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A non-perishable mania

You may recall earlier this year I decided to keep a list of the books I read this year (with the vague intention of reaching fifty by the end of it). Well, I've polished off eighteen of the buggers so far, and this increased rate of bibliovorousness has led to some interesting discoveries.

I won't gush about Murakami, largely because I find myself empathising to a degree which is, if not significant, then at least an irritant. As such I'd be unable to objectively comment (and there's always the attendant fear that rave reviews can bite you in the arse when you re-read, and what struck you at first as dazzling intellectual conceits seem suddenly hackneyed), so no gushing.But suffice to say that I'm rationing them.

It having been many years since I read much in the way of genre fiction it was engaging to get stuck into Dashiell Hammett's novels, I got through Red Harvest in a couple of days. The flat and cynical prose is addictive, though not, I suspect as artless as it contrives to seem. Nevbertheless, lean paragraphs make for a healthy read. War was declared on prose with even a hint of lilac for a few days and it felt good.

Looking down the list so far it's a decent mix (a too worthy list would bore me to tears but I'm not letting myself off with lightweight stuff, that'd just be egregious cheating) and the number one thought is that each book is associated strongly to a memory, be it a sense of place (Switzerland, Lancaster) or time (the back bedroom in the late afternoon with the sun at it's most beatific), or, in the case of a re-reading of The Wasteland, the firing up of the writing synapses with an odd and sudden vigour.

Can't knock it, really.


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