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January Reads, 2017


The MIROnline team have chosen the books they are enjoying this month.

 

Stoner by John Williams

“Selling fewer than 2000 copies on its ’65 release, Stoner was rediscovered almost entirely by word of mouth, and was Waterstone’s Book of the Year in 2013. An incredibly touching, beautifully written tale of the largely mediocre life of a college professor, this has been one of my absolute favourite reads of the last few years and I advise everybody to track it down.” – Kate Whiteside

Stoner by John Williams

Girl With Curious Hair by David Foster Wallace

“Just started reading 'Girl with Curious Hair' by David Foster Wallace. I get what the fuss is about. Sometimes difficult to get into but occasionally hilarious. 'Here and There' is my favourite so far. 'Her photograph tastes bitter to me' is a great first line.” – Kate Ellis

Girl With Curious Hair by David Foster Wallace

In The Heart of the Country by William H. Gass

"These short stories first came to my notice through a 2014 review in the Guardian, though I didn't read the book itself until the end of last year. It definitely lives up to the claims Nicholas Lezard makes for it, and I'd also recommend Gass's Preface, about the writing process, not least for the intriguing echoes of Joseph Conrad in his description of how a story works." – Sue Tyley

In The Heart of the Country by William H. Gass

How To Be Both by Ali Smith

“This is a great story and I particularly enjoy the seamless way that Smith interweaves the character George's present day with conversations and memories of her dead mother, building up an intimate picture of their relationship.” – Katherine Vik

How To Be Both by Ali Smith

Slade House by David Mitchell

"This is the type of book Joey from friends would hide in the freezer. Gripping and eerie, it left me with a wibbley feeling in my diaphragm. I read it rapidly, on one level so I could be rid of this terrifying, if cleverly crafted story of a spooky house and its ghastly inhabitants. The voices in Slade House are captivating, all real, complicated individuals driving a compelling narrative. A great read, far more than just a ghost story." – Miranda Roszkowski

Slade House by David Mitchell

In A Strange Room by Damon Galgut

“I loved In A Strange Room, the honesty and clarity of Damon Galgut’s storytelling kept me reading and I finished the book in a day (although I didn’t get much else done.) Three disastrous journeys give us an insight into Galgut’s character, his relationships and his sense of home.” - Melanie Jones

In A Strange Room by Damon Galgut

Troubling Love by Elena Ferrante

“Bar Frantumaglia, my Elena Ferrante reading is now complete. 'Troubling Love' was her first novel but the potency, violence and emotional punch of the Neapolitan series is already present. More troubling than loving but definitely compelling.” – Kate Ellis

Troubling Love by Elena Ferrante

The End of Vandalism by Tom Drury

“Meet the natives of Grouse Country in the deepest Midwest. Achingly funny, poignant portrait of contemporary America with a whole story in every line. If you've read Tom Drury you'll know what I mean. If you haven't, you've a treat in store.” – Stella Klein

The End of Vandalism by Tom Drury