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Harlem Shuffle
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
From two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead, a gloriously entertaining novel of heists, shakedowns, and rip-offs set in Harlem in the 1960s. "Ray Carney was only slightly bent when it came to being crooked..." To his customers and neighbors on 125th street, Carney is an upstanding salesman of reasonably priced furniture, making a decent life for himself and his family. He and his wife Elizabeth are expecting their second child, and if her parents on Striver's Row don't approve of him or their cramped apartment across from the subway tracks, it's still home. Few people know he descends from a line of uptown hoods and crooks, and that his faade of normalcy has more than a few cracks in it. Cracks that are getting bigger all the time. Cash is tight, especially with all those installment-plan sofas, so if his cousin Freddie occasionally drops off the odd ring or necklace, Ray doesn't ask where itcomes from. He knows a discreet jeweler downtown who doesn't ask questions, either. Then Freddie falls in with a crew who plan to rob the Hotel Theresa -- the "Waldorf of Harlem" -- and volunteers Ray's services as the fence. The heist doesn't go as planned; they rarely do. Now Ray has a new clientele, one made up of shady cops, vicious local gangsters, two-bit pornographers, and other assorted Harlem lowlifes. Thus begins the internal tussle between Ray the striver and Ray the crook. As Ray navigates this double life, he begins to see who actually pulls the strings in Harlem. Can Ray avoid getting killed, save his cousin, and grab his share of the big score, all while maintaining his reputation as the go-to source for all your quality home furniture needs? Harlem Shuffle's ingenious story plays out in a beautifully recreated New York City of the early 1960s. It's a family saga masquerading as a crime novel, a hilarious morality play, a social novel about race and power, and ultimately a love letter to Harlem. But mostly, it's a joy to read, another dazzling novel from the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning Colson Whitehead.
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JamieArc
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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🔸Physical Book
🔸3.5 stars at 100 pages in
🔸Not normally, but this is for #LMPBC so I‘m highlighting and writing in it!

#ThoughtfulThursday

MoonWitch94 Thanks for playing 📚☺️ 2d
33 likes1 comment
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JGadz11
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Found this one really slow going. Maybe it‘s because it‘s so similar to S.A. Cosby‘s work. Whitehead is the stronger writer; he can seriously turn a phrase, and I enjoyed some of the sly humor. But both Blacktop Wasteland and Razorblade Tears moved at a much more interesting pace, and I slogged through this. Whitehead‘s other works are much fresher than Harlem Shuffle.

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JGadz11
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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✨Gardening essentials.✨

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Eva_B
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

I ended up really enjoying this one. It took me a while to get into it but I loved it in the end. This is the third Colson Whitehead book I‘ve read. All three have been set in different eras of American history. This one is set in Harlem in the late 50s- mid 60s. I got totally absorbed in the setting and his characters, as always, were brilliantly written. He has definitely become one of my ‘go to‘ authors.

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JackieGreco
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
Mehso-so

I like Colson Whitehead‘s other books but I wasn‘t crazy about this book. I had a hard time getting into it.

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Ericalambbrown
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

This was a slow burning novel, but I enjoyed the smoldering story. Set in late50s to early 60s Harlem, it gives a perspective I don‘t think I‘ve ever read before in fiction.

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Traci1
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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My Friday plans.

Leftcoastzen Ahhh, enjoy! 2mo
marleed Nice plans! 1mo
78 likes2 comments
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AnneCecilie
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Bailedbailed

I‘m sorry, but I‘m just not in the mood for this book at the moment. After 50p, I don‘t care what happens with any of the characters.

I‘m going to hear Whitehead speak in May about this book, so I hope that will inspire me to try this again.anyway, I think It will be great hearing Whitehead speak, unless it‘s canceled again.

squirrelbrain I finished this, but didn‘t love it. Not much happened so it seemed to drag… 3mo
73 likes1 comment
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NovelNancy
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

This book was entertaining - good character development and setting descriptions. There are a lot of characters which I found a bit confusing. While I liked Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys better, I still enjoyed the novel due to the excellent writing. I also wonder how close to actual events the plot was.

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vivastory
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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When I tell you I gasped 🤯 This will be my first in person event since the pandemic & I'm relieved to see that the event space is requiring proof of vaccination.

BkClubCare Ooooooo! I could maybe try to attend this! How fun…. Scurries off to research this event and put on my calendar 📆 4mo
vivastory @BkClubCare I hope you're able to! I will def be going to the Whitehead reading & plan on visiting The Raven beforehand. I haven't been there since they relocated! 4mo
merelybookish Wow! I really like Sarah Smarsh too. 4mo
See All 8 Comments
readordierachel Sounds awesome! 4mo
Branwen This is fantastic! How exciting! 4mo
vivastory @readordierachel I'm pretty excited! I've missed in person readings 4mo
vivastory @Branwen Really looking forward to it 📚📚 4mo
65 likes8 comments
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BarbaraTheBibliophage
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

This is more historical fiction than mystery / thriller. Which shouldn‘t be surprising coming from Whitehead. As always, the writing is stellar with thought-provoking themes. Read with my IRL book group and it lends itself to discussion. I will always be a fan, but this isn‘t as good as his last two.

Full review https://www.TheBibliophage.com
#thebibliophage2022

TracyReadsBooks I agree. I didn‘t think this one was as good as his previous books. I also made the mistake of reading it right after Deacon King Kong and it suffered in comparison. 4mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage @TracyReadsBooks OOOOH! That makes me want to read Deacon King Kong next. I was also thinking about 4mo
TracyReadsBooks Razorblade Tears is excellent! You can‘t go wrong with either one. 4mo
85 likes1 stack add3 comments
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cajunsyd
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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I enjoyed this one, my first book competed in 2022!

40 likes1 stack add
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Kazzie
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
Pickpick

First books of 2022 and I love it! He is such a good writer. Such a cool look into 1960s Harlem. Good story with likeable characters, but the way he turns a sentence is so beautiful

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candc320
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Mehso-so

Well, the search for my 1st 5🌟 read is still ongoing 😩! I feel like I‘m being super picky this year for some reason. This story was just ok. I feel like the main character was just pretending to want to be on the straight and narrow instead of actually struggling with his choices. And the plot seemed to shift around too much without that much actually happening. Really liked the narrator though! 🌟🌟🌟

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Andrew65
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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My #July choice for #12Booksof2021 is Harlem Shuffle. A book that has well and truly stayed with me 5 months later, a sign of a great book. Due to #AuthoraMonth in 2020 he has become a favourite author of mine. Thoroughly recommended and am in great company as Barack Obama named it as one of his books of the year.
#7thBookof2021

Also notable nominations for Baby It‘s Cold Outside by Emily Bell and Celebrations at the Chateau by Jo Thomas.

megnews On my tbr. Hope to read it in the next month or two. 5mo
See All 10 Comments
Andrew65 @megnews Hope you enjoy it. 5mo
Scochrane26 This one is on my tbr 5mo
Andrew65 @Scochrane26 Hope you enjoy it. 5mo
Ruthiella Definitely will read this one! 5mo
Jess861 He also became a favourite of mine due to #AuthorAMonth 5mo
Andrew65 @Ruthiella I‘m sure you‘ll enjoy it. Me and my Buddy Barack can‘t both be wrong. 🤣 5mo
Andrew65 @Jess861 Love the way it introduces me to new authors. In 2022 there will be 9 new authors for me. 5mo
76 likes2 stack adds10 comments
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AlizaApp
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

Loved this one! Set in early 1960s Harlem, Ray has a family and owns a furniture store and is trying to live a life mostly on the straight and narrow, if not for the legacy of his criminal father and the antics of his up-to-no-good cousin. Whitehead is a brilliant writer.

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LKK526
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
Mehso-so

I know this book is on just about every best of fiction for this dwindling year but I have mixed emotions. I liked the main character Raymond Carney as well as other assorted characters most of whom are of the criminal element. But still, I found it hard to get into the rhythm of the novel which takes place in the late 50s-early 60s. I had to start it twice and almost gave up one-quarter thru on the second go round bit I did finish it.

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Butterfinger
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

I got so caught up in Dion Graham's performance, I was shocked when he said, "This is Dion Graham..." Great writing and great reading.

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eraderneely
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Bit of family reading time this morning

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Mitch
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Oh wow - I‘ve been super slack in 2021 ! Haven‘t read one of these! Flip side - gives me more to read on 2022!

https://bookmarks.reviews/the-best-reviewed-books-of-2021-mystery-and-crime/?utm...

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NikkiCureton
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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#audiobook Great narrator and very good story.

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Bookboss
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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I went to the library to pick up my hold, The Inheritance of Orquidea Divination, and found all of these books on the New shelf! So excited!

HeatherBookNerd I loved Mrs. March! 6mo
rmaclean4 Mrs March is a ride!! 👍 6mo
Suet624 I love when that happens 6mo
44 likes3 comments
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Jeannineth
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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This is my first Colton Whitehead book and I‘ve heard mixed reviews.

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squirrelbrain
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Mehso-so

This one wasn‘t for me. There were too many characters and a lot going on but, at the same time, nothing really happened.

I can‘t say I‘ve loved any of Whitehead‘s books that I‘ve read so far; maybe I should give up now! liked Nickel Boys but not Underground Railroad. #unpopularopinion

This is definitely my least favourite of the #ToB longlist so far.

Megabooks I bailed on this and I‘m not sorry! 6mo
Caroline2 Yeah, I found underground really hard work and I ended up skim reading the second half. Think I‘ll skip this one too then. 👍 6mo
Amiable I thought “Underground Railroad” was OK but didn‘t enjoy “Nickel Boys.” I‘m not rushing to pick this one up. 6mo
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Cinfhen I appreciated both Railroad & Nickel Boys but found Harlem Shuffle to similar to Deacon King Kong and that one was way more engaging & entertaining. This was a so-so for me too!! 6mo
Ruthiella I‘m still gonna read it, but later if it doesn‘t make the shortlist. I want to be a Whitehead completionist. 6mo
jenniferw88 Preferred Nickel Boys to Railroad, will try this one at some point! 5mo
Viji I feel the same: not a huge fan of Underground Railroad or Harlem Shuffle. Whitehead‘s style is interesting to read but not much actually happens in the plot line of the story. 5mo
78 likes7 comments
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sprainedbrain
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

I‘m kind of surprised by the very mixed reviews I‘ve been seeing for this book… but I‘m also surprised by how much I loved it, when I only really expected to like it. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Full review on my blog: https://sprainedbrain.blog/2021/11/25/review-harlem-shuffle-by-colson-whitehead/

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

KatieDid927 I‘m glad you liked it! I was surprised that I kind of didn‘t. 6mo
MelissaSue81 One of Colson Whitehead‘s talents is the ability to write a diverse range of genres. This genre was just not my jam. (edited) 6mo
squirrelbrain I‘m struggling a bit with this one, although it is starting to grow on me (about 30% in). 6mo
95 likes5 stack adds3 comments
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KatieDid927
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Mehso-so

This is a tough one, but I have to be honest. I was so excited for this book. Unfortunately it was very meh for me. The setting was beautiful. I love Harlem, and New York historical fiction. I just did not connect at all to these characters. There were too many, most of them one dimensional. I cared about Carney in the beginning, but by the end I didn‘t. The story and characters overall lacked the electricity that his Pulitzer winning books have.

Hooked_on_books I bailed on this one—I couldn‘t get into it at all. I‘m still a little shocked. 6mo
KatieDid927 @Hooked_on_books I liked it enough to see if it went anywhere. Unfortunately, it didn‘t. 6mo
BoleyBooks I had a similar experience with this one…fell flat. 6mo
55 likes3 comments
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Floresj
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

Carney‘s attempts to be a bridge- be both straight and crooked in Harlem is so engaging. I loved every minute of this novel. It‘s a mystery…not that it‘s a whodunnit, but if he will actually pull off being a fence. Colson Whitehead is so talented- characters are vibrant and the pace perfect.

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LatrelWhite
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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🇺🇸Honoring the Veterans today thank you for your service!

🎧Half through Colon Whitehead‘s HARLEM SHUFFLE hopefully I can put a dent in it today 😊

15 likes1 stack add
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Cathyloves2read
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
Mehso-so

This was the November selection for a book club I belong to. It was a tough read for me. Definitely not my type of novel. Although there were many good portions, I felt confused as I tried to understand what was happening. The characters were hard for me to keep track of, as some of them only showed up a few times during the story. This wasn‘t a horrible book, but definitely not one of my favorites.

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staci.reads
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Panpan

I really wanted to like this one, but struggled through the entire book. Definitely one I should have abandoned instead of finishing 😔.

Read.Riot I‘m really curious about why. I had this same experience in terms of should have abandoned a book instead of finished it last week with Of Women and Salt. These are both highly recommended books - one BoTM and the other Roxane Gay‘s book club - so it‘s interesting, and I suppose a bit surprising, that we are panning them both. 7mo
Megabooks I‘m glad I bailed. 7mo
52 likes2 comments
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vivastory
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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I just referred to Whitehead's latest as Sharlem Puffle. Clearly I have no choice but to disappear into the wild where I will spend the remainder of my days in shame

TrishB 😂😂 7mo
DrexEdit 😂 7mo
Bookwomble Ha, ha! 😄 7mo
KathyWheeler Clearly that‘s your only option! 😄 7mo
mjdowens And I will now forever call it that 🤣🤣🤣 7mo
62 likes5 comments
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CaitlinR
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Mehso-so

I never thought I‘d feel this way about a Whitehead book, but my overall impression is meh! Harlem Shuffle doesn‘t quite work, either as a chronicle of ‘60s Harlem, or as a caper story. he problem is that for the first time Whitehead‘s characters are predictable caricatures. The historical references are interesting. The third section is the most successful; too little, too late. I‘ve always loved Colson‘s writing. This is a disappointment.

CaitlinR Image from Harlem World Magazine: “Young Boys, Harlem Style, 1960‘s” 7mo
15 likes1 comment
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Nathan_Opland-Dobs
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Mehso-so

🖤

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Cortg
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this heist story and visiting 1960‘s Harlem! The characters were great, a lot of depth to them with different backgrounds and I‘m a sucker for characters. The neighborhoods and the cultures during this time period were much like the characters; lots of layers and growth. Great story and well written!

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charl08
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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There was a hole in the air where the Ninth Avenue el used to run. That disappeared thing. His father had taken him here once or twice on one of his mysterious errands, when he was little. Carney still thought he heard the train sometimes, rumbling behind the music and haggling of the street.

Andrew65 Enjoyed this one. 7mo
charl08 @Andrew65 just started after being mind boggled by 7mo
Andrew65 @charl08 Have you read The Nickel Boys, that left me reeling. 7mo
45 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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MallenNC
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

This was a great change of pace that was not as heavy as Whitehead‘s last two books. I absolutely loved The Nickel Boys but it was a hard read. In this one, the Harlem setting comes alive, and the main character, Carney, is so great. It‘s been described as a heist novel, which I think oversells the action. Carney sells furniture when not involved with less legal activity, and he mentions the furniture everywhere, which is fun once you notice it.

36 likes1 stack add
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Rachel.Rencher
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Happy Saturday 🤗

85 likes1 stack add
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wideeyedreader
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Bailedbailed

In this case, I think I‘m just the wrong person for this book! To me, it‘s kind of dull and uninteresting, but ti the right reader it‘ll be perfect! So, even though I‘m bailing, I‘ll still give it ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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MaureenMc
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I‘ve seen somewhat mixed reviews for Whitehead‘s latest, but I just loved it. A thoughtfully & gorgeously written crime novel - he totally pulled it off. Something about Whitehead‘s prose always pulls me right into the story.

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canbku
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
Bailedbailed

Ok, I'm definitely lacking in sophistication, but I just cannot get interested in this book at all. It just seems so normal and lackluster. It's not crackling with layers like the other Colson Whitehead books I've read. It just doesn't do it for me and it's a DNF. 😭😭😭

aperfectmjk I couldn't get into either. It seems people either love it or hate it. 7mo
Jeannineth Oh no! I just got this. 7mo
canbku @Jeannineth it's probably just me!!! 7mo
53 likes3 comments
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JoyBlue
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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September reading recap: Last month, six of 14 books read rated high enough for the reading recap. https://debbybrauer.org/#september-2021-recap

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Rachel.Rencher
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Such a great box this month. 😍

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eraderneely
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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First physical book I‘ve bought myself all year. So excited to dive in!

24 likes1 stack add
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vivastory
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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The rest of today's book mail couldn't possibly be more different, but I'm okay with that. 💎🐻
#EclecticReader

Pip2 So I read Nickel Boys and The Underground Railroad. Both were fantastic reads. What do you think of The Harlem Shuffle? I almost bought it the other day. 8mo
82 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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MallenNC
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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#Two4Tuesday

1. I am 1/3 through with Harlem Shuffle (tagged) and I am also doing Buddy reads for Four Hundred Souls, Hood Feminism, and The Warmth of Other Suns.

2. What I like most about Harlem Shuffle is the setting. I can really picture it! The only thing I dislike at this point is not having time to really focus on it so I am having a little trouble keeping up with all the side characters.

@TheSpineView

TheSpineView Thanks for playing! 😊 8mo
22 likes1 comment
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marleed
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

I was intrigued by the MC, Ray Carney‘s story but wasn‘t feeling the supporting characters. This being Colson Whitehead, I did a reset, started over and connected with the characters in Ray‘s world. Not my favorite CW but I liked it. ….If only Ray could have stored the inventory from his 60s furniture store to sell some 40 years later - that would be a retirement :)

SamAnne I‘m looking forward to this one. 8mo
marleed @SamAnne I‘ll be interested in your thoughts. I think I have unreasonably high expectations for a CW book and this didn‘t quite hit that mark. But I liked it and can‘t help but wonder how I would have experienced if I didn‘t have my own expectations of the author. 8mo
71 likes2 comments
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Lindy
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Bailedbailed

I love deeply immersive settings like this has, and also the voice of audiobook narrator Dion Graham, but three hours in, I decided I just wasn‘t in the mood for a crime novel. I‘m guessing there would be a rewarding overall statement about our crooked sociopolitical structure if I stuck with it, but I‘m in the mood for kindness and hope right now.

TiredLibrarian I wish there was a "not right now" option, in addition to pick, so-so, pan, and bail. 8mo
Lindy @TiredLibrarian Good suggestion. I agree. 8mo
ravenlee @TiredLibrarian we absolutely need a “timeout” option! 8mo
See All 6 Comments
Lindy @ravenlee Ha! Yes, indeed 8mo
WanderingBookaneer I‘m in the mood for kindness and hope too. I keep picking this one back up and wanting to bail. 8mo
Lindy @WanderingBookaneer It‘s definitely got a slow start, but then it picks up. Might be a good idea to read something else until your mood matches the story though. 8mo
45 likes6 comments
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Brewychock48
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Library Monday for me. I picked up these books. Can't decide which one to read first. Probably The Cellist by Daniel Silva.

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Traci1
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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It's blue box day! #botm

Aims42 Wohooo!!! 8mo
93 likes1 comment
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HeatherBookNerd
Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

Colson Whitehead is a new favorite author for me. His latest novel delivers the expected stellar prose and Colson‘s knack for creating an immersive environment for his characters. The seedy New York settings are great, as is the 1960s civil rights backdrop. But while I appreciate the pieces, I never really felt invested in these people. Worth reading though. I highly recommend giving the audiobook a try. Dion Graham‘s narration is excellent.

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