Book Club

“Read a book” is one of my favourite put downs, it’s a great way to make fun of someone when they pipe up with their daft opinions, the one exception where it doesn’t work is with Simon, as he reads far too many books, but they are daft ones about being a hippy and living off the land/outside of the system/beating the machine read on the balcony of the massive West London town house he house sits in (remember his ‘fuck the system but keep benefits’ plaque?).

Coming from me “Read a book” is also quite an ironic insult as I don’t actually read that many books myself, so I kinda have a little chuckle to myself in my head when I say it because I’m basically playing a game of intellectual chicken.

So, to try and lend a bit more legitimacy to the insult here is a top 4 books I have read… Plus one Beak read, apparently.

1. The Catcher in the Rye - J D Salinger
Everyone should read this book, I think I read it 3 times in a row on a family holiday when I was 15. It was the most I have ever been into a book.

2. The Art of Travel - Alain de Botton
I was made to read this one years ago at Uni as it related to my major project. Alain is a French lad and writes philosophy which is actually useful in everyday life. He is a bit of a pisser and whiner, and obviously has a slight aversion to actual travel itself but it is a good antidote to those god shit awful holiday adverts you see on tv… “Australia- where the bloody hell are ya?” well, we are in Europe, enjoying some ancient culture and history you thick back packer killing racist jock convicts.

3. Dancer - Colum McCann
Zoe gave me this book to read as it wasn’t like the books I usually read, and I did resist reading it for a while seeing as I had no interest in big gay Russian ballet dancers, but it did in fact turn out to be pretty good. Its all about a big hotshot ballet dancer in the 60′s called Rudolf Nureyev who was pretty much ballets rock star and a raging homo, two things that didn’t go down too well in communist Russia. There are bits in it when talking about rebellion and passion for dance that kinda remind me a bit what it was like riding BMX 10 years ago when it wasn’t such an easy choice and saturated with kids in daft new era hats, plastic pedals and Nike trainers. Also to note, one entire chapter is written as in one long multipage sentence, which is pretty good going.

4. On the Road - Jack Kerouac
The beatnik bible, the story of bumming round America, hitting the road and living footloose and fancy free, basically living Team 2000′s dream (Check out that link as it looks like they are having a pretty good time on the Rally and seeing some amazing places). Will make you want to pack up your belongings in a ruck sack and just jack it all in, but then you realise your 23 inch Apple cinema display wont fit in your rucksack, there wont be a place to charge your iPhone every night, you cant take a rucksack and a hamper and it won’t look that great on your CV.

5. A Million Little Pieces - James Frey
Guest review from Ben: “Shit hot!”

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