Please continue to share with us the writings you read this year.
What Books Are You Reading in 2019? Part 2
|by Anonymous||reply 600||07/19/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 1||03/05/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 2||03/05/2019|
Is The Great Believers eligible this year?
|by Anonymous||reply 3||03/05/2019|
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or corrections. Number of submissions received so far: 1,001 Bisexual:...
|by Anonymous||reply 4||03/05/2019|
Ooh thanks for posting that, r4.
|by Anonymous||reply 5||03/05/2019|
Sorry for starting a similar thread, Please ignore it and post here.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||03/05/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 7||03/05/2019|
“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 Anonymous||reply 8||03/05/2019|
Agree about Trevor. Sorry he didn't win the Nobel.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||03/05/2019|
I'll look for a paperback of My House in Umbria. I'll be eager to read more Trevor soon.
Thank you, r7.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||03/05/2019|
[quote]Lawn Boy, Jonathan Evison, Algonquin Books
Another gay novel named Lawnboy?
|by Anonymous||reply 11||03/05/2019|
I own a few of the Lambda long list but have only read The Great Believers.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||03/05/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 13||03/06/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 14||03/06/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 15||03/06/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 16||03/06/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 17||03/06/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 18||03/06/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 19||03/07/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 20||03/08/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 21||03/08/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 22||03/08/2019|
Even Pauline Kael said good stuff about Hepburn in Alice Adams.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||03/09/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 24||03/09/2019|
The Library Book by Susan Orlean. Well written account of the Los Angeles Library fire. An interesting and fun read.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||03/10/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 26||03/11/2019|
r26 he has a sequel coming out soon "Confessions of a Bookseller".
|by Anonymous||reply 27||03/11/2019|
He does? I can find nothing about it.
|by Anonymous||reply 28||03/11/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 29||03/12/2019|
ALICE is part of the upcoming Library of America Tarkingtion volume.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||03/12/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 31||03/12/2019|
just starting Ladder to the Sky. so damn enjoyable! M gored by Gore!
|by Anonymous||reply 32||03/13/2019|
I enjoyed A Ladder to the Sky but I thought it could have benefitted from a little more subtlety.
|by Anonymous||reply 33||03/13/2019|
Me too. Thought it was a good airplane book. Nothing wrong with that, though.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||03/14/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 35||03/14/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 36||03/15/2019|
R36, there are five Ripley books, not three.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||03/15/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 38||03/15/2019|
The Ripley books are divine.
|by Anonymous||reply 39||03/15/2019|
I'm reading Manhattan Beach, very different from previous Egan's books
|by Anonymous||reply 40||03/15/2019|
Beware Manhattan Beach.
It starts with a bang and ends with a whimper.
|by Anonymous||reply 41||03/15/2019|
I am reading Frank Langella’s celebrity tell all.
|by Anonymous||reply 42||03/15/2019|
"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 Anonymous||reply 43||03/15/2019|
If memory serves, Langella did not care for a certain Actors Studio guru, which I found surprising.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||03/15/2019|
I listen to the audio of Langella's book which worked out well with him being an actor and all. Definitely recommended.
|by Anonymous||reply 45||03/15/2019|
Working on an Agatha Christie stand-alone novel: They Came to Baghdad. The grifter gal seems like she'd be popular with Dataloungers.
|by Anonymous||reply 46||03/18/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 47||03/18/2019|
really enjoyed Trevor Noah's Born a Crime. what an early life that man had.
|by Anonymous||reply 48||03/18/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 49||03/19/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 50||03/19/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 51||03/19/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 52||03/19/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 53||03/19/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 54||03/22/2019|
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.
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 Anonymous||reply 55||03/22/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 56||03/22/2019|
Finally finished this biography on Wittgenstein.
He sounds like a major self-hating semi-closeted pain-in-the-ass uptight DIVA.
"Great philosophical biographies can be counted on one hand. Monk's life of Wittgenstein is such a one."?The Christian Science Monitor.
|by Anonymous||reply 57||03/22/2019|
^ 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 Anonymous||reply 58||03/22/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 59||03/22/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 60||03/22/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 61||03/22/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 62||03/22/2019|
And the irony: on a thread about reading, there’s seems to be a glaring lack of reading comprehension, and understanding of qualifications.
|by Anonymous||reply 63||03/22/2019|
^ * there seems
|by Anonymous||reply 64||03/22/2019|
It was total shithouse!
Philomena Cunk & Barry Shitpeas on Wolf Hall Wolf Hall is a terrible TV series! More of Philomena here https://www.youtube.com/user/Rolotomasi136/videos?ab_c...
|by Anonymous||reply 65||03/22/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 66||03/22/2019|
R65 Very funny. "For entertainment they'd poke cobwebs or read books - being alive was like being dead. "
|by Anonymous||reply 67||03/23/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 68||03/23/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 69||03/23/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 70||03/23/2019|
Sorry to re-ask if this has already been asked, but does anyone know when the third Wolf Hall book will be published?
|by Anonymous||reply 71||03/23/2019|
Trump is reading....
|by Anonymous||reply 72||03/23/2019|
I'm interested in reading Louis Bayard as I enjoy historical fiction. What would be his best book for a beginner?
|by Anonymous||reply 73||03/23/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 74||03/24/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 75||03/24/2019|
I have had the audio of Mr Timothy on my TBR pile for a while.
|by Anonymous||reply 76||03/24/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 77||03/24/2019|
about 1/3 way thru the final (?) Expanse novel by Corey, "Tiamat's Wrath". trying to take it slow, because it might be my last visit with these characters, but having to speed thru because i'm enjoying it so.
|by Anonymous||reply 78||03/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 79||03/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 80||03/29/2019|
I am buying Dreyer's English and am about to dig into the text. It's right down my alley!
|by Anonymous||reply 81||03/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 82||03/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 83||03/31/2019|
[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 Anonymous||reply 84||04/01/2019|
[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 Anonymous||reply 85||04/01/2019|
^^totally agree WITH your comment^^
|by Anonymous||reply 86||04/01/2019|
[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 Anonymous||reply 87||04/01/2019|
[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 Anonymous||reply 88||04/01/2019|
Ugh, I give up.
|by Anonymous||reply 89||04/01/2019|
[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 Anonymous||reply 90||04/01/2019|
Really, R90? I haven't read it yet but have seen it mentioned on DL a couple times. Good to know.
|by Anonymous||reply 91||04/01/2019|
Ladder is a great read! great! ^
|by Anonymous||reply 92||04/01/2019|
I bought it, R92, so I'm definitely going to read it.
|by Anonymous||reply 93||04/01/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 94||04/01/2019|
A Ladder to the Sky lacked subtlety.
|by Anonymous||reply 95||04/01/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 96||04/01/2019|
Well, just in time to this year's Pulitzer i'm reading Less
|by Anonymous||reply 97||04/03/2019|
funny, i'm reading more! (HA)
i really enjoyed Less.
|by Anonymous||reply 98||04/03/2019|
So Junot Diaz has managed to hang onto his position on the Pulitzer nominating board in spite of his #MeToo shenanigans.
I read a few of his shorts stories on the advice of my gay Dominican Jersey buddy, and he loved them, I was mixed. How is his novel?
|by Anonymous||reply 99||04/04/2019|
Thanks to a couple of posters on another thread, I’m reading and loving SAY NOTHING, about the IRA.
|by Anonymous||reply 100||04/04/2019|
R99: I loved his novel, i find it funny and emotional at the same time. It's written in spanglish
|by Anonymous||reply 101||04/04/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 102||04/04/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 103||04/04/2019|
I loved LINCOLN AT THE BARDO, but the Bayard book is a completely different approach and experience.
|by Anonymous||reply 104||04/04/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 105||04/04/2019|
Will I have a better experience with CIRCE if I read SONG OF ACHILLES first?
|by Anonymous||reply 106||04/04/2019|
Is there a longlist of contender announced by the Pulitzer Prize committee? When does this stuff come out?
|by Anonymous||reply 107||04/05/2019|
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.
James Joyce, Homer, and more.
|by Anonymous||reply 108||04/05/2019|
It's a pretty safe list, but a polititian rarely has anything remotely interesting in their list (only quality safe choices).
|by Anonymous||reply 109||04/05/2019|
 Just don't read Song of Achilles in a public place unless you don't mind sobbing out loud in front of strangers.
|by Anonymous||reply 110||04/05/2019|
Rebecca Makkai is fully expecting to be, at the very least, short-listed for the Pulitzer this year.
|by Anonymous||reply 111||04/05/2019|
r107 the longlist is announced when the winners are announced.
|by Anonymous||reply 112||04/05/2019|
There is no public long list. They announce the winner and two finalists.
|by Anonymous||reply 113||04/05/2019|
Agree that SONG is sob-worthy. Haven't read CIRCE.
|by Anonymous||reply 114||04/05/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 115||04/05/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 116||04/08/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 117||04/08/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 118||04/13/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 119||04/13/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 120||04/13/2019|
The Altruists by Andrew Ridker is great. One of the 3 main characters is a gay man. It’s smart, funny and engrossing.
|by Anonymous||reply 121||04/13/2019|
[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 Anonymous||reply 122||04/13/2019|
R122 I found American Pastoralist a mess ,overblown. I prefer his more slender works.
|by Anonymous||reply 123||04/13/2019|
The first Roth novel I read was THE HUMAN STAIN. It’s not that great. I liked American Pastorale, though.
|by Anonymous||reply 124||04/13/2019|
The Blonde by Anna Godbersen. Marilyn Monroe, JFK and Russian Spies. trip back into the 1960s
From the New York Times bestselling author Anna Godbersen and Alloy Entertainment, a chilling reimagining of the life of Marilyn Monroe...
|by Anonymous||reply 125||04/13/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 126||04/13/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 127||04/13/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 128||04/13/2019|
Friends who like Roth more than I do recommend OPERATION SHYLOCK. I liked AMERICAN PASTORAL but thought it long-winded. Prefer HUMAN STAIN.
|by Anonymous||reply 129||04/14/2019|
I wonder how someone born in the 1980s and, presumably, not in Jew Nersey, will take to Goodbye, Columbus. I think it's the easiest, softest way to decide if Philip Roth is for you.
|by Anonymous||reply 130||04/14/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 131||04/14/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 132||04/14/2019|
Just finished The Wall by John Lanchester. Looking forward to the new Ian McEwan.
|by Anonymous||reply 133||04/14/2019|
How was The Wall, r133? What's it about?
|by Anonymous||reply 134||04/14/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 135||04/14/2019|
just picked up Lake Success by Gary Shteyngart because i heard its to be a Jake G movie, coming soon....
|by Anonymous||reply 136||04/14/2019|
Great news, r136. I liked the book.
|by Anonymous||reply 137||04/14/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 138||04/14/2019|
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 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 Anonymous||reply 139||04/14/2019|
Thanks for that link, r139.
|by Anonymous||reply 140||04/14/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 141||04/14/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 142||04/14/2019|
I’m reading a Jilly Cooper 🤦♂️
Is this what why call a Bonk-buster, or an Aga Saga?
|by Anonymous||reply 143||04/14/2019|
Gay Republican Thomas Mallon's Watergate.
|by Anonymous||reply 144||04/14/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 145||04/14/2019|
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 line.....it's beautifully produced (set in WWII England) and cast and absolutely riveting.
|by Anonymous||reply 146||04/15/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 147||04/15/2019|
[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 Anonymous||reply 148||04/15/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 149||04/15/2019|
Something tells me that an out-of-nowhere short story collection will win this year, not one of the expected big novels.
|by Anonymous||reply 150||04/15/2019|
The Altruists by Andrew Ridker is great.
r121 how did you read this? it isn't published until August. are you Rdiker?
|by Anonymous||reply 151||04/15/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 152||04/15/2019|
R151, The Altruists was published May 5.
"[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 Anonymous||reply 153||04/15/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 154||04/15/2019|
[QUOTE]The Altruists was published May 5.
May 5th isn't even here yet. Maybe you meant March 5th.
|by Anonymous||reply 155||04/15/2019|
Oh, I did mean March 5. Thanks, r155. I ordered my copy today.
|by Anonymous||reply 156||04/15/2019|
The overstory won the Pulitzer
|by Anonymous||reply 157||04/15/2019|
Interesting. I don't recall seeing that in anyone's predictions. What were the other finalists?
|by Anonymous||reply 158||04/15/2019|
The finalists are The great believers and There, there
|by Anonymous||reply 159||04/15/2019|
Richard Powers is always a critics' favorite. No surprise for me.
|by Anonymous||reply 160||04/15/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 161||04/16/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 162||04/16/2019|
r162: Thanks. So many overhyped books--like "Less" for example, which was definitely less than advertised.
|by Anonymous||reply 163||04/16/2019|
Amen, r163. I haven't read a great contemporary novel since Sophie's Choice.
|by Anonymous||reply 164||04/16/2019|
Currently,[italic] The Romanian. [/italic]So far, I'm liking it!
|by Anonymous||reply 165||04/16/2019|
R163 A Ladder to the Sky is a more cleverly plotted book then Less, but Less had more heart.
|by Anonymous||reply 166||04/17/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 167||04/17/2019|
Just finished Revival by Stephen King. Despite the good reviews I found very disappointing. The thrill is gone.
|by Anonymous||reply 168||04/17/2019|
r167, The Street was one of the best books I read last year.....so powerful! I'm shocked it's never been filmed.
Have you finished it? The ending is unforgettable.
|by Anonymous||reply 169||04/17/2019|
No, r169. About halfway through. Wondering if this new exposure will lead to some kind of film version.
|by Anonymous||reply 170||04/17/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 171||04/17/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 172||04/18/2019|
Thanks for describing Milkman r171 It sounds worthwhile
|by Anonymous||reply 173||04/18/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 174||04/19/2019|
R174- humblebrag. Take it somewhere else, douche.
|by Anonymous||reply 175||04/19/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 176||04/19/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 177||04/20/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 178||04/20/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 179||04/20/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 180||04/20/2019|
Just finished Viv Albertine's first memoir, Clothes, Boys, Music. Viv was in the Slits. Very raw, fun, funny.
|by Anonymous||reply 181||04/21/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 182||04/21/2019|
It's one of my 3 Chabon favorites, r182. Along with Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Kavalier and Clay.
|by Anonymous||reply 183||04/21/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 184||04/21/2019|
I liked Civility, but am afraid Moscow seems depressing.
|by Anonymous||reply 185||04/21/2019|
Liked Civility very much, but found Moscow far too long.
|by Anonymous||reply 186||04/21/2019|
Thanks for all the opinions on Towles and Chabon. I might have to read more of Chabon and try Civility again.
|by Anonymous||reply 187||04/21/2019|
Started CIVILITY but put it down. This thread is giving me encouragement to try again.
|by Anonymous||reply 188||04/21/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 189||04/25/2019|
keep going. its a very nice read ^
|by Anonymous||reply 190||04/25/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 191||04/25/2019|
I’m enjoying Leading Men.
|by Anonymous||reply 192||04/25/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 193||04/25/2019|
Pulitzers usually honor novels set in the U.S., although with notable exceptions, like ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE.
|by Anonymous||reply 194||04/25/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 195||04/25/2019|
Why, ‘White’ of course.
|by Anonymous||reply 196||04/25/2019|
|by Anonymous||reply 197||04/25/2019|
I am about to start The Red And The Black by Stendhal.
|by Anonymous||reply 198||04/25/2019|
If the Pulitzer was awarded to ALL THE LIGHT, etc, an unreadable novel, IMO, it only proves that awards are generally meaningless.
|by Anonymous||reply 199||04/25/2019|
[quote]ALL THE LIGHT, etc, an unreadable novel, IMO
I couldn't get into it, either. Tried twice.
|by Anonymous||reply 200||04/26/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 201||04/26/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 202||04/26/2019|
"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 Anonymous||reply 203||04/26/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 204||04/26/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 205||04/26/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 206||04/26/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 207||04/26/2019|
OK, kill me but I loved All the Light We Cannot See.
|by Anonymous||reply 208||04/26/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 209||04/26/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 210||04/27/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 211||04/27/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 212||04/27/2019|
The "cathegory," r212, is "books other people loved that I could not get through."
|by Anonymous||reply 213||04/27/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 214||04/27/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 215||04/27/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 216||04/27/2019|
Foyle s war is really great viewing
|by Anonymous||reply 217||04/27/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 218||04/27/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 219||04/27/2019|
Is The final the name of a book?
|by Anonymous||reply 220||04/27/2019|
R220: I was refering to the end of At swim two boys
|by Anonymous||reply 221||04/27/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 222||04/28/2019|
R209 "Girl Light', works for me. Thanks for the suggestion!
|by Anonymous||reply 223||04/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 224||04/29/2019|
Finished THE STREET, and the ending is indeed brutal, as indicated by a poster above. The book is terrific.
|by Anonymous||reply 225||04/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 226||04/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 227||04/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 228||04/29/2019|
R228: I had trouble with The flamethrowers too, i was not expecting that because i loved Telex from Cuba
|by Anonymous||reply 229||04/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 230||04/29/2019|
Has anyone read Roberto Bolano? I just read The Spirit of Science Fiction and loved it.
|by Anonymous||reply 231||04/29/2019|
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
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 Anonymous||reply 232||04/30/2019|
Could someone recommend a biography (or a literary figure for preference) available on Kindle? Don't want to lug one onto the bus.
|by Anonymous||reply 233||04/30/2019|
[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 Anonymous||reply 234||04/30/2019|
R233 - these days most books are available in Kindle format, except some older out-of-print stuff.
|by Anonymous||reply 235||04/30/2019|
Buck would never have been in a book with a pre-owned title.
|by Anonymous||reply 236||04/30/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 237||04/30/2019|
I was practically sobbing at the end of The Great Believers.
|by Anonymous||reply 238||04/30/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 239||05/02/2019|
[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 Anonymous||reply 240||05/02/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 241||05/02/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 242||05/02/2019|
Yes ... I loved Absurdistan
|by Anonymous||reply 243||05/02/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 244||05/02/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 245||05/02/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 246||05/02/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 247||05/02/2019|
[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 Anonymous||reply 248||05/03/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 249||05/03/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 250||05/03/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 251||05/03/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 252||05/03/2019|
Are the people who mentioned Tin Man r152 r147 r20 women?
|by Anonymous||reply 253||05/03/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 254||05/03/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 255||05/03/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 256||05/03/2019|
Middlemarch is so wonderful. I was thinking about reading it again soon. The last time I did was in college.
|by Anonymous||reply 257||05/03/2019|
People who would like to try James might start with "The Spoils of Poynton"--fights about furniture, perfect for the DL crowd.
|by Anonymous||reply 258||05/03/2019|
The only James I've read is The Turn of the Screw and I recall enjoying it at the time.
|by Anonymous||reply 259||05/03/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 260||05/03/2019|
I read Montefiore's book on Jerusalem, which was L-O-N-G! A slog in places
|by Anonymous||reply 261||05/03/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 262||05/03/2019|
R261 perhaps this is more your style....
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 Anonymous||reply 263||05/03/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 264||05/03/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 265||05/03/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 266||05/03/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 267||05/03/2019|
I listen to them as (unabridged!!!) audiobooks. The right reader makes all the difference.
|by Anonymous||reply 268||05/03/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 269||05/03/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 270||05/03/2019|
Henry James wrote for people who didn't have anything else to do.
|by Anonymous||reply 271||05/03/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 272||05/03/2019|
Actually that should be R267
|by Anonymous||reply 273||05/03/2019|
I recently listened to Henry James' The Europeans, which was light and breezy and full of wry good humor.
|by Anonymous||reply 274||05/03/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 275||05/04/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 276||05/04/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 277||05/04/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 278||05/04/2019|
I read Henry James' [italic]The Bostonians[/italic] for a university literature class, and enjoyed it a lot.
|by Anonymous||reply 279||05/04/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 280||05/04/2019|
Did you read an English translation and if so which one, r276?
|by Anonymous||reply 281||05/04/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 282||05/04/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 283||05/04/2019|
Neither one is a good writer. Writing is a craft and vocation, not storytelling.
|by Anonymous||reply 284||05/04/2019|
I read a collection of Washington Irving's short stories, which are legendary, but I found them a bit underwhelming
|by Anonymous||reply 285||05/04/2019|
Pretty sure that if you are not British, you can't be considered a Victorian novelist, no matter when you lived.
|by Anonymous||reply 286||05/06/2019|
Sure you can. The British Empire was so dominant under Victoria's rule it had global influence on everything from fashion to literature.
|by Anonymous||reply 287||05/06/2019|
Were The Roaring Twenties only in America?
|by Anonymous||reply 288||05/06/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 289||05/06/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 290||05/06/2019|
No one speaks of the Victorian era in the United States.
|by Anonymous||reply 291||05/06/2019|
They do, actually, though it's more for the later years.
|by Anonymous||reply 292||05/06/2019|
Is Mark Twain a Victorian novelist?
|by Anonymous||reply 293||05/07/2019|
[quote]No one speaks of the Victorian era in the United States.
Are you fuckin nuts?
|by Anonymous||reply 294||05/07/2019|
[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 Anonymous||reply 295||05/07/2019|
The appraisers on Antiques Roadshow on PBS have no problem using Victorian to describe 19th century American stuff.
|by Anonymous||reply 296||05/07/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 297||05/07/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 298||05/07/2019|
Well, what does an American call the era that was later half of the 19th century?
|by Anonymous||reply 299||05/07/2019|
Civil War and Reconstruction and Gilded Age.
|by Anonymous||reply 300||05/08/2019|
Everything and anything by Lucy Worsley.
|by Anonymous||reply 301||05/08/2019|
I googled (you could too)--the literary period of the late 19th century in the US is known a "realism and/or naturalism."
|by Anonymous||reply 302||05/08/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 303||05/08/2019|
But architecture ain't literature.
|by Anonymous||reply 304||05/09/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 305||05/09/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 306||05/09/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 307||05/09/2019|
Fosco - -
Try his Dear Miss Finch. I loved the audio recording via Librivox.
|by Anonymous||reply 308||05/09/2019|
Thanks, r308, bought that too per one recommensation here, probably yours. Have no read it yet.
|by Anonymous||reply 309||05/09/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 310||05/09/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 311||05/09/2019|
I loved The Woman in White and have read it a couple of times. The Moonstone I found to be a slog.
|by Anonymous||reply 312||05/09/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 313||05/09/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 314||05/09/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 315||05/09/2019|
[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 Anonymous||reply 316||05/09/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 317||05/09/2019|
Dickens ate coincidences for breakfast.
|by Anonymous||reply 318||05/10/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 319||05/10/2019|
Hugo made a feast of coincidences in Les Miserables.
|by Anonymous||reply 320||05/10/2019|
I reread a Tolstoy short story collection while on vacation. It was a thrill to read “Hadji Murat” again.
|by Anonymous||reply 321||05/10/2019|
Which edition/translation, r321? I'd like to read Hadji Murat.
|by Anonymous||reply 322||05/10/2019|
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!
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 Anonymous||reply 323||05/10/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 324||05/10/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 325||05/10/2019|
I'm currently reading the Hungry Little Caterpillar for the second time (this time, without help).
|by Anonymous||reply 326||05/10/2019|
[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 Anonymous||reply 327||05/10/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 328||05/11/2019|
I've started The Flight Portfolio. So far I'm really liking it.
|by Anonymous||reply 329||05/11/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 330||05/11/2019|
I liked The Ambassadors, but that was enough Henry James.
|by Anonymous||reply 331||05/11/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 332||05/11/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 333||05/11/2019|
Agreed R333. I even tried Wilkie Collins on the advice of this thread and....it wasn't pleasant. Victorian authors and I don't get along.
|by Anonymous||reply 334||05/11/2019|
Eldergays? What are books?
|by Anonymous||reply 335||05/11/2019|
[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 Anonymous||reply 336||05/11/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 337||05/11/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 338||05/11/2019|
R332 , "The German girl's" downfall is the best!
|by Anonymous||reply 339||05/11/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 340||05/11/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 341||05/11/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 342||05/11/2019|
[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 Anonymous||reply 343||05/11/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 344||05/11/2019|
Dreyer is hopelessly in love with himself.
|by Anonymous||reply 345||05/12/2019|
The Jane Austen thread is encouraging me to dig out Mansfield Park.
|by Anonymous||reply 346||05/12/2019|
R345. God knows, nobody else was, when he was an insufferable undergrad at Northwestern! (We were classmates.)
|by Anonymous||reply 347||05/12/2019|
Was he at least cute then, r347 (I can't tell after someone shaves his head).
|by Anonymous||reply 348||05/12/2019|
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 is a joyous and defiant coming-of-age memoir set during one of the most turbulent times in American history Chris Rush w...
|by Anonymous||reply 349||05/12/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 350||05/12/2019|
deep into Gary Shteyngart. read his memoir first. it makes his fiction that much better, Absurdistan is laugh-out-loud a great read.
|by Anonymous||reply 351||05/12/2019|
I'm also hearing such great things about the Chris Rush memoir!
|by Anonymous||reply 352||05/12/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 353||05/12/2019|
You were all drama students?
|by Anonymous||reply 354||05/12/2019|
Wolf Hall is overrated. And I've read dozens of English historical novels. That book lacks any tension the whole way through
|by Anonymous||reply 355||05/12/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 356||05/12/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 357||05/13/2019|
I'm just in the middle but i'm loving Milkman
|by Anonymous||reply 358||05/16/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 359||05/16/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 360||05/16/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 361||05/16/2019|
Thanks for the reminder about "Name of the Rose" R360!
|by Anonymous||reply 362||05/16/2019|
[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 Anonymous||reply 363||05/16/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 364||05/16/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 365||05/16/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 366||05/16/2019|
No "s," r366, just "italic" in brackets.
|by Anonymous||reply 367||05/16/2019|
I realize that now but no deleting or editing when damage done.
|by Anonymous||reply 368||05/16/2019|
R368 [italic]You're welcome.[/italic]
|by Anonymous||reply 369||05/16/2019|
[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 Anonymous||reply 370||05/16/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 371||05/16/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 372||05/16/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 373||05/16/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 374||05/17/2019|
Plunket's books have also disappeared. Very hard to find, even used on Amazon.
|by Anonymous||reply 375||05/17/2019|
I hate Chuck Todd.
|by Anonymous||reply 376||05/17/2019|
R372- I love the Bryant & May series!
|by Anonymous||reply 377||05/17/2019|
Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik
Spinning Silver isn’t quite a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin; it uses the fairy tale as a jumping-off point for an utterly original story that weaves together folklore, myth, history, and magic. Miryem, a Jewish moneylender’s daughter, saves her family from the brink of ruin with her ability to — metaphorically — spin gold. But things take a darker and more magical turn when Miryem’s abilities attract the attention of the king of the Staryk, a race of powerful, otherworldly beings. Novik moves deftly among several narrators — Miryem, a peasant, a duke’s daughter, the tsar — to craft a complex story about love, greed, family, and power. It’s an extraordinary feat.
|by Anonymous||reply 378||05/17/2019|
I've downloaded the audiobook [italic]The Water Room[/italic] from the library as my introduction to Bryant & May.
|by Anonymous||reply 379||05/17/2019|
Very cleverly, Fowler's first book sets up all the back stories for all the next books in the series.
|by Anonymous||reply 380||05/17/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 381||05/18/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 382||05/18/2019|
just finished [italic] the Alturists [italic] by Ridker thanks to a mention of the book further up thread. really enjoyed it.
|by Anonymous||reply 383||05/18/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 384||05/19/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 385||05/19/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 386||05/19/2019|
Reading Vanity Fair these days. I take it Becky Sharp is a character written for a homo audience?
|by Anonymous||reply 387||05/21/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 388||05/21/2019|
Becky Sharp was great great grandma to Scarlett O'Hara.
|by Anonymous||reply 389||05/21/2019|
And Becky Sharp was Undine Sprague's great grandma.
|by Anonymous||reply 390||05/21/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 391||05/22/2019|
You can't tell a book by its cover, nor an author by his book.
|by Anonymous||reply 392||05/22/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 393||05/23/2019|
Just finished a biography of Wendell Willkie and have started a biography of Richard Holbrooke, Our Man, by George Packer.
|by Anonymous||reply 394||05/23/2019|
[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 Anonymous||reply 395||05/23/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 396||05/24/2019|
Is that an either/or list, r396?
I love Kate Atkinson and her LIFE AFTER LIFE is brilliant.
|by Anonymous||reply 397||05/24/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 398||05/24/2019|
Begin by Vanity Fair, r396, Becky Sharp is a gay icon.
|by Anonymous||reply 399||05/24/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 400||05/24/2019|
the Overstory by Powers is an incredible read. dense and rich in story and emotions. love it.
|by Anonymous||reply 401||05/24/2019|
Thanks for answers.
|by Anonymous||reply 402||05/24/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 403||05/27/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 404||05/27/2019|
R403 Me! Driver's Seat is some strange fruit indeed. It is both abstract and sharp.
Currently reading Ms Spark's "The Bachelors".
|by Anonymous||reply 405||05/28/2019|
Listening to the Librivox POOR MISS FINCH someone had recommended above and am enjoying it thus far. Thanks for the tip!
|by Anonymous||reply 406||05/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 407||05/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 408||05/29/2019|
I loved the Gustav Sonata and most of Rose Tremain's work.
|by Anonymous||reply 409||05/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 410||05/29/2019|
You're welcome, R406 - extra lobster mayonaisse for you!
|by Anonymous||reply 411||05/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 412||05/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 413||05/29/2019|
I absolutely loved Milkman. I'm now with Lie with me
|by Anonymous||reply 414||05/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 415||05/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 416||05/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 417||05/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 418||05/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 419||05/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 420||05/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 421||05/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 422||05/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 423||05/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 424||05/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 425||05/30/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 426||05/30/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 427||05/30/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 428||05/30/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 429||05/30/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 430||05/30/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 431||05/30/2019|
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 remains compelling both as a snapshot of a particular - and particularly fascinating - cultural moment, and as a deeply romantic story of lov...
|by Anonymous||reply 432||05/31/2019|
Recently read "The Devil All the Time" by Donald Pollock—a very effective, atmospheric modern Southern Gothic novel. A lyrical, disturbing read.
|by Anonymous||reply 433||05/31/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 434||05/31/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 435||05/31/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 436||06/01/2019|
Has anyone read Melmoth by Sarah Perry?
|by Anonymous||reply 437||06/01/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 438||06/01/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 439||06/01/2019|
R438, bless your heart. Are you reading a page a day?
|by Anonymous||reply 440||06/01/2019|
More like a paragraph.
|by Anonymous||reply 441||06/01/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 442||06/01/2019|
Not to be pedantic r435 (too late!) but the Edith Wharton books you read are 20th c. American.
|by Anonymous||reply 443||06/01/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 444||06/01/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 445||06/01/2019|
So is Courting Mr. Lincoln about the gays?
|by Anonymous||reply 446||06/01/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 447||06/02/2019|
I continue to read Muriel Spark. In doing so, I think she would have liked Bret Easton Ellis' "Rules of Attraction".
|by Anonymous||reply 448||06/02/2019|
What are your favorite Muriel Sparks, r448?
|by Anonymous||reply 449||06/02/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 450||06/02/2019|
|by Anonymous||reply 451||06/02/2019|
discovered a series of mysteries by Suzanne Chazin, immigration and police issues. very timely. well told stories.
|by Anonymous||reply 452||06/02/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 453||06/02/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 454||06/02/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 455||06/02/2019|
Currently reading 'The Paying Guests' by Sarah Waters. Dull so far; it's taking a long time to get going.
|by Anonymous||reply 456||06/02/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 457||06/02/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 458||06/02/2019|
Mr Know It All by John Waters.
|by Anonymous||reply 459||06/02/2019|
He was very funny on Bill Maher's show this week.
|by Anonymous||reply 460||06/02/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 461||06/03/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 462||06/03/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 463||06/03/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 464||06/03/2019|
Little Fires Everywhere is good as you read but less so in hindsight when you realize the illogic of some of it.
|by Anonymous||reply 465||06/03/2019|
R449 Driver's Seat and The Bachelors.
|by Anonymous||reply 466||06/04/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 467||06/04/2019|
MARY! Why don't you tell us what books you DO enjoy, R467?
|by Anonymous||reply 468||06/04/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 469||06/04/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 470||06/05/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 471||06/05/2019|
i just started another Christopher Bram novel. "Lives of the Circus Animals". Bram is a fun gay author.
|by Anonymous||reply 472||06/05/2019|
"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. MAKE SURE SOUND IS TURNED ALL THE WAY UP.
|by Anonymous||reply 473||06/05/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 474||06/05/2019|
R463 I don't know this for sure but thinking Kerry Washington will play Mia.
|by Anonymous||reply 475||06/05/2019|
R475:_. Are they going to change the race of the characters?
|by Anonymous||reply 476||06/05/2019|
Where and when did you do a performance as part of your PhD quals. I'm intrigued.
|by Anonymous||reply 477||06/05/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 478||06/05/2019|
That was for 471, btw
|by Anonymous||reply 479||06/05/2019|
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 say...it's about this tree....
|by Anonymous||reply 480||06/05/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 481||06/05/2019|
Is Mia the mother who adopts the Asian baby?
|by Anonymous||reply 482||06/05/2019|
R482: I think Mia is Pearl's mother. The two main characters
|by Anonymous||reply 483||06/05/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 484||06/05/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 485||06/05/2019|
I forget the first name of the woman who adopts the Asian baby (something McCullough) but Mia is Pearl's mother.
|by Anonymous||reply 486||06/05/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 487||06/05/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 488||06/05/2019|
I liked Eleanor Olyphant, although I figured out the big reveal early on.
|by Anonymous||reply 489||06/05/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 490||06/05/2019|
[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 Anonymous||reply 491||06/05/2019|
*Sorry, I meant "I really love her too." LOL!
|by Anonymous||reply 492||06/05/2019|
[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 Anonymous||reply 493||06/05/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 494||06/06/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 495||06/06/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 496||06/06/2019|
R493 It is not so much the plot that I think she would like, more so the delusions of the characters in ROA.
|by Anonymous||reply 497||06/07/2019|
I agree with the fans of Penelope Fitzgerald. My favourite is At Freddie's about the children's drama school.
|by Anonymous||reply 498||06/07/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 499||06/07/2019|
I read Penelope Fitzgerald's The Bookshop for the second time recently. Still good. (The movie? Not horrible, but not the book.)
|by Anonymous||reply 500||06/07/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 501||06/07/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 502||06/07/2019|
Second book is a masterpiece. Pelagia and Black Monk, i think. Do you happen to read something from Fandorin Series?
|by Anonymous||reply 503||06/07/2019|
I'm looking forward to the Black Monk. May try Fandorin after finishing Pelagia books.
|by Anonymous||reply 504||06/08/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 505||06/08/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 506||06/09/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 507||06/10/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 508||06/11/2019|
r507 all good reads. fully enjoyed them.
|by Anonymous||reply 509||06/11/2019|
Any Lee Child fans here? I love them as palate cleansers between more challenging works.
|by Anonymous||reply 510||06/12/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 511||06/12/2019|
I'm starting the first Jack Reacher book now, r510.
|by Anonymous||reply 512||06/12/2019|
Great. Hope you enjoy. It's good to read them in sequence, but not necessary.
|by Anonymous||reply 513||06/13/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 514||06/13/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 515||06/13/2019|
Ce que le jour doit à la nuit de Yasmina Khadra
|by Anonymous||reply 516||06/13/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 517||06/14/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 518||06/14/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 519||06/14/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 520||06/15/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 521||06/15/2019|
Thank you, r520. I have ordered 61 Hours. It's book #14, so I doubt I've read it yet.
|by Anonymous||reply 522||06/15/2019|
Let us know when you've finished, r522
|by Anonymous||reply 523||06/15/2019|
Will do, r523.
|by Anonymous||reply 524||06/15/2019|
I really enjoyed On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. Beautifully written.
|by Anonymous||reply 525||06/16/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 526||06/16/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 527||06/16/2019|
R525 A friend of mine was one of his teachers at Brooklyn College—liked him a lot.
|by Anonymous||reply 528||06/16/2019|
'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 Anonymous||reply 529||06/17/2019|
Oh please, Franz. You'd think differently if you ever had to take a long airplane ride.
|by Anonymous||reply 530||06/18/2019|
"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 Anonymous||reply 531||06/18/2019|
I enjoyed The Misfortune of Marion Palm and Little Fires Everywhere
|by Anonymous||reply 532||06/19/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 533||06/19/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 534||06/19/2019|
I am currently reading A Gentleman In Moscow. The writing is good but it is slow in some places.
|by Anonymous||reply 535||06/19/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 536||06/19/2019|
Christopher Bram for the win. working my way thru his books. currently reading Exiles in America. such a good story teller.
|by Anonymous||reply 537||06/19/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 538||06/19/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 539||06/19/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 540||06/19/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 541||06/19/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 542||06/19/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 543||06/20/2019|
I read Marjorie Morningstar about 4 times as a teenager.
|by Anonymous||reply 544||06/21/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 545||06/21/2019|
Marjorie Morgenstern: the book was bettah.
|by Anonymous||reply 546||06/21/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 547||06/21/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 548||06/21/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 549||06/21/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 550||06/22/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 551||06/22/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 552||06/22/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 553||06/23/2019|
And if course Carolyn Jones as the irrepressible Marsha Zalenko
|by Anonymous||reply 554||06/23/2019|
[quote]a little trouble imagining Gene Kelly as Noel Airman.
Worst casting of all time. Him, a Jewish rebel without a clue?
|by Anonymous||reply 555||06/23/2019|
Anyone read the Sally Rooney books?
|by Anonymous||reply 556||06/24/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 557||06/24/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 558||06/24/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 559||06/25/2019|
Agree about COURTING. It is poignant and unforgettable. Prompted me to order a copy of the Joshua Speed bio.
|by Anonymous||reply 560||06/25/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 561||06/25/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 562||06/25/2019|
I've been hawking Patrick Hamilton and William Trevor on these book threads forever. Glad to see the love here now.
|by Anonymous||reply 563||06/25/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 564||06/29/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 565||06/30/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 566||07/01/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 567||07/01/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 568||07/01/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 569||07/01/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 570||07/01/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 571||07/01/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 572||07/01/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 573||07/01/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 574||07/01/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 575||07/02/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 576||07/02/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 577||07/02/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 578||07/02/2019|
TV series was great, too!
|by Anonymous||reply 579||07/03/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 580||07/03/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 581||07/03/2019|
I tried The Master and Margarita twice and couldn't stick with it either time. I'm just not cerebral enough I guess.
|by Anonymous||reply 582||07/04/2019|
You're not alone. I hated Master & Margarita, except for the Pontius Pilate chapters.
|by Anonymous||reply 583||07/05/2019|
Master & Margarita looks...not one bit interesting.
|by Anonymous||reply 584||07/05/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 585||07/05/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 586||07/08/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 587||07/08/2019|
Can we stop talking about "Marjorie Morningstar" for the love of god?
|by Anonymous||reply 588||07/08/2019|
ok R588, whatcha got?
|by Anonymous||reply 589||07/09/2019|
I talk books with an elderly former history professor neighbour. He recommended Motel Life by Willy Vlautin and March Violets by Philip Kerr.
|by Anonymous||reply 590||07/09/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 591||07/10/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 592||07/10/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 593||07/10/2019|
Finished the Lansdale book, The Thicket. Suspenseful, bloody, heartwarming, page-turning. I loved it. hear it will be a movie.
|by Anonymous||reply 594||07/11/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 595||07/16/2019|
Hear the new Ann Patchett novel is great. Out in September.
|by Anonymous||reply 596||07/18/2019|
any one else notice the tumbleweeds blowing thru DL since the "new" setup?
|by Anonymous||reply 597||07/18/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 598||07/18/2019|
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 Anonymous||reply 599||07/19/2019|
I love Jane and Prudence, r598.
|by Anonymous||reply 600||07/19/2019|