Friday, 7 January 2011

Oh no, not more books…

The wood pulp is really flowing this week. Today's haul is:

Steve Bell's Maggie's Farm: The Last Roundup and Waiting for the Upturn (so now there's only one of his books I'm waiting for); John Sutherland's coffee-table literary theory book 50 Literature Ideas You Really Need To Know (or as he has it, 50 literature ideas you really need to know: just because he writes for theguardian doesn't mean he has to copy everything they do); and Madan Sarup's old but useful An Introductory Guide to Post-Structuralism and Postmodernism - the deployment and absence of hyphenation is significant in some way, I suspect.

I have actually read some books recently, as well as bought them. Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel, a collection of the Dear Bill letters from 1980s Private Eye (fictional letters from drunk, racist and sardonic Denis Thatcher), The Wind-Up Girl (Thailand-set dystopian speculative fiction), Beckett's history of the 70s and most recently, Gwyneth Jones's beautiful space/future retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo (politics, imprisonment, revenge, wealth), Spirit: The Princess of Bois Dormant. It's compelling reading, and curious too. The orphan at the centre of the novel is a Welsh savage at the start - I often wondered if the author, with a name like that, is Welsh in some way, and this novel implies concern for Welshness and imperialism at the very least.

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