Saturday, December 31, 2005

Reading 2005

December 2005
Rick Moody - The Black Veil
Joan Didion - Where I Was From
John Irving - Until I Find You
Kazuo Ishiguro - Never Let Me Go
William S Burroughs - Junky
Charlotte Moore - George And Sam
ZZ Packer - Drinking Coffee Elsewhere
Siri Hustevdt - What I Loved
Paul Auster - Timbuktu
Stephen Chbosky - Perks Of Being A Wallflower

November 2005
Ruth Reichl Comfort Me With Apples
Richard Perez The Losers Club
Truman Capote In Cold Blood
James Villas Stalking The Green Fairy
Nick Hornby Polysyllabic Spree
William Trevor A Bit On The Side
Oscar Wilde The Picture of Dorian Gray
Bret Easton Ellis American Psycho October 2005
Jonathan Safran Foer Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
James Villas Between Bites
Anthony Bourdain A Cook's Tour
Iris Murdoch The Bell
Jonathan Safran Foer Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Andrew Sean Greer The Confessions of Max Tivoli
Mimi Sheraton Eating My Words
Salman Rushdie Step Across This Line

September 2005
Elizabeth Kostova The Historian
8 J J Connolly Layer Cake
Ruth Reichl Garlic and Sapphires 9
Ruth Reichl Tender At The Bone 8.5
Nigel Slater Toast 9
Aimee Bender An Invisible Sign Of My Own 8.5
Shoba Narayan Monsoon Diary 9
Sandra Tsing Loh u/c

August 2005
Courtney Febbroriello Wife of the Chef 8
Jonathan Coe The Rotters' Club 8.5
Douglas Coupland Eleanor Rigby 8
Nigel Slater Real Fast Food 8
Maile Meloy Liars and Saints 9
Nell Freudenberger Lucky Girls 8.5
Laura Hillenbrand Seabiscuit 9.5
Betty Fussell My Kitchen Wars 6

July 2005
Henry Sutton Flying 8.5
Alice Munro Runaway 7.5
Jonathan Lethem Fortress of Solitude 8
Michael Crichton Travels
Colm Toibin The Master June 2005
Graham Greene The Quiet American 9
Gao Xingjian Buying A Fishing Rod For My Grandfather 8
Martin Amis Experience: A Memoir 7.5
Cormac McCarthy The Orchard Keeper NA
Julie Orringer How to Breathe Underwater 9
Kingsley Amis Lucky Jim 7.5
William Trevor The Story of Lucy Gault 9
Barney Hoskyns The Sound And The Fury 8
Michael Crichton Travels 7.5
Colm Toibin The Master 8.5 May 2005
Bret Easton Ellis The Rules Of Attraction 8
Ethan Hawke Ash Wednesday 7.5
Martin Amis Visiting Mrs Nabokov 8.5
Consuelo de Saint-Exupery The Tale Of The Rose 8
Andrea Levy Small Island 8.5

April 2005
Elizabeth Young Pandora's Handbag: Adventures in the Book World 8
Jonathan Safran Foer Everything Is Illuminated 7.5
David Sedaris Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim 8.5
Dave Eggers You Shall Know Our Velocity 9
Toby Young How To Lose Friends & Alienate People 8
Julia Alvarez Something To Declare 7.5
Philip Roth Ghost Writer 7.5
David Foster Wallace The Broom of the System 7

March 2005
Jeffrey Eugenides Middlesex 7.5
Leif Enger Peace Like a River 8
Amy Tan The Opposite of Fate 7.5
Augusten Burroughs Dry: A Memoir 8.5
Chuck Palahaniuk Stranger Than Fiction 8
Jim Carroll White Apples 8.5

February 2005
Steven Sherrill The Minotaur takes a Cigarette Break 8.5
Hanif Kureishi Buddha of Suburbia
Halldor Laxness Independent People u/c
Azar Nafisi Reading Lolita in Tehran 9
Pete Hamill Forever 4.5
Don Delillo White Noise 8.5

January 2005
Eric Schlossel Fast Food Nation 8.5
Joyce Carol Oates Beasts 8
Ethan Canin The Palace Thief 7.5
Philip Roth Portnoy's Complaint 8
Chang-Rae Lee Native Speaker
Jim Crace Arcadia 8
Audrey Niffenegger Time Traveler's Wife 9.5
Geoff Dyer Yoga for People Who Can't Be Bothered to Do It 7.5
Mark Haddon The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time 7

Monday, September 05, 2005

Toast by Nigel Slater

Just got started on this book.

Am already captured by this second paragraph of the first chapter.

It is impossible not to love someone who makes toast for you. People's failings, even major ones such as when they make you wear short trousers to school, fall into insignificance as your teeth break through the rough, toasted crust and sink into the doughy cushion of white bread underneath. Once the warm, salty butter has hit your tongue, you are smitten. Putty in their hands.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Flying by Henry Sutton

I picked up this book on a whim, while browsing
at Orchard Library last week.

I'd never heard of it, nor of Sutton, but the
cover attracted (how horribly superficial),
although it was a simple one, of one of the wings
of a plane.

Gave a cursory glance at the back blurb and read
the first few pages which described someone's
nervousness about flying - the vibration in the
seat, the 'seemingly electrically charged
buzzing, hearing the rising whine of the engines,
a sound that suddenly seems to be pouring through

All so familiar to any passenger I suppose. Then
I read on to learn that she's not just another
passenger but part of the cabin crew. And that's
what hooked me.

I've never harboured any desire to join cabin
crew, I know quite a few people who are or were
air stewardesses and I envy the way they jetset
across the world, one day Manchester, Cairo the
next. But it was quite an interesting read to see
what cabin crew, albeit fictional ones, think of
when they're at work.

That it's interesting to think of how your
colleagues, that is, those working the same
plane, will change every flight you make (besides
the up and down flight that is). So you can't be
too sure who you're going to work with, and if
you can work with them.

One of the crew loves to stare out of the
emergency exit window, another steals the salt
and pepper shakers that are used in First class.
The pilot likely has a prostrate problem and the
first officer reckons he can only make it with
women when in uniform, cos otherwise he looks

And it seems, everyone thinks of sex. I hadnt'
really noticed, but the back blurb starts out
that way: What do people always want? Sex. And
more sex. Cabin crew go after each other, flight
crew wants in too.

I can hardly tell if there is any truth to this
book but it made for an interesting read. While
the blurb and theme of the book makes it sound
like chicklit - ooh airhostesses flirting with
pilots! and more! - it's really more than just
animal instinct. The characters are well-balanced
and quite engrossing. And Sutton's either really
had flying experience or did a lot of research,
for it sounds all pretty damn legit to me.

When it comes to books, I tend to rate them upon
ten, this one would get an 8!

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Monday, July 25, 2005