There’s Some Good Stuff Out There

Reading can drive you crazy! No matter how I speed through the texts or reorganize my library or collect discount cards for the local bookstore I seem to be swimming in a vast sea of new books: books I really want to read.

If we only had the time to read them all.

images.pngOf course now I’m limiting my reading pretty much to the easier to read digital devices with an occasional ink and paper book from my own bookshelves, but if you keep an eye open, even if just barely open, there’s an exciting parade of new fiction and non-fiction flowing across the internet or being touted by respectable (or not so respectable) newspapers and periodicals. What am I to do?

I notice a little irony in the last paragraph since I read news feeds and periodicals on my digital reader over the internet even though they are recommending what ostensibly is a somewhat dusty old ink and paper book.

I’ll wait for the digital edition.

So here are the books I was intrigued by this last month. Again, I often refer to them as suggestions but although I might suggest an author’s latest work, in general I have not idea if the books are actually the best reading I can come up with for the month. But maybe you too see the author’s name or the catchy title and decide that the book is calling out to you: Read Me, Read Me.

07-01-16 – Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto — Chuck Klosterman
07-02-16 – Vinegar Girl — Anne Tyler
07-03-16 – The Course of Love — Alain de Botton
07-04-16 – Atlantic — Simon Winchester
07-05-16 – The Girls — Emma Cline
07-06-16 – Sybil — Benjamin Disraeli
07-07-16 – Dendera — Yuya Sato
07-08-16 – Southern Reach Trilogy — Jeff VanderMeer
07-09-16 – Foreign Gods, Inc. — Okey Ndibe
07-10-16 – Bad Sex — Clancy Martin
07-11-16 – Taxi to Siberia — Katherine Kelly-Bruss
07-12-16 – At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Others — Sarah Bakewell
07-13-16 – Weymouth Sands — John Cowper Powys
07-14-16 – Black Wings Has My Angel — Elliott Chaze
07-15-16 – The Christos Mosaic — Vincent Czyz
07-16-16 – Arlington Park — Rachel Cusk
07-17-16 – Sylvia’s Lovers — Elizabeth Gaskell
07-18-16 – 13 Ways of Looking At a Fat Girl — Mona Awad
07-19-16 – Le Docteur Pascal — Emile Zola
07-20-16 – The White People and Other Weird Stories — Arthur Machen
07-21-16 – Slade House — David Mitchell
07-22-16 – Midair — Kodi Scheer
07-23-16 – Entanglement — Zygmunt Miloszewsk
07-24-16 – Crow Killer — Raymond W. Thorp Jr.
07-25-16 – Zoo City — Lauren Beukes
07-26-16 – The Noise of Time: A novel — Julian Barnes
07-27-16 – Mothering Sunday: A Romance — Graham Swift
07-28-16 – Ladivine: A novel — Marie NDiaye
07-29-16 – The Sunlight Pilgrims — Jenni Fagan
07-30-16 – Critics, Monsters, Fanatics, and Other Literary Essays — Cynthia Ozick
07-31-16 – The Last Painting of Sara de Vos: A Novel — Dominic Smith

8 thoughts on “There’s Some Good Stuff Out There

  1. These are the books that stood out for me:

    Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto — Chuck Klosterman
    Taxi to Siberia — Katherine Kelly-Bruss

    What can I say, I like a catchy title!!


  2. I was lucky in having a granddad who taught me to read at three to distract me from my newly born brother. 66 years later and it’s still my favourite pastime. There are just too many books I want to read and not enough time. I highly recommend ‘Weymouth Sands’. I see a few other books that are excellent to. It’s a nice eclectic list.



    1. I have about 19 thousand pages of novels by John Cowper Powys on my bookshelves—all the big ones—but they are impossible to read without a very large magnifying glass on the order of Palomar. I had someone send me the digital version of Weymouth Sands and Wolf Soylent but when I started to read Wolf Soylent, it was the second part of the book. I may have to spend a lot of money to get digital editions of books I already own.

      Powys is a good example of this problem I have, but there are many others.I’ve always enjoyed reading big honking books but with my aging eyes it’s getting harder and harder. Thank Granny Goose for digital editions!


      1. O, I do feel for you Mike. I realise how fortunate I am in having good eyesight, as long as I use my specs. I too love long books. I am reading ‘Don Quixote’ and ‘ War and Peace’. Both are great books, but I have to say I just love Tolstoy’s works the most.



      2. War and Peace was my beach read one year. I sat on the blowing sand, shielded my eyes from the glare of the sun, and read and read and read. I had “read” W&P a few years earlier but was interrupted by illness about 3/4 of the way through it; this time I read the whole novel in 12 days. Note that the Russian novelists were my common beach fare.

        This was also the summer I portrayed Santa Claus for an embarrassed young mother of two who needed me and my white beard to satisfy the kids’ curiosity. I told them even Santa needs to take a vacation at the beach.

        I read Don Quixote the first time in college, taught by the translator of the book for Signet, Walter Starkie of Trinity College and the Abbey Theatre. Suffice it to say, it was a great experience and I learned a lot about both Spain and the art of translation.


      3. I have read ‘War and Peace’ several times. Isn’t it strange how we associate certain books with where we read them. I read ‘Moby Dick’ on holiday in Cornwall. One night in the caravan, while I was reading the hunt scene, we had an enormous thunderstorm. I always think of the book in thunderstorms. What a privilege to have been taught by a translator of Cervantes. Apparently it is a very difficult book to get the tone of the translation right, because of the style of the Spanish.



      4. One of the first things Starkie commented on was the translation of “tripe and trouble” .. should the translation be direct but perhaps unknown in English speaking countries or would a translation that gave the same understanding but used different words (rashers and eggs) be more communicative?


      5. Yes, that’s one of the problems. Another is how to interpret the very idiomatic Spanish. I have several translations. They all bring something, but a Spanish speaking teacher in my area says that none capture the real flavour, but admits how hard it is. She recommends Tobias Smollett’s and a modern translation by Edith Grossman.



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