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Books for fall reading

We need a new thread because the old one has maxxed out.

Plus, I got tired of looking at the previous thread's poll.

by Anonymousreply 172October 26, 2021 3:39 PM

I'm reading "The House of Gucci" in preparation for watching the film this fall.

It's not very well written, but it's a great story to hear about the making of the dynasty and how fucked up it was since the original patriarch strongly encouraged his sons to compete with one another for his favor (which always ends in disaster and hard feelings).

by Anonymousreply 1September 28, 2021 7:32 PM

I'm taking a long weekend in Oct and picked two books one pure trash and one well regarded. House of Hilton (about how that thristy trash came to be ) and The Season: A Social History of the Debutante.

by Anonymousreply 2September 28, 2021 7:35 PM

I keep meaning to read "Mexican Gothic" which got good reviews this summer. has anyone else read it?

by Anonymousreply 3September 28, 2021 7:39 PM

Reading some Somerset Maugham short stories

by Anonymousreply 4September 28, 2021 7:41 PM

Thanks for the info/advice on RESERVOIR 13 to the poster from the last thread. I'm still enjoying Jon McGregor's SO MANY WAYS TO BEGIN so will check out his latest.

by Anonymousreply 5September 28, 2021 7:45 PM

Philip Hoare's Albert and the Whale - a wonderful read.

Also am reading Louise Penny's The Beautiful Mystery - a well written murder mystery taking place in a secluded monastery where the monks are known for their Gregorian chanting.

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by Anonymousreply 6September 28, 2021 7:46 PM

I've read Mexican Gothic. Guessed the twists early, but it's entertaining.

by Anonymousreply 7September 28, 2021 7:47 PM

Any fans of John Banville's novels? His books keep coming up in recommendations so I took out THE BOOK OF EVIDENCE and THE SEA from the library.

I tried reading that Louise Penny mystery about the monks, r6, it was my first.....and last Penny. Started off well but devolved into something ridiculous.

by Anonymousreply 8September 28, 2021 7:48 PM

Well I am enjoying Penny's book and recommend it. Some prominent book critics have reviewed it positively.

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by Anonymousreply 9September 28, 2021 7:52 PM

I am so used to watching videos that I have little patience with books.

However, maybe I'll re-read some old favorites.

by Anonymousreply 10September 28, 2021 7:52 PM

r8, Banville tends to overwrite (as I would say Edmund White always does too--their prose is just too florid), but I still have enjoyed his books.

My favorite was The Untouchable, about a Sooviet spy (based on Sir Anthony Blount).

by Anonymousreply 11September 28, 2021 8:07 PM

Sit down while reading so you do not fall, gramps.

by Anonymousreply 12September 28, 2021 8:09 PM

To whom are you directing your random cuntiness, r12?

All of us?

by Anonymousreply 13September 28, 2021 10:25 PM

I'm planning to reread all of Harlan Coben's standalone novels this fall and winter, with other books interspersed as I find them. I started last night with Hold Tight, which takes place in the early days of life online, in which a mother and father have software installed on their 16-year-old fuckup son's computer. His best friend killed himself, and their son is probably on drugs, so they feel it's a morally acceptable thing to do.

And off we go.

by Anonymousreply 14September 28, 2021 10:46 PM

Recently read two great 2020 novels by first-time authors:

Luster, by Raven Leilani, a riveting, darkly comic tale of an adrift Black twentysomething who starts an affair with a middle-aged white guy.

These Violent Delights, a stunning riff on Heavenly Creatures—but with teenage boys and set in ‘70s Pittsburgh.

by Anonymousreply 15September 28, 2021 10:54 PM

R15, are you familiar with Pittsburgh? If so, I'd love to hear/read your reactions to the sense of place the author created in These Violent Delights.

by Anonymousreply 16September 28, 2021 10:56 PM

The Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin is fantastic. It is also the first trilogy in which all three books won the Hugo for best novel.

by Anonymousreply 17September 28, 2021 10:58 PM

Non fiction suggestions please.

by Anonymousreply 18September 28, 2021 10:58 PM

I read a lot of nonfiction, R18.

Have you considered [italic]Nothing to Envy[/ITALIC] by Barbara Demick? Very well regarded story of North Korean escapees.

Mary Beard's [italic]SPQR[/italic] I found great reading, despite some reviewers' issues. Liked her book on Vesuvius/Pompeii as well.

Finally, a lesser-known essay collection: [italic]Nocturne[/italic] by James Attlee. I found the essays consistently engaging rather than a mixed lot.

by Anonymousreply 19September 28, 2021 11:15 PM

I enjoyed Elvira's memoir so much that I decided to read "Glamour Ghoul: The Passions and Pain of the Real Vampira, Maila Nurmi." It's written by her niece, who had access to her aunt's letters and diaries.

The Vampira TV show aired for less than a year, but Maila had quite a life outside it: pregnant with Orson Welles' baby (which was adopted out), confidante and friend of both Marlon Brando and James Dean (the latter of whom was her soulmate, she says), friends with Tony Perkins, who treated her cruelly.

In her latter years, she was living in a garage with no electricity in a gang-infested part of Hollywood and found some acceptance in the punk scene. By the time Vampira was set for rediscovery in the late 1980s, she was too old and frail to capitalize on it.

And she HATES Cassandra Peterson. It's a juicy read.

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by Anonymousreply 20September 28, 2021 11:16 PM

Thanks r19.

by Anonymousreply 21September 28, 2021 11:19 PM


Spillover - great introduction into how infectious agents in animals get spread to humans

The Great Mortality - delightful account of the plague

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by Anonymousreply 22September 28, 2021 11:25 PM

The Broken Earth trilogy drove me nuts. It had these great moments and then it would fall apart in massive swirls of illogic .

Second the vote on Nothing to Envy. Compelling and illuminating.

There are a bunch of Little Libraries in my neighborhood, so I just kind of pick up random stuff. Right now I'm rereading Barbara Pym.

by Anonymousreply 23September 28, 2021 11:42 PM

R23 - I'm almost finished with Pym's [italic]Quartet in Autumn[/italic], kinda sad.

by Anonymousreply 24September 28, 2021 11:45 PM

Quartet in Autumn is Pym's masterpiece. I believe it was the only time she was shortlisted for the Booker but lost it. And I believe she died soon after. She was really never able to fully enjoy her late career rediscovery and success.

R9, please come back when you FINISH the Louise Penny monk mystery and tell us what you thought of it.

by Anonymousreply 25September 29, 2021 1:03 AM

R16 I grew up in Pittsburgh, albeit later than when the book is set. It felt pretty authentic to me; set mostly around the East End IIRC.

by Anonymousreply 26September 29, 2021 1:16 AM

You want Pittsburgh, I'll give you Pittsburgh: [italic]Emily, Alone[/italic] by Stewart O'Nan.

by Anonymousreply 27September 29, 2021 2:55 AM

r26, I found it peculiar that the author referred to "the interstate" instead of the Parkway when the family drove from Squirrel Hill to Mt. Lebanon. And his characterization of Squirrel Hill as a working class neighborhood. Sure, south of Forbes isn't as schmancy as north of Forbes, but it's still upscale overall.

Also, he referred to a "Murray Avenue accent" in the Squirrel Hill characters' vowels. A lot of people there were consciously trying to lose their yinzer accent, with varying degrees of success, but those with yinzer accents in Squirrel Hill didn't sound any different from yinzers from other parts of the city.

Thank you, r27. I read that a number of years ago. I think Emily was a widow living in Highland Park.

by Anonymousreply 28September 29, 2021 2:58 AM

I’m excited to read the new Amor Towles and even the new Jonathan Franzen, both coming next month.

by Anonymousreply 29September 29, 2021 3:18 AM

I was going to post this as a new thread, but it will probably get a better reception here. Very interesting opinion piece about Forester, but also about a book that came out earlier this year called Alec, which continues the story of Maurice and follows the lovers into WWI. Has anybody read it?

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by Anonymousreply 30September 29, 2021 3:27 AM

Still making my way through Zola's Rougon-Macquart novels, just finished my 9th of the 20 books: Money (L'Argent), 1891.

by Anonymousreply 31September 29, 2021 3:29 AM

Are they any good, r31? What's been the best of them?

by Anonymousreply 32September 29, 2021 6:47 AM

I haven't yet read ALEC but I have two different friends (one well-read, one not so much) who both loved it.

by Anonymousreply 33September 29, 2021 12:48 PM

Colum Toibin's "The Magician" a novel based on the writer Thomas Mann and his weirdly fascinating dysfunctional family. Hilarious cameos of Isherwood and Auden, two of the cuntinest cunts who ever cunted

by Anonymousreply 34September 29, 2021 1:40 PM

Better Davis and Other Stories, the new follow-up to At Danceteria.

by Anonymousreply 35September 29, 2021 1:44 PM

r32, I'm loving these books, though it's obvious that Zola got better as he went along; I didn't start reading them in his preferred order (see link), rather the first one I read was La Terre (Earth), then its direct sequel, La Débâcle. These two were excellent: the first a portrait of peasant life in the Beauce region of central France, the second an account of the Franco-Prussian War and the Commune of Paris (La Débâcle is also fascinating in that -- whether intentionally or not -- it comes across as a romance between two soldiers). I then jumped to L'Assommoir, a devastating account of alcoholism in the working class districts of Paris, then to Nana, the famous portrait of a courtesan, which I found episodic and not as impressive as the first three I'd read.

Fortunately, I then read Germinal, which is an absolutely mesmerizing portrayal of a coal mining community, the poverty, the pride, the injustice, the dangers; Zola is a master of crowd scenes and suspense, and here he reaches his zenith. With that, I decided to read the rest of the series in his preferred reading order, so I went back to the first book The Fortune of the Rougons, which provides the background for the family tree of the Rougon-Macquarts while also providing a thrilling account of the 1851 coup that Louis Napoleon instituted to make himself master of France, as seen through the reaction in a small town in the south of France. His Excellency Eugene Rougon portrays the inner workings of the politicians surrounding Napoleon III -- it's more interesting for its historical detail than for its dull plot. The Kill is allegedly about the corruption surrounding the Hausmannization of Paris, but is really more interested in the soap opera of a romantic triangle involving a speculator, his new young wife, and his foppish son; L'Argent follows up with the speculator, now trying to create a financial empire through a holding company with illegal actions; written later, its of a higher quality than the preceding novel.

Zola was a journalist before turning to fiction, and did copious research for his novels, so they're often overflowing with detail; his plots tend to melodrama, but in his best books -- Germinal, La Débâcle, Earth, L'Assommoir, L'Argent -- he's able to finesse this with a strong sense of narrative flow. His concepts of hereditary influence on character is now questionable, and can seem a flimsy substitute for deep characterization in his lesser novels. I think he's at his best when he's writing passionately about the plight of the "lower" classes -- miners, soldiers, peasants, washer-women, etc. -- and how often TPTB are determined to keep them in their place, and their own actions/behaviors/choices exacerbate their situation -- which makes the best books universal and timeless.

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by Anonymousreply 36September 29, 2021 2:13 PM

Honestly the only one that is the least exciting for me is the new Franzen book - Crossroads. I find him to always be a guaranteed worthwhile read. It’s received decent reviews too. Looking forward to digging in.

Otherwise have not read anything decent in months. The Bunny Mellon biography was the most entertaining recently.

by Anonymousreply 37September 29, 2021 3:07 PM

Just put Alec on my Amazon wishlist

by Anonymousreply 38September 29, 2021 3:15 PM

I was able to read an advance copy of Crossroads by Franzen and it’s excellent. A super engrossing, fat read with a character that will be worshipped by DL- Marion Hildebrandt. Whichever actress scored this part in the inevitable adaptation will rack up the awards. So juicy.

by Anonymousreply 39September 29, 2021 3:25 PM

I don't read that many novels, with the latest one I tackled not all that... satisfying: [italic]Swimming Home[/italic] by Deborah Levy.

by Anonymousreply 40September 29, 2021 3:32 PM

The Magician (Toibin), Harrow (Joy Willams), Cloud Cuckoo Land (Anthony Doerr), Bewilderment (Richard Powers)

nonfiction: The Soul of an Octopus, Below the Edge of Darkness, The Book of Eels

yeah, I read a lot

by Anonymousreply 41September 29, 2021 3:34 PM

The Book of Eels? Have you read Kurlansky's [italic]Cod [/italic], [italic]Salt[/italic], etc. as well?

by Anonymousreply 42September 29, 2021 9:05 PM

R42 No, I haven't. . They look interesting. Will add them to my pile. Thanks for the tip.

by Anonymousreply 43September 29, 2021 9:43 PM

^^^ As a New Yorker, my favorite in that genre is The Big Oyster and then there is always the seminal Guns, Germs and Steel. These books are usually excellent for people who think they don’t like nonfiction or who think History is boring because they haven’t found it presented in an appealing way.

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by Anonymousreply 44September 29, 2021 10:00 PM

[quote]And she HATES Cassandra Peterson. It's a juicy read.

Why would she hate Cassandra Peterson? Vampira was modeled on Morticia Addams. It wasn't completely original.

by Anonymousreply 45September 29, 2021 10:09 PM

The power of the dog

by Anonymousreply 46September 29, 2021 10:39 PM

Currently reading We Others, a short story collection by Steven Millhauser. And like all Mullhauser, it's fabulous.

by Anonymousreply 47September 30, 2021 12:50 AM

[quote]Why would she hate Cassandra Peterson? Vampira was modeled on Morticia Addams. It wasn't completely original.

Maila was contacted by KHJ to "consult" on a new version of Vampira. She said she wouldn't appear again as Vampira, but would play Vampira's mother.

At the meeting with executives, they expected Maila to sign away her rights to Vampira for pennies. She refused and left the meeting. KHJ went ahead with rebooting it with Cassandra, down to the same signature walk down a spooky corridor as the opening.

On the first day of shooting, they had to stop when Vampira's lawyers threatened to file suit. They changed the name to Elvira right there and kept shooting.

Maila greatly resented Cassandra's boobs-and-jokes approach, preferring her own beatnik take on a vampire. And clearly she resented Cassandra's fame and money from the character, considering Maila was living in abject poverty.

by Anonymousreply 48September 30, 2021 1:31 AM

I've gotten out of the habit of reading fiction so I am dipping my toes back in with short stories. Alice Munro's Open Secrets has been moving so far. I'll read an Italo Calvino collection after.

by Anonymousreply 49September 30, 2021 1:47 AM

^"The Jack Randa Hotel" is perfection. My favorite Munro story, and I've read 'em all.

by Anonymousreply 50September 30, 2021 1:52 AM

I'm having trouble getting back into the habit of reading as well, r49. Italo Calvino's short stories is a great idea to dip my toes back into fiction. (God, I used to be such a voracious reader!) Tried to read some of my Hermann Hesse's (an old favorite) short stories - his fairy tales - earlier this year, but just found them tedious. Been having much more luck with Angela Carter's feminist reimaginings of short fairy/horror stories.

r30, Alec sounds great! I loved Maurice ("Morriss" in the Merchant Ivory film, lol)

r20, big Elvira fan here too - super stoked to read her new autobio! That Vampira one sounds worth a look-see as well!

Cheers, gents

by Anonymousreply 51September 30, 2021 1:55 AM

[quote] I loved Maurice ("Morriss" in the Merchant Ivory film, lol)

That's how E. M. Forster pronounced it, and how they pronounce the name in England where the book is set.

by Anonymousreply 52September 30, 2021 1:59 AM

R50, every new one is my new favorite, lol. But Gail is a very special character, I had such a reaction to her letters while I was reading it. R51, I have Angela Carter planned as the next read once I return these to the library.

by Anonymousreply 53September 30, 2021 1:59 AM

Lol, r52, I'm posting from Texas - RP English is not widely-spoken here 🤣

by Anonymousreply 54September 30, 2021 2:34 AM

Has anyone read House of Leaves? I ordered the book but haven’t started it yet. I wanted to see why it’s reached cult status, but it looks like a lot of work to understand it. Is it trash or the mist frightening book ever?

by Anonymousreply 55September 30, 2021 2:40 AM

For those having trouble with getting back to reading fiction, can I recommend 2 truly wonderful short novels by Graham Swift? I mentioned them in the last thread but loved them so much they deserve another mention:

MOTHERING SUNDAY (which has been turned into a film starring Olivia Colman, Josh O'Connor, Glenda Jackson and Colin Firth) about a parlour maid in the 1920s English countryside having an illicit affair with the young scion of another estate.

And HERE WE ARE about a love triangle between 2 young men and a girl, all performers in a dying vaudeville act on the Brighton pier in 1959.

I couldn't put either book down, both under 200 pages.....and I would have been happy to read 400 pages more about all those characters.

by Anonymousreply 56September 30, 2021 2:49 AM

[QUOTE] The power of the dog

I’m reading this right now and loving it.

by Anonymousreply 57September 30, 2021 3:48 AM

I want to read Capote's Women: A True Story of Love, Betrayal, and a Swan Song by Laurence Leamer

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by Anonymousreply 58September 30, 2021 3:51 AM

I love Pym. She was too good for trendy literary prizes.

by Anonymousreply 59September 30, 2021 3:55 AM

R55, House of Leaves is shite. I mean it's cool and sort of intriguing when the house got bigger and bigger, but once it ended I forgot about it. It's certainly nowhere near to being the dark underground horror masterpiece that it thinks it is. A scary book it is not.

Plus I felt like a dumbass turning the book around and around in my hands during that one part where the print goes off in a bunch of different directions.

by Anonymousreply 60September 30, 2021 6:45 AM

Mia McKenzie’s Skye Falling. About a black lesbian and it’s moving and hilarious.

by Anonymousreply 61September 30, 2021 9:57 AM

Thanx to R29 for reminding me that I haven't read Towles' Eve in Hollywood.

Thanx to R46 for The Power of the Dog.

Thanx to R56 for Swift recommendations.

Thanx to all book thread posters.

by Anonymousreply 62September 30, 2021 11:19 AM

I'm going add a reccomendation of [italic]The Observations[/italic] by Jane Harris as a story I feel DL'ers might like. For audio folks, it's one of the few examples of an author narrating their own work well.

by Anonymousreply 63September 30, 2021 12:15 PM

I'm amazed at those of you who want to read the new Jonathan Franzen. I got through The Corrections, and it was okay (if you're into family dysfunction); but I found Freedom unreadable and only got halfway through it. the voices of all the characters in it were just like his own: the voice of a sour, crabby, entitled middle-aged white guy.

by Anonymousreply 64September 30, 2021 7:20 PM

r64 you make me laugh! I loved The Corrections, but I read it right when I was moving from DC to the Midwest and it tickled me how on the nose he was about some things. I also didn't mind Freedom because, at least back then, I wasn't as affected by entitled middle-aged men as I have been in years since. I could never get through it now. Purity was a head-scratcher for me, but I'm willing to give Crossroads a chance.

by Anonymousreply 65September 30, 2021 7:51 PM

On my shelf for almost 27 years, and finally read it this month: Edmund White's magnificent 650+-page biography of Jean Genet.

by Anonymousreply 66September 30, 2021 7:58 PM

[quote] the voice of a sour, crabby, entitled middle-aged white guy

aka the "authorial voice" of the DL

by Anonymousreply 67September 30, 2021 8:35 PM

R60) I agree that turning the book when reading is more nuisance than intriguing. It’s a lot of work to read so far, sad to hear that it probably won’t be worth the effort. Thanks for the insight.

by Anonymousreply 68October 1, 2021 3:27 AM

These are quite stunning. I wonder who she’ll leave her estate to, if she’ll give it to a nonprofit or set up her own foundation? Maybe she’ll make Griffin her literary executor.

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by Anonymousreply 69October 2, 2021 12:32 AM

Both Thomas Savage's book and Jane Campion's film, The Power of the Dog, are available online for free reading/viewing.

by Anonymousreply 70October 2, 2021 11:59 AM

R70 Huh? I’m assuming only illegally?

by Anonymousreply 71October 2, 2021 1:02 PM

Just bought Anthony Doerr's latest CLOUD CUCKOO LAND and excited to dig in after I finish my current reading. It's a BIG book, 622 pages of small print. I hope it lives up to ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE, one of my favorite novels of all time.

I believe the reviews have been great.....I haven't wanted to look too closely as I don't want to know too much.

by Anonymousreply 72October 2, 2021 1:17 PM

The Bench is a genius work of comic.

by Anonymousreply 73October 2, 2021 1:28 PM

I think I’m the only person that hated All The Light We Cannot See. I attempted it twice and had to bail each time. Clearly the problem is me since I’m so overwhelmingly in the minority. I’m reading Julianna Margulies’s memoir, Sunshine Girl. She had an interesting, nomadic childhood. It’s decent.

by Anonymousreply 74October 3, 2021 2:19 PM

R74 I managed to finish, but I also hated it. I felt it read like a very overhyped YA novel.

by Anonymousreply 75October 3, 2021 2:20 PM

Speaking of, Doerr was on CBS Sunday Morning today.

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by Anonymousreply 76October 3, 2021 2:51 PM

R74, I've shied away from the book having a feeling instinctively that I probably wouldn't like it.

by Anonymousreply 77October 3, 2021 3:14 PM

I hate anything that reeks of mawkishness or being manipulated but I LOVED All the Light WE Cannot See. One of the best books I read in the past 25 years and I read about 50 novels a year. Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex would also be on my list if you want to know more about my taste in reading.

But to each his own. Reading tastes are highly subjective, I've always felt that.

by Anonymousreply 78October 3, 2021 6:06 PM

"My Indecision is final - The Rise and Fall of Goldcrest Films" by Jake Eberts & Terry Ilott. A true account in the form of a memoir of how to run a film production company from people who actually did it.

I highly recommend it. It's quite enjoyable

by Anonymousreply 79October 3, 2021 9:57 PM

Finished “Filthy Animals” by Brandon Taylor and it didn’t really impress me much at all. I would have preferred to just have read a novella based on the interlocking stories instead, and I’m not convinced it wasn’t a novella that he split up to package the whole thing as a short stories collection. I’m now off the waitlist to get “Afterparties” by Anthony Veasna So, and I’m a bit worried it will break my heart, being so wonderful that the fact that there will be no more writing from him will make me very sad.

by Anonymousreply 80October 9, 2021 1:46 PM

I'm LOVING Anthony Doerr's latest CLOUD CUCKOO LAND. About 200 pages in. Great storytelling! The book is over 600 pages long and takes place in 3 different time periods, so seemed daunting at first. But most of the chapters are short and the pacing is so swift and engaging, I'm zooming through it faster than most shorter books I've recently read.

by Anonymousreply 81October 9, 2021 4:02 PM

Just bought the new Amor Towles, "The Lincoln Highway" which got a nice review in the NYT this week. I loved his first two, "Rules of Civility" and especially, "A Gentleman in Moscow".

by Anonymousreply 82October 9, 2021 5:05 PM

The best book I have read all year is Lionel Shriver's "Should We Stay or Should We Go". It came out over the summer. If you are a Shriver fan, this is one of her most fun works. It's a laugh out loud funny yet still has the bite of all her books. She has become one of my all time favorite authors and I love her very practical, almost aspie take on common sense political culture.

by Anonymousreply 83October 9, 2021 5:15 PM

LOVED Better Davis and Other Stories. It’s better than At Danceteria but very much in the same vein with the whole celebrities/early days of AIDS angle.

There is a great story about Jim J. Bullock in it as well as one with Natalie Woof that takes place the night she drowned in 1981.

by Anonymousreply 84October 9, 2021 6:05 PM

I'm reading David Lee Roth's bio. I like Diamond Dave. I have way more downloaded than time - this site has completely ruined bookstores for me.

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by Anonymousreply 85October 9, 2021 6:07 PM

My inner Frau just finished "Apples Never Fall", Liane Moriarty's new release (Big Little Lies, Nine Perfect Strangers). This has been my least favorite so far although reviewers seem to like it much better than "Nine Perfect Strangers", which I happened to like. It's not a great book, but there is something comfy and nice about Moriarty's basic, upper middle class white suburbia in Australia that feels like curling up in a nice blanket where the biggest tragedies are deserved and everyone is really good deep down. I'll continue to read her books, but this was more of a miss for me.

by Anonymousreply 86October 9, 2021 6:40 PM

r86, not that you asked, but the best book I ever read about suburban Australia was Christos Tsiolkas's THE SLAP. It was was also a fabulous Australian mini-series starring the hot young Jonathan La Paglia, Sophie Okenedo and Essie Davis. And then a much watered down American version a few year later.

by Anonymousreply 87October 9, 2021 9:16 PM

Huh. I really liked the American version of The Slap. I knew i was an Australian remake, but not a book. I'm going to check it out. Can you tell me how it's watered down? Unless it would spoil an alternate ending?

by Anonymousreply 88October 9, 2021 9:32 PM

*Natalie Wood

by Anonymousreply 89October 9, 2021 10:12 PM

R85 , e-books? Ewwwww.....

by Anonymousreply 90October 10, 2021 8:10 AM

R90 = Ewwwww

Some folks need larger font, as well as the fact that it's easier to carry around an e-reader than a heavy, bulky book - especially when traveling.

by Anonymousreply 91October 10, 2021 8:59 AM

STFU and be happy that people are reading, R90.

by Anonymousreply 92October 10, 2021 1:15 PM

DataLounge: Birth of Pointless Bitchery

by Anonymousreply 93October 10, 2021 3:49 PM

Not really interested in Vita Sackville-West's fiction, but picked up a Kindle copy of her travel narrative "Passenger to Tehran" for $1.99.

by Anonymousreply 94October 10, 2021 4:01 PM

R94 Thanks, that sounds interesting. I might do the same.

by Anonymousreply 95October 10, 2021 6:09 PM


[quote] Why Real Books are Superior to E-Books

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by Anonymousreply 96October 10, 2021 7:56 PM

i'm reading my way thru Lawrence Block's Matt Scudder series. something like 16 books. started in the 70s, and nearly always has at least one gay character (not common for the 70s) . good mysteries, and the character (Matt) goes from raging alcoholic to AA member is such detail i feel like i too have undergone AA training. well worth the journey. and taught me so much about my struggling friends.

by Anonymousreply 97October 10, 2021 8:20 PM

Were the Matt Scudder books turned into a film or TV series? Sounds familiar.....

by Anonymousreply 98October 10, 2021 8:22 PM

I always revisit Sherlock Holmes and Shirley Jackson in the fall.

by Anonymousreply 99October 10, 2021 8:24 PM

R97, I really like Lawrence Block. I follow him on Twitter, too, he seems pretty cool

by Anonymousreply 100October 10, 2021 8:27 PM

r98 the book "a walk among the tombstones" was made into a very bad movie. book is set in NYC, but the movie is set in LA, (among other "enhancements")

by Anonymousreply 101October 11, 2021 1:03 PM

"Now and Then" by William Corlett

"Christopher Metcalfe returns to his childhood home following the death of his father. Here, he confronts memories of his time at public school and relives the intense, passionate affair he shared with fellow student Stephen Walker. This forces him to come to terms with himself at last."

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by Anonymousreply 102October 11, 2021 2:14 PM

Read the alchemist,,short read but great wisdom. Moral: each of our lives is a treasure.

by Anonymousreply 103October 11, 2021 2:32 PM

Has anybody read this book The City Beautiful? It sounds like a cross between the Alienist and Devil in the White City with Jewish boys in love. I didn’t realize at first it’s YA. But my interest is piqued.

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by Anonymousreply 104October 13, 2021 12:46 AM

This is interesting.

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by Anonymousreply 105October 13, 2021 1:05 PM

Sorry to say I'm giving up on THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY after about 100 pages. The writing is so hollow and artificial and the main characters, three 18 year old boys and an 8 year old boy in 1954, all have voices and vocabularies which are far too urbane and precious, all very annoying.

When one of them visits a public library in a small midwestern town on a Sunday morning, I thought WTF - "When has a public library ever in the history of America been open on a Sunday?" This might be considered a minor gaffe, but it drives me nuts in a book that aspires to some literary merit. And how can any purportedly smart author make a mistake of inauthenticity like that and not be corrected by his editors and publisher?

by Anonymousreply 106October 13, 2021 1:15 PM

The Prophets is pretty compelling and terrifying in it march to what I fear to be a catastrophic ending that will break my heart, but part of me keeps hoping they get to fly away in the end. I got both the eBook and audiobook, and while I like the reader and hearing the cadence of the language, I wish they would have had a different narrator for each of the characters. If it continues to do well and win prizes I hope they re-record it full cast.

by Anonymousreply 107October 13, 2021 1:23 PM


Sunday public library hours dated from long after that, but have been some for quite a while. Mine has suspended that over lack of staff, not specifically budgeting. In the 50's you'd have been lucky if a library had a half-day Saturday.

by Anonymousreply 108October 13, 2021 1:55 PM

R98, two of the Matt Scudder novels have been made into movies, A Walk among the Tombstones & 8 Million Ways to Die. I haven't seen either of them, but I don't think they're well-reviewed.

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by Anonymousreply 109October 13, 2021 2:25 PM

I'd be curious to hear if others grew up in towns with libraries open on Sundays. I'm from a small town in northern NJ and we never had that. And I live in another town in central NJ and we don't have that now. Is it just a Jersey-deprived thing?

by Anonymousreply 110October 13, 2021 8:24 PM

[quote] I'd be curious to hear if others grew up in towns with libraries open on Sundays.

I grew up in a small town. On weekends, the library was open Saturday 9-1 and closed on Sunday. It wasn’t until the 1970s that department stores in our area started opening on Sundays. The library? Never on Sunday.

by Anonymousreply 111October 13, 2021 8:44 PM

R110: I distinctly recall my library in Morristown, NJ was open Sunday afternoon in the 1990s when I left the area.

by Anonymousreply 112October 13, 2021 9:08 PM

Grew up in Central Florida in the 70s and 80s; library was always closed on Sunday.

by Anonymousreply 113October 13, 2021 10:58 PM

Librarian here, in flush times with good funding Libraries tend to add hours on a Sunday usually 1:00-5:00. Lots of kids usually don’t do school projects until the last minute and Sunday hours tend to be godsends for that, especially pre internet. But if funding is limited or there are cut backs it’s the first thing to go.

I don’t know about the work mentioned, but some libraries were segregated and there may have been Blacks only hours on certain days. I would imagine that Sunday might be that day for some communities since whites may not have cared as much and Blacks might have a better chance to use them on a usual day off for much of that community.

by Anonymousreply 114October 13, 2021 11:12 PM

I can't imagine any midwestern church-going Christian community with library Sunday hours, especially in the 1950s when the Towles book is set.

by Anonymousreply 115October 14, 2021 12:26 AM

I find this lengthy discussion of Sunday library hours nearly every bit as thrilling and important as the discussions of Norwegian Catholics in Bay Ridge on the "Mad Men" threads.

by Anonymousreply 116October 14, 2021 12:33 AM

Read the story of the bisexual Mr. Zero, over the course of the book he has two husbands and several lovers of both sexes. He has adventures including, murder, entertainment, religion, politics, and the college experience.

It is long, but consists of short chapters, so it is an easy fast-paced novel. It is dedicated to several soap opera writers and creators. So it is a sort of an homage to that genre.

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by Anonymousreply 117October 14, 2021 12:38 AM

Maybe a little late to the party as I'm just now reading MY POLICEMAN by Bethan Roberts. Enjoying it enough about 50 pages in, but it doesn't have any of the black humor I somehow expected.

by Anonymousreply 118October 14, 2021 2:34 AM

The Secrets We Kept, Lara Prescott. Surprisingly interesting read about the CIA's involvement in getting Pasternak's Dr. Zhivago published, Pasternak's 30 year love affair with his secretary, and a couple of CIA typists involved in the love that dare not speak its name.

by Anonymousreply 119October 16, 2021 1:26 PM

R119, are the typists men or women?

by Anonymousreply 120October 16, 2021 9:43 PM

So I finished MY POLICEMAN and really found it disappointing. Lots of cliched writing of gays as martyrs and victims, written by by a middle aged female author. And the middle aged woman character in the book is perhaps the most unpleasant and pathetic of all the characters.

Don't know why Harry Styles chose to be in the upcoming film as he will be very miscast as the naive blond muscular title character. And Emma Corrin is also horribly miscast (and far too attractive) as the unsympathetic and vindictive woman in love with him.

by Anonymousreply 121October 17, 2021 7:52 PM

Frau authors, particularly FTM that have an unkempt front hole between their legs, are laughable when they try to write gay men. It’s quite apparent that they don’t understand men, either gay or straight, at all.

Any unfamiliar author that writes about gay men, I am searching for their picture. If it’s a deranged pussy bearer, I will not buy the book. This policy has saved quite a bit on money in the last year.

by Anonymousreply 122October 18, 2021 2:37 AM

Geez, could you sound more hostile towards women? Yeah, sometimes there's a lack of authenticity in female-written gay stuff, but you could say the same for men (both gay and straight) who try to write female characters

by Anonymousreply 123October 18, 2021 3:54 AM

true R123

question: of male authors who write from a woman's character/perspective, are gay men better than straight at getting women characters right?

Tolstoy and Balzac seemed to have done ok. for gay writers, I think of Colum Toibin and "Brooklyn"

obsevations, suggestions?

by Anonymousreply 124October 18, 2021 4:09 AM

Henry James? Portrait of a Lady, The Bostonians, et.al.

by Anonymousreply 125October 18, 2021 4:13 AM

Right now I'm reading Zola's "The Kill," the second in his Rougon-Macquart cycle. It's an updating of the story of Phaedra set in the Second Empire among the very wealthy, so you can see pretty easily where it's going to end up. It's most fun for all the details of life among the wealthy in mid-19th century Paris.

by Anonymousreply 126October 18, 2021 4:15 AM

Finished The Prophets and it has some beautiful passages and an intriguing story, but I’m struggling with the ending. I don’t mind open ended or ambiguous endings, but either there are biblical references that I didn’t get or it ended flatly for me.

by Anonymousreply 127October 18, 2021 5:05 AM

[quote] you could say the same for men (both gay and straight) who try to write female characters

Who cares?

by Anonymousreply 128October 18, 2021 5:27 AM

Who cares about anyt'ing on dis forum, r128? Who cares if you live or die?

by Anonymousreply 129October 18, 2021 5:32 AM

I absolutely LOVE the Jamaican nurse from ABFAB

But she didn’t write make characters and expect that everyone would applaud her for it

That’s for white straight cunts and mentally ill girls who get their hair cut short and call themselves “faggots”

by Anonymousreply 130October 18, 2021 5:37 AM

One of the best female protagonists written by a man was Peter Hoeg's Smilla Jaspersen in Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow.

by Anonymousreply 131October 18, 2021 5:38 AM

[quote]Non fiction suggestions please.

I got this recommendation here on an earlier book thread, "Young and Damned and Fair: The Life of Catherine Howard, Fifth Wife of King Henry VIII" by Gareth Russell ,a brilliant biography of the frequently misunderstood life of Catherine Howard. It is sumptuously written, and is so well-researched you go down tons of fascinating rabbit holes of the Tudor era. The writing is so engaging it is a treat. I'm about to finish it and I'm sad already.

Although harrowing and depressing, I also loved "Killers of the Flower Moon" by David Grann about the Osage Indian murders of the 1920s. It reads like pure fiction.

by Anonymousreply 132October 18, 2021 7:25 AM

Another nonfiction suggestion: [italic]Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places[/italic] by Colin Dickey. Highly recommended, even if you are turned off by "paranormal stuff"; it's more about being haunted by the past.

by Anonymousreply 133October 18, 2021 8:10 AM

When I read She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb, I was shocked he was a male writer because the female protagonist was so realistic. I also thought Matt Haig did a good job in The Midnight Library.

by Anonymousreply 134October 18, 2021 11:52 AM

Any idea that men can't write women properly is easily disproved:

Thackeray - Becky Sharp

Flaubert - Madame Bovary

Tolstoy - Anna Karenina

Henry James - Isabel Archer

Hardy - Tess Durbeyfield

Forster - Margaret Schlegel

James Joyce - Molly Bloom

by Anonymousreply 135October 18, 2021 3:20 PM

R128, who cares about you?

by Anonymousreply 136October 18, 2021 3:23 PM

r136 = Oscar Wilde

by Anonymousreply 137October 18, 2021 3:31 PM

I’m curious: how many of those insisting certain male writers can create genuine female characters, how many of you are women?

As a gay man, the only female writer I can think of who came close to capturing a genuine gay male character was Mary Renault. Otherwise, like the poster above, if I see a “gay” novel written by a woman (or appears to be, when the name is abbreviated or obviously made up), I avoid it; been burned too many times.

by Anonymousreply 138October 18, 2021 4:30 PM

R126, was that a random selection, or are you reading the Rougon-Macquart series through?

by Anonymousreply 139October 18, 2021 4:32 PM

R138 Mary Renault could write gay male characters excellently because she was a sensible lesbian nurse, not some socially unskilled, fat, unfuckable straight woman or a deranged, socially unskilled, fat, and unfuckable FTM tranny.

by Anonymousreply 140October 18, 2021 5:32 PM

Enjoying Kazuo Ishiguro's latest KLARA AND THE SUN. No spoilers please if you've read it but what a ride!

by Anonymousreply 141October 19, 2021 12:32 PM

R18 Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach is juvenile and disgusting and painfully funny.

by Anonymousreply 142October 19, 2021 12:41 PM

R85 Thank you for this. My vision is going also.

by Anonymousreply 143October 19, 2021 12:55 PM

R141, isn't it good? I loved it. His Never Let Me Go is one of my favorite novels, love his writing.

by Anonymousreply 144October 19, 2021 1:09 PM

I liked her "Spook" R142!

by Anonymousreply 145October 19, 2021 1:14 PM

The new Tracey Thorn memoir, which is actually a memoir/bio of her friend.

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by Anonymousreply 146October 19, 2021 1:18 PM

Some books on Chinese archaeology.

by Anonymousreply 147October 19, 2021 2:54 PM

R146- Tracey Thorn has a face only a mother could love… on payday.

by Anonymousreply 148October 20, 2021 12:59 AM

R148 Tracey Thorn is a brilliant singer and songwriter, you sad cunt

by Anonymousreply 149October 20, 2021 1:06 AM

If anyone here is a fan of gothic-style (paranormal) mystery, I'm going to suggest [italic]A Shadow on the Lens[/italic] by Sam Hurcom. I'm reading the sequel now, but probably better one go in order. It's set in 1905 Wales.

by Anonymousreply 150October 20, 2021 1:22 AM

Malibu Rising. I recommend reading the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones & the Six before as the author has recurring characters. Hopefully Witherspoon won't wreck DJ&T6 on screen but I doubt it.

by Anonymousreply 151October 20, 2021 1:04 PM

Tracey Thorn is lovely. She did have some awkward moments in some photos from younger days but so do we all.

by Anonymousreply 152October 20, 2021 1:21 PM

120 Days of Sodam

by Anonymousreply 153October 21, 2021 3:29 AM

[quote] Sodam

Oh Heavenly Fucking Dear

by Anonymousreply 154October 21, 2021 3:31 AM

Let’s show Tracy some love

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by Anonymousreply 155October 21, 2021 1:10 PM

^ TracEy

by Anonymousreply 156October 21, 2021 1:12 PM

Malibu Rising was terribly written and a ton of the second half of the book made zero sense. It never evoked the 1980s in a believable, organic way.

It’s strictly frau-ish book club bullshit.

by Anonymousreply 157October 21, 2021 1:43 PM

Who else has been reading Franzen's "Crossroads" this month? I'm admittedly a Franzen fanboy (Franzboy?) but he's really at the top of his game here. I still have about 200 pages left so I don't want to say too much right now, but once I finish I might start a Crossroads thread with spoilers.

It's the kind of book where, I find, one really develops opinions about the characters in the way you would about real people in your life. Not many current authors can pull that off.

by Anonymousreply 158October 23, 2021 2:37 PM

I’ve just starting reading the second volume of Sedaris’ diaries and it’s delicious! I’m so torn between wanting to rush through it or slowly read and savoring it.

by Anonymousreply 159October 23, 2021 3:23 PM

Very eager to hear your thoughts on Franzen's latest (but without too much spoiler content), r158, as I'm eager to buy it but have heard some negative reviews. I'd like some encouragement. I loved Doerr's Cloud Cuckoo Land, hated Towles' The Lincoln Highway, and need a new book.

by Anonymousreply 160October 23, 2021 4:17 PM

Right now I'm reading "The History of the Computer : A techincal and business history"By Stephen J. Marshall. It's a fascinating romp through mankinds brushes with computers from the mechanical right up through the 20th century, then relay based computers like those of Konrad Zuse, and finally into the electronic age first with vacuum tubes and finally the ubiquitous transistor and silicon chips.

by Anonymousreply 161October 23, 2021 4:27 PM

Read The Great Believers, a recommendation from a previous DL book thread. A tad annoying initially, but the characters grew on me and the ending was very affecting. I really felt the loss of the characters.

by Anonymousreply 162October 25, 2021 11:49 PM

Piranesi was hauntingly beautiful and I didn’t know where exactly it was heading. It has a bit of an ethereal quality that Life of Pi has too.

by Anonymousreply 163October 25, 2021 11:58 PM

Thanks for the late coming and scant non-fiction recommends, as obscure as they are.

This should just be the Great Fiction Reads thread.


by Anonymousreply 164October 26, 2021 3:30 AM

R164 BookTube each year holds NonFiction November and most people are already flooding their YouTube pages with recommendations to read, so you can get plenty of ideas and recommendations there now and going forward the next few weeks. Some nonfiction I’ve read this last year and enjoyed are Hidden Valley Road, which if you enjoyed The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, it is in a very similar vein, Fish Do Not Exist, about one of the foremost taxonomist of fish who had some pretty dark ideas, a history of the Barbizon Hotel, Last Call about a serial killer of gay and closeted men in NYC in the 1990s, and recent biographies on Sylvia Plath, Susan Sontag, Helen Frankethaler and Louise Fitzhugh all amazing woman who hit hard in the last midcentury and transformed their fields, but it came a great personal cost. And humor wise I’m busting a gut reading the next installment of David Sedaris diaries.

by Anonymousreply 165October 26, 2021 4:37 AM

I have posted above, R164, that I read a lot of nonfiction, but few mainstream novels. Sorry if what I've written was too "obscure" for you.

Some less-obscure suggestions: not a fan of Bill Bryson generally, but loved his [italic]At Home[/italic]; Mark Kurlansky does books focusing on history through a single-focus theme like Cod, Salt, etc. I found his [italic]Paper[/italic] okay, but would recommend [italic]Ready for a Brand New Beat, the story of the rise and fall of Motown Records[/italic]. For a gay memoir, consider [italic] Like Crazy: Life with My Mother and Her Invisible Friends[/italic] by Dan Mathews.

Those were some off-the-top-of-my-head that I don't believe I've mentioned here before.

by Anonymousreply 166October 26, 2021 12:23 PM

R164 It's hard to suggest non-fiction books because the range of topics is so vast; what's of interest to me is probably not of interest to you. For example, I've been on a French Revolution reading binge of late. Of those, I'd recommend the Robespierre biography "Fatal Purity" by Ruth Scurr.

I'll second the recommendations for "Hidden Vally Road," probably the best non-fiction title I've read this year. If the Irish Troubles interest you at all, "Say Nothing" is still the best non-fiction book I've read in probably the last five years.

If you enjoy nature writing and/or exotic travelogues, check out "A Most Remarkable Creature" by Jonathan Meiburg; it starts out as a study of a unique bird species but becomes a globe-and-millennia-hopping overview of evolution and geology.

by Anonymousreply 167October 26, 2021 12:49 PM

I got "Not All Diamonds and Rosé: The Inside Story of the Real Housewives", off of the free site mentioned above. It's surprisingly good (for a ho-wife book).

by Anonymousreply 168October 26, 2021 2:35 PM

Another recommendation for Hidden Valley Rd - interesting storytelling and educational.

by Anonymousreply 169October 26, 2021 3:19 PM

Thank you.

by Anonymousreply 170October 26, 2021 3:21 PM

R162, I had similar feelings about The Great Believers. I ended up being roped in by the end on the strength of the characterizations (particularly Yale) but I had some issues. The gay sex scenes were not at all believable. Makkai should have had gay male readers giving that a once-over.

It was similar to how I felt about the (consensual) gay sex scenes in Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life. These were people who had never been fucked up the ass and you could tell.

by Anonymousreply 171October 26, 2021 3:31 PM

R171 Straight women and FTMs, who refer to themselves as “fags”, do not write credible gay male characters. I don’t waste my time on authors who have no idea what they’re taking about.

by Anonymousreply 172October 26, 2021 3:39 PM
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