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The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store
The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store | James McBride
The new novel from the bestselling, National Book Award-winning, Oprah Book Club-picked, Barack Obama favourite James McBride. In 1972, when workers in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, were digging the foundations for a new development, the last thing they expected to find was a skeleton at the bottom of a well. Who the skeleton was and how it got there were two of the long-held secrets kept by the residents of Chicken Hill, the dilapidated neighbourhood where immigrant Jews and African Americans lived side by side and shared ambitions and sorrows.As these characters' stories overlap and deepen, it becomes clear how much the people who live on the margins struggle and what they must do to survive. When the truth is finally revealed about what happened on Chicken Hill and the part the town's white establishment played in it, McBride shows us that even in dark times, it is love and community-heaven and earth-that sustain us.
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review
ImperfectCJ
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Pickpick

While I found the first 1/2 to 2/3 of this novel to be more well put together compared with the latter portion, which felt a little rushed, I really enjoyed the characters and relationships. McBride draws rich characters and skillfully shows how groups of people interact with one another and react to circumstances of inequality and bias. There's a feeling of being trapped and looking for/seeking to create a small bit of breathing room.

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kwmg40
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Pickpick

I found this novel somewhat messy with all its characters and storylines but I did enjoy reading it. It's a heartwarming story set in a 1970's Pennsylvania neighbourhood with primarily Jewish and Black residents.

#LitsyToB24 @squirrelbrain @Megabooks @BarbaraBB
#FabulousFebruary @Andrew65

BarbaraBB And another one finished! 5d
kwmg40 @BarbaraBB I still have lots on the #LitsyToB24 list to read, but I‘m making progress and enjoying the reading so far! 4d
squirrelbrain I found it a bit messy too…. 4d
Andrew65 Brilliant 🎉🎉🎉 4d
54 likes1 stack add4 comments
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AlizaApp
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Pickpick

James McBride has done it again - I love the way he weaves together so many disparate storylines into one cohesive narrative arc, where even tertiary characters feel fully realized. In the poor neighborhood of a small town in Pennsylvania early in the 20th century, the Black and immigrant Jewish communities come together to protect a Deaf boy. A beautifully realized novel.

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DavidDiamond
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Pickpick

While it starts off as a mystery when a skeleton is found in a well in 1972, we flash back to the 1930's in a small town in PA.. There, in the poor section of town, immigrant Jews & African Americans live side by side & work together to hatch an escape plan when a young black boy is unjustly sent away to a reformatory.
Beautifully told story with an array of diverse and interesting characters that beautifully unfolds into a compelling narrative.

28 likes1 stack add
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MicheleinPhilly
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Desperately trying to get into something ANYTHING but I fear I‘m too distracted for this. Maybe I‘m just distracted by the tacos. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Jess Yum. Tacos. Good luck with that one. It was also on my list for this month and for some reason I read around it but never picked it up. 1w
vivastory My local B & N is really pushing this book 1w
LeahBergen Mmm…tacos 1w
See All 7 Comments
Captivatedbybooks Chelly!!! When the weather gets better we need to do the long awaited bookstore crawl 🤣🤣 1w
squirrelbrain It‘s not the right book if you‘re feeling distracted, I don‘t think. 1w
Tamra Tacos = distraction 1w
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I couldn‘t get into this one… 1w
55 likes7 comments
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Lesliereadsalot
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Pickpick

This book isn‘t for everyone but I really liked it. It‘s 1925 in a small town in Pennsylvania and the blacks and the Jews uneasily support each other and struggle together to survive their impoverished state. It‘s a story of love and hate and kindness and compassion and the characters come to life in many ways as they come together to try to keep one child safe. Don‘t miss the acknowledgments at the end as they‘re incredibly inspiring.

Ruthiella Yes , the acknowledgments are definitely worth sticking around for! 1w
Cathythoughts Great review 👍🏻❤️ 1w
11 likes1 stack add2 comments
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sarahbarnes
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this. McBride expertly portrayed the ways a community systematically cut off from resources, works around barriers to support one another. I loved the way he led us through various characters and stories to illustrate the creativity required to get things done. He succeeded at both showing the strength of the citizens of Chicken Hill while also not diminishing the racism they faced, at both individual and structural levels.

BarbaraBB Great review. Not surprisingly, I felt the same 😊 2w
sarahbarnes @BarbaraBB I was glad you liked this one too! I was relieved after so many mixed reviews. 2w
42 likes2 comments
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Jilly6183
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Pickpick

A poor neighborhood of mostly Black and Jewish people in the 1930s, looking past their differences especially in times of need, while the white people who live down the hill look down their noses and fail to recognize the value of this beautiful community. Some things never change, but I loved this little world McBride built.

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TheBBs
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January 2024
Annie's Farewell, Adios Bitchados!

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Ruthiella
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Mehso-so

While parts of this really sparkled for me, I needed more of a cohesive plot than it provided. Overall this was a heartwarming story about a mixed Jewish and Black neighborhood in Pennsylvania in the 1930s. The first half centered around Jewish immigrant Moshe and his American born wife Chona and the second half on African Americans Addie and Nate and their ward, Dodo.

#LitsyToB24
#52BookClub24 character-driven novel

Ruthiella @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I kinda feel like there were two books in here! 3w
squirrelbrain I agree - there wasn‘t enough of a plot for me. 3w
See All 10 Comments
Hooked_on_books This one didn‘t deliver for me, either, and I loved his previous two books. 3w
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! 3w
Librarybelle I‘ve seen so many so-so ratings for this! 3w
Ruthiella @squirrelbrain Great characters though! But otherwise too rambling. 3w
Ruthiella @Hooked_on_books Me too! I particularly loved The Good Lord Bird. 🪶 3w
Ruthiella @Librarybelle So did I and I really thought for a while it would be a pick for me. 3w
Ruthiella @TheAromaofBooks Thanks! 😊 3w
73 likes10 comments
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SW-T
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Pickpick

In the beginning it was slow and rambling and I was tempted to quit. But then suddenly I was caught up in the story and the characters and I was swept along until the end. Not sure I could tell you everything that happened but glad I stuck with it.

32 likes1 stack add
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rockpools
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Pickpick

I‘ve seen a lot of mixed reviews for this, but I really, really enjoyed it. It‘s the first book this year I‘ve totally been able to disappear into. Yes, it meanders, and there are a fair few characters to get your head around, but I loved getting to know the characters of Chicken Hill, perhaps I need a new motto (“be more Chona?”) and he managed to ramp up the tension at the end. Massively looking forward to reading McBride‘s other books.

squirrelbrain Glad to see you loved it! 3w
TrishB I loved it too ♥️ 3w
Ruthiella I think you‘ll definitely like this one then! 👍 3w
See All 8 Comments
rockpools @Ruthiella Do you know, I think I‘ve been disinterested in reading that simply because of the title. I‘ll definitely give it a go now (well, one day!) The Good Lord Bird as well, though I don‘t know if my lack of American history knowledge would be a problem. 3w
rockpools @squirrelbrain Thank you for persuading me to read it 😁 3w
rockpools @TrishB Yay! I can‘t wait to dig into his others! 3w
marleed I just finished and really liked this one, as well! 3w
Centique Yay! I got this for Christmas so im glad to hear you enjoyed it! 2w
60 likes1 stack add8 comments
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lizzyjm16
Mehso-so

it was ok

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S3V3N
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#MotivationalMonday @Cupcake12

1. Self-care all week. Full weekend planned.
2. Calendar on my phone
3. Chicken Hill, Pennsylvania

Cupcake12 Thanks for joining in. Have a good week. 4w
S3V3N @Cupcake12 ☺️ 4w
24 likes2 comments
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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Congratulations @marleed 🎊🎉🎈 you are the winner of the tagged book in honor of Black History Month! Can you email me your address? Loverofbooks75@gmail ! Thank you all for participating!

#BlackHistoryMonth
#LitsyLove

marleed Oh my goodness, thank you! This book is on my library TBR and I was hoping to read it this month! You are so incredibly kind! 1mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @marleed you‘re welcome! I hope you enjoy it! I thought I had your address, but I can‘t find it! 1mo
61 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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February is Black History Month! To celebrate I‘ll be hosting a few giveaways! These are open to US only unfortunately due to shipping costs.

To enter for a chance to win the tagged book please answer the questions below!

Who is your favorite Black author?

What book do you think is a must read for Black History Month?

Please share and tag friends! Everyone is welcome to answer!

#LitsyLove #BlackHistoryMonth

Kimzey Zora Neale Hurston; planning to read Heaven and Earth Grocery Store this month. 1mo
lynneamch I don't tend to read a lot of poetry, but Langston Hughes is a name that always comes to me first. Brief, thought-provoking, and powerful is his 'Harlem' (A Dream Deferred). There are several videos set to readings of this and many may recognize the origin of the title of the play and movie 'A Raisin in the Sun.' Will read Heaven & Earth as soon as it comes off hold.
1mo
52 likes2 comments
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rockpools
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I suppose this Saturday relief cover malarkey isn‘t that bad. Trying to squeeze in 15 mins train reading before I start.

Really enjoying this book. Yes, it‘s meandery, but I find I can sink right into it. Has to be back by Friday, so we might need to speed up a bit.

A few of you have said it‘s not his best. Would love to know which James Macbride books I should be stacking then…

BarbaraBB I enjoyed this one more much more than expected based on the reviews. I am glad you are too. Another good one by him is 1mo
squirrelbrain Lovely view! ❤️ 1mo
Ruthiella I liked Deacon King Kong but really loved this one, but maybe especially because of its spotlight on the events of Harper‘s Ferry and US history 1mo
LeahBergen Lovely photo! 1mo
Hooked_on_books Both books tagged by others here are fantastic and I recommend both. 1mo
58 likes5 comments
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iamcourtneyb
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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February is Black History Month! To celebrate I‘ll be hosting a few giveaways! These are open to US only unfortunately due to shipping costs.

To enter for a chance to win the tagged book please answer the questions below!

How do you celebrate Black History Month?

What book do you think is a must read for Black History Month?

Please share and tag friends! Everyone is welcome to answer!

#LitsyLove

Gissy I don‘t know if I‘m in the eligible list but I want to play☺️

1. I miss this year @Blitsy swap @Chelleo but besides the swa I like toinclude in my February tbr more books by #Blackauthors I know and the favorite part, love to discover new authors to me. I don‘t do many puzzles but I try to do one relevant to this month, the one I‘m doing is not an easy one and it was designed by a black artist. I also has some mugs designed by black artists⬇️
1mo
Gissy I use more my tote bags related with topic (because I use them over the year but try to use them more frequently this month, almost exclusively). I‘m waiting for a booksleeve related with this topic and I have a pencil pouch. I own beautiful art prints received in the past swaps and purchased that I use in my book reviews posts. I also try to buy new books by #BlackAuthors Participating in the swap over these years was a great motivation⬇️ 1mo
Gissy 2. Beloved? By Toni Morrison? I haven read it though☺️I discovered Beverly Jenkins and love her romances but the book that I loved was Razor Blade Tears 1mo
See All 9 Comments
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Gissy you are good! Shipping to PR isn‘t international! 1mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Gissy S.A. Cosby is phenomenal! 1mo
Gissy Yes, but sometimes people think we are but that‘s okay. I really like to celebrate/commemorate different cultural activities or dates. It‘s an opportunity to know more about that event. 🤗I could say I do these reading ritual for St. Patrick‘s, Asian/Pacific month, Native American Heritage Month (I need more bookish things related with this month), Hispanic Heritage Month and now I‘m participating in the YouTube Caribbean & Aussie Readathons😃 1mo
marleed Well, these days I celebrate black history month by prioritizing books by black authors unread on my TBR. Oh the book I‘m determined to read this month because it is a must is The Color Purple. One book 📖 I‘ve read and would encourage reading with the kids in your life is The Watson‘s go to Birmingham. 1mo
Mimi28 The only thing I remember about black history month is that in school whether it was black, white or mixed cultures is that I had to do everything I absolutely hated on my birthday. There was usually an assembly on the last day the month- my birthday ( most years) I had to get dressed up and say some type of poem or speech or dance or sing or something humiliating- on my birthday probably for all 12 years. I‘m very casual and shy so I dreaded it 1mo
Mimi28 Plus i think everyone should have to share in misery of researching someone influential on their birthday- meaning all year long. I should have a better attitude about it by now. I‘m sorry. A little bit of every culture every month I say 👍🏽👍🏽🫶🏽🫶🏽 I am exhausted 😴 I have had about 4 hours of sleep in the last 2 days 🙄 Thank God I had therapy and then again on Monday and if you think I‘m moody now- imagine how I am with professional help🤫 1mo
38 likes9 comments
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Beatlefan129
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Mehso-so

I‘m struggling to put my feelings about this book into words. I enjoyed the story overall but it needed a tighter focus. There were too many characters which made it hard for me to connect with any one in particular. Some of the plot points got a little confusing for me and didn‘t feel like they were really resolved. ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/5

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I had to bail on this one. I really wanted to love it 😫 1mo
AmyG @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I may be right behind you on bailing. I hate to do it but… 1mo
See All 6 Comments
dabbe @AmyG #hailthebail! 🩶🖤🩶 Life's too short ... move on! 🤩😂😍 1mo
AmyG Thanks friend. @dabbe #hailthebail indeed. (edited) 1mo
dabbe @AmyG 😘 1mo
71 likes6 comments
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ClairesReads
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Mehso-so

I've landed somewhere in the middle on this one. There is a lot I really like about it- and after reading the acknowledgements at the end I really felt like I had a better appreciation for what McBride was aiming to say. I think the second half does a better job of realising that intent as well as being more coherent storytelling. It took me until halfway to really get into it, and get into what felt like a story being told. A flawed read for me.

Suet624 It was a low pick for me but I felt the same way. 1mo
30 likes1 comment
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BookishTrish
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Mehso-so

Lots of books I feel ambivalent about lately. While I liked a few characters in this one, the book felt too overstuffed to pack much punch. Just me?

Ruthiella Not just you! 😂 But I‘m just letting it wash over me with no expectations. 1mo
squirrelbrain No, not just you. I liked it, but didn‘t love it. Overhyped for me, I think. 1mo
Karisa Yeah, I just finished this one, and it‘s leaving me with that feeling too. So many characters (though I loved Chona). Not sure about the ending either. The U.S‘ south as a sort of paradise? Huh? I get that the north has problems. He doesn‘t gloss over the racism there, but the south does too. Is it just money solves everything? It‘s a pick for me but barely. 1mo
Jas16 You are very much not alone. 1mo
ClairesReads Not just you- I felt exactly the same 1mo
47 likes5 comments
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BarbaraBB
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Pickpick

After reading mixed reviews about this book I was a bit worried about what I would think of it myself but there was no need to. Again McBride creates a community of the most wonderful characters. This one is set in a Jewish-Black neighborhood in Pennsylvania where immigrants try to make the most of it. It‘s a hard life but not without love, friendship and loyalty. An excellent read. #LitsyToB24

Megabooks Glad you enjoyed it!! Are you visiting your mom this weekend? Wherever you are it looks lovely!! 💜💜💜 1mo
Velvetfur Such a pretty photo! 1mo
squirrelbrain So glad you liked it! ❤️ 1mo
See All 20 Comments
BarbaraBB @Megabooks No it is in a small village close to our beach cabin! I 1mo
BarbaraBB @Megabooks @squirrelbrain I can‘t remember of you both already read it? 1mo
Hooked_on_books Oh, that‘s great! I was one of those mixed reviewers, so I‘m glad it worked better for you than for me! 1mo
Ruthiella I‘m reading it now and am also enjoying it. I‘ve come to understand that it‘s more a meandering story than a tightly plotted novel and have tempered my expectations accordingly. 1mo
AmyG Your review now makes me want to read this. 1mo
squirrelbrain I have, I liked it but didn‘t love it. I‘m halfway through my last book from our shortlist - Same Bed. 1mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB yes, I‘ve read it. It was more #likenotlove for me. 1mo
Megabooks @squirrelbrain I‘m halfway through birthday party, which is my last and struggling with the tiny print! 😵‍💫 1mo
CarolynM Looks like a lovely day☀️ Enjoy! 1mo
BarbaraBB @Megabooks @squirrelbrain You are both reading your last one, wow! Birthday Party has a very small font indeed, I can imagine your struggle! How are you liking Same Bed, Helen? I have two more to go: Happiness Falls and Biography of X 1mo
BarbaraBB @Ruthiella Exactly. I tempered my expectations too yet was engaged by the lovely characters from page 1. I hope you‘ll enjoy it too @AmyG! 1mo
BarbaraBB @CarolynM Thank you, cold but sunny and I can feel a tiny bit of Spring 😘 1mo
squirrelbrain I read Birthday Party on Kindle, Meg, @megabooks which I know you can‘t do, but I imagine it has tiny font in print. I guess it‘s not available on audio anywhere either. I nearly bailed on Same Bed, Barbara, but now I‘m quite enjoying it, even though I don‘t really know what‘s going on. 🤷‍♀️ 1mo
TrishB I really enjoyed this one too. 1mo
sarahbarnes I‘m so glad to see you enjoyed it! I‘ll be reading it soon. Great review. 🩵 1mo
Suet624 I‘m glad you liked it! 1mo
rockpools Oh good! I‘m reading this now, and finding it a lovely book to sink into. Was a bit confused by all the ‘meh‘ reviews. Glad you enjoyed it! 1mo
105 likes3 stack adds20 comments
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CatLass007
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Pickpick

#ReadAway2024 This is the first book I‘ve completed for #LitsyToB24 and I‘ll spend the rest of January focusing on the other books for the challenge. This book was excellent and surprising. Good, happy things happened and sad, tragic things happened. That‘s the way a life is and has been since our ancestors first stood upright.

Megabooks He is really good at capturing life. Excellent way of putting it! 1mo
CatLass007 @Megabooks Thanks! This is the first book I‘ve read by him. I don‘t think I‘ve read anything by any of the authors for #LitsyToB24. That‘s one of the reasons I decided to participate. 1mo
Deblovestoread Great review. I‘m about 2/3 in and enjoying it. 1mo
See All 10 Comments
DieAReader 🥳Great 1mo
BarbaraBB Such a great review! I‘ll be starting this one next too. 1mo
CatLass007 @DieAReader @BarbaraBB Thank you. Great! Enjoy!! 1mo
squirrelbrain Great review - glad you enjoyed it! 1mo
CatLass007 @squirrelbrain Thanks! Have you read it yet? 1mo
squirrelbrain I have read it, and liked it but didn‘t love it. 1mo
65 likes10 comments
quote
charl08

But Chona's years....in the back room of the Heaven & Earth Grocery Store had given her time to consider. She read everything as a child: comics, detective books, dime novels; and by the time she became a young wife, she'd evolved into reading about socialism and unions. She subscribed to Jewish newspapers, publications in Hebrew, and books on Jewish life, some from Europe. The readings gave her wild ideas about art, music, and worldly matters.

40 likes1 stack add
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wen4blu
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My library hold for this one finally came in.

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staci.reads
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Pickpick

This beautiful book. I was worried for the first 100 pages that this wouldn't live up to the hype and wouldn't be nearly as good as Deacon King Kong, but McBride did not let me down. This was superb writing and plotting. The characters are incredibly rich, and the storytelling is masterful. This will definitely be one of my favorites of the year, maybe of all-time.

BarbaraBB Wow what a recommendation! I will read it soon! 2mo
Texreader High praise! Stacked! 1mo
KLyn1 This is on my shelf!! 1mo
84 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Bookish_Gal
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Mehso-so

Not up to the hype, just above worth my time. The main integral part of the story, following Mrs. Chona, was what kept me going. How American puts the immigrant Jews in town against those blacks in the outskirts. The rest to of it? Hard to follow dialogue and characters. There‘s so much going on, not really connected after halfway. I‘m lost as to where the story went with the ever changing plot lines all over.

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iamcourtneyb
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Things done changed! New year, new baby 💖

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Jas16
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Mehso-so

I expected to thoroughly love this one but it just didn‘t gel for me. I think the story meandered a bit too much and a few too many characters. I was invested in the central story but it often felt as if it was pushed to the side. So much love for this title, I am bummed that I don‘t feel the same. #litsytob24

BarbaraBB It seems no one does! Very curious where I‘ll end up with this one 2mo
squirrelbrain I felt the same as you. 2mo
Chelsea.Poole Same. 2mo
See All 8 Comments
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I bailed unfortunately! I really wanted to love it! (edited) 2mo
Reggie Chica, I think the Tob list is not for you this year. I haven‘t seen you give so many so-sos in a while. 2mo
Jas16 @Reggie There are definitely positives and negatives to reading books you wouldn‘t otherwise have picked up. I honestly would have read this one even if it hadn‘t made the list. 2mo
janeycanuck I‘m a third of the way through the audio and each time a new chapter starts, I feel like I‘m back at square one with the characters. I think I need to restart it and listen in long chunks. 2mo
Megabooks Yes, very surprised that it was such a best of 2023 pick! 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️ 2mo
60 likes8 comments
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Chelsea.Poole
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Mehso-so

Everyone loves this, but I found it tedious, with some positive aspects. Loved Dodo and Monkey Pants, those two were the most vivid for me. The huge cast of characters was confusing to keep track of with the audiobook. However, the way McBride describes them is comical yet authentic. At turns hilarious, sad, heartwarming. Bad guys are super bad and good guys are really good. My fault for listening to the audio, maybe print would have helped!

Suet624 I felt the same way about this one. 2mo
Jas16 I‘m about half way through and not loving it the way I expected to. 2mo
See All 6 Comments
BarbaraBB I have the impression no one loves it so much as the best-books lists seem to imply! Still need to read it but I am not really looking forward to it! 2mo
Hooked_on_books I loved a couple of his previous books but definitely not this one. I hope with all the attention, people dive into his very good backlist. 2mo
RebelReader I‘m like 48th on the library hold list and not that sad about it from what I‘m hearing from actual readers. 2mo
90 likes6 comments
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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Giving this one another whirl 🤷🏻‍♀️📚

80 likes1 stack add
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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Ok! I started this one and I‘m on the struggle bus!! Does it get any better?! 😫 maybe I‘m just being impatient…

Suet624 I gave this a very low pick. 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Suet624 I‘m going to give it 25 more pages! 2mo
Soubhiville I loved it, but it is slow moving. It was on my favorites list of last year. 2mo
See All 13 Comments
Tamra I bailed on the audio version. 2mo
TrishB I loved it too. 2mo
Larkken I found the beginning confusing. I got more into it when I forgot about the “mystery“ and just looked at it as a character exploration, personally. It made it onto my favorites from last year, too! 2mo
Crazeedi I read a couple chapters and left it go back to the library. Not sure if I care to finish 2mo
Bluebird It took a awhile for me to get into this one. Agree with @Larkken, it‘s really more about the characters. Once I let go of the idea of this as a mystery I started to enjoy it. 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Soubhiville maybe it‘s just me!! 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Larkken I‘ll push through a little longer! 2mo
Soubhiville It‘s ok if it‘s not for you. Have you read anything else by him? I absolutely loved Deacon King Kong and would recommend giving that one a try- it felt a bit more accessible and had a terrific sense of humor. 2mo
Soubhiville But if you aren‘t enjoying this I‘d say bail… there are too many books out there to stick with one that‘s not right for you. 2mo
67 likes1 stack add13 comments
review
Megabooks
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Pickpick

Did I enjoy this? Yes, much more in print than audio. Is it the best book of 2023? No, definitely overhyped. However McBride does hit the sweet spot of being touching without being saccharine.

The story of a small town of Jewish immigrants and Black folks. A kind Jewish woman takes in a Deaf Black kid to hide him from going to a state asylum. When things go wrong, both parts of the community must work together. Great side characters! #LitsyToB24

BarbaraBB Great review! It is literally on every 2023 list. I hope it‘ll be a pick for me too! 2mo
TrishB The hype didn‘t help it really, but I did enjoy it. 2mo
Megabooks @TrishB agree 💯 2mo
See All 13 Comments
Megabooks @BarbaraBB I hope you enjoy it. It‘s a nice story for sure, and I liked it much more than 2mo
squirrelbrain Glad you liked it! 2mo
Ruthiella Going to hear something positive 😂! I‘ll definitely do the print version. 👍 2mo
sarahbarnes I gave in and bought a copy. So I‘m glad to see you liked it. 😆 2mo
Megabooks @Ruthiella I couldn‘t follow the audio. Fiction books with a lot of well developed side characters are hard for me to follow the way I listen. 🤷🏻‍♀️ But I‘m glad the tob got me to pick up the print! 2mo
Megabooks @sarahbarnes me too! I probably should‘ve waited in the IMMENSE library line, but it was worth reading in the end. 👍🏻👍🏻 2mo
sarahbarnes Right?!! There are more than 500 holds on it. Crazy!! 2mo
Chelsea.Poole I just finished this (on audio) yesterday and I totally agree. I would have been much better off to read the book but there‘s a long line for it, so audio had to suffice. I couldn‘t keep the side characters from merging 😬 2mo
Megabooks @Chelsea.Poole exactly. It‘s just too much even for a skilled narrator. 2mo
90 likes2 stack adds13 comments
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BkClubCare
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Pickpick

Always a fun ride with McBride doing the storytelling. I had a bit of length- and character-quantity fatigue, though. Still!! Always willing to go where this author leads - I was just in a hurry to finish and my hurry-it-up experience suffered under my own hubris.

#ToB2024 #PieinLit #LitPie #Audiobook

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staci.reads
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I'm going to try to finish up the 5th in the Murderbot series tonight, and tomorrow, I'm starting The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store. I've been looking forward to the McBride for a while now. It should be a good way to start 2024! #lastfirst @BookNAround

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TrishB
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Pickpick

I haven‘t read this author before. I‘ve had DKK on my tbr for ages and not got to. I really enjoyed this one though (against the last few reviews 😁).

CBee I loved DKK! Can‘t wait to get to this one 😊 2mo
Centique I got this for christmas and am looking forward to it! 2mo
Tamra I enjoyed 2mo
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squirrelbrain Glad you liked it! 2mo
TrishB @CBee @Centique hope you love it. 2mo
TrishB @Tamra 👍🏻 2mo
BarbaraBB I liked DKK a lot, hopefully this one too although it somehow doesn‘t really appeal to me. 2mo
Caroline2 Oh glad to hear you liked it. Looking forward to getting to this one. 2mo
BkClubCare You would not get any argument from me if you start another book by this author - I might even suggest you try The Color of Water; it‘s nonfiction and it is AWESOME 2mo
BkClubCare @Tamra - I loved this one, too 👍 2mo
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review
squirrelbrain
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Pickpick

I liked this but didn‘t love it. There were a lot of characters, and it was a very meandering storyline. I had tried it in audio first but lost track of who was who, so definitely better in print.

I really enjoyed learning about the marginalised groups of Pottstown and how they interacted with each other.

It‘s interesting that this was the most voted for book on our #litsyToB24 shortlist - I can‘t wait to see how it fares going forward!

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Megabooks I‘m guessing I‘ll feel similar to you. 🤔🤔 2mo
TheBookHippie I was EH … and supposedly suppose to love it ..🫠 2mo
Deblovestoread I tried on audio and got lost. Will try print. 😀 2mo
sarahbarnes I gave in and ordered a copy of this because there are over 500 holds on it at my library. I am hoping it will be worth it! 2mo
CatLass007 I have my Audible copy. If I don‘t find it interesting or have difficulty with distinguishing between characters, I always can return it. That‘s my new philosophy for audiobooks, keep it and finish it or return it to use my credit on something else. 2mo
Ruthiella I voted for it because I loved The Good Lord Bird and I liked Deacon King Kong. Too bad this one doesn‘t sound as good. 2mo
Bookwormjillk Good to know. The line at my library is really long for this one- might be a good use for a gift card. 2mo
TrishB I really enjoyed it! 😁 2mo
Hooked_on_books I LOVED DKK and Good Lord Bird, so I eagerly nabbed this when it came out and was let down. It‘s getting absolute raves in the book world and I don‘t get it, though I love the attention it brings to McBride, as he deserves it. 2mo
squirrelbrain I haven‘t read either Good Lord Bird or Deacon King Kong @Ruthiella @Hooked_on_books - I will try one / both of them soonish! 2mo
squirrelbrain A few people have tried it on audio first, I think, and didn‘t get on with it. @Deblovestoread @CatLass007 2mo
squirrelbrain Have you started it yet @Megabooks ? 2mo
squirrelbrain I couldn‘t get it at the library, digital or physical, so I bought it, but with a voucher so I only paid (c8. Was it worth it? Hmmm, I think so. @sarahbarnes @Bookwormjillk 2mo
squirrelbrain Glad you really liked it! @TrishB 2mo
TrishB I was genuinely surprised by some of the reviews! But that‘s what is cool about different opinions. 2mo
BarbaraBB Interesting, all these opinions. I liked Deacon King Kong but am not really drawn to this one. We‘ll see 🤞🏽 2mo
Larkken I really liked it as a character (characters?) study but loved DKK so I think some affection for it may be residual 2mo
Megabooks I bailed on the audio, but I‘m trying the print in January. 2mo
Well-ReadNeck I felt the same. Love his characters and scenes, but the whole of this one didn‘t grab me like DKK did. 2mo
Suet624 Felt exactly the same. 2mo
Caroline2 Ark that‘s disappointing! I really don‘t like books with too many characters and no real plot. 😒 glad I got this on a kindle deal then!! 2mo
KarenUK Same…. Liked not loved (edited) 2mo
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ChrisBohjalian
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This year‘s book pic! The titles my family exchanged and we put under the tree. Happy reading, my friends.

Chrissyreadit Happy Reading!! 2mo
48 likes1 comment
review
Suet624
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Pickpick

This was a low pick for me. Considering how many people had this on their best of ‘23 lists I expected a bit more. Can‘t quite put a finger on my discontent but it‘s not one I‘ll be recommending to friends.

Tamra I bailed on the audio. I‘m going to wait for more reviews until I try it in print. 2mo
Hooked_on_books I‘m perplexed by the adoration for this book. I really like McBride and am thrilled to see him get accolades, but for me Deacon King Kong and The Good Lord Bird were so much better than this one, which was just ok for me. 2mo
vivastory I honestly felt the same about Deacon King Kong. It's the only McBride that I've read, so I do want to give him another chance. I have been meaning to ask, have you read Dave Grohl's newest? 2mo
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BarbaraBB I am afraid I‘ll feel the same about this one. Keep postponing reading it. 2mo
BarbaraBB @vivastory A new Grohl? After Taylor‘s death? 2mo
squirrelbrain I also hibernated the audio, but am about to start this in print. 2mo
Suet624 @Tamra As I said, I“m not sure I'd recommend it but certainly a lot of people seem to like it. 2mo
Suet624 @Hooked_on_books And the Color of Water!! I'm always second guessing myself when I don't like a book that everyone else loves but this felt like a bit of a mess. 2mo
Suet624 @vivastory BarbaraBB I would suggest reading The Color of Water. So good. As for my buddy Dave, I saw his book in the bookstore with a new cover. My understanding was that a new section had been added, but when I looked in the back of the book it seemed to me it was just some stuff that he had said in the audiobook that hadn't been included in the original book. I could be wrong though. Don't see how he could have written about Taylor so soon. 2mo
Suet624 @squirrelbrain Good luck! I hope you enjoy it more than the audio. 2mo
Suet624 @vivastory @Barbarabb (continued) ... Also, I just listened to this episode of song exploder where Dave talks almost exclusively about how he wrote The Teacher, the song he wrote about his mom. I thought both Dave and the interviewer were quite good. https://www.instagram.com/p/C1FraujSXRL/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loadin... 2mo
BarbaraBB Thanks Sue, such a fantastic song ❤️‍🩹 2mo
Suet624 @BarbaraBB You're welcome. Truly fantastic song. 2mo
Graywacke @vivastory @BarbaraBB - seconding The Color of Water. A book i finished on audio with so many warm emotions. It‘s special. @Suet624 - very interesting about this one. It‘s on like every 2023 list, but I think only kirkus gave it actual independent best. Which is interesting to me. I‘m thinking about another McBride. Maybe this isn‘t it. (edited) 2mo
Graywacke @Suet624 I haven‘t read this book, so can‘t judge it truly. But i hate that so many us-focused best of whatever years lists include books that aren‘t actually great. If it‘s only ok, it shouldn‘t be on your best of list. (/rant. Love to all. 😁) 2mo
Suet624 @Graywacke @vivastory @BarbaraBB Obama even had it on his list of books! I can see why he would put it on there to be honest - the book explores people of color and Jews working/living together in a community. But as a story, something just didn't click when reading it. 2mo
Suet624 @Graywacke Exactly. I think only one newspaper put North Woods on their top ten list. I thought that book was fantastic and worthy of shouting from the rooftops about the story. 2mo
Graywacke @Suet624 noting North Woods. I‘ve seen the title come up a lot but don‘t know anything about it 2mo
Graywacke @Suet624 and i saw Obama‘s list too. Every year it‘s curiously sprinkled with ok books. I assumed we just have different tastes. I also admire how much he reads and shares about it. 2mo
sarahbarnes I gave in and ordered a copy of this because there are over 500 holds on it at my library. I am hoping it will be worth it. 2mo
sarahbarnes Also noting North Woods 2mo
TrishB Just finished this one and I really enjoyed. And really didn‘t enjoy North Woods. Sometimes it is just different tastes. 2mo
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kyraleseberg
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James McBride may just be my favorite living author. He creates entire communities for readers to walk through with fully realized characters that are, more often than not, unforgettable.
This line really hit me hard, for many reasons!

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CaitlinR
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Bailedbailed

I‘ve loved James McBride‘s books, and I eagerly waited for this one to become available. After reading more than half way, however, I‘ve decided to set it aside and maybe try again later. The book is more heavy handed than his earlier work. His character are almost caricatures. I get that this is probably the point, but I just wasn‘t enjoying the story. I‘m disappointed.

Tamra I bailed too, but I thought it might the audio format. 3mo
CaitlinR @Tamara glad to have your take on the audiobook. I placed a hold on it for my mom, think I‘ll cancel it! 3mo
BkClubCare Oh no 😱 I am about 10% in on audio🎧 3mo
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CaitlinR
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“There was an old Jew who lived at the site of the old synagogue up on Chicken Hill in the town of Pottstown, PA, and when Pennsylvania State Troopers found the skeleton at the bottom of an old well off Hayes Street, the old Jew‘s house was the first place they went to.”

review
Kboltz
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Pickpick

Yes this book is that good. Just read it…James McBride has a way with words and his characters are true to life. Sometimes hard to hear the truth but it‘s history. I always believe that there are good people and bad people…that will never change. Loved Chona and Dodo. The abuse of cripples is always horrendous.

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SMH86
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Mehso-so

It was ok, but didn't really capture my complete interest, as I found myself reading other things instead of this. I Got about 1/3 way through before the library loan expired. Not planning to renew or finish. Hope I didn't miss something more spectacular later on.

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Djspens
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Pickpick

Put this one on your Christmas list! Beautifully told story, these characters will stick with me for awhile.

ShelleyBooksie Adorable doggo ♡♡ 3mo
AmyG So cute! 3mo
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Djspens
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🥰 this sweatshirt came today from 3 of my little grandkids for my birthday 🥰 my DIL is so thoughtful. And I‘m really enjoying this book!!

AmyG Perfect gift! 3mo
ravenlee 😍 3mo
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Writeme
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Pickpick

A marvelous book, reminiscent of Colson Whitehead‘s work, but not as dark. Still, it‘s a story of a small, rural Black and Jewish community in Pennsylvania in the 1930s, with a mysterious death that keeps you wondering throughout the book. A great story!

charl08 Sounds good - and my library has a copy! Thanks 😀 3mo
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review
Tonton
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Pickpick

Stupendously glorious both in style, story, and characters! I was feeling so stressed by doom scrolling but this gave hope that individuals and community can make good trouble! We‘re in this together.

rockpools I love your review! This is exactly what we need right now. 1mo
Tonton @rockpools Thank you😎❣️ 3w
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