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Outline
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
A luminous, powerful novel that establishes Rachel Cusk as one of the finest writers in the English language A man and a woman are seated next to each other on a plane. They get to talkingabout their destination, their careers, their families. Grievances are aired, family tragedies discussed, marriages and divorces analyzed. An intimacy is established as two strangers contrast their own fictions about their lives. Rachel Cusk's Outline is a novel in ten conversations. Spare and stark, it follows a novelist teaching a course in creative writing during one oppressively hot summer in Athens. She leads her students in storytelling exercises. She meets other visiting writers for dinner and discourse. She goes swimming in the Ionian Sea with her neighbor from the plane. The people she encounters speak volubly about themselves: their fantasies, anxieties, pet theories, regrets, and longings. And through these disclosures, a portrait of the narrator is drawn by contrast, a portrait of a woman learning to face a great loss. Outline takes a hard look at the things that are hardest to speak about. It brilliantly captures conversations, investigates people's motivations for storytelling, and questions their ability to ever do so honestly or unselfishly. In doing so it bares the deepest impulses behind the craft of fiction writing. This is Rachel Cusk's finest work yet, and one of the most startling, brilliant, original novels of recent years.A Finalist for the Folio Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize, the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and the Baileys Womens Prize for FictionOne of The New York Times' Top Ten Books of the YearNamed a A New York Times Book Review Notable Book and a Best Book of the Year by The New Yorker, Vogue, NPR, The Guardian, The Independent, Glamour, and The Globe and Mail
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spine_destroyer
Outline | Rachel Cusk
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Enjoying this book a lot but damn if American book design isn‘t 10-15 years behind. it makes me sad to see good writing get the personality-less airy-but-r e s p e c t a b l e treatment, with that noughties-feeling paper gradient. Topped off with the NYT seal of approval. It‘s so depressingly conformist and lifeless, the type of design that keeps me from getting interested at all. the cover on the right (British cover I think) is so much better.

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Taylor
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

I reread this, because I‘m about to get into the whole trilogy, and I wanted this one fresh in my mind.

It‘s still really good, but so much bleaker than I remembered, with its view of life in general. Why didn‘t I remember it being this bleak?

(That new cover redesign though!)

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Taylor
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk

I was suddenly filled with the most extraordinary sense of existence as a secret pain, an inner torment it was impossible to share with others, who asked you to attend to them while remaining oblivious to what was inside you

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Wellreadhead
Outline | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick
CarolynM Great review, it made perfect sense to me. I liked the book too - I loved that you were finding out such a lot about the people the narrator met (in so far as what they said to her was true, and I had my doubts) but virtually nothing about the narrator. Cusk is a really interesting writer. I have to get around to the next one soon 4mo
Wellreadhead Thanks and same here. I need to finish the trilogy. I also want to read some of her nonfiction, which I have heard is really great as well. 4mo
62 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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BekaReid
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

This book had peaked my curiosity last year, and I had the chance to read it this weekend. The book is a series of ordinary encounters and observations. Not much happens, but much is revealed of humanity, life, and relationships. And I loved the fluidity of Rachel Cusk's writing. Definitely plan to continue with the trilogy!

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fleeting
Outline | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

I greatly enjoyed this book. It's a book of meandering thoughts; no plot to speak of, but I love how fluid it was and how it took me from one place, one character, one story to another. I understand how this book isn't for everyone, and how each person will read it differently. I'll continue on with the next books in the trilogy.

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peacegypsy
Outline | Rachel Cusk
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Starting the first in this trilogy. Happy mid-week, all! 🌷

31 likes1 stack add
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fleeting
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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On to this; mixed reviews so let's see where I fall. Should I order the next books now? I'm trying to practice self control by not doing so. I think I ought to see first if I like this one.

mrozzz You‘ll probably want the other books 😉 I‘ve only read this one so far though I have the other 2 waiting for me 6mo
fleeting @mrozzz oh no okay I'm buying I'm buying 😂 6mo
mrozzz 👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻 6mo
9 likes3 comments
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fleeting
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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3 orders from online thrift stores arrived today! I love book mail. 🤩

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HotCocoaReads
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

I haven‘t read a book that felt so vivid and showed a true depiction of humanity in a long time. Outline was simple and beautifully written and is a new favorite! Someone had recommended it to me when I asked whether you‘d read a book that didn‘t contain a relationship—not love but any kind of relationship—but I disagree: This book was full of people telling their stories in an attempt at being understood by each other and themselves. Beautiful!

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irre
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Mehso-so

I won a signed copy of the last book in this series so of course I had to go and buy the first two. (It drives me crazy that the second one is different!!)
The book is pretty much made up of different conversations. Although some parts were interesting, I found my mind wandering. 3 ⭐️ I‘m not rushing to read the other two.

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ReadingEnvy
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Books read in February 2019.
Five-star reads include House of Impossible Beauties, Outline, Fired Up, My Brother's Husband, and Double Awesome Chinese Food.

readordierachel Loved My Brother's Husband! 8mo
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Holy moly! Great job! 📖💖 8mo
ReadingEnvy @readordierachel so good I read volumes 1&2 in February! 8mo
See All 6 Comments
readordierachel Same! You actually put them on my radar, so thank you 😊 8mo
TheLibrarian Holy books read!! 8mo
ReadingEnvy @TheLibrarian I know, I had a slow month! 🙃 8mo
55 likes6 comments
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kathedron
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Happy Galentine's Day to you, too, @Caroline2 , and thank you! I'm curious about the marmite nature of this one (I've not read her before) and wonder what I will make of it.
How lovely is that card, too? Here's an idea for the wonderful #jbuk Littens: the first person to guess correctly how many of the books depicted I've read wins a prize! Comment below if you want to play. One guess each! 😉
(#jbuk members only, because of postage costs)

Birdsong28 I guess 12 😘📚📖 8mo
squirrelbrain What a lovely idea! I‘m going for 18..... 8mo
See All 15 Comments
TrishB I‘m going for 19. Great idea 👍🏻 8mo
TrishB @kaysworld1 pictured 👍🏻 8mo
innah96 9 ❤️ 8mo
Lel2403 8 ❤️📖 8mo
jhod 5! Happy Galentines!! 8mo
jenniferw88 12! 8mo
Caroline2 Glad you like it! And what a fun game! I‘m going with 20! 👍🏻 8mo
RachelO Fun! 14 📚 8mo
Oryx 16 8mo
Christine11 Fun! I‘ll go 17 😊 8mo
youneverarrived I‘ll say 7 😁 8mo
50 likes15 comments
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ReadingEnvy
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this novel where nothing much happens but much is revealed through the nuance of conversation and connection.

CarolynM Surprisingly lovely, isn't it? 9mo
ReadingEnvy @CarolynM I really liked it 9mo
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Caroline2
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

This is a hard one to review....it‘s brilliant, yet kinda boring! Profound and thought provoking yet superficial and irritating. I wanted to bail but I also wanted more. I loved it, I hated it. Maybe I need to sleep on this? 🤔

TrishB Ha ha 😂 love it! 9mo
merelybookish That's how I feel about Knaussgaard's My Struggle 9mo
Caroline2 @TrishB I‘m really not keen on these award winning books, with beautiful writing but no characters to connect with and no plot?! It feels kinda lazy and snobby! Like their writing is soooo brilliant they don‘t need trite things like a plot! 🙄 9mo
See All 6 Comments
TrishB Agree totally!! 9mo
Ruthiella I agree this is a tough book to categorize and while I admired it, I didn‘t enjoy it. 9mo
Caroline2 @Ruthiella yes! That is spot on, I admired it but I didn‘t enjoy it! 👍🏻 9mo
91 likes6 comments
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mrozzz
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

Ah, I was so seduced by the way Cusk‘s nearly unnamed main character acts as a vessel for her encounters. Though she isn't fleshed out in page space, the way she re-tells the reader what her friends & acquaintances have just told her provided enough of a voyeuristic lens for me to understand & enjoy Faye too. There IS a subtle thread of plot that leads from the first chapter to the last, this could also be read as a collection of short stories.

catebutler I just added this to my list the other day, so happy to see your review on here! 9mo
mrozzz Cusk is such a cool writer. @catebutler I hope you like it! 9mo
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CarolynM
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

This novel has no plot. It is nothing more than a series of encounters. A novelist travels to Athens to teach a writing course. She meets various people, some strangers, some friends, and they tell her stories from their lives. Along the way she shares a few telling details of her own. It may sound unpromising, but I found it fascinating.

RachelO This one really surprised me. Can‘t remember why I read it, because I expected to hate it, but I found it totally absorbing! And I‘ve never seen that cover 🐚 10mo
LauraBeth Books without plots are my jam - I need to get to this trilogy 10mo
saresmoore @LauraBeth I keep saying that to myself and then I remember the font. Uuuuugh. 10mo
See All 8 Comments
LauraBeth @saresmoore I know - that font! I can‘t let sans serif get in the way of me missing out on what could be a great read. I just looked at a sample page for Kindle and it looks like that could solve our dilemma! Go look. 10mo
saresmoore @LauraBeth Ooh, yes! You are so smart! 10mo
saresmoore @laurabeth Yas! Thank you for telling me! 10mo
CarolynM @LauraBeth @saresmoore Hope the ebook format overcomes your issues so you can enjoy the writing 🙂 10mo
63 likes2 stack adds8 comments
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Lauren.Archer
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Has this on my shelf forever, going to take a chance and read it.

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ClairesReads
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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October was the month of the epic and/or intense read for me. Although slow, it was full of excellent reads. Outline was definitely the stand out, and a top quality buddy read at that! The new Kingsolver and Zusak‘s were absolute treats. I was a fan of the two polarising Booker shortlisted novels I read. Our #indiebuddyread was perturbing but thought provoking. November is set to be the #readharder catch up month!

Redwritinghood Looks like you had a great month! 12mo
ClairesReads @Redwritinghood thanks Jerrie- I was challenged and interested by everything I read this month. It was a rewarding reading spell 12mo
BarbaraBB Sounds like a good month! 12mo
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ClairesReads @BarbaraBB it was great! 12mo
Redheadrambles You beat me to the wrapup ! What a good month for you 👍🏻 12mo
ClairesReads @Redheadrambles it‘s the first time ever- normally yours remind me to do it! It has been a good month- not the highest read count, but I got something out of everything I read, which was awesome. Looking forward to hitting #readharder this month. 12mo
Redheadrambles @ClairesReads looking over your books there is some high page count chunksters in there ! So impressive during term time 😀 12mo
ClairesReads @Redheadrambles there was definitely a “chunky” phase there in the middle- although admittedly I tackled those in the recent break. 12mo
32 likes2 stack adds8 comments
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ClairesReads
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

Outline is essentially plotless. It‘s not a novel about events, or even particular characters. Even the narrator herself is barely seen, only in the reflection of those she interacts with.

Significantly, Cusk‘s novel, in being about no one, or no thing in particular, is really about all of us. In reading this, we are all outlines, waiting to be filled by the reflections of others, the things that we engage with, which allow us to see ourselves.

40 likes2 stack adds
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ClairesReads
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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That‘s it. Rachel Cusk is a genius.

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ClairesReads
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Unapologetic spam this book is magic. Chapter 8.

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ClairesReads
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Truth

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ClairesReads
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Chapter 6. The observations in this are so astute.

irre I really need to read it! 13mo
ClairesReads @irre it‘s spectacular! 13mo
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ClairesReads
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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This book!

BarbaraBB What a quote ❤️. I have a copy of Kudos. I will bump that up my tbr, I‘ve heard you can read the series as stand-alones as well. Let‘s hope so. 13mo
ClairesReads @BarbaraBB I think you can, I understand it‘s not a trilogy in the strict sense of the word. I hope you enjoy it. 13mo
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ClairesReads
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Too good Cusk!

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ClairesReads
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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👌🏻

Lindy It‘s a brilliant book. 😁 13mo
ClairesReads @Lindy it‘s just wonderful so far I‘m loving it! 😊 13mo
32 likes2 comments
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ClairesReads
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Astute

readordierachel Wow. Yes. 13mo
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ClairesReads
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Metaphor

SilversReviews Love this photo. 13mo
31 likes1 comment
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ClairesReads
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Kicking off a much anticipated buddy read with a friend

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bookandcat
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

#backpackEurope travelogue *fictional*
Country 18: Greece is stunning. I loved seeing the Parthenon (LANDMARK) and the Acropolis in Athens (Greek mythology/history is fun!). I also toured the islands of Santorini and Mykonos and ate so much good food (pita and hummus, yogurt and honey and more)!
This book is also stunning. A woman goes to Greece and has conversations. Meditative, philosophical, thoughtful. Like a concise Karl Ove Knausgaard. 5/5

bookandcat @jenp @bookwormm landmark proof (Parthenon, Greece) submitted above - they walk through Athens and tour the Parthenon and Acropolis 14mo
53 likes1 comment
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LauraBeth
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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I want to read this but I‘m going to have to get over my resentment of sans serif fonts. Really - Arial? It‘s making me cast judgment before I‘ve read it...

DivineDiana Interesting observation. Do you work in the design field? 1y
LauraBeth @DivineDiana I spent my career in it and it has ruined me 😂 1y
Mamashep Too funny! 1y
See All 21 Comments
LeahBergen 😆😆 1y
saresmoore I kid you not, I had the same thought about this book! I ended up returning it unread and I think the font choice factored in to that outcome more than I‘m willing to admit. 😬 1y
BarbaraBB There‘s the advertising girl speaking 😂, I know exactly what you mean 😘 1y
aeeklund Bahahahaha. I love this! 1y
DGRachel 🤣🤣🤣 I love this post! 1y
AlaMich Looks like the designer couldn‘t be bothered.👎 1y
DivineDiana Maybe it just gave you a sharper eye! 👁 1y
LauraBeth @saresmoore 👯‍♀️ I have never finished a book that was published in sans sarif 😀 Or on bright, white paper... 1y
LauraBeth @AlaMich I would have been okay if just the cover was this font but the entire book is published in this font ☹️ 1y
LauraBeth @DGRachel who does this to a book?! 1y
LauraBeth @BarbaraBB 😂 You can take the girl out of advertising but... 1y
LauraBeth @Mamashep, @LeahBergen, @aeeklund I knew Littens would understand 😀 1y
Tonton Ex-ad agency here: fonts sensitive! (edited) 1y
LauraBeth @Tonton is there a support group for ex-agency folks? 😀 (edited) 1y
AlaMich @LauraBeth seriously? I am not a graphic designer but even I know that‘s a no-no! 1y
MeganAnn Magazine Art Director here and I‘m with you! 😀 It‘s a well known fact that sans serif fonts are more difficult to read in long blocks of text. I hate reading books in sans serif fonts and I routinely tell my boss this when he asks if we should design an article in sans serif - nope. 😂 I might be a little obsessed.... 🤔🤣 1y
rubyslippersreads Is the whole book in sans serif? I wouldn‘t even be able to get past the first page! 1y
86 likes21 comments
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samanthagutt
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
Mehso-so

Although this wasn‘t one of my favorite books, I did find many quotes that I felt were very relatable. Not so sure that I‘ll finish the other 2 books in this series.

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vivastory
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

Cusk's novel in ten conversations, what Maureen Corrigan calls autobiographies in miniature, features an outline of a narrative. Meditations on perception & love (containing the best passages on marriage I've recently read), Cusk calls to mind Ali Smith in the way the domestic & intimate intersect with the cultural & political. The speakers are frequently disillusioned, yet none seem to feel hopeless. Rather they are speaking out of experience.

charl08 Loved this one. 1y
LeahBergen Nice review! 1y
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Caksf
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

A quick nap detoured me from from #24in48 progress but I was glad to be refreshed enough to enjoy the stunning writing and philosophical observations in this exceptional novel. Rachel Cusk‘s insight and analysis of human suffering and frailty is spectacular. What a tour de force 5/5 @24in48 this one will be hard to top!

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Caksf
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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#24in48 hour 6 challenge. Best opening line “before the flight I was invited for lunch at a London club with a billionaire I‘d been promised he had liberal credentials” can‘t wait to start this one! @24in48 #24in48

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Caksf
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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I‘ve got so many tedious errands to run this weekend that I‘m pretty sure I won‘t be able to hit 24, but I‘ll have fun trying. Here‘s the stack! @24in48 #24in48 I might have to throw a non fiction in there to mix it up, but this is the stack I‘m launching with!

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Augustdana
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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It‘s not the ocean, but I‘ll take it. Gonna attempt to read this first before kudos has to go back to the library. Two books in five days? Sounds like a challenge for this slow reader.

BarbaraBB Looks so attractive 😍 1y
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Read66
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
Pickpick

A good read! Will definitely carry on reading the other books in this series. A really intriguing and clever approach by Rachel Cusk.

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vivastory
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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pgh.femme
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

I cannot decide what why I think of this book. It feels like an emotionless intellectual exercise in which every character describes feelings and never feels anything at all. And yet. And yet. I find it a somehow compelling narrative just the same. In the end because of its brevity I‘m declaring it a pick.

24 likes2 stack adds
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AnneCecilie
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

I read this yesterday, and I hardly ever finish a book in one day. This novel is hard to summarize since it's about more than the story's outline. A female author travels to Athen to learn aspiring would-be authors to write. And while she's there she talks with people and the novel centers around these conversations and her thoughts during them. I'll definitely read the next novel in this trilogy.

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Liberty
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Day 6 of the #Riotgrams Challenge: duologies, trilogies, & more! Rachel Cusk‘s Outline trilogy is perfection and the final book came out yesterday, so it is complete. Read it and weep, babies. ❤️🕊🎶

LiterRohde Those are great covers! 1y
saresmoore I don‘t know anything about the series, but I had the first one stacked, so it must have caught my eye before! Your endorsement solidifies my resolve to read them. 1y
Thndrstd Beautiful books 1y
batsy Love this picture! 1y
121 likes5 stack adds4 comments
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HardcoverHearts
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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I just received the Advanced Reader Copy of the third in this series, so it was time for me to finally pick this up. I have been holding this off for the “perfect” time to read it. I‘m only a few pages in and I love the tone so far.

26 likes1 stack add
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Well-ReadNeck
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

I loved this so much!!! And, yet, to describe it, it doesn‘t seem like anything I would choose. But, this is fabulous and subtle and so very brilliant. The reader gets snippets of life from students, colleagues and passing strangers of the protagonist. These small stories create the outline of the title. The protagonist is known only in negative space, in her reactions to others. I‘ll be grabbing the second book in this series ASAP! #audiobook

merelybookish Agreed! I loved this and the sequel and eagerly await book 3! 2y
TommieMarie74 Great review! 2y
Flaneurette I loved this too! I only wish my inner life and dialogue w friends and acquaintances was half as smart as the mc/author! 2y
CSeydel Sounds amazing! I‘d never heard of it. 2y
HardcoverHearts I just finished and I am amazed at her insight and brilliance. 1y
114 likes8 stack adds5 comments
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Litsi
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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I stumbled across literary-map.com that helps you find authors similar to the one you love ( or want to avoid!) Type in the name as I did for Rachel Cusk and presto!

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TheDoubleLetterThief
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Bailedbailed

Nope, can‘t do it. Too much description, not enough story.

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DebbieGrillo
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Bailedbailed

I found a few quotable quotes...

I was no longer interested in literature as a form of snobbery or even of self-definition–I had no desire to prove that one book was better than another: in fact, if I read something I admired I found myself increasingly disinclined to mention it at all. What I knew personally to be true had come to seem unrelated to the process of persuading others. I did not, any longer, want to persuade anyone of anything.

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Chelsea.Poole
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

To be honest, it was quite brilliant but it wasn‘t something I was dying to read. I really did appreciate what was being done here and found several scenes throughout the book beautiful. That being said, I think this is something you have to work for and at this point in my life I read for stress relief and as an escape. I think I would appreciate this much more if my life were less chaotic. Nonetheless, pick and recommended!

rachaich It sounds really interesting :) 2y
72 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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mklong
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

A character in the novel talks about the way we try to sum everything up in just a word and she wonders what the point is, if it is all so easily summed up. It's a great point, so I won't attempt to do that to Rachel Cusk here. The narrative gives us the outline of a protagonist. We don't get to know her through her own point of view, but rather we know her by the way she relates to others. I have never read anything like it and I loved it!

merelybookish I loved it too! I think Cusk is amazing! 2y
63 likes4 stack adds1 comment