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Sleepless Nights
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
46 posts | 23 read | 44 to read
In Sleepless Nights a woman looks back on her lifethe parade of people, the shifting background of placeand assembles a scrapbook of memories, reflections, portraits, letters, wishes, and dreams. An inspired fusion of fact and invention, this beautifully realized, hard-bitten, lyrical book is not only Elizabeth Hardwicks finest fiction but one of the outstanding contributions to American literature of the last fifty years.
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lele1432
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Just realized I never reviewed this. Probably between a pick and so-so, but I'm going with a pick because the parts I enjoyed were pretty luminous. Other sections were less engaging, but overall I found this group of memories that go back and forth through time to be interesting. I appreciated Hardwick's eye for acute observation! 3⭐️s #NYRBClub #NYRB #Classics #PopSugarReadingChallenge #PopSugar2019 #Pop19 #BookWithUnconventionalChapters

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youneverarrived
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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#nyrbbookclub Question 5 of 5.

Would you agree that the novel is “a vision of a radical new kind of writing, one suited to a woman‘s body and language and experience outside of the primarily masculine narrative tropes of the past”?

BarbaraBB No I think that‘s a bit exaggerated. It was 1979. It made me think of works by Simone de Beauvoir written much earlier. I do prefer De Beauvoir though. 2mo
Suet624 Wow! That feels super-exaggerated. I agree with @BarbaraBB 2mo
lele1432 I have no idea lol. I didn‘t really get the feeling it was more “suited to a woman‘s body,” but I did find it unique and refreshing at times. 2mo
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Liz_M @lele1432 Right! I like the idea that it is written to escape masculine tropes, but in this era, I don't think tropes are tied to a physical body -- masculinity is cultural, not physical. 2mo
Liz_M Also, I don't know how "new" it is either. It doesn't feel more radical or experimental than 2mo
Leftcoastzen I agree with @Liz_M and @BarbaraBB Women have been writing their own world view for years forever subverting the masculine cultural gaze. 2mo
lele1432 @Liz_M very true! 2mo
sisilia What?! Lol 😅 No, I didn‘t even find anything special about it. 2mo
merelybookish Wow! I don't even understand that! 😂 It made.me think of Mona Awad's Bunny when people in the MFA program keep talking about how to write the body. And the MC is like WTF? 2mo
Liz_M @sisilia Ha! :-)) 2mo
batsy I do think it's interesting to consider if the style is kind of radical. Was it kind of new & experimental at the time & place of publication? Coz in other times, languages, & cultures women might have been experimenting for a long time (thinking of Clarice Lispector, or even the Tale of Genji!). Like @merelybookish made a good point in the comments elsewhere that Hardwick was doing autofiction before it became the done thing. 👇🏽 2mo
batsy But I agree with others that I don't think it's radically suited to only women's experiences, as such. Or the way women inhabit their bodies. That seems a wee bit hyperbolic :) Is that quote from the NYRB intro to the book? (I read a different edition.) 2mo
batsy @sisilia 😅😅 2mo
vivastory @batsy I think it might be from the appreciation piece by Groff. I recall reading it while researching Hardwick 2mo
batsy @vivastory Thanks! I remember reading that Groff article awhile ago before I read the book; I'll have to give it another close read 🙂 2mo
GatheringBooks Again, this is unappreciative me not seeing what the critics are jubilant about. I understand that it may be somewhat diff compared to other contemporary works published at the time - but @BarbaraBB is right about De Beauvoir. I am sure there are also other female novelists not from the US like @batsy referenced Genji who have also written nuanced narrative but with a semblance of structure. I am actually thinking now of Gertrude Stein & Anais Nin 2mo
BarbaraBB Thanks @youneverarrived and @vivastory for coming up with these great questions and hosting again! 💕 2mo
youneverarrived @BarbaraBB thanks for joining in 😁 2mo
Billypar Yes, this was a great discussion, well done @youneverarrived and @vivastory 👏👏 A fun first NYRB club discussion for me- looking forward to future months! 2mo
youneverarrived @Billypar I‘m glad you joined in. Great, insightful comments from you and all 😁 2mo
DrexEdit Sorry I missed the discussion! It was a terrific one. I don't have anything to add. I can tell I'm going to have to be better prepared with this group. 😁👍📚 2mo
18 likes21 comments
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youneverarrived
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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#nyrbbookclub Question 4 of 5.

Hardwick said, "I remember that I started writing Sleepless Nights because of a single line. The line was: “Now I will start my novel, but I don‘t know whether to call myself I or she.” In autofiction what percentage of the book should focus on the protagonist?

vivastory I think this struggle is present throughout the book. Hardwick doesn't seem as interested in a finished representation, as much as the process. I can see why poetry appealed to her so strongly. There was also the discursive attraction that the essay form offers. 2mo
BarbaraBB I don‘t know the answer but I did think it was an interesting question she asked herself. 2mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB Questions seem to appeal to Hardwick more than any attempt at definitions... that doesn't always work for me 2mo
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lele1432 I would think autofiction would focus mainly on the protagonist, but since this seemed to be more than just autofiction, with her observations and relating stories of others, this didn‘t really follow that format. 2mo
vivastory @lele1432 Completely agree! 2mo
Billypar Yes, good point @lele1432 The Guardian article @BarbaraBB posted mentions her response to an interviewer on the autobiographical feel, stating that it wasn't "entirely taken from life, rather less than the reader might think." So if she chose 'I' over 'she' maybe she acknowledged the extent to which the narrator was herself, but wanted to have freedom to invent as needed when it suited what she wanted to explore. 2mo
Leftcoastzen I almost bailed myself after the first part .I just glanced at it again and still 🙄.When it clicked for me could have had a lot to do with loving the idea , somewhat stereotypical, of the writers and/or artists life, odd and smart people , having interesting conversations in the night, cheap Chianti,scaping by ,etc. (edited) 2mo
lele1432 @Billypar that makes a lot of sense! 2mo
vivastory @Billypar That's a great point. I think she didn't want to be restricted by the purely autobiographical & the novel form allowed her that freedom 2mo
sisilia Good one @lele1432 2mo
merelybookish I think @BarbaraBB mentioned Simone de Beauvoir in another thread which is made me think of her quote about how "one is not born but becomes a woman." So somehow to write the I is to always wrestle or require the writing of the she. 2mo
batsy I'm not sure how to answer this but great points @vivastory @Billypar @merelybookish I agree with Margot that to write in this vein is to ask the question of who is the "I" that writes. The whole book is kind of Hardwick asking that question. I think it's quite fascinating that to ask what makes a person conscious is to bring to the fore how they see the world & people & remember things. To get to know the protagonist through their observations. 2mo
Billypar @merelybookish @batsy That's a whole different layer I never thought about. So instead of writing herself into her memories and looking at her actions (which we can't really step outside ourselves to do in real life), she wants to see how she observes/remembers other people from her life, and find herself through that process. And I suppose that's one reason the narrator stays up all night writing her letters. 2mo
BarbaraBB @batsy @vivastory @Billypar @merelybookish Your observations make so much sense and make appreciate what she was doing so much more. 2mo
GatheringBooks @Billypar @batsy @merelybookish appreciate your thoughts about I and She as the story‘s narrator - which for me also underscores the target “you” or target audience, as I felt that Hardwick was pretty dismissive with the “you” - not really caring whether her reader grasped her nuances, or understood her narrative. it was simply just “I” or “She” in the writing - with little attention on the “target audience/reader” or if there is even one, at all. 2mo
merelybookish @Billypar @batsy I love how you've developed this idea more! Both of your describe this I/she decision so beautifully! I also think gender is important. The I somehow belongs to a man. It is an active, confident stance. The she opens up ways for Hardwick to tell other stories about women that reflect her truth too. 2mo
merelybookish @GatheringBooks I agree that Hardwick doesn't seem too concerned with the you; she is not making it easy for the reader. But part of me wonders if that is complicated by the fact that this is a novel. If it were designated as creative nonfiction or poetry, it might seem less demanding/dismissive of the you. 2mo
GatheringBooks @merelybookish i have been thinking about this the whole day. and I think what turned me off with hardwick is her seeming disregard for the invisible reader. i find that the books i love best are the ones that build connections or attempt a sense of kinship without pandering necessarily to the reader, just an authentic rendering with a genuine affection for the time spent by an invisible other going through one‘s words - which I never sensed in H. 2mo
Billypar @merelybookish Thanks! I was in agreement with the #5 question comments, but I am very interested in questions about gender that this raises, both in terms of I/she and connections to authors dealing with similar themes, such as already-mentioned de Beauvoir and Woolf, and I'd add Doris Lessing to that list. Too much there to cover in Litsy comments though! 2mo
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youneverarrived
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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#nyrbbookclub Question 3 of 5.

How would you categorize Sleepless Nights?

Rachel_nyc I am hoping someone can answer this question for me! Ha ha. Very difficult to categorize which is probably why the descriptions for this book did not prepare me at all for what I ‘d be reading. 2mo
BarbaraBB I think it‘s autobiographical but not in the traditional format. Its stream of conscience character made it more of a literary read imo. 2mo
vivastory I think it's really in a class by itself. Definitely a hybrid novel. Not strictly autobiographical novel, it often borders on prose poetry & her love for the essay form frequently shines through. 2mo
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Aimeesue I wouldn't even know where to begin! Def has a very stream of consciousness feel, as @BarbaraBB notes. 2mo
lele1432 Yes @vivastory! It definitely felt like prose in some instances and essays in others. 2mo
vivastory @lele1432 @Leftcoastzen I'm definitely interested in reading her essays. I believe it was lithub that collected bits of wisdom from Hardwick & several pieces that really stood out to me were from her essays 2mo
Liz_M To me it feels like a literary collage. It has a similiar feel to two other books I am reading, one for the stream of conscious (Pilgrimage by D. Richardson, 1920s) the other for the layering of details to tell a story (Anniversaries, by U. Johnson, 1970) 2mo
BarbaraBB @Liz_M Two books I still need to read and am not looking forward to... 2mo
sisilia This book is like her journal on-the-go. Whenever she remembered something about her past, she wrote it down. 2mo
Liz_M @BarbaraBB I am loving Anniversaries. The only downside (which could be a bonus later) is the length. ☺ 2mo
Liz_M @sisilia Another good description. 2mo
batsy I love the answers above. A good question that I don't quite know how to answer. Maybe an essayistic novel? I do like that she's playing with the form of the novel and crafting a hybrid form like @vivastory mentions. 2mo
vivastory @batsy Essayistic novel is a good description! One of my favorite passages was the section about Billie Holiday which had all of the hallmarks of a great lyrical essay 2mo
batsy @vivastory Yes, that was one of my favourites too. It was so perfectly executed with so many layers of observation & feeling. 2mo
BarbaraBB @Liz_M I am happy to hear that! 2mo
GatheringBooks @sisilia exactly how i felt; it was a “journal-on-the-go” - although the literary craftsmanship and incisive insights and reflections about self and family and moving and celebrities and sense of place all demonstrate dense poetic caliber; yet, while I generally like this kind of writing, this one failed to capture my interest. may just be the time in my life. perhaps if i have read it at another time, it will resonate more tho i doubt it. 2mo
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youneverarrived
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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#nyrbbookclub Question 2 of 5.

Did you get a sense of the narrator through the snippets and fragments of her memories? Or did you feel she was more of an outline, with the focus being on her encounters with other people?

Suet624 A great question. My only impression of her was that she was a very observant curmudgeon. That was all I needed to know, though. I never found myself judging her and instead applauded much of what she had to say. 2mo
BarbaraBB I think there was a lot of Hardwick herself in the novel. She was more than an observer I think, helped by this article by Eimear McBride in the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/jun/29/eimear-mcbride-elizabeth-hardwick-... 2mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB I loved that article. There is also a great NY Times appreciation piece by Lauren Groff 2mo
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Rachel_nyc Very good question. I think she provided a glimpse of herself through her interactions and musings but I don‘t feel like I got to know her per se as I often feel with characters in novels. @BarbaraBB Thanks for that link I‘ll def check out the article. 2mo
vivastory I agree with @merelybookish review, comparing Hardwick's book to Rachel Cusk's, telling her own story through other people. It's interesting the people she chose to write about too. I had no idea until reading articles afterwards that she was married to Robert Lowell!! 2mo
Leftcoastzen I felt like sometimes her observation had some judgment,sometimes not. In that way you feel you know her a little,not a lot . 2mo
vivastory @Leftcoastzen I got the same sense. 2mo
BarbaraBB Well said @Leftcoastzen ! 2mo
lele1432 I felt like I got glimpses of her vaguely, but actually got to know, and was more interested in, the people she observed. 2mo
Billypar Agreed with the above comments- every now and then there is something revealing about the narrator's judgments/musings, but not much. Based on @BarbaraBB 's article (thanks for that!) it sounds like Hardwicke included a lot of her actual life mixed in with fictional events, but not sure if it was the kind of project where she wanted to craft a character that was very distinct from herself. 2mo
Liz_M I didn't read this novel with enough focus, so I didn't get any sense of anything -- no sense of character, plot, or narrative arc -- the words melted away as soon as I read them. 2mo
Leftcoastzen I think also these days readers read many books that very plot or character driven. We kind of know what we are in for so to speak. When a novel is more stream of consciousness or impressionistic description,it takes a mental adjustment.I‘m reading Ducks, Newburyport sometimes my brain is not up to it.😂 2mo
BarbaraBB @Liz_M I recognize that! 2mo
sisilia Haha @Liz_M 😄 Same here. I lost my focus in those snippets 2mo
sisilia @Leftcoastzen My IRL bookclub just talked about it earlier today. Some books are just too quiet with nothing happens; not engaging enough for today‘s readers who mostly demand exciting plot 2mo
merelybookish I felt we did get to know her, or a sense of her took shape through her observations, what she noticed or cared about. I felt like her portraits of small town Kentucky, Billie Holliday, communist heiresses, cleaning women revealed a lot about her or who she did/didn't want to be. 2mo
merelybookish Adding as my thoughts are rolling, I feel like she presented several complex portraits of women who are more than what they seem. 2mo
batsy @BarbaraBB I found that McBride essay useful! It was the intro for the Faber edition I read from. 2mo
batsy I like that in coming in late to the discussion I can just sort of say, "what @merelybookish said!" ? I agree that while it seems like one can't quite get a handle on the protagonist, you learn to see what she cares about and pays attention to. Her observations were always surprising. And she seems deeply invested in women's stories. I found the Billie Holiday section & part 9 on the cleaning women she's known very moving. 2mo
batsy I like how Joan Didion put it: "Elizabeth Hardwick‘s radical distrust of romantic individualism" https://bookmarks.reviews/joan-didion-on-elizabeth-hardwicks-sleepless-nights/ 2mo
GatheringBooks @vivastory @merelybookish I am glad you mentioned Cusk (whom I still have not read but know about) because the style that Hardwick used is also one that reminded me of Lucia Berlin who is able to tell her story through other people but with way more effectiveness (I feel) and structure with a sense of the story going somewhere rather than pointlessly and self-indulgently meandering. Oops. Apologies but the narrative while incisive felt lost to me. 2mo
GatheringBooks @batsy am glad you mentioned her notes on cleaning women because again i am vividly reminded of lucia berlin who also wrote about her experiences as a cleaning woman - also reflective, inward-directed, but with a clear storytelling arc that the reader can “ride on,” rather than get lost in which I felt with Hardwick until I simply lost interest. 2mo
BarbaraBB @GatheringBooks @batsy Indeed, she does remind me of Lucia Berlin (whose Manual I too found hard to read). 2mo
batsy @BarbaraBB @GatheringBooks I've not read Lucia Berlin but she's on my list—I'm very keen to give her a try. Hopefully soon! 2mo
merelybookish That's sweet @batsy 😊 but whatever I say, you add to and make it richer! And @GatheringBooks I also now need to read Berlin and think everyone (well everyone who didn't hate Sleepless Nights) should read Cusk. I think her trilogy has more story/structure to it. 2mo
Leftcoastzen @batsy I loved the Billie Holiday section! 2mo
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youneverarrived
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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#nyrbbookclub Question 1 of 5.

Sleepless Nights is considered a plotless novel. What is the difference between plot & story?

Aimeesue A story's just What Happened, yes? Plot is kinda story dressed up with its hair done - all in the presentation. 😁 (edited) 2mo
Suet624 If I was hoping to understand the plot of this novel I‘d go crazy. 😂😂 A story carries us, hopefully, to a conclusion. 2mo
BarbaraBB I like @Aimeesue ‘s definition. I am often having a hard time reading plotless novels. 2mo
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vivastory I agree with @Aimeesue Plotless novels contain a story, it's like the skeleton of the book. But they tend to propel the story through atypical narrative devices, often relying more on ideas & argument than character development. What is interesting in Hardwick's book is her strong sense of observation is what we typically expect from a novelist. 2mo
LeahBergen I think “story” denotes something more cohesive than “plot”; it‘s something that drives the novel forward. But who am I to comment here? I bailed after Part One. 😆😆 2mo
Leftcoastzen An observational book does tells a story , but, by and large, seldom has a plot. 2mo
vivastory I think plot has to do with the incidents inside of the greater story. Which can sometimes be distracting from the story & sometimes can be equally interesting to, or greater than, the story. 2mo
Liz_M @Aimeesue I'm contrary. 😁 For me it is the opposite -- a plot is what happens (one can summarize the plot of a book or movie in a few sentences), but a story is the whole -- the words, the imagery, the narrative arc and how they work together. (edited) 2mo
Aimeesue @Liz_M You definitely can look at it that way! I tend to think of plot in terms of mechanics, the way the author chooses to relate the story. Unreliable narrator? Surprise twin sister appearing out of nowhere in a twist? Dual timelines converging in the present? That's plot to me. Maybe I conflate plot with map, tho. 2mo
Billypar I like @Aimeesue 's notion of a story as 'what happened' and a plot as having more artifice. It seems like you could characterize this novel as a series of stories behind the narrator's memories (i.e. explaining why she's remembering a person or place). They may not even qualify as stories otherwise, outside of that context. But as @vivastory mentions, she certainly tells the stories more like a novelist in the observational detail. 2mo
lele1432 @Liz_M I like the way you put it! I see them the same way, with the plot being what happens and the story encompassing many more elements. And I agree @Leftcoastzen. The more observational I find a book, the less it seems to have a plot. 2mo
Billypar This is such an interesting contrast @Aimeesue and @Liz_M Do the different usages reveal anything? In "The story of 'x'", x might be a person, people, or event, and could be fictional or true. With "The plot of'x'", x is almost certainly a novel, play, or film. You could say "this novel tells the story of 'x'." But it seems more awkward to say: "This novel's story is as follows..." Not sure what to make of that though ? 2mo
Aimeesue @Billypar I think it's idiomatic usage that's the sticking point. You'd say "Tell me a story," not "tell me a plot." "What's her story," not "What's her plot?" A plot is a design or plan, usually with hidden parts - gunpowder, treason, and plot. I think plotting is active; story doesn't require anyone in particular to direct it, it can just happen. Untangling the two is hard! 2mo
Aimeesue @Billypar After poking around the internet a bit, it appears that E.M.Forster differentiates the two - story = chronological tale of what happens (the king died, then the queen died,) plot = why it happens and how it's presented (the king died, then the queen died of grief.) I'd bet I picked up those ideas in a Lit class someplace, or from Aspects of the Novel itself. (edited) 2mo
sisilia 🤔 I agree with @Aimeesue on this. A story can be told without plot, and that requires a masterful delivery to keep the readers on track 2mo
merelybookish I love plotless novels because I get annoyed by too much plot. Or I get annoyed when I notice plot. When I can feel or see the structure of the story. I find plotless novels to be more character-driven, stories that reside in small moments that aren't necessarily linked or connected. Sometimes nothing happens. 2mo
Billypar @Aimeesue Thanks for those examples! I don't know if I agree with Forster's king and queen analogy, but I get causal links as a defining feature of plot. That anglistick link has a good analysis of the two. Page 2's description about 'space' (setting and characters) being parts of a good story rather than a good plot is very relevant to Sleepless Nights. 2mo
Aimeesue @merelybookish OMG, yes! I have a hard time reading Dickens because he tortures his poor characters to further the plot. I can never forgive him for what he did to Esther Summerson. Being able to see the bones of a story annoys the heck out of me. It's also why I can read formulaic series. 2mo
merelybookish @Aimeesue Right? I hate when characters are sacrificed to plot! And also why I can't read a lot of genre fiction which seems more plot driven. And don't even get me started on mysteries. 2mo
batsy A good question & I've had a hard time thinking about this one. I think @Liz_M describes it best for how I understand plot vs story. Sleepless Nights for example tells us the story of the narrator in an unconventional form but lacks a plot. I love both plotty(? 😅) & plotless novels but it depends on the writing & how the story needs to be delivered. I notice how I read—I turn to the plotty novels, like mysteries, when I want to turn my brain off. 2mo
batsy @Aimeesue @merelybookish You guys make a great point. I've read plenty of books, like thrillers, where the characters & even the story itself are sacrificed for a more "grabby" plot—multiple "twists" upon twists until the reader is bagel-shaped & exhausted. 2mo
youneverarrived @batsy I do the same. If I want something that doesn‘t take much brain power I go for books that have more plot but in general I prefer the ‘plotless‘ novels. 2mo
GatheringBooks generally i dislike plot-driven narratives, preferring introspective, emotionally-nuanced tales with a flair for storytelling. I consider plot as the story‘s blueprint, the bones, the structure, the frame like @Aimeesue and @billypar but again, i am not a writer, this is just me rambling about how the two differ. One can have a great plot but be a poor storyteller and vice-versa. A story is what allows me to connect to the narrative viscerally. 📚 2mo
GatheringBooks @merelybookish oooh i love this description of plotless novels - sums up my preference precisely 👌🏼 but in hardwick‘s case though, the “sometimes nothing happens” just became a little too much that my mind turned away even while I was reading her words. 2mo
Billypar @batsy I too sometimes enjoy 'plottier' novels, as long as the storytelling and characters are good, like the literary fiction novel that has a mystery at its core. 2mo
batsy @Billypar Yes, I meant to clarify also—not all plotty novels are brain candy for me. Sometimes they're just really good, beautifully-executed fiction. I'm thinking of a lot of 19th century novels that I love. Or something more contemporary is Donna Tartt's The Secret History. 2mo
Billypar @GatheringBooks This non-writer thinks your 'rambling' about the distinction is very well-said: I completely agree with how you characterized the difference. Connecting with a story viscerally is definitely the mark of a good storyteller. At one point yesterday, I was literally rambling to myself to try and sort out the difference, but I feel better now 😂 2mo
Billypar @batsy Completely agree, and The Secret History is a great example of the best of both worlds when it comes to plot and storytelling. 2mo
Aimeesue @Billypar @batsy Plottier (great word!) books can be great at times, which is why, I think, airport shops are full of mysteries and romances rather than nonfic and classics. Ain't nobody starting War and Peace on a 6 AM flight! 😋 And I tend toward more predictable books when I'm sick and lacking in energy. That said, Tana French, Donna Tart, Kate Atkinson, du Maurier, etc. have done some GREAT literary mysteries, which I've really enjoyed. (edited) 2mo
merelybookish @Aimeesue @Billypar @batsy Haha, I also wanted to qualify my anti-plot comments from yesterday because I also have books where the plotting wowed me. Kate Atkinson is probably one of my favourites for that. She does new and innovative things with plot. Her most recent Jackson Brodie book was genius. It's only when I start to 'see' plot that I get annoyed. Which is kind of a snobby position I know. 😬 2mo
Aimeesue @merelybookish I equate that kind of plot with really old movies with "special effects" where you can see the wires flying the UFO or the seams on the rubber monster mask. It breaks the illusion and I then have to suspend my suspension of disbelief because now I'm focused on how the filmmaker or author created the effect. That can be interesting, and I've def done it with books I love, just to see how it's done, but usually it ruins things for me. (edited) 2mo
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saresmoore
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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So far, the conversations of my fellow attendants in the waiting room of the outpatient surgicenter have been much more interesting and revelatory than this book. So many good reviews from trustworthy readers! How did you guys get past the vaguely cryptic, narcissistic tone? #NYRBBookClub

batsy Interesting! Not quite sure how to answer that because I didn't feel like I had to struggle to get over the tone; on the contrary, I enjoyed it 😁 2mo
saresmoore @batsy I‘m not sure why it‘s bugging me so much! Maybe because it reminds me of going back and reading my own journals—not that anyone would publish those—it just feels myopic and snobbish, not unlike my own musings. 😆 2mo
LeahBergen I didn‘t get past the tone. I bailed and I NEVER bail. 😬 2mo
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MicheleinPhilly I can‘t comment on the book because my slacker behind didn‘t read it 😬 but I hope everything is OK healthwise. ❤️ 2mo
BarbaraBB I hard a hard time ignoring that tone indeed. 2mo
Billypar I think I was a little tone-deaf as a reader 😳 It was tough for me to describe, so I'd agree with 'cryptic'. I feel like the narrator was the character I learned the least about, and I don't know if that was intentional, or if I just didn't give it a close enough read. 2mo
batsy @saresmoore 😆 Yes to the flashes of snobbery; it definitely showed itself in parts. I guess myopia and self-absorption are going to be present in any first-person narrative, but books like this tend to be so subjective because of the tone ... It's either one gets on the with the voice or one doesn't. So I totally understand not being able to push past the tone if it's not speaking to you, so to speak 🙂 2mo
Suet624 The beginning was tough and then I started to appreciate her grumpiness. 2mo
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review
youneverarrived
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Pickpick

I actually loved this from the opening line; it felt like I was there listening to her talk about her past memories. It‘s fragmented but that‘s what memories are like so I think in that way the form really worked. It builds up an idea of the narrator & her life. Some parts I was more invested in than others but overall it was a brilliant read. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ #nyrbbookclub

batsy Yes! To everything you said :) Lovely review 💜 2mo
youneverarrived Thanks @batsy 😘 2mo
Billypar Nice review! Agreed that it took the form of what real memories are like- fragments that you find yourself assembling into a narrative. 2mo
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merelybookish Great review! And I agree! Some chapters were more enthralling than others but I enjoyed them all. 2mo
youneverarrived @Billypar thank you 😊 thats such a great way of putting it! 2mo
youneverarrived @merelybookish thank you 😊 2mo
vivastory Wonderful review! 2mo
66 likes7 comments
review
Billypar
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Mehso-so

Excited to join the #nyrbbookclub this month! I did enjoy this almost-a-pick. As others pointed out, Hardwicke's writing sparkles and made me consider, what does a collection of memories of others say about the memory owner? Or is it a riff on the act of remembering, how it creates these characters, like an author of fiction might? The end struck me as no different from the beginning and the flatness kept it from a pick- otherwise I was intrigued.

vivastory Great review! I agree that the end fell a little flat, but there was enough observational brilliance to make it work for me. 2mo
Billypar @vivastory Thanks! Yes, 'observational brilliance' is a good way to describe her writing. I do regret how I read this: too many short sessions where I kept getting interrupted. I think I would have liked it more if I had just a few long, quiet sittings to be more immersed. 2mo
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mklong Great review! Looking forward to the discussion. I‘m tagging @youneverarrived since she is September‘s co-host. We take turns each month to co-host with @vivastory 2mo
Billypar @mklong Thanks! And whoops...thanks for clarifying- after seeing all the posts for Black Wings Has My Angel I decided I needed to join in the fun ☺️ 2mo
mklong So glad you did! 2mo
youneverarrived Great review! Interesting you say that about a collection of memories of others because as I was reading it it made me think of how much our memories and the stories we tell really do involve other people. 2mo
Billypar @youneverarrived Thanks! And that is very true: given how common this is, you have to wonder what the particular memories we've held onto, even after years have gone by, says about our relationships with those individuals. 2mo
BarbaraBB Great review! Will you be joining in the discussion tomorrow? 2mo
Billypar @BarbaraBB Thanks! It's looking doubtful unfortunately, but I will if plans change. Is there a link sent out for the discussions via email? If not tomorrow, I definitely want to for a future month. 2mo
BarbaraBB I just tagged you in @vivastory ‘s post about the discussion! 2mo
Liz_M @Billypar Yes, this is not a good subway book! I could never remember where on the page I stopped reading and inadvertently read many bits over again. 2mo
Billypar @Liz_M Yup, same with me, and I did read some of this on the subway. I tend to be stubborn about reading challenging novels on the subway against my better judgement. It's free time, and I want to finish it faster, so I trick myself into believing I can avoid distractions with enough determination 😁 2mo
49 likes13 comments
review
batsy
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Pickpick

I love how @vivastory described this as an "impressionistic scrapbook". Also Susan Sontag's blurb: " a novel of mental weather". I'll borrow from John Berger to subtitle this, "Ways of Seeing". A novel of fragments like prose poetry. Autofiction in which the narrator reveals herself through her moods, memories, & ways of seeing the world, propelled by Hardwick's glinting, probing intelligence. Every sentence a scalpel. I loved it ? #NYRBbookclub

Cathythoughts Excellent review ✨ 2mo
KateFulfordAuthor Great review thanks 2mo
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saresmoore Lovely review! I still haven‘t read it. 😬 2mo
Suet624 Again with a brilliant review! Yes to everything you‘ve described. 2mo
youneverarrived Great review 👌 everything you said is spot on. 2mo
vivastory Fantastic review!! Sontag's description of mental weather really jumped out at me as well. I'm glad you liked it! 2mo
batsy @saresmoore Thank you Sara, I'd love to know what you think of it! 2mo
batsy @Suet624 @youneverarrived @vivastory Thank you! I look forward to our discussion 🙂 2mo
merelybookish She was doing autofiction before it was even a thing! 2mo
BarbaraBB Great review. You liked it so much more than I did. I read it early September and have a hard time even remembering what she was talking about... 🙈 2mo
batsy @merelybookish She was! It's pretty amazing. 2mo
batsy @BarbaraBB Haha ? It's a book of moods. I really like Sontag's "mental weather" blurb. Quite hard to remember in terms of characters or events, more like memories and sensations. If that makes sense ? I confess I think I'll find it quite hard to discuss! 2mo
rohit-sawant It's always delightful to catch up on your posts. Terrific review! 1mo
batsy @rohit-sawant Thank you, Rohit! It's good to see you back :) 1mo
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blurb
Aimeesue
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Stella is not all that excited to be used as a book prop.
#NYRBbookclub
#pibble
#stella
#dogsoflitsy

CBee She‘s so pretty ♥️♥️ 2mo
Jb2003 Omg, she‘s adorable. Sometimes the Chihuahua also disagrees, but that‘s the price of reading snuggles 2mo
batsy Awww ❤️❤️ 2mo
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Aimeesue @Cbee @Jb2003 @batsy She's such a big baby! We looooooooves her though. 2mo
CBee @Aimeesue I adore pibbles ♥️ 2mo
Aimeesue @CBee They are the BEST DOGS EVER. I know everybody thinks that about their dog's breed, but in this case it's true. 😄 2mo
CBee @Aimeesue they get such a bad rap and I‘ll never understand it. I‘ve never met one I didn‘t love - and they are so loyal! 2mo
Aimeesue @CBee They do have a really strong prey drive, which some bad people breed and train for, to make scary aggressive dogs. Most just need to be well controlled and trained, tho. And neutered. Pitbull attacks are committed 99.9% of the time by groups of unneutered males. But they good, good doggies to their people. 2mo
CBee @Aimeesue yes! I totally agree. ♥️ 2mo
jillrhudy Sweetest pup! ♥️ 2mo
Aimeesue @jillrhudy She would like you to come visit so she can lick you. 😄 2mo
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review
mklong
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Pickpick

I went in with some apprehension after seeing all the bails from other #NYRBBookClub members, and I can see why, but this wound up working for me. It‘s a life told in glancing vignettes about those who shared her life. @MerelyBookish made an apt comparison to Rachel Cusk‘s Outline, and much like that book, I can‘t articulate very well why I found it so affecting. For the sake of discussion, I will try to by Sunday.

vivastory Yes, I thought the comparison to Outline was spot on. I'm glad you liked it! 2mo
merelybookish I'm glad that comparison worked for you! I think they are both experimenting with how to write a woman's life, and I find that so interesting! 2mo
batsy I feel the same. I found it affecting too but can't quite put in words why (if only Hardwick could supply the words for me!) And note to self: read Rachel Cusk! 2mo
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mklong Oooh please do @Batsy! I'd love to hear your thoughts on Cusk's Outline trilogy. 2mo
mklong @vivastory and @merelybookish I'm glad at least a couple of us liked it. Book discussions aren't much fun when everyone is just dumping on it. I am busy Sunday afternoon, so won't be there right at 2 est, but I'll check in that evening. 2mo
BarbaraBB I didn‘t like this book, however I do like Cusk... 🤷🏻‍♀️😘 2mo
59 likes6 comments
blurb
vivastory
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Attention #NYRBBookClub join my co-host @youneverarrived & myself this Sunday at 1 CST for a discussion of Sleepless Nights. Make your case for why you thought it was a disjointed, boring, plotless mess or why it is a brilliant, impressionistic record of a life lived. Should be an interesting discussion!

LeahBergen 👍🏻 2mo
Rachel_nyc Ha ha this one should be fun!! 😜 2mo
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vivastory @Rachel_nyc It seems to be the most divisive book we've read 2mo
BarbaraBB This will be a great discussion. We finally won‘t agree on everything 😀 2mo
GatheringBooks i finished the book and looking forward to the discussion! may be a bit late tho due to time difference. 2mo
BarbaraBB @Billypar Above you read about the discussion later today. Just tune in on Litsy and hashtag #nyrbbookclub. I hope you‘ll make it! 2mo
Billypar Thanks @BarbaraBB - I hope I can make at least some of it- lots to discuss with this one! 2mo
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review
vivastory
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Pickpick

"Sometimes I resent the glossary, the concordance of truth many have about my real life, have like an extra pair of spectacles. I mean that such fact is to me a hindrance of memory."
Hardwick's autobiographical novel is an impressionistic scrapbook. Filled with observations seasoned with epigrammatic wit, it details places lived & people in her life. It's intensely personal, as these are her thoughts & feelings, but she's largely focused on ?

vivastory other people & her personal life is either obliquely mentioned or not at all. I felt like Hardwick's at her best when she is chronicling & observing people & culture. While there were some flaws in this, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. #NYRBBookClub 2mo
LeahBergen This is going to be a good discussion! 👏🏻 2mo
merelybookish Wonderful review! I agree that the chapters were uneven..still so much beautiful writing 2mo
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batsy "Impressionistic scrapbook" is such a lovely way to put it! I'm going to make more time for it today but early impressions are very positive. 2mo
vivastory @merelybookish The writing really was memorable. At times it almost bordered on prose poetry. 2mo
vivastory @batsy I'm looking forward to your thoughts. It's small, but there's a lot to unpack. 2mo
BarbaraBB Fab review. You‘re right about the scrapbook and parts of it were gorgeous but to me it didn‘t come together. Anyway, enough to discuss! 💕 2mo
DrexEdit totally. I was calling it a writer's sketchbook in my head. Agree she is best when observing people and culture! 👍 2mo
youneverarrived Great review! Agree about her observations of other people. 2mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB As you said we finally are reading a book we don't all agree on. It will be an interesting discussion. 2mo
vivastory @DrexEdit I hope you can join us for the discussion! 2mo
vivastory @youneverarrived Thanks! She was really insightful 2mo
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vivastory
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Suet624 There‘s a bright red post it on this passage in my book. 😁 2mo
63 likes1 comment
quote
batsy
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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It's off to a very intriguing start for me :)

#NYRBbookclub @youneverarrived @vivastory

Ruthiella Totally intriguing! It‘s setting the reader up but what comes next...I‘m stacking this!😀 2mo
vivastory I have to say that I am really loving it so far. I just finished part 3 & there is a lovely meditation/remembrance on Billie Holiday. As a die hard Holiday fan I was thrilled. 2mo
Leftcoastzen I really liked that part too. 2mo
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batsy @Ruthiella It's so far composed of fragments of thoughts, moods, memories, and may not lead to anything, but so far I love the way her mind works through her writing :) @Leftcoastzen 2mo
batsy @vivastory I'm just going into Part 3 & looking forward to that bit. Her writing is winning me over. 2mo
emilyhaldi Yay! Happy you‘re liking it. The fragments were a bit too... fragmented for me 🙃 2mo
LeahBergen @emilyhaldi That‘s how I felt, too! 😆 2mo
REPollock J‘ADORE, BRIGANDE! 2mo
youneverarrived Glad you‘re liking it! Have to say I‘m loving it. I‘m on Part 5. 2mo
Suet624 I have scads of post it notes throughout. 2mo
batsy @youneverarrived I think I've moved on to the "love" camp as well ? 2mo
batsy @Suet624 It's impossible not to stop and think at almost every other sentence. Such a slim book but the reading is going slower than I expected, and in a good way. 2mo
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vivastory
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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LeahBergen Sorry. I‘ll try my best. 😆 2mo
vivastory @LeahBergen It's a good thing we're friends 😄 2mo
GrilledCheeseSamurai I can't make any promises. 😛 2mo
vivastory @GrilledCheeseSamurai As a fellow Scott, you get one free pass. 😂 2mo
JacqMac I‘m feeling ok today, so I think you‘re safe. 😆 2mo
92 likes5 comments
blurb
Suet624
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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I‘ve had many a sleepless night lately in which to read the random thoughts of this woman. I have to say that while it‘s a bit of a chore to read, there are passages that stun me. I see myself so clearly in her descriptions of the malcontent, of the snarky observer, of the person looking for meaning. I‘ve also known so many who are strident in their communist political views, yet end up living their lives like the rest of the “placid” masses.

merelybookish Nice! I also find some of her observations seering! 2mo
BarbaraBB Great review 💜 2mo
Suet624 @BarbaraBB thank you so much. 💕 2mo
58 likes4 comments
review
Rachel_nyc
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Mehso-so

It was not at all what I expected based on the description so I‘m glad I was “warned” by fellow #nyrbbookclub members! I found parts of this stream of consciousness novel captivating but also found my mind wandering while reading the rambling prose. Looking forward to the discussion!

sisilia Rambling prose... that what i thought as well 😃 2mo
Rachel_nyc @sisilia ha ha I wasn‘t sure how else to put it! 🤣 2mo
22 likes2 comments
review
merelybookish
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Pickpick

Reminiscences of people and places, a plotless novel about the past's presence. Reminded me a bit of Rachel Cusk's Outline trilogy: how a woman writes her life by writing about everything except herself.
Which is to say I liked it. 😏 And I look forward to discussing (defending?) it soon!
#NYRBbookclub @vivastory @youneverarrived

LeahBergen Oh oh! 😆 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2mo
merelybookish @LeahBergen That's right bailer! 😜 2mo
batsy Nice! 2mo
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youneverarrived 😂 this is going to be an interesting discussion. You‘ve made it sound right up my street. After seeing people bail I was a bit apprehensive. I‘m only just starting it now. 2mo
Suet624 Good review considering what we have to work with this month! 😂😂 2mo
merelybookish @batsy Have you started it yet? Curious what you think! 2mo
merelybookish @youneverarrived I understand! I have a thing for plotless novels and experimental writing by women so kind of fits my wheelhouse. 2mo
merelybookish @Suet624 Thanks! 🙂 I take it you didn't love it? 2mo
batsy I hope to start tonight or tomorrow! I loved her book of essays, Seduction and Betrayal, so I have high hopes for this one! 2mo
merelybookish @batsy It makes sense she is an essayist. In many ways this feels more memoir than novel. 2mo
vivastory Great review. I only read the first book of Cusk's trilogy, but I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to driving in & discussing. 2mo
LeahBergen I have #BailersGuilt 😂😂 2mo
Dragon 😻 2mo
merelybookish @vivastory Thanks! This discussion should be fun! 2mo
merelybookish @LeahBergen I'm sorry! You shouldn't! And I shouldn't have shamed you. Especially since there's a good chance I will bail on 2mo
LeahBergen @merelybookish Oh, there was no shaming at all! I‘m heartily enjoying the different takes on this book as most of our group‘s previous selections were all universally liked. And who knows? I may hate my own pick next month. 😆😆 2mo
Leftcoastzen Kitty!😻 2mo
Suet624 I actually do like it but it‘s an odd one, for sure. 2mo
BarbaraBB Looking forward to our discussion! 2mo
85 likes19 comments
quote
merelybookish
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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A little food for thought for #shakespearereadalong folks in the #nyrbbookclub selection.

vivastory What are your thoughts on this so far? 2mo
merelybookish @vivastory I'm not far in at all. So far it's like reading a series of disjointed diary entries. But the writing has already delivered a few gut punches...so I think I'll like it. 2mo
merelybookish @vivastory Have you read it yet? 2mo
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vivastory I was hoping to start it but there was a problem with my order. I should get it in the mail tomorrow & I'm hoping to read it this weekend. 2mo
merelybookish @vivastory Seems doable. It's only 150 pages or so. 2mo
vivastory Yeah, I don't have any plans so it shouldn't be a problem. Looking forward to it. 2mo
batsy I kind of love this. And now I'm going to brazenly scrawl even more notes in the margins of my Shakespeare books 😂 2mo
merelybookish @batsy Go for it Shakespeare! ✍️😁 2mo
64 likes8 comments
review
Leftcoastzen
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Pickpick

Can I make it a pick with an *? The middle part was so compelling to me but...Writing sometimes beautiful but doesn‘t draw one in .I‘ll say more in the #nyrbbookclub discussion.

LeahBergen This is going to be such a good discussion! 👏🏻👏🏻 2mo
youneverarrived Discussion should be interesting! I‘m happy that you didn‘t bail - I was starting to think everyone was going to hate it 😬 2mo
vivastory I think this will definitely be an interesting discussion! 2mo
52 likes3 comments
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DrexEdit
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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My #lunchtimereading today. I'm hoping the #nyrbbookclub doesn't mind me tagging along with their reading. Between the NY theme and the stream of consciousness style, I'm really digging this book. I like the small snapshots that jump around.

But really this book had me from the beginning with: "Canadians, do not vomit on me!" surely I'm not the only one that's been vomited on on the NY subway! ???

BarbaraBB Of course you can join! This is not the best book though that we‘ve been reading together, imo. I am glad you‘re enjoying it though! (edited) 2mo
DrexEdit @BarbaraBB it's weird how NYC tends to be a character in stories about the city. I feel like I know this NYC character the author is writing about, so it's enjoyable for me. I also know the tiniest bit about Lexington, but the author nails it as far as I'm concerned! 😊 So far, so good! 2mo
BarbaraBB I did like the NYC character as well, but that was about it. 2mo
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emilyhaldi The more the merrier!! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2mo
DrexEdit @emilyhaldi yay! 😊 2mo
Leftcoastzen @emilyhaldi once I got to part 3 and she wrote about Billie , became alive for me. 2mo
youneverarrived Glad you‘re joining in 😙 2mo
emilyhaldi @DrexEdit @Leftcoastzen I love NYC as a character which I hear comes front & center in part 3... I‘m going to give it another go this weekend 😊🤞🏻 2mo
vivastory Glad you're joining us! 2mo
38 likes9 comments
blurb
Leftcoastzen
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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#nyrbbookclub my obsession with NYC is way beyond normal bounds so in part 3 where she describes her grubby New York existence,I‘m hooked.Had to look up bar mentioned as I had heard of it.

batsy How are you finding it so far? I need to start 🙈 2mo
Leftcoastzen @batsy I might be the outlier, I did not like part 1 ,was “meh” on part 2, but really enjoying part 3 and all the other parts 😂Stopped tonight just before part 8. (edited) 2mo
batsy That's encouraging 🙂 2mo
youneverarrived I‘m so glad someone is actually liking it 😂 I‘m going to start it tonight. 2mo
emilyhaldi Well maybe I need to keep going then!! I usually ❤️ anything about NYC... 2mo
49 likes5 comments
blurb
Leftcoastzen
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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#nyrbbookclub I drove to another town and got another library card to read the selection everybody seems to be bailing on.😂

LeahBergen 😆😆 Here‘s hoping! 🤞🏻 2mo
Leftcoastzen @LeahBergen ok , I read the first part , flashes of beauty but... I‘m going to blame my confusion on her ex Robert Lowell 🙃 2mo
batsy This is a pretty great cover. I'm not keen on the NYRB cover so I got the Faber edition (which was also cheaper 😅) 2mo
Leftcoastzen @batsy like the Faber cover ! This one is a first edition, 2nd printing,so old it has the old fashioned library check out card pocket inside front cover. 2mo
Tanisha_A That's such an awesome spirit! 😂 2mo
53 likes5 comments
review
emilyhaldi
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Bailedbailed

I made it about halfway through this one but Hardwick's writing style just isn't for me 🙃 #toomanyNYRBstoolittletime #NYRBbookclub

BarbaraBB I think a lot of us feel the same about this book. 2mo
vivastory So far I haven't heard anything very positive about it from the group 2mo
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LeahBergen Well, now I don‘t feel so bad. 😆 2mo
Rachel_nyc Oh no! I haven‘t started yet but I will keep expectations low. 2mo
Leftcoastzen 😬 2mo
Leftcoastzen Waaaaaa 2mo
Reviewsbylola What are the chances I might like this one? 2mo
Reviewsbylola Ok cool I think I‘ll just skip it then. Why set myself up for failure?! 2mo
90 likes10 comments
review
LeahBergen
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Bailedbailed

Oh oh, #NYRBBookClub. I read Part One of this and HATED it. 😬😬

Does it get any better? Did I bail too soon?

vivastory I haven't started it yet. I was planning on starting it this weekend. 2mo
vivastory I know @BarbaraBB gave it a so-so. 2mo
sprainedbrain Oh boy... 2mo
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batsy Oh no! I'm hoping to start over the weekend or early next week. 2mo
LeahBergen @vivastory @sprainedbrain @batsy It could quite possibly (most likely) just be my reading frame of mind at the mo! 😬 2mo
youneverarrived I honestly think this one might sound better than it actually is 🙈 saying that I‘ve not started...but reviews on it are mixed. (edited) 2mo
BarbaraBB I wondered the same, if it was my frame of mind. It wasn‘t for me either. 2mo
sisilia I loved her writing style, but not the storyline. I powered through it because it‘s quite thin, but it was painful for me 😪 2mo
LeahBergen @youneverarrived I can‘t wait to see if you like it any better than I did! 2mo
LeahBergen @BarbaraBB @sisilia Thank goodness I‘m not alone here. 😆 2mo
Reviewsbylola Uh oh. Was this your pick or am I crazy?! 2mo
Reviewsbylola NM I see that your pick is next month! Phew. 2mo
emilyhaldi I'm halfway through and I don't think I can go on 😩 2mo
LeahBergen @Reviewsbylola I would still be bailing if it was my pick. 😬 2mo
LeahBergen @emilyhaldi Oh, thank God. I thought it was just me! 😆 2mo
megnews Wow! The description makes it sound amaaazing! 2mo
LeahBergen @megnews It totally does, doesn‘t it?? The execution, though? Eehhhh... might not be for everyone! 😬 2mo
Leftcoastzen Now you are scaring me , I haven‘t started yet.😬 2mo
saresmoore I‘m just annoyed at this point. My initial thought: “Who cares, you self-absorbed, pretentious old narcissist?!” Normally I only think that about male writers... 2mo
LeahBergen @saresmoore 😆😆 I found her so irritating that I couldn‘t go on! 2mo
98 likes20 comments
blurb
batsy
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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#7days7covers #covercrush Day 1

Thank you for the tag @ShelfRighteous 💜


@Leftcoastzen if you're up for it—post a fave cover each day for 7 days, no explanation necessary 🙂

saresmoore Ooooooh! 2mo
saresmoore P.S. You just reminded me that I ought to start reading this. 🙃 2mo
batsy @saresmoore Love that 70s aesthetic ❤️ I just reminded myself to read it too 😂 (And I'm tagging you as well if you want to play 😘) 2mo
See All 11 Comments
saresmoore Yasss 2mo
Leftcoastzen I need to get on it as well!I am honored to play!This Book was also published as a green Virago! 2mo
ShelfRighteous This is interesting! Need to check it out. Thanks for playing 🙂🙂 2mo
batsy @Leftcoastzen I've just had a look at the green Virago cover 😍 2mo
Leftcoastzen Right?!? 💚 2mo
BarbaraBB This one is so retro! Love it! 2mo
batsy @BarbaraBB Me too, love the retro vibes. 2mo
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review
BarbaraBB
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Mehso-so

It was not easy to keep focussing on the beautiful sentences among the stream of conscience memoirs of Elizabeth Hardwick. I was not really in the mood for such a read unfortunately. #NYRBBookClub

The memories of her youth took place in #Kentucky so I can use the book for #ReadingUSA2019.

(Pic: This summer I stayed in a hotel in Brooklyn with the best pillows ever. I have searched everywhere and was able to buy them online!)

Librarybelle The pillows do look very comfortable! 2mo
Liz_M Now you have me curious about both the pillows and the hotel! 😉 2mo
BarbaraBB @Liz_M Lol it was the Indigo in Williamsburg, it opened the night we were there. First guests ever! And it was cheap! I just checked and I couldn‘t afford to go there again now! The pillows felt like clouds 😉, I never slept so good. In case you‘re interested, the brand is IHG (international hotel group) 😘 2mo
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LeahBergen Oh oh! I hope I like it better. And I need new pillows, too. 😆 2mo
BarbaraBB @LeahBergen You probably will. For me it was just the wrong book at the wrong time. I was too impatient! 2mo
emilyhaldi I'm in the market for some new pillows, so thank you for that!! 😆👌🏻 I'm starting this book today... 🤞🏻 2mo
BarbaraBB @emilyhaldi I hope you‘ll like it! And I feel like a sales person for the pillows 😂😴🛏 2mo
youneverarrived Decent pillows make all the difference 👌 I think it‘ll be hit and miss this book...seems to get mixed reviews. 2mo
BarbaraBB @youneverarrived The writing is gorgeous and poignant, I think many of us will love it! 🤞😘 2mo
GatheringBooks felt exactly the same about this book. found it too self-indulgent and meandering, pretty sentences notwithstanding. 2mo
BarbaraBB @GatheringBooks I am glad you felt the same. I am looking forward to what our fellow readers will think! 2mo
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merelybookish
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Picked up the next #NYRBbookclub pick today. Looks like it's been kicking around Denver Public Library since 1979.
Excited to read this one!
@vivastory @youneverarrived

BarbaraBB Haha, kicking around since 1979 😂. I picked this one up as well today for our book club. 3mo
youneverarrived Looking forward to seeing what you think of it 👍 2mo
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GatheringBooks
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Me. The mismatched china piece in my new environment here in Al Ain. :)
I love when books find me at the perfect time.
Reading this on Overdrive from my Singapore NLB subscription for my virtual #NYRBBookClub.
I miss the Singapore libraries most of all. 😭

Cathythoughts I love this metaphor.. ( I am so the mismatched ) .....but , , my cupboard is perfectly coordinated 🤔..... ... although lately a few mismatched have found their way in again (edited) 3mo
BarbaraBB I hope you are settling in well in the UAE. And I hope you like the book. 3mo
59 likes2 comments
blurb
vivastory
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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A couple of members have yet to vote, but with 10 votes Elizabeth Hardwick's "Sleepless Nights" is the clear winner. Yet another month where every single selection was intriguing & my TBR expanded. This isn't due to only the consistent quality of the NYRB catalog, a large part is due to the great tastes of the members. Fantastic nominations @youneverarrived
#NYRBBookClub

sprainedbrain Whoops sorry. I didn‘t know it was up for vote yet. This looks interesting! 4mo
MicheleinPhilly Is this August or Sept.? My brain has been Swiss cheese this month. 4mo
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Reviewsbylola I think it‘s September! @MicheleinPhilly 4mo
vivastory @MicheleinPhilly September. The August selection is 4mo
saresmoore I agree re: great choices! I may or may not have ordered all three options today. 🙃 4mo
sisilia @saresmoore Hahaha same here 4mo
MicheleinPhilly @Reviewsbylola @vivastory Thank you both! I don‘t even remember voting for Aug. which shows you how rotted my brain is. 🤦🏻‍♀️ 4mo
emilyhaldi Woohoo!!!! I already own this one (as of a week ago 😆) but I may have to buy the other two nominations anyways.... 4mo
Leftcoastzen Cool , now I‘m on the hunt for this one! 4mo
GatheringBooks awesome! i can def join the discussion for this one. which month will this be? august or sept? 4mo
Liz_M I love how you-all pick the book I want to read the most when I forget to vote. 😁 4mo
vivastory @GatheringBooks Glad you're joining us. It's September 4mo
vivastory @saresmoore @sisilia I'm going to buy all 3. I didn't buy any last month since I already had Chess Story. 4mo
vivastory @MicheleinPhilly July seems like it lasted forever 4mo
vivastory @emilyhaldi I think you should! All the cool kids are doing it 😄 4mo
vivastory @Leftcoastzen Hope you find a copy! 4mo
vivastory @Liz_M Works out well! 4mo
BarbaraBB I love this book club ❤️. And I am in NYC at the moment so I hope to pick up my copy at The Strand tomorrow 😍😍 4mo
batsy @BarbaraBB How perfect ❤️ 4mo
batsy I'll likely be reading from the new Faber edition but I'm delighted with this pick! I've been meaning to read Hardwick's fiction for years. 4mo
sisilia @saresmoore @vivastory I read Sleepless a few months ago, so am gonna buy and read the other two 🤪 4mo
sisilia @BarbaraBB Housing Works and Book Thug Nation (Williamsburg) have extensive secondhand NYRB Classics collections... if you have the time 4mo
emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB try Alabaster used books right around the corner from the Strand... charming little shop. Last time I went I found loads of #NYRBclassics! 🤗 have fun! 4mo
BarbaraBB @sisilia @emilyhaldi Thank you both so much, I had no idea but will check them out! I am staying in Williamsburg and will spend the day in Manhattan! 4mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB Enjoy the Strand! I've enjoyed your trip across the country through your posts. 4mo
Liz_M @emilyhaldi I find that Alabaster has much more expensive nyrb prices (only 25-30% off) than The Strand (new copies are often 50% off if they have a lot of them) and HWUB which are almost always 50% off the cover price. 4mo
emilyhaldi You‘re probably right @Liz_M I typically get too charmed by the shop to give the pricing much notice 🙃😅 4mo
Liz_M 😁 4mo
youneverarrived I love this! 🖤 and the fact a few of you are buying all three 😆 it‘s the best book club 😁 4mo
youneverarrived So sorry I missed you when I was tagging people in my post @sprainedbrain 🙁 I literally double checked aswell! (edited) 4mo
sprainedbrain @youneverarrived no worries! I love this pick! 4mo
batsy @vivastory @youneverarrived Sorry guys, because I haven't started yet 🙈 I just wanted to check if discussion is on the last weekend of September? 2mo
vivastory @batsy Yep! 2mo
batsy Thanks! 2mo
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sisilia
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Mehso-so

2⭐️ I‘m conflicted about this novel. The writing is beautiful; but I feel like someone simply offloaded random ramblings about her past. Not my favorite, sadly 😓

BarbaraBB Great collection though 😍 #NYRB 7mo
sisilia @BarbaraBB NYRB obsession 😆 7mo
Cinfhen Nice review!! Always appreciate honesty 7mo
sisilia @Cinfhen She was one of founders of The New York Review of Books, so I was hoping that it‘s a 5⭐️ read. Alas, there was no chemistry 7mo
Cinfhen I didn‘t know that! That is surprising 7mo
57 likes5 comments
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sisilia
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Cathythoughts 👍🏻😳😂 7mo
QuintusMarcus Well, I can totally understand that. 7mo
Suet624 😂😂😂 7mo
59 likes3 comments
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sisilia
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Currently reading 🤠

GatheringBooks looks good! :) 7mo
69 likes1 comment
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SkeletonKey
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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1. Scottish Festival, working on art, lots of reading.
2. Have not slept well this week at all.
3. Amsterdam, Chiang Mai, London
4. Neither!
5. 84 F 😥

#friyayintro @jesshowbooks

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Jen_Reads
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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1. Today I have lunch with a former coworker and then Work and Work
2. More like mornings. I haven‘t been sleeping well so I‘ve been tired
3. In the US I‘d say Boston or San Francisco. World I love Ljubljana and Zagreb
4. Sloth
5. It says it‘s going to be 86.

#friyayintro @jesshowbooks

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MysticRaven03
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick

Soooo I‘ve been MIA for a while and I‘ve missed you guys! I have a great excuse though! I had a baby and have been extremely sleep deprived and just a little busy 😂😂😂 loving every minute though and looking forward to hopefully being a bit more active on here again 💖

jfalkens Congrats 🎊🎉🎊🎉 and welcome back 🤗 2y
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IamIamIam
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Had a long night with overtired kids so I didn't get much sleep. Not reading the tagged book, but I'm about halfway through my next #horrorpost book and I'm honestly excited about being stuck getting the car inspected today! I'm loving this, folks! @teebe @laundry_piles @Bengali.bookworm #NightmaresAhead
I tagged only a few, so don't be insulted if I didn't tag you guys! 😄👹👻

laundry_piles Yayyy!!! I need to mail mine out! Eek! 2y
IamIamIam @laundry_piles You'll get there! Did you like your book? 2y
32 likes2 comments
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kspenmoll
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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#Odetosleep #tuneintonov #insomnia #sleeplessinCT
No idea why, but woke at 3 a.m. Wide awake. So I turn to Litsy... have to be up at 5:30 to ready for work. 😱 Lots of ☕️☕️☕️☕️ today. Perfect night for this song though-

tpixie Good luck! I hope you were able to fall asleep again after all! 2y
kspenmoll @tpixie thanks! Sleepy right now & of course time to rise & shine! 😴😜 2y
tpixie Lol of course! I woke at 4:12 and could have slept til 5! Better than you, but why does our body do this?! Enjoy your day!! 2y
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Cinfhen I love your graphics ~ sorry you had a restless night...hope your day is wonderful 🌸🌼🌻 2y
erzascarletbookgasm Hope you‘ll get an early night tonight. I like your graphics 2y
Nute This happens to me a lot. It is never close enough to the waking hour to be okay. It's always a loss of two to three hours of precious sleep. Hopefully, you'll sleep better tonight. 2y
Suet624 Ugh. That‘s the worst. 2y
kspenmoll @tpixie I made it through the work day(coffee!!!), then I made one stop before going home to nap & I locked my keys in the car...rather tired & spacey, no?! Fortunately I was close yo home & my husband came with extra keys. 😜 2y
kspenmoll @erzascarletbookgasm @Nute @Suet624 @tpixie Was in bed so early for night owl me! I am lucky, its rare that I wake & cannot go back to sleep. Thanks for your well wishes! 2y
tpixie @kspenmoll oh my! Glad you were close to home and husband was there! Lol 4:07 this am for me! I'm gonna try to get off Litsy and sleep. No work today for me, so I might be able to sleep again! Happy Reading!! 2y
sisilia Reminds me of Sleepless in Seattle 😊 2y
58 likes11 comments
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LauraBrook
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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New Tricks, the latest issue of New York Review of Books (reading about Elizabeth Hardwick currently), in pajamas, with a purring Chico sleeping on my feet. Not a bad Sunday night.
#pajamaday #lazy #liveforpjdays

batsy Perfect! 2y
Nat_Reads *sigh* So perfect 😌 2y
78 likes2 comments
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brendanmleonard
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Pickpick

So even though this one is short, and it took me the whole month, I finally finished it. WOW. Innovative, inspiring, profound, moving. This one is going to stay with me. Her sentences are immaculate, carved and crafted. It rekindled my love, once more, of reading. Read it, especially if you like Terry Tempest Williams. Love!

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brendanmleonard
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Waiting for my wife and devouring the gorgeous, surreal, detailed prose on display in this hidden masterwork. Not quite a novel, not quite a memoir, this is one of the more remarkable things I've read (and evocative of Tempest Williams, Didion, and Babitz) in a while. It's what I call a real "pen holder," in that I keep underlining passages and phrases, barely putting my pen down. Cannot wait to finish it! (It's short.) #readwomen

LeahBergen Sold! 3y
ReadingEnvy Also sold! 3y
SheilaChew Added to my never-ending list! 3y
Laura317 Ditto. 3y
LauraBrook Dang, this sounds fantastic! 💸💸💸 3y
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brendanmleonard
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Spring, and almost summer, is here! More than that, my fast approaching first anniversary on Litsy has me remembering how much I treasure you all. A series of personal losses (tell your mentors how much they mean to you), existential crises, and an annual bout with SAD means I did no real reading (or writing) for Feb-Mar. And then...I started writing again. And reading. And that brings me back here, a kind of home, with a stack of books in tow. ❤

CouronneDhiver Welcome back. I'm sorry for your loss... 3y
DGRachel {hugs} 💗💗 3y
moranadatter I'm glad you're here. 💜 3y
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katedensen ❤️ 3y
CherylDeFranceschi ❤️❤️❤️So sorry for your loss. Glad to see you here. 3y
Suet624 What a rough time you've had. I'm so glad you're back. We've missed you. 3y
66 likes6 comments
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Suelizbeth
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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My new pile.

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Zelma
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Story of my life!

Tav Love this postcard. 3y
Zelma @Tav I think we can all relate! 😄 3y
30 likes2 comments