Sunday, 1 July 2012

June's reading

By far the best thing I read in June was Great Works: 50 Paintings Explored by Tom Lubbock. It was my (requested) birthday present from my brother. It's a series of short newspaper columns by a since-deceased art critic, each on a single painting. The way he discusses pictures is unusual and and interesting -- for example to explain the power of an El Greco of a boy blowing on a candle he makes you visualise three short films. The book is quite well illustrated, though the pictures are constrained by its size. I really enjoyed it and discovered people I hadn't heard of like Peter Doig and Philipp Otto Runge. I wish Tom Lubbock had written more I could read. He was only 53 when he died. His obituary tells me that more may be published -- and also that he was a philosophy student at Corpus Christi, which is interesting. Next time I go back I'll see if any of the older fellows remember him.

Otherwise the things I enjoyed were mostly rereading -- Mason and Dixon, Anathem, Moo -- but I did read an excellent New Zealand book called Uncle Trev and his Whistling Bull by Jack Lasenby. This is the sort of book which any age of person could enjoy. It's about a boy in the 1930s who has to spend a long time in bed with some illness. When his mother goes out his bachelor Uncle Trev sneaks in to eat biscuits and tell the boy tall stories about his farm. Very good and unostentatiously charming.

No comments:

Post a Comment