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Books

From the reading list

I’ve made a conscious effort to stay off Twitter outside of working hours, partly because it’s full of terrible people and primarily because it’s a waste of time I could be putting to much better use by making music and reading books. Here are a few things I’ve read in the last few weeks that I’d heartily recommend.

This Searing Light, The Sun and Everything Else, Jon Savage

An oral history of Joy Division, one of the UK’s most important bands. I thought I’d heard it all before – I’ve read lots of books about Joy Division and by members of Joy Division – but it turns out I hadn’t. The book’s a little pretentious in places, but that tends to happen with this band.

Here’s a fascinating pop anecdote: I once met the late Tony Wilson, Joy Division’s label boss and indie music legend. He told me he didn’t like my T-shirt.

The Bi-Ble, various contributors

A collection of personal essays about bisexuality. I found this absolutely fascinating, and not just because I know and admire some of the contributors.

Queer Intentions, Amelia Abraham

Part memoir, part travelogue, Queer Intentions is compelling and fascinating: Abraham travels the world to discover how LGBT+ people live and love. The book covers everything from the sass of drag conventions to the brave souls marching for Pride in very anti-LGBT+ parts of Eastern Europe. I bought this one from Category Is books, Glasgow’s very best bookshop.

Hotel World, Ali Smith

There are huge gaps in my knowledge of Scots writers – for example, I haven’t read Alastair Gray’s famous Lanark; it’s currently in the to-read pile next to the sofa – and that means Ali Smith is new to me. A friend gave me There But For The, which I loved, and then loaned me Hotel World, which I loved even more. I was in bits at the end.

Since We Fell, Dennis Lehane

It’s been a while since I devoured a big daft thriller, and this is very big and very daft. Lehane is a fantastic writer and the first half of Since We Fell is superb; the second half, while fast and gripping, gets very silly indeed. This is a gourmet cheeseburger of a book: it might be a cheeseburger, but it’s a very good cheeseburger.