My Reading Life by Bob Carr

My Reading Life: adventures in the wonderful world of books by Bob Carr
ISBN 978 0 670 07066 4 Viking – Penguin

The problem with this book, is that although you start the book thinking you have a little under 400 pages to read, by the time you have finished, you will find this has expanded by many thousands of pages.

The book is full of quotations, recommendations and overviews covering a lifetime of reading.

I was delighted to find my favourite first line quoted. “It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me” from Earthly Powers by Antony Burgess.

My Reading Life includes excellent indexes of authors and titles.

Bob Carr discusses the themes in his book in the epilogue, including the quest for decency. I’m not that comfortable with the word as, like “liberal” it has so many meanings. Nevertheless, that aspect of the author’s beliefs comes across clearly. My respect for him has increased enormously since reading the book.

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Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (CDs)

…actually, a book I’ve heard. I’ve just spent the last week’s trips to work and back listening to Neil Gaiman’s “Graveyard Book”, read by Neil Gaiman (ISBN 978-0-7475-0076-0).

It was thoroughly entertaining and brilliantly read. I’ve listened to a number of books read by famous actors and Gaiman’s reading ability is easily right up there with the best actors. Like all his works, he goes a little further than most, including music, with jacket art by Chris Riddell.

It’s all about Nobody Owens, a normal boy raised by ghosts in a graveyard.