Communicator (communicator) wrote,

Read in May

H has just left to spend the day in a recording studio. I am not going to sit here spending my life online. No.

But just one more post.

Books I read or am still reading.

I've decided from now on to leave out text books in hypnotherapy etc. especially ones I just dip into, and any other books that I read a bit of (such as odd poems).

World War Z: Max Brooks

This is a very good book, by the son of Mel Brooks. It's presented as a series of interviews with the survivors of a world-wide zombie war. It's done in the style of ground-breaking American journalist Studs Terkel (I recommend his oral history of WW2 'The Good War' - one of the best books of journalism I have ever read). Like Terkel it is humanistic and liberal; although Brooks' view of non-American societies is a wee bit distorted, he gives it a good try. The book is exciting and full of well-written gems. He mentions in passing a British war film showing squaddies shooting zombies in the mist to the guitar from How Soon is Now. Man I can see that in my mind's eye.

The adventure of English: Melvyn Bragg

I'm a bit snooty about this type of thing 'Oh, I know a lot about that subject already'. But my daughter left it lying around, I picked it up, and I enjoyed it. History of the development of English from Anglo-Saxon times. A good read, a quick overview of a big subject. He loves the language.

Once upon a time in the north: Philip Pullman

happytune loaned it to me. A short and exciting prequel to Northern Lights, featuring my favourite Lee Scoresby the aeronautical cowboy as a young man. See icon for yays.

Red Mars: Kim Stanley Robinson (audio)

I am thoroughly enjoying this audio. I might make a special post about it. I think I have never read a book by a male writer with so many vividly written female characters (I'd forgotten how striking this book is). of books I have read/heard this year only The Night Watch comes close, and that's by a woman writer of course. I wrote before about the serious-voiced reading which does not differentiate accent or gender. I like this approach now, because it brings the subversive female left wing sexually free ideology of the book into the mainstream.

The Prefect: Alistair Reynolds

Blogged about it already. I liked this book.

The Wild Iris: Louise Gluck

I blogged a poem by Louise Gluck last month,and I liked it so much I bought the book. It's on the table next to the computer now.

52 ways of looking at a poem: Ruth Padel

I've seen this at a lot of houses, including lj-friends' I think. I bought it ages ago but I haven't read it properly yet.

Death of a murderer: Rupert Thomson

I have only just started this. So far it's a stream of consciousness account of a policeman doing a twelve hour shift guarding Myra Hyndley's body in the St Albans morgue. It reminds me a little of the brutal police nostalgia literature of writers like David Peace and Jake Arnott. Funny how these genres grow up, and yet don't have a name.

PS from Borges 'Library of Babel': "Perhaps my old age and fearfulness deceive me, but I suspect that the human species — the unique species — is about to be extinguished, but the Library will endure: illuminated, solitary, infinite, perfectly motionless, equipped with precious volumes, useless, incorruptible, secret."
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