I'm too tired to think, but thanks to books, I can think other people's thoughts. Here's E.O. Wilson: The best of science doesn't consist of mathematical models and experiments, as textbooks make it seem. Those come later. It springs fresh from a more primitive mode of thought, wherein the hunter's mind weaves ideas from old facts and fresh metaphors and the scrambled crazy images of things recently seen.

Next week I'm going to be spending time with some working astrophysicists. Do I have time to re-read all my old physics texts? Reload actual real physics into my brain?

Today is the first day in fifteen years or so without a drink of coffee (apart from some decaf, which I know has a wee bit of caffeine in). And that short break fifteen years ago was an abberation. I mean, I've been drinking a couple of dozen coffees a day - or more - for 25 or 30 years. Anyway, right now I feel fine. The exhaustion is from tramping around on the mountain (after a run, as well). Trying to get properly fit, it's hard to judge my running progress against previous environs, because the first half of every run is entirely uphill. I realized I had to forgive myself for being slow.

My new gym/dojo now stands fully built in the back garden. My new 6ft heavy bag is in place, along with mats, stationary bike and weights. Three workouts in it so far. I've been without a decent punchbag for 6 months! You have no idea how much I missed it...


(No in-depth reviews here. Also, nothing very recent. Plus, these are the ones I really liked. I just gave up on a slow-moving book by Big Name Author, and a fast-moving but Dan-Brown-silly book from another writer whose previous books were superb.)

Just finished THE CITY & THE CITY. Firmly crafted, beautiful depiction of the inhabitants' mindsets, all very intricate, and a superb metaphor of living in the spaces *between*. Terrific book. China Miéville's a great writer a great guy.

SOUND MIND (see, I'm way behind in my reading) deals with a differently fractured reality, with an uncompromising matter-of-factness behind the splitting-off of parts of the world, and characters who face their weaknesses while not giving in to ordinariness. Tricia Sullivan does the biz again.

MOTHERS AND SONS. Colm Tóibín's collection of short stories. The two stories highlighted inside the cover were not my favourites. (They happen to be the gay-love stories, one porn-explicit, crossing my personal good-taste boundary. Considering the number of sympathetic gay characters in my novels, you see, it's interesting to find where the boundaries lie.) Two stories stood out for me. 1) The Use of Reason. As I read it, the real ending takes place after the final full stop, and you know what's going to happen to the main character, and why he's on a self-destructive path that he's not admitting to himself. None of it's explicit; all is psychological subtlety. 2) A Priest in the Family. A very nasty story underneath, and an absolute masterpiece in understated writing. The near-silence and everything-as-usual actions of a mother who 'ought' to be hysterical in fact screams volumes, and eloquently.

APPALOOSA. The first western I've read since, I don't know, the early 70s. (As a genre, it hasn't existed in the UK for about 35 years.) I liked its sparse writing, reading it with sadness due to Robert Parker's death earlier in the year. I read his first book, The Godwulf Manuscript, in 1980, and the early Spenser books were and remain among my favourites of all time.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home