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After Claude
After Claude | Iris Owens
54 posts | 20 read | 31 to read
Harriet is leaving her boyfriend Claude, the French rat. That at least is how Harriet sees things, even if its Claude who has just asked Harriet to leave his Greenwich Village apartment. Well, one way or another she has no intention of leaving. To the contrary, she will stay and exact revengeor would have if Claude had not had her unceremoniously evicted. Still, though moved out, Harriet is not about to move on. Not in any way. Girlfriends circle around to patronize and advise, but Harriet only takes offense, and its easy to understand why. Because mad and maddening as she may be, Harriet sees past the polite platitudes that everyone else is content to spout and live by. She is an unblinkered, unbuttoned, unrelenting, and above all bitingly funny prophetess of all that is wrong with womens lives and heartsuntil, in a surprise twist, she finds a savior in a dark room at the Chelsea Hotel.
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vivastory
After Claude | Iris Owens
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The most divisive selection so far in the #NYRBBookClub, was Harriet an intolerable human hurricane or simply misunderstood & #livingforlove Regardless of what camp you're in, I think we all agreed that nobody, & I mean nobody, has a better verbal arsenal than Harriet.
#MOvember @Cinfhen

Cinfhen Ha! Where did u fall?? 2mo
vivastory @Cinfhen I liked it. It's a very strange book in that the second half complete veers off from the first half. The first half is filled with Harriet's outrageous antics & black humor & overall it's a short read. I read the whole book in a few hours. 2mo
BarbaraBB Good to see Harriet again. One of out many great female characters in the #NYRBBookClub 2mo
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batsy She's unforgettable. The first half was just perfect. 2mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB @batsy Quite a few of the best characters I met this year were from our book club 2mo
BarbaraBB Mine too, absolutely! 2mo
Liz_M 😆😆😆 2mo
Suet624 @batsy I agree. The first half was delicious. 2mo
79 likes8 comments
review
sprainedbrain
After Claude | Iris Owens
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Pickpick

I was very late starting the book this month, but once I started, I read it all in a day.

Wow, Harriet is really something else. What a fantastic ride this book was inside her chaotic head!

#NYRBBookClub

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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vivastory
After Claude | Iris Owens
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Thanks again to @emilyhaldi for co-hosting the #NYRBBookClub in June. A big thanks to the group for another lively discussion!! @mklong I look forward to your nominations for the August selection. @sprainedbrain I'm eagerly looking forward to finally reading Zweig & co-hosting with you in July. If you haven't weighed in yet on today's discussions, please feel free to comment.

sisilia My copy of Chess Story just arrived. I‘m looking forward to my first Zweig 😻 7mo
vivastory @sisilia Me too. He's been on my TBR for awhile now! 7mo
Reviewsbylola Just got my copy of July‘s book! 7mo
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BarbaraBB Thank you Scott and @emilyhaldi for some great questions about this amazing book/character. The discussion was so good again, I feel proud of this #NYRBBookClub! 7mo
Theaelizabet Thanks to @vivastory and everyone for such a well run book club! Looking forward to July! 7mo
merelybookish Just wanted to echo others and say thanks for setting this up. I'm enjoying the books and discussion! 7mo
emilyhaldi So much fun!!! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 thanks for organizing 😁 (edited) 7mo
Liz_M Thanks for another great selection and lively #nyrbbookclub discussion! 7mo
83 likes2 stack adds8 comments
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emilyhaldi
After Claude | Iris Owens
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QUESTION 5: Think about the ending of the novel. Why do you think Owens chose to end it how and when she did? What do you think will happen to Harriet now? Has she changed in any way and learned anything, or will she simply continue her downward spiral?
#NYRBbookclub

vivastory Things are looking grim for Harriet. She is waiting for word from her neighbor in the Chelsea to join his cultish Reichian Therapy. Harriet's background is pretty hazy, making future predictions fairly difficult. Personally I closed the book feeling like there wasn't much hope for her. 7mo
Theaelizabet I think she's never going to hear from the cult again, but as a resilient parasitic being she's going to latch on to someone/something else. There's a nascent women's movement nearby. Here's hoping they find each other. 7mo
Rachel_nyc Agreed it was a sad ending and things are not looking good for Harriet. I think she is desperate for the cult to claim her so she can continue living without any real responsibilities. The optimist in me hopes she meets up with some other eccentric living in The Chelsea that opens her up to other possibilities though I realize that‘s unlikely. 7mo
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youneverarrived I can‘t see her changing. The last line was very fitting for Harriet 😕 I think she will just keep relying on other people and not gain any more self-awareness. 7mo
Liz_M I was kind of hoping the cult would take her in and convince her to be introspective, even if just for an hour. I also can't imagine her putting up with the "everyone pitches in doing chores" for to long. ? 7mo
Leftcoastzen She seems in a pretty bad place , easy prey for a cult, maybe she will meet a powerful woman artist at the Chelsea! 7mo
Leftcoastzen I love the Chelsea! Stayed there twice , met a woman artist who had been living there since the 80s .She showed me her place , her art. 7mo
vivastory @Leftcoastzen After I finished the book I read a few interesting articles about the renovations they've been doing. It's supposed to be reopening this year. 7mo
Leftcoastzen I wonder if she was able to stay when they closed for renovation.Some had right to stay because of NYC rent control laws. 7mo
vivastory @Leftcoastzen The article I read was about a couple that stayed during the renovations. They said that if anything would force them to leave it was that all of the affordable diners were closing. 7mo
Leftcoastzen @vivastory I hear that ! a friend of mine was just there .Airbnb, same hood, he‘s visited many times .The complaint someday only nail salons, banks and coffee places left. 7mo
Theaelizabet @vivastory @Leftcoastzen There are fewer affordable diners and affordable anything, and too many Duane Reades, Starbucks, and billionaires...but maybe that‘s just me. (edited) 7mo
emilyhaldi @Leftcoastzen so cool!! I've always been fascinated by the Chelsea 🤩 7mo
Theaelizabet @Leftcoastzen You stayed there?! Okay. I'm impressed. (edited) 7mo
Leftcoastzen @emilyhaldi @Theaelizabet It was , I bet , like you think it would be .quirky , Boho, arty , worn, interesting, and one of the rooms I stayed in had walls so thick nobody could hear you scream!😂 7mo
merelybookish I found the ending super bleak. I think the story about the girl (Heidi?) Who tried to escape to Montreal was a cautionary tale. Whatever they promise, this cult does not offer freedom. Harriet seems screwed no matter what. 7mo
sisilia I saw no bright future in Harriet. Who could have tolerated her personality?! I imagined her finding another Claude to take her in 7mo
sisilia @Theaelizabet NYC is expensive! I got a big hole in my pocket the last time I was there. 7mo
sisilia @Leftcoastzen I was thinking about staying there but I had no guts. Isn‘t it haunted? 7mo
Theaelizabet @sisilia It‘s crazy, I know. I‘m nearby in New Jersey where it‘s a bit easier to live. Please alert me the next time you‘re around! 7mo
Leftcoastzen @sisilia I‘m not sure , I slept like a baby and was not aware of any ghosts. 7mo
Reviewsbylola There‘s never a way to end a novel like this because Harriet will never stop. 😆 7mo
Reviewsbylola She‘s probably sleeping in a doorway somewhere, waiting to pounce on her next victim! 7mo
batsy I too feel the ending doesn't bode well for Harriet. Either she falls prey to more of these predatory types, ironically because she's so hyper-aware of the dangers to the point of being paranoid in some of her ruminations that she falls into exactly the kind of trap she wants to avoid, or she becomes a reclusive shut-in. I don't see her changing & gaining self-awareness, either. Like Cassandra in our previous read I'm quite worried about Harriet! 7mo
BarbaraBB @Liz_M haha no she definitely wouldn‘t be pitching doing chores 😂 7mo
BarbaraBB For me the ending felt a bit hasty. As if she‘d been with the cult for just a few hours and suddenly her whole future depends on it. 7mo
Suet624 Poor Harriet. She seemed like a lost child by the end. Can you imagine, though, if she ended up living with the cult? She‘d get all snarky again once she was comfortable and they‘d kick her out just like Claude did! 7mo
GatheringBooks @Suet624 had to laugh at your description. poor Harriet. But then again, she may just very well end up heading the cult with her “hyper-awareness” and because she is “super intelligent” as she claims, with a measure of apology. 🧚🏼‍♀️💕🤣😭 (edited) 7mo
Aimeesue @merelybookish (Re Harriet not being able to escape) Well, the patriarchy is EVERYWHERE. The whole Heidi bit reminded me a lot of bounty hunters chasing down enslaved people who had escaped and gone north, tbh. She's their property and they WILL get her back. Ugh. (edited) 7mo
Suet624 @Aimeesue You're right about the bounty hunter. 6mo
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emilyhaldi
After Claude | Iris Owens
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QUESTION 4: Think about gender roles in the novel. What feminist concerns, if any, does the novel raise? Can it righly be considered a "feminist" novel?
#NYRBbookclub

mklong It's odd. For someone who certainly recognizes gender inequality, Harriet certainly leaves herself dependent on the men in her life. Even those who she barely knows. What she says often seems feminist, but her actions never bear it out. Even her attempt to “help“ Rhoda was to find her a man. 7mo
emilyhaldi @mklong right?? There are so many juxtaposing ideas... Harriet loves to proclaim independence and yet is completely dependent on men and what they think of her. Shes like a parasite moving from one man to the next! 7mo
Rachel_nyc This is a tricky question to answer. As someone pointed out in the last question, Harriet makes some good points about women hiding their intelligence and also about what women go through to make themselves look attractive compared to men. However, her insecurities and lack of self awareness cause her to say and think so many outlandish things that it makes it difficult (for me) to see her as a feminist. 7mo
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Theaelizabet @mklong I agree with your take and I kept mulling the “feminist“ novel question while I read. At the end, after wanting to strangle/nurture Harriet, I decided that maybe the novel at least allowed Harriet to be completely exasperating, wrong-headed, pitiful and not nice without killing her off. She's just who she is and not really punished by anyone other than herself. Maybe that was “feminist“ for its day? (edited) 7mo
Rachel_nyc @mklong Excellent point! When it was made clear how she “helped” Rhoda Regina, I was blown away! 7mo
mklong @emilyhaldi Exactly! And she also doesn't support the women around her. She is forever talking about how heavy, and therefore unattractive, Rhoda is. Shouldn't she admire that Rhoda refuses to conform to the stereotypically feminine? But I guess that only speaks to her selfishness. 7mo
Leftcoastzen @mklong @emilyhaldi agree ! I had to return my copy, did she ever mention a career or calling? 7mo
Leftcoastzen It‘s weird, I had a real life encounter like this , coworker, young woman , feminist, didn‘t take shit from anyone but not offensive like Harriet.When her boyfriend came to work with us , she was a total doormat , waited on him,praised him and he was NOT the least bit praiseworthy. 7mo
emilyhaldi @Leftcoastzen very interesting. I suppose the definition of feminist isn't entirely black and white... Can you still be a feminist if you also sometimes act subserviently towards men? 7mo
Leftcoastzen @emilyhaldi It was so polar opposites in her case , I was stunned. 7mo
merelybookish Harriet raises questions about feminism. She is critical of both her friends. The one who married the doctor and is a traditional wife and mother. Then there's Rhoda Regina who works to support herself and is an artist, and yet, according to Harriet still wants a man. Are those the only paths for women? Harriet is opting out of something. She doesn't work and she doesnt cook and clean. She's uses sex and feminine wiles which is radical in a way. 7mo
merelybookish So I guess that's my long answer to say yes, I do consider it a feminist novel. 🙂 Because it is challenging readers to think about women's roles. 7mo
Liz_M @merelybookish yes, Harriet is certainly NOT a well-behaved woman. But the message is conflicted, complicated because in some ways Harriet is trying (delusioally thinks she is) to play the woman's role -- to dress up nice and impress Clause and his male friends to be a hostess, etc. 7mo
Theaelizabet @merelybookish “...challenging readers to think about women‘s roles”.... Well put. 7mo
sisilia @merelybookish Nicely put! 7mo
batsy Love your points @merelybookish I agree that it can be seen as a feminist novel for how it breaks open stereotypes about what women should be like. I feel the novel also really highlights the knotty subconscious of feminism & what straight women still struggle with, which is competition between themselves (for that elusive male attention & power 😞). This novel really highlights so many uncomfortable truths that can get lost in feminist rhetoric. 7mo
Reviewsbylola I mean, Harriet‘s not afraid to stand her ground and voice her opinions, as wild as they may be. This is one of those novels that doesn‘t strike me as obviously feminist but now I can see it. 7mo
merelybookish @batsy Harriet is a pretty radical character. 40+ years later and we are still discussing the possibility of creating unlikable female characters. Meanwhile Harriet is the most unapologetically unlikeable female character Ive ever encountered. And you're right, she does compete for male attention but not out of desire but because she wants security. She knows who has the power and competes to get it while offering as little as possible in return. 7mo
GatheringBooks @merelybookish Love the way you have untangled the ‘feminist‘ knots of Harriet here, and how it can be perceived, contextualized, argued with, misunderstood, challenged. The narrative moved from Harriet‘s devil-may-care attitude to an obsequious need to belong, be affirmed, be a part of something - be it because of a need for security, validation, a search for hippie‘s ultimate search for truth and beauty is irrelevant. it just is. 7mo
Aimeesue Harriet's back and forth with independence and belonging was intriguing. On the one hand, be yourself and ostracised and alone, on the other, allow yourself to be patronised, and you're tolerated. I think that's why the last cult-y section exists: that situation is very clear cut - either you're in or you're out, but in either case, you do it to yourself. 7mo
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emilyhaldi
After Claude | Iris Owens
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QUESTION 3: What about After Claude makes it so funny? Are we laughing along with Harriet, or do the things which strike us as funny not register with her as such? Do we feel bad when we find ourselves laughing? What was your favorite funny bit?
#NYRBbookclub

Cathythoughts I did laugh at times in the first half - more out of shock - & looking back, I do feel bad because it‘s more sad than anything else. Life isn‘t that much of a joke for Harriet as we find out in part two. Like Cassandra, Harriets voice is her protection / her weapon ... but Harriet is on another level of woundedness than our last read ( Cassandra) 7mo
vivastory Harriet has no filter whatsoever. She has zero fs to give. But this also seems to be a front. She's brutally honest. Her & Claude's arguing over the air conditioner made me laugh. 7mo
Theaelizabet As the book moved on I pitied Harriet so much that my laughter felt a bit hollow. For me the funniest bit was her reaction to the film, and good thing, too, because it put me in her corner early. 7mo
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mklong Oh god, it has to be when she talks about her moisturizer! That made me snort out loud. 7mo
emilyhaldi @mklong yes me too!!! Definitely my loudest LOL🤣🤣🤣 I still laugh when I think about it! 7mo
mklong As horrible as many of her jokes are, through it all, she does make some salient points about how difficult it can be to be a woman who refuses to hide her intelligence to make the men around her more comfortable. 7mo
Rachel_nyc @vivastory So true. I laughed a lot, especially after the film while they were in the cab but I did start feeling bad since it became clear how damaged Harriet really is. 7mo
Theaelizabet @mklong Definitely! 7mo
Leftcoastzen @Theaelizabet Yes !the film ! Anybody else think Claude is a bit patronizing and full of himself? I‘d be mouthing off like Harriet but I‘d want to leave😂 (edited) 7mo
youneverarrived @Cathythoughts @Theaelizabet I agree. The first half had me in stitches but then the latter half was just sad and that changed how I saw Harriet. I was laughing along with her to start of with but then you start to realise how insecure she actually is. 7mo
Leftcoastzen @mklong great point about women submerging their intelligence to placate men.When I was young , I wouldn‘t do it , I always felt men like that were not worth bothering with. 7mo
vivastory @mklong @emilyhaldi There's Something About Mary moment 😂 7mo
vivastory @youneverarrived I completely agree 7mo
vivastory @Leftcoastzen Harriet's comments about how Claude fetishized the indigent. There was some biting commentary in this book. 7mo
youneverarrived When she‘s hungover and says “I woke up feeling so bad that turning my head to read Claude‘s digital-clock radio remains one of my more memorable achievements”. 😂 lines like that that had me genuinely laughing. 7mo
Liz_M For me this and question one go together. I didn't find Harriet funny and I think it had to do with first-person voice. I find humor when you see the absurdity between two points-of-view, so if there had been more displays of other people's reactions to her behavior it would have been funnier. But her abrasive, acerbic wit is too painful to be funny. 7mo
vivastory @Liz_M I definitely found myself having to picture the other characters reactions to her comments 7mo
youneverarrived @Liz_M interesting point. 7mo
Liz_M @vivastory I think I would like this story more as a movie! 7mo
Leftcoastzen @Liz_M funny you should say movie , I was seeing it in my head ! Visualizing other characters expressions! 7mo
merelybookish @Theaelizabet Agreed! I laughed at her film comments.and just how relentless she was. I also laughed, mostly in shock, at what she did to Rhoda Regina. It was just so outrageous! But ultimately, like others have said, the laughter eventually felt hollow. 7mo
sisilia The film moment is a great opening @Theaelizabet 7mo
sisilia @Liz_M Agreed. Somehow I found her more irritating than funny. I got so irritated in her conversation with Maxine that I threw my book 😆 Poor Maxine! 7mo
Reviewsbylola I‘m laughing at her and with her simultaneously. Like she‘s a great literary companion. She‘d drive me nuts in real life. 7mo
batsy I agree with all! I found myself both laughing & cringing, but it slowly becomes clear that despite that relentless stand-up comedy pace of the witticisms we get from Harriet, life isn't a laughing matter for her. The acerbic, bitchy humour is a protective shield. My favourite lines are numerous, but my ultimate fave: "As an American, my war against injustice knows no bounds" As @vivastory says, there's quite a bit of biting social commentary! 7mo
BarbaraBB @vivastory Unfiltered and brutally honest, That‘s exactly it. You feel sorry for her and yet admire her for all she dares saying - things we‘d like to spill too but never would! 7mo
Suet624 I was laughing with her. Not at all. Not at all. My favorite part by far was at the beginning when she was talking about the film that she and Claude had just seen. What a stunning way to start a novel - just shock the bejesus out of the reader! 7mo
GatheringBooks Just like everyone, it was the first part that entertained me most of all, the biting sarcasm, the certitude of her sense of rightness about the film (about everything really). but what amused me most of all was her convo with maxine as @sisilia mentioned. unapologetically in-your-face, strident, and confrontational. 7mo
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emilyhaldi
After Claude | Iris Owens
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QUESTION 2: After Claude is set in 1970s New York City and includes frequent references to particular New York streets and landmarks. How important is New York City for the novel? Could the events be transplanted to, for example, Chicago or Philadelphia? Are Harriet and the novel she narrates in any way distinct products of the city in which they grew up?
#NYRBbookclub

vivastory The novel definitely feels like a NY novel, & Owens thanks the Chelsea in the preface, but it's more a result of the people rather than the actual landmarks etc. I could see it easily taking place in any major metropolitan city around the same time. 7mo
Theaelizabet @vivastory I agree. It's very New Yorky, but I think a similar story could be told in Chicago or Philly. Interestingly, I'd have to stop there. Boston? L.A.? Houston? I don't think so. Hmmm. I need to think about why. 7mo
Leftcoastzen I think to an extent it could be in another east coast city but it has a definite New York is going bad feeling.The level of grit and neurosis.Plus I don‘t see French Claude being in just any city. 7mo
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vivastory @Theaelizabet I think any metropolitan city that people can easily get around. It doesn't feel like a book that would work in a more sprawling city. 7mo
youneverarrived I love the fact it was set in NY but I think it could have taken place in another major city. It didn‘t feel like one of those novels where place is a central part. (edited) 7mo
vivastory @Leftcoastzen Good point about Claude 7mo
emilyhaldi @vivastory @Theaelizabet @Leftcoastzen I particularly loved when Maxine came in for a city visit from the suburbs, talking about her Jewish dentist hubby.. reminded me of my time in nyc when we city folks started judging our friends who married and moved off to the burbs 😆 (now I'm one of them) (edited) 7mo
Theaelizabet @Leftcoastzen “Plus I don't see French Claude being in just any city.“ That's it! Nowadays there might be French Claudes everywhere, but in 1973 NYC was our European gateway. 7mo
emilyhaldi @Theaelizabet @Leftcoastzen there certainly don't seem to be many French Claudes here in Columbus Ohio! 7mo
Rachel_nyc I agree with the other comments so far. As a New Yorker, I loved that it was set here and Owens did a good job of portraying NYC in all its gritty splendor of the time, but I could see it set in a select number of big cities. I would maybe add New Orleans and San Francisco to the ones mentioned. 7mo
Theaelizabet @emilyhaldi Me, too! Was Maxine in Long Island? I don't remember. But it definitely had that suburban v. NYC thing going. 7mo
emilyhaldi @Rachel_nyc yes definitely New Orleans!!! A la Confederacy of Dunces 🤗 7mo
emilyhaldi @Theaelizabet I was thinking Long Island too but couldn't remember... She certainly fits the bill! 7mo
Rachel_nyc @emilyhaldi Ha ha yes! I‘m not sure who mentioned it in another thread but a book about Ignatius and Harriet would be insane. 7mo
vivastory @Rachel_nyc Yes!! Harriet reminds me of Ignatius girlfriend that shows up. I remember when I read CoD thinking, "It'd be interesting to read a book with this character in it." I feel like that book is After Claude ? 7mo
Rachel_nyc @vivastory I think you‘re right! 🤣 7mo
emilyhaldi @vivastory Myrna Minkoff!!! 😂😂 7mo
sisilia It could have taken place in modern Singapore hahaha... there are so many French Claudes in my condo! But no, NYC is still the perfect spot for 70s art culture 7mo
Reviewsbylola I‘m not all that familiar with NYC but I do think this story was very indicative of the time and therefore could have taken place anywhere. The cult part at the end took me back to the Manson family and how communes and darker shit were popping up anywhere. 7mo
batsy @sisilia Hahaha, I was going to say present day Kuala Lumpur is also swarming with Claudes 🙄😂 Now you've got me wishing someone would write the Asian Harriet. 7mo
batsy Not been to the US so hard for me to tell, but I did feel the urban ennui and fear that Harriet feels can be displaced onto any other big city. But good point by @Leftcoastzen about what people like Claude would be drawn to. I'm guessing counter cultural 70s NYC was *it* 😁 7mo
Leftcoastzen @batsy Thx ! When NYC faced bankruptcy in the 70s , NY Post headline was something like New York City , drop dead in regards to a bailout .Ford never said it , and lest you think I‘m That old , I was alive ,but incredibly young🤣 7mo
BarbaraBB Great discussion. I wouldn‘t have known there are cities in the US could and couldn‘t have taken place! 7mo
BarbaraBB It could have been in Amsterdam as well I think, especially the parts about judging people moving to the suburbs, lol 😂😉 7mo
Suet624 I find all large cities to be lonely and cold places. 😀 So I think this could have taken place in any large city. 7mo
GatheringBooks @batsy @sisilia I was thinking the exact same thing! could be modern day kl or singapore - that is, the presence of french claude. but harriet and the getting high and the cult - hmm probly not so much. but what do i know, really? me -> nerd, so perhaps a diff crowd in sg/kl may have a similar experience. but agreed that it has a distinct ny feel to it, but the vibe also reminded me of the sense i got reading makkai‘s 7mo
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emilyhaldi
After Claude | Iris Owens
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QUESTION 1: Harriet is a particularly marked voice as a narrarator. Describe this voice and how it colors our understanding and experience of the events of the novel. Can you imagine the novel written in the third person? What would be lost and what would be gained by this?

#NYRBbookclub

Theaelizabet The entire book would be lost in the third person. Harriet is everything. We're amazed and appalled at what she does tell us, and extremely curious about what she doesn't. (edited) 7mo
vivastory It's interesting because I think that the greatest strength is the use of a first person narrator, but one of the weaknesses of Owens' novel is that because of her attitude she frequently comes across as one dimensional. I occasionally felt like I was reading an episode of South Park goes to NY in the 70s. 7mo
vivastory @Theaelizabet I think that is really interesting, too. How much of what she says is sincere & how much is covering for an insecurity or is a type of front. 7mo
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Theaelizabet @vivastory That's funny! Now, if I ever reread this, I'm going to have that stuck in my head! I can see what you mean, though. 7mo
vivastory @Theaelizabet There was even a part when she is talking to her friend in the kitchen & her friend actually says, "she's not fat, she's big-boned" ? 7mo
youneverarrived I think if it was written in third person we‘d lose some of the humour; it‘s her lack of self-awareness and bluntness that makes her funny but I think it might seem more sad from a third person perspective. 7mo
youneverarrived @vivastory that‘s true about being a bit one dimensional. I think if it was written in third person we‘d probably gain more insight to make her less so. 7mo
vivastory @youneverarrived Yeah, it's really hard to imagine a third person After Claude that wouldn't feel like a Confederacy of Dunces knockoff 7mo
Theaelizabet I kept wanting to “peak around the corner,“ or see scenes through an independent lens, but not enough to wish for third person. 7mo
vivastory @youneverarrived It would have been interesting if Owens had utilized dual first person narratives. But I'm not sure there is really another character compelling enough in the book to make that work 7mo
vivastory @Theaelizabet Yes. Well said. 7mo
emilyhaldi @youneverarrived so true that third person would be more insightful and therefore more sad... I definitely agree with that. When we can hear the humor from inside the mind of Harriet it's like we can laugh with her. But watching from the outside its a complete train wreck 🤦🏻‍♀️ 7mo
emilyhaldi @Theaelizabet agreed!! The whole nature of the book would be lost 7mo
emilyhaldi @vivastory so true!!! It's both Owens' greatest strength and weakness. I certainly reached a point in the book when I began to tire of hearing Harriet's continuous, exhausting stream of concious. 7mo
mklong Even though we don‘t get another perspective, I think we do get a good idea of what other people think of Harriet by their reactions to her. As exasperating as she is, she hasn‘t managed to alienate everyone in her life. Even Claude takes longer than you would think to reach the end of his rope. They must see the spark of humor and brilliance that makes her somewhat endearing to the reader. 7mo
Rachel_nyc @Theaelizabet Yes exactly! I think Owens did a fair job of that through comments by Maxine and Claude but I wanted to know more about how others see Harriet. Not enough to lose the first person narrative though. 7mo
youneverarrived @vivastory yeah it might have broadened it a bit but like you say there isn‘t another character really that is as interesting. It‘s Harriet‘s voice that makes it so compelling. 7mo
Leftcoastzen I basically agree that it had to be written the way it was,you are kind of along for the ride , to see her from a different lens would lose the power of it . 7mo
vivastory @mklong I was definitely surprised by how long it was before Claude kicked her out (& then she changed the lock) 😂 7mo
Liz_M @Theaelizabet Us, it would be a completely different book if told in third person Now I am trying to think of an example of an awful, manipulative woman character that is third person.... Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair? Dangerous Lessons (movie, the book was epistolary).... 7mo
sisilia I wouldn‘t get as irritated if it was written in third person, I think 😆 7mo
merelybookish @vivastory @mklong I think it helped that Claude traveled a lot... 7mo
Reviewsbylola Harriet is fucking amazing and this story would have been totally unbelievable and not authentic in 3rd person. 7mo
batsy What @Reviewsbylola said 😂 I kind of felt like @Theaelizabet in that I wanted to get a peek of how others see her, but not enough to give up the tour de force of writing that was that 1st person voice. Like @youneverarrived said it would have been a rather sad book had we seen it from the other side. The raw humour & power of this book comes from Harriet's unfiltered thoughts. I don't think I'll ever forget Harriet or struggle to recall this book 7mo
emilyhaldi So funny @batsy I agree!!! I think harriet will have major staying power.. a book I imagine I'll remember for a looooong time. That's the sign of a talented author in my opinion, no matter if I loved the book or not! (But I did in this case 😉) (edited) 7mo
BarbaraBB Great comments above. I‘d like to add that the first person also shows Claude and Maxine from Harriet‘s pov, which makes them so unreal, which I think added so much to the atmosphere of the book. 7mo
GatheringBooks @Theaelizabet like you, i didn‘t really give the first person voice much thought earlier, but agreed that it couldn‘t have been written in a more effective manner. hers is a distinct voice, alright. exasperating, grating, brutally honest. 7mo
Suet624 I loved Harriet and her comments. I am in complete agreement with @reviewsbylola. I know a few folks like Harriet and, while they can be trying, I love them for their bold and fantastic statements. 7mo
Aimeesue Completely agree with @BarbaraBB and @batsy- Harriet's POV is obviously warped, but it's probably the only way the book makes sense. Without it, you'd have no idea why Harriet does the things she does. She does have an internal logic, which isn't really apparent from the outside. (edited) 7mo
36 likes30 comments
blurb
emilyhaldi
After Claude | Iris Owens
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15 minute countdown until our After Claude discussion!! Feel free to join in anytime- I can't wait to hear your thoughts!!
#NYRBbookclub

vivastory 👏👏 7mo
Suet624 Shoot. Traveling to help a friend in need! 7mo
emilyhaldi Good for you!! @Suet624 feel free to add your thoughts later or any time ❤️ 7mo
vivastory @Suet624 I'd love to hear your thoughts when you have a chance! 7mo
Reviewsbylola Sorry, I totally flaked. 🙈 7mo
51 likes5 comments
review
Theaelizabet
After Claude | Iris Owens
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Pickpick

Harriet is self-involved, splenetic, pitiful--and funny. Her life “After Claude“ is just plain weird. She is decidedly not a good girl. Or a nice girl. Those smarter than me could probably trace a through line from her to Nadia of Netflix's Russian Doll, or to any other female character who's allowed to be a train wreck. I didn't like her, but I sure kept thinking about her. #nyrbbookclub

BarbaraBB Great review. It seems we‘re all agreeing again on our book this month! 7mo
Theaelizabet @BarbaraBB Thanks! There‘s going to be a lot to chew on! 7mo
vivastory I keep meaning to check out that show. Great review! 7mo
See All 7 Comments
Theaelizabet @vivastory I disliked the show in the beginning, but hung in to see where they were headed, and ended up really enjoying it. That character had more agency than Harriet, but there were certainly similarities. Thanks. 7mo
BarbaraBB Hi, just checking in. I am missing you in our NYRB book club! Hope all is well 💕 4mo
Theaelizabet @BarbaraBB Thanks so much for thinking of me! Life got away from me (in good ways, not bad) and I just needed to set aside social media for a time. I hope to be back in the groove (and in the NYRB book club, which I so enjoyed) in November, December at the latest. Again, thanks for reaching out! 4mo
BarbaraBB Just happy to hear you‘re well. Enjoy life‘s other things and I hope you‘ll be back in the book club later this year 😘 4mo
33 likes7 comments
review
batsy
After Claude | Iris Owens
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Pickpick

1st half: a brutally & savagely hilarious character study of a woman at the end of her romantic tether. As @Leftcoastzen put it, Harriet has no filter: she's like the subconscious as stand-up comedy. Bitchy & dark & endearing & repulsive. Then comes the 2nd half, which puts Harriet in contact with other (odd & nefarious) people. How much of it is in her mind? This filled me with sadness & unease; Harriet displays a number of complexes & issues. ⬇️

batsy Despite her brash bravado & conviction that everyone else is dumb, Harriet seems to be a hypochondriac with social anxiety manifesting in a number of ways, most obviously in her worldview & her relationships. Also disturbing are her whipsmart observations about her ex, the "French rat" Claude, that's clouded by her lack of judgment. Her existence is predicated on how men desire her, & sadly that makes her very vulnerable, as the ending hints. 7mo
batsy A most discomfiting read; quite terrible & brilliant & funny & exhausting all at once. I'm so glad I read it & I'm tempted (once I've recovered) to look up Owens' one other "normal" novel (as opposed to her porn novels, which might also have something interesting to say!) #NYRBbookclub @emilyhaldi @vivastory [Illustration above from https://nyrbclassics.tumblr.com/post/66816098398/did-iris-owens-inspire-a-woody-... 7mo
Tanisha_A Will you take me as your student and teach me how to write brilliant book reviews? *puppy face* ❤️ Haven't read any NYRB, should get started with something. 😅 7mo
See All 26 Comments
Leftcoastzen Great review!A character to remember, you get to the complexity of her behind the facade. 7mo
Billypar She sounds like a character I'd like to meet! 7mo
sisilia @Tanisha_A I will definitely sign up, too! 😚 @batsy writes the best review 7mo
batsy @Tanisha_A @sisilia Thank you, friends ☺️ You are too kind ❤️❤️ 7mo
batsy @Leftcoastzen Thank you! She's pretty unforgettable! 7mo
batsy @Billypar Yes, I'd love to know what you think when you do meet her 😆 7mo
Cathythoughts Yes ! @sisilia @Tanisha_A yes ! @batsy is so good at reviews , always finding the words for an interesting review... very studied & insightful... 🙏🏻 7mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Thank you, Cathy 😘😘 This was such a rich book, stirred up a lot of complex feelings... 7mo
vivastory Insightful review, as always! I agree that Harriet's blunt honesty is hiding something. It's hard to say exactly what. I see your point about her most likely being a hypochondriac. I think she is also suffering from some type of insecurity, overcompensating for it with her attitude. 7mo
youneverarrived Brilliant review, as always 🖤 7mo
batsy @vivastory Thank you! Yes, you've hit the nail on the head with insecurity, I think. Underneath the wit and bluster she is very afraid 💔 7mo
batsy @youneverarrived Thank you! ❤️ 7mo
merelybookish Brilliant as always! I want to know what happened to Harriet in France!! 7mo
readordierachel Wonderful review. I'm intrigued! 7mo
Centique Just beautifully said 😍💕 7mo
batsy @merelybookish Thank you! I'm wondering what happened there, too! She keeps referring to "her true love, MacDonald" ? 7mo
batsy @readordierachel @Centique Thank you! If you're ready for an unlikeable but hilarious female protagonist saying nothing but the wrong (often hilarious, sometimes true) things all the time, this is the book 😆 7mo
emilyhaldi So insightful!! Such a complex book and character.... I would love to know more about Harriet's childhood and how much of her insecurities / delusion / anxiety / etc stem from her strange relationship (or lack thereof) with her mother. Interesting how she sometimes refers to her parents as deceased and other times alive. Seems to be a lot to unpack there and the book only skims the surface!! 7mo
batsy @emilyhaldi Yes, I agree that there's more I'd like to know! There should have been a follow up like I Killed Claude for both Harriet and us to get some closure 😆 But you're right, the way she talked about her parents suggests so much untapped potential (for a book!) 7mo
rohit-sawant *Standing ovation gif* 🙌🏼 💕 7mo
batsy @rohit-sawant Thank you 😁💜 7mo
TrishB Awesome review as always 😘 7mo
batsy Thank you @TrishB ❤️ 7mo
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batsy
After Claude | Iris Owens
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Oh, Harriet. It's the "I confessed" that kills me ? For someone so deliciously bitchy and smart and funny, it's both hilarious and sad how she lacks self-awareness. I think @Reviewsbylola comparing Harriet to Ignatius Reilly is spot on.

#NYRBbookclub @vivastory @emilyhaldi

GatheringBooks that part of the book was just heartbreakingly sad 7mo
batsy @GatheringBooks I just finished and underneath the brilliant black humour is so much sadness. 7mo
saresmoore I am struggling very much to make it through the last 30 pages. Harriet‘s utter lack of empathy, the narcissism that belies intense self-loathing, and her myriad addictions are a bit too close to home. That being said, I don‘t think I‘ve ever read such a depressingly hilarious, spot on psychological profile in any other work of fiction. 7mo
See All 13 Comments
merelybookish @saresmoore @batsy I also found the book sad. There was a cynicism or darkness that ran through it that disturbed me. 7mo
Reviewsbylola I would love to see Harriett and Ignatius on a date. Can you only imagine?! 🤣 7mo
batsy @saresmoore @merelybookish I feel that, too. Harriet certainly has a lot of neuroses and complexes that make her a tragic figure, despite her being completely insufferable at times. There's a lot going on under the wisecrack-a-minute routine. 7mo
batsy @Reviewsbylola Nothing will prepare me for that book, though I do want to read it 😆🤯 7mo
BarbaraBB @saresmoore The weird thing is I thought that about Cassandra too (the spot on psychological profile). (edited) 7mo
BarbaraBB This quote is great. Harriet is actually touching here. Then again, I struggled with those last pages too. 7mo
saresmoore @BarbaraBB So did I! But I think it may be that they‘re both representing similar traits, like cognitive dissonance and passive aggression. The first-person perspective is so in-your-face in both books, but I find Cassandra‘s thoughts to be more relatable, if equally loathsome at times. Harriet reads more like a bizarre case study. 7mo
BarbaraBB @saresmoore To me Harriet feels more like a caricature than a real person. 7mo
emilyhaldi I was about 60 pages into the book before I had my own Ignatius recognition with Harriet! 💡 From that point forward I couldn't stop picturing him saying the words coming out of Harriets mouth 😂 7mo
batsy @emilyhaldi Right? It added another layer of bamboozled hilarity on my part, for sure 😂 7mo
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Liz_M
After Claude | Iris Owens
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Where to begin.....?
#nyrbbookclub

Cathythoughts Indeed.... that‘s the question 7mo
BarbaraBB Lol 😂😂😂 I‘d mix them all up 🤣 7mo
LeahBergen Start with a couple of shots of the hard stuff. 😆 7mo
Liz_M @BarbaraBB, @LeahBergen Are you trying to make a Harriet out of me? 7mo
18 likes4 comments
review
Reviewsbylola
After Claude | Iris Owens
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Pickpick

No lies, I really didn‘t care for Cassandra at the Wedding. So when I saw some Litsy posts that indicated that the character of Harriet was even more irritating than that of Cassandra, I was very worried. But where Cassandra was just a complete bore, Harriet embodied the hilarity and absurdity of one of my favorite literary heroes, Ignatius Reilly. So obviously, After Claude was a pick for me! #nyrbbookclub

Theaelizabet Interesting. I felt Harriet begat Nadia in Russian Doll and I figured there were others. I still need to post a review. 7mo
batsy It's early days yet for me with this book but I'm utterly amused by Harriet and the comparison to Ignatius Reilly is clever! 👏🏽 7mo
LeahBergen Oh, she‘s totally like Ignatius. 😆 7mo
See All 8 Comments
Reviewsbylola Can you imagine the two of them in a room together?! 🤯 @LeahBergen 7mo
Cinfhen Oh! So I will definitely HATE this book!!!! 7mo
Reviewsbylola Very possible! @Cinfhen 7mo
emilyhaldi Yesssssss!!! Glad you liked it 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 better clear off your calendar for our discussion this Saturday!! 7mo
Mdargusch 😂😂🤣🤣 @Cinfhen 7mo
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sisilia
After Claude | Iris Owens
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Hi @emilyhaldi 👋🏻 Thanks for the June picks 🥰 I got all three books and I have read them all #nyrb #nyrbclassics #nyrbbookclub

emilyhaldi Wow you‘re speedy!!! 🏃🏻‍♀️ what did you think of Meaningful Life? And which of the 3 is your fav?! (edited) 7mo
sisilia @emilyhaldi I like the first part of Meaningful Life, but i got bored towards the end. My fav is the Modiano. I like how he weaved in four narrators with the lady as the main character. Smart, subtle, and somehow romantic. Maybe it‘s the Paris thing 😅 (edited) 7mo
BarbaraBB Thanks for the reviews! I remember reading Davis bored me sometimes too. 7mo
See All 8 Comments
sisilia @BarbaraBB It took me ages to read the last 50 pages😞 7mo
vivastory I think I have the Modiano on my shelves. I have the feeling it will eventually be selected. 7mo
Reviewsbylola I love that you read all three! 7mo
sisilia @vivastory It‘d be a good book for discussion 👍🏻 7mo
64 likes8 comments
review
youneverarrived
After Claude | Iris Owens
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Pickpick

I didn‘t like the second half. However, I haven‘t laughed so much reading a novel as I did reading the first half. It‘s sarcastic, witty and to the bone humour. Brilliantly written. ⭐️⭐️⭐️ #nyrbbookclub

LeahBergen Yes, chapters 9 and 10?? 🤔 7mo
BarbaraBB The book shouldn‘t have been named After Claude, since that part is the least interesting 😉 7mo
emilyhaldi Things really took a strange turn... 😳 7mo
See All 6 Comments
Suet624 @emilyhaldi 😂😂😂 it sure did! 7mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB 😂😂 7mo
Reviewsbylola Yes, def very well done! 7mo
70 likes6 comments
review
Leftcoastzen
After Claude | Iris Owens
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Pickpick

Oh Harriet, you have no filter! I think these things & don‘t say them out loud.Our #NYRBbookclub pick had me laughing & cringing, wondering how far can she spin?Claude doesn‘t seem like much of a joy either.In mid 1970s New York, gritty & nearly bankrupt, Harriet finds herself in the Chelsea, room paid for, but only for a limited time.The new people she meets , even stranger.Will they be the key to her future?Or has she just run out of options?

emilyhaldi Nice review. And oh, soooo much cringing with this one 😆 7mo
BarbaraBB Great review. Harriet has indeed no filter between what a person can think and actually say out loud 😀 7mo
vivastory No filter at all. But, is she trolling people or is she just bluntly honest? Or a combination of both? 7mo
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Leftcoastzen @vivastory both I think. If you don‘t like where the conversation is going ,change the conversation!😂 (edited) 7mo
vivastory Very true 😂 7mo
Leftcoastzen @vivastory I stole that line from Don Draper!😂 7mo
Reviewsbylola Yeah Claude seemed like a douche. But how did he put up with Harriet for six months?! 7mo
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Aimeesue
After Claude | Iris Owens
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Reviewsbylola 🤤🤤 awesome table! And that bag! 7mo
LeahBergen Eeeeee! That totebag!!! 😮😮😮 7mo
BarbaraBB I love every pixel of that pic! 💜 7mo
See All 8 Comments
Aimeesue @Reviewsbylola @Leah règne @BarbaraBB I just wanted to scoop them all up and run off with that bag! ? 7mo
sisilia 😱 Awesomenesssss 7mo
vivastory This is amazing. Where did you see this? 7mo
vivastory Ah, never mind. I see your hashtag. 7mo
Aimeesue @vivastory 😂 It was at the ALA annual conference in DC. I live very close by, so took advantage of the Litsy passes for the exhibits hall yesterday. 7mo
33 likes8 comments
review
emilyhaldi
After Claude | Iris Owens
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Pickpick

Well that was... something!
I applaud Owens‘ ability to blend Harriet‘s complete and utter self-destructive behavior with such wit and comedy! I laughed, winced, gasped, and cringed myself to exhaustion... and that was within the first 30 pages! Whether you love Harriet or hate her (or both!), you'll surely feel some kinda way. So join @vivastory and me on Saturday 6/29 at 1pm for some lively discussion 🤗
#NYRBbookclub

saresmoore Looking forward to it! 7mo
Rachel_nyc Great review and I can‘t wait to discuss! 7mo
See All 17 Comments
LeahBergen I‘ll be out of town this weekend but I‘ll check and post on the discussion later that evening. I can‘t wait! 👏🏻👏🏻 7mo
Liz_M 1 pm in which time zone? I am on vacation and most likely will be in Mum's backyard lounging, so I have to be sure to set an alarm to remind myself to get online 😁 7mo
emilyhaldi Whoops!! @Liz_M silly me! 1pm EDT (I‘m in Ohio) 😊 where will you be on vacation? Backyard lounging sounds fabulous 🌤 hope you can join! 7mo
Reviewsbylola Diving back in momentarily! 7mo
GatheringBooks hey everyone! will join late probly but will def share my thoughts - singapore time zone at the moment, so my responses will not be synchronous with yours, sadly. 7mo
batsy Same with @GatheringBooks so will join in later! Looking forward to reading it this week 😅 and to the discussion! 7mo
BarbaraBB I‘ll be at a music festival all day and evening but I‘ll make sure to catch up later. Can‘t wait to read your thoughts and discuss this one! 7mo
Liz_M @emilyhaldi I'll be in Minnesota visiting family, which is usually a lazy vacation with a lot of reading in the backyard, several days at the lake, and many meals out. 🙂 7mo
emilyhaldi A lazy vacation is the best kind of vacation!!! @Liz_M enjoy 🤗 7mo
Blueberry @Liz_M I love your vacation. 7mo
vivastory Enjoy your vacation @Liz_M 👏📚📚🌲🍰🍷 7mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB That sounds like a lot of fun. Enjoy! 7mo
vivastory Wonderful review! I'm looking forward to our discussion! 7mo
Mdargusch I hope I remember. I‘m intrigued 7mo
93 likes17 comments
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vivastory
After Claude | Iris Owens
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Join my well-read, inimitable co-host @emilyhaldi & I for a discussion of After Claude on Saturday 6/29. The discussion will be sometime in the afternoon/early evening. The exact time will be announced by the end of this weekend. Did you love it? Hate it? Love the first part & hate the second? Make your case. If you don't, then a plague of Harriets on your house. #NYRBBookClub

merelybookish Dear god not a plague of Harriets! 😆
7mo
Theaelizabet @merelybookish You took the thought right out of my head! 7mo
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Suet624 A friend of mine and I are going to a renaissance fair that day (I know, I know, it‘s so unlike me but I have to try it once in my life). You can bet I‘ll be sitting in the grass at the appointed time making comments. 7mo
Reviewsbylola 😆😆😆 a plague of Harriets!! 7mo
LeahBergen One Harriet in my house would be enough to give me a Nervy B. 7mo
Rachel_nyc @merelybookish 🤣🤣🤣🤣 7mo
Cathythoughts Whatttt ???!! A plague of Harrietts 😱😂😂 7mo
Leftcoastzen Can‘t wait! I love it and hate it 😃 7mo
BarbaraBB @Suet624 What is a renaissance fair? 7mo
saresmoore @Suet624 I‘m really struggling to picture you at a Ren fair! But, huzzah! 7mo
Suet624 @BarbaraBB a strange event that folks love: jugglers, jousting with real horses, people dressed up in period costumes, archery, acrobatics, etc. 7mo
Suet624 @saresmoore haha! I know, right? I‘ll be the one harrumphing and making snide comments as everyone else there is having a blast and feeling sorry for my lack of zeal and gusto. Hey! I‘ll be Harriet at the Ren Fair!!! 7mo
BarbaraBB That sounds very strange indeed and I have a hard time imagining you there. But maybe you‘ll do anything to escape a plague of Harriets?! 😉😘 7mo
Suet624 @saresmoore @BarbaraBB strangely enough, the following night I‘m going to see Jefferson Starship. A weird combo of events. 7mo
emilyhaldi A plague of Harriet's 😵 Can't wait for this discussion!! 7mo
emilyhaldi @Suet624 true dedication to the #nyrbbookclub 🙌🏻 7mo
sisilia @merelybookish My thought exactly 😅 7mo
Suet624 Hahaha. I thought you meant this Saturday. Oops! See you next week! 7mo
68 likes19 comments
review
merelybookish
After Claude | Iris Owens
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Mehso-so

I guess there's a reason some books go out of print. 😬
As a historical text, it's interesting, especially in our current moment as we think about women's anger. Harriet is annoying (understatement) but her sense of life as shaped by men's needs/desires is not unfounded. The end kind of disturbed me.
But as a read, I dunno. Creation of voice is stellar but maybe it would have worked better as a short story. A little Harriet goes a long way. 😜

merelybookish Looking forward to our #NYRBbookclub discussion @vivastory @emilyhaldi 7mo
LeahBergen I‘m so looking forward to this discussion. 😂😂 7mo
vivastory I think it will be a lively discussion! 7mo
See All 9 Comments
saresmoore Agreed that a little Harriet goes a long way! 7mo
Theaelizabet Discussion should be interesting! 7mo
merelybookish @saresmoore I feel like 200 pages was more Harriet than I wanted! 7mo
merelybookish @vivastory @Theaelizabet @leahbergen Harriet gives plenty to discuss! 7mo
batsy I keep coming back to this image and giggling. I'm only starting this tonight; my physical copy still hasn't arrived and I've given up on gone with the Kindle 🤪 7mo
merelybookish @batsy Oooh, well I'll be interested to hear what what dafuq you think. :) I may be the outlier on this one as most people seem to like it more than me. (And yeah, Kindles are useful but not the same, imo.) 7mo
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Leftcoastzen
After Claude | Iris Owens
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When you are down on the floor reading After Claude and realize your bookcase is pretty messy.

gradcat And yours is a LOT neater than mine! 7mo
LeahBergen I thought you might‘ve fallen and needed assistance. 😆 7mo
cherinium I don't think that is messy. It's just packed full--which is a good thing. 7mo
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Leftcoastzen @LeahBergen 😂😂😂to much 🍷.just kidding , no wine .Sometimes my back needs a long stretch on a hard , flat surface.That room is carpeted. 7mo
Leftcoastzen @cherinium I like how you think.😀 7mo
Leftcoastzen @gradcat Thanks , some of my bookcases are really well organized, this one has clumps of organization, this one and 3 others need to be totally redone. 7mo
Hooked_on_books I actually love this photo. I feel like the books are towering over me in the best way. 7mo
Reagan Oooh The Tommyknockers, a personal favourite! That bookshelf looks perfect to me ❤️ 7mo
elkeo_TheBookDragon Nice view 📚📚 7mo
Susannah This is a great photo, though I have to say that when I think of where you‘re sitting, I hope you don‘t live in an earthquake-prone area. (I live in SoCal; I sometimes get panicky about tall, laden bookshelves. 🤷‍♀️) 7mo
gradcat I need to organize mine, but I keep thinking I‘m going to move. I guess at that point I‘ll have to (big gulp) get rid of some of them. 😰 7mo
Leftcoastzen @Reagan-reads 😀Thx! 7mo
Leftcoastzen @Susannah I did live in Nor Cal and So Cal ,bookcases we‘re bolted to the wall & less overloaded.I was never in a “big one”just little shakers , never lost a plate or book.Live in Az now, minor quake in Duncan Az.recently.I still would never hang heavy pictures or have tall dresser or tall bookcase near a bed, why chance it. 7mo
Leftcoastzen @gradcat moving with books is hard , I get rid of some but I have always had at least 30 to 40 boxes of books per move.I kept some in storage way too long when I lived in small places, when reunited , I was glad ,no regrets.But I know how people must downsize and make difficult choices sometimes . 7mo
Suet624 @Leftcoastzen yes. Moving books, I‘ve never regretted it. I love opening the books a year or two later and feeling so satisfied and in love. 😁 7mo
gradcat I have some from grad school that I cannot bear to part with, not to mention they were quite expensive. 7mo
ValerieAndBooks Looks pretty good to me 😍📚📚📚!! 7mo
Leftcoastzen @ValerieAndBooks I was stunned by its awesomeness when I was down there! 7mo
61 likes19 comments
review
MicheleinPhilly
After Claude | Iris Owens
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Pickpick

I first read this novel about 6 years ago and if you had asked me then if I would ever consider re-reading it, my response would have been a resounding “Hell no!” Harriet makes Cassandra seem like a saint in comparison. While my rating is the same (3, maybe 3.5🌟), it‘s a solid pick rather than a so-so. Looking forward to the discussion! #nyrbbookclub

LeahBergen I just finished it, too! 7mo
Theaelizabet Finished this afternoon. Still thinking... 7mo
See All 7 Comments
vivastory I'm curious, do you remember how you heard about it when you read it? I was unaware of it before it was nominated 7mo
MicheleinPhilly @vivastory I would guess that I saw it in the NYRB catalog they send you when you order from them OR that I saw it on a book blog. The more I think about it the more I think it was the latter. I used to follow a blogger that read and wrote about NYRBs pretty consistently. 7mo
Reviewsbylola I will take Harriet over Cassandra any day!! Cassandra is such a bore. 7mo
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emilyhaldi
After Claude | Iris Owens
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Ya'll. Admittedly, I was fond of Harriet while reading this book. And now, several days after finishing it, and now seeing all of your lovely book posts updates, I'm finding myself reminiscing over the time we spent together. That girl is UNHINGED but boy is she a riot!!! Reading back through some gems that I underlined and thinking this very well could be a reread for me someday when I need a laugh... #callmecrazy #NYRBbookclub

Leftcoastzen I loved that little speech,I‘m still reading it. 7mo
LeahBergen I‘m almost done and holy fuh. 😆😆😆😆 7mo
Theaelizabet I‘m almost done. Ohhhh, Harriet! 7mo
See All 11 Comments
BarbaraBB I agree her speeches are hilarious and I‘m sure I‘ll love then the second time around. She makes Cassandra bleak 😉 7mo
Reviewsbylola Did you like her more than Cassandra? 🤞🏻🤞🏻 7mo
vivastory Can you imagine if Harriet & Ignatius dated? 🤔😂 7mo
vivastory @LeahBergen I nominate #holyfuh as the After Claude hashtag 🙋😄 7mo
LeahBergen @vivastory A Confederacy of Bitches? 😆 7mo
vivastory @LeahBergen 😂😂 I'd read the hell out of that! 7mo
Suet624 I completely agree. She made me laugh out loud many a time and I greatly appreciated it. A reread is definitely warranted during the dark days. 7mo
Mdargusch She‘s so exhausting! 7mo
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review
Rachel_nyc
After Claude | Iris Owens
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Pickpick

Where to begin..Harriet is certainly, as my dad used to say, a real piece of work! As exhausting and exasperating as she was, reading her rants and about her antics was kind of delightful. I have to agree with my fellow #nyrbbookclub ers who have already said that the last few chapters felt like an entirely different book, although I do feel they humanized her a bit. Looking forward to discussing it further.

Rachel_nyc Oh and @Liz_M I returned the book so hopefully you‘ve received notification and can begin! 7mo
Suet624 I loved her rants. The first one in particular, after seeing the movie with Claude, had me laughing out loud and reading it to friends of mine. 7mo
Theaelizabet @Suet624 That first rant kind of put me in her corner from the start, despite her subsequent, less appealing qualities. 7mo
See All 12 Comments
Suet624 @Theaelizabet Oh good. So I‘m not alone. 😀 7mo
Liz_M @Rachel_nyc Heh, I thought I was joking, but I did get notified by NYPL right around the time of your post! 😂 Looking forward to starting this on the morning commute. 7mo
Rachel_nyc @Liz_M Great. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts! 7mo
Rachel_nyc @Suet624 That cab ride was hilarious. 7mo
BarbaraBB Delightful is the right word, despite I would go crazy having her in my life! Such a cool idea that @Liz_M and you may be reading the same copy 💕 7mo
Rachel_nyc @BarbaraBB Knowing a Harriet IRL would be a nightmare. I admit to having had friends that were similar but no one quite as over the top as her. It was an ebook and I love the idea that @Liz_M received the notification pretty much as soon as I returned it! 7mo
BarbaraBB An ebook. Yet still! The coincidence! 7mo
vivastory Fantastic review!!! I'm looking forward to your impressions @Liz_M 7mo
Rachel_nyc @vivastory Thanks! This should be another fun one to discuss. 7mo
21 likes12 comments
review
Suet624
After Claude | Iris Owens
post image
Pickpick

This is my face after finishing this book. 😂😂😂 What the heck? I so enjoyed the snarky Harriet and then what happened?? 😂😂😂 l loved the first half a lot. #NYRBBookClub

merelybookish Cutie! 7mo
GatheringBooks same - last half was too way out there for me. can‘t wait to discuss. 7mo
Suet624 And of course Vermont would pop up as the place for crazy guru-types to live!! 7mo
See All 29 Comments
vivastory I'm pretty sure this is the face of, "On the scale of one to even, I can't" ? 7mo
vivastory 😂😂I thought of you when she mentioned Vermont 7mo
wanderinglynn What a cutie! Her expression is priceless! ❤️ 7mo
Tanisha_A Hahaha! The girl who reads! 7mo
saresmoore Cutest meme ever!!!! 😍♥️😍♥️😍 7mo
batsy This face is the best review ever 😁😍 7mo
Suet624 @saresmoore Haha. She's a cutie, for sure. :)
7mo
Suet624 @batsy Have you read this book yet??? I wonder what your face will look like. :) 7mo
Suet624 @batsy Have you read this book yet??? I wonder what your face will look like. :) 7mo
Suet624 @wanderinglynn She's actually annoyed that her buddy sitting next to her in the stroller just took her flower. :) 7mo
wanderinglynn Aw, poor her. I‘d be annoyed too! 💚🌻 7mo
Reggie Lolol 7mo
emilyhaldi Is that your precious angel baby?!?! 😍 love her lewk, too 😏 7mo
emilyhaldi And I agree!! The first 2/3 of the book was so enjoyable for me... and then WHAT 😳 7mo
Suet624 @emilyhaldi That's my granddaughter, Gracie May. We hang out with each other 5 days a week.
7mo
BarbaraBB That look! Great review in word and image! 7mo
Suet624 @BarbaraBB 😂😂😂 thanks! 7mo
Jeg What a beautiful face and lucky you getting to hang out with her so often. 😍 7mo
rohit-sawant Adorable! 😄 7mo
Izai.Amorim Poor me, I‘m the only one who didn‘t enjoy even the first half... 7mo
Izai.Amorim I think her face is saying, I‘m more mature than that lady, Grandma... 7mo
Suet624 @Izai.Amorim I‘m sorry you didn‘t enjoy the book. I can understand why. 😁 7mo
Izai.Amorim @Suet624 Three words to sum this book up: lack of respect. She respects no one‘s boundaries or feelings. Maybe because she doesn‘t know what respect is. No self respect. Everything hidden under a thick coat of wit. But it stops being funny when you realize why she so badly needs to direct the criticism toward others. 7mo
Suet624 @Izai.Amorim agree with the lack of respect. Desperation is what I felt. 7mo
kspenmoll She is so damn cute. Those eyes!!‘ 7mo
82 likes1 stack add29 comments
blurb
saresmoore
After Claude | Iris Owens
post image

I‘m about halfway through this month‘s pick for #NYRBBookClub.

I‘m not saying that I want the first-person narrator, Harriet to come to a bitter end...but I‘m not NOT saying that, either. 😬

Her scathing critique of everyone and everything is hilarious in its flippancy, but it‘s also exhausting in its ubiquity. To Harriet, the only person who deserves any grace is herself, and even she doesn‘t get off scot-free.

Theaelizabet I‘m about halfway through, too, and would say that‘s a nice summation. 7mo
merelybookish 😆 7mo
vivastory She makes Cassandra look pretty chipper 7mo
See All 15 Comments
saresmoore @vivastory So true! I miss Cassandra. 7mo
MicheleinPhilly Harriet's an asshole. 7mo
saresmoore @MicheleinPhilly Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. 7mo
emilyhaldi Lol @MicheleinPhilly ...wondering if I‘m the only one that looks back on Harriet with fondness a week after finishing the book? 🤔😂 7mo
LeahBergen OMG. Isn‘t she EXHAUSTING? 😆😆 7mo
Suet624 @emilyhaldi I wouldn‘t want her as a friend, but I‘m quite fond of her as well. 7mo
mklong I‘m with @vivastory she made me miss Cassandra! 7mo
BarbaraBB @saresmoore @mklong @vivastory I was just mentioning Cassandra in another post about Harriet. It is such a coincidence that our two mc‘s are so, well, outspoken. I do miss Harriet a bit too @emilyhaldi but I miss Cassandra more. I keep wondering where she‘ll be now! Also @MicheleinPhilly 😂 7mo
LeahBergen I sent you a message on Goodreads a few days ago (nothing of importance but just so you know 😘). 7mo
BooksForEmpathy Thinking about you! Email me when you can. 7mo
Cinfhen Hi....I‘m thinking about you....hope all is well xx 7mo
Branwen Miss you, friend. 💕 Thinking of you and hope all is well. 6mo
90 likes15 comments
blurb
Aimeesue
After Claude | Iris Owens
post image

Cuz all the cool kids are doin‘ it.
#nyrbbookclub

vivastory Curious to see your thoughts on it 7mo
LeahBergen I was just reading a bit right now and oh, man... Harriet! 😬 7mo
Aimeesue I started reading it this morning …while I was waiting at the county health department …to be tested for TB. Felt kind of appropriate somehow. 😂😂 (Annual requirement for my job. Yay.) 7mo
See All 11 Comments
AlaMich @Aimeesue I remember the TB test from my teaching days. 😣 7mo
Aimeesue @AlaMich Yep, teachers and social workers. I was reading AC to take my mind off the thoroughly depressing flyers they gave me about TB. Not sure which was more terrifying. 😂 (edited) 7mo
Cathythoughts The cool kids 😎... first time I‘ve been even remotely in that category 7mo
Aimeesue @Cathythoughts keep your fingers crossed that it works. Declaring one's own group "cool" might be like trying to "make 'fetch' happen" - doomed to be the total opposite of cool. ? 7mo
BarbaraBB And what are you thinking? Such a hilarious person, Harriet, don‘t you think? 7mo
Aimeesue @BarbaraBB oh, Harriet! She makes me cringe and laugh in equal measure. With an occasional wince. 7mo
BarbaraBB Keep an eye on @vivastory @emilyhaldi ‘s thread for the date of the discussion so you can join in! 7mo
emilyhaldi So glad you're joining in!! Next Saturday, 6/29, I will post some discussion question so we can really dig into Harriet's crazy 🤪 I'm excited to find out how many love vs hate her! 7mo
42 likes1 stack add11 comments
blurb
merelybookish
After Claude | Iris Owens
post image

Owens was really pushing the boundary of "unlikeable female character" way back in 1973.
#NYRBbookclub @vivastory @emilyhaldi

saresmoore True! 7mo
vivastory Very true 7mo
emilyhaldi All kinds of boundaries being pushed!!! 7mo
See All 11 Comments
Cathythoughts 👍🏻 7mo
LeahBergen 😆😆 7mo
MicheleinPhilly I think unlikeable is an understatement. 7mo
merelybookish @MicheleinPhilly Ha! True! Is loathsome better? 😄 7mo
saresmoore My gosh, she‘s just horrible! I‘m reading now and came here to vent some of my frustration. Harriet makes the average bigoted narcissist look like a martyr. 😝 Sheesh! 7mo
merelybookish @saresmoore Ha! No kidding! She does not improve (or mellow) over time. 7mo
71 likes11 comments
review
vivastory
After Claude | Iris Owens
post image
Pickpick

The two halves of Owens' novel are held together only by Harriet. Memorably introduced with "I left Claude, the French rat" Harriet's narrative presence is so well-established that when a personal characteristic is later revealed, it is hardly surprising. For me this is the overwhelming strength of the novel & if you were to judge the book by the first half it would stand as a dark 1970's character study. The second part of the novel ?

vivastory the narrative that is really After Claude, is set in the then less renown Chelsea. Harriet meets her neighbors, specifically Roger. As Emily Prager notes in the introduction, "the latter half of the book is a scorching lampoon of the 1970s everyone-loves-each-other gooey groupthink." Owens illustrates the cultish underpinnings of in vogue Reichian Therapy. The second half feels like much more substantial, if dated, social commentary. ? 7mo
vivastory However it is nearly devoid of the black humor of the first half. Seem like linked novellas, united by a frustrating & memorable character. #NYRBBookClub 7mo
Rachel_nyc Great review. I‘m starting tonight and looking forward to discussing! 7mo
See All 21 Comments
vivastory @Rachel_nyc Thanks! Looking forward to your thoughts on it. 7mo
Theaelizabet Great review! I‘ve yet to reach the “After” part, but will likely do so tonight! 7mo
vivastory @Theaelizabet Thank you! I'm looking forward to your review! 7mo
batsy Great, insightful review! I'm looking forward to this. 7mo
emilyhaldi You have some very keen insights and I can't wait to hear more as we discuss!!! Ps. Received your email, I will follow up by tomorrow!! 7mo
vivastory @batsy Thanks! I'm curious to see what you think. 7mo
vivastory @emilyhaldi I think it will be an interesting discussion! 7mo
Cathythoughts Great review! Yes a book of two halves 7mo
youneverarrived Brilliant review. I‘m intrigued. Shall be starting it tonight. 7mo
readordierachel Fantastic review! Sounds like an interesting read. 7mo
vivastory @readordierachel Thanks! Harriet is very unlikeable & offensive at times, I think if you have an appreciation for black humor you'll like it 7mo
BarbaraBB This is such a great review! I too am looking forward to more of your insights during our discussion! 7mo
vivastory @Cathythoughts Thanks so much! 7mo
vivastory @youneverarrived I'm looking forward to your thoughts on it! 7mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB Thanks! I think it will be a lively discussion! 7mo
rohit-sawant Stellar review! This sounds really interesting. 7mo
Nute Brilliant review! I wish that I was joining in on your discussion. 7mo
vivastory @Nute Thanks! The discussions are open for anyone. Feel free to join any month. It's only the nomination & voting that's for members. 7mo
91 likes21 comments
blurb
Suet624
After Claude | Iris Owens
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I ordered my #NYRBBookClub selection from Better World Books. I wasn‘t expecting to receive a discarded library book from West Virginia. 😂😂 I wonder what those patrons thought of the book back in the 70‘s.

Theaelizabet 😂 7mo
Leftcoastzen Wow, that‘s something. 7mo
charl08 Oh, I love those old stamps. Sometimes I get reserve stock books from the library and they go back decades. Impressive survivors of so many readers (or at least, borrowers). 7mo
See All 10 Comments
Suet624 @charl08 that‘s so cool! 7mo
DeeLew I bought another edition of The Outsiders on ThriftBooks and it ended up being an old high school library copy. Love it! ❤️ 7mo
vivastory I agree with @charl08 I love the stamps 7mo
batsy That is a very cool copy! And kind of a treasure :) 7mo
emilyhaldi Oh wow!!! Boy would I love to know their thoughts too... 7mo
LeahBergen 😆😆 7mo
BarbaraBB Very cool! 7mo
67 likes10 comments
quote
vivastory
After Claude | Iris Owens
post image
saresmoore The narrative voice is so distinctive in this one, too. I‘m love-hating Harriet, so far. 7mo
Theaelizabet Love-hating. That exactly it. 7mo
vivastory @saresmoore @Theaelizabet Very distinctive & established almost immediately. & Yes, I definitely love-hated Harriet 7mo
emilyhaldi I super love-hate Harriet!!!! 7mo
74 likes1 stack add4 comments
quote
vivastory
After Claude | Iris Owens
post image

All that concerned me was how to get to the air conditioner and turn it off before I was frozen solid. Forget it. The numbness, the drowsiness, the inability to rouse oneself, so movingly described in the diaries of Arctic cadavers, overtook me.
#NYRBBookClub

AlaMich I love this! 7mo
Suet624 I‘m actually enjoying this book a lot. The snarky comments always make me laugh. (edited) 7mo
vivastory @Suet624 Me too! 7mo
See All 8 Comments
vivastory @AlaMich It's pretty funny 😂 7mo
saresmoore Her obsession with temperature continually makes me smile. I appreciate that Owens doesn‘t shy away from any of her most blunt atmospheric descriptions. 7mo
vivastory @saresmoore It reminds me of my ex-wife & I because we were always fighting over the temperature 😂 7mo
emilyhaldi Me too!! @Suet624 I was LOLing quite a bit 😂 7mo
80 likes1 stack add8 comments
quote
vivastory
After Claude | Iris Owens
post image

Harriet is queen of the backhanded compliment.
#NYRBBookClub

AlaMich 🔥😆 7mo
Reggie Lolol 7mo
Suet624 😂😂😂 7mo
BarbaraBB She‘s so funny 😂😂 7mo
62 likes4 comments
blurb
LeahBergen
After Claude | Iris Owens
post image

I‘m starting this instalment of the #NYRBBookClub a little late this month. Here‘s hoping the heavy pour of rosé makes Harriet a little more palatable. ??

#NYRB

rubyslippersreads I haven‘t even started this yet. 7mo
emilyhaldi Smart move 😂🍷 7mo
RaimeyGallant What does NYRB stand for? New York... 7mo
See All 20 Comments
LeahBergen @rubyslippersreads I‘m just cracking it open myself. 😄 7mo
LeahBergen @emilyhaldi I knew I‘d have your approval. 😄 7mo
LeahBergen @RaimeyGallant New York Review Books (published by New York Review of Books). 😄 7mo
Leftcoastzen Yeah what she said! I‘m starting tonight as well , I‘ve been backed up or is that stacked up? 7mo
Leftcoastzen With 🍷 7mo
RaimeyGallant @Leftcoastzen @LeahBergen I shouldn't have asked! Now I'm going to have to stack my tbr higher. 7mo
merelybookish Harriet through rose coloured glasses. 😝 (Good plans. She's a tad abrasive.) 7mo
Cathythoughts Enjoy... you might need a stronger drink for Harriet 😁 7mo
BarbaraBB Oh I am so looking forward to hear what you both think of Harriet! A big wine may come in handy indeed 😂 @Leftcoastzen (edited) 7mo
Izai.Amorim Very curious about your feedback. 7mo
vivastory Did the wine help? I had a couple of glasses while reading it today 😄 7mo
Leftcoastzen She‘s something else! Need to buy more 🍷🍷🍷 7mo
BarbaraBB @LeahBergen @Leftcoastzen Drink more, drink more, but it won‘t help you digest Harriet 😂 7mo
LeahBergen @Leftcoastzen @BarbaraBB I had to take a little “mini break” from Harriet and finish another book. 🍷🍷🍷🍷 7mo
Reviewsbylola I still haven‘t started this but I‘m about to finish up my current book. 7mo
Izai.Amorim So, how did it go? 7mo
99 likes20 comments
review
sisilia
After Claude | Iris Owens
post image
Pickpick

3⭐️ The blurb on the back of the book says, “Barbed, bitchy and hilariously sour.” That‘s how this novel is 😅 Harriet is insufferable; Owens makes it feel like this girl‘s yanking her verbal diarrhoea at me 🤯 The book has two parts: with Claude and sans Claude. The latter part is so vintage and so bizzare I don‘t know how to make sense out of it #nyrbbookclub #nyrb #nyrbclassics

Liz_M Gorgeous flowers! Nice contrast to the vivid imagery in your review. 😁 7mo
Suet624 This photo is 💕💕💕 just getting started on this one. 7mo
sisilia @Liz_M Trying to find a balance 😅 7mo
See All 8 Comments
sisilia @Suet624 Have fun with Harriet 🤪 7mo
emilyhaldi I‘m hoping someone can make sense of after-Claude bc I‘m dying to know what the heck I read?! 7mo
sisilia @emilyhaldi Right?! I can‘t wait for the discussion 😹 7mo
vivastory Great review! I found the introduction to be interesting & helpful for the second part. The Institute seemed to be involved in a form of Reichian Therapy. 7mo
sisilia @vivastory Gosh I keep forgeting the introduction. I always skip it because spoilers 😅 Will check it out tonight 7mo
70 likes8 comments
blurb
sisilia
After Claude | Iris Owens
post image

This is me responding to Harriet 🤯 #nyrbbookclub #nyrb #nyrbclassics

MicheleinPhilly 😂😂😂 7mo
Theaelizabet Hahahahaha! 🤣 7mo
Izai.Amorim She's really a pain, isn't she?😂 7mo
sisilia @MicheleinPhilly @Theaelizabet @Izai.Amorim I just wanna stab her with a fork 🍴 7mo
vivastory 😂😂 7mo
50 likes5 comments
blurb
sisilia
After Claude | Iris Owens
post image

I just started this, and Harriet reminds me of a close friend! I must like what he likes, and hate what he hates, which is everything 🙈 #nyrb #nyrbclassics #nyrbbookclub

BarbaraBB Oh that must be so tiresome!! 7mo
sisilia @BarbaraBB Yes! 😅 I can understand Claude‘s headache 7mo
vivastory I had friends like that before... notice the past tense 😂 7mo
sisilia @vivastory Better without 😁 7mo
68 likes4 comments
blurb
Izai.Amorim
After Claude | Iris Owens
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One of those books that you need additional information in order to really understand what the author wants to say. The text alone isn't enough. In my opinion the book shows a very disfavorable portrait of a woman. Since it's written by a women, I assume it's on purpose. But can't guess who the criticism is aimed at. Herself? Her peers? Society? No clue.
Hoping discussion will bring enlightment...

Cathythoughts Discussion will be interesting... 👍🏻 7mo
Izai.Amorim @Cathythoughts Looking forward to it. You're a therapist, right? Very interested in your input. 7mo
BarbaraBB Well said. I‘m looking forward to the discussion too! #nyrbbookclub 7mo
See All 7 Comments
Izai.Amorim @BarbaraBB Do you know the date? 7mo
BarbaraBB No I don‘t think it has been set yet. @vivastory ? 7mo
emilyhaldi We haven‘t set a date yet! Will let you know soon, just want to give enough time for the readers who received their copies late 🤗 will surely be an interesting discussion! @Izai.Amorim @BarbaraBB 7mo
Izai.Amorim @emilyhaldi Thanks for letting me know. Hope to be able to take part. 7mo
31 likes1 stack add7 comments
review
BarbaraBB
After Claude | Iris Owens
post image
Pickpick

What a surprising read. Harriet is one of the most political incorrect characters I‘ve ever met and she made me laugh out loud. I am glad I don‘t know anyone like her in real life! In the first part she is getting dumped by Claude (or the other way around as she claims). I loved that part. The after Claude part fell a bit flat for me. I am looking forward to what the #NYRBBookClub thinks of her ‘saviour‘ in the #GrandHotel.

#WanderingJune

vivastory Wonderful review. I'm going to read it this week. Looking forward to it! 7mo
Theaelizabet Intriguing review! Starting this soon.. 7mo
Leftcoastzen Great review ! I‘m starting soon as well 7mo
See All 13 Comments
LeahBergen I‘ll be starting it next weekend! 👍🏻 7mo
Liz_M It's this the #nyrbbookclub of witty, dysfunctional female protagonists? 7mo
BarbaraBB @Liz_M It seems to be! What does this say about us voters 😉 ?! 7mo
batsy I'm intrigued by this review! Still waiting for my copy to arrive 😂😭 7mo
emilyhaldi I‘m glad this was a pick for you!! Was beginning to worry Harriet was too much for anyone 😆 I found her to be hilarious for the most part but politically incorrect and cringe-worthy at the same time 😖 and I agree 100% about the after-Claude part of the book... 7mo
Mdargusch She reminds me of a female Ignatius @emilyhaldi! So politically incorrect! 7mo
emilyhaldi Yes!!! I thought that so many times while reading @Mdargusch and was curious how many others would feel the same 😁😁 7mo
BarbaraBB @Mdargusch @emilyhaldi I was really irritated by Ignatius, I remember. So much that I bailed on the book ☺️. But I do see the comparison! 7mo
Mdargusch Exactly! @BarbaraBB Harriet was as annoying. 7mo
BarbaraBB @Mdargusch I think now that I should have had more patience with Ignacius, not have given up that soon, since I really enjoyed Harriet! 7mo
70 likes1 stack add13 comments
blurb
emilyhaldi
After Claude | Iris Owens
post image

After a long week of work and no reading, I‘m getting back to my girl Harriet and my porch swing. Perhaps it‘s best to take a week off between Harriet appearances... she is exhausting, after all 😂
#NYRBbookclub

BarbaraBB I am racing through my current read to start this one. I guess I shouldn‘t read it in one go?! (edited) 7mo
cathysaid Is this a NYRB? 7mo
Reviewsbylola I am waiting on this one from the library. 7mo
See All 16 Comments
Theaelizabet First Cassandra and now Harriet? It seems as though #nyrbbookclub is focused on problematical women! 7mo
LeahBergen @Theaelizabet Who‘s up next? We‘ll have to vote on an equally obnoxious character. 😆😆 7mo
BarbaraBB @cathysaid Yes it is! 7mo
emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB I‘m interested to see what you think! On one hand, once Harriet gets going I can‘t put the book down, but she‘s also quite exasperating!!! 7mo
emilyhaldi @LeahBergen no kidding!!! Harriet is like Cassandra on speed! @Theaelizabet 🤪 7mo
vivastory Cassandra on speed? Now I'm even more intrigued. I'm going to read it this week! 7mo
Mdargusch This was an exhausting book! 😅 7mo
Mdargusch I can loan you mine @Reviewsbylola if you don‘t get the library copy by Sunday. 7mo
emilyhaldi LOL @Mdargusch I was thinking about warning you not to read it bc I knew it wouldn‘t be your cup of tea.. hope you didn‘t struggle too much 🙃 7mo
Reviewsbylola Oh ok! Yes, I need a copy! @Mdargusch 7mo
Reviewsbylola I hated Cassandra so I guess I‘ll hate Harriett too? 7mo
Mdargusch Good chance @Reviewsbylola 😂 7mo
Suet624 Cassandra on speed! Perfect description. 7mo
83 likes2 stack adds16 comments
blurb
mklong
After Claude | Iris Owens
post image

Friday night, done right.

Harriet is exhausting me so I may ditch her for Ocean Voung‘s poetry sooner than planned this evening.

#NYRBBookClub

emilyhaldi Harriet seems to be exhausting to most people 😂 perhaps she‘s best in small doses... or with a supplement of some kind 🍷💊 7mo
mklong @emilyhaldi That is what the rose is for! She is going down a little smoother now that I‘m on my second glass. 7mo
MicheleinPhilly I looked back at a journal I was keeping when I previously read this. I was not amused. 😂 I can‘t wait to see what I think the second time around. @emilyhaldi 7mo
See All 12 Comments
BarbaraBB I‘ll start soon too with this one. Can‘t wait! 7mo
LeahBergen Oh oh. Looks like I better head to the wine shop before starting this one. 😆 7mo
mklong @leahbergen It definitely improves the experience! 7mo
mklong @MicheleinPhilly @barbarabb I‘ve finished now and can‘t wait to discuss this one with all of you! Harriet is pretty terrible, but she will give us plenty to talk about. 7mo
emilyhaldi @MicheleinPhilly I don‘t think I realized this was your second bout with Harriet!! Hoping you like her better this time around 😆🤞🏻 7mo
MicheleinPhilly @emilyhaldi We‘ll see. My tolerance for bullshit plummets with every birthday. 😉 7mo
Mdargusch I don‘t think I could reread this one @MicheleinPhilly 7mo
mklong @Mdargusch Same. I couldn‘t go through that again. 7mo
Mdargusch 🤣😂🤣 @mklong 7mo
69 likes1 stack add12 comments
review
Cathythoughts
After Claude | Iris Owens
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Pickpick

I‘m not sure how to rate this ... between a pick & a so-so ! I started off finding her difficult & ended up really feeling for her 🤷🏻‍♀️. Will wait for discussion #NYRBBookclub

batsy Oh, you're done! 👏🏽 I'm still waiting for my copy 😂 I'm looking forward! 8mo
Cathythoughts @batsy oh I hope you get it soon. I listened to this on Audible...👍🏻 8mo
Tanisha_A @batsy 😂 The first 2 statements! 8mo
See All 12 Comments
LeahBergen You‘re speedy! 😆 8mo
Theaelizabet Oh, interesting! It sounds like we‘ll have a good discussion. 8mo
Cathythoughts @LeahBergen I listened on Audible & it‘s not so long 😉 8mo
Cathythoughts @Theaelizabet oh I‘d say so !!!! 8mo
BarbaraBB I am looking forward to it. Will start it soon! 😘 8mo
emilyhaldi I think Harriet will be a controversial character.. she's quit manic isn't she? I'm about halfway through the book and wondering if she's ever going to crash... She's exhausting! 😅 8mo
Cathythoughts @BarbaraBB 👍🏻♥️ 8mo
Cathythoughts @emilyhaldi manic is the word for her 👍🏻♥️💔 8mo
vivastory Great review! I'm looking forward to reading this! 7mo
57 likes12 comments
blurb
emilyhaldi
After Claude | Iris Owens
post image

I have a lot of love for #nyrb covers, but this early edition of After Claude wins the prize!
I happen to favor Newsweek's praise: "After Claude is like watching a woman depilate with an acetylene torch" ?

#nyrbbookclub

sisilia Wow wow wow!!!! That cover is pretty! And I love the praise! 🤣🤣🤣 I‘m looking forward to it 8mo
MicheleinPhilly 😂😂😂 8mo
sprainedbrain That is an incredible cover! 😍 8mo
See All 25 Comments
Leftcoastzen 😂 8mo
saresmoore Bahaha! Yes to all of this. 8mo
Theaelizabet OMG! That cover!!!! 8mo
Suet624 Is this the paperback? I have a discarded hard cover library edition with a different photo. Love yours. 8mo
mklong That look on her face is everything! 8mo
CarolynM What a quote! 8mo
GatheringBooks i just finished reading the book and excited to discuss with you all. any chance that we could have an idea what the next two books are? book depository takes nearly 3 weeks to deliver books in singapore. 😂😭🤣📚🧚🏼‍♀️ 8mo
batsy Yes @mklong was just thinking the same thing! So good. 8mo
batsy @GatheringBooks I'm in the same boat. Easily 3 weeks to a month for Book Depo to deliver to Malaysia and I have to order NYRBs online because bookstores rarely stock them here and we have no library system to speak of (and they're not extensively stocked either) 😭 8mo
GatheringBooks @batsy right? plus, it‘d be good to plan our reading in advance. hehehhehe. #booknerd problems 🧚🏼‍♀️📚💕 (edited) 8mo
LeahBergen @GatheringBooks @batsy Well, that sucks! Book Depository takes almost a month to Canada now, too. Hmmm... maybe we could bump our picking process back 2 weeks? To give a full month? Or what about telling the next three people to put up their choices to vote early? What do you think, @vivastory ? 8mo
LeahBergen And now I‘m full-on picturing you as the cover woman, @emilyhaldi ! 😆😆 8mo
batsy @LeahBergen @GatheringBooks Yes if it's not too much trouble @vivastory perhaps the choices can be put up early, like at the start of the month instead of the 15th? That gives almost 3-4 weeks for those of us outside the US to get our books for the following month. Maybe from July onward we could do that 🙂 8mo
emilyhaldi LOL @LeahBergen I am quite good with a side-eye 8mo
BarbaraBB Great post! 💜 8mo
vivastory Wonderful post! I love this cover 😂 8mo
vivastory @batsy @GatheringBooks @LeahBergen I will make a separate post to announce this, but starting in July the nominations will be posted on the first to allow enough time for book depository 8mo
Reviewsbylola That‘s an amazing cover! 8mo
GatheringBooks @vivastory yay! thank youuu! :) 8mo
batsy @vivastory Thank you! 😊 @GatheringBooks @LeahBergen I can't believe it's 2019 and we still don't have a portal through which books can be sent anywhere, instantly 😆😭📚 8mo
Susannah That cover is awesome! 7mo
Mdargusch That cover sure makes Harriet look kind of sane. 😂 7mo
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sisilia
After Claude | Iris Owens
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Meanwhile in Singapore, these just arrived 🙈 #nyrbbookclub #nyrb #nyrbclassics

Tamra Lucky you! 8mo
minkyb That should be the title of the book you write! “Meanwhile in Singapore.” 🤗 8mo
sisilia @minkyb 😅😆🤣 8mo
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BarbaraBB You bought them all 😂😘 8mo
sisilia I couldnt resist @BarbaraBB NYRB is my soft spot 🤣 8mo
GlassAsDiamonds Book depository 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ I completely forgot that was even an option here!!! *MUST* remember I‘m in Singapore more often 😂🤦🏻‍♀️😂 8mo
sisilia @GlassAsDiamonds Book Depository is my saviour 💞 It takes about 3 weeks for the books to arrive 8mo
vivastory Great haul! 8mo
emilyhaldi Love that you bought all 3!! 🙌🏻 8mo
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GatheringBooks
After Claude | Iris Owens
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I am learning the art of reading via Overdrive, as our #NYRBBookClub picks are not available at all in physical copies from our libraries here in Singapore. How tragic, indeed. I am waiting for the NYRB Summer Sale before I purchase our selected titles at one go. Any idea when this will be? Thank you, @BarbaraBB for hosting the discussion today, and looking forward to this title @emilyhaldi and special thanks to @vivastory for initiating this!

BarbaraBB Thank you for your insightful remarks regarding Cassandra‘s character 😘 8mo
Recommended4Reading Love Overdrive (and Hoopla)! 8mo
marleed I‘m an active fan of Overdrive,as well. In the Susan Orlean, The Library Book, there‘s an explanation of Overdrive which makes me appreciate it all the more. 8mo
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emilyhaldi I don‘t know when the summer sale is but I will certainly be on the lookout!! 8mo
sisilia You can try Book Depository; it‘s usually cheaper and free delivery worldwide 8mo
GatheringBooks @sisilia i am a huge fan of book dep! GatheringBooks is actually a BookDep affiliate, so even better. But the nyrb sale is waaayy cheaper - like 5 usd per book cheap, and free delivery in the US. Since we are visiting family in the US in July, it would have been perfect timing. (edited) 8mo
GatheringBooks @BarbaraBB thank you so much for hosting! you posted great Qs. :) 8mo
GatheringBooks @marleed ooh! very interesting! i have the library book in my TBR Stack. It is meant to be the next book for another one of my virtual book club on Facebook. 8mo
GatheringBooks @Recommended4Reading it is growing on me too! 🤣🧚🏼‍♀️ 8mo
GatheringBooks @emilyhaldi perfect! do tag me if you see any announcements! perfect time to do binge book buying! 🧚🏼‍♀️🤣💕📚 8mo
BarbaraBB Oh @emilyhaldi tag me too please when you know about Summer sale, we will be in the US too in July. I can visit bookshops then - I will anyway 😉 8mo
Theaelizabet @BarbaraBB Just chiming in to thank you for such a great first NYRB book club! 8mo
BarbaraBB @Theaelizabet It was pure luck but maybe you can‘t go wrong with #NYRB. Thank you for your joining and adding to the discussion! Looking forward to the next one! 8mo
vivastory I'm definitely looking forward to the summer sale. If I hear anything, I'll pass along the info 8mo
vivastory @marleed I really need to read Orlean's book. It sounds fascinating. 8mo
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BarbaraBB
After Claude | Iris Owens
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Thank you again @vivastory for coming up with the idea for the #NYRBBookClub. We had a great first read and discussion. I loved being your co-host and am looking forward to After Claude, our June read. Have fun co-hosting, @emilyhaldi 💕

teainthelibrary Can anyone join this readalong?? 8mo
vivastory Thanks for co-hosting! Cassandra is a new favorite. I'm looking forward to the June selection @emilyhaldi ! 8mo
BarbaraBB Yes. We‘ll be reading the book in June and discussing at the end of the month. Just share your thoughts until then with hashtags #nyrbbookclub. Nice to have you join us 💕 (edited) 8mo
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vivastory @teainthelibrary The nomination of the book & voting is for group members only, but the readalong & discussion is open to everyone 8mo
emilyhaldi Darn it!! Was traveling to meet my family for a lake getaway earlier and missed the discussion!! Will take time later to go read all of the conversation, can‘t wait!! Loved this read ❤️ 8mo
emilyhaldi And yay!! Can‘t wait to cohost next month 🤗 8mo
batsy Thank you @BarbaraBB and @vivastory for hosting a fantastic discussion. Sorry I came in so late because of time difference but I loved reading everyone's thoughts and responses to this brilliant book. 8mo
LeahBergen It was a great pick! I love our new #NYRBBookClub. 😍 8mo
Cathythoughts Thanks for the great pic @BarbaraBB ! And thankyou for starting & hosting .....such an inspired idea @vivastory 8mo
BarbaraBB @Cathythoughts You‘ll read along, won‘t you, next month? 8mo
BarbaraBB @batsy Thank you for coming in at all, I made a mistake regarding the time, I‘m sorry! @GatheringBooks 8mo
Cathythoughts Absolutely!! I‘ve already started After Claude 👍🏻♥️ 8mo
GatheringBooks @BarbaraBB absolutely no worries! great Qs! :) thank you for hosting! @vivastory 8mo
batsy @BarbaraBB Not a mistake at all! We're at all different ends of the globe 😁❤️ 8mo
Liz_M @BarbaraBB, @vivastory Sorry I missed the discussion -- a friend got comp tickets to a Broadway matinee that stayed right at 2 pm. Luckily Fankie & Johnny were almost as interesting as your discussion. 😁 8mo
BarbaraBB @Liz_M No worries of course. I hope you had a good afternoon. Are you ready for After Claude?! 8mo
BarbaraBB @Cathythoughts O Yes, I remember you posting about it. I‘ll start soon too! 8mo
Theaelizabet @Liz_M I‘ve wondered about Frankie & Johnny. Hard to pass on Audra in anything. 8mo
Liz_M @Theaelizabet 😁 @BarbaraBB I have it on hold at the library and hopefully will get to it mid-June. 8mo
Theaelizabet Thanks, again, @BarbaraBB and @vivastory ! I just read the intro to After Claude. Looks like we‘re in for another great read! 8mo
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youneverarrived
After Claude | Iris Owens
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Good day for #bookmail today 😁

@squirrelbrain recommended the Fodors book for my trip to NY later in the year 🧡

squirrelbrain 😁👍 🇺🇸- best get busy reading and planning! 8mo
Moray_Reads Memories of the Future is so good!
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saresmoore Yay! And now I have ANOTHER NYRB to buy... @Moray_Reads 8mo
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batsy Nice 😍 8mo
Cathythoughts Very nice indeed 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 8mo
readordierachel 😍😍 8mo
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vivastory
After Claude | Iris Owens
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My rather restrained book haul. The tagged book is for #NYRBBookClub & I was unaware of the Hughes until last month. I loved her book In A Lonely Place, so I'm really looking forward to reading this one. Unfortunately I have to return it to Amazon for another copy due to a bent & torn cover, probably due to it being forced into my mailbox.

saresmoore Please disregard the comment on my previous post. 😅 Such a bummer that it was damaged! 8mo
LeahBergen Oh, you ordered the other Hughes! 👏🏻👏🏻 I hope someone picks it soon. 😆 8mo
BarbaraBB I thought you said you ordered only one this time 😉?! But that is damaged is a shame, I hope they‘ll send you a new one! 8mo
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vivastory @BarbaraBB I thought about ordering only one, then I regained my sanity 😄 They are going to send me a new one, but their packaging has really declined. 8mo
BarbaraBB I never order from Amazon anymore because of their shipping costs. I only order from BookDepository now. They are way cheaper, it only takes longer for your books to arrive. And their customer service is great. Also, “regained my sanity” 😂😂 8mo
ValerieAndBooks Packaging issues is why I cancelled my amazon prime membership a while ago !! Books should be treated with more respect 😑. 8mo
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saresmoore
After Claude | Iris Owens
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I was able to find a very neat used copy of the next #NYRBBookClub selection through an Amazon Marketplace indie bookseller. It arrived neatly wrapped and with the cutest note!

Yes, AL (age 83), I will be glad to leave you a stellar review. 😊

TrishB How cute 😁 8mo
squirrelbrain Awwww how sweet! 8mo
GingerAntics That‘s so cute! 8mo
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CouronneDhiver Love that! 8mo
Cinfhen OMG!! I want to order from her!!!! 8mo
JennyM ♥️ 8mo
BarbaraBB This is really sweet 💜 8mo
BookwormM We ordered from EBay once as the seller was 8 and selling old games so he could buy a new one his description was so cute 8mo
Leftcoastzen Nice! 8mo
MicheleinPhilly OMG. That is ADORABLE. 8mo
vivastory I love this! Much better than my package. One of my books was bent & the cover torn due to the USPS employee shoving it in my mailbox. 😡😠 8mo
saresmoore @vivastory Uuuuugh, that‘s terrible! Will you be able to return it, maybe? 8mo
vivastory Yeah. I've already submitted a request. It's annoying though because for some reason my apartment office is no longer signing for packages. So it unfortunately might become more frequent. 8mo
saresmoore @vivastory Well, that sucks. I‘ve had a lot of issues with Amazon books arriving damaged, so I‘ve mostly veered toward Barnes & Noble when I need a good price. They tend to take care with their packaging, at least. 8mo
AlaMich What a sweet note! 8mo
LeahBergen Awww! This is darling! ❤️ 8mo
sisilia That‘s so cute!! 8mo
Lindy sweet! 8mo
ValerieAndBooks Very sweet! At first I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, thinking that the wrapped book was in the upper right corner and wondered why you‘d paste the nyrb title over it 😂. 8mo
emilyhaldi Oh. My god 😭 literally crying. I'm off to search for some goods sold by Al 💗 8mo
Suet624 I‘ve been finding my books in Better World Books. Inexpensive and supports literacy programs. They send really sweet emails, but nothing like that note. 😀 8mo
saresmoore @Suet624 Yes! I love Better World Books. We actually sourced used copies from them to stock my college bookstore. I‘ve been willing to use Amazon a bit more since our little co-op school benefits via the Smile program. 8mo
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