Reading 2018

Titles Read = 29

Wool 3 – Casting Off — Hugh Howey
The thick plotens. But it’s a well-worn plot.

Frankenstein In Baghdad — Ahmed Saadawi
There seems to be some depth of symbolism here. Reanimation of the dead to take vengeance on those wrongly killed in the Iraq war? Interesting, right?

Lives of the Saints — Nino Ricci

Annihilation — Jeff VanderMeer
The first volume of the Southern Reach trilogy. Something a decent dungeon master might come up with but I’m not impressed with the narrative or the style. And there’s two more like this?

The Picturegoers — David Lodge
First novel. Episodic. Follow the lives of post-war citizens who find escape in the local movie theater.

Switchblade— Michael Connelly
A Harry Bosch story

Wool 2 — Hugh Howey

Odysseus Abroad — Amit Chaudhuri

Sherlock Holmes: The Thinking Engine – James Lovegrove
Something unliving, not blessed by God with a soul: could a large collection of gears and spindles make Sherlock Holmes obsolete? Fast, fun reading, albeit perhaps a bit too cute with more historic cameos than Forest Gump.

Marrow — Yan Lianke (+)
Short Novel collected with The Years, Months, Days. Magical bones?

The Years, Months, Days — Yan Lianke (+)
Short novel. Magical realism. Excellent.

For Bread Alone — Mohamed Choukri

The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead
A well-constructed narrative of the plight of slaves in America and the metaphoric “underground railway” that assisted in the escape of hundreds (thousands?) to freedom in the North and Canada. Very good though not as compelling as other novels such as The Confessions of Nate Turner.

Thérèse and Isabelle — Violette Leduc
The first part of what was to be LeDuc’s novel Ravages. “It’s a story of lesbian sexuality as crude as anything by Genet,” [LeDuc] told Nelson Algren.

I Can Give You Anything But Love — Gary Indiana
An excellent writer, highly underrated. Possibly the homosexual themes of much of his work tend to interfere with an objective analysis.

Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang: A Novel – Kate Wilhelm
Classic dystopian novel. Compare the ideas of cloning with other well-known works  such as Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go.

The School of English — Hilary Mantel

Angeles Crest — P. J. Zander
Trite, formulaic, good knowledge of Southern California geography.

Black Moses — Alain Mabanckou

Turtles All the Way Down — John Green
A juvenile story of friendship, crime, death, and the realization that the sacred human body is just a mobile home for billions of bacteria.

A General Theory of Oblivion — José Eduardo Agualusa

American Junkie — Tom Hansen
Presented as a non-fiction account of a junkie, alternating chapters describing his descent into heroin hell and scenes from his long and difficult recovery. Straightforward, realistic, often brutal. But it’s all fiction, right?

Sundays In August — Edward Modiano

The Hole — Hye-young Pyun
You’re disabled in an automobile accident that killed your wife. You cannot speak or hardly move. Regular medications seem to be helping. Then your mother-in-law takes over as your caregiver. Is she an angel or a devil. Then she starts digging a large hole in the garden, ostensibly for a fish pond.

Dunbar — Edward St. Aubyn
A modern version of King Lear (part of Hogarth initiative).

How German Is It — Walter Abish (+)

Angels — Denis Johnson
Not sure what to make of this one: good story, good prose, holds no punches, but ultimately what was the point of the novel?

Miss Chopsticks — Xinran
Good, albeit simple, theme of changes in China, especially emphasizing the differences between rural China and the big city. A bit too simple though: probably best to consider this novel for juveniles.

Akitadas First Case — I. J. Parker
Short work but introduces Akitadas.