Reading books in 2023

I can’t quite believe what I’m reading here. Stick me in the flabbergasted that it’s not “just desserts” camp


Quickly men, to the ‘Slow To Realise’ thread!

[I appreciate it’s already in there, but my comment wouldn’t have worked otherwise]


Well it’s pronounced the same as when you desert the army or desert someone in their time of need.

But this is the first time I have even realised when you desert from the army you now pronounce desert the same as dessert. (To be clear, it’s not that I’ve been pronouncing ‘desertion’ wrong all these years, I just never considered that it was the same as ‘dessert’, I guess because the contexts are always so completely separate.)

As well also finding out it’s not ‘just desserts’ as in a final course that is terrible and justly deserved for being an absolute rotter of a person. FUCKING HELL.

1 Like

I mean it sort of does but obviously this explains why some of these seem to be about puddings (and maybe the mystery book is a pun title)

1 Like

sorry about this everyone. I think we can all agree it’s a silly language


The Dispossessed was predictably amazing. Love that the structure mirrored Shevek’s Simultaneity Theory. Really elegant.

Realised the library has loads of plays and poetry on the first floor, so am checking out some Satrean plays now, out of curiosity.

1 Like

Ah! Used to love Chew!

1 Like

Did someone say justdesertino?


emailed about it, no reply, auto refund from eBay

quick system anyway but … i wanted the lamp! time to relocate one

1 Like

Might be in Argos?

1 Like

Continuing on with trash, I read The Dark yesterday.

A group of people in isolation, one killer, you know the drill as this is basically 90% of all thrillers. Thought it was alright, but clumsy in places though like…when Andrew at the very start says but everyone calls me Drew i groaned knowing this shortening would be a confusion later in the story and sure enough it was.

But again, another 99p well spent if you just want a quick read.

Picking up some absolute bargs and bangers in the charity shop recently. Chuffed to find Reprieve by James Han Mattsonin there today, had been eying that up in the shop.

1 Like

Not remotely related to the plot or fitting of the character describing her. Literally every book I’ve read this year has banged on about how great thin women look for absolutely no reason and worse, they’ve all been written by women. Recently.


1 Like

Finished The Passenger by Cormac McCarthy last night. Quite relieved. Was a bit of a slog but took me 2/3rds of the book to realise that by which point I was too invested to stop.

Just finished Deep Wheel Arcadia by Harry Josephine Giles: sci fi verse novel in Scots dialect! My youngest got me this for Christmas and it’s been a real experience. My Goodreads review:

I’m a massive fan of Becky Chambers. I love her alien worlds with warm and human(even when not actually human) crews and inhabitants, ships that feel like real breathing spaces where people actually work, general sense of slightly earnest positivity and community and how she uses science fiction as a way to ultimately reflect the best of what people could or can be.

What i didn’t realise I needed in my like was basically a Becky Chambers novella written a) in verse and b) in Orkney Scots dialect. But here it is and I really enjoyed it! I very much valued the standard English being placed underneath although I found that juggling this and the verse meant I probably didn’t get as much out of the poetry as I would have done if I’d been a proper Scot. That’s on me though, no fault of this lovely, ambitious and very human book.


I’ve just read and finished Babel, but I loved it. It maybe dipped slightly in the last quarter, but I was happy with the ending. Really liked the characters and storyline, even the relentlessness of the bit you were frustrated by.

After having read a fair few longish books this month already, I’m not going to dive into a nice short 160 Vonnegut book that I’ve not read yet (God Bless You, Mr Rosewater). It might feel a bit different in tone I reckon!

1 Like

Really glad it worked for you! Lots of positives to it, wish i had been able to enjoy it more.

1 Like

Finished a couple this week:

I’m committed to reading 50 books this year, but added a caveat that at least one book has to be a long one so I’m not just snacking and counting them as meals.

Nathan Hill - The Nix - really enjoyed this. Felt like it covered all the ground - serious, funny, history, politics, family with actual good use of time jumping and mixing actual events and people with the fictional ones. I keep seeing the phrase ‘Great American Novel’ without really knowing what that means. What does it mean to you guys?

Jonathan Coe - Bournville - I think I’m checked out with Coe. What a Carve Up! and House of Sleep are books I really enjoyed for different reasons, but I felt he had a decent grasp of twisty plots with a bit of satire. Felt like Bournville was a victory lap for whatever award he won for Middle England, and although his books do a good job of capturing a certain time and place in certain parts, this time I felt like he was only including characters that differed (eg nationality, sexuality, colour) in any way to the central family so that those people could be shitty to them in some way. Possibly uncharitable reading of it as Coe is hardly a tory, but it was pretty tiresome in the end.

for me the great american novel is like pornography - you cant define it, but i like to whack off when im reading it


post to be read in the voice of norm macdonald