What to read next?

Catherine The Great by Robert Massie is fascinating, a real page turner.

American Pastorale, Philip Roth. Amazing writing and fascinating story, plus it's entirely local (mostly Newark), even includes Maplewood and SOuth Orange. And it won the Pulitzer Prize. Not a comedy, except if you look at it one paragraph at a time.

Getting ready to start The Art of Fielding.

Last week I attempted The Strangers Child, but gave up after 300 pages. The worst kind of book, not bad enough to put down, but I had no interest infinishing. Also read Swamplandia! which was Ok, and some porn for girls that I forget the name of.

Next up, Zulieka Dobson, which sounds interesting and Catherine the Great for non fiction. I like to have a fiction and non fiction book going at the same time.

Just did something I seldom do: stopped reading a book: "A Visit from the Goon Squad." I'd even bought it, in paper, on the recommendation of a work colleague.

All I can think is that I'm too old for it, and require a bit more in the way of narrative skill.. It has nostalgic stuff, but mostly for those now 40-ish in terms of music, punk, style etc. Started out interesting enough, with a slightly over the hill record promoter/producer (Bennie) and his assistant (Sasha). I was kind of getting into Sasha's story, and then the whole thing flipped narratively into Bennie's back story and origins from high school forward with a punk band. Just did nothing for me. Couldn't care about the people, narrative moved forward and back a lot in ways that were (to me) not very well-handled. Overall, yeck. And free to a good home.

Cynical--I read another book by Jennifer Egan, called "Look at Me" and it was on the recommendation of a friend who has identical taste in books as I do--I hated it. I finished it to see what would happen, but it wasn't worth it.

Am in the middle of "the expats" by pavone. I'm really enjoying it. A mystery and suspense thriller, but very different in tone.

I also read "Defending jacob" by landry and "the good father" by hawley back to back. Add in "we need to talk about kevin" and you'll have the trifecta of horrifying parenting books. Recommend all three though!

cynicalgirl said:

Just did something I seldom do: stopped reading a book: "A Visit from the Goon Squad." I'd even bought it, in paper, on the recommendation of a work colleague.

All I can think is that I'm too old for it, and require a bit more in the way of narrative skill.. It has nostalgic stuff, but mostly for those now 40-ish in terms of music, punk, style etc. Started out interesting enough, with a slightly over the hill record promoter/producer (Bennie) and his assistant (Sasha). I was kind of getting into Sasha's story, and then the whole thing flipped narratively into Bennie's back story and origins from high school forward with a punk band. Just did nothing for me. Couldn't care about the people, narrative moved forward and back a lot in ways that were (to me) not very well-handled. Overall, yeck. And free to a good home.


I did the same thing with that book. Only it's still on my Kindle.

Well, bookgirl and eliz, I feel better. I don't see the colleague often, but like and respect her a lot and thought maybe it was just me.

Another vote for Imperfectionists. Sisters Brothers by Patrick Dewitt was also really good.

Books I stopped reading after a few chapters despite great reviews: super sad true love story, Swamplandia

Has anyone read The Paris Wife? I've had it on my "to read" list for a while but haven't seen anyone recommend it.

Also, I totally recommend Unbroken by Laura Hillendrand -- amazing non-fiction WWI story.

I'm a few chapters into In One Person, John Irving's latest novel. Riveting. He (John Irving) continues to make his characters jump off the page. Loving this so far.

I used to love John Irving, but I've not loved his last 2 books. The last book of his that I really enjoyed was "A Widow for One Year". Is Irving back to form? I liked the Imperfectionists as well.

Right now, I am about halfway through "The Art of Fielding" and am really enjoying it. I was a bit hesitant because I thought it would be too "basebally" but its not.

I have Defending Jacob on my list.

Defending jacob will scare the crap out of you

leighan said:

Defending jacob will scare the crap out of you


Yup sure did.

Damn, damn, damn. Most of these titles are not available to borrow from the library on my iPad. And now I REALLY want to read Defending Jacob! ;-)

You can download Kindle app to your ipad and read that way, but you have to purchase the book rather than borrow it.

jmo - I'll recommend "Paris Wife". Found it an easy, enjoyable read!

I just read The London Train by Tessa Hadley, a British writer who should be better known here. It's a literary novel, and not much happens, but it's beautifully written and totally satisfying. Best non-crime novel I've read in quite a while.

jmo said:



Also, I totally recommend Unbroken by Laura Hillendrand -- amazing non-fiction WWI story.


+1.
Unbroken was an incredible story.

Reading the Paris Wife now - enjoying it very much.

I liked The Paris Wife also, but I'm a Hemingway fan.

I just read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and quite enjoyed it. To be fair, I loved the world of the circus, not so much the people involved.

I recently read 1Q84 Haruki Murakami. I still haven't decided if I liked it or not, but it's stayed with me since I read it a few months ago, so it was certainly powerful.

IQ84 is Murakami's weakest novel so far. Check out his Wind-up Bird Chronicle or Hard Boiled Wonderland for much, much better works.

Cyn, My book club read A Visit from the Goon Squad a couple of months ago. Nobody liked it much but at the same time it did provide for some interesting discussion. I generally prefer to read fiction from the inside rather than the outside--which is to say, to talk about what the characters are doing, not what the author is doing. But because Goon Squad made it hard to get into the characters' lives (due to the way it jumped around, among other things) we mostly talked about what the author was trying to do.

Kinda corroborates my experience! Still didn't care for it, and do not think the author sufficiently skillful in achieving her goal...

Next two books on my list -

Open City by Teju Cole
http://www.amazon.com/Open-City-Novel-Teju-Cole/dp/1400068096

In Other Rooms by Daniyal Mueenuddin
http://www.amazon.com/Other-Rooms-Wonders/dp/0393337200/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1338932321&sr=1-1

campbell29 said:

I used to love John Irving, but I've not loved his last 2 books. The last book of his that I really enjoyed was "A Widow for One Year". Is Irving back to form? ......


Depends what you mean by that. His last novel (before this), Last Night in Twisted River, blew me away. I haven't read any of his novels between that and A Widow For One Year, so if you're referring to one of those, I can't comment.

I cannot get enough of In One Person. Irving is out-Irvinging himself.


I thought Last Night in Twisted River was OK. I was disappointed in "Until I Find You" and "The Fourth Hand". I will probably read "In One Person" because I generally like Irving. Owen Meany and Ciderhouse Rules are 2 of my favorite books.

I am probably going to finish "Defending Jacob" tonight. I finished "Art of Fielding" and enjoyed it.

Go to The Friends of the South Orange Library Used Book Sale on Saturday the 16th at the Baird (11-4).....thousands of books and some real treasures!

My book club is reading "The Time in Between" by Maria Duenas. I am about 65% in and am enjoying that. Before that the best book we read recently was "The Dovekeepers" - historical fiction about the Masada (sp?) where an outpost of Jews set up in the first century AD. We also really liked "The Marriage Plot"- set in the 1980's around the English dept at Brown University. This one had very well developed characters
Also, I loved Irving's Last Night in Twisted River. I can still visualize the scenes and characters.

I loved The Paris Wife too. I went on to read Hemmingway's Moveable Feast then. What a man he was!

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