This week I finally finished Minae Mizumura’s A True Novel, which is well over 800 pages. I will review it in the upcoming week. For now I’ll say that I enjoyed reading it in a quiet, steady way. It didn’t blow my mind, but I stuck with it happily for a long time, and that says something. Once I finished the Mizumura, I picked up Elizabeth Gentry’s novel Housebound. She’s the one I mentioned in an earlier post who is my friend and whose writing is amazingly good. The release date for the novel is this coming Friday, and I’m super-excited about it. I read the novel in an early draft a while back — a couple years ago maybe? Maybe more? Elizabeth went on to revise it quite a bit, and even though I loved the book the first time around, I can tell it’s even better now. More on both these books later.
As for what is next, I read a couple essays in Samantha Irby’s collection Meaty but set it aside for a while in favor of A True Novel, so I’ll pick that back up. I have no idea what novel I will read next. There’s nothing I need to review immediately so the possibilities are wide open. What fun!
A couple weeks ago, I checked two books out from the library, and my next read might be one of those two — but also maybe not. They are Maggie O’Farrell’s Instructions for a Heatwave and John Freeman’s How to Read a Novelist. Any opinions on these?
I bought no new books this week — (sad! I’m going to stop being apologetic about acquiring new books — who cares if my TBR shelves are overflowing?). But I did put some new ones on my list of books to investigate. I might read these, I might not, but they seem worth keeping an eye out for:
- The Trip to Echo Spring by Olivia Laing. This is a book about the connection between creativity and alcohol and I believe it may be partly autobiographical. I can’t remember who recommended this, but it was one of the people whose recommendations I always take seriously (my dream reading app would have an easy way to add books to my TBR list AND makes notes on how I found out about the book).
- Jeff Jackson’s Mira Corpora. I heard an interview with Jackson on the Other People podcast that I liked, and the book sounds interestingly strange.
- Alfred Hayes’s In Love. I have Stefanie to thank for this one!
- The Whispering Muse by Sjòn. A.S. Byatt reviewed three of his books for the New York Review of Books.
- Meg Wolitzer’s The Wife. I liked her new book The Interestings and would like to read more.
I added one book to my list of books I would definitely like to read, and that is Eleanor Catton’s novel The Luminaries, which won the Booker prize this year.
I hope your reading week was a good one!