Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Episode 694: I Need A New Bookshelf...

Met up with Hui Juan and Shirley for dinner at Brotzeit in VivoCity, and managed to buy five books from PageOne, despite being in there for less than 15 minutes. My excuse is that they're all by A. L. Kennedy, two of them were going for 40% off, and they're all American Vintage and Anchor editions that I've been looking for anyway. (I prefer not to buy the Vintage editions put out in the UK unless I absolutely have to.) Started reading Indelible Acts on the bus ride home from VivoCity, and it's powerful stuff. Mind you, these are just short stories. Can't wait till I actually find time to read one of her full-length novels. Of course, this is after I finish reading the Bret Easton Ellis books that have been waiting on my shelf since last summer, and after I finish Michael Cunningham's Specimen Days, which followed me unread to the UK and back, and after Ian McDonald's Brasyl and Donald Barthelme's stories, and after this enormous mound of library books on my desk at the moment. Probably should cull some from that pile and return them. Just did that today in fact, returned the books from the Interlogue series on local literature. I borrowed them thinking that reading all these essays on local writing would somehow help me to see something in it that I haven't in the past, but flicking through the contents pages, I realised all of the essays were on writers that I'd heard of, but had never read, and more importantly, have no desire to read. Call me a literary snob or unpatriotic, whatever, I don't care. Besides, it's quite hard to take a series seriously, whose stated aim is to bring into critical focus Singaporean writing in English, when the foreword by the series editor contains such egregious errors. So I'll pass on the whole series for now.

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