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What Books Are You Reading in 2023?

My reading project with year will be to read Daphne DuMaurier. I’m starting with Jamaica Inn.

by Anonymousreply 263February 1, 2023 7:23 PM

Previous thread

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by Anonymousreply 1January 2, 2023 9:12 AM

My reading resolution will be to not to feel obliged to finish books. A good third of Our Missing Hearts was enough to convince me it was terrible but still I ploughed on. Life’s too short, DLers.

by Anonymousreply 2January 2, 2023 9:20 AM

I'm going to finish "Tokyo Ueno Station" today, which I started recently as part of a group reading challenge; otherwise, I would've abandoned it early on. THE most depressing story I've read since "Wicked", although "Swimming in the Dark" wasn't exactly a barrel of laughs.

Next up: "A Five Year Sentence" by Bernice Rubens (an author I learned of from these DL book threads).

by Anonymousreply 3January 2, 2023 12:53 PM

Hi, r3, I think I'm the poster who first brought up Bernice Rubens. After reading THE WAITING GAME, which I quite enjoyed, I tried a couple of others, but none came quite up top to that one. If you find one you like, please post about it.

I read 51 books in 2022. But I must have started at least a dozen more, most of which I read at least 100 pages. My final book was Ian McEwan's LESSONS, which I loved and posted about in the last thread. Highly recommend, at least if you're over 65 like I am. Not sure the young would be into it.

Yesterday, I went back to TRUST by Hernan Diaz, which has landed on every Best of 2022 list this year but I couldn't finish the first time. I found it utterly boring and artless. Now that I've finally finished it (totally predictable ending!), I still don't get the praise. If anyone can explain why they loved it, I'd love to hear from about it.

My first book this year will be LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY by Bonnie Garmus, which I'm really looking forward to, have heard great things. Cover art looks very Chicklit but I hear it's much deeper.

Onward, readers! Happy New Year!

by Anonymousreply 4January 2, 2023 2:23 PM

Peter Blauner's new novel comes out tomorrow.

by Anonymousreply 5January 2, 2023 5:54 PM

Has anyone read the Richard Osman books? I want to read a “cosier” mystery.

by Anonymousreply 6January 3, 2023 7:19 AM

"Spare" - By Prince Harry. Looking forward to it 🙂

by Anonymousreply 7January 3, 2023 7:26 AM

Finally reading the new McCarthy, "The Passenger," and it's...strange.

by Anonymousreply 8January 3, 2023 12:26 PM

Master of the Senate by Robert Caro.

by Anonymousreply 9January 3, 2023 1:52 PM

The Richard Osman mysteries are great fun and probably not as "cosy" as you might think, r6. But very charming and clever. I've only read the first 2, but very much looking forward to reading the new one. They will make an incredible BBC mini-series someday.

by Anonymousreply 10January 3, 2023 2:08 PM

Currently reading the Plantagenet and Tudor royal family series of books by Phillippa Gregory. They are historical fiction but based on real events. To me, they are an interesting history course.

by Anonymousreply 11January 3, 2023 3:00 PM

Is Mary Renault worth reading? Suspicious of women who write entirely about gay men but I feel like I’ve read on DL that she’s a good writer.

Her books are available for download on my library app - curious if they are worth checking out.

by Anonymousreply 12January 4, 2023 12:44 AM

R12, The Charioteer was pretty good

by Anonymousreply 13January 4, 2023 12:46 AM

R4 I think I'll read it, thanks for the recommendation.

by Anonymousreply 14January 4, 2023 1:01 AM

I'm referring to Lessons.

by Anonymousreply 15January 4, 2023 1:02 AM

Could not get 20 pages into LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY. Utter chicklit nonsense.

by Anonymousreply 16January 4, 2023 1:31 AM

R10 do the Osmond books deal with aging and dementia in a “despairing” way? I’m fine with realism, but I don’t want to be plunged into a depression.

by Anonymousreply 17January 4, 2023 8:46 AM

R12, I love Mary Renault, they’re terrific fun. Simon Russell Beale wrote an introduction to The Charioteer.

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by Anonymousreply 18January 4, 2023 8:48 AM

Don't let that concern keep you from the Richard Osman books, r17. They're terrific.

by Anonymousreply 19January 4, 2023 1:57 PM

[quote] [R10] do the Osmond books deal with aging and dementia in a “despairing” way? I’m fine with realism, but I don’t want to be plunged into a depression.

They have much more to do with collecting dolls and purple socks.

by Anonymousreply 20January 4, 2023 6:21 PM

Thanks r19, I’ll give them a go.

And the purple socks sound… interesting, r20!

by Anonymousreply 21January 5, 2023 10:26 AM

Reading the third Chips channon book, finished the previous two.

by Anonymousreply 22January 5, 2023 12:14 PM

Renault doesn't write entirely about gay men. Her universe is classic Greece, and of course there is a lot of homosexuality therein. But you shouldn't miss The Persian Boy, about Alexander the Great.

Sorry hear TRUST is disappointing; his In the Distance is wonderful.

Currently reading Count of Monte Cristo and The Once and Future King.

Want to read, Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, also Demon Copperhead and The New Life.

by Anonymousreply 23January 6, 2023 1:57 AM

I couldn't get into Demon Copperhead. It felt like a too-clever college assignment: Write a version of Dickens set in a different environment. Phony nonsense. I also found I simply wasn't interested in hillbillies.

by Anonymousreply 24January 6, 2023 2:19 AM

I'm re-reading Villette by Charlotte Bronte, which i've not read since college. it's really great.

by Anonymousreply 25January 6, 2023 2:35 AM

But did you finish it, r24?

by Anonymousreply 26January 6, 2023 2:51 AM

r25, I read it as part of a course on the Brontes and really enjoyed

by Anonymousreply 27January 6, 2023 3:07 AM

Do any of you use Audible for your books?

by Anonymousreply 28January 6, 2023 3:20 AM

I love Audible, r28, for specific kinds of titles, light comedic novels or mysteries. And on the other end of the spectrum, for classical literary fiction, provided I find a great narrator. It’s how I made it through Anna Karenina the first time.

by Anonymousreply 29January 6, 2023 3:24 AM

I loved "Trust," was not at all disappointed.

Reading "Prairie Fires" by Caroline Fraser, a recent biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Well written and very interesting, I'm learning a lot I didn't know, especially about Laura and Almanzo's larger-than-life daughter Rose. She'd actually make a great TV show!

by Anonymousreply 30January 6, 2023 3:26 AM

[quote] But did you finish it, [R24]?

When a young writer sent George Bernard Shaw a manuscript novel to comment on, Shaw returned the manuscript and said he did not enjoy it and could not recommend it to any publishers. The writer wrote back to Shaw very angry because he had purposefully glued the edges of the top of some pages near the back of the book just to see if Shaw had broken them in order to read the whole novel, and obviously he hadn't. Shaw wrote back, "One does not have to eat the entire apple to know that it is rotten."

by Anonymousreply 31January 6, 2023 4:12 AM

I did nit finish Demon Copperhead, Only read about 50 pages but it was certainly enough to know I wouldn't like it.

by Anonymousreply 32January 6, 2023 1:55 PM

In that same vein, r30, I want to read the bio of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of The Yearling: The Life She Wished to Live.

by Anonymousreply 33January 6, 2023 2:05 PM

Yes, R28!

by Anonymousreply 34January 9, 2023 1:35 AM

I downloaded Fletch by Gregory McDonald on Audible. I never saw the Chevy Chase films but I’m hoping for some 1970s, Jim Rockford-style California crime.

by Anonymousreply 35January 9, 2023 5:02 AM

These days, I'm reading [italic]Something to Answer For[/italic] by P. H. Newby, the first book to win a Booker Prize. Has a distinct Graham Greene feel to it.

by Anonymousreply 36January 9, 2023 1:10 PM

Did anyone else read "The Foundling" by Ann Leary. I'm about 50 pages in and find it pretty boring. Does it get better?

Just put it down and started "They're going to Love You" by Meg Howrey and already like it better.

by Anonymousreply 37January 9, 2023 2:39 PM

I picked up a little book called “Shakespeare in the Theatre: The National Theatre, 1963-1975: Olivier and Hall” expecting it to be super academic. But it’s showbizzy and full of gossip.

by Anonymousreply 38January 9, 2023 3:53 PM

I loved Leary's "The Good House" narrated by Marybeth Hurt.

by Anonymousreply 39January 9, 2023 6:48 PM

I also enjoyed THE GOOD HOUSE when I read it years ago.

And was recently shocked to discover that Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline play the two leads in the recent film. Those roles should have been cast with the likes of Tyne Daly and John Goodman.

by Anonymousreply 40January 9, 2023 7:56 PM

Yeah, that would really have brought in more viewers, r40.

No one can put seats in seats quite like Tyne Daly.

by Anonymousreply 41January 9, 2023 7:58 PM

Well, no one is going to pass on great worth of mouth for a film in which Weaver and Kline are entirely miscast and ruin, r41.

Would you approve of Kathy Bates and Goodman (and actually the male role could have been cast with any number of overweight schlumps with a little star power)?

by Anonymousreply 42January 9, 2023 8:04 PM

The Shards by Bret Easton Ellis is getting great reviews, so I'll be reading that.

by Anonymousreply 43January 9, 2023 8:07 PM

R38 ooh, spill the gossip about the luvvies.

by Anonymousreply 44January 10, 2023 4:12 AM

R43-After his last 4 novels, I want to read NOTHING by that obnoxious raging queen. His writing is adolescent garbage. I've always believed American Psycho was written during a 4 day coke bender.

by Anonymousreply 45January 10, 2023 5:37 PM

And yet you endured four of his novels before making this assessment. That's quite a commitment to adolescent garbage.

by Anonymousreply 46January 10, 2023 5:40 PM

I just finished "The Palace Papers" by Tina Brown, for the first week of January. It was pretty good (I really enjoy Brown as an author - love her writing style), however, on a whole, I didn't learn much new from the book.

I now started "Shy" this week by Mary Rogers, as it has gotten great reviews since it's release a few months ago. A few chapters in and 'ehhh'. It's distracting because of all the footnotes on every page, to explain what she's talking about if the average reader is not a Broadway fan.

by Anonymousreply 47January 10, 2023 5:41 PM

R46-I kept waiting for something to match the brilliance of Less Than Zero. The Shards is just a rehash of that same story, but with more homosex.

by Anonymousreply 48January 10, 2023 5:44 PM

R48 speaking of Less...

Two novels so far this year: Elizabeth Strout's latest in her "Lucy" series, Lucy by the Sea - her style continues to be so deceptively simple. A heartful meditation on life during COVID, childhood never leaving us, family, and aging. Beautiful prose with a lot of space.

Second novel (not finished yet): Andrew Sean Greer's Less is Lost, a sequel to is 2017 bestseller Less: A Novel. Gay author and his long life and various loves. After Strout's careful and simple sentences, Greer's baroque, overworked and too heated prose is exhausting. The story is... so far... worth the effort to keep going. Complicated prose of a gay novelist? Hollinghurst he is not.

by Anonymousreply 49January 10, 2023 6:04 PM

The last chapter of Less Is Lost made me cry my eyes out. Really beautiful.

by Anonymousreply 50January 10, 2023 6:14 PM

I am laboring to finish Demon Copperhead (I am occasionally masochistic).

I recommend both Cormac McCarthy's Passengers and Stella Maris: best books I read in 2022.

I just finished Benjamin Labatut's When We Longer Understand the World and enjoyed it.

Upcoming: Sebastian Faulks's Birdsong, Chas. Dickens's Dombey and Son, and Feynman's Six Easy Pieces.

by Anonymousreply 51January 10, 2023 6:18 PM

^^^oops, When We Cease to Understand the World

by Anonymousreply 52January 10, 2023 6:26 PM

Curious about Ninth House now that there's a sequel. Any opinions?

by Anonymousreply 53January 10, 2023 6:58 PM

“They’re going to love you” is a quick read and quite well done so far.

One of the main characters, James, is a DLer if I’ve ever seen one.

by Anonymousreply 54January 10, 2023 6:59 PM

DOMBEY & SON is one of my favorite Dickens. Never understood why it was never a more popular title except maybe because it never got a big screen adaptation. But it still should.

by Anonymousreply 55January 10, 2023 7:51 PM

“The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck”

by Anonymousreply 56January 10, 2023 7:51 PM

[quote] And yet you endured four of his novels before making this assessment. That's quite a commitment to adolescent garbage.

If he had said he had only read one, then you of course would have bitched he was not giving Ellis enough of a chance.

Tastes differ. Deal with it.

by Anonymousreply 57January 10, 2023 7:53 PM

[quote] DOMBEY & SON is one of my favorite Dickens. Never understood why it was never a more popular title except maybe because it never got a big screen adaptation. But it still should.

They were all set to do a big BBC Andrew Davies adaptation of it a few years back and then the BBC announced they were cutting way back on production costs and scrapped it.

by Anonymousreply 58January 10, 2023 7:54 PM

Just finished 2021's OLGA DIES DREAMING by Xochitl Gonzalez and I'll be surprised if many other novels I read this year come up to it. What a fresh voice, with humor, pathos, sex, politics and everything else

Her first book and a truly sensationally written story of a smart and sophisticated 40 year old Latina woman in 2017 trying to juggle her professional and personal life and the guilt she has over her capitalist leanings. Also, there's the wonderful character of her handsome charismatic older brother, a Brooklyn congressman with many secrets. And their mother who abandoned them as teenagers to work for the underground liberation of Puerto Rico.

An incredibly impressive debut. Has JLo already purchased the film rights?

by Anonymousreply 59January 10, 2023 8:00 PM

JLo is a far cry from forty.

by Anonymousreply 60January 10, 2023 8:07 PM

JLo could produce it for Ariana du Bose, r60?

by Anonymousreply 61January 10, 2023 8:12 PM

I just picked up Sam Heughan's memoir "Waypoints" from the library (didn't know he wrote one). Has anyone else read it ? Whatcha think ?

by Anonymousreply 62January 11, 2023 5:33 PM

Trying to get into the very well-reviewed HORSE by Geraldine Brooks. But I'm not sure that the characters nor multi-plot lines are engaging me. Has anyone read it or any of her other books?

by Anonymousreply 63January 13, 2023 2:41 PM

I tried it r63 and gave up. Found it boring.

Reading Edmund White now for the first time.

by Anonymousreply 64January 13, 2023 3:04 PM

I'm rea ding Alan Greenspan's history of American capitalism, and sure enough, there's a lie on almost every page so far

by Anonymousreply 65January 13, 2023 3:22 PM

I'm also reading "The End of the World is Just the Beginning" b y Pter Zeihan and while it has some correctives to the usual narrative, I suspect it will end up in the same place. For instance I remember when living in suburban Georgia that Jakarta Indonesia had electric lights, running water, flush toilets, and paved roads more than fifty years before any of that came to my section of Georgia (and this part of GA still don't have sewers). US is still a peasant nation in a way Europeans don't understand. But I suspect it will follow the mistakes as the other toadies who confuse markets and capitalism which are antithetical in real life.

by Anonymousreply 66January 13, 2023 3:28 PM

"The Long Emergency" by James Kunstler. It is a survival guide for the economics of "today."

by Anonymousreply 67January 13, 2023 3:30 PM

[quote]I'm re-reading Villette by Charlotte Bronte, which i've not read since college. it's really great.

That's interesting; I've only read Jane Eyre, but I did read a bio of Charlotte Bronte & Villette was not well received at the time by her publisher because it felt like she was still covering old ground. I think the most fascinating sister was Emily - probably a virgin & most likely agoraphobic, yet she writes one of the most iconic love stories of all time. Charlotte at least had some life experiences to draw up for JE.

by Anonymousreply 68January 13, 2023 3:45 PM

Edmund White wrote several great books, and several that are pretty bad. But he is an icon, still producing books well into his 80s. He has a new novel coming out later this year.

by Anonymousreply 69January 13, 2023 3:47 PM

[QUOTE] Reading Edmund White now for the first time.

Which one, R64?

by Anonymousreply 70January 13, 2023 3:51 PM

I'm reading The Cloud of Unknowing , the William Johnatkn translation as well as the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

by Anonymousreply 71January 13, 2023 3:56 PM

I just finished Louise Erdrich’s THE SENTENCE and really struggled to finish it. I’m really just not ready to read COVID fiction yet. She didn’t put any spin on that part of the novel at all. It was just like watching msnbc in May 2020.

Not recommended.

by Anonymousreply 72January 13, 2023 4:01 PM

I’m not a fan of Geraldine Brooks, r63

by Anonymousreply 73January 13, 2023 4:05 PM

R69, which ones are great? There are so many - I didn't know which to download from the library.

by Anonymousreply 74January 13, 2023 4:07 PM

74, I enjoyed OUR YOUNG MAN.

by Anonymousreply 75January 13, 2023 4:08 PM

r64, I started with "Our Young Man"

by Anonymousreply 76January 13, 2023 4:08 PM

[quote]That's interesting; I've only read Jane Eyre, but I did read a bio of Charlotte Bronte & Villette was not well received at the time by her publisher because it felt like she was still covering old ground. I think the most fascinating sister was Emily - probably a virgin & most likely agoraphobic, yet she writes one of the most iconic love stories of all time. Charlotte at least had some life experiences to draw up for JE.

First of all, I'd strongly recommend Villette - it's exquisite and I would say has plenty of differences to Jane Eyre.

I've read a biography of the sisters and there's nothing to say that Emily was agoraphobic. Emily and Charlotte went to Brussels together and Emily worked as a governess as well. Emily went for walks with a friend at home and had a dog. As for life experiences Charlotte was almost certainly a virgin as well until the last year or so of her life and by that time she'd already written Jane Eyre and Villette. I suppose the difference that you're thinking of is that Charlotte would become very infatuated with men - her professor at Brussels and her publisher in England - and pursued them but they did not reciprocate. Emily may or may not have had infatuations as well but was more introverted and didn't pursue them. Charlotte was also the one who pursued publication of the Bronte sisters' novels which is to her credit.

by Anonymousreply 77January 13, 2023 4:09 PM

Maybe agoraphobic isn't the right word, but she left Brussels early & never really left home after that - she was the primary caregiver for their father & drunken brother up to her death. But she never lived in the world for any length of time (aside from a stint as a governess, I think, which is supposedly when she got the idea for WH after hearing about some sort of local family feud) and I guess the distinction I'd make with Charlotte is that JE is almost more about obsession while Heathcliff & Cathy have a passionate love, hard to imagine for a woman with so little life experience (if you will).

But I will definitely take your recommendation on Villette

by Anonymousreply 78January 13, 2023 4:26 PM

None of the sisters liked working as a governess and preferred to not do it as much as they could. I think perversely *not* having romantic or sexual life experience may actually make for some of the most famous love stories, maybe because they were repressed and did not have the disappointments that come with experiencing relationships for real. Jane Austen was also a spinster (Pride and Prejudice is one of the great British romantic novels as well).

by Anonymousreply 79January 13, 2023 4:33 PM

Twilight Man by Liz Brown. About the wealthy son of "Copper King" William Clark and his boytoy. Only about 50 pages in and it's really good.

by Anonymousreply 80January 13, 2023 6:55 PM

r74, start with A Boy's Own Story, his breakthrough book. Then The Beautiful Room is Empty, Farewell Symphony. Also his memoirs are good: City Boy and Inside a Pearl; lots of sex in these. I also loved. States of Desire, a non-fiction canvassing of gay life across. the country. Written in 1980, pre-AIDS, it's a fascinating. sociological and historic document. The Unpunished Life is a literary memoir if you like that sort of thing.

by Anonymousreply 81January 14, 2023 12:46 AM

^Sorry, Unpunished VICE.

by Anonymousreply 82January 14, 2023 12:53 AM

Thank you r81 - I appreciate it! Will do.

by Anonymousreply 83January 14, 2023 1:07 AM

Someone recommend a good mystery series.

by Anonymousreply 84January 14, 2023 1:10 PM

Which ones do you already know?

by Anonymousreply 85January 14, 2023 1:35 PM

The original dozen or so Inspector Morse mysteries by Colin Dexter are terrific. There's an active thread now on DL about the books, the tv series and the two spin-off series.

by Anonymousreply 86January 14, 2023 1:51 PM

I love madcap romps like the books of Joe Keenan, and dramatic soap opera-y books like those written by Dominick Dunne. Just campy, funny, easy-breezy reads. Any suggestions for books like those?

by Anonymousreply 87January 14, 2023 4:24 PM

R84-The Christopher Fowler series about detectives Bryant and May from the Peculiar Crimes Unit are witty, clever, and so satisfying. There are 17 books in the series, starting with "Full Dark House". Set in and around London with historical facts thrown in about every aspect of British life. I loved them! Plus, you can imagine the pair being played in a series by Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen.

by Anonymousreply 88January 14, 2023 5:47 PM

I just finished Tracy Flick Can't Win, what a great read! Thanks to all who recommended it; it was a perfect lazy afternoon book.

by Anonymousreply 89January 14, 2023 11:08 PM

I think I recommended it here, r89. So glad you enjoyed it! Apparently, Reese Witherspoon has signed on to reprise her role as Tracy in the film (no surprise).

by Anonymousreply 90January 14, 2023 11:25 PM

OP, if you enjoy du Maurier, The House on the Strand is a really interesting novel by her.

by Anonymousreply 91January 14, 2023 11:46 PM

JAMAICA INN has replaced REBECCA as my favorite DuMaurier.

by Anonymousreply 92January 14, 2023 11:56 PM

The Coroners daughter was given to me. Im not a big reader but my sister and some other friends borrowed it from me, as they all told each other how great it is...then recently it got a new york times rave....my sister and friends say it the best book they ever read. They are hoping ans praying for a sequel...ive started it and its fantastic. Set in Dublin.

by Anonymousreply 93January 15, 2023 1:34 AM

Looking forward to Up With the Sun. by Thomas Mallon, out in Feb. Novel about Dick Kallman gay Broadway actor whose life had a sad ending.

by Anonymousreply 94January 15, 2023 1:24 PM

Thanks, r94. I just ordered it.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 95January 15, 2023 1:53 PM

R87. Oh, then I think late Henry James would be right up your alley—try The Wings of the Dove. It could be a Frasier episode!

by Anonymousreply 96January 15, 2023 2:08 PM

I just put Up With the Sun on my Amazon wishlist

by Anonymousreply 97January 15, 2023 6:05 PM

R22, is that the new unexpurgated version of the diaries? Are they worth reading? I found his diaries fascinating and frustrating. You could tell they were holding back the good stuff. Is there a biography? He was Prince Paul of Yugoslavia’s boy.

by Anonymousreply 98January 16, 2023 12:56 AM

The Sacred Fount is nothing if not a madcap romp!

by Anonymousreply 99January 16, 2023 1:15 AM

The Diaries are published in 3 big-ass volumes. Sure hope they didn't expurgate.

by Anonymousreply 100January 16, 2023 1:59 AM

I just read "God Save Texas" by Lawrence Wright and I'm spitting fire, ready to nuke that pathetic shithole off the planet. He of course is a right winger even though his affect is on the level of Truman Capote. He insists what wonderful sincere people are those psychopaths George and Laura Bush, and he tries to humanize Abbott, Perry, and the rest of the freak show and splain away their g uns! And of course he has anecdotal evidence of the perfidy of liberals. What human garbage

by Anonymousreply 101January 16, 2023 4:30 PM

Recommendations for a Hamish MacBeth style mystery series? A character driven whodunnit that is engaging and gripping (and possibly funny, though that’s not a necessity). It doesn’t need to be super “cozy”, but I am caring for a family member and don’t want to engage in torture and the mind of a sociopathic undersexed deranged spinster and paedophiles during my time off.

I finished I’m quick succession Notes On A Scandal and the Val McDermid book that Wire In The Blood based off and while it’s great writing, I am actively trying to avoid this sort of ironic, psychological cynicism right now.

I like the Richard Osmond books, and Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse, and Cadfael for reference. A legal drama may be good as well, I like what I can recall from Scott Turow, John Grisham, Steve Cavanagh and Lisa Scottoline.

by Anonymousreply 102January 16, 2023 8:23 PM

Though they'd be considered "period" mysteries now, have you read any of the Ruth Rendell's Inspector Wexford series or Reginald Hill's Dalziel & Pascoe series, r102? They'd fit your description.

by Anonymousreply 103January 16, 2023 9:01 PM

Ruth Rendell is excellent

by Anonymousreply 104January 16, 2023 9:02 PM

R102 oh Lordy, I have to give Wexford and Dalgleish a miss, my parents watched them religiously in my childhood and I couldn’t bear them. Which is odd because I loved Morse.

by Anonymousreply 105January 16, 2023 9:08 PM

The books are all far superior to any of the TV series, r102.

by Anonymousreply 106January 16, 2023 9:13 PM

Any stand-alone a or series a bit more contemporary than the Wexford series? I checked my local library and they literally have a single book in the series.

by Anonymousreply 107January 17, 2023 2:24 AM

I was a huge fan of Rendell from as far back as the early 1980s and she could pretty dependably come out with at least one, if not two books every year, both Wexford and stand alone titles, at least into the early 2000s. She was so prolific she came up with a nom de plume Barbara Vine and wrote some of her books under that name.

But I think she inevitably hit a rut and her books became mostly predictable and dull. I think the most recent book of hers I enjoyed was called THE GIRL NEXT DOOR from around 2014. But her best books were in the 1970s and 80s, IMHO.

There have been DL threads devoted to her over the years and I'd suggest searching for them.

by Anonymousreply 108January 17, 2023 2:32 AM

What non-Rendell, non-James crime writers do you like, r108?

by Anonymousreply 109January 17, 2023 2:37 AM

R50 I thought Less is Lost was, as a whole, a mess. I thought the last chapter and "the chasing the train" through the US was like a sloppy story treatment for a Netflix special. I am not hard-hearted - I tear up at commercials.

I read the first Less book and was taken with it enough to read the second. I can see another in the series, but I'll sit the next one out.

by Anonymousreply 110January 17, 2023 2:48 AM

I am reading In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson about the cluelss academic and his family, that Roosevelt appointed Ambassador to Germany. He sat in Berlin and watched as Hitler gained control of the government and the Nazis gained power, passed a bunch of laws and engaged in thuggish attacks on anyone who didn't salute the Reich. Very harrowing tale. And so many similarities to what we are seeing here.

by Anonymousreply 111January 17, 2023 3:10 AM

I love the chapters about his slutty daughter fucking Nazis, R111. That family was a complete mess.

by Anonymousreply 112January 17, 2023 2:06 PM

r109, I'm repeating myself here but I think the only mystery writers who I've consistently liked over many years beside Ruth Rendell are Reginald Hill (RIP) and his Pascoe/Dalziel series and many of the old Julian Symons novels from the 1970s and 1980s, all more Hitchcockian than whodunnits.

Some of Symons' titles I've enjoyed are The Blackheath Poisonings, The Narrowing Circle, The Belting Inheritance, The 31st of February, The Colour of Murder, The Players and the Game, The Man Who Killed Himself, The Progress of a Crime, Sweet Adelaide and The Plot Against Roger Rider. They may be hard to find now, probably all out of print, unless they've been reissued in the UK.

by Anonymousreply 113January 17, 2023 2:11 PM

Just finished The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. It's fun, and a little wild at places, but it reads too much like a movie scenario, with only sketchily drawn characters and events, and so I didn't get the cosy, immersed feel you get when reading a good book.

by Anonymousreply 114January 17, 2023 3:53 PM

To add t r114: Alex Michaelides is, in fact, also a scriptwriter. Uma Thurman apparently gave him writing tips and he's also inspired by Billy Wilder. But those tips only really work for a movie, which is visual, and less so in a book, which benefits from greater density than a film script.

by Anonymousreply 115January 17, 2023 3:56 PM

I wouldn't trust any novelist who went to Uma Thurman for writing tips.

by Anonymousreply 116January 17, 2023 4:02 PM

Well, she was once married to (ahem) novelist Ethan Hawke, r116.

by Anonymousreply 117January 17, 2023 4:46 PM

We had very different reactions to "God Save Texas," r101. Some of your criticisms might be fair, but Lawrence Wright a right-winger? To me he seems like a classic liberal boomer, perhaps some neolib tendencies like a lot of journalists of that generation. But I thought he was clearly and unequivocally critical of the rightward lurch of Texas state government, particularly Dan Patrick and his ilk. As for the Bushes, maybe he should have been harder on George, but the fact is that he knew them before George became president which is always going to complicate one's view of a person.

Maybe I'm a Wright apologist because he's one of my very favorite journalists. His "Remembering Satan" is my favorite true crime book; his Scientology book, "Going Clear," is investigative reporting at its juicy best. I've been meaning to read his al-Qaida book forever.

by Anonymousreply 118January 17, 2023 4:57 PM

I've worked with Lawrence Wright, he wrote a play in which I was involved. He is indeed a liberal but thoroughly boring and academic, at least as a playwright. Nice guy, though.

by Anonymousreply 119January 17, 2023 5:40 PM

as far as mysteries go, I have always enjoyed Michael Connally. IMO he is the best. If you have never read him do it. And John Grisham always delivers. He writes more than legal thrillers. So anything he writes you should read.

by Anonymousreply 120January 17, 2023 7:11 PM

What are some of your favorite Michael Connellys, r120?

by Anonymousreply 121January 17, 2023 8:09 PM

Is David Baldacci worth a read?

by Anonymousreply 122January 17, 2023 10:03 PM

Only if you buy your books in supermarkets, r122.

by Anonymousreply 123January 17, 2023 10:04 PM

So… no?

by Anonymousreply 124January 17, 2023 10:06 PM

R121, I'm not r120, but I recommend starting with the first Harry Bosch novel, The Black Echo. Here's a list of all of Connelly's books, in order.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 125January 17, 2023 10:10 PM

R116, she gave him screenwriting tips, which he applied to his novel.

by Anonymousreply 126January 17, 2023 10:37 PM

My final recommendation is James Lee Burke. Excellent. Anything he wrote.

by Anonymousreply 127January 17, 2023 10:43 PM

Michael Connelly 's Bosch series and his Lincoln Lawyer series are gold. I really enjoyed them, and Amazon has both of them streaming now as to distinctly different detective series.

by Anonymousreply 128January 18, 2023 12:42 AM

Molly Ivins and An Richards took the same tack of condescending to GWB, too dumb to realize what a bold criminal he really is. Sold access to his dad to Bahrain and Qatar. Invented a ridiculous accounting fraud to overstate Harkness earnings three times (which Ken Lay copied at Enron). Committed eminent domain fraud to become wealthy as owner of the Ranger, he got a 10% shares bonus. Literally every dime he has ever made has been by criminal means. ANd that includes president, to which he was never elected. Maybe his subsequent art sales have been legit, but he has not "nice" by any standard.

by Anonymousreply 129January 18, 2023 5:33 AM

R129 I love your post but I think you're in the wrong thread.

by Anonymousreply 130January 18, 2023 2:04 PM

R129 And the MC for the Golden Globes was just so incompetent!

by Anonymousreply 131January 18, 2023 4:44 PM

[quote] Well, she was once married to (ahem) novelist Ethan Hawke, [R116].

Marilyn Monroe was once married to playwright Arthur Miller (a much better writer than Hawke), and I wouldn't have gone to her for writing tips either.

I do not believe writing talent and know-how are somehow passed to another party through semen.

by Anonymousreply 132January 18, 2023 4:54 PM

R132 Tell me about it.

by Anonymousreply 133January 18, 2023 5:16 PM

I am reading the Whalebone Theater after the recommendations on the previous thread. I'm about 150 pages in and find the British children (who basically speak like adults) so grating. Should I give up? I can't stand the main girl with her precociousness and the extended passages about them all putting on a play. Does it get better?

by Anonymousreply 134January 19, 2023 2:55 PM

R134-I not only gave up, I gave it to a neighbor for Christmas. Boring.

by Anonymousreply 135January 19, 2023 3:02 PM

I hated it too, R134 and bailed on it much sooner. Life is too short to read irritating books. Give up!

by Anonymousreply 136January 19, 2023 3:14 PM

Sorry, you've all bailed on The Whalebone Theatre. The story takes a dramatic turn, actually several dramatic turns with the beginning of WWII and the three children each find their own way in the war effort at home and in France.

I loved it. One of my favorite books last year. But to each his own.

by Anonymousreply 137January 19, 2023 3:50 PM

R80 here. I just finished Twilight Man last night. Really fascinating book, if you are into LGBT history you'll enjoy it

by Anonymousreply 138January 19, 2023 6:42 PM

I'm interested in lesbian and gay history, r138. I have no idea what "LGBT history" is, beyond the fact that the term "LGBT" is an oxymoron and there is no such thing as "LGBT". The only history there can be of it is how this monstrous construct was fabricated and the harm it has done to gay people and perverted our history.

by Anonymousreply 139January 20, 2023 9:18 AM

R139 The "anti-T" folk are starting to sound like the flat earthers. Did Jewish Space Lazers force us to put the T on the LGB? Do the T folk drink babies' blood at pizza joints?

by Anonymousreply 140January 20, 2023 4:26 PM

R139 sounds ridiculous. People have been using the term LGBT for at least 30 years. But they suddenly pretend it's offensive just to make a point. You right-wingers accuse others of being "special snowflakes" but you get awfully bent out of shape over words. Republicans have done way more harm to our community than any word.

by Anonymousreply 141January 20, 2023 5:58 PM

What exactly is the common history of lesbian, gay and transgender people, r141? Perhaps you can recommend a good book.

by Anonymousreply 142January 20, 2023 6:34 PM

R141 Exactly. Every time one of the anti-T, right wing reactionaries burb up their vitriol ("anti-woke" being a telltale sign of the disease) it's important to remember that they are in league with International Reaction - from anti-Gay Russian Christian Nationalist autocrats to Kenyan evangelical demagogues to radical Islamicist Wahhabism) who want to imprison if not execute people who love those of the same sex.

Again: "anti-woke" "anti-trans" for the most part means = "gays are immoral, illegal, and should be imprisoned or killed"

by Anonymousreply 143January 20, 2023 6:37 PM

R142, for one, Republicans are currently trying to ban books about gays AND trans people. They are trying to limit discussion of gays AND trans people in schools. Gays AND trans people have faced discrimination in the US military. Laws banning gay marriage would limit who trans people can marry.

by Anonymousreply 144January 20, 2023 7:44 PM

That's happening now r144, not in history, and it still doesn't give gay and trans-identified people a common history nor is it even really a common experience. It's like saying Jews and Muslims have a common history because they've both suffered discrimination in majority Christian countris. In any case, the truth is many children who would have grown up gay but who adults decided to trans and thus ruin will now be able to grow up gay. If Jazz Jennings had grown up in Florida with the new rules, he wouldn't have had his body destroyed to fulfil adults' ridiculous gender ideology and would be a healthy gay man today.

by Anonymousreply 145January 20, 2023 8:07 PM

I once hooked up with a kid who had a Harry Bosch fetish.

by Anonymousreply 146January 20, 2023 8:12 PM

I've been reading Eliot's "Selected Essays" from 1932, because it's the only complete set of his Elizabethan-through-Victorian poetry criticism. His disgusting prissy style is such a fine representation of an American imitating a High Church Englishmen with MANY noble and distinguished relationships. But underneath this self-parody is a cuttingly astute and sound critique of British poetic minds and methods.

Also, I've been reading Keats' Letters. Poor, dear boy.

by Anonymousreply 147January 20, 2023 8:18 PM

Black people also faced discrimination in the US military, r144. According to you we should all consider ourselves BLGBT and there is a common black, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans history.

The ban on homosexuals and things like Don't Ask, Don't Tell is a very gay experience of discrimination. Stop trying to erase that gay experience and that gay history by mixing it up with other things.

As this is a book thread, here's a link to a story about a trans Navy Seal who wrote a co-wrote the book Warrior Princess about his experience with Anne Speckhard, a psychologist at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Except now he's realised it's all a load of rubbish and has detransitioned and feels as though he was exploited by people like Speckhard (who is brushing off his detransition, as though it means nothing).

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 148January 20, 2023 8:18 PM

R145 in Florida trans kiss are being "investigated" bu the state and Ron de Santis is asking for lists of trans kids at colleges. Trying to defend Florida makes you look stupid. Florida also stopped high school kids from doing a play with lesbian characters

R148, Trump banned trans people from the military. Saying trans people have faced no discrimination in the military is stupid.

Bringing up "ex-trans" people is stupid, since "ex-gays" also exist. Should we use Milo as an example?

by Anonymousreply 149January 20, 2023 8:22 PM

Oops, "trans kids" not "trans kiss"

by Anonymousreply 150January 20, 2023 8:23 PM

R145 and r148 is the same right-wing troll. Milo?

by Anonymousreply 151January 20, 2023 8:23 PM

Just finished Dan Chaon's SLEEPWALK. I've been a huge fan of his early Hitchcockian novels, AWAIT YOUR REPLY and YOU REMIND ME OF ME, but this one, not as much.

A harrowing yet oft times hilarious dystopian tale, set in the near future, it's about a middle aged guy who is a courier, often for unknown sources, zig-zagging through the US, delivering suspect packages, transporting prisoners, planting explosives, spying, guarding abandoned factories and compounds and occasionally assassinating people. The drone-filled, comfortless, blasted out world that Chaon paints is sadly all too believable and it just depressed me no end, though I did force myself to finish the book as it's so well conceived. As I'm in my early 70s, I guess I can at least console myself with the fact that I'll probably be gone by the time it all comes to this.

Curious if there are any other Chaon fans here.

by Anonymousreply 152January 20, 2023 8:49 PM

R152-I used to be, but he got tiresome and all DeLillo-ish after a while and I just stopped reading him.

by Anonymousreply 153January 20, 2023 9:08 PM

I just started reading this. I wanted to know the back story.

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by Anonymousreply 154January 20, 2023 9:31 PM

[italic] The History of Friedrich II of Prussia, called Frederick the Great [/italic] , by Thomas Carlyle.

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by Anonymousreply 155January 20, 2023 9:40 PM

I read “Sleepwalk,” r152 and can’t say I loved it. The story was compelling if overlong. Most writers, even good writers like Chaon, could use a good edit.

by Anonymousreply 156January 20, 2023 9:45 PM

I'm reading two good books of essays by writers I admire: [italic]A Left-Handed Woman[/italic] by Judith Thurman, and [italic]Let Me Tell You What I Mean[/italic] by Joan Didion.

by Anonymousreply 157January 20, 2023 9:45 PM

In search of lost time.

by Anonymousreply 158January 20, 2023 11:33 PM

The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry. I’ve seen the film several times but had never read the novel. There’s quite a bit more sex in the novel, including bestiality.

by Anonymousreply 159January 20, 2023 11:37 PM

R11 Those sound very interesting. Thanks!

by Anonymousreply 160January 21, 2023 2:41 AM

Frank Tallis' Vienna Blood series. His Jewish Psychiatrist/ detective, Max Lieberman and his Police inspector partner remind me of Sherlock Holmes. Smart plotting and it's set in the 1890s-1900s. I love them.

by Anonymousreply 161January 21, 2023 3:25 AM

Thanks for the Frank Tallis and Dan Chaon recommendations!

by Anonymousreply 162January 21, 2023 2:42 PM

The Secret of the Bull, by Jose Raul Bernardo.

by Anonymousreply 163January 21, 2023 3:11 PM

R11 Phillip Gregory is good, but Sharon Kay Penman is even better if you love historical novels

by Anonymousreply 164January 21, 2023 5:21 PM

I just finished Judith Thurman’s new essay collection “The Left-Handed Woman.” She has a wide range of interests, fashion, languages, fiction, feminism. I think every piece was first published in The New Yorker.

by Anonymousreply 165January 21, 2023 5:35 PM

Barbara Kingsolvers' Demon Copperhead is terrific. Definitely NOT a beach read, though. Riveting.

by Anonymousreply 166January 21, 2023 5:39 PM

The house by the cerulean sea

by Anonymousreply 167January 21, 2023 6:18 PM

Flying Cloud

by Anonymousreply 168January 21, 2023 6:48 PM

Spare. And no, I’m not joking.

It’s so interesting that it shows how banal royalty is from the inside. It makes it all seem like one big joke. Like actors forced to take part in a movie they know is shit, but just carry on anyway.

Harry is so not made for royal life that it’s almost a sad waste. He mentioned sloths of the family that sip drinks all day and bask in their ranks/titles. But those are the very people at least enjoying their privilege.

This also makes William that much more interesting but also so familiar. He seems like my older brother in many ways.

The book is good on its own merits. I don’t care about the feelings or drama of either side, I’m just enjoying a peak behind the royal curtain. From a male perspective (less about the shit I want to know like curtesy protocols) it delivers.

He also shows that William and Kate have a fun side. But boy are William and Harry fucked up men.

The people in the family don’t hug each other which is so weird. Everyone in that family seem so so weird in aloof, including Harry.

Warning, some may find this boring, but that’s normal for autobiographies.

by Anonymousreply 169January 21, 2023 8:03 PM

The New Yorker review gives a great deal of credit to Harry's ghostwriter, JR Moehringer. Is he recognized prominently on the title page?

by Anonymousreply 170January 21, 2023 8:47 PM

Big thanks to the poster that recommended "Jamaica Inn" - listened to it on Audible & got me through a long car trip. Loved it!

by Anonymousreply 171January 21, 2023 11:11 PM

I'm leaving for Europe in two days. I've got a 10 hour flight and nothing to read...

by Anonymousreply 172January 22, 2023 4:42 AM

R170, the ghostwriter should get credit, but it’s a celeb memoir, they all have ghost writers. It enhances rhs tory which is all I care about as a reader. Some of you are acting so weird. Never has a celeb memoir has so many DL members suddenly up in arms to give ghost writers some flowers.

by Anonymousreply 173January 22, 2023 12:58 PM

When I read and hear reviews that Harry is such a fine writer, I'm going to stick up for the guy who probably did most of the writing.

by Anonymousreply 174January 22, 2023 2:28 PM

R171 - Jamaica Inn read by actor Trevor Eve was one of the first audiobooks I ever encountered. He did a terrific job!

by Anonymousreply 175January 22, 2023 3:18 PM

Years ago, my boss was a minor political figure. Big Fish in a small pond. He worked with a Ghost writer on his memoir, and some of us staffers sat in on their sessions. Basically, the way it works is the principal is going to have a taped conversation and a Q&A and the ghostwriter transcribes, cleans it up, edits, etc. So the main guy collaborates. There's no invention. And with Harry's life so well documented from the day if his birth, a lot of time was probably spent in recollecting events and feelings from all that.

by Anonymousreply 176January 22, 2023 3:55 PM

Reading the farewell symphony. My god he got a lot of dick!

by Anonymousreply 177January 22, 2023 4:21 PM

Yes, he did! And he has spent most of his writing talking about it.

by Anonymousreply 178January 22, 2023 6:24 PM

R178 yes, I’m not complaining, his body count is just unreal. And he’s not afraid to share the filthiest, most embarrassing, desperate hookups in such detailed, vivid language 😂

by Anonymousreply 179January 22, 2023 7:41 PM

A friend works for his publishing company. She says his books don't sell, but they continue to release them because of his stature. His new one out next spring is about a ballet dancer and his older lover.

Oh, and he has a husband and a much younger boyfriend. And he's 83.

by Anonymousreply 180January 22, 2023 7:52 PM

Speaking of sex, I'm in the middle of Allan Hollinghurst's THE SPELL from 1998. I'm really enjoying it quite a bit but I'm not sure there's much to it other than scenes of sex, bitchiness and drug and alcohol consumption. Sometimes, that's enough, though.

by Anonymousreply 181January 22, 2023 9:38 PM

The Spell is the one Hollinghurst novel I didn't enjoy.

by Anonymousreply 182January 22, 2023 11:05 PM

Tender is the Night- is it worth reading?

by Anonymousreply 183January 23, 2023 9:27 PM

To the ones asking for mystery series, 3 current authors I enjoy with police procedurals:

Jane Casey and her Maeve Kerrigan series (she is a young policewoman in a London murder unit)

Cara Hunter(takes place in Oxford)

Gytha Lodge

by Anonymousreply 184January 23, 2023 11:38 PM

Thank you r184!

by Anonymousreply 185January 24, 2023 12:31 AM

Reading Milk Fed by Melissa Broder. It's a quick read - extremely dark and quite funny.

by Anonymousreply 186January 24, 2023 7:11 PM

Deliberate Cruelty

by Anonymousreply 187January 24, 2023 8:28 PM

For cosy English mysteries, try Robert Goddard.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 188January 24, 2023 10:10 PM

Start with "Into The Blue", a great Goddard mystery.

by Anonymousreply 189January 24, 2023 11:05 PM

I liked "Into the Blue" and "Caught in the Light." "Painting the Darkness" and "Fine Art of Invisible Detection' are on my TBR pile.

by Anonymousreply 190January 24, 2023 11:49 PM

I'm also starting "The Shards" by Bret Easton Ellis, just got it in the mail today. I enjoyed his last book very much.

by Anonymousreply 191January 25, 2023 1:49 AM

Has anyone read any of Jonathan Tropper's novels? This Is Where I Leave You? Everything Changes? Looking for something a little lighter but not too light and I'm intrigued with his Amazon reader reviews.

by Anonymousreply 192January 25, 2023 2:26 AM

Farewell Symphony really goes off the rails when he has his 15 year old nephew come live with him after the kid is discharged from a psych hospital. He talks about the kid’s large penis size, says he’s a little in love with him, then pays for the nephew’s 13 year old Mexican girlfriend from the psych hospital to come live with him, repeatedly talks about her sexy body and how much sex the two kids are having.

I have no idea how I went from reading about him fucking 1000 men (no complaints there - he really paints quite a picture) to reading about these kids. It’s like a bad fever dream.

I guess the 1970s were a very different time.

by Anonymousreply 193January 26, 2023 2:38 PM

I finished Kari Slaughter’s “Triptych” the first Will Trent crime novel. Good plotting, overlong and you know who did it very early on.

by Anonymousreply 194January 26, 2023 3:06 PM

The Shards is very good. It's like an amalgamation of all his earlier stuff. Very, very gay and rather disturbing in parts.

by Anonymousreply 195January 26, 2023 3:18 PM

Thanks for the Robert Goddard recommendation!

by Anonymousreply 196January 26, 2023 3:39 PM

Reserved Shards at the library - thank you

by Anonymousreply 197January 26, 2023 3:56 PM

R193's description makes it sound like the book was written by the nephew troll!

by Anonymousreply 198January 26, 2023 4:05 PM

Model by Michael Gross

by Anonymousreply 199January 26, 2023 4:08 PM

R193 But it was released in the 90s, right? I guess you are saying that White's essential perspective is grounded in the 70s.

Actually the only White I've really liked are the first two "young and unfocused" novels, Forgetting Elena and Nocturnes for the King of Naples. Short, poetic, almost experimental fiction.

by Anonymousreply 200January 26, 2023 4:43 PM

Yes r200 but I guess he’s describing the 70s? Regardless very bold talking about your teenage nephew’s penis size.

by Anonymousreply 201January 26, 2023 4:53 PM

White’s nephew did live with him for awhile in adolescence and/or young adulthood, so I think he drew some of that from his own experience. I think he started as a very good writer, but, the older he got the gassier the writing became, though I did like Our Young Man, his fairly recent short novel about a model. But all in all, I think Andrew Holleran is a much better and more consistent writer.

by Anonymousreply 202January 26, 2023 4:58 PM

I think if White wrote less, he'd write better. Holleran's output is relatively small, but the prose is exquisite.

by Anonymousreply 203January 26, 2023 8:24 PM

Just saw an ad for "The English Führer" by Rory Clements. Looks interesting (just came out).

by Anonymousreply 204January 26, 2023 10:43 PM

I have a friend who is a college professor who once worked with Edmund White, and I asked her afterwards what he was like. My friend, who is a nice person and doesn't like to badmouth other people, thought for a moment and then said, "He's the sort of person where, if you have a different opinion of an artwork or of a book than he does, his response is to be sad for you, because he's convinced his own opinions are the only ones worth having." (She is his age and much better educated, btw.)

by Anonymousreply 205January 26, 2023 11:24 PM

Love that R205 thank you

by Anonymousreply 206January 26, 2023 11:33 PM

I've started the audio edition of [italic]Remains of the Day[/italic]. Good narration, which helps with the slow introspection; I have not seen the film.

by Anonymousreply 207January 27, 2023 1:28 PM

Film is excellent, r207.

by Anonymousreply 208January 27, 2023 1:43 PM

Am reading The Paper Palace, from Miranda Cowley Heller, i am enjoying it but (like other first novels) she throws in everything, including the kitchen sink.

Anyone read it?

by Anonymousreply 209January 27, 2023 7:58 PM

R207. If you enjoy that, read Never Let Me Go. Very different (except for somewhat unreliable narrator), but equally good and heart-breaking. Ishiguro really is an artistic genius.

by Anonymousreply 210January 27, 2023 8:12 PM

Anyone else reading the new gay novel THE NEW LIFE by Tom Crewe? I'll be very interested in hearing your thoughts. I'm almost 1/2 way through it and it definitely has its ups and downs.

by Anonymousreply 211January 28, 2023 3:20 PM

R210 Ishiguro is a hard read for me. His simple, quirkily simple sentences. His slippery narrative perspective. I read his latest, Klara and the Sun, this fall. Almost two thirds of the way through I was thinking, "this is so turgid, unpleasant, I don't care about this robot, these humans aren't appealing or interesting, it all seems so artificial and mannered...." as i feverishly turned pages and was overwhelmed with both joy and sadness at the end. What a weird writer.

by Anonymousreply 212January 28, 2023 4:49 PM

I would find it tedious, but I was fully prepared for not much "action" before starting Remains. Good audio narration is helping here.

by Anonymousreply 213January 28, 2023 5:16 PM

Just finished "The Shards". I feel like I've just awakened from a nightmare.In Fact, I'm feeling the same way I felt when I first saw "Apocalypse Now" at the Ziegfeld. I turned to the guy I was dating and said, "This is either a masterpiece or the biggest piece of shit I've ever seen. I can't decide".

by Anonymousreply 214January 28, 2023 9:43 PM

R214 Right. One review called him "the Shock Jock of literature." Joe Rogan as a novelist. Not my cup of tea (and I went to HS in Los Angeles).

by Anonymousreply 215January 28, 2023 10:29 PM

Bret's ego knows no boundaries.

by Anonymousreply 216January 28, 2023 10:35 PM

Lily Tuck "The News from Paraguay"

I starts out annoyingly chick writing, but then she starts throwing in gross sex scenes and even grosser medical ones, and now that I'm halfway through she paints the Paraguayans as so bad I have to think there is some racism behind it.

by Anonymousreply 217January 29, 2023 7:15 AM

some gratuitous homophobia as well

by Anonymousreply 218January 29, 2023 7:17 AM

Books are awfully decorative.

by Anonymousreply 219January 29, 2023 7:30 AM

I'm currently tackling Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky.

by Anonymousreply 220January 29, 2023 9:51 AM


Travel literature is my absolute favorite genre. Paraguay seems a very shady place from what I've read of it. A book I recall liking a lot ...

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by Anonymousreply 221January 29, 2023 2:17 PM

R212, loved your post and I understand perfectly what you mean though my experience was slightly different re Klara an the Sun, found it overall arid but was something that changes your perspective about being human. On the other hand Never Let Me Go is probably on my top 3 favorite books.

by Anonymousreply 222January 29, 2023 5:50 PM

For me, KLARA AND THE SUN was sort of a "noble experiment" but ultimately I found it too heartbreakingly depressing to be able to finish it. I stopped about 3/4 of the way through with no regrets.

Otoh, REMAINS OF THE DAY is one of my favorite novels of all time. I've tried reading a couple of Ishiguro's other books including AN ARTIST OF THE FLOATING WORLD, but couldn't get into them. I don't know why, but I've avoided NEVER LET ME GO, I think because of my perceived notion of it as science fiction, for want of a better term. But I must try it.

by Anonymousreply 223January 29, 2023 8:14 PM

I absolutely love the Ishiguro books I’ve read—The Remains of the Day, Klara and the Sun, and The Unconsoled. I look forward to reading others.

by Anonymousreply 224January 29, 2023 8:43 PM

How do you pronounce that word, OP?

by Anonymousreply 225January 29, 2023 8:45 PM

I love Ishiguro as well, but found The Buried Giant bloated and tedious.

by Anonymousreply 226January 29, 2023 10:24 PM

I don’t like the kind of science fiction that NEVER LET ME GO is because cynicism is built into its DNA. That’s not itself a bad thing, but but when that cynicism is linked with a dourness and helplessness I loose interest in the journey because the destination is all too obvious.

by Anonymousreply 227January 30, 2023 5:44 AM

I finished Bernice Rubens' [italic]A Five Year Sentence[/italic] yesterday. Although it wasn't the ending I was hoping for, she nails irony! Her style reminded me of Jane Gardam. I have Rubens' [italic]Sunday Best[/italic] on my TBR list.

by Anonymousreply 228January 30, 2023 1:38 PM

Where are you finding the Rubens' books, r228? Your library? Used copies? I know she's not easy to find these days.

by Anonymousreply 229January 30, 2023 2:21 PM

Finished Farewell Symphony finally. Painted a vivid picture of gay NY in the 70s and 80s, very sad when AIDS killed off everyone he knew.

That being said, I'll always associate him with the graphic scene when his abusive ex-bf drugged him and forced an enema up his ass, causing him to shit everywhere.


by Anonymousreply 230January 30, 2023 6:17 PM

Available to purchase as Kindle books, R229. Forgot until just now that I bought [italic]Mr Wakefield's Crusade[/italic] as a used paperback.

by Anonymousreply 231January 30, 2023 6:39 PM

Duh. I'm such a dinosaur, I forget there is such a thing as Kindle.

by Anonymousreply 232January 30, 2023 6:48 PM

I cannot read a book online or on a Kindle.

Read books, hardback books, pages to turn, the kinesthetic validation of movement in the story, print not glaring back into your eyes with artificial light, the attention span allowed to be what the body needs - not shortened by the conditioning of devices.

Nothing to click. Nothing to scroll. Simply the sacred beauty of one human using language to make beauty.

by Anonymousreply 233January 30, 2023 6:56 PM

R233 is mostly right, but certainly at the DL, of all places, she MUST know that I'm reading her by referring to her "artificial light" comment by wondering if she spends every sunny day on a grassy hillock reading "Mandingo Drum" (because only that light is good enough for her) and grinding her crinolines into the violets as she pantingly flips the pages,

by Anonymousreply 234January 30, 2023 7:18 PM

All true, r233, but if you like to travel with six or seven books on a long trip, an e-reader is so much easier to deal with.

by Anonymousreply 235January 30, 2023 7:55 PM

I can no longer read the fonts in most books. It's just too small. Kindle, which enables me to enlarge the type, makes it possible for me to continue reading.

by Anonymousreply 236January 30, 2023 8:20 PM

Right now it's "Collision on Tenerife." Worst accident in aviation history.

by Anonymousreply 237January 31, 2023 12:24 AM

A Kindle doesn’t have the glare of a computer or phone; that is in large purpose the appeal of them.

by Anonymousreply 238January 31, 2023 3:28 AM

You all must read Tom Crewe's THE NEW LIFE. I can't quite say I enjoyed it as it's more an intellectual experience than an emotional read (even with all the gay sex), but it's a very smart novel based on the true-life collaboration of Havelock Ellis and John Addington on the first treatise on homosexuality, or Inversion as they call it, in the 1890s and the personal and sexual lives of the two men and their wives (and John's hunky lover). This will be a controversial read for many, I expect, but worth the engagement.

by Anonymousreply 239January 31, 2023 3:39 AM

R239, that sounds good. I just put a request on it at my library.

by Anonymousreply 240January 31, 2023 3:43 AM

Stay with it, r240, it has its ups and downs but really pays off by the end.

by Anonymousreply 241January 31, 2023 3:45 AM

The New Life sounds really good, put it on my Amazon wishlist

by Anonymousreply 242January 31, 2023 4:02 AM

R233, there's nothing to click on a Kindle or other e-reader either and you can always turn the light off. People with e-readers tend to really love reading and you can still read physical books even if you own an e-reader.

by Anonymousreply 243January 31, 2023 7:51 AM

Moreover, r233, per the discussion on the Bernice Rubens books, sometimes with e-readers you can easily find books that it's hard to find in print.

by Anonymousreply 244January 31, 2023 7:54 AM

Finally tried Ben Lerner. Leaving the Atocha Station. Two of my most trusted critic friends are totally at odds over his books, one loving the other loathing. Have to say I lean to the negative. It was a trial to finish this solipsistic, navel-gazing, humorless narrative (which many fine critics deem "hilarious.") At least this will save me from his subsequent books. Anyone hear read Lerner?

by Anonymousreply 245January 31, 2023 1:56 PM

R245, I read The Topeka School and was impressed with it, enough to read Leaving the Atocha Station afterward.

by Anonymousreply 246January 31, 2023 3:07 PM

R244 No, of course there's nothing to "click", but how do you scroll down a page or turn a page. My assertion is that there is something different that happens with the brain when it engages text in a digital form - with all the kinesthetic, light/eye dynamics that requires. This is brain science, though I also value writer's comments about this phenomenon: Zadie Smith wrote a great essay years ago on "the flattened brain" that results from digital absorption.

by Anonymousreply 247January 31, 2023 4:31 PM

R247, on an e-reader you simply tap on the screen to turn the page - it's very easy to do one-handed. An e-reader is very different from a tablet or phone screen and you can turn the light off (which is, again, a different kind of light from that on a tablet or phone screen). The only purpose of the backlight on an e-reader is so you can read in the dark, especially so as not to keep your partner awake. You should try discovering what Kindles and other e-readers are actually like before commenting on them.

I can't find any references to this essay by Zadie Smith.

by Anonymousreply 248January 31, 2023 5:02 PM

R248 Chico, I've used Kindles before... for many, many hours when they first came out. It was an essay in the New York Review of Books, perhaps 7 or 8 years ago. You have already made up your mind and determined that an opinion in contradiction to yours is, by definition, flawed, incomplete, disingenuous. So be it.

My ideas about how the digital environment dampens the spirit, limits the view, alters brain function... .have been developed over the past 30 years (I used to code - C++ and other languages - I wrote HTML on some of the very first websites, I am not a luddite without cause. There's brain science on this - even this morning there was a study released on how looking at screens delayed development in toddler's brains.

I don't begrudge you text in the way you choose to have it. I do think humans are changing, not for the better. So be it.

by Anonymousreply 249January 31, 2023 5:23 PM

For me one of the great pleasures in reading is holding a book, turning the pages, admiring the feel and look and texture of the paper and print, rejoicing in a beautifully designed cover (though those can be rare). I love well-made paperbacks as well as hard covers. I have a great little book light clip from Amazon that works brilliantly at night in bed.

Anyway, I'll never give up books.

by Anonymousreply 250January 31, 2023 5:38 PM

R248 A cursory search identifies Zadie Smith as a frequent critic of the digital environment/social media. Start, if you want, with "Generation Why", and essay in the NYRB in 2009 (?).

R250 Exactly. I think our weakness is to accept whatever technology is fed us... without clear thinking as to why, what impact, what is lost. We become mindless consumers of a Matrix that is not woo woo cool, but rather just purposefully changing us into monetizing monads for the greater economic gain of International Capital. Like that...

by Anonymousreply 251January 31, 2023 5:49 PM

R247, Even asking "How do you scroll?" shows you know how to scroll!

On the Kindle, one simply swipes left, you know, like with a page in a book.

I switch from book form to Kindle form, if I own both, depending on my available light or what I feel like carrying along with me.

I own thousands of books, but I also love my two Kindle Fires!

by Anonymousreply 252January 31, 2023 5:52 PM

Lol, no r249. You have already made up your mind and are determined that an experience which is different from yours is, by definition, flawed, incomplete, disingenuous. I - and others here - enjoy reading from Kindles and other e-readers. You are the one insisting that our experience is flawed and wrong and believe that only you can define the best way of reading for everyone else.

by Anonymousreply 253January 31, 2023 5:55 PM

R251, I found nothing by Zadie Smith on a "flattened brain" as a result of computer screens and certainly nothing about a "flattened brain" as a result of reading from a Kindle.

Why do you keep confusing social media and the digital/online environment with reading a book on a Kindle?

It's ironic that the reason I'm immediately able to look up Zadie Smith's essay "Generation Why" is because I'm on my laptop. It's about Facebook and says nothing about e-readers, i.e. it's completely irrelevant to whether reading a book on a Kindle can be an enjoyable experience.

How exactly do you read and write on DL if not through a digital screen?

by Anonymousreply 254January 31, 2023 6:03 PM

Dear one, we probably shouldn't hijack this thread... but there is a flaw in your response. I've experienced both - the "experience" is mine in both instances. I've determined, based on my own conscious witness to what happens to me, and then further explained by significant amount of brain science, that the digital point of contact (the physiology) and social media/flattening individuals to 1/0 (psychology and consciousness) is pejorative. And the digital tool and "social media" in general are absolutely associated, to my thinking. Not yours.... uh... so be it, yah?

Using the tool to critique the tool: I am a Jesus-and-the-Beatitudes socialist. I believe modern crony/international capitalism is destructive - to the planet, to the human spirit. It instrumentalizes and diminishes the human. It oppresses the human for corporate profit. Yet I buy my food, my clothes, my books, my entertainment... from the institutions of Capital. I suppose you might say, with cause, I am a hypocrite. I'd say I am a realist who hasn't given up totally....

by Anonymousreply 255January 31, 2023 6:09 PM

I find it a bit tough to read Crime and Punishment in bed so last night started Sunset Swing, the final instalment of Ray Celestin's City Blues Quartet of mafia-tinged crime novels set in four different American cities over the 20th century, with a jazz soundtrack and protagonists Pinkerton and police detectives Michael and Ida Davis.

The novels are atmospheric, intelligently and gorgeously written, even though Celestin is a Brit trying to capture the soul of a certain aspect of America.

by Anonymousreply 256January 31, 2023 6:13 PM

To r255, aka Andrew Marvell 😉, I ❤ you. I, too, am a Beatitudes Socialist.

by Anonymousreply 257January 31, 2023 7:13 PM

Sweet Mary Mother of Christ and God's Red Eye!

They've let the Bolsheys in to set up a dating service at R255/R257 (et al.)!

by Anonymousreply 258January 31, 2023 8:20 PM

Is anyone familiar with CITY ON FIRE by Don Winslow, a sexy drug war thriller about Rhode Island drug lords? Seems to have gotten rave reviews last year.

by Anonymousreply 259February 1, 2023 1:52 AM

I tried it R259 and couldn’t get into it.

by Anonymousreply 260February 1, 2023 2:07 AM

Thanks, r260. Good to know. I took it out of the library so I'll give it a whirl but no biggie if I'm bored.

I'm about 100 pages into the Robert Goddard book Into the Blue, recommended upthread, and while it's perfectly enjoyable, as a thriller it feels a bit dated in its plotting and characters (it was published in1990). I guess I'm looking for a little more edge. But I'll give it another 50 pages or so.

by Anonymousreply 261February 1, 2023 4:08 AM

CITY ON FIRE is serviceable Winslow, but doesn't come close to his masterpiece, "The Force". Now, that is a killer novel.

by Anonymousreply 262February 1, 2023 4:28 PM

R261, I think it's safe to say that Goddard writes "cosy" thrillers. But I like that.

by Anonymousreply 263February 1, 2023 7:23 PM
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