New Books for August
This month I happened to read about bibliomania, and I'm afraid I self diagnosed with it instantly. A couple of weeks ago I was in Melbourne having dinner with a dear old friend, and she mentioned how envious she was each month to see my pile of new acquisitions - that made me feel a little better about it all. So, here is this month's cache...
- I felt the need for some more books about writing (the shelf in my library dedicated to such books is just about full), so I bought William Zinsser's Writing Places, Barzun's Simple & Direct and Terry Brooks' (though I've never read one of his novels) Sometimes the Magic Works
- My darling little niece is called Ivy, so as some kind of bizarre act of literary tribute I am going to read all the books of Ivy Compton-Burnett. I also discovered this month that she is one of John Waters' favourite authors, so I feel I'm in good company. I'm getting started with Parents and Children and A God and His Gifts
- Barry Humphries is a stylish and clever author in an old-fashioned mould, and makes me very proud to be an Australian. I have never read his novel Women in the Background, but now I have a lovely first edition I will get started
- The Last Lecture seems to come up constantly on bestsellers lists for self-help and inspiration, so I thought I'd better read it
- The Table-Rappers is a history of Spiritualism, and looks like it's going to be a hoot
- Hildegard of Bingen's Selected Writings, 'cos she was a wild lady, and a fellow migraine-sufferer
- How to Live Dangerously is a kind of manifesto about not being so nannied and molly-coddled
- This month I had to write an article about the Medicine Buddha, and I became very interested in mudras, hence this book
- Sopmeone sent me a list of The Best Self-Help Books ever, and I am trying to work my way through those titles I haven't yet read. This is one of them
- I was at a conference where Peter Kennedy spoke, and I was blown away by his gentleness, his great humility and his kindness. We spoke at length, and I got a signed copy of his book
- And finally, I am a Mitford Sisters addict, and was surprised that I didn't have this book in my collection. Now I do
I bought 2 books last week - at different ends of the literary spectrum - "Dress your family in corduroy and denim" David Sedaris & "If not now, when?" Primo Levi
I read Mr Sedaris first - I think my favourite story was when he visited his sister, upset her and then tried to train her pet parrot to say "forgive me"
I am totaly engrossed in "If not now, when" I woke up at 3 o'clock this morning, made a cup of tea, started reading and then noticed that it was getting light outside, and the book is nearly finished.
The clarity of Primo Levi's writing is always inspiring.