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What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours
What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours | Helen Oyeyemi
From the award-winning author of Boy, Snow, Bird and Mr. Fox comes an enchanting and thought-provoking collection of intertwined stories Playful, ambitious, and exquisitely imagined, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours is cleverly built around the idea of keys, literal and metaphorical. The key to a house, the key to a heart, the key to a secret--Oyeyemi's keys not only unlock elements of her characters' lives, they promise further labyrinths on the other side. In "Books and Roses" one special key opens a library, a garden, and clues to at least two lovers' fates. "'Sorry' Doesn't Sweeten Her Tea" involves a "house of locks," where doors can be closed only with a key--with surprising, unobservable developments. And in "If a Book Is Locked There's Probably a Good Reason for That Don't You Think," a key keeps a mystical diary locked (for good reason). As ever, Oyeyemi's creative vision and storytelling are effervescent, wise, and insightful, and her tales span multiple times and landscapes as they tease boundaries between coexisting realities. Is a key a gate, a gift, or an invitation? What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours captivates as it explores the many possible answers.
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gingerandjazz
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Pickpick

I discovered Helen Oyeyemi earlier this year and now I can‘t stop devouring her books. This short story collection is the first I‘ve given less than 5 stars to (4.5, though, come on), because some of the stories simply aren‘t as effective as others, but even so, her writing shimmers and purrs and twists, it is muscular and delicate and exquisite and sharp, it is a voice that is both intensely powerful and entirely unique.

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CandycaneBelle
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Already enjoying this!!

20 likes1 stack add
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ErikaB
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In honor of World Book Day 2019, I present my new favorite Dollar Tree find (narrowly pulling ahead of Marie-Helene Bertino‘s “2 A.M. at the Cat‘s Pajamas” that I stumbled across a few years ago). Just as I was considering investing in hardcover copies of the Helen Oyeyemi books I don‘t have, this beauty greeted me at the end of the aisle!

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dastevensishagain
Pickpick

I must admit there were moments in a few of the stories when I didn't quite comprehend what was going on, but it did nothing to dampen my enjoyment. Oyeyemi's writing is just so damn captivating.

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Cinfhen
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#MusicalNewYear #RingOfKeys Helen Oyeyemi is a visceral writer.Her sentences are lush BUT I do not seem to enjoy her books 😣The tagged book is a short story collection where keys and locks physically and figuratively play into the storytelling but the stories were too dreamy, bizarre , out there for me. And yesterday I bailed on Boy, Snow Bird. I guess I‘ll just have to admire her gorgeous cover art but skip the rest 🤪

Sweettartlaura I liked her short stories but just tried a book by her for the first time. Alas, I, too, had to walk away from it - twice 😞 (edited) 11mo
Cinfhen I guess not every writer is for every reader @Sweettartlaura oh well!! We tried 🥺 11mo
Sweettartlaura I‘m gonna give her one more try eventually. But yeah... maybe not for us 🤷🏻‍♀️ 11mo
See All 18 Comments
AWahle @Cinfhen & @Sweettartlaura I loved Boy, Snow, Bird, but haven't been able to finish the tagged book. I'll try Gingerbread when it comes out this year - maybe I only like her longer prose? 11mo
Kalalalatja I haven‘t tried her writing yet, because she seems to be a hit or miss. But her books sound just like my kind of books, so hopefully they‘ll be a hit for me... when I get to them at some point 😅 11mo
Cinfhen I‘m happy to send you Boy, Snow, Bird @Kalalalatja I do think you would like her prose. And I‘m curious about her new book @AWahle but I won‘t be purchasing it😉 11mo
Kalalalatja @Cinfhen that would be great! I keep putting off buying her books, because reviews are so mixed. Thanks lovely 💕 11mo
RachelO I usually quite like ‘out there‘ - but I didn‘t get through WINYINY either 🤷🏻‍♀️ 11mo
TrishB Not for me either! 11mo
Cinfhen With pleasure @Kalalalatja I will miss looking at the beautiful cover but I think the book will be much happier with you xx 11mo
Cinfhen I‘m glad I‘m not the only one @RachelO @TrishB I‘m happy to be in your company ❤️❤️❤️ (edited) 11mo
vivastory I have only read 2 Oyeyemi books: White Is for Witching & Mr. Fox. I loved the first & was a bit disappointed by the second one. You're right, Cindy. She does have amazing covers! 11mo
emilyhaldi I didn‘t love Boy Snow Bird either 😛 11mo
Megabooks I enjoyed WINYINY, but I‘m worried about reading BSB for the fairytale prompt. As a rule, fantasy is my least favorite genre. As a kid, I never read fairytales. I‘ve never been the princess type. It‘s just not my jam. That‘s the hardest prompt of the year for me. What are you going to try now? 11mo
Cinfhen IDK @Megabooks I tried Uprooted and that was a bail too. I found Beauty a freebie on Kindle Unlimited so I‘m gonna give it a try but like u this is outside my comfort zone. There‘s an Atwood I‘m curious about 11mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen I saw TRB when I googled “fairytale retellings,” but didn‘t look into it more. I will if BSB doesn‘t work, or you give TRB a great review! 👍🏻 11mo
Cinfhen Don‘t hold your breath for me @Megabooks 😘😘but I‘ll keep u in the loop 👍🏻😁💜 11mo
Reviewsbylola Ooooh you bailed on BSB? I‘m convinced I would hate it. 😂 11mo
121 likes18 comments
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Ncostell
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Pickpick

Sometimes I did not really know what I was reading as some of these short stories were a little out there for me but the beauty of the short story is that you can move on quickly to the next one. My favorite story was called “Books and Roses” which makes reference to St. Jordi‘s Day, a holiday in Spain when people exchange books and roses. Sounds like my kind of holiday!

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Lexa.caran
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First time in a long time to post here. I‘m in my safe space and this lil book got my mind painting wondrous sceneries filled with locked doors and rustic keys.

3 likes1 stack add
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LaurenReads
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Mehso-so

I loved some of these stories and just didn‘t get others. The first was my favorite. I found myself 🤷🏻‍♀️ throughout this book, but enjoyed the character connections between the stories.

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CJEskriett
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I'm going with a short story double bill this morning. Greek myths are great for occasional dipping into, and are often bonkers!

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CuriousG
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Out of dozens of shareholders in this property, somehow we are the only ones here today/tonight. I have read on 3 of the 5 docks already today, just because I can. And I have not managed to finish a single book yet because I keep switching between them. 6.5 hours down, 17.5 to go #24in48 #readoutside #readanywhere #silenceisgolden @24in48

Reviewsbylola You win best spot! 😍😍 1y
cocomass Oooh how lovely! I‘m in the same spot. 10 hours in and switching between 5 books 😆 1y
Sace That's lovely! 1y
25 likes3 comments
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CuriousG
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"sorry" doesn't sweeten her tea - AMAZING short story that will likely be haunting my thoughts for a long time #24in48 #readathon @24in48 #24in48readathon #helenoyeyemi

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CuriousG
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So not getting off to a fabulous start with the #24in48readathon Managed to listen to 1.5 hours of Under the Banner of Heaven (Jon Krakauer) this morning while I was driving the trailer to the lake. Just getting back to reading now after set-up and light trail maintenance duties. Fingers crossed for few interruptions! @24in48 #24in48 #readathon

14 likes1 stack add
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Sweettartlaura
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A true reader ❤️📚

43 likes1 stack add
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Sweettartlaura
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I read about St. Jordi Day in this short story collection - a day for books & roses 🌹📚❤️

I want this to happen everywhere 😍

https://www.spain.info/en_US/reportajes/la_fiesta_sant_jordi.html

rather_be_reading interesting! 1y
44 likes1 comment
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rachelsbrittain
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Good morning, coast

Matilda God I love the ocean. 1y
SledgeReader I‘m with you both @TheLibrarian 1y
rachelsbrittain @Matilda @TheLibrarian @SledgeReader and it's the perfect place to read, too! 1y
38 likes4 comments
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rachelsbrittain
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Short story collection + local, Arkansas beer

stargazerblue49 I‘ve been to that brewery! I brought my husband home some of the barley wine! 1y
rachelsbrittain @stargazerblue49 I just learned about it recently! The honey beer is really good, too. 1y
stargazerblue49 I am not really a beer person unless it is a sour/tart/gose style, but what I remember trying there was good! 1y
36 likes1 stack add3 comments
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rachelsbrittain
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Friends + books

mrozzz 👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻 1y
ahoffkosik Looks heavenly! 1y
31 likes1 stack add2 comments
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rachelsbrittain
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Beach reading courtesy of @TheEmpress

TheEmpress Omg yay!!! That looks like fun! I‘m jealous 1y
rachelsbrittain @TheEmpress I'm so excited to finally be reading it! The first story was great and the location definitely doesn't hurt 😅 1y
29 likes2 comments
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rachelsbrittain
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Ready for the beach ⛱

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Linsy
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“A library at night is full of sounds: the unread books can't stand it any longer and announce their contents, some boasting, some shy, some devious.”

Oyeyemi‘s writing feels like a wonderful dream at times, just tempting you to read on.

#dream #fairytales #coolbooks #quote

Reviewsbylola Such a great cover. 1y
margreads Love that quote 1y
117 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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LaLove
Bailedbailed

I didn‘t finish it. The first story was fine, but not enough to hold my interest when there are other books on my bedside table.

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WhereTheBooksGo
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I love short stories! Anyone else? Here are some of the collections on my TBR - are any of these on your pile?

4 likes1 stack add
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LibrarianRenee
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Great collection of short stories.

3 likes1 stack add
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TracyReadsBooks
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Pickpick

Excellent. Gorgeous writing—something quotable & thought-provoking on every page—along with a strong narrative thread (characters appear in multiple stories) & a mix of genres make this a compelling & enjoyable read. I enjoyed all the stories, though at least twice I paused, scratched my head & said, “Huh?” but favorites include ‘books and roses,‘ ‘presence,‘ & ‘a brief history of the homely wench society.‘ Really enjoying short stories lately.

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TracyReadsBooks
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8 likes1 stack add
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TracyReadsBooks
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TracyReadsBooks
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“She preferred rooms with a minimum of two doorways, so you had options.”

RaimeyGallant Nice! 2y
9 likes1 comment
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TracyReadsBooks
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TracyReadsBooks
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Wow. Absolutely blown away by the first story, ‘books and roses.‘ Bodes well for the remainder of the book.

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TracyReadsBooks
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And because it‘s the weekend and why read ONE book when you can read TWO (or maybe more), I‘m also going to start this one. Short stories, a little coffee and a great start to the day.

BookaholicNatty Our book club just read this..it‘s was good but you do have to pay close attention to the characters! 2y
TracyReadsBooks @BookaholicNatty Good to know. So, coffee first and then a little reading! ☕️📖☕️ 2y
16 likes1 stack add2 comments
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rachelsbrittain
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@TheEmpress i feel so thoroughly spoiled! I've been desperately wanting to read What Is Yours is Not Yours (and Helen Oyeyemi in general) but my library doesn't have it-- you really hit it out of the park with the books!! I'm in love with the Wonder Woman pop, and I can't believe we both got each other Nifflers 😂 Great minds haha. It's just all so perfect, thank you thank you thank you! 😊❤

#funkopopswap #fps

TheEmpress You are welcome!! Lol, see why the niffler was fun! 2y
rachelsbrittain @TheEmpress haha yes I laughed out loud when I opened it! Too funny 2y
JenlovesJT47 Awesome! 💚 2y
Gissy 👏👏👏😍📚 2y
38 likes4 comments
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Sio
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed the variety and the writing!

BookaholicNatty ❤️❤️It was a good book club read!!! 2y
19 likes1 comment
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8leagueboot
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I keep coming back to the opening of this short story.

batsy ❤️ 2y
31 likes1 stack add1 comment
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BookaholicNatty
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Starting this February book club pick today!!! Haven‘t heard much about it and I‘m just now realizing I think it‘s short stories. That‘s what I love about book clubs, you read things Your wouldn‘t normally read. I just recently heard about postal book clubs and have been searching for one to join so, if anyone knows of one that‘s open or has a space please let me know!!!! #bookclubjunkie

BookaholicNatty If your looking for a postal book club @suvata is hosting one starting March 1 and I think there are like 3 US. spots left and possibly some Canadians spots left! Click here to check out all the details! https://m.signupgenius.com/#!/showSignUp/5080444aead2ca0ff2-l... 2y
Lcsmcat Welcome to Litsy! 2y
robinb Welcome to the wonderful world of Litsy! 😊 2y
See All 9 Comments
CrowCAH Welcome to the Litsy family!!! 2y
Kmmsellers Welcome to Litsy! 😊🎈 2y
Buddys_Momma Welcome to Litsy! 😁💜 2y
Bookladylinda Welcome to Litsy!!!!! 2y
mcipher Welcome to Litsy! @suvata has a postal markup book club that is very cool. I think there are still openings if you check her page! 👍 2y
Karkar If you watch the @LitsyHappenings they will repost them too 2y
70 likes3 stack adds9 comments
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dreabooksit

I love Helen Oyeyemi and even though I'm not a fan of short stories, I am really liking this book. Her writing is so mystical and fantastical yet I feel like I could be a character in her books sometimes.

Maybe I can only read magical realism short stories? Lol

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Linsy
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Pickpick

I loved this beautiful, quirky collection from Oyeyemi. She‘s quickly becoming one of my faves. I wish I could crawl inside inside of her head and take up residence. #shortstories #riotgrams #bookreview

Bibliogeekery It's so great! 2y
Howardsimmons I love Helen Oyeyemi so much. 2y
8leagueboot She is made of magic and thoughtful ghosties. 2y
56 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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leslieisreading
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Same.

8leagueboot Living the dream ❤ 2y
32 likes1 comment
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bibliocurl
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Pickpick

I was in awe of how she intertwined the characters with each story ❤️

22 likes1 stack add
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parasolofdoom
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What Literary Movement Are You? quiz https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/what-literary-movement-are-you/

I did love Mr. Fox and White is For Witching ✌️

TommieMarie74 I got Transcendentalism 🤔 2y
parasolofdoom @TommieMarie74 what was the book rec for that result? 2y
TommieMarie74 @parasolofdoom It was The Illustrated Walden by Thoreau. 2y
11 likes3 comments
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LitDrivenGirl
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I had to share another from Twitter ?. So many "s**tty" books to read ?.

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NerdyRev
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One of my local bookstores did this display #resist

bookloo I love this!!!! ♥️♥️♥️♥️ 2y
AceOnRoam That's awesome. Unlike *someone else* who is the complete opposite of awesome. 2y
ClairesReads Love this!!!!!! 2y
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Kimzey So happy to see this! 😍 2y
LeahBergen That‘s awesome. 👏🏻👏🏻 2y
NerdyRev This place just opened and is making a huge impact in the neighborhood. It is a coffee house/bookstore/bar/pie store. Not many books, but such a great atmosphere and pie! 2y
drokka And a strong sense of purpose. Well done them! 2y
LibrarianJen I need everything on that table! 2y
DivineDiana Books and Pie!!! Where is this? 2y
47 likes9 comments
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NerdyRev
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One of my local bookstores did this display #resist

Kimzey Yes! 2y
24 likes1 comment
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Katiesbookishlife
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Mehso-so

Whilst I liked the first story in this collection none of the others grabbed me at all. Had to bail on a few that I really disliked. I had heard such great things about this collection so was disappointed to have not really enjoyed it.

ClairesReads Yes yes yes this is exactly how i felt about it- I didn‘t get all the rave reviews at all 2y
20 likes1 comment
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Casi
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Bailedbailed

I tried. I really tried. This was a hard choice. The writing is really good and I will say the stories create a very emmersive world. I will remember them for a long time and the first story really was beautiful. But it's just too much. I'm not sure these are world I want to be in. Through the second and third stories I just kept checking the time going whyyyyyy. So yeah...read the first story, then bail. My advice.

monalyisha Some of these stories definitely dragged FOR SURE — but I actually liked the stories toward the end better than those at the beginning! 2y
Casi The thought that better stories were coming kept me in longer than I wanted to stay. But I'm gonna die one day and I just don't have time to waste on book slogs alas 2y
4 likes2 comments
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Katiesbookishlife
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I‘ve heard great things about this book, and I love the title. I‘m really loving short story collections at the moment, coming into the summer months my work is getting busier so reading time is a lot less. A short story is a lot easier to fit in then a large book (I‘m talking about you The Luminaries and anything by Diana Gabaldon!) #shortstories

rmaclean4 Beautiful cover! 2y
bookloo The very first story in this collection is a work of art. ❤️ 2y
18 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Mamashep
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Sometimes you've just got to read stories that make you say "what did I just read?" So good!

Bradleygirl Samsung ftw ✊ 2y
19 likes1 comment
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AnneCecilie
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If I remember correctly all the short stories in this collection is about #🔑, in one form or another #emojinov

Liatrek That cover is gorgeous!! I wish it was possible to get access to all the different book covers😊 2y
AnneCecilie @Liatrek I totally agree 2y
AnneCecilie @Liatrek it would be great to have access to all the covers 2y
26 likes3 comments
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Cinfhen
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#emojinov I totally fell for this short story collection because the cover is gorgeous, the title was intriguing and the blurb sounded awesome...Meh!!! It didn‘t work for me, Thing is, it was too metaphorical, too fantastical, too many #🔑for me! Timing was also off...I wasn‘t in the right headspace..oh well, nobody can deny that beautiful cover! I might try it again someday.

merelybookish Her covers are always gorgeous! Still have yet to her work. 2y
LauraJ I loved it, but I can totally see your point. 🔑🗝🔑🗝🔑🗝🔑🗝 2y
Cinfhen @LauraJ yes, that's about the right amount of keys!!!! 2y
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bookloo I agree! The only story I truly loved was the first one. That took my breath away. 😍 2y
roneea @bookloo I agree! The first one was spectacular and would of loved it was a novella, just ever so slightly longer! The others felt much less thought out. 2y
bookloo @roneea Yes! It would‘ve made a GREAT (longer) story. (edited) 2y
Cinfhen Exactly @bookloo @roneea the collection didn't come together after the first story! I still haven't read her novel, have you? 2y
Cathythoughts No , no one can deny that cover. It‘s golden 💫 (edited) 2y
bookloo @Cinfhen I haven‘t, but I would like to try only for the sake of that first story. She has talent, I have to give her that. 2y
Cinfhen I think the book is also a hate it or love it @bookloo but I'm curious about it as well 2y
RachelO I had the same experience with this one - I so wanted to love it (or even just get it)... but I bailed! 2y
KarenUK Perfect choice! 💕👍 2y
Cinfhen Thanks @KarenUK glad to hear I‘m not alone @RachelO I almost bailed...I did that skimming thing for the last 40 pages 😗😉 2y
BookNAround The cover is gorgeous. People rave about her books but they just don‘t really interest me (and I feel bad admitting that). 2y
Cinfhen Not every author is a good fit for every reader @BookNAround nothing to feel bad about 😊 2y
112 likes3 stack adds15 comments
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Natasha.C.Barnes
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I thought a lot about this, because my #mostwantedtopfive are all quite newly published books, which makes them expensive. When it comes to book exchanges, I'm all for cheap used books. If you've got extra cash just send me more! ? Even the Thriftbooks in "acceptable" condition been totally good.

SO here is a top 5 NOT written in the past 12 months:

1️⃣What is not yours is not yours
2️⃣House of Leaves
3️⃣2666
4️⃣A Little Life
5️⃣Invisible Man

Natasha.C.Barnes Also, anything by Italo Calvino or James Baldwin. 😍 2y
Natasha.C.Barnes But if I send a list like this to my family, it's gonna have Sing Unburied Sing, The Animators, Exit West, Pachinko, and Stay with Me on it. Also every Nightvale book because while It Devours is the new one, I don't own ANY of them!! 😱 2y
Smangela I actually had What‘s Not Yours Is Not Yours CHECKED OUT and my ebook loan expires before I got to it. I was so disappointed in myself lol 2y
See All 11 Comments
Natasha.C.Barnes @Smangela That is SO sad. 2y
bookloo Wow. Great wish list! 2y
Natasha.C.Barnes @bookloo Thanks! It turns out that when I restrict myself to books that have been around for a while, the ones I want to own are mostly big ole doorstops! Whether because I think they'll be amazing or I think I won't be able to finish a library copy in time, I'm not sure. 😆 2y
bookloo @Natasha.C.Barnes Same! If there‘s ever a book that has over 600 pages and I feel I HAVE to read it, I buy instead of checking it out from the library. These chunkies need time to absorb and reflect. ☺️❤️ 2y
Natasha.C.Barnes @bookloo Yup! Plus Invisible Man has tons of references and influences, so I'll need to tackle that one like Ulysses! With side readings and a notebook! 2y
GPJ @Natasha.C.Barnes it took me a couple tries to read House of Leaves! It has such a unique, adventurous writing style but I found that I couldn‘t read two books at once with this one because it took a lot of focus. Highly recommended! 2y
Natasha.C.Barnes @exploraborealis Wow what an interesting review! I usually read many books at once but I'll keep that in mind once I get my hands on a copy. I think I'll read it next fall. I love experimental writing styles so I think I'll be all over it. 2y
GPJ @Natasha.C.Barnes let me know how it goes. I have yet to meet anyone else who has read it so I don‘t know if needing an extra read-through was caused by a mental malfunction on my part. Any recommendations for similar reads? 2y
75 likes1 stack add11 comments
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roneea
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I'm in a reading slump thanks to law exams 😠😠 But today I ate pancakes and read some short stories and felt ever so slightly better

Cinfhen Good luck with your exams💚pancakes sounds like a good medicine 2y
roneea The sugar is the only thing keeping me going right now! 2y
11 likes2 comments