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The Dollhouse
The Dollhouse: A Novel | Fiona Davis
"The Dollhouse. . . . That's what we boys like to call it. . . . The Barbizon Hotel for Women, packed to the rafters with pretty little dolls. Just like you." Fiona Davis's stunning debut novel pulls readers into the lush world of New York City's glamorous Barbizon Hotel for Women, where in the 1950's a generation of aspiring models, secretaries, and editors lived side-by-side while attempting to claw their way to fairy-tale success, and where a present-day journalist becomes consumed with uncovering a dark secret buried deep within the Barbizon's glitzy past. When she arrives at the famed Barbizon Hotel in 1952, secretarial school enrollment in hand, Darby McLaughlin is everything her modeling agency hall mates aren't: plain, self-conscious, homesick, and utterly convinced she doesn't belonga notion the models do nothing to disabuse. Yet when Darby befriends Esme, a Barbizon maid, she's introduced to an entirely new side of New York City: seedy downtown jazz clubs where the music is as addictive as the heroin that's used there, the startling sounds of bebop, and even the possibility of romance. Over half a century later, the Barbizon's gone condo and most of its long-ago guests are forgotten. But rumors of Darby's involvement in a deadly skirmish with a hotel maid back in 1952 haunt the halls of the building as surely as the melancholy music that floats from the elderly woman's rent-controlled apartment. It's a combination too intoxicating for journalist Rose Lewin, Darby's upstairs neighbor, to resistnot to mention the perfect distraction from her own imploding personal life. Yet as Rose's obsession deepens, the ethics of her investigation become increasingly murky, and neither woman will remain unchanged when the shocking truth is finally revealed.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
review
ontheBL
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Panpan

Davis had a nice novel until the last five pages when she throws it in the toilet. The ending comes quickly and suddenly. It‘s as if her editor asked her to wrap everything up with a nice bow. It was saccharine and a little vomit inducing how spoon fed it felt. Otherwise, it's a nice story combining a mystery with a touch of love and a lot of independent women searching for belonging.
https://onthebl.org/2019/10/01/the-dollhouse-by-fiona-davis

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ontheBL
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“Not scared of change, like Darby was, but scared of staying put, staying unchanged.”

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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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One of my favorites!! 🏨📚

#Hotel
#LetsTravelAugust

MrBook 😁👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2mo
OriginalCyn620 Sounds really good! 📚🏨 2mo
95 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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MrBook
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Tonight‘s monthly #HughesUnitedBookClub was terrific! It was a big turnout and a fun, lively conversation that went right until the end! Just about everyone loved this book, and a nice thing about it is that we‘re close enough to #NYC for many of our members to have been there during this time. They talked about what it was like, and Davis is spot on in this novel. At least one of them even visited the Barbizon in the ‘50s!

#LitsyLovesLibraries

Eggs 💜💜 Fiona Davis💜💜 3mo
Andrew65 Not read this one, but loved her other books. 2mo
85 likes1 stack add2 comments
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MrBook
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#BookNBrunch! Late brunch today, and it was goood. Accompaniment this hot and bright early afternoon was: pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs, toast, orange juice, and unsweetened iced tea. MMMmmm 😋! Happy reads & happy eats! 😎👌🏻

Andrew65 Making my mouth water! 😋 3mo
CocoReads Looks delish! 3mo
vivastory That's nearly identical to the brunch I had yesterday 😄 3mo
77 likes3 comments
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MrBook
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#BookNDinner! Accompaniment this hot and sunny evening: my stir-fry of broccoli florets, green beans, carrots, and bella mushrooms, sautéed in extra virgin olive oil; rotisserie chicken strips, blacks olives, mozzarella balls, and shaved parmesan and asiago cheeses. And to drink, sparkling mineral water. MMMMmmm ?! #MrBookKitchen. Happy reads & happy eats! ???

? Background music: Spotify playlist “#NYC Jazz—Jazz & Swing of Yesteryear” ?

Julsmarshall Looks delicious! Enjoy! 3mo
Carissa-Green-Reads I love knowing that librarians use ILL services too. It feels like a particularly passionate endorsement. (edited) 3mo
AmyRebecca Pellegrino! 3mo
89 likes3 comments
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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#NewYork
#LetsTravelAugust

Love this author!!

I can‘t wait for Chelsea Girls!! ❤️ 🗽

Eggs Me too👏🏻💗👏🏻 3mo
OriginalCyn620 👌🏻📚🗽❤️ 3mo
Andrew65 Great choices! 3mo
88 likes1 stack add3 comments
review
xxjenadanxx
Pickpick

Book 4 of #24in48

In the 50‘s the Barbizon was THE hotel for single women in the city. 60 years later it has been converted to condos but a number of the women have stayed in their home at the Barbizon all these years. When Rose, journalist and resident of 5B, encounters one of these mysterious women on the elevator she realizes there must be a story to be had and begins to dig. What she finds is a story of love, jazz music and tragedy.

Cathythoughts Nice review 👍🏻 3mo
64 likes5 stack adds1 comment
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MrBook
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I‘ve signed up for #24in48, but I think the chance of me reading for 24 hours is very slim considering I‘ll be in #NYC all of Sunday, lol. Go onward and upward anyway, I say! 😁

My 3 I‘ll be journeying through. Have you read any of them?!

Nerdy_Bookworm I just finished The Dollhouse tonight. It was pretty good! 3mo
janeycanuck Rules of Civility is excellent! 3mo
kspenmoll Rules of civility is a great choice- 3mo
82 likes3 comments
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Nerdy_Bookworm
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Figured I'd give this a try! I've heard great things about it!

Mitch Oh yes.... you‘ve reminded me that‘s on my TBR - when it came out lots of good stuff said. 🤞🏼 3mo
24 likes2 stack adds1 comment
review
marleed
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Pickpick

I can‘t resist a story set in 1950s NYC and my physical TBR for this genre is a rather tall stack. This was a fun read even if I did find the 2016 researcher of said story a bit annoying.

marleed And OMG I just realized this matches my post from yesterday - yet another sprite elderly lady with a story to tell. Geez I‘m on a roll with this genre! 4mo
59 likes1 comment
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Samplergal
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Pickpick

A fun twisty book. 4🌟

marleed Just stacked! My favorite time period and city for a fun book! And it‘s available soon from my library. I had to put an immediate suspend to it because I also see I have 4 holds dropped in my queue! 4mo
102 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Samplergal
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Surprisingly good! I‘m about 1/2 way through.. easy reading. A little history, a little mystery, intrigue.

lynneamch I loved it. This one was really good, too. 4mo
Cathythoughts I think I‘d like to give this one a go ... stacked 4mo
105 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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laur89
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Pickpick

Throughly enjoyed this story. The history of 1950‘s NYC was fascinating to me, especially the facts about the Barbizon Hotel. The characters were all likable and the format of the book (switching back and forth between 1952 and 2016 NYC) kept me hooked! Quick read, filled with mystery and romance.

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laur89
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“The waiter came with their food, two plates of wobbly green Jell-O mold in which slices of olives, celery, and cheese floated, garnished with lettuce and tomato.”

I can say with confidence that my face looked something like this when I read this line: 😳🤨🤢

I‘m a huge foodie, and I love the 1950‘s, but this is a huge “no” from me. 😂

shellleigh33 🤢 4mo
SilversReviews LOVED The Dollhouse, and I love this photo. 4mo
15 likes3 comments
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laur89
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Morning plans: Breakfast & check-in at the Barbizon Hotel!
🏨🛎🧳

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laur89
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This has to be one of my favorite things:
>When a book makes a reference to another book (even better when it‘s one I read and liked!)

I was pleasantly surprised to find out this was a historical fiction book. Not usually a genre I read, but I‘m fascinated with the stories about 1950‘s New York, and the true bits of history intertwined throughout!

rethier1 Same for me! It was super interesting learning about the Barbizon! I enjoyed this one. 4mo
laur89 @rethier1 I didn‘t even know that it was going to be a huge part of the plot!! It‘s turning out to be very interesting 👍🏼👍🏼 4mo
12 likes2 comments
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laur89
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“During high school she‘d preferred novels to her classmates: They were in every way easier to read.”

I can totally relate!
~
A hotel full of young, aspiring women from wealthy families, with a history of housing famous writers and actresses... sounds like a tough crowd to socialize with, if you happened to be from a small town. 😬

Eggs Love this photo🤗 4mo
laur89 @Eggs I did too!! Great Google find - there‘s tons of cool pics of the Barbazon Hotel 🏨 4mo
13 likes1 stack add2 comments
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laur89
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The #TBR goblet has spoken - I‘m loving having #Libby on this iPad mini!! 🥳

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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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Darby is a little #homesick when she arrives at the Barbizon Hotel in 1952 until she meets Ezme, the Barbizon maid, and is introduced to another side of New York City.
More that half a century later, Rose, a journalist, lives downstairs from Darby in the Barbizon which has now been turned into condos is intrigued by the rumors surrounding Darby and the death of a hotel maid. As she delves into the past neither woman will be the the same.

OriginalCyn620 That sounds good! 5mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @OriginalCyn620 all of her books are great!! 5mo
See All 7 Comments
litenthusiast This book is so good! 5mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @litenthusiast it is!! I can‘t wait for her new one !! 5mo
SilversReviews LOVE her book...great photo. 5mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @SilversReviews me too!! Thank you ❤️ 5mo
75 likes7 comments
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IamIamIam
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Bailedbailed

I'm done... I didn't like anybody in this book, the was so much superfluous information and the reveal was total crap. I expected so much more and I just don't care about anything. I'm angry that I wasted more time than necessary on these idiots.
#unpopularopinion #IreallyHATEchicklit

Reagan-reads Hahaha I loved the hashtag. It is not a genre that I typically get behind, with very rare exceptions. 6mo
IamIamIam @Reagan-reads Lol, occasionally I can get caught up in a sappy story but this was just awful! 6mo
37 likes2 comments
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IamIamIam
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I absolutely do NOT get stereotypical catty women relationships and this book is FULL of them! Lol, stories like these make me happy I grew up with brothers... so far Esme is mad at Darby for trying to get along with Stella. I want to smack them all... 👊

Mdargusch I couldn‘t finish this book. That relationship seemed too unrealistic. 6mo
IamIamIam @Mdargusch I'm glad I'm not alone. I'm just not feeling any of these characters, Rose included. They're all so offputting! 6mo
Mdargusch I definitely feel like I was in the minority on this one. 6mo
IamIamIam @Mdargusch At least there's 2 of us! 😂 It came highly recommend to me also. I'm just not feeling it. I'm glad it's on audio because I'm more than halfway through! I'd have given up if it was print!! Now I need to know where the scar came from, though. And who squats in a total stranger's apartment?! Lol 6mo
44 likes4 comments
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IamIamIam
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Oy vey... real chick lit this, huh?

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melissajayne
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Pickpick

Overall a pretty good book. I liked the premise of the story an Overall a pretty good book. I liked the premise of the story and was a page turner. 4⭐️ #24hourreadathon #deweysreadathon

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melissajayne
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Book no. 3 for #deweysreadathon #24hourreadathon. Need something a little lighter.

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BethM
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Pickpick

What an odd, intriguing book. I wasn't riveted but I think I liked it. The end was a bit abrupt though. 3/5

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BethM
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Here‘s my unexciting #litsywalkers view but I‘m sill trying to cultivate new habits :) The tagged book is much better in print as this audio narrator makes both Rose and Darby a bit whiney.

Kaye Keep up the good work. 9mo
DarcysMom Good job! 9mo
52 likes2 comments
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BethM
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You guys it has been a day. An emotional day. On top of which my husband invited his friend and misbehaved kids up north this weekend to my in-laws 🤦‍♀️The kindness and love here has been a bright spot all day long. Littens are the best kinds of people. Settling in to read for a quick half hour before needing to go to bed.

JacqMac I hope tomorrow is a better day. 9mo
Avanders Oh no... 🤦🏽‍♀️ I hope it‘s a good weekend anyway.. or can you... ya know, sit this one out? 😁😘♥️ 9mo
TrishB Hope today is better❤️ 9mo
See All 6 Comments
LeeRHarry Hope things improve quickly 💕 9mo
4thhouseontheleft 💞💞💞 9mo
46 likes6 comments
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BethM
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I haven‘t been on here or reading enough this week. As my agency has been trying to figure out how to move forward with the shutdown I‘ve been on fb and CNN far too much. So tonight and tomorrow Litsy and reading only. Reading and listening to this one to get it done for my IRL book club. It‘s odd bc I‘m relatively intrigued but don‘t really like any of the characters thus far.

BookBabe Yikes, good luck with all that! 🤞🏻 A couple good reading days sounds like just what you need. ❤️ I enjoyed this book very much. But true — not the most likable characters 9mo
JenReadsAlot I've been thinking of you... 9mo
BethM @BookBabe @JenReadsAlot thanks ladies. 9mo
45 likes3 comments
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BethM
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Starting this for my IRL book club. However please note my new super awesome, nerdy pj pants. I loves them my precious.

ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Woah! I love the pants! 💫 9mo
Kaye Lost in Space 9mo
kstadt929 Oh my gosh!! I need these pants!! ❤️ 9mo
Avanders Lol your pj pants are amazing 😍😍 9mo
42 likes4 comments
review
EmilyM
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Pickpick

This was an entertaining read. I learned some history about the Barbizon Hotel, and I enjoyed the alternating perspectives for each chapter between past and present. I felt that the characters were not developed as much as I typically like in my books, but a light, easy, quick read. ⭐⭐⭐/5

SilversReviews LOVED this book and all of her books. 10mo
EmilyM @SilversReviews I am intrigued enough to read her others! 10mo
SilversReviews @EmilyM ENJOY...they all are VERY good. 😊 10mo
26 likes3 comments
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Lauram
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There‘s cleaning, baking, wrapping, and laundry waiting to be done today. But for the next hour, I‘m going to enjoy a new book and this Duck Donut.

Judybskt Loved that book!! And Duck Donuts - yum!! 10mo
SilversReviews LOVE her books...this was a favorite. ENJOY!! 10mo
BrittanyReads Loved that one!! 10mo
65 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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SheReadsAndWrites
Dollhouse | Fiona Davis
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Trying to decide what to read for #25infive 🤓 #somanybookssolittletime

Freespirit I loved Our Souls at Night and Eleanor Oliphant. Highly recommend them both😊 10mo
SheReadsAndWrites Yay! Thank you! @Freespirit 10mo
Freespirit Tell me what you think😘 10mo
Andrew65 Dollhouse, followed by Eleanor Oliphant. Good luck! 10mo
32 likes1 stack add5 comments
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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“Being up so high above the city made her troubles seem less dramatic.”

#Adventrecommends
Day #3

Love love love all of this author‘s books!!

Andrew65 Read two of hers and loved them both but not read this first. My favourite so far is The Address! (edited) 11mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Andrew65 yes!!! And she has a new one coming out in July!! 11mo
Andrew65 @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I clearly need to keep up! 11mo
cobwebmoth Thank you for the card! You are so kind.❤ 11mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @cobwebmoth you‘re welcome!! ❤️😘 11mo
117 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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Reecaspieces
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I wanted to post about my audio reads for this month. Here they all are! Check them out! https://reecaspieces.com/2018/10/29/audible-reads-for-october-audible-audiblerea...

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Eggs
Dollhouse | Fiona Davis
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Recently enjoying the inspiring and #thoughtprovoking works of Fiona Davis #31bookpics @howjessreads

Crazeedi I've enjoyed her books! 12mo
79 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Acterry81
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Really loved this one! Fiona Davis is becoming a fast favorite of mine!

5 likes1 stack add
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Howseldomtheydo
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Interesting article about the Barbizon Hotel and some of the famous women who lived there. https://lithub.com/on-the-barbizon-hotel-and-the-women-writers-who-lived-there/ #currentlyreading

Zelma Thanks for posting. I‘ll read this article for some more context before the novel. 13mo
Howseldomtheydo @Zelma You‘re welcome 😉 13mo
81 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
Kboltz
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Pickpick

Good book and story, the author uses historical buildings as her backdrop, you get to learn about the historical past. Love this idea, will read her other books👍🏼This one is based on the NYC hotel called The Barbizon Hotel for Women from the 1950s.

10 likes1 stack add
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HeatherBlue
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Hurricane is headed towards us, so I had to take a library trip. Two thrillers, two chick lits, and a wildcard. Prepared!!
We‘re keeping an eye on the storm. If it still looks like it‘ll flood by us, we‘re heading to a friend‘s house in a zone that‘s not even zoned for evacuation. Kitties, dude, and I will be safely reading this one out!

AmyG Be safe! 13mo
QuietlyLaura Stay safe! Keep us posted. 13mo
irre Stay safe 13mo
See All 6 Comments
HeatherBlue Thanks everyone!! 💙 13mo
Prairiegirl_reading I hope it‘s all good! 13mo
akckitty Stay safe!! 💜 13mo
56 likes6 comments
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Lauram
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I can‘t remember the last time I bought a stack of new books that weren‘t for graduate school or work-related. #treatyoself #catsoflitsy #blackcatsoflitsy #blamelitsy

QuietlyLaura Kitty! 😻 14mo
Judybskt I‘ve read all but The Perfect Stranger. Loved them!! 14mo
BrittanyReads All on my TBR! But currently reading 14mo
CatGV Ahhh kitties make everything better! Even though a stack of books is already great on its own. By the way, what are you studying at the graduate level? I am finishing my bachelor's in May and then whoosh! Off to graduate studies :) 14mo
Lauram @CatGV I finished graduate school many, many years ago(12 years). I only wrote that to point out how much time had really passed since I bought myself a great stack of books. Good luck with school. What do you intend to study in grad school? 14mo
86 likes5 comments
review
Ncostell
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this book centered on the Barbizon Hotel for Women. It was told in two storylines, one set in the 1950s when it was a haven for young career women in NYC and the other set in modern day when it has been converted into condos. I liked comparing and contrasting the lives of the two main protagonists in their parallel stories. I‘m going to see Fiona Davis speak on a historical fiction panel in September and am looking forward to it!

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 14mo
72 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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2 of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors!! I can‘t wait to get The Masterpiece 💗💗

#NewYork
#Augustisatrip

Judybskt I loved The Dollhouse. Looking forward to The Address. 1y
Suzze I so need to read these! 1y
See All 10 Comments
Judybskt @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks We did The Dollhouse for book club. Maybe I will pick The Address for November. 1y
Andrew65 @Judybskt Loved the Address! Would make a great book club book. (edited) 1y
vkois88 Gorgeous! 😍 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @vkois88 thank you ❤️ 1y
vkois88 😘😘 1y
Ncostell I‘m reading The Dollhouse now and am really enjoying it. I‘m going to see her at a historical fiction panel in September being held at Mohegan Sun in CT. Can‘t wait! 1y
122 likes10 comments
review
cynswanauthor
Pickpick

I thoroughly enjoyed this engaging novel about life in the Barbizon Hotel for Women in 1950s NYC. I was caught up in the details and twisty elements. Davis clearly did her research on this time period and specific locale.

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Bookish_B
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Pickpick

This book alternates between Rose in 2016 New York and Darby in 1952 with the Barbizon Hotel for Women as the link between the two. I really enjoyed both stories (though maybe the 1950s a little more). The entire book maybe doesn't hold up to close scrutiny but it didn't bother me except for the end. Without giving anything away, I just felt the actions of the characters (one particular) were quite a stretch. Still, I'd recommend it.

collegecatlady I love this photo! 1y
Ashley85 Ahhh looks so refreshing 🍹👍🏾 1y
See All 6 Comments
erzascarletbookgasm That drink! 🍹😋 1y
tammysue You take the loveliest photos! 😍 1y
Bookish_B @whatshesreadingnow thank you so much! 😊 1y
47 likes1 stack add6 comments
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Christine
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Missing Litsy a lot, after a crazy week of end of school year, and houseguests, and prep for a 10-day road trip with my husband and not-low-maintenance kids. 😛 So not much reading in my recent past or near future! 😕 But the road trip has been a good adventure so far, and this was an especially fun find for me when we stopped at a neighborhood park in Vail to let the kids run around! 📚💙 (I chose the tagged book from the LFL as a souvenir.)

monalyisha Beautiful scenery! 1y
SilversReviews THE DOLLHOUSE was a great book. Love your photo...thanks for sharing. 1y
Zelma Great scenery and bonus with the little library! 👏 1y
See All 7 Comments
tammysue Beautiful! And that little library! 👍🏻😊 1y
Christine @SilversReviews Great to hear re: The Dollhouse! I‘m looking forward to giving it a try. :) (edited) 1y
SilversReviews @Christine It was very good. Enjoy when you read it. 1y
65 likes7 comments