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The Nickel Boys > What was your favorite book you read this year?

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message 1: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Stewart (matthewstewart) | 41 comments Mod
Hello Tepper Readers!

Before we get into our discussion about The Nickel Boys, I thought it might be fun to learn what we've read that we've loved this year. It can be a business book, a novel, a book of poetry - anything that has meant a lot to you.

For me, I was a big fan of Virginie Despentes' Vernon Subutex, 1. I'm kind of a Francophile when it comes to literature, and Despentes is probably the best French writer out there now. She does such a great job of inhabiting so many different characters and so many different viewpoints, she really gets inside the mind of all sorts of people, and it's great. I also have to admit that it was pretty nice to get out of the sociopolitics of the U.S. and see how things are elsewhere in the world. I'm now nearly done with the second book in this trilogy, and can't wait until the translated version of the third one comes out in the U.S.

How about you? What book have you loved this year?


message 2: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Ryave | 8 comments Hi Tepper Reads!! I just wanted to pop in and say hi and I miss everyone and I hope you're all doing well <3 I hope you don't mind that I'll be creeping on your posts and discussions as a very nostalgic and grateful alum!!

The best novel I read this year was A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. It was a dense and extremely disturbing story about four friends from college who deal with so much tragedy that it is genuinely impressive how many sad things Yanagihara manages to cram into the very long novel. But buried in the darkness are moments of such tenderness and beauty that the suffering the novel will inflict on you almost plays second fiddle. I spent a solid two weeks of pandemic time absorbed in this novel and devastated by the characters and their tragic circumstances. If you've read it, I'd love to talk about it with you!! (This novel is basically 40% of my personality now). And I hope everyone enjoys Tepper Reads!!!


message 3: by Becca (new)

Becca | 1 comments Daniel wrote: "Hi Tepper Reads!! I just wanted to pop in and say hi and I miss everyone and I hope you're all doing well <3 I hope you don't mind that I'll be creeping on your posts and discussions as a very nost..."
I know I've already talked to you about this book, but commenting because I completely agree!! It's so devastating, but such a beautiful story of love at the same time. I highly recommend it to everyone I know - but also keep in mind you may need at least a few days to recover after you finish it!!


message 4: by Matthew (last edited Oct 12, 2020 09:53AM) (new)

Matthew Stewart (matthewstewart) | 41 comments Mod
Matthew wrote: "Hello Tepper Readers!

Before we get into our discussion about The Nickel Boys, I thought it might be fun to learn what we've read that we've loved this year. It can be a business b..."


Daniel and Becca, great to hear from you on here! I've heard A Little Life is a great book, but also that's it's really tough to get through, hence my avoidance of it so far. With both your recommendations, though, I'll have to check it out.


message 5: by Alex (new)

Alex Marshall | 1 comments I feel a little sheepish sharing mine after the last two but the best books I read this year were easily the 2 currently published novels in Philip Pullman's Book of Dust. He's writing a new trilogy set in the same universe as His Dark Materials and it's great so far. If you're looking for something lighter after A Little Life, I highly recommend this series.


message 6: by Matthew (last edited Oct 13, 2020 08:06AM) (new)

Matthew Stewart (matthewstewart) | 41 comments Mod
Alex wrote: "I feel a little sheepish sharing mine after the last two but the best books I read this year were easily the 2 currently published novels in Philip Pullman's Book of Dust. He's writing a new trilog..."

No sheepishness needed, Alex! I tend to watch more sci-fi/fantasy than I read, and I did check out the first season of HBO's take on His Dark Materials. I enjoyed it, but couldn't help but think that the book has to be better than the show.


message 7: by Erik (new)

Erik Rehnberg | 2 comments For me, it's been Tiamat's Wrath by James S.A. Corey. It's the most recent book in The Expanse series and is just excellent space opera/science fiction. I've really enjoyed the whole series thus far.


message 8: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Stewart (matthewstewart) | 41 comments Mod
Erik wrote: "For me, it's been Tiamat's Wrath by James S.A. Corey. It's the most recent book in The Expanse series and is just excellent space opera/science fiction. I've really enjoyed the whole series thus far."

You folks are really schooling me on this sci-fi and fantasy stuff, I love it! It's always good to be exposed to new books, and I definitely need to up my game when it comes to the genre.

If you like The Nickel Boys and want to read another novel by Whitehead that's completely different, check out his foray into zombie stories, Zone One.


message 9: by Erik (new)

Erik Rehnberg | 2 comments Matthew wrote: "Erik wrote: "For me, it's been Tiamat's Wrath by James S.A. Corey. It's the most recent book in The Expanse series and is just excellent space opera/science fiction. I've really enjoyed the whole s..."

Thanks for the recommendation, I'll have to check it out (I did read Whitehead's Underground Railroad and loved it)


message 10: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Stewart (matthewstewart) | 41 comments Mod
Katherine White wrote: "Not books per se but I recently discovered that there are there are several comic books for Avatar the Last Airbender that follow the gang after the events of the last episode of the series before ..."

Thanks so much for sharing, Karen! I'd definitely say that comics and graphic novels have made their way into the literary mainstream in the last few decades, making it a more inclusive place for different forms of books. For instance, National Book Award winner and all-around amazing essayist, Ta-Nehisi Coates, has written Black Panther and Captain America comics, which is pretty cool in my book.

This is nowhere near sci-fi, but Frank Santoro's graphic novel Pittsburgh has been on my "To Read" shelf for a while now and I'm really looking forward to it.


message 11: by Matt (new)

Matt Griffin | 10 comments I love the writing that Ta-Nehisi Coates has done with Black Panther and Captain America! He has out forth some really interesting themes about power, responsibility, and American exceptionalism in those books.

I just finished David Chang's memoir Eat A Peach. I find him to be a really interesting & compelling person in a lot of different mediums as he meditates on leadership, representation, and grit through his own experiences and the history of food.


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