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  1. #2001
    I'm currently reading In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile. It's not comfortable bedtime reading.

  2. #2002

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev7 View Post
    That’s why I only recommended the first Houellebecq, [I]
    Gramsci, if you want more modern or contemporary fiction as you've indicated, then try Daniel Pennac or Virginie Despentes's Vernon Subutex 1, cf my post (the Irish Times review: One of the books of the year, if not the decade), and zany Belgian Amélie Nothomb, especially the satirical Fear and Trembling (130-odd pages, on aspects of Japanese society. Nothomb lived in Japan as a bairn, speaks Japanese and has worked there too, Fear and Trembling is semi-autobiographical).

    Up-and-coming Leïla Slimani too, especially Dans le Jardin de l’Ogre. Also read some Faïza Guène last year, Kiffe kiffe demain (on life in the Paris banlieues, translated into English as Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow), not earth-shattering but very readable. Also recently re-read E = MC2, mon amour by the late Patrick Cauvin – translated as A little romance – great feelgood novel. Check out Jonathan Littell and Tahar Ben Jelloun too (francophone literature, he is Moroccan, been famous in France since the 1980s).
    These are great suggestions, thanks loads!

  3. #2003
    Sam's Avatar
    You never can tell with bees.
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    Finished Cooking With Fernet Branca a couple of hours ago. Enjoyable enough.

    I'll be starting either The Sellout or The Underground Railroad, both of which we've been leant by OTF Chess's Alex, and both of which my girlfriend has already got through, tomorrow. Will report back.

  4. #2004
    Felicity, I guess so's Avatar
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    Am reading a second Elly Griffiths 'Ruth Galloway' novel- she (Ruth) is an archeologist working at a ficional North Norfolk Uni, who helps the cops with long-buried bones.

    The N. Norfolk coast and countryside figure greatly, quite atmospheric, but the visits to Norwich and King's Lynn (a scene in this one where the cop screeches past the-sadly now demolished- Campbell's soup factory) certainly add to their pleasures if you have Norfolk connections.

    Decent British crime fiction, mildly feminist tone-if you like that kind of thing.

  5. #2005
    Sam's Avatar
    You never can tell with bees.
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    I went for The Sellout.

  6. #2006
    Felicity, I guess so's Avatar
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    Started reading Ready Player One, having missed the film, partly expecting to stop fairly quickly and give it back to Oxfam.
    It wears its 80s geek references fairly lightly and, being old enough, I get many of them anyway and I’m certainly staying with it/giving it a go.

  7. #2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by ad hoc View Post
    I'm currently reading Danubia: A personal history of Habsburg Europe by Simon Winder. I'm not sure if I like it. It has some very funny bits, and I am learning a lot, but effectively it is a travel book in which the travel is "through the ages" rather than geographical, and frequently he drops in something that sounds interesting but then proceeds to not mention it again. . I think on balance I'd give it a recommendation.
    Finished this some weeks ago and meant to come back and say that I thought on balance it was good, and I'd recommend it. The history itself is good, and interesting, the issue lies with the writer. He writes a lot like I do, which is to say lots of parenthetical (or other, differently punctuated) digressions which add very little to the narrative and instead lead you up a garden path which is occasionally interesting (not to say that when I write liken this it is interesting, but I hope you get the picture) and other times is not, but inevitably leads you to forget what he was on about when you get to the end of the sentence.

    The Habsburgs though, what a messed up bunch of inbred freaks. I read somewhere (not in this book, which leaves aside the Spanish wing of the family/dynasty), that the Spanish Habsurgs had a higher mortality rate than the actual people they ruled over in the 17th century because they were so genetically fucked up through incest

  8. #2008
    ad hoc's Avatar
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    I also recently completed (Matthew) Engel's England, which I enjoyed very much. He visits England county by county* and talks about the different character of each. It's a tad green and pleasant lands ish, and he tends to talk fairly little about the urban bits as much as he probably should. From time to time I'd like him to a bit more left wing and a bit less soft-Guardian, but then again occasionally he does show some teeth (like when he describes the "successive right wing governments" that the UK has had since 1979 to the present day). Plus with dropping in regular mentions of cricket, it's a bit like what you imagine a more unstressed older version of Tubby would write

    (*Counties as defined pre-1974)

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