Thursday 31 December 2009

The Year on Nigeness

So much for the decade - now on to the altogether cheerier subject of the year on Nigeness. What have I enjoyed in 2009? Well, I read Home, the nearest thing to a new novel I've read all year - and rejoiced when Marilynne won (and thereby redeemed)the Orange prize. I discovered Garret Keizer's wonderful book, Help, and revelled in Stanley Elkins' The Dick Gibson Show. I was duly shaken by first encounters with Flannery O'Connor and Christina Stead. I continued to delight in Pritchett and Chekhov (and again), read more of the great William Maxwell, and pursued my backward course through the late novels of Penelope Fitzgerald. I finally read Epitaph of a Small Winner, Moominvalley in November and The Death of the Heart. Meanwhile, on my travels, I got Lost in Wales, enjoyed a London gallery I'd never visited before, found the perfect bookshop, got stuck on the Tube, and fell over. It was the year in which I discovered the Mitcham Cabbage - a cabbage that comes in infinitely many forms - and enjoyed much family happiness - but this is not That Kind of Blog. It's This Kind of Blog - and yes it was a wonderful butterfly summer...
A very happy new year to all who read this, and thank you for your kind comments throughout the year. Here's to all of us!


  1. And HNY to you too.

  2. Glad you found your way back from Wales. Thanks for providing my reading list for the coming year and for all your curiously cultured and enjoyable posts. Wishing you a very happy 2010. x

  3. Happy new year, Nige. Perhaps this year you'll be reporting an encounter with birds similar to RS Thomas's:

    "As it was
    they netted me in their shadows,
    brushed me with sound, feathering the arrows
    of their own bows, and were gone,
    leaving me to reflect on the answer
    to a question I had not asked."

    What question? See:

    A Thicket in Lleyn by RS Thomas

  4. Happy New Year, Nige, and thank you for such an amazing blog. In some ways, it is like being given the chance to study for an extra degree, only freely and enjoyably.

  5. Thank you all for your greetings - and for the link Dave. A fine poem.