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Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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4⭐️ Cozy spinster lit, best read on a rainy day 😃 Don‘t forget a large pot of tea with cakes etc because tea is mentioned zillion times in this book and it will make you crave for it. I didn‘t have any cake but leftover Lebkuchen worked. I like this better than her first book Some Tame Gazelle.

youneverarrived Love the cover 😍 4mo
batsy Excellent book 🙂 and hooray for #spinsterlit 4mo
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Ruthiella I also liked this more than Some Tame Gazelle, which was the first title I read from Pym. I thank my lucky stars that I read on, because I‘ve become quite a Pym fanatic. ❤️ 4mo
Liz_M This was my first Pym and it was lovely! 4mo
sisilia @youneverarrived My fav cover for this book 😍 3mo
sisilia @batsy 😆 Love spinsterlit… looking fwd to more 3mo
sisilia @Ruthiella Ooohhh which is your fav so far? 3mo
sisilia @Liz_M Such a comfort read 3mo
Ruthiella Excellent Women is still my favorite, but read on! I haven‘t read one I didn‘t like yet. And I need to re-read Some Tame Gazelle now that I get Pym‘s style and humor. 3mo
49 likes10 comments
Lolly Willowes | Sylvia Townsend Warner
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I enjoyed this one, but I was also expecting a bit more. A good portion of the book is taken up with Lolly just being. Then when she does finally break free, she still just seems to exist. I was expecting to see her start making things or doing something other than just escaping to wander the countryside. Yet, I absolutely loved her individualism and the commentary on women‘s lives.

#audiobook #SpinsterLit

AlaMich I enjoyed this as well, although it‘s true that nothing much happens. And the “she becomes a witch” thing was a bit of a letdown to me. 6mo
Daisey @AlaMich Yes, I knew there was something about witches, so when it got there I thought there would be more to it. Instead, it seemed to solve all her problems without really requiring anything of her. 6mo
58 likes2 comments
Ghosts | Edith Wharton
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Seeing more of the Wharton prose I love in this set. Above is a quote that made me chuckle and rang true too. 😀 MMP was my favorite of the four, although Bewitched was a close second. #whartonbuddyread what did you think? Going to be on the road today (grandson‘s first b-day!) but I‘ll check in when I can.

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Currey @Lcsmcat I enjoyed MMP also because Wharton had me laughing at myself for falling for her tricks but I think I preferred Bewitched with its cold winter setting and the sense of longing for it not to be real throughout. Also liked the dog ghosts in Kerfol 6mo
batsy MMP was great & very unexpected #spinsterlit in the sense that it really shows how existing as a single woman in those times could really render you practically, well, dead. I shouldn't laugh but it was some dark humour there. I loved Kerfol and the dogs getting their revenge... Triumph of the Night probably the weakest of the four but still very much appreciated how it showed the "dark" side of capitalism. 6mo
batsy And Bewitched was so good in terms of setting and atmosphere. Very Ethan Frome in its vibes. And pretty great in showing how far people will reach for a supernatural explanation to avoid confronting what's in front of their eyes. 6mo
Lcsmcat @Currey @batsy The dog Ghosts were great! 6mo
Lcsmcat @batsy Great insights into Wharton‘s commentary on spinsterhood! 6mo
Lcsmcat I confess I‘m having a more difficult time sparking discussion of short stories than I do with novels. I keep hoping for a unifying theme other than, well, ghosts. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 6mo
Currey @batsy Yes, loved that insight into the deadly unmarried….they are so frightening 6mo
Graywacke @batsy very interesting on #spinsterlit 6mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat me too - wondering how to respond. For me, on one sense, they are nice stories, but mostly with snack-able themes. But i‘m enjoying being in them, within this story telling. It‘s just a really pleasant place to spend some reading time. MMP made me laugh. The rest was fun enough. What a character Prudence Rutledge is, with her unpainted marble statue closed eyes. 6mo
arubabookwoman I wasn't able to get to this wk's reading. Will catch up next wk. I did read these long ago with little memory of them, but seeing the comments I remember the dog ghosts, and loving that story. @Lcsmcat @Graywacke That is often my problem with books of short stories, but I like these stories because they are each so complete and self-contained. 6mo
batsy @Graywacke What a character Mrs Rutledge is! Looking "as if the stone-Mason had carved her to put atop of Venny's grave"... ? 6mo
batsy @arubabookwoman I agree that each story is complete and self-contained. The common theme is ghosts but even the dog story touches on something deeper, like domestic abuse/tyranny, and each one has something interesting to say. I find that I'm enjoying it more than I expected because short stories do tend to be hit or miss for me sometimes. @Lcsmcat @Graywacke 6mo
TheBookHippie I want the above in a picture frame in my house 😅🤣♥️ 6mo
TheBookHippie I love short stories I was reading these in the morning and switched to dimmer lighting in the evening with tea, it‘s like little visits Mrs Rutledge won the favorite this week. It‘s hard to discuss other than it‘s a good way to pause and immerse. I do feel like this was more “her” as in writing style and spinsterhood still seems to me preferable back then 😵‍💫🤣🤷🏻‍♀️😂. 6mo
Lcsmcat @batsy @Graywacke I‘m enjoying them too. I didn‘t mean to imply that I wasn‘t. More apologizing for not providing very much in the way of discussion prompts. 6mo
Lcsmcat Mrs. Rutledge was a character all right! 6mo
Lcsmcat I find short stories great when my concentration is low, because as @batsy says they are self-contained. Last week‘s set seemed flatter than Wharton‘s usual prose, but these had some great lines. 6mo
22 likes20 comments
Untitled | Untitled
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It's already Friday morning but I thought I'll squeeze this in! Thanks for the tag @dabbe

1) Peter Wimsey & Bunter from the Dorothy L. Sayers' mysteries
2) Tracy & Dexter played by Katharine Hepburn & Cary Grant in The Philadelphia Story
3) Jess & Jules played by Parminder Nagra & Keira Knightley in Bend It Like Beckham (idc they should have been the couple! 💘)

#TLT Tagging anyone who would like to play!

batsy Sorry this is more filmic than literary; I tend to favour the doom & gloom books & #spinsterlit so fave couples didn't jump to mind lol. Special mention to Emma & Mr. Knightley in Jane Austen's Emma, especially as portrayed by Anya Taylor-Joy & Johnny Flynn in the 2020 movie. Also, Will Darling & Kim Secretan in KJ Charles' Will Darling Adventures 🔥 OK, I'll stop now 😆 8mo
dabbe 1. I have only read THE NINE TAYLORS by Sayers; I'll have to read more! 🤩
2. Oh, lordy, yes! What an incredible movie! 😍
3. Can you believe I've never seen this? On my to-view list! 🤗
Thanks for playing! 💜🧡💜
dabbe @batsy I know about EMMA (but not that version, so I'll be watching that) and am adding the Will Darling Adventures to my list! 🤩 8mo
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Leftcoastzen Love your picks! 8mo
batsy @dabbe I hope you enjoy the books and movies if you do check them out! 💜 8mo
dabbe @batsy If they made it on my lists and I don't die soon, I'm sure I will enjoy all of them! 🤣😍🤗 8mo
Centique I second The Philadelphia Story 🙌🙌 plus Ana Taylor-Joy and Johnny Flynn were just adorable together. I think i could watch Ana in any movie though - did you watch Queens Gambit - my god, the wardrobe and staging was fantastic 😍😍 8mo
Centique Ooh just realised Johnny Flynn was in The Dig as well. I may have a crush…. 😂 8mo
batsy @Centique No, I haven't watched it! It's on my list. My "to-watch" is gonna rival my TBR soon ? And yes, I love Johnny Flynn! ? That's going to motivate me to get to The Dig quicker, lol. Did you watch Lovesick (though I much prefer its original name, Scrotal Recall ?) 8mo
Centique @batsy only just saw this sorry! I watched one episode of Lovesick yonks ago and meant to go back to it. Never knew it was originally Scrotal Recall. That‘s hilarious- and Johnny Flynn again 🙌🙌 7mo
50 likes11 comments
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A timely & horrifying book. Vaillant depicts with intensity & vividness the 2016 wildfires in Fort McMurray, Alberta that overtook the city. He described the hours leading up to it in great detail & I almost felt sick knowing what was coming. The picture inserts has one from someone who took it from his car as he & his family fled the town, & it was an infernal scene. The latter half of the book outlines our economic system's path of destruction.

batsy Really a hard book to sit with as more & more destruction from wildfires "colliding" with cities & towns become almost everyday news at this point. Also pretty mind-blowing was learning about how much stuff is petroleum-based, & the difference between older furniture & flammability compared to modern houses (literally takes only minutes to completely go up in flames). 8mo
Graywacke That‘s a little freaky about modern homes. (Great review!) 8mo
jlhammar Yes, so intense! Great review. 8mo
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batsy @Graywacke Thank you! I was freaked out to read about it, as well. Generally a lot of freaking out throughout the entire book. 8mo
batsy @jlhammar Thank you! He's a good writer who's able to put a lot of dense info into a readable narrative for a general audience. I was impressed. 8mo
LeahBergen Great review! 8mo
Leftcoastzen Great review!there are so many factors now involved in ramping up intensity of fires. 8mo
batsy @LeahBergen Thank you! 8mo
batsy @Leftcoastzen Thanks! And yes, it's actually so scary 😟 8mo
Leftcoastzen My friend lost power for a week , lucky he‘s not actually in the 57k acre smith river complex fire near California /Oregon border. Started because dry lightning started 13 fires in rural areas. It hasn‘t been in the news , started around time of Hurricane turned tropical storm hitting Southern California 8mo
merelybookish Totally off topic but saw that there's a #spinsterseptember reading challenge running on IG. 👵Thought of you! 😃 8mo
batsy @Leftcoastzen Goodness, that is scary. Yeah I do wonder what other extreme climate incidents are going unreported. Is your friend OK and do they have power now? 8mo
batsy @merelybookish Aaah! I didn't know this was a thing; thank you for letting me know! I'm following the challenge on IG now & am definitely going to try to read at least one #spinsterlit book 🤓 8mo
Leftcoastzen They are ok, he‘s taking care of his 97 year old mother . They had a small generator, the fire , though growing is not headed their way. The power company did a work around with their large generators.Still to dangerous to check the transmission lines through the fire area. 8mo
batsy @Leftcoastzen With an elderly mum too 😟 that is scary. I hope it remains safe and they are OK 🙏🏾 8mo
rubyslippersreads @merelybookish I thought of @batsy too when I saw the #spinsterseptember tag. 🙂 7mo
merelybookish @rubyslippersreads Great minds! 😀 7mo
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Fear For Miss Betony | Dorothy Bowers
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I enjoyed this quite a bit & it reminded me of Dorothy Sayers' Gaudy Night: the same cloistered environment of women & girls in close quarters & the same kind of simmering psychological motivations for the murder. Bowers' writing is quite delightful; it might seem over-written at first as the pace is slow, but it picks up nicely & provides so many interesting insights into the social & material conditions of the time. #GoldenAgeCrimeClub @Mitch

Cathythoughts Lovely review ❤️ 11mo
BarbaraBB Great review an oh that cover 🥰 11mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Thanks, Cathy 😘 11mo
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batsy @BarbaraBB Yes, the other titles also have cute covers ❤️ 11mo
batsy One for the annals of #spinsterlit I must add! 11mo
vivastory I read my first Dorothy Sayers last month. Loved it! 11mo
batsy @vivastory Ooh, which one? 11mo
vivastory @batsy Murder Must Advertise. While reading it I had the impression that it was a post WW-II novel. I was a bit shocked to find that it was pre-war once I checked. There were entire passages about office politics & the dominance of capitalism that could easily be moved into a contemporary novel. I thought it was brilliant how in the end the financial aspects that Sayer's portrays ties into the mystery itself without feeling manipulative. 11mo
batsy @vivastory MMA is one of my faves! Great point about the depiction of the workplace and how the logic of capitalism operates; it struck me when I read it, too, but it was many years ago and your comments are prompting me to revisit it soon 🙂 11mo
vivastory Do you have any particular favorites by Sayers? I'm uncertain where to go next. 11mo
batsy @vivastory I'm a big fan of all four books where Harriet Vane appears (Strong Poison, Have His Carcase, Gaudy Night, and Busman's Honeymoon). Out of the standalone Wimsey ones I've only read MMA, Whose Body (the first one, interesting but also kind of flawed) and The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club, which was a lot of fun as I remember! 11mo
vivastory Thanks so much for your detailed response! Noting the recommendations. I think I will make Gaudy Night my next one as I have seen it pop up previously & it will be interesting to read about a different character than Wimsey. 11mo
vivastory I still need to read Jospehine Tey. I know she was writing around the same time as Christie & Sayers & is generally considered one of the best. 11mo
batsy @vivastory Josephine Tey has some good ones. The Daughter of Time is really excellent imo. We read The Franchise Affair for #GoldenAgeCrimeClub recently; a reread for me but the mystery stands up after all this time. I also loved Miss Pym Disposes and Brat Farrar but they do come with some regressive social views. They way she builds atmosphere is fantastic, though. And she's a bit ruthless with her characters so it's never too "cosy" or cute. 11mo
vivastory I have heard positive things about both Daughter of Time & Ms Pym. Your comment about her being ruthless with her characters has me even more intrigued as it puts me in mind of Muriel Spark's treatment of her characters in some of her novels. 11mo
batsy @vivastory I need to read more Spark for sure! I've only read the tagged but it was so good 11mo
85 likes16 comments
Big Swiss: A Novel | Jen Beagin
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Oh, man. I'm so JEALOUS of how Jen Beagin writes such clever lines that are consistently snort-out-loud funny without it becoming a flippant kind of farce. This is deranged, sexy, weird, & tender. I love Greta so much; I've never related more to a character. I saw someone describe Beagin as having a soft spot for the wayward soul. And oh my god, the dog & the mini donkeys were so beautifully brought to life. Top-notch #spinsterlit , I must say.

Cathythoughts Exciting review !! Stacked 👍🏻❤️ 12mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Thank you! Maybe a Marmite book? 😁 But you'll know from the first few pages if it's something you'd like. 12mo
BarbaraBB What a recommendation! Now I feel I must read it, while until now I‘ve been stacking and unstacking it! 12mo
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youneverarrived I‘m all for spinsterlit! Brill review 🖤 12mo
Amiable Love this review!
Tamra Laugh out loud is difficult to write! 12mo
batsy @BarbaraBB 😆 I hope it works for you if you do read it! 12mo
batsy @youneverarrived @Amiable Thank you! 💜 12mo
batsy @Tamra It is! She really pulls it off so well. 12mo
sarahbarnes Great review! This one is on my list. Glad to see you liked it! 12mo
HardcoverHearts Deranged! Great descriptor. 👌🏻 12mo
gossamerchild That cover, too 🤩🤩 12mo
batsy @sarahbarnes Thank you! I really hope you like it! 12mo
batsy @HardcoverHearts Ha! It's so unabashedly unruly in its own way and I love it. 12mo
batsy @gossamerchild It's so great! 12mo
LeahBergen What a great review! I must check this one out now. 12mo
batsy @LeahBergen Thanks, Leah! I think the humour might be something you'd enjoy 🙂 12mo
Centique Like @BarbaraBB I‘ve been stacking and unstacking this! But this is my final call - if you liked it and it‘s #spinsterlit I‘m sure I will 🙌 12mo
batsy @Centique It's a tough one to recommend! But it is the kind of book where you'll know by the initial pages if it's something for you! 12mo
BarbaraBB @Centique I already purchased a copy 🤷🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️😉 12mo
batsy @BarbaraBB 😁👌🏾 12mo
Suet624 It‘s true that it‘s a hard one to recommend. Just no idea how people will take some of it. But I loved it too. I even loved the chicken that shows up every now and again. 12mo
batsy @Suet624 Oh god, yes! All of the animals were just the best. I don't think I'll ever forget Piñon. 12mo
Rissreads This sounds bat shit crazy! Stacked! 12mo
batsy @Rissreads It's a bit off the rails, but you'll know if it's for you early on. Loved the humour! 12mo
Rissreads I think I‘ve just found my next bookclub pick. I wanted something contemporary and literary and surprising. Apparently this is being made into a HBO series with Jodie Comer. 12mo
104 likes8 stack adds26 comments
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This book was grim, but also brilliant.

It's an excruciating portrait of a lonely, unattractive (we are told), middle aged woman who bores her only "friends" to death each Sunday. She's not got any money, but at least she has her faith, right?.... right?

Well-written, believable characters, vivid, tragic, poignant. This is a highly effective piece of storytelling; just be prepared for 250 pages of joyless misery!


RaeLovesToRead @Liz_M I'm going to have to read some books about single ladies having an EXCELLENT time in their 40s to cheer myself up! 14mo
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RaeLovesToRead @Liz_M Added to stack! Looks like fun 😊 14mo
batsy I loved this book so much! One of the highlights of the #nyrbbookclub and yes @Liz_M top tier #spinsterlit 😁 14mo
vivastory Boosting the comments by my #NYRBBookClub comrades @batsy & @Liz_M Fantastic (if grim) novel 14mo
RaeLovesToRead @vivastory @batsy @Liz_M Sounds like a great book club 😊 I'm definitely going to read something cheerful next though! 14mo
vivastory Lol understandable! The final segment of the book I think was one of the most harrowing of any of our selections 14mo
LeahBergen What @batsy said! This is a real favourite of mine. 14mo
Bookwomble "250 pages of joyless misery" sounds like my sweet spot! ? 14mo
RaeLovesToRead @LeahBergen It's a truly excellent character study 😊 14mo
RaeLovesToRead @Bookwomble Hehe, if that's what you're into, you're in for a treat! 😄 14mo
Bookwomble @RaeLovesToRead I find Marvin the Paranoid Android a bit too annoyingly chirpy 🤖😄 14mo
RaeLovesToRead @Bookwomble In that case, get some Radiohead on in the background, light some candles and read some Judith Hearne. If that's still too cheerful, then might I suggest A Little Life, or perhaps Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth. 14mo
Bookwomble @RaeLovesToRead Radiohead? Cheerful! 🎉 (Maybe I'm not as miserable as I make out 😄) 14mo
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