Ta'n ellyn mie son y chooid smoo, agh ta cummey corrym er yn ard-charracteyr bwoirrin. T'ee 17 rere y skeeal, agh ta'n cummey echey sheer-arragey eddyr mysh 15 as mysh 6 d'eash - shen ouryssagh er lheh tra t'ee jannoo eab dy chleayney y gilley dy yannoo jibbag maree. As cha nel cummey 17 d'eash rieau urree. Ren shen milley reddyn dou beggan.

Er lhiam dy beagh eh ny straih lane vie dy jinnagh eh lhiantyn rish yn eie bunneydagh, "fer cadjin ayns seihll ellyneyryn caggee", as lhiggey da Koushi jiooldey ny gammanyn oc. Ta e seihll hene echey as eieyn elley er ny ta scanshoil: studeyrys, sheshaght, leigh. By vie lhiam hoshiaght tra v'eh gobbal lhiggey dou meenaghey ny ta scanshoil ayns bea, as jiooley y seihll shen ta soit er raghid as schlei gyn dean.

Bamboo Blade y.l. 1-4 (Masahiro Totsuka, Aguri Igarashi)

Skeeal taitnyssagh jeh club schoill kendo (ellyn y chliwe). Ta ynseyder faghidagh oc, agh cha nel eh olk, as ta blass feer deiney ayn ghooisht beggan co-ennaghtyn. Breeoil as taitnyssagh, as ta ellyn mie ayn - ayns ny caggaghyn myrgeddin. Cha nel eh taishbyney fo-eaddagh noadyr.

Barakamon v. 1-4 (Satsuki Yoshino)

Skeeal dy vea cadjin bio, bentyn rish penneyr Shapaanagh t'er narraghey dys ellan çheerey son dy sharaghey yn ellan echey, chammah's e smaght er hene. Ta'n skeeal bentyn rish sheshaght, eddyr-obbraghey deiney as bea balley beg çheerey. Ta ellyn lane vie ayn, as s'mie lhiam ny karracteyryn myrgeddin.

Fockle s'jerree

Lhaih mee ymmodee lioaryn, agh cha row ad ass y charnane. Va 81 aym yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie, myr shen ta 81 faagit dou nish. Shegin dou lhaih 31 lioar ayns 22 hiaghtin.

English version

20th - 26th July

The end of week twenty-nine of the Reading Project. It's been a very sad week and I needed something low-effort, so I bought some digital manga and ignored this whole thing:

Sumomomo, Momomo v. 1-5 (Shinobu Ohtaka)

A somewhat fun twist on the old martial arts, arranged marriage thing: the male protagonist has spurned the family martial arts tradition and wants to be a lawyer. This makes for some interesting scenes. Mostly the art was solid, but there's some weird inconsistency in portraying the heroine. They're apparently teenagers (supposedly 17), but Momoko varies from looking 15 to looking about 6 in some scenes, which is *particularly* creepy when she's trying to get into Koushi's pants. Seventeen, never. That stylistic weirdness threw things off for me.

I'm quite disappointed for a couple of reasons, though. Essentially, the series soon loses confidence in its "perfectly normal kid surrounded by martial artists" shtick and starts shifting away from it. The class president originally seems like a normal girl who will be a nice foil to the violent girls who surround Koushi, and is just genuinely pleasant. Naturally, then, they turn her into a martial artist at the first opportunity. My second disappointment is related: like so, so many others, they feel the need to insert gratuitous fanservice by having her wear a string bikini costume because her martial arts are powered by embarrassment or some such crap. I mean seriously, just grow the hell up. I particularly hate this because I quite enjoy the actual characters and their interplay, and the plot behind it all.

I feel like this would be a great series if it stayed true to its premise and had Koushi adamantly refuse to play their little games. He has his own sphere, with things he considers important, like studying and the law and school. I liked his initial refusal to let them define for him what is imporant; his rejection of their sphere of violence and raw-but-pointless skill.

Bamboo Blade v. 1-4 (Masahiro Totsuka, Aguri Igarashi)

Very enjoyable story of a school kendo club. Although the teacher is kind of contemptible, it's not enough to be unlikeable (and lack of money is a real problem). So far, a fun and lively read, and the art holds up for action scenes too. No pointless displays of underwear, either.

Barakamon v. 1-4 (Satsuki Yoshino)

A very enjoyable, quietly lively story of a calligrapher who moves to the countryside (well, an island) to hone his art and self-control. It's mostly about social interactions and village dynamics. Very solid art and good, relatable characters.


I read several books this week, none of them from the pile. I had 81 last week, so 81 are left over. I have 31 books to read in 22 weeks.