Elvis Costello's music has always lurked in my life. Growing up I occasionally heard him on the radio and was told by my gruff uncle that "Don't bother: that Costello bloke is really hit-and-miss." Then some time in the early 1990s I borrowed the Girls! Girls! Girls! compilation from my local library and fell in love. So Like Candy from "A Mighty Rose" (1991) is one of my all-time favourite songs. True fact. By 1994 I had parted ways with my gruff uncle's authority on all things pop music, and "Brutal Youth" had been released to coincide with my perfect year: Music never sounds better than when you are 18. This Is Hell from that CD has one of my favourite lines: "'My Favorite Things are playing again and again/ But it’s by Julie Andrews and not by John Coltrane". So here are a few of my current favourite things (the John Coltrane version, hopefully): + Radiohead playing How To Disappear Completely live in a studio. + The Anti Room looking at Montgomery Clift: "the new manhood in classic cinema". Have you seen From Here To Eternity? Ooh. + "Reading Barnes, like reading so many other English writers of his generation – Martin Amis, McEwan – leaves me feeling that I and the world have been made smaller and meaner." Gabriel Josipovici on the 2010 Man Booker longlist which does not feature any of the authors above. In the related MeFi thread, someone points out that Ian McEwan is the literary equivalent of Coldplay. Oh, snap. + Bookshelves. + Alasdair Gray walking down Byres Road with all his pockets stuffed with his books. + Quince jelly on a good slice of cheese on fresh bread. Yes, that new cheesemonger's doing his job well. + Sitting inside while the rain falls and falls and falls. Sitting inside with hot tea, a blanket and all the time in the world while the rain falls and falls and falls. + "Being an introvert, I explained, is not about being shy, although I was painfully shy for the first 18 years of my life. Being an introvert is more about finding it difficult to engage in social interaction for extended periods of time, and about valuing your own company as much as (if not, in some circumstances, more) than the company of others." - she said. + "This is the coastal town they forgot to close down /Armageddon, come Armageddon, come!"