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Fall Reading 2022

Labor Day marks the end of summer, so what are you reading right now? Are you transitioning to heavier reads, or will you wait until the winter for that?

I am finally reading "There There" by Tommy Orange. It's got a huge cast of characters, almost like a Dickens novel, and it's pretty dark so far.

by Anonymousreply 454January 2, 2023 11:20 AM

[quote]so what are you reading right now?

DL silly!

by Anonymousreply 1September 7, 2022 7:40 PM

OP, sadly, I couldn't finish There, There and I only had about 50 pages left. The characters were just too off-putting. I don't mid unlikable characters but they have to be more dimensional and engaging than those in this book. Orange does not help Native issues here IMO, just the opposite. The 2 women were slightly better but not enough to make me keep reading.

by Anonymousreply 2September 7, 2022 8:12 PM

Reading "The Pact" now. Didn't like "local woman missing" but finished it.

by Anonymousreply 3September 7, 2022 8:13 PM

"The Plot" not the pact ^^^

MARY! Sorry.

by Anonymousreply 4September 7, 2022 8:14 PM

I'm looking forward to Kate Atkinson's new book Shrines of Gaiety and also Sleepwalk, the new book by Dan Chaon. Two of my fave authors.

by Anonymousreply 5September 7, 2022 8:15 PM

I thought "The Plot" was derivative and boring as shit. I saw that ending coming a mile away.

by Anonymousreply 6September 7, 2022 8:17 PM

"A Little Life"

"Memoirs of Hadrian"

"The Winter Soldier" (Donald Mason) unrelated to the Cap. America crap.

by Anonymousreply 7September 7, 2022 8:29 PM

Reading "The Remorseful Day," the final Inspector Morse story.

by Anonymousreply 8September 7, 2022 9:20 PM

I'm working my way through the novels of Booth Tarkington. Just finished The Plutocrat.

by Anonymousreply 9September 7, 2022 9:21 PM

R2 I had several problems with There, There.

I got the impression the Orange wanted to reach a point and everything is focused in making the characters reach that point. Second, the male characters are not diverse, most of them are a slightly different version of the same characther.

I think he has potential as writer, but the novel didn't deserve the praise it received.

Of course there are way worse novels that received a lot of praise, Elif Batuman's The idiot , Moshen Hamid's Exit West or Kiley Reid's Such fun age are perfect examples. In the last case i looked for reviews and some of them even mentioned the clear flaws of the novel (cartoonish characters, pretty bad writing) but all of them refused to get there and instead praise the virtues of the novel (which is basically take a very important theme)

by Anonymousreply 10September 7, 2022 9:23 PM

The Booker Short List was announced yesterday. There was quite an upset when The Colony, the crowd favorite did not make the list despite many believing it would be the inevitable winner. Two Americans made the list of six finalists. Alan Garner, the oldest ever nominee, will turn 88 on the day of the winner’s announcement on October 17.

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by Anonymousreply 11September 7, 2022 9:35 PM

I find this year's one of the less exciting booker long and shortlists in quite some time

by Anonymousreply 12September 7, 2022 9:39 PM

I'm not reading anything. Conservatives shut down my library.

by Anonymousreply 13September 7, 2022 9:43 PM

Busy reading all the top secret documents Trump stole

by Anonymousreply 14September 7, 2022 10:06 PM

Elizabeth Stout is so overrated

by Anonymousreply 15September 7, 2022 11:25 PM

Looking forward to AM Homes' latest novel THE UNFOLDING. Another favorite writer of mine though I have to admit I couldn't get into her last couple of books MAY WE BE FORGIVEN and DAYS OF AWE.

by Anonymousreply 16September 7, 2022 11:35 PM

Of those Booker nominees, THE TREES sounds fascinating and the reviews are terrific. I just ordered it on Amazon and I'll have it tomorrow!

by Anonymousreply 17September 7, 2022 11:40 PM

I just finished "The Trees" by Percival Everett yesterday! Happy to see it make the Booker list. It was great, kind of hard to describe ... a satire of racism, a Black revenge story ... a bit of a Tarantino feel, but don't let that detract you if you don't like Tarantino.

I've been on an Everett kick of late, also read his novels "So Much Blue" and "Erasure." He's not well-known but is incredibly prolific, something of a writer's writer. He's written something like 30 novels in the last couple of decades. Reminds me a bit of TC Boyle, but not as glib.

I like A.M. Homes too, r16, and excited for "The Unfolding." But I also liked both those books you mentioned. The story "A Prize for Every Player" in "Days of Awe" is one of the best short stories I've read in years. I actually read it out loud to my husband!

by Anonymousreply 18September 7, 2022 11:44 PM

LOVE AM homes!!

by Anonymousreply 19September 7, 2022 11:47 PM

I'm reading Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen by Jimmy McDonough. Great bio. She and George Jones were complete fucking messes.

After that, Townie by Andre Dubus III.

by Anonymousreply 20September 8, 2022 12:28 AM

I’m re-reading Emma, and the I’ll re-read Persuasion. It’s the time of year for Austen.

by Anonymousreply 21September 8, 2022 12:31 AM

Yes, R21 - reading Persuasion with the rain outside, wrapped in a throw…

by Anonymousreply 22September 8, 2022 12:50 AM

R22, the throw and mug cradling may be a necessity this year given the fuel prices here in the UK currently, but most of my reading of Emma is done in the garden until the weather changes.

Persuasion is definitely an autumn read, mug-cradling and all…

by Anonymousreply 23September 8, 2022 1:04 AM

Y’all, July is the Jane Austen month, it’s one of Booktuber’s biggest events, which considering she only wrote so many books continues to sustain itself all these years later.

by Anonymousreply 24September 8, 2022 1:49 AM

I enjoyed The Winter Soldier, R7. A bit grim in the middle, but it has an ending I should have seen coming but didn’t.

by Anonymousreply 25September 8, 2022 2:47 AM

I’m listening to the Guncle and it’s tedious. It needed a good editor to eliminate about 1/3 of it and the author should not have been allowed to narrate his own book. I’ll finish it, but I really should DNF it instead. This make Paul Rudnick look like a genius.

by Anonymousreply 26September 8, 2022 4:55 AM

I'm reading Tom Wolfe's A Man in Full, and I think it's heading for the DNF pile after I've read only 35% of it. He's inflicting so much pain on his characters, one in particular, having them make such bad choices, it's hard to read normally rather than skim to the next part. I usually like his writing, but the storytelling in this one is just excruciating.

by Anonymousreply 27September 8, 2022 2:16 PM

I remember loving A Man in Full when I read it when it first came out. Back then I pictured Jim Carrey as the young lead. But I also remember it petering out to a nothing conclusion about 3/4 of the way through as though Wolfe had simply lost interest. Similar problem to Bonfire of the Vanities IIRC.

by Anonymousreply 28September 8, 2022 2:20 PM

Better Davis and Other Stories by Philip Dean Walker. Imagined stories of celebrities during the early days of the AIDS crisis. Funny, gossipy, heartbreaking. The Natalie Wood story is particular good and takes place on her last night alive.

by Anonymousreply 29September 8, 2022 2:22 PM

*particularly ^^

by Anonymousreply 30September 8, 2022 2:22 PM

r29 agreed. Read it after it was recommended on DL. Loved it.

by Anonymousreply 31September 8, 2022 3:57 PM

VLADÍMÍR by Julia May Jonas was fantastic. Very good debut.

by Anonymousreply 32September 8, 2022 4:39 PM

Personal History by Katharine Graham. It's an absolutely superb memoir.

by Anonymousreply 33September 8, 2022 4:57 PM

Probably doesn't need any shilling on this thread, as it has its own, but Mary Rodgers' posthumous memoir SHY is one of the best show biz bios I've ever read.

by Anonymousreply 34September 8, 2022 5:12 PM

Summer by Edith Wharton

by Anonymousreply 35September 8, 2022 6:29 PM

I bailed on the Guncle audio, R26.

Right now I'm reading an Israeli novel "A Late Divorce" each chapter a rotating point of view. Also working on "Black Lamb, Grey Falcon" which I'll be lucky to finish by Christmas!

by Anonymousreply 36September 8, 2022 7:31 PM

Couldn't get through Guncle either.

by Anonymousreply 37September 8, 2022 7:33 PM

The Guncle is so treacly.

by Anonymousreply 38September 8, 2022 8:09 PM

OMG, I tried Black Lamb...decades ago and never could get past the first 50 pages

by Anonymousreply 39September 8, 2022 9:40 PM

Curious if anyone here has read AMERICAN DIRT, which was a big and an Oprah book a few years ago but then apparently fell into disfavor because the author was accused of appropriating a story that shouldn't have been hers to tell.

I found a used paperback copy at our book coop yesterday and bought it. Haven't started it yet.

by Anonymousreply 40September 8, 2022 10:47 PM

Reading the new Holleran. Gorgeous writing as always, but harrowing for eldergays

by Anonymousreply 41September 9, 2022 8:37 PM

Kirkus Prize nominees were just announced, a nice mix of titles. I’ve been hovering around reading the WWI plastic surgery book for awhile, but no one on social media had covered it, but now it’s got sone validation so I’ll check it out.

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by Anonymousreply 42September 9, 2022 8:44 PM

An eclectic mix of Fall titles coming up. I’m interested in Bliss Montage, did anyone read Severance by the author? I’m quite anxious about the John Irving title, he was the first contemporary author’s work I fell in love with as a teen. That cover just looks so horrendous, like some bad 80s romance, what were they thinking???

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by Anonymousreply 43September 9, 2022 8:49 PM

R18 I loved Erasure, Everett is incredibly talented (unfortunately most of his work is not published here).

R40 The controversy over American Dirt was absolutely ridiculous. The novel received a lot of praise, but suddenly someone claim "cultural apropiation" and everything derailed (except sales, because the novel kept selling well for months).

I didn't read the book so i don't know if the criticism had some merit, but some things (like the name of the main characters not being mexican enough) was utterly ridiculous.

by Anonymousreply 44September 9, 2022 8:56 PM

Celeste Ng is a cunt (see her role in the Bad Art Friend saga). I do not plan on reading her new book.

by Anonymousreply 45September 9, 2022 9:48 PM

R45. First thing I thought too

by Anonymousreply 46September 9, 2022 9:57 PM

Yes the Halloran book is harrowing. It’s still in my head and I finished it awhile ago. MARY!

by Anonymousreply 47September 9, 2022 11:04 PM

Has anyone read The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz? Wasn't wowed by The Plot, so I'm wondering if this was any better.

by Anonymousreply 48September 9, 2022 11:09 PM

Posting this in hopes this thread will land in my thread watch column, which it so far has not even though I previously posted!

by Anonymousreply 49September 9, 2022 11:25 PM

I loved THE LATECOMER (though I haven't read THE PLOT for comparison). Great family saga with some small flaws of plaotting (and perhaps teeny questionable character motivation) but still a very worthwhile intelligent read.

I finished Holleran's KINGDOM OF SAND but it was torturous. So depressing, it made YOUNG MUNGO or SHUGGIE BAIN seem like beach reads. Really didn't need to read that one.

Has anyone ever read THE SHADOW OF THE WIND by Carolos Ruiz Zafon? Recommended by a FB friend who raved about it and then several of his friends chimed in and raved, too. Sounded intriguing.

by Anonymousreply 50September 10, 2022 2:20 AM

Shadow of the Wind is one of my all time favorite books. So beautiful, it has stayed with me years later. Definitely check it out.

by Anonymousreply 51September 10, 2022 2:26 AM

So many of those "Buzziest" books at r43 are awful-sounding chick lit.

by Anonymousreply 52September 10, 2022 2:47 AM

Loved The Plot and The Latecomer. Just finished "A Three Dog Problem" in time for the Queen's demise.

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by Anonymousreply 53September 10, 2022 2:54 AM

I enjoyed THE PLOT but I guessed the twist very early in the book. Also the supposedly amazing and fool-proof “plot” was not really that insane to be given such hosannas by every single character before it’s revealed.

by Anonymousreply 54September 10, 2022 3:11 AM

Currently reading "Sacrificio", about a plot by Cuban HIV-positive men from a sanatorium plotting a revolution during the Pope's visit. Set in 1997, so I'm assuming it's based on facts.

by Anonymousreply 55September 11, 2022 3:00 AM

I liked There, There but only because I read it after Tampa. Tampa was masterfully written but was like getting punched in the stomach and testicles at the same time. Highly recommended.

by Anonymousreply 56September 11, 2022 3:42 AM

Tampa is funny and i'm happy she go there showing how different people react when the victim is a boy and the agressor a beaudtiful woman. Celeste is despicable but at the same time she is funny and a great character

by Anonymousreply 57September 11, 2022 11:54 AM

I was so eager to read THE TREES but gave up after about 120 pages. I'm baffled by the great reviews and Booker nomination.

All those stereotypical white trash characters with the silly names and the Black characters, many with silly names, just all so puerile, not funny. Too many characters introduced with no follow up, no pay back. The satire was utterly juvenile. I'm all for compelling stories of the horrors of racism and lynching but this really missed the mark.

by Anonymousreply 58September 12, 2022 3:26 AM

I just found out that a biography of John Singer Sargent is being released on November 1st and will be the first to deal with his sexuality extensively. So excited!

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by Anonymousreply 59September 12, 2022 6:11 AM

Wait, you're telling me he wasn't just waiting for the right girl to show up?

by Anonymousreply 60September 12, 2022 1:17 PM

I just finished Do You Mind if I Cancel by Gary Janetti, which after slogging through the Guncle last week was a breath of fresh air. Whoever is doing the Guncle movie should definitely hire him to punch up the script and story, Janetti is the author who he wants to be. It’s mainly about his childhood and being a young gayling, and being about the same age it really hit home perfectly. I guess there’s a newer book as well, but my library doesn’t have the audiobook of it.

by Anonymousreply 61September 12, 2022 6:13 PM

R61 agreed. I actually cried reading the last chapter about his childhood neighbor who passed away (MARY!) Thought he really balanced the humor of being a gayling along with the heartbreak really beautifully. Read it practically in one sitting.

by Anonymousreply 62September 12, 2022 7:44 PM

Oh just realized you meant the older book - sorry. Read the new one R61. It's even better than the first and I loved that too.

by Anonymousreply 63September 12, 2022 7:46 PM

I’m enjoying TOMORROW, AND TOMORROW, AND TOMORROW by Gabrielle Zevin.

by Anonymousreply 64September 15, 2022 2:18 PM

R64 So good right! It reminded me of a shorter and less brutal and devastating A Little Life in its depictions of the ups and downs of friendship over decades.

by Anonymousreply 65September 15, 2022 2:35 PM

Zevin's book is fucking magical!

by Anonymousreply 66September 15, 2022 6:18 PM

I loved Shuggie Bain, i wish Young Mungo gets published here soon.

Now i'm reading Une education libertine by Jean Baptiste del Amo. I think the novel is not published in english (but his novel Animalia was)

by Anonymousreply 67September 17, 2022 7:42 PM

I’m finding the new AM Homes book incredibly tedious. Has anyone else read it yet? I’m not even sure I’ll get through it - disappointing because I’ve loved her books in the past.

by Anonymousreply 68September 18, 2022 2:28 PM

Oh dear, r68, that's sad to hear. But as I posted upthread, I found her last couple of books very disappointing, Didn't finish either of them.

Nevertheless, her Music for Torching and This Book Will Save Your Life will always be favorites.

by Anonymousreply 69September 18, 2022 3:33 PM

Fall? Labor Day?

Let’s make this thread a bit less American next time.

by Anonymousreply 70September 18, 2022 3:35 PM


don't the seasons turn where you live?

by Anonymousreply 71September 18, 2022 4:08 PM

They could be “quarters” of the year threads, of course there are many who don’t uses the Gregorian calendar so it’s not inclusive to them.

by Anonymousreply 72September 18, 2022 4:13 PM

Dear god.

by Anonymousreply 73September 18, 2022 4:19 PM

For the reader seeking something different, I've just finished Michael Gruber's Valley of Bones. One of the most enjoyable and fascinating books I've read in quite a while. Gruber's imagination is prodigious, to such an extent that I was interested in one of the organizations mentioned in the book so googled it for more information. It didn't exist, Gruber made the whole organization up.

Next on the nightstand, J. K. Rowling's "adult" effort, The Casual Vacancy.

by Anonymousreply 74September 18, 2022 4:21 PM

R69 - dare I say this one is even worse than the last few. Unless you find an earnest republican, his alcoholic wife and teenage daughter interesting… it takes place from when McCain loses to the inauguration of Obama and she writes about some boring high-ranking republican family and how devastated they are. I don’t find the characters interesting and 2008 seems so tame now. But hopefully other people will enjoy it more.

Her older work is the incredible though - agreed.

by Anonymousreply 75September 18, 2022 6:06 PM

[QUOTE] I’m finding the new AM Homes book incredibly tedious. Has anyone else read it yet? I’m not even sure I’ll get through it - disappointing because I’ve loved her books in the past.

Are you talking about DAYS OF AWE? I purchased it last week on the recommendation upthread.

MAY WE BE FORGIVEN was not great.

by Anonymousreply 76September 18, 2022 6:19 PM

Michael Gruber’s TROPIC OF NIGHT is terrific..I think it’s the same protagonist as VALLEY OF BONES.

by Anonymousreply 77September 18, 2022 6:24 PM

I have started a novel set in Korea, translated from French: "Winter in Sokcho" by Elisa Shua Dusapin.

Am also working on "Vanished Kingdoms" by Norman Davies, which is going well, but I don't think any other Dataloungers read history books as a genre?

by Anonymousreply 78September 18, 2022 6:32 PM

No the new AM homes is called The Unfolding.


The Big Guy loves his family, money and country. Undone by the results of the 2008 presidential election, he taps a group of like-minded men to reclaim their version of the American Dream. As they build a scheme to disturb and disrupt, the Big Guy also faces turbulence within his family. His wife, Charlotte, grieves a life not lived, while his 18-year-old daughter, Meghan, begins to realize that her favorite subject—history—is not exactly what her father taught her. In a story that is as much about the dynamics within a family as it is about the desire for those in power to remain in power, Homes presciently unpacks a dangerous rift in American identity, prompting a reconsideration of the definition of truth, freedom and democracy—and exploring the explosive consequences of what happens when the same words mean such different things to people living together under one roof.

by Anonymousreply 79September 18, 2022 6:57 PM

What is with Taylor Jenkins Reid? I guess I thought she wrote edgy chicklit or something, but CARRIE SOTO IS BACK is vapid and lazy and shallow. Was the one about the rock star like this?

by Anonymousreply 80September 18, 2022 11:03 PM

I thought her MALIBU RISING was lame.

by Anonymousreply 81September 18, 2022 11:04 PM

She’s frau lit.

by Anonymousreply 82September 18, 2022 11:06 PM

I love my wonderful indie book store but must they fill up so such shelf space with the oeuvre of Colleen Hoover?

Actually, I don't know her books at all but I can tell just from the covers and titles they're not for me. Has anyone here heard of her?

by Anonymousreply 83September 18, 2022 11:13 PM

Need a book recommendation: I'm going on a long car trip in October & I'm looking for a book that's entertaining, but also doesn't require much of my attention since I'll be driving. During the last long car trip I took earlier this year, I read Trollope's "The Way We Live Now" and that was just the right mixture of entertaining without requiring much brain power. Some narrators can nearly put you to sleep, so recommendations on outstanding narrators is helpful as well. Thanks!

by Anonymousreply 84September 18, 2022 11:30 PM

"The Good House" by Ann Leary narrated by Mary Beth Hurt.

Trollope's "The Eustace Diamonds" works well as a stand-alone. Timothy West's narration is outstanding; Lizzie Eustace is a character created with Dataloungers in mind.

by Anonymousreply 85September 18, 2022 11:40 PM

American Demon, by Daniel Stashower, about Eliot Ness and his hunt to solve the Cleveland Torso murders of the 1930s

by Anonymousreply 86September 19, 2022 12:44 AM

R84-You need something dumb and brainless. Try the new Stephen King.

by Anonymousreply 87September 19, 2022 12:49 AM

r84, among the best books I've read this year are Anthony Doerr's Cloud Cuckoo Land, Jonathan Franzen's Crossroads, Rebecca Makkai's The Great Believers, Michael Chabon's Kavalier and Clay and Allan Hollinghurst's The Sparsholt Affair. I share your love of Trollope's The Way We Live Now, if that helps. And another favorite Trollope for me would be He Knew He Was Right, also a stand alone novel with a big, brilliant and varied cast of characters.

by Anonymousreply 88September 19, 2022 12:51 AM

I highly recommend short stories and essays for long travel. They are bite sized pieces that you can easily consume in small chunks and leave off at any point without interrupting a long narrative arc. Also, it’s very easy to skip parts you may not like or feel interested in listening to. David Sedaris, Samantha Irby and Jenny Lawson are great for this on the humorous side. Joan Didion with Slouching Towards Bethlehem or The White Album if you want something serious. For short stories choose a favorite author already, or a master of the form like Munro, Cheever or Jackson. I also agree with Cloud Cuckoo Land as a big book recommendation, three distinct and separate storylines that weave in and out that are easy to keep separate and remember and change in feel for each one, so it’s not one long epic overwhelming story.

by Anonymousreply 89September 19, 2022 1:00 AM

I’m finally reading A Fine Balance by Rohintin Mistry. It’s a big, fat old fashioned novel with incredible narrative sweep. Set in 1975 India, it’s really engrossing, and I’m not even a big fan of historical fiction. I can’t put it down. I feel like I’ve read a lot of crap lately, and this book is reminding me why I love books. Top notch fiction.

by Anonymousreply 90September 19, 2022 1:00 AM

R90 I asked a professional book group leader, she did it for corporate and nonprofit companies as a team building and community building tool, what book was the best experience she’s had with book clubs. Hands down she said A Fine Balance. It is a remarkable piece of literature, and it will destroy you in all the right ways. I listened to it on my LA commute. The last chapter I was stuck in traffic on the 405 bawling my eyes out. People must have thought I was having a nervous breakdown because of the traffic, I got many concerned looks and much sympathy. Give yourself enough time for the end of the book and a few hours afterward to be devastated and for it to roll around in your mind and be melancholy.

by Anonymousreply 91September 19, 2022 1:11 AM

I've not read all the Trollopes, but I've read most of them. These are my favorites:

"Barchester Towers." By far the funniest lines in all of Trollope (alhtough they will not seem funny until you know the proper context for them): "She ain't got no legs, papa!"; "Unhand me, sir!"; "You know, I was once a Jew!" Also some of his funniest situations, such as the big Medieval Revival party at Ullathorne.

"The Last Chronicle of Barset," Trollope's farewell to his most beloved characters in Barsetshire, which includes the tragic public persecution of Reverend Crawley by Mrs. Proudie, and the unforgettable death of that last-named character. Trollope thought it was his best book, and he may be right.

"Phineas Finn." The best of the Palliser novels, with great drama in Parliament accompanying some fine humor (such as when Queen Victoria tries to make a new administration and can't), great drama (the horrible marriage between Lady Laura Standiush and her repressive husband Mr. Kennedy, the richest member of parliament), and a good look at the Pallisers, Trollope's most complex and fascinating pair of characters: the stiff and pedantic Plantagenet Palliser, reluctant heir to the wealthiest dukedom in England, and his bewitching but childish wife Lady Glencora.

"The Way We Live Now." A messy but delightful book, which has some wonderful characters, especially the Melmottes, the family of exceptionally wealthy speculators who succeed in bringing the Emperor of China to London (in one of Triollope's funniest set-pieces).

"He Knew He Was Right." A great study of jealousy in a wealthy man who will not trust his wife. One of the best standalone books.

"Orley Farm." Although not the funniest of the stand alone books, it is one of the most engrossing--all about a complicated inheritance case.

by Anonymousreply 92September 19, 2022 1:31 AM

I also loved Orley Farm.

by Anonymousreply 93September 19, 2022 1:54 AM

Thanks for the car trip recommendations! Actually, Stephen King books are good for car trips - entertaining, but you don't have to play attention - though his more recent novels are pretty tedious

by Anonymousreply 94September 19, 2022 12:35 PM

"Geography is Destiny" by Ian Morris. The integration of archaeology into his history seems very interesting, until you go later and find many factual errors and political punditry in his handling of contemporary times, making you wonder about his judgement with the earlier stuff.

by Anonymousreply 95September 19, 2022 1:23 PM

If you like Daniel Mason, check out his story collection A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth.

Currently I am reading Durrell's The Alexandria Quartet: erotic, lyrical, full of passion and politics, but the star of the series is the city of Alexandria itself between the two world wars.

Also, Cloud Cuckoo Land, Invisible Cities, The Shadow of the Wind

by Anonymousreply 96September 19, 2022 4:55 PM

Disappointed to hear bad word-of-mouth about the new AM Homes. The NY Times panned it too. I imagine it's very hard to write realistic fiction about contemporary politics because events keep superseding your imagination.

by Anonymousreply 97September 19, 2022 9:22 PM

Read Toni Morrison's only short story Recitatif (from 1980) yesterday. A very interesting "experiment" (Morrison's word). Zadie Smith's introduction is longer than the story itself, but I like her and look forward to reading it. (Always read an introduction after reading the text -- introductions always give something away! I actually wish I hadn't read the jacket copy because even that gave away Morrison's experiment.)

by Anonymousreply 98September 19, 2022 9:40 PM

I'm not really a short story guy, but here are two I can highly recommend ...

"The Bunner Sisters" by Edith Wharton

"Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates

by Anonymousreply 99September 19, 2022 11:32 PM

You guys were right, The Latecomer was fabulous. Any recommendations on what to read next that would give me that "The Latecomer feeling?"

by Anonymousreply 100September 19, 2022 11:38 PM

Have you read Jonathan Franzen's Crossroads, r100? Another a great family story, even better, IMHO.

by Anonymousreply 101September 20, 2022 12:04 AM

Where are you going? The bathroom

Where have you been? The kitchen

by Anonymousreply 102September 20, 2022 12:14 AM

R102 = high school dropout

by Anonymousreply 103September 20, 2022 12:18 AM

R101- agree! Crossroads is a superior (if a bit more challenging) read than The Latecomer. Crossroads is all about Marian. One of the best characters in recent memory.

by Anonymousreply 104September 20, 2022 12:23 AM

It was a bit sluggish for me to read, but then with the last chapter it really made Marriage Portrait worth it all. I had read Hamnet back in July, which I enjoyed throughout, but that last chapter blew me away too. I’m convinced that Maggie O’Farrell is the Queen of the last chapter.

by Anonymousreply 105September 22, 2022 10:35 PM

Fall is a great time for Henry James. I'm finishing his late-period trilogy with The Golden Bowl after having read The Ambassadors and The Wings of the Dove earlier this year. Exquisite!

by Anonymousreply 106September 22, 2022 10:37 PM

"All The King's Men" by Robert Penn Warren

Never read it and but it's pretty damn good. Good plot and elegant use of language and relevant.

by Anonymousreply 107September 22, 2022 10:38 PM

Where are you going? The Living room couch

Where have you been? The toilet

by Anonymousreply 108September 22, 2022 10:53 PM

I found Black Lamb, Grey Falcon rewarding. It helped me understand Serbia and knowing their history I couldn’t quite condemn them during their war. Rebecca West wrote that during the London Blitz that she hoped to be as brave as a Serb.

by Anonymousreply 109September 23, 2022 3:04 AM

Stanley Olson wrote a wonderful biography of John Singer Sargent. He was Rebecca West’s authorized biography though j don’t know how he would organized her chaotic and rich life. Olson died young.

by Anonymousreply 110September 23, 2022 3:12 AM

I was unable to find Rohinton Mistry's A FINE BALANCE, recommended upthread, at my local book store but they did have the same author's FAMILY MATTERS. I checked some reviews online which were even better than those for the first title and bought it and I'm quite enjoying it. About 125 pages in. A slow burn, a family story not for readers looking for fast plotting, but quite compelling.

by Anonymousreply 111September 23, 2022 3:14 AM

I’m reading The Kitchen Front. It’s lovely.

by Anonymousreply 112September 23, 2022 3:18 AM

Yay! I recommended my library buy Capote’s Women and they did! I’m number 2 to get it.

by Anonymousreply 113September 23, 2022 4:03 AM

I’m reading a Garfield joke book

by Anonymousreply 114September 23, 2022 4:29 AM

Does anyone here buy crossword or acrostic books? I've gone through all those published by the NY Times (the Times Friday and Saturday crosswords and Will Shortz edited acrostics) and I'm looking for some new ones edited/published by other sources. Recommendations appreciated!

by Anonymousreply 115September 23, 2022 4:38 AM

R115- I recently gave in and subscribed to the NYT crossword app. It was $40 for a year, but you get the daily crosswords, mini, wordle, and access to all the archives. I recently worked on a crossword from 1942!

by Anonymousreply 116September 23, 2022 1:52 PM

Thanks, r116, but I'm one of those old farts who insist on doing crosswords and acrostics paper and pencil (mechanical!). I just don't enjoy them online.

by Anonymousreply 117September 23, 2022 1:55 PM

Can’t you just print it out?

by Anonymousreply 118September 23, 2022 2:07 PM

I gave up on Golden Bowl. I'm setting Black Lamb aside to pick up later, it's just too long to read straight through for me.

I can recommend my current read, a short novel [italic]Winter in Sokcho[/italic] by Elisa Dusapin. Korean young woman falls for a visiting French writer during winter in her "summer" town. Terrific sense of place!

by Anonymousreply 119September 23, 2022 2:23 PM

I keep meaning to read the Wolf Hall trilogy, I bought the first two, but haven't got to them yet. Maybe this is an appropriate time to start. Anyone read them? I don't usually like historical fiction unless it's more recent history but I've heard so many good things about the trilogy.

by Anonymousreply 120September 23, 2022 4:38 PM

This is a nicely compiled list of Fall titles and the number of recommendations each of them has. A bit disappointed the Ng book is the leader.

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by Anonymousreply 121September 23, 2022 5:29 PM

[quote] keep meaning to read the Wolf Hall trilogy

I liked "Bring Up the Bodies" the best. Side note: Hilary Mantel died.

by Anonymousreply 122September 23, 2022 5:31 PM

I was reading about her unexpected passing, it's what made me think it might be the appropriate time to finally start the trilogy.

by Anonymousreply 123September 23, 2022 5:34 PM

Excited to read Alan Rickman's diaries. Published diaries are pretty much my favorite genre.

by Anonymousreply 124September 23, 2022 5:43 PM

R124 I’ve read those of a few artists, but whose do you highly recommend? I did read poet James Merrill’s letters (1,000 plus pages) earlier this year and throughly enjoyed them.

by Anonymousreply 125September 23, 2022 5:51 PM

WarholCapote excerpt.

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by Anonymousreply 126September 23, 2022 6:07 PM

Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies are fantastic with brilliant (and often very funny) dialog; I've read them both more than once. The Mirror and the Light is very good, then it slumps a bit, but the last few pages are riveting. (I think it just needed some editorial excising about 3/4s of the way through.) I hope the team that filmed the first two books are planning on filming Mirror/Light.

by Anonymousreply 127September 23, 2022 6:18 PM

R125 I loved the diaries of James Lees-Milne and Frances Partridge, both of which ran to several volumes and covered roughly the same time period starting in the 1940's and going to the 1990's in Lees-Milne's case and the 1970's in Partridge's.

by Anonymousreply 128September 23, 2022 6:47 PM

I'm going to start Leave the world behind

by Anonymousreply 129September 23, 2022 9:51 PM

This award season seems pretty gayless. AT least The town of Babylon by Alejandro Varela (nominated to the National Book award) has a gay main character

by Anonymousreply 130September 28, 2022 6:05 PM

"Nothing But the Night," about Leopold and Loeb.

by Anonymousreply 131September 28, 2022 6:36 PM

Enjoying 100 Years of Solitude.

Liked The Silent Patient (I think it was recommended on one of these threads). Quick read and fun twist at the end.

by Anonymousreply 132September 28, 2022 6:53 PM

Finished The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel. I liked it, but her plots or focus never seem to go where I want them to or think they should. I felt the same way about her Station Eleven -- liked the traveling Shakespeare company, didn't care at all about the cult leader. Glass Hotel had too much Ponzi scheme, I thought. Oh, well, they're her books, she can write them as she pleases.

Now reading, for the first time, The Three Musketeers. How's that for a genre switch?

by Anonymousreply 133September 28, 2022 6:57 PM

Question: In addition to Pumpkin Spice, Fall also means Halloween. Aside from the obvious choices (Dracula, Salem's Lot, etc), what are some of DL's favorite horror (novels or short stories)?

by Anonymousreply 134September 28, 2022 7:01 PM

The sense of dread in Capote's IN COLD BLOOD is about as scary as books go, r134.

by Anonymousreply 135September 28, 2022 7:03 PM

There's always Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery."

by Anonymousreply 136September 28, 2022 7:06 PM

I’m just finishing That Which Makes Us Stronger by Gregg Triggs. Great read. Gay protagonist. Set in the 70s and 80s. Out there family. Touching on one page. Funny on the next. I’m not ready for it to end. Kind of an if David Sedaris wrote fiction vibe. A little bit Maupin, but family focused.

by Anonymousreply 137September 28, 2022 7:10 PM

I’m reading As It Turns Out by Alice Sedgwick, Edie’s oldest sister and it’s so good. For those who like the inside story of those 20th century patrician families becoming undone, it’s more about them so far (first third) than directly about Edie. It is supposed to eventually focus on Edie and Andy and it’s quite well written, she has an academic arts writing background and I’m impressed with her skills as an author.

by Anonymousreply 138September 28, 2022 7:17 PM

Nothing But the Night sounds interesting, just put it on my Amazon wishlist

by Anonymousreply 139September 28, 2022 7:20 PM

Thanks for the recs of THE LATECOMER above. I’m really enjoying it.

by Anonymousreply 140September 28, 2022 7:43 PM

READ BY STRANGERS has some spooky, unsettling material. Perfect for Halloween.

by Anonymousreply 141September 28, 2022 7:44 PM

"Bucket to Greece", by V.D. Bucket

a funny series of light-reading novels before bed about a Mancunian couple of early retirees moving to Greece. Has me in stitches.

by Anonymousreply 142September 28, 2022 7:46 PM

Those who've enjoyed THE LATECOMER and are looking for other books about dysfunctional families might enjoy Karen Joy Fowler's WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES. I might have already recommended it a thread ago but it fills the required request for those LATECOMER fans.

by Anonymousreply 143September 28, 2022 10:28 PM

Some interesting nonfiction picks from the Big O, I’m especially drawn to the books on Martha Graham and Elizabeth Hardwick, and despite having already seen the Newman docuseries, name dropping Stein’s Edie book as a similar structure for the memoir intrigues me. And I loved The Emperor of All Maladies, so I’d definitely read another medical book by him.

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by Anonymousreply 144September 29, 2022 10:15 AM

^Thanks for posting that list. The book about Ted Kennedy, assuming it's a "warts & all" bio sounds good. Jemele Hill - just no, she seemed obnoxious on Below Deck.

by Anonymousreply 145September 29, 2022 11:11 AM

Has anyone ever read any of Bernice Rubens' novels? I came across one of her books in my library, THE WAITING GAME, about a group of elderly people in the 1990s in a well-to-do home for aged outside London, where all sorts of sinister shenanigans are happening. Brilliant satire, wickedly funny and also quite poignant. Not unlike the best of Muriel Spark. I believe Rubens died by 2000 and her books are no longer in print, at least in the US, but worth tracking down if they're as great as this one. Amazon seems to have some used copies on sale.

by Anonymousreply 146September 29, 2022 1:59 PM

R145, Here's the thing, re: Teddy. The defining moment of his life was not becoming the "Lion of the Senate," much as his work deserved (I am a hard-core Democrat); it wasn't his near-fatal plane crash; and it wasn't his attempt to replace Jimmy Carter.

It was Chappaquiddick. And though there exist books positing disparate scenarios (I personally favor the "He wasn't even there at all" theory, because of his nonchalance at his lodgings later, and the implausibility of his swimming any distance with his bad post-plane-crash back), nevertheless one can glean a sense of Ted's character from each.

And find it less than leonine.

by Anonymousreply 147September 29, 2022 3:16 PM

R146, "The Waiting Game" sounds like Season 3, Episode 2, of "Midsomer Murders":

"Blue Herrings."

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by Anonymousreply 148September 29, 2022 3:21 PM

The sequel to _Less_ is out now.

_Less is Lost_

I have ordered and received it. Saving it for a beach vacation

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by Anonymousreply 149September 29, 2022 3:33 PM

I’m reading the short story collection “In the Fifteenth District” by Mavis Gallant. Brandon Thomas wrote about one of the stories in the collection “The Remission” on his blog and I enjoyed reading his critique. I just finished Homes’ “The Unfolding” mentioned here. I was very disappointed. I expected more of a paranoid political thriller but she wrote aa anemic family drama with a talky right wing side plot. Opinions about the book on this blog we’re divided.

by Anonymousreply 150September 30, 2022 1:05 AM

R125, I can’t find the complete Partridge diaries but there it looks like she published diaries that covered a few years at a time. Which ones should I read? J agree with you about Lees-Milne. Have you read his biography “The Bachelor Duke” about the fourth Duke of Devonshire? It’s very well done. Such a character!

by Anonymousreply 151September 30, 2022 1:22 AM

R151 I own a copy of "The Bachelor Duke" and several others by Lees-Milne that I purchased while reading the diaries. Thus far, I have only read the 12 volumes of diaries though. It's interesting you single out that particular biography since it was the one he didn't really want to write! Andrew and Debo Devonshire talked him into it and he found the research into the subject and even the writing of it a bit tedious, if I remember correctly from the diaries!

Glad to hear your view that it turned out well despite that. I will have to read it soon.

I find it impossible not to read diaries in the order they were written, so I'd naturally say start with the first volume by Frances Partridge, about the war years: "A Pacifist's War". That said, the ones written after the death of her husband Ralph were better, in my view. So if you're okay with going out of order, pick up "Hanging On" which is the third volume and picks up immediately after his death.

Also, on the topic of diaries, if you ever come across the five volumes of "A Gay Diary" by Donald Vining, I highly recommend them. Vining, a New Yorker, kept them from the 1930's to the 1980's and they are a fascinating and honest look at gay life in that era. He published them through his own small press.

Some of the volumes are very hard to find. I had given up on finding the 5th volume altogether, had started to think it was in fact mythical since the end of volume 4 made it seem no more would be published, but then a copy popped up on eBay and I was able to buy it.

by Anonymousreply 152September 30, 2022 3:36 AM

^^ actually I am R 124 I just realized.

by Anonymousreply 153September 30, 2022 3:41 AM

While I’m glad I read The Latecomer, I thought the last section was a different and lesser book.

by Anonymousreply 154September 30, 2022 12:32 PM

R150, who is Brandon Thomas?

by Anonymousreply 155September 30, 2022 2:34 PM

I agree about THE LATECOMER, r154. But flawed though it may be, with some really questionable character motivations, I still found it a very worthwhile read. It sure kept me turning the pages to the end and that's saying something, what with all the crappy new fiction out there.

I've recently tried to read There, There, Trust, and The Trees, all with rave reviews, and yet found them all wanting, and didn't finish any of them.

by Anonymousreply 156September 30, 2022 2:34 PM

I sobbed through the last 20 pages of "Less Is Lost". It's a bravura follow-up.

by Anonymousreply 157September 30, 2022 3:11 PM

Oh r157 I can’t wait - loved the first one.

by Anonymousreply 158September 30, 2022 3:21 PM

Should I…

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by Anonymousreply 159September 30, 2022 8:14 PM

R159 I thought it was the perfect summer read, with all that that implies.

by Anonymousreply 160September 30, 2022 8:21 PM

R160: literary merits aside, I find his totally shameless no-holds-barred attempt to push his book rather refreshing and delightful

by Anonymousreply 161September 30, 2022 9:01 PM

R151, have you read his biography The Enigmatic Englishman? The subject was a pedophile and that was known to everybody. He had some sort of commission as a librarian for Victoria, I think. I read it years ago. It’s worth a read because it’s so appealing!

by Anonymousreply 162October 1, 2022 9:25 PM

R151, I found two titles by Vining on open library. One is titled A Gay Diary and the other is How Can You be Open if You’ve Never Been Out, or something. I’ll definitely read those. Thanks so much!

by Anonymousreply 163October 1, 2022 9:28 PM

Finished 100 Years of Solitude. Enjoyed it but was not blown away by it.

by Anonymousreply 164October 2, 2022 12:25 AM

R150, Brandon Taylor! So, sorry. His novel Real Life was one of the best novels that I read in 2020. His short story collection Filthy Animals was almost as good. Had had a new novel coming out soon.

by Anonymousreply 165October 2, 2022 12:32 AM

R165 I only read Filthy Animals last year and found it lacking. I wish he would have pulled out the related stories and published them as a stand alone novella instead, they were the strength and he only did them harm by breaking them up and inserting other subpar stories between them. Two other Gay short story collections were much better Gordo and Afterparties, each near perfect. I’m very reluctant now to read the Taylor novel.

by Anonymousreply 166October 2, 2022 2:52 AM

Murdered Heiress: Living Witness

by Anonymousreply 167October 2, 2022 4:13 AM

Has anyone ever read A FRACTION OF THE WHOLE by Steve Toltz? Just getting into it now and the writing style is very engaging, like the best of young John Irving.

by Anonymousreply 168October 2, 2022 4:40 AM

At Home With My Sphincter.

by Anonymousreply 169October 2, 2022 5:40 PM

I'm finshing Leave the world behind, and it's interesting and entertainning but not the big masterpiece that some reviews said.

I'm reading Carrie Soto is back, and yes it's a beach read, a page turner with a lot of innacuracies, but i'm having a great time. Maybe because i love tennis

by Anonymousreply 170October 3, 2022 11:02 AM

I read Women Talking , which will be a movie by one of my favorite people Sarah Polley coming out in December. It’s based on a true story about of group of Mennonite women who were anesthetized by members of their community and raped while they were unconscious in large numbers. The book looks at them in secret discussing what should be done as the perpetrators are about to be released on bail, which is being put up by many of their husbands, fathers and sons who were not aggressors, but none the less support the other men. It’s a complex discussion of faith and emerging ideas of feminist ideals in a heartbreaking situation. They are all illiterate, but are supported by an outcast male who is taking minutes. It was very powerful.

by Anonymousreply 171October 3, 2022 1:49 PM

I couldn’t get into that one r171 but I’ll try again.

Reading Giovanni’s Room for the first time. Wow.

by Anonymousreply 172October 3, 2022 1:59 PM

R171 I think the key is trying to read it in as compressed a time as possible, almost like it’s happening in real time so that the tension of being under the gun is there and you don’t loose the flow of the threads of conversation in the story. A chart of how the women are related to each other would have helped, so you may want to sketch it out for yourself as it’s mentioned in the text. Honestly, I think as a movie it will be much easier to follow, and perhaps the best format of it is a stage production, it would be a perfect and powerful theater piece.

by Anonymousreply 173October 3, 2022 2:07 PM

R163 I haven't read that, no. I think I bought a copy while reading the diaries though.

I wish someone would bring Donald Vining's five volumes of A Gay Diary back into print since it can be almost impossible to find some volumes and some of the others are expensive.

by Anonymousreply 174October 3, 2022 5:27 PM

Adam Silvera’s getting some great press for his prequel.

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by Anonymousreply 175October 5, 2022 3:34 AM

Anyone read "Town of Babylon"? A National Book Award finalist.

by Anonymousreply 176October 5, 2022 5:43 AM

It was the only one with a gay main character and made the shortlist (this award season is pretty straight till now)

by Anonymousreply 177October 5, 2022 10:58 AM

R176 I started it and I’m loving it, just a really straight forward book about coming home, unexpectedly going to your high school reunion and it triggering all these memories and interactions from your past. The cover is HORRENDOUS and doesn’t make any sense. If ever there is a case not to judge a book by it’s cover going on this is it. Ignore the cover at all cost. Writing is great, lots of potential for romantic and familia heartbreak.

by Anonymousreply 178October 5, 2022 12:40 PM

A cover is very important. I remember someone saying in a book forum that the shopper said to him that they were not selling The vanishing half and he blamed the cover (racial themes are not a hot topic in Spain but everyone who read that novel in the forum really like it)

by Anonymousreply 179October 5, 2022 12:58 PM

R178 Yeah, I don’t know how in this day and age they fucked it up this badly, it looks like a reject cover from the 70s. This NBA winning potential certainly saved it from obscurity. If they are smart they will have the paperback out by December with a smashing new cover. I still haven’t figured out if this is supposed to be Babylon, Long Island, or if the name is being used more metaphorically. It’s been very vague. Isn’t there a prominent Babylon NJ too? Or maybe the David Gray song might play into it at some point, I think it would have coincided with the high school years.

by Anonymousreply 180October 5, 2022 1:05 PM

I recently finished The Magician, from Colm Toibin, doing to Thmaa Mann what he did to Henry Jamnes in The Master. I liked it very much, as I didn’t know a lot about Mann’s interesting, long life. Surprisingly, he had 2 gays sons and alesvia/bi daughter who were out from an early age. Naturally, he himself was bi/gay, something his wife was fully aware as well.

by Anonymousreply 181October 5, 2022 2:09 PM

LESS and it's new sequel LESS IS LOST have beautifully designed cover illustrations. Very witty and they even imagine the character as I see him. I bet they helped sell those books.

As for THE VANISHING HALF, that jigsaw puzzle graphic seems to be used on every other book cover I see now.

by Anonymousreply 182October 5, 2022 3:00 PM

R182 I know, and that was not a problem in the USA because there were a lot of buzz aboiut that novel, but in Spain that cover didn't attract people who obviously didn't know about the novel before.

I read it because i read really good things about it. Not that i trust in critics when there's a racial theme (Such a fun age is garbage and it was very difficult to find a bad review) but in The vanishing half the praise was totally deserved

by Anonymousreply 183October 5, 2022 8:00 PM

The Vanishing Half was one of my favorite books of last year. Amazing novel. Passing by Nella Larsen is a good companion read.

by Anonymousreply 184October 5, 2022 8:03 PM

I read a Britt Bennet's interview and i didn't agree with her in a lot of things that was probably the reason i was so positively surprised at how much i liked The vanishing half. It's not only that i liked the story, i liked the way she wrote it.

It's a pity The mothers is not published here

by Anonymousreply 185October 5, 2022 8:11 PM

Re-reading James Purdy, strange and mostly now forgotten "outlaw" American author from a half century. Totally in a category of his own.

Read "Eustache Chilsom and the Works" as a young gayling.

Just read "Narrow Room" in one sitting. Now onto short stories

by Anonymousreply 186October 6, 2022 7:09 PM

Anyone read this?

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by Anonymousreply 187October 9, 2022 2:47 PM

I’m reading Compote’s Women, which is kind of sterile and straightforward more of an information dump than a good nonfiction exploration. Anyone read The Swans of Fifth Avenue, the novelistic approach of them? Is it campy and fun, or better to pass over it?

by Anonymousreply 188October 9, 2022 3:06 PM


As in fruit compote??

by Anonymousreply 189October 9, 2022 3:22 PM

Spell checks a bitch…

by Anonymousreply 190October 9, 2022 3:52 PM

Just finished that South Korean book “Lemon.” Did anyone else read it?

by Anonymousreply 191October 9, 2022 4:08 PM

Reading a gut-punch of a book, "We Begin At The End". Great story, memorable characters, and heartbreaking.

by Anonymousreply 192October 9, 2022 5:57 PM

Get your nose out of my hole!

by Anonymousreply 193October 9, 2022 6:24 PM

Looking forward to reading "Getting Lost" by the new Nobel laureate Annie Ernaux, about an older woman's sexual obsession with a younger man.

yeah, i know it's hetsex, but with passages like this, sounds irresistible.

“I want to keep a G-string soaked with his sperm under my pillow.”

“I realized that I’d lost a contact lens,” “I found it on his penis.”

by Anonymousreply 194October 9, 2022 6:44 PM

R194 My library, Queens, bought an extensive number of eBook and eAudiobooks of her titles, sometimes close to 100 copies each. Many are short, also quite brutal and straightforward, but I really like her writing style, reminds me a bit of Didion, more so in her nonfiction than her novels. They are very unflinching in their content.

by Anonymousreply 195October 9, 2022 7:07 PM

I'm finishing Stephen King's The institute and then i'll read the last Goncourt winner (i think it's not published in english yet)

by Anonymousreply 196October 9, 2022 7:18 PM

Just read "the push" freaky little book.

by Anonymousreply 197October 9, 2022 7:51 PM

R194 it’s pornography

by Anonymousreply 198October 9, 2022 7:57 PM

I've seem a lot of male journalist irritated by Ernaux Nobel and i kind of like it

by Anonymousreply 199October 9, 2022 7:59 PM

great, i love pornography, especially if it's describing hot naked fucking men

yeah, women aren't spozed to lust after men the way we gayz do

by Anonymousreply 200October 9, 2022 8:25 PM

I was tremendously disappointed in Kate Atkinson's newly published novel Shrines of Gaiety (horrible title, too!).

A great big cast of formidable characters in a vividly detailed setting of London's crime infested Soho in 1926, but there's simply no plot, no tension, no danger. WTF has happened to her?

by Anonymousreply 201October 10, 2022 12:12 AM

I finished "There There," which I started weeks ago, but had to get away from for a while. It built to a great finish, but it was hard to keep track of all the characters--some of the male characters seemed so much alike (all hulking depressed men with terrible jobs).

by Anonymousreply 202October 10, 2022 12:26 AM

Good for you for finishing it, r202. Felt the same way as you about the male characters and never bothered reading to the end.

by Anonymousreply 203October 10, 2022 3:51 AM

I'm going to start Damon Galgut's The promise

by Anonymousreply 204October 11, 2022 12:55 PM

Anyone else read THE WHALEBONE THEARE, recently published? My husband is now and he's raving about how great it is.

by Anonymousreply 205October 11, 2022 2:37 PM

R205 Is that about the dead whale that washed up on the shore on the UK, and even though it technically belongs to the crown they cleanup the skeleton and use it as a stage for performances? I heard my story a few weeks ago and I don’t know where it came from, but this title sounds like it.

by Anonymousreply 206October 11, 2022 3:15 PM

Anthony Marra and Celeste Ng's new novel will be published here pretty soon.

In Marra's case it's quite surprising because i had to wait for Marra's first novel more than three years

by Anonymousreply 207October 12, 2022 12:27 PM

Celeste Ng is a grade-A cunt.

by Anonymousreply 208October 12, 2022 12:46 PM

"May We Be Spared to Meet on Earth," a collection of all the extant letters from members of the 1845 Franklin arctic expedition, one of my niche interests.

Otherwise, all the talk about the tv show has me wanting to reread "Interview With the Vampire," but since I haven't read it since 1988 I'm a little leery that I'll hate it now. It was never my favorite of the series even during my misguided goth youth.

by Anonymousreply 209October 12, 2022 12:54 PM

Just started the new one by Iain Reid called “we spread.”

by Anonymousreply 210October 12, 2022 1:19 PM

R208 I couldn't care less, i like her novels

by Anonymousreply 211October 12, 2022 1:21 PM

r206, yes, but a very minor part of the book.

by Anonymousreply 212October 12, 2022 3:05 PM

r208, Winston Churchill was also a grade-A cunt but he made a terrific Prime Minister.

by Anonymousreply 213October 12, 2022 3:07 PM

I see the Grub Street crew has found this thread. Is that you, Christopher Castellani at R211/R213 or your weird husband?

by Anonymousreply 214October 12, 2022 3:24 PM

R209, I bought "May We Be Spared..." but haven't started it yet. I'm also really interested in the Franklin expedition

by Anonymousreply 215October 12, 2022 5:09 PM

R207=Anthony Marra has a great novel out for months called "Mercury Pictures Presents". It is exhilarating. Perhaps you missed it?

by Anonymousreply 216October 12, 2022 5:36 PM

R216 I live in Spain, that novel will be published here this month

by Anonymousreply 217October 12, 2022 7:30 PM

Despite being very excited about Mercury Pictures Presents and Siren Queen by Vo about a lesbian Asian actress in old Hollywood, both books got lackluster reviews from Booktubers whose reviews I align closely with and I decided to skip reading them. Apparently, MPP was born of two different ideas for books that he smashed together into one and it works for neither and the reader can sense the struggle between the two and the lack of cohesion. It was very disappointing, I was quite excited by both. Instead I read The Actress by Enright, which was quite good. I also abandoned another Hollywood book that was about a 60s film star going on her honeymoon to Africa on a safari with a huge entourage that slowly gets picked off by a killer. By the time it was released it too seemed DOA.

by Anonymousreply 218October 12, 2022 7:43 PM

R 218 Is the killer a lion?

by Anonymousreply 219October 12, 2022 7:46 PM

I don’t know, perhaps I’ll watch the series when it comes out, if they manage to fix the problems the book must have had.

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by Anonymousreply 220October 12, 2022 7:51 PM

I'm reading Confidence Man by Maggie Haberman

by Anonymousreply 221October 12, 2022 9:50 PM

Does anyone collect the old Franklin Mint editions.

by Anonymousreply 222October 12, 2022 10:52 PM

R221, any juicy bits so far?

by Anonymousreply 223October 12, 2022 11:41 PM

R222 The Gay Booktuber Supposedly Fun does, mainly the Pulitzer winning titles.

by Anonymousreply 224October 13, 2022 12:23 AM

R220 That book was horrid, I can't imagine it'll make a better tv show.

by Anonymousreply 225October 13, 2022 2:09 AM

i know upton sinclair’s the jungle is like a really important socialist text and all that

but it is the FUNNIEST book ever written like every two pages this guy and his family’s lives somehow get immeasurably worse

like their house falls down his baby drowns in a puddle the grandma explodes you’re like please this was all in one fucking chapter give me a rest i beg

by Anonymousreply 226October 13, 2022 2:30 AM

I recall finding The Jungle a real slog when we read it in high school.

Thanks to the person recommending Bernice Rubens above, I've ordered a copy of "Mr Wakefield's Crusade".

Yesterday, I started 1930's gay writer John Hampson's "Saturday Night at the Greyhound".

by Anonymousreply 227October 16, 2022 1:08 PM

Just started The Trees and I’m flying through it, it’s hard to believe something that is such a dark subject matter is also so laugh out loud hilarious, the writer is a genius at satire. I think there’s a really good chance it might be the Booker winner this week.

by Anonymousreply 228October 16, 2022 2:38 PM

I'll be curious to hear what you think of THE TREES when you've finished it, r228. I also started out loving it.......

by Anonymousreply 229October 16, 2022 2:57 PM

Oh, interesting….

by Anonymousreply 230October 16, 2022 3:05 PM

The seven moons of Maali Almeida won the Booker.

The novel has a gay main character

by Anonymousreply 231October 18, 2022 8:34 PM

I finished The Trees and really liked it throughout the whole book, I can see how others might find the ending and wrapping up disconcerting or unfinished, but it seemed inevitable to me. I am happy it got Booker recognition and has brought a lot of readers to Everett as an author, I definitely will read more of his backlist, but I’m content that it didn’t win, though I haven’t read 7 Moons yet.

by Anonymousreply 232October 18, 2022 8:44 PM

Last year’s winning Booker writer was a Gay man, but other than an understated lesbian relationship there was very little gay content in the winning book. This year, the author is straight, but his main character is a Gay man. This Booktuber attended the press conference afterwards and at 35:55 someone asks the author about writing from a Gay male character perspective as a straight man, and he gives a very good, nuanced response.

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by Anonymousreply 233October 18, 2022 8:52 PM

There were three gay writers winning the Booker in the last 8 years, but the truth is none of the novels is really a gay novel.

Don't get me wrong A brief story of seven killings and Shuggie Bain are great novels (i'm reading the promise right now and i'm loving it) but the focus i not gay. Marlon James has gay characters and of course the main character of Shuggie Bain is gay but the focus of the story is Agnes alcoholism (Shuggie is a kid most of the novel).

But i'm happy gay writers are winning big awards, when The line of beauty won it seemed like an anomaly.

7 moons seems very interesting and it's great that an straight writer from a country like Sri Lanka wanted to put the focus on a gay character.

I really had some issues with The sellout but the Booker really get it right in the last 10 years or so (i didn't read Richard Flannagan's novel yet)

by Anonymousreply 234October 18, 2022 9:01 PM

Speaking of The Line of Beauty, WHET Alan Hollinghurst? Sparsholt Affair was awhile back.

by Anonymousreply 235October 18, 2022 9:05 PM

Well, Alan Hollinghurst is not that prolific, The swimming pool library was released in 1988, The folding star in 1994, The spell in 1988, The line of beauty in 2004, The stranger's child in 2011 and The sparsholt affair in 2017.

He probably release a new one in a year or two

by Anonymousreply 236October 18, 2022 9:08 PM

The Sparsholt Affair used the gay scandal storyline as a MacGuffin. Hollinghurst never reveals what exact the Sparsholt affair even was.

by Anonymousreply 237October 18, 2022 9:17 PM

I finally read The Sparsholt Affair this past year. I guess I'd been put off by what I initially perceived were bad reviews but I wound up loving it as much as any of his novels. The change of period and the Oxford setting after those first chapters was disconcerting but once over that, I was totally into it. I'm not sure what "reveal" you were looking for, r237. And I can't imagine a "gayer" novel.

by Anonymousreply 238October 18, 2022 11:28 PM

Any opinions on Hollinghurst's THE SPELL? I don't think I've ever heard of that one.

by Anonymousreply 239October 18, 2022 11:29 PM

[QUOTE] I'm not sure what "reveal" you were looking for, [R237]. And I can't imagine a "gayer" novel.

I actually ended up really enjoying it as well. I wasn’t disparaging in my comment at any point. I ultimately thought it was a fascinating device to tell a larger story.

In the end, of course, it’s not too hard to figure out what happened during the “affair” using some scattered comments and clues.

by Anonymousreply 240October 19, 2022 12:04 AM

I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never read Hollinghurst. Does anyone have a recommendation on a great first point of entry? What’s his definitive book? Open to thoughts here. Thanks!

by Anonymousreply 241October 19, 2022 7:24 PM

R239 It's his worst novel by far.

I remember reading about the controversy of "homophobic" review of John Updike but if Updike really wanted to write a bad review he didn't needed to go on about the gay sex making him feel unconforrtable because there were a lot of things that didn't work in that novel.

Some writers trashed Updike's review and they were right, if you don't feel comfortable reading about gay sex you should not write a review of that book (and it was quite hypocrital on his part because there's plenty of sex in his novels)

by Anonymousreply 242October 19, 2022 7:27 PM

I liked The Line of Beauty more than the rest, r241.

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by Anonymousreply 243October 19, 2022 9:20 PM

I liked The Swimming Pool Library

by Anonymousreply 244October 19, 2022 9:44 PM

R241, I suggest starting with either The Swimming Pool Library or The Line of Beauty.

by Anonymousreply 245October 19, 2022 11:17 PM

I thought “The Spell” was good because I got several erections reading it. One of the main characters was this libidinous, sexy creature. If you want to start with Hollinghurst hen start at the very beginning. He’s worth it except for his most recent. The gun stuff happened off the page.

by Anonymousreply 246October 20, 2022 12:13 AM

The line of beauty is still my favourite (and it was my first Hollinghurst). I still didn't read the sparsholt affair.

I'm just ending The promise (i'm really loving it) and starting another booker winner, The testaments by Margaret Atwood (then i think i will read The years by Annie Ernaux and hopefully it will be a better experience than the one i had with the last french Nobel winner)

by Anonymousreply 247October 20, 2022 9:22 PM

I’m reading a book of collected shithouse poetry from the 19th century.

by Anonymousreply 248October 21, 2022 12:38 AM

Well ... I've finished "Saturday Night at the Greyhound" by John Hampson finding it grim and dated. Truly sad that the Woolfs wouldn't publish his explicitly gay book back then.

by Anonymousreply 249October 21, 2022 1:40 AM

Has anyone read Celeste Ng's newest OUR MISSING HEARTS yet?

I'm a little more than 1/2 through, some truly beautiful writing and a fascinating if scary premise of a neo-conservative America in the not too distant future, sadly all too believable, But somehow I'm finding it a bit of a slog. Maybe it;s that the middle section of the book is a long narrative by one of the characters, relating past events.

I think the reviews have all been rapturous but I find professional reviews usually tend to be very respectful and not very critical of celebrated authors. The reader reviews on Amazon are more mixed, though I haven't read any reviews too thoroughly because I want to avoid any spoilers.

by Anonymousreply 250October 21, 2022 2:16 AM

Anyone out there reading the new John Irving? Was there an embargo on ARCs, no one was talking about this before it’s release? By the way I hate the cover, it looks like bad 80s Nicholas Sparks.

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by Anonymousreply 251October 21, 2022 4:13 PM

Loving the Latecomers - thanks for the recommendation

by Anonymousreply 252October 21, 2022 4:25 PM

Just what I want to read. A 900 page overwritten opus by John Irving. Makes a great paperweight!

by Anonymousreply 253October 21, 2022 5:28 PM

If new to Hollinghurst, start with The Swimming Pool Library.

I liked LIne of Beauty, but it was stuck in a particular time period, Thacherism,

by Anonymousreply 254October 21, 2022 11:19 PM

Best of 2022 lists are coming out, though this has been a running one so it’s quite extensive.

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by Anonymousreply 255October 27, 2022 2:00 AM

Publishers Weekly highlights the best books on a dozen categories.

by Anonymousreply 256October 27, 2022 2:01 AM

Sorry, hers the link:

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by Anonymousreply 257October 27, 2022 2:02 AM

I had “The Marriage Portrait” on reserve at the library but I’m returning it. It’s frau fiction.

by Anonymousreply 258October 27, 2022 2:10 AM

As was HAMNET. Maggie is not a good writer.

by Anonymousreply 259October 27, 2022 3:25 AM

Really loved The Latecomer even though it came together a bit too perfectly at the end. Couldn’t put it down.

Thanks for recommending it upthread.

by Anonymousreply 260October 27, 2022 4:16 AM

For sure, r260, that book deserved a better ending.

by Anonymousreply 261October 27, 2022 1:34 PM

I think i will try a couple of hyped debut novels in november, The sweetness of water by Nathan Harris and Ohio by Stephen Markley

by Anonymousreply 262October 29, 2022 11:33 AM

Is anyone reading the new Cormac McCarthy?

by Anonymousreply 263October 29, 2022 11:46 AM

I just finished Mad Honey, by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Boylan. It's a sympathetic portrait of one transgendered girl and her family, friends, and boyfriend. I liked the main characters. The trans part comes as a surprise, sort of. I say "sort of" because you know if Jennifer Boylan is co-author, there's more than likely going to be something trans about it.

I won't describe the plot. I'll just say I gave it five stars on Amazon when I was done reading it.

by Anonymousreply 264October 29, 2022 2:16 PM

And I just finished THE WHALEBONE THEATRE by Joanna Quinn, one of the most entertaining and touching novels I've read in quite awhile.

Beginning just after WW1, it's the epic saga of a crumbling estate on the Devon coast and the 3 children raised there by neglectful parents, who all eventually serve in their own very particular ways during WW2. Don't want to give away too much but I just loved it and don't understand why it isn't getting the attention here it has in the UK. Just wonderful storytelling.

by Anonymousreply 265October 31, 2022 10:28 PM

They’re making The Other Black Girl into a HULU series!

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by Anonymousreply 266November 1, 2022 2:44 AM

R266, oh wow, Hunter Parrish! I haven't seen him in anything for a while.

by Anonymousreply 267November 1, 2022 3:44 PM

I’m reading a poetry book and sonnets by Mrs. Dorothy Lynch

by Anonymousreply 268November 1, 2022 3:54 PM

Enjoying Less is Lost.

Got the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying to read next.

by Anonymousreply 269November 1, 2022 4:42 PM

THE OTHER BLACK GIRL had some major problems and the writing was not that great. However, I can see it working as a limited series more successfully than it did as a novel. It has an interesting concept.

by Anonymousreply 270November 1, 2022 4:46 PM

I felt the same way R270. When reading it, I kept wondering if the book was actually edited because it read like it needed a couple more major drafts. I definitely see it being successful as a limited series as well.

by Anonymousreply 271November 1, 2022 7:34 PM

I’m reading a fascinating picture book of prolapsed assholes.

by Anonymousreply 272November 2, 2022 12:43 AM

R272, The Aaron Schock Story?

by Anonymousreply 273November 2, 2022 1:04 AM

R270 That novel gives me "Such fun age" vibes which is not good at all

by Anonymousreply 274November 2, 2022 10:22 PM

Thought this might be of interest.

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by Anonymousreply 275November 3, 2022 5:30 AM

Well, i finished The years by Annie Ernaux. It's interesting (and very french) and Loba Negra (Black She-wolf) by Juan Gómez-Jurado which is the second part of Reina Roja (which will be a tv show pretty soon), it's as entertainning and funny as the first one and has a gay main character.

Now i'm going to read Sea of tranquility by Emily St John Mandel and Ohio by Stephen Markley

by Anonymousreply 276November 6, 2022 8:31 PM

I'm re-reading David Copperfield. it's absolutely wonderful--there is probably no more satisfying moment in all of fiction than when eccentric Aunt Betsey finally tells off Mr. Murdstone and his sister at great length and tells David she'll always care for him.

It's not as complex as some of his other later novels (like Little Dorrit and Bleak house), but it is his most pleasurable.

by Anonymousreply 277November 6, 2022 8:35 PM

I found the first half of David Copperfield incredibly depressing! The second half was like switching from b/w to "fun" Technicolor.

by Anonymousreply 278November 6, 2022 9:54 PM

Just finished Rabih Alameddine’s THE ANGEL OF HISTORY. Way too fragmented and disjointed for me to fully enjoy. The last twenty pages or so had some beautiful sections but it took the whole book to get there.

This was my first foray into his work. I’ll try another to see if it was just a one-off clunker for me.

by Anonymousreply 279November 6, 2022 10:16 PM

R279. I really loved it!

by Anonymousreply 280November 6, 2022 10:30 PM

Well, i'm going to try the joy luck club by Amy Tan.

My experience with 80's classics is that most of them didn't age well (in fact the novels that age well are generally not set in the 80's, The name of the rose, The perfume), so we'll see

by Anonymousreply 281November 10, 2022 6:49 PM

R281 I don’t remember if there’s a printed “key” in Joy Luck Club or not, but make yourself a small chart of mother/daughter dyads to refer to as you read until it becomes entrenched and you know who each pair is, and which one is which. You may even want to add a few key identifiers about each person as well. It’s complicated because the names are unfamiliar and it’s easy to get lost or mixed up, especially at the start.

by Anonymousreply 282November 10, 2022 6:57 PM

R282 My novel has the names of the mothers and their daughters on one of the first pages and i use it as guide to not mix them

by Anonymousreply 283November 10, 2022 7:06 PM

Just came back from Powells Books in Portland with “Querelle of Roberval” by Kevin Lambert, “The Folded Leaf” by William Maxwell, “Shy” by Mary Rodgers, “Wild Strawberries” by Angela Thirkell and Ivan Turgenev’s “A Sportsman’s Notebook.” Which should I read first? Help me, DL, you’re my only hope!

by Anonymousreply 284November 11, 2022 11:55 PM

I really liked The Folded Leaf

by Anonymousreply 285November 12, 2022 12:39 AM

If you're really into theatre, r284, SHY is one of the very best bios/memoirs on the subject I've ever read. Mary Rodgers' writing is so incredibly engaging, you'll feel like you're hearing from your best friend.

by Anonymousreply 286November 12, 2022 12:54 AM

Shy was great, just finished it this week, Gay theatre guys are THE audience for this book.

by Anonymousreply 287November 12, 2022 12:56 AM

Oh I think SHY is also a fabulous read for any women in the theatre!

by Anonymousreply 288November 12, 2022 12:59 AM

Or anyone who ever felt unloved by their parents.

by Anonymousreply 289November 12, 2022 1:00 AM

Or who went to Brearley.

by Anonymousreply 290November 12, 2022 1:02 AM

Tall Oaks Chris Whitaker

One of the best oooks i've dread this year.

and for a straight man, one hot looking man

by Anonymousreply 291November 14, 2022 4:38 PM

Interesting read for the Bookish crowd.

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by Anonymousreply 292November 16, 2022 1:16 PM

On some very strong recommendations here upthread (or maybe even in an earlier thread), I read Rohinton Mistry's A FINE BALANCE. IIRC it was said the novel was highly popular with reading groups and clubs. While I admired it very much, it's an extremely bleak, horrific and pessimistic look at India in the mid-1970s during Indira Gandhi's reign. The book is often compared to Charles Dickens, particularly BLEAK HOUSE, in its sweep, large cast, coincidences of plotting and concern with the destruction of the individual by a heartless industrialized society. But Dickens had a love of the underdog that I'm not sure comes through here. There's no happy ending for anyone.

I will probably never forget portions of the book, but god, it was a downer.

by Anonymousreply 293November 18, 2022 3:41 AM

Just started Butcher's Work: True Crime Tales of American Murder and Madness by Harold Schechter

by Anonymousreply 294November 18, 2022 3:44 AM

And I just started Tom Perrotta's TRACY FLICK CAN'T WIN. Fun!!!

by Anonymousreply 295November 18, 2022 4:05 AM

Currently reading "Ted Kennedy: A Life"; reviewers didn't seem to like the book because they thought that the author when too soft on old Ted, but he's still a fascinating character.

Next up, I'm reading "We Don't Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland", mostly because I'm fascinating by a place that not so long ago was a backwards, poor little island & now they're downright progressive compares to the US

by Anonymousreply 296November 18, 2022 10:56 AM

Stop with these Northern Hemisphere centric thread titles OP. I’m south of the equator, I’m a millennial and I’m triggered.

by Anonymousreply 297November 18, 2022 11:20 AM

R297 has a justifiable request, I suggest we move to quarter of the years book reading- First Quarter, 2nd Quarter, Third Quarter, etc.

by Anonymousreply 298November 18, 2022 12:39 PM

I started the new Celeste Ng and it seems stupid.

Also got the new John Irving - which is so long 🙄

by Anonymousreply 299November 18, 2022 1:57 PM

That new Ng book is bleak, bleak, BLEAK. I struggled to finish it.

by Anonymousreply 300November 18, 2022 2:01 PM

No, R298.

by Anonymousreply 301November 18, 2022 2:22 PM

Why do these book threads need top be seasonal?

by Anonymousreply 302November 18, 2022 2:57 PM

R297 is just an old conservative who wants to whine about millennials

He's probably triggered by libraries carrying books about black people

by Anonymousreply 303November 18, 2022 7:23 PM

In "Black Lamb, Grey Falcon" Rebecca West asserts "There are no homosexuals in Yugoslavia."

by Anonymousreply 304November 19, 2022 2:21 PM

There are no homosexuals in Russia, either

by Anonymousreply 305November 19, 2022 5:12 PM

R292 To be fair most of her examples are not literary at all and more on the bestseller cathegory.

A J Finn is a liar but The woman in the windown as bad as it is is not worse than other domestic noirs like The girl in the train.

Most authors who are winning awards and getting great reviews are not selling the lives and even less inventing them

by Anonymousreply 306November 19, 2022 7:28 PM

We don’t need seasonal threads. Just yearly threads and we can restart and number when they fill up, just like we do every other year except this one, thanks to Nord-centric OP.

by Anonymousreply 307November 19, 2022 11:16 PM

Recently finished "The Savage Detectives" by Roberto Bolano which had been sitting around my house waiting to be read for about a decade. Very long (650 pp give or take) and dense, with dozens of characters and a fragmented form that took a while to click into. But once I did it paid off big, I found it to be a strange and lovable epic that recalled Pynchon or DeLillo more than some of the Latin American giants (whom Bolano mostly disdained, apparently). Glad I finally read it.

Next going to re-read "Days Without End" by Sebastian Barry, which I loved, in preparation for reading its sequel, "A Thousand Moons."

by Anonymousreply 308November 20, 2022 1:09 AM


At another site, I attempted to be geographically neutral by labeling the quarters as Q1, etc. But very few people understood, and were freaked out by that term.

by Anonymousreply 309November 20, 2022 1:13 AM

They probably were weirded out because Q1 sounds financial or sporting and thus pointless , r309. And bringing up Labor Day is completely USA-centric and anything USA-centric has a tinge of MAGA to non Americans.

There is zero need to divide book threads into quarters/seasons anyway. Just start a new numbered thread as we do with soaps and theatre.

by Anonymousreply 310November 20, 2022 6:44 AM

Pine-sol product label

by Anonymousreply 311November 20, 2022 7:49 AM

Oat Milk carton

by Anonymousreply 312November 20, 2022 4:25 PM

r295 here. I just finished TRACY FLICK CAN'T WIN and really loved it.

What started out as a seemingly shallow but humorous little satire of middle aged sad sacks who couldn't get beyond their high school regrets became a rather profound and poignant read. Bravo to Tom Perrotta who does it all so effortlessly. A greatly entertaining and fast paced novel for a wintery weekend.

Now I want to read ELECTION.

PS: you don't really need to read ELECTION or remember the film to enjoy this new book.

by Anonymousreply 313November 20, 2022 6:49 PM

Any fans of THE SONG OF ACHILLES by Madeline Miller? I was never intrigued but someone gave me the book and I'm about 100 pages in and enjoying it more than I thought I would.

by Anonymousreply 314November 21, 2022 10:49 PM

Liquid IV package

by Anonymousreply 315November 21, 2022 10:52 PM

Has anyone else read William Maxwell's The Folded Leaf? I have questions about Lymie and Spud's gay-or-not? relationship. One critic called it "obvious yet mysterious."

by Anonymousreply 316November 21, 2022 10:53 PM

R314 My theory, though I’ve yet to prove it, is that gay men won’t find SoA as interesting as all those other readers on TikTok. The relationship of the boys comes off as very heteronormative, the sex was obviously written by a straight women and they do not act the way Gay boys in love would with each other. In comparison in the Aristotle and Dante sequel they couldn’t keep their hands off each other and were constantly sneaking away to fuck. I will say A Marvelous Light had some of the dirtiest and sexiest fucking between men in a mainstream book I’ve ever read and was written by a woman, but she obviously did her research, even if it was watching Gay porn.

by Anonymousreply 317November 21, 2022 11:22 PM

I don't really care so much about the gay sex but I'm hoping there will be lots about the golden apple, the 3 goddesses and how the Trojan War started and the Greek vs the Trojan warriors, r317. I love all that Greek legend history. Will I be disappointed?

by Anonymousreply 318November 22, 2022 1:18 AM

R318 It’s pretty tightly focused on them, and things that happen off stage are covered quickly. There are much better sources that would supply those aspects of the story.

by Anonymousreply 319November 22, 2022 1:23 AM

Oh, well. I'll keep reading but thanks for the warning.

by Anonymousreply 320November 22, 2022 1:30 AM

NPR’s list is out, 402 titles. I’ve read 20 and think I’ll be finishing another 3 by the end of the year.

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by Anonymousreply 321November 22, 2022 12:28 PM

I'm surprised by that NPR list at r321.

I will have read about 60 books this past year (granted, not all were published this past year) and only 8 are on it. I can think of at least 4 I've loved that should be included: THE WHALEBONE THEATRE by Joanna Quinn, TRACY FLICK CAN'T WIN by Tom Perrotta, JACKIE & ME by Louis Bayard and LIGHT PERPETUAL by Francis Spufford.

by Anonymousreply 322November 22, 2022 2:29 PM

Here’s the NYTimes 100 Notable books of the year, I’ve read 11 of these so that’s an improvement over the NPR number.

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by Anonymousreply 323November 23, 2022 3:07 AM

anyone compiled a list of the gay theme ones from npr or nyt recommendations?

by Anonymousreply 324November 23, 2022 3:41 AM

Amazon’s top twenty of the year, I read only two.

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by Anonymousreply 325November 23, 2022 7:04 AM

I haven't read any, but have liked the Zevin books I've read.

by Anonymousreply 326November 23, 2022 11:20 PM

Can anyone recommend a great novel about the earliest settlers in America? Jamestown? Plymouth? Is there a good novel with that setting?

Or if not fiction, a great book about one of those early settlements?

by Anonymousreply 327November 24, 2022 1:01 AM

I finished Stephen Markle's Ohio and i think it's fantastci. Way better than other more hyped debuts

by Anonymousreply 328November 24, 2022 6:48 PM

Late to the party, but I'm inhaling Mary Rodgers's "Shy." I almost wish I had a long plane flight in my future so I could read it (largely) uninterrupted.

by Anonymousreply 329November 24, 2022 7:38 PM

R324 no!!!

by Anonymousreply 330November 24, 2022 10:06 PM

R327 I recommend “Half Fucked At Plymouth Rock” and “Jamestown: The Interracial Pregnancy Years”

by Anonymousreply 331November 24, 2022 10:08 PM

After a great debut novel (Ohio) i will try another hyped debut one (The sweetness of water)

by Anonymousreply 332November 25, 2022 8:45 PM

I’ve read Daryl Pinckney’s memoir “ Come Back in September” about his literary apprenticeship at the NYRB and his friendship/mentorship with Elizabeth Hardwick. She steered him from fiction, “Forget gay lit, honey” and into nonfiction writing. I then picked up her “ Sleepless Nights” and it reads like nighttime jottings on a bedside notepad. Right now I’m reading Cunningham’s “Specimen Days.” NYT is holding an online discussion in 12/8. They’re showcasing novels set in New York. It’s very uneven.

by Anonymousreply 333November 25, 2022 8:57 PM

The Night Rapist

by Anonymousreply 334November 26, 2022 1:02 AM

Michael Cunningham's The Hours. Brilliant book.

by Anonymousreply 335November 26, 2022 5:18 PM

A Thousand Years of the Tartars by EH Parker

by Anonymousreply 336November 26, 2022 6:09 PM

Better Davis and Other Stories by Philip Dean Walker

by Anonymousreply 337November 26, 2022 6:24 PM

Loving tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. Thanks so much for the recommendation

by Anonymousreply 338November 26, 2022 10:07 PM

R338 try Night Rapist

by Anonymousreply 339November 26, 2022 11:45 PM

That’s next on my list, R338! Excited after hearing your positive reaction.

by Anonymousreply 340November 27, 2022 12:20 AM

Ugh, I’m not enjoying A Swim In the Pond in the Rain, I keep falling asleep listening to it. He’s not bringing anything new or dynamic to his analysis and like the worst professors he brings personal little life stories into his “teaching” that I don’t care to hear about, I don’t have a fucking interest in your kid building with blocks. I was really looking forward to being intellectually stimulated by this and pushing myself, but it’s more like bad high school lit. I’ve been supportive of MFA in writing programs, but if this is what they’re teaching I can see why people are calling them out. Anybody know of something similar in this vein, but dynamic and interesting to cleanse myself from this?

by Anonymousreply 341November 27, 2022 12:56 AM

Another list. It seems like Trust and An Immense World as the books consistently on every one of them. I read Trust, has anyone read An Immense World and can share their thoughts?

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by Anonymousreply 342November 27, 2022 1:21 AM

I usually read 50 to 60 books a year but very few of the newly published books I read are making these lists. The only one on r342's list is TRUST which I loathed. I barely finished it and don't get the appeal at all. I also disliked Celeste Ng's OUR MISSING HEARTS which has appeared on others of these lists.

My faves of the 2020 books would be:

BOOTH by Karen Joy Fowler


YOUNG MUNGO by Douglas Stuart

JACKIE & ME by Louis Bayard

LIGHT PERPETUAL by Francis Spufford

THE FAMILY CHAO by Lan Samantha Chang

THE LATECOMER by Jean Hanff Korelitz


SHY by Mary Rodgers.

by Anonymousreply 343November 27, 2022 1:55 AM

You'd like Vincent Chu's work R343. Look him up.

by Anonymousreply 344November 27, 2022 4:59 PM

I think you mean 2022, r343. This year is 2022.

by Anonymousreply 345November 28, 2022 4:20 PM

Yes, of course! Thanks for the correction, r345.

by Anonymousreply 346November 28, 2022 6:43 PM

Those of you who loved Tomorrow Tomorrow Tomorrow - what else did you love this year?

by Anonymousreply 347November 29, 2022 2:47 AM

The Big O ways in:

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by Anonymousreply 348November 29, 2022 5:50 AM

R347 The other books that were published this year that I also gave five stars to are:

Candy House

The Colony

Young Mungo

7 other books were published in earlier years out of a total of 200 books.

by Anonymousreply 349November 29, 2022 5:54 AM

I read (and loved) THE LATECOMER around the same time I read TOMORROW… and they have a very similar vibe. I’m having trouble remembering who was in which book, in fact!

by Anonymousreply 350November 29, 2022 2:06 PM

For me T3 was like a truncated (size of text and number of characters) of A Little Life and with no torture porn.

by Anonymousreply 351November 29, 2022 2:47 PM

Just finished Tomorrow x 3 and was blown away by how beautifully and simply written it was. I have zero interest in video games (and actually have always looked on them with disdain), but I couldn't put the book down and found the video game stuff quite interesting. Thought the 3 main characters were written so well.

Got through 40 pages of the Celeste Ng book before quitting. Too dark and felt very trite. Knowing she's a smug cunt IRL doesn't help.

Will check out The Colony and the new Tracy Flick next. DLers give the greatest book recommendations. You bitches know your stuff.

by Anonymousreply 352November 29, 2022 3:38 PM

Can't wait to read Tomorrow x 3, my copy arrives.....tomorrow!

R352, I sloughed through the Celeste Ng and it was not worth it. Bleak and not very convincing.

I LOVED Tracy Flick Can't Win, recommended it upthread. Starts a little slow but really surprisingly smart, funny and poignant. And I just finished reading Election as I wanted to compare the 2 books and was surprised by how much the Alexander Payne/Reese W film diverged from the novel, or at least as I remembered it. I now must watch Election again.

Interested in The Colony. I'll research some reader reviews on Amazon. I prefer those to professional reviews as they generally contain fewer spoilers.

by Anonymousreply 353November 29, 2022 4:01 PM

Curious of opinions here on the Elena Ferrante novels. I can't remember them being discussed much here, if at all.

I've just started the first one, My Brilliant Friend, and found it a little hard to get into, but 50 pages in and I might just be seduced. Anyone else read it?

by Anonymousreply 354November 29, 2022 4:10 PM

Until it’s revealed who the fuck Elena Ferrante is or that she’s doing this because she’s in hiding from the Sicilian mafia I will not read her, only to find out later she’s a old gay Norwegian man. I was burned by T.J. Leroy, never again with this “I’m so special you don’t get to know who I am” writers.

by Anonymousreply 355November 29, 2022 5:13 PM

Reading a hysterically funny, razor sharp satire, "The Lemon", about a superstar chef who commits suicide.

by Anonymousreply 356November 29, 2022 5:31 PM

I'm reading "A Perfect Spy" by John LeCarré. I'm regularly surprised that so many of his books after "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, spy" are actually formally difficult, since he usually writes genre novels--he's like Joseph Conrad, who also wrote genre fiction (in Conard's case, sea stories) but made them formally difficult.

by Anonymousreply 357November 29, 2022 5:33 PM

NYPL’s 2022 Best Books list is all over the place, hopefully to promote under looked books not on others lists.

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by Anonymousreply 358November 29, 2022 5:40 PM

I only read the first of the Ferrante books because the language seemed so stiff to me (granted, I only have opera Italian), but I *loved* the HBO series.

by Anonymousreply 359November 29, 2022 6:39 PM

I've started "Crime at Christmas" by C. H. B. Kitchin. The confirmed batchelor (ahem) main character has badly sprained his right arm on Christmas Eve as a houseguest. Another guest, who happens to be a doctor, not only looks after his arm, but also takes on the responsibility of putting on the fellow's pajamas which he can't do for himself. The two of them have to go into a dead woman's quarters, with a bitchy remark from Doc along the lines of "I've been in ladies' bedrooms before (professionally), but this must be a first for YOU!"

It's a sequel to "Death of My Aunt" which probably should be read first.

by Anonymousreply 360November 29, 2022 7:26 PM

R354 I read it the Elena Ferrante's novels out of curioity. At the end of the first one i thought it was interesting but not for me, but it ends in such cliffhanger that i had to read the second (which was the one i liked more).

It's true that both main characters have a lot of flaws and both are despicable sometimes, but i liked the naturalism of the narration and how the country evolved through the years (even some things never changed)

by Anonymousreply 361November 29, 2022 8:05 PM

Much thanks to the person (might have been on the previous thread) who recommended "Mother of Sorrows," a collection of short stories by Richard McCann. His writing is so lyrical and evocative.

by Anonymousreply 362November 29, 2022 8:21 PM

NYT top ten of the year, I’ve read three.

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by Anonymousreply 363November 29, 2022 8:29 PM

Must get the Claire-Louise Bennett book on the NYT list - her "Pond" was amazing!

A book on racism? To quote the great Gomer Pyle: "Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!" Actually, I am surprised there aren't two.

by Anonymousreply 364November 29, 2022 9:04 PM

C.H.B Kitchin was family. He had a interesting life for sure

by Anonymousreply 365November 29, 2022 9:39 PM

Smithsonian’s ten best history books.

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by Anonymousreply 366November 30, 2022 7:05 AM

I downloaded a sample of "The Whalebone Library," and am finding it trite, plodding, and oh-so unengaging. The fact that I couldn't even finish the sample in one sitting speaks volumes.

by Anonymousreply 367November 30, 2022 11:28 AM

Sylvia, is that a prequel or sequel to The Whalebone Theater?

by Anonymousreply 368November 30, 2022 3:16 PM

R368 WhatEVAH! It's so bland I can't be arsed to recall the correct title.

by Anonymousreply 369November 30, 2022 3:35 PM

I guess Maureen Corrigan is my reader twin, I read six of the ten, have a seventh on hold and I’m circling another title.

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by Anonymousreply 370December 1, 2022 4:54 AM

I’ve been listening to Klosterman’s The Nineties and enjoying it for it’s deep dive into ‘90’s nostalgia with a critical level of analysis, without falling into academic doldrums. It’s entertaining, especially since I was in my 20s, didn’t have a TV and was busy doing things rather than paying deep attention.

by Anonymousreply 371December 1, 2022 5:05 AM

^ I liked that book. I think the chapter on H. Ross Perot was my favorite

by Anonymousreply 372December 1, 2022 5:48 AM

Best of the year audiobooks!

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by Anonymousreply 373December 2, 2022 2:22 AM

The Violin Conspiracy is my favorite book this year.

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by Anonymousreply 374December 2, 2022 2:27 AM

I’ve had Kingdom of Sand and the Alan Rickman diaries, Madly, Deeply on hold at the library and I keep bypassing them. Convince me if I should just read them or skip them?

by Anonymousreply 375December 2, 2022 2:28 AM

Kingdom of Sand is awful. One of the most depressing and pointless books I've ever read. If you begin it and don't like it after 30 or so pages, r375, just know it only gets more depressing.

by Anonymousreply 376December 2, 2022 2:45 AM

Kingdom is sand is *beautifully* written but so horribly sad and depressing that I had to put it down.

by Anonymousreply 377December 2, 2022 3:32 AM

Yes, Kingdom of Sand is sad. But when hasn't Andrew Holleran typed sad?

by Anonymousreply 378December 2, 2022 3:46 AM

OK, I think I’ll drop Kingdom of Sand for now and pick it up in June for LGBTQ+ reading month, and they’re won’t be many still reading it and less competition. I just finished All the Young Men last week and it was brutal, sad and of course a memoir, so they were all real people.

by Anonymousreply 379December 2, 2022 5:34 AM

This is a nice list of opportunities, I think I’ve read about six of them. This year I’ve read, according to StoryGraph, over 44 memoirs, but I think I’m going to move back to biography and perhaps pull off this list.

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by Anonymousreply 380December 2, 2022 5:00 PM

I ended The sweetness of water and it's another overrated and overhyped debut. Well, at least it's not Such a fun age or Cherry but i expected way more.

I asked to the guy who was reading it with me at the book club if he understands the comparissions with The prophets and he said The prophets is way better

by Anonymousreply 381December 2, 2022 7:35 PM

Just finished The Lincoln Highway and really enjoyed it.

by Anonymousreply 382December 2, 2022 8:36 PM

Did anyone read Babel? I see a lot of buzz around it on Amazon, and can't remember if someone here mentioned it in one of the threads.

by Anonymousreply 383December 3, 2022 3:00 AM

Now i'm going to read one of the Tom Sharpe's novels, i need something light and funny

by Anonymousreply 384December 3, 2022 12:35 PM

Really loving Tomorrow X 3, a very fun book to just fall into. Gabrielle Zevin is a remarkably good writer. Great characters, storytelling.

by Anonymousreply 385December 3, 2022 2:51 PM

I think T3 is the most all round embraced of the year across diverse populations, especially by age. Young people and older adults are embracing it evenly. I wouldn’t be surprised if it wins the GoodReads poll, though a lot of people are questioning how the books on the list got there.

by Anonymousreply 386December 3, 2022 3:15 PM

R277 - if you enjoy David Copperfield (my favorite Dickens novel too) then definitely read "Demon Copperhead" by Barbara Kingsolver

It's essentially a retelling of the story in modern day Appalachia and it is very well done- has appeared on a number of "Best Of" lists for the year thus far.

She did an amazing job of keeping the voice of the character and updating it for modern times.

by Anonymousreply 387December 3, 2022 3:24 PM

I liked Zevin's YA book "Elsewhere", R385. Also, I'm familiar with the actual bookshop that may have served as the model for the one in "The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry" (Nantucket Bookworks).

by Anonymousreply 388December 3, 2022 3:53 PM

Are Zevin’s other books as strong? I ordered them at the library because I loved her writing so much.

by Anonymousreply 389December 3, 2022 5:21 PM

I have never read Barbara Kingsolver but the notices she's getting for this new one make me think I should finally give her a try. Her books have always given off a sort of MOR vibe to me but in general I do tend to like that kind of big, plotty, character-driven novel.

by Anonymousreply 390December 3, 2022 6:52 PM

R390, I highly recommend The Poisonwood Bible.

by Anonymousreply 391December 5, 2022 1:26 AM

If you love the book 84 Charing Cross Road, this book released in February is reminiscent of its epistolary journey and emotional impact. Though it is fiction, at the end you do learn of the real life situations that informed it. A perfect novella that can be read completely in one sitting, or listened to with the audiobook in a little over 3 hours.

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by Anonymousreply 392December 6, 2022 12:37 AM

A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley. It almost reads like a journal. I never wanted to put it down.

by Anonymousreply 393December 6, 2022 12:48 AM

I start reading The big circle by Maggie Shipstead (and i'm liking it right now)

by Anonymousreply 394December 6, 2022 10:43 AM

That would be Great Circle

by Anonymousreply 395December 6, 2022 10:57 AM

I’m halfway thru Demon Copperhead and Jesus fucking Christ has this book slowed to a crawl. It started off rather good, and now it is a gigantic slog. Each page is torture and I can’t fathom quitting after investing so much time to get to the halfway mark. So dense. Kill me.

by Anonymousreply 396December 6, 2022 1:17 PM

Set that type of book aside and come back to it later.

by Anonymousreply 397December 6, 2022 2:13 PM

Tracy Flick Can’t Win was great. Good recommendation thanks thread.

by Anonymousreply 398December 6, 2022 2:26 PM

+1 on Tracy Flick. Great read, Perrotta is one of the few writers who understands modern suburbia.

by Anonymousreply 399December 6, 2022 2:36 PM

I was the original recommender of Tracy Flick Can't Win. So glad to hear you both enjoyed it! It's a quick fun read, yet still emotionally satisfying and surprisingly powerful, a great book for you, r396, if you want a break from Demon Copperhead.

I then had to read Election after Tracy Flick, which I'd never read, to see how the character was drawn originally. I only remember the film vaguely but it seemed very different, especially in Reese Witherspoon's portrayal of TF. Oddly, perhaps, I recommend one read it after TF, not before if interested.

by Anonymousreply 400December 6, 2022 3:06 PM

[quote]I have never read Barbara Kingsolver

Oh, I loved The Poisonwood Bible. I kind of avoided it - another story about white people in Africa, horribly failing - but it's a very good book.

Has anyone read: Sandy Hook - An American Tragedy? I've heard it's a good book, but I'm afraid it's depressing beyond belief

by Anonymousreply 401December 6, 2022 3:14 PM

R400- I read Tracy Flick Can’t Win a few months ago and really enjoyed. Tom Perrotta can always be relied on for super engrossing, smart fast reads. I’m going to take the advice to take a break and come back to it. I’m going to read Signal Fires by Dani Shapiro which has gotten great reviews.

by Anonymousreply 402December 7, 2022 2:23 AM

"Querelle of Roberval" by Kevin Lambert. Millworkers' strike in a Canadian town when a mysterious, likeable and very gay stranger comes to town. Enjoying it, but would it kill Lambert to use paragraph breaks?

by Anonymousreply 403December 7, 2022 7:09 PM

R395 You are right, The great circle (very good till now)

by Anonymousreply 404December 7, 2022 7:31 PM

Well I'm reading this. It's a series. Not deep but amusing, funny, light read and besides has a cute pic of a cat.

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by Anonymousreply 405December 10, 2022 1:13 AM

Has anyone read the Department Q series?

Worth it?

by Anonymousreply 406December 10, 2022 2:56 AM

Christ! The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse is pure treacle and a steaming pile of shit. To think this guy is making millions off this drivel is appalling. I guess Covid brain fog is real, that can be the only way to explain the success of this trash. It makes The Little Prince, which I despise, look like a masterpiece by comparison.

by Anonymousreply 407December 11, 2022 1:16 AM

I just finished TOMORROW x 3 and have to say I'm a bit disappointed. Maybe I'm too old and it's for younger people. I don't know anything about computer gaming and, while it didn't get in the way in the first half of the book, I finally tired of all the gaming descriptions and details.

I did find the 2 male lead characters wonderfully drawn and poignant and I was genuinely moved by most of their history and plot lines, but the lead female was an unsympathetic bore and shrew (at least, once she grew up). Odd, as the novelist is a young woman who I'd surmise shares some of her story with her character. Oh, and also the gay male couple were so underwritten I couldn't really distinguish one from the other.

Didn't hate it, worth my time, just expected more after a great, intriguing beginning. The book needed a better editor IMHO and could have easily lost 50 or so pages in the middle. But at the same time I'll admit it may enchant lots of other readers. It could be a great choice for a book club as opinions would be certain to vary.

by Anonymousreply 408December 11, 2022 1:50 AM

R408 I agree that the female was my least favorite character. Her whole reasoning for turning on her best friend in the world never seemed justified (because she discovered he wanted her to reach out to her professor ex for help when they were in college?). She became a real bitch and a pain in the ass once she decided she hated him. Up until that point, I liked her a lot.

The two men were beautifully written. Also thought the very beginning where they become friends as children in the hospital was beautifully written and quite moving.

by Anonymousreply 409December 11, 2022 2:43 AM

I just read Sebastian Barry's "A Thousand Moons," which is the sequel to "Days Without End." I re-read that one first, and I think I loved it even more than the first time. It earns a place on my list of all-time favorite novels. Sadly I did not "A Thousand Moons" was in the same league. I didn't hate it, but It felt much less fully formed, with a particularly weak, rushed ending. Felt like Barry needed to spend a little more time with it.

Looks like I'll close out the year with Hernan Diaz's "Trust." I know reaction to that has been very mixed, including in this thread -- interested to see which way I fall.

by Anonymousreply 410December 13, 2022 4:02 AM

Almost finished with C H B Kitchin's "Crime at Christmas", where the handsome police inspector is about as openly flirting with the (confirmed batchelor) main character as possible. More like a date than a police interview.

by Anonymousreply 411December 13, 2022 2:27 PM

I'm reading Anna Quindlen's treatise on writing, writing for everyone, specifically, and I'm enjoying it a lot. I so prefer her non-fiction, and this one is so enjoyable.

It's called Write for Your Life.

by Anonymousreply 412December 13, 2022 2:32 PM

The Inheritor's Powder by Sandra Hempel. It's about a murder by arsenic in 19th century England. Non-fiction. I'm about 90 pages in and really enjoying it

by Anonymousreply 413December 13, 2022 7:05 PM

I got a bit tired of reading disappointing just-published fiction (so much is overrated) so I went through my bookcases and found a William Boyd 1988 novel THE NEW CONFESSIONS that I'd never read. He's a favorite author of mine, though admittedly a bit uneven.

I'm about 1/2 way through and just loving it. So very engaging and fun, the saga of a Scotsman born in 1899, living through many of the events of the 20th century as a lovelorn boarding school boy, WWI soldier, prisoner of war and eventual film director and victim of Hollywood black-listing.

Any other Boyd fans? His ANY HUMAN HEART is a particular favorite and I'm disappointed the mini-series (with every British actor/actress you love) is not currently streaming now.

by Anonymousreply 414December 16, 2022 2:08 AM

Unprotected by Billy Porter…then a bio on Etty Hillesum. If I can find the latter in my closet.

by Anonymousreply 415December 16, 2022 2:12 AM

Now i'm reading an 80's classic, Milan Kundera's The unbearable lightness of being

by Anonymousreply 416December 17, 2022 8:11 PM

This list is all over the place.

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by Anonymousreply 417December 18, 2022 9:12 AM

I finished The great circle and i find it uneven (the first half is great, from the war on not so much), it's way better than The sweetness of water but it's easy to understand why The promise won the Booker that year (The promise is a great novel)

by Anonymousreply 418December 18, 2022 11:43 AM

Kingdom of Sand is a marvelous book. Holleran is a master. The Rickman diaries were a waste of time. A line by line diary of what he did that day. No insight and little snark and what he included he didn’t explained. I couldn’t finish it. I am curious about the Die Hard performance that jump started his career.

by Anonymousreply 419December 18, 2022 3:45 PM

Kingdom of Sand was one of the bleakest, most depressing books I've read in many years. It's not for the faint of heart, especially if you're an eldergay.

by Anonymousreply 420December 18, 2022 5:00 PM

I’m really loving February House about the Brooklyn Heights house that Auden, Gypsy Rose Lee, Carson McCullers, Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears lived in during the early 40s for a little over a year.

by Anonymousreply 421December 18, 2022 5:12 PM

If you're a foodie, have ever worked in a restaurant, have ever eaten in a high class restaurant, Michael Cecchi-Azzolina's "Your Table Is Ready" is the perfect read. He paints a totally accurate, warts and all portrayal of restaurant culture from the drugs and alcohol-sodden 80's right up to the present. Having been there, I can say this is the best, most honest depiction of what the last 40 years of restaurant culture has endured. Painful and very funny.

by Anonymousreply 422December 18, 2022 5:27 PM

LOVE February House, r421! A fascinating read. Author Sherrill Tippins has a newish book out about the history of NY's Chelsea Hotel which I'm very eager to read.

by Anonymousreply 423December 18, 2022 5:37 PM

R423 I’m definitely putting it on my TBR for next year. There’s other books about Chateau Marmont and the Dakota that might make interesting “buildings” reads. Also that book about Huguette Clark, I think it’s called Empty Mansions, that might make for a fascinating read as well.

by Anonymousreply 424December 18, 2022 6:22 PM

I’ve completed my Kindle App reading challenge for the Fall today! I know it’s goofy, but I enjoy the encouragement and checking off the badges. This is the third one I’ve completed this year.

by Anonymousreply 425December 18, 2022 6:25 PM

Great good luck at my public library today! I came home with TRUST, DEMON COPPERHEAD and Ian McEwen's newest LESSONS. Not sure where to start.....

by Anonymousreply 426December 19, 2022 10:22 PM

I recommend trying to read Trust in as much of a condensed timeframe as possible, while you can hold the four sections in mind eye up against each other to get the maximum experience out of it.

by Anonymousreply 427December 21, 2022 8:15 PM

Small Things Like These was one of the most powerful books I read this year, and I’m rereading it as start of an annual holiday reading tradition. This article does a great job of defending it as a literary work of importance and a new holiday classic. Be warned though it does contain spoilers for the novella, so best not to read the whole thing until after the fact.

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by Anonymousreply 428December 21, 2022 8:18 PM

R426- let us know what you think of Demon Copperhead. It started off strong for me and then became such a slog. I gave up halfway which kills me because I devoted 270 pages to it. Each paragraph became excruciating and I knew I had to throw in the towel.

by Anonymousreply 429December 21, 2022 9:55 PM

Fascinating R429

I found the whole thing riveting and did not find any part to be slow or a slog.

by Anonymousreply 430December 21, 2022 10:17 PM

As I've aged and started reading a lot more, I find I actually have more patience and will easily read as much as 1/2 of a book before deciding it's not for me. When I was younger, I'd give up after 10-20 pages. I'm not sure that's progress.

by Anonymousreply 431December 21, 2022 11:27 PM

This is weird, I think they only pick four sources to look at:

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by Anonymousreply 432December 22, 2022 7:29 AM

Celeste Ng’s new book is terrible. I don’t trust any “Best of” list that has hers on it.

by Anonymousreply 433December 24, 2022 9:25 PM

Agree R433 - I couldn’t get through it. Terrible.

by Anonymousreply 434December 25, 2022 12:20 AM

I did get through it and regretted the time spent, r434 and r433.

by Anonymousreply 435December 25, 2022 3:17 AM

A lot of people hated To Paradise, but I quite liked it. For anyone who read both, did you like the Ng? And maybe throw How Hugh We Go In the Dark in there too, they all sounded related.

by Anonymousreply 436December 25, 2022 6:39 AM

R433 It's a pity because her first novel was pretty good (i'm not that fond of Little fires everywhere).

Anyway, i just read The sweetness of water and it was on all the best novels list last year and the novel is pure mediocrity

by Anonymousreply 437December 25, 2022 7:00 PM

Travels with My Aunt is a great recommendation. Thanks. In general, best of lists for the past 3-4 years have been horrible. 90% painfully bad, 10% ok but far from best of past 20 years. So few worthwhile reads lately. There are a few here from past 30+ years that are worthwhile. But really nothing but the Tracy Flick book of value.

by Anonymousreply 438December 25, 2022 8:42 PM

R438 is a big James Patterson fan

by Anonymousreply 439December 25, 2022 8:53 PM

Among the "Best Books" of 2023 that I did NOT like, please include:


DEMON COPPERHEAD (far too affected and twee, like a bad college assignment - read DAVID COPPERFIELD!)



SEA OF TRANQUILITY (and I'm a huge Emily St. John Mandel fan)


by Anonymousreply 440December 25, 2022 10:23 PM


by Anonymousreply 441December 25, 2022 10:23 PM

No, but whoever Bill is, he's got great taste.

by Anonymousreply 442December 25, 2022 10:35 PM

I'm almost 1/2 thru Ian McEwen's latest novel LESSONS and really loving it. Very surprised it didn't get more attention this year, at least in the US.

I'm not a particularly politicized person but this book, about a man's life (who happens to be the same age as me, born in 1949), as seen against many of the big events of the 20th century, from the European devastation post-WWII to the Suez and Cuban Missile Crises, the Berlin Wall, Chernobyl, and even the recent pandemic, etc. is riveting.

Not exactly a linear plot as it constantly moves back and forth through time, including large sections about the lead character's boyhood at a Suffolk boarding school in the late 1950s/early 1960s and his sexual grooming by a predatory female piano instructor, with long sidelines into secondary characters' histories. And then it's also a bit of a mystery about why the lead character's wife has abandoned him and their baby son in the mid-1980s. I'm finding it hard to put the book down. I hope the tension keeps up to the ending.

by Anonymousreply 443December 26, 2022 6:19 PM

Next one is The cabin at the end of the world by Paul Tremblay

by Anonymousreply 444December 26, 2022 7:35 PM

My latest book read "The Starlings of Bucharest" proved okay as a thriller, after a slow start. Worked okay without reading the previous book, to which it was a (sort of) sequel.

by Anonymousreply 445December 26, 2022 9:30 PM

Has anyone read THE VERIFIERS? I was loving it for about the first third and since then it’s deep in the weeds, and I can’t decide if slogging on would be worth it.

by Anonymousreply 446December 27, 2022 2:17 AM

I'm in the middle of Your Table is Ready by Michael Cecchi-Azzolina who was apparently the Maitre d' of many a high class NYC restaurant. It's at times entertaining and enlightening, but there are also some stories that just smack of bullshit, like ones you hear from some loudmouth in a bar and you can tell it was made up.

by Anonymousreply 447December 29, 2022 12:14 AM

Wow, I thought "Trust" was terrific! Beautifully conceived and written, surprising and dramatic. It was a great way to end my year in reading -- and it was the 30th book I read!

by Anonymousreply 448December 29, 2022 1:28 AM

R447- I've been a maitre d' for 25 years. Trust me, there is nothing phony about any of his stories.

by Anonymousreply 449December 29, 2022 6:36 PM

I told my sister to read Tomorrow Tomorrow and Tomorrow and it is sold out everywhere in the DC area. We’ve called every bookstore. Apparently the publisher fucked up and new shipments won’t be coming until January.

Weird right?

by Anonymousreply 450December 30, 2022 7:25 PM

Order it on Amazon, r450. You'll have it tomorrow. And tomorrow. And tomorrow.

by Anonymousreply 451December 30, 2022 8:12 PM

😂 r451

by Anonymousreply 452December 30, 2022 8:43 PM

Yeah, you might want to just Amazon it, R450.

Also, have you checked Busboys and Poets at 14/V NW?

by Anonymousreply 453December 30, 2022 11:16 PM

New thread

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