Holiday Reading

I’ve been asked about my holiday reading. I’m happy to record it, if only as a statement of intent:-

David Cannadine, Victorious Century

It’s been sitting by my bed since it appeared earlier in the year. I’ve always admired Cannadine’s gift for synthesis. Now I can digest his latest.

Jamie Camplin, Books do furnish a Painting

Not yet published: a treat in store.

Esther Kinsky, River

A post-Sebaldian, East London book by a German writer and translator, published by Fitzcarraldo Editions.

Salvatore Settis, If Venice Dies

A paean or lament (or both) by Settis, an Italian archaeologist who directed the Getty Center in the 1990s.

Leif Bersweden, The Orchid Hunter

I missed her talk at the Garden Museum.

Stella Tillyard, The Great Level

I haven’t brought much fiction, but this will be deeply informed, historical fiction.

Alan Jenkins, Morning

Again, I heard him talk at the Garden Museum and like the idea of making good use of the early morning (and admire The Observer Food Monthly which he edits).

Rupert Christiansen, The City of Light: the Reinvention of Paris

Since this is a blog, I am allowed to recommend books by friends.

Moya Carey, Persian Art: Collecting the Arts of Iran for the V&A

A book about an era when the V&A under Caspar Purdon Clarke was able to acquire Iranian antiquities with scholarly intent and no compunction.

Lilia Schwartz and Heloise Starling, Brazil: A Biography

Catching up on the history of Brazil, a new enthusiasm.

Then, there are assorted books about Anglesey which I luckily didn’t leave here or they would have been destroyed by the damp.

What these books demonstrate is that I buy more books than I get round to reading. But I like the idea that I can catch up on a year of not reading enough.


5 thoughts on “Holiday Reading

  1. Mark Fisher says:

    We all buy more than we read, I suspect.

    But surely both David Cannadine and Rupert Christiansen are friends, and I can see nothing wrong in recommending the work of friends?

    I saw the wonderful BBC film on Tacita Dean last night. Alan Yentob at his very best. What an amazing artist she is !

  2. ‘Tsundoku’ the art of buying books and never reading them, discussed at BBC News ( Apparently, the term doesn’t carry any stigma in Japan; I guess it doesn’t here either. FWIW, I’ve been trying to find a more public home for the design/art/media/innovation/business and other books I can no longer house (and most of which I haven’t read properly). I offered the fiction titles to Bethnal Green Library but they said they can’t take public donations.

  3. says:

    Certainly I suffer a lot from this syndrome on my Kindle. But it is a great comfort to have the complete works of Trollope, Orwell, DH Lawrence the Bronte’s et all available at the touch of a button. I found myself reading Purple Sage by Zane Grey. A bit of Tsundoku would not have gone amiss in this case. I fear exhibition catalogues tend to be well thumbed but little read, by me at least.

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