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This was a lot more difficult than I anticipated! Although I read several amazing nonfiction books, I did not include any of them on this list with the exception of Night as that was one of my most recently read works of nf that has left a deep mark on me. These were all, without exception, 5 star reads for me. Two of them were rereads for #NYRBBookClub & I enjoyed them even more the second time around. These are not really ranked in any👇

vivastory certain order, although since I included two books by Laurence it is safe to say that she is my fave new to me author of the year. Thanks again to my fellow #manawkans for the several months journey through her books. It was a wonderful experience! Thanks to the people who have tagged me to post my favorites! If you have yet to post your favorites, consider yourself tagged. 1mo
EvieBee Sleep No More was so good! 1mo
vivastory @EvieBee It was my first PD James. I'm looking forward to reading more of her work 1mo
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Ruthiella Lots of short stories and NYRB editions! Interesting to see the trends when they are all side by side. 1mo
vivastory @Ruthiella I didn't notice that about the short stories, but you're right. They were helpful this year in providing substantial works when my time/attention was limited 1mo
LeahBergen I‘m going to work on mine soon but I know it‘s going to be tricky 😆 1mo
vivastory @LeahBergen I can't wait to see your list! At first I was like, “Oh, 21, that'll be no problem!“ Not so much... 😂 1mo
Leftcoastzen Wow , Red Harvest & Last Exit , I loved them ! But , it‘s been awhile since I read them 1mo
vivastory @Leftcoastzen I have been meaning to read more Selby since I read it. 1mo
Leftcoastzen Passing is so good as well. I‘m straining my brain to remember if I read more Selby or not . 1mo
RaeLovesToRead Of these, I've only read The Martian Chronicles (which I loved).. screenshotted for later perusal! 1mo
vivastory @RaeLovesToRead It's so hard to pick, even now I'm having regrets about not including king's firestarter or any books by cr Howard or any graphic memoirs.. 1mo
Twainy But but there‘s still 2 weeks LOL I‘m seeing tons of top 21 of 21 …. I still have 14 books to read. Nice selections sir. 1mo
vivastory @Twainy Honestly I look at this as a potential best of the year list. I didn't include any of the amazing nonfiction I read & who knows what great books I'll read in the next 2 weeks. I might do like a final top 30 in the new year 1mo
Twainy 😁💯 1mo
Megabooks Glad to see these and also glad, like mine, they don‘t completely overlap with your nywd. Always interested to see what you‘re reading. 1mo
sarahbarnes Such a great list! George Saunders! ❤️ I really want to read something from Strout in 2022 - I hear such good things. 1mo
vivastory @Megabooks Thanks! I think my list would look slightly different day to day, but these were all 5 star reads. I just read so many great books this year!! 1mo
vivastory @sarahbarnes Thank you! I really need to get around to Lincoln in the Bardo. I think you'd really like Strout. 1mo
batsy Lolly Willows! Yaaaaaas! 🙌🏽 Can't wait to read The Stone Angel. 1mo
merelybookish So many good books on here! Some I got to read with you! And others I will stack for later. 🙂 (Really need to read 10th of December!) 1mo
vivastory @merelybookish There are several stories in the Saunders that I still think about often. I was talking about it with my cousin over thanksgiving break. I'm looking forward to the #NYRBBookClub discussions next year! 1mo
BarbaraBB Great list, which I only discovered right now (I have been scrolling the hashtag). So many great reads. And yes to #manawakans and #nyrb. I need to read that Saunders too. Who wrote Ghost Stories? I can‘t read the name! 1mo
BarbaraBB @Leftcoastzen I read this Selby and loved it 1mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB Thanks! I'll be interested to see how you like Saunders. Ghost Stories is an anthology edited by Peter Washington 1mo
BarbaraBB Thanks! 1mo
85 likes26 comments
The Diviners | Margaret Laurence
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I'm the slowest poke that ever poked for this group read but it felt like the book set the pace for me & I had to follow! I first read this as an undergrad in Winnipeg & appreciated it a lot, but reading it now made me understand just how ambitious & wide-ranging it is on the subjects of motherhood, writing, sexuality, & how narratives are constructed both for the individual & a society. Thanks #manawakans for this Laurence deep dive. I loved it.

merelybookish Beautifully said! This book is ambitious and so much of it feels contemporary like her representation of colonialism and her frank portrayal of women's sexuality. 2mo
LeahBergen Ahh, lovely review. I‘ve often wondered why The Stone Angel has been required reading in some Canadian high schools; I know I wouldn‘t have appreciated her writing and ideas nearly as much then as I have now (coming to her first as an ‘older‘ woman 😆). 2mo
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Suet624 Hahaha. The slowest poke that ever poked. 2mo
BiblioLitten I love your review! Stacked! 2mo
JennF13 I read this many years ago as a kid in high school, such a great read! 2mo
batsy @Suet624 😆 2mo
batsy @BiblioLitten I think you'll enjoy making your way through the whole Manawakan sequence! I joined the group a bit later so missed The Stone Angel which I hope to read early next year 😊 2mo
batsy @JennF13 It's so rich and layered! 2mo
batsy @merelybookish @LeahBergen Thank you, both! Reading and Romeo and Juliet with the Shakespeare group recently convinced me that most high school / early uni reading should be revisited in our later (wiser) years 😁 2mo
JennF13 @batsy It‘s beautifully written, easy to read but with a complicated story too. The kind of book you think about long after you read the last page. 1mo
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The Diviners | Margaret Laurence
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And we‘ve finished the Manawakan Cycle. ?

Thank you, #Manawakans, for finally inspiring me to read them all and what a moving conclusion to this deftly interwoven series! I loved the central notion that Morag‘s story is also the story of Canada in so many ways, especially the complicated relationships between the British settlers and the Métis of the prairie provinces.

Just brilliant.

LeahBergen Didn‘t you love how the series came full circle with Hagar‘s son, John Shipley, being the one who swapped the knife with Lazarus?? Gah! @vivastory @merelybookish @batsy 2mo
vivastory Yes! That was so well done. Another parallel I noticed was the stone angel in the cemetery in book 1 & the unmarked pine crosses in the hills in book 5. 2mo
merelybookish Lovely review! I hadnt made the connection to it as Canada's story, but of course, you're right. I did feel the treatment of Metis was more sensitive than I might have expected from a book written in 1970ish. She truly is one of Canada's greats! 🇨🇦❤️ And that is a lovely stack of books! 2mo
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merelybookish Ooh good one @vivastory! 2mo
vivastory I agree with @merelybookish I definitely want to replace my copies with some that are more aesthetically pleasing like yours. 2mo
LeahBergen @vivastory Oh, good point about the crosses. 👌 2mo
LeahBergen @merelybookish I was surprised at the sensitivity of it, as well, especially the whole “interracial” 🙄 aspect of the story. 2mo
LeahBergen @merelybookish @vivastory I should, as a “collector” 😉 hunt down the Canadian first editions but most of them have pretty awful covers. I‘ve also thought I should buy The Stone Angel to match the rest of these but I have a fondness for this copy in the photo (I read it in Manitoba one summer 😁). 2mo
vivastory I have seen that edition of Stone Angel at used bookstores & have been tempted. My copy of Stone Angel isn't too bad, but the rest of the series especially the final 2 don't have the greatest covers 2mo
LeahBergen @vivastory I must admit to kind of wanting a first of The Stone Angel … preferably signed. 😆 2mo
BarbaraBB This really is Canada‘s story and she‘s a fantastic writer. I will read the final one soon! 2mo
LeahBergen @BarbaraBB I think you‘ll like it as much as the others, whenever you get to it! 😘 2mo
Cathythoughts Great review ❤️ 2mo
batsy Lovely review ❤️ I like that it's also a story of Canada, as you say. I'm still not done because for some reason it's just been one of those week (or weeks 😂) but I hope to soon and then to get to Stone Angel soon after. 2mo
LeahBergen @batsy This one took me a while to read, too, even though I heartily enjoyed it. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2mo
BiblioLitten I want to read these books 💕 2mo
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The Diviners | Margaret Laurence
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This book meant a lot to me when I first read it and now it means more & means differently. In my 20s, it was Morag's development as a writer that stirred me. Now it's her search for ancestors.
Like @vivastory, my thoughts are all over the place, but I do feel like Christie Logan, diviner of the Nuisance Grounds, might be one of the most memorable characters in Canadian fiction!
Thank you #manawakans! I've loved re-reading Laurence with you!

merelybookish Photo is of my library copy. Someone wrote out the last paragraph and taped it in the back. 🤔 2mo
vivastory Wonderful review! I hope to post mine in the next few days. I couldn't agree more re: Christie. He's the Canadian Falstaff. As memorable & as tragic. And Laurence gives him some of the best lines. 2mo
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merelybookish @vivastory Not sure this so much a review as a gush-gush. 2mo
Cathythoughts Great review… I find too books seem to bring different meanings at different times in life .. 👍🏻 2mo
batsy Lovely review. This book kinda blew my mind when I read it as a wannabe writer undergrad in Winnipeg! I'm still halfway through now but like you mentioned there are deeper aspects that resonate this time. 2mo
BarbaraBB Lovely review. I haven‘t started this one yet. But I will. The #manawakans definitely made me very happy to discover Laurence 🤍 2mo
LeahBergen Great review! I‘m almost at the halfway point and loving the journey. 😊 2mo
merelybookish @Cathythoughts Thanks Cathy! Yes, the main character is my age and so her feelings hit very differently now! 2mo
merelybookish @batsy So many things made this book feel poignant ina new way. I also live beside a river now and watch it all the time like Morag. 2mo
merelybookish @BarbaraBB When you get to it, we will all be happy to discuss it some more with you. 💚 2mo
merelybookish @LeahBergen Yes! I found I read this one slower. And that was okay! 2mo
BarbaraBB Thank you Margot 🤍🤍 2mo
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The Diviners | Margaret Laurence
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I was planning on finishing this tomorrow, but I simply couldn't stop reading. What a book! I'm going to have to think about this one for a bit before posting my review #Manawakans @merelybookish @LeahBergen @batsy @BarbaraBB

merelybookish Wow, you read fast!! But I look forward to reading your thoughts once I finish which may be a few days. 🙂 2mo
vivastory @merelybookish I was completely absorbed & luckily had no other obligations today so I was able to read about half of it today. I look forward to discussing! The read through & discussion of these 5 books rank high among my favorite Litsy buddy reads 2mo
merelybookish @vivastory Agreed! I have loved reading these novels with some of my favourite people on Litsy! ❤️ 2mo
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BarbaraBB That was fast! It makes me want to pick it up again! Aarch! I‘m so restless! 2mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB It took me a little bit to get into it, but once I did I thought it was great 2mo
batsy Well done! I'm enjoying this reread but I'm going a bit slow this time because life. And I agree, this is one of my favourite buddy reads :) 2mo
LeahBergen Ooo, you‘re speedy! I‘ll probably be done sometime this week. And yes, this has been one of my favourite buddy reading experiences here, too. ❤️❤️ 2mo
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The Diviners | Margaret Laurence
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"Nutty as crunchy peanut butter." I have found a new vocab phrase.
#Manawakans @batsy @merelybookish @BarbaraBB @LeahBergen

merelybookish Crunchy peanut butter is nuttier. 😁 2mo
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The Diviners | Margaret Laurence
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I've had a strange reading week. I wasn't able to start this one until Thursday night, but I'm now at the halfway point. So far I'm really enjoying it. Morag seems to have a lot of conflict & I'm interested to see how Laurence addresses it. Christie reminds me of characters in past Laurence novels, but he definitely stands out as a favorite. And although it's still early, I'm getting the sense that Brooke is a schmuck. #manawakans

vivastory I also noticed that this novel has fewer lyrical passages than say Fire Dwellers or Stone Angel, so I may not post about it regularly. I will post my thoughts as I proceed though. 2mo
batsy Yes, I'm struck by the difference in prose style in this! I read The Diviners many years ago for a class but it's interesting now to compare to Jest of God & Fire Dwellers. 2mo
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BarbaraBB I‘m sorry to say I haven‘t started yet, even though this is the one I had most looked forward to (it‘s one of the #1001books!). I read so little at the moment 🤦🏻‍♀️ 2mo
LeahBergen I‘m only 60 pages or so into it right now but what I‘m struck with is just how different the narrative voice is for every book in the Manawaka Cycle! @vivastory @batsy @merelybookish @BarbaraBB 2mo
batsy @LeahBergen Yes! It's quite the feat 🙌🏾 2mo
merelybookish @BarbaraBB No need to apologize. We've all been there! This one feels so much denser than her others, like a collage (or album?) It's still one narrative voice but it's constantly shifting what it's doing. @LeahBergen @batsy @vivastory 2mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB No worries! Hopefully you're able to read as much as you want soon. I somehow forgot that it's a 1001 book. 2mo
vivastory @LeahBergen That's so true & Laurence inhabits each character so memorably that it makes it difficult for me to have a favorite. 2mo
vivastory @batsy It definitely stands on it's own, but I'm so glad that I'm reading it right after her other books. I think it adds a different perspective on it 2mo
vivastory @merelybookish That's a great point. Switching from present day narrative to her memory movies to Christie's stories. It's stylistically her most ambitious but feels very unified. A great way to portray Morag's different registers of consciousness. 2mo
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The Diviners | Margaret Laurence
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And even a reference to Hagar's son John! Remember he trades a family heirloom for cigarettes?
#manawakans @LeahBergen @BarbaraBB @vivastory @batsy

LeahBergen Ohhhh! 😮 2mo
batsy I need to get to Stone Angel (next)! 2mo
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The Diviners | Margaret Laurence
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Look at this, #Manawakans

Morag‘s first day of grade one and we already know a couple of her other classmates. 😁

merelybookish Yes! She's scattering all the Manawaka characters in this one. I think her neighbor Vernon is the one who becomes Thor in The Fire-Dwellers. 2mo
LeahBergen @merelybookish Oh, good catch! The “drip”. 🤣 2mo
LeahBergen @merelybookish And there‘s that early house call by Dr. MacLeod, too. 2mo
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merelybookish @LeahBergen I missed that initially. But it comes up again later. 2mo
batsy Yep! It's exciting to meet old friends on the page 😄 2mo
LeahBergen @batsy It is! 😄 2mo
vivastory @merelybookish Good catch on Vernon! @LeahBergen The bowl haircut 💈🤣 2mo
LeahBergen @vivastory That poor little drip. 😆 2mo
52 likes8 comments