What NYRB are you reading? Part 3

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What NYRB are you reading? Part 3

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Nov 22, 2012, 11:09am

Starting a new thread because the old one was getting so long . . .

I've finished and reviewed Happy Moscow, a challenging and puzzling collection by Andrey Platonov. I really admired his two previous NYRB works, Soul and Other Stories and The Foundation Pit, but I found the pieces in this book even more enigmatic than than the others!

Nov 22, 2012, 2:55pm

Nothing as of yet, but I'm chomping at the bit to read Tyrant Banderas, especially in light of finding Feast of the Goat at a local thrift store. Fiction about maniacal South American dictators is infinitely fascinating.

Déc 7, 2012, 4:09pm

Finished Tyrant Banderas by Ramon del Valle-Inclan. Interesting book about the fall of a dictator told in fragments.

Modifié : Déc 9, 2012, 12:31pm

Nearly done with The Stammering Century by Gilbert Seldes, a study, first published in 1927, of grassroots American religious movements in the 19th century. Seldes starts off with the fiery Jonathan Edwards' Calvinist preachings in the 1600s and traces a direct line forward to New Thinking in the 20th century, (which continues today in the form of things like Science of Mind and the so-called prosperity gospel). It's an entertaining and frequently surprising look into 19th century American life, so filled with earnest eccentricities.

While a period piece in some ways, the book shows admirably that nearly 100 years on, America is still very much in the grip of these strains of mystical, spiritual, fundamentalist, evangelical, revivalistic eccentricity, and that somehow we're a country made up of a substantial group of people who can be made, easily, to believe ANY DAMN THING.

Déc 9, 2012, 11:14am

I'm looking forward to reading that!

Déc 9, 2012, 7:21pm

I've just started Going to the Dogs: The Story of a Moralist by Erich Kästner, my NYRB Book Club selection for November, which is set during the dark days at the end of the Weimar Republic.

Déc 10, 2012, 9:51pm

Finished Going to the Dogs: The Story of a Moralist. Good. Now I need to find my copy of Isherwood's Berlin Stories and read that, too.

Déc 11, 2012, 7:53am

Déc 11, 2012, 1:44pm

I have My Century by Aleksander Wat on pre-order on Kindle but they just pushed the publication date back to January so I'll have to wait...

Déc 11, 2012, 3:51pm

I already have the Wat as a paperback -- is this the Kindle edition that's not coming until January?

Déc 11, 2012, 7:26pm

Yes, I guess so. I had a gift card so I downloaded a bunch of stuff and the original pub date was 12/10 so I thought I wouldn't have to wait very long. It's kind of a pain because I have to remember to keep money on the gift card to cover it, since Amazon doesn't charge you until the book downloads.

Déc 11, 2012, 8:26pm

I've had it for years, but it's still on the TBR.

Déc 31, 2012, 10:44am

I just finished and reviewed The Stammering Century by Gilbert Seldes, a strange book about strange people in a strange time -- who might not be so different from us or our time.

Jan 14, 2013, 12:41pm

I'm currently reading Sunflower by Gyula Krúdy.

I've also been reading a lot of the Children's Collection lately. The high points (so far) were definitely A Traveller in Time and Charlotte Sometimes.

Jan 22, 2013, 12:18am

Finished The Gate by Natsume Soseki. This is a great book and I found I cared very much what happened to the characters.

Jan 26, 2013, 4:53am

Just started Happy Moscow by Platonov - wonderfully translated by Robert Chandler.

Jan 26, 2013, 7:16am

I read the magnificent My Century by Aleksander Wat, which had been on my TBR for too long!

#16 Will be interested in what you think of Happy Moscow.

Fév 1, 2013, 6:29am

17: Finished Happy Moscow now and my review is here:


One of those books that gets under your skin and into your soul - still thinking about it!

Fév 11, 2013, 1:19am

Finished Happy Moscow. Enjoyed reading it. Think I need to read more Pushkin. Also Everyday Stalinism that Robert Chandler mentions in his notes sounds like a good book. Anyone read it?

Fév 11, 2013, 8:45am

Just about to start Memories of the Future which has just arrived from Amazon - very excited about this one!

Everyday Stalinism sounds fascinating but I haven't read it!

Fév 21, 2013, 5:11am

Fév 21, 2013, 7:25am

Manchette. Interesting stripped down noir. Probably more impressive after more books. I read Fatale, which is very short and will read Three to Kill next. also reading Simenon books. We'll see.

Modifié : Fév 25, 2013, 7:33am

Finished Basti by Intizar Husain. Did a good job of capturing the fear and confusion of changing, unsettled times.

Mar 2, 2013, 8:06pm

Reading Diary of a Man in Despair, which I succumbed to despite feeling that I've read enough books already about the Nazis. Apparently not. This one is unique--7 years of diatribe by a German nobleman appalled by the way his beloved country is going. I've never seen anything that tells this story from such an insider's perspective.

Speedboat came in the mail today, so I guess I'll tackle that soon, though I also just bought Hadrian the Seventh. And those are only the NYRBs on the now-reading pile. I like to keep the literary merry-go-round spinning.

Modifié : Mar 11, 2013, 3:39am

Finished Envy by Yuri Olesha. Good satire on the haves and the have-nots in Russian society after the Revolution.

Modifié : Mar 17, 2013, 1:01pm

Finished An Armenian Sketchbook by Vasily Grossman. It is always a pleasure to have more Vasily Grossman to read. This book gives an idea of the man himself as well as describing his travels in Armenia.

Mar 18, 2013, 3:59pm

Just started The Letter Killers Club - great so far.

Mar 24, 2013, 8:17am

I just read Equal Danger by Leonardo Sciascia and discovered, thanks to LT, that I already own another Sciascia, To Each His Own, which I hope to start later today.

Mar 31, 2013, 3:50pm

Just got The Stray Dog Cabaret and I'm afraid I abandoned it halfway through because the amount of playing about (and adding to!) the originals made me very, very angry.....

Mar 31, 2013, 3:58pm

Just read and loved three books by Sciascia. After I read Equal Danger, which I recently bought because of a good review of another Sciascia title here on LT, I realized that I'd had To Each His Own on my TBR shelves for several years, so I read that. And then I bought and read The Day of the Owl.

Mar 31, 2013, 7:20pm

Finished The Old Devils by Kingsley Amis. It took a while to get its hooks in but once they were set it was hard to put down.

Avr 2, 2013, 2:00am

Finished and reviewed Chess Story. Don't be deceived by its diminutive size. It doesn't need many pages to pack a punch.

Avr 13, 2013, 2:54am

Finished Sacagawea's Nickname: Essays on the American West by Larry McMurtry. (Which is from the NYRB Collections not the Classics) I've always enjoyed McMurtry's essays and this is a good collection. It gave me lots of other books to find and read. (Another of McMurtry's books of essays that I really liked is Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen)

Avr 19, 2013, 5:29am

Finished The Abandoned by Paul Gallico from the Children's Collection. Nice looking book with a good cover illustration. It seemed to me that Gallico got the nature of cats right.

Avr 25, 2013, 12:11pm

Just finished An Armenian Sketchbook by Vasily Grossman, one of my all-time favorite writers, and found it moving and perceptive.

Avr 25, 2013, 1:05pm

Just finished reading To Each His Own....twice. It took me one read through to get familiar with all the characters and their various familial relationships, as there are an unusually large number of characters for such a short novel. The second pass allowed me to put the whole story together and pick up on some important details including the key clue that leads the main character to "figure out" the murder, though he is apparently the last person to do so. Fortunately, it is fairly short, and the second read through went much quicker than the first.

It is a great story, written in a very "cinematic" style with lots of dialogue, and quick cuts in location between the different chapters. Apparently many of the authors books have been turned into movies which makes sense after reading this one.

Mai 4, 2013, 11:33am

Finished Diary of a Man in Despair by Friedrick Reck which is a fascinating record of the thoughts of an anti-Hitler German living in Nazi Germany. I wouldn't mind reading more work by Wreck, but there is not much available in English.

Mai 12, 2013, 12:35pm

Finished Speedboat by Renata Adler. Interested in what other people thought. Without a plot, it's like trying to hold water in your hands.

Mai 15, 2013, 12:58pm

I recently finished Alien Hearts by Guy de Maupassant, which I found somewhat tedious even though de Maupassant is a great writer, and the just released Transit by Anna Seghers, which I found stunning.

Mai 28, 2013, 10:48pm

Finished The Voyage That Never Ends by Malcolm Lowry. I read Under the Volcano a long time ago and have been meaning to read more Lowry ever since. This was a very good selection of his other work, including the original short story that led to Under the Volcano.

Modifié : Juin 5, 2013, 5:02pm

>27 kaggsy:, 29
I, too, am reading Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky's The Letter Killers Club. It's very good so far.

ETA: touchstones

Juin 3, 2013, 11:18am

41: I loved Under The Volcano so I will have to track this down.

42: So glad you're enjoying this - I thought it was great!

Modifié : Juin 5, 2013, 5:29pm

Finished The Letter Killers Club, and I loved it. Very cheeky, if not equally solid everywhere. The author must have had a lot of fun writing this one. (edit: review here)

I straightaway started a fresh nyrb: Great Granny Webster, by Caroline Blackwood.

Juin 6, 2013, 12:57pm

Nice review! It *was* fun wasn't it?

Juin 7, 2013, 8:13am

>45 kaggsy:
It was! People like Coetzee (or Woolf, to take a Krzhizhanofsky contemporary) all write as though literature is such Serious Business (and there's a time and a place for books like that), and this guy was clearly writing because he enjoyed playing around with ideas and characters. It felt... refreshing. Upbeat. Conspiratorial.

Juin 8, 2013, 11:44am

I'm reading The Singapore Grip, the last novel in J.G. Farrell's Empire Trilogy.

Juin 13, 2013, 8:26pm

Finished The Pure and the Impure by Colette which I enjoyed.

Juin 15, 2013, 5:52pm

I've embarked on Don't Look Now, a selection of short stories by Daphne Du Maurier, and I'm enjoying it so far. They keep me guessing, since at any time there's at least three or four ways in which the story can develop, and then it takes another surprising turn. Very entertaining.

Juin 18, 2013, 10:23am

Finished The Alteration by Kingsley Amis which is a surprising and richly detailed alternate history. Very good.

Juin 29, 2013, 9:55am

Finished Turtle Diary by Russell Hoban. I liked this book very much. It's like a nice cool drink of water on a dry, hot day.

Juil 2, 2013, 6:52pm

Nearly done with Tyrant Banderas by Ramon del Valle-Inclan. Written in the same time period as the Letter Killers Club, del Valle has a violent erotic playfulness, subverting the lobrow Mexican serial and using Cubist methods of perspective.

Juil 5, 2013, 1:45pm

Finished The Ten Thousand Things by Maria Dermout, a sad and beautiful novel set in the Spice Islands of Indonesia.

Juil 5, 2013, 3:41pm

I've been conned into ordering Sorokin.

Juil 5, 2013, 4:30pm

Which Sorokin? I'm a huge fan of Ice Trilogy and an admirer of The Queue. On the other hand, I had mixed feelings about his most recent (non-NYRB) novel, Day of the Oprichnik.

Juil 5, 2013, 4:34pm

Ice trilogy. I also ordered Tyrant Banderas--a Spanish visitor was raving about the author (Inclan) during a visit here a few months back, lamenting that he was not available in English.

Juil 8, 2013, 4:57pm

Dear NYRB: Thank you for publishing William McPherson's Testing the Current. It is flawless. It's so beautifully written that you feel as if you're remembering instead of reading. I find myself unable to put it down.

Juil 12, 2013, 7:49pm

About a quarter into Lolly Willowes, by Sylvia Townsend Warner. It's ok so far, but I'm hoping it will pick up.

Juil 16, 2013, 7:23am

It would seem I'm on a bit of an NYRB binge. Yesterday I finished Sylvia Townsend Warner's Lolly Willowes -- which I enjoyed (review here) -- and as soon as I get through a number of papers and novellas I'll start Corrigan by Caroline Blackwood. I really enjoyed her depiction of a repressive matron in Great Granny Webster, so I'm looking forward to more morose inner self-strangulation.

Juil 16, 2013, 7:24am

The Ice Trilogy is trying to break into my reading of Chapel Road.

Juil 20, 2013, 11:48am

Finished Rene Leys by Victor Segalen, which is a great novel about the impossibility of knowing set during the fall if the last imperial dynasty in China in1911. Possibly a new favorite.

Juil 20, 2013, 6:47pm

Segalen is very popular at the group Salon

Juil 21, 2013, 6:26am

Nearly halfway through An Armenian Sketchbook which is wonderful!

Juil 21, 2013, 7:05am

I've had Rene Leys on the TBR since reading about it on LT a few years ago. Will have to get to it eventually.

Modifié : Juil 21, 2013, 11:54am

Rene Leys is also one of the sources for the pen name Simon Leys, author of the new NYRB Classic Hall of Uselessness. I was trying to find out who Simon Leys was when I first saw Rene Leys mentioned.

Juil 29, 2013, 7:02am

I loved An Armenian Sketchbook too, and in response to the last sentence of your review, I just assumed you had already read Life and Fate! But, if not, go for it!

Juil 29, 2013, 7:43am

No I haven't! So maybe it would be a good summer read to get my teeth into!

Août 4, 2013, 7:13pm

Finished Transit by Anna Seghers which I thought was very impressive on multiple levels.

Août 5, 2013, 5:27am

I read The Murderess and Turtle Diary on holidays in the Aegean. Both highly recommended. I also read a collection of Alexandros Papadiamantis short stories, which was OK in parts, but ultimately a bit of a slog.

Août 5, 2013, 4:48pm

Reading and enjoying The Hall of Uselessness.

Août 12, 2013, 1:10am

Finished The Green Man another great book from Kingsley Amis, this one a ghost story.

I notice that Sub Rosa by Robert Aickman, mentioned in the introduction as the greatest single collection of the finest writer of "strange stories" in the second half of the twentieth century, seems to be out of print.

Août 22, 2013, 1:30am

I finished A Time of Gifts by Fermor a few weeks ago. I loved it! It's the second book I've read by him and I was a little bit disappointed in the first, so there was some trepidation.

I'm so glad I picked it up, it's brilliant. Sometimes I would forget I was reading a true-life account rather than a novel. I can't wait for the second one (although, I will wait because I don't do "binge" reading).

Next up, Summer Will Show.

Modifié : Août 22, 2013, 1:28pm

>72 agmlll: Sub Rosa is available in a beautifully designed hardcover reprint from the Tartarus Press website

Août 24, 2013, 10:53am

Finished In Love by Alfred Hayes. Full of true thoughts about love and loss.

>74 Soukesian: Thanks, it looks very interesting.

Sep 7, 2013, 7:47am

I forgot to mention that I recently read The Bridge of Beyond by Simone Schwarz-Bart and found it heartbreakingly beautiful -- a really wonderful book.

Sep 8, 2013, 6:41pm

I started reading The Enchanted April yesterday, by Elizabeth von Arnim. So far (one fifth in) it's cute; entertaining in its serendipity and hopefulness.

Sep 17, 2013, 7:12pm

Finished The Stammering Century by Gilbert Seldes. Very good book about cults and religious revival in 19th Century America. Touches on some of the same people as Ken Burns' TV show on Prohibition.

Oct 1, 2013, 10:53am

I've just started reading Fighting for Life, a recently published NYRB reprint of the 1939 autobiography of the physician and public health crusader S. Josephine Baker, who in her role as the director of the Bureau of Child Hygiene in New York City in the early 20th century instituted numerous reforms and programs that directly led to a dramatic decrease in childhood mortality and improvement in the well being of young children and their mothers. Many of the plans she put into place were widely adopted throughout the US and the world, and they are credited with saving the lives of 90,000 NYC children during her career and millions more since then. She was also known for chasing down and capturing the notorious "Typhoid Mary" Mallon on two occasions, once sitting on top of her in an ambulance to keep her from escaping from it. If the introduction is accurate it should be an enlightening and entertaining book, which I'll finish no later than tomorrow.

Oct 1, 2013, 4:07pm

Part way through Speedboat by Renata Adler. Impressive, unique.

Oct 5, 2013, 11:29am

Finished The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley. Very good. I recently found that Hartley also has a reputation as a writer of macabre short stories.

Oct 19, 2013, 3:12pm

Finished The Black Spider by Jeremias Gotthelf. Spiders from Hell always cool. Nice story for the Halloween season

Oct 21, 2013, 12:17pm

Currently reading Tove Jansson's The Summer Book.

Oct 22, 2013, 9:25pm

Modifié : Nov 5, 2013, 1:46am

Finished The Bridge of Beyond by Simone Schwartz-Bart, which I also thought was a lovely book.

Nov 12, 2013, 12:49am

Finished Black Sun: The Brief Transit and Violent Eclipse of Harry Crosby by Geoffrey Wolff which is now on my list of favorite NYRB Classics. It's the biography of Harry Crosby, a minor poet and publisher in Lost Generation Paris of the 1920's, whose life ended in the murder-suicide of his girlfriend and himself. I had never heard of Harry Crosby until I read this book.

Nov 28, 2013, 6:37pm

Finished The Chrysalids by John Wyndham which is really about the constancy of change. Wyndham deals with the same themes in a small way that Olaf Stapledon deals with in a large way in Last and First Men.

Modifié : Déc 1, 2013, 12:11pm

Finished A Traveller in Time by Alison Uttley from the Children's Collection. Penelope travels back and forth to Elizabethan times by a sort of transmigration. She becomes involved in a plot to save Mary, Queen of Scots even though she knows the plot must ultimately fail. Very good for giving a sense of life in Elizabethan England.

Déc 10, 2013, 8:56pm

Déc 11, 2013, 8:00am

i just got Autobiography of a Corpse and hope to read it in the next few weeks.

Modifié : Déc 14, 2013, 6:34am

I'm enjoying reading Tun Huang and am inspired to seek out some more books by Yasushi Inoue.

Déc 14, 2013, 1:08pm

Just finished The Unknown Masterpiece, and Gambara by Balzac.

Déc 26, 2013, 11:05am

I loved loved loved The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll by Alvaro Mutis and would love for NYRB to publish some more work by Mutis, which may all be poetry.

Déc 27, 2013, 3:23am

Thanks for the tip about Mutis Rebecca.

I've just finished A Month In the Country by J.L.Carr which was perfect for Christmas holidays and which put me in the mood to read some more Thomas Hardy.

Déc 31, 2013, 10:16am

That one's high on my TBR list...what did you think of it?

Déc 31, 2013, 10:23am

Just finished Tropic Moon by Georges Simenon...very much liked the first 90 pages or so, however, it then became unecessarily (unintentionally?) convoluted the rest of the way (i.e. ~ the last 40 pages). My next NYRB read will probably be The Long Ships, Stoner or Red Shift...comments are appreciated!

Déc 31, 2013, 10:24am

Have you read Farrell's The Siege if Krishnapur? If yes, what did you think?

Déc 31, 2013, 1:03pm

I've read The Siege of Krishnapur and I thought it was excellent, but I loved his Troubles more. And I love The Long Ships and A Month in the Country too.

Jan 1, 2014, 4:19am

Yes, I really enjoyed A Month In the Country. I've ordered one more by J.L.Carr, A Season in Sinji.

Jan 12, 2014, 9:04pm

Finished Autobiography of a Corpse. I think I like this the best of Krzhizhanovsky's three books. I hope there will be more.

Jan 13, 2014, 9:56am

I am still struggling with Autobiography of a Corpse. I was sufficiently intrigued by The Letter Killers Club, even though I never warmed to it, that I felt I should try something else by Krzhizhanovsky, but I seem to always pick up one of the other books I'm reading . . . Maybe he just isn't the author for me.

Jan 13, 2014, 1:39pm

Autobiography of a Corpse took me a long time to read, too. I don't think Krzhizhanovsky can be quickly read.

Jan 18, 2014, 10:18am

Well I finally finished Autobiography of a Corpse; I found it imaginative and thought-provoking, but too cold and abstract to really engage me.

Jan 24, 2014, 1:04pm

I just finished the very intriguing The Radiance of the King by Camara Laye, which I've owned for some five years!

Fév 2, 2014, 6:18pm

Finished Reveille in Washington, 1860-1865 by Margaret Leech which I found very readable and hard to put down. Another favorite.

Fév 17, 2014, 10:45am

Finished Exploits and Adventures of Brigadier Gerard by Arthur Conan Doyle. Conan Doyle could certainly write an adventure story. I agree with George Macdonald Fraser that it is remarkable that a British author would make a French soldier who was an enemy of the British into a hero of his stories.

Fév 19, 2014, 6:32pm

I just finished Balzac's The Human Comedy: Selected Stories, which I found mostly compelling and often creepy. But there was one thing that irritated me (and also irritated me with Autobiography of a Corpse, so I hope it isn't an NYRB trend. It has notes at the end that are referenced only by page number; I find this irritating because I don't look up some things that I would be interested in knowing about and do look up some things that don't have notes. I find numbered endnotes much more helpful because then I know what to look up.

Fév 23, 2014, 6:24pm

Finished the three Christs of Ypsilanti - interesting and engaging read but at times challenging subject matter. Just reading Berlin Stories by Robert Walser

Modifié : Fév 25, 2014, 9:31pm

Finished Pitch Dark by Renata Adler. In places it sort of reminds me of this.

Mar 14, 2014, 7:33pm

Finished Testing the Current by William McPherson. Pre WW2 society in upper Michigan viewed through the eyes of an eight year old boy. What he sees but doesn't quite understand the reader can infer based on more worldly wisdom.

Mar 24, 2014, 4:38pm

Finished the vibrant Berlin Stories by Robert Walser. Following recommendations on here just starting Diary of a man in despair by Friedrich Reck

Mar 24, 2014, 4:41pm

93. I too have loved the Mutis. It took me a bit to understand the tone and pace, but once I did I needed to savor it so I dole myself out one novella every so often, to make it last.

Mar 24, 2014, 5:09pm

>112 Capybara_99: What self-control you have! I couldn't put it down!

Mar 25, 2014, 10:33am

Just finished Autobiography of a Corpse - absolutely epic!

Modifié : Mar 28, 2014, 9:04am

Finished Balzac's The Unknown Masterpiece.

Modifié : Avr 7, 2014, 11:49pm

Finished During the Reign of the Queen of Persia by Joan Chase. Interesting device telling the story in the first person plural from the point of view of all four young daughters. Sometimes the family seems like the American cousins of the Starkadders in Cold Comfort Farm, but with a more serious intent.

Avr 9, 2014, 11:24am

Joan Chase seems worth adding to my list, more Starkadders!

Avr 9, 2014, 5:28pm

Very much enjoying Eileen Chang's Love in a Fallen City.

Avr 11, 2014, 5:43am

Just started Transit by Anna Seghers

Avr 11, 2014, 7:28am

Oh, I loved Transit. I would love for NYRB to publish more Anna Seghers.

Avr 14, 2014, 7:49am

>120 rebeccanyc: I'm loving it so far. Very Kafkaesque!

Modifié : Avr 25, 2014, 5:00pm

Finished Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig which I thought was a great book. Also saw The Grand Budapest Hotel which I thought was a little odd but good.

Mai 3, 2014, 2:24pm

Just started Virgin Soil by Turgenev.

Mai 26, 2014, 2:50am

Finished The Gray Notebook by Josep Pla. It's based on his journal for 1918 to 1919 so episodic but full of life and literature.

Mai 30, 2014, 4:02am

A third through - and enthralled by - Black Sun by Geoffrey Wolff.

Juin 10, 2014, 12:03am

Finished On Being Blue by William H. Gass. Interesting.

Juin 20, 2014, 4:34pm

Finished Last Words from Montmartre by Qiu Miaojin. It contains some raw, powerful insights into the human heart. The author's own suicide blurs the line between fact and fiction.

Juin 27, 2014, 8:34am

Is this now out of print? I saw a copy once in a bookshop years ago and really regret not buying it then as I can't seem to find Black Sun in the UK.

Juil 4, 2014, 2:46pm

>129 sorbetandstuff: It may be out of print but can be found online fairly easily in the UK - i just snagged a copy off Amazon.

Juil 19, 2014, 1:19pm

Chess Story, by Stefan Zweig

Juil 22, 2014, 11:05am

I've zipped through the fast-paced, somewhat satirical and somewhat gruesome The Mad and the Bad by Jean-Patrick Manchette.

Juil 31, 2014, 3:46am

Finished Moura: The Dangerous Life of the Baroness Budberg by Nina Berberova. Interesting look at the times Moura Budberg lived through, but there is more insight into the men in Moura's life than into Moura herself.

I also recently read Fear: A Novel of World War I by Gabriel Chevalier, a good book about the horrors of trench warfare by someone who served there in the French Army.

Modifié : Août 13, 2014, 8:52pm

Butcher's Crossing, by John Williams

Août 16, 2014, 2:59pm

Août 31, 2014, 4:00pm

The Vet's Daughter, by Barbara Comyns

Sep 1, 2014, 4:09am

Have just finished Transit by Anna Seghers.

>132 rebeccanyc:
I love Manchette - this will probably be my next NYRB. Hope they translate more by him....

Sep 1, 2014, 7:21am

>136 minicht: I enjoyed The Vet's Daughter a lot.

>137 ian_curtin: I loved Transit and would love to see NYRB publish more by Seghers. Manchette is fun, but I can't say I love him.

I've just started The Burning of The World: A Memoir of 1914.

Modifié : Sep 1, 2014, 9:19am

>138 rebeccanyc:
Yes, I was very impressed by Transit - although I thought it could have been a little shorter. It was put to me recently that Seghers makes the reader participate in the frustrations of the narrator, and that's certainly true.

I'm a fan of noir, and Manchette does interesting things with it.

Both Burning of the World and Fear are on my wishlist...

Edit: I see you've just read The Sleepwalkers - I finished that last week as well. Very impressive book.

Sep 1, 2014, 9:53am

>139 ian_curtin: Re The Sleepwalkers -- yes, it was very impressive, but for me there was way too much detail.

Sep 1, 2014, 2:39pm

I too would like to see more of Anna Seghers' work published by NYRB - and I take the point about Transit's frustrations which is a good one and I hadn't thought of it before!

Sep 2, 2014, 12:15am

Modifié : Sep 20, 2014, 8:30pm

Finished The Radiance of the King by Camara Laye. I found it somewhat odd, but also funny.

Sep 21, 2014, 8:56am

>143 agmlll: I really enjoyed The Radiance of the King when I read it earlier this year.

And I forgot to mention that I loved The Captain's Daughter by Pushkin, which has just been released and which was my introduction to Pushkin.

Oct 5, 2014, 9:15am

The Enchanted April, by Elizabeth Von Arnim

Modifié : Oct 22, 2014, 1:09am

Finished Totempole by Sanford Friedman. Looking forward to the Beethoven book.

Nov 4, 2014, 12:14am

Finished Morte D'Urban by J.F. Powers. Though not Catholic, I really enjoyed this story about priests trying to function in the real world.

Jan 18, 2015, 6:07pm

Finished The Woman Who Borrowed Memories by Tove Jansson. Good stories, most of which seemed to have a touch of sadness.

Jan 18, 2015, 10:58pm

Cassandra at the wedding by Dorothy Baker. I'm only one tenth in, but I'm loving every page so far.

Avr 8, 2015, 11:43am

I recently read The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes by Anonymous and Tristana by Benito Pérez Galdós, both for the Reading Globally theme read on the Iberian peninsula.

Avr 9, 2015, 5:15pm

The radiance of the king by Camara Laye. So far (about one third read) it's amusing, but surfacey.

Avr 12, 2015, 2:33am

Recently finished The Door by Magda Szabo, One Fat Englishman by Kingsley Amis, Journey by Moonlight by Antal Szerb, and Conversations with Beethoven by Sanford Friedman. All four were good, but Conversations with Beethoven was really outstanding.

Avr 12, 2015, 12:11pm

I've finished the disturbing Thus Were Their Faces, a collection of short fiction by Silvina Ocampo.

Avr 13, 2015, 11:29am

>153 rebeccanyc: Why disturbing? (I have this on Mount TBR....)

Avr 13, 2015, 12:24pm

>154 kaggsy: See my review on book page. On phone so can't write more here.

Avr 13, 2015, 11:29pm

I know what you mean. The collection of short stories I'm reading (Secret Weavers) has some stories by Ocampo in it, and I can only read one at a time before the horror of existance becomes too much.

Avr 14, 2015, 10:41am

Thanks! I think I'll have to ration them a little...

Mai 17, 2015, 3:09pm

I recently finished Thus Were Their Faces and found the stories uncomfortable and disturbing, too. It took a while to read all the way through.

Mai 17, 2015, 5:35pm

I haven't gone through recently to see what others are reading, but I'm reading The Family Mashber (along with Life and Fate, a nice combination) and finding it extremely compelling. It's also important historically, considering the fate of the city.

Mai 18, 2015, 3:50am

>153 rebeccanyc:
Great review of Ocampo. I read Where There's Love... and an interested in this collection.

For my own part, have just finished Renata Adler's Pitch Dark. Didn't make as big an impression as Speedboat but still very fine.

Mai 24, 2015, 8:36am

Just finished The Professor and The Siren - absolutely wonderful!

Mai 24, 2015, 9:39am

I just finished Tyrant Banderas -- impressive and chilling.

Juil 3, 2015, 8:32am

Hello all, I am currently reading Take a Girl Like You by Kingsley Amis.

Juil 5, 2015, 5:09am

Just finished The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares - one of the best NYRBs I've read!

Modifié : Juil 7, 2015, 9:35am

Oooh, I just bought a copy of The Invention of Morel! I am excited to read it now.

Juil 7, 2015, 5:09pm


Juil 17, 2015, 11:41am

I also just read The Invention of Morel. I wouldn't say it's one of the best NYRBs I've read as kaggsy did, but I did find it strange and disturbing.

Août 22, 2015, 10:51am

I've just finished the newly released book of Chekhov's early writing, The Prank: The Best of Young Chekhov, and found some of the stories up to his later work and all entertaining.

Août 28, 2015, 2:47am

Funnily enough, I'm halfway through the same book and finding it unexpectedly wonderful - a lovely read!

Modifié : Sep 17, 2015, 8:53pm

I've just finished Simon Leys' novella The death of Napoleon, which was very enjoyable and everything I expected of it and more.

Sep 23, 2015, 1:57am

Reading Thus Were There Faces by Silvina Ocampo - strange and wonderful stories.

Sep 24, 2015, 11:55am

I had mixed feelings about Thus Were Their Faces, although I loved Ocampo's The Topless Tower and the book she wrote with her husband, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Where There's Love, There's Hate.

Sep 28, 2015, 2:34am

I enjoyed the Ocampo, but I felt in some ways the collection was too long - I wasn't so keen on the later works and I think I might have preferred to read her original collections. But I loved Where There's Love... And I do want to read The Topless Tower so I'm glad you recommend!

Déc 30, 2015, 11:56am

Currently reading A School for Fools by Sasha Sokolov - it's complex but beautiful and rivetting.

Modifié : Avr 20, 2016, 12:57am

Has anybody read A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954–1962 by Alistair Horne? What did you think?

Avr 2, 2016, 2:03pm

Currently reading Young Man with a Horn by Dorothy Baker - fabulous so far!

Avr 5, 2016, 7:18am

just finished The Day of the Owl by Leonardo Sciascia, a very good Mediterranean noir.

Modifié : Avr 13, 2016, 1:41pm

Finished My Marriage by Jakob Wassermann. Very good but sometimes like hearing only one side of an argument.

Modifié : Avr 14, 2016, 8:17am

I'm reading The Courtyard of the Kabbalist, which is really good. It tells the stories of two men and some ancient artifacts that turn up. It's suspenseful and moving.

Avr 13, 2016, 11:19pm

I'm reading Mavis Gallant's collection Paris stories. So far they're wonderfully delicate examinations of human nature and marvels of precisely chosen words and perfectly placed sentences. The style alone is a joy.

Avr 14, 2016, 8:17am

181, I loved that collection. Nice!

Modifié : Avr 19, 2016, 12:36pm

>181 Petroglyph: I love Mavis Gallant and I'm reading her novel, A Fairly Good Time. And now I've finished it, along with the included novel Green Water, Green Sky.

Avr 23, 2016, 11:33am

I finished a book that's been on my TBR for years, The Bog People: Iron-Age Man Preserved, which I didn't find as interesting as I hoped.

Oct 19, 2016, 5:10pm

About to finish up Skylark by Dezső Kosztolányi. Amusing and well-written, it takes its premise and runs with it.

Nov 5, 2016, 5:02pm

The quest for Corvo: An experiment in biography, by A. J. A. Symons, a biography of the impossibly self-important author of Hadrian the Seventh. It's a riveting read, and a truly marvellous collage, postmodern-avant-la-lettre.

Déc 3, 2016, 11:20pm

Reading Schlump by Hans Herbert Grimm
Placed an order yesterday for The Sound of the One Hand, translated by Yoel Hoffmann and Black Wings Has My Angel by Elliott Chaze.

Modifié : Déc 12, 2016, 12:04am

Will read Fat City by Leonard Gardner over the Holidays...it seems to have universal acclaim.

Déc 12, 2016, 6:44am

Great to see some real favourites listed above as recent reads. Hope people have enjoyed them.

I am slowly reading Ocampo's Thus Were Their Faces (in and around other books).

Have read two back-to-back in recent weeks: The Fox in the Attic by Richard Hughes, and Black Wings Has My Angel by Elliot Chaze. Both excellent, in very different ways.

Fév 1, 2017, 7:25am

Earlier today I finished up Paris Stories, a collection of short stories by Mavis Gallant. They were absolutely brilliant: Gallant is my new favourite short story author.

Mar 1, 2018, 3:42pm

Good translations are hard to find. This title "Happy Moscow" sounds interesting.

Mar 1, 2018, 4:12pm

Check, in the interest of translation, this publisher that is finally getting Arlt's full novel into print, The Seven Madmen, plus its second half, the Flamethrowers: http://www.riverboatbooks.com/our-books

Juil 5, 2018, 5:32pm

I'm on a bit of a nyrb binge. During recent city-trips involving long train voyages, I read:

Modifié : Sep 12, 2018, 2:30pm

Oct 6, 2018, 10:48am

>194 agmlll: I’m hoping a copy of that one makes its way in my direction soon! 😁

Oct 7, 2018, 11:23pm

Pedigree by Georges Simenon.

Août 16, 2019, 4:04am

Just finished Victor Serge’s Notebooks- incredible book and my thoughts are here:


Août 21, 2019, 4:40am

Cat Town by Hagiwara Sakutarō.

Août 21, 2019, 5:35am

Août 21, 2019, 7:42am

Anniversaries: From a Year in the Life of Gesine Cresspahl

Sep 14, 2019, 9:53pm

The new noir thriller by Jean-Patrick Manchette: Nada!

Sep 15, 2019, 12:41am

Not the biggest fan of NYRB but Manchette is just about the best crime writer that ever came out of France. I have Nada too. I just haven't got around to it yet. It's coming though--soon.

Modifié : Sep 15, 2019, 6:43pm

The fact is one of the best books put out by NYRB is The Seven Madman, but is only half a novel. Roberto Arlt, considered by the generation of amazing writers to come from South and Central America and the following generations as well as a sort of precursor, even godfather, wrote that book in 1929. He sold it half-finished, so it remained a half book in whole form. In 1931, he finished it with The Flamethrowers, that was only translated into English and published last year. What is especially odd is that The Seven Madmen was translated twice, first by Naomi Lindstrom and published by Godine. NYRB published a version that is probably nearly as good--Naomi Lindstrom, being first, got to choose the best names for characters, such as the Melancholy Ruffian and the Lame Whore, which were perfect. The NYRB was up against too great odds but did well. Why, though, didn't NYRB, though, publish the Lindstrom version and have the other guy translate The Flamethrowers. I loved The Seven Madmen, but when I read the whole thing, Arlt became to me as big as, say, Blaise Cendrars (I read Moravagine first, but you don't get the grandeur of Cendrars without Dan Yack and the four WWII era books), the author of a phenomenally prescient book, one that was not merely ahead of its time, but without being science fiction managed to predict the coming times.
The good news is that River Boat Books re-issued the Lindstrom translation last year along with the first translation of The Flamethrowers--translated by the very fellow who posted #202, Larry Riley. It's an amazing story and deserves far more play than it has gotten. Larry's translation should be next to one of those of THe Seven Madman in every university library in the country. And anyone who loves Latin American literature should go straight to River boat books and buy the book (they don't go through Amazon, as Amazon eats small presses). This is not meant to be a sales pitch, rather an appreciation of Arlt and notification that Mr. Riley made literary history very quietly last year.

Sep 15, 2019, 9:00pm

#203--FWIW I have a lot of books that were translated by Nicholas Caistor by numerous writers--Juan Marse, Manuel Vazquez Montalban, Julian Rios Eduardo Mendoza just for a few examples. He's really really good but I think Lindstrom's is the better Arlt translation of The Seven Madmen. The people at NYRB though are of a different opinion--so it's a what the hell...they see it differently. It's a rough book and needs a rough translation IMO. To me Caistor kind of cleans it too much and it kind of sucks some of the life out of it. It's kind of like Benito Perez Galdos's Nazarin--there are two translations of that too and Oxford University translation is not nearly as interesting as the other.

I sure am glad that NYRB is putting out Manchette's books--and there are other great writers and books from them too so....

Sep 24, 2019, 12:04am

Reading The Family Mashber. Lots of descriptions.

Miss rebeccanyc. She was especially kind to me a few times.

Sep 30, 2019, 9:38pm

Finished Paris Vagabond by Jean-Paul Clebert today. Good stuff.