Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Amstell_s Bitch, Sep 10, 2006.
Finally reading Shuggie Bain and… to be totally honest I’m not vibing with the writing style so far.
This is one of my most anticipated releases! Miss Tokarczuk never misses and that edition looks divine. Fitzcarraldo continue to wage war against the scourge of tacky graphic design in modern publishing.
It totally passed me by that there was a third book in the You series. I saw it yesterday and had to pick it up, mainly due to Penn looking so good on the cover. I really enjoyed the first two.
Also got Sophie Ellis Bextor, Rob Beckett and a Montgomery Clift book to get through.
Started Bewilderment last night. I'm gonna cry, right?
It's not even the end of October and Publisher's Weekly is already putting out a BEST BOOKS OF 2021 list...
The Top 10 is a mix of Fiction and Non-fiction
Assembly, by Natasha Brown
Second Place, by Rachel Cusk
A Shock, by Keith Ridgway
The War for Gloria, by Atticus Lish
Wayward, by Dana Spiotta
All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, A Black Family Keepsake, by Tiya Miles
All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days: The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler, by Rebecca Donner
Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America, by Eyal Press
A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance, by Hanif Abdurraqib
Somebody’s Daughter: A Memoir, by Ashley C. Ford
And the rest of fiction:
[*]Burntcoat, by Sarah Hall
[*]Cloud Cuckoo Land, by Anthony Doerr
[*]Crossroads, by Jonathan Franzen
[*]Dear Miss Metropolitan, by Carolyn Ferrell
[*]Filthy Animals, by Brandon Taylor
[*]The Five Wounds, by Kristin Valdez Quade
[*]A Ghost in the Throat, by Doireann Ní Ghríofa
[*]Harlem Shuffle, by Colson Whitehead
[*]Lean Fall Stand, by Jon McGregor
[*]The Morning Star, by Karl Ove Knausgaard
[*]My Year Abroad, by Chang-Rae Lee
[*]No One Is Talking About This, by Patricia Lockwood
[*]The Orphanage, by Serhiy Zhadan
[*]Outlawed, by Anna North
[*]The Pastor, by Hanne Ørstavik
[*]The Promise, by Damon Galgut
[*]Ramadan Ramsey, by Louis Edwards
[*]The Removed, by Brandon Hobson
[*]The Sentence, by Louise Erdrich
[*]Winter in Sokcho, by Elisa Shua Dusapin
That’s a relatively routine, unadventurous list for a company that has access to every galley they could ever want.
Another one bites the terfy dust
I finished Sally Rooney’s newie this morning. A nice change of pace from her first two which were pretty much identical in terms of tone and their characters’ inability to articulate their feelings. It was much lighter, genuinely funny in parts and while I felt it did try too hard at times to both minimise and aggrandise the characters’ experiences, it was enjoyable and I put it down feeling satisfied.
I’m diving into A Little Life this evening and I’ve heard it’s devastatingly life-ruining, so please wish me luck, everyone. It’s my first experience reading Hanya Yanagihara, and after seeing all the good things about her work in this thread, I’m really excited.
I rather liked Real Life, honestly. I get that the hyperrealist and slow writing style can be grating, especially with a protagonist that doesn’t seem to exercise much agency in their life. But I have a soft spot for stories that don’t try to ‘resolve’ things, and it was really compelling as a snapshot of a person who was lost in many ways, and simply that. Plus, the sequences with his colleagues and supervisor, which really get at just how uncomfortably and humiliatingly race, gender and sexuality play out in professional settings, were so well done.
I read it at the same time as, and preferred it over, two other emblematic Iowa Writers’ Workshop-style books: On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous and Cleanness. The prose on the former is indeed achingly gorgeous, but it's so densely beautiful that, without a clear plot (which is definitely not a bad thing in and of itself), it felt like you were being battered with sickeningly sweet nothings for the length of an entire book. The latter is really interesting in parts, especially when it delves into the fluidity of sexuality, but it also felt like a step-down (and rather inseparable, because of the same setting) from his brilliant debut What Belongs To You.
Anyways, resetting my chakras by reading Steinbeck and Lenin lol.
I loved the poetryness of it all, but it did feel like sometimes Ocean got a bit too lost in his own metaphors to push the plot forwards (this was about his mother, wasn't it?). Hopefully his sophomore novel will have those bits honed down.
Anyway, I already gay-gasped at Bewilderment.
On Earth… felt almost formless at times. I appreciated how beautifully written it was, but it did tread similar grounds too many times for me that I often lost focus.
Anyway, I am now reading Gender Trouble.
Halfway through now. It’s really not a very well written book - I’m finding myself constantly irritated by the bad prose. Everything is so over-described, and the descriptions are incredibly repetitive.
And then there are things like “The older joiners took to sending Leek to the store for tartan paint”. No they didn’t, that’s a one-time prank.
It really takes me out of the novel. Mayflies is a much better portrayal of 1980s Scotland.
I have a feeling this adaptation could end up being a bit of a cultural phenomenon. I mean, the material. Raven Leilani gave us the best book of 2020. She’s the literary zeitgeist to be quite honest.
Okay, the second half of Shuggie is much better written - there are some great scenes, less nonsensical character actions, and (thank heavens) the similes don’t seem as prominent.
I wasn’t moved in quite the way other readers seem to have been, although seeing Douglas Stuart mention his own mother and brother in the acknowledgments was a little gut punch.
I might dedicate this weekend to some spooky short reads. Thinking Sara Gran’s Come Closer and Daisy Johnson’s Sisters.
Come Closer is a cracking little book! Perfect little spooky tale for your weekend - you can read it in a day.
Just got the illustrated complete Earthsea collection and it is so gorgeous. Can't wait to dip into the parts of it I am yet to read.
I read about 30 pages of 'Luster' and I can already tell it's so iconic.
Reading Du Maurier’s Rebecca at the moment and… this checks out. Enjoying it more than I expected to - incredibly readable and has been pretty funny so far.
Booker winner announced later! Ceremony is starts at 19:15 GMT.
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