Good Reading : June 2006
JUNE 2006 ı goodreading 7 me my shelf i ● What are you reading now, and why? I’ve just finished reading Kate Grenville’s The Secret River, which I think is just wonderful, and now I’m reading Geraldine Brooks’s March. Mainly because it was recommended and actually given to me and then when it won the Pulitzer I was galvanised into action. I’m really enjoying it, I think she writes so well. ● Who are your favourite authors? I’ve recovered from my obsession in the 1970s with Charles Bukowski. I actually get depressed reading the same author in an intent way these days. But I do like Ian McEwan, I think Saturday is a wonderful book; after What I Loved I’d read anything by Siri Hustvedt; and I think Annie Proulx’s Wyoming stories are sublime. ● Which books have had the most influence on your lifestyle or philosophy? The book that most influenced my life was Albert Camus’s The Plague. I read it when I was quite young and it stays inside me still. And I must admit a fondness for the wildness of Bukowski. ● Which author would you most like to meet and why? It’s a bit like meeting filmmakers. I think that what they have to say is up there on the screen, and what an author has to say is between the pages. I have been disappointed in film - makers and I might be disappointed in authors I admire. But I don’t think I would have been disappointed in Bukowski. ● Is there a well-known book you didn’t finish or enjoy? I couldn’t get into The Shipping News, which I now intend to go back to because of Proulx’s Wyoming stories, and I didn’t ever finish Oscar and Lucinda. ● Which book/s did you love best as a child? I loved Enid Blyton and Biggles. ● What is your all-time favourite book? There are literally hundreds. But if I had to choose, I’d say Steinbeck’s East of Eden or Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. ● Do you have a favourite fictional hero or heroine? I used to like James Bond before they started making the movies. ● Do you have a favourite film of a book? I think one of the best adaptations of a book was the Merchant-Ivory production of EM Forster’s Howard’s End. ● Where are most of the books in your home? In my study. ● Is there any one category that dominates? Yes, absolutely. Books about films and filmmakers. ● How are the books on your shelves organised? They are semi-organised. I had a major cull a couple of years ago and gave away literally hundreds of novels, so there are not so many left that I can’t keep track. All the reference books are fairly well organised so I can put my hand on anything quickly. ● Where is your favourite place to read? Curled up on the lounge. ● Do you have a favourite bookshop? I find them all ir resistible. margaret pomerantz One half of the popular ABC program At the Movies, MARGARET POMERANTZ began her career in the media as a stringer for ABC Rural Radio while she was studying in Vienna, supplying gripping stories about the sale of Aussie horses to Hungarian farmers. Back in Australia she married filmmaker Hans Pomerantz and became involved with the ‘new wave’ of Australian filmmaking in the 70s. She began writing for TV, radio and film, then produced and wrote a number of programs for SBS before establishing The Movie Show with David Stratton in 1986. This ran until 2004, when Margaret and David switched to their current spot on the ABC. She is currently president of Watch on Censorship and is the proud mother of two sons.