first quarter reading list 2013

sex drugs & madness

Narcopolis, Jeet Thayil

Jeet Thayil’s Narcopolis: not my book of the quarter

January

Albert Camus, Exile and the Kingdom
William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury
William Burroughs, Naked Lunch
Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis

February 

David Sandison & Graham Vickers, Neal Cassady: Fast Life of a Beat Hero
Antonio Melechi, Fugitive Minds
Hermann Hesse, The Prodigy

March

D. H. Lawrence, Sons & Lovers
Tom Robbins, Skinny Legs and All

Sex, drugs, and madness was how I began the year. Literary wise, if not otherwise, but probably a little otherwise too. But in reality, it probably was more literary than any of the other three (or the other three combined).

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midsummer’s day

tune yards // thousands

You would be forgiven for not noticing, given the overcast sky, but this time last week it was the summer solstice. Longest day of the year, what seems to me like the beginning of the summer and the beginning of the end. It always makes me sad to think that from here onwards the days are in decline. NEVERTHELESS, what a wonderful day it was, at least in Brighton, when the sun finally broke through the clouds, and I spent the evening at the Haunt where the glorious Thousands were playing.

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april reading list

You know, the entire time I was laid up with essays a recurring thought was, as soon as this is over I can get back to writing. Isn’t that nice? Well the term papers are finally in and I celebrated by recouping all the lost sleep and then going to see Fast 5. Don’t think I didn’t seriously consider bringing a review of that film as my first offering on returning to the blog, but I figured it might bring down the tone (which I think I’ve kept to an admirably high standard). After all, no one really wants to know the answer to the question: which could I more easily live without – Mark Wahlberg or Paul Walker and his host of most excellent movie-films? Even if someone wanted an answer I don’t think I have the capacity to give it.

April.

Charles Bukowski, Notes of a Dirty Old Man
Martin Amis, The Pregnant Widow
Jean Christophe Valtat, Aurororama
Jacques Derrida & Maurizio Ferraris, A Taste for the Secret
Jacques Derrida, The Ear of the Other
George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London
George Orwell, The Road to Wigan Pier
Charles Bukowski, Post Office
Howard Sounes, Charles Bukowski: Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life
Charles Bukowski, Factotum
H. G. Wells, Men Like Gods

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first quarter reading list

Man Ray's Violin d'Ingres - Kiki de Montparnasse

One thing my MA has taught me is to read bloody fast. I’ve been keeping track of the books I’ve read so far this year, and what I would like to do is post this monthly with some thoughts about the books I’ve read and perhaps encourage you to do the same. This being said, I started this blog too late to give you January and February. For this first post, then, I will present to you March, as it should be, and January and February, in retrospect and only as a list.

March

Anaïs Nin, Little Birds
Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway
Anaïs Nin, A Spy in the House of Love
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
Catel & Bocquet, Kiki de Montparnasse
Brecht Evens, Night Animals


Unintentionally, the month of March belonged to women. I have enjoyed every single book I’ve read this year, but March was especially pleasing to me.

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wednesday: DRINK THE JAZZ

(see below for the first installment of my Brighton local travel diary)

The Victory

thanks to Patrick for the photo

Then Wednesday came a little groggy. But breakfast, coffee, gitanes on the wooden pallets that pass for decking in my back garden, there in the burning morning sun and I was burning to go to the sea. We walked down into town with only a couple of stops down North Laine to look in the Amnesty Bookshop, and I bought two books from Sandpiper Books, which is an excellent bookshop for art, film; culturey sort of books (I bought Generation of Swine by Hunter S. Thompson and Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Bukowski). They have new books at very cut prices, so I bought my first new books in a very long time.

To the sea. But although the sun was hotter, the wind was stronger also and it was not quite hot enough, and when the guitar-playing 28p-scrounging juice-drinking fellow from yesterday turned up just behind us it was like a sign to get the hell out of there.

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tuesday: THREE WAYS TO HEAR A POEM

thanks to Patrick for the photo

I’m going to write something about Brighton. I was lured out by the sun and by a visit from my friend Patrick, so I played the tourist a while and thought it was time I shared something of the best of Brighton. Three days is not enough to do everything in Brighton, I discovered, but we did manage to do quite a lot. Read on for a travel diary of an illicit midweek holiday…

Tuesday.

It has been a delightful week here in Brighton: waking up to the feverish blue sky on Monday I knew we were in for a treat. It is the first week of the Easter holidays and I was ready to begin some serious work on my term papers, but then my friend Patrick came to visit with Lance (my new friend, oui?!) and it all went to hell; or, more likely– to the sea.

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