Well, I have been devoting myself to non-blog writing recently, but I have read some good books, and thought I would at least share excerpts so that you can get a taste and see whether you’d like them. Here goes…
Nick Hornby, Juliet, Naked. Affectionate satire, which is not something you find every day.
Also Slam, in which a teenager who has intimate conversations with his Tony Hawke poster discovers that his girlfriend is pregnant. The Hawke poster responds to Tony’s problems with quotes from his autobiography, which are only intermittently helpful.
John Lanchester, Capital. I would ordinarily be suspicious of a novel that attempts to give a panoramic account of modern London, told from the perspectives of characters ranging from a posh City trader to a traffic warden from Zimbabwe to a Polish carpenter and a native conceptual artist. But Lanchester’s book is much better than it has any right to be:
Also Fragrant Harbor, a similarly panoramic story about Hong Kong.
QuestLove, Mo Meta Blues. The best hip-hop memoir I’ve ever read. OK, it’s the only hip-hop memoir I’ve ever read, but he’s a phenomenal drummer and it’s an extremely interesting and engaging autobiography even if you don’t know any more about rep than I do.
David Kirby, The Biscuit Joint. Fun poems.
Barbara Tedlock, The Beautiful and the Dangerous. An artist gets to know Zuni people before and after becoming an anthropologist. The excerpt here is actually not one of the most interesting bits in the book, but still worth reading.