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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.

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by Anonymousreply 60007/19/2019

Previous thread

What Books Are You Reading in 2019? Part 1

It is the stroke of midnight in Australia and time to tuck into a good book.Please discuss the books and similar media you read this year.I received 2 books by Irish authors from an online Secret ...

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.

Current Submissions

Last updated: December 2, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. The following books have been submitted for consideration for the 31st Annual Lambda Literary Awards. This list is updated weekly. Contact with questions or corrections. Number of submissions received so far: 1,001 Bisexual:...

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.

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

The rich, revealing, and thrilling story of five women whose lives and painting propelled a revolution in modern art, from the National Book Award finalist. Set amid the most turbulent social and political period of modern times, Ninth Street Women is the impassioned, wild, sometimes tragic, alwa...

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.

Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius

"Great philosophical biographies can be counted on one hand. Monk's life of Wittgenstein is such a one."?The Christian Science Monitor.

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!

Philomena Cunk & Barry Shitpeas on Wolf Hall

Philomena Cunk & Barry Shitpeas on Wolf Hall Wolf Hall is a terrible TV series! More of Philomena here

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....

Offsite Link
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.

Offsite Link
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?

The Pulitzer Prizes
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.

Pete Buttigieg’s 10 Favorite Books

James Joyce, Homer, and more.

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

The Blonde

From the  New York Times  bestselling author Anna Godbersen and Alloy Entertainment, a chilling reimagining of the life of Marilyn Monroe...

by Anonymousreply 12504/13/2019

[quote]American Pastoralist


[quote]American Pastorale


[quote]American Pastoral


American Pastoral (American Trilogy Book 1)

American Pastoral is the story of a fortunate American's rise and fall—of a strong, confident master of social equilibrium overwhelmed by the forces of social disorder. Seymour "Swede" Levov—a legendary high school athlete, a devoted family man, a hard worker, the prospe...

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.

Goodbye, Columbus
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.

The Regeneration Trilogy

The Regeneration Trilogy is Pat Barker's sweeping masterpiece of British historical fiction. 1917, Scotland. At Craiglockhart War Hospital in Scotland, army psychiatrist William Rivers treats shell-shocked soldiers before sending them back to the front. In his care are poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, and Billy Prior, who is only able to communicate by means of pencil and paper. . . Regeneration, The Eye in the Door and The Ghost Road follow the stories of these men until the last months of the war. Widely acclaimed and admired, Pat Barker's Regeneration trilogy paints with moving detail the far-reaching consequences of a conflict which decimated a generation. 'Harrowing, original, delicate and unforgettable' Independent 'A new vision of what the First World War did to human beings, male and female, soldiers and civilians. Constantly surprising and formally superb' A. S. Byatt, Daily Telegraph 'One of the few real masterpieces of late twentieth-century British fiction' Jonathan Coe

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.

The Altruists: A Novel

"[An] intelligent, funny, and remarkably assured first novel. . . . [Andrew Ridker establishes] himself as a big, promising talent. . . . Hilarious. . . . Astute and highly entertaining. . . . Outstanding." --The New York Times Book Review"With humor and warmth, Ridker explores the...

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.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 19604/25/2019


Offsite Link
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

Feminist retellings of history dominate 2019 Women's prize shortlist

From Pat Barker’s reworking of Greek myth to Anna Burns’s take on the Troubles, the finalists turn familiar stories on their heads

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....

World History For Dummies

Now updated! Your personal tour guide to the history of the world Want to know more about global history? This concise guide explains in clear detail all the major players and events that have made the world what it is today. Covering the entirety of human history, this comprehensive resource hig...

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!

The Shining Path: Love, Madness, and Revolution in the Andes

A narrative history of the unlikely Maoist rebellion that terrorized Peru even after the fall of global Communism.On May 17, 1980, on the eve of Peru’s presidential election, five masked men stormed a small town in the Andean heartland. They set election ballots ablaze and vanished into the night...

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).

Offsite Link
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!

The Light Years

The Light Years is a joyous and defiant coming-of-age memoir set during one of the most turbulent times in American history Chris Rush w...

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

The rise of the literary miniseries

Catch-22 and The Name of the Rose were once turned into movies. Now they're miniseries. Here's why.

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.

Offsite Link
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 38105/18/2019

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 38205/18/2019

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

by Anonymousreply 38305/18/2019

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 38405/19/2019

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 38505/19/2019

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 38605/19/2019

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

by Anonymousreply 38705/21/2019

Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters

by Marilyn Monroe


Fragments is an event—an unforgettable book that will redefine one of the greatest icons of the twentieth century and that, nearly fifty ...

by Anonymousreply 38805/21/2019

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

by Anonymousreply 38905/21/2019

And Becky Sharp was Undine Sprague's great grandma.

by Anonymousreply 39005/21/2019

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 39105/22/2019

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

by Anonymousreply 39205/22/2019

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 39305/23/2019

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

by Anonymousreply 39405/23/2019

[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 39505/23/2019

Which one of these books DLers recommend?

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray - Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

The Nightingale Kristin Hannah - Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke - Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent - In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson - Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

by Anonymousreply 39605/24/2019

Is that an either/or list, r396?

I love Kate Atkinson and her LIFE AFTER LIFE is brilliant.

by Anonymousreply 39705/24/2019

All of them have their fans. It's a good, eclectic list. Of the ones I know I'd say Thackery, Massie, Clarke, McCourt. Haven't read the Larson or Atkinson, but based on other books of theirs, I'd say go for it. Sounds like your heading for a summer at the beach, a long long trip, or extended convalescence! Enjoy.

by Anonymousreply 39805/24/2019

Begin by Vanity Fair, r396, Becky Sharp is a gay icon.

by Anonymousreply 39905/24/2019

Dying of shame here. As recommended on the previous thread, I was trying to find a copy of Armadale at the local library and couldn't find it. I was searching for "Armitage".

by Anonymousreply 40005/24/2019

the Overstory by Powers is an incredible read. dense and rich in story and emotions. love it.

by Anonymousreply 40105/24/2019

Thanks for answers.

by Anonymousreply 40205/24/2019

Any Muriel Sparks fans here?

In the 1980s I really got into some of her early books. Loved The Girls of Slender Means, Memento Mori and, of course, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (which is so much leaner and less emotional than the film).

But I've tried to like some of her later work and found it too ....what's the word? Abstract? I'm about to give The Finishing School another try. Also, maybe Aiding and Abetting.

by Anonymousreply 40305/27/2019

I read The Altruist this week. The writer is a profoundly intelligent man born in 1991. His way with words and sentences is formidable. The story he tells is compelling, yet none of the characters is someone you root for (well, maybe one at the end). I'd need to go back and read it again before I could truly have a handle on what "altruism" means to the writer, and maybe someday I will. But for now, the three main characters are so utterly unpleasant, I want nothing more to do with them.

by Anonymousreply 40405/27/2019

R403 Me! Driver's Seat is some strange fruit indeed. It is both abstract and sharp.

Currently reading Ms Spark's "The Bachelors".

by Anonymousreply 40505/28/2019

Listening to the Librivox POOR MISS FINCH someone had recommended above and am enjoying it thus far. Thanks for the tip!

by Anonymousreply 40605/29/2019

I'm about 60 pages into Louis Bayrad's newest COURTING MR LINCOLN, which was mentioned above, about the love triangle (my words) between Abe, Mary Todd and Joshua Speed. I'm liking it so far.....wish perhaps it had a little bit less delicacy. We'll see where it goes.....

by Anonymousreply 40705/29/2019

I have met Louis a few times. Really nice guy. I loved some of his earlier stuff like Mr. Timothy and the Black Tower.

Anybody read Out East?

by Anonymousreply 40805/29/2019

I loved the Gustav Sonata and most of Rose Tremain's work.

by Anonymousreply 40905/29/2019

Agree on THE GUSTAV SONATA and Rose Tremain! I was surprised to see some negative comments way upthread.

I've read several of her books over the years, and each one could have been written by a different (great) writer. The one thing in common is a deep empathy for the flaws of human nature.

by Anonymousreply 41005/29/2019

You're welcome, R406 - extra lobster mayonaisse for you!

by Anonymousreply 41105/29/2019

Scored three used copies of Barbara Pym novels I hadn't read at Powell's in Portland over the weekend. Those should keep me going for a bit.

by Anonymousreply 41205/29/2019

I love Barbara Pym but there is a certain sameness to most (not all) of her novels that can really get you down if you binge on them.

The 2 exceptions that come to mind are The Sweet Dove Died and Quartet in Autumn.

by Anonymousreply 41305/29/2019

I absolutely loved Milkman. I'm now with Lie with me

by Anonymousreply 41405/29/2019

I went through some Barbara Pym: [italic]Some Tame Gazelle, Excellent Women, No Fond Return of Love[/italic]. I did notice some similarities, and then when this month I read [italic]The Golden Tresses of the Dead[/italic] I could see its author, Alan Bradley, had read Barbara Pym.

I don't want to be 'brought down' by novels right now -- I want either laughs or searing satire. Randall Jarrell's [italic]Pictures of an Institution[/italic] did nothing for me. Are there funnier and lighter 'readalikes' and contemporaries of Barbara Pym?

by Anonymousreply 41505/29/2019

I've tried reading that Jarrell book 3 times and never gotten very far. Just don't get it.

r415, are you acquainted with British novelist David Lodge? He's not a Pym contemporary, most of his great books were written in the 1970s-1990s. I love Changing Places, Small World, Nice Work, Therapy, Out of the Shelter, most of them really. All very astute satires of academia and middle and working class Brits.

by Anonymousreply 41605/29/2019

I soured on Lie With Me about a third of the way through (and it's only about 5 pages long). Readable translation, though.

by Anonymousreply 41705/29/2019

r416: Big David Lodge fan. I think I read one of his later books a couple of years ago but can't remember the title. The academic novels were all funny and very English. Worth rereading.

by Anonymousreply 41805/29/2019

I did find David Lodge's academia trilogy amusing but on that theme I much prefer Nabokov (Pnin), Burgess (Endersby) and Amis (Lucky Jim). Pnin is my personal favourite.

by Anonymousreply 41905/29/2019

I read Lodge's novel [italic]The British Museum is Falling Down.[/italic], r416. I remember liking it. Thanks for the timely recommendation. Looking at the LibraryThing readalike page for him, I see a number of authors whose work I've read pieces of: Jonathan Coe, Muriel Spark, Alison Lurie, Iris Murdoch; Tom Sharpe and Evelyn Waugh I've read enough of to be a fan of.

by Anonymousreply 42005/29/2019

I have to correct my list of read Pym Titles: [italic]Less Than Angels[/italic] I have read.

Of LibraryThing's list of top ten related novelists, numbers 1 through 5 are discussed and appreciated here: Angela Thirkell, Elizabeth Taylor, Anthony Trollope, E.F. Benson and Muriel Spark. Who has recommendations for works of the authors ranked 6 through 10: Elizabeth Bowen, Molly Keane, Rebecca West, E.H. Young and Elizabeth Von Arnim?

by Anonymousreply 42105/29/2019

My opinions, r421:

Angela Thirkell: her writing is very lah dee dah Bright Young Things flappers and their gaylings, maters and paters....did not enjoy.

Elizabeth Taylor: want so much to like her but have started a few and not finished them. However, the one I did love was Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont. Also kind of enjoyed At Mrs. Lippincotes. I don't find her writing anything like Pym's though they're often compared for some reason.

Trollope: The Master! I especially love his stand-alone novels The Way We Live Now, Orley Farm and He Knew He Was Right. Though others recommend the Barset and Palliser series, I'm not as fond. One might start with a few of his shorter stand-alones like The Belton Inheritance, The Vicar of Bulhampton and Doctor Thorne.

EF Benson: Loved him when I was younger 30 years ago but rereading now, find them just a little too twee and silly. But they're fun, I'm sure, if you're a Benson beginner.

Muriel Spark: I'm the poster who brought her up upthread. Loved The Girls of Slender Means, Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Memento Mori but have found her last several books a bit dense and hard to get into.

Elizabeth Bowen: I enjoyed The Death of the Heart but I guess not enough to read more of her. Might still try The Heat of the Day.

Molly Keane: Many years ago I read Time After Time and Good Behavior. I still have those paperbacks and must reread them!

Never read Rebecca West.

EH Young: I bought a used copy of The Misses Mallet years ago and have tried to read it a few times but never got very far. Just too prissy old-fashioned, even for me.

Elizabeth von Armin: I own a used copy of Mr. Skeffington but I've never gotten around to reading it. I really must! I like the film Enchanted April based on her book though never read it.

Not on your list but I highly recommend William Trevor; beautifully humane novellas and short stories that often have an odd twinge of Hitchcock-like tension in the plotting.

There's also Anita Brookner, also often compared to Pym, but I've always found her novels too depressing. The maudlin put-upon heroines are usually hopelessly helpless and/or passive aggressive, just the opposite of Pym's plucky spinsters and vicar's wives.

by Anonymousreply 42205/29/2019

Correction: It's The Belton Estate by Anthony Trollope.

I confused the title with The Belting Inheritance, which is by Julian Symons, a wonderful mystery writer 1950s-1980s.

by Anonymousreply 42305/29/2019

This topic is the gift that keeps on giving. I finished reading Edmund Crispin and although I probably won't read any mystery writer who can tickle me the way his novels did, I'm up for reading his contemporaries too. Thanks a dozen times over.

by Anonymousreply 42405/29/2019

R416 I can also say that David Lodge's Campus Triology is very good - I think you can buy it in one book quite cheaply. Recently read his memoir - not so good. Didn't have the wit I thought it would have, rather dry.

by Anonymousreply 42505/30/2019

The delicacy of COURTING MR. LINCOLN was one of the reasons I liked it so much. Bayard doesn't impose modern psychology or assumptions on the subject, but seems to reside in the minds of three 19th century historic figures.

by Anonymousreply 42605/30/2019

Rebecca West named herself after the anti-heroine in Rosmersholm by Ibsen.

On another note altogether, I am watching Good Behaviour and love it. Has anyone read any Blake Crouch?

by Anonymousreply 42705/30/2019

I read West's THE FOUNTAIN OVERFLOWS decades ago and remember enjoying. I also enjoy another West, the now-forgotten Jessamyn, who wrote THE FRIENDLY PERSUASION. The sequel, EXCEPT FOR ME AND THEE, a sequence of related vignettes concerning Quaker life in the 19th-century, contains one of the most devastating episodes I've ever read.

by Anonymousreply 42805/30/2019

I am in the middle of Full Dark House, the first Bryant and May Peculiar Crimes book. Thanks for the recommendation, I am really enjoying it and plan to read the all series.

by Anonymousreply 42905/30/2019

Thanks, R373. I'm a big fan of Confederacy of Dunces (it's one of the few books that have made me laugh out loud too) so I will check out Rush's Light Years.

by Anonymousreply 43005/30/2019

R422: [italic]Dr. Wortle's School[/italic] is an approachable standalone; [italic]Dr. Thorne[/italic] is considered a Barset story.

I loved William Trevor's novella [ITALIC]Miss Gomez and the Bretheren[/italic].

by Anonymousreply 43105/30/2019

I discovered DL Faves Elizabeth Taylor and Barbara Pym via second hand copies of the Virago Modern Classics series, which reprints semi-overlooked or critically-poo-pooed lady novelists from Margaret Kennedy to Grace Paley. Virago are also the contemporary publishers of Marilynne Robinson and Sarah Waters.

Today I borrowed The Charioteer by Mary Renault from my library. Introduction by Simon Russell Beale! Even the title is gay gay gay.

The Charioteer

'The Charioteer remains compelling both as a snapshot of a particular - and particularly fascinating - cultural moment, and as a deeply romantic story of lov...

by Anonymousreply 43205/31/2019

Recently read "The Devil All the Time" by Donald Pollock—a very effective, atmospheric modern Southern Gothic novel. A lyrical, disturbing read.

by Anonymousreply 43305/31/2019

Just finished Something Wonderful, about Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Just started Silas Marner, which i thought was going to be stiff but so far is really engaging.

by Anonymousreply 43405/31/2019

Thanks to the DL, I am happy to say I’ve gone down the English 19th century rabbit hole , and have thus far read Pride and Prejudice, Vanity Fair, House of Mirth, Age of Innocence, and am now taking on Middlemarch. I’m enjoying every minute.

by Anonymousreply 43505/31/2019

R434. It took me until a few years ago to get around to Silas Marner (I read Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda in grad school). I loved it and found it very moving.

by Anonymousreply 43606/01/2019

Has anyone read Melmoth by Sarah Perry?

by Anonymousreply 43706/01/2019

God, how I wish I had time to read MIDDLEMARCH. I'm about 3/4 through Ellison's INVISIBLE MAN, a brilliant novel, but it's taken me a year thus far.

by Anonymousreply 43806/01/2019

Just finished COURTING MR. LINCOLN. Absolutely loved it.

I don't know why I've avoided reading Louis Bayard's earlier books but I'll certainly give them a try now.

by Anonymousreply 43906/01/2019

R438, bless your heart. Are you reading a page a day?

by Anonymousreply 44006/01/2019

More like a paragraph.

by Anonymousreply 44106/01/2019

Great to hear r439. I loved it too, as I expressed a few weeks ago. I hope it is a big hit for him, and would make a great movie. Andrew Garfield as Abe!

by Anonymousreply 44206/01/2019

Not to be pedantic r435 (too late!) but the Edith Wharton books you read are 20th c. American.

by Anonymousreply 44306/01/2019

So after finishing Courting Mr. Lincoln I wanted to read another good book with some gayness to it and finally plucked Father of Frankenstein by Christopher Bram off my bookshelf.

I bought a used copy years ago but then I think I kept avoiding reading it because I felt it might not come up to the film (Gods and Monsters). But so far I am just loving it...beautifully written prose with lots of psychological insight.

by Anonymousreply 44406/01/2019

I just started [italic]Miss Mole[/italic] by E.H. Young, as my library has a 1930 edition. It won the James Tait Black award that year. I'm let down by my attention span, E.H. Young's not much of a stylist. The paragraphs are long, so my attention wanders, like it did when I read Henry James' [italic]The Ambassadors[/italic]. This suggests to me Miss Mole lives largely in her head. Reading this is making me fancy reading this on a settee, in the light of a table lamp, with some tea.

by Anonymousreply 44506/01/2019

So is Courting Mr. Lincoln about the gays?

by Anonymousreply 44606/01/2019

I'm starting The end of loneliness by young german writer Benedict Wells. It was huge in some european countries a couple of years ago

by Anonymousreply 44706/02/2019

I continue to read Muriel Spark. In doing so, I think she would have liked Bret Easton Ellis' "Rules of Attraction".

by Anonymousreply 44806/02/2019

What are your favorite Muriel Sparks, r448?

by Anonymousreply 44906/02/2019

The Punishment She Deserves by Elizabeth George. After her last couple of books went off the rails, lost of the plot, were not all the interesting, George has more than made up for that lack in this book. Lynley and Havers are back in peak form!

by Anonymousreply 45006/02/2019

errrr......Muriel Sparkses?

by Anonymousreply 45106/02/2019

discovered a series of mysteries by Suzanne Chazin, immigration and police issues. very timely. well told stories.

by Anonymousreply 45206/02/2019

I just finished reading The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann. Hans Castorp must be one of the most engaging young men in modern literature.

by Anonymousreply 45306/02/2019

I read Mann's BUDDENBROOKS a couple of years ago but was disappointing. It didn't seem like anything more than family soap opera with all the inevitable failings of each succeeding generation. So it discouraged me from THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN but perhaps I'll give it a try.

by Anonymousreply 45406/02/2019

And i just bought An inconvenient woman by Dominick Dunne.

I find amazing that this man was unpublished in Spain till five years ago. I remember watching the tv film of a season in purgatory on tv (which had a lot of gay subtext).

Lately he became one of my summer reads, those high society gossip mixed with a crime is very entertaining

by Anonymousreply 45506/02/2019

Currently reading 'The Paying Guests' by Sarah Waters. Dull so far; it's taking a long time to get going.

by Anonymousreply 45606/02/2019

In the list above, William Trevor is more recent than all others except Anita Brookner (i.e., late 20th). I haven't read any of his books in a long time but I enjoyed him a lot. I confess that in my 30s I was a bit of a Brookner addict. Her prose is very beautiful, kind of addicting, but she writes the same novel over and over, obviously (or so I've read) based on her own life (although she herself was also a very successful art historian). I can't read her now that I'm older--too depressing. But Trevor, as I recall, wrote lovely novels. Another fave of mine is Penelope Fitzgerald. The first one I read was the Blue Flower. All her novels are unique--not long and with compelling characters and plots. She didn't start writing until she was 50ish I think but came from a famous literary family. Innocence, a love story set in Florence in the 1950s really captivated me. Gate of Angels is another one. If you like one, you'll probably like them all; she's a great writer, kind of perfect in her way.

by Anonymousreply 45706/02/2019

Another British Penelope, Penelope Lively, is also worth checking out.

The Photograph, Moon Tiger, How It All Began and Judgment Day are all quite good.

by Anonymousreply 45806/02/2019

Mr Know It All by John Waters.

by Anonymousreply 45906/02/2019

He was very funny on Bill Maher's show this week.

by Anonymousreply 46006/02/2019

R454 I've never read Buddenbrooks - guess I've always thought of it as the German Forsyte Saga. The Magic Mountain has an entertaining cast of characters although I must admit that I found the wrangling between Naphta, the Christian nihilist and Settembrini, the secular humanist to be tiresome when it goes on for pages and pages.

by Anonymousreply 46106/03/2019

I'm about halfway through Rules of Civility by Amor Towles (based on a recommendation from this thread) and I'm really enjoying it, even more so than A Gentleman in Moscow. It moves at a great pace and I love the dialogue.

by Anonymousreply 46206/03/2019

Borrowed Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng from the library before the Reese Witherspoon miniseries comes out. Is the Asian character been cast by Kerry Washington? Constance Wu will not be pleased.

by Anonymousreply 46306/03/2019

Little fires everywhere is only tangentially asian. As far i remember there's one asian character and it's only important on the way she affects the main characters.

I liked everything i never told you more. I was hooked from the first sentence

by Anonymousreply 46406/03/2019

Little Fires Everywhere is good as you read but less so in hindsight when you realize the illogic of some of it.

by Anonymousreply 46506/03/2019

R449 Driver's Seat and The Bachelors.

by Anonymousreply 46606/04/2019

Read 50 pages (of 140) of TELL THEM OF BATTLES, KINGS AND ELEPHANTS and gave up on it. Contemporary fiction bores the pants off me. Where are the characters, the stories, the themes that aspire to greatness, storm the heavens and shatter the soul? The last contemporary novel I read that ticked all those boxes was SOPHIE'S CHOICE. What happened?

by Anonymousreply 46706/04/2019

MARY! Why don't you tell us what books you DO enjoy, R467?

by Anonymousreply 46806/04/2019

I recommend [italic]Mawrdew Czgowchwz[/italic], a comet blazing through the inky firmament of literature.

[quote]Where are the characters, the stories, the themes that aspire to greatness, storm the heavens and shatter the soul?

by Anonymousreply 46906/04/2019

R467, there have been some great novels in the past twenty years with the same heft and sweep of Sophie's Choice (some better than that novel actually). I'm not going to make a list for you because you sound like an extremely tedious bore.

by Anonymousreply 47006/05/2019

Wow, never thought I'd hear MARWDEW mentioned again. Love that book, and performed much of the whole first chapter as part of my PhD quals. James McCourt has really faded from the landscape.

by Anonymousreply 47106/05/2019

i just started another Christopher Bram novel. "Lives of the Circus Animals". Bram is a fun gay author.

by Anonymousreply 47206/05/2019

"you sound like an extremely tedious bore."

You left out pontificating, r470, which I most certainly am, and which is why I need a great big book to smack the bejesus out of me.

kid gets slapped in face with book.

Kid gets slapped in face with book. MAKE SURE SOUND IS TURNED ALL THE WAY UP.

by Anonymousreply 47306/05/2019

This is what I have read in the past 3 months: Four, Crawdads, The Silent Patient, Little Fires Everywhere, Eleanor Oliphant. Yes, I enjoy popular fiction, and when things aren't so hectic in my life, and I have a chance to concentrate, I do enjoy the classics. That just hasn't been the case for a while. Currently reading Pachinko.

by Anonymousreply 47406/05/2019

R463 I don't know this for sure but thinking Kerry Washington will play Mia.

by Anonymousreply 47506/05/2019

R475:_. Are they going to change the race of the characters?

by Anonymousreply 47606/05/2019

Where and when did you do a performance as part of your PhD quals. I'm intrigued.

by Anonymousreply 47706/05/2019

I don't know R476, but I can't imagine who else Kerry Washington would be playing. I know Ng gives a physical description of Mia, but if you think about it, she could be almost any race or ethnicity (with the exception of Asian, since she doesn't have that kinship with Bebe). Same for Pearl. The Richardsons, on the other hand, are clearly white.

by Anonymousreply 47806/05/2019

That was for 471, btw

by Anonymousreply 47906/05/2019

Just finished Death is Hard Work, a Syrian variation on As I Lay Dying. Excellent and not slavish with regard to the Faulkner. 2/3 done with The Overstory. It's worth picking up, as Ruth Sherwood would's about this tree....

by Anonymousreply 48006/05/2019

R478: Yes, the Richardson's are clearly white. I think Mia and her daughter are implied to be white too but probably could work with any other race (and i read it when the book was published so maybe my memory is failing me).

The race theme is part of the twist plot of the novel but it's not as central as it is on Everything i never told you

by Anonymousreply 48106/05/2019

Is Mia the mother who adopts the Asian baby?

by Anonymousreply 48206/05/2019

R482: I think Mia is Pearl's mother. The two main characters

by Anonymousreply 48306/05/2019

Well, then that's ridiculous. Pearl and her mother have to be Asian. There are so many details in the book about that, including somewhat of a lack of English-speaking..

And in any case, Kerry Washington comes off as too sophisticated and intelligent and strong for Pearl. Pearl has to appear hopeless as a mother.

by Anonymousreply 48406/05/2019

The Richardsons' daughter has a black boyfriend. But the racist issue comes from an Asian mother wanting her child back after she was adopted by a couple who I think was friends with the Richardsons'. The artist (Mia?) stands by the bio mother which causes an estrangement between the Richardson's and Mia and it effects the friendships of their mutual children. I read it awhile ago. I thought it was good.

by Anonymousreply 48506/05/2019

I forget the first name of the woman who adopts the Asian baby (something McCullough) but Mia is Pearl's mother.

by Anonymousreply 48606/05/2019

It is good R486. It did reek of racial insecurity on Ng's part, but not unjustifiably so. Clearly, she is writing about the upper crust, privileged white world in which she grew up and where she, as an Asian American, felt like an outsider, despite being affluent, educated, and privileged herself.

by Anonymousreply 48706/05/2019

R484, I am not sure if you mean Bebe and Mei Ling (the baby), instead of Mia and Pearl. Mia is the artist/waitress and Pearl is her daughter who befriends the Richardson. Bebe is the Asian woman who is also a waitress who lost her daughter.

by Anonymousreply 48806/05/2019


I liked Eleanor Olyphant, although I figured out the big reveal early on.

by Anonymousreply 48906/05/2019

R489 I liked it very much, didn't think I would enjoy it as much as I did. At first I thought it was going in a completely different direction, thought she might be an alcoholic or addict. Definitely didn't see the twist at the end. I never do though.

And in my above post, not sure where I got the title "Four" from - the book was 4321 (by Paul Auster).

by Anonymousreply 49006/05/2019

[quote] Another fave of mine is Penelope Fitzgerald. The first one I read was the Blue Flower. All her novels are unique--not long and with compelling characters and plots. She didn't start writing until she was 50ish I think but came from a famous literary family. Innocence, a love story set in Florence in the 1950s really captivated me. Gate of Angels is another one. If you like one, you'll probably like them all; she's a great writer, kind of perfect in her way.

I really lover her too. My favorite is OFFSHORE, about a very dysfunctional family living in a houseboat on the Thames. But I also love THE GATE OF ANGELS and THE BLUE FLOWER... you really can't go wrong with any of her books.

by Anonymousreply 49106/05/2019

*Sorry, I meant "I really love her too." LOL!

by Anonymousreply 49206/05/2019

[quote] I continue to read Muriel Spark. In doing so, I think she would have liked Bret Easton Ellis' "Rules of Attraction".

Boy, I don't agree with you there at all.

Muriel Spark was the absolute master of careful narrative control in the 20th-century novel: her novels are like Swiss watches. She would have ridiculed how sprawling and loosely plotted Ellis's book is, and how sloppily written it was (such as in the notorious scene--much lambasted by SPY Magazine-- where Ellis mistakenly has one of his multiple narrating characters describe in passing seeing her own character at a party; neither he nor his editors caught the mistake before publication).

by Anonymousreply 49306/05/2019

Almost finished with the first Sister Pelagia book, which I've found overall a good read (though not as much when she wasn't directly in the events). Will read the next one, although following the plot itself, and the Russian characters (names) a bit challenging - wouldn't wanted to have been the Interpreter here!

by Anonymousreply 49406/06/2019

just finished Lives of Circus Animals. loved it. laughed, cried. its sort of a french farce set in the theater district of new york . actors, directors, critics all mixed together. very enjoyable.

by Anonymousreply 49506/06/2019

I second R433-- The Devil all the Time was a fantastic, dark book. Pollock is a great writer. His collection of short stories, Knockemstiff, is also very good.

by Anonymousreply 49606/06/2019

R493 It is not so much the plot that I think she would like, more so the delusions of the characters in ROA.

by Anonymousreply 49706/07/2019

I agree with the fans of Penelope Fitzgerald. My favourite is At Freddie's about the children's drama school.

by Anonymousreply 49806/07/2019

I'm reading The Impeachers, about the presidency, impeachment & trial of Andrew Johnson. The author, Brenda Wineapple, surely was not unaware of the great parallels between the 17th president & the current incumbent.

by Anonymousreply 49906/07/2019

I read Penelope Fitzgerald's The Bookshop for the second time recently. Still good. (The movie? Not horrible, but not the book.)

by Anonymousreply 50006/07/2019

Based on a recommendation on this thread I read Poor Miss Finch by Wilkie Collins. The use of nitrate of silver to treat epilepsy and the subsequent turning of the skin blue is a major plot element in this novel. It brought to mind an anecdote I recall from high school Canadian History class. Julia Valenza Somerville, the fiancee of Francis Bond Head, the future Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada (Ontario) 1835-1838, experienced the same misfortune. His response: "My love for you is not skin deep." I wonder if Collins had this in mind when he wrote this novel in 1872.

by Anonymousreply 50106/07/2019

I'm currently reading George Gissing's THE ODD WOMEN and enjoying it quite a bit. It's about single working class women in London in the 1880s-1890s. The "odd" actually refers to the fact that there were a half million more women than men in London at that time, and because of the odds, they were likely to remain single.

I think Gissing's more famous novel NEW GRUB STREET has been discussed in these threads before. It's a great book about professional writers and reporters in late Victorian England. Vivid characters and highly emotional plotting.

by Anonymousreply 50206/07/2019


Second book is a masterpiece. Pelagia and Black Monk, i think. Do you happen to read something from Fandorin Series?

by Anonymousreply 50306/07/2019

I'm looking forward to the Black Monk. May try Fandorin after finishing Pelagia books.

by Anonymousreply 50406/08/2019

I'm reading 'Slush Pile', a debut by Australian author Ian Shadwell.

It's about a Booker Prize wining author suffering from writer's block, who steals any idea from a slush pile.

It was published in 2014. A concept similar to A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne.

Is this a commonly used plot?

by Anonymousreply 50506/08/2019

just finished my 4th Gary Shteyngart book: Super Sad True Love Story. talk about modern dystopian novel meets current USA political "realities"... so good and frighteningly possible.

by Anonymousreply 50606/09/2019

Revisiting George Pelecanos, as I do every several years. I've read his most recent, 2018's The Man Who Came Uptown, then reread the first two of the four "DC Quartet" novels, The Big Blowdown (1996) and King Suckerman (1997). This morning, I began the first Nick Stefanos book (of three), A Firing Offense, from 1992.

I lived in DC a long time, and I love Pelecanos' take on the city that shares nothing but weather and occasional physical space with the federal government. Plus he loves music, and has taken great care to match specific songs and groups with the years they were popular in DC.

by Anonymousreply 50706/10/2019

I'm reading White by Brett Easton Ellis. I agree with a lot of what he says but he really comes across as a total sociopath.

by Anonymousreply 50806/11/2019

r507 all good reads. fully enjoyed them.

by Anonymousreply 50906/11/2019

Any Lee Child fans here? I love them as palate cleansers between more challenging works.

by Anonymousreply 51006/12/2019

Not for nothing, but doesn't Ayelet Waldman's picture in the Times story on LSD and literature suggest that she has fully embraced the role she is destined to play--aging, homely ver weight wife of a gay man?

by Anonymousreply 51106/12/2019

I'm starting the first Jack Reacher book now, r510.

by Anonymousreply 51206/12/2019

Great. Hope you enjoy. It's good to read them in sequence, but not necessary.

by Anonymousreply 51306/13/2019

r512: Lee Child's books don't really have a necessary sequence. In fact sometimes one of the later books goes back to when Jack was in the military years earlier (in most of them he is retired military) and explains things about his history that you didn't know about before. I was sort of a literary snob for many years, but tried one Reacher a few years ago, The Killing Floor, recommended by several fans as the best one to start with, and I was hooked and went on to read them all except one that I found horribly bad in the first chapter (don't remember which one plus maybe you'll like it). He is not a writer's writer in any sense of the word but they are weirdly hypnotic and addicting. I did the same thing a few years before with Michael Connelly's books. Connelly is a much better writer of prose (he started out as a crime reporter for the LA Times and he has a nicely economical style), but Lee Child writes maybe the best airplane reads of all time or the best--I need a book to completely blot out the world for tonight (because you'll probably stay up until you finish it). His success is deserved IMO. You just can't put them down. I've tried a few other thriller writers (Grisham is pretty bad in comparison and haven't read one in years). Virtually all of these other bestseller writers I abandon after a few pages. Now I'm one of the Lee Child flock waiting for October when the next one comes out. Incidentally, FWIW, Malcolm Gladwell wrote a New Yorker article a few years ago about his devotion to the Reacher books.

by Anonymousreply 51406/13/2019

Hmmm...after reading a review like r514's, I checked out a couple of Lee Child books, but had the opposite reaction: I didn't want to go back for more.

The mystery series writers I've enjoyed most are George Pelecanos, Michael Connelly, and J.A. Jance. I'm currently rereading all of Pelecanos, and am now reading the second in Jance's Walker Family series, which I'm not enjoying as much as the Ali Reynolds or J.P. Beaumont.

I've also read a few by Lisa Scottoline, all with Italian female lawyers as the heroines. I find myself questioning the logic of a lot of the decisions they make, so it's hard to take some of the books seriously. But I enjoy the character development that grows as you advance through the two interrelated series.

by Anonymousreply 51506/13/2019

Ce que le jour doit à la nuit de Yasmina Khadra

by Anonymousreply 51606/13/2019

Totally agree with you r515 (I was the one who started the topic) but still recommend reading them in order because the titles are mostly exchangeable and easy to forget. So after jumping around the series, I started a chronological attack to make sure I don't miss one And I also disagree that he's not a writer's writer; there seem to be many accomplished "serious" writers who are also addicted. But we are unified on their quality, especially on a long flight.

by Anonymousreply 51706/14/2019

r517: You're talking to me, r514, not r515, by the way, who says he didn't like Lee Child. You and I are the Lee Child aficionados around here. Am glad to hear you think he's a writer's writer. He's got an amazing and unique talent; I'd agree with that. But I could also understand that a certain kind of reader would not like Child--especially because the books vary in quality IMO.

by Anonymousreply 51806/14/2019

r515 here. Thanks, r518. I wasn't sure why r517 was talking to me.

If I were to give Lee Child another shot, what book should I read first? (Then I'll try to figure out if it's one of the two I've read.)

by Anonymousreply 51906/14/2019

Sorry to everyone confused by my mix-up. As to which one to read to give him a second chance, I'd suggest 61 Hours. It's very tight and focused, as the title suggests. It's the one that made me a permanent fan after reading two or three and finding them good but not great. Now I'm hooked and waiting eagerly for my flight from Austin tomorrow to finish Never Go Back.

by Anonymousreply 52006/15/2019

I'm going to read An inconveniente woman by Dominick Dunne. Dunne became one of my summer reads these last summers (curiously Dunne never was translated here till five years ago)

by Anonymousreply 52106/15/2019

Thank you, r520. I have ordered 61 Hours. It's book #14, so I doubt I've read it yet.

by Anonymousreply 52206/15/2019

Let us know when you've finished, r522

by Anonymousreply 52306/15/2019

Will do, r523.

by Anonymousreply 52406/15/2019

I really enjoyed On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. Beautifully written.

by Anonymousreply 52506/16/2019

I was very surprised to find that novel on the new york times bestseller list. To be honest i didn't know he was that popular, but of course i only know him because he is friend of Edouard Louis.

The reviews are really good

by Anonymousreply 52606/16/2019

I'm in the middle of Rose Tremain's epic novel MUSIC AND SILENCE and loving it. I think she's been mentioned upthread.

It's a multi-character epic story of the King Christian IV's Danish court in the 1620s. Very intelligent historical fiction.

by Anonymousreply 52706/16/2019

R525 A friend of mine was one of his teachers at Brooklyn College—liked him a lot.

by Anonymousreply 52806/16/2019

'If the book we're reading doesn't wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for?' - Franz Kafka

by Anonymousreply 52906/17/2019

Oh please, Franz. You'd think differently if you ever had to take a long airplane ride.

by Anonymousreply 53006/18/2019

"Delta Wedding" by Eudora Welty. There's never a time I would not have hated all these people IRL, but somehow when Welty describes them, it's almost like they are humans.

by Anonymousreply 53106/18/2019

I enjoyed The Misfortune of Marion Palm and Little Fires Everywhere

by Anonymousreply 53206/19/2019

Has anyone read that CRAWDADS book that has topped the best-seller list forever? Is it another MOCKINGBIRD or another Orah-lite, feel-good, book-club tome?

by Anonymousreply 53306/19/2019

My mom is reading Crawdads now. While not a Mockingbird-style classic, she says it has a terrific sense of place and is well written.

by Anonymousreply 53406/19/2019

I am currently reading A Gentleman In Moscow. The writing is good but it is slow in some places.

by Anonymousreply 53506/19/2019

I enjoyed Crawdads. There’s a central mystery from the first few pages. I wouldn’t call it an Oprah type novel as it has more substance. There is a twist at the end. I think it would make a fantastic movie.

by Anonymousreply 53606/19/2019

Christopher Bram for the win. working my way thru his books. currently reading Exiles in America. such a good story teller.

by Anonymousreply 53706/19/2019

Crawdads is a great story read, yes, very well written. Beautiful descriptions of the natural environment and some nice zoological metaphors in there. I recommend it. However, Owens sacrifices much credulity and manipulates the reader's emotions (as many books do) for the sake of a better story. But yeah it's completely unrealistic and soapy for large swaths of the novel.

by Anonymousreply 53806/19/2019

A Gentleman in Moscow is brilliant writing but, just know, there is no plot.

And I'm still not sure exactly what happened at the end.

by Anonymousreply 53906/19/2019

In every Jack Reacher book: * He meets and fucks a beautiful woman, she is most likely from his past. * He gets in a bar fight in which he is outnumbered. * In the first few chapters we are introduced to a special ability Jack has that was never used in any of the other books. My favorite was the ability to always know exactly what time it is. * He goes to a thrift store to buy some clothes. ~~ I consider the books literary palate cleansers, perfect between more serious reads.

by Anonymousreply 54006/19/2019

r532, just looked up The Misfortune of Marion Palm book on Amazon and the reviews are all over the place with the main objection being: unsympathetic characters. But then I'm very intrigued by the good reviews and your recommendation.


by Anonymousreply 54106/19/2019

Exactly. The Reacher books are formulaic. It's Child's genius that he spins the formulas brilliantly in ways that are almost always entertaining.

by Anonymousreply 54206/19/2019

Marjorie Morningstar by the recently deceased Herman Wouk, age 103.

One of the top sellers of 1955, 37 weeks on the Times bestseller list, for many months at number one.

The story of a beautiful Jewish girl who wants to be an actress, told from age 17 to 37. Still fascinating, and still relevant, seems like it was written just yesterday...

by Anonymousreply 54306/20/2019

I read Marjorie Morningstar about 4 times as a teenager.

by Anonymousreply 54406/21/2019

Anyone see the film version of MM? I read it last year, as I occasionally like to see what was popular in my youth—Dear and Glorious Physician, By Love Possessed, Advise and Consent. I found MM something of a slog, far longer than it needed to be, but often fascinating nonetheless.

by Anonymousreply 54506/21/2019

Marjorie Morgenstern: the book was bettah.

by Anonymousreply 54606/21/2019

I remember beginning Marjorie Morningstar years ago but thinking it didn't feel authentic to the period of the 1930s when it's set. It felt completely rooted in the 1950s when it was written. And so I didn't get very far.

Is the film set in the 1930s or 1950s? It looks like the 1950s but of course most films back then made little attempt to recreate period costumes and hairstyles when they were only 20 years off from the period depicted.

by Anonymousreply 54706/21/2019

I can't remember if I posted this above or not. Am currently in the middle of a really good recent non-fiction audiobook called "A Woman of No Importance" by Sonia Purnell who apparently started out as an espionage journalist in the UK. It's narrated by Juliet Stevenson, my all time favorite narrator, and that's how I found it; I look to see her latest narrations. The subject is Virgina Hall, an amazing fluently French American who basically ran the first successful British spy network in Vichy France starting in 1941. Not only was she a brilliant spy, but she was an amputee and known as "the lady with the limp". She's the most inspiring person I can remember reading about (except Louis Zamperini, hero of Unbroken). I can't rave enough. I think it's probably better as an audiobook judging from some of the negative reviews of the printed version.

by Anonymousreply 54806/21/2019

I'm currently reading The Complete Short Stories of Muriel Spark.

At the same time, a friend has got me onto watching the BBC anthology series "Inside No. 9", particularly Season 2. The strangeness and contained every-day world created in the series actually reminds me of Muriel Spark very much.

by Anonymousreply 54906/21/2019

Nearly halfway through Anna Burns' "Milkman" and would happily pay her to use paragraph breaks. I'm not sure I'm going to finish it as it seems to just go around and around the same points. However, the plot, such as it is, occasionally takes a step forward, so I keep reading.

by Anonymousreply 55006/22/2019

R550: I think Milkman is absolutely amazing, my favourite book of this year, of course i love Rafael Chirbes and he is way worse than her with paragraph break. On Crematorio (i think his only novel translated to english is En la orilla, i think it was called On the edge) there is a chapter of 60 pages without a single new paragraph, spanish corruption in the form of inner monologues, really unlikeable characters and amazing writing. I'm still mad he died that young (well, he was not young, but not that old either). His last novel was about the relationship between a young posh spaniard student with a french middle aged blue collar worker at the time of the rise of AIDS epidemy.

The good thing is that he enjoyed great success just before he died, he had good sales on germany for a good while and he was one of those literary writers that indeed sells books, but with his lasts novels he really went into bestseller success and with critical acclaim.

And changing radically, i miss not to have a David Mitchell's novel for this summer. I absolutely loved The bone clocks

by Anonymousreply 55106/22/2019

Where IS David Mitchell these days? I've read Black Swan Green, Cloud Atlas and Jacob de Zoet multiple times, they're that good.

by Anonymousreply 55206/22/2019

I think I read that the MM movie is set in the '50s, I would like to watch it after I finish the novel.

I can see Natalie Wood as Marjorie, but I'm having a little trouble imagining Gene Kelly as Noel Airman.

But the rest of the casting seems ok, particularly Martin Milner (Mr. Neely O'Hara) as love-struck Wally and Ed Wynn as the boisterous Uncle Samson

by Anonymousreply 55306/23/2019

And if course Carolyn Jones as the irrepressible Marsha Zalenko

by Anonymousreply 55406/23/2019

[quote]a little trouble imagining Gene Kelly as Noel Airman.

Worst casting of all time. Him, a Jewish rebel without a clue?

by Anonymousreply 55506/23/2019

Anyone read the Sally Rooney books?

by Anonymousreply 55606/24/2019

I'm almost finished with [italic]Vanity Fair[/italic] - that Becky is something else! Makes Lizzie Eustace look positively philanthropic.

I'm thinking of [italic]Courting Mr. Lincoln[/italic], but afraid I'll find it sad.

by Anonymousreply 55706/24/2019

Courting Mr. Lincoln is not sad! Just very poignant. Please give it a try, r557. I loved it.

I'm actually reading an earlier Louis Bayard novel The Black Tower right now because I so enjoyed the Lincoln book. Great fun. He seems to be a very readable and smart historical fiction writer without pretentiousness.

by Anonymousreply 55806/24/2019

R556: I read Conversations with friends and had a very strange reaction to the book, till the half i was totally hooked (without any real reason, to be honest) but then started to only focus in the obvious flaws.

She is a talented narrator but had a tendency to tell the reader what he has to feel (not rare between new writers, Eleonor Olyphant is perfectly fine has the same problem), and to narrate instead of show, she said a lot of times that a conversation or a character is funny but never shows how that conversation or that character was funny.

I'm curious about Normal people, she was hyped with the first novel but it was the second the one who got awards attention

by Anonymousreply 55906/25/2019

Agree about COURTING. It is poignant and unforgettable. Prompted me to order a copy of the Joshua Speed bio.

by Anonymousreply 56006/25/2019

Thanks, folks! Bayard's [italic]Mr. Timothy[/italic] has been on my TBR pile for a while.

I have Akunin's [italic]Sister Pelagia and the Black Monk[/italic] and Hamilton's [italic]The Slaves of Solitude[/italic] slotted in as summer reading by Labor Day.

Anyone interested novellas should try William Trevor's [italic]Miss Gomez and the Brethren[/italic], along with Beryl Bainbridge's [italic]Injury Time[/italic].

by Anonymousreply 56106/25/2019

I always love William Trevor. I have My House In Umbria on the Kindle ready to go. I saw the film with Chris Cooper and Maggie Smith years ago and liked it but cannot recall the details.

by Anonymousreply 56206/25/2019

I've been hawking Patrick Hamilton and William Trevor on these book threads forever. Glad to see the love here now.

by Anonymousreply 56306/25/2019

Kindle edition of My House in Umbria doesn't seem to be available in the U. S. However, my library has a print copy.

by Anonymousreply 56406/29/2019

I'm finally reading Samuel Butler's The Way of All Flesh, hailed as Modern Library's 100 Best Books of the 20th Century.

Yes, the title is quite misleading.

by Anonymousreply 56506/30/2019

R523, I am now 39% through with 61 Hours, and though I appreciate Child's talent at parceling out the novel's bits of suspense, along three distinct (for now) story threads, I find Jack Reacher someone I don't want to spend time with. There's nothing endearing to me about his set of peculiarities. And the story itself seems like something that couldn't possibly happen.

I will probably finish it.

by Anonymousreply 56607/01/2019

Thanks, r566. 39%? Well, no wonder. It doesn't kick in until 43%. But seriously, all your cavils are legit, but I would say that I'm not sure anyone should find Reacher endearing. For me he's an archetype that I enjoy watching perform the improbable if not impossible, all for the sake of conquering the bad guy. Obviously, not everyone will feel the same. Would be interested to hear if there's anything in that genre that does captivate you. I can use some recommendations.

by Anonymousreply 56707/01/2019

Finished [italic]Vanity Fair[/italic] yesterday. I suppose I'm satisfied that everybody got what they deserved in the end.

Started [italic]My House in Umbria[/italic] this morning liking it so far. [italic]Mr. Timothy[/italic], unfortunately, quickly proved a bust.

by Anonymousreply 56807/01/2019

r566: I find the Jack Reacher novels a guilty pleasure that I was really surprised I liked because aside from Michael Connelly, I've never found a thriller writer whose books I could even finish except for LeCarre', who IMO writes real literature. I think with Lee Child, you either get sucked in or you don't. And I also would love suggestions for other thriller/mystery/spy novelists.

by Anonymousreply 56907/01/2019

Interesting to read your mention of John LeCarre. I've never read any spy thrillers but I was so impressed with his perceptive comments on current international affairs during a recent interview (he's now 87 and very articulate) that I'm convinced that he must be well worth reading.

by Anonymousreply 57007/01/2019

r570: I've always thought that if Le Carre' had not been a genre novelist he could have been a good candidate for the Nobel. His most recent books are not of the same caliber as the Smiley novels. You might want to start with Spy who Comes in From the Cold though. Hope you like him. He was the only genre writer this lit snob would read for years (except for Elmore Leonard whom I discovered in the mid-80s).

by Anonymousreply 57107/01/2019

r569 and r567: r566 here. My favorite mystery series are Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch and J.A. Jance's J.P. Beaumont, each partly because they create such a great sense of place, in Los Angeles and Seattle respectively. I've lived in each of those cities, so I enjoy the armchair travelogue experience.

Also important is revisiting the same characters over and over, and both watching them grow and seeing them rely on the same community-creating cliches in each book.

George Pelecanos is also important in this sense. He has two sets of series: Nick Stefanos; Derek Strange and Terry Quinn; and a number of standalone novels. They mostly (all?) take place in DC, somewhere else I've lived.

The more I think of it, places I've lived are an important character in mystery novels.

Another author I like, who's more thriller than mystery, is Nelson De Mille. My favorites were The Gold Coast and Cathedral.

I would start in order with the Bosch, Beaumont, Stefanos, or Strange/Quinn series. Pelecanos' series are short, three and five books respectively, IIRC. Or choose one of Pelecanos' free-standing books.

by Anonymousreply 57207/01/2019

r572: r569 here. Thanks so much for all the tips. I've only visited Seattle (I live in LA) but I love Bosch so maybe I'll try the J.P. Beaumont books first. There won't be a new Bosch until October as usual.

by Anonymousreply 57307/01/2019

John Sandford writes 2 great series of mysteries (Davenport and Flowers). mostly set in Minnesota. Flowers is my favorite series. always a page turner.

by Anonymousreply 57407/01/2019

I love the Joe R. Lonsdale Hap and Leonard books. Rural, not urban, often crude, but gay-friendly to the max. Reading his off-series book THE THICKET right now and it's a page turner. Kind of a rip-off of TRUE GRIT, but lots of fun.

by Anonymousreply 57507/02/2019

r520 r567 I gave up 61 Hours at 50% (presumably 30.5 hours to go). I just wasn't interested in the story enough to continue.

by Anonymousreply 57607/02/2019

r575 I read a Hap & Leonard book in 2015. My husband in 2018 read one, then read more of them, then insisted I "try" reading one.

by Anonymousreply 57707/02/2019

hap and leonard are the best buddy books you'll ever read. i am totally in love with the love they share with each other. higly recommend!

by Anonymousreply 57807/02/2019

TV series was great, too!

by Anonymousreply 57907/03/2019

Starting to reread George Pelecanos' Derek Strange and Terry Quinn series with first book, Right as Rain, originally published in hardcover in 2001. I hate that Kindle only gives you the Kindle release date, 2008 in this case.

by Anonymousreply 58007/03/2019

I’m about halfway through The Master and Margarita. I’ve been reading raves about it lately, including on DL, I believe. The premise is interesting but it hasn’t really grabbed me yet—it feels clever but soulless. I’m hoping that changes in the second half.

by Anonymousreply 58107/03/2019

I tried The Master and Margarita twice and couldn't stick with it either time. I'm just not cerebral enough I guess.

by Anonymousreply 58207/04/2019

You're not alone. I hated Master & Margarita, except for the Pontius Pilate chapters.

by Anonymousreply 58307/05/2019

Master & Margarita looks...not one bit interesting.

by Anonymousreply 58407/05/2019

Just starting Patrick Hamilton's 1935 trilogy Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky about a group of London working class people who all live and work around a pub called The Midnight Bell.

I have high hopes for it as I loved his WWII novel The Slaves of Solitude. He is also the playwright/screenwriter of Angel Street (Gaslight) and Rope.

by Anonymousreply 58507/05/2019

The film version of Marjorie Morningstar is completely wrong. Amazon or Netflix should pick it up for a miniseries and do it right. Just finished City of Girls, which mines the same territory, though not as well. Still an enjoyable summer read.

by Anonymousreply 58607/08/2019

For those of you who read nonfiction, I'm in the midst of a book about the history of Germany: [italic]Germania[/italic] by Simon Winder. Very funny, bordering on b itchy at times. I liked his book on the Austro-Hungarian Empire [italic]Danubia[/italic], but this one I find slightly more approachable so wish I had a tackled it first.

by Anonymousreply 58707/08/2019

Can we stop talking about "Marjorie Morningstar" for the love of god?

by Anonymousreply 58807/08/2019

ok R588, whatcha got?

by Anonymousreply 58907/09/2019

I talk books with an elderly former history professor neighbour. He recommended Motel Life by Willy Vlautin and March Violets by Philip Kerr.

by Anonymousreply 59007/09/2019

March Violets is I think the first in Philip Kerr's Berlin Noir trio, so the first of his Bernie Gunther/Guenther?? series. My friend who lived in Germany for a long time loved it but I found it impossible to get into, but that might just be me.

by Anonymousreply 59107/10/2019

Just finished Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan which was a sort of return to form for him after his last few disasters.

Now on Normal People by Sally Rooney.

by Anonymousreply 59207/10/2019

Philip Kerr is one of my favorites! The Bernie Gunther series is remarkable; I couldn't put it down. The last book Metropolis was just published.Ii had a difficult time starting it because I knew once I did, it was the last one I'd read, due to hs untimely death.. I finished it; it was great. However read the books in order; you won't regret it. They are simply unforgettable.

by Anonymousreply 59307/10/2019

Finished the Lansdale book, The Thicket. Suspenseful, bloody, heartwarming, page-turning. I loved it. hear it will be a movie.

by Anonymousreply 59407/11/2019

Someone on DL recommended the Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge. He is a Freudian psychoanalyst! I tried reading the book and it is very low on science, high on Dr Oz level pseudo-science. I will never trust you fucked up DLers again after reading this sales pitch for some expensive snake oil.

by Anonymousreply 59507/16/2019

Hear the new Ann Patchett novel is great. Out in September.

by Anonymousreply 59607/18/2019

any one else notice the tumbleweeds blowing thru DL since the "new" setup?

by Anonymousreply 59707/18/2019

I finished D.L. Sayers' [italic]Murder Must Advertise[/italic] and am finishing Alexander Woollcott's 1934 bestseller [italic]While Rome Burns[/italic] -- I've read there's a cocktail named for it, so I want to sip it while I'm reading. Next are [italic]Jane and Prudence[/italic] by Barbara Pym, and [italic]The Humbug[/italic] by crime writer Harold Schecter, in which Edgar Allan Poe is a detective.

by Anonymousreply 59807/18/2019

Just started Andrew Sean Greer's "Less." Seems like a nice, light summer read. I had to laugh at Arthur Less sobbing at the end of a Broadway musical because "I'm just a homosexual at a Broadway show."

by Anonymousreply 59907/19/2019

I love Jane and Prudence, r598.

by Anonymousreply 60007/19/2019
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Yes indeed, we too use "cookies." Don't you just LOVE clicking on these things on every single site you visit? I know we do! You can thank the EU parliament for making everyone in the world click on these pointless things while changing absolutely nothing. If you are interested you can take a look at our privacy/terms or if you just want to see the damn site without all this bureaucratic nonsense, click ACCEPT and we'll set a dreaded cookie to make it go away. Otherwise, you'll just have to find some other site for your pointless bitchery needs.


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