Look. You try moving across an ocean without your possessions and then tell me what it takes to make you feel comfortable when you’re living out of suitcases in someone’s spare room. Life has lacked stability of late, and even though I consider myself pretty good at rolling with it, I want some security and familiarity. I may be panic buying myself enough books to build a fortress with, but that’s ok by me.
Seven Men and Two Others – Max Beerbohm. Because although Zuleika Dobson was stranger than strange, I’ve liked the couple of essays that I’ve read by Beerbohm and he is supposed to be very funny.
Kid – Simon Armitage; Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis – Wendy Cope; The Whitsun Weddings – Philip Larkin – because I used to have the Wendy Cope and because Faber have put all these out with such striking covers, and they were 3 for 2. So there seemed no point resisting them.
A Gun for Sale – Graham Greene – which I’ve never even heard of, but looks sort of James Bond like. Except it is surely far more grim and depressing and (sorry, Ian), much better written. (But that reminds me, in the division of the fiction I generously handed over the entire Bond set, which means I have a genuine reason to buy them all again.)
A Room with a View – E.M. Forster – because I’ve been meaning to get a new copy for ages.
A Note in Music – Rosamond Lehmann – because I liked Invitation to the Waltz.
East Lynne – Ellen Wood – one of those novels that gets mentioned in other novels and which I’ve been meaning to read for ages.
I was also looking for The Imperfectionists, by Tom Rachman but it’s only out here in hb and not out in pb until January 2011. Would someone mind sending me a copy? And then in return I will send a book surprise or a specific request? I would be very grateful.
Also, I went into HMV intending to buy Stornoway, and came out with these as well:
Kings of Leon – Youth and Young Manhood and Aha Shake Heartbreak. Because when I’d had, shall we say, a couple of g&ts at my going away party with colleagues, I was recommended a Kings of Leon album by one of them, which I immediately bought on my iPhone (not sure it’s a good thing that one can now Shop Under the Influence. Thank the gods there is no Tiffany app. There isn’t, is there? Must. Not. Look). Anyway, a few days later, when the iTunes receipt showed up, I remembered the album and listened to it, and liked it. Got these two on the recommendation of the guy standing next to me in the shop, who saw me wavering and was immediately politely helpful.
Amy MacDonald – A Curious Thing – liked her other album. A lot.
Vampire Weekend – Contra – because ‘Walcott’ has been going through my head all week, which means I remembered that they existed while I was in the shop.
Passion Pit – Manners. One of those, ‘if you liked that, then you’ll like this’ recommendations.
Bloc Party – Silent Alarm. Thought I already had this. Didn’t. Mike does. Bugger. I foresee this scenario repeating itself a lot.