The Spike has been reading… Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Superb and very funny. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related
Books just read on holiday: Commonwealth by Ann Patchett – if Anne Tyler ever wrote a book set outside of Baltimore this would be it – but Tyler’s version would be better. While I loved Bel Canto have failed to enjoy most of Patchett’s other books.
The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain – really enjoyed this although more of a novella – short, sweet, interesting and made me want to go to Switzerland.
Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris – a fast food style psychological thriller – tasty at the time but completely forgettable.
Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent – the read of the week. Husband brought it along. It’s billed as a psycho thriller but it’s far better than that – dark dark humour, macabre, fantastically drawn and twisted characters – basically a brilliant read and a great ‘voice.’
I read State of Wonder by Anne Patchett and would have sent it cartwheeling into space if it hadn’t been on my Kindle. The main character is in the bloody jungle and yet there are pages and pages of her wandering about a hotel checking if she has any mail and waking up from nightmares.
Switzerland is my favourite place in the world and where I went on honeymoon so you’ve swung me towards the Gustav Sonata x
books where people are constantly waking up from nightmares are the WORST
unless by Donna Tartt
Agreed but she has other problems. Like boring on about drug taking for much longer than any reasonable person can take in the middle of The Goldfinch. I’ll still be salivating when her next book comes out though; she gives you ten years to forgive and forget.
reading The Goldfinch was an act of love, genuinely. like only a true fan could have read *any* of the Little Friend
That’s the second recommendation I’ve had for that this week. Ok, ok, I’ll read it.
I’ve just read Heartburn by Nora Ephron. It was a bit of its time in places perhaps and I probably prefer her non-fic, but I was struck by how relevant and fresh a lot of the observations about relationships/career/caring for children still are. Funny too, of course.
Heartburn is the book on which my entire writing style is based
Oh I can see that! (Only now you mention it of course, it’s very subtle etc etc…)
I love this book. And the film too. Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep (and a bit of Stockard Channing The Legend!). I watched it in my twenties and enjoyed it in a callous, unmarried kind of way, but then I watched it again five years ago when my husband had put me through the MILL, and wept like a mafia widow. Have you read I Feel Bad About My Neck? It’s only my list.
The Goldfinch was a disappointment. It was a massive tome and Donna Tartt is clearly a stonking brainbox, but it just seemed a mash up of old stories and themes. The Secret History with Dickens (orphans, mysteries, untouchable loves, curious shops…) and Brett Easton Ellis (drugs, hangovers, hotel room paranoia…). That seems really churlish, since a book is clearly born of sweat and toil and agony, but I think if you read a book (and buy it) then you’re entitled to gripe that you thought it was a bit shit. Enter this canon, The Miniaturist and The Girl on the Train.
The Miniaturist was the most tedious and overrated thing ever – I got through about 4 chapters. But I quite liked the girl on the train. Yes I agree if you have actually finished a book, especially one as long as The Goldfinch, you’re allowed to say whatever you like about it
Totally agree with Miniaturist!
I love the Carly Simon song from the film. I cried when it came on the radio just after having my first baby.
The main influence that I found irritating in The Goldfinch that you didn’t mention was Harry Potter. Hobie was Dumbledore and he had a painting to reflect his grief instead of a mirror. It was all over it to the point it got a bit silly. But she can really write and I’ve overlooked a ton of silliness for when she’s exquisite.
that passed me by entirely
Boris even calls the main character Potter. Once I’d seen it I couldn’t unsee it.
Everyone must read Man at the Helm. I had a child free morning and I took it to a coffee shop and had tears running down my cheeks I was laughing so much. it was also very moving and poignant. Buy buy buy. Best book I’ve read this year. By Nina Stibbe.
Oh really?? I sort of can’t bear Nina Stibbe…
Cindy Fried says
Just started Herman Koch’s The Dinner – set over one evening (with flashbacks) in a very poncey Amsterdam restaurant. Being made into a Major Motion Picture! Loving it, have another of his lined up on the strength of the reviews on this one (always late to the party on books, they have to get a lot of good reviews and then word of mouth before I will commit, but once I’m in I always finish).
I sort of know what you mean. Humour too strived at loses it for me, though I roar with laughter at my own jokes.
Just heard Gail Honeyman on the book thing that Mariella Frostrup does on radio 4………..sounds good, will investigate
Elisabeth Heien says
Best recommendations from me so far this year: Fredrik Backman “Bear town”, a true masterpiece, makes you cry and laugh and wonder how a guy can be so gifted (All his books are fab and must-reads!). Anthony Doerr “All the light we cannot see”. Jenny Eclair “Moving”. Am currently halfway through Claire Mackintosh’s “I see you”, and it is darn good.
My best read this year was non fiction – ‘first we make the beast beautiful’ – its by Sarah Wilson of ‘I quit sugar’ fame but it’s actually about her life long battle with anxiety/bi polar and all the ways she has found to manage it. I loved it. Just felt like she was saying things that were way ahead of her time in terms of how we should be managing our lives/mental health/wellbeing in a world that doesn’t seem to ever stop.
Thanks for this, bought it on your recommendation, just finished it, god it’s brilliant. Although I read the last chapter first (I can’t help myself, I have to know)so I didn’t find any of it funny, just very moving.