My desk calendar for 2008 comes from the marvellous Audubon Society. Each day a wonderful and often weird bird appears. Today, most appropriately is a kingfisher. But not just any kingfisher, gone is the familiar green of our
I’ve come to realise that whilst I love reading, and love reading about books, I don’t particularly enjoying writing about them. Or more specifically I don’t enjoy trying to write objective reviews. I don’t like re-capping the plot, or trying to give a fair overview of what a novel is trying to do. I am an analogy addict and I prefer to wrap up my opinions in a variety of unlikely metaphors. I like to say why I like or dislike a book with little regard as to whether that information is helpful or accurate or interesting to anyone else.
Later this afternoon I shall be thoroughly abusing my F5 key as I wait for the Booker Longlist to be announced. I will then peruse the list and grab any titles I like the look of. [I’m trying not to fall into another Winnie and Wolf trap this year, and order something I don’t like the look of, only to quit it 50 pages in and feel bad about it!] Over the coming weeks I will share my reactions to those books here, but possibly in a slightly different form than recent years.
Most Booker Prize titles are hardbacks. I find hardbacks by nature hard. They are heavy to take out of the house and have sharp and awkward corners, risky for reading in bed. As such I like to read a more friendly paperback alongside the Booker books to fill those book-needy moments where a hardback won’t fit. This summer I’ve decided to challenge a long held distrust - the short story. I’ve never been too sure of the form, and have read very few short story collections that I’ve really liked. I think I am a person that needs to be thoroughly immersed in a story, and no sooner have they begun than they have ended. But I have gathered a selection of collections and am keen to see whether I can break through my barrier. So let Short Story Summer commence with one of the following -