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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).
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.
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.
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.
As I said in the Virago post, more of my purchases, not merely my desires, need to come from the NYRB list.
I read it in Italian, as a young girl, not in French...alas!
Thanks for the tip about Dalkey Archive publications. I'm not familiar with Sun and Moon Classics? What's it's speciality?
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.
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.
#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.
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.
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?
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...
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.
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.)
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.
I also got both Lolly Willowes and Selected Stories by Robert Walser as presents so I am itching to start those as well.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
If so, I will definitely get a copy!
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. : )
No ETA for the Mitford as of yet, sorry to disappoint!
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.
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.
Also, I recently picked up a copy of Hons and Rebels and was wondering if anyone had recommendations for Mitford-related background reading.
It looks like there will be some kind of artistic pow-wow about it in Williamsburg, Brooklyn this fall.
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!
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.
I just started The Enchanted April; so far, it seems like a fun read.
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.)
dcozy that is quite a description!
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
heggiep, aren't her short stories terrific?
So far, so good. A few of them have predictable endings but still very enjoyable.
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.
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.
We're trying something completely different this month with The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming (touchstone not working).
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.
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:
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.
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!
Yes! I think you hit that just right.
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.
(Wink to urania, who expects sarcasm from us bookhuggers.)
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.
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.
>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.
>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.
I will have to check out Varieties of Exile.