Jeremy Felt

Book notes


These are the books I am actively reading.

  • Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy, because it’s supposed to be one of the greatest novels ever written and I haven’t read it yet. I’m about 10% done, so page 3892 or so.
  • Sidetracked, by Henning Mankell, the next in the Kurt Wallander series. It’s comfortable.
  • Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, by James Joyce, which I’ve been reading out loud for 19 months now. He’s become less interested—when I ask if he wants to read “Dedalus”, he turns and says “no, no, no”—so we’ve slowed a bit. He’ll come back around.

Less actively reading

I’m always “reading” a dozen books, some of which I haven’t actually touched in months. These I’ve at least opened at some point in the last month or are collections that I’m working through slowly.

Recently finished

These are the books I’ve finished since January.

  • Catch 22, by Joseph Keller: if it’s not punching you in the gut, it’s punching you in the face.
  • Trust, by Hernan Diaz, was my pick for our last book club. It was really good. I’m impressed that he wrote 3 different novellas inside the novel and managed to stick the landing.
  • Insignificance, by James Clammer, was an interesting narrative of a single day. I’ve been a subscriber to Galley Beggar‘s (excellent) book club for a few years now and I’ve finally finished one of the titles. Embarassing.
  • Sourcery, by Terry Pratchett, was slower for me than other Discworld novels. I started to think it might be my last, but by the end I was looking forward to the next one again.
  • A Legacy of Spies, by John le Carré, the last of the George Smiley series that I’ve put off for two years because I didn’t want it to end. It was a nice closer.
  • The Islandman, by Tomás Ó Criomhthain, which I purchased in a Killarney book store way back in 2005 or so. I finally picked it up after we watched The Banshees of Inisherin because the time frame and setting was similar. It was a good lunchtime read for several days and super interesting.
  • The Poor Mouth, by Flann O’Brien, which I previously read almost exactly two years ago. I picked it up again because it’s (apparently) a satire of The Islandman. I found it less funny the second time around. I’m guessing it’s a combination of empathy for Blasketers and my realization that I lack context for it all as a non-Irish speaker.
  • My Man Jeeves, by P.G. Woodhouse, because I’ve run into it a few times and saw some older praise for Terry Pratchett as “funny like Woodhouse” or something. It was fun, but Pratchett is funnier—IMO.
  • The Sea, by John Banville, was a heck of a vocabulary lesson. I learned a new word on every page. An impressive finish.

On deck

Being in progress on a dozen books isn’t enough, so of course I’ll start these soon.

  • The Trees, by Percival Everett, our book club’s next read. We previously read Barn 8 from the same publisher in 2021—my year of books for that year is still a draft!
  • Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin, is a book so popular that finding a non-over-corporate place to link to was hard until I searched the author’s name. And searching led me to a famous soliloquy from Macbeth: Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. Is it related? I’ll find out!

Added to the long list

These are the books I’ve run into since last time and added to some sort of “to one day read” list that is ever growing and will never shrink.

  • The Colony, by Audrey Mage
  • Otherlands: A Journey Through Earth’s Extinct Worlds, by Thomas Halliday
  • Hawksbill Station, by Robert Silverburg
  • Anarchy, State, and Utopia, by Robert Nozick
  • Stöld (Stolen), by Ann-Helén Laestadius
  • A Perfect Spy, by John le Carré
  • Old God’s Time, by Sebastian Barry, who I’m hooked on now.
  • An Arran Keening, by Andrew McNeillie
  • The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder, by David Grann
  • A Heart So White, by Javier Marías
  • Harrow, by Joy Williams
  • Red Team Blues, by Cory Doctorow
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid, via Rich recommendation.
  • Where Everything Wild Has a Home: Wild Poems, by local poet Christine McDonald

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