Books that you've read lately



Really getting into One Hundred Years of Solitude as I’m now over (I think) half way through: the fact that there are several characters whose names are variations on a tiny number of names makes it sometimes hard to follow, but I can definitely see where Pynchon drew some influence for Mason & Dixon and Against the Day in terms of the strange, detached way through which societal progress is conveyed.

Has anyone read any Otessa Moshfegh here by the way? Found out about her recently, and I’m very intrigued. It was partly this cover that first grabbed my attention…


Currently reading trouble boys which is about the replacements. A great book, has loads of stuff that ‘all over but the shouting’ just lacked which makes the band significantly more tragic. My one criticism is that it seems to leave Chris Mars out of large chunks of the narrative, but then again he doesn’t seem to have contributed to the book


For anyone who cares, here’s this year’s Booker Prize longlist:

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster (US) (Faber & Faber)
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (Ireland) (Faber & Faber)
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (US) (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Pakistan-UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (Ireland) (Canongate)
Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor (UK) (4th Estate)
Elmet by Fiona Mozley (UK) (JM Originals)
The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (India) (Hamish Hamilton)
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (US) (Bloomsbury)
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (UK-Pakistan) (Bloomsbury)
Autumn by Ali Smith (UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
Swing Time by Zadie Smith (UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (US) (Fleet)


Finished Broom - enjoyed most of it but found the end upsettingly frustrating. I might give Infinite Jest a year or so.

Started The Big Nowhere by James Ellroy. At the moment, I don’t think I like it. Raymond Chandler is so much classier.


This is really entertaining utopian sci-fi.

Easily top ten books of all time.

Excellent collection of short stories about the lives of women and girls.


Halfway through The Power. Really love the concept, and I’m enjoying it. I just don’t think it’s particularly well written (apart from everything with Roxy who feels very ‘real’. TV had basically the same thoughts when we were chatting about it yesterday. Also (minor spoiler I guess) the male journalist seems shoe-horned in. Felt kind of immersion-breaking that none of the women in the Saudi uprising could have done the journalistic coverage of it?



The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir - Really saggs in the final third and becomes increasingly uncomfortable. There is only so many times you can repeat grim acts of rape/abuse before it starts to feel like you’re being manipulated.

He said She said by Erin Kelly - Great thriller about 2 eclipse-chasers who witness a crime at the 1999 solar eclipse but ~all is not what it seems ~


I finished The Underground Railroad yesterday. It’s very good. His previous novel, Zone One, is also well worth a read. There is not enough literary fiction about a zombie apocalypse.


Recently, a few Shaun Hutson’s because I wanted something trashy to read.

I’m part the way through the new Alan Partridge one, Nomad and it’s excellent :smiley:


Just finished A brief history of 7 Killings. Really enjoyed it, despite feeling it lost it’s pace in the section right after the shooting attempt. Picked it back up again though in the next part and ripped along to the end after that.


Pretty much my feelings about Broom.


Read a bunch of true crime shit lately - Catching a serial killer - Stephen Fulcher and The Forgotten Killer - John Douglas et al, Amanda Knox’s book.

Now i’m reading Stephen King’s IT. Should get back to reading something proper soon coz i’m way behind on 26 for the year, in the mood to re-read Wind Up Bird Chronicle though.


Yup. You bothered with any of the sequel/spin-offs?


and it’s just won the Clarke Award for best SF novel of the year.


No - apart from watching the Hitchcock film, which was great, but the book is incomparable. Would you recommend anything?


I like Sally Beaumann but never managed to finish Rebecca’s Tale, do sometimes think of going back to it though.


Ah the edition I read had the first chapter of Rebecca’s Tale at the end, and an afterword by Sally Beauman. It intrigued me after I finished it, but obviously not enough to actually go and read it.


Tempted to do this as well


Exactly this!

I’ve got The Book of Night Women on my shelf to start soon.


Shall we all do it together?