Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bookshelves and Books and Writers 2011

The website is amazing. It's aspirational. And a little bit crazy. So here's what's on mine...

I’ve mainly been reading guilty pleasures of late: football books. Gary Neville's autobiography Red is a sturdy, solid read, not especially exciting, but dependably relentless none the less. There are a few glaring errors (surely it’s Salford Quays, not Keys?), but that just adds to the way the book reflects Neville’s career.

Football - Bloody Hell!, Patrick Barclay’s book on Sir Alex Ferguson, is a bit too stop-start for my liking, jumping about too much to deliver a consistent narrative. Every time I thought ‘this is getting good’ the subject changed.

I’m reading Player One by Douglas Coupland. It’s  very good. I love Coupland. The way he writes these ‘big issue’ books in such a personable and relatable manner, with tiny vignettes and trivia and pop culture references that just decorate the scenes beautifully.

I’ve been discovering the work of Rachel Trezise, recently. She’s a brilliant writer who I discounted years ago as the only book of hers that I’d heard of at the time was called Dial M for Merthyr shares a title with a brilliant compilation album, and therefore I thought it could not live up to the (unrelated) LP. But her short story collection Fresh Apples is awesome. And the half of Sixteen Shades of Crazy I managed to read before I had to take it back to the library.

I met Richard Gwyn the other day. That was quite an honour. I was made aware of his poetry in a creative writing class at University, and particularly love a poem called ‘Dusting’.
“You run your finger down a ledge and it returns covered in the filth of 1976. Punk dust. It is now 1999. You wonder should you lick this dust, would you get a flavour of the past?” 
Really want to read his newish memoir, The Vagabond’s Breakfast.

I keep buying Margaret Atwood books in charity shops and then forget to read them. This is something I shall rectify in the next few months.

My very good friend, the part-time supermodel and compulsive liar A.K. Bruty, has had a story published in From Glasgow to Saturn. It’s very, very good. Download the full magazine for free from their website. Now.

A.K. ‘47’ Bruty gave me a birthday present a while ago, and apart from the bit about Spillers Records having a soul aisle (it doesn’t), Miranda July’s short story collection, No One Belongs Here More Than You, is stunning.

Anyways, Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. See you soon. Et Cetera.
(Not my bookshelf)