PopJustice Book Club

Starting this year off with daddy Ishiguro even if it's the polarizing Klara & the Sun. Curious if I'll continue to be a contrarian with this one nn.

Finished this on Friday and I adored it. Didn't quite reach the heights of his best work (A Pale View of the Hills) but I'd notch it above Never Let Me Go. I don't think any other book I've read has portrayed experiencing someone else growing out of your own life quite as effectively.
 
Leave the World Behind is such a joke of a book. That embarrassing prose, the need to over conceptualize and sexualize everything and anything… the line with the penis standing like a yoga pole…

What is wrong with you dd? I can not believe I’m gaslighted to buy this book by BookTok, I feel like a clown again.
 
Leave the World Behind is such a joke of a book. That embarrassing prose, the need to over conceptualize and sexualize everything and anything… the line with the penis standing like a yoga pole…

What is wrong with you dd? I can not believe I’m gaslighted to buy this book by BookTok, I feel like a clown again.
I HATED it. I think people must have just been on a COVID-addled calamity hype?
 
I HATED it. I think people must have just been on a COVID-addled calamity hype?

I guess so, considering lots of media products like this was being made and consumed during those times. But this has to be the worst of them. It is not even so bad that it is good, it just plain sucks.
 
I finished The Line Of Beauty today - what a book. Cutting humour but really poignant too. Has anyone read any of Hollinghurst's other books?
I read his first four. All are beautifully written but The Folding Star is a bit dense and slow going in parts (personally I loved it but it’s not as obviously compelling as The Line of Beauty), The Spell is fun but a bit slight, and The Swimming Pool Library is so hot. Probably some of the best gay sex ever written. The protagonist is a prick but it’s all so hot and filthy. Hollinghurst verified freak.
 

LTG

he/him
I’ve read The Line of Beauty, The Spell and The Sparsholt Affair. The latter has many similar themes to The Line… but comparatively across generations.

I have a copy of The Swimming-Pool Library on my shelf to be read.
 
I loved Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse - I thought it was magnificent, unlike anything I’d read before. It felt like such a rebellious read - knowing that her position on women having their own lives, dreams and careers outside of the marital home would have been pretty radical for the time. It was very touching in places too.

I’ve read Jack Kornfield’s A Path with Heart - a spiritual non-fiction about Buddhism, insight meditation and how to reconcile the wisdom and ancient teachings of the East into our chaotic life in the West. Thought-provoking if not slow-going at times, there was a lot to digest.

I blazed through John Steinbeck’s The Pastures of Heaven - what a book! It’s not his finest but is still wonderful, full of what I love about him as a writer. 12 vignettes of people living in this small region outside Salinas, California - charming, sad in places, always moving. I’m going to read Cannery Row next.
 
I finished The Forgetting by Hannah Beckerman last night. I only started it on Monday, but it was such a page turner I got through it in a few days.

It's basically a domestic thriller with two main characters. Anna in London who's woken up with amnesia after a car accident and can't remember anything about life with husband Stephen before. And Livvy in Bristol who's mother in law appears out of the blue and makes her question how well she knows her husband, Dominic.

I'd recommend if you enjoy a twisty, turny read.
 
People have been telling me The Secret Lives of Church Ladies is a banger for ages. Finally got around to reading it and they were so right. What a fucking brilliant set of stories, with such distinctive voices. I would lap up a novel by Philyaw.

Catherine Chidgey’s Pet is wonderfully tense and unnerving, without resorting to any shock tactics. 60 pages to go and loving it.
 
I finished The Line Of Beauty today - what a book. Cutting humour but really poignant too. Has anyone read any of Hollinghurst's other books?
They're all wonderful, except for 'The Spell' which I found really dull. 'The Line Of Beauty' is his masterpiece though.


x
 
I must be in a minority but I strongly disliked A Little Life. Torture porn is just not my bag, I guess! The prose is beautiful but the novel very much did not need to be this harrowing. At some point - i.e. the car crash - I just laughed because the author’s determination to make Jude suffer had become too ridiculous for my tastes. Like, Hanya girl, are you okay? Did you know a real-life person named Jude who wronged you in middle school?

The fact that it is now deemed a modern gay classic … sigh.
 
he/him/basic cishomo
I must be in a minority but I strongly disliked A Little Life. Torture porn is just not my bag, I guess! The prose is beautiful but the novel very much did not need to be this harrowing. At some point - i.e. the car crash - I just laughed because the author’s determination to make Jude suffer had become too ridiculous for my tastes. Like, Hanya girl, are you okay? Did you know a real-life person named Jude who wronged you in middle school?

The fact that it is now deemed a modern gay classic … sigh.
The way it is going to sit unlistened in my audiobook library forever or until my soul is blackened enough to handle it. The idea of listening to that subject matter as I go to and from work every day... no ma'am! One of my more questionable impulse buys.
 
I just finished The Appeal last night and it was right up my street. The whole thing was written as emails/texts/letters and I was totally engrossed. It was initially a bit hard to keep track of everybody but once I did, I was fully invested. Great little murder mystery with some great characterisation.
 

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