Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Amstell_s Bitch, Sep 10, 2006.
Trying to make sense of the finance-heavy portions of Trust.
During the school year, I don't read as much but, with idle time in planes and no lesson planning needed to be done, I've been able to get into a few books these past 2 months:
No Mud, Not Lotus by Thich Nhat Hanh (a helpful read if you're going through it and need a little boost to help you work your way through it)
Saint Young Men by Hikaru Nakamura (a funny take on Jesus and Buddha living in present-day Tokyo as humans; I'm not religious by any means but I was raised Catholic and, being Vietnamese, Buddha has always had some presence in my life -regardless, this was still very enjoyable and silly!)
The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa (a tale about a boy who is dealing with the death of his grandpa as he takes on the responsibilities of his grandpa's book shop; the main character's personality reminded me of ex so much but this story has so much charm and sweetness to it)
The Leather Boys by Gilian Freeman (a subtle, queer fictional book about two dudes who are unhappy with their lives but find comfort in each other)
I have about a week or so of vacation left so I have some more books to dive into!
I’m back in a Toni Morrison phase, happily.
The Bluest Eye is just about the saddest book ever written and astoundingly risky/brave for a debut novel. She plumbs the depths of human psychology in such a frightening, potent way.
Obviously all of the above went on to become Toni Morrison hallmarks, which is why Song of Solomon surprised me so much. Yes, it’s emotionally complex, culturally significant etc. etc. but it’s also like, a wildly entertaining, old-fashioned adventure story. It has buried treasure, ghosts, doomed love stories and family secrets by the dozen, a squad of vengeful assassins, more than a hint of magic - truly a book that has it all. It works on multiple levels and manages to be rich and dense with history and myth while also being a zippy, wild joyride. Amazing, in short.
Next up? Tar Baby (one of her only novels set in the contemporary world, I think?) and I pledge to tackle Jazz again and finally make some headway.
So...that was a trip.
Just finished Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal. One of the best books I’ve read in a long while. Thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish.
The only positive thing that military service has had for me is that it connected me to books again after a few years of being lazy to read more than 2 books per year. These are the novels that I've read there so far. Those in bold are the ones that I enjoyed the most and would recommend to others.
Demonata Series (I've read 4 books so far)
Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon
Letter to a Child Never Born
The Blue Castle
The Book Thief
The Chanel Sisters
The Forty Rules of Love
The Girl With Seven Names
The Midnight Library
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Secret Garden
The Selection Series
The Thursday Murder Club
When Patty Went to College
I haven’t been enjoying my reading that much recently, but I just started The Secret History by Donna Tartt and it’s… great?!
Not a lot has happened yet but it’s so beautifully written I can’t help but keep reading.
The Secret History is incredible.
There’s a copy of this in the house which now I may check out!
Currently reading The Bone People by Keri Hulme. I have an ongoing book subscription with the excellent Mr B’s bookshop (in Bath, UK) and I asked my bookseller for a New Zealand based book. It won the 1985 Booker prize and is excellent so far.
Seconding any The Secret History praise, it’s really great! So well-written, I wish I could read it for the first time again.
Conversely, I read The Goldfinch before and found it slow-going and a bit of a slog to get through.
Must be about 14 years since I read it but it’s a banger. Could probably do with a re-read.
I read it when I was 16, which is...a little more than 14 years, so I'd like to revisit it too. The Goldfinch is probably the one I enjoyed the least of her three books - also the film was a mess, and I understand she wasn't happy with it either.
Just finished The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson, which is a multiverse story about ‘traversers’ who can only go to other worlds where they have already died.
I should have loved it - queer, sci-fi, diverse, etc. but I found it such a slog. It’s pretty polished for a debut, but I just didn’t care much about what happened and it felt predictable.
I think Johnson did all the right stuff, but the world she build ultimately wasn’t that interesting and felt incredibly small despite spanning hundreds of universes.
After reading Trust, which was mostly very good and certainly felt original in structure, I'm not sure who Kate Winslet is meant to play in the HBO adaptation? She's a bit too young to play Helen/Mildred, I'd think, and too old to play Ida. So, curious to see how that pans out.
I've had a little extra time at work so I've been trying to get my TBR list down a bit.
Finished The People in the Trees by Hanya, it was a fascinating read in that I don't think there was ever a point where I actively thought I was enjoying it but her prose is so compulsively readable even when it's steeped in research. I knew about the ending going into it and wish I had gone in blind, but it was still so visceral and well executed.
I also read If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha which I found to be incredibly immersive as a deep dive into beauty standards. There was little momentum or resolution but I still found it engaging and would highly recommend.
I tore through Geek Love by Katherine Dunn over the weekend as I had been putting it off for months and while it wasn't my cup of tea I still find myself dwelling on the characters and some of the prose.
One of the proudest moments of my life was when I "accidentally" left The Secret History lying around and came back to find my mum reading it. I knew she'd love it but she wouldn't take suggestions so I had to be sneaky.
Just finished The Writing on my Forehead by Nafisa Haji. I absolutely loved it and isn’t a book I would have thought to get if it wasn’t for my mum insisting I read it. The final chapters were a rush, the adrenaline was a lot!
I’ve just finished This City is a Minefield by Aaron Chan and my goodness what a repetitive and monotonous slog. I hate how much I disliked this book but it’s how I feel.
God, after a long break I finally managed to struggle through Part II of To Paradise and that was quite possibly one of the most infuriatingly annoying writings I’ve ever had misfortune of reading.
I finished Out by Natsuo Kirino last week and after a bit of a slow start its threads became interwoven in a really satisfying way that made the stakes feel greater and greater as the second half progressed. My only criticism is in the translation which seemed weirdly sterile at times? I've since read that Kirino is a more 'complicated' as writer vs. someone like Murakami whose writing is apparently more feasibly translated without losing its essence.
I blew through My Year of Rest and Relaxation which I found...really fucking funny? I think I was anticipating something a bit more controversial and I do get why it received the polarizing reception it did, but I appreciated that the humor continued to take darker turns as if Moshfegh was daring the reader to laugh and then feel guilty though I never did nn.
I have a couple shorter books I'd like to get through before diving into To Paradise but y'all don't inspire much confidence. If the prose is similar to either of her other works though I think that's going to be enough to sustain me.
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