Last thread was closed out without a link to Part 2. Yes, I searched--didn't find Part 2. If there is already an active Part 2, happy to ignore this one. If not, nerd out here on books you are reading.
What Books Are You Reading in 2020 Part 2
|by Anonymous||reply 385||Yesterday at 10:20 AM|
Link to Part 1
|by Anonymous||reply 1||08/04/2020|
Haven't read a book since 12th grade, I might just pick up till the end of the year. I think Twilight breaking dawn is good start for a beginner like me. And please don't shade me! I'm only 23!
|by Anonymous||reply 2||08/04/2020|
To repeat someone else's question from Part 1 of this thread: Has anyone read Margaret Atwood's latest book, The Testaments?
|by Anonymous||reply 3||08/04/2020|
R3 There are division of oppinions about The testaments. Most people think it's a solid novel, but being the second part of a cult classic (well i suppose it was a cult classic now it's more a mainstream bestseller) it's not easy.
I have the novel but i didn't read it yet (i lent the book to a coworker and she liked it a lot).
It's curious that Atwood won the Booker with two of her most divisive novels. I loved The blind assassin but i totally get that it's not for everyone.
For me the weakest winner of the Booker is recent years is The sellout. Some parts are brilliant and hilarious but the whole novel is uneven and sometimes it feels like a very long joke (not that it's a bad novel anyway)
|by Anonymous||reply 4||08/04/2020|
I'm ending Train dreams and i don't understand why it didn't won the Pulitzer, is better than some of the recent winners.
Now i'm going to read the third of the Elena Ferrante series. I read the first out of curiosity, and well, i find it ok but that cliffhanger made me read the second, and finally get into the lives of those two annoying women. And now i want more
|by Anonymous||reply 5||08/04/2020|
R5, I felt the same way after reading the first two books. What a wonderful series, can't wait to start the 3rd. Halfway through the third I gave up. I couldn't stand the two frenemies any longer.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||08/04/2020|
Just listing the one's I'd recommend:
In Hoffa's Shadow by Jack Goldsmith The Enlightenment and Why It Still Matters by Anthony Pagden The Longing for Myth in Germany by George S. Williamson American Heiress by Jeffrey Toobin Romantics, Rebels, and Reactionaries by Marilyn Butler Human Errors by Nathan Lents Bind Us Apart by Nicholas Guyatt
|by Anonymous||reply 7||08/04/2020|
In Hoffa's Shadow by Jack Goldsmith
The Enlightenment and Why It Still Matters by Anthony Pagden
The Longing for Myth in Germany by George S. Williamson
American Heiress by Jeffrey Toobin
Romantics, Rebels, and Reactionaries by Marilyn Butler
Human Errors by Nathan Lents
Bind Us Apart by Nicholas Guyatt
|by Anonymous||reply 8||08/04/2020|
Oops, forgot another good one:
Culture and Anarchy in Ireland, 1890-1939 by F. S. L. Lyons
|by Anonymous||reply 9||08/04/2020|
Someone said that Margaret Atwood won a Booker for writing a sequel to a Hulu series. Made me laugh.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||08/04/2020|
It was him.
This year he didn't post a video about the booker (he did for three years and they were very funny)
|by Anonymous||reply 11||08/05/2020|
Tony Parsons's Max Wolfe series
Joseph Knox's Aidan Waits series
Natsu Miyashita, The Forest of Wool and Steel
|by Anonymous||reply 12||08/05/2020|
Right now, I am reading “Little Men” (1871) by Louisa May Alcott. I read “Little Women” (1868-1869) a few months ago and have been intending to read the two sequels. I’m enjoying “Little Men” so far.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||08/05/2020|
r11, yes! mementomori is his Booktube handle. Seems to be a genuine asshole, but he can be funny. His endless "live" postings are studies in narcissism, and he seems to have alienated a fair number of booktubers.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||08/05/2020|
R14 Yes, he is mean to poor Karl Eric Anderson who is a lovely person, but the videos are funny.
I remember when he said Gays without end instead of days without end, the published was pissed for sure. Sebastian Barry gave them a lot of work trying to promote a gay love story without mention the two main characters were nothing more than brothers in arms.
I think there must be a good amount of envy between booktubers, some of them have some recognition (and are invited to awards or even cited in reviews).
Of course is very rare to find bad reviews because they receive the books for free and that comes to a cost
|by Anonymous||reply 15||08/05/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 16||08/05/2020|
R13 - I thought the Louisa May Alcott sequel book to "Little Women" was titled "Jo's Boys".
|by Anonymous||reply 17||08/05/2020|
Calling out the bastard who closed out Part 1 without providing a link to Part 2. What were you thinking?
|by Anonymous||reply 18||08/05/2020|
R18 it was really ridiculous, there were more than 20 post to the 600 in a thread that it's not exactly a Chalamet or Richard Madden thread (there are a few post every day and that's on a good day) and he killed it the thread without providing a link for the part 2. It was absurd.
I'm thinking on reading Colin Barrett's Young skins next
|by Anonymous||reply 19||08/05/2020|
Hi R17! After publishing “Little Women,” Louisa May Alcott went on to write two sequels, “Little Men” (1871) and “Jo’s Boys” (1886).
|by Anonymous||reply 20||08/05/2020|
Strange English syntax in these book threads. Many books are purchased using Amazon.
Check your Amazon, et al. order histories for mysterious purchases and, as always, use caution when opening links. Follow the breadcrumbs to a logical presumption:
(Amazon, Whole Foods, Washington Post = Jeff Bezos. Jeff Bezos = Orange It's imaginary arch enemy)
|by Anonymous||reply 21||08/05/2020|
Adam from mementomori seems to have pissed off Steve Donoghue for some reason. Rivalry between the gays? Or is every booktuber gay?
|by Anonymous||reply 22||08/05/2020|
Whoever mentioned Barbara Pym in the last thread, I love her. *applause*
What's the deal on Sally Rooney? Worth reading? Someone splain pls.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||08/05/2020|
I've read a few things this summer, more than usual.
I really loved The Daughters of Erietown by Connie Schultz. A bit of a potboiler, but instead of a Danielle Steel beach read, it's a story of a working class family. Can just see this one being made into a movie!
Reading Another Planet by Tracey Thorn (formerly of Everything But the Girl) - she and her husband and EBTG bandmate Ben Watt have written some very good memoirs/books.
Hmm, what else? Also read Becoming Duchess Goldblatt, which was sad and lovely. (The Duchess is a fun, wry, comic persona - a fictional one - on Twitter, mostly followed by writers, book nerds and artsy types.)
|by Anonymous||reply 24||08/05/2020|
These are the next three on my nightstand:
The Gentlemen's Guide to Vice and Virtue- Mackenzi Lee
Where the Crawdad Sings- Delia Owens
Utopia Avenue-David Mitchell
R24 I LOVE Ben and Tracey! Both great writers, especially Tracey.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||08/05/2020|
r18, the person who killed "What Books Are You Reading in 2020 Part 1" without providing a link is not the same person who started this thread. Just so you know.
The threadkiller started posting, yesterday or the day before, in an earlier 2020 Part Two thread someone started in March (why someone would have started it in March remains a mystery). Threadkiller claimed he killed the thread because he was sick of looking at the stupid gif (a sentiment with which I completely agree, but to which my solution is to keep link previews turned off).
|by Anonymous||reply 26||08/05/2020|
R25 yes! I have always loved their music (together and solo) but I was surprised at what good writers they are - Tracey in particular.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||08/05/2020|
I just took out The Deviant's War from the library. (Thank the baby jeebus for eBooks)
|by Anonymous||reply 28||08/05/2020|
I didn't finish reading The Deviant's War. I got through the Kameny bio, but didn't want to stay for Sylmarstroika.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||08/05/2020|
I looked briefly at some reviews and feedback for Deviant's War and some of the readers were not pleased, I guess, with the focus on Kameny.
*shrugs* Have no opinion yet but wanted to read at least the beginnings of it. I also want to find the book quoted at the beginning, the one where the sociologist studies cruising.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||08/05/2020|
R22 I don't know if all, but a lot of booktubers are gay.
R26 I think the thread was started in March because we used the old one (the last of 2019) to post at the beginning of the year
|by Anonymous||reply 31||08/06/2020|
I have a request that may be a bit odd and if so I can start a different thread for it.
But I am looking for recommendations of good biographies or good novels, esp. gay themed novels, that are a bit older than new - say 2016-2018 or 19.
I am borrowing things from the library and of course all the new stuff and perennially popular stuff (eg Little Fires Everywhere) are never available. Looking for something good that may be a bit more of a backtitle to borrow.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||08/06/2020|
r32, I recommend the novels of Alan Hollinghurst, Edmund White, and Louis Bayard. Also love AT SWIM TWO BOYS by Jamie O'Neill. Try Peter Cameron, too, and Christopher Bram (GODS AND MONSTERS is great). And Andrew Holleran is superb. There are excellent bios of Harvey Milk, Oscar Wilde, and Tennessee Williams, memoirs by Mark Doty and J.R. Ackerly. So many to choose from! Happy hunting!
|by Anonymous||reply 33||08/06/2020|
R33 I love your suggestions but I've read most of those fiction titles! I see a few unfamiliar names, though. And will definitely look at the bios.
When I first found good gay fiction in the 90s I went through all the Bram books; still have my copy of Hold Tight around. At Swim Two Boys was lovely, but sad (like The God In Flight).
|by Anonymous||reply 34||08/06/2020|
I was thinking the same, Hollinghurst is probably the gay novelist that first comes to mind, maybe because that booker for The line of beauty was not only a recognition to himself but made gay themes mainstream and made perfectly ok for straights to read a novel with a gay theme (because it's literature).
And talking about the Booker this is probably the queerest year ever, i didn't read the resumes of all novels, but one has a lesbian couple as protagonist and two have main gay characters
At swim two boys is amazing
|by Anonymous||reply 35||08/06/2020|
If you're looking for something light, funny and farcical, try Blue Heaven by Joe Keenan (who also wrote most of the best episodes of Frasier).
And now I want to read At Swim Two Boys again (again; it gets better each time).
|by Anonymous||reply 36||08/06/2020|
R36 Read that too : ) His other Philip and Gilbert books are good too, though the last one is a bit dog eared. Keenan definitely does farce wonderfully.
I want to read that Briefly Gorgeous book but again, that will be one with a long waitlist at the library.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||08/06/2020|
Have you read Bayard's COURTING MR. LINCOLN? Terrific.
|by Anonymous||reply 38||08/07/2020|
R38 Thank you! I am adding that to my list.
|by Anonymous||reply 39||08/07/2020|
Currently: "The Narrow Corridor" by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson (very insightful!) After this, I plan to get a hold of a copy of Anne Applebaum's "Twilight of Democracy." And then read the copy of "Confessions" by Leo Tolstoy that I borrowed and has been collecting dust on our livinf room table these past few months.
I would totally appreciate it if any politics junkie suggests a book or two.
|by Anonymous||reply 40||08/07/2020|
Peter Cameron's new book, What Happens at Night, has great blurbs from Ed White ("a masterpiece)", Michael Cunningham, Garth Greenwell, and others and some excellent early reviews. Has anyone read it?
|by Anonymous||reply 41||08/07/2020|
Currently a little over halfway through the novel "Lost Children Archive" by Valeria Luiselli which I really thought I'd like given all the good reviews it got (NYT Ten Best of the Year, etc). I am committed to finishing it but it's a total slog. The author is clearly very smart but it seems too wrapped up in its own cleverness and form at the expense of fleshed-out characters, any sort of plot, interesting set pieces ... I do not recommend.
Before that was "Skippy Dies" by Paul Murray which was great -- 600-page novel from 2010 about an all-boys prep school in Ireland. Energetic prose, lovable characters, eventful plot ... a good summer stem-winder.
|by Anonymous||reply 42||08/07/2020|
R41 I loved Some day this pain will be useful to you but i totally hated Coral Glynn, so he is an author i don't know what to do with him.
I read some readers review of Find me, and i don't understand Aciman. Most people think the novel is ok, but did he really thought that Elio's father being the center of the novel was what his fans really wanted?
|by Anonymous||reply 43||08/07/2020|
"Find Me" by André Aciman. Only the parts about Oliver and Elio. Brings a little closure.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||08/07/2020|
The Prettiest Star by Carter Sickels. A wonderful story that captures perfectly the realities of going home to die from AIDS in small town America in the 1980s after living in NYC Seemed autobiographical - so real and true. I was shocked it was fiction written by a 30-something trans man. Testament to a great writeR.
At Swim, Two Boys - Jamie O’Neill was a piece of art. Think it was recommended in the other thread. Beautiful writing. Story of adolescent boys growing up, falling in love in Revolutionary Ireland early 20th century. Lots of Irish phrasing which requires some adjustment - but some beautiful poetic writing in a story about figuring out your gay, what sex is about - and what the world and life is about.
|by Anonymous||reply 45||08/07/2020|
I just finished The Friend by Sigrid Nunez. It was absolutely wonderful and has made me want to read her other work.
|by Anonymous||reply 46||08/07/2020|
R45 Sex scenes are usually pretty bad, and that includes some great writers, but the sex scene between the main characters when the swim to the shore is amazing.
R46 The friend is a great novel, but is worrying how she describes students who want to be writers as puritans ready to be offended
|by Anonymous||reply 47||08/08/2020|
Currently reading "War and Peace"; it's tried my patience at times and sections focusing on the young Natasha kind of drag because she has very little inner life beyond what a pretty young thing she is, but Napoleon is standing outside Moscow & shit is starting to get good.
Did you guys like "Normal People"? It's been all the rage this summer, but I've heard the book is kind of overrated. I only get an audible credit every other month so I want to use it well.
|by Anonymous||reply 48||08/08/2020|
I hate Normal people, there's nothing remarkable about that novel (not a surprise because Conversations with friends) Roony is probably the most overhyped young writer, and frankly there are dozens of better young writers.
Tolstoi is not for me, i read Anna Karenina, and even i appreciate that it's in fact a great novel, the truth is i didn't like it. And i didn't like some of his short stories either so probably i will never read War and peace
|by Anonymous||reply 49||08/08/2020|
Anna Karenina to me is a far superior novel to War and Peace. It has a better plot and more passion. The first 200 pp of War and Peace a very tough slog, it took me 3 tries to get through them. AK engages from page 1.
|by Anonymous||reply 50||08/08/2020|
Sally Rooney's novels would have been classified as "Young Adult" just 15 years ago. Quite astonishing that they're taken so seriously and praised so much by critics.
Here's some shade from fellow Irish novelist Sheila O'Flanagan ("I'm sure Sally Rooney will be a super writer when she's a bit older"):
|by Anonymous||reply 51||08/08/2020|
I loved both Conversations with Friends and Normal People, and it’s not unexpected there would be jealousy of her success at a young age.
|by Anonymous||reply 52||08/08/2020|
R52 Nobody denies her success (even if was overhyped months before Conversations with friends was released), it's her writing skills what some people don't like.
And i'm a little tired of the childish "if you don't like him/her it's because you are jelous" (try to say something that's not praise on a Timothee Chalamet thread). No dear, some people just don't understand why someone like Rooney gets nominations to prestigious book awards when his novels are totally average at best.
And i extremely dislike her cheating. You can explain the behaviour of her main characters saying they suffered trauma, but she never explains what kind of trauma becuase you know, if you go there maybe that doesn't explain the narrative. It's a cheap trick, and she did it twice.
There are a lot of way better young writers than her
|by Anonymous||reply 53||08/08/2020|
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed War and Peace. It's largely a, for want of a better term, soap opera with social themes. There are maybe 20 major characters, and once you get them (and their myriad names and nicknames) sorted out it's not a difficult read. I found many of the battle scenes a slog, especially the earlier ones (battle maps would have helped; it's just hard, at least for me, to picture which army is where). But there are so many fantastic characters in the book. And one scene honestly made me laugh out loud (zealous young Nikolai "Nikolenka" Rostov, completely terrified by the death and bloodshed at his first battle, freaks out and hurls his gun at the advancing French and runs away).
But, agreed, Anna Karenina is the better novel.
|by Anonymous||reply 54||08/08/2020|
That's a lovely post R54, and a vivid scene with Rostov. There's also the love story of Pierre and Natasha (was it? I can't remember) that is reminiscent of Lev and Kitty from AK. Anyway you make me want to re-read it.
|by Anonymous||reply 55||08/08/2020|
Currently reading: Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
Enjoying it so far. It's not up to Wolf Hall quality of literary-fan-fiction-about-a-famous-historical-person, but it's quite good. Shakespeare's wife and children are the POV characters.
|by Anonymous||reply 56||08/09/2020|
R56, that’s next on my list. Now I’m reading The Day of the Locust. It’s quite a ride.
|by Anonymous||reply 57||08/09/2020|
People were dissapointed that Hammet didn't make the booker longlist. It seems it was the snub of this year's longlist
|by Anonymous||reply 58||08/10/2020|
R3 yes, I've read it. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's not a classic like the The Handmaid's Tale is though. I did see all the characters in my head as the characters from the TV series. I got the feeling Margaret Atwood might have done so as well when writing it...
|by Anonymous||reply 59||08/10/2020|
I ithink i'm going to try Enigma variations, it's been almost a decade since i read Call me by your name, and even i hated that novel, i really liked Aciman's writting, so maybe i should give him another try
|by Anonymous||reply 60||08/11/2020|
I never got all the way through CMBYN. I got to where they were traveling and lost interest.
|by Anonymous||reply 61||08/11/2020|
Reading the Edith Sitwell bio UNICORN AMONG LIONS. Superb.
|by Anonymous||reply 62||08/12/2020|
Thank you, r41, for the Peter Cameron recommendation. I've enjoyed all of his books, most recently [italic]Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You[/italic] .
|by Anonymous||reply 63||08/12/2020|
Peter Cameron HATES the fact that his most successful novel (Someday This Pain...) was published as YA.
|by Anonymous||reply 64||08/12/2020|
I liked Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell a lot! Also highly recommended reads from this summer -
- Passage to India by EM Forster - Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo (Booker) - Exposure by Helen Dunsmore - Cannery Row John Steinbeck - True Grot by Charles Portis
I’m currently reading Iris Murdoch’s first novel, Under The Net.
|by Anonymous||reply 65||08/12/2020|
R64 Well, at least that was not the case in Spain.
To be honest, for me it's the tone and the writing what makes the difference and not the theme of the novel, and Someday this pain will be useful to you is not YA with that criteria
|by Anonymous||reply 66||08/12/2020|
Does anyone remember a novel, possibly gay, possibly by Holleran, in which the protagonist drives someone around DC who is staying at the Army-Navy Club?
|by Anonymous||reply 67||08/12/2020|
Thomas Mallon writes about DC.
|by Anonymous||reply 68||08/12/2020|
Hmmm...maybe it was Mallon. Thanks, r68.
|by Anonymous||reply 69||08/12/2020|
Add me to those who love At Swim Two Boys
|by Anonymous||reply 70||08/12/2020|
R65 Read Under The Net freshman year in college (1976) in a 20th century Brit lit class. I loved it and return to it every few years. Obviously, Murdoch went on to write more philosophically “deep” and dense novels, but UTN remains my favorite of hers.
|by Anonymous||reply 71||08/12/2020|
Has anyone here read The Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann?
|by Anonymous||reply 72||08/12/2020|
Andrew Holleran's GRIEF is set in DC. It's a great book.
|by Anonymous||reply 73||08/13/2020|
Rereading Andrew Pyper's Lost Girls. Almost finished.
|by Anonymous||reply 74||08/13/2020|
Grief is one of those unknown books that was eye opening. Brief but insightful view of elder gay life. Like Single Man when I read it first - showed a life that wasn’t described in most descriptions of gay life - like in Faggots, or Dancer to the Dance. Not stunning but worthwhile.
More suggestions of books about elder gay life would be appreciated. Quentin Crisps diaries were also insightful - how to be a poor old gay man but still have a sense of adventure and enjoyment despite the hardships of growing up in a virulently homophobic world.
|by Anonymous||reply 75||08/13/2020|
If you like REALLY eldergay life, this is a book of diary entries from a gay man who lived in the Victorian era. I found it fascinating. He picked up soldiers who hustled for $$$
|by Anonymous||reply 76||08/13/2020|
I am still on Moby Dick
|by Anonymous||reply 77||08/13/2020|
I'm restarted The Mirror and The Light. I'm averaging about 10 pages before bed. At this pace, I should finish in the summer of 2021.
Need to get to be earlier so I can read more before I doze off.
|by Anonymous||reply 78||08/13/2020|
R78 A couple of months ago i was thinking on reading Life and fate but the idea of getting stuck on a novel for a month was a little too much for me.
By the way, it's there a single great russian writer who didn't suffered censorship or worse during the XX century. All of them seem to en in exhile, jail, banned or killed. It curious than almost all the most popular novels by russian writers were banned there
|by Anonymous||reply 79||08/13/2020|
I'm reading Zadie Smith's essay collection "Intimations."
I always knew of her and remember when she was huge when she published "White Teeth" but I've never read her before. One of those spur of the moment things - I heard her on NPR and ordered the book off Amazon that day. I figured why not.
|by Anonymous||reply 80||08/13/2020|
r75, you might look to the novels of Mark Merlis, especially AMERICAN STUDIES. He writes of more middle-aged men rather than "elder gays," but his books are excellent.
|by Anonymous||reply 81||08/13/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 82||08/14/2020|
The Sparsholt Affair by Andrew Hollinghurst and The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne track their protagonists lives over many years. While not specifically focused on eldergays, they might be of appeal R75.
Boyne’s Ladder to the Sky is my favorite recent gay themed novel.
|by Anonymous||reply 83||08/14/2020|
Loved hearts Invisible Furies and Ladder to the Sky. Anything by Boyce really. Sparsholt Affair was good - but a little too contrived.
|by Anonymous||reply 84||08/14/2020|
Alan Hollinghurst, r83, and I agree. :) Boyne's A TRAVELER AT THE GATES OF WISDOM was just published.
|by Anonymous||reply 85||08/15/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 86||08/16/2020|
just about to start the 19th John Connelly book in the Charlie Parker series. great reads. 2 main characters are gay -- one black and one latino -- and love to goad Charlie about what he's missing by being straight. the later books in the series slip into Stephen King world. but the author is irish and a great story teller.
|by Anonymous||reply 87||08/17/2020|
I've started working on that series, R87. Well into book one, and loving it.
|by Anonymous||reply 88||08/17/2020|
please read them in order. they build one on the other. r88
|by Anonymous||reply 89||08/17/2020|
R89 Thanks for the info. That's what I figured, and that's what I'll do.
|by Anonymous||reply 90||08/17/2020|
AN HONEST MAN by Ben Fergusson. Gay relationship in 1989 Berlin. Very entertaining and moving.
|by Anonymous||reply 91||08/20/2020|
Percy Keese Fitzhugh wrote a series of Boy Scout books, mostly featuring a kid named Tom Slade.
|by Anonymous||reply 92||08/20/2020|
R91 I wrote to one spanish publisher asking them to translate that novel. I'm waiting for that one and for Swimming in the dark (but it could be a long wait, Christodora it was not translated yet)
|by Anonymous||reply 93||08/21/2020|
I'm reading Enigma variations and i think Aciman will do better if his novels were more plot driven than character driven.
Just put those love and sex stories in the middle of something else would help a lot
|by Anonymous||reply 94||08/22/2020|
R65, R75: I enjoyed Bernadine Evaristo's poignant novel of an older, Caribbean immigrant couple in London, "Mr. Loverman."
|by Anonymous||reply 95||08/25/2020|
Hope people haven't forgotten Peter Cameron, whose novels include The Weekend, Andorra, The City of Your Final Destination, etc. I'm reading his new novel What Happens at Night and it's terrific.
|by Anonymous||reply 96||09/02/2020|
just finished At Swim, 2 Boys. great read. but books like this should come with a warning label on the cover "THIS BOOK WILL TEAR YOU HEART OUT AND STOMP IT INTO THE GROUND"
|by Anonymous||reply 97||09/02/2020|
I just finished Mrs. Bridge by Evan Connell. It’s a novel that I think would be very appealing to many Dataloungers, about the wife of an attorney in Kansas City in the 1930s and early 1940s. She’s maddeningly conventional and obedient and she doesn’t see how several of the people around her pity her or just don’t understand her.
I’m planning to read Mr. Bridge as well, then watch the film with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.
|by Anonymous||reply 98||09/02/2020|
I know, R97; I've read At Swim two, maybe three times, and it's just as powerful when you already know how it ends. I SO wish someone would spend a lot of money to make a faithful miniseries of it. Six or seven episodes ought to do it. Colin Farrell would have been perfect for Doyler waaaaay back in the day.
Speaking of re-reading, I just started Robert Hughes' The Fatal Shore, about the early convict history of Australia. I remember it being gripping, if gruesome at times.
|by Anonymous||reply 99||09/02/2020|
Another vote for AT SWIM as a modern classic. Anyone read his other novels? Really wish he was more prolific; he's only 58.
|by Anonymous||reply 100||09/02/2020|
I just finished What Happens at Night, R96. It took me a while to get past some of the book's more daunting plot elements, but soon enough I grew to love it.
|by Anonymous||reply 101||09/02/2020|
I'm about halfway through it, r101, and have no idea where it's headed. Which is not a bad thing. And he writes wonderfully.
|by Anonymous||reply 102||09/03/2020|
Just finished Lady Colin Campbell's delicious book on the Harkles. On to book 2 of John Connolly's Charlie Parker series. About one-third through the book already. I LOVE this series. Each one is a feast to enjoy.
|by Anonymous||reply 103||09/03/2020|
I skimmed the first hundred or so pages of Annie Proulx's 'Barkskins' after watching the tv adaptation. Now I'm reading the first 'Expanse' novel after watching the first season on Amazon.
The Barkskins show was completely unlike the novel, but Expanse was so spot-on I'm thinking there's no real point to reading the book.
|by Anonymous||reply 104||09/04/2020|
the Expanse books are amazing. loved all of them!
|by Anonymous||reply 105||09/04/2020|
I’m trying the new Denise Mina mystery but it’s not good.
|by Anonymous||reply 106||09/07/2020|
Just finished The Splendid and the Vile about Churchill during WW II. Not up to the level of Larsen's other books, especially The Devil in the White City and Isaac's Storm.
Just started Spying on the South by Tony Horwitz.
|by Anonymous||reply 107||09/07/2020|
I started The city we became and i'm not liking it (which is suprising to me because i loved the fifth season).
But someone on my book forum loved the novel after not liking the start at all so i keep my hopes high
|by Anonymous||reply 108||09/11/2020|
Reaganland - Rick Perlstein Hoax - Brian Stelter
|by Anonymous||reply 109||09/11/2020|
THE PALACE—Troubled expat woman on the run in Bangkok. Very atmospheric.
|by Anonymous||reply 110||09/12/2020|
THE GLASS KINGDOM, sorry.
|by Anonymous||reply 111||09/12/2020|
[QUOTE] But I am looking for recommendations of good biographies or good novels, esp. gay themed novels, that are a bit older than new - say 2016-2018 or 19.
Have you read At Danceteria and Other Stories? It came out in 2016 and I believe a sequel comes out next year.
I read The Lost Language of Cranes recently and was deeply moved by it at times. The writing is gorgeous.
|by Anonymous||reply 112||09/12/2020|
Whoever recommended Shuggie Bain thank you. I loved it
|by Anonymous||reply 113||09/12/2020|
A Genteman in Moscow isn’t gay themed but it is excellent
|by Anonymous||reply 114||09/12/2020|
R113 Suggie Bain is getting a lot of attention on award season, it was nominated to the booker, the center for fiction and the kirkus
|by Anonymous||reply 115||09/12/2020|
I didn't think At Danceteria was all that good. It was decent but kind of silly. And, the author lives in my building.
|by Anonymous||reply 116||09/12/2020|
In “The Feral Detective,” Jonathan Lethem Returns to Detective Noir for the Trump Era.
have yet to be disappointed by a Lethem novel.
|by Anonymous||reply 117||09/12/2020|
I loved the Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremaine..Patrick Gale is also a good gay writer
|by Anonymous||reply 118||09/12/2020|
R99, I really liked The Fatal Shore
Has anyone read The Five by Hallie Rubenhold? I just started it
|by Anonymous||reply 119||09/12/2020|
Re-reading volume 1 of "The Liveship Traders," called "Ship of Magic" The author is Robin Hobb, and the series, needless to say, is in the fantasy genre. I first read the trilogy 20 years ago, when a friend of mine arrived at my house, handed me the first book in the series, and said, "I think you're going to like this." She was right.
|by Anonymous||reply 120||09/13/2020|
I was one of those r113, and glad you enjoyed it. Stuart has a story in The New Yorker this week and it's also great.
|by Anonymous||reply 121||09/13/2020|
Last night I finished Mr. Bridge by Evan Connell, and I had read Mrs. Bridge two weeks ago. These novels are told in short vignettes about life in an upper middle class family in Kansas City in the 1930s and 40s. I found them absolutely brilliant, perhaps the best fiction I’ve read to show what life was like for this demographic at this time. It doesn’t shy away from revealing the prejudices and foibles of the characters.
|by Anonymous||reply 122||09/13/2020|
R120 I read the first book of the first trilogy during quarantine
|by Anonymous||reply 123||09/13/2020|
WOKE and MY FIRST LITTLE BOOK OF INTERSECTIONAL ACTIVISM by Titania McGrath (really gay cutie Andrew Doyle). Both are hilarious satirical take downs of the whole woke movement. Laugh out loud funny.
|by Anonymous||reply 124||09/13/2020|
r124 is probably a conservative who thought gay marriage would cause society to collapse
|by Anonymous||reply 125||09/13/2020|
The two gay/queer nominees made the shortlist of the booker.
Shuggie Bain was a sure shot, i'm more surprised by Real life nomination.
Of course three of the favourites (The mirror and the light, How much of this hills is gold and Apeirogon didn't made the cut)
|by Anonymous||reply 126||09/16/2020|
I just finished A Star Is Bored by Byron Lane, a coming of age story based on his years as Carrie Fisher’s personal assistant. It’s charming and very entertaining.
|by Anonymous||reply 127||09/16/2020|
[quote]I loved the Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremaine.
I remember being disappointed by it. I read it through, and now think it was the denouement that failed to please. But it's been several years. I gave it only one star on Good Reads.
[quote]I didn't think At Danceteria was all that good. It was decent but kind of silly.
I liked it more than you did, probably. "Decent," but "silly" is a good description, though. For me, it was a look into clubkid-ism, something I was just too old to be a part of. I'd partied so hard, in fact, I'd joined AA early in the time frame of the book, and had left New York the year before in any case.
[quote]Shuggie Bain was a sure shot
The opening chapters, which had more to do with Shuggie's parents, made me sad. I put the book down weeks ago. Maybe I'll come back to it. After the pandemic, perhaps, whenever that may turn out to be.
[quote]I read The Lost Language of Cranes recently and was deeply moved by it at times. The writing is gorgeous.
I've always liked this book. I think I've read it three or four times. It and the book of stories that preceded it have always been my favorite works of David Leavitt.
|by Anonymous||reply 128||09/16/2020|
SHUGGIE is a bit overlong, but well worth the read. I'd love it if he won. More deserving than REAL LIFE (which was fine, but certainly not better than the new Mantel.
|by Anonymous||reply 129||09/16/2020|
Reading "1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare" after the endnotes in "Hamnet" tipped me off to it.
|by Anonymous||reply 130||09/16/2020|
This is my morning to bitch:
I tried some books from The New Yorker's featured list and am convinced they are just promoting each other's work and family and friends and loathsome contacts. No integrity. Up until the sixties the editors were turning down stuff from Salinger, et al.
Now any slag is acceptable. I think after this year's subscription runs out, no more.
|by Anonymous||reply 131||09/16/2020|
[quote]I tried some books from The New Yorker's featured list and am convinced they are just promoting each other's work and family and friends and loathsome contacts
Aw, shit. What selections were particularly nepotistic?
I guessed the worst when the editor became the patron of Lena Dunham.
|by Anonymous||reply 132||09/16/2020|
I'll have to check, R132, I have the fortunate ability to forget unpleasant stuff.
|by Anonymous||reply 133||09/16/2020|
Speaking of The NY and Douglas Stuart, I enjoyed his recent story in the magazine. It still made my skin crawl a little, just not as much as his previous story there (which I believe was an excerpt from "Shuggie Bain.") I hope "Older Men Preying on Semi-Willing Younger Ones" isn't always going to be Stuart's theme, no matter how well he writes it.
I'm reading "At Swim, Two Boys" again (third time? fourth?), and it never ceases to please (despite the ending). O'Neill does such lovely things with the Irish vernacular, and the novel is so beautifully crafted.
|by Anonymous||reply 134||09/16/2020|
Any fans of Margot Livesey? I’m reading her latest novel The Boy in the Field.
|by Anonymous||reply 135||09/16/2020|
Shuggie Bain is very well written but far too depressing for anyone who comes from a long line of self-sabotaging alcoholics.
|by Anonymous||reply 136||09/16/2020|
Adam Mars-Jones's "Box Hill." Short, sexy, and fabulously written.
|by Anonymous||reply 137||09/16/2020|
I a lot of Erle Stanley Gardner. Esp. the ones written in the 30s. (The HBO series is a travesty, imo.)
|by Anonymous||reply 138||09/16/2020|
r137 (or anyone) What is Adam Mars-Jones best known for writing? The name sounds so familiar, yet I don't remember anything mentioned on his Wikipedia page.
|by Anonymous||reply 139||09/16/2020|
Just finished A.N. Wilson’s biography of Queen Victoria. Dense but luminous.
|by Anonymous||reply 140||09/16/2020|
"Warhol" by Blake Gopnik. Nine hundred seventy-something pages, but engrossing.
|by Anonymous||reply 141||09/17/2020|
Bernhard Aichner, Woman of the Dead (Totenfrau). About a woman whose policeman husband is killed in a car accident and due to discoveries she makes right after his death, she sets out to find out why. I'm reading the German original in translation, and I don't know if the compelling read and attractive writing style are due to the author or the translator. All in all, a recommended read.
|by Anonymous||reply 142||09/17/2020|
Enjoying Susanna Clarke's PIRANESI. And greartly admired THE QUEEN OF TUESDAY.
Stuart's first story in the New Yorker wasn't a SHUGGIE excerpt, but was drawn from the same well.
|by Anonymous||reply 143||09/17/2020|
R143 how is PIRANESI? Would you recommend it?
|by Anonymous||reply 144||09/17/2020|
I just finished "Trust Exercise" by Susan Choi. It's a very interesting novel, written from the viewpoints of multiple unreliable narrators.
|by Anonymous||reply 145||09/17/2020|
Yes, r144, I would, although this is based on only the first third. Don't know if you know her JONATHAN STRANGE book; this is very different, but comes from the same fountain of creativity. This is more of a dystopian fable/mystery—not something I'd normally rush to, but its early reviews were excellent. And unlike JS, it's short and a breezy read.
|by Anonymous||reply 146||09/17/2020|
R145 That book will be my next one to read
R143 I didn't knew Clarke released another novel, it's been ages since Jonathan Strange
|by Anonymous||reply 147||09/17/2020|
R137. He and Edmund White wrote a volume called The Darker Proof, a collection of stories about AIDS, in the 1980s (they each contributed several stories).
|by Anonymous||reply 148||09/17/2020|
Clarke writes slowly. Recent articles have chronicled her ongoing battle with a debilitating disease that saps her of her energy in alarming ways.
|by Anonymous||reply 149||09/17/2020|
And Shuggie Bain is nominated to the National Book Award too.
Maybe i didn't followed the books that much this year (i follow a page that makes predictions to the pulitzer because most of the novels are not translated in my country) but the truth is only A Burning, Suggie Bain and The vanishing half were in my radar
|by Anonymous||reply 150||09/18/2020|
R150, you seem to have a superb grasp of English. Do you only read novels in your own language?
|by Anonymous||reply 151||09/19/2020|
I read the Glass Hotel and can't really remember it. I'm reading Peter Cameron's latest and I'm liking it. Thanks for the recommendation.
|by Anonymous||reply 152||09/19/2020|
Wow, what a scare, Stephen King was trending in Spain and i though something bad happened to him, but he was trending because today it's his birthday
|by Anonymous||reply 153||09/21/2020|
Re: R137, Adam Mars-Jones's eclectic career also includes two huge novels which are apparently part of a sequence; a family memoir 'Kid Gloves' (coming out to his High Court judge father); and recently some selected film reviews, 'Second Sight.'
A M-J's film reviews are as sharp and forensic as his literary essays in the LRB. Recommended.
To answer OP, I recently found second-hand a batch of James-Lees Milne's diaries in hardback. A treasure trove of upper-class upper Bohemia gossip and sharp sophisticated observation. J L-M can be as harsh and funny about himself as he is about others. Once you get used to the snobbery, it's all about The Human Condition. It doesn't hurt that he's at least half-gay, and alludes to plenty of former fun. Excellent diversion from Covid.
|by Anonymous||reply 154||09/21/2020|
I wanted to read Trust Exercise. Maybe I should give it another go.
|by Anonymous||reply 155||09/21/2020|
I've just started Trust Exercise. I don't like it. I'm going to read Great Expectations instead.
|by Anonymous||reply 156||09/21/2020|
I'm reading M, the son of the century by Antonio Scuratti about the rise of Mussolini in Italy.
It's a curious novel because it's not fiction, everything that appears it's documented. It's interesting but exhausting (every italian novel i read, specially the ones set in the XX century is plagued with violence)
|by Anonymous||reply 157||09/22/2020|
Killer, Come Back To Me: The Crime Stories of Ray Bradbury
|by Anonymous||reply 158||09/22/2020|
Has anyone read A Beautiful Crime?
|by Anonymous||reply 159||09/22/2020|
Starting a jumbo biog of John Gielgud. He was quite a character.
|by Anonymous||reply 160||09/22/2020|
R159: Bollen's latest novel is hard to put down, and will make a great movie. It's what Patricia Highsmith would have written if she'd been a gay man in 2019.
|by Anonymous||reply 161||09/22/2020|
R157 Not a novel, but I loved the film Vincere (2009) by Marco Bellocchio. It's close to a horror gothic. The actor playing Mussolini is fantastic.
|by Anonymous||reply 162||09/22/2020|
Anyone read Swimming In The Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski?
|by Anonymous||reply 163||09/23/2020|
I want to read it but it was not published here yet
|by Anonymous||reply 164||09/24/2020|
Tasteful literate individuals of DL, recommend me fiction? Novellas, plays, and short stories welcome as well as longer reads. Anything to stop me re-reading the same books over and over as I have been for months, stuck in a strange self-comforting rut.
Of particular interest: slow-moving rural/backwoods gothic (doesn’t have to be horror, preferably won’t be) and hillbilly lore; otherworldly romance; alternate-timeline fuckery; lawlessness and feud tales; beast tales; absurdist erotic (Genet style); fantasy of manners; magical realism (within reason, nothing Booker-prize related, please); mind-expanding fare a la Huxley. POV and height of concept not an issue. Right now I’m also enjoying anything on the Dustbowl, probably in response to the times.
|by Anonymous||reply 165||09/24/2020|
R165: James Purdy's NARROW ROOMS will check off a lot of boxes.
|by Anonymous||reply 166||09/24/2020|
Has anyone read the children’s novel TOM’S MIDNIGHT GARDEN? Gorgeous writing and the best time-shifting novel I’ve read.
|by Anonymous||reply 167||09/24/2020|
I decided that I needed to finally tackle Pynchon so I've been reading his first, V. It's taken me about a month to get through 400 pages, with about 100 left. That's slower than my usual reading pace but he demands concentration. It's a fun but difficult read, if that makes sense. Dozens of characters; set in the US, Europe and Africa; jumps all over in time between the late 1890s and the mid 1950s. It can be confusing/disorienting (and occasionally annoying) but his prose is so gorgeous, his insights so penetrating, the questions he asks are so high-stakes. I'd recommend to anyone who enjoys challenging fiction.
|by Anonymous||reply 168||09/24/2020|
I did, r163. It's sweet and touching, but a bit lightweight for my tastes. Not bad for a first novel, but wish it had made more of an impact on me. You may think differently, so I'd give it a try. You can read it in a day if you're so inclined.
|by Anonymous||reply 169||09/24/2020|
R165 Read Guyotat.
|by Anonymous||reply 170||09/24/2020|
R166/R168/R170 that’s fantastic, thanks. Added those to my next order list, and eagerly awaiting their arrival. I have actually read and loved Pynchon’s MASON & DIXON, with effort and bemusement, so I’ll recommend that to anyone who wants an immersive alternative-historical palimpsestic reading experience.
While I’m about it, I’ll ask for any fiction recs based around quantum immortality, and/or avataric lore? (not like the James Cameron film, but the whole Gods-vessels concept) Sounds weirdly specific and arcane, I know, but it’s research-related.
|by Anonymous||reply 171||09/24/2020|
Getting into Bataille, with which book is it best to begin?
Eyeing. BLUE OF MOON, VISIONS OF EXCESS, and ACÉPHALE.
|by Anonymous||reply 172||09/25/2020|
In my backpack I keep John Sandford's [italic]Holy Ghost[/italic], a Virgil Flowers book about a phony Marian apparition in Minnesota. When I'm stuck at the doctor's office, I read a few more chapters. For more serious reading, I just received Peter Strzok's [italic]Compၱomised[/italic].
|by Anonymous||reply 173||09/25/2020|
In reading “Joseph and his Brethren” by Thomas Mann. It’s the Everyman Library edition with a new translation published in 2003. The edition includes the novels “The Stories of Jacob”, “Young Joseph”, Joseph in Egypt”, and “Joseph the Provider.” I took in reading this as a challenge. I couldn’t start Mann’s “The Magic Mountain” and saw that as a failing of mine. I’ve been told that Mann is a master and thought I should make the effort to read him. I can say that these novels are pure pleasure showing a psychological insight in keeping with the Biblical story and very diverting. The edition is over 1,000 pages and I am halfway through,
|by Anonymous||reply 174||09/28/2020|
Introduction to Anal
|by Anonymous||reply 175||09/28/2020|
I’m trying A BEAUTIFUL CRIME from recommendations here but I’m periodically cringing. It’s as if the author thinks Donna Tartt is deep and he wants to be like her. But he’s not as original or talented as she and comes off as climbing.
|by Anonymous||reply 176||09/28/2020|
I've heard that Buddenbrooks is the easiest gateway to Mann.
|by Anonymous||reply 177||09/28/2020|
I'm embarrassed to say I wasted nearly 12 hours of my life listening to the audiobook version of the gay romance novel Red, White, & Royal Blue ... wow, it was bad and way too long.
|by Anonymous||reply 178||09/28/2020|
R177 I think the novellas are—Death in Venice, Tonio Kroger, Mario and the Magicians, The Blood of the Volsungs.
|by Anonymous||reply 179||09/28/2020|
R2, Sad. Pick up a book and start reading.
|by Anonymous||reply 180||09/28/2020|
R176 I've come to realise that Donna Tartt, talented prose notwithstanding, is the kind of author that's travelled a lot... in their bedroom. There's nothing "real" about what she writes. It's all derived from great thinkers, great authors, but second-hand nonetheless. And there's a touch of the racist/classist that I simply cannot abide.
|by Anonymous||reply 181||09/29/2020|
Speaking of audiobooks, I was surprised to find myself enjoying the Dutch something (maybe the Dutch House?) read by Tom Hanks. Then I probably went to pee or something.
|by Anonymous||reply 182||09/29/2020|
Dutch House by Ann Patchett?
|by Anonymous||reply 183||09/29/2020|
R183 I liked it, but i like it Commonwealth even more
|by Anonymous||reply 184||09/29/2020|
That's the one. I only heard a few minutes, but he did a very good job. I was impressed.
|by Anonymous||reply 185||09/29/2020|
I’ve returned to favorite authors of my youth. Now reading “The Nine Unknown,” by Talbot Mundy. High adventure in mystical India! Written almost a hundred years ago, in 1923.
Got through about half of the book, “Babylon Berlin,” which I didn’t think was nearly as good as the German TV series first season.
|by Anonymous||reply 186||09/29/2020|
I'm reading Rosy and John by Pierre Lemaitre and Susan Choi's Trust exercise
|by Anonymous||reply 187||09/29/2020|
I finished "Swimming in the Dark" recently, R163; the audiobook is especially well done. Painful at times, a pain that ONLY a gay guy could "get" for sure, but not exactly a tragedy. Regular use of second-person a bit disconcerting, but it was effective. The style reminded me a bit of Marilynne Robinson.
R140 - - I'm listening to A. N. Wilson's bio of Dickens these days.
R110 - - I have that one on my TBR as I'm a fan of the author.
R23 - - I'm reading Pym's "Some Tame Gazelle" these days. "A Glass of Blessings" was amazingly pro-gay for 50s Britain.
|by Anonymous||reply 188||09/29/2020|
Slightly OT, but I have some books to sell - poetry, novels a few old comic books - and I don’t know which alternative online marketplace to use. Any recs?
Given their status as the polestar of human evil I refuse to use Amazon, and I have soured on AbeBooks since I encountered the robdogs in their customer service dept (your bank account details are not safe with those people). Are there any reliable, above-board trading posts for secondhand book left online? I’m in the U.K. if that helps.
|by Anonymous||reply 189||10/01/2020|
ABE Books has been owned by Amazon since 2008, in any case, r189.
|by Anonymous||reply 190||10/01/2020|
Introduction to Fisting
|by Anonymous||reply 191||10/01/2020|
R72, I like Buddenbrooks when I was young. Also Tonio Kruger. But The Magic Mountain is Mann's masterpiece. Loved it.
|by Anonymous||reply 192||10/01/2020|
This year seems to be the diverse year in literary awards.
The center for fiction shortlist repeats the pattern of the Booker prize, most of the finalists are women, most of them are not white and the main character of the two men's novels are gay.
By the way i find The redshirt plot seems interesting, like a cross between The art of fielding and A natural
|by Anonymous||reply 193||10/03/2020|
R189, you can sell books on ebay
|by Anonymous||reply 194||10/03/2020|
R194 this is the future, Mr. Jetson. Surely there’s an app for that.
|by Anonymous||reply 195||10/03/2020|
I finished reading Sigrid Nunez’s new novel and I really liked it. She’s becoming a favorite of mine. Nobody writes better about death and friendship.
|by Anonymous||reply 196||10/03/2020|
R178 I was given an ARC of that. Whilst I don’t mind a little YA/candy I didn’t make it past the 2nd chapter.
|by Anonymous||reply 197||10/03/2020|
The End of October, while a bit of a potboiler, grows increasingly prescient. Without giving away any details, I'm hoping to see a similarly presidential conclusive speech eventually from 45.
|by Anonymous||reply 198||10/03/2020|
R196 The friend is really good
|by Anonymous||reply 199||10/04/2020|
I read Red White and Royal, etc. after hearing it praised to the skies. It was fine for a YA, and surprised me at how explicit books for teens can be these days. Not sorry I read it, and kept thinking how much my life would be different if I had ANY books like this in my youth.
|by Anonymous||reply 200||10/04/2020|
R200 Well i remember an instagramer and model who published a YA (with a lot of success) that it was like 50 shades but a YA gay version (the characters were over 18).
YA right now touch a lot of themes that were untouchable in the past.
I think there will be a tv version for Red, white and royal blue
|by Anonymous||reply 201||10/04/2020|
Read Marilynne Robinson's "Gilead" over the last couple days. I adored "Housekeeping" but found this one a bit dry/boring although she is a lovely writer. But my mind really wandered in the many sections where the Reverend Ames is grappling with abstract theological concerns.
Still, it was a fast read, and I am interested enough in the larger story and framing to read her other three Gilead books.
|by Anonymous||reply 202||10/04/2020|
R202, Gilead is one of my favorite books, and I also love the others in the series. I’ll start reading Jack, the fourth book, later today.
|by Anonymous||reply 203||10/04/2020|
[QUOTE] I didn't think At Danceteria was all that good. It was decent but kind of silly.
You might want to check out Walker’s second book, Read by Strangers. It’s completely different and quite dark at times. The Wally Lamb blurb on the cover piqued my interest.
|by Anonymous||reply 204||10/04/2020|
Some consider Robinson the best. American writer. Jury's still out for me.
|by Anonymous||reply 205||10/04/2020|
In no universe is Marilynne Robinson the best American writer today.
My vote is for Jonathan Franzen but I can think of 15 I’d put ahead of her.
|by Anonymous||reply 206||10/04/2020|
R205 I think Robinson is a hit or miss.
Everytime i go to a american book forum people love love love her, but when you ask europeans, well the number of people who find her boring is pretty high.
I have to read one of her novels to made my mind
|by Anonymous||reply 207||10/04/2020|
R207, you don’t have the right to judge if someone is a hit or miss if you haven’t read her.
|by Anonymous||reply 208||10/04/2020|
The writing in "Housekeeping" was exquisite; the story itself bored me to tears.
|by Anonymous||reply 209||10/04/2020|
R208 You don't have to read someone to say that she is a hit or mix, if i read her she won't be a hit or miss for me, i would like her or not (unless i like some of her books and dislike others).
What i said is based on the oppinions of people who read her
|by Anonymous||reply 210||10/04/2020|
R210 and her “oppinions.”
|by Anonymous||reply 211||10/04/2020|
R211 English is not my first language and i know my level is not good (people repeat it to me constatly on this site)
|by Anonymous||reply 212||10/04/2020|
R212, then I apologize for making fan of your spelling. I can only read and write one language myself, so you are definitely ahead of me on that front!
|by Anonymous||reply 213||10/04/2020|
I’m reading Passions of a Papillon. So many twist and turns, I can’t put it down.
|by Anonymous||reply 214||10/04/2020|
I just finished The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit by Sloan Wilson. I liked it a lot. Highly recommended for anyone who is a fan of 1950s-1960’s America circa Richard Yates, Madmen, or John Cheever.
|by Anonymous||reply 215||10/04/2020|
I'm reading Dune, and really enjoying it so far. This isn't usually my genre
|by Anonymous||reply 216||10/04/2020|
I just finished reading "Killer's of the Flower Moon" about the Osage Indian tribe's mass murders of the 1920s. It is a part of our modern history I knew nothing about. It was a fascinating, yet very sad read.
|by Anonymous||reply 217||10/04/2020|
Killers, no apostrophe.
|by Anonymous||reply 218||10/04/2020|
R217 That was a great book. I picked it up on a whim and ended up recommending it to several people.
|by Anonymous||reply 219||10/04/2020|
My Pet Goat
|by Anonymous||reply 220||10/04/2020|
No one else has read "Swimming in the Dark" yet?
|by Anonymous||reply 221||10/04/2020|
R202. I found Giles’s, but lived Home. Haven’t read Lila or Jack yet. Liked Housekeeping, findvher essays rather sloppily argued.
|by Anonymous||reply 222||10/04/2020|
Sorry, Gilead not Gile’s
|by Anonymous||reply 223||10/04/2020|
I have r221, and pretty sure I posted earlier. It's sweet and compelling. and worth reading. It's an easy read (this is a bit of damning it with faint praise), and could use some grit and depth. But for a first novel, it's impressive. (But not nearly as impressive as Shuggie Bain.
|by Anonymous||reply 224||10/05/2020|
Just finished Killing for Company by Brian Masters about the mass-murderer and necrophiliac Dennis Nilsen, on which the ITV mini-series Des was based. Masters wrote a well-researched, highly intelligent and fascinating dissection of the life, mind and crimes of Nilsen, which won him a CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction. I saw the mini-series - David Tennant was BAFTA-award superb as Nilsen - which compelled me to seek out the book. The book is available on Internet Archives for a free read.
Masters wrote another high entertaining/interesting, well-researched book about the history of the 26 existing UK dukedoms, The Dukes. Also available on Internet Archives.
|by Anonymous||reply 225||10/05/2020|
R213 Don't worry, since i'm on DL my english level is trashed on daily basis so i'm getting used to it.
I know it's not everybody's cup of tea but i'm loving Trust exercise. Maybe it's because i like metaliterary novels with unreliable narrators (l loved Eleanor Catton's The rehearsal)
|by Anonymous||reply 226||10/05/2020|
Thanks R 221
I listened to the audiobook. The second person took some getting used to. I was very impressed, but don't read that many novels, more a nonfiction guy.
|by Anonymous||reply 227||10/05/2020|
For those interested in reading about Marilynne Robinson herself there's a longish profile of her in the most recent New Yorker (Oct. 5; black RBG tribute cover). Sounds like she does not suffer fools gladly.
|by Anonymous||reply 228||10/05/2020|
In other words, no sense of humor. She's also too. churchy for me.
|by Anonymous||reply 229||10/05/2020|
Just read Normal People (late to the party I know). Enjoyable read. Better than most pop fiction. So few good books lately.
|by Anonymous||reply 230||10/05/2020|
I've been reading A LOT since lockdown. Nothing very recent, though.
|by Anonymous||reply 231||10/05/2020|
R229 Maybe i'm wrong but i always thought she was very religious and one of the few really good conservative writers, but maybe it's just a wrong perception of her
|by Anonymous||reply 232||10/06/2020|
She’s religious but not conservative.
|by Anonymous||reply 233||10/06/2020|
Yeah Obama is a big Marilynne Robinson fan.
|by Anonymous||reply 234||10/06/2020|
I’m reading Murder Of Innocence about that nut Laurie Dann. Valerie Bertinelli was in the TV movie so I googled her and looked at a lot of cute pictures of her and Eddie, and now I hear he died!!
|by Anonymous||reply 235||10/06/2020|
And Shuggie Bain made the National Book award shortlist
|by Anonymous||reply 236||10/07/2020|
American poet Louise Gluck wins this year's Nobel Prize for Literature. Nice to see an American get it though I was rooting for DeLillo.
|by Anonymous||reply 237||10/08/2020|
Oops sorry here's that article linked properly.
|by Anonymous||reply 238||10/08/2020|
Hot Pussy: Adult Erotic Novel
|by Anonymous||reply 239||10/08/2020|
Congratulations on your Noble!
|by Anonymous||reply 240||10/08/2020|
The Gift by Edith Eger
|by Anonymous||reply 241||10/08/2020|
Started a biography of Elaine Stritch: Still Here.
|by Anonymous||reply 242||10/08/2020|
R204 thanks I will check it out!
|by Anonymous||reply 243||10/08/2020|
just finished the new Louise Penny novel. i am so in love with Jean-Guy!
|by Anonymous||reply 244||10/09/2020|
Started Morrison's "Beloved" last night. Last read it in the fall of 1991, when it was assigned for my college freshman English class. Lord, this woman can write.
|by Anonymous||reply 245||10/09/2020|
R245, I still remember the first line of that novel. It’s simply brilliant.
|by Anonymous||reply 246||10/09/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 247||10/09/2020|
No, it’s not, you philistine/idiot/R247.
|by Anonymous||reply 248||10/09/2020|
I'm reading The house of Ulloa by Emilia Pardo Bazán
|by Anonymous||reply 249||10/09/2020|
HERE FOR IT, a book of essays by R. Eric Thomas. Loving it so far. It’s very funny.
|by Anonymous||reply 250||10/09/2020|
"Los Alamos" by Joseph Kanon, a historical fiction/espionage mystery set during the Manhattan Project.
|by Anonymous||reply 251||10/09/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 252||10/09/2020|
1. Silas House - SOUTHERNMOST for my congregation's LGBQ book club
2. Stephen King - THE OUTSIDER
3. Caroline Hulse - THE ADULTS
4. Kristin Hannah - THE NIGHTINGALE
|by Anonymous||reply 253||10/09/2020|
R245 I remember loving JAZZ so much in high school that I wrote a prize-winning essay about it. I went back to flick through it recently (about ten years on from my first brush) and found the writing style overwrought, if still very evocative and lush.
Morrison certainly can write, but I wonder whether she is too aware of the fact.
|by Anonymous||reply 254||10/09/2020|
R254, she is no longer aware of anything. She died.
|by Anonymous||reply 255||10/09/2020|
[Quote] Yes, I searched--didn't find Part 2. If there is already an active Part 2, happy to ignore this one.
Why so defensive? Post the fuck all you want OP. Don't let the hall monItors bully you.
|by Anonymous||reply 256||10/09/2020|
"Shuggie Bain" author Douglas Stuart on his favorite Scottish books:
|by Anonymous||reply 257||10/09/2020|
Shuggie Bain sounds wrist-slittingly depressing.
|by Anonymous||reply 258||10/09/2020|
It seemed as if it would be, r258, and I gave it up between 50-100 pages. I could not go on.
|by Anonymous||reply 259||10/09/2020|
I just started Edith Wharton’s “Bunner Sisters” last night, a lesser-known novella of hers that was rejected several times before finally being published in 1916. Enjoying it so far. It’s interesting to see her writing about a lower class of people than you usually find in her major works. And the opening is so evocative of the time period that I was immediately drawn in. I love her writing.
|by Anonymous||reply 260||10/09/2020|
I listened to the audio of Bunner Sisters - excellent! Don't want to do a spoiler, but it was a double-tragedy at the time, though these days folks wouldn't likely see it that way.
|by Anonymous||reply 261||10/09/2020|
R258 I read a comment that said it was depressing and uplifting at the same time
|by Anonymous||reply 262||10/09/2020|
I am currently rereading " Gerta" by Kateřina Tučková. Briliant young writer and the plot takes place in my birth city. I believe it is her first novel theat has been translated into english language. (The book cover for english speaking market is not very good, it makes the book look like a romance novel and it really is not!)
Give it a try and enjoy.
|by Anonymous||reply 263||10/09/2020|
At least in the States, the English edition isn't available until January, but I'd be interested in trying it.
|by Anonymous||reply 264||10/09/2020|
bookmarking this thread
|by Anonymous||reply 265||10/09/2020|
Man, Douglas Stuart's favorite Scottish books all (largely) sound so GRIM. His list of favorite LGBTQI+ novels sounds slightly less dreary. (And, nothing at all wrong with grim and dreary if the novels are well-written and captivating, but in These Times...) I was hoping At Swim, Two Boys was on his list, but, alas.
|by Anonymous||reply 266||10/09/2020|
Easily my favorite thread on the site, R265!
|by Anonymous||reply 267||10/09/2020|
R266 Yes, that's surprising, specially because the end of At swim two boys is devastating
|by Anonymous||reply 268||10/09/2020|
"Swimming in the Dark" is sad, but not grim.
|by Anonymous||reply 269||10/09/2020|
R187 I read Trust Exercise because it was part of the PBS Newshour’s book club and thought it was very good. I wasn’t sure if the premise, a high school drama club, would be interesting but I was really engaged and thought Choi did a wonderful job expanding on all of the characters.
|by Anonymous||reply 270||10/09/2020|
I read The Testaments by atwood. It's good. The two books are written differently. The Handmaid's Tale is a fictional diary. The Testaments (the sequel) is a thriller. Both set in gilead. Our future if trump/pence gets another 4 years. Please Vote them OUT.
Read The Handmaid's Tale First. The first season of the Hulu show may also help you.
The Handmaid's Tale is a must read.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy is a must read.
|by Anonymous||reply 271||10/09/2020|
I read The Testaments by atwood. It's good. The two books are written differently. The Handmaid's Tale is a fictional diary. The Testaments (the sequel) is a thriller. Both set in gilead. Our future if trump/pence gets another 4 years. Please Vote them OUT.
Read The Handmaid's Tale First. The first season of the Hulu show may also help you.
The Handmaid's Tale is a must read.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy is a must read.
|by Anonymous||reply 272||10/09/2020|
I just finished Brandon Taylor’s Real Life and thought it was terrific. I loved how he writes about the nature and the senses and the human body moving through the world. The sex scenes were some of the best I’ve ever read. The racial aggressions the lead character experiences and reflects on were heartbreaking,
|by Anonymous||reply 273||10/09/2020|
SHUGGIE BAIN is grim and relentless but by the end redemptive and hopeful. So glad it's been recognized with so many book award finalist spots. And his videos make him seem like a really amiable chap. I was surprised to see that I had read all of them on his Gay List, except the Chee. Agree that I would add AT SWIM, but Stuart is young; maybe he hasn't read it yet.
|by Anonymous||reply 274||10/10/2020|
Stuart isn't really young, R274; he's 44 (born in 1976). That said, plenty of time left to read "At Swim..."
|by Anonymous||reply 275||10/10/2020|
R274, what is on the “Gay List”?
|by Anonymous||reply 276||10/10/2020|
r275, when you're my age, 44 is young! It's also possible that he doesn't like AT SWIM as much as some of us do.
And here's the list, r276.
|by Anonymous||reply 277||10/10/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 278||10/10/2020|
'Inside Story', by Martin Amis. It's like engaging in a long conversation about life, literature and politics with a wry, funny high intelligence. Not to everyone's taste - the book has taken quite a kicking in reviews - but I've been reading him all my life, so am used to the voice. Very heterosexual (with intriguing variations), but otherwise so stimulating that it doesn't matter. One of those books I can't wait to get back to.
|by Anonymous||reply 279||10/11/2020|
After years of watching Skippy dies on best of ... list it's published in my country (and only a decade late).
Did someone read it? it's worthy of the time (i see it's quite long)
|by Anonymous||reply 280||10/12/2020|
I thought Skippy Dies was a great book.
|by Anonymous||reply 281||10/12/2020|
I'm reading A Beautiful Crime and so far liking it.
|by Anonymous||reply 282||10/12/2020|
I just finished Marilynne Robinson’s newest novel, Jack. It’s terrific, a very worthy addition to the Gilead books.
|by Anonymous||reply 283||10/17/2020|
I just ended Young skins and frankly i expected more. And i can say the say about The nickel boys, i loved the underground railroad and i'm liking this new one, but a second Pulitzer just three years later it seems a little too much
|by Anonymous||reply 284||10/17/2020|
Still on the Stritch biography STILL HERE. Though it's a decent book, I can only take her in small doses! Mention had been made of her transition to butch attire, but if there were a reason given I missed it. Now that we've been told her husband had homo rumors, it's like she was bi (gay?) in denial.
|by Anonymous||reply 285||10/17/2020|
There have long been rumors about Stritch's sexuality, but nothing concrete that I know of. She and Liz Smith were fast friends, if that means anything.
|by Anonymous||reply 286||10/17/2020|
[italic]Leave it to Psmith[/italic] PG Wodehouse's birthday was Thursday, so I began reading this then;
[italic]One Good Turn[/italic] the sequel to Kate Atkinson's [italic]Case Histories[/italic]
|by Anonymous||reply 287||10/17/2020|
"a second Pulitzer just three years later it seems a little too much"
This. I haven't read "The Nickel Boys," but I thought "Underground Railroad" was way overrated. I've read multiple novels about slavery I thought were better (Beloved, The Known World and Washington Black, just to name a afew). I thought the whole conceit -- It's an actual underground railroad! -- was both unnecessary and underdeveloped. And its characters don't stick in my head like in those other books I mentioned. I also read Whitehead's zombie novel "Zone One" and found it dull and unmemorable.
|by Anonymous||reply 288||10/17/2020|
So few good or interesting books lately. Wish Franzen would publish something.
|by Anonymous||reply 289||10/17/2020|
I’m up and down on Whitehead, but I thought “The Nickel Boys” was superb—dare in language, Stark in effect.
|by Anonymous||reply 290||10/17/2020|
'A Murder of Quality' by John LeCarré. It's his second novel, and also the second with George Smiley, but unique for a Smiley novel there's no espionage--it's a murder mystery set at a public school like Eton or Harrow that Smiley comes to solve.
The people are typical LeCarré people from the first half of his career--dull, utterly burned-out since the War, respectable, shabby, and most of them viciously snobbish.
|by Anonymous||reply 291||10/17/2020|
R288 People have very divisive reaction to The underground railroad.
Back in the day i was more than ready to declare it overrated. I thought the attention had a lot to do with the political momentum and the fact that it was a big theme novel (and i had several bad experiences with that), but the truth is i loved it. I have no problems with all the changes Whitehead did because it's not an historical novel and before i expected i was inmersed in the story.
It's not that i'm liking it The nickel boys. I think it's a good novel, and i'm pretty sure that i will like it better than other winners, so in my oppinion the problem is not the quality of the novel, but i think to win a second Pulitzer so soon after the first you needs something groundbreaking, or that it seems destined to be a classic, and i don't think that's the case (maybe if this was his second Pulitzer after 15 or 20 year i wouldn't have any complain).
I remember reading someone saying that he was suprissed with the win, The dutch house seemed the obvious choice, she was a woman (after several male winners), with a very solid career and it's a very good novel. I'm not even a big fan of The dutch house (i liked it but i liked Commonwealth better) and i think those kind of things shouldn't be a factor (i remember someone saying Shuggie Bain doesn't have a chance at the Pulitzer because a white gay writer won only a couple of weeks ago, when the truth is the chances of Shuggie Bain are little because it's a very scottish novel on an award that tends to reward novels about the american life).
For me the good thing about the second Pulitzer is that his previous novels probably will end published in my country (and i really want to read Sag Harbour). Previous to The underground railroad only The intuitionist was published (and it was out of print for more than a decade)
|by Anonymous||reply 292||10/18/2020|
I recently read and enjoyed Penny’s first Gamache novel but the second one is working my nerves with its tweeness. But maybe that was in the first book as well and I had just had enough. I need a palate cleanser!
|by Anonymous||reply 293||10/18/2020|
I have to say i liked The Nickel boys ending, but i still thing a second Pulitzer after just three years was a bit too much. My feelings about the book are pretty similar to The dutch house (i prefer the previous novels of both authors), but in a tie i would give the award to Patchett. A woman doesn't win since 2014.
I didn't read The topecka school yet, so maybe i'll change my oppinion after reading the other finalist.
|by Anonymous||reply 294||10/21/2020|
The Nickel Boys seemed like Whitehead just filled out missing details from that huge series of articles they did about the real school a couple of years ago. It was well-written, but I also think a Pulitzer was a bit much.
I was enthralled by much of The Dutch House and just thought it was a more ambitious work of fiction.
|by Anonymous||reply 295||10/21/2020|
And right now i'm reading Todos estábamos vivos (We were all alive) by spanish writer Enrique Llamas.
Llamas is a new writer, his first novel was published a couple of years about and it was a rural noir on the last days of Franco's dictatorship.
In this new one he advances some years (from 1973 of the first one to 1980, he seems interested in the past which is not usual for a writer born in 1989) and the scenary is totally different.
It's the beginning of 1980 and the characters live in Madrid. The novel starts with a car accident that ends with the death of a musician (that's a real fact, the death of one of the members of what later will be Los Secretos, one of the most popular bands of the 80's in Spain) and continues with the homage concert of that guy where the main characters appear. One of them will be dead in the next morning.
While in the USA the 80's were pretty conservative, in Spain was a very interesting decade. It was like the country was a teen, everybody made music, films or paint. It was like a big party with tons of drugs and sex. People wanted freedom after so many years and they had it for a while, because the party didn't last. AIDS and a lot of deaths by heroin overdose put and end to the party.
The movement was called La movida and had it's focus on Madrid (and in Vigo too). The beginning's of Almodovar's career and settled at that time.
The writing is fantastic and it's a very dynamic novel but a pretty sad one.
His first novel was a success so maybe he'll be translated in a future
|by Anonymous||reply 296||10/21/2020|
Has anyone read the new Tana French?
|by Anonymous||reply 297||10/22/2020|
R297, I’m reading it now. So far I’m really enjoying it.
|by Anonymous||reply 298||10/22/2020|
If you're looking for a gay memoir, I can recommend [bold]Insomniac City[/bold] by Bill Hayes. His story as Oliver Sacks' widower, but not at all "cashing in" on that. It's as much about his own life journey as well.
|by Anonymous||reply 299||10/22/2020|
Thanks to the earlier posters who recommended "A Beautiful Crime" by Christopher Bollen. The novel was such a pleasant distraction, and I'm hoping a movie is made based on it. I can already imagine certain scenes with Venice in all its cinematic glory.
|by Anonymous||reply 300||10/26/2020|
I started Autumn by Ali Smith
|by Anonymous||reply 301||10/26/2020|
Is Ali Smith worth reading?
|by Anonymous||reply 302||10/26/2020|
to whomever recommended Jonathan Strange up stream: thank you??? this 10 pound nearly 800 page tome has taken me a month to get thru. (i usually read 2 or 3 books a week!) the pacing of this novel is S L O W. finally the pace quickens near page 600. but soon slows again. and then gets a bit more exciting 100 pages later. the whole trip was a journey! and the type face of this book was apparently designed to force eyestrain. one read thru this "magical" book was more than enough.
|by Anonymous||reply 303||10/26/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 304||10/26/2020|
Just started Fall of Giants, Follett.
|by Anonymous||reply 305||10/26/2020|
R302 I'm loving Autumn thus far
|by Anonymous||reply 306||10/27/2020|
R32 I recommend The Absolutist by John Boyne and Two Gentlemen from Brussels by Eric Emmanuel Schmitt.
|by Anonymous||reply 307||10/27/2020|
I'm listening to the novel [bold]Munich Airport[/BOLD] by Greg Baxter. Many folks said they disliked the stream of conscious narrative with no chapters, but as an audio, pausing every hour or so, it's not bad.
|by Anonymous||reply 308||10/28/2020|
This is probably the gayest award literary season i remember. It's not only that Shuggie Bain is everywhere (i don't remember such high percentage of success getting into longlist and shortlist of big awards) it's there's a good bunch of gay authors and novels getting nominations, Brandon Taylor (Real life) is shortlisted for the Booker, Corey Sobel (The redshirt) for the Center for fiction first novel prize and Bryan Washington (Memorial) is longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie medal of excellence
|by Anonymous||reply 309||10/30/2020|
I'm not sure if it was recommended in this thread, or another recent thread, but on a DLer's review I recently bought Gareth Russell's biography of Henry VIII's rarely discussed fifth wife Catherine Howard, "Young and Damned and Fair", and I am enjoying it immensely!
It is exactly the type of book I like. Thank you to whoever mentioned it.
|by Anonymous||reply 310||10/30/2020|
Just started reading "Neighbors" by Thomas Berger. Initial impression is that it's slow-moving but strange and vivid. I think I'll like.
In addition to Berger I also read a Charles Portis novel for the first time this year -- "Masters of Atlantis," which I *loved*. Chronicles the rise and setbacks of an odd religious group that's somewhere between Scientology and the Masons. Very dry, funny and quite well-written.
Berger and Portis were prolific at the same time ('60s to the '80s, roughly), both had movies made from their novels (Little Big Man and True Grit, respectively), but neither achieved fame to the level of contemporaries like Roth or Updike.
|by Anonymous||reply 311||11/03/2020|
I'm really liking Skippy dies.
I have a bunch of novels that i want to read before the end of the year, Un mundo huérfano (an orphan world) by Giusseppe Caputo, The piranhas (i think that's the english title) by Roberto Saviano, My cat Yugoslavia by Pajtim statovci, Gilead by Marilynne Robinson and GRB brainfuck by Sybille Berg. So a colombian, an italian, a finish an american and a swiss, pretty international
|by Anonymous||reply 312||11/07/2020|
Just finished This House is Haunted by John Boyne and liked it a lot
I started The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell last night and so far I like it
|by Anonymous||reply 313||11/07/2020|
Listening to "The Chaperone" by Laura Moriarty. Point of view of Cora, a middle aged Kansan housewife, accompanying 15 year old Louise Brooks to New York City for a month from Wichita in 1922.
|by Anonymous||reply 314||11/09/2020|
The Wildling Sisters by Eve Chase
|by Anonymous||reply 315||11/10/2020|
Isn’t that Lady Grantham narrating, r314?
|by Anonymous||reply 316||11/10/2020|
Yes. R316 - she's doing an awesome job!
|by Anonymous||reply 317||11/10/2020|
Chasten's bio. He seems so sweet, I want to marry him, too. Lucky soon-to-be-Cabinet Member Pete.
|by Anonymous||reply 318||11/10/2020|
Slightly off topic but curious how many books you all read a year? I do the Goodreads challenge and usually set it to 12-14 books a year. I know, not that impressive. Was hoping to read more due to quarantine but, not so much.
|by Anonymous||reply 319||11/11/2020|
R319, I just counted and I’m on my 48th book of 2020.
|by Anonymous||reply 320||11/11/2020|
I usually read about 2 books a month
|by Anonymous||reply 321||11/11/2020|
BTW, if you're interested in gay history, The Sins of Jack Saul is a really good read
|by Anonymous||reply 322||11/11/2020|
I've taken 134 kindle books out of the library since January 4, 2020. I probably read half of them, so that's a book and a half per week this year. That seems about right. I'm retired and it's La Pandemica, so I'm reading a lot.
|by Anonymous||reply 323||11/11/2020|
In the last few years I've read about 50 books a year. I retired just before Covid hit so I've plenty of time on my hands and might even surpass 50 this year.
I'm another fan of SKIPPY DIES. However, I then tried reading a couple of Paul Murray's earlier books and they were disappointing. THE MARK AND THE VOID was intermittently interesting but I couldn't even read 10 pages of AN EVENING OF LONG GOODBYES before giving up.
One of my favorite books this past year was THE GLASS HOTEL by Emily St. John Mandel who wrote the great dystopian novel STATION ELEVEN . The new one is not science fiction but employs the same device of a large cast of characters whose lives connect in strange ways. Also loved an earlier novel of hers called THE LOLA QUARTET. Great sense of creepy tension and very readable page turner.
And an older book I discovered and loved is by Brit author A.N. Wilson LOVE UNKNOWN. Written in the mid1980s, it's about 3 girls in swinging 1960s London who share a flat and some men, and then go there separate ways, taking them up to the 1980s. I don't know why Wilson isn't better known in the US, his books are not easy to find here except used on Amazon. I've now read a few more by him but none have come up to LOVE UNKNOWN.
|by Anonymous||reply 324||11/12/2020|
R320 I'm on my 43th
Skippy dies is one of the funniest books i read in recent years (i laughed out loud a good bunch of times) i think i didn't enjoy a comic book that much since Spoonbenders.
And well, it's all laugh till the book turns somber.
I started Gilead, i will probably combine it with something light, i was thinking on Limpieza de sangre which is the second book of Capitan Alatriste saga (by Arturo Perez Reverte), adventures on the golden century of Spain. And given that book is short and i will finish it faster, probably will combine with GRM brainfuck, just for the sake of contrast, because that novel looks almost the opposite of Gilead.
|by Anonymous||reply 325||11/12/2020|
Just finished Peter Cameron's new novel, "What Happens at Night." I loved it -- chilly and weird, unlike anything else out there. I like that he's always doing his own thing. He's such a good, under-rated writer (I think).
|by Anonymous||reply 326||11/12/2020|
Newest biography of Cary Grant, by Scott Eyman. A little bit of new archival digging, but a refusal to sensationalize or draw too many inferences about CG's sexuality, leaving that up to the reader.
|by Anonymous||reply 327||11/12/2020|
R326 I read two of Cameron's novels, i loved Someday this pain will be useful to you and i hated Coral Glynn, so he is a love/hate type of writer for me
|by Anonymous||reply 328||11/12/2020|
Debbie Harry’s memoir is fun.
|by Anonymous||reply 329||11/12/2020|
R328 I can understand that -- his books are all very different from one another. If you hated Coral Glynn, you would probably hate this one, too.
|by Anonymous||reply 330||11/12/2020|
Not reading this year. Just too much time online with dl and election. I miss being a reader but can't break the online habit. The other distraction is I've finally started streaming services. Enjoyed some great shows, but more time away from reading.
|by Anonymous||reply 331||11/12/2020|
Has anyone read Jess Walters' latest COLD MILLIONS? Hearing great things about it and was able to get my library to order it for me. HIs BEAUTIFUL RUINS is a great fun read.
|by Anonymous||reply 332||11/12/2020|
I adored Beautiful Ruins. I recommended it to everyone. It’s the kind of book I’d like to write. Smart and reasonably literary but great fun and highly entertaining,
|by Anonymous||reply 333||11/12/2020|
I read half of Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 yesterday and will read the rest today. I posted about reading his V. earlier this year and this is similar but much shorter -- a bizarre series of conspiracies, rumors and coincidences all linked to one person, in the case of V., or in the case of Lot 49, a shadowy group or entity ("Tristero"). It's all a little silly, with his ludicrous character names and stupid song lyrics, but he's such a powerfully good prose writer that it all somehow works.
Beautiful Ruins is in my to-be-read pile, I've always figured I'd like Jess Walter but have never picked up one of his books. I've also long meant to read Peter Cameron -- which book would his fans in this thread say is the best place to start?
|by Anonymous||reply 334||11/13/2020|
I meant to mention -- Lot 49 will be my 30th book read this year, which is a personal high for me. I still work full time but, ya know, pandemic timez.
|by Anonymous||reply 335||11/13/2020|
R334, I've read all of Cameron's novels other than Elinor Glynn. The Weekend is a good start. It's brief and full of the deft characterization and eye for detail that Cameron has mastered.
|by Anonymous||reply 336||11/13/2020|
according to my library, i've read over $2000 worth of books, which averages to about 70. and i've bought and read a ton more. covid is to blame!
just started my 2nd Hollinghurst: the line of beauty
|by Anonymous||reply 337||11/13/2020|
Has anyone read Hollinghurst's latest The Sparsholt Affair from a couple of years ago? I was very excited about it but then my husband and several reviewers expressed their disappointment with it and I never read it. Apparently the first half is wonderful.
|by Anonymous||reply 338||11/13/2020|
Yes, I've read The Sparsholt Affair. It gets stodgy now and then and is not among Hollinghurst's best but is still worthwhile.
|by Anonymous||reply 339||11/13/2020|
Agreed with R339 on Sparsholt. Worth reading, but I thought the most interesting character (or most potentially interesting) was the one seen the least (the protagonist's father).
|by Anonymous||reply 340||11/13/2020|
I’ve read all of Hollinghurst’s novels and I’d put The Sparsholt Affair in my top three. None come close to his masterpiece, The Line of Beauty.
|by Anonymous||reply 341||11/13/2020|
I just tried to read this bio and gave up. Skimmed the rest. Exec summary: he was a vile shallow queen with all the money in the world, who collected art. The prose is dead flat, and it's jammed with tedious detail.
Interestingly, Philip Hoare wrote Serious Pleasures about another vile shallow English queen, Stephen Tennant, but turned coal into a diamond of a read through ravishing writing.
|by Anonymous||reply 342||11/13/2020|
I've been reading the Chiffon Trenches by Andre Leon Talley. I feel sad for him, I don't think he's ever had sex and he wasn't a cow his whole life but he did give his whole life to Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld, YSL and they turned on him. I think DVF and he are still friends and he and Sandra Bernhard speak almost daily.
Also reading A Beautiful Crime. So far pretty good.
|by Anonymous||reply 343||11/13/2020|
Re: 'Sparsholt', it's in my Hollinghurst top three too. I loved its historical span and obliqueness. Several scenes stay with me thanks to AH's vivid skill.
AH's novels which didn't work quite so well for me, despite obvious deep talent, are 'The Folding Star' and 'The Stranger's Child.' But he's so good I'll happily re-visit them one day for another immersion.
|by Anonymous||reply 344||11/13/2020|
Agree with Sparsholt being a lesser if worthwhile Hollonghurst that is still worth reading. Line of Beauty is one of my favorite books ever.
|by Anonymous||reply 345||11/13/2020|
I am about to start a bio on Valentino called: Dark Lover by Emily Leider.
|by Anonymous||reply 346||11/13/2020|
R338 The Sparsholt affair is the only Hollinghurst novel i didn't read. I have the book at home so it could be the next read anytime.
Hollinghurst is really a great writer but The line of beauty is my fave by far, the folding star and the swimmingpool library are very good. The strangest child stars very well but it's very uneven. I didn't like The spell at all
|by Anonymous||reply 347||11/13/2020|
Thanks for reminding me of A BEAUTIFUL CRIME by Christopher Bolle, r343, another novel I enjoyed this past year. Maybe not brilliant but a very engaging thriller with highly effective descriptions of the seedier sides of Venice. As a matter of fact, it made me feel I never have to visit.
|by Anonymous||reply 348||11/13/2020|
Venice struck me as a sad place
|by Anonymous||reply 349||11/13/2020|
I started Gilead
|by Anonymous||reply 350||11/14/2020|
I have read 84 in 2020 so far , r319, but a lot of them were thrillers and you read faster.
I am currently reading the Cazalet Chronicles, by Elizabeth Jane Howard. They are wonderful and the war years resonate with our current situation. They are quite big but so good you read really quick.
From the ones i read this year I absolutely recommend Standard Deviation, by Katherine Heiny. It has one of the funniest female characters ever and, originally, a very good natured one.
|by Anonymous||reply 351||11/14/2020|
Thanks so much for those recommendations, r351. I put them all on my TBR list. I understand there's even some gay element in the Cazalets.
|by Anonymous||reply 352||11/14/2020|
E J Howard was close to her gay brother all her life, so there's that.
|by Anonymous||reply 353||11/14/2020|
"Call of the Horned Piper " and "Masks of Misrule"
Both by Nigel Jackson
Try googling them, or look them up on Amazon.
|by Anonymous||reply 354||11/14/2020|
Hope you enjoy it, R352, there are indeed gay characters (with the usual constraints). There is also rape, incest, terrible marriages, etc. It strange to read a period piece with a modern viewpoint, especially as most of the books written at the time omitted these things.
I didn’t know that, r353, I have bought both her memoirs and her biography, but decided to read the Cazalets first as they seem very autobiographical and did not want spoilers, so to speak (I understand some of the names of her family are even unchanged).
|by Anonymous||reply 355||11/14/2020|
Just discovered the BBC series of The Cazalets is all on youtube and watched the first episode.
Absolutely enchanted! Starring Hugh Bonneville, Lesley Manville, Stephen Dillane and a host of familiar faces. I think they only filmed the first two books.
|by Anonymous||reply 356||11/14/2020|
Guapa by Saleem Haddad centers on a young gay man in an unnamed Middle Eastern country. Highly recommended.
|by Anonymous||reply 357||11/14/2020|
Finished A UNICORN AMONG LIONS, a bio of Edith Sitwell, who has fascinated me since I saw a late-in-life video interview with her. A controversial poet and writer, she seemed to know everyone of literary note in the 20th century, from Noel Coward to George Cukor. Fell hopelessly in love with a gay painter and was herself probably a virgin when she died. (And her brother Osbert was gay.) A true eccentric—not beautiful, but made the most of her looks by magnificent clothing and headgear. Her life would make a wonderful film. Paging Tilda Swinton.
|by Anonymous||reply 358||11/14/2020|
R357 Oh, i bought that novel a couple of years ago but i didn't read it yet
|by Anonymous||reply 359||11/14/2020|
My Lobotomy by Howard Dully. A kid was given the frontal lobe icepick treatment from Dr. Freeman’s Lobotomobile.
|by Anonymous||reply 360||11/14/2020|
Reading Veronica Lake's autobiography
|by Anonymous||reply 361||Last Wednesday at 5:52 PM|
I'm a big Trollope fan but haven't read him in a long time, having completed most of the major novels.
But Covid has pushed me to try some of his minor efforts and I loved MISS MACKENZIE (1865). It's very much as if Trollope decided to write in imitation of Jane Austen but with a (slightly) more liberated heroine that the passing 50 years allowed. A middle aged spinster suddenly comes into a small inheritance that brings her several marriage proposals, each with its advantages as well as flaws. It has lots of humor as well as poignancy and pathos. Highly recommended.
|by Anonymous||reply 362||Last Thursday at 4:18 AM|
R362 I loved Miss Mackenzie too. It's really a very funny and charming book. And not as dense as the major Trollopes (which I also love, especially the Paliser novels). I have a huge crush on Phineas Finn.
|by Anonymous||reply 363||Last Thursday at 6:25 AM|
Agency - William Gibson, it just came yesterday.
|by Anonymous||reply 364||Last Thursday at 7:27 AM|
Anyone read the new NBA winner, INTERIOR CHINATOWN? It seems intriguing and I've heard good things, but am amazed that it was considered the best book of the year.
|by Anonymous||reply 365||Last Thursday at 8:52 AM|
R365 I was rooting for it. Of the nominated novels i really had interest in Interior, Chinatown and Shuggie Bain (which received enough attention to guarantee being published in my country no matter what).
NBA winners are sometimes controversial, i remember people being divided about Trust exercise, but i loved that novel
|by Anonymous||reply 366||Last Thursday at 8:58 AM|
And Shuggie Bain won the Booker.
I think Stuart is the third gay winner of the Booker this century
|by Anonymous||reply 367||Last Thursday at 10:12 AM|
So thrilled for Stuart. Loved his writing from that first story in the New Yorker. Seems like a nice guy too.
|by Anonymous||reply 368||Last Thursday at 10:20 AM|
I liked Shuggie Bain but it is hardly the best book of the year.
|by Anonymous||reply 369||Last Thursday at 10:29 AM|
The nickel boys was not the best novel of the year and won the Pulitzer.
Life of Pi is in fact a very bad novel and won the Booker (and became the best seller booker ever).
It's all about the juries and the moment.
This year, Shuggie Bain had all the numbers to win the booker, it was the less divisive of the nominated by far and that got Enright her booker in the past. The fact that he was the only british surely wasn't a bad thing neither
|by Anonymous||reply 370||Last Thursday at 10:40 AM|
Just added INTERIOR CHINATOWN to my library's Overdrive Hold list. 4-6 months wait for either audio or book. Didn't know anything about, thanks to DL book thread for the tip.
|by Anonymous||reply 371||Last Thursday at 10:50 AM|
Don't wait for filthy library books. Support authors now and buy their books with the money you'd be spending on restaurants, bars, hotels, etc.
|by Anonymous||reply 372||Last Thursday at 11:45 AM|
No, Shuggie probably wasn't the best book of the year. How do you judge that anyway? (Better than Hilary Mantel's book, for one example?) These awards are always a combination of luck, timing, diversity issues, etc., with diversity taking the forefront right now. As someone said, "These days judges read the authors' bios, not the books." So what the hell. I'm just glad that the prize went to an extremely gifted queer author who seems a decent bloke who is gratified and encouraged by the honor. Good enough for me.
|by Anonymous||reply 373||Last Friday at 3:48 AM|
I thought Shuggie was way better than the Glass Hotel
|by Anonymous||reply 374||Last Friday at 5:28 AM|
Was The Glass Hotel in serious consideration for the Booker? That was one of my favorite books this year.
I then sought out a couple of Emily St. John Mandel's earlier books The Lola Quartet and Last Night in Montreal and quite enjoyed them, too. And of course, there's her brilliant Station Eleven. She has a wonderful ability to build tension in her writing and I love the way she brings seemingly unrelated characters together.
|by Anonymous||reply 375||Last Friday at 5:56 AM|
Frankly all the debate around Mantel was a little too much for me.
I read Wolf Hall it's a good novel but frankly it's not even in my top 5 of favourite booker winners.
She won two times and she is a totally established author but for some people it's a complete outrage she didn't won a third booker (she is probably totally over it but not some of her fans)
|by Anonymous||reply 376||Last Friday at 10:51 AM|
I've tried to read Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies at least 3 times (each) and can never get past the first 50 pages.
But the book covers are sure purty!
|by Anonymous||reply 377||Last Friday at 10:53 AM|
I loved Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies but The Mirror and the Light is about 200 pages longer than it needs to be. I think her editors were probably afraid to suggest any cuts! Still, she's a great writer and the ending is incredible.
|by Anonymous||reply 378||Last Friday at 11:00 AM|
Wolf Hall was a hard slog but loved it by the time I finished. BUTB was easier to read and also fantastic to finish. TMATL has been the least enjoyable and taking the longest to finish. I'm at 75% (ebook) and I'm determined to finish. I'm positive the ending will be great too but so far it's been the least engaging.
|by Anonymous||reply 379||Last Friday at 1:55 PM|
There's a big controversy in Spain with Nobel winner Louise Glück.
Nobody knows her here, but half of her books were published by a small publisher (the same it has At swim two boys in its catalog). They were negociating a new deal before the award, but suddenly Glück's agent (the jackal Andrew Wylie himself) offered Glück's work to other publisher. That one didn't accept and called the original publisher, so the thing ended on the press.
Some people think Wylie has all the right to search for a better deal, but most people think he should give Pre-Textos (the name of the publisher) an opportunity because they publish her works for years without any benefit. The two bigger publishers in Spain (Penguin Random House and Planeta) rejected the deal (Nobel or not they know for sure poetry doesn't sale, with very few exceptions), so right now she doesn't have publisher here (Wylie wants to force them to destroy the books they have in print).
The curious thing is Glück was very critic with this kind of behaviour but didn't said a thing about her own case (even if the publisher wrote her a letter)
|by Anonymous||reply 380||Last Saturday at 1:29 AM|
Interesting story, r380, i am always fascinated by the balance between commercial gain and artistry for its own sake, but tend to favor the former, even more so for poets.
Here in Portugal, when Saramago won the Nobel prize (in 1998 the amount seemed much higher than now), he was more than once asked what he was going to do with the money, as if it was some kind of lottery (instead of the result from his work). He answered why people ask writers that instead of footballers or CEOs.
|by Anonymous||reply 381||Last Saturday at 1:40 AM|
And Saramago was on a different league in terms of popularity and sales.
I don't know in Portugal, but he was huge in Spain. His novels had good sales way before the Nobel and he was one of those writers that critics love but the public loves too.
Nobody knew Glück here before the nobel, and frankly i don't think she'll get more attention after winning it (there are a few cases that really benefited from the winning, Svetlana Aleksievich is probably the most recent example). That's probably the reason why big publishers didn't accept the offer, they have little to gain and more to lose in terms of image
|by Anonymous||reply 382||Last Saturday at 2:55 AM|
Fascinating to read that about Wylie, who doubtless relishes his omnipresent nickname. Poetry might not ever sell much, but Wylie would take that as a challenge. He'd use the Nobel for a publicity blitz to make Gluck yet more unignorable. The sort of thing alien to most genuine poets.
|by Anonymous||reply 383||Last Saturday at 3:08 AM|
Not going to happen.
A lot of Nobel winners just don't sell (and i'm talking about novelists). Poetry is totally marginal in Spain (with a few exceptions) and this kind of publicity is clearly working against Glück and not in her favour.
Right now everything she got is bad publicity.
The fact that Penguin Random House and Planeta pass is a clear show that this is considered bad business
|by Anonymous||reply 384||Last Saturday at 3:54 AM|
I started GRM brainfuck by Sybille Berg. I think she is the first swiss author i read. I don't know much about the novel but i watched part of her tour introducing the novel and she was like a rock star and she even have a teen rapper performing, so i couldn't resist.
And about Gilead, it's very well written but it's boring for sure. Anyway i liked it. At first i thought it wouldn't read anything more from Robinson (to be honest the theme is not exactly what i'm interested) but i wouldn't be surprised if i end reading more of his novels (specially Lila and Jack). It's that kind of novel that let you satisfied when you end (more than the type you really enjoy when you are reading it)
|by Anonymous||reply 385||Yesterday at 10:20 AM|