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What Are You Going Through
What Are You Going Through | Sigrid Nunez
The New York Times-bestselling, National Book Award-winning author of The Friend brings her singular voice to a story about the meaning of life and death, and the value of companionship. A woman describes a series of encounters she has with various people in the ordinary course of her life: an ex she runs into by chance at a public forum, an Airbnb owner unsure how to interact with her guests, a stranger who seeks help comforting his elderly mother, a friend of her youth now hospitalized with terminal cancer. In each of these people the woman finds a common need: the urge to talk about themselves and to have an audience to their experiences. The narrator orchestrates this chorus of voices for the most part as a passive listener, until one of them makes an extraordinary request, drawing her into an intense and transformative experience of her own. In What Are You Going Through, Nunez brings wisdom, humor, and insight to a novel about human connection and the changing nature of relationships in our times. A surprising story about empathy and the unusual ways one person can help another through hardship, her book offers a moving and provocative portrait of the way we live now.
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charl08
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According to my high school English teacher, there are two kinds of novels. Half of them could be called Crime and Punishment and the other half could be called A Love Story. But when you think about it, a lot of novels could be both.

Crime and Punishment: A Love Story. Now that's a good title. Anyway, don't they say that every good story is a suspense story?
And every story is a love story.
And every love story is a ghost story.

64 likes2 stack adds
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charl08
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Cyberterrorism. Bioterrorism. The inevitable next great flu pandemic, for which we were, just as inevitably, unprepared. Incurable killer infections borne of our indiscriminate use of antibiotics. The rise of far-right regimes around the world. The normalization of propaganda and deceit as political strategy and basis for government policy. The inability to defeat global jihadism.. In short supply, on the other hand, were the means to combat them.

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GraesynEngler
Bailedbailed

This was such a struggle to read that I couldn‘t even finish it. Then, I went to discuss it in book club and learned that it hadn‘t gotten any better and was even happier with my decision to bail on it.

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Sarahreadstoomuch
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Pickpick

Deeply moving and thoughtful story on grief and friendship and storytelling and choices…. The unnamed narrator is telling the story of being with her friend who is now dying of cancer. It‘s sad, but not without some humor…. But I‘m afraid some of the symbolism might have been lost on me. It‘s quite short, my try to go through it again before book group meets!

Suet624 I haven‘t read this one but really like this author. 4mo
23 likes1 comment
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Sydneypaige
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This is a novel I picked up without knowing much about it at all. I had expectations for it to be a short essay collection, but it‘s not. It‘s about friendship and dying and love and writing and the need to talk/tell a story. I will definitely be picking up Nunez‘s The Friend after this!

5 likes1 stack add
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Lindy
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My latest Friday Reads video is up. I talk about the short stories, graphic novels, picture books, books in translation, and books by trans authors that I‘ve read in the past week: https://youtu.be/kmpd4ueOWMY
#LGBTQ

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Lindy
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Pickpick

Being inside the head of a fiercely intelligent older woman with a wry sense of humour felt like a privilege. She pays close attention to the people around her, including a friend who is dying of cancer. This is a novel about empathy. It‘s about mortality and the way our relationships evolve over time. I really enjoyed it.

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Lindy
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George Balanchine said, If you put a group of men on the stage, you have a group of men, but if you put a group of women on the stage you have the whole world.
If you put a group of women in a book, you have “women‘s fiction.” To be shunned by almost all male readers and no few female ones as well.
(Internet image)

KathyWheeler This has always infuriated me. I just do not get it at all. 5mo
Lindy @KathyWheeler I don‘t get it either. One of my friends is in an all-women book club that rarely selects a book written by a woman. I would put my foot down about changing that, or else I would leave that book club. 5mo
KathyWheeler @Lindy Seriously! 5mo
41 likes4 comments
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Lindy
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She was so tired, this woman said, of paying 20 bucks for short books—stuff that lasted only a short time, sometimes not even a weekend.
And sometimes it‘s just a book of poems, she said. How can they charge that much for a book of poems? Who buys them?
Not many people, I assured her.

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Lindy
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I didn‘t have much curiosity about how the murders would be solved. It never matters to me how a mystery ends. In fact, I have found that, after so many pages of so many twists and turns and other to-do, the ending is usually something of a letdown, and the bad guy being caught and ultimately brought to justice or destroyed is invariably the least exciting part of the plot.

KathyR Hmmm. While the ending may be the least exciting (although I often find myself reading late into the night to find out who did it), I think that the ending, justice, is actually the most satisfying aspect of murder mysteries. So often in life there is no justice (will Putin ever get caught and serve time for his war crimes?). In books, we can briefly live in a world where there is. 5mo
Lindy @KathyR I can see viewpoint of the narrator: knowing the convention of the mystery genre, which is that justice is served, isn‘t exciting (because it‘s already taken for granted). Even if it‘s emotionally satisfying. 5mo
39 likes2 comments
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Lindy
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Maybe he was afraid he‘d lose his temper. Because of course it was there: beneath the cool, the control, you could sense it. Deep and volcanic emotion. Which, were he to allow himself to express it, would spew out of the top of his head and burn us all to ash.

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kspenmoll
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Eggs 🧡👏🏻🧡 10mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks ❤️❤️❤️ 10mo
59 likes1 stack add2 comments
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kspenmoll
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#libraryhaul
I love my town library & so happy its hours have been extended. We have a mask mandate in my town which I am also happy about. 😷📚

EvieBee Ours is now open until 9 M-T and I can‘t even believe it! 🎉 11mo
60 likes1 comment
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Kazzie
Pickpick

I was a bit puzzled by the ending - did she not want to discuss assisting the friend taking her own life? As this is legal in parts of the world….also, could the friend just not have kept her secret to herself? I enjoyed the book, told in the same style of the Friend.

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Hooked_on_books
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Pickpick

While there‘s a narrative through line to this book—a woman is reconnecting with an old friend who‘s dying—it‘s also a series of musings about life and seemingly random encounters. Usually this kind of structure would drive me nuts, but I quite liked it. It reminds me a bit of her previous book in a good way. Also, the audio reader is perfectly matched to the material. I definitely need to check out her backlist.

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HessCA
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Bookboss
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Pickpick

I loved her previous book, The Friend, and I enjoyed this as well. Nunez is an excellent writer, and she explores friendship, climate change, and assisted suicide in this novel. Although it is short, the book thoroughly immersed me in the characters and what they were going through. I will be thinking about this book for awhile.

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Soubhiville
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Pickpick

I‘m not sure what I was expecting from this. I saw the author speak at #TexasBookFest and added this to my TBR then.

There isn‘t any real action, just many discussions between friends, family, exes, and a cat? About life, relationships, death, and ethics. There are lots of little stories within the story.

It was strange, but I actually enjoyed it. It felt a bit like a long overdue conversation with a friend I hadn‘t seen in years. 🤷‍♀️

Nalbuque I read “the friend” also by her a while back and felt the same way! Kinda weird and random but somehow rly good! 2y
69 likes1 comment
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MelissaSue81
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I didn‘t actually like the Sigrid Nunez book that much, but this quote that the book is named for has really stuck with me. 💕💕💕

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Jen2
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Pickpick

Very good, read in one sitting!

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shadowspeak17
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
For some reason I‘m having trouble putting into words the reasons why I liked this book. It‘s kind of rambling with not much of a plot, but I really liked it. It was a nice read. Very bittersweet. 💔

#catsoflitsy #Ember

Professional_Book_Dragon I was about to start that one una couple I days! I‘m excited. I love her style of writing 2y
rubyslippersreads 😻😻😻 2y
Leftcoastzen 😻 2y
51 likes3 comments
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LisaLovesToRead
Mehso-so

I went back & forth on this book. It was stream of consciousness. The author didn‘t indent paragraphs which was somewhat fun, but also disorienting. Sometimes it was tough to follow & then my mind wound wander at times. I‘m glad I read it, but I‘m not sure that I would recommend it.

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Megabooks
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Another great #qotd from this book!

KathyWheeler 😄 2y
Reviewsbylola 🤣🤣🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️ 2y
Reviewsbylola I‘m really trying to imagine mistaking weed for cat litter but I‘m just not there. 2y
Megabooks @Reviewsbylola it‘s an 80 year old lady, so she may have never partaken. 2y
76 likes4 comments
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Megabooks
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This has got to be a new favorite quote!

Suet624 🤣🤣🤣 2y
Josee.lit.a.lu.et.lira 🤣😂😅 2y
Deifio Oh yes! 🤩😂 2y
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JennyM I thought this book was excellent. Lots of humour and insight. Good quote 😆 2y
thegreensofa 😂🤣😂 2y
Nute I want to read this book now because of that sentence!😆 2y
Reviewsbylola 🤣🤣🤣 2y
99 likes2 stack adds7 comments
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Sapphire
Pickpick

This was a very emotional red for me, and complex in the experience of it. I did not care for The Friend, which I read earlier this year, but loved this title. Also enjoyed the author‘s talk on a Festival panel. With definitely read more from her. This title felt a little reminiscent of Didion.

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JennyM
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Pickpick

We all need to belong. We all need to be heard. Lovely reflection on the meaning of life and friendship.

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Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

I loved this story of a woman helping her friend dying of cancer. Erudite, dry & unsentimental - funny at times & not depressing despite the subject matter. Deals with how people try to paper over the truth - eg illness, or not getting along with one‘s child. The woman is mysterious & you sense she‘s kept feelings at bay in past, but there is raw honesty in their friendship which is refreshing & gives the book depth. A comforting read.

BarbaraBB Sounds really good! Better than The Friend? 2y
Abailliekaras Similar - if you like The Friend you‘ll like this. More stories within stories. The Friend might be more cohesive as a novel, but I‘d have to re-read I think! 2y
42 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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Bookalong
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Pickpick

I absolutely loved this book! A beautiful and touching story about living, dying and the significance of human connection. This book is dark but not without humor. Nunez is a stunning writer! How she tackles one of the most difficult experiences, watching someone die with such elegance, I couldn't put this down! #bookreview #bookstagram

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Megabooks
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So I may have gotten another #booksleeve. 😏 What am I going to do?? I‘m hopelessly addicted! 🤷🏻‍♀️😁 It‘s currently befriending the tagged book.

This is my second from RockPaperWords on Etsy. Their quality is really good, and I really like their Midi size for small hardcovers and paperbacks. https://www.etsy.com/shop/RockPaperWords

Cinfhen Love that fabric 💙 2y
Megabooks @Cinfhen thanks! It reminds me of my mother‘s apron. 💙 2y
la_rose_noire Wow! It's beautiful! Totally worth it! 2y
See All 18 Comments
Megabooks @la_rose_noire thank you!! 😊 2y
Ruthiella Just like with bookmarks, you can use the sleeve that best suits the book you are reading! I know I am not the only person who does that! 😀 2y
Crazeedi This one is so beautiful 2y
Cinfhen That‘s pretty special 2y
catebutler I just had to order one of her Hocus Pocus book sleeves. It is adorable!! 2y
kspenmoll What a lovely booksleeve! 2y
KarouBlue Well that‘s gorgeous!!! And based on the comments, Litsy approves! 2y
Megabooks @Ruthiella Exactly! That‘s why I have so many! 2y
Megabooks @Cinfhen thanks! My best friend helped me pick it out, too. My mom gave me that apron when I went to college, so we had some good times with me cooking in it. 💙 (edited) 2y
Megabooks @catebutler oh fantastic! I hope you enjoy it! 2y
Megabooks @Crazeedi @kspenmoll @MellieAntoinette thank you! I just couldn‘t pass it up. 2y
Cathythoughts Gorgeous picture 2y
Megabooks @Cathythoughts thank you! 💖💖 2y
Megabooks @erzascarletbookgasm thanks! 💙💜 2y
97 likes18 comments
review
Well-ReadNeck
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Pickpick

My pandemic reading is very different from my usual. I find I like things I‘m not sure I would normally. This novel I absolutely loved although I started it before the pandemic hit and bailed. And, what is possibly the worst (most bland and nonsensical) cover of the year, notwithstanding I highly recommend this one. #ARC #Edelweiss

78 likes7 stack adds