About half an hour ago I got my delivery of Christmas books from the Book Depository. I always set myself to read 3-4 books over the Christmas/New Year period. Typically I’ll read 2-3 books at once, and normally they’ll be a variety – maybe one easy reading, another literary, and the last a history perhaps, or a book of essays, maybe a biography. And I’ll always have a few books of short stories around the place in different states of being read.
The delivery of a package of books is always exciting for me. When you love books as I do there is always a great sense of anticipation. Lay a book in your hand and you can almost feel it hum. Inside are ideas and thoughts, fantasies and alternative realities. Every book is jam-packed with potential energy just waiting to be released. Get a packet of books and it just about glows.
My excitement was matched by Rigby’s. Rigby’s not a huge reader, but he does love boxes and packages. He leapt up and down, on the the bed and off it, tail wagging, head moving from side to side in excited anticipation. Get me at ’em dad! I let him go, his pleasure coinciding with my need to remove the books from their packaging. With joyous efficiency Rigby quickly tore into the cardboard until the books spilled free. I had to fight him for them, but he was happy to concede.
For the record the books I got are:
The Substance of Style by Virginia Postrel. This is business related, but interesting enough that I’ll enjoy reading I think.
The Black House by Peter May. An unusual book for me, a police novel set in Scotland which sounds interesting and a tad spooky. More my mum’s fare, but…
He Died With His Eyes Open by Derek Raymond. Stumbled upon this, sounded fascinating. Noir. I always like noir.
Death Will Have Your Eyes by James Sallis. I watched Drive recently, thought it was great. James Sallis wrote the book it was based on, and so I bought this. Again, sounds fascinating.
Gentleman’s Relish by Patrick Gale. Recommended to me (thanks E), it’s a collection of what sound like pretty interesting/unique stories.
A Song of Ice And Fire Collection by George R. R. Martin. Very much not me normally. Fantasy? Not me bro. But I saw the series and loved it (A Game of Thrones). And I met a girl who told me she couldn’t stop reading and that I had to read them all too if I wanted to experience true happiness. And so here I am.
The Memory Chalet by Tony Judt. This is my kind of book. Written in the shadow of terminal illness these are the memoirs in the shape of essays by one of the best historians cum intellectuals of the last quarter century. Provocative, thoughtful, deeply felt, and very true. Life in a book.
Some possibility that Santa may also come to the party with more books for the very good H. I’ve put the word around, wouldn’t mind: Binocular Vision (Edith Pearlman), Beauty and Sorrow (Peter Englund), Bali: The Food of My Island (Janet De Neefe), Australia – Story of a Cricket Country (Christian Ryan), and The Penguin Book of Australian War Writing.
Let’s see what comes down the chimney.
- Winter Is Coming (alatterdaybluestocking.com)