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What Books Are You Reading In 2023? Part 4

Previous thread

I’m starting Tomorrow and Tomorrow And Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. Quite pathetically, because Graham Norton recommended it. And Matthew Perry’s memoir, just because.

I chose Moby Dick to listen to during chemotherapy. I need to get through the classics whilst I still can.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 154December 5, 2023 8:15 PM

I wonder whether Graham Norton has read it...

by Anonymousreply 1November 2, 2023 12:21 AM

I loved Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow. I had avoided it for over a year because I didn’t think I would relate to the characters (I’m not a gamer), but I was wrong—it’s a terrific read.

I’m about 2/3 through The Brothers Karamazov. I enjoy big classics once in a while.

by Anonymousreply 2November 2, 2023 12:25 AM

I’m reading how now brown come by teet

by Anonymousreply 3November 2, 2023 12:28 AM

Blue Latitudes by Tony Horowitz. It's about Captain Cook, not a biography, more narrative nonfiction. Yes, full of sailors who taste of the lash.

by Anonymousreply 4November 2, 2023 12:28 AM

What brand of shit spray do you buy?

by Anonymousreply 5November 2, 2023 12:30 AM

I remember enjoying TOMORROW x3 for the first 2/3 until it turned very sour. And the sourest parts were mostly about the female character, especially surprising as the author is a young woman.

by Anonymousreply 6November 2, 2023 1:02 AM

Liked TOMORROW too, despite my misgivings. Just found Dan Chaon's AWAITING YOUR REPLY on the shelf. Looks intriguing. Anyone read it?

by Anonymousreply 7November 2, 2023 2:52 AM

I gave up on Dan Chaon several books ago.

by Anonymousreply 8November 2, 2023 3:44 AM

Harold Acton, Memoirs of an Aesthete (1939-1969). Wonderful. Knew everyone.

by Anonymousreply 9November 2, 2023 3:48 AM

Dan Chaon's first 2 books AWAIT YOUR REPLY and YOU REMIND ME OF ME were both spectacular reads. Highly recommend both. Everything I've read of his since then have not measured up, unfortunately.

by Anonymousreply 10November 2, 2023 4:05 AM

Has anyone read the Brit best-selling whodunnit THE APPEAL by Janice Hallett? 200 pages in and I can't put it down.

by Anonymousreply 11November 3, 2023 2:28 AM

It won a CWG Dagger, so it was on my list r11.

Is it a stand alone?

by Anonymousreply 12November 3, 2023 1:13 PM

It is, r11. All told in emails, texts, letters, etc. Wonderful fun. Very witty and a great mystery. centered around an amateur theatre group rehearsing All My Sons. I think it has to be read quickly, easy to lose the thread of all the characters and subplots.

by Anonymousreply 13November 3, 2023 3:05 PM

My hands and my pussy.

by Anonymousreply 14November 3, 2023 10:24 PM

Bless my twitchin snatch

by Anonymousreply 15November 3, 2023 11:32 PM

I believe there were mixed feelings on the previous thread about Demon Copperhead but I thought it was great. I loved the main character’s voice and was highly engaged for the 500+ pages. The end was somewhat abrupt but I assume that was to align with David Copperfield.

by Anonymousreply 16November 3, 2023 11:44 PM

Just curious, r16, but it sounds like you haven't read David Copperfield? As someone who has (and loves it), Demon Copperhead just felt like a facile rip-off.

On a a somewhat similar note, I recently read Jo Baker's Longbourn, which is a novel about the servants of the Bennet household of Pride and Prejudice. But rather than an obvious re-telling of P&P through the servants' point of view, it's very much their own story with the Bennet family in the background. I found it a brilliant conceit and loved the book.

by Anonymousreply 17November 4, 2023 12:37 AM

Just finished mystery writer SA Cosby’s All the Sinners Bleed.

He’s a real talent. Violent stuff, though.

I tore through it.

by Anonymousreply 18November 4, 2023 12:42 AM

I read Crosby's RAZORBLADE TEARS, and enjoyed it to a point, but his depiction of the gay scene was pitiful, much like rendered by the straight man that he is.

by Anonymousreply 19November 4, 2023 3:06 AM

I just read "Sing Unburied Sing" by Jesmyn Ward. She's a powerful writer but it was such unrelenting grimness. Before that I read Stephen King's "Carrie" for the first time -- vivid and actually scary.

Leaving for a beach vacation tomorrow. I packed "Book of Numbers" by Joshua Cohen because I loved "The Netanyahus." But if that's a dud I also am bringing "True Grit" by Charles Portis which I've never read.

by Anonymousreply 20November 4, 2023 4:02 AM

In the last month, Daniel Mason's North Woods (a single plot of land, a glorious orchard, and 250 years of its haunted and haunting owners); Lawrence Durrell's Clea (the last novel in the Alexandria Quartet); Jonathan Wilson's A Palestine Affair (set during the British Mandate in Palestine); Justin Torres's We the Animals (a terrific gay novel); Your Table Is Ready: Tales of a New York City Maitre'd (sex at the tables, under the tables, in the kitchen, at the bar, in the cloakroom, and some juicy moments in, of all places, the Mineshaft); Louis Begley's Wartime Lies (a Jewish aunt and nephew on the run from the Nazis) and also Begley's Mistler's Exit (rich businessman runs off to Venice after a cancer diagnosis and takes up with a young woman).

Each worth your time by my humble estimate.

by Anonymousreply 21November 4, 2023 4:18 AM

TRUE GRIT is terrific, r20. I'm looking forward to reading more of Portis. (His novels have been collected in a Library of America volume.)

by Anonymousreply 22November 4, 2023 1:44 PM

I'm reading this book on 9/11 called The Only Plane In The Sky - An Oral History of 9/11 - it is a vivid retelling of the horrible events of that day.

by Anonymousreply 23November 4, 2023 1:51 PM

Reading the new Bryan Washington book. It’s okay so far. A lot of sex.

by Anonymousreply 24November 4, 2023 2:10 PM

You all have a big appetite for sex crime and negativity

by Anonymousreply 25November 4, 2023 2:18 PM

I just finished THE ZONE OF INTEREST by Martin Amis and found it very good. Intelligently written and rather unflinching it’s told in the viewpoints of a highly connected SS officer, the commandant of the camp (Auschwitz) and a Jewish kapo who is in charge of figuring out how to dispose over an increasingly high body count. I feel like the “banality of evil” is an overused phrase when referring to the Holocaust, but it could not be more apt to describe what’s going on in this novel. This is Amos’s final novel.

A film adaptation is being released next month.

by Anonymousreply 26November 4, 2023 7:48 PM

Bible - New International Version

by Anonymousreply 27November 4, 2023 8:00 PM

I started THE GUEST by Emma Cline yesterday afternoon and couldn't put it down. Read 100 pages before I went to sleep last night.

by Anonymousreply 28November 5, 2023 1:40 PM

I really tried to get in to THE NETANYAHUS but it's just too intellectual and esoteric for me. And I'm a Jewish baby boomer.

by Anonymousreply 29November 7, 2023 4:10 AM


by Anonymousreply 30November 7, 2023 4:37 AM

Just finished "Hunting Eichmann" and "The Brigade" (WwII vengeance by Jews); have begun "Seven Men at Daybreak" (assassination of Reinhard Heydrich).

Yes, there's a theme. A very satisfying theme.

by Anonymousreply 31November 7, 2023 4:48 AM

You'd probably like "The Origin of the Inquisition in Fifteenth century Spain" by Netanyahu pere. The idea was that here evolved the categories and thinking methods of modern racism.

by Anonymousreply 32November 7, 2023 4:51 AM

Nobody expected your post, r32.

by Anonymousreply 33November 7, 2023 5:18 AM

About to start Boyslut by Zachary Zane and am trying to bootleg Prequel by Rachel Maddow (I’m too broke to buy it). . I’m going to check out The Appeal. It sounds good.

by Anonymousreply 34November 7, 2023 7:11 AM

R34, everything I read about ZZ makes me want to attach him to several bags of antibiotics. Good luck.

by Anonymousreply 35November 7, 2023 7:20 AM

Don't even begin THE APPEAL unless you have a couple of free leisurely days because you're going to need to not be distracted. Fantastic book but it needs your undivided attention, as all the characters and plot lines are introduced (and really until the very end IMO). A great fun read.

by Anonymousreply 36November 7, 2023 1:57 PM

New Bryan Washington book isn’t that great. It’s very read-able but page after page of anonymous fucking and rudeness. About 3/4 way through.

by Anonymousreply 37November 7, 2023 3:30 PM

Bryan Washington used to have a semi-regular recipe column in the Sunday NY Times Magazine. Every time I saw his byline I'd try to guess how many paragraphs it would be before he mentioned his boyfriend, a trick, eating ramen/tacos with hungover club kids at 5 a.m. in dives in Tokyo/Houston. It was never more than four. Game over, I'd skip to the recipe, which was rarely anything I'd want to make but often something I'd like to eat.

by Anonymousreply 38November 7, 2023 6:21 PM

Bryan Washington is a tad over-praised in the literary scene at the moment. Similar to Brandon Taylor whose books are also very similar book to book.

by Anonymousreply 39November 7, 2023 6:56 PM

I prefer Taylor. His subject matter is more interesting and a bit more varied.

by Anonymousreply 40November 7, 2023 8:58 PM

And I prefer Washington—I think he has a better style (I.e language level)

by Anonymousreply 41November 7, 2023 9:29 PM

The Real Thanksgiving

by Anonymousreply 42November 7, 2023 9:45 PM

Facebook is exploding today with post after post of eldergays who just received their copies of the book. At least, my Facebook.

by Anonymousreply 43November 7, 2023 11:17 PM

"The book," r43?

by Anonymousreply 44November 7, 2023 11:21 PM

Sorry, I actually meant to write the title but forgot. But I'm shocked as an ancientgay you don't know which book I mean.

by Anonymousreply 45November 7, 2023 11:26 PM

Barbra didn't do it for me, dear r45, the way she appears to have done it for you. I bought Funny Girl, Funny Lady, The Way We Were, and The Broadway Album. Oh, and Guilty.


by Anonymousreply 46November 7, 2023 11:29 PM

I’d rather read names scratched out on the shit house walls!

by Anonymousreply 47November 8, 2023 12:32 AM

Bogie and Bacall, a new bio by William Mann.

God she was a bitch. Nasty to anyone, nastiest to the little people.

by Anonymousreply 48November 8, 2023 2:57 AM

^r48, is it good? I just bought that for my mom for her birthday. She loves Bogart.

by Anonymousreply 49November 8, 2023 3:15 AM

It's well written (he wrote Tinseltown among other things), it's not hagiography, he did a lot of research and it has great backgrounding on both of their families. He was better than his, she was worse than hers.

Bogart comes off a lot better than she does, which is easy, I guess, when you're the legend.

by Anonymousreply 50November 8, 2023 3:23 AM

Shit house walls….

by Anonymousreply 51November 8, 2023 7:52 PM

I just finished Family Meal by Bryan Washington. I really liked Lot and Memorial, but this one felt off to me. As others have noted, the sex is endless, which becomes boring. But it was more the style than the substance that disappointed me. Almost the entire book is dialogue. It felt like reading a play. And that’s not what I want when I’m reading a novel, especially when the dialogue doesn’t always feel natural.

by Anonymousreply 52November 8, 2023 9:11 PM

I often wonder if the second or third books of a well-received authors may have been sitting in a desk drawer and published to capitalize on early successes. This latest is Washington's third in four years. That's prolific these days.

by Anonymousreply 53November 8, 2023 10:21 PM

R52 agree. It does feel off. Just a bunch of depressed and hopeless gay men in Texas who fuck anonymous men nonstop and treat each other like shit.

Should I read his other work?

by Anonymousreply 54November 8, 2023 10:29 PM

R54, I was impressed by Memorial, his first novel. I don’t remember it feeling as bleak as Family Meal.

by Anonymousreply 55November 8, 2023 10:33 PM

I got Chelsea Summers' A CERTAIN HUNGER out of my library today after reading intriguing reader reviews on it on Amazon. It's about a woman who's a serial killer, a great chef, and loves sex with hunky men.

Anyone know it?

by Anonymousreply 56November 10, 2023 12:47 AM

Emma Cline's The Guest was terrific, as good as her debut The Girls. She and Joshua Cohen are probably my two favorite of-the-moment novelists. I put down Brandon Taylor's Real Life after a few pages, it felt dreary and flat. I also have an unread copy of "Memorial." I want to support more gay writers but the reason I like Cohen and Cline is because they seem interested in exploring lives not like their own, and raise concerns beyond the purely personal. I did recently enjoy Darryl Pinckney's newish memoir, Come Back in September. I do mean to pick up Justin Torres' new novel soon.

by Anonymousreply 57November 10, 2023 3:54 PM

Real Life was mediocre, until it got to the stream of consciousness section. Then it was embarrassing. I'd say that it read like a parody of modernism, but even that would be giving it too much credit.

by Anonymousreply 58November 10, 2023 4:00 PM

[QUOTE] I want to support more gay writers but the reason I like Cohen and Cline is because they seem interested in exploring lives not like their own, and raise concerns beyond the purely personal

Have you read READ BY STRANGERS by Philip Dean Walker? His book AT DANCETERIA - which is very gay and popular - has been mentioned on these threads many times but I think this one is stronger. The stories mostly center around women at their lowest. There are several that take place in Japan that are incredibly vivid. There’s a great story about a blocked writing professor at Middlebury College who steals an idea from her best student while starting an affair with a colleague whose wife is dying of cancer (one of the best).

I also have MEMORIAL sitting on my shelf unread. I think I’ll read it next and skip FAMILY MEAL based on what others are saying about it.

by Anonymousreply 59November 10, 2023 4:04 PM

I loved THE GUEST, couldn't put it down, but the ending...

*****SPOILER ALERT*******

was very disappointing. So many different directions it might have gone and it felt like Cline couldn't figure out what would be most powerful and just said: "Fuck it. let the reader make up their own ending."

I'd still recommend it though.

by Anonymousreply 60November 10, 2023 7:36 PM

Labia Majora or a Fedora

by Anonymousreply 61November 10, 2023 8:15 PM

Agreed, R60. That ending really divided my book club. I actually didn’t mind it (it was giving me Cate Blanchett at the end of Blue Jasmine) but I know it’s a point of contention even with readers who are fans of the book as a whole.

by Anonymousreply 62November 10, 2023 8:28 PM

Reading the Appeal and love it so far. Thanks for the rec.

by Anonymousreply 63November 10, 2023 8:46 PM

R35. He’s an absolute horror show of a person. Threw in the towel halfway through.

by Anonymousreply 64November 10, 2023 11:41 PM

Aubrey Plaza 10 (or 15?) years ago would have been perfect in a film of The Guest.

by Anonymousreply 65November 11, 2023 1:00 AM

I just finished Ann Patchett’s “Tom Lake” and I wouldn’t recommend it. The section about the main character’s beginnings as an actress was the best part but it’s the only character that’s fully realized. The sensibility is too earnestly womanly for me. I also finished Mona Simpson’s newest novel “Commitment” and I thought it was her best work but I like all of her work. Her themes are fairly consistent, how does a child grow and develop in the face of a parents emotional collapse. Highly recommended.

by Anonymousreply 66November 11, 2023 1:09 AM

I found Tom Lake inauthentic from beginning to end. I loved Bel Canto, but I think she has gone downhill since, reaching her nadir in her “living” memoir of Lucy Grealy, Truth and Beauty (disclosure: I haven’t read The Dutch House).

by Anonymousreply 67November 11, 2023 1:16 AM

I've heard from some people who've made a living in professional theatre and did years of summer stock, that TOM LAKE has lots of little anachronistic gaffes in the writing. Like understudies employed in summer stock - that just never happened. Haven't read the book yet, overly cautious of Patchett's books since BEL CANTO.

by Anonymousreply 68November 11, 2023 1:17 AM

[QUOTE] Aubrey Plaza 10 (or 15?) years ago would have been perfect in a film of The Guest.

I was picturing Dreama Walker while reading it.

by Anonymousreply 69November 11, 2023 1:36 AM

I’m reading Woody Allen’s autobiography Apropos Of Nothing.

His writing voice is kind of charming, like his movies. I’m still in the first half, and it reminds me of Radio Days, him talking about his childhood and his early career.

He was athletic but had bad teachers so he started reading wisely and indiscriminately to keep up with the smart girls he tried to ask out on dates.

[quote] I still am taken aback at the cruel spacing of The Magic Mountain.


[quote]I so-so about Fitzgerald but loved Thomas Mann and Turgenev. I loved The Red and the Black, especially where the young hero keeps wondering if he should make his move and hit on the married woman.

[italic]Mais ouis.[/italic]

[quote]I know Edith Wharton and Henry James and Fitzgerald all wrote about New York, but the town I recognized best was described by that sentimental Irish librettist on the sports beat, Jimmy Cannon. You would be shocked to know what I don’t know and haven’t read or seen. After all, I am a director, a writer. I’ve never seen a live production of Hamlet. I’ve never seen Our Town, in any version. I never read Ulysses, Don Quixote, Lolita,…

Convenient 👀

[quote]…Catch-22, 1984, no Virginia Woolf, no E. M. Forster, no D. H. Lawrence. Nothing by the Brontës or Dickens. On the other hand, I’m one of the few guys in my peer group who read Joseph Goebbels’s novel. Yes, Goebbels, the gimpy little suppository who flacked for the Fuhrer tried his hand at a novel called Michael, and don’t you think the main character had all the anxiety of the nervous lover anxious for the girl to like him.

[italic]Je répète, mais oui[/italic]

Apparently there is relatively little about his film career and most of the second half is about the Soon Yi and Dylan’s debacle , soI’ll enjoy the portion while it lasts.

by Anonymousreply 70November 11, 2023 3:35 PM

I’m lying here slapping my taint.

by Anonymousreply 71November 11, 2023 3:36 PM

Say what?

by Anonymousreply 72November 14, 2023 1:36 AM

I'm really enjoying a whodunnit of a few years ago called THE WIDOWS OF MALABAR HILL by Sunjata Massey.

The sleuth is a young woman in 1921 Bombay who is India's first female lawyer, working for her family's firm. Really smart writing with great characters and lots of exotic details about Indian culture and mouth-watering descriptions of Indian cuisine and desserts. It's a different take on a classic mystery novel I find very refreshing. Excellent reader reviews on Amazon if you want to know more.

by Anonymousreply 73November 14, 2023 1:42 AM

I want to begin reading Anna Karenina

by Anonymousreply 74November 14, 2023 1:56 AM

I've begun reading it several times....

That's the easy part.

by Anonymousreply 75November 14, 2023 1:58 AM

The unshaven taint

by Anonymousreply 76November 14, 2023 3:28 PM


by Anonymousreply 77November 14, 2023 3:53 PM

Anna Karenina is fantastic. You can skim the chapters with Levin gassing on and on about the Land and the Peasants and get back to the high-society soap opera.

by Anonymousreply 78November 14, 2023 8:14 PM

I can’t imagine not having finished Anna Karenina once starting it. It’s fantastic and the penultimate chapter is just wow. I memorized “the candle by which she had been reading book filled with…” passage as a teenager.

by Anonymousreply 79November 14, 2023 8:30 PM

Has anyone else read “the sluts” by Dennis cooper? I saw it under staff picks at Jackson McNally last week and was intrigued, got it from the library.

My god.

I’m no prude, but I can’t believe what I’m reading 😂

by Anonymousreply 80November 15, 2023 1:35 AM

The Sluts? Is this a book about Kim Guilfoyle and Lauren Boebert?

by Anonymousreply 81November 15, 2023 3:20 AM

FWIW I just couldn't get into that book I posted about at r56 A CERTAIN HUNGER but gave up after just a few pages. Seemed like very trashy (actually vulgar but not funny vulgar) chick lit to me. I suppose others might like it though...

by Anonymousreply 82November 15, 2023 3:31 AM

I’m reading “Tender is the Flesh” by Agustin’s Bazterrica. My god, I can’t put it down. I think someone recommended it here. I’m reading a Martin Walker Dordogne mystery for contrast and relief!

by Anonymousreply 83November 16, 2023 10:16 AM

So happy that Justin Torres won the National Book Award for BLACKOUTS; another queer writer, Stenio Gardel won for Translated Literature for THE WORDS THAT REMAIN. A good night for the gays!

by Anonymousreply 84November 16, 2023 1:40 PM

I’ve been reading Daphne du Maurier off and on - Rebecca, The Scapegoat and now House on the Strand from 1969 which is strange and compelling. I would never have guessed it had been written by a woman.

by Anonymousreply 85November 16, 2023 1:56 PM

I hosted a party for Justin Torres at my house over a decade ago when I was getting my MFA (this was closer to the time of WE THE ANIMALS). He was so lovely and nice - very cute. I’m really happy for him.

by Anonymousreply 86November 16, 2023 2:41 PM

Agree. He came into a bookstore where I worked and was totally charming. Gave a lovely acceptance speech at the NBA ceremony.

by Anonymousreply 87November 16, 2023 3:41 PM

Justin Torres is indeed cute, but i read Guardians interview with him and the description of the book did not interest me much, unfortunately.

Yesterday i finished A Meaningful Life, by LJ Davis, tragic, horrific in parts but very funny as well, so I started again Desperate Characters by Paula Fox, which covers similar ground.

by Anonymousreply 88November 16, 2023 10:10 PM

Always meant to read Desperate Characters. I simply loved that title. Please return and let us know what you thought, r88.

by Anonymousreply 89November 16, 2023 10:24 PM

I love that Paula Fox is Courtney Love’s grandmother (fact) and that Brando (rumor) is her grandfather.

by Anonymousreply 90November 16, 2023 10:28 PM

Will do, r89.

by Anonymousreply 91November 16, 2023 10:40 PM

I'm re-reading the Invincible comic series.

by Anonymousreply 92November 20, 2023 6:35 PM

Have you looked inside my asshole lately?

by Anonymousreply 93November 20, 2023 6:57 PM

You’re such greedy pig. Sniffing my asshole and examining it for hours on end

by Anonymousreply 94November 20, 2023 6:57 PM

You know the idiots posting bathroom humor and fake book titles in this thread haven’t actually read a book since their middle school teacher assigned “To Kill a Mockingbird” in 8th grade.

They are also most likely Trump voters.

by Anonymousreply 95November 20, 2023 7:06 PM

Of course they’re Trump voters: they can’t read, can’t think, and delight in what they childishly think is humor.

Shitgibbons, really.

by Anonymousreply 96November 20, 2023 7:19 PM

R95 R96 😆

by Anonymousreply 97November 20, 2023 7:26 PM

Night Clit starring Labia Majora, Twatsy and Vulva!

by Anonymousreply 98November 20, 2023 9:09 PM

[quote]before that I read Stephen King's "Carrie" for the first time -- vivid and actually scary.

It is a really good book; generally speaking, I don't think King writes women characters well, but I think he nailed Sue Snell & her motivations. I really never felt the need to read the book because the movie was so good, but I loved it.

Looking for a recommendation: I recently read A World Undone about WWI and really enjoyed the backstories & intrigue that resulted in the war & it's continuation for years. Anyone have any recommendation for other books like that?

by Anonymousreply 99November 20, 2023 9:21 PM

Just spent almost $30 on WELLNESS by Nathan Hill, an Oprah Book. I'm really hoping I love it. I wasn't so wild for THE NIX.

by Anonymousreply 100November 20, 2023 10:37 PM

Just ban those idiot posters here. You won't regret it. I certainly don't miss those posts and had to think for a second what you were saying, r95.

by Anonymousreply 101November 20, 2023 10:39 PM

R101 pull that stick out of your ass.

by Anonymousreply 102November 20, 2023 11:06 PM


by Anonymousreply 103November 20, 2023 11:19 PM

Night Clit Shanghai

by Anonymousreply 104November 20, 2023 11:28 PM

Sorry you're getting nuked and zapped, OP. Hope it makes you better.

by Anonymousreply 105November 20, 2023 11:30 PM

I loved TOM LAKE but I did think the narrator was deliberately fuzzy as she told the story.

I have some theater knowledge but not summer stock so I didn't spot the inaccuracies.

by Anonymousreply 106November 20, 2023 11:33 PM

My 4th grade teacher, Miss Monkey, used to masturbate herself in front of the class using the corner of our math text book.

by Anonymousreply 107November 20, 2023 11:38 PM

I generally find that if I selected a book, my instincts were correct and it was worth reading. But there were a number of books I started but could not get through. Emma Cline's THE GUEST was at the top of the list. I didn't give a single flying fuck about anyone, least of all the main character.

THE HEAVEN AND EARTH GROCERY STORE had an intriguing/engaging first 50 to 65 percent before it started imploding under its own weight. It also clangs to a complete stop in the middle of a character's 1938 (I think?) death so that the narrator can go on a rant of several paragraphs about 21st century technology (cell phones in particular).

THE PEOPLE WE KEEP by Allison Larkin was one I really loved though it may be a little frau-y for some. Maybe because it's based in Ithaca and I knew that town well. (It's not new though - might be a few years old?)


by Anonymousreply 108November 20, 2023 11:39 PM

For me THE GUEST was a perfect example of a book with unlikeable characters that was still totally engaging. I couldn't put it down though the very end was admittedly disappointing.

by Anonymousreply 109November 21, 2023 12:02 AM

Reading Idlewild by James Frankie Thomas.

Enjoying it so far. If you live in NY or were in high school in the late 90s/early 2000s, it has some nostalgic references.

by Anonymousreply 110November 21, 2023 12:43 AM

I also tried to read Aaron Foley's BOYS COME FIRST but it just seemed like one of those old Felice Picano "Here's all the people I fucked, they were all so hot, see how hot they were?" except all the guys were black and in Detroit. Or was it Atlanta?

I really like Aaron's other work.

by Anonymousreply 111November 21, 2023 1:49 AM

I couldn't get through "America Fantastica" either.

by Anonymousreply 112November 21, 2023 2:35 AM

Is everyone in this thread mad at me making such vulgar, juvenile replies?!

by Anonymousreply 113November 21, 2023 1:43 PM

This is not fiction or prose of any kind but I'll briefly mention. I like his videos and so far am enjoying the book.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 114November 21, 2023 1:59 PM

I didn't like Boys Come First much either, r111. Foley's heart was in the right place and he clearly knows Detroit - his writing about the city was the most interesting thing about the book. But the character machinations were predictable and the whole thing felt insubstantial.

by Anonymousreply 115November 21, 2023 2:17 PM

“Desperate Characters” deserves its place as rediscovered classic. Franzen wrote a very good introduction to the latest paperback edition.

by Anonymousreply 116November 21, 2023 2:25 PM

Is also loved Tom Lake by Ann Patchett R106. Highly recommended!

by Anonymousreply 117November 22, 2023 6:57 PM

I very enthusiastically recommended Janice Hallett's THE APPEAL upthread and just finished her second book THE TWYFORD CODE.

While not nearly as good as the first book it did hold my attention the last few days and I couldn't put it down as I finished the final 50 pages. Definitely not for the casual cozy (or cosy) whodunnit fan but a truly mind-bending wild ride of a puzzler with acrostics, anagrams and encrypted codes as part of the cluing. Only attempt it if you have a few leisurely days to devote to reading.

by Anonymousreply 118November 26, 2023 3:33 AM

“Tom Lake” was not a good novel. The central character was the only one that was fully realized. I couldn’t understand the daughters interest in the movie star because the protagonist didn’t present a very compelling character. The last twenty pages were pure indulgence. Hard to believe that Patchett had an editor.

by Anonymousreply 119November 27, 2023 5:56 AM

R119 I agree. Patchett's "Bel Canto" was wonderful. I haven't liked any of her books since. And this one feels wildly inauthentic--as if she saw one summer stock show and decided to make up shit about its culture.

by Anonymousreply 120November 27, 2023 1:37 PM

Anyone read this year's Booker winner, PROPHET SONG?

by Anonymousreply 121November 27, 2023 1:46 PM

I just finished Blackouts by Justin Torres, a very worthy winner of the National Book Award. It’s a beautiful book and unlike any other I’ve read. Parts of it remind me of Cormac McCarthy.

by Anonymousreply 122November 29, 2023 4:27 AM

Readers are winners!

Non-readers are losers!


by Anonymousreply 123November 29, 2023 5:31 PM

I've read a little over 100 pages of Nathan Hill's WELLNESS but I don't like it enough to continue.

Shame, because I was really looking forward to it and hoped it would be as good as Jonathan Franzen's CROSSROADS and Paul Murray's THE BEE STING, 2 recent great novels, also about "ordinary" families. But....very disappointing. I don't get the rave reviews.

by Anonymousreply 124November 30, 2023 4:25 AM

I just finished Michael Cunningham's latest, DAY.

It takes place in three parts, each on a specific day in 2019, 2020, and 2021, detailing the lives of an extended family. Not too much happens, but if you like Cunningham, you'll like this.

by Anonymousreply 125November 30, 2023 4:38 AM

I'm reading [bold]Lie with Me[/bold] by Philippe Besson, translated by Molly Ringwald.

I'm liking it so far, though it reminds me of a situation from my college days so it can get a little rough at times.

by Anonymousreply 126November 30, 2023 7:55 PM

R126, I loved that book. And the movie version is good too.

by Anonymousreply 127November 30, 2023 10:49 PM

Have you read “Crotch Crotch Don’t Betray Me” ??

by Anonymousreply 128December 1, 2023 12:21 AM

One of the reasons I'm reading it R127. I have the UK Blu-ray sitting on the shelf waiting for me when I'm done.

(As an aside: I can't believe how much Victor Belmondo looks like his grandfather.)

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by Anonymousreply 129December 1, 2023 12:54 AM

R129, Victor is very handsome.

by Anonymousreply 130December 1, 2023 12:55 AM

Dearborn Stories. Ten interrelated short-ish stories about the lives of contemporary Arab-Americans in Dearborn, Michigan.

by Anonymousreply 131December 4, 2023 6:47 PM

Just finished IN MEMORIAM and loved it. Could be a killer movie or series. Now trying WE COULD BE SO GOOD by Cat Sebastian because I'm fascinated by female authors specializing in gay male romance. This one seems YA, but her historic novels are pure porn.

by Anonymousreply 132December 4, 2023 8:01 PM

It must be just me as all of my friends loved IN MEMORIAM as did the critics. I found it so sentimental and mawkish and faux-literary I couldn't finish it.

Will anyone ever agree with me?

by Anonymousreply 133December 4, 2023 10:22 PM

No, fool!

by Anonymousreply 134December 4, 2023 10:24 PM

Your lucky day, r133. I tried to read it twice. Just couldn't get there. "Faux literary" hadn't occurred to me, and I'm not sure I agree, but I found it quite gorpy.

by Anonymousreply 135December 4, 2023 10:30 PM

Thank you, r135!

Anyone else?

by Anonymousreply 136December 4, 2023 10:31 PM

Fuck yoi

by Anonymousreply 137December 4, 2023 10:39 PM

I got some questions for your, from Rebecca Makkai, i think it has been discussed. 100 pages in i am struggling, which is strange as it should have been an exciting read, with a cold crime, a character returning to her school where the murder ocurred many years later, etc. i am finding it mistifyingly boring.

by Anonymousreply 138December 4, 2023 11:04 PM

“In Memoriam” was great but for the last chapters. I couldn’t care about the lives if the characters after the war. The best part was the escape from the prison camp and their slip into Belgium.

by Anonymousreply 139December 4, 2023 11:07 PM

I've started reading the Lew Archer books by Ross Macdonald. They're really great, maybe the best genre fiction I've ever read.

by Anonymousreply 140December 4, 2023 11:14 PM

I just started Tender Is The Night

by Anonymousreply 141December 4, 2023 11:24 PM

Just finished The Martian Chronicles, which is a bit of a masterpiece.

by Anonymousreply 142December 4, 2023 11:30 PM

On the third volume of Manning’s Balkan Trilogy. It veers between involving and dull.

by Anonymousreply 143December 4, 2023 11:37 PM

I read "Father Figure" by Beverley Nichols. Nichols was a gay English playwright and novelist, also renowned as a gardener. His lovers included Siegfried Sassoon and the actor/director Cyril Butcher. Late in life he published this memoir of his family, from his Edwardian childhood through to the death of his parents 40 years later. His father was an alcoholic, whose short periods of sobriety were inevitably followed by extended drunken binges, during which all member of the family, particularly his wife, were bullied and abused. Twice as a teenager and once as an adult, Nichols tried to kill his father; when he survives the third attempt, Nichols refers to him as "Rasputin." Both his parents were homophobic, to the point where his father demands he stop reading "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and his mother discourages him from seeing a production of "The Importance of Being Ernest." In spite of the nightmarish depiction of family dysfunction (straight out of Eugene O'Neill), both Nichols and his mother shared an absurd sense of humor, which provided them (and provides the reader of this book) with some genuinely funny laughter in the dark.

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by Anonymousreply 144December 4, 2023 11:54 PM

I've tried reading The Balkan Trilogy 3 times and always gave up before I hit 100 pages. Though I always hoped for more, I found it deadly dull.

As for Makkai's I Have Some Questions For You, I'd agree that there were some sloggy parts but I found it well-worth reading by the end. Ultimately, I really liked it.

by Anonymousreply 145December 5, 2023 12:18 AM

[quote]I got some questions for your, from Rebecca Makkai, i think it has been discussed. 100 pages in i am struggling, which is strange as it should have been an exciting read, with a cold crime, a character returning to her school where the murder ocurred many years later, etc. i am finding it mistifyingly boring.

I had the same reaction, and I loved her first book THE GREAT BELIEVERS.

by Anonymousreply 146December 5, 2023 12:47 AM

The library just delivered SURELY YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS!, the story behind AIRPLANE!. I'm looking forward to it.

by Anonymousreply 147December 5, 2023 12:48 AM

I'm reading Bernard Cornwell's non-fiction book on Waterloo.

by Anonymousreply 148December 5, 2023 2:20 AM

Just finished Night Clit

by Anonymousreply 149December 5, 2023 2:24 AM

Importance of Being *Earnest*

by Anonymousreply 150December 5, 2023 2:31 AM

The Great Believers was Makkai’s fourth book, not her first.

by Anonymousreply 151December 5, 2023 2:12 PM

American Midnight by Adam Hochschild

by Anonymousreply 152December 5, 2023 4:03 PM

Importance of Being Bitchy

by Anonymousreply 153December 5, 2023 8:12 PM

I guess I'm the only one here who likes Olivia Manning's Balkan and Levant Trilogies. I agree that there are some slow/repetitive sections (Nazis! Again!), but I still enjoy them. (A gay character shows up in the Levant novels, although he's tertiary at best.) I wonder if I like them because I first encountered them in 1987 on Masterpiece Theatre as "Fortunes of War" starring Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson as Guy and Harriet (plus a slew of terrific British character actors). When I read the books after seeing the series I could see all the characters in my head. (Not-Sir-Ken-Then looked nothing like Manning's description of Guy, but never mind.) The baggier sections of the plot had been trimmed in the script, so I found them interesting in passing. Sadly, the series is not available for streaming in the US, nor are there DVDs.

by Anonymousreply 154December 5, 2023 8:15 PM
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