cairmen asked, I answer:
1) Total number of books owned?
Dunno. If we allow comics-with-spines as books, 3 full-height bookshelves worth, plus more in storage. Without that, 2 full height bookshelves, plus storage. What’s in storage is probably another full-height and a bit of proper books.
2) Last book I bought:
Like cairmen, Brookmyre’s new one. I don’t think it’s soulless, although it’s a bit Brookmyre by the numbers. Boiling a Frog remains his weakest as far as I’m concerned.
3) Last book I read:
Last one finished was “Rip it Up And Start Again”.
a) With Pictures?
Erm… Flight 2, or possibly Four Letter Words. There’re a few others I’ve bought, but not read – mostly Marvel and DC trades. Very little new that’s a “god, got to rush home and read this…”
Rip It Up is non-fiction. But for fiction, the last thing I read was re-reading Grant Morrison’s “Lovely Biscuits” and David Conway’s “Metal Sushi” on the tube last Saturday (I took quite a few tube journeys, and read fast). Then I went and fed myself brain-altering chemicals, and in hindsight, should not have been entirely surprised…
4) 5 Books that mean a lot to me:
- 45 – Bill Drummond. Bill Drummond has the most relaxing and accessible way of talking about Art and modern life that I know. More books about Art should be like his. A friend of mine once flattered me outrageously by comparing my writing style/way of looking at the world and Drummond’s. I think he’s mad, but yes, Drummond is certainly an important influence of mine.
- The Complete Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle. My favourite pulp fiction, the light by which I make a basic judgement about almost all Fantasy/SF/Comics work – do I enjoy it as much as Holmes?
- Fear and Loathing On The Campaign Trail ’72 – Hunter S Thompson. My favourite work of journalism, and also my favourite work about politics.
- Winnie The Pooh (and The House at Pooh Corner) – A A Milne. Technically two books, I suppose, but I love them beyond belief. The only “classic” on my list. Brilliant, brilliant children’s fiction, and the standard by which a person’s soul can be measured. If there is no love in you for these stories then, you should be kept away from real people, as you’re obviously some kind of parasite.
- From Hell – Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell. Not, I should add, on here as a token representative of comics, but on here as a thing I genuinely think of as an Important Literary Work. Yes, it still is the bar that I think other comics have yet to beat in terms of all round quality, but more than that, it’s an excellent work of literary/historical fiction, that doesn’t put a foot wrong at any point. A must-read for anyone, regardless of their prejudices about comics.