White jazz in a café:
Nocturnes, still life –
The mouse and his child
Loitering with intent.
[click pic to enlarge]
Usually my bookmashes combine books I’ve read and books I’ve yet to read, but these are all on the unread shelf; several are recent acquisitions from local second-hand bookstores.
I haven’t read any Lavin or Byatt yet; I’ve had mixed experiences with Ellroy and Ishiguro; and I like Hoban and Spark a lot, so I’ll try to make time for those two soon. (It helps that they’re short. Today’s read, Eric Kandel’s In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind, is rather hefty. I just remembered it featured in a bookmash in 2014.)
Older book spine poems are here. This time, for once, I kept it simple. Thank you to the authors: James Ellroy, Mary Lavin, Kazuo Ishiguro, A.S. Byatt, Russell Hoban, and Muriel Spark.
I had never heard of Russell Hoban when I came across a copy of ‘Turtle Diary’ in an op shop a while ago, and just ate it up, a delicious, perfectly British morsel. I know nothing more about him or his other works, but now I’ve been prompted, I’ll look it up and see what my local library might have.
I’ve had interesting experiences with A.S. Byatt. I really love all her collections of short stories. I mean really, really, love – I swoon and marvel at their brilliance. But I’ve tried several times to read her novels, and each time couldn’t get past the first few pages.
Turtle Diary was the first book by Hoban that I read too. The title attracted me, the blurbs were raves, so I tried it out and adored every page. It’s still my second favourite Hoban, after Riddley Walker, though there are many I haven’t read.
I like The Bat Tattoo, despite its excessive similarity to Turtle Diary. Kleinzeit was most beguiling: everything in it comes to life, even Death. Pilgermann, a religious fantasia I read a few weeks ago, was brilliantly imaginative but odd even by the author’s standards; I wouldn’t recommend it casually.
Since we’re on the subject of Hoban and poetry, here is a short poem he wrote about being short:
Thanks for the note on Byatt. I’ll keep an eye out for her short stories.