Blue is the colour of my dreams, the inside and the outside worlds tilting but never quite fully falling over. The flutter of the leaves in the wind and the beauty of the sky’s colours urged me to look up, to embrace the vast emptiness of existence. No comfort was found, history meaning nothing to the future, but no comfort was needed. It wasn’t that life is on a constant knife-edge of imbalance, when is it not?, but the fact that I could embrace the now, the cold comfort of the wind and the cawing of the birds as my own. Distinctly my own, this moment and nothing more. That nothing, or rather no moment, truly mattered or matters in the great cosmic life course of universal matter. We were born and we will die, from whence we began we will return.
I love finding new novels to read, new authors whose previous publications I didn’t know existed and have not yet read. I find life mixed into these stories, the full panoply of humanity. I came across this passage recently and it struck me forcefully for the way in which we now, online and face to face, communicate differently:
“What is this rating, a sex appeal thing?” I asked him once.
Steve tried to persuade me it was more innocent than that. “It’s more like, do they show up on time, can they keep their end of a conversation, are they clean? Do they spend all their time checking their phones?”
“You check your phone constantly.”
“That’s because you’re a friend,” he said. “I would never behave that way with a virtual friend. It kills your rating.”
“Well, where do I get to rate you?”
“You only get to rate me if you respond to one of my posts. But you never would. You’re a Luddite.”
A wonderful exchange between the main character and a friend in Benjamin Markovits 2015 novel You Don’t Have To Live Like This.
I’m a good portion of the way through the above book at the moment and I’m really happy I tracked down a copy of this novel. Lined up next to read is the Will Self’s Shark, a truly modern novel examining the threads of consciousness and time in an experimental format.
Thinking back to the beginning of this year, I had discovered Javier Marías, the eloquent Spanish author. I’ve managed to read a number of his novels now (including A Heart So White, Tomorrow In The Battle Think On Me, When I Was Mortal) and I remain deeply in love with his style.
I’m looking forward to the second half of this year and to what authors may come. What are you currently reading and why?