Books I’ve Read, 2010

Previously: 2005 and 2006 2007 2008 2009 Starting the reading for 2010 a little late; it took me a while to finish Richard Holmes’ Age of Wonder, which is both excellent and substantial. As per usual, this post will be updated throughout the year with brief impressions of the books and a slightly less thanContinue reading “Books I’ve Read, 2010”

Novels written by dictators

By definition, dictators can do anything they like, so why wouldn’t the mad, bad and crazy men at the top of tinpot regimes want to write novels? “Some recent examples have been Saddam Husseins’s last publication, Be Gone Demons!, sales of which suffered due to bomb damage, despite the author’s previous million-selling form; and Radovan Karadžić’s The MiraculousContinue reading “Novels written by dictators”

The cover of 1984 (updated)

“The typescript of George Orwell’s latest novel reached London in mid December, as promised. Warburg recognised its qualities at once (“amongst the most terrifying books I have ever read”) and so did his colleagues. An in-house memo noted “if we can’t sell 15 to 20 thousand copies we ought to be shot”. – From theContinue reading “The cover of 1984 (updated)”

Cover project 2009: photos of book covers

This year, as well as recording the books I’ve read, I’m also going to take pictures of them. The idea is that the photo will in some way reflect the contents, style and/or writing, or perhaps what I learned from reading it. The covers will be added to this post, and will also be inContinue reading “Cover project 2009: photos of book covers”

Two new books added to the wishlist

From the Onion’s very sober round-up of 2008’s best books. Carl Wilson, Celine Dion “Let’s Talk About Love”: “Carl Wilson’s startlingly good entry in the 33 1/3 music-book series surveys the work of Celine Dion and functions as an uncommonly honest, unerringly rigorous inquisition into the vagaries of “taste,” and how they manifest in waysContinue reading “Two new books added to the wishlist”

Books of the Year 2008

Previously: 2006 – 25 books, 28% non-fiction, and my book of the year was Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything is Illuminated. 2007 – 24 books, 33% non-fiction, far fewer contemporary novels1, and my pick of the year was Crime and Punishment. So how did 2008 go? I read even fewer books than in 2007, which isContinue reading “Books of the Year 2008”

1,000 Novels Everyone Must Read

The Guardian gave away a supplement called “1,000 Novels Everyone Must Read” today; I missed it, but they’re releasing it online. It appears to be separated out into broad subjects, and so far they’ve got ‘Love’ on the site. From 2006 – 2008 I read on average 24 novels a year; at that rate, itContinue reading “1,000 Novels Everyone Must Read”

Deciding what to read, start of 2009 edition

Normally, I’ve got zero interest in what the press write in previews for books of the year – the combination of the fact few papers have book journalists and the need to add some celebrity spice to any and every piece means they normally turn over the preview to vaguely well known writers and politicians,Continue reading “Deciding what to read, start of 2009 edition”

Books I’ve Read, 2009

In keeping with pretty much the only tradition I keep , there will now follow a list of the books I’ve read this year, with short reviews, and even shorter star ratings. This year I’m going to photograph all the books I read in a suitable location/situation as well: 2009 cover project. Previously: Books from 2005Continue reading “Books I’ve Read, 2009”