Reading Plan: February 2015

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Generation A by Douglas Coupland book cover
2015 has been rather up and down at this end so far, but one thing that can be said is that my reviewing year has started very nicely with a whole four reviews posted during January – volume almost unheard of in these part for quite some time. Bloody cheerful fare too, no? The moral bankruptcy of capitalism, suicide bombers, and the Holocaust – these are topics set to get anyone’s New Year off to a flying start, no? Stick with me, though, I promise it won’t be all doom and gloom (despite my natural proclivities) – just don’t ask me what I’m reading at the moment!

So, how to make February a little cheerier? Thankfully, it’s not hard to raise the mood with the bar set as low as it was in January (even pulling back from mass murder, and settling on no more than one death per book would be a decent start, no?). I’m going to start by reading some Douglas Coupland – he’s an author I’ve been meaning to pick up for a while and as a friend suggested I might enjoy his writing based on my debut novel sharing certain themes about the digital age with Coupland’s fiction, I thought I’d give him a go. The first novel of his that I found in my local library was Generation A – perhaps not his most critically-acclaimed work, but you can’t beat convenience, so I quickly scooped it up into the armful of library reads I’d already been tempted by. Generation A is a novel set in the near future – a future where bees are extinct! (Yes, that does require an exclamation mark.) It is a surprise then, when five unconnected individuals are all stung – cue a series of strange events, culminating in a story-telling marathon (obviously). I’m looking forward to it already.

My book club are going to be reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time for the next meeting, so I’ll be re-reading that too as it’s been a while since I first read it. It’s one of those books I just kind of assume everyone’s read, for whatever reason (like Wuthering Heights or Harry Potter). Strange isn’t it – when your expectation is flipped and you’re genuinely surprised when someone says they haven’t read a book? (Recently someone reader-y tried to convince me they’d never heard of Vladimir Nabokov. Naturally, I played along with their little jape – what fun, I thought, to pretend never to have heard of one of the greatest novelists of the last century – and then immediately disassociated myself from them.) For those who haven’t read The Curious Incident yet, I really recommend it – it’s narrated by a 15-year-old boy with autism and is pretty smashingly well done. Obviously, I’ll reveal all in my review.

This is where things get a bit trickier on the up-beat front. I’ve got a stack of non-fiction that I’m working my way through – more bashing of capitalism, an exposé on Aussie rules rapists, an anthropologist’s take on internet trolls turned activists, and more – so I fear my options for cheery reads are limited. Feel free to make suggestions for peppy reads, full of sugar-coated smiles and happy endings at every turn. (Obviously, I won’t take up any of the suggestions, but sometimes it’s nice to get a glimpse of the bright side.)

Until next month, much book-y love to you all.

Notable Posts from December
Review: Revolution by Russell Brand
Review: A Capitalism: A Ghost Story by Arundhati Roy
Review: Ours are the Streets by Sunjeev Sahota
Review: The Zone of Interest by Martin Amis

2 comments:

Clare Diston said...

Haha, I'm a total doom and gloom reader too. Just did a post about my favourite love stories of all time and realised they're all doomed romances. Ah well, can't help having a taste for the macabre!

Matthew Selwyn said...

Completely with you - subconscious or not, I inevitably veer towards the depressing. (Although I probably veer away from love stories too ;) )