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The Cold Millions
The Cold Millions: A Novel | Jess Walter
35 posts | 28 read | 20 to read
"Orphans Gig and Rye Dolan don't have a penny to their names. The brothers work grueling, odd jobs each day just to secure a meal, and spend nights sleeping wherever they can with other day laborers. Twenty-three-year-old Gig is a passionate union man, fighting for fair pay and calling out the corrupt employers who exploit the working class. Eager to emulate his older brother, Rye follows suit, though he can't quite muster Gig's passion for the cause. But when Rye's turn on the soap box catches the eye of well-known activist and suffragette Elizabeth Gurley, he is swept into the world of labor activism-and dirty business. With his brother's life on the line, Rye must evade the barbaric police force, maneuver his way out of the clutches of a wealthy businessman-and figure out for himself what he truly stands for. The Cold Millions is a stunning portrait of class division and familial bonds. In this masterful historical take on the enduring saga of America's economic divide, Jess Walter delivers nothing less than another "literary miracle" (NPR)"--
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Bookwormjillk
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First and last reads of 2021- not a great year in general, but a really good reading year. So glad for good books.

44 likes1 stack add
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Lizwarnerpdx
Mehso-so

I had a really hard time getting into this. It just didn‘t flow well and was such a different writing style compared to what else I‘ve read lately. It‘s a pick for bookclub though so I kept on. Around 60% through I thought it started picking up and get more interesting. There were some great secondary characters and intersecting storylines that I liked. But overall, it was too slow & hard to follow for me to recommend it.

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CarolynM
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#12booksof2021 #2ndbookof2021 #February

I loved this story of itinerant workers and fledgeling unionism in early C20th America.

@Andrew65

Andrew65 Looks interesting. 9mo
AmyG I look forward to reading this one! 9mo
Amiable I‘m going to have to move this one up on my list. 9mo
66 likes3 comments
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Beccacraft
Pickpick

This was a slow build of a book for me but I enjoyed it regardless. The book was centered on two brothers who must move throughout the Northwest to find jobs. There was some great secondary character development throughout the book and strong women depicted in varying roles. It was interesting and also devastating to see the impacts of free speech and union organization battles during that time.

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nminella
Pickpick

I thought this was a really well written historical fiction piece. I enjoyed the focus on Eastern Washington State (I‘m from the East Coast, US) so I felt like I learned quite a bit about the geography and it‘s effects on the characters. I won‘t make comparisons to the Grapes of Wrath (my favorite novel) but I thought there were shades of that book in this one.

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EricSwanson
Pickpick

Jess Walter offers an intriguing look at the free-speech battles that roiled Spokane, Washington, in the early 20th century in his 2020 novel, “The Cold Millions.” The book held my attention from beginning to end, but I thought the main character. Rylan Nolan, was not as thoroughly realized as the colorful secondary characters who swirled around him.

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MelKelsey
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Mehso-so

Book 69

I listened to The Cold Millions. The story is complex and well-written, but I never felt invested. Reading it may have been better for me. ⭐⭐⭐

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BkClubCare
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Pickpick

This had a slow build to a five slicer rating but I was enthralled and extremely pleased with the experience of reading this by the end, including through the acknowledgements. I loved thinking about what inspired Walter to research this, curious about his thoughts and creative process. My esteem for this author continues on a logarithmic scale! (LOL debating with husband how to spell that 🤣) History, strong female characters, empathy, craft. 👏

wanderinglynn What a cutie! ❤️🐶 1y
BkClubCare @wanderinglynn - she is. ❤️ It is funny how accommodating she is to “book photo time!” But her look says, “can we we get this over with?” 🥴🤣 1y
Amy_S My dad borrowed this through the Libby app we both share & I returned it early thinking it was my borrow! It was so thrilling to discover a non-sci-fi book we overlapped on! (and that he really enjoyed!) 1y
BkClubCare @Amy_S - That‘s great! Oh no on returning early - it had a decent wait list. My dad is a big reader and would likely enjoy this (but probably not via eBook, my mom and I read the same things often.) 1y
26 likes5 comments
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Centique
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Look what arrived from @CarolynM !! A wonderful early birthday present! I can‘t believe you remembered my birthday Carolyn - you are a gem! (I am notorious for not remembering the dates of anything 😬) Thank you so much for your thoughtful gift. The amazing thing was I had just looked up this book two days before and added it to my TBR. I love MOR products and this cream smells amazing - and that bookmark is gorgeous! Thank you so much!

Centique How cute is that owl card too? @CarolynM and the book even co-ordinates with the MOR cream 😍😍 1y
BkClubCare Cool cover! 1y
Cathythoughts Lovely gifts ❤️and yes colour coordination 😁 1y
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CarolynM Glad to see it has arrived🙂 Hope you enjoy the book as much as I did😘 1y
batsy Wonderful gifts 💖 1y
LeahBergen What lovely gifts! 💖💖 1y
71 likes1 stack add6 comments
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BkClubCare
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Just arrived digitally via the library Libby app. Reading something that just sounded good and not for any other reason! 🤣 I am a big fan of the author.

DivineDiana What a good feeling! Pure enjoyment! ❤️ 1y
SamAnne A hometown author! And former neighbor. He‘s a great writer and person. Loved this historical novel set in my town. 1y
29 likes1 stack add2 comments
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charl08
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Rye had never seen anyone compete with Gig in the quoting of famous men. This Early Reston was like Gig meeting his match and his best friend at the same time, and they went back and forth about this fella Nitchee, or that one Marks, or some guy Russo, who Early said believed that "liberty with danger is preferable to peace with slavery."

"Tommy Russo?" Rye tossed in from behind, thinking of a young Italian they'd picked apples with...

SamAnne My town. Love this book. His short story collection We Live Near Water is excellent too. 1y
charl08 Thanks @SamAnne I ❤ this book 1y
50 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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ELMyerholtz
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Mehso-so

I was so hopeful to love this book the way I do Walters‘ other works. Although this one still had Walters‘ signature gorgeous prose, I was not as enthralled with the story as I was his previous works. Definitely still worth the read though!

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Oryx
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It's Mr B's subscription day 🥳
A new author for me - look forward to starting this.

squirrelbrain Yay! Happy subscription day! 2y
SamAnne Love it! Based in my town by a home town author. 2y
TrishB Looks good 👍🏻 2y
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TheLudicReader I can highly recommend his book 2y
Caroline2 Think I‘ve read one of his books and loved it. 🤔 2y
Oryx @TheLudicReader thanks - added that to my tbr list 2y
63 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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Readerann
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Pickpick

I quite enjoyed this tale of two brothers in the early 1900‘s northwest. But then, I‘m predisposed to like anything by Jess Walter since ‘Beautiful Ruins‘ is one of my favorite books. #ToB longlist

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MoonWitch94
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Thanks for the tag @TheSpineView 📖

1️⃣ 2nd dose of my Covid vaccine 💉 🎉☺️
2️⃣ Two cats live with me, Ali (a Bombay tri-pod kitten) & Carly (a 9-year old Ginger); they belong to my siblings
3️⃣ Ohhh so hard! Maybe an anthology containing one of my favorite series ((Like Harry Potter or All Souls)), if such things exist.

#MotivationalMonday

📚If you‘re reading this & want to play: you‘re tagged!

Cupcake12 I would have chosen HP if I was allowed a second book 🤣 Thanks for playing x 2y
30 likes1 comment
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CarolynM
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Pickpick

A gritty tale of the plight of itinerant workers in the US northwest in the early years of the 20th century. It is a story of exploitation & corruption, passionate idealism & the question of how far some will go for principals, family, or survival while others will go to any lengths for wealth. Real historical figures and events are integral to the story - lots of rabbit holes to explore! It has an unusual structure that really worked for me.

SamAnne I live in Spokane. Hometown author. Loved this one! 2y
CarolynM @SamAnne It must have felt very immediate to you. My only previous knowledge of Spokane was it being a bit of a joke in Frasier (sorry😬) so I've been doing some serious Googling, looking at the people and places. Your town has a fascinating history. 2y
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JennyM It‘s on my list to read soon! Glad you enjoyed it x 2y
CarolynM @JennyM There's a lot in it. It would be a good one for a book club discussion. 2y
TheAromaofBooks Great review!!! 2y
SamAnne @CarolynM LOL, I miss the days when Spokane was considered uncool vs today when people from Seattle are moving here in droves. I didn't grow up in Spokane, but I've grown to love it and the surrounding landscape, it's gritty history. Jess was my neighbor for a number of years. Great guy who really gives back to the community. BTW--I've not seen that book cover before. 2y
Ruthiella Good to hear you liked it! It‘s on my list. I‘ve only read Beautiful Ruins so far. 😀 2y
CarolynM @SamAnne I love the cover! One of the things this had me thinking about is the completely different attitude to itinerant workers we had here in Australia at the time and how we think about that history now. There are a lot of reasons for it, population density for one, also a lot of them were shearers and cane cutters so it was seasonal work anyway. 2y
CarolynM @Ruthiella I would absolutely recommend it. Great book. 2y
Centique Great review! Stacked for sure 😍 2y
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Bookboss
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Pickpick

I adored Jess Walters‘s short story collection We Live in Water. The stories were sublime and rich. This novel was much different. It tells a story of the fight for unions in 1909 Spokane, and there is nothing sublime about it. The parallels between wealth inequality then and now are very clear. I don‘t disagree with the idea, but I thought the style was heavy-handed. I am glad that I stuck with it, because the last quarter was much improved.

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peaknit
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Met with @JenReadsAlot for the first time in literally forever for our own #Galentines swap. I have to put the candy away before my family sees it, unfortunately, the book is safe 🙄 Thanks friend!! ❤️👯‍♀️

JenReadsAlot It was a great night and I'm excited to dig in to that candy bar 😂 2y
Mitch Can‘t wait to read this one. Enjoy! 2y
BethM I miss you guys! I can‘t wait until we can host a meet up again! 2y
peaknit @JenReadsAlot we should have a Galentines read along and then swap books! Even if we can see the top of our TBR anymore 🤣 2y
JenReadsAlot Sounds good! @BethM Agreed! 2y
26 likes5 comments
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Bevita
Pickpick

Terrific, story of union organizers in Spokane around 1900.

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Howseldomtheydo
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#joyousjanuary Attempting to get a good chunk read before the Bills game tonight!

Lesanne Good luck to the Bills!! 2y
Howseldomtheydo @Lesanne Thanks. They just about gave me a heart attack last weekend. 2y
Bookwormjillk Go Bills! 2y
Susanita Noooo. Go Ravens! 2y
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Bookwormjillk
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Pickpick

I had a hard time getting into this, but the ending and the epilogue more than made up for it. Walter somehow has a way of making even the characters you hate seem sympathetic.

SamAnne I plan a walk down to those falls on the cover today! 2y
Bookwormjillk @SamAnne that‘s awesome 👏 I really want to visit Spokane after reading this! 2y
63 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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melissajayne
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Pickpick

3.75⭐️ I enjoyed it, but felt a bit cumbersome at times #fiction #2020 #bookreviews #bookstagram #fiction #historicalfiction #wintergames2020 #readnosedreindeer +41pts

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ghandigl

People expect a story to always mean the same thing, but I have found that stories change like people do.

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SamAnne
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Pickpick

Sent priority mail on Friday @katy4peas ! Sorry it is coming a few days late. What a great read, and double great read if you know Spokane. Starts with a lot of history and introducing several characters, but once the story leaves the station it is a fun read with a satisfying and poignant ending. Set in 1910 Spokane amid the labor and free speech fights going on at the turn of the century.

katy4peas Got it today! Thank you!! 2y
63 likes4 stack adds1 comment
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SamAnne
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Whata reading day! Thanksgiving weekend is usually action packed but not this year. I think I read for 4 hours today, which hasn‘t happened in years. A little out of several books but a big chunk out of the tagged. I‘m in #Feastmode! @Hestapleton

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janeycanuck
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Pickpick

This dark & gritty look at the labour unrest in 1909 Spokane is enthralling but it took some time to find my groove with how the story was written, flipping around in time & perspective. Don‘t pick this is up if you want a repeat of your Beautiful Ruins experience but do pick it up if you want to read about all the same problems we face today but set 100 years ago.

2/2 library books for #NovelNovember

Andrew65 Looks good, well done 👏👏👏 2y
SamAnne My town! Written by my neighbor! 2y
janeycanuck @SamAnne Really? That‘s so cool! 2y
37 likes3 comments
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SamAnne
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One of the best holiday presents I‘ve received is a propane heater. I can sit on my porch, look out@on a sunny frosty morning across the park, and read! Enjoying this historical ride through my town by local author Jess Walter!

56 likes2 stack adds
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SamAnne
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Thanks for the tag @LitStephanie ! I am grateful that a deal was signed yesterday to take four outdated dams of the Klamath River in N. Ca to restore salmon and honor Tribal Treaty rights. Paves the way to remove the 4 outdated dams on the Snake River in WA State! And as always, thankful for my sweetie and border collie Action Jackson. My current book: rabble rousers meet up in Spokane WA circa 1909. Hijinks ensue. @Eggs #wondrouswednesday

LitStephanie That is good news! 2y
Eggs Love Jess Walter! Thanks for joining in 👏🏻📖🌟 2y
40 likes2 comments
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Cinfhen
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Downloaded the audio🤞🏽Maybe I‘ll get into this one on my long flight tomorrow ✈️Any other suggestions @Megabooks my personal #AudioGuru

TrishB Hope you get into something 👍🏻 2y
Megabooks I‘ve been listening to thrillers some. I enjoyed The Hunting Party, but The Guest List was better. I‘m listening to Invisible Girl right now and so far, it‘s good. Caste was excellent as was The Color of Law, but both are heavy. The Topeka School was good. Sadie if you haven‘t already listened, same with Poehler‘s Yes Please. 2y
Cinfhen Thanks my friend xxx looking forward to returning to your time zone @TrishB 2y
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Megabooks Also I‘ve been listening to Rainbow Rowell for author a month these are her two adult books 2y
Cinfhen Thanks @Megabooks I listened to the first two...both were great 👍🏻 I‘ll try Topeka School and the LisaJewell I‘m trying to keep it simple as my concentration is still sketchy ...this tagged one is already too “complicated” 2y
Megabooks And Rebecca Lowman is the better narrator here 2y
Cinfhen Ohhhh, good idea @Megabooks Rainbow Rowell 2y
Megabooks @Cinfhen The Jewell is interesting but doesn‘t require a lot of concentration 👍🏻👍🏻 2y
squirrelbrain Have a safe trip! 😘 2y
Megabooks Safe travels friend! We‘ll catch up when you‘re settled at home. 💜 I hope you find the right book. 2y
Cinfhen Lots of catching up to do @Megabooks Thanks for the audio suggestions xxx Always appreciated 🥰😘 2y
Cinfhen Thanks so much, Helen xxx @squirrelbrain 2y
JennyM Safe travels 😘 This one was lovely on audio 👉 2y
Cinfhen I‘m saving anything with the word library or librarian for #Booked2021 @JennyM 🤣But I‘m definitely noting it for future use 😉Thanks xxx 2y
JennyM @Cinfhen I like your strategic thinking! Love the prompts for next year. Planning is underway 😁😘 2y
Cinfhen Fantastic @JennyM planning is almost as much fun as reading ‼️🥰 2y
peaknit I‘m looking forward to your review. 2y
75 likes1 stack add25 comments
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SamAnne
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Finally starting this for #LMBC. Here we go! @katy4peas @MoonWitch94 @Mynameisacolour

katy4peas 😁 2y
crazyspine Pretty cover 2y
MoonWitch94 Yay! Mine came today! 2y
63 likes3 comments
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Well-ReadNeck
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Bailedbailed

I LOVED Beautiful Ruins, but I just can not get into this one. I‘ve tried the book twice and picked up the audiobook, but nope. Just not for me.

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SamAnne
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Watching Jess‘Walter‘s hometown virtual event. He gave his hometown bookstore the book early. Got to pick my copy up today! Love Jess. He gives so much back to his community. Looking forward to sharing his latest book with @katy4peas @MoonWitch94 and @Mynameisacolour for #LMPBC! Meet my hometown!

katy4peas Yay! Looking forward to it! 2y
MoonWitch94 So exciting!!!! 2y
HeathHof Awesome! Gorgeous cover!🤩 2y
SamAnne @Mynameisacolour it‘s an artist rendering of the Spokane Falls in the heart of our downtown. Tribes used to gather there to harvest salmon every fall. 2y
50 likes4 comments
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katy4peas
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#groupD This is what I have for title choices right now. @MoonWitch94 is looking to see if there is another title that she wants to start with other than Sea Women. 👍🏼 #LMPBC @SamAnne @Mynameisacolour

HeathHof Looking forward to this round!!😁 2y
GreenGrl87 I really, really enjoyed Opium and Absinthe! Happy reading @Mynameisacolour! 2y
katy4peas Hey you guys, what do you think of this one instead? Have any of you read it? I can get it in paperback instead of hardcover and so it is a little cheaper for me😬 thoughts? I want to make sure no one has read it yet and everyone is still okay with the premise. @Mynameisacolour @SamAnne @MoonWitch94 2y
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SamAnne @katy4peas I haven‘t read anything by Lisa Wingate and both look great to me. Maybe lean to Before We Were Yours but totally open. 2y
HeathHof I'm good with either one👍 2y
MoonWitch94 Okay ladies! I‘m just going to go with Sea Women! It‘s too hard to choose & it sounds good so that‘s my pick 🤣😂 2y
MoonWitch94 Either one is fine with me @katy4peas 2y
katy4peas Yay! We are all set! I‘m going to switch to Before We Were Yours as it is a little older and available in paperback which makes it a bit cheaper for everyone to mail. 👍🏼 I can‘t wait! There are soooo many good choices! Do we need to decide who is mailing to who now? 2y
44 likes8 comments
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SamAnne
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One day late here! Very much looking forward to a hometown writer‘s forthcoming novel The Cold Millions. Due out in October. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver. Near the top of my TBR list! I would love to interview The poet Joy Harjo. Poet, musician , jazz and blues lover and Native American.