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Leighton
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    18 June, 2005

    You can tell it's summer when....



    The first guides to Summer reading have appeared. The Guardian has the annual summer books feature today. I've already read some of them, like Philip Roth's The Plot against America, which Monica Ali says she has put by for the summer, and Ian McEwan's Saturday. Ian Rankin says he would if possible sit down to reread the whole of Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time. This is one of those books - or rather series of books - I've always meant to read and I have bought the first volume to start over the summer.

    Currently I am reading Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat. We saw Friedman in Hay - he's just as good a speaker as he is a writer - and I wanted to read the entire thing. The book sold out in Hay but Amazon delivered it this week. (This is not to say I agree with him on globalisation by the way - see Thom Frank's review of an earlier Friedman book.)

    I am also reading George Pelecanos's latest Washington D.C. crime novel, Drama City. His extraordinary series of novels is probably the best in crime fiction right now.

    The General Election got in the way of a lot of reading earlier in the year, but other books I've read recently include Alan Hollinghurst's '80s satire The Line of Beauty; Michael Connelly's latest Harry Bosch thriller, The Closers, and the Lindsay Ashford thriller Frozen from the Welsh women's publisher Honno.

    As for real summer reading, in two and a half weeks in France last summer I read Adam Feinstein's biography of Pablo Neruda; Neruda's Selected poems; some of Menna Elfyn's poems; Paul Ginsbourg's Berlusconi; the Kellerman(s) thriller Double Homicide; Rowan Williams' essay on 9/11 Writing in the Dust; Walter Mosley's Fear Itself; Rebecca Pawel's unusual Spanish Civil War thriller Death of a Nationalist ; Liz Jensen's novel War Crimes for the Home; Andrea Levy's wonderful novel Small Island ; Marc Cooper's Pinochet and Me; Andy Beckett's Pinochet in Piccadilly; Alafair Burke's first thriller, Judgement Calls; Gunther Grass's Diary of a Snail; Leonardo Sciascia's The Day of the Owl; Zadie Smith's White Teeth; Lawrence Ferlinghetti's Love in the Days of Rage; and Sean Hughes The Way he would have wanted. Being able to read so much in so short a time is a real luxury.

    And perhaps it is summer now - it's gloriously warm here in Llwynypia, now, though the day started off quite damp.

    1 comment:

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