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The Custom of the Country
The Custom of the Country | Edith Wharton
The Custom of the Country is a 1913 novel by Edith Wharton. It tells the story of Undine Spragg, a Midwestern girl who attempts to ascend in New York City society
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Lcsmcat
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So what do you think of Undine? And who is Wharton being (more) critical of, the Invaders or the Invaded? I confess to liking Undine Spragg (what a name!) better this time around than the first time I read this book. She elicits more sympathy this time for being so clueless. The Stentorian Hotel (stentorian meaning brash, loud) makes me chuckle - if Wharton were writing today would she have put them in Trump Tower? 👇🏻

Lcsmcat 👆🏻because that was the first set of images that came up when I googled the description of Undine‘s sitting room. 😀 So instead, I chose this pink princess bedroom that Undine might have liked. Promised quotes below. (edited) 5d
Lcsmcat “The Spragg rooms were known as one of the Looey suites, and the drawing-room walls, above their wainscoting of highly-varnished mahogany, were hung with salmon-pink damask and adorned with oval portraits of Marie Antoinette and the Princess de Lamballe. In the centre of the florid carpet a gilt table with a top of Mexican onyx sustained a palm in a gilt basket tied with a pink bow.” 5d
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Lcsmcat “Mrs. Spragg herself wore as complete an air of detachment as if she had been a wax figure in a show-window. Her attire was fashionable enough to justify such a post, and her pale soft-cheeked face, with puffy eye-lids and drooping mouth, suggested a partially-melted wax figure which had run to double-chin.” (edited) 5d
Lcsmcat “Undine‘s white and gold bedroom, with sea-green panels and old rose carpet,” 5d
Lcsmcat “She wanted to surprise every one by her dash and originality, but she could not help modelling herself on the last person she met, and the confusion of ideals thus produced caused her much perturbation when she had to choose between two courses.” 5d
Lcsmcat [the groom] “had left Cracow under a charge of swindling servant-girls out of their savings; in the light of which discoveries Undine noticed for the first time that his lips were too red and that his hair was pommaded.” 5d
Lcsmcat “(Undine had noticed that they were all more or less cousins)” 5d
Lcsmcat At the Stentorian- “silently eating their way through a bill-of-fare which seemed to have ransacked the globe for gastronomic incompatibilities;” 5d
Lcsmcat Undine “was used to the homage of the streets and her vanity craved a choicer fare.” 5d
Lcsmcat “It was one of Mrs. Spragg‘s chief occupations to watch the nightly lighting of New York.” 5d
Lcsmcat “the other “guests” simply formed a cold impenetrable group who walked, boated, played golf, and discussed Christian Science and the Subliminal, unaware of the tremulous organism drifting helplessly against their rock-bound circle.” 5d
Lcsmcat “Undine blushed with anger at her own simplicity in fancying that he had been “taken” by her—that she could ever really count among these happy self-absorbed people!” 5d
Lcsmcat “As her imagination developed the details of the scene in the Van Degen dining-room it became clear to her that fashionable society was horribly immoral and that she could never really be happy in such a poisoned atmosphere. She remembered that an eminent divine was preaching a series of sermons against Social Corruption, and she determined to go and hear him on the following Sunday.” 5d
Lcsmcat Of Marvell - “For four or five generations it had been the rule of both houses that a young fellow should go to Columbia or Harvard, read law, and then lapse into more or less cultivated inaction.” 5d
Lcsmcat “he seemed to see her like a lovely rock-bound Andromeda, with the devouring monster Society careering up to make a mouthful of her; and himself whirling down on his winged horse—“ 5d
Leftcoastzen Wow ! You are up & running,I had a poor reading week , I am probably going to comment later today when I complete book 1. 5d
Cathythoughts That‘s a scream .. would they be in Trump tower 😆. Undine IS clueless, she‘s innocent enough, I don‘t know how it will all work out ( my first time reading ) .. and I‘m not too sure yet about Ralph Marvell and his cave ( I like him now at the start ). Great quotes! I must have a proper look at them. Apologies, I‘m heading out now on Granny duty, but will join in tomorrow. Loving the book 👍🏻♥️ 5d
Currey @Lcsmcat I can‘t say I am appreciating Undine. She is clueless yes, but also is terribly manipulative of her parents not unlike a 6 year old. Ralph also rather clueless in his own bubble. I did Love the dialogue between Mr Spragg and Mr Dragonet regarding Ralph‘s inability to work at any business 5d
Lcsmcat @Currey That was funny. Mr. Spragg has more of my sympathy than anyone else, so far. 5d
Currey @Lcsmcat Where are you imaging Apex is? Also I am intrigued by what exactly Elmer has on the Spraggs. Were they (gasp) engaged? 5d
Louise It‘s interesting that Wharton chose to name her main character Undine, which is the name for the elemental beings associated with water. In the way that water always takes the shape of its environment or “container”, Undine continuously tries to take on the ways of the social circles she aspires to belong in. I was struck by @lcsmcat ‘s observation that she feels more sympathy for Undine this time around due to Undine‘s cluelessness. 👇 5d
Louise I‘ve been reading the book aloud to my mother; and so often, we pause and exclaim, “Oh my gawwwd!” in response to Undine‘s actions or thoughts. We feel for poor Marvell, whose poetic soul is in for a crushing. We also re-read certain lines and passages, as Wharton‘s writing is so exquisite. She captures the social undercurrents brilliantly! (edited) 5d
Graywacke @Louise how interesting about Undine‘a name. Thanks! 5d
Lcsmcat @Louise Interesting observation about U‘s name. And I‘ve had the same eye-rolling reactions to her. So much like teenager drama when my kids were that age. Do we know how old she is at this point? 5d
Lcsmcat @Currey For some reason I think Apex is in Indiana, but I can‘t say why. I think it‘s only described as “middle west.” 5d
Graywacke @Lcsmcat love the quotes and your post. I struggled with Undine for a bit. Entertaining satire, but pages and pages. But once she interacts more with others, she becomes a literary spark. She is so unstable inside, she becomes an unpredictable lightning rod. So since halfway through book 1 have taken to this novel like none of her previous ones, or any book in a while. I just never know how she will react. (edited) 5d
Graywacke Marvell is a nice mix. A detached realism, giving him a less biased eye, graceful and true to himself except that he isn‘t aware of his quiet spoiled laxity. I liked his aboriginal comment. I think that he puts on a good show for someone useless. I like that he has stepped into an unpredictable whirlwind and has no idea. 5d
Louise @lcsmcat @Graywacke Re: Undine‘s name, it was hovering there in the back of my mind and only “came to me” this morning about the elemental beings. Until then, the word “undulating” often came to mind, as U‘s ideas shift and move so regularly. 👇 (edited) 5d
Louise Here‘s a quote from Wikipedia re: Undines: “According to Paracelsus and his subsequent followers, there are four categories of elementals, which are gnomes, undines, sylphs, and salamanders. These correspond to the four Empedoclean elements of antiquity: earth, water, air, and fire, respectively.” 5d
Lcsmcat @Louise That‘s great! I hadn‘t gone beyond Mrs. Spragg‘s comment “Why, we called her after a hair-waver father put on the market the week she was born—” 5d
Louise @Graywacke Love your observations about Marvell! “Quiet spoiled laxity. . . puts on a good show for someone useless.” 😂 I must say, I loved the passages about words flying through the trees like birds and so on. One gets a picture of a world made of words, which might be how Edith Wharton saw it sometimes. 5d
Louise @lcsmcat How amazing that Wharton used the term “hair-waver”! She kept the water image in such a tiny detail! Thanks for reminding me of that. 5d
Louise Oh, sorry! The passages about words in the trees are in Book 2. 🤭🤦🏻‍♀️ 5d
Louise My brother mentioned that, in an interview about his adaptation of The Age Of Innocence, Martin Scorsese said it was the most violent film he‘d ever made. I think we‘re going to see quite a bit of that quiet violence in this book, too! 😳 😆 5d
arubabookwoman Oh my! This totally slipped my mind. I will catch up and join in next week. 5d
Graywacke @Lcsmcat @louise hair-waver … water. 🙂 5d
Graywacke @Louise i was sad I thinking I had read and forgotten the words on trees lines. Now I have something to look for! 🙂 5d
Louise @Graywacke Thanks for putting a nice spin on my blunder! The passages about words are definitely something to look forward to! 5d
Graywacke @Louise some blunders are better than others. No worries here in this crew, regardless. (But I am now really excited to get to those passages! ☺️) 5d
Ann_Reads In response to the question @Lcsmcat posted;
For the chapters I've read so far, Wharton seems more critical of the invaders, although she does show some sympathy for the Spragg's ignorance. (Wasn't Wharton from old money?) Maybe it would be more accurate for me to say Wharton puts the men Undine catches in her web, in a more sympathetic light. That's my initial impression, which might change later on.

5d
rubyslippersreads This is absolutely fascinating, although I‘m having a hard time finding anything to like about Undine. I feel sorry for her parents, but they made her what she is. 😏 5d
Lcsmcat @Ann_Reads Wharton was from old money. But she seems to cast a jaundiced eye on their way of life, so I wonder if her personal life was making her more sympathetic to the Invaders. 5d
Lcsmcat @rubyslippersreads They did kind of create a monster. Although as a parent I refuse to put the blame totally on them because I don‘t want to be blamed for my (grown) kids‘ behavior. 😂 5d
Ann_Reads I'm really enjoying reading all the quotes and comments above. Actually, I haven't read any of Wharton books before because I'm generally put off by novels about the Gilded Age and the focus on elitism. (I think a lot of it hits too close to home now with what's happening in some parts of US 'big business' and political realm.) My reaction to Undine's personality isn't pleasant but I am enjoying Wharton's writing and characterization. 5d
sarahbellum Undine is giving me a lot of Veruca Salt vibes (“I want it now!” *stomp*) and I can‘t help but smile when those close to her call her Undie 😆. For all their superior feelings, I‘m surprised the Marvells haven‘t seen through Undine (yet?) and discovered that she aspires to be Queen of the Invaders 👸🏻 (edited) 4d
Lcsmcat @sarahbellum 😂😂Veruca Salt😂😂 4d
mdm139 I read book 1 a few days ago, and so already forgot everything I read. Not much happened. I had to flip through and read the thread to remember. Undine is definitely spoiled with her parents wrapped around her finger. I see some foreshadowing that Undine will have a unhappy marriage or despite the marriage not be accepted in the “set” she wants to be associated with. 4d
Currey @mdm139 I laughed when I read your comment. I have gotten foreshadowing of death and destruction…Undine seems ready to ignite at any moment. However, I agree that unhappy marriage will be in there somewhere also! 4d
Leftcoastzen I‘m with @rubyslippersreads the Spraggs spoiled that girl rotten! Undone is determined as she is clueless, when she gets to the dinner party & doesn‘t know what to talk about , she definitely applies herself by going out to look at the” pictures” there are many times I laughed about her antics.I also suspected there was something/someone lurking in her past in Apex. 4d
Leftcoastzen I love that quote about Mrs.Spragg watching the lighting of New York ! I could almost picture it. 4d
Leftcoastzen @Louise I think it‘s great you are reading it with your mother! If my mom lived closer , I would share it with her. 4d
Louise @Leftcoastzen It‘s so kind of you to mention that. I am my mom‘s caregiver, as she has some dementia. She has always been a big reader but finds reading a bit challenging right now, so I read to her everyday. It‘s a beautiful way to spend time together, and I am experiencing books in a different way by speaking them out loud. One hears the cadence and lyricism in a new way. 💗 4d
Lcsmcat @Leftcoastzen It‘s vivid, and very sad. She‘s stuck there with no friends. 4d
Leftcoastzen @Louise Wow , that‘s pretty hard .I‘m so glad you & your mom can find something to continue to bring some joy in a challenging situation.Bless you both. 4d
Leftcoastzen @Lcsmcat Yes, you can feel her sadness! 4d
Louise @Leftcoastzen Thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, reading together in this way really does add joy to our day. ❤️ 4d
CarolynM I haven't started yet. I will come back to these comments when I've read book 1 and hopefully catch up with you all next week. 4d
Graywacke @sarahbellum i had to Google Veruca Salt. 😊 (and had to figure out you didn‘t mean the band named after her) 4d
sarahbellum @Graywacke I read a lot of Roald Dahl growing up 🙃 4d
Cathythoughts @Louise That is interesting about Undines name ! .. @Lcsmcat I hadnt gone any further than the hair-waver either. 4d
Cathythoughts @Louise How lovely to read this to / with your Mother ♥️. Also your brothers mention of Scorsese and The Age Of Innocence … we must be in for some terrible heartbreak so 💔 4d
Louise @Cathythoughts Thanks for your comments. It really is lovely to read to/with my mom. It‘s probably therapeutic as well, as the brain creates pictures in response to the story; and this type of stimulation is very good for people with dementia. My mom is a long-time fan of Wharton. Re: the Scorsese anecdote, it‘s amazing how Wharton portrays the subtle “one-upsmanships”, manipulations, and quiet battles between people. Violence indeed! (edited) 4d
Ann_Reads @sarahbellum LOL! We just watched the (1971) Charlie and Chocolate Factory movie Saturday evening. Undine definitely has a Veruca vibe to her. I suspect there isn't a bad egg Exicator in Wharton's novel though. 3d
sarahbellum @Ann_Reads if only! 🥚 3d
rubyslippersreads @Lcsmcat And her father does kind of try to rein her in (for all the good it does). 2d
rubyslippersreads @Louise I ❤️ that you‘re reading it with your mom. 2d
Louise @rubyslippersreads Thanks. We‘re enjoying reading it together and talking about it. 💗 2d
28 likes68 comments
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Ann_Reads
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#whartonbuddyread
Book 1 - Chapter 2 Quote
This cemented my initial impression of Undine; a manipulative, spoiled, singularly focused social climber. I thought it was telling and sad that Undine doesn't seem to have much appreciation of or respect for her one 'friend' Mabel. I'm enjoying Wharton's characterization, even if I don't especially like the character. (I hope that makes sense.)

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LitsyEvents
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Lcsmcat Thanks for sharing! 6d
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Cathythoughts
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‘Presently her attention was drawn to a lady in black who was examining the pictures through a tortoise-shell eye-glass adorned with diamonds and hanging from a long pearl chain. Undine was instantly struck by the opportunities which this toy presented for graceful wrist movements and supercilious turns of the head ‘

Book One , Oh Undine I see trouble ahead
Enjoying this one
#WhartonBuddyRead

Beautiful edition from Paula @Centique Thankyou ♥️

DivineDiana I love that description! And it is a beautiful cover! 7d
Cathythoughts @DivineDiana I‘m so enjoying Edith Wharton. It feels like a comfort read to me. 7d
Graywacke Terrific quote, says so much. It took me 40 pages, but I‘m completely taken in. I finished Book 1 yesterday evening. 7d
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Cathythoughts @Graywacke I‘m all in as well. I love her insights into NY at that time and her writing ♥️ 7d
Graywacke @Cathythoughts the aboriginal (as in old moneyed New Yorkers) comments made me smile. 7d
Lcsmcat I‘m really enjoying this reread, and getting so much out of it. Warning - I‘ve highlighted many quotes! 😀 7d
Cathythoughts @Lcsmcat I‘m looking forward to your quotes 👍🏻❤️ 7d
LeahBergen I love that quote! 6d
Centique 😘 6d
Cathythoughts @LeahBergen I know! I love it too, she writes so well. The details 👌🏻 5d
Cathythoughts @Centique Thanks Paula X I love it , inside and out. 😍 5d
66 likes11 comments
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Graywacke
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Started today
#whartonbuddyread

mdm139 I just started too 1w
TheBookHippie Hope you‘re feeling better! 1w
Graywacke @mdm139 👍 @TheBookHippie feeling fine. Still isolating though. 1w
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Cathythoughts I hope you are out of isolation soon. Glad you feel better. I made a small start last night. 👍🏻 1w
Graywacke @TheBookHippie well, muted celebration. Isolating is weird. 😐😕 @Cathythoughts thanks! I‘m still getting in tune with this one. 1w
49 likes6 comments
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Lcsmcat
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Leftcoastzen Yay ! So ready! 1w
llwheeler Thanks for the reminder! 1w
CarolynM Thanks Linda. Looking forward to it. 1w
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Graywacke I‘m ready too! I‘ll start tomorrow. 1w
Currey Thank you for the reminder. I will also start tomorrow. 1w
batsy Oof! This book will be so fun to discuss! I don't think I can manage to squeeze in a re-read but I'll be taking a peek at your discussions 🕵🏾‍♀️🙂 1w
sarahbellum Looking forward to joining you all for this! 1w
Sparklemn I've read this one before so I'm going to follow along with the posts. Looking forward to hearing what everyone thinks. 1w
Ann_Reads I got a little head start while I had some extra reading time. Looking forward to everyone's comments. 1w
Cathythoughts Thanks ! I‘m ready to go. 1w
rubyslippersreads I‘m just now starting. Hope to catch up during my pedicure this morning. 😊 1w
Tamra Thank you for the tag! I wish I could join, but I‘m “booked” with a class for the month. Please keep me in mind for the next Wharton! 1w
Lcsmcat @Tamra Do you want to not be tagged for this one? 1w
Louise Just finished reading Book One out loud to my mother. We‘re both looking forward to reading the group‘s insights on August 6th. 1w
Tamra @Lcsmcat I don‘t mind, but that might be easier for the group to have one less name to tag. I will watch out for the next book! 1w
Lcsmcat @Tamra I can make a note to add you back for the next one. But feel free to chime in if you feel like it later. 1w
Tamra @Lcsmcat 👍🏾 Thank you! 1w
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LitsyEvents
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The next #whartonbuddyread is The Custom of the Country, starting in August. https://www.litsy.com/web/post/2430660

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Leftcoastzen
Custom of the Country | Edith Wharton
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So I read Age of Innocence @Lcsmcat invited me to join #WhartonBuddyRead for their next book ,The Reef. I had checked both out of the Library.Digging around today I find this ! Perhaps it‘s time to really review all the books I already own?!?! 😁🤔well , at least I‘m ready for next month with The Custom of the Country !

Lcsmcat I can‘t tell you how many times I‘ve done that! Glad you‘re ready for the next one! 1mo
Leftcoastzen @Lcsmcat I know right? Shameless book hoarder , me!🙋‍♀️ 1mo
AshleyHoss820 This is why I finally got the LibraryThing app because I KEPT doing this! 😅😅😅 1mo
Graywacke Disorganization is a strength for home browsing…it leads to great discoveries. 🙂 1mo
Leftcoastzen @Graywacke I like the way you think!😁 1mo
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Lcsmcat
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CarolynM 👍 1mo
sarahbellum Could I please be added to the tag list for this one? 🙂 1mo
Lcsmcat @sarahbellum Absolutely! 1mo
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sarahbellum @Lcsmcat thank you! 1mo
Graywacke Awesome 👍 My copy is ordered. 1mo
Cathythoughts Excellent Thankyou. I have my copy & I‘ve taken a screenshot of our schedule 👍🏻😁 1mo
llwheeler Sounds good! Thanks! 1mo
Louise Hoping to jump back in with this one. 💗 4w
Lcsmcat @Louise 🤞🏻I always enjoy your insights! 4w
Louise @Lcsmcat Awwww, that‘s so kind of you to say. ☺️ 4w
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review
Litsi
Custom of the Country | Edith Wharton
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Pickpick

Put Age of Innocence and Ethan Fromme down right now. Now! And pick this up. If you want to know why Fitzgerald admired Wharton or want to see my full review go here. https://www.facebook.com/groups/spbookdiscussion/permalink/363344881795995/

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Cathythoughts
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Look at this beautiful book that has arrived in the post for me ! ❤️ I wonder who sent this ? & I Thankyou very much ! .. I love it 😍

batsy Oooh 😍 8mo
Cathythoughts @batsy Oooh indeed ! Isn‘t it a beauty 8mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Yes! And I read it awhile back but it's a great book ❤️ 8mo
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Cathythoughts @batsy oh good & im reading her books now with the #WhartonBuddyRead so it‘s all the more welcome 🙏 8mo
TrishB There‘s a mystery book person out there! 8mo
Cathythoughts @TrishB 😂 there must be a little fairy on Litsy 😍 8mo
LeahBergen That‘s lovely! 😍 8mo
Centique Oh that‘s from me Cathy! I was going to send you a NZ book and then found it was out of print, so I saw you were doing the Wharton Buddy Read and thought that would be a good alternative! 💕💕 8mo
Cathythoughts @Centique Thanks Paula ! It‘s a beautiful copy & so thoughtful of you. I am indeed doing the Wharton Buddy Read .. and I‘m really enjoying it. Your gift is perfect 💫❤️Thankyou X 8mo
Cathythoughts @Centique I love the cover ❤️ 8mo
Centique @Cathythoughts im so glad! 8mo
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review
Woozy-Shooz
Pickpick

Undine Spragg. The heroine‘s name is reason enough to read this novel, one of the four great novels that Wharton produced imho; others being, House of Mirth, The Reef, and Age of Innocence. Custom is distinct for the success, however empty and short-lived, of the heroine‘s social climb. She‘s Lily Bart from House of Mirth, if Lily Bart had “made it.” Much needed indictment of the patriarchy, it left me disenchanted as opposed to heartbroken.

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Lcsmcat
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My #20best2020. At least for the moment. Ask me next week and I might have a different answer. 😀 And I didn‘t count rereads, which eliminated some I rated higher than these. Thanks for the tag @merelybookish ! Feel like playing @KVanRead @TheSpineView ?

TheSpineView Thanks for the tag! 😊📚 2y
Graywacke Great list of books. Happy to have shared a couple with you. 2y
Lcsmcat @Graywacke And there‘d have been more - both Cather and Shakespeare - if I had counted rereads. 2y
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erzascarletbookgasm I‘m adding a few of these! 👍 2y
Cathythoughts Nice list , I‘ve read 3 of them. Must investigate 2y
Lcsmcat @erzascarletbookgasm @Cathythoughts It‘s fun looking at everyone‘s lists! 2y
merelybookish What an eclectic list! Thanks for sharing. I love how you include so many genres and mix new and classic! I love, love, love Milkman! And am always excited when someone else does too. I'm curious about the last two on your list. I am not familiar with either one. 2y
Lcsmcat @merelybookish Whale Day is Billy Collins‘ most recent volume of poetry. Over By the River is a short story collection by William Maxwell, who in addition to being an author was Eudora Welty‘s editor. 2y
merelybookish @Lcsmcat Thanks! Maxwell is one of those mean to read sometime authors! Although I've heard his stuff is quite sad. 2y
Lcsmcat @merelybookish Some of his stuff is, and some is nostalgic. 2y
KVanRead Thanks for the tag! This is a great list. 2y
Cinfhen Fabulous list 🎉💗‼️ 2y
56 likes13 comments
review
EadieB
Custom of the Country | Edith Wharton
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Pickpick

1913 Wharton's The Custom Of The Country is a novel of ambition featuring Undine Spragg, beautiful but very materialistic. Her rise to the top of New York's high society provides a commentary on the aspirations that eventually caused her ruin. Her misplaced values of greed and power is as relevant today as when it was written over a century ago. I found the book to be well-written with unique characters and enjoyed the book very much. recommended

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review
Lcsmcat
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Pickpick

Another indictment of the “social world” of the gilded age, the protagonist does not claim our sympathy. Yet Wharton makes clear how few choices were open to women and how harshly they were judged for taking an active role in bettering their social position. At one point Bowen, a minor character, makes it explicit when he says that American men brought it on themselves by not trusting their wives and daughters to have brains. 👇🏻

Lcsmcat There are very few “likable” characters, and yet many that I sympathized with. #authoramonth @Soubhiville 2y
TheBookHippie We have the same book! 2y
Lcsmcat @TheBookHippie I got it years ago when “three novels for one price” meant more to me than “boy this book is heavy!” I read the other a long time ago, but somehow never go around to this one until now. 2y
TheBookHippie I found mine at a used book store for a couple bucks and thought why not 🤣🤷🏽‍♀️ 2y
53 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Lcsmcat
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Just started this for #authoramonth2020. I love Wharton, but haven‘t read this one yet. @Soubhiville

AllieLovesBooks Love your cocktail set up! 2y
Lcsmcat @OrtizReads1 Thanks! There‘s something civilized about a glass of sherry in the library on the weekend. 2y
AllieLovesBooks @Lcsmcat absolutely and I love your decanter label, you are quite the sophisticated person! ☺️ 2y
Lcsmcat @OrtizReads1 🥰 aren‘t you sweet. 2y
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TheBookHippie
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49 likes1 stack add
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zsuzsanna_reads
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My #firstpost on Litsy was about the tagged book (a "pick"), got five likes and my #firstlike was from @EvieBee . Two years and many likes later I'm still very happy to be on Litsy!

@DebinHawaii @daisydo @LeahBergen @BookishTrish

Not sure who started this #firstlike thing, I've just seen it on my feed!

hermyknee @Texreader started it! Fun, right?! 3y
Texreader Yay!! Glad you looked for your #firstlike !! 3y
LeahBergen Oh!! I love it! ❤️❤️ 3y
DebinHawaii So glad to be one of your early likers! 🤗 3y
55 likes5 comments
review
Ash.on.the.line
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Pickpick

How is it possible to hate a main character so much but thoroughly enjoy a book? Wharton definitely accomplished that with this one. I hated Undine but I couldn‘t stop reading to see what awful thing she did next. A social climber that would do about anything to reach to the top.
Towards the end I felt it started to drag a bit but overall I enjoyed!

Tamra That‘s Wharton! 💜 4y
RaimeyGallant I just finished You, so I know the feeling. 4y
Ash.on.the.line @RaimeyGallant Ah yes, Kepnes did a good job with that one. 4y
Ash.on.the.line @Tamra I had no idea I would enjoy it so much! 💜 4y
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Ash.on.the.line
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Started this one and I was unsure about it. Undine is quite the character and I can‘t help but keep reading. She is awful but I want to know what she does next.

review
Cinfhen
Custom of the Country | Edith Wharton
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Pickpick

#Rocktober #IntheEnd I didn‘t bail on my bookclub read and I actually grew to appreciate this novel of vanity, satire and social climbing. Edith Wharton has a mighty wit and a sharp pen...perfect for flinging zingers🙌🏻 While Undine Spragg is a total vamp, I give her credit for pursuing her wants😉I did do some #pageskimming but #IntheEnd I‘m glad I did not #TakeTheBail

BarbaraBB I haven‘t read this one but generally love Wharton‘s characters! 5y
batsy Whoo! Happy to hear that. Love me some Wharton. I haven't read this one yet. 5y
TrishB Well done 👍 5y
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Tamra Wharton is a master of snark. I love her! 😄 5y
robinb Love Wharton too! 5y
emilyhaldi Woohoo!! Nice to see your bookclub saga get a happy ending ☺️☺️ (edited) 5y
Reviewsbylola What other books of hers have you read? Just curious how this one compares. 5y
Cinfhen This was my first Wharton @Reviewsbylola and she does appear to be the master of snark @Tamra Bookclub is tonight and the girls are ready to chat @emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB @batsy @TrishB @robinb 5y
Reviewsbylola If you decide to read another one, The Age of Innocence is my favorite of hers! 5y
Cinfhen I probably won't @Reviewsbylola but #NeverSayNever I'll try to keep an open mind... 5y
Cinfhen I know lots of people loved 5y
Reviewsbylola 😂😂 I actually didn‘t love Mirth. It wasn‘t bad but just not great. 5y
BarbaraBB Age of Innocence and House of Mirth are both excellent I thought! And Ethan Frome as well! 5y
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Cinfhen
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Guess who's the odd man out in my RL bookclub? Everybody seems to be enjoying this Wharton, sadly I have zero interest in this overly cliched story. However with this group, #BailingIsNotAnOption

LeahBergen 😂😂 The hashtag! 5y
bookishkai I don‘t get along well with the “classics” either, 5y
Foragingfantasy Can you find it on audio, might make it easier. 5y
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Cinfhen I'm going to look on my OverDrive system @Foragingfantasy ....I'm glad I'm not the only one @bookishkris 😉thanks @LeahBergen but this group is harsh😂 5y
Marchpane If bailing is truly not an option I advocate "skim finishing" 5y
Sydsavvy @Marchpane I like that term "skim finishing" - definitely been employed by me! (edited) 5y
Cinfhen Love that hashtag @Marchpane @Sydsavvy I've been known to use that method as well!! 5y
Marchpane @Sydsavvy @Cinfhen No shame in it! 😁 5y
readinginthedark Sorry you don't like it! I haven't read this one, but I really liked The Age of Innocence by her. 5y
TrishB Not read any Wharton and my VC in work is one of the world experts on her and always asks if I've read any yet....just don't fancy it!! 5y
Leniverse I haven't read this one, but I think I might be the only classics lover on the planet who rolled my eyes at The Age of Innocence. I did better with Ethan Frome, but that was a novella so I didn't have time to get thoroughly fed up. 😂 5y
Cinfhen Thanks so much @Leniverse my bookclub is loving her, and while I'm in awe of her feistiness this book just reads sooooooo dated! I can't get into it @TrishB @readinginthedark #ItsDefinitelyMe 5y
Blaire Good luck, if you want to try another Wharton - I'd go with house of mirth. That's my favorite one. For book clubs I have often done a very quick skim to make it through when I'm not enjoying it. (Can't actually remember if I've read custom of the country). (edited) 5y
DivineDiana @Cinfhen Not fun ploughing through a book you have no interest in reading! 🙁There must be Cliff Notes or Spark notes available?!? 🤔 5y
Cinfhen That's my next step @DivineDiana it's better than a #shawnmooney or a #skimfinishing 😂😂 5y
Cinfhen Thanks @Blaire I've heard good things about House of Mirth but it's #SoManyBooksSoLittleTime 5y
DivineDiana @Cinfhen Agree! 😀😉 5y
emilyhaldi Oh man, sorry this book club is not as kind and accomodating as your litsy readalong group! 😂💁🏻 5y
Cinfhen 😂😂😂 TRUTH @emilyhaldi 😘😘 5y
Reviewsbylola Can you read it on serial reader? Sometimes small doses help. 5y
[DELETED] 3803335244 I'd bail anyway! Lol 😂 5y
Cinfhen I'm scared of this group @ForeverNerdy 🙈think I may be #SparkNoting 5y
Elisa Oh yikes. You are a stronger woman than I am! This is exactly why I not do book clubs 😬 Is the book getting any better? How far are you? 5y
Cinfhen @Elisa I'm about half way through....it's just not grabbing me. I despise the MC & I just don't give a crap about her. I realize this book was written in 1913, which is amazing but you know what??? It feels REALLY DATED!!! 😩we meet next week, so I think I'll just read the online bookclub discussion summary 😉 5y
Elisa @Cinfhen haha attagirl, don‘t torture yourself! 😉 I totally get it though — if I don‘t like the main character, very often I just want to close the book quite decisively and never open it again, which basically me saying “that‘s enough out of YOU!” 😅 5y
ValerieAndBooks Ha. Sorry you‘re not enjoying it! I do like Wharton a lot 😆. 5y
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EvieBee
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She arrived safely! Treated myself to this beautiful omnibus after finishing THE HOUSE OF MIRTH. #bookhaul #bookmail

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Soooo pretty 💜💜💜 5y
Eyelit Lovely cover! 5y
Reviewsbylola 😍😍😍 5y
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kspenmoll Love the cover, can see why you treated yourself! 5y
EvieBee @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Eyelit @Reviewsbylola @kspenmoll Thank you! I have been ogling it at Barnes and Noble for a few years and finally bought it! It's cheaper on Amazon, FYI. $13! 🤓 5y
vivastory Love this cover 5y
BekahB Oohhh I've been eyeing that edition for a while. It's so pretty! 5y
batsy Oooh, I covet this. So pretty! I wish it was someone other than Franzen doing the intro, though. 5y
EvieBee @vivastory @BekahB Thank you! 🤗 5y
EvieBee @batsy Right?! I was annoyed by that. 5y
WhatDeeReads Franzen, gross. 🤢 5y
robinb I have this story but haven't got to it yet. Need to bump it up! 5y
LauraBrook Lovely lovely edition! 5y
EvieBee @WhatDeeReads Almost ruined it! Thank goodness it's gorgeous. I'll just have to skip that intro. (edited) 5y
EvieBee @robinb I started it like 5 times and it seemed right this year. Funny thing, huh? Hopefully it's right for you soon. Such a wonderful book and hard to put down. Drama town...and I love it! 5y
EvieBee @LauraBrook Thank you! Amazon marked it down, so you might want to take a gander IF you're interested. 🤓😄 5y
Ms_T Beautiful cover! I've only read Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton and should really read more as I enjoy her writing style. So many books, so little time 😃 5y
EvieBee @Ms_T I know that's right? I need to read Ethan Frome! I know I own a copy somewhere. 5y
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EvieBee
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So I decided to revamp my #TBRBingo card to concentrate on classics, which is a little more challenging for me, and includes some Kindle books as well. My treat when I Bingo? I'm going to go for a Folio classic! Already got a budget approved from "the board" for this project. ??

TrishB A great incentive 👍 5y
merelybookish Excellent! 5y
TheWordJar That's a great reward!! 5y
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rubyslippersreads A Folio book is an excellent way to treat yourself. 😊 5y
WhatDeeReads Excellent reward! 5y
minkyb Excellent reward choice! 5y
BarbaraBB Great books on your card! 5y
janeycanuck Oh! Brilliant reward!!! Folio books are GORGEOUS! 5y
UrsulaMonarch Wonderful! 👏👏👏 5y
LeahBergen Oooo! I like this idea! 5y
Cortg The Secret Garden is one of my all time faves! I've been working my way through Les Miserables for a year now. It's good but huge! Plus I haven't put my full attention towards it. It's huge! 5y
batsy Yay for "the board" ? Also you've given me the idea to use Agnes Grey for A in #LitsyAtoZ. You've got some wonderful books there! 5y
EvieBee @TrishB @merelybookish @TheWordJar @rubyslippersreads @WhatDeeReads @minkyb @BarbaraBB @janeycanuck @Lkelly @LeahBergen Thank you! Some of these are doozies so hopefully I won't have to wait too long!! 🤓 5y
EvieBee @Cortg It is! I was so reluctant to put it on the list for that reason but everyone says it's a rewarding read. I like to read other books in between classics, too so I can feel like I'm moving books around. 😊 5y
EvieBee @batsy Lol! The board is generous even if they don't understand that readers are gonna read and buy more books than they'll ever read. Yay! I adored TENANT OF WILDFELL HALL and have been meaning to read AGNES for awhile now. 5y
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jobertson
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'And so with his inner world. Though so coloured by outer impressions, it wove a secret curtain about him, and he came and went in it with the same joy of furtive possession.'

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zsuzsanna_reads
Pickpick

Good-bye Undine, I've enjoyed our time together. I will catch up with you again one day.

DebinHawaii Welcome to Litsy!! 🎉📚👍😀 6y
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KikiLovesBooks
Custom of the Country | Edith Wharton
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Pickpick

Undine Spragg of Apex and lately New York is a force unto herself: self obsessed and an actress in her own life. Dazzling and materialistic, she sets a goal and will reach it, even though she likes to think of herself as a "good girl." She really knows nothing else. Vanity is her engine and flattery her fuel. Wharton writes amazing portraits of 1913 characters. Undine herself is a startling beauty. I both loved and despised her journey.

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KikiLovesBooks
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Happy New Year and a beautiful 2017, reader friends! ❌⭕❌⭕❤

LauraJ Love this image 💕 6y
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KikiLovesBooks
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"She might have been some fabled creature whose home was in a beam of light...She therefore watched herself approvingly, admiring the light on her hair, the flash of teeth between her smiling lips, the pure shadows of her throats and shoulders as she passed from one attitude to another." Undine loves herself.

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KikiLovesBooks
Custom of the Country | Edith Wharton
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I wish I had written this!

britt_brooke 💕💕💕 6y
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thatotherlisa

I find the connections Wharton draws between the heroine's social climbing and her dad's Wall Street dealings so fascinating. Undine has her father's ambition and skills, but bc her only outlet social climbing, she's maligned. She's still completely heinous, but it's fascinating to think about.

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thatotherlisa
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Anyone know where I can find a doctor to prescribe a "dash to Paris or London" to help deal with anxiety attacks? Cuz...if I could get my insurance to pay for this, that'd be grand.

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AmyStewart

"In such cases he often recommended a dash to Paris or London, just to tone up the nervous system." What genius doctor is this??!!

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AmyStewart

"She began by asking about his writing, but the subject was distasteful to him..." #storyofmylife

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AmyStewart

"The doctor she summoned advised her trying a small quiet place on the Riviera, not too near the sea." OK, that has NOT happened to me. #EdithWhartonCare

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AmyStewart

"Undine Marvell, for the next few months, tasted all the accumulated bitterness of failure". Been there!

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AmyStewart
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"Well, then, I know a little place in Switzerland where one can still get away from the crowd, and we can sit and look at a green water-fall while I lie in wait for adjectives."