Reading Material for April

The Pile Beside My Bed

This post should be titled “Reading material for what’s left of April” but I reckon I’ll get through most of it. Jonathan Franzen’s book however is proving problematic. I have had Freedom for months and still not made any headway, which is odd as I loved his writing in The Corrections. I’ve picked it up a number of times but found I wasn’t in the right mood. By all accounts I’m missing out as it’s a triumph for Franzen according to the reviews. Some day soon…

The Etymologicon is one of those books that I couldn’t resist buying. Subtitled A Circular Stroll Through the Hidden Connections of the English Language, it contains a wealth of useless information for word nerds like me. It’s written by Mark Forsyth and was published on the back of his successful blog, The Inky Fool.

It’s been a while since I’ve read any short stories and having read and loved Kevin Barry’s collection, I decided to add to this section in my library. Screwjack by Hunter S. Thompson has been on my Amazon wishlist for ages. It a slim volume and contains three short stories. Mescalito, the only story I’ve read thus far, is typical HST – a drug fuelled meltdown in a hotel room followed by an ill advised plane journey, all in his loony quickfire prose. I also bought The Ballad of the Sad Cafe by Carson McCullers, a renowned American author from Georgia who used the South as the setting for many of her stories.

The latest issue of The Paris Review (which also happens to be the 200th issue) makes an appearance in the pile. Friends of mine gave me a subscription for my birthday last year which was an amazing present. I haven’t made my way through the whole thing yet but so far I’ve particularly loved the story by Mark Sumell entitled Toast.

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