summer purchases.

No more buying books until 2011 or when I get a proper job (whichever comes first). Missing the Last Living Slut by Roxana Shirazi as it won’t be released until Mid-July. Instead of putting books in my basket at Amazon, I have started to put the books I want on my Wish List, more or less obsessive-compulsory.

But more than anything I need a new camera. Hard to take good pictures when the screen is black.

what kind of reader am i?

I like dirty, old, preferably dead, men. Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll? Yes please. Charles Bukowski, J.G. Ballard, Arto Paasilinna, John Fante, Jack Kerouac, Hunter S. Thompson, William S. Burroughs and so on. Crash by J.G. Ballard is the book that has left the biggest impression on me. I drew, however, the line at the complete works of Marquis de Sade. It took me about 8 months to get through it, had to put the book down after a few pages and leave it for days as it was just too disgusting. I actually gagged while reading 120 Days of Sodom.

I spent my whole adolescence reading books written by young females, trying to relate. And I did relate. Francesca Lia Block, Elizabeth Wurtzel, Janet Fitch, Camilla Gibb. These days I prefer books written by non-English female writers. Books banned in China. Japanese female writers that are bad-ass; Natsuo Kirino, Hitomi Kanehara, Banana Yoshimoto. Chick-lit is too predictable for me. I do however buy the Shopaholic books by Sophie Kinsella if I come across them in a second-hand store. After reading the last sentence in Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell (which I got for free with a copy of Cosmopolitan), I threw the book at the wall because it was so bad.

What I do not read is science fiction and fantasy. The exception is J.R.R. Tolkien and books meant for children. Anything taking place elsewhere than on our planet is definitely out of the question.

I try to read more than 5o books every year. Yet my reading list is close to a 100 books at all times. Instead of buying souvenirs when I’m travelling, I buy books. And then there is Amazon with cheap books and cheap and fast delivery. I try to read as varied as possible, different genres and authors from all over the world. I often read more than one book at the same time and try to read something every day. And as I’m very close to becoming an English teacher, I’m trying to get better at analysing and promoting literature.

When I get filthy rich, I’m going to have a library and a cat named Lucifer.

While waiting for my plane at Schipol, I went into a book store (surprise, surprise). I came out, for the first time ever, with two non-fiction books. Highly inspired by my Viking lessons to the 12-year olds, I bought Empires and Barbarians by Peter Heather. I also bought Things I’ve Been Silent About: Memories of a Prodigal Daughter by Azar Nafisi as Reading Lolita in Tehran is one of my favourite books.

Browsing the Internet one night, I came across Lists of Bests. It has, very conveniently, lists like 1000 novels everyone should read by the Guardian, Nobel Prize Laureates in literature, which are both lists that I have been working on for a couple of years already. I also ended up making my own list of all the books I own, and is kind of disappointed that I have only read 66% of those. There’s also great lists of movies and music. Something to do on sleepless nights, perhaps?


the Town and the City by Jack Kerouac (1946)

Jack Kerouac was the beat generation apparently. Writing about all those people travelling from one place to another never knowing what they’re looking for. And for someone who has lived in four different countries in four years, he is certainly appealing. I read On the Road in Montréal, while being on the road not knowing where I ended up, and I loved it so much that I regret giving it away.

The Town and the City was Kerouac’s first novel and it is about a family with seven kids and it expands from the children being born in a small town in Massachusetts, follows some of them around the world, moves to New York and ends at the dad’s funeral. I love the way it’s written, so many beautiful sentences and paragraphs. I wish it would focus more on the girls in the family, but that’s just me wishing for too much.

When bookless in Rome, I stumbled into a small used book store with an English section limited to books read for classes, but nevertheless, I ended up buying Pamela by Samuel Richardson. A book some 18th century lit professor once recommended and I hope it is as scandalous as the cover says.

And I just have to show off the beautiful Korean bookmark that arrived in my mail box yesterday. It is my first proper bookmark, no more using postcards I guess.