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The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears
The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears | Dinaw Mengestu
14 posts | 17 read | 14 to read
Seventeen years ago, Sepha Stephanos fled the Ethiopian Revolution for a new start in the United States. Now he finds himself running a failing grocery store in a poor African-American section of Washington, D.C., his only companions two fellow African immigrants who share his bitter nostalgia and longing for his home continent. Years ago and worlds away Sepha could never have imagined a life of such isolation. As his environment begins to change, hope comes in the form of a friendship with new neighbors Judith and Naomi, a white woman and her biracial daughter. But when a series of racial incidents disturbs the community, Sepha may lose everything all over again. Watch a QuickTime interview with Dinaw Mengestu about this book.
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SqueakyChu
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I‘m enjoying this book very much, especially since it‘s set in an area local to me — Logan Circle in Washington, DC. I‘m also stopping periodically to learn more about African history and politics. This morning I took the time to learn about Mobutu of the Congo (now Zaire). This is helping me understand the main characters (from three different African countries) much better.

MicheleinPhilly This is one of my absolute favorites! 12mo
SqueakyChu @MicheleinPhilly I am enjoying it very much so far, but the story seems so sad. I‘m up to the part where Stephanos was sent the letter by the law firm. Immigrants always have to struggle so much. ☹️ 12mo
SqueakyChu @MicheleinPhilly I finished this book and loved it. I posted my review on LibraryThing. http://www.librarything.com/work/2093357/reviews/156625980 12mo
MicheleinPhilly Great review! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 12mo
20 likes1 stack add5 comments
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SqueakyChu
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Immigrants are such a large part of the American experience. To immigrants here in the USA, thank you for making our country emotionally richer. In appreciation of your contributions, I will be reading this novel about an Ethiopian man‘s experiences as an immigrant to the USA.

mab-solenne If that new york times book review blurb wasn't enough (it is), i have known some new Ethiopian immigrants and would like to know more about what it might be like to come here from there...stack add! 12mo
SqueakyChu 👍 12mo
19 likes2 comments
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irre
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Book mail. Had to get some for myself while ordering the kids‘ Christmas books. 😃

Ruthiella I‘ve been doing that as well...since I‘m already putting in an order and/or am at the book store I might as well buy one (or two) fo me! 😀 14mo
63 likes1 comment
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Blaire
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Pickpick

I loved this short novel about an Ethiopian refugee living in dc in the early 2000s. It tells his story intermixed with the gentrification of Logan circle. Having lived in dc and close to this neighborhood in 2007 the sense of place really resonated with me. Timely and moving. Captures the feeling of living in a place while still being apart from it. #booked2018 #refugeemc

Blaire @MicheleinPhilly agree! So good...can‘t believe I hadn‘t heard of this book before. Has he written anything else? 2y
4thhouseontheleft Great review! He has written a few books. 2y
MicheleinPhilly @Blaire Yes! I have this one but haven‘t read it yet 2y
Blaire @4thhouseontheleft @MicheleinPhilly great, I‘ll have to check them out. 2y
SqueakyChu I also loved his writing about DC. I felt as if I were walking the streets with his characters! 12mo
46 likes5 comments
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Blaire
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About to start this book for #refugeemc #booked2018. About an Ethiopian refugee running a convenience store in an African-American section of dc.

MicheleinPhilly This book is fabulous! 2y
Cinfhen Good luck finishing it on time 🙏🏻😘 2y
44 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Jencunnin
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Book club read! I‘ve lived in Washington DC for 6 Year‘s now and this book tells a story of the DC before all of the gentrification over the last decade. So crazy to read about all the places I know so well but before they were those places.

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Currey
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Pickpick

#readaroundtheworld #Ethiopia. This is my second book by an Ethiopian author this month. However it is largely a first person narration of an immigrant‘s life in Washington D.C. with only a few flashbacks to the Red Terror in his home country. The book is quietly melancholic, laced with feelings of estrangement and loss. Not just the loss of his family, and his country but the loss of his future.

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alisonrose
Mehso-so

The writing here is beautiful & fittingly spare. And I always enjoy immigrant stories, getting that new perspective on our country and learning at least a little about what it's like to come here and try to fit in while retaining your sense of self and home. But I struggled a bit with the structure here - it jumps between time periods but without a clear indication of which is which. And the ending felt like it should've been the middle. 3/5 ⭐️

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alisonrose

With each blink a new face looked back at me, simultaneously handsome and grotesque and nondescript. Who was I? That was all I wanted to know.

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alisonrose

[Well, not gonna finish it in a day like I wanted to because I had to work late 😠 I suppose I still could if I stayed up super late but I've been trying to go to bed earlier to compensate for the cat waking me up at all hours. Oy vey! Well, at least it's reading time now.]

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alisonrose
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Wonder if I can get through this one in a day? It's only 228 pages! 😜 I mean yes I have to work but there's also night time! #nowreading

Tamra I remember really liking this one. 2y
SqueakyChu Why would you want to get through the book in a day? Yes, it‘s relatively short, but there is so much to ponder about it. I was also stopping intermittently to look up information about the African countries from which the three friends immigrated. I loved this book. (edited) 12mo
alisonrose @SqueakyChu well, since this post is from almost a year ago, I don‘t recall why I might have wanted to, but I was probably just wondering if I could. Not sure why it matters. 12mo
21 likes3 comments
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MicheleinPhilly
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These are four of my all-time favorite books. Certainly my favorites each year that I read them.

#FierceFeb #ToBeYoungGiftedandBlack

batsy Nice! I'm embarrassed by how often I'm saying this since the start of this month... Three of these are on my TBR but I haven't gotten to them 😳 2y
Cinfhen All are on my TBR too @batsy 🙈 2y
merelybookish Here Comes the Sun was great. Didn't get the attention it deserved. 2y
See All 12 Comments
Cinfhen What's the mood like in philly??? It's 3:35 am in israel and my guys are pretty happy right about now 💚u still hiding in your basement??? 2y
MicheleinPhilly @Cinfhen Yep, we‘ll likely be in the basement ALL NIGHT. I think we may sleep down here. The mood is pretty jovial. Everyone is just happy. ☺️ 2y
Cinfhen 💚💚💚💚 2y
Cinfhen Apparently that was one of the BEST games in super bowl history , I slept through 2/3 2y
ValerieAndBooks I was just thinking of you and your basement @MicheleinPhilly !! @Cinfhen I‘m sure lots of elation at your household!! What a game!! 🦅🦅🦅 2y
Cinfhen I'm sure same for you @ValerieAndBooks 🍻🍻🍻my son wants to fly in for the parade!!! I told him that's a little out of our budget!!!🏈🏈🏈 2y
Cinfhen I just saw the news, why do people find it necessary to celebrate by destroying property and trashing their city??? Hope you guys are safe! 2y
MicheleinPhilly @Cinfhen I have no idea. It‘s so pointless. 😞 We‘re good. We didn‘t go out to Broad Street. Just opened our front door and cheered with the people marching over there. We slept in the basement. ☺️ 2y
69 likes3 stack adds12 comments
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cathysaid
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SharonGoforth The Good Lord Bird is in my 2017 stack, too 😊 3y
LeahBergen I need to get to Behind the Beautiful Forevers this year, too. 3y
cathysaid @SharonGoforth @LeahBergen My problem is I have great books on my shelves to read, but then I drive by my local library. And I guess it's pretty clear how this story ends...😳 3y
SharonGoforth @cathysaid @LeahBergen I think we're all in the same boat 🚣 3y
30 likes4 comments
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MicheleinPhilly
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One of my all time favorites. #booktober #ImmigrantStories

SqueakyChu I can see why! 12mo
26 likes2 stack adds1 comment