The Best Translated Book Award (I’m a judge!) jury is narrowing down the eligible books to the longlist, so that’s what most of my reading has been this week. HOWEVER, I did slip in an audiobook for bookclub. Let’s get to it:
Inbox (Books Acquired)
The Hatred of Poetry by Ben Lerner (June 7, FSG Originals)— A longform essay based on the notion that the widespread hatred of poetry is indicative of how much we need the form now more than ever. I don’t really get behind the initial concept (I think more people think they “don’t get” poetry than actually hate it), but I’m here for a defense of poetry anytime.
Outbox (Books Finished)
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins — Finally got around to this one when my book club picked it. This was excellent on audio–I ended up sitting in my car in various and sundry parking lots (Starbucks, Target, my house) while I finished the section I was listening to. I also appreciated the feminist rage barely contained beneath the surface of the prose. But, I didn’t find it that impressive on a sentence level, which is a thing I value and need in order to truly love something. Regardless, I get why this became the phenomenon it did.
In the Queue (What I’m Reading Next)
Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes — My next audiobook, which I am picking up 100% because I have been obsessively binge-watching Scandal for a month and can’t seem to stop myself and Shonda, you are a beautiful genius. Also, please have Olivia kill Fitz at some point. I can’t with him.
My Documents by Alejandro Zambra, translated by Megan McDowell — Next up on my BTBA reading list. I’ve read and loved Zambra’s novella Bonsai, so I have high hopes for this.