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What Books Are You Reading In 2024? Part 2

From the old thread re: Simon Winder, I liked Germania and Danuba, but found Lotharingia a weak afterthought.

Finished [italic]Sub Rosa[/italic], which I can recommend if you're a fan of Roman-era fiction such as the Falco series. I know ... a woman writing MM, ugh! Here, I think she did okay, although a bit awkward at times. Audio narrator has very pronounced "gay voice" which I think is his own, not for effect.

Finishing up a second book by Vendela Vita. Didn't like it any more than the other one, reads like a self-published un-edited work. I'm left wondering if she's published because she's married to successful Dave Eggers?

by Anonymousreply 127July 21, 2024 11:56 AM

Thanks for starting a new thread, OP.

by Anonymousreply 1June 16, 2024 2:00 PM

Thank you too, OP. I started the previous thread and as it filled I couldn’t post.

by Anonymousreply 2June 16, 2024 2:17 PM

Flea of RHCP recently read and recommended There There and Wandering Stars by Tommy Orange, The Great Gatsby, The Bluest Eye and The Age Of Innocence.

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by Anonymousreply 3June 17, 2024 7:59 PM

Shadow Men by James Polchin - it's about gay blackmail case in the 1920s that led to murder!

by Anonymousreply 4June 17, 2024 9:20 PM

What is everyone’s favourite novel published this year/since Christmas? I want to use my Audible credit on something current.

by Anonymousreply 5June 18, 2024 7:27 PM

I Have Seen It And It Is Large

by Anonymousreply 6June 18, 2024 7:55 PM

Finished [italic]Au Reservoir[/italic] yesterday. Not a fan of the ending, didn't need the epilogue for sure!

by Anonymousreply 7June 21, 2024 5:51 PM

The House of Doors. A bit simple-minded thus far.

by Anonymousreply 8June 21, 2024 9:12 PM

Finished the audio of Griffin Dunne's Friday Afternoon Club. Loved. It's funny, intelligent, gossipy, and of course deeply moving in the sad account of his sister's murder. Not surprisingly, he reads it flawlessly.

by Anonymousreply 9June 23, 2024 9:37 PM

r5, haven;t read JAMES, but I bet it'll receive a lot of votes.

by Anonymousreply 10June 23, 2024 9:38 PM

I just finished reading Griffin Dunne's memoir as well, and I completely concurr with R9. It was the best memoir I've read in a while. I'd love to read more from him, especially focusing on his career.

by Anonymousreply 11June 24, 2024 3:53 PM

Agree. He takes us up to the birth of his daughter with Carey Lowell. Since he divorced Lowell and she went on to be with Richard Gere, there has to be a story there!

by Anonymousreply 12June 24, 2024 5:14 PM

Dickens' Sketches by Boz, the only DIckens I hadn't read before.

by Anonymousreply 13June 24, 2024 5:45 PM

"And Their Children After Them" (Leurs enfants après eux).

I stopped reading 50 pages from the end, as I had gotten very invested and didn't want to read the inevitable depressing ending.

by Anonymousreply 14June 24, 2024 5:59 PM

Finally reading [bold]The Vampire Lestat[/bold] by Anne Rice, now that I can picture him as Sam Reid instead of Tom Cruise.

by Anonymousreply 15June 24, 2024 11:21 PM

R15 It's been years, but I thoroughly enjoyed that book.

by Anonymousreply 16June 24, 2024 11:49 PM

I’m still wading through The Politics Of Resentment. The poor author. She tries monumentally to be unbiased but it all confirms what we already know.

by Anonymousreply 17June 25, 2024 1:18 AM

After years of having The Memoirs of Hadrian on the shelves (starting it and finding it too dense, too stolid), I finally read it and suddenly it was very easy to read, Hadrian's voice very authentic... and his love for his young companion and his grief at his death is beautiful prose.

by Anonymousreply 18June 25, 2024 1:29 AM

I’m starting The Fourth Wing; I think it’s a romance though.

by Anonymousreply 19June 25, 2024 12:17 PM

I don’t get the appeal of Tom Lake.

by Anonymousreply 20June 25, 2024 4:08 PM

I thought Tom Lake was sweet and smart, but not the classic some think it is. Many who love it probably listen to the audio version, which is excellent.

by Anonymousreply 21June 25, 2024 4:12 PM

Just finished an 1879 book about the recollections of the Boston Police Department"by Daylight and Gaslight" - about to start Griffin Dunne's book.

by Anonymousreply 22June 25, 2024 4:30 PM

R21 do you recommend Streep’s narration?

by Anonymousreply 23June 25, 2024 8:33 PM

Another happy reader of Griffin Dunne's autobiography. I'm about halfway through. Griffin, his father, and his brother are all in New York, about to travel to Connecticut to get his brother the help he needs. It's the best book of any type I've read in a while. It's hard to imagine Griffin playing Milo Ventimiglia's sad sack brother in This Is Us.

by Anonymousreply 24June 25, 2024 8:54 PM

Absolutely, r23. She elevates the material, which is pretty high already.

by Anonymousreply 25June 25, 2024 10:26 PM

Tom Crewe’s THE NEW LIFE is the best book I’ve read in the past 2-3 years. It’s a historical novel set in the mid-1890s in London. It deals in a fictional way with real writers — John Eddington and Henry (Havelock) Ellis. Eddington is married to a woman and has children but is gay and tired of the closet and falls in love with a man. Ellis loves and is married to a woman but they don’t seem able or even willing to consummate their marriage.

Both men get together to write a serious treatise on male homosexuality and manage to get it published just as Oscar Wilde is going to trial for gross indecency, which blows up their book and their lives.

It’s a serious literary novel, gorgeously written and the gay sex scenes are really erotic and arousing. A terrific book, I’ve given it to three different friends already. Would make a great miniseries.

by Anonymousreply 26June 25, 2024 10:27 PM

I loved Tom Lake, the novel. I did not listen to the audio book.

My favorite book of the last few years is The Bee Sting by Paul Murray.

by Anonymousreply 27June 25, 2024 10:30 PM

The Dunne book makes me want to rewatch his doc on his aunt, Joan Didion. She's a bit of a shadowy figure in his account, although it's clear he was angry with her and her husband during his sister's trial.

by Anonymousreply 28June 25, 2024 10:31 PM

Yes yes yes! to THE BEE STING. Another book with a great audio version. Four different actors reading the four narrators.

by Anonymousreply 29June 25, 2024 10:33 PM

I read JAMES, I liked it but didn’t love, love, love it. You should have read and be able to remember HUCKLEBERRY FINN to get the most out of it.

by Anonymousreply 30June 25, 2024 10:34 PM

I posted it on the Summer Reading thread, LOVED Colm Toibin's latest LONG ISLAND, which is a sequel to BROOKLYN. Absolutely loved it, want to read all the Toibin's I've missed over the years.

I'm the OP of the other thread but may I suggest we all just post and focus on this one?

by Anonymousreply 31June 25, 2024 10:39 PM

R28, I agree, though I thought Joan came off a bit better than her husband John did during that time.

I was glad to read of the way John and Dominick made up before it was too late, and it was kind of cool how it happened by chance/fate.

by Anonymousreply 32June 25, 2024 10:42 PM

Just started Unruly, David Mitchell's history of early English kings. It's something I know nothing about but I love his brand of humor.

by Anonymousreply 33June 25, 2024 10:43 PM

r31, I can recommend The Master (Henry James) and especially The Testament of Mary, one of the lesser known, but floored me when I read it.

by Anonymousreply 34June 26, 2024 1:19 AM

r31, my favorite Colm Toibin novel is Norah Webster.

by Anonymousreply 35June 26, 2024 1:23 AM

I read The Master when it first came out but thinking of a reread (still haven't read much Henry James though, lol). Never read Norah Webster and will definitely give it a go. Thank you both!

by Anonymousreply 36June 26, 2024 1:34 AM

Do I need to read Brooklyn before reading Long Island? I only saw the film, thought it was fine but didn’t get the hype.

by Anonymousreply 37June 26, 2024 12:35 PM

You don't need to read Brooklyn but rewatching the film will only enhance your experience of reading Long Island. I was really surprised by how much I'd forgotten of Brooklyn. Eilis' hometown friends Jim and Nancy become major characters in the sequel as does Eilis' mother and brothers.

by Anonymousreply 38June 26, 2024 2:01 PM

Anyone a fan of the audio narrator Julia Whelan? She recorded GONE GIRL.

by Anonymousreply 39June 26, 2024 2:21 PM

I am fairly knowledgeable about the audiobook scene, she's a big name. The Gone Girl narrators were an excellent team, indeed.

by Anonymousreply 40June 26, 2024 8:45 PM

R40, I’m a huge fan of hers. She’s recording “At Danceteria” co-narrating with the author. I know that book has been mentioned on these threads.

by Anonymousreply 41June 26, 2024 9:13 PM

I’m really enjoying Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead. He’s an excellent writer and the characters feel like real people.

by Anonymousreply 42June 26, 2024 10:07 PM

Colm Toibin's "The Magician" after finishing Toibin's "The Master." Thomas Mann and Henry James, respectively.

I'm saving the Dunne book to read on vacation along with "Bottoms Up and the Devil Laughs" about Reality Winner.

by Anonymousreply 43June 26, 2024 10:24 PM

I’m going to listen to Griffin Dunne’s book on Audible.

I am reading, God help me, The Rape Of Nanking by Irish Chang. The descriptions of the atrocities are more chilling than I could have possibly imagined.

And I have to attend a funeral on Tuesday. Quick, someone recommend me something fun.

by Anonymousreply 44June 29, 2024 3:46 PM

I'm reading "The Ministry of Time." I usually avoid time-travel books like the plague, but this one features a person from the Franklin Expedition, so I feel obliged it read it.

by Anonymousreply 45June 29, 2024 4:46 PM

R44. Try “A Little Life”—it’s a laugh riot!

by Anonymousreply 46June 29, 2024 6:45 PM

R46 I’ve read it you cheeky sod!

by Anonymousreply 47June 30, 2024 11:20 AM

I'm about 3/4 of the way through and really enjoying a 2023 novel called SPARROW about a young orphan boy living in Cartagena, Hispania in the last years of the Roman Empire, who becomes a prostitute in a brothel.

Wonderfully imaginative and historically informed writing by James Hynes, who wrote 2 of my favorite novels THE LECTURER'S TALE, a hilarious parody about college academic competition, and NEXT!, a serio-comic novel about a shlumpy guy who travels out of town for a big job interview (that's really hard to talk about without spoilers). But his newest book is such a departure, so impressively different. A great immersive chunk of fiction for a summer read.

by Anonymousreply 48July 2, 2024 2:28 AM

We’ve now entered the second half of 2024. I’m happy to say that I have read 8 books during the first half of 2024 - 7 of them new reads, 1 of them a re-read. They are:

1. The Maltese Falcon (1930) (Dashiell Hammett) 2. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1935) (Horace McCoy) 3. All Quiet on the Western Front (1929) (Erich Maria Remarque) (This year marked my third time reading it.) 4. Under the Skin (2000) (Michel Faber) 5. The Zone of Interest (2014) (Martin Amis) 6. Poor Things (1992) (Alasdair Gray) 7. The Hunger (1981) (Whitley Strieber) 8. The Reader (1995) (Bernhard Schlink)

by Anonymousreply 49July 2, 2024 2:52 AM

I have started Watership Down.

by Anonymousreply 50July 4, 2024 5:31 PM

I've been listening to Bruce Springsteen's autobiography [bold]Born to Run[/bold], narrated by the Boss himself.

It's terrific so far. Frequently, the "early days" sections of bios aren't the most interesting, but not in this case. Bruce is a wonderful storyteller and one helluva writer. He really paints vivid pictures of his family & his friends and of growing up in Jersey in the 50s-60s.

by Anonymousreply 51July 4, 2024 6:10 PM

Do you only read novels that have been turned into well-known movies R49?

by Anonymousreply 52July 4, 2024 7:42 PM

Yeah, pretty much! That’s what I have been doing recently. I try to read the occasional classic or two as well. For example, I read both “Les Miserables” and “Pride and Prejudice” last year.

by Anonymousreply 53July 4, 2024 9:55 PM

Glorious Exploits by Ferdia Lennon. Two Irish blokes in 412 BC decide to put on a Euripides play using Athenian slaves as actors. Oddball concept that works like a dream (at least the 2/3 I've listened to.) Funny, touching, smart. And the audiobook (read by the author) is a treasure.

by Anonymousreply 54July 4, 2024 9:58 PM

Sally Rooney has been recommended to me by as many people who seem to loathe her. work. Please share your opinions.

by Anonymousreply 55July 5, 2024 6:19 PM

Joy may look better at 81 than Biden, but she isn't running the free world. Thank god.

by Anonymousreply 56July 9, 2024 10:08 PM

R55, I read the first two books, and enjoyed them mildly. Didn’t bother with the third. I can’t understand the overwhelming acclaim.

by Anonymousreply 57July 9, 2024 10:53 PM

Stephen McCauley's "You Only Call When You're in Trouble" is quite enjoyable. Not as rich as some of his others (IMHO) but he is a wonderful writer able to craft a good tale with memorable characters.

by Anonymousreply 58July 9, 2024 10:55 PM

I'm sitting on a gold plated toilet in Mar-O-Lago reading the voluminous stolen binder containing the US top secret highly classified documents that I never returned.

by Anonymousreply 59July 10, 2024 12:10 AM

[quote] Sally Rooney has been recommended to me by as many people who seem to loathe her. work. Please share your opinions.

I had been hearing the same things you had, and so I had put her off for a long time.

I started with Normal People last month and found it hard to put down because the characters were compelling and I wanted to find out what happened to them. The weird thing is that right after I finished the novel i watched the miniseries, which is very faithful to the book but which points out a lot of its flaws in drawing characters that are less apparent on the page: the two main characters are ridiculously self-absorbed and win every damned award and honor they try for, and never ever have bad sex with one another and who also have a deep and abiding intellectual and emotional connection, yet they keep breaking up for no clear reason after the first time they break up and get back together.

Then I tried Conversations with Friends, which is much funnier but also not as compelling. I never felt the adult couple the heroine and her best friend become emotionally and sexually involved with were very interesting.

I would definitely recommend either novel, but I see why some people don't like them. Rooney (like Elif Batuman, who is very funny) is obsessed with college-age gifted and beautiful young women who have lots and lots of sex and think almost entirely about themselves. It gets kind of airless after a while.

It also gets tedious with both writers being fascinated by masochism.

by Anonymousreply 60July 10, 2024 12:22 AM

Just for my sanity, I'm re-reading Colm Toibin's brilliant fictional bio of Henry James, THE MASTER. Loving it all over again (and I'm not even a fan of Henry James).

by Anonymousreply 61July 10, 2024 2:57 AM

"Dancer from the Dance" is $1.99 on Kindle right now.

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by Anonymousreply 62July 10, 2024 1:10 PM

Thanks, r62. I've been waiting for Dancer to come out on Kindle. And only $1.99!

by Anonymousreply 63July 10, 2024 1:34 PM

I'm reading Tom Crewe's The New Life to be followed by the new bio of Thom Gunn, A Cool Queer Life.

In June: Anne Michael's Fugitive Pieces; D.H. Lawrence's St. Mawr and The Man Who Died; Justin Torres's Blackouts; Sarry Perry's Enlightenment

Happy Summer Reading!

by Anonymousreply 64July 10, 2024 2:05 PM

“I’d Do It All Again”, Helen Lawson’s third memoir.

by Anonymousreply 65July 10, 2024 2:08 PM

GLORIOUS EXPLOITS a joy throughout, especially effective on audio.. Hear it's being dramatized on BBC radio.

by Anonymousreply 66July 10, 2024 2:44 PM

Let us know how you liked The New Life, R64! There are several of us on here who loved it, me included.

by Anonymousreply 67July 10, 2024 10:32 PM

Just for my sanity I’m reading Night Clit again.

by Anonymousreply 68July 10, 2024 10:41 PM

The New Life.... worst book I've ever read. Cynical manipulation.

On another matter - Dhalgren, Samuel Delany. I thought I'd seen it discussed on DL before but could not find it. 800 pages of hippie science fiction with a "all sexual orientations allowed" thread. I have a hard time with magical realism, though I've been a big fan of science fiction in the past. I am about 100 pages in... much of it is like a college student on acid in 1970 trying to write like James Joyce = it's a struggle.

Is it worth the effort to finish all 800 pages? (c.f. my frustration with The New Life).

by Anonymousreply 69July 10, 2024 11:03 PM

In Memoriam by Alice Winn -- "worst book I've read" this year. "Cynical manipulation." (I won't say Fixed for it ya! because to each their own.)

by Anonymousreply 70July 10, 2024 11:13 PM

Let’s us know how you like “The New Pussy”.

by Anonymousreply 71July 10, 2024 11:32 PM

I liked both IN MEMORIAM and THE NEW LIFE, but I'm just a shallow gay who likes to read about British men having sex.

by Anonymousreply 72July 11, 2024 12:24 AM

I just read Liz Moore’s THE UNSEEN WORLD. I keep thinking about it.

by Anonymousreply 73July 11, 2024 1:20 AM

It seems the Comic Book Guy has cloned himself and is all over this thread.

"Worst. Book. Ever!"

by Anonymousreply 74July 11, 2024 1:32 AM

I'm relishing LONG ISLAND COMPROMISE by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, which will surely prove to be THE book of the summer. Hilarious and unput-downable. Kind of a Jonathan Franzen-like family saga but with a more wicked sense of humor.

by Anonymousreply 75July 11, 2024 1:36 PM

Taffy Brodesser-Akner is one of the most awkward monikers I've ever heard. And does anyone ever name a child Taffy?

by Anonymousreply 76July 11, 2024 1:59 PM

R45 Did it turn out to be a good read? It sounded interesting but I was on the fence.

by Anonymousreply 77July 11, 2024 5:17 PM

Just finished Tom Lake, which exceeded my low expectations. 🍒

by Anonymousreply 78July 12, 2024 3:28 AM

Well, "The Ministry of Time," despite the big PR push praising it as an instant classic piece of literary sci-fi, was actually just expensive Tumblr-level self-insert fanfic. What a waste of potential. Cringe, as the kids say.

Now reading "All Our Yesterdays," a novel about the MacBeths. Pretty decent so far.

by Anonymousreply 79July 13, 2024 1:34 AM

The Importance of Being Furnished: Four Bachelors at Home by R. Tripp Evans. Non-fiction. A fun read if you're into design, houses, and piss-elegant queens from the Edwardian era.

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by Anonymousreply 80July 13, 2024 6:19 AM

I just finished the new biography of Elaine May by Carrie Courogen, "Miss May Does Not Exist." Courogen clearly did a great deal of research and many interviews, but she did not talk to May herself, her daughter, stepdaughters. or, with one exception, her husbands or partners. She ends up speculating a lot about May's personal life and relationships, and I never felt a full picture of May emerged. Her career is covered in more depth, and I enjoyed the chapters on her early theatrical work in Chicago and St. Louis, and then her overnight success in New York as a comic performer with Mike Nichols, which is, for me, by far her most interesting (and funniest) work. To her credit, Courogen is not a fangirl, and she is bluntly critical about some of May's movies and plays, but her writing style and insights are fairly routine. Overall, this was a disappointment, and it's hard for me to understand the reviews that are saying it is "revelatory" and "utterly extraordinary."

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by Anonymousreply 81July 13, 2024 7:08 AM

You're not the target audience, r81. It was an excellent overview of May for neophytes, but it was disappointing that Courogen pandered to the Diane Sawyer types and sanitised Mike Nichols's backstory.

by Anonymousreply 82July 13, 2024 7:16 AM

Also, I think you're a bit unfair to Courogen, who acknowledges May's trademark elusiveness , Courogen's careful attempts to get in May's orbit, and how it handicaps her as a biographer in the first few pages.

by Anonymousreply 83July 13, 2024 7:20 AM

I agree with R60's analysis of Normal People, though I thought Connell's journey of being Small Town Big Deal to College Kid lost in the shuffle was very relatable. The Marianne Character was more inscrutable - what exactly is her problem? Why is she so fucked up? I guess it's not necessarily bad that the book didn't really explain all that - that's real life - but at the same time, Marianne is kind of cypher where you as a reader, you understand and can related to Connell's journey.

[quote][R31], I can recommend The Master (Henry James) and especially The Testament of Mary, one of the lesser known, but floored me when I read it.

Agreed, I loved these books, particularly ToM, in which Mary (as I recall) views her son as a zealot that surrounded himself with losers and had no business doing the things he did to call attention to himself. I like the Master & how that evolved, though I walked away with the impression of James as a sort of cold observer of life rather than an actual participant. Finally, I'm reading Long Island now. It's a good book, but kind of said - all the previously young characters full of hope are now grappling with their own sense of disappointments and hurt. Maybe that hits too close to home, but whatever the case, it's not the kind of book that you just can't put down like the other books mentioned on this thread.

by Anonymousreply 84July 13, 2024 9:34 AM

I disagree about LONG ISLAND. I read it in 2 days, never wanting to put it down. I found it remarkable how Toibin keeps the tension up with such unadorned simple prose. But to each his own.

by Anonymousreply 85July 13, 2024 1:04 PM

^I didn't think LI was bad - it just seems a bit more of a drudge. And while it was I suppose it was unusual for the times, the extent to which Eilis was bullied by her in-laws & her crazy mother was kind of depressing.

by Anonymousreply 86July 13, 2024 7:16 PM

They tried to bully Eilis but she knew her own mind and went home in charge of herself.

by Anonymousreply 87July 13, 2024 10:14 PM

I love Toibin but couldn’t end The Master. I loved The Magician, this is making me wanting to give it another go.

by Anonymousreply 88July 13, 2024 10:23 PM

The NYT list of the Best Books of the 21st Century puts an Elana Ferrante novel as #1. Really? I've not rad her, but still find that hard to believe.

by Anonymousreply 89July 13, 2024 11:20 PM

I hated Sub Rosa. The thought of Beverly Crusher shagging a ghost was just dumber than shit.

by Anonymousreply 90July 13, 2024 11:54 PM

R90 needs to cut back on whatever he's using.

by Anonymousreply 91July 13, 2024 11:56 PM

R79. It’s Macbeth not MacBeth—one of my pet peeves.

by Anonymousreply 92July 14, 2024 12:23 AM

R89 It's a good list, I think. But also the "order" seemed pretty haphazard. Books in the last 50 were better (in my view) than several books in the top 20. I think it seemed to be a "balanced and inclusive" list... fiction and non-fiction, marginalized voices etc. Not a bad thing, but....

Also if Ferrante's is the best book of the century so far... a book written in Italian and translated into English... there were very few other books in translation. Really? In all the world's languages only Ferrante gets on the list?

by Anonymousreply 93July 14, 2024 1:57 AM

That list is shit. Useless, IMHO.

by Anonymousreply 94July 14, 2024 3:19 AM

Not many books by gay men.

by Anonymousreply 95July 14, 2024 3:50 AM


I too like Julia Whelan. I never saw Once And Again so I never saw her act as a teen actor. I tend to choose unknown books by narrator - and she is one of my go-to narrators l. He and Kirby Heybourne who read Gone Girl with her are like the reigning millennial generation superstar narrators.

A poor reading can kill my enjoyment of an audiobook. And there a bunch of quirks I can’t stand. There are British mystery series which I can’t listen to because the female narrators have a foghorn quality.

by Anonymousreply 96July 14, 2024 8:43 AM

Moreover, R96, on occasion a talented narrator can be the wrong choice for the contracted book.

by Anonymousreply 97July 14, 2024 12:08 PM

I am bewildered by the rap toward Tom Crewe’s THE NEW LIFE where someone above dismissed it as “cynical manipulation.”

It’s a fantastic book, beautifully written and imaginative. About queer people grappling with their lives, hoping for a better future, trying to live honeslty in a way that we are lucky enough to do.

Unless Republicans get in, of course, it which case it will be the 1890s for gay people all over again..

by Anonymousreply 98July 14, 2024 12:37 PM

Wayward, by Dana Spiotta (a novel). She threads the plot around the 2016 election of Trump. (Hint: the character does not like Trump.)

Great so far. Spiotta is a first-rate writer.

by Anonymousreply 99July 14, 2024 1:01 PM

Gavin Lambert’s “The Slide Area,” a collection of interrelated essays about Hollywood in the ‘50s and Guy Trebay’s “In the Place to Be,” a collection of his columns about New York, largely in the ‘80s.

As well as Tom Dardis’ “Some Time in the Sun” chronicling five novelist’s (Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Agee, West, and Huxley) work in Hollywood in the ‘30s and ‘40s and focusing on what they did to Hollywood as much as what Hollywood did to them.

by Anonymousreply 100July 14, 2024 1:36 PM

My 'To Be Read' list grows exponentially every time I open this thread! Not a complaint, I love it!

by Anonymousreply 101July 15, 2024 6:57 PM

Just finished Toíbín’s LONG ISLAND and loved it. It’s astonishing how such a quiet book can wreak so much emotional havoc.

I’m with the poster above who called it a page-turner. It is that, and during the last 100 pages when you are in the heads of three characters whose trajectories are going to crash into each other with catastrophic effect, you can only keep compulsively reading, hoping for the best and guessing what might happen..

Of course it depends on accepting (as an Irish thing) people whose fantasies of how their lives will go remain their own are not really shared with others, a reticence which can only lead to heartbreak. I was never sure how it would resolve, but more than that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to happen.

A much denser, more layered read than BROOKLYN, but read ( or reread) that lovely book first.

by Anonymousreply 102July 16, 2024 10:18 PM

[quote] The NYT list of the Best Books of the 21st Century puts an Elana Ferrante novel as #1. Really? I've not rad her, but still find that hard to believe

Then read her you dumb cluck! She is rather good.

by Anonymousreply 103July 17, 2024 1:26 AM

“Strange Sisters”

by Anonymousreply 104July 17, 2024 2:24 AM

A lot of George Pelecanos and Donald E. Westlake.

by Anonymousreply 105July 17, 2024 2:27 AM

"Rather good" is a lot different than the best of the century so far.

by Anonymousreply 106July 17, 2024 2:41 AM

"Ask Not: The Kennedys and the Women They Destroyed." Maureen Callahan.

Brief portraits of various women---daughters, wives, paramours, neighbors, others---who had the misfortune to be involved with the family of Joseph P. Kennedy, patriarch.

by Anonymousreply 107July 17, 2024 2:47 AM

Chapter XIV: Jackie on Assistance

by Anonymousreply 108July 17, 2024 2:50 AM

If the extent of my Henry James knowledge is reading Turn Of The Screw and The Golden Bowl in high school during the distant mists of the 1990s, and having watched The Heiress and Portrait Of A Lady, can I follow The Master? I recall zero biographical information about James.

by Anonymousreply 109July 17, 2024 9:16 AM

Yes R109, you’ll be fine.

by Anonymousreply 110July 17, 2024 11:57 AM

Edith Wharton drops tea about James in her autobiography, A BACKWARD GLANCE. It’s a very enjoyable read and Wharton is surprisingly funny throughout. The section where she recounts how utterly baffled she is by the success of a book on interior design she co-wrote is hysterical. A great wit and a wonderful writer.

by Anonymousreply 111July 17, 2024 12:21 PM

I mostly agree with r109, but there are many allusions to Henry James' various novels and stories that are seemingly inspired by his daily activity in The Master. For example, a young girl who is left unchaperoned at a ball that Henry attends sems to become the inspiration for What Maisie Saw. His charismatic cousin Minny Temple seems to become the inspiration for Portrait of a Lady. Etc. etc.

Lots more, I think, but I'm not really that well-versed in James' oeuvre. You don't necessarily have to get those references, but your reading pleasure would certainly be improved by it.

by Anonymousreply 112July 17, 2024 1:32 PM

Has anyone read or heard good things about 2 new well-reviewed thrillers THE GOD OF THE WOODS by Liz Moore and ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK by Chris Whitaker? I think both deal with abducted children but apparently go beyond mere thriller genre.

I've also heard amazing things about ALL FOURS by Miranda July and am awaiting my Amazon delivery (my local indie bookstore was sold out!).

by Anonymousreply 113July 18, 2024 12:17 AM

Just started reading “Cue the Sun!” by the New Yorker’s z Emily Nussbaum.

by Anonymousreply 114July 18, 2024 12:35 AM

For one, I'm rereading "Dark Star Rising: Magick and Power in the Age of trump."

Also "Hitler's First One Hundred Days."

by Anonymousreply 115July 18, 2024 12:50 AM

I’m really enjoying The God of the Woods. I recommended the same author’s The Unseen World on the last thread.

by Anonymousreply 116July 18, 2024 1:23 AM

Reading Whitaker's We Begin at the End and enjoying it quite a bit. He's a fine writer.

by Anonymousreply 117July 18, 2024 3:01 AM

Currently enjoying Mark Doty's "What is the Grass," as I'm a Walt fanboy myself.

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by Anonymousreply 118July 18, 2024 7:05 PM

Anyone read the very, very long [italic]Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell[/italic]? Interested in feedback before buying a copy - thanks!

by Anonymousreply 119July 19, 2024 12:33 PM

Funny you mention that, r119. I went to charity book fair this weekend and JSAMN was on one of the tables. I didn’t buy it because I have a copy (also unread).

I thought of this thread when I left among others, with a copy of The Magician by Colm Toibin. Also of DL in general when I nabbed a vinyl of Barbara Streisand’s Guilty for $5.

by Anonymousreply 120July 21, 2024 6:56 AM

British author and journalist Jon Savage is one of my favo(u)rite non-fiction writers (especially his histories of youth culture and The Sex Pistols), and he recently released "The Secret Public: How LGBTQ Performers Shaped Popular Culture." It's near the top of my summer reading list, and I will report back if it's good.

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by Anonymousreply 121July 21, 2024 8:02 AM

Anyone here read Michel Faber's "The Crimson Petal and the Red"?

by Anonymousreply 122July 21, 2024 8:08 AM

R60: perfect summary of Rooney's novels.

I'm not a fan of hers but do like the essay she wrote before she published her famous books, about competing with her team in the World Universities Debating Championship, in India. The piece is available online:

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by Anonymousreply 123July 21, 2024 8:25 AM

The juicy new JFK, Jr. biography.

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by Anonymousreply 124July 21, 2024 8:37 AM

Is there a more phallic portait? ^^^

by Anonymousreply 125July 21, 2024 9:29 AM

I just embarked on my lifelong goal to read War and Peace. It only took me 40 years!

Anna Karenina is my favorite novel, and I am interested to see how it compares.

by Anonymousreply 126July 21, 2024 9:40 AM

Just finished Claire Kilroy's award-winning [italic]Soldier, Sailor [/italic], which was a good empathy and patience builder for struggling young mothers with post-partum issues in mental health. Not sure there's much interest around here for that, but I appreciated the widening of my perspective. It was a slog and frustrating at times, but the prose is top-notch and it was worth the bother and I'm better off having read it.

by Anonymousreply 127July 21, 2024 11:56 AM
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