Good Reading : July 2005
What are you reading now? The Patron Saint of Eels by Gregory Day, who is someone I know and like. It is a ‘contemporary fable’ set in the place he knows and loves, the south west coast of Victoria. It has a refresh- ingly natural voice that tells the story of a beautiful little miracle involving an Italian saint’s intercession on behalf of the local eels and the effect it has on the man and woman who help him. Australian mythmaking. Eucalyptus by Murray Bail – to see what all the fuss is about. Seduces slowly. Favourite authors? Flaubert – not so much his famous Madame Bovary as the rich, dense, sensual writing in Salammbo and The Temptation of St Anthony. Mervyn Peake – for his extraordinary Gormenghast Trilogy and the delicious Mr Pye. Author you would most like to meet? Why? Tove Jansson who wrote the ‘Moomin’ books, which char med me as a child and still do. It always intrigued me to read in the front of her books that ‘she lives alone on a small island in the Gulf of Finland where most of her books are written’. I admire her – not just a room of one’s own, but a whole island! Book you loved best as a child and why? Margaret Wise Brown’s Scuppers the Sailor Dog – a Little Golden Book with great illustrations. Scuppers was inspiring. He knew himself, what he wanted to do and what he needed to be happy, which wasn’t much. Favourite book title? The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again) by Andy Warhol. Looking at the books on your shelves, is there a category that dominates? (Biography, history, fiction, etc) Fiction. Book you never finished or book you have not enjoyed? Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History in Time. And the Bible. I start at the beginning and give up at the begattings. Book you have been meaning to read, but have never got round to? The Koran – to see what it really says. Favourite film of a book and why? Being There was just as I’d imagined the book. Peter Seller’s Buddah- like perfor mance of tuppence-short ‘Chauncey Gardiner’ was the perfect vacant space for the projections of everyone around him. As funny and profound as the book. Favourite fictional hero or heroine and why? OK, I admit it: Strider aka Aragor n in The Lord of the Rings.Very sexy that diamond in the rough thing. All time favourite book? I fall in love with a book. It’s all about the fit between it and you at that time in your life.Your favourite book at 20 is no longer your favourite at 50.That said, I have to say The Idiot is still one of my all time favourite books. Which books do you reread? I reread all the great children’s books aloud to my son Har ry when he was little, finishing off with The Lord of the Rings trilogy which took over a year. For myself, I occasionally reread a book that meant something to me in my youth and am usually disappointed, sometimes baffled. Huysmans’ Against Nature, for instance, God knows what I saw in that. Your favourite place to read? Bed – but then bed is my favourite place for just about everything. Do you use bookmarks or do you fold back page corners? I remember the page. Favourite bookshops? (In Australia and overseas) Airports – the luxurious feeling that you will be able to read whatever you buy more or less undisturbed for hours and hours. Where are most of the books in your home? The living room. Cookbooks and reference books in the study. Harry keeps his in his room, carefully strewn all over the floor for easy access. How are the books on your shelves organised? (alphabetical, by genre, face out, lying flat, higgledy piggledy) Organised by size, but tending towards higgledy piggledy. goodreading 7 anne louise lambert me my shelf i It was the film of a book – Joan Lindsay’s Picnic at Hanging Rock – that marked the beginning of ANNE LOUISE LAMBERT’S international stage and screen career. Books have always been a big part of her life as a perusal of her bookshelves reveals.