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Improvement
Improvement | Joan Silber
The splendid new novel by the critically acclaimed author of Fools and Ideas of Heaven, a Finalist for the National Book AwardOne of our most gifted writers of fiction returns with a bold and piercing novel about a young single mother living in Harlem, her eccentric aunt, and the decisions they make that have unexpected implications for the world around them.Reyna knows her relationship with Boyd isn't perfect, yet she sees him through a three-month stint at Riker's Island, their bond growing tighter. Kiki, now settled in the East Village after a youth that took her to Turkey and other far off places-and loves-around the world, admires her niece's spirit but worries that motherhood to four-year old Oliver might complicate a difficult situation. Little does she know that Boyd is pulling Reyna into a smuggling scheme, across state lines, violating his probation. When Reyna takes a step back, her small act of resistance sets into motion a tapestry of events that affect the lives of loved ones and strangers around them.A novel that examines conviction, connection, repayment, and the possibility of generosity in the face of loss, Improvement is as intricately woven together as Kiki's beloved Turkish rugs, as colorful as the tattoos decorating Reyna's body, with narrative twists and turns as surprising and unexpected as the lives all around us. The Boston Globe said "No other writer can make a few small decisions ripple across the globe, and across time, with more subtlety and power," and Improvement is Silber's most shining achievement.
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jhod
Improvement | Joan Silber
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First day back to work after a few days skiing. Bookmail makes it all ok and I won this one with Readers First - look at the 3 wonderful authors who are praising it (and Shamsie on the front cover, Groff on the inside!) - sounds good to me!

Cathythoughts It certainly sounds amazing 👍🏻♥️ 10mo
scripturient Sounds lovely. And happy Valentine‘s Day! Have you had time to open your package yet? 😊 10mo
jhod @scripturient Happy Valentine's Day to you too! Just on the way home, will post when I do - excited! 10mo
90 likes1 stack add3 comments
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8little_paws
Improvement | Joan Silber
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Mehso-so

Hey #litsywalkers! Finally warm here, well, warm-ish, but it's slush central so I did a combo run/walk on the treadmill with lots of stretching as my hip was sore. I finished this audiobook today, interlinked stories, but I don't think the sum was greater than the parts. Some characters felt completely irrelevant and I failed to really get a butterfly effect impact-- the paths their lives took didn't seem to matter in relation to the others.

DarcysMom 👍 10mo
51 likes1 stack add1 comment
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8little_paws
Improvement | Joan Silber
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I didn't take a picture while I was running on a treadmill at the gym today, so here is a picture of istanbul from when I was there a few months ago. Istanbul is one of the settings in this book which is my current audio choice for #litsywalkers. Gotta be honest though i'm half through and not really blown away by it. Only a few hours to go though so I might as well finish it 😁

Kaye Neat picture ! 10mo
DarcysMom Great picture! I love and adore Istanbul. It has been way too long since I visited. 10mo
60 likes2 comments
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8little_paws
Improvement | Joan Silber
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Got a short walk/run combo in this morning now that I've got membership to a gym with treadmills! Good thing too... snowed about 6 inches overnight and still falling, with highs of -7 starting tomorrow night into Thursday. #litsywalkers

Soubhiville Be safe in that weather! 10mo
8little_paws @Soubhiville it's ridiculous. I'm so ready to not live up north any more. Probably a few years to go though. 10mo
Kaye Good for you. The gym comes in handy on these cruddy days. I‘d still rather walk outside but some days the weather doesn‘t cooperate. I know what you mean about moving somewhere warm. We‘ve talked about that many times. 10mo
49 likes3 comments
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LouLouLane
Improvement | Joan Silber
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Book club!

1 like1 stack add
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Rcoco
Improvement | Joan Silber
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Mehso-so

Not the best thing I‘ve read lately....but it moves. Lots of loose ends, if you don‘t mind that. A bit out of the ordinary if you‘re in the mood for something different. I wasn‘t a real fan of the German trio and their storyline kind of bogged down the book for me.

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Rcoco
Improvement | Joan Silber
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Not sure why I have four books going at the moment. Three are library books and not sure I will get them finished. Reader problems!

DivineDiana So true. 😉 1y
35 likes1 comment
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balletbookworm
Improvement | Joan Silber
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#RiotGrams Day 2 - Library Love! I had a library book due back today (convenient) so I rounded up a few things to borrow from @iowacitypubliclibrary. June 2018 is a heavy galley month so instead of books I stocked up on some classical music. ICPL has a great music collection as well as books (obviously), DVDs, and wall art.

Leftcoastzen Gould is so good. Sometimes you can hear him hum. 2y
23 likes1 comment
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Dianeham
Improvement | Joan Silber
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I got this book in the mail today and didn't know why. This book won the 2018 Pen/Faulkner and NBCC award for 2017. I scoured my ipad to see if I ordered it used (no, plus it looks new) or maybe I won it. Finally went to the Book Riot web page and I did enter to win 1 of 10 free copies given away by the publisher. Don't think they ever notified me that I won and no letter with the book. But I'm happy. Free book!

12 likes1 stack add
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Cinfhen
Improvement | Joan Silber
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Mehso-so

I can tell that Joan Silber is a short story writer as this book felt more like inter connected vignettes than a full bodied novel. I liked the writing very much and enjoyed the voice of Reyna but I was never fully invested in the others stories. It‘s a one sitting read, which was perfect because I‘m not sure I would have returned to this book if it was much longer. Between a pick & so-so. Thanks @TrishB for surprising me with this book😘

TrishB If definitely has mixed reviews. Doesn‘t sound like it‘s for me though! 2y
Cinfhen I‘m happy to send it back your way @TrishB 2y
TrishB I don‘t think I‘d read anytime soon - but won‘t be offended if you send onto someone who will! 2y
emilyhaldi Oh well, the cover is pretty!! ☺️ 2y
Suet624 I felt exactly the same. 2y
109 likes1 stack add5 comments
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PursuitofSanity
Improvement | Joan Silber
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Pickpick

Outdoor table, beautiful day, delicious coffee, good book. What more could a girl ask for?! This was more interconnected short stories than a novel with a single narrative, and the writing is absolutely lovely.

10 likes1 stack add
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DebinHawaii
Improvement | Joan Silber
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My second library grab. I almost checked it out a couple of weeks ago but decided I had too many books already, then I saw @LauraBeth 'a review & added it to my #TBR Now we'll see if I get to it.?????

I took a work-at-home break to run to the library & then made a fast late lunch. I've been wanting to make the 'deviled avocado' I helped develop at my local coffee shop at home-so I yesterday I made jalapeño hummus. It turned out pretty good!

tammysue Yum! 😋 2y
LauraBeth Looking forward to hearing what you think! 2y
101 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Cinfhen
Improvement | Joan Silber
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Decided to give this book a try 🌞trying to start May with a healthy smoothie 🍑🍌passion fruit & protein powder🍹

Cathythoughts Sounds good. I just had an apple/ spinach / blueberry from my ninja ( same as nutri bullet) it was too cold all winter ... but back in action for this healthy month of May movin 👍🏻 2y
Cinfhen Oh yum!! Blueberry & spinach sounds yummy with apple!!! @Cathythoughts (edited) 2y
TrishB Interested to see what you think! Varied reviews. 2y
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ephemeralwaltz Yum!! Excited to hear your thoughts on this one. 2y
LauraBeth Staying tuned to see what you think! 2y
Cinfhen I saw that you loved it @LauraBeth so far I‘m highly engaged @TrishB @ephemeralwaltz (edited) 2y
emilyhaldi Excited to see how you like it!! I think I have this stacked bc of @LauraBeth 😄 2y
117 likes1 stack add7 comments
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Cinfhen
Improvement | Joan Silber
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#SurpriseBookMail is THE BEST #BookMail 🤩🤩🤩Thank you sooooo much @TrishB for filling my mailbox with joy❣️❣️❣️Ever since @Reggie reviewed this book I‘ve had my eye on it💗🙌🏻Love it all....the card, book flags, bookmarks xx #FeelingBlessed

Mdargusch Beautiful photo! How sweet! 2y
emilyhaldi Awesome!! 👏🏻👏🏻 2y
TrishB So glad it arrived ❤️ I was beginning to doubt I‘d sent it 😁 enjoy when you get to it x 2y
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tammysue Fabulous!! 👏🏻 2y
Cinfhen Ha!!! Sometimes Israel Post moves at a snails pace xx thanks so much @TrishB 2y
Cinfhen Right @Mdargusch @emilyhaldi @whatshesreadingnow such a fun surprise💖💖💖 2y
Reggie Hope you enjoy it. 2y
Reviewsbylola This is on my TBR thanks to @Reggie too! 2y
BookaholicNatty Ooooo this looks good @Cinfhen adding it to my tbr!!!! Surprise mail is the best!!!! I love sending it just as much as I love getting it! ❤️❤️ 2y
109 likes3 stack adds9 comments
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Suet624
Improvement | Joan Silber
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Mehso-so

I‘m sorry to say this book was just okay for me. It‘s possible I was expecting more because it was a PEN/Faulkner award winner. The writing was fine but 5 days after finishing the book I couldn‘t tell you anything about the characters.

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Suet624
Improvement | Joan Silber
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This is my favorite paragraph of the book.

peacegypsy Wise words. 2y
Suet624 @peacegypsy 👍👍👍 2y
kspenmoll ❤️ 2y
67 likes3 comments
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LauraBeth
Improvement | Joan Silber
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Yesterday I finished Improvement. Last night I dreamt about it. Today I‘m finding it difficult to start something new.

Meredith3 I know the feeling! 2y
AceOnRoam Ohh, I love when that happens. I'm adding this one. Thanks. 2y
kspenmoll I savor when that happens... 2y
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Sassy_Steph This happens to me all the time!!!! 2y
UwannaPublishme Yes! 🙌🏻 2y
emilyhaldi Well I guess I'll be stacking that! 2y
MommyWantsToReadHerBook The book sounds awesome! 2y
129 likes4 stack adds7 comments
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LauraBeth
Improvement | Joan Silber
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Pickpick

By the end of this, I valued the rich tapestry that Silber had spun. These are stories with characters who are inter-woven because of a butterfly-effect chain of decisions - BUT - the book is not about that. That‘s more of the gimmick (and I don‘t use that word to demean the writing here) to be able to examine relationships (across cultural and racial divides), family, love, atonement for past transgressions. So much depth to appreciate here.

rubyslippersreads 😻😻😻 2y
Reggie The beauty of it was very subtle and for weeks after I read this book, I‘d be thinking about these characters and how some part of their lives had been improved and even though the book is called that, it just floated into me later. It was beautiful. Glad you liked it. 2y
LauraBeth @Reggie I‘m just sorry that we don‘t live closer to each other because after I finished it I needed to talk about it with someone else who has read it! I‘ve been ruminating on the worth and value of objects, lives, love, places, family - and why age, distance and tragedy places that worth higher to people. 2y
Rcoco I‘m glad I read your review. I think you *got* this book more than I did. It really stalled, in my opinion, during the German trio‘s story and I really struggled with that portion. 1y
LauraBeth For me it was probably more about being the right book, for the right person, at the right time ❤️ I love that we all view books through different lenses. @Rcoco (edited) 1y
101 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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LauraBeth
Improvement | Joan Silber
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I‘ve realized what is driving me crazy about this book. Every single female character just sits around and waits for their man. Either waiting for him to get out of prison, waiting for him to come home from work, waiting for him to just show up. Really? Show up for yourself and stop waiting around for a man to show up. Why aren‘t men ever waiting for women? 🤔

BeckyK I don‘t know any woman in really life that would be like this. I don‘t understand this portrayal of women in stories at all. It reminds me of the Reese Witherspoon speech when she talks about women asking ‘what do we do now?‘ Whilst looking expectantly at a man. The women I know would either be like ‘hurry the f*** up, I‘m not waiting‘, or simply get on with it 😂 2y
LauraBeth @Beckykearns right?! I keep thinking the book takes place in the past because of this thinking, but then someone will receive a text, and I‘m like - oh no - this book really IS set in the present! 🙀 2y
Notafraidofwords @Beckykearns hmmm. All the women in my life (family) are like this. Very little autonomy exist. 2y
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Ubookquitous *sigh* 2y
Hollie Surely the author could have found something better to do with the woman sitting around waiting for the guy to get out of prison. 🙄 2y
Suet624 I don‘t think Kiki Waited for any man. She was my favorite person in the book. 2y
LauraBeth @Suet624 I loved Kiki but there was a part when she was living in Turkey and it described her waiting for her husband to come home! 2y
Suet624 Hahaha. I guess you‘re right about that. What I appreciated about her was her comfort with living alone. As I get older, I appreciate living alone but feel like an oddball for admitting it. (Although a second income contributing to the pot sure would be nice.) 2y
LauraBeth You know what @Suet624? I think there‘s loneliness and then there‘s solitude. And it‘s okay to find peace in solitude. As Wordsworth says: “Which is the BLISS of solitude...” He calls solitude bliss - after he first called himself lonely. I‘ve always loved that flip from wandering lonely to finding bliss in solitude. So never feel like an oddball for that! ❤️❤️ 2y
Suet624 Ah yes. You‘re so right and thank you. I think I get triggered by the fact that my immediate family travels, attends many events, and socializes with others almost every day/night. It sometimes makes me feel like a curmudgeon with no friends, but if I pull up my big girl pants I remember that‘s not the case. I really do like solitude and I‘m happy I have it. I was more lonely when I was married. Thanks again. 2y
LauraBeth @Suet624 as long as you‘re leading a purposeful life - then you have no need to feel like a curmudgeon. But don‘t shut yourself off from others either. My husband and I were actually divorced and during that time, I chose to cut myself off from my immediate family (bc how could the possibly understand what I was going thru?) and I regret doing that. It led to a lot of unnecessary hurt feelings as well as making me realize I was choosing loneliness (edited) 2y
LauraBeth @Suet624 except for going to work Monday thru Friday - I had completely shut myself off from the outside world. But when I look back on that time now, I realize so many people were trying to include me and I never said yes - because then I might actually have some fun - and I didn‘t think I deserved that. 2y
Suet624 @LauraBeth I know exactly what you mean, especially about that deserving piece. I don‘t shut myself off from family and friends, but I could be doing more to expand my horizons. 😁. My Lyme disease kept me on the couch for a few years but I‘m better now and can start doing a bit more socializing. I just need to push myself. 2y
Suet624 I‘ve been thinking about you today. Thinking about the fact that you reunited with your husband after your divorce. That‘s impressive. 2y
LauraBeth @Suet624❤️I think it‘d be nice to gloss over it and say that it was easy, but it was actually the most difficult thing I‘ve ever done. We were in a terrible place and not even speaking to one another. It took a lot of work on both our parts. And it took us a long while to reconcile. We found a therapist who specializes in reconciliation post-divorce and committed to it. It was a long road, but I‘m glad we reconciled and re-married. ❤️ 2y
Suet624 Thanks for sharing all of this. It‘s so hard to imagine being able to pull it off. Great work. 2y
LauraBeth @Suet624 we weren‘t able to pull it off ourselves - we went to friends and family and asked for everyone‘s help. We sought out new couple friends - those who had strong and enduring marriages and became friends with them. To this day, we get together with those couples every other week and have dinner. So in other words, once the dust settled, we realized it was still beneficial for us to be around couples who are emotionally healthy. 2y
135 likes19 comments
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LauraBeth
Improvement | Joan Silber
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Kappadeemom Man that looks good. I could go for some pineapple right now 😍 2y
LauraBeth @Kappadeemom 🍍🍍🍍🍍 2y
WhatDeeReads Now I really want fruit salad. 2y
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minkyb The grocery store had the strawberries priced at 7.99 today! 😱 2y
LauraBeth @WhatDeeReads hope you get some! 😀 2y
LauraBeth @minkyb that‘s crazy! It‘s strawberry season! 2y
Suet624 Yum. And so pretty. 2y
88 likes7 comments
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LauraBeth
Improvement | Joan Silber
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Well this is an opening paragraph that speaks to my ❤️.

shutterbug_mama Whoa! That hits me right in the heart! I‘ll need to read this! 2y
Reggie I hope you like this book. 2y
LauraBeth @reggie it was a Reggie pick so that‘s why I‘m reading it! 😀 2y
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LauraBeth @shutterbug_mama I know, right? 2y
RaimeyGallant That's one way to describe culture shock. :) 2y
Suet624 That would be Sonoma, California for me. 😀❤️. Notice I‘m back in Vermont though. 2y
109 likes4 stack adds6 comments
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Well-ReadNeck
Improvement | Joan Silber
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Mehso-so

An interesting short novel. The main character makes a decision to protect herself and her son and the novel explores the other lives that were touched by “the ramifications of her decision”. This was just so-so for me. My biggest beef was the idea that all of the resulting events were the “fault” or “responsibility” of the main character‘s choice. The other characters‘ choices, I would argue, were the consequential ones.

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LauraBeth
Improvement | Joan Silber
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“Ready to go to the library whenever you are.”

Dolly Aww. Kitties are so sweet.😻💕 2y
Caterina 😍😍😍 2y
Cinfhen I‘ve been wanting to read this book since @Reggie mentioned it 2y
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saresmoore Eep! 2y
batsy But what would Bitsy say? 😆 2y
Mdargusch Cats and bags 💙 2y
DiruVamp How sweet😻 2y
AmyG Ha! 2y
CareBear Love this 😻 2y
elkeo_TheBookDragon I just want to scratch that little head! 😸💕 2y
CouronneDhiver Road trip! (For my girl, that would be instant kitty regret - she hates the car) 2y
rohit-sawant Oh, love this pic! 😻😻 2y
LeahBergen Aww! 💕💕 2y
Bookzombie 💕🐱 2y
LauraBeth Same @Cinfhen! I blame @Reggie 😀 2y
LauraBeth @CouronneDhiver 😹 a car trip would be instant kitty regret for gray cat as well! 2y
Jinjer Oh what a sweet kitty! Who named her Gray Cat? 2y
LauraBeth @Jinjer she‘s a Jekyll Hyde kitty 😇😈 Her real name is Ella but she has somehow morphed into just gray cat 😺 probably because that‘s how Bitsy thinks of her. 2y
154 likes1 stack add20 comments
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TheJOMOreader
Improvement | Joan Silber
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This is shaping up to be a one-sitting read, err, listen. I love multiple storylines with casually intersecting characters. It gives me the feeling that I‘m a tiny speck in a large, busy world.

22 likes1 stack add
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Liberty
Improvement | Joan Silber
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Congratulations to Joan Silber, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction! So deserved. ♥️🎉🍾

123 likes14 stack adds
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Reggie
Improvement | Joan Silber
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A couple of weeks ago I read Improvement where one of the characters, Monika, does provenance research, trying to figure out which art was stolen, usually by the Nazis. She had no idea before her mother had her, her mother spent a summer in Turkey stealing and swindling artifacts to sell to museums. In Our Short History, the MC‘s grandparents are captured by the Nazis in Hungary but her dad escapes. Later on at a museum they find a family 👇🏼

Reggie Portrait on display at a museum in NYC that no one knows how it got there. And now @Wellread-neck has reviewed a book and I‘ll give you one chance to guess what it‘s about. Art has always been about what I see, I‘ve never given thought to the history. I have to read it. What are the book gods trying to tell me? Or is this just a #bookishcoincidence? (edited) 2y
Cinfhen I'm fascinated and a bit obsessed about the Nazi looting of art...excellent memoir I recently read was 2y
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Reggie @Cinfhen it keeps coming up. I stacked The Orpheus Clock. 2y
Well-ReadNeck @Reggie This is AWESOME! I love getting on little kicks like this. Stacking all of these!!! Thanks!! @Cinfhen 2y
Cinfhen Guess what you guys...I was reading an article this morning, listing the National Book Critics finalists and guess what book is on the short list for top fiction @Well-ReadNeck @Reggie !?!?... (edited) 2y
Reggie @Cinfhen Heyyyyy!!!!!! Alright, she deserves it. I think about that book a lot and the name is obvious but there‘s many different ways it plays out in the book. 2y
Cinfhen I love when my #booklife collides with #reallife ...super psyched to read this book....considering before yesterday I didn‘t know it existed 😁 2y
ValerieAndBooks Ahh, my TBR list just grew by three books! 😄 @Reggie @Cinfhen @Well-ReadNeck !! I find the lives of artists and art history to be just as interesting as the art itself. 2y
50 likes2 stack adds9 comments
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LMJenkins
Improvement | Joan Silber
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This might sounds cuckoo, but I‘m sure some of you will relate. Sometimes my TBR pile stresses me! This is one of several bookcases & the others have stacks 2 deep. I‘ve accumulated books at a faster rate than I‘ve read. As a bookseller, I‘ve so many ARCs & rec‘d 100s in the mail. Estimate 1000 books in my home unread. What if I don‘t get to them all? And all the good new books that come out every day! #bookloverproblems #ithinkineedastrategy

elisebarker Oh my gosh I totally agree!! SO MANY BOOKS SO LITTLE TIME!! 2y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled It‘s all okay! A wonderful problem to have. Embrace the surplus! 2y
Paloma I'm glad I'm not the only one with a BOOKCASE of unread books. 2y
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megt I absolutely understand this feeling! A friend visited recently and was asking for my opinion on many of the books on my shelves. I had to admit that most of them are ones I haven‘t read yet. But I‘ll get to all of them someday! 2y
DivineDiana I too share this dilemma. Too many books to read! Love them all! 💗📚💗 2y
Jessbell7164 When that first thought came to me, it was a sad day. I guess I‘ll accept it and move on but in the meantime I‘ll just have to read as much as I can. 2y
41 likes6 comments
review
Reggie
Improvement | Joan Silber
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Pickpick

This book is about an aunt named Kiki and her niece and how the decisions they make have far reaching effects for all involved. This was very much the butterfly flapping it‘s wings and causing hurricanes in people‘s lives. Silber has this quiet and understated style of writing about real people at difficult crossroads in their lives. A quietly beautiful book that‘s worth a read.

47 likes1 stack add
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Reggie
Improvement | Joan Silber
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Pg. 10 and hooked. We‘ve all known a Kiki, yes?

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MrBook
Improvement | Joan Silber
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#TBRtemptation post 7! #BEA17 edition! This book has an expected release date in November. It focuses on a single mother in Harlem, her eccentric aunt, and the unexpected implications of their decisions. Kiki sees what's happening to her niece Reyna--boyfriend Boyd is pulling Reyna into a smuggling scheme that will hurt Reyna & her son, 4-year-old Oliver. When Reyna pulls back from Boyd, the ripples are intricate. #blameLitsy #blameMrBook 😎

LitsyGoesPostal 😊👍🏻 2y
TsahaiMakeda She has a reading coming up soon in Brooklyn. She's an amazing teacher 🤓💝📚 2y
79 likes3 stack adds2 comments