Tag: Levy

Monthly Review – January 2013

Posted January 31, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Monthly Reading / 0 Comments

As the first month of 2013 comes to a close, it has been amazing to see how much excitement people are having towards both The Shadow of the Wind and the Literary Exploration Reading Challenge. For those who don’t know about the reading challenge, there is still time to join in the fun, so check out my introductory post here.

I’ve been off to a flying start this year, I’ve read twenty books, a feat I’m not sure how I managed, but I’ve had so much fun doing so. Nine of those books go towards the Literary Exploration Reading Challenge and you can find my own record of the challenge here. I’m thinking about trying to read two books for each genre this year and I’m keeping a record of every book and which genre it best fits into on that page as well, just to see which genres need more attention in my exploring.

Highlights of the month for me include; the highly talked about Wool by Hugh Howey, the bittersweet Big Ray by Michael Kimball and the existential The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. But the one I really thought deserves high praise is Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day, a novel of great beauty, decorum and love lost. I haven’t reviewed these books yet but keep an eye out, they will come. So what have you been reading this month?

Monthly Reading

  • Big Ray by Michael Kimball
  • Black Vodka: Ten Stories by Deborah Levy
  • Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis
  • Gangster Squad: Covert Cops, the Mob, and the Battle for Los Angeles by Paul Lieberman
  • In the Midst of Death by Lawrence Block
  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
  • Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding
  • Revenge: Stories by Yoko Ogawa
  • The Big Nowhere by James Ellroy
  • The Dark Winter by David Mark
  • The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke
  • The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists by Gideon Defoe
  • The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Silver Linings Play Book by Matthew Quick
  • The Sins of the Fathers by Lawrence Block
  • The Toe Tag Quintet by Matthew Condon
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
  • Wool by Hugh Howey

Black Vodka by Deborah Levy

Posted January 24, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Short Stories / 0 Comments

Black Vodka by Deborah LevyTitle: Black Vodka (Goodreads)
Author: Deborah Levy
Published: And Other Stories, Feb 2013
Pages: 125
Genres: Short Stories
My Copy: ARC from Publisher

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Swimming Home was one of my favourite books of last year, so when I saw she released a collection of ten shorts stories, I knew I had to read them. Stories of love and loneliness, Levy has a unique blend of experimentalism and wit which has really hooked me.

This collection of short stories has a real contemporary feel to them, as well as a European flavour to it. Every story was gripping and I stretched this book out as long as I could. One story a day and each one as good as the other. There is a real joy to find an author that you love and can’t wait to delve into everything they write.

Short stories of relationships, sadness, love, being alone and bitterness; Deborah Levy has a unique and minimalist voice that I adore. I would love to find other authors similar. While Swimming Home is far superior,  the stories from Black Vodka was still a great dip into the works of Deborah Levy.

My Top Five Reads of 2012

Posted December 27, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Top 5 / 0 Comments

top-5I’ve already done a post about 2012 but I wanted to do another. The typical top five post of the best books you’ve read in 2012 but because I split my books into released in 2012 and all others, I think I need two top five lists here. So here are my top reads for the year;

Top Five Reads Released in 2012

5. Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan

4. Dare Me by Megan Abbott

3. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain

2. The Fault in our Stars by John Green

1. Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway

Honourable mentions need to be made to Colour of Milk, The Yellow Birds, The Cocktail WaitressTigers in Red Weather, The Dinner and The Age of Miracles.

Top Five Reads in 2012

5. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

4. Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

3. Swimming Home by Deborah Levy

2. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

1. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

With honourable mentions to When Gravity Fails, The Little Prince, Factotum, He Died With His Eyes Open, The Devil All the Time, The Master and Magarita and Ethan Frome.

Now it’s your turn to let me know of your favourite books, the new releases and the older books. It doesn’t matter; just what you discovered and loved.

Swimming Home by Deborah Levy

Posted October 16, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literary Fiction / 0 Comments

Swimming Home by Deborah LevyTitle: Swimming Home (Goodreads)
Author: Deborah Levy
Published: Bloomsbury, 2012
Pages: 178
Genres: Literary Fiction
My Copy: ARC from Publisher

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

A group of tourists holidaying in the French Riviera arrive at their summer villa only to find something floating in the swimming pool. One of them thinks it’s a bear, but it turns out to be a very naked stranger. The woman Kitty, having nowhere else to go, joins the group and ends up being a big disruption to the group in this deeply psychology dark novel.

Ok, I’ll admit that the main reason I decided to read this book was because it was short listed for the Man Booker award but let’s face it, after reading what the book was about, I thought it was my type of book. These characters are rich and the addition of a very explosive character made for a fascinating read. At times during the book I felt reminded of that 90’s psychological thriller Wild Things; there was so many unanswered questions that really helped drive this story along. Sure, it is not as twisted as that movie but the psychological aspects are there; at times there are even shades of noir coming through.

Deborah Levy does so much with such a small book; the joy of reading the book is seeing what she doesn’t say. In this aspect I think I would compare her to someone like Kafka, where what she says has so much depth and meaning that it’s really what makes this book so great. Womanising and depression maybe the catalyst but my joy came from the dark and witty elements found throughout this writing.

I’ve not read any of the other books shortlisted for this year Man Booker but I’m hoping this book wins; it has so much in it and I think winning this award would give it the exposure that this book deserves. I’m sure there are many elements of this book I might have missed but I enjoyed the book so much that I’ve already started reading through it again. A literary highlight for my reading journey this year; Swimming Home is well worth picking up.