What are you reading?

I’m in the midst of quite a few things at the moment, and not making much progress in any of them.There’s a copy of Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace I bought from Pages of Hackney. I’m only on page 50 of it currently. Then there’s Granta 105, the issue that’s entitled ‘Lost and Found’ (if you’re familiar with one of my blogs, then this should be fitting). I’ve also got copies of Monocle magazine I’ve been buying but not reading.So yeah, what are you reading when riding the 38 or the 55, or when you’re on a bench in London Fields, or waiting in the coffee queue?


  1. The Canal by Hackney author Lee Rourke has won the booker prize http://www.pagesofhackney.co.uk/blog/?p=1302 has anyone read it?

  2. The Spiders House by Paul Bowles. I have to admit this is my third time round with this book. I am a complete fool for Paul Bowles books, and The Spiders House when I first read it in the 70’s was the one that played a great part in my love affair with Morocco – Most people attribute this same passion to having read Bowles’ most famous work, The Sheltering Sky. If you don’t know about Bowles it’s worth looking him up. His life was a work of art in its own right.

  3. @ewebber: Or rather, it’s won the \Not the Booker Prize”.”

  4. @martinmccallion damn, I was going to correct that before anyone noticed

  5. Hackney red-rose empire….duh.

  6. Low Life – Alexander BaronRead it recently, set in Hackney, 50s, thought it was excellent, the ‘low life’ is a gambling man, scraping a living from gambling, spending big when up, and scratching around for pennies during the bad runs. Bought it from Pages as well.

  7. I finally got around to reading Amis’s London Fields – it’s a really good yarn. And I dip in and out of Sinclair’s Orbital every now and again – learnt a lot about London actually as I haven’t lived in this city all that long (5 yrs or so)..pretty good.

  8. I’m maybe being a bit New Year nerdy but indulge me! I was thinking about books I have read set or with a nod to Hackney. Like marty21 I loved The Lowlife by Alexander Baron. Several years ago I read a book set on my very own Chatsworth Road about disparate local characters – The Last Blues Dance by Ferdinand Dennis. I have lent and lost several copies but its available secondhand online. And its a bit tenuous but when Hortense and Gilbert two of the main characters in Small Island buy their first house I’m sure its in Finsbury Park…..

  9. @alexisk and all – I just found this map for books set in London: http://www.getlondonreading.co.uk/Books-in-London

  10. Also might be worth checking out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_End_Literature

  11. @marty21 – Hey, I’ve just bought that – sadly from Amazon, will do better in future – but it sits atop a pile of books that have no shelf, no appreciation and for now, no purpose. There are many in the pile, not least Lights Out for the Territory, unfinished, where (thankfully, in an early chapter) I came across Low Life. I think Iain Sinclair writes the forward in the edition I have. The one with the racing dog snarling away on the front. I started out so well at the beginning of 2010, but by the end of the year came a kind of unravelling as my attention span spluttered and books were put down, others picked up, and so few actually finished. I will begin again.

  12. thanks @ewebber!

  13. I’ve started The Canal by Lee Rouke, set mostly (at this point in the book) on a bench overlooking the canal in Hackney.

  14. I’ve since finished Hackney That Rose-Red Empire and am now reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, who was at Pages of Hackney last year talking about this book.At some point I’d like to read through some of the books mentioned in Rose-Red Empire, as there were many mentioned that piqued my interest.

  15. Just finished ‘Dark Times’ Daniel Kramb, noticed him on the twitter in a RT, saw he’d written a book about Hackney so bought it. It’s about four 20 somethings thrown together, who all live in Hackney, features Shoreditch,Hackney Wick,Dalston,Clapton,and Stoke Newington. I found a little frustrating, enjoyed it in parts – liked the descriptions of Hackney and Hackney people, seemed a bit plot-free to me, a load of 20 something angst – jeeze, they really suffer, the little lambs :-(.

  16. @marty21 I was curious about that book, as I follow Daniel Kramb on Twitter. I had seen a video preview for it somewhere on Vimeo.

  17. ah yes, it’s here:http://vimeo.com/17919048

  18. Thanks a lot for reading Dark Times, @marty21! And for your interest @quitepeculiar I just joined the site and also started a new discussion about it here. Cheers Daniel”

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