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The Association of Small Bombs
The Association of Small Bombs: A Novel | Karan Mahajan
A deeply compassionate exploration of the effects terrorism has on both the victims and the perpetrators.. . . Dark, devastating, and sharply wise,The Association of Small Bombsis a tale of loss, grief, guilt, and redemption. Buzzfeed, Most Exciting Books Coming in 2016 WithThe Association of Small Bombs. . . [Mahajan] may well have moved into the upper reaches of contemporary fiction. Flavorwire, Most Anticipated Books of 2016For readers of Mohsin Hamid, Dave Eggers, Arundhati Roy, and Teju Cole, The Association of Small Bombs is an expansive and deeply humane novel that is at once groundbreaking in its empathy, dazzling in its acuity, and ambitious in scopeWhen brothers Tushar and Nakul Khurana, two Delhi schoolboys, pick up their familys television set at a repair shop with their friend Mansoor Ahmed one day in 1996, disaster strikes without warning. A bombone of the many small bombs that go off seemingly unheralded across the worlddetonates in the Delhi marketplace, instantly claiming the lives of the Khurana boys, to the devastation of their parents. Mansoor survives, bearing the physical and psychological effects of the bomb. After a brief stint at university in America, Mansoor returns to Delhi, where his life becomes entangled with the mysterious and charismatic Ayub, a fearless young activist whose own allegiances and beliefs are more malleable than Mansoor could imagine. Woven among the story of the Khuranas and the Ahmeds is the gripping tale of Shockie, a Kashmiri bomb maker who has forsaken his own life for the independence of his homeland. Karan Mahajan writes brilliantly about the effects of terrorism on victims and perpetrators, proving himself to be one of the most provocative and dynamic novelists of his generation.From the Hardcover edition.
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Hooked_on_books
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Mehso-so

A bomb goes off in a Delhi market. We the follow multiple people: parents of the dead, and injured boy, the bomber. I just love this premise. But I found the book to be told at such a remove that I never became invested in the story or characters. I see other Littens had the same issues. To be honest, I‘m disappointed. #botm

8little_paws see I absolutely loved this and was thinking of rereading soon. 2w
Hooked_on_books @8little_paws A lot of people liked it. I really wanted to, but here we are! I think it was a National Book Award finalist. 2w
39 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Well-ReadNeck
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#7covers7days #covercrush

7 Favorite Covers. 7 Days. No Explanations.

Day 3

Cathythoughts Nice one 👍🏻♥️ 2mo
Blaire Good one. This is my husband‘s favorite read of the last couple years. 2mo
Hooked_on_books I thought about using this one. Great cover. 2mo
87 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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AMVP
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Another batch from last week's #booksale , grouped by badges. Only one is a decal; try to guess which one.

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Geeklet
Pickpick

I left work early due to a respiratory infection so I pretty much slammed through this book in one setting this afternoon. The book follows two families who are the victims of a market car bombing. I‘m not sure if I ever felt sympathy for any of the characters but it was fascinating to watch how an event forever changed their lives. Absolutely worth a read. It‘s fairly short too.

vivastory This was a favorite of mine the year it was published 6mo
Geeklet @vivastory I had been meaning to read it for years but I just never managed to pick it up. I finally got it from Book of the Month. It was a little difficult for me to keep up with the characters, simply due to my unfamiliarity with the names. I really enjoyed it though. The entire story was just heartbreaking. 6mo
vivastory Agreed. There was some mixed metaphors from what I remember, but it was an astonishing sophomore novel. A thoughtful, nuanced exploration of the long lasting ramifications of an act that would quickly pass out of the 24 hour international news cycle. A good reminder of the vital role that novelists still play. 6mo
28 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Caterina
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Okay this time I think I might actually be getting out of my reading slump! I've started so many books and not finished any of them for months now, but I just picked this one up off my shelf the other day and it's going well so far! Lovely writing and engrossing points of view. I hope I finish this one! 🤞#readingslump #slump #botm #bookofthemonth

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SamAnne
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Pickpick

Set mostly in Delhi, this novel follows the stories of families and young men affected by a bomb going into of in a market—both the victims and the perpetrators.

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SamAnne
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Oh dear. Thought I‘d finish the last chapters before book club at a nearby brewery. When I ordered a taste flight I expected somewhat smaller tastes. Let‘s hope I don‘t bombed. :-\

britt_brooke 😆 Good luck! 🍻 8mo
BlameJennyJane They were quite generous! 8mo
SamAnne I came close but did not finish. #restraint 8mo
59 likes3 comments
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SamAnne
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So glad they let me through airport security with this explosive book! LOL.

37 likes1 stack add
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SamAnne
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And now for something completely different. This month‘s book club read.

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SamAnne
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And now for something completely different. This month‘s book club read.

EmilyM I'll be interested to see what you think of this. It's been sitting on my Kindle for quite a long time! 9mo
12 likes1 comment
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RealLifeReading
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I started reading this sometime last year but somehow never finished it. So I‘ve picked it up again and while it is not the easiest book to read (it has to do with a bombing in a marketplace that devastates a family), it is moving and thoughtful

@VikingBooks

SamAnne It is my book club read for this month. Plan to start this week-end. As soon as I finish Where the Crawdads Sing, which is not making my heart sing. I get the sense it will be something completely different. 9mo
104 likes1 comment
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vivastory
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Cranberries #Zombie is about a '93 IRA bombing. Mahajan's 2016 novel follows the devastation & repercussions of a '96 bombing in a New Delhi marketplace. I thought it was a remarkable book & Mahajan's depiction of personal lives being shaped & determined by political conflict will appeal to lovers of Kamila Shamsie's "Home Fire."
#OctoberXFiles
@Cinfhen @Robothugs

Cinfhen I never knew the backstory for the song...which I LOVE ❤️ well played 🙌🏻 13mo
JennyM Great pick...and I‘ve learnt something! 13mo
Robothugs Nicely done! 13mo
SkeletonKey I loved this book. 13mo
Leftcoastzen On TBR , snagged from my local little free Library 13mo
85 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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REPollock
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I‘m belated at winding up my #3Kgiveaway but I will get to all three of the books today, I promise!

The first winner for The Association of Small Bombs is @Whimsical.Curiosity - congratulations! Please email your name and postal address to ladybee at gmail!

REPollock @Whimsical.Curiosity I haven‘t heard from you yet on where to ship this book. Let me know if you no longer want it so I can choose another winner if so. Thanks! 1y
Whimsical.Curiosity @REPollock oh my gosh I do!!! I don't know how I missed this. YAY!!!! Thanks for retagging me. I'll email you right now ❤️😘🦖 1y
20 likes2 comments
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Kayla.Adriena
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I would love to win the Association of Small Bombs 😊

#3KGiveaway @REPollock

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Cathythoughts
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#3KGIVEAWAY @REPollock Congratulations & thankyou. I would be interested in The Association of Small Bombs ! 🙏🏻🤞🏻

laurenbescoby Good luck! 😊🍀 1y
41 likes1 comment
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abbsinwonderland
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 @REPollock is also hosting a generous #giveaway for reaching 3k! Head over to her page to enter and congratulate her! So many Littens are reaching amazing goals!
✨ Congratulations again and thank you for this giveaway!🎉🎈🎉
#3KGIVEAWAY
Tagged book is the one that drew me in! Intriguing cover! 💜📚

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BookishTrish
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#3kgiveaway @REPollock Sweet giveaway!

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REPollock
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I wondered why only a couple people had entered my #3Kgiveaway & then realized I had a typo on the end date! It closes AUGUST 19th, not July! Whoops. 🤗

So to celebrate my Litfluence of 3000, I‘m giving away 3 great books! Which one do you want?

Tag me @REPollock & #3Kgiveaway between now and midnight EST on August 19, 2018! Open internationally!

#giveaway @LitsyHappenings #LitsyHappenings #giveawayalert #bookgiveaway @LitsySwaps

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Congratulations!!!🎊🎉🍾🎈 1y
ephemeralwaltz Congrats!!🙌 1y
Quirkybookworm Congrats! Woo woot!! 1y
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thereadingowlvina Congrats!!! 🎉🎉🎉 1y
Whimsical.Curiosity Woop Woop!! 🍾😘🍷🦖 1y
abbsinwonderland Congratulations!!! 🎉🎈🎉💜 1y
Cathythoughts Congratulations! & thankyou! 1y
25 likes7 comments
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Whimsical.Curiosity
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My pick for the #3KGIVEAWAY is definitely #associationofsmallbombs !! 📚 Thanks @REPollock 😘😁❤️

#giveaway #litsy

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readtheworld
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“The best way to describe what he felt would be to say that first he was blind, then he could see everything. This is what it felt like to be a bomb. You were coiled up, majestic with blackness, unaware that the universe outside you existed, and then a wire snapped and ripped open your eyelids all the way around and you had a vision of the world that was 360 degrees, and everything in your purview was doomed by seeing.”
#bookcover#bookstore#litfic

53 likes2 stack adds
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Go_Brina

Now they‘re gone, forever, no matter how long I stay here like faithful Hachiko, from their English reader. And yet I have an urge to stay here forever. An urge to punish myself by looking, by scouring every inch of tarred road and glittering gutter and veined dust-sprinkled leaf, in every season, at all times, for my boys....

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REPollock
Mehso-so

I found the story and the characters compelling, but really didn‘t care for how the book was structured. The ending dragged and was a bit recitative, too. Still, lots to think about here, in terms of understanding the humans who are also terrorists.

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REPollock
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Too prescient.

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REPollock
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I think I‘m finally ready to give this a try.

7 likes1 stack add
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Booklover2
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Panpan

That‘s what this book was, a bomb! Not sure what it was trying to say, but it meandered to places unknown and who cares.

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Booklover2
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He was thinking instead of the shattering, deafening moment the bomb exploded, the pain he‘d felt in his extremities, the way Tushar and Nakul had snapped into sleep, going from in to off. What could he have done!

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REPollock
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#bookmail is the best! This month‘s pick from the #Alignist book club! ❤️

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janeycanuck
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Pickpick

A bit confusing - I couldn‘t always keep everything straight but it was a pretty compelling story.

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Foxyfictionista
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Pickpick

💣💣💣💣 This is not my usual fare but it was a really interesting read. It's very sad how people can get so caught up in an ideology that they don't care about the lives of the people around them.

51 likes1 stack add
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Smrloomis
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Kindle deal 🎉 I had to finally give in and get this 😆

TheBookStacker I love this book 2y
Jess7 🤗🤗 2y
TheBookAddict It‘s a good one, I hope you enjoy it. 2y
minkyb Oh. I need to purchase this. Thanks! 2y
Smrloomis @TheBookStacker @TheBookAddict @Jess7 good, I hope I like it too! @minkyb 👍🏽 2y
67 likes5 comments
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mklong
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Mehso-so

This left me a little disappointed. The idea of writing about a smaller scale terrorist attack from the points of view of families of those killed, survivors, activists, and terrorists themselves was a great one. The book fell short for me in the characterizations. I don't need to like the characters, but I need to know them well enough to understand them, otherwise, their actions often seem arbitrary and their motivations are muddled.

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BookaholicNatty
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What is your opinion on this one? Worth reading?

Bry I‘ve heard really good things but haven‘t read it yet. 2y
Tamra I had difficulty getting hooked and ultimately bailed. 2y
Ephemera I read it and liked it. It‘s very timely, given the current political situation of suicide bombers and ISIS. 2y
Booklover2 I didn‘t care for this one at all. It meandered and didn‘t deliver. 2y
71 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Ncostell
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Pickpick

This was an intense read told from varying perspectives, those of the perpetrators and victims of terror attacks. It examines the far reaching and long lasting effects of such violence as well as the differences in small scale versus large scale acts of terrorism. By giving insight into these characters‘ lives, it brought these huge issues down to a more personal level which was very thought provoking.

JenP I loved this book. 2y
68 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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RealLifeReading
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Should I really be starting a new book right now when I'm in the middle of several library ebooks? Not really. But I was sitting by my bookshelves, the kids were looking at their books, and I just decided to pull this one off its shelf and start reading it and the first chapter was so captivating I just had to continue.

Jess7 🎉🎉 2y
Leftcoastzen It‘s on my TBR,was a little library swap. 2y
AceOnRoam I loved this book! 2y
wanderlustforwords Why not? 😉😂 I really want to read this book! 2y
132 likes4 stack adds4 comments
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Read66
Pickpick

A thought-provoking novel about all the effects a terrorist bombing has on a group of people - especially the less obvious reactions to victims and families years after the initial attacks. I did this on audio which I think was a good idea for this book.

3 likes1 stack add
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thelizflynn
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Panpan

Unfortunately I struggled to get through this book. I was very interested in the idea of this story, but the way it was executed couldn‘t keep my attention. #LitsyAtoZ

Booklover2 It just didn‘t deliver 2y
10 likes1 comment
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thelizflynn
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I‘ve been trying to get into this book all week, and for some reason I can‘t! It‘s very well written; maybe it‘s just too sad for me at the moment..hmm. Ima keep trying! 😢 #LitsyAtoZ #tbrpile

9 likes1 stack add
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FernsAndFairyTales
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Mehso-so

I did enjoy this, but in the end, it didn‘t live up to expectations. I expected to like (or at least care about) the characters more, but I felt detached from all of them. The story was good, but the execution fell short for me.

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LaurenReads
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Mehso-so

My last book of 2017 was just eh. I didn‘t connect with the story at all. It felt like it dragged on and while it seems like an emotional topic- I didn‘t get that at all from the writing.

JenFowler Am I the only one whose brain changes the word 'bombs' to 'boobs'? 😀 2y
Booklover2 Same. Didn‘t deliver 2y
78 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Alicia
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Pickpick

This book was intense, dark and beautiful. I️ picked it for a book club and I️‘m somewhat sorry I choose it because it‘s so intense and has some triggers. But, the writing is absolutely exquisite and brings up so many complex feelings and meanings about family, relationships, class, terrorism and how people act as a group or individuals and why. I highly highly recommend.

Bambolina_81 I started this a few months ago and found it so upsetting that I had to set it aside, I do intend to get back to it one day though because it's so well written! 2y
NovelGirl82 I've seen this many times & thought about picking it up. It looks heavy, but great! 2y
Alicia @Bambolina_81 it is so well written! But I️ cannot blame you for needing to set it aside - such a hard read. 2y
See All 6 Comments
Alicia @NovelGirl82 it is great! But so heavy and intense. I️ think you really have to be in the right mindset. Do you have a copy? I️ can send you mine! I️ listened to the audio but also have it in paperback. 2y
NovelGirl82 I‘m excited to read it now! I haven‘t bought it yet, so if you don‘t mind that would be great! 2y
Alicia @NovelGirl82 totally!!! Of course! ❤️📫💌 I️ love to send of bookish presents! 2y
74 likes3 stack adds6 comments
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riversong153
Pickpick

I did this on audio, I 💚 the narrator who read this. It was layered story of different people in India connected by the effects of bombings in New Delhi. There are issues of class, religion, terrorism, and racism revealed in this fictional story. It is a tough read, but well written and honest. No one wins in this novel. What I really 💚 beyond the interconnectedness is seeing how terrorism affects other countries besides the US. Read this book!

emilyhaldi Great review!! 2y
AmyG Very good book. 2y
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Alicia I️m listening to this right now! So intense but so good!! 2y
riversong153 @Alicia come back and comment when you‘re done! I‘d love your opinion on the ending! 2y
suvata Excellent review. Now I must read it. 2y
riversong153 @suvata please do! It‘s a good one. 2y
Alicia @riversong153 I️ put a spoiler just in case- omg!!! I felt so bad for Mansoor. But like I️ feel like having the blame pinned on him was part of what Mahajan was trying to get us to be critical of. Like where does all the “blame” really go? It was so heartbreaking how basically everyone died. I️ also felt so bad for Anusha. I just hated how Vikas felt towards her, even at his end. How did you feel about the ending? 2y
riversong153 @Alicia I felt bad for Anusha! Bad for Mansoor and Deepa. It was heartbreaking to see that Mansoor ended up in prison, even though he was naive and made some stupid decisions sometimes, he certainly didn‘t deserve 12 years of prison! I wondered if Ayud (I could be spelling this wrong since I did it on audio) was hallucinating when a bomb was put in his chest. I feel like he was so dehydrated and hungry he imagined that part, how about you? 2y
riversong153 @Alicia I also felt like they all held on to their classism until the very end. Mansoor in prison, Vikas with lying about the boys reasons for being at the market and many other things. Even when Mansoors family essentially goes bankrupt and has to move from their privileged home, it‘s like they never snapped out of it. Their class was their life. This book was sooo deep! 2y
Alicia @riversong153 so agree!!! I️ feel like classism really directed a lot of all of their decisions actually, it was almost the driving force behind so many of their choices. I️ also was thinking that Ayubs end had to be like an alternate reality, your explanation really makes sense. Sort of how terrorism ended up killing him too? This book made me think more than any book I‘ve read in a while! 2y
30 likes11 comments
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BaBaBaBillyAndTheBooks
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Pickpick

A bomb explodes in Delhi, killing two boys instantly and taking its time -- decades -- impacting the survivors. Mahajan explores the common question after such senseless attacks: What makes someone do such a thing? In the book's most unsettling scene, a formerly peaceful activist believes he has a bomb implanted in his chest. What a scary idea: that we are all ticking, waiting to explode, either in joy and awakening or violence and madness.

riversong153 This book was awesome, but really sad! No one wins here! Question, I don‘t know if this went over my head or not. Do you think Ayud (idk if I‘m spelling correctly, I did audio) really had a bomb put in his chest or was he just delirious because he was hungry and dehydrated? 2y
BaBaBaBillyAndTheBooks Fair point. It was unclear to me at first if he was hallucinating or if he was truly being operated on. (I wondered if it was reality because he did manage to leave his locked room somehow and end up on the beach.) And if it was real, perhaps they just told him as a form of psychological torture. Given his state, however, my guess was that he basically dreamed one of the main themes of the book, that there's something explosive inside all of us. 2y
3 likes2 comments
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Bambolina_81
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My goodness this is so difficult to read 😢

I can tell it's going to be an important story but it's hurting my heart.

Sarah83 Why is it hard to read? 2y
Bambolina_81 It's so incredibly sad and I'm only on chapter 2!! 2y
riversong153 I‘m doing it on audio, yes it is sad but a really good story so far. I‘m on chapter 3 (edited) 2y
51 likes3 comments
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Erix
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Pickpick

"A circuitous narrative brimming with perspicacious insights." -- E. Brian Graham

"A really fine book." -- Eric B. Graham

"Yo, this shit be spiff-a-licious!" -- e. b. graham

4 likes1 stack add
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Bambolina_81
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To celebrate National Book Lover's Day I just bought these from Wordery. I've been meaning to get them for ages and feel totally justified as it's such an important day for us 😊 Well...that's what I'm telling myself 😂

Leftcoastzen Small bombs on my TBR! 2y
Leftcoastzen On Litsy, every day is National Book Lover's Day!🤓 2y
TrishB Have read 2 - the other's in the pile! Enjoy 😀 2y
51 likes3 comments
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Lola
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There are some crazy great deals on Kindle books today! https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?rh=n:6165851011&ie=UTF8&qid=1501064819&... All books/authors are award winners or finalists-everything from the #Pulitzer to the #Newberry. Maybe in honor of today's #Manbooker announcement? 🤔

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Tamra
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What a marvelous second paragraph!

Ahenchcliffe I just bought this book today! 2y
Tamra @Ahenchcliffe excellent! 2y
10 likes2 comments
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Tamra
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One of the few times my husband has read something I might want to read too. I've had some strange pool reads on this trip. 😬

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RealLifeReading
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#jubilantjuly day 20: #minimalistcovers
Somewhat minimalist I reckon?

Reviewsbylola I love the cover of Small Bombs. 2y
124 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Leelee.reads
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Mehso-so

Words describing book on dust jacket: brilliant, masterful, hilarious, wondrous, devastating...so perhaps it's a case of overhype, but I felt none of those. For me it was bizarrely phallic-obsessed (the 9/11 plane compared to a hard dick ramming into the vagina of the Twin Towers, as one example) and I was not able to connect with any of the characters. Felt like it dragged. Many loved it, but for me it's between and so-so and a pan.

aeeklund .... what. (That phallic analogy.) 2y
the-flashley I've been having the overhype problem a lot lately. People say such good things about a book and then I'm underwhelmed when I finally read it. 2y
BookMusings I totally feel ya. I dnf'd this one. And I don't often bail on books. 2y
36 likes1 stack add3 comments