PopJustice Book Club

I read 77 this year, mostly fiction but I read a bunch of non-fiction this year too, mostly thanks to Fitzcarraldo’s knack of publishing really great stuff. I also read a couple of excellent graphic novels this year.

Most read authors:
Annie Ernaux (5)
Elizabeth Taylor (3)
Toni Morrison (3)

Fav newly published in 2022:
Fuccboi by Sean Thor Conroe
Seven Steeples by Sara Baume
Post-traumatic by Chantal V. Johnson
Acting Class by Nick Drnaso

Overall new-to-me favs:
The Corner That Held Them by Sylvia Townsend Warner
First Love by Gwendoline Riley
You’ll Enjoy It With You Get There by Elizabeth Taylor
The Spare Room by Helen Garner
Cassandra at the Wedding by Dorothy Parker

Flops:
I passionately hated Marlowe Granados’s Happy Hour, which somehow garnered a decent amount of praise despite being utterly dull.
Lovely lists - second time in two days I’ve seen Seven Steeples mentioned, but I’d never heard it before then.

Also interesting to see Fuccboi on your list. Both you and @Someboy have now given it a thumbs up, but I’ve seen it savaged elsewhere.

Edit: Actually maybe it was just you mentioning it twice ddd. But I’m happy to get Someboy’s attention as I wanna know what he’s enjoyed this year.
 
I just searched TJ Klune to see if anyone had mentioned his books on here. Loved this book, but...

I really love his Green Creek series. I feel a little sheepish about this because it's about gay werewolves and it's a bit Twilight-y. Still, I've read the 4 books about 10 times and read them again over the last week.

TJ's new book coming out this year sounds amazing. Already added it to my want to read list.

Under the Whispering Door broke me.
 
Anyone read Knausgård? I was very nearly seduced by some beautiful hardback copies of his seasonal quartet being sold at a steal, but I can’t decide if I am going to vibe with him.
 
I used to read so much when I was younger, to the point I got made fun of (it was a welcome break from being bullied for being gay). I can’t remember the last time I read a book, probably ten years ago.

Thought I’d ease myself back in with Adam Silvera’s They Both Die At The End. Read the book in one sitting of a few hours, cried at a few points and related too much to Mateo. He certainly resonated with me and I’m reflecting on myself a little in the dead of night.

Immediately ordered the prequel, The First To Die At The End, to emotionally wreck myself again.
 
Do we have a thread for pop star bios? Can i recommend something here?

Fingers Crossed: How Music Saved Me From Success by Miki Berenyi. The first half of the book is her pretty horrific upbringing, the second half is her time with 90s indie-pop shoegaze group Lush. It's a fascinating story, really well written, horrendous things happen and yet she never ever feels sorry for herself. You'll never feel envious of a mid level popstar again.
 
Do we have a thread for pop star bios? Can i recommend something here?

Fingers Crossed: How Music Saved Me From Success by Miki Berenyi. The first half of the book is her pretty horrific upbringing, the second half is her time with 90s indie-pop shoegaze group Lush. It's a fascinating story, really well written, horrendous things happen and yet she never ever feels sorry for herself. You'll never feel envious of a mid level popstar again.
I really enjoyed this one. I found her consistently disparaging remarks about Emma a little tiresome (although she does say towards the end that there are two sides to every story) but it did bring home the fact that being in a band can often be very fraught.
 
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So I managed to hit 40 books last year. Super proud of myself as I have been more busy and my eyes hadn't really played ball all the time. I know for sure I am going to do less this year, I felt a bit pressured to beat my previous years record (37) and it took the enjoyment out a bit.

Currently nearing the end of the current Stephanie Plum adventure by Queen Janet Evanovich and it's superb. The image of Lula, clad in Loki horns, charging through a crowded comic convention will stay with me forever.

I used to read so much when I was younger, to the point I got made fun of (it was a welcome break from being bullied for being gay). I can’t remember the last time I read a book, probably ten years ago.

Thought I’d ease myself back in with Adam Silvera’s They Both Die At The End. Read the book in one sitting of a few hours, cried at a few points and related too much to Mateo. He certainly resonated with me and I’m reflecting on myself a little in the dead of night.

Immediately ordered the prequel, The First To Die At The End, to emotionally wreck myself again.
I'm such a fan of Adam, a great writer. Still need to read his newbie though.
 
I have an on again off again relationship with Helen Garner but it you loved The Spare Room, I recommend Monkey Grip if you haven’t read it already. The most beloved book ever by Melbourne residents beyond a certain age. Only cause it’s set in the late 70s, the vibe is very much in tact!

I read 77 this year, mostly fiction but I read a bunch of non-fiction this year too, mostly thanks to Fitzcarraldo’s knack of publishing really great stuff. I also read a couple of excellent graphic novels this year.

Most read authors:
Annie Ernaux (5)
Elizabeth Taylor (3)
Toni Morrison (3)

Fav newly published in 2022:
Fuccboi by Sean Thor Conroe
Seven Steeples by Sara Baume
Post-traumatic by Chantal V. Johnson
Acting Class by Nick Drnaso

Overall new-to-me favs:
The Corner That Held Them by Sylvia Townsend Warner
First Love by Gwendoline Riley
You’ll Enjoy It With You Get There by Elizabeth Taylor
The Spare Room by Helen Garner
Cassandra at the Wedding by Dorothy Parker

Flops:
I passionately hated Marlowe Granados’s Happy Hour, which somehow garnered a decent amount of praise despite being utterly dull.
 
Lovely lists - second time in two days I’ve seen Seven Steeples mentioned, but I’d never heard it before then.

Also interesting to see Fuccboi on your list. Both you and @Someboy have now given it a thumbs up, but I’ve seen it savaged elsewhere.

Edit: Actually maybe it was just you mentioning it twice ddd. But I’m happy to get Someboy’s attention as I wanna know what he’s enjoyed this year.
Cutie.

Here's my 2022 list:
o The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz
o The Girls by Emma Cline
o A Separation by Katie Kitamura
o Mouth to Mouth by Antoine Wilson
o A Very Nice Girl by Imogen Crimp
o White on White by Ayegül Savas
o In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut
o Free Love by Tessa Hadley
o Acts of Desperation by Megan Nolan
o The White Album by Joan Didion
o Cleopatra and Frankenstein by Coco Mellors
o Heartbroke by Chelsea Bieker
o Acts of Service by Lillian Fishman
o Cherry by Nico Walker
o How Strange A Season by Megan Mayhew Bergman
o Little Rabbit by Alyssa Songsiridej
o Luster by Raven Leilani *
o Hammer by Joe Mungo Reed
o Objects of Desire by Clare Sestanovich
o The Russian Debutante’s Handbook by Gary Shteyngart
o The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon
o Dirtbag, Massachusetts by Isaac Fitzgerald
o Veronica by Mary Gaitskill
o We Do What We Do in the Dark by Michelle Hart
o Homesickness by Colin Barrett
o NW by Zadie Smith
o Trust by Hernan Diaz

*Luster was a re-read.

There were also several false starts that hopefully I can list in 2023. Stay focused!

Let's see... The Incendiaries was beautifully written and with a big, beating heart for such a short book; Little Rabbit, which of the sex and power debuts (A Very Nice Girl, Acts of Desperation, Acts of Service, We Do What We Do...) felt the most whole to me with a truly great ending; Trust lives up to the hype, Diaz's control of language is incredible and my only regret is that I kept picking up other books when I was halfway through, so I read it far apart; NW, fantastic, brilliant, etc., I had tried White Teeth a few times and could never persist, but I was determined to read a Zadie Smith novel, so I'm really happy I picked up a different one, and gives me confidence to go back to some of her other work. Also Hammer and Free Love, neither of which reinvent the wheel, but are just good, all around novels.

Of course, there's other heavyweights like Galgut, Gaitskill, Didion, and Kitamura, all of which I enjoyed and are flagged and underlined from front to back.

It's staggering to see some of you list 40, 50, 70 books a year, and it blows my mind when I see people on socials talk about reading over 100 books. Unless I had a huge lifestyle change, I think 30 would be my top limit, which is more than a book every two weeks by the way!

Fuccboi's in paperback in a couple of weeks, I'll cop it then.
 
I’ve just come across StoryGraph on Instagram and I can’t believe I’ve been using goodreads this whole time? It’s so much sleeker and the data visualisation so much nicer to look at!

Slowly making my way through Stanley Tucci’s Taste which is nice and easy-going with a lot descriptions of food that makes me hungry ddd
Wait... Thanks for making my morning at the office feel 'productive'. Can I add you? Hehe.
 
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Finished Taste and enjoyed it. Had a few days off this week so finished Life Ceremony by Sayaka Murata. Got to say whilst it was enjoyable enough some of the stories were really flat and underdeveloped whilst others felt overexpanded. I enjoyed the eponymous story the most I think.

Can’t quite decide what to read next - I’m tempted to start Babel but also quite fancy picking up How High We Go In The Dark or maybe Tender Is The Flesh.
 
@jordxn please report back on your thoughts with any of those three options! Babel is the highest on my TBR but hoping to knock all three out this year too.

I finished The Secret History and it was so satisfying to start the year with a book I loved. I can see how the conclusion could feel unsatisfactory but I think it was a perfect damnation of the type of hollow ideology I saw a lot Classics majors leaning into during my undergrad years.
 
he/him
I want to read all of these! But I think I'd go with How High first.

I actually ended up buying and starting Tokyo Express by Seichō Matsumoto cause I fancied a cute lil murder mystery moment. The paperback for How High is out early next month so going to wait for that cause lord knows I actually hate reading hardbacks, they’re so inconvenient!

I did also pick up Tender Is The Flesh and I have a week off next week so expect I’ll read through it then!
 
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