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Cheryl's books

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The Collected Stories
John McGahern
George Eliot
Omensetter's Luck
William H. Gass
Swann's Way
Marcel Proust, Lydia Davis
A Naked Singularity (Paper)
Sergio De La Pava
The Master and Margarita
Mikhail Bulgakov, Richard Pevear, Larissa Volokhonsky
Otherwise Known as the Human Condition: Selected Essays and Reviews
Geoff Dyer
Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace
Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self
Claire Tomalin
Maps and Legends
Michael Chabon
This Is How You Lose Her - Junot Díaz This is how you lost me. You gave me flat characters powered by preoccupations with sex and body parts, especially bushy hair, peppered the prose with Spanish words that were often slangy or derogatory, and allowed superficial, albeit energetic, descriptions of shallow thoughtlessness to masquerade as gritty literary style.

I am puzzled as to why I feel so far off the general opinion of the literary pundits who widely praise this book. I do wonder if it is because of my utter lack of exposure to any Spanish or Hispanic culture. That differs markedly from the USA, where varying degrees of Hispanic influence are ubiquitous, and this in turn may inform an American reader's interpretation and reaction. Perhaps I lack the cultural tools to appreciate it.

Nonetheless, I didn't like it. These stories left me either cold or irritated, usually the latter, and they were not redeemed by insight, poetic prose, unusual characters or stories. I had the same response to [b:Drown|531989|Drown|Junot Díaz|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1313700390s/531989.jpg|3230496] and hoped, even expected, that it was a one-off, but now I can say with certainty that I do not like Diaz's writing.