Thursday, 18 August 2011

Reading List

In the absence of anything better to do with my leisure time (apart of course from consulting all your lovely blogs and firing the occasional inane comment at them), I read a lot.  Every fortnight or so, I tramp down to Waterstones and buy whatever of the latest '3 for 2' offers catch my eye.  [Should that be 'B3G1F?]  Failing that, I trawl my shelves for rereadables.  All that may change soon.  In the meantime, here are my twitteresque reviews of the latest half-dozen:

Gods Without Men, Hari Kunzru: Sub-early-Pynchon without the jokes.  Can the peyote, Coyote.
The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim, Jonathan Coe: I did laugh a lot.  Good vignettes, and an outrageously outrageous ending.
Killshot, Elmore Leonard: Anyone wanna write a thriller with real people on both sides?  Bring it on.   (Actually, 'both' is misleading.  There as many sides as there are characters.)
The Free World, David Bezmozgis: Beautifully written sub-Tolstoyian epic of Russian emigres to Italy in the late seventies.  Easily the best new thing I've read in months.  [Spoiler alert: some of the endings are happy (I think).]
At Home, Bill Bryson: A miracle!  Bryson has managed to write a bloated, humourless, really boring book.
Life, Keith Richards: You had to be there.  And understand open five-string tunings.  I was, and I do.

And your off-the-shelf bonus ball: The Regeneration trilogy by Pat Barker.


  1. All that may change? Shelves of re-readables?
    Not thinking of doing a Fahrenheit 451 are you?

  2. I fear I am regressing with my reading choices. I have just re-read 'We didn't mean to go to Sea' and 'Coot Club' (Arthur Ransome), my next choice is 'Wind in the Willows' and I'm on the lookout for some Malory Towers!

  3. 1. I was wondering the same thing, indeed if the overall temperature was too cold for Reading.
    2. Let's hear it Elmore Leonard
    3. There's a very curious Russian Orthodox church in San Remo. Do you know anything about it?
    4. Why are your w v always crudely mis-spelt obscenities?pre

  4. Soaring - No, that's not it.

    Supine - I have a copy of The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle if that helps.

    Christopher - 1. Temperature varies alarmingly here. Getting hot at the moment. 2. Should the word 'for' be in there? 3. No.
    4. I am afraid I have no idea what you're talking about. Babelfish doesn't help.

  5. Yes, a bit slapdash, I'm afraid. Can only plead the heat.

    I was referring to your word verifications, which of course you don't see. I can't explain how 'pre' got stuck on the end of 'obscenities', either.

    Today's word verification is 'nockaz'. A perfect example of what I mean.

    It is very hot here.

  6. Funny I was going to suggest dipping into Arthur Ransome again; I believe Secret Water put me on course to the surveying profession.
    And I have fond memories of Malory Towers especially Mary-Lou. May be something to do with the Ricky Nelson song: I was 13 at the time so that figures.

    My WV: claryto - is that a naughty word?

  7. I am very bad at keeping up with the jargon, having switched off that particular synaptic link in my brain after far too many years working in IT; but now I know what WV means, I have noticed these syntactic coincidences too. I imagine Google employs an army of oompa-loompas or munchkins to make these things up. I do hope so.