Muddle-headed Kay (mhw) wrote,
Muddle-headed Kay
mhw

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The things I read.

When I was little, my mother used to tell me that I'd read anything, "even the backs of sugar packets". I believe that she thought that that wasn't a Good Thing.

On my first day at school, my teacher (Mrs Simmonds, of blessed memory) asked me whether I could read. "Of course!" I answered, I fear somewhat indignantly. She asked me to read from the First Words book, and at that I became really indignant. "I don't read baby books any more!" She smiled and asked me to find a book that I'd like from the library shelf. I can't remember which book I picked, but she listened to me read aloud and then promised me free run of all the books in the school.

I remember when I got my first proper library ticket, thanks to my grandmother, who was sure that reading was a Good Thing. I don't think my sister was born then, so I must have been six, nearly seven at most. I saw that little district library again a year or so ago, and marveled once again that such a small building could contain so many worlds.

Libraries and librarians are among the Great Good Things of my life. Even if you don't use them yourself, please value them, support them, encourage people to use them.

I discovered a while back that Coventry Library's catalogue allows readers to list all the books they've borrowed in the preceding six months. Here's my current list, sorted by author. There are some exceedingly good books on it.

(ed?) Fantasy: the definitive illustrated guide
(ed?) Read my lips: a treasury of the things politicians wish they hadn't said
(ed?) The creative writing coursebook: forty writers share advice and exercises
(ed?) The new Bach reader: a life of Johann Sebastian Bach in letters and documents
Abbott, Geoff Rack, rope and red-hot pincers: a history of torture and its instruments
Ackroyd, Peter The Plato papers: a novel
Aitchison, James Cassell guide to written English
Alexander, Bruce Murder in Grub Street
Angwin, Roselle Creative novel writing
Atkins, P. W. Atkins' molecules
Barrow, John D. Impossibility: the limits of science and the science of limits
Beaton, M. C. Agatha Raisin and the potted gardener
Benedict, Elizabeth The joy of writing sex: a guide for fiction writers
Bennett, Ronan Havoc, in its third year
Bentley, E. C. Trent intervenes
Berners-Lee, Tim Weaving the web: the past, present and future of the World Wide Web
Berry-Dee, Christopher Talking with serial killers
Bettelheim, Bruno The uses of enchantment: the meaning and importance of fairy tales
Bolt, Rodney History play: the lives and afterlife of Christopher Marlowe
Braun, Lilian Jackson The cat who talked turkey
Braun, Lilian Jackson The cat who went bananas
Bright, David Catching monsters
Brookmyre, Christopher Be my enemy
Brust, Steven Issola
Brust, Steven The book of Jhereg: contains the complete text of Jhereg, Yendi, and Teckla
Bussy, Pascal Kraftwerk: man, machine and music
Bywater, Michael Lost worlds: what have we lost, and where did it go?
Clare, Alys Whiter than the lily
Clark, Clare The great stink
Clarke, John Psychopaths: inside the minds of the world's most wicked men
Coe, Jonathan The house of sleep
Coe, Jonathan The rotters' club
Cohen, Jack The collapse of chaos: discovering simplicity in a complex world
Deaver, Jeffery Praying for sleep
Deaver, Jeffery The Devil's teardrop
Deaver, Jeffery The vanished man
Deaver, Jeffery Twisted: the collected stories of Jeffery Deaver
Disch, Thomas M. The Prisoner omnibus
Doherty, P. C. An ancient evil: the knight's tale
Doherty, P. C. Murder imperial
Doherty, P. C. The assassins of Isis
Doherty, P. C. The gates of hell
Doherty, P. C. The plague lord
Doody, Margaret Aristotle detective
Doody, Margaret Poison in Athens
Edwards, Ivor J. Jack the Ripper's black magic rituals
Evans, Stewart P. Executioner: the chronicles of James Berry, Victorian hangman
Fagan, Brian M. The rape of the Nile: tomb robbers, tourists, and archaeologists in Egypt
Frazer, Margaret The clerk's tale
French, Nicci Secret smile
Frey, James N. How to write damn good fiction
George, Elizabeth Write away: one novelist's approach to fiction and the writing life
Gerber, Michael Barry Trotter and the dead horse
Greeley, Andrew M. Golden years
Green, Dominic The double life of Doctor Lopez
Greene, B. The elegant universe
Greenfield, Susan Tomorrow's people: how 21st century technology is changing the way we think
Gregory, Richard L. (ed) The Oxford companion to the mind
Gregory, Susanna A killer in winter
Gribbin, John Deep simplicity: chaos, complexity and the emergence of life
Gribbin, John Science: a history, 1543-2001
Harris, Thomas Black Sunday
Holt, Tom In your dreams
Holt, Tom The portable door
Howard, Godfrey (ed) The Macmillan good English handbook
Humphrys, John Lost for words: the mangling and manipulating of the English language
Jackson, Andrew R. W. Forensic science: an introduction
Jacq, Christian Beneath the pyramid
Jacq, Christian Magic and mystery in ancient Egypt
Jacq, Christian Nefer the silent
James, Peter Alchemist
Jecks, Michael The chapel of bones
Jecks, Michael The tolls of death
Jones, Diana Wynne The tough guide to Fantasyland
Jones, Diana Wynne Wilkins' tooth
Jones, Terry The knight and the squire
Jones, Terry The lady and the squire
Keating, H. R. F. A detective at death's door
Keating, H. R. F. A detective under fire
Keating, H. R. F. Breaking and entering
Keating, H. R. F. Inspector Ghote's good crusade
Keating, H. R. F. The dreaming detective
Keating, H. R. F. The perfect murder
Kellerman, Jonathan A cold heart
Kellerman, Jonathan Twisted
Knight, Alanna The Coffin Lane murders
Knight, Alanna The final enemy
Knight, Alanna The Gowrie Conspiracy
Knight, Bernard The tinner's corpse
Kohn, Marek A reason for everything: natural selection and the English imagination
Leon, Donna Doctored evidence
Livio, Mario The golden ratio: the story of phi
Lovecraft, H. P. The thing on the doorstep and other weird stories
Marriott, Hugh The selfish pig's guide to caring
Marriott, Trevor Jack the Ripper: the 21st century investigation
Marston, Edward The frost fair
Massie, Allan The evening of the world: a romance of the Dark Ages being the first volume
Mayor, Michel New worlds in the cosmos: the discovery of exoplanets
McCall Smith, Alexander The 2 1/2 pillars of wisdom
McCall Smith, Alexander The Sunday Philosophy Club
McDonald, Marianne Die once
Moloney, James The Book of Lies
Moore, Christopher J. In other words: a language lover's guide
Moore, Lucy Amphibious thing: the adventures of a Georgian rake
Morgan, Philippa Chaucer and the house of fame
Murphy, Theresa The Old Bailey: eight centuries of crime, cruelty and corruption
O'Brien, Bill Killing for pleasure: the global phenomenon of mass murder
O'Brien, Flann The various lives of Keats and Chapman and the brother
Page, Nick Lord Minimus: the extraordinary life of Britain's smallest man
Pain, Barry The Eliza stories
Perelman, S. J. The world of S.J. Perelman
Peters, Elizabeth Children of the storm
Peters, Elizabeth Children of the storm [sound recording]
Peters, Elizabeth Guardian of the horizon
Peters, Elizabeth The falcon at the portal
Pratchett, Terry Darwin's watch
Pratchett, Terry Only you can save mankind
Pratchett, Terry Pyramids: (the book of going forth)
Prosise, Chris Incident response: investigating computer crime
Pullman, Philip Count Karlstein: the novel
Pullman, Philip Firework maker's daughter
Putnam, Bill The treasure of Rennes-le-Château: a mystery solved
Rankin, Robert The book of ultimate truths
Rankin, Robert The Brentford chainstore massacre
Rankin, Robert The garden of unearthly delights
Ransom, Teresa Madame Tussaud: a life and a time
Reichs, Kathy Monday mourning
Rimington, Stella Open secret: the autobiography of the former Director-General of MI5
Robb, Candace A cruel courtship
Robinson, John J. Born in blood: the lost secrets of freemasonry
Rowe, Rosemary The ghosts of Glevum
Sacks, Oliver, The man who mistook his wife for a hat
Sade, D. A. F., marquis de The mystified magistrate and other tales
Saylor, Steven The judgement of Caesar: a mystery of Ancient Rome
Secombe, Andy Limbo
Sedley, Kate The midsummer rose
Sharp, Zoë First drop
Shearing, Colin Gregorian chants: an illustrated history of religious chanting
Shellard, Dominic The Lord Chamberlain regrets: a history of British theatre censorship
Silverberg, Robert The world inside
Singh, Simon Fermat's last theorem
Smith, Clark Ashton The emperor of dreams: the lost worlds of Clark Ashton Smith
Snicket, Lemony Lemony Snicket: the unauthorized autobiography
Snicket, Lemony The austere academy
Snicket, Lemony The reptile room
Stafford, David Spies beneath Berlin
Stewart, Ian The magical maze: seeing the world through mathematical eyes
Strogatz, Steven H. Sync: rhythms of nature, rhythms of ourselves
Truss, Lynne Eats, shoots & leaves: the zero tolerance approach to punctuation
Tuckett, Kate (ed) The A-Z of conspiracy theories
Uglow, Jennifer The lunar men: the friends who made the future, 1730-1810
Vallgren, Carl-Johan The horrific sufferings of the mind reading monster Hercules Barefoot
Ventham, Maxine (ed) Spike Milligan: his part in our lives
Watson, Lyall Dark nature: a natural history of evil
Wentworth, Patricia Miss Silver comes to stay
Wentworth, Patricia The case of William Smith
Wilsdon, James (ed) Digital futures: living in a dot-com world
Wilson, Colin Written in blood: a history of forensic detection
Wilson, Damon The mammoth book of prophecies
Wilson, Robert The blind man of Seville
Wilton, David Word myths: debunking linguistic urban legends
Wishart, David Food for the fishes
Wishart, David Germanicus
Wishart, David Last rites
Wishart, David The horse coin
Wishart, David White murder
Wodehouse, P. G. Service with a smile
Wolfe, Gene Innocents aboard: new fantasy stories
Wooding, Chris The haunting of Alaizabel Cray
Zuckerman, Larry The potato: from the Andes in the sixteenth century to fish and chips

So which ones on the list have you read? And, given just that list, I wonder what kind of person someone might think I am.
Tags: books
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  • [cue Twilight Zone theme music]

    Of course coincidences happen - it would be remarkably improbable if they didn't - and there's nothing spooky about them, as such, but I just had a…

  • The things I read, again

    I should do this more often. The last time I made a list was back in October last year, here, and the library keeps the list for only six months.…

  • Sodomy

    Sodomy: A History of a Christian Biblical Myth, by Michael John Carden. Nope, for once in this journal it's not a how-to book. As the blurb says:…