Reading Update: April

keep-calm-read

April was a pretty slow reading month for me. Only three books read *hangs head in shame*. On the plus side, I think this is probably my shortest post ever (as well as it being my shortest “books read” list ever!) so it shouldn’t take you too long to read 😉

So let’s take a look at what I read this month. 

Books read in April:

  • In the Cafe of Lost Youth by Patrick Modiano

A rambling tale set in beautiful Paris and told from three points of view. 3/5 stars

  • The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

More Sherlock Holmes stories! My favourite one from this collection was The Stockbroker’s Clerk. 4/5 stars

  • Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz

Another Sherlock adaptation. I did prefer House of Silk (see March update) but this one was still pretty good and I enjoyed it a lot! 4/5 stars

And that’s it! Let’s hope that I can read a lot more in May.

What was the best book you read in April?

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2 thoughts on “Reading Update: April

  1. I read essay collections by Collini, Vidal and Mailer, along with parts of some more important books that I will finish this month. Vidal was by far the finest, a man who was perfectly humorous and amiable every page, even in over 1000 pages of essays. He is such a pleasure to read because he is constantly morally serious while still being funny — he jokes about the rarity of it himself when he says that Susan Sontag’s seriousness was “considerably enhanced by a perfect absence of humor, that most devastating of gifts usually thrust at birth upon the writer in English”; or when he dismisses the “American Canon” as “a strange list of minor provincial writers grandiosely inflated into ‘world classics.'” His famous essay Sex is Politics gets to one of his major themes, and he writes about it with keenness and harsh truth (“If most men and women were forced to rely upon physical charm to attract lovers, their sexual lives would be not only meager but in a youth-worshipping country like America painfully brief.”).

    His reputation has been attacked since his death, and his repute has steadily decreased with it. Often it was due to his unapologetic anonymous sex, sometimes it concerned rumors of sex with younger boys, at other times it was his assaults on the reputation of other authors such as Norman Mailer and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Vidal hated lowering the author’s personality into the public sphere, as he hated television. For him the most important thing was always what the artist actually wrote; Hemingway, Fitzgerald and the like were often only admired for their personality and life story, much of which was affectation. Television exacerbated this: he was disgusted by people sitting in a living room watching other people talk miles away, and disappointed in himself for having contributed to the development of it.

    Vidal’s essay on “The Top 10 Bestsellers According to the Sunday Times Right Now”, where he reads the trash then selling best (and now of course entirely forgotten) is one of the funniest I’ve ever read. Find it here: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1973/05/17/the-ashes-of-hollywood-i-the-bottom-4-of-the-top-1/ and here part 2 http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1973/05/31/the-ashes-of-hollywood-ii-the-top-6-of-of-the-top-10/

    Honorable mention must go to Norman Mailer’s Mind of an Outlaw (the essay); Mailer describes his failure to get his third novel published and the pain that came with him eventually, too, that it was bad: “something broke in me … a cyst of the weak, the unreal, and the needy.” He finds himself becoming a “psychic outlaw”, but becomes addicted to marijuana and tells the gripping tale of rewriting the novel while constantly high. It is painfully self-critical and honest, unlike much of what Mailer wrote. I’ll never forget it.

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    1. I haven’t really read many essay collections. I much prefer reading novels. But the link you posted sounds interesting so I’ll be sure to take a look at that 🙂

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