Book thread 2018 📚


Just finished Novel 11, Book 18 by Dag Solstad, which I really enjoyed. Definitley one that sticks with you the more you chew it over upon completion. It’s completely macabre and bleak at the same time as being gently amusing and feeling really light



That aesthetic


Okay, so I would recommend Too Like the Lightning to anyone who likes sci fi, China Mielville (sp?) or Neil Stephenson.

Word of warning: it’s not a complete story as part of a trilogy like Ancillary Justice (say), the book just ends 1/3 way through the story.

I’m not sure if that was the author’s original intent or a financial/significance decision by the publishers who’d realise a trilogy is a more meaty offering to the market.



just started “nothing is true…”

it reminds me a lot of the eXile book, which is good. the way the President is never named, the description of how the TV and political infrastructure functions, has this big brother/1984 vibe, but drenched in sleaze and neon.

such a wild, surreal, funny, sad book so far. just got to a bit where a mid-level bureaucrat tells an EU rep, “I recently visited Poland. I saw them making ketchup in a cement mixer. That’s the kind of innovation we need here”. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


not sat down with it yet, got a bit overloaded with bleakness after the unwomanly face of war and started a couple of novels (which have turned out to be fairly bleak) sounds good tho.

how did that pallaver with tiabbi & the exile play out? I remember reading something about it but I never caught the end of the story.


afaik nobody bothered to get in touch with the russian women who were said to have been harassed. when paste magazine finally contacted them, they said ames and taibbi were complete pros to work for the whole time they were in russia, despite the various drug addictions and mental breakdowns. still, i think everyone involved admitted the, uh, more colourful passages in the book were probably ill thought through to say the least.

taibbi has gone after a few outlets who’ve continued to smear him and received full retractions/apologies from each (iirc the guardian had to publish an apology to him). ames was ames, which is to say he was belligerent af from beginning to end. he’s since made a bigger effort to include more women interviewees on radio war nerd, and its made a great podcast even better imo.

very telling that nobody bothered to actually contact the women until paste picked up the story, tho.


ahhh cool, good to know. yeah sounded like pretty wrong headed parody when I read it, much better that than the other thing obviously.

not listened to war nerd, doesn’t seem to be listed on my podcatcher, but the other dude was brilliant on chapo. proper insightful.


A post-apocalyptic Joan of Arc. Sort of. Beautifully written. Bleak and weird.
I recommend it


Started reading this

It’s pretty good.


Guys I’m re-reading ‘Moby Dick’. I remember it being rather a slog when I read it nearly 20 years ago but it’s much more fun and fast paced than I recall. Not sure if this is because it’s easier on a re-read, I’ve matured or I just haven’t got to the really technical whaling bits yet which I seem to remember bog down the middle bit.

Anyway, all aboard the Pequod, it’s a lot funnier than I remember too.


I really hated Moby Dick when I read it last year.

Maybe I should have another go.


I refinished a collection of Nathanial Hawthorne stories that I read for my degree. I enjoyed them much more this time round.

Young Goodman Brown is a GBOGM.


one of my favourites of all time.

i read it when abroad in the states to study and spent a whole semester on that and related criticism, and without doing it that way i’m not sure it would have had such impact on me. melville has definitely influenced the way i’ve subsequently viewed and thought about fiction and i suppose about wider life too.

such a strange and singular piece of writing… i’m going to re-read this summer now, you’ve inspired me!

think you should update as you go with favourite chapters!


Remember to listen to Leviathan by Mastodon exclusively while reading it.


I think the original might be a tiny bit intrusive for reading to but I actually have a fab chronos quartet instrumental version of the lp which I may well throw on.


I found it was fine TBH but I was blotting out the tube most of the time…


Just started John Williams’ Stoner and I’m loving it. Excellent characterisation of a man ‘under the radar’. A real page turner.


Currently reading Confessions of a mask by Yukio Mishima

Probably one of his most accessible and enjoyable books that I’ve read. He’s quite a fascinating character.

Have Man’s Fate by Andre Malraux, Buddenbrooke by Thomas Mann, Dreamers by Knut Hamsun and The Unloved by Deborah Levy up next