I’m most of the way through the Henry Cow book. I actually recorded me reading a chunk of chapter one for an online friend who has visual impairment and as there’s no audiobook available, a bunch of us recorded it for him. Other readers include members of Henry Cow, Faust and the author - I’m looking forward to listening to the whole thing.Some recent reading, starting from the most recent...
Iran: A Modern History by Abbas Amanat
A recent and fascinating history of Iran covering approx the last 500 years, from adopting the shia faith up to the present, more or less. More recent history is the most interesting - Mossadegh and the oil nationalization stuff in the 1950s through to the Islamic Revolution, the Iran-Iraq war and the ongoing shitshow of the Islamic Republic. I already knew most of it from other books but the details are always different. That Khomeini lad was a proper asshole.
Benkoelen: A Christmas Tale by Brian W. Aldiss
Only 9 pages but still a book! A guy on ebay was recently selling off stuff from Aldiss's personal collection which was sold after his death. I got a few hard-to-find things like this unremarkable climate crisis tale set on an island off Sumatra. I forget what happened already but there was nothing remotely christmassy about it.
ماهی سياه کوچولو by Samad Behrangi
The Little Black Fish, a children's story about a curious little black fish who, against the advice of his/her mother and acquaintances, goes on an adventure to find out where their stream goes (and doesn't come back , if I understood it correctly). It took me about a year to get through this.
Pile: Petals From St. Klaed's Computer by Brian W. Aldiss
Very nicely illustrated short thing about a city that just kept piling up on top of itself. Written in kinda tiresome rhyming verse.
The Kites by Romain Gary
This is an enjoyable enough book mostly about the French resistance during German occupation in WW2. Even though the author was apparently involved in all this in real life the book just didn't seem plausible, I dunno, but it was ok.
Henry Cow: The World Is a Problem by Benjamin Piekut
I've been a fan of Henry Cow for a fair while but I really never knew much about them, biographically. So it was cool to read a biography about a cool band that I already liked without already knowing everything that happens. They were big into having band meetings (conscientiously minuted) to discuss their objectives and make decisions in line with their maoist ideals etc. I liked the bit where Dagmar Krause told them she was not going to be able to tour anymore because her son was starting school and the rest of the band tried to send him to boarding school.
The Balkans, 1804-2012 by Misha Glenny
A really good history about the part of the world I knew virtually nothing about.
Velasquez Mixes Burnt Umber and other offensive limericks by Brian W. Aldiss
And so on.
Oedipus On Mars by Brian W. Aldiss
The script for a musical adaption of the Oedipus story set on Mars. Includes song lyrics.
Nobber by Oisin Fagan
I was a bit skeptical starting out on this one but it was very good.
Suspended Sentences: Three Novellas by Patrick Modiano
I really enjoyed this. Kinda melancholy and serious and dreamy. I should read more of this guy.
Ice by Anna Kavan
Not bad, by Anna's standards. Unrelentingly depressing as usual.
New York City in 1979 by Kathy Acker
A Garland of First Lines by Brian W. Aldiss
The Legend of the Sleepers by Danilo Kis
Three Types of Solitude by Brian W. Aldiss
These were very short things to get my modest Goodreads challenge on track. A Garland Of First Lines is just 20 pages or so of the first lines of various books. The others are those tiny little books - novellas, short stories etc that you see in the shops. I think I enjoyed the Kathy Acker one but I forget now. The Kis one wasn't great and the Aldiss one was really good, classic Aldiss in it's own short, low key way.
A King Alone by Jean Giono
This was excellent and enjoyable, about an enigmatic policeman who goes to a snowy village in the alps to investigate murders/disappearances.