Monday, 25 February 2013

Mini reviews and a fangirl moment

Books v. Cigarettes George Orwell
Roy Lichtenstein Alastair Sooke
So I've been ticking through some of the shorter books on my pile. The pile doesn't visually get any smaller but it makes me feel better to know I've gone through a few books.
Anyone else adore the Penguin Great Ideas series? I think they're amazing, I keep my eyes open for ones I've not got in every bookshop. They're so small and full of literary goodness. Good effort, Penguin. This one, Books v. Cigarettes, is brilliant. It is a collection of Orwell's essays that mostly revolve around thoughts on books and writing. A while ago a friend recommended his essay 'Bookshop Memories' and that's included in this collection. That is definitely my favourite, along with 'Confessions of a Book Reviewer' and 'My Country Right or Left' which is an interesting look at the First World War and patriotism.
The other mini I've read this week is Roy Lichtenstein: How Modern Art was Saved by Donald Duck. This is where the fangirling comes in. I love Alastair Sooke. Literally, he is my future husband (I wish). A total babe who likes art. I mean, what is not to like about that?! A week or so ago I went to London with my Mother to see a talk given by Alastair Sooke at the V&A on this subject. It was a brilliant talk and after there was a wine reception (my kinda party) and book signing. The minute I laid eyes on this book it was love. The standard Penguin layout has been Lichtensteined and is complete with primary colours and Ben-Day dots. Ah-mazing. I'm going to skip over the bit when I met him because I went all red, whispered 'thank you for signing my book' and ran off. Classy bird.
Anyway, the content of the book itself is very similar to the talk given but it is a fascinating subject for any Lichtenstein lover. It is interesting to read the arguments that so many of his works are self-portraits. Plus, I never knew he played such an important role in starting Pop Art. According to Alastair, he is the architect of Pop. What a legend. It has put me in the perfect mood to hit up the new Lichtenstein retrospective at the Tate this week.
He signed my book (drool/sigh)

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