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A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian | Marina Lewycka
With this wise, tender, and deeply funny novel, Marina Lewycka takes her place alongside Zadie Smith and Monica Ali as a writer who can capture the unchanging verities of family. When an elderly and newly widowed Ukrainian immigrant announces his intention to remarry, his daughters must set aside their longtime feud to thwart him. For their fathers intended is a voluptuous old-country gold digger with a proclivity for green satin underwear and an appetite for the good life of the West. As the hostilities mount and family secrets spill out, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian combines sex, bitchiness, wit, and genuine warmth in its celebration of the pleasure of growing old disgracefully.
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review
ValerieAndBooks
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Pickpick

Initially picked this up because it‘s on the #1001Books list. I might not have otherwise but glad I did! It seems deceptively simple— a dark comedy about a younger woman bamboozling an elderly man into marriage, and his two adult daughters try to step in. But also looks at issues such as elder abuse, immigrants wanting better lives at any cost, and family dynamics that feel familiar to many. Quite a book. Great #buddyread w/ @Lynnsoprano .

Lynnsoprano Glad we could keep the tradition going! I love the apples, but Toshiba apples didn‘t sound too appetizing 😂 We still need to do our Ukrainian cooking. 1mo
ValerieAndBooks @Lynnsoprano in my case they‘d have to be called Kenmore apples 😂. Perhaps with some sugar and cinnamon they‘d be better? I‘ve started looking up Ukrainian recipes and trying to find something that doesn‘t involve an assembly line 😊 1mo
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ValerieAndBooks
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This made me chuckle...but also reminded me one reason why I haven‘t finished War and Peace (So many names!) 😆.

This novel was really good. Review coming soon!

Lynnsoprano At least you started War and Peace. I‘ve never worked up the nerve 😂 1mo
58 likes1 comment
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Lynnsoprano
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Pickpick

How to describe this book? Comic, but with dark undertones. Delightfully drawn characters. A study in family dynamics, and how family history varies by who is telling the tale. Relevant in light of current immigration discussions. Absolutely fascinating. Hard to put down. I can‘t wait to see @ValerieAndBooks review of our #buddyread. No pictures of Ukraine or tractors, but since most of the book is set in England, some English countryside.

kspenmoll Wonderful review & beautiful photo! 1mo
ValerieAndBooks This is a pick from me too! I‘ll review soon. This was a faster read than I expected. 1mo
ValerieAndBooks And, yes, it‘s a good example of how different lives and perspectives can be between siblings such as these two sisters, one growing up in war times and the other not. I‘ll add more to this in a spoiler below 1mo
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ValerieAndBooks It made me think that Stanislav and his baby sister would go through differing perspectives as well. I certainly hope Valentina would improve as a person and parent. It left me thinking there should be a sequel. I see the author has written additional novels, will have to look into them. 1mo
Lynnsoprano @ValerieAndBooks I feel the same about a sequel. I‘m definitely going to investigate her other books. (edited) 1mo
Dragon I enjoyed this one 😀🐉 1mo
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Lynnsoprano
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“...in her new three-roomed concrete-built apartment on the other side of the city.”

This brings back so many memories. When we lived in Prague, we were on the 6th floor of a Communist era concrete high rise, with an elevator that worked maybe 50% of the time. The kids shared a bedroom with twin beds head to foot. And when the person who ran the boiler went on holiday, we had no hot water. I can relate. #buddyread

ValerieAndBooks Wow, what year(s) did you live there? I wonder if it‘s still standing. The hot water unpredictablity must have been frustrating! 1mo
Lynnsoprano @ValerieAndBooks It was 1993. We were back in 2001, and it was still there. Our son tried to find it about five years ago when he was there, but got confused coming out of the metro station. Even in 2001 it looked different. The area was much nicer. And fortunately, it was only one week that we were without hot water 😄 1mo
ValerieAndBooks Glad it was only one week without hot water 😅. I‘m already almost done! I haven‘t been able to put this down. 1mo
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Lynnsoprano @ValerieAndBooks I‘ve purposely put it down a couple times because I‘m going so fast. What a compelling story! I was laughing this afternoon at the men and the cars😂 1mo
muscogulus Really enjoyed this book, which never seemed to get much traction (no pun intended) here in the US. Reviewed it for LibraryThing: ‪ https://www.librarything.com/work/book/30243016 1mo
Lynnsoprano @muscogulus Interesting point. The reason I own this is because I was in a bookstore in Cambridge while visiting friends in England. My friend had read it and recommended it. I had never heard of it to that point. 1mo
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Lynnsoprano
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Nobody else would think it‘s cool, but by South Florida standards we have a bit of a break in the heat and humidity. Taking advantage after a crazy morning of running errands to bring my #buddyread out to the patio. @ValerieAndBooks I am laughing at the insults and names Valentina keeps coming up with. And I hear it in an Eastern European accent in my head. It‘s taking me back to listening to Czech friends speak English.

Crazeedi I love it when I'm reading books from other countries and hear them speaking with their accents, it's the best! ❤ have a lovely day! 1mo
ValerieAndBooks Yes! Such as “crap car”, my favorite so far 😂 1mo
ValerieAndBooks And I am not one to swear, but it just strikes me as funny. 1mo
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ValerieAndBooks
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Page 106. This is exactly what I was thinking as I got to this point. It‘s kind of obvious that things won‘t go well if an 84 year old is conned into marriage by a 36 year old wanting permanent residency — but it‘s turning into darker tones now. What do you think @Lynnsoprano ?

Lynnsoprano I read that a little while ago, and thought the same thing. At least at this point, it‘s darker than I expected. And the dad trying to play the daughters against each other hits close to home. My mom tried to do the same thing to my brother and me after our dad died, until we called her on it. Interesting that they are starting to unite in their efforts. 1mo
CafeMom I hope you all are enjoying the chapter titles, they get more absurd as the book goes on. 1mo
rwmg I want to re-read this. My brother got it me for Christmas when it first came out and I read it but I have no memory of it. 1mo
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Lynnsoprano @cafemom I see what you mean. I looked at “a half-eaten ham sandwich “ and went, what?? 😂 1mo
ValerieAndBooks Right?! And now I will never forget the “squishy squashy” chapter title . 🙈🙊 @CafeMom @Lynnsoprano 1mo
ValerieAndBooks @rwmg it is really something! Yeah, looks like it first came out in 2005, long ago enough to forget details. 1mo
Lynnsoprano @ValerieAndBooks squishy squashy and flippy floppy will never be the same 🤣 1mo
ValerieAndBooks @Lynnsoprano re: your earlier comment, I think a lot of readers can identify with the family dynamics— I‘m lucky that my parents don‘t/didn‘t play those games but I‘ve seen it done by their parents and also my hubby‘s mom. 1mo
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Lynnsoprano
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“Into the soup, when it was simmering, she followed teaspoons of halushki-a paste of raw egg and semolina, beaten together with salt and herbs -which fluffed up into dumplings that crumbled on your tongue.”

Hubby‘s family background is Ukranian, and my MIL made halushki, but hers included grated raw potato and were definitely not fluffy. They were incredibly heavy, but very filling, and delicious. #buddyread

Emilymdxn Love this book and LOVE Ukrainian food! 1mo
ValerieAndBooks I am just starting this section (chapter 5). We should try making some Ukrainian dishes!! That would be new to me. The closest thing to an Ukrainian relative that I have is my aunt‘s husband, Uncle Arnie, whose parents emigrated from there to Canada 😊 1mo
Lynnsoprano @ValerieAndBooks That would be fun! There are so many similarities among Eastern European cuisines, with subtle differences in the names. I have a Slovak cookbook that my MIL gave me and I make stuffed cabbage (halupki) regularly. I have also made pierogies from scratch, but that‘s a project 😄 It‘s fun to do together with friends-something to think about 😊 1mo
49 likes3 comments
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ValerieAndBooks
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Oh, those are apples! So much for my plan to use tomatoes as a prop 😂. @Lynnsoprano ‘s cover is much more eye-catching. We‘re embarking on our third annual #buddyread with this novel.

Lynnsoprano My goodness, that cover is so different! Already enjoying this. I only had a little reading time today, and I‘m already through four chapters. 1mo
cathipink This book randomly showed up in my Little Free Library this week 🙂 1mo
ValerieAndBooks @cathipink oh, that‘s cool! Same cover? 1mo
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cathipink Yes 🙂🙂 1mo
CafeMom I loved this book. Enjoy. 1mo
LauraBeth I've had this on my mental TBR forever! I'm officially stacking it so hopefully, I can remember it! 1mo
Suet624 Ooohhh, already stacked. 1mo
ValerieAndBooks @CafeMom @LauraBeth @Suet624 I‘m enjoying it so far! 1mo
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Lynnsoprano
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It took us a while to get it together this time, but @ValerieAndBooks and I are about to embark on our third annual #buddyread. I‘ve been meaning to read this for a while; I bought it for @Alisnazzy two years ago at Heffers in Cambridge. It also has one of the most intriguing covers I‘ve seen. I here I go!

MommyWantsToReadHerBook I really enjoyed this one and the other books of hers I've read 1mo
ValerieAndBooks Ooh, a different cover! I‘ll post mine real soon, and respond to your email 😊. Looking forward to reading and discussing with you. 1mo
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callielafleur
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Pickpick

What to do when your recently-widowed, 84-year old father takes up with a voluptuous, much younger woman? Oh, the hijinks that take place. I really enjoyed this. It was sweet, light, and told a story that was interesting and at times very funny. It was never super sad, which is what I needed right now.

callielafleur 4.5⭐ 4mo
PurpleyPumpkin Sounds like this was a light, fun read. Stacked!📚👍🏽 4mo
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Lynnsoprano
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I retrieved this from @Ambrosnazzy ‘s library. The friend who recommended it and was with me when I bought it has asked me several times if I‘ve read it. Hopefully I will soon be able to answer “yes.”

bedandabook It‘s brilliant! I read it a few years ago. Really hope you enjoy 😊 5mo
zezeki I read it a year ago, it's a fun read! 5mo
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Caroline2
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There‘s nothing like Litsy mail to cheer you up when you‘re ill! Thank you so much @TrishB for the letter & book! I‘m really looking forward to reading it! My mum came round to help out and asked to borrow a book and choose your one! Before I had chance to get a photo! don‘t worry, I know where she lives and she always gives books back! She‘s loving it so far!! I hope you don‘t mind! 😬

Kaye Have a great weekend ! 9mo
TrishB Don‘t mind at all! Hope she enjoys it and you‘re on the mend! 9mo
RachelO Hope you‘re feeling better soon 🌷 9mo
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AmyG Feel better. 9mo
LoveToReadLiveToRead Great book! Hope you feel better x 9mo
Caroline2 @TrishB thanks Trish! I‘ve been in agony but I‘ve managed to get out of bed today so think the antibiotics are kicking in and I‘m turning the corner now at last! 😅 xxx 9mo
92 likes7 comments
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Berryfan
Pickpick

Quite an interesting book. It dealt with the issues adult children have in dealing with aged parents making foolish decisions. Certainly has some humour but more serious than comic.

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Emilymdxn
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Pickpick

This book had so much heart and tenderness, and was also really funny, and taught me a lot about immigration law, and tractors. Small and perfectly formed

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Emilymdxn
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I don‘t know much about this one but I saw it on the #1001books list and was intrigued!

JennyM I stumbled across this a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Enjoy! 11mo
julesG I'm wondering whether I just read about this, or actually read it. 11mo
zsuzsanna_reads I remember when this was a bestseller. It's good even though I probably wouldn't add it to my lifetime reading list. Might add it to my reread list on Goodreads, thanks for reminding me! 11mo
rwmg I read this about 10 years ago but don't really remember it. Perhaps I should put it on the re-read list like @zsuzsanna_reads 11mo
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trickyricky
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Pickpick

A hilarious account of clash between two different set of immigrant families, coveting unrequited desires and the chasm between the east and west Europe. I wish the characters were a bit less stereotypical but it is a fabulous debut nonetheless.

RaimeyGallant Sounds interesting. 12mo
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HannahKate
Pickpick

Hilarious.

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jfount
Pickpick

As promised on the cover, very funny!

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jfount
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Starting honeymoon book #2 on the way to Ancona...

trickyricky I am reading this right now. 13mo
2 likes1 comment
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Ardachy
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An #bookcrossing release at St Michael‘s church in Framlingham, #Suffolk. http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/14768364/

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Beautiful 💗 1y
11 likes1 comment
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WanderingBookaneer
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Biljana
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#riotgrams #apples 🍏🍎📚🍂🍁

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Alisnazzy
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So this “thanks post” is about a week late, but I had a very intense trial this week that took all my time and energy. But... @Lynnsoprano and my dad got me a book while on their England trip AND a legit keyboard for my apartment so I can stay home and get all my anxieties out. I‘m so happy!!! I needed this so badly! #BestParents 💖

Scurvygirl Great present!! 2y
PenguinInFlight Yay! That's awesome!! ☺️❤️ 2y
Nuwanda Awesome! 2y
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Yay!!! 😊😊 2y
LauraBrook 💖💖💖💖💖 2y
Bookzombie That's awesome! 2y
readinginthedark ❤️❤️❤️ 2y
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teaandcake
Panpan

I read this for my book club but didn't find it funny or enjoyable. Didn't like any of the characters and it felt like it dragged on.

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neet_reads
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Time for @Cinfhen 's #RockinMay
Day 1. Immigrant Song.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, & find it strange that I've never taken to any of Lewycka's other books

Cinfhen This was such a funny whacky quirky story! Such an awesome pick 😍😍😍 2y
Night_Reader Sounds like a fun book. Love the title. 2y
11 likes2 comments
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DeborahSmall
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#riotgrams #coolspines I love the spines on all of my old leather bound dickens collection and any other old book. But these always stand out from their friends and neighbours 📚💞

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JonathanDunne
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Pickpick

This was my first book by this writer and I give it the 👍 for sly, sarcastic humour, and a sharp eye on society.

Marie_KN Loved it!!! 3y
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shawnmooney
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The $5 book sale of English books at the Tokyo book store is almost over!

ramyasbookshelf I've heard so many awesome things about this book! You got quite a haul in this $5 sale. Is it a yearly thing? 3y
shawnmooney @ramyasbookshelf Good question, but I don't know. I sure hope so! :) 3y
MyBookLife I don't know if I read this at the wrong time, but I really didn't like this one.. 3y
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Joanne1 Loved this book, though her second novel, two caravans, wasn't nearly as strong. 3y
GuiltyFeat This was OK. Reminded me why I don't read as many British novels. 3y
Bibliogeekery I liked this one 3y
LaurenSovarabia I didn't like it either... I was in Barcelona when I read it and hungrily grabbed at copy of The Glass Menagerie that was in our apartment to read instead. 3y
trickyricky I am reading this book right now. I have bought it for 65/- (less than an American dollar) and so far it has been nice but a bit flat and forgettable. I hope it picks up because the premise is interesting. 13mo
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schauermom
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A selection from the TBR pile which is otherwise known as my house. 😂😂

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