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The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet: A Novel | David Mitchell
By the New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Clocks and Cloud Atlas | Longlisted for the Man Booker PrizeIn 2007, Time magazine named him one of the most influential novelists in the world. He has twice been short-listed for the Man Booker Prize. The New York Times Book Review called him simply a genius. Now David Mitchell lends fresh credence to The Guardians claim that each of his books seems entirely different from that which preceded it. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is a stunning departure for this brilliant, restless, and wildly ambitious author, a giant leap forward by even his own high standards. A bold and epic novel of a rarely visited point in history, it is a work as exquisitely rendered as it is irresistibly readable.The year is 1799, the place Dejima in Nagasaki Harbor, the high-walled, fan-shaped artificial island that is the Japanese Empires single port and sole window onto the world, designed to keep the West at bay; the farthest outpost of the war-ravaged Dutch East Indies Company; and a de facto prison for the dozen foreigners permitted to live and work there. To this place of devious merchants, deceitful interpreters, costly courtesans, earthquakes, and typhoons comes Jacob de Zoet, a devout and resourceful young clerk who has five years in the East to earn a fortune of sufficient size to win the hand of his wealthy fiance back in Holland.But Jacobs original intentions are eclipsed after a chance encounter with Orito Aibagawa, the disfigured daughter of a samurai doctor and midwife to the citys powerful magistrate. The borders between propriety, profit, and pleasure blur until Jacob finds his vision clouded, one rash promise made and then fatefully broken. The consequences will extend beyond Jacobs worst imaginings. As one cynical colleague asks, Who aint a gambler in the glorious Orient, with his very life?A magnificent mix of luminous writing, prodigious research, and heedless imagination, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is the most impressive achievement of its eminent author.Praise for The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet A page-turner . . . [David] Mitchells masterpiece; and also, I am convinced, a masterpiece of our time.Richard Eder, The Boston Globe An achingly romantic story of forbidden love . . . Mitchells incredible prose is on stunning display. . . . A novel of ideas, of longing, of good and evil and those who fall somewhere in between [that] confirms Mitchell as one of the more fascinating and fearless writers alive.Dave Eggers, The New York Times Book Review The novelist whos been showing us the future of fiction has published a classic, old-fashioned tale . . . an epic of sacrificial love, clashing civilizations and enemies who wont rest until whole family lines have been snuffed out.Ron Charles, The Washington Post By any standards, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is a formidable marvel.James Wood, The New Yorker A beautiful novel, full of life and authenticity, atmosphere and characters that breathe.Maureen Corrigan, NPRLook for special features inside.Join the Random House Readers Circle for author chats and more.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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review
Taylor
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Pickpick

Okay, I did it—some of you may remember how much I admired “Cloud Atlas,” so I kept going with David Mitchell.

And I‘m glad I did.

There‘s big Charles Dickens vibes on this one. The guy is a beast writer, with full facility and mastery on display. Is it “show-offy”? Yeah. Maybe. I don‘t care. Doesn‘t bother me at all.

This novel also gets delightfully dark, in a type of way I really dig, and which I was the furthest thing from expecting.

SamAnne I absolutely loved Cloud Atlas, Utopia Avenue less so. But I really want to read his other novels. 4mo
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Kaag
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Mehso-so

Someone in a different review called these... suspension points. He uses them... and other methods to break things up, too often for my taste.

As for the plot there‘s a love story that mostly works for me, and a bunch of merchantmen doing their best to come out ahead with de Zoet being someone you hope good things happen to without really being an engaging main character.

I feel like there is something good here but... read Shogun instead.

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EadieB
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#ThoughtfulThursday @MoonWitch94

 @Eggs Thanks for tagging me!

I do have about 6 holiday books picked out. I have them ready to go on my shelf.

Bratwurst and pork and beans

Momma Mia is a feel-good movie for me.

Can you play?
@AmyL @Monnntannnya @RavenclawOwlCat @Milara @The_Penniless_Author @lynneamch @AyaOfSiwa @SamAnne @Cindyelizavaz @stretchkev @hilded @peanutnine

hilded Thanks for the tag 😊 Sorry, I haven‘t logged on for a while, so I didn‘t see this until now. Hope all is well! 13mo
EadieB @hilded Everything is great! Thanks! 13mo
33 likes2 comments
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Tonton

Nov. 3 is Culture Day in Japan; time for reading https://www.instagram.com/p/CHGWtelgaPy/?igshid=1eb5x8y4aliz0

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802Librarian
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Pickpick

Separately, David Mitchell‘s novels are wonderful. But read all together, the threads linking them make them so much more. The theme that we‘re all connected through time seems especially important to remember now, and love and taking care of one another is never the wrong choice.

Therewillbebooks He might be my favorite living author 😀 1y
ValerieAndBooks Love that reading bear !! 1y
802Librarian @Therewillbebooks He‘s definitely near the top of my list now! 14mo
See All 6 Comments
802Librarian @ValerieAndBooks He was a gift! I think he is supposed to be a bookend, but he goes so well with my little wood stove that I put them in front of my (sadly) non-working fireplace. 14mo
ValerieAndBooks I get you on the fireplace! Ours needs repairs and has not been used since we bought the house 5 yrs ago. Thinking of having either a gas or electric firebox installed in the space but it‘ll be a while before that happens. Hope yours is working again sooner rather than later 🔥 14mo
802Librarian @ValerieAndBooks I rent, so it won‘t be working any time soon. Weirdly, it was working as recently as 2016, but when the new landlords bought it then, they disconnected it. (I moved in this year.) 14mo
16 likes6 comments
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Ved

"Creation unfolds, around us, despite us and through us, at the speed of days and nights, and we like to call it love."

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802Librarian
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🧐 As someone who went veggie after my divorce, this just struck me funny 😂😂

thegirlwiththelibrarybag 🤣 but also 🤔 1y
Suet624 That‘s a riot and an idea I have taken to heart. 1y
18 likes2 comments
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Minervasbutler
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Pickpick

Initially quite tough going, with masses of characters and my total ignorance of the period didn't help. Once I got into it I really enjoyed it - part historical love story, part creepy fantasy thriller. And some stunning writing, as you'd expect.

JenniferP I‘ve always meant to read this. Thanks for putting it back on my radar! 1y
amywithbooks I bought this a few years ago at a used book sale and forgot I owned it! I will need to dig it out! 1y
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StellaDz
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Pickpick

Mitchell is HEAVY! Oh man this book. Mitchell‘s characterization and prose are on point in this novel. A historical fiction about the isolated Japanese (Dutch occupied) trading island Dejima, in Nagasaki, is full of love, corruption, struggles, political intrigue, and murder. It is a sad, but wholesome novel. Although written in the time of 1799, it is relatable.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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StellaDz
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I‘m falling behind on posting, but I‘ve been working through this lovely book! Mitchell is hefty, but I love his writing! ❤️❤️

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EadieB
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1. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell.
2. Yes Puerto Vallarta Mexico - End of November.
3. Just my grandson, Finn and granddaughter, Evie.
4. @gradcat @arlenefinnigan @OriginalCyn620

@Eggs Thanks for tagging me. #wondrouswednesday

gradcat @EadieB Thanks for the tag, Eadie ♥️♥️ 2y
OriginalCyn620 Thanks for the tag @EadieB! 2y
Eggs #1 sounds so good🧡 2y
53 likes3 comments
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Niso
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“If only human beings were not masks behind masks behind masks. If only this world was a clean board of lines and intersections. If only time was a sequence of considered moves and not a chaos of slippages and blunders.”

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
David Mitchell

#quote #favourites

sudi Love this quote 💜 2y
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mydearwatson
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Libby1 I loved this book! 2y
OriginalCyn620 😊📚💚 2y
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LitLogophile
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Bailedbailed

I loved every other book by Mitchell but this one was a no go 🤷🏻‍♀️

Mynameisacolour Same! I've tried reading this one twice now 😒 3y
KimM Same! I made it to the end. It didn‘t get better. I hope he puts out something new soon. 3y
rwmg I found it very interesting with the theme of trying to communicate in a foreign language 3y
69 likes3 comments
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closethipster
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Forced to abandon this last April but only because I ran out of renews at the library. Snagged it in a recent sale and now I can take as much time as I need.

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JLaurenceCohen

Have you every wondered what it was like to be a Dutch merchant in Japan? This is the novel for you. Parts of it move at a leisurely pace, but the climax is outstanding. While this is a great work of historical fiction in its own, its even better when you read Mitchell's other book--his emerging "meta-novel."

Librarybelle Welcome to Litsy! 3y
JLaurenceCohen Thanks! 3y
Purrfectpages Welcome to Litsy! 3y
See All 8 Comments
JLaurenceCohen Thanks! 3y
CoffeeNBooks Welcome to Litsy! 📚 3y
BethM Welcome! 3y
Craftylikefox Welcome to Litsy!! 👋 3y
JLaurenceCohen Thanks! 3y
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TrishB
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Mehso-so

Not my favourite Mitchell, too many sections that didn‘t engage me. It‘s a so-so because the bits that were good were wonderful and the underlying story was great. As always, some of the writing was beautiful.

Cinfhen I‘ve tried this author before, I don‘t connect well with his story telling ~ all 3 books, including this one have been bails 😞 3y
BiblioLitten I loved Bone Clocks.🤓💞 3y
TrishB @Cinfhen I can totally understand!! 3y
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TrishB @BiblioLitten that‘s my favourite 👍🏻 3y
BarbaraBB I loved some of his books but this one was disappointing for me (as was The Bone Clocks). 3y
TrishB @BarbaraBB whereas The Bone Clocks I loved! 3y
BarbaraBB I loved his earlier work. Cloud Atlas especially! 3y
Cinfhen Those are the other two I bailed on @TrishB @BarbaraBB 3y
BarbaraBB @Cinfhen We‘re out of sync 😂😉 3y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Love Mitchell, though I haven‘t read this one yet. Loved Cloud Atlas and Black Swan Green. (Slade House was just okay.) Bone Clocks soon! 3y
TrishB @Cinfhen I‘d say he‘s just not for you! 3 goes is certainly enough 😁 3y
TrishB @ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Bone Clocks ❤️ 3y
Cinfhen I‘m with you on that! There are plenty of other books waiting to be read and new authors to be discovered 😍 3y
tournevis I thought the same. I like the reality braking down parts of his books and this had none of it. It's the David Mitchell for those who read and liked Clavel's Shogun. It's almost a sequel 100y later. 3y
TrishB I‘ve never read Shogun @tournevis but know the general story! 3y
tournevis @TrishB It really feels like they're related books. 3y
Graywacke @tournevis now, there‘s a book I haven‘t thought about in a while (and TV movie) 3y
tournevis @Graywacke One of the few rare instances where the tv adaptation is better than the book. 3y
Graywacke @tournevis ha! Clavel had a following. I liked it enough to read Taipan, then stopped. 3y
arubabookwoman @tournevis @Graywacke I‘m culling books from my shelf, and Shogun was one I was thinking of disposing of. But the comparison to Jacob de Zoet makes me want to consider rereading it. I‘m an unabashed David Mitchell fan-I‘ve read and liked, to varying degrees, all his books, except Slade House which I haven‘t read. 3y
tournevis @arubabookwoman I don't mean to compare the books. It's more that Mitchell's fits seemlessly, a century later, in the story of Clavel's. It's the same spaces, the same etnicities and it just fits. The style a light years apart, but it just works. 3y
tournevis @Graywacke Back in the day, all my aunts had a copy and read it, all 900+ pages, in translation of course, and then the mini series just tipped the scales. So well acted. Plus, in French, the Japanese parts were not subtitled. Having seen it in the original English, I can attest it makes Anjin San'point of view a lot stronger. 3y
Melissa_J Guess I won‘t move it to the top of my TBR pile then 😉 3y
TrishB @Melissa_J that would be my advice! 3y
142 likes2 stack adds24 comments
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TrishB
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My daughters next pick off the pile!
This has three possible outcomes, based on my Mitchell experiences so far, I‘ll love it, I‘ll hate it or I just won‘t understand it!! Here goes.

Melissa_J Which Mitchell book did you hate? 4y
Ardachy I tried reading Cloud Atlas but could not finish it and haven‘t attempted a David Mitchell since. 4y
jenniferw88 😂😂😂 4y
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TrishB @Melissa_J number nine dream! Just couldn‘t....are you a fan? 4y
TrishB @Ardachy that one was hard work! I can highly recommend The Bone Clocks though which I loved!! 4y
Ardachy @TrishB Maybe I will give that a try. Thanks. 4y
BookwormM This was my least favourite Mitchell but I loved Cloud Atlas, Number9 Cloud, Bone Clocks and another whose name escapes me. If you have read other books his characters turn up in different stories which is fun to look out for 4y
Melissa_J I‘ve only read The Bone Clocks and Black Swan Green, both of which I really liked. I tried Slate House but couldn‘t get into it (will try again), and have Jacob and Cloud Atlas sitting on a shelf waiting. 4y
TrishB @BookwormM Loved The Bone Clocks 4y
TrishB @Melissa_J Slade House I loved. Cloud Atlas ok....this one okish so far! 4y
Niallism I like Mitchell just fine, so long as I don‘t listen to critics who talk like he‘s a new Vonnegut or Philip K Dick. 4y
TrishB @Niallism yeah, definitely well loved by the critics! 3y
114 likes2 stack adds12 comments
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closethipster
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Yes, it‘s April and I still need three comforters. Really excited to catch up with this having read both The Bone Clocks and Slade House.

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BlueMonday42
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Pickpick

David Mitchell is a genius. He usually specializes in stories with unique formats or common connections between characters or eras, but here, he just tells a spectacular story. I‘ve always had a deep fascination with Japanese culture, and this was wonderful in many ways. Mitchell remains one of my favorite authors and this has become my favorite of his work.

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MayJasper
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Today's #marchinbooks photo challenge by @maich is 16. #seasoninthetitle and I was surprised to find I had as many as five in my lists but no spring.

Balibee146 Nice selection.. I almost did Wintersmith too 👍 4y
MayJasper Thanks 👍 @Balibee146 4y
83 likes2 comments
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upsidedowndog
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Starting the year off right! Hiding from the cold, enjoying this beautiful book. Struggling a bit with the number of minorish characters though...

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KOTK
Pickpick

I am in a minority but I adored this love story. One or two sections felt wrong (action sequence thrown in for some reason( but loved the main characters and a trip through old Japan

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KimM
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Mehso-so

"Mama don't like you and she likes everyone" (of your other books)

With this book I've now read all of David Mitchell's novels. I love his writing. I wanted to love this book. Other people did. But it took me over 2 weeks of forcing myself to read to finish it and while it had its moments I was mostly bored and confused. Beautiful prose. Boring story. My one redeeming takeaway is learning more about the history of Japan. 3 ⭐️s

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Kalalalatja
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I love the #mountains on the cover of the Danish edition of the tagged book ⛰🗻🏔

#NoteworthyNovember

CathyJ Beautiful cover! 4y
LeahBergen That‘s a lovely edition! 4y
cariashley Oh wow what a beautiful edition! 4y
tjwill I love that cover! I‘m reading my first David Mitchell right now. 4y
Kalalalatja @CathyJ @LeahBergen @cariashley @tjwill I really like it, too! There's so many little details 👏 4y
71 likes5 comments
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I-read-and-eat
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"My oh my, ain't you just strayed to the wrong side o' town, my poor lickle lambkin?"

Well... it does not seem like it will be a great year for me ?

Cinfhen Ha! 4y
CouronneDhiver Oh dear... better get back to the right side 😂 4y
Kalalalatja 😂😂 Hahaha! 4y
40 likes3 comments
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I-read-and-eat
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My #Litsypartyofone continues in my favourite coffee place. I just supervised an urban run that went though the museum I work in. I now deserve a introverted break from smiling and welcoming people. Party on Littens! 🎉

EchoLogical You definitely deserve a break! Enjoy! 4y
58 likes1 comment
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I-read-and-eat
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I finaly had a day off which gave me the time to spend my birthday money. I got books, because what else could I get right? Two new books from two authors I have come to love over the past year.

cariashley That copy of Jacob de Zoet... 😍😍😍 4y
Yeah_I_Read I loovvveedd this book!! I have 2 copies of the 1000 autumns 😊 I feel like it was great historical fiction but also weird in Mitchell's signature way 4y
I-read-and-eat @cariashley I know right! 😍 @Yeah_I_Read I am very curious about it. I am Dutch so rather familiar with the historical aspect. Interested to see Mitchell's take on it. 4y
Centique These are both on my TBR list for this year. Hope they're as good as I imagine! 4y
56 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Seshat
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Orito wraps the scarf around her face to hide her #scars #junetunz @Cinfhen Art by Allison Stephen http://alisonstephen.com/blog/archives/324

Cinfhen I've been meaning to read this book 📚 Thanks for the reminder 4y
Seshat @Cinfhen I love this book so much. 4y
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KimM
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#Litsypartyofone "Partying" on my day off with a good book, aromatherapy, Kombucha green tea and one of my favorite healthy snacks: avocado sprinkled with Mexican seasoning. The mug is a gift from my daughter as an inside introvert joke. It reads "I had fun once. It was awful." Love it ?. She also says I look like Grumpy Cat when I'm reading. Whatever.

Gayan I have a bookmark just like your mug. ❤ 5y
Laalaleighh Looking forward to your review! 5y
KimM @Laalaleighh I bailed after 100 pages 🙁 I love David Mitchell and I've read all of his other books and loved them. This one just wasn't doing it for me. I may pick it up later. 5y
36 likes3 comments
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KimM
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#Litsypartyofone. Ok maybe two. 😻#gingerkitty

SharonGoforth 😻😻 5y
30 likes1 comment
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KimM
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So this is how this book starts out...😳😱😬

LitHousewife This makes me glad I read this in audio. No painful childbirth pictures! 5y
14 likes1 comment
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LilMamaMastro
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Pickpick

I was captivated by this story and as always, by David Mitchell's writing. This book will not be for everyone but it was a page-turner and the characters will stay with me for a long time. The story of clashing cultures, greed, power & evil, love & loyalty, and life & death is set in Nagasaki at the close of the 18th century and it is spectacular. If historical fiction written by a master is your thing, you will love this, too. #LetterT #LitsyA-Z

Bookdodger Your description is perfect. I loved this book! 5y
22 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Seshat
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#seasoninthetitle #marchintoreading #day20 @RealLifeReading I'm debating getting a nicer edition of de Zoet because that one is large text and there has to be a hardcover with a nicer cover.

It is supposedly Spring here in the Crescent City but it feels more like summer. My roses are blooming.

booksandsympathy It feels like summer in the desert too. It's been in the 90's for almost a week. 5y
38 likes1 comment
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Maike
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This one is still on my tbr and the only one with #aseasoninthetitle on my shelves. 😄#marchintoreading

Bookdodger It is wonderful! You will enjoy it! 5y
64 likes1 comment
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LilMamaMastro
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Reading distraction: She decided to do the full round of personal grooming here on my book. You cannot tear your eyes away no matter what. This is social day for my new bees 🐝💕

rubyslippersreads "Hi, honey!" ???? 5y
Alfoster Once again, so cool! 5y
20 likes2 comments
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LilMamaMastro
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I was so distraught about my husband golfing all day that I had to have a Bloody Mary. In the hot tub. With a book. 😢🤣

PurpleyPumpkin Sounds like a perfect plan!👌🏽 5y
Beckys_Books Sooooo jealous 5y
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KimM
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#Commonwealthauthors (honestly i'd never heard this term before today. Ya learn something new everyday.) #marchintoreading

Megld4 The Blind Assassin may be my favorite Atwood. 5y
31 likes1 comment
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Seshat
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It is so hard to pick a #favoritequote but here is one for #riotgrams #day25 @bookriot

ChristyM Love, love this book. 5y
29 likes2 comments
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Seshat
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The book is a lot more complex and a lot less a romance than the blurb makes it sound. #lovetorecommend #17booklove #day21 @jess.how

Libby1 I love this one. I've read a number of David Mitchell books and this one is my favourite. Also, it was exciting for me because I've visited Dejima in Nagasaki. 5y
Seshat It is my favorite Mitchell, too! @Libby1 I'd love to visit Japan. 5y
30 likes2 comments
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Seshat
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Jacob and Orito, man. Art by Dylan Meconis. #diverselovestories #fiestyfeb #day12 @RealLifeReading

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tonypetrova

Don't let death be your final though.

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CherylDeFranceschi
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Here's a nice little stack of #titleswithapropername. Although not as beautiful as many I saw today. #readjanuary

vivastory Great stack! 5y
CherylDeFranceschi @Libby1 ❤ David Mitchell! 5y
99 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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LuLeeBelle
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First, my song: 🎤 REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO GOOD, REUNITED LIKE I KNEW WE SHOULD🎶
Now, my story. So when I borrowed this from the library, I had to renew it 3 times before I decided to finally buy my own copy to finish. But the first time, another book was sent to me by mistake. And now... I finally have my own copy 😛

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TaraBlack
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Mehso-so

This was underwhelming, considering how much I have enjoyed his other books. I couldn't work out if the crossovers from other books were meant to carry it or not.

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TaraBlack
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"Joke is secret language inside words".

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Seshat
This post contains spoilers
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The ending of Jacob de Zoet, though. #pooloftears #novemberland @TizJ3ss

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