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    Finished Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe, a book I thought was going to be mostly about the disappearing of Jean McConville, but becomes a bigger story of the Troubles and the process of historical memory. It's funny, as I was reading it I thought he was biased against the republicans, then I read a review from NPR that said that he is biased against the British.

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      It took me a good while, but I've just finished the very excellent Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James. I'm now about to start Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell, the story of a dying boy and his sister in plague-era Warwickshire, their relationship with their mother, and how their father's absenteeism (you might have guessed, but he moved to London to be a playwright ... perhaps you've heard of him ...) affects the family.

      I mean, I'm under the impression that's what it's about. It was published to rave reviews a couple of months ago. I actually wanted to buy a physical copy of it, but of course imports of it (and all other recently published books) are delayed until God knows when, and I wanted to at least have started it before 'attending' O'Farrell's talk at the Hay Festival (totally free and online this year, check out the programme!), which is on Saturday. So, ebook it is.

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        Can't seem to get a decent version of the Good Soldier Svejk on kindle and my hard copy is 35km away. Piss annoyin.

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          So I'm reading Look Who's Back. 50 pages on I'm not sure how I feel about it.

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            Just finished Amnesty, the new one from Aravind Adiga. I liked the the story and the plot, but the dialogue between the main character and the protagonist was largely over repetitive mobile conversations that just felt like they ground the book to a halt every 5 pages or so. So I liked it in theory, but not that much in execution.

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              Originally posted by Lang Spoon View Post
              So I'm reading Look Who's Back. 50 pages on I'm not sure how I feel about it.
              I couldn't finish it.

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                Am reading Madrid Underground, a1982 novel by David Serafin.

                I have researched and collected crime novels set in Spain for a while and this was a nice hardback copy for a fiver.

                Didnt realise its central conceit is each section (many much shorter than a chapter) is titled/set in a different metro station. Which is fun. More importantly it’s set in 77 against the backdrop of the 1st election after Franco’s death and perhaps the deaths are connected to the political turmoil...

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                  My friend Jill writes a series of crime books, one of which is set in Spain https://www.fantasticfiction.com/m/j...ead-softly.htm Not sure if you want to add it to your collection

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                    Wine-themed..?
                    I’ll give one a go

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                      It's not Spain-based, but one of my fiction writing seminar leaders at university (the one who didn't write The North Water, which I just mentioned last night on another thread) wrote a novel set on an underground metro system, FIGS. It's this one here. I've only read the print version, and I quite liked it. It's not really a mystery, but there's definitely a crime involved.

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                        Just finished Hamnet, which has a totally absorbing conclusion that I just blew through, and then had to sit for a few minutes at the end to just soak in. It is brilliant. Has to be a Booker contender. Also makes me immediately want to watch Hamlet, but I'm going to have to hold off on that desire because it's 3:40am so probably not a good time to start.

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                          I should try Hamnet. O'Farrell's debut, After You'd Gone, is one of my favourite modern novels. I read the follow-up, My Lover's Lover, as well, but, while it seemed to be trying to do many of the same sorts of things, it wasn't anywhere near as involving. I haven't read anything of hers since.

                          I finished Hanya Yanigahara's A Little Life last week. It's 720 pages so not easy to summarise in a few words. Ostensibly, it centres on the lives of four college friends in New York who all become extremely successful professionally. However, one of them suffered an unspeakable childhood which has increasing physical and psychological effects on his adult life. Passages of it were so traumatic I could only read 4-5 pages before having to put it down. Even a week on, I don't know what I think of it. On one hand, it's 300 pages too long and needed some ruthless cutting. On the other, every detail it gives is essential. The characters are utterly implausible yet totally recognisable, etc. Probably one for the 'flawed masterpiece'/'ambitious failure' category. I won't easily forget it though, I'm sure of that.

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                            I've read a lot of mixed things about that one.

                            Started A Thousand Ships, by Natalie Haynes, today. The story of the Trojan Wars told from the perspective of the women.

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                              I just finished reading a whole book. Possibly the first time I've done that in about 7 years. I mean aside from all the children's books I read to the kids all the time. It was Dodger by Terry Pratchett. Not a proper adult book, but getting there. Enjoyable enough. Predictable but with some interesting tidbits about life in Victorian London.

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                                Originally posted by RobW View Post
                                Finished Stuart Cosgrove's brilliant 'Detroit 67: The Year That Changed Soul' last week, and will look forward to reading the sequels. Started reading Adam Nevill's 'The Reddening', a folk horror tale. Must have seen an ad for it on the tube, I don't really read much contemporary fiction, let alone horror. Enjoying what i've read so far.
                                I have started Cosgrove's book on Detroit and am really enjoying it. One caveat: proofreading wasn't great so you will get annoyed by the typos.

                                'Sidney Bechet' by John Chilton is good if you're into New Orleans jazz as much as I am.

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                                  Just started Dominic Sandbrook Never had it so good A history of Britain from Suez to the Beatles.
                                  Only 100 pages in, and iso far it's an interesting run through of a lesser covered period of modern history.

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                                    Hmm, where's Nefertiti2's historians thread?

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                                      Why,what's wrong with Sandbrook?

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                                        A quick look on the internet's most powerful search engine suggests that he's a) a regular contributor to the pages of the Daily Mail and b) rather enthusiastic about invoking Godwin's Law while discussing the recent visibility of the campaign in Oxford to get Cecil Rhodes's statue taken down.

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                                          Yeah, he's a Tory populist historian, so of course a favourite on BBC4.

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                                            In the 'small thrills' department, I received my used copy of No One Would Listen by Harry Markopolos (the story of his uncovering the Madoff fraud) and it's signed by Harry. Just a non-personalized bulk purchase signature, I'm sure, but still kinda cool.

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