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Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch
Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch: A Novel | Rivka Galchen
Drawing on real historical documents but infused with the intensity of imagination, sly humor, and intellectual fire for which award-winning author Rivka Galchens writing is known, Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch is a tale for our timethe story of how a community becomes implicated in collective aggression and hysterical fear. The year is 1619, in the German duchy of Wrttemberg. Plague is spreading. The Thirty Years War has begun, and fear and suspicion are in the air throughout the Holy Roman Empire. In the small town of Leonberg, Katherina Kepler is accused of being a witch. An illiterate widow, Katherina is known by her neighbors for her herbal remedies and the success of her children, including her eldest, Johannes, who is the Imperial Mathematician and renowned author of the laws of planetary motion. Its enough to make anyone jealous, and Katherina has done herself no favors by being out and about and in everyones business. So when the deranged and insipid Ursula Reinbold (or as Katherina calls her, the Werewolf) accuses Katherina of offering her a bitter, witchy drink that has made her ill, Katherina is in trouble. Her scientist son must turn his attention from the music of the spheres to the job of defending his mother. Facing the threat of financial ruin, torture, and even execution, Katherina tells her side of the story to her friend and next-door neighbor Simon, a reclusive widower imperiled by his own secrets. Provocative and entertaining, Galchens bold new novel touchingly illuminates a society, and a family, undone by superstition, the state, and the mortal convulsions of history.
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review
Pinta
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Pickpick

Historical aside developed into compelling plot in wry, straightforward prose: Johannes Kepler‘s mother accused of witchcraft. Narration shifts from Katharina to neighbor Simon to townspeople‘s testimonies. War. Plague. Crop failure. Explanation for accusation=? Jealousy? Greed? False flag? Societal anxiety turned on individual? Stubbornness of accused? Healers as criminals. Mob mentality. Fear of female strength. Quiet but suspenseful. 2021.

review
Addison_Reads
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Pickpick

I found this a fascinating new technique for historical fiction. The writing style was creative and I loved the humor mixed throughout.

The author definitely did extensive research about witch hunts, and I enjoyed that this book felt more modern.

I can't say that I loved this book when I finished it, but it's very readable and entertaining with great characters.

readordierachel This sounds great 👍🏼 3w
50 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
Larkken
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Mehso-so

This fictionalized witch hunt based on a historical witch trial gave me anxiety 😰
I can see where there is satire, and the narrative is extremely clever, but the pure accumulation of spite against an old woman wore on me anyway. So, #unpopularopinion here, I think. Anyone feel like trying to win me over?

Ruthiella Often I feel that way about books too when the plot or characters make me too anxious. But I liked this book on the whole. I may have checked on Wikipedia first to make sure Katerina wasn‘t burned at the stake. 😬 3w
Larkken @Ruthiella ooh I definitely do this too. Even if the outcome is sad or what I didn‘t want to happen, waiting to find out about it can be way worse. And this is why I mainly watch cooking shows on tv… 😅 3w
15 likes2 comments
review
monalyisha
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Pickpick

#NewYearWhoDis #NYWD22 @TheKidUpstairs

A fresh voice, especially for historical fiction. It felt very different somehow. Modern but not at all anachronistic (for its early 1600‘s setting). Still, I wasn‘t *totally* enraptured. I think the narrative gets a trifle slow in the middle, where we lose Katharina‘s voice & just get the testimonies against her, accusing her of witchcraft. 👇🏻

monalyisha 1/2: Some of the testimonies are funny - ridiculous in their baselessness & strong in their character portrayals of weak people. The format is interesting & the preponderance of them is effective…but they became repetitive & I missed Katharina in the meantime, with her balance of sweetness & caustic wit. (edited) 3w
monalyisha 2/2: The message about witch-hunts and how it relates to our current sociopolitical climate is clear. The message about how women (especially women who speak their minds) were (& are) perceived & treated is equally strong. The undercurrent of plague sickness & loss also felt familiar (though not crushingly so, for anyone who‘s worried about reading *this* *now*). I was left with an overwhelming desire to name a pet Chamomile. 🐄 🌼 (edited) 3w
monalyisha Also, shoutout to Rodrigo Corral for book design. It‘s a beautiful physical object. My first #NYWD22 read down! Thanks, @TheKidUpstairs 🎉! 3w
See All 8 Comments
squirrelbrain Great review. I enjoyed this too, but felt it was a bit repetitive in places, like you did. 3w
monalyisha @squirrelbrain I know the repetition is effective in building a case against her *and* in showing how groupthink works…but it‘s not enjoyable to read. Kind-of a shame that it‘s a common complaint because it seems like it could‘ve been so easily rectified! But Katharina was great. And Gertie. She was a favorite, too, with her love of dill & her 1600‘s equivalent of a True Crime obsession. 😅 3w
TheKidUpstairs Great review. I'm glad it was a pick in the end. I get the complaint against the repetitive testimonies. I think what won me over on them was the fact that she pulled so much of them from the historical record, and then created a few whole cloth, and she had decided to let the reader decide which they think are which. 3w
monalyisha @TheKidUpstairs Thanks! I think there‘s some stellar writing in there. And I‘m sure an interview with her, where she details her process, would be fascinating! But as a reading experience, I think the wealth of them just weighs the narrative down. Still, it was definitely a pick! I may post some bonus quotes. 😉 3w
Ruthiella I liked this one too and agree that it felt modern without feeling anachronistic. 3w
84 likes8 comments
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monalyisha
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“Heinrich didn‘t like to be corrected, or admonished, or disagreed with, or disliked, or, really, instructed or supervised; sometimes he didn‘t even like being spoken to.”

Wow, I feel called out. 😆

I don‘t think I‘m *that* bad. But I also don‘t think I‘m supposed to identify with Heinrich. 🙈 Ahem. Oops.

shanaqui Oh, oh no, it's me, too... 3w
TheKidUpstairs 🤣🤣🤣 I totally identify 3w
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick Yep I'm being referenced here and I don't like it. 🤣 3w
70 likes4 comments
blurb
TheKidUpstairs
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#12Booksof2021 #August

Katherina is one of my favourite characters of the year.

MerlinTheSlightlyAwkward What a character! I've taken some mental notes on the er... strength of her feelings on the world around her ?. "... looks like an unwell river otter in a doublet" was a genuinely endearing line 3w
68 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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monalyisha
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1. Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch by Rivka Galchen (off of my #NYWD22 list from @TheKidUpstairs )

2. On Monday, I start my new position at work. Other than that, I don‘t really know what the year holds! Covid makes planning a tad difficult. 🙈

3. The past few years, I‘ve always resolved to “read more nonfiction.” I‘ve finally gotten to a point where I just do so naturally now! So, I‘m following #SundayFunday for ideas to steal. 😉

TheDaysGoBy Good luck with your new job! 4w
monalyisha @TheDaysGoBy Thanks! It‘s the same Library, just a new role (which they created specifically for me 💓). When I started, I accepted a FT Circulation job to escape a toxic environment at a former Library - but Circ‘s never been my forte. Children‘s is where I shine - & now I get to do it FT. ✨ I‘m so happy & relieved. I‘ll also be heading up the Teen Department, which will be new for me. Hopefully they‘ll think I‘m weird but will like me anyway. 😅 4w
squirrelbrain Good luck with the new role- sounds exciting! 4w
See All 6 Comments
ozma.of.oz Thank you for all you do as a librarian! ❤️❤️ And thank you for sharing! 4w
monalyisha Nice of you to say, @ozma.of.oz ! 3w
monalyisha Thanks @squirrelbrain! I hope it‘s both exciting & dull, each in the best way. 😅 3w
53 likes6 comments
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monalyisha
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TheKidUpstairs Love the choice, love the shirt, love it all. I hope you enjoy. Katherina is one of my favourite characters of the year 4w
rachelsbrittain Such a good one and such a good shirt! 4w
MerlinTheSlightlyAwkward Just started this, great share! I'm hooked so far 4w
See All 9 Comments
Chrissyreadit Happy Litsyversary!!! And awesome shirt! 4w
monalyisha Thanks @Chrissyreadit! You knew before I did. 😅 Love it. 💯🙌🏻 4w
megnews Love that shirt. Can‘t wait to read the book. 3w
DivineDiana Love, love your shirt! 💜 3w
monalyisha @DivineDiana Thank you! It was a #Bestof2021Swap gift from @Amandajoy . She got it from Out of Print! 3w
DivineDiana Thank you! Will explore! 3w
100 likes5 stack adds9 comments
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monalyisha
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Happy New Year, everyone! ✨ And Happy First Day of #NewYearWhoDis #NYWD22!

Don‘t forget to post your stacks, tag me, & tag your match! Personally, I can‘t wait to get reading. I just have to decide which one to pick up first…

I‘ve also downloaded The Art of Leaving from Audible. My white whale is Blaze Island. My favorite research Librarian is on the case! She‘s doing a country-wide search & I‘ve even agreed to pay shipping! 🐋

@TheKidUpstairs

Amiable I‘ve got my first #NYWD22 book from @singout queued up on my e-reader to start today! (edited) 4w
See All 29 Comments
Chrissyreadit My #bookspin board is my #newyearwhodis list except for 2 books- but I will be reading from that list all year for sure. 4w
MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm Waiting on my books to arrive from bookshop.org, but I‘ll post a haul pic as soon as they come in! ❤️ 4w
monalyisha And @lou.reads.a.lot & @RainyDayReading, too! 💓 4w
Cinfhen Super excited to begin reading my list from @MallenNC I think I‘m starting with this one 4w
TheKidUpstairs Love this stack, such great choices. Blaze Island was from a small, East Coast Canadian indie publisher so I'm not surprised it's hard to find. Three cheers for reference librarians! Hopefully your white whale surfaces and is worth the hunt! 4w
BookBosomed1 Hamnet is so beautifully written! And “Eleanor Olphiant is Fine” is one of my favorite books. I keep waiting & hoping that the author will write another book. (edited) 4w
BkClubCare Great list! I enjoyed all that I read (all except Ghost one - will go see what that is about.) 4w
monalyisha @Cinfhen Looks fast-paced - & like it has a potentially contentious ending! Hope you enjoy! ✨🤞🏻 4w
monalyisha @BookBosomed1 High praise! Gotta do justice to this excellent list! Pressure‘s on. 😅 4w
monalyisha @BkClubCare That might be the one I‘m most interested in! The description sounds intense but *so* unique! 4w
monalyisha @TheKidUpstairs I was totally game to buy it for myself but I can‘t find a copy for under $45! 😅 I‘ve just become more & more determined… I feel like Lost‘s John Locke: “Don‘t tell me what I can‘t do.” 4w
Chelsea.Poole Great stack! I‘m so excited to get started on mine from @Mitch 😊📚 4w
squirrelbrain Great stack…I‘ve already started on two of mine from @LeeRHarry - Tiddas and Other Words For Home. 4w
CocoReads I downloaded Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover for my first choice last night. As soon as I‘m done with my book group book for Monday, I‘ll be starting that from my list from @CharityBlee 4w
Mitch Cant any wait to get going @chelsea_pool ! 4w
monalyisha @squirrelbrain The hustle! 😍🏃‍♀️ 4w
Simona Happy New Year 🍾🥂 4w
TheKidUpstairs @monalyisha let me know if your reference librarian isn't able to track it down. If she can't I can send you a copy! 4w
Gissy I did it already! Did you see it? Let me know🤗 4w
Megabooks I‘ve already started my first, but two of mine are audio, so I don‘t have much of a stack. I like yours, though! 4w
Singout @amiable That's an excellent one to start with! Moving, inspirational, informational. I learned a lot. I just started The Plot last night: very intriguing, especially as my roommate is just starting a university creative writing course...
4w
Nute Happy New Year, Alyisha!💜🥳💜 I have ordered and received two books from Kay‘s list. I don‘t know how these two books didn‘t find their way onto my own future reading list as they are perfect selections according to my interest!🙂 4w
monalyisha @Nute Thrilled to hear it. Happy New Year! ✨🎉 4w
115 likes1 stack add29 comments
blurb
LittlebearReads
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Went to B&N for “Everyone Knows…,” saw the “50% off all hardcovers” sign, and was immediately overcome by the urge to spend all my holiday cash like a tiny book goblin. It‘s the little things in life.

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Kdgordon88
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I‘m late posting my goals for November #20in4. After sitting down for the last time Thursday after pie time I informed the hubby that from the end of work Friday to Monday morning not to expect much in the way of movement from me. Naps and books are my only weekend agenda. I‘d like to finish all 5 books shown.

Ruthiella Good luck! 👍 2mo
Andrew65 Have a great reading weekend. I look forward to hearing what you think of A Tale of Two Murders, I enjoyed 2mo
50 likes2 comments
review
akfreeborn
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Pickpick

I wanted to read this for October but got delayed. Just finished and this one was a tremendously creative and clever book based in history related to mathematician Kepler‘s mother and the trials and tribulations of her being accused a witch in the 1600s. Europe was full of witch hunts for all sorts of reasons and the author did incredible research! Accessible language, funny, sad and scary. Five stars for me!

monalyisha My IRL Book Club is reading this in the coming year & I‘m so looking forward to it! It looks so amazing & is right up my alley! 2mo
akfreeborn @monalyisha I hope you love it! 2mo
29 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
DivineDiana
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Pickpick

This is my first completed book for November, a carryover from witchy October. I was introduced to this on Litsy, and the title was intriguing. At first, this story of a 74 year old woman, a mother of three, was not capturing my attention. Thought it might be the time(1618) or the place(Germany). Slowly as I continued, it struck me how easy it is for people to spread rumors, and how difficult it is to explain the truth. Based on a true story.

marleed This book fascinated me. I always think of Massachusetts when it comes to witch trials so it was interesting for me to read this in a European setting. 3mo
megnews I had this on my tbr last month and didn‘t get to. Definitely want to next October. 3mo
DivineDiana @megnews I saw so many books on Litsy that I thought would be good for next year! 3mo
59 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Kdgordon88
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My November #BookSpinBingo list. November‘s list is focused on group reads and gifted books from swaps.

Love the 2nd day of the month!

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! 3mo
49 likes1 comment
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Kdgordon88
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OMG, Meagon! Everything is so perfect! I hugged Dani with Binx and am so thrilled to add her to my Halloween decorations. The candle smells amazing! I‘ll be using the mug with my afternoon tea today with a snickers or two on the side. And the books! Saving the Redmond for #WinterGames. And starting the tagged today. It was one of my most wanted books. You spoiled me rotten and I love it! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Kdgordon88 Thank you, Lynn, for hosting this wonderful swap. I received what my dad would call an embarrassment of riches and I am so grateful. Happy Halloween! 🎃 @wanderinglynn 3mo
Kdgordon88 And the Harry Potter bookmark stitch kit didn‘t make it in the pic but I love it 🧡 @MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm (edited) 3mo
wanderinglynn Awesome! 🎃🧡 3mo
MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm So glad you liked everything!! I‘m not a Pop collector, but when I saw teeny Binx with Dani, I‘ll admit I was very tempted to buy a second one for myself. 😅❤️ 3mo
44 likes4 comments
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rachelsbrittain
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Didn't finish up the last two books I was trying to get through but still a pretty good reading month. 21 in total, including some short comics.

Favorites: There's No Such Thing as an Easy Job and Light From Uncommon Star

Gissy Absolutely amazing!📚📚📚📚👏👏👏👏 4mo
DivineDiana Incredible month! 3mo
48 likes2 comments
review
AlizaApp
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Pickpick

A funny and original historical fiction, about what happened when the mother of Johannas Kepler was accused of being a witch. What this book proposes is: what if instead she was just a bit annoying and kind of a busybody? The narration was fun!

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Suet624
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I‘m going to keep my eyes peeled for people with overexpressive hands!

Ruthiella 😂😂😂 5mo
marleed Hahaha! I had a hs teacher who made me sit on my hands to speak. Apparently, my hands drove her crazy! Well, that and a few other things ;). She also told me with a certain disgust that I‘d smile at anyone who‘d look at me. Who says that to a 16 year old girl!? 5mo
Suet624 @marleed ummm, seems pretty harsh for a teacher to do/say those things! 5mo
39 likes3 comments
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Suet624
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Younger girls walking into their bloom, toward the center of their lives, and an elderly woman walking to the end of her life, toward her own perimeter. Occasionally I get a glimpse of this in my own life.

Jeg Well said. That‘s where I‘m going. 5mo
BarbaraBB 🤍 5mo
Reggie ❤️lovely and sad. 5mo
batsy This passage 💔 This book has so many lines worth savouring 5mo
Suet624 @batsy You‘re so right. 5mo
50 likes5 comments
review
rachelsbrittain
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Pickpick

Looking for some witchy historical fiction this fall? Look no further. An elderly woman is accused of witchcraft by conniving neighbors and recounts her tale through a neighbor acting as her guardian. Told in a casual and familiar voice that makes the whole story feel quite endearing despite its difficult subject matter and the threat of torture and death the protagonist faces.

TW: mentions of anti-semitism and period-typical sexism

46 likes3 stack adds
review
TheKidUpstairs
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Pickpick

Inspired by true events, Katherina Kepler is an elderly widow who dotes on her cow, loves her children, and has very few f**ks left to give. Small town politics and gossip in 17th century Germany mean that, of course, she must be a witch. A trial ensues, neighbours either stand by or join the frenzy and pile on, and Katherina just tries to continue living. 👇

TheKidUpstairs Filled with wry wit, but not shying away from the realities of life at a time when war looms, superstition abounds, and death is a constant fact of life. I loved every page. One of my favourites of the year so far. 5mo
Read-y_Picker This looks so good! 5mo
TheKidUpstairs @Read-y_Picker it really was! It's gotten a lot of so-so ratings on here, so I guess it doesn't quite work for everyone, but I loved it. Would totally recommend! 5mo
BarbaraBB Happy you liked it so much! 5mo
monalyisha I was just complaining to my husband about how tough it was to succinctly review this novel! But you did it! 😅💯 Brava! 🙌🏻 3w
66 likes3 stack adds5 comments
review
AnneCecilie
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Mehso-so

Katharina Kepler tells her story to her neighbour Simon. Her story is about being accused as a witch. In between we get Simon‘s story and the testimonies.

A story about how rumours get out of control and escalates.

I can‘t quite put my finger on, but for me something was missing in this story.

#CampToB

BarbaraBB There was something missing indeed. It felt very detached. I never felt for Katharina! 5mo
Chelsea.Poole I felt the same way 😔 5mo
54 likes2 comments
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BarbaraBB
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By reading the second half of the tagged book, we‘ve come to the end of #CampToB. Now it‘s time to vote for this one or Peaces. The winner (I have a feeling!) will be up against both other winners: Whereabouts and No One is Talking About This. I will make another post when it‘s time to make your final vote. For now let me know which of these two ⬆️⬆️ gets your vote!

KarenUK Wasn‘t fond of either really, but easy vote 5mo
Cinfhen Witch it is 🤩 5mo
See All 11 Comments
squirrelbrain Hmmm, let me think…. 🤔 only kidding! 5mo
Chelsea.Poole I didn‘t read the other, so default goes to Witch. Is that cheating?? 🤔 5mo
BarbaraBB @Chelsea.Poole Of course not, no one knows 😉 5mo
AceOnRoam Witch 5mo
AnneCecilie I never read the Oyeyemi, so my vote goes to 5mo
Well-ReadNeck Didn‘t love either, but since I didn‘t finish the other, I‘m voting for 5mo
47 likes11 comments
review
KarenUK
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Mehso-so

It‘s witty and clever, but I found it a bit repetitive. Based on true events from 1618 Germany, an old woman(and mother of a famous astronomer) is accused of witchcraft by townsfolk.Told through fictionalized trial testimony interspersed with an imagined account told to her neighbor Simon, it dragged a bit in the middle. But it was a sharp look at how gossip and scaremongering and “fake news” with a big dash of misogyny is not a new thing at all.

BarbaraBB Great review, exactly my thoughts! 5mo
KarenUK @BarbaraBB 👯‍♀️😂💕 5mo
BarbaraBB Of course 👯‍♀️ 🤍 5mo
57 likes1 stack add4 comments
review
batsy
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Pickpick

Galchen reimagines the story of Katharina Kepler, astronomer Johannes Kepler's mother, who was accused of witchcraft in 1615. It's a bleak, horrifying subject, but Katharina & her neighbour Simon's voice are suffused with wit, dry humour, & intelligence. I kept highlighting every other line. Most of all, I appreciated the expansive, generous view of humanity during a particular historical period minus the sentimentalism or romance. #CampTOB

TrishB Great review 👍🏻 5mo
vivastory Wonderful review! Did you read all of the #camptob selections? Which one is your favorite? 5mo
batsy @TrishB Thank you! 5mo
See All 13 Comments
batsy @vivastory Thank you! I've read them all except Peaces, and I think this one is my favourite of the lot :) 5mo
vivastory @batsy I will def read it then! 5mo
squirrelbrain Fab review! 5mo
batsy @squirrelbrain Thanks! 🙂 5mo
nathandrake1997 Brilliant review ❤️ 5mo
batsy @nathandrake1997 Thanks, friend 💜 5mo
rubyslippersreads Your review definitely makes me want to read this! 5mo
batsy @rubyslippersreads I hope you enjoy! 5mo
Puig Loved this book. 5mo
batsy @Puig So good! 5mo
96 likes7 stack adds13 comments
review
BkClubCare
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Pickpick

I love purple. I see no monsters. How to review this last book of the #TOBSummerCamp? I have never been captivated by “Camp” as this year. I read them all! ✔️ I don‘t think I‘ve participated since Fever Dream year. Anyway, THIS book. I am German by heritage; Lutheran by religious upbringing and THIS was a delightful listen!! For those reasons. Humor ✔️ my kind of humor ✔️ science! Women being awesome! Family support!!! GOOD STUFF

BkClubCare I have been fascinated by the discussion— was this a “typical witchhunt narrative” ? Um, no idea. I haven‘t ready many if any to know. I mean, yea — I “know/get” the witch trial story concept. What‘s the problem? I think I want to read everything this author gives us. 5mo
Ruthiella Congratulations on reading them all! I liked this one a lot. I particularly enjoyed its dry humor. 5mo
BarbaraBB Great review. I am glad it resonates so much with you as it does. 5mo
29 likes4 comments
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batsy
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This book is lowkey striving for #spinsterlit status and I respect it 🧙🏾‍♀️

#CampTOB

saresmoore THIS IS WHAT I‘VE BEEN SAYING 🙃😜 5mo
Lindy She‘s such a great character! 5mo
Suet624 Darn it. Now I have to read it. 5mo
See All 8 Comments
batsy @saresmoore I know right 😅 5mo
batsy @Lindy She's fantastic! I enjoy being inside her head. 5mo
batsy @Suet624 Yep! 😆 5mo
Cathythoughts Brilliant 5mo
batsy @Cathythoughts I love the writing! 5mo
69 likes2 stack adds8 comments
review
BarbaraBB
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Mehso-so

I can‘t pinpoint why I didn‘t enjoy this book more than I actually did. The subject (based on real events), the different voices and pov‘s, the style, the wittiness of Katharina herself: all appeal to me. And yet it didn‘t really work for me. #CampToB

Megabooks Sometimes it‘s weird like that. I hope you had fun out on the boat! 5mo
Tamra I started the audio and bailed. Just didn‘t connect at the moment. 5mo
marleed I have moods like that. Sometimes it‘s the right book but just the wrong time. 5mo
See All 21 Comments
BarbaraBB @Megabooks It‘s a bit different from the Mediterranean (I just watched an episode of Below Deck, those crew people 🙈) but nice as well 😉 5mo
BarbaraBB @Tamra @marleed This was such a case of the wrong book at the wrong moment. I was too impatient too fully invest in it. 5mo
Megabooks So glad you got to see those BD antics! It‘s one of my favorite reality shows. And you‘d probably agree with me that river, lake, or sea, a day on a boat is a fun one! 💜 5mo
BarbaraBB @Megabooks It is. I remember you‘re living close to a river as well. Do you spend time on it once in a while? 5mo
Megabooks Not recently, and I‘ve spent more time on lakes than in rivers. There is boating on the Ohio, but it is such a large, fast flowing river that most people prefer to boat elsewhere. There are a couple of smaller tributaries nearby, but most of us go to Land Between the Lakes, which is two large lakes and some recreational areas. 5mo
Megabooks My favorite lake that I‘ve boated on is Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. So bougie. It‘s a really upscale area, and it was the nicest private boat I‘ve been on. The lake was cold and refreshing. Great day! 5mo
BarbaraBB I‘ve Googled them. Looks fantastic! 5mo
Megabooks 😀😀 5mo
BkClubCare It worked for me! Until the ending. I don‘t know what happened! But I am still thinking it was my fave of Camp. Detransition, Baby and Whereabouts, too. SO DIFFERENT, right?! 5mo
BarbaraBB @BkClubCare Completely different! I like that so much about the #ToB 5mo
AceOnRoam I'm reading it, not very far in but not really enjoying the writing. I thought it would be right up my alley 😏 but unfortunately not. 5mo
AceOnRoam I'm so jealous of your day out on the boat, where was this picture taken? 5mo
BarbaraBB @AceOnRoam this is in Amsterdam on our own little boat but I just got back from sailing in Greece again, which was so so good! 5mo
Suet624 Uh oh. This may be the first time we have different opinions. 5mo
BarbaraBB @Suet624 oh no 😉, that can‘t be true. You‘re loving it? 5mo
Suet624 Except for the fact that it seems to be too close to the present day experience (referring to Texas where people can rat out their neighbors who may be seeking an abortion and receive $10,000), I really liked the style and humor of the book. 5mo
BarbaraBB @Suet624 You‘re serious about betraying abortions in Texas 😱? That sounds medieval indeed (edited) 5mo
Suet624 Ban on abortions after 6 weeks in that state. And yes, I‘m serious. 5mo
77 likes21 comments
blurb
BarbaraBB
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#CampToB

Is Katharina a witch, that‘s the question. Multiple voices, among which Katharina‘s own, tell their point of view. The result is a mash-up of funny, absurd, and serious parts.
Halfway through the answer to the question is yet unclear, but maybe we don‘t need one?
Share your thoughts on the last book of the summer tournament below!

squirrelbrain I loved the wittiness of the first half of the book, particularly the nicknames that Katharina gave to people and I thought that the story jogged along at just the right pace, even though not a great deal actually happened. 5mo
Ruthiella I really enjoyed this one. I liked the dry humor of the narrative. It felt modern and yet not anachronistic. (edited) 5mo
Flaneurette I'm only about 10% into this one and it's not gripping me yet. Historical fiction is not really my fave. It is better than Peaces though.. 5mo
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AceOnRoam Haven't read this one yet, but absolutely love the title. I hope to read it before this year is out. 5mo
Well-ReadNeck I bailed on this one before the half. It was just crawling for me. 5mo
batsy I'm really enjoying it. Something about the pared down style & the wealth of detail & atmosphere. A bit like Mantel's version of historical fiction; not bloated, but elegant. Also love the clever wit & dark humour throughout. 5mo
BarbaraBB I just wrote in my review that all ingredients of this book are right into my wheelhouse yet the book didn‘t really work for me. But you are right @Flaneurette it‘s better than Peaces! I am glad you are enjoying it @batsy ! 5mo
BarbaraBB @Ruthiella @Well-ReadNeck Again you‘re not in sync 👯‍♀️ 😉 5mo
BarbaraBB @AceOnRoam The title is fantastic indeed! 5mo
Cinfhen Definitely better than Peaces but the pacing was a bit slow. Audio narration was amazing but I think I may have benefited from print. Love how @batsy and @Ruthiella describes the prose 🙌🏻 This author is clever and shows great promise!! 5mo
BkClubCare @batsy ditto! Loving this. Ditto to @Ruthiella , too (after I look up anachronistic… 🤣) 5mo
vivastory I've been terrible about #camptob posts, but I've enjoyed following the posts. Part of it has been work (Wednesday is a day I have a lot of meetings) & part of it has been personal issues. I do appreciate you tagging me though! 5mo
AnneCecilie I don‘t see the humour in this, but I hardly ever do in books. It‘s an interesting story and for me it illustrates how fast gossip get out of hand and how easy it is to blame someone else for your bad luck instead of yourself/ coincidence. 5mo
BarbaraBB @vivastory I do hope you are okay and things will work out for you the way you want. Don‘t feel sorry about #camptob; it‘s not important and the books are good not great! 🤍 5mo
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review
Cinfhen
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Pickpick

#CampToB21 A really fun and original HF set in the early 1600‘s, Germany, at a time when villagers could accuse a neighbor of being a witch to explain/justify any calamities. Based on actual witch trial transcripts , Rivka Galchen reimagines the villagers pettiness and jealousies as they state their grievances against the widower Katerina Kepler. Audio narration was fabulous 🙌🏻♥️ I will admit to my mind wandering often😜👇🏼

Cinfhen At some point I‘d like to read the print book (that I do own) 5mo
BarbaraBB This sounds good! I am starting it today! 5mo
Cinfhen It‘s different from all the other summer entries @BarbaraBB I think my favorite might still be 5mo
Daisey This one sounds fascinating to me. 5mo
Cinfhen It‘s really entertaining @Daisey and had I been paying better attention I think I would have gotten more out of it 5mo
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review
squirrelbrain
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Pickpick

Katharina Kepler is accused of being a witch in Germany in the early 1600s. Based on a true story we follow the narrative as it is told by her neighbour, Simon.

I loved the audio narration to start with but after a while it became a bit too intense and I had to ration it a little bit. I also felt that the book dipped slightly in the middle, becoming rather repetitive and slow-moving. Overall though, this was snarky, witty and clever.

#campToB

BarbaraBB Fab review, makes me so curious. I‘ll start it when I finish The Stone Angel! 5mo
TrishB Great review 👍🏻 looking forward to it. 5mo
BkClubCare I‘m listening, too but in small chunks over many days. The only thing I find problematic is the distraction of how names are pronounced and not being able to figure out spelling. The daughter name that starts with M - will need to find the print version to orient myself. 5mo
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squirrelbrain @BkClubCare - I too was struggling with the names. I like to be able to ‘see‘ how they are spelt but couldn‘t motivate myself to go check, so do let me know if you find out M‘s name! 😁 5mo
BkClubCare @squirrelbrain - it came up in the Summer Camp commentary: the granddaughter Maruschl. New to me so I had trouble “hearing” it (and attempting to spell it.) 5mo
squirrelbrain New to me too @BkClubCare - thanks very much for that! 5mo
BkClubCare @squirrelbrain - 😊 I finished yesterday and do think it ended with a bit of let down, like it fizzled out. But I might have been wanting it to end. Is that the same thing ?! 😂 5mo
squirrelbrain I completely agree @BkClubCare - it just suddenly seemed to stop. I did really like it, but also weirdly had enough of it! 5mo
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review
Shakesteve
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Mehso-so

This novel is based on the true story of the mother of Johannes Kepler, the great German astronomer and mathematician. Katharina Kepler was a herbalist who was accused of being a witch in 1615. Told from her point of view and that of her neighbor, who assisted in her case, it is an interesting case study of small town pettiness and gossip snowballing into absurd accusations but the book is somewhat slow and repetitive.

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ReadingEnvy
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Reading Envy Podcast Episode 226 - Cucumber Sandwiches with Lindy Pratch

Lindy joins me to talk books, where we discuss Canadian lit, vignettes and white space in writing, and what really makes a monster. @Lindy

Follow the link to listen and subscribe:
https://tinyurl.com/ReadingEnvy226

Lindy It‘s always a pleasure to chat with you on your podcast, Jenny. 🤗 6mo
ReadingEnvy @Lindy and also with you! 6mo
Centique This was an excellent podcast Jenny and @Lindy I‘m interested in all of these but particularly The Centaur‘s Wife. 😍 Thanks for adding another foot onto Mount TBR! 6mo
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Lindy @Centique Yay! Mount TBR is a sacred place. 6mo
ReadingEnvy @Centique @lindy each summit is another Basecamp ;) 6mo
Lindy @ReadingEnvy @Centique Ha! The climb is so much fun. 5mo
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Lindy
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“Friendship,” he said. “I‘m not going to put down family. Family is a field of hay, a well of water, whatnot. But friendship is a sausage. Or, no, it‘s not a sausage. Romance is a sausage. Friendship is a lemon. Do you know what sailors take on their journeys to the here-be-monsters part of the maps? They take lemons, because lemons are steadfast. [Sailors are] the ones who tell me the lemon is a forever friend.

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Lindy
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Also, I dreamed of strawberries. Of the seeds on the outside. I had always been skeptical of strawberries, growing so close to the ground, but in that prison, I dreamed of the strawberry as a noble fruit, and plentiful. The strawberry sets its seeds on the outside, for all to see. A strawberry has nothing to hide.

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Lindy
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So much ill fortune follows from eating strawberries, which grow so close to the ground, where vapours are stale. But who warns us about strawberries? Only the people no one listens to.

Ruthiella I loved Katherina‘s voice in this book. 6mo
AJBowers As someone who is allergic to strawberries, I approve of this message. 6mo
32 likes2 comments
review
WellReadCatLady
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Pickpick

Fictionalization of Johannes Kepler‘s mom being accused of being a witch in 1600s Germany told through testimonies, letters, and the accounts of the accused and her neighbor.

Enjoyable read, was a bit confusing when changing perspectives.

review
Lindy
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Pickpick

Vivid, humorous voice—that of an indomitable old woman—combined with the depressingly ignorant behaviour of townspeople who have accused her of witchcraft. I was riveted by this historical novel based on real people who lived in southern Germany in the early 17th century. Entertaining and sobering. I wish it didn‘t remind me so much of the fearful superstitions I see surrounding Covid vaccinations and other scientific stuff. #CanadianAuthor

marleed Yes, some personalities I read in books now would have seemed fictional or farcical a few years ago - but now, not so much :(. Such a great book! 6mo
Lindy @marleed 👍 6mo
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Lindy
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I suspect the only thing I‘d be interested in reading would be a history. But I‘m told histories are hated, which is not surprising. People prefer to make it up themselves.

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Lindy
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I had loved babies as a child, more than most people do, even. I loved their small fingernails. I loved the way they seemed to arrive older than their parents. I loved the courage they had to sleep as if there were no wolves, no soldiers.
(Internet photo)

marleed What a great quote! I loved this book! 6mo
Lindy @marleed I loved it too. I‘m trying to come up with a review that‘s more coherent than pure gushing. 😁 6mo
marleed I understand - mine was full out gush! 6mo
Lindy @marleed I have scrolled down to find your review... and it‘s lovely! 6mo
marleed :) 6mo
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Lindy
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“I apologize for having no horse,” he said cheerfully. He didn‘t look like he‘d ever had a horse. Or even had a close friend who had had a horse.

Centique Love it 😝 6mo
Lindy @Centique 👯 6mo
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Lindy
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He asked me to sit, encouraged me to have a bite to eat. He had a slice of apple on a tiny spear of some sort.
“What is that toy you‘re holding?”
“It‘s a fork. And I know you know it‘s a fork.”
“It looks like the tail of a devil,” I said. “Not in a bad way.”

JamieArc I have that dishware set and I love it! 6mo
Lindy @JamieArc yay! I just have this one utensil that I keep in my backpack. Comes in handy. 6mo
31 likes2 comments
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Lindy
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A hummingbird once rested near my shoulder. It was a very ill omen. For one who isn‘t a flower.

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Lindy
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I had Greta‘s voice in my head, telling me that all people are the image of God. Why not all voles, then? All fleas? They were God‘s creations, too.

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Lindy
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“We should file for slander,” Gertie said.
“Someone always thinks she‘s the sausage maker around here,” Christoph said.
“Mama makes very nice sausages,” little Agnes said.
“I‘m not saying anything about sausages,” Gertie said. “I‘m simply saying: you need to file for slander. The guild won‘t be pleased to have a member suspected of being a witch‘s son, I can promise you that.”

(Photo taken at my sister‘s meat shop)

review
Chelsea.Poole
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Mehso-so

Ugh. I so wanted to like this. And I did, a bit. But if I‘m being honest, I just wanted it to be over. 😩
Definitely loved the humor, but it is still a sad truth to know so many women suffered the fate of being labeled a witch for so many petty/superfluous reasons. It just didn‘t work for me and I can‘t put my finger on exactly why. Read for #CampToB.

BarbaraBB That is not encouraging 😃 and you know I have to read it too! 6mo
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review
ReadingEnvy
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Pickpick

This is my last read for the Tournament of Books Camp ToB, and I think this is my favorite, although none were five-star reads for me.

Johannes Kepler is known for his astronomy discoveries but the context of that work is the era of the plague, and people not understanding disease, much less the universe. His mother Katharina is accused of being a witch in her old age and this is the (fictionalized) story of the trial...

ReadingEnvy largely told through testimonies of her neighbors, who looking back now blame all ailments, failures, and deaths on her. There are also letters from Katharina to her son and others. It is historical fiction, recentering a female character, with some humor and conjecture. The ending was rather fun.

The audiobook is narrated by Natasha Soudek she does a lot of different voices for the characters.
7mo
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review
marleed
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Pickpick

Did I judge this book by title alone? Yes I did! Do I have regrets for my snap decision? No!! This book is laugh out loud please-let-Francis-McDormand-have-the-rights-to-this-book-so-she-can-play-Katharina-on-screen funny. …It‘s a fictional 1600‘s story of an IRL mother and son, and I realize I want to know more about this piece of European history.

Cathythoughts Great review 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 7mo
TheKidUpstairs I so want to read this one! Shows the power of a great title! 7mo
marleed @TheKidUpstairs @Cathythoughts It‘s so good. I don‘t want to say too much because it was so fun to dive into the unknown! 7mo
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Tamra I love McDormand so that is a big endorsement to me! 7mo
marleed @Tamra Haha. Every once a while when I‘m reading, I envision the actor for the role should it be adapted. It happened immediately here, and I could only see Francis deliver the lines of Katherine - and that was a very good thing! 7mo
Lindy Great review! 👏👏👏 6mo
BkClubCare Ha! I just started this and now I have McDormand in my head. Not a bad thing 6mo
marleed @BkClubCare Haha. I haven‘t cast a character in any other book since finishing this one. Interesting when it happens for me! 6mo
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Cinfhen
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BarbaraBB Ooh exciting! I still haven‘t found a copy! 7mo
70 likes1 comment
blurb
daena
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Book mail! 🖤

BarbaraBB Looking forward to this one! 8mo
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