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Help Me Pick The Next Novel I’ll Read

So this is the post where I usually select and preview my next read, but I thought it would be fun to let you guys weigh in this time.

This current batch of five novels includes The Confessions of Nat Turner and Lucky Jim (both already read), plus Housekeeping, Naked Lunch, and A House for Mr. Biswas (none of which have been read).

So I want you to help me pick which of those three novels I should read next. As a refresher, here’s how I described them in my “next 5 novels” post:

A House for Mr. Biswas: The only thing I really know about this novel is that it has received enormous amounts of critical praise and awards—and also that its author, V.S. Naipaul, has been known to make a few sexist comments in his day. From what I understand, the story tells the struggles Mr. Biswas has trying to buy a house.

Naked Lunch: Well, I had to read it at some point, so here we go. I’ve heard a lot about Naked Lunchand most of the comments have been something like “I couldn’t finish that novel.” Oh good. I guess I’ll be finding out if all the negativity around this novel is justified.

Housekeeping: I’ve been putting off Marylyn Robinson’s Housekeeping for quite a while now, so this is another novel that I’ll just have to bear down and read. Being brutally honest, I just don’t like the title. It bores me. Hopefully, I’ll be proven wrong.

So which of those three novels have you read, and which one would you like me to read next?

The novel that receives the most votes in the comments will be the winner! I’ll preview that novel on Tuesday.

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39 Comments Post a comment
  1. Oh, how fun! I haven’t read any of these, but my vote is for you to read A House for Mr. Biswas next, just because you don’t sound like you’re dreading it as much as the others.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 4, 2014
  2. I would say go with Naked Lunch (or Housekeeping for the same reasons – check the spelling of her name :-D) if you’re dreading it (or the rest of the world is) might as well get it over with. I read Robinson’s Gilead and was not impressed.

    PLUS, you’ll have a book that everyone (or at least the critics) has loved.

    Like

    December 4, 2014
  3. Of these three, “Naked Lunch” is the only one I’ve read. I actually did like “Naked Lunch” – I won’t say I enjoyed it, but it was a fascinating piece of writing. You should read it next.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 4, 2014
  4. Brandon #

    Don’t punish yourself over Christmas. I’m with loolool–go with Mr. Biswas.

    Like

    December 4, 2014
  5. Miriam #

    A house for Mr Biswas…it is just a brilliant read.

    Like

    December 4, 2014
  6. I think I would go with Housekeeping!

    Liked by 1 person

    December 4, 2014
  7. Woof. I have to say none of those appeal to me but Mr Biswas seems the least bad.

    Like

    December 4, 2014
  8. The next novel you should read is the one you write.

    Like

    December 4, 2014
  9. Mr Biswas sounds like the least horrible of the three, so I vote for that, but then again

    Like

    December 4, 2014
    • Getting one of the other two over with sounds like a good idea too!

      Like

      December 4, 2014
  10. uju #

    I vote Housekeeping.

    Aside the name being ‘boring’ you just might be surprised by the content.

    Liked by 1 person

    December 4, 2014
  11. Naked Lunch is fascinating writing. I’ve read it and appreciate it. That’s my vote.

    Like

    December 4, 2014
  12. During the Christmas season, I would go with another novel. One that sounds like fun. Then come back to these three in 2015. But if you are going to go with these then Mr. Biswas or Housekeeping.

    Like

    December 4, 2014
  13. Housekeeping!

    Like

    December 4, 2014
  14. My novela, 40 Minutes, will be out this month…

    Like

    December 4, 2014
  15. anjanette #

    I didn’t like housekeeping at all. I’m with the others for mr. Biswas.

    Like

    December 4, 2014
  16. Chris #

    For me, I love to read a nice holiday story at this time of the year. As of now, I am reading my all time favorite Christmas book ‘The Special Guest’ by Lee Allen. I read it the first time 20 years back and was lucky to get my hands on the special 20th Century edition!

    Like

    December 4, 2014
  17. 1banjo #

    Sexist comments? You are an adult, right?

    Like

    December 4, 2014
    • “I read a piece of writing and within a paragraph or two I know whether it is by a woman or not,” he said. “I think [it is] unequal to me.” Oh, but that’s not all. He followed that up with, “And inevitably for a woman, she is not a complete master of a house, so that comes over in her writing too.”

      You don’t think that’s sexist?

      Like

      December 8, 2014
  18. Denise #

    I haven’t read any of these but I guess I’d have you read A House for Mr. Biwas, as you seem to already dread the other two so completely and it’s wintertime and the holidays, where reading should be enjoyed. Maybe now’s a good time to buck the ‘next 5’ and just read something from the list that really interests you. You can buckle down to the drudgery in January.

    Like

    December 4, 2014
  19. Oh, lordy. I haven’t read Naked Lunch on purpose. I tried to read Mr. Biswas, but no luck. I read Housekeeping years ago but find it left no impression one way or the other.

    Are the people who recommended these your friends? 🙂

    I’ll e watching for when you take recommendations for the NEXT batch–surely we can do better by you than this!

    Like

    December 4, 2014
  20. Sherri #

    Housekeeping

    Like

    December 4, 2014
  21. A House for Mr. Biswas.

    Like

    December 4, 2014
  22. Jasmin #

    Naked Lunch. I have not read it and I know there are comments about how bad it is, but I think it’s better to get it out of the way sooner rather than later.

    Like

    December 4, 2014
  23. I’ve not read any of these. but Biswas sounds alright to me.

    Like

    December 4, 2014
  24. I love doing these (although my last one resulted in a tie!). My vote goes to Naked Lunch, because it’s the only one I’ve read and I’d like to hear what you think about it.

    Like

    December 4, 2014
  25. creina #

    I would go for Housekeeping – the name may be off putting but doesnt bear out in the reading.

    I read it after a publisher friend recommended it (I invariably agree with her choices so take her seriously) as one of her favorite books. I think it is one of mine now.

    While it is beautiful I found it incredibly moving as a story of never quite fitting in to life. Living on the outskirts of existence. I dont think it is just a book that works for women – I really think that is a narrow view of our intellect. I think I can relate to Rabbit!

    Like

    December 4, 2014
  26. I enjoyed Housekeeping and loathed Naked Lunch. Therefore, I would read Housekeeping.

    Like

    December 4, 2014
  27. Housekeeping – you can’t go wrong with Marilynne Robinson!

    Like

    December 4, 2014
  28. housekeeping – it is a really good one

    Like

    December 5, 2014
  29. I vote for Housekeeping.

    Like

    December 5, 2014
  30. Ruth Fox #

    Housekeeping is on my ‘to read’ list, although I have heard lots of good things about Mr Biswas. Tried to read Naked lunch and gave up.

    Like

    December 5, 2014
  31. naked lunch… makes me think of a Monty Python episode

    Like

    December 5, 2014
  32. A House for Mr. Biswas, definitely that one. Sexist comments, and lots of awards? Sounds like a lot more fun that a couple of books that you’ve been pushing to the side because they seem boring.

    Like

    December 5, 2014
  33. Well, since you’ve asked so nicely. Let me add my pinch of salt, or spoonful of sugar, if I may. Styron’s The Confessions of Nat Turner is appealing to me. You see, I read Sophie’s Choice some time ago. I need to go back to that austere and vivid account of the American reaction to the Holocaust. Nat Turner is on my reading list for now. Perhaps Sophie’s Choice will be on the horizon for you? That is, if you haven’t already read it. As for Naipaul. Geen kommentaar, as we would say in Cape Town.

    Like

    December 6, 2014
  34. imadeiyamu #

    Naked Lunch… the title just jumps out more than the others.

    Like

    December 7, 2014
  35. MissFriday #

    Naked lunch is really not that great of a book imo. You should get it cheap and sell it after you are done with it 😀 You can get at least 2 bucks for it if you sell it using http://www.bonavendi.com/sell/used.html

    Like

    December 7, 2014
  36. Mr Biswas wins hands down

    Like

    December 8, 2014

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