Thursday, December 29, 2005

Talking about books.

We were with some friends yesterday and Steven is that rarest of beings: a man who reads. Or should I say, a man who reads and is not ‘a writer’.

He’s just finishing Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty. Before that he had read John Banville’s The Sea. By a strange coincidence (not that strange, really – all to do with Bookermania) these happen to be two books I have recently read.

Steven admired the Proustian qualities of the Banville. I insisted on the superiority of the Hollinghurst, and I think he agreed, though he admitted to being shocked by the gay sex.

The details of the conversation don’t matter. The important thing is, we talked about books. We discussed the totally fictitious lives of completely made-up people. And it was good.

I suppose this is what it’s like to be in a reading group. I suppose this is what RANAM (Read A New Author Month) will be like.

Steven reckons he currently reads a book a month, making him an ideal candidate for a RANAM reader. Slowly, one by one, this thing is growing.

For Steven, here’s a preliminary list of some new books by first time authors that will be available during the first ever RANAM.

Taking Comfort.
The Manuscript.
Selfish Jean.
Across the Mystic Shore.
Dark Rain.

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