In short, the man can write. Ronay's brilliant latest reminded me about his gift for writing about Andy Carroll. A sample:
"...Who could forget Kevin Nolan's close range overhead-hook goal for West Ham 
against Wigan last month, fed by a perfectly angled flick on from Andy Carroll, 
who has flourished under Sam Allardyce in the siege tower role, a totemic 
attacking presence to be winched and juddered into position, trundling
wheels caked with mud, filling the skies with his armoured aerial bulk."
Full article
here.

"...Because he is a good team man Carroll will continue to run willingly, 
lumbering sideways like a drunken horse, still doing his "passing", addressing 
the ball with the finesse of a man booting an old hubcap along a motorway
verge. But what he really wants to do is fly free, wrenching his neck
muscles majestically, toppling like a collapsed telephone mast, seeking the
kind of perfect swinging cross Joey Barton would often launch in search of
that club-like forehead. 
... "It was a lonely role for Andy Carroll," Gary Lineker mused on Wednesday
night, after a game in which Carroll could occasionally be seen flopping zanily
about the City penalty area, as though someone had thrown a mattress on to the
pitch from a helicopter."
Full article
here.

"...it featured Andy Carroll, no longer constrained by the more
mannered demands of playing centre-forward for Liverpool – where he seemed
always a little baffled and corseted, shoulders slumped, like some captive
primate brought back from the new world on an Elizabethan spice ship, forced to 
wear a ruff and frock coat and batter away at the violin with his great hairy 
hands, paraded as a Frenchman, taunted by braying courtiers, dreaming of bananas
– and now transformed into a boisterously uninhibited presence in the West Ham
attack.

... This is essentially what he does, freed to roam and leap and bound in his
unfettered state, occasionally wheeled out across the mud flats like a creaking
artillery gun in order to unleash another fearsome left-footed goal-clunk...."
Full article
here.
 
 
Waiheke Island
Yet another beautiful place in New Zealand.

Someone who'd been to NZ told me that while driving down there he had to stop the car every three minutes to take out a picture because the view just kept getting more and more amazing.
 
 
I know it's late but thanks to everyone who visited the blog, especially  Jan, Cassandra, Catherine, Donna, Cia, Shadow, Julianne and Latisha who dropped by and left a note. Good of you to support Musa. 

Donna, I've continued to hear good things about The Inheritance's cover ever since the book came out. People really like it. That's all Kelly Shorten's doings.
 
 
I'm assured that for the typical sportsfan, you drink when your team wins and also when it loses (and in that case you need it more). Mr. Fassbender was afforded the opportunity to do both this past weekend because the Republic of Ireland faced Germany in Dublin for a World Cup Qualifier, and he is of Irish and German ancestry.  He was rewarded in spades: the Republic of Ireland failed to avoid what the Fiver termed a "Nationalmannschafting" and were defeated 6-1. That's a hell of a big victory to celebrate and a hell of a big loss to numb over. So it was a good time to be Michael Fassbender. 

I wonder if he invited James McAvoy to the party.  Yes, I know about
McBender.
 
 
The Inheritance will be up on Holly's site from 8pm EST. A big thank-you to Holly for scheduling it.
 
 
I always liked the novel, but I didn't know that the revenge classic was Alexandre Dumas' ode to his own father, the heroic and tragic General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas. Jonathan Keates reviews The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss .
 
 
Musa has turned 1, which is a fantastic achievement in e-publishing. To celebrate, there's a blog-hop happening and they're giving away a Kindle Fire, 2 swag bags (US and Canada only) and a $50 Musa gift-card (international).

I can't say how much I admire Celina and the others for how hard they've worked and what they have accomplished. They've fulfilled the dreams of many people, least of all myself. They deserve shiploads of praise, respect and recognition.
 
 
The Telegraph's Mary Riddell has a piece on Gates.  It's worth a read. He has a balanced and realistic view of things and comes across as very humane. Some quotes:

“Philanthropy should be voluntary...[no one is going to give their wealth] because someone scolded them or they heard Bill Gates say something mean."
 

"Steve [Jobs] was an incredible genius who contributed immensely to the field I was in....I got a fair bit of time with him in his last year....We spent literally hours reminiscing and talking about the future....There was no peace to make. We were not at war....There was no cause for forgiveness."
 
 
Euterpe, Musa's YA imprint, is having a Back to School Extravaganza and they're giving away two book-club prize packs.  So participate, enjoy and share.
 
 
I'll play fair - there be a spoiler below.

Benedict Cumberbatch will soon have all three on his acting/voice-over CV.
  It's clearly worth knowing Martin Freeman. He can get you into Peter Jackson movies.