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THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF BOOKS

I love them so much. But there are volumes of them. The pile I am reading just now would seriously injure a small child if it fell. (The books, not the child.)

At the side of my bed, there is a hillock of books which extends to the bottom of the light-shade. I am actively reading the books at the top of that hillock (several underneath have gone into good-intention territory).

Active bedtime reading currently includes: John Lucas, Next Year Will Be Better, Stephen Fry's The Fry Chronicles and Don Paterson's Reading Shakespeare's Sonnets. I have nearly finished the first of these, am just over halfway through the second and have been unable to resist starting the third, although I was supposed not to touch it until Stephen Fry was done with. No wonder I have odd dreams.

Others that I am sort of reading, and three of which I have to review:

  • Les Murray, Taller When Prone (poetry)
  • Patrick Ingram, What Follows? (poetry)
  • Paul Muldoon, Maggot (poetry)
  • M A Griffiths, Grasshopper (poetry)
  • Fiona Thackeray, The Secret's in the Folding (short stories)
  • Michael Jenkins, A House in Flanders (memoir)
  • Marion Nestle, Food Politics (what it sounds like)
  • John Berryman, The Dream Songs (poetry)
  • Carrie Etter, The Tethers (poetry)
  • Walter Perrie, Lyrics and Tales in Twa Tongues (poetry)
  • Brian Johnstone, The Book of Belongings (poetry)
  • Peter Sansom, Selected Poems
  • Paulo Coelho, The Zahir (novel)
  • Iain M Banks, Inversions (novel)

Last year I spent £592.60 on books. I only know this because I keep book purchases tallied as part of my HappenStance accounts. But now I think of it, that's not all book purchases; it's just poetry books. So in fact, I must have spent £750. Ish.

Oh -- and I forgot to mention the magazines. There is also IOTA, in all its spendidness, and it is very FAT -- much more than one iota. And the last issue of PN Review. And the latest issue of Mslexia with a picture of Susan Hill on the front cover that would scare anybody off writing for life. And Obsessed with Pipework, and Krax and New Walk.

Meanwhile, I am on Chapter 12 of Chapter 5. Writing it, not reading it. That's The HappenStance Story again. It's my intention to finish it today. So beware subscribers! Soon that chapter will add itself to YOUR reading mountain!

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Tuesday, 31 January 2023