Thursday, February 02, 2006

 

Maybe I Shouldn't Have Torn Oprah's Number Out Of The Phone Book . . .

The other day, I realised I no longer had a book for reading while on the loo, or in bed, so I toddled off to the massive Waterstone's in Manchester, which is like three storeys tall, to get something to peruse. I didn't really have anything in mind when I went in, which in retrospect was probably a mistake, since I spent about an hour and a half in there just trying to find anything that would pique my interest.

My God, isn't it hard to find anything you might like?

One of my first complaints was the reviews. One novel I idly picked up, entitled 'Modern Ranch Living', had about six different reviews on the back. One claimed that it dealt admirably with 'the inertia of American small-town life.' Another claimed it was 'full of kinetic energy.' Surely both can't be true? And if not, then why would I read a book even the experts can't get to grips with?

Another book I picked up was a biography of Philip Larkin. I looked at the back cover, which was simply full of praise for the writers' last work, a biography of Kingsley Amis. Now, this book was in hardback, so was that why apparently nobody had reviewed it? Don't newspapers or magazines ever review hardbacks?

The biography section held me for longest. I haven't read a biography for ages, the last even faintly autobiographical work being John Howard Griffin's 'Black Like Me.' The trouble was, of all the hundreds of titles on display, I couldn't honestly say I cared enough about any of the people whose lives had so fascinated themselves and others. For a while, I toyed with buying a couple of books that took this to the extreme, figureing they'd be good for a pisstake - a biography of Ashton Kutcher, and Jimmy Nail's lifestory seemed promising in this regard - but then I realised what a waste of time and money that would be for a couple of cheapshots.

In the end, I decided that having loved the film so much, I'd buy Tristram Shandy, which I fully anticipate failing to read the whole of.

It used to be that I listened to the book reviews of a Thursday on Simon Mayo's show on Five Live to decide reading matter, but recently the books they've reviewed haven't exactly interested me. If any of my handful of remaining readers has read anything good recently, feel free to recommend it in the comments.

Comments:
As a history student i honestly try to avoid reading anything strenuous as much as possible- its just a chore for me these days. Anyway as for casual toilet reading i'd have to recommend the Readers Digest... informative and so up America's arse its funny!!

"Oh beautiful for spacious skys..." and according to them Bill (coo cookachoo- family guy lol!)Cosby is a modern day prophet!!
 
Cosby brings forth the truths that others dare not speak. Noah mouthing off to a brattish creator. Tonsils and the violence done thereof. Babycoach wheel theft rings.

...the dancing of the naked damned.

He is a prophet. A friendly, non-threateningly black, almost indecipherably mumbly prophet.
 
Well, who could disagree with such sage advice as:

'A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice.'

Now that's what I call knowledge. Or something, anyway.
 
If Nobody Speaks Of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor.
 
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