Johnathan Lethem's latest, You Don't Love Me Yet, is the best thing I've read so far this year. The Times gave it a so-so review, but I'm a bit more enthusiastic (obviously). Lethem's debut, Motherless Brooklyn was widely praised, but I was a bit bored of the whole concept by page 50. You Don't Love Me grabs from the beginning and races you to the end. It took me all of three days to finish; a nice change of pace since I'd been plodding through Quicksilver for most of the last month. The characters in You Don't Love Me are quirky, yes, but not annoyingly so. Nothing seems forced, and everything just flows. Finally, I see the talent that everyone's been saying he has. Granted, I didn't read Fortress of Solitude, but I'm certainly more disposed to doing so now!
Next up, I'm reading Arlington Park. Again, something I decided to read based on a review. I just looked at the review again, and I'm thinking I must have been in one of my "yeah, marriage sucks, men suck, relationships suck" moods when I placed my reserve with the library. I would not be reading this book in this mood, given the info The Times provides. The writing itself, a chapter in, is quite good. Reminiscent of Margaret Drabble. What I can't get over, is the ridiculously precious cover.
Uh, if this is a "marriage sucks, men suck, relationships suck" kinda book, what's with the Ode to Maeve Binchy here? The font, both on the cover and dustjacket can only be described as "twee." Did the designer know anything about the subject matter? I can only assume not.
I had to give one of the writers on Bookninja a little smackdown today. I've seen this "Oh booksellers don't know anything about books" attitude far too often. Trust me, I don't let it slide, ever, when I see it. You can read the post, and my comments here.
If you're into D.H. Lawrence, and more specifically The Rainbow and Women in Love, you might want to check out this article about Katherine Mansfield who was, apparently, the inspiration for Gudrun.