Monday, 11 June 2007

Reading Material

So anyway, I got a little sidetracked in my previous post. I meant to thank Melanie again for organising my New Scientist subscription :)
I've also been reading some other books lately - something that I haven't done much of in recent years (besides conference proceedings!). In a way I enjoy being almost completely disconnected from the net during my (admittedly rather scant) personal time, because I have missed sitting back or snuggling up with a good book.

The most interesting book I've been reading is Kinsey, A Biography, by Jonathan Garthorne-Hardy. I haven't finished it yet - it's rather thorough - but it's the book that the recent film was based on, so I sort of know how the story ends anyway. But it's the detail that is fascinating, which you just don't get no matter how much you read online. I admire Kinsey greatly, because he was arguably a genius in two fields that most interest me - evolution and sex.

I also picked up The Constant Gardener, the film of which I loved (and first read about in New Scientist, incidentally - an example of that magazine's aforementioned socio-political coverage);
and The Harsh Cry of the Heron - a sort of guilty pleasure, it's the concluding sequel to a fantasy series (Tales of the Otori) whose appeal is the same lightweight fantasy that makes Harry Potter appealing to such a wide audience.

Finally, I've just finished reading Priceless, an autobiography by Charlie Daniels that I picked up randomly because it looked interesting. Charlie Daniels was a successful madam in the UK's sex industry, and her life story is indeed captivating - in a train-wreck kind of way - but unfortunately I thought the writing was somewhat forgettable.

One cool thing about Sydney is the number of independent bookstores that I like browsing, even if I don't buy anything. There's a bookstore on Oxford St (the epicentre of the gay and lesbian community) - no, not that kind of bookstore :p, though unsurprisingly with a decidedly mature and alternative bent - a few independent and second-hand bookstores along the main street of the very trendy and hip Newtown area (along with a T2 store :) ), and one small-but-packed-to-the-ceiling bookstore in the CBD, that I've visited so far. It all makes Dymocks and Angus & Robertson and the like look rather ordinary!

7 comments:

Brett said...

Tanya and I were talking about bookshops today in botchat. Specifically those book shops that have big comfy chairs and cafe's in them. Almost more like a library then an actual bookshop.

We also talked about how cool second hand bookshops are. Browsing old books is fun, and they usually smell really good! :)

Brett

Anonymous said...

Unless they are dusty - then they make me sneeze :)

Tanya

melanie said...

tuesday, 12 june, 2007 14:55 MAT

i say we go to visit nick. Of course, take a spare empty bag to pack back all of the second hand books we would buy when nick takes us to these shops.

,` )

Nick said...

So, is new-book smell or old-book smell better? How long do you think the transition between the two stages takes? Inquiring minds want to know! :)

Brett said...

I've found it depends on the book. Some new books smell awesome, but some aren't that good... then some old books are great as well and some are just dodge.

I don't think there is any real way of determining which is better.. apart form just picking it up and taking a whiff. :D

Anonymous said...

I agree with Brett on this one - sniff away if the only real way of determining :P

Tanya

melanie said...

wednesday, 18 july, 2007 14:00 MAT

do they sell new-book smell hangerie thingoes for inside your car or to fragrance your home ?

,` )