Saturday, 6 August 2011

Laughing in the face of the Kindle

I am not allowed to buy any more books until I've read these books...

The London Nobody Knows
- this was a made into a fabulous film with James Mason, featuring crumbling music halls, street markets, meths drinkers and Italian cafes, if you ever get the chance. Very beautiful and moving. Thought it would be a paperback I could read in the bath but it's a giant hardback. I prefer paperbacks (except for cookbooks and art books). Curmudgeonly old nostalgic old ramble around London Town in the 60s by Geoffrey Fletcher, with pen & ink sketches.

The Lady with the Little Dog and Other Stories Chekhov
My knowledge of Russian writers is very poor, but after seeing Seagull! I'm well into Chekhov. I wouldn't have got what he's all about when I was younger.

How Chekhov managed to be a full time GP at the same time as knocking out genius plays and stories, it makes you feel like a slacker. I read somewhere that he looked up to Tolstoy but had to write to make money for his family - whereas Tolstoy was an aristo and could afford to write long novels, he had to concentrate on short stories. Interesting.

How to Lie with Statistics Daryl Huff
A golden oldie. When you are not mathematically gifted, it is easy for people to bamboozle you with numbers. This demystifies the use and abuse of statistics. Trouble is, I will always reach for a novel over a non-fiction book, so this has been on the bedside bookstack for a year.

Paolo Freire Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
A Brazilian educator who wrote about how the education system can be used to keep people in their places. Something I've come to feel strongly about through working in it. I do really want to read it, but at the same time when I'm away from work I DON'T WANT TO THINK ABOUT WORK.

A Stellar Key to the Summerland Olivia Plender
Olivia Plender is a miraculous artist who always draws. This is a graphic novel type thing about the Fox sisters, who in the process of a hoax to wind up their families inadvertently ended up inventing Spiritualism.

British Prints of the Machine Age this was a present from Sarah, I love this book. I must actually read it instead of just looking at the pictures. Here is one lovely linocut (not in this book) by Lilli Tschudi, my heroine.

More tomorrow, if you can stand it.


  1. Just as Hollywood in the 1950s turned to Technicolor, PanaVision, 3D and huge Roman epics to offer something TV couldn't provide, the boom sectors for book publishers will be gloriously designed volumes that people want to own and give and touch. Phaidon, for example, must be pretty relaxed, for the time being at least.

  2. Yes. I have a great one which I will post next, which just wouldn't be the same on an e-reader.

    I like the book though. I don't know how you could better it. I don't like the idea that it's all over. And imagine all those jobs, all that industry (printing, typesetting, etc) dying out.

    I know the idea is that you can store all those books in one little space, but really, how many books do you read at the same time?
    Not being able to read it in the bath is a big consideration too.

    And looking at text on a screen for a long time makes my eyes tired.

    There *dusts hands*

  3. so glad I picked the right one! you had quite a lot of strange choice:) you thought my collection was eclectic!