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What Books Are You Reading in 2020 Part 2

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.

by Anonymousreply 385Yesterday at 10:20 AM

Link to Part 1

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 108/04/2020

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 Anonymousreply 208/04/2020

To repeat someone else's question from Part 1 of this thread: Has anyone read Margaret Atwood's latest book, The Testaments?

by Anonymousreply 308/04/2020

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 Anonymousreply 408/04/2020

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 Anonymousreply 508/04/2020

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 Anonymousreply 608/04/2020

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 Anonymousreply 708/04/2020

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 Anonymousreply 808/04/2020

Oops, forgot another good one:

Culture and Anarchy in Ireland, 1890-1939 by F. S. L. Lyons

by Anonymousreply 908/04/2020

Someone said that Margaret Atwood won a Booker for writing a sequel to a Hulu series. Made me laugh.

by Anonymousreply 1008/04/2020

It was him.

This year he didn't post a video about the booker (he did for three years and they were very funny)

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 1108/05/2020

Tony Parsons's Max Wolfe series

Joseph Knox's Aidan Waits series

Natsu Miyashita, The Forest of Wool and Steel

by Anonymousreply 1208/05/2020

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 Anonymousreply 1308/05/2020

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 Anonymousreply 1408/05/2020

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 Anonymousreply 1508/05/2020

LA Despair

by Anonymousreply 1608/05/2020

R13 - I thought the Louisa May Alcott sequel book to "Little Women" was titled "Jo's Boys".

by Anonymousreply 1708/05/2020

Calling out the bastard who closed out Part 1 without providing a link to Part 2. What were you thinking?

by Anonymousreply 1808/05/2020

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 Anonymousreply 1908/05/2020

Hi R17! After publishing “Little Women,” Louisa May Alcott went on to write two sequels, “Little Men” (1871) and “Jo’s Boys” (1886).

by Anonymousreply 2008/05/2020

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 Anonymousreply 2108/05/2020

Adam from mementomori seems to have pissed off Steve Donoghue for some reason. Rivalry between the gays? Or is every booktuber gay?

by Anonymousreply 2208/05/2020

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 Anonymousreply 2308/05/2020

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 Anonymousreply 2408/05/2020

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 Anonymousreply 2508/05/2020

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 Anonymousreply 2608/05/2020

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 Anonymousreply 2708/05/2020

I just took out The Deviant's War from the library. (Thank the baby jeebus for eBooks)

by Anonymousreply 2808/05/2020

I didn't finish reading The Deviant's War. I got through the Kameny bio, but didn't want to stay for Sylmarstroika.

by Anonymousreply 2908/05/2020

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 Anonymousreply 3008/05/2020

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 Anonymousreply 3108/06/2020

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 Anonymousreply 3208/06/2020

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 Anonymousreply 3308/06/2020

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 Anonymousreply 3408/06/2020

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 Anonymousreply 3508/06/2020

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 Anonymousreply 3608/06/2020

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 Anonymousreply 3708/06/2020

Have you read Bayard's COURTING MR. LINCOLN? Terrific.

by Anonymousreply 3808/07/2020

R38 Thank you! I am adding that to my list.

by Anonymousreply 3908/07/2020

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 Anonymousreply 4008/07/2020

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?

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 4108/07/2020

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 Anonymousreply 4208/07/2020

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 Anonymousreply 4308/07/2020

"Find Me" by André Aciman. Only the parts about Oliver and Elio. Brings a little closure.

by Anonymousreply 4408/07/2020

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 Anonymousreply 4508/07/2020

I just finished The Friend by Sigrid Nunez. It was absolutely wonderful and has made me want to read her other work.

by Anonymousreply 4608/07/2020

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 Anonymousreply 4708/08/2020

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 Anonymousreply 4808/08/2020

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 Anonymousreply 4908/08/2020

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 Anonymousreply 5008/08/2020

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"):

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 5108/08/2020

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 Anonymousreply 5208/08/2020

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 Anonymousreply 5308/08/2020

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 Anonymousreply 5408/08/2020

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 Anonymousreply 5508/08/2020

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.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 5608/09/2020

R56, that’s next on my list. Now I’m reading The Day of the Locust. It’s quite a ride.

by Anonymousreply 5708/09/2020

People were dissapointed that Hammet didn't make the booker longlist. It seems it was the snub of this year's longlist

by Anonymousreply 5808/10/2020

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 Anonymousreply 5908/10/2020

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 Anonymousreply 6008/11/2020

I never got all the way through CMBYN. I got to where they were traveling and lost interest.

by Anonymousreply 6108/11/2020

Reading the Edith Sitwell bio UNICORN AMONG LIONS. Superb.

by Anonymousreply 6208/12/2020

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 Anonymousreply 6308/12/2020

Peter Cameron HATES the fact that his most successful novel (Someday This Pain...) was published as YA.

by Anonymousreply 6408/12/2020

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 Anonymousreply 6508/12/2020

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 Anonymousreply 6608/12/2020

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 Anonymousreply 6708/12/2020

Thomas Mallon writes about DC.

by Anonymousreply 6808/12/2020

Hmmm...maybe it was Mallon. Thanks, r68.

by Anonymousreply 6908/12/2020

Add me to those who love At Swim Two Boys

by Anonymousreply 7008/12/2020

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 Anonymousreply 7108/12/2020

Has anyone here read The Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann?

by Anonymousreply 7208/12/2020

Andrew Holleran's GRIEF is set in DC. It's a great book.

by Anonymousreply 7308/13/2020

Rereading Andrew Pyper's Lost Girls. Almost finished.

by Anonymousreply 7408/13/2020

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 Anonymousreply 7508/13/2020

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 $$$

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 7608/13/2020

I am still on Moby Dick

by Anonymousreply 7708/13/2020

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 Anonymousreply 7808/13/2020

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 Anonymousreply 7908/13/2020

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 Anonymousreply 8008/13/2020

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 Anonymousreply 8108/13/2020

Thanks R81

by Anonymousreply 8208/14/2020

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 Anonymousreply 8308/14/2020

Loved hearts Invisible Furies and Ladder to the Sky. Anything by Boyce really. Sparsholt Affair was good - but a little too contrived.

by Anonymousreply 8408/14/2020

Alan Hollinghurst, r83, and I agree. :) Boyne's A TRAVELER AT THE GATES OF WISDOM was just published.

by Anonymousreply 8508/15/2020


by Anonymousreply 8608/16/2020

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 Anonymousreply 8708/17/2020

I've started working on that series, R87. Well into book one, and loving it.

by Anonymousreply 8808/17/2020

please read them in order. they build one on the other. r88

by Anonymousreply 8908/17/2020

R89 Thanks for the info. That's what I figured, and that's what I'll do.

by Anonymousreply 9008/17/2020

AN HONEST MAN by Ben Fergusson. Gay relationship in 1989 Berlin. Very entertaining and moving.

by Anonymousreply 9108/20/2020

Percy Keese Fitzhugh wrote a series of Boy Scout books, mostly featuring a kid named Tom Slade.

by Anonymousreply 9208/20/2020

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 Anonymousreply 9308/21/2020

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 Anonymousreply 9408/22/2020

R65, R75: I enjoyed Bernadine Evaristo's poignant novel of an older, Caribbean immigrant couple in London, "Mr. Loverman."

by Anonymousreply 9508/25/2020

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 Anonymousreply 9609/02/2020

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 Anonymousreply 9709/02/2020

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 Anonymousreply 9809/02/2020

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 Anonymousreply 9909/02/2020

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 Anonymousreply 10009/02/2020

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 Anonymousreply 10109/02/2020

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 Anonymousreply 10209/03/2020

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 Anonymousreply 10309/03/2020

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 Anonymousreply 10409/04/2020

the Expanse books are amazing. loved all of them!

by Anonymousreply 10509/04/2020

I’m trying the new Denise Mina mystery but it’s not good.

by Anonymousreply 10609/07/2020

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 Anonymousreply 10709/07/2020

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 Anonymousreply 10809/11/2020

Reaganland - Rick Perlstein Hoax - Brian Stelter

by Anonymousreply 10909/11/2020

THE PALACE—Troubled expat woman on the run in Bangkok. Very atmospheric.

by Anonymousreply 11009/12/2020


by Anonymousreply 11109/12/2020

[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 Anonymousreply 11209/12/2020

Whoever recommended Shuggie Bain thank you. I loved it

by Anonymousreply 11309/12/2020

A Genteman in Moscow isn’t gay themed but it is excellent

by Anonymousreply 11409/12/2020

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 Anonymousreply 11509/12/2020

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 Anonymousreply 11609/12/2020

In “The Feral Detective,” Jonathan Lethem Returns to Detective Noir for the Trump Era.

have yet to be disappointed by a Lethem novel.

by Anonymousreply 11709/12/2020

I loved the Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremaine..Patrick Gale is also a good gay writer

by Anonymousreply 11809/12/2020

R99, I really liked The Fatal Shore

Has anyone read The Five by Hallie Rubenhold? I just started it

by Anonymousreply 11909/12/2020

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 Anonymousreply 12009/13/2020

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 Anonymousreply 12109/13/2020

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 Anonymousreply 12209/13/2020

R120 I read the first book of the first trilogy during quarantine

by Anonymousreply 12309/13/2020

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 Anonymousreply 12409/13/2020

r124 is probably a conservative who thought gay marriage would cause society to collapse

by Anonymousreply 12509/13/2020

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 Anonymousreply 12609/16/2020

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 Anonymousreply 12709/16/2020

[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 Anonymousreply 12809/16/2020

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 Anonymousreply 12909/16/2020

Reading "1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare" after the endnotes in "Hamnet" tipped me off to it.

by Anonymousreply 13009/16/2020

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 Anonymousreply 13109/16/2020

[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 Anonymousreply 13209/16/2020

I'll have to check, R132, I have the fortunate ability to forget unpleasant stuff.

by Anonymousreply 13309/16/2020

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 Anonymousreply 13409/16/2020

Any fans of Margot Livesey? I’m reading her latest novel The Boy in the Field.

by Anonymousreply 13509/16/2020

Shuggie Bain is very well written but far too depressing for anyone who comes from a long line of self-sabotaging alcoholics.

by Anonymousreply 13609/16/2020

Adam Mars-Jones's "Box Hill." Short, sexy, and fabulously written.

(New Directions).

by Anonymousreply 13709/16/2020

I a lot of Erle Stanley Gardner. Esp. the ones written in the 30s. (The HBO series is a travesty, imo.)

by Anonymousreply 13809/16/2020

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.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 13909/16/2020

Just finished A.N. Wilson’s biography of Queen Victoria. Dense but luminous.

by Anonymousreply 14009/16/2020

"Warhol" by Blake Gopnik. Nine hundred seventy-something pages, but engrossing.

by Anonymousreply 14109/17/2020

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 Anonymousreply 14209/17/2020

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 Anonymousreply 14309/17/2020

R143 how is PIRANESI? Would you recommend it?

by Anonymousreply 14409/17/2020

I just finished "Trust Exercise" by Susan Choi. It's a very interesting novel, written from the viewpoints of multiple unreliable narrators.

by Anonymousreply 14509/17/2020

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 Anonymousreply 14609/17/2020

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 Anonymousreply 14709/17/2020

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 Anonymousreply 14809/17/2020

Clarke writes slowly. Recent articles have chronicled her ongoing battle with a debilitating disease that saps her of her energy in alarming ways.

by Anonymousreply 14909/17/2020

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 Anonymousreply 15009/18/2020

R150, you seem to have a superb grasp of English. Do you only read novels in your own language?

by Anonymousreply 15109/19/2020

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 Anonymousreply 15209/19/2020

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 Anonymousreply 15309/21/2020

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 Anonymousreply 15409/21/2020

I wanted to read Trust Exercise. Maybe I should give it another go.

by Anonymousreply 15509/21/2020

I've just started Trust Exercise. I don't like it. I'm going to read Great Expectations instead.

by Anonymousreply 15609/21/2020

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 Anonymousreply 15709/22/2020

Killer, Come Back To Me: The Crime Stories of Ray Bradbury

by Anonymousreply 15809/22/2020

Has anyone read A Beautiful Crime?

by Anonymousreply 15909/22/2020

Starting a jumbo biog of John Gielgud. He was quite a character.

by Anonymousreply 16009/22/2020

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 Anonymousreply 16109/22/2020

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 Anonymousreply 16209/22/2020

Anyone read Swimming In The Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski?

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by Anonymousreply 16309/23/2020

I want to read it but it was not published here yet

by Anonymousreply 16409/24/2020

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 Anonymousreply 16509/24/2020

R165: James Purdy's NARROW ROOMS will check off a lot of boxes.

by Anonymousreply 16609/24/2020

Has anyone read the children’s novel TOM’S MIDNIGHT GARDEN? Gorgeous writing and the best time-shifting novel I’ve read.

by Anonymousreply 16709/24/2020

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 Anonymousreply 16809/24/2020

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 Anonymousreply 16909/24/2020

R165 Read Guyotat.

by Anonymousreply 17009/24/2020

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 Anonymousreply 17109/24/2020

Getting into Bataille, with which book is it best to begin?


by Anonymousreply 17209/25/2020

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 Anonymousreply 17309/25/2020

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 Anonymousreply 17409/28/2020

Introduction to Anal

by Anonymousreply 17509/28/2020

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 Anonymousreply 17609/28/2020

I've heard that Buddenbrooks is the easiest gateway to Mann.

by Anonymousreply 17709/28/2020

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 Anonymousreply 17809/28/2020

R177 I think the novellas are—Death in Venice, Tonio Kroger, Mario and the Magicians, The Blood of the Volsungs.

by Anonymousreply 17909/28/2020

R2, Sad. Pick up a book and start reading.

by Anonymousreply 18009/28/2020

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 Anonymousreply 18109/29/2020

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 Anonymousreply 18209/29/2020

Dutch House by Ann Patchett?

by Anonymousreply 18309/29/2020

R183 I liked it, but i like it Commonwealth even more

by Anonymousreply 18409/29/2020

That's the one. I only heard a few minutes, but he did a very good job. I was impressed.

by Anonymousreply 18509/29/2020

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 Anonymousreply 18609/29/2020

I'm reading Rosy and John by Pierre Lemaitre and Susan Choi's Trust exercise

by Anonymousreply 18709/29/2020

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 Anonymousreply 18809/29/2020

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 Anonymousreply 18910/01/2020

ABE Books has been owned by Amazon since 2008, in any case, r189.

by Anonymousreply 19010/01/2020

Introduction to Fisting

by Anonymousreply 19110/01/2020

R72, I like Buddenbrooks when I was young. Also Tonio Kruger. But The Magic Mountain is Mann's masterpiece. Loved it.

by Anonymousreply 19210/01/2020

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 Anonymousreply 19310/03/2020

R189, you can sell books on ebay

by Anonymousreply 19410/03/2020

R194 this is the future, Mr. Jetson. Surely there’s an app for that.

by Anonymousreply 19510/03/2020

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 Anonymousreply 19610/03/2020

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 Anonymousreply 19710/03/2020

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 Anonymousreply 19810/03/2020

R196 The friend is really good

by Anonymousreply 19910/04/2020

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 Anonymousreply 20010/04/2020

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 Anonymousreply 20110/04/2020

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 Anonymousreply 20210/04/2020

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 Anonymousreply 20310/04/2020

[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 Anonymousreply 20410/04/2020

Some consider Robinson the best. American writer. Jury's still out for me.

by Anonymousreply 20510/04/2020

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 Anonymousreply 20610/04/2020

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 Anonymousreply 20710/04/2020

R207, you don’t have the right to judge if someone is a hit or miss if you haven’t read her.

by Anonymousreply 20810/04/2020

The writing in "Housekeeping" was exquisite; the story itself bored me to tears.

by Anonymousreply 20910/04/2020

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 Anonymousreply 21010/04/2020

R210 and her “oppinions.”

by Anonymousreply 21110/04/2020

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 Anonymousreply 21210/04/2020

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 Anonymousreply 21310/04/2020

I’m reading Passions of a Papillon. So many twist and turns, I can’t put it down.

by Anonymousreply 21410/04/2020

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 Anonymousreply 21510/04/2020

I'm reading Dune, and really enjoying it so far. This isn't usually my genre

by Anonymousreply 21610/04/2020

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 Anonymousreply 21710/04/2020

Killers, no apostrophe.

by Anonymousreply 21810/04/2020

R217 That was a great book. I picked it up on a whim and ended up recommending it to several people.

by Anonymousreply 21910/04/2020

My Pet Goat

by Anonymousreply 22010/04/2020

No one else has read "Swimming in the Dark" yet?

by Anonymousreply 22110/04/2020

R202. I found Giles’s, but lived Home. Haven’t read Lila or Jack yet. Liked Housekeeping, findvher essays rather sloppily argued.

by Anonymousreply 22210/04/2020

Sorry, Gilead not Gile’s

by Anonymousreply 22310/04/2020

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 Anonymousreply 22410/05/2020

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 Anonymousreply 22510/05/2020

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 Anonymousreply 22610/05/2020

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 Anonymousreply 22710/05/2020

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 Anonymousreply 22810/05/2020

In other words, no sense of humor. She's also too. churchy for me.

by Anonymousreply 22910/05/2020

Just read Normal People (late to the party I know). Enjoyable read. Better than most pop fiction. So few good books lately.

by Anonymousreply 23010/05/2020

I've been reading A LOT since lockdown. Nothing very recent, though.

by Anonymousreply 23110/05/2020

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 Anonymousreply 23210/06/2020

She’s religious but not conservative.

by Anonymousreply 23310/06/2020

Yeah Obama is a big Marilynne Robinson fan.

by Anonymousreply 23410/06/2020

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 Anonymousreply 23510/06/2020

And Shuggie Bain made the National Book award shortlist

by Anonymousreply 23610/07/2020

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 Anonymousreply 23710/08/2020

Oops sorry here's that article linked properly.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 23810/08/2020

Hot Pussy: Adult Erotic Novel

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 23910/08/2020

Congratulations on your Noble!

by Anonymousreply 24010/08/2020

The Gift by Edith Eger

by Anonymousreply 24110/08/2020

Started a biography of Elaine Stritch: Still Here.

by Anonymousreply 24210/08/2020

R204 thanks I will check it out!

by Anonymousreply 24310/08/2020

just finished the new Louise Penny novel. i am so in love with Jean-Guy!

by Anonymousreply 24410/09/2020

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 Anonymousreply 24510/09/2020

R245, I still remember the first line of that novel. It’s simply brilliant.

by Anonymousreply 24610/09/2020

Frau book

by Anonymousreply 24710/09/2020

No, it’s not, you philistine/idiot/R247.

by Anonymousreply 24810/09/2020

I'm reading The house of Ulloa by Emilia Pardo Bazán

by Anonymousreply 24910/09/2020

HERE FOR IT, a book of essays by R. Eric Thomas. Loving it so far. It’s very funny.

by Anonymousreply 25010/09/2020

"Los Alamos" by Joseph Kanon, a historical fiction/espionage mystery set during the Manhattan Project.

by Anonymousreply 25110/09/2020


by Anonymousreply 25210/09/2020

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 Anonymousreply 25310/09/2020

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 Anonymousreply 25410/09/2020

R254, she is no longer aware of anything. She died.

by Anonymousreply 25510/09/2020

[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 Anonymousreply 25610/09/2020

"Shuggie Bain" author Douglas Stuart on his favorite Scottish books:

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 25710/09/2020

Shuggie Bain sounds wrist-slittingly depressing.

by Anonymousreply 25810/09/2020

It seemed as if it would be, r258, and I gave it up between 50-100 pages. I could not go on.

by Anonymousreply 25910/09/2020

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 Anonymousreply 26010/09/2020

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 Anonymousreply 26110/09/2020

R258 I read a comment that said it was depressing and uplifting at the same time

by Anonymousreply 26210/09/2020

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.

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by Anonymousreply 26310/09/2020


At least in the States, the English edition isn't available until January, but I'd be interested in trying it.

by Anonymousreply 26410/09/2020

bookmarking this thread

by Anonymousreply 26510/09/2020

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.

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by Anonymousreply 26610/09/2020

Easily my favorite thread on the site, R265!

by Anonymousreply 26710/09/2020

R266 Yes, that's surprising, specially because the end of At swim two boys is devastating

by Anonymousreply 26810/09/2020

"Swimming in the Dark" is sad, but not grim.

by Anonymousreply 26910/09/2020

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 Anonymousreply 27010/09/2020

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 Anonymousreply 27110/09/2020

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 Anonymousreply 27210/09/2020

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 Anonymousreply 27310/09/2020

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 Anonymousreply 27410/10/2020

Stuart isn't really young, R274; he's 44 (born in 1976). That said, plenty of time left to read "At Swim..."

by Anonymousreply 27510/10/2020

R274, what is on the “Gay List”?

by Anonymousreply 27610/10/2020

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.

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by Anonymousreply 27710/10/2020

Oi, Londoners!

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by Anonymousreply 27810/10/2020

'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 Anonymousreply 27910/11/2020

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 Anonymousreply 28010/12/2020

I thought Skippy Dies was a great book.

by Anonymousreply 28110/12/2020

I'm reading A Beautiful Crime and so far liking it.

by Anonymousreply 28210/12/2020

I just finished Marilynne Robinson’s newest novel, Jack. It’s terrific, a very worthy addition to the Gilead books.

by Anonymousreply 28310/17/2020

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 Anonymousreply 28410/17/2020

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 Anonymousreply 28510/17/2020

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 Anonymousreply 28610/17/2020

[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 Anonymousreply 28710/17/2020

"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 Anonymousreply 28810/17/2020

So few good or interesting books lately. Wish Franzen would publish something.

by Anonymousreply 28910/17/2020

I’m up and down on Whitehead, but I thought “The Nickel Boys” was superb—dare in language, Stark in effect.

by Anonymousreply 29010/17/2020

'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 Anonymousreply 29110/17/2020

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 Anonymousreply 29210/18/2020

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 Anonymousreply 29310/18/2020

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 Anonymousreply 29410/21/2020

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 Anonymousreply 29510/21/2020

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 Anonymousreply 29610/21/2020

Has anyone read the new Tana French?

by Anonymousreply 29710/22/2020

R297, I’m reading it now. So far I’m really enjoying it.

by Anonymousreply 29810/22/2020

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 Anonymousreply 29910/22/2020

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 Anonymousreply 30010/26/2020

I started Autumn by Ali Smith

by Anonymousreply 30110/26/2020

Is Ali Smith worth reading?

by Anonymousreply 30210/26/2020

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 Anonymousreply 30310/26/2020

"Hunting Eichmann."

by Anonymousreply 30410/26/2020

Just started Fall of Giants, Follett.

by Anonymousreply 30510/26/2020

R302 I'm loving Autumn thus far

by Anonymousreply 30610/27/2020

R32 I recommend The Absolutist by John Boyne and Two Gentlemen from Brussels by Eric Emmanuel Schmitt.

by Anonymousreply 30710/27/2020

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 Anonymousreply 30810/28/2020

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 Anonymousreply 30910/30/2020

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 Anonymousreply 31010/30/2020

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 Anonymousreply 31111/03/2020

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 Anonymousreply 31211/07/2020

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 Anonymousreply 31311/07/2020

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 Anonymousreply 31411/09/2020

The Wildling Sisters by Eve Chase

by Anonymousreply 31511/10/2020

Isn’t that Lady Grantham narrating, r314?

by Anonymousreply 31611/10/2020

Yes. R316 - she's doing an awesome job!

by Anonymousreply 31711/10/2020

Chasten's bio. He seems so sweet, I want to marry him, too. Lucky soon-to-be-Cabinet Member Pete.

by Anonymousreply 31811/10/2020

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 Anonymousreply 31911/11/2020

R319, I just counted and I’m on my 48th book of 2020.

by Anonymousreply 32011/11/2020

I usually read about 2 books a month

by Anonymousreply 32111/11/2020

BTW, if you're interested in gay history, The Sins of Jack Saul is a really good read

by Anonymousreply 32211/11/2020

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 Anonymousreply 32311/11/2020

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 Anonymousreply 32411/12/2020

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 Anonymousreply 32511/12/2020

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 Anonymousreply 32611/12/2020

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 Anonymousreply 32711/12/2020

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 Anonymousreply 32811/12/2020

Debbie Harry’s memoir is fun.

by Anonymousreply 32911/12/2020

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 Anonymousreply 33011/12/2020

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 Anonymousreply 33111/12/2020

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 Anonymousreply 33211/12/2020

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 Anonymousreply 33311/12/2020

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 Anonymousreply 33411/13/2020

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 Anonymousreply 33511/13/2020

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 Anonymousreply 33611/13/2020

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 Anonymousreply 33711/13/2020

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 Anonymousreply 33811/13/2020

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 Anonymousreply 33911/13/2020

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 Anonymousreply 34011/13/2020

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 Anonymousreply 34111/13/2020

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.

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by Anonymousreply 34211/13/2020

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 Anonymousreply 34311/13/2020

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 Anonymousreply 34411/13/2020

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 Anonymousreply 34511/13/2020

I am about to start a bio on Valentino called: Dark Lover by Emily Leider.

by Anonymousreply 34611/13/2020

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 Anonymousreply 34711/13/2020

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 Anonymousreply 34811/13/2020

Venice struck me as a sad place

by Anonymousreply 34911/13/2020

I started Gilead

by Anonymousreply 35011/14/2020

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 Anonymousreply 35111/14/2020

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 Anonymousreply 35211/14/2020

E J Howard was close to her gay brother all her life, so there's that.

by Anonymousreply 35311/14/2020

"Call of the Horned Piper " and "Masks of Misrule"

Both by Nigel Jackson

Try googling them, or look them up on Amazon.

by Anonymousreply 35411/14/2020

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 Anonymousreply 35511/14/2020

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 Anonymousreply 35611/14/2020

Guapa by Saleem Haddad centers on a young gay man in an unnamed Middle Eastern country. Highly recommended.

by Anonymousreply 35711/14/2020

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 Anonymousreply 35811/14/2020

R357 Oh, i bought that novel a couple of years ago but i didn't read it yet

by Anonymousreply 35911/14/2020

My Lobotomy by Howard Dully. A kid was given the frontal lobe icepick treatment from Dr. Freeman’s Lobotomobile.

by Anonymousreply 36011/14/2020

Reading Veronica Lake's autobiography

by Anonymousreply 361Last 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 Anonymousreply 362Last 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 Anonymousreply 363Last Thursday at 6:25 AM

Agency - William Gibson, it just came yesterday.

by Anonymousreply 364Last 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 Anonymousreply 365Last 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 Anonymousreply 366Last 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 Anonymousreply 367Last 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 Anonymousreply 368Last Thursday at 10:20 AM

I liked Shuggie Bain but it is hardly the best book of the year.

by Anonymousreply 369Last 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 Anonymousreply 370Last 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 Anonymousreply 371Last 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 Anonymousreply 372Last 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 Anonymousreply 373Last Friday at 3:48 AM

I thought Shuggie was way better than the Glass Hotel

by Anonymousreply 374Last 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 Anonymousreply 375Last 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 Anonymousreply 376Last 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 Anonymousreply 377Last 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 Anonymousreply 378Last 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 Anonymousreply 379Last 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 Anonymousreply 380Last 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 Anonymousreply 381Last 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 Anonymousreply 382Last 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 Anonymousreply 383Last 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 Anonymousreply 384Last 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 Anonymousreply 385Yesterday at 10:20 AM
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