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Our Short History
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
In Our Short History, Lauren grodstein breaks your heart, then miraculously pieces it back together so its bigger--and stronger--than before. This novel will leave you appreciating both the messiness of life and the immense depths of love. Celeste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You Karen Neulander, a successful New York political consultant, has always been fiercely protective of her son, Jacob, now six. Shes had to be: when Jacobs father, Dave, found out Karen was pregnant and made it clear that fatherhood wasnt in his plans, Karen walked out of the relationship, never telling Dave her intention was to raise their child alone. But now Jake is asking to meet his dad, and with good reason: Karen is dying. When she finally calls her ex, shes shocked to find Dave ecstatic about the son he never knew he had. First, he cant meet Jake fast enough, and then, he cant seem to leave him alone. With just a few more months to live, Karen resists allowing Dave to insinuate himself into Jakes life. As she tries to play out her last days in the right way, Karen wrestles with the truth that the only thing she cannot bring herself to do for her son--let his father become a permanent part of his life--is the thing he needs from her the most. With heart-wrenching poignancy, unexpected wit, and mordant humor, Lauren Grodstein has created an unforgettable story about parenthood, sacrifice, and life itself.
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review
MicheleinPhilly
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Pickpick

Kate Neulander is a 41 year old political consultant and single mother to 6 year old Jacob. She has Stage 4 ovarian cancer and this is her “letter” to her son for after she is gone. If you need a good body cleansing sob/breakdown, this one‘s for you. 4 🌟and 4 boxes of tissues.

TrishB I loved this ❤️💜 xxxx 6mo
MicheleinPhilly @TrishB Because you have impeccable taste. ☺️😘 6mo
TrishB Lol 😁 that must be it! 6mo
LeahBergen This sounds harsh! 😭 6mo
Reggie Oof this one..😭😭😭 6mo
62 likes1 stack add5 comments
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JennyM
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Pickpick

This was the absolute prefect book to start the new year with. Yes, it was deeply sad and I cried many tears, but it was also told with such authenticity that I‘m left all the better for it. So this year I will laugh more, play more and snuggle more with my little humans...and I will also tell as many fart jokes as possible with my Mr6, just so I can see his cheeky grin ❤️

Thankyou @Cinfhen @Reggie @TrishB for putting this book on my radar

LeeRHarry 💕 11mo
CarolynM Lovely photo❤️ 11mo
Kalalalatja What a great photo 💕 11mo
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Cinfhen #Goosebumps and #HappyTears 😭😭what a beautiful photo and what a perfect new year resolution #MoreFartJokes 🥳🥳🥳Not sure how u read this with a Mr. 6 year old at home ❤️❤️❤️soooo cute 11mo
JennyM @Cinfhen @Kalalalatja @CarolynM @LeeRHarry thank you guys. He‘s my baby but growing up too fast! It was one of those books that reminds you that although the days are sometimes long (very long 😬), the years are very short. And I definitely needed that reminder with the new year and all it‘s craziness. 11mo
Cathythoughts That picture warms my heart ... a good laugh with your little boy ... life doesn‘t get much better 😘 11mo
JennyM @Cathythoughts it sure doesn‘t...😘 11mo
batsy Precious fart joke moments 💕 lovely pic! 11mo
TrishB I love that picture 💕 and the sentiment. 11mo
JennyM @batsy @TrishB 💨 fart jokes are our bread and butter 🤣 11mo
Reggie This pic is so great!! I‘m glad you liked the book. (edited) 11mo
KarenUK This pic is just so wonderful 💕 11mo
youneverarrived Aww this is lovely ♥️ 11mo
JennyM @Reggie thankyou for guiding me to this read, and thanks for the tag in previous discussions of it 😘 11mo
JennyM @KarenUK @youneverarrived thankyou 😘 Perhaps reading about a woman dying of cancer and her wishes for her 6 year old was a tad risky to start the year with, but it was excellent and filled me with gratitude and hope. 11mo
MStew Awwweee so sweet💜💜 10mo
Trashcanman Handsome lad. 9mo
77 likes1 stack add17 comments
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TrishB
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Pickpick

💔💜 amazing read. It‘s funny, real and sad. Such understanding of human emotions. Could understand all points of view.

Cinfhen Soooo glad u loved it too!!! 12mo
Cinfhen I loved Beverly 12mo
Cinfhen And when Karen calls her father ~ I completely lost it😭😭😭😭😭 12mo
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Cinfhen I thought Karen was really witty. I wanted to sit and hang out with her 12mo
TrishB @Cinfhen I loved all the women ❤️ I got upset just thinking through all the scenarios and how you‘d cope. Karen was definitely good friend material. I felt her pain so much when she was shouting ‘I‘m your Mom‘.....that bit broke me- the pain you would feel 💔 12mo
Cinfhen That‘s the part that @Reggie mentioned too that really affected him. It WAS so raw. The whole book was a sob feast, yet I found it really amusing 12mo
TrishB @Cinfhen it kept a reality that made sure it wasn‘t too depressing to carry on. I am glad it didn‘t go right to the end though.... 12mo
Reggie I‘m so glad you liked this!!! 12mo
111 likes5 stack adds8 comments
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Cinfhen
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Pickpick

Wow!!! Trust me, this book is more than one BIG heartache. It was actually funny and endearing even though your heart is being pulled out of your skin and stomped upon. I cried, I laughed, I cried some more. It‘s really a book about family and love and AWESOME moms and FABULOUS sisters and a sweet 6 year old. Thank you @Reggie for giving me the encouragement needed❣️❣️❣️❣️Once I really started, I couldn‘t stop reading.

Cinfhen You‘re gonna love it @TrishB ❤️ 12mo
Reggie Yayyy!!!! Glad you liked it!!! 12mo
Bklover Ok! I‘m convinced! Added to stack. ❤️😘 12mo
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TrishB It just arrived this morning! I think it may be tomorrow‘s read! 😘 12mo
Cinfhen I can‘t wait for you to read it @TrishB 🤞🏼I think you‘ll really like it @Bklover but it is a book about a young mother dying 😭😭😭😭 12mo
TrishB Read one today that I cried too! I‘m in a crying mood so this sounds great (time of year!)....if you know what I mean! 12mo
Reviewsbylola Ok, stacking. 12mo
emilyhaldi Ugh, no, I can't!!!!! 😩 12mo
Cinfhen It‘s not as heavy as you‘d think @emilyhaldi I think I laughed more than I cried. There is something really triumphant in the main character. She‘s good friend material. @Reggie suggested I try this book by her 12mo
emilyhaldi Okaayyy maybe I will give it a try then! 12mo
121 likes9 stack adds10 comments
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Cinfhen
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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I think these might be my final two books for 2018 along with an ARC or two...I‘ve stocked up on tissues and I‘m ready to tackle Our Short History 😭😭 @Reggie has offered to lend emotional support if the pages become too difficult🙏🏻#AllTheTearsBuddyRead

Reviewsbylola This sounds like a devastating book. 12mo
Kalalalatja Excited to see what you think of them, both are on my tbr 👍 12mo
Cinfhen I‘ll keep you posted @Kalalalatja @Reviewsbylola I read the first chapter and I was surprised that there was a humorous undertone. But I can tell, it‘s gonna get harder as her illness gets worse 😥😥😥 12mo
Reggie Yayyy, I‘m so excited!!!! 12mo
TrishB I‘ll probably read once mine arrives too! Unless you‘re too 💔 12mo
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Reggie
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Cinfhen 😫😫😫still sitting on my shelf....I know this book is going to gut me 12mo
Reggie @Cinfhen I told myself I was gonna read A Little Life by Yanagihara later this month, so if you wanna do an #allthetearsbuddyread with our 2 different books, let me know. 12mo
Cathythoughts 👍🏻♥️♥️excellent 12mo
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Cinfhen Sounds like a plan @Reggie just need to stock up on tissues!!! ⚠️ #InfiniteTissueReadAhead 12mo
TrishB I‘m feeling the need for a book with a good cry! Buying this.. 12mo
Cinfhen If u want to wait I‘ll send it to u @TrishB 12mo
TrishB @Cinfhen aww- I just ordered it in cheer yourself up time....thank you! 😘 12mo
Cinfhen Do u want me to send you A Tree Grows in Brooklyn after I finish that one?? @TrishB 12mo
TrishB @Cinfhen yes please 💕 thank you x 12mo
Cinfhen AlwYs xx 💋 @TrishB and I‘m sending the Allende after bookclub 12mo
TrishB @Cinfhen thanks 😘 12mo
64 likes2 stack adds11 comments
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Reggie
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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(1/2) Happy Mother‘s Day, Littens!!!!!

Cinfhen 😭😭😭Thank you, Reggie 2y
TrishB Sadly, yes..... 😢 2y
erzascarletbookgasm ❤️😢 2y
CoverToCoverGirl Thanks! 😊 2y
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Reggie
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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2/2 Some motherly advice Karen writes down for her son when he turns 18 and is given her journal after she has been dead from cancer for a long time.

Cinfhen ❤️ 2y
TrishB Sound advice 💕 2y
50 likes2 comments
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Audrey
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Pickpick

This was a very human and touching book. Nothing was romanticized. Instead, there is a lot of angst, paranoia and tantrums. Karen‘s reaction to Jake‘s bio dad entering the picture was so understandable as was Jake‘s reaction and thrill to having a father when he‘s close to losing his mother. The borderline second person writing style took a bit to get used to since Mom is writing the book TO her son but stylistically, it worked here.

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AmbityScambity
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Pickpick

Holy. Guacamole. I knew this was going to be a heartwrencher, but I‘m pretty sure the audio made it that much more intense. My emotions were all over the place as I listened, and I mean *all* over the place. It was devastating, but uplifting. I can‘t say much else without spoiling the whole thing for you, but I walked away from this story with a little bird of hope in my chest, despite also feeling sadness. It was the ending I needed.

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Reggie
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Pickpick

#NuYear “It was so funny to see Reggie cry so much as he read about #mylastday(s). You see, I have Stage IV ovarian cancer and was told I had, at best, 4 years left. This book is for my 6yo son, Jake, who I love with all my heart, who I want to be able to know all about his mother, her complicated relationship with the father he just met, his Aunt Allie and everyone else in our family. I‘m glad Reggie laughed at the times I was being a jerk 👇🏼

Reggie and petty, because I‘m allowed. And I also know he understood the message I‘m leaving for my son by how he could hardly read with all that “water” in his eyes.”-Karen Neulander 2y
BarbaraBB 💔 2y
Reggie @BarbaraBB the waterworks started on pg.6 and the last third felt like I had the flu. 2y
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BarbaraBB I can imagine. Such a sad subject.... I guess i‘ll have to stack. I am a sucker for tear jerkers (edited) 2y
emilyhaldi This one just sounds TOO sad for me. I can't take it 😭 2y
readordierachel I love this review 2y
Reggie @ReadOrDieRachel Thank you!! @emilyhaldi Yeah, but it‘s so good. Worth the 😭😭😭. 2y
Cinfhen I can‘t 😭😭😭😭😭😭 2y
Cathythoughts Beautiful review, I‘m stacking 🙏 2y
TrishB Brilliant review that so tells me I can‘t read this 💔 2y
Reggie @TrishB lol what?!!! You read Sexton, O‘farrel, and Winman. 2y
TrishB I think it‘s because it‘s about a mother and son! If I can relate too much to the possibility it breaks me! 2y
Kalalalatja Oh, wow, this sounds absolutely heartbreaking, but I really want to read it, too 💔 2y
Centique Oh man!!! Have to read this. I love your description of how it hit you like the flu. Perfect! 2y
54 likes3 stack adds14 comments
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Bookartbookmarks
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Pickpick

4.5! I loved this book, but wasn't quite happy with the ending. That's all I'll say. :)

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Bookartbookmarks
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Loving this book! Random library find. I usually don't like when people swear in books because it just seems so unnatural, but I love it in here! It seems fitting. Only half way in, but already recommend it!

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InnerSavvy
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Mehso-so

Not a bad book but I never felt connected with the main character. It should be a heart wrenching story but it wasn't to me.

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InnerSavvy
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Love that last part of the sentence...we fell asleep pondering the condition of being mothers, which was of course, the condition of helping the people you love most in the world leave you.

Sure that hit me today because we just took our youngest to college and the house is so quiet.

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Happiestwhenreading
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Mehso-so

I wanted more from this book. To be fair, I read it right after I finished a memoir with the exact same plot line, so the memoir won it for me. It's not a terrible book, but it left me wanting more.

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mcctrish
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Pickpick

This book has a pretty cover so of course I was intrigued. It's a heartbreaking story of a young woman with ovarian cancer writing a book for her 6 year old son to tell him their story. Even tho I sobbed often, I loved reading it

17 likes2 stack adds
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mcctrish
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Happy Canada 🇨🇦 Day Littens!! The sun finally came out and I am finally done helping the teenager pack for camp so I can finally sit down to read ( an American friend brought me some Cheez Its so I am having an extremely happy Canada Day now)

brilliantglow Happy Canada Day!🇨🇦🇨🇦 2y
mcctrish @brilliantglow hope you are having a great Canada Day ( especially with the sun out now so fireworks can be a reality) 2y
22 likes2 comments
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BittersweetBooks
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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And we fell asleep pondering the condition of being mothers, which was, of course, the condition of helping the people you love most in the world leave you 🚸💕

8 likes1 stack add
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mcctrish
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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I'm prepping for an art lesson tomorrow and I just want to go to bed and read ( I'm excited about the art but I have had enough adulting for today)

LitLogophile Cool! Is it an architectural drawing class? 2y
mcctrish @litlogophile no, it's Grade one and two 😆I'm going to photocopy my sketch and they are going to cut it out and mount it in black construction paper, then they are going to use coloured pencils to colour the building and oil pastels to create fireworks in the night sky 🌌 2y
LitLogophile That's awesome! I bet you will get lots of beautiful night skies and a couple of really peculiar ones 😂 2y
mcctrish @litlogophile that is exactly what I think I will get 🤣 2y
17 likes4 comments
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mcctrish
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Sitting down to eat and read a few pages before I head to work. Just started and will have to stop. I may start sobbing. Best save for later

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Leigh0906
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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So many different shades of yellow! #yellowcovers #riotgrams

mrsthilkey great stack!! So many of my 5 star reads. 3y
18 likes1 comment
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thereadingwomen
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Pickpick

#happymothersday! This one is for the moms. OUR SHORT HISTORY is told from the perspective of Karen, who has just a couple years left to live. After she's diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer, Karen decides to write a book for her six-year-old son Jake to read when he's older. But Karen doesn't expect her estranged ex-boyfriend to want to be part of his son's life. I felt Goldstein struck a great balance between emotion and reality.

85 likes11 stack adds
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Coleen
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Mehso-so

I seem to be in the minority on this one. While some describe this as a tear-jerker (fictional account of single mother dying of cancer, writing a memoir to her 6-year-old son who wants to meet his father), I found the main character too whiny, selfish, and self-absorbed to enjoy this and couldn't bring myself to feel very sympathetic. The format of the book didn't work well for me either, nor did the reader of this audio. Overall disappointing.

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Coleen
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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I have mixed feelings about this book, but this quote was spot on! 😁

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AbstractMonica
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
Pickpick

Heartbreaking novel of a mother documenting her final years with her son after being diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer.

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AbstractMonica
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein

I kept my eyes closed. The stars were so bright and eternal I couldn't face them.

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AbstractMonica
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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I'm almost halfway through this one, and I've teared up too many times to count. Loving it.

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KathyWheeler
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Pickpick

I was conflicted about the main character, Karen. She's dying of cancer, so she calls her son's father to let him know he has a son. When she learns he wants to be involved in their son's life, she believes he wants to steal their child from her. Her reactions to him seem based on spite. To be fair, this is first person narration -- Karen is writing this book for her son -- and she doesn't try to gloss over her behavior or make it seem noble.

Lauren.Archer I agree, many times I just despised her decisions. But this book gave me so many feels and that to me is a sign of a great book. 3y
KathyWheeler @Lauren.Archer I agree -- it definitely provides the feels! I went back and forth about whether or not I wanted to read it. I'm glad I did. 3y
1 like2 comments
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kdwinchester
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Preparing to cry my eyes out. 😭

#CurrentlyReading

82 likes3 stack adds
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Leigh0906
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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The mailman brought me some #bookmail!

Reviewsbylola Pretty! 3y
23 likes1 comment
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mdermansky
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Pickpick

Gosh. This book made me cry. A woman dying if cancer writing to her six year old son. I like a cathartic good cry and I could relate to worries about letting her kids Dad into her child's life.

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Djdjfj
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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"This was when I thought I could rewrite any script. Now I'm grown and know that very few of us get to become the people we thought we'd be when we were kids."
"It's very easy to think you know someone... when life is calm and orderly. But people become their truest selves in emergencies."

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AbstractMonica
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Book Mail 🙌🏼

19 likes1 stack add
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Loretta
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Pickpick

This book takes the form of a mother--dying in a when-not-if way from ovarian cancer--writing an extended letter for her son to read as an adult. It is far funnier than I would've expected given the subject. Karen, the narrator, is spunky, snide, and sometimes spiteful. Rather than being a tearjerker, I found myself identifying with Karen's rage – at her cancer & at the man who broke her heart & gave her a son.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#catsoflitsy #StacytheCat

GypsyKat 😻 3y
Jas16 Great review! 3y
Loretta @Jas16 @GypsyKat Thank you both! 🙏🏻 3y
37 likes3 comments
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Loretta
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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I agree with this, but it's so ingrained in city life not to know your neighbors that it can be really hard to overcome.

MicheleinPhilly I agree with you. Especially if you are a renter (which I was for most of my adult life.) I think there's just a subconscious feeling of "we're all here temporarily." That changed when I bought a home and moved to a more residential part of the city. Now I feel like all of the neighbors know all of our business. ☺ 3y
35 likes1 comment
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Loretta
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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I succumbed to an unexpected nap early this evening. So my #LitsyPartyofOne is turning into #LitsyAfterDark since I'm wide awake right now.

Hopefully the beer will help me snooze not too late. It's got 8%+ ABV.

kylienoele I love that cup!! 3y
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Loretta
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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👏🏻

Agreed completely. The happy times in my life started when I began to have more agency. I have no idea where the idea of childhood as this magical fairy land began, but it's definitely not a universal feeling. Glad someone else has verbalized this!

Texreader Childhood is s crazy mix of happy, scary, lack of any control etc... but definitely scary: the dark was scary, and storms were scary, and mom working late was scary (I was always afraid something would happen to her, nothing did). I guess I had lots of fear growing up... 3y
Notafraidofwords So very true. 3y
Bklover Truth. 3y
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Lmstraubie I guess at times kids can be carefree without the weight of adult responsibilities. Maybe that's where the idea comes from??? 3y
Loretta @Lmstraubie Unless they can tell their family is struggling, which was true in my case. Then you're handicapped because you want to help but really can't. 3y
Lmstraubie @Loretta I'm sorry you had to handle so much when you were so young. 😕💕 3y
31 likes6 comments
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Loretta
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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40 likes1 stack add
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Lauren.Archer
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
Pickpick

Wow, that was a teary 5 stars. This just simply gorgeous. This felt so real, and you will feel sadness, anger, and you will laugh. I would recommend to any reader, but have a box of tissues.

TheBookStacker Dang you zoomed through that, was it worth reading? I feel like I would cry a lot 3y
Lauren.Archer @TheBookStacker yeah I could not put it down, so worth it. Just an extremely beautiful story, well written story. 3y
MyNamesParadise I loved her book A Friend of the Family! 3y
72 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Carolineleavitt
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein

Heat lauren read from our Short History and hear me ask het questions at jersey city word bookstore at 730! Take a Lyft🐦

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Lauren.Archer
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Last day at the beach, going to enjoy this one.

TheBookStacker This seems like a heartbreaker 3y
81 likes5 stack adds1 comment
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AmbityScambity
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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#bookmailisthebestmail! Thanks to @AlgonquinBooks for my @24in48 door prize copy of Our Short History by Lauren Grodstein, and @DoubledayBooks for Border Child by Michel Stone - a #Goodreads win!

28 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Jas16
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Pickpick

On two separate occasions I grew teary eyed in a restaurant, reading this as I ate. Karen, a single mother battling cancer, writes her son letters for later in life. She contacts the father he has never met and wrestles with their growing connection. I loved that Karen never glosses over anything. We get the warts and all story. She is often angry, desperate and irrational.It is a horrible scenario but the book never gets too bleak.

MrBook Nice pic! 3y
Tamra Do you prefer Kindle over paper? 3y
Jas16 @mrbook Thank you! 3y
Jas16 @Tamra I like both. The Kindle helps while I am traveling so that I can easily carry around enough reading material. 3y
47 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Jas16
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Started this one on the train yesterday, #traveling from Pitlochry to Glasgow. I am not very far into it but am loving it so far. #marchmadness

Cinfhen Good to know 😉 3y
Lmstraubie I love when a book hooks you right away. ☺ 3y
52 likes2 comments
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Loretta
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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#BookMail from one of my favorite #getindie stores, Northshire Books.

I've been hearing great things.

Lacythebookworm Her interview on the Harper Audio Presents podcast was good and made me want to pick up the book! 😊 3y
Loretta @Lacythebookworm Thanks for the tip!! 3y
32 likes1 stack add2 comments
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CherylDeFranceschi
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Up next. Ready to have my heart broken. #signedSunday

shawnmooney Sounds heartbreaking indeed - stacked! 3y
saresmoore Oh, um, reading the story of my worst nightmare as a mother? 😱 Sign me up! Okay, maybe not my WORST nightmare, but it still sounds like a beautifully depressing premise. (edited) 3y
90 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Carolineleavitt
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Trust me and buy Our Short History. NYT Bestseller Lauren Grodstein talks about mothers and sons, weeping while writing, more. Carolineleavittville.blogspot.com

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hhharlow
Our Short History: A Novel | Lauren Grodstein
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Love this book. So much honesty.