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Asktheletters

Asktheletters

Joined December 2016

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Asktheletters
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Have I become that person who purchases a book because of its embossed cover and glorious end papers? Yes, yes I have.

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I have quite a low tolerance for body horror, particularly mishaps involving teeth. So the fact I‘ve now hit my third book of the year where a character‘s teeth start dropping out en masse has left me worried about what‘s yet to come😩

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The Monster of Elendhaven | Jennifer Giesbrecht
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Because who doesn‘t need some perversity on a wet Sunday morning.

9 likes1 stack add
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Bluets | Maggie Nelson
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Book Haul In Blue.

batsy Pretty! 2y
Tamra I‘m jealous over Animals at Lockwood Manor! (edited) 2y
12 likes2 comments
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An examination of romantic male friendship in early American literature as an expression of sympathy: “There is something mysterious about sympathy. It allows us to bridge a gap that seems as though it ought to be unbridgeable. It allows us to feel emotions that are not ours.” 🤓 #sundayreading

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I had minimal interest in reading anything by Amor Towles, but was in the mood was some Gatsby-esque fiction and picked up Rules Of Civility on a whim. And LOVED it. I‘m currently making my way through A Gentleman In Moscow and so far it‘s even better.

Freespirit Loved both books...❤️ 2y
Asktheletters So so good 😍 2y
Aims42 I loved “A Gentleman in Moscow” so much! I wasn‘t a big fan of “Rules” 2y
15 likes1 stack add3 comments
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The world may be in a state of disarray (aka going to hell in a handbasket) but on the upside: Murderbot 😍

#saturdayreading

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Magus of Hay | Phil Rickman
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I‘ve been for an early walk along the river, had an almond croissant for breakfast, opened some book parcels, and am now catching up on the adventures of Merrily Watkins. It‘s been years since I read one, and I‘d forgotten how engrossing the series is. With excellent dialogue.

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Arcadia: A novel | Iain Pears
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Last weekend I tackled Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (558 pages), now I‘m soldiering on through Arcadia by Iain Pears. I‘m enjoying it very much indeed, but still. All the pages, just all the pages.

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Magic for Liars | Sarah Gailey
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#sociallydistantwalking

Listening to Magic For Liars on audio, because I hated The Book Of Joan by Lydia Yuknavitch but loved the narration by Xe Sands.

ozma.of.oz What a beautiful photo! ❤️ 2y
17 likes1 comment
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We Went to the Woods | Caite Dolan-Leach
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Somewhere in the multiverse, Thoreau wrote The Secret History; Or Millennials On A Commune.

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Tuesday night it was announced that haircuts would be limited to 30 minutes. Since there‘s no way I could maintain my existing hair, I shaved it off on the Wednesday. Lockdown ready. Thursday the government removed the 30 minute rule again. Answering questions about my hair just leveled up to the length of Wolf Hall: “Okay, so you know on Tuesday night when...”

Tamra I think it looks terrific!!! 2y
Asktheletters Thanks! ❤️ 2y
sprainedbrain Lovely! ❤️ 2y
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CarolynM The look works for you! 😍😍😍 2y
11 likes6 comments
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In the Dream House: A Memoir | Carmen Maria Machado
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Nearly finished this one, and it‘s both beautiful and terrible. Edmund Burke‘s concept of the “sublime” springs to mind.

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The Mirror and the Light | Hilary Mantel
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AmyG This is great. 2y
Asktheletters I can‘t help wondering what Cromwell would think about being on a bag that is shortly to contain my groceries 🤔 Assuming there are any left in the store when I get there, of course. 2y
13 likes2 comments
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Jumping Off Library Shelves | Lee Bennett Hopkins
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The great shelving project of 2020 has begun...I was going to wait until Easter break, but the empty shelves were whispering “fill me” and since I‘m not keen on having my life descend into some sort of bad pseudo-erotica novel, here I am. Shelving. 😁

candority Those are fantastic shelves! I can‘t wait to see them with all the books 😍 2y
Nute That is a perfect room! It makes my heart happy!😊 2y
14 likes2 comments
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My Ideal Bookshelf | Thessaly La Force
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Goodness, long time no post. Work has been insanely busy and on top of that I bought an apartment. Which has been great, but also kind of exhausting and stressful. But...on the upside: my new bookshelf 😁

Freespirit How gorgeous 😍 2y
Chelsea.Poole Amazing!! 2y
Chelsea.Poole Amazing!! 2y
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AmyG Wow!!!! And a ladder 🙌🏻 2y
SW-T Lovely! Have fun filling them up 😊 2y
CarolynM Congratulations on the new place. It looks great! 2y
Nute Wow! So lovely! 2y
15 likes7 comments
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Favourites from the first half of 2019...a surprising amount of backlist!

Slightly less thrilling are the curlews that spend the night wailing back and forth at each other - it started off as a single bird, however it‘s now found a friend. 😑

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As Meat Loves Salt | Maria McCann
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An unsettling combination of the brutal, obsessive, beautiful, and tragic...and so very, very good. The protagonist, Jacob Cullen, is a man you‘d sprint a mile from in real life (and bolt the doors behind you, quick smart), but as a character he hooks you in.

TW for sexual violence (and just violence generally, tbh).

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Brideshead Revisited | Evelyn Waugh
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One of my goals this year is to try and reduce the number of unread books I own, because it‘s reaching epidemic proportions. This one has been hanging around for far too long, so the time has come to pick it up.

CarolynM I reread this one last year with some Litsy buddy readers. There's a lot to like about it and quite a bit to think about. You might be interested in some of the discussion under the tag #BridesheadNostalgia 3y
Asktheletters Ooooh, thanks! I‘ll definitely check that out. 3y
12 likes2 comments
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Raven Stratagem | Yoon Ha Lee
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#saturdaymorning #yoga 🙃

Now I‘m going to try and finish The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle, which is proving a more arduous endeavour than I initially anticipated.

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A fascinating look at the historical / sociological function of ghosts. So much love for Colin Dickey. Although in my mind, there‘s now a crossover universe between Ghostland and Afterlives of the Saints. The ghosts of early Christian hermits, maybe...that no one quite remembers, because hermits.

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The Unfortunates | Bryan Stanley Johnson
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I don‘t even remember ordering this, but in any event voila! It arrived in the post today - an experimental novel consisting of various parts which are intended to be shuffled and read in random permutations.

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The Binding | Bridget Collins
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I just happened to wander into a bookstore and The Binding followed me home. It‘s found a relation in The Chimes by Anna Smaill.

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The Christmas before last, I gave my mum a Tana French novel, which was a big success. Last Christmas was Ruth Ware...I‘m feeling the pressure for December already 😆

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The Binding | Bridget Collins
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Pickpick

Ugh, now I have such a book hangover (although in the best possible way).

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The Binding | Bridget Collins
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I‘m only halfway through, and I know it‘s *way* too early to be thinking about favourite books of 2019, but I‘m LOVING this. You know those books you read at a feverish pace, unable to stop, while already anxious that in another few hundred pages there won‘t be any more? Yeah, that.

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Friday Black | NANA KWAME. ADJEI-BRENYAH
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Trying to improve my short story game and hoping this one does the trick (aka: I haven‘t read a short story collection in the best part of...15 years? IDEK). Plus, the cover is gorgeous.

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I loved The City & The City and Embassytown, but hit the wall with Perdido Street Station. So I‘m switching gears.

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The Lost Man | Jane Harper
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Just sitting on my bed and listening 😊

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Melmoth | Sarah Perry
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I‘ve been looking forward to this one. And since summer seems to have arrived with an uninvited bang (woe), lying in the shade with a book seems like the perfect activity for this afternoon.

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Binti | Nnedi Okorafor
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I typed “Binti” (by Nnedi Okorafor) into Amazon, which autocorrected to “Hinting”, which in turn produced the hidden gem that is “Guide To Advanced Turkey Hunting”. Not just any old turkey hunting, but *advanced* turkey hunting. If the apocalypse arrives, I‘ll be set.

Kaye Funny. I was wondering who would be into a book on turkey hunting. Better scoop up a copy ! What a bargain price ! 3y
Asktheletters @Kaye I know, right?! I‘m cackling. 3y
Kaye Look at the bright side. If you can bag one of those birds, you‘ll have a big old turkey on your table for Thanksgiving. I‘d rather buy mine in the store. Already dead , plucked and clean. No feathers. 3y
Tamra 😂 3y
8 likes4 comments
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Rogue Protocol | Martha Wells
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New Murderbot!! 😍🤖

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Mehso-so

A stylised, surreal and gothic ghost story set in a “temporary holding facility with mandatory educational elements” for orphaned boys. Lord of the Flies x The Turn of the Screw x um, Scooby Doo? It didn‘t entirely work for me, but hurrah for a commitment to the weird!

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I‘m only a few chapters in, but so far it‘s quite fascinating. And also a bit alarming, when it dawns that de-extinction may in some cases involve the creation of new hybrid animals. For example, less of a resurrected mammoth and more of a genetically engineered elephant designed to flourish in the wilds of Siberia. 🐘 I‘m not sure that‘s entirely sensible, tbh.

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The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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The descriptions in this book are an utter delight. Evocative in a way that has me stopping to re-read, without becoming overblown. Another early favourite is, “[clothes made] of a wool that had never managed to look un-sheeply”.

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I Let You Go | Clare Mackintosh
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First, I had minimal time to read because of work. And then, when work took a breath, I found myself in a reading slump. I‘d read twenty pages of this, that, and the other, and give up on all of them. At which point Clare Mackintosh rode to the rescue. Good old Clare Mackintosh!

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Pickpick

An excellent, investigative account of Theranos, a Silicon Valley startup that had supposedly developed new blood testing tech...only it hadn‘t. And what little it had developed didn‘t work properly! It‘s mind boggling. Completely and utterly BOGGLING.

AmyG Oooo sounds good. 4y
10 likes1 comment
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At around a third of the way in, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, the pages are flying past and the writing style is engaging. On the other are passages like this one. I find it difficult to believe that a 17 year old who‘s just had an argument with her first boyfriend would, in the midst of emotional upset, stop to ponder her response as part of a “predetermined female role”. Ugh.

Notafraidofwords I‘m about 50 pages in and agree 4y
Asktheletters Greer is yet to meet an inner monologue she didn‘t feel the need to share 😂 4y
Notafraidofwords @Asktheletters oh boy that makes me nervous 4y
3 likes3 comments
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1. Okay, so: not a book, but Supernatural fanfic. Yup.
2. Watching the director‘s commentary on Pacific Rim, because Guillermo del Toro, even though I‘ve never actually watched the movie itself...
3. Chips from Red Rooster - all that salty, fatty goodness 😁
4. Anyone who would like to, consider yourself tagged.

And thank you @CarolynM for tagging me! #tuesdaytidbits

CarolynM Love your answers! 4y
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Pickpick

This is just the kind of (truly) peculiar true crime I enjoy: a young flautist breaking into the British Museum of Natural History to steal bird skins. Welcome to the the secretive, underground world of men obsessed with feathers and the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying. IDEK.

RaimeyGallant So strange! 4y
Asktheletters Very much so. 4y
16 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Squeezing in some dinosaur history before heading off to an aerial yoga class. Because dinosaurs.

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Relatively Famous | Roger Averill
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I love this time of year - the weather is cool and the sky stretches huge and blue. I picked up “Relatively Famous” on a whim and at a little over halfway through, am really enjoying it. It‘s a quiet novel about parents and children, and what it means to be present.

CarolynM I've just finished reading Relatively Famous. I enjoyed it very much, there was a lot to think about. How did you feel about it when you finished it? 4y
Asktheletters I felt that it was slightly less compelling in the last quarter, but overall I really enjoyed it. I loved the faux biographical extracts at the start of each chapter, and the contrast between that reconstructed “fictional reality” and the lived (fictional) experience of the protagonist. It didn‘t hurt that I‘m a complete sucker for novels that interweave fiction with Australian art / literary history 😊 4y
12 likes2 comments
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Circe | Madeline Miller
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It‘s a public holiday here, so I‘ve ordered breakfast (sweet potato fritters with avocado and salsa) and am settling in for a day of reading. I adored The Song of Achilles and am so looking forward to this one!

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The Handmaid's Tale | Margaret Atwood
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#newin 😍

Chelsea.Poole Beautiful ♥️ 4y
AmyG Lovely! 4y
Jess7 Omg! I want this edition!!! Wow! @MinDea have you seen this 4y
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Jess7 Where is this from?? 4y
Asktheletters @Jess7 It‘s an edition released by Vintage - mine is from Dymocks, an Australian bookstore chain, but I‘m guessing it‘s published internationally. There are matching copies of 1984 and Brave New World, too. 4y
Jess7 Omg I want it!! Was it insanely expensive? 4y
Asktheletters @jess7 No, not at all - $30. I saw it on the shelf and was all grabby hands! 4y
Jess7 I found it on Amazon for $17 +$3.99 shipping. Ordered. Soooo excited! 4y
Asktheletters @jess7 Hurrah! Enjoy! 4y
Jess7 I already own this book in ebook format and paperback. I‘m turning into a crazy person, but this edition is beautiful 4y
Asktheletters @jess7 Lol, you‘re not alone - I have an audio version and also a paperback copy that I‘m now passing on to a co-worker!! 4y
23 likes11 comments
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Rainbirds | Clarissa Goenawan
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Let Me Lie | Clare Mackintosh
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I‘ve had an exhausting week workwise and been binging on Clare Mackintosh. There‘s something weirdly comforting about her books.

Jess7 There a form of escape for me too. You can get lost in them and forget about everything else! 4y
Asktheletters I know, right? Who knew murder and domestic disquiet could be so relaxing. 4y
16 likes2 comments
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I should be working (bleurgh, to quote the 10th Dr), but am instead reading about early Christian saints who had a penchant for climbing up tall pillars or poles and living there. On top of a pole. As you do 😧

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City & the City | China Miville
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Pickpick

I‘d never read Miéville before (how??) and I LOVED this. It took me a moment to get used to the premise of two cities that happen to exist in the same “grosstopical” location, but it‘s fantastically done.

Nan2 I agree! I loved this story and was surprised to see such a low recommendation percentage! 4y
Asktheletters Me too! I‘ve since read Embassytown and adored that one as well. 4y
11 likes2 comments