Things I’m Reading Thursday # 9
As I begin this post, my clock is saying 23:27… so the chances of me actually managing to post this before Thursday is out are slim to none. And to add insult to injury… I haven’t actually read anything this week that didn’t appear in last week’s post. I finished the first first-year thesis draft, though, so hopefully I can get back to reading things I want to read rather than things I have to. So because I have nothing new to tell you this week, I thought I’d share some books from my to-read list (aka, Amazon Wishlist!)… so if you’ve read any of them, please do tell me what you thought!
A Disaffection, or actually pretty much anything else by James Kelman
I first discovered James Kelman in my second year of undergrad, when I was given this really damn weird book called The Burn to read for class. As an impressionable young twenty year old, I had never come across anything like it before — it totally blew me away. A couple of years later, I decided to read How Late It Was, How Late, and again, I was just totally overwhelmed by how brilliant it was — it’s now one of my all-time favourite novels. I’ve also dipped in and out of Kelman’s collection of essays And The Judges Said…, but for ages now I’ve been meaning to get back to reading his novels. A Disaffection has been recommended to me, but then so have all his books. It seems he just can’t write a bad one. Anyone have a favourite? Is there a particularly obvious one to read next?
Paint it Black by Janet Fitch
I basically just want to read this book because I loved Fitch’s White Oleander… you know the one, huge bestseller, Oprah’s Book Club recommendation, made into a fucking awful movie, etc. I really DID NOT want to like that book, trust me. But it was recommended to me by a friend who reads A LOT and has never yet suggested a book to me that I didn’t come to absolutely love, so I read it, against my own better judgement. It is annoyingly brilliant — huge bestseller for a reason, Oprah’s Book Club pick for a reason. I actually did something with White Oleander that I’ve never done with any novel before or since: immediately after I finished it, I read it again, cover-to-cover. I have no idea why, to this day, as the language is sticky with metaphors and the snippets of poetry Fitch writes into the narrative are genuinely horrendous. But I was compelled, to the point where it unnerved me! So I want to see if Paint It Black can live up to its predecessor.
Dorothy Parker’s Elbow: Tattoos on Writers, Writers on Tattoos ed. Kim Addonizio, Cheryl Dumesnil
If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time you’ll know I have a slightly unhealthy interest in body art… I even edited a book about it myself! I also love Kim Addonizio, so I’ve been wanting to buy this book for bloody ages. Worth it, tattoo fans?
With Nails: The Film Diaries of Richard E Grant
I know it’s a huge student-y, Brit-hipster cliché to list Withnail & I among your favourite films, but tough, I do. It’s one of the funniest films ever made, and one of the best, so there. Also it features a youthful and lovely Paul McGann, which is an obvious bonus. I’ve already read Kevin Jackson’s Modern Classics take on the movie (which is really damn good, by the way), but I’ve heard that With Nails is brilliant, so it’s been on my wishlist for ages. Anyone else as much of a geek as me? Read it?
Hey, it’s 23:58! I made it!
What are you reading this week? What’s at the top of your to-read list?
Tags: a disaffection, advice for young writers, books, dorothy parker's elbow, james kelman, janet fitch, kim addonizio, paint it black, publishing, resources for young writers, richard e grant, Things I'm Reading Thursday, withnail and i, young poets