Tuesday, April 20, 2010

nicholas: 123; muriel: 0

I've had terrible luck with books lately—nearly everything I've picked up I soon put back down. In desperation I went to Borders tonight looking for something by Muriel Spark, whose The Girls of Slender Means I read and loved a year ago. I was hoping to pick up a copy of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, but I would have settled for anything of hers. Anything. But it turns out my local neighborhood chain bookstore doesn't carry a single book by Muriel Spark. If you like Nicholas Sparks, on the other hand, your selection runneth over. There were, I shit you not, one hundred twenty-three copies of various Nicholas Sparks books. Not that I stood there and counted.

If you have any book suggestions (don't fail me now, J Quizzle), leave them in the comments or shoot me an email at gruelfordinner [at] gmail [dot] com. Recommending Nicholas Sparks would be cruel, not funny.


  1. Sula : Toni Morrison (pre-Beloved and fantastic)
    The Painted Bird :Jerzy Kosiński
    The Yellow Wallpaper: Charlotte Perkins Gilman
    Music for Tourching: A M Holmes
    Day After Night or The Red Tent: Anita Diamant
    Cruddy : Lynda Barry (also an amazing comic writer)

    I could go on for days but I hope one of these appeal to you. Btw my name is Kim, my good friend Matt Labee turned me onto your blog and I read it constantly. Love it!

  2. You read The Virgin Suicides, didn't you? Otherwise, I got nothing. I've read some good books lately, but, no, nothing for which I'd be willing to proselytize. In the last month, though, I've heard from multiple people that Richard Yates' The Easter Parade is just as mind-blowing as Revolutionary Road, and it's now on my list.

  3. Keep an eye on Chester Arthur and the GFD accounts. I am watching Elvis Ann like a HAWK.


  4. That GD Elvis Ann. J Quizz - you need to meet my friend Desiree. She too, has an obsession with PD!

  5. The Child in Time - Ian McEwan
    As cheery and chipper as all McEwan works I think this one is underrated. It's a quick read but worthwhile I think. Also, The Comfort of Strangers - another of his uplifting pieces.

  6. Hello, peeps, and thanks for the recommendations.

    Salacious K, I've heard so much about you; you're very missed here in BVT! I've read most of the books on that list (I believe it was M. LaBee who recommended Music for Torching, which I loved, as much as one can love something so unrelentingly bleak) -- apparently we have similar tastes! I'm going to have to try the Lynda Barry, though, because as much as I love her strips I've never read any of her books.

    J Quizzle, please read and provide a full report of The Easter Parade. And re: Elvis Ann, I thought you laid her off awhile ago. Am I wrong? Either way, I'm thinking of preemptively firing Cee Art but need to figure out how to get around union regulations.

    William, I'm just not sure about Ian McEwan, though I did like Saturday. Which one of his is your all-time very favorite?

  7. i don't have time to read anymore, but i do listen to audiobooks in my car instead of the radio. i've just finished: this book will save your life, by a.m. holmes and: the long way down by nick hornby, both of which i liked very much.

  8. not sure if we have the same taste in books -- i like to be taken away to another world. the time traveler's wife, snowgods, and the color purple are my all time favorites. i'm reading the girl with the dragon tattoo right now and loving it.

  9. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was great (Salacious K, have you read it? I think you'd like).

    I'm going with Brooklyn by Colm Toibin, because I have a copy and because of this author photo. But I don't have particularly high hopes, to be honest.