(top to bottom)
1 // If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor
A strange and circular poem of a novel, focusing on the lives of people living on a street in Northern England who are all affected by tragedy. The style is distinct-- lilting, poetic, with run-on sentences galore. I loved it initially but grew weary of the style. By the end, it was uncomfortably pretentious and I craved some nitty-gritty honesty. I can see how this book would be stylistically polarizing, so definitely check it out for yourself.
2 // The Stranger by Albert Camus
This slim novella packs a lot; Camus is both writer and philosopher. It plays on ideas of judgement vs hypocrisy, 'true' justice vs earthly justice. The style is sparse and jarring- Camus goes down certain paths then abruptly ends them without further mention. This is the sort of book that I feel you must allow to wash over them like the shore of the ocean If you do not get stuck on each detail, then it is quite the mesmerizing and thought-provoking read.
3 // Winter Journal by Paul Auster
My favorite by far of three- this is author Paul Auster's visceral memoir. He spares nothing, even when it sends the audience reeling. You have to respect his honesty, even when he seems cruel or you personally disagree with him. I think that is the real strength of this book. Auster strives to tear down this idolization of authors and artists in general. He writes with such expression and chooses powerful details such that we seem to grasp the scope of his life in this short book.
…who you are is a mystery and you have no hope that it will ever be solved…
- Paul Auster, "Winter Journal"
What have you been reading this past month? May has been crazy but I am glad I snuck in a few good books.