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Austen to Zafón

Reading widely since 1972.

Currently reading

A London Family, 1870-1900: A Trilogy
Molly Hughes
The Cellist of Sarajevo
Steven Galloway
Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher
Lewis Thomas
All the Names
José Saramago, Margaret Jull Costa
A History of the World in 100 Objects
Neil MacGregor
Down the Garden Path
Beverley Nichols
Virtue Betray'd, Or, Anna Bullen
John Banks
Year of Wonders
Geraldine Brooks
Swallows and Amazons
Arthur Ransome
Illusion in java
Gene Fowler
The Empty Family - Colm Tóibín I read one Toibin novel, which I loved (The Master) and one volume of short stories which I liked (Mothers and Sons). This volume of short stories about alienation amongst family members was, on the whole, disappointing. The few gems were Silence, The Pearl Fishers, and The Colour of Shadows. While I read one reviewer who called the sex scenes (which are many) tender, I found them more mechanical, repetitive, and boring. There are only so many ways to talk about lubrication, penentration, and the taste of sperm. Really. While Toibin is usually a powerful, understated author who believes less is more, I found myself skipping a number of boring passages and groaning at cliches and overwrought poetics. I guess this is the curse of being a great writer; people expect more. If these stories had been by a lesser writer, I still would have rolled my eyes at the sex scenes, but I probably would have been less critical over all. But Toibin can do better than some of these stories.