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Books you are reading - part 2

Does anyone have recommendations?

by Anonymousreply 30306/06/2016

Haruki Murakami - The WindUp Bird Chronicle

by Anonymousreply 112/12/2012

The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust

by Anonymousreply 212/12/2012

A Good American by Alex George

by Anonymousreply 312/12/2012

Please let us know a bit about the book. Is it fiction or non-fiction? Why did you love or hate it? Why do you recommend it?

by Anonymousreply 412/12/2012


by Anonymousreply 512/12/2012

Breakfast at Tiffany's.

I've never read anything by Capote and I didn't want to read In Cold Blood. It seems quite different from the movie version. I was shocked to see a Blacks referred to by the N word, and an Asian man referred to as a Jap.

On the other extreme, Holly Golightly makes light of lesbian relationships and suggests that people should be allowed to marry whomever they wish, regardless of gender.

by Anonymousreply 612/12/2012

Check out "The Wicked Education of Henry Holliday"...

It's a fun read - perfect for the "holidays" - and available on

by Anonymousreply 712/12/2012

I have that Murakami book on my To-Read pile, R1.

These days, besides "Gillespie and I" (which I mentioned in the previous thread), I'm tackling Christopher Hitchens' essay collection "Love, Poverty, and War" - highly recommended!

by Anonymousreply 812/12/2012

"Wolf Hall"...about Thomas Cromwell and his service to King Henry. A rough read, tons of detail but I am finding it hard to get into it. Let's just say it's not a "can't-wait-to-get-back-to-it" book.

by Anonymousreply 912/12/2012

r9 if it's any consolation, I couldn't get past about 100 pages of Wolf Hall. I really don't get the fuss on that one.

by Anonymousreply 1012/12/2012

In response to R600 on the other thread, David Foster Wallace was well-regarded long before his suicide. It definitely wasn't a case of unwarranted lionization based on a tragic event. One example: in 2005, three years before his suicide, Time included INFINITE JEST in its list of the 100 best English language novels since 1923.

by Anonymousreply 1112/12/2012


by Anonymousreply 1212/15/2012

The Wonder Boys. Sadly, I saw the movie (which I loved). But I am still enjoying the book, even though I can't read it without constantly being reminded of the corresponding scenes in the movie.

by Anonymousreply 1312/15/2012

"Check out "The Wicked Education of Henry Holliday"..."

Spare yourself. After repeated postings praising it, I broke down & bought it. I can only assume the author is the person recommending it--it gives fiction a bad name.

by Anonymousreply 1412/15/2012

"Former People - The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy" by Douglas Smith. Very interesting account of the Russian Revolution. This would probably be a good book for the 1% to read.

by Anonymousreply 1512/15/2012

A Perfect Time for Pandas

by Anonymousreply 1612/16/2012

Like half the nation, I recently finished Gone Girl. It's the best non literary fiction book I've read in a long time. Tight, tight writing, great premise. You could tell the Gillian Flynn enjoyed the hell out of writing it.

Now I'm reading Handmaid's Tale by M. Atwood. It's one of those books I've been meaning to read forever and am finally getting around to it.

by Anonymousreply 1712/16/2012

The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

When did referring directly to the reader go out of style? In a lot of older novels the author usually says something like "If It pleases the reader, let us now imagine...".

by Anonymousreply 1812/16/2012

Lorrie Moore's recent A Gate at the Stairs has a brilliant update of 'Reader, I married him.'

by Anonymousreply 1912/16/2012

Roget's Thesaurus

by Anonymousreply 2012/16/2012

R19 --

That Lorrie Moore book has been on my TBR pile for a while, so may work it in soon - thanks for the info!

by Anonymousreply 2112/16/2012

"Terry: My Daughter's Life and Death Struggle with Alcoholism" by George McGovern. I had meant to read it for a while and I picked it up after his recent death. It recounts how he and his family coped with their daughter's drinking problem. She was talented, loved and attractive, yet ended up freezing to death one winter night.

by Anonymousreply 2212/16/2012

I recently finished the first book in a mystery series set in Southampton, NY - "The Last Refuge" by Chris Knopf. While the protagonist himself is straight, he's a loner whose (essentially) only friend is a very wealthy, gay attorney. Some nasty violence, and I didn't really "get" the attraction for the woman who becomes Sam's gf in the series, but I'm interested in reading the next book; Sam himself is NOT wealthy at all, living in a modest house his dad built after World War II.

by Anonymousreply 2312/19/2012

Dr. Mary's Monkey by Hasslam. It's time I caught up and got in front of the latest conspiracy theories!

by Anonymousreply 2412/20/2012

Christmas reading bump

by Anonymousreply 2512/25/2012

Manhattan White Pages. I'm up to page 585.

by Anonymousreply 2612/25/2012

The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall

by Anonymousreply 2712/25/2012

Just finished the new John Irving novel IN ONE PERSON. The main character is bisexual and also like trannies. Wasn't my favorite Irving novel but still worth a read.

by Anonymousreply 2812/25/2012

I just received Jaron Lanier's "You Are Not A Gadget" via Amazon.

It was published in 2010, but warns against social media's hive-mind mentality and the internet's destruction of the middle class.

by Anonymousreply 2912/25/2012

I'm working on Traci Foust's memoir "Nowhere Near Normal" about her life with OCD. I feel sorry for her family having had to deal with some of her crazy shit; they finally can't take it, so she's sent off to live at the nursing home her grandmother manages.

Also finishing up the second Sam Acquillo murder mystery "Take Two", set in the Hamptons, where he's a longtime resident of modest means among the snoots. Better than the first one, although the occasional violence I find a bit graphic. Sam's a loner, with a gay "best friend" who's a very wealthy genius attorney, as well as a straight female (non-romantic) sidekick, who's a hoot, and later gets her own spinoff books. There's a romantic angle introduced that I found awkward, but luckily the author doesn't write sex scenes, so that's implied offstage.

by Anonymousreply 3012/25/2012

I loved Wolf Hall & Bring up the Bodies...once you get the language, they flow beautifully, I thought.

I wondered what made them so page-turning, and it occurred to me they're like Harry Potter for adults...but about Voldemort.

by Anonymousreply 3112/25/2012

Just bought Ian McEwan's latest novel Sweet Tooth.

Can't wait to begin it but I'm currently in the middle of Thomas Hardy's Return of the Native. Last year's favorite book was his Mayor of Casterbridge.

by Anonymousreply 3212/25/2012

Kitty Kelley's Unauthorized Biography of Nancy Reagan. Wow. A very entertaining eye opener.

by Anonymousreply 3312/25/2012

R23, I'm always on the lookout for mysteries. But when I checked it out on Amazon, it only had 15 reviews, mostly high-star. That is a dead giveaway to the self-published novel, with reviews written by friends. I fell for one of those and it was really crap. So I put a 2 star review on and the friends all attacked me.

The good news about your mystery, though, is that it has a review from Publishers Weekly and Book List, so that makes it legitimate to me. You might want to write a review on Amazon, R23, if you liked it. Even if I don't get the book from there, I always check the reviews. I'll be reading this book and thanks.

by Anonymousreply 3412/25/2012

Thanks, r11. You took the words right out of my mouth. Wallace's death was such a shock partly because he was so highly regarded.

Reading Anthony Burgess' Earthly Powers, based on Somerset Maugham and Lee Child's thriller The Enemy, because I need the contrast.

Just read and Loved Toibin's Last Testament of Mary.

by Anonymousreply 3512/25/2012

R34 -- if you don't really care for the first Sam Acquillo mystery, I found the second one easier to get into, but you need the first one for the backstory. I listen to them as audiobooks; Amazon tell you the name of the publisher!

by Anonymousreply 3612/25/2012

I read part of that, R33 and, after awhile it was too depressing to finish. I have found that Kitty Kelley's books have the evidence to back them up, but are slanted on the hate side. And I mean all of her books. Any of you have enemies. Think about a book written about you that included some standard stuff, but had a lot of input from your enemies. Yes, they'd be talking about things that really happened, but their view of them is skewed. Now take a famous person and there are more enemies and jealous people around them. Those are the sources for her books.

by Anonymousreply 3712/25/2012

r35 please tell us a little more about Toibin's latest book about Mary.

I loved his Brooklyn and The Master. Have you read them? How did this latest one compare?

by Anonymousreply 3812/25/2012

Love it that R1 was Wind-up Bird Chronicle...Murakami isn't to everyone's taste but if you like him, I can't recommend 1Q84 highly enough. Don't be daunted by the will wish it was longer. Unless you aren't a Murakami fan, in which case you will hate it.

by Anonymousreply 3912/25/2012

r38, I loved those Toibin books, too. This is a novella, a mere 81+ pages, narrated by Mary, who is a skeptical, observant woman not at all convinced Jesus was the son of God. She hates the zealotry of his followers, is afraid of his enemies, and tells her side of what happened at the Crucifixion. Her rendering of the death and resurrection of Lazarus is beautiful and haunting and scary. It was done as a one-woman theater piece in the UK and is supposedly coming to B'way next year starring Fiona Shaw, who would be perfect. A must-read for Toibin fans, who I think is one of our greatest living writers.

by Anonymousreply 4012/25/2012

Dick Cavett's latest. He's the only guy from Nebraska I've heard of who uses the word "shan't" in conversation. He's good though.

by Anonymousreply 4112/25/2012

When you post the novel you recommend, could you also say why you recommend it? Yes, I can google it, but I feel a lot more inclined to look up the title if you can tell why the book is fascinating. Thanks guys.

by Anonymousreply 4212/25/2012

The Hive by Charles Burns (graphic novel)

and London Particular by Christianna Brand because I am interested in the English "Golden Age" detective story.

by Anonymousreply 4312/25/2012

I just finished Sweet Tooth, which is now my favorite Ian McEwan novel.

by Anonymousreply 4412/25/2012

Are Murakami's books all about people who are dead inside?

by Anonymousreply 4512/25/2012

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is pretty fabulous. It was a sensation this year, and rightly so. It is ambitious and a lot of different things but above all a very sharp thriller and a terrific character study.

by Anonymousreply 4612/25/2012

Shadow Tag, by Louise Erdrich. A woman discovers her husband is reading her journal, so she fabricates entries in the fake one while writing in another kept in a bank lockbox. I've only started, but it's totally heartbreaking and merciless.

by Anonymousreply 4712/25/2012

Agree with R40, the Gospel of Mary was a very good book and gave an interesting perspective - Jesus as this religious zealot that his mother doesn't understand and his followers (who she considers losers) don't have his back, but try to re-write history after he dies a martyr's death.

Just got done reading "Code Name Verity" - it's actually young adult fiction (yes, a kid's book) but it's a very good book and a pretty quick read. I never read anything that smart or sophisticated when I was in high school!

by Anonymousreply 4812/31/2012

r41, I agree that some of the best fiction today is for younger readers, among them the Phillip Pullmann books and John Green's The Fault in Our Stars. So much better than when I was a kid.

by Anonymousreply 4912/31/2012

The Woods by Tana French

by Anonymousreply 5012/31/2012

White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

A driver in Delhi kills his employer and uses his money to start a great new life in Bangalore.

by Anonymousreply 5112/31/2012

"Winston Link: Life Along the Line." I am a fan of his photography.

by Anonymousreply 5201/01/2013

Is White Tiger fiction r51?

by Anonymousreply 5301/01/2013

1. THE HOUR I FIRST BELIEVED by Wally Lamb (the best book I read last year and now one of my all-time favorites). 2. IN ONE PERSON by John Irving 3. WATER FOR ELEPHANTS by Sara Gruen 4. BERTRAM COPE'S YEAR by Henry Blake Fuller 5. DROPPED NAMES by Frank Langella 6. HOT SEAT by Frank Rich 7. MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN by Ransome Riggs (another one that zoomed up to one of my all-time favorites). 8. A SEA OF WHITE IMPATIENS by Loren McLeod 9. WISHIN' AND HOPIN' by Wally Lamb (I cannot remember a book that has caused me to laugh out loud as much)

by Anonymousreply 5401/01/2013

"The High Window"--Raymond Chandler. Love those mean streets of LA

by Anonymousreply 5501/17/2013

Sir Thomas More. Utopia.

by Anonymousreply 5601/17/2013

Wally Lamb?

by Anonymousreply 5701/17/2013

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson

by Anonymousreply 5801/17/2013

Heads in Beds, Bruce (Springsteen), and Brain on Fire.

by Anonymousreply 5901/17/2013

I am proud to say that I am right now reading WAR & Peace.

Currently on Book Four...

by Anonymousreply 6001/17/2013

Touching My Father's Soul: A Sherpa's Journey to the Top of Everest. Jamling T. Norgay

Thanks to the Dead Bodies on Mt. Everest, I went to my local library and looked up any book. I have a few on hold but this one was on the shelf. I only read about 50 pages of the first chapter. Norgay climbed the '96 expedition and is the son of a sherpa. First thing that got my attention was before the expedition, Norgay sought the blessing of a priest or monk (don't remember book in the car and it's cold out) about the impending expedition. These monks or priests are often asked to bless or fortell any bad luck regarding an expedition. The monk/priest told Norgay the expedition was doomed.

by Anonymousreply 6101/17/2013

Over Christmas we watched the Oliver Stone movie Alexander, and it pissed me off so much, that I wanted to go back & re-read the Mary Renault trilogy.

I've finished Fire From Heaven, The Persian Boy, and I am now in the midst of Funeral Games, and I have to say that his is the saddest story I'be ever read in History.

Historical novels are a passion of mine, and Alexander is a particular favorite. I hadn't read these in 20 yrs. They still have such power, and evoke such emotions, that it lingers, it stays with you, and you feel the loss and the pain.

by Anonymousreply 6201/19/2013

I'm listening to Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl" -- everyone has an opinion on it, so I wanted to see what it's all about. Great narration, but man does she ever write creepy characters!

by Anonymousreply 6301/19/2013

I am about to begin Ian McEwan's latest Sweet Tooth.

Has anyone read it? Am I in for a good read?

by Anonymousreply 6401/19/2013

I read the 1980 Fodor's guide to Israel. Wow. Best Fodor's I ever saw. They just don't "write" travel books anymore, they "produce" them.

by Anonymousreply 6501/19/2013

Currenty reading the third in a five book series by Patricia Highsmith. I saw the film The Talented Mr.Ripley years ago, which was based on the first title.

The series follows a sociopath, Tom Ripley, through a few murders and crimes while he lives comfortably in society. Highsmith renders him somewhat sympathetically while never avoiding his amoral nature. In fact he seems to have morals at odd times. Very engrossing.

The Talented Mr. Ripley Ripley's Game Ripley Under Ground The Boy Who followed Ripley Ripley Under Water

by Anonymousreply 6601/19/2013

I feel Datalounge misled me in getting me to pick up "Canada" by Richard Ford.

by Anonymousreply 6701/19/2013

I'm on a Barbara Pym kick. "Excellent Women" and "Quartet in Autumn" are my favorites so far.

by Anonymousreply 6801/19/2013

I'm the poster who's going to Mexico City in a few months, so I'm reading "La Capital: The Biography of Mexico City" (1990) by Jonathan Kandell. I'm just past the Spanish conquest and the death of Hernan Cortes and it's fascinating.

by Anonymousreply 6901/19/2013

Barbara Pym is the best! I read all of her books as they were republished in the 1980s and just recently picked up Excellent Women for a reread. I was not disappointed.

I wonder why none of her books have ever been filmed for British TV?

by Anonymousreply 7001/20/2013

R70, Quartet in Autumn and Excellent Women would be good for British TV especially Quartet because it has four roles for older actors and they're on every street corner in Britain.

by Anonymousreply 7101/20/2013

Listening to audio of Pym's books, I'm sent into paroxysms of giggles over her character Everhard Bone!

by Anonymousreply 7201/20/2013

Finished Sliver by Ira Levin yesterday. Definitely not his best work, but a pageturner nonetheless - read it in one sitting. Good bit of easy reading after having read Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Now onto Les Miserables. Then back to some more Ira Levin. Any fans here?

by Anonymousreply 7301/20/2013

Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence. Dude did not know how to write good gay porn.

by Anonymousreply 7401/20/2013

Much of the humor in Pym is in the internal voices of the characters and narrators. Hard to capture in a screenplay. I agree that her novels are wonderful.

by Anonymousreply 7501/20/2013

Loved Levin's A Kiss Before Dying, Boys From Brazil and, of course, Rosemary's Baby but haven't read any of his others.

Are there others besides Sliver?

by Anonymousreply 7601/20/2013

It's mentioned in another thread, but thought I'd ask here among the bookworms whether you folks download library audio and ebooks like I do?

by Anonymousreply 7701/20/2013

I just finished Thomas Mallon's WATERGATE and thought it was great. I highly recommend it.

by Anonymousreply 7801/20/2013

Love Thomas Mallon! Henry and Clara especially, and Dewey Defeats Truman. He's gay, too.

by Anonymousreply 7901/22/2013

Thomas Mallon's Bandbox is also a fun read, much lighter than his other books.

I enjoyed his Fellow Traveler (about McCarthyism) and Dewey Defeats Truman but with my sadly lacking knowledge of political history, I was sometimes a bit confused by the storylines wrapped around those eras.

by Anonymousreply 8001/22/2013

R1, that is one of my favorite books of all time. Incredibly original and just an incredibly rich reading experience. Enjoy!

by Anonymousreply 8101/22/2013

I'm struggling to get through 'Freedom' by Jonathan Franzen, which surprised me because I really loved 'The Corrections,' and his collections of essays. But I hate the main character in this one soooooooooo much, it's like flames on the side of my face.

Does it get any better? Like, do we switch pov's to someone else at any point? I might drop it if it doesn't perk up in the next 20 pages.

I just finished 'Gone Girl' by Gillian Flynn and absolutely loved most of it, but found the ending not as clever as the rest of it.

by Anonymousreply 8201/24/2013

Has anyone read the Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St. Aubyn? I keep reading about the series since the latest one came out. Is it worth starting from the beginning and reading all of them?

by Anonymousreply 8301/24/2013

Carole King's autobiography. It's pretty good so far! She could have really trashed on Gerry Goffin, but she took the high road.

by Anonymousreply 8401/24/2013

R82, you and I may simply not agree on books. I liked FREEDOM so much more than I did THE CORRECTIONS (I could not stand Enid, mostly). So, of course, I think it gets better.

AFAIC, Gillian Flynn owes me whatever I paid for that POS called GONE GIRL, plus the hours it took me to read it. The only thing that saved it for me was picturing David Walton as the male lead (whose name, thankfully, I no longer remember). It may be the worst book I've ever read.

Now, are you going to finish FREEDOM?

by Anonymousreply 8501/24/2013

I liked THE CORRECTIONS overall (though I had many criticisms of it), but FREEDOM was so terrible I couldn't finish it.

by Anonymousreply 8601/24/2013

For me, both of Franzen's books had intermittently brilliant and then dull chapters/passages, very much based on characters I liked or didn't. But I ultimately felt both books were worth finishing and were very satisfying reads.

If any Franzen fans care, you may be interested to know that HBO shot a pilot for a miniseries of The Corrections but then decided not to pursue it and even the pilot will not air.

I tried reading the Patrick Melrose novels and read the first four but found the characters simply just too morally corrupt for my my refined tastes. I don't get why people love those books at all.

by Anonymousreply 8701/24/2013

r87: Completely agree with you about the Franzen books. The Corrections had several brilliantly funny chapters in the beginning of the book. Thought Freedom became a bit tedious as it went along, but certainly both were worth finishing.

Thanks for the Patrick Melrose tip. That's what I was wondering about. Why the hype, do you think? They sound quite gruesome.

by Anonymousreply 8801/24/2013

Thanks, R85, I'll take your advice and keep with it.

I enjoy Franzen's writing style, but yeah, he can create some pretty obnoxious characters. Patty is an embodiment of everything I despise in a lot of women. I just want to get out of her thoughts. She flat out makes me angry. I'm hoping we get more of Joey's story from his p-o-v.

For me, Flynn's book was more about her commentary on our perceptions in marriage and media, and how the literary world is shrinking every day. The plot was almost beside the point.

by Anonymousreply 8901/24/2013

Those having problems with Wolf Hall, i had the same thing initially but after a while you lock into the strange punctuation and (mis)use of pronouns, and i absolutely loved it by the end.

Also recently read the Wind Up Bird Chronicles - an interesting read. I found it worthwhile but not a book i would rush to recommend.

Just finished The Hare With Amber Eyes - real-life account of renowned potter Edmund de Waal's family history. First chapter was underwhelming but then it just becomes this fascinating and beautifully written family story spanning around 150 years.

by Anonymousreply 9001/24/2013

I've read 3 of the five St. Aubyn novels. They're well-regarded because they're astringent, funny, and beautifully written. If you're looking for warm and fuzzy and "characters I can relate to," then they're not for you. But they're destined, I think, to be modern classics, and I suspect many DL posters would relish the chilly bitchiness that suffuses the pages. One scene about Princess Margaret attending a dinner party is great and treats hr like the over-privileged dumb bunny she was.

by Anonymousreply 9101/25/2013

Re: St Aubyn. I've read the Melrose quintet with admiration, and would read them again. (For one thing I read them out of sequence, number three proving elusive.)

St Aubyn observes sharply, and evokes an unlovely slice of upper-middle class English life. Idealised it isn't: the author is an insider, and as the books imply, a survivor of his harsh 'privileged' milieu.

His range is narrower than Waugh, but the social barbarism of say 'A Handful of Dust' is still very evident. As you'd expect, the sex and snobbery are more overt. Book two explores New York, high and low.

The reader (like the author) doesn't want anything to do with the characters, but observing them has a dark fascination, and some laughs.

by Anonymousreply 9201/25/2013

R90, my problem with Wolf Hall is mainly due to the format I'm reading. I bought the paperback for 25 cents at the local thrift store. I enjoy the writing, Mantel is clearly talented. But the paperback print really affects my enjoyment of the story. But I'm too cheap to buy the e-book and unfortunately, Overdrive doesn't carry any of Mantel's books in e-book format. And the audiobooks are in WMA format only which doesn't work on either my phone or mp3 player. I'm about 1/2 through the book but set it aside for Cloud Atlas which was available from Overdrive in epub.

Thanks to all who recommended Cloud Atlas. What a fantastic read. David Mitchell really has a great knack for bringing the narrators to life. I loved all of the main characters, even those who annoyed me initially. But as the story went on, I really began to identify with and care about them. There are some really funny moments and there are some very exciting and tense passages. I haven't seen the movie but I hope those moments were captured well on screen. For those who have seen the movie--is it worth watching? It seems to have garnered very mixed reviews.

And are other David Mitchell books just as good as CA? Or close enough to warrant reading?

by Anonymousreply 9301/25/2013

Mitchell's Black Swan Green is miles apart from CA, but as wonderful. The coming-of-age of a young English boy. Ghostwritten s great, too. Haven't read his others yet. But I will. He's the real deal.

by Anonymousreply 9401/25/2013

Rachel Maddow - Drift

by Anonymousreply 9501/25/2013

Thanks R94, both those books are available on Overdrive and I have them on my Wish list. I'll get to them once I finish Wolf Hall...

by Anonymousreply 9601/25/2013

I had Ghostwritten on my Overdrive wishlist already, so perhaps I'll move it up on the TBR list.

by Anonymousreply 9701/25/2013

Just fiished War and Peace, Before that read Anna Karenina and Crime and Punishment.

Now onto The Dead Souls.. then Lolita...

by Anonymousreply 9801/25/2013

I have a long list of books I hope to read this year.

I'm starting with a novel, The Forgiven, by Lawrence Osborne. English couple are driving to an international jet set party hosted by a gay couple in the Moroccan desert. Husband and wife argue, he's had too much to drink, the car accidentally hits and kills a young Moroccan man. Complications ensue. Almost done, and very good.

by Anonymousreply 9901/25/2013

Just read HOME, Toni Morrison's new book. Amazing! Just under 150 pages, but has everything you expect from TM at her best.

by Anonymousreply 10001/25/2013

Just finished Jo Nesbo's latest Harry Hole thriller, Phantom. Loved it, but so dark!

by Anonymousreply 10101/25/2013

Just finished GONE GIRL -- hated the ending, had a hard time suspending disbelief enough that the villain was that clever in foolproofing all those plans, and have NO INTEREST in any sequel. Still, for those who are curious as to what it's all about, I'd recommend reading to get it out of your system. Hope that idiot Nancy Grace is royally pissed off at Flynn's skewering of her!

R85 -- I had a tough time believing that the husband wasn't bisexual, and absolutely could NOT buy the prissy rich St. Louis guy as straight!

by Anonymousreply 10201/25/2013

r91/92: Thanks to you both. Sounds like St. Aubyn is for me after all. Probably nothing like Alan Hollinghurst (he's not really a comic novelist) but the insider take on the upper clawsses reminds me a little of his earlier novels, especially perhaps "The Line of Beauty" and even his first "The Swimming Pool Library."

By the way, I recommend all AH's novels up through "A Stranger's Child," which I left halfway.

I read "Handful of Dust" years ago but remember it was very funny.

by Anonymousreply 10301/25/2013

I read the ridiculously overhyped Gone Girl a while ago. It was totally unbelievable and a waste of time. I cant believe so many people have praised this mess.

I read recently the Denmark mystery The Keeper of Lost Causes (it's called Mercy in the UK) which was very good.

I read a lot of mystery/thrillers and I've noticed that most of the modern ones will throw in at least one walk in Gay or lesbian character.

I'm currently reading a Thai mystery called Grandad, There's a head on the beach. The main character has a (flamboyant) gay friend who's a cop and in addition has a transexual (beauty queen) sister. This may turn out to be one of those overly quirky books but I like the diversity trend going on.

by Anonymousreply 10401/25/2013

R104, the audio narration of GONE GIRL is really, really well done! As another reviewer put it, "I loved the first 16 hours, the last three - NO!" It's fairly suspenseful, and who wouldn't like the trashing Nancy Grace got?

I tried the first of those Thai books, but the tranny sibling was a huge internet fraud character, and all around creepy, turned me completely off the book! If you want books with a good gay secondary character, try the Sam Acquillo mysteries by Chris Knopf, set in Southampton, NY.

by Anonymousreply 10501/25/2013

R105, I didn't read the first book but she says she's giving up her life of internet crime in this one.

I'll check out the Knopf books.

by Anonymousreply 10601/25/2013

r48 I know the author of Codename Verity - how cool you liked it!

I just read Gone Girl and actually enjoyed it but for the ending...

by Anonymousreply 10701/25/2013

I wonder what Flynn thinks of so many readers HATING her ending? I mean c'mon ... Nick behaves like a real jerk much of the time, but still ...

by Anonymousreply 10801/25/2013

My problem with Gone Girl is that it's totally ludicrous. There's no rooting interest as the characters are all unlikable so there's not much to keep you going.

The female character made tons of mistakes. There are at least 2 witnesses left alive. The timeline doesn't fit. The person accused of the crime lived in a different town and probably had an alibi as well. They also never once entered the crime scene residence so their DNA was never there and the evidence collected would never, ever match them. It would actually be a quite simple case to resolve.

A book that relies on the cops being total idiots and the criminal the most cleverest person alive usually sucks as this one does.

As for Flynn, I'm sure she's perfectly happy. There are lots of people praising her book and it's probably going to be a movie soon somewhere.

by Anonymousreply 10901/25/2013

r109 it is and she's writing the screenplay!

by Anonymousreply 11001/26/2013

I started and have almost finished [italic]Someday This Pain Will be Useful to You[/italic] by Peter Cameron. It's supposedly a young adult book, but seems a bit more adult than young, and it's not too bad overall. Close to [italic]The Catcher in the Rye[/italic] in form and tone. A little...much in places but short and it moves quickly, so 3.5/5.

by Anonymousreply 11101/26/2013

The two Stalin biographies by Simon Sebag Montefiore. I couldn't put it away. It's so informative, full of the most hilarious and vile anecdotes and very very well written

by Anonymousreply 11201/26/2013

Love Peter Cameron, too, and his latest, Coral Glynn, is very different from his others, a kind of Barbara Pym pastiche. Recommended.

I agree that Alan Hollinghurst's Stranger's Child is a bit of tough sledding, but totally worth it for me. I think he's one of the great prose stylists of our time.

by Anonymousreply 11301/26/2013

Love Cameron. His best are Weekend, Someday This Pain, and City of Your Final Destination.

Currently reading Truth in Advertising. Laugh out loud funny at times and rather poignant at others.

by Anonymousreply 11401/26/2013

I bought [italic]Someday this Pain will be Useful to You[/italic] and [italic]City of your Final Destination[/italic] together (one was used, one was in Amazon's bargain bin) and I'll start the other as soon as I'm done with [italic]Someday[/italic].

I'm the reader from the first BYAR thread who has been struggling with [italic]Infinite Jest[/italic] for months; I decided to shelf it for a while and read some other things.

Hollinghust. I have a copy of [italic]The Spell[/italic] with me. It's very short but every time I crack it open I find my attention drifting by the second paragraph. I haven't made it past the first page yet! I (generally) loved [italic]The Line of Beauty[/italic], so I expect I just need to plow through the slow beginning to find the good part.

by Anonymousreply 11501/26/2013

I, for one, thought Hollighurst's Stranger's Child was the best of his 3 major books.

The problem for me with St. Aubyn is I found NO humor in the Melrose books.

by Anonymousreply 11601/26/2013

Just finished reading "Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter", by Tom Franklin and loved it.

The story takes place in the 70's in rural Mississippi and Franklin brings his characters to life. Highly recommend this one.

by Anonymousreply 11701/26/2013

I thoroughly enjoyed Gone Girl (OK not the ending, but at least it was different).

I also really enjoyed "Crooked Letter."

by Anonymousreply 11801/26/2013

I listened to the audiobook of Coral Glynn, which was interesting, though a bit slight.

I tried listening to a gay mystery Fingering the Family Jewels, but the story is SO bad I'm going to ask Audible for my credit back!

by Anonymousreply 11901/26/2013

Currently on a fantasy kick, but still pretty new to the genre. I'm reading Patrick Rothfuss's "The Name of the Wind". A friend recommended his books to me, along with those of Steven Erikson, to tide me over until the next installment in the Game of Thrones series comes out.

by Anonymousreply 12001/26/2013

r115, The Spell is for me the least of his books, so you're not alone.

by Anonymousreply 12101/26/2013

Just started All This and Heaven, Too by Rachel Field.

It was a huge bestselling novel in the 1930s and recounts the true story and scandalous trial of a mid-Victorian French governess accused of murder. I bought the very handsome new paperback edition just recently reissued.

Bette Davis played the heroine in a much admired Warners film in 1938.

The author was the actual granddaughter of the portrayed heroine. It's an intelligent page-turner with highly evocative descriptions of the period....kind of a combination of Trollope and Wharton.

by Anonymousreply 12202/03/2013

The Year of Magical Thinking--so I didn't rush to read it, mostly because I'm not a Didion fan. However, it is much better than I anticipated, although I cannot imagine life with Joan--part of me keeps thinking that she gave John Gregory Dunne heart trouble.

by Anonymousreply 12302/03/2013

I just finished HHh by Laurent Binet. It's a fictionalised account of the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich and, once I got used to Binet's style, was an excellent read.

I'm going to move on to Quiet by Susan Cain next.

by Anonymousreply 12402/03/2013

R123 - I read both that one, and "Blue Nights" about the loss of her daughter. Joan sure had one hell of an entitlement complex!

by Anonymousreply 12502/03/2013

A Judy Garland bio called The Other Side of the Rainbow. It's horribly written.

by Anonymousreply 12602/03/2013

I started a Joan Didion book recently. Something about a river in the title. I got about 30 pages in and found that I couldn't care less about the characters, so I ditched it.

by Anonymousreply 12702/03/2013

For R85,

I wanted to let you know that not only did I finish 'Freedom', but that, like you, I loved it even more than 'The Corrections'.

Perhaps it was due to me feeling somewhat wistful and depressed lately, but by the time I'd reached the end of the novel, I'd found the Berglunds' story unbelievably poignant and profoundly moving.

Thanks for telling me to keep reading. Now, I'm debating whether I should pick up Roberto Bolano's '2666' next or something a bit lighthearted.

by Anonymousreply 12802/04/2013

I am reading Packing for Mars by Mary Roach. It is a nonfiction book about space travel and astronaut training. I had to stop reading it at lunch when she started writing about vomiting and hygiene (the lack thereof) in zero gravity. Gag me.

by Anonymousreply 12902/04/2013

I have been feasting on Larry McMurtry's Thalia series. The series begins with "The Last Picture Show." The latest entry is "Rhino Ranch." Following the lives of Duane, Jacy, Ruth, and Karla has been a treat.

by Anonymousreply 13002/04/2013

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, by Ben Fountain. By far the best novel of 2012.

by Anonymousreply 13102/04/2013

I listening to the audio of Ann Leary's "The Good House", read by Mary Beth Hurt - great story that I'm strongly considering getting as a print book as a gift for my mom.

by Anonymousreply 13202/14/2013

I'm reading "Rebel Land" by Christopher de Bellaigue. It is still self-serving, particularly around his reluctance to use the "G" word about the Armenian massacres, but it is interesting. I don't find him to be particularly intelligent, observant, or analytical.

by Anonymousreply 13302/14/2013

I'm finishing up The Wild Places, by Robert MacFarlane.

It's non-fiction about travelling to the last wild places in the UK.

It's not bad, but only has grainy B&W photos scattered throughout.

r129, I never thought of that--how do you vomit in zero gravity?

by Anonymousreply 13402/14/2013

A Cultural History of Shoplifting by Rachel Shteir.

by Anonymousreply 13502/14/2013

"Kiss the Girls: Make them Spy" by Mabel Maney

An original Jane Bond parody

by Anonymousreply 13602/16/2013

I recently finished The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. This one is about a man who manages a light house on an island in Australia. He marries a woman who's had problem pregnancies. One day a baby and a dead man washes up onshore. The story concerns what happens after this happens.

It's not for everyone as it's female centric family drama but the writing is beautiful.

by Anonymousreply 13702/16/2013

r135, I read that book last summer and was pretty disappointed with it. It wasn't very well organized--everything was just kind of mooshed together.

I just finished "Watergate" by Thomas Mallon, which I highly recommend. It's Watergate through the eyes of seven of those close to the scandal: Richard Nixon, Pat Nixon, Elliot Richardson, E. Howard Hunt, Rosemary Woods, Alice Roosevelt Longworth (who is hilarious), and one more of the burglars (I forget his name). The unexpectedness of the choices--and the focus particularly on women--made it really seem fresh and new.

by Anonymousreply 13802/19/2013

r138, is Mallon's Watergate a good read if you know essentially nothing about the scandal and the politicians involved in it?

I like some of Mallon's novels but they do require more than a passing knowledge of the various historical eras they are set in.

by Anonymousreply 13902/20/2013

I'm 1/4 of the way through Trollope's "The Way We Live Now" read by Timothy West, husband of actress Prunella Scales, and I'm hooked, lined, and sinkered! I had liked the BBC production starring David Suchet, but the book is a different experience.

by Anonymousreply 14002/20/2013

r139, I love Fellow Travelers by Thomas Mallon, about a gay relationship in the McCarthy period.

by Anonymousreply 14102/20/2013

Song of Achilles. Story of the demi-god through the eyes of his lover, Patroclus.

by Anonymousreply 14202/21/2013

R75 and R182, you must be batty if you like anything written by Jonathan Franzen. It's not writing, it's typing. Dude has never met a woman he didn't want ultimately to belittle. His sentences are pompous and self-satisfied. His characters are simpering and entitled.

by Anonymousreply 14302/21/2013

Trollope's The Way We LIve Now is one of the best books I've ever read.

Sadly, I've tried reading a few of his other books but haven't been able to get into them. Any other Trollope fans that might guide me?

by Anonymousreply 14402/21/2013

R144 -- Have you tried "Barchester Towers"? It's a hilarious satire, featuring two characters any gay boy ought salivate over: Mrs Proudie and Contessa Neroni (bitch and diva, respectively). You do NOT need to read its prequel "The Warden" at all, which I found quite dull. If you want an approchable, shorter, non-series novel, try "Dr. Thorne".

by Anonymousreply 14502/21/2013

I don't think there are any Trollope fans. I battered my way through Can You Forgive Her? when I was 18 (for fun), and I promised myself never again.

by Anonymousreply 14602/21/2013

All of the Barchester novels are worth reading. And as for me, I'd start with The Warden and read all the way through.

by Anonymousreply 14702/21/2013


Gone Girl? It was the worst! Poor, insipid prose and characters who, if you knew them in real life, you'd avoid like the plague. And the worst part (or maybe the best) is that it doesn't end, she just stops writing. It's the kind of bestseller that just makes me scratch my head.

by Anonymousreply 14802/21/2013

"Orphans is emblematic of what is wrong with Broadway"

I thought for sure you were going to cite the producers and Dan Sullivan for thinking for even a minute that Alec and Shia could share a rehearsal space.

Dan Sullivan admitted as much in his email to Shia.

by Anonymousreply 14902/21/2013

Thanks for the Trollope recommendations.

I did try reading one of the Barchester series but couldn't get into it.....can't even remember now whch one. But I'll have a look and try one of them again. The other one I tried and only read about 1/2 way through was The Prime Minister.

But The Way We Live Now....yes!

by Anonymousreply 15002/21/2013

Sorry, I made a mistake above! "Dr Thorne" is one of the Barchester titles (although would make a decent stand alone). For an approchable non-series Trollope title I meant "Dr Wortle's School" instead. I have no interest in the Palliser series at all, but understand that one of them "The Eustace Diamonds" can be read as a stand-alone, and comes highly recommended, so it's on my TBR pile.

by Anonymousreply 15102/21/2013

Sorry! r149 was obviously intended for the Shia LaBoeuf OUT thread.

by Anonymousreply 15202/21/2013

The new "Justin Bieber" novel, "The Love Song of Jonny Valentine" is excellent. So is John Lanchester's "Capital."

by Anonymousreply 15302/21/2013

Trollope's Can You Forgive Her? is another good stand-alone.

by Anonymousreply 15402/22/2013

Ship of Gold, non-fiction. The author goes back and forth between 1857, when the steamship Central America took 4 days to sink in one of the worst hurricanes of the era, and the 1980's, when a young engineer developed techniques to locate and recover its cargo of gold. A really fascinating true story.

by Anonymousreply 15502/22/2013

Anyone read The Dinner, the French book getting a lot of buzz here?

by Anonymousreply 15602/23/2013

Is that one about the dinner between parents of two nasty schoolboys? If so, no thanks!

by Anonymousreply 15702/28/2013

I third Code Name Verity. The audiobook is intense. Two Brit girl spies in WWII France.

by Anonymousreply 15802/28/2013

R156, I'm 2/3 through The Dinner. It will be interesting to see how he wraps it up.

by Anonymousreply 15902/28/2013

"Interviews with History and Conversations with Power." Orianna Fallaci. All her old interviews with the world leaders of the 70s. Amazing interview with Khomeini!

by Anonymousreply 16002/28/2013

Sordid Truths: Selling My Innocence for a Taste of Stardom - by Aiden Shaw.

Surprisingly good, but a little gross in parts as is to be expected.

by Anonymousreply 16102/28/2013

i like the books with pictures of happy fish

by Anonymousreply 16202/28/2013

A light and fluffy mystery by Ellen Byerrum called "Veiled Revenge."

It has gays in it. Two of them. I can't decide what I think of the characterization of the two men. Each is very flaming, but is it funny, the way they're written, or kind of mean-spirited?

by Anonymousreply 16302/28/2013

"I love Fellow Travelers by Thomas Mallon, about a gay relationship in the McCarthy period."

I am rarely moved to tears while reading, but the touching ending of this book had me reaching for the Kleenex.

by Anonymousreply 16402/28/2013

I'm reading Gersberms!

by Anonymousreply 16503/04/2013

r156 and r159, I read The Dinner yesterday morning in one sitting and LOVED it. Chilling, brilliant.

by Anonymousreply 16603/09/2013

By the way, it's Dutch, not French, r156.

by Anonymousreply 16703/09/2013

R166, I kind of agree. It turned out to be something quite different from what I expected.

I'm reading The Moviegoer now.

by Anonymousreply 16803/09/2013

The Making of the Prefident 1789. Hilarious.

by Anonymousreply 16903/09/2013

I'm reading Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey right now to calm my nerves during a very stressful period of work.

I must say, it really helps. And it's a lot more comical than I expected.

Perfect for reading a couple of chapters before going to bed at night to relax me.

by Anonymousreply 17003/09/2013

Gob's Grief by gay author Chris Adrian. About Walt Whitman and the aftermath of the Civil war. Lovely.

by Anonymousreply 17103/16/2013

I've finished Anthony Trollope's "The Way We Live Now", which despite being a long book, goes really fast, like a 100-chapter soap opera. There are two characters who are after the same woman, but seem like a gay couple to me: one is a "confirmed bachelor" except for the one girl, and the other practically squeals with delight giving fashion advice to a female character. As well as a bunch of young nobles whose interest in women seems rather desultory. Now, I'm about to go back to the second half of "Brideshead Revisited" read by Jeremy Irons. Repressed homosexuality and Roman Catholic angst = Good Times!

by Anonymousreply 17203/16/2013

"History's Passion: Stories of Sex Before Stonewall," edited by Richard Labonte.

Four novellas that explore male-male erotica/romance in a historical setting: "Camp Allegheny" by Jeff Mann (author of the magnificent "Purgatory") presents a love affair between two Confederate soldiers during the Civil War; "Heaven on Earth" by Simon Sheppard explores the erotic adventures of a criminal on the lam during the Great Depression; "Tender Mercies" by Dale Chase is set in a mining camp during the California Gold Rush; and "The Valley of Salt" by David Holly re-imagines the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. All four novellas are extremely well-written (especially considering the genre), though the first two are the best -- Mann is an astonishingly exquisite writer (he's also a poet), while Sheppard vividly evokes his time-period as well as offering a neat twist ending; Chase's tale, while well-written, suffers from implausabilities and, being that the author is a woman, a fatal misunderstanding of how men have sex; Holly's tale is a fun romp (Lot is the villain here) but the dialogue is incredibly silly. Still, if this genre is your sort of thing, I highly recommend it.

by Anonymousreply 17303/16/2013

I'm reading I Suck at Girls!

by Anonymousreply 17403/16/2013

I agree with R109 about "Girl Gone"; I get the whole trendy Nancy Grace, trial by internet thing, but I found the story preposterous in that the cops would have assumed she'd been kidnapped which would've involved the FBI who wouldn't be so quick to take "Amazing Amy's" word for it. Plus, the family would've offered a reward which surely would've attracted the two grifters. I have no doubt that it will be made in to a movie, but I just don't get the love for this book.

Anyone read "Dr. Norrell & Jonathan Strange"? Any recommendations for books like it?

by Anonymousreply 17504/24/2013


by Anonymousreply 17610/29/2013

I want to read on kindle this book 'Classic rock conspiracy theory: ‘Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon,’ the dark heart of the hippie dream', immediately!

However, i don't want to give money and buy it, i'm a cheap ho. I found it in PDF format for free, but PDF sucks, i cannot change the chapters with fuckin' PDF.

Could someone of you convert pdf to epub? I would really appreciate that.(Don't give me a link that explains how to convert pdf to epub, it's like Chinese to me!)

Below is the link with the book i want...please, take a look at it and you if you can find it in your heart and your mind skills allow if of course, find a way to put it somewhere in Epub format.


by Anonymousreply 17707/22/2014

Martin Booth's "A Very Private Gentlemen."

G. Clooney's "The American" is based on this book. Very well written.

by Anonymousreply 17807/22/2014

Thomas Fleming, "The Perils of Peace: America's Struggle for Suvival After Yorktown"

Really well written

Also, Guy Fregault, "Canada: the war of the conquest by Guy Fregault" (badly translated by Margaret Cameron)

by Anonymousreply 17907/22/2014

Julian Fellowes' "Past Imperfect" is sensational. I was looking for something to read and because I like "Downton" I figured I'd give it a shot, and it's wonderful. I'm looking forward to his other book "Snobs"

by Anonymousreply 18007/23/2014

Gods of Guilt right now. I like Michael Connelly and the Mickey Haller books are the best.

by Anonymousreply 18107/23/2014

Both Snobs and Past Imperfect by Julian Fellows are great. I also loved Beautiful Ruins.

I just finished The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer (good) and am about to start Speedboat by Renata Adler.

by Anonymousreply 18207/23/2014

Just finished [italic]The Maybelline Story.[/italic] Almost too incredible to be believable!

by Anonymousreply 18307/23/2014

Just started "The Goshawk" by TH White.

It's an old book by the author of The Once and Future King Arthurian trilogy.

White chronicles his struggles taming and raising a goshawk for falconry.

The prose is over the top in that dated Oxbridge way, especially the exposition, but the nature descriptions are good.

Some reviewers suggested White's struggle to tame, yet accept the raptor's temperament paralleled his own struggle with his homosexuality.

I don't know if that's explicit in the book, I'm not that far in.

by Anonymousreply 18407/23/2014

The Charioteer, by Mary Renault. I never read it before. I always thought it was one of Renault's novels about ancient Greece, like The Persian Boy and The King Must Die. Actually it's set in the months following Dunkirk and concerns a love triangle between a soldier and a naval officer, both maimed there, and a young conscientious objector who works as an orderly in a hospital where the soldier is recovering.

The story is as romantic as any I know, the more so because the language is precise and restrained and the narration, seemingly straightforward, turns out to be more elliptical than I originally supposed. There's nothing sentimental in it, and moments that seem headed toward treacle or moralizing unexpectedly take the opposite direction. I particularly enjoyed a party scene full of mean, predatory queens, which, as shrill as it is, surprisingly doesn't come off dated or homophobic, but funny, observant, and humane instead. (For a comparison look at the lurid gay bar scene in Allen Drury's nearly contemporaneous Advise and Consent.) Giving all her characters their due, Renault has a knack for letting them speak for themselves, even the least appealing of them. It's both a bildungsroman and a suspense story in which the hero's fate is up for grabs until the last page.

If anyone else here has read it, I'd love to know what you think and if there's any other novel like it that you'd recommend? I'm sad I've finished it, and I haven't felt like that in a while.

by Anonymousreply 18507/23/2014

Bird, thanks for mentioning the Mary Renault book. I've always heard good things about her work and I will definitely add it to my list.

On an unrelated note, I'm currently reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and I absolutely love it.

by Anonymousreply 18607/23/2014

Has anyone read any of the longlisted Booker Prize nominees for this year?

by Anonymousreply 18707/23/2014

No, but I just bought an advance copy of the David Mitchell book.

by Anonymousreply 18807/26/2014

I don't read a lot of literary fiction, but Dan Vyela's "The Crooked Maid" (set in 1948 Vienna) is turning out to be really good.

by Anonymousreply 18907/26/2014

Please don't bother with the Bookers. I think they proved they're back to nominating only tedious crap again.

by Anonymousreply 19007/26/2014

I'm reading California, which got tons of buzz on Colbert because of the Amazon/Hachette fight. It's from a debut novelist, Edan Lepucki, and it's pretty horrible. The author won the freakin' lottery (her book is number 3 on NYT Bestseller's List because of the Colbert push)! It suffers from "telling, not showing", unsympathetic characters, and it's simply dull.

by Anonymousreply 19107/26/2014

r185, I had a used copy of "The Charioteer" for over a decade before I finally set myself to reading it -- and kicked myself for waiting so long. Such a wonderful, deeply moving story, and you're right, it's one of those rare romantic triangles where you don't know which man the hero is going to end up with.

Racking my brain, books that are somewhat similar to "The Charioteer" would be Colm Toibin's "The Story of The Night" (excellent) or John Boyne's "The Absolutist" (less excellent, but still good).

by Anonymousreply 19207/31/2014

Just finished "We Are Our Brains: A Neurobiography of the Brain, From the Womb to Alzheimer's" by the Dutch neurologist D.F. Swaab, a fascinating, easy-to-read examination of how our brains work, told "chronologically," from it's development in the womb, through further development as we grow to adulthood, the perils of injury and ultimately it gradually shutting down due to dementia and Alzheimer's.

I think it's a must-read, not just because Swaab forcefully points out that sexual orientation is determined before we are born but also because he makes some strong arguments against the insidiousness of religion.

by Anonymousreply 19307/31/2014

R187, I didn't realize until I read the link below that this is the first year that the Booker Prize will be open to English language novels from any country.

by Anonymousreply 19407/31/2014

Reading the new Sarah Waters, The Paying Guests. So far so good.

by Anonymousreply 19508/02/2014

"We know where you live: a Maggie Garrett Mystery" by Jean Taylor. I forgot about these from back in the day.

by Anonymousreply 19608/03/2014

I like the below website for chinese books.

by Anonymousreply 19708/03/2014

Finished the new Sarah Walters, Loved it.

by Anonymousreply 19808/16/2014

"Bitch in a Bonnet" by Robert Rodi. I love his gay fiction, and this Cliff Notes style commentary on the books of Jane Austen, where he takes on her slobbering pack of Gandhi's, is a hoot!

by Anonymousreply 19908/16/2014

Bumping to say that I liked Part One of Rodi's essays, that I sprung for Part Two (a whopping $2.99). Also, about halfway through Christopher Isherwood's 1947 travel narrative "The Condor and the Cows" - not sure whether the photographer he travels with is gay or not?

by Anonymousreply 20009/01/2014

I'm finishing up David Mitchell's "the Bone Clocks" and though is all a kind of big mess, it's a glorious mess, I've really enjoyed it

by Anonymousreply 20109/22/2014

Last Exit to Brooklyn. If there are any better books about urban life made between 1950 and the 1970's, let me know.

by Anonymousreply 20209/22/2014

King of the Confessors

By Thomas Hoving

by Anonymousreply 20309/22/2014


by Emily St John Mandel

by Anonymousreply 20409/22/2014

"Station Eleven" is a beautiful, frightening book about the world before, during, and after a plague. The writing is magical.

by Anonymousreply 20509/22/2014

Finished Mary Miley's "The Impersonator" today, which may have been a better audio than print book. About halfway through David Farley's "Irreverent Curiosity" -- the search for Jesus' foreskin.

by Anonymousreply 20609/22/2014

Richard Dewhurst, "The Ancient Giants Who Ruled North AMerica: the Missing Skeletons and the Great Smithsonian Cover-up"

I had no idea tall people had been subjected to such a horrific erasure of history.

by Anonymousreply 20710/02/2014

Agree about Station Eleven. Totally mesmerizing. Same with Paying Guests,

by Anonymousreply 20810/02/2014

Almost finished with Shelley Winters' auto-bio, Shelley II: the Middle of My Century. It's long, about 450 pages, much like her first one. She's like an eccentric, worldly aunt who loves to cajole the kiddies with her stories, mixed with a female version of Commander McBragg. Loved both books. Sadly, the third installment was either never written or never published.

by Anonymousreply 20910/03/2014

The Dog by Joseph O'Neill - very funny and adroit tale of an expatriate in Dubai.

by Anonymousreply 21010/04/2014

Rene Levesque, "My Quebec"

by Anonymousreply 21110/05/2014

I recently finished Infinite Jest....whew. It felt like a chore in some spots, and when I finished I was pissed off about the whole thing. But then I found a great website where apparently dozens of very smart people dissected the book's timeline and made a great case for what actually happened.

I found this thread searching for readers of Station Eleven....I have this book on reserve at the library and hope to get my turn over the holidays.

I'm starting a biography today about Whitey Bulger..the mob killer who was recently apprehended living with his girlfriend near Venice Beach. Apparently there is a lot more to the story....he actually ratted out many other mobsters and had rumored help inside the FBI.

I love the DL reading threads and have enjoyed many great books that I discovered here. Thank you fellow readers!

by Anonymousreply 21211/11/2014

Currently on a major PD James kick: this woman was amazing, her series starring Detective/Poet Adam Dalgliesh actually became better - more profound - as she got older. Now how many other writers whose writing can be said to have improved with age?

Not many, I'm afraid...

by Anonymousreply 21301/26/2015

The late Baroness James of Holland Park:

by Anonymousreply 21401/26/2015

I'm reading 'The Girl With Glass Feet' by Ali Shaw. I usually prefer to read classic literature, but i gave this book a chance, because when i found out about its theme, i felt intrigued. It's certainly not a masterpiece, but it is very interesting and i feel glad that i'm reading this. Have you read it, or do you know about this book?

Ali Shaw was born in 1982, he is from England. Personally, i don't read writers who are that young, but i made an exception with this one.

by Anonymousreply 21503/15/2015

Deployed. NPR also did an excellent session on the book.

by Anonymousreply 21603/15/2015

You by Caroline Kepnes. Recent Brown grad (female) afloat in NYC and the hilarious but crazy bookseller who stalks her. Quite a good read.

by Anonymousreply 21703/15/2015

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. Slow-going, but powerful.

by Anonymousreply 21803/15/2015

r213, I'm reading The Maul and the Pear Tree right now.

by Anonymousreply 21903/15/2015

Finally reading "London Fields" by Martin Anus and love the characters. Dreading the Johnny Depp film version due this year.

by Anonymousreply 22003/15/2015

Powers' The Time Of Our Singing

by Anonymousreply 22103/15/2015

Pennsylvania Beautiful by Wallace Nutting

by Anonymousreply 22203/16/2015

Jean Chretien, "Straight from the Heart"

He was smarter than he looked on t.v. Or else somebody else wrote the book for him.

by Anonymousreply 22303/17/2015

Just wanted to thank you guys for all the great recs on here. Would not have read Beautiful Ruins or Gone Girl if it hadn't been for you.

by Anonymousreply 22405/07/2015

Didier Eribon, Returning to Reims.

by Anonymousreply 22505/07/2015

The Girl Next Door by Ruth Rendell (RIP)

by Anonymousreply 22605/07/2015

"H Is for Hawk" by Helen Macdonald. It's fantastic.

by Anonymousreply 22705/07/2015

"Andes" by Michael Jacobs. Dude really hated Bruce Chatwin.

by Anonymousreply 22805/07/2015

"The Great Migration" by German communist Hans-Joachim Diesner. Most interesting interpretation of the Germanic tribe migration period.

by Anonymousreply 22905/07/2015

Alistair Horne, "A Savage War for Peace, Algeria 1965-1962"

by Anonymousreply 23005/07/2015

Also reading A Little Life - big book. Some of it is grueling but I don't want it to end. Fascinating main character.

by Anonymousreply 23105/07/2015

R223) If you like books on Canadian politicians, read the autobiography by Svend Robinson. It was very entertaining. He details his coming out and his campaign to have discrimination on the basis of sexual attraction included in human rights legislation. Of all the books I've read on Canadian leaders (Rosemary Brown, Trudeau, Levesque, Broadbent), this was the one I most enjoyed.

by Anonymousreply 23205/07/2015

"London Fields" by Martin Anus

by Anonymousreply 23305/07/2015

I just bought that book, r230! What are your thoughts on it so far?

by Anonymousreply 23405/07/2015

Halfway through The Secret History by Donna Tartt, and I'm loving it. I'm tearing through it. I enjoyed The Goldfinch well enough, but I like this one a good deal more. I hope it doesn't fall apart towards the end.

by Anonymousreply 23505/07/2015

BF tells me he just bought me the new Kate Atkinson. Cannot wait to begin it this weekend!

by Anonymousreply 23605/07/2015

Sorry. I meant to write "sexual orientation" and not attraction. As I was typing, the same telemarketers who have been phoning for days called...again. I loathe those people, but I digress.

by Anonymousreply 23705/07/2015

If you like show biz bios, I just read two that I highly recommend:

All That Jazz; The Life and Death of Bob Fosse by Martin Gottfried

Madeline Kahn; Being the Music; A Life by William V. Madison

Both discerning and well-researched and seemingly done with the cooperation of family and friends.

by Anonymousreply 23805/25/2015

Another rec for "H is for Hawk". Great metaphors and use of language (the author is a poet and artist).

The Old Ways by Robert MacFarlane is another good one about the vanishing English countryside; not sentimental and a great writer.

He has a new one out, blanking on the title, that is well-reviewed.

by Anonymousreply 23905/25/2015

Is The Old Ways a novel? Please tell us a little more about it!

by Anonymousreply 24005/25/2015

r240 it's non-fiction about the ley lines, or old pathways that cut through Britain. He follows the paths outside his home into a journey that takes him through and around the cities.

In general, it's about the vanishing wild landscape of Britain, England in particular.

by Anonymousreply 24105/25/2015

A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki.

Ozeki references Proust's In Search of Lost Time a lot. I've never read it so I wonder if I may have missed out on some finer points of Ozeki's book. In any case, I used to live in Japan so it was a pleasure to read a book that is at least half set in Japan. The narrative parts by the teenage Japanese girl are the best, funniest and saddest. The Japanese soldier parts were the least enjoyable though they are meant to be the most important to the theme of the book. Overall, highly recommended. I look forward to reading more from Ozeki and I may even give Proust a shot.

I'm just about to finish Tom Rachman's The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. Another book I would recommend but I won't say anymore until I finish it. Just in case the ending is complete trash.

It's nice to have a run of two good books. I had been on a couple of months' run of some mediocre reads. The most disappointing being Hilary Mantel's The Assasination of Margaret Thatcher. I'll just pass on Mantel until she comes out with the 3rd and final book on her Thomas Cromwell trilogy.

I also have Kate Atkinson's "sequel" to Life After Life on hold. LAL was my favorite read last year so I'm a little wary God in Ruins won't live up to my expectations.

My next book is Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It was a NYT Top 10 book of the year for 2013. Again, expectations...

by Anonymousreply 24205/26/2015

I am battling my way through House of Leaves right now. I was nursing a sick dog all through the Memorial weekend (recurring pancreatitis) so I read a lot while she was sleeping.

The book is strange. Very strange. It is a sort of horror story within another disturbing story and the narrative switches back and forth frequently. There are a lot of strange footnotes, but unlike Infinite Jest they are included on the same page, so you don't need to flip around to find them.

The book is nothing like Infinite Jest though. It kind of reminds me of the format of The Blair Witch Project----people focusing on what happened previously to other people, with fake "hype" overlying the entire enterprise.

It's hard to find the book. I think it's out of print and the entire library system only had one copy that I reserved months ago. I'm looking forward to finishing it and then visiting a few of the websites that explore it in depth. That really helped me with Infinite Jest.

I already have Casebook by Mona Simpson waiting in the bullpen...

by Anonymousreply 24305/26/2015

R243, hope your dog feels better.

by Anonymousreply 24405/26/2015

Thanks R244. I would switch with her if I could...hate to see my little sweetpea in pain.

by Anonymousreply 24505/26/2015

Just pre-ordered In The Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

by Anonymousreply 24605/26/2015

Has anyone read EUPHORIA, a novel about an anthropological adventure in Borneo with a Margaret Mead-like character?

I hear it's great and I am thinking of ordering it on Amazon.

by Anonymousreply 24705/26/2015

In Montmarte, by Sue Roe

An account of the period after Impressionism in France. The photographs are good, and some of the descriptions are interesting, but it might be old hat to those familiar with the period.

IMHO, her other book, Private Lives of the Impressionists, was much better.

by Anonymousreply 24805/26/2015

Andy Cohen's book. It is more interesting than I expected it to be.

by Anonymousreply 24905/26/2015

I have, r247. Recommend it highly. Beautifully written and a wonderful, intelligent airplane read.

by Anonymousreply 25005/26/2015

Thanks r250! I just ordered it.

by Anonymousreply 25105/26/2015

Years of Rice and Salt

by Anonymousreply 25205/26/2015

Also intrigued by Our Town by Kevin McEnroe, son of John and Tatum. Getting dazzling reviews.

by Anonymousreply 25305/26/2015

In Bed With Gore Vidal.Lots of dirt on midcentury literati,politicos,and phoneywood. Quite entertaining. Sad end for a great wit.

by Anonymousreply 25405/26/2015

The Horne book on Algeria is well-written and dramatic if a bit less analytical than I would like.

by Anonymousreply 25505/28/2015

Loved H is for Hawk, which someone mentioned earlier on. Thanks for the rec. I did not expect a book about grief to be so uplifting, or funny. A beautiful read all the way through. Prefer it to The Goshawk.

Just re-read James Purdy’s In A Shallow Grave – still my favorite of his. So witty and moving. Pity the movie was such a disappointment. Didn’t capture his black comedy at all.

Read the first book of a Lord of the Rings style fantasy series The Charndras. Lot of gay and bi characters and refreshingly non-hetero-normative attitude. Took me a while to get into it but then got really suckered in. Not as dark as ASOIAF but similar depth of world-building.

Disappointed in The Miniaturist. Too saccharine for me and it never seemed to fulfil the promise of the beginning. Started to find it a drag by halfway through. Really had to force myself to read to the end.

Anyone else read The Children’s Act? The new Ian McEwan. I’ve liked most of his more recent books but I’m always worried he’s going to revert back to his enfant terrible period and it’s going to be dismembered bodies all over the place.

by Anonymousreply 25606/02/2015

I reading "A Little Life" by Hanya Yanagihara and I'm completely absorbed by it. The writing is really great - quite beautiful at times - and the characters are etched so realistically. I don't want it to end.

by Anonymousreply 25706/29/2015

NON FICTION: Just finished "Madeline Kahn: Being the Music, A Life" by William V. Madison - not very well written, but decently researched and "You Fascinate Me So: The Life and Times of Cy Coleman" by Andy Propst - far superior in terms of writing and a joy of a book to read. Going back to "Thornton Wilder: A Life" by Penelope Niven, which I just can't seem to get through.

by Anonymousreply 25806/29/2015

Listening to the audiobook "Bettyville" by George Hodgman . Resonates strongly with me as an older gay guy. Jeff Woodman does a great job reading; he also narrates Marc Acito's gay - themed novels.

by Anonymousreply 25906/29/2015

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Reminded me of my mom and her sisters growing up. The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks. Great true life story and medicine that reads like a mystery. This is where I leave you. The movie is not as good as the book, but I enjoyed both.

by Anonymousreply 26006/29/2015

"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" is one of the best non-fiction books I've ever read. IIRC, it's being made into an HBO film.

by Anonymousreply 26106/29/2015

I finished Rob Delaney's memoir "Rob Delaney: Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage." Very funny, as was his new show on Amazon Prime Catastrophe.

Will pick up A Little Life next.

by Anonymousreply 26206/29/2015

"The Rationalists: Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz"

by Anonymousreply 26306/29/2015

I just finished "Housekeeping" ny Marilynne Robinson and wasn't all that impressed.

Who's read "Gilead"?

by Anonymousreply 26406/29/2015

"The War of the Roses"by Dan Jones; it's a follow up to the "Plantagenets" though it's much more interesting and readable book. In a previous thread, some poster indicated indicated how GRRM heavily borrowed from the War of the Roses for "Game of Thrones" and it's certainly true.

by Anonymousreply 26506/29/2015

"Gilead" is fantastic. Haven't read the two follow-up books, however.

by Anonymousreply 26606/29/2015

Daughters of Joy, Sisters of Misery: Prostitutes in the American West, 1865-90 by Anne M. Butler

by Anonymousreply 26706/29/2015

"Housekeeping" was beautifully written, but ..... NOTHING happens - pretty much all setting and characters.

by Anonymousreply 26807/01/2015

What is "A Little Life" about?

by Anonymousreply 26907/01/2015

"A Little Life" is such exquisitely rendered prose - beautiful characterizations, huge moments of empathy between the characters - but it is a very hard novel to get through because of the painful descriptions that make up Jude's past. Jude is carefully written around in the beginning while the focus coalesces around the three other primary characters and their brief moments of observation about him. But once Yanagihara shifts the focus to Jude's backstory, it's some of the most devastating material I've ever read. Just ghastly. My heart aches for him as he were more than a character in a book.

An astounding achievement, especially for only a second novel.

by Anonymousreply 27007/21/2015

New Mark Merlis, "JD".

by Anonymousreply 27107/21/2015

Just finished "The Unfortunates" by Sophie McManus and really liked it. I've never read a book twice but as soon as I finished it wanted to re-read this one.

by Anonymousreply 27207/21/2015

Due to DL, I added Yanagihara on my book wishlist recently. Excited to read her books but a little worried they may be pretty heavy stuff.

The best book I read recently was Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Enjoyed the main female character's observations on race in America. She, like the author, is an African who immigrates to the USA as a young adult.

I just started David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks. I just finished a chapter where it gets seriously strange...I'm enjoying it so far. I loved Cloud Atlas but hadn't read any books by Mitchell. Cloud Atlas is probably my favorite recommendation from DL. I was afraid of a major let-down. Fingers cross TBC will finish strong. It's a pretty long book. I'm listening to it and it clocks in at over 24 hours. Many novels usually fall in between the 10-18 hours range.

I have Go Set a Watchman queued up on my library list but I'm pretty wishy-washy about reading it. I don't know if I want to go there...TKAM is my favorite book of all time.

by Anonymousreply 27307/21/2015

"Bettyville" - outstanding memoir by a gay man.

by Anonymousreply 27407/21/2015

The first 3 Agatha Raisin books by M.C. Beaton in audiobook format. Better yet, the BBC Radio 4 serial adaptations are narrated by none other than Margo Ledbetter herself, Penelope Keith.

by Anonymousreply 27507/21/2015

I've read all of the Agatha Raisin series. You have a nasty surprise coming in that the most recent one is read by someone very WRONG for the part! Roy Silver's character is quite awful.

by Anonymousreply 27607/21/2015

I can't possibly imagine playing Agatha anywhere nearly as well as Penelope Keith! Why the hell was she replaced? I'm very much enjoying listening to them on my commute to work. Am onto the 4th now. The Radio adaptations are funnier, plus they seem to conflagrate James Lacey and Sir Charles. I liked Roy Silver better in the Radio adaptation. But the books are great and I'm looking forward to listening to the whole series. The first one I actually listened to was a later one - I can't say I'm keen on Toni. She needs to be written out.

by Anonymousreply 27707/22/2015

Another recommendation for A Little Life. Agree that it starts slowly, but gathers speed, as well as impact. The cumulative effect is like taking several heavy blows the the stomach, but the overall effect is exhilarating. Not for everyone, though.

by Anonymousreply 27807/22/2015

Seveneves by Neal Stevenson

by Anonymousreply 27907/22/2015

“A Little Life” is a very dark and disturbing novel. It took me to places that I thought I’d never go in literary fiction and held me there, forcing me to take it in just as the characters had to. What really impressed me most about it was the pacing and the slow reveal of the horror at the center. But also the beautiful, sometimes fleeting, moments of kindness between the characters. It’s an exquisitely written novel and I’m emboldened enough to say that it’s the best book I’ve read in at least a decade. It can be very upsetting/unsettling though. I agree with R278 that it is not for everyone. Jude St. Francis is an instantly iconic character.

I read an article recently arguing that it is the “great gay novel” of the millennium which is interesting to me considering the deft (at times, casual?) way that sexuality is handled and (to a certain extent) revealed about the characters. Sexuality does not seem defining, but is used as a way to draw characters together, explore connections in a dark world.

by Anonymousreply 28007/28/2015

Thanks, R280. I just ordered it.

by Anonymousreply 28107/28/2015

I'm just as haunted by the book as you are, R280. It's the best book I've read in ages, too.

by Anonymousreply 28207/28/2015

Just finished "The Origin of the Brunists," about a small midwestern mining town that experiences a disaster then finds itself home to a weird apocalyptic cult. Focuses on the different people in town and how they react to what's happening around them. Pretty good, if not flabbergasting.

"Between the World and Me," which I'm finding every bit as good as I'd been told. Very moving.

by Anonymousreply 28307/28/2015

[quote]"Rob Delaney: Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage."

He's trying too hard.

by Anonymousreply 28407/28/2015

Thanks r280. So glad you liked it. Went to a discussion with the author a few weeks back. She's lovely, and it's amazing to realize that she wrote it in 18 months, while at the same time holding down a full-time job. I understand her first book, The People in the Trees, is also terrific.

Interesting about its embrace by the gay community. A straight male friend who is a critic for a major newspaper loved the book, but says he's perplexed by its being called a gay novel—since, he says, "none of the characters is really gay." We had quite the conversation.

by Anonymousreply 28507/28/2015

"A Little Life" was just longlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize.

by Anonymousreply 28607/29/2015

Yes! I must say I was surprised, r286, but thrilled. That's quite the prestigious honor. Don't know many of the other authors, except Tyler, Robinson, and O'Hagan. Surprised about Clegg, since his memoirs I thought were only just ok. Robinson gets nominated for everything!

by Anonymousreply 28707/29/2015

R287, the two moments when the title is invoked in "A Little Life" are shockers. The first one hurt. But then when the second one comes along, you feel like someone just punched you in the gut.

by Anonymousreply 28807/30/2015

Edgwise - A Picture of Cookie on the author/actress/80s downtown club denizen...fuck Just Kids...this is the real book on how awesomely dangerous, edgy and bursting with bohemian energy NYC was back in the day. The pics are amazing too.

Teatro Grotesco - Thomas Ligotti...compendium of short metaphysical horror stories by a modern master. Akin to HP Lovecraft but def its own animal. It's freaking me the fuck out.

by Anonymousreply 28907/30/2015

The section titled "The Happy Years" in A LITTLE LIFE contains some of the most disturbing, graphic, horrifying things I've ever read in a book.

by Anonymousreply 29008/11/2015

I agree, r290. And I found it incredibly powerful and moving. Were you turned off the book for this reason?

by Anonymousreply 29108/11/2015

Oh no, not at all, R291. It was just an especially difficult section to get through (and that title is a bit of a misdirection!). I felt so bad for poor Jude (as well as Willem in the earlier part of the chapter as he tries to negotiate their new relationship). The writing is so vivid and the characters feel very much like real people to me. I think the book is a modern-day masterpiece.

Do you think it has a chance at the Pulitzer Prize? It's better than The Goldfinch which, of course, won two years ago.

by Anonymousreply 29208/11/2015

I read that the original manuscript of "A Little Life" was 900+ pages, and that the author's editor found Jude's suffering over the top.

Here's an interesting quote from Yanagihara about the book:

[quote]“Everything in this book is a little exaggerated: the horror, of course, but also the love. I wanted it to reach a level of truth by playing with the conventions of a fairy tale, and then veering those conventions off path. I wanted the experience of reading it to feel immersive by being slightly otherworldly, to not give the reader many contextual tethers to steady them.”

by Anonymousreply 29308/11/2015

I've read reviews from readers who said that they found the GOOD things that happened to Jude more believable than the bad things.

Should we have a thread devoted just to "A Little Life"? I would like to hear more readers' opinions.

by Anonymousreply 29408/11/2015

I really love Yanagihara's explanation at R293. That makes a lot of sense. The Atlantic astutely pointed out something similar in their review:

[quote]To understand the novel’s exaggeration and its intense, claustrophobic focus on its characters’ inner lives requires recognizing how it engages with aesthetic modes long coded as queer: melodrama, sentimental fiction, grand opera.

R294, I'm all for an "A Little Life" thread. I'd really like to discuss the novel with others who've read it and don't want to derail here.

by Anonymousreply 29508/11/2015

Since it's longlisted for the Booker, I'm sure it will get awards attention elsewhere, but I suspect it's a bit raw for the Pultizer. National Book Award, maybe or the NBCC award.

by Anonymousreply 29608/11/2015

Whose going to win the Pulitzer? Paul Beatty? Lauren Groff? Hanya Yanagihara? Donald Hammam?

by Anonymousreply 29704/14/2016

Hey, my Datalouge buddies, guess what i started reading, the night before.

It's so interesting, highly recommended and not boring in the least!

by Anonymousreply 29805/29/2016


by Anonymousreply 29905/29/2016

The Midnight Assassin by Skip Hollandsworth. Interesting book about a serial killer in 1800s Austin, Texas

by Anonymousreply 30005/29/2016

Has anyone read Rules of Civility? I'm enjoying it quite a bit so far.

by Anonymousreply 30106/06/2016

No, i haven't read it.

by Anonymousreply 30206/06/2016


by Anonymousreply 30306/06/2016
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