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Summer reading for 2022

Summer is not far away, and I'm curious what your summer reading plans include, so I'm starting a new thread.

I want to read Jesmyn Ward's "Salvage the Bones" and "Sing, Unburied, Sing," which I bought last fall but never got around to reading.

by Anonymousreply 248June 24, 2022 12:38 AM

For lighter reading I want to finally read "Mexican Gothic," which I bought over a year ago and STILL haven't cracked open!

by Anonymousreply 1April 15, 2022 5:38 PM

Jesmyn Ward is wonderful.

I'm about to start Grant Ginder's new novel, Let's Not Do That Again. He's gay, writes humorous fiction, and ain't bad to look at.

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by Anonymousreply 2April 15, 2022 7:02 PM

What a great last name for a gay writer!

by Anonymousreply 3April 15, 2022 7:03 PM

This weekend I'll start "Sea of Tranquility" by Emily St. John Mandel. I greatly enjoyed her last two novels.

by Anonymousreply 4April 15, 2022 7:06 PM

The Golden Bowl by Henry James

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

by Anonymousreply 5April 15, 2022 7:08 PM

I have a strange relationship with Salvage the bones,. i can't say i enjoyed the novel (in fact i'm not too fond of her style) but for some reason is a novel that stayed with me for a long time

by Anonymousreply 6April 15, 2022 7:19 PM

I'm sorry to say I was very disappointed in Mandel's SEA OF TRANQUILITY and I'm a huge fan of her work. I've read all her novels but feel in this one, she bit off more than she could chew. I'd say more but it's best going in knowing nothing. And I'd still recommend the book to her fans (not first time readers) because there's some great ideas and writing, of course.

by Anonymousreply 7April 15, 2022 7:57 PM

AT DANCETERIA is a fun summer read.

by Anonymousreply 8April 15, 2022 7:58 PM

DL's bookies might enjoy this NYT article about how Barnes and Noble has rehabilitated itself in recent years and is now generally seen by independent booksellers as an ally against Amazon and not an enemy.

I still prefer indie stores, but I do try to hit a B&N occasionally because I am glad they still exist.

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by Anonymousreply 9April 15, 2022 8:44 PM

I think l’ll be tackling lots of backlist titles, since I’ve been primarily reading new releases. I read everything through eBooks and the library and I’ve put off a couple titles that have cycled up that I’ll finally tackle including: The Secret History, Circe, Song of Achilles, The Dutch House, Hamnet and Shuggie Bain. I’ll also continue with the three reading goals I have each month that include a memoir, a novella and a work by an Irish author. I might tackle a Sally Rooney, which I’m dreading, but I want to see what’s the hypes all about. I really liked the limited series of Normal People, but mainly because of the phenomenal performances of the two leads. It would probably be a quicker read since I know the story, but maybe I should try one of the others? Anybody recommend or make and argument for one over the other two?

by Anonymousreply 10April 15, 2022 9:10 PM

Just finished Bath Haus—not a bad first effort, but it does feel like a first effort. A perfectly fine palate cleanser between more challenging books. It’ll be a decent beach read when it comes out in paperback or from the library. No need to buy it in hardcover.

by Anonymousreply 11April 15, 2022 10:42 PM

I'm going to read The Inn at the Edge of the World by Alice Thomas Ellis. They're making a movie with a starry cast and I want to get the story in my mind before I see the movie.

by Anonymousreply 12April 15, 2022 11:42 PM

[quote]Just finished Bath Haus—not a bad first effort, but it does feel like a first effort. A perfectly fine palate cleanser between more challenging books.

I enjoyed it until the end, which felt forced and artificial. But it's a fun premise: a guy hooks up at a bathhouse with a psychopath, and then has to fend him off in real life while keeping the hookup a secret from his partner.

by Anonymousreply 13April 16, 2022 12:45 AM

[quote] The Golden Bowl by Henry James

Good luck with that!

by Anonymousreply 14April 16, 2022 1:28 AM

R10, I loved many of those books but especially Song of Achilles - such a pleasurable, engrossing read.

[quote] I'm sorry to say I was very disappointed in Mandel's SEA OF TRANQUILITY and I'm a huge fan of her work.

Me too. It felt like an outline for a novel she didn’t bother fully writing. She needed a pushier editor to tell her to take another year and actually write the book.

by Anonymousreply 15April 16, 2022 1:33 AM

Well OP, your timing was perfect to align with this:

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by Anonymousreply 16April 16, 2022 4:24 AM

Re: The Golden Bowl

The third or fourth time that I went to pick up the book, instead of reading it I abandoned it, vowing that I wasn't going to continue with something that I had grown to truly dislike.

by Anonymousreply 17April 16, 2022 7:16 AM

I'm about 100 pages into Karen Joy Fowler's new fictional bio of the Booth family called simply BOOTH and really enjoying it. I bought it at our indie book store yesterday on a whim, based solely on the great cover blurbs and my fascination with and John Wilkes Booth, as well as Lincoln.

But I just read the NY Times review which was an out and out pan like I've never read in a NY Times review! Then I scanned a few other major reviews that were raves. I guess I'll just keep reading.

Sometimes I think the most informative book reviews I read are the reader reviews on Amazon.

by Anonymousreply 18April 17, 2022 9:19 PM

I'm starting John Connolly's The lovers. I really like that there are always gay characters (apart of Louis and Angel)

by Anonymousreply 19April 18, 2022 5:54 PM

My Policeman, soon to be a Harry Styles Emma Corrin movie

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by Anonymousreply 20April 26, 2022 2:20 AM

I HATED My Policeman!!!! Awful book.

by Anonymousreply 21April 26, 2022 2:21 AM

I'm about 100 pages into YOUNG MUNGO. Loving it even more than SHUGGIE BAIN.

by Anonymousreply 22April 26, 2022 2:22 AM

why did you hate it R21?

by Anonymousreply 23April 26, 2022 2:27 AM

Couldn't make it thru the first 100 pages of Shuggie Bain, after loving the excerpt that was in The New Yorker

by Anonymousreply 24April 26, 2022 2:28 AM

I found the writing amateurish and the plotting preposterous and contrived, r23.

by Anonymousreply 25April 26, 2022 2:31 AM

hmm, i was going off the glowing review in the NYT and a complimentary one from the Guardian

by Anonymousreply 26April 26, 2022 2:42 AM

I’m confused by responses for the new St. John Mandel, most have been scathing and saying it’s stillborn, others are giving it high praise, but seem like paid shills.

by Anonymousreply 27April 26, 2022 2:52 AM

ACK!

by Anonymousreply 28April 26, 2022 2:55 AM

I'm a huge fan of Mandel's, I've loved al of her books including those preceding Station 11, but found Sea of Tranquility very disappointing and wanting. It read like her heart wasn't really in it. Though there's some brilliant writing and set pieces, it feels very sketchy and uncommitted.

by Anonymousreply 29April 26, 2022 1:41 PM

I really liked "Sea of Tranquility" a lot although I would agree that it's not as strong as her previous two novels, which I think were both near-perfect. I've found her books generally are stronger in the realm of ideas, set pieces and world-building than they are in characterization, but in this one in particular the characters felt like props, or chess pawns. And I felt like she could have spent a little more time fleshing out certain aspects of the book -- her vision of the future, for instance, felt a little thin. I thought she could have had more fun with that.

All that said, it still contained a lot of beautiful writing and interesting ideas. You could certainly tell she wrote it in the early stages of the pandemic, and I liked how heartfelt she was in trying to work out on the page what an event like that means for humankind.

If you liked Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel, I'd strongly suggest you read the new one, even if it doesn't quite reach the same heights. In retrospect, the three books really comprise a trilogy of sorts.

by Anonymousreply 30April 26, 2022 3:42 PM

I'd definitely recommend SEa of Tranquility but NOT to anyone who hasn't read Mandel before. It's not representative of her great talent.

by Anonymousreply 31April 26, 2022 4:39 PM

I'm curious if any DLers are familiar with the British novelist Ronald Frame?

Years ago, I came across a novel of his I loved called SANDMOUTH PEOPLE, a multi-character story (with a gay element) of lives in a British resort town which, IIRC, all takes place in a single day. Anyway, I finally tracked down a couple of his other novels; he's hard to find in the US and I bought 2 used editions on Amazon: HAVISHAM, an imagining of the early life of Dicken's Mrs. Havisham and THE LANTERN BEARERS, in which a man who was once a young muse to a famous composer writes a biography/memoir of his life years after the composer dies.

Can't wait to start them!

by Anonymousreply 32April 30, 2022 3:25 AM

I just read THE ART THIEF, which has a fun concept and good characters,, but it reads like it was written by a teenager—lots of cheekbones caught by the light, and way, WAY too many paeans to “possibility.”

by Anonymousreply 33May 1, 2022 6:09 PM

I'm reading Tomasz Jedrowski's Swimming in the dark.

The sweetness of water will be released here next month, i'm thinking of reading it and The Prophets to see if the comparisions were accurate

by Anonymousreply 34May 1, 2022 6:17 PM

also read "Swimming in the Dark" and liked it very much

by Anonymousreply 35May 1, 2022 7:08 PM

I just started reading Nightmare Alley today

by Anonymousreply 36May 1, 2022 7:09 PM

I’m curious about DANCETERIA, which is recommended above and frequently in previous book threads. I read a couple of the stories this weekend and thus far am not getting the greatness. I’m the right demographic, being gay and having been in my twenties for most of the eighties, but the stories seem empty and linguistically flat. Is it just me?

by Anonymousreply 37May 1, 2022 8:36 PM

They seem Didionesque to me--which sometimes I enjoy, sometimes not.

by Anonymousreply 38May 1, 2022 10:04 PM

I, too, loved "Swimming in the Dark" -- such beautiful, powerful, evocative writing.

by Anonymousreply 39May 2, 2022 11:37 AM

Thanks, R2. I'll check Grant Ginder out.

Every summer I like to read a classic tome. This summer it will be "Kristin Lavransdatter" by Sigrid Undset who won the 1928 Nobel Prize in literature for the trilogy. It's set in 14th century Norway, and it is supposedly very accurate its its portrayal of medieval life.

I'm completing Michael Nava's novels right now.

Also on the list: Daniel Kehlmann's "Measuring The World."

by Anonymousreply 40May 2, 2022 12:07 PM

Didn’t love the new Jennifer Egan book. It starts out strong but isn’t as good as visit from the Goon Squad.

Sad to hear about the Mandel book. I will still read but that’s too bad.

Liking the new Sigrid Nunez book even though it’s very dark.

Made it thru 200 pages of BOOTH and gave up. I think if you’re interested in the subject matter it would be fantastic, I ultimately just didn’t give a shit about his family.

Going to start Helter Skelter based on another thread here.

by Anonymousreply 41May 2, 2022 12:26 PM

I enjoyed BOOTH very much but I've always been fascinated by the family as well as Abe Lincoln 's more private life. I wasn't disappointed but it is a long slow read.

by Anonymousreply 42May 2, 2022 1:26 PM

Just finished YOUNG MUNGO. Brutal (even more than SHUGGIE BAIN) but still well worth it. Gorgeous writing. I can't wait for Douglas Stuart to apply his talents to a different mise en scene.

by Anonymousreply 43May 2, 2022 1:28 PM

Has anyone actually read, "The Prophets" mentioned above, and if so comments?

by Anonymousreply 44May 2, 2022 1:52 PM

R37, did you stick around for the fourth story in DANCETERIA (“The Boy Who Lived Next to the BoY Next Door”)? It’s really the best and worth getting through the others—which I actually did enjoy. I love how the author presents LIZA.

I think the spare way he treats the celebrities/historical figures counters expectations of a more bold treatment. Which, perhaps, led to the flatness you described.

by Anonymousreply 45May 2, 2022 2:06 PM

[QUOTE] Didn’t love the new Jennifer Egan book. It starts out strong but isn’t as good as visit from the Goon Squad.

I’m glad it’s not just me. I loved Goon Squad and re-read it before I started The Candy House. I’m really glad I did because the latter novel lifts out some truly ancillary characters from the former that I would have forgotten entirely had not re-read Goon.

The writing is good in The Candy House but the magic of that first book is missing somehow. I have a little over a hundred pages left so I’ll see if my opinion changes at all.

by Anonymousreply 46May 2, 2022 8:19 PM

In Candy House, she does weird formatting for some of the later chapters and makes one of the characters an undercover international spy with a very long chapter in the strange formatting. I had to skip ahead at a certain point because it was annoying me so much.

by Anonymousreply 47May 2, 2022 8:22 PM

R48 In Goon Squad, Jennifer did a chapter in Power Point. For Candy House she does a chapter in Twitter posts. That chapter predates Candy House and was actually released as a Short Story through the New Yorker magazine’s Twitter account back in 2012, but of course it is the continuation of Lulu’s story. I thought it was was one of the most hilarious of all the chapters, only to later be shattered by what it revealed about what happened to her further along in the novel. I thought the novels were brilliant and see it as just one big work with two volumes. It would be interesting if the Pulitzer felt the same way and awarded it so.

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by Anonymousreply 48May 3, 2022 5:04 AM

The Prophets is amazing. but i found it a slow read because i could feel the ending coming thru out. (and still was stunned at the end)

by Anonymousreply 49May 3, 2022 1:10 PM

Oh thank you R48 - maybe I'll go back and read that part again.

by Anonymousreply 50May 3, 2022 1:12 PM

Just curious - have any of you NOT read the Tolkien Hobbit/LOTR books? It seems like everyone did as a teenager, but I wondered if any of you avoided them and why.

by Anonymousreply 51May 4, 2022 11:05 PM

I did end up really enjoying the (second to last) story in The Candy House that was composed entirely of emails. Halfway through, I realized that “Alex” was the same Ale who was Sasha’s date (in her apartment with the bathtub who she stole from) in the first story of Goon Squad.

by Anonymousreply 52May 4, 2022 11:44 PM

Henry Miller - Time of The Assassins So far, I'm enjoying it. His prose feels fluid but organized. I have never read anything of him before.

Paulo Coelho - Manuscript Found in Accra Think of Khalil Gibran. It's good for the people who enjoy this kind of book.

Mia Couto - Fio das Missangas Short story collection. Is any of you familiar with Mia Couto? He's from Moçambique, writes incredible short stories. I've read some his other collections of short stories before and they are all amazing.

by Anonymousreply 53May 5, 2022 12:36 AM

Has anyone heard of this book or author that was released yesterday? I think it’s YA, a BookToker was raving about it. It’s Gay teens, NYC 1990s, AIDS. Sounds like the anti Heartstoppers.

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by Anonymousreply 54May 5, 2022 1:15 AM

A favorite. Recommended highly for eloquent ladies.

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by Anonymousreply 55May 5, 2022 1:30 AM

After all these years I'm finally reading THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND KLAY.

Only about 50 pages in but what an incredible read!

by Anonymousreply 56May 7, 2022 2:21 AM

I'm taking a road trip vacation in a few weeks, visiting Civil War sites in Mississippi and Tennessee, and am taking David W. Blight's biography of Frederick Douglass with me.

Have pre-ordered The Italian Invert: A Gay Man's Intimate Confessions to Emile Zola, the focus of another thread here, really looking forward to it.

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by Anonymousreply 57May 7, 2022 2:37 AM

Kavalier & Klay is truly special.

R40 I LOVED Kristin Lavransdatter. Don't let the first few pages deter you, stick with it! I wish I could read that book for the first time again.

Currently reading Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner. Beautiful prose.

by Anonymousreply 58May 7, 2022 3:37 AM

I’m reading the Song of Achilles and it’s coming off as bad YA romance, and I’m someone who holds YA in high regard.

by Anonymousreply 59May 7, 2022 3:48 AM

I’m finally reading Ship Of Fools, and We Wish To Inform You That Tommorrow We Will Be Killed With OurFamilies. I can’t wait to get to some mindless summer mysteries….

by Anonymousreply 60May 7, 2022 4:40 AM

R60 The Antelope’s Strategy is a good follow up to “Tomorrow” when your ready to read more.

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by Anonymousreply 61May 7, 2022 5:05 AM

I loved Ship of Fools when I read it in high school and have always meant to reread it. The 1960s film really looks like it's set in the 1960s and not the late 1930s.

by Anonymousreply 62May 7, 2022 2:01 PM

This thread in northern hemisphere centric.

by Anonymousreply 63May 7, 2022 3:21 PM

Feel free to add recommendations from other hemispheres, r63. Or are you just here to bitch?

by Anonymousreply 64May 9, 2022 2:53 PM

Have never read Kavalier and Clay. Maybe I'll give it a try.

by Anonymousreply 65May 9, 2022 3:45 PM

I will be reading the new Andrew Holleran, "Kingdom of Sand," John Connolly's "The Furies," Ann Cleeve's new Vera novel, "The Rising Tide," F. Scott Fitzgerald's "This Side of Paradise," Sarah Hall's "Burntcoat," Mark Doty's "What Is the Grass," Joy WIlliams's "The Quick & the Dead," and Yoko Ogawa's "The Memory Police."

Given comments above I may also go for "Swimming in the Dark," "Danceteria," and "Young Mungo."

R5 "The Golden Bowl" is a grand novel, so persevere. James is an acquired taste, and he bores the bejesus out of many readers.

Happy reading, bitches.

by Anonymousreply 66May 9, 2022 4:15 PM

R66 How can someone not love a novel with a character named Fanny Assingham?

by Anonymousreply 67May 9, 2022 4:18 PM

R67 You are so right. I've always felt that HJ was perpetrating a sly joke on his readers or that he was so naive that the name didn't register as vulgar.

by Anonymousreply 68May 9, 2022 6:14 PM

thanks r66 i'm now first in line to read the Furies when my local library get it!

by Anonymousreply 69May 10, 2022 1:32 AM

Has anyone read FEBRUARY HOUSE? Nonfiction about a house rented in 1940s Brooklyn by quite a crowd—McCullers, Auden, Britten, and Gypsy Rose Lee, among others. It’s a lot of fun.

by Anonymousreply 70May 17, 2022 12:13 PM

Yes! I loved FEBRUARY HOUSE by Sherrill Tippins, the wonderful story of the fabled boarding house in Brooklyn Heights that housed those young celebs for a couple of years pre-WWII, before they became very famous. Carson McCullers, escaping from a bad marriage, WH Auden and Benjamin Britten who were there to avoid the draft, Auden with his young American lover and Britten with his lover British opera singer Peter Pears. Also, Paul and Jane Bowles and set designer Oliver Smith. They were all brought together by George Davis a flamboyant literary editor who had just been fired from his long-time job at Harper's Bazaar. Though gay, he later married Lotte Lenya.

Most of them weren't making much money then and were supported by Gypsy Rose Lee, who camped out there in exchange for help in writing her first book, The G-String Murders. There was a also a sweet little musical done at the Public Theatre based on the book about 10 years ago. It could make a great mini-series (that is, if anyone under 60 knew who any of those people were).

by Anonymousreply 71May 17, 2022 2:02 PM

Does Auden’s wife Erika Mann show up in the book at some point?

by Anonymousreply 72May 17, 2022 2:30 PM

Yes, Erika Mann does live at February House for awhile. She was Thomas Mann's daughter and a lesbian. I can't remember why she married Auden though I guess it was for American citizenship or political reasons?

They named the residence February House because several of the original lodgers were born in that month.

by Anonymousreply 73May 17, 2022 4:05 PM

Right now I'm reading The Storm is Upon Us, which is about Qanon. Only about 40 pages in but it's good so far

by Anonymousreply 74May 17, 2022 6:40 PM

I can see the appeal a television miniseries based on "February House" would have for the millions and millions of Erika Mann fans.

by Anonymousreply 75May 17, 2022 6:42 PM

R75, I hear Kristin Davis is in talks to play her.

by Anonymousreply 76May 17, 2022 6:49 PM

I recently was given15+ John Grisham books. I'm curious to find out if I like his writing. FWIW, I have a legal background. I'd be interested to know what others here think of him. I have no plans to get involved with any particular author other than Grisham. If I can't get into his writing I'll be looking to continue passing those books on to someone that might enjoy them.

by Anonymousreply 77May 17, 2022 6:53 PM

Reading Sea of Tranquility now. It started out okay but is getting kind of nuts.

by Anonymousreply 78May 17, 2022 6:54 PM

The Golden State by Lydia Kriesling is fucking AWFUL. Do not buy it - do not read it.

by Anonymousreply 79May 17, 2022 7:01 PM

[quote] Yes, Erika Mann does live at February House for awhile. She was Thomas Mann's daughter and a lesbian. I can't remember why she married Auden though I guess it was for American citizenship or political reasons?

"This was a marriage of convenience; by marrying Auden, Mann intended to obtain British citizenship to escape persecution in Nazi Germany.

Their marriage was mediated by Christopher Isherwood, who was a friend of Erika’s brother Klaus. Erika had initially suggested she should marry Isherwood, but he felt unable to go through with the marriage and asked his friend Auden to do so instead. Auden quickly accepted. Despite the fact that they hardly knew each other at the time of the wedding, Auden and Mann developed a friendship, and Auden dedicated his 1936 collection of poems Look, Stranger! to her.

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by Anonymousreply 80May 17, 2022 8:23 PM

Reading Douglas Stuart's Young Mungo and can barely put it down, despite its grimness (with faint glimmers of hope). See also: Stuart's Shuggie Bain. I've nothing against writers who largely plow the same field again and again (Austen, Updike, Anne Tyler, etc.), but I'm wondering if Stuart can (or will) write about anything other than alcoholic mothers, domestic violence, grinding poverty and what he calls "the gentle sons of Glasgow" and the older men who take advantage of them. Not complaining, just wondering.

by Anonymousreply 81May 17, 2022 9:00 PM

I agree with everything you say, r81. And still looking hopefully forward to Stuart's next book.

by Anonymousreply 82May 18, 2022 2:01 PM

R77 I remember loving The Pelican Brief and A Time to Kill, and really loving The Firm. If any of those three are part of your stack I'd read them. For whatever reason I stopped reading his new stuff around 20 years ago.

by Anonymousreply 83May 18, 2022 7:12 PM

The Client is great.

by Anonymousreply 84May 18, 2022 7:28 PM

Thanks, I have all of those books. Look like it's going to be a Grisham summer!

by Anonymousreply 85May 18, 2022 11:10 PM

I put this on hold at the library based on the premise alone, but this review makes me even more excited to dive in as a bit more upscale than usual beach read with some literary value. And say what you will about him as an author, he’s an excellent storyteller.

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by Anonymousreply 86May 19, 2022 5:04 AM

The Traitor King, Andrew Lownie (DL gets a mention!)

Written in Blood, Diane Fanning (from The Staircase thread)

Also on a John Grisham trek. Read The Partner and The Guardians, both entertaining summer read a few words, check out the action on the beach/park, read a few more words reads.

Killing Commendatore, Murakami Haruki. Excellent translator/translation. Very readable.

by Anonymousreply 87May 19, 2022 5:24 AM

I'm listening to Molly Keane's [italic]Good Behaviour[/italic] where the narrator is prefectly capturing the contrast between the posh Anglo and 'common' Irish characters!

by Anonymousreply 88May 19, 2022 9:33 PM

I'm re-re-re-reading The Winds of War and War & Remembrance. I think someone here was typing about W&R, and I put them on hold at the library. And up they popped. I'm about 100 pages into TWOW. Briny has just left Poland and is in Berlin with Pug and Rhoda. Natalie wisely chose to go back to the USA via Stockholm.

I can't believe they cast Jan Michael Vincent as Briny. Ali McGraw as Natalie didn't bother me, but JMV? No, just no. My mental picture goes in and out between Hart Bochner and Nick Gehlfuss (red haired Dr. Will Halsted on Chicago Med).

by Anonymousreply 89May 19, 2022 9:44 PM

I love GOOD BEHAVIOUR! That's a novel that every Datalounger should know.

by Anonymousreply 90May 19, 2022 10:42 PM

i' reading Marshall Karp's series of Lomax and Biggs. 2 LAPD cops. great reds, and often gay characters appear. THE RABBIT FACTORY is the first in the series.

by Anonymousreply 91May 22, 2022 6:50 PM

EDIT ^ i'm great reads^

fat fingers! bad typing skills

by Anonymousreply 92May 22, 2022 6:52 PM

Just finished The Man Who Invented Motion Pictures, a historical true crime book about the man who created the first short film and then disappeared on a train between Dijon and Paris leaving the horrible and nasty Thomas Edison the opportunity to swoop in an claim credit. Quite good, very detailed and well researched, but reads like a novel.

by Anonymousreply 93May 22, 2022 7:01 PM

[QUOTE] Given comments above I may also go for "Swimming in the Dark," "Danceteria," and "Young Mungo."

“Young Mungo” is a great novel, but quite depressing. I’m also curious (as others were up-thread) what else this writer has in his bag of tricks.

There’s a sequel to “Danceteria” out called “Better Davis.” Some like it better.

by Anonymousreply 94May 22, 2022 7:50 PM

I’m listening to the Molly Shannon’s memoir, Hello Molly, and it’s hilarious, mainly because of her exuberance in reading, I don’t know if it works as well directly off the page. There’s also the darkness of the accident that killed her mother, sister and cousin when she was four. Then there’s her father coming out as Gay at the end of her life.

by Anonymousreply 95May 22, 2022 7:56 PM

I read My Policeman, which is supposedly inspired by E.M. Forster, but beyond the triad of a married policeman, his wife and an cultured older gay male lover I didn’t see anything that really had a connection to Forster’s life. Also, from what I know about the three of them in real life is that they had a very good, successful relationship, but the novel is tragic, which of course is period appropriate, but I was hoping this was going to be a hopeful novel. I like how it captured the period, but ultimately I was very frustrated by it and I’m quite surprised that they are making a movie about it. There’s just not not much there overall worth putting up on the screen, I’m guessing they are going to add a lot in adapting it for the screen. Did anyone else read it?

by Anonymousreply 96May 24, 2022 9:16 AM

I really disliked The Policeman. The film was made quite awhile ago (maybe even pre-Covid?) so I wonder if they can't find a distributor.

by Anonymousreply 97May 24, 2022 1:16 PM

Just finished My Policeman, interesting, but not profound and like R96 says, not the Forster/Buckingham triad.

Really wish someone like Merchant/Ivory had told that story or someone would write the historical novel, (looking at you Colm Toibin, who did Henry James and Thomas Mann so well)

by Anonymousreply 98May 25, 2022 1:57 AM

R98 Yes, since My Policeman was so tangential there’s definitely room for a more truly biographical and happy ending novelistic study of Forster later life and of course Toibin is the perfect person to interpret it.

by Anonymousreply 99May 25, 2022 2:06 AM

If you're into legal writing, you'll prefer Scott Turow.

by Anonymousreply 100May 25, 2022 2:13 AM

Summer reading? What is this, eight grade language arts?

by Anonymousreply 101May 25, 2022 2:16 AM

A number of Gay options here. I’m most interested in Ryan O’Connell’s book.

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by Anonymousreply 102May 25, 2022 7:59 AM

I don't know what my problem is, but everything on that list sounded cringingly awful.

by Anonymousreply 103May 25, 2022 11:49 AM

I just finished William Lindsay Gresham's Nightmare Alley and started DuBose Heyward's Porgy.

by Anonymousreply 104May 25, 2022 11:51 AM

Tom Perotta's sequel to Election, Tracy Flick Can't Win sounds like a fun beach read, r103.

by Anonymousreply 105May 25, 2022 1:02 PM

R104, how was Nightmare Alley?

by Anonymousreply 106May 25, 2022 3:09 PM

R103 The good news is there are hundreds of years of and hundreds of thousands of backlist books that you haven’t read yet that will carry you through current publishing trends until something new comes along that you’re interested in reading again. You’ll be fine.

by Anonymousreply 107May 25, 2022 4:34 PM

R105 This does not bode well for the book, and coming from someone who usually likes his writing.

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by Anonymousreply 108May 25, 2022 4:37 PM

The title is a little too on the nose.

by Anonymousreply 109May 25, 2022 4:45 PM

Has Reese Witherspoon selected the book for her book club?

by Anonymousreply 110May 25, 2022 10:01 PM

I finished [italic]Good Behaviour[/Italic] yesterday. Dataloungers are definitely its target audience! Poor Aroon pining away for her lover like that.

by Anonymousreply 111May 26, 2022 7:35 PM

More summer reading recommendations.

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by Anonymousreply 112May 26, 2022 10:00 PM

I was having a conversation with a straight guy who, finding out I was a reader, wanted a recommendation for a book. I quickly gathered that it had to be an Important book, a need I’ve seen before among straight guys who aren’t natural readers. But I don’t much read those—any recommendations? All I know is that he is straight, white, and retired (early I sensed) from some kind of financial services career.

by Anonymousreply 113May 27, 2022 12:23 PM

Try "Nothing to Envy" by Barbara Demick, stories from escaped North Koreans; it reads like gripping fiction.

by Anonymousreply 114May 27, 2022 12:50 PM

[quote]any recommendations?

"Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets" by Nobel-laureate Svetlana Alexievich, an oral history of the last days of the Soviet Union.

Fascinating, enlightening, sad, beautiful, horrific, and—as you requested—Important.

by Anonymousreply 115May 27, 2022 1:12 PM

I just read the first part (the 1893 section) of Hanya Yanagihara’s TO PARADISE which seems to be a gay take on Henry James’s WASHINGTON SQUARE. Pretty compelling to the point where I couldn’t stop reading to find out what was going to happen. I kept picturing David Bingham as a Catherine Sloper type but I don’t think he’s plain like she is.

Interested to see how the rest of the book plays out.

by Anonymousreply 116May 27, 2022 2:08 PM

I loved NOTHING TO ENVY, r114, but didn’t care much for her book after that, about the Tibetans.

by Anonymousreply 117May 27, 2022 3:27 PM

I read Ryan O'Connell's first book (a biography) and it opens a story about how he called his mother into the bathroom for help after he'd taken a shit (I think he was in his 20s at the time) and because it was too big to flush - she took a knife and cut the poop in half so it would flush down the toilet. I found that so revolting - I think it was supposed to be funny - that it's the first thing I think of when I see his name. His entire instagram is photos of him in his underwear - again - tainted by the imagery of his mother cutting up his poop to flush when he was an adult.

Reading "School Days" now by Jonathan Galassi and really enjoying it. About a fancy boys' private school where abuse occurred - jumps between present day and the 1960s. Writing is really strong.

by Anonymousreply 118May 27, 2022 3:50 PM

I'm not interested in the Tibetan book either, r117.

by Anonymousreply 119May 27, 2022 6:42 PM

I couldn't make it past 24 pgs of Anderson Cooper's Vanderbilt so I returned it and got Sandra Bernhard's Confessions of a Pretty Lady. I liked Hello Molly but found it more sad than funny. But Ms Shannon is admirable for her steadfast determination to make it in show biz

by Anonymousreply 120May 27, 2022 7:20 PM

R113 I would say Empire of Pain, which was just about on every top ten list last year and won numerous accolades. Also an earlier book by the same author, Say Nothing, about the Troubles in Ireland.

by Anonymousreply 121May 27, 2022 8:27 PM

Seconding "Say Nothing." Brilliant and gripping.

by Anonymousreply 122May 27, 2022 10:33 PM

Empire of Pain is the same author as Say Nothing? I’m on it.

by Anonymousreply 123May 27, 2022 10:37 PM

So after reading Kavalier & Clay and loving it so much I decided to read Chabon's Telegraph Avenue. It's proving a bit challenging to get into though his prose always has its rewards. But should I have read The Yiddish Policemen's Union first?

by Anonymousreply 124May 28, 2022 12:36 PM

Interesting, r40. That’s a solid recommendation.

by Anonymousreply 125May 28, 2022 12:44 PM

R124, I recommend his Wonder Boys.

by Anonymousreply 126May 28, 2022 12:56 PM

I think Chabon might have peaked with "Kavalier and Clay." Which I loved. But I could never finish "Yiddish Policeman's Union," and I thought "Telegraph Avenue" seemed like a lot of half-formed ideas that never quite gelled. I haven't picked up anything he's written since.

by Anonymousreply 127May 28, 2022 6:37 PM

I've been reading "Koko" by Peter Straub which is a suspense/horror novel about Vietnam vets that came out in 1988. Straub was sort of a less prolific Stephen King, and it has a similar feel to earlier King, though Straub's prose is blessedly a little more subtle.

It's a long, strange book. There's a psychotic gay killer (or maybe not the killer? Not yet clear) which is very late '80s, although it's not entirely demeaning in its depiction of homosexuals. Overall it's more interesting as a cultural relic than as fiction, but that's not necessarily a criticism.

by Anonymousreply 128May 28, 2022 6:49 PM

Currently reading "The Sea" by John Banville, and while the language is pretty, I'm finding the book to be an exercise in self-indulgent twaddle.

by Anonymousreply 129May 30, 2022 3:07 PM

I'm reading "Burn Boston Burn: the Largest Arson Case in the History of the Country"

Given what the book says, I'm kind of surprised this isn't a continual problem in every city

by Anonymousreply 130May 30, 2022 3:21 PM

[quote] Currently reading "The Sea" by John Banville, and while the language is pretty, I'm finding the book to be an exercise in self-indulgent twaddle.

As they say in the UK, the Booker Prize usually goes to the right authors but for their wrong novels.

Banville can be very good (though he overwrites), but "The Sea" is not one of my favorites. I much prefer "The Unotuchable" and "The Book of Evidence."

by Anonymousreply 131May 30, 2022 3:26 PM

[quote]So after reading Kavalier & Clay and loving it so much I decided to read Chabon's Telegraph Avenue. It's proving a bit challenging to get into though his prose always has its rewards. But should I have read The Yiddish Policemen's Union first?

I liked all of his books through Kavalier & Clay, but The Yiddish Policemen's Union—oy, that is one book I could not get into. Holocaust survivors then taking on Alaska as their new Israel? No. Just no.

I did like Telegraph Avenue, though.

by Anonymousreply 132May 30, 2022 3:51 PM

Sideways inspired by this thread, I’m reading Patrick Radden Keefe’s THE SNAKEHEAD.

by Anonymousreply 133May 30, 2022 4:39 PM

R66, I really liked the Mark Doty book. Reading it made me realize that I owned the worst edition of Leaves of Grass. In a later edition, Whitman removed many of the more homoerotic lines.

by Anonymousreply 134May 30, 2022 5:01 PM

More possibilities. There seems to be a strung of young gay men in NYC as AIDS blows up novels coming out. Here the one is My Government Means to Kill Me.

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by Anonymousreply 135May 30, 2022 6:06 PM

[QUOTE] There seems to be a string of young gay men in NYC as AIDS blows up novels coming out.

Could you name some of them? Or anything from the past couple of years. Novels or collections?

by Anonymousreply 136May 30, 2022 6:41 PM

R136 Well there’s the one mentioned in the article, I think earlier in this thread or the last was When You Call My Name by Tucker. I feel there was another that I saw, but didn’t pay heed to. I know the new Andrew Holleran is set in Florida and an older man dealing with the fallout from AIDS, but he might be reflecting back on a more youthful time. I just listened to a long review of a new collection of Thom Gunn’s letters which focused much on AIDS. AIDS seems to be having a resurgence in literature. There’s was also the memoir All the Young Men about the woman in Arkansas who cared for young men dying of AIDS and rejected by their families that came out in 2020.

by Anonymousreply 137May 30, 2022 8:04 PM

SciFi/Fantasy Summer Reading Possibilities

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by Anonymousreply 138May 30, 2022 8:23 PM

[QUOTE] AIDS seems to be having a resurgence in literature.

Also: “Christodora” by Tim Murphy, “The Great Believers” by Rebecca Makkai, “At Danceteria” and “Better Davis” by Philip Dean Walker.

by Anonymousreply 139May 30, 2022 8:29 PM

Christodora and The Great Believers are two of the best novels I've ever read, AIDS related or not.

I'm the poster who asked upthread about Michael Chabon recs after enjoying Kavalier & Clay so much. As I might have mentioned, I'm currently reading Telegraph Avenue, about 1/2 way through it, and thoroughly loving it. I guess he's just my kind of storyteller, I love immersing myself in the world of his characters.

by Anonymousreply 140May 30, 2022 11:55 PM

Couple of interesting Gay titles, including two non fiction Bad Gays and Secret City about Gay D.C.

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by Anonymousreply 141May 31, 2022 9:39 PM

More on the book Bad Gays.

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by Anonymousreply 142June 1, 2022 10:24 AM

I’ve been reading Julian Fellowes‘s SNOBS and wondering why his TV shows are so stupid. This book is light but definitely not stupid.

by Anonymousreply 143June 1, 2022 2:29 PM

The State of the Book.

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by Anonymousreply 144June 1, 2022 5:04 PM

Best Books of the year so far according to Time.

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by Anonymousreply 145June 3, 2022 5:24 AM

Has anyone here read 100 Years of Solitude? I was browsing in The Strand (NY's primo indie bookstore) yesterday, saw a paperback copy and asked myself why I haven't ever read it? So I bought it. Looking forward to getting into it this weekend.

Also, bought Rebecca Makkai's The 100 Year House (I musty be into 100 titles, lol) as I so loved The Great Believers.

by Anonymousreply 146June 4, 2022 1:11 PM

Try THE HUNDRED DRESSES, r148. It should be DL canon.

by Anonymousreply 147June 4, 2022 1:25 PM

R146 When I stumbled upon 100 Years of Solitude by myself in my late twenties I was angry that no one had ever told me about the book before, it is that beautiful and impactful.

by Anonymousreply 148June 4, 2022 1:28 PM

Lovely, r148. Thank you.

by Anonymousreply 149June 4, 2022 1:36 PM

"100 Years of Solitude" more than deserves its reputation—it never leaves you.

by Anonymousreply 150June 4, 2022 3:04 PM

T147. Also, “The Witch Family”—lesbian family in fairy tale form!

by Anonymousreply 151June 4, 2022 3:06 PM

R146 I hate it. I'm spanish so Gabo is huge here and i was utterly dissapointed by the book. But i loved Chronicle of an announced death

by Anonymousreply 152June 4, 2022 4:54 PM

I think Love in the Time of Cholera is better.

by Anonymousreply 153June 4, 2022 7:14 PM

Just finished this. An academic book, had to slog through the first two chapters, but picked up later.

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by Anonymousreply 154June 5, 2022 12:40 PM

Just picked this up at my bookseller. Will report back on reaction

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by Anonymousreply 155June 5, 2022 12:43 PM

Does anyone know about the book or author of Boys and Oil?

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by Anonymousreply 156June 5, 2022 6:51 PM

Now reading Chris Bohjalian's "The Lioness." I'm about 20% in and it's pretty terrible. All tell, no show, and incredibly pedestrian writing.

by Anonymousreply 157June 6, 2022 12:18 AM

I'm listening to Muriel Spark's "A Far Cry From Kensington" which I don't really want to end!

by Anonymousreply 158June 6, 2022 1:03 AM

R157 Ugh, I was hopping it would be like a fun, campy, beach read, does it at least work on that level, I didn’t need anything too literary?

by Anonymousreply 159June 6, 2022 7:20 AM

R159 I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it's not fun on any level.

by Anonymousreply 160June 6, 2022 11:36 PM

It will be winter reading for me, but at the moment i am going through all the trashy crime novels which are $1.50 on amazon kindle store. Some of them are great, but it's honestly a bit of a gamble.

by Anonymousreply 161June 7, 2022 2:45 AM

Really loved the Tucker Shaw book. Thank you for that recommendation.

Also loving The Chrisodora now. This thread always has such good recs.

by Anonymousreply 162June 8, 2022 2:21 PM

[QUOTE] Also: “Christodora” by Tim Murphy, “The Great Believers” by Rebecca Makkai, “At Danceteria” and “Better Davis” by Philip Dean Walker.

All of these authors know each other and have blurbed each other’s books.

by Anonymousreply 163June 8, 2022 2:44 PM

I’m currently reading THE BERLIN STORIES by Christopher Isherwood.

“Mr. Norris Changes Trains” includes some very direct comparisons to Alan Hollinghurst’s THE SWIMMING POOL LIBRARY. Has Hollinghurst ever mentioned that his novel is in conversation with Isherwood’s novella?

by Anonymousreply 164June 8, 2022 2:51 PM

"To Paradise" was a real dud for me. And I love "A Little Life".

by Anonymousreply 165June 8, 2022 3:22 PM

Me too R165. Couldn't even get through the first section of it.

by Anonymousreply 166June 8, 2022 4:17 PM

[quote]All of these authors know each other and have blurbed each other’s books.

Often that happens when writers have similar sensibilities. They meet at conferences, and find they admire each other's writing.

by Anonymousreply 167June 8, 2022 4:23 PM

Very true, R167. It’s fun to think of these authors in conversation with each other. Even just like having a cocktail together or whatever.

Garth Greenwell just published an article in The New Yorker about Andrew Holleran and his new novel, THE KINGDOM OF SAND.

Tim Murphy (CHRISTODORA - which is amazing, as others have pointed out) blurbed Walker’s last book:

[QUOTE] Scathingly funny, downright nasty, unnervingly haunting and ultimately heartbreaking, the stories in “Better Davis and Other Stories” take a very specific moment in American culture —the late seventies and early-mid eighties—and imagine the inner worlds of true-life celebrities, artists, gay playboys and their good-time gal pals as AIDS shadowed and then decimated a vibrant and decadent generation. Keenly aware of his characters' failings and frailties as well as their vulnerability and humanity, Philip Walker writes as if Andrew Holleran had ever turned his shrewd lens on the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and Paul Lynde, revealing the messy and tender hearts of large and small American icons who are already half-forgotten. —Tim Murphy, Christodora and Correspondents

by Anonymousreply 168June 8, 2022 4:44 PM

[QUOTE] Garth Greenwell just published an article in The New Yorker about Andrew Holleran and his new novel, THE KINGDOM OF SAND.

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by Anonymousreply 169June 8, 2022 4:52 PM

[quote]All of these authors know each other and have blurbed each other’s books.

Spy Magazine used to refer to this as "Logrolling in Our Time."

by Anonymousreply 170June 8, 2022 6:45 PM

I'm enjoying a book of inter-connected stories set on Guadeloupe: [italic]Crossing the Mangrove[/italic] by Maryse Conde. Mentioning it here in terms of drag names...

"Sirop Batterie who dressed up as a woman at Carnival time..."

by Anonymousreply 171June 10, 2022 5:01 PM

Finish reading "Miss Memory Lane" - then "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and "Kidnapped by the Pirate".

by Anonymousreply 172June 10, 2022 5:30 PM

I'm halfway through Holleran's 'Kingdom of Sand'. Haven't yet read any of the reviews so I haven't bounced my thoughts against others,

It's been a long, long, wait, and he doesn't disappoint. So far. I've loved his writing for years and I'm already reading paragraphs two and three times because his prose is always so beautiful.

Even when he writes about the mundane...as an example, two paragraphs about a video arcade at the intersection of two roads...it's careful, beautifully descriptive, and almost stunning the manner he has with words and ideas and placing you right there at the intersection with a person not unlike yourself, or one of your friends. I run to my partner, telling him he "You just have to hear what Holleran's done here!", and I read to him.

I'm an eldergay fan boy, I guess. So consider that.

I don't know hm personally, but from what I do know of him, the book seems to be, so far, a thinly veiled story of his life, with some changes or eliminations.

And death. All kinds, but still death. Makes me think of a gay man's death by a thousand cuts.

That's so far and I may be wide of the mark, but if you like Holleran, you'll be reading it yourself.

Then I'll do an about face and tackle Kirchick's 'Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington.' Probably not ideal summer reading.

by Anonymousreply 173June 10, 2022 5:44 PM

Has anyone read or heard about the new historical novel TRUST by Hernan Diaz? I'm reading some great reviews about it.

by Anonymousreply 174June 11, 2022 2:00 AM

I've been meaning to pick it up r174. I loved his last one "In the Distance." Sort of a strange, skewed take on classic wilderness/Western novels.

by Anonymousreply 175June 11, 2022 2:26 AM

I read Trust when it first came out and was very excited about it. It’s a book whose structure is its defining element and I highly recommend reading it as uninterrupted as much as possible such as during a dedicated weekend read. There are four parts and the shifting subtleties are the key to the book and it’s at its best when you can keep that all in your head, and the more meaningful the book will be. So, I enjoyed it, but it is very much an at the moment book, within a few weeks of reading it I felt like I had read it a year ago.

by Anonymousreply 176June 11, 2022 10:52 AM

I’m reading Andrew Holleran’s new novel The Kingdom Of Sand. It’s engrossing but a downer.

by Anonymousreply 177June 11, 2022 10:57 AM

Summery reads.

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by Anonymousreply 178June 15, 2022 12:22 AM

I've been posting here about finally discovering Michael Chabon and how much I loved Kavalier & Clay and then Telegraph Avenue.

So, I was very eager to jump into The Yiddish Policemen's Union as so many friends have recommended it. But it looks like I'm giving up after about 100 pages, at least for now. Maybe it's just too much Chabon too soon, but I'm finding the novel and characters very hard to get into. So many overly eccentric characters with difficult names and wacky locations, I'm just having trouble keeping up and I'm not into the "alternate universe" presented in the Sitka history as fashioned by Chabon.

Hope to get back to it someday. I guess I need a break and I've just started Hernan Diaz's In the Distance. Enjoying it so far.

by Anonymousreply 179June 15, 2022 1:11 AM

Chabon was told by a writer that for every child a writer has they lose a novel. He has four kids.

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by Anonymousreply 180June 15, 2022 2:05 AM

I want to read “Downton Shabby” by Hopwood DePree.

Has anyone read it?

by Anonymousreply 181June 15, 2022 2:16 PM

The NYPL doesn't carry Phillip Dean Walker. Literal violence.

by Anonymousreply 182June 15, 2022 2:57 PM

Why not, r182?

by Anonymousreply 183June 15, 2022 7:47 PM

Just checked WorldCat and he’s available in many libraries (lots of universities) throughout the country and many in D.C. in particular which makes sense because he’s a local there.

by Anonymousreply 184June 15, 2022 7:54 PM

I ended up ordering his two books online since the recs provided on this thread are solid.

Not sure why the NYPL doesn’t carry him - pretty frustrating.

by Anonymousreply 185June 15, 2022 9:10 PM

I’ve read Ben Lerner’s three novels in the last few months. Leaving the Atocha Station, 10:04 and The Topeka School. Wonderful reading experiences.

by Anonymousreply 186June 15, 2022 11:27 PM

Librarian here, most library acquisitions policies require a book to be reviewed at least twice, if not three times in a professional journal, there are about five primary ones things like Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist. It looks like Walker’s books are published by a very small midwest publisher, smaller than what would even be called a small publisher. If a book isn’t reviewed, and obviously somewhat favorably, a library usually can’t buy it. It’s basically a check and balance and proof that librarians don’t just buy what they like, their purchases have to be justified.

This is the same reason that self published books will rarely if ever get purchased by libraries. Unfortunately, this publisher is basically a step up from self publishing or a vanity press. The best thing that could happen is that he gets recruited by a bigger named publisher who might republish his backlist as well as new works and have the authority to make sure they get reviewed.

You can also always request a library purchase something, but the criteria they need to purchase is the same. If you get a number of people to independently request the same item you have a better chance. For the most part, libraries begin their fiscal year on July 1st, which when they are more flush with funding.

by Anonymousreply 187June 16, 2022 12:44 AM

Thank you R187 - that is helpful (and interesting). I bet NYPL has a section to request that they purchase something.

by Anonymousreply 188June 16, 2022 1:28 AM

R188 Your best chance would be going through the NYPL Overdrive app where you can recommend eBooks very easily. Just look up the titles and scroll down to the “Not Owned” and hit recommend. This will also put you on notification if they buy it and you will automatically be put on hold for it. If you can get other people to request it, as many as possible, that will increase the chances for purchase. It’s much easier to add eBooks when space is limited on the shelves and choosing which branches to place them in is complicated. Libraries have been hugely supportive in buying LGBT+ materials especially with the current culture of book banning.

by Anonymousreply 189June 16, 2022 10:05 AM

The Book of Form and Emptiness won the Women’s Prize for literature, though not my choice to win, her acceptance speech was lovely and heartfelt.

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by Anonymousreply 190June 16, 2022 1:06 PM

Thank you R187/R189! This is great

by Anonymousreply 191June 16, 2022 1:23 PM

Looking forward to hottie Louis Bayard's new book JACKIE & ME, a fictionalized account of the wobbly friendship of Jackie Kennedy and JFK's bff Lem Billings.

by Anonymousreply 192June 16, 2022 1:32 PM

[quote] Chabon was told by a writer that for every child a writer has they lose a novel. He has four kids.

Michael Chabon has PLENTY of novels by this point. Four more at this age would put him in Joyce Carol Oates/Anthony Trollope territory.

by Anonymousreply 193June 16, 2022 1:37 PM

Chabon’s wife is a real screamer

by Anonymousreply 194June 16, 2022 2:36 PM

So is Chabon (in a different sense).

by Anonymousreply 195June 16, 2022 3:02 PM

[QUOTE] Librarian here, most library acquisitions policies require a book to be reviewed at least twice, if not three times in a professional journal, there are about five primary ones things like Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist. It looks like Walker’s books are published by a very small midwest publisher, smaller than what would even be called a small publisher. If a book isn’t reviewed, and obviously somewhat favorably, a library usually can’t buy it. It’s basically a check and balance and proof that librarians don’t just buy what they like, their purchases have to be justified.

I really enjoyed your post, thank you, R187. I love hearing about the inner workings of a library from someone who knows what they’re talking about. It’s interesting to hear what goes into the process of acquisitions.

I looked it up and all three of Walker’s books (there is actually another book between Danceteria and the new one) have received *starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and Kirkus also chose all three as one of their “Best Books of the Year” in the years the books came out. So I’m sure that’s how he made it into so many libraries.

by Anonymousreply 196June 16, 2022 4:40 PM

I’m only a few chapters in to Ryan O’Connell’s Just By Looking at Him, but it should be essential beach reading for DLers and I would not be surprised if Ryan’s posting on here. Everyone will recognize his bitchiness and cunting as prime DL.

by Anonymousreply 197June 16, 2022 4:43 PM

Yay! Colm Toibin is in the running for the historical fiction prize, and by this article seems like the favored child.

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by Anonymousreply 198June 16, 2022 4:59 PM

I was very disappointed on Toibin's The Magician. For me, it completely lacked a strong point of view about Mann unlike Toibin's wonderful book on Henry James.

by Anonymousreply 199June 16, 2022 5:32 PM

Oh R197 thanks for the reminder about Ryan's book. Yeah he definitely seems like a DLer.

by Anonymousreply 200June 16, 2022 6:01 PM

I'm going to read The Netanyahus by Joshua Cohen

by Anonymousreply 201June 16, 2022 6:49 PM

This is good and surprising news.

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by Anonymousreply 202June 17, 2022 7:25 AM

I’m sure this has been discussed on other reading threads, but it’s new to me, are the Garden of Allah series by Martin Turnball worth reading in, I guess, a trashy beach read way, and are there gay characters throughout or only in the first book? I see you can buy a trilogy eBook of the first ones for under $7.

by Anonymousreply 203June 17, 2022 4:10 PM

I guess this guy is the Elena Ferrante of Gay romance, and I know we relentlessly love to hate out gay successful people here on DL, but all of this sounds like utter trash and pandering to me. Are gay people actually reading this stuff? On TikTok it’s the house fraus who seem to be loving his latest book. And that name, uff, did he watch too much Dynasty growing up?

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by Anonymousreply 204June 17, 2022 4:41 PM

R204 is he actually a guy? When the fraus become obsessed with gay male fiction - it’s usually being written by another frau.

If it’s written by a gay man I would check it out but I’m done reading fiction by women about gay men.

by Anonymousreply 205June 17, 2022 6:11 PM

Has r204 ever read Elena Ferrante?

by Anonymousreply 206June 17, 2022 6:59 PM

"Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ."

It's part of my cell's Infiltrate, Groom, Corrupt, Convert (IGCC) plan. Heading to Utah in August after some local training.

I'm a Sr. Protocol Developer for the West-and-Center Region but always have fallen asleep between Nehi I and Dabner III. Soooooo boring. But meeting the goals of a longterm undercover gay proselytizing initiative (Hail, Satan!) with this pack of lunatics requires more careful preparation.

Certainly more than the Mennonites, who are so easy we use them with our recruits. Those hairy sons of horse-breeders, who are tired of the wee, familiar putzes of their brothers, cousins, neighbors and visitors, bend over for a cigarette behind the nearest turkey barn, and they carry their favorite lube, too.

Well, back to work.

Keep reading, OP.

Oh, she's asleep.

by Anonymousreply 207June 17, 2022 7:12 PM

R206 I refuse to read her on principle, I want to know who my authors are when I read their books.

by Anonymousreply 208June 17, 2022 7:20 PM

Ugh, when I saw the trailer I made a comment as such. But I thought I was being facetious, I didn’t know that’s what they were actually going for.

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by Anonymousreply 209June 17, 2022 7:57 PM

Has anyone read the Norwegian murder mysteries of Karin Fossum, featuring Inspector Sejer? I came across a used copy of THE INDIAN BRIDE yesterday and I haven't been able to put it down. Wonderful writing, even if the murder solution will be disappointing.

by Anonymousreply 210June 20, 2022 1:28 PM

[quote]I'm going to read The Netanyahus by Joshua Cohen

I just finished it. I thought it was fine, but it felt too much like a book written by the Smartest Boy in School desperate to impress his favorite teacher.

by Anonymousreply 211June 20, 2022 2:48 PM

I just finished reading "School Days," by Jonathan Galassi. The novel takes place at a New England prep school and focuses on a gay student who later becomes a teacher there. It's an easy read (224 pages), perfect for a long flight, but I guess I was expecting more from the author, who was a former editor with the Paris Review and chairman of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

by Anonymousreply 212June 21, 2022 11:22 AM

R212 I read it too! I thought it started out strong but went off the rails a bit at the end. Would have liked less obsessing about the teacher in the present and more action. Seemed to get very repetitive with the going over and over about him. Expected more too but the part that described them all in school in the past was beautifully written.

by Anonymousreply 213June 21, 2022 5:39 PM

r204, I'm inclined to believe he's a guy; for some reason his persona seems more authentic than most. But the last time I thought that it turned out to be a woman using her husband's picture (as well as a scam artist doing a lot of shitty stuff behind the scenes). So who knows? I haven't read any of his books, but he was discussed in last year's gay romance thread. 140 over there said he didn't find it authentic.

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by Anonymousreply 214June 21, 2022 6:49 PM

Agree with r205 that I don't really read gay romance unless I know it's written by a man, and the most popular ones that takes off with women tend to be written by women because what women readers are looking for isn't authentic gay experiences. There was some discussion about this on Twitter a few months ago; I remember someone pointing out a romance written by a man set in a clothing-optional camp for bears, where one of the women reviewers on Goodreads noted she was a bit put off by the mention of the smell of poppers and lube. (Or something along those lines.) I think this is the one (though I can't find a review with that line now--though the first reviewer, supposedly a guy, mentions not liking everyone being on PrEP in a romance novel). Haven't read it, though it does sound porny-er than something that would be written by a woman.

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by Anonymousreply 215June 21, 2022 7:04 PM

If GRUMPY BEAR isn't illustrated, I'm not interested.

by Anonymousreply 216June 21, 2022 8:56 PM

Just finished "Fellow Travelers" and liked it more than I expected to. Some of the McCarthy hearings was tedious and too much, but the central love story was compelling and poignant (spoiler: equal affections cannot be). I know the gaylings don't want to read about ancient history (1950s) especially if the ending is unhappy. Eldergays however might find much that resonates with them.

Looking forward to the Showtime 8 episode miniseries that Matt Bomer is producing and starring in.

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by Anonymousreply 217June 22, 2022 7:13 AM

Interesting, I’ve just started Secret City, (which someone already created a thread for here) and it’s quite fascinating. It really starts within the FDR administration and focusing on the Gays in The State Department and diplomacy. The Truman section is next and about the interlocking of the Lavender Scare with the Red Scare. It reads like the best journalistic narrative investigative nonfiction, which is to say like good fiction. If you’ve read Fellow Travelers and want the real history behind it, this is perfect for you.

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by Anonymousreply 218June 22, 2022 8:40 AM

As much as I loved Fellow Travelers I felt I missed a lot because I didn't know all the history and names.

by Anonymousreply 219June 22, 2022 12:40 PM

Ugh, I’m reading When You Call My Name about young teen boys falling in love in NYC during the AIDS crisis and one of the characters lives in the Village and walks by Two Boots Pizzeria in May 1990 and it’s taken me right out of the story because I’m 99% sure it didn’t exist then. The original one open in the EV in 1987, and the second one in Park Slope in 1989. I know because friends did the murals on the walls. There’s no way that the Village location would have been open by May 1990, and I feel it opened considerably later because I remembered being surprised that a Brooklyn restaurant would be popping up suddenly in the Village. Do editors just not check facts anymore? It’s historic fiction, but it’s just not that long ago, someone on the production line of this book must have lived in New York at that time and had this jump out at them?

by Anonymousreply 220June 23, 2022 8:30 AM

R220, I’ve lived in the West Village for many years and I don’t remember Two Boots being there in 1990 either. It’s obviously an example of an author trying to be trendy by dropping a name.

by Anonymousreply 221June 23, 2022 2:29 PM

R220, there have always been errors in books, plays, etc. Shakespeare got facts wrong about history. What a silly thing to complain about. One pizzeria.

by Anonymousreply 222June 23, 2022 4:45 PM

R222, that’s what I said.

by Anonymousreply 223June 23, 2022 5:24 PM

Shakespeare often engaged in writing propaganda to please the Tudors, so some errors were deliberate

by Anonymousreply 224June 23, 2022 6:35 PM

[quote](looking at you Colm Toibin, who did Henry James and Thomas Mann so well)

Speaking of James & irish authors, I've been reading "The Master" by Toibin, but it's a bit of a slog.

On someone on DL's advice, I've also been reading Trollope. I liked "The Way We Live Now", though I was hoping for a happier ending for good guy Roger Carbury, but Barchester Towers & Church of England politics was not as joyful

by Anonymousreply 225June 23, 2022 6:55 PM

I just read Young Mungo it was pretty good

by Anonymousreply 226June 23, 2022 7:01 PM

[quote] Shakespeare got facts wrong about history

HA! Understatement of the year!

by Anonymousreply 227June 23, 2022 7:02 PM

r225, if you enjoyed THE WAY WE LIVE NOW (one of my favorite novels) try Trollope's HE KNEW HE WAS RIGHT and ORLEY FARM. They're both stand-alone novels, not part of series, and IMHO far better than anything he wrote in the Barchester and Palliser chronicles.

by Anonymousreply 228June 23, 2022 7:11 PM

R224, maybe he made the pizzeria error on purpose to piss off uptight queens

by Anonymousreply 229June 23, 2022 7:13 PM

Lolll r229. Quite possible. The book is lovely and well written.

by Anonymousreply 230June 23, 2022 7:32 PM

Thanks R228; what do you think of The Duke's Children or the Prime Minister?

by Anonymousreply 231June 23, 2022 7:33 PM

Re: the pizzeria. According to the author's bio, "Tucker Shaw is a writer and editor who first found his family in New York City's East Village in 1991 when he was twenty-three." So presumably he has some familiarity with the area at the time and just forgot (or it was artistic license).

by Anonymousreply 232June 23, 2022 7:38 PM

Plowing through the jumbo biography of photographer George Platt Lynes (by Allen Ellenzeig). Anybody who was anybody in the 20th century sat for him, and looked GOOD!

by Anonymousreply 233June 23, 2022 8:20 PM

r226 Mungo was a great story. i wanted to spend more time with him after i finished the book

by Anonymousreply 234June 23, 2022 8:25 PM

R222 Tucker Shaw says that the book is very much a love letter to NYC and he does many deep dives in exquisitely detailing all kinds on NYC minutia and early 1990s cultural reference especially in music, fashion and gay culture and he’s doing a pretty good job of painting that moment in time and it ringing true, which is what makes the gaff stand out so much.

He does mix some completely made up elements or renames other things, which he points out in the author’s note. While there is a St. Vincent’s Hospital and a character goes there, the brother of one of the boys works at the made up St. Hugh’s Hospital. I’m pretty sure he’s calling that one particular big magazine shop on Hudson St. Dome Magazine instead of its real name, which I don’t think I even knew at the time what it is/was. And the video store he works at seems to be Kim’s though he names it something else as well. He mentions a free gay giveaway magazine by a name I don’t recall, I think replacing Next and HX, which may be after 1990 anyways.

I will say one of the boys is obsessed with fashion, designers, fashion shoots and models and seems way to knowledgeable about those components even though he’s reading things like French, Italian and British Vogue. But I don’t think they would have the information about all those elements mentioned, like down to who the stylist was at the level he’s gleaming from those. At the time what I recall is people in the know about fashion at that level were getting it from WWD. Also, Paper Magazine in its earliest iteration would have been something that could have been a source of that information and a must read, but it hasn’t been mentioned yet.

He’s about 3 years younger then me and as mentioned he came to NYC in 1991, while I came in 1988. So I do appreciate the level of detail he’s infusing into his story, but it’s surprising to get something like that wrong- when in doubt mention something else like Elephant & Castle that you would know definitely was there. He did live in the EV and just a few blocks away from the original Two Boots, so maybe he assumed it had a longer history. But like I said, I’m surprised that someone else in NY publishing who lived during that era wouldn’t have caught it before publication.

by Anonymousreply 235June 23, 2022 8:29 PM

I don't know if this will be of interest to anyone, but to follow up on the gay romance discussion, the NYT posted a story last week (that I just saw) about New Hope, PA as a gay getaway. One of the people interviewed was a man who wrote a couple of gay romances set there for Harlequin's Carina imprint. It linked to this interview, and I thought this was interesting:

"What is the landscape like in terms of LGBTQ+ representation in literature?

It’s complicated. I’m trying to write stories that are romantic but also true to the experience of being a gay man. In The Hideaway Inn the experiences of bullying and trying to navigate masculinity are center stage. I always hear from gay male readers about how these themes rang true for them and that always makes me feel like I’ve achieved my goal. I write commercial fiction and it’s often a challenge to write authentic LGBTQ stories that will be successful in the market."

In other words, the kind that won't turn off women readers? Hard not to notice that since his second book came out in February 2021, all that imprint's gay romances have been written by women (or nonbinaries).

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 236June 23, 2022 8:45 PM

Speaking of Gay romances I finished Marvelous Light, which is a fantasy Edwardian series where magicians live among the unknowing rest of the British population. It is written by an Australian women, but in contrast to Song of Achilles the sex was very explicit and well done, quite pornographic. There’s the nerdy, bookish magician and then there’s the golden boy Cambridge landed gentry jock with the square jaw and blond hair, who at one point willingly gets fucked unrelentingly by the assumed bottom and comes off as genuinely happy to be vers. I guess that’s part of the fantasy as well.

by Anonymousreply 237June 23, 2022 8:59 PM

The kid could have just as easily walked past Fuddruckers.

by Anonymousreply 238June 23, 2022 9:09 PM

r231, The Duke's Children and The Prime Minister are both part of the Palliser series. I didn't care for them, too much about the local politics, fox hunts, entail rulings, etc. of the mid-19th century, with Trollope's characters mixing with real historic characters (who were of little interest to me).

Another great Trollope stand-alone novel is The Vicar of Bulhampton. It's also relatively short.

by Anonymousreply 239June 23, 2022 9:23 PM

This sounds intriguing, has anyone read it yet?

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 240June 23, 2022 9:53 PM

Thank you Trollope Troll!

by Anonymousreply 241June 23, 2022 10:08 PM

R237 sold. Thank you.

by Anonymousreply 242June 23, 2022 10:12 PM

Lizzie Eustace is a Datalounger's dream. The Eustace Diamonds easily stands alone.

THE WAY WE LIVE NOW is a rare case where watching the outstanding video first might make more sense than tackling the tome.

by Anonymousreply 243June 24, 2022 12:05 AM

i love Phineas Finn. "Sunday Morning in Grosvenor Place" is one of my favorite chapters in Victorian literature, as Lady Laura Standish realizes the terrible mistake she's made in marrying the dour and unyielding Robert Kennedy, one of the richest men in the UK, for political gain.

by Anonymousreply 244June 24, 2022 12:14 AM

Even I will admit that the BBC min-series of THE WAY WE LIVE NOW is spectacular. Wonderfully written and produced, and a stellar cast of familiar Brit actors, including David Suchet , Matthew McFadyen, Cillian Murphy, Shirley Henderson, Jim Carter, Cheryl Campbell and so many others.

THE EUSTACE DIAMONDS is part of Trollope's Palliser series but reads almost like a stand-alone novel. Lizzie is a fabulous unforgettable character. Unfortunately, there's some very nasty ant-Semitism in it which occasionally reared its head in Trollope' books. He kind of made up for it though with a very sympathetic portrayal of a wealthy Jewish businessman in TWWLN (played by Jim Carter in the series).

Of the Barchester series, the only book I really loved was DR. THORNE, which also has a nice TV adaptation, written and produced by none other than Julian Fellowes (who has stolen most of his major plot points for DOWNTON ABBEY from Trollope).

by Anonymousreply 245June 24, 2022 12:20 AM

Ooops, sorry, forgot to sign my post ^^^^

The Trollope Troll

by Anonymousreply 246June 24, 2022 12:21 AM

I bought some cock books at a rummage sale today.

by Anonymousreply 247June 24, 2022 12:26 AM

I finally read WHAT BELONGS TO YOU by Garth Greenwell, which was sexually explicit and exceptionally intelligent, It's the rare gay novel influenced by Proust that's neither precious nor pompously mannered (looking at you, Edmund White).

by Anonymousreply 248June 24, 2022 12:38 AM
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