It’s 2023 - What Are You Reading?

I’m reading The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud. It’s very intriguing (and better written than Tartt’s, I’d argue).

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Here is my current pile!

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Thank you for sharing that! I have had that book on Audible since 2018, when I looked for it yesterday it was "no longer available "! There was a newer publication available for a “credit”, I emailed Audible about the situation, and they sent a free link within hours! I hope to get through it this time, or at least eventually!

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Oh man, it was hard enough to get through in print. I’d probably be in tears hearing parts of it read out loud. Report back!

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This sounds promising.

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The Jungle Book by Kipling, 1894 printing. Was passed down through the relatives. I never got to it as a kid and even then it would have been hard reading. Hard events and way too violent for my liking and that was just the story of Mowgli. Most def not the much later Disney interpretation for which a movie or two were produced. Other stories in here not so bad…

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I decided to read it before I watched it.

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I just tarted ‘Brain Droppings’ by George Carlin. I’ve had this on my list for at least 20 years. I’m looking forward to his wit. We need as many laughs as we can get these days.

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Hey, want to read a dense postmodern screed about the semiotics of cooking with lots of words like “textualize” and “intersectional”, and references to Barthes and Baudrillard? Small Fires, by Rebecca May Johnson, is for you!

https://www.amazon.com/Small-Fires-REBECCA-MAY-JOHNSON/dp/1911590480/

Read the posted sample at Amazon for a taste.

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I’ve been horribly neglecting contributing to this thread, though I have been voraciously reading since starting it.

Rather than listing everything I’ve read, I think I’ll group titles into topics/themes.

I enjoyed Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice, which was insightful, delightful, and provides new lenses through which to read Gertrude Stein. That then led to me toward rereading The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (bonus: there’s a new illustrated edition which enhances the experience).

My takeaway is a new appreciation for Stein’s abilities - and her complex navigation of life. This is a significant change from my previous assessment of the Autobiography being annoyingly name-droppy and presumptive and grumble-inducing. (I tend to read literally; subtext, satire, and wit are often completely beyond my awareness unless someone points out what’s going on.)

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For great escapism - offensive, twisty plots, hilarious dialogue, repellent (yet plausible) characters, and an author who seems to have foreseen a lot of the recent events in the UK - I fell into the Slough House/Slow Horses series.

Just. Plain. Enjoyable.

(We don’t have Apple TV+ but reviews for the televised series have been pretty good.)

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Just finished Ultra-processed People. Very scary stuff. The natural extension of Supersize Me and Fastfood Nation…with copious science, which really flushes things out to scare you more. Stuff like industrial food manufacturers know and have researched that specifically designed “soft food” is consumed at a much higher rate and leads to over consumption and higher profits. “Hyperpalatable“ food is a thing, soft food that are instantly tasty. Lots of this stuff in it…way too much to mention. Might have to read it again.

The human side was good and insightful as well…interaction with twin brother (also a MD) who was 40 lb heavier, and his young children’s going mad over breakfast cereal made it relatable, personal. Then there’s the stuff about Nestle sending floating grocery stores/barges down the Amazon…to sell ultra-processed food, like Kit Kats. Diabetes among local indigenous people skyrocketed from zero to some crazy number intractable number.

Highly recommended. Deserving of bestseller status.

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Just in case you missed it…

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Thank you for the recommendation. I put it on hold at my library.

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I finished The Postcard just in the nick of time for last night’s book club meeting. First part was a slog but I found the last 2/3 or so very interesting.

Next up, several audiobooks for a drive to and from Kentucky for a bike trip. I already started Raising Lazarus by Beth Macy, a non-fiction account of the fentynol crisis and the Sackler trial. Sort of a non-fiction complement to Demon Copperhead.

Also on audio, Bellies, which is next month’s book club selection. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/63028672-bellies?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=558560IV1b&rank=1

I generally add independent bookstores to my trip maps so I have potential sites marked in Charleston and Huntingdon WV in case I feel the need.

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