Here's a journalist who is doing something similar to what I'm doing. Except he's getting paid for it and I'm not. Here is the link to Sam Jordison's page at the Guardian. It links to all the articles he's written, many of which are starting points for me when reading Booker Prize winners. Most importantly, he provides context for each Booker Prize winner when he reviews them. (Before we get into a discussion on proper critical study, I'm of the view that context, historical and authorial, are integral to fully appreciating a text). What is often surprising about the Booker is the amount of controversy surrounding almost every selection. Did you know that Peter Carey's Oscar and Lucinda was awarded the prize after only 30 minutes of deliberation? I didn't, and that's fascinating.
Here is the link to Asylum, a blog by John Self which reviews books. Nowadays there are a million bloggers who review books, but I like this blog. The writer is self-assured and intelligent and his reviews are insightful and never superficial. Plus, he's reviewing Booker Prizes too.
Here is another link to a blog, this time the Caustic Cover Critic, a blog about book design. For me, book design is extremely important to me as a consumer (rather than as a critic). I love book design and one day, I would love to do a book about it.
I'm contemplating starting A. S. Byatt's quartet of novels starting with Virgin in the Garden. I really enjoyed Byatt's prose, playfulness and sense of humour in Possession. Her characters were vivid and interesting and I had a decent time. Perhaps if she writes without the tedious Victorian poetry, I'll really enjoy her novels.
This is really really really important...
Does anybody know the name of the font that Faber & Faber use in almost all their books? I have been Googling forever and I cannot for the life of me find out. Somebody tell me before I go nuts.