Quick Reads

Three quick morning reads for us: an appreciation of Hanya Yanigihara’s A Little Life which, though it takes no notice of the problems many readers have with the novel, is warm enough, perhaps, to persuade those of you still on the fence about reading it.

Finalists for the National Book Critics’ Circle prize have been announced, if you’re in to that sort of thing, and I am, as long as the said prize tries to reward genuine literary excellence rather than follow the social twittering of the moment.  By and large, this year’s nominees are all deserving.  I still don’t know if Fates and Furies is worth my time, but I’m certain that H Is For Hawk will be, if I can ever get to it.  It’s easy enough to skirt past the annoying hoopla (almost as bad as the Golden Globes or the Oscars) if you care about a few of the books up for the given award.

A blog asks, “Is Joyce’s Ulysses the hardest book to finish?”  Not for me.  Finnegans Wake, another of Joyce’s books, was much harder to get through.  Joyce’s linguistic erudition is on display in every word, every line in that book, and while that erudition is admirable, even Joyce’s most ardent readers have to say while they’re reading it, “Ok, we get it.  You’re a genius.  Now will you please tell me what’s going on?”

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2 thoughts on “Quick Reads

  1. ramonawray says:

    I haven’t read Ulysses *covers face in shame* Someday soon, hopefully…
    Thanks for the link to the National Book Critics’ Circle prize finalists! I’m not sure if you would like Fates and Furies, but H is For Hawk should be a delight.

  2. I had just come away from *A Little Life*, so I thought *Fates and Furies* might be a little more angst than I could handle. However, if President Obama says that it was his favorite book, then there must be something to it. Generally, I don’t pay much attention to what a President or any other public figure says he reads but, mysteriously to me, his remark has compelled me to keep Goff’s book on my radar. Don’t worry about not reading *Ulysses*. If you can get to it, great. If not, you’ve likely already absorbed the Joycean view through your reading of Woolf and Faulkner.

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