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  • Snapper by Brian Kimberling is a lovely book. The quirky, gracefully nonchalant story of a young man's coming of age in southern Indiana, it spins tall and not so tall tales in the manner of a near neighbour to Lake Wobegon with more than a dash of Annie Proulx.
  • I would also highly recommend Drury's last book The Driftless Area.
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  • The latest McSweeney's with a poem from Bolano and a piece of Elmore Leonard.
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  • Lovely weed-fueled ramble across Britain in the dark. Fireworks, football, a bit of shagging, It could have been the worst thing I've ever read (not that not fond of all of the above). But it's not, it's good. Buy it for your boyfriend
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    Buy a signed copy of Mark's very funny book.
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  • “In his own danceless life he couldn’t imagine anyone laughing on a November dawn but here it was. He tried to dismiss the image of three nude girls in the same bed but it was like trying not to think of a white horse.” Pete Dexter quoting Jim Harrison in his glorious review for the NYT.
  • Geoff Dyer's book of the year (The Guardian 26th Nov) It has a ramshackle loquacity, a down-home hyper-eloquence and an off-the-wallishness that is almost lapidary...

    And now James Wood reviews it in the New Yorker.
    And Ann Beattie bought ten copies as Christmas presents.

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  • This is very funny. Kraftwerk meets Magnus Mills. Sort of. Read The Independent's review here


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January 23, 2007


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paul morley

Justine, do you ever have that somewhat clichéd fantasy of being present at your own funeral (present as in tucked away amongst the pews, sporting a diaphanous veil and sniffing for effect, rather than in the casket)? Would you walk around checking people's reactions and thinking "I knew it!" And can you imagine how annoying it would be if they played someone else's songs, amongst which were, say, Chico Time, by Chico, and Touch my Bum, by the Lembit Opik twins? And do you think the gathered blubberers would immediately know there had been some mix up, or simply raise eyebrows at each other and embark on the weary business of passing everything they knew about you through the prism of this startling revelation?


People think I'm odd when I say I want that song at my funeral so I'm glad there's two of us who give this consideration Justine.I'm going to come in to Uptown Girl and I don't want to be wheeled in on a zig-zag trolley by 6 old fogies chanting all this dust to dust stuff so I've placed an order to be carried aloft by 6 nicely oiled Chippendale types.I've also said I shall be wearing designer clothes in my box,shrouds are so last year.


Paul, I don't have out-of-body experiences - ahem - in the Castaneda-styleee, but I can imagine them. Worse, my list seems awfully mawkish in your scenario and I'd absolutely loathe any snivelling. Chico Time it is then. I will amend accordingly. Or, praps stick to Plan B: no service, donate body to science and have mad profs remove my eyeballs accompanied by the Bonzos (now I am overwhelmed with the image of Homer Simpson in the limited edition of Operation yelling, "I'm awake!" when you take out his kidneys with the little tweezers.. ).


But DG, it is a serious business. When mum died sans instructions, we were stymied by grief and those drunkenly in charge of the unwanted coffin launch, vetoed every suggestion. We were faced by the prospect of a vicar, who had taken the shilling for the plot but who probably guessed my mum was atheist by her complete absence at his church throughout her residence nextdoor, saying a prayer, coughing, and us all going home. In the event, a nice bloke called Al came and played his sax and another dear friend sang some Gershwin. I can just see mum screaming out with frustration: "Where's Placido?" and indeed, "Where are the oiled Chippendales? Don't you know anything about me?" Everybody must a compose a list right now..


*Everybody must a compose a list right now...* Joe Dolce, right?


Actually to cheer up our rather dire team meetings we have invented an imaginary funeral business run by women (this because we got wind of a very undesirable chap working for the local parlour)We are to be called Stiff Sisters and the send offs we have dreamed up have had us all paralysed with laughter.Then we decided to offer a service for disposal of ashes too and that was priceless and probably all very tasteless (someone wanted to be put in George Clooney's muesli) but when you work in the NHS these days you have to find your own laughs.

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