The below is the original ethos for this blog. And then WordPress happened and it became something else entirely. For a note on the transformation from Old, New or True to Walworth sentiments read here.
I am a medical student who once dreamed of a career in book publishing. I still love to read. This is my blog, Old, New or True.
I have been lucky. I have had the opportunity to work for a couple of multinational book publishers and for a multinational book retailer. I love medicine and it enthralls me in a way that publishing failed to, but I don’t want to become so ensconced in my career that this little part of me is forgotten, like the other accessories of a younger me.
So the object of this project is two-fold. I hope by having a place to record what I’ve been reading, I’ll know when I’ve been distracted from recreation by journal articles, textbooks and case reports. I’ve decided to make it a public place because I have so many friends & relatives and, thanks to work, perfect strangers who are at a loss to know what to read and are often disappointed by the heavily-marketed, displayed-for-a-premium new releases taking up valuable shelf space.
I hope that, with time, you will draw my attention to other stories I will want to read, writers I will drool over, history in the making…
Which brings us to content. My reading patterns have always been eclectic. I don’t attach myself to a writer, read their entire ouvre and find myself at a loss when I’m done. I don’t think I’m above highly popular works or children’s books. I often find myself yawning in the middle of a long-awaited, much-hyped new release, wondering what happened to honesty amongst reviewers. I tend to become curious about books reviewed on salon.com, books reviewed by my favourite authors, and books that amazon.com tells me I will like based on previous purchases – though I do cross-reference these across a number of titles, just to be sure. I usually love Pulitzer & Miles Franklin prize winners & loath Booker prize winning books. I’m frightened of book clubs and all the ‘should reads’ they force you into. I love that Nick Hornby, in The Believer, keeps a running list of ‘books bought this month’ and ‘books read this month’ and that the two rarely coincide.
Books that I have read and enjoyed very recently that won’t be reviewed here (unless I re-read them) are; Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann; The Girl who Fell from the Sky, Heidi W. Durrow and Beatrice & Virgil, Yann Martel. I’m currently in the middle of Freedom, Jonathan Franzen (disappointing, but then the Corrections never appealed to me) and A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry. If you knew how often I’ve put A Fine Balance in the Foreign Voices display at Borders, you’d be as surprised as I am that I haven’t read it sooner. I re-read Harry Potter at least once a year, though last year I mixed things up by listening to the Stephen Fry audio books (amazing). The ‘To Read’ pile is, as I’m sure yours is, enormous.
I had a look at the reading challenges out there and couldn’t select one that wouldn’t send me into a counter-productive competitive frenzy (I’m a medical student after all). So here it is, quality not quantity, honesty not intellectual snobbery or sales-directed publicity.
I look forward to your input, your criticism and your opposition. But maybe you’ll find something you enjoy in the process…
Here goes nothing…