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Posts Tagged: the last book i loved

The Last Book I Loved: The Geographical History of America by Gertrude Stein

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I’m quite sure that if I lived when Gertrude Stein did, I would have not enjoyed her person—the pronouncements, the relentless self-promotion, the blatant self-absorption (“I am a genius”). If I lived in her time I probably, like so many else then, would not have enjoyed her writing either—the repetitions, the lack of story, the blatant self-absorption (“I am I because my little dog knows me”).

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Betsy Stewart: The Last Book I Loved, Birds of America: Stories

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I am a voyeur to the core. Keep your house lit at night and I will peer in to see how you spend your time alone, or what colors you’ve painted your walls. Invite me in and I will pick through your bookshelves and look at all your family photos on the mantle while you make me a drink. Ask me to stay and I will rummage through your things for what you’ve been hiding in those closets of yours. Write me a book with characters who are so real and precisely drawn that I can feel their warmth in the seat next to me, and I will sign out of Facebook and devour it.

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Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro

Alexa Dooseman: The Last Book I Loved, Never Let Me Go

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The problem with writing about Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go is that I can’t discuss the plot. A blend of science fiction and literary narrative, the novel hinges on a secret, a secret so all-encompassing and imposing, so carefully revealed, that if I were to divulge it, I would ruin the book.

That being said, here’s what I can tell you…

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Ken Kesey Collection

Jay Boss Rubin: The Last Book (Collection) I Loved, The Ken Kesey Collection

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What would the man who said, “I’d rather be a lightning rod than a seismograph,” think about becoming a museum piece?

The quote, by Ken Kesey, appears in the first chapter of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe’s chronicle of Kesey and his cohorts’ legendary Day-Glo bus journey across America and the widespread explorations of inner space that followed.

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David Peak: The Last Book I Loved, Birch Hills at World’s End

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Every high school has a kid like Erik. He’s sharp, dark, and charming. Add in the fact that he has his own car and impeccable taste in Scandinavian metal, and who better to befriend during the darkest years of your life? Even if he seems a little unhinged, or if his customized tabletop war game, complete with rules that revolve around slaying the entire town, maybe comes off as being too realistic, he’s still a good kid.

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Adam Parker Cogbill: The Last Book I Loved, Abbott Awaits

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I am as guilty as any other reader I know of opening or hijacking conversations with some derivation of, “You know what you should read?” I can’t help myself; I read something I loved, and I want to share. There is also an unfortunate correlation between how transformative the reading experience was and how vigorously I talk about it, meaning that I am at my most obnoxious when I have read something I love.

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Lydia Melby: The Last Book I Loved, The Cat’s Table

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For years when I was young I would crouch beneath the dinner table to watch my parents drink after-dinner coffee and wine with an ever-changing group of scientists—a tall man from Colombia whose mustache is even more impressive than my father’s, a shy Chinese man who twice brought me folded paper fans, a thin young woman from India with acetic hair who rarely speaks, but whose murmured jokes can pitch the group into laughter.

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Elizabeth Bastos: The Last Book I Loved, Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague

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Based on the true story of an English midland town in the year 1666 that quarantined itself to sweat out the bubonic plague, Geraldine Brooks’ Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague reminds me of the private school campus where I live with my family in the suburbs of Baltimore, the year 2012.

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Jessica Freeman-Slade: The Last Book I Loved, The Last American Man

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It’s easy to write off one author based on a best-seller. Call it jealousy, call it high-end literary disdain, call it whatever you want, but it’s easy to give in to the impulse to distrust something once it’s become popular. This indeed was my reaction to the author Elizabeth Gilbert, who I (as many others) first encountered by way of her memoir-cum-chick-lit classic Eat, Pray, Love.

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Rhona Cleary: The Last Book I Loved, Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch

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Was there ever a place greyer, wetter or lonelier than Paris in the fall?

For an Irish person, that’s a weighty question to consider. I guess that in some other incarnation of myself I might have found the glistening cobblestones of Montmartre immeasurably romantic but with my fiancé away on tour and being (scarcely) self-employed, the dampness weighed down heavily on my mood, pushing me into a period of semi-hibernation.

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Traci Dolan: The Last Book I Loved, The Stone Virgins

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One of the first things that became apparent while reading Yvonne Vera’s The Stone Virgins was a gentle spiraling, a contracting of the scope of the novel, from the streets of Bulawayo to the small village of Kezi via the local gathering place Thandabantu; from Thenjiwe and her unnamed lover to her sister Nonceba; contracting into a pinpoint during the murder of Thenjiwe and the rape and mutilation of Nonceba.

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