Reading Books in 2021

I’m rereading the Crying of Lot 49 (since it’s short and I’ve got a book I’ll be getting for my birthday next week)

Can’t stress enough how amazing the Couriers Tragedy bit is - a ridiculous parody of a revenge play, with some of the funniest gratuitous violence I’ve ever seen in literature, constant blending of grandiose Shakespearian language with casual Americanisms… all with this bizarre left turn into spine tingling dread midway through


Yeah Dick Francis!


(I do think there are five or six DF books that are up there in the canon of great thriller fiction TBF)

Reading the Wikipedia stuff it doesn’t seem like The Sea Wall is actually the same story again, not in the sense of The Lover and The North China Lover. Should be more highlighted I reckon. Sounds interesting anyway.

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as you love Wikipedia so much Theo :wink:

Duras published The Lover [1] when she was 70, 55 years after she met Léo, the Chinese man of her story (she never revealed his surname). She wrote about her experience in three works: The Sea Wall , The Lover , and The North China Lover .[

As I mentioned before, the Sea Wall is the most novelistic…as the years have gone by she seems to have stripped back a lot of the fictional elements for the other books.

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just started The Secret History, finding it quite a lot more engaging than The Goldfinch so far - feels like a lot fewer dense winding descriptions of very small things, just a bit pacier

Really reminds me of The Likeness by Tana French with the small, clever, insular group of friends though, will have to avoid comparing them too much. Wonder if TSH did inspire Tana though

you’ve read David Eddings haven’t you? There’s bits in his second series where the characters are literally commenting on how it is the first series repeating itself. Not in some sort of arch meta way either, more in a “I can’t believe I’m getting away with this” fashion.


Big fan of The Secret History and agree with it being more engaging than The Goldfinch. Often want to read it again.

Had two books recommended to me off the back of The Secret History that were both enjoyable reads Bellweather Rhapsody by Katie Racculia and Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl.

Tana French’s The Secret Place also draws upon similar themes and has a similar setting so would be confident saying she’s definitely a fan!

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Writing the same fantasy series 4 times is quite the thing

the Nomadland book is excellent
Much better than the film which is also really good

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Having read it makes me like the film less actually cos a key part of the book is how horrendously amazon treat their workers and the debilitating effect it has on them and that pretty much gets glossed over in the film

I’d be interested in this I reckon! I read a lot of opinions about the Amazon stuff in the film before watching it, so by the time I got round to watching it I couldn’t really form my own haha. At the time I quite liked how for all the jobs in the film, the holiday camp, the restaurant, the weird quarry thing etc, the focus was always on the people there and never the actual job. Thought that was a pretty clever way to keep the film focused, like. Would be well up for some more in depth stuff on how rubbish it is actually working in those places day in, day out though.

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I am on chapter 22 of a 24 chapter plus epilogue romantic comedy I was reading for some light relief/entertainment and I am so tempted to give it up in a rage cos this should’ve been resolved 300 pages ago and I don’t need an update on what’s going on in every peripheral characters life at all let alone 3 chapters before the main characters have sorted their shit out :triumph:

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I think it was @paulo13 who was reading Cold Comfort Farm last year; it’s on BBC4 today so it should be on BBC iPlayer. Am rewatching it and bloody loving it.

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Thanks, will check it out! Is it the relatively newer film version? I watched some TV version of it from the 60s or 70s or something on YouTube, but didn’t like it anywhere near the book. But will be sure to give it a go!

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Yeah it’s the version from the early 90s with Kate Beckinsale. Not sure if that’s the one you watched, it’s got everyone ever in. Steven Fry, Ian McKellan, Joanna Lumley, Rufus Sewell…

Nope, not seen that one so will definitely watch it if it’s on iPlayer this weekend, thanks!

Not read the book but yeah I saw a lot of comment on this. I did wonder if it was something they could have done or not. I mean obviously the book didn’t get sued but I’d guess a film could be? Or even if it couldn’t in order to be able to do that would they have to recreate a whole fake Amazon because even if you can say that stuff without being sued you can’t presumably use their logos, so that would lessen the impact in that context.

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I would see it to the bitter end at that point but yeah, it’s so frustrating when you’re just reading to finish a thing like that.

What book so I am sure to avoid just in case, btw?

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Finished Boy Parts yesterday. Think I read it in about two weeks which is quite quick for me these days. A good mix of being very easy to read and feeling like it was always on the brink of going very dark very quickly. Thanks to everyone who recommended it!


Picked up two Jack Reachers for my mini-break, the first two I think though I haven’t read them. Fucking love a Jack Reacher.