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A Brief History of Seven Killings
A Brief History of Seven Killings | Marlon James
On 3 December 1976, just weeks before the general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert to ease political tensions, seven gunmen from West Kingston stormed his house with machine guns blazing. Marley survived and went on to perform at the free concert, but the next day he left the country, and didnt return for two years. Not a lot was recorded about the fate of the seven gunmen, but much has been said, whispered and sung about in the streets of West Kingston, with information surfacing at odd times, only to sink into rumour and misinformation.Inspired by this near-mythic event, A Brief History of Seven Killings takes the form of an imagined oral biography, told by ghosts, witnesses, killers, members of parliament, drug dealers, conmen, beauty queens, FBI and CIA agents, reporters, journalists, and even Keith Richards' drug dealer. Marlon Jamess bold undertaking traverses strange landscapes and shady characters, as motivations are examined and questions asked in this compelling novel of monumental scope and ambition.
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I managed to get a couple hundred pages in, but I‘m all done. There are two many characters and too much going on, making me struggle to stay with what‘s happening. When I got to the point that I stopped caring, I decided to pull the plug.

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February: some amazing novels this month. A Brief History of Seven Killings is in contention for my favorite novel of all time. Began my mission to read most of Dostoevsky as well.

BarbaraBB Those are a lot of pages! Great choices as well! 4mo
Leftcoastzen Wow , wonderful selections! I need to get to 4mo
5 likes2 comments
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I probably should have bailed on this one, but by the time I realised this, I was halfway through the audiobook. Think I ended up listening to 24 out of 26 hours of this one.

2 ⭐


@Cinfhen @Cortg @KarenUK @Megabooks @Kalalalatja @4thhouseontheleft @Laughterhp @RaeLovesToRead

Cinfhen I LOVED this book, but I read it in print and it was VERY CHALLENGING 4mo
jenniferw88 @Cinfhen I agree with the challenging part, but I don't think print would have helped me either! I just wasn't invested enough in the characters, whereas I am with this one 4mo
Cortg I tried the audio a few years ago and couldn‘t focus with the heavy dialect. I found a used print copy and I‘m looking forward to it. I know it‘ll be a challenge but I “think” it‘s my kind of book, so we‘ll see! 🤞🏼 4mo
Cinfhen It took me a long time to get all the characters straight & to understand the dialect but once I did @Cortg I was really invested 4mo
Cinfhen I‘ve heard good things about your other tagged book, Jenny 4mo
67 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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Thanks for the tag @sprainedbrain

1. Complete all my challenges
2. Healthy
3. Yes, started on audio this morning - 26hours long!

Tagging @squirrelbrain @julesG @Crinoline_Laphroaig @tenar @TrishB

sprainedbrain That‘s a not-so-brief history then. 😂 6mo
squirrelbrain Thanks for the tag…I posted mine just before you! 😁 6mo
TrishB Thanks for tag 👍🏻 Will have a think. 6mo
51 likes3 comments
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1 of 2 - Whew! This was quite a task! Here are my #pop22 books, subject to change based on book club choices. 28 of these are on my physical TBR bookshelves which I‘m super excited about. 4 are new to me books that I had to google and the rest are on my TBR radar. I‘ve got a few big ones, so we‘ll see. Let the games begin!

BarbaraBB I loved House of Broken Angels. I hope you will get to that one! (edited) 6mo
Laughterhp You have so many good books on your list! 6mo
RaeLovesToRead The Bell Jar is an incredible book. A Brief History of Seven Killings was absolutely brutal, but still excellent... would suggest reading The House in the Cerulean Sea to cheer yourself up afterwards 😊😁 6mo
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Cinfhen I LOVED the MJ book!! Isn‘t planning fun!?!! 6mo
Cortg @BarbaraBB Yay! I'll move it up the list! I believe it will also work for the mobility aid prompt 😃 6mo
Cortg @Laughterhp Thanks! I'm super excited! 😁 6mo
Cortg @RaeLovesToRead Thanks for the tip! I absolutely love long, brutal books so I'm really looking forward to it! This is going to be a great reading year! 6mo
Cortg @Cinfhen Planning is FUN! Why have I not done this before?! 6mo
RaeLovesToRead If you like long and brutal you'll love it!! 😄 6mo
Cortg @RaeLovesToRead I feel prepared to tackle it now! I'll let you know my thoughts when I finish and I'm pretty sure it's right up my ally 😂
I might make it a February read while it's still cold and I'm hunkered inside for long hours.
KarenUK So many great ones on your list! So glad you‘ve joined our #pop22 gang!! 😘💕 6mo
Cortg @KarenUK Thanks for including me 😊 6mo
38 likes12 comments
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#curiouscovers #circles The highly rated tagged book that is still in my TBR .Got the Glastonbury book at one of my favorite places that is no longer in business , the Bodhi Tree on Melrose then I would trip over to Urth Caffé for coffee , tea to enjoy my finds. Toward the One by Hazrat Inayat Khan is a Sufi book I love to thumb thru from time to time , beautiful thoughts and images inside .

Eggs 👏🏻📚⚪️⭕️👍🏼 13mo
50 likes1 comment
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I‘m posting one book per day from my ever-increasing TBR. No description. No explanation. Just books to read. Join the fun if you want.

Day 60.


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#24B4Monday #readathon 1st book finished @Andrew65 @SumisBooks @jb72

Intense, brutal, fascinating. A challenging read because it switches perspective and the voices are so different, but worth the effort. It prompted me to do some research into Jamaica during that time and I can't unsee that now.

TW: extreme violence, drugs, rape

Andrew65 Well done 👏👏👏 2y
56 likes1 comment
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Seamlessly switching between multiple styles of prose (some chapters are written in a stream of consciousness, some chapters are written in one continuous sentence, one chapter was written in verse!), Marlon James' writing is masterful and the book is nothing short of a modern classic! This is probably the most fun I've had reading anything in a while! #ReadBlackAuthors

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This was definitely a challenge, between the multiple narrators and dialects, everyone talking in code, and the complexity of the story. But an incredible book and I‘m glad I read it.

vivastory I still think about this one several years later 2y
sarahbarnes @vivastory I feel like it‘s going to stick with me for a long time as well. 2y
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Beautiful spot for a little reading this morning. ☀️

Christine Very! 2y
Avanders Wow 🤩 2y
BarbaraBB Wow. Where are you? 2y
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sarahbarnes @BarbaraBB I was at the top of a little hike outside of Estes Park CO. 2y
BarbaraBB It‘s gorgeous over there 😍 2y
CarolynM Lovely😍 2y
25 likes6 comments
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I‘ve had this on my shelf for awhile and it feels like the time. Looking forward to diving in.

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Day 2: For fun, I am going to post one book per day from my extensive to-be-read collection. No description and providing no reason for wanting to read it, I just do. Some will be old, some will be new. Don‘t judge me - I have a lot of books. Join the fun if you want. #bookstoread #tbrpile

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Not sure why I thought this would be any easier than Black Leopard, Red Wolf, but here we are.

willp13 That is very great it's my pleasure to meet you 2y
Uuchickinbrooklyn I loved Seven Killings, loved it, not sure why except James‘ characters are practically 4 dimensional. They don‘t stay in the book; they rent space in my head. No, they live rent-free...I don‘t want to dislodge them. Nina, Alex, Papa Lo, Bam Bam (poor Bam Bam!), even Josey Wales, most of them dreadful people facing awful choices...they shredded my nerves. At this point in my reading life I want to be devastated when I commit to a book. I was. 2y
Uuchickinbrooklyn But Brandi is right...James is a huge writer, but even his powerful enthusiasm didn‘t make Leopard, Wolf a pleasure to read. And he‘s writing a trilogy. So exactly: here we are! Did you read Night Women? Oh my God. 2y
13 likes3 comments
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Marlon James is a genius. This book was so complex and layered. Like the Wire, but set mostly in Jamaica. I‘m in total awe. It‘s not an easy read at all, but so worth the effort.

vivastory This book really stuck with me. Loved it 2y
PNWBookseller85 @vivastory me too! Goal this year is to read his other two books. Already love Black Leopard Red Wolf. 2y
Cinfhen Same!!! This book felt epic🙌🏻 2y
Lucy_Anywhere I'm intrigued - stacked! 2y
117 likes4 stack adds4 comments
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Even the cat looks intimidated by the first 2020 reading challenge I‘ve decided to take on.💝

Leftcoastzen Beautiful kitty!There are some #chunksters in that stack! 2y
Ms.Story Kitty‘s expression is the BEST!!! 😻 2y
10 likes1 stack add2 comments
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I‘ve been carrying it like this all day bc I can‘t find any of my $&@ing actual bookmarks

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Not brief but worth the investment.

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#WanderingJune One of the first books I posted about when I first joined Litsy, 3 years ago. This was an epic read and took a whole lot of concentration and patience BUT man did it payoff!!!! Brilliant storytelling and compelling characters a true #dreadlockHoliday and Marlon James is sexy as hell 🖤

TrishB And I have thanks to you! Must get to.... 3y
Freespirit I have had this one on my TBR shelf for a while. 3y
Cinfhen It‘s fantastic @Freespirit @TrishB but you have to be in the right mood to read it. You need a clear head 3y
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Blaire Good to hear this paid off. I tried and couldn‘t focus. Need to return to it at some point. 3y
Melissa_J I was going to us this book for today‘s prompt, but now I‘ll have to think of another one 🤔 3y
andrew61 I loved this book, definitely want to read more by him although uncertain about the new one - great choice. 3y
Ruthiella Marlon James is pretty sexy 😀 I‘m reading Black Leopard Red Wolf right now and picturing the main character Tracker as looking like our man Marlon. 3y
Cinfhen I haven‘t started that new book yet because I‘m told it requires your full attention @Ruthiella but I‘m curious to get to it! And picturing our man, Marlon is a definite plus 😜 3y
Suet624 I have both of his books close to the top of my stack. I need a break after the dense Milkman. 3y
Cinfhen MJ does not write easy feel good novels @suet624 you might want some fluff before you start reading MJ😉😁 3y
103 likes3 stack adds10 comments
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I cant believe i found the Red Queen coloring book and Marlon James at Dollar Tree!! 😱 I loved Waiter Rant and im thinking of rereading it!

Julsmarshall The Dollar Tree has books? 3y
AmyG @Julsmarshall YES, they do! 3y
bookish_wookish Yes! And sometimes they get really really good ones! They get amazing coloring books too! @Julsmarshall 3y
48 likes3 comments
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Greg fucking Brady never told anyone to Chillax.

This book is set in 1976. Who do I contact about revoking its Booker Prize?

CarolynM 😂 3y
BarbaraBB Haha you‘re so right! 3y
Leftcoastzen 😒 3y
scowler1 Well done, seems obvious but I didn't spot that. I'm on the phone to him right now but he's not picking up. 3y
72 likes4 comments
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Presented as fiction, this book is based on real political and economic upheaval and graphically real poverty and crime in Jamaica. This book seemed to drag in places but it is rich with recent dark history of this beautiful country. I really enjoyed it. If you've ever traveled to Jamaica and ventured beyond the expensive resorts with high walls I think you'll be fascinated.

tpixie Welcome! 🥳📚🥳 3y
Tonton This is so good! 3y
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RadicalReader @bluejanetennessee highly and strongly recommend you check out the novel couldn‘t put it down because of the perfect plot and looking forward to the Netflix series next year 3y
bluejanetennessee @RadicalReader Netflix series!?!? Whoo-hoo! 3y
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Hope you're loving Litsy so far 📖💖 3y
Crazeedi Welcome to litsy!!🎉🎉 3y
Eggs Welcome to Litsy 🤗🌸 3y
Book_Gobbler Got this in my TBR stack! Maybe time to bump it up! 🤗📚 3y
103 likes4 stack adds9 comments
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Went to a book sale today and found these for $9. Each had a tiny tear on their covers which meant I got a deal!

charl08 I loved The Great Believers. Would like to read her short stories! 3y
AmyG Ooooo nice!!! 3y
Suet624 @charl08 I know! The Borrowers was good too. 3y
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batsy A sweet deal indeed! 3y
kspenmoll Fantastic! 3y
minkyb Supremely jealous and simultaneously happy for you. 3y
Suet624 @minkyb 😂😂😂 3y
72 likes7 comments
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This book is so dense with its train of thought narration it‘s took awhile to read. It‘s amazing and graphic writing. I loved it but it was a chore.

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At 686 pages, this hefty novel demands the reader's attention and finishing it felt like completing a mental marathon. Set in Jamaica & New York from 1976-1995, A Brief History follows the lives of Jamaican gangsters, a young woman who witnesses their assassination attempt on Bob Marley, an American journalist, a CIA agent, a ghost, etc. It's a lot, and definitely not for the squeamish. An absorbing story of power, violence and missed opportunity.

Pedrocamacho Loved this book! 3y
JanuarieTimewalker13 I can‘t believe I just purchased this exact copy at the dollar store. My bargain of a lifetime..perfect condition! 3y
JanuarieTimewalker13 There were 2! I was stunned! Of course, the library would be free, but I like to own big books bc I‘m not rushed. 3y
19 likes4 comments
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Great book haul this week when selling books to Half Price Books. 2019 goal: not buying any new books until 4 TBR books read or donated.

Erinreadsthebooks I might have to adopt that goal 🤔 Thank you for sharing! 3y
76 likes1 comment
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Preparing for my first book purge of 2019! On the stack are:
-A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
-The Illegal by Lawrence Hill
-Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
-SS-GB by Len Deighton.

The theme is books that I (unfortunately) could not finish, most of them early on.

These books are going to my local library and will most likely end up in their used bookstore at the central branch or at the yearly book sale.

Lindy Some other readers will be very pleased to get their hands on these. 3y
Pruzy @Lindy One can only hope! 3y
emilyhaldi I couldn‘t finish this one... made it almost 3/4 of the way but realized I was hate-reading it so I finally bailed!! 3y
Pruzy @emilyhaldi For me, it was the writing in dialect. While I appreciate the importance of doing so, I just find it extremely difficult. It‘s also why I almost immediately put down Clockwork Orange when I tried to read it 3y
71 likes4 comments
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2019 is going to be the year of thiccc reading for me. I‘m also trying to write physical notes as I read. This is where I‘m starting. #thicccbooks2019


BHoSK is staggeringly good. James is incredibly good at conveying his characters' terror, anguish, hope, and resignation. The only downside is that there is really only one fully-developed female character.

3 likes1 stack add
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gradcat I love how you did the mash-up for the hashtag prompt!! Kudos! 4y
BookishTrish 🤣 4y
Cinfhen Awesomeness 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻and I loved the Marlon James book 🙌🏻 4y
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erzascarletbookgasm 😄 well done, brilliant! 4y
TrishB Not read yet - but on tbr 👍🏻 4y
Kalalalatja Creative 👏👏👏 4y
Centique What a clever clogs! 🙌🙌 Well played sir, well played 😊 4y
batsy Nicely done 😀 4y
Billypar @Cinfhen Me too! Have you read Book of Night Women yet? I hear good things about that too- thinking of picking it up soon. 4y
Cinfhen No, I really should!! 4y
Billypar @TrishB I loved it- from reading general reactions, it seems like either a 'love it or bail' kind of book. 4y
gradcat Adding it to my stack now...I was so intrigued by the mash-up that I forgot to do that! 4y
OwenBanner The audio book was excellent, though I found myself speaking with a Jamaican accent for about a month afterward. 4y
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My latest thrift shop haul had an inadvertent color scheme!

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I‘m glad I have finally finished this book. It is definitely easier to listen too than read. I enjoyed the first third and last third but got lost and bored in the middle. A lot of it was over my head. There was just way too many characters and way too much going on.

MrsMalaprop Brett read this & liked it. Looks like hard work to me! Well done for getting through it 🤓👊. 4y
Rissreads @MrsMalaprop, it was hard work! 4y
Jeg Good for you. I could not finish it. 4y
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9999 I listened to it and I really enjoyed it. I also found it difficult and very violent. I read it shortly after, "A Little Life" which can put anything into perspective. 4y
Rissreads @Sskk I adored ‘A Little Life‘ 💜 4y
9999 @Rissreads that book still haunts me..... 4y
17 likes6 comments
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I tried I really did! Made it halfway through this #chunkster but it‘s just too much work and not enough payoff. I struggle to get through each chapter 😖 anyone else have trouble with this one?!

AmyG Me. I bailed on this one. 4y
RaimeyGallant Haven't attempted it yet. 4y
emilyhaldi @Cinfhen I suppose its to be expected that I wouldn‘t like this since you loved it 😜 I had such high hopes!! But alas, it‘s just not for me. 4y
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emilyhaldi @AmyG good to know I‘m not alone! (edited) 4y
Cinfhen No!!!! 😭😭😭We are usually in #booksync 👯‍♀️oh well... U gave it a fair chance but it‘s really a brilliant book (edited) 4y
emilyhaldi @Cinfhen while I couldn‘t get into the story, I‘m totally amazed by James‘ ability to write in so many different voices, and his knowledge of that time period is seriously impressive!!! 4y
Blaire I started it in a doctor‘s waiting room last year which was not the ideal setting for a complicated book. I #bailed but hope to try again. I only got about 50 pages in. 4y
quietjenn Yes. Technically I haven't given up yet (this is my second or third attempt) but I also haven't actually picked up in months ... And I'm not nearly as far asking as you. 4y
Mdargusch I‘m surprised @Cinfhen liked this and you didn‘t. 🤔 4y
Reviewsbylola Glad you finally called it quits. 4y
BarbaraBB I had that trouble too but there was this moment when things came together and I ended up loving it. But looking back I am surprised I hold on that long. I can totally understand your bailing! 4y
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I'm #currentlyreading the tagged book, and still not all too sure what's happening a lot of the time... 😳

I just received the second book from my library holds and am starting soon for this month's book club! Also perfectly aligning with Cindy's #helloween #buddyread! 👻


Cinfhen Yay!!! And don‘t give up on MJ....that book is hella crazzy good!!! But it takes a lot of patience to get comfortable with all the characters & voices 4y
Reviewsbylola I may need to buy The Elementals. Idt my library hold is going to come in anytime soon. 4y
emilyhaldi @Reviewsbylola mom and I both have copies you can borrow when we're done! 4y
emilyhaldi @Cinfhen I enjoy it depending on my mood 🤔 And the audio is still a struggle 300 pages in. Some chapters have me confused all over again but I'm slowly getting used to things I think 😂 definitely a challenging read!! 4y
Reviewsbylola Ok cool!! 4y
102 likes5 comments
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It is a joy to listen to an #audiobook that features multiple narrators. The voice actors for this one make this book richer thanks to the authentic accents.

Liz_M This is such an excellent, tough read 4y
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This book is a bit like #factfiction with James reimagining the events behind the attack on Bob Marley in 1976. Marley was preparing for a free concert in Jamaica arranged by the PM to ease political tension. I'm fascinated by the political war that is raging among the gangs in Jamaica as it's something I knew little about beforehand. Slow to start! But picking up now...

Kalalalatja Hope you end up liking it 🤞 4y
ephemeralwaltz Great pick! I have a copy of this on my shelf. I'm excited to read it but it intimidates me! 4y
BarbaraBB I learned so much from this book. Hope you‘ll like it! 4y
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Cinfhen I LOVED this book....but it took a lot out of me!!! It was a hard read but worth the investment , it was the second book I posted on Litsy, the first was 4y
Reviewsbylola This sounds so interesting!!! 4y
Reviewsbylola Ima need to borrow. 4y
110 likes6 comments
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I must confess that I did some googling for today‘s prompt #DejaVu. Apparently there‘s a lot of songs with this title.

The lyrics to the one by Post Malone and Justin Bieber made me think of this novel

‘Cause I can‘t take it no more
No, you ain‘t like them bitches
Tell them hoes adios
And you can drop your panties
Leave them shits at the door
Dior falls on the floor


Kalalalatja I can see why the lyrics made you think of this book! 4y
48 likes1 comment
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Wow. Just finished this remarkable work of art. It's a long novel full of patois - words and phrases you'll probably have to Google. It's absolutely brutal, disturbing and beautiful at the same time. Seriously violent and profane so not for the faint hearted, but what an educating read. If you've vacationed in Jamaica and think you know about the place, this book will set you straight.

Cinfhen LOVED this chunkster!!! Brilliant and worth the struggle 4y
scowler1 I put off reading it for a while, it's heavy stuff. It's so good though. 4y
6 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Puppy snuggles and my next up! He is already snoring 😴 I bought a copy of this right after the paperback release and have put off starting it bc of the length ever since🤷🏻‍♀️

#dogsoflitsy #houndlife

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One of a few books I picked up today at the #detroitfestivalofbooks. It was about 92F, but a lot of fun to see so many people out all for the love of books! We‘d have taken a photo together, but we both melted.

BarbaraBB Great picture 4y
57 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Aaaaaaaagh!!! Here‘s that time Marlon James met my double chin

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Gotta join in! #MakeMeReadIt

I actually need encouragement not to DNF the Marlon James - it is so violent.
I also don‘t care for the narrator of the Ferrante book and wonder if I should switch to print.
Vanity Fair - classics challenge
The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin - bookclub
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
The House of The Seven Gables for a challenge (What‘s in a Name: category: title with 2 the‘s)

BkClubCare Oh! Please vote by tagging a book title to a comment. Thanks (I forgot to explain) (edited) 4y
BkClubCare @TheReadingMermaid - thanks! 😉 4y
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BkClubCare @TiredLibrarian - yay! I do ❤️ the short classics. 4y
TheBookKeepers I‘m a fan of bailing if you don‘t love it...life‘s too short to force ur way through books IMO! I vote for this one bc I‘ve heard great things ! 4y
keys_on_fire I‘m going with 4y
Amandajoy I liked A Brief History, but it was intense 4y
AllenTStClair I‘m reading this one now and am LOVING it. So it gets my vote. 4y
Sace I wish I could vote for Vanity Fair AND Seven Gables.... Ultimately I say 4y
shellleigh33 One I want to read 4y
54 likes41 comments
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On sale today. Man Booker winner, 2015.

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Dabbling in this #chunkster over my lunch break.

MinDea I tried this book a few years ago and couldn't get into it. I keep hoping to pick it back up one day. I hope you enjoy it! 4y
JamieArc I‘m curious about this one too since it was a Man-Booker prize winner... 4y
71 likes2 comments
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Couldn‘t find this title on Litsy but Black Leopard Red Wolf is the new offering by Marlon James....scheduled release is February 2019 and is available for preorder . I‘m such a big fan of his work and am so excited....between this and the Children of Blood and Bone sequel in March 2019 I may just lose my damn mind next year! 📖 📚😜

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Taking an unexpected vacation day today, because our air wasn't working and I didn't feel like going to another library. Surprise reading time! Thinking it might be time to really give this one a go.