I haven’t been posting as much as I usually do, because I’ve had one or two books to read for the magazine.
The pile on the left are the ones awaiting review, the pile on the right are the ones I still need to read and then review. By the end of June. Ye-es, that’s what I think, too. Some of them I requested on behalf of SNB from publishers (which has made publishers more willing than normal to send me books) and some of them are my own copies. But we won’t mention that to Mr Litlove, right? That’s just between us. I’ve read some wonderful books though – in particular a memoir of a writer’s first job at a literary agency where the prize client was J. D. Salinger, and the most surprisingly twisty portrait of grief from an American novelist. More about those on the 1st July when our next edition comes out.
If you’re wondering about the outrageously pretty sofa they are resting on, yes, it is new. We had a makeover of the study when our old brown leather chairs more or less fell apart. Here’s a better picture of it:
When it first arrived (and there was some doubt whether we could get it through the door – it’s certainly not going anywhere ever again), it was wrapped up in a huge plastic bag, tied with a cord at one end. Oh the urge I had to keep it safely nestled in plastic! Mr Litlove comes in all sawdusty from his workshop, or sweaty from rowing and throws himself down on it, at which point I make him get up and change before he is allowed to sit down again. The cat, who is rather elderly these days and jumps onto soft furnishings with a wince-inducing scrabble of claws, has been banished. The one evening he snuck in, he lay on the sofa in the most ridiculous position, front legs stretched out as far as they would go as if to cover as much surface area as possible. He has not been invited back. My favourite thing to do is to shut all the doors to the study and then look at it through the panes of glass. Oh I know it won’t be long before we’re sitting on it to eat our dinner and lying with our feet up, if we can get the cat to give us a bit of space. But for the moment, I am trying to preserve its exquisite newness.
One final thing: the last ever critical essay I wrote has recently been published online. It’s about the work of Gabriel Josipovici, an author I love who isn’t well known enough in this country, and on whom a special journal edition has been put together. My essay is called The Cost of Creativity in the Work of Gabriel Josipovici, and is about the way his poignant relationship to his mother has influenced his books. If you click through to the journal, you’ll find there are all sorts of other fantastic essays on his writing.
Back with reviews later in the week.