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Jerkass 27th Dec 2017 4:21

Your most recommended read of 2017?
I always scan Palimplists for new reading ideas, but this time I thought I'd give everyone a chance to put something directly on to my to-be-read list. So, what is your most highly recommended read of 2017?

My contribution: Wuthering Heights, if you somehow haven't read it yet. Honorable mentions to Elmet and Peyton Place.

Noumenon 27th Dec 2017 22:33

Re: Your most recommended read of 2017?
My top ten blog-post will appear in a few days, so I'll add it then. Spoiler alert, I kiss some local bottoms... ;-)

elwood 1st Jan 2018 18:52

Re: Your most recommended read of 2017?
Tough to choose just one novel from last year's reading list, but my recommendation is Thomas Savage's The Power of the Dog (1967).

As for something non-fiction, try Big Day Coming: Yo La Tengo and the Rise of Indie Rock (2012) by Jesse Jarnow, an interesting account of both the US indie music scene and the history of the often misspelled band named Yo La Tengo.

Noumenon 4th Jan 2018 0:16

Re: Your most recommended read of 2017?
Well here's that Top Ten I mentioned.

If I had to pick just one, it would be the first of the six Aubrey & Maturin novels I gobbled up, Master and Commander, though the other five were also (probably equally) great. The biggest surprise was the first Jack Reacher novel, Killing Floor - best out-and-out thriller I've read in years, likely one of the best overall for that matter.

If I ever get the kind of job that pays a decent wage, the full sets of Patrick O'Brian and Lee Child will be at the top of my list, I suspect.

David 5th Jan 2018 18:06

Re: Your most recommended read of 2017?
I didn't read enough last year to bother doing a top ten, but I did read a few excellent books. Some of them have received enough attention already (Reservoir 13 just won best novel in the Costas, Anything is Possible and Five Carat Soul are both on Barack Obama's best of 2017 list...) so the one I'd recommend would be The Collected Stories of Peter Taylor. Taylor won the Pulitzer in 1987 and his Complete Stories have recently been given the Library of America treatment, but even so, I'm not sure he's read as much as he deserves to be, especially not here in the UK (there are no British editions in print of any of his books). His stories are largely set in the American South, and of the 20th century Southern short story writers I've read like Flannery O'Connor, Truman Capote, Caroline Gordon or Doris Betts, I'd say Taylor is my favourite. Superb stuff.

Also, Jeremy Brooks's 1960 novel Jampot Smith is a great read if you enjoy authors like Stan Barstow or David Storey.

Colyngbourne 7th Jan 2018 14:53

Re: Your most recommended read of 2017?
Having failed to keep my book-list, but it's on my Resolutions for this year - I would have to say Tolstoy's War & Peace was my read of the year; but honourable mentions to Sugar Money - by Jane Harris, for definite.

Jerkass 14th Jan 2018 19:46

Re: Your most recommended read of 2017?
Thanks, everyone, and please keep them coming. I'm already reading one of these recommendations.

Jerkass 5th Feb 2018 23:51

Re: Your most recommended read of 2017?
Whooooaaaa, David. So only the 1500 pages in your recommendation, then?! If you had to pick the earlier or the later volume, where would you start?

David 14th Feb 2018 11:58

Re: Your most recommended read of 2017?
Ha, that's the two volume Library of America Complete Stories that has 1500 pages - I actually read the Farrar Straus & Giroux Collected Stories which is a much more manageable 560 pages. That book was originally published in 1969 so only contains stories written up to that point. I haven't read any of his later work yet, but I definitely will do at some point.

lurgee 18th Feb 2018 18:39

Re: Your most recommended read of 2017?
Just about the only book I can remember reading last year is one I hesitate to recommend - Gordon Burn's unflinching account of the life of Fred and Rose West, Happy Like Murderers. It's beyond horrific. I had to take a several month break from it because it was so appalling. How he managed to find the fortitude to write it is beyond me.

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