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The Story of a Brief Marriage
The Story of a Brief Marriage: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
Very seldom in a reading life does a novel alter your sense not only of literature but of the world. This extraordinary debut is of that class." Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You Two and a half decades into a devastating civil war, Sri Lankas Tamil minority is pushed inexorably towards the coast by the advancing army. Amongst the evacuees is Dinesh, whose world has contracted to a makeshift camp where time is measured by the shells that fall around him like clockwork. Alienated from family, home, language, and body, he exists in a state of mute acceptance, numb to the violence around him, till he is approached one morning by an old man who makes an unexpected proposal: that Dinesh marry his daughter, Ganga. Marriage, in this world, is an attempt at safety, like the beached fishing boat under which Dinesh huddles during the bombings. As a couple, they would be less likely to be conscripted to fight for the rebels, and less likely to be abused in the case of an army victory. Thrust into this situation of strange intimacy and dependence, Dinesh and Ganga try to come to terms with everything that has happened, hesitantly attempting to awaken to themselves and to one another before the war closes over them once more. Anuk Arudpragasams The Story of a Brief Marriage is a feat of extraordinary sensitivity and imagination, a meditation on the fundamental elements of human existenceeating, sleeping, washing, touching, speakingthat give us direction and purpose, even as the world around us collapses. Set over the course of a single day and night, this unflinching debut confronts marriage and war, life and death, bestowing on its subjects the highest dignity, however briefly.
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MelKelsey
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Pickpick

I loved this book! The best part is the voice of the protagonist, Dinesh. He is a man forced to evacuate his home during the Sri Lankan civil war; he's the last living member of his family, surviving without sleep or much food. Being privy to his mind is like reading through the sludge of simple, logical, and confused thoughts that I assume make up a mind when living is no longer a given. I wish it had ended as strong as it began.

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MelKelsey
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I like this alliteration: "soft and solicitous silence of her sleep".

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MelKelsey
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I like the comparison of possessions as paperweights for these shells of displaced human beings.

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MelKelsey
Story of a Brief Marriage | Anuk Arudpragasam
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Trying to determine whether it's best to be married or alone for the short amount of life he has left. I enjoy the detached, methodical, slow process of Dinesh's thoughts in this book.

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MelKelsey
Story of a Brief Marriage | Anuk Arudpragasam
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I love the detached, factual narrative style!

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MelKelsey
Story of a Brief Marriage | Anuk Arudpragasam
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First sentence. I can already tell that this is going to be a great book!!

batsy I love this book 💜 3mo
MelKelsey 💜💜💜, @batsy 3mo
7 likes2 comments
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Currey
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Pickpick

#Srilanka #readingaroundtheworld. Taking place over only a day and a night, this narrative of a young man fleeing both the govt forces and the Tamil ‘movement‘ recruiters during the horrific Sri Lanka civil war, focuses on the base features of being human. To cry, to bleed, to eat, to defecate and perhaps to dream about touching, loving, surviving. Or perhaps to only concentrate on breathing.

batsy Loved this book. Broke my heart 💔 4mo
Currey @batsy. Yes, even knowing the likelihood of what was to come it was still heartbreaking 4mo
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Currey
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Summer Solstice and I am reading a short book deep in the Sri Lanka civil war. think I need to go out into the garden. #srilanka

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readtheworld
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Pickpick

The Story of a Brief Marriage is a short novel about two young people brought together by harsh circumstances during the Sri Lankan civil war. Though I started reading it at the end of August, I only just finished it this morning. It is a beautiful and heartbreaking book, but I found it very difficult to read these past few weeks as I‘ve been dealing with loss in my own life.

#bookrec #literaryfiction #readdiversebooks #srilanka #librarybook

AileenRR I‘m sorry for your loss 💐 12mo
readtheworld @AileenRR Thank you 💕 12mo
irre 💕💕 12mo
Smrloomis Sending some good thoughts 🧡🧡🧡 12mo
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BarbaraBB
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#SeptemberStats #BestOfSeptember #SeptemberWrapUp

I‘ve read 12 books in September, which is pretty good for me. The last two books I read this month are my favorites (see picture): both 4,5 stars.

Again no 5 star reads. Maybe I‘m getting too critical, so far this year I‘ve rated only three books with 5 stars.

Never mind, I‘ve read lots of good books!

irre I rarely give out 5 stars either. Only 2 so far this year. 12mo
Susannah I‘m the same as @irre. I seldom give 5 stars. I had one new 5-star read this year, and that‘s a lot for me. 🤓 12mo
Reviewsbylola Wow, and I thought @emilyhaldi was a tough critic! Haha, jk. The star system is so hard sometimes. Like I‘ll give a book five stars because it had such an impact on me, even though I know it‘s not particularly well written. Or I won‘t rate a really well written book super high because I just didn‘t connect as much as I wanted. 12mo
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BarbaraBB @Susannah @irre Now I am of course really interested in what books you gave 5 stars this year? 💕 (edited) 12mo
BarbaraBB @Reviewsbylola Yes it is! I rate a book purely on its impact on me. Sometimes I know it‘s really well written but I just don‘t connect with it. And somehow I never (I think ) rate a thriller with 5 stars, because I‘m a snob who thinks thrillers can never be in the same league as,say, To Kill a Mockingbird 😇 12mo
emilyhaldi Wow!!! Only 3 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ this year?! What were they???? 12mo
BarbaraBB How many do you have @emilyhaldi ? You‘re quite the critical reader too, aren‘t you? 12mo
irre Those are the ones I gave 5 stars but as I think back on what I‘ve read this year, the book I mention the most is There, There. Might have to go back and adjust some ratings. Sometimes I go to my favorite list on Goodreads and think how did that book end up there. But then I think it was a favorite when I read it although time might have changed my view on it. 12mo
Susannah Mine was Appointment in Samarra. For me, it kind of out-Gatsbied Gatsby. It didn't have the remove of memory that The Great Gatsby does. I was surprised by how good I thought it was. (Note I almost gave Main Street by Sinclair Lewis 5 stars, but my memory of it faded fast, and a few days after I finished, I didn't like it nearly as much as when I was in the middle of it. It got bumped down to 4 stars. I'm very stingy with my 5s.) (edited) 12mo
emilyhaldi Oh good! I have all 3 stacked 😄(two due to your posts I believe!!) 12mo
BarbaraBB @irre i recognize that, especially since I‘ve been rating my reads with stars since my teens. I think if I would reread some of them I‘d judge completely different. The other way around too of course. And I agree on There There! 12mo
BarbaraBB @Susannah I‘ve never even heard of it, I am going to check it out, thank you! 12mo
Cathythoughts Oh interesting! Stacking 12mo
BarbaraBB @Cathythoughts It‘s very good and very relevant to all Europeans today I think! 12mo
britt_brooke I loved A Ladder to the Sky! 12mo
BarbaraBB @britt_brooke He is so good! I want to read another Boyne. Have you read any others beside the Furies and the Striped Pyamas? 12mo
britt_brooke @BarbaraBB That‘s all I‘ve read. I loved Furies, but did not like Striped Pajamas (though I know I‘m in the minority). I‘m curious about his others. 12mo
BarbaraBB Me too. I just bought the tagged one. Hope to get to it soon. 12mo
61 likes23 comments
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BarbaraBB
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Pickpick

Arudpragasam writes about life in the Tamil-majority north of Sri Lanka. Dinesh meets Ganga in a makeshift camp in the jungle among the constant threat of shelling. He describes their first night together. There is no room for emotions, he went through so much in the recent past, which makes him more an observator of life than a participant. I can‘t imagine it‘s fiction, it feels so sadly realistic.
Thank your for bringing this book up, @batsy

batsy So happy to hear this 💜 I love that edition! 13mo
Kalalalatja Great review! 👏 13mo
Cinfhen I‘ve already stacked or else I‘d stack 13mo
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BarbaraBB
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“But if they couldn‘t talk about their pasts, what could they say to each other at all, given that there was no future for them to speak of either?”

batsy 💔 13mo
Suet624 💕💕 13mo
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batsy
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Congrats @BarbaraBB on your Litsy milestone ❤️ Thanks for this fabulous #spotlightgiveaway! I'm going to highlight this beautiful book that got quite a bit of critical praise but maybe didn't quite make a big splash because it's a quiet, self-contained, & ultimately devastating book about a young Tamil man's experience in the war camp towards the end of the Sri Lankan war. Hard to read but elegant, philosophical, & emotionally true.

BarbaraBB Coming from you that book goes straight to my TBR. Thank you for participating 😘 1y
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batsy @BarbaraBB @emilyhaldi @Kalalalatja Would love to know what you think of it 💕 1y
BarbaraBB My copy came in today! Just have to finish the Man Booker Longlist 😅😘 14mo
batsy @BarbaraBB Nice! I do hope you enjoy 😘 14mo
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TelevisionNeighbor
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Sorry for the really long quote, but it just kept going. #currentread

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readtheworld
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Picked up these lovelies from the library yesterday... which should I read next? 📖

#library #librarybooks #hardcovers #toread #upnext

MallenNC The Language of Secrets! I love Ausma Zehanat Khan's mystery series. 1y
batsy The tagged book is very good, but very sad. 1y
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batsy
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#NewToYouFavoriteAuthors #AllTheBooksof2017

These are authors I've read for the first time this year and loved, and want to read all of their other/upcoming books.

Ananda Devi and Fleur Jaeggy, I read in English translation for the first time this year; Anne Brontë and Shirley Jackson, read for the first time this year; Anuk Arudpragasam and Weike Wang, both debut authors.

Bambolina_81 I need to Google some of these. Thanks for the recommendations 😊 2y
batsy @Bambolina_81 You're welcome :) 2y
twohectobooks I‘ve only read Shirley Jackson and Anne Brontë but anyone who appears on a list with those two must be a boss. 2y
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TrishB I read Ananda Devi this year too - awesome book! 2y
batsy @twohectobooks I know, right? I was seriously impressed by their work. If you ever give the rest a try I'd love to know what you think. 2y
batsy @TrishB So good. Happy to hear you liked it, too ❤️ 2y
erzascarletbookgasm I‘m not familiar with the first two, and Anuk..will look them up! 😃👍 2y
rohit-sawant Anyone on your fav list definitely gets bumped up the TBR. I've only read Anne and Shirley Jackson but excited to check out the rest! 2y
batsy @erzascarletbookgasm I look forward to hearing your thoughts if you do! I think you might like the tagged book. Very sad but very good. 2y
batsy @rohit-sawant Thank you, that's nice of you to say 😃 Have you read both of Anne's books? As for Jackson, I really don't know what took me so long! 2y
rohit-sawant @batsy Haha, I read Jackson quite late as well so you're not alone! And I have, I was reluctant to start with Agnes Grey, since it was her only other novel, but gave in earlier this year & loved it. Samantha Ellis's book on Anne, Take Courage, is one of my most anticipated reads. 2y
batsy @rohit-sawant I'm looking forward to the Ellis book too! I'm going to do Agnes Grey next year for the Litsy Classics challenge and then plan read that. It's sad that there's only two novels by her. 2y
rohit-sawant @batsy Right? 🙁 So wish there were more. Trying to squeeze in rereads of her work is the next best thing. Reading Agnes Grey for the Classics challenge sounds like a great idea. 2y
UrsulaMonarch What a lovely collage!! 2y
batsy @Lkelly Thank you! Though it's thanks to their lovely faces 😊 2y
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Lupita.Reads
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Pickpick

Ever pick up a book and wonder “Why am I just reading this?! How come this wasn‘t in the news or all over #bookstagram?!” That‘s how I feel about this book! I‘m not sure where I was when this was first published but I‘m so glad to finally pick it up thanks to @flatironbooks ! It is such a powerful read! Exploring the depth of what makes us human- our connections to each other. Definitely one to add to your life TBR list.

batsy Great review! I felt the same. It's a book that definitely deserves more hype. 2y
Lupita.Reads @batsy thank you! So glad to hear someone agrees! 2y
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Jason_Roland
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Pickpick

Beautiful, haunting poetic language throughout the short novel. Only spans two days, but it felt so much longer. Make sure to check this one out, I don't think you will be disappointed.

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PandaPanda
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Oh Barbara's bookseller in South Station... How you provide such temptation for me when I am too early for my train. #bookhaul #Iwasjustlooking

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elliebatey
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Pickpick

Loved this short book I found in the library so glad I picked it up ☺️🌎✨

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charl08
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As hard reading as you might anticipate a book to be, set in the dying days of the Sri Lankan army's suppression of the Tamil Tigers' campaign. From the first pages, with description of an amputation without anaesthetic, the reader is not spared. Read it. It's amazing.

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charl08
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In the first few pages there's so much death and destruction, I feel rather shell shocked.

Suet624 I can imagine. This is rough. 2y
batsy It was a hard read. 2y
charl08 @sue624 @batsy I've put it to one side for a breather. Immersive reading. 2y
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Redwritinghood
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Mehso-so

This is a compelling storyline and there are some beautiful sentences here, but I did not enjoy the writing overall. I felt that there was too much exposition. The story was too close to the character, almost like a stream of consciousness narrative.

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Redwritinghood
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#bookandbeverage Still hot here today, so I'm reading and pulling out one of my favorite summertime drinks - green tea steeped with lemon balm, add honey and fresh lime juice. So yummy and refreshing over ice. I'm not enjoying this book as much as others have, though. I'm finding it a bit too expository and bogged down in minutiae for my tastes. I'm about halfway, so we'll see how I feel at the end of the day.

Chelsea.Poole Your drink sounds amazing!! 2y
Notafraidofwords I actually bailed on this one 😕 2y
Redwritinghood @Notafraidofwords Good - so it's not just me. 2y
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Redwritinghood
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Starting this one today. I've heard many good things about it. It's also very short (under 200 pages) , so it should be a quick read.

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batsy
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I have a giant author crush on Anuk Arudpragasam. Turns out he's about eight years younger than me and has written a perfect book. To top it off, he's all casually handsome like he churns out exquisite prose while chilling out and slouching gracefully. I #canteven

#attractiveauthors #JuneBookBugs @RealLifeReading

saresmoore 1. Rude of him. 2. Oh, heyyyyyyy. 😍 2y
Hobbinol 😍❗️ 2y
[DELETED] 2437761296 Ooh la la! 😍 2y
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batsy @saresmoore @Hobbinol @margo_lane Right? But get in line everyone 🤗 2y
CAGirlReading 😍😍😍 2y
LeahBergen Ooo! 2y
Suet624 Ooohh, that casual handsomery. Yum. 2y
Leftcoastzen Very handsome! 2y
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batsy
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Didn't have to think too hard for my #bestofMay. I read an embarrassingly low number of books this month, a number so low that I don't think it would be polite to mention it in the company of Littens, but these two stood out as gems. I will probably get the paperback of The Story of a Brief Marriage when it's out. #maybookflowers @RealLifeReading

Suet624 Your low is someone else's high. 😂💕 2y
batsy @Suet624 One can hope 😁 💜 2y
DeborahSmall I've only read 4 full books and started another. Page count is over 2000 but still very low for me 😘 2y
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batsy @DeborahSmall You've had a lot on your plate 💜 I'm at 7, well 5 if you don't count the two I just started 😁 2y
DeborahSmall My maximum has been 10 but I don't like short books generally. I'm happy if I get 6/8 a month read. But yeah a nightmare couple of months. Now I'm cleaning my house for family arriving this weekend x 2y
Cinfhen Exactly what @Suet624 said 🌼🌸🌻 2y
LeahBergen I never read nearly as many as most here on Litsy do! And like @DeborahSmall - I tend towards the big reads. 😄 2y
batsy @DeborahSmall @Cinfhen @LeahBergen @Suet624 You lovelies have made me feel better about modest numbers 😆😘 2y
Suet624 👍🏼👍🏼💕💕 2y
merelybookish Quality not quantity. 😉 2y
batsy @merelybookish Truth ☺️ 2y
46 likes11 comments
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batsy
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Pickpick

All the stars I have to give. ⭐

This is a book with integrity, that affords its characters, especially the main character Dinesh through whom we see this war-ravaged slice of world, dignity. I think there is an ethics to this careful, precise writing, that anyone who writes like this must consistently value the moral in process of creation, the responsibility that comes with it. It makes me believe that truthful writing must have a conscience.

vivastory Sounds great. Stacked! 2y
Hobbinol You're so eloquent! 2y
batsy @Hobbinol Aww shucks. Thank you 💕 2y
Hobbinol Somehow I must have hit the unfollow button, but I certainly didn't mean to. I'm definitely following you! (That sounds creepier than I intended but you know what I mean I hope) 2y
batsy @Hobbinol Not at all! 😁 I've accidentally unfollowed people on here too, when I scroll too fast 😬 2y
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BethFishReads
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Pickpick

Wow. What an emotionally intense story. Short but vivid in placing the reader right in heart of the Sri Lankan civil war, on a very personal level.

LauraBeth Looking forward to this one! 2y
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BethFishReads
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Today's book. I'm reading this for book club & I have high hopes

Snakes6atx Looks like beautiful outside reading weather! 2y
BethFishReads @Snakes6atx it's perfect! 2y
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Booksnob
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I do!

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CAGirlReading
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Three new books to add to my TBR stack!📚📚📚😄

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AmyS
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Pickpick

Not a book I would typically pick up but I'm trying to branch out and I've never read anything set in Sri Lanka before. There were times when I got annoyed with the very detailed descriptions and the tendency to say the same thing in several different ways but overall, it is beautifully written and a powerful book. Some scenes are fairly graphic (violent) so be prepared. Still, I highly recommend it.

Reviewsbylola I have this on my TBR. 3y
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Moray_Reads
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Such a good #bookhaul from my library today. I've been waiting for some of these for ages!

EvieBee Just lovely! 3y
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TelevisionNeighbor
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I think these are all from 2016. Who knows what's what anymore! I don't! #readjanuary

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Lise
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Forecast for London this week. At least it's perfect reading weather 😉👌

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emilyjwhit9
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Being close to someone meant the entire rhythm of that person's life was synchronized with yours... The puppy and I approve this statement.

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TelevisionNeighbor
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Oh wait! I forgot about my new corner shelf. This is where I store the books I plan on reading soon. #shelfie

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stacybmartin
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Pickpick

Finished this one up over my lunch break on this long, last day of work before another holiday break. It's simple and beautiful and gut-wrenching. Even though it's fairly short, the language is so moving and intense that I had to wade my way through to experience it fully.

Suzze I bought it recently. I see it staring at me right now. 😜 3y
BookishMarginalia I considered it today, but that first page... I'm not ready. I may never be ready. @Suzze 3y
Suzze @BookishMarginalia Now I'm intrigued. 3y
stacybmartin @BookishMarginalia @suzze it is a pretty bleak read. I definitely need something less intense and dark now - so many choices! 📚📚📚 3y
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BookishMarginalia
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Hanging out @TheBookmarkPR with @WanderingBookaneer @Rex and @kyrabashi 💜💜💜 @melaniebarbosa is behind the scenes, working hard!

kspenmoll That coffee!!! I can smell it!☕️ (edited) 3y
BookishMarginalia @kspenmoll It's yummy! (Pumpkin spice with cinnamon 😁) 3y
Cortg Feeling better? 3y
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Reviewsbylola Lovely! 3y
BookishMarginalia @Cortg Not really (bad cough still), but it's winter break, so I don't want to waste the vacation! ☺️ 3y
Cortg @BookishMarginalia I hear ya. I just sent hubby to urgent care. I think he has bronchitis for the 8th straight year & he has an overseas business trip coming up. I hope you guys are feeling better soon!!! 3y
minkyb That drink looks really delicious! I just asked my husband to make me a chai! 3y
MrBook Love this pic! 3y
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stacybmartin
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Tonight's reading during the snow squalls. ❄️🌬❄️

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shawnmooney
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Pickpick

Shelling and bombing and dead decomposing bodies and the wounded surround you in the rebel camp. A man from the medical tent asks you to marry his daughter, it being a given that none of the three of you can expect to survive the end of the week, never mind the end of this war. Yes, you say. She too has all but disappeared into numbness. No time for romance, for much of anything. Except what really matters. Devastating; it aches with truth.

reneelyons I can't wait to read this one, it sounds devastating but so good! 3y
Soubhiville Oh! I'm going to look for this too! 3y
Cinfhen This sounds good! Love your review and I'm thinking it will check a lot of boxes for a bunch of my reading challenges 😍📚💗 3y
46 likes7 stack adds3 comments
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shawnmooney
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Apple Music has tons of Tamil music, including a playlist of love songs, which make a great ambience when reading this novel.

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shawnmooney
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I expect I'll look back on this beautiful passage as the moral heart of the novel.

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shawnmooney
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shawnmooney
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shawnmooney
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shawnmooney
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shawnmooney
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shawnmooney
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