1995: The Novellas of Martha Gellhorn

(July 25, 2013)

1995 is over, and this is perhaps the essence of books-that-I-didn’t-read:  It’s a short story collection; it’s an omnibus; it’s really long; I bought it on sale; it’s by an author I had grown disenchanted with. I first read Martha Gellhorn’s The Face of War, and was completely blown away.  Then I bought The View … Continue reading 1995: The Novellas of Martha Gellhorn

1995: Slik talte Zarathustra

(July 21, 2013)

1995 is almost at an end!  After Friedrich Nietzsche has been vanquished, nothing stands between me and the super-human effort that is finishing something! So I say: Hah!  This book is most amusing!  Just watch!  I am laughing! Hah!  Hah!  Hah! – Also sprach Lars Rating: Moustacheriffic

1995: Sol, stå stille

(July 17, 2013)

I got this book in 1995.  It’s another of my grandfather’s books. It’s about Israel, and was written in Denmark in 1950, so it’s written while things were still going on in Israel.  On the other hand, when weren’t they? Poul Borchsenius doesn’t make much of an effort to tell a balanced tale, but he … Continue reading 1995: Sol, stå stille

1995: Both Right and Left Handed

(July 13, 2013)

I bought this book by Bouthaina Shaaban in 1995.  More because I had a tendency to buy all books I happened upon published by The Woman’s Press (they have a very neat logo) than because I wanted to read a book subtitled “Arab Women Talk About Their Lives”. I know. I know. Anyway. Shaaban writes … Continue reading 1995: Both Right and Left Handed

1995: New Writing 4

(June 28, 2013)

This is an anthology of (mainly) British writing (edited by A. S. Byatt and Alan Hollinghurst) that I bought at a sale in 1995, and didn’t read.  For obvious reasons.  I mean, it’s an anthology of (mainly) British writing.  Give me a break! This isn’t a “best of” anthology, or anything.  Apparently the editors just … Continue reading 1995: New Writing 4

1995: Bingo!

(June 24, 2013)

Ketil Bjørnstad is a musician and an author, and this book is about a musician who’s also an author.  And then there’s a Hardy Boys plot about terrorism and the Steiner School. The bits about being a musician are better than the terrorism bit.  There’s a sort of vigorous charm in the writing, and there … Continue reading 1995: Bingo!

1995: Longer Views

(June 15, 2013)

I had read most of Susan Sontag’s non-fiction, and then I didn’t read her novel, so it makes sense that I would read all of Samuel Delany’s fiction, but then not read his essay collection “Longer Views”.  Don’t you think? It demonstrates the mirror image stage in specifying the signifiers signified by m/othering the other. … Continue reading 1995: Longer Views

1995: The Volcano Lover

(June 3, 2013)

I read virtually everything of Susan Sontag’s while in my 20s, and felt very clever indeed.  I seem to recall buying this book on one of my first trips to London, in 1995.  What was the name of the bookstore…  Blue Moon?  No.  Silver Moon.  I bought a bunch of Angela Carter books there, too. … Continue reading 1995: The Volcano Lover

1995: Den store sledereisen

(March 20, 2013)

Or “The Big Sled Ride”, by Knud Rasmussen. My mother gave me this book in 1995.  It had been one of her father’s favourite books. My grandfather lived even more way to the north of Norway than I did.  He was a fisherman, going out on the northern seas in his boat.  Fishing…  some kind … Continue reading 1995: Den store sledereisen

1995: En glad gutt

(February 19, 2013)

I haven’t read many of the Norwegian classics.  I’m pretty sure I’ve never read anything by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (his name translates to Bear Star Bear Son — like wow) before. This book, called perhaps “A Jolly Lad”, is a slender volume on young love across the class barriers, as well as a society getting progressively … Continue reading 1995: En glad gutt

1995: Sataniske vers

(February 14, 2013)

My sister used to work for a book publisher, so she got tons of free books.  The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie was probably one of them, which explains why I’ve got it. It’s better than I expected.  It’s written in a very late-80s coke-fuelled wide-eye manic way, with one tableaux after another.  Quite entertaining, … Continue reading 1995: Sataniske vers

1995: Till Damaskus/Ett drömspel

(February 5, 2013)

I couldn’t remember buying this, and it turns out that I didn’t.  It was forgotten by somebody at my apt, and he’s since gone onto become a theater instructor.  How appropriate, since this is a collection of two plays by August Strindberg. I probably get a more abstract impression of the plays than originally intended.  … Continue reading 1995: Till Damaskus/Ett drömspel

1995: The Woman in the Dunes

(January 31, 2013)

Continuing the stooory of 1995, for some reason or other I had bought this book by Kobo (The Meat) Abé.  Probably because it was on sale.  Which also explains why I didn’t read it. It turns out to be a fantastically written punch in the stomach.  It’s a sandy, moist and claustrophobic horror show.  And … Continue reading 1995: The Woman in the Dunes

1995: Forsøk i kjærlighet

(January 28, 2013)

I hadn’t kept up with the 1995 project in a while, so I pounced on Essays in Love: A Novel by Alain de Botton yesterday. It’s a somewhat unusual novel.  As it says on the cover, it’s sort of an essay collection, and it’s sort of a novel.  So very avantey.  But not really. It’s … Continue reading 1995: Forsøk i kjærlighet

1995: Dagbøker i stein

(December 15, 2012)

Or “The Stone Diaries” as it was called in English. The reason this one never got read is probably that I suspected it to be respectable and stuff. And it is.  It’s very respectable. Initially I thought it was a fictional (auto-)biography of sorts.  Then when I reached the middle, I found all these pictures … Continue reading 1995: Dagbøker i stein

1995: The Zanzibar Cat

(November 13, 2012)

I’m not a fan of short story collections, but I’m a fan of a number of authors who write one short story collection after another, so I read them anyway. But that explains why this book went unread.  I really like Joanna Russ.  She’s very funny and she’s quite angry, which makes for an enjoyable … Continue reading 1995: The Zanzibar Cat

1995: The Mark of Merlin

(October 17, 2012)

I bought this book at an SF auction thing at the University.  I remember a bidding war broke out between me and some woman over this book. I’m not sure why.  I was just caught up in the excitement. And then it sat on the bookshelf until now. I used to read a lot of … Continue reading 1995: The Mark of Merlin

1995: Tourists

(October 14, 2012)

I do remember why I haven’t read this one.  I thought it was a short story collection. I hate short story collections. No, that’s not quite true.  I love short stories.  It’s just that they take more energy than novels.  They’re so compressed.  You have to start caring about these characters in a couple of … Continue reading 1995: Tourists

1995: Homo Falsus

(October 12, 2012)

Do you remember back in the mid-80s where all books dealt with writers who were writing the book you were reading, or were they? The post-modernity of this book is pretty staggering.  And perhaps not in a good way.  But that’s just what virtually all literature was like in 1984. This one has not just … Continue reading 1995: Homo Falsus

1995: Ring of Swords

(October 10, 2012)

Getting the festival of 1995 underway, I picked the book I knew absolutely the least about first. It seemed like a pretty nice hard-ish SF novel, so why hadn’t I read it already? Now I remember…  I had bought it along with a swarm of other touchy feely SF books, and I had kinda gotten … Continue reading 1995: Ring of Swords


(July 15, 2012)

I’ve always bought more books than I can possibly read. It’s under control, though.  Just a fraction more.  But it means that the section of the bookcase(s) that contain the unread books grows, slowly but inevitably. That’s fine. I put the books I read at the top of the bookcase, and the unread ones sort … Continue reading Readin’