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The Cactus
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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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imabusybee
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick
julesG 👏👏👏 1h
akckitty Way to go!! 48m
25 likes2 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! 🙌🏻 1d
dariazeoli Looks like quite the Wizarding hotspot! 👏🏻 21h
LauraJ That‘s great! #wizardsunite has been a good motivator for me. 15h
46 likes1 stack add3 comments
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imabusybee
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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wanderinglynn That looks amazing! 😋 Enjoy! 2d
Ericalambbrown That looks gorgeous 😍 But it also looks like ALL THE POINTS 🤣 2d
britt_brooke Looks worth it! 😋 2d
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mcipher That looks so good! Enjoy!! 2d
CoverToCoverGirl It‘s worth every step! 2d
julesG Looks totally worth the 20k extra steps! 2d
Moony It looks so great. I ate cake and cookies yesterday! Today is a new day and we can start again! 2d
Megabooks Yum!! 1d
julesG Don't forget to post your goals for #BFCR2 and/or tag me to the (existing) post. 1d
70 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! 🙌🏻 2d
CoverToCoverGirl Well done! 2d
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LibrarianJen 💖💖💖 2d
LazyOwl Well done. I also ate poorly yesterday, but today is a new day and a fresh start 2d
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. 😉 2d
57 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

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

37 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. 👍🏻 3d
julesG Can I join you? Looks relaxing. 3d
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! 💅🏼 3d
60 likes1 stack add1 comment
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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!❤️ 4d
tracey38 Wow, that looks extremely cozy! 4d
QuietlyLaura Wow! Fur buddies everywhere! 😍❤️ 4d
wanderinglynn All that adorableness! ❤️🐶😍 4d
JoScho ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 4d
92 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! 6d
imabusybee Thats so good to hear. I cant wait to start it. 6d
55 likes2 comments
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nomadreader
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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I've fallen behind on #HelloSunshine picks. Let's catch up on audio

MallenNC I just read this one. I missed the previous month‘s so I‘ll have to catch it later. 7d
24 likes1 comment
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SarahBradley
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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“But, these days, fairy-tale endings come in all shapes and sizes. It‘s okay for the princess to end up with the prince, it‘s okay for her to end up with the footman, it‘s okay for her to end up on her own. It‘s also okay for her to end up with another princess, or with six cats, or to decide she wants to be a prince. None of those make her any more or less a feminist.”

10 likes1 stack add
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MallenNC
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

This has been compared to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (right on the cover) and like Eleanor it features a prickly character who often says the “wrong” thing but of course is like she is for a reason. I liked this one though I thought it resolved some of the central conflict a bit too quickly.

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Jemgirl2014
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
Mehso-so

Meh...it was okay. By the time I warmed up to the protagonist, it was too late. Also, the romance element was a very distant echo in the book. I don't know; it just was not my cup of tea.

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Acoleman
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

The Cactus = Elenor Olphant - the super sad stuff + an unexpected pregnancy

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rather_be_reading
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Reese's June pick. Anyone read it?

Recommended4Reading Nope...but adding to my TBR. You gonna read anytime soon? 2w
marleed Yes, I just read because I‘m keeping up with the RW bookclub picks! I liked it! 2w
56 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Lauren.Archer
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
Pickpick

What a delightful novel. I had been debating reading this one for over a year now, so glad Resse Witherspoon picked this one. The comparisons to Eleanor Oliphant are right on. Susan was a great character, though she was set in her ways and always trying to do what she thought was right in her mind, she showed so much growth as a human. The ending was great, I was always pulling for her.

charl08 I have this in the TBR, need to get to it (too many books). 2w
BooknerdsLife Oh that sounds great! I loved Eleanor can‘t wait to read this one! 🥰 2w
72 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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Oryx
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

This is a lovely read. Susan was such a fun character. If you liked Eleanor Oliphant, then give this one a try too 🌵🌵🌵🌵

Cinfhen Great photo!!! I really liked this book ❣️ (edited) 2w
eraderneely Such a cute cover! 2w
TrishB Enjoyed this one too 👍🏻 2w
MellieAntoinette Well that‘s a much better cover than the paperback! 2w
81 likes6 stack adds4 comments
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Acoleman
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood

I‘m going on a Mediterranean cruise and I‘m planning my reading stash. I love reading books set in the place I‘m visiting when I‘m on vacation. Any suggestions for Paris, Rome, Greek Islands? Some of my recent reads are Something in the Water, The overdue life of Amy Byler, From Scratch, Before we were yours, The bookshop on the corner.

6 likes1 stack add
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marleed
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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I discovered this book because it‘s the current RW bookclub pick but I just checked the Litsy feed and y‘all have been tracking this for a year!

I liked this book and would love to discuss in a bookclub. But... Do you ever read just one detail within a couple pages in the whole story, and you so non-concur with the author that you just want to walk into the editing office and ask, WHY? That happened here.

Jemgirl2014 I'm late to the party as well. Just bought it and looking forward to reading it. 2w
marleed @Jemgirl2014 I assumed it was just released so I was expecting maybe a couple comments based on ARCs. I had to laugh and then google it to see about 4 different covers. I kind of love the RW bookclub will reach back as well as a newly published book. 2w
QueenJen What's the RW bookclub? 2w
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marleed @QueenJen Reese Witherspoon. She announces a book on the first of the month. I‘m having fun keeping up with it. 2w
Jemgirl2014 @marleed That is cool of the RW club to do that. Very helpful! 2w
QueenJen @marleed Thanks for filling me in! 2w
BooknerdsLife Hahaa I thought it‘s a newly released book too 😅🙈 2w
marleed @QueenJen @Jemgirl2014 I‘m finding it easy to keep up with the RW picks because the books are not so heavy in story that I TBR them waiting for my head to get ready for the journey. And I‘m reasonably sure I‘m going to enjoy the ride. 2w
marleed @BooknerdsLife it‘s so good to know I‘m not alone in this literary world! 2w
Jemgirl2014 @marleed I couldn't agree more! I signed up as soon as I read her "One time in December" pick. Loved that one. ? 2w
PaperbackPirate That‘s too bad. I love the cover though! 🌵 2w
41 likes2 stack adds11 comments
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Cathy_J
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

Really enjoyed this book. Have been in a bit of a reading slump lately 😱😢 and this was just the thing. Great characters, interesting premise and an easy read. ⭐⭐⭐⭐ from me and I'm already on to my next one 😊

marleed Oh this is about to drop from my Overdrive! I can‘t wait. I‘m having fun keeping up with the RW bookclub! 3w
CouronneDhiver Agree 👍🏽 3w
68 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Oryx
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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It's perfectly normal to pretend you live in a fancy Chicago apartment, and aren't actually just stuck in a hotel working, right?

But as temporary offices go, it's not so bad - what a view. I can even just see the lake.

I really want to start this book and not be working!

AlaMich Nice floor to ceiling windows you got there! And you got to experience some of our more pleasant weather today, too! 3w
CouronneDhiver Lovely! 3w
LeahBergen I would totally pretend that, too! 3w
Oryx @AlaMich Yeah it's been mostly nice since i got here. Just rained the once. 3w
82 likes4 comments
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Hannah_11
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

I related way to much to the main character in this book. a witty and easy holiday read #thecactus #holiday #read #book #beach #barcelona

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erzascarletbookgasm
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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“I suppose it‘s traditional to go down on one knee at this point, but the pelicans have been busy and you‘re sitting on my handkerchief.”

#MayMovieMagic #ModernLove

CarolynM 😂 1mo
rohit-sawant Need to bump this up my TBR! 😆 1mo
Cinfhen I loved this book!!!! It was really fun and insightful @CarolynM @rohit-sawant 1mo
CarolynM @Cinfhen Stacked! 🙂 1mo
marleed That‘s an awesome quote! 2w
88 likes5 comments
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Hannah_11
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Current situation 🙌🏻 loving my holiday read on the train from Valencia to Barcelona 🇪🇸 #thecactus #holiday #summerbook #spain #valencia #barcelona

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Itchyfeetreader
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Mehso-so

I enjoyed but didn‘t love this. Comparisons with Elinor Oliohant are to be expected and I found Susan somewhat less charming overall. Yes she is socially withdrawn & isolated but this is a carefully cultivated choice. She shows a distinct lack of empathy and whilst I was pleased to see her female friendship develop she is still decidedly judgey. Pleased for her but not necessarily routing for her by the end. #anglophileapril #ownerofalonelyheart

Itchyfeetreader Cactus because I am not sure how many photo of my kindle I can post. Cactus taken in Joshua tree a few years ago. Side note cactus metaphor in the book was about as subtle as a hammer to crack a nut 2mo
Mdargusch I loved Elinor and she of course came to mind for this prompt. This book sounds a little darker. 2mo
Itchyfeetreader @Mdargusch I may have not sold it well! I would say Susan felt more deliberate than Elinor 2mo
Reviewsbylola The Elinor slant has me very interested in this. 2mo
emilyhaldi I agree Susan isn't nearly as charming as Eleanor but I still loved this one ❤️ 2mo
56 likes5 comments
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CouronneDhiver
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Susan Green might be my new favourite #character ... absolutely love her! ❤️

(At 60%) #Audiobook

Thanks for the readalike recommendation @TrishB

hermyknee I‘ve heard good things about this one! 4mo
TrishB Glad you‘re enjoying it 💕 4mo
Clare_Riley Such a good book!! 4mo
Christine I love her so much, too!! 4mo
85 likes4 comments
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CouronneDhiver
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Next up! #Audiobook 🌵🌤

mdhughes72 The soccer ball has disappeared! 4mo
CouronneDhiver Ha! Fixed it 👀 @mdhughes72 4mo
93 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Laru79
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

This was very much in the vein of Eleanor Oliphant, and very enjoyable it was too! Without spoilers, I loved the happy ending!! My only criticism was that they called the mum ‘mom‘ which British people don‘t do. It wasn‘t enough to put me off but it did irk me! The people Susan met along the way were so lovely - lovely enough to smooth off her brusque edges and sweeten the whole story.

Reviewsbylola Pretty! 🌵 4mo
marleed This is a good review! 2w
Laru79 @marleed thanks!! 2w
marleed I love scrolling the newsfeed of a book when I finish it. I read what you wrote and thought, yea, what Laru79 said! 2w
32 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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Laru79
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Starting on this after a recommendation from my Dad. He LOVED Eleanor Oliphant and recommended that to me (after I told him to read it 😂😂) and I feel like this is starting off in the same vein, with an acerbic lead character. He does like good books though, my Dad, so I‘m sure I‘ll enjoy this read!

Cinfhen Your dad has excellent reading taste!! Loved this book 4mo
Laru79 Ooh great, thanks @Cinfhen I‘m enjoying it so far!! 4mo
40 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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lesmel
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

Fast read. Enjoyable. Similar to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. #2019 #bookclub #noveldiscussions

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erzascarletbookgasm
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

This is my new favourite ‘up lit‘ book..you know, books with endearing stories about complex human connections and celebrate the hero in each of us. Took me a couple of chapters to warm up to Susan, the main character, and from there, it‘s enjoyment all the way. You‘ll find plenty of biting remarks and witty observations from quirky Susan, and it‘s satisfactory to see her transformation. 👍 debut.

CarolynM Sounds good. Stacked. 5mo
LeeRHarry Me too 😊 5mo
RachelO I would totally stack this, if I hadn‘t already. Might need to actually read it now 😁 5mo
See All 8 Comments
Cinfhen I loved this one...it was a gentler Eleanor 5mo
Caroline2 Sounds good...stacked!! 😉 5mo
Blaire Great review and pretty cactus. #stacked 5mo
KateFulfordAuthor Sounds good & thanks for the review 5mo
DimeryRene @Halecide47 A book made for you! 🌵 5mo
95 likes7 stack adds8 comments
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erzascarletbookgasm
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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The main character of my #currentread ...somewhat eccentric, set in her own ways and not-so-good in social skills.

Kaye Is she like Eleanor and Britt or have you read those yet ? 6mo
erzascarletbookgasm She reminds me very much of Eleanor Oliphant (have not read the other). I liked Eleanor from the beginning but this character, the name is Susan, took me a few chapters to get warm up to. I‘m beginning to enjoy it.. @kaye 6mo
Itchyfeetreader 😂😂 I opened a new office this week and am baffled by the amount of drinks and snacks we‘d have gone through - I am thus embarrassed to say I might read this one for ideas 😂😂😂 6mo
61 likes3 comments
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RaimeyGallant
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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When all your library holds come in at once...

Prairiegirl_reading Doesn‘t that always happen!? It‘s infuriating to me! 7mo
RaimeyGallant @Prairiegirl_reading Why does WPL have to be so darned efficient?! ;) #ilovelibraries 7mo
BooksAtNight Darn those libraries! How are we supposed to read them all?! 😛 7mo
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RaimeyGallant @BooksAtNight Yes! The variety! The sheer quantity! The horror! 7mo
GingerAntics That‘s so frustrating. I always feel like I can‘t spend the proper time absorbing each one when that happens. 7mo
BekaReid And it seems to happen all the time! 7mo
Crazeedi Yes! 7mo
scowler1 I've got two waiting to be picked up, one in transit, what do I do? Get the two? Wait another day or two in case the other one comes in? 😵 7mo
RaimeyGallant @scowler1 There should be a word for that problem, because the fear is real!!! 7mo
Trashcanman You have an eye for taking photos just like @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 7mo
huntersmom1977 Did you grab them at the Millennium downtown? ☺️😊 7mo
RaimeyGallant @huntersmom1977 Louis Riel Branch! But I want to stop in at Millennium soon to get my hands on their selection of literary mags. 7mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Trashcanman awww thank you ❤️❤️❤️ 7mo
nikirtehsuxlol LOVED The Mars Room 6mo
191 likes3 stack adds15 comments
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fleeting
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Panpan

This took me an incredibly long time to read. Sure I was a tad busy, but this one ran out of steam fast and the character('s voice), instead of being unique, started becoming irritating and no longer believable. It's just a feel-good book for me, like walking out after a rom-com film and promptly forgetting it once you get back to real life. A bit disappointing, esp since I waited so long for this book. It's a 2 to 2.5 stars for me.

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fleeting
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Queen of sass. There will be a day when I'll use this line. 😂😂😂

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fleeting
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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I wince and frown and make a horribly shocked gesture when someone does this. Sacrilege!

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fleeting
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Fun and light and lovely read so far, nice post-Murakami read. I'm really taking a liking to our sardonic protagonist, hence the little crown I put up there. 😄

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fleeting
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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It finally arrived, after months of waiting for the paperback! Surprised at how thick this is. Thinking of reading this or Murakami's new book because I have a whole week, but thought I should read the latter as it's heavier and twice longer, & would therefore need more attention. 🙃

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suvata
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

#LMPBC Round 003 - Group P
@suvata @Laura317 @Arubabookwoman @collegecatlady

Well, round three is in the books. I really had a great time sharing books with you three wonderful ladies. I would have to say that my very favorite book out of the four that we read is “The Cactus”. ? Having said that though, I really enjoyed all four of the books quite a bit. Thanks to everybody who makes #LMPBC so much fun.

collegecatlady I‘ll try to have your book back to you as soon as I can! I‘ve got a very intense two weeks ahead of me with grad school examinations but I‘ll try my best to get it read quickly! 8mo
Mdargusch Nice round of books! 8mo
Laura317 I‘ve enjoyed all the books! 8mo
52 likes1 stack add3 comments
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suvata
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Reading the final book for Litsy Markup Postal Book Club (#LMPBC) Round 3 - Group P.

49 likes2 stack adds
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Airykah13
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Guys, I can‘t stand the main character! Lol, I feel like she‘s going to have an awakening moment which is the only reason I haven‘t stopped reading. She‘s kind of an ass 😂😂

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Airykah13
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Day 1 — Currently Reading #31bookpics

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saguarosally
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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I do a lot of seasonal and contract type work, so when I‘m working long hours, fewer books are read. I read over 110 books last year and I will likely end up closer to 60 this year.

If I do the math, I realize that I own more books than I can read in a lifetime, unless I live to be 135 years old.

Andrew65 Pleased to see you got that cactus hugging thing under control. 😂 9mo
Itchyfeetreader I find myself worrying about the cactus. Do you usually hug them? Will they feel abandoned? 9mo
saguarosally @Andrew65 Things were prickly for a while. 9mo
saguarosally @Itchyfeetreader I‘d ask the cacti. 9mo
51 likes4 comments
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collegecatlady
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this pick for #lmpbc! Thanks to @Laura317 for this one! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

JamieArc I‘ve been super curious about this one but haven‘t seen much about this, so I‘m happy to see your review! Bumping it up on my TBR! 9mo
Laura317 @collegecatlady I‘m glad you enjoyed it! It reminded me a bit of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. Did it you? @JamieArc It is a quick read. @MayJasper I might have bought it for the cover. 😄 9mo
arubabookwoman I just read Eleanor Oliphant this week (having read The Cactus last month), and they are definitely similar! @Laura317 9mo
collegecatlady @Laura317 @arubabookwoman I haven‘t read Eleanor yet but it‘s waiting for me on my shelf! I find myself making too many comparisons that take over my mind if I read similar books back to back so I‘ll probably give it some time before picking Eleanor up! 9mo
101 likes2 stack adds5 comments