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Behind the Beautiful Forevers
Behind the Beautiful Forevers | Katherine Boo
A first book by a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist profiles everyday life in the settlement of Annawadi as experienced by a Muslim teen, an ambitious rural mother of a prospective female college student and a young scrap metal thief, in an account that illuminates how their efforts to build better lives are challenged by regional religious, caste and economic tensions. 35,000 first printing.
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LoverOfLearning
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Pickpick

Another brilliant piece of non-fiction. A journalist documents life, death, and hope of people living in a Mumbi Undercity. Katherine shares the story of individuals who experience these wretched and inhumane living conditions.

I studied this book in undergrad. Another must read. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#letterB #Alphabetgame @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Perfect 🧡📚 2w
tokorowilliamwallace I found this one recently at an Ollies! Hope I'll be in the mood for it before the end of the year. 2w
52 likes2 comments
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anushareflects
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Pickpick

A very well written work of non-fiction following the lives of a few families living in a slum in Mumbai city. It beautifully exposes life below the poverty line and Boo‘s journalism is top-notch. Reads like fiction.

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TheRiehlDeal
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Panpan

It‘s more me than it is the book, but I didn‘t really care for this to be honest. I had a hard time following the story and had the audiobook on as background “noise”, if you want to call it that. I was glad to have finally finished this.

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BkClubCare
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Adding this to my tbr. A few others on the (flat card, front) here are big favorites and of the whole list, I still need to read 4. Received the notecard set as a gift. A lovely wonderful gift for someone like me! I read a lot and write a LOT of letters. The card on left is the only list of the bunch I can say I have read all.

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Texreader
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BarbaraBB This one looks wonderful 1y
Librarybelle Oh! A NYT best book! 1y
Texreader @BarbaraBB @Librarybelle I think the title is beautiful 1y
60 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Sasstronaut
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Pickpick

I enjoyed the writing and multi-faceted approach to this. A good book that should be read.

#ReadingRush2020
#LLReadathon

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Shamzi
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Pickpick

#50booksIlove
BOOK 9
Non-fiction are hard to read but this one had such a powerful story that I could not down.It follows life of several people in a slum in Mumbai, India.What stunned me was the politics of power,even though life is an everyday struggle, people still vie for power.In your own everyday struggle,you don't think about these areas but reading it made me realize how insignificant some of my own problems were. Higly recommend it.

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GatheringBooks
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa That‘s a great book too! 2y
43 likes1 comment
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Smarkies
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🖍️ Behind the Beautiful Forevers
🖍️ Boo, Katherine
🖍️ The Blacklist
🖍️ Bareilles, Sara
🖍️ Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
#manicmonday #letterb
@JoScho

JoScho Thanks for playing 😊💜 2y
14 likes1 comment
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peacegypsy
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Mehso-so

This book has many strengths, but I enjoyed The Rent Collector so much more. They both address a similar concern; The Rent Collector just offers a great deal of hope amidst the poverty.

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cjk
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Pickpick

Amazing work of narrative nonfiction. Boo relays the hopes and dreams of families seeking a better life in a society where the odds are stacked against those of low caste. Highly recommend! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

LoverOfLearning I loved this book! I studied it for my undergrad. I have my full book review somewhere on my laptop. It was beautifully written, eye-opening, and dizzying at times. It made me want to be a better person and inspire others to be better people. I would recommend this to anyone. 3y
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cjk
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Engrossing. Drives home that I have a lot to be grateful for, and to have a more positive outlook. #grateful

LoverOfLearning I studied this book for my undergrad! I still have my book review somewhere. This book is so beautifully written. It's eye opening, capturing, and dizzying at times. You have to watch the documentary once you finish the book! 3y
cjk @LoverOfLearning I was unaware of the documentary- thanks for the recommendation! 3y
LoverOfLearning You know what... call me crazy. I've been looking and looking for the documentary or movie I watched about this book or the town in this book. I cannot find anything.... maybe the book was so realistic to me I pretended it was a documentary. Or maybe my college professor had us watch a movie about poverty and slums and I'm just associating it with Kathrine Boo's book... 🤔🤷🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ 3y
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TheShaggyShepherd
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Trying out my new attachment to my KitchenAid. Because who doesn‘t want to do that at 6am before work. 😂 I‘m so glad I got this mixer for Christmas. I love it. #library #audiobook The narrator has grown on me more and I don‘t mind him anymore.

JacqMac My kitchen aid is probably my favourite kitchen appliance. We use it everyday. And it makes great ice cream. 😃 3y
49 likes1 comment
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TheShaggyShepherd
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Cooking has always been the bane of my existence but I really need to learn to cook before we have kids. Sunday it was ribs and today it is baked spaghetti. They may be simple but I have to start somewhere.

Megabooks Looks good! 3y
Buechersuechtling That looks tasty. 😋 And I like your casserole dish. 3y
43 likes3 comments
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TheShaggyShepherd
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I was excited to find this one available right away after hearing about it from Anne on #WSIRN but I‘m really not enjoying the narrator. I don‘t know if I can listen to him the entire 8 hours.

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EvaPriest
Pickpick

One of my all-time favorite books. It‘s tragic and inspiring, a story vividly and beautifully told. Katherine Boo transports you to Mumbai slum, takes hold of your heart, and doesn‘t let go. It‘s a true story with multiple storylines woven together like a novel, a rare work of art. Even all these years after reading it, my heart aches when I think the people whose lives she captures in its pages. I want to be Katherine Boo when I grow up.

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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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Megabooks You did really well with the B‘s!! 3y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Megabooks Thanks. My Goodreads shelves helped a lot! 3y
RealLifeReading Extra points for all the alliterative titles!! 🌟🌟🌟 3y
83 likes4 comments
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kricheal
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Pickpick

This was heartbreaking. I had to keep reminding myself that this was nonfiction, some of these stories just tear you apart. The one that really got me was the widowed woman and her husband's funeral pyre. #28 #2019

69 likes1 stack add
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kricheal
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Starting this next on #overdrive #currentlylistening

Shamzi I read this a long time ago. It's filled with stories of survival, greed and hope. Very fascinating. 3y
Blaire This book was so moving and the way she was able to live in the community is incredible. 3y
62 likes2 comments
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Pedrocamacho
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Pickpick

At times, this book left me angry, gutted, and stupefied; and, yes, sometimes hopeful. It will be a long while before I finish thinking about this book and the people of the former Annawadi slum in Mumbai.

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Suet624
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Pickpick

Good Lord! This was a tough read for this sensitive soul of mine. Nonfiction that reads like a novel, the author writes of the lives of people living in the Mumbai slums. The class difference, the effort required to make the smallest amount of money each day, the inhumanity toward others, and the dishonesty of neighbors and police make one understand the hopelessness of those she writes about.

DivineDiana Such a moving story. ❤️ 4y
Freespirit Sounds a tough but rewarding read! 4y
batsy Such a powerful read, but so difficult. 4y
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Shamzi
Pickpick

"at the heart of bad nature is envy and at the heart of envy is hope--that the good fortune of others might one day be theirs" read Behind the Beautiful Forevers...it tells us that there is struggle, deceit,jealousy,hope and determination behind the beautiful forevers....

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Carrdahl
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Mehso-so

This was a deeply sad look at life in A Mumbai slum that left me with a feeling of hopelessness. The violence and cruelty within a community reflects a primal survival that I wasn‘t fully prepared for. I‘m glad to have read it, and am also glad to put it down.

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readtheworld
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Today at the library sale I ran into a favorite read from a few years back! This book was fascinating and heartbreaking and so, so good.

#librarysale #booksale #nonfiction #usedbooks

BellaBookNook This has been on my TBR forever. One day I have to get to it. 4y
readtheworld @BellaBookNook Yes, it‘s so good! Though a very difficult read. 4y
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tjwill
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Pickpick

This book had so many powerful stories, full of both hope and devastation. I learned so much about life in India‘s slums, and the power structures that keep the poor in their country down. I was especially touched by the stories of Manju, a young woman trying to get an education, and Meena, daughter of the female slumlord Asha.

Last book for this round of #lmpbc #groupN! #NforNonfiction

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I know, I found that one very touching and moving too! 4y
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tjwill
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This book is eye-opening. I realize that I had very little idea about how Indian slum-dwellers live. While I‘ve learned so much, its heaviness means that I‘ve had to take breaks to read lighter books.

@BarbaraTheBibliophage I am about 2/3 in, and I should be able to finish this weekend and get it back to you next week. #lmpbc #groupn

BarbaraTheBibliophage BTW, I found the same thing. This took me a whole month to get through because it was so intense and affecting. 4y
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tjwill
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I just finished Part 1. Annawadi, a slum of Mumbai, is a fascinating place. I like Abdul, Sunil, and Manju so far. I look forward to finding out more about them. #lmpbc #groupN #NforNonfiction

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tjwill
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I just received the last book for our #lmpbc! #groupN #NforNonfiction

This looks amazing! Im looking forward to reading it!

DivineDiana Such a moving book! ❤️ 4y
Crazeedi 😊want to read 4y
BarbaraTheBibliophage I hope you like it! 4y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa Wow, that one took a long time to get there, it must have been on an adventure. 4y
tjwill @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I also don‘t check the mail everyday. It could have been sitting in the mailbox a few days. 😬 4y
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AmyG
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Not a Halloween Boo...but this Boo wrote a wonderful book.
##BlackCatChallenge #Boo @Clwojick

Readingismyescape Good one! 4y
DivineDiana It is a wonderful book! ❤️ 4y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
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Pickpick

So good, a heart-wrenching and yet strangely hopeful view into the lives, hopes, and tribulations of a small community living in a slum near a Mumbai, India airport. What are their daily lives like, what do they do to survive, what conflicts do they have with the larger city and among themselves, just stating that sounds like it should be a boring read, but the author gets to know all her subjects well and so do you as they tell you about (cont.)

Riveted_Reader_Melissa ...their lives, you‘ll leave feeling like you know each one of them personally and want to know what happened to them next, after this story ended, as their lives continued into uncertainty. 4y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Thanks for this great read #LMPBC #GroupN 4y
DivineDiana One of my few 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 reads! And I love your new photo! 4y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa I‘ll get this one out in the mail to you tomorrow @tjwill 4y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @DivineDiana It‘s really excellent! And thank you! 4y
tjwill I‘m getting so behind in my reading commitments! I‘ll do my best to get to it soon! 4y
Booksnchill Oh wow- found this for $1.00 at goodwill and bought for the cover- great to see this review! 4y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @tjwill That‘s why I‘m late too, but the good news is that after you it goes back to its original owner, @BarbaraTheBibliophage , I think, and they‘ve already read it, so I bet they‘d let you keep it a bit longer if you need to. We really did luck out with a great group of super nice readers.😉 4y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Booksnchill It‘s really good, and some of the things they struggle with definitely had reflections to issues we have here, at least for me they did, if we aren‘t careful and smarter about our choices. 4y
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daniwithtea
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Been in a bit of a reading slump lately, what with getting ready to start school in just over a week and my husband being off on a Viking ship (!). Enjoying some tea on this lovely cool morning while I finish up this pick for #lmpbc #groupn

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Shamzi
Pickpick

Read this in college & it has remained with me till today. There is a line in the book "at the heart of her bad nature was envy. And at the heart of envy was possibly hope-that the good fortune of others might one day be hers" this sums up the idea behind this book and life itself, at least sometimes. Read this beautiful non fiction which captures all the human emotion and the struggle of living in difficult conditions but dreaming of a good life.

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daniwithtea
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This arrived yesterday - so excited to dig in! Thanks @BarbaraTheBibliophage for the lovely gifts! #lpmbc #groupn

BarbaraTheBibliophage You‘re welcome! I hope you find the book entrancing and enlightening. ♥️ 4y
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Tanzy13
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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Pickpick

Katherine Boo does a fantastic job of telling these stories with a balance of hope and despair. Although, they do lean towards the depressing most of the time. This wasn‘t a quick read. I had to put it down many times because Boo never whitewashes the truth. She‘s created a tour de force of social justice. Well worth the time for its heart, as well as its hurt.

Full review www.TheBibliophage.com
#thebibliophage2018
#Lmpbc #groupn #nfornonfiction

LitLogophile Loved this one! 4y
mllemay I just borrowed this from a friend! I hope to get to it in the next few weeks. 4y
tjwill Sounds amazing! I‘m looking forward to reading it! 4y
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CarolynM This story was adapted for the stage and there is a National Theatre Live film of it if you are interested. It's very good. 4y
Abby2 Such an amazing book 4y
EKonrad Saw her speak once at a graduation. She‘s brilliant! 4y
pgh.femme This book was fascinating and moving. 4y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @CarolynM Thanks! I may try the film after a while. Right now I‘ve been caught in several deeply depressing books. Need a break!! 4y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @LitLogophile @Abby2 @EKonrad @pgh.femme Yes, it was quite good. So real! 4y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @tjwill It‘ll be in your house just a few months from now! Hope you like it. ❣️ 4y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @mllemay I hope you like it! 4y
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Smarkies
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✏️ Behind the Beautiful Forevers
✏️ Bacon! 🥓
✏️ Julian Barnes
✏️ Buffy the Vampire Slayer
#manicmonday @JoScho

JoScho Thanks for playing 😊💖 4y
24 likes1 comment
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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It‘s incredibly incongruous to be reading this particular book in my bucolic little backyard. #rememberhowmuchyouhave #lmpbc #groupn #nfornonfiction

Leftcoastzen Pretty! 4y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Leftcoastzen Thanks! It‘s just been so dry. Everything‘s getting fried. 4y
4thhouseontheleft I had the same thought when I got to the part that described the size of Annawadi, and realized it wasn‘t much bigger than my house lot and my neighbors combined. 4y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @4thhouseontheleft I know, right? We really are privileged to have as much space as we do. 4y
124 likes4 comments
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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I‘m lying on the couch recovering from a 3-day migraine. So Mr. B decided it must be time to upgrade my laptop‘s OS. And I‘m reading my pick for #groupn #nfornonfiction #lmpbc. Wishing I was with the #phillylittens for the meetup instead.

UwannaPublishme Feel better! 🤗💖 4y
Andrea4 3 days! My god! Feel better soon!!! 4y
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BarbaraTheBibliophage @Andrea4 Well, it‘s only been nasty for part of that time. Otherwise, just low level and more manageable. Still, it‘ll wipe a girl out! Thanks for the good wishes. 4y
Crazeedi Hope you're doing much better! 4y
Mollyanna Hope you feel better soon! 🤞🏻 4y
Dolly This book was a kind of migraine. So much suffering. 😩 4y
BooknerdsLife Oh no! Migraine is terrible! Hope you feel better soon 🙏🏼💕 4y
minkyb Take care! 4y
huntersmom1977 Hope you are feeling better! I understand your pain all too well my dear. Healing vibes sent your way!! 🙏💞 4y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Crazeedi @Mollyanna @BooknerdsLife @minkyb @huntersmom1977 Thanks all! I‘ve survived. I really appreciate your ♥️! 4y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Dolly Yes, there‘s a lot of suffering. I read Shantaram earlier this year, which is fictional Mumbai from 20-30 years earlier. That might make it harder for me to manage this book. We‘ll see ... (edited) 4y
4thhouseontheleft Oh no! I‘m sorry you missed the #phillymeetup 😢 Hope the migraine goes away soon! I have been dealing with an awful sinus headache since coming home from the mountains on Saturday. 4y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @4thhouseontheleft Thanks, my friend. I think it‘s gone, although I still have a twinge of something that‘s a little off. I hope your sinus headache goes away soooon!!! 4y
ValerieAndBooks I hope you‘re feeling a lot better! We missed you yesterday. 4y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @ValerieAndBooks Thanks Valerie. I‘m doing fine now. I missed being there too! 4y
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
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#lmpbc #groupn #nfornonfiction
Here‘s my big stack of suggestions. I tend toward medical, science or history but tried to mix it up. Now I want to take a long vacation and just read my books! Tags in the comments!

See All 22 Comments
BarbaraTheBibliophage The Grace of Silence: A Memoir by Michele Norris
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9192508
4y
Tamra Behind the Beautiful Forevers 💜 is haunting. I can‘t recall if the many photos she took are in the book, if not be sure to look for them online. 4y
tjwill Behind the Beautiful Forevers, The Neuroscientist, My Life on the Road, and The Grace of Silence are the ones that jump out to me the most! All of these look great! 4y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Tamra I‘ve heard so many good reviews of it! Thanks for the heads up on the photos. My paperback doesn‘t have any, so I‘ll look online. 4y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa My life on the Road and Behind the Beautiful Forevers are on my to be read list, and have been for awhile now. Now let me go and look up the rest, and most likely add them all to my To Read list. 😉👍 (edited) 4y
daniwithtea These all sound good! My Life On the Road is the only one on my TBR, but I‘d be up for any of them 4y
GlassAsDiamonds Definitely find the photos for Behind The Beautiful Forevers online if you can - we can see Dharavi from our windows & if you can believe it, it‘s infrastructure and quality of life is much higher than many others in modern Mumbai. The tagged is another good India book although slightly dated, as is Maximum City. 4y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @GlassAsDiamonds Thanks for the suggestions. I read Shantaram earlier this year and would like to read some nonfiction about the city. I also just got 4y
BarbaraTheBibliophage Beautiful Forever has 3 votes (I added mine). My Life on the Road has 3 votes. Which should we go with? @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @daniwithtea @tjwill 4y
tjwill I‘m leaning toward Beautiful Forevers 4y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Beautiful Forevers it is then! 4y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @daniwithtea @tjwill Yes!! We have a winner!! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 4y
CarolynM Beautiful Forevers became a play that was staged at the National Theatre in London a few years ago. There is a National Theatre Live film of it which you may be interested in when you have read the book. 4y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @CarolynM Thanks! I‘ll have to find and bookmark that video (or videos) for later. 4y
125 likes22 comments
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4thhouseontheleft
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Pickpick

I came into this with hesitations: another well-educated American white woman spending time in a highly impoverished area just to write about it?🙄

And then the author won me over. I recommend reading the author‘s note at the end first, which actually helps to put what you are reading in context and understand the author‘s motives.

4thhouseontheleft Counts for the #MountTBR challenge. 4y
jillrhudy I think I‘d like this. I like exposes. 4y
Blaire I‘m so glad you liked this - I thought the author did a really good job of showing life there without it being exploitative. 4y
4thhouseontheleft @Blaire I thought so too! I also appreciated that she did not insert herself into the narrative, I‘m not a fan when authors do that (Barbara Ehrenreich‘s style comes to mind as an example). 4y
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4thhouseontheleft
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I spent much of this week as an ACLU volunteer Immigration Court Observer. While my work background is in refugee resettlement, and I have been working on the Observer Project for almost 6 months now, sometimes it is harder than others.

Coming home and reading this excellent but heartbreaking book at the same time was probably not the best idea!

I should finish this one just before book club tonight, and then it will be on to a light read!

TrishB Sounds like a tough job 💕 4y
knittedgnome Thank you for all the hard work you do! Hope your next read is light and exactly what you need. 4y
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4thhouseontheleft
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This chapter about Meena‘s suicide, closely following Kalu‘s death, was absolutely heartbreaking. All the more so because of how common suicide by poison is amongst the poor in India.

“This was one decision about her life she got to make.” 😞💔

cocomass This book was good but soooo tough 😢 4y
18 likes1 comment
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4thhouseontheleft
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The house is still sleeping, perfect reading time...I love weekend mornings!

On the plate: GF everything bagel flat w/ ham, Wallaby Greek yogurt with almond granola and fruit.

#booksandbreakfast

Sophoclessweetheart This looks delicious x 4y
4thhouseontheleft @Sorceryandswords Thanks! It is! (edited) 4y
Slajaunie I was up around 5:30 this morning. Finished a book and walked the dogs twice already. I love being up early! 4y
Blaire I loved the tagged book! Worth reading the note about how she lived in the community. 4y
4thhouseontheleft @Blaire I actually skimmed the note in the back before I started. 😃 4y
121 likes5 comments
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4thhouseontheleft
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Starting my local book club pick for this month, an intense nonfiction narrative about inequality and poverty in Mumbai, India.

I have a feeling this will be a heavily annotated book by the time I am finished!

Drinking my homemade chai....seemed fitting! Sooo yummy, with lots of ginger, clove, cardamom and nutmeg. Smells divine, if I do say so myself. 😂 #booksandtea

Tamra Haunting book. 4y
Readerann Excellent book. 4y
CarolynM I haven't read the book, but I saw a National Theatre Live screening of the play - really powerful. 4y
4thhouseontheleft @Tamra @Readerann It has been excellent so far. I visited a coastal Dalit village outside of Chennai once on a volunteer project to help paint a school - a village that was sadly destroyed in the Boxing Day tsunami, and the living conditions were appalling. 😞 But living in tiny huts next to a sewage “lake”, I can barely imagine. 4y
101 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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BookishFeminist
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Seeing Katherine Boo speak tonight about poverty and housing in Mumbai. I‘ve been a huge fan of her journalism and activism for a long time and I‘m so stoked to see her!!

BarbaraTheBibliophage Nice! I‘m reading Shantaram right now and thinking about Beautiful Forevers next. I‘ve heard such good things. 4y
Erin.Elizabeth10 I saw her this year too! 4y
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BookishFeminist @Erin.Elizabeth10 She‘s so great! I got to chat with her afterwards and she‘s such a delight and really gets it. It was refreshing to hear her speak 4y
BookishFeminist @BarbaraTheBibliophage you would love it, I‘m due for a reread now and took so many notes at her talk last night. So much respect for her. I‘ve been meaning to read Shantaram it‘s just so damn long! Let me know how you like it! (edited) 4y
BookishFeminist @RealLifeReading it was so much fun! 4y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @BookishFeminist I‘m really enjoying Shantaram. It‘s 900+ pages, so it could be awhile before I finish! 4y
Erin.Elizabeth10 @BookishFeminist oh that‘s so cool you got to talk with her in person! Yes I was very impressed with how much she is in tune with what is true. 4y
mkinney10 @BarbaraTheBibliophage BTBF is awesome! 4y
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Litpixie
Pickpick

In a book that explores the lives of slum dwellers living in one of the largest slums near the Mumbai International Airport you wouldn't expect optimism. Yet, every one living in the slum dreams and works towards getting enough money to live a better life outside the slums. It's not an easy book to read. However, after reading it I now have a hunger for other books on India.