I have three books on the go at the moment: Charles Leadbeater’s brilliant analysis of web-world, We-Think, The Craftsman, by the Spectator’s own in-house magus, Richard Sennett (another masterpiece), and Marcus Du Sautoy’s intriguing exploration of symmetry, Finding Moonshine. I have known Marcus since we are at All Souls together and as well as being the cleverest person I have ever met he also has an astonishing talent for making impossibly complex mathematical ideas accessible to the layman. All three warmly recommended.
I am longing to see the Russian exhibition at the Royal Academy and want to sneak in one last time to see The First Emperor at the British Museum – a landmark exhibition if ever there was one.
To download: Lightspeed Champion’s Falling off Lavender Bridge is the most interesting music I have encountered recently, a completely unexpected turn by Devonte Hynes towards countrified rock. I’ve also been listening to the eerie “dubstep” of Burial, and, in more conventional moments, to Adele’s justly-hyped 19.
Othello runs till February 23 at the Donmar Warehouse. Beg, steal or borrow tickets. It is a majestic interpretation (and Ewan MacGregor is a much better Iago than most critics have said). Also take a look at Venetia Thompson’s piece in the magazine about Obama as the Moor of our times.
At the cinema, there is really nothing to compete with There Will be Blood, which has the feel of an instant classic and a truly mesmerising performance by Daniel Day-Lewis. But Paul Dano gives him a run for his money as Eli Sunday, the most sinister preacher since Robert Mitchum in Night of the Hunter. On the box: I stand by my earlier Coffee House post that Ashes to Ashes is good, clean, post-modern fun and all the naysayers should lighten up and enjoy the genius of Gene Hunt.