Novel Romance

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?

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