Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Some books

I've read some books recently. Hurray! Most of them were good and some were very good. I have decided to pay tribute to these in this very public forum.

1. Christopher Brookmyre writes interesting and well-crafted thrillers which are quite funny. I will take one next time I go on an aeroplane or a long train journey. He is a not very subtle fan of Robertson Davies, who wrote The Cornish Trilogy, which I think is the best book of the twentieth century.

2. Michael Chabon can really write. He's such a good writer it's annoying of him. I read Wonder Boys, which is even better than the Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Clever Michael Chabon! -- as Matthew Collings would say.

3. I also read The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, which my inner teen/pre-teen enjoyed. I wouldn't have bought it if I'd realised it was quite so Fantasy, but it's very readable. Probably good for a kid who was moving on from Harry Potter. I'll read the sequels when they're out, and when I'm feeling the need to veg.

4. The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil by George Saunders is brief and quite frightening. Could be more engaging.

5. The Famous Writers' School by Steven Carter is very good while in progress but the ending was a bit meh.

6. Z. Z. Packer's Drinking Coffee Elsewhere is definitely worth reading and very gripping, but my enjoyment was slightly spoilt by the worry that since she's American I should have been thinking of her as zeezee rather than zedzed.


  1. What did you read by Brookmyre? I have a love/hate relationship with him; in that I love reading his books, but then hate myself afterwards for having read them.

    And yay! Robertson Davies! Think I'm going to reread the /Cornish Trilogy/ now the exams are over...

  2. I read All Fun and Games Until Somebody Loses an Eye, which I enjoyed except for the lamentable attempts at girl talk. And A Tale Etched in Blood and Hard Black Pencil, which is good. I liked the primary school stuff. Maybe it just chimed with my mood, as I was at a big family event and felt rather trapped in my 12-year-old persona.

    I don't think one should ever feel bad for having read something, unless it's something like Jeffrey Archer or the Reader's Digest which makes you feel awful while you're actually reading it, like binging on cheap fudge. Myself I can't read intellectual stuff all the time, so I just try to pick respectable non-intellectual reading, which, to continue the confectionary metaphor, I would liken to indulging in quality chocolates.

    Have you read RD's other trilogies? The Deptford one has Bollandists in it, and the Salterton one is the most Anglican.

  3. PS Should have said, I loved the Glass Bead Game.