13 November 2010
Weekend Reading List
New territory: I've not been travelling - at least not the way I used to - for two years already and feel rather left out when I hear friends making plans for trips. But never enough, I must say, to want to make a trip myself. Instead I read travel literature. I didn't know, did you, that Evelyn Waugh wrote many travel books? I picked up Waugh Abroad: Collected Travel Writing with an introduction by Nicholas Shakespeare. It's quite thick as it contains seven book-length travel pieces including Labels, which is a Mediterranean journal to A Tourist in Africa. In these pieces, you can glimpse some of Waugh's experiences that colour his novels, and this is fascinating for me. Studying Antonio's People, by Paul Caranicas, is like being transported to New York City in the 1980s (Antonio Lopez died in 1987, age 44). Not only is this book full of Mr Lopez's amazing drawings (accomplished, witty and sensual), they are placed side by side with photos of his models - many are Hispanic, a few are Japanese, including a pair of beautiful brothers, who are both. It's really a good book to own. I'm also reading The Paris Review Interviews, a collection of interviews with Dorothy Parker, Truman Capote, Ernest Hemingway, Jorge Luis Borges, T S Elliot, amongst august others. Writers are a different continent altogther, don't you think?I'm happy to discover an Agatha Christie I don't remember the plot of, althought I must have read it at some point. Sad Cypress, a Hercule Poirot story, couldn't have escaped me - I spent a couple of teenage years obsessively reading all Dame Christie's books. Now reading them late at night, I'm transported back to those days of Ribena and Cadbury chocolates. What innocent, simple joy I enjoyed!