I love finding new novels to read, new authors whose previous publications I didn’t know existed and have not yet read. I find life mixed into these stories, the full panoply of humanity. I came across this passage recently and it struck me forcefully for the way in which we now, online and face to face, communicate differently:
“What is this rating, a sex appeal thing?” I asked him once.
Steve tried to persuade me it was more innocent than that. “It’s more like, do they show up on time, can they keep their end of a conversation, are they clean? Do they spend all their time checking their phones?”
“You check your phone constantly.”
“That’s because you’re a friend,” he said. “I would never behave that way with a virtual friend. It kills your rating.”
“Well, where do I get to rate you?”
“You only get to rate me if you respond to one of my posts. But you never would. You’re a Luddite.”
A wonderful exchange between the main character and a friend in Benjamin Markovits 2015 novel You Don’t Have To Live Like This.
I’m a good portion of the way through the above book at the moment and I’m really happy I tracked down a copy of this novel. Lined up next to read is the Will Self’s Shark, a truly modern novel examining the threads of consciousness and time in an experimental format.
Thinking back to the beginning of this year, I had discovered Javier Marías, the eloquent Spanish author. I’ve managed to read a number of his novels now (including A Heart So White, Tomorrow In The Battle Think On Me, When I Was Mortal) and I remain deeply in love with his style.
I’m looking forward to the second half of this year and to what authors may come. What are you currently reading and why?