Now that I’ve cleared one bookcase, I think I’ll stop writing blogs about the process, at least as far as books are concerned; I run the risk of boring myself, let alone my legion of followers. (Did you get the irony there?) However, I haven’t finished decluttering, and I don’t intend stopping.
This is the latest pile of literary rejects- or to put it better, the latest pile I will be releasing into the wild. (Although LG has already reserved ‘The Honourable Schoolboy’.) It is astonishing how the process frees up the books that are left, so they can be more easily accessed. At last I can pick up the ‘Oxford Companion to English Literature’ whenever I feel like it. This is a seductive book, because when you pick it up to find out about a topic, you are led on to more and more. Somehow it’s a different style of seduction from the internet, as it is centred on one area. It has also led me on to more decluttering; for example, I have just
ditched released ‘W.H.Auden’s Longer Poems’- not because it’s unworthy, but because I’m just never going to read it; and the tone is now very grating on me. I am sure Oxfam will benefit.
A few very brief thoughts:
‘In Search of Schrodinger’s Cat’- John Gribbins My goodness, I am throwing a lot of popular science books away. This one is great; so is ‘The Tao of Physics’ (Fritzjof Kapra) and ‘The Magical Maze’ (Ian Stewart). However I suspect that physics moves on at such a rate that books are regularly outdated; and even though I’m not frightened of a bit of mathematics, I suspect that anything of any use to explain quantum mechanics, etc. is way beyond me.
‘Cricket Rebel’- John Snow I think this was my first cricket book. My, how times have changed.
‘Earthly Powers’- Anthony Burgess A huge, sprawling novel, eminently readable. However I’m not going to tackle it a fourth time. Highly recommended.
‘Return to Mars’- Ben Bova What I would call ‘hard’ science fiction- not space opera, not far beyond our current day. It takes a simple imginative leap and extrapolates from it. Recently ‘The Martian’ was a similar style of book (and a gripping film, even if it did mess with the plot a bit.)
I would also note Julian Barnes, Bernard Levin (now a rather forgotten columnist, never afraid to be controversial), Emily Prager…. I could go on and on. But what fresh pleasures now await me? Finishing ‘War and Peace’ to start with.