Sunday, December 09, 2018

November, Two

I finished only two books in November, but I swear that I was reading my eyeballs out. Early that month, I finally received my copy of Letters of Sylvia Plath Vol. 2. Like Vol 1, it's gargantuan, although a slightly slimmer version (1000-ish) of the hefty (1400+) predecessor. Also, it's not the sort of book you can just whip through. At least, I can't. After so many years of reading her words heavily edited by others, I finally get to see what Plath says, unedited. Even if she's going on about rugs and such, I will read it because it's her own damn voice at last.

Here are the two books I did manage to finish in November:

1. The Camerons - Robert Crichton. 1972 novel about turn-of-the-20th-century Scottish coal miners. Like family sagas? Fish-out-of-water stories? Social justice? Strong women characters? Men in kilts? This one's for you. Very well researched and crafted and robustly told story.

2. The Nix - Nathan Hill. This sprawling masterpiece from 2016 has everything. I'm surprised that it didn't get a nod for the Pulitzer. There's a dizzying array of topics: ghosts, video games, 1968 Chicago riots -- among other things -- that the novel could conceivably sink under its own weight. But it doesn't! Everything is gorgeously woven together. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator, Ari Fliakos, is more than equal to the challenge and the madness of all these characters and their obsessions. He was a brilliant, inspired choice to perform Nathan Hill's prose.

1 comment:

Unruly Reader said...

Oh, I'm so glad you listened to The Nix! Ari Fliakos is my new favorite narrator.