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Do Not Say We Have Nothing
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
An extraordinary novel set in China before, during and after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989--the breakout book we've been waiting for from a bestselling, Amazon.ca First Novel Award winner. Madeleine Thien's new novel is breathtaking in scope and ambition even as it is hauntingly intimate. With the ease and skill of a master storyteller, Thien takes us inside an extended family in China, showing us the lives of two successive generations--those who lived through Mao's Cultural Revolution in the mid-twentieth century; and the children of the survivors, who became the students protesting in Tiananmen Square in 1989, in one of the most important political moments of the past century. With exquisite writing sharpened by a surprising vein of wit and sly humour, Thien has crafted unforgettable characters who are by turns flinty and headstrong, dreamy and tender, foolish and wise. At the centre of this epic tale, as capacious and mysterious as life itself, are enigmatic Sparrow, a genius composer who wishes desperately to create music yet can find truth only in silence; his mother and aunt, Big Mother Knife and Swirl, survivors with captivating singing voices and an unbreakable bond; Sparrow's ethereal cousin Zhuli, daughter of Swirl and storyteller Wen the Dreamer, who as a child witnesses the denunciation of her parents and as a young woman becomes the target of denunciations herself; and headstrong, talented Kai, best friend of Sparrow and Zhuli, and a determinedly successful musician who is a virtuoso at masking his true self until the day he can hide no longer. Here, too, is Kai's daughter, the ever-questioning mathematician Marie, who pieces together the tale of her fractured family in present-day Vancouver, seeking a fragile meaning in the layers of their collective story. With maturity and sophistication, humour and beauty, a huge heart and impressive understanding, Thien has crafted a novel that is at once beautifully intimate and grandly political, rooted in the details of daily life inside China, yet transcendent in its universality.
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BethR91
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
Pickpick

A beautiful story spanning several generations. The first 50 or so pages were a little difficult but I am so glad I persevered. The history of China is a difficult one and it is through stories such at this that we remember what the people of China have been through

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BethR91
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
Pickpick

A beautiful story spanning several generations. The first 50 or so pages were a little difficult but I am so glad I persevered. The history of China is a difficult one and it is through stories such at this that we remember what the people of China have been through

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Niso
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Pickpick

Brilliant heartbreaking saga of familial strife, love, music and revolution in China.
It is a complex but immensely rewarding reading experience, and I hope more people will get to enjoy it as much as I did.

#greatbooks #historicalfiction #china #culturalrevolution #classicalmusic #favourites

BookwormM I loved it 5mo
Prairiegirl_reading I read this awhile ago. I read it with a weekly book group where they break up the book into sections and get together weekly to discuss each section. I‘m glad I did it that way because I probably would have dnf‘d it at the beginning. It is complex and I was a little lost at first but I‘m so glad I stuck with it because it is an absolutely beautiful book. 5mo
Niso @Prairiegirl_reading I struggled through the first 50 pages or so, but it was well worth it. I read it 2 years ago and I still think about it, especially when listening to classical music ❤ 5mo
63 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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Kalalalatja
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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In 1990, Ai-Ming says to Marie and her mother “please, #gimmeshelter” after fleeing the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square protest. Her stay leads Marie to discover more about her father‘s life, which has been secret so far, while at the same time showing examples of China‘s recent history.

I loved the book when I read it, but tbh, I don‘t remember much from it now.

#MayMovieMagic

Cinfhen Good memory!!! I totally forgot about this one 7mo
rohit-sawant Nice one! 7mo
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BestDogDad
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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April reading wrap-up. Much goodness. Do Not Say We Have Nothing was epic, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy was an excellent companion novel to Harold Fry, Mala was poignant and well narrated, and Bertrand is one of the great minds of the 20th century. #Aprilwrapup

Suet624 Queenie ❤️❤️ 7mo
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BestDogDad
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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Pickpick

This is the epic tale of three generations of a Chinese family. The plot centers around three historical events in China: Mao's Agrarian reform The Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, and Tiananmen Square. This book was beautifully written with well fleshed-out characters. There is so much detail, I think a second reading would reveal nuances I missed in this reading. I might give the audio version a try some day. Highly recommended!

saresmoore I absolutely loved this book! Audio for a reread is a great idea. 7mo
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BestDogDad
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Rounding up intellectuals, artists, land owners, and others with wealth or Western influence and eliminating them - so disturbing. To a MUCH lesser degree it reminds me of the anti-intellectualism that has been permeating the US under the current administration. Loving this bleak, affecting book so far.

TrishB I loved this book💕 8mo
bedandabook I loved this book too. Some novels just speak to you. 8mo
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HardcoverHearts
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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The weekend can‘t come fast enough. Look at all these amazing library holds that have come in!! The top row are all the ebooks and below are all the audiobooks. I‘m practically sweating with anxiety over this bevvy of riches bestowed upon me! Luckily, the library gives me 20 days for the check outs, and I tend to listen to most audiobooks at 1.5 speed. Should I take bets on how many I can finish? 😂.

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BestDogDad
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Thank you for adding this family tree to help me keep track of the folks in this novel. In my old age it seems I need rosters and illustrations in my novels. 😣

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Read66
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
Pickpick

There is a lot in this book to take in - my “favourite” parts were the portrayal of what life was like for ordinary Chinese citizens after the Maoist revolution and during the student demonstrations in the late 80s. Such a claustrophobic and compromised life always living with anxiety and fear - feelings that carried on to the next generation. Well deserved award winner.

CarolynM Great review! 10mo
Read66 Thanks! 10mo
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janeycanuck
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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Pickpick

This had been on my shelf for ages and I finally picked it up after several women in my bookclub mentioned recently reading it but not enjoying it. I quite liked it but did find it hard to follow at times, which was the main complaint from the ladies.

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AnneCecilie
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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#adventrecommends day 19 (another catch up)

A novel about family, family history and immigration

BookwormM I loved this but it does get mixed reviews 12mo
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janeycanuck
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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December 14th? Guess I‘m a bit late in posting my #DecemberTBR. In my defence, I‘ve been too busy buying books to read and haven‘t finished a thing yet? Also, November ended up being almost all library holds so basically, my stack is everything from November, the last few books to finish off my #readharder challenge & a few more pre-2018 TBRs for my quest to #readmyowndamnbooks. Thank goodness I already read the #girlybookclub pick this month.

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Lcsmcat
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If you love music, or history, or China, read this book!
#symphony #quotsydec18 @TK-421

TrishB I loved this 💕 12mo
saresmoore I‘d like to add...also read it if you love words, because it is such a beautifully written book! 12mo
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DHill
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I‘ve been looking forward to this one for a long time #octoberreads

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Kat_H
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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Pickpick

Ok, this broke me a little. A rainy day here in the UK so I have spent several hours lost in this. What a heartbreaker, so moving and so beautifully written. I feel really lucky to have had a good streak of amazing reads recently but good grief, I need a lighter read next I think! Ps have you ever sent fanmail to an author?

Ye_Mighty_Andy_Spare I wrote a short email to Lily Brooks-Dalton after I read Good Morning, Midnight to say how much I enjoyed it, and received a very nice reply from her thanking me for getting in touch. I never know if there's an etiquette regarding contacting authors - i guess the more famous they are, the more of a nuisance and time-suck fan interaction becomes because of the sheer volume of it 14mo
Kat_H @Ye_Mighty_Andy_Spare oh that one sounds a goodun, have added it to my TBR! Thank you! No, I have no idea either. I guess if they welcome fanmail they put their contact details out there and if they don't, they don't? 14mo
Ye_Mighty_Andy_Spare Good point! Her website had a contact section. It's a beautifully written tale 14mo
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EMWF
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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“I know that throughout my life I have struggled to forgive my father. Now, as I get older, I wish most of all that he had been able to find a way to forgive himself.” Madeleine Thien will be at #emwf18 to read from her critically acclaimed and haunting novel that follows the lives of two generations - those who lived through Moa's Cultural Revolution; and the children of the survivors, who became the students protesting in Tiananmen Square.

janeycanuck I was so excited to see her as one of this year‘s authors and then was so sad when I realized I was away during this year‘s festival 😰 1y
EMWF @janeycanuck Oh no, that‘s too bad! Hopefully you can join us next year 😊 1y
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cdreincarnate
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Pickpick

OMG I loved this book so much! It‘s a beautiful story of family, friendship, revolution, history and how it repeats itself, what we owe each other and how the things we owe different people in our lives can conflict. It‘s also about the power of music, as well as the power of silence. It‘s so beautifully written and I just don‘t have words for how much I enjoyed this book!

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saresmoore
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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For #24in48 Hour 12 Challenge: A Whole New World

Do Not Say We Have Nothing expanded my worldview like no other and I‘d say it contains a whole world within itself. Masterful doesn‘t even begin to describe it. I absolutely love this book!

TrishB Ohhh I loved this too 💕 1y
LeahBergen Isn‘t it marvellous? ❤️ 1y
Cathythoughts Sounds great ... and you loved it ! & it‘s one of those books I have an irrational resistance to ... must get over that 1y
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saresmoore @Cathythoughts I know some have found it to be intimidating, but it is high on the list of the best books I‘ve ever read and it is wholly unique. 1y
emilyhaldi Ugh, I need to get to this one!!!! 1y
BookwormM This was my pick to win the Booker the year it was shortlisted I was very disappointed that it didn‘t 1y
TrishB @Cathythoughts I have a few books like that - weird isn‘t it! This is awesome though.... 1y
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Creadnorthey
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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Pickpick

This will probably not be a classic but it‘s many layers and fractured pieces coming together but never quite fitting make it as good a read as it is heartbreaking- the Great Leap Forward is a ragged torn thing according to this author- her story makes its point.

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Creadnorthey
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien

Big Mother: There is no way across the river but to feel for the stones.

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Creadnorthey
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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I was looking at some of the commentary and one struck me as true to my experience reading this book: going down the rabbit hole of the Chinese Cultural Revolution!

TrishB That was me I think! Absolutely fascinating! 1y
Creadnorthey Yes I think it was 🤗 1y
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TrishB
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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Black
Don‘t binge watch - less reading time!
Tagged one - got lost down rabbit hole of Chinese Cultural Revolution!
Mayonnaise
None 🎉🎉
Hi all 🙋 have a great weekend 😁
#friyayintro

Cathythoughts 👍🏻👍🏻❤️ 1y
Ruthiella Best weekend plans ever! 😀 1y
Simona Yes for all your answers 👍👌 1y
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emilyhaldi Always mayonnaise 🙌🏻 and black 😉🖤 1y
TrishB @Ruthiella I know 😁 hopefully reading!! 1y
TrishB @Simona 😘👍🏻 1y
TrishB @emilyhaldi 😁😘 1y
TrishB @Cathythoughts 😘 happy hols 1y
82 likes8 comments
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JulietteGF
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It must be a sign!!! I really need to read this book (someone else offered it to me, but it's always great to have double, so that if I really like the book, I can spread the love). Promise, in July, I'll read it. Thanks so much @ameliask8
I love the socks! I need to read this book again! I also love tea, and your card is super cute.
@JPeterson #SockSwap

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Moray_Reads
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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GatheringBooks
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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#QuotsyMay18 Day 23: What does #Zero mean exactly?

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bnp
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This book! I picked it up for a family drama book, but it's more than that. Music, silence, listening, family, mathematics, hidden communication, invisibility and China.

#womenauthors

AceOnRoam Yes! Brilliant... 2y
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bnp
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The protagonist's father was a composer, and I'm not far enough in to know all the connections, but music matters in this book.

#MusicFic #

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bnp
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Which one should I start?

RidgewayGirl Do Not Say We Have Nothing is amazing. 2y
bnp @RidgewayGirl I started thumbing through at work & was intrigued by the structure, then read the first chapter. I'm gonna love reading this one! 2y
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alisonrose
Bailedbailed

Ok please don't yell at me because I know a lot of people loved this, and it was a Man Booker finalist FFS ... but I had to DNF. I enjoyed it at first, but when it became like 90% flashback story, it started losing me. I just couldn't get into it, the writing was off in some way and I admit I was really damn confused most of the time. I would've loved a story that stayed with the women/girls in the beginning. But it just wasn't working for me.

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alisonrose
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LeahBergen So good. ❤️❤️ 2y
saresmoore Yessss 2y
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Dolly
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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Congratulations on your huge litfluence number !!! Thanks for the generous giveaway...such fun! 💕
Three top books on my TBR : Freshwater, Autumn (Ali Smith), Do Not Say We Have Nothing.

Tagging: @Kaye @Bostonmomx2 @OrangeMooseReads

Kaye Thanks for the tag Dolly. ❤️congrats Natalie. Good job 👍🏼 2y
OrangeMooseReads Thank you for the tag @Dolly and Congratulations @BookaholicNatty (edited) 2y
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LaurenReads
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Mehso-so

I loved parts of this book and other parts were just really hard to get through. The history and emotional personal moments were amazing. I don‘t know enough about music to even understand those parts of the book. So it‘s a so-so for me. #readharder #brics

Rcoco Learned so much from this book. But,yeah, the music parts definitely went over my head. Really brought to life he horror of Tiananmen Square. 2y
85 likes1 comment
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Monieeka
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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A mid afternoon reality check.

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amyf0x
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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Pickpick

A difficult but achingly beautiful story of the interwoven lives of characters in communist China and Canada.

Read February 10 - March 1
Book 6/50

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BakingAndBooks
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Pickpick

Loved this book! Made me want to read more about Chinese history. Absolutely fascinating!

BakingAndBooks @RaimeyGallant No but I think I have a copy lying around somewhere. Is it a good read? 1y
RaimeyGallant Oh yes. It's a memoir. I'm not judging it on its literary merits, though, because I can't remember. It's the story of three generations of women in a family, and how everything changed for them pre, during and after Mao. 1y
BakingAndBooks Definitely will pick it up. Thanks for the recommendation! 1y
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Ms_T
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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Panpan

Not for me at all. There‘s no denying Thien is a wonderfully skilful writer - almost poetic - but this audiobook was so oppressive and dense it almost suffocated me. If I wasn‘t so stubborn I‘d have bailed. Next.

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Ms_T
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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Treated myself yesterday to some wireless Bluetooth earbuds. Although the jury‘s out for now with the audiobook, the earbuds are fab. They look funky in the ears too. (Qa.99 from Aldi if my UK friends are interested.)

Cathythoughts Will be interested to see what you think of the book. I almost started it, but got sidetracked. Ear buds look great. Nice to see you ❤️ 2y
Lcsmcat I wonder if Aldo would have them in the US? As to the book, I loved it so much I gave it to everyone for Christmas two holidays ago! But I can‘t speak to the quality of the narrator as I read it. 2y
Ms_T @Lcsmcat I‘ve found the rhythm of the book now. The writing is beautiful. 2y
minkyb 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2y
44 likes5 comments
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MrBook
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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#TBRtemptation post 2! This is the story of an extended Chinese family's two generations, the first living through the Cultural Revolution and the second protesting in Tiananmen Square. At the family's center are Marie and Ai-Ming. Marie will strive to piece together their history. Her father, a pianist, Ai-Ming's a composer, and a violinist were forced to reimagine their art and selves. Their fates will reverberate. #blameLitsy #blameMrBook 😎

MayJasper Such cruelty we practise upon each other. Deeply saddening. 2y
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SG2014
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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Some of the things I love: my cat and reading my book.
It‘s taken me awhile to get into this book, but now I know what all the fuss is about. It truly is an epic, weaving together stories and loves.

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kelseynicburke
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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Does it alter us more to be heard or to hear?

Lcsmcat Such an amazing book! 2y
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kelseynicburke
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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Really enjoying the writing in this book. Seems like at least once a chapter I hit a line that I feel deserves a post 👌

Lcsmcat It‘s the truth! When I read it I went around telling everyone « you‘ve got to read this book ! » and then bought it for several people for Christmas that year. 2y
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kelseynicburke
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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kelseynicburke
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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vkois88 This. So much 2y
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Lindy
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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Interesting to see what books people are borrowing most from the library. I‘m happy the list includes one of my favourites. https://quillandquire.com/libraries/2017/12/14/madeleine-thien-shari-lapena-appe...

Tamra I just checked my library and it doesn‘t have this one. 😐 But, that‘s ok bc I have this in my Thrift Books cart along with the Rumi & Two Old Women books. 👏🏾 2y
Tamra It did have Hearts Invisible Furies, so I‘ll check it out and if I love it then I‘ll have to buy a copy. That seems so weird, but true. 2y
Lindy @Tamra 👍👍 2y
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AceOnRoam
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A year ago today my husband and I set sail on the adventure of a lifetime and have sailed from Cape Town to 2 continents and 18 countries over 13,000 nautical miles. In that time I have read 133 books, my favourite being Do Not Say We Have Nothing by the amazing Madeleine Thien. Merry Christmas to all my litten friends here, I've loved looking at all of your beautiful bookish presents and gorgeous Christmas trees. 🎄👫👬👭👬👭🎄

#ReadingOnRoam

TrishB That sounds fantastic ❤️ happy Christmas 🌲 2y
AceOnRoam @TrishB Thanks heaps, you too 💕 2y
batsy Sounds like a brilliant year 😍 Merry Christmas! 2y
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Ms_T Absolutely amazing! 2y
PurpleyPumpkin Sounds like you‘ve had a wonderful adventure. Merry Christmas to you too!🎄 2y
Tanisha_A Wow! Merry Christmas! 🙂 2y
AceOnRoam Thanks @Ms_T 💕 2y
AceOnRoam Thank you @batsy it's been amazing 💕 2y
Jess_Read_This One year!! Wow! What a year of adventure, Ace. Merry Christmas to you both and I‘m so glad I met you on Goodreads/Litsy. Your friendship has been a highlight of my 2017! 2y
AceOnRoam @Jess_Read_This that's so sweet, I love our little group it's been great getting to know you. Have a wonderful Christmas xox 2y
LauraBeth Sounds like an amazing adventure - thanks for taking us along! 😀 2y
Daisey What a wonderful year! I‘ve enjoyed seeing your photos as you travel. Merry Christmas! 2y
AceOnRoam You're very welcome @LauraBeth more to come next year... 2y
AceOnRoam Thanks @Daisey will post more next year for sure. 2y
Chelsea.Poole Wow!! That‘s incredible!! 😊 2y
AceOnRoam @Chelsea.Poole Thanks, yes it's been so much fun 😊 2y
Michelle_mck What a inspiration you are 😍🙌🏻 2y
AceOnRoam Thanks @Michelle_mck 💕💕💕 2y
Melwilk Wow! That sounds amazing! I am so happy for you for having this adventure. 2y
AceOnRoam Thanks so much @Melwilk it certainly has been an amazing retirement so far. 2y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Wow - that is an incredible adventure!! 2y
Redwritinghood Merry Christmas to you too! 2y
AceOnRoam Thanks @ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled it's been an amazing journey. 2y
AceOnRoam Aww thanks @Redwritinghood have a great weekend 💜💜 2y
LeahBergen Merry Christmas, my friend! I have loved following along on your travels. 😘😘 2y
Cathythoughts 🙏. Makes me really want to read Do Not Say We Have Nothing ✨❤️✨ 2y
AceOnRoam You too @LeahBergen enjoy your Christmas 😚😚 2y
AceOnRoam @Cathythoughts I listened to the audio and now want the paper book to read and take notes. I will probably underline every sentence 📚😍📚 2y
Lola So incredible. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us. Your posts are definitely a Litsy highlight for me ❤️ 2y
68 likes31 comments
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KarenUK
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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#allthebooksof2017 I read all over the map this year, thanks to lots of reading challenges but I think my #mostreadgenre was Historical fiction.... These are some standouts....

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Simona
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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Music and singing takes huge part in this epic story.

#quotsydec17 #sing

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Cathythoughts
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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One last post : from this book , I love it.

“What did the Buddhist say to the pizza maker ? “

Answer: “Make me one with everything “

goodnight Littens, I just had to share this one 🙃

Avanders 😆 2y
34 likes1 comment
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Cathythoughts
Do Not Say We Have Nothing | Madeleine Thien
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#JingleShelves #currentread @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @bookloo this is my current read. I started this early this morning. A recommendation from a friend. & I see lots & lots of Litsy love for this one 💕💕💕

Cinfhen Soooooo much #litsyLove but it was torture for me 🙈#TooLong 2y
Cathythoughts @Cinfhen This is going to be interesting! I love conflicting reports , I‘ll keep you posted 😉 2y
Cinfhen I'm pretty sure you will love it! Mine is an #Unpopularopinion and my bookclub ladies loved it!!!! 2y
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Cathythoughts @Cinfhen I‘ll give it a whirl & see. ❤️👍👍 2y
LeahBergen I‘m on Team Love. 👍🏼 2y
Cathythoughts @LeahBergen ❤️❤️❤️ 2y
AceOnRoam I love love loved it 💜💜💜 2y
Cathythoughts @AceOnRoam That‘s great ❤️I hope I do too ❤️❤️ 2y
TrishB Loved it ❤️ 2y
Cathythoughts @TrishB oh great! ❤️❤️👍 2y
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