Laura Gonzalez

blog

31 Dec 2014

2014 reading round-up

2014 will be remembered as a ‘meh’ year, one where there has been bleak, bad stuff happening — difficult diagnoses, the loss of Klaus, the art school burning, the bin lorry accident, bodily-experienced misogyny and bullying — but also a year of personal challenges fulfilled and a lot to be grateful for — some of the diagnoses defeated, the strength received by witnessing that happening, a new reconfiguration of myself as someone who can do stuff I never thought possible, engagement in politics, handstands and headstands, alternative maternals, laughter and crying with Ellie, friends who move away but feel closer than ever despite being missed, broccoli trainers, all the amazing dances of 2014, Neil (in general and in particular). I have learned gratitude, forgiveness, discipline, compassion and I have been fortunate enough to be able to really test them.

I am looking forward to 2015: Rob and Samara will be closer which means merriment will be a norm. I am writing a book on my own and rather enjoying it; I have a 10 week sabbatical to concentrate on it. I am curating a show in London with artists who are a dream come true to work with because of their integrity and that of their work. The show comes with a conference where I may meet some of my heroines. I will do yoga at least twice a week, in the mornings, and I may do yoga every day in Crete for a while. I am going to learn from Kia, who I have heard so much about, and Peter and Caitlin may come to Glasgow to visit. I will see Ama again, and also look forward to catching up with Gaia, Jools and other London friends. And that only takes me till June.

Aside from life, 2014 has been a mediocre year for my reading, mainly down to the choices I have made, not those others have made for me in my reading groups. Sometimes I wonder if I know what I want, what I need, what is good for me. I used to think I was not a morning person, so could not get up early to do yoga. Now I don’t think, I just get up and go, I don’t give my brain a chance to complain and just do it for my body, for my whole integrated being. I has not failed me a single time, I have not regretted it. So I am wondering if I should go back to that kind of reading: the one that requires work but stays with you, rather than the garbage, quick gratification of whodunnits. Having said that, all my books this year have received 2* and above, which is an achievement of sorts. I also read less than I would like, but we can’t change that. Here’s the list with the awards.

[RED]: The book I would recommend (closely followed by ‘Madame Bovary’)
[GREY]: Not worth it (with ‘Tripwire’ as a close second)
[GREEN]: Book revelation of the year (‘A room with a view’ was my other choice)
[BLUE]: Most pleasurable reading experience
[*]: Read with Neil, aloud
Should have abandoned reading

  • *Pride and Prejudice by Austen, Jane
  • Gone Girl by Flynn, Gillian
  • *Collected Poems by Larkin, Philip
  • The Dead Hour (Paddy Meehan, #2) by Mina, Denise
  • Madame Bovary by Flaubert, Gustave
  • Revolt, She Said by Kristeva, Julia
  • Something Fresh (Blandings Castle, #1) by Wodehouse, P.G.
  • Tripwire (Jack Reacher, #3) by Child, Lee
  • Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures by Fisher, Mark
  • La Vérité sur l’Affaire Harry Quebert by Dicker, Joël
  • Yes: The Radical Case for Scottish Independence by Foley, James and Peter Ramand
  • Nineteen Seventy Seven (Red Riding, #2) by Peace, David
  • [*Ariel by Plath, Sylvia]
  • Tears of the Giraffe (No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, #2) by Smith, Alexander McCall
  • Precarious Communism by Gilman-Opalsky, Richard
  • Lacan: In Spite Of Everything by Roudinesco, Elisabeth
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4) by Christie, Agatha
  • [Never Somewhere Else by Gray, Alex]
  • *The Awakening by Chopin, Kate
  • The Finishing School by Spark, Muriel
  • The Quadruple Object by Harman, Graham
  • [Unmastered: A Book on Desire, Most Difficult to Tell by Angel, Katherine]
  • Field of Blood (Paddy Meehan, #1) by Mina, Denise
  • [I Love Dick by Kraus, Chris]
  • *Loitering With Intent by Spark, Muriel
  • The Dogs of Riga (Wallander #2) by Mankell, Henning
  • *My Man Jeeves (Jeeves, #1) by Wodehouse, P.G.
  • *A Room with a View by Forster, E.M.

Posted in Blog, Reading


2 Responses to “2014 reading round-up”

  1. Rob said:

    A great roundup. Far more touching and personal than the ones I do (mine is coming soon). Chuffed to be mentioned too. And you’re right that merriment will become the norm! I can’t wait. Happy New Year, Laura. x

  2. Laura Gonzalez said:

    To you too, Rob! Cannot wait to share books and booze, and whatever comes with that.

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About Me

I am an artist and writer. My recent practice performance, film, dance, photography and text, and my work has been performed, exhibited and published in many venues in Europe and the US. I have spoken at numerous conferences and events, including the Museum for the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, the Medical Museum in Copenhagen, College Arts Association and the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society. When I am not following Freud, Lacan and Marx’s footsteps with my camera or creating performance works as part of my Athenaeum Research Fellowship at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, I teach postgraduate students at Transart Institute.

I am currently immersed in an interdisciplinary project exploring knowledge and the body of the hysteric. In 2013, together with Child and Adolescent Mental Health practitioner Frances Davies, I co-edited the book ‘Madness, Women and the Power of Art’, to which I contributed a work authored with Eleanor Bowen. My book ‘Make Me Yours: How Art Seduces’ was published by Cambridge Scholars in 2016. In this text, investigates psychoanalytic approaches to making and understanding objects of seduction, including an examination of parallels between artistic and analytic practices, a study of Manolo Blahnik’s shoes as objects of desire, a disturbing encounter with Marcel Duchamp’s last work, and the creation of a psychoanalytically inspired Discourse of the Artefact, a framework enabling the circulation of questions and answers through a relational approach to artworks.