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The Covenant of Water
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
131 posts | 92 read | 7 reading | 95 to read
From the New York Times-bestselling author of Cutting for Stone comes a stunning and magisterial epic of love, faith, and medicine, set in Kerala, South India, and following three generations of a family seeking the answers to a strange secret The Covenant of Water is the long-awaited new novel by Abraham Verghese, the author of the major word-of-mouth bestseller Cutting for Stone, which has sold over 1.5 million copies in the United States alone and remained on the New York Times bestseller list for over two years. Spanning the years 1900 to 1977, The Covenant of Water is set in Kerala, on South India's Malabar Coast, and follows three generations of a family that suffers a peculiar affliction: in every generation, at least one person dies by drowning--and in Kerala, water is everywhere. At the turn of the century, a twelve-year-old girl from Kerala's long-existing Christian community, grieving the death of her father, is sent by boat to her wedding, where she will meet her forty-year-old husband for the first time. From this unforgettable new beginning, the young girl--and future matriarch, known as Big Ammachi--will witness unthinkable changes over the span of her extraordinary life, full of joy and triumph as well as hardship and loss, her faith and love the only constants. A shimmering evocation of a bygone India and of the passage of time itself, The Covenant of Water is a hymn to progress in medicine and to human understanding, and a humbling testament to the difficulties undergone by past generations for the sake of those alive today. It is one of the most masterful literary novels published in recent years.
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CRR
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Pickpick

Just finished. I have been reading this one for a while. I moved towns. Lost reading motivation for a little bit. Almost gave up but pressed on. I think there were 10 parts of this book. It was a bit of a winding ride with alot of ups and downs. Overall I thought it was a beautiful story that carried me along for the ride.

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Daily
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
Pickpick

“The Covenant of Water“ weaves a beautifully intricate tale, seamlessly blending elements of fantasy and adventure. The narrator's skillful delivery brought the characters to life, making their struggles and triumphs feel incredibly real....
Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5577140912

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Kitta
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Saw @Soubhiville post and explain how to get this from StoryGraph (a new feature if you select the month and scroll to the bottom)!

This was a great reading month for me, I usually average 2 books a month.

Favourites were The Covenant of Water (tagged) and A Sweet Sting of Salt.

Salt doesn‘t have the best reviews but I found it engrossing and just what I wanted mood wise, whereas Covenant was just fantastic.

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Areader2
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Pickpick

The Covenant of Water is a lusciously descriptive novel I was completely immersed in, the characters their interesting backstories, and interconnected lives. Verghese writes with such passion about relationships, history, and medical procedures. I loved the audio but the medical procedures were not my favorite.
Such wonderful symbolism throughout this novel
#ReadAway2024 book 21

DieAReader 🥳🥳🥳 4w
25 likes1 comment
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Jjhogan
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Starting The Covenant of Water 💧📚🤓

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Kitta
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Wow

This one is heavy, bother literally and figuratively, at >700 pages, but it‘s worth it. But I loved it as I loved his last novel, Cutting for Stone.

This reminds me a bit of A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, an epic tail of loss and life. Which was written by my English teachers husband, and is fantastic if you get a chance to read it.

This novel follows 3 generations of an Indian family following their life‘s ups and downs.

Kitta A mysterious condition affects some members of the family, but that just serves as a backdrop to their lives.

There‘s a bit of medical stuff, like in his last novel, but it‘s all well explained and engaging.

Highly recommended
2mo
27 likes1 comment
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Kitta
Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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My reading buddy, Hazel, needs attention!

Making good progress on this. It‘s a huge book but so good! 550/700 pages in.

#catsoflitsy

IndoorDame Hi hazel! 2mo
Ruthiella 😻😻😻 2mo
Soubhiville Aw, sweetie 🐱 2mo
See All 11 Comments
Jari-chan What a great picture 😻 2mo
rubyslippersreads Hazel is adorable! 😻 2mo
Librarybelle ❤️❤️❤️ 2mo
dabbe Those eyes! 🖤🐾🖤 2mo
peanutnine Omg 😻😻😻 2mo
CatLass007 Hazel 💗 🐾🐾🐾 2mo
Kitta Thank you all for your comments about Hazel! I‘ll give her extra head pats from all of you. @IndoorDame @Ruthiella @Soubhiville @Jari-chan @rubyslippersreads @Librarybelle @dabbe @peanutnine @CatLass007 2mo
CatLass007 Chin skritches too! 2mo
30 likes11 comments
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Kitta
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Reading after canoeing in Algonquin Park, Canada, while my family goes on a hike! I like to paddle but hate hiking lol.

Loving this so far but I‘ve got a long way to go.

rockpools What a stunning spot! 2mo
lil1inblue Beautiful! 🤩🤩🤩 2mo
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JillR
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Pickpick

Just a few pages in that magic book-chemistry was there and I was instantly absorbed into this epic family saga centred around the family estate of Parambil in Kerala, India. The story spans 1900 - 1977, across three generations, many of whom suffer the mysterious “Condition” which makes them avoid water, at risk of drowning. There are so many threads and strands here, such a sad but beautiful story, I loved it.

Cathythoughts Lovely review. I loved it too ❤️ 2mo
squirrelbrain I loved this too! ❤️ 2mo
TrishB Me three!! 2mo
Tamra 💚💚 2mo
JillR @cathythoughts @trishb @squirrelbrain I love that you all loved this too x 2mo
44 likes1 stack add5 comments
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WorldsOkayestStepMom
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Pickpick

Oh man, what a book! This will live rent free in my head for a long time. I absolutely loved the characters, the setting, the plot, all of it!

Crazeedi Great book 2mo
Bookwormjillk One of my favorites 2mo
51 likes2 comments
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Bec_lectic
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Pickpick

Wow what a big story! I feel like I‘ve been immersed in this story for months even though I finished it in days. Spanning generations this book connects people and families through life and tragedies and ends with a beautiful surprise. It‘s a long book, I‘m not going to lie. I almost gave up a few times when things would lull but then something would happen that would reel you back in. It was worth sticking it out…beautiful story!

WorldsOkayestStepMom I'm currently reading this one!! It's so good! I'm almost 90% of the way through. 2mo
Bec_lectic @WorldsOkayestStepMom you‘re almost there!! I really loved the ending ☺️ 2mo
51 likes1 stack add2 comments
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BiblioLitten
Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Time to start a new book!
I loved Cutting for Stone and my brother gifted me this on a recent trip to India. 💚

robinb I need to read this one as well! 3mo
TrishB It‘s great 👍🏻 3mo
BiblioLitten @TrishB It‘s a Pick for me too! I loved his Cutting for Stone more 1mo
50 likes1 stack add3 comments
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perfectsinner
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Despite being 467th in line for this book, it's somehow become available. The cover is kinda cut off for the ebook so I'll use this photo instead.
I had Cutting for Stone in my pile for years before I just read it and actually really liked it much more than I thought I would. So, I've decided to try this one out also

Cuilin Enjoy, I loved both Water and Stone 3mo
Bookwormjillk They both are some of my favorites 3mo
perfectsinner I'm excited to be reading it. I made it to chapter 3 last night. 3mo
8 likes3 comments
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WorldsOkayestStepMom
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Oklahoma Litsy friends, you good? Tornadoes all day and into tonight have me up right now. About to head to bed to read a bit to wind down and try to sleep. Pictured is my peony blooms that I'm not sure have survived the storms.

Texreader Oh dear!! Keep safe! 3mo
WorldsOkayestStepMom @Texreader so far, we're good and have no damage. But we will keep a close ear out for the weather radio's alarm. 3mo
Prairiegirl_reading Oh my goodness! I hope you are ok!! 3mo
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WorldsOkayestStepMom @Prairiegirl_reading we are good here! Thank you! 3mo
marleed God you are safe. I was in tornado watch county in Kansas City but no tornado warnings in my area. Homes do have basements here so that‘s a bonus! …The home of a family close to my heart narrowly escaped severe tornado damage in Omaha, but their larger community was hit hard. 3mo
UwannaPublishme Keep safe! 3mo
46 likes8 comments
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WorldsOkayestStepMom
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese

Still making my way through this lovely book, and I think I'd like to re-join #LitsyLove but I'm not sure how to go about doing that. Can anyone help?

TieDyeDude Email Misty at loverofbooks75@gmail.com 😊 3mo
WorldsOkayestStepMom @TieDyeDude thank you so much! 3mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Yes, email me your information ❤️ 3mo
30 likes4 comments
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Bevita
Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Pickpick

It was good, as predicted. But too long. Couldn‘t this story have been told in 400 pages rather than 715? Enjoyed learning more about leprosy and the Communist movement in India.

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Decalino
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Pickpick

This book is 715 pages long and takes place over 77 years in South India, following multiple generations of a family with a hereditary curse involving aversion to water and a tendency to drown. It was absorbing, & I enjoyed it, despite my own aversion to magical realism & gruesome depictions of medical procedures. Around page 400 though, I started getting sick of the relentless tragedy. A memorable, often beautiful novel, but crushingly depressing

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Decalino
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"She is twelve years old, and she will be married in the morning."

Tackling this hefty book set in early 20th century South India for book club--I'm normally not a big fan of either magical realism or gruesomely detailed medical procedures, but this is a gripping read so far.

#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

#

Bookwormjillk I loved this book. 4mo
21 likes1 comment
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GinaKButler
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Starting today. I purposely lowered my yearly reading goal to read more chunky books, so here goes!

#bookspinbingo

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ReaderLiz
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
Pickpick

Great book. Really insightful into life in India over multi generations. Easy to read and captivating

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marleed
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Pickpick

I love building these grids because it‘s not until I build one that I consider the entire reading experience. The tagged is epic!

5* = Loved It, want to shout out loud about this book! I do/will own/keep a physical copy. A+
4*= I liked it, would love to discuss. Solid B
3*=Meh, no need to discuss. Avg C
2*=Nope D
1*=DNF F

Bookpearl Neighbors is high on my TBR after hearing a review from one of my silent reading sisters. 5mo
marleed @Bookpearl It‘s such a good book - I highly recommend. I can only imagine the work we may have read from this author had she lived a longer life. Also so interesting to read today almost like it‘s historical fiction when it‘s truly contemporary fiction. 5mo
Bookpearl @marleed I just learned about her death this past weekend and I agree…I‘m certain that her work would have been amazing. 5mo
Chelsea.Poole Oh no. I was interested in The Other Valley. Doesn‘t look like it was a winner for you. 5mo
marleed @Chelsea.Poole oh dang. It‘s because the beginning YA vibes had me comparing it to the tagged so I was expecting some big moral dilemma that didn‘t come. But that was just me. I hope you like it. I‘m anxious to read glowing Litten reviews! 4mo
68 likes5 comments
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marleed
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Pickpick

What did I just read! I finished sections of this book and spoke out loud to the universe and author as though I could somehow effect change or come to terms with my nooooo‘s. My IRL bookclub does not discuss this book until June so I just want to reread these 715 pages over and over again.

Amiable Gorgeous photo to match the gorgeous prose of this fabulous book. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 5mo
HOTPock3tt This book was its own whole UNIVERSE!!! 5mo
marleed @Amiable @HOTPock3tt Thank you! I may never get over this book. Now I want to travel to S India and visit Kerala! 5mo
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Cathythoughts Beautiful book. I loved it ❤️ 5mo
BiblioLitten I‘m from Kerala, and I‘m savouring this book so much. 😊 3mo
marleed @Cathythoughts @BiblioLitten I think this will go down as one of my top reads of all time! 2mo
88 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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JackieGreco
Pickpick

I loved this read! It was a long book but I never got sick of the story of the family. Each character was a welcome addition and likable. I could clearly picture Paramble in my mind and would recommend this novel. 5/5

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LMJenkins
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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“The Ordinary Man has managed something extraordinary.” 💛 This touched me.

21 likes1 stack add
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peaKnit
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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#two4Tuesday @TheSpineView
1. I daydream about the future a lot, I will likely retire this year but I have a lot of unknowns niggling at me. What does the future look like for me and my family. I hope it‘s a warmer location at some point, lots of exploring and finding new purpose.
2. Any magical realism inspires me but also family epics in different places has me wondering about what it looks like. The tagged book right now has me dreaming.

TheSpineView Thanks for playing! 6mo
20 likes1 comment
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LeaKell
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Pickpick

“It‘s fiction! Fiction is the great lie that tells the truth about how the world lives!”

SamAnne Love that quote! 6mo
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Becker
Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Mehso-so

It‘s awkward to be the only person posting about this book who didn‘t love it. I thought it was in desperate need of editing and lacked continuity. He touched on so many interesting topics but didn‘t develop any of them. I think it would have worked much better as a collection of connected stories. Disappointed 🫤

Suet624 I feel as though I‘ve seen a number of so-so reviews so I‘m not sure you‘re alone. 6mo
Ruthiella I felt that way about his debut, which is why I decided not to pick this one up. 6mo
peaKnit I fought reading this because 750 pages, but I‘ve been swept up in it. Oprah has a 6 part podcast with the author that makes it richer, in my opinion. That said I get it. I was enamored with East of Eden when I read it years ago and then on a reread, I couldn‘t catch the feeling, sometimes timing is everything. 6mo
32 likes3 comments
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HeatherBookNerd
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Pickpick

I simply adored Verghese‘s Cutting for Stone, and this one was equally fantastic. They both share the author‘s gorgeous prose, fascinating medical plot elements, and evocative descriptions that create an almost tangible sense of place. Covenant of Water spans three generations of unforgettable characters, multiple locations around the globe, and is just impossible to put down. I inhaled it in three days, despite it‘s chunkster status. Loved it.

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Lauriezp
Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
Pickpick

What a lovely story. I was so happy it was a lengthy book as I wanted to sink into the story. It‘s interesting, heart breaking at times, and beautifully told. You will be glad you invested the time.

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shortsarahrose
Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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“‘What mistake is that . . . Celeste?‘
‘The mistake, Digby, of choosing to see more in your future mate than the evidence has already suggested.‘”

36 likes1 stack add
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Bookwormjillk
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Pickpick

My second time reading this and I still love it. A real work of art.

Suet624 Second time! Good for you! 6mo
Amiable What @Suet624 said! 👍🏼 6mo
65 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Melkyl
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Pickpick

I loved this book. It is massive and quite an undertaking to read, but it is worth it. Some of the passages are just so beautifully written that they stopped me in my tracks. It follows a family in India through the decades as they deal with the family condition. By the end, the author ties everything together perfectly.

35 likes1 stack add
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shortsarahrose
Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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“Lena takes Digby‘s hand. ‘Digby,‘ she says, surprising him by using his first name. ‘How can I repay you? You saved my life. We‘ll be offended if you don‘t visit us at the estate. You need a holiday. Please promise me you‘ll come?‘ Digby‘s sputtering reply isn‘t convincing. ‘Digby,‘ she says, ‘do you have relatives in India?‘
‘No, I don‘t.‘
‘Oh, yes you do. We‘re blood now.‘”

Crazeedi Great Great book 6mo
37 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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BookNAround
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Both of my book clubs this month are reading this chunkster so I probably ought to get started.

Crazeedi This was probably my favorite book from last year 6mo
PathfinderNicole My book club is reading that for this month too! I have a copy but haven‘t started yet either 😬 6mo
Tamra It‘s really good - the pages fly by. 6mo
66 likes1 stack add3 comments
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shortsarahrose
Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Taking advantage of the fact that it is still above freezing and not snowing here to get some lunch (egg and cheese on a cheddar chive biscuit 😋) and a snowball latte (chocolate, vanilla, and coconut). Really enjoying this book so far. For such a #chunkster it moves really quickly!

Crazeedi Fabulous book 6mo
49 likes1 stack add1 comment
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shortsarahrose
Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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“She is twelve years old, and she will be married in the morning.” #FirstLineFridays

Decided to take a day off. Enjoying a hot crafted press, bagel and cream cheese, and a cake pop while starting this book. #CoffeeAndABook

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AmyG
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Andrew65 A popular book and author. 7mo
51 likes1 comment
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Bookwormjillk
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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I couldn‘t resist and started in on my 2024 list. This is a re-read for me!

squirrelbrain I‘ll bet you‘ll get so much more out of a re-read of this book. ❤️ (edited) 7mo
52 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Karisimo
Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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My top two were very different: an epic multigenerational family story vs a book-centered fantasy!

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Bookwormjillk
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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My favorite book of June and of the year. I‘ve been waiting patiently for January so I can read it again. (I have a “rule” against reading the same book twice in one year.)

#12booksof2023

RebelReader This was my favorite of 2023 too! Loved it! 7mo
Andrew65 A popular book. 7mo
56 likes2 comments
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katiekat311
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Little one wanted to color together, so I took advantage of the time. I promised my husband I‘d commit to the bookshelf TBR this year, so my lists are LOADED with #Roll100 reads. Also features some #AuldLangSpine choices andddd one VERY long book club book to start off the year. Hoping to be a busy bookworm and kick off the years starting to tackle some major 2024 reading goals! Thank you, hosts!#bookspin #doublespin #bookspinbingo #Roll100

monalyisha I love the sentiment behind this on so many levels. 😅 What do you do with your books when you‘re done reading them? Do you typically move them out of the house or hang on to them afterwards? 7mo
katiekat311 @monalyisha I typically donate them or put them in a “free little library” around town, share with fellow bookworms to pass along or am still too attached and they don‘t actually end up leaving 🤣😅 7mo
monalyisha @katiekat311 Sounds familiar! 😉 I wondered whether it was more of a “Stop buying books!” or a “Maybe we‘ll actually have space in our house again!” For us, it‘s probably a mixture of both. 🙈 7mo
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katiekat311 @monalyisha it‘s definitely both😝 I still have a huge box that‘s never been unpacked from when we moved into this house 3 years ago..whoops! Anddd I‘m the only true reader so I can‘t even blame it on anyone else😬 Haha 7mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! This year I've been selling some books on Pango and giving them away to anyone who will take them 😂 But somehow there never seem to be any fewer on the shelves!! 7mo
PuddleJumper 😂 Good luck! 7mo
thegreensofa How fun to mix everything together, you can‘t go wrong. Great list! And such neat writing 😁👏🏻📚 7mo
15 likes7 comments
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LiteraryHoarderPenny
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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I plan on doing a round 2 of reading the chunky books from my shelves in 2024. I tagged The Covenant of Water because I forgot that chunker for this picture! But I‘ll definitely be reading it for this personal challenge.

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Sapphire
Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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I feel like I have been with my current audible and kindle reads way too long, even though I am enjoying both. They are both chunksters but I hope to finish them by the end of the year (in 7 days!!).

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Cazxxx
Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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I didn‘t even get halfway through this last time I borrowed it from the library, I had to put it on hold and have waited months to borrow it again. Hopefully I can get it finished this time!

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Pinta
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Pickpick

Three generations in 20th cent. southwestern India. Tender, personal, moral tone. Epic (LONG) scope w/ detailed if typed characters, like the Dickens referenced. Art & medicine. Fable & legend. Does feel like nat geo, India for the outsider? 2023

839 “She washes up, still marveling at the connections in her world, invisible or forgotten, but there all the same, like a river linking people upstream with those below, whether they know it or not.”

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CSeydel
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Pickpick

This was a soaring epic following a family in India from around 1900-1970. Gorgeous writing, intense sense of place, and a compelling plot made this fly by. Just shy of 5 stars because I felt it got a little too much in its own head at times and it could have been a bit tighter. But overall a sad but gratifying read.

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Follow.my.read
Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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My idea of a great shopping trip!#BlackFridayShopping#BYOB

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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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Can‘t wait to read these!!

#Trees
#HumbleHarvest

🌳 🌲

Eggs Gorgeous 🌳💚🌳 8mo
69 likes1 comment
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Follow.my.read
The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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“Of course! I have my book”! #TheCovenantOfWater#AbrahamVerghese