Monday, 5 July 2010

An oasis in the book desert

As you know, I'm struggling with my book purchase diet. However, a swarm of parcels arrived today, thanks to my canny use of a certain online bookseller's pre-order service and their used book market.

Luckily, a colleague has jumped ship for another institution, and I've boarded her bookcase.
So what turned up?

Roy Palmer's A Touch on the Times, a collection of leftwing songs for use on the picket lines which are surely coming.

Philip Larkin's Trouble at Willow Gables and Other Fictions - for completist and academic reasons: the stories aren't much good. Also his Required Writing (essays and reviews) which are much better, despite being utterly reactionary.

Ken MacLeod's The Restoration Game, because you can't have enough Scottish Libertarian Trotskyist near-future speculative fiction.

Cory Doctorow's Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, because this hip young thinker knows exactly what the future holds. You can download it for free from Doctorow's site.

American Psycho because Patrick Bateman is now the Prime Minister, and someone nicked my copy.

Talking of people leading a fantasy life: it's now two whole months since I wrote to Paul Singh Uppal, my new Member of Parliament. The guy who's meant to represent me, and to answer all letters from constituents. So far, he's managed one inchoate, self-congratulatory speech, lodged no written questions, asked no questions, joined no committees and voted like a sheep  few times.

He voted to exempt nuclear weapons from the spending review, because retaining the ability to kill millions is much more important than making sure that children get enough to eat. Shamefully, all the Lib Dems voted with him and only 15 Labour MPs bothered to vote against, the spineless bastards. Well done to the SNP, Greens, Plaid and SDLP, every one of whom voted to at least consider reducing our threat to the world.

No comments: