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review
sarahbarnes
Basic Black with Pearls | Helen Weinzweig
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this interior story of a woman‘s search for meaning and happiness. I have so many questions about Shirley, her experiences in the novel, and her account of events. Which means I‘m really looking forward to the discussion! #nyrbbookclub @vivastory

vivastory I'm glad that you enjoyed this one! I'm looking forward to the discussion. 3d
26 likes1 comment
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BarbaraBB
Winter in Sokcho | ELISA. SHUA DUSAPIN
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#WeeklyForecast 20/22

Still enjoying and cherishing The Island of Missing Trees. Then I‘ll read the short but very intriguing Winter in Sokcho, followed by this month‘s #NYRBBookClub choice.
After that, I guess it will all be about Camp!

Cinfhen Hahaha and don‘t forget #SummerHeat ♥️😘 3d
BarbaraBB @Cinfhen Absolutely not! I‘ve got my copy ready to go! (edited) 3d
Hooked_on_books How are you doing with The Books of Jacob? Are you hanging on with it? 3d
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Megabooks I think you‘ll love Sokcho! 3d
BarbaraBB @Hooked_on_books I haven‘t picked it up again. I might if it wins the International Booker but I am not tempted too. You bailed too didn‘t you? 3d
BarbaraBB @Megabooks I expect so too! 3d
Hooked_on_books I did bail. I just couldn‘t get engaged in it. 3d
60 likes7 comments
review
merelybookish
Basic Black with Pearls | Helen Weinzweig
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Pickpick

Shirley has an international affair with a spy lover who she finds by deciphering obscure clues to their next renderzvous location. An article on elm disease leads her to Toronto where she undertakes a search to find him. Toronto is her hometown, so as she crisscrosses the city, she recalls memories & collects new stories. Shirley is observant, imaginative, sensitive & alert. I enjoyed being inside her head even if she's 'unreliable.' She 👇

merelybookish still speaks truth about the precariousness of women's lives and finding ways to subvert male domination. 4d
merelybookish A good one to discuss, as usual! #nyrbbookclub @vivastory 4d
merelybookish Also, I will add it was fun to read this underappreciated work of Canadian literature! I had never heard of it before . 4d
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Suet624 I have this on my shelf and always mean to read it. 4d
merelybookish @Suet624 We are discussing at the end of the month. You'd be welcome to join in! 4d
Suet624 I‘m just about to jump into So Much Blue by Percival Everett. After that, definitely! 4d
sarahbarnes I‘m enjoying this one, too! 3d
batsy I haven't started, but I'm looking forward to it even more now. I didn't realise she was a Canadian writer! 3d
BarbaraBB @Suet624 Enjoy So Much Blue 💙! I am having one more book to read too and then will start this one! 3d
vivastory I'm glad to hear that you liked this one. I'm really looking forward to reading & discussing. Definitely an underrated work. I think I stumbled upon it when it was included in the NYRB noir flash sale & then I saw someone on Twitter endorse it. 3d
vivastory @Suet624 Looking forward to your thoughts on the Everett & you will have plenty of time before the NYRB discussion. Due to Memorial Day weekend the discussion will be the first weekend of June. Feel free to join! 3d
merelybookish @Suet624 I read and enjoyed that a few years ago (whenever it was in the TOB). 3d
merelybookish @sarahbarnes Oh good! Will be interested in comparing notes! 🙂 3d
merelybookish @batsy I had never heard of her and she didn't publish a lot. Her husband was a famous Canadian classical composer who I also had never heard of. 🤷 3d
merelybookish @BarbaraBB This feels like a very NYRB book! Kind of weird and perfect for discussion! 3d
merelybookish @vivastory That's interesting it was classified as noir. 🤔 3d
Suet624 @vivastory I think I bought my copy during the same noir flash sale. 😀 thanks for the heads up on the timing of the group discussion. 3d
Suet624 @BarbaraBB thanks, Barbara! 3d
Suet624 @merelybookish I‘ve become a big Everett fan and can‘t believe I‘ve missed so much of his writing. Looking forward to reading this one. 3d
BarbaraBB Looking forward to it! 3d
LeahBergen Great review! I‘m looking forward to it even more now. 3d
merelybookish @LeahBergen Thanks! I think you'll especially enjoy it if you've spent much time in Toronto. (I have not but still got a lot of the street references.) 3d
70 likes2 stack adds22 comments
quote
Sapphire
Good Behaviour | Molly Keane

I know it‘s not first line Friday, but what a great one this is! Plus, it kind of feels like my life since my mom@moved in with us on May 1 (not to be too dramatic or anything): “Rose smelt the air, considering what she smelt; a miasma of unspoken criticism and disparagement fogged the distance between us.”

vivastory 😬That's a stellar first line! This is the June #NYRBBookClub selection. Please feel free to join the discussion! 4d
Sapphire That‘s why I am reading it! I really enjoy the #nyrbbookclub selections and discussions! 4d
Texreader Oh dear! 4d
12 likes3 comments
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sarahbarnes
Basic Black with Pearls | Helen Weinzweig
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Starting this month‘s #nyrbbookclub pick and was happy to see a quote from Ann Quin after reading so much about her in Checkout 19. Love these kinds of book coincidences. 😁 @vivastory

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vivastory
The Radiance of the King | Laye Camara, James Kirkup
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Join @Billypar & I in July as we read & discuss Guinean author Camara Laye's sophomore novel. The July selection will mark the last month for our current group & a little over 3 years since #NYRBBookClub first started. After some thought I have decided to not continue as a co-host. The monthly discussions have been a monthly bright spot for me & it prompted me to read several books that I would not have otherwise read that are now favorites.👇

vivastory However, due to life circumstances, I am needing to simplify & recalibrate & am unable to commit to another round with the group. I know that I have thanked the group for the insightful & thoughtful discussion so frequently that it has become my monthly default signature. But I genuinely mean it. The books have been wonderful, but it's been the members that have made the past 3 years of discussions memorable. 1w
merelybookish Thank you Scott! You are the reason this book club has been such a success! And you have put a lot of time and energy into making it run so well. It has been a special experience! And the best book club I've been a part of. (All that was missing was a 🍷 together. 😉) 1w
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Billypar I've enjoyed this book club so much - you've done excellent work coordinating it, Scott, and I've really appreciated the variety of books and authors it's exposed me to and the lively discussions every month. Well done! 👏👏🤓 1w
BarbaraBB I would have loved that 🍷 too but other than that, the #NYRBBookClub has been one of the highlights of Litsy for the past three years. I understand and respect your decision and want to thank you again for all your work and energy! Looking forward to this book 🤍 1w
LeahBergen Thanks so much, Scott, for making this book club one of my favourite corners of Litsy. 😘😘 1w
quietjenn I'm so grateful to have been a part of it. I've truly loved it and thank you so much for making it happen. 1w
sprainedbrain Thank you for all of your work and insight! 1w
batsy Thank you, Scott. You are why this book club even exists and I appreciate all the time and care you've put into coordinating it. It's truly been one of my favourite experiences on Litsy 💜 1w
vivastory @merelybookish Thanks! Your kind words mean a lot. I might have to pick up a special bottle for the final discussion.🍷 1w
vivastory @Billypar Looking forward to co-hosting in July! I also look forward to continue discussing NYRB titles, beyond July 📚📚 1w
vivastory @BarbaraBB Same! 🍷 Thanks for your contributions to the group. Looking forward to the final few selections 👏 1w
vivastory @LeahBergen It's been wonderful! Who knows what buddy reads we'll think of down the road? 📚📚📚 1w
vivastory @quietjenn Thanks for your contributions to the discussions. I've enjoyed getting to know you better 🙂 1w
vivastory @sprainedbrain Thanks, Jenni! I appreciate it 1w
vivastory @batsy Thank you for the kind words. I look forward to co-hosting next month & potential buddy reads down the road 💙 1w
Leftcoastzen End of an era .Thanks for all your work keeping this thing going. We have been so fortunate to have such a great group ! NYRB is a great publisher. 1w
sarahbarnes I was so grateful to be a part of the group this year! You were an amazing host and I‘ve loved so many of the books we read. Thank you for everything you put into this! ❤️ 7d
youneverarrived Thanks Scott for putting this group together and carrying it on for 3 years. It‘s been amazing. Such a brilliant group of people and reads. Definitely been a highlight of Litsy. I‘ve read a lot of books I‘ve loved that I wouldn‘t have read if not for this group ❤️ 7d
arubabookwoman I've thiroughly enjoyed my short time in this group, and am thankful for being directed to books I probably would not otherwise have read. Thank you so much for organizing the group and for such astute comments. I loved participating! 7d
vivastory @Leftcoastzen It really was a magical group & I agree about NYRB. They are one of my favorites working today. Without a doubt. 6d
vivastory @sarahbarnes Thanks for joining in! I really enjoyed getting to know you better over the past year & through the group discussions. 6d
vivastory @youneverarrived Thanks, Katie! I always enjoyed your insights into the discussions. I plan on continuing to read NYRB, but not in such an organized fashion so I hope we can do a buddy read down the road! 6d
vivastory @arubabookwoman Thank you for your comments during the discussions. I know that you had read several of them or other works by the same author. I always enjoyed your posts prior to you joining our group! 6d
DrexEdit Thanks so much @vivastory for organizing this group. This is definitely a highlight of Litsy for me also even if I could never pull it together enough to participate regularly. I appreciate all the hard work you've done! 3d
64 likes25 comments
blurb
merelybookish
Basic Black with Pearls | Helen Weinzweig
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Hung out a coffee shop for first time in forever today. Got to read and people watch while waiting for my daughter. Started the May #NYRBbookclub book and enjoying so far!
@vivastory

vivastory I miss coffee shop reading. It was one of my favorite activities when I lived downtown. I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying the book! 1w
71 likes1 comment
blurb
sarahbarnes
A School for Fools | Sasha Sokolov
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merelybookish That's interesting to think about. @vivastory mentioned how the author wrote this knowing he couldn't publish it. So maybe he didn't censor himself at all. Maybe that is part of the excess - just writing with absolute abandon. 2w
vivastory There is the incident with Akatav being taken away for publishing an article about the insects living in a specific part of the plants. 2w
quietjenn I think the reluctance to “name names“ throughout is really indicative. 2w
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Leftcoastzen @quietjenn I agree , the reluctance to “name names “ was an element. 2w
Leftcoastzen @vivastory I found the insects living in plants & him getting taken away interesting.That science & literature can get you in trouble in this system.Now in our culture , they tweet & Facebook about” Alternative Facts “ 2w
sarahbarnes Yes to all of these observations. It seems like the exchange with the “author” at the end of the novel is a little bit of a statement about thumbing his nose at being censored - to the point about not intending to be published @vivastory @merelybookish 2w
batsy It's something I didn't consider too deeply so I appreciate all the thoughtful responses here. I like the idea that knowing in all likelihood he was to be censored, the author wrote with complete abandon. But it's also interesting that the fractured narrative in itself works as a kind of code, protecting the book from being interpreted in any one way. It's a book that defies censorship, in a sense, though I'm sure censors will always find a way! 2w
GatheringBooks I am grateful to this book club for enriching my understanding of books that simply are beyond me in content, message, meaning. Perhaps the utter incomprehensibility of the narrative is in itself an attempt to code an even more profound message to other spies that ordinary mortals are not ever meant to understand except for other Soviet spies or revolutionaries. 📚💗My facetious way of justifying my inability to understand what I just read. 2w
16 likes8 comments