The Bonfire of the Vanities - Tom Wolfe
Biggles in Australia - W. E. Johns
Lyrics 1964-2008 - Paul Simon
Wilco - Troxy
Films seen at the cinema:
G-Force - Bromley Empire
I saved The Bonfire of the Vanities for a long time as I knew it would take me about a month to read. Time well-spent, however. I love Wolfe's novels; there's such a huge cast of characters, and you get to know and sympathise with every one. As soon as I reach the end of the eight hundred or so pages I want to start again.
I bought Biggles' Dangerous Missions because it was half-price in Foyles and I didn't have one of the stories it contained, Biggles in Australia. The book is rather horrible, with floppy covers, cheap paper, big, blurry print and a ghastly cover illustration. It's definitely intended as a novelty Christmas present for Dad rather than a children's book.
Biggles is in Australia foiling his arch-enemy von Stalhein, who is rounding up Australian Communists and stirring up Aborigines. As usual, the Captain and his pals run into every possible example of local wildlife, including a creepy encounter with some enormous decapods, and conduct themselves with a blithe disregard for the indigenous peoples. All the scenes in the air are superb and give an excellent sense of Australia's vastness. It's not Nevil Shute but it's fun.
The book of Paul Simon lyrics was also half-price, in Borders' closing-down sale. It's a lovely thing to look at and hold, with thick, creamy pages and good use of coloured text and fonts. I do wish there were more photos, however.
Even though I could hear the songs in my head as I read, I got a different feel for the lyrics seeing them on the page, and corrected some words I'd been mishearing for years.