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The Third Hotel
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
One of HuffPost's 60 Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2018 In Havana, Cuba, a widow tries to come to terms with her husbands deathand the truth about their marriagein Laura van den Bergs surreal, mystifying story of psychological reflection and metaphysical mystery. Shortly after Clare arrives in Havana, Cuba, to attend the annual Festival of New Latin American Cinema, she finds her husband, Richard, standing outside a museum. Hes wearing a white linen suit shes never seen before, and hes supposed to be dead. Grief-stricken and baffled, Clare tails Richard, a horror film scholar, through the newly tourist-filled streets of Havana, clocking his every move. As the distinction between reality and fantasy blurs, Clare finds grounding in memories of her childhood in Florida and of her marriage to Richard, revealing her role in his death and reappearance along the way. The Third Hotel is a propulsive, brilliantly shape-shifting novel from an inventive author at the height of her narrative powers.
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LauraJ
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Pickpick

A widow goes to a film festival in Cuba to see a horror movie that her deceased husband was excited about. I loved The Third Hotel! It explores perception, perspective, identity and loss in a unique way.

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LauraJ
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Catching up on my Powell‘s books.

azulaco This sounds exactly like the kind of book I love discovering at Powell‘s. I recently visited in-laws in Portland and had no time to get to Powell‘s while I was there. Oh, the agony. @Powells 6d
Godpants I hope you enjoy this one, I really liked it! 6d
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MLRio
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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New arrivals in research reading 📖

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Mogoeg
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Pickpick

A ghost story & a grief story - as all good ghost stories are. Weaving magical realism and horror movie tropes together - there is the palpable sense of dislocation that comes with travel to a new, enticing, yet slightly menacing place. This novel ambles along like a dream. And dang, but Van Den Berg can WRITE.

The ending was a bit of a let down - I felt it could‘ve - maybe should‘ve - ended when Clare left Cuba, but that‘s okay - still a pick.

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Mogoeg
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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No one, that was who.

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Book_Gobbler
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Bailedbailed

Had to drop it. Gorgeous language, but frustrating for some reason. Not the read I‘m needing right now...might try again a bit later. Maybe. We shall see!

literacassandrature Sometimes a story frustrates me too! Do you keep reading, hoping it will get better? Or put it aside? 8mo
Book_Gobbler Ya know, it depends. Decided to jump ship on this because I‘m so darn backed up on everything else (reading included!), chose to move along with something else. This is sitting & waiting for another try/another day. Beautiful writing/language - so might return to it down the road. Maybe?! 📚📖🤗😊 8mo
4 likes2 comments
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Bleebleblop
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Book_Gobbler
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Early in and already caught in the spell....

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CoraHirashiki
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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I visited Cuba in winter of 2016, and this novel took me back. Here‘s a work from the factory turned club/art gallery that Clare visits.

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CoraHirashiki
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Great quote on theater-going from a book obsessed with liminal spaces.

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CoraHirashiki
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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The deepest pleasure of the zombie story.

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Ellimariek
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Pickpick

i love her way with words 💕 “Oh, the thin line between love and exhaustion. The thin line between love and indifference. The thin line between I Am Like a Little Boat Cut Loose in a Storm Without You and You Are Driving Me Rapidly Insane.”

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ChantelMcCray
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Pickpick

Reading The Third Hotel was like being in a fever dream full of extraordinarily beautiful sentences. I‘m honestly not sure what the hell was going on in this novel. Is this a ghost story? Has her husband come back from the dead? Has she gone insane with grief? I can‘t spoil it because I honestly don‘t know. But I do know I read some of the most achingly true sentences on love, marriage, grief, and secrets I have ever encountered.

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moarbookspleaze
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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So happy this is available as an audio book finally!

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CoraHirashiki
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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“Why make a horror film?”
Terrific answer.

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Nitpickyabouttrains
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Pickpick

I really liked this one.

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daniwithtea
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Mehso-so

What an odd book.

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merelybookish
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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A #TOB longlist #libraryhaul.

Cinfhen Jealous!!!!! I miss my library SOOOOOOO MUCH 13mo
Cathythoughts They look so shiney & bright ❤️❤️❤️ 13mo
BarbaraBB Looks lovely. Looking forward to your thoughts on the longlist! 13mo
merelybookish @Cinfhen No library! I can't imagine. No wonder you keep shipping books to your daughter's apartment! 😆 13mo
merelybookish @Cathythoughts @BarbaraBB I'm excited to dive in ... Just need to decide where to begin! 😯 13mo
73 likes5 comments
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Lauren.Archer
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
Bailedbailed

I had hopes for this book, but about 50 pages I decided I could not stick with it. It was a little all over the place for me.

Jenken1998 Agree completely. I finished it and still dont know what it was about. 13mo
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sarahjane1077
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Up next. I loved Van den Berg‘s Find Me and What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves It, so I can‘t wait to start her latest.

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ChristyM
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Mehso-so

This book was a bit of a slog. Cuba is an interesting setting for book that relies heavily on atmosphere. But Clare is such a shadowy main character- eventually I just wanted to reach the last page.

On an interesting note, this is the third book I‘ve read this year that featured a character getting stuck in a well. What‘s up with that? Is the universe trying to tell me something?

Samplergal I thought it was really weird and hard to follow. I suppose that‘s why there are millions of books. 14mo
CoraHirashiki Was the other wind-up bird chronicle? 12mo
ChristyM Yes! The third book was Hello, Universe. I‘m taking it as a sign to stay away from wells. 12mo
16 likes3 comments
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SeeJulieRead
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Reading time = time to play fetch (I have been throwing this half-skinned tennis ball, which she also dropped in her water bowl so it is a little wet, for hours)

rdkate Just wasn't a fan of this book, how are you liking it? 14mo
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ChristyM
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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I‘m having a tough time getting through this one. It‘s a bit of a fever dream.

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AlizaApp
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Pickpick

A woman sees her husband‘s ghost at a Havana film festival. Or does she? Thoughtful exploration of grief and getting closure.

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AlizaApp
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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I love novels that double as fever dreams, where you‘re never quite sure what‘s real and what‘s not.

Pruzy I totally want to read this book. How is the horror in it so far? (I like a paranormal sense of unease) 14mo
AlizaApp @Pruzy yes, a paranormal sense of unease is exactly right! The actual horror is minimal, more psychological and implied. Read it! 14mo
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mrozzz
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Panpan

What a bizarre languorous “ghost” story. Caring neither to inform or entertain, it is the most selfish novel I‘ve read in some time. A few sentences were constructed beautifully but meant nothing towards the greater story. Although brief I picked up and put this down dozens of times, forcing myself to get through it in order to properly evaluate it to review for NetGalley/the publisher. I wanted to like it.
(Continued 👇🏻)

mrozzz Alas there weren‘t enough concrete points and very little believability. The first 20-30 pages could have been a decent short story, the rest proved so unnecessary. Oh, and major pet peeve: no quotation marks. 😑 14mo
Leftcoastzen Maybe she‘s supposed to write short stories,I thought this one was excellent 14mo
BarbaraBB I so agree on all you say about it. It took me forever to finish it! 14mo
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ClairesReads
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Pickpick

In terms of narrative- I‘m not really sure what this novel is ultimately about. I felt maybe it wasn‘t that important to think about what was or wasn‘t “actually” happening, or how any of these vignettes fitted together. What mattered (perhaps?) was what these moments, events, experiences show us about ourselves; the human psyche. The exploration of grief, marriage and the self (or our many selves) was what really engaged me in this novel.

Redwritinghood Nice review! I liked this one too. 1y
ClairesReads @Redwritinghood thanks Jerrie- I‘m glad you did too- I think you needed to have a high tolerance for plotless ambiguity for this one. 1y
BarbaraBB I missed that tolerance I guess, I liked the writing and the bit of plot there was but then I got lost in nothingness 😉 1y
ClairesReads @BarbaraBB no judgement! That almost happened to me in the middle, but then I got into it again. I think this is a marmite kind of book. It will either be for you or not- and it‘s definitely one you need to be in a particular headspace for. 1y
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Redheadrambles
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Mehso-so

⭐️⭐️⭐️

This one lies somewhere on the border of Pick and So-So .
It has elicited a vague shrug and nodding admiration from me but somehow it leaves no real lasting impression.
I believe this book could have worked exceedingly well either as a focused short story or alternatively a more fully realised novel with a discernible plot. As it stands, it is frustratingly ephemeral, doomed to slip from my mind entirely in a few days.

readingjedi This review describes several books I have read recently - it's just so disappointing when a book just kinda passes you by. 1y
BarbaraBB Well said. I agree. It started out very promising and then somehow it slipped away 1y
ClairesReads Great review friend 1y
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ClairesReads
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Love this. #indiebuddyreads

CoraHirashiki Great quote 10mo
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ClairesReads
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Redheadrambles Ah yes I liked that one too. Certainly little pockets of cool stuff in this one. 1y
ClairesReads @Redheadrambles yes! Some lovely stuff. I‘m as yet unsure whether it‘s just isolated lovely moments, or whether I‘ll consider it a lovely whole. 1y
Redheadrambles @ClairesReads yes I am interested to find out that from you as well ! I came down on the positive to so-so side I liked it more the Fever Dream but it still frustrated me 1y
ClairesReads @Redheadrambles yes! I‘m finding it less obscure than Fever Dream if that makes sense? 1y
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ClairesReads
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Oooo I love this- the sides of marriage, and the humiliation #indiebuddyreads

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ClairesReads
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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BarbaraBB One of the better quotes 💜 1y
Ddzmini 😍 1y
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ClairesReads
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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A bit late to this #indiebuddyreads but hopefully I can power read today!

Redwritinghood It‘s a pretty quick read, so I‘m sure you can do it. 1y
ClairesReads @Redwritinghood thanks Jerrie- I‘m finding it weirdly mesmerising so far! 1y
Redheadrambles Oh yes you can do it 💥 1y
ClairesReads @Redheadrambles tonight‘s the night! 1y
40 likes4 comments
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mklong
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Pickpick

A creative and atmospheric exploration of grief and, especially, the hidden depths and secret desires of ourselves and those we love. It is about the impossibility of truly knowing ourselves, let alone anyone else. The imagery is heavy handed at times, but overall, definitely worth a read.
#indiebuddyreads

Redheadrambles Yes ! Cool I am enjoying it as well but it has some puzzling bits 1y
mklong @Redheadrambles It is for sure puzzling at times, but I do feel you get a bit more cohesion by the end then we did in (edited) 1y
Redwritinghood Glad you liked it. And I agree with your statement about Fever Dream. ☝🏻 1y
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Redheadrambles @mklong yes I am enjoying it much more than Fever Dream I must say. Mainly as I am enjoying the Cuba travels and I like the main character- she is very relatable I feel. 1y
mklong @redheadrambles Yes, as weird as she can be I found her relatable too. Not sure that says great things about me! (edited) 1y
ClairesReads My copy just arrived today. I hope to make a late start tomorrow. Great to see good reviews coming in already. Now I just need to finish 1y
mklong @ClairesReads You and your fancy ARCs these days! I‘m glad your copy of this one arrived and I can‘t wait to see what you think. 1y
kspenmoll Great review. I have this; now I should move it up my stacks! 1y
ClairesReads @mklong they‘ve been solid! Definitely keen to get into this one though 1y
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Redwritinghood
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Pickpick

#indiebuddyreads I enjoyed the writing in this book about grief, losing yourself in travel, and daring to take a look at your ‘secret‘ self. Parts of the plot are vague, which would normally bother me, but in this case the vagueness added a subtly creepy element to the story. We go deep into the protagonist‘s psyche here, and there is some musing about what we choose to see or not see about ourselves. And, if we do see, how do we cope with it? 4⭐️

ClairesReads Great review Jerrie! I‘m still waiting on my copy, I hope it arrives soon! 1y
mklong I‘m glad you liked it so much! I started last night, and am liking it so far. I do love a weird book. 1y
Redwritinghood @ClairesReads It still hasn‘t arrived?! I hope you get it soon. 1y
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Redwritinghood @mklong Great! I look forward to your review. 1y
Redheadrambles @Redwritinghood great I am so pleased you enjoyed this. I am looking forward to it. You remind me I should be posting an updated IBR schedule in here for Litsy members ! Falling behind on admin :) 1y
Redwritinghood @Redheadrambles Looking forward to your review! 1y
kspenmoll Nice review! 1y
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BarbaraBB
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Panpan

There may be a #boogieman is this book for all I know. I couldn‘t focus, kept skimming the pages. Not for me, this book. Or horror in general for that matter 😱

#SpookyRead #Booked2018 #OctoberXFiles

Cinfhen It‘s a great cover, too bad book wasn‘t captivating. And congrats on knocking off a prompt already!!! 1y
BarbaraBB @Cinfhen I bought it because of the cover 😂 1y
Redwritinghood I just finished this too, but I liked it a lot more than you did. 😂 1y
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JennyM Me either, I just can‘t do horror 1y
BarbaraBB @Redwritinghood I read your review and there‘s obviously more to the book than I was willing to get out of it! 1y
Samplergal I felt I wasn‘t smart enough to absorb it. I didn‘t like it much. Fever dream meets horror. 1y
BarbaraBB @Samplergal Exactly! Thought I did like 1y
mrozzz I‘ve been hanging on about 60% the way through and have been reading other books before I try to finish this one... pretty sure I‘ll also mark it as a pan though 1y
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anniehartnett
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Pickpick

Wild ride!

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SaraBeagle
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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This line.... reading this while trying to avoid the disgusting news coverage

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Booksnchill
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Mehso-so

Clare‘s husband has died in a hit and run accident. She travels to Cuba to a film festival to see the film he was to review- Revolucion Zombi. While there she encounters her dead husband- maybe? I found this book to be similar to Fever Dream, a book I wasn‘t as fond of as many reviewers and I‘d say the same for this. If you loved Fever Dream then certainly check out this 200 page work as well. 3⭐️

BookwormM I loved Fever Dream 1y
Booksnchill @BookwormM then you should check out the Third Hotel - I didn‘t think either were bad they just didn‘t speak to me😏 1y
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Booksnchill
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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This one needs to go back to the library- it‘s only 200 pages and it is raining- Whiskey still is not pleased about it!!! #DogsOfLitsy

Leftcoastzen Whiskey is so adorable! That face makes me smile every time!❤️ 1y
Cinfhen I agree @Leftcoastzen 🐶❤️ 1y
Booksnchill @Leftcoastzen He is happy to hear he makes you smile- that is this dog‘s purpose💖🐾 1y
Booksnchill @Cinfhen his wish is to make all his favorite people smile😍💖🐾 1y
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AlexGeorge
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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“There were three sides to a marriage: public and private and who-fucking-knows, one lived and one performed and one a thundering mystery.”

LauraBeth 🤔😂 1y
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razmanda
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Mehso-so

I finished this last night and while I‘m glad I read it, it‘s not one that I feel remotely passionate about. Deeply, deeply meh. I don‘t feel like I know anything more about the characters or the story than I did by reading the inside cover, and while the writing is sleek and smart, it‘s cold. Not my jam but I can see why others have raved about it.

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moarbookspleaze
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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My #indiespensable came today!

ohyeahthatgirl So sad I didn't get this one! Loved the book. Is the Monstera Deliciosa a packet of seeds? 1y
Karkar I love my subscription. I have read quite a few books I would not have otherwise. 📚📚📚 1y
moarbookspleaze @ohyeahthatgirl it‘s a coaster. 1y
30 likes3 comments
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MeikeReads
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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The new #indiespensable box is here!!!! #indiebuddyreads #powells

mklong I.e your $50 coaster 😂 Hopefully next time they will send books you don‘t already own! 1y
MeikeReads @mklong Haha, I'm telling you, it's gonna be "Friday Black", which I am currently reading as an arc! :-) 1y
mklong You may be okay. I think that one is being released on paperback, so they would have to do a special edition. It looks great though! 1y
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MeikeReads @mklong I hope you're right!! :-) 1y
BarbaraBB This box looks great. Are its contents always this good? 1y
MeikeReads @BarbaraBB This is only my second box, so I don't have much experience yet, but you can check out the Powell's website and look at many previous boxes- the books are consistently well-chosen, the quality of the other goodies varies from cool mugs to slightly odd tea towels (or, in this case, a coaster)... 1y
BarbaraBB Thank you, I will! 1y
catiewithac @BarbaraBB my favorite part is always the exclusive author interview! 1y
Redheadrambles @MeikeReads 😢😢😢😢😢 not fair !!! 1y
MeikeReads @Redheadrambles Poor kiwis!!! :-( 1y
23 likes10 comments
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catiewithac
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Pickpick

Each successive book I read by Laura Van Den Berg gets better and better. This time she serves up a novel of surprising depth and emotion. Her fiendishly demented imagination never fails to grasp you. This novel is cerebral, mysterious, fantastical, and fabulously sad. I loved it and its glorious ambiguity. A true haunting. Here a woman finds her dead husband at a horror film festival in Cuba. What does it mean to be alive? To love? To lose? 🎞🌴

JamieArc This one is on my radar and when I saw you were reading it, I was looking forward to your review! 1y
catiewithac @JamieArc I absolutely loved it! LVDB is becoming a true master! 1y
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Jenken1998
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Mehso-so

What? Not sure what I just read. Enjoyed the writing but not the unresolved story line. If you like horror films and stories with no ending or resolution..this is for you.

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ReadingEnvy
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Total books read: 27
Print: 15
Audio: 1
eBook: 11
Review copies: 11
Canada/Alaska 2018: 6
Women in Translation Month: 3
Man Booker Prize Longlist: 2
PoC author: 5
Male author: 6
Female author: 21
http://readingenvy.blogspot.com/2018/09/books-read-august-2018-192-217.html

Cinfhen OMG!!!! Well done 🙌🏻 1y
JenReadsAlot Which one was your favorite? 1y
Pamwurtzler Nice!! 1y
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JanuarieTimewalker13 Holy cannoli!! You‘re one month is my 6!!! Lol Kudos!!🏆 1y
63 likes6 comments
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kbuggle
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Pickpick

Took me a bit to make my way through this short book, mainly due to my work schedule over the last week or two. The Third Hotel is part ghost story, part mourning/grief story. I felt like I had no idea what was happening at certain points, but that that was okay, and the whole point.

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Linds
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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Linds
The Third Hotel: A Novel | Laura van den Berg
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8 likes1 stack add