Thursday, December 18, 2014

On ebbs and flows, and summer words

Being primarily, by nature, a reader and a writer, the last few months have been anomalous ones for me. My reading has been largely confined to re-reading of old favourites (chicken soup for the mind, if you like), while my writing, such as it has been, has been almost exclusively poems and fairly angsty rants about The Sick.

Of course, while I have been in literary stasis, neither my life nor the world has stood still. Plenty of books have come out that I want to read, and plenty of work of other kinds has been done. The work of creation and reflection, though - that's been constrained, but I am hopeful that the summer will see a Renaissance of sorts in this area.

Here are five books I plan to read this summer:

1. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate (Naomi Klein)
It has been a goodly while since I've read a think piece. This is overdue.

2. Fallen Leaves: Last Words on Life, Love, War, and God  (Will Durant) 
Will Durant was one of my historian-rock stars when I was studying for my Masters degree. I'm fascinated to see what this volume contains.

3. The Children Act (Ian McEwan) 
I don't expect this to be an easy read, but by all reports, it's a novel-of-the-year (and unlucky not to be Booker-listed).

4. The Child Eater (Rachel Pollack)
It wouldn't be summer without at least one curiously-imagined sci fi or fantasy. This one got quiet raves and is apparently a very clever Tarot-themed fantasy.

5. The Bone Clocks (David Mitchell)
Because I didn't get to it on the Booker list, and I feel I sort of should. (The insertion of the word "should" in that sentence has instantly tagged this as the Book Least Likely to Actually Get Read).

And here are three creative things I plan to do:

1. Provide at least two columns to Global Comment on books / literary stuff.

2. Do Month of Poetry in January.

3. Write up the short story that's been itching the back of my brain for months.

Summer is almost always a time a renewal for me and my family. I'm really hoping this year will be no exception to that trend.

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