Thursday, September 07, 2006


After wading through the Simmons epic, I've been happily tossing off a set of faster non-fiction volumes of varying quality:

  • A Pound of Paper: I really enjoyed this mix of autobiography and bibliophily from Australian John Baxter, now resident in Paris. There are some parallels in our one-generation-apart lives: we lived in small towns in the Riverina about 30 miles apart, and share some book-collecting preferences. I may try to look him up next time I visit Paris.

  • The Island of Lost Maps [Miles Harvey]: This "tale of cartographic crime" was a disappointment. Ostensibly tracing the culprit behind a set of thefts of antique maps from libraries across the US, the story really didn't come as alive as Baxter's. If the text were cut down for a long newspaper or magazine article I'd have enjoyed it more.

  • The Angry Island: Hunting the English [A A Gill]: Thoroughly enjoyed this polemic on the English character from Scots travel-writer Adrian Gill. It's a much more personal view than Kate Fox's Hunting the English which I'd read last month, losing nothing and offering much in startling prose and insights.

Also finished off Ken McLeod's Learning the World, a "scientific romance" of first contact with aliens (except humanity is the more technologically advanced species). Jonathan McCalmont's review hits the mark for me.


  1. Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed my review :-)

  2. Anonymous6:15 pm

    Hi Michael and Bondi!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICHAEL! Hope you are well and enjoying Scandanavia........

    Many happy returns!


    George Kokkinos xx

    PS seeing Phil tomorrow night at Slide ........