The Register Columnists

Diston

Contact Mail Follow RSS feed
Fujitsu-Siemens Esprimo Mobile

The Lazarus Effect: Saved by Linux and Cash Converters

Feature I was recently stuck in a quandary, when, having just moved to Portugal, my trusty MacBook Pro departed this mortal coil. No time to mourn those sweet memories with a deadline fast approaching and replacement to be sought. I’d no intention of buying a new machine with a Portuguese keyboard so I went in search of something …
Mark Diston, 25 Jul 2015
The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who book cover

The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who

Page File The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who is what you might call a publication with a rather bastardised nature, being both a new anthology of Doctor Who short stories with quotations included from the TV series, and short essays about the relevant attached science. The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who book cover Extracting the …
Mark Diston, 05 Jul 2015
Rosemary Sullivan, Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva book cover

In My House, Stalin's Daughter and The Smartest Book in the World

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston is joined by Vulture Central staffer Matt Dupuy to review the pick of publishing this week. Alex Hourston's debut novel proves to be an intense page turner. Rosemary Sullivan explores the life of the offspring of one of the 20th Century's most fearsome dictators and, on a lighter note, Greg Proops …
Ben Mezrich, Once Upon a Time in Russia: The Rise of the Oligarchs and the Greatest Wealth in History

I Saw a Man, Once Upon a Time in Russia and How to See the World

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston trawls through the latest from the publishing world encompassing Owen Sheers delivery of an intense portrayal of accidents and their consequences. Ben Mezrich gives a gangster-esque spin through the corridors of power and industry in Russia, and Nicholas Mirzoeff takes on the gargantuan task of how we …
Mark Diston, 13 Jun 2015
Joshua Cohen, Book of Numbers book cover

Closet Queens, Quicksand and Book of Numbers

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston looks at literature's latest as Michael Bloch lifts the shirt on the private passions of the political elite. Both Steve Toltz and Joshua Cohen are on their second novels. Toltz crafts a distinctive voice while Cohen goes for an experimental approach for the tech savvy. Closet Queens Michael Bloch is …
Mark Diston, 06 Jun 2015
Make Something Up - Stories You Can't Unread

Make Something Up, The Water Knife and Girl at War

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston looks at literature's latest with a book of scintillating short stories from Chuck Palahniuk. New York Times best selling author Paolo Bacigalupi take us into the near future with a dystopian tale of drought, detectives and delinquents. And the 1990s Yugoslav Wars are reimagined through the eyes of a …
Mark Diston, 30 May 2015
William Davies, The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being

The Happiness Industry, Seveneves and Confessions of a Tinderella

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston is joined by Vulture South's own Simon Sharwood and Vulture Central's Nigel Whitfield to pore through the latest from the publishing world. William Davies examines the current political and corporate obsession with wellbeing. Neal Stephenson's latest sci-fi tome adds a satirical spin to saving the …
Alan Turing

The Harder They Come, Hunters in the Dark and Fall of Man in Wilmslow

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston reviews the latest from the literary world with T.C. Boyle observing the saints and sinners at roots of American gun violence. Lawrence Osborne tells a gripping tale of expats adrift and running amok in Cambodia, and David Lagercrantz delivers a curious conspiracy in his fictional take on events in …
Mark Diston, 16 May 2015
Tracey Thorn

Poseidon's Wake, Naked at the Albert Hall and Farewell Kabul

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston reviews the latest from the literary world with Alastair Reynolds' latest – the final instalment in a sci-fi trilogy. Tracey Thorn delivers an amusing and insightful perspective on the lot of the singer, and journalist Christina Lamb gives a personal account of her life and work in Afghanistan. …
Mark Diston, 02 May 2015
Philip Kerr, The Lady from Zagreb book cover

Memory Man, The Lady from Zagreb and Blood on Snow

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston takes a look at the new releases in crime fiction with the latest from David Baldacci that introduces a new character series. Philip Kerr wheels outs Bernie Gunther for another wartime adventure and we've some Scandi noir from Jo Nesbo. Memory Man David Baldacci is a bestselling American novelist, …
Mark Diston, 25 Apr 2015
Philip Glass, Words Without Music book cover

Philip Glass tells all and Lovelace and Babbage get the comic novel treatment

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston chews through the latest literary treats with a fascinating autobiography from composer Philip Glass. Jesse Armstrong of Peep Show fame has a debut novel and for comic novel fans we've a curious take on the development of the first computer from Sydney Padua. Words Without Music Philip Glass is a …
Mark Diston, 18 Apr 2015
Andrew Morton, 17 Carnations: The Windsors, the Nazis and the Cover-Up book cover

17 Carnations, The Art of Creative Thinking and Last Night on Earth

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston looks at literature's latest with biographer Andrew Morton's take on our estranged royals' relationship with Adolf and his pals. University lecturer Rod Judkins compiles a book brimming with ideas to boost creativity and Kevin Maher's second novel has an Anglo-Irish, pre-millennium theme combined with …
Mark Diston, 11 Apr 2015

Irvine Welsh offers A Decent Ride, while the The Discreet Hero is yet to be revealed

Page File Irvine Welsh has maintained a phenomenal work rate and consistency over the last two decades. A Decent Ride is his new novel and reprises one of his characters from previous works: "Juice" Terry Lawson who Welsh aficionados will remember as the incorrigibly priapic one in Glue and Porno. The novel opens with Terry attending a …
Mark Diston, 04 Apr 2015
Ferdinand Mount, The Tears of the Rajas book cover

Blood Relatives, The Tears of the Rajas and The Fifth Gospel

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston looks at literature's latest with a compelling debut novel from Stevan Alcock. The days of empire in India get up close and personal due in no small part to Ferdinand Mount's well-documented family history. And for those with a taste for antiquity, Ian Caldwell's latest gives Dan Brown a run for his …
Mark Diston, 28 Mar 2015
Douglas Coupland, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Shumon Basar, The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present kitten warp

Ring Roads, After the Crash and The Age of Earthquakes: Guide to the Extreme Present

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston looks at the latest from the publishing world with two recent French translations of best-selling books from Patrick Modiano and Michel Bussi. We've also a curious comment on our life and times by Douglas Coupland, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Shumon Basar that could well find its way into hipsters' pockets …
Mark Diston, 21 Mar 2015
Exotic England, artwork

Our Endless Numbered Days, Junk DNA and Exotic England

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston looks the latest from three female authors in the publishing world covering very different areas. Making a very impressive debut in fiction is Claire Fuller's fantastical tale of survival. Nessa Carey explains some of the lesser known, yet fascinating facts of bioscience, and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown …
Mark Diston, 14 Mar 2015
The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution

The Rise of Islamic State, Touch and I Am Radar

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston pores through publishing's latest tomes. Seasoned journo Patrick Cockburn details the fall out of the war on terror. David J. Linden takes us on a tour of one of our lesser-regarded senses and Reif Larsen bewilders with his latest work of fiction. The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni …
Mark Diston, 07 Mar 2015
Shamed book cover

So You've Been Publicly Shamed, Style and The Buried Giant

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston leafs his way through three forthcoming releases. Remains of the Day author Kazuo Ishiguro's first book in a decade takes us on a mythical journey. Jon Ronson engages in a journey of his own having been victim of a social networking stunt. And Joseph Connolly entertains with his tale of guilty …
Mark Diston, 28 Feb 2015
Rise of the Super Furry Animals book cover

The Extreme Centre, Rise of the Super Furry Animals and The Kind Worth Killing

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston looks at the latest from the literary world. Tariq Ali dons his polemicist hat in support of the disenfranchised electorate. Ric Rawlins charts the success of one of the most celebrated bands to emerge from Wales, and Peter Swanson clocks up his second crime-thriller novel. The Extreme Centre: A …
Mark Diston, 21 Feb 2015
Kim Gordon, Girl In A Band book cover

To Explain the World, Girl in a Band and A Spool of Blue Thread

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston looks at the latest from the literary world with a splendid overview of scientific discovery from Steven Weinberg. Musician Kim Gordon kisses and tells on her life in and outside the band Sonic Youth. And for a Valentine's flavour, we look at the latest from award-winning novelist Anne Tyler. To …
Mark Diston, 14 Feb 2015
Guantánamo Diary book cover

Guantánamo Diary, Lurid & Cute and The Door

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston looks at the latest literary releases and weaves his way through the distressing story of ongoing Gitmo inmate Mohamedou Ould Slahi. Firmly in the realm of fiction, Adam Thirlwell's latest proves to be a unique and stylish work. The reissue of a Magda Szabó classic is also revisited and remains edgy …
Mark Diston, 07 Feb 2015
Christopher Brookmyre, Dead Girl Walking book cover

Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, Dead Girl Walking and Chasing the Scream

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston reviews the latest litery treats with a look at Russia's uneasy balance of state control and capitalism through the eyes of Peter Pomerantsev. Top-notch Scots crime writer Chris Brookmyre has another gripping investigative outing for Jack Parlabane and Johann Hari looks at the reality and practicality …
Mark Diston, 31 Jan 2015
Charles Bronson and Lorraine Etherington, Broadmoor, My Journey Into Hell book cover

Broadmoor: My Journey Into Hell, The Chimes and Cowboys and Indies

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston peruses the pick of publishing this week with a début novel from Anna Smaill whose musicality abounds in the post-apocalyptic tale. Back in the real world, one man apocalypse Charles Bronson tells more tales of life inside, and finally Gareth Murphy tracks the history of the music industry. The …
Mark Diston, 24 Jan 2015
The Year of Living Danishly

The Year of Living Danishly, The Internet is Not the Answer and Classical Literature

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston reviews the latest releases from the publishing world. Helen Russell discovers all that is Nordic is not noir after all, they're actually quite a content – medication optional. Silicon Valley sourpuss Andrew Keen reckons we're better off without the web or something like that. Meanwhile, Richard …
Mark Diston, 17 Jan 2015
Bookeen Cybook Ocean

An e-reader you HAVEN'T heard of: Cybook Ocean 8"

Review The e-reader market has not yet been conquered by the likes of Amazon and Kobo. There are still a number of less well known players out there making affordable or niche devices for the discerning shopper. French company Bookeen is focused on European territories with its book store, but that doesn’t mean the English-speaking …
Mark Diston, 10 Jan 2015