The Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
The Venetian Affair - Helen MacInnes (re-read)
Soldiers and Sled Dogs: A History of Military Dog Mushing - Charles L. Dean
High Fidelity - Nick Hornby (re-read)
Biggles in the Cruise of the Condor -W. E. Johns (re-read)
Tintin and Alph-Art - Hergé
Films seen at the cinema:
The Selfish Gene
I should have read this ages ago, and I think many of the concepts have now been updated or outdated, but it was thrilling stuff nonetheless. I could feel my mind expanding.
The Secret History
Another I finally got round to over a decade after everyone else. I found it not entirely satisfying. The narrator, Richard, is convincing and likeable, and I enjoyed the scenes of small-town college life, but for a book with murder at its core it didn't half move slowly.
(I also couldn't help thinking that, unlike Tartt's characters, I managed to do a Classics degree without carrying on like a great big pretentious arse.)
The Venetian Affair
Read in Venice, of course. Rather too many coincidences for it to be convincing, but an enjoyable ordinary-bloke-caught-up-in-internationa
Soldiers and Sled Dogs
How could I not love a book with this title, the kind gift of galahadwarhorse? I had no idea that sled dogs were used by the military at all, let alone in both World Wars. The dogs hauled freight and evacuated the wounded. They were used in search and rescue operations, retrieving the crews of downed aircraft and, piece by laborious piece, the aircraft themselves.
Favourite chapter: the one about landing dogs by parachute, entitled 'Grrr-onimo!'.
I think this might be one of my favourite books. Lent to a coworker and somehow accidentally re-read on its return. Yesterday I found myself naming chocolate chip cookies as one of my top ten favourite foods and said coworker piped up "I feel like I'm in that book!" I instructed her to kick me if I started otherwise acting like Barry.
Biggles in the Cruise of the Condor
Biggles helps his uncle retrieve an Inca treasure in this tale of credulous natives, simple negroes, corrupt Portuguese officials, treacherous halfbreeds, and noble Englishmen. They fight off countless species of fauna and brave every possible natural disaster.
Tintin and Alph-Art
Sketched pages, panels and notes for Hergé's last Tintin album, incomplete at the time of his death. Features Captain Haddock giving up the booze and turning into a hippie. Ah, what might have been!