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The Incarnations
The Incarnations: A Novel | Susan Barker
New York Times Notable Book of 2015 Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Book of 2015 Finalist for the 2015 Kirkus Prize for Fiction Winner of a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize Hailed by The New York Times for its wildly ambitious...dazzling use of language and mesmerizing storytelling, The Incarnations is a brilliant, mind-expanding, and wildly original novel (Chris Cleave) about a Beijing taxi driver whose past incarnations over one thousand years haunt him through searing letters sent by his mysterious soulmate.Who are you? you must be wondering. I am your soulmate, your old friend, and I have come back to this city of sixteen million in search of you. So begins the first letter that falls into Wangs lap as he flips down the visor in his taxi. The letters that follow are filled with the stories of Wangs previous livesfrom escaping a marriage to a spirit bride, to being a slave on the run from Genghis Khan, to living as a fisherman during the Opium Wars, and being a teenager on the Red Guard during the cultural revolutionbound to his mysterious soulmate, spanning one thousand years of betrayal and intrigue. As the letters continue to appear seemingly out of thin air, Wang becomes convinced that someone is watching himsomeone who claims to have known him for over one thousand years. And with each letter, Wang feels the watcher growing closer and closer Seamlessly weaving Chinese folklore, history, and literary classics, The Incarnations is a taut and gripping novel that sheds light on the cyclical nature of history as it hints that the past is never truly settled.
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review
pigeonsandcrows
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Pickpick

A taxi driver in modern times in Beijing begins receiving letters and stories from an obsessed person claiming to be his soulmate who has been reincarnated with him multiple other times, detailing their previous lives together but refusing to reveal his or her identity. We learn about these past lives and betrayals as well as the dark secrets in the current life of Driver Wang. The writing is lush and descriptive (continued in comments)

pigeonsandcrows ... although the storylines are cruel and show the worst sides of humanity. So much to discuss and think about here if you can wade through the darkness. 2mo
49 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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pigeonsandcrows
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It's been a while since a book has been truly hard for me to put down and I find myself wondering about where it's going throughout the day. I am pleasantly surprised to find that's the case with this book! (Black cat included in photo in honor of October 1!)

Redwritinghood I really liked this one too. Under appreciated, I think. 2mo
pigeonsandcrows @Redwritinghood Yes, I can't believe I haven't heard more praise of this book. So far I'm finding it dark but so lush and complex. 2mo
Susannah Wow, you read fast! I need to prioritize better and stop spending my evenings watching news shows regarding the latest s***storm in US government. 2mo
pigeonsandcrows @Susannah I honestly just can't stand the TV anymore... books give me a more palatable alternative reality. I'm a low stimulation kind of gal. I also find this book to be hard to put down, and Pedro also really enjoyed it. I'm not sure why it hasn't gotten more press. Maybe because it's a bit dark and violent... but still better than the American government! 2mo
Susannah Most things are better than the US government. Remember the good old days when we could just kind of passively engage with the government? I miss that. 2mo
46 likes1 stack add5 comments
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ReadingRambo
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Pickpick

So let me start by saying there is significant amount of brutality and cruelty in this book. The main story follows a cab driver in China named Wang. He begins to receive mysterious letters from someone claiming to be his soulmate. And not necessarily in a romantic way, but in a...we've been through this b.s. for centuries kinda way. From there, the book takes us through their past lives, and shows how in some ways we always repeat our mistakes.

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ReadingRambo
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⛈🌧⛈🌧⛈🌧⛈🌧⛈🌧⛈🌧⛈🌧⛈🌧⛈🌧 The rain has cancelled all my plans, so it's time to settle in with a new book.
🌧⛈🌧⛈🌧⛈🌧⛈🌧⛈🌧⛈🌧⛈🌧⛈🌧⛈

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MStew
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So begins the first letter that falls into Wang‘s lap as he flips down the visor in his taxi. The letters that follow are filled with the stories of Wang‘s previous lives—from escaping a marriage to a spirit bride, to being a slave on the run from Genghis Khan, to living as a fisherman during the Opium Wars, and being a teenager on the Red Guard during the cultural revolution—bound to his mysterious “soulmate,”

This sounds awesome!

#Fiction

Redwritinghood I loved this one. 1y
trioxin_sematary Interesting! 😊😘 1y
MStew @Redwritinghood sounds great!🤓 1y
92 likes5 stack adds3 comments
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Christine11
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#Gold #MagicalMarch - some of my gold books! I wish I had more gold ones - they are so shiny and pretty! 💛💛💛

Ubookquitous One of the better books I read last year was 2y
Christine11 @Ubookquitous It‘s such a unique book, isn‘t it?! Beautifully written! 😊 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Pretty!!! 💛💛 2y
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vkois88 Beautiful cover! 2y
Christine11 @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Thank you ! 💗🌸😘 2y
Christine11 @vkois88 It‘s cool isn‘t it - I think I probably originally bought it just for the cover! 😊🌸 2y
Ubookquitous @Christine11 yes - wonderfully written, great story! 2y
ShookBelf Stunning cover. Stacked. 2y
Christine11 @ShookBelf I love the cover too! 😊 It‘s a really good book, quite strange but very good! 🌸 2y
Kalalalatja Gorgeous! 2y
Christine11 @Kalalalatja Thank you! 😊🌸 2y
58 likes3 stack adds11 comments
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thereadingwomen
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Tomorrow‘s newsletter includes a review of this book from Kendra‘s backlist. Don‘t miss it. Subscribe below:
Readingwomenpodcast.com/newsletter

vivastory This has been on my TBR forever. Thanks for the reminder! 2y
LeahBergen @vivastory Mine, too. 😬 2y
vivastory @LeahBergen So many books... 2y
87 likes10 stack adds3 comments
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Natasha.C.Barnes
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A closer shot! 2 bags, a literary magnet & a TARDIS KEYCHAIN OMFG, plus 4 books that are v high on my TBR list and 1 that is (was!) v high on my want to own list! (WTNV 💜) I'm very excited about the tagged book bc I had put it on my TBR from a list & I didn't know much about it yet-after reading the back/seeing it compared to Midnight's Children & David Mitchell & blurbed by Adam Johnson, I'll be happy if just one of those things pulls through!

AmyG Lovely! 2y
Alicia Yay! I am so glad you liked everything! I hope I didn‘t get any duplicates of books you own 🙈🙈I was so happy with my finds! I hope you enjoy! I also just got Pachinko and Im excited to read it as I get to meet the author in March!! 2y
Natasha.C.Barnes @Alicia You didn't! I'm itching to read all of them, you seriously honestly kiiiiiilled it, I'm quite blown away. So cool you get to meet the author! All of these books are going on my "definitely read in 2018" list. I'm not really doing challenges next year so I make sure I get to read all the books I'm itching for most. 2y
See All 7 Comments
Natasha.C.Barnes @Alicia Also I'm sorry you started with a different book that I bought! I actually have been to one more sale but I haven't put the books into my "owned" shelf on goodreads bc I'm too afraid someone might have already sent me one or purchased on more me for a swap....they're just waiting for Dec 21st I guess...bc if I get duplicates then the ones I got become gifts! No harm no foul. 2y
Alicia @Natasha.C.Barnes I totally know what you mean! I love sending out bookish gifts so when I get duplicates that‘s what I do but it doesn‘t happen often. And yay! I‘m so glad I picked books you are excited to read! It‘s always hard to know. I also often like pick at least one book I‘ve read and liked. 2y
Alicia @Natasha.C.Barnes I also have bought a bunch in black Friday sales that I need to take off my Litsy TBR. I am trying so hard not to buy books before swaps but it‘s so tough!! 2y
LeahBergen I have The Incarnations waiting for me on my TBR, too. It looks good! 👍🏻 2y
78 likes7 comments
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Lacythebookworm
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Weekend book haul from Half Price Books. I was thrilled to find a Drop Caps that I didn't already own in such great condition!

BooksForYears 👍🐳 2y
Graciouswarriorprincess Wow! Great finds!👍🏻😍📚 2y
minkyb Well done! 2y
Lacythebookworm @Redwritinghood I've had it on my TBR for ages and was excited to pick it up! 2y
101 likes3 stack adds5 comments
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silksandblades
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"In the end, how much distance lies between the truth and what we believe to be true? Between the things we feel at one time and the things we end up doing?"
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This book is super high up on my tbr list, and I'm super excited to read it. I think I'll be picking it up after I finish The Resurrection of Joan Ashby, which is super good by the way ??
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* picture is also posted on my Instagram *

infinitbr This pic is so lovely 2y
silksandblades Thank you! I forgot that litsy crops it so it's a little cut off 🙄🙈 @infinitbr 2y
infinitbr I wish we could have it be in different shapes than square 😭 2y
silksandblades I know, I've gotten so used to Instagram and the ability to post landscapes😂😭 @infinitbr 2y
11 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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youngreadrshelf
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Mehso-so

I'm not sure about this one.

Driver Wang is being stalked by someone claiming to be his soulmate -- that these two are consistently in one another's lives due to reincarnation. This person keeps leaving letters in the taxi driver's cab telling Wang about their past lives together.

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youngreadrshelf
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It's pouring outside. Flood warnings and more. But I'm inside reading and drinking some Old Mad Joy from a local brewer. #ilovearainynight

Nat_Reads Reading while it rains #favoritethings 2y
39 likes1 comment
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youngreadrshelf
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LeahBergen Or backhanded compliment? 😉 2y
youngreadrshelf @LeahBergen hadn't thought of that, but maybe. 2y
32 likes2 comments
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youngreadrshelf
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Jazz, a book, and a glass of wine. Perfect way to wind down after the last Monday in the school year. (Yes, they are ready to be out!)

Jokila Loved this book! 2y
43 likes1 comment
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youngreadrshelf
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merelybookish Looks fun! 3y
suvata It's a good one. 3y
32 likes2 comments
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KarenUK
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#day19 #aprilbookshowers Took a look at my kindle, and #dontrememberbuyingthis on any of these! Pretty sure they were Kindle daily deals.... but all remain unread.... Anyone read any of these?

Cinfhen The Incarnations has been on my TBR forever!!! 3y
KarenUK @Bookladylinda Worth a read? 3y
Bookladylinda @KarenUK I struggled with it a little bit, I ended up listening to the audio and following along with the book but it is a good story. I should probably read it again. Yes read it! (edited) 3y
Matilda I really liked the incarnations- dark and interesting. 3y
71 likes1 stack add5 comments
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Reading_E
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A slightly unorthodox take on #diverselovestories but this book definitely has quite a range of love and other types of relationships! #feistyfeb

Laalaleighh 📚 3y
21 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Ethereallad
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An amazing novel that weaves 1000 years of Chinese History in a contemporary story about a bisexual man. #magicalrealism #queer

3 likes2 stack adds
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Seshat
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This was my book mail today. Usually, when I am getting a hardcover from Amazon, it is a replacement for a book I already have in eBook or papback and love. I have not read this book yet but it sounded fascinating and wasn't available in eBook.

17 likes1 stack add
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Marlee
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Ain't that true

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vmontes
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I'm on a wild taxi ride with Driver Wang. Perfect Sunday morning reading.

1 stack add
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Jokila
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Pickpick

A Beijing taxi driver with a family history of mental illness begins finding stories about his past lives, which all intertwine his fate with that of the letters' mysterious writer. Set against China's paranoid Olympics preparation & Wang's daughter's visions of a "Watcher" following her, it's impossible to tell if Wang has lost his grip on reality, if the letters are a revenge plot, or if something truly supernatural is haunting him

2 likes2 stack adds
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LeahBergen
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KVanRead Only the Anne! More for my TBR pile😂 3y
Magslhalliday The Zelda one is in my Litsy TBR stack 3y
CherylRussell The Romanov Sisters 3y
See All 6 Comments
MrBook An excellent cache 😊! 3y
BekahB I haven't read any of those yet, but The Romanov Sisters and The Incarnations are both on my TBR. The Incarnations sounds interesting! 😀 3y
PrincessLibrarian The Romanov Sisters and Z, both of which I loved! 3y
53 likes3 stack adds6 comments
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fmcgeough
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Pickpick

Fascinating and unique. Two people reincarnated at various points in Chinese history. One, who is aware of the reincarnations, attempts to awaken the other to the knowledge of the past lives and their relationship across the centuries. Interesting premise and really well done I thought.

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suvata
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Pickpick

I'm only halfway through this book but I'm already giving it a five star rating. I don't even care how it ends. What a find!

11 likes1 stack add
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suvata
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I have absolutely no recall as to why this book made it to my TBR list. Maybe I heard about it on a podcast. Maybe someone suggested it to me. In any event, it's up next. Hope I like it.

Liberty I love it so much!!! 3y
Lacythebookworm I've heard really good things! 3y
9 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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TNbooklover66
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#tbrtuesday #audiobook edition. Looking forward to all of these!

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Biljana
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Pickpick

This book has it all. Multilayered, imaginative, well researched, gripping - AMAZING! One of my favourite reads. Recommend. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

17 likes2 stack adds
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Biljana
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Biljana
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earlecooks
Pickpick

Loved the stories woven together & the ever present sense of spookiness.

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FernsAndFairyTales
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Mehso-so

This book was fine; the concept and storytelling structure was interesting. A man starts getting letters from someone claiming that their reincarnated souls have encountered each other throughout centuries. The narrative cuts back to tell those stories throughout the book as it builds on the present storyline. I just didn't really connect with the characters, so it fell a little flat for me. The book jacket is amazing though - so intricate.

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akfreeborn
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So I have just signed up for#24in48 with a swim meet I will be working/watching in the mix. Deciding which TBR stack to work off--This one?

MrBook This is a nice cache. 3y
19 likes1 comment
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Biljana
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When I was reading Slade House, a good friend and an avid reader said to me, You should read this, it's amazing! So, here I am reading it because I listen to my friends :)

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fmcgeough
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Ok. I think I'm ready for the @24in48 read-a-thon. I've got these, an audio book and a couple nerdy programming books I have to get through. By the way, the Clarice Lispector short stories are wonderful. I had never heard of her until I saw her on Litsy!

MrBook Nice stack! 3y
7 likes1 comment
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FernsAndFairyTales
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Fun Friday post: I'm away from my bookmark collection right now, but here's the one I'm currently using. It's my most recent addition to the collection!

MrBook Nice! 3y
26 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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ElizabethAndino
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Pickpick

Fantastic story telling!

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FernsAndFairyTales
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My library cards are feeling very patriotic. Happy Fourth!

13 likes1 stack add
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Haweller
Pickpick

I like the idea of reincarnation but not as a youth in Moaist China. I think I will stick with my wish to be reincarnated as one of my dogs.

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Shvonne
Mehso-so

If you liked The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson, you might like this. Well written but not for me.

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Shvonne
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This is no way a horror novel but I just had my first book induced nightmare. Hopefully it won't happen again tonight.

6 likes1 stack add
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Dylangrrl
Pickpick

I am not usually a fan of Asian literature or lit about Asia, but this book may have changed my mind. Beautifully constructed, epic and tragic, this book brings generations of history together in surprising and shocking ways. Must read!

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Nanner

This book is beautifully written. I recommend it to everyone, especially those interested in reincarnation.

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suzieq
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Beach reads to start the summer

4 likes2 stack adds
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YAWilliams
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This book is trippy as fuck.

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Minervasbutler
Pickpick

I know nothing about Chinese history but I still found this an enthralling read.

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Squints
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Four and a half months into 2016 and I finally found a book I hate to put down.

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BKeaty
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Loving the inside of this book so much. 😍

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BKeaty
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My baby lab Beau ❤️ not a fan of my nighttime reading routine 📚❤️