We’ve just ordered our Christmas tree/ Channuka bush from
Bulbarrow Hill, but I’m wondering if we shouldn’t have made one of these instead. Would help with the whole book storage problem…
What books would you like in your book tree? Some of the books I’ve loved this year are: Elif Batuman ‘The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People who Read them’ — part memoir, part surrealist comedy, part literary critique. I loved the atmosphere Andrew Miller’s ‘Pure‘ (a foul smelling fug seemed to hang over me as I read) as well as the language — the things that man can do with a sentence. I adored Alexandra Harris’s ‘Romantic Moderns‘ — a fascinating journey through the first part of this century’s literature and art in Britain as well as an investigation about Englishness itself. I fell in love with Billy Collins through his best of collection ‘Taking Emily Dickinson’s Clothes off’ and now need to read his other poetry books. He combines humour and pathos and the poet’s grasp language — ah shuddering perfection. I read his poem on ‘Marginalia’ at formal hall in Cambridge — these stanzas went down particularly well:
And if you have managed to graduate from college
without ever having written “Man vs. Nature”
in a margin, perhaps now
is the time to take one step forward.
We have all seized the white perimeter as our own
and reached for a pen if only to show
we did not just laze in an armchair turning pages;
we pressed a thought into the wayside,
planted an impression along the verge.
(I did not graduate from college without having written man v nature in the margins of several books…)
What did you particularly enjoy this year? Feel free to share in the comments below!