Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Entries Tagged as 'Reading Related'

Politics as a Truth Contest – “Recollections of a Bleeding Heart” – Don Watson

March 9th, 2012 · Comments Off on Politics as a Truth Contest – “Recollections of a Bleeding Heart” – Don Watson · Campaigning, Political Communication, Politics, Reading Related

Daily life in the PMO was a truth contest. All day long truth was asserted, denied, demolished, reasserted. And there wasn’t a book in the place.

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Time With Old Books – “The White Tiger: A Novel” – Aravind Adiga

January 29th, 2012 · Comments Off on Time With Old Books – “The White Tiger: A Novel” – Aravind Adiga · Reading Related

Strange thoughts brew in your heart when you spend too much time with old books.

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My Year in Reading 2011 – Part 2

December 23rd, 2011 · Comments Off on My Year in Reading 2011 – Part 2 · Admin, Campaigning, Politics, Reading Related, UK Labour, United Kingdom

Following on from Monday’s post, here’s the second half of my reading for 2011: “Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa”, Jason Stearns – A history of the Congo Wars; a twenty year conflict that involved a dozen countries and cost six million lives that […]

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My Year in Reading 2011 – Part 1

December 19th, 2011 · Comments Off on My Year in Reading 2011 – Part 1 · Reading Related, Uncategorized

About three years ago I resolved to make enough time in my life to read one book a week. I’ve always read quite a bit, but reading being a domestic activity, it had always been the subject of the vicissitudes of domestic life. Busy periods at work, social commitments or just lack of overall motivation […]

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The Value of Books – “Books v Cigarettes” from “Fifty Orwell Essays” – George Orwell

November 11th, 2011 · Comments Off on The Value of Books – “Books v Cigarettes” from “Fifty Orwell Essays” – George Orwell · Culture, Reading Related

Adding the other batch of books that I have elsewhere, it seems that I possess altogether nearly 900 books, at a cost of 165 15s. This is the accumulation of about fifteen years—actually more, since some of these books date from my childhood: but call it fifteen years. …. It is difficult to establish any relationship […]

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Well Read – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James

October 6th, 2011 · Comments Off on Well Read – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James · Culture, Reading Related

Eckstein was enormously well read. He just couldn’t bear to admit that there was something he had missed. It is very easy to get that reputation. When strangers know that your speciality is books, their usual way of breaking the ice is to ask you if you have read such-and-such a book. The penalty for […]

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Beatrix Potter – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James

October 4th, 2011 · Comments Off on Beatrix Potter – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James · Parenting, Reading Related

Beatrix Potter got her poetry from prose: which is to say, from speech, concentrated. Written in an age when it was still assumed that children would not suffer brain damage from hearing a phrase they couldn’t immediately understand, the books are plentifully supplied with elevated verbal constructions. The bright child sees unfamiliar phrases going by […]

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Grammar and Reading – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James

October 2nd, 2011 · Comments Off on Grammar and Reading – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James · Elitism, Reading Related

As Kingsley Amis acutely noted, the person who uses “disinterested” for “uninterested” is unlikely to see your article complaining about the point, because the person has never been much of a reader anyway.

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The Challenges of Reading Gibbon – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James

October 1st, 2011 · Comments Off on The Challenges of Reading Gibbon – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James · Civilisation, Culture, History, Reading Related, Writing

There was never much to the assumption that a sentence is only ever read diachronically from left to right with never a backward glance: the eye doesn’t work like that and neither does prose. But there is still something to the assumption that a sentence, however the reader gets to the end of it, should […]

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Writing and Memory – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James

September 28th, 2011 · Comments Off on Writing and Memory – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James · Admin, Culture, Reading Related, Writing

I would never have taken a note in the first place except out of the fear that what I was reading would soon slip away: a fear all too well founded. The Russian symbolist writer Andrei Bely once said that what we keep in our heads is the sum of a writer: a “composite quotation.” […]

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