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The Cactus
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
117 posts | 97 read | 5 reading | 177 to read
It's never too late to bloom ... 'Wonderfully funny and astute' Red 'The Cactus will be compared to Gail Honeyman's 2017 hit, the appealingly eccentric Eleanor Oliphant is Absolutely Fine' The Sunday Times 'An original, engaging and totally believable character' - Graeme Simsion, author of The Rosie Project People aren't sure what to make of Susan Green - family and colleagues find her prickly and hard to understand, but Susan makes perfect sense to herself, and that's all she needs. At 45, she thinks her life is perfect, as long as she avoids her feckless brother, Edward - a safe distance away in Birmingham. She has a London flat which is ideal for one; a job that suits her passion for logic; and a personal arrangement providing cultural and other, more intimate, benefits. Yet suddenly faced with the loss of her mother and, implausibly, with the possibility of becoming a mother herself, Susan's greatest fear is being realised: she is losing control. When she discovers that her mother's will inexplicably favours her brother, Susan sets out to prove that Edward and his equally feckless friend Rob somehow coerced this dubious outcome. But when problems closer to home become increasingly hard to ignore, she finds help in the most unlikely of places. This sparkling debut is a breath of fresh air with real heart and a powerful emotional punch. In Susan we find a character as exasperating and delightful as The Rosie Project's Don Tillman. An uncompromising feminist and a fierce fighter, it's a joy to watch her bloom. 'Glorious...it twists and turns through human nature wonderfully' Kat Brown 'If, like me, you never stopped to think what a child born of The Rosie Project's Don Tillman and Bridget Jones might be like, there's one way to find out. Read Sarah Haywood's The Cactus. Meet Susan Green. She doesn't understand how funny she is, which is delicious.' Julia Claiborne Johnson, author of Be Frank with Me
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azulaco
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

This started slow and was hard to get into, but then the characters hooked me. Susan, the main character, is SO unlikeable. I agree with the comparisons to Eleanor Oliphant. But it turns out that Susan has good reasons for being the way she is, which are revealed gradually, and she also undergoes self-growth as a result of her unexpected pregnancy and her fight against her brother over their mother‘s will. Good audio version, available on Scribd.

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Lydiamansel
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
Mehso-so

Hard to get through, took forever to finish up

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Purplerosiepage
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Mehso-so

So much of this was just a chore to get through... I almost bailed. I did like the last 50 pages or so.

Reviewsbylola Bummer. This has been on my TBR for awhile. 5d
9 likes1 comment
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CoffeeAndABook
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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A glorious day for fall reading ☀️🍂☕️📖🍁
My 🧡 sings

If we were still doing the #gratitude21, this would be an entry!! @Eggs

Just started this book yesterday & like it so far 👍🏼 although I‘m sort of wishing I were reading a book that matches the season 🎃 have to look into that.
But for now - back to reading 😎

And a shoutout to @Cinfhen !!! You can do it 💪🏼 Did you squeeze in your 20 min of reading yet?

Eggs Oh how lovely! Thanks for tagging me❤️ I think we should do the #gratitude21 again. I need it 😔 7d
Zelma What a great view! Looks very relaxing. 7d
CoffeeAndABook @Eggs I‘m sorry to hear that 💓 Wish I could help! Your gratitude21 incentive definitely inspired me, I found a planner /journal that includes a daily list of three things I‘m grateful for (actually it‘s twice daily, mornings and evenings). There‘s also a daily brag zone and a space to reflect on what I‘ve learned today to improve in the future. I got it mainly to structure my days better but I love that it has these positive elements. 👇🏼 7d
See All 7 Comments
CoffeeAndABook @Eggs 👆🏼and I often think of you when I fill out those gratitude lists!!! 😁 The planner ist called The SELF Journal by BestSelf. Hope your weekend has many moments that would make it on a gratitude list 💝 7d
CoffeeAndABook @Zelma Thank you 😊 it sure was!!! 7d
Eggs Thanks for the love, and the journal recommendation 💕🥰😘 @CoffeeAndABook 7d
CoffeeAndABook @Eggs ☀️🌸💓 6d
27 likes7 comments
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CarolynM
Cactus (Original) | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

This has been my handbag book for the last couple of weeks. I really enjoyed (and I have to say identified with😳😬) it's prickly heroine, Susan, and found the story thoroughly engaging. It's a delightful, easy read. Thank you again, Jessie, for such a lovely gift😘

Cinfhen I liked this one too!! Nice photo 1w
TrishB A good read 👍🏻 1w
erzascarletbookgasm So glad you enjoyed it! 👏This is a good one.😘 1w
62 likes4 stack adds3 comments
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MaggieCarr
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Mehso-so

Hmmm. See previous post for mid-blurb. Final consensus 3☆. Didn't love the MC. Pacing felt off, slow but steady for 90% of the book and a rushed conclusion that felt nothing short of hitting a writing deadline. Maybe the first title I truly didn't enjoy from Hello Sunshine.

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MaggieCarr
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Finally got my hold on this title from an old Reese's Book Club pick. It's like Elenore Oliphant × Keiko Furukara × Stella Lane × Ove & Britt-Marie all smushed into one character. Only a third of the way through and I feel mediocre about it considering how long I've waited my turn.

22 likes2 stack adds
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Readswithcoffee
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

I really liked the audio version of this book. A feel good story with a twist.

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jouleian
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
Pickpick

The first part of this book is a bit odd...but you really have to stick with it (pun intended) to understand Susan who hilariously turns into a real person. Thanks to her brother's friend Rob (who she swears isn't attractive and is boastingly tall) and her friend Kate who is...well Kate. This book is a recommend. Especially if you like quirky. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

chaoticgoodhufflepuff Love the review! 3w
3 likes1 stack add1 comment
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saguarosally
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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I just finished the book above and loved how someone was so intrigued by succulents, especially in the UK. Any great recent succulent reads, friends? #SucculentSaturday

Leftcoastzen Such a cool mug! 1mo
saguarosally @Leftcoastzen It‘s the office mug. 😁 1mo
ReadosaurusText That is a fantastic mug! 1mo
saguarosally @ReadosaurusText It‘s my smiling mug! 1mo
25 likes4 comments
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saguarosally
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Are cacti romantic? I don‘t need romance books. I can break my own heart. #cactus

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GinaKButler
Cactus (Original) | Sarah Haywood
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🎧🌵
Just starting...and it seems like I prefer Reece‘s picks on audio. British accent? Yes, please!

10 likes1 stack add
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Karisa
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Mehso-so

I loved Eleanor Oliphant and really wanted to love Susan Green of this book too. However, her meanness and vanity made it hard for me to root for this character. It was more about rooting against the book's "villian" for me.

All in all, it mostly kept my attention to the end (found myself skimming some parts). If you loved Eleanor and Ove, give it a try.

Crazeedi Did you get your package yet? I emailed you when I sent 2mo
Karisa I haven't received it yet. 😬 2mo
59 likes2 comments
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Jody3
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Mehso-so

I found this to be a story involving so many levels of personal and family dramas that it was difficult to connect to the main character, Susan. The audiobook is better than the paperback!

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saresmoore
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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1. I‘m feeling very refreshed by the tagged book, thanks to @MicheleinPhilly & her kickass review! 😘
2. Mini family vacay to Raleigh 🚙
3. Peppermint (seasonal) w/ mini chocolate chips 🍨
4. Flute 🎼 and occasionally a tiny fake violin for my “so bored” children 🙄

BlameJennyJane Yes! The tiny violin... I play that too! Lol. And I LOVE peppermint ice cream too. I‘m not a fan of mint chocolate chip or any other minty ice cream but that stuff is the bomb. (edited) 2mo
MicheleinPhilly So happy you are enjoying it! 😘 2mo
73 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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hes7
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

Oh, I loved this. Susan Green is prickly, yet endearing and reminded me very much of Eleanor Oliphant.

Book 19 of #SummersEndReadathon ✔️
Time: 72h21m

#bfcr3 #smallsteppers

emilyhaldi Yes, such Eleanor vibes!!❤️🌵 2mo
90 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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hes7
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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2. Celebrating a friend‘s birthday tonight, but nothing else too special.
3. Cherry chocolate chip 😋
4. I used to play the cello.
5. 👍🏻

#friyayintro

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CarolynM
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Thank you so much for sending me these, Jessie, I'm so grateful for your friendship and your thoughtfulness. This was the first chance I've had to get to the post office this week, according to the card your parcel arrived on Monday. I'm looking forward to reading these.

Cathythoughts These look great ... lovely gifts ♥️ 2mo
LeeRHarry Yay The Cactus without a Reese book club sticker! 😡👏🏻👏🏻 2mo
erzascarletbookgasm Phew! Finally. I was getting worried it hasn‘t arrived! I hope you‘ll enjoy reading both. I did! 💕 2mo
55 likes3 comments
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booklover76
Cactus (Original) | Sarah Haywood
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Always enjoy learning a new word. Not that I will be using this in my every day vocabulary

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Tadams4
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
Pickpick

Such a wonderfully entertaining and surprising story! Nicely crafted and engaging characters with beautifully paced storytelling! Loads of twists and turns that will take you by surprise! A wonderful first novel!

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MelKelsey
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

This book was fun to read. I love the character of Susan; she's logical to a fault and lacks social skills and common sense. Throughout the book she is simultaneously experiencing an unexpected pregnancy and fighting her brother in court over their mother's will. In the end, the book becomes a love story, but that felt sort of abrupt.The obvious comparable book is Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Cactus doesn't hold a candle to that.

Crazeedi Sounds like a great book! 2mo
17 likes1 stack add1 comment
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jamicuns
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Mehso-so

It was cute. It was a cross between A Man Called Ove and Eleanor Oliphant.

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MicheleinPhilly
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

This was the delightful balm my soul needed. Sure, the protagonist is prickly but so am I. And yes, the romance was predictable but I DID NOT CARE because it made me smile. Loved it. 4🌟

DivineDiana Sounds like I need to read this sooner rather than later! ❤️ 2mo
MicheleinPhilly @DivineDiana I adored it. 2mo
LiteraryinLititz Sounds like the right book at the right time. 💜 2mo
See All 7 Comments
BarbaraBB Great review ❤️❤️ 2mo
TrishB I enjoyed this one too 👍🏻 2mo
Mdargusch I loved this! Yes she was prickly alright. 😂 2mo
Reviewsbylola I‘ve heard such great things. 2mo
84 likes4 stack adds7 comments
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MelindaOtt
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Mehso-so

⭐️⭐️⭐️ I spent half this book thinking, “This is just Sheldon Cooper, If Sheldon were female, British, and pregnant!” But somewhere around the halfway mark, I was sucked in. While there is a romantic element, this is much more about character development and family. It‘s a fun read, even if the first half is a bit of a slog at times.

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MicheleinPhilly
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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THIS.

🙋🏻‍♀️

TrishB Love putting my boots back on, with tights and a big coat 😁 3mo
LiteraryinLititz I agree! 3mo
MicheleinPhilly @TrishB Seriously. The more clothes, the better! 3mo
See All 10 Comments
Megabooks Whoever decided summer was the best thing ever obviously didn‘t live in the era of climate change!!! 3mo
MicheleinPhilly @Megabooks Or they live where it‘s a “dry heat.” 🙄 3mo
TrishB Exactly! 3mo
Librarybelle OMG...it‘s as if the author was quoting me! 3mo
MicheleinPhilly @Librarybelle @LiteraryinLititz Right???? I was like, “She knows me. I feel SEEN.” 😋 3mo
hes7 Yes! 3mo
auntie_jenn me, too! 3mo
58 likes1 stack add10 comments
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Mdargusch
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

If you‘re a fan of Eleanore Oliphant then you will be a fan of this book. I decided to treat myself to afternoon tea and finish this one because I had to see what the ending would be. Lots of witty banter, sarcasm, family turmoil, and the awakening of Susan Green, making this one touching and a feel good story.

Megabooks Sold! 3mo
Mdargusch It got 5 stars from @Cinfhen and @emilyhaldi so that‘s pretty rare that we all gave it that rating. @Megabooks 3mo
Cinfhen Great review & photo 💕 I really liked this book when I read it @Megabooks 😁 3mo
emilyhaldi This photo 😍😍😍 can't think of a better place to read ☺️ so happy you enjoyed this! 3mo
Reviewsbylola Stacked! 3mo
80 likes7 stack adds5 comments
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Karen3
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Mehso-so

A cute story line, but the main character really bothered me. She was a bit too prickly for me but looking at the title maybe that was the intent. The ending felt a bit rushed and too wrapped up in a pretty bow for me. I did finish so that means something. 3.5 🌟

26 likes2 stack adds
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Christinak
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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My library hold came in for the audio version. Great day to stay in and read 🔥.

50 likes2 stack adds
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echalpan
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Mehso-so

Reese let me down with this pick. The main character was so prickly and lacked even an ounce of empathy for the majority of the book, so I can‘t even compare this to Eleanor Oliphant. The ending was cute, but I‘m just not sure the hours listening to get there were worth it.

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MellieAntoinette
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

I would add, I think this one suffers from advertising shock! While Susan does find herself unexpectedly🤰at one of those life moments where that little pink plus sign only throws things into teenage chaos, this book does not have an uplifting tone or even cheeky humor eliciting slight chuckles. Translated: if this were a Beatles song, it would be called, “She‘s So Heavy!” No pun intended! 🤣

74 likes2 stack adds
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MellieAntoinette
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

That Susan Green sure is a prickly pepper! This is a classic British romcom complete with background dramedy that would make Eastenders proud! Another slight pick with So-So reservations.

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EH2018
Cactus (Original) | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this one! 📚💕

CouronneDhiver Me too. 3mo
40 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Jas16
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Mehso-so

I think this one fell victim to being overly hyped. All of the comparisons to Eleanor Oliphant raised my expectations but there was not a lot of depth to this story. Even as a light read it missed the mark for me as I could stop picking apart the plot, character motivations, and flimsy romance. I do still really love the cover.

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Currey
Cactus (Original) | Sarah Haywood
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Mehso-so

Not as good as The Rosie Project or Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, but it is a nice story of a woman able to change her very controlled and controlling ways later in life. The nature of the main character‘s constrained habits also constrain the book and there is no surprise as to how the book wraps up. However, it was a nice break from some of the more dismal books I have been reading.

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tammysue
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Mehso-so

“Even the prickliest cactus has its flower.. ”

Susan‘s not a very likable character, she can be prickly, brittle + dry (unemotional) + keeps her life under control. After reading her mother‘s will leaving the family home to her feckless brother + learning she‘s expecting a baby (in her 40‘s) her prickles start flexing! She‘s hard to warm up to but the laugh out loud moments made up for it. 3.5 ☆

#hellosunshine

51 likes2 stack adds
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erinjohns
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
Mehso-so

To be honest the book seemed a bit dull to begin with....the logical methodical independant woman...and how sometimes even the most planned out life can't escape being human, vunerable, and in need of a biological or created family. Sometimes love comes unexpectedly to the most well-planned life. I ended up very much enjoying the book but I'm not sure it would be everyone's cup of tea.

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Dblake6145
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
Mehso-so

Wanted to like it but found it quite boring and predictable

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JoyBlue
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

I wish that people would stop comparing every book with an even remotely difficult or socially challenged main character to Eleanor Oliphant. IMHO, that's a poor comparison. Don from the Rosie series *might* be a better comparison. But why compare? Haywood does better than most at revealing Susan's rationale for her decisions. Still, I would have liked to have read *even more* of that.

I'm torn between Pick and So-So. I'll be generous.

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imabusybee
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick
julesG 👏👏👏 4mo
akckitty Way to go!! 4mo
LibrarianJen Woohoo! Pro tip: if you want to kill a cactus just water it. 4mo
imabusybee @LibrarianJen Not sure I knew this and I live all around them. 4mo
LibrarianJen I just really love cactus 😁 4mo
62 likes5 comments
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Meaw_catlady
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

I loved listening to this charming book! It was different then a lot of romances. Quote endearing! I finished up listening to it on a walk around the Riverwalk today! The Riverwalk here is perfect for walking and playing wizards unite plus Pokémon GO! So many inns and stops! One walk down for the week! #bfc #BFCr2 #teamfitlit

wanderinglynn Great job! 🙌🏻 4mo
dariazeoli Looks like quite the Wizarding hotspot! 👏🏻 4mo
LauraJ That‘s great! #wizardsunite has been a good motivator for me. 4mo
4thhouseontheleft Great job! I am finding I walk less when playing WU, since I stop so often. 😂 4mo
Meaw_catlady @4thhouseontheleft yes. My mile time is significantly slower . 4mo
51 likes1 stack add5 comments
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imabusybee
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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wanderinglynn That looks amazing! 😋 Enjoy! 4mo
Ericalambbrown That looks gorgeous 😍 But it also looks like ALL THE POINTS 🤣 4mo
britt_brooke Looks worth it! 😋 4mo
See All 9 Comments
mcipher That looks so good! Enjoy!! 4mo
CoverToCoverGirl It‘s worth every step! 4mo
julesG Looks totally worth the 20k extra steps! 4mo
Moony It looks so great. I ate cake and cookies yesterday! Today is a new day and we can start again! 4mo
Megabooks Yum!! 4mo
julesG Don't forget to post your goals for #BFCR2 and/or tag me to the (existing) post. 4mo
71 likes9 comments
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imabusybee
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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I reached my step goal but only got about 50 pages of reading done. I had a very bad eating day and will need to walk extra this week. I hope everyone is enjoying Sundayand the 1st day of #bfcr2 #BFC #bookfitnesschallenge @wanderinglynn @laurenslibrary @Reecaspieces @Moony @julesG @CocoReads @britt_brooke

wanderinglynn Great start! 🙌🏻 4mo
CoverToCoverGirl Well done! 4mo
See All 6 Comments
LibrarianJen 💖💖💖 4mo
LazyOwl Well done. I also ate poorly yesterday, but today is a new day and a fresh start 4mo
julesG I had this forced on me cake yesterday, but had no dinner. You are allowed treats and should enjoy them. Just means a little extra walk. 😉 4mo
58 likes6 comments
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booksaremyfavorite
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

Family secrets and new life...overall an okay story.

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a.bookish.byrd
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

38 likes1 stack add
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imabusybee
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Sunshine, book and ice coffee! #BFC #bfcr2 #bookfitnesschallenge @wanderinglynn Should I be tagging my team. @julesG

wanderinglynn I would suggest you at least tag your Team Captain so she can know how you‘re doing with your goals. 👍🏻 4mo
julesG Can I join you? Looks relaxing. 4mo
56 likes2 comments
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AJBowers
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Had the best time getting lost in the bookstore today.

Could have left with my car full to the brim 🚙📚

AlizaApp Great nails! 💅🏼 4mo
AJBowers @AlizaApp thank you 💕 4mo
61 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Bklover
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Starting a new and hopefully light read tonight with my pals. Hope you‘re all as cozy as I am.

Leftcoastzen Lots of furry sweetness!❤️ 4mo
tracey38 Wow, that looks extremely cozy! 4mo
QuietlyLaura Wow! Fur buddies everywhere! 😍❤️ 4mo
wanderinglynn All that adorableness! ❤️🐶😍 4mo
JoScho ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 4mo
96 likes5 comments
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B.Reader
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

For #WanderingJune today. I adored this book about a prickly woman finding a path to her happiness. Although it is missing the desert part of #aflowerinthedesert I think cactus blossoms are the most beautiful—beauty in the midst of thorns.

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imabusybee
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Library haul!

Laura317 I really liked this one! 4mo
imabusybee Thats so good to hear. I cant wait to start it. 4mo
55 likes2 comments