Monday, March 03, 2008

what i'm reading

this pile is kind of cheating, cos it's mostly made up of things i just read and things i'm about to read, but it's still a snapshot of where my brain is at right now.

from the bottom, then.

the big red one is a MA history thesis about the history of X university (where i just finished). winifred and i are using the thesis to put together a radical history tour of campus. it's very exciting. the campus used to be a hotbed of politcal activism and excitement. lots of photos of mounties lined up, waiting to arrest people.

the next five books are ones i've just read.

first is night watch, by sarah waters. i disliked this book the first time i read it, but really enjoyed it this time round. i love waters' other work, particularly tipping the velvet and other classics.

then the nice stripey one: the slightly true story of cedar b. hartley, which i got randomly from the library. i enjoyed this a lot, and it made me all nostalgic for brunswick and circus. recommended.

then luna, one of the only young adult books about a transgender character. the writing is not so good, but the politics are very good. often a flaw of issue novels. i expect julie anne peters' work will improve as she goes, and i'll keep an eye out for her stuff. recommended for the queer teen in your life.

whales on stilts is silly and fun. middlemarch is *not* silly and fun, but it does have a gripping story, and it makes your brain work in different directions. i read this for a class when i was 18 and hated it thoroughly, but it makes much more sense as a 25 year old. now i'm old enough for george eliot, i wonder if i'm old enough for virginia woolf?

then is the longman anthology, which i'm going to try and finish reading paradise lost in. i love the writing of PL, but you do have to concentrate very hard to follow it.

i'm part way through the worst witch, comfort reading, very good, and ex libris, also comfort reading. it's a book about liking reading. well written and entertaining. i read it all in one night last week, and now i'm going again more slowly, to pick up any details i may have missed. (i am my mother's daughter.)

haven't started the long walk yet. it's next on the list. i want to read it cos it's by the author of the phryne fisher books - let's see what her young adult lit is like.

and then on top of the pile there's we are everywhere, a collection of stories about anti-capitalist actions around the world. australia gets a story about busting refugees out of woomera. the book is kind of inspiring, cos it's all about communities working together for positive change, but also kind of depressing, cos it's about people being tear gassed and arrested and assassinated, and how big corporations and the WTO are fucking people over. so i'm reading that in chunks, and trying to be inspired to do some sort of activisty stuff instead of spending my time playing online scrabble.

though scrabble *is* kickarse fun.

this blog encourages other readers to send me a photo and/or description of their current book/s for posting.


groteaux said...

i have just read Right Book, Right Time: 500 Great Reads for Teenagers by Agnes Nieuwenhuizen so i have a list of about 40 books to read

i've checked the SMB library for the first 20, and NOT ONE is there! I must start ordering ...

the New York Review of Books has arrived and the Aust Book Review - I am reading ABOUT reading, not acutally reading reading

groteaux said...


i'm still not old enough for Mrs Dalloway

itchy said...

i am reading

- The History of Love
- bad vampire related romance novels that tine procures.
- about to start We Need to Talk About Kevin.

and flicking through my various photography books for ideas.

not terribly exciting, but there you are.

Epponnee-Rae said...

ooo, shiny. let me know when you manage to read any of them.

do you use any other libraries?

well, some of my reading is about that too. the anne faderman, for instance. you should read that, grotty. you'd like it.

am i old enough for "to the lighthouse," though? i'm not doing any more diaries. too off-putting.

Epponnee-Rae said...

thanks, itchy!

ah, the bad vampire romances. has she made you read the one about the gay angel yet?

is the flickr community a useful source of inspriration as well?

Nimmersatt said...

Hi gorgeous,
I just reread the nightwatch too, and it was much more fun the second time around, partly for the "ooh, ooh, she's in Westbourne Grove, that's just around the corner!" moments, but also I appreciated the story and the style and the characters more knowing where it was all going, (or had come from.).

Now that We are Everywhere book sounds great, and I'm kind of a bit excited cos I know one or two people who were at the Woomera action. Is this the lefty version of getting excited about knowing someone on Big Brother. If so, I apologise for my 'common' celebrity workship.

HF has just started rereading nightwatch this minute, and is looking at the map on the wall. It turns out that Duncan wound up living in walking distance of where the prison was!

I originally started this comment to say that you must read, if you haven't already, "The Shock Doctrine, the Rise of Disaster Capitalism" by Naomi Woolf. It's a phenomenally researched, amazingly coherent argument that various crises since the 1970s have been deliberately manipulated to impose extreme free market capitalism on countries reeling from the shock of whichever crisis it happened to be. She shows who did this, why, whose idea it was, how it was developed as a deliberate strategy, and by whom, from Chile post coup, to South Africa post Apartheid to Iraq in the last few years, and, and, and.

If I had time, that book would change my life.

(I'm too busy reading What Colour is your Parachute and working through the exercises in it to work out my career change path in a self obsessed manner to change my life through something so outwardly focussed as a political awakening.)


Epponnee-Rae said...

nimmersatt - ta for your suggetions. will write them down and check with the VPL.

that's kinda creepy about duncan. it would be fun to read the book knowing the city, though. partly why i enjoy phryne fisher so much. especially the one about ballarat.

ps. my parachute has polka-dots.

groteaux said...

no longer a student at any institution, so only use SMB library, which Susan and I are stocking up with the books we like - i think we are the only ones who order- no, but we sure are ordering a lot

tried yesterday to put "the waves" CDs onto iPod, but it would only copy the first one - copyright protection, i suppose

i thought you'd read "to the lighthouse'

Epponnee-Rae said...

you could try stealing "the waves" from limewire, or, alternatively, buying it from an online audiobook place. itunes? i got a nice version of "the woman in white" somewhere. it's been edited with a hacksaw, but is still good.

i have read "to the lighthouse", come to mention it. did i teach it? hmmm.

have you read lion boy yet? you should get that. and i just read the prequel to anne of green gables which is a bit meh, but interesting. and am marking essays on kit pearson's "awake and dreaming", which is a nice kidlit about vancouver and victoria.