Book meme

Via seangaffney 

1. One book that changed your life?

I’m not sure that individual books change lives.  But when I first read Next please by Ernst Jandl to my son I knew my life had changed.

2. One book you have read more than once?

There are lots.  I could mention any Asterix book but to maintain a degree of seriousness I’ll mention  Pfitz, the second novel by Andrew Crumey.  It is clever, witty, beautifully pieced together and a reminder that British novelists can write with lightness in a European style.

3. One book you would want on a desert island?

Lanark by Alasdair Gray – the great Scottish novel.  Social realism and fantasy.  In one life.  The novel that kickstarted the best of modern Scottish fiction.

4. One book that made you laugh?

Anthropology by Dan Rhodes – 101 stories of 101 words, each about love (and various disastrous relationships).

5. One book that made you cry.

The trick is to keep breathing by Janice Galloway

6. One book you wish had been written?

A fourth novel by Dennis Potter.  His first, Hide and Seek, is wonderful and underpins his greatest TV work.  Ticket to Ride is a pretty good psychological thriller.  Blackeyes was incredibly powerful and became a fascinating and flawed piece of television – although the various themes play out better in the book.

6a. One book by someone else you wish you had written.

If on a winter’s night a traveller by Italo Calvino.

7. One book you wish had never been written?

Doctor WHo: The Ancestor Cell by Cole and Anghelides because it meant that we didn’t get Lawrence Miles’s culmination of a story arc in the eighth Doctor series.

8. One book you are currently reading?

The testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson and thus far up to and exceeding the very high standard of his previous novels

9. One book you have been meaning to read?

Black Swan Green by David Mitchell but I can’t get round to it because it doesn’t look as interesting as Cloud Atlas.

About loveandgarbage

I watch the telly and read when not doing law stuff and plugging my decade and a half old unwatched Edinburgh fringe show.
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4 Responses to Book meme

  1. surliminal says:

    MOre overlap with me that I’d have expected. I too loved Anthropology (smart poignant stuff) but found TRick Is To keep Breathing just too unbearably bleak. Prefer Foreign parts. I treasured Lanark and Calvino (are you reading the kid Cosmicomics yet?). Sandy just read Black Swan Green and loved it as much as the other DMs. (I am delaying it till I’ve caught up on No 9 Dream).

    • When Anthropology came out I read it and then bought half a dozen copies which were forced on various friends.
      I guess I read The Trick is to Keep Breathing at the right time. I’d read The Bell Jar, loved Plath, and was having a difficult personal time at University. Whenever Janice Galloway gave a reading in Glasgow or Edinburgh when I was a student and trainee I went to hear her. She is a brilliant reader of her work.
      My English teacher gave me Lanark in my fourth year at secondary school and simply said, “I think you’re the sort that would like this.” I’ve read and re-read. It’s not – I think – the best Alasdair Gray, but it’s my favourite.
      I’m definitely going to read Black Swan Green but have been putting it off.
      If you love Calvino have you read anything by Andrew Crumey? His first book is an alternate UK novel (UK became communist) called Music in a Foreign Language. The second and third are related: Pfitz and D’alembert’s Principle and are very Calvino-like. Pfitz is about a kingdom where everyone is employed deisgning an imaginary place and its populace. It’s a whodunnit or a whydunnit in part. His fourth novel Mr Mee is a conflation of an elderly internet naif, two copyists (Ferrand and Minard) who interrupt Rousseau during some work, and the confessional tale of an academic studying eighteenth century fiction. His latest is Mobius Dick. It harks back to Music in a foreign language, muses on Schroedinger, Thomas Mann and has something of the Philip K DIck about it.

      • surliminal says:

        No, I never heard of him till you and blue condition started discussing him – ignorant me – it does sound very much my kind of thing. maybe I’ll get my book club to do him..

  2. trick is one book I go back to, oddly comforting and one of the few books to make me laugh out loud (the scene where she is terminally depressed but is worried about what the visiting nurse will make of her biscuit selection…)

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