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What Books Are You Reading in 2023: Spring Edition

Continue discussing what you're reading this spring!

by Anonymousreply 600June 25, 2023 4:05 PM

Just started The Brothers Karamazov

by Anonymousreply 1March 17, 2023 12:38 AM

Echoing previous readers, loving THE NEW LIFE.

by Anonymousreply 2March 17, 2023 12:46 AM

I wanted something comparatively light to read and asked in the former thread for opinions on Anthony Horowitz, Sara Ware and David Tropper. Most were on the less than enthusiastic side, but in the meantime, I started reading Horowitz's THE WORD IS MURDER, Ware's THE DEATH OF MRS. WESTAWAY and Tropper's EVERYTHING CHANGES.

First time I've ever juggled 3 novels at once but since none are especially deep, I'm enjoying the experience. A little more than 1/2 through all of them. none brilliant but each nicely satisfying in their way.

by Anonymousreply 3March 17, 2023 12:48 AM

Has anyone read any of the Moscow Trilogy by Simon Sebag Montefiore? I just bought SASHENKA and I'm curious if it's any good.

by Anonymousreply 4March 17, 2023 6:00 AM

SPRING EDITION? Half the world doesn’t live in the northern hemisphere, you cunt.

by Anonymousreply 5March 17, 2023 12:16 PM

R5 ... but 93% of DL readers do.

by Anonymousreply 6March 17, 2023 2:17 PM

And 90 percent of the population does.

by Anonymousreply 7March 17, 2023 3:06 PM

I bought The New Life and Up With the Sun based on the recommendations here

by Anonymousreply 8March 17, 2023 3:21 PM

The new book by what's her name...Makkai. I made it about 25% of the way, but neither the present or the past events at the character's prep school are holding my attention. So I switched to my next Daniel Silva/Gabriel Allon mystery instead of slogging on.

Maybe I'll finish it. Who can say?

by Anonymousreply 9March 17, 2023 3:26 PM

I read "the Maidens" which is mindless but vaguely entertaining frau lit, written by a man. Easy to read - same guy who wrote "Silent Patient."

by Anonymousreply 10March 17, 2023 3:58 PM

If you've never read Christopher Bollen's novels, you're missing out. In the middle of "The Lost Americans" and while it might be Bollen-Lite, it's still scary as hell. But the man who wrote "A Beautiful Crime" and "Orient" can do no wrong.

by Anonymousreply 11March 17, 2023 4:02 PM

I like Anthony Horowitz but i mostly end up guessing the murderer, which is not very satisfying (and hardly happens to me).

The Silent Patient was entertaining but ultimately rather awful. Then i heard a oodcast with the author and he confesses to being very ‘inspired’ by Agatha Christie. Also, he doesnt say it but he is obviouly gay (cute though),

by Anonymousreply 12March 17, 2023 4:16 PM

HATED "The Silent Patient".

by Anonymousreply 13March 17, 2023 4:34 PM

R7 Close! But I think we need a big brained stats oriented person to look at literacy rates and crunch the numbers to get a true picture of possible participants.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 14March 17, 2023 4:44 PM

A Beautiful Crime was one of the lite-est books I’ve tried to read in recent years. And I read a lot of junk.

by Anonymousreply 15March 17, 2023 5:58 PM

Going to start the new Margaret Atwood short stories colllection. Anyone read it?

by Anonymousreply 16March 17, 2023 6:00 PM

Lawrence Durrell's Justine, Irene Nemirov's Fire in the Blood, Sally Adee's We Are Electric (science), Alez Zwerdling's Virginia Woolf and the Real World (litcrit), and E.L. Doctorow's Loon Lake

For genre reading: Charles Todd's The Cliff's Edge

by Anonymousreply 17March 17, 2023 6:07 PM

R16 Reading it now, one story a day.

by Anonymousreply 18March 17, 2023 6:17 PM

R16 The only story collection from Atwood that i read was Murder in the dark which is weird but very satisfying.

My Atwood novel of the year will be The year of the flood (i read The testaments last year)

by Anonymousreply 19March 17, 2023 7:23 PM

Christopher Bollen is a very sexy guy, and his books are enjoyable.

by Anonymousreply 20March 17, 2023 8:06 PM

^^ Christopher Bollen.

by Anonymousreply 21March 17, 2023 8:15 PM

Sexiness is not a quality I usually seek when looking for an author.

by Anonymousreply 22March 17, 2023 8:19 PM

You're missing so much, r22.

by Anonymousreply 23March 17, 2023 10:17 PM

I haven't enjoyed a Margaret Atwood book as much as The Robber Bride (1993).

by Anonymousreply 24March 17, 2023 10:18 PM

I loved Robber Bride when it came out but found its white-woman feminism hasn’t aged very well.

by Anonymousreply 25March 17, 2023 10:30 PM

Start the next thread with Part 3.

by Anonymousreply 26March 17, 2023 10:35 PM

We literally went through this last year.

by Anonymousreply 27March 17, 2023 10:36 PM

I'm often wary of re-reading favorite novels years later as they're often disappointing. I suppose some of that is because the surprise is no longer there in the same as in the first reading. And, of course, I'm in a very different place, mentally and emotionally.

by Anonymousreply 28March 17, 2023 10:40 PM

R28 Yep, I have a feeling that some books that were so entertaining and transformational when I was a teen or young adult would just be silly now. Durrell's Alexandria Quartet; Fowles's The Magus; Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land; Hesse's Siddhartha - are examples.

by Anonymousreply 29March 18, 2023 12:06 AM

Not exactly silly, r29, but i know what you mean, i read Like six Marguerite Duras books in one year, last ,onth I couldn’t finish The Lover.

by Anonymousreply 30March 18, 2023 12:53 PM

I thought The Lover was considered her masterpiece?

by Anonymousreply 31March 18, 2023 1:17 PM

I can't bring myself to reread The World According to Garp because I so loved it when I read it (inhaled it, really), and I'm afraid it won't hold the same thrall. That said, I have many books I've read multiple times and am always happy to read again. Off the top of my head, some of these include Paul Scott's The Raj Quartet, Jamie O'Neill's At Swim Two Boys, Pat Barker's Regeneration Trilogy, Olivia Manning's Balkan and Levant trilogies, Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas and Black Swan Green, all of Jane Austen (except Northanger Abbey), and Peter Carey's Oscar and Lucinda. And I don't know how many times I've read Laurie Colwin's Happy All the Time, Family Happiness and Goodbye Without Leaving (at least one of them every year).

by Anonymousreply 32March 18, 2023 4:53 PM

After reading over 200 books last year and not really rereading books because there were to many new ones to try out instead, I’ve decided to relent and started on a year where each month I reread an old favorite. I’ve been especially reluctant because my favorite all time book at 16 was East of Eden and I’ve been terrified it won’t live up to my memory of it. I did a dry run last year, and it and the other ones so far have all been just as good and I’m slowly working up to EoE. I’ve had to of read them originally prior to 2000.

by Anonymousreply 33March 18, 2023 5:10 PM

I didn't like The Lover neither

by Anonymousreply 34March 18, 2023 6:48 PM

I liked The Lover at the time and is supposed to be her best, i just didn’t have it in me somehow. I guess my younger self was more interesting.

On the subject of re-reading last year i decided to read again Barbara Trapido’s Brother of the more Famous Jack, which i had lpved. I was very disappointed, it felt contrived and twee.

by Anonymousreply 35March 18, 2023 8:48 PM

I thought The Lover was good

by Anonymousreply 36March 18, 2023 8:57 PM

Yes, The New Life was amazing. The book hat Symonds and Ellis collaborated on Sexual Inversion can be read on Openlibrary.org.

by Anonymousreply 37March 18, 2023 9:37 PM

I'm reading a biography of Robespierre from 1935.

by Anonymousreply 38March 18, 2023 9:40 PM

Laurie Colwin is a favorite of mine. Her fiction and her cookbooks. I specially loved “A Big Tree Knocked it Over.” It covers all of her obsessions or interests; class, marriage, women’s independence, emotional neediness.

by Anonymousreply 39March 18, 2023 9:40 PM

Just finished UP WITH THE SUN,l which I have to say I absolutley devoured. It's both entertaining and an interesting social document. My training is in theatre...(yes, I'm a SHOW KAWEEN)..and his research on and his intertwining of theatre history is impeccable. Dolores Gray is one of the major characters in the book and from what my friends who knew her have to say, his portrayal of her is spot on. Two of the characters we meet in FELLOW TRAVELERS show up as very incidental characters in SUN. I recommend it, highly.

by Anonymousreply 40March 19, 2023 3:19 AM

I just finished Act of Oblivion by Robert Harris. It’s loosely based on the true story of two of the regicides on Charles I, who fled to America after the Restoration. I found the ending a little perfunctory (partly because the historical record fades away at a certain point), but the book is really fascinating, focusing on a period of history I don’t know much about. The story ranges between England and New England, and it made me think a lot about the period when Britain and America were linked, with the British presence in North America still seeming like a mere foothold. I want to read/learn more about this.

The book doesn’t really judge people on their actions (parliamentarians, puritans, slave owners, colonists, native Americans) or moralise about them. It just tells the story. I really admire the ambition of this book.

by Anonymousreply 41March 19, 2023 3:54 AM

I loved The trees, it's not for everyone but Everett is really an amazing writer

by Anonymousreply 42March 19, 2023 12:37 PM

r41, is that book fiction or non-fiction? Sounds fascinating either way but it wasn't clear to me through your post.

by Anonymousreply 43March 19, 2023 2:24 PM

Not r41, but Harris writes historical fiction.

by Anonymousreply 44March 19, 2023 2:42 PM

R43, it’s a novel based on a true story. One of the main characters is fictionalised (and therefore some of his actions are too), but the main events follow the historical record: the regicides did flee to New England, they were pursued by the restored monarchy. Most of the named characters and their actions occurrd in real-life.

It’s an interesting story told in a thought-provoking way. Few of the main characters are truly bad people, but there is no hero either. None of them behave particularly well when they have power.

by Anonymousreply 45March 19, 2023 2:46 PM

I'm a big urban fantasy fan, and right now I'm anxiously awaiting "Cult Classic" the ninth book in Stephen Blackmoore's Eric Carter series. Eric Carter is sort of Harry Dresden if he were a Necromancer.

I really wish someone would write a great urban fantasy series with a gay male protagonist, but no werewolf/shifter type stuff.

by Anonymousreply 46March 19, 2023 2:51 PM

R1 How are you doing with the Brothers Karamazov? I’m listening to an audiobook at night before bed and finding it a loathsome slog. I was fascinated by Crime and Punishment.

by Anonymousreply 47March 19, 2023 2:57 PM

I'm tired of these novels where real and famous or semi-famous people are characters...cannibalizing the past...either make something up or write a non-fiction book on them. Or have the famous characters only present in passing.

by Anonymousreply 48March 19, 2023 8:41 PM

That Which Makes Us Stronger. Gay kid. Drunk dad. Pretty extreme family. Funny. Set in the 70s and 80s which is fun. Enjoying it a lot. Came recommended in another book thread from last year.

R32, I shared, but faced your fear. Garp holds up. Owen Meany too. Love both those books.

Great thread. Thanks for the recommendations.

by Anonymousreply 49March 19, 2023 8:51 PM

All the raves for Ann Napolitano's new book, HELLO BEAUTIFUL, has led me to her earlier book, A GOOD HARD LOOK. Flannery O'Connor is a major character, but it's mainly about the interior world of Milledgeville, Georgia. So far I'm very impressed.

by Anonymousreply 50March 19, 2023 10:02 PM

[quote] I'm tired of these novels where real and famous or semi-famous people are characters..

I'm with you. It's probably an easier sell when you introduce a character people think they are familiar with. There is a new German book series, and now also crime show with a fictional Angela Merkel sleuthing through retirement. Title: Miss Merkel. I kid you not. Just bad.

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by Anonymousreply 51March 19, 2023 10:21 PM

Ugh, the Women Prize longlist book Memphis was complete crap, desperately trying to be literary fiction, but mainly melodrama and embarrassingly bad. I’m beyond shocked that this is one their entries, it makes me lose respect for the award which I usually have high regard of.

by Anonymousreply 52March 22, 2023 7:12 AM

I’m about a fourth of a way into I Have Some Questions For You, and it’s kind of a fun and a propulsive read, but it’s not coming off as very literary, it seems very commercial.

by Anonymousreply 53March 22, 2023 2:02 PM

r53, while I don't know that I'd call it "very literary" the final fourth of the book is where Makkai goes beyond the whodunnit framework of the plot (which is pretty brilliant in itself) and makes some profound statements about society's attitudes towards young women. Please stick with it, the book gets just a little sloggy in the middle but the ending is well worth it.

by Anonymousreply 54March 22, 2023 2:19 PM

I just finished "the peripheral" and "agency" by William Gibson - REALLY fun reads

by Anonymousreply 55March 22, 2023 2:21 PM

R54 Thanks, like I said it’s a propulsion read so I’m flying through it, but it just doesn’t seem like something that someone who wrote such a heralded and awarded former work would write. I guess it’s all a setup to subvert the whole thing later in the novel.

by Anonymousreply 56March 22, 2023 2:27 PM

I just finished Christopher Bollen's scary and relevant novel, "The Lost Americans". He's developed a sleeker style than before, but the ending is a tad confusing and/or feels like an afterthought. I still love his writing, though. And who knew the conditions in Egypt are this harsh.

by Anonymousreply 57March 22, 2023 3:38 PM

Fairy Tale by Stephen King - surprisingly entertaining

Shy - Mary Rodgers self-admittedly entitled memoir

Memories of a Sculptor’s Wife - Wife of noted American sculptor Daniel Chester French relates growing up in early 1860’s D.C. Related to major literary luminaries in New England, she knew everyone and met everyone else. Casually racist, but a fascinating look at history. Published 1928.

by Anonymousreply 58March 22, 2023 4:38 PM

OP, be sure to read my autobiography - Eye, Candy.

by Anonymousreply 59March 22, 2023 5:20 PM

I just finished The English Patient and loved it. Looking forward to rewatching the film, which I haven’t seen since 1996.

by Anonymousreply 60March 22, 2023 5:54 PM

I remember enjoying Christopher Bollen's mystery novel set in Venice called A BEAUTIFUL CRIME, though I must say, it cured me of ever wanting to travel to Venice.

by Anonymousreply 61March 22, 2023 8:01 PM

I finished I Have Some Questions For You and found it very disappointing, it seemed much more commercial then literary, which I wasn’t expecting with the accolades the author has received in the past. The most impressive parts to me were the intersection of what I assume to be groups of actual true crime details, which were listed and interspersed throughout the book, reminiscent of the intrusion of actual Irish Troubles events in Magee’s The Colony. I’ve never read Jodi Picoult or Scott Turow, but this is kind of what I imagine them to be like, books for the store in the airport.

by Anonymousreply 62March 23, 2023 7:06 PM

Finished The Shards by Bret Easton Ellis. A train wreck I couldn't put down.

by Anonymousreply 63March 23, 2023 8:08 PM

Ellis is much like Matt Damon in "The Martian", recycling his own shit.

by Anonymousreply 64March 24, 2023 9:06 PM

I started Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

by Anonymousreply 65March 24, 2023 9:29 PM

Reading the earlier Makkai book 100 year old house

by Anonymousreply 66March 24, 2023 9:30 PM

This was quite good, a slim book, which is part of a larger series, with five essays on KC by a Filipino-American dyke who was actually named after her by her musical family. In the Philippines, KC is worship like a saint and her music there is omnipresent.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 67March 24, 2023 9:32 PM

I’ve just picked up “All The Beauty in the World” by Patrick Bringley. I hope it’s good.

by Anonymousreply 68March 24, 2023 10:02 PM

r66, I'm a huge fan of Makkai's The Great Believers and I Have Some Questions For You but her early book The 100 Year House was just awful. IIRC the plotting became so ludicrous I never finished it.

by Anonymousreply 69March 25, 2023 12:28 AM

Head Down Ass Up

by Anonymousreply 70March 25, 2023 12:33 AM

Good to know R69 - I’m early in it but already don’t care about the character.

by Anonymousreply 71March 25, 2023 1:56 AM

^ characters

by Anonymousreply 72March 25, 2023 1:56 AM

I read Nutshell by Ian McEwan this week. It’s short, but engrossing. Shades of Therese Raquin and even Hamlet.

It’s probably amongst my favourites of his books, with the possible exception of On Chesil Beach. So often McEwan loves to show how clever he is and demonstrate the research he has done, and I get rather impatient as he goes off on a tangent. Nutshell has much tighter, focussed plotting.

I’m now starting Death is a Welcome Guest, by Louise Welsh. It’s apocalyptic fiction, the second in her Plague Times Trilogy. I was actually reading the first of the trilogy when covid was just beginning, and I felt I needed to wait a while before immersing myself in that world again.

I also usually have a non-fiction book on the go. I’m currently reading “Architects of death : the men who engineered the Holocaust” by Karen Bartlett, which tells the story of the family firm who made the crematoria used at the death camps. The story is interesting, but massively depressing: so much self-interest, lack of accountability and personal greed on display in people who cared only for their careers and advancement, and gave little thought to what they were facilitating.

by Anonymousreply 73March 25, 2023 11:29 PM

Just started Jennifer Egan’s The Candy House. I remember nothing about her A Visit From the Goon Squad — some of its characters apparently reappear in Candy House —other than liking it while I was reading it.

by Anonymousreply 74March 26, 2023 1:21 AM

R74 It can stand alone, or reread A Visit from the Goon Squad afterwards for a fuller experience.

by Anonymousreply 75March 26, 2023 3:36 AM

R73 Curiously i'm a big fan of McEwan but i can't stand On Chesil Beach

by Anonymousreply 76March 26, 2023 10:15 AM

"A THousand Years for of the Tartars" by EH Parker which is a report dealing with the "northern barbarians" as recorded in Chinese history. Turns out the Turks were not some ethnic supergroup from the Altai mountains. The Chinese detailed their entire history as beginning as a core of approximately 500 families of the Assena clan of the Hiung-nu who didn't like the Sien-pi and moved to Kansu province in China and specialized in metalwork ("Turk" means "helmet").

by Anonymousreply 77March 26, 2023 10:21 AM

All this around 450 CE

by Anonymousreply 78March 26, 2023 10:22 AM

I probably posted about it in an earlier thread but I quite liked McEwan's latest LESSONS, which you might have to be post 65 years old and in your retirement to fully appreciate, as I am.

I also loved ON CHESIL BEACH and THE INNOCENT. I did not like his ENDURING LOVE or ATONEMENT (both of which so many seem to love). So, I guess he's hit or miss for me. Just recently found SATURDAY at a used book store so I'll be giving it a try.

by Anonymousreply 79March 26, 2023 12:51 PM

McEwan is overrated. I've read about 10 of his novels and never have rated them 4/5 or 5/5. On Chesil Beach is the best one in my opinion. I actually went on a school geography field trip there so I have a vivid sensation of what it's like there (a lot of pebbles).

by Anonymousreply 80March 26, 2023 1:12 PM

^^ I feel that I should explain a bit more - even though I thought that Chesil Beach was very good I really disliked McEwan's cowardice in not explaining or telling the reader directly about whether things happened or not.

by Anonymousreply 81March 26, 2023 1:17 PM

r80, it took reading 10 of his novels to find you weren't crazy about his books?!

by Anonymousreply 82March 26, 2023 1:55 PM

The Spectacle of Skill, a selection of essays by the late Robert Hughes, a top-flight prose stylist and art critic. Highly recommend.

Before that, it was some potboiler by Rona Jaffe, a very smart woman who slapped together a lot of silly chick lit before chick lit was even a recognized genre. Kind of a Jackie Susann with polish.

Next I'll turn my attention to the newspaper coupon section. The manufacturer's fine print always gets me jazzed.

by Anonymousreply 83March 26, 2023 2:12 PM

Atonement is one of my favorite books of all time. It is up there with the best books of the last 25 years.

by Anonymousreply 84March 26, 2023 2:18 PM

R75 It's funny, for me there are some books that are apparently good experiences, but I can't remember a thing about them. Goon Squad is that... I read it, I remember thinking I understood why it was admired, but can't remember the story or characters.

Other books I remember everything, small details indelible held in my memory. Crime and Punishment I remember clothes, streets, plot turns...

McEwan - I've read more than one and couldn't figure out why he was so respected. Chesil Beach seemed like an after-the-fact novelization of a TV movie. One will read one more book by authors one doesn't quite "get" in order to see if one missed something.

by Anonymousreply 85March 26, 2023 3:30 PM

Read “Better Davis” from a recommendation in one of these threads and really enjoyed it. One of the stories all but points the finger at Robert Wagner having murdered Natalie Wood. There’s also a great one about Michael Bennett and a drunken party at the Public Theater in 1982. Donna McKechnie is a character!

by Anonymousreply 86March 26, 2023 4:06 PM

Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat, and Tears by Michael Shulman. Great read and some interesting trivia that I had never heard before. There is a whole chapter at the end about the “La La Land” envelope botch that lays out how that entire fiasco even happened in almost forensic detail.

Awesome book and for as thick as it is, it goes very quickly.

by Anonymousreply 87March 26, 2023 4:53 PM

I love Atonement

by Anonymousreply 88March 26, 2023 5:15 PM

The twist in Atonement really is so shocking at the end. It’s a sublime novel.

by Anonymousreply 89March 26, 2023 5:35 PM

Curiously i remember the power point chapter of A visit from the goon squad pretty well after all these years.

Atonement is great from the beginning to the end.

I'm not crazy about Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, it's entertainning but i expected way more

by Anonymousreply 90March 26, 2023 6:33 PM

Tomorrow x 3 starts out so well but goes downhill half way through. The female character is a real drag and it kind of shocks me she was created by a young female author.

Has anyone read Jennifer Egan's Manhattan Beach? Another novel that starts out so well and by the end, you just feel like Egan got bored and lost interest.

by Anonymousreply 91March 26, 2023 8:14 PM

A Visit from the Goon Squad is one of only several books that I have read multiple times. I find it such a satisfying book and it’s not of my favorite Pulitzer Prize winners of the 2000s.

The Candy House was interesting, especially since it visits characters who are either ancillary in Goon Squad or whose point of view we didn’t get in the first book. It also has a different theme. I liked it but not as much as Goon Squad.

I highly recommend Egan’s novel “Look at Me.” That was the first time I’d ever heard of her.

by Anonymousreply 92March 26, 2023 8:20 PM

I’m reading Stacy Schiff’s biography of Cleopatra and am finding it fascinating.

by Anonymousreply 93March 26, 2023 8:21 PM

I’m reading an old Harlan Coben book, The Woods.

He’s formulaic but entertaining.

by Anonymousreply 94March 27, 2023 6:05 AM

I don’t like Ian McEwan and find him inherently cold and misanthropic. I truly believe he views people as objects.

by Anonymousreply 95March 27, 2023 8:47 AM

I'm about halfway through Man-Eating Typewriter by Richard Milward and it's been a while since I've read a new novel that I have enjoyed this much. It's written as an epistolary novel in an incredibly idiosyncratic style using Polari (!) -- in terms of style (if not subject), some referents might include A Clockwork Orange and Riddley Walker. But it's also quite funny. The story just about defies description, but the writer of the letters is sending them to be printed by a porn publisher in England in 1969, telling his life story up to the date when he plans to commit a "fantabulosa" crime that will make him famous. I realize that many will have no interest whatsoever in this sort of thing, but for those of you who think you might I really cannot recommend it enough

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 96March 27, 2023 9:02 AM

The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 by Karl Marx. I'm revisiting this as an old man, having first read it for a paper in 1988.

by Anonymousreply 97March 27, 2023 9:15 AM

Has anyone heard of a newish novel called Edgware Road by Yasmin Khan? I'm visiting London now and saw a paperback of it at Waterstones......looks very interesting but I'm wondering if it got published in the US. There are very few online reviews though they're all intriguing.

Also thinking of reading Andrea Levy's The Long Song. I loved her Small Island.

by Anonymousreply 98March 27, 2023 9:58 AM

r98, Edgware Road is available in the US.

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by Anonymousreply 99March 27, 2023 10:01 AM

I finally read David Leavitt's WHILE ENGLAND SLEEPS. Besides the Stephen Spender plagiarist scandal attached to it, I think I'd avoided it because I assumed it was a gay romance during the Spanish Civil War. While it certainly is that, maybe I shouldn't have been surprised to find that the first 2/3 of it take place in London and are more Allan Hollinghurst than Ernest Hemingway.

I can remember when the book first appeared there was a foreword about the supposed plagiarism (was it an apologia by Leavitt?) but that's gone now. Anyway, I enjoyed some aspects of the novel, the period details seem well-researched (is that what was copied from Spender?) but ultimately too many of the characters are too unlikable, too vile.

by Anonymousreply 100March 27, 2023 10:08 AM

Thanks, r99. I think I'll just pick up the paperback while I'm in London.

by Anonymousreply 101March 27, 2023 10:09 AM

I just finished Limberlost by Robbie Arnott. A really beautiful book, and set in exotic WW2 Tasmania!

by Anonymousreply 102March 27, 2023 10:20 AM

After catching the last 30 minutes of "Sophie's choice" on TCM last night, I picked up the novel after 43 years, and started to re-read it this morning. Quite different than when I read it at the age of 21. . Next is my all-time favorite, "Humboldt's Gift".

by Anonymousreply 103March 27, 2023 4:39 PM

I had to give up on the new Walter Mosley "Every Man A King". The man writes like the only person he needs to please is himself. Impenetrable plot.

by Anonymousreply 104March 29, 2023 5:32 PM

Just started Lansdale's "The Donut Legion". Pretty twisted.

by Anonymousreply 105March 31, 2023 5:03 PM

I'm in the middle of Up With the Sun. Loving it so far.

by Anonymousreply 106March 31, 2023 5:25 PM

Another Country by James Baldwin. I finally read Giovanni’s Room last year and was stunned by its anguish and beauty.

by Anonymousreply 107March 31, 2023 5:49 PM

I, too, finally got around to reading Giovanni's Room recently. My verdict: "OMG, that was awesome!" Definitely qualifies as a classic.

As I type this, Paul Bowles' essay collection TRAVELS is playing in the background. Seemed daunting at 17 hours, but the narrator is such a perfect fit that the time flies by - highly recommended!

by Anonymousreply 108March 31, 2023 9:01 PM

[quote]What Books Are You Reading in 2023: Spring Edition

Not to spoil anything, but it's the script for a sequel!

by Anonymousreply 109March 31, 2023 9:03 PM

I know there are a lot of fans of Tim Murphy's CHRISTODORA here (as am I), so I'm happy to say I bought a paperback copy of his latest book CORRESPONDENTS when I was in London last week. How did I not hear about it before seeing it at Waterstone's? I'm even a Facebook friend of Tim (though I don't know him) and can't remember him ever posting about it.

Anyone here read it? Anyway, it looks really interesting and I'm eager to begin it.

by Anonymousreply 110April 1, 2023 12:44 AM

I think Baldwin is so important from a cultural/historical perspective I think the fact he's a really, really good writer is sometimes lost.

Another Country I think was his best, but Giovanni's Room is beautiful too.

by Anonymousreply 111April 1, 2023 2:03 AM

Baldwin is the type of writer that time has vindicated. He was incredibly brave.

The fact that the mother of black literature (Toni Morrison) puts him so high in her influences doesn't hurt either just like the fact that gay literature is way more mainstream now

Most young black writers cite Baldwin as a reference.

And talking about Morrison i think i'm going to read The bluest eye soon (the fact that is a books constantly challenged made me curious).

And now i'm going to start Hernán Díaz In the distance, i hope it's a good novel because i found 2018 Pulitzer finalists pretty bad (Less is so so and The idiot is atrocious)

by Anonymousreply 112April 1, 2023 9:54 AM

I loved In the Distance (haven't read Trust, which seems a front-runner for the Pulitzer). ITD also has a queer thread, which I appreciated.

by Anonymousreply 113April 1, 2023 12:12 PM

I didn’t love Trust but I did love In the Distance.

by Anonymousreply 114April 1, 2023 2:31 PM

I didn't much care for either of them. Diaz is the most overrated writer of recent years.

by Anonymousreply 115April 1, 2023 4:19 PM

He can’t he as over-rated as Hanya Yanogihara!

by Anonymousreply 116April 1, 2023 5:01 PM

Nobody can be more overrated than Sally Rooney

by Anonymousreply 117April 1, 2023 6:16 PM

I approve of all 3 choices and will add Andrew Sean Greer and Maggie O'Farrell to the list.

by Anonymousreply 118April 1, 2023 8:26 PM

Why did you adopt me?

I wanted someone to vacuum my house.

by Anonymousreply 119April 1, 2023 9:36 PM

r98 here, who posted about a fairly recent novel called EDGWARE ROAD by Yasmin Corderley Khan upthread. I just finished it and thought it was a really great read, especially for a first time author. Great storytelling and vivid characters with lots of vivid scenes around late 20th century London.

It's about a young girl with a British mother and Pakistani father in the1980s. The handsome high-living father, an immigrant from a well-to-do family, who works as a floor manager at London's Playboy Club, is found dead in the Thames, and 20 years later, the girl, who is now a lecturer at Oxford, is determined to finally find out what happened to him.

by Anonymousreply 120April 2, 2023 3:55 AM

He's Gone, Deb Canetti

Girl A, Abigail Dean

Both new authors, both very good, intelligent reads.

by Anonymousreply 121April 2, 2023 4:19 AM

^^^^^ CaLetti

by Anonymousreply 122April 2, 2023 4:20 AM

I’m 75% through Up With the Sun and not sure what this book was supposed to be about. Dick Kallman by all accounts was a vile person and Mallon is giving a warts and all presentation, so it’s not like he’s trying to rehabilitate his image or present him in a better light. One gathers he was even worse a person then what’s on the page. The Broadway and Hollywood worship verges on a Jackie Collins novel, and Mallon seems obsessed with dropping in every detail he learned from research rather then for any storytelling or period detail setting. There’s this whole unnecessary mystery about an expensive tie tack that seems to be amended to make this into some kind of mystery? I don’t care about any of the characters. What’s the point of any of this? Danny Lockin would have been a more sympathetic Gay murder victim who could have been resurrected from the dust bin, Kalllman deserves to remain a has-been to history. The writing is workmanlike, more impressed with itself then giving anything to the reader. I’ll finish it to see how the shit show ends up, but I’m not interested in pursuing anything else by Mallon based on this.

by Anonymousreply 123April 2, 2023 7:06 PM

While I can't disagree with much of your assessment, r123, I still devoured Mallon's book and enjoyed it immensely. One of the clever aspects of it is how the author manages to bisect Kallman's life and career with so many other luminaries, big and small and even smaller (yet I'd heard of all of them!).

And I don't think that would be possible with Danny Lockin, talented and nice as he may have been.

by Anonymousreply 124April 2, 2023 7:41 PM

'All the Beauty in the World: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Me' by Patrick Bringley. A young man leaves his job as a New Yorker staffer to work as a guard at the Met for a decade, alone or almost alone for 12 hours a day among great paintings and art to fuel his curiosity and the days.

I bought it on a lark and am pleased to have done. I always say that one of the greatest jobs in the world, divorced from remuneration and other reward, must be that of night watchman in an art museum just big enough that you were the only person there, alone with great art and your thoughts. That's somewhat along the lines of this book in that he is smart man, and curious, and even has a bit of knowledge of art history to which he's added a great bit over ten years. The underlying family tragedy that caused him to go into a long career hibernation is interesting to a point, but for me the real pleasure is that he genuinely enjoys being in the presence of these works of art and all the whys of their creation, their time, and how they came to be where they are today, even how people react to them.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 125April 2, 2023 7:46 PM

How much you like Up With the Sun will probably depend on how much you like and are familiar with semi-famous showbiz personalities from the 50s, 60s, and 70s

by Anonymousreply 126April 2, 2023 7:53 PM

Deb Caletti has been writing dirty YA for years.

by Anonymousreply 127April 2, 2023 8:02 PM

Totally agree with that, r126.

by Anonymousreply 128April 2, 2023 9:10 PM

Just finished Barbara Kingsolver’s “Demon Copperhead” and really enjoyed it for the most part. It could have been shaved a hundred pages or so (at least those long, drawn-out descriptions of curing tobacco which so started skimming). I also did not totally what happened in the last two pages.

But the voice of the character was so fresh and enjoyable, it really carried you through some of the more difficult moments.

A good companion to the miniseries ‘Dopesick.’

by Anonymousreply 129April 2, 2023 9:28 PM

*which I started skimming

*totally buy what happened

by Anonymousreply 130April 2, 2023 9:29 PM

R126 I’m very familiar with them, but most of them were fringe and uninteresting, especially both female “stars” who were bland boring characters who he seems to be trying to elevate to a Channing or Merman level, not to mention the love interest who remained sketchy and ill defined in his depiction with no cause for Dick’s infatuation over decades. The most interesting tease was the man who took Gay actors like Rock Hudson and Chad Everett and made them huge stars, that’s a book I would have liked to read. This book is no The Master by Colm Toibin, creating a biographical work in a novel that includes a missing element of Henry James or Thomas Mann’s sexuality and romantic interior lives. Up With the Sun seems much more interested in exploitation rather then being a literary exploration.

A novel of Danny Lockin’s last 24 hours of life I think would be intriguing. A washed up, boyish has-been actor/dancer living with his mother (same as Kallman) makes his way on to the Gong Shows and wins giving this glimmer of hope of career a resuscitation. To celebrate his mom drops him off at a Gay bar where a sadistic trick picks him up, tortures, rapes and murders him. That is a story I would definitely want to dive into and read.

by Anonymousreply 131April 2, 2023 9:30 PM

I think Kallmann's attraction for Mallon was that his show biz career encompassed stage, TV, movies over a span of app. 20 years. I liked the book for what it was, but it really slows down after the murder.

by Anonymousreply 132April 2, 2023 9:45 PM

R129 Our attention span has been destroyed by the digital devices; I used to revel in long description for context, just the beauty of the language and images (whaling - Moby Dick; aerospace technology - Gravity's Rainbow; tennis - Infinite Jest; rough trade - City of Night). Now I'll skim until the narrative gets "back to the good part"....

by Anonymousreply 133April 2, 2023 11:07 PM

r131 those female "stars" may not have been A List but Dolores Gray and Carole Cook (I assume she's the other one to whom you refer?) but they were hardly "bland and boring" as women or as entertainers and I do think Mallon expertly brings them to life even if one never saw them perform. But, admittedly, it's a matter of taste and interest, I guess.

by Anonymousreply 134April 3, 2023 2:30 AM

I was in Powells Book Store in Portland over the weekend and bought Tom Crewe’s The New Life. I had Up With The Sun in my hand, read a couple of random pages and thought I can wait till it comes out in paperback. Also bought Pat Barker’s three Regeneration novels in paperback to replace the unwieldy, hardback one-volume edition I have.

Finished Jennifer Egan’s The Candy House. Enjoyed half of the interconnected stories, could have done without the spy/weevils sections. Loved where the title came from: Never trust a candy house! (There’s a witch, or worse, inside.)

by Anonymousreply 135April 3, 2023 5:58 PM

There's a new tv show about Naomi Aldeman's The power. I loved that novel

by Anonymousreply 136April 3, 2023 8:16 PM

R136 i also like the novel but found the first episode of the series incredibly boring, strange for such an action filled story. Hope it improves.

Am reading The Echo Chamber, by John Boyne, which is a enjoyable read but very heavy handed on its social media critique. Boyne fell victim to it when he wrote a book on trans and is still angry. There are some horrible characters but also some delicious ones , most could be dataloungers.

by Anonymousreply 137April 4, 2023 1:20 PM

I have never understood Boyne's popularity among the gays.

by Anonymousreply 138April 4, 2023 1:24 PM

I absolutely loathed The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas on a cellular level. My Jewish boss loved it though, but she loved anything sentimental.

by Anonymousreply 139April 4, 2023 1:30 PM

John Boyne is my favorite contemporary author.

by Anonymousreply 140April 4, 2023 1:36 PM

Just finished reading "Mexican Gothic" - it's good, not great, but very much one of those "book of moment" kind of things, similar to "Normal People.". It continually reminds you of other books/movies (Jane Eyre, Dracula, Get Out) so while it doesn't seem entirely original, it's kind of an interesting insight into the culture of Mexico that doesn't involve poverty, drugs or violence. Entertaining & a good listen for a long car ride.

by Anonymousreply 141April 4, 2023 1:50 PM

Why did someone like you try to fuck someone like me?

by Anonymousreply 142April 4, 2023 10:22 PM

Psssst. Renfro used to fuck herself with the corner of hardback books authored by Jeanette Walls.

by Anonymousreply 143April 5, 2023 1:32 AM

I'm about 100 pages in to the new Conor Sullivan thriller, "Wolf Trap". He's a terrific addition to the overly cluttered genre, but this guy is the real thing.

by Anonymousreply 144April 5, 2023 2:29 PM

I'm reading Ohio by Stephen Markley.

Anyone read it? What did you think?

by Anonymousreply 145April 5, 2023 3:02 PM

R145 I loved it. It took me a little while to get into the story but once that happened i loved every part of that book.

One thing very positive about John Boyne is that he wrote a lot of different novels. Most people who had such a big success like he had repeat the same formula again and again but he didn't. I really liked the heart invisible furies

by Anonymousreply 146April 5, 2023 6:50 PM

John Boyne’s A Ladder to the Sky is also pretty great.

Can anyone suggest any other recent (within the last ten years or so) new-ish gay writers?

by Anonymousreply 147April 5, 2023 6:56 PM

R147, I’ve been impressed with Brandon Taylor and Bryan Washington, both their novels and short stories.

by Anonymousreply 148April 5, 2023 6:59 PM

I'd add Robert Jones' The Prophets, but not everyone would agree.

by Anonymousreply 149April 5, 2023 7:42 PM

I didn't read The prophets yet. I was a little worried because it was constantly compared to The sweetness of water (and i think that novel is pretty mediocre) but a friend said to me that The prophets is way better

by Anonymousreply 150April 5, 2023 7:47 PM

I thought The Prophets was excellent.

by Anonymousreply 151April 5, 2023 7:50 PM

Alan Strachan's 2004 biography of Michael Redgrave SECRET DREAMS.

MR apparently only ever had sexual intercourse with two women: 20 years-old Edith Evans, and his wife Rachel Kempson (mother of his children). Otherwise, it was boys, boys, boys!

by Anonymousreply 152April 5, 2023 8:44 PM

^^^ 20 years older.

by Anonymousreply 153April 5, 2023 8:45 PM

Finally read John Rechy's City of Night

Currently reading Anthony Horowitz's Magpie Murders

Next up Andrew Duxbury's The Accidental Plague Diaries

by Anonymousreply 154April 5, 2023 8:53 PM

The Prophets was quite amazing though the ending became a bit muddled, but as a debut novel it was outstanding and deserved more accolades and awards representation.

by Anonymousreply 155April 5, 2023 8:57 PM

R152, didn't Redgrave also "discover" Stephen Boyd?

by Anonymousreply 156April 5, 2023 9:17 PM

Reading two novels of war and revolution:

Walter Kempowski, "All for Nothing." It centers on a Junker family in East Prussia in January 1945 as the Soviets advance.

Yuan-tsung Chen, "The Dragon's Village." It's an autobiographical novel about a young, middle-class woman in Shanghai who decides at the time of the Communist takeover to stay in China to work with a theatre troupe in a rural village, while her family and fiancé leave for Hong Kong.

by Anonymousreply 157April 5, 2023 9:29 PM

I’m reading Take of Two Tits by Meg Lingus

by Anonymousreply 158April 5, 2023 10:04 PM

City of Night was published as I was struggling to come out (in high school). Its extremely dark and sordid portrayal of gay life in the big city scared the bejesus out of me. If there were any positive takes on homosexuality, they weren't available to me. Think it's probably still powerful.

by Anonymousreply 159April 5, 2023 10:10 PM

Night Clit

by Anonymousreply 160April 5, 2023 10:33 PM

R159 I think City of Night really created a unique world; not sure it was reflective of the real world, but growing up as a kid in LA it still had a familiarity. Pershing Square, Hollywood, Venice. Selma. I think its world was the 50s though.

When I first read it I thought it was pretty cheesy, but I couldn't put it down. I was surprised when I saw later that Rechy was a teacher of writing in university etc. I might read it again this year to see what I think now of his writing.

by Anonymousreply 161April 6, 2023 2:07 AM

Let us know, r161. Rechy has been prolific! And he's now 92.

by Anonymousreply 162April 6, 2023 2:27 AM

I bought "The Priory" by Dorothy Whipple yesterday as an impulse purchase; any of you familiar with her? Also bought a couple of Monica Dickens titles as I'm reading a bio of her.

by Anonymousreply 163April 6, 2023 11:33 AM

I'm reading Edouard Louis last book and well, the guy is talented but he needs to start writing fiction because i'm already tired of his life. I know Annie Ernaux won the nobel prize writing autofiction but she never had an smash hit like The end of Eddy, and frankly after reading The years every plot of Ernaux's books look familiar to me

by Anonymousreply 164April 6, 2023 11:41 AM

Edouard Louis. Autofiction, right. Multiple books about the one same life story, right? I've read multiple books by Nobel Prize winner Patrick Modiano... and at one point I was reading and thinking, again, oh right, the same story of his criminal father etc... and then I realized I actually had read that exact book before. (My senility, part of the problem, likely).

I was looking up when Modiano won the Nobel Prize... perusing the list. Pearl Buck won a decade before Eliot or Faulkner. Pearl Buck, Humph. Weird.

by Anonymousreply 165April 6, 2023 3:08 PM

Snatch On The Run

by Anonymousreply 166April 6, 2023 6:50 PM

I just started Spare.

by Anonymousreply 167April 6, 2023 7:14 PM

Mark Harris' biography of Mike Nichols; once it gets past the childhood stuff, it's fascinating.

by Anonymousreply 168April 6, 2023 7:55 PM

R165 I only read one of Modiano's novels but i hated it with passion.

I'm going to read Lord of the flies for the first time (and probably one Agatha Christie's too)

by Anonymousreply 169April 6, 2023 8:05 PM

Try Crooked House. R169. One of her best.

by Anonymousreply 170April 6, 2023 8:12 PM

R170 I've got that one at home

by Anonymousreply 171April 6, 2023 8:16 PM

Ok, so i finished John Boyne’s the echo chamber, it is a quick read for 500 pages but it is rather gimicky. I sort of liked Furies, but not The Ladder to the Sky. I don’t go for the criticism about having awful people/likable characters but i think i found what I don’t like about, his position of moral superiority to his terrible creations. And nuance escapes him.

To clean my palate am now reading Real Estate, from Deborah Levy, the last of her triology Things I Don’t Want to Know and The Cost of Living. It is rather wonderful and she is a great interviewee. Answering a question from Edoard Luis in a pdcast she says something like all books should only work with we as the narrator. Strongly recommend.

by Anonymousreply 172April 6, 2023 9:56 PM

I absolutely loved Ladder to the Sky but didn’t much care for The Echo Chamber. I listened to a recent interview with John Boyne who, as someone said up thread, is still extremely angry about the criticism he received on social media about something he said about trans issues.

by Anonymousreply 173April 6, 2023 11:47 PM

Yes, that was me, r173, he sounds angry and there are endless speeches against social media, cancellations, etc. he shouldn’t have written ttn it while angry.

He didn’t just say something on trans, he wrote a book, My Brother Name is Jessica. Even if i agree with him onlrinciple, writing the Echo Chamber was a disservice to him. The characters were awful and then find pleace, suddenly, in a remote place without hi-fi. And he committed the sin of engaging fully with the criticism.

I disagree with you about Ladder to the Sky. Again vile characters without an inch of redemption and all very derivative. But much more enjoyable than Echo. Wont be reading him so soon.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 174April 6, 2023 11:58 PM

Read Night Clit

by Anonymousreply 175April 7, 2023 12:33 AM

Literary characters can be unlikeable, even vile, as long as they're interesting and engage you in some way and make you want to turn the page to find out what happens to them next.

by Anonymousreply 176April 7, 2023 1:11 AM

Boyne is totally right in his criticism. The whole write about your own experiences is ridiculous and against anything that resembles literature

by Anonymousreply 177April 7, 2023 11:00 AM

"The Smug Minority" by Pierre Berton. This may explain why Canada is more liberal than the US

by Anonymousreply 178April 7, 2023 11:39 AM

A Waiter in Paris. Absorbing.

by Anonymousreply 179April 7, 2023 12:09 PM

If you're just going to post a title, at least, tell us the author's name and if it's fiction or non-fiction.

Thank you.

by Anonymousreply 180April 7, 2023 12:42 PM

John Boyne is unattractive.

by Anonymousreply 181April 7, 2023 1:00 PM

Sorry. A Waiter in. Paris. is a memoir by Edward Chilsolm, a Brit who out of desperation began working in a Parisian restaurant, without experience or fluency in French. He starts at the bottom and works his way up the ladder. An intriguing look at the city's underbelly. Got excellent reviews when it was published late last year.

by Anonymousreply 182April 7, 2023 2:16 PM

Fuckfire by Avon

The alluring scent by Avon. Where it when you’re hotter than fuck and need fucked fast!

by Anonymousreply 183April 7, 2023 4:01 PM


by Anonymousreply 184April 7, 2023 4:01 PM

Just finished The Maid's Diary by Loreth Anne White, a thriller/mystery. Clever. Kindle Unlimited if you're a subscriber.

by Anonymousreply 185April 8, 2023 10:15 PM

Just got my ($50!) copy of the just-released "The Woman Who Dared", a biography of silent serial star Pearl White. I'm sure all DL'ers will want to order a copy!

by Anonymousreply 186April 9, 2023 1:47 AM

The Smug Minority by Pierre Berton. This book all by istelf may be the reason Canada is more liberal than the US. IT trashes puritan values.

by Anonymousreply 187April 10, 2023 6:00 AM

I finished Ohio.

It was riveting and I couldn’t put it down, but a bit over the top. Some straight guy in his 20s writing those grisly details of how the football players used that 14 year old girl sexually was gross. I wasn’t buying his descriptions of her mindset during any of it - felt more like he was getting off writing about it.

Going to read his new one The Deluge now. Anyone read that?

by Anonymousreply 188April 10, 2023 12:36 PM

Waiting for the 2nd book in Don Winslow's "City" trilogy. Next week!

by Anonymousreply 189April 13, 2023 5:01 PM

R188, I just ordered both of Markley's books from my library. I'm not sure I want to read Ohio, but I'll give it 50 pages and see. I look forward to The Deluge. It is the reason I signed up for Ohio.

by Anonymousreply 190April 13, 2023 5:09 PM

I'm reading Blanche, it's all about the character of Blanche DuBois from A Streetcar Named Desire. And the actresses who have played her. Really good so far.

by Anonymousreply 191April 13, 2023 5:27 PM

R191 I suspect you are gay.

by Anonymousreply 192April 13, 2023 5:31 PM

R192, correct!

by Anonymousreply 193April 13, 2023 5:32 PM

I just started "The Shards" by Bret Easton Ellis.

I'm only 50 pages in and am enjoying it so far, but I suspect many others won't find the same level of enjoyment. BEE names so many details -- streets, clubs, restaurants, theaters, etc. -- that those who aren't familiar with L.A. in the early 80s will likely scratch their heads. But I love it. I was bopping around Westwood, WeHo, and Ventura Blvd. during that time and can easily remember most of the things he mentions. For example, when he writes of seeing "The Shining" at the Village Theater or "The Empire Strikes Back" at the Avco, or of eating at Yesterdays, Ships, Hamburger Hamlet, or D.B. Levy's, I know exactly what he's talking about and can picture it perfectly in my mind. It's strange to think that we might have been in some of the same places at the same times.

by Anonymousreply 194April 13, 2023 5:49 PM

R194 BEE did a Spotify playlist for the book that adds to the experience. I did much googling of period LA during the book, though I’ve lived there and had some prior knowledge of the layout and some locales. One of the key restaurants ended up as an eating area within a Bristol Farms.

by Anonymousreply 195April 13, 2023 6:02 PM

I finished the Blanche book a few days ago, it’s a short, quick read, more like a fan love letter then a sophisticated book and examination of the role and play. I did not read the author’s shitty poetry about it at the end. I started it, but stopped to read the play first, but I’m on hold for it from the library. I did instead watch the classic movie on HBO, which leaves at the end of the month. It helped, but of course it is a censored text.

by Anonymousreply 196April 13, 2023 6:06 PM

Very much enjoyed Tom Crewe's The New Life. While the story is complete in itself, I'd kind of like to know what happens to Crewe's version of Addington (Symonds) and Ellis next. Where do John and Frank move together (and do they stay together)? Does Henry ever find a woman who doesn't mind his "peculiarity"? Oh, well, guess I'll have to make it up myself. Although there's not much action, the novel would make a good, if talky, miniseries.

by Anonymousreply 197April 13, 2023 9:48 PM

My Erma Bombeck collection

by Anonymousreply 198April 13, 2023 9:51 PM

Has anyone read The Days of Afrekete by Alasi Solomon? I've read two of the books its based on--Mrs. Dalloway and Sula--but not the third, Zami.

by Anonymousreply 199April 15, 2023 4:57 AM

I'm sometimes reluctant when i read a classic because a lot of times i don't connect with the story but i really loved The lord of the flies.

Now i'm going to read Small Island and Redeployment

by Anonymousreply 200April 15, 2023 11:17 AM

I'll be surprised if 'The New Life' doesn't reach the screen, big or small.

Crewe has a vivid sense of location, and I could imagine so many of the scenes he creates.

Plenty of varied characters for actors to get their teeth into. Merchant-Ivory in their prime would have moved fast for the rights!

It's such a good book, I can only hope justice is done in the more popular medium.

by Anonymousreply 201April 15, 2023 11:46 AM

I loved Small Island, r200! I also loved the UK TV miniseries version with Ruth Wilson and The National Theatre's stage version.

I want to read Levy's The Long Song.

by Anonymousreply 202April 15, 2023 1:47 PM

For some reason I reached to the bookcase for a novel published in 1929, J.B. Priestly's GOOD COMPANIONS. Made into an Andre Previn/Johnny Mercer musical with John Mills and Judi Dench. It's a charming chunker (500+ pages) and quite engaging, at least after 100 pages.

by Anonymousreply 203April 15, 2023 2:27 PM

I finished Blanche. The poems at the end were a bit Corey but I liked it overall.

by Anonymousreply 204April 15, 2023 5:13 PM

Corey who?

by Anonymousreply 205April 15, 2023 5:24 PM

Oops, that should have said "corny"

Autocorrected to "Corey" for some reason

by Anonymousreply 206April 15, 2023 6:06 PM

r203, as a fan of JB Priestley, I would love to read GOOD COMPANIONS. Isn't that the one about the touring acting company? I ordered it through Amazon last year but only received a cheap unreadable reprint of an ancient edition of the play version, not the novel (though I'm sure I ordered the novel). Where did you get your copy?

by Anonymousreply 207April 15, 2023 9:50 PM

Had my copy for years. It's a paperback from the University of Chicago Press in 1983. I've seen several older hardback copies on ebay. And yes, it's about a touring acting company.

by Anonymousreply 208April 16, 2023 3:21 AM

Black Sea by Neal Ascherson. What an astonishing book.

by Anonymousreply 209April 16, 2023 7:43 AM

His story about Adam Mickiewicz and Karolina Sobanska in a book about the Black Sea and its likely influence on the Decembrist revolt and Polish revolt of 1830 is completely unexpected but a stunning story that is worth the price of the book by itself.. That said some talk about Mithradates might have been useful, but still, it's an amazing book all around.

by Anonymousreply 210April 22, 2023 6:41 PM

My Big Red Cunt

by Anonymousreply 211April 22, 2023 7:12 PM

Just finished “Remarkably Bright Creatures” by Shelby Van Pelt and absolutely loved it. The sections written from the point of view of Marcellus the Octopus were my favorite.

by Anonymousreply 212April 22, 2023 9:39 PM

I resisted all the recommendations to read House in the Cerulean Sea. Thought it would be twee. Finally gave in. It's pretty darn great.

by Anonymousreply 213April 22, 2023 9:55 PM

Beaver Eater by Terri Twat

by Anonymousreply 214April 22, 2023 10:20 PM

Has anyone here read LAWN BOY by Jonathan Evison? It was suggested and accepted by our gay book club tonight and though I'd never heard of it, reading some reviews now, I'm excited to dig in. Supposedly it's been banned in several states.

by Anonymousreply 215April 23, 2023 2:47 AM

R215, I've read Paul Lisicky's Lawnboy (one word), but not the Jonathan Evison book. So I put it on hold at my library, and I guess I'll have read it about three weeks from now.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 216April 23, 2023 2:32 PM

[QUOTE] It was suggested and accepted by our gay book club tonight

Can you list some other books your club has read and enjoyed?

by Anonymousreply 217April 23, 2023 2:43 PM

r217, we've only had 2 meetings so far. The first book we took on was THE NEW LIFE and yesterday's book was SHUGGIE BAIN. Both novels were met with some pretty lively and fun discussions.

There are about 12 of us in the group, all men, and some of us don't know each other well yet. At this point we're only meeting every other month (after we've all finished the book). In choosing our next book, we went around the room and each member was invited to offer suggestions. And then all our names were put in a bowl and the one person who was randomly picked got to choose the next book (from those choices).

And everyone seemed very happy with LAWN BOY.

by Anonymousreply 218April 23, 2023 3:16 PM

R217 read My Life As A 4’11” Prostitute by Nelda Peters

by Anonymousreply 219April 23, 2023 4:23 PM

"If We Were Villains" by M. L. Rio. It was an impulse-purchase; a "staff pick" novel from a local shop. It's in the "Dark Academia" genre and seems very much like "A Secret History," except in this one, the strangely anachronistic group of kids are all theater students.

by Anonymousreply 220April 23, 2023 10:13 PM

R220-A friend recommended it to me, and I loved it. Great writing, solid characters, and much better than "A Secret History".

by Anonymousreply 221April 24, 2023 12:31 AM

The Tempted Twat

by Anonymousreply 222April 24, 2023 11:58 PM

I receiver my advance ready copy of The Daddy Diaries by Andy Cohen. Jealous, bitches?

by Anonymousreply 223April 25, 2023 12:08 AM

Received ^

by Anonymousreply 224April 25, 2023 12:08 AM


by Anonymousreply 225April 25, 2023 1:22 AM

^How many pages can anyone get out of "I stumbled into the apartment in the morning, in a haze of sweat and meth, my mouth still dry from last night's festivities, but now the kids looking up at me with the indifference they might give to the Amazon guy - only because the Amazon guy regularly changes. They've grown attached to the Fed Ex guy and doorman, affectionately calling them 'Daddy'"

by Anonymousreply 226April 25, 2023 8:46 AM

Thank you r145 and r146 upthread who both recommended OHIO by Stephen Markley. I'm only about 140 pages in but what a great intense page-turner. As the main characters are rather creepy high school jocks (and their later lives) and their slutty girlfriends, I would have thought I'd have no interest but I'm totally engaged. I hope the thrills keep up, it's a long book.

by Anonymousreply 227April 26, 2023 1:47 AM

R227 let us know what you think when you finish. I was troubled by some of the stuff at the end - found it pretty gratuitous. But agree it’s a page turner and well written.

by Anonymousreply 228April 26, 2023 11:33 AM

I just got a copy of "Tommy" Lascelle's Diaries. This is the third one published, and I cannot wait to get into it tonight. He absolutely hated the Prince of Wales. As an assistant Private secretary to David, the heir to the throne, he grew from and admirer to a hater. He loathed him so much and was so entirely disgusted by what he saw, that he quit his job and left, saying he could not serve him. He was c alled back to service at the same rank for King George V, and when he died, Tommy had to deal with the 18 months reign of the man he couldn't stand, and went through the abdication. I guess the diaries were archived by the Palace, and they weren't very cooperative at first, but as time passed they became slightly more flexible about what they'd allow to be published.

by Anonymousreply 229April 26, 2023 2:43 PM

r228, I finished OHIO last night. Couldn't put the book down in that long last chapter and coda and read until 2 am.

I loved it. Found all the twists of character relationships and plotting through the past and present quite brilliant. And the various conclusions felt very real and reasonable to me. It impresses me how a book with so many repellent characters, people I would have had nothing to with in high school (nor them with me), could capture my attention and engage like this book does. Just goes to show how a book can lack "likable" characters and yet still be very readable. Highly recommend to all DL readers looking for complex modern fiction.

I'll be looking forward to Markley's latest book THE DELUGE, which is supposed to be even more intense, but after taking a break with some lighter fare first.

by Anonymousreply 230April 29, 2023 2:24 PM

Just read Taylor Adams' "The Last Word". Pretty decent thriller until the illogical implausibilities start piling up. Including the never-ending ending. Surprising he went too far, I've always liked his twisty thrillers. Now, back to sanity with the new Lehane.

by Anonymousreply 231May 1, 2023 9:15 PM

R231, I can’t wait to read Lehane’s new book. He’s one of my favorite authors.

by Anonymousreply 232May 1, 2023 9:19 PM

So far, the Lehane is riveting. Feels like another "Mystic River".

by Anonymousreply 233May 1, 2023 9:24 PM

What is the title of the new Lehane?

by Anonymousreply 234May 1, 2023 10:00 PM

R234, Small Mercies.

by Anonymousreply 235May 1, 2023 10:04 PM

The trouble with most thrillers and whodunnits is, if their conclusions/solutions are not believable and logical, the rest of the book feels like a waste of time, no matter how good it was when first reading it.

OTOH I find any really well-written book is naturally a thriller/whodunnit because the author makes you want to turn the page, read the next chapter, to find out what happens next, without being dependent on some sort of outlandish reveal..

by Anonymousreply 236May 1, 2023 10:53 PM

Just started Kennan, A Life between Worlds, by Frank Costigliola. Wasn't expecting to be absorbed, just took it off the library shelf on a whim. So far, it's a page-turner. (I'm not kidding!) Fascinating mix of personal profile and history - Costigliola is adroit at putting events and places in context and has a highly readable, not pedantic, style. Kennan was a classic WASP in many ways (repressed, dear God!) but a sort of artist in others (imaginative inner life and feelings). Costigliola doesn't fawn, but he obviously has a deep respect for his subject. It's Princeton University Press, so most of you can likely find it at your libraries or certainly online.

by Anonymousreply 237May 2, 2023 12:48 AM

After kind of a rough start I'm really enjoying Michael Chabon's MOONGLOW. I picked it up at a used book shop, working out of town, for something to read on my plane ride home. If I hadn't been trapped on a plane I might not have continued reading, as I felt like Chabon was trying a little too hard at the beginning to avoid a straight narrative and throw the reader off. But once I got used to the framework of the different time periods and became more acquainted with the characters and the family history, I became very engaged.

Earlier in my week away from home I'd bought a used copy of THE MAMBO KINGS SING SONGS OF LOVE, which I'd always wanted to read. But after 50 pages I kept waiting for a story to emerge (instead of just elegiac musings on the characters). It didn't and I gave up but maybe I'll return to it after MOONGLOW. Has anyone here read it and can give me some encouragement?

by Anonymousreply 238May 5, 2023 1:54 PM

R238 it's a love story. I loved Mambo Kings.

by Anonymousreply 239May 5, 2023 2:15 PM

R239-I recall reading it and immediately forgetting about it.

by Anonymousreply 240May 5, 2023 2:25 PM

I hate when I read a thriller (I love political whodunits, and police procedurals) and you can tell the author is tired of the story and just wants to wrap things up and end it.

by Anonymousreply 241May 5, 2023 2:30 PM

R241-For the last 10 years, that's exactly how I've felt about everything by Linwood Barclay. (Or should I say Stephen King?)

by Anonymousreply 242May 5, 2023 2:32 PM

r238, you've reminded me how much I like Michael Chabon's writing, and I've taken Moonglow out of the library again. The only book of his I didn't like was the one that took place in Alaska. I didn't like the TV show Northern Exposure, either. I must be Alaskaphobic.

by Anonymousreply 243May 5, 2023 2:45 PM

The Magician by Colm Toibin, a fictional biography of closeted German author Thomas Mann, author of "Death in Venice".

by Anonymousreply 244May 5, 2023 2:47 PM

Same for me, r243. I only finally read Kavalier and Clay last year and loved it. Went right on to read Telegraph Avenue and loved that one, too. But the pone about the policeman in Alaska was impossibly dense and I gave up after 100 pages or so.

by Anonymousreply 245May 5, 2023 2:50 PM

Reading an advanced copy of Paul Rudnick's FARRELL COVINGTON AND THE LIMITS OF STYLE, to be published in a month. Very enjoyable, very Rudnick ,and far better than his last one, PLAYING THE PALACE, which was a heaping pile of cliches. COVINGTON was supposedly inspired by the gay Koch brother.

by Anonymousreply 246May 5, 2023 3:24 PM

I just finished "The Custom of the Country" by Edith Wharton. I read it b4 but i did not remember it, so I reread it. I loved it, I love books like that, I finished "Ethan Fromme" after 40 yrs of starting it at Northwestern University. I couldn't get into then, but after 100 yrs, I finished it. Also, I reread Agatha Christie's "A Caribbean Mystery and Nemesis." on the beach here. LOVE Agatha, nothing better.

by Anonymousreply 247May 5, 2023 3:34 PM

I’m enjoying the new Dennis Lehane and trying to cast the heroine for the Oscar-bait movie. Juliette Lewis, maybe?

by Anonymousreply 248May 5, 2023 3:41 PM

I love Undine Spragg, R247. One of Wharton’s best characters. I wish someone would adapt The Custom of the Country for a limited series. It would be so good.

by Anonymousreply 249May 5, 2023 4:00 PM

I just watched the incredibly depressing House of Mirth. I think all of Wharton's books should be adapted. Her writing was brilliant.

by Anonymousreply 250May 5, 2023 4:03 PM

Wharton fans should check out her autobiography, A BACKWARD GLANCE. She’s wickedly funny at times and drops tea throughout (some good stuff about Henry James).

by Anonymousreply 251May 5, 2023 4:07 PM

I recalled that Sofia Coppola was involved in adapting CUSTOM. Then I looked and indeed, she was set to write and direct a version for Apple+. IMDB lists it as "pre-production" so who knows? The release was from 2020, so probably held up by COVID. No casting listed. Always thought that Streep in her younger days would have been perfect.

by Anonymousreply 252May 5, 2023 4:51 PM

[quote] I'm tired of these novels where real and famous or semi-famous people are characters..

It's a tradition that goes back as far as there have been historical novels. Sir Walter Scott invented the genre, and he would often have historical figures like Bonnie Prince Charlie or Queen Caroline (wife of George II) appear in his fictions--Tolstoy continued it by having Napoleon and his generals appear in War & Peace.

If it bothers you that much, you might as well give up on the genre of historical fiction.

by Anonymousreply 253May 5, 2023 4:59 PM

[QUOTE] I'm tired of these novels where real and famous or semi-famous people are characters..

Have you read At Danceteria? The whole real-life/famous people as characters thing is very freshly done in those stories.

by Anonymousreply 254May 5, 2023 5:03 PM

Termination Shock by Neal Stephenson - The book is told from various perspectives, one of which is that of a gay Dutch bureaucrat/courtier. He's just gone to meet his husband and discuss a concern. Nothing stereotypical yet. I read sci-fi anyway, but I'm glad of a gay character in one of these sprawling speculations.

by Anonymousreply 255May 5, 2023 7:35 PM

I'll never understand why THE CUSTOM OF THE COUNTRY was never made into a film or miniseries but I'm even more confounded that the novel isn't considered on par with THE HOUSE OF MIRTH and THE AGE OF INNOCENCE. Maybe because the tone is somewhat lighter and more comic?

MGM could have made an enormously entertaining film in the early 1940s with Lana Turner as the frivolous and lusty Undine.

by Anonymousreply 256May 5, 2023 8:35 PM

[quote]I just finished "The Custom of the Country" by Edith Wharton.

I struggled with Custom of the Country; Undie is so unrepentantly bad & continually gets away with. I think what makes House of Mirth so interesting is that while Lily Bart such a compelling heroine is that she knows what she needs to do, but can't bring herself to do it - but she doesn't have the courage to live the kind of live she wants to live either. She's a contradiction, like most people. Undie is some sort of 19th century version of The Terminator

by Anonymousreply 257May 5, 2023 10:32 PM

Agree, r257, there is no redeeming features in Undine, that’s why while the book is enjoyable is not great, she verges on caricature.

Am reading Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor, and am loving it.

by Anonymousreply 258May 6, 2023 8:54 AM

^there are

by Anonymousreply 259May 6, 2023 8:55 AM

If you like short stories, Wharton's "The Bunner Sisters" highly recommended.

by Anonymousreply 260May 6, 2023 9:03 PM

I’ve begun reading Mallon’s “Finale,” and I’m enjoying his wit enormously so far — but I’m worried about something: I’ve just read he is (well, was) a Republican.

I was a young adult in the Reagan years and consider him to have been a wicked, foolish old man. Is this book going to portray him in a positive light? I won’t be able to bear that.

by Anonymousreply 261May 6, 2023 10:54 PM

I have no idea, r261, but I'd love it if you'd return to this thread when you've finished Mallon's book and let us know how Reagan is portrayed. Somehow, I doubt it will be in a positive light.

by Anonymousreply 262May 6, 2023 11:44 PM

Thanx R209 for Black Sea. About 30 pages in. One author's interesting take on the clash of cultures using the Black Sea as a springboard. Well written, though Ascherson does shovel it on, inundating the reader in sometimes limited information to advance his story/point.

by Anonymousreply 263May 9, 2023 5:36 AM

About to DNF Pod, it seems like a writing exercise she failing at: Write a novel from the perspective of a raped dolphin.”

by Anonymousreply 264May 9, 2023 5:40 AM

Unheard of double header Pulitzer win, both the Trust people and the Demon people should be very happy. I’m still not done with David Copperfield to read Demon. It’s interesting how many reinterpretations or ones filtered through earlier novels win.

by Anonymousreply 265May 9, 2023 5:43 AM

Guess they wanted to follow the lead of the Booker a few years back. A tie between THE TESTAMENTS and GIRL WOMAN OTHER.

by Anonymousreply 266May 9, 2023 12:28 PM

Trust was good, but I think Mercury Pictures Presents was better.

by Anonymousreply 267May 9, 2023 2:34 PM

I don't understand the hype about Trust. It was fine and the structure was very interesting, but the Pulitzer? Really?

by Anonymousreply 268May 9, 2023 3:29 PM

Demon Copperhead started off strong but I had to cut bait about halfway through. The more it wore on, it became an insane slog and I finally had to admit defeat.

by Anonymousreply 269May 9, 2023 5:08 PM

R266 Well, that worked fine. They made Bernardine Evaristo a household name (when nobody knew her) and both novels did pretty well.

Trust and Demon Copperhead were the clear frontrunners, so maybe it works too, but to be honest the booker jury made way better choices in recent years than the Pulitzer

by Anonymousreply 270May 9, 2023 6:40 PM

After watching the very dark (in both senses of the word) recent BBC adaptation of Great Expectations, I'm reading it again. I don't mind reworkings of Dickens (Armando Ianucci's recent lickety-split film version of David Copperfield was a treat, I thought), but some odd characterizations in the new Great E were just baffling and served no purpose (i.e., making Mrs. Joe a dominatrix and Mr. Pumblechook her whipping boy -- what? why?).

by Anonymousreply 271May 9, 2023 6:46 PM

I will never understand the hype for TRUST.

And DEMON COPPERHEAD was condescending to rednecks. Couldn't finish it.

by Anonymousreply 272May 9, 2023 7:21 PM

2/3 of Trust was readable. I still found it a confounding mess of a book.

by Anonymousreply 273May 10, 2023 3:36 PM

Just picked up my first Alex Delaware novel in years. Geez, has Kellerman gotten lazy. Who's writing his stuff now?

by Anonymousreply 274May 11, 2023 5:38 PM

I've purchased L. P. Hartley's "The Harness Room" where a father's plan to "butch up" his son appears to backfire - anyone here familiar with the story?

by Anonymousreply 275May 14, 2023 1:02 PM

Reading this now. It’s a bit extra but I like it and it’s written by an actual gay man and not a frau writing about gay men (gasp).

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 276May 14, 2023 2:30 PM

R276-There's an extra unnecessary character thrown into the mix in Bath Haus, but it's still a pretty good thriller.

by Anonymousreply 277May 14, 2023 4:16 PM

[quote] I'll never understand why THE CUSTOM OF THE COUNTRY was never made into a film or miniseries but I'm even more confounded that the novel isn't considered on par with THE HOUSE OF MIRTH and THE AGE OF INNOCENCE.

Michelle Pfeiffer bought the rights to it back in the early 90s when she made AGE OF INNOCENCE. now I think its copyright has expired and anyone could make a movie out of it.

Alas, this just isn't the age for American swanky period movies anymore, and since neither AGE OF INNOCENCE nor HOUSE OF MIRTH did that well when they were made (though they were both excellent), I despair of a film ever being made of this one, unless someone is really inspired by the success of THE GILDED AGE (which costs a fortune to produce). What also might hurt it is its episodic quality, with the big two parts (Undine in new York trying to break into the Dagonet family's good graces, then moving to rural france to Raymond de Chelles's old chateau). unfortunately the settings are also mostly going to be pretty gloomy, since part of Wharton's point is that undinbe thinks marrying well will mean living in beautiful new houses and it just means living in dark depressing old ones).

Once Undine might have been the perfect role for Uma Thurman, and then Scarlett Johansson; now it would have to go to someone who is in her twenties. And given the bizarre cultural climate we live in it would likely go to someone nonwhite.

by Anonymousreply 278May 14, 2023 4:27 PM

[QUOTE] Alas, this just isn't the age for American swanky period movies anymore, and since neither AGE OF INNOCENCE nor HOUSE OF MIRTH did that well when they were made (though they were both excellent)

Winona Ryder got nominated for The Age of Innocence and was seen as something of a frontrunner that year in Best Supporting Actress. Anna Paquin won in a surprise. Ryder is very good in the film, although they switch it from the book and make her character the brunette of Michelle Pfeiffer’s Ellen Olenska into a blonde.

Gillian Anderson was probably 6th or 7th (alongside Björk for Dancer in the Dark) for The House of Mirth in Best Actrss that year.

by Anonymousreply 279May 14, 2023 5:11 PM

R278 is pretending that white people don't get cast in anything anymore *chuckles*

by Anonymousreply 280May 14, 2023 5:41 PM

I'm reading La malnata by Beatrice Salvioni. It reminds me of Elena Ferrante My brilliant friend (but to be honest i'm liking Salvioni's debut novel way more)

by Anonymousreply 281May 14, 2023 5:43 PM

The Covenant of Water. Very good.

by Anonymousreply 282May 14, 2023 5:44 PM

An advance copy of Paul Rudnick's FARRELL COVINGTON. Funny of course, and on a grander scale than usual, but still treading in familiar waters.

by Anonymousreply 283May 14, 2023 7:07 PM

And i'm going to start Babel by R F Kuang

by Anonymousreply 284May 14, 2023 7:16 PM

I’m finally listening to the part about penis frostbite in Spare as Harry whispers about it into my ear. The ultra short chapters really work well with his memoir.

by Anonymousreply 285May 14, 2023 7:24 PM

I am reading "A Girl in Winter," a Philip Larkin novel from 1946 I'd never read before. It's about a young woman who is a refugee working in a library in England during WW2 who returns to a romance from years ago.

by Anonymousreply 286May 15, 2023 12:03 AM

Just finished Dan Simmons' Song of Kali which is kind of spooky icky.

On to Guy Gavriel Kay's Sailing to Sarantium

by Anonymousreply 287May 15, 2023 3:38 AM

r274 I think I've read all of the Alex Delaware novels. There's a ten-year period approximately when the books seem to be written extremely carelessly. Kellerman appears to adore comma-splice sentences, and there are often so many extraneous characters, it's hard to remember who wants what.

However, good news: the last three books have been a lot better. Also, you might enjoy his son Jesse's Clay Edison series. I look forward to each new volume.

by Anonymousreply 288May 15, 2023 5:08 AM

The Shards

Making a playlist as I go

by Anonymousreply 289May 15, 2023 4:48 PM

You playlist readers have gone too far.

by Anonymousreply 290May 15, 2023 5:19 PM

Has anyone read either the Leonard Bernstein Bio or the George Gershwin bio by Joan Peyser? I have them both on my list. And long ago George Plimpton wrote a book about Truman Capote as told by his friends. I've heard it's very good. Basically people, some famous some not, telling tales about Tru. I'm in the mood for good biographies

by Anonymousreply 291May 15, 2023 6:53 PM

Fiction: I’ve just started “ALL FOR NOTHING”, by Walter Kempowski. It’s set in East Prussia in 1945, as the Russians approach. The writing is strangely hypnotic. So far, the inhabitants of a remote manor house are being interrupted by a succession of unexpected strangers who are on the move westwards. The inhabitants themselves don’t seem to have any inkling of the danger approaching. I’ve only read 50 pages or so, but it is a great story.

Non-fiction: Ultraprocessed People by Dr Chris van Tulleken, which deals with the Ultraprocessed Foods which make up most of our diet. I’ve read less than half of the book, but the crux of the story is clear: big food companies are going to kill us.

by Anonymousreply 292May 15, 2023 7:29 PM

I can recommend the Peyser Bernstein and the Plimpton Capote. For a closer, more graphic look at Lenny's life and lovers, check out his daughter Jamie's FAMOUS FATHER GIRL.

by Anonymousreply 293May 15, 2023 8:25 PM

R292 - that one's on my TBR, but I did read his "Marrow and Bone" which was good, although as an American reader I felt I was missing something.

by Anonymousreply 294May 16, 2023 12:03 AM

My go to book.

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by Anonymousreply 295May 16, 2023 12:21 AM

Awaiting the arrival today of the new Linwood Barclay (Stephen King) novel.

by Anonymousreply 296May 16, 2023 2:50 PM

I'm re-reading an old favorite, Margaret Atwood's THE ROBBER BRIDE from 1993 and loving it all over again. Great sly humor that's not in most of her other writing. And so much of the gender politics are as pertinent today as they were back then.

by Anonymousreply 297May 17, 2023 3:23 AM

I’m finally reading The Devil’s Candy about the cursed adaptation of The Bonfire of the Vanities. This book would’ve benefited from serious editing. Christ is it tedious. I’m only a third of the way through it and I feel like I’ve been reading it for months. Melanie Griffith still isn’t even on set.

by Anonymousreply 298May 17, 2023 12:31 PM

Final Cut about the disaster that was Heaven's Gate is actually pretty good.

by Anonymousreply 299May 17, 2023 12:44 PM

Anyone else read "After Francesco?"

Reading it now. Really well written, but so sad.

by Anonymousreply 300May 17, 2023 3:49 PM

Did someone read The Shards? The plot really atracts me but i really hated Less than zero and American Psycho so i don't know if give The shards a try

by Anonymousreply 301May 17, 2023 7:38 PM

If you hated Less Than Zero, there is no reason to read The Shards.

by Anonymousreply 302May 17, 2023 8:41 PM

R301- I devoured The Shards. It’s a ride. It helps that I’m 47 and have a huge appreciation for 80s New Wave and Los Angeles. The book is a total mood, hypnotic and compulsively readable.

by Anonymousreply 303May 18, 2023 3:34 AM

Oooh. A ride *and* a mood.

by Anonymousreply 304May 18, 2023 3:37 AM

I just finished I Have Some Questions For You and found it underwhelming. I loved The Great Believers, but this felt like a step back for Makkai. I found it predictable(at times boring) and felt she was trying to tackle too many issues.

by Anonymousreply 305May 18, 2023 4:51 AM

'A Hitch In Time', a compilation of Christopher Hitchens's work for the London Review Of Books.' (Good introduction by James Wolcott.)

As expected, a great range of big subjects from both the UK and US face CH's robust examination.

It's fun indeed to experience that unique voice again, the prose remains fresh and vivid as ever. Erudite, combative, insightful, funny - there's no essayist like him. Too bad he's not around for our current horrorshows.

by Anonymousreply 306May 18, 2023 8:22 AM

To the person who said they were building a music playlist for the Shards, BEE already beat you to it and has one up on Spotify. Earlier someone else did a Spotify playlist for Less Than Zero, and it hit perfectly with each song playing in perfect alignment with the text. I’m a slower reader so your alignment may varying.

by Anonymousreply 307May 18, 2023 12:12 PM

Would you mind posting a link to it, R307?

by Anonymousreply 308May 18, 2023 12:23 PM

I'm nearly finished with Madame Bovary. I've slogged through worse I suppose, but she's unlikeable and uninteresting (no Lizzie Eustace here).

by Anonymousreply 309May 18, 2023 12:23 PM

Emma Bovary is a brilliant depiction of borderline personality disorder penned before modern psychiatric thought.

by Anonymousreply 310May 18, 2023 12:27 PM

Killers of the August Moon

Dead Mountain


Dr. Mutter’s Marvels

The Shining Girls

by Anonymousreply 311May 18, 2023 12:41 PM

Neuromancer - Gibson

The 1980s novel that coined the term “cyberspace”

by Anonymousreply 312May 18, 2023 12:42 PM

20 or so years ago when I decided it was time for me to read all of the great Victorian and Edwardian novels of English literature, I also tried reading a few from the French. But sadly, I never made it through either Madame Bovary or Cousin Bette. Or the Russians, for that matter....The Brothers Karamazov, War and Peace and Anna Karenina also remain unfinished.

by Anonymousreply 313May 18, 2023 12:49 PM

R 24 thanks for letting us know about The Robber Bride, bought it, Great book. Thank you.

by Anonymousreply 314May 18, 2023 1:01 PM

You're welcome, r314. I'm just rereading it now. Love it! I wish Atwood would get back to writing books with more humor again.

by Anonymousreply 315May 18, 2023 1:34 PM

R315, have you read Atwood’s THE BLIND ASSASSIN? It’s really good.

I also enjoyed CAT’S CRADLE.

by Anonymousreply 316May 18, 2023 1:38 PM

Madame Bovary is one of the classics I've reread several times. It always moves me, especially with the Lydia Davis translation.

by Anonymousreply 317May 18, 2023 2:30 PM

Barbara Kingsolver's 'Demon Copperhead' -- now reading for a second time. Never liked much of her stuff after 'Poisonwood Bible'. but THIS is nothing short of amazing. And it is NOT about snakes, FYI. Unless you're talking about the human kind. Not a particularly uplifting read (drug addiction, poverty, child abuse, etc), but the narrator delivers many, many laugh-out-loud lines.

by Anonymousreply 318May 18, 2023 2:36 PM

R318, I’d love for you to comment in this thread I made last week about the Pulitzer Prizes. I’m pleased to see a different reaction to Demon Copperhead than I had.

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by Anonymousreply 319May 18, 2023 2:53 PM

I found Demon Copperhead kind of condescending. Maybe that's unfair. I only read about 50 pages and found the voice hokey and unconvincing. Dickens did it better.

by Anonymousreply 320May 18, 2023 4:52 PM

Not a surprise! ^

by Anonymousreply 321May 18, 2023 5:15 PM

Agree with r310

by Anonymousreply 322May 18, 2023 6:10 PM


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by Anonymousreply 323May 18, 2023 6:27 PM

R313: might I recommend the 1971 production of Cousin Bette with Margaret Tyzack as Bette and a very young Helen Mirren as her henchwoman Valerie, which I believe is on You Tube? I read the book later, glad I'd seen the video first. Paranoid cray-cray out for "revenge" ... what's more Datalounge than that?

by Anonymousreply 324May 18, 2023 6:47 PM

Thanks, R323!

by Anonymousreply 325May 18, 2023 7:14 PM

New Dennis Lehane novel, Small Mercies. Family and neighborhood struggles erupt in South Boston on the eve of the 1974 school busing conflagration. The trashiness of the housing project whites is splendidly, yet subtly detailed, and the plot sings. I only read in bed at night, and I only stop reading when I fall asleep. This may be Lehane's best book yet.

by Anonymousreply 326May 18, 2023 7:23 PM

Has anyone read Pineapple Street yet, I just got it from the library.

by Anonymousreply 327May 18, 2023 8:17 PM

I read it, r327, and I liked it. Generational wealth in Brooklyn Heights spread among characters you'll like and characters you'll hate. One character's lack of said wealth fuels a central conflict.

by Anonymousreply 328May 18, 2023 8:21 PM

R326, agree. There are some passages of Writing I could have done without, but what a great character! I’ve been wondering who will get the sure shot at the Oscar. Juliette Lewis?

by Anonymousreply 329May 19, 2023 11:37 AM

"Small Mercies" is Lehane's masterpiece. And probably his last book. A great director could make a great film out of it, as long as Edie Falco plays the lead.

by Anonymousreply 330May 19, 2023 4:51 PM

R329 I'm hoping they'll turn it into a series. There's so much in this book, I don't want it to suffer from being compressed into two hours. IIRC, Mystic River might have been better as a series.

by Anonymousreply 331May 19, 2023 4:52 PM

I love the Edie Falco idea, r330. Carmela Flanagan.

by Anonymousreply 332May 19, 2023 5:05 PM

I'd like Jeffrey Donovan to play Bobby in the filmed version of Small Mercies.

by Anonymousreply 333May 19, 2023 5:12 PM

R333-Jeremy Strong as Bobby.

by Anonymousreply 334May 19, 2023 5:24 PM

Can't STAND Jeremy Strong, r334.

by Anonymousreply 335May 19, 2023 5:25 PM

And Bobby's in his 50's, isn't he?

by Anonymousreply 336May 19, 2023 5:26 PM

Ok, Jake Gyllenhaal, then.

by Anonymousreply 337May 19, 2023 5:29 PM

Oooh, Jake. Jake makes anything better.

by Anonymousreply 338May 19, 2023 5:32 PM

The dude from "Justified" Timothy Olyphant(another Vanderbilt-but I like him)

by Anonymousreply 339May 19, 2023 6:32 PM

I thought this was a book thread

by Anonymousreply 340May 19, 2023 9:29 PM

Agreed, R340. Please reply with your most recent reads. I'd love to discuss them.

by Anonymousreply 341May 19, 2023 9:54 PM

Yeah, post books already.

Back to Small Mercies, I can also see Casey Affleck in one of the adult male roles.

by Anonymousreply 342May 19, 2023 9:59 PM

Since this is a book thread, I started another thread about the filmed version of SMALL MERCIES, by Dennis Lehane. Turns out it's already slated for production at Apple+ TV.

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by Anonymousreply 343May 20, 2023 12:37 AM

Looking forward to starting Abraham Verghese's 2009 bestseller CUTTING FOR STONE tonight. I guess he has a new novel that's just come out but friends who've read it said to skip it and go back to this one, which is supposedly brilliant fiction.

by Anonymousreply 344May 21, 2023 2:40 AM

When I was a kid in the 70s, I was enamored with Hollywood monster movie makeup. There were magazines like "Fangoria" that I would read at the magazine aisles, and I remember one issue in particular which featured photos from a film called "The Incredible Melting Man," which were over the top disgusting (I mean, not by todays standards...). The make-up and masks were done by a young artist who went on to be one of the most respected artists of this kind in the history of cinema, doing everything from King Kong to Star Wars to Videodrome to Hellboy and on and on, winning multiple academy awards and basically becoming a legend.

A huge two volume coffee-table sized biography, featuring his life story and photos of all the work he's done is what I'm currently wading through. It's fascinating - not just for his life story and his artistry but also as an interesting glimpse into the world of film making in the 70s and on from an unusual angle. John Landis and Peter Jackson wrote introductions.

Right now I'm watching DePalma's film 'The Fury", which he worked on. I'm trying to download and watch the films discussed if I haven't already seen them. Anyway, it's a cool way to reconnect with a childhood love and to learn a lot about the world of an unusual film artist.

by Anonymousreply 345May 21, 2023 2:58 AM

Reading Justin Cronin’s new one - the Ferryman. So far so good. Loved his prior books especially The Passage.

by Anonymousreply 346May 21, 2023 1:39 PM

Did you read the sequels to The Passage?

by Anonymousreply 347May 21, 2023 2:47 PM

Yep I loved them r347. Some parts dragged but overall loved the story and his writing.

by Anonymousreply 348May 21, 2023 4:27 PM

Anyone read In Memoriam by Alice Witt? (Two British public school boys with unspoken feelings for each other enlist in WWI.) It got a nice review in the Sunday NYT Book Review and The Guardian.

by Anonymousreply 349May 23, 2023 1:41 AM

R349 It’s on my TBR for Pride month with the other new WWI gay soldier love story set on the Easyern front.

by Anonymousreply 350May 23, 2023 1:53 AM

Just finished the new Linwood Barclay thriller and convinced more than ever he's really Stephen King, which means King finally found someone talented enough to write his stuff.

by Anonymousreply 351May 23, 2023 2:02 AM

I just started IN MEMORIAM last night and quickly read the first 50 pages. Really good though it somehow feels to me like I've read a dozen similar books (even if I couldn't name them right now).

by Anonymousreply 352May 23, 2023 1:05 PM

Reading CLOSE TO HOME by Michael Magee. A debut novel set in Belfast. About a young man just out of university and trying to find himself in the aftermath of The Troubles. Been getting great reviews and so far I think it deserves them.

by Anonymousreply 353May 23, 2023 3:23 PM

Has anyone read LAWN BOY by Jonathan Evison? It's my gay book club's next pick, purposely chosen, among other reasons, because it's been banned.

by Anonymousreply 354May 23, 2023 5:44 PM

“Linwood Barclay” certainly sounds pseudonymous.

by Anonymousreply 355May 23, 2023 5:56 PM

When two authors use the same phrases and imaginary inventions in their books, you know something's up and it sure isn't homage.

by Anonymousreply 356May 23, 2023 6:21 PM

What/who are you talking about, r356?

by Anonymousreply 357May 23, 2023 9:18 PM

R357-Linwood and Stephen.

by Anonymousreply 358May 24, 2023 2:54 PM

I had to give up on IN MEMORIAM after some 100 pages. So sentimental and syrupy and I couldn't keep the characters strraight, they all had the same voice, even in their letter-writing.

Onto the new Dennis Lehane SMALL MERCIES, which is anything but sentimental and syrupy, even if somewhat predictable.

by Anonymousreply 359May 25, 2023 6:03 PM

“As It Turns Out” by Alice Sedgwick, sister of Edie, about Edie’s relationship with Andy Warhol.

Fucked up childhood, fucked up (and brief) adulthood: 1965’s “It Girl” was 1971’s dead girl.

by Anonymousreply 360May 25, 2023 6:24 PM

I did not find SMALL MERCIES at all predictable. It's top-grade Lehane.

by Anonymousreply 361May 25, 2023 10:09 PM

Glad to hear that, r361. I'm just 85 pages in and I meant the milieu and characters are fairly familiar (and predictable) Lehane, good or bad.

by Anonymousreply 362May 26, 2023 1:00 AM

At the center of Covid i read 3 or 4 Linwood Barclay’s. They re ok but like junk food you shouldn’t binge, close together everything comes off.

Started my first Denis Lehane ever (Darkness take my hand) after all the recommendations here and finally got the hype. But Christ, it is intense.

by Anonymousreply 363May 27, 2023 4:22 PM

I finished The Shards by Bret Easton Ellis. It felt like a mixture of several different types of books but what stood out to me most was that it was about a very lonely and almost completely unparented gay boy. The sex scenes were enjoyable.

by Anonymousreply 364May 27, 2023 4:34 PM

"Mr Wilder and Me" by Jonathan Coe

History meets fiction in the lead-up to making "Fedora" starting with the day Wilder gets a letter from Dietrich refusing the role.

by Anonymousreply 365May 27, 2023 4:45 PM

Margaret Atwood "The Blind Assassin" Full of anachronism, and pretty lame so far. She understands nothing about business (a plutocracy founded on buttons?) or sex in the thirties. The only characters who are believable are Iris , Reenie, and Freddie. The others are very poorly drawn: in particular Alex Taylor, Richard Griffen, and Laura and these three being particular focii of the book, I have to say: I find this book ridiculous.

by Anonymousreply 366May 27, 2023 5:11 PM

It's the unofficial beginning of Summer. I am re-reading Judith Krantz's Scruples, then Princess Daisy!!

It's my 2023 White trash summer reading club. My co-worker send me the John Rechy collection.

by Anonymousreply 367May 27, 2023 5:26 PM

[quote]My co-worker send me the John Rechy collection.

The one that took place in Griffith Park sent me back in the closet for a couple of years.

by Anonymousreply 368May 27, 2023 5:40 PM

[quote] I have no idea, [R261], but I'd love it if you'd return to this thread when you've finished Mallon's book and let us know how Reagan is portrayed. Somehow, I doubt it will be in a positive light.

I finished reading it—or should I say listening to it? I started by reading it and was so delighted by Nixon in the first chapter that I went onto the Amazon page for “Finale” to peruse the reviews. While there I noticed that there is an audiobook version and Christopher Lane reads, and I rushed to buy it! I knew that his reading this book would be DELICIOUS, and … I was right!

This is my first Mallon read. He’s a very entertaining storyteller, full of wit and irony, very observant. Supremely gay.

On the one hand this book is what you’d ladle into the ocean if you were chumming for gays off the Orca. Eva Gabor … dancing with Henry Kissinger? Nancy Reagan assesses Maureen? Bette Davis ruminates about Ronald Reagan’s acting career? Oh my god!

Many notable persons of the day are mentioned or pop in, but the main historical characters are Nancy, Richard Nixon, Christopher Hitchens, and Pamela Harriman. Two fictional but emblematic fictional characters join them — a deeply in-denial, very principled anti-communist government official, and an older liberal Republican woman who supports nuclear disarmament in the Reagan era.

HIV looms as well, but more as a menacing presence in the background. I don’t want to spoil the story.

On the one hand it’s thrillingly satirical and eloquent. (And Lane’s reading of this shouldn’t be missed — pitch perfect, especially his portrayal of Nancy Reagan.) But on the other hand, Mallen is so wonkish, so meticulous, so deep in the weeds, reading this is like reading non-fiction in many ways.

The book covers about the last six months of 1986, so you have the Reykjavik meeting between Reagan and Gorbachev, the midterm election, and the exposure of the Iran Contra scandal.

True to the title, there are many endings in this book:

The end in several ways for the Reagan administration: the loss of control of the senate, the end of the administration itself, the end of its Boy Scout reputation (with small town USA), then beginning of the end of Ron’s mental capacity

The beginning of the end of the Cold War —Reykjavik is rightly seen as a failure but it set the countries in motion for later treaties

The end of several lives, some due to AIDS

The end of a main character’s perception of himself as a husband and father, and heterosexual

We must remember Mallon was a Republican until Trumpism drove him out of the party. Don’t expect Reagan to be portrayed in a negative light (I detest him, for what it’s worth) — he and Nancy are both humanized and somewhat sympathetic in the narrative. Of course, Nancy being Nancy, and Mallon being Mallon, he has a field day with her, but she comes off better than you’d expect all the same.

I greatly enjoyed it and recommend it. Try the audio book, as read by Lane it’s a hoot!

by Anonymousreply 369May 27, 2023 6:06 PM

^^^ not husband and father, just husband (misremembered)

by Anonymousreply 370May 27, 2023 6:12 PM

Having just read The Shards, I’d like to read more fiction by male authors that feature good gay sex scenes. Any recommendations?

by Anonymousreply 371May 27, 2023 9:42 PM

Dancer from the Dance (Andrew Holleran)

by Anonymousreply 372May 27, 2023 10:27 PM

Now I want to read The Shards.

by Anonymousreply 373May 27, 2023 10:51 PM

Me too r373

by Anonymousreply 374May 27, 2023 11:46 PM

Just devoured “The Guest” by Emma Cline. A great summer read, a kind of anti-thriller of sorts. I just love her prose — gritty but beautiful. Her previous novel was the Manson family riff “The Girls” which I recall had some fans here.

by Anonymousreply 375May 28, 2023 3:20 PM

Finished Kevin Powers" "A Line In The Sand" this afternoon. Absolutely blew me away. Tough, gritty story of a former Iraqi interpreter living in Norfolk, Va. who has proof of a massacre by military privateers which took the lives of his wife and child. The company may be sending mercenaries to eliminate him and the residual fallout draws in Norfolk detectives and an emotionally damaged reporter. The writing is crisp and impressive. Powers tells his story in a straightforward manner, but you really have to pay attention. Fascinating murder mystery.

by Anonymousreply 376May 28, 2023 11:51 PM

Just started "Big Gay Wedding".

by Anonymousreply 377May 31, 2023 3:39 PM

Cute, sweet coming out stories about gay men from different generations in a wealthy Massachusetts family. Those who hate coming out stories, stay away. Those of you who hate novels about gay men written by women, stay away. She actually keeps saying "queer," so if that bothers you, as it usually does me, well, you might be able to put up with it as the characters are so relatable.

At least they were to me.

Second in a series about different generations of gay men in the Cabot family. For some reason, these Cabots are Catholic. Mention is not made as to whether Catholic Cabots also speak only to God.

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by Anonymousreply 378May 31, 2023 3:51 PM

Why is it men can't write intelligent mysteries with a female protagonist, but women are so much more savvy when it comes to writing about men in that genre?

by Anonymousreply 379May 31, 2023 4:14 PM

Adding to my beach reading collection this summer...Thanks to u DL.

Plimpton-Capote and The Girls(Manson Girls), I knew Plimpton edited "Edie" with Jean Stein, but never knew about the Plimpton's Capote(ordered right b4 typing this). I never heard about the Manson Girls book until reading about it here. I find the Manson disciples more interesting than Charlie (girls and boys)

BTW,,,"Edie" is one the best biographies I read on the 1960's NYC party scene. Very strange, interesting, wealthy Family.

by Anonymousreply 380May 31, 2023 4:56 PM

Having liked Molly Keane's [italic]Good Behaviour[/] I've started listening another of hers, [Italic]Time After Time[/Italic]. This one's darker, but it's got me hooked in the first hour about the siblings' secrets.

by Anonymousreply 381June 1, 2023 1:10 AM

LOVE both of those Molly Keane books, read each twice over the years.

by Anonymousreply 382June 1, 2023 2:15 PM

Just finished PINEAPPLE STREET by Jenny Jackson, a best-selling novel about rich people problems in Brooklyn Heights. That's 3 days of my life I'll never get back.

by Anonymousreply 383June 2, 2023 1:37 PM

"rich people problems in Brooklyn Heights"

A deal-breaker if ever there was one!

by Anonymousreply 384June 2, 2023 4:16 PM

Just finished TOMORROW, AND TOMORROW, AND TOMORROW by Gabrielle Zevin.

What a perfect, perfect book. For all my fellow children of the ‘80s who played “Oregon Trail” on an Apple IIc, dying of dysentery along the way. I was proud of myself for saving my tears until the last pages and boy, did they ever come (MARY!). A beautifully written bonanza of nostalgia, hope, and friendship.

by Anonymousreply 385June 2, 2023 5:21 PM

I liked it too and. have never once played a video game.

by Anonymousreply 386June 2, 2023 5:31 PM

Reading the Shards now. Can’t stop reading it even though I find him so obnoxious.

by Anonymousreply 387June 2, 2023 5:41 PM

Has anyone else read the well-reviewed novel YELLOWFACE by RF Kuang? I'm finding it a bit disappointingly facile.

by Anonymousreply 388June 4, 2023 1:55 PM

R261 Thanks for mentioning Mallon. The book (as superbly summarized by R369) was terrific, accurate on almost every point and certainly on every level. Yes, it humanizes Ron and Nancy, but in doing so reveals his lack of any depth and her single-minded devotion, every minute of the day, to him.

I’ve ordered a couple of his other books because I enjoyed “Finale” so much.

by Anonymousreply 389June 4, 2023 2:09 PM

I've touted it on these threads before but if you like Mallon try BANDBOX which is a much funnier novel than those he usually writes, a satire about all the characters working at a men's magazine in the 1920s (based I think on Esquire).

by Anonymousreply 390June 4, 2023 2:21 PM

I'm reading "Big Gay Wedding" by Byron Lane. Often laugh-out loud funny, but Lane will get philosophical and introspective as the book goes along. Every one of his characters is flawed, but believably so. The chapter with Paw-Paw raiding his gay neighbor's closet is worth the price of admission.

by Anonymousreply 391June 5, 2023 4:23 PM

Lane couldn't come up with a better title than Big Gay Wedding? Will he call the inevitable sequel Crazy Rich Gays?

by Anonymousreply 392June 5, 2023 4:58 PM

Big Gay Wedding had me sobbing through the last few chapters.

by Anonymousreply 393June 6, 2023 4:00 PM

I just re-discovered the A Very Short Introduction series. Currently, I'm in the middle of one about Navigation and one about Egyptian Mythology. They're all short and sweet, written by specialists for non-specialists.

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by Anonymousreply 394June 6, 2023 4:04 PM

The Heart's Invisible Furies: A Novel by John Boyne.

A friend suggested I read it (she read it this winter with her book-club) and I can't put it down. Well written and fast-paced.

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by Anonymousreply 395June 6, 2023 4:43 PM

Golden Boy: A Murder Among the Manhattan Elite (by John Glatt ), about Thomas Gilbert Jr.

The guy was a psycho, and endearing at the same time.

by Anonymousreply 396June 6, 2023 5:05 PM

"Golden Boy" sounds good

by Anonymousreply 397June 6, 2023 5:18 PM

It is, r397! I'm reading a chapter a day, just to save it!

by Anonymousreply 398June 6, 2023 5:31 PM

Who is Thomas Gilbert Jr( is it family $$$$)

by Anonymousreply 399June 6, 2023 6:52 PM

Never mind-googled it. If Nick Dunne was alive, he would have covered it for VF when you could read it.

by Anonymousreply 400June 6, 2023 6:59 PM

[quote]Who is Thomas Gilbert Jr( is it family $$$$)

I know you already Googled it, but here it is. *Spoiler*

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by Anonymousreply 401June 6, 2023 7:02 PM

Thanks everyone - just ordered Golden Boy from my library !

by Anonymousreply 402June 6, 2023 7:06 PM

I hope you enjoy it, r402!

by Anonymousreply 403June 6, 2023 7:08 PM

Lorrie Moore had a new novel coming out.

by Anonymousreply 404June 6, 2023 7:20 PM


by Anonymousreply 405June 6, 2023 7:33 PM

Apparently Jake Gyllenhaal was producing a movie about Thomas Gilbert Jr, what happened to it?

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by Anonymousreply 406June 6, 2023 8:05 PM

OUTLINE by Rachel Cusk.

It's an interesting experimental work, based on stories a creative writer is told while in Athens. There are two sequels, and as muvh as I like the book, i don;' know if I would want to read them. Everyone who tells the woman their stories speaks in such a similar voice.

by Anonymousreply 407June 6, 2023 8:16 PM

I liked Thomas Mallon's WATERGATE, although it showed Pat Nixon exploring the idea of an affair, which for some reason was very hard for me to believe.

by Anonymousreply 408June 6, 2023 8:18 PM

To R406, Jake is talking to the convict Tom Gilbert about the rape scenes in prison in Sing-Sing. He wants to know what black cock feels like when he is getting raped-swallowing all dat cum.

by Anonymousreply 409June 6, 2023 8:49 PM

R407, that was my take too. I read the three of them over the last 3 years or so and finished Kudos last month. E eryone she must just tell her the story of their life within 5 minutes. They are all interesting and articulate. That said, it has many good parts. Overall, i much preferred Deborah Levy’s triology, especially the last one, Real Estate.

by Anonymousreply 410June 6, 2023 9:40 PM

Just read “A History of Fear,” by gay writer Luke Dumas. Psychological horror story with gay elements, set in Edinburgh. Not deathless literature, but a good, chilling, fun read.

by Anonymousreply 411June 6, 2023 10:59 PM

I’ve just started The Alchemist. I tried to get into it earlier this year, but I read the first few pages and thought it may be insufferable. I’m giving it a longer try this time though.

by Anonymousreply 412June 6, 2023 11:27 PM

Highly recommend CLOSE TO HOME, noted above. Raw, unsentimental, but extremely touching. A young guy just out of university tries to cope with poverty and the legacy of the Troubles in Belfast. Impressive, especially for Michael Magee's first novel.

by Anonymousreply 413June 6, 2023 11:42 PM

I found The Alchemist to be insufferable.

by Anonymousreply 414June 7, 2023 12:38 AM

I'm reading the first Inspector Alan Grant mystery by Josephine Tey. From her Wiki, it seems she was engaged to a guy who died in WWI. After that, she never married, showing an interest in the ways of lady gym teachers. A ring on the Clue Phone?

Our inspector seems married to the job, vaguely interested in women for companionship from Wiki. In this story, even the most dim-witted could recognize the male same-sex couple.

by Anonymousreply 415June 7, 2023 12:38 PM

Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus . Last tried to read it 40 years ago. This time I've decided to read it like poetry.

by Anonymousreply 416June 7, 2023 2:03 PM

If you are not reading Sunny Hostin's memoir, or Sunny Hostin's "Summer on the Bluffs", or this year's "Summer in Sag Harbor" , then you're all a bunch of racists. Who cares if she writes like shit and the books are as entertaining as watching grass grow. If you're not reading these NYT best sellers, then you are a racist.

by Anonymousreply 417June 7, 2023 2:37 PM

Well at least R417 didn't troll on about trans...... yet.

by Anonymousreply 418June 7, 2023 2:44 PM

R418 You're a racist if you didn't read any of Hostin's books.

by Anonymousreply 419June 7, 2023 3:00 PM

Do we think. she wrote them herself?

by Anonymousreply 420June 7, 2023 3:07 PM

R417 must be one of those conservative who accuse others of identity politics while being a white supremacist

by Anonymousreply 421June 7, 2023 3:25 PM

R421 Guess again ! You get a total of three guesses, and you got the first one wrong.

by Anonymousreply 422June 7, 2023 3:52 PM

No, I'm pretty sure I have you nailed.

by Anonymousreply 423June 7, 2023 3:54 PM

To R415, I haven't read that book in years (over 7 years). I have all the Josephine Tey books too!

I have an entire English murder mystery section, so I have lots of books to re-read this summer!

To all the others, "stop fighting with ur multiple personalities". Thank You!1

by Anonymousreply 424June 7, 2023 4:07 PM

R423 Is that guess number two ? You're wrong again. One more guess...

by Anonymousreply 425June 7, 2023 4:15 PM

I got it right the first try. You're a conservative who uses right-wing talking points. Whether you want to admit it or not.

by Anonymousreply 426June 7, 2023 4:21 PM

Do you get paid extra, r426, every time you work "right-wing talking points" into a sentence. I don't even know who you're talking to, or about what. Wouldn't you rather make sense?

by Anonymousreply 427June 7, 2023 4:26 PM

R426 Wrong again ! Third strike - you're out. Back to MAGA you go.

by Anonymousreply 428June 7, 2023 5:03 PM

You're the one spewing MAGA talking points about a black woman

by Anonymousreply 429June 7, 2023 5:30 PM

I haven't said, or typed, word one about anyone, r429. At least, not in this little segment. Whoever you were cunting at, I'm not him. I was just observing, for what feels like the 52 millionth time, the relentless nincompoopery of your ranting that one phrase, over and over and over. It makes you sound low I.Q., or lacking in imagination. I probably agree with you on a lot of issues, but you seem like such a styleless dullard.

by Anonymousreply 430June 7, 2023 5:51 PM

Well now you've done it, spoiled our intelligent, polite, informative Books Thread with partisan kerfuffles.

This is why we can't have anything nice.

by Anonymousreply 431June 7, 2023 6:56 PM

The "right wing talking points" queens ruin everything. It's their job.

by Anonymousreply 432June 7, 2023 7:01 PM

The people posting right wing talking points to begin with are the ones ruining everything, not the people calling them out. You're posting that shit on a gay board. In a thread about books. Uh, hello. Your target audience doesn't read.

by Anonymousreply 433June 7, 2023 8:00 PM

"Biloxi Boys -- Grisham

by Anonymousreply 434June 7, 2023 8:02 PM

Anyway, I like reading books! Does anyone, perchance, read?

by Anonymousreply 435June 7, 2023 8:31 PM

Loved the Ferryman even though it was a little ridiculous at the end. Love Cronin's imagination.

The Shards was absurd but the sex scenes were hot and I appreciated that.

Now reading new Samantha Irby book. Some of it is gross, but some is LOL funny.

Reserved Golden Boy at the library - thanks for that rec.

by Anonymousreply 436June 7, 2023 8:33 PM

I just started reading Edmund White’s new novel The Humble Lover, about an eldergay smitten with a young ballet dancer. Enjoying it so far.

by Anonymousreply 437June 7, 2023 8:35 PM

Ohio - Stephen Markley

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by Anonymousreply 438June 7, 2023 8:52 PM

OHIO may be my favorite book of the past year. A little hard to get into at first perhaps, but so well worth it by the end. Great intense fiction for serious readers.

I just bought Markley's latest book THE DELUGE but as it's almost 900 hundred pages long I may wait until fall to begin reading it.

by Anonymousreply 439June 7, 2023 9:05 PM

Loved Ohio - thought the deluge was terrible.

by Anonymousreply 440June 7, 2023 9:09 PM

[quote]OHIO may be my favorite book of the past year.

So glad to hear it. I got it based on someone's recommendation in this thread. Perhaps yours. I've pushed it to the the top of my "to be read" list.

by Anonymousreply 441June 7, 2023 9:11 PM

I just added OHIO to my library requests, too ! Large Print edition - so I can read it at night in bed.

This, and GOLDEN BOY - so far, so good for my summer reading.

by Anonymousreply 442June 7, 2023 9:49 PM

R9 I love the Daniel Silva/Gabriel Allon series. I have one to read. I’ll be starting it soon.

by Anonymousreply 443June 7, 2023 10:37 PM

r443, though I don't find this to be true with most series, I found it helpful to read the Allon series in order. So much had happened in volumes 7 and 8 that was referred to in 9, I went back to 7 to read them in order.

by Anonymousreply 444June 7, 2023 10:55 PM

Just ordered the novel about the queer mountain lion wandering through the streets of L.A.

by Anonymousreply 445June 8, 2023 12:55 AM

So I ordered Thomas Mallon's FINALE because of some great recs here. But was easily flummoxed by all the constant political references of which I sadly knew very little. Constantly having to google aspects of Nixon and Ford's Presidency and this was all before I really even got to Reagan who's the subject of the book. Undoubtedly great writing, this is not meant as a criticism but the nuances of plot and character just too overwhelming for me.

PS: I thoroughly enjoyed Mallon's UP WITH THE SUN but the world of show biz trivia is very much my wheelhouse.

by Anonymousreply 446June 8, 2023 3:38 PM

I spoke too soon about Edmund White’s latest. It’s kind of dreadful.

by Anonymousreply 447June 8, 2023 7:50 PM

Agree r447 - I couldn’t get through it.

by Anonymousreply 448June 8, 2023 8:34 PM

Agree [447][448]. I did manage to make it through, but only in the vain hope that something ...galvanic...would happen in the narrative, that would redeem it. Nope. I am a long-time fan of White's writing, but THE HUMBLE LOVER was a thin soup, I'm afraid.

by Anonymousreply 449June 8, 2023 8:45 PM

Excellent about enlargement.

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by Anonymousreply 450June 8, 2023 8:50 PM

Desperate for a good book!

WATER FOR ELEPHANTS has been sitting on our bookshelves since it was published. My husband thinks I'd like it even if it might be a little sentimental. Any thoughts, fans?

by Anonymousreply 451June 9, 2023 1:42 AM

R444 I read the majority of them in order. It’s better that way.

by Anonymousreply 452June 9, 2023 5:22 AM

Just finished At Danceteria and loved it.

by Anonymousreply 453June 10, 2023 1:41 AM

The new S.A. Crosby, "All the Sinners Bleed" is a horrific story on the same level as "Silence Of The Lambs". In just 4 novels, he has grown into one of the best writers in America in the thriller genre. His tales are bloody and vicious, but they make for great reading.

by Anonymousreply 454June 10, 2023 11:21 PM

Romantic Comedy, by Curtis Sittenfeld. I love all of ger books, and though I enjoyed it (read it in 3 days) this was my least favorite so far.

by Anonymousreply 455June 10, 2023 11:38 PM

I'm 50 pages into Ohio and I am loving it. As it starts out, I'm thinking it should have been called Connecticut, as there is no New Canaan in Ohio. And New Canaan, CT, is the socioeconomic opposite of its quickly revealed Ohio namesake, so I'm wondering irony? Snarcasm?

by Anonymousreply 456June 10, 2023 11:41 PM

Ohio only gets better after those 50 pages. So glad you're enjoying it, r456.

by Anonymousreply 457June 11, 2023 2:05 AM

I finally finished Mexican Gothic last night. The first half (which is supposed to be like Charlotte Brontë) is just awful, but the second half (which is supposed to be more Lovecraftian) is like a really first rate X-Files episode.

by Anonymousreply 458June 11, 2023 2:09 AM

Interesting, R458! I read [italic]A Short Walk in Williams Park[/italic] by gay writer C. H. B. Kitchin, where the first half was a slog, but the second part was interesting.

by Anonymousreply 459June 11, 2023 2:55 AM

So I finished WATER FOR ELEPHANTS even though I pretty much loathed it. Well-researched about Depression Era circuses, but the writing was utterly flat with a particular weakness for characterization and dialogue. And the "plot" was barely there. Hard to believe this was such a big best seller 15 years ago.

by Anonymousreply 460June 11, 2023 10:09 PM

Sun, Shame snd Secrets: The True Story of a Murdered Nun and a Convicted Priest

by Anonymousreply 461June 12, 2023 12:03 AM

I’m reading the biography of Annie Sprinkle: The piss loving woman

by Anonymousreply 462June 12, 2023 12:06 AM

[quote]The piss loving woman

Kim Kardashian?

by Anonymousreply 463June 12, 2023 12:11 AM

Is she also a piss freak?

by Anonymousreply 464June 12, 2023 12:11 AM

Kim? Yes! She was pissed on on video!

by Anonymousreply 465June 12, 2023 12:12 AM

I gotta watch it

by Anonymousreply 466June 12, 2023 12:17 AM

It's out there somewhere, r466. Ray J pissed on her.

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by Anonymousreply 467June 12, 2023 12:22 AM

I finished Small Mercies by Dennis Lehane and am surprised that I was a little disappointed by it. It could be that it just didn’t live up to my expectations, based on my previous enjoyment of his work and the strong reviews. Setting the novel against the backdrop of the contentious busing issue of the 70s in Boston was a great idea. However, Lehane didn’t really go beyond showing the racism and tribalism of the white residents which I was already aware of. And other than that the book is really just a basic revenge story. I don’t particularly like revenge stories, even when the main character is a middle-aged woman instead of a man.

I will tune into the anticipated TV series. The actress I pictured as I read was Sonya Walger, who played Molly Cobb in For All Mankind. It’ll be interesting to see who will be cast.

by Anonymousreply 468June 12, 2023 8:36 PM

Pull That Stick Out of Your Ass

by Anonymousreply 469June 12, 2023 9:06 PM

R469, by?

by Anonymousreply 470June 12, 2023 10:01 PM

Charlotte Brontë

by Anonymousreply 471June 12, 2023 10:46 PM

R469-by Richard II.

by Anonymousreply 472June 13, 2023 12:39 AM

Cormac McCarthy has died. Any fans? I loved The Road and No Country, but couldn't get through Blood Meridien. I imagine that his last two were impenetrable for me; I couldn't even understand the reviews.

by Anonymousreply 473June 13, 2023 10:34 PM

R473, I’m a fan. I loved the Border Trilogy, The Road, and his last two novels especially. There’s a separate thread about him.

by Anonymousreply 474June 13, 2023 10:39 PM

Huge fan of his, R473. Love Blood Meridian, Suttree, The Road, No Country, found The Crossing to be the most emotionally difficult for me. I didn't really enjoy The Passenger and haven't attempted Stella Dallas. I've been thinking about re-reading some of his earlier novels, so now I suppose I will.

He was a giant.

by Anonymousreply 475June 13, 2023 10:43 PM

I’m reading Night Clit

by Anonymousreply 476June 13, 2023 10:47 PM

Cormac was a genius

by Anonymousreply 477June 13, 2023 11:32 PM

She's no Cormac McCarthy but I'm really enjoying Ann Napolitano's recent bestseller and Oprah Book Club pick HELLO BEAUTIFUL, a beautifully written family saga about 4 working class Italian-American sisters from the 1970s through the 2000s.

by Anonymousreply 478June 13, 2023 11:58 PM

I’m reading Night of the Languid Labia

by Anonymousreply 479June 14, 2023 12:00 AM

Blood Meridian may be the most horrifying novel I’ve ever read—but its violence is earned and rendered in extraordinary language—unlike, say, the torture porn of A Little Life.

by Anonymousreply 480June 14, 2023 12:03 AM

In Memoriam by Alice Winn. The cover is awful and the name isn’t much better but I’m enjoying the relationship between the two main characters.

by Anonymousreply 481June 14, 2023 12:05 AM

I'm reading Paul Rudnick's "Farrell Covington and the Limits Of Style". Best Rudnick writing in a long time. Simultaneously hysterical and heartbreaking. Laughing out loud funny.

by Anonymousreply 482June 14, 2023 1:28 AM

I couldn't keep the characters of IN MEMORIAM straight (no pun intended). They all had the same voice. I couldn't finish it, even the sex scenes were mawkish.

by Anonymousreply 483June 14, 2023 12:37 PM

I'm listening to the audio edition of [italic]The Past and the Present[/italic] by Ivy Compton-Burnett. The story is almost entirely dialogue, with the first chapter focusing on the effect of witnessing the death of a chicken by five siblings aged 3 - 13.

Only book I can thing of that was this strange: [italic]Pond[/italic] by Claire-Louise Bennett (also audio).

by Anonymousreply 484June 14, 2023 1:13 PM

Let us know when you finish, r484. ICB is one of the singular titans of British fiction, but definitely an acquired taste. Never thought of seeking an audio version. Might make her more accessible.

by Anonymousreply 485June 14, 2023 2:41 PM

I am reading the book horses ass

by Anonymousreply 486June 14, 2023 3:57 PM

Spare Us.

A Harrady that takes the piss out of Harry Windsor’s diatribe

It’s short and a laugh riot

by Anonymousreply 487June 14, 2023 5:19 PM

Fuck off

by Anonymousreply 488June 14, 2023 5:59 PM

One thread where any members of that circus called Royal family isn't mentioned!

Please, Dog!!

by Anonymousreply 489June 14, 2023 6:06 PM

R478- I loved Hello Beautiful so much. One of my favorites of the last 2 years. Stunningly good.

by Anonymousreply 490June 14, 2023 7:01 PM

Thank you for that, r490. I'm in the middle of the book now and feel like it's begun spinning wheels and I need just a little encouragement to keep going. Great writing but wish there was just a little more "oomph" right about now.

by Anonymousreply 491June 14, 2023 7:20 PM

Really enjoyed Nopolitano's earlier book, A Good Hard Look, with Flannery O'Connor as a character. Looking forward to this one.

by Anonymousreply 492June 14, 2023 7:37 PM

I loved Donal Ryan's The spinning heart.

And i was pretty dissapointed with Babel by R F Kuang, goo writting, good message but pretty weak plot

by Anonymousreply 493June 15, 2023 6:08 PM

I just finished RF Kuang's YELLOWFACE which I found amateurish in its inane plotting, hackneyed dialogue and lack of serious characterization.

by Anonymousreply 494June 15, 2023 6:16 PM

R492 A Good Hard Clit

by Anonymousreply 495June 15, 2023 6:40 PM

Throwing Turds at The Top of The Staircase

by Anonymousreply 496June 15, 2023 8:34 PM

Starting the new book by Bart Yates, The Language of Love and Loss. He publishes so infrequently but I really liked his earlier books, all gay fiction: The Brothers Bishop, The Distance Between Us, and Leave Myself Behind. His last book,White Creek: A Fable, was very different but I still appreciated it. Excited to start this one.

by Anonymousreply 497June 15, 2023 9:34 PM

R497, I really enjoyed The Brothers Bishop. Knowing I liked that book, which other Yates would you suggest I read next?

by Anonymousreply 498June 15, 2023 9:41 PM


Suck My Ass At Dawn

by Anonymousreply 499June 15, 2023 9:43 PM

Que, r499?

by Anonymousreply 500June 15, 2023 9:46 PM

You Will Too Suck My Pussy If I Get Horny

by Anonymousreply 501June 15, 2023 10:13 PM

Brothers Bishop is my favorite of his as well. I would say Leave Myself Behind would be my second choice, with The Distance Between Us a close third. White Creek is worth a read, but a very different book from his first three.

by Anonymousreply 502June 15, 2023 11:01 PM

R390 at your recommendation and from the local library I got a couple of Mallon’s books having enjoyed “Finale.” I remembered it all as it was happening and enjoyed his sanitized and partially humanized Nixon.

“Bandbox” was next and while I liked it, I dunno, the O. Henry twist at the end felt a bit contrived. Still, I pictured everyone in the novel from in the Western Electric Christmas 1925 photo although I imagined the editors of Bandbox would be a bit better dressed. Fun read, but not “Finale.”

I’m undecided between Dewey Beats Truman, Watergate, and Fellow Travelers to start over the weekend, all presumably covering some of the same grounds. Any thoughts?

I’m impressed by Mallon’s output if nothing else. It’s great to read someone new.

by Anonymousreply 503June 15, 2023 11:02 PM

Recently read the first three volumes of the Lyttleton Hart-Davis Letters and they're fantastic. Three more volumes to go, and I know it won't be enough! I wish George Lyttelton had lived another decade or so so the correspondence could have continued.

Also have all three volumes of Tommy Lascelles diaries waiting, after they were mentioned above by R-228. Can't wait to read them.

by Anonymousreply 504June 15, 2023 11:14 PM

I would definitely go for FELLOW TRAVELERS, ultimately a more emotional read than some of Mallon's other novels.

by Anonymousreply 505June 15, 2023 11:16 PM

Sorry, it was [r-229] who mentioned the Tommy Lascelles diaries.

by Anonymousreply 506June 15, 2023 11:19 PM

R505 Thank you. It’s in my bag for the long weekend. The weather forecast is iffy so I’ll be reading.

by Anonymousreply 507June 16, 2023 12:32 AM

Finally read Danceteria after so much promotion on these threads and it found it lacking in both being good short stories and being thoughtful, interesting Gay literature. It was the kind of stuff that would have appeared in the Christopher Street Magazine.

by Anonymousreply 508June 16, 2023 12:33 AM

Other then the overly long and beaten to death essay on Sex and the City episodes, (which I guess she writes for the spin off) Samantha Irby’s latest collection is darkly funny, subversive and equal to her hilarious older work.

by Anonymousreply 509June 16, 2023 12:36 AM

I agree with r508. I thought it was bad.

Jackie Kennedy wouldn’t be caught dead in The Anvil. Nor would she be riding around Manhattan with “the staff.” There is so much interesting about her (and her relationship with JFK Jr) and that’s all he could think to write?

by Anonymousreply 510June 16, 2023 2:48 AM

DANCETERIA is fiction, which seems to have eluded many of you.

by Anonymousreply 511June 16, 2023 12:06 PM

I read Danceteria last year because of recommendations here, and I thought it was really good, well written fiction that spoke to that era. It took fictional liberties with real life characters, sure, but that's kind of the point. Plenty of biographies out there if fiction isn't your thing.

by Anonymousreply 512June 16, 2023 12:43 PM

The story about Jackie O. going to the the Anvil with Jerry from ‘Grey Gardens’ really did happen though so not sure your “Jackie wouldn’t be caught dead at the Anvil” comment holds up, R510. I think they are supposed to be fictionalized versions of real-life events with real-life people. It’s fiction.

From The New Yorker:

[QUOTE] [Jerry] remembers bringing [Jackie] to the Anvil, where they watched a fire-eating drag contortionist perform. Afterward, Onassis’s driver took them back to her building, where she invited Torre up for a drink. “I said no thanks,” he said. “I went back to the Anvil.”

If I recall, that’s almost exactly what takes place in that short story in DANCETERIA.

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by Anonymousreply 513June 16, 2023 2:19 PM

Some have said that BETTER DAVIS, a companion to AT DANCETERIA that came out two years ago, is a bit deeper than its predecessor but with the same premise—fictionalized stories about celebrities and real-life figures of the 1980s AIDS era.

One of the stories heavily implies that Robert Wagner murdered Natalie Wood (which, actually, I don’t think is fiction but much closer to fact).

by Anonymousreply 514June 16, 2023 2:30 PM

Better Davis was my favorite of the two, but both were excellent.

The story about Jim J Bullock's character getting raped by two women on an episode of his sitcom, I thought had to be fictional, it seemed so outlandish. But I looked it up and it really did happen.

He knows how to take these seemingly implausible real life moments and spin fictional gold from them.

by Anonymousreply 515June 16, 2023 2:37 PM

The new Rudnick novel is a beautifully written love story spanning 50 years. Farrell Covington is an invented character, but Nate is based on Rudnick. The names of his plays and movies have been changed, but there are so many fictionalized versions real people, including Christopher Ashley and Scott Rudin, it makes a great roman a clef. Lots of laughs, but plenty of tears as well.

by Anonymousreply 516June 16, 2023 3:19 PM

I've found so much of Rudnick's writing to be facile and hackneyed. Is this book really any different?

by Anonymousreply 517June 16, 2023 5:30 PM

Rudnick has said in an interview that the title character was loosely based on the brother of Charles and David Koch. Frederick Koch died a few years ago and was presumed gay. (He never married and collected the photography of George Platt Lynes.) Rich beyond measure, and deeply closeted because of his family, Farrell Covington falls in love with a Yale undergrad from NJ—Rudnick—a relationship that lasts decades. Don't know how much Covington actually resembles Koch, but it's there as a reference point for the book.

Rudnick is still facile, and this is a long book, so . . . But there are many many laughs.

by Anonymousreply 518June 16, 2023 7:16 PM

R494 I don't trust rave reviews about racial themes anymore. There's a lot of really bad novels that get great reviews because "it's an important theme". Of course it is but that doesn't make a novel great

by Anonymousreply 519June 16, 2023 7:18 PM

PS Koch's obit in The Times is fascinating. Hope someone is writing a bio of him.

by Anonymousreply 520June 16, 2023 7:22 PM

R518-That's not what he says in the acknowledgements.

by Anonymousreply 521June 16, 2023 8:37 PM

But that's what he said to Sandra Bernhard on her talk show.

by Anonymousreply 522June 16, 2023 10:28 PM

I understand there's a character based on William Ivey Long in Rudnick's book. They've been BFFs for 40 decades. Does Paul attempt to resurrect William's stained rep in his novel?

by Anonymousreply 523June 16, 2023 10:51 PM

As I recall, he's kind to the Long character. He even brings in (thinly disguised) Dolores Hart and her escape to a nunnery after rejecting movie stardom. The character seeks her out as a consultant when he's researching his movie about nuns (clearly meant to be Sister Act.) Wonder if he actually did interview the good sister.

by Anonymousreply 524June 16, 2023 10:58 PM

R519 I get depressed over the "anti-woke" trolling on social media, here and all over. So many people saying obnoxious and dishonest stuff.

However.... I struggled to get through The Underground Railroad. I kept waiting for the good part of the story to start.....

by Anonymousreply 525June 17, 2023 2:16 AM

Colson Whitehead's HARLEM SHUFFLE is a great read. Highly entertaining. Don't pass it up. And a sequel is coming out in July.

by Anonymousreply 526June 17, 2023 2:36 AM

R525 It's not a question of being antiwoke, if i was antiwoke i wouldn't read novels about racial themes (when in my country is not a hot topic at all).

The truth is novels like Such a fun age or The sweetness of water are pretty bad, but all the reviews you find tell you they are fantastci. They are not.

One thing is not getting into a novel (in really like Colson Whitehead but i understand it's not everybody's cup of tea) and other thing is pushing mediocre novels only because they treat an important theme.

I don't even need to agree with an author, i read a Brit Bennett interview and i disagree with her in a lot of things, but that doesn't change the fact that The vanishing half is a fantastic novel

by Anonymousreply 527June 17, 2023 10:06 AM

The Three-Body Problem. A science fiction trilogy. I was surprised how much I liked it.

by Anonymousreply 528June 17, 2023 11:03 AM

What surpised me is the first chapter which is overly critic with chinese revolution (even it seems the author align with chinese government). It surprise me he had no problems with censors

by Anonymousreply 529June 17, 2023 11:09 AM

R523-I knew it had to be Long, but has he actually designed off-off Broadway shows and other projects for free, as the character in the book does? Because that doesn't sound like Long at all. And yes, his fictional counterpart comes off as way too sweet, and that definitely is NOT Long.

by Anonymousreply 530June 17, 2023 2:31 PM

I'm at the 83% mark (Kindle) of Ohio. Tina is remembering the high school gang rapes the football team ran on her. It's so disgusting, I don't know if I'm going to finish it. OTOH, this is exactly what I think a HS football would be like, especially in a place like Ohio.

And then I remember hearing about a high school party when I was that age, in New Jersey, at which a line of guys let this one guy blow all of them. I know some of them were not involved in any sport. And then there was a teabagging incident at a Catholic high school in which upperclassmen on the football team all teabagged this one freshman.

Anyway, I may give up on this book. The more I read, the more I don't like any of the characters.

by Anonymousreply 531June 17, 2023 6:19 PM

I read Diarrhea last year because of recommendations here

by Anonymousreply 532June 17, 2023 6:22 PM

R531 yes that’s where the book went off the rails for me. And it felt gross coming from a straight male writer in his 20s. It was too much - like the writer was getting off detailing how they all raped this teenage girl and stuck objects in her and taped her and forced her to get double penetrated, etc. etc. etc.

I still liked the book but that whole section felt (and I hate this word) problematic to me.

by Anonymousreply 533June 17, 2023 6:29 PM

Well, that situation was implied at least 300 pages earlier and there's a reason for such descriptions (in fact what happened in HS was important to what is going to happen next)

by Anonymousreply 534June 17, 2023 7:00 PM

All I'm gonna say is that last 20% of OHIO is explosive and not to be missed. Lots of twists and turns packed in there.

For me, some of the brilliance of the book was being caught off-guard and engaged by these repellent characters who I recognized from high school (20 years earlier than in the book) who I wouldn't have had anything to do with, nor them with me. Maybe it's a form of schadenfreude? Anyway, the proof that literary characters don't have to be "likeable". And there a few very redeemably good characters in the book, too.

by Anonymousreply 535June 17, 2023 7:37 PM

Alright. I'm going to finish it. I can see how well-constructed it is, littering the path with hints that pay off later. And I believe the last few posters.

by Anonymousreply 536June 17, 2023 7:45 PM

Yes definitely finish it. You’ve come this far. And it’s a pretty great book. I couldn’t put it down.

R534, I guess… it’s just the level of detail re: the sexual abuse of the teenage girl felt unnecessary. Also I didn’t fully believe she would allow that level of abuse and the filming of the abuse to go on for such a length of time. But maybe that’s naive and wishful thinking.

Regardless, finish the book for sure.

by Anonymousreply 537June 17, 2023 8:23 PM

r537, I think perhaps you're not in sync with the mentality of high school girls with not much going for them besides their looks, even more so from a generation or 2 ago. And, of course, why should you be?

But OHIO shows us just how vulnerable and often clueless everyone can be at that age, especially those coming from disadvantaged working class areas, where the future seems pretty hopeless.

I came from more of a middle class suburban background but I just mourn my fellow classmates when I see their drab and sadly predictable FB photos, all far more popular than I ever was, who weren't smart enough to get away and discover new worlds.

by Anonymousreply 538June 17, 2023 8:45 PM

Good points r538. I’m definitely out of sync.

This should be interesting…

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by Anonymousreply 539June 17, 2023 8:54 PM

Oh God, if there is a way to make a girl's rape even more gratuitous than how it is depicted on page, Sam Levinson will find it and exploit the hell out of it.

by Anonymousreply 540June 17, 2023 10:33 PM

Diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea

by Anonymousreply 541June 18, 2023 12:05 AM

Wendy Walker's new thriller, "What Remains" is damned clever, very twisty and has an ending you won't see coming. It's a police procedural about a cop suffering from PTSD after killing a shooter in a big box store, then being stalked by a guy whose life she saved.

by Anonymousreply 542June 18, 2023 11:21 PM

I’m about 150 pages into The Covenant of Water. Reviews are rapturous, and if this is indeed a masterpiece, it’s not apparent to me yet why. I’ll keep chugging.

by Anonymousreply 543June 19, 2023 1:17 AM

I'm reading "We Start at the End," by Chris Whitaker. I'm not really enjoying it as much as I thought I would. The story starts 30 years after someone is killed, and the murderer returns home at the end of his 30-year sentence. Could be some decent back and forth between decades.

But the writer is so fond of comma splices and run-on sentences, it's hard to read without going back to reread a lot of it, to make sure I know what I think the narrator just told me. It's hard to keep track of the characters initially. I'm seven chapters in now, and I have a better idea of who wants what. I'm only beginning to understand what gets in the way of their having what they want.

Ironically, the person who recommended it is a writer whose sentences I find an absolute joy to read, no matter what she's writing about, fiction or non-. Anna Quindlen says she's "breathless with admiration for this novel...wonderful, just wonderful." It must be the story she liked so much, because Chris Whitaker's writing style is nothing like hers.

I don't know how long I'll keep on.

by Anonymousreply 544June 19, 2023 4:06 AM

Did anyone read this? What does the Girl in the title refer to?

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by Anonymousreply 545June 20, 2023 11:50 AM

With the end of this thread nigh and the Summer high on the horizon, is anyone making a new thread?

by Anonymousreply 546June 20, 2023 11:51 AM

This thread, great as it can be, moves too slowly for a new thread to be necessary now. Let's think about that 40 replies hence.

by Anonymousreply 547June 20, 2023 1:46 PM

R547 I guess seasonal accuracy is not your thing, it’s not like it’s Memorial Day weekend and I’m calling for a new thread, the solstice is less then 24 hours away.

by Anonymousreply 548June 20, 2023 1:52 PM


by Anonymousreply 549June 20, 2023 1:59 PM
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by Anonymousreply 550June 20, 2023 2:22 PM

If someone wants to start a new thread tomorrow, I do not mind giving this thread up before we hit 600. But I don't care enough to start the thread myself.

by Anonymousreply 551June 20, 2023 3:10 PM

Start of my summer vacation reading..Agatha Christie, Miss Jane Marple. A Caribbean Mystery then Nemesis

The Summer of Phillywhore 2023! Just like my "Cruel Summer 1984" where I danced (partied, drank, drugged-fucked) my way through England. I thought it was a "good way" to cast off the Demons(foster care nightmares) of my past. It was better that Therapy!!

by Anonymousreply 552June 20, 2023 3:36 PM

Another murder mystery-Mary Roberts Rinehart-The Circular Staircase, The Bat. I have the entire Rinehart collection at home.

She was considered the "American Agatha Christie" until she died in 1958. Lived on Park Avenue, became immensely wealthy from her novels. I was estate sale shopping in Lake Forest with my ex-wife(we got married in Lake Forest in her aunt's home) Old estate home, all the heirs are dead. I bought the entire contents of the library for 10 thousand dollars(cash). Including everything in the library. Entire 1st editions of Mary Roberts Rinehart, Henry James, Sinclair Lewis, Edgar Allen Poe. Letters from William Randolph Hearst. Not bad for a white-trash poor guy from East Falls in Philly BTW-read the Poe novels many times.

by Anonymousreply 553June 20, 2023 4:18 PM

Khrushchev Lied: The Evidence That Every Revelation of Stalin's (and Beria's) Crimes in Nikita Khrushchev's Infamous Secret Speech to the 20th Party ... is Provably False by

by Anonymousreply 554June 20, 2023 6:08 PM

^^^ by Grover Furr^^^ for R554

by Anonymousreply 555June 20, 2023 6:12 PM

I just ordered Shy and West of Eden.

by Anonymousreply 556June 20, 2023 6:14 PM

I read 1/4 of The three body problem and i'm frankly dissapointed. Hopefully it gets better soon.

I was not thrilled with The eight mountains by Paolo Cognetti which is a very popular italian novel (it won the Strega award some years ago and there's a new film about it). It's good but i expected way more

by Anonymousreply 557June 20, 2023 7:11 PM

The Language of Love and Loss by Bart Yates is fantastic! I would highly recommend it.

by Anonymousreply 558June 20, 2023 7:16 PM

I’m listening to the memoir The Marble Faun of Grey Gardens by Jerry Torre, who was the young guy who tended the grounds. He found refuge from his homophobic father with the Beales and then had a blow out hedonistic gay romp through the 70s and the 80s including being the twink lover for a P-town summer in a threeway with Wayland Flowers and Madame.

by Anonymousreply 559June 20, 2023 7:23 PM

And he took Jackie to the Anvil once.

by Anonymousreply 560June 20, 2023 7:29 PM

Cause Danceteria was essays and not fiction.

by Anonymousreply 561June 20, 2023 7:32 PM

Why read the book when you can watch the movie?

by Anonymousreply 562June 20, 2023 7:55 PM

Danceteria is fiction. There was a whole discussion of that upthread.

by Anonymousreply 563June 20, 2023 7:55 PM


by Anonymousreply 564June 20, 2023 8:04 PM

Touché, R564!

by Anonymousreply 565June 20, 2023 8:11 PM

I wonder if we could get another 34 posts in this thread, then start a new one tomorrow, June 21, the first day of summer.

by Anonymousreply 566June 20, 2023 8:14 PM

I love to listen to Samuel Barber's "Summer Music for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, and Horn" anytime. But it's especially nice as summer happens. Here's the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's version.

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by Anonymousreply 567June 20, 2023 8:18 PM

GenderQueer was great, those motherfucker are idiots for banning it. I can’t think of a more important book for a non-binary person to find in the school library. It’s just a bit weird that someone with that supportive and accepting of parents still requires so much time to discover who they are and come out.

by Anonymousreply 568June 20, 2023 9:04 PM

I forgot to add that The Language of Love and Loss is a sequel to Yates' first book, Leave Myself Behind. You may want to read that first, though it's not strictly necessary.

by Anonymousreply 569June 20, 2023 9:52 PM

I also really liked Genderqueer, if not for the reasons the author intended. Their misery came through clearly—dysphoria indeed—but I wasn’t convinced their self-diagnosis was correct, quite the opposite.

by Anonymousreply 570June 20, 2023 10:18 PM

Has anyone read Yellowface?

by Anonymousreply 571June 20, 2023 10:25 PM

I don't read much non-fiction but I'm really enjoying THE WAGER; A TALE OF SHIPWRECK, MUTINY AND MURDER by David Grann about an 18th century British warship and its subsequent sinking and mutiny by the castaway sailors.

I'm now eager to read his earlier bestseller KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON about the decimation and crimes against the Osage Indians, which I hear has been made into a film by Scorsese and de Caprio.

I also just bought Lou Berney's mystery thriller NOVEMBER ROAD of which I've heard great things.

I'm glad the rush to finish this thread has gotten DLers to post more stuff here!

by Anonymousreply 572June 20, 2023 10:51 PM

r571, I just finished YELLOWFACE last week, My husband loved it and thought it a hilarious satire about the publishing business (he's a writer) but I found it utterly silly and I struggled to finish it. Author IMHO has a really bad ear for realistic dialogue and characterization.

by Anonymousreply 573June 20, 2023 10:53 PM

I finished Ivy Compton-Burnett's "The Present and the Past" yesterday. Got through it by assuming she was being deliberately over-the-top as the dialogue seemed quite un-natural to me. Audio was probably the way to go here, but I'm a bit curious about the print book I have of hers as well, though not soon!

by Anonymousreply 574June 23, 2023 11:54 AM

Reading an Inspector Morse Omnibus I picked up on AbeBooks that contains three novels: Dead of Jericho, Service of All The Dead, and The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn.

by Anonymousreply 575June 23, 2023 11:57 AM

I won’t read Yellowface because I can’t buy into the trope of the writer having an almost finished novel that no one knows about and there’s no electronic trace of in the 2020s that can be stolen wholesale by another author. If it was set as historic fiction maybe, but even then it’s a lot of suspended belief to be asking the readers and I’m not going to be able to do that.

by Anonymousreply 576June 23, 2023 12:02 PM

I just finished Last Stop, the Lesbian time travel stuck on a subway in Brooklyn novel. It got initial good reviews and did well, and then had it detractors, but it’s actually a perfect summer read. It’s a quite engaging and fun and there was an historical twist possibility that I didn’t see coming. It is weird that in this day and age where we try not to bury our Gays that this and They Both Die At the End would both set Dead Gays on the Coney Island Subway?

by Anonymousreply 577June 23, 2023 12:07 PM

I’m finally getting to read the memiorish Gay Bar that came out a few years ago. It took me adding a total of 6 libraries to Libby before I found one that had it. I didn’t realize the writer was living in UK, but American. There’s a lot of illicit public sex going on in the first chapter in prepandemic London, which I didn’t realize was a thing. If that’s what Gay Bars did to adapt and survive during the age of apps, I could see them becoming very popular. It sounds like each is a mini sex club. He describes himself and his lover, a prominent artist and college professor engaging in shenanigans in view of everyone. Chapter two is in LA so I’m interested in seeing what is says about that.

by Anonymousreply 578June 23, 2023 12:15 PM

Go Tell It on the Mountain is a stunning and exceptional novel, especially for a debut, Baldwin had it all there from the very start. It’s artistry and literary value are so apparent that it can be the only reason a novel about a Black Gay boy could have been published in 1950s America.

by Anonymousreply 579June 23, 2023 12:28 PM

R575, enjoy those early MORSE novels! I loved them all.

by Anonymousreply 580June 23, 2023 12:56 PM

Reading Hollinghurst line of beauty. The English society stuff is boring, but I am sticking with it.

by Anonymousreply 581June 23, 2023 1:42 PM

I love all of Hollinghurst's novels except The Spell,but I might give it another try.

by Anonymousreply 582June 23, 2023 2:47 PM

Interesting that Ethan Mordden's new book, "Gays On Broadway" was just published and the cover photo is from the original off-Broadway run of "Boys In The Band". Oops.

by Anonymousreply 583June 23, 2023 5:06 PM

Can someone explain why they loved “line of beauty” by Hollinghurst so much? LOVED the gay content but found the British society and political shit so tedious.

by Anonymousreply 584June 25, 2023 2:33 AM

No way you can. be convinced to like "British society and political shit" if you don't. I love those topics, but I also love Hollinghurst for writing some of the richest contemporary prose of the modern era.

by Anonymousreply 585June 25, 2023 11:43 AM

If you're looking for Hollinghurst without "the British society and political shit" read THE SPELL. It's like a Brit version of THE BOYS IN THE BAND with more sex.

I guess I'm an outlier but my fave Hollinghursts re THE SPARSHOLT AFFAIR and THE STRANGER'S CHILD which have less sex than the other novels.

by Anonymousreply 586June 25, 2023 12:57 PM

I just finished Lisa Scottoline's latest novel, Loyalty. It's a standalone historical novel rather than the next Rosato/DiNunzio series mystery. It details the starting of the Mafia in Sicily in the early part of the 19th century.

by Anonymousreply 587June 25, 2023 2:37 PM

Up next: Just by Looking at Him, by Ryan O'Connell.

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by Anonymousreply 588June 25, 2023 2:44 PM

I swore of Hollinghurst for the longest time after hating the Line Of Beauty TV series. I prefer the books but reading his version if the political moneyed classes.

Onto the next thread, and by popular demand, it will not be Northern Hemisphere centric.

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by Anonymousreply 589June 25, 2023 4:00 PM
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by Anonymousreply 590June 25, 2023 4:02 PM
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by Anonymousreply 591June 25, 2023 4:02 PM
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by Anonymousreply 592June 25, 2023 4:03 PM
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by Anonymousreply 593June 25, 2023 4:04 PM
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by Anonymousreply 594June 25, 2023 4:04 PM
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by Anonymousreply 595June 25, 2023 4:04 PM
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by Anonymousreply 599June 25, 2023 4:05 PM

New thread

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