I’ve read articles where authors or politicians or plumbers are asked what books they’re reading as a way for us to glimpse into their lives.
Actually I’ve never read a plumber article. I assume editors don’t know any plumbers, or that they assume plumbers can’t read. I bet they can.
Anyway, the authors and politicians usually rattle off a list of books that their publicist has handed to them in preparation for the interview. Generally it includes a biography of Churchill, something about the Middle East, a slim collection of poetry from a Tasmanian biologist, a translated Norwegian crime thriller, and Great Speeches By That Person Up There At The Microphone: 1001 Speeches You Must Read Before You Die In A Car Accident.
I’ve always regarded it as bullshit. How can anyone read more than one book at a time?
Wallington reads books so fast they blur and move like a hand-held cartoon – but only ever one at a time.
So here is a weird confession. These are the books I’m currently reading:
Us; David Nicholls
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry; Anthony and Ben Holden
Mother’s Milk; Edward St Aubyn
Winston Churchill; Patrick Delaforce (my imaginary publicist made me include that)
Storyteller; Zoe Daniel
Once Were Warriors; Alan Duff ( on Kindle)
Mother’s Milk I’m reading in my lunch breaks at work, book four in the wonderful, hilarious, depressing, not-always-well-written Patrick Melrose series.
Us I’m wading through at home. I’ve enjoyed Nicholl’s other light novels – One Day, Starter For Ten – but I’m finding this one rather plodding, indulgent and in need of an editor.
With Winston Churchill I’m not at the end, or the beginning of the end, but I am perhaps at the end of the beginning. I haven’t got it, or started it and I’m not going to.
Poems…. I dip in and out of and so far I haven’t cried but I’m as hard as nails, me. I’m enjoying it.
Once Were Warriors on the Kindle is when I feel like a Kindle read. Maybe I’m nude in a fast car and I don’t want the pages to flip in the wind. It is brutal and awful and simple and tense.
Storyteller is a thoughtful account by an Australian ABC journalist on assignments in South East Asia trying to juggle family life with world weirdness.
So there. I don’t know how this has happened, or quite when, but I’m convinced I haven’t lost the plots.
My nephew Ben is a plumber. I must ask him what he’s reading.