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Abailliekaras

Abailliekaras

Joined May 2016

Reader, podcaster ‘Books On The Go‘ 🎧 with @mr_annie , Ep 89: ‘Ducks, Newburyport‘. www.booksonthego.net @roomtoread regional director
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The Testaments: A Novel by Margaret Atwood
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The White Castle by Orhan Pamuk
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Abailliekaras
Fleishman Is in Trouble | Taffy Brodesser-Akner
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Book haul! Intrigued by Daisy and Fleishman because of the hype; and The Weekend after Charlotte Wood‘s very strong ‘The Natural Way of Things‘. 📚

BarbaraBB I loved The Natural Way of Things too. Looking forward to your thoughts on this one! Also I just read this one, based on your review. Loved it! Thanks for recommending! 7h
Abailliekaras @barbarabb that‘s so nice to hear, thank you! ☺️ glad you enjoyed it. 6h
27 likes2 comments
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Abailliekaras
Our Life in the Forest | Marie Darrieussecq
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Our new episode of Books On The Go is up! 🎧@mr_annie & I discuss ‘Our Life in the Forest‘ by Marie Darrieussecq trans by Penny Hueston (because we‘re celebrating #WITMonth year-round 😉😂) - we loved this short, darkly funny novel. 💫 one of my surprise hits of the year.

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Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

Another fun read with a great sense of place by Fernanda Torres. Like her first novel The End, it deals with men and ageing. Mario is an actor past his prime - his reminiscences of stage & tv shows are tragi-comic & ring true (Torres was an actor). King Lear is woven through the story. I loved his fall & redemption & eccentric family. Torres is good at creating unlikeable characters who are still sympathetic.

29 likes2 stack adds
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Abailliekaras
Journeys | Stefan Zweig
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Pickpick

I loved these travel essays. Beautifully written & translated. Zweig was an open-minded, curious traveller. He describes people & landscapes with compassion - you sense his love for Seville, & the understated beauty of Hyde Park. His observations of the first package tours are fascinating (& still relevant today) and the history of places such as Avignon is interesting & told simply with his light touch.

39 likes3 stack adds
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Abailliekaras
Olive Kitteridge | Elizabeth Strout
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Our new episode of Books On The Go is up! Amanda and I read Olive Kitteridge (better late than never 😜. We loved this - cannot wait for Olive, Again to come out on 5 November! 🥰🙌🏼🎧

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Abailliekaras
A Moth to a Flame | Stig Dagerman
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Sneaky #bookhaul in London - I couldn‘t these! I love stocking up on translated fiction when I‘m here, as it‘s harder to find in Adelaide. 😍📚

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Abailliekaras
Reputations | Juan Gabriel Vsquez
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this. An intriguing story of a successful political cartoonist who questions his place in society & the value of his work (like in At Dusk by Hwang Sok-Yong). I love the strength of Vazquéz‘s writing, & the characters come to life: Magdalena‘s beguiling voice; his boss‘s bumptious formality. You sense the mist in the hills & stinging pollution of Bogotá. Are cartoonists truth-tellers or just part of the mob tearing people down?

hermyknee Great review 2w
Abailliekaras @hermyknee thank you! ☺️ 2w
38 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Abailliekaras
Reputations | Juan Gabriel Vsquez
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Starting this belatedly!

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Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

Excellent. An account of a woman trapped in a violent marriage, told in stunning prose with honesty & strength. It reads as a fast-paved novel but feels true & autobiographical. Many confronting moments - eg her parents telling her to stay - & she has self-awareness & great insight into why women stay (or rather, why they can‘t leave). But it‘s also poetic & satirical - she mixes it up so it‘s not unrelenting violence. Shocking - but too common.

31 likes1 stack add
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Abailliekaras
Single Thread | Tracy Chevalier
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Our interview with Tracy Chevalier is up now on Books On The Go! We loved this book and Tracy was a delight to chat with. Take a listen! 🤩🎧

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Abailliekaras
Pages and Co. 2 | Anna James
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#bookmail ! Zoe thrilled to start this one. 🙌🏼📖🥰

LiteraryinLititz I‘m waiting for the first book to come out in my area! 3w
Abailliekaras @LiteraryinLititz my daughter loves them. ☺️ 2w
39 likes2 comments
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Abailliekaras
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Has anyone noticed the green dress trend on book covers? Has this always been a thing - I feel like I‘m seeing green dresses everywhere all of a sudden. Gorgeous artwork but who or what started it? 🤔💚

marleed Interesting! Yesterday, I thought of asking if anyone else had noticed how often Evelyn or Evvie where the names of MCs in new fiction. Sometimes they even where a green dress! 3w
Abailliekaras @marleed So many Evelyns! 2w
39 likes2 comments
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Abailliekaras
The Pillars | Peter Polites
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Mehso-so

Pano lives in a new suburb, helps his flatmate protest against a mosque being built & ghost writes a memoir for his friend Basil, a property developer & show-pony. I liked the honesty & seeing a different side of Sydney. But the tone is cynical & Pano unlikeable: his fixation on sex & appearances - toned bodies, designer clothes - wears thin. It‘s a comment on narcissism but characters so shallow you don‘t get to know them, so it‘s hard to care.

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Abailliekaras
Olive Kitteridge | Elizabeth Strout
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Pickpick

I adored this. In spare prose, Strout gives us the essence of her characters‘ lives. She captures the everyday frustrations and joys, great dramas & changeability of people with honesty & compassion. The tone is warm, so even when her characters suffer there is a sense of hope & comfort. She‘s wonderful on ageing, loneliness, & the dynamics of marriage (& small towns). Olive is flawed but strong - refreshing in a woman protagonist. 💫

CarolynM Great book! Have you seen the TV adaptation? It's pretty good too. 2w
Abailliekaras @carolynM thanks! No but I‘m keen to. 😊 2w
33 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Abailliekaras
Ducks, Newburyport | Lucy Ellmann
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It‘s our Booker Shortlist double-header on Books On The Go! 📚🙌🏼🎧

I‘ve read ‘Ducks, Newburyport‘ by Lucy Ellmann - aka the 1,000 page fat cat. 😜 it‘s my new tip to win. 👌🏼
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Amanda read ‘An Orchestra of Minorities‘ by Chigozie Obioma. Set in Nigeria and Cyprus, it features myth, spirits and a chicken farmer on an Odyssey-style quest. 🤔
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Who is your favourite to win the Booker?

BookwormM Girl, Woman, Other but I think Ducks will win 3w
Abailliekaras @bookwormM maybe i should read Girl, Woman, other - I‘ve heard some rave reviews. 😬😉 3w
BookwormM Girl, Woman, Other is great 👍 3w
33 likes3 comments
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Abailliekaras
Olive Kitteridge | Elizabeth Strout
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Book and sun. ☀️ loving this - review coming soon!

CarolynM I loved this one too. 3w
Abailliekaras @carolynM such a delight and just what I felt like reading. 👌🏼 3w
37 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Abailliekaras
The Testaments: A Novel | Margaret Atwood
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Our episode is up now on Books On The Go! 🎧 All three of us for this one. Will it live up to the hype? Will it win the Booker? Do you need to watch the Handmaid‘s Tale tv series first? All this and more - take a listen - wherever podcasts live. 💚

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Abailliekaras
Ducks, Newburyport | Lucy Ellmann
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Pickpick

An exhilarating joy. The prose sings, it made me think (& laugh, often) & works on so many levels. It‘s an immersive portrait of an Ohio housewife / pie entrepreneur riddled with anxiety but full of wit, a re-telling of American history & a state of America today. Using old movies, Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Ohio River & many other references, Ellmann depicts a human life & a whole country. Climate change, gun control & how to caramelise apples.

CarolynM That sounds great. Stacked. 4w
Abailliekaras @carolynm is so good! My new favourite big book. 👌🏼 4w
44 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Abailliekaras
The Ditch | Herman Koch
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Our latest episode of Books On The Go is up! Amanda and I discuss the Booker Shortlist, and our book of the week: The Ditch. Have you read it? Let us know what you thought!

Cinfhen Didn‘t know he had a new book. I find his books very polarizing. I HATED the Dinner but really liked 1mo
Cinfhen Still haven‘t read 1mo
Abailliekaras @Cinfhen they certainly have an uncomfortable humour - polarising is a good word for it! I wouldn‘t rush to this one but some parts were accurate & funny. 1mo
Cinfhen I‘ll wait for a #dailydeal or #BorrowNotBuy - 🙏🏼 1mo
41 likes4 comments
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Abailliekaras
The Testaments: A Novel | Margaret Atwood
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Coming up on Books On The Go! 🎧 we‘re doing a special Booker Shortlist week next - then A Single Thread - interview with Tracy Chevalier 🤩 - and Olive Kitteridge, in anticipation of Olive, Again. Read along with us! And let us know your thoughts if you‘ve read any of these. 📚 🤓
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I‘m currently reading The Testaments. Will withhold comment until we record on Wednesday. 😉

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Abailliekaras
The Testaments: A Novel | Margaret Atwood
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It feels so momentous to be reading this! I‘m enjoying it so far, but it‘s hard to leave Ducks, Newburyport. (I‘m mid-way through Ducks but we‘re recording our Testaments episode on Wednesday so I have to get reading!). 🤪📖

BookishClaire oh man, I'd really like to read DUCKS, but I'm such a slow reader that that's probably all I'd read for the rest of the year! 1mo
Abailliekaras @BookishClaire it‘s long but it reads easily - give it a go! 1mo
57 likes2 comments
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Abailliekaras
The Testaments: A Novel | Margaret Atwood
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It‘s here! 🙌🏼 #TheTestaments - my next Booker Shortlist read. I‘m cheating on Ducks, Newburyport by reading the first few pages (because 35 years 🤷🏼‍♀️) & loving it so far. Margaret Atwood = genius.

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Abailliekaras
Ducks, Newburyport | Lucy Ellmann
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Starting this one! 🦆🤓

Cinfhen Quite the #chunkster!!! You better get “quackin”🦆🦆🦆 1mo
Nebklvr Wow 1mo
Nebklvr @Cinfhen 😂 1mo
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Simona 👍My second favorite book in this year, so far 😁 1mo
rajithr Bravo 👍 1mo
Abailliekaras @Cinfhen yes! And now I want to read The Testaments immediately as well. ;) #bookdilemmas 1mo
Abailliekaras @simona that‘s a big call, but I‘m loving it so far too! I have to ask - what was your top favourite? 1mo
Simona From the longlist - Ducks is my absolute winner, I really liked also Girl, Woman, Other and The Man Who Saw Everything. I‘m currently reading Testaments ... so everything can change 😘 1mo
Abailliekaras @simona me too - trying to juggle both! A nice problem to have 😉 1mo
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Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

A fascinating account of six writers & their battles with alcoholism, and part travel memoir as Olivia Laing visits their home towns in America. I learnt much about these writers - all fascinating characters - & the destructive side of their addictions. Interesting & sad to ponder why men of such talent kept ruining it - & what more they could have achieved. Laing is compassionate & her writing is exquisite. A great read.

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Abailliekaras
The Yogini | BANDYOPADHYAY
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Pickpick

I loved this. It‘s the story of Homi, a woman who comes to self-knowledge, or self-destruction (I‘m not sure which - the ending is ambiguous and a little surreal). It‘s told from Homi‘s point of view but her friends & colleagues reveal the extent of her fall. The writing is lively & fresh, with an effortless feel and disarming frankness. Homi is a selfish, stubborn character grappling with her fate. Original, fun & thought-provoking.

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Abailliekaras
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My daughter is competing in Tournament of Minds today so I have a whole day of waiting around at Flinders Uni. Not a bad spot to read though!

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Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

A great book that taught me much about modern Egypt through Hessler‘s engaging mix of reporting & personal stories. Sayyid the garbage collector a favourite (the friendship, & the intricacies of his job). I love his curiosity & open-mindedness - it‘s a pleasure to travel vicariously with him. Post- Arab Spring, the politics are interesting then bleak. People are warm & imaginative but the country poorly governed. Notably, sexism & poor education.

Megabooks It is a wonderful book! 1mo
Abailliekaras @megabooks I learnt so much! 🤓 1mo
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Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

A gorgeous novel. Leila is dead but her mind works for 10 minutes as she reflects on her life. I love the writing - it conveys the sights, smells & textures of Istanbul & its complex history. It‘s propulsive: the interesting characters & events keep you turning the page. Leila is a strong, independent woman & a survivor. Her friends include a dwarf, a transvestite & a cabaret singer - loyal, flawed characters - a great celebration of friendship.

TheBee I love Istanbul!! 1mo
Abailliekaras @TheBee I still haven‘t been to Istanbul - it‘s high on my list. ☺️ 1mo
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Abailliekaras
The Yogini | BANDYOPADHYAY
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Homi‘s mother went to my old school (but in Darjeeling)! 😅

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Abailliekaras
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Our latest episode of Books On The Go 🎧 is up! Amanda and I discuss ‘On Earth We‘re Briefly Gorgeous‘. Have you read it? We‘d love to hear your thoughts. So much to love, but it‘s not your typical novel. 🤔

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Abailliekaras
Devil Comes to Town | Paolo Maurensig
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Pickpick

I loved this from the first page. A priest in a small Swiss town confronts the devil, who appears in the form of a brash publisher. Scathing re jealousies & hypocrisy of literati, satiric re the deterioration of cathedrals & ‘great stages‘ for the devil: ‘what‘s left to the poor old-school devil?‘. A writer in full control, lively prose - theatrical & absurd but writing so clear he nails the images to the page - each scene comes to life.

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Abailliekaras
Too Much Lip | Melissa Lucashenko
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Pickpick

Brilliant. Great story-telling: drama, action and larger-than-life characters but firmly grounded. Characters are flawed but written w compassion - you empathise & see why they can be self-destructive. Confronting - issues of violence, alcohol & poverty - abut told with love & wonderful humour. Beautiful prose: great rhythm & the dialogue & Bundjalung words ring true - you feel as if you‘re there. All Australians should read this.

CarolynM Great review! I'm still thinking about these characters. I want lots of Australians to read it - as many as read that totally unchallenging but wildly popular Boy Swallows Universe drivel (sorry, I know I'm being unfair to it but I'm really frustrated by it doing so well while this one isn't getting so much traction). And I want a whole novel about Black Superman! 2mo
Abailliekaras @carolynM Oh my gosh, Black Superman. 🖤 I liked boy swallows universe - I forgive it for being less urgent (disadvantaged - although he didnt have an easy childhood) because it‘s so earnest and true, and told with such affection, I was charmed by it. Very different books though! Would love to see as many people reading too much lip. (edited) 2mo
Tanisha_A @JennyM Check this! 💙 2mo
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LeeRHarry I‘m 28th in the queue at my library for this one guys 😊 @CarolynM 2mo
Abailliekaras @LeeRHarry oh dear I hope the queue moves quickly! 2mo
JennyM @Tanisha_A thanks T! I am hearing wonderful things about this one - and this review makes me think I need to bump it up 😊 2mo
42 likes3 stack adds6 comments
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Abailliekaras
Three Women | Lisa Taddeo
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@mr_annie and I read the very buzzy ‘Three Women‘ and had a chat about women‘s desire. 😳 Subscribe to ‘Books On The Go‘ whenever podcasts live and take a listen! 🎧

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Abailliekaras
Too Much Lip | Melissa Lucashenko
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Coming up on the podcast - also the Testaments by Margaret Atwood on 10 September. 🙌🏼📚 I‘m currently reading Too Much Lip and loving it!

CarolynM I adored Too Much Lip. I'm so glad it won the Miles! 2mo
Abailliekaras @carolynm yes a great pick! 2mo
43 likes2 comments
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Abailliekaras
Fake | Stephanie Wood
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Our interview with Stephanie Wood is up now on the podcast! 🤩 We loved this book and could not put it down. Riveting, brave and honest. Take a listen! 🎧 #booksonthego

Joanne1 Just finished and loved it too! And just subscribed to your podcast. Looking forward to listening on my daily commute. 1w
Abailliekaras @joanne1 thank you so much! ☺️ I‘m glad you enjoyed it . 1w
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Abailliekaras
The Ditch | Herman Koch
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Mehso-so

Very engaging and I liked some of the humour and his exploration of human behaviour - what would you do if you suspected your partner of having an affair? Robert is unlikeable but Koch makes you sympathise with him in part (not always). His parents also talk about ending their lives, & his old friend enters the story - I didn‘t see the point of these elements, & the ending felt far-fetched & unsatisfactory. Coming up on Books On The Go 🎧.

erzascarletbookgasm I still want to read this. There‘s something irresistibly loathsome about the characters in his books. 😄 2mo
Simona I have read two books by him so far, and I agree with you @erzascarletbookgasm He is very good in writing about very bad people. 2mo
Abailliekaras @erzascarletbookgasm ha ha, I think you‘ll like this one then! 2mo
cathysaid I really liked The Dinner but couldn‘t get into this one and bailed. Perhaps I‘ll give it another try in the future. 2mo
Abailliekaras @cathysaid I don‘t think he‘s the author for me. 😬 2mo
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Abailliekaras
Our Life in the Forest | Marie Darrieussecq
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Pickpick

I loved this. A dystopian tale set in the near-future. The narrator has a clone, or ‘half‘ who has lived in a coma & supplied spare body parts when needed - a group & their ‘halves‘ are in the forest. Eery, with aspects of Handmaids Tale & Animal Farm, & mystery of why they‘re there & the sinister society they‘ve escaped. She writes with a great sense of humour & disarming, frank tone which I really enjoyed. Beautifully paced, with a twist. #wit

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Abailliekaras
Fire in the Blood | Irne Nmirovsky
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Pickpick

Silvio narrated this story about his cousin‘s family - French paysans. Némirovsky propels the story through years w elegant restraint, taking key episodes: an illness, a death, a visit to the cousins. One death provides drama (more so if you read between the lines) & the story builds to a tense scene exposing family secrets & what goes on behind closed doors. Is duty better than hedonism? Feels of its time & place but themes apply to modern life.

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Abailliekaras
Asleep | Banana Yoshimoto, Michael Emmerich
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Pickpick

The young women in these 3 stories sleep or night-walk to cope with the death of a friend (or brother). I love the clarity of Yoshimoto‘s prose. She writes of their day-to-day lives, conversations & work. It‘s deceptively simple but there‘s poetry in the attention she pays to her characters. She accepts their eccentricities & focuses on their quiet strength coping with loss rather than the dramatic event itself. Feels true; they confide in you.

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Abailliekaras
The White Book | Han Kang
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Mehso-so

A beautifully translated, delicate work with a melancholic tone. It‘s a series of vignettes circling around the death of Han Kang‘s sister before she was born. This would work well if you read it mindfully, one each day - almost like a meditation. But it‘s not a book to entertain & keep you turning the page. I‘m an impatient reader so it didn‘t suit me. ;) #womenintranslation #witmonth

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Abailliekaras
Frankissstein: A Love Story | Jeanette Winterson
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Pickpick

Thoroughly entertaining. This made me laugh, empathise with both a trans Tdoctor & a crass sex bot entrepreneur, and think about AI differently. Winterson takes Mary Shelly‘s idea of ‘creating a monster‘ in Frankenstein as a jumping off point - part of the story is set in 1816 & told from Mary‘s point of view - great insights. I loved the scenes with Dr Ry & Ron. Can we create intelligent life forms? Ron shows the base ways men would use them.

Blaire This sounds great!! Nice review. 2mo
Abailliekaras @Blaire thank you! 2mo
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Abailliekaras
Fire in the Blood | Irne Nmirovsky
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Breakfast and a book. I‘m reading this for Women in Translation month, really enjoying it so far! 📖🇫🇷 #witmonth #womenintranslation

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Abailliekaras
Ueno Station | Yu Miri
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Bailedbailed

I didn‘t get on with this - sadly, as I love Tilted Axis press and had high hopes for this one! An elderly homeless man reflects back on his life. It‘s a compassionate look at people living in poverty in Japan, but for me it lacked dramatic tension and was bleak. It failed the ‘am I looking forward to getting back to it?‘ test so I decided to let it go. But will keep an eye out for more work by Yu Miri.

RachelO Oh that‘s sad! I seem to be totally up for bleak Japanese fiction these days 🤷🏻‍♀️. My next Tilted Axis is lined up: 2mo
Abailliekaras @RachelO I know, I so wanted to love it! I haven‘t heard of the Yogini, will check it out. 😊 2mo
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Abailliekaras
The Train Was On Time | Heinrich Boll
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Our new episode is up! We discuss ‘The Train Was On Time‘ by Heinrich Böll, translated by Leila Vennewitz, introduced by Anna Funder. Part of the fab Penguin European Writers series. Loved this small gem! #BooksOnTheGo ??

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Abailliekaras
Three Women | Lisa Taddeo
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Pickpick

Super interesting. A strong book: I liked the clear writing - honest, non-judgmental & a good mix of action and thoughtfulness. Interesting stories of 3 women & their relationships - purportedly about women‘s (or at least their) desire, but in their cases, seems more about men‘s desire. But, still from the women‘s perspectives. Great for discussion: eg Does it speak about women in general? Depressing too - i wished for more independent women.

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Abailliekaras
A Thousand Ships | Natalie Haynes
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Pickpick

I loved this. It‘s the Greek myth re-telling I‘ve been waiting for. Has the tone & sensibility of the classics so places you in the scene, & characters feel true to the myths (with all the drama 😉), but Haynes brings humour & a feminist perspective. It works as a great epic novel - with war & family conflicts (for a classics novice), or seeing the myths afresh if you know them. Our interview up now on Books On The Go. 🎧

41 likes1 stack add
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Abailliekaras
A Thousand Ships | Natalie Haynes
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Pickpick

I loved this. It‘s the Greek myth re-telling I‘ve been waiting for. Has the tone & sensibility of the classics so places you in the scene, & characters feel true to the myths (with all the drama 😉), but Haynes brings humour & a feminist perspective. It works as a great epic novel - with war & family conflicts (for a classics novice), or seeing the myths afresh if you know them. Our interview up now on Books On The Go. 🎧

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Abailliekaras
A Thousand Ships | Natalie Haynes
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So excited to bring you our interview with Natalie Haynes, up now on Books On The Go. 🎧🤩
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I loved this book. It‘s the Greek myth re-telling I‘ve been waiting for!
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Natalie is also a stand-up comedian so gives great conversation. And she‘s very kind about my (until now) ignorance of the classics. 😉
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What‘s your favourite Greek myth (or re-telling)? 🇬🇷

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Abailliekaras
Murmur | Will Eaves
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Pickpick

A bracing read. Alec Pryor (inspired by Alec Turing) undergoes chemical castration which affects his mind (& changes him). Wonderful insight into how his mind shifts from lucid thoughts & ideas to dreams & hallucinations. I loved his letters with June (based on Turing‘s friend Joan). It‘s challenging: it jumps in time, characters morph & the line between memory & dreams is blurred. Clean, beautiful writing, I loved the dry humour & compassion.

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Abailliekaras
Three Women | Lisa Taddeo
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Three Women and three books! Catching up on book reviews. I‘ve just my wisdom teeth out so taking it easy this week! 😏

JanuarieTimewalker13 Feel better💐 3mo
Abailliekaras @JanuarieTimewalker13 thank you! ☺️ 3mo
JennyM Ouch....hope you are recovering well x 3mo
Abailliekaras @jennym thank you! So far so good. 3mo
36 likes4 comments