Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut book cover
Summer is trudging off into the distance, Autumn (Fall, for my lovely American pals) is limbering up, and the new academic year is almost here. I hope sincerely that August has been good to you wherever you’ve enjoyed it, and that you’re looking forward to cosy autumnal nights curled up with a good book. A little premature? Possibly. We still have the dying embers of Summer to enjoy after all. I can’t make up my mind if the thought of the new academic year beginning and my life becoming twice as busy as a consequence is an exciting thing or not – lazy summers rather suit me, but there’s something special about stepping into a new term: no one yet being annoyed about how little work you’re prepared to do, exams a million miles off, and your brain all empty and comfortable from a summer’s neglect… no, just me?

But to the books, you say? I suppose that is what we’re here for after all (if it’s not what you’re here for, you might want to make your excuses and step away now, because there’s naught but disappointment coming your way otherwise). Before I get onto this month’s reads, a bit of shameless plugging: I hope you all got a chance to read my interview with Noah B. E. Church last month – he’s got some interesting things to say on our consumption of pornography and I think the things he talks about are going to grow into bigger areas of debate than they already are. If you haven’t read it yet, do. Now. (Well, ok, finish reading this post first. But then, get to it.)

With less than a month until I have coursework, etc. to contend with once more, I shall attempt to make the most of the time we have together before I am somewhat distracted (I realise my posts last year rather dwindled). So, how about Slaughterhouse-5 as my read of the month? A good cult classic to bring in the new year, what could be better? War and PTSD, incomparably good fun.

I’d wanted to run a few posts on Jane Eyre and books relating to that in some way but time is rather ticking down on that at the moment. I’m also dragging myself through Martin Amis’s new novel, The Zone of Interest – Amis does the holocaust mkII – which has yet to capture my imagination (I know, shock horror!). I’m seeing a talk Amis is giving in October so I’ll be willing myself to finish (and enjoy) the book by then!

I also want to write something about Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers – every so often I dip my toes into popular science/sociology/economics, etc. and I’m never quite sure it’s for me. I read this a few weeks ago when I wasn’t really in the mood for fiction, and I’m a little unsure what I made of it (not much is increasingly the feeling). I’d be interested to know if anyone else is a fan of Gladwell, or what you have made of his writing.

So there are a handful of things for me to chew over in the last few days of our British summer – pack the Pimms up everyone, the party’s over…

Notable Posts from July
Review: Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Review: Wack: Addicted to Internet Porn by Noah B. E. Church
Interview: Noah B. E. Church
Review: Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell