The Mahe Circle by Georges Simenon
I do love Simenon, but the last few i'd read by him were just ok. This one was shit-hot though, and reminded me how much Simenon is capable of doing in so few pages. His characters are always somewhere on the cusp of despair and desire, and he writes about heat and claustrophobia better than anyone. Weirdly though, this little novel would just make a great holiday beach read.
Black Leather Barbarians by Pat Stadley
Troutmark Books here in Cardiff is a mecca of second-hand books, and my good buddy bought me this little biker gang gem recently, so yeah.
Happy Endings Are All Alike by Sandra Scoppettone
I finally got around to reading this! And it was great. A YA novel from 1978 about a teenage lesbian relationship in small town America and how their friends and family react when it goes public. Harrowing in places but still totally relevant with a strong feminist and LGBT standpoint.
The Furnished Room by Laura Del-Rivo
If you love early-60's Soho then this is a great example of what that time and place felt like, that pre-Beatles existentialist bedsit grim Britain. And while it wasn't 100% successful (i was a bit disappointed that she chose to write yet another male anti-hero in this oeuvre) it did make me fascinated enough in Laura Del-Rivo to order another of her books, Daffodil On The Pavement (which looks great and DOES have a female protagonist..)
Jernigan by David Gates
This reissue (originally published in the early 90's) is out any day now, and people will be gushing about it. It pretty much deserves the hype because it is one of those great American novels which pokes at the American Dream and pops it. Jernigan is kinda a dick, and yeah this is another alcoholic dude novel, but his journey over the edge is quite enjoyably bleak and very 90's.
Mr. Weston's Good Wine by T.F. Powys
Enjoyed this! Think bawdy Christian fable meets Ray Bradbury, with a touch of Wicker Man pagany sexual shenanigans. The mysterious Mr. Weston rolls into town with his wine wagon and for one night in November time stands still. Whimsical, funny and quite saucy...a weird tale of old English village life with a totally unique, slightly disturbing, feel to it.