- "Ready Player One" by Earnest Cline is the best book I've read in a long time.
Now that I've seen all the Harry Potter movies, I'm going back and reading all the books for the first time, just to see what all the fuss was about.
- Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson. Best novel I've red in a few years.
- A World Can End by Irina Skariätina.
Great memoir by a russian countess who stayed on throughout the Revolution until, incredibly, 1922!!! Although she was almost dead by then. History that takes you there.
- R1, "Ready Player One" is not the kind of novel I would normally read, but I loved it.
- Fit to Serve...James Hormel autobiography about being the first openly gay Ambassador. He served as Ambassador to Luxembourg under Clinton.
- Winston's War, about Churchill during WWII - I'm listening to it on the treadmill.
- I was reading The Guns Of August, but I got so depressed I had to put it down a third of the way through. It's wonderfully written, but so full of tragedy I just had to take a break for a few weeks.
- The Fortune Cookie Chronicles
- Reading "Bernie Madoff The Wizard Of Lies"
Am going to start "The Economics of Good and Evil" shortly. Does anyone know it? Is it any good?
- Sorry, here's a link to "The Economics of Good and Evil" by Tomas Sedlacek:
- CALEB'S CROSSING by Geraldine Brooks, a fictionalized account of one of the first Native Americans to attend Harvard.
- J.M. Coetzee's "Summertime".
Wonderful novel, brilliantly structured, moving, intelligent, and also a very entertaining read.
- "You Are Not So Smart" -- David McRaney
- Just finished "The Savage City: Race, Murder, and a Generation on the Edge" by TJ English.
- Shalom Auslander, author of the wonderful "Beware of God," has just come out with a new novel, "Hope, a Tragedy."
- Just finished Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris.
Its book # 11 in the True Blood series.
Eh it was pretty boring. I'm not sure I will even read the next book.
Why have the sexiest vampire of all time and only have 1 page sex scene with him. I needed more Eric time.
Also so not believable that Sookie has 3 guys who want her.
The series was really really good in the beginning.
- This book!
WHAT I DID WRONG, John Weir
The dude reading his work out loud for ten minutes at the link, worth watching:
- Oh, and "Summertime" is about a (fictional) biographer interviewing 4 (fictional) people who knew the deceased (real life) novelist J.M. Coetzee - outside the novel, however, Coetzee is very much alive (he happens to be the author of "Summertime").
It takes place in 1970's South Africa, where Coetzee's literary ambitions caused suspicion and bewilderment at every turn (he is white). In the end, the interviewees' observations about Coetzee reveal just as much about themselves, about the tragedy/contradictions/disconnection/humor/hope/courage/and self-delusion in their lives, and about the state of the country at large.
Coetzee won the Nobel Prize ten years ago, and
"Summertime" was shortlisted for the Booker prize in 2009. It is a very good novel indeed.
- Me, I'm reading ANNA KARENINA. I'm about halfway through, and something tell me it's not going to go well for her!
- Gun Digest 2012,
NRA Quarterly Review,
NASCARs Fire from Behind .....and
Brad Paisley: Ain't No Homos in Country
- R14, "The Savage City" is currently on my to-be-read pile!
I just finished Steve Wick's "The Long Night: William L. Shirer and the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" Shirer was the CBS radio correspondent in Berlin during Hitler's rise to power. While Ed Murrow got more attention with his dramatic broadcasts from London during the Battle of Britain, Shirer had to contend with much more to put his broadcasts together.
As a companion piece from relatively new releases I've started reading "In the Garden of Beasts" by Erik Larson. Did you know that early on Hitler's storm troopers would even attack non-Jewish Americans on the streets? Larson lays out the story of FDR's newly appointed US Ambassador to Berlin William Dodd & family as they experience Hitler's consolidation of power.
These two books are welcome views of a period that has otherwise unfortunately become pretty one dimensional with its heavy focus on the Holocaust at the loss of the broad picture. If you know of Kristallnacht but not the Night of the Long Knives you should read these.
- R19, Your intuition may be on to something.
Speaking of classics, anyone know what the current preferred translation of Swann's Way is. I'm thinking of rereading it (Just the first volume; not all of À la recherche du temps perdu).
- What is Ten Thousand Saints about r2?
- I haven't read a book in ages, so when I got an ereader for Christmas I just picked the bestseller with the most stars, which happened to be "The Hunger Games". I didn't even know it was a children's book - but I got addicted, and ended up reading the entire series. Now I found out there's a movie coming out in March.
I'm embarrassed to say I'm really anticipating it!
- Non-fiction: "Teenage" by Jon Savage, about the pre-history of youth culture. He covers the Hitler Youth, Die Wandervogel, and various American youth movements.
Fiction: "Open City" by Teju Cole, and Mary Gaitskill's satire of an Ayn Rand-type philosopher and the cult around her, "Two Girls, Fat and Thin."
- The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
- Where did you find this book, R3?
"A World Can End" by Irina Skariätina
- Just finished "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot, which really wowed me.
Now reading Elisabeth Sladen's autobiography.
- The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov, Paul Russell
The Metropolis Case, Matthew Gallaway
Double Life: A Love Story, Alan Shayne and Norman Sunshine
Sacred Monsters, Edmund White
- 'The Sisters Who Would Be Queen - Mary, Katherine, and Lady Jane Grey'
by Leanda De Lisle
- "The Church of Dead Girls"
- I enjoyed the memoir of Nile Rodgers ("Le Freak") though I was a lil disappointed that he didn't mention his high profile "failures" (Debbie Harry's "Koo Koo," etc.). Still, lots of fun stuff about the go-go 70s and 80s including Madonna and Bowie dish.
I thought "The Art of Fielding" was way, way overrated. A fine novel but nothing to get excited about. Am I the only one?
I'm back to reading obscure philosophy for the moment...
- "The Hare with Amber Eyes" is an excellent family memoir that travels from Paris to Vienna to Japan.
- For light fun I'm reading Mike Carey's Felix Castor exorcist-detective series, and just finished THE NAMING OF THE BEASTS. I'm also going through M.C. Beaton's Hamish Macbeth series; I like the Sutherland/Highland descriptions.
I'm also reading Patricia Rogers' PURPOSEFUL PROGRAM THEORY (I'm an evaluator and love her work and approach) and Michael Evans' THE DEATH OF KINGS: ROYAL DEATHS IN MEDIEVAL ENGLAND (I'm also a mortality researcher) and Donald Tyson's MAGICIAN'S WORKBOOK.
- I'm so disgusted .... I can't find any new or upcoming releases that I *really* want to read. Just as well I guess since I practically have Barnes & Noble in my house. Plenty of old stuff I already bought to read ...
- I also enjoyed Ready Player One.
- I used to buy a ton of books, too, R35, until I started running out of space for them. It killed me to have to get rid of some of them because I just saw $$ flowing out the door.
Now I check out items from the library and have one shelf reserved just for them. Our library has no check out limits so I currently have over 70 items - books, cds, dvds, on hand (plus the library has online renewal!). It's such a relief knowing I don't have to stress about winnowing a collection anymore.
- Welcome to the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. It's pretty good but it's really just a bunch of short stories that she strung together into a novel.
- You people have horrid taste.
- [quote]What is Ten Thousand Saints about [R2]?
What's the matter with you? Have you really never heard of a little place called Amazon? That will tell you everything you want to know about the book.
- I got QUIET from Audible - it's about the power of introverts
- R40, isn't it odd how so many people know how to use certain things on the internet, but have no idea how to elicit information on the internet or how to do research?
- The Widows of Eastwick, John Updike - I love these three old fraus!
- I just finished reading "The Wicked Education of Henry Holliday" and I found it a lark! It's silly and very funny. Check out the Amazon link...!
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_27?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=the wicked education of henry holliday&sprefix=the wicked education of hen,aps,163
- Can't get into "Ready Player one" but I'm trying.
- Man's World by Rupert Smith
- Has anyone read the Inkheart Trilogy? Saw the first book in the discount section and almost got it.
- "Hijacked: The Road to Single Payer in the Aftermath of Stolen Health Care Reform" by Dr John Geyman.
Very informative and very infuriating. A good read for anyone who wonders why every industrialized country on earth has public-financed healthcare except the US. Good to arm yourself with the information in this book.
- Just finished "A Stranger's Child" by Alan Hollinghurst and really loved it; I think it gets less interesting as it approaches our own time, but the storytelling is masterful, and the writing just plain beautiful.
Also reading the Massie bio of Catherine the Great, and it's quite interesting.
Next up, I want to get hold of Christopher Bram's "Eminent Outlaws," essays about gay writers in the first part of the 20th century. I heard him read his essay about Isherwood a few months ago, and have been waiting for the book to come out. Well, it's pretty "out," I guess I meant get published!
- Vultures' Picnic by Greg Palast.
- r26, I really liked Adam Johnson's first book, Parasites Like Us, but I was in the minority, it seems (at least on Amazon.) It's in part a dark satire of academia, which is always fun, and better than others (Jane Smiley's Moo comes to mind.)
- I just finished "Eminent Outlaws," R22. It's not terribly deep but I found it very entertaining!
- Infidel great read
BTW can someone bump up the thread about "writing tips"
- Cosmopolis by Don Delillo, not the usual fare for me but interesting all the same.
- The new biography, "Vincent Van Gogh: A Life" which is very long, but beautifully written and has managed to hold my attention for half the book. Veeerrry detailed examination of his life.
- Ten Thousand Saints is about typical troubled stoner teen from small town Rhode Island (I think Rhode Island) who ends up going Straight Edge in New York. And it also touches on the theme of family and variety of forms a family can take, it doesn't always have to be birth mother, birth father, birth child. I enjoyed the book very much, I've never been to New York or known anyone that is straight edge, but I've known a lot of stoners. This book was a lot more interesting than the mediocre Marriage Plot which I found boring and disappointing.
- R56 are you half-way through it, or did you only like half of it?
- I thought Marriage Plot was a big bore as well...couldn't even finish it.
- (r58): I'm halfway through it and intend to finish the sucker!
- I have a huge stack of stuff from the library. It all seemed interesting at the time I checked it out but now I just can't get into any of it. The bookworm seems to have gone on vacation (well, ok, the old fart needs new glasses, too).
- R41, sounds very interesting. Is it?
- A game of Thrones. Many characters and several subplots. I'm enjoying it but when I put it down for a week I forget who is who.
I have not seen the HBO series.
- [quote]Just finished "A Stranger's Child" by Alan Hollinghurst and really loved it; I think it gets less interesting as it approaches our own time, but the storytelling is masterful, and the writing just plain beautiful.
I loved the first part and the second part was okay but the third part just went on and on to a rather lackluster finish. A little too much Daphne and not enough Cecil and George for my taste I'm afraid.
I just finished reading (again) The Charioteer by Mary Renault. Still a great book.
I really enjoyed Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo Artist, and Sexual Renegade. What an amazing, flawed character from our gay history.
I also really liked The Jade Peony and it's follow up All That Matters by Wayson Choy. Chinese immigrants in Vancouver B.C. at the beginning of WW2.
We the Animals by Justin Torres was a good quick read about a very disfunctional family.
I also like The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver. Probably not a book for everyone but I thought it was a really good read.
- Op, did you like 1Q84? I'm trying to read it but keep getting interrupted.
- Ali Wentworth's book is horrid beyond belief- and didn't realize she was a Republicunt!
- >> Ten Thousand Saints is about typical troubled stoner teen from small town Rhode Island (I think Rhode Island) who ends up going Straight Edge in New York
What is Straight Edge?
- This afternoon I read the Argos catalogue. I was looking for a bigger bathroom cabinet so as to accommodate all my gfs slap - she's got more concealer than Boots and she hasn't even got spots!
- And what else is everyone reading?
- Howard Keel wrote his biography a few years ago and it is full of great dish from his years on Broadway.
He called Laine Kazan a beached whale.
- The Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St. Aubyn
Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
All worth your time.
- WATERGATE by the always delectable Thomas Mallon
ROOM by Emma Donogue. One of the remarkable books I've ever read. You should know NOTHING about it. Just get it, and start reading.
- Something I usually wouldn't touch, a new M/M novel called THE COOL PART OF HIS PILLOW. A trusted friend said it was great, sad and hilarious, and it is.
- 'The Dark Fields,' by Alan Glynn. Last year it was made into a move called 'Limitless,' (a much better title) starring DL fav Bradley Cooper about a man who discovers a drug that gives him super intelligence
- ten Thousand Daints--he's from Vermont (where author went to college).
Straight Edge was a branch off punk/skater/skinhead culture in the 80s, committed to anti racism, abstinence from drugs and alcohol, and to social justice.
- I want to read a really funny book. I picked up a S.J. Perelman collection at the used bookstore the other day and it's clever but the, God help me, LOLs are few and far between - not sure whether that's evidence of the way comedy ages (or decays), my own dullness, or the fact that New Yorker "humor" pieces have neer been really funny. Just a couple of days ago I got a refurb Kindle and I've been trolling the public domain classics like the cheap bitch I am, but no real luck on this front - I'm all Wodehoused out.
- The Mirage by Matt Ruff
- [italic]Persian Fire[/italic] by Tom Holland about the Persian Empire's battle with Greece - I'm still on the short history of Greek cities (Sparta, Athens) and haven't reached the battles between Persians and Greeks.
- "Carter Beat the Devil"
- Just started Stonemouth by Iain Banks, having enjoyed his "The Crow Road" and "Steep Approach To Garbadale."
I read very little by living writers and tend to follow the works of a very few writers, or in Banks' case, his non-scifi titles.
You want funny? Pick up a copy of The Wicked Education of Henry Holliday. You can get it from Amazon. It's really funny. Light and easy reading. Perfect for summer fare. I saw it mentioned here on DL a couple of times and thought I'd give it a try. Glad I did.
- " I picked up a S.J. Perelman collection at the used bookstore the other day and it's clever but the, God help me, LOLs are few and far between - not sure whether that's evidence of the way comedy ages (or decays), my own dullness,"
On the plus side, you are self-aware.
- Never change, DL
- "Mrs. Kennedy and Me" by Clint Hill. He was her secret service agent, obviously deeply in love with her. A slightly-slanted birds-eye view of all of Mrs. Kennedy's personal and public adventures. Never before seen personal photos.
"Happy Accidents" by Jane Lynch. Meh. Love her. She's hilarious. Just maybe not a great writer. Although I enjoyed the book, I wouldn't exactly call her a gifted author. Still, lots of nice backstage moments.
"Dropped Names" by Frank Langella. You come off not liking him so much but being grateful for the glimpses he provides. Don't invite him as a houseguest. You might end up as cannon fodder.
"Jackie, Ethel and Joan" about Jackie, Ethel and Joan, who shall remain lastnameless. Same snooty Jackie. Joan's drunk again. And Ethel's the same old raging hag she's always been. I keep telling myself no more Kennedy books, but I cave every time. Which brings me to...
"Come to the Edge" by Christina Haag, the lucky girl who met John at Brown and fucked him in Central Park. The purpose of this book is to remind the public that she was the first person to introduce John to Cumberland Island in Georgia where he later married. Another woman.
"Kay Thompson"-A Biography by someone I can't remember. If you don't know who Kay Thompson is, you won't care. But you should. She was a true pioneer. If you do know who she is, you've already read the book.
"Shockaholic" by Carrie Fisher. What can I tell you. She makes me laugh. Though maybe it is time to branch out.
"A Time to Betray" by Reza Kahlili. This guy was an Iranian-American who worked for the Republic Guard as a plant by the CIA. He gave them lots of useful information and his story was riveting, if you're into that sort of thing.
"Bossypants" by Tina Fey. Meh.
- Also "Jack and Lem" by David Pitts. It's about Lem Billings and JFK's lifelong friendship. Astonishing portrait of a very sexually-secure future US President.
- After Claude by Iris Owen
I remember TV commercials for this book when I was a kid. It is one of the most brutal, nasty and funny books about a break up that I have ever read. The narrator is a huge bitch and you end up identifying with Claude and her friends--all of whom she treats like shit.
Very funny. Terrific read.
- "Beat the Reaper" by Josh Bazell. you'll laugh, you'll gasp, you'll be sickened to your stomach. and you'll love it!
- I enjoyed [italic]Beat the Reaper[/italic]. It was a fairly inventive mix of crime and medicine with some very black humor.
- r86, I read that a while ago on loan from a hipster girlfriend who bought every other release from the NYRB Classics line and read about 10% of them. Funny as hell, I recommend it too.
- I'm reading Kevin Young's *The Grey Album*, which I can't decide if I like.
Why are you all such racists?
- R73 was right, reading COOL PART OF HIS PILLOW on Kindle and I am laughing out loud, which I almost never do when I read. Sarcastic and very dark, but also heartbreaking. Don't always like first person narrators in a novel but it works here. Head and shoulders above most of the gay male fiction from little publishers.
- I'm currently reading and enjoying Francine Prose's My New American Life, about a young Albanian woman's adventures in a NY suburb as the nanny to a motherless teenage boy while she awaits her green card.
I find Prose very hit and miss. I especially loved Blue Angel, A Changed Man and Household Saints but couldn't get past a few pages of several of her other novels.
- Christopher Moore makes me laugh out loud on vacation. Especially if I have a a fruity drink in a shovel pail next to me on some beach somewhere. He's got a new one out in the bookstores but it doesn't look like my cup of tea. I loved "A Dirty Job," and "Island of the Sequined Love Nun."
- Who on the DL keeps recommending Ready Player One? Thanks to you, I just started it and, while it's a good idea, the execution is so boring and self-conscious. Plus, first person narrative, which this book does NOT need as the main character is so dull.
- I loved Thomas Mallon's hilarious Bandbox, somewhat enjoyed Dewey Beats Truman and wept thru the sad and poignant Fellow Travelers but couldn't get into several of his other novels.
Not sure I'd get into Watergate either as he always assumes the reader is already totally familiar with the historical period and true characters. I'm not really smart enough.
I love his author photos though. Very handsome man!
- R84, have you read Jackie O: On the Couch? The International Book Awards has named it a finalist in Historical Fiction. I haven't read it yet, but it sounds interesting.
- I'm currently enjoying Everybody Poops by Tarō Gomi. It's a real page turner and so much, um, steamier than 50 Shades of Grey.
- The Passage of Power by Robert Caro.
- The Social Conquest of Earth.
- All I know is Augusten Burroughs' new self-help book blows. So full of himself. Got The Cool Part of His Pillow by Rodney Ross based on another poster and loving it, has the irony Burroughs used to have, but not sure why the publisher calls it a romance.
- I'm currently reading "The Wilder Life" by Wendy McClure. It's an account of her trek through the world of Laura Ingalls Wilder and "Little House on the Prairie." The author relates tales of visiting the LIW homesites and museums, testing recipes from the books, and tries to analyze her obsession with the whole thing. Very well-written and humorous with laugh-out-loud passages.
- Another vote for "The Passage of Power" by Robert Caro.
I highly recommend listening to the CDs in "Reaching for Glory: Lyndon Johnson's Secret White House Tapes, 1964-1965" at the same time. Even a great writer like Caro can not fully capture what LBJ actually sounded like when he was smooth talking or pressuring a senator to vote for a civial rights bill; LBJ was beyond fascinating.
One phone call stands out, Lady Bird Johnson defying her husband about publicly supporting LBJ aide Walter Jenkins after he had been arresting for having sex w/ a man in a D.C. mens room.
- Apollo's Angels, by Jennifer Homans.
- Coral Glynn, Peter Cameron's new book. Very weird and wonderful. Beautifully written.
- "Drift" by Rachel Maddow. Highly recommended.
- If you want a real 800+page turner, King's 11/22/62. I am midway through it and so far, so good. A lot of fun.
- R37, are you seriously telling me you have 70 items checked out at once?
You're one of those book hogs that hoards all the new releases at the library so that everyone else has to wait forever for their turn. Asshole.
- "That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor" by Anne Sebba.
R37, why would you just hold so many library items?
- The books threads are some of my favourites, but can I ask a favour? Instead of just posting a title and author, can you please give us a bit of a description and why you enjoyed it? Otherwise, I fear a few good books might go unread because you have given us no compelling reason to take the suggestion. Thanks.
- R37, I can't imagine the late fees, I invariably end up paying for half the things I borrow. Thankfully with library e-books, there are no late charges since the books do not need to be returned.
- [quote]Thankfully with library e-books, there are no late charges since the books do not need to be returned.
How does that work? Is the book file turned off after a specific time? Otherwise, if you can always read it, isn't that a free book?
My library has announced they'll be doing e-books and while I haven't broken down yet and bought an e-reader or pad, I am considering it.
- Right now I am reading plays currently, Gardenia. Before that The Colored Museum. Went to the library and found that the literature section had a decent selection of plays so this summer I'm educating myself.
Have to say I had never known what A Doll's House was about and thought it was a simple play as I was reading it and was surprised as I got to the end. Brilliant. Now I understand what all the talk about the characters Torvald and Norma has been about.
- Any of Carl Hiassen's thrillers. He's very funny. It's his vision of South Florida as a sunny place for shady characters. The good guys are cops, waitresses, recovering alcoholics and nightclub bouncers. The bad guys are golf course developers, judges, lawyers, etc.
Also, Woody Allen's short story collection, "Without Feathers".
- R111, yes, you can't open the ebook after the return date.* You can return it early but it will never be a late return.
*There's a loophole in that if you don't turn off your reader and leave it on the book (meaning you can't open any other book/item), you can keep reading it even after the due date. As soon as you power off/on the reader or leave the book, you can no longer access it.
- I borrowed an ebook from the library to read on my kindle app for the ipad. It was due about 3 weeks ago yet the book is still on there even after turning the ipad off/on. I figured it was just a glitch.
- R111, I have found the waiting lists for the ebooks incredibly long versus the hard copies.
Even though it is electronic, the library only holds the license for however many copies the library purchases. I have 10 e-books on reserve and most of them have waiting lists up to 300 people where the library only has about 12 copies each.
- I just read the new Augusten Burroughs "This is How" on vacation over the weekend.
It is utterly brilliant and I loved it. I will reread it over and over and over again.
I will recommend it to everyone. It's self help for the real world without the drippy bullshit and delivered with wit and candor by a sonafabitch who's been through it all.
- HATED 'This Is How'. We've all been through crap and espeically when he talks about how a parent should cope with a child's death, he comes across as an arrogant prick.
- [italic]Iron House[/italic] - crime thriller about two orphaned brothers who are separated as children and lead two extremely different lives and are reunited in dangerous circumstances. If you want a page-turning suspense novel for the beach, I recommend this.
- I have Robert Caro's latest on LBJ and I plan to read it later this month.
Right now I'm in the mood for something light so I'm reading Book Five of Game of Thrones.
It irks me no end that George R.R. Martin probably will take another five years to finish Book Six,if he's even started it, and then continuing the series. I should have never started with this series.
- Recently discovered A.S. Pushkin.
I loved you once: perhaps that love has yet
To die down thoroughly within my soul;
But let it not dismay you any longer;
I have no wish to cause you any sorrow.
I loved you wordlessly, without a hope,
By shyness tortured, or by jealousy.
I loved you with such tenderness and candor
And pray God grants you to be loved that way again.
- r117=Augusten Burroughs. You are a shameless one, aren't you?
- Haha, unfortunately not, r122. Although I admit I start sounding a little shill-y when I find something I really like.
- Thanks for directing me toward The Cool Part of his Pillow. Best GLBT book I have read this year. Highly recommended. Don't let the publisher put you off, it's not your typical M/M fling, and it gets quite heavy in parts, but its a unique, complex rad.
- Duncan Fallowell's How To Disappear: A Memoir For Misfits. Mildly diverting. He's such a character. But I preferred his snarky book on New Zealand that put their knickers in the twist.
CJ Bradbury Robinson's More Please, No More. Obsessional, like most paederastic fiction, which becomes wearisome, despite the clever writing, if one doesn't share the taste. Unlike Tony Duvert's recently translated Diary Of An Innocent which was equally obsessional on the subject but dazzling: like taking the red pill.
Pat Cavendish O'Neill: A Lion In My Bedroom. The flatly written autobiography by the sister of the famed ruthless Riviera taste queen Rory Cameron. Interesting for the background and the life that access to several bottomless money bins can buy.
- R116, I access Overdrive through 3 different library systems and all 3 are relatively well stocked. Yes, there are wait lists for many books but it doesn't really bother me as there are plenty of other books to read while you wait your turn. I have always used the library for books so the process of waiting for a free book is the norm for me. I don't have the need to read a book NOW, not enough to pay for it anyway.
Only one of the library systems I'm a member of has "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell and only one copy. The last time I checked, there were about 70 people ahead of me on the wait list and at 3 weeks for each borrowing period--I figure it'll be my turn sometime around Thanksgiving 2013. Not a big deal as it's a book I'd like to read but it's not a must-have and certainly not a must-have-right now. If it were the case, I'd borrow the hard copy.
On the other end of the spectrum, my local library system has 20 copies of each of the Harry Potter books. I noticed the wait list for some of the books number less than 5. And some do not have a wait list at all.
At the end of the day, it's not bad for FREE. And I read almost exclusively on my e-reader now, making library ebooks a lifesaver for me.
- Just finished Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Sign of Four and now I'm reading the Holmes stories starting with A Scandal in Bohemia.
One who cannot quote the title correctly is unlikely to be right about anything else. C J Bradbury Robinson's 'More Please No More' (no comma) is not merely "clever" (as an Anonymous poster has declared): its prose is deft and economical; its satire is trenchant; and its flights of imagination surpass Sade and Burroughs.
The book is only "wearisome" to the illiterate - tone-deaf to its variety of registers and its range of verbal textures; incapable of relishing the feast of language it offers. Suggesting that it is primarily about "pederasty" is like saying that 'Don Quixote' is about knights errant or 'Gargantua and Pantagruel' is about giants. Robinson's work is fundamentally concerned with the themes of identity and time - which it explores in an immaculate prose-style that galvanizes every word with life.
- Has anyone read Wolf Hall or Bring Up the Bodies by Hillary Mantel?
- I've had a crappy run lately of disappointing books, most recently:
LA '56, about the LAPD in the 50s, specifically a rape case.
Energy Flash about Rave/EDM culture. Written by a former raver, and it shows.
- I recently finished [italic]Iron House[/italic]. If you want a good mystery/crime novel to read at the beach, I recommend it.
I'm currently reading [italic]Enemies: A History of the FBI[/italic]. I've read about Hoover and the 50s red scare before, but this starts much earlier. I'm reading the section on illegal wiretapping before we entered WWII. Since I was once a prosecutor, this stuff interests me, but I don't how fascinating other people would find it.
- The Master's Muse by Varley O'Connor. It's about Tanaquil LeClercq, Balanchine's last wife, and some would say, greatest dancer. She contracted polio in 1956 perhaps from drinking water from a canal in Venice. LeClercq never wrote her autobiography or memoirs, so this is book is an imagined or "faux" memoir about her life with B after she became ill.
- My Way of Life
as always, Joan
- I'm about half way through Wolf Hall, R129. I'm enjoying it immensely.
- Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski
9 Algorithms That Changed the Future by John MacCormick
Ghost In The Wires by Kevin Mitnick
The Leftovers by Tom Perrota
- I'm reading Middlemarch for the first time since 11th grade English class. OMG.
- [quote]The last time I checked, there were about 70 people ahead of me on the wait list and at 3 weeks for each borrowing period--I figure it'll be my turn sometime around Thanksgiving 2013.
Such is life. I'm a member of the NY Public Library, and I just recently finished a book I had to wait a year for
[quote]On the other end of the spectrum, my local library system has 20 copies of each of the Harry Potter books
I wouldn't begrudge that. Those Potters are creating new generations of readers, making it more likely there will still be libraries in the future.
I'm a teacher, so I've been reading lots of kid's books to see if there's something appropriate for my class. My favorite is Paul Fleischman. If you've got 10-14 year olds, I'd highly recommend 'Seedfolks.' For high-schoolers, he has stuff like 'Whiligig,' and 'Breakout.'
- "Hamilton" by Ron Chernow. Just finished Washington: A Life" by Chernow. He makes both major historical figures come alive.
Very enjoyable reading project for the beginning of the summer.
- 'The Best of Roald Dahl.' He wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. What a nasty, evil bitch he was. He'd fit right on on DL. Some of these stories are twelve pages of perfection, but he didn't have a very high opinion of human nature (guess he paid attention).
- "Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution" a fascinating history of the gay rights movements since the early 20th century.
- "The Cool Part of his Pillow", a novel about a gay man in his 40's dealing with being a sudden widower. Dark, funny and raw. The first person narrative might not be for everyone but this is a book that has a lot of heart underneath the cynicism and anger. Yes, I get shill-ish when I like something.
- Based on so many recommendations here, I'm finally reading EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULLS by Peter Biskind, about the transformation of the studios during the so-called "Hollywood Renaissance" of 1968-1980.
I'm amazed how terribly it's written (Biskind is a clear product of the Rolling Stone school of crappy writing), but the book seems very well researched and the gossipy anecdotes are hilarious. my favorite so far is that Faye Dunaway not only would pee in wastebaskets frequently during the shooting of CHINATOWN, but whenever she did use the toilet in her trailer dressing room she insisted on having a Teamster flush it. Eventually, all of the Teamsters started quitting the production!
- I just finished reading "Paris, I love you but you're bringing me down" by Rosecrans Baldwin. A funny, easy summer read. A francophile guy from NYC gets hired to work at a French ad agency and the book chronicles the disconnect between his idealistic expectations of what living in Paris would be like and the stark reality of having to deal with French bureaucracy at every turn in order to get things done as well as the way his French colleagues approach their work and daily life. In spite of all that, the book is a love letter (of sorts) to Paris and the French way of life, which does take a lot of getting used to, particularly for someone who had spent their entire life in North America.
- Just finished Beautiful Ruins. Great book, though no gay content.
Also Weekend by Peter Cameron, which I enjoyed a great deal. Much better than his rather strange new book, Coral Glynn.
- This series. It's like an American Harry Potter but with a rock band. The first book is free right now on Kindle.
- I'm reading a book of fairy tales.
First one is called, "Straights get AIDS too"
- I just finished [italic]March Violets[/italic] by Philip Kerr. It's a detective novel set in Berlin in 1936. It's the first of a trilogy, and I have the rest on order.
- Most Talkative by Andy Cohen. Go ahead, flame away but I am quite enjoying it.
- Haven't read Stephen King in years, but 11/22/63 was very enjoyable and surprisingly moving. Next up: Gone Girl and the Edith Wharton bio.
- I'm reading "The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy and Hard Times" by Jennifer Worth, which the British TV series "Call the Midwife" is based on. I came across this paragraph and couldn't wait to share it with you:
What really got me, I think, was the sheer concentration of unwashed female flesh, the pulsating warmth and humidity, the endless chatter, and above all the smell. However much I bathed and changed afterwards, it was always a couple of days before I could get rid of the nauseating smells of vaginal discharge, urine, stale sweat, unwashed clothes. It all mingled into a hot, clinging vapour that penetrated my clothes, hair, skin--everything. Many times, during the routine antenatal clinics, I had to go out into the fresh air and lean over the rail by the door, heaving, forcing down the urge to be sick.
- I'm looking forward to reading Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, Jess Walters' Love in Ruins and Richard Ford's Canada. All have been highly recommended by several friends.
- Anyone read Sheila Heti's new one, How should a person be? or something like that?
- All of them.
- R151, I think you mean Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, and yes, it's great.
- Just started Madeline Miller's [italic]The Song of Achilles[/italic], a story of the Trojan War from Patroclus's pov.
Also, ordered [italic]Beautiful Ruins[/italic] from the library. Never heard of it before, but two mentions had me checking it out and it does look good.
I LOVE THESE BOOK THREADS!!!!
- Just finished 1Q84 and was fascinated by much of it. Very long book, but ultimately he fucked up the ending. It reads like he was on page 1400 and his editor told him, wind this up in another 20 pages or the deal is off.
In the middle of John Irving's "In One Person" Has everything you love and hate about John Irving, but I'm still with it so far. He knows how gay people feel waaaay too intimately for a straight writer. (That's actually what i'm fascinated with. The book is almost like a coming out or coming to terms with for him)
Started the self help book by Augusten Burroughs and it was about Chapter 2 before I realized he was serious and then it became a complete and utter failure.
Stephen King's 11/22/63 was brilliant (for him) He usually has a bunch of walking cliche's he calls characters that act out his storyline, but this one he really developed people and combined that with a really intricate and amazing plot. Loved it.
Many Thanks to this thread, Will be reading Cool Part of his pillow next and Paris I love you but your bring me down as well
- Is anyone a fan of Jess Walters' earlier books? I just bought a paperback of his The Financial Lives of the Poets, based on the reviews of his latest book. He's new to me.
- "How To Change The World" by David Bornstein. The stories make me tear up the way Oprah used to be able to do when I drank. Prime example: some woman started Childline in India, creating a crises hotline for children that coordinates with police and hospitals. I need a tissue...
"The E-Myth" - fine, I'm a technician/manager who fights with his inner entrepreneur. The writer sounds so smug I'd like to find him and punch him in the nuts.
"Life At The Bottom" Theodore Dalrymple. He writes like a Theodore. I've picked it up a dozen times to put it back down after a few pages.
- Read BEAUTIFUL RUINS, adored it, it will make a great movie; I also finished COOL PART OF HIS PILLOW, loved it too, the writer has a very unique style, sarcastic yet heartbreaking.
- R157, I read the free sample of The Financial Lives of the Poets when it first came out, but never bought the book. Now that I have read Beautiful Ruins, I want to give it another try.
Currently, I am reading Canada by Richard Ford. It's a bit of a downer, but I love the way it is told through the eyes of a young boy. And I love the way it opens:
First, I'll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later.
- I'm getting into my political mode so I'm reading Showdown, by David Korn, who writes for Mother Jones and is a commentator for MSNBC. I'm loving it. Plus it makes me really angry.
- I'm so disappointed. I love Game of Thrones, so I started to read the first book, and it's absolutely a huge waste of time.
It's so poorly written, the Harry Potter series is like Shakespeare by comparison.
- I dove into Gone Girl a few days ago. Can't put it down. Not deep, but fun.
- I just finished several of the same books others have: 11/22/63, Gone Girl, Canada. Currently reading Beautiful Ruins, next will be In One Person.
- Just finishing up John Galsworthy's The Forsyte Saga which has been on my bucket list since it rested in my parents' bookshelves in the 1960s.
850 pages but very fun and satisfying and not much more challenging than watching Downton Abbey.
I love those long Victorian/Edwardian classsics in the summer when I have more time to read.
- Finally got Christopher Bram's "Eminent Outlaws" from my library, and had a great time reading it. It's a series of essays in roughly chronological order about gay writers from the late '40s through the mid-2000s and how they changed (and were changed by) their criticism/acceptance into the mainstream.
It's like having a long conversation with someone who both knows and LIKES the subjects. The chapter on Edward Albee's critical reduction when it became known that he is gay is fascinating; and it explains a lot about why Albee insists he is a WRITER first.
And it gave me a whole list of books I have to read now!
- Just finished Gone Girl and it is a true page turner. I highly recommend it. It's about a young yuppie couple, the wife disappears and the husband is accused of her murder. Lots of twists and turns, wonderfully mordant comic style. The author paints herself into a bit of a corner in the end but still very much worth reading. An intelligent book you really can't put down!
I'm now reading Mark Haddon's The Red House, a British book by the author who wrote TheCurious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time though this one seems closer to his second book A Spot of Bother, which I preferred even though it was less popular. It's about 2 contemporary middle-class related families spending a vacation together at a country guest house. Loving it so far.
Tried Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and couldn't get into it so not interested in this one.
Beautiful Ruins and Canada are already bought and up next!
- One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
- I know its over 100 years old but I just got around to reading De Profundis by Oscar Wilde.
- Damn. I just requested Gone Girl from my library and there are over 500 requests for 22 copies. I guess I'll get to read it sometime next year.
- [quote]The book is only "wearisome" to the illiterate - tone-deaf to its variety of registers and its range of verbal textures; incapable of relishing the feast of language it offers. Suggesting that it is primarily about "pederasty" is like saying that 'Don Quixote' is about knights errant or 'Gargantua and Pantagruel' is about giants. Robinson's work is fundamentally concerned with the themes of identity and time - which it explores in an immaculate prose-style that galvanizes every word with life.
- Gone Girl is like a big bowl of buttery popcorn ... and just about as nutritious. I devoured it.
Also reading the haunting Age of Miracles.
- Defending Jacob
The Cool Part of his Pillow
(heard excellent things)
Bring Up The Bodies
(on loan from a friend...not sure if I will be interested)
- Did you read Wolf Hall, R174? I understand that Bring up the Bodies is the second in a trilogy about Thomas Cromwell. I just finished Wolf Hall and I loved it. I'll probably start Bring up the Bodies in a week or so.
- What is Wolf Hall about?
- It's about how Thomas Cromwell rose to power - first with the help of his mentor, Cardinal Wolsey, then by becoming the confidant of Henry VIII. It ends with Anne Boleyn's inability to to give birth to a son and the execution of Thomas More - Thomas Cromwell's chief rival.
BUTB picks up where WH leaves off.
- I m still in shock that r37 has 70 library books checked out. Wouldn't it be nice to give them up for someone who is ready to read them. Yikes.
- I'm 200 pages into "The Lonely Polygamist" by Brady Udall. It came highly recommended by several people whose opinion on novels I respect - but so far, I'm finding it slow, repetitive and guilty of trotting out some seriously cliched turns of phrase. Am hopeful it picks up speed in the second half.
After that it's "Gone Girl" and then, probably, "A Hologram for the King" by Dave Eggers.
- I read "A Tourist's Guide to Glengarry" about growing up in Edmonton Alberta around 1970. Fun book, if parts don't quite fit (e.g., bogus attempt to draw Woodstock into it).
- A friend has promised to lend me "Are You My Mother" by Alison Bechdel when she's finished with it. She says it's even better than "Fun Home."
- On a trip last week, I read two very different gay rights books on my Kindle, one on the way out and one on way back. Both were powerful but in very different ways.
The first was "Victory" by Linda Hirshman. It was heavy, heady stuff, and I disagree with many things she wrote (like the idea that we are at or even near victory, an idea I think it's fairly dangerous). But it was still worth the read and filled with some factoids I didn't know.
The other was called "If It's A Choice, My Zygote Chose Balls" by one of my favorite bloggers, Jeremy Hooper (of Good As You). This was a mix of memoir and GLBT rights guidebook. It was heavy at points too (in a diff. way) but also laugh out loud funny at other times. A very quick, very interesting read.
I also liked (but didn't love) Maddow's book.
- John Irving's "In One Person" - bisexuality, crossdressing, transsexuals, community theater, literature and wrestling - what more could you ask for?
- Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. Read it. Terrific.
- Arabesques. The hardback edition is worth seeking as it's like a small coffee table book with lovely illustrations.
- I can't wait for this one, due in August. His last book of photographs, Mates & Lovers, was stunning.
- Maybe a few years old now, but really loved Three Junes by Julia Glass.
- Is anyone familiar with William Landay's Defending Jacob? Forgive me if it's already been mentioned on this thread.
It was recommended to me on Amazon as a person who bought Gone Girl.It's a legal thriller about a 14 year old boy charged in the murder of another child. Lots of great reviews on the dust jacket.
- I'm reading it now r188. It's interesting so far.
- Thanks for the recommend on COOL PART OF THE PILLOW, P174. Best gay novel I have read this year...tired of Maupin and Edmund White...Burroughs can suck it...the author seems to have come out of nowhere.
- [quote]Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. Read it. Terrific.
- In honor of Bastille Day I re-read Ubu Roi by Alfred Jarry this morning.
- The Financial Lives of Poets by Jess Walter is also very good.
- Just finished "Redshirs" by John Scalzi. Very good.
- Reading a great gay book called My Queer War by Jim Lord. It's a true story about the writer who enlisted during WWII and what it was like to be gay. Lots of things happening. Just 1/4 of the way through and its a great book.
- Lord's other memoirs are great reads too R195.
- Anyone who hasn't read "Blue Heaven" by Joe Keenan needs to stop whatever they're doing, find a copy, and read it.
It's very gay, and [italic]VERY[/italic] hilarious.
- I've never seen the show Project Runway, but I'm loving Tim Gunn's sort-of memoir "Gunn's Golden Rules" a lot!
- Folowing recommendation I just read a large swath of Cool Part Of His Pillow on Amazon, which is possible. Oh Jesus. I stopped after about 20 pages. An insufferable waa waa waa about a cliched show tunes loving pugs owning fag couple who do endless shtick with each other. Like Maupin only more tedious - if that's possible. It was like it came with its own laugh track.
Keenan is equally twee: like Maupin, reading for gay shopgirls.
Give me a gay author of genuine scarring wit and depth like Isherwood or Holleran. Or just scarring wit.
- I'm more a Stephen MacCaulay (sp?) fan myself.
- [quote]Keenan is equally twee: like Maupin, reading for gay shopgirls.
You must be joking. [italic]Blue Heaven[/italic] is a riot.
- I, too, think Keenan is seriously over-rated. Blue Heaven was a chore.
- Currently reading Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese. Enjoying it a lot. Reminds me a lot of Irving in its characterizations, setting up of situations, descriptions.
- In the middle of Beautiful Ruins right now. Fabulous storytelling....it will make a wonderful movie for smart adults if they don't fuck it up.
It reminds me alot of Peter Lefcourt's books like The Dreyfuss Affair and The Deal.
- [quote]I, too, think Keenan is seriously over-rated. Blue Heaven was a chore.
You are certainly delusional. It's as light and breezy a read as there is.
- Just finished "A Question of Manhood" by Robin Reardon - wonderful, moving book.
- Reading SAVAGE BEAUTY, the bio of Edna St. Vincent Millay. What a life she had! Slept with men and women, addicted to painkillers, alcoholic, had huge affair with a man 20 years younger, in an open marriage, knew everyone---yet in spite of all that, she still wrote great poems, plays, essays, etc.
- Re-reading "The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Alone 1932-1940" in anticipation of the third volume coming out this fall.
- I'm regretting my choice of "Moi, Tituba sorciere..." by Maryse Conde. I was seduced by her lesbionic dedication "Tituba et moi, avons vecu en etroite intimite pendant un an. C'est au cours de nos interminables conversations qu'elle m'a dit ces choses qu'elle n'avait confiees a personne." Except that now I realize she was serious.
- I've been reading novels recently reissued by NYRB by the late 20th century Northern Irish-Canadian novelist Brian Moore. THE MANGAN INHERITANCE was enormously flawed, but it was fascinating: the widower of an Academy Award-nominated actress inherits all her money after she dies (just as she leaves him), and goes to Ireland to follow up on the fact that he looks exactly like a daguerrotype of a real mid-century Irish poet, James Clarence Mangan. Now I'm reading Moore's most famous novel, which is much less flawed: THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE.
- (R199) you didn't go far enough in Cool Part... I found it very witty,not at all tedious. Yes, it did go for some easy laughs but the narrator seems to know he was leading a cliched life and it gets very dark. Maupin is a bloated old man still dragging Anna around. And Isherwood, really? Join the new century.
- Oh, Mary 199, Holleran? Do you beat off to John Rechy or THE FRONT RUNNER too? My partner and I laughed our fag asses off at 'The Cool Part of his Pillow'and we don't own pugs or sing show tunes.
- "The Proud Tower" by Barbara Tuchman, a history of the Western world in the years leading up to World War I.
Another "light and breezy" choice is "The Wicked Education of Henry Holliday." Try it, you'll like it! Very funny and a perfect summer read.
- Just finished two books: history of Adele Bloch-Bauer and her family, as told through her portrait by Klimt (the original hot bear daddy, btw) and the reclamation suit, and Fooling Houdini about a man's relationship with magic and magicians.
The former was a good read; not as good as The Hare with the Amber Eyes, but close.
The Houdini author was a bit of a douche in a 'look at me' hipster way. It ruined the book a bit.
- I'm reading Tim Gunn's (sort of) memoir, and developing a wicked crush on the guy; I have never seen his teevee show.
- Millay was a minor poet and a terrible playwright. She might have been great had she laid off the booze and the boys.
- Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.
It's about Thomas Cromwell, chief courtier to Henry VIII and the engineer behind Henry's divorce from Catherine of Aragon and England's break with Rome, as well as Anne Boleyn's trial and execution.
He was a piece of work, but this book does the seemingly impossible and makes you empathise with him.
- Thanks, R218.
- THE COLD SIDE OF THE PILLOW sounds like light reading (much like BLUE HEAVEN), which I don't really care for personally. What about BEAUTIFUL RUINS, which is getting a lot of praise here: light reading or serious reading?
- 'Beautiful Ruins' is amazing...I may read it again. It will make a fantastic movie if some production company doesn't screw it up. But don't think 'Cool part Of His Pillow' is light, it's actually a tragic M/M story told with dark humor. It won't be everyone's taste, it's first-person and a friend I loaned it disliked the sarcastic narrator, but it packed a wallop as it builds toward a very surprising ending. I laughed, I cried, etc. etc.
- I thought Beautiful Ruins was ok, but nothing special. I read it last week and have already forgotten most of it. It will probably be more successful as a movie than as a novel.
- THE RONALD REAGAN DIARIES. I loathed him all through the 80s but the diaries are fascinating.
- Here's what I know -- DONE with Augusten Burroughs. What a crappy faux self-help book! Success went to the boy's head. Bought COOL PART OF HIS PILLOW and GONE GIRL on Nook, looking forward to both, will report back.
- "The Speech" by Bernie Sanders. It's okay, but I would have given a much tougher and smarter one.
He is just plain too nice.
- Finished Age of Miracles in three sittings. Nicely written and deeply unsettling. Excellent first novel.
- Just finished Beautiful Ruins.
If it disappoints at all, I think it's because it seems to begin as a mordant satire and becomes more romantic.
But the book is never sentimental or manipulative. Many varied vivid characters seen in all sorts of geographic settings through different decades. One of the best books of the year for me.
- "As Texas Goes..." by Gail Collins. Makes me want to get a Uzi and start shooting Texans, these people are so universally worthless.
- Just read a review of the "A Ship Without a Sail," the bio of Lorenz Hart. Michael Feingold (who of course usually reviews theater) gave it a mixed review in the Voice. I'll request it at my library.
(Actually, whenever I hear about a book by a queer author I want to read, I go to the request desk at my library and ask if it's in the catalog. If it's not, I ask them to purchase it).
- Thought RUINS was trite and unvenly structured, PILLOW is better but as a gay male, I am inclined to like this story more. The humor and cynical observations are funny and Broadway queens will love the pop culture.
- The Shell Collector by Anthony Doerr.
You people have terrible taste and no culture.
- This place used to be full of smart people with good taste. Now it's morons who think Steven King is literature. Fuck you all for being too lazy to think.
- r232, what have you been reading lately?
- If good taste means dwelling in the past and referring to Edmund White's delusional daddy output as cutting edge or enlightening, I will take satire, mordant humor or cheap M/M crap.
- R199, have you read Mother of Sorrows by Richard McCann? I highly recommend it.
- I'm reading "American Psycho" at the moment, and as much as I find Ellis a grating personality, I think the book is kind of brilliant. Incredibly funny sometimes, and very much on the mark about all the people who ruined NYC in (and since) the 80s. Yes, the violent episodes are appalling, but shouldn't they be?
After moving recently, I came across an old copy of "Hopeful Monsters" which I'm thinking of re-reading. Lots of ideas, and a love story between spanning the 20th century and witnessing most of its big events.
- I'm reading Edith Wharton's The Buccaneers, about beautiful rich young American heiresses in the 1870s who go to England to land British royalty in the hope of entering into polite society (which they were denied in NY because their family money is too new).
Written in 1937, it was left unfinished by Wharton at her death but this Penguin edition was completed by another author who was privy to the original outlines and notes.
It's much funnier and more satiric than her earlier books. But strange to think it was written a year after Gone With the Wind.
- Has anyone here read Richard Ford's latest CANADA? I hear it's great.
- Canada was amazing. I loved it.
Just finished The Financial Lives of the Poets. I liked it, but not as much as Beautiful Ruins.
Just started Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. A third of the way through. I think it is going to be a good one.
- We're sorry we've failed you, r232. We care so deeply about your standards for us.
- "speaking Truth to Power" by Anita Hill.
A good book to read in this day of Thomas, Scalia,and the other wingnuts.
Good depiction of what an immoral monster Thomas is. Scotus Thomas is serving Corporations and the Koch Bros as a token Supreme, and works daily against the interests of American citizens, esp the Middle class, poor people, workers and Oddly enough - WOMEN.
Anita was one of 13 children raised in rural impoverished Oklahoma. She remains in service to our country, educating law Students at Brandeis and teaching them Civil Rights.
Anita Hill is our HERO
- Any recs for good, current non-fiction?
I like crime, history that tells a story rather than a pedantic battle account, science and essays.
- For a book on North Korea, try "Nothing to Envy" by Barbara Demick, reads like gripping fiction but it's the real stories of six escapees told in rotating, cliffhanger style.
- "People Who Eat Darkness" by Richard Llyod Parry is a brilliant book about the murder of a young British woman in Tokyo about ten years ago. Lucie Blackman was working as a hostess in a club and one day disappeared. Parry is a long-time resident of Japan who covered the case as a reporter and became so taken with it that he wrote this riveting account. Not simply the story of a crime, it's a window into Japan and its legal system and the charged relationships in the Blackman family. Highly recommended.
- So ... like ... nothing new here ... has reading becum unkewl now?
I'm most of the way through "A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian" which is well-suited to audio, but gayboiz should appreciated the villainess' antics.
- I'm reading "Jack Holmes and His Friend" by Edmund White. He's well respected by gay readers, but I'd like to see him widely read among mainstream audiences.
- I read "Nothing to Envy" a couple of years ago. I second R243's recommendation, a very gripping book.
- Has anyone here read 'Sputnik Sweetheart' by Haruki Murakami? Is it worth reading? No spoilers, please!
- After viewing the trailer, I wonder--s Cloud Atlas really worth it? Is the book as confusing as the film seems to be?
- "Jack Holmes and His Friend" by Edmund White, read it, wanted to like it but it just never got going for me.
Loved "Beautiful Ruins", clever and very visual.
- Age of Miracles -- heartrendingly sad, but beautifully written.
- Hated 'Jack Holmes And His Friend', felt it was written by someone with doilies around their wrists. Did enjoy 'Cool Part Of His Pillow,' the ONLY book from Dreamspinner that apparently isn't by a fatass frau fantasizing about gay men under a pen name. It's nauseating that whole M/M romance field is mostly written by women who think Fabio is hot, nice to read one that was funny and not full of poorly-written sex scenes and obviously written by a guy.
- I didn't really enjoy "Ready Player One": too predictable, kind of boring.
But, thanks to this thread, I am 25% done with 1Q84 and it is absolutely amazing so far! What a book!
- Re: M/M Romance
It's for women, not too dis-similar to the voyeuristic way some (piggish) men go to clubs to ogle lesbians.
Then again, my idea of a "hot guy" is one whom most would probably describe as "average" (if not more unpleasantly).
- Just finishing up Frank Langella's "Dropped Names: Famous Men And Women As I Knew Them". Thoroughly enjoyable, gossipy, even lurid at times. The best kind of reading.
- I'm also thinking of reading "Cloud Atlas" next. Is it any good?
- Cloud Atlas is great, but requires careful steady reading. Don't put it down and then pick it up weeks later, as I did.
- Just started Cloud Atlas. So far so good. I loved The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.
- 2312 - Stanley Robinson
- Any new, good, engaging fiction with lesbian and/or gay characters that isn't a coming out story?
- "Tell the Wolves I'm Home" by Carol Brunt a new book that gets very good reviews - not a coming out story, instead a novel centering on a teen girl in the 80's whose uncle died from AIDS, and her discovery of what happened to him when the family clams up entirely. As I understand it, he left behind a significant other, so it's not as though the uncle's absence is "the 'gay' character" itself. I'm in the library hold queue at present.
- "Soldiers in a Narrow Land: The Pinochet Regime in Chile" by Mary Helen Spooner.
- Has anyone read the new Tana French book Broken Harbor? It's gotten very good reviews.
- "Act One" the biography by Moss Hart. Never got around to it until now. I did see the movie on Turner Classic Movies.
- I'm trying to get that one too, R261.
- "King Leopold's Ghost" by Adam Hochschild. So well written. So amazing. How did I miss this twenty years ago?
- "Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom" by Stephen Platt. About the Taiping Civil War in which up to 50 million died.
- Just finished "Lucia's Progress" (published in the US as "The Worshipful Lucia") by E.F. Benson. Next up are the "Just So Stories" by Rudyard Kipling. Before Lucia was "A Passage to India" by E.M. Forster.
- Mapp & Lucia is about as gay as it gets.
- Just finished Defending Jacob
Working on Bridesmaids Lotto
- "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell. Read it before the inevitably disappointing film version comes out.
- Just about through with a truly epic Archie Double Digest.
- I'm currently reading "The Art of Fielding" and liking it so far (at page 390). It's about baseball but in that mystical way like a Field of Dreams. There are many references to Moby Dick (not subtle) and the book picks up a lot of those themes like in the relationship between the shortstop Henry and his mentor Schwarz(Ishmael & Ahab) or between Henry & his gay roommate Owen or of triumphs & failures.
It does have the obligatory cliched professor or College President/student affair that shows up inevitably in any book that takes place in academia circles (and the reason I usually avoid such books). In this case it's a gay affair which the author seems to imply makes it more acceptable. At one point another character even states it's a good thing he was having an affair with a male student because if it was a female student he'd be accused of taking advantage of her. I'm not sure if that's homophobic, sexist or just plain stupid reasoning.
Despite all that, I like it so far. It's an easy read. To really enjoy this one it'd probably be helpful to have some knowledge of baseball.
- Just finished God Emperor of Dune. I didn't like the ending so much, but it's a brilliant novel. Frank Herbert is a wonderful writer. I would recommend Dune to everyone, even if you don't like science-fiction.
Wonderful insights on humanity, evolution, ecology, language, politics, religion, and the cycles of history.
- "Slavery by Another Name" by Douglas Blackmon (about the convict leasing system)
"The Thirty Year's War" by Peter Wilson
"The Hindus: An Alternative History" by Wendy Doniger
- r270, is Defending Jacob worth slogging through? Does it have a twist or surprise finish?
I got as far as the the pre-trial and it seemed so paint-by-numbers I gave up.
But I'll return to it if you tell me it's good.
- I loved Canada by Richard Ford. It reminded me of a combination of To Kill a Mockingbird and The Honeymoon Killers.
- Sounds interesting, R277. Can you elaborate?
- Just finished Jess Walter's Financial Lives of the Poets after enjoying his Beautiful Ruins. I liked the former even more than the later.
Either would make fantastic films....surely they've both been sold to the movies?
What a great funny writer! I had never even heard of him until Beautiful Ruins came out.
On to Canada! First 4 chapters are wonderful.
- Machine of Death. Really into it.
- [quote]I'm more a Stephen MacCaulay (sp?) fan myself
I'd like to thank the posters who reminded me of 'King Leopold's Ghost.' Always meant to read that one, and thanks to the person who told me about the new Kim Stanley Robinson book. I loved his last one: 'Galileo's Dream.' The history was actually more interesting than the sci-fi.
anyone looking for a funny writer should read Neil Gaiman's Anasi Boys. Fun.
I always get good info from these threads, no matter what a poopy-head like R232 thinks.
- Reading 'The Cool Part of His Pillow' based on posts in this thread...adore the writing style...is has more laughs per page than all of Sedaris' last collection...baffled why it hasn't done better, but I guess thats the way it goes for queer writers and little publishers like Bold Strokes and Magnus.
- Before I go to Sleep by S.J Watson
- Let us know what you thought of Before I Go to Sleep r283.
I found it.....frustrating.
- Just finished "In the Garden of Beasts" by Erik Larson and LOVED it!
It's about the experience of William Dodd - the first U.S. ambassador to Hitler's Germany - and his family, while living in 1933-34 Berlin. Non-fIction, written in a novelistic style. If you're at all interested in WWII history, it's a must-read.
- If you like that R285, you'll probably go ape for William Shirer's "Berlin Diary."
- Edna Buchanan is another slick south Florida writer with good atmospherics. But it's not high brow.
- r285, have you read Devil in the White City already?
Same author, great read.
- No, I haven't R288, but after reading "Beasts" I would like to check out his other books. Love the way he writes! Devil in the White City looks very interesting, as does Issac's Storm.
Thanks for the recommendation, R286!
- I wouldn't get into "Devil in the White City" - not to bash the book, but as it's popular I like to let others who feel they aren't "getting it" know they aren't alone.
- Enjoying John Irving's newest but his stuff tends to be so solemn now, with little humor...going to get 'Cool Part...' on KINDLE based on reviews, because the Dreamspinner website is a pukefest of crappy artwork and even worse synopses otherwise.
- The extreme melancholy and sense of dread in CANADA is getting me down.
Please tell me it picks up!
- R284, I really liked the twist at the end. I didn't even have a hint of that
- [quote]If you like that [R285], you'll probably go ape for William Shirer's "Berlin Diary."
Blood and Banquets by Bella Fromm is probably a closer choice for a followup read, especially as the author was friendly with the Dodds, and they enabled her to get a life-saving passport.
- Thanks to all of you for recommending "Beautiful Ruins": it was very funny and sweet--it reminded me a lot of Richard Russo (except set in a very different kind of milieu).
- I enjoyed "The Red House" by Mark Haddon and now
I'm reading "The Newlyweds" by Nell Freudenberger. Quite good so far.
- Just finished "Cloud Atlas". Liked it even better than "Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoot".
Just watched the trailer for the movie. Looks pretty good; just wish they hadn't cast Tom Hanks as Zachry. He's way too old for the part, and nothing like the way I imagined the character. And his hair as the Isaac Sachs character is extremely distracting.
- [italic]Kill Decision [/italic]by Daniel Suarez - near future fiction about advances in military drone technology.
- I'm reading "The Newlyweds" as well, R296. Did you read her previous novel, "The Dissident"?
- Just finished Richard Ford's Canada and I'm very conflicted about it,
Beautiful writing and sentiment but the plotting and several of the characters seemed very unrealistic.
- R300, I had some misgivings about the last section. I thought it went on a little too long. It should have been left off altogether or made much shorter. It seemed like the present day stuff was kind of irrelevant to the story.
- I am reading this book called "Fun With Dick And Jane."
You see Jane and Dick are siblings and basically it revolves around the other sibling Sally and the house cat Puff.
Sally announce, "Dick and Jane come into the room Puff is on TV."
And Dick and Jane run into the room and while the reader is thinking, that the cat is actually on a TV program, what is really happening is that Puff is ON TOP of the TV.
You see Sally being a younger sibling forgot to include the article "the" in her sentence.
It's a pretty good read
- "At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor"
The most thorough documentation....for someone who was not allowed top secret info.
- R299, no I haven't read The Dissident yet, but I'm so impressed with The Newlyweds that I'm going to check it out.
- I really enjoyed Alan Hollinghurst's The Stranger's Child this past spring so I'm finally catching up with his earlier books.
I read The Line of Beauty a few months ago and am now reading The Swimming Pool Library.
- Ditto, R305. He's one of my favorite authors.
- Love Hollinghurst. Not nearly so well-known in this country as he should be.
- [quote]Enjoying John Irving's newest but his stuff tends to be so solemn now, with little humor.
Yes, so true about Irving. He's really lost his sense of humor. Despite that, I still love reading his work. Still have to read "In One Person".
- Finished "In One Person" and found it it to be more old-school Irving, which is a good thing. It's not for everyone, but I never thought his his style is mainstream. Also read then re-read "The Cool Part of his Pillow' by Rodney Ross. Found the writing unique, sharp and incredibly funny. I read it again mostly to pick up all the cultural, theater and TV references he makes (it's not about those industries, but the main character is shaped by them). Recommend highly. Now reading Elton John's newest...feel like I've heard all this before, but it was a gift from a friend.
- [italic]Evil at Heart[/italic], third in the series about a serial killer and Portland police detective
- Elton John's newest? I'm surprised he can read a book, much less write one.
- It's about The AIDS.
- I'm reading "Hello Goodbye Hello - A Circle of 101 Remarkable Meetings" by Craig Brown which is short vignettes about unusual meetings of famous people. It starts out with a rich kid John Scott Ellis in Munich who buys a new car. While out for a test drive, he runs down Adolph Hitler before he was Chancellor of Germany. Hitler picks himself up and carries on, unfortunately unhurt. Later, Helen Keller meets Martha Graham. Then Martha Graham meets Madonna. Elizabeth Taylor meets James Dean. James Dean meets Alec Guiness. Alec Guiness meets Evelyn Waugh. And so on. Genius idea. Great book with a lot of anecdotes I've never heard before. Just came out.
- I just finished The Shell Collector by Anthony Doerr. It was good enough, I guess, but the stories were all kind of relentlessly depressing and maybe too earnest. Also, the last story should not have been included in the collection; it was the only one of the bunch which wasn't focused on or occurring in or beside a body of water, although, there was one small water moment. I guess, I simply do not recommend this book.
- Just finished "In the Garden of Beasts". Wasn't crazy about the writing, but the subject matter was gripping.
So many "what ifs".
- Let Society Bear The Cost: A Gay Man's Right To Barebacking.
- You're such an idiot R316. Why should society bear the costs of pregnancy, which are higher?
- "Philippines" from Lonely Planet. I had no idea Filippinos eat duck's eggs where the fetus is developed enough to have little feathers.
- I've seen them, r318. My sister-in-law is Filipina, and her mother loves those things.
- I read 420 Characters today. It was light and nothing really sticks with you, but it was funny and there were some nice turns of phrase. I kind of like the idea of social meda formatting being the new haiku rules, too.
- My favorite novel of the last year or so was Next! by James Hynes. It got very good reviews but never took off.
Difficult to describe without spoilers but very original and highly recommended!
- The sisters brothers
- Right now, I'm reading The Power of Babel by John McWhorter. Just finished The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and Center Square: The Paul Lynde Story.
I have Cloud Atlas as next on the list.
For a list of what I am NOT reading, see below.
- I just started [italic]Swann's Way, the first book in Proust's [italic]In Search of Lost Time.
WTF! I'm on page 40 and the son-of-a-bitch is still in bed!
- Jut finished HOUSEKEEPING by Marilyn Robinson. An amazing writer!
Yikes, I should know better than to mix formatting and vodka tinics.
- I'm going to take a painkiller and start Algren's The Last Carousel now.
- I loved the Sisters Brothers r322.
- "Skyline Promenades" by J. Brooks Atkinson. 1925. Yes, I am that starved for something that is well written that I went back almost a century to fun book about mountains.
- I knew it was for me when I read the first paragraph:
"Mountains! What stuff has been written in praise of them, what buncombe from dithyrambic pens! "As soon as men begin to write on nature, " Emerson remarked, "they fall into euphuism." Ah well, let no one be too full of blame or too stiff-necked in criticism. These lofty habitations of the gods, where they live and play and now and then look down amused upon the swarm of life in the valleys, are not to be re-created in pallid sentences, nor adequately understood by the minds of journeyman scribblers. Sometimes on wind-swept summits, if your ears are very sharp, you may hear strange conversations in an argot never known before, a sweeping language at a pitch inarticulate to common ears; a jargon, it must be, even to ears most sensitively tuned; yet full of some stupendous import. Those who listen best cannot translate it. The best are wanting here. Yet the day may come - who knows how soon? - when some chance super-listener may catch the meaning of it all, and "shake our disposition with thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls."
Silly, I know, and yet refreshing.
- No, I quite like it too, R330. It's very poetic.
I loved Housekeeping. Read it a long time ago.
- Darlings: a heads up.
The next volume of Rupert Everett's autobiography Vanished Years, is out in September. So if you lapped up the last one...
I've read sections. Some people are going to love it. And one or two celebrities mentioned are going to want to kill him. Fabulous set piece descriptions. e.g. in a private jet with Tina Brown to a party at the British Embassy in Washington. He really is fabulous writer.
He called Madonna "an old whiny barmaid'. lol
- Thanks for the heads up, Rupert. You and your ghostwriter did a very nice job before, so this should be fun! Look forward to all the edgy swearing on TV when you promote it.
- Rupert names the facelift surgeon!
I googled and the NY Times listed him as one of the tops in Rio.
- At Last by Edward St. Aubyn- great lines and wit.
- Oh, dear[/italic] Did that fix it? [italic]I hope so[/italic]
- Those of you who read "The Sisters Brothers" need to read his first novel "Ablutions." Fantastic.
- R323, I read McWhorter's "Doing Our Own Thing: The Degradation of Language and Music and Why We Should, Like, Care" and enjoyed it-had many good points.
- I'm reading The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann. It's really great.
- Bless you, 337. I tried closing my italics correctly, but I'm obviously hopeless.
- [italic]The Pale Criminal[/italic] by Philip Kerr
- Thanks r338. I'll go download it now.
- I read a horrible poetry chapbook today. It was called 'Eyes, *something or another*' by Elana Bell. Avoid it at all costs.
- R343, I just loved it. But it is very different from The Sisters Brothers. Please let me know what you think. I read the first novel first, so I had no expectations.
- My favorite novel of the last year or so was Next! by James Hynes. It got very good reviews but never took off.
Difficult to describe without spoilers but very original and highly recommended!
by: Anonymous reply 321 08/24/2012 @ 09:37PM
Agreed! A terrific and terrifying book. And it includes a REALLY hot (str8) sex scene.
- Has anyone read Colm Toibin's BROOKLYN or Richard Ford's CANADA?
While I enjoyed them both to a degree, I was very frustrated by the young protagonists' lack of balls in each novel.
Each seemed to drift along, never trying to determine their fates, almost to the point of disbelievability. Well, I suppose there is a reality in that as they are young and somewhat helpless but they just weren't engaging heroes (or heroine in BROOKLYN).
Dickens did so much more with his youthful protagonists.
- I didn't read anything yesterday.
- Just finished Nell Freudenberger's The Dissident which a couple of you recommendeded upthread and I thoroughly enjoyed. I look forward to buying her latest The Newlyweds.
- What did you think of "So Dark the Waves on Biscayne Bay" by Barbara Thorndyke? I had to take a Dramamine to get through chapter three!
- Don't read Jane Eyre. The bitch had her chance with a super hot cousin who didn't love her but could throw a mean fuck on her. Instead, she chose an old ugly pathetic blind cripple of challenged morals. Yeah, and she gave away three quarters of her money too!
- "How Should a Person Be?" by Sheila Heti. Unique and thoughtful novel.
- Ford's Canada is strange, but compelling. It doesn't have a great deal of story and it's told kind of indirectly, but with lots of very evocative detail. I didn't wind up as moved by it as intended but it kept me reading. Someone else might give up on it.
- I am reading The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt's Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, by Anne Marie O'Connor.
Fascinating look at the subject of the portrait, a wealthy Jewish art patroness as well as the artist, Gustav Klimt, in early 20th century Viennese society. 2nd part deal with what happened to the painting and the family when the Nazis took over.
Last part of the book deals with the legal battle of Adele's descendants to reclaim ownership of the painting and where the painting ultimately ended up. Really well researched book that is interesting and touching.
- Blanche, I've grown so much as a writer since then. Did you have a problem with my book, dear?
- "Young Prince Philip: His Turbulent Early Life" by Philip Eade. It's remarkable how similar the Duke of Edinburgh's grandson Harry is to him when Philip was the same age (and quite a bit afterwards but Eade becomes rather coy on these matters once Elizabeth has been crowned Queen).
I also just finished "Lustrum" by Robert Harris.
- "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand. Personally,I doubt I would have made it off the raft.
- Gone girl
- Hey 358, was that any good? A friend told me not to bother, he said the ending was horrible.
I will have to check that out. I have his "Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue" in my stack as well.
Love linguistics books. Have read all of Bill Bryson's stuff as well. Any other suggestions?
- I'm reading "The Trivia Lover's Guide to the World: Geography for the Lost and Found" by Gary Fuller.
A fun, light book, but I've already spotted some mistakes, some ERRORS OF FACT.
- I just started [italic]Mission to Paris[/italic] by Alan Furst, my favorite spy novelist.
- Please let us know what you think of Furst's latest when you are through r362. I've always thought of reading him and wondering if Mission to Paris might be the first one to try as it has a 1940s Hollywood connection.
Or is there another Furst you might recommend?
- Well, a couple of Furst's novels focus on a French B-movie producer: [italic]The World at Night[/italic] and [/italic]Red Gold[/italic]. Some of the first book concerns his dealings with financiers and his connections with writers who can connect him to the Resistance.
The first book is [italic]Night Soldiers[/italic], which is broader in view and starts earlier than the later books. [italic]Night Soldiers[/italic] concerns young men recruited into the NKVD and what happens to them after their training. The later books focus on one man at a time and how he resists the Nazis while still getting on with life. These tend to start around 1938-40. My favorites are [italic]Dark Star[/italic] and [italic]the Polish Officer.[/italic]
- Has anyone read Alan Hollinghurst's.."The Stranger's Child"?
Half way thru it and it makes no sense what-so-ever.
- Sorry 305, didn't see your earlier post...guess it's just me, not liking this book and I have read his other ones.
- I love The Stranger's Child but if you are half way through it and not enjoying it, that's not going to change for you. You may as well give up.
Have you read any of Hollinghurst's other books?
- Yes, I read his other books. The problem in this one is I'm not seeing the connection in any of the characters.
- Stranger's Child is dense and complicated, but rewards the effort. But I agree, if it doesn't connect with you by now, I'd go to something else.
- I also couldn't finish "A Stranger's Child" and was a big fan of Hollinghurst's earlier books. Has anyone mentioned "The Master" by Colm Toibin? About Henry James.
- The Violinist's Thumb by Sam Kean--his second book after The Disappearing Spoon. It's about DNA, genes, etc.
Both are interesting reads, but his writing style is has a lot of forced humour in it that drove me crazy. His notes are great, though. A lot of interesting asides for further reading.
Bad Seeds by Betsy Powell
A bit of a superficial overview of the origin of the Galloway Boys specifically and TO gangs in general.
- The best of all the Alan Furst novels in his first one, NIGHT SOLDIERS. Some of the others are terrific (although at this point he's pretty much churning them out--there's been a real lapse in quality lately), but that first one was one of the all-time great "primal reads" I've ever had.
- Just tried reading two highly recommended books The Patrick Melrose Novels by Edward St. Aubyn and Call Me By Your Name by Andre Acimon. Couldn't get past much more than 100 pages in each.
The former was just too brutal in its storytelling, perhaps also too British. The later felt like a primer for young uncertain gay boys looking for confirmation; I wanted more character details, not to mention a little plotting.
Some books I've enjoyed this summer are Beautiful Ruins, Canada, Gone Girl (Girl Gone?), Brooklyn and The Dissident.
Taste in fiction in so subjective. Not a bad thing but it never ceases to amaze me how smart people respond so differently.
- Do any of you read John Knowles? His novel The Magus is one of my all time favorites.
- PPSM. I think you mean Fowles--Knowles wrote A Separate Peace
- Okay bitches, because of you I got Richard Ford's "Canada." We'll see how good DL is at recommendations.
- "The problem in this one is I'm not seeing the connection in any of the characters."
Um, the poem.
- Yes, that is what I meant.
There was wine wirh dinner tonight.
- Was it a European wine, PPSM? Have you emigrated yet?
- I just read The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen. It's a Nordic mystery but without the Nazis and incest. I like his writing style it is very spare and well paced.
- Has anyone read the mystery/thriller The Boy in the Suitcase? It's on my Amazon wish list.
- "Drood" by Dan Simmons. Basically a literary thriller with supernatural elements, about the friendship of Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, told by the latter.
I thought "The Terror" was very good too (same author), another thriller based on history, about a lost Arctic expedition. Simmons is a good to great writer, though he became something of a loon after 9/11. Luckily his odd politics and paranoia aren't in evidence in either book.
- R359 I loved Gone Girl. Very snappy writing. I had heard the same thing about people reacting very badly to the ending but after reading it I don't really understand it. I thought the end was quite satisfying.
I also just read The Leftovers by the guy who wrote the book that the movie Election was based on. It is a weirdly sad comic novel about a rapture like event. Fanctastic tone and characters but no real plot to speak of.
- Currently reading Wisecracker. Very interesting stuff so far.
- Gone Girl was terrific...until the end, probably the worst ending of all time.
- 'Arguably', Christopher Hitchens's final huge collection of essays. An amazing range of topics, discussed with full engagement, erudition, insight and wit. I've laughed aloud.
The pleasure I get from reading him on subjects I know a bit about leads me to new topics Hitchens knows a lot about. It's all very stimulating and educational, and a collection I'm always impatient to get back to.
- Thanks to those who recommended The Sisters Brothers. I am really enjoying it.
Keep the recommendations coming.
- I thought both "Drood" and "The Terror" went on forever. I couldn't even finish the latter because it was so long and dull.
- I was thoroughly disappointed in "The Terror." It started out so promising and ended in a heap of steaming mess.
- Loved both the Aciman and the St. Aubyn.
- The Brothers Ashkenazi by I.B. Singer, the brother of Nobel winner Isaac Bashevis Singer. I'll bet very few people on this site have heard of it, but it's a great book that should be better known than it is.
- "Looking for Gatsby"--Faye Dunaway's memoir. Not nearly as interesting as I'd hoped, which might explain why I'm still slogging through it after 2 weeks.
- Just finished Gone Girl ( in 2 days). I thought the ending very appropriate.
- Another Hitchens fan here, R386. Just this morning I finished reading "Mortality," his last book, chronicling the last eighteen months of his life in "Tumorville."
A haunting and surprisingly uplifting read.
getting too old for this shit
- A Case for Solomon- nonfiction about a 1912 kidnapping. It was co-written by a descendant of one of the principals, so it pulled a few punches, but it was well-written.
- [italic]The Technologists[/italic] - strange goings on in Boston involving members of the first class of MIT. It's a bit slow getting started.
- An edition of Tin House I missed last year.
- Just finished Deborah Harkness' "A Discovery of Witches" and it's sequal "Shadow of Night". Imaginative, intelligent story of a college professor discovering her magical powers and the vampire who protects her from other supernatural creatures.
I've recommended it to friends and everyone loves it
- R398, you seriously read fantasy pulp? Are you 8 years old?
- Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why
By Bart Ehrman
A must read for both atheists (like myself) and Christians who aren't afraid of knowing where their "infallible" scripture comes from.
- Anyone a fan of Jane Gardam? She's been recommended to me based on other authors I like but I haven't read her yet.
If so, any particular book of hers I might start with?
I'm also eager to read a Thomas Hardy novel as I've nevr read him. Thinking of starting with The Mayor of Casterbridge because it's referenced in Richard Ford's Canada, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Any thoughts on Hardy?
- At Day's Close: Night in Times Past
- 399, re-reading my post I see your point.
Harkness is an alchemical historian and college professor; she wrote research books before her first novel "Discovery".
Her fiction really digs more deeply into science, history and alchemical discovery than it does magic. "Shadow" also explores poets, scientists and underground brotherhoods in the Elizabethan era. But yea, there's a fantasy witch/vamp (forbidden love) story which launches a quest for discovery and the understanding of origins.
More "Hobbit" than "True Blood".
- I'm reading some terrible book about The Amish people.
- "Dropped Names" by Frank Langella. Everyone who was ever mean to him gets a chapter. It sounds like he used acting, dinner party "wit" and a big weiner to try to bag a rich wife (Jackie Onassis was in his sites) but never could. Maybe they realized he was bi.
- Is John Fowles any good? Specifically, The Magus and The Collector? Just wondering.
- The Magus is one of my favorite novels, R406. An amazing mindfuck of a book.
The Collector is good as well. Very creepy.
You will not be disappointed with either.
- R406, I read The Collector as a young teenager. I was probably a little too young for it but it made a tremendous impression. I went it into without a clue so the progression of the relationship and plot was startlingly creepy.
I'm going to put The Magus on my reading list. This is my favorite DL thread (along with other book threads), many of the books I've read this year are DL recommendations.
- Thanks R407! Any other suggestions, Fowles or otherwise?
- Any books that are dreamy or similar to The Virgin Suicides? Even remotely similar in tone, mood, or sense of place?
- I just read "White Tiger" by Aravind Adiga because I know a relative of his. The book won the Mann Booker Prize a few years ago. It's fascinating. It gives the viewpoint of a dirt poor man in India and I feel like I finally have come to understand India much better from seeing the world thru his eyes. The main character does something outrageous - I won't say what it is - but I found myself understanding what he did. I think this is an important book since we in America need to understand people in countries around the world as we interact with them more and more.
- I am currently reading "Cursed From Birth: The Short, Unhappy Life of William S Burroughs Jr." as I very much enjoyed his books "Speed" and "Kentucky Ham." As much as I love the work of Burroughs Sr, it was not easy being his son.
- Finally finished Cloud Atlas and was fascinated mostly, but some of the sections seemed like they were written by a whole different person. The writing gets really amatuerish in certain chapters but not others.
- Good Lord, R413! Punctuation and spelling are your friends.
- JUst finished Colm Toibin's The Master about Henry James. I love Toibin's writing, the spareness and simplicity.
I then bought James' The Ambassadors and couldn't get past page 2. Those long unweildy sentences! Now, I feel stupid.
I enjoyed Toibin's Brooklyn even more than The Master.
- I'm reading, "The Astaires" by Kathleen Riley. It follows Fred and Adele's beginnings in vaudeville, until Adele left Fred and the act, at their peak, to get married. Most people don't know that Fred and his sister were about as big as you could get on the stage both here and the UK during the 20s.
When Adele left the act, Fred felt his career was over, because Adele had always been the star of their stage work. After that, Fred came to Hollywood. We all know the rest of that story.
- A friend who reviews books for the WSJ has raved about The Story of My Assassins. Out next week.
- Just finished The Rules of Civility and really enjoyed it. It is set in NYC in the 30s and was a wonderful evocation of that time
- R401 Jane Gardam's best book is "Old Filth". The title is an acronym, and stands for "Failed in London, Try Hong Kong." Old Filth — or Dear Old Filth, when the story starts — is Sir Edward Feathers, a wealthy old Englishman. There is a sequel, which I also read, whose title escapes me. Old Filth is a really delightful book.
- r419 thanks for the Old Filth recommendation. I will definitely check it out.
- The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman - a bit of a slow start and an insufferable main character but I'm really liking it now.
- The Invisible Bridge. Very good.
- Thor Heyerdahl. He really was a dreadful racist for all that he accomplished in making people see primitive people as more capable than they had.
- I really liked The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen.
Gone Girl was pretty good. I liked 90% of the book, but I hated the ending. My opinion about the ending has changed a few weeks after reading it to a mild approval. I bought the rest of her (Gillian Flynn's) other books at a thrift shop and will read those soon.
I'm currently reading Kept in the Dark by Penny Hancock. It's just okay.
- The Perkiness of Wallflowers
- What Money Can't Buy. Really fascinating examples of the way money has crept into all aspects of our lives.
- Koko, by Peter Straub. A thriller involving a group of Vietnam veterans, and very, very good. One of the best "genre" writers alive, I think.
- I was in the mood for something scary, so I picked up "Swan Song" by Robert McCammon after seeing it recommended in a few book threads here on DL. Not bad so far.
- The Absolutist by John Boyne. Two WWI soldiers fall in love, sort of. Close to being a YA, but nicely written and very sad.
- Just finished Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge and can honestly say it was one of the most enjoyable books I've read in a long time....wonderfully plotted with several unexpected twists and characters I really cared about.
Even learned some new words....furmity, skimmington, etc.
- anything by lee child
- r431: I just finished Jude the Obscure last week. It was my first Hardy novel, and I enjoyed it enough. Have you read it? I'd be interested in knowing how it stacks up to The Mayor of Casterbridge.
- r433, I haven't read Jude but will certainly pick up another Hardy soon. Maybe that will be the one.
Right now I'm reading Edith Wharton's Custom of the Country and loving it. So much funnier and more satiric than I'd expected.
I've made a pledge to finally read lots of the books I might have read in high school and college but couldn't seem to get into. I'm finding they have so much more resonance (and are far more entertaining) now that I'm older.
- Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.
I read 3 to 5 books per week and this one is simply outstanding.
- Custom of the Country is one of my favorite novels. Can't understand why no one has filmed it.
- I can only guess Custom of the Country might be considered too American for a BBC adaptation but I'm surprised it wasn't filmed by MGM or Warners in the 1930s/40s.
It would have been a perfect vehicle for one of their leading ladies. Young Gene Tierney or even Lana Turner might have made a brilliant Undine Spragg.
- 3 to 5 books a week, r435? Do you get through one a day?
- "Trust Your Eyes" by Linwood Barclay. Great page-turner thriller.
- I'm reading the Mayan Calendar
- A.M. Homes has a new book.....can't wait to read the reviews!! Her Music For Torching and This Book Will Save Your Life are two of my all time favorites.
Sorry, blanking on the name of her new book, but I saw it at Barnes & Noble today and it's a big long one. Just didn't want to invest the bucks until I read some reviews....hoping they're great.
- PS: So instead of the A.M. Homes I bought the paperback of a Danish thriller I've heard amazing things about The Boy in the Suitcase.
Anyone know it? I'll report back after I finish it.
- Reading it now, r442. Pleasant enough, but not that impressive as thrillers go. Good airplane read.
- I like contemporary poetry, and right now I am reading two books by the poet John Spaulding (HOSPITAL and THE WHITE TRAIN).
- The Zombie Autopsies.
- r442 just reporting back on The Boy in the suitcase. I read it in a couple of days which is rare for me...it is a real page-turner. Doesn't quite keep up the thrill of the first few chapters but I thought it was intelligent and thoughtful in its depiction of the cross section of characters with a few good plot twists.
Not the sensational kind of writing as Gone Girl but far more satisfying in its conclusions. Certainly a great weekend diversion or airplane read as r443 said.
Onto Old Filth by Jane Gardam now, recommended to me upthread. Right up my alley.
- Just finished a murder-mystery, The Black House, by Peter May. Don't usually read that genre but this was very well written. Takes place in the Hebrides, Scottish islands. Very well done. First part of a trilogy.
- I'm trying to finish Cloud Atlas before the film opens but I can't pick it back up. I was very disturbed by the section about Timothy Cavendish. What happened to him has always been one of my biggest irrational fears. I cringed the entire time I was reading it on the way up and, now that I'm on the way back down, I can't do it.
- I tried to read The Weird Sisters. 100 pages in I decided it wasn't going to work between me and those girls. It sort of felt like reading the script for Sex and the City 2. All that talk and nothing ever really happened.
Oh and reading page after page of the one sister lamenting the fact that she was hippy-dippy and average, and yet some knight-in-shining-armor type wanted to marry her grew tiresome.
The Mariah Carey troll could write an accurate review for that crap-fest.
- 'Nemesis' by Philip Roth. It's swift, incisive, evocative and humane. Roth brings his brilliance to a tragic subject, polio in Newark in '44, and draws the reader in. (But still no Nobel Prize!)
- Sounds like an interesting recommendation, r447. Thanks, will check it out.
- I just started reading "Battleborn" by Claire Vaye Watkins. It's a collection of true and fictional stories about Nevada, where she grew up. Claire, a young college professor and writer, is the daughter of Paul Watkins, a member of the Manson Family. So far, it's really good, especially for a first book. The NYT gave it high praise.
- I've nearly finished D.T. Max's biography of David Foster Wallace. It gives a pretty well balanced account of Wallace's life and writing difficulties (Wallace certainly doesn't come across as any kind of hero) although there's something a bit sterile about Max's style and analysis.
- I just finished Gone Girl. I did not like the ending.
- Tried to read The Help but it was just so crap i gave up after pg52
- Check out The Jewel in the Crown by Paul Scott. It's set in colonial India between WWII and the transition. Beautiful prose and an incredible use of shifting narrative voice. It's actually Part One of four novels, but each stands alone.
- [R446] -- "The Man in the Wooden Hat" complements "Old Filth" well, though a weaker book overall I thought. Recommended after you finish the first one.
- I finished listening to "Rules of Civility" recently, one case where I think audio might be a better choice than print as the narrator was a really good fit for the protagonist's voice - definitely recommended!
- r457, thanks for recommending Old Filth. I thoroughly enjoyed it and immediately went out and bought The Man in the Wooden Hat which I'm in the middle of now. It is, as you say, disappointing...kind of a perfunctory follow-up, and trying too hard for its melancholy tone IMHO.
But it won't put me off trying some of Jane Gardam's earlier books. I hear God on the Rocks is one of her better ones.
- I read Gardam's "The Queen of the Tambourine" before "Old Filth" which I really liked! As for "Wooden Hat" - without too much of a spoiler, the ending covers both Eddie and Betty's stories for closure.
- Any other Kate Atkinson fans? Hopefully, she is due to publish again soon.
- Ghosts of Manhattan -- novel about what it was like to work at Bear Stearns.
The Yellow Birds -- terrific novel about the war in Iraq. The guy writes like a dream.
- Finally reading Gore Vidal's Julian. Enjoying it a lot.
- I just finished rereading all of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth works, and am now moving on to rereading all of Kurt Vonnegut's novels.
I'm kinda doing a world tour of my favorite authors right now.
Should probably find something new at some point...
- Thanks, r462. I'm going to check out The Yellow Birds.
- If anyone here reads nonfiction, I thought Jeffrey Toobin's "The Oath" about the Supreme Court in the Obama years was very interesting (I am not an attorney).
- Still trying to finish Bridemaid Lotto and Can I Tell You a Secret?
- I just finished Constellation of Genius by Kevin Jackson. 1922 really was one hell of a year.
- The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill (which for some reason is titled Someone Knows My Name in the US). Truly amazing.
- I think "The Book of Negroes" sounds a bit ... dated, if not offputting, in the States.
- Random by Craig Robertson
- The Round House by Louise Erdrich
- This may amuse you
- I'm fairly well-educated, and a bit of an Anglophile, but that article was FAR too intellectual-Britspeak for me to get into.
- Currently reading "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn and loving it.
- I am SOOOOOOOOO conflicted about "Gone Girl" as folks either love it or hate it; I see virtually no middle ground "it was okay" comments for reviews.
- R476, I both loved it and found it somewhat unsatisfying.
- I plan on reading "Tell the Wolves I'm Home" on a trip next week - anyone here read it yet?
- I read the Kindle free sample and decided not to bother with the rest.
- My library has it as a downloadable book, so it's not like I'm paying for it.
- As I mentioned upthread about Gone Girl, I was very disappointed in the ending. I had pretty much figured out what was going on before the big reveal, but I hadn't worked out the details so it was still interesting, but I found the end to be totally absurd and unbelievable for reasons that I won't go into because it would spoil it for others.
- Waiting for it at the library, R478.
- I thought everyone else is into gratification, and AMAZED there are other guys who read library books!
- I always read library books, R483. I read the book reviews - and this thread - then go online to reserve what I want and have it delivered to my local branch.
- Nice, [R484]!
I'm not shy about purchase suggestions either!
- Has anyone read anything by John Roman Baker? I read the Kindle free sample of The Paris Syndrome and can't decide whether to buy the book.
- [quote]I'm fairly well-educated, and a bit of an Anglophile, but that article was FAR too intellectual-Britspeak for me to get into.
- The Twelve, by Justin Cronin. Don't bother, it's dreadful. Such a disappointment.
- The Benita Eisler bio of Byron. Enjoyable so far, if that's your thing. Some Byron scholars seem to consider it negligible, though there's a homophobic ring to some of the complaints ("too much emphasis on sexuality," etc.).
- 2666. Almost done with Part One. Great, as expected. On a Roberto Bolano kick.
- We Others: New and Selected Stories by Steven Millhauser
- Really, R488? That is disappointing. I just reserved 'The Passage' at the library based on the NYT's review of 'The Twelve.' Had you read 'The Passage'? What did you think of that one?
- Boreum Hill, Brooklyn here. Voted for Obama earlier this morning. Waited about an hour. I don't understand why they are hiring retirees when NYS has so many people on unemployment. There should have been a call to people who are collecting to offer them the work.
- Sorry, wrong thread
Plantation Shutters in Boreum Hill
- r490 it drags in the middle.
I had to pick it up, read it as a separate story, then go back.
Have you read The Savage Detectives? It's very stereotypically latin in many ways, but it's better than 2666 IMHO. The Return is also good.
Jose Saramago's short stories are fascinating.
- Reading The Mill of the Floss. Sweet but not as compelling as Middlemarch, it feels more obviously like the work of a young author.
I might just move on to Daniel Deronda but worry that it might be too challenging!
George Eliot fan
- I'm listening to Graham Greene's "Our Man in Havana" as an audiobook - it's quite funny as a satire/farce.
- ugh....The Mill ON the Floss. Sorry, too much wine with dinner.
- "The Passage" was very disappointing. I bought it based on a good revenue on NPR. Not worth the time or money.
- Just had this itch to read some M/M books and read Josh Lanyon's Adrien English Mystery series that was released a couple of years ago. They are quite good given the bad rep that the genre has (but those covers ... ugh!).
My current M/M craving started with a Twilight slash fic called Johnny Thorne.
- I actually like Lanyon's series featuring Holmes & Moriarity better than Adrien English's.
- This is apparently mainstream mystery, but the title is pure datalounge.
"The Bat: A Harry Hole Thriller"
- Well ... yesterday I picked up "Tell the Wolves I'm Home" ... and put it aside (for good) a few pages later. Another case where "editing" consisted of a publishing house employee being paid good money for selecting a title based on the plot, and not actually "doing" anything to make the book actually read better -- incredibly clunky writing!
- "Really, [R488]? That is disappointing. I just reserved 'The Passage' at the library based on the NYT's review of 'The Twelve.' Had you read 'The Passage'? What did you think of that one?"
Not 488 but The Passage suffers from a problem that so many "epic," novels seem to, great start, good ending, boring, drag of a middle. We spend way too much time in the little walled community, and the characters neurosis (would you really be that self involved if day to day survival was the goal) before they hit the road and the action starts.
I also hate an ending, which isnt an ending, and a character does something really stupid, because of a moral choice, which prevents them from evening the odds in the sequel.
- Currently reading "Sutton" and loving it.
- I thoroughly enjoyed Howard Nemerov's *The Homecoming Game*. Obscure reference, I know. It's from 1957, and it's the basis of the Howard Lindsay/Russell Crouse play, *Tall Story*, which was later made into a movie - Jane Fonda's first film. The film is unbelievably stupid! And it's nothing like the book, of course, which is actually a kind of sweet quiet little sort-of-philosophical novel, told mostly from the point of view of a History professor at a small northeaster liberal arts college. It has its flaws, but in general, it's charming and sweet and smart - and it goes fast! Give it a shot.
- Why can't you keep up? You all?
- The first 140 pages of Daniel Deronda are the best work of prose fiction in English.
- After p.140, not so much.
Currently reading "A dead hand" by Paul Theroux
- You don't have a problem with the constant use of the word FAGGOT in 2666? I'm not that sensitive, but that book was a piece of shit.
- Haven't see Tall Story in decades, the film you reference r506, but remember loving it on TV as a kid.
Not only gorgeous young Jane but an adorably nerdy re-Psycho Tony Perkins as a college basketball player and Van Williams as his hunky wet teammate, emerging out of the locker room shower dripping wet. Directed by Josh Logan, of course!
Has the Nemerov novel been reissued or something? How did you ever come upon it?
- The new book about Lance Loud. It's a coffee table-type book but fun for happy trips down Memory Lane every so often...
- I prefer "molodyets," which means "terrific in Russian.
- I am finishing up "Tell the Wolves I'm Home". I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one that thinks it is clunky but I'm determined to see it through to the end.
I recently did a fast read of "Age of Miracles". A slim book. It has a young female protagonist which may not be your cup of tea but it is sort of about the end of the world and how it doesn't come all it once. The earth starts rotating more slowly creating 40+ hour days, the magnetic pole collapses but apparently life goes on. I found it thought provoking considering it's highly possible we will go through something similar in our lifetime.
- I couldn't finish Custom of the Country. The main character (Undie!) seemed like the anti-Lilly Bart - a woman who behaves terribly but pays no price for her sins. I thought Edith Wharton was trying to shed light on how maintaining that life took a toll on the men who were expected to endlessly support it.
- I recently read Graham Greene's "Our Man in Havana" for an upcoming discussion. Recommended as it's funny as a farce, as well as showing the shadowy side of Cuba in the 50's - from whence support for a revolution emerged. Greene's (mandatory) "Catholic schtick" I could've done without, but it wasn't a deal breaker by any means.
- I tried reading "Brighton Rock" by Greene recently. It was incomprehensible, turgid crap.
Currently reading the wonderful "The Last Slave Market" by Alistair Hazell, about the ending of the Arab-Africa slave trade and the Zanzibar market. Beautifully written, deeply felt and highly knowledgeable.
- r517, try his short story or essay collections.
I haven't read Brighton Rock, but I enjoyed the Power and the Glory.
The screenplay for The Third Man was also good.
- 'Heart of Darkness' by Joseph Conrad
- I just picked up the screenplay for Chinatown.
I was very disappointed in Spillover by David Quammen. The information was good, but the writing was absolutely awful compared to his earlier work.
For anyone interesting in natural history or ecology/science writing, try his other titles:
Monster of God, The Boilerplate Rhino, Song of the Dodo.
John Vaillant's two books are magnificent. Both The Tiger and The Golden Spruce are good, but he pulled a few punches with the former book.
The Golden Spruce is less PC, and more complex.
- r511, I'm the geekiest geek who ever geeked, and it turns out that I have that 1957 Nemerov book in my possession for several years. Well, I was reading Nemerov's poetry a long time ago, and I decided to see what his fiction was like. Of course, Diane Arbus is his sister! Which is a weird little detail. Anyway, I hadn't read the book, and then I was having a Jane Fonda Film Festival in my bedroom last week and I watched *Tall Story* for the first time, and I was startled to discover it was based on that Nemerov novel that'd been sitting on my shelf all this time. So I read the book. And then I read the Howard Lindsay/Russell Crouse 1959 play adapted from the book! I can't imagine that any of the filmmakers read the book, because: It's about two Jewish professors at a small liberal arts college in the northeast who fail the goyische football star and are then mildly anti-semitically taunted by the entire school and surrounding community. Very different from the play! And the play is nothing like the film. Of the three versions, the film version is of course the emptiest.
- r511 is the only one around here who can keep up.
- "that I have" = "that I have had", oops
- The United States Bankruptcy Code. The Stuart Woods Stone Barrington novels. It's bubblegum for the brain after after reading 11 U.S.C. you need something totally escapist.
- r521, I'm beginning to think I may know you...
- For those who enjoy Victorian melodrama, I've paused roughly halfway through Le Fanu's "Uncle Silas" - orphaned teen heiress sent to live in the somewhat sinister dysfunctional household of her father's brother Silas, if anything "happens" to her, he inherits the lot.
- For the first time in my life I'm reading the Bible, and loving it
- I've never read Graham Greene, but I heard his works have aged poorly - no one with a brain is Catholic anymore.
Is it true that "2666" is homophobic? I have a copy of it in Spanish, and I've thought about it starting it during the upcoming vacation.
- The "Catholic" angle in Greene's books is definitely pre-Vatican II. Why all those British writers (Greene, Beryl Bainbridge, Waugh(?), etc.) converted like that makes no sense to me, but this is a books thread, not a religion one. "Our Man in Havana" I found funny as a farce.
- Has anyone mentioned The Magicians? I loved it!
About to start The Magician King.
- I like the Queen Jane's version of the Bible by Rankin. He has little icons to direct you to the smut. It's entirely accurate as a translation.
- Is anything on the NY Bestseller - Fiction - list worth reading? I read 'Zoo' by James Patterson, but to me it felt kind of flat, but I did like 'The Casual Vacancy' by J.K. Rowling. Because of this thread I am hesitant to even start with 'Gone Girl' by Gillian Finn since the ending gets trashed around here.
- Not going through this whole thread to see what was mentioned before, but I can recommend Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. Best novel I've read in a while.
- The Round House by Louise Erdrich, which just won the National Book Award for fiction, is really good. Reminds me of a Native American Stand By Me.
- FDR by Jean Edward Smith and "The Man who Planted Trees" by Jim Robbins.
- Just finished We Think the World of You. A quick read and definitely worthwhile.
- I picked up a book at the hotel shop during a trip - Bossy Pants by Tina Fey; very witty.
I can't recommend enough "Brave New War" - by John Robb, his site Global Guerillas is great for up-to-date info on 4th generation warfare, such as drones and cyberwarfare.
I am also working through --
"Victory of the West: The Great Christian-Muslim Clash at the Battle of Lepanto"
Major sea battle, changed the course of history and not very famous - last naval war fought with galleys.
- "The Swerve" by Stephen Greenblatt. Fun, slightly bombastic, and guaranteed to offend your religious nut friends.
"A Treasury of Foolishly Forgotten Americans" by Michael Farquhar. Good bathroom reading in history.
Colin Woodard "American Nations" A little better than the usual in this category of book, but still not quite insightful, especially on Canada.
- "The Leopard", a novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, which revolves around a minor Sicilian aristocrat, Don Fabrizio, during the 1860s, when Italy was being forged together as a unified nation-state and all the radical social developments that accompanied this process. At first Don Fabrizio seems to welcome these changes, but he gradually realises that they involve the loss of everything he knows. A classic.
- Which translation of The Leopard did you read, r539? I've always been curious to read it.
- I'm still in the middle of reading it. The latest, supposedly definitive edition, translated by Archibald Colquhoun. I don't know what the earlier translation is like but this one definitely has a translation "feel" to it, but I suppose that's part of its charm (trying to capture the rhythm of the Italian rather than totally anglicising the text).
You should definitely give it a go!
- [quote]Why all those British writers (Greene, Beryl Bainbridge, Waugh(?), etc.) converted like that makes no sense to me,
Don't forget Muriel Spark and Evelyn Waugh and TS Eliot.
I think a lot of those writers converted to Roman Catholicism after the two world wars in order to make sense of and impose order on what otherwise seemed an intolerably random and cruel world. The ones who had drinking problems (Waugh, Greene) or sexual addiction problems (Greene again, Spark) or mental illness problems (Greene again, Eliot) seemed in particular to need this.
- Any thoughts on JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy? I've never read any of her Harry Potter books.
- r542 -- the answer is simpler. When Americans find religion they become born-again, when Brits find religion they become Roman Catholics.
- I finished listening to the (free) Librivox production of "Uncle Silas" by Sheridan Le Fanu, a Victorian gothic mystery featuring a heroine who bordered on Too Stupid to Live; the narration was highly flawed, but not enough to give up on the book. For a Victorian Gothic was an implied gay relationship, try "Armadale" by Wilkie Collins.
These days I'm listening to "Heads in Beds" - inside "scoop" of the hotel industry; author comes off as rather a punky brat at times. For a better take on the subject, try "Hotel Babylon" instead.
- I've started The Story of O. Just to see what all the fuss was about.
- I'm about 40% into Gone Girl, a book many on here recommended. So far I'm not seeing the appeal and can't stand both characters in the book.
It's one of those native New Yorker forced to hobnob with the rifraffs in fly over country, Missouri stories. I don't think any cliche about midwesterners or new yorkers is left untouched.
One character is missing and the other is under suspicion for the disappearance. At this point I'd love a for a dead body to be found and for the other one to be arrested, tried and even executed for the murder--that's how little I care either way. I'm going to read on for the twist that'll turn this book into something interesting but so far it sucks.
- I just finished "Heart in the Right Place" by Carolyn Jourdan, a Senate laywer who leaves Washington to help her country doctor father when her mother has heart problems. Inspiring and funny memoir. I loved it.
- I liked that one a lot, R548.
- Finished The Silent Girl from Tess Gerritsen. Her books have gone down hill. Very sad!!! Is that show based on her books/characters still on? It was awful. I watched two episodes and vomited.
- These days I'm listening to Ian McEwan's new book, "Sweet Tooth," on audiobook narrated by Juliet Stevenson, one of my all time favorite actors. (She could read the phone book...) It's not a conventional novel (rather obviously autobiographical as you get into it) but very enjoyable--the main character was an MI5 spy in the early 70s. And Juliet's voice is balm to the soul. I am almost tempted to send her a fan letter, I'm enjoying this so much (and by the way, if you haven't seen "Truly, Madly, Deeply"--from about 20 years ago--you're missing a fantastic hidden gem of a film.)
- Just started reading Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. The author is a former TV sitcom writer.
The ecstatic cover blurbs by Jonathan Franzen and Kate Atkinson, two authors I love, sold me.
Fun, quirky book so far.
- "When America First Met China" by Eric Dolin.
"Slavery by Another Name" by Douglas Blackmon.
Excellent work on the evils of Jim Crow South.
Rising Up from Indian Country" by Ann Keating. Failed, shrill argument at the end that Ft. Dearborn wasn't a massacre. It certainly was a massacre. She freights that word with too much significance. They were retreating, not fighting, women and children were slaughtered, the Pottawatomi and Americans were not at war, and you can be a soldier and still subject to massacre anyway. She also fails to explore the possibility that Kinzie caused it (in the pay of the Brits) by delaying the evacuation. I'm of two minds. On the one hand, she somewhat punctures the DuSable story, which is an important correction to the Kinzie myth, by pointing out he was never alone at Chicago (with women, Indians, and Metis traders like the Ouilmettes), which is a little over the top. On the other hand she doesn't really talk about the Lake Calumet region, which is part of Chicago now and which had been inhabited by Indians and Metis for at least a hundred years before DuSable arrived.
- Toby's Room by Pat Barker
finished Spillover by David Quammen - major disappointment, and I love his previous work
about to start Riders on the Storm by John Densmore, Doors drummer
- Just finished The Art Forger. Interesting story with a lot of technical info about forging methods. But the author made virtually every character female. I have no problem with women in unconventional roles. But surely, in a city like Boston, not everyone can be female. And of course the two main male characters both turned out to be douchebags.
Now I am reading Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You. Very funny novel so far. Really loving it.
- Anderson Cooper tweeted yesterday about this book he really liked... The End of Your Life Book Club. He called it a moving human poignant story. And inspiring. So of course I bought it. So far I like it. The author Will Schwalbe is gay.
- Cooper seems to want to become Oprah with book choices like this.
- The Villa by Nora Roberts
- I am an every-spare-moment reader of (what I think) of well-written books. Words be magic, yo, and one is never alone (or lonely) when a good one is available.
My top-five of the moment, and what I lend to my friends who are asking for a good book:
The Corrections (Franzen)
Let the Great World Spin (McCann)
The Fortress of Solitude (Lethem)
The Passage (Cronin)
Any of these will be your best friend for a month.
- [quote]I am finishing up "Tell the Wolves I'm Home". I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one that thinks it is clunky but I'm determined to see it through to the end.
Me too. Very disappointing.
- It takes you a month to read a book, r559? You musn't have much spare time!
Have just started reading an old classic I'd been putting off for a while as I thought it would be hard-going, Jane Eyre. But, it's actually an easy, pleasurable read, great if you want a curl-up with a good book.
- I've been reading Infinite Jest for...three months now. I'm not quite halfway through. I absolutely love every page of it but it seems I just can't sit down and plow through it the way I can with other literature.
- I'm rereading "Bleak House" and identifying strongly with John Jarndyce. I'm going to name my house the Growlery.
- R562, I felt the same way. Got through a few hundred pages in a week or so, and saw how far I still needed to go, and decided I'm just not that crazy about it to put in the effort.
On the other hand, I couldn't put down 1Q84 (different author, but which is about the same length). Finished it in 10 days.
I keep thinking I should try one of Wallace's shorter books.
- Right now I'm reading "An Introduction to Information Theory" by John R. Pierce. Pretty fascinating stuff.
I'm also reading "Game Theory 101: The Basics" by William Spaniel.
Both books complement each other. And yes, very, very geeky.
- I'm currently reading "Before I go to sleep: A novel" by S.J. Watson. So far it's quite a page turner. It's about a woman who wakes up everyday without memory (like in 50 first dates). She keeps a journal and things are not quite what they appear to be.
I just found out it's going to be a movie starring Nicole Kidman. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing.
My next book I read will probably be "Tell the wolves I'm home." Lots of noms for that being best book of the year out there so I'm curious about it.
- I gave up on "Tell the Wolves I'm Home" almost immediately, as I found the writing very clunky. Watson's book sounds really interesting though- thanks for the mention.
- To each his own but I found the Watson book book frustrating and silly and gave up 3/4 of the way through by which point I couldn't have cared less what the "twist" was going to be.
- I'm about 30% into "Before I go to Sleep," R568 and don't feel that way yet. I'll post if I get to that point though.
Yes, everyone has different tastes as I absolutely hated Gone Girl and that's been on the bestseller list for this past year and people are always recommending it. That's why I'm also still going to try out "Tell the Wolves I'm home" despite the comments on here. I'm getting it from the library so it's not going to cost me anything.
- "My Cousin Rachel" by Daphne du Maurier. Du Maurier is always my go-to novelist when I just want a cracking good read.
- R570 Reminds me I still need to read Rebecca.
- I got a free copy of the paperback of Samuel Delany's "(bla bla)...Nest of Spiders." It's like 800 pages. That's my 2013 reading list.
- Lady Almina and the Real Downtown Abbey
Just started it so not sure how great it will be. So far it's interesting.
- I ordered Infinite Jest from my library. When I went to pick it up and saw how long it was, I realised I would never have the time to finish it before it was due back, so I didn't check it out. I might purchase that one, just so I don't have the pressure of getting through it before I have to return it
- I am re-reading all of Tom Clancy's novels in order.
I also am reading Cronkite.
- R559, I'm a big fan of 4 of the 5 novels you mentioned (haven't read The Passage yet), especially Let the Great World Spin. I'm finishing up a mystery, then I'll probably read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Anybody a fan of that?
- You must be a sucker for punishment, R575. I've read instruction manuals that were more interesting that anything Clancy (or one his workshop hacks) put to paper.
- SEX by Madonna!!!
- I'm about 3/4 of the way through "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" by Ben Fountain. It's told from the perspective of a 19 yo soldier who, following a well-publicized battle, has returned from Iraq for a victory tour of the US. At first, it was a little difficult for me to get into. There are lots of characters introduced pretty quickly and I was having trouble keeping them straight. And the story is told in a series of flashbacks. But after I got into the rhythm of it, I began to really enjoy it. And there are moments that made me really sad for my nephew, who also served in Iraq.
- I finished listening to "Northanger Abbey" the other day, rather Nancy Drew-ish I thought.
- The Eighty Dollar Champion: Snowman, The Horse That Inspired a Nation
- "The Talisman" by Stephen King. It is surprisingly well written.
- I tried out "Tell The Wolves I'm Home" and I didn't find the writing clunky. In fact some of it was quite lovely and it was easy to read. I think any clunkiness probably comes from the fact this book should have been classified as a YA novel. Perhaps it wasn't because it takes place in the late 80's, and its themes of AIDS, gays & slight incest would probably make it a hard sell(for the parents) & she wanted to avoid any hassles about the topic.
So the writing was fine but I still decided to abandon this novel at 50%. I got irritated when I found out that the beloved dead uncle Finn had hidden his lover/boyfriend (in a basement) for years from his nieces & let him take the blame for causing him to get AIDS when it wasn't true and for Finn's family to treat him like a murderer not even allowing him at the funeral.
I just didn't want to read about a Gay martyr (Toby the boyfriend). Especially as I decided to read the end and saw that there was no end to his self sacrificing ways.
Also when June & Toby would meet, I kept expecting something to happen and pretty much nothing does. I'm not that crazy about sad stories in the first place so I decided to quit on this one.
As a side note, the theme of the girl being secretly in love with her uncle kind of reminded me of DL and the Uncle/nephew troll posts on here. I have this feeling if the writer had made it a nephew instead of a niece the story wouldn't come across as innocent as this one does.
- You didn't miss much, R583.
But really, there was no "slight incest." She had a crush on her uncle. No big deal.
I was the one who abandoned the book as "clunky," but the plotline about Toby-as-murderer sounds awful, really makes me glad about my decision.
These days I'm reading Christopher Hitchens' essay collection "Love, Poverty, and War" - whatever one may have thought of the guy's politics, and I'm sure he could have been a real jerk at times, but he could REALLY write!
- "Music and Silence" by Rose Tremain. Wasn't sure at the beginning, but it soon became quite compelling.
- "Destiny of the Republic" by Candice Millard, and "11/22/63" by Stephen King.
- I love this thread but I do wish posters who mention a new unknown title would, at least, write a sentence or two about the book's subject matter. Or if it's fiction or non?
Otherwise, what's the point? Do you really think everyone's just going to look up the title with so little encouragement?
- R551, Juliet Stevenson's reading of Jane Eyre is wonderful.
- Just finished Colum McCann's Let the Great World Spin. One of the best books I've read in quite sometime. Achingly beautiful.
- If anyone cares, Oprah has selected her next book for her book club. It's "The Twelve Tribes of Hattie"
- r589 Thanks for the tip. I've read Jayne Eyre a couple of times but hearing it from Juliet would be a great treat.
- I've started a pretty good novel called "Gillespie and I" about an elderly woman in the 1930's looking back at her involvement with a Scottish painter and his family when she was young (1880's). Interesting characters, including a "bad seed" girl.
- THE MAGICIAN KING was fantastic! Wow
- Why, R594? What was fantastic about it? Was it fiction? What enthralled you the most?
- R595, it's the follow-up to The Magicians. Which I really did enjoy, but The Magician King was so much better.
The world of Fillory was just really interesting to me. I'd describe it as an adult Harry Potter meets Narnia. He author does a really great job creating this world and I just felt a strong connection to it. Just like the main character.
It's an exciting, well-written book -- if you like fantasy books even just a little if check them out. One of the main characters is gay, too.
- "The Law" by Roger Vailland. Italian-Americans won't love it, but it was a startlingly powerful (and feminist) statement for its time.
And a scathing look at human nature in general.
- I just read, "The Last Policeman" about a detective who doggedly tries to solve what he thinks is a murder while the end of the world is nigh. An asteroid is predicted to hit the earth in 6 months destroying most of the planet.
What are Americans doing during this time of crisis? They're quitting their jobs, filling out their bucket lists and doing lots & lots of drugs of course. Surprisingly, not one person in the book tries to build a spaceship to land on the asteroid and detonate a nuclear bomb, at least not in this first book in a trilogy.
The murder mystery was quite mundane but I'm still interested enough to read the next book when it comes out.
- Could anyone who has read David Foster Wallace's fiction tell me what the fuck is so great about him?
I was reading a couple of fawning reviews of his biography because I was considering reading some of his fiction based on his reputation from people quoted in the reviews.
When I read his essays (Consider the Lobster)
it was some of the most logically disorganized, over the top shit I'd ever read.
I thought maybe the fiction worked in a way the essays didn't.
- "Could anyone who has read David Foster Wallace's fiction tell me what the fuck is so great about him?"
I haven't read anything by him because his work sounds boring and pretentious but I believe the reason he is considered as being so "great" is because he killed himself. Before his own choice to end his life I never heard anything about this guy, now he's all over the place. Pretentious use of the middle name too.