Here is my September reading in in five-word reviews. It was a good month!
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro: lovely reread; regrets are haunting
Living a Feminist Life by Sara Ahmed: casually written brilliant caring theory
The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love by bell hooks: empathetic critique of toxic masculinity
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah: gritty/funny stories of poverty
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick: good ending, TV show better
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur: wow, my heart and soul
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones: prison and marriage don’t mix
Friendly Birds by Edward Dolch: cute kids learn about birds
White Noise by Don DeLillo: witty sharp critique of America
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: yes, we should, right now
Rich People Problems and China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan: guilty pleasure, happy endings, love
What did you read last month?
‘A Mathematician’s Apology’, G.H. Hardy. A memoir of the Cambridge mathematician who sponsored the prodigy, Ramanujan, and did extensive work in analytic number theory. ‘American Kingpin’, Nick Bilton, special correspondent for Vanity Fair. A bio of Ross William Ulbricht who founded the Silk Road exchange on the dark web. ‘Pride and Prejudice’, Jane Austen. Smart, beautiful middle class girl gets the rich guy, in spite of having a whacky family (who doesn’t). ‘A Room of One’s Own’, Virginia Woolf. My first Woolf read. Wonderful writing and most educational about women’s struggles in the literary realm. ‘Cosmopolis’ by Don Delillo. Another portrait of contemporary America. The seventh Delillo novel for me. Touted by one critic as a modern ‘Ulysses’. I have read ‘Ulysses’ several times and ‘Ulysses’ it is not. But like all Delillo, thought provoking and fun to read.
I love Woolf and that particular book by her. I’m glad you read it! And I’m happy to hear that you’ve read a lot of DeLillo. This was my first one, and I was impressed. It sounds like I should read more of his work.
I just started, ‘The Voyage Out” and will hopefully get to ‘Mrs Dalloway’ next. You may want to pick up Delillo’s ‘Libra’ or ‘Underworld’. I enjoyed those as much as ‘White Noise’.
What about Falling Man? Have you read it and was it a good one?
Not yet. The others I have read: “Americana”, “Ratner’s Star”, and “Mao II” . “White Noise”, “Underworld”, and “Libra” were the better reads. “Americana” was more of a period piece, set in the early 70s. I believe that was his first novel. He left journalism about that time to become a fulltime novelist.
Emily, I am just finishing a book, Jell-O Girls, by Allie Rowbottom, that might catch you. It’s a kind of memoir in three layers by Rowbottom, who could be called a Jell-O heiress, although her family doesn’t own the company any longer. It’s interspersed with the weird phenomenon of several girls in her (and Jell-O’s) hometown suffering physical symptoms that were finally ascribe to conversion disorder or MPI. I picked it up because I grew up not far from LeRoy, NY, but stayed with it because it’s beautifully written and parses the patriarchy! (This is not a paid announcement!)
Very interesting, Pam! A book that parses the patriarchy is exactly what I want to read. I’ll look for it. Thanks for telling me about it.
Of the books you read, I have only read An American Marriage and The Remains of the Day. Here’s what I read last month. The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford, The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements, What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell, The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye, Varina by Charles Frazier, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy, The Haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins, Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann, The Great Fortune by Olivia Manning.
Wilkie Collins! I’ve only ever read his Woman in White, but I hear The Moonstone is great too. And I still need to read Arundhati Roy. She’s on my never ending list!
I prefer The Moonstone to The Woman in White, although that is good, too. Definitely start Roy with The God of Small Things. I wasn’t has happy with her newest.
I’m reading White Noise at the moment and enjoying it very much!
Oh cool! I had a friend pick it for our “Real Readers” book club and I was reluctant to try it, but I’m glad I did. It is such a fun read (and a dark one).
I love the way our reading lists overlap!
🙂 I need to check out yours!
I’m trying a new strategy this year of rereading my library. Instead of cover-to-cover as I have tried in the past, I’m reading just parts of the books (or a few stories of an anthology). I chose a varied selection of 6 books and read an hour per night, alternating books. Currently I am reading:”Robin” by Dave Itzkoff, Dante Alighieri’s “The Inferno”, Voltaire’s Candide (French edition), “Reading in the Brain” by Stanislas Dehaene, “Autobiography” by Benjamin Franklin and “The Trying out of Moby-Dick” by Howard P. Vincent. So far, so good. I’ll keep you updated on this new process!
What a great idea! Please do keep me updated. I find that I don’t reread unless I’m forced to (for a book club or for class, when I was still in school).
I am so impressed with your 5-word summaries. I have the hardest time trying to do the “elevator pitch” for books. The Kevin Kwan books are like my ultimate guilty pleasure. I really liked An American Marriage, Milk and Honey, and Born a Crime. I read White Noise in college and barely remember it. Maybe worth the re-read. My most notable books for September (cause I somehow read 14 books!) were Us Against You by Fredrik Backman and Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal.
I’ve been wanting to read the Punjabi Widows book. Was it good? And yes, isn’t Kwan’s work fun? I ignored everything to finish those ones. Have you read the Shopaholic series. They are just as guilty and fun.
Sorry I somehow just saw this. I loved Punjabi Widows. And yes, I have read the Shopaholic series and I agree, guilty pleasure fun for sure. 🙂
I read a lot last month. In your list I have read Born a crime and we should all be feminists. Trevor Noah is a humorous writer he makes you glued to the book with his humor. Chimamanda is just bliss.
Bliss is the perfect word to describe Adichie. I love her work!