I wish I had a good book to read, one that makes me stop checking the news, where nothing new is happening anyway (it turns out it is actually pretty boring to watch exponential curves flatten and it is even more boring to wait for a big scientific breakthrough.)
Here are some of my favourite contemporary novels. I wish I could read one of them for the first time! If you haven’t read them yet, you’re lucky.
Richard Ford, Canada
Such a sad, beautiful story which has felt true to me from start to end. There was, to me, nothing artificial, nothing constructed in it, like I have rarely experienced in a novel. I loved it from the first sentence, “First, let me tell you about the robbery our parents committed.”
Rachel Cusk, Outline
This is absolute genius. We get to know the mysterious protagonist only through the stories other people she meets tell her. And we know that something of her is expressed in all of these stories, like in dreams. Luckily, it is part of a trilogy, so if you love it you have even more to read (which I have sadly already done).
Kazuo Ishiguro, The Unconsoled
This is the book I had been waiting for all my life without knowing. This is how we humans are, constantly prioritizing the wrong things, constantly confused and easily manipulated. Also, the book follows dream logic and is as revealing as only dreams can be. I loved it so much.
Siri Hustvedt, What we Loved
A powerful and dark story that touched me deeply, and I haven’t forgotten, about 9 years since I read it.
Tim Parks, Dreams of Rivers and Seas
One of my favourite book titles and also one of my favourite books. What I love about Tim Parks is that is novels always seem incomplete and open, restless and questioning, and there is something mysterious about them as well. This one is, at least in my memory, about a man who lost his father and starts to question his own life as well.
Delphine de Vigan, Based on a True Story
I don’t really know why I loved this book so much. This is a dark thriller about a writer. In some ways, the book is giving a very intelligent and also funny comment about the trend of writing things that “really happened” (Knausgard etc.). I enjoyed it very much.
Lionel Shriver, Let’s talk about Kevin
I admire Lionel Shriver so much. She has an dark sense of humour, writes excellent dialogues and is an amazing observer or the most difficult aspects of our lives. I read nearly all of her books, this was the first of them and a really powerful reading experience.