Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tis the season to be reading

The Internet is all abuzz with Summer Reading Guides but to me Summer is more akin to picnics, bands, drinking and dancing. While in winter I go into hibernation zone and start baking, watching movies and reading more than ever. So here's my Winter Reading Guide as there are heaps of books that I want to read at the moment.

I'm always interested to read anything that is heralded as "the voice of a generation" especially if she's female. I'm yet to find anything that sounds like my voice - maybe we voice sounds like Cher from Clueless? Also I love slacker stories.
2. Just Kids - Patti Smith
I still haven't read this! Can you believe it? Because I certainly can't, I should just go and buy it but I'm saving up for a trip overseas (hopefully) and a new winter coat/gloves/hat (I'm freezing) plus I've been waiting for the library to get it in for soooooooo long. It would feel like quitting to go and buy it now.
I might have to buy this after listening to this lovely interview on NPR and reading this interview on Frugality be damned, and also the library hates JW, they never get his stuff in no matter how much I suggest it. I just want to sit at JW's feet and have him tell me that everything's going to be OK and then kick me in the pants and make me do something with my life. He is totally my guru.

I've always loved Benjamin Law's irreverent anecdotes in Frankie Magazine (yes he's Australian AND yes we can make our own funny everyone!) and I am of course a huge Dave Sedaris fan. You see poor Benjamin he gets compared to Sedaris in every single review/interview. I guess there are worse people to be compared to, but it is telling to see how Sedaris "owns" this genre of funny familial stories and how! Whatever you do don't go to Paris Benjamin!

I love Gladwell. If JW is my guru Gladwell is like that cool uncle or cousin that knew everything and always made family get-together dinners more bearable. Even if I don't always agree with his theories I love his writing and speaking. I've bought people copies of 'Blink' and 'Tipping Point' just we can share Gladwell-ian points and secret smiles when something is 'soooo Gladwell'. Therefore I want to read this collection of essays even though I've probably already read half online. It'll totally be worth it.

Dan Rhodes is my all time favourite short story writer, if you haven't already read his book 'Anthropology' please do! Its absolute genius and will take about 2 hours max to read. I went through a phase of photocopying his stories and sticking them inside mixtapes and CD's after my friend Johanna did this for me - it was absolute genius!

7. Wilson - Dan Clowes

I've read all of Clowes' comics after seeing 'Ghost World' the movie for the first time and a hundred times after that. I am definitely of the indie-breed when it comes to comics (Love and Rockets, Scott Pilgrim, Adrien Tomine) and one other which I've always assumed everyone knew Ivan Brunetti - who only released 4 comics in his Schizo series as far as I know. To be honest Wilson sounds a lot like Clowes-does-Brunetti AKA overly-self-aware-honest-angry-intolerant-cynical but also weirdly relateable and funny? Anyway can't wait to read it as I love them both and if one wants to ape the other who am I to complain?

I love, love, loved Joshua Ferris' book 'Then We Came to an End'. So I can't wait to read this new one 'The Unnamed' it will be interesting to see if he can bring his surreal but believable touch and wonderfully humanist tone to illness ('The Unnamed') the same way he can to office life and retrenchment ('Then We Came To An End').

I'm still waiting for Eggers to win me over the way he has my friends. If at first you don't succeed - keep reading. From what I've read in the New Yorker it does sound interesting "one man’s experience after Hurricane Katrina, Eggers draws an indelible picture of Bush-era crisis management".

Confession time: I like self help books whether they be relationship ones, how to reach your life's goal, how to become zen and I love getting advice most of which I ignore till I've heard the same thing for the hundredth time. Self help and advice is like my trash romance literature - instantly forgotten but thoroughly enjoyed. This looks more enjoyable and less forgettable (and funny in a different way) than most of the trash out there ATM.

11. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - Michael Chabon
I have had this out 2 times already from the library and keep only getting 150 pages deep into this some 800 page tome. However I kinda like this way of reading it. This books is like catching up every few weeks with your wacky friends adventures and exploits. I am so determined to finish this too - now if only I could apply this sort've finish a long book determination to the Russians. I am modern literature's whore.

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