Sunday, September 04, 2011

Books update

Since reading The Corrections I have read a couple of other books recently the first of which was To The River by Olivia Laing. A nice, meandering book about the joys of rivers, water, walking and literary it was, as you can imagine, right up my stream.

It charts a walk Laing takes along the Ouse from its source to its estuary, while taking in the nature, history, society and literary background of the surrounding area. It reminded me of a slew of books that seem to becoming more popular now that use a central subject or cypher around which the author ruminates on various topics. The best examples of this are Philip Hoare's Leviathan, but I also read a similar book in Robin Harvie's Why We Run.

For anyone familiar with the area, or keen to read an interesting take on a river talk and Virginia Woolf it would come with my recommendation.

Second was I'm Feeling Lucky by Doug Edwards, a recounting of the adventures of a mid 40s man taking job number 59 at Google, in the days when it was an unknown start-up. There's plenty of techno speak in there, but also human angles, insights into one of the world's biggests companies, and personal stories to interest the more casual reader, although you'd have to have some base, underlying interest in Google, to make it all the way through. I may do a fuller review for work too, seeing as it's about technology.

That takes me to 21 books for the year, still way off the 51 and 47 I achieved in previous years, but I put this down to reading several very long works this year, mostly In Europe by Geert Mak which took my about six weeks.

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