Category: "books"

le livre juste

12/13/17 09:00

Over the holidays I like to reread a favorite novel. Perusing my shelves the other day I found a title that seemed the perfect one to end this year with: Evelyn Waugh’s Vile Bodies.

By Thomas Swick • Category: books

storm reading

09/06/17 08:20

As always, the lists of recommended hurricane supplies are omitting books to read when the power goes out. Yesterday I pulled down from my shelves John Updike's Memories of the Ford Administration.

By Thomas Swick • Category: books

rare book club

08/30/17 09:02

Yesterday’s post would seem to place me firmly in the realm of the onc-percenters. The literary one-percenters.

I came across the term Sunday, in a Herald book review, with great pleasure. It’s delightful to feel oneself part of a select group, and what’s more select these days than a group of people familiar with literature?

By Thomas Swick • Category: books

reading Spain

08/29/17 09:02

One of the many pleasures of watching The Trip to Spain – the latest in the series of road pictures starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon – is hearing a reference to Laurie Lee’s As I Walked out One Midsummer Morning. (I can’t remember ever hearing mention of a travel classic, other than On the Road, in an American movie.) And the book – one of the most beautifully titled in the history of travel literature – is not only referred to, it is discussed, with a young English busker who, of course, knows it well. Ah, England. Perhaps it was concern about alienating American audiences that kept the writers from bringing in V.S. Pritchett (Marching Spain) and Gerald Brenan (South from Granada).

By Thomas Swick • Category: books

We're having neighbors over this evening and I'm already anticipating the questions about all of my books. "Well the thing about books," I'm going to tell them, "is that, if you write 'em you oughta read 'em."

By Thomas Swick • Category: books

one book

05/18/17 09:22

We had people over for dinner recently and one of the women, looking at my collection of books, asked me which was the most interesting. It caught me off guard. I’m used to people asking if I’ve read all my books. (“Twice,” I tell them.) People sometimes ask me what’s the most interesting place I’ve been, a question I always have trouble answering. But after a few seconds thought, I knew exactly what to tell her: Foreign Faces, by V.S. Pritchett, the book about Eastern Europe I bought several hours before spotting Hania behind the bar of London’s Mitre Hotel.   

By Thomas Swick • Category: books