What We’ve Been Reading: January 1 Comment

What We’ve Been Reading: January

It’s the end of another month and books have been read! EdComm babes Claire, Laura, and Michelle talk about the words they’ve been sweating through January with.

 

Claire

 

For the last two weeks, I’ve been up to my elbows in Jack Spicer. I love him. I’ve (almost) literally read nothing else. He’s at once tenderhearted and goddamn funny:

What Beatrice did did not become her own business. Dante saw to that. Sawed away the last plank anyone he loved could stand on

or the famous, more sober:

When I praise the sun or any bronze god derived from it

Don’t think I wouldn’t rather praise the very tall blond boy

Who ate all of my potato-chips at the Red Lizard.

It’s just that I won’t see him when I open my eyes

And I will see the sun

I’m using his collected my vocabulary did this to me. I highly recommend it.

 

 

Laura

 

I finally got around to reading Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. I loved the twisted plots and subject matter of her previous novels Sharp Objects and Dark Places, and this was no exception. Flynn has this great way of treading the line between literary and popular fiction. I can blaze through her books as easily as five-dollar true crime but am still left with a lot to think about. Plus, depressing Midwestern settings are always a go-to for me.

For nonfiction, I’ve been reading Seductive Poison: A Jonestown Survivor’s Story of Life and Death in the Peoples’ Temple by Deborah Layton. It’s enthralling but pretty hard-going—I find I can only read bits at a time. Still, I’d recommend it to anyone with an interest in cults and/ or true accounts of terrifying situations.

 

Michelle

 

I’m in the slow process of working my way through Lionel Shriver’s novels and have just devoured So Much For That. It is fantastic. She is fantastic. Not only is her characterisation unflinching and her prose fantastically precise, she tackles the unpleasant topics of health, wealth and family—and how they intersect—with such skill that I was not only hooked, but also learning. Shriver has a knack for turning the political into the literary (see: We Need To Talk About Kevin) without it feeling preachy.

Even if you’re turned off by the themes, I encourage you to still give it a go. If anything, they take a backseat to personal turmoil and some truly, truly excellent writing (there is an extensive stream-of-consciousness towards the end that just about knocks my socks off). Read it and we can rave endlessly about it together.

 

As before, we’d love to hear about your favourite reads of the month, so don’t hesitate to comment below!

  • http://literarymeasures.wordpress.com Blake

    I’ve decided this is the year to tackle all of China Mièville’s novels, so I’ve started with Kraken. What a beast of a book! It’s about 500 pages, but packs enough material into those pages to last a series of five 500-page-novels — and I’m only 250 pages in!

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