Reading Plan: October 2011

The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas Cover
September was a busy month, both in my personal and my book life. Sadly, the publication of’s first ever interview has been delayed, but our Q & A with Alex Bledsoe should be posted early in October, along with a review of Alex’s latest novel, The Hum and the Shiver.

My book of the month for October is going to be The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas, the Australian bestseller, which has greatly divided opinion. The book deals with parenting in the modern world and specifically the use of corporal punishment to discipline children – a divisive topic and one that I hope is explored sensitively and intelligently in the book.

After reading The Stranger’s Child recently, I’d like to go back to Alan Hollinghurst’s most critically acclaimed work, The Line of Beauty. Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2004, the novel deals with the pursuit of beauty, the experience of burgeoning homosexuality, and 1980s consumerism. Hollinghurst writes beautifully and this is definitely a modern classic worthy of debate.

I’ve also caved in to peer pressure and picked up a copy of One Day from my local library. So many of my friends have told me it’s a brilliant book that I can’t help but believe I can only be disappointed. Still, I go in with an open mind and if all else fails I can always check out the movie, so that I am at least included in my friend’s various fawning discussions.

For something a little more solid (ok, it does have pictures), I’ve also picked up Richard Dawkins latest, The Magic of Reality. From a quick flick through, the book appears to be much more upbeat than some of Dawkins previous work, a celebration of life and nature rather than a dismissal of others beliefs.

And if, after all that, I have time for anything else, I have a copy of The Adventures of Augie March, which has been gathering dust on my desk for some time.

Posts from September 2011


Tom Cunliffe said...

I agree that the Line of Beauty is a very well-written book - and definitely going to be a classic. Your reading list shows some quite demanding reads there. My wife is reading the STranger's Child and I'll be waiting to see what she thinks of it

Matthew (The Bibliofreak) said...

Thanks for the comment Tom. The more I read, the more I come to appreciate the wonderful writing of authors like Hollinghurst. It appears so effortless, that it's easy to let his beautiful prose pass you by. For me he is one of the very best wordsmiths working today. I hope your wife enjoys The Stranger's Child - I don't think it was his best, but it is still a mark above nearly everything else I've read lately.

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