Books that you've read lately



i started reading ‘it’ recently as well but gave up pretty early on. i hoped for a bit more world-building in the sense of ‘it’ being a wider issue in the town/to more people than it does in the miniseries, which is in there in the other pennywise sightings and whatnot but otherwise found the town history and that element to be kinda dull and hokey and it put me off a bit. the main characters are obviously more fleshed out but in some cases that kind of made them worse. i sorta preferred the get on with it versions in the miniseries.


Obviously want to read Lincoln on the Bardo and I’ve read a good review of Elmet so would like to get hold of that. I also like Autumn (as in Winter I that is) so…
I picked up 4321 from the library. It’s fucking massive (866pp), the first chapter is 48 pages and very, very dull. Great!


I read it when I was 15 or 16 I’m sure, and loved it then. Am curious to see what I’d make of it now. Although I picked up a new paperback version of It in the shop the other day, and was shocked to see that it was 1300 pages long! I remembered it being long, but nowhere near that long.


It’s bloomin’ massive!


I ought this in the Oxfam for a quid because I thought the cover was pretty cool but it turned out to be a really good, well written, bunch of sci-fi short stories.


I’m currently reading Brief Interviews With Hideous Men and finding it easier-going than I did first time round; it’s kind of weird that my DFW reading is basically his first novel and then this, which - I believe - is one of his final works. It’s interesting to see the same feverish “maximalism” from Broom but in a far more melancholy context.

Before that, I’d read Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen and Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami.


TV, but book related: just watched the first episode of Philip K Dick’s Electric Dreams on channel four. Very good. Nice Black Mirror type sci fi feeling.


Lincoln and Underground are both on my to-read list from before they were Booker (so you know I’m cool) but I like the sound of Exit West from a one line synopsis in a Guardian article I read.

I won’t read any of these this year though - I read The Sellout last month and nothing else from last year at all.


I’ve only read High Castle but get the impression I like his ideas more than I like his writing.


In that case try his short stories - they come in, do the job, hit you with the one big idea, and…out. You can gloss over the average quality of the writing, and they’re not susceptible to his novels’ tendency to sort of peter out in this weird state where you’re not sure if the narrator (or the author) has maybe tried just a bit too much LSD and isn’t sure where things are going.


As for me:

The 33 1/3 on Psychocandy. Really poorly written/edited, sadly.
The Apocalypse triptych ( Three science fiction short story collections, about the lead-up to apocalypse, apocalypse itself, and then post-apocalyptic life. Most of the stories are linked and there are some big names (Ken Liu, Nancy Kress, Seanan Maguire) and some decent stories. Worth a look for sf fans.


Just finishing Days Without End, it’s absolutely stunning innit


‘Siddhartha’ by Herman Hesse


I used to enjoy apocalypse fiction. Now, not so much.


Reading Augustus - the other book by Stoner/Butcher’s Crossing (both v good) author John Williams.

It’s really good but it’s all told in letters and journal entries and it takes a bit of effort to remember who is who.


Recently finished the drowned world. Thought all the bits with it Strangman were great, but most of the parts with him in were a bit ropey. It’s also an incredibly racist book.

Currently reading 1974 by David Peace which I’ve been zipping through.


everyone wants to read Lincoln in the Bardo huh, I don’t think I know anything about it.

4321 sounded like a bit of a slog, though I have liked all the Paul Auster I’ve read before


Finished Dark Money by Jane Mayer, brilliantly written non-fiction regarding the shadowy outside money which is always referred to in the news. Would be very interested in reading a similar book about UK politics if anyone knows about one?

Picked up The Outsider and Animal Farm after having a trawl around an independent bookstore…might read those next since I could probably do with reading some fiction.


i’m re-reading lord of the rings like a sad cunt coz i really want my brain to reclaim it from peter jackson.


Have you got to the bit where they go walking and sing a song?

Edit: Spoilers!!