50. Books Bought & Read, November 2012…

10 Dec
50. Books Bought & Read, November 2012…

Books Bought, November 2012

Angels And Ages: a short book about darwin, lincoln and modern life,’ Adam Gopnik

India: a wounded civilization,’ V.S.Naipaul

The Penelopiad,’ Margaret Atwood

The Bridge On The Drina,’ Ivo Andrić (P)

Inifite Jest,’ David Foster Wallace

Born Standing Up,’ Steve Martin

Born To Run,’ Christopher McDougall

East, West,’ Salman Rushdie

Hegemony Or Survival,’ Noam Chomsky

How Music Works,’ David Byrne

Jamie’s Great Britain,’ Jamie Oliver

Dogbert’s Top Secret Management Handbook,’ Scott Adams

The Castle,’ Franz Kafka

Slow Man,’ J.M.Coetzee

Hope: a tragedy,’ Shalom Auslander

Charlie And Lola: my wobbly tooth must not ever never fall out,Lauren Child

The Gruffalo’s Child,’ Julia Donaldson

Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: why it’s so hard to think straight about animals,’ Hal Herzog

Previous Convictions,’ A.A.Gill

Mrs.Dalloway,’ Virginia Woolf

Comet In Moominland,’ Tove Jansson

Invisible Cities,’ Italo Calvino

Speak, Memory,’ Vladimir Nabakov


Books Read, November 2012

Dave Gorman vs. The Rest OF The World,’ Dave Gorman

This Is How You Lose Her,’ Junot Díaz

A Grain Of Wheat,’ Ngūgī Wa Thiong’o

The Thousand Autumns Of Jacob de Zoet,’ David Mitchell

Dogbert’s Top Secret Management Handbook,’ Scott Adams

The Atheist’s Guide To Christmas,’ ed. Robin Harvie & Stephanie Meyers

Working The Room,’ Geoff Dyer

Remember The Alamo: american history in bite-size chunks,’ ed. Alison Rattle & Allison Vale

Evil Machines,’ Terry Jones

Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, Philip.K.Dick

The Invisible Hand,’ Adam Smith

Hitch 22,’ Christopher Hitchens

Previous Convictions,’ A.A.Gill

Invisible Cities,’ Italo Calvino


23 bought, 14 read, and a record for longest book title, (thanks to the sub-title of Hal Herzogs book on why some animals become steak and liver whilst others get fed and bathed). More importantly, Vladimir Nabakov’s volume of autobiography became the first I ever bought in a new continent, from Dutch Tony’s Book Emporium, San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala, (not its real name, but I don’t think most shops here have names).

Yes, this is the first blog coming to you from Central America, where I have been for exactly two weeks now, learning how to run a bar for the first time in over a decade, (El Barrio: if you’re ever in town, drop by and see me, I’m sure I can shout you a tequila shot), and enjoying the fact that, when not working three nights a week, or watching sports in the other bar in town, there is little to do but…read! (And write, of course). Lucky me, right?

There will be some travelling, around both Guatemala and its neighbours, (go look it up, I had to!), but I plan on spending most of my time jogging the mountains around the giant lake I live on, practising my Spanish and keeping you all up to date with what books I have managed to drag with me and read.

Before I left, I flitted around England, culminating in a visit to friends in Lewes and Brighton, (the former a direct result of having read Dave Gorman‘s tale of travelling the UK playing people at various games, leading me down to Sussex to play Toad in the Hole: for anyone who doesn’t know Dave, his comedy TV series/book ‘Are You Dave Gorman?‘ is one of my favourite things in the world, and his subsequent life (and book deals) are a template for the kind of life I would like to live).

Brighton’s excellent charity shop selection allowed me to pick up books on everything from Byrne on music to Martin on comedy, and also to pick up one of the books which has long been on my To Read list, (which I have kind of given up on recently, since most books I haven’t read are on it, but certain books still make their way onto it), ‘Born To Run,’ which tells the tale of a Mexican tribe who love to run dozens of miles a day for fun, and do it all barefoot, (one of the first books I devoured when I arrived in Guatemala, and soon to be reviewed).

A couple of books were bought for my niece’s upcoming visit to the UK, and another a present for my mum (which was re-gifted to someone for a Christmas present apparently!), and my last stroll around my local area yielded my first ever Moomin story, my first ever Virginia Woolf tale and a Calvino classic which has been on my list for years, three slim paperbacks which fit perfectly into the side pocket of my backpack.

As for books read, most were short-ish or comic-based affairs, or finishing off half-started books from previous months, all of which I got through in the family home, not wanting to start anything too major which I wouldn’t be able to finish. As I have pointed out, I always start a journey with a fresh book, and it was Christopher Hitchens who accompanied me on my unbelievably average American Airlines flights, (seat-back movies you can’t rewind, but have to wait an hour until they start again AA? Really? What century is this?!)

Highlights were probably David Mitchell‘s last novel, (my second different writer named David Mitchell in two months), the latter half of the latest Geoff Dyer to cross my path, (one of his previous fiction efforts being reviewed here), and re-reading (I think) the sci-fi classic and Bladerunner-spawning short story Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? after reading so many other authors who recommended reading Philip.K.Dick.

In a few days I will post a supplementary blog with a list of which books actually made the cut after my pre-travel ponderings, giving you all an idea as to what kind of reviews are to come. For now, though, feel free to browse the blog back catalogue, and thank you all for the support in helping me reach a half century of entries.



Posted by on December 10, 2012 in BOOKS


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3 responses to “50. Books Bought & Read, November 2012…

  1. t_dub

    December 10, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Is the David Byrne book worth picking up? I’m very interested, but concerned that it will be a bunch of ramblings.

    • doronklemer

      December 10, 2012 at 9:33 pm

      No idea: it didn’t make the cut to Guatemala, so it’s sitting on my shelf back home!! Gorgeous hardback squidgy cover, though!…


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