What NYRB are you reading?

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What NYRB are you reading?

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Juin 11, 2008, 12:37am

I'm about to start The Invention of Morel tonight. Has anyone else read this?

Juin 11, 2008, 2:37am

I've read it and thought it was pretty good. It's a little slow paced, but ultimately I thought it was pretty intriguing. It got me curious about reading more Bioy Casares, though I haven't gotten around to it.

Juin 11, 2008, 9:50am

I loved it, christiguc.

Juin 11, 2008, 10:37am

I too loved this book: it's a compact but thoughtful fantasy, with a smooth style.

NYRB has also issued Bioy Casares's Asleep in the Sun, which I liked a lot less (its plot is less enjoyable and the underlying ideas less interesting).

Juin 11, 2008, 12:47pm

#1 christiguc, it is on my to read list but I have not purchased it yet. I will be curious to see what you think of it as well.

I read The Slaves of Solitude and TheDud Avocado earlier this year -very different books. I am also almost done with A Time of Gifts The prose style of the last requires a slower pace but is worth it.

Juin 11, 2008, 10:22pm

I liked The Invention of Morel--I think the plot and writing style were very fluid. I never really "got" the fugitive, never fully understood his motivations or identified with him, but that may have been a casualty of the translation (language or culture). Nevertheless, I found it completely enjoyable, and I think the ingenuity of the plot and the thoughtfulness of the exploration of ideas make up for the fact that I didn't get emotionally invested in the characters.

Juin 12, 2008, 1:11pm

I am reading The Child by Jules Vallès. I read The Dud Avocado earlier this year. I found it rather flat, not at all what I expected. Perhaps, it was just the particular mood I was in at the time.

Juin 12, 2008, 1:14pm

Lovely to see you here, urania1!
I have The Dud Avocado in Virago edition and I read it a while ago. I think it is ok, but not one of those books that will remain with me for a very long time.

Juin 16, 2008, 11:51am

I'm reading A Journey Round My Skull. With an introduction by Oliver Sacks it's an Hungarian writer's account of his brain tumor experience. Fascinating!

Juin 21, 2008, 7:15pm

I'm finishing up Kaputt by Curzio Malaparte, which is good if you don't think of it as nonfiction, and also reading The Summer Book.

4 - would you recommend avoiding Asleep in the Sun, or is it worth reading, just not as good as The Invention of Morel?

Juin 26, 2008, 2:08am

Finished The Summer Book and Count d'Orgel's Ball. Now I'm reading The Ten Thousand Things by Maria Dermout.

Juin 26, 2008, 9:35am

#11 DieFledermaus - Did you like Count d'Orgel's Ball? I'm waiting for a shipment of NYRB books, which includes this book.

Juin 26, 2008, 4:13pm

#11 DieFledermaus did you like The Summer Book?

Juin 27, 2008, 1:33am

I enjoyed both books - would recommend both.

Count d'Orgel's Ball was a quick read and depicts a familiar topic - a love triangle involving a married couple - but Radiguet is very effective in showing all the small but important self-deceptions and misunderstandings that complicate the situation. I'm probably going to look for his other book, The Devil in the Flesh.

The Summer Book also looks at the importance of small events - no plot building to a climax, just a series of the ordinary and not so ordinary days on an island. I really enjoyed the author's descriptions and subtle humor.

Juin 27, 2008, 1:33am

#12 urania - what other NYRBs are you getting?

Juin 27, 2008, 4:15am

Currently reading The Fountain Overflows, as posted in the Virago group (as it, also, was published by both). In the spring, I had a fortunate introduction to A High Wind in Jamaica, which is more immediately impressive.

As I said in the Virago post, more of my purchases, not merely my desires, need to come from the NYRB list.

Juin 27, 2008, 6:16am

# 16 Eurydice - I, too, found A High Wind in Jamaica impressive.

Juin 27, 2008, 7:03am

#14> DieFledermaus, I read The Devil in the Flesh many years ago and loved it. I did not know NYRB publish it, now I will have to get it (and Count d'Orgel's Ball as well).

Juin 27, 2008, 5:36pm

I'm looking forward to reading Darcy O'Brien's A Way of Life, Like Any Other this weekend.

Juin 27, 2008, 6:00pm

I read that recently, Ortolan, and you are in for a treat! Enjoy!

Juin 28, 2008, 2:17am

18 - aluvalibri - NYRB doesn't publish The Devil in the Flesh, but is is available in English from Marion Boyars. It looks like they used to publish Count d'Orgel previously, but that edition isn't available anymore. Did you read The Devil in the Flesh untranslated?

Juin 28, 2008, 12:42pm

I read Stefan Zweig's Chess Story last night, a novella that packs a lot into a few pages.

Juin 28, 2008, 4:01pm

#21> DieFledermaus, thank you for the info!
I read it in Italian, as a young girl, not in French...alas!

Juin 29, 2008, 1:31am

Finished The Ten Thousand Things and am starting The Invention of Morel. It's a bit funny - both of these books and another one that I read recently, The Summer Book prominently feature islands.

Juil 2, 2008, 9:29pm

I just received a box of NYRB books from Symposium Books including Sunflower, Count D'Orgel's Ball, Nonsense Novels, The Ivory Tower, and The House of Arden. I can't wait to get started.

Juil 2, 2008, 9:39pm

Nice haul, urania1! I didn't mention it when you first brought them up but feel compelled to now: I love Symposium Books! I order from them often-they have one of the most fascinating bargain book/closeout sections around (hampered by a rather primitive and not very helpful search functionality though). They're a great source for Dalkey Archive publications and old Sun & Moon Classics as well as NYRB volumes.

Juil 2, 2008, 9:56pm


Thanks for the tip about Dalkey Archive publications. I'm not familiar with Sun and Moon Classics? What's it's speciality?

Juil 2, 2008, 10:22pm

I just finished The Ten Thousand Things, which I found fascinating. It has a very haunting poetic style and I particularly like how all the individual strands of the narrative come together in the end.

Next on my list to read is Indian Summer, which is on its way to me from Vermont courtesy of PaperBackSwap, and then Wheat that Springeth Green.

Juil 2, 2008, 10:53pm

I finished The Invention of Morel, which was very good, and am now reading The Big Clock.

Juil 2, 2008, 11:24pm

urania1, Sun & Moon Press was an independent small press founded by Douglas Messerli, that operated between 1976 and 2003/2004 (when the corporation sort of morphed into Green Integer Press*, another one of my favorite publishers).

Sun & Moon had a regular series of contemporary (frequently avant-garde or experimental) publications (Susan Howe, Barbara Guest, Rae Armantrout, Harry Mathews and Paul Auster were all published by Sun & Moon at one time) as well as a Classics series that showcased translations of works by great Symbolist, Surrealist, and Modernist writers from Europe, Latin America, and Asia as well as English language authors like Gertrude Stein and Djuna Barnes. Many of these "Classics" publications were later reprinted under the Green Integer label.

*Does anyone here know what the actual status of Green Integer is? Amazon is showing formerly projected 2008 releases from this press as "unavailable". The Green Integer website hasn't been updated for a while (December 2007). Small press publishing is hell and delays and setbacks happen all the time but I'm a little concerned this might be more than just a scheduling hiccup.

Juil 3, 2008, 12:07am

#28 inge87 I loved Indian Summer, William Dean Howells is such a neglected writer and he is so good. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

#30 marietherese you are such a fount of information! I will have to search out the publications under their various titles.

I hope we haven't lost another small press. Chicago lost Punk Planet Press which had published some interesting books before it folded.

I am longing to reread The Summer Book because of how it makes me feel and how it recalls my own childhood summers but I am also longing to pick up Names on the Land because it would connect with my love of maps and place names.

Juil 3, 2008, 8:25pm

I got released from work early so I wandered into a bookstore and picked up Names on the Land.

Modifié : Juil 8, 2008, 5:56pm

I have just finished reading Stephen Leacock's Nonsense Novels, a parody of various genres and writers. On the whole, I found the book a mixed bag. Some pieces were quite funny - for example "Maddened by Mystery or, The Defective Detective," with its Holmesian counterpart who keeps "half a bucket of cocaine and a dipper" at his side. When "a mystery is committed," which "so completely baffles" the police "that they are lying collapsed in heaps; many of them having committed suicide," one knows the ensuing story will be one of the soundest (or perhaps unsoundest is the word I seek). Other stories fall a bit flat, for example "The Man in Asbestos" a send-up of overly optimistic, futurist novels. Overall, I'm glad I read the book for some of its priceless lines; however, I am also glad I did not pay full price.

Juil 6, 2008, 8:43pm

I finished The Big Clock and thought it was a good read until the end, which was rather abrupt and inconclusive.

Now onto Moravia's Boredom.

Juil 7, 2008, 8:49am

Marensr, I also picked up Names on the Land and have just started it. It was a favorite of my mother's, and I believe I have a hard cover edition in one of the unexcavated boxes from my parents' apartment.

Modifié : Juil 8, 2008, 11:07pm

rebeccanyc, it is next on my list after I finish rereading The Blithedale Romance and The Three Sisters but I would like to compare notes.

Edited to try and fix the touchstones.

Juil 9, 2008, 9:05am

Marensr, I'd love to talk about it by since I'm also reading several other books and since Names on the Land is an easy one to dip in and out of, I don't know when I'll finish it.

Juil 11, 2008, 12:14am

#28 I'm halfway through The Ten Thousand Things. I think this book may end up being #1 on the list of NYRB novels that I've read. I haven't read many works set in Indonesia; however all of the books portray it with wistfulness and longing. In light of the more recent history of Indonesia, one senses that Indonesia is a kind of paradise lost.

Juil 16, 2008, 4:52am

I finished Boredom and really enjoyed it. It was similar to Contempt in that the narrator - a rather unsympathetic failed artist - obsesses over his relationship with a woman who can't return his affections in the way he wants. Even though I didn't like the main character, I loved Moravia's descriptions of his narcissism and obsession. Now I'm reading The Fountain Overflows.

Juil 16, 2008, 1:55pm

I just started the slim copy of The Pilgrim Hawk which I am enjoying.

Having recently read The Sun Also Rises the first person struggling author/narrator and lost generation malaise seem familiar, but I am finding that Wescott comes out with these startling linguistic gems and precise encapsulations of human nature.

I had a flash of insight about what I think is going to happen so I am waiting to see if I am correct or if Wescott surprises me.

Juil 17, 2008, 12:10pm

#38: I loved The Ten Thousand Things. The atmospherics and the Indonesian setting even inspired me to chase down a Yale Univ. Press edition of The Ambonese Curiosity Cabinet, which, though pricy, is, as depicted in the novel, quite fascinating.

Modifié : Juil 19, 2008, 3:00pm

Hi, I've just joined this group. I've recently discovered NYRB, and so far I've read and enjoyed Indian summer by William Dean Howells and Alfred and Guinevere by James Schuyler.

I've also bought Belchamber by Howard Sturgis and White walls, the collected stories of Tatyana Tolstaya, neither of which I've read yet - has anyone read these?

Juil 20, 2008, 12:20pm

I just finished Tove Jansson's Summer Book which I thought was masterful, especially during these hot summer days and when you are of a certain age and are able to slow down a little (notice I didn't say "need to...")! I think the most compelling portrait of a grandmother that I've read....

And now have begun A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes for the third time at least as I had loved it when I was younger. Another hot summer book...

Juil 20, 2008, 12:38pm

I could jump up and down everytime I see another person enjoy Jansson. She is such a favorite of mine. I know it may seem odd but it is worth reading her children's books the Moomins capture some of the same wistfulness and quietude of The Summer Book

I finished The Pilgrim Hawk earlier this week and the crisis was what I expected but I was surprised at what he did with it. The story has grown on me in subtle ways since finishing it and I am quite pleased with it.

Août 18, 2008, 10:04pm

I just finished The Post-Office Girl by Stefan Zweig. Set in post-wwi Austria, it is dark and brilliant--one of my top 5 books this year so far. If anyone is looking for a suggestion (and likes noirish novels of hope/hopelessness), look into this one.

Août 19, 2008, 9:59am

Thanks for the recommendation, christiguc. I bought it and will move it up on the TBR pie.

I recently read A High Wind in Jamaica and A Way of Life Like Any Other, the second because of recommendations here.

Août 19, 2008, 11:29am

With previous recommendations, I bought four books from Symposium: The Slaves of Solitude, which I'd wanted for a long time, Beware of Pity, Indian Summer, and Count d'Orgel's Ball, which somehow edged out Sunflower.

I'm really impressed with the quality of the copies Symposium sent me; as I'd heard I would be. So far, I've read The Slaves of Solitude and begun the utterly captivating Indian Summer. Both are thoroughly worthy of having made it onto the shortlist of books actually bought.

Maren, I read The Pilgrim Hawk years ago, and remember being genuinely impressed, struck by it. Comments here, and the memories they raise, may send me back for a rare re-read.

Mention of Kenneth Fearing reminds me..... As a fan of The Big Clock and the equally original Dagger of the Mind, I wonder if any of you have read Clark Gifford's Body? Without any further knowledge, it's high on my interest list. (With a lot of company.)

Modifié : Août 19, 2008, 4:56pm

I read Clark Gifford's Body fairly recently. It is a fascinating work, but nothing like The Big Clock, the other work I have read of Fearing's. It is a formally inventive parable of political insurrection set in a vague future, in a vague country reminiscent of the American midwest. It is in significant ways elliptical and fragmental, and ambiguous as to it's story -- the opposite of a thriller. I found it an interesting experiment, worth reading -- but haven't settled on whether I think it more than that.

Août 27, 2008, 4:47am

>48 Capybara_99: - I was considering reading Clark Gifford's Body after finishing The Big Clock and your description makes it sound even more interesting. Maybe I'll go poke around inside the book, I'm pretty sure I saw it in my university bookstore. I'm having a similar problem with Manservant and Maidservant - it's stylistically inventive (I've never read a breakup scene or discovering-the-affair moment quite like the ones in the book), I appreciate the acrid humor and some of the characters are truly memorable (illiterate Miss Buchanan and omniscient Bullivant) but I don't know if I really like the novel or if I'd want to read more by Ivy Compton-Burnett.

Août 27, 2008, 3:38pm

I've just finished In Hazard by Richard Hughes, one of the newest NYRBs. It's wonderful -- suspenseful and insightful and (if one reads Hughes's afterword, unconsciously symbolic).

Sep 4, 2008, 9:04am

I started A Way of Life Like Any Other last night. It's wonderful. I didn't want to go to sleep.

Sep 4, 2008, 9:19am

I've started Jessica Mitford's whimsical and bittersweet memoir Hons and Rebels. So far, it's lyrical and mostly lighthearted, but already tinged with regret (especially if one knows how some of the family stories end).

Oct 2, 2008, 5:10am

Reading The Book of Ebenezer Le Page right now and really enjoying it - unfortunately, I haven't had too much time to read recently.

Oct 2, 2008, 8:02am

I've just begun As A Man Grows Older by Italo Svevo...

Oct 20, 2008, 6:45am

I finished Ebenezer Le Page and enjoyed it - would definitely recommend it. Also had time to finish Lolly Willowes, which was a very quick read.

Modifié : Nov 1, 2008, 11:23am

I'm reading Count d'Orgel's Ball by Raymond Radiguet, a somewhat strange book, more so since the author was 20 when he wrote it.

Nov 10, 2008, 7:50pm

I just started The Post Office Girl by Zweig, I hope it's as good as Chess Story.

Nov 10, 2008, 8:32pm

I haven't read Chess Story so I can't speak to that, but The Post Office Girl is one of my top books of this year.

Nov 10, 2008, 11:20pm

I just started Alfred and Guinevere. Thus far, it's immensely funny.

Déc 11, 2008, 6:35pm

Currently reading the Post-Office Girl by Stefan Zweig. He has become one of my favorite writers!

Déc 11, 2008, 6:46pm

I got side-tracked by other reading, but I sat down today, restarted, and finished Alfred and Guinevere. Thumbs up NYRB. Is there any chance that you will publish either Schuyler's Nest of Ninnies or What's for Dinner?

Déc 12, 2008, 1:53pm

Urania1: We've actually done What's For Dinner—but we've passed on Nest of Ninnies. Have you read it?

Déc 12, 2008, 5:38pm

I loved What's for Dinner and bought Nest of Ninnies recently because I enjoyed What's For Dinner so-- it seems to have been just republished by Dalkey Archive. I haven't read it yet, but at a quick glance it looks a little harder to get into.

Modifié : Déc 15, 2008, 6:17pm

I haven't read either. Both just suonded interesting to me.

Déc 30, 2008, 5:05am

I just finished the Post-Office Girl by Zweig and loved, loved it! I've added it to my list of favourite books of all time. I can't wait to read his other novels.

Déc 30, 2008, 5:07am

Master piece, under the shadow of omniscient god: Jorge Luis Borges

Jan 2, 2009, 12:08pm

Right now I'm reading Unforgiving Years by Victor Serge - pretty good so far. I also loved The Post Office Girl and I'll definitely be seeking out more Zweig. Besides the NYRB Beware of Pity, it looks like Pushkin Press has a lot of his works translated. Also, I had a question - maybe one for sarajill. I was looking up Zweig on Wikipedia and they had the title listed as The Intoxication of Metamorphosis (certainly appropriate). Does anyone know why it was changed?

Jan 2, 2009, 1:42pm

As I noted elsewhere on this forum, I just finished The Tenants of Moonbloom. I loved it. A fabulous way to begin the new reading year!!!

Jan 2, 2009, 1:56pm

#68: I suppose you should get the honor of starting a thread for '09!

Modifié : Jan 3, 2009, 12:44am

#53 and # 55: "The Book of Ebenezer Page" by G. B. Edwards
has long been a favorite of mine, so I am delighted that you have found it. (Recently, having heard so much about "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" I got it from the library. It does not hold a candle to
Ebenezer!) I hope more readers will seek out this excellent/unusual/worth-your-reading-time book. It is, alas, the only work by G. B. Edwards.

Jan 5, 2009, 12:14pm

In answer to the question of why the title of The Post-Office Girl was not translated literally, as "The Intoxication of Metamorphosis," the answer is that that title, while appropriate, made for an awkward title in English. I suppose it's one of those things that's a matter of taste, but there wasn't much debate here that it wouldn't work.

Jan 5, 2009, 12:17pm

In answer to the question of why the title of The Post-Office Girl was not translated literally, as "The Intoxication of Metamorphosis," the answer is that that title, while appropriate, made for an awkward title in English. I suppose it's one of those things that's a matter of taste, but there wasn't much debate here that it wouldn't work.

Jan 5, 2009, 9:40pm

I am currently reading John Collier's Fancies and Goodnights and am loving it.

Jan 7, 2009, 5:35pm

I read The Box of Delights and The Midnight Folk over the holidays and I have just started Pinocchio which is my early reviewer copy and not having read it before I must say it is different than I expected. More complicated and enjoyable.

I also got both Lolly Willowes and Selected Stories by Robert Walser as presents so I am itching to start those as well.

Jan 7, 2009, 11:20pm

I need to reread Lolly Willowes. I liked it when I first read it but it didn't impress me the way some of Warner's other novels did. I think, as an older woman, I might have a very different take on Lolly's story now. *throws book on TBR pile for 2009*

Jan 8, 2009, 11:29am

Marensr—so glad you picked up the John Masefield books—they're among my favorites of the kid's collection and have definite adult crossover appeal.

Jan 9, 2009, 4:32pm

I finished Unforgiving Years, which I enjoyed, and am now reading The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay.

Jan 9, 2009, 5:39pm

Jan 11, 2009, 10:23am

I am reading The Tiger in the House. It's deliriously good.

Jan 11, 2009, 11:22am

I second Murr's approbation of The Tiger in the House.

Jan 13, 2009, 9:20pm

I just started What's for Dinner?. I think I'm going to like it.

Jan 13, 2009, 9:32pm

>81 sqdancer: My copy of What's for Dinner just arrived in the mail yesterday. I am saving it for a time when I've been extra good.

Jan 13, 2009, 11:28pm

I just finished one of the earlier NYRB Classics, An African in Greenland, by Tete-Michel Kpomassie. It's a delightful memoir of a Togolese man's unlikely dream to visit Greenland, and how the dream is fulfilled. It felt vaguely appropriate to read the book now, in the middle of the seemingly-endless New England winter. Warming, even.

Jan 14, 2009, 9:35am

Warmth? What is that?

Jan 14, 2009, 9:45am

I loved What's For Dinner! Very funny in a completely understated way.

Jan 14, 2009, 10:34am

Just finished The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy. Such a treat!

Jan 15, 2009, 5:42pm


What exactly did you like about the book? It bored me so badly, I thought of moving to Sudan. Furthermore, our local used bookstore has about a zillion copies of the book on the shelves.

Jan 15, 2009, 8:07pm

I loved The Dud Avocado too, but I know a lot of people didn't. I wasn't happy with the ending, but I just loved the protagonist's idiosyncratic voice and American ignorance of Europe.

Jan 16, 2009, 6:14pm

76 sarajill, Thanks, I did enjoy both volumes. I suspect they will be among books I try and force on strangers at parties. He's another of those authors that writes well and defies categorization.

jfclark I am so glad someone else has read An African in Greenland it is one of those I try and force on people. I actually enjoyed The Dud Avocado immensely.

I just finished Pinocchio. My review is here.


I have just started Lolly Willowes which I am enjoying immensely.

Jan 16, 2009, 11:16pm

I have started (in a desultory fashion) What's for Dinner. Thus far, I can't seem to work up much interest. I feel like I'm caught in some nightmare version of The Feminine Mystique set in Levittown.

Jan 17, 2009, 12:48am

I read the first hundred or so pages of C.V. Wedgwood's The Thirty Years War yesterday (I picked it up after a trip to Bohemia a while ago, and am finally getting around to it). It's so elegantly written that one constantly wants to underline her exquisitely-turned sentences, and the pacing is so perfect that it's a difficult book to put down. How many history books focusing on the seventeenth century can one say that about?

Jan 17, 2009, 9:07am

dcozy, The Thirty Years War is on my TBR; thanks for the encouragement to move it up on the pile.

Jan 17, 2009, 7:08pm

#87 I liked the character, her voice. Strangely enough it reminded me a little of The Bell Jar. But just ran into someone the other day that had wanted to love The Dud Avocado and just couldn't get into it. Go figure.

Jan 18, 2009, 6:52pm

91 - I usually stick to the fiction NYRBs, but your description really made me want to look up The Thirty Years War. Guess I'll have to add it to the to-buy list.

Jan 31, 2009, 3:51am

I just started reading Sunflower - I've heard good things so I have high expectations.

Jan 31, 2009, 9:16am

Sunflower is quite strange, but I enjoyed it a lot.

Fév 7, 2009, 2:04pm

Oh I'll be curious to hear what you think of Sunflower, strange but enjoyable is a good description.

I recently finished Lolly Willowes which was splendid. It is amazing how many Virginia Woolfish things she says pre-A Room of One's Own and how she plays with the crone/witch myth that surrounds unmarried women of a certain age throughout history.

Fév 25, 2009, 8:40am

I'm about to start Olivia Manning's School for Love. My local bookstore is about to succumb to the economic crisis, and is having a going-out-of-business sale in March. I may have to buy up all of their NYRBs, of which there are a half dozen or more on the shelves.

Fév 28, 2009, 1:01am

I finished Sunflower and loved it. It was definitely strange - the only thing that I can think to compare it to would be The Ten Thousand Things and even that would require a bit of a stretch. I'd like to read something else by Krudy - seems like there's only one other book of his available in English though.

I also read Beware of Pity - another 5-star book.

Another one that I'd recommend would be Rogue Male. I was pleasantly surprised by that book; it's probably the best thriller I've ever read (though admittedly lacking in that genre).

rbhardy - Sorry about the bookstore closing - hopefully there's another (good) one nearby?

Fév 28, 2009, 7:38am

DieFeldermaus, I agree with you about Sunflower and Beware of Pity but I must admit I struggled with Rogue Male, finding it a little too odd for me.

Mar 6, 2009, 10:50am

School for Love (reviewed here) was very good. Now I'm trying to decide what to read next. I only found two NYRBs at the bookstore's going out of business sale: Rock Crystal and The Post-Office Girl. Since I'm concurrently reading a 900-page history of the Civil War, I may go with the thinnest novel!

Mar 6, 2009, 10:51am

Ce message a été supprimé par son auteur(e).

Mar 6, 2009, 12:48pm

Rob I am glad you have rescued some from your poor bookstore and I always look forward to reading your reviews.

Mar 6, 2009, 7:47pm

Rob - choose Post-Office Girl! You'll be glad you did.

Mar 7, 2009, 7:57am

Okay, The PostOffice Girl will be my next NYRB. But meanwhile I've been sidetracked by a non-NYRB, V.S. Naipaul's The Enigma of Arrival.

Mar 7, 2009, 4:07pm

Here to put in my vote for PostOffice Girl, too! I know you will appreciate Zweig.

Mar 12, 2009, 2:20pm

This morning on the subway I started the slight little Monsieur Monde Vanishes by Simenon. So far it seems like it's going to be a good little escapist bon-bon!

Mar 20, 2009, 7:58pm

I'm now reading the Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy but it's turning out to be such a 'dud,' I just can't get through it.

Modifié : Mar 27, 2009, 10:36pm

I just finished The PostOffice Girl, which was highly recommended to me from all quarters (#103, 105, 107, above). Didn't love it, didn't hate it. (I've reviewed it here.) It did make me want to read more Zweig. But next on my reading list is Virginia Woolf's Jacob's Room, one of the few Woolf novels I neglected when I was in my twenties. Back to NYRBs in April.

Mar 28, 2009, 10:39am

i'm reading The Winners by Julio Cortazar for the Reading Globally Argentina theme read. One interesting thing about this book is that it was such an early addition to the NYRB catalog that it doesn't have the now-universal cover design! (My copy of Peasants and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov likewise has one of these early covers.)

Mar 28, 2009, 3:45pm


I, too, found The Dud Avocado a dud.

Avr 4, 2009, 2:48pm

I just read Anne Carson's smart, quick-moving translation of Euripides' Hippolytus from her NYRB volume Grief Lessons. If you're interested in reading a little Greek tragedy in translation, it would be a good place to start.

Avr 9, 2009, 10:11pm

Hons and Rebels. I almost fell out of bed laughing last night. I want a dear little appendix in a jar! Rare is the page that can get through without having to read something out loud to my wife.

Avr 9, 2009, 11:54pm

I'm reading The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg (though not in the NYRB version) and The Dud Avocado. I'm very interested in the latter, as it seems to have polarized the group. Also, I'll be getting The Old Man and Me from Early Reviewers so I thought it would be helpful to read this one first.

Avr 11, 2009, 10:05am

Oh Rob, Hons and Rebels has long been on my wishlist. I may have to pick it up now.

DieFledermaus it seems several of us have gotten The Old Man and Me it will be fun to see what everyone thinks and I am interested to see what you think of The Dud Avocado.

I got my copy of The Old Man and Me yesterday and I have only read the introduction but I was glad to see Dundy mention Virago in her introduction.

Avr 11, 2009, 11:30am

Hons and Rebels is a lot of fun, perhaps more so if you have some familiarity with the Mitford story.

Avr 11, 2009, 1:15pm

Yes I had read a Mitford family biograph and Love in a Cold Climate but then I slipped out of my Mitford phase. I will look forward to it rebeccanyc.

Avr 15, 2009, 9:32pm

I've jumped on the Hons and Rebels bandwagon. Purchased it a short while ago and had no intention of reading it so soon but all the chatter of late around LT pushed it to the forefront of my thoughts. So far? Immenently entertaining---sometimes the humor is just plain old variety witty in that very British way, sometimes it's wry humor, sometimes acerbic, and at other times it's just laugh out loud hysterical. This is certainly what folks mean when they say a book is just a "good read."

Avr 17, 2009, 5:47pm

OK Mitford fans, any opinions on the follow up to Hons and Rebels, A Fine Old Conflict?

Avr 17, 2009, 6:13pm

I know I enjoyed it when I read it, but that must have been close to 30 years ago, and I don't remember it very well.

Avr 17, 2009, 9:07pm

Oh! I was not aware of the existence of A Fine Old Conflict. Are you going to publish it, sarajill?
If so, I will definitely get a copy!

Avr 18, 2009, 1:00pm

I just finished Walter Benjamin: The Story of a Friendship yesterday, and it was wonderful.

Avr 20, 2009, 10:59pm

We're definitely considering A Fine Old Conflict. Good to hear some supporters of it.

Avr 21, 2009, 7:42am

I will ALWAYS support the Mitfords, they are way too much fun!

Avr 21, 2009, 12:50pm

> 120

I didn't even realize there was a "sequel" to Hons and Rebels but I can tell you this, if NYRB decides to publish A Fine Old Conflict then the l *least* I can do is buy it! : )

Avr 21, 2009, 11:26pm

I finished The Dud Avocado and enjoyed it quite a bit. I'm definitely in the 'liked it' camp. rebeccanyc (in #88) did a good job expressing how I felt about the book. Looking forward to reading the ER copy of The Old Man and Me.

Also - clearly I need to jump on the Mitford bandwagon.

Avr 24, 2009, 3:08am

My ER copy of The Old Man and Me came, so that will be the next book that I start.

Modifié : Avr 28, 2009, 11:13pm

> 124


Got an ETA on that? Say late 2010? Early 2011? I'd totally be willing to put off buying an older/OOP edition A Fine Old Conflict if a little insider birdy could sorta, kinda, strongly hint that it would be coming down the awesome NYRB Classics pipeline in a year or two. Heh. : )

Avr 29, 2009, 9:56pm

I'm about to start Elizabeth Hardwick's Seduction and Betrayal, which I picked up a the hospital auxiliary book sale.

Avr 30, 2009, 11:05am

>129 bookjones:

No ETA for the Mitford as of yet, sorry to disappoint!

Avr 30, 2009, 11:48am

The NYRB I'm reading now - Life and Fate by Vasiliĭ Grossman - is excellent, truly epic.

Avr 30, 2009, 12:43pm

"Life and Fate" is the best novel I read in 2008. I had bad posture from carrying it around, but it was worth it.

Avr 30, 2009, 1:22pm

Life and Fate is also one of my very favorite books. Quite amazing.

Mai 7, 2009, 12:16pm

Hons and Rebels arrived today and I am torn do I force myself to finish This House of Brede and Novel on Yellow Paper or just read all three at various intervals. I suspect the latter.

Mai 7, 2009, 4:28pm

I say start Hons and Rebels—it's non-fiction after all, and doesn't count as overlapping reading!

Mai 7, 2009, 4:46pm

>136 nyrbclassics: I just noticed that you all have recently (March) released The Wonderful O! I love that book, and Simont's illustrations--mine is a beat-up old copy, so I probably do need a new one. . .

Mai 16, 2009, 10:26am

I wish I could read Stoner for the first time again, but I guess I will settle for a second read. It is fabulous!

Mai 21, 2009, 12:48pm

After the discussion here I decided I needed to dive back into the Mitfords. I finally read Hons and Rebels which I enjoyed thoroughly but I was disappointed that she did not tell about the rest of her life. I understand why she cut off but I wanted to see her keep going.

Mai 22, 2009, 10:16am

I read Great Granny Webster in a couple sittings. I loved it. It was hilarious. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for Corrigan. I don't know whether to describe it as funny in a terrible way or terrible in a funny way. It's mostly a description of the narrator's dysfunctional family, but the descriptions are so vivid and entertaining that you're left wanting more.

Mai 28, 2009, 7:31pm

I'm stuck in the middle of Mr. Fortune's Maggot. I don't know what's wrong with me. I loved Sylvia Townsend Warner's Lolly Willowes and The Corner That Held Them, but I've been very cool toward Mr. Fortune.

Juin 2, 2009, 1:10pm

I just started Don't Look Now. Some creepy Du Maurier short stories seemed a good way to kick off the summer.

Juin 2, 2009, 3:29pm

I loved Don't Look Now. "The Birds," in particular is MUCH creepier than the Hitchcock film.

Juin 3, 2009, 5:01pm

>140 DieFledermaus: Fair enough on Mr. Fortune's Maggot but don't give up on STW. Summer Will Show is engrossing and a real love story to boot.

Juin 3, 2009, 5:11pm

#140 I've already pre-ordered Summer Will Show with my local bookseller.

I've read four STW novels. Lolly Willowes and The Corner That Held Them really transported me into their rich alternate reality. Mr. Fortune's Maggot and The True Heart seemed like thinner allegorical fables to me. But I still love her writing, and have definitely not given up on her. I'm looking forward to Summer Will Show.

Juin 4, 2009, 12:48pm

143 rebeccanyc I am only halfway through the volume but I did read "The Birds" and it was so striking. I confess I have only seen clips of the Hitchcock but an American setting seems to diminish the story somehow. Plus all the immediacy of the fears in a small costal village under attack post WWII seem more resonnant and have a deeper immediacy.

She really is gifted at writing stories that plumb deeper human fears.

144-145 I loved Lolly Willowes I may put Mr. Fortune's Maggot off in favor of a different STW.

Juin 8, 2009, 2:46pm

I finished Mr. Fortune's Maggot, and ended up with a higher opinion of it than I had at the outset. Here's my review. I hope, Sara (#144), that I've redeemed myself!:-)

Juin 9, 2009, 6:03pm

147: You were never out of our good graces!

Juin 9, 2009, 6:28pm

#148: What a relief! Now...you wouldn't happen to have a job for my favorite 2009 Carleton College graduate who wants a job in publishing in New York, would you? ;-)

Juin 9, 2009, 7:51pm

>147 rbhardy3rd: You have given me hope, as I started and put down MFM last year.

I am currently reading The Pilgrim Hawk, though not a NYRB edition. I found it in an old anthology. Really good, so far.

Juin 17, 2009, 8:32am

I just finished Cassandra at the Wedding by Dorothy Baker and enjoyed it quite a bit. I loved the character of Cassandra, despite the fact that she was at times actively unsympathetic. However, I didn't always trust her as a narrator. The author has a section narrated by Cassandra followed by a section narrated by her twin, Judith. I was constantly looking for confirmation/discrepancies in the two accounts. Baker did an excellent job with the different voices - I noticed going back that in the Cassandra section, I did plenty of underlining and commenting in the margin, but significantly less for Judith. For a book about a neurotic, manipulative, narcissistic main character and her dysfunctional family (they have all the signs of a proper dysfunctional family - death, denial, drugs and drinking), it manages to be remarkably subtle in depicting the difficulty of communication - as well as a very funny, entertaining read.

Also, I recently picked up a copy of Hons and Rebels and was wondering if anyone had recommendations for Mitford-related background reading.

Juin 17, 2009, 12:31pm

I'm reading The Mitfords at the moment, a collection of the sisters' letters. I've also had recommended to me the biography The Mitford Girls, though I haven't read it yet. Concurrently with The Mitfords, I'm reading Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love, and realizing how much of it is based on her own family. The novel is full of Mitfordisms, including the use of "in pig" to mean pregnant.

Juin 17, 2009, 12:54pm

In addition, Nancy Mitford's Love in a Cold Climate also fictionalizes the sisters' story, and is a lot of fun.

Juin 17, 2009, 8:07pm

Thanks for the suggestions! I think I'll try to read both of Nancy Mitford's books and get a good biography before I start Hons and Rebels. I've had The Pursuit of Love on the list for a while; this will give me an excuse to go out and buy it now.

Juin 18, 2009, 8:29pm

I just started The Pure and the Impure by Colette; it looks like a quick read.

Juin 21, 2009, 1:03pm

Current offers on NYRB include Eric Linklater's "The Wind on the Moon." First published in 1944 it is truly a book for children and intelligent adults. I've reread my ancient Puffin edition many times with pleasure. (If you aren't familiar with Linklater you will be rewarded by a hunt for his adult novels also.)

Juin 24, 2009, 11:15am

Esta1923: oh, are there any adult Eric Linklater novels you'd particularly recommend?

Juin 24, 2009, 11:30am

I just finished The Old Man and Me. I had very high hopes for this because I was one of the people who loved The Dud Avocado. While it had some very funny moments, and while Dundy was as lively a writer as ever, I just didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to, probably because the character of Honey Flood didn't hold me the way that of Sally Jay Gorce did. But there were wonderful insights into the British and their real and perceived differences from Americans.

Juin 24, 2009, 5:18pm

Beautiful "A Spell for Old Bones" and wild "Private Angelo" are Eric Liklater at his best. . . I hope you can find them.

Juin 25, 2009, 5:02pm

I'm reading An African in Greenland right now. Only a couple chapters in, but it looks to be another good read.

Juin 26, 2009, 12:54pm

I think An African in Greenland is my favorite travel book of all time. It is so frank, open minded and charming.

It looks like there will be some kind of artistic pow-wow about it in Williamsburg, Brooklyn this fall.


Juin 28, 2009, 2:24pm

I'm reading Sleepless Nights and loving it.

It was a wonderful surprise to find out that Hardwick is from Lexington, where I currently reside. This is probably the only piece of literary fiction that features Lexington alongside New York City!

Juin 29, 2009, 1:41pm

Oh I am so glad there are some other fans of An African in Greenland. I enjoyed that book so much and have mentioned it to so many other people that my husband knows when I am going to mention it in conversation. Thanks for the link Ortolan.

rebeccanyc, I can see that, Honey Flood is much more calculating and angry and much less appealing. Sally Jay Gorce is a bit more of a lost free spirit.

Juil 6, 2009, 11:03pm

Reading Stoner, and am suitably impressed. So far, it's reminding me of Jack London's Martin Eden, or something by William Dean Howells.

Juil 10, 2009, 2:45pm

I have just finished Alien Hearts by Guy de Maupassant. It is lovely. I posted a review on LT as well as on the Club Read Forum.

Juil 11, 2009, 6:51pm

I'm about to start Maupassant's Afloat.

Juil 27, 2009, 10:32pm

I recently finished Don't Look Now and Other Stories by Daphne Du Maurier. I would call it 'compulsively readable' - I read the majority of the book in one night. The title story and 'The Birds' are little masterpiece of suspense. Of course, I'd seen the movie before (for The Birds - though I also found out that Nicolas Roeg made a version of Don't Look Now that is supposed to be rather more faithful than the Birds) but it didn't detract from the quiet horror of that story. A few of the stories are a bit predictable and simplistic, but some of this is due to the fact that the twists Du Maurier uses are almost expected in horror/sci fi genres today. The wonderful ambiguity in the stories left them lingering in my mind.

Juil 28, 2009, 7:19am

I loved Don't Look Now too and thought the original version of "The Birds" was much more chilling than the Hitchcock movie. I got the "Don't Look Now" movie from Netflix and wasn't wild about it -- it was kind of hard to follow, even after having read the story.

Juil 29, 2009, 2:40am

I agree - I thought the original Birds story, with its more limited focus and the absence of the romance/family tension, conveyed the hopelessness and claustrophobia of the situation more effectively. That's too bad about Don't Look Now - I was thinking it would make a great movie.

I just started The Enchanted April; so far, it seems like a fun read.

Juil 29, 2009, 7:42am

I thought I wouldn't like The Enchanted April, but it ended up working its enchantment on me!

Modifié : Juil 29, 2009, 6:06pm

I still contend that The Enchanted April is deeply cynical—but I'm in the minority. Maybe it's all the biographical details we have about von Arnim that convinces me of this.

Juil 31, 2009, 5:34am

I started reading The Enchanted April today, albeit an ebook version. I saw the film in 1992 with my husband. I remember dragging him along to the cinema thinking he'd be bored, but we both ended up enjoying it and I've been meaning to read it ever since...

Juil 31, 2009, 3:26pm

171 Oh I can see that a bit. Especially if you have read her garden books. There is a lightness to her humor that belies the depth of her criticisms when it comes to human relationships, which doesn't diminishe the loveliness of the book somehow.

Août 21, 2009, 12:45pm

I just finished Madame De Pompadour by Nancy Mitford and loved it. I ordered copies of The Pursuit of Love & Love in a Cold Climate and the oop Voltaire in Love. So far my favorite NYRB's are the histories. Any chance NYRB will publish more by Nancy Mitford?

Août 27, 2009, 12:33am

"It's about doing paperwork (or avoiding doing paperwork), going to teas with your boss's wife, and overseeing village well-digging projects, as well as smoking pot, masturbating, and reading Marcus Aurelius."

That's Akhil Sharma in the introduction to English, August: An Indian Story by Upamanyu Chatterjee, incisively summing up the novel , and if that doesn't whet a reader's appetite, particularly a reader looking for something new out of India, something without the sickeningly sweet fetor of "magical realism," then I don't know what will. His account of the life of a slacker, forced to give up his citified ways (if not the vices mentioned above), when, as a member of the Indian civil service, he is sent to a backwater town, is often laugh-out-loud funny, and never less than amusing. It is also refreshing that the slacker-narrator never does find certainty about the path his life should take but instead, at the end, accepts that life is an uncertain business.

(I finished Kokoro just a bit before reading this. I sure seem to be reading about slackers a lot these days.)

Août 28, 2009, 3:37pm

I just got The Stray Dog Cabaret mostly for dramaturgical research on Sergei Esenin but it looks like it will be fun -no fun is the wrong word- but I will enjoy having all the poets in translation.

dcozy that is quite a description!

Sep 1, 2009, 12:17pm

@agmill: which Mitford history do you recommend? I've been reading her letters with Waugh recently and now want to check out her translation of The Princess of Cleves. I don't know what its critical reception was, though.

Sep 1, 2009, 4:22pm

nyrbclassics I just started reading Nancy Mitford so I don't have any recommendations yet. All of her histories sound good to me. I just ordered The Sun King and Frederick the Great along with the Voltaire in Love I had already ordered. The Princess of Cleves sounds interesting, too. I also picked up a copy of Mary Lovell's The Mitford Girls the other day and I need to read Jessica Mitford's Hons and Rebels.

Sep 1, 2009, 5:13pm

I am reading The Queue right now. All in dialogue, set in the long queues in the former Soviet Union.

Sep 3, 2009, 9:33am

I've just read Sunflower. What a revelation! Krudy's prose is enchanting, lyrical throughout but somehow (I'm not sure exactly how, especially since the book felt a little overlong to me) avoids being cloying. The character portraits are lovingly drawn but also sophisticated. Apparently there's not much Krudy in translation (at least not in-print), which is a shame, given how unique his style is. A great read.

Sep 3, 2009, 11:44am

179> Does The Queue "work"? I'm hesitant to pick it up.

Modifié : Sep 3, 2009, 2:53pm

Just finished Stoner. Very good. Hard to put down. It reminded me a little of Evan S. Connell's Mr. Bridge and Mrs. Bridge (also set in Missouri).

I do wish the books had afterwords instead of introductions. I usually skip the introduction until after I've finished the book anyway.

Sep 3, 2009, 3:01pm

I loved Sunflower too, and I found something else by Krudy, Adventures of Sindbad, but I haven't read it yet.

Modifié : Sep 12, 2009, 11:40am

I read Alistair Horne’s A Savage War of Peace last year and thought it was excellent both as a history of the French war in Algeria (with which I wasn’t at all familiar before I started) and for the insights it provides into the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is very dense and took a lot of reading. I had to let the general themes wash over me and not try and keep track of all the details. In a way Horne’s book is a sequel to Bernard B. Fall’s Hell in a Very Small Place about the siege of Dien Bien Phu. A lot of the French military leaders were involved in both events.

Modifié : Sep 27, 2009, 8:51am

Just finished Dino Buzzati's Poem Strip and The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily.

I thought Poem Strip was very good. I especially liked the Talking Jacket (I wonder if it influenced the cover of Kevin Brockmeier's The Brief History of the Dead.) As usual the design of the book itself is excellent. I hope NYRB publishes more graphic novels in the future.

I've had a copy of The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily for a while but never got around to reading it. It turned out to be a great children's story and I will probably be giving copies to my nieces and nephews.

Oct 10, 2009, 5:47pm

I just picked up Rock Crystal today and have only read the first few pages. I am very intrigued.

Oct 10, 2009, 6:57pm

I just finished reading Rock Crystal. I enjoyed it but it wasn't quite as good as I expected. I might have liked it more if I read it in one sitting.

Oct 13, 2009, 2:06pm

Finally finished The Thirty Years War. This book is local history where I live and so was necessary reading. Excellent and very detailed coverage of the topic. Now I need to go out and see some of the places mentioned in the book that I haven't been to yet.

Oct 13, 2009, 5:01pm

agmlll, I just finished Rock Crystal as well. It really can be read in a sitting. I think I enjoyed it more than you. It is a simple story (and I was annoyed that dear Mr. Auden summarized the plot in the Introduction) but appreciation grew on me.

I think perhaps because I grew up in the mountains and appreciate his sense of the combined beauty and danger of nature and they way they take on the nature of a character when you live next to them.

I also liked the interesting tension between the Catholicism of the villagers and a throwback to early Nordic sagas in which the divine is dwarfed by nature and nature itself is the threat against human existence. I don't want to read too much into it since is is essentially a simple tale, almost a fairy tale but I liked it more than I anticipated especially after having the plot spoiled.

Oct 13, 2009, 6:04pm

Marensr, That is what I was trying to say about preferring afterwards to introductions back in 182. A professor in college once told me to always skip the introduction to a book if it wasn't written by the author. You can always go back and read it after you've read the book if you want. I've found that to be very good advice that for some reason I never thought of myself.

Oct 13, 2009, 10:42pm

Agreed, sometimes I skip them and go back later but I have gotten used to many introductions not spoiling the book and instead giving intersting author tidbits. Ah well. I will be more cautions for awhile.

Oct 16, 2009, 11:09am

I just got A House and its Head yesterday.

Oct 21, 2009, 11:46am

>192 Marensr: Good luck Maren. I read A House and Its Head a number of years ago. I found it a bizarrely funny book, but reading it was difficult. I am not sure why.

Oct 21, 2009, 12:44pm

I just finished reading Lolly Willowes. This was the first book I've read by STW. I thought it was very good. The only other book I have by STW right now is her biography of T. H. White.

Oct 21, 2009, 7:43pm

I just started Manservand and Maidservant also by Ivy Compton-Burnett. Have read 2 chapters so far and it is a difficult read. I think her style takes some getting used to. I'm really hoping to like this book. Has anyone else read it?

Oct 22, 2009, 11:12pm

tuppy and Mary I am finding the style a little strange to get into but also very darkly funny

Modifié : Oct 22, 2009, 11:12pm

oops double post

Oct 23, 2009, 1:26pm

I'm about three-quarters of the way through Hard Rain Falling by Don Carpenter. I'm liking it a lot, though I'm wondering if the turn in the story which might be about to happen will prove to be one that disappoints me. It is a novel about men who begin as petty criminals and hustlers living on the streets or in flophouses as teenagers -- but it is about the men, and not so much the plot, contrary to the case of many crime/noir novels.

I'd advise against reading the story synopsis on the back jacket, however. It reveals some late plot points, and, moreover, gives a misleading view of the shape of the overall novel. I'd have been happier not reading the book against the false expectations created by that misimpression.

(Also, there's a typo in Jonathan Lethem's name on the back cover.)

Oct 29, 2009, 4:56pm

I got my early reviewer copy of Point de Lendemain No Tomorrow by or possibly by Denon it looks intriguing. I'll post a review when I've finished.

Nov 1, 2009, 7:12pm

I've just started A Sorrow Beyond Dreams by the Austrian writer Peter Handke, which is about the life, postwar grief and "voluntary death" of his mother.

Modifié : Nov 9, 2009, 1:18pm

I'm reading Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky's Memories of the Future. The NYT review was right. All these stories take place in a dream-like or a near dream-like state. Interesting but sometimes difficult to get through.

Modifié : Nov 18, 2009, 5:59pm

I am a little more than halfway through Sylvia Townsend Warner's Summer Will Show, and I'm spellbound. It's fabulous. It starts out strong, and seems miraculously to get better with every page. As my English niece and nephews would say, "Absol brill" (i.e., it's absolutely brilliant).

After I finish it, I will turn immediately to The True Deceiver, which I just received as an October 2009 Early Reviewers book, before hunkering down with Thackeray's Vanity Fair, one of the last of the Victorian Alps that I haven't conquered yet.

Nov 18, 2009, 6:09pm

I'm dipping in and out of The Scientist as Rebel by Freeman Dyson. It's not from the NYRB Classics series but from the other arm of NYRB. It's mostly a collection of his reviews that appeared in the magazine but does collect a few other pieces also. It's quite thought provoking and entertaining.

Nov 19, 2009, 2:58pm

I just finished reading The Goshawk by T. H. White. I wanted to read it because My Side of the Mountain was one of my favorite books. The Goshawk is the story of White's attempt to practice the art of falconry. I thought it was interesting but not overwhelming.

I've been reading a lot of T. H White this year.

I started with Mistress Masham's Repose about a girl's discovery of a colony of Lilliputians and her attempt to protect them from people who would exploit them. I enjoyed the story enough that I sought out some of White's other work.

Darkness at Pemberley is an early mystery that didn't work for me although it had some nice touches.

In The Elephant and the Kangaroo T. H. White makes himself the main character who is warned by an angel of an impending flood in Ireland and told to build an ark. It is supposed to be a satire but it seems awfully hard on the Irish and doesn't come to much of a resolution.

I still have England Have My Bones left to read.

Nov 19, 2009, 6:48pm

>202 rbhardy3rd:: So glad to hear that you're enjoying Summer Will Show. I had the same experience with it. I've read other Sylvia Townsend Warner books, but none enthralled me like this one. I would say it's her most enjoyable book. It should've been a best-seller!

Nov 20, 2009, 8:18am

You are inspiring me to pick up Summer Will Show -- I bought it after being entranced by Lolly Willowes.

Nov 21, 2009, 3:55pm

I found Dud Avocado terrific and witty, a great alternative to more popular novels about young women abroad or coming of age in which they die and/or are miserable (Bell Jar, "Daisy Miller," etc.)!

Nov 21, 2009, 6:08pm

Just finished Hard Rain Falling by Don Carpenter. It was an excellent, hard to put down book. I hope there is more good work by Carpenter waiting to be republished.

>207 BMCCReads:: I know what you mean about Daisy Miller. The ending is completely wrong.

Nov 21, 2009, 11:13pm

I'm reading Life and Fate by Grossman--it's an amazing, wonderful book.

Nov 22, 2009, 4:38pm

I've blogged my review of Summer Will Show. Five stars. Highly recommended. One of the best novels I've read all year.

Modifié : Nov 28, 2009, 4:31am

I just finished The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming by Masanobu Fukuoka. I'm sure there is a lot of truth in what he says about natural farming but the fact that people live much longer healthier lives nowadays makes it hard to wholeheartedly accept all his views on the primitive lifestyle. The book is still well worth reading.

Nov 28, 2009, 2:08pm

I just finished Tove Jansson's The True Deceiver and posted my review, which also incorporates a review of The Summer Book.

Modifié : Jan 6, 2010, 8:35pm

Just finished The Way of the World by Nicolas Bouvier. I enjoyed taking the trip with Bouvier and his artist friend Thierry Vernet as they traveled from Eastern Europe to the Khyber Pass in Afghanistan noting the people and the local color along the way. Not something a Westerner could do today.

Modifié : Jan 7, 2010, 8:01am

I finished and loved Everything Flows by Vassily Grossman, which I was eager to read as soon as it came out because I think his Life and Fate is a truly remarkable book. So, at much less length, is Everything Flows, which within that short space tries to encompass all the evils of Soviet Russia, including the show trials, informing, the gulag, and the intentional starvation of millions, among others.

Jan 10, 2010, 2:14am

I just finished The Lord Chandos Letter and Other Writings by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. If you combined a little bit of Ambrose Bierce, a little bit of Edgar Allan Poe, and a little bit of Franz Kafka you might end up with something like these amazing tales. Each one is about a different variety of dread. Highly recommended.

Modifié : Jan 20, 2010, 2:50pm

I'm reading The New York Stories of Edith Wharton - and NOT because it's the group's icon.

Jan 18, 2010, 7:07pm

I'm reading and enjoying Cassandra at the Wedding.

Jan 18, 2010, 9:58pm

I have been absent in shame because I had not finished my reviews of my two early reviewer copies of NYRB but I have finished them both now. I enjoyed No Tomorrow Denon and The True Deceiver both although they are wildly different. My reviews are here:


heggiep, aren't her short stories terrific?

Jan 20, 2010, 1:34am

I just finished Mr. Fortune's Maggot which I enjoyed very much.

Jan 20, 2010, 3:00pm

>218 Marensr:

So far, so good. A few of them have predictable endings but still very enjoyable.

Jan 25, 2010, 11:50am

Cassandra at the Wedding was very good, though I think I read too much into the ending after watching the documentary 'The Bridge', which chronicles people killing themselves by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.

Modifié : Jan 25, 2010, 2:56pm

Finished Soul of Wood by Jakov Lind. The back of the book is right: "...Lind distorts and refashions reality to make the deepest horrors of the twentieth century his own." The events in the seven stories are by turns humorous and horrible. I found the stories very engaging and was pulled quickly through the book.

Jan 30, 2010, 7:39am

Just read Tove Jansson's The Summer Book. It seems like the perfect book to read on a cold snowy day with a good cup of hot chocolate.

Fév 1, 2010, 8:20pm

Michael Hofmann's strong views on Stefan Zweig got me interested, so I pulled Beware of Pity off the shelf. I'm only a hundred or so pages in and am enjoying it so far.

Fév 2, 2010, 8:33pm

agmlll isn't it though?

I just picked up Short Letter, Long Farewell.

Also I should mentioned that the 57th street bookstore in Chicago, where I bought it, had a lovely NYRB display complete with bookmarks, a catalog and buttons. I snagged a button and a bookmark too. How nice that they were featuring the books so prominently.

Fév 4, 2010, 4:57pm

We wondered if Hofmann's "strong views"—as you so politely put it—would have the effect of getting people interested. It seems they have, in at least one case.

Fév 4, 2010, 5:23pm

I'm looking forward to Mechanization Takes Command. Happy that NYRB picked it up. Fortunes of War is coming from MG. Those two will slide Life and Fate and the The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll back in the schedule a bit. My NYRB collection on LT now has 17 books in it. Not as many as some of you, I'm sure, but it is growing.

Fév 5, 2010, 1:27pm

I started reading The Invention of Morel last night, at a public car auction of all places! The book managed to be more surreal and strange than the auction... but not by much. I'm looking forward to discussing it in my book group later in the month.

Fév 5, 2010, 2:12pm

>228 inaudible:: How's that for an endorsement?! "More surreal and strange than a public car auction"! I think any book might be made stranger by being read at a place like that.

Modifié : Fév 5, 2010, 2:54pm

I should add that this was the biggest public car auction... in Kentucky, so it may be the strangest auto auction in the country.

Modifié : Fév 8, 2010, 7:02am

Michael Hofmann's intemperate take-down of Zweig in the LRB inspired me to pull Beware of Pity off the shelf, and I am grateful to Mr. Hofmann. It is exactly what one looks for in a fin-de-siècle Austrian novel: overheated, Freudian, fueled with secrets and repressions. I will read more Zweig (though if I can believe Joan Acocella--and since she is one of our great critics I probably can--Beware of Pity was the pinnacle of Zweig's achievement; I may be disappointed.

Fév 8, 2010, 1:07pm

Thanks for the link to Michael Hofmann's article, dcozy. What a lot of energy he spends taking down Zweig. It will be as effective as Tolstoy's takedown of that once overrated playwright, W. Shakespare, but I'm not familiar with Hofmann's own works.

Fév 14, 2010, 6:33pm

Just finished Warlock by Oakley Hall. Definitely one of the best Westerns ever written. (I would skip the introduction by Robert Stone and the blurb on the back cover by Thomas Pynchon. They both seem to miss the mark.)

Fév 23, 2010, 6:33pm

Read The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy and enjoyed it. Looking forward to reading The Old Man and Me.

Fév 24, 2010, 10:05am

I just put in an order with my local bookseller for Sheppard Lee, Written by Himself. Has anyone else read it? I have high expectations.

Fév 28, 2010, 6:06am

Finished Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih, an excellent novel about the effects of colonialism on the postcolonial society and people.

Mar 1, 2010, 1:25pm

Reading The Dud Avocado for reading group. We're reading the Salih novel next month.

Modifié : Mar 6, 2010, 5:00pm

Just finished Tropic Moon by Georges Simenon which turned out to be another good novel about colonialism, although that wasn't why I was reading it. I just wanted to sample some of Simenon's writing. Read it through in a single sitting.

Modifié : Mar 13, 2010, 5:27pm

Finished Tove Jansson's The True Deceiver, an amazingly good book about honesty versus self deception. Another book I read from beginning to end in a single day. (It made me want to read some C. S. Forester, too).

Mar 18, 2010, 1:09am

We discussed The Dud Avocado in my book group last night, and I was alone in reading the ending as tragic. While it had a lot of funny moments, I thought the book was ultimately very dark. A very good novel, in any case.

Next up is Season of Migration to the North!

Mar 18, 2010, 6:42am

I'm planning to start The Fortunes of War by Olivia Manning tomorrow -- taking it on a trip with plenty of airplane reading time.

Mar 19, 2010, 2:56pm

rebeccanycFortunes of War is perfect for a long flight.

inaudible—I agree that The Dud Avocado is quite dark (not certain I think the end of the book fully works), but then I also think that Enchanted April is a deeply cynical and dark book!

Mar 20, 2010, 10:41am

Just finished My Dog Tulip by J. R. Ackerley which I thought was a great book about a dog as a dog.

Mar 23, 2010, 9:54am

You are right, nyrbclassics, Fortunes of War, which as you know is only the first three novels, collected as The Balkan Trilogy, was perfect for my flights, including the 3-hour delay on my return connection due to weather problems. Now, of course, I am eager to read The Levant Trilogy -- will NYRB be bringing that out too, and if so when?

Mar 23, 2010, 1:05pm

At the moment we don't have plans to republish The Levant Trilogy. But never say never!

Mar 23, 2010, 2:58pm

Well, then I will buy a copy somewhere else -- I can't wait!

Mar 26, 2010, 9:47pm

Finished The Diary of a Rapist by Evan S. Connell. This one is creepy in its mysogyny with an unreliable narrator who is somewhat indeterminate about what actually does or doesn't happen. Interesting, but not as good as Mrs. Bridge, Mr. Bridge, or Son of the Morning Star.

Avr 4, 2010, 5:44am

Finished Skylark by Dezső Kosztolányi. Wonderful book!

Avr 4, 2010, 7:33am

I was thinking of getting that one, agmill. Thanks for the recommendation.

Avr 4, 2010, 11:06am

Skylark has been on my wishlist for some time. I wish NYRB would do an ebook versions of its books, but alas.

In any case, it is garden season at the moment, and I have to make hard choices. Roses or books? Books or roses?. I just ordered a climbing Old Blush China rose - with shipping and handling that makes three NYRBs. And Skylark sounds like such a lovely book for spring.

In the meantime, I have just started The Balkan Trilogy.

Avr 5, 2010, 4:17pm

I'm also reading Skylark and am enjoying it so far. You might want to have a Hungarian cookbook handy while reading it.

Avr 9, 2010, 11:38am

We're working on our ebooks. The first batch of three should be out later this month. It's a slow process as we have to digitize many of them (or convert them from now outdated digital files) clean them up and format them—and that's IF we can get digital rights—many agents/original publishers we license the books from are reluctant to grant them for various reasons, most of which seem misguided to me. At any rate, they're coming. The 1st three are Stoner, Wish Her Safe at Home, and Everything Flows. I think I may start a thread. I'm curious to know how those who read ebooks do so, and any general thoughts.

Modifié : Avr 15, 2010, 2:47pm

Just finished Summer Will Show by Sylvia Townsend Warner. I think I preferred both Lolly Willows and Mr. Fortune's Maggot. Looking forward to more STW.

Avr 17, 2010, 1:04pm

Finished Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. I've read Pinocchio before and this translation seems more lively than I remember the story being. Brilliant cover.

Modifié : Avr 25, 2010, 1:48pm

Finished Vasily Grossman's Everything Flows, his brilliant devastating work on the Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin. Now I need to read everything else he wrote that's been translated into English.

Avr 25, 2010, 3:30pm

I just started reading English, August: An Indian Story by Upamanyu Chatterjee, which I hope to finish today or tomorrow.

Avr 27, 2010, 3:50pm

My reading group just read Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih, and we generally had trouble getting into it. It was not a bad book, but it was very disturbing. There was something about it (the translation? the cultural divide?) that prevented us from really getting into it.

We're trying something completely different this month with The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming (touchstone not working).

Modifié : Mai 2, 2010, 4:31am

Finished The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares. Certainly has the same vibe as the TV show Lost.

Mai 3, 2010, 6:02pm

I just started Skylark by Dezső Kosztolányi.

Mai 3, 2010, 6:30pm

I broke down and purchased Skylark. I, too, am reading it.

Mai 4, 2010, 6:20pm

RE 252:

Happy to hear the NYRB e-books are coming.

I am a devoted NYRB reader, and a reader of e-books (on Kindle, or on the Kindle iphone app.) I would love it if as many NYRB books were available as possible. I generally am reading one or two non e-books and one, maybe two, e-books at any given time, and find my e-book reading increaes the amount of reading I do, rather than simply reducing the amount of non e-books I read.

Mai 5, 2010, 12:07pm

I am eagerly anticipating my special order of Buzzati's Poem Strip from my local bookstore (Unnameable Books on Vanderbilt in Brooklyn). More Buzzati please!
I'm currently really enjoying Memories of the Future by Krzhizhanovsky.

Mai 8, 2010, 6:41pm

I just finished The One-Straw Revolution this morning, and it moved up to #2 on my all-time favorite NYRB titles, right behind the Gershom Scholem memoir about Walter Benjamin.

Mai 10, 2010, 11:49am

inaudible: excellent! thanks...quite varied taste you have there...

Mai 10, 2010, 1:38pm

We'll see how the reading group likes it!

Mai 10, 2010, 3:15pm

I just finished reading An African in Greenland. It was very informative, but different than I expected. Really good travelogue of Greenland, but not really very obvious that it was someone from rural Africa telling the story. Which I guess says more about my expectations than about the author, really!

NYRB Classics is the focus of the Spotlight Small Press series starting May 16- there are about 40 reviews of NYRB books scheduled to post on various blogs next week. If you're interested in following (or in participating as the series continues), here's the site:

Mai 11, 2010, 8:53am

I'm reading Memories of Hecate County by Edmund Wilson, with mixed feelings.

Mai 11, 2010, 11:17pm

I am ~halfway through Wish Her Safe at Home by Stephen Benatar. It is absolutely mesmerizing. I am starting to feel as crazy as the narrator. Thank you, thank you NYRB for making this book available on Kindle. I have also purchased two other NYRB's for Kindle: Stoner and Everything Flows.


To those who admire the covers, they are on the Kindle albeit in grayscale. However, if you download the Windows or Mac app you get to read and see the covers in color on your computer. I have the Mac app. It is pretty cool.

Mai 13, 2010, 2:06pm

Urania: Thanks for the feedback on the ebooks. Please let us know if you find any oddities in the formatting. We did these conversions in-house, and are crossing our fingers that they look ok! Sad about the Kindle being b/w—and also that it doesn't support embedded fonts.

Mai 13, 2010, 6:40pm

I just finished Wish Her Safe at Home only in regular book form. I think the genius of the book is that everyone can feel that they're only a slippage or two away from being Rachel. Kind of makes you worry how stable is your little island of sanity.

Modifié : Mai 23, 2010, 10:34am

I'm sad to say that Memoirs of Hecate County was a big disappointment for me and one of the few, perhaps the only, NYRB I haven't liked.

Glad to hear Wish Her Safe at Home is so good -- I'll read that soon.

Edited to fix grammar.

Mai 13, 2010, 11:15pm

Wish Her Safe at Home was my top read of 2009! I am an utter and complete evangelist for that book, I admit :-) It is fascinating and I agree- the power of it is that Rachel just says what everyone else thinks... (well, anyway, I *assume* other people besides me think it!).

I am now reading another NYRB, Memoirs of an Anti-Semite, but I confess I'm finding it hard going. Mostly because the protagonist and most of the other characters in the book are (somewhat obviously) really, really difficult to like. The writing is compelling, but quite dense. Very long, rambling paragraphs!

Mai 15, 2010, 5:01pm

Finished The Old Man and Me by Elaine Dundy. I liked it better than The Dud Avocado. The story is darker and the plotting seems tighter. I can see it as a Woody Allen movie.

Mai 15, 2010, 5:31pm

I see it as a Woody Allen movie

Yes! I think you hit that just right.

Mai 17, 2010, 12:52pm

>agmill: glad to know you liked Old Man and Me better than Dud. I think a lot of people, having read the first book, go into Old Man thinking that it will deliver the same experience, and while there are obvious similarities in the voices, the books are quite different. I like them both, and each time I pick up Old Man, I like it more.

And yes, Wish Her Safe at Home does strike that chord. I liked it for that reason, but for some, the familiarity makes it uncomfortable & unlikeable.

>>Rebeccanyc: The Benatar book will be a good one after Hecate County, I think.

>>Aarti—sorry you aren't cottoning to the Rezzori. I'll be interested to hear what you make of the last section, which is quite unlike the ones that precede it.

Mai 17, 2010, 5:52pm

I just finished Stoner. I wept. I really identified with the protagonist's experience as a university professor.

Mai 17, 2010, 5:56pm

P.S. Thanks again NYRB for making my last two NYRB reads available on Kindle. Both have been excellent. I definitely would not have read Stoner had I not been able to access it on Kindle.

Mai 17, 2010, 7:27pm

My copy Stoner was bought at an independent bookstore that was going out of business. Gee, thanks, Kindle.

(Wink to urania, who expects sarcasm from us bookhuggers.)

Mai 17, 2010, 11:06pm

I know rob, you're never bitter ;-)

Mai 23, 2010, 8:42am

I'm a quarter of the way through The Siege of Krishnapur, and loving it so far. I should receive my copy of Troubles later this week, and I'll pick up The Singapore Grip from Borders this afternoon.

Modifié : Juil 27, 2010, 5:05pm

Finished Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman. A great book. It seems like the Soviet soldiers spend as much time fighting the Soviet system as they do fighting the Germans. Even when the Soviets are victorious they fall prey to their own system. I can understand why the Soviet Union would want to suppress this book.

Juin 2, 2010, 9:46am

We're reading A High Wind in Jamaica for the book group this month.

Juin 5, 2010, 10:40am

I just grabbed one of the New York Review Children's books The Bear that Wasn't. It was absolutely charming and I love the illustrations.

Juin 5, 2010, 11:32am

I've just started In Parenthesis by David Jones about WWI. It's considered an modernist epic poem, but I haven't decided how poetic it is. It's slow-going for me because of the subject matter.

Juin 6, 2010, 7:56am

Finished William Lindsay Gresham's Nightmare Alley. This is the second time I've read this book. It's still a great read and one of the noir classics.

I'd also like to read Monster Midway, Gresham's book of true life carny stories which has been out of print since the 1950's.

Modifié : Juin 16, 2010, 1:29am

Just finished Stefan Zweig's The Post-Office Girl. I enjoyed the book overall, but the long monologues in the second half made the story drag a little bit.

Juin 19, 2010, 10:14am

I finally finished In Parenthesis -- a quite amazing book. Review here: http://www.librarything.com/work/130113

Juin 20, 2010, 5:11pm

Finished The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne by Brian Moore. I've been meaning to read this book for a long time. Brutally honest portrait of the title character. Hard to keep reading sometimes.

Juin 21, 2010, 1:22pm

287> In Parenthesis sounds amazing. Maybe NYRB could do an edition of Jones' Anathemata.

I'm about to start The New York Stories of Elizabeth Hardwick.

Juin 27, 2010, 6:30am

Finished Poets in a Landscape by Gilbert Highet. Excellent book. Now I need to read all the Roman poets he mentions in greater detail.

Juin 27, 2010, 7:10am

I've read and reviewed Troubles by J.G. Farrell, which is my favorite novel of the year so far. My second favorite is probably The Siege of Krishnapur, the second book of Farrell's Empire Trilogy.

Juin 28, 2010, 10:31am

I just received my Kindle edition of The Siege of Krishnapur. I have read a few pages.

Juil 3, 2010, 10:50pm

This morning I finished The Murderess by Alexandros Papadiamantis, and my review is on the book's LT home page.

Juil 8, 2010, 12:40pm

Oh DieFledermaus, I'd like to hear what you think of the Hardwick stories. I enjoyed them but I'd love to hear what others think.

Juil 10, 2010, 7:00am

I quite enjoyed the Hardwick stories, mostly because I really liked her prose style - very polished and erudite. With some story collections, I'll finish one and not feel the need to keep on reading, but this book I read mostly straight through like a novel. I thought her character descriptions were superb, so I was hooked even on stories that didn't have too much of a plot, like The Book Seller.

I've been having good luck with some of the NYRB short story collections lately - My Fantoms by Theophile Gautier, Memories of the Future by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky and Platonov's Soul and Other Stories all made me want to read more by the authors.

On the other hand, I'm about 50 pages into The Winners and not really into it yet. Hopefully it will pick up soon.

Modifié : Juil 27, 2010, 5:03pm

Finished Sunflower by Gyula Krudy. Very rich and strange. Looking forward to more Krúdy.

Juil 12, 2010, 10:01am

Not a NYRB book but a Gyula Krúdy book: Life is a Dream, a collection of short stories. I have just finished the first story and have started the second (both are interconnected) and were not included in the original publication of this book. As you say agmill, very rich and strange. I am faintly but only faintly reminded of Gogol.

Juil 15, 2010, 1:17am

Finished The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson, a great Viking historical adventure novel. Read very quickly despite 500+ page length. Should be read by everyone. Cover is beautiful, too.

Juil 15, 2010, 10:17am

299> -- this looks like fun -- I've never heard of it before.

Juil 15, 2010, 1:14pm

299, I saw it in a bookstore, decided against it, and then decided I should go back and get it -- just the thing to lighten up my otherwise grim summer reading. Thanks for reminding me.

Juil 15, 2010, 3:24pm

301>It's still about rape, pillage, and murder. It's just, you know, happy about them.

Modifié : Juil 16, 2010, 9:55am

>302 agmlll:,

I do so love happy rape, pillage, and murder. So much better than the gloomy variety. I, alas, cannot take advantage of the beautiful cover of The Long Ships as I own a cheap paperback copy designed to disintegrate in 10 years. I read it (the book, not its cover) the first time I went to Sweden.

Juil 16, 2010, 7:17pm

296 - I enjoyed it as well. With short stories even if there is one that is a miss you can move on. It is such a neglected form. I have almost bought My Fantoms several times, next time might be the time, although I put The Long Ships on my wish list a month ago and given such glowing descriptions . . .

Juil 17, 2010, 7:42am

I am definitely ready for some happy rape, pillage, and murder!

Juil 17, 2010, 4:36pm

>298 urania1: - I must purchase that book! Looks like it's a fairly recent publication - hope they'll put out more Krudy.

>304 Marensr: - I would highly recommend My Fantoms if you have any interest in 19th c. Gothic/supernatural stories. I'll admit, it was initially like that for me - I saw it in the ER program and thought it sounded interesting but didn't buy it for a while. I read it very quickly and picked up Mademoiselle de Maupin soon after. Not too much rape, pillage and murder, but a lot of debauchery and cavorting with the dead.

I saw The Long Ships prominently displayed in the university bookstore - will have to give a look next time I'm there. Incidentally, I'm always seeing NYRB books in that store - new releases, placement with the cover facing out, and a couple big all-NYRB sales. The closest B&N also has a good selection, but the next-closest one is a bit of a wasteland in terms of NYRB or foreign/translated literature. I don't know if sarajill could tell us about NYRB's co-op and bookstore placement (or if it's a trade secret) - I would be interested.

Juil 18, 2010, 7:46pm

Oh that is perfect DieFledermaus I recently read Tales from Hoffman (along with Freud's essay on The Uncanny) and did a re-read of The Moonstone because I am dramaturg on an adaptation of it next year which is not quite as Gothic-y but still My Fantoms sounds like the perfect accompaniment.

Juil 23, 2010, 4:39pm

I loved The New York Stories of Elizabeth Hardwick. She was an incredible writer.

Juil 24, 2010, 10:06am

I started Sunflower recently, but have a hard time getting into it. And I was really excited about it too... hmm... maybe it's just not the right time.

Modifié : Juil 25, 2010, 3:47pm

Finished The Murderess by Alexandros Papadiamantis. It was a well written but very disturbing fictional look at the place of women on the Aegean island of Skiathos.

Juil 26, 2010, 6:09pm

Yesterday I finished Alien Hearts by Guy de Maupassant. This was his last complete work, and while I might prefer his short stories to anything novel length, this rather sad story was so beautifully and lyrically written it was a joy to read.

Juil 27, 2010, 11:08pm

>311 marise:,

I quite enjoyed Alien Hearts. I, too, found it a pleasure. I finished it about the same time I finished The End of the Affair. Each seemed to resonate with the other.

Juil 27, 2010, 11:08pm

Ce message a été supprimé par son auteur(e).

Août 2, 2010, 12:56am

Finished Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household. This is another book I've been meaning to read for years. Excellent story. Read very quickly. I will definitely be searching out Household's other books (to see how you can make a career out of writing books about men hiding in caves, if for no other reason).

Août 8, 2010, 7:06pm

Finished Clandestine in Chile by Gabriel García Márquez. Interesting but not major. Somehow the name of the movie Miguel Littín sneaked into Chile to make is never mentioned anywhere in the book.

Août 10, 2010, 11:48am

@agmill: The Littín film is called: Acta General de Chile. Here is a link to the BFI record for it: http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/title/126894

Août 10, 2010, 5:43pm

>316 nyrbclassics: Thanks. I guess it's not available to watch.

Août 16, 2010, 4:18pm

Finished In the Freud Archives by Janet Malcolm which I thought was a fascinating study of human nature whether or not you have any interest in psychoanalysis.

Août 16, 2010, 6:48pm

I'm thoroughly enjoying The Long Ships.

Août 16, 2010, 9:02pm

>319 rebeccanyc:,

It's a fun book.

Août 19, 2010, 11:42am

rebeccanyc your review of The Long Ships is a hot review on the home page of Librarything. Cool!

Modifié : Août 19, 2010, 5:59pm

Thanks for noticing -- I guess you can tell I loved it!

Août 22, 2010, 7:51am

I finished Hons and Rebels by Jessica Mitford which I found to be a quick enjoyable read. I would very much like to read the continuation A Fine Old Conflict.

I see that Deborah Mitford in publishing her memoir Wait for Me! in November.

Modifié : Août 22, 2010, 8:04am

just finished and really liked The Mountain Lion by Jean Stafford.

Août 22, 2010, 12:01pm

Août 22, 2010, 12:46pm

I am definitely looking for more Jean Stafford; except for the Collected Stories of Jean Stafford they all seem to be out of print, so off to ABE . . .

Août 22, 2010, 2:20pm

I recently finished Alien Hearts by Guy de Maupassant and enjoyed it quite a bit. Currently, I'm reading A Way of Life, Like Any Other by Darcy O'Brien.

>323 agmlll: - I'll have to add A Fine Old Conflict to the list - Hons and Rebels was a great read. I laughed out loud a couple times when I was reading it, which was rather awkward since I was on a plane at the time.

Modifié : Août 29, 2010, 4:52am

Finished My Fantoms and enjoyed it very much. Hopefully, as predicted in the bibliographical note, there will be an explosion of new publications to mark Gautier's bicentenary in 2011.

I also recently read and enjoyed translator Richard Holmes' The Age of Wonder very much.

Août 30, 2010, 10:35am

I just finished Poets in a Landscape -- what a lovely book! It has sent me on this binge of reading the Latin poets. I'm tweeting about it everywhere.

Sep 6, 2010, 4:01pm

Just finished Inverted World by Christopher Priest which I thought was a brilliant book. I'm a little surprised that I haven't read this before now since I've always enjoyed Christopher Priest's work.

Sep 15, 2010, 3:13pm

Finished All About H. Hatterr by G. V. Desani. It is a very strange book but funny and good. Difficult to try and read when you're tired because of the complexity of the language usage.

Sep 15, 2010, 4:26pm

The Long Ships, which I just finished last night, may have nudged ahead of Summer Will Show as my favorite NYRB Classic. NYRB does a brilliant job of publishing historical novels—a genre that otherwise I seldom read.

Sep 16, 2010, 3:35pm

Opera, it needs hardly be said, is over the top, and that's why we love it—some of us, anyway. If that excessive aesthetic appeals to you then so will James McCourt's Mawrdew Czgowchwz (pronounced Mardu Gorgeous), a campy, funny, fun, novel written with, as it were, all the stops pulled out. Wayne Koestenbaum (who tends to write similarly operatic over-the top criticism) gets it right in the introduction when he says: "To call Mawrdew Czgowhwz the great novel of the opera queen is less accurate than to call it the great novel of the gay virtuoso gabber." He intends this, of course, as a compliment. (I'll only add that Koestenbaum is perspicacious in his inclusion of "game-show stalwart" Charles Nelson Reilly among the gifted gabbers.) Not a great reader of Firbank and company this is not the sort of book I'd want for a daily diet, but when I'm in the mood for a lashing of exotic spice . . . yes, it's just right.

Sep 19, 2010, 10:55pm

>333 dcozy: dcozy,

Based on your comments I must read Mawrdew Czgowchwz. Sadly, I am not reading any NYRBs right now. But, I have pre-ordered the Kindle edition of the forthcoming Gillian Rose book. I am really excited about this one.

Sep 22, 2010, 5:40pm

I have been on a Paris kick with Paris Stories and Paris and Elsewhere both of which are splendid although Gallant's Paris stories are sometimes only loosely tied to Paris.

Sep 23, 2010, 8:00am

Oh, for a minute I thought Paris and Elsewhere was a Mavis Gallant I didn't know about and thought I would have to run right out and order it! Varieties of Exile was my favorite of hers.

Sep 24, 2010, 3:41pm

Oh sorry for teasing you rebeccanyc. Paris Stories is the first Gallant I have read and I found her stories fantastic. She has a knack for that subtle sometimes brutal observation revealed through description. I found Paris and Elsewhere, very readable, which I confess shows a prejudiced assumption that a British historian would not be as fun as lively as his writing turns out to be.
I will have to check out Varieties of Exile.