Wednesday, May 18, 2005


I've stolen an idea that appears on a lot of blogs, but it was Patrick's source code that I actually stole. And it was Claire Fauset's poem that gave me this entry's title.

I've not read a lot this year, so I'm making a determined effort to change that. So, on my side bar is a list of books I'm trying to read. At the moment I am half way through the rather heavy but engaging Secret History by Donna Tartt.

I'm open to suggestions for other books.


Patrick said...

Hiya Richard,

hope you had a great b-day. The reading list code is actually taken from Amazon, where I signed up as an Associate (wow, that sounds kinda menacing in a way :-)). When you do this you can get credits and, I believe, even cash for referring visitors. I doubt it'll pay off for me, but what the hell - having a reading list is nice.

In addition to the book on Chechnya that I've been reading for work purposes, I've also just started David Mitchell's Number 9 Dream. So far so good - a little surreal, rather poignant, has somewhat of a Lost in Translation feel to it; though that feel could be merely owing to the fact that it's set in Tokyo and I haven't read all that many (if any) novels, nor seen that many movies, set there.

One thing I am getting a little tired of in the contemporary literature that I've been reading lately (eschewing classics and selecting books out of the library based on their covers and opening sentences) is the whole "loss of a sibling" device, which Number 9 Dream uses, as does Zoe Strachan's excellent Negative Space, another recent (and, if you like Welsh, Hemingway and Atwood, highly recommended) read.

richard said...

Hi Patrick
Thanks. Noticed it by spending the evening in my garden making fire, drinking beer, playing music and hanging out with my nearest and dearest. I know no finer way to spend a birthday.

Finished Donna Tartt's book. It's worth a look, even if it is about a group of high brow (and doped up) students with a very high opinion of themselves committing a murder. The portrait here of the author in the inside cover amuses me a great deal. I fear one of the characters in the book is her.

I suspect you'll be lucky to get anything back from Amazon but I'm with you, it's good to know what one is reading. And, in your case, to get some feedback as to what to read next. It has been good to remember just how damn nice reading is. Some people list it as a hobby and good for them. Nothing sad about that at all!

And being an associate of Amazon? Not so menacing... My mother has just become an arch deacon for the bishop in Whanganui (a town in Wellington's North Island). Now that's scary!

Hope you're doing ok and enjoying that Prague Spring. twill be summer soon!