Continue discussing what you're reading this spring!
What Books Are You Reading in 2023: Spring Edition
|by Anonymous||reply 600||June 25, 2023 5:05 PM|
Just started The Brothers Karamazov
|by Anonymous||reply 1||March 17, 2023 1:38 AM|
Echoing previous readers, loving THE NEW LIFE.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||March 17, 2023 1:46 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 Anonymous||reply 3||March 17, 2023 1:48 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 Anonymous||reply 4||March 17, 2023 7:00 AM|
SPRING EDITION? Half the world doesn’t live in the northern hemisphere, you cunt.
|by Anonymous||reply 5||March 17, 2023 1:16 PM|
R5 ... but 93% of DL readers do.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||March 17, 2023 3:17 PM|
And 90 percent of the population does.
|by Anonymous||reply 7||March 17, 2023 4:06 PM|
I bought The New Life and Up With the Sun based on the recommendations here
|by Anonymous||reply 8||March 17, 2023 4:21 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 Anonymous||reply 9||March 17, 2023 4:26 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 Anonymous||reply 10||March 17, 2023 4:58 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 Anonymous||reply 11||March 17, 2023 5:02 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 Anonymous||reply 12||March 17, 2023 5:16 PM|
HATED "The Silent Patient".
|by Anonymous||reply 13||March 17, 2023 5:34 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.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||March 17, 2023 5:44 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 Anonymous||reply 15||March 17, 2023 6:58 PM|
Going to start the new Margaret Atwood short stories colllection. Anyone read it?
|by Anonymous||reply 16||March 17, 2023 7:00 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 Anonymous||reply 17||March 17, 2023 7:07 PM|
R16 Reading it now, one story a day.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||March 17, 2023 7:17 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 Anonymous||reply 19||March 17, 2023 8:23 PM|
Christopher Bollen is a very sexy guy, and his books are enjoyable.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||March 17, 2023 9:06 PM|
^^ Christopher Bollen.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||March 17, 2023 9:15 PM|
Sexiness is not a quality I usually seek when looking for an author.
|by Anonymous||reply 22||March 17, 2023 9:19 PM|
You're missing so much, r22.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||March 17, 2023 11:17 PM|
I haven't enjoyed a Margaret Atwood book as much as The Robber Bride (1993).
|by Anonymous||reply 24||March 17, 2023 11:18 PM|
I loved Robber Bride when it came out but found its white-woman feminism hasn’t aged very well.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||March 17, 2023 11:30 PM|
Start the next thread with Part 3.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||March 17, 2023 11:35 PM|
We literally went through this last year.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||March 17, 2023 11:36 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 Anonymous||reply 28||March 17, 2023 11:40 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 Anonymous||reply 29||March 18, 2023 1:06 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 Anonymous||reply 30||March 18, 2023 1:53 PM|
I thought The Lover was considered her masterpiece?
|by Anonymous||reply 31||March 18, 2023 2:17 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 Anonymous||reply 32||March 18, 2023 5:53 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 Anonymous||reply 33||March 18, 2023 6:10 PM|
I didn't like The Lover neither
|by Anonymous||reply 34||March 18, 2023 7:48 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 Anonymous||reply 35||March 18, 2023 9:48 PM|
I thought The Lover was good
|by Anonymous||reply 36||March 18, 2023 9:57 PM|
Yes, The New Life was amazing. The book hat Symonds and Ellis collaborated on Sexual Inversion can be read on Openlibrary.org.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||March 18, 2023 10:37 PM|
I'm reading a biography of Robespierre from 1935.
|by Anonymous||reply 38||March 18, 2023 10:40 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 Anonymous||reply 39||March 18, 2023 10:40 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 Anonymous||reply 40||March 19, 2023 4:19 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 Anonymous||reply 41||March 19, 2023 4:54 AM|
I loved The trees, it's not for everyone but Everett is really an amazing writer
|by Anonymous||reply 42||March 19, 2023 1:37 PM|
r41, is that book fiction or non-fiction? Sounds fascinating either way but it wasn't clear to me through your post.
|by Anonymous||reply 43||March 19, 2023 3:24 PM|
Not r41, but Harris writes historical fiction.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||March 19, 2023 3:42 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 Anonymous||reply 45||March 19, 2023 3:46 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 Anonymous||reply 46||March 19, 2023 3:51 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 Anonymous||reply 47||March 19, 2023 3:57 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 Anonymous||reply 48||March 19, 2023 9:41 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 Anonymous||reply 49||March 19, 2023 9:51 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 Anonymous||reply 50||March 19, 2023 11:02 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.
|by Anonymous||reply 51||March 19, 2023 11:21 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 Anonymous||reply 52||March 22, 2023 8:12 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 Anonymous||reply 53||March 22, 2023 3:02 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 Anonymous||reply 54||March 22, 2023 3:19 PM|
I just finished "the peripheral" and "agency" by William Gibson - REALLY fun reads
|by Anonymous||reply 55||March 22, 2023 3:21 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 Anonymous||reply 56||March 22, 2023 3:27 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 Anonymous||reply 57||March 22, 2023 4:38 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 Anonymous||reply 58||March 22, 2023 5:38 PM|
OP, be sure to read my autobiography - Eye, Candy.
|by Anonymous||reply 59||March 22, 2023 6:20 PM|
I just finished The English Patient and loved it. Looking forward to rewatching the film, which I haven’t seen since 1996.
|by Anonymous||reply 60||March 22, 2023 6:54 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 Anonymous||reply 61||March 22, 2023 9:01 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 Anonymous||reply 62||March 23, 2023 8:06 PM|
Finished The Shards by Bret Easton Ellis. A train wreck I couldn't put down.
|by Anonymous||reply 63||March 23, 2023 9:08 PM|
Ellis is much like Matt Damon in "The Martian", recycling his own shit.
|by Anonymous||reply 64||March 24, 2023 10:06 PM|
I started Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
|by Anonymous||reply 65||March 24, 2023 10:29 PM|
Reading the earlier Makkai book 100 year old house
|by Anonymous||reply 66||March 24, 2023 10:30 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.
|by Anonymous||reply 67||March 24, 2023 10:32 PM|
I’ve just picked up “All The Beauty in the World” by Patrick Bringley. I hope it’s good.
|by Anonymous||reply 68||March 24, 2023 11:02 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 Anonymous||reply 69||March 25, 2023 1:28 AM|
Head Down Ass Up
|by Anonymous||reply 70||March 25, 2023 1:33 AM|
Good to know R69 - I’m early in it but already don’t care about the character.
|by Anonymous||reply 71||March 25, 2023 2:56 AM|
|by Anonymous||reply 72||March 25, 2023 2:56 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 Anonymous||reply 73||March 26, 2023 12:29 AM|
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 Anonymous||reply 74||March 26, 2023 2:21 AM|
R74 It can stand alone, or reread A Visit from the Goon Squad afterwards for a fuller experience.
|by Anonymous||reply 75||March 26, 2023 4:36 AM|
R73 Curiously i'm a big fan of McEwan but i can't stand On Chesil Beach
|by Anonymous||reply 76||March 26, 2023 11:15 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 Anonymous||reply 77||March 26, 2023 11:21 AM|
All this around 450 CE
|by Anonymous||reply 78||March 26, 2023 11:22 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 Anonymous||reply 79||March 26, 2023 1:51 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 Anonymous||reply 80||March 26, 2023 2:12 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 Anonymous||reply 81||March 26, 2023 2:17 PM|
r80, it took reading 10 of his novels to find you weren't crazy about his books?!
|by Anonymous||reply 82||March 26, 2023 2:55 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 Anonymous||reply 83||March 26, 2023 3:12 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 Anonymous||reply 84||March 26, 2023 3:18 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 Anonymous||reply 85||March 26, 2023 4:30 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 Anonymous||reply 86||March 26, 2023 5:06 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 Anonymous||reply 87||March 26, 2023 5:53 PM|
I love Atonement
|by Anonymous||reply 88||March 26, 2023 6:15 PM|
The twist in Atonement really is so shocking at the end. It’s a sublime novel.
|by Anonymous||reply 89||March 26, 2023 6:35 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 Anonymous||reply 90||March 26, 2023 7:33 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 Anonymous||reply 91||March 26, 2023 9:14 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 Anonymous||reply 92||March 26, 2023 9:20 PM|
I’m reading Stacy Schiff’s biography of Cleopatra and am finding it fascinating.
|by Anonymous||reply 93||March 26, 2023 9:21 PM|
I’m reading an old Harlan Coben book, The Woods.
He’s formulaic but entertaining.
|by Anonymous||reply 94||March 27, 2023 7:05 AM|
I don’t like Ian McEwan and find him inherently cold and misanthropic. I truly believe he views people as objects.
|by Anonymous||reply 95||March 27, 2023 9:47 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
|by Anonymous||reply 96||March 27, 2023 10:02 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 Anonymous||reply 97||March 27, 2023 10:15 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 Anonymous||reply 98||March 27, 2023 10:58 AM|
r98, Edgware Road is available in the US.
|by Anonymous||reply 99||March 27, 2023 11:01 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 Anonymous||reply 100||March 27, 2023 11:08 AM|
Thanks, r99. I think I'll just pick up the paperback while I'm in London.
|by Anonymous||reply 101||March 27, 2023 11:09 AM|
I just finished Limberlost by Robbie Arnott. A really beautiful book, and set in exotic WW2 Tasmania!
|by Anonymous||reply 102||March 27, 2023 11:20 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 Anonymous||reply 103||March 27, 2023 5:39 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 Anonymous||reply 104||March 29, 2023 6:32 PM|
Just started Lansdale's "The Donut Legion". Pretty twisted.
|by Anonymous||reply 105||March 31, 2023 6:03 PM|
I'm in the middle of Up With the Sun. Loving it so far.
|by Anonymous||reply 106||March 31, 2023 6:25 PM|
Another Country by James Baldwin. I finally read Giovanni’s Room last year and was stunned by its anguish and beauty.
|by Anonymous||reply 107||March 31, 2023 6:49 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 Anonymous||reply 108||March 31, 2023 10:01 PM|
[quote]What Books Are You Reading in 2023: Spring Edition
Not to spoil anything, but it's the script for a sequel!
|by Anonymous||reply 109||March 31, 2023 10:03 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 Anonymous||reply 110||April 1, 2023 1:44 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 Anonymous||reply 111||April 1, 2023 3:03 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 Anonymous||reply 112||April 1, 2023 10:54 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 Anonymous||reply 113||April 1, 2023 1:12 PM|
I didn’t love Trust but I did love In the Distance.
|by Anonymous||reply 114||April 1, 2023 3:31 PM|
I didn't much care for either of them. Diaz is the most overrated writer of recent years.
|by Anonymous||reply 115||April 1, 2023 5:19 PM|
He can’t he as over-rated as Hanya Yanogihara!
|by Anonymous||reply 116||April 1, 2023 6:01 PM|
Nobody can be more overrated than Sally Rooney
|by Anonymous||reply 117||April 1, 2023 7:16 PM|
I approve of all 3 choices and will add Andrew Sean Greer and Maggie O'Farrell to the list.
|by Anonymous||reply 118||April 1, 2023 9:26 PM|
Why did you adopt me?
I wanted someone to vacuum my house.
|by Anonymous||reply 119||April 1, 2023 10:36 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 Anonymous||reply 120||April 2, 2023 4:55 AM|
He's Gone, Deb Canetti
Girl A, Abigail Dean
Both new authors, both very good, intelligent reads.
|by Anonymous||reply 121||April 2, 2023 5:19 AM|
|by Anonymous||reply 122||April 2, 2023 5:20 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 Anonymous||reply 123||April 2, 2023 8:06 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 Anonymous||reply 124||April 2, 2023 8:41 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.
|by Anonymous||reply 125||April 2, 2023 8:46 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 Anonymous||reply 126||April 2, 2023 8:53 PM|
Deb Caletti has been writing dirty YA for years.
|by Anonymous||reply 127||April 2, 2023 9:02 PM|
Totally agree with that, r126.
|by Anonymous||reply 128||April 2, 2023 10:10 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 Anonymous||reply 129||April 2, 2023 10:28 PM|
*which I started skimming
*totally buy what happened
|by Anonymous||reply 130||April 2, 2023 10:29 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 Anonymous||reply 131||April 2, 2023 10:30 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 Anonymous||reply 132||April 2, 2023 10:45 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 Anonymous||reply 133||April 3, 2023 12:07 AM|
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 Anonymous||reply 134||April 3, 2023 3:30 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 Anonymous||reply 135||April 3, 2023 6:58 PM|
There's a new tv show about Naomi Aldeman's The power. I loved that novel
|by Anonymous||reply 136||April 3, 2023 9:16 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 Anonymous||reply 137||April 4, 2023 2:20 PM|
I have never understood Boyne's popularity among the gays.
|by Anonymous||reply 138||April 4, 2023 2:24 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 Anonymous||reply 139||April 4, 2023 2:30 PM|
John Boyne is my favorite contemporary author.
|by Anonymous||reply 140||April 4, 2023 2:36 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 Anonymous||reply 141||April 4, 2023 2:50 PM|
Why did someone like you try to fuck someone like me?
|by Anonymous||reply 142||April 4, 2023 11:22 PM|
Psssst. Renfro used to fuck herself with the corner of hardback books authored by Jeanette Walls.
|by Anonymous||reply 143||April 5, 2023 2:32 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 Anonymous||reply 144||April 5, 2023 3:29 PM|
I'm reading Ohio by Stephen Markley.
Anyone read it? What did you think?
|by Anonymous||reply 145||April 5, 2023 4:02 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 Anonymous||reply 146||April 5, 2023 7:50 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 Anonymous||reply 147||April 5, 2023 7:56 PM|
R147, I’ve been impressed with Brandon Taylor and Bryan Washington, both their novels and short stories.
|by Anonymous||reply 148||April 5, 2023 7:59 PM|
I'd add Robert Jones' The Prophets, but not everyone would agree.
|by Anonymous||reply 149||April 5, 2023 8:42 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 Anonymous||reply 150||April 5, 2023 8:47 PM|
I thought The Prophets was excellent.
|by Anonymous||reply 151||April 5, 2023 8:50 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 Anonymous||reply 152||April 5, 2023 9:44 PM|
^^^ 20 years older.
|by Anonymous||reply 153||April 5, 2023 9:45 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 Anonymous||reply 154||April 5, 2023 9:53 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 Anonymous||reply 155||April 5, 2023 9:57 PM|
R152, didn't Redgrave also "discover" Stephen Boyd?
|by Anonymous||reply 156||April 5, 2023 10:17 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 Anonymous||reply 157||April 5, 2023 10:29 PM|
I’m reading Take of Two Tits by Meg Lingus
|by Anonymous||reply 158||April 5, 2023 11:04 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 Anonymous||reply 159||April 5, 2023 11:10 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 160||April 5, 2023 11:33 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 Anonymous||reply 161||April 6, 2023 3:07 AM|
Let us know, r161. Rechy has been prolific! And he's now 92.
|by Anonymous||reply 162||April 6, 2023 3:27 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 Anonymous||reply 163||April 6, 2023 12:33 PM|
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 Anonymous||reply 164||April 6, 2023 12:41 PM|
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 Anonymous||reply 165||April 6, 2023 4:08 PM|
Snatch On The Run
|by Anonymous||reply 166||April 6, 2023 7:50 PM|
I just started Spare.
|by Anonymous||reply 167||April 6, 2023 8:14 PM|
Mark Harris' biography of Mike Nichols; once it gets past the childhood stuff, it's fascinating.
|by Anonymous||reply 168||April 6, 2023 8:55 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 Anonymous||reply 169||April 6, 2023 9:05 PM|
Try Crooked House. R169. One of her best.
|by Anonymous||reply 170||April 6, 2023 9:12 PM|
R170 I've got that one at home
|by Anonymous||reply 171||April 6, 2023 9:16 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 Anonymous||reply 172||April 6, 2023 10:56 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 Anonymous||reply 173||April 7, 2023 12:47 AM|
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.
|by Anonymous||reply 174||April 7, 2023 12:58 AM|
Read Night Clit
|by Anonymous||reply 175||April 7, 2023 1:33 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 Anonymous||reply 176||April 7, 2023 2:11 AM|
Boyne is totally right in his criticism. The whole write about your own experiences is ridiculous and against anything that resembles literature
|by Anonymous||reply 177||April 7, 2023 12:00 PM|
"The Smug Minority" by Pierre Berton. This may explain why Canada is more liberal than the US
|by Anonymous||reply 178||April 7, 2023 12:39 PM|
A Waiter in Paris. Absorbing.
|by Anonymous||reply 179||April 7, 2023 1:09 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.
|by Anonymous||reply 180||April 7, 2023 1:42 PM|
John Boyne is unattractive.
|by Anonymous||reply 181||April 7, 2023 2:00 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 Anonymous||reply 182||April 7, 2023 3:16 PM|
Fuckfire by Avon
The alluring scent by Avon. Where it when you’re hotter than fuck and need fucked fast!
|by Anonymous||reply 183||April 7, 2023 5:01 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 184||April 7, 2023 5:01 PM|
Just finished The Maid's Diary by Loreth Anne White, a thriller/mystery. Clever. Kindle Unlimited if you're a subscriber.
|by Anonymous||reply 185||April 8, 2023 11:15 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 Anonymous||reply 186||April 9, 2023 2:47 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 Anonymous||reply 187||April 10, 2023 7:00 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 Anonymous||reply 188||April 10, 2023 1:36 PM|
Waiting for the 2nd book in Don Winslow's "City" trilogy. Next week!
|by Anonymous||reply 189||April 13, 2023 6:01 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 Anonymous||reply 190||April 13, 2023 6:09 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 Anonymous||reply 191||April 13, 2023 6:27 PM|
R191 I suspect you are gay.
|by Anonymous||reply 192||April 13, 2023 6:31 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 193||April 13, 2023 6:32 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 Anonymous||reply 194||April 13, 2023 6:49 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 Anonymous||reply 195||April 13, 2023 7:02 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 Anonymous||reply 196||April 13, 2023 7:06 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 Anonymous||reply 197||April 13, 2023 10:48 PM|
My Erma Bombeck collection
|by Anonymous||reply 198||April 13, 2023 10:51 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 Anonymous||reply 199||April 15, 2023 5:57 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 Anonymous||reply 200||April 15, 2023 12:17 PM|
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 Anonymous||reply 201||April 15, 2023 12:46 PM|
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 Anonymous||reply 202||April 15, 2023 2:47 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 Anonymous||reply 203||April 15, 2023 3:27 PM|
I finished Blanche. The poems at the end were a bit Corey but I liked it overall.
|by Anonymous||reply 204||April 15, 2023 6:13 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 205||April 15, 2023 6:24 PM|
Oops, that should have said "corny"
Autocorrected to "Corey" for some reason
|by Anonymous||reply 206||April 15, 2023 7:06 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 Anonymous||reply 207||April 15, 2023 10:50 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 Anonymous||reply 208||April 16, 2023 4:21 AM|
Black Sea by Neal Ascherson. What an astonishing book.
|by Anonymous||reply 209||April 16, 2023 8:43 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 Anonymous||reply 210||April 22, 2023 7:41 PM|
My Big Red Cunt
|by Anonymous||reply 211||April 22, 2023 8:12 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 Anonymous||reply 212||April 22, 2023 10:39 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 Anonymous||reply 213||April 22, 2023 10:55 PM|
Beaver Eater by Terri Twat
|by Anonymous||reply 214||April 22, 2023 11:20 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 Anonymous||reply 215||April 23, 2023 3:47 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.
|by Anonymous||reply 216||April 23, 2023 3:32 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 Anonymous||reply 217||April 23, 2023 3:43 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 Anonymous||reply 218||April 23, 2023 4:16 PM|
R217 read My Life As A 4’11” Prostitute by Nelda Peters
|by Anonymous||reply 219||April 23, 2023 5:23 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 Anonymous||reply 220||April 23, 2023 11:13 PM|
R220-A friend recommended it to me, and I loved it. Great writing, solid characters, and much better than "A Secret History".
|by Anonymous||reply 221||April 24, 2023 1:31 AM|
The Tempted Twat
|by Anonymous||reply 222||April 25, 2023 12:58 AM|
I receiver my advance ready copy of The Daddy Diaries by Andy Cohen. Jealous, bitches?
|by Anonymous||reply 223||April 25, 2023 1:08 AM|
|by Anonymous||reply 224||April 25, 2023 1:08 AM|
|by Anonymous||reply 225||April 25, 2023 2:22 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 Anonymous||reply 226||April 25, 2023 9:46 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 Anonymous||reply 227||April 26, 2023 2:47 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 Anonymous||reply 228||April 26, 2023 12:33 PM|
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 Anonymous||reply 229||April 26, 2023 3:43 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 Anonymous||reply 230||April 29, 2023 3:24 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 Anonymous||reply 231||May 1, 2023 10:15 PM|
R231, I can’t wait to read Lehane’s new book. He’s one of my favorite authors.
|by Anonymous||reply 232||May 1, 2023 10:19 PM|
So far, the Lehane is riveting. Feels like another "Mystic River".
|by Anonymous||reply 233||May 1, 2023 10:24 PM|
What is the title of the new Lehane?
|by Anonymous||reply 234||May 1, 2023 11:00 PM|
R234, Small Mercies.
|by Anonymous||reply 235||May 1, 2023 11:04 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 Anonymous||reply 236||May 1, 2023 11:53 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 Anonymous||reply 237||May 2, 2023 1:48 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 Anonymous||reply 238||May 5, 2023 2:54 PM|
R238 it's a love story. I loved Mambo Kings.
|by Anonymous||reply 239||May 5, 2023 3:15 PM|
R239-I recall reading it and immediately forgetting about it.
|by Anonymous||reply 240||May 5, 2023 3:25 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 Anonymous||reply 241||May 5, 2023 3:30 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 Anonymous||reply 242||May 5, 2023 3:32 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 Anonymous||reply 243||May 5, 2023 3:45 PM|
The Magician by Colm Toibin, a fictional biography of closeted German author Thomas Mann, author of "Death in Venice".
|by Anonymous||reply 244||May 5, 2023 3:47 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 Anonymous||reply 245||May 5, 2023 3:50 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 Anonymous||reply 246||May 5, 2023 4:24 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 Anonymous||reply 247||May 5, 2023 4:34 PM|
I’m enjoying the new Dennis Lehane and trying to cast the heroine for the Oscar-bait movie. Juliette Lewis, maybe?
|by Anonymous||reply 248||May 5, 2023 4:41 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 Anonymous||reply 249||May 5, 2023 5:00 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 Anonymous||reply 250||May 5, 2023 5:03 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 Anonymous||reply 251||May 5, 2023 5:07 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 Anonymous||reply 252||May 5, 2023 5:51 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 Anonymous||reply 253||May 5, 2023 5:59 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 Anonymous||reply 254||May 5, 2023 6:03 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 Anonymous||reply 255||May 5, 2023 8:35 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 Anonymous||reply 256||May 5, 2023 9:35 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 Anonymous||reply 257||May 5, 2023 11:32 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 Anonymous||reply 258||May 6, 2023 9:54 AM|
|by Anonymous||reply 259||May 6, 2023 9:55 AM|
If you like short stories, Wharton's "The Bunner Sisters" highly recommended.
|by Anonymous||reply 260||May 6, 2023 10:03 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 Anonymous||reply 261||May 6, 2023 11:54 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 Anonymous||reply 262||May 7, 2023 12:44 AM|
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 Anonymous||reply 263||May 9, 2023 6:36 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 Anonymous||reply 264||May 9, 2023 6:40 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 Anonymous||reply 265||May 9, 2023 6:43 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 Anonymous||reply 266||May 9, 2023 1:28 PM|
Trust was good, but I think Mercury Pictures Presents was better.
|by Anonymous||reply 267||May 9, 2023 3:34 PM|
I don't understand the hype about Trust. It was fine and the structure was very interesting, but the Pulitzer? Really?
|by Anonymous||reply 268||May 9, 2023 4:29 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 Anonymous||reply 269||May 9, 2023 6:08 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 Anonymous||reply 270||May 9, 2023 7:40 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 Anonymous||reply 271||May 9, 2023 7:46 PM|
I will never understand the hype for TRUST.
And DEMON COPPERHEAD was condescending to rednecks. Couldn't finish it.
|by Anonymous||reply 272||May 9, 2023 8:21 PM|
2/3 of Trust was readable. I still found it a confounding mess of a book.
|by Anonymous||reply 273||May 10, 2023 4:36 PM|
Just picked up my first Alex Delaware novel in years. Geez, has Kellerman gotten lazy. Who's writing his stuff now?
|by Anonymous||reply 274||May 11, 2023 6:38 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 Anonymous||reply 275||May 14, 2023 2:02 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).
|by Anonymous||reply 276||May 14, 2023 3:30 PM|
R276-There's an extra unnecessary character thrown into the mix in Bath Haus, but it's still a pretty good thriller.
|by Anonymous||reply 277||May 14, 2023 5:16 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 Anonymous||reply 278||May 14, 2023 5:27 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 Anonymous||reply 279||May 14, 2023 6:11 PM|
R278 is pretending that white people don't get cast in anything anymore *chuckles*
|by Anonymous||reply 280||May 14, 2023 6:41 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 Anonymous||reply 281||May 14, 2023 6:43 PM|
The Covenant of Water. Very good.
|by Anonymous||reply 282||May 14, 2023 6:44 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 Anonymous||reply 283||May 14, 2023 8:07 PM|
And i'm going to start Babel by R F Kuang
|by Anonymous||reply 284||May 14, 2023 8:16 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 Anonymous||reply 285||May 14, 2023 8:24 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 Anonymous||reply 286||May 15, 2023 1:03 AM|
Just finished Dan Simmons' Song of Kali which is kind of spooky icky.
On to Guy Gavriel Kay's Sailing to Sarantium
|by Anonymous||reply 287||May 15, 2023 4:38 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 Anonymous||reply 288||May 15, 2023 6:08 AM|
Making a playlist as I go
|by Anonymous||reply 289||May 15, 2023 5:48 PM|
You playlist readers have gone too far.
|by Anonymous||reply 290||May 15, 2023 6:19 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 Anonymous||reply 291||May 15, 2023 7:53 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 Anonymous||reply 292||May 15, 2023 8:29 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 Anonymous||reply 293||May 15, 2023 9:25 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 Anonymous||reply 294||May 16, 2023 1:03 AM|
My go to book.
|by Anonymous||reply 295||May 16, 2023 1:21 AM|
Awaiting the arrival today of the new Linwood Barclay (Stephen King) novel.
|by Anonymous||reply 296||May 16, 2023 3:50 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 Anonymous||reply 297||May 17, 2023 4:23 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 Anonymous||reply 298||May 17, 2023 1:31 PM|
Final Cut about the disaster that was Heaven's Gate is actually pretty good.
|by Anonymous||reply 299||May 17, 2023 1:44 PM|
Anyone else read "After Francesco?"
Reading it now. Really well written, but so sad.
|by Anonymous||reply 300||May 17, 2023 4:49 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 Anonymous||reply 301||May 17, 2023 8:38 PM|
If you hated Less Than Zero, there is no reason to read The Shards.
|by Anonymous||reply 302||May 17, 2023 9:41 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 Anonymous||reply 303||May 18, 2023 4:34 AM|
Oooh. A ride *and* a mood.
|by Anonymous||reply 304||May 18, 2023 4:37 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 Anonymous||reply 305||May 18, 2023 5:51 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 Anonymous||reply 306||May 18, 2023 9:22 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 Anonymous||reply 307||May 18, 2023 1:12 PM|
Would you mind posting a link to it, R307?
|by Anonymous||reply 308||May 18, 2023 1:23 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 Anonymous||reply 309||May 18, 2023 1:23 PM|
Emma Bovary is a brilliant depiction of borderline personality disorder penned before modern psychiatric thought.
|by Anonymous||reply 310||May 18, 2023 1:27 PM|
Killers of the August Moon
Dr. Mutter’s Marvels
The Shining Girls
|by Anonymous||reply 311||May 18, 2023 1:41 PM|
Neuromancer - Gibson
The 1980s novel that coined the term “cyberspace”
|by Anonymous||reply 312||May 18, 2023 1:42 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 Anonymous||reply 313||May 18, 2023 1:49 PM|
R 24 thanks for letting us know about The Robber Bride, bought it, Great book. Thank you.
|by Anonymous||reply 314||May 18, 2023 2:01 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 Anonymous||reply 315||May 18, 2023 2:34 PM|
R315, have you read Atwood’s THE BLIND ASSASSIN? It’s really good.
I also enjoyed CAT’S CRADLE.
|by Anonymous||reply 316||May 18, 2023 2:38 PM|
Madame Bovary is one of the classics I've reread several times. It always moves me, especially with the Lydia Davis translation.
|by Anonymous||reply 317||May 18, 2023 3:30 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 Anonymous||reply 318||May 18, 2023 3:36 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.
|by Anonymous||reply 319||May 18, 2023 3:53 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 Anonymous||reply 320||May 18, 2023 5:52 PM|
Not a surprise! ^
|by Anonymous||reply 321||May 18, 2023 6:15 PM|
Agree with r310
|by Anonymous||reply 322||May 18, 2023 7:10 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 323||May 18, 2023 7:27 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 Anonymous||reply 324||May 18, 2023 7:47 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 325||May 18, 2023 8:14 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 Anonymous||reply 326||May 18, 2023 8:23 PM|
Has anyone read Pineapple Street yet, I just got it from the library.
|by Anonymous||reply 327||May 18, 2023 9:17 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 Anonymous||reply 328||May 18, 2023 9:21 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 Anonymous||reply 329||May 19, 2023 12:37 PM|
"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 Anonymous||reply 330||May 19, 2023 5:51 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 Anonymous||reply 331||May 19, 2023 5:52 PM|
I love the Edie Falco idea, r330. Carmela Flanagan.
|by Anonymous||reply 332||May 19, 2023 6:05 PM|
I'd like Jeffrey Donovan to play Bobby in the filmed version of Small Mercies.
|by Anonymous||reply 333||May 19, 2023 6:12 PM|
R333-Jeremy Strong as Bobby.
|by Anonymous||reply 334||May 19, 2023 6:24 PM|
Can't STAND Jeremy Strong, r334.
|by Anonymous||reply 335||May 19, 2023 6:25 PM|
And Bobby's in his 50's, isn't he?
|by Anonymous||reply 336||May 19, 2023 6:26 PM|
Ok, Jake Gyllenhaal, then.
|by Anonymous||reply 337||May 19, 2023 6:29 PM|
Oooh, Jake. Jake makes anything better.
|by Anonymous||reply 338||May 19, 2023 6:32 PM|
The dude from "Justified" Timothy Olyphant(another Vanderbilt-but I like him)
|by Anonymous||reply 339||May 19, 2023 7:32 PM|
I thought this was a book thread
|by Anonymous||reply 340||May 19, 2023 10:29 PM|
Agreed, R340. Please reply with your most recent reads. I'd love to discuss them.
|by Anonymous||reply 341||May 19, 2023 10:54 PM|
Yeah, post books already.
Back to Small Mercies, I can also see Casey Affleck in one of the adult male roles.
|by Anonymous||reply 342||May 19, 2023 10:59 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.
|by Anonymous||reply 343||May 20, 2023 1:37 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 Anonymous||reply 344||May 21, 2023 3:40 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 Anonymous||reply 345||May 21, 2023 3:58 AM|
Reading Justin Cronin’s new one - the Ferryman. So far so good. Loved his prior books especially The Passage.
|by Anonymous||reply 346||May 21, 2023 2:39 PM|
Did you read the sequels to The Passage?
|by Anonymous||reply 347||May 21, 2023 3:47 PM|
Yep I loved them r347. Some parts dragged but overall loved the story and his writing.
|by Anonymous||reply 348||May 21, 2023 5:27 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 Anonymous||reply 349||May 23, 2023 2:41 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 Anonymous||reply 350||May 23, 2023 2:53 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 Anonymous||reply 351||May 23, 2023 3:02 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 Anonymous||reply 352||May 23, 2023 2:05 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 Anonymous||reply 353||May 23, 2023 4:23 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 Anonymous||reply 354||May 23, 2023 6:44 PM|
“Linwood Barclay” certainly sounds pseudonymous.
|by Anonymous||reply 355||May 23, 2023 6:56 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 Anonymous||reply 356||May 23, 2023 7:21 PM|
What/who are you talking about, r356?
|by Anonymous||reply 357||May 23, 2023 10:18 PM|
R357-Linwood and Stephen.
|by Anonymous||reply 358||May 24, 2023 3:54 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 Anonymous||reply 359||May 25, 2023 7:03 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 Anonymous||reply 360||May 25, 2023 7:24 PM|
I did not find SMALL MERCIES at all predictable. It's top-grade Lehane.
|by Anonymous||reply 361||May 25, 2023 11:09 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 Anonymous||reply 362||May 26, 2023 2:00 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 Anonymous||reply 363||May 27, 2023 5:22 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 Anonymous||reply 364||May 27, 2023 5:34 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 Anonymous||reply 365||May 27, 2023 5:45 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 Anonymous||reply 366||May 27, 2023 6:11 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 Anonymous||reply 367||May 27, 2023 6:26 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 Anonymous||reply 368||May 27, 2023 6:40 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 Anonymous||reply 369||May 27, 2023 7:06 PM|
^^^ not husband and father, just husband (misremembered)
|by Anonymous||reply 370||May 27, 2023 7:12 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 Anonymous||reply 371||May 27, 2023 10:42 PM|
Dancer from the Dance (Andrew Holleran)
|by Anonymous||reply 372||May 27, 2023 11:27 PM|
Now I want to read The Shards.
|by Anonymous||reply 373||May 27, 2023 11:51 PM|
Me too r373
|by Anonymous||reply 374||May 28, 2023 12:46 AM|
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 Anonymous||reply 375||May 28, 2023 4:20 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 Anonymous||reply 376||May 29, 2023 12:51 AM|
Just started "Big Gay Wedding".
|by Anonymous||reply 377||May 31, 2023 4:39 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.
|by Anonymous||reply 378||May 31, 2023 4:51 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 Anonymous||reply 379||May 31, 2023 5:14 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 Anonymous||reply 380||May 31, 2023 5:56 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 Anonymous||reply 381||June 1, 2023 2:10 AM|
LOVE both of those Molly Keane books, read each twice over the years.
|by Anonymous||reply 382||June 1, 2023 3:15 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 Anonymous||reply 383||June 2, 2023 2:37 PM|
"rich people problems in Brooklyn Heights"
A deal-breaker if ever there was one!
|by Anonymous||reply 384||June 2, 2023 5:16 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 Anonymous||reply 385||June 2, 2023 6:21 PM|
I liked it too and. have never once played a video game.
|by Anonymous||reply 386||June 2, 2023 6:31 PM|
Reading the Shards now. Can’t stop reading it even though I find him so obnoxious.
|by Anonymous||reply 387||June 2, 2023 6:41 PM|
Has anyone else read the well-reviewed novel YELLOWFACE by RF Kuang? I'm finding it a bit disappointingly facile.
|by Anonymous||reply 388||June 4, 2023 2:55 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 Anonymous||reply 389||June 4, 2023 3:09 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 Anonymous||reply 390||June 4, 2023 3:21 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 Anonymous||reply 391||June 5, 2023 5:23 PM|
Lane couldn't come up with a better title than Big Gay Wedding? Will he call the inevitable sequel Crazy Rich Gays?
|by Anonymous||reply 392||June 5, 2023 5:58 PM|
Big Gay Wedding had me sobbing through the last few chapters.
|by Anonymous||reply 393||June 6, 2023 5:00 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.
|by Anonymous||reply 394||June 6, 2023 5:04 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.
|by Anonymous||reply 395||June 6, 2023 5:43 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 Anonymous||reply 396||June 6, 2023 6:05 PM|
"Golden Boy" sounds good
|by Anonymous||reply 397||June 6, 2023 6:18 PM|
It is, r397! I'm reading a chapter a day, just to save it!
|by Anonymous||reply 398||June 6, 2023 6:31 PM|
Who is Thomas Gilbert Jr( is it family $$$$)
|by Anonymous||reply 399||June 6, 2023 7:52 PM|
Never mind-googled it. If Nick Dunne was alive, he would have covered it for VF when you could read it.
|by Anonymous||reply 400||June 6, 2023 7:59 PM|
[quote]Who is Thomas Gilbert Jr( is it family $$$$)
I know you already Googled it, but here it is. *Spoiler*
|by Anonymous||reply 401||June 6, 2023 8:02 PM|
Thanks everyone - just ordered Golden Boy from my library !
|by Anonymous||reply 402||June 6, 2023 8:06 PM|
I hope you enjoy it, r402!
|by Anonymous||reply 403||June 6, 2023 8:08 PM|
Lorrie Moore had a new novel coming out.
|by Anonymous||reply 404||June 6, 2023 8:20 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 405||June 6, 2023 8:33 PM|
Apparently Jake Gyllenhaal was producing a movie about Thomas Gilbert Jr, what happened to it?
|by Anonymous||reply 406||June 6, 2023 9:05 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 Anonymous||reply 407||June 6, 2023 9:16 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 Anonymous||reply 408||June 6, 2023 9:18 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 Anonymous||reply 409||June 6, 2023 9:49 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 Anonymous||reply 410||June 6, 2023 10:40 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 Anonymous||reply 411||June 6, 2023 11:59 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 Anonymous||reply 412||June 7, 2023 12:27 AM|
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 Anonymous||reply 413||June 7, 2023 12:42 AM|
I found The Alchemist to be insufferable.
|by Anonymous||reply 414||June 7, 2023 1:38 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 Anonymous||reply 415||June 7, 2023 1:38 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 Anonymous||reply 416||June 7, 2023 3:03 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 Anonymous||reply 417||June 7, 2023 3:37 PM|
Well at least R417 didn't troll on about trans...... yet.
|by Anonymous||reply 418||June 7, 2023 3:44 PM|
R418 You're a racist if you didn't read any of Hostin's books.
|by Anonymous||reply 419||June 7, 2023 4:00 PM|
Do we think. she wrote them herself?
|by Anonymous||reply 420||June 7, 2023 4:07 PM|
R417 must be one of those conservative who accuse others of identity politics while being a white supremacist
|by Anonymous||reply 421||June 7, 2023 4:25 PM|
R421 Guess again ! You get a total of three guesses, and you got the first one wrong.
|by Anonymous||reply 422||June 7, 2023 4:52 PM|
No, I'm pretty sure I have you nailed.
|by Anonymous||reply 423||June 7, 2023 4:54 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 Anonymous||reply 424||June 7, 2023 5:07 PM|
R423 Is that guess number two ? You're wrong again. One more guess...
|by Anonymous||reply 425||June 7, 2023 5:15 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 Anonymous||reply 426||June 7, 2023 5:21 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 Anonymous||reply 427||June 7, 2023 5:26 PM|
R426 Wrong again ! Third strike - you're out. Back to MAGA you go.
|by Anonymous||reply 428||June 7, 2023 6:03 PM|
You're the one spewing MAGA talking points about a black woman
|by Anonymous||reply 429||June 7, 2023 6:30 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 Anonymous||reply 430||June 7, 2023 6:51 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 Anonymous||reply 431||June 7, 2023 7:56 PM|
The "right wing talking points" queens ruin everything. It's their job.
|by Anonymous||reply 432||June 7, 2023 8:01 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 Anonymous||reply 433||June 7, 2023 9:00 PM|
"Biloxi Boys -- Grisham
|by Anonymous||reply 434||June 7, 2023 9:02 PM|
Anyway, I like reading books! Does anyone, perchance, read?
|by Anonymous||reply 435||June 7, 2023 9:31 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 Anonymous||reply 436||June 7, 2023 9:33 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 Anonymous||reply 437||June 7, 2023 9:35 PM|
Ohio - Stephen Markley
|by Anonymous||reply 438||June 7, 2023 9:52 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 Anonymous||reply 439||June 7, 2023 10:05 PM|
Loved Ohio - thought the deluge was terrible.
|by Anonymous||reply 440||June 7, 2023 10:09 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 Anonymous||reply 441||June 7, 2023 10:11 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 Anonymous||reply 442||June 7, 2023 10:49 PM|
R9 I love the Daniel Silva/Gabriel Allon series. I have one to read. I’ll be starting it soon.
|by Anonymous||reply 443||June 7, 2023 11:37 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 Anonymous||reply 444||June 7, 2023 11:55 PM|
Just ordered the novel about the queer mountain lion wandering through the streets of L.A.
|by Anonymous||reply 445||June 8, 2023 1:55 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 Anonymous||reply 446||June 8, 2023 4:38 PM|
I spoke too soon about Edmund White’s latest. It’s kind of dreadful.
|by Anonymous||reply 447||June 8, 2023 8:50 PM|
Agree r447 - I couldn’t get through it.
|by Anonymous||reply 448||June 8, 2023 9:34 PM|
Agree . 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 Anonymous||reply 449||June 8, 2023 9:45 PM|
Excellent about enlargement.
|by Anonymous||reply 450||June 8, 2023 9:50 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 Anonymous||reply 451||June 9, 2023 2:42 AM|
R444 I read the majority of them in order. It’s better that way.
|by Anonymous||reply 452||June 9, 2023 6:22 AM|
Just finished At Danceteria and loved it.
|by Anonymous||reply 453||June 10, 2023 2:41 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 Anonymous||reply 454||June 11, 2023 12:21 AM|
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 Anonymous||reply 455||June 11, 2023 12:38 AM|
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 Anonymous||reply 456||June 11, 2023 12:41 AM|
Ohio only gets better after those 50 pages. So glad you're enjoying it, r456.
|by Anonymous||reply 457||June 11, 2023 3:05 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 Anonymous||reply 458||June 11, 2023 3:09 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 Anonymous||reply 459||June 11, 2023 3:55 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 Anonymous||reply 460||June 11, 2023 11:09 PM|
Sun, Shame snd Secrets: The True Story of a Murdered Nun and a Convicted Priest
|by Anonymous||reply 461||June 12, 2023 1:03 AM|
I’m reading the biography of Annie Sprinkle: The piss loving woman
|by Anonymous||reply 462||June 12, 2023 1:06 AM|
[quote]The piss loving woman
|by Anonymous||reply 463||June 12, 2023 1:11 AM|
Is she also a piss freak?
|by Anonymous||reply 464||June 12, 2023 1:11 AM|
Kim? Yes! She was pissed on on video!
|by Anonymous||reply 465||June 12, 2023 1:12 AM|
I gotta watch it
|by Anonymous||reply 466||June 12, 2023 1:17 AM|
It's out there somewhere, r466. Ray J pissed on her.
|by Anonymous||reply 467||June 12, 2023 1:22 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 Anonymous||reply 468||June 12, 2023 9:36 PM|
Pull That Stick Out of Your Ass
|by Anonymous||reply 469||June 12, 2023 10:06 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 470||June 12, 2023 11:01 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 471||June 12, 2023 11:46 PM|
R469-by Richard II.
|by Anonymous||reply 472||June 13, 2023 1:39 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 Anonymous||reply 473||June 13, 2023 11:34 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 Anonymous||reply 474||June 13, 2023 11:39 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 Anonymous||reply 475||June 13, 2023 11:43 PM|
I’m reading Night Clit
|by Anonymous||reply 476||June 13, 2023 11:47 PM|
Cormac was a genius
|by Anonymous||reply 477||June 14, 2023 12:32 AM|
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 Anonymous||reply 478||June 14, 2023 12:58 AM|
I’m reading Night of the Languid Labia
|by Anonymous||reply 479||June 14, 2023 1:00 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 Anonymous||reply 480||June 14, 2023 1:03 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 Anonymous||reply 481||June 14, 2023 1:05 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 Anonymous||reply 482||June 14, 2023 2:28 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 Anonymous||reply 483||June 14, 2023 1:37 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 Anonymous||reply 484||June 14, 2023 2:13 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 Anonymous||reply 485||June 14, 2023 3:41 PM|
I am reading the book horses ass
|by Anonymous||reply 486||June 14, 2023 4:57 PM|
A Harrady that takes the piss out of Harry Windsor’s diatribe
It’s short and a laugh riot
|by Anonymous||reply 487||June 14, 2023 6:19 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 488||June 14, 2023 6:59 PM|
One thread where any members of that circus called Royal family isn't mentioned!
|by Anonymous||reply 489||June 14, 2023 7:06 PM|
R478- I loved Hello Beautiful so much. One of my favorites of the last 2 years. Stunningly good.
|by Anonymous||reply 490||June 14, 2023 8:01 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 Anonymous||reply 491||June 14, 2023 8:20 PM|
Really enjoyed Nopolitano's earlier book, A Good Hard Look, with Flannery O'Connor as a character. Looking forward to this one.
|by Anonymous||reply 492||June 14, 2023 8:37 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 Anonymous||reply 493||June 15, 2023 7:08 PM|
I just finished RF Kuang's YELLOWFACE which I found amateurish in its inane plotting, hackneyed dialogue and lack of serious characterization.
|by Anonymous||reply 494||June 15, 2023 7:16 PM|
R492 A Good Hard Clit
|by Anonymous||reply 495||June 15, 2023 7:40 PM|
Throwing Turds at The Top of The Staircase
|by Anonymous||reply 496||June 15, 2023 9:34 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 Anonymous||reply 497||June 15, 2023 10:34 PM|
R497, I really enjoyed The Brothers Bishop. Knowing I liked that book, which other Yates would you suggest I read next?
|by Anonymous||reply 498||June 15, 2023 10:41 PM|
Suck My Ass At Dawn
|by Anonymous||reply 499||June 15, 2023 10:43 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 500||June 15, 2023 10:46 PM|
You Will Too Suck My Pussy If I Get Horny
|by Anonymous||reply 501||June 15, 2023 11:13 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 Anonymous||reply 502||June 16, 2023 12:01 AM|
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 Anonymous||reply 503||June 16, 2023 12:02 AM|
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 Anonymous||reply 504||June 16, 2023 12:14 AM|
I would definitely go for FELLOW TRAVELERS, ultimately a more emotional read than some of Mallon's other novels.
|by Anonymous||reply 505||June 16, 2023 12:16 AM|
Sorry, it was [r-229] who mentioned the Tommy Lascelles diaries.
|by Anonymous||reply 506||June 16, 2023 12:19 AM|
R505 Thank you. It’s in my bag for the long weekend. The weather forecast is iffy so I’ll be reading.
|by Anonymous||reply 507||June 16, 2023 1:32 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 Anonymous||reply 508||June 16, 2023 1:33 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 Anonymous||reply 509||June 16, 2023 1:36 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 Anonymous||reply 510||June 16, 2023 3:48 AM|
DANCETERIA is fiction, which seems to have eluded many of you.
|by Anonymous||reply 511||June 16, 2023 1:06 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 Anonymous||reply 512||June 16, 2023 1:43 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.
|by Anonymous||reply 513||June 16, 2023 3:19 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 Anonymous||reply 514||June 16, 2023 3:30 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 Anonymous||reply 515||June 16, 2023 3:37 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 Anonymous||reply 516||June 16, 2023 4:19 PM|
I've found so much of Rudnick's writing to be facile and hackneyed. Is this book really any different?
|by Anonymous||reply 517||June 16, 2023 6:30 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 Anonymous||reply 518||June 16, 2023 8:16 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 Anonymous||reply 519||June 16, 2023 8:18 PM|
PS Koch's obit in The Times is fascinating. Hope someone is writing a bio of him.
|by Anonymous||reply 520||June 16, 2023 8:22 PM|
R518-That's not what he says in the acknowledgements.
|by Anonymous||reply 521||June 16, 2023 9:37 PM|
But that's what he said to Sandra Bernhard on her talk show.
|by Anonymous||reply 522||June 16, 2023 11:28 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 Anonymous||reply 523||June 16, 2023 11:51 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 Anonymous||reply 524||June 16, 2023 11:58 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 Anonymous||reply 525||June 17, 2023 3:16 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 Anonymous||reply 526||June 17, 2023 3:36 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 Anonymous||reply 527||June 17, 2023 11:06 AM|
The Three-Body Problem. A science fiction trilogy. I was surprised how much I liked it.
|by Anonymous||reply 528||June 17, 2023 12:03 PM|
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 Anonymous||reply 529||June 17, 2023 12:09 PM|
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 Anonymous||reply 530||June 17, 2023 3:31 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 Anonymous||reply 531||June 17, 2023 7:19 PM|
I read Diarrhea last year because of recommendations here
|by Anonymous||reply 532||June 17, 2023 7:22 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 Anonymous||reply 533||June 17, 2023 7:29 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 Anonymous||reply 534||June 17, 2023 8:00 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 Anonymous||reply 535||June 17, 2023 8:37 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 Anonymous||reply 536||June 17, 2023 8:45 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 Anonymous||reply 537||June 17, 2023 9:23 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 Anonymous||reply 538||June 17, 2023 9:45 PM|
Good points r538. I’m definitely out of sync.
This should be interesting…
|by Anonymous||reply 539||June 17, 2023 9:54 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 Anonymous||reply 540||June 17, 2023 11:33 PM|
Diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea
|by Anonymous||reply 541||June 18, 2023 1:05 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 Anonymous||reply 542||June 19, 2023 12:21 AM|
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 Anonymous||reply 543||June 19, 2023 2:17 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 Anonymous||reply 544||June 19, 2023 5:06 AM|
Did anyone read this? What does the Girl in the title refer to?
|by Anonymous||reply 545||June 20, 2023 12:50 PM|
With the end of this thread nigh and the Summer high on the horizon, is anyone making a new thread?
|by Anonymous||reply 546||June 20, 2023 12:51 PM|
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 Anonymous||reply 547||June 20, 2023 2:46 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 Anonymous||reply 548||June 20, 2023 2:52 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 549||June 20, 2023 2:59 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 550||June 20, 2023 3:22 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 Anonymous||reply 551||June 20, 2023 4:10 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 Anonymous||reply 552||June 20, 2023 4:36 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 Anonymous||reply 553||June 20, 2023 5:18 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 Anonymous||reply 554||June 20, 2023 7:08 PM|
^^^ by Grover Furr^^^ for R554
|by Anonymous||reply 555||June 20, 2023 7:12 PM|
I just ordered Shy and West of Eden.
|by Anonymous||reply 556||June 20, 2023 7:14 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 Anonymous||reply 557||June 20, 2023 8:11 PM|
The Language of Love and Loss by Bart Yates is fantastic! I would highly recommend it.
|by Anonymous||reply 558||June 20, 2023 8:16 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 Anonymous||reply 559||June 20, 2023 8:23 PM|
And he took Jackie to the Anvil once.
|by Anonymous||reply 560||June 20, 2023 8:29 PM|
Cause Danceteria was essays and not fiction.
|by Anonymous||reply 561||June 20, 2023 8:32 PM|
Why read the book when you can watch the movie?
|by Anonymous||reply 562||June 20, 2023 8:55 PM|
Danceteria is fiction. There was a whole discussion of that upthread.
|by Anonymous||reply 563||June 20, 2023 8:55 PM|
I WAS BEING FACETIOUS!
|by Anonymous||reply 564||June 20, 2023 9:04 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 565||June 20, 2023 9:11 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 Anonymous||reply 566||June 20, 2023 9:14 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.
|by Anonymous||reply 567||June 20, 2023 9:18 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 Anonymous||reply 568||June 20, 2023 10:04 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 Anonymous||reply 569||June 20, 2023 10:52 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 Anonymous||reply 570||June 20, 2023 11:18 PM|
Has anyone read Yellowface?
|by Anonymous||reply 571||June 20, 2023 11:25 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 Anonymous||reply 572||June 20, 2023 11:51 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 Anonymous||reply 573||June 20, 2023 11:53 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 Anonymous||reply 574||June 23, 2023 12:54 PM|
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 Anonymous||reply 575||June 23, 2023 12:57 PM|
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 Anonymous||reply 576||June 23, 2023 1:02 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 Anonymous||reply 577||June 23, 2023 1:07 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 Anonymous||reply 578||June 23, 2023 1:15 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 Anonymous||reply 579||June 23, 2023 1:28 PM|
R575, enjoy those early MORSE novels! I loved them all.
|by Anonymous||reply 580||June 23, 2023 1:56 PM|
Reading Hollinghurst line of beauty. The English society stuff is boring, but I am sticking with it.
|by Anonymous||reply 581||June 23, 2023 2:42 PM|
I love all of Hollinghurst's novels except The Spell,but I might give it another try.
|by Anonymous||reply 582||June 23, 2023 3:47 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 Anonymous||reply 583||June 23, 2023 6:06 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 Anonymous||reply 584||June 25, 2023 3:33 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 Anonymous||reply 585||June 25, 2023 12:43 PM|
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 Anonymous||reply 586||June 25, 2023 1:57 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 Anonymous||reply 587||June 25, 2023 3:37 PM|
Up next: Just by Looking at Him, by Ryan O'Connell.
|by Anonymous||reply 588||June 25, 2023 3:44 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.
|by Anonymous||reply 589||June 25, 2023 5:00 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 590||June 25, 2023 5:02 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 591||June 25, 2023 5:02 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 592||June 25, 2023 5:03 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 593||June 25, 2023 5:04 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 594||June 25, 2023 5:04 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 595||June 25, 2023 5:04 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 596||June 25, 2023 5:04 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 597||June 25, 2023 5:05 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 598||June 25, 2023 5:05 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 599||June 25, 2023 5:05 PM|
|by Anonymous||reply 600||June 25, 2023 5:05 PM|