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Anna40

Anna40

Joined November 2016

review
Anna40
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Mehso-so

I tend to shy away from thinking about what life without my mother would be like. I don‘t want to think about this separation because the bond is so strong but it‘s inevitable. I love the idea of writing a book focusing on a mother‘s death and her advice, it‘s light-hearted, at times funny, good illustrations but that‘s the problem, it is too sweet, trying too hard to make you feel better when in reality after this loss nothing will.

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Anna40
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Mehso-so

The book focuses on Randy Gray‘s search for his son Jacob but Billman also writes about others who went missing in the wild, some never found.It is a compelling read but would work better as a collection of individual missing people and their stories or even focusing only on Jacob.Sensationalist are: - the ‘unexplained cases‘ hinting at people being abducted by Sasquatch or aliens? - we should all be scared when we hike, “lest you be next”.Really?

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Anna40
Death and the Seaside | Alison Moore
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Pickpick

A weird twisted story of deceit and manipulation. I liked the different perspectives and the story within the story. Compelling and well crafted.

23 likes1 stack add
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Anna40
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Pickpick

I loved these stories so much. Beautifully written. My favourite are The Pigeon and The Hitchhiker.

19 likes1 stack add
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Anna40
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Bailedbailed

Bailing at page 58. Too claustrophobic and creepy.

blurb
Anna40
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A trip to the library ended in this and now I don‘t know which one to read first? Marwood, Moor, Kitamura or Krakauer? 🥴

review
Anna40
The Minders | John Marrs
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Mehso-so

I appreciate the originality of the premise and criticism of modern society. But there was too much going on for me: Hackers, use of DNA to store information and data in humans, DNA matchmaking, manipulative husbands, corrupt governments, conspiracy theories, murder…. Just too much for one book.

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Anna40
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Pickpick

The book is about life in a cult preparing its members for the apocalypse and what happens when those who grew up in the cult are confronted with the outside world - what started out as a group of people training for survival turns into manipulation, power struggles, rape and murder. I liked the different perspectives and timelines, especially Romy‘s viewpoint. Interesting premise, dark and sad but also thought-provoking.Marwood is a good writer.

21 likes1 stack add
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Anna40
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Pickpick

Pennsylvania 1835, the young sheriff Gideon Stoltz is considered an outsider and stranger in the Irish-Scottish settlement - he‘s a Pennsylvania Dutchman, who left his town to escape visions of his murdered mother. When the local judge commits suicide, Gideon starts investigating and finds out things about the town‘s past that many want to keep hidden. Brilliant murder mystery that takes the reader back in time to a place and life unknown to us.

20 likes3 stack adds
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Anna40
Almost Entirely: Poems | Jennifer Wallace
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18 likes1 stack add
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Anna40
Almost Entirely: Poems | Jennifer Wallace
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review
Anna40
Almost Entirely: Poems | Jennifer Wallace
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Pickpick

I enjoyed reading poetry by a local author - main themes are nature and everyday life.

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Anna40
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Mehso-so

It‘s a sweet book. I enjoyed reading about how the cat and Satoru met and their friendship developed. Once they started travelling I got bored and found the story a bit dull and sentimental. If you‘re a cat lover, you might enjoy it.

23 likes1 stack add
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Anna40
To the Edge of Sorrow | Aharon Apelfeld
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Pickpick

“We are one soul and we must protect it.”
Jewish partisans hide in the Ukrainian woods, rediscover their identity, community and faith. They raid homes for food, derail trains to help other Jews escape, take care of the wounded and sick, fight the enemy, their own guilt, live with their losses and grief and somehow manage to survive. Heartbreaking.

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Anna40
Cry Wolf: A Novel | Hans Rosenfeldt
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Mehso-so

What I like: Fast-paced; strong female characters. What makes it so-so: story is ok, but not great; gory gruesome murders. I loved The Bridge and Rosenfeld was the creator of the show. Cry Wolf is more action than crime mystery. Not really my genre.

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Anna40
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Pickpick

A well-written, gripping story of life and survival in harsh climates. The desolation is haunting, the descriptions of loneliness are convincing, the main character not always likeable, but well developed. And then comes the second half of the book. I can‘t even say why I didn‘t like it. Unrealistic maybe? The story felt too long, dragged out? Just barely, barely a pick.

24 likes1 stack add
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Anna40
Long Way Down | Jason Reynolds
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Pickpick

I listened to an interview with Reynolds. He said: if kids today watch video clips and that‘s how long they can or want to focus, then he needs to adapt his writing to that. Written in verse, you can read the book in one sitting. Reynolds communicates with kids on their level: no talking down, no artificial youth language, but poetry. No wise words or solutions either, no teaching a lesson - just the feelings, all the lost lives and the grief.

BkClubCare That is a lot of round stickers. 2mo
Anna40 @BkClubCare yes! A lot of prizes and stickers :). I‘m surprised that he was ‘only‘ a national book award finalist and didn‘t win it. I think this book is outstanding 2mo
29 likes2 comments
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Anna40
Shoal Water | Kip Robinson Greenthal
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Pickpick

Set in the 1970s, a young college educated couple from New York, Andy and Kate, settle in the small fishing village in Nova Scotia where Andy‘s parents own a house. The story is centred around Kate and how she experiences the isolated slow paced life of the working class fishing community, her marriage and her feelings for Andy‘s childhood friend Ivan. A beautiful evocation of place. Not perfect, but I enjoyed it very much.

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Anna40
In the Woods | Tana French
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Pickpick

Definitely a page turner. French is a good writer. I didn‘t care much for the friendship story between the detectives. Disappointing ending: I didn‘t guess who did it, but was expecting that the cold case would be solved too.

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Anna40
Will and Testament | Vigdis Hjorth
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Mehso-so

I‘m not sure how I feel about Will and Testament. I liked Hjorth‘s writing style but she repeats scenes or images, moments and dwells on descriptions and thoughts. That was too much for me. The first half was a pick and then I just wanted the book to end.

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Anna40
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Pickpick

Nick Hornby is one of the few authors who can pull a story such as this one off. 10 short conversations between a husband and wife before their weekly therapy sessions offer a glimpse of what their marriage and relationship are like. I found it light and easy to read. I‘d love to watch the TV series now.

eeclayton I watched the show first and then read the book. Both are brilliant! 3mo
Anna40 @eeclayton sounds great! 3mo
17 likes2 comments
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Anna40
How to Breathe Underwater | Julie Orringer
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Pickpick

Orringer writes about what everyone writes about -but she does it so much better than everyone. Some stories were a bit too dark for me - pretty much every story has death in it.I loved The smoothest way is full of stones: Coming of age set in an Orthodox Jewish family caught between the secular world and the secluded way of Orthodox life by the arrival of a secular cousin.And it‘s the cousin who finds meaning in Orthodox life…

19 likes1 stack add
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Anna40
Flight Portfolio | Julie Orringer
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Pickpick

Varian Frye formed the Emergency Rescue Committee that operated in Marseille with the aim of finding as many Jewish and Anti-Nazi intellectuals, artists and writers as they could and helping them to escape from Europe. And there is more to it. Orringer also writes about Frye‘s homosexuality and weaves a fictional love story into the main plot. Her writing is outstanding -a joy to have discovered her!

22 likes1 stack add
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Anna40
The Voices of Rivers | Matthew Dickerson
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eeclayton Beautiful ❤️ 3mo
Anna40 @eeclayton thanks for including me ;) 3mo
eeclayton @Anna40 You're welcome ☺️ 3mo
18 likes3 comments
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Anna40
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Pickpick

Bonkers, silly and a lot of fun.

Billypar What a weird drawing of a hand👍😅 4mo
Anna40 @Billypar 😂 4mo
30 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Anna40
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Mehso-so

The biographies of 4 women John Singer Sargent painted, fell a bit flat for me. It is well researched and the women were privileged, their lives tragic, fascinating, but their stories didn‘t draw me in. Maybe it‘s the writing? I don‘t know …

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Anna40
The Paper Palace: A Novel | Miranda Cowley Heller
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Panpan

I thought The Paper Palace is about a woman in her 50s who is at a point in her life where she feels she has to choose between her husband and her childhood sweetheart/best friend/ the love of her life. Mind you, they have been friends for many years, so why now? But ok… It isn‘t. The themes are incest, sexual abuse, rape of children. I wish I had known this before I started reading the book. I‘m confused and disgusted. Not for me

Megabooks Yes! I don‘t know why this was such a poplar Reese pick! 4mo
Anna40 @Megabooks I think this should either be about abuse or about a difficult decision later in life, but those two mixed together didn‘t work for me - made it a mess. 4mo
AvidReader25 Yes! I stopped reading it because of the abuse. I had no idea that‘s what it was about. 1mo
Anna40 @AvidReader25 If I had known it was about abuse, I wouldn‘t have read it or might have felt differently about it, but it sounds as though the book is about the relationship and choices in later life that affect your family etc. - and it wasn‘t - and that‘s what annoyed me. Plus the detailed descriptions of the abuse are so disturbing 😳 1mo
AvidReader25 @Anna40 Exactly. I stopped reading as soon as I got to the part. I was just not interested in reading about that in detail. Nope. 1mo
25 likes5 comments
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Anna40
Summerwater | Sarah Moss
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Pickpick

Told through thoughts and the inner lives of the characters, the story - if there really is one in the traditional sense - moves slowly, but the writing is wonderful and gripping. Quite a unique book, especially after we‘ve by now all experienced cabin fever during various lockdowns - the claustrophobic feelings, the boredom are relatable. It‘s not been raining here, but snowing all afternoon …

rmaclean4 Love her writing. 3mo
Anna40 @rmaclean4 yes, I enjoyed it too :) 3mo
26 likes2 comments
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Anna40
Alone in Berlin | Hans Fallada
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Pickpick

Fallada turned real life events into fiction. Alone in Berlin is based on the true story of a working class couple in their 40s who wrote postcards against the Nazi-regime and distributed them anonymously all over the city for two years. Raw, brutal, tough, crude. Fallada switches perspectives masterfully from one character to another from thoughts to dialogues. An important but difficult book, not for everyone

KathyWheeler My copy of this book was titled Every Man Dies Alone. I really liked it, but agree with you that it‘s definitely not for everyone. The movie was good too. 4mo
SqueakyChu This was a very upsetting yet moving book which I feel privileged to have read. 4mo
Anna40 @KathyWheeler I haven‘t seen the movie. But might now that you said it was good. @SqueakyChu a friend of mine sent me a copy from Germany, apparently it was rediscovered and printed without the edits. So the version I read is the original, the way Fallada wrote it and not the way it was published in 1946 or 1947 4mo
See All 6 Comments
SqueakyChu @Anna40 That must have been an exceptionally moving read. 4mo
Anna40 @SqueakyChu yes it actually was. I read a review somewhere that the language is banal. Or Fallada‘s Style - not sure anymore. That made angry because it‘s not. He was not Stefan Zweig or Thomas Mann but that doesn‘t mean his style is banal, it‘s different, it‘s probably very realistic. He wrote down what he heard and how people spoke. So maybe his account is even a document of how the Gestapo and SS spoke to people. Everything but banal! 4mo
SqueakyChu @Anna40 I probably would agree with you had I read the original. My feelings about what I‘m reading so often are based on the emotions that words evoke and not so much on “pretty language”. 4mo
27 likes6 comments
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Anna40
56 Days | Catherine Ryan Howard
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Pickpick

The Covid setting is depressing. But. It‘s a good thriller, didn‘t guess the twists. Highly recommend!

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Anna40
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Pickpick

It is a pick, but just barely. I liked it, didn‘t love it and there is a lot to love about this book: the writing, the wit. However, the story progressed too slowly for me and the humour seemed a bit forced at times. I wish he had developed the character of Catherine Goggin more. I LOVED her and the first pages of the book. But fair enough - that‘s not the story Boyne wanted to tell.

MrsMalaprop I liked but didn‘t love this one. I remember thinking there were too many coincidences, but then someone told me he was doing it on purpose to emulate another author (can‘t recall who 🤔). 5mo
Anna40 @MrsMalaprop maybe Dickens? 5mo
CarolynM I'm also in the like rather than love camp, although in my case I liked the second half a lot more than the first. I agree with @MrsMalaprop about the coincidences🙄 5mo
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MrsMalaprop John Irving maybe? Which is pretty funny given I am reading my first Irving right now! 5mo
Anna40 @MrsMalaprop yes, that could be! He mentions that Irving is one of his favourite writers in an interview in the Guardian. 5mo
Anna40 @MrsMalaprop @CarolynM I didn‘t mind the coincidences. There were a few things about the book that just didn‘t make it great for me, but I can see why so many people love it. 5mo
29 likes6 comments
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Anna40
Send a Runner: A Navajo Honors the Long Walk | Jim Kristofic, Edison Eskeets
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Pickpick

Long-distance runner Edison Eskeets honored the Diné‘s forced march in 1864, named the Long Walk, by running from Arizona to New Mexico, retracing their steps.Jim Kristofic accompanied Eskeets and wrote this book.It documents the run, and remembers the history of Spanish colonization, cruelty, genocide, enslavement.I didn‘t like the writing style and wish Eskeets had written it himself giving insight into his inner world during the run.

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Anna40
Tinkers | Paul Harding
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Mehso-so

This book was not for me. It is too slow and meanders into nothing.

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Anna40
New Poets of Native Nations | Heid E. Erdrich
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Pickpick

Poems written in a variety of styles - song, verse, or prose- by poets from different parts of the country and different nations. Topics range from colonialism, decolonization, nature, tradition, to genocide. Impressive collection of voices I had never heard before.

Lesliereads 💕 6mo
21 likes1 comment
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Anna40
New Poets of Native Nations | Heid E. Erdrich
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Trevino L. Brings Plenty

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Anna40
New Poets of Native Nations | Heid E. Erdrich
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Trevino L. Brings Plenty

review
Anna40
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Pickpick

“To simply pass it on, to share what I have found and seen.” Stephen Drew walked the Camino for over 700 km in Spain all the way to Santiago de Compostela. He walks with the reader, people he meets and loved ones he has lost. He recalls painful memories and describes the beauty of the Camino and its history. A love song to nature, kindness and the act of walking. A spiritual, uplifting, compassionate, deep and gentle book.

22 likes1 stack add
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Anna40
Island | Siri Ranva Hjelm Jacobsen
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Mehso-so

Its lyrical language and writing is why I give this book a so-so and not a worse rating. The storyline was difficult for me to follow. I lost interest in the characters and place. Hung in there to the end only to see if it got any better but no, not for me.

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Anna40
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Pickpick

Halloween-Horror. Women directors. This is not a review about the tagged book, but movie written and directed by Jennifer Kent. If you get through the horrors depicted in the film (trigger warnings: rape, infanticide, genocide), it becomes so much more than a story about pure evil we human beings are capable of. I wish some metaphors would have been explored more, nevertheless an intriguing, haunting horror film.

17 likes1 stack add
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Anna40
Eine Formalie in Kiew | Dmitrij Kapitelman
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Pickpick

(Not yet translated into English.) The 34 year old narrator has lived in Germany since he was 8- his family had immigrated from the Ukraine. To obtain German citizenship he needs to navigate first German and then Ukrainian bureaucracy when he travels to Kiev for documents, but his journey ends up being much more than a Formalie (formality). Major themes in the book are identity, nationality, family. Witty, moving, powerfully eloquent.

review
Anna40
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Pickpick

This is a hard book to rate. It is brilliant. Beautifully translated from Yiddish by Daniel Kennedy, BUT the content is hard to digest: an obsessive love affair with a revolver, the oppressive thoughts of suicide, the claustrophobic feeling of being locked into the main character's head almost suffocate the reader, are grim and unsettling. But my! What a book! First published in 1909, it is original, modern and needs to be read.

MrsMalaprop 😱 sounds full-on! 8mo
20 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Anna40
No Place to Lay One's Head | Franoise Frenkel
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Pickpick

WW2 memoir by a woman whose love of literature and books transpires on every page. Owner of the only French bookstore in 1920s Berlin, Françoise Frenkel is forced to flee the city in 1939. She survives several periods hiding in France and finally manages to escape into safety - Switzerland. Without the help of people who were courageous and risked their own lives, she would not have made it. Beautifully written and translated, heartbreaking.

charl08 Yes, wonderful book. 8mo
21 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Anna40
Prodigal Summer | Barbara Kingsolver
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Mehso-so

Ahhhhh - this book! Enjoyed it and then didn't. I'm a bit disappointed because I expected more. There was so much potential in the characters, writing and plot, but - Alas! Forced myself to finish the last pages... that's how bad it got for me.

SqueakyChu Ha! That was my reaction to this book as well. One of my best friends simply loved it. However it felt a little flat to me. Of Barbara Kingsolver‘s writing, I like her books of essays the best. (edited) 7mo
Anna40 Thank you @SqueakyChu for recommending her essays. I will definitely read them. I think the writing is excellent, but I agree 'flat is a great way to describe how I felt about the book too 7mo
23 likes2 comments
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Anna40
Robbing the Pillars | Michael Garrigan
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Pickpick

Last lines of poem:
The sex of rivers and concrete
comes from the love making of thick
forests and springs.

I LOVE Michael Garrigan's poems. Beautiful, funny, profound.

blurb
Anna40
Robbing the Pillars | Michael Garrigan
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I discovered this wonderful publishing house called homebound publications and subscribed to their literary magazine, then ordered two of their books. Michael Carrigan is a poet, Stephen Drew writes about his pilgrimage experience on the Camino de Santiago in Into thin air. Both books arrived today, wrapped in this pretty paper. 💞 https://homeboundpublications.com/

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Anna40
The Lottery | Shirley Jackson
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Pickpick

Shirley Jackson is brilliant. She lulls you in with her descriptions of small town idyll and then smacks you over the head with her brutal reality. Imagery, metaphors, dialogues - everything is brilliant. Highly recommend

BeckyWithTheGoodBooks Reading Shirley Jackson for the first time in high school was a pivotal moment for me. “The Lottery” changed me forever. 9mo
Cathythoughts She really is a genius 👍🏻❤️ 9mo
Anna40 @BeckyWithTheGoodBooks @Cathythoughts I found her by chance browsing in the library, had never heard of her before. Flower Garden is perhaps my favorite in that collection, better than The Lottery. 9mo
26 likes1 stack add3 comments
review
Anna40
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Pickpick

Difficult to rate since it's a series of poems Martha Collins wrote to her husband after his sudden death. It's a very intimate 'exchange' of thoughts and feelings of loss, love and longing with someone who is no longer alive. Very powerful at times.

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Anna40
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Mehso-so

Important topic and I liked the female detective, but overall only ok for me.

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Anna40
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Pickpick

I liked reading Adam Clay's poems very much.
I loved:
In bed and where is the sun?
Broken Form,
and No longer yours

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Anna40
A Whole Life | Robert Seethaler
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Pickpick

A whole lot happens in the story of Egger's whole life but it is told in a quiet, calm and poetic way. Horrible things happen to Egger but he carries on and so does the reader. He is 4 when he arrives at the small mountain village in Austria in the early 1900s where he will spend most of his life alone. Solitude, nature, resilience are themes in this beautiful book. Highly recommend it.