Spent spring and summer on the hill and many hot afternoons in the ‘van catching up with friends and family. Also caught Lorrie Moore and Joshua Ferris reading at the Hay Festival which was brilliant! This time here (our third summer) I’ve read a LOT: Denis Johnson’s Train Dreams; Richard Ford, Canada; Annie Proulx’s Bird Cloud; Paul Theroux on The Old Patagonian Express; Bruce Chatwin On The Black Hill; Robert MacFarlane’s The Old Ways; Kjell Askildsen, Selected Stories; Kyle Minor, In The Devil’s […]
Pretty much a fictional version of my New Year’s Eve (above), one in which I didn’t stay in, play Scrabble – or win. Two very different novels to start the year too: Travis Jeppesen’s The Suiciders to take me out of my literary comfort zone and Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch (recommended here), a huge cake of a book I’m going to indulge in over January. Here’s the list of books I read in 2013. Particularly enjoyed the Junot Diaz, Anthony Doerr […]
Been up in the hills for long enough, time to escape to the warm flat in the middle of town for the winter. Spent most of the summer reading: two Junot Diaz collections, Drown and This Is How You Lose Her, both of which I loved; Wells Tower’s Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned (ditto), dipped into Edna O’Brien’s The Love Object and Flannery O’Connor’s Complete Stories (part of a recent prize from Faber that included the Diaz); did some vicarious travelling […]
So, Lydia Davis has won the 2013 International Man Booker Prize, fuck fuck fuckity fuck – now everyone will be reading her, and talking about her, and she won’t be my secret favourite short story author EVER anymore. I ordered The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis (Abe Books) after reading this review by Tania Hershman in The Short Review (originally posted in 2010), and this (beautiful hardback) collection is now a permanent fixture in the stack of books I keep by my […]
Categories: Journal, Photography, Published Work, What I'm reading • Tags: Blind Spot, Diane Becker, Hay Festival, Lydia Davis, Man Booker International 2013, Short Fiction, short stories, The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis, The view from here
“Books are like seeds: they come to life when you read them, and grow spines and leaves. I need trees around me as I need books around me, so building bookshelves is something like planting trees.” © Roger Deakin, Notes from Walnut Tree Farm (Penguin, 2008).
Have abandoned Blood Meridian on p285 of 353 – a pretty hefty investment of time in any book. So why have I stopped with only 60 pages to go? It is relentlessly bleak*. No, not like The Road. In The Road we get to travel with the kid and his dad, and yes it’s all a bit bleak and post-apocalyptic but, but … nothing really bad ever happens. Blood Meridian? Rewind 150 years, flip to the other side of The […]