Tag Archives: recommendations

First Monday Book Day: Two Books

Two books of note that I read last month.  Both I loved, but only one that I would recommend.

A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimar McBride - (goodreads link)

The story of this book is a good one, McBride searched for a publisher for 7 years without success, before a tiny Irish press published it and saw it take off and eventually win a whole bunch of awards.  I had heard a bunch about it due to all of this and it was always listed as very experimental, so I finally got around to it this December.  I loved it, but I'm not sure there's any way I would recommend it to someone.

The style is very fragmented in a stream-of-consciousness way. I got swept up in the broken consciousness of the narrator. The first chapters were beautiful, and things get brutal from there. The narrator and her brother (continually fighting the effects of a brain tumor) are the only bright spot, and the final scenes between the two of them are remarkable and powerful.

Upright Beasts by Lincoln Michel - (goodreads link)

A collection of short stories that are all just a little bit weird and alienated.  So, basically catnip for me.  Here's the first story (Our Education) and you should read it. I read the whole collection in one day, and it was and enjoyable quick read.

Final Stats from 2015:

112 books read (34,096 pages)
90 fiction (74 novels - 8 story collections - 8 graphic novels)
62 published in 2014 or 2015
38 by women
33 by independent publishers (loosely defined and probably inaccurate)

(Header image is Reading Two Books by William Wegman)

First Monday: Winter Reading List

There was mention of, and support for, a winter reading list recommendation last month.

So here's what we'll do.  Recommend a book or two below.  At some point, I'll go through and collect all the books, organize by genre (in a very general sense: non-fiction, story collection, graphic novel, etc.) and provide some links in next month's post.  That way I've got something to write about for two months instead of just one.  Everybody wins!

I'll recommend a couple books, some I've read, and some I'm hoping to get to this winter.

The Dead Mountaineer's Inn by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky.

This is one that I haven't got to yet, but sounds interesting.  The Strugatskys are best known for science fiction, but here they tackle the mystery genre (an isolated ski resort, a dead body, a quirky list of suspects... you get it).

Today I am a Book by xTx.

I read this story collection back in August and really enjoyed it.  It was the first thing I've really read by xTx and I am in love with her language. The stories were short, the sentences direct, but every time there was something moving just beneath the story. It's the kind of thing that really gets me, every time.

Haints Stay by Colin Winnette.

I can't be recommending books and pass up an opportunity to recommend Winnette, who may well be my favorite author right now.  This is a bizarre book.  It's an "acid western" that's got murderous transgender cowboys, cannibals, a sharpshooting foster mother out for revenge... everything, really. I read it in about 4 hours.

So, what's on your winter reading list?  Or do you have a book that's perfect for someone else's list? Drop them in the LTE's.

How's Infinite Jest going?  Everybody found a copy?  Initial thoughts?