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Abailliekaras

Abailliekaras

Joined May 2016

Reader, podcaster ‘Books On The Go‘ 🎧 with @mr_annie , Ep 184: Minor Detail www.booksonthego.net, @roomtoread , Foundation Adelaide Festival
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Becoming by Michelle Obama
review
Abailliekaras
Devotion | HANNAH. KENT
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Pickpick

An exquisite novel, I loved it. Hannah Kent has a mastery of language that makes every sentence a joy to read. The characters and world are earthy & beautifully depicted. It‘s a love story but not sentimental. I was so immersed that I felt physically affected by some of the turning points. (I won‘t spoil). Tissue warning!

31 likes1 stack add
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Abailliekaras
Love Marriage | Monica Ali
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Mehso-so

A good novel and commentary on life in a Muslim Indian family in London. A little overstuffed & melodramatic for my taste (compare for example, Assembly which does so much in so few pages). Yasmin the main character behaves like a spoilt brat & the treatment of issues such as sexism, racism & the NHS felt clunky, but well observed. An accessible read & I was invested in the characters. It‘s a busy book but thought-provoking and satisfying.

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Abailliekaras
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this compulsive novel. It‘s full of rich white people behaving badly & the narrator is unlikeable but it‘s well written and a great book club book. There are characters you can love to hate and readers will have strong opinions about the choices Elle makes and her 2 ‘loves‘. The writing feels like a film or tv with a strong sense of place & scene and shows the author‘s screenwriting experience. A privileged, snarky tone but a fun read.

36 likes1 stack add
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Abailliekaras
The Offing | Benjamin Myers
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Mehso-so

A gentle novel with a beautiful rhythm and kindness at its heart. Praised especially for his writing about nature, which is lovingly & finely done. It deserves to be a pick but just wasn‘t for me. A little twee and contrived for my taste, lacking dramatic tension and whilst both characters were sympathetic, I didn‘t feel moved by them or compelled to find out what would happen. Dulcie‘s story (as she relates to the main character) is remote.

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Abailliekaras
The Candy House | Jennifer Egan
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Pickpick

Brilliant. I inhaled this and remembered why I loved Visit to the Goon Squad - the sense of fun and play, while touching on serious issues like AI & our selves as a commodity. The writing is lively & propulsive, the characters leap off the page & I loved the inventiveness of the different voices & styles. Her sense of humour and the mastery of language, craft & verve in each sentence reminds me of David Foster Wallace. A great read.

Megabooks I love that edition! 2mo
Abailliekaras @Megabooks it‘s a great cover 😍 2mo
36 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

Excellent. Johann Hari is a great communicator & this book synthesises many ideas that we as a society have been grappling with recently. It made me less inclined to use social media & re-think when/if my children should have it. Interesting re task-switching & flow states. I‘m not sure I agree with the whole thesis (companies/modern culture have stolen your attention), I try to be more optimistic, but it‘s thought-provoking.

37 likes4 stack adds
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Abailliekaras
The Colony | Audrey Magee
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Panpan

This didn‘t work for me. I liked the quiet mood & subtle humour. But the main characters were so obnoxious that I didn‘t care what happened & didn‘t want to spend time with them. The islanders seemed caricatures of homely country folk, with a teen artist contrived & unbelievable. The message that colonisation is bad felt heavy-handed, the art descriptions repetitive & the whole story was bleak.

33 likes1 stack add
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Abailliekaras
Give Unto Others | Donna Leon
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Pickpick

I love the Commissario Brunetti series and enjoyed this return to form. Leon depicts life in Venice beautifully with favourite and new characters and an intriguing mystery. A good escapist read.

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Abailliekaras
The Paris Apartment | Lucy Foley
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Pickpick

A great crime thriller, I couldn‘t put this down and read it in two days. I loved the opulent apartment & Paris setting, the gothic feel complete with a Mrs Danvers type and characters who are not what they seem. Plenty of mystery & intrigue, fast paced & I liked the protagonist Jess who starts as a prickly, unlucky sister but is a tough survivor we grow to like.

46 likes1 stack add
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Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this queer novel about Paul, who changes his look (& gender) to suit his mood & is looking for love & belonging. Paul is an opportunist, a survivor & a ruthless fashion critic. He‘s such a charming, irresistible character that you want him to find happiness. That & the lively, fizzing writing make it a compelling read. Brilliant, funny observations, almost every page is quotable. The writing has DFW or Tom Wolfe-esque exuberance.

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Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

A must-read. I can never eat farmed salmon again after reading this book! Despite the grim content it‘s engaging, conversational and a compelling read with Flanagan‘s knack for telling a story. His tone is curious & friendly rather than preachy. I was shocked by the farming methods, damage to the environment (& the fish) loss of species & wider implications of deforestation to support the anchovy feed industry o/S. But also by government failures.

CarolynM It really is a disgrace that it's allowed to go on😡 3mo
31 likes1 comment
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Abailliekaras
A Man Named Doll | Jonathan Ames
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this crime thriller set in Los Angeles. Happy Doll is a private detective, & immediately sympathetic with his funny name & love of his pet dog but difficulty having close relationships with people. Fast paced, tightly written with a strong sense of place & characters. Feels like an old Hollywood noir film.

Cathythoughts Nice review.. I‘m tempted 👍🏻❤️ 4mo
Abailliekaras @Cathythoughts it‘s a good one! 3mo
28 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Abailliekaras
The Fell | SARAH. MOSS
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Mehso-so

A tightly written, short novel set during the pandemic as Kate struggles with a 14 day isolation. Her decision to go for a walk creates tension which builds as we worry about Kate & her son. Moss is brilliant at capturing the loneliness & disconnect of lockdown but also the compassion & humanity, with spare prose & dry wit. I found it hard to sympathise with Kate so didn‘t love this but Moss slowly reveals how her struggles pre-date this crisis.

37 likes2 stack adds
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Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

A wonderful masterclass in how to write a short story, by one of the best. I enjoyed this on many levels: s as an introduction to Russian classics (most of which I hadn‘t read); an insight into how a story works and how to read better, and the joy of being in Saunders‘ company as he describes the process. Always humble and with contagious enthusiasm, he is a great teacher.

43 likes7 stack adds
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Abailliekaras
Lemon: A Novel | Kwon Yeo-Son
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Mehso-so

The aftermath of a high school beauty murder. I liked the clean writing style & gentle tone. The structure of 3 narrators all in first person took me a while to get into & I found it too oblique at times with things left unspoken & events shrouded in mystery. But it‘s beautifully executed & the characters feel authentic.

Cathythoughts Love the cover 👍 4mo
Abailliekaras @Cathythoughts i bought it for the cover! 😍 4mo
34 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Abailliekaras
Everybody | Olivia Laing
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Pickpick

I love Olivia Laing‘s writing & this is another invigorating non-fiction work. She creates mini-biographies of artists & thinkers from history (Reich, Sontag) but they become interesting stories through her lucidity & feminist eyes. She uses the idea of the body to explore human experience, thought & struggles with freedom & illness, with intimate portraits of her characters along the way. Will be more rewarding if you know the people featured.

Simona I like her writing too! She is such a thoughtful observer. 4mo
36 likes3 stack adds1 comment
blurb
Abailliekaras
The Appeal | JANICE. HALLETT
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Our hew episode of Books On The Go is up! Annie and I discuss this fun crime novel. 🎧

Abailliekaras Or even ‘new‘ episode 😂 5mo
37 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Abailliekaras
Filthy Animals | Brandon Taylor
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Pickpick

Wonderful, connected short stories. I love being in Brandon Taylor‘s world as he describes the small details, intimate moments and nuances in relationships between groups of friends in their 20s. Well-paced, the writing is lively but the characters have space to breathe & he leaves the reader thinking about issues like race, class and sexuality. I can‘t wait for his next book!

40 likes2 stack adds
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Abailliekaras
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Bailedbailed

I loved ‘Behold The Dreamers‘ but found this slow and bleak. Mbue has a warm, engaging and compassionate writing style and I‘m sure the book is a rewarding read, but I couldn‘t get into it.

Megabooks 💯 agree 5mo
Cathythoughts Oh dear! I loved Behold the Dreamers Too 👍❤️ 5mo
shawnmooney And I bailed on Dreamers, so maybe I‘d get along with this one? 😂😂💕💕 5mo
See All 6 Comments
Abailliekaras @Megabooks I‘m glad I‘m not the only one. 5mo
Abailliekaras @Cathythoughts I wanted to love this one! Don‘t let me put you off. 😬 5mo
Abailliekaras @shawnmooney only one way to find out! 😂😂 5mo
38 likes6 comments
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Abailliekaras
The Sentence | Louise Erdrich
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Pickpick

I loved this. Masterful writing, honest, clean, poetic & not over-written. Tookie is a great character & bookish badass, flawed & honest with a dry sense of humour. Her marriage is heartwarming without being sentimental. The story feels grounded despite the ghost Flora haunting the bookshop. The tone & depiction of Native American customs is warm, non-judgmental & inclusive. Current events of Covid & George Floyd told with nuance. Recommended.

Suet624 Great review of this book. 💕 5mo
BarbaraBB Wonderful review. In hindsight I am loving the book even more. 5mo
55 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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Abailliekaras
Life After Life: A Novel | Kate Atkinson
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Pickpick

A good read, I enjoyed this. As Hilary Mantel says ‘a box of delights‘. Each scene is fun, well-paced & tells you a story. Characters ring true & their relationships are poignant (especially with the wartime backdrop) but not too sentimental. The book feels very (white) English. Interestingly Atkinson says it‘s ‘about being English‘ & she captures well the stoicism, restraint, humour & sense of being defined by the war(s). Slightly too long.

CarolynM Glad you enjoyed. I like it a lot too but I think I like the companion novel even more 5mo
Abailliekaras @carolynm I‘ll have to read that next! 5mo
34 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Abailliekaras
Permafrost | S. J. Norman
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Pickpick

Brilliant short stories. A collection of diverse characters, these are inclusive in authentic, uncontrived way. Visceral writing, not a word wasted and they convey much in just a few lines. The guest stories are unnerving with an element of supernatural & left me wondering what happened at times. The last story was by turns gritty & moving. Always interesting, with a strong sense of place, this is a new gothic & exciting author to watch.

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Abailliekaras
The Appeal | JANICE. HALLETT
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Pickpick

I thoroughly enjoyed this cosy mystery. The first half was super engaging, I couldn‘t wait to get back to it. Told through emails, it was fun to try to guess what was going on behind the scenes & she observes brilliantly the personalities in a theatre group & different tones people adopt in emails. She creates suspense: Is Issy a clingy friend or something more sinister? Fun (too many?) characters. The legal side was unrealistic but a fun read.

janeycanuck Ooh, I could go for an unrealistic but fun read 😊 5mo
Abailliekaras @janeycanuck this will hit the spot then! 5mo
39 likes1 stack add2 comments
blurb
Abailliekaras
Life After Life: A Novel | Kate Atkinson
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Catching up on book reviews on a rainy day. 😉

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Abailliekaras
The Promise | Damon Galgut
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Pickpick

An elegant, multi-layered, gently satirical novel set in South Africa. It follows three siblings, all believable characters shaped to a greater or lesser extent by their environment - apartheid & its end. Their racist attitudes make for uncomfortable reading but I think was Galgut‘s intent. The writing is superb with an assured sense of place & complex characters. It didn‘t move me but it‘s readable, thought-provoking & beautifully realised.

Simona That is my favourite read for this year and I think that is masterpiece. 7mo
Suet624 Another outstanding review. 5mo
Abailliekaras @Suet624 thanks! ☺️ 5mo
42 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Abailliekaras
7 1?2 | Christos Tsiolkas
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Pickpick

I loved this. A man goes to a house on the coast to write a novel. He rejects the trend of writing about big issues & wants to write about (escape to?) the idea of beauty. What follows is a masterful blend of memoir & fiction as we see the author at work & the birth of a story. Wonderful, strong prose, honest & original, it made me think about what a novel can do & look afresh at nature. Exquisite blend of memory & fiction, resisting ‘safe Art‘.

CarolynM I've been trying to decide whether I want to read this. Your review is making me think I do. 7mo
Abailliekaras @CarolynM I Adored it, will be interested to hear what you think if you read it. 7mo
37 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

Wonderful essays on creativity. I love Wood‘s curiosity & quest to learn. She has done serious research & combines it with her own, & writer/artist friends‘, experience. Like her fiction it‘s clear & easy to read but also erudite & thought-provoking. New insights, both high level such as how work is made & the need for art to ‘disturb‘, & practical (tidiness, walking). Wood is generous with her knowledge and humble. Inspiring & a great read.

MrsMalaprop Another one on my list. I love her writing. 7mo
Abailliekaras @MrsMalaprop it‘s superb. 7mo
32 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Abailliekaras
The Magician | Colm Toibin
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Pickpick

I loved this intimate portrait of Thomas Mann. It‘s a gentle book that lets the reader in, but the prose is masterful, witty & alive. I was transported to Germany & Switzerland between the wars, with Mann‘s Germanness (& later his crisis about this) & the elegant writing. Rich material, but Toibin avoids sentimentality. He finds quiet moments of drama - family tensions, repressed desire - that ring true & lets story & characters shine. A jewel.

Abailliekaras Also, Stefan Zweig vibes. 💕 7mo
MrsMalaprop Almost started reading this yesterday. Great review 👍🏼 7mo
ChaoticMissAdventures I just had this fall into my radar so your review is totally kismet for me! 7mo
See All 7 Comments
Suet624 I‘m always excited to read any book by Toibin. 7mo
Abailliekaras @MrsMalaprop thank you ☺️ 7mo
Abailliekaras @ChaoticMissAdventures I hope you enjoy it. 7mo
Abailliekaras @Suet624 me too ☺️ 7mo
33 likes4 stack adds7 comments
review
Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this. It moved a little slowly and lacked narrative tension, but I loved the warmth and compassion, strong women and sense of place. The fig tree chapters were fun, have the tree a personality of her own and were integrated into the story beautifully. I like how Elif Shafak includes elements of history or wars with a light touch, it feels organic to the story rather than ‘about an issue‘. Coming up on Books On The Go 🎧.

EvieBee I have to say: I always love your posts and reviews! They‘re always spot on and the photos are always great. 8mo
BarbaraBB I agree with that. (edited) 8mo
Abailliekaras @EvieBee thank you so much! ☺️ @BarbaraBB I found when discussing it with Annie, the more we talked the more I liked the book. 😉 (the opposite happened with Bewilderment). 8mo
34 likes3 comments
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Abailliekaras
The Fortune Men | Nadifa Mohamed
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Bailedbailed

I couldn‘t get into this. Nicely crafted with a diverse cast of characters, I liked the sense of humanity and compassion. But it was taking too long to get going. I‘m sure it‘s good and worthy of the Booker shortlisting, but I wasn‘t in the mood for another slow and depressing book.

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Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

I thoroughly enjoyed this Christie-style murder mystery. I love the luxury retirement village setting, humour, inclusiveness and a good old-fashioned puzzle. It‘s a contemporary take on Miss Marple-style sleuthing - the women are more independent and the characters more diverse - and Osman is a funnier writer. A comforting read.

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Abailliekaras
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Bailedbailed

I couldn‘t get on with this story of Marie set in a medieval abbey. Strong writing, but the style is mythical or fairytale -esque so the characters felt distant (combined with the remote time period). There was no narrative tension and I didn‘t care if the nuns had enough food or who was friends with whom. It was vague as to setting & the sense of a French woman in England didn‘t come through. I couldn‘t see what it was driving towards.

Suet624 I liked the book but I can totally understand why you felt this way. 8mo
Abailliekaras @Suet624 she‘s an amazing writer so I really wanted to love it! 8mo
31 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Abailliekaras
Assembly | Natasha Brown
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Pickpick

A small gem. Says so much in so few words, perfectly pitched, complex characters and so many themes explored, organically and in beautiful prose, all within 100 pages. Packs a punch. We discuss this on our latest episode of ‘Books on The Go‘ podcast up now. Annie‘s favourite book of 2021 so far! 🎧

TrishB This sounds really interesting. But I‘ll wait for an offer as I‘m definitely too mean to pay (c8 for 112 pages! 8mo
Abailliekaras @TrishB I‘d say it‘s worth it, but if not hopefully the library will have it. 8mo
31 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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Abailliekaras
Our Sunburnt Country | Anika Molesworth
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Pickpick

Interesting, clearly written, a call for action. Molesworrh explores the impact of climate change from a farmer‘s point of view. She highlights the need to think about our food (& for biodiversity in agriculture; many farmers are doing this already). There is a broader question whether Australia should move to more Indigenous agriculture (away from cattle & sheep) not addressed here. She has practical suggestions, but leadership is still needed.

CarolynM Hope she's telling all this to her local National Party candidate. 9mo
Abailliekaras @CarolynM I know. 😬 9mo
27 likes2 comments
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Abailliekaras
Real Estate | Deborah Levy
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Pickpick

A gem. I loved this wise and beautifully paced memoir of a year in Levy‘s life. The writing is exquisite, great rhythm & tightly edited. Interesting on many levels: personal, as she examines her life with maturity & self-awareness; intellectual, with literary references used judiciously to add depth; & the setting, from London to Paris to Greece. It‘s like virtual travel with a smart friend. Invigorating & comforting at the same time.

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Abailliekaras
Real Estate | Deborah Levy
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Pickpick

A gem. I loved this wise and beautifully paced memoir of a year in Levy‘s life. The writing is exquisite, great rhythm & tightly edited. Interesting on many levels: personal, as she examines her life with maturity & self-awareness; intellectual, with literary references used judiciously to add depth; & the setting, from London to Paris to Greece. It‘s like virtual travel with a smart friend. Invigorating & comforting at the same time.

18 likes1 stack add
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Abailliekaras
Rabbits for Food | Binnie Kirshenbaum
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Pickpick

I loved this. Bunny is a vivid, strong character who sees the world darkly, is not easy to like but as she says ‘has feelings too‘. Trying to cope with the world (so much of which is absurd, as she observes with pitch-perfect dry wit), overwhelmed by depression, yet she is mature & self-aware. Her relationship with her husband is beautifully portrayed (‘Albie is a good man, but he is not a saint.‘) A very funny book with depth & heart.

43 likes1 stack add
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Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

A compulsive read, I enjoyed this for the clean writing, honesty & tenderness of how Rooney describes a scene. The story is unremarkable but the way she conjures it & the intimacy created feels fresh & original. Alice & Eileen are immature, spiky & annoyed me throughout & the emails felt contrived but I liked the bravery of Rooney sharing with us her struggle over what to write about. White privilege & limited self-awareness, lots to discuss.

Cathythoughts Great review 👍🏻❤️ 9mo
CarolynM Great review. I'm looking forward to this. 9mo
Abailliekaras @Cathythoughts thank you! @CarolynM I‘ll be interested to hear your thoughts. 9mo
42 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

Excellent. So well-written and engaging, it turns the history of pharmaceuticals, medical advertising and the Sackler family into a great story. There is narrative tension as it moves towards the current-day claims against Purdue, & characters behaving badly (also failures of FDA & American legal system). I liked the intersection of history, pharma, law, journalism & philanthropy. Depressing & so frustrating to see the Sacklers get away with it.

SamAnne I will read whatever Patrick Keefe writes what ever the topic. Loved Say Nothing and couldn‘t put this one down. 9mo
kspenmoll @SamAnne In total agreement!!! 9mo
40 likes3 stack adds3 comments
blurb
Abailliekaras
Rabbits for Food | Binnie Kirshenbaum
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Just started this (matching the grey sofa!).

Mitch Fab cover ! 9mo
Emilymdxn I loved this book! 9mo
Abailliekaras @mitch definitely an interesting cover! @Emilymdxn I‘m enjoying so far. 9mo
27 likes3 comments
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Abailliekaras
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this historical novel. The two stories of a woman pilot in the early-mid 1900s & modern-day film star were woven together deftly & throw up many issues to consider about feminists then & now, independent women & men who seek to control them. Engaging, well-written & great sense of history, the dangers pilots faced & life in American small towns through the ages. Contrived in parts & there‘s much white privilege, but a good read.

Cathythoughts Great review 👍🏻 looking forward to this one 10mo
44 likes2 comments
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Abailliekaras
China Room | Sunjeev Sahota
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Mehso-so

A slow-burn. Sahota is a beautiful writer, elegant and compassionate. I loved Year of the Runaways. This was too slow-moving & subtle for me. A girl in an arranged marriage with no agency or life of her own, & an addict withdrawing, is a quiet novel. I DNFed this but re-visited it today & found that the tension builds & characters assert themselves. It‘s tender, poignant & set against India striving for independence. Beguiling but too gentle.

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Abailliekaras
The Labyrinth | Amanda Lohrey
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Pickpick

I loved this. Erica is a wonderful, strong older woman overcoming grief & guilt over her son. Told in clean, lucid prose, with a deadpan, no-nonsense tone, it propels you forward. Questions about what happened & how Erica will survive drive the story. Meditative & strangely comforting as Erica‘s life has slowed down to the present moment so we notice landscape & take each person as they come.

Tamra Plus, that‘s a gorgeous cover! 10mo
Cathythoughts Great review, I would stack only I already have 👍🏻😁 10mo
Abailliekaras @Tamra agreed! 😍 @Cathythoughts thank you! 10mo
CarolynM Looking forward to this one🙂 10mo
Abailliekaras @CarolynM I hope you enjoy! 10mo
38 likes4 stack adds5 comments
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Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

Loved this. A great insight into the lives of women in Seoul, their struggle for financial security, pressure to marry & the sexism & beauty standards they face. The four women characters are flawed, real & endearing. I enjoyed hanging out with them. Clean writing, satisfying & well-paced. ‘Friends‘ comfort with ‘Parasite‘ characters & its own blend of pragmatic feminism.

TheKidUpstairs Great review, fantastic cover. Stacked! 11mo
marleed I found this fascinating too. But I do wonder how it would have read as a translated book from an author living in Seoul - would be more similar or different? 11mo
Abailliekaras @TheKidUpstairs I hope you like it! 11mo
Abailliekaras @marleed I wonder too. The closest comparison I can think of is Kim Jiyoung born 1982 . 11mo
38 likes4 stack adds4 comments
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Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

Excellent thriller. Great, diverse characters. Ike and Buddy Lee were hardened criminals but now are sympathetic protagonists and a fun odd couple. Witty dialogue, satisfying plot and doesn‘t shy away from violence. Also touches on issues of racism and homophobia in a realistic way. Set in Virginia & shows how people live on the fringes. Pulp Fiction vibes.

Cathythoughts Great review 👏🏻 11mo
Cinfhen Excellent review!! I loved this thriller!! Gritty and raw, yet heartfelt and humorous. 11mo
Abailliekaras @Cathythoughts @Cinfhen thank you! Yes, gritty is a great word (and heartfelt). 11mo
42 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

I loved this crime novel. Great characters, sense of place - set in Galway & a Roundstone, a beach town - & plot. I read it in one day. Sometimes I just want a good police procedural & this fits the bill. Complex, flawed characters, criminals stalking a small town & police corruption. Well-written & paced. Recommended.

ClairesReads I just grabbed this at the book fair this weekend- great news 😀 11mo
Abailliekaras @clairesreads I hope you enjoy! 11mo
See All 6 Comments
Abailliekaras @BookishMarginalia 🙌🏼🙌🏼 11mo
janeycanuck Ugh, we got the first two in but not the third. I may have to put in a Book Depository order. 11mo
Abailliekaras @janeycanuck they‘re all great! 11mo
30 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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Abailliekaras
Malibu Rising | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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Pickpick

I thoroughly enjoyed this compulsive beach read. It‘s glossy & superficial & lacked the heartfelt characters of Daisy Jones but she creates a world of beauty & comfort you can escape to & a story that keeps you turning the page. The characters are privileged & their problems contrived but they‘re sympathetic, with some interesting family dynamics. It‘s fun to guess who inspired the rock star dad (Elvis? Mick jagger?). Recommended as a light read.

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Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

High energy, great sense of place and an engaging narrator - I enjoyed this. I felt like I was in Delhi with all its sights, smells and contrasts. A fun and superficial book on one hand but there are some pointed observations of the divide between rich & poor in India. The plot became over the top & silly towards the end. It would be great on screen.

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Abailliekaras
You Exist Too Much | Zaina Arafat
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Bailedbailed

I love the premise (& cover): a Palestinian American gay woman navigating her relationships & past trauma in Brooklyn & the Middle East. Honest & authentic sense of family & place. But the narrator was self-absorbed & her mother so unlikeable that I struggled to care about them. The story seemed to revolve around her ‘love addiction‘ which lost me completely & scenes at her rehab seemed pointless. She‘s mixed up but the bratty tone put me off.

Hooked_on_books That premise does sound amazing. What a disappointment! But that cover! 😍 12mo
Abailliekaras @Hooked_on_books I know! It‘s had some positive reviews so might be worth checking out. 11mo
32 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

Stunning, profound novel about war and mental trauma. Told in a confessional style & tightly written, it reminded me a little of Camus‘ The Fall. Compelling & well paced as we see Alfa‘s grief & violence at war, memories of Senegalese childhood & how he loses his mind. Intense but the writing flows easily & it‘s beautifully translated. The ending packs a punch - I had to re-read the last chapters. I‘m still not sure what happened.