Monday, October 1, 2007

Books I Now Want



I almost always read the NY Times Book Review on Sundays and find a bunch of books I want to read (I know other bloggers who do this, like Dewey, whose blog I always check to see if we're coveting the same things!).

This week there's a review of Ann Patchett's new novel Run, and you can also read the first chapter (a great feature of the Book Review). I have enjoyed everything of Patchett's that I've read, especially Bel Canto, but also The Magician's Assistant and The Patron Saint of Liars: A Novel. I really enjoy her style. As the review says, "she prefers nouns and verbs to crowded flights of lyrical adjectives and adverbs, and she doesn't dally excessively over a pretty phrase...small wonder, then, that her books tend to be such solid, weight-bearing constructions. The wonder is that they so often manage to be transportingly beautiful too."

I'm also happy to hear that one of my favorite playwrights, Alan Bennett, who wrote The History Boys: A Play and Lady in the Van, has written a new novella, The Uncommon Reader: A Novella. The NY Times reviewer didn't love it, but I think I'll have to check it out. Again, you can read the first chapter here.

There is also a review, by Pico Iyer, of the Turkish writer and Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk's most recent book, Other Colors: Essays and a Story, a collection of essays and one story. I've never read Pamuk, but I'd like to at some point. I may start with his fiction, however. There is one section of this book called "My Books are My Life", and the review mentions that Pamuk has a library of 12,000 books--how great is that? Makes me want to read it...



And a reminder--don't forget to let me know if you want to put your name in the hat for my drawing for a copy of Alan Weisman's book, The World Without Us, by leaving me a comment on my last post (dated Friday, September 28th) before Tuesday at midnight, Pacific time.

14 comments:

Eva said...

The History Boys! I rented the movie version of the play, and I loved it. :)

You know, there's a reason I avoid the Times book section. Now my TBR list is even longer! lol

Gentle Reader said...

eva--I hear ya, I hesitate before opening the paper knowing that list will just be growing :) I have to rent the movie version of The History Boys, haven't seen it yet. I'm so far behind on movies, it's not even funny!

iliana said...

I am looking forward to Ann Patchett's new book as well. I didn't like Bel Canto (don't hurt me! ha,ha) but I did like Truth & Beauty a lot. There is something about her style I do like.

Gentle Reader said...

iliana--I promise I won't hurt you, but I did like Bel Canto a lot :) I also liked Truth and Beauty a lot, but heard there was some controversy about Patchett's writing it. I read it back to back with Lucy Grealy's Autobiography of a Face, and wondered how Grealy's friends and family felt about Truth and Beauty...

Dewey said...

Grr! I'm so mad my Times wasn't delivered last weekend! Are we often coveting the same things?

Matt said...

Interesting post. I spot a couple coincidence.

I subscribe for the Sunday NY Times for the book review section, which is another resource for book idea. :)

I pick up a couple travel essays by Pico Iyer for vacation reads and it's interesting you mention him! Orhan Pamuk is one of my favorite foreign authors but his novels are not easy to digest so an essay collection would be a nice change of wind.

Gentle Reader said...

dewey--how annoying not to get the Sunday Times, I look forward to it all week. And yes, I find we often covet similarly!

matt--I'm interested in reading Pico Iyer, but have heard mixed things from friends. I haven't read him yet, however. And I only hear good things about Orhan Pamuk, but haven't read him yet, either. Do you have a recommendation for one of Pamuk's books for me to start with?

tanabata said...

I liked Bel Canto when I read it a few years ago but haven't read anything else by Patchett. Another one of those authors I keep meaning to read more by but haven't gotten around to it yet.

Matt said...

I recommend My Name is Red for fiction. However, Pamuk also writes a very interesting non-fiction piece, woven with anecdotes of life, called Istanbul. You can read it like armchair travel. :)

Gentle Reader said...

tanabata--she's a writer whose style I enjoy, so I'm happy to have a new book of hers to read. Hope it's good :)

matt--thanks for the recommendations!

Litlove said...

You remind me that I really must read an Ann Patchett book. I have Bel Canto on my shelves and have heard lots of good things about it. I'll take your recommendation as the most useful encouragement yet!

Gentle Reader said...

litlove--I enjoyed Bel Canto most, and felt it was her most mature work, but I'm looking forward to reading this new one. Let me know what you think if you read any of her work!

Lotus Reads said...

I love the NYTimes reviews too, this is why I was so sad to read that starting October they were going to devote less space to book reviews. Will newspaper book reviews soon be a thing of the past, I wonder?

BTW, I have "The Uncommon Reader" on audio and I am loving it so far!

Gentle Reader said...

lotus--it does look like newspaper book reviews are an endangered species, and I'm not happy about it. Ooh, I want to hear more about how you like The Uncommon Reader!