Good Reading : November 2004
● What are you reading now? Hadji Murat (a beaut little novel by Leo Tolstoy). ● Favourite authors? WG Sebald, Raymond Chandler, Primo Levi, John Banville, George Orwell. ● Looking at the books on your shelves, is there a category that dominates? (Biography, history, fiction, etc) I don’t think so, there is a mix of biography, history, politics and fiction. ● Author you would most like to meet? Why? Pat Barker: an author with nice values and a keen insight into the effects of war; George Orwell: honesty and clarity in his writing. ● Book you loved best as a child and why? Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne. Funny, and full of good advice (‘a bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise’). ● Favourite book title? ‘Has anyone here been raped and speaks English’ . Memoirs of a BBC war correspondent whose name I can’t remember.The title comes from a question by a BBC producer at a hospital during a civil war in Africa. ● Book you never finished or book you have not enjoyed? David Barnett’s biography of John Howard. ● Book you have been meaning to read, but have never got round to? Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust. ● Favourite film of a book and why? The BBC miniseries of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited. Brilliantly done and faithful to the book. ● Favourite fictional hero or heroine and why? Philip Marlowe (Raymond Chandler’s private detective and hard-bitten philosopher). ● All time favourite book? The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay. ● Which books do you reread? The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay. ● Your favourite place to read? In bed or on the beach. ● Do you use bookmarks or do you fold back page corners? Bookmarks. ● Favourite bookshops? (In Australia and overseas) Readings (Carlton,Victoria), Hill of Content (Melbourne) and Gleebooks (Sydney). ● Where are most of the books in your home? Scattered in bookshelves throughout the house. ● How are the books on your shelves organised? (alphabetical, by genre, face out, lying flat, higgledy piggledy) Largely disorganised though in some rooms in some shelves they are by genre (eg. Biography) and some of the fiction library is arranged alphabetically. It is all a work in progress. goodreading 7 john button me my shelf i Since retiring from parliament JOHN BUTTON has been able to devote himself to writing, first with his memoirs and latterly as Patron of the Melbourne Writers’ Festival.
December January 2005