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Brimful

Brimful

Joined July 2021

review
Brimful
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Pickpick

This book made me laugh out loud as I finished reading it on my train journey to Bath. I don‘t think it is as fine a book as Excellent Women but its eminently quotable shrewd observations on male/female relationships and Jane‘s perplexity at every day conventions were very rewarding and entertaining!

BarbaraBB You‘re in Bath? It‘s on my bucketlist, especially now that Persephone Books moved there 🤍 9h
Brimful Only passing through I am afraid! Saw Persephone books but had a meeting so no time to stop. Next time though! 9h
9 likes2 comments
quote
Brimful
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Oh but it was splendid the things women were doing for men all the time,thought Jane. Making them feel, perhaps sometimes by no more than a casual glance, that they were loved and admired and desired when they weee worthy of none of those things- enabling them to preen themselves and puff out their plumage like birds and bask in the sunshine of love, real or imagined, it didn‘t matter which.

Vansa What an excellent paragraph. I find a lot of writers now don't have this talent for insightful sharp writing. Maybe Louise Knealon, a bit, in Snowflake 20h
Brimful Her writing sure packs a punch. I haven‘t read snowflake but I shall! 18h
Cathythoughts Beautiful picture 💫 13h
13 likes3 comments
quote
Brimful
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The passion of those early days,the fragments of Donne and Marvell and Jane‘s obscure seventeenth century poets, the objects of her abortive research, all these faded away into mild kindly looks and spectacles. There came a day when one didn‘t quote poetry to one‘s husband anymore. When had that day been? Could she have noted it and mourned it if she had been more observant?

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Brimful
The Colony | Audrey Magee
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Pickpick

A sad and bleak book which looks at the damage of colonisation through the story of a summer on an island just off the coast of Ireland in a year of murder and mayhem on the mainland. Colonial appropriation of language culture and identity are represented as well as the empty promises of the powerful. Worth reading

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Brimful
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Pickpick

I raced through this well written and clever book which made me think a lot about what it means to be human and live a good life. I was lucky enough to read it without knowing anything of the story so the plot twist had a real impact. Well worth reading!

StellaB I absolutely loved this, too! Such great storytelling 🙂 5d
14 likes1 comment
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Brimful
The Shore | Sara Taylor
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Pickpick

Lots of layered stories covering many generations all of which are compelling. They come together in a unique and satisfying way. Women‘s resilience and powers are as important as their vulnerability Very enjoyable

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Brimful
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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Pickpick

Very much enjoyed this anti rom com of excellent women and weak and disappointing men. Mildred Lathbury is unmarried in her thirties living on a small income in post war London. She is an excellent woman, dependable competent and unassuming. She is forced to observe the romantic antics of various men whilst she herself is overlooked and taken for granted. Her sharp observations and wry self deprecations make this both amusing and desperately sad

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Brimful
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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‘I have to share a bathroom‘., I had so often murmured, almost with shame, as if I personally had been found unworthy of a bathroom of my own.

review
Brimful
Strong Poison | Dorothy L. Sayers
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Pickpick

I read this in preparation for reading gaudy night as it is the first of the Harriet Vane series. The plot is obvious and you hear little from Harriet herself other than she is an oddball. But what you get is an insight into womens experiences in post ww1 England. You can tell this is a frustrated clever woman writing about the limits on womens lives with bitter insight. I loved The Cattery. It was just a shame it was set up and funded by a man

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Brimful
Strong Poison | Dorothy L. Sayers
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The male detective,particularly when dressed as a workman, an errand-boy, or a telegraph-messenger, is favourably placed for ‘shadowing‘. He can loaf without attracting attention. The female detective must not loaf On the other hand she can stare into shop windows for ever.

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Brimful
Sea of Tranquility: A Novel | Emily St. John Mandel
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Pickpick

I loved this immersive clever and compassionate novel. The wit and generosity of Emily St. John Mandel are extraordinary. She lets the reader share in her self referential humour at the same time as spinning a fantastic time travelling yarn and making thoughtful reflections on covid 19. I loved station eleven and the glass hotel. Sea of tranquility is not only a great read in itself but it also enhances the other two books. How wonderful is that!

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Brimful
Sea of Tranquility: A Novel | Emily St. John Mandel
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‘But all of this raises an interesting question‘ Olive said. ‘What if it always is the end of the world?‘ She paused for effect. Before her, the holographic audience was almost perfectly still. ‘Because we might reasonably think of the end of the world ‘ Olive said ‘as a continuous and never ending process‘.

AmyG I love your plants. What a perfect window! 2w
SRWCF Gorgeous view! 2w
Cathythoughts Great quote. ❤️ 2w
Brimful Glad you like the view and the plants. The bunting you can just make out is in the garden of our village pub and is left over from the jubilee celebrations. 2w
16 likes4 comments
review
Brimful
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Mehso-so

After all of the hype I was a bit disappointed. It was a pretty formulaic oddball girl meets oddball boy story. Tragedy hits and she has the remake her life. And whilst i share the feminist and humanist values there was a lack of empathy with the less clever and the less good. Maggie shipsteads comment on the cover ‘I had no problem choosing a side‘ sums up my problem with the book. Having said that there were some fun scenes.

Vansa Oh,this book was horrible.I thoroughly disliked it.Only geniuses deserve good lives,according to Garmus.Here's my rant review of it!! https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4742117574 3w
Brimful For me your review nails it! 1w
17 likes2 comments
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Brimful
Passing on | Penelope Lively
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Pickpick

What happens when a bullying mother dies? Things don‘t just get put right. There are consequences. Here siblings Helen, 52 and Edward 49 reflect on life passing them by, the subtle cruelty of their mother and make mistakes as they adjust to life without her. Reflective perceptive and perfectly written.

Nute Nice review. Stacking! 1mo
22 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Brimful
Passing on | Penelope Lively
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Mother was not a nice woman. I have always known that, and I can say it ,because I am her daughter and so in the nature of things came nearer to loving her than anyone else ever did.

CarolynM Penelope Lively is so good. Hope to get to this one soon. 1mo
17 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Brimful
Elena Knows | Claudia Pieiro
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Pickpick

A brilliant and compassionate book about women‘s bodies,women‘s complicity in the ceding of control over those bodies, but also about how we do lose control through ageing and disease. Bodies prevail. I loved how the novel plays with knowledge and perspective through a very simple well told story. And Elena is a remarkable character. I loved it!

blurb
Brimful
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Half way through this and it‘s an unexpected and highly original journey!

charl08 Agreed! And an amazing cover. 2mo
jlhammar It really is. I recently watched this conversation between Kupersmith and David Mitchell that you might enjoy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=226bo3ggbys
2mo
Brimful Thanks for that. I will watch it! 2mo
14 likes1 stack add3 comments
review
Brimful
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Pickpick

I predict this book will win the women‘s prize. It‘s not a perfect book - at times the writing was clunky and I was not always persuaded by Ada. But this book is so timely. Its themes of love in a time of war and it‘s tender portrayal of the trauma of war and the terrible cost paid by ordinary people could not be more powerfully relevant

charl08 Interesting! I'm still reading this one, but can see it's had plenty of praise here on Litsy. I'm hoping this one gets some attention in the shortlist. 3mo
25 likes1 stack add1 comment
quote
Brimful
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Love is the bold affirmation of hope. You don‘t embrace hope when death and destruction are in command. You don‘t put on your best dress and tuck a flower in your hair when you are surrounded by ruins and shards. You don‘t lose your heart at a time when hearts are supposed to remain sealed, especially for those who are not of your religion, not of your language, not of your blood.

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Brimful
The Sentence | Louise Erdrich
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Pickpick

This was my first Erdrich novel and I am pleased to have been prompted to read it by the women‘s prize. It covered important themes of identity indigeneity abuse and neglect in the context of the pandemic and BLM. It was a good read - I loved the book store setting and the haunting and Tookie is unforgettable. But I felt there was just too much being tackled to make it great.

blurb
Brimful
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That‘s what books are for,after all, to tell your stories,to hold them and keep them safe between our covers for as long as we‘re able. We do our best to bring you pleasure and sustain your belief in the gravity of being human. We care about your feelings and believe in you completely.

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Brimful
The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois | Honore Fanonne Jeffers
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Pickpick

This book is very good but I don‘t think it is great. It‘s not super original although exploring the lives of an intellectual middle class black family was unusual and rewarding. It‘s beautifully written but I thought dragged a bit towards the end. Nonetheless there is so much to admire and enjoy in this novel

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Brimful
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Pickpick

This accessible thought provoking account of a woman‘s life and experience of mental illness is uplifting as well as insightful. Absorbing funny and very sad. Surely it will be shortlisted for the women‘s prize

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Brimful
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Pickpick

I thought this book quite brilliant I loved the slipping from first to third person. That is just like what it is to recall the past. Highly recommended

EvieBee This is one of my all-time favorite books! I‘m so glad you liked it, too! 3mo
BarbaraBB Sounds wonderful. Stacked 3mo
12 likes2 comments
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Brimful
The Bread the Devil Knead | Lisa Allen-Agostini
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Pickpick

Longlisted for the womens prize this is the story of survival despite a lifetime of abuse and lies written in Trinidadian it is a good if tough read

14 likes1 stack add
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Brimful
The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois | Honore Fanonne Jeffers
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I am so looking forward to starting this. 800 pages! A four page family tree! Great Litsy reviews. What‘s not to enjoy?

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Brimful
The Story of Lucy Gault | William Trevor
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Pickpick

A lyrical and allegorical story deeply rooted in the landscape of rural Ireland this is in many ways the antithesis of a novel From the moment of the initial incident the characters become suffused by trauma and depression that only intensifies as the story progresses. There is passivity and a sense that the characters in some way deserve their fate that is only redeemed finally by acceptance and a small reconciliation. A good but strange read.

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Brimful
Victory | James Lasdun
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Pickpick

The book comprises two novellas. Feathered Glory is about the implosion of a long marriage because of a past transgression by the husband. The more powerful Afternoon of a faun is also about an event in the past, an alleged rape, and the impact this has on the accused the accuser and the narrator who becomes complicit. The writing is strong and its engagement with male incomprehension of female trauma exemplary. Highly recommended

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Brimful
Love Marriage | Monica Ali
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Pickpick

Took me a bit to get into this audiobook. At the beginning I didn‘t really care about the characters. By the end I very much enjoyed the story and had empathy will all the main characters. A warm and generous story The picture is of a tree uprooted by storm Eunice last month

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Brimful
Victory | James Lasdun
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This has been sitting on my TBR for a good few months. The first page is instantly gripping and the language crystal clear. So I am giving it a try!

11 likes1 stack add
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Brimful
Tenderness | Alison Macleod
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Pickpick

This scholarly and beautifully written novel highlights the remarkable coincidence of the publication of Lady Chatterley‘s Lover and the election of a young progressive President making it clear that nothing was inevitable about either and that progress comes with hard work intelligence and not a little luck. But most of all the novel highlights the beauty and tenderness of Lawrence‘s work and the passion that great literature inspires

Vansa Having just begun reading Lawrence this year, can fully agree with that-I feel the sort of nudge-nudge-wink rep that Lawrence has ( at least to me) is completely undeserved, his books are so much more profound than merely a few sex scenes. They're explorations of the constraints of women's lives, in a time when even education was restricted-a situation in many parts of the world even today. 4mo
Brimful I think you are exactly right. And McLeod makes the case brilliantly. I think you would love her book although it‘s quite a commitment! 4mo
10 likes2 comments
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Brimful
IN EVERY MIRROR SHE'S BLACK. | LOLA. AKINMADE AKERSTROEM
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Pickpick

This was a good read. Three black women come to Sweden looking for a future. They face white privilege of the most extreme kind and experience multiple exclusions. Each has to decide on fight flight or surrender. I agree the unraveling was very rapid but overall a good read

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Brimful
IN EVERY MIRROR SHE'S BLACK. | LOLA. AKINMADE AKERSTROEM
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There may have been no trains but at least FOYLES at Waterloo was open during storm Eunice!

12 likes1 stack add
blurb
Brimful
Old Baggage | Lissa Evans
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This book was very enjoyable company as I spent 12 hours travelling home across the south of England during yesterday‘s storms

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Brimful
Felicia's Journey | William Trevor
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Pickpick

Stayed up far too late on a school night to finish this. A slow burn tragedy which is an indictment of the many forms of misogyny The book is really about the disposability of women. It may be fiction but it is grounded in all too bleak reality

EvieBee I love when good books keep you up on a school night! 4mo
10 likes1 comment
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Brimful
Love Marriage | Monica Ali
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My February audio read!

12 likes1 stack add
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Brimful
Crying in H Mart: A Memoir | Michelle Zauner
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Pickpick

Loved this memoir which explored some of the complexity of her relationship with her mother as well as her grief after her mother‘s death The link between mothering belonging g and food was beautifully explored as well as the search for identity when you are dual heritage

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Brimful
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Pickpick

Controversial opinion I know but for me the best of Rooney‘s novels to date. It was pitch perfect on negotiating sexual relationships when the norm of heterosexual marriage has lost power and on engaging with meta politics when individual young people feel so powerless. Beautifully written eminently quotable and important.

Cathythoughts Nice review! I enjoyed her first 2, looking forward to getting to this one soon 😄 4mo
13 likes1 comment
blurb
Brimful
Tenderness | Alison Macleod
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It‘s pretty daunting starting a 600 page book particularly when a fellow Litsy reader bailed in chapter one. But armed with recommendations from Elif Shafak Madeline Miller and the lonesome reader I am giving it a try. It is another of my half price hardback Waterstones sale picks. And of all the books I chose this is the chunkiest. A good warm up for To Paradise?

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Brimful
Tenderness | Alison Macleod
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Readers are keepers of secrets:as an illicit page is turned, as a dangerous truth is inferred. The pulse quickens. Something explosive ticks between the lines. There is an intake of breath; the voyeur‘s silent flare of recognition. All the while, his or her face is impassive, unresponsive even, because like all subversives readers lead careful double lives.

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Brimful
Crossroads: A Novel | Jonathan Franzen
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Pickpick

This was engrossing and compelling. The characters were beautifully crafted. The 1970s setting was so credible. I loved my immersion into the complicated flawed lives of the family and the resonances between their lives and the big issues of the time- war, religion, sexual liberation and drugs. Whilst they have not become friends exactly I do want to know what happens next and how if at all they resolve their demons. Roll on part 2.

Cathythoughts Atmospheric picture 👍 5mo
Brimful @Cathythoughts we have had some wonderful winter sunsets here in the south east of England 5mo
15 likes2 comments
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Brimful
Loitering With Intent | Muriel Spark
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Pickpick

One of my favourite topics for a novel is the writing process. In Loitering with Intent Spark provides tantalising insights into the creative process, the porous line between truth and fiction and where inspiration comes from. A wonderful novella clever , funny, kind and insightful

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Brimful
Loitering With Intent | Muriel Spark
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So pleased to have picked this up in a charity shop. Just started reading it on my commute and I am thrilled by the premise! And the picture is of a neighbour celebrating Chinese New Year

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Brimful
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Pickpick

What an enjoyable read! And so glad to read this debut novel after reading Tin Man and Still Life. Her passion for food and landscape, her concern with family in the broadest sense and the intergenerational interplay are all there. And a talking animal! I particularly enjoyed the childhood part of the book that at times made me laugh out loud.

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Brimful
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Had to have something to read for my commute as Franzen‘s Freedom is too big to carry around. I had bought this as a gift for my brother in law but he had already read it. So far it‘s doing very well!

Suet624 I enjoyed this one. 5mo
TrishB I enjoyed it too 😁 5mo
Brimful Btw I have replaced the book with the Lincoln Highway. I think brother in law will love that! 5mo
17 likes3 comments
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Brimful
Crossroads: A Novel | Jonathan Franzen
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It‘s a very long time since I read franzen. I loved The Corrections but nothing else really appealed. Then in the Waterstones hardback sale I chose this. After a slow start I am loving it. Only problem is it‘s too heavy to carry on my commute!

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Brimful
Wahala: A Novel | Nikki May
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Mehso-so

I am afraid this was too chick lit for me. Whilst it was entertaining and I enjoyed the passion for food I found the characters two dimensional and parts of the plot were unbelievable.

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Brimful
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Pickpick

I thought this was brilliant. So much pathos in such a short book. I loved her exposure of the fragility of youth heightened by war and poverty and the playfulness with time. And then the ironic tone. A gem!

julesG Achoooo! My nose is itching from your picture. 🤣 5mo
Brimful Haha 5mo
11 likes2 comments
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Brimful
The Bean Trees | Barbara Kingsolver
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Pickpick

Very enjoyable read which demonstrates Kingsolver‘s great skills and commitment to social justice from the very beginnings of her writing career. The photo is homage to Turtle‘s love of vegetables!

19 likes1 stack add
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Brimful
The Bean Trees | Barbara Kingsolver
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Having read enthusiastic reports on Litsy I thought I would try kingsolver‘s debut novel. Her commitment to social justice the environment and great storytelling are immediately clear.