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Winter
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
195 posts | 114 read | 104 to read
From the Man Booker-shortlisted and Baileys Women's Prize-winning author of How to be boththe highly anticipated second novel in the acclaimed Seasonal series, which both continues the arc of the series and is also an extraordinary standalone read. In Winter, lifeforce matches up to the toughest of the seasons. In this second novel in her acclaimed Seasonal cycle, the follow-up to Ali Smith's sensational Autumn, Smith's shape-shifting quartet of novels casts a merry eye over a bleak post-truth era with a story rooted in history, memory and warmth, its taproot deep in the evergreens: art, love, laughter. It's the season that teaches us survival. Here comes Winter.
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review
AnneCecilie
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Pickpick

A reread and I can‘t believe how much I had forgotten. Like the weird beginning with Sophia. I‘m also noticing tiny connections to the first book in the quartet and it makes me wonder what I will notice in the other two.

At its heart this is a story about a son who has said that he will bring his girlfriend home for Christmas, but they fight and he pays another girl to play her.

I‘m all here for family drama and talk of art/ litterateur

71 likes2 comments
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AnneCecilie
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Upon rereading this I noticed part of a conversation that seems to sum up this quartet perfectly:
“because it‘s like the people in the play are living in the same world but separately from each other, like their worlds have somehow become disjointed or broken off each other‘s worlds. But if they could just step out of themselves, or just hear and see what‘s happening right next to their ears and eyes, they‘d see it‘s the same play they‘re all in,

AnneCecilie the same world, that they‘re all part of the same story. So. 7mo
56 likes1 comment
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AnneCecilie
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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#FirstLineFridays, even if this was a little bit more than the first line.

I just hope that this isn‘t true, that theatre and cinema will get back to normal. And that litterateur will keep going strong.

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AnneCecilie
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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But what will the world do, though, Mrs Cleves, Lux says, if we can‘t solve the problem of the millions and millions of people with no home to go to or whose homes aren‘t good enough, except by saying go away and building fences and walls? It isn‘t a good enough answer, that one group of people can be in charge of the destinies of another group of people and choose whether to exclude them or include them.

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IndoorDame
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Bailedbailed

I gave this about 50 pages but just couldn‘t get into it. Apparently this Ali Smith quarter isn‘t for me (as lovely as the covers may be) so I‘m crossing them off my TBR.

CarolynM This is the oddest of the 4. You might find Spring and Summer more to your taste. 8mo
IndoorDame @CarolynM thanks. Maybe I‘ll give one of those a shot. 8mo
Leftcoastzen I agree with @CarolynM 8mo
51 likes3 comments
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melissajayne
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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The view behind my chair in the chemotherapy room this afternoon #winterviews #winterwonderland

Blueberry ❤️ 9mo
kplovesbooks 💕♥️ 9mo
15 likes2 comments
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rachaich
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Pickpick

Again, liked the writing very much.
I liked Lux and how she bridged the gaps in the family.
Always good to have a political slant within the writing...

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rachaich
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Next in the series...
I planned to take these on holiday but think I'll have read them!

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Hooked_on_books
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Pickpick

I really liked Autumn and this one is great as well. I like how Smith is weaving a small story of a family navigating with and around each other with the much larger story of true current events. It adds a richness and subtlety to the story. Plus, I love this cover. 😍

CarolynM Loved these books❤️ 14mo
53 likes1 comment
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AshleyHoss820
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Pickpick

This is another brilliant entry by Smith. It‘s just beautiful. Art & his girlfriend, Charlotte, are on the outs. He hires a girl he meets at a bus stop to pretend to be Charlotte when he goes to his mother‘s for Christmas. His mom, Sophia, is hallucinating. She will see her sister, Iris, for the first time in decades. They swirl together and settle in, then swirl and settle again. It‘s relatable, tragic, real, sad, and lovely. 198/1,001 #1001Books

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AkashaVampie
Winter (Seasonal) | Ali Smith
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Cortg Not yet! 2y
jb72 I really dislike the winter. It snowed here all day yesterday. Now this morning I have to try to get out onto the main road. 2y
ElizaMarie I got snowed in today and wasn't able to get to work (I ended up working remotely reviewing charts and stuff but it felt so... ugh! I hated it I felt so stuck. I mean I got some cleaning done too while I was waiting on emails! But... still I felt so lost today! 2y
Ladygodiva7 I dislike how cold it is in winter but love me some paper snowflakes! ❄️ 2y
41 likes4 comments
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AkashaVampie
Winter (Seasonal) | Ali Smith
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AkashaVampie
Winter (Seasonal) | Ali Smith
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AkashaVampie
Winter (Seasonal) | Ali Smith
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How is the winter season treating you? Have u been reading any wintery books the past few weeks? Plan on reading any in the next month or so? Is this a harder challenge to do?

#BookedBySeasons
#TBRCrew

@jessinikkip , @jb72 , @AsYouWish , @AnansiGirl , @Catherine_Willoughby , @MissAimz_55 , @ElizaMarie , @cortg , @Squidget , @Bookworm54, @Katy4Peas , @Read4Life @Weisubei @Chili @kaylamburson @AlobelThee

mdm139 I am reading The Children‘s Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin 2y
jb72 I hate cold weather! I‘m a Florida girl and miss my Florida weather! 2y
AkashaVampie @jb72 i hate the snow and the cold. other than that i am good for where i live. 2y
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Viji Dislike cold, winter and snow. Other than that I‘m good 🤪Read Spinning Silver a few weeks ago which has a big winter component. 2y
AkashaVampie @mdm139 whats it about? 2y
AkashaVampie @Viji is that a sleeping beauty retelling? 2y
Viji It is very loosely based on rumpelstiltskin. By Naomi Novik. Good if maybe a tad longer than it needed to be. 2y
Catherine_Willoughby No current plans to read any books set in Winter. Read loads of Xmas Stories in December 2y
jessinikkip @Catherine_Willoughby Same here. I think I read myself out on winter around Christmas. Ive been reading fairy tale retellings and true crime more this month. 2y
mdm139 @AkashaVampie it is about the 1888 blizzard that struck unexpectedly when the school children were released from their one room school houses. Many children died and their parents that went out looking for them 2y
AkashaVampie @mdm139 wow. That must of been horrible 2y
35 likes11 comments
review
Redwritinghood
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Pickpick

As with most Smith books, there is probably just too much going on here for my feeble brain to sort out. It‘s always a fun ride, though. Our biggest cultural mishaps are handled with wry humor, never heavy-handed.

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daena
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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The post Christmas exhaustion is real! Decompression begins now with tea and a heated blanket.

Bookwormjillk Enjoy! 2y
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Liz_M
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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That moment where the plot summary of Cymbeline goes on for several pages and it sounds amazing! @Graywacke

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Liz_M
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Pickpick

This reminded me of Iris Murdoch in the matter-of-factness of the fantastical. A mostly realistic story it centers on Art, his mother (both falling apart), her estranged sister and, since he insisted on bringing his girlfriend but she has disappeared into a fit of deserved rage, the young woman Art hired to take her place. The stranger and the estranged offer perspective, clever word play, allusions to art and literature, and maybe a hint of hope.

Liz_M Also, this book really made me want to read Cymbeline. @Graywacke, @merelybookish, @GingerAntics: “the one about poison, mess, bitterness, then the balance coming back. The lies revealed. The losses compensated.” 2y
Liz_M @Clwojick, #MerryReaders #WinterGames
+1 participation +25 winter-themed +15 bookspin; +150 for 5 hrs reading for #ReadYourWay, @TheSpineView, #AVeryMerryBingo, (non US holiday) @Jadams1776, #FestiveFlicks, (Favorite color) @Traci1
(edited) 2y
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Graywacke @Liz_M I haven‘t read Cymbeline (and don‘t get the reference 🙁), but #shakespearereadalong has. Hmm. 2y
Liz_M @Graywacke One of the characters, a young naive-looking homeless Croatian immigrant, is describing the plot and the WMFU (see @Ridgeway for acronym definition) narrator is thinking to himself 'clearly she doesn't know Shakespeare' and of course she knows WAY more than him. It was a fun scene! (edited) 2y
Graywacke @Liz_M I know the acronym. 🙂 2y
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2y
GingerAntics @Liz_M that was actually the first play I read with the Shakespeare read along back in 2018 (what a different world that was). It‘s a fun play. 2y
TheSpineView 👍🤩📖 2y
25 likes9 comments
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GatheringBooks
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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EadieB Nice quote! Thanks 🙏 for playing! 2y
50 likes1 stack add1 comment
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GatheringBooks
Winter (Seasonal) | Ali Smith
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gradcat So true, and thus, so sad... 2y
39 likes1 comment
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Caterina
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Productive #BFC28 day! Ran 6 out of my 10 miles for the week and finished Winter, a #NewYearWhoDis pick from @Emilymdxn , during that #audiorun. (Loved Autumn, loved this one despite Art driving me crazy, and can't wait to listen to Spring! ❤️) Also finished No Greater Jewel, written and assigned by my seminary professor. And did my Curable meditation followed by prayer beads! ✅ #BFC @wanderinglynn @monalyisha

wanderinglynn Way to go! 🙌🏻 3y
kindergartenkat Glad to hear you enjoyed winter! That's on my list for the next month! 3y
Emilymdxn So glad you enjoyed it! It‘s awesome that you‘re keeping running through all this. Sending love - how‘s California rn? 3y
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Caterina @wanderinglynn Thank you! 😊 @kindergartenkat Oo enjoy! And if Art is driving you up a wall, stick it out. 😉 I hope you're doing well, I miss being in a #BFC team with you! ❤️ 3y
Caterina @Emilymdxn Thank you! ❤️ Running is helping so much right now, since it's a way I can leave my apartment, get some sunshine and fresh air, and stretch my legs without having to touch anything! 😊 California is settling into shelter-in-place - things are much less crazy halfway through week 2, and people are obeying the order better and better! But we're preparing for the spike in cases that will come soon, from spreading before the order started. 3y
Caterina @Emilymdxn Sending love and prayers to y'all in the UK ❤️ I hope you're doing okay! 3y
kindergartenkat @Caterina I saw your #BFC pic and asked if I could join a bit late! So I'm doing this round again. I needed some motivation. 3y
45 likes7 comments
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mutlee
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Pickpick

I think I need to read this again, and I mean truly read it and not listen to it. The audiobook was well-narrated, but I feel like I missed many layers. The ones I did pick up were brilliant. I also think I need to re-read Autumn.

Megabooks I‘m waiting until all four are out to read the series! August!! 3y
19 likes1 comment
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foxy_frain
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Pickpick

❄🌨
Life and Time.

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RedLeaves
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith

"There was always a furious intolerance at work in the world no matter when or where in history, she thought, and it always went for the head or the face"

The truth beautifully placed on the page by the artistic hand of Ali Smith ?

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kalinichta
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Pickpick

I moved right on to Winter after finishing and loving Autumn. It started off a little rough because Art, one of the MCs, started out a little awful. But by the end I was quite pleased, with both Art and the book as a whole. Glad I got a tip-off about the connection between the books as I might not have picked up on it on my own.

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RedLeaves
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Ali Smith is definitely one of my favourite authors. I love the way her brain works, the word play and the way I lose myself in the vast tundras she creates

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RedLeaves
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Ooooof you guys on here are super readers!! Looking at some of your goals for the good reads challenge makes my little bookworm reputation look rather inept! My goal last year was 30 but I read 34. So gone for a target of 31 this year. Anyone else down in the two figure challenges with me? 🤪

britt_brooke 31 is an admiral goal! I 100% #blamelitsy for the insane increase in my reading the last 4 years. It‘s an addiction. 😆 (edited) 3y
sprainedbrain I agree with @britt_brooke 😊 I used to read 30-60 per year, then discovered audiobooks and went in to the 100s, then discovered Litsy and things went crazy. 😂 3y
britt_brooke @sprainedbrain Yep!! That‘s exactly what happened to me. 😆😆 3y
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RedLeaves @britt_brooke @sprainedbrain Haha well I guess we should watch this space then! Never know what my target might be next year! 🤪 3y
Bklover I am! Last year I started with a goal of 100 books, which I very quickly dropped to 75. Of course I didn‘t make it to 75-I did around 50. So this year my goal is 50- that way I won‘t disappoint myself! 3y
14 likes6 comments
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youneverarrived
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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I only just started this yesterday but going to try and finish it by tomorrow as my last book of the year ✨

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Nicos
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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I‘ve had to give up trying to listen to this audiobook - I just can‘t stay focused enough to listen. Real books in my hand is the only way for me. Also the narrator was slightly grating - every line, no matter how mundane, was spoken as if it was a profound statement from The Matrix. Also, audio quality wasn‘t as good as it could have been for the ‘High‘ setting.

emilyhaldi I would imagine Ali Smith is very hard to follow on audio!! 3y
8 likes1 comment
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emilyhaldi
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Well, I was saving this book for the #future to read when it would be cold and snowy to fit the theme... But apparently the future is now 🥶❄️
#movember

Cinfhen Such a pretty photo 😍 3y
Tamra Indeed it is! 3y
LeahBergen Pretty pic!! 💕 3y
MicheleinPhilly Seriously. I mean, it was a brief flurry here but still. 3y
Reviewsbylola Gorgeous pic! And yeah, what happened to fall?! 🤔 3y
73 likes5 comments
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Nicos
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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My first try at an audio book. Not sure I can keep attention in the same way as a physical book, but we‘ll see.

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samizdat
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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when it‘s going to be under 30 degrees this week.....

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Moll
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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I've just moved into my new flat in London and I've already found the library haha - dipping into this book for a while!📚😊

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sakeriver
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
Pickpick

‪I had trouble with this book a bit insofar as I found two of the main viewpoint characters to be not just unpleasant, but tragic in having become so banally insensitive. Yet each is also allowed moments of grace and growth. I do love Ali Smith‘s writing‬, and I think there is a fundamental hopefulness to this book. One that I hope can exist in real life as well.

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sakeriver
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Next

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Currey
Winter (Seasonal) | Ali Smith
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Pickpick

What at first appears to be a simple tale of a mother, her sister, her son and a temporary substitute girlfriend gathering for Christmas, managed to evolve to encompass a whole world of transformation. Puns, Dickens, heads, Shakespeare, the dead, become a seasonal word feast. Such a delight in these first days of summer.

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Christinak
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Mehso-so
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Christinak
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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I‘m having difficulty getting into this book and I think it is simply because the title is Winter and it‘s so darn nice outside

Gissy 😂 3y
35 likes1 comment
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kathedron
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Pickpick

Better than Autumn (more "of a piece") but I still prefer How To Be Both. It's a slice of life in contemporary Britain, much of which relates to behaving shittily (to varying degrees) towards people at a remove, and finding ways past that when thrown together by circumstances. Potentially interesting story lines aren't developed and I'm none the wiser as to the meaning of the floating head! I was happy to be carried along by the writing though.

charl08 Oh I *loved* Autumn! How good that everyone likes different stuff. 3y
BarbaraBB Is your hair short? I imagined you with long hair! 3y
kathedron @charl08 It's one of the great things about Litsy, isn't it? 3y
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kathedron @BarbaraBB It is short now! It used to be long and tangle-curled but I felt the need to cut it short since I've started feeling well again (I had a lengthy episode of depression/anxiety). 3y
BarbaraBB It must feel like a new start. And from what I can see, it suits you. Happy to hear you feel better 🧡 3y
kathedron @BarbaraBB Thank you! 😘 3y
40 likes6 comments
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Graywacke
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Pickpick

Ali Smith has left me here thinking. If I could put what it is I‘m thinking into words, I would. Art, nature, politics, plastics, messaging, googling, Dickens maybe, and Psyche, which happens to vaguely tie in to the Shakespeare I‘m reading through Eros/Cupid, but also Shakespeare too. And, of course, relationships. She always seems to leave me just maybe following by grasping a thin fragile thread.

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Graywacke
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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{over the phone}
Her father is saying he has never forgotten how much it mattered to her and that he‘s phoned her because he thought she‘d like to know what he‘s just read, today, in today‘s paper —
she can hear him shaking the paper about down the phone to get to the right page —

————-

This random inconveniently-timed parental phone call just made me smile.

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HannahPolly
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
Mehso-so

Beautifully written but with largely unsympathetic characters. Felt like looking into a brief window of people's lives. Not an easy read.

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Graywacke
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Not that they should be compared, but this is so far a heck of a lot more fun than Plutarch. I just started today.

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andrew61
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Pickpick

If this was just a story about family + relationships it would be beautifully drawn novel abt 2 diff srs who share so much but clash at the drop of a hat, iris taking sophia to the cinema bookended with sophia slipping into her sisters bed are wonderful scenes but within the tale is a stunning piece of satire and picking apart of the stupidity of brexit and creation of immigrants as pariahs, and of course wordplay - see below quote of the book ⏬

andrew61 "The literature doctor, she says. The man who wrote the dictionary. Johnson. Not Boris. The opposite of Boris.A man interested in the meanings of words, not one whose interests leave words meaningless" - brilliant - role on spring. 3y
CarolynM Great review. I totally agree. 3y
33 likes2 comments
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andrew61
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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What's to day? I had forgotten how much i enjoyed autumn so picked up winter in the library with anticipation and trepidation but i am loving Ali Smith's writing and the story yet again . This is one of several examples of her playfulness with words. Brilliant.

CarolynM Agreed. She's a joy to read. 3y
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Kalalalatja
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Pickpick

I might be reviewing a book called “Winter”, but my living room is filled with Spring flowers and I got sunshine (aka lemon curd) on my bread, so all‘s gooooood 👌

There‘s something about Smith‘s books which makes me feel like I‘m not smart enough to get it, but I love the way Smith writes, so even if I don‘t get everything, I‘m still enjoying the reading. And that‘s how I feel about “Winter” - Clever, insightful, tough

#MarchMadnessChallenge

Grrlbrarian Om nom lemon curd! 😋 3y
JanuarieTimewalker13 I‘ve read books like that. I can‘t remember the last one, but I understand not quite “getting it” yet getting it...Like my mind may not fully grasp, but something on a cellular level does. Lol 3y
RealLifeReading Those flowers are so lovely! 3y
ephemeralwaltz Yummy! 3y
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Emilymdxn
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Pickpick

This was every bit as good as everyone said! You were absolutely right @Naj

I don‘t trust anyone other than Ali Smith (yet) to incorporate brexit into subtle, powerful, non-basic novels like this. It was just pure catharsis to read and I think it‘s exactly what we need right now. It complemented Lanny so well as a poetic meditation on Englishness and how to think of my own Englishness right now

Naj Yayyy!!! It truly is a masterpiece. Can't wait for Spring to come out. 3y
Emilymdxn @Naj I just downloaded it! It came out here last week and I‘m gonna listen to it when I finish Toni Morrison! 3y
Naj @Emilymdxn 👍🏾 It comes out next week here. 3y
65 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Emilymdxn
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Morning all! I‘m sick in bed today with some kind of virus so you‘ll be hearing a lot from me today I think! Making a start on this one. I loved Autumn and I definitely want to read Spring while it‘s still new so I‘m very excited!

JennyM Feel better! 3y
Crazeedi Get well soon, drink lots of fluids! 3y
Theaelizabet Feel better! I loved Winter. 3y
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saresmoore Boo! Well wishes to you. ♥️ 3y
Emilymdxn @JennyM @Crazeedi @Theaelizabet @saresmoore thank you everybody! Litsy is such a wonderful thing to have when I‘m sick and kicking around at home! 3y
Chrissyreadit Feel better! 3y
cobwebmoth Hope you feel better soon! 3y
Jas16 Hope you feel better soon 💐 3y
SW-T Hope you feel better soon! 3y
48 likes9 comments
review
Theaelizabet
Winter: A Novel | Ali Smith
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Pickpick

Four novels, published in consecutive years, focused on a particular season, and rooted in our current moment. From a lesser writer this would be no more than a stunt, but with Smith it feels like a funny and thoughtful friend is joining us in discerning a way forward through the morass. I await Spring....

Christinak My book club is reading winter this year... should I read autumn first? 3y
Theaelizabet @Christinak No, I don‘t believe so. Each book tells a different story with different characters. They‘re linked by themes. My guess is that Summer, when it comes, might need to be read last. Either of these would make for a good discussion. Lucky you! 3y
19 likes2 comments