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We Are Not Ourselves
We Are Not Ourselves: A Novel | Matthew Thomas
New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2014 * Washington Post Top 50 Fiction List for 2014 * Entertainment Weekly Ten Best Fiction Books of 2014 * Esquire 5 Most Important Books of 2014 * Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2014 * One of Janet Maslins Ten Favorite Books of the Year in The New York Times The instant New York Times bestseller the Washington Post calls a stunningsuperbly rendered novel, and Entertainment Weekly describes as a gripping family saga, maybe the bestsince The Corrections.Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on how much alcohol has been consumed. From an early age, Eileen wished that she lived somewhere else. She sets her sights on upper class Bronxville, New York, and an American Dream is born. Driven by this longing, Eileen places her stock and love in Ed Leary, a handsome young scientist, and with him begins a family. Over the years Eileen encourages her husband to want more: a better job, better friends, a better house. It slowly becomes clear that his growing reluctance is part of a deeper, more incomprehensive psychological shift. An inescapable darkness enters their lives, and Eileen and Ed and their son Connell try desperately to hold together a semblance of the reality they have known, and to preserve, against long odds, an idea they have cherished of the future. Described by The New York Times Book Review as A long, gorgeous epic, full of love and caringone of the best novels youll read this year, We Are Not Ourselves is a testament to our greatest desires and our greatest frailties. Through the lives of these characters, Thomas charts the story of the American Century. The result is, stunningThe joys of this book are the joys of any classic work of literaturefor that is what this is destined to becomesuperbly rendered small moments that capture both an individual life and the universality of that persons experience (The Washington Post).
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review
TrishB
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Pickpick

Really enjoyed this epic, family observing novel. I think at the heart of this is that the new house, good jobs and being socially acceptable are not what is important in times of real hardship and struggle. Sometimes we do questionable things, for no good reason and that‘s life too.
Not a happy read, but an engrossing, life affirming one. Accept life ,try and be happy - you never know what‘s around the corner.

Kalalalatja Okay, you convinced me! #stacked 6mo
Marina_h I bought this last year and still haven't read it. Thanks for the review, now I want to start it soon 😊 6mo
squirrelbrain Might have to bump this up the TBR list... might it be a good holiday read @trishb? 6mo
See All 8 Comments
TrishB @Marina_h hope you enjoy it 👍🏻 6mo
TrishB @squirrelbrain if you like a light read on holiday- definitely not! I found it engrossing but it‘s not happy! (edited) 6mo
TrishB @Kalalalatja 👍🏻 6mo
squirrelbrain Oops, maybe not then..! 😬 6mo
TrishB @squirrelbrain a long, lazy Sunday is probably best! 6mo
115 likes5 stack adds8 comments
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TrishB
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Hoping for some good reading time to get through this today 😁

Cathythoughts This one sounds really good. Look forward to your review... and then I‘ll see what to do about it 6mo
JennyM Go speed reader, go 😘😘😘 6mo
squirrelbrain I have this on my TBR shelf so I‘d be interested to know your thoughts.... 6mo
See All 7 Comments
Oryx I liked this one a lot. Hope you're enjoying it 6mo
Caroline2 Oh good, how is it? 6mo
Kalalalatja Look forward to your review, I'm still on the fence with this! 6mo
TrishB @Cathythoughts @JennyM @squirrelbrain @Oryx @Caroline2 @Kalalalatja 3/4 of the way through and loving it, but very choking and 💔 (edited) 6mo
116 likes2 stack adds7 comments
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AmyG
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I am always reading a few books at a time. One is always an ebook. Just started this one last night. 6 chapters in and I think I‘m going to enjoy this.

AmyG *trigger warning- Alzheimer‘s (I had no clue and by the time I realized it...I was invested. A hard read for me as my Mom and Grandfather had it) 6mo
72 likes1 stack add1 comment
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TrishB
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Thank you Caroline and Helen. Your Litsy love came at a good time. Work woes are not to be laughed at!! 😘❤️

Cathythoughts Lovely gifts♥️work difficulty is very serious... I took severe measures when I experienced it. Take care 7mo
AmyG Hope work gets better. And I‘d love to hear your thoughts on this book. 7mo
Caroline2 Work trouble is the worst!!! 😞 I hope it is resolved for you soon Trish. 💕 7mo
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TrishB @Cathythoughts @AmyG @Caroline2 thank you friends ❤️💜 7mo
squirrelbrain @Caroline2 - I have this book on my TBR shelf - have you read it? I love the cover! @TrishB hope things get better soon 😘 7mo
TrishB @Caroline2 have read the review mags the last couple of hours 😁 as always your comments made me laugh. I‘ll try and answer some questions in my next letter. I brought one of the books! 7mo
Caroline2 😆 yep those reviews mags are the worst for the tbr pile aren‘t they!!! 👍🏻 7mo
Caroline2 @squirrelbrain no, I haven‘t read this one yet. It‘s massive!!! But I‘ve heard good things about it. 👍🏻 7mo
96 likes8 comments
review
readingjedi
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Pickpick

It became clear almost immediately that this is a beautifully written book and that while at times it reads a little dry and the pace flags frustratingly it is very much more than the sum of its parts. It is a dense, slow and demanding book, sometimes hard to stick with but ultimately so worth it. The scenes of Ed's succumbing to Alzheimer's are brutal & shocking with a power that's like a physical slap & so exquisitely heart rending... cont.⬇️⬇️

readingjedi But for me the less emotional fraught aspects of the narrative are just a powerful - Eileen's obsession with the perfect house & Connor's complex relationship with his father. And there's also scenes that pack the subtle emotional force of a small thermostat nuclear device - Connor rubbing his mother's feet, Eileen eating Indian food, the letter to Connor from his father....😭😭😭😭 8mo
readingjedi To conclude, an absolute powerhouse of a novel. Highly recommended. 8mo
114 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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readingjedi
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Finally getting to the end of this one - hopefully will finish later on this evening....if I can read through the tears!

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readingjedi
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Dilemma: catch up on all my household chores that got neglected yesterday because my daughter was off school sick

OR

Start this brick of a book.

Not really much of a dilemma, is it? 😉😂

emilyhaldi Devastating but brilliant book 💙 8mo
Crazeedi This book was a 5 star for me, I read on a whim, and was blown away. One of the books that stays with you 8mo
JulAnna Have this on my TBR, interested to see what you think of it. 8mo
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AmyG This is on my TBR, too. So many book, so little time. 8mo
Stegofreak This is one of those books that I keep meaning to pick up, but never remember the name of. 8mo
Suetara It‘s a wonderful book. 8mo
scowler1 Great book. 8mo
115 likes7 stack adds7 comments
review
Amiable
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Pickpick

Sprawling novel about the life of Eileen Tumulty, born to Irish immigrants in Queens, New York. Her childhood is less than ideal as she is forced to grow up the caretaker of her alcoholic mother. When she meets Ed Leary, a mild-mannered scientist, she decides to marry him in the hopes that he will provide her with the stability and economic prestige she craves. But then her "American dream" crumbles as the years go by.

Oryx I really liked this one. 11mo
Amiable @Oryx It's definitely more character-driven than plot-driven, but the sadness and yearning and disappointment and hopes permeate it throughout. Very well written! 11mo
Oryx @Amiable Definitely. I loved "living" alongside the characters in this. It's one I thought would be popular but it seemed to get a bit overlooked when it came out, so always glad to see it get some love. 11mo
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Amiable @Oryx That's exactly why I picked most of the books that I posted for #adventrecommends throughout this month --I tried to choose books that I thought should be on more people's radar! (edited) 11mo
BookBabe I thought this was a great book, but so depressing! 11mo
Amiable @BookBabe It is depressing, yes. But I like books that have realistic endings. More like life. I hate when an author twists him/herself into knots with a narrative in an attempt to make sure there's a happy ending! (edited) 11mo
67 likes1 stack add6 comments
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keithmalek
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Sounds like me when I was a kid.

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Mccall0113
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This one received terrific reviews. It‘s making me pretty sad. The content and the length. Anyone else forge through? Should I keep pressing on?

keithmalek It's overrated, but good. I recommend finishing it. 13mo
69 likes1 stack add1 comment
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AmyG
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Thank you @Nessavamusic for your #10kLaborDayGiveaway and congrats on your milestone. I‘d love the tagged book and I‘ll read fantasy or comedy...not romance.

Nessavamusic Thanks for playing! 1y
69 likes1 comment
review
Crazeedi
Pickpick

This book scored my first 5 star this year. A story about a family, told in a profound way.

tpixie Welcome back!! 2y
DebinHawaii Welcome back to Litsy! 🎉📚👍 2y
Crazeedi Thank yoh! I have to figure out how to use it! 2y
See All 6 Comments
Cinfhen Loved this one too! 2y
Crazeedi Thank you for the info, so much I haven't figured out yet! 2y
9 likes1 stack add6 comments
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youneverarrived
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Been absolutely freezing all day at work so been looking forward to this!! #bathandbook

Started this one last night, it‘s the book I‘ve had on my kindle the longest that hasn‘t been read so thought I‘d give it a go. Can‘t remember what it‘s about or why I bought it mind 😂

Cathythoughts Enjoy 😊 2y
57 likes2 comments
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emilyhaldi
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I'm not feeling very #wonderfultonight after catching some kind of stomach bug 😷 Nothing worse than feeling too sick to read.

So in lieu of a picture from tonight, I'm throwing it back to a year ago - my first litsy post!! What a fun year it has been meeting all of you littens ✨

#decdays

Alfoster Hope you feel better soon!😢 2y
Andrew65 Get well soon, and I second your sentiments. 😊 2y
SassyBookworm Get well soon! 🤒 2y
See All 27 Comments
PenguinInFlight Oh no! Feel better soon! 💓 2y
Ashley_Nicoletto Oh noooo. Hope you feel better soon! 2y
niha923 Hope you feel fine soon ❤ 2y
Hollie Yuck! I hope you wake up feeling better in the morning! 2y
ElishaLovesBooks Ugh! Stomach bugs are the worst!🤢Feel better soon!! 💜 2y
Jas16 Oh no. Hope you feel better soon 2y
cobwebmoth Feel better soon! 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Feel better soon 💕💕 2y
Rachel.Rencher Feel better!! ❤💜💙 2y
GripLitGrl Hope you feel better soon💕 2y
Redwritinghood Stomach bugs are the worst! Hope you‘re feeling better soon. 2y
[DELETED] 206653737 💐Hope you feel better soon! So you can get back to 📚 2y
Lmstraubie Feel better 💗💗 2y
Cinfhen Feel better ?I can't believe it's only been a year ?feel like I've "known" u for ages...looking forward to seeing more wonderful posts in 2018 ? 2y
Pamwurtzler Feel better! 2y
Sarah83 Hope you feel better soon 😘 2y
erzascarletbookgasm Feel better :) 2y
Kalalalatja Feel better! 🤞 2y
UwannaPublishme Oh my! Feel better! 🤗💕 2y
JessClark78 Hope you feel better soon. 🌺 2y
youneverarrived Feel better soon! ❤️💜 2y
rohit-sawant Hope you feel better! 2y
Reviewsbylola I was glad when I started feeling better and could read again. 😂😂 2y
Debiw781 Hope you feel better soon! 2y
142 likes2 stack adds27 comments
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Pelican71
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review
Kwizgiver
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Mehso-so

This is an epic family saga. The writing is beautiful. At 640 pages (20 hours and 51 minutes), it's a bit long. There are gorgeously detailed snippets of everyday life.

Cinfhen This was a really well developed story 2y
3 likes1 comment
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erinreads
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Getting over the last of this cold I have by “working” from home. 🤷🏼‍♀️

cobwebmoth Hope you feel all better soon! 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Feel better soon 😊 2y
Cinfhen Rest up and enjoy this book! I liked it💚 2y
robinb Feel better! 😊 2y
AceOnRoam Haha, don't "work" too hard ? 2y
78 likes5 comments
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wanderlustforwords
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A blast from the past! This is a fantastic and memorable historical fiction if you haven't read it! #book #books #memory #litsy

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CareBear

This book is breaking my heart. 💔

Jerdencon It was heartbreaking... 2y
Mamashep I swear, it gets harder and harder to read! 2y
67 likes6 stack adds2 comments
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CareBear
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Cat snuggles, reading and football...love this time of year ❤️#catsoflitsy #penny

[DELETED] 3803335244 Oh cute! 🐈 2y
Texreader Perfect snuggles 2y
106 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Oryx
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49 likes2 stack adds
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Ilana
Pickpick

This is one of the most astonishing books I've read, just craft wise.

24 likes1 stack add
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Laughterhp
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Pickpick

This book just broke my heart. I finally finished this book and once I got into it, I couldn't put it down. A family saga is not typically one of my go to books, but I'm really glad I read this one.

Reviewsbylola 💔💔💔 3y
Linda906 I loved this one❤️ 3y
14 likes2 comments
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Laughterhp
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Finally a nice day, when the sun is shining and it's over 60 degrees out! I love reading outside and can't wait for the weather to continually be nice out so I can do this all the time! 📚☀️

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Laughterhp
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My weekend read. This isn't my typical book genre that I read, but I'm about halfway through and thoroughly enjoying it. It's also the longest book I've tried to tackle in a long time!

6 likes1 stack add
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emilyhaldi
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Early Friday night in bed with this heart-wrenching saga, coincidentally about an Irish family 🍀

NatalieR I loved this book so much!! 💚 3y
cathysaid This is a tough, emotional read! 3y
Cinfhen Forgot how much I liked this book, great read! 3y
See All 8 Comments
auntie_jenn so good 😊 3y
Reviewsbylola Are you crying yet? 3y
emilyhaldi @NatalieR it is a beautiful book, loving it so far! 3y
emilyhaldi @cathysaid yes I struggle between excitement to pick this up and hesitation to prepare myself emotionally! 🙇🏻‍♀️ 3y
emilyhaldi @Reviewsbylola I have to tell you, reading this late last night alone in the apt I was growing slightly depressed 😂🤦🏻‍♀️ 3y
133 likes7 stack adds8 comments
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AnneCecilie
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Some of my #greencovers. When I start looking for a specific color I always find more 📚 than I thought I had in that color. #marchintoreading

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emilyhaldi
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Snow days are the best days! 🌨☃️😻

BittersweetBooks I only got a delay 😔 but I was able to finish my book in bed this morning. Enjoy!! 3y
Brenley What a Cutie!! 😸 3y
auntie_jenn excellent choice...and cute helper 😻 3y
See All 7 Comments
Reviewsbylola Boo doesn't look impressed. 3y
JessClark78 🐱❤️ 3y
emilyhaldi @Reviewsbylola Boo is never impressed 😼 3y
emilyhaldi @BittersweetBooks that's not cool 👎🏻oh well, a late morning in bed is better than nothing! 😊 3y
123 likes7 comments
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anwade88
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At 820 pages, this book more than qualifies as my "more than 400 pages" read ???

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anwade88
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Pickpick

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." -HDT

This quote kept coming to my mind as I read this book.

This isn't a book I would recommend for any mood. This is a long book, and often painful to read.

On the other hand it is beautifully written, poignant, and left me highlighting quite a bit and reflecting on my own life.

I'd recommend, but prepare for some serious quiet desperation.

14 likes2 stack adds
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anwade88

If to taste forgotten foods was to reanimate the past, then a different kind of reminder, a reminder of future possibility, waited in unfamiliar flavors.

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anwade88
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Wow. Love this. ❤

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anwade88

I have not given you a lifetime of riches, but I have faith I have given you a father you can be proud of.

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anwade88
This post contains spoilers
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Reviewsbylola This book broke my heart. 3y
anwade88 @Reviewsbylola it's slowly breaking mine 😢 3y
5 likes2 comments
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anwade88

Life, she thought, was like that sometimes; for years, things were a certain way, and then in an instant, almost without conscious thought, they weren't that way any longer, as if all the hidden pressure on their having been that way they'd been has found release through a necessary valve.

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anwade88
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It's outrageous how true this is...

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anwade88

...but they gave out no manual when you got married, no emergency kit with a flashlight for when the power went out. You had to feel your way around in the dark for a box of matches.

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anwade88
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anwade88

The world was changing fast. It was hard to fit her son's America into her memory of how the world had been ordered when she was a child. She felt like a member of an in-between generation, straddling sides in a clash of history. Her life was as remote and ancient to (her son's) as the stories of pilgrim settlers has been to her when she was his age.

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anwade88
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8 likes1 stack add
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BookBabe
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#SpinePoetry for the #24in48 #Readathon!

The ego and his own
Never let you go.
We are not ourselves.
Today will be different...
Am I alone here?

readinginthedark ❤️👏🏻 3y
[DELETED] 1409720085 Love this. ♥️ 3y
Nat_Reads You are not alone 👊 3y
monkeygirlsmama Love it! ❤️ 3y
CherylDeFranceschi 👏👏👏 3y
130 likes1 stack add5 comments
review
cathysaid
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Pickpick

Puddle. Of. Tears.

This one will stay with you, folks. A family, described over decades, and everything those dynamics include - accomplishments and failures, hopes and regrets, disappointment and joy - the entire landscape across generations. At times I wanted to throttle the characters and at times I wanted to celebrate with them. But at various times throughout the story, I so clearly identified with each one. Beautiful narration as well.

Lakesidemusing Oh, yes... this one just gutted me! Read it a couple of years ago and still think of it from time to time. 3y
Reviewsbylola I felt the same way. It was such an emotional journey. 3y
cathysaid @Lakesidemusing @Reviewsbylola It affected me in much the same way as A Little Life. A long, in depth character study that I'm glad I read and I enjoyed but...whew! 3y
See All 6 Comments
Lakesidemusing @cathysaid Still not sure I'm ready for A Little Life... 3y
CareBear I think I'm going to have to push this up my TBR! 3y
cathysaid @CareBear If you enjoy audiobooks, I encourage this one as the narration is excellent. 3y
45 likes3 stack adds6 comments
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cathysaid
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Starting this audiobook today. Has anyone read it?

#currentlyreading #audiobook

Godmotherx5 Nope. I'll be interested in your review. 3y
Karkar I have it on my TBR 3y
8little_paws I read it on paper. I liked it. I really liked the ending from what I recall. The main character isn't the most likeable but is representative of a time and place. 3y
See All 10 Comments
cathysaid @8little_paws Thanks! @Godmotherx5 @Karkar I'll let you know what I think 🤔 (edited) 3y
Lakesidemusing Loved it in print... one of my favorites a couple years ago!😍 3y
cathysaid @Lakesidemusing good to hear! It was a random pick I put on my library wish list. 3y
Lola The audio on this is outstanding. Mare Winningham is perfect. Enjoy! 3y
cathysaid @lola Thanks! 3y
Lola And just a thought...when you're done you could followup with a 2016 book that's also set in Queens and received lots of positive buzz-the memoir 3y
cathysaid @lola Thanks!!! I totally forgot that book, and never thought about the connection. I'm so excited 😜 (edited) 3y
41 likes2 stack adds10 comments
review
mostlycatsandcoffee
Pickpick

So so good in a slow, window to someone's life kind of way. Just what I needed at the time. ❤️

10 likes1 stack add
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mostlycatsandcoffee
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Really loving this book so far. So close to being finished with it but I have adored every page.

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LisaJo
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Goodreads Year in Books. But wait, I have two more weeks.

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mostlycatsandcoffee
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Finally sitting down with a moment to myself after a busy holiday weekend. It was busy but full of family and love and I couldn't be happier. ❤️

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Santafecatfish
Mehso-so

Well written and engaging, but the story was so much on the mundane, what is disappointing about my own life side that it was difficult to read. Definitely not an escape into another world read.

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stacybmartin
Pickpick

I'm afraid to go too much into the book to keep away from spoilers but it was lovely and heartbreaking. Learning how to be happy and grateful with what you have before it disappears is a hard lesson.

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stacybmartin
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Eeeeeeek - wondering where I'll end up with almost two whole months left of the year! 📚😍📚

Varshitha OMG😱.. That's amazing!! 3y
readordierachel Impressive! 3y
KarenUK Wow! 3y
See All 12 Comments
Suzze Flabbergastingful. 📚📚📚📚📚 3y
s-b Whoaaa! Impressive indeed! 3y
rachellayown Wow!!! That's incredible! 3y
Julsmarshall Amazing! Well done! 3y
TheCanuckReader Amazeballs! I'm gonna try for 100 in 2017 and I'm skeered already! 3y
Reviewsbylola Shit that's unbelievable!! 3y
sprainedbrain Wow!! Rock star. ⭐️ 3y
Eyelit Awesome!! 🎉📚👍 3y
stacybmartin @Varshitha @ReadOrDieRachel @KarenUK @Suzze @s-b @rachellayown @Julsmarshall @TheCanuckReader @Reviewsbylola @sprainedbrain @Eyelit thanks guys! I #blameitonlitsy and my really lucky ability to listen to audiobooks on my commute and at work - it's so nice! 3y
35 likes12 comments