I haven’t listed these for a while – and I’d like to take the opportunity to thank those who gave me books for my birthday two months ago, when I received
- Samuel Beckett’s Complete dramatic works
- Hilary Rose’s Alas poor Darwin: arguments against evolutionary psychology
- Stephen Jay Gould’s The hedgehog, the fox and the magister’s pox: mending and minding the misconceived gap between science and the humanities
- and Edward Said’s Orientalism, a classic which I’ve been wanting for ages.
From Tlon, my new favourite local bookshop, I’ve acquired a lovely Routledge copy of Grimm’s fairy tales, and a nice battered Penguin copy of Jane Grigson’s superb Vegetable book, which should help me deal with anything my organic vegetable provider sees fit to throw at me (when I get round to setting that up, of course.)
Last week, as an impulse purchase on the way to reading poetry in a pub with some friends, I acquired Billy Collins’s Taking off Emily Dickinson’s clothes. Billy Collins is a fantastic contemporary US poet and any of my readers not familiar with his work should get hold of some – quiet, simple, romantic and very beautiful poetry.
And last but not least, the splendid Bloomsbury Oxfam bookshop yesterday sold me Stephen Jay Gould’s Leonardo’s mountain of clams and the Diet of Worms, his eighth collection of essays from the magazine Natural History, Primo Levi’s collection of essays Other people’s trades, and Doris Lessing’s post-apocalyptic novel Memoirs of a survivor.