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What are you reading and listening to this week?

As for me, I've been reading a bunch of books for work (including Linda Grant's The People on the Street: A Writer's View of Israel, which is fascinating and which I strongly recommend), but for pure indolent pleasure I've been reading the trashy Victoria Holt '60s historical gothic melodramas and Mollie Panter-Downes's London War Notes 1939-1945. I loved Panter-Downes's short stories, as published by Persephone, and I found this second hand the other day. It's a collection of weekly pieces on the home front written for the New Yorker and it's amazing. So I strongly recommend that too, although the chances of finding it are probably pretty slim.

And I have been listening to Sufjan Stevens and Ella Fitzgerald.

Et tu?


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 2nd, 2006 04:23 pm (UTC)
I am reading Doctor Zhivago and really enjoying it.

And listening is always a whim, though I found my Manu Chao cd yesterday and that was very pleasant.
Mar. 2nd, 2006 04:35 pm (UTC)
I'm switching between The Bookseller of Kabul and a biography of Emmeline Pankhurst, both of which I keep losing, finding, reading ten pages, losing, finding the other one... which is worrying because they're both library books. Also reading a lot of one two three by Caroline Davis, with a particular focus on page 2: Two moo cows. Mmmmoooooo!

Listening to my iTunes random playlist because I have No Focus At All. It's currently on Lee Morgan's Expoobident, having just moved on from Le Tigre. Meryn Cadell is next.
Mar. 2nd, 2006 04:53 pm (UTC)
I am alternating between reading The Master And Margarita (which is absolutely top, but is so good that I feel I ought to save it for times when I can actually pay attention to it) and a trashy dystopian-future thriller called Market Forces by Richard Morgan. At the moment the trashy thriller is winning.

Listening: My current "listen to it every day" track is a song by a band called Tape Tum that was on a free Domino compilation with the Wire, though annoyingly it seems to be the only track they've released. Also, coincidentally, listening to lots of Wire.
Mar. 2nd, 2006 04:57 pm (UTC)
Terry Pratchett's "Moving Pictures"
And listening to William Orbit's new album, Hello Waveforms.
Mar. 2nd, 2006 05:02 pm (UTC)
This week (and last week) I have been reading The Count of Monte Cristo. I started reading it many years ago and then I moved and lost it in the move or something. I finally rediscovered it the other day and started reading from where I'd left off but was so confused I had to start over. I am now over 500 pages in and nearly up to where I left off last time. It's worth it though, fabulous book.

Not been listening to anything. My work is silent and dull, my home is about the reading (and Smallville! The OC! No Angels!).
Mar. 2nd, 2006 05:14 pm (UTC)
Academically I'm reading a metric shitload of articles on Folksonomies and yet more on Knowledge Management models. Personally I'm reading Hitchhikers again.

Currently listening to a small selection of my teenaged metal collection, right this moment? Disturbed - Down with the Sickness. It may be making me want to go moshing again.
Mar. 2nd, 2006 05:32 pm (UTC)
Oooh. I just got my replacement iPod, so I've been listening to every little bit of music I own, generally for about five seconds at a time before moving on to the next song, just to check that they're all there and to revel in the quantity and variety of my portable music collection after what has seemed like a Lenten fast.

I've not been reading as much as I'd like. Mainly Jeremy Paxman's The English on the Tube, and I've just started The English Passengers.
Mar. 2nd, 2006 05:51 pm (UTC)
I've been meaning to finish The Blind Assassin for the past, well, AGES. I figure that the quickest way to finish it is to start it again and build up a good head of steam.
I've been mostly listening to Elliott Smith and Vertigo Smyth and dreaming of my soon-to-exist (maybe?) punk band called Zero Euro.
Mar. 2nd, 2006 06:35 pm (UTC)
I'm deep into a WWI lit binge and reading Wilfred Owen's letters, which are fantastic.

As for music, I go back and forth between a CD of Backyardigans songs that the Imp and I sing along to together, and Ella Fitzgerald's Cole Porter songbook recordings. Which Ella have you been listening to?
Mar. 2nd, 2006 07:28 pm (UTC)
I've just finished my latest Vorkosigan (Lois McMaster Bujold) re-read. Now, not being entirely well, I'm in fluff-mode and re-reading some of Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar stuff (the Exile duology, to be precise), alternated with DLS's "Murder Must Advertise" (which is not fluff, but has the ease of long familiarity).
Mar. 2nd, 2006 09:29 pm (UTC)
Currently reading Fixing Shadows by Susan Barrett, which is a sort of contemporary take on the Victorian novel. I wasn't sure about it at first, but now I've reached the half way mark I'm really enjoying it.

Currently listening to Devics, who I saw live on Monday, and fell in love with!
Mar. 2nd, 2006 10:41 pm (UTC)
I went to Persephone today and came away with Greenery Street by Dennis Mackail and the first hundred pages are very promising!
Mar. 3rd, 2006 05:44 am (UTC)
Have just finished reading The Joy of Knitting, with great tips on how to figure out what a variageted yarn will look like when it's knit up, and am about to start a biography of Virginia Woolf.

Listening to When Young Terrorists Chase the Sun by Gerling, on my adorable new iPod.
Mar. 3rd, 2006 11:11 am (UTC)
Reading a bunch of books on and off: Bruce Chatwin's Songlines, a book my friend FT sourced for me called The Human Story by Robin Dunbar (pop science rubbish), and the book on the cultural politics of English as a foreign language (much to be recommended.) Listening to: the 8 femmes soundtrack, over and over.
Mar. 3rd, 2006 11:22 am (UTC)
"Sourced"? Is that what the kids are calling it these days? Heh heh heh....
Mar. 3rd, 2006 01:12 pm (UTC)
Please, don't tantalise like that! What's the name of the book on the cultural politics of English as a foreign language? It sounds like my kind of thing. I think I'll pass on FT-recommended pop science. Though maybe I'm being excessively snooty.
Mar. 3rd, 2006 04:24 pm (UTC)
The book's TCD record is: The cultural politics of English as an international language / Alastair Pennycook. Publisher- London : Longman, 1994. It's bitty - more a series of thematic studies than a book with one overweening theme - but some bits are fantastic. I suspect that you might be more interested in the bits about British Empire educational policy in Malaya than I am, but the bit where I am at the moment, about the cultural imperialism of TEFL teaching, is fascinating. Currently, the author is talking about the cliché of EFL students as a "sea of impassive faces" who are "bent on rote-learning and too intimidated to smile or be spontaneous", and is pointing out the questionable notions behind that cliché - that rote-learning is sheepish and useless, or that Western-style, chatty, demonstrative, egalitarian conversation with native English speakers should be the goal of language instruction. Engrossing stuff.
Mar. 3rd, 2006 01:07 pm (UTC)
Reading: a crap book about looking for traces of the Queen of Sheba, which has some bits about Ethiopia in it (as well as Yemen, Jordan and Israel). It should be interesting, but it's badly written, and very badly edited. Of course, it serves me right for reading a not-final-edit advance review copy. Also re-reading 'Good 0mens'.
Listening: Jack Johnson, interspersed with random ipod mania.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )


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