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The Bell Jar
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath's shocking, realistic, and intensely emotional novel about a woman falling into the grip of insanityEsther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going undermaybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther's breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rationalas accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.
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CSeydel
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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My #Tuesdaytunes is “Cemetery Somewhere” by John Muirhead.

Sylvia Plath wrote:
“I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”

CSeydel Reimagining that theme, “Cemetery Somewhere” by John Muirhead describes the cemetery of abandoned dreams, a mourning for all the lives that could have been. I can‘t stop listening to this song; it is simple, compelling and beautiful. 3d
TheBookHippie Love this! 3d
See All 6 Comments
TieDyeDude A lovely song. Thanks for sharing! Have you heard Jason Isbell "If We Were Vampires"? 3d
CSeydel @TieDyeDude I haven‘t - I‘ll check it out! 3d
CSeydel @TieDyeDude Turns out I actually have heard it, I just didn‘t realize - I‘ve heard the Noah Kahan version 1d
40 likes6 comments
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kitapkurdu
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
This post contains spoilers
show me

I remembered the cadavers and Doreen and the story of the fig-tree and Marco's diamond and the sailor on the Common and Doctor Gordon's wall-eyed nurse and the broken thermometers and the negro with his two kinds of beans and the twenty pounds I gained on insulin and the rock that bulged between sky and sea like a grey skull.Maybe forgetfulness, like a kind snow, should numb and cover them.But they were part of me. They were my landscape.

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kitapkurdu
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
This post contains spoilers
show me

“I thought it sounded just like the sort of drug a man would invent. Here was a woman in terrible pain, obviously feeling every bit of it or she wouldn't groan like that, and she would go straight home and start another baby, because the drug would make her forget how bad the pain had been, when all the time, in some secret part of her, that long, blind, doorless and windowless corridor of pain was waiting to open up and shut her in again.”

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kitapkurdu
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath

“I wondered why I couldn't go the whole way doing what I should any more. This made me sad and tired. Then I wondered why I couldn't go the whole way doing what I shouldn't, the way Doreen did, and this made me even sadder and more tired.”

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kitapkurdu
Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
Pickpick

This books makes me feel tired. Tired of repressing every self-doubting thought, packed in a little pocket of worries in my brain, about the future, myself, and how I allow others‘ opinions on these to shape my own life. I feel like I almost betray Plath with the way I lead my life (as if she would care) - setting a bell jar around my own life, with my own hands. This book paints my Bell Jar bright red, right in my face, and I hate that.

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JillR
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Pickpick

Mixed feelings about this one. I much preferred it to some of the contemporary/millennial books on similar topics. It felt both of its time and also very much not; there were times the writing put me in mind of Ottessa Moshfegh. Yet I didn‘t love it. There remains the obsessive self-centredness of the main character that I disliked here and have done in other books and I struggled with the second half. Still, I‘m glad I read it.

ShyBookOwl I agree about MC. I struggled with it at times, but I also couldn't bring myself to bail because it had such poignant moments. But it's not one I'll re-read 4w
JillR @ShyBookOwl same, as it was short it wasn‘t too difficult a read from that perspective. Whether I‘d have finished it if it was much longer, I‘m not sure 4w
40 likes2 comments
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Annie09
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”

https://english.shabd.in/the-bell-jar-sylvia-plath/book/10277922

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steph_phanie
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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It is taking me so long to get through my first book of the year...

...because we have been doing fun things like traveling to New Orleans and adopting a new kitty!

Litsy, meet Mike! He hasn't been introduced to our other cat quite yet (she is scared), but he has settled in well so far. ❤️

RaeLovesToRead Hello, Mike, you adorable kitty you! 1mo
LiteraryinLawrence Aww, hi to Mike! 1mo
dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 1mo
DHill Hello Mike! 😻 1mo
Sparklemn Handsome! 1mo
22 likes5 comments
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steph_phanie
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Hello, old friend. 💙 Starting the year with you.

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steph_phanie
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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As the year comes to an end, I have been feeling ever more intensely pulled to reread The Bell Jar. I read it every five years or so.

Then today at work, I realized I was repeating, "I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart," over and over again in the back of my mind. So when I got home, I pulled my copy off the shelf. I probably won't start it for another week or two, but it felt good to flip through the pages!

14 likes1 stack add
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Yoricke_SouthAfrica
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Mehso-so

After wanting to read this book for a very long time, I'm a little disappointed. I found the writing style difficult to follow. Understandably, it is a semi-autobiography, and covers sensitive topics, but I was not overwhelmed.

Yoricke_SouthAfrica @Santie I remembered to tag you in my review 😊 3mo
Santie You did! Thank you. I guess it will remain shelved for now 3mo
37 likes2 comments
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Yoricke_SouthAfrica
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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This book has been on my TBR list for far too long. Time to read it at last

Santie Please tag me in your review. I started and then it wasn‘t what I expected, slow burn and I got impatient. Need some motivation to revisit it 😩 3mo
Yoricke_SouthAfrica @Santie Will do. Sometimes timing has a lot to do with when a book makes sense. I've put books down, only to pick it up years later and enjoy it. 3mo
36 likes2 comments
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guidosophia
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
Pickpick

Ever since the first time I read this book in high school I‘ve been saying it‘s my favorite book so I seem intellectually superior and also sexy. Rereading it as a 20 year old has solidified the fact that this is the best book I‘ve ever read. It‘s SO relatable which is kinda scary but whatever. The last time I read it I remember thinking the beginning was slow but this time the beginning had me hooked. I love this book. PLS read it!!!

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CrystalE02
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Panpan

I didn't care for this book at all. I felt like it ended too quickly. I rated this book a 2 out of 5 stars.

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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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“I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

#AutumnPlease
#Shadow

🖤💔

Eggs Brilliant 🖤🤗🩶 4mo
64 likes1 comment
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AllDebooks
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Librarybelle
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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For #Blues , I immediately jumped to the tagged book, one that has been on my tbr for such a long time.

For the song, I decided to go with a blues song by Jimi Hendrix, whose rock music is deeply rooted in the blues genre. Born Under a Bad Sign is not one I‘m completely familiar with, but I loved the instrumental play in it (it‘s pretty much instrumental for the entire 8 minutes). #TitlesAndTunes

BarbaraBB I love Sylvia Plath and Jimi Hendrix! Ver glad with your choices and I hope you‘ll “enjoy” The Bell Jar. 5mo
Cinfhen Nice combo!! Great book choice 🥰 5mo
52 likes3 comments
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Firestarter994
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Books # 4, 47, and 79 in that order. September, here I come!!

@PuddleJumper #roll100

PuddleJumper Awesome! Good luck! 6mo
10 likes1 stack add1 comment
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ChelseaM6010
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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#BookBinge
Day 19. About mental health
#AboutMentalHealth
Playing some catch up!

Eggs 👏🏻👏🏻 my choice too 6mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Perfect 💔 6mo
19 likes2 comments
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Eggs
Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Leftcoastzen Great pick! 6mo
Eggs @Leftcoastzen Thanks 🙏🏻 6mo
52 likes1 stack add2 comments
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i.z.booknook
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Pickpick

Late the game on this one but glad I finally read it! Esther Greenwood is an intelligent and talented woman but is trapped in a stifling, restricting system which drives her mad. Some of the most beautiful and inventive descriptions I‘ve ever read. Esther‘s descent seems completely plausible, believable and inevitable. Really powerful. Highly recommend.

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Miracos
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Pickpick

While I didn't enjoy the first part too much, I absolutely loved the second half of it, i was so interested in what was going to happen that I could barely stop reading long enough to underline passages.
My favourite parts of the book are Esther's relationships with people, specifically her mother. This is the first book to ever make me cry.
It is a tragedy that Plath died before being able to finish her second novel.

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CollapsingLibrary
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Pickpick

I reread this book ever 3-4 years and every time I‘m blown away by different aspects of this novel. This time it was how recent this was actually set in our history. My grandma and I discussed her reading this book when it was first published in the US and how much she loved it. A classic for a reason, and something I look forward to rereading again in my 30s.

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CollapsingLibrary
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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This is a reread for me! I seem to pick it up every couple years with a new appreciation for Plath. Lately, I‘ve been seeing booktok videos (I‘m assuming that‘s where they started but I don‘t have TikTok) creating lists of books to read to master female manipulation and this book is always listed. Maybe I‘m confused, but even as I‘m reading through this I‘m not seeing the MC as some manipulative mastermind.

KathyWheeler It‘s been a long time since I‘ve read that book but that‘s not how I remember or would describe the mc either 8mo
CollapsingLibrary @KathyWheeler part of me feels like people must just be looking up lists of feminist lit and putting those books down because the videos are with books all written by women and I recognize a couple titles but haven‘t read enough to confirm this theory. Because the only “manipulation” I‘ve seen the MC do so far is trying to seduce a man and that didn‘t even work out for her haha 8mo
willaful That sounds like an incredibly offensive tiktok hook. :-( 8mo
KathyWheeler @willaful Doesn‘t it though?! 8mo
66 likes1 stack add4 comments
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KateD1
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Pickpick

This book is a timeless masterpiece. #modernclassic #sylviaplath

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emmaturi
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Pickpick

This is a really interesting story, and I needed to read it really slowly to take it all in. It's a hard read at times as it has mental illness and suicide too. I remember being really into Syliva Plath, and the movie came out with Gwenth Paltrow. It's her only novel.

IuliaC I liked the book. I didn't know there was a movie as well 😃 9mo
emmaturi Well the movie isn't about the book, more about Plath's life and meeting Ted Hughes. Daniel Craig plays Ted Hughes. The movie is called Sylvia. @IuliaC 9mo
IuliaC @emmaturi good to know, thank you! 9mo
48 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Megara
Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Pickpick

This book was awesome.
...except for all the racism.
That was not awesome.
At all.

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IndoorDame
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Pickpick

One of my #Roll100 books from last month. While I own the physical book, when I learned that Maggie Gyllenhaal narrated the audio version I grabbed that too. I‘ve been embracing reading and listening in tandem more often lately and it‘s really been helping with my brain fog. This one is a classic for all the best reasons. @PuddleJumper

CoverToCoverGirl I so enjoy reading and listening too. 🎧📚 11mo
Ruthiella I also like doing a print/audio combo when possible. 👍 11mo
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IndoorDame
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn‘t know what I was doing in New York. #FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

TheBookHippie ♥️♥️♥️♥️ 11mo
55 likes1 comment
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Bookwomble
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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[heavy sigh 😞]
I wish I could go within a mile of a bookshop and not feel compelled to go in and buy like I'm living to 200 years old 😔
(This, and other lies I tell myself 😏📚)
#BookHaul

vivastory You bought some gems!! Bell Jar has one of my favorite opening paragraphs. 11mo
Suet624 All fantastic! 11mo
dabbe Think of them as art, which they are. ❣️ 11mo
36 likes3 comments
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CBee
Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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I wish she‘d found a way to stay in the world 💔 The Bell Jar is a book I‘ve read at least four times - it resonated with me for so many reasons, in so many ways. #independentwomen @BarbaraBB @Cinfhen

slategreyskies I feel the same way about her. It makes me angry when people romanticize her death. It was this terrible thing, and my heart goes out to her for how much she had to struggle. 12mo
BarbaraBB Very touching and powerful ❤️ 12mo
Cinfhen Tagging @TrishB because i have a feeling she would appreciate this post 😘 12mo
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TheBookHippie I just read by her daughter and I recommend it comes out in June 12mo
CBee @slategreyskies mine too. I wish so many things for her and wish she hadn‘t felt like she had to go 🙁 There is nothing to romanticize about what she went through 💔 12mo
CBee @TheBookHippie thank you! I remember seeing this but had no idea it was her daughter! 💚 (edited) 12mo
TheBookHippie @CBee everything her daughter writes is good FYI♥️. 12mo
CBee @TheBookHippie I‘ll be reading more about her for sure!! 12mo
TrishB Amazing ❤️ love Sylvia. 12mo
CBee @TrishB 💚💚💚 12mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 💔💔💔 12mo
Leftcoastzen Great book ! I so agree with your wish !💔 12mo
CBee @Leftcoastzen ♥️♥️♥️ 12mo
74 likes1 stack add13 comments
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midhun.j.zacharia
Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Pickpick

Such an honest, human voice, dark yet humorous. For anyone wondering - this is a must-read!

8 likes1 stack add
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Megabooks
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Pickpick

I wish I could hand this book to 25-year-old Meg because I think it would‘ve resonated even more strongly then. I saw so many of the struggles I‘ve had on my own mental health journey reflected in Esther, and I think many others do, which is why it‘s such a classic. I loved the introduction written in the 1990s by her former editor and the 16 page bio at the end that are included in this edition. Thanks @Emilymdxn for this #ALSpine rec!

Megabooks The temperature was so warm last week, and we had so much rain; the daffodils thought it was March! 🤞🏻 they live! 14mo
Cinfhen I can‘t believe flowers are blooming in January !! 🥰I read this with Niki when she was a junior in HS - her teacher Ms Anderson kept sending back N‘s essay over & over that I grew to resent this book 😆 but I do think I need to try it again 14mo
squirrelbrain Great review - such a classic! 14mo
See All 14 Comments
Cathythoughts Beautiful review and picture. The poor daffs are confused worldwide 💔 14mo
Cathythoughts But they are always welcome and lovely ♥️ 14mo
batsy Wonderfully put as to why it's a classic! It's one of those books I was lucky to discover young. It remains a favourite 💜 14mo
Tamra I think should have read it as a young woman and perhaps I would have appreciated it more. 14mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen it‘s gone back down to freezing, so I‘m worried they won‘t come up in March. We have 8 large clumps across our front yard and I don‘t want to miss them! Like @Cathythoughts said, I think they are very confused. 💔 it‘s unfortunate. 14mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen oh gosh! That does sound frustrating! I transferred schools my freshman year, and my freshman English teacher was very frustrating, and my parents had a heated meeting with her. Senior year and three English teachers later, I won the English award for the entire school. 😂🤷🏻‍♀️ Some students and teachers just don‘t work well together. 14mo
Megabooks @Cathythoughts yes, I love having them in our yard! 14mo
Megabooks @batsy and I think as we more publicly discuss mental illness, I think more young people will openly relate and pass it on. Just so relatable! 14mo
Megabooks @Tamra yeah, I think it would hit differently to a young person, which is great. 14mo
BarbaraBB Lovely review. I agree that it could mean even more if you‘d read it when you were younger. 14mo
122 likes2 stack adds14 comments
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TrishB
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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#bookmail
Lovely new illustrated version of The Bell Jar 😁

TheBookHippie Oh well I need this! 1y
mrp27 Great cover! 1y
TheKidUpstairs 😍😍😍 1y
See All 11 Comments
LeahBergen Gasp! 😱 1y
BarbaraBB Oow 😍😍😍 1y
Oryx Lovely! 1y
batsy Oooh! 1y
Tamra Ohhhhh nice! 1y
elkeOriginal Fantastic cover! 1y
elkeOriginal Illustrated inside too? Oh my! 1y
83 likes2 stack adds11 comments
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nbb
Stakleno zvono | Sylvia Plath
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AmyK1
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Pickpick

This was my first time reading this and knowing Sylvia‘s history made it difficult at times. I‘m glad I read it though.

This is my November #bookspin @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 1y
44 likes1 comment
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Cortg
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Pickpick

So glad I finally read this one. Written in the 60‘s, this gives me a lot to think about between the then and now when it comes to mental illness, love interests and relationships. Have we progressed? Enough? #Pop22 ~ a sapphic book

BarbaraBB Absolutely a must read! 1y
Cortg @BarbaraBB After marking it read in Goodreads, I noticed my daughter had it marked to-read in her account, so I texted her and left it on her desk to take back to school when she comes home next 😀 1y
squirrelbrain Such a good book, and a great choice for this prompt! 1y
See All 8 Comments
Cortg @squirrelbrain Thanks! 😊 1y
BarbaraBB That is so cool, I think I need to do the same with my copy and my daughter! 1y
Cortg @BarbaraBB ❤️❤️❤️ 1y
Cinfhen Love that you left this for your daughter to read #GoMom #YouRock 🥰 1y
Cortg @Cinfhen Thanks 😊 1y
60 likes8 comments
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AmyK1
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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It‘s #bookspin day! The tagged is my bookspin and The Last House on the Street is my #doublespin for November.

@TheAromaofBooks

CBee The Bell Jar is one of my all-time favorites ♥️ 1y
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! Enjoy!! 1y
36 likes2 comments
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deeannloso
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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I haven‘t read this since I was in my 20s (I‘m now 57). I‘m revisiting a lot of books that I either haven‘t read in a long time, or that I enjoyed so much just a few years ago. I‘m a little all over the place with my reading right now. I can‘t seem too find anything that really sticks with me. #readingslump

26 likes1 stack add
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CBee
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Yes! The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath. I‘ve probably read it 4-5 times. #littenswanttoknow @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I don‘t think I could read this one again 💔💔 1y
CBee @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I don‘t know if I‘d read it again now, but in the midst of my teenage and young adult angst, it totally made me feel seen 🙂 1y
39 likes2 comments
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BeckyWithTheGoodBooks
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Pickpick

I think this is a really important book, even if I didn‘t particularly “like” it. The autobiographical significance it has regarding Plath‘s life (and death) make for a compelling narrative around the novel. Plath had talent. I find her metaphor of a bell jar to describe depression/mental illness an effective one. It‘s a shame there aren‘t more of her novels to read. Like so many young artists gone too soon, the lost potential is a tragedy. 3.5⭐️

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Toasty_Applejack
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
Pickpick

I loved this book, it really goes to show that even in todays society women are being treated similar about their mental health. Parts of this book resonated with me because I too, suffered depression and was hospitalized for it. I would‘ve loved to read other novels by her, the relationship between her and Ted and her decision to ultimately have children knowing she was so against it in this book.

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Toasty_Applejack
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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How did I know that someday-at college, in Europe, somewhere, anywhere-the bell jar, with its stifling distortions, would descend again?

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Toasty_Applejack
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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What I hate is the thought of being under a man‘s thumb. I had told Doctor Nolan. A man doesn‘t have a worry in the world, while I‘ve got a baby hanging over my head like a big stick to keep me in line.

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BeckyWithTheGoodBooks
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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I‘m a few days late, but thanks for the #wondrouswednesday tag @jimfields3 !!

🌸 I *mostly* read every day. It‘s a very rare thing for me to not read a least a few pages everyday.

🌼 I tend to read before bed every night, but also try to carve out time to read on my lunch break. I also bring a book with me everywhere for those unexpected opportunities to read!

🌺 I think my go-to comfort genre is thrillers/mysteries - I love a good twist!

Eggs Absolutely!! # 2 2y
21 likes2 comments
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TrishB
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Our wedding anniversary today 🥂🥂
Book on the left I brought for hubby- I got the folio version of The Bell Jar from hubby, which I have been coveting since publication ❤️

batsy Happy Anniversary! 🥂 What excellent gifts 😍 2y
Cathythoughts Happy Anniversary ❤️ lovely gifts 🎁 2y
Bookwomble Happy anniversary 💖 2y
See All 21 Comments
JessClark78 Happy Anniversary 🎊❤️🥂 2y
Amiable Happy anniversary! And best wishes for many more. 🎊🎉❤️ 2y
TheLudicReader Happy anniversary. 2y
xicanti Happy anniversary! 2y
fredamans Happy anniversary! 2y
MaureenMc Happy anniversary! 🥂 2y
jlhammar Love that edition of The Bell Jar! Happy Anniversary! 2y
Ruthiella Happy Anniversary!🥳🥂 2y
LeahBergen Happy Anniversary!! ❤️❤️ 2y
mrp27 Happy Anniversary!! 🥂 2y
Monica5 Happy Anniversary 2y
CarolynM Happy anniversary 🍾🥂 2y
BarbaraBB Lovely gifts! Happy anniversary 🤍 2y
Centique Wow! 😍 and a belated happy anniversary! 2y
TrishB @Centique thank you Paula 😘 2y
81 likes21 comments
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fredthemoose
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Mehso-so

⭐️⭐️⭐️ Narrated by a young, talented MC going through a mental break down. The POV was interesting but because it was through the MC‘s thoughts, sometimes things jumped around and weren‘t explained or made explicit to the reader, and I often found my mind wandering elsewhere.

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Carla
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Reading The Bell Jar for my book club/class, and this smacked me in the face. #abortionishealthcare

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IuliaC
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Pickpick

Lovely writing, a book I devoured quickly. We see the world through the eyes of 19-year old Esther in the 1950s as she recounts with realism, wit and sarcasm her life as a student, her sliding into severe depression, her inner turmoil and fight with suicidal thoughts and the ensuing atrocious treatment applied at that time.