- Total Number Of Books I Have Owned.
- Last Book I Bought.
- Last Book I Read.
- 5 Books That Mean A Lot To Me
- Leaves of Grass (1) and Democratic Vistas by Walt Whitman.
- How to Make Verse by Valdimir Mayakovsky (translated by Valentina Coe).
- The Poetical Works of Shelley
- Vineland by Thomas Pynchon.
- Decline of the English Murder and Other Essays or Inside the Whale and Other Essays by George Orwell.
- Five people to pass it on to
Must be about 2500. Some have been read and passed on, either to friends or to charidee shops. Some have been kept. Why do I keep books? As the man (Anthony Powell - thanks SIAW) said "books do furnish a room", and because I like having books around. Books to read. Books to browse.
Last Saturday I bought three books on a 3 for 2 offer in H2O-Boulders. One was Faster than the Speed of Light by Joao Maguejo and another was Critical Mass - how one thing leads to another by Philip Ball. The third book was for Rullsenberg.
I'm claiming Critical Mass as my book. At this stage I can but quote from the frontispiece
being an enquiry into the interplay of chance and neccessity in the way that human culture, customs, institutions, cooperation and conflict arise.I think that subtitle echoes the book subtitles of Adam Smith's the Wealth of Nations. The blurb suggests that it moves from the prediction and analysis of the action of individuals and looks at the impact of decisions taken by millions of people.
The Big Blowdown by George P Pelecanos. Late 1940s gangland Washington D.C. Hard boiled southern fiction. Written in the 1990s. Southern noir. Reminds me of Walter Mosley. If you like that sort of thing give it a go. This came to me via Rullsenberg via a recommendation from Reidski.
It's an early Everyman edition from the 1920s. I picked it up for 50p in the early 1980s. It's been seduction poetry and end of relationship poetry. It's been there with me. It's for when I'm feeling up and for when I'm feeling down. Every satchel should have one.
The introduction ends with an extract from In at the top of my voice from January 1930 (just before Mayakovsky killed himself).
When I appear
before the CCC*
of the coming
by way of my Bolshevik party card,
above the heads
of a gang of self seeking
poets and rogues
all the hundred volumes
communist committed books
* Central Committee of the CP.
The book itself is a manifesto for poets. And is a little book that can be carried anywhere. Everyone should have a copy of The little book of Mayakovsky.
I actually have two versions of this. One I bought way back in the 1980s from a second-hand bookshop in Bridgnorth, Shropshire. That's the black (or green) leather bound Oxford edition from 1917. Well read it is, too. Last summer I picked up a Macmillan edition from 1890. The selections are essentially the same but there are some differences. I had made a note of some important differences but I can't remember where I put the bloody thing. In a better world everyone should have a complete Shelley.
It's about the most accessible of his works and it's funny. About the 60's dream turning into the nightmare of Reagan's America.
I can remember going on holiday and buying several black covered Penguins of Orwell's. Both of these volumes are inspirational in style and in content. English Murder contains the essays How the Poor Die and Why I Write. Inside the Whale contains England Your England and Politics and the English Language. I was going to call them classic but they're almost beyond that stage. George Orwell was the Christopher Hitchens of his day (said with a smile).