New Hampshire discussion


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message 1: by Jenna (last edited Jul 17, 2016 04:44PM) (new)

Jenna (jennale) Hi all, I just discovered this Goodreads group. After living in New York for a decade, I just moved to the Hanover, New Hampshire, area and am excited to learn more about this beautiful area, its bookstores and local authors, etc. I love to read: my pet area of interest is poetry, but I also dote on a good novel. I'm the author of two poetry collections: Six Rivers , published by NYQ Books in 2011, and A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora , published by Anchor & Plume Press in February 2016. I occasionally write book reviews for literary journals and websites, and I'm an avid book reviewer here on Goodreads as well. I would love to connect with other New Hampshirites who love reading and/or writing and can teach me more about this great state -- feel free to send me a friend request or strike up a conversation! Or please post here to tell me about your favorite book, your favorite local bookstore, or your favorite local reading series! I've checked out both the Dartmouth Bookstore and Left Bank Books in Hanover so far and am looking forward to becoming a regular.

message 2: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Bergeron | 5 comments Welcome to New Hampshire, Jenna. This discussion board hasn't seen much activity. I read a fair amount of fiction and nonfiction, but not so much poetry, which is difficult for me. A New Hampshire poet whose work I've been reading is Robert Dunn, who lived and wrote in obscurity in Portsmouth NH.

message 3: by Jenna (last edited Jul 28, 2016 09:36AM) (new)

Jenna (jennale) Hi, Kevin! Thank you for the welcome. It's a shame the discussion board here is so quiet. And thank you much for the recommendation of Robert Dunn's poetry. I will have to check out his work. What sort of fiction do you like best?

message 4: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Bergeron | 5 comments I like character-centered stories that have a distinctive narrative voice and that weave various elements such that the story builds a structure that models human nature. I mean I like texture in a story as opposed to a linear story or a story where the protagonist speaks directly for the author. The crime-noir genre appeals to me, I think maybe because I like the story to be told in the fewest words possible. I've read a number novels and stories in the past few years, but offhand I can't remember them, so I guess there's very little I read that really stands out. "Midnight Cowboy" is one I read a couple years ago that I remember. I really like that one a lot. I've read Truman Capote's short story "A Christmas Memory" at least 20 times, and if I found out I was going to die tomorrow I'd want to read it one more time. I like theater too, and "Death of a Salesman" is I think incomparable.

What are some of your favorite fiction or poetry books?

message 5: by Jenna (last edited Sep 04, 2016 05:46AM) (new)

Jenna (jennale) Hi, Kevin, thanks for your profound reply! I admit I've never reflected so deeply on why certain fiction books are appealing to me while others are not. The fiction books that have stayed with me since childhood, the ones that sort of serve as the hallmarks by which I unconsciously measure other fiction books, are books like Villette, Middlemarch, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, and Jamaica Inn. In Charlotte Bronte, it's the strong three-dimensional characterizations and the electric dialogues that I like. In George Eliot, it's the realism, the fact that whenever I reread Middlemarch, regardless of my age, I always find something in it that resonates with my own life where I am right now. With Austen and Emily Bronte, I like how they do so much with so little; the expositional passages in between the scenes of dialogue feel so light, so weightless, and yet tell so much. An author I only read recently who feels like Emily Bronte is Marguerite Duras: with relatively little tinder, she makes a big burn.

Favorite novels that I've read in recent years have mostly been books with a spare style that feel real and keenly perceptive and morally centered, as if the novelist is seeing right to the heart of me. The words strike like a stylet of recognition, a knife of blame, and reading them feels cathartic. Titles that come to mind are Russell Hoban's Turtle Diary and Alfred Hayes's In Love. Among contemporary novels, Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep. All those authors write loneliness especially well.

When in the right mood, I also like fiction writers with a lyrical prose style, like Woolf, Forster, Elizabeth Hardwick, James Salter. And I have a soft spot for fiction that riffs off of fairytales, e.g., Diana Wynne Jones's Fire and Hemlock. Fairytales we read in childhood still have so much power over our unconscious that we're putty in the hands of a novelist who successfully harnesses them (not in an escapist way, though -- I prefer fantasy novels that are as morally grounded as the realist novels I like).

My favorite poets are Auden and Apollinaire.

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