Good Reading : December January 2010
8 goodreading ı DECEMBER 2009 / JANUARY 2010 me my shelf i wil anderson Stand-up comedian, TV presenter, radio host and writer WIL ANDERSON reveals his reading habits to us. What are you reading now, and why? I just finished reading probably the best book about stand-up comedy I have read: On The Road by Frank Skinner. It's basically a tour diary of a huge for mer stand-up star going back on the road after 10 years of not doing stand-up, and all the insecurities and excitement that go with that. The first part of the book is set at the Edinburgh Festival, and I was reading his thoughts about perfor ming there while I was perfor ming there myself, and his insights often felt like we were having a post-gig beer together. I also tend to have a bunch of different books at various stages sitting around the house. At the moment next to my bed that list includes Generation A by Douglas Coupland; The Second City Unscripted by Mike Thomas (a history of the famous Second City comedy company that produced everyone from John Belushi to Bill Mur ray); Are You There Vodka? It's Me Chelsea by Chelsea Handler; Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? by Neil Gaiman; I Drink For a Reason by David Cross and The Dark Tower by Stephen King which I need to finish before the final season of Lost because pparently there are clues in it ... What are some of your favourite books and authors? Syrup by Max Barry; American Gods by Neil Gaiman; Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Ter ry Pratchett; High Fidelity by Nick Hor nby; Y:The last man by Brian K Vaughan; Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk; and anything by David Sedaris. Which books have had the most influence on your lifestyle or philosophy? My first thought on this was probably The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, but the truth is the most philosophy that I have ever got through literature has always been contained in comic books. So Neil Gaiman's 'Absolute Sandman' series; Brian K Vaughan's 'Y: The Last Man' series; Brian Michael Bendis's 'Daredevil' series; and of course Watchmen by Alan Moore. Which author would you most like to meet and why? As I have been lucky enough to meet David Sedaris and Neil Gaiman, I would have to say Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk. But it would have to be in a basement, and we wouldn't be able to talk about it. What are some books that have made you laugh out loud? Born Standing Up by Steve Martin; My Horizontal Life: A collection of one night stands by Chelsea Handler; The Lucy Family Alphabet by Judith Lucy. Is there a well-known book you never finished or did not enjoy? I haven't made it through a 'Har ry Potter' book yet, but I am deter mined to give it another crack at some stage. When you were a child what did you enjoy reading? was obsessed by a Canadian author called Gordon Kor man, my favourite book was called I Want to Go Home, ut I also loved one called No Coins, Please. Genuinely funny children's books ... Do you have a favourite film of a book? The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Where are most of the books in your home? My girlfriend looked over my shoulder as I was answering this one and said: 'In every f***ing room' so I guess that is the answer ... Looking at the books on your shelves, is there any one category that dominates? Comic books; books about comedy; books about cur rent affairs and politics. How are the books on your shelves organised -- or aren't they? Put it this way, they are only following the Dewey Decimal System if Dewey took a hell of a lot of acid. When do you do most of your reading? I travel constantly for work, so I tend to read on planes or during all that wasted downtime backstage. Where is your favourite place to read? Bed. Do you have a favourite bookshop? Ariel on Oxford Street in Sydney or The Brunswick Street Bookstore when in Melbour ne. Friendly Fire by Wil Anderson is published by Random House, rrp $32.95.