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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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Nikki_E
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
Pickpick

Book 2 of 2021 was The Cactus by Sarah Haywood. I originally gave it 4 stars and it held up for sure and the MC Susan Green has stuck with me…especially because she reminded me of Angela Martin from The Office.

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WeirdAtHeart
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood

What a thoroughly unlikable character.

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youneverarrived
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

A predictable, easy read that was perfect for reading on holiday with a glass of wine in hand. I do love a protagonist that finds joy later on in life. Her naivety about having a baby and the birth scene made me laugh. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

BarbaraBB Have a great holiday 🍷 1y
youneverarrived @BarbaraBB It was a couple of weeks ago I was on holiday, just got around to posting this now 🙈 thank you though! ♥️ (edited) 1y
lazydaizee I enjoyed reading this book too. 1y
49 likes3 comments
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Kalalalatja
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

It isn‘t often books make me cry, but on my way to work today, I got teary eyed listening to the ending. Something about Susan‘s struggle to figure out her way through all sorts of challenges just moved me.

From a psychologist perspective I couldn‘t help wondering if Susan‘s on the autism spectrum. I had to stop myself from diagnosing, and just focus on enjoying myself 🌵

#Pop21 - definitely seen it on @Cinfhen (virtual/audio) bookshelf

BarbaraBB Wonderful review Katja 💚 2y
Cinfhen Yup!!!! YOU HAVE!!! I thought this was brilliant- better than 2y
Megabooks Great review! 2y
rachaich I thought the same about her condition:) 2y
CarolynM I really enjoyed this one too🙂 2y
67 likes4 stack adds5 comments
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MilicaS
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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9/53

Nice book😻

12 likes1 stack add
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Shievad
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
Pickpick

Started slow but picked up in the last third. Lots of themes in this book: grief, late-life pregnancy, single motherhood, alcoholism, family secrets, parental love, out of control sibling rivalry.

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Well-ReadNeck
Cactus (Original) | Sarah Haywood
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Mehso-so

Listened on #audiobook Good narration but the book was just ok. I agree that dabs if Eleanor Oliphant ... will like this one.

72 likes2 stack adds
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Deblovestoread
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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I quilt and cross stitch. I have been making lots of baby quits but this one is one of my favorites. Thankful my daughter was able to get vaccinated today.

#ThankfulThursday

Palimpsest Darling quilt! 2y
BeaG Gorgeous quilt. 2y
Cosmos_Moon That is beautiful! Thank you for sharing 🥰 2y
Deblovestoread Thank you @Palimpsest @BeaG and @Cosmos_Moon it was a lot of fun to make 2y
36 likes4 comments
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Katies_always_booked
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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#bookreport #katies_always_booked
🎧 Redemption Road - 3⭐️
📖 Room Maid - 5⭐️
🎧 Dear Martin - 4⭐️
📖 They Both Die at the End - 4⭐️
📖 My Friend Daumier - 4⭐️
🎧 The Cactus - 4⭐️

#currentlyreading
🎧 Strange the Dreamer
📖 Dear Girls

#weeklyforcast
📖 Cinder
🎧 This is How You Lose the Time War

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readingjedi
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Mehso-so

Bit of a love/hate one this.

LOVE 💘
- The MC & all her prickliness
- The later life pregnancy storyline
- The family dynamics & back story
- The revels (guessed early on but still 😲)
HATE 💩
- The totally unnecessary romance storyline
- The idea that there was something wrong with Susan/that becoming less introverted is 'blooming' & universally desirable.
- Did I mention the least romantic romance ever?

So So-So it is.

🌵🌵🌵🌵🌵🌵🌵🌵🌵

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readingjedi
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Today's read is The Cactus. 🌵🌵🌵

The above isn't my cactus. I've never managed to keep one alive...😟🤔

With thanks to #netgalley for this book 😁

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dicey78
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

Character driven and quirky- fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine will enjoy this one. A funny and engaging story of the quest to have a perfectly ordered life until some unexpected bumps side track out protagonist along the way.

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peacegypsy
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

I listened to the audio version and just loved it. Great humor and thoughtfulness too. Well done again, Reese.

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Allthebookclubs
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

I‘m not sure how I came across this book as it wasn‘t something I would‘ve naturally selected. It took me awhile to like Susan, I don‘t relate well to uptight women who hold themselves in such a high regard. I guessed the ending about her mom. Overall it‘s okay. Book 14 of 2020

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Arvena
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Mehso-so

The main character was too annoying and quite boring

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betsyhaddox
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

Susan is quite unemotional, or so she thinks. It‘s amazing to see how she and her life change as she navigates pregnancy, romance, death, resentment, shame, and uncertainty over her family‘s love for her. Belonging and family are what she makes of them. No surprise. :)
This audiobook is very well narrated. The main character‘s orderly and straightforward way of thinking come through perfectly. I would recommend the audiobook of this title.

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Megabooks
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Thanks for this book @Cinfhen (tagging you, too!) I‘m reading it now.

1. I‘ve had some unusual cases as a vet (a dog eating Kinetics play sand, Ehlers-Danlos in a dog), but I‘ve never had an unusual job!

2. Seeing my dad!

#thankfulthursday @Cosmos_Moon (thanks for the tag 🤗)

Tagging @KVanRead @CoffeeK8 @maich @Kalalalatja 💙💙

BarbaraTheBibliophage Had no idea dogs could get EDS! And I‘m SO glad you got to see your dad! 2y
maich Thabks for the tag😍 2y
Cinfhen Awwwww: #LoveAcrossTheMiles 😘😘😘 2y
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Megabooks @BarbaraTheBibliophage it is extremely, extremely rare. I was only able to find one specialist who had seen it, after calling about a dozen dermatologists in a three-state area. I remembered it from school and recognized it immediately but needed treatment advice. 🤷🏻‍♀️ (We all have weird diseases that stick.) Anyway, thank you very much! 🤗💙 2y
Megabooks @maich 🤗😘 2y
Megabooks @Cinfhen definitely!! 😘💙😘 2y
KVanRead Poor poochies! Glad they had you!!💜🐶💜 2y
KVanRead Thanks for the tag😊 2y
Megabooks @KVanRead they were both great patients!! 2y
Megabooks @KVanRead 💖💖 2y
58 likes10 comments
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Cassiekrauss
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Mehso-so

I heard that Reese was making this one a movie, so of course I had to read it. I definitely enjoyed it, but it was a little slow. It‘s very similar to Eleanor Oliphant.

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Betty_Boa
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
Pickpick

I really loved this book. Loved Susan!! Susan is orphaned at 45 and is in a bit of predicament already, when her mom passes. She has to deal with why her mother would give the family home to her irresponsible brother and put up with his annoyingly tall friend Rob. I never did warm up to her Aunt Sylvia.. 😕

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craftstolearn
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Currently reading 'The Cactus' by Sarah Haywood.

6 likes1 stack add
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Betty_Boa
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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I'm dying🤣🤣 She's using her mother's ashes as a doorstop. I'm enjoying Susan's antics.

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Verity
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

Took me a while to get into this - Susan really is as spiky and hard to get close to as her cactus collection, but I ended up really enjoying it.

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Verity
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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If Reese Witherspoon is going to be in the TV series I reckon now is the time to read it...

20 likes1 stack add
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Nitpickyabouttrains
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

A really cute ya about a women and her life after her mother passed. She and her brother don‘t get along. There are disputes. Plus she is dealing with another life change.

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Loveforlit2
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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We slave away to earn money, then get home and start slaving there, too. And what do they do when they finish work? Put their feet up

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Abel123
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Mehso-so

Working as a data analyst in London and with a perfectly well run life - Susan un expectantly finds herself pregnant at age 45! If that‘s not enough to cope with her mother then dies leaving the family house to Susan‘s brother for as long as he wants to live in it.

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Kelsyereadsbooks
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Panpan

⭐️⭐️/5 I just... didn‘t like this book. It was a chore to get through. The characters were not interesting and hardly likable. Idk. Wasn‘t for me. An extra star for my cute doggie! 🐶

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tholmz
Cactus (Original) | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

Listened to this one. Loved the narrator. Cute book too.

13 likes1 stack add
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JeniReadABook
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
Pickpick

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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AmyM43
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

Just finished this audiobook. Loved it! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Loved seeing Susan's journey to motherhood and discovering new depths to herself. #audio #library #hoopla

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rachaich
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Mehso-so

Didn't really feel much for the female narrator at first although I did kind of see parts of myself in her...May be that's why.
I liked the overall book. Nice quick read.

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rachaich
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Started this read today...

Libby1 I really liked this one. I hope you do, too. 3y
rachaich @Libby1 it's an easy read so far. Which is exactly what I wanted 😊😉 3y
22 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Linsy
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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I'm enjoying the dry humor and MC's abrasive manner, but the pace picks up! #currentlyreading #hellosunshine

rachaich I bagged s copy of this on a charity shop. Hope it's good 😊 3y
charl08 Um, hope you like it more than I did! 3y
Linsy @charl08 I liked it, but I got a bit annoyed with Susan saying she knew exactly how things would happen -- she couldn't have failed to notice that things were hardly ever going according to plan! 3y
100 likes1 stack add3 comments
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vicgreentoriafield
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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I like tag-teaming books with audio while driving and reading at home, which is what I'm doing with The Cactus. I actually prefer the audio on this one. The narrator is lovely and the voice fits the main character so well. This seems to be the unpopular opinion, but I'm really enjoying this read so far.

28 likes3 stack adds
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Bookishgal71
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

If you liked Eleanor Oliphant, you will like Susan Green. Look for the twist in the second half - didn‘t see that one coming! #reesewitherspoonbookclub

15 likes1 stack add
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Lauram
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Pickpick

This book was the post-holiday, vacation candy I needed.

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QuietMornings
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
Pickpick

I rated this one as a pick, but with a disclaimer that the book didn‘t even begin to meet the description on the back cover until around 245 pages in. I enjoyed Susan enough to stick with it, but it took a while to get to the actual story line I expected.

6 likes1 stack add
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Michelle505
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
Mehso-so

This book took me awhile to get through. I enjoyed parts of it but also didn‘t like the main character at parts. I did like the ending and was glad I finished it but overall felt just ok about the writing.

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take_me_away
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
Mehso-so

This book was a slow read. I had a really hard time connecting or really caring about the main character for most of the book. For some reason though, I didn‘t want to abandon it and I‘m glad I didn‘t. The ending made up for a lot of the book however I felt it was rushed in comparison to the rest of the book.

4 likes1 stack add
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take_me_away
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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“Is it possible ever to know someone completely? To know their thoughts and feelings, their hopes, their dreams, their sorrows and regrets, the parts of themselves they hide from public view? Only God can truly know us like that.”

7 likes1 stack add
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Megabooks
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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I am so lucky to have found Litsy and the wonderful people here! @Cinfhen was thinking flowers when she sent me The Cactus and a floral bookmark. I‘ve been dying to read this book!!

Also, my whole family will be staying warm with yummy tea this winter!! All three of us love black tea, and this sounds fantastic for the winter months.

Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness dear friend!

Cinfhen I‘m so glad to have met you, dearest Meg ♥️Best wishes for a full & speedy recovery 😘 3y
Megabooks @Cinfhen Thank you so much!! I‘m glad to have met you as well! 💙😘 It‘s been so fantastic being back in my own bed. 👍🏻👍🏻 3y
erzascarletbookgasm 💖 it‘s a lovely read. 3y
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Megabooks @erzascarletbookgasm I‘ve had my eye on it for quite awhile 😁👍🏻📚 3y
TrishB Lovely 💜 3y
Megabooks @TrishB for sure! 💙 3y
Copwithabook Mmmm that tea looks delicious 3y
Megabooks @Copwithabook I think it‘s cold enough to get it out now! 👍🏻 3y
Reviewsbylola So sweet! 💐 3y
Megabooks @Reviewsbylola 🥰🥰😊 3y
80 likes10 comments
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Halechr
The Cactus | Sarah Haywood
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Today is full of preparation for activities and finishing up mugs the teens I work with made last week, which means it‘s an audiobook/podcast day for me!!

11 likes1 stack add
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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. 3y
Jody3 It was better as an audiobook. 3y
11 likes2 comments
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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 😔 3y
Zelma What a great view! Looks very relaxing. 3y
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. 👇🏼 3y
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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 💝 3y
CoffeeAndABook @Zelma Thank you 😊 it sure was!!! 3y
Eggs Thanks for the love, and the journal recommendation 💕🥰😘 @CoffeeAndABook 3y
CoffeeAndABook @Eggs ☀️🌸💓 3y
32 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 3y
TrishB A good read 👍🏻 3y
erzascarletbookgasm So glad you enjoyed it! 👏This is a good one.😘 3y
63 likes3 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.

23 likes2 stack adds