Warning: this post contains many

Warning: this post contains many links to Amazon.

Two very different slices of Americana have been impacting on my life recently. On Monday, on the way into work, I started to read Of Mice and Men for the first time in over twelve years. I was forced to read it at school, and was completely incapable at the time of viewing it as anything but an unbelievably long, tedious chore. This time, the whole reading probably took me about two and a half hours – it’s such a tiny book. But it came like a kick to the head.

The horror with books that I read at school is that – at the time – I didn’t enjoy a single one of them. In fact some of them still haunt my mind as horrors to be tamed. There’s a few lines at the front of Molly Keane’s Good Behaviour that still have the power to make me feel queasy. And yet, I’ve re-read many of these books since school, and found them all to be astonishingly powerful. To Kill A Mockingbird is a case in point. What is it about schools that make the the reading of books such a hellish experience, I wonder?

The other juicy slice of trans-atlantic media-pie that I’ve been gorging myself on is the latest Dandy Warhols album. I bought it a while back and listened to it about ten times before promptly losing it. I have no idea where. It’s been driving me mad for months. I keep ripping apart my bedroom in vain attempts to find it. Eventually last night I gave up and bought it again. And of course, unlike novels from school, it’s not quite as good as my memories would suggest. Ah well.