Monday, 21 June 2010

Book haul

List of recent book purchases from Oxfam Books in Chorlton. Probably the best bookshop ever, pretty much every time i go in there i find something that i really, really want. Good finds include David Foster Wallace, Anais Nin, Orhan Pamuk, Anne Enright and some awesome poetry compilations. Recently these:

Thomas Mann:
Buddenbrooks, Death in Venice
Martin Amis: Heavy Water and Other Stories
David Crystal:
The English Language
Primo Levi: The Mirror Maker, If Not Now when
Angela Carter:
Wise Children
Samuel Beckett:
Waiting For Godot
Milan Kundera:
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
Italo Calvino: The castle of crossed Destinies

Currently reading the Calvino, the book is compromised of short tales as told through tarot cards by a group of travellers who have lost the power of speech. The book is set in a strange castle in the middle of a forest. I suspect the travellers are all dead, but I'm not sure yet, I have a feeling its probably slightly more complicated than that. The Amis short stories were also pretty good, though I preferred The Information and Experience, which is actually his autobiography. Highly recommended, his prose is to die for. Wise Children I found a light and entertaining read but not a patch on her short stories, not at all. It was a beautifully written story, full of sumptuous description and the magic of the theatre, but I got two thirds of the way through and became impatient for it to end. Death in Venice dark and delicious, as expected.

The Modernist Journals Project

An actual treasure trove for those interested in modernism, like me!!! This site has collated 15 literary journals from the early 20th centuary online including the English Review and Blast. After reading about these seminal publications whilst researching the modernist movement, to be able to read them online in colour and as they would have looked is really exciting. Especially since you can see the adverts and other conventions of early 20thc printing, its interesting from an historical point of view as well as a literary one too. Its also interesting to note how, even after all these years, the artwork and design of these publications still seem modern and exciting. Note the bright pink cover of Blast!

Link here: