SURE, YOUR FRIENDLY AVID READER STAFF MEMBER CAN RECOMMEND YOU A BOOK, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE REAL BRAINS BEHIND THE OPERATION, AVID’S PETS? TODAY WE EXPLORE THE LITERARY TASTES OF AVID READER’S DOMESTICATED (SORT OF) friends. although after reading these, we’re not quite sure who’s in charge…
(MICHELLE belongs to me)
I enjoy algae, pellets, jazz and aggressively defending my territory. Michelle bought me three years ago when I was the size of a plum and now I am as big as her hand. At first I was very placid and trusting enough to be hand fed, but as I’ve gotten older and more confident, all my dealings have become intimidating and businesslike. As a sassy, single fish who don’t need no mate, and a lover of short stories, I recommend Barbara the Slut and Other People, the debut short story collection from American author Lauren Holmes. It’s smart, candid and very readable writing from a newcomer who’s already mastered the form. With these stories about slut-shaming, estranged parents, and odd jobs, Holmes has also attracted some famous fans, like Colum McCann and Philipp Meyer.
(Trent belongs to me)
Every time I finish The Book Thief I just have to lie down. I wish I could reach a higher shelf, but the one time I did that, after fashioning a ramp out of my own hair and two toilet rolls, I read The Road, and I had to lie down again. Could somebody please send me a copy of The Rosie Project?
(Trent belongs to me)
Philip K Dick, dude. Have you even read that stuff? That guy was a prophet. Sure, I love Pynchon, but man, I dare you to read Philip K Dick’s Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? and not HAVE YOUR MIND BLOWN. That guy was a prophet. A prophet. Why are you taking my photo?
(Trent belongs to me)
You want me to say your books. Yeah, I can see it. Ask me to mention my favourite book, but I can hear the implication in your voice. Well, that doesn’t cut it. Bukowski, and only Bukowski, don’t you even dare ask me to pick a favourite. You ask me to pick a favourite, and I will hurt you (it’s Ham on Rye).
(Trent belongs to me)
Life is all about seed, gambling, cuttlefish bone, and good books. I’ll peck through at least four a month, and with Booker season upon us I’m devouring the shortlist, and having a flutter with the bookie. My heart is with Chigozie Obioma’s The Fisherman, but my beak (and my bookie) says A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.
(Carody belongs to me)
I dislike magpies, tall men, loud noise, going outside, veterinarian appointments, late dinners, overt (read: any) displays of physical affection, and disruptive household electrical appliances including but not limited to hairdryers and vacuum cleaners. I like food. My average day is a finely tuned balancing act that involves lethargically rotating between my four preferred states: sleeping in the sun, sleeping on my bed, sleeping on Carody’s bed and maintaining a stoic but intermittent vigil by my food bowl. This full schedule leaves little time for reading, but when it does, I enjoy existentialism and violence. My top picks include American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, The Plague by Albert Camus and A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. I am also fond of Italian food and swear by Phaidon’s The Silver Spoon. I am rarely not angry or disappointed, but at least books don’t ever try to pick me up for cuddles.
(Krissy belongs to me)
I don’t really belong to Krissy. Krissy belongs to me as do most of the people in my apartment building and my street. Krissy and her husband cohabit with me (sometimes I allow them the luxury of letting me sleep on their head or their lap, as long as they don’t watch the ABC too loud). I have memorised the book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carneige and am actually working on my own new and revised edition. When I am at Krissy’s I often read the graphic novel Maus by Art Speigelman on my favourite rug (just don’t ask me which characters I identify with in this graphic novel).
(Sarah belongs to me)
I don’t have a large attention span, so getting through a whole book might be difficult without getting distracted by socks that need to be played with and food smells in the kitchen. But I do love couch time and watching documentaries with mum and dad, learning about the big wide world outside. I think I would like to read Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson. Mum loved his novel The Orphan Master’s Son, but this is a collection of bittersweet stories, so it should be easier for me. From two North Korean defectors trying to resettle their lives in Seoul, to a former East German prison warden who refuses to come to terms with his past, each story takes you to another world and otherworldly scenarios. Either that, or I keep hearing that I should read Pig the Pug by Aaron Blabey, mum thinks it will teach me some manners. But who needs manners when you are this beautiful?
(Chris belongs to me)
As a new home-owner and self-made success story, I enjoy books that reinforce my in no way over-inflated sense of self-worth. Avid Reader never seems to have any copies of my favourite author, Donald Trump, but I guess I can make do with Russel Howcroft’s When It’s Right to be Wrong or perhaps a nice edition of my personal manifesto, Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and walk across Chris’s computer keyboard for forty minutes.
(Chris Belongs to me)
I am quite a sensitive and shy young lady, but I love nothing better than curling up next to my Dad with a good book. Some of my favourites are This Is Water by David Foster Wallace (it keeps me calm when Chilli is trying to eat my dinner), Jessica Hopper’s The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic (I listen to a lot of music while Dad is at work) and Ceridwen Dovey’s Only The Animals (because my attention span only allows me to read short stories, and Dovey writes cats very well).
(Stuart belongs to me)
My favourite book is Henley: A New York Tail by Julie Muszyuski. Henley is a story about a dog plucked from obscurity and thrown into the international spotlight. It follows Henley (a Japanese Chin – a very rare breed of dog) who is bought (or as I prefer ‘adopted’) by the very regal Ms. LuLu Ziminski and taken to his new home, a fancy apartment in New York City. His life changes forever when he is spotted in the crowd of a very exclusive department store and becomes an international star! Throughout the book we learn about the history of the Chin and its origins in Japan. For example: Did you know that Queen Victoria loved the Chin so much she had 26 of them? I wouldn’t want to share my house with that many dogs! I found this book both interesting and entertaining with lots of fun, retro style drawings. 5 PAWS!!!