Anonymous asked:

Have you read "A home at the end of the world" by Michael Cunningham?

I have not! I do remember the movie coming out, lol. (Not, incidentally, to rapturous reviews.) I probably ought to because I have read The Hours and I LOVE IT SO FUCKING MUCH UGHHHHHH. A perfect novel. A big influence on me for sure, I wrote a huge essay on it at Oxford at the end of my Virginia Woolf tutorial which was like, a ~life-changing experience for me. And the plot of this one has always sounded interesting to me. So I shall keep it in mind. :)

(Also I saw Michael Cunningham at a talk on Diane Arbus a couple of years ago and he was SUCH A CHARACTER in a great way. Idk what he would be like… in… person… but in that context he was awesome, haha. So good.)

toulouselautrick asked:

Hello! after you mentioned the novel "goldfinch" a couple times I figured I would check it out. Unfortunately, it's not currently available at my public library (coincidence? I wonder). Do you have any other books that you'd recommend while I wait? I'm an omnivorous reader and am always looking for suggestions

WELL I think that is probably because The Goldfinch has been #1 on the NYT bestseller list SINCE IT WAS RELEASED (I think it is still #1? it was a couple of weeks ago anyway) and so basically everybody is reading that book. Because it is great. I imagine there is a waiting list for it basically everywhere.

But since you are waiting I would direct you to Donna Tartt’s first book, The Secret History, which is very unlike it in a lot of ways, though not, I think, as unlike it as a lot of critics were saying when it came out. I love The Secret History; I plowed through it in like, two days at Oxford when my wifi was broken and I had nothing else to do. But I would have read it fast even if I had had the internet, because it is that kind of book. I have recommended it to a lot of people over the years and all of them have loved it. It takes place in a liberal arts college in New England and there is mystery and murder and intrigue and Greek tragedy and basically it is just great. Pulp for intellectuals, I always say. But really it’s very accessible.

I also recently read Life After Life by Kate Atkinson which I enjoyed enormously.

book meme

tagged by connaissais! have done this before, but here again, off the top of my head.

Rules: In a text post, list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you. Tag ten friends, including me, so I’ll see your list. Make sure you let your friends know you’ve tagged them:

  1. The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman
  2. The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
  3. Train Dreams, Denis Johnson
  4. Stoner, John Williams
  5. Nine Stories, J. D. Salinger
  6. On Beauty, Zadie Smith
  7. The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James
  8. Brooklyn, Colm Tóibín
  9. Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
  10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë

(See also: A Separate Peace, The Catcher in the Rye, Middlemarch, etc.)

Tagging: fiveyearmission, fursasaida, tomato-greens, beryllinthranox, alwaysalreadyangry, augustbird, trinityofone, ink-splotch, and idk, anybody else who feels so inclined. OR NOT, IF YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE IT, or have done this a thousand times already.

I have sorted out most of my two bookshelves (and also most of the crap in my desk). Please disregard the hideously dirty and basically unused yoga mat also pictured. I’M GOING TO CLEAN IT AND ALSO USE IT MAYBE. NEW APARTMENT RESOLUTIONS.

I unpacked my Brit Lit section because that is what I actually care about, because I am a stereotype. Unfortunately, I have… five boxes left. Um.

My mom is sending some more shelves.

bearpolarh asked:

Gosh, I'm at my 3rd re-read of Catcher, I agree wholeheartedly that it improves each time. I've had a good run this year, the gap I'm taking before grad school allowed me to read a lot more than I ever could (read as I don't want to be an adult, leave me be with my books & movies). Delved more into classics and Asian lit instead of sticking to the few authors I'm partial to. Victorian lit though, I have a hard time getting into. What would you suggest for someone who prefers stuff like Wilde?

Would that we could all just avoid being adults forever and read and watch movies instead. WHAT A WORLD THAT WOULD BE.

Hmm, Wilde. I am not really an expert in the fin de siècle despite loving Wilde & having used Dorian Gray in my senior thesis; I know more about the fat old Marriage Plot Novels though I have a long list of stuff I ought to read on the docket. (I WILL READ THE WOMAN IN WHITE THIS YEAR, BY GOD. I WILL DO IT.)

A few things come to mind, if you haven’t encountered them: there’s Carmilla, by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, which is an Irish Gothic lesbian vampire novella which is aweeeeesome and which predates Dracula by like 25 years or something. Not too long and super fun and campy.

You might also enjoy The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James, which is less — pulpy, I suppose, although that isn’t really the right word for Wilde — but which is a really amazing ghost story and is really chilling and not very long. I LOVE this book.

Otherwise — you might want to look into Guy de Maupassant, though his output varies a lot. He wrote a lot of short stories (in French) a number of which have supernatural elements, iirc. The thing of his that I love is a novel called Bel Ami which is… not like that, haha. (A great social novel of the belle époque though! Good stuff!)

Charlotte recommends The Lost Stradivarius, by John Meade Falkner, about which I know nothing, but the plot summary looks great.

sapphirecate replied to your post: mandelable replied to your post “I rec…

depending on the book, i would join your book club if you’d have me :)

vampiregreyhound replied to your post: mandelable replied to your post “I rec…

yes!

mandelable replied to your post: mandelable replied to your post “I rec…

I’d do it. I need people to hold me responsible for reading real books or else I end up just reading fanfiction while my library books go overdue.

Well, I THINK WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE, FRIEND.

ALL RIGHT, I think this is definitely sufficient interest, particularly given that it’s… eleven at night, haha. Also I have, uh, more followers than I did when last doing something of this nature, lol. I mean you only need a few people really but like. Even if a couple people flaked out it would probably be fine, is my point.

I am going to think about ways of doing this that might work — we had a tracked tag last time and posted on particular days, which worked pretty well, but I am going to have a think about whether that is the best way of doing it. (Obviously if anyone has any bright ideas, chime in.) This is REALLY A TIME WHEN LIVEJOURNAL WOULD BE GOOD, and that is not something I often think.

Do people have types of books they might be interested in? I will do a proper post about this at a… more real hour of the day, haha, but I am just starting to think already. If people have general ideas I can come up with some ideas and then crowdsource some more maybe, and we can pick one.

mandelable replied to your post “I recently re-read Catcher in The Rye and it took me by surprise because I hated it the first time I read it (that was about 2-3 years ago?). I love it so much now and I don’t even know exactly why. It’s the only book I re-read when I have a million and one books and fics waiting. You have any other books you come back to?”

Can we make a book club? I feel like we should have a book club.

beryllinthranox and I actually did do a tumblr book club for a while! And then it sort of fell apart due to people being busy and etc etc. HOWEVER I THINK THIS WOULD BE A GOOD TIME TO START SOMETHING UP AGAIN. I mean I am super fucking unemployed right now aside from BBP stuff and editing so it’s not like I haven’t got time to read some stuff. ALSO, DISCIPLINE IS GOOD.

The first time we did this we actually did all of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, which in retrospect I am AMAZED we succeeded in doing, but it was really awesome because that book is really rich and actually benefits from being done in a regimented fashion, I think. (I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK ALSO, TO ANYONE WHO HAS NOT READ IT. Ugh it’s so gooood.)

ANYWAY: WOULD THIS BE A THING THAT WOULD INTEREST PEOPLE.

bearpolarh asked:

I recently re-read Catcher in The Rye and it took me by surprise because I hated it the first time I read it (that was about 2-3 years ago?). I love it so much now and I don't even know exactly why. It's the only book I re-read when I have a million and one books and fics waiting. You have any other books you come back to?

I’M TELLING YOU, that book improves SO MUCH upon rereadings. And I mean, I say that as someone who loved it the first time around. It is just a book that needs to be read multiple times. I really want to read it again but my copy is at my mom’s house so at some point I will have to find it there and bring it home with me.

I don’t reread stuff as much as I would like — I mean I need to read more period; I’ve had a bad year or so for a variety of reasons, reading-wise. So THIS IS ONE OF MY GOALS: reading more books. Last year I did reread The Portrait of a Lady, as I mentioned earlier, which was a Project — it took around a month — in a very positive sense, since that’s a book that deserves a lot of time and thought, and is one of my very, very, very favorite novels. I read it in college — at Oxford, in the tutorial for which I also did Middlemarch and a bunch of other stuff — Jane Eyre & Wuthering Heights & Daniel Deronda & The Turn of the Screw & Dorian Gray — which was what made me a Victorian Literature Person. (I also did The Mayor of Casterbridge but I try not to think about that, ever.) Anyway that was a very formative time and those were very formative books and I love all of them, but The Portrait of a Lady and Middlemarch and Jane Eyre most of all. (I had read Jane Eyre in middle school but that book is also MUCH different as an adult.)

The only other thing I’ve reread recently is Brooklyn, by Colm Tóibín, who is one of my favorite authors — I’ve mentioned this before but he was the best professor I had in college; I just love him. And I fucking love that book. I read it in… 2009? 2010? In like, a day. And it REALLY affected me. And I read it again a year or so ago, maybe a little more, also in, like, a day, and it was just as good. I have read a loooot of his books (I am reading his new one, which comes out this fall, right now) and so many of them are so good, but that one is still my favorite.

I really want to read Middlemarch again and planned to do that this year but I think I have to wait a while because I am too steeped in it now, even though I have not actually been… reading it. My brain has been in it, regardless. OH, I also read Train Dreams twice in the span, of, like, three months, but that’s like 100 pages long. That is also one of the best books I have ever read, and everybody should read it. I mean, it’s 100 pages long. You can do it in one sitting.

At the moment I have a lot of new books I want to read. I might do some Shakespeare at some point soon, too. It has been a while. And I have been meaning to reread Atonement. But who knows when I will get around to that.

on books etc

I JUST THOUGHT I WOULD POST SOMETHING UP TO SAY that I have gotten quite a few comments and messages etc w/r/t That Fic (which I still have trouble referring to by its title, since in my brain it is still just what I was calling it while writing it, i.e. The Teens — tbh I always have trouble referring to stuff by titles, but in this case in particular the weirdness is magnified) from people saying they have or are planning to go and rent/buy/seek out the books referenced or discussed therein (i.e. Middlemarch, A Separate Peace, Death of a Salesman, and of course Catcher in the Rye).

Anyway I just wanted to say that if anybody does this that YOU ARE ALL VERY WELCOME TO COME TALK TO ME ABOUT THEM. That is, by far, the craziest and most amazing reaction I have gotten to that fic, because it is definitely not something I anticipated, and also because I love all of those books (well, books + 1 play) dearly and they all have a great deal of personal significance to me. So basically I feel like, you know, in particular getting anyone to read Middlemarch (which is not a very common text anymore, particularly in the US) is pretty much my greatest life achievement to date. IT JUST MAKES ME REALLY HAPPY.

So in any case I am obviously not… expecting this… lol, but IF YOU WERE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE, like, my inbox is definitely always open. I LOVE TALKING ABOUT BOOKS. Also, I would like to additionally recommend The Portrait of a Lady, which I possibly love even more than Middlemarch, although I would have to reread Middlemarch to confirm this, having reread The Portrait of a Lady last year and not read Middlemarch since the winter of 2010. IT’S A CLOSE RACE, ANYWAY. Henry James & George Eliot 4 lyfe.

I am having solidly the most stressful “vacation” of my life (SO MUCH WORK OH MY GOD) right now, although tomorrow my brother and I are going to the zoo, which hopefully will not coincide with any crises of any kind. A girl can hope.
On the other hand, today I walked on the beach and read like half of this book, by one of my very favorite authors and the best professor I ever had (and he had some stiff competition there). It’s coming out in October. It is AMAZING. I’m so excited for it to come out. I’m gonna pester you all about it when the time comes, because it is seriously so, so good. Ugh. READING. I HAVE MISSED YOU.

I am having solidly the most stressful “vacation” of my life (SO MUCH WORK OH MY GOD) right now, although tomorrow my brother and I are going to the zoo, which hopefully will not coincide with any crises of any kind. A girl can hope.

On the other hand, today I walked on the beach and read like half of this book, by one of my very favorite authors and the best professor I ever had (and he had some stiff competition there). It’s coming out in October. It is AMAZING. I’m so excited for it to come out. I’m gonna pester you all about it when the time comes, because it is seriously so, so good. Ugh. READING. I HAVE MISSED YOU.