Tuesday, January 4, 2011

old and new books

These are the books and other things I can remember reading in 2010.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
Purchased in Glastonbury, UK. One of those books that make you think 'oh god, fuck' about life but also make you feel okay about it

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
a reread, one night in February

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
pretty excellent book loaned to me by my boss/dear friend. pretty French and has an annoyingly precocious protagonist but really nice. actually overall a bit precocious

Indecision by Benjamin Kunkel
Pretty sure I reread this to see if I liked it as much now as I did when I originally read it. I did.

Brother of the More Famous Jack by Barbara Trapido
loaned and then given to me by a former colleague/dear friend. coming of age-y, wordy, girly.

On the Road by Jack Kerouac
another reread. same quotes stuck out to me second time round: "I felt like an arrow that could shoot out all the way"

Our Father Who Wasn't There by David Carlin
David Carlin is a lecturer at my university and I read this book for an assignment in class. It is about how his father committed suicide when he was a few months old. I felt akin to him in some ways and found it difficult to write an emotionally removed review, got a poor mark.

The Spare Room by Helen Garner
Helen Garner is a famous Australian author. This book is mostly autobiographical, though she 'controversially' labelled it fiction. It is about a friend of hers with incurable cancer who came to visit her, seeking treatment that would save her. It didn't. Also read for university.

Sleep it off Lady by Jean Rhys
A collection of short stories, loosely autobiographical (if you know anything about Jean Rhys), certainly wonderful.

The Collected Works of TS Spivet by Reif Larsen
This sounds like a science book and it is meant to. TS Spivet is a 13 year old cartographer. There are little maps, diagrams and drawings on each of the pages in this book. He makes maps of everything and wins a prize to give a speech at the Guggenheim. He does not tell his parents that he is going. It is a road trip book. The ending was more farcical than the plot I have already told you.

Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
I began loving this book. I wrote down these quotes
"her life was an urgent, desperate struggle to justify her life. she felt like she were brimming, always producing and hoarding more love inside her" p79
"nothing felt like any more than what it actually was. everything was just a thing, mired completely in its thingness" p80
The end was not as wonderful, though I don't remember it now. I feel like it just ended.

The Quiet American by Graham Greene
I have discovered that I like to read books about the Vietnam war. This book was really good and taught me more about the war than the other media I have ingested about it. I liked it a lot and it was quick and easy to read. Americans say Graham like gram and it weirds me out.

White Oleander by Janet Fitch
This book was intoxicating. Stacey loaned it to me a while back but I didn't want to read it because I saw the film a few years ago and worried that would ruin it. The book was very good anyway. People teased me because on the front of the book it says 'selected for Oprah's book club'.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
My friend Shu Shu told me to read this because it is her favourite book of all time and she collects different versions of it obsessively. I thought it quite interesting and was proud of myself for reading something about dystopia because I still have not read 1984.

Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys
I love Jean Rhys a lot, cannot explain how glad I am that she wrote this.

Eat When You Feel Sad by Zachary German
After I read this, I remember feeling feelings like the protagonist was feeling

How a Moth Becomes a Boat by Josephine Rowe
Josephine Rowe is a writer/poet who lives in Melbourne. This book is a collection of her short stories. Most of them are lovely, some of them I could tell they were meant to move me though and that upset me. I liked one about a fox the most.

I also read lots of poetry for Voiceworks and in other places like New Wave Vomit, some Tao Lin poetry and watched other videos of poetry online.

Most of the books that I want to read over the summer are ones that I was given/have to finish reading from last year, I guess I would like to read them all by March but I spend too much time thinking about what I could blog but here they are

Ideas by Peter Watson *
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
In the Aeroplane Over The Sea by Kim Cooper
The Shadow of Sirius by WS Merwin
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart *
The Gourmet by Muriel Barbery *
Literary Miscellaney by some guy
The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morris
Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf *
The 13 and 1/2 lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers
Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace

The ones marked with * I have already begun (this is not interesting to anyone but me huh)


  1. this just makes me feel like i have so many books to read and i can't wait. i gave you my copy of perks, god isn't it so beautiful? the physical book i mean. i have no idea if as a twenty something i would still relate to it.