I think I may have done the music thing to death. For now, anyway.
One of the many joys of ploughing through the #60at60 project was the way it required me to sit down at least once a week and just write. Since finishing that, I’ve missed the process, but I know I could do without the weekly rigours and the deadlines, however self-imposed. Therefore, with due apologies to the Technical Difficulties team for appropriating the title, I’m going to have a go at that bloggers’ standby – reviewing books.
I suspect this will involve far fewer deep dives into my personal history (but don’t rule it out), and a lot more pontificating about things I may only half understand; that’s kind of the point, I think.
What to expect
A glance at the 60 at 60 list will probably suggest that I read the kind of books which people who enjoy progressive rock read. And, yes, there will be a healthy dose of science fiction in there. For example, I am slowly working my way (in reverse order, naturally) through this list: The 50 Best Sci-Fi Books Of All Time and – so far, not necessarily agreeing with all the choices.
However, there’s more to it than that. By way of illustration, here’s a list of the 49 books I read in 2022:
- For Whom The Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
- Tiamat’s Wrath, James S A Corey
- Sword of Destiny, Andrzej Sapkowski
- The Spy Who Loved Me, Ian Fleming
- The Spitfire Luck of Skeets Ogilvie, Keith Ogilvie
- Justine, Lawrence Durrell
- French Exit, Patrick de Witt
- Balthazar, Lawrence Durrell
- Blood of Elves, Andrzej Sapkowski
- Mountolive, Lawrence Durrell
- On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Ian Fleming
- Clea, Lawrence Durrell
- How Music Works, David Byrne
- Memory’s Legion, James S A Corey
- The Every, Dave Eggers
- Piranesi, Susanna Clarke
- You Only Live Twice, Ian Fleming
- Inhibitor Phase, Alastair Reynolds
- Station Eleven, Emily St John Mandel
- The Echo Wife, Sarah Gailey
- Across the River and Into the Trees, Ernest Hemingway
- Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
- The Vinyl Café Celebrates, Stuart McLean
- Contact, Carl Sagan
- The Man With The Golden Gun, Ian Fleming
- Time of Contempt, Andrzej Sapkowski
- The Sportswriter, Richard Ford
- Peripheral, William Gibson
- For Your Eyes Only, Ian Fleming
- A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M Miller
- Albert Angelo, B S Johnson
- The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
- Octopussy and The Living Daylights, Ian Fleming
- The Observer Observed, ed. Joanna Anstey and John Silverlight
- Like a Fiery Elephant: The B S Johnson Story, Jonathan Coe
- City by the Grey North Sea, Fenton Wyness
- The City We Became, N. K. Jemisin
- Christie Malry’s Own Double-Entry, B S Johnson
- Shakespeare’s Restless World, Neil McGregor
- Pantagruel, Francois Rabelais
- Solaris, Stanisław Lem
- A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles
- The First Cuckoo, Kenneth Gregory, ed.
- Neuromancer, William Gibson
- The Apollo Murders, Chris Hadfield
- Islands in the Stream, Ernest Hemingway
- Blood Music, Greg Bear
- The Bomber Mafia, Malcolm Gladwell
- Idly Oddly, Paul Jennings
I’m almost done with the complete novels of Hemingway (but I have some of his non-fiction on the ‘to read’ pile); I am, thankfully, done with the complete James Bond (if ever there was a series which illustrated the concept of ‘diminishing returns…’); on top of the Esquire list above, I’ve started working through the works of Rabelais, and I’m on the lookout for another collection to start.
Roughly half the books I read are on Kindle, but I’m reluctant to let go of the joy of reading physical books, so there will be plenty of those, including a number I brought back form Aberdeen when clearing out my dad’s house in the summer – some of those are elderly enough that I doubt I’ll be able to add a proper link at the head of the review, like the real reviewers do. We shall see.
Oh, also, I might not fully review everything. I’m looking forward to this being a somewhat more relaxed affair from a writing point of view.
Also, I will get round to tidying up the typos in the #60at60 stuff. Break time is over.