Good Reading : November 2009
8 goodreading ı NOVEMBER 2009 me my shelf i helen caldicott Environmentalist, doctor, author and – unsurprisingly – prolific reader, DR HELEN CALDICOTT tells us what’s on her bookshelf. ● What are you reading now and why? am reading An Anthropologist on Mars and The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, both by Oliver Sacks -- I love neuroscience and neurology. Also Kill Khalid by Paul McGeough, to lear n more of recent Middle East history -- and I respect McGeough enor mously. Also The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas because it was well reviewed; Indignation and Everyman by Philip Roth -- I love his writing; Love in a Cold Climat by Nancy Mitford -- this book is fascinating; The Snowball by Alice Schroeder -- to learn more about War ren Buffet; Leonard Woolf: A life by Victoria Glendinning -- a fantastic book; The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout and The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine -- because I'm researching material for my next book, about the causes of war. ● Who are your favourite authors? Patrick White, Budd Schulberg, Peter Carey, D H Lawrence, Rodney Hall, Tim Winton, George Johnston, F Scott Fitzgerald, Dennis Potter, George Eliot, E M Forster, Arundhati Roy, Gore Vidal, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, David Malouf, Barbara Tuchman, Arthur Miller, Bertrand Russell (his autobiography) and Salman Rushdie, among many more. ● Who are your favourite environmental writers and why? David Suzuki, because he is inspiring and easy to understand. I love E O Wilson's books on ocio-biology. Also Theo Colborn and Sandra Steingraber. ● Can you name the books you f ind most nspiring when it comes to environmental ssues? Man and his Symbols by Carl Jung; Our Stolen Future by Theo Colborn et al; In the Absence of the Sacred by Jer ry Mander; Our Common Future (a UN Report); and The Ascent of Everest by John Hurt, among many others. ● Was there a book that had a big influence on your life choices? On the Beach by Neville Shute. ● Who are your favourite writers and why? I love a well-written fiction book. The Australian writer George Johnston is a favourite. Also Nikos Kazantzakis (Christ Recrucified), Frank G Slaughter (The Healer), Patrick White -- here are many more but I can't think of hem at the moment. Which author would you most like to meet and why? Ger maine Greer, she changed my life when I read The Female Eunuch. ● What are some books that have made you augh out loud? Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth and My Life as a Dog by Reidar Jönsson. ● Is there a well-known book you never inished or did not enjoy? Moby Dick. ● When you were a child, what did you enjoy reading? My brother's comic books, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Cruel Sea, the Greek myths and legends, poetry, Guys and Dolls by Damon Runyon and Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. ● What books did you read to your children? The Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton, nursery rhymes, Aesop's fables and the Brothers' Grimm fairytales. ● Where are most of the books in your home? n the dining room, sitting room, bedroom, and my tudy. ● How are the books on your shelves organised -- or aren't they? They are not. ● When do you do most of your reading? Generally at night before I go to sleep, or during the fter noon when I have finished my work. ● Where is your favourite place to read? Lying on the white couch in the sitting room in the after noon sun. ● Do you have a favourite bookshop? Gleebooks in Sydney, Mary Martin Bookshop in Adelaide, and the Tattered Cover Book Store in Colorado, among many others. If you Love this Planet: A plan to save the earth by Dr Helen Caldicott is published by Norton, r rp $27.95. Photo of Helen Caldicott by Heide Smith.
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