Good Reading : April 2010
8 goodreading ı APRIL 2010 me my shelf i jean-paul bell ● What are you reading now, and why? have just finished reading Between the Monster and he Saint by Richard Holloway, a fabulous insight nto the human condition. I am currently reading a book of short stories by Jack London called Tales of the Pacific. What are some of your favourite books and authors? I love Tim Winton, his book Cloudstreet I thought was ter rific and it was also one of the best theatre perfor mances I have seen. Kate Grenville's The Secret River was the best book I read last year. Which books have had the most influence on your ifestyle or philosophy? Being a people person, I love biographies, particularly of actors and perfor mers. I would have loved to have been a performer before radio, film and television in the theatre, music hall, vaudeville etc. I loved that period of eccentrics and bohemians, like Augustus John from the end of the 19th century through o the late 1930s. Which author would you most ke to meet and why? would love to have lunch with Oscar Wilde and Mervyn Peake! What an interesting afternoon that would be! What are some books that have made you laugh out loud? I am a Peter Cook and Dudley Moore tragic; their scripts are hilarious. Like the lines from a sketch called The Frog and Peach from Peter Cook's character Sir Arthur Greeb Streebling: I met my wife during the war, actually ... she blew in through the drawing-room window with a bit of shrapnel, became embedded in the sofa, and, you know, one thing led to her mother and we were mar ried in the hour!' Do you have any books you like to read aloud? I do like Australian writers like C J Dennis and Banjo Paterson. The Australian language of those time was very colourful and descriptive! Is there a well-known book you never finished or did not enjoy? I think The God Delusion was frankly quite boring after around 100 pages. When you were a child what did you enjoy reading? I read Enid Blyton, from Noddy onto the 'Famous Five' but her book The Magic Faraway Tree really excited my imagination in regards to fantasy. It led me on to T H White's The Once and Future King, a fabulous Arthurian ale! I also liked Ivan Southall's book Ash Road. Do you have a favourite film of a book? think the book Being There was great. It was a fabulous film with Peter Sellers ideally cast as Chauncey Gardener. Where are most of the books in your home? In my study and the bedroom. Looking at the books on your shelves, is there any one category that dominates? Definitely biographies of artists, performers, eccentrics and explorers. How are the books on your shelves organised -- or aren't they? It's all a jumble but strangely I can pretty much lay my hand on any book I am looking for. When do you do most of your reading? Late at night before I go to sleep I usually don't get past three or four pages. I do like five o'clock in the mor ning for an hour or so before I get up. Where is your favourite place to read? I do love on the bed or the couch! Do you have a favourite bookshop? (In Australia and/or overseas) I really like Gleebooks in Glebe NSW or Readings in Lygon Street in Carlton Vic as well as my local in Avalon: Bookoccino! Laughter is the Best Medicine by Jean-Paul Bell is published by Hachette, r rp $32.95. www.humourfoundation.com.au. Co-founder of the Clown Doctors in Australia and the Humour Foundation, Jean-Paul Bell is a clown doctor, and writer of scripts, concepts and performances. From a background in mime, his career has spanned 40 years in theatre, comedy, festivals, schools, television, and in corporate and educational films. In 2002 Jean-Paul visited Afghanistan for ‘Patchwork for Peace’, together with 22 clowns from around the world. Jean-Paul raised $15 000 for the Panjet Girls High School in Kabul.