Books on tape shouldn’t be called “books on tape.” They should be called “books on CD.”
This week was a busy one. Here are some of the books I read and bought and am excited about these days:
The Buried Giant, by Kazuo Ishiguro. A drag of a novel, really, with some interesting bits thrown it at the most inconvenient places so that you feel bad not reading it. There’s a bit with a character called the Boatman that is nearly legendary, though. Quite good writing there. The rest of it? Meh.
Bright Lights, Big City, by Jay McInerney. Young white kid gets caught up in drug culture of ’80s New York City while trying to hold a job and find a woman to warm his bones. A hyperfast read with some passages of astonishing clarity and some passages of seen-it-heard-it. Sort of like American Psycho minus the violence, maybe? Still, a good book to read if you’re interested in where the snappy, dialogue-driven intelligentsia writers of today (I’m thinking Jonathan Tropper, Josh Bazell, Jennifer Egan) are coming from.
The Abstinence Teacher, by Tom Perrotta. Crystal-clear novel about faith and sexuality, though its segmentation can feel a little distracting. Though the book is named for a particular character (or is it?), multiple characters are explored at great length, and their relationships with their significant others, and politics charges in, and, and, and. I thought it was a cool, somewhat breezy read.
Bernie, by Ted Rall. Short little graphic novel about the rise and politics of Bernie Sanders, trying desperately to make the case that he’s different. And maybe it succeeds. I’m pretty much a Sanders guy, ideologically, already, but wonder about his ability to beat the establishment-just like everyone else who wants to vote for him, I suppose. Anyway, this one is interesting in parts, a drag in parts. Don’t want to rate it but if I did I’d give it an OK.
The Yard, by Alex Grecian
Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, by Sunil Yapa
Nostalgia, by Dennis McFarland
A Brief History of Seven Killings, by Marlon James
John Updike: The Early Stories, by John Updike (duh)
Plus, gang: Elisa Albert’s Afterbirth came out this week in paperback. Go and scoop.