On the bookshelf

Books I’m reading now include:

Iain M Banks: Surface Detail. He has single-handedly restored my faith in science fiction. Iain was at Lennoxlove Book Festival last weekend, but I didn’t get the chance to speak to him, being too busy setting up the Great Hall for other events.

Stephen Fry: The Fry Chronicles. This one’s mainly his luvvy period in Cambridge and after.

John Irving: Last night in Twisted River. Struggling a bit with this one, which is unusual for me, as I’m very fond of Irving’s writing.

John Le Carré: Our kind of traitor. Not started this one yet.

Günter Grass: The Tin Drum. This is a new translation by Breon Mitchell, and it’s more vivid, more Grass-y, than the Mannheim translation (which was good too).

Pippa Little: Foray; Border Reiver women. I met Pippa in Assynt, and enjoyed hearing her read her Norman MacCaig competition winning poem, now on the Top Left Corner website. I wanted to read more, and the postie delivered this one this morning. She has a new collection coming from Carcanet in 2012. Watch this space – she’s very good.

What about you? What can you recommend?


About sunnydunny

Poet, publisher, gardener
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5 Responses to On the bookshelf

  1. Rob says:

    ‘Lighthead’ by Terrance Hayes (Penguin USA) is a fantastic collection of poetry. It’s just won the USA National Book Award (poetry section) and, although these things often make no sense, this choice does.

    I also enjoyed Les Murray’s ‘Taller When Prone’ (Carcanet) and Steve Spence’s ‘A Curious Shipwreck’ (Shearsman). Three new books I haven’t had a chance to read yet are Helena Nelson’s ‘Plot and Counter-Plot’ (Shoestring), Claire Crowther’s pamphlet ‘Mollicle’ (Nine Arches) and Matt Merritt’s new collection from Nine Arches with the incredibly long title…

    One book I think you’d really like is Katherine Gallagher’s ‘Carnival Edge’ a new & selected, published by Arc. I’m reviewing it for Magma 49 so don’t want to say too much about it here. I didn’t know her work at all beforehand – it’s lucid, intelligent, emotionally affecting stuff.

  2. sunnydunny says:

    I’ll follow these up, Rob. As it happens, two of the authors who most impressed me at the Lennoxlove Book Festival last weekend were Sarah Dunant and William Fiennes, so their books are on the ‘To Read’ list too.

  3. swiss says:

    i’m having an entertaining time mulling back through montaigne’s collected essays. and when that gets all a bit too reasonable i’ve got hazlitt’s selected to get my teeth into.

    other than that i’m browsing victoria finlay’s colour which is just great for dipping in and out of.

    not much in the way of poetry – a collected al purdy and luljeta lleshanaku’s rather lovely child of nature

  4. If you like Grass try Herta Muller’s ‘The Passport’ – a very short, painfully poetic novella about life in Romania under Ceausescu’s dictatorship. It’s riveting, erotic, evocative. She writes the shortest chapters in the shortest sentences I’ve ever seen.

  5. sunnydunny says:

    Al Purdy’s interesting, and overlooked. I like his poem about the Arctic willow.

    Nancy: The Passport sounds right up my street – I’ll check it out.

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