First Monday Book Day – Pretty Good

It's been quite a while since I've read a book that blew me away. I think the best book I've read this year has been The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald which was a beautiful little book of stubborn characters that I loved. But I read that book back in February, and it's been hard sledding since then for really exciting reading experiences.

Still, I finished a few books in May, including a couple of classics that have been sitting on my shelves for a while:

Anna Karenina had some really great scenes and there were parts of this book that were as good as anything.  There were just a lot of other pages.

Stoner by John Williams was just ... so much the stereotype of literature for serious dudes. It was well written, but almost every character that wasn't the main character was paper thin.

Writers and Lovers by Lily King was a pretty good book that had an ending that made me better appreciate how difficult it is to give a story a satisfying, positive ending.

The Gentle Barbarian by Bohumil Hrabal - I've wanted to read Hrabal for quite a while, and getting to read this made me excited to read more of his work.  This was a memoir / exaggerated biography of a painter friend of his, and it was suffused with humor and love in a way that made me really want to see how Hrabal handles characters in his fiction.

7 thoughts on “First Monday Book Day – Pretty Good”

  1. Read Andy Weir's new one, Project Hail Mary, which held my attention throughout. He had to bend some science a bit to put things into play, but then it did a good job running with it.

    1. Have you read A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine? Just started it this weekend. Space opera stuff that seems like it would be up your alley.

  2. I read three books lately

    The Mastermind by Evan Ratliff: The story of computer programmer turned international crime boss Paul LeRoux. Very fascinating stuff

    How To Rule and Empire and Get Away With It by K.J. Parker: Followup to Sixteen Ways to Defend A Walled City. Had the same kinda tone and feel to it, which I enjoyed. Definitley a page turner, lots of stuff going on.

    Counting Descent by Clint Smith: I don't usually read poetry, but a poem of his ( what the cicada said to the brown boy ) made the rounds on Twitter and it caught my attention so I read his collection. I really enjoyed it, which is not something I have ever really said about poetry. It was accessible and thought-provoking without being simplistic.

    @meat the poet is from NOLA, so I found myself thinking you might enjoy this in particular.

    1. I also just finished Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff that imagined the missing 15 years or so of the accounts of Jesus' life as told by his best friend and companion Levi who is known as Biff.

      Highly recommend.

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