From the Bedside Books Club quarterly meet this evening, here's my list of table reads, which was available there in hard copy. Here, of course, it comes with links to reviews and other descriptive noises, where available.
And my totally personal categories for this rather idiosyncratic list are - recent good reads, anticipated good 'uns, and desired rereading.
It was important to me at the time of writing the talk a couple of weeks ago to include rereading. It remains important, not just as the component of a talk, but also as a practice. It won't happen overnight, but by gum, it's going to happen.
Recently delighted by:
Adamson, Robert. The Goldfinches of Baghdad (poetry)
Carey, Peter. Theft: A Love Story
Cheever, John. The World of Apples
Cunningham, Sophie. Bird
Elliott, Will. The Pilo Family Circus (most of the reviews for this contain spoilers, though I'm delighted to see it was published in the UK in 2007, after release in Australia in 2006. Just read it.)
Falconer, Delia. The Lost Thoughts of Soldiers
Ford, Richard. The Lay Of The Land (third of Ford's Bascombe trilogy - all three come recommended)
Gray, Robert. Afterimages (poetry)
__________. The Land I Came Through Last (memoir)
Hollinghurst, Alan. The Line Of Beauty
Hyland, M.J. How The Light Gets In
__________. Carry Me Down
Island - 'a magazine of excellence and variety'.
Jach, Antoni. Napoleon’s Double
Johnson, A. Frances. Eugene’s Falls
Knox, Sara. The Orphan Gunner
Kureishi, Hanif. Something To Talk About
___________. The Buddha Of Suburbia
___________. Midnight All Day (stories)
Malouf, David. The Great World: "that rarity, a novel of genuinely epic scope" - and I agree with Publishers' Weekly there.
Miller, Alex. Conditions of Faith
Mitchell, David, Number9 Dream
(Cloud Atlas is also magnificent).
Moore, Lisa. Alligator
O’Connor, Andrew. Tuvalu
Stow, Randolph. Visitants
Van Loon, Julienne, Road Story
Wright, Alexis. Carpentaria
Looking forward to:
Ballard, J.G. Complete Short Stories
Conrad, Joseph. Youth
Some more Pynchon
Jach, Antoni. The Layers Of The City
Mann, Thomas. The Magic Mountain (recommencing and FINISHING)
O’Toole, John Kennedy. A Confederacy of Dunces
Sacks, Oliver. Musicophilia
Want to reread:
Ashton-Warner, Sylvia. Spinster
Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre
Hazzard, Shirley. The Great Fire
De Kretser, Michelle. The Lost Dog
(Conflicted about this one and need to understand if its mannered style was a problem, and if so, why.)
Maguire, Emily. The Gospel According To Luke
(rereading is in order, to reconsider the judgments I made about it in a review in 2006.)
The first half of The Magic Mountain
Toibin, Colm. The Master
(This links to Toibin's website, one of the most accessible and interesting author spaces I've found anywhere online.)
Winton, Tim. The Riders
Wordsworth’s early edition of The Prelude of 1799, in only two books rather than twelve -raw, brief and arresting, and still available from Norton along with the 1805 and 1850 versions.
What I am also looking forward to if I can handle the suspense:
Bei Dao – poetry and fiction. (Prominent Chinese poet who visited Australia in 2007).
Enright, Anne. What Are You Like
(reviewed by James Wood in 2000.)
Harmon, Joshua. Quinnehtukqut
A debut novel by a teacher of writing from Vassar.
McCann, A.L. The White Body of Evening
Recommended somewhere by Ian Syson.
Murnane, Gerald. The Plains
Grace Paley and Ann Patchett – anything! I need to catch up with them.
Portis, Charles. True Grit
A 1968 classic ‘comic Western’ which was reissued with an afterword by Donna Tartt recently
Silvey, Craig. Rhubarb (shortlisted for the Vogel around 2003)
‘Silvey shows amazing maturity and confidence for such a young writer. This offbeat love story about a blind girl and reclusive cello maker has a strong affection for its eccentric cast of characters and a ripe Australian sense of humour.’ That’s what the Vogel judges said. James Ley saw it differently at the time.
Zagajewski, Adam. Another Beauty
Colm Toibin describes Zagajewski as 'the best prose essayist alive'.(Critical Mass blog)
Read ‘em all already? Then have a sticky here sometime, and
don’t forget to check out Donald Barthelme’s suggestions while you are there…
(Apologies to those reading in feedreaders, I have updated this today.)