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The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel | Rachel Joyce
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BYTHE WASHINGTON POST[Rachel] Joyces beguiling debut is [a] modest-seeming story of ordinary English lives that enthralls and moves you as it unfolds.People (four stars) Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning a letter arrives, addressed to Harold in a shaky scrawl, from a woman he hasnt heard from in twenty years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. But before Harold mails off a quick reply, a chance encounter convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person. In his yachting shoes and light coat, Harold Fry embarks on an urgent quest. Determined to walk six hundred miles to the hospice, Harold believes that as long as he walks, Queenie will live. A novel of charm, humor, and profound insight into the thoughts and feelings we all bury deep within our hearts, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry introduces Rachel Joyce as a wiseand utterly irresistiblestoryteller. Praise for The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry[A] gorgeously poignant novel of hope and transformation.O: The Oprah Magazine A cause for celebration . . . [Joyce] has a lovely sense of the possibilities of redemption. In this bravely unpretentious and unsentimental take, shes cleared space where miracles are still possible.Ron Charles, The Washington Post The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is not just a book about lost love. It is about all the wonderful everyday things Harold discovers through the mere process of putting one foot in front of the other.Janet Maslin, The New York TimesLook for special features inside.Join the Random House ReadersCircle for author chats and more.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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i.z.booknook
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Pickpick

Harold Fry is a pensioner just stagnating in life, till one day he receives a letter from a long-ago friend telling him she is dying. Harold is roused into action and a desire for her to live, and so he starts walking from Cornwall to Berwick-Upon-Tweed in the belief that if he keeps walking she will keep on living. This was a really beautiful story and very well written. (Cont. in comments 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻)

i.z.booknook (1) Joyce‘s prose appear deceptively simple, whilst packing a punch with emotionally charged sentences and imagery. Through the slow release of memories Harold works through as he walks, the reader is kept intrigued till the very end pondering Harold‘s motivations. 1mo
i.z.booknook (2) The relationships between the characters, particularly Harold and his wife Maureen, are deep and complex, expertly capturing decades of complicated companionship. A really great story well executed. 1mo
36 likes2 comments
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TheBookgeekFrau
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Mehso-so

I'm really torn between a pick and so-so. I think I went into it with very high expectations to love it, and I just ... didn't. After a while the reading became a slog like Harold's walk.

This is the second Joyce book I've read and the second time I came away feeling like there's just a little something missing that's making it difficult for me to connect with the characters.

9/62

CoffeeAndABook I felt the same way! 🤷🏼‍♀️ 3mo
TheBookgeekFrau @CoffeeAndABook I'm so glad I'm not alone in this; I almost felt guilty 😅 3mo
37 likes2 comments
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TheBookgeekFrau
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Just me, a cup of tea, and my book
😌

marleed I love this book and its companion book so so much! 3mo
TheBookgeekFrau @marleed What's the companion book? I didn't know there was one 😲 3mo
marleed There also the third and fairly new book to round out the perspective from Harold‘s wife. I didn‘t love it as much as the first two but it was good and an interesting finale 3mo
TheBookgeekFrau @marleed Oh, duh!!! 🤦🏻‍♀️ I have both of those on my wish list - No wonder why the name Queenie Hennessy sounded so familiar 😂 3mo
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Soubhiville
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Pickpick

Harold had a friend at work, Queenie, who he hasn‘t seen in 20 years. He gets a letter from a care home that Queenie is dying of cancer. He decides to walk from south England to where she is on the Northern coast, and along the way explores his memories of his troubled marriage and broken relationship with his son.

Highly emotional, a deep dive into humanity and what is important in our lives. At times difficult, but also beautiful.

Soubhiville @TheAromaofBooks this was my #doublespin 🙂📚 6mo
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!! 6mo
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Evita
Pickpick

4 out of 5

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mamareading
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Pickpick

Surprised with delight. So many times I said, “Guys, I‘m reading a book about a guy who took a walk. That‘s it. It‘s just a guy walking.” I took my time and often thought of stopping, but this book had a moving completion and I‘m glad I stuck with it.

marleed I love this book so much and the tagged companion book just as much if not more. The newly released Maureen was a nice conclusion even if it didn‘t compare to the first two. 11mo
mamareading Thank you, upon your suggestion I‘ve requested it from the library. I think this summer will be the trilogy for me. 11mo
19 likes2 comments
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RobES
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Pickpick

Finished my reread of this beautiful book. I think loved it even more the second time round- it is so moving and human. Highly recommend...although the themes of grief, death, suicide and Cancer are dealt with in a sensitive but brutally honest manner- it's good to be aware. Can't wait to see the film...although I'm nervous, I've heard it isn't a patch on the book. Anybody seen it? X

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RobES
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Rereading this before I go to see the film ❤️

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mamareading
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“The letter that would change everything arrived on a Tuesday.”

#firstlinefriday
@ShyBookOwl

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megnews
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Pickpick

Enjoyable journey

57 likes2 stack adds
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megnews
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TorieStorieS
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Pickpick

My last book of January! I listened to this one in just a day- moving things around in preparation for my new bookshelves! I loved Joyce‘s MISS BENSON‘S BEETLE, so I went in with high hopes for this one! Recently retired, Harold Fry receives a letter from an old coworker with bad news and as he walks to the post box, he decides to keep walking all the way to her. His absence gives both him and his wife time to reflect on their lives together.

51 likes1 stack add
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TheEllieMo
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📕 (The) Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
🖊️ Nicola Upson
🎥 (The) Unforgiven
🎤 Ultravox
🎶 Under Pressure (Queen & Bowie)

#ManicMonday
#LetterU
@CBee

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dabbe
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Pickpick

I loved every part of the book except when the other people joined him and the emphasis shifted to reality television. That turned me off and threw the magical pulse that had been building throughout the novel out the window. Fortunately, the author got rid of those annoying people, and Harold's quest continued.

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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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I couldn‘t think of a book beginning u, but I‘ve heard good things about the tagged! It‘s still on my shelf!

#AlphabetGame
#Letteru

Everyone is tagged!!

Happy Sunday ❤️

Cinfhen Happy Sunday!!! Good choice!!!! 2y
LeeRHarry Yes I agree good choice 😊 2y
Bookwormjillk It‘s a good one! 2y
AmyK1 I enjoyed that one! 2y
jlhammar It's great. I liked the follow-up, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, just as much if not more. And we're getting a third soon. 2y
54 likes5 comments
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Andrew65
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Love this book and Harold‘s journey, and even better the book had a map of it. Love maps in books.

#ARTFULAUGUST #IncludesAMap
@Eggs @AlwaysBeenALoverOfBooks

If you haven‘t read it, you really need to.

marleed I loved this book then I read the companion book and couldn‘t believe that I loved the second book even more! 2y
Andrew65 @marleed I‘d agree and like you was surprised I loved the companion book even more. 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Me too! 🗺👍🏻📚 2y
Eggs I believe these are both on my bookshelf in living room…..🤎 2y
61 likes4 comments
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Ddzmini
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Book mail 🥰📖📚

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Readergrrl
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1. This is a four-way tie that I just can‘t break: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, The Road, and A Thousand Splendid Suns. I‘ve reread each and I cry just as hard!!
2. Historical Fiction followed closely by Fantasy/Magical Realism Fiction. I love escaping to and learning about another time/world.
3. I can NOT pick just one, so I‘ll pick the best I‘ve read recently: Matrix by Lauren Groff.
#WondrousWednesday

Eggs Hedgehog and 1000 Splendid!!!!! Thanks for playing 🤗 2y
41 likes2 comments
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rachaich
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Mehso-so

Just finished in time for group tomorrow!
I've been slacking today as so much news to listen to about Boris's shenanigans and general rubbishness.
Anyway, I read more into it this time round but still not inspired to read more by her.

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rachaich
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I read this many years ago and remember the overall story but No great detail. I'm re reading for my new book club.

Sophronisba I remember liking this more than I expected to. 2y
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Maria514626
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Pickpick

I was surprised how much I liked this book. There‘s been so much talk about it. That made me skeptical.

There‘s so much depth here. The people he meets along the way all have something to convey. But not in an overt “here‘s the moral of the story way.” 5/5⭐️

#bigjunereadathon

JamieArc I felt the same way - I did@t think it could possibly live up to the hype so I had low expectations. I ended up loving it. 2y
jlhammar Wonderful book! I also loved this follow-up/companion 2y
marleed I loved this book so much. And I love Queenie‘s companion book even more! 2y
Maria514626 @jlhammar and @marleed I‘m so happy to hear that the Queenie book is a good one! 2y
20 likes4 comments
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yoavshai
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#BookCoverChallenge
Day 55.
Here I will note 365 books (or as many as I will have before I get tired) that have shaped my taste in literature. No explanations, no reviews. Just the cover of the book.
I do not challenge anyone. You are all welcome to take part.

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Ast_Arslan
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I am posting one book per day from my to-be-read collection. No description and providing no reason for wanting to read it. Some will be old, some will be new - don't judge me, I have a lot of books.

Day 108th

Join the fun if you want!

#tbrpile

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CindiB
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Pickpick

I loved this unravelling passage of pain/regret/fear towards love. It‘s a perfect story & symbol for the promise of taking the first step, of following through, of perseverance & of allowing the journey to change. And what we find at the end may be beyond our beliefs. I love Rachel Joyce. I love how she crafts a story, creates lovable, incredible but ordinary flawed characters that shimmer & pulse with longing & hope. A superb writer. 4.5/5

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Bookwomble
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Pickpick

From certain GR reviews, I'd expected this to be a rather slight and twee story of midlife crisis, and the beginning did suggest for me something of a chintzy Reggie Perrinesque tale, however...
Perhaps it's because elements of the story resonate with my own life experiences (no, I've never walked 600 miles!), but I was really moved by Harold, Maureen, David and Queenie, reduced to tears, actually.
Not what I'd expected, in a good happy/sad way 5⭐

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Bookwomble
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Outside my usual baileywick, but my wife has just finished it, and I impulsively thought I'd try reading some fiction written since the new century dawned.

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claudiuo
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Pickpick

My #DoubleSpin for back in May, just finished now and I am happy I did. This was such a great read: using as background a very unlikely walk of six hundreds of miles, with no proper equipment or planning or anything, we get to see deep into Harold's memories, with all the regrets, loses, never spoken thoughts and more. It rung so true to me, it was painful in parts. A pick!

@TheAromaOfBooks

Finished a few more books on my quest to get a bingo ⬇

claudiuo Down Among the Sticks and Bones - another great book in the Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire;
God Save the Mark - a funny mystery story by Donald E. Westlake, enjoyed it but not as much as I like his Dortmunder series;
Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom by Lynda Blackmon Lowery and others - a great informative and emotional introduction to the Civil Rights Movement for younger readers.
All picks!
3y
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 3y
16 likes2 comments
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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I am posting one book per day from my to-be-read collection. No description and providing no reason for wanting to read it. Some will be old, some will be new - don't judge me, I have a lot of books!!

Day 2
#MMMTbr

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Elizabeth2
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Pickpick

Harold Frye is living an ordinary life. He receives a letter one day from an old friend who is writing to say goodbye. What unfolds is a journey on foot, Harold walking to his friend to deliver his reply in person. The journey is about so much more, and along the way Harold remembers the mistakes he‘s made and the life he‘s watched pass by. At the same time, Harold‘s wife remembers, too. A moving story about how it‘s never too late. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

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marleed
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Pickpick

This was a sweet book, but I had to chuckle because I walk outside nearly everyday, and I‘m seldom in conversation with anyone. I must be a grouch!

74 likes2 stack adds
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Elizabeth2
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Taking up my Sunday morning position with my reading buddies. One pup behind my head, one on my feet, a cup of coffee and my book. With about 80 pages left, I am going to finish Harold‘s pilgrimage to Queenie‘s bedside today and move on to the companion novel that tells the story from Queenie‘s perspective.❤️📚 #dogsoflitsy #sundaymorningvibes #booksandcoffee

MsMelissa Enjoy! 3y
DogMomIrene Your 🐶fluffy butts🐶 are adorable! 3y
Elizabeth2 @MsMelissa thanks! It‘s been a relaxing morning! (Needed after losing an hour of sleep. 😉) @DogMomIrene thanks! They are my constant companions. 🥰 3y
DarkMina Cute dogs! 3y
Elizabeth2 @DarkMina thanks Joey! 🥰 3y
45 likes5 comments
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Elizabeth2
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Really enjoying Harold‘s journey, and his wife‘s as she awaits his return. ❤️📚

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Elizabeth2
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Getting in a little reading time before I have to move to my desk and begin work for the day. No more Fridays off! We added another Realtor to our little team, so the team lead (my brother) asked me if I‘d be willing to increase my hours to better support three people. I‘m going to miss my Fridays off, but I‘m excited at the growth of the team and the extra money is always welcome (I have to pay for my book habit, after all)! ❤️📚

Aims42 Darn book habit!! Ughh, I hear ya 😆 Congrats on the growth at your company, that‘s exciting!! Seems like everyone and their brother is moving now lol 3y
Elizabeth2 Covid brought out a need in people! (That, with low rates.) We were SO busy last year! The market is a bit crazy. I‘m excited about having another member on the team! 😃 3y
59 likes2 comments
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Elizabeth2
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“The letter that would change everything arrived on a Tuesday.”

I am really enjoying this story!

#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

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Elizabeth2
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#Saturdaymorningvibes Taking some me time this morning before I have to get moving. Making Galumpkis for dinner to honor my dad‘s memory because his birthday was this week. My son‘s GF is coming for dinner when they get back from skiiing/snowboarding today. ❤️ Already really enjoying this story.

Eggs A full day! I hope it‘s wonderful for you and your family 💕💕 3y
BoleyBooks Love the mug! 😊 3y
49 likes2 comments
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Elizabeth2
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After the disturbing book I just finished, I‘m in the mood for a sweet story. Luckily, my friend @EadieB sent me just the right book a couple of months ago! Reading this one next. ❤️📚

EadieB Nice! Hope you enjoy it! 3y
60 likes1 comment
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Readergrrl
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I‘m a day late, but last night‘s festivities distracted me!
❤️🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸❤️

1. My most difficult adjustment was the death of my mother in September. As an only child, her death leaves me feeling unmoored and adrift. I do have my own family (husband and daughter), but this is something different.
2. I am grateful for my family and friends. Without them, these past few months would have been insurmountable. 🥰

🌿🌹🌿🌻🌿🌷🌿🌼🌿🌸🌿🌺🌿

Texreader I‘m so sorry for your loss! I can‘t imagine what it feels like but I suspect I‘d feel very much like you do given how close we are. Lots of hugs and 💕 coming your way. 3y
Avanders I‘m so sorry for your loss. I also lost my mom in September and know exactly what you‘re talking about. 💙💙 3y
MaureenMc 💕💕💕 3y
See All 8 Comments
Deblovestoread Sending you love and light during this hard time. 💔 3y
Crazeedi Such a difficult time in your life, sending you much love and prayers for comfort and peace 3y
Tanisha_A ❤️ 3y
Laughterhp 💚💚 3y
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick I'm so sorry for your loss. 💜 3y
42 likes1 stack add8 comments
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Victoria_Clyne
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Pickpick

Harold reveives a letter from his long-lost friend Queenie to tell him that she is dying. Rather than post the letter he writes he decides to walk to see her.

I quite enjoyed this one. One of my favourite parts was some of the characters Harold met along the way. And the flash backs to his past. However I did find that it lost its way mid way through and did almost scream in frustration at one point. I am intending to read the companion novel.

Penny_LiteraryHoarders Have you read the companion novel written from Queenie's viewpoint? It3s marvelous. 😭 3y
Victoria_Clyne @Penny_LiteraryHoarders It is on my very large TBR.😄 3y
29 likes3 comments
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Joanne1
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Pickpick

Really, really loved this one. So much more complexity and nuance than I was expecting.

Suet624 I‘m always so excited when I see that someone has read this book. It‘s one of those books that is so under-read. 🙂 3y
44 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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Ruthiella Clever! 😀 3y
Eggs Love Rachel Joyce — and this photo👏🏻👏🏻 3y
76 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Crazeedi
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#LitfortuneCookie @KVanRead
@Branwen thanks for the tag!
This book was just a great story about an elderly man who doesnt let anything stop him from getting to his old friend before she dies. It was funny and heartwarming

Crazeedi @EadieB see what I posted before I read yours? Thanks for tag!! 3y
EadieB Thanks for playing! 3y
EadieB @Crazeedi Interesting! 3y
See All 7 Comments
Crazeedi @EadieB it was so long ago that I read this I had to scroll my goodreads list to find it. I just remembered how much I loved harold 3y
EadieB @Crazeedi Yes! He was a great positive character! 3y
KVanRead Sounds lovely 💕Thanks for playing 😊 3y
Branwen Great choice! 👏👏👏💖 3y
39 likes1 stack add7 comments
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EadieB
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wanderinglynn I love Up! ❤️❤️❤️ And I enjoyed Harold too. 4y
CafeMom Up fan too. 4y
PurpleTulipGirl Squirrel! 4y
See All 6 Comments
EadieB @wanderinglynn Up is a great move, I agree! Thanks for your comments! @CafeMom @PurpleTulipGirl 4y
Klou Awesome!! 4y
EadieB @Klou Thanks! 4y
35 likes1 stack add6 comments
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Buechersuechtling
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Panpan

I don‘t understand either the book or the hype around it. The beginning is a bit far-fetched but okay, I was willing to engage … Latest until (social) media and the pilgrims turn up. They add nothing, they just fill the plot. Very early in the book I felt that its essence is: Harold is walking. Considered that he‘s heading to a dying woman his trip gets more and more implausible. So I ended up not cherishing even the serious, profound passages.

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Buechersuechtling
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@Freespirit @julesG @Erofan Thank you so much for the #Top6Reads-tag.

It took me a while to make my choices and I was surprised how difficult it was to me to find 6 picks. Few would‘ve been easier. 😊

My life is quite busy at the moment so I absolutely have no overview who already participated – which is why I take the easy exit: Consider yourself tagged. 😉

Freespirit Thanks @Buechersuechtling always great to see people's best reads!! 4y
Erofan Great list! 👍 Metro 2033 is super! I also read the sequels (2034 and 2035), but I liked these books much less ( 4y
Buechersuechtling @Erofan Thank you. 🙇🏽‍♀️ I did not yet manage to start “Metro 2035” – because … Well, I loved “Metro 2033” for the first and for the second time but was, in comparison, so disappointed by “Metro 2034” that now I don‘t dare to touch “Metro 2035” … 😟 4y
20 likes3 comments
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Buechersuechtling
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Sleepless nights are made for audiobooks, aren‘t they❓😉

I remember a recent conversation here on Litsy about this. I have forgotten with who (if it‘s you, holler 😉) but anyway – I _do_know_ that this book obviously is loved by many, so I decided to put it on my library-tbr to someday give it a try – even though I didn‘t love “Perfect” as much as everyone else obviously did …

But well, here I am already. 😇

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Helen19
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I‘m not sure it counts as a #roadtrip if it‘s on foot but it‘s the closest I had! Harold thinks he‘s just #steppinout to post a letter to someone he knew in the past. What starts as a stroll to the letterbox becomes a walk the length of the country to save a life. #boundtogetherjune #jamminjune

OriginalCyn620 I‘ve heard nothing but good things about this book...stacked! 4y
Helen19 @OriginalCyn620 if you like it you might like Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper x 4y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I have it and have heard it‘s a wonderful book!! 4y
Eggs Great choice 👏🏻👍🏼 4y
10 likes1 stack add4 comments
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xicanti
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I bounced between a few books yesterday before Harold Fry finally stuck. It‘s charming and sad so far, and while I don‘t think I‘ll end up loving it, I expect to like it very much.

Also, I‘m gonna read OUTSIDE tonight, because it‘s WARM! I‘m also gonna drink this not-at-all-sweet vodka soda a friend brought over, because Victoria Day is a good day for alcoholic beverages.

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LibrarianBecky
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Pickpick

What a sweet book! If you liked “A man called Ove” you may like this one. Just a nice sweet story .. with an ending that came out of nowhere! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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SilversReviews
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Thanks to:

#BloomingBibliophiles
@Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
@OriginalCyn620

Prompt: WALK

Very profound and thought-provoking. Nothing but praise for this remarkable book.

The book is also a tribute to the decency of the human race for their concern and their support of a cause a fellow human being believed in.

FULL REVIEW: https://tinyurl.com/ybsdmm5r

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK?

#racheljoyceauthor
@randomhouse

Ncostell I loved this book, it‘s one I still think about from time to time. 4y
SilversReviews @Ncostell It is very memorable...thank you for commenting. 4y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks On my shelf!! 4y
See All 6 Comments
OriginalCyn620 I haven‘t read it but heard lots of great things! 4y
SilversReviews @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks ENJOY when you read it. 4y
38 likes6 comments