Sunday, 4 February 2007

The book list

That's George Washington, the first president, of course. The interesting thing about him is that I read three ... three or four books about him last year. Isn't that interesting? — George W Bush showing German newspaper reporter Kai Diekmann the Oval Office, Washington, D.C., May 5, 2006

More Bushisms here.

Despite swags of spare time, I haven't transferred many volumes between the 'to read', 'am reading' and 'have read' stacks. But the first stack hasn't got any longer, which may be a good thing.

I'm still reading John Steven's autobiography Not for the faint-hearted. It's a struggle. So far he's still a plod on the beat around Tottenham Court Road, back in the days when the job was Dixon of Dock Green with biffo. And he manages to make tales of gangland violence sound about as exciting as mopping the kitchen floor. I hope he gets promoted soon.

In a search for livelier writing, I started Clive James' fourth volume of memoirs, North face of Soho. It's been a while since I've read James and it's taking time for me to settle in. (And now I'm beginning to think there's something wrong with my attention span and/or interest in reading, which is a worry.)

The two novels that are about to shift from the 'to read' to 'am reading' piles are Cormac McCarthy's The road and Ian Rankin's The naming of the dead. Post-apocalyptic U.S. and serial murder in Edinburgh. Jolly stuff for my holidays.

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