What I Did On My Holiday(s)

A whole day away from being McShandy! Part of me thought that there might be a danger in daily updates, like genuflections to an absent and dismissive God, Boss or Dad, and that a break was as good as a rest. Part of me was actually too busy; a rest being less than a break. So the week’s reading has comprised Tariq Ramadan’s What I Believe (a regrettably necessary book, given the deliberate misinformation that surrounds the man the Washington Post called “a Muslim Martin Luther”); two exceptional memoirs (Rupert Thompson’s This Party’s Got To Stop and William Fiennes’ The Music Room), Ben McIntryre’s glorious Operation Mincemeat (an account of the true story behind The Man Who Never Was) and volumes I and II of Andy Diggle’s The Losers.  Oh, and Jonathan Safran Foer’s polemic on the meat industry.

In between whiles, I was in the library doing the research for the director’s cut of The Book of Lost Books: reading up on Emily Brontë, the original text of the Manicheans, the Yongle Encyclopaedia, the implied author of Somadeva’s The Ocean of the Sea of Story, Scottish Reformation poetry and Fermat’s Last Theorem. I’m rather pleased with the new cover.


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