Michelle Bailat-Jones

Writer, Translator, Reader

For the one or two readers I might still have, I promise to get back to regular posting soon…

In the meantime, a quick update:

I finished Jakov Lind’s quirky, funny, strange, incomprehensible, surreal and serious novel Ergo, just out from Open Letter Books. Reading this book was like taking a deep breath and diving underwater. I only came up for air twice and then plunged back into Lind’s bizarre world. I’m not sure I understood much of this book, but the reading was by no means uncomfortable. Think Kafka on LSD…

And then I had the pleasure to consume Damon Galgut’s wonderful The Good Doctor. This was definitely one of the best books I’ve read so far this year. The book is disturbingly quiet, with tiny little bombs that go off left and right. I couldn’t put it down. Loved the narrator and how I slowly began to mistrust him, mistrust his perceptions of the world. Fantastic book.

Now I’m about a third into Christopher Torockio’s Floating Holidays from Black Lawrence Press. The first chapter of the book, or I should say, the first voice, put me off, but as soon as I stepped into the second voice, it picked up steam. This is a novel of modern office life, of mediocre powermongers, of sensitive people choking under the pressure of corporate shenanigans. It’s good. It has a great momentum, despite the myriad of voices. I can’t wait to get further.

8 Responses to “reading update”

  1. nicole

    We are still here, and though we may miss you I’m sure we all understand you have been a bit busier than average! Glad to hear you are still managing to get in your reading time though. That is the essential thing.

  2. Steph

    I feel like I just recently discovered Open Letter Books, but I’m really excited by them. I found a copy of The Mighty Angel by Jerzy Pilch at the library, so I’m hoping to get to it before I have to return it. Ergo sounds insane, but in a good way!

  3. zhiv

    Hang in there! It’s tough on me when Verbivore and Dorothy are stalling out at the same time. But I’m no better of course. At least you guys are reading (and moming and riding bikes), while I’m just… not sure what it is I’ve been doing. My point? The brief update is always welcome. I need to do some of those myself. The other problem is that I don’t have the strongest connection to your latest batch of books, but again, that’s my own fault… Like I said, hang in there, but enjoying the spring and summer and babying comes first, second, twentieth and fiftieth.

  4. verbivore

    I don’t deserve you, kind readers! Thank you.

    Nicole – I’m good at sneaking in the reading time, no matter what. I think life would start to feel all wrong if I couldn’t!

    Steph – Isn’t Open Letter just fantastic? I subscribed to their catalog this year, such a good deal. 100 dollars and I get a book a month. I actually wish more publishers did this, I’d be signing up all over the place. On second thought, maybe it’s better they don’t all start doing this.

    Lilian – Thank you! You are in my reader too, and I may not always comment but I don’t miss a single post!

    Zhiv – Wonderful words of encouragement, thank you! I appreciate it. I’ve got several of your posts “saved” in my reader so I can get back there and give them the time they deserve. And I just got Mary McCarthy’s book The Company She Keeps, so maybe our reading will be more connected in the next few weeks.

  5. Mike S

    See? You’ve got at least thrice as many readers as you thought! Thx for reminder to chk out Open Letter Bks. And Floating Holiday goes on the radar for me, as I am a veteran of the corp ofc hyginx & cya. Enjoy your site from Georgia USA, on my fav list.

    • verbivore

      Thanks, Mike! and Floating Holidays is turning into a fantastic book, I highly recommend it.

  6. Dorothy W.

    I read Ergo a while back and felt much the same about it as you — intrigued and bewildered, admiring and uncertain. I couldn’t quite bring myself to write about it, for those reasons. I felt like there was some context I was missing that would have helped, but it would have helped only so much …

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