I got tagged by the bloggingly prodigious Stevyn Colgan – it’s a good one, but I can’t guarantee to stick to the thirty word limit (perhaps the meme police will come get me – here’s hoping, I love a good scrap).
Sod Richard and Judy. Sod Oprah. What would you advise people to read? Name your favourite:
(a) Fiction book
(c) Non-fiction book
(d) A fourth book of your choice from any genre.
Explain why the books are essential reads in no more than 30 words per book.
a) Fiction: Jonathan Meades, Pompey: “the sleaze epic”. A great, big sprawling rambunctious romp which takes in Portsmouth, the origins of HIV, and an insane sojourn in Belgium; one of the most inventive novels I’ve ever read. In addition, Jonathan Meades has written one of the best short stories ever: Filthy English, at turns enticing and repellent. Read it and be appalled.
b) Autobiography: John Lydon: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs. Forget the gurning loonpanted fruitcake of Jungle and butter advert fame. In his day, John Lydon was at the forefront of a huge sonic revolution – and I’m not talking about the Sex Pistols here.
c) Non-fiction: Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine. Some sections of this book – in particular the parts regarding the South African banking system and its part in apartheid, will literally take your breath away. If you thought that post-apartheid South Africa was somehow finding its feet, think again. Super scary.
d) The Fourth book: JM Coetzee: Disgrace. I prefer my ‘entertainment’ to be served up with a large side order of shock and awe (or a shovel round the back of the head, whatever you prefer). Just when you think you’ve got Coetzee taped, he pulls a series of unexpected narrative left turns that leave you wondering why all literary fiction can’t be this good. The ending is sad, profoundly unsettling and bleak in a way that no film could ever match.
Right, I tag Lawrence (what is it about Lawrence’s blog? Every time I go there, I always end up finding something both hilarious and genuinely demented), Rachel (honestly, Rach, you gotta calm down on the project front: Doctor Chip suggests more time on Lolcat and perhaps the odd Airfix kit), Potdoll (who I’m glad to say now addresses her readers as ‘Happy Knickers’) and Lucy (in need of a relaxing post after taking great big chunks out of Shooting People for the last couple of weeks).