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Abailliekaras

Abailliekaras

Joined May 2016

Reader, podcaster ‘Books On The Go‘ 🎧 with @mr_annie , blogger at www.booksonthego.net @roomtoread regional director
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The Train Was On Time by Heinrich Boll
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City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
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The White Castle by Orhan Pamuk
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Abailliekaras
The Train Was On Time | Heinrich Boll
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My current read - I read this on a train in Switzerland today and yes, the train was on time! (= Swiss precision 😉). The book is powerful so far. Coming up soon on Books On The Go. 🎧

Cathythoughts Great cover ! Sounds really good 1d
Abailliekaras @Cathythoughts I‘m liking it so far. 😊 19h
45 likes2 comments
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Abailliekaras
Fake | Stephanie Wood
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Pickpick

Exceptional. The story of Woods‘ relationship with a man who turned out to be a fraud. The story is fascinating & the writing brilliant: pacy, funny & intelligent. It‘s a brave, honest book. So compelling because we wonder how could she (a smart journalist) fall for it? Woods is alive to this & investigates w the help of psychologists & scientists why con artists lie & why we believe them. Will chime with anyone who‘s trusted someone who lied.

BarbaraBB Stacked! 1d
Abailliekaras @BarbaraBB it‘s so good! 1d
44 likes3 stack adds2 comments
review
Abailliekaras
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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Pickpick

A beautiful novel about a Muslim family in California. I loved the writing - full of rich details & observations of family dynamics but not overwritten. The characters are complex: your sympathies change, but she shows compassion for them throughout. The dialogue rings true & relationships between siblings & parents, & tensions with their faith, are achingly real. I loved the intricacy & felt I knew the characters. A moving experience.

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Abailliekaras
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Mehso-so

Meticulous account of archaeology in Australia & our deep history. Each chapter focuses on 1 or 2 archaeologists (some great characters & Indiana Jones-esque stories). Griffiths shows how dynamic & sophisticated Aboriginal culture has been for 60,000+ years; Australia‘s history of racism & our gradual awakening (helped by archaeological finds) of the importance of Aboriginal history. A thoughtful book. Too academic for me but relevant & balanced.

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Abailliekaras
Exploded View | Carrie Tiffany
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Pickpick

A quiet, devastating book. The story of a 12-yr-old girl who reads a Holden car manual obsessively (how you love books when you‘re young). The clear, unadorned writing perfectly suits the narrator & lack of sentiment makes it more poignant as we slowly realise the trauma the girl faces, but cannot name. Tiffany shows the truth in spare prose: lack of protection at home, irrelevance of school & her wish for rescue by Avon lady. Raw but beautiful.

shawnmooney Sold! 2w
CarolynM Mateship With Birds put me off Carrie Tiffany, but maybe I should try this one. 2w
Abailliekaras @shawnmooney I can‘t wait to hear what you think. @CarolynM I haven‘t read Mateship with Birds so not sure if this is similar - let me know if you read it! 1w
See All 6 Comments
ClairesReads This sounds excellent 1w
Abailliekaras @clairesreads it‘s a tough read but extraordinary . 1w
ClairesReads @Abailliekaras I‘ll look forward to reading it 1w
40 likes1 stack add6 comments
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Abailliekaras
Lanny: A Novel | Max Porter
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Our new episode is up! @mr_annie & I review ‘Lanny‘ by Max Porter, the follow-up to his best-selling, multi award-winning ‘Grief is the Thing with Feathers‘. Lanny is a story of family, friendship and English myth (so Max Porter says) - with a little bit of magic.
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Take a listen! 🎧 #booksonthego

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Abailliekaras
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Currently reading / struggling with this one. 😬 also enjoying a ☕️ at tennis this morning. Much-needed after a late night!

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Abailliekaras
The Friend | Sigrid Nunez
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this story of a woman looking after her (late) friend ‘s dog. It‘s writery - many references to authors, books & films throughout history - normally this puts me off as it‘s insular, but here the tone is warm & the narrator grounded by her solitariness & grief. Apollo the dog is a comfort to her (like in H is for Hawke). I loved the dry humour (‘maybe Apollo is a canine genus‘); & thoughtfulness re art, suicide, dogs & Me Too.

50 likes2 stack adds
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Abailliekaras
At Dusk | Hwang Sok-Yong
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Our new episode is up! Amanda and I discuss ‘At Dusk‘ by Hwang Sok-yong, translated by Sora Kim-Russell. We loved this quiet novel set in Seoul. Lots to discuss and we can see why Hwang is a legend in Korea. This one was long-listed for the Man Booker International Prize 2019. 📖🎧

A great pick for the #asianreadathon and #celebrasian . 👌🏼What have you been reading?

Cinfhen @shawnmooney have u read this??? 1mo
shawnmooney @cinfhen No but am intrigued! 😍🥰 1mo
43 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Abailliekaras
At Dusk | Hwang Sok-Yong
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Our new episode is up! Amanda and I discuss ‘At Dusk‘ by Hwang Sok-yong, translated by Sora Kim-Russell. We loved this quiet novel set in Seoul. Lots to discuss and we can see why Hwang is a legend in Korea. This one was long-listed for the Man Booker International Prize 2019. 📖🎧

A great pick for the #asianreadathon and #celebrasian . 👌🏼What have you been reading?

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Abailliekaras
Heroes | Stephen Fry
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Pickpick

Brilliant. I listened to this on audio, narrated by Stephen Fry, & highly recommend it - it‘s like a theatre performance - superb. So engaging my children loved it (but there are some fruity scenes - ages 12/13+ I think 😉). A great introduction to Heracles, Jason & the Argonauts, Medea & more. The stories have all the drama, tragedy & big themes - easy to see why they endure. Add Fry‘s character voices & humour & it‘s a magical adventure.

Freespirit Listening to this sounds brilliant! 1mo
44 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Abailliekaras
Pachinko | Min Jin Lee
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Pickpick

Absolutely loved this. I‘m late to the party - everyone I know has loved it - but happy to join in the praise! A beautiful saga - great sense of place (from Yeongdo, Korea to Osaka, Japan), real characters and a story that feels true. Describes the experience of being Korean during the Japanese occupation & then In Japan, being treated as an outsider (still the case today). I loved the honesty, the colourful scenes & the humanity of the story.

readtheworld I‘m late on this one as well — I‘ve had it on my TBR shelf for about a year now 😬 1mo
Freespirit It was my favourite for 2017 I think❤️ 1mo
59 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Abailliekaras
Gingerbread | Helen Oyeyemi
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Our new episode is up! We discuss Gingerbread. Annie loves Helen Oyeyemi, but how will Anna cope with all the magic? 😜📖 Tune into Books On The Go. 🎧

tpixie Cute gingerbreads!! 1mo
Hooked_on_books Great pic! 1mo
See All 6 Comments
mr_annie Omg you made the cutest gingerbread people!! I hope they don‘t have any magic ingredients though... 1mo
ephemeralwaltz Cute!!! 1mo
Abailliekaras @hook_on_books @ephemeralwaltz thank you! ☺️ @mr_annie made with help from Perrymans 😉 1mo
52 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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Abailliekaras
Lanny: A Novel | Max Porter
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Pickpick

Lanny is different, lives in his own world & flourishes with love from his mother & art classes with ‘Mad Pete‘. Events bring out the best & worst of people: a fear of strangeness comes to the fore (but also compassion). Dead Papa Toothwort - inspired by & satirising in part, English folklore - is handled beautifully within realist story. I loved the rhythm & economy of the writing. Nuanced characters; true portrayal of motherhood & small towns.

Cinfhen Great review 💜glad you enjoyed 2mo
Kalalalatja I‘m so interested in this, I really liked his first book 👌 2mo
Abailliekaras @Cinfhen thank you! @Kalalalatja I hope you enjoy it! 2mo
Cathythoughts Lovely review! I recently got this on Audible... looking forward to it 2mo
47 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Abailliekaras
The Lake | Banana Yoshimoto, Michael Emmerich
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A beautiful love story written with great simplicity and truth. Chihiro & Nakajima Tare outsiders, & cautious with relationships. They‘ve worked hard to establish a sense of self & Yoshimoto depicts their fragility together (their honesty & the matter-of-fact style make it more poignant). I loved Chihiro‘s acceptance of Nakajima, his friends by the lake & her own unusual family set-up. Clean writing, poetic re making art. A gentle, engaging read.

55 likes7 stack adds
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Abailliekaras
The Man Who Died | Antti Tuomainen
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Mehso-so

I liked the dry tone and Helsinki setting, but this was a little flat and slow for me. The protagonist is sympathetic in that he has a sense of the absurdity of his situation (suspected poisoning by his wife) but otherwise hard to engage with. Very much a so-so book for me - I sort of liked it but not enough to keep reading.

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Abailliekaras
Lanny: A Novel | Max Porter
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Bedtime reading 😴

Cinfhen I think @shawnmooney recently reviewed this book....or maybe he mentioned it 2mo
emz711 I did! So what do you think Dead Papa Toothwort is? 2mo
Emilymdxn I loved this book so much! 2mo
Abailliekaras @Cinfhen ah interesting! I‘ll check. 2mo
Abailliekaras @emz711 I‘m not sure yet! 😉 @Emilymdxn good to hear! I‘m loving it so far. 😊 2mo
42 likes5 comments
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Abailliekaras
Saga Land | Richard Fidler, Kari Gislason
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I enjoyed this mix of stories. I was not familiar with the sagas and hadn‘t realised their importance. Iceland has a culture of story-telling & poetry (& highest % of published authors in the world). The sagas are dry compared with (for example) the dramatic heroics of Greek myths - but I loved the sense of history & characters of Iceland. It‘s also part-travelogue with interesting digressions & anecdotes. A bit too long, but a fun immersive read.

Freespirit I haven't read this but I enjoyed Ghost Empire 2mo
Abailliekaras @Freespirit that‘s good to hear- I have Ghost empire as well and am keen to read it. 😊 2mo
37 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Abailliekaras
The Good Immigrant USA | Nikesh Shukla, Chimene Suleyman
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Superb collection of essays by writers who are immigrants to USA (or children of). Different backgrounds & diverse styles - from personal to historical & sometimes funny. But some common threads: all bright, creative people with much to offer but have been seen as outsiders. All tackle this ‘othering‘ & their parents‘ home culture - so question their own identity. A poignant sense of trying to belong. It‘s a bracing read. Highly recommended.

40 likes3 stack adds
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Abailliekaras
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Our new episode is up! Amanda & I discuss ‘The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone‘ by Felicity McLean. ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock‘ vibes in outer Sydney, it combines Australian Gothic with a wry coming-of-age tale. Would be a good book club pick. 🎧📚
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Does it love up to the hype? 👀 Let‘s just say it would be a great book club book. You‘ll want to talk about the ending of this one. 🤔
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Subscribe now and let us know your thoughts! 🎧

26 likes1 stack add
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Abailliekaras
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My ‘Booktube at the Gym‘ video is up - this tag is as fun as it sounds. Thank you @shawnmooney ! I discuss these books and more.
https://youtu.be/umsmYZogrAA

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Abailliekaras
The Years | Annie Ernaux
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I enjoyed this once I got into the rhythm of it. A mix of personal memoir (but referring to herself in the third person - which distanced & annoyed me at first) & social history. Ernaux uses photos as a jumping off point to track her personal story but branches out to the collective story of her generation (‘we‘) - who witnessed great social upheaval in France from 1940 - 2008. Wry commentary on women‘s issues, clear-sighted. (Up now on the 🎧).

Weaponxgirl They had a interview with her In The guardian recently and this sounded so good. Glad to hear a litten recommend it too. Stacked! 2mo
Abailliekaras @Weaponxgirl I look forward to hearing what you think! 😊 2mo
35 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Abailliekaras
The Years | Annie Ernaux
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this once I got into the rhythm of it. A mix of personal memoir (but referring to herself in the third person - which distanced & annoyed me at first) & social history. Ernaux uses photos as a jumping off point to track her personal story but branches out to the collective story of her generation (‘we‘) - who witnessed great social upheaval in France from 1940 - 2008. Wry commentary on women‘s issues, clear-sighted. (Up now on the 🎧).

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Abailliekaras
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So sad to hear of Judith Kerr‘s passing - I remember the Tiger Who Came to Tea from childhood & loved When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. What a wonderful human and a life well-lived. 💔

34 likes1 stack add
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Abailliekaras
Gingerbread: A Novel | Helen Oyeyemi
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Coming up on the podcast ... 📚 Read along with us!

Redheadrambles Looks good ! 2mo
readordierachel I'm reading Lanny right now and it is quite good! 2mo
Abailliekaras @readordierachel I‘m looking forward to Lanny! 2mo
49 likes3 comments
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Abailliekaras
The Years | Annie Ernaux
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Our new episode is up! Annie Ernaux is a bit of an icon or as (our) @mr_annie puts it, she‘s like ‘a French Helen Garner‘. 🥰
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This is shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize for translated fiction to be announced tomorrow. So... is it fiction? Just one of many tangents we go down in this episode. 😂
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We also chat about Proust 😳 & underlining our books (or not). Do you scribble in the margins? #iwarnedyouthereweretangents

40 likes1 stack add
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Abailliekaras
The Good Immigrant USA | Nikesh Shukla, Chimene Suleyman
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Tennis reading. 😉

36 likes2 stack adds
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Abailliekaras
Ordinary People | Diana Evans
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Pickpick

Two couples face change & conflict in their marriages. Loved the immersive story, vivid London setting & humour (though it‘s quite sad overall). Lyrical writing & observations of marriage & parenthood painfully accurate. But I also grew frustrated w the characters & found the descriptions of London & music references a bit overdone. Mixed feelings but a pick overall: the experiences of the Caribbean-British in London is vividly brought to life.

saresmoore What a beautiful cover! 2mo
Abailliekaras @saresmoore I must confess, I bought it for the cover! ;) nice to see it getting some attention thanks to the Women‘s Prize shortlisting, which prompted me to read it finally. 2mo
42 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Abailliekaras
Pachinko | Min Jin Lee
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Some books for #asianreadathon and #APICebrasian - what should I read next? Pachinko seems to be the front-runner - what do you think? 📚🤔📚

TrishB I loved it 💕 2mo
Freespirit It's a fabulous book! 2mo
Emilymdxn The Lake is great! Like absolutely everything Banana Yoshimoto writes 💖 2mo
39 likes3 comments
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Abailliekaras
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I was delighted to be a guest on The Book Club Review podcast in London - all about the books that get you talking. The episode is up now so take a listen! 🎧
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We chatted about Australian books, some of our faves on Books On The Go, and the question: what makes a good book club book? ❓
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Kate & Laura are lovely & I highly recommend their podcast for fun bookish chat & book club inspo. 😃

MrBook Wonderful!!! Will do! 😁👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2mo
Abailliekaras @mrbook yay! ☺️ 2mo
39 likes2 comments
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Abailliekaras
The Erratics | Vicki Laveau-Harvie
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Our latest episode is up! @mr_annie & I discuss the Women‘s Prize Shortlist 📚 (so many thoughts) & ‘The Erratics‘. A darkly funny memoir about caring for ageing parents in Canada, this won the 2019 Stella Prize & is becoming one of the most talked-about books of the year.
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Apt for Mother‘s Day - with a twist: unlike any mother-daughter story you‘ve ever read. Vicki Laveau-Harvie‘s mother is one of the great characters of all time. Recommended.

ClairesReads Looking forward to listening 😊 2mo
Abailliekaras @clairesreads thanks! ☺️ 2mo
McFarchie I loved this book! 2mo
Abailliekaras @McFarchie me too - I‘ve been recommending it far and wide! 2mo
46 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Abailliekaras
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Podcast prep with my new ‘best mum ever‘ cup. 😜 #booksonthego

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Abailliekaras
The Years | Annie Ernaux
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Current read. 📖 #MBI2019

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Abailliekaras
At Dusk | Hwang Sok-Yong
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Pickpick

A quiet book. Parallel stories of Park Minwoo & Cha Soona, childhood friends in a slum neighbourhood of outer Seoul before their paths diverge. I loved the clear writing, beautifully translated. Small details give an unflinching look at poverty & ordinary lives in Korea. Loved how the story built in layers like a painting. Great sense of place. I was confused for the first half by names & characters but it came together. Understated but strong.

Freespirit Lovely review..sounds like a lovely book! 2mo
Abailliekaras @freespirit thanks! ☺️ 2mo
BarbaraBB Sounds really good! 2mo
Abailliekaras @BarbaraBB it‘s delicate but I liked the slow reveal. 😊 2mo
39 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Abailliekaras
Gingerbread: A Novel | Helen Oyeyemi
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Pickpick

Harriet and daughter Perdita (gingerbread makers) go on a quest to find Harriet‘s childhood friend Gretel from her home country Druhastana. But it‘s not on any maps (nor is Gretel). I loved the warmth, bold writing, humour, inventive story & strong women characters. The fairytale elements made me think but tripped me up constantly & I couldn‘t get a grip on the story or engage fully, because it felt make-believe. Modern whimsy fans will love it.

44 likes1 stack add
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Abailliekaras
At Dusk | Hwang Sok-Yong
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My in-flight reading. 😜 this book is small so perfect for travel, but I‘m not sure if it will be too subtle and literary for me concentrate on a long flight. We‘ll see! ✈️

38 likes1 stack add
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Abailliekaras
The Burning | Laura Bates
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A treat to chat with Laura Bates at the Festival of Ideas today. I loved Girl Up and Misogynation. Laura kindly signed The Burning for my god-daughter. ✨

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Abailliekaras
Flames | Robbie Arnott
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Our latest episode is up! Annie & I chat with special guest the fabulous Shawn Mooney. 🤩
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Our book of the week is ‘Flames‘ by Robbie Arnott. A family story set in Tasmania, it‘s a wild ride, or as Richard Flanagan said ‘a strange and joyous marvel‘. But what did we think? And did Shawn finish the book? 😬📖
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Listen in to find out. And tell us your favourite Aussie reads. 🎧 Books On The Go 🎧

LeahBergen 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2mo
42 likes1 comment
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Abailliekaras
The Years | Annie Ernaux
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London #bookhaul . 🤓📚
Have you read any of these?

TrishB I‘ve read Guapa, loved it 👍🏻 2mo
batsy I'd love to get my hands on the Ernaux and Yoshimoto 😍 2mo
Simona The Years and I loved it 😁 2mo
Abailliekaras @TrishB that‘s so good to hear! I bought it on impulse never having heard of it before. 😊 @batsy I had to get the Yoshimoto because her books aren‘t so easy to find in Adelaide stores. @Simona yay I can‘t wait to read it! ☺️ 2mo
38 likes4 comments
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Abailliekaras
Gingerbread: A Novel | Helen Oyeyemi
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I‘m currently reading this and not sure how I feel about it (the surreal / fairytale bits in particular). It might be growing on me though. Any thoughts? 😬📖

Aimeesue I had a bit of difficulty with it as well - Boy, Snow, Bird and Mr. Fox hewed a bit closer to the original fairy tales -but it grew on me. It IS surreal, though. 2mo
LeeRHarry Such a gorgeous cover - it has been catching my eye for a while now 😊 2mo
Abailliekaras @Aimeesue I‘m glad I‘m not the only one! It has grown on me now that I‘m into the swing of it ... but I‘m still not sure ... @LeeRHarry yes beautiful cover! 😍 2mo
45 likes3 comments
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Abailliekaras
Down The Hume | Peter Polites
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Pickpick

A queer, working class story told with vim & no pretence. Bucky ris a young man finding his way in Western Sydney - with Greek parents, a controlling boyfriend & a job in aged care. The voice is strong: Bucky is raw & unvarnished. It‘s episodic but the writing propels you along & the story feels urgent & true. This stood out for me - it‘s unlike anything I‘ve read; the relationships w his parents & boyfriend spot on & grittiness true to character.

CarolynM I wondered about this one when I saw it in the bookshop. Sounds like I should give it a try🙂 3mo
Abailliekaras @Lizpixie @CarolynM I hope you like it! He has a new one coming out this year called The Pillars. 😊 2mo
40 likes4 stack adds3 comments
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Abailliekaras
When We Left Cuba | Chanel Cleeton
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this. I don‘t read much historical romance but this stood out for its strong woman protagonist - Beatriz Perez - who becomes a lady spy (based on real life CIA plots to kill Fidel Castro). It shows the plight of Cubans fleeing Castro‘s regime & adjusting to life in Florida, with the backdrop of the glamorous 1960s and political intrigue. The writing is strong (if a little sweet for my usual taste). A perfect beach read.

38 likes1 stack add
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Abailliekaras
Spring | Ali Smith
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Our ‘Spring‘ episode is up now on Books On The Go! This book was a delight: bracing, witty and relevant. We loved it. 🎧💛

CarolynM Me too❤️ 3mo
42 likes1 comment
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Abailliekaras
Flames | Robbie Arnott
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Recording our podcast this morning with special guest the fabulous Shawn Mooney 🤩 (via Tokyo) ... and a gate-crasher courtesy school holidays! 🙄. #BooksOnTheGo 🎧

HardcoverHearts I can‘t wait to listen! 3mo
Abailliekaras @HardcoverHearts I hope you enjoy! We had a lot of fun. 😄 3mo
41 likes2 comments
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Abailliekaras
Spring | Ali Smith
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Pickpick

I loved this. Ali Smith weaves together the stories of film producer Richard, mourning his friend Paddy, and Brit, a guard at a refugee ‘processing centre‘ (prison). The scenes are wonderfully well-observed, characters come alive & Smith writes with wit & playfulness; & poignant moments too. She makes you think; comments on asylum-seekers & insular UK politics (‘We want the people we call foreign to feel foreign‘) but gives hope via art & youth.

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Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

Behrouz Boochani seeks refuge in Australia but is held in Manus Island Prison. Horrifying, shameful for us Australians & a harrowing read, but also beautiful & compelling. We‘re lucky to have an intellectual, creative voice telling us his story. I was shocked by the cruelty (worse than I expected) & Kafkaesque way no guard is accountable (it‘s ‘the Boss‘). Worst is the uncertainty of their status: it causes stress, hopelessness & a wish to die.

Cinfhen Sounds like a really difficult but necessary read 3mo
Abailliekaras @Cinfhen it is heart-breaking! But yes, essential for Australians especially. 😭 3mo
Emilymdxn Horrible topic but important to shed light on injustice by reading the stories people share 😞 3mo
Abailliekaras @Emilymdxn it really is. And despite the subject-matter and the fact it will break you, it‘s an e gaging read and his knowledge & intellect elevate it above just an account of his prison experience. 3mo
40 likes2 stack adds4 comments
review
Abailliekaras
Flames | Robbie Arnott
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Pickpick

A beautiful book! Charlotte runs away as her brother plans to build her a coffin. The writing is poetic & spare, propelling you forward with vivid scenes. Strong women. Landscape infuses the novel, seen with fresh eyes. I loved the chapters from different characters including some animals & spirits (not usually my thing!) - it gives a 360 view of the story & makes you think differently. He swaps genres smoothly to suit each voice. A joy to read.

37 likes3 stack adds
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Abailliekaras
Spring | Ali Smith
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Catching up on book reviews! 📝

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Abailliekaras
Spring | Ali Smith
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Catching up on book reviews! 📝

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Abailliekaras
Ordinary People | Diana Evans
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Early night for me ahead of Anzac Day dawn service, with this book - what a gorgeous cover! 📖😴

48 likes2 stack adds