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Zoli
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
52 posts | 16 read | 45 to read
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Colum McCann's TransAtlantic. A unique love story, a tale of loss, a parable of Europe, this haunting novel is an examination of intimacy and betrayal in a community rarely captured so vibrantly in contemporary literature. Zoli Novotna, a young woman raised in the traveling Gypsy tradition, is a poet by accident as much as desire. As 1930s fascism spreads over Czechoslovakia, Zoli and her grandfather flee to join a clan of fellow Romani harpists. Sharpened by the world of books, which is often frowned upon in the Romani tradition, Zoli becomes the poster girl for a brave new world. As she shapes the ancient songs to her times, she finds her gift embraced by the Gypsy people and savored by a young English expatriate, Stephen Swann. But Zoli soon finds that when she falls she cannot fall halfwayneither in love nor in politics. While Zolis fame and poetic skills deepen, the ruling Communists begin to use her for their own favor. Cast out from her family, Zoli abandons her past to journey to the West, in a novel that spans the 20th century and travels the breadth of Europe. Colum McCann, acclaimed author of Dancer and This Side of Brightness, has created a sensuous novel about exile, belonging and survival, based loosely on the true story of the Romani poet Papsuza. It spans the twentieth century and travels the breadth of Europe. In the tradition of Steinbeck, Coetzee, and Ondaatje, McCann finds the art inherent in social and political history, while vividly depicting how far one gifted woman must journey to find where she belongs.
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review
readtheworld
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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Pickpick

This historical novel took me a few weeks to finish, but the extra time allowed me to really savor McCann‘s writing.

Zoli is the story of a Romani woman from Slovakia whose songs and poems bring her immense fame and heartbreak. This rich, haunting novel begins in the 1930s and traces Zoli‘s life through several decades and multiple perspectives.

#readtheworld #librarybook #colummccann #bookcover #historicalfiction #booksinthewild

Redwritinghood Nice review. This has been on my tbr list for a long time. Seems like it‘s still worth the read. 6mo
57 likes1 comment
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readtheworld
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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Just started this one and already loving it. McCann‘s writing is gorgeous! What‘s your #weekendread? 📖

#readtheworld #colummccann #librarybook

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readtheworld
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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#Libraryhaul! Excited about these three — I‘ve been in a bit of a reading slump (well, in print at least) and I‘m hoping one bumps the slump.

#librarybooks #mystery #bookspines #bookstack

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litsybookclub
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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Discussion Question Number Two.

SoniaC I think she would say she is just a singer but I believe she is more and consider her a poet. She changed and built the songs. 12mo
tpixie @SoniaC yes I think she considers herself a singer because her community sang their stories and did not write them. she did learn how to write which, allowed her to also be a poet. 12mo
62 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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litsybookclub
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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Discussion Question Number One.

tpixie They were proud and happy, and didn‘t mind being poor. They wanted to keep their ways. 11mo
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litsybookclub
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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Join us for our live discussion of Zoli by Colum McCann at 5pm ET. Link to join is https://zoom.us/j/593786112

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Daisey
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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November turned out to be a month with quite a variety of reads, and I couldn‘t quite pick a favorite fiction. Zoli (for #LitsyBookClub) and The Eyre Affair are very different, but both so good! I was fascinated by The Art of Fermentation and look forward to trying more of the methods described. I was also happy to complete a few books for #NonfictionNovember, more nonfiction than in recent months.

#ReadingStats #MonthlyStats

sprainedbrain Great month! 👏🏻 12mo
sammisho I didn't know Claire had a book!!! I just adore her! 12mo
Daisey @sprainedbrain Thank you! 12mo
Daisey @sammisho I really appreciated the information it gave about her background and entire life spent working in Missouri up to being published in 2015. I listened to it in the week leading up to the election. 12mo
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Daisey
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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Pickpick

There are some difficult pieces to this story and the shifting point of view slowed me up a few times, but the struggle was worth it. It was heartbreaking but also beautifully told with some wonderfully quotable lines. In the end I truly appreciated this story of a Romani woman‘s life.

#LitsyBookClub

tpixie The things she, and others, went through! 11mo
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Daisey
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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I read this part a few days ago, but I keep thinking about this line.

“They can take me, they can do what they want—when hell freezes over I will not skate towards them.”

#LitsyBookClub #quote

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Daisey
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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It‘s been a productive if snowy Sunday. I made my Grandma‘s fruitcake recipe right after I came home from church, and now it will be wrapped up to age until Christmas. The photo of the snow doesn‘t show the wind that is accompanying it and making me happy to just stay snug at home with my books. Soup is simmering on the stove, and I may just read the rest of the evening.

#LitsyBookClub

Bklover Sounds like a wonderful day! Your fruitcake is beautiful!❤️ 12mo
Daisey @Bklover Thank you! It was a good day, although I was worried a few times the power was going to go out while the fruitcake was baking. Luckily it only flickered here. 12mo
tpixie @Daisey how far ahead of Xmas do you make it? Do you refrigerate it? 11mo
Daisey @tpixie I make it about a month ahead, the week or so after Thanksgiving. I wrap it up and place it in the coolest room in my house, but not the refrigerator until Christmas. After slicing, it goes in the fridge but it really wouldn‘t need to. 11mo
tpixie @Daisey thx!! You need your own cooking show! 11mo
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Kathrin
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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Pickpick

Great historical fiction novel about a Romani singer/poet. Pretty pretty prose.

Daisey I finished this today. I wasn‘t sure what I thought at the beginning, then it got so hard for a while in the middle, but in the end I really enjoyed and appreciated it. 12mo
tpixie @Daisey me too. Lol I finally finished it. @Kathrin I love this quote 11mo
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Kathrin
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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Looking forward to our discussion! @litsybookclub

Daisey I've been reading this off and on throughout the day and am really enjoying it. 12mo
tpixie Another great quote 11mo
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Daisey
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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This book is written in a lyrical style, but that in no way makes it less heart wrenching. I‘m very much enjoying this story of a time, place, and culture which is fairly unknown to me, but I may need to take a break from the sadness for something a bit lighter later this evening.

#LitsyBookClub

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litsybookclub
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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Our live discussion of Zoli by Colum McCann has been rescheduled for Sunday, December 2nd at 5pm ET. We apologize and hope you‘ll join us then!

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Kathrin
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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❤️❤️❤️

@litsybookclub

tpixie Heart wrenching 💖💔💖 11mo
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SoniaC
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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Pickpick

This was a beautifully written book. Zoli is a character who I just loved. So much strength so much love so much sorrow. I highly recommend it and hope folks join us for the @litsybookclub by the way great reviews for the cookie and hot chocolate too!

JSW I wish I could stack add that cookie. 🤤 13mo
tpixie Reading it now lol 😂 while not on Litsy! I‘ll miss @LitsyBookClub though- taking Grandson to Sesame Street Live! 12mo
SoniaC @tpixie oh That sounds so fun though. 12mo
tpixie @SoniaC yes, I think it will be! 12mo
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SoniaC
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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Splurging a little this morning. Tea, cake, and a great book. Well at least so far. @litsybookclub

Kaciecalderon Ooooo red velvet is my fav 13mo
SoniaC @Kaciecalderon Mine too! 13mo
60 likes2 comments
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tpixie
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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I‘m enjoying the new #LitsyBookClub book. Grandpa is such a wise man! sometimes even good people and good things must face hardships.

lynneamch The borscht got my attention (thanks to Ukrainian grandparents) and the description sounds fascinating. Stack! 13mo
tpixie @lynneamch fun!! 13mo
tpixie @lynneamch 11/18 1:00 Central @litstybookclub will meet on Zoom to talk about it! They post the link about 15 minutes before hand. If you get a chance join us! 13mo
lynneamch I'll be traveling that day, but appreciate the invite. Thanks! 13mo
tpixie Snap! Safe travels!! 13mo
63 likes5 comments
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litsybookclub
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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New month, new book! We hope that you will join us in reading “Zoli” this month. Questions? Ask @Bookworm83 or @Graciouswarriorprincess .

TheBookBabes I loved The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane! So beautiful. 13mo
Litsylily The tea girl is one of my FAVORITES of all time. I recommend it to everybody 13mo
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bookandcat
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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Pickpick

#backpackeurope travelogue *fictional*
Country 37: Slovakia--I visited the beautiful Bratislava Castle and Spis Castle, and saw a performance at the Slovak National Theater!
This novel is about a Roma poet/musician in Slovakia who flees from oppressive government. McCann writes beautifully, making the language appropriately musical AND poetic. I especially loved reading Zoli's poetry towards the end. 4/5 @bookwormm @jenp

bookandcat OKAY I am caught up! Sorry to flood everyone's feeds, I had to post challenge updates before Sunday night is over and this current challenge week ends! 1y
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SoniaC
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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Picked up these three at Books Inc today. Aren‘t they pretty!

RaimeyGallant You have a knack for selecting beautiful covers. 2y
SoniaC @RaimeyGallant Thanks but with so many incredible options it hard not to 🙂 2y
50 likes2 comments
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shawnmooney
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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Pickpick

What would possess a white Irish male writer to write a novel about a Romani woman from 1930s Czechoslovakia? Darned if I know, but this is a rich tale of Romani life, racism, literary awakening-cum-appropriation, and most of all human grit. I get nervous about mainstream writers imagining minority protagonists, but this great novel whets my appetite for Romani-authored stories.

Reviewsbylola This sounds fascinating and that cover!! 2y
KarenUK Love his writing.... 2y
ReadingEnvy I tried finding good books by Romani authors for my borders project and wasn't able to find much in English. If you find anything good let me know! 2y
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shawnmooney
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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Marchpane Your excerpts from this one are intriguing! 2y
shawnmooney @Marchpane Finished it today - intriguing indeed! 2y
Centique I love the idea of learning more about the Romani 2y
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shawnmooney
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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minkyb This made me chuckle. 2y
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shawnmooney
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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shawnmooney
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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shawnmooney
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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shawnmooney
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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LeahBergen This graphic! Well done. 👏🏻 2y
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shawnmooney
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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Lindy ❤️❤️❤️ 2y
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shawnmooney
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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shawnmooney
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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Shemac77 Ooohhh! Chills! 2y
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shawnmooney
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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shawnmooney
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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saresmoore I am liking the writing style in this. 2y
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shawnmooney
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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shawnmooney
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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saresmoore This reminds me a bit of the relationship between Sophia and grandmother in The Summer Book. This writing style has a more complex flavor, though. 2y
Shemac77 This is beautiful. 2y
Lindy @saresmoore I agree that the style/flavour is similar to The Summer Book. Up until the final sentence of this passage, which shifts into didactic, and, while I appreciate the sentiment, I don't like it as dialogue. 2y
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shawnmooney @Lindy @saresmoore I would think a little didacticism might be expected from a grandfather to his granddaughter… :-) 2y
saresmoore @shawnmooney Perhaps you're right about that. An excerpt from Grandmother's perspective in TSB: "She was tired of the whole business and had a feeling the conversation should have been used for some more instructive purpose. And, for that matter, why shouldn't crooks eat crayfish?" Here, the relationship is symbiotic, not teacher-student, which isn't necessarily good or bad. @Lindy 2y
Lindy @shawnmooney True. But the grandmother in The Summer Book was wry. This guy seems a bit too serious. 2y
shawnmooney @Lindy @saresmoore I'm calling timeout on this comparison and contrast, since you two haven't read my book and I bailed on yours. I think we might be talking about apples and oranges. Instead, I suggest, à la Leonard Cohen, that we compare mythologies… :-) Or bank account balances? 2y
Lindy @shawnmooney bank account balances 😷 2y
shawnmooney @Lindy I concede! 😂😂 2y
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shawnmooney
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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Suet624 I love the passage and the photo. 💕💕 2y
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shawnmooney
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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shawnmooney
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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Okay, I am now officially intrigued as all get out!

#QuoteOfTheDay

ValerieAndBooks Seems like a lot of commas there! 2y
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shawnmooney
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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Opening sentence‼️

#QuoteOfTheDay

ValerieAndBooks Yikes 😮!! 2y
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shawnmooney
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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Let's give this one a whirl, shall we?

RachelO This sounds amazing! 2y
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shawnmooney
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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TOKYO BOOKSTORE (KINOKUNIYA) 20% OFF SALE - BOOK 1 of 6

You may have noticed I've been having a dickens of a time getting through a book whose title starts with Z – and I have to read TWO of them for two different reading challenges. So when I happened upon this novel I was pleased; I've enjoyed everything I've read by McCann so far.

saresmoore Why is it so hard?! I would certainly have bailed on my choice had I the gumption that you do. And now I just realized that I need a second one, too! 😒 3y
Moray_Reads @saresmoore have you tried this one? 3y
cpreja Loved this book 3y
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saresmoore @Moray_Reads I haven't! Thank you! 3y
shawnmooney @saresmoore @Moray_Reads I gave the Beerbohm ebook the barest of tries: I bailed after half a page – thought the writing really was awful. :-) I might be in good company, as I see Thomas of The Readers gave it one star. 3y
shawnmooney @saresmoore These are the other Z titles I could try: Zorro - Isabel Allende
Zeitoun - Dave Eggers
Zipper and His Father - Henry Roth
Zoroaster's Children - Marius Kociejowski - travel essays
The Zhivago Affair - Peter Finn
The Zanzibar Chest - Aidan Hartley
Zebra and other stories - Chaim Potok
The Zigzag Kid - David Grossman
Zoom: From Atoms... - Berman
Zingers from Hollywood Squares
3y
shawnmooney @saresmoore I expect the Colum McCann to be a pick, and the other one that I have high hopes about is The Zhivago Affair, a nonfiction book about The Cold War battles over the novel. (edited) 3y
saresmoore I came across most of those, as well. I honestly don't know how I hadn't heard of The Zhivago Affair—it sounds like something I would really enjoy! I'm also going to try 3y
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review
FernsAndFairyTales
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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Pickpick

This story follows a Romani woman, Zoli, in Czechoslovakia from the 1930s to the present. Narrated by Zoli and a man in love with her, the novel exposes how her songs, traditions, and culture are coopted and attacked by the political ideologies of the 1900s. It examines the many forms of oppression the Romani experienced, first under Nazis, then under Soviets. The themes of borders, conflicting cultures, and ingroup/outgroup still ring true today.

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FernsAndFairyTales
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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"It strikes her, as she walks, that borders, like hatred, are exaggerated precisely because otherwise they would cease to exist altogether."

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FernsAndFairyTales
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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I'm just starting Zoli, which is set in the twentieth century, and yet these epigraphs at the beginning of the book seem oddly relevant today, too.

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cpreja
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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This book speaks to my Romanian heritage in a way I can't even articulate. Enjoying this read more than anything I have experienced recently. Just awesome.

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cpreja
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann

The other border, East and West, she knows, will begin in a matter of days and it strikes her, as she walks, that borders, like hatred, are exaggerated precisely because otherwise they would cease to exist altogether

So very prescient!

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cpreja
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann

The other border, East and West, she knows, will begin in a matter

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cpreja
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann

So excited to finally read this one!

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Amandajoy
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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Day 16: A TBR rainbow for #somethingforsept

24 likes4 comments
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CherylDeFranceschi
Zoli: A Novel | Colum McCann
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#TBRTuesday. Another stack of things I really really want to read.

LeahBergen Lives of the Monster Dogs is a bizarre one 👍🏼 3y
Liberty LIVES OF MONSTER DOGSSSSSSSSSS 3y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Well, since Zoli is already in my TBR, Im investigating this Monster Dogs book everyone is so excited about 🤔 3y
CherylDeFranceschi @MrBook Lets face it- pretty much any stack of books is nice! 3y
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