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What Books Are You Reading in 2019? Part 2

Please continue to share with us the writings you read this year.

by Anonymousreply 39513 hours ago

Previous thread

by Anonymousreply 103/05/2019

Does anyone have any guesses as to what might be nominated for a Lambda Literary Award (a "Lammy") this year for gay fiction? The nominations are supposed to be announced this week.

by Anonymousreply 203/05/2019

Is The Great Believers eligible this year?

by Anonymousreply 303/05/2019

Yes, R3. It's on the longlist of eligible books (under Gay Fiction).

Several books that have been discussed in the last thread are also on it.

by Anonymousreply 403/05/2019

Ooh thanks for posting that, r4.

by Anonymousreply 503/05/2019

Sorry for starting a similar thread, Please ignore it and post here.

by Anonymousreply 603/05/2019

R6, I’m a huge fan of William Trevor. I started to read him after watching the movie of MY HOUSE IN UMBRIA with Maggie Smith and Chris Cooper, which was much more subversive than the poster and advertising of Maggie Smith in a period movie in Italy would suggest.

by Anonymousreply 703/05/2019

“Anything is Possible” by Elizabeth Strout, which is one of those books where it becomes painful to see how few pages I have left to read every night....

by Anonymousreply 803/05/2019

Agree about Trevor. Sorry he didn't win the Nobel.

by Anonymousreply 903/05/2019

I'll look for a paperback of My House in Umbria. I'll be eager to read more Trevor soon.

Thank you, r7.

by Anonymousreply 1003/05/2019

[quote]Lawn Boy, Jonathan Evison, Algonquin Books

Another gay novel named Lawnboy?

by Anonymousreply 1103/05/2019

I own a few of the Lambda long list but have only read The Great Believers.

by Anonymousreply 1203/05/2019

First, as anyone read any Lori Lansens?

I am currently alternating The Librarian by Salleu Vickers, Motel Lige by Willy Vlautin and reading a chapter a night from The Labours of Hercules by Agatha Christie. I have never read a Poirot before.

On a lighter note, I have a copy of a gay romance called Red White And Royal Blue. Yes, it’s written by a woman so I assume Kosoko Jackson won’t approve.

It’s about the First Son of the first female President who attends Georgetown and lives in the White House (in Malia’s old bedroom). He has a rivalry with the similarly aged Henry, Prince of Wales, heir to the throne. Will their hate turn into love-hate? etc etc seems to be the premise.

by Anonymousreply 1303/06/2019

Toward the end of the previous thread, someone was talking about Sharon Kay Penman. Penman is a difficult one to judge. I respect the vast amount of research she clearly does. But her prose is dull, and her books are very, very staid and frauish. One of my peeves with SKP is her need to have her medieval characters bathing all the time. It's her one glaring anachronism, but I think she does it so that her readers won't be grossed out during the sex scenes. There's even bathtub sex (tame, frauish bathtub sex.) And of course, she never goes anywhere near gay relationships. I don't think that even her book about Richard the Lionheart had any hints of homosexuality.

That said, most other writers of histfic make SKP look like a Booker Prize winner.

by Anonymousreply 1403/06/2019

I have Wolf Hall at home because i use to read Booker winners (well not necesarily winners, i generally read at least a couple of books of Booker, NBA and Women's prize long list) but i didn't even try it yet. I'm not a big fan of historical novels, and Wolf Hall is not a short novel.

Right now i'm on the mood for my yearly reading of John Connoly's Charlie Bird series

by Anonymousreply 1503/06/2019

just finished Surprising Myself by Christopher Bram. what a delightful book. full of laughter and love and the world's most dysfunctional family. had to track it down on Amazon. no library seemed to have it. has moved to the top of my favorite book list.

by Anonymousreply 1603/06/2019

R14 I compare reading Penman with eating a big slab of dry pound cake. It sits on your stomach until you have recourse to a dose of alka seltzer.

by Anonymousreply 1703/06/2019

The Bogdanovich thread has inspired me to purchase Daisy Miller by Henry James on Audible. I will listen to it this weekend as I have a few hours driving to get through.

by Anonymousreply 1803/06/2019

Thanks to the Elizabeth Holmes thread, I bought Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John about the Theranos shit show.

by Anonymousreply 1903/07/2019

Interesting. Lots of great books on that longlist were snubbed by the Lambda Literary Awards committee for fiction: The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai, A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne (I'm reading his The Heart's Invisible Furies right now and it is exceptional), Tin Man by Sarah Winman, Read by Strangers by Philip Dean Walker, etc.

The Makkai omission reminds me when they snubbed Tim Murphy for the brilliant Christodora.

by Anonymousreply 2003/08/2019

I'm reading Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington. I read The Magnificent Ambersons last year and was a bit disappointed. But then read some comments about how AA was his best novel (and I think it won him a Pulitzer).

It's like he wrote it for Katharine Hepburn, even though he obviously couldn't have known her in 1921.

I read a lot of late 19th century and early 20th century British literature and it's interesting how truly "homegrown" American authors of the same period sound like Tarkington, Sinclair Lewis and Theodore Dreiser in comparison. Mark Twain, too, of course. But then I don't find Edith Wharton usually has that quality....she always seems more British. She doesn't indulge much in American slang.

by Anonymousreply 2103/08/2019

friend just gave me My Own Country by Abraham Verghese. AIDS doctor. well reviewed. but i'm expecting a rough reaction to the story.

by Anonymousreply 2203/08/2019

Even Pauline Kael said good stuff about Hepburn in Alice Adams.

by Anonymousreply 2303/09/2019

Wharton was to the manor born and lived a great deal of time in Europe. She hung out with Henry James, who would have considered slang "vulgar."

by Anonymousreply 2403/09/2019

The Library Book by Susan Orlean. Well written account of the Los Angeles Library fire. An interesting and fun read.

by Anonymousreply 2503/10/2019

I'm nearly finished with "The Diary of a Bookseller" by Shaun Bythell. Some reviewers have found him a bit "attitudinal", but I find him funny. Does a great job showing the book biz in the days of Amazon.

by Anonymousreply 2603/11/2019

r26 he has a sequel coming out soon "Confessions of a Bookseller".

by Anonymousreply 2703/11/2019

He does? I can find nothing about it.

by Anonymousreply 2803/11/2019

I just finished Booth Tarkington's ALICE ADAMS.

Highly recommended for DL readers. Alice is a character who could easily be a poster here. But beware: I bought a paperback on Amazon and it's one of those very cheap editions that look like it was created by the high school mimeograph machine.

by Anonymousreply 2903/12/2019

ALICE is part of the upcoming Library of America Tarkingtion volume.

by Anonymousreply 3003/12/2019

I was at The Strand Book Store today and picked up a paperback they were featuring called The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, a first novel by Natasha Pulley.

It looks like fun, a historic novel about a Victorian telegrapher who works at the Home Office and gets caught up in Irish revolutionary bombings at Scotland Yard. Many great reviews and blurbs all over the cover and front pages.

by Anonymousreply 3103/12/2019

just starting Ladder to the Sky. so damn enjoyable! M gored by Gore!

by Anonymousreply 3203/13/2019

I enjoyed A Ladder to the Sky but I thought it could have benefitted from a little more subtlety.

by Anonymousreply 3303/13/2019

Me too. Thought it was a good airplane book. Nothing wrong with that, though.

by Anonymousreply 3403/14/2019

I'm reading "Small Fry" by Steve Jobs' daughter. It's starting to feel like Augusten Burroughs' book about his creepy dad "A Wolf At The Table".

Maybe fathers aren't such a good idea.

by Anonymousreply 3503/14/2019

thanks to a mention on the inside flap of A Ladder to the Sky, i have just picked Highsmith's trilogy of Ripley books.

by Anonymousreply 3603/15/2019

R36, there are five Ripley books, not three.

by Anonymousreply 3703/15/2019

I have Tessa Hadley's "Bad Dreams and other stories" on my eReader for times when I want a story or two, instead of a continuous narrative. Now that I've gone through four or five of them, I would say that the writing quality remains consistently high, although overall it seems a repeating theme of innocent younger women and not-so-innocent older men. In my opinion, the female lead characters could generally stand in for gay male ones.

by Anonymousreply 3803/15/2019

The Ripley books are divine.

by Anonymousreply 3903/15/2019

I'm reading Manhattan Beach, very different from previous Egan's books

by Anonymousreply 4003/15/2019

Beware Manhattan Beach.

It starts with a bang and ends with a whimper.

by Anonymousreply 4103/15/2019

I am reading Frank Langella’s celebrity tell all.

by Anonymousreply 4203/15/2019

"Wharton was to the manor born and lived a great deal of time in Europe. She hung out with Henry James, who would have considered slang "vulgar"

Plus her life experience, while not necessarily tragic in itself, certainly gave Wharton a more reserved and formal POV of the human condition, IMO.

by Anonymousreply 4303/15/2019

If memory serves, Langella did not care for a certain Actors Studio guru, which I found surprising.

by Anonymousreply 4403/15/2019

I listen to the audio of Langella's book which worked out well with him being an actor and all. Definitely recommended.

by Anonymousreply 4503/15/2019

Working on an Agatha Christie stand-alone novel: They Came to Baghdad. The grifter gal seems like she'd be popular with Dataloungers.

by Anonymousreply 4603/18/2019

Just finished 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day" by Winifred Watson. Such a lovely book, breezy, funny, witty. Though it does have a couple of anti-Semetic references, which is a pity.

by Anonymousreply 4703/18/2019

really enjoyed Trevor Noah's Born a Crime. what an early life that man had.

by Anonymousreply 4803/18/2019

Started Old Filth from Jane Gardam and am enjoying it.

Also started a series of books from Mathew Hall, the first one is called The coroner. It is about a female coroner in Bristol that is a pill popping mess but it is strangy engaging and original for a crime series.

by Anonymousreply 4903/19/2019

R47 Loved the film. I may give the book a go.

R46 They Came To Baghdad is probably my favourite Agatha Christie stand-alone. It’s like a screwball comedy. Had it been published in the 1930s it could have been made into a film by Alfred Hitchcock and the last of The Lady Vanishes.

I laugh at the description of when the grifter protagonist attends the interview at the Savoy, and seeing a woman in a neat tweed suit, gleefully wants to rip it off her. And how she lives entire on free gin and olives at the hotel bar of her Baghdad hotel. I listened to the audiobook with Emilia Fox, who was hilariously good.

by Anonymousreply 5003/19/2019

It always surprises me to think how few of the Christie books, including the Poirots and Marples, were made into films until the 1980s. Perhaps because the ones that were filmed were produced as cheap B pictures? It wasn't until Murder on the Orient Express that producers realized they needed superb all-star casting and expensive production design to carry the silly plots?

by Anonymousreply 5103/19/2019

It's Emilia Fox's narration I'm listening to actually. Need to see a print copy to see the spelling of (phonetic) "Chlangow" where the ch is pronounced as in Scottish "loch"? Was thinking earlier that the story reminds me a bit of Graham Greene's "Our Man in Havana" and "Scoop".

by Anonymousreply 5203/19/2019

R51, good question. Maybe because until then most of the adaptations were pretty dismal?

Also, much as I love Agathe Christie, her international spy stories are the worse of her books, including the Baghdad one (though they can be enjoying as well).

by Anonymousreply 5303/19/2019

I am starting Game Of Thrones and am not loving it. I liked Season 3 best so perhaps I should skip ahead to that book.

by Anonymousreply 5403/22/2019

Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art.

Enjoying it, particularly since Mary Gabriel refers to the Museum of Modern Art as "the Modern," which is what I always called it, and thought it was called, instead of the annoying MoMA acronym. I had wondered if I were crazy: "the Modern"? One friend of mine actively makes fun of me for calling it that, the little parvenu.

by Anonymousreply 5503/22/2019

I'm bingeing on William Trevor's 200 page novellas. End of Summer, The Old Boys, The Children of Dynmouth, Felicia's Journey, all highly compelling.

Though not mystery/thrillers, his writing style is not unlike DL fave Ruth Rendell's.

by Anonymousreply 5603/22/2019

Finally finished this biography on Wittgenstein.

He sounds like a major self-hating semi-closeted pain-in-the-ass uptight DIVA.

by Anonymousreply 5703/22/2019

^ Also: Straight men really should not be allowed to write biographies on Gay men.

They really have no fucking clues the kind of problems - familial, social/political , personal - that we face.

by Anonymousreply 5803/22/2019

Well, that's just silly, r58. As if all game men faced the same problems. Does that apply to women writing about men and vice versa?

by Anonymousreply 5903/22/2019

Well, I should have qualified by saying that only gay men should write biographies about gay PHILOSOPHERS.

And there’re only about two Gay Philosophers of note of 20th century: Wittgenstein and Foucault.

by Anonymousreply 6003/22/2019

Right, And only gay actors should play gay characters, and only black authors should write about black experience and only Mexican chefs should open taquerias.

by Anonymousreply 6103/22/2019

Don’t be dense. As I’ve said, in my qualification at r60: there are only TWO Gay Philosophers in the 20th century that are worth writing biographies about.


Did you get it: TWO?

I said nothing about the other types, whether it’s writers or actors.

by Anonymousreply 6203/22/2019

And the irony: on a thread about reading, there’s seems to be a glaring lack of reading comprehension, and understanding of qualifications.

by Anonymousreply 6303/22/2019

^ * there seems

by Anonymousreply 6403/22/2019

It was total shithouse!

by Anonymousreply 6503/22/2019

A random thrift shop find, "Hello Dubai", a travelogue by Joe Bennett.

A really clever read, great turns of phrasing on every page. Bennett doesn't look down on his subject matter too much, he kind of has a love of the absurdity of modern life like JG Ballard had. Bennett is rather philosophical and sociological. The Filipina maid in a soulless mall food court is wonderful.

by Anonymousreply 6603/22/2019

R65 Very funny. "For entertainment they'd poke cobwebs or read books - being alive was like being dead. "

by Anonymousreply 6703/23/2019

I just started Shape of Water and so far am enjoying it. I have Becoming on my library wait list. I just finished Jane Harper's (The Dry) new book Force of Nature. It was all right but not as good as her first.

by Anonymousreply 6803/23/2019

I didn't even think The Dry was very good. Very overrated IMHO. I never understand how some of these mediocre books by unknown authors become bestsellers.

by Anonymousreply 6903/23/2019

Just picked up an advance copy of Louis Bayard's COURTING MR. LINCOLN. About Abe's love for Joshua Speed. Scheduled to be published in April. Can't wait to see how he handles the subject! Have enjoyed some of Bayard's early works.

by Anonymousreply 7003/23/2019

Sorry to re-ask if this has already been asked, but does anyone know when the third Wolf Hall book will be published?

by Anonymousreply 7103/23/2019

Trump is reading....

by Anonymousreply 7203/23/2019

I'm interested in reading Louis Bayard as I enjoy historical fiction. What would be his best book for a beginner?

by Anonymousreply 7303/23/2019

I really enjoyed Your Friend Forever, A. Lincoln: The Enduring Friendship of Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed. Very well researched and a moving examination of male friendship.

by Anonymousreply 7403/24/2019

I enjoyed his MR. TIMOTHY, a sequel to CHRISTMAS CAROL, but I first encountered his early work when he was writing contemporary novels, like FOOL'S ERRAND and ENDANGERED SPECIES. He's pretty prolific, so you have a lot to choose from.

by Anonymousreply 7503/24/2019

I have had the audio of Mr Timothy on my TBR pile for a while.

by Anonymousreply 7603/24/2019

I continue reading Ninth Street Women. It's a big one, though—someone actually complained on Amazon how heavy the real book is—and I was only 13% through last time I looked. I'm enjoying it, but it's taking forever. I think I'm going to add a third book to my current pile.

by Anonymousreply 7703/24/2019

about 1/3 way thru the final (?) Expanse novel by Corey, "Tiamat's Wrath". trying to take it slow, because it might be my last visit with these characters, but having to speed thru because i'm enjoying it so.

by Anonymousreply 7803/29/2019

Any other A.M. Homes fans here?

I loved her earlier novels Music for Torching and This Book Will Save Your Life, but her most recent one, May We Be Forgiven (2015) is just awful. Unfunny and amateurish, I don't think I want to read any more after just 25 pages or so. I'm especially disappointed and perplexed because the paperback is filled with great blurbs on the covers and front pages.

Sometimes I think most authors really only have 2 or 3 great books in them.

by Anonymousreply 7903/29/2019

I only read The end of Alice and i hated hated hated it. It's the kind of novel the writer want the reader to feel uncomfortable just for the sake of it. When she forget that premise she proves she is a capable writer.

I wanted to read Music for torching but it was out of print here

by Anonymousreply 8003/29/2019

I am buying Dreyer's English and am about to dig into the text. It's right down my alley!

by Anonymousreply 8103/29/2019

Because of all the favorable chat upthread, I'm wanting to reread some of my favorite Ruth Rendells (and Barbara Vines) of years past. I'm starting with The Chimney Sweeper's Boy. Can't wait to cuddle down this weekend and get back into it.

by Anonymousreply 8203/29/2019

Corey's "Tiamat's Wrath" was said to be the last of the Expanse series. but there are so many threads left unraveled that you could weave a carpet with them. so i hope to god they plan more. especially to answer the Amos question!

by Anonymousreply 8303/31/2019

[quote]“Anything is Possible” by Elizabeth Strout, which is one of those books where it becomes painful to see how few pages I have left to read every night....

Thanks so much for your recommendation, R8. I had the same reaction you did, only I have much less self control so I ended up finishing the book in one sitting. She is such an insightful writer, and her pose is beautiful, powerful, and lyrical. After finishing "Anything Is Possible," I rushed to my library to borrow a copy of her novel "My Name is Lucy Barton," which contains many (most?) of the same characters. I highly recommend "Lucy Barton" to you if you haven't already read it. I finished that book in two sittings, and now I'm reading "Olive Kiterridge." Thanks so much again for introducing me to an author I had never read!

by Anonymousreply 8404/01/2019

[quote]The Makkai omission reminds me when they snubbed Tim Murphy for the brilliant Christodora.

I had the pleasure of reading both books and I totally agree your comment.

by Anonymousreply 8504/01/2019

^^totally agree WITH your comment^^

by Anonymousreply 8604/01/2019

[QUOTE]I had the pleasure of reading both books and I totally agree your comment. R85, the Lambda Literary award nominations are always slightly problematic and I'm honestly not sure why that is. They need to mix up their awards committee or something because something really good always fails to make their list (Christodora was a very blatant example a couple years ago). This year they also ignored John Boyne's A Ladder to the Sky which has been positively mentioned in this thread.

[QUOTE]Read by Strangers by Philip Dean Walker I don't think this book was gay enough for them. There are a few gay-centered stories in it which are excellent, but it mostly features stories about straight women in peril/crisis.

by Anonymousreply 8704/01/2019

[QUOTE] I had the pleasure of reading both books and I totally agree your comment.

R85, the Lambda Literary award nominations are always slightly problematic and I'm honestly not sure why that is. They need to mix up their awards committee or something because something really good always fails to make their list (Christodora was a very blatant example a couple years ago). This year they also ignored John Boyne's A Ladder to the Sky which has been positively mentioned in this thread.

[QUOTE]Read by Strangers by Philip Dean Walker

I don't think this book was gay enough for them. There are a few gay-centered stories in it which are excellent, but it mostly features stories about straight women in peril/crisis.Read by Strangers by Philip Dean Walker

I don't think this book was gay enough for them. There are a few gay-centered stories in it which are excellent, but it mostly features stories about straight women in peril/crisis.

by Anonymousreply 8804/01/2019

Ugh, I give up.

by Anonymousreply 8904/01/2019

[quote]This year they also ignored John Boyne's A Ladder to the Sky which has been positively mentioned in this thread.

Good. It is a dreadful story.

by Anonymousreply 9004/01/2019

Really, R90? I haven't read it yet but have seen it mentioned on DL a couple times. Good to know.

by Anonymousreply 9104/01/2019

Ladder is a great read! great! ^

by Anonymousreply 9204/01/2019

I bought it, R92, so I'm definitely going to read it.

by Anonymousreply 9304/01/2019

It is well written, r93. But the characters are so repulsive, I stopped reading it halfway through. I did not want to sully my beautiful mind any further.

by Anonymousreply 9404/01/2019

A Ladder to the Sky lacked subtlety.

by Anonymousreply 9504/01/2019

the characters were folks i'd not want to hang out with. but there were so many places that i laughed out loud at them and their exploits. ^

by Anonymousreply 9604/01/2019

Well, just in time to this year's Pulitzer i'm reading Less

by Anonymousreply 9704/03/2019

funny, i'm reading more! (HA)

i really enjoyed Less.

by Anonymousreply 9804/03/2019

So Junot Diaz has managed to hang onto his position on the Pulitzer nominating board in spite of his #MeToo shenanigans.

I read a few of his shorts stories on the advice of my gay Dominican Jersey buddy, and he loved them, I was mixed. How is his novel?

by Anonymousreply 9904/04/2019

Thanks to a couple of posters on another thread, I’m reading and loving SAY NOTHING, about the IRA.

by Anonymousreply 10004/04/2019

R99: I loved his novel, i find it funny and emotional at the same time. It's written in spanglish

by Anonymousreply 10104/04/2019

I heartily recommend COURTING MR. LINCOLN, which will be published in two weeks or so. Louis Bayard merges historical fact, speculation, and imagination to create portraits of Mary Todd and Joshua Speed (alternating chapters reflect their individual pov's). Through their eyes, Lincoln emerges as a dynamic and sympathetic and very human figure. I thought it might be kind of cheesy, but it is beautifully written, intelligent, and ultimately incredibly moving. Most satisfying book I've read in a long time.

by Anonymousreply 10204/04/2019

I'm fascinated by Lincoln's story and hated the much-acclaimed Lincoln in the Bardo so I'm very much looking forward to Bayard's new book. Thanks for posting that, r102.

by Anonymousreply 10304/04/2019

I loved LINCOLN AT THE BARDO, but the Bayard book is a completely different approach and experience.

by Anonymousreply 10404/04/2019

I'm hearing great things about Steven Rowley's THE EDITOR, a fictionalized account of an author working with Jackie O as his editor in the 1990s. It just came out a few days ago.

by Anonymousreply 10504/04/2019

Will I have a better experience with CIRCE if I read SONG OF ACHILLES first?

by Anonymousreply 10604/04/2019

Is there a longlist of contender announced by the Pulitzer Prize committee? When does this stuff come out?

by Anonymousreply 10704/05/2019

I think the awards are announced next week, on the 14th.

Vulture has a list of Mayor Pete's favorite books. Not one by an LBGTQ writer, unless the Norwegian is. Disappointing, but I guess he has to play it safe.

by Anonymousreply 10804/05/2019

It's a pretty safe list, but a polititian rarely has anything remotely interesting in their list (only quality safe choices).

by Anonymousreply 10904/05/2019

[106] Just don't read Song of Achilles in a public place unless you don't mind sobbing out loud in front of strangers.

by Anonymousreply 11004/05/2019

Rebecca Makkai is fully expecting to be, at the very least, short-listed for the Pulitzer this year.

by Anonymousreply 11104/05/2019

r107 the longlist is announced when the winners are announced.

by Anonymousreply 11204/05/2019

There is no public long list. They announce the winner and two finalists.

by Anonymousreply 11304/05/2019

Agree that SONG is sob-worthy. Haven't read CIRCE.

by Anonymousreply 11404/05/2019

I must be the only one who was not that affected by The song of Achilles. I liked the novel, but that's all.

And frankly, i think the Pulitzer should announce the shortlist at least a week before the prize, it'll give exposure to the finalists and not only the winner (and it's not the first time i like the finalists better than the winner)

by Anonymousreply 11504/05/2019

Just finished 'A Ladder to the Sky'. I enjoyed it for the most part, well plotted, clever. Except I found the Edith part a little clunky - perhaps third-person would have been better for that section? It was a little too clever and the tone was off - it reminded me of the 'you' utilised in the opening of 'Less'.

by Anonymousreply 11604/08/2019

just read Small Mercies by Eddie Joyce. aftermath of a 9/11 death and the family. moved me to tears all the way thru. but really well done.

by Anonymousreply 11704/08/2019

Faulkner's 'Absalom, Absalom'. I want to read Roth next, what is the best book to start? I tried to read 'Operation Shylock' but got stuck around page 80.

by Anonymousreply 11804/13/2019

Any Pat Barker fans here?

I'm reading NOONDAY which is the third in a WWII trilogy but supposedly stand-alone. Liking it so far at 50 or so pages, but not thrilled. Haven't read her before but she is the favorite of an author I admire, James Hynes, who wrote NEXT, one of the best books I've read in the last 20 years.

I'm also reading Thomas Mallon's HENRY AND CLARA, about the young couple who accompanied Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln to Ford's Theatre the night he was assassinated. Good but also not great, at least so far. Mallon really requires the reader to have more knowledge of political history than I have.

I really need to finds some new authors.

by Anonymousreply 11904/13/2019

Oh, God, ABSALOM, ABSALOM was one of the greatest reading experiences of my life, with LIGHT OF AUGUST sharing pride of place (among Faulkner novels).

by Anonymousreply 12004/13/2019

The Altruists by Andrew Ridker is great. One of the 3 main characters is a gay man. It’s smart, funny and engrossing.

by Anonymousreply 12104/13/2019

[quote]I want to read Roth next, what is the best book to start?

Go back to the beginning: Letting Go or Goodbye, Columbus.

by Anonymousreply 12204/13/2019

R122 I found American Pastoralist a mess ,overblown. I prefer his more slender works.

by Anonymousreply 12304/13/2019

The first Roth novel I read was THE HUMAN STAIN. It’s not that great. I liked American Pastorale, though.

by Anonymousreply 12404/13/2019

The Blonde by Anna Godbersen. Marilyn Monroe, JFK and Russian Spies. trip back into the 1960s

by Anonymousreply 12504/13/2019

[quote]American Pastoralist


[quote]American Pastorale


[quote]American Pastoral


by Anonymousreply 12604/13/2019

I liked American Pastoral but loved The Human Stain.

Also Roth's The Plot Against America is required reading for these times. Eerily prescient, to say the least.

by Anonymousreply 12704/13/2019

Jon Gerntner's "The Idea Factory: The Bell Labs and the great age of American Innovation" Fascinating romp through the history of Bell Labs and focusing on Claude Shannon's Information Theory. It's been central to my career in a way.

by Anonymousreply 12804/13/2019

Friends who like Roth more than I do recommend OPERATION SHYLOCK. I liked AMERICAN PASTORAL but thought it long-winded. Prefer HUMAN STAIN.

by Anonymousreply 12904/14/2019

I wonder how someone born in the 1980s and, presumably, not in Jew Nersey, will take to Goodbye, Columbus. I think it's the easiest, softest way to decide if Philip Roth is for you.

by Anonymousreply 13004/14/2019

I found American Pastoral a real slog. I wanted to read some Roth after I learned of his death and should have gone with Portnoy's Complaint.

by Anonymousreply 13104/14/2019

I put American Pastoral down after a hundred pages the first time I read it. I picked it up again maybe five years later, and enjoyed it. Not what I'd recommend as "first Roth." That would be either Goodbye, Columbus or Letting Go. Letting Go was my favorite novel by anyone for decades...probably until Dancer from the Dance came out.

by Anonymousreply 13204/14/2019

Just finished The Wall by John Lanchester. Looking forward to the new Ian McEwan.

by Anonymousreply 13304/14/2019

How was The Wall, r133? What's it about?

by Anonymousreply 13404/14/2019

I'm too lazy to check upthread (or a previous one), but whoever recommended the audiobook of Christie's THEY CAME TO BAGHDAD, as read by Emilia Fox...thank you! I'm having a blast listening to it. I pour myself that tumbler of vodka, sit back and enjoy the story!

by Anonymousreply 13504/14/2019

just picked up Lake Success by Gary Shteyngart because i heard its to be a Jake G movie, coming soon....

by Anonymousreply 13604/14/2019

Great news, r136. I liked the book.

by Anonymousreply 13704/14/2019

R135: Victoria Jones was a blast! I didn't see the denouement coming, but often don't. Have you listened to Magpie Murders yet?

by Anonymousreply 13804/14/2019

I think I first found Pat Barker when PBS released the BBC version of "The Regeneration Trilogy." Really superb. I haven't liked her other books as much, although she's an excellent realist novelist. Here's a link.

by Anonymousreply 13904/14/2019

Thanks for that link, r139.

by Anonymousreply 14004/14/2019

I haven't finished listening to BAGHDAD, r138, so no spoilers! I don't usually listen to audiobooks, except for plays, but I understand that MAGPIE MURDERS is a favorite of Neil Patrick Harris's, so with your recommendation and his, I will give it a shot. You recommend it on audio, yes?

by Anonymousreply 14104/14/2019

Reading the Cazalet books , from Elizabeth Jane Howard, aks Kingsley Amis wife and Martin's stepmother. It is slow but so very good. The impact of character surprise is amazing.

by Anonymousreply 14204/14/2019

I’m reading a Jilly Cooper 🤦‍♂️

Is this what why call a Bonk-buster, or an Aga Saga?

by Anonymousreply 14304/14/2019

Gay Republican Thomas Mallon's Watergate.

by Anonymousreply 14404/14/2019

Yes to Magpie on audio. The fictional detective was such a cool character that I felt cheated that the books referred to in his series don't exist in real life! The narrators do a great job, female one for the main story in present day, and male reader for the fictional story set in the past. There is an openly gay character as well.

by Anonymousreply 14504/14/2019

Magpie's author Anthony Horowitz was also the writer/producer of the brilliant UK TV series Foyle's War. If you don't know that series, check it out on's beautifully produced (set in WWII England) and cast and absolutely riveting.

by Anonymousreply 14604/15/2019

I just finished Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee. I didn't hate it, but it was a bit drawn out in spots

LOVED Tin Man No Exit

Reconstructing Amelia wasn't bad

Absolutely hated New People by Danzy Senna. Real overhyped piece of shit.

by Anonymousreply 14704/15/2019

[QUOTE]I just finished Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee. I didn't hate it, but it was a bit drawn out in spots

I had heard that the sentences are very short in Queen of the Night. Is that true? Like, very choppy writing.

I'm excited to hear who wins the Pulitzer Prize later on today. The general consensus is that it will be Rebecca Makkai for The Great Believers, but for some reason, I think they'll go with something different. Perhaps unexpected.

by Anonymousreply 14804/15/2019

I only read three of the big contenders, Aysmetry, The house of broken angels and There, there.

I read two of them during a big reading crisis so i don't know if i'm fair to them (but i still think There, there is one of the most overhyped novels in recent years, Orange is talented but frankly the novel is not that great, in fact in my opinion it's only a decent first novel and that's all).

I liked Asymetry (which is one of those love or hate novels) but i don't think it's the type of novel that makes big at award season

by Anonymousreply 14904/15/2019

Something tells me that an out-of-nowhere short story collection will win this year, not one of the expected big novels.

by Anonymousreply 15004/15/2019

The Altruists by Andrew Ridker is great.

r121 how did you read this? it isn't published until August. are you Rdiker?

by Anonymousreply 15104/15/2019

r148 Some people complained about that, but it didn't bother me. I read it on the heels of Tin Man and IMO the writing styles were basically similar so I didn't really notice anything annoying about sentence structure. It's just a very long book in the picaresque style which is interesting and moves well in parts and in others just gets really bogged down. The last third of the book is a bit more interesting and I did finish it, but it's not for everyone.

by Anonymousreply 15204/15/2019

R151, The Altruists was published May 5.

by Anonymousreply 15304/15/2019

R152: Tim Man was not published here yet, but i loved When god was a rabbit (specially the first part of the book, some really dark hunour)

by Anonymousreply 15404/15/2019

[QUOTE]The Altruists was published May 5.

May 5th isn't even here yet. Maybe you meant March 5th.

by Anonymousreply 15504/15/2019

Oh, I did mean March 5. Thanks, r155. I ordered my copy today.

by Anonymousreply 15604/15/2019

The overstory won the Pulitzer

by Anonymousreply 15704/15/2019

Interesting. I don't recall seeing that in anyone's predictions. What were the other finalists?

by Anonymousreply 15804/15/2019

The finalists are The great believers and There, there

by Anonymousreply 15904/15/2019

Richard Powers is always a critics' favorite. No surprise for me.

by Anonymousreply 16004/15/2019

Has anyone read The Overstory?. I read the Echo Maker about 10 years ago and thought it was brilliant--National Book Award winner but for some reason have not read any of his other books (might have read The Gold Bug Variations just for the title but don't remember.)

Also, has anyone read either of Irish writer Sally Rooney's two books. I was just reading that her debut, Conversations with Friends, is better than the recent one, Normal People.

by Anonymousreply 16104/16/2019

Conversations of friends was a big dissapointing. For some reason i really enjoyed to book till the middle but the truth is that she is talking all the time about interesting conversations without showing any interesting conversation, or telling the reader how funny is a character without showing what makes the character funny. She is a good narrator but the novel was totally overhyped

by Anonymousreply 16204/16/2019

r162: Thanks. So many overhyped books--like "Less" for example, which was definitely less than advertised.

by Anonymousreply 16304/16/2019

Amen, r163. I haven't read a great contemporary novel since Sophie's Choice.

by Anonymousreply 16404/16/2019

Currently,[italic] The Romanian. [/italic]So far, I'm liking it!

by Anonymousreply 16504/16/2019

R163 A Ladder to the Sky is a more cleverly plotted book then Less, but Less had more heart.

by Anonymousreply 16604/17/2019

Happen to be reading Ann Petry's THE STREET just as it's published in a Library of America volume. It's quite wonderful, but sad to read about the author's reclusive last years as reported in The Times this morning.

by Anonymousreply 16704/17/2019

Just finished Revival by Stephen King. Despite the good reviews I found very disappointing. The thrill is gone.

by Anonymousreply 16804/17/2019

r167, The Street was one of the best books I read last powerful! I'm shocked it's never been filmed.

Have you finished it? The ending is unforgettable.

by Anonymousreply 16904/17/2019

No, r169. About halfway through. Wondering if this new exposure will lead to some kind of film version.

by Anonymousreply 17004/17/2019

Anna Burns’ “Milkman,” an admittedly challenging read but its rewards are ample. Imagine Samuel Beckett, reincarnated in the body of an 18 year old girl in Belfast in the time of The Troubles. It won the 2018 Man Booker Prize (a controversial choice) and got panned in the New York Times. It’s terrifying, deeply moving, and, at times, darkly comic. It may take you some time to appreciate this author’s thoroughly unique voice but stick with it.

by Anonymousreply 17104/17/2019

Well, there's controversy with the Booker winner almost every year.

Milkman is going to be published here the next week (and the Overstory next month)

by Anonymousreply 17204/18/2019

Thanks for describing Milkman r171 It sounds worthwhile

by Anonymousreply 17304/18/2019

This 22-year-old I've been fucking recommended Milkman to me last month. He literally made me read the first page while we were still naked in bed. I bought and it's on my shelf. Tempted now to start it this weekend.

by Anonymousreply 17404/19/2019

R174- humblebrag. Take it somewhere else, douche.

by Anonymousreply 17504/19/2019

just finished Lake Success. such a great read. so funny, touching. and the last chapter had me actually sobbing from happiness. (go ahead call me a softie)

by Anonymousreply 17604/19/2019

Yeah, r174. Your post is gratuitous and slimy in a thread that so far has been pretty civil and elevated. What were you thinking?

by Anonymousreply 17704/20/2019

I just read the first novel of a young spanish writer Elisa Victoria. It's selling well so maybe it'll be translated to other languages in a future. The name of the book is vozdevieja (old lady's voice, writen all together, that's the nickname of the main character).

It's a semiautobiographical novel, the main character is 9 and we are in the summer of 1993, a very hot summer in Seville. It's a very funny novel, and the main character mixes the tenderness of the childhood with some perverted tendencies of reaching preteen years. The novel has its sad moments (her mother is ill).

It's very well writen and very funny.

I tried to read more books from spanish young writers but the truth is most of the time i find them incredibly pretentious and void. This was a very pleasant surprise.

Now i'm going to read The stone sky. I have mixed feelings because i want to read the end of the trilogy and on the other hand i don't want it to end. Anyway, N K Jemisin was a great discovery

by Anonymousreply 17804/20/2019

Thank you for recommending Milkman, I completly forgot about this book.

I am reading Georgia O'Keeffe's biography by Roxana Robinson and it is simpky stunning (if such word can be used to describe a book?). The author does a great job introducing social context of the time and places O'Keeffe had lived in - I haven't read a great deal of biographies, but this seems to be exceptional in this aspect, it's less of a biography and more of book about how individual is product of society, family and political context.

by Anonymousreply 17904/20/2019

I'm listening to the audio of Steinbeck's "The Wayward Bus." Reviewers mention it got off to a slow start for them, but ended up really liking the story. Narration is very well done, which helps as I'm finding it slow myself.

by Anonymousreply 18004/20/2019

Just finished Viv Albertine's first memoir, Clothes, Boys, Music. Viv was in the Slits. Very raw, fun, funny.

by Anonymousreply 18104/21/2019

I'd been resisting Amor Towles' A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW because I never finished his first novel RULES OF CIVILITY but I must say I'm 50 pages in and quite enjoying his sophomore effort. Spent no money on this one, it's from my library.

Has anyone read Michael Chabon's MOONGLOW? I borrowed that from the library as well. It's difficult to tell from the book jacket blurb exactly what the book is about other than Chabon's grandfather's (fictionalized?) life story.

by Anonymousreply 18204/21/2019

It's one of my 3 Chabon favorites, r182. Along with Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Kavalier and Clay.

by Anonymousreply 18304/21/2019

r182 Moscow is a great read. loved every page of it. but i read it because i loved Civility so much. try it again.

by Anonymousreply 18404/21/2019

I liked Civility, but am afraid Moscow seems depressing.

by Anonymousreply 18504/21/2019

Liked Civility very much, but found Moscow far too long.

by Anonymousreply 18604/21/2019

Thanks for all the opinions on Towles and Chabon. I might have to read more of Chabon and try Civility again.

by Anonymousreply 18704/21/2019

Started CIVILITY but put it down. This thread is giving me encouragement to try again.

by Anonymousreply 18804/21/2019

So now I'm 150 pages into A Gentleman in Moscow and still waiting for a plot to kick in.

I t never does, does it? Lovely writing but there's simply no tension. I'm not sure I'll continue.

by Anonymousreply 18904/25/2019

keep going. its a very nice read ^

by Anonymousreply 19004/25/2019

A Gentleman in Moscow was my favorite book last year. I couldn't get enough of it.

Just finished The Editor. Easy read, and packs a punch at the end.

by Anonymousreply 19104/25/2019

I’m enjoying Leading Men.

by Anonymousreply 19204/25/2019

SPOILER for A Gentleman in Moscow * * * * * * The part where he almost kills himself on the rooftop was so heartbreaking and true. It's such a beautifully written book. Yeah, there's not a ton of plot per se, but the small scale of the main character's life mirrors a larger societal shift that is so well rendered in some exquisite prose and characterization. Definitely one of my favorite books of the last few years. It should have been up for a Pulitzer in my opinion.

by Anonymousreply 19304/25/2019

Pulitzers usually honor novels set in the U.S., although with notable exceptions, like ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE.

by Anonymousreply 19404/25/2019

R194: There are several exceptions in recent years. The orphan master's son and all the light we can not see, but even Less is not the typical pulitzer prize winner and not only for being a comedy. I didn't read The sympathizer but i think an important part of the novel doesn't happen in the USA.

Probably the Orphan master's son was the oddest decision, because All the light we cannot see had the universal theme of Worl War II and The Sympathizer is very related to the USA in the sense that Vietnam will always be very related to the USA

by Anonymousreply 19504/25/2019

Why, ‘White’ of course.

by Anonymousreply 19604/25/2019


by Anonymousreply 19704/25/2019

I am about to start The Red And The Black by Stendhal.

by Anonymousreply 19804/25/2019

If the Pulitzer was awarded to ALL THE LIGHT, etc, an unreadable novel, IMO, it only proves that awards are generally meaningless.

by Anonymousreply 19904/25/2019

[quote]ALL THE LIGHT, etc, an unreadable novel, IMO

I couldn't get into it, either. Tried twice.

by Anonymousreply 20004/26/2019

I liked 'All the light...' and I read it very quickly, however I do not think it was Pulitzer worthy and in some places close to teen fiction.

I needes something 'light' to read and I picked up 'Magpie murders', so far I am not really impressed. I am starting the second part, I hope there is something in there that will change my mind.

by Anonymousreply 20104/26/2019

R199: Unreadable? you must be kidding, it's one of the easiest novels i've ever read. I know it's polarizyng and for some people it's too bestseller (the structure of the novel is very common in bestsellers, of course it's common too in the work of Houllebecq with all those very short chapters).

I really liked when i read it, but problem is that it's not a very memorable novel.

by Anonymousreply 20204/26/2019

"it's one of the easiest novels i've ever read"

It's not about difficulty, it's lack of narrative interest that makes it unreadable, IMO.

by Anonymousreply 20304/26/2019

I've started the audio edition of "600 Hours of Edward". The aspie protagonist has gotten on my nerves fairly early on, but the narration is top-notch, and I'm interested in seeing if I can get the truth though the story is from his point-of-view.

Anyone else read it?

by Anonymousreply 20404/26/2019

r198: The Red and the Black is one of my favorite 19th century novels. It's very modern in its emphasis on the psychology of the main character (whose name I've forgotten since I read it about 10 years ago). Googled--Julien Sorel. Hope you enjoy it. I think the one I read was a fairly recent translation (as of 10 years ago).

by Anonymousreply 20504/26/2019

R203: In that case it's not an unreadable novel, it's a boring one.

And i don't agree, the plot is indeed interesting and the characters are likeable, there's a bestseller vibe during the whole story, specially all the diamond part of the story. Literay awards suddenly wanted successful novels, it happened with The Goldfinch the year before, and All the light we cannot see was nominated to the National Book Award before winning the oscar.

I thought they were going to do a movie but i never heard again about that project

by Anonymousreply 20604/26/2019

Not a big fan of "All the Light..." either. Not a hard read at all, pretty easy in fact. At certain points of the book, it felt like it was written with "Oscar-nominated..." in mind. If that makes any sense. I would be surprised if it's not a movie in the near future.

It wasn't bad, just wasn't wowed by it.

Just finished the 3rd Joe Ide IQ book, "Wrecked". Still following a winning formula--likable, if flawed, cast of recurring characters. I'm far away from my hometown in LA, so the setting in Long Beach soothes some sort of homesickness. Weird because other than for my mother--I have zero interest in moving back. In any case, definitely not high brow literature, but the IQ series is fun reading and they get back into books when I go through a fallow period.

by Anonymousreply 20704/26/2019

OK, kill me but I loved All the Light We Cannot See.

by Anonymousreply 20804/26/2019

I was in a Barnes & Noble yesterday, looking through a lot ofnthe fiction to find something to read.' ' It seemed like every other new book has either the word GIRL or LIGHT in its title.

by Anonymousreply 20904/26/2019

So did most people, r208. I just could not get into it. Same with At Swim, Two Boys. I really wanted to like it. Started it three times. Nothing.

by Anonymousreply 21004/27/2019

I'm starting to a Mary Stewart potboiler called THORNYHOLD. It seems to be a retelling of JANE EYRE, a la REBECCA by Daphne Du Maurier, but trashier.

by Anonymousreply 21104/27/2019

R210: But they are not remotely in the same cathegory.

I loved All the light... while i was reading it, so i was very surprised when i totally forgot about it. Generally the books i loved come to my mind from time to time, that never happened with All the light, but it happens for example with Salvage the bones, a book i had so many mixed feelings while i was reading it.

At swin two boys is a way more difficult book, there are so many things going on there. I loved it (even i recognize the first part of the novel is better than the second part)

by Anonymousreply 21204/27/2019

The "cathegory," r212, is "books other people loved that I could not get through."

by Anonymousreply 21304/27/2019

R213: Sorry for the extra h.

When i say it's a different category i was refering that it's way more common not get into something that it's way more challenging. All the light .. it's well writen but it's designed to have mass appeal.

in the category of books other people loved but i could not get through i have my particular top 3, The curious incident of the dog at midnight, Shotgun love songs and Call me by your name, i didn't lilke any of them but for different reasons

by Anonymousreply 21404/27/2019

The Flight Attendant, Chris Bohjalian. He's one of those "I must read him one day" authors. I finally got around to him, and I'm glad I did. Compelling, well-plotted, surprising, a bit more than the usual summer at the seaside read. I'm betting this will eventually be made into a film.

by Anonymousreply 21504/27/2019

AT SWIM is a tough read at first, but so worth the challenge. The key for me was just letting the Joycean language wash over me, realizing that I was not going to understand every word, and absorbing what I could. I think a second read would be rewarding, but the first for me as a wonderful experience. Wonder if he'll write another novel. Or maybe he has.

by Anonymousreply 21604/27/2019

Foyle s war is really great viewing

by Anonymousreply 21704/27/2019

Whenever I'm between books I often think, "Well, I could read At Swim, Two Boys again." I think I've read it three times now, and it broke my hard little heart each time in different ways. I would love to see miniseries adaptation but am sure they'd muck it up.

by Anonymousreply 21804/27/2019

The final is devastating.

I never reread books (i have very good memory so once i start i tend to remember everything which spoils all the fun). I think part of it is fear to not like as much as the first time and spoil a good memory.

Right now i'm reading The stone sky and i love love love N K Jemisin. She is an amazing writer with a wild imagination, and it's nice to read a fantasy novel when not everybody is white and straight

by Anonymousreply 21904/27/2019

Is The final the name of a book?

by Anonymousreply 22004/27/2019

R220: I was refering to the end of At swim two boys

by Anonymousreply 22104/27/2019

just finished The Brutal Telling, the 4th Gamache novel by Louise Penny. not happy with her BAD character this time. but am enjoying the series.

by Anonymousreply 22204/28/2019

R209 "Girl Light', works for me. Thanks for the suggestion!

by Anonymousreply 22304/29/2019

The Gustav Sonata. Well-written as far as structure and sentences go, but profoundly disappointing storytelling. Gay-esque, but frau-written. Completely, utterly unrecommended. A travesty.

by Anonymousreply 22404/29/2019

Finished THE STREET, and the ending is indeed brutal, as indicated by a poster above. The book is terrific.

by Anonymousreply 22504/29/2019

I just finishedreading the play The Inheritance, which won a number of Olivier awards. It's by Matthew Lopez (nephew of Tony-winner Priscilla "Nothing" Lopez) and is inspired by Forster's "Howards End," seen through the lenses of AIDS-era NYC. Forster is a character and the play includes narrative speech by characters, so it has some of the qualities of a novel. I found it transcendent.

Against my better judgment, I'm reading Ellis' "White." While I find some of his opinions cranky, I do find the writing itself good.

by Anonymousreply 22604/29/2019

I just finished "Ladder to the Sky" after hearing about it in these threads. I thought I recalled people speaking highly of it, but now I don't know why -- it was plotted like an Aaron Spelling Production.

by Anonymousreply 22704/29/2019

I am liking The Great Believers. I really enjoyed a silly and predictable book called The Bookshop of Yesterdays.

I liked The Girls at 17 Swann Street but it's like triple spaced so I read it in like a weekend. I also enjoyed The Mars Room which was odd because I couldn't make it through The Flamethrowers.

I put Gentlemen in Moscow down. I think I'll pick it back up. I also put Leading Men down, I'm not sure I will return to it, it seems like a rather missed opportunity.

Has anyone read Finding Dorothy? It's next up for me.

by Anonymousreply 22804/29/2019

R228: I had trouble with The flamethrowers too, i was not expecting that because i loved Telex from Cuba

by Anonymousreply 22904/29/2019

R228 I think I read 40 pages of The Flamethrowers and just said fuck this which was weird since it got so much acclaim. I did enjoy Mars Room a lot.

by Anonymousreply 23004/29/2019

Has anyone read Roberto Bolano? I just read The Spirit of Science Fiction and loved it.

by Anonymousreply 23104/29/2019

Women’s prize for fiction shortlist 2019:

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Milkman by Anna Burns

Ordinary People by Diana Evans

I own three of these, and have read none!

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Circe by Madeline Miller

by Anonymousreply 23204/30/2019

Could someone recommend a biography (or a literary figure for preference) available on Kindle? Don't want to lug one onto the bus.

by Anonymousreply 23304/30/2019

[QUOTE]Ordinary People by Diana Evans

She couldn't come up with a title that had not already been used (and is rather well known)?

by Anonymousreply 23404/30/2019

R233 - these days most books are available in Kindle format, except some older out-of-print stuff.

by Anonymousreply 23504/30/2019

Buck would never have been in a book with a pre-owned title.

by Anonymousreply 23604/30/2019

I thought the Great Believers was excellent, one of my favorite books from the last couple of years. I just finished There, There which was very good as well and deserves the praise it is receiving. I just started Normal People and am enjoying it.

by Anonymousreply 23704/30/2019

I was practically sobbing at the end of The Great Believers.

by Anonymousreply 23804/30/2019

Thank you to those here who encouraged me (and perhaps others) to continue reading A Gentleman in Moscow. It took me almost halfway through the book to become engaged despite the lack of plot, even though I always admired the beautiful writing.

I finished it last night and absolutely loved it and I'll miss that story not continuing even further. I hope Towles considers writing a sequel someday.

Would anyone care to share what they think happens at the end (with a ***BIG SPOILER WARNING***)?

by Anonymousreply 23905/02/2019

[quote]Would anyone care to share what they think happens at the end (with a ***BIG SPOILER WARNING***)?

If so, asshole, start a separate thread. DATALOUNGE SPOILER WARNINGS ARE NONEXISTENT, EVEN ***BIG*** ONES.

by Anonymousreply 24005/02/2019

AMERICAN FIRE by Monica Hesse is a great read. It details a string of arsons in Accomack County, Virginia and the Bonnie and Clyde-type couple at the center of them. Even though you know who committed the arsons, the author does an excellent job of maintaining suspense and intrigue. It tells a larger story of the death of these brain drained small towns of rural America.

A PASSAGE TO INDIA by E.M. Forster. Haunting, beautifully written. Simply one of the best novels of the 20th century.

READ BY STRANGERS by Philip Dean Walker is an excellent short story collection. There's a modern-day "liquidation of the gay ghetto" story at the end that gave me chills.

by Anonymousreply 24105/02/2019

currently on a Gary Shteyngart binge. loved Success. his memoir is a fun and funny read... and am about to start Super Sad and then Debutante's...

by Anonymousreply 24205/02/2019

Yes ... I loved Absurdistan

by Anonymousreply 24305/02/2019

I so loved ARMADALE by Wilkie Collins (much discussed here last year), I've just begun his NO NAME and thoroughly enjoying it, too.

Collins really invented the "page turner" didn't he? Some believe this book to be the first whodunnit.

by Anonymousreply 24405/02/2019

Thanks to DL I was introduced to Wilkie Collins. I've always been a Dickens fan and I knew they were friends but I 'd never bothered to read Collins. Armadale is a great book. DLers also prompted me to read Trollope's Palliser books and Edith Wharton for which I'm very grateful.

by Anonymousreply 24505/02/2019

Be sure to read Trollope's novel The Way We Live Now, which is long, but not daunting as it's basically a soap opera. The video starring David Suchet as Melmott is excellent as well.

(I listened to Timothy West's narration of the book)

by Anonymousreply 24605/02/2019

The Peregrine by JA Baker

It was written as the birds were dying in the English countryside, but hadn't made their adaptation to urban dwellings. It's interesting to read now in light of the destruction of UK countryside. The writing is fantastic.

by Anonymousreply 24705/02/2019

[QUOTE]Be sure to read Trollope's novel The Way We Live Now

This reminded me of one of my favorite short stories -- Susan Sontag's "The Way We Live Now" (The New Yorker, 1986).

by Anonymousreply 24805/03/2019

The Way We Live Now began my highly enjoyable venture into reading Victorian literature, encompassing not only Trollope (whose Palliser series of novels are actually among my least favorites) but also Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, George Eliot, Wilkie Collins and Edith Wharton.

Still can't get into Henry James, though, hard as I've tried.

by Anonymousreply 24905/03/2019

Have you tried James' short stories like THE BEAST IN THE JUNGLE or THE FIGURE IN THE CARPET? Though I've never made it through the heavy hitters like THE AMBASSADORS or THE GOLDEN BOWL or THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY (attempted all three without finishing), I find short doses of the labyrinthine style more manageable.

by Anonymousreply 25005/03/2019

Just finished Tin Man. Halfway through reading it, I realized I'd tried it once before. Hated it then, but didn't finish it. Hated it now. Hate myself for reading it to the end this time.

Can anyone come up with a reason why Ellis married a woman instead of being with Michael? What a waste.

by Anonymousreply 25105/03/2019

Half through "Machines Like Me" by Ian McEwen - a lot of science and some artificial history, but the parts involving the robot "Adam" are fascinating.

by Anonymousreply 25205/03/2019

Are the people who mentioned Tin Man r152 r147 r20 women?

by Anonymousreply 25305/03/2019

James' "The Golden Bowl" was the book that established my policy of declaring "I'm forcing myself to pick up this book when I really don't want to continue, so declare it Did Not Finish, and move on!"

by Anonymousreply 25405/03/2019

I honestly don't know anyone who enjoys reading Henry James and I know an awful lot of smart people. Has his reputation diminished in the 21st century?

by Anonymousreply 25505/03/2019

No, I don't think so. But he is an acquired taste and depending one one's disposition, one either takes the plunge and makes the investment of time and concentration or not. If I had all the time in the world, I would attempt to read them all, just as I would Mann's JOSEPH AND HIS BROTHERS or Eliot's MIDDLEMARCH and Melville's MOBY DICK, among many other titles. But with so little time (and so much of my reading devoted to nonfiction for work purposes), one takes on what one can.

by Anonymousreply 25605/03/2019

Middlemarch is so wonderful. I was thinking about reading it again soon. The last time I did was in college.

by Anonymousreply 25705/03/2019

People who would like to try James might start with "The Spoils of Poynton"--fights about furniture, perfect for the DL crowd.

by Anonymousreply 25805/03/2019

The only James I've read is The Turn of the Screw and I recall enjoying it at the time.

by Anonymousreply 25905/03/2019

I just started the Romanovs by Simon Montefiore. It is fabulous. I read his biography of Catherine the Great which was wonderful as well.

No matter what is dredged up on the numerous threads on the British Royal Family...nothing comes close to the absolute craziness of the Russian aristocracy.

by Anonymousreply 26005/03/2019

I read Montefiore's book on Jerusalem, which was L-O-N-G! A slog in places

by Anonymousreply 26105/03/2019

Someone MUCH cleverer than I once said about Henry James, "He chewed more than he bit off." I read Washington Square and that seemed like... enough.

by Anonymousreply 26205/03/2019

R261 perhaps this is more your style....

by Anonymousreply 26305/03/2019

As I recently said on The Heiress (film) thread, James' novella Washington Square pales next to the play and screenplay of The Heiress that Ruth and Augustus Goetz wrote, even if it was their source material.

by Anonymousreply 26405/03/2019

I was an English major years ago and it was a time when Henry James was semi-required reading in English departments. Portrait of a Lady is actually a pretty readable novel once you get into it--the later ones like The Golden Bowl and Wings of the Dove are impenetrable; The Ambassadors is also a pretty tough slog. But the stories, esp The Spoils of Poynton are very good and make you want to keep reading. What Maisie Knew (which was made into a contemporary film a few years ago) and some of the other early short novels are also worthwhile. Get a collection of the stories including Poynton and Turn of the Screw, and I would guess if you like Edith Wharton, you will like James--he's considered a better writer of prose than Wharton (or was--could just be the usual sexism that pervade academia when I was there).

I admire anyone that could read Middlemarch. I tried twice and got to about 100 pages. James is way easier for me than George Eliot.

by Anonymousreply 26505/03/2019


It really was a very long book, which I felt was dense and bogged down in some places. As I am a college graduate who does read a lot of nonfiction, I feel your comment is uncalled for.

by Anonymousreply 26605/03/2019

I can probably count on one hand, oh ok, two hands, the number of 19th century books I've actually completed.

Books, I have started but abandoned: Pride and Prejudice The Way We Live Wuthering Heights Middlemarch and a few more

And though I'm not the most high brow of readers, I'm not an airport paperback reader either. I just cannot get into those 19th century British classics.

by Anonymousreply 26705/03/2019


I listen to them as (unabridged!!!) audiobooks. The right reader makes all the difference.

by Anonymousreply 26805/03/2019

Juliet Stevenson, terrific English actress, is about the best female audiobook narrator out there IMO. She's narrated all the Jane Austen novels and many others. I highly recommend anything she has narrated, her voice and her acting are such a pleasure to listen to.

by Anonymousreply 26905/03/2019

She is great, R269. I believe I listened to her do Middlemarch? Kate Reading is another outstanding choice for classics. Balzac's "Cousin Bette" was almost written with Dataloungers in mind 200 years ago, which Reading aces in her delivery. For male narrators, Simon Vance and Timothy West bring classics to life.

(Cray-cray paranoid Bette sets out for "revenge" on her family. Ending is about as twisted as it gets.)

by Anonymousreply 27005/03/2019

Henry James wrote for people who didn't have anything else to do.

by Anonymousreply 27105/03/2019

I listen to books more than I read them. For whatever reason, I always felt that I should actually read the 19th century classic. Maybe changing tack would help.

Unabridged, always unabridged.

by Anonymousreply 27205/03/2019

Actually that should be R267

by Anonymousreply 27305/03/2019

I recently listened to Henry James' The Europeans, which was light and breezy and full of wry good humor.

by Anonymousreply 27405/03/2019

I love, love, love THE EUROPEANS....and the Merchant-Ivory adaptation is equally delicious and one of their very best (that New England foliage!). A good place for Henry James newbies to start...

by Anonymousreply 27505/04/2019

I've just finished reading Notre Dame de Paris (The Hunchback ...). We warned though - it's a very dark novel. By comparison, Les Miserables is a real chuckle-fest. The movie adaptations seem to insist on happy endings. A significant theme is Claude Frollo's obsessive lust for the gypsy La Esmeralda even though, as the archdeacon of Notre Dame, he has taken the vow of chastity. Adaptations strip him of his priestly vocation in order not to offend religious sensibilities so much of the tormented core inside his character is lost.

by Anonymousreply 27605/04/2019

Early James, wonderful. Later James, impenetrable, at least for me. Highly recommend Colm Toibin's novel about him THE MASTER. As for Wharton, her first novel was published the year after Victoria died, so she can't really be considered Victorian. Many consider her the greatest of American novelists.

by Anonymousreply 27705/04/2019

I just finished "The Tale of Two Murders". It was difficult to get through but with an impressive amount of resources . The author has her perspective. but her research is impeccable.. This book has the actual letters and court transcripts. And interviews with the families. After about a third through I knew I was going to finish it.

by Anonymousreply 27805/04/2019

I read Henry James' [italic]The Bostonians[/italic] for a university literature class, and enjoyed it a lot.

by Anonymousreply 27905/04/2019

Wharton's excellent story "The Bunner Sisters" was written in 1892, published later. I can see her as being Victorian in the sense of having been an adult by the time the queen died.

To me, Edwardian is an extension of Victorian with WW I pretty much transforming the culture altogether.

by Anonymousreply 28005/04/2019

Did you read an English translation and if so which one, r276?

by Anonymousreply 28105/04/2019

Edith Wharton often wrote about the Victorian Era of her youth, e.g. The Age of Innocence, The Custom of the Country and The Buccaneers, so I think it's easy to lump her in with other late Victorian writers.

by Anonymousreply 28205/04/2019

R281 I read the 1888 translation by Isabel Hapgood. She is also responsible for the translation of Les Miserables which I read earlier. She's an interesting woman in her own right based on what I've learned from the biography on Wikipedia.

by Anonymousreply 28305/04/2019

Neither one is a good writer. Writing is a craft and vocation, not storytelling.

by Anonymousreply 28405/04/2019

I read a collection of Washington Irving's short stories, which are legendary, but I found them a bit underwhelming

by Anonymousreply 28505/04/2019

Pretty sure that if you are not British, you can't be considered a Victorian novelist, no matter when you lived.

by Anonymousreply 28605/06/2019

Sure you can. The British Empire was so dominant under Victoria's rule it had global influence on everything from fashion to literature.

by Anonymousreply 28705/06/2019

Were The Roaring Twenties only in America?

by Anonymousreply 28805/06/2019

Speaking of Zelda, I finally visited her and Scott's grave site in Rockville Maryland a couple of weekends ago. It's really close to the Metro station and I have been going up there for the Asian shops and restaurants for years. I knew the grave site was there in a little cemetery but never stopped in. I walked over after a lunch. The headstone for both is in good shape and engraved with the iconic end to The Great Gatsby. "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

by Anonymousreply 28905/06/2019

just about done with The Sparrow by Russell. an awful lot of Jesuit theology, but a damn interesting look at relationships. and space flight!

by Anonymousreply 29005/06/2019

No one speaks of the Victorian era in the United States.

by Anonymousreply 29105/06/2019

They do, actually, though it's more for the later years.

by Anonymousreply 29205/06/2019

Is Mark Twain a Victorian novelist?

by Anonymousreply 29305/07/2019

[quote]No one speaks of the Victorian era in the United States.

Are you fuckin nuts?

by Anonymousreply 29405/07/2019

[quote]I just started the Romanovs by Simon Montefiore. It is fabulous. I read his biography of Catherine the Great which was wonderful as well.

His prose is not a patch on that of Robert Massie. Massie’s Nicholas & Alexandra, while far too sympathetic to Alexandra (a bitch of the first water), is a masterpiece, particularly the brilliant opening chapter which pulls off the literary equivalent of a slow zoom in — from dawn and sunset breaking and setting over Russia, zooming slowly down into its cities, and finally to the close shot of the gold staff of the Imperial Master of Ceremonies banging on the marble floor of the Winter Palace ballroom. It’s a masterclass in writing.

by Anonymousreply 29505/07/2019

The appraisers on Antiques Roadshow on PBS have no problem using Victorian to describe 19th century American stuff.

by Anonymousreply 29605/07/2019

Robert Massie's biography of Peter the Great was...wait for it...GREAT. Really worth reading, hard to put down. Read it years ago but still remember how much I enjoyed it. Truly excellent writer. Makes me want to go find one of his other books to read.

by Anonymousreply 29705/07/2019

Okay, r297. I just reserved Peter the Great. I am out of things to read, and hope I like it as much as you did.

by Anonymousreply 29805/07/2019

Well, what does an American call the era that was later half of the 19th century?

by Anonymousreply 29905/07/2019

Civil War and Reconstruction and Gilded Age.

by Anonymousreply 30005/08/2019

Everything and anything by Lucy Worsley.

by Anonymousreply 30105/08/2019

I googled (you could too)--the literary period of the late 19th century in the US is known a "realism and/or naturalism."

by Anonymousreply 30205/08/2019

Realism and/or naturalism may have started in the late 19th century but it has continued well into the 20th and even 21st centruy and so can hardly be a description of an era.

A certain style of architecture has always been described as Victorian, even in America.

by Anonymousreply 30305/08/2019

But architecture ain't literature.

by Anonymousreply 30405/09/2019

Civil War, Reconstruction and the Gilded Age suggest to me U.S. historical periods. I use Victorian as an umbrella term for Anglo-American culture from 1830 to 1900.

by Anonymousreply 30505/09/2019

I love the naturalists of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Some really great (and dark) books came out of that period. Theodore Dreiser is a pretty inelegant writer, but his novels are compulsively readable. He would often base them on small news stories he would run across in the paper. If you've never read him, I would recommend JENNIE GERHARDT, AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY (the basis for the 1951 film A PLACE IN THE SUN starring Liz Taylor and Monty Clift), and his masterpiece SISTER CARRIE.

McTEAGUE by Frank Norris is also pretty great. Disturbing!

by Anonymousreply 30605/09/2019

I am reading A Woman in White from Wilkie Collins. After having read No Name and Armadale last year, I really was expecting to like it more. It is rather slower than I thought, especially considering it is much more famous than the other two (my favourite being No Name so far). I am only 1/3 in though...

by Anonymousreply 30705/09/2019

Fosco - -

Try his Dear Miss Finch. I loved the audio recording via Librivox.

by Anonymousreply 30805/09/2019

Thanks, r308, bought that too per one recommensation here, probably yours. Have no read it yet.

by Anonymousreply 30905/09/2019

Reading The British in India: A Social History of the Raj by David Gilmour. I find the Raj wildly fascinating, thanks largely to Paul Scott's late-period Raj Quartet. Interestingly, there really weren't all that many British in India -- the locals outnumbered them 7,000 to 1. "It is not surprising that they sometimes felt lonely, scared, beleaguered -- and rather cross."

by Anonymousreply 31005/09/2019

I, too, began with The Woman in White and found it less than compelling and made me in no need of reading more Wilkie Collins. But all the posts here championing Armadale made me curious and I absolutely loved it. I'm in the middle of No Name right now and also enjoying it.

Why are those later 2 books not more well-known and appreciated? Still haven't read The Moonstone but it's on my night table pile.

by Anonymousreply 31105/09/2019

I loved The Woman in White and have read it a couple of times. The Moonstone I found to be a slog.

by Anonymousreply 31205/09/2019

Think WOMAN IN WHITE is more popular because it's spawned multiple stage and film adaptations, including the Lloyd Weber musical. Maybe more that I'm not aware of. And it's a ghost/detective story, always alluring to audiences. Not sure if Armadale has ever been adapted.

by Anonymousreply 31305/09/2019

I tried rereading The Moonstone recently after at least a decade, agree with the "slog" description!

For a "Victorian fix" I urge friends here to consider "Miss Marjoribanks" by Margaret Oliphant.

by Anonymousreply 31405/09/2019

I finished [italic]The Magpie Murders[/italic] by Anthony Horowitz. I should have found this earlier -- the wordplay, literary references, and Golden Age Detective Novel Era are all close to my heart, so the anagrams were especially close to my heart. (Does that priss who objected to my post of crude and bawdy anagrams of Charles Dickens novel titles carry through with its intent to block? Worse anagrams are in this book so I suggest Miss Priss not read it.)

by Anonymousreply 31505/09/2019

[quote]Does that priss who objected to my post of crude and bawdy anagrams of Charles Dickens novel titles carry through with its intent to block? Worse anagrams are in this book so I suggest Miss Priss not read it.

What about Miss Pross?

by Anonymousreply 31605/09/2019

No Name is my favourite, r311, and it was a surprise because is not one of his most known. The battle of wits between Captain Wragge and Mrs Lecount (which are supposed to be secondary interested parties) is genius. Specially since Collins make us be on the side that is actually morally wrong...

Armadale has the narration of the deliciously evil Miss Gwylt, an attractive hero and a homoerotic relationship but, though I love it as well, there were some long winded parts (and some major plot coincidences, though i think this happens on most of his novels). The Woman in White opens exactly with one such coincidences...

by Anonymousreply 31705/09/2019

Dickens ate coincidences for breakfast.

by Anonymousreply 31805/10/2019

As did Shakespeare (eat coincidences).

Especially interesting in that these were in long ago worlds where there was no instant media contact with anyone.

by Anonymousreply 31905/10/2019

Hugo made a feast of coincidences in Les Miserables.

by Anonymousreply 32005/10/2019

I reread a Tolstoy short story collection while on vacation. It was a thrill to read “Hadji Murat” again.

by Anonymousreply 32105/10/2019

Which edition/translation, r321? I'd like to read Hadji Murat.

by Anonymousreply 32205/10/2019

Salvatore Scibona's [italic]The Volunteer[/italic] and I'm loving it!

[italic]The Shining Path: Love, Madness, and Revolution in the Andes[/italic] is set to arrive and I'm probably going to devour it in a few days. I'm under the weather and my weekend will be reading it!

by Anonymousreply 32305/10/2019

About 1/3 of the way through [italic]Can You Ever Forgive Me?[/italic] by lesbian forger Lee Israel. Short wirk, but packs a punch - Jane Curtin's audio narration adds to the experience.

Also making my way through Benjamin Dreyer's book on English, albeit slowly rather than a continuous read. Others have said they dislike him, but I find his style funny.

by Anonymousreply 32405/10/2019

Anything by Patrick Hamilton. He wrote the play Rope, but the novels are better. Start with MR STIMPSON AND MR GORSE, made into a miniseries ("The Charmer") with Nigel Havers.

by Anonymousreply 32505/10/2019

I'm currently reading the Hungry Little Caterpillar for the second time (this time, without help).

by Anonymousreply 32605/10/2019

[quote]Also making my way through Benjamin Dreyer's book on English, albeit slowly rather than a continuous read. Others have said they dislike him

Loved it. I read it slowly, too. This is the first negative word I've heard.

by Anonymousreply 32705/10/2019

I'm curious if any of you read Homeland by Fernando Aramburu.

The novel was a huge hit on Spain a couple of years ago and HBO is going to adpt it.

It's about two families on the opposite sides of the Basque conflict, from the 80's till nowadays. The two women were friends but the Basque conflict makes the relationship fade and become enemies when the son of one of them ends killing the other's husband.

The novel was everywhere here for a long time. ETA was a big taboo on literature but suddenly it started to be theme of serveral novels (including the Man booker prize international nominee The dinner guest by Gabriela Ybarra). Even if it's a hard theme the short chapters made it easy to read.

There is a gay character too. It will be interesting to know the opinion of a foreign reader (here most people love it but there was controversy too).

Aramburu is a basque writer but he lives on Berlin

by Anonymousreply 32805/11/2019

I've started The Flight Portfolio. So far I'm really liking it.

by Anonymousreply 32905/11/2019

I purchased copies of Wolf Hall and it's companion book a few years back when the excellent BBC series with Mark Rylance was playing but I haven't gotten to it yet. It's not unusual for me to have a stack of books waiting to be read.

Most recently I read 'This is Hip: The Life of Mark Murphy', a fairly brief but excellent biography of the late, great (and also gay) jazz singer who passed away in 2015. Mark was most famous for the two bop influenced albums he did which featured readings from Jack Kerouac along with songs from the late forties and fifties when Kerouac was writing autobiographical novels which featured scenes set in jazz clubs during the bop era.

Murphy released over forty albums during his career which lasted from the early fifties until shortly before he died. He did stellar work throughout his career and this book will light the way for any lover of jazz vocal music who looking for 'a way in ' to this wonderful artist.

by Anonymousreply 33005/11/2019

I liked The Ambassadors, but that was enough Henry James.

by Anonymousreply 33105/11/2019

LOVE Patrick Hamilton!

His best novel IMHO is The Slaves of Solitude about a group of lonely people in a boarding house in London during WWII. I also enjoyed his Hangover Square and will look for Mr. Stimpson and Mr. Gorse, r325.

He also wrote the play Angel Street, made into the film Gaslight.

by Anonymousreply 33205/11/2019

We need a second book thread- one that is more contemporary. I love that so many DL readers enjoy the classics but it makes for a useless thread if you are looking for more recent releases.

by Anonymousreply 33305/11/2019

Agreed R333. I even tried Wilkie Collins on the advice of this thread wasn't pleasant. Victorian authors and I don't get along.

by Anonymousreply 33405/11/2019

Eldergays? What are books?

by Anonymousreply 33505/11/2019

[quote] We need a second book thread- one that is more contemporary. I love that so many DL readers enjoy the classics but it makes for a useless thread if you are looking for more recent releases.

If I could, I would pin this to the top of the thread. Not because I'm in agreement of a separate books category thread, I'm not, but because of the idiocy on what appears to be most of the threads, the fact that "What Books Are You Reading" topic thread would have such a quantity and variety of responses and easily go beyond 600 replies each year is heartening.

by Anonymousreply 33605/11/2019

Where would you start your definition of "modern"?

I suppose the easiest way would be to say that's books set within (an average of) living memory for readers - post WW II at the earliest.

I'm not averse to separate threads either such as What Are You Reading: Classic and What Are You Reading: Modern.

by Anonymousreply 33705/11/2019

But readers don't typically categorize themselves as "I read only books between this arbitrary date and that arbitrary date." I see lots of posts here about recent fiction and nonfiction. Public library web pages feature new releases, Goodreads banks on new releases to help Amazon's sales. I like to see posts from people reading all kinds of books, even if they post they're reading a castoff 'Reader's Digest Condensed Books' relic they found in a Little Free Library.

by Anonymousreply 33805/11/2019

R332 , "The German girl's" downfall is the best!

by Anonymousreply 33905/11/2019

It's books, who gives a fig if they're contemporary or classic? You want to be trendy, go troll Amazon.

I'm reading both THE AGE OF INNOCENCE and LIE WITH ME by Besson (and translated by Molly Ringwald!) and am enjoying them very much.

by Anonymousreply 34005/11/2019

I'm ADD when it comes to books. The idea of reading one at a time, which a friend of mine can only do, almost fills me with terror. So, at present I'm juggling:

[italic]The Grand Tour[/italic] by Adam Price. Hot mess author and the kid who ends up his driver/assistant for a book tour. Not bad for a library book.

Dreyer's English as a pick up and out down item at various downtime points.

[italic]Chasing Spring[/italic] by Bruce Stutz - caught my attention on library shelf when looking for a different book nearby, so checked it out. Got it as I'm into travel narrative, but the natural science aspect is stuff I probably should know more about. Author does a good job holding my interest.

[ITALIC]Can You Ever Forgive Me?[/italic] by Lee Israel. Great story on its own, with Jane Curtin's narration truly adding to the experience!

by Anonymousreply 34105/11/2019

Thanks, r330! Murphy is one of my favorite singers, and I admire him more as the years go on. Didn't know there was a bio.

As for Dreyer, people seem to like the book, but not the person (if they've met him). I'm among them.

by Anonymousreply 34205/11/2019

[quote]As for Dreyer, people seem to like the book, but not the person (if they've met him). I'm among them.

Why didn't you like him? (I've never met him, and probably never will.)

by Anonymousreply 34305/11/2019

Another Mark Murphy fan here. Didn't know he had died. Sad. First heard him singing "The Waters of March" on the radio and became instant fan of his and of that great (Brazilian) song--he sings it in English and had a whole playlist of other versions of Waters of March. Am glad to know about the book.

by Anonymousreply 34405/11/2019

Dreyer is hopelessly in love with himself.

by Anonymousreply 34505/12/2019

The Jane Austen thread is encouraging me to dig out Mansfield Park.

by Anonymousreply 34605/12/2019

R345. God knows, nobody else was, when he was an insufferable undergrad at Northwestern! (We were classmates.)

by Anonymousreply 34705/12/2019

Was he at least cute then, r347 (I can't tell after someone shaves his head).

by Anonymousreply 34805/12/2019

I will be reading " The Light Years" by my good friend of 44 years Chris Rush....just published and getting tremendous reviews!

by Anonymousreply 34905/12/2019

Dreyer was never cute, but he built himself a rockin' bod in the 80s. He taught exercise classes at (I think) Crunch. Never wanted for sex. Even bedded Michael Feinstein, although that might not be considered an achievement.

by Anonymousreply 35005/12/2019

deep into Gary Shteyngart. read his memoir first. it makes his fiction that much better, Absurdistan is laugh-out-loud a great read.

by Anonymousreply 35105/12/2019

I'm also hearing such great things about the Chris Rush memoir!

by Anonymousreply 35205/12/2019

R350 IIRC, Dreyer was losing his hair at 19--grew the beard to compensate. Always well-built. I don't remember him getting cast much at Northwestern, so maybe he figured out early he needed to find another line of work. If so, good for him.I was only in one class with him, but he had an arrogant air about him. But, as I say, we were all about 19 or 20. TV performer/cabaret singer Debbie Tranelli was in the same class (she was lovely), as was ER-future-star Lauea Innes (very standoffish). We all were in awe (and fear) of the teacher, Lilla Heston, Charlton's little sister.

by Anonymousreply 35305/12/2019

You were all drama students?

by Anonymousreply 35405/12/2019

Wolf Hall is overrated. And I've read dozens of English historical novels. That book lacks any tension the whole way through

by Anonymousreply 35505/12/2019

r355: I agree. I normally finish books that I start out enjoying, but I read about the first third of Wolf Hall and it became less and less interesting as it went along, so I stopped reading. Just didn't care enough. Enjoyed the BBC/PBS version with Mark Rylance a few years ago. He's a great actor.

by Anonymousreply 35605/12/2019

If you're interested in (fairly) informed opinions on classic books, there's a very good Facebook page called Readers of Fine Literature that I recommend.

by Anonymousreply 35705/13/2019

I'm just in the middle but i'm loving Milkman

by Anonymousreply 35805/16/2019

I'm reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty - recommended by Reese Witherspoon - The show was ok but decided to read it anyway it's better than the mini series.

and A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman I liked the movie so I'm reading the book.

by Anonymousreply 35905/16/2019

The rise of the literary miniseries

by Anonymousreply 36005/16/2019

R359: For me both were positive surprises. A man called Ove is a feel good story, but an effective one, and for a while i thought Big little lies was merely chic lit but in the end it was more than that

by Anonymousreply 36105/16/2019

Thanks for the reminder about "Name of the Rose" R360!

by Anonymousreply 36205/16/2019

[quote]Everything and anything by Lucy Worsley.

I’m reading her Jane Austen book. I find Worsley’s girlish, goody two-shoes, top-girl-in-class screen persona annoying, but have to admit she has exceptional control over the way she marshals her source material in the Austen book. I guess she’s just one of those annoyingly capable people.

by Anonymousreply 36305/16/2019

I'm reading A. A. Milne's [italic]The Red House[/italic], a mystery with adult human characters published in 1922. I'm surprised a few of my Goodreads friends either already read this or put it on their to-read shelves years ago.

by Anonymousreply 36405/16/2019

Im reading the Dark Forest. Sequel to the Three Body Problem.

Its science fiction set partially against the backdrop of Maoist Chinia. It also incorporates so lovecraftian elements

by Anonymousreply 36505/16/2019

I loved Worsely's [italics]If Walls Could Talk[/Italic], as well as [italics]Inside the Victorian Home[/italics] by Judith Flanders, and Bill Bryson's [italics]At Home[/italic].

by Anonymousreply 36605/16/2019

No "s," r366, just "italic" in brackets.

by Anonymousreply 36705/16/2019

I realize that now but no deleting or editing when damage done.

by Anonymousreply 36805/16/2019

R368 [italic]You're welcome.[/italic]

by Anonymousreply 36905/16/2019

Like this?

[italic]I loved Worsely's [/italic]If Walls Could Talk, [italic]as well as [/italic]Inside the Victorian Home[italic] by Judith Flanders, and Bill Bryson's [/italic]At Home.

by Anonymousreply 37005/16/2019

Thank you [bold]all[/bold] for your patience, esp R367. Since there's an interest in Victoriana here, hope you guys will consider those books.

Back from the library with a copy of Akunin's [italic]Sister Pelagia and the White Bulldog[/italic] - wish me luck with all those Russian names!

by Anonymousreply 37105/16/2019

If you like mysteries, i have just discovered Christopher Fowler and his Peculiar Crimes Unit books. Great arcane London history and good mysteries. Very well written. Great fun.

by Anonymousreply 37205/16/2019

I’ve laughed out loud at only three books in my seventy years. Chris Rush’s The Light Years is one of them (the other two are The World According to Garp and Confederacy of Dunces) It’s a very serious book presented in a very amusing way. It’s quite a feat.. I couldn’t put down

by Anonymousreply 37305/16/2019

Anyone a fan of Robert Plunket? I adores Love Junkie and think it would make a great movie. My Search for Warren Harding was fun, too. After two books, he seems to have disappeared.

by Anonymousreply 37405/17/2019

Plunket's books have also disappeared. Very hard to find, even used on Amazon.

by Anonymousreply 37505/17/2019

I hate Chuck Todd.

by Anonymousreply 37605/17/2019

R372- I love the Bryant & May series!

by Anonymousreply 37705/17/2019

Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik

Spinning Silver isn’t quite a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin; it uses the fairy tale as a jumping-off point for an utterly original story that weaves together folklore, myth, history, and magic. Miryem, a Jewish moneylender’s daughter, saves her family from the brink of ruin with her ability to — metaphorically — spin gold. But things take a darker and more magical turn when Miryem’s abilities attract the attention of the king of the Staryk, a race of powerful, otherworldly beings. Novik moves deftly among several narrators — Miryem, a peasant, a duke’s daughter, the tsar — to craft a complex story about love, greed, family, and power. It’s an extraordinary feat.

by Anonymousreply 37805/17/2019

I've downloaded the audiobook [italic]The Water Room[/italic] from the library as my introduction to Bryant & May.

by Anonymousreply 37905/17/2019

Very cleverly, Fowler's first book sets up all the back stories for all the next books in the series.

by Anonymousreply 38005/17/2019

I flippantly asked my faraway chum of chums to send me Joan Crawford's [italic]My Way of Life[/italic] if he could find it in his travels, and lo! a recent reprint is now in my possession. Hope there are some good recipes for Smirnoff and Pepsi inside.

by Anonymousreply 381Last Saturday at 12:43 PM

Read last night "The Story-teller" short story by Saki. The titular character sounds like a prototypical DataLounger, trapped with three noisy brats in a railway carriage with their aunt who has no imagination and little skill keeping them quiet. He's bitchy to the aunt of course.

by Anonymousreply 382Last Saturday at 1:19 PM

just finished [italic] the Alturists [italic] by Ridker thanks to a mention of the book further up thread. really enjoyed it.

by Anonymousreply 383Last Saturday at 1:44 PM

A friend recommended The Mystery of The Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux. I first attempted and abandoned The Phantom Of The Opera at age 10, so it may be time to give him a second chance.

by Anonymousreply 384Last Sunday at 6:11 AM

Finished up "The Voyage of 'The Fox' in Arctic Seas," a record of one of the (many) searches for the Franklin expedition.

Now reading "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, and oOther Lessons from the Crematory."

by Anonymousreply 385Last Sunday at 3:44 PM

I liked Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - learned that shoveling ashes isn't an "exact" process; the ashes you get back as Dear Old Dad have a bit of the previous cadaver mixed in as well. 😱

by Anonymousreply 386Last Sunday at 5:22 PM

Reading Vanity Fair these days. I take it Becky Sharp is a character written for a homo audience?

by Anonymousreply 387Last Tuesday at 1:30 PM

Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters

by Marilyn Monroe

by Anonymousreply 388Last Tuesday at 2:10 PM

Becky Sharp was great great grandma to Scarlett O'Hara.

by Anonymousreply 389Last Tuesday at 3:07 PM

And Becky Sharp was Undine Sprague's great grandma.

by Anonymousreply 390Last Tuesday at 5:16 PM

Picked up Dreyer to accompany me at lunch today - interesting about how a guy who is apparently such a jerk in person is coming across as likeable to me.

by Anonymousreply 391Last Wednesday at 12:02 PM

You can't tell a book by its cover, nor an author by his book.

by Anonymousreply 392Last Wednesday at 5:51 PM

Just finished Steven Rowley's The Editor which I believe got some good recommendations up above. It's about a 30ish NY writer in the early 1990s who finally sells his first novel and is guided by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis as his editor.

I found it rather disappointing. The tone too often veered from cutesy comical to deeply emotional; I felt it was far more successful in the later mode.

But I mainly I had a problem with the depiction of the main character's mother, who never really came into focus for me, especially at the end when some kind of greater reveal would have helped.

Next up is The Gustav Sonata, the latest novel by Rose Tremain, an author I've really liked over many years.

by Anonymousreply 39313 hours ago

Just finished a biography of Wendell Willkie and have started a biography of Richard Holbrooke, Our Man, by George Packer.

by Anonymousreply 39413 hours ago

[quote]Next up is The Gustav Sonata, the latest novel by Rose Tremain, an author I've really liked over many years.

I was disappointed. Weird relationship between two men starting in childhood. Gay-adjacent-adjacent-adjacent.

by Anonymousreply 39513 hours ago
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