Monday, 23 February 2009


The books by my bed are a curious mix. Essays by my favourite writers - Updike, Coetzee, Les Murray - histories of the CIA and the modern Japanese state; there are two unread biographies of Dostoevsky and three books about the Nazi occupation of France. Many apologies if someone else can make more sense of this than I do; they should let me know. 

Are these books here to remind me of who I am, or who I want to be? Or something completely different. Are they the books I most want to read, or the ones I'm slowest to uptake? Are they the ones that make me feel the best about myself? The one I finished last, Matt Ridley's guide to the whole human genome, has fallen down the side of the bed. It's down there with all the dust, no reflection on how much I enjoyed it (a lot). 

Unfinished, but still feeling optimistic:
Gombrich, the Story of Art
Mathieu Enard, Zone
Mikhail Bulgakov, life of Molière

There just because I read and loved them, and can't bear to put them away:
The Sight of Death, T.J. Clark

There, and always will be:
Anna Freakin Karenina