Books you’ve read in 2021

Mats

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I've got nothing to compare to, I haven't read any of his books, but I find both story and style unremarkable
 

jivafox

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If anyone wants a quick and easy but beautifully stonking read may I recommend this. It's a bit YA but I was incredibly impressed.

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Suedey

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I've got nothing to compare to, I haven't read any of his books, but I find both story and style unremarkable
I DNF'd The Buried Giant (but that had mixed reviews anyway) - however, I highly rate Never Let Me Go, Remains of the Day and, most of all, A Pale View of Hills.
 

Iguana

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I listen to audiobooks rather than reading them so I hope you'll indulge me in listing what I've listened to so far this year.

  • Virginia Woolf - To The Lighthouse
  • Tamzin Merchant - The Hatmakers
  • Kazuo Ishiguro - A Pale View of Hills - inspired by this thread!
  • Ali Smith - Autumn
  • Will Wiles - Plume
  • Tracy Buchanan - The Family Secret
  • Kiran Millwood Hargrave - The Mercies
 

Iguana

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A Pale View of Hills is one of my favourite books. Chilling.
A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS

What do you think of the theory that the Etsuko was telling her own story, inventing Mariko's story to distance herself from it? It's quite a nice idea although I'm not sure it totally hangs together. I really enjoyed the book though.

What did you find chilling in particular?
 

jivafox

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A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS

What do you think of the theory that the Etsuko was telling her own story, inventing Mariko's story to distance herself from it? It's quite a nice idea although I'm not sure it totally hangs together. I really enjoyed the book though.

What did you find chilling in particular?

I do subscribe to that theory, as there are so many similarities and it ties in with Etsuko's attitude to her past and perhaps her guilt. Also Etsuko admits her memory is hazy and that may be why she comes off as an unreliable narrator, but I enjoy the ambiguity of it all!

Chilling...well, I find the whole book has a creepy, haunting atmosphere. The suicides, the child hanger back in Japan, the moments with the rope towards the end of the book that hint at all sorts of awful things when you dig deep. It just creeps me out! :disco:
 

Iguana

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I do subscribe to that theory, as there are so many similarities and it ties in with Etsuko's attitude to her past and perhaps her guilt. Also Etsuko admits her memory is hazy and that may be why she comes off as an unreliable narrator, but I enjoy the ambiguity of it all!

Chilling...well, I find the whole book has a creepy, haunting atmosphere. The suicides, the child hanger back in Japan, the moments with the rope towards the end of the book that hint at all sorts of awful things when you dig deep. It just creeps me out! :disco:
There's definitely a lot of similarities. And Etsuko doesn't have a very strong personality compared with Mariko, like a blank canvas - she really only reflects the other characters a lot of the time. Interesting!

Definitely all chilling elements. And the backdrop of the bomb ravaging Nagasaki too, although it's only alluded to. Oh the bit with the kittens towards the end made me so angry and sad 😭
 

Mats

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I DNF'd The Buried Giant (but that had mixed reviews anyway) - however, I highly rate Never Let Me Go, Remains of the Day and, most of all, A Pale View of Hills.

I'm still very interested in reading pre-Nobel works as several, equally lacklustre, reviews of Klara and the Sun mention that it's very much a departure from otherwise great penmanship

anyway I'm very relieved that I turned the last page this morning so I can enjoy Easter without such drabness!!
 

Jark

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currently reading The Midnight Library by Matt Haig.

it's fucking awful. I don't want to finish it but it's the first book of our book club so I probably SHOULD.
 

jivafox

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currently reading The Midnight Library by Matt Haig.

it's fucking awful. I don't want to finish it but it's the first book of our book club so I probably SHOULD.

Omg a friend of mine keeps pushing this on me. I’ll continue to refuse!
 

Barnacle

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Have started three books this week and gotten distracted 20 pages into each.

Gonna download some Jhumpa Lahiri on the kindle this evening though cause I know it'll be one that I'll actually stick to.
 

Suedey

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1Q84 is fantastic. I see it all as one large book though I bought them in separate volumes for practical purposes at the time.

Speaking of Murakami the new novel is out to good reviews I think. I really didn't like Killing Commendatore so I am hopeful the new one is better.
 

Jark

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I read the new Murakami getting absolutely savaged in The Guardian - apparently the female characters are even thinner than usual and his prose is uninspired :eyes:

I'm feeling depressed lately so I might read Norwegian Wood again.
 

Suedey

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The whole 'Murakami and female characters' debate is really getting quite old now at this point, even for The Guardian.
 

Jark

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The whole 'Murakami and female characters' debate is really getting quite old now at this point, even for The Guardian.
or maybe Murakami is getting quite old now and the ideas are all gone...
 

Suedey

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or maybe Murakami is getting quite old now and the ideas are all gone...
Ageism is not a good look Jark! Neither is sexism of course but some of the best writers and novelists wrote their best works in their latter years.
 

Jark

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I don't deny it. I just don't know if he has his best works in him anymore :D many more authors have an imperial period and then spend their careers coasting. I haven't read the short stories so I can't judge yet.
 

RaspberrySwirl

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1Q84 is fantastic. I see it all as one large book though I bought them in separate volumes for practical purposes at the time.

I have all three volumes in one book, but I’m not going to count it as one and ruin my Goodread stats. :eyes:

I mean I’ve loved almost everything I’ve read by him, but by God there is a lot of unnecessary crap in his stories. I don’t need to know minute details about everything, especially not which brand each clothing item is from. Leave some room for the reader’s imagination and get to the point!
 

Suedey

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I have all three volumes in one book, but I’m not going to count it as one and ruin my Goodread stats. :eyes:

I mean I’ve loved almost everything I’ve read by him, but by God there is a lot of unnecessary crap in his stories. I don’t need to know minute details about everything, especially not which brand each clothing item is from. Leave some room for the reader’s imagination and get to the point!
Sometimes I like the unnecessary crap... like when the protagonist makes himself a simple meal of rice and vegetables with potato salad or something.
 

RaspberrySwirl

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It depends on what it is. Normally I don’t like it.
The nerve of using a Chekov quote about never introducing an item in a story without it being relevant to the narrative. :bad:
 

Barnacle

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Have started three books this week and gotten distracted 20 pages into each.

Gonna download some Jhumpa Lahiri on the kindle this evening though cause I know it'll be one that I'll actually stick to.
So I've started Unaccustomed Earth and so far so wonderful, as expected. It makes me remember how wonderful Interpreter of Maladies is.

And then I also bought In Other Words (her autobiography), as well as Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini.

I really ought to be reading the physical books I already own, because it's going to be tough bringing them to a new place if I move away, and my mum will get rid if I don't take them. I just dunno where to start.
 

Barnacle

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Finished Unaccustomed Earth and it was so stunning that I'm not fully able to move on, so I've started The Lowland, also by Lahiri.

Trying not to be put off by some negative Goodreads reviews.
 

Beverley

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Finished Unaccustomed Earth and it was so stunning that I'm not fully able to move on, so I've started The Lowland, also by Lahiri.

Trying not to be put off by some negative Goodreads reviews.

I think The Lowland is amazing! One of the few books to make me cry
 

Barnacle

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I think The Lowland is amazing! One of the few books to make me cry
excited and hopeful for a sob then!

Beverley, have you read Unaccustomed Earth? I was so devastated when each story ended - I kept forgetting I was reading short stories.

And then midway through the second story in Part Two I realised that the Hema and Kaushik stories continued on from one another and it was wonderful.
 

jivafox

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Omg are we ready


In an alternate version of 1893 America, New York is part of the Free States, where people may live and love whomever they please (or so it seems). The fragile young scion of a distinguished family resists betrothal to a worthy suitor, drawn to a charming music teacher of no means. In a 1993 Manhattan besieged by the AIDS epidemic, a young Hawaiian man lives with his much older, wealthier partner, hiding his troubled childhood and the fate of his father. And in 2093, in a world riven by plagues and governed by totalitarian rule, a powerful scientist’s damaged granddaughter tries to navigate life without him—and solve the mystery of her husband’s disappearances.

These three sections are joined in an enthralling and ingenious symphony, as recurring notes and themes deepen and enrich one another: A townhouse in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village; illness, and treatments that come at a terrible cost; wealth and squalor; the weak and the strong; race; the definition of family, and of nationhood; the dangerous righteousness of the powerful, and of revolutionaries; the longing to find a place in an earthly paradise, and the gradual realization that it can’t exist. What unites not just the characters, but these Americas, are their reckonings with the qualities that make us human: Fear. Love. Shame. Need. Loneliness.

To Paradise is a fin de siècle novel of marvellous literary effect, but above all it is a work of emotional genius. The great power of this remarkable novel is driven by Yanagihara’s understanding of the aching desire to protect those we love – partners, lovers, children, friends, family and even our fellow citizens – and the pain that ensues when we cannot.

Sad Real Housewives GIF by Slice
 

RaspberrySwirl

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Don’t want to read the describtion because I don’t want any spoilers but fin de siècle is already great enough.

I do wish it’s more similar to her amazing debut The People in the Trees and less so to the rather dreary A Little Life.
 

Beverley

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excited and hopeful for a sob then!

Beverley, have you read Unaccustomed Earth? I was so devastated when each story ended - I kept forgetting I was reading short stories.

And then midway through the second story in Part Two I realised that the Hema and Kaushik stories continued on from one another and it was wonderful.

I'm a HUGE Lahiri fan. She was one of the first authors I really stanned as an adult reader. And there's a new novel coming :disco:
 

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