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Joined September 2016

Is it a book? I‘ll probably like it then. NZ 🇳🇿
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I really enjoyed this. In the first half of the book we follow the ups and downs of Lotto, a beloved but harassed young man, through the highs and lows of his life - for most of which his stalwart wife Mathilde is by his side. And in the second half we see things from Mathilde‘s perspective. The first half is a little bloated in places, a little too clever inserting so many sections of Lotto‘s plays, but then that balances out ⬇️

Centique with Mathilde‘s half of the book, which is clean and precise. A clever observation of complicated, literary people - quite different to anything else I‘ve read this year. 5 stars because it made me think and it surprised me and there were so many unforgettable moments, painted so bright and clear in Groff‘s writing (edited) 5d
LeahBergen I liked this one, too. 👍 5d
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Beautiful photo 🌸 5d
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Centique @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks summer flowers just spilling over the fences while I was walking home 😍 5d
Cathythoughts Great review 👍🏻 I really enjoyed this book too 5d
TrishB Great review 👍🏻 I‘ve had this on my kindle a while now! 5d
Centique @TrishB @Cathythoughts I thought I would try one of her other books before getting hold of Matrix which sounds really good. 5d
squirrelbrain Great review! I enjoyed both this and Matrix, but they‘re so different from each other! 5d
Centique @squirrelbrain it‘s going to be interesting to see that! I‘m a big fan of books about nuns so fingers crossed 🤞🤞 4d
Nute This photo makes me long for summer. Just to set the record straight, I am always longing for summer when it‘s time has passed.😆 I have liked all of her work that I‘ve read so far starting with her debut novel, The Monsters of Templeton, which was a cover-buy at first and then went on to show some really good writing. Still need to read Matrix which was going to be later rather than sooner choice, but now reconsidering… 3d
Nute Excellent review! 3d
Centique @Nute thank you Kimberley! I always feel nostalgic for the opposite season - cos I‘m on Litsy looking at snow and woolly jumpers and bowls of soup when it‘s beach weather here 😂😂 I‘m keen to read some more Lauren Groff too. 3d
77 likes13 comments
Braiding Sweetgrass | Robin Wall Kimmerer
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Thank you for the gift of this book @Reggie ! I‘ve taken about 3 months to read it because almost every chapter I had to stop and think for a few days. It‘s truly changed the way I view the natural world - I want to be a participant with it and not a spectator of it. Figuring it out will take some time but I see a way forward now. Again the learnings we get from indigenous cultures are just mind blowingly valuable 🤯 Kimmerer is a genius ⬇️

Centique Picture: I had to get up at 5am yesterday to take His Elderliness to a hospital appointment. And was given this gift of a sunrise 😍😍 1w
squirrelbrain Wonderful review Paula! I‘ve been wanting to read this for a while and your comments have only reinforced that. 1w
Cathythoughts Beautiful sunrise ❤️ 1w
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Reggie That is a beautiful sunrise. In this book I heard about from Jenny, I loved hearing how the indigenous people knew not to build anything permanent near the Mississippi River because of the fluctuating width and floods of the river. How part of the reason Katrina was so bad was because they don‘t get the silt they used to from the Delta of the Mississippi because now there are 29 dams. We try to adapt nature and it never works. The indigenous knew 1w
Reggie to adapt to nature. It was called Rising. Glad you liked this book! 1w
Centique @Reggie I remember her talking about that one too, it sounds so good - adding to the TBR! 6d
72 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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#notbookrelated For those of my Litsy friends who have been asking about #hiselderliness here he is looking like a skinny Santa! 100 days without a beard trim in lockdown 🎅🎅🎅 I‘ve seen him twice this week taking him to hospital for a small surgery - but the good news is that our lockdown levels change in two days and then vaccinated family members will be allowed to visit and cafes are opening so I can possibly take him out for a coffee. ⬇️

Centique He‘s not reading but he‘s been more alert this week so maybe he will get to reading again? I‘ll get him some books with lots of pictures in the meantime. 1w
Michael_Gee His beard is gorgeous! Hope he recovers quickly from his surgery. Also, if you haven‘t heard JD McPherson‘s “Skinny Santa” have a listen! Socks is maybe my favorite Christmas album. 1w
Centique @Michael_Gee oooh I will go find that! Love a good Christmas music recc 1w
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Megabooks Much love to you and him! I hope you can have regular visits soon. 💜 1w
Centique @Megabooks thanks Meg! 1w
CarolynM 👋 Nice to see His Elderliness looking so well. Glad to hear you'll be able to have family gatherings again soon, not to mention coffee!💕 1w
Centique @CarolynM I‘m so looking forward to sitting in a cafe again. ☺️ 1w
Reggie He looks so good! And the beard looks fantastic! Lol. I‘m happy ya‘ll will be able to get out more. 1w
Bookzombie That beard is awesome! I also love the suspenders. 🙂 I‘m glad he will be able to have more visitors and possibly get out and about. 1w
erzascarletbookgasm He‘s looking well! 👍 1w
Kdgordon88 What a handsome guy! Best wishes to you both. 1w
LeahBergen Ohhhh, doesn‘t he look wonderful?? I‘m so SO happy that you‘re able to spend more time together. Sending you both love! ❤️❤️❤️ 1w
wanderinglynn That is an excellent beard! Glad you are able to spend time together. 1w
BarbaraBB ❤️ 1w
Cinfhen Oh Paula, thank you for sharing this photo🥰Your dad looks wonderful. I‘m so glad things are improving for you guys. Sending much love to the both of you. 1w
Bookwormjillk ❤️I‘m glad to hear this update. Love the beard! 1w
Cathythoughts Paula, well this makes me smile ! Your Dad looks dignified & adorable. A little tug at the heartstrings to see him .. so glad ye can see more of each other soon. Love to you guys X 1w
Centique @Reggie thank you! On his last construction job before he retired they called him Poppa Smurf. He‘s upgraded to Santa now! 1w
Centique @Bookzombie thank you - he is all about the suspenders! 1w
Centique @Cinfhen love back at ya my friend 💕💕 1w
Centique @LeahBergen you‘re so sweet, thank you Leah 💕💕 1w
Centique @Cathythoughts love to you too Cathy! 💕💕 1w
Nute He looks wonderful! A dapper fellow from head to toe - his hat, his beard and his suspenders. Altogether handsome! This post is lovely and filled with good news especially that the two of you can now spend more time together. Enjoy every minute!💕 (edited) 1w
batsy What @Nute said! He looks like how a His Elderliness should look 😁❤️ Glad for the ease in restrictions that should make it easier to visit. 1w
MicheleinPhilly This has just put the biggest smile on my face. 🤗 1w
MaureenMc So dashing! 🥰 Hope you get to enjoy that coffee in the cafe very soon. 💕 1w
Chelsea.Poole Thanks for sharing! 😊♥️ 1w
tokorowilliamwallace I like his style and beard! I'm going almost 2 years without a beard trim or haircut, and love this look---represents the 30s and my manner very well. I worked as a caregiver for seniors for 2 years in Maryland. 5d
Centique @tokorowilliamwallace thank you! We certainly appreciate all his carers and aides very deeply 🙏 4d
67 likes30 comments
Any Way the Wind Blows | Rainbow Rowell
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Sometimes you need a blast of light & sparkly joy in your reading - Rainbow Rowell‘s Simon Snow trilogy has been that for me. It started in Fangirl as the Harry Potter/Twilight fan fiction the protagonist was supposedly writing, fans of the book asked to read the “fictional fan fiction” and it took on a life of its own! Completely indulgent YA fantasy with adventure, romance & all the feelings. Loved being in the heads of so many characters.

rockpools And a sparkly photo to go with it 😊💫 2w
Centique @rockpools oh yes! I forgot to say that‘s a sparkly light in my favourite cafe. ☕️☕️✨✨ 2w
Cathythoughts Great fun picture 💫 2w
84 likes3 comments
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Book haul part 2 - the writers biographies and memoirs section! Gosh I could have got 10 more they had so many. I had both of these Hermione Lee ones on my Wishlist and then the Penelope Lively was a find! I‘m now having buyers regret that I left the Gabriel Garcia Marquez behind. I will go back though 🤞🤞

merelybookish These look wonderful! I have the Woolf bio as well but havent read it yet. 2w
Centique @merelybookish it will probably take me 3 years before I pick it up! But I‘m trying to do a couple of writer bios a year. I do love them. I read a Vita Sackville West one which made me long to read Victoria‘s side of things too. 2w
LeahBergen Oh, nice!! And I have that Lively unread on my shelves, too. 😆 2w
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Centique @LeahBergen I thought when I saw it “this looks like a book Leah would like” 😍 2w
Cathythoughts Nice haul Paula 👍🏻❤️ 2w
batsy Nice! I recently found the Lee bio of Woolf too and was thrilled 💚 2w
andrew61 Fantastic books Paula. I read the Virginia wolf years ago , brilliant, so the will Catherine biog by her would be very interesting. Love penelope lively so will try and find that as well. 2w
86 likes7 comments
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Part 1 of my book haul. On my way to owning all the Janet Frame books - and a Brookner (of course) a Barry (haven‘t read him yet) a couple of literary reviews…

Ruthiella Nice! I wonder if I should give Frame‘s fiction a try...🤔 2w
LeahBergen That‘s one of the unread Brookners I own, too. I like to know I have a little stash. 😆 2w
Centique @Ruthiella I‘ve only read two but I remember loving Faces in the Water. 2w
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Centique @LeahBergen I‘ve learnt that you always need a Brookner or a Pym waiting on your shelves! 💕 2w
Cathythoughts I love Brookner ❤️ 2w
TrishB Great selection 👍🏻 2w
Centique @Cathythoughts thank you Cathy and Trish 😘 @TrishB 2w
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Hard To Find Books (Auckland) | Auckland, New Zealand (Bookstore)
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First book shop I‘ve visited since lock down relaxed and it was WONDERFUL. Honestly so so many books all sorted into different genre rooms, I found so many that I wanted. This is a second hand bookshop and the prices were very reasonable if you‘re ever in Auckland. Book haul to come…

xicanti I used to go to a place in Onehunga with the same name! I wonder if they‘ve relocated or opened a second store? 2w
Centique @xicanti I used to go to that one too, I worked in Onehunga for a couple of years. It looks like it has closed. I think you‘re right this might be their new site. It‘s much bigger! 2w
Cathythoughts Looks great 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2w
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TrishB This looks wonderful. 2w
Reggie What a nice looking bookstore. 2w
batsy Looks so lovely! 2w
MaureenMc 💕 I hope to visit Auckland one day. 😊 2w
Centique @Reggie it was glorious. Would make a good haunted house experience too with all its rooms! 2w
Centique @MaureenMc I would love to meet you if you do! 2w
101 likes9 comments
Lolly Willowes | Sylvia Townsend Warner
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Delightful and then delightfully wicked. I‘d have enjoyed it just for the brilliant Lolly; her spinsterhood and wistful nostalgia for the independence of childhood and the home where she could explore nature. In later life Lolly throws caution to the wind, undoes the ties that bind and creates a new home. I fell in love with her new life in Great Mop and enjoyed her fight to keep it. Beautifully written with a feminist barb in its tail.

Cathythoughts Great review 👍🏻❤️ 2w
BarbaraBB Great read indeed! 2w
batsy Fab review! I love Lolly and I'm so glad you enjoyed it, too 💕 2w
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erzascarletbookgasm Lovely review! 💛 I hope to get to this next year 😄 2w
merelybookish Excellent review! It's hard not to fall for Lolly! 💚🧙 2w
LeahBergen Lovely review! I enjoyed this one, too. 😊 2w
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A Walk in the Woods | Bill Bryson
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Well turns out I do like me some grumpy old men getting lost in the woods. If you‘re a Bryson fan already, which I am, you‘re going to like this book. Brysons love of history and his endless “Did you know?” facts keep this book interesting. His arguments and peeves with his hiking mate Katz, keep it humorous. And he has a love for this trail and the wilderness. But this is as much about when we give up as when we push through. Very entertaining.

Centique PS that‘s a tree from the park I was in the other day. No idea what it is! 3w
TrishB Lovely review ♥️ as I seem to be very quickly turning into the grumpy old woman maybe I need to read! 3w
Scochrane26 One of my all-time favorite books. 3w
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BarbaraTheBibliophage I‘m not a fan of his other books, but I did like this one. And that tree is fabulous! Looks like it has faces .. 👀 3w
mabell This is one of my favorites! I love it when he takes the shoelaces. So petty but rather hilarious 😆 3w
Centique @TrishB ha ha! Me too! 2w
Centique @BarbaraTheBibliophage I love the markings in trees so much. I really should learn more about them so I could name them! 2w
Centique @mabell I cracked up at that too! 2w
Reggie Nice review! That tree looks like one of those fairy trees where at night they all come out of it. 2w
Centique @Reggie I love it! You just know I was the 6 year old determined to find where the fairies were living in the garden. But imagine me in tshirt and torn jeans with grass stains, properly checking up all the trees, happy with spiders in my hair, none of the flouncy dress stuff. 😂😂 2w
76 likes10 comments
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This was the book I needed to read. Green‘s musings on our current age starts out humorous & whimsical & gets solidly deeper & more thoughtful (at one point made me cry). His self deprecating voice, his shared vulnerability, was incredibly touching & I thought hard about meaning & humanity‘s impact on the earth. This is a book I have to buy so I can share some essays with my daughter - but I think I need to hear his voice again myself 😍 5 stars.

squirrelbrain I loved this one too. I listened to it on audio, which was so good, but I think a hard copy would be good to dip into again and again…. 3w
TrishB My daughter has one in hard copy and loves it. 3w
Flaneurette Love this review and I so agree! I have zero interest in reading his fiction but I love these sort of essays, kind of reminds me of This American Life back in the day. My 12 yr old daughter listened to the audio with me and she really liked it too 3w
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Centique @squirrelbrain that‘s exactly how I feel! @TrishB I‘m so happy your daughter loves it. I hope mine will 🤞🤞 3w
Centique @Flaneurette thank you! That‘s great that your daughter loved it. My son is nearly 12 so maybe I could share it with him too. 3w
Nute I am now considering this book because of this review. 3w
Centique @Nute oooh I hope so. There are a couple of essays that might seem too much about pop culture, but he just gets deeper and deeper as it goes on. I really think you‘d like it! 2w
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A sweet novella set in a near future where humans are building a more sustainable, spiritual way of living on the earth following some kind of unmentioned upheaval. Oh and sentient robots who live like nomads in the bush.
As someone else said this is a hug of a book. Sometimes I found the invented gods and spirituality a little twee but it was so well intentioned it didn‘t matter.
And more Spring photos from the park by the hospital.

TrishB Beautiful ♥️ 3w
Cathythoughts 💚 gorgeous 3w
Reggie Spring is gorgeous over there. 3w
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Centique @Reggie we pay for it with rain and bugs and humidity - but yes, I love it. 😍 PS if you didn‘t get my email I am using BD to send you a couple of books as a Christmas present. They are DIFFERENT to what I normally send you xxx 3w
Reggie @Centique I‘m so sorry, I did get your email. I emailed you back but maybe mine didn‘t make it. It discusses Jacinda Ardern, my grandmother at one time being a hoarder, and that I have also sent you books via BD. And that I was gonna send you a cookie pie via Moustaches but our currencies don‘t translate to each other. 💔 Happy holidays from me Paula! ❤️ 3w
Centique @Reggie oh damn, that sounds like a good email! I looked in my spam folder but no luck. Technology is out to get me today 🤷🏻‍♀️ I‘ll send you my work email address too just in case that one works better. 💕Happy holidays from me too. 💕 3w
Reggie Hey, Paula, I resent that email to the new address at work today so here‘s to hoping! 🤞🏼 3w
Reggie Re sent not resent lol 3w
Centique @Reggie 😂😂😂 Got it! And replied, rather lengthily 😜 3w
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This is what Spring looks like - no filter. It‘s very green here at the moment!

I was sitting in the park with one eye on the hospital there, (that‘s an old hospital building with a huge incinerator, very Dickensian but no longer in use) waiting for #hiselderliness to finish his appointment. (Two and a half hours!) And listening to this book by John Green which is wonderful.

Centique His Elderliness needs another operation but he‘s pretty good. His body needs a lot of maintenance these days, poor thing. No book reading unfortunately. He did ask me why the dogs in the park don‘t have to wear face masks. He thought he was pretty cheeky with that one 😜 1mo
Cathythoughts Spring looks lovely there 💚.. that is pretty funny from your Dad 🐶 😷😁 1mo
CarolynM Looks like a beautiful day. It's great His Elderliness still has his sense of humour. Sending love to you both💕 1mo
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TrishB Sending hugs to you. He‘s still got his sense of humour ♥️😁 1mo
batsy Looks gorgeous! Lots of love and strength to His Elderliness and you 💚 1mo
erzascarletbookgasm Lovely day! Best wishes to His Elderliness 💛 1mo
squirrelbrain Looks gorgeous there - love the comment from His Elderliness, so funny! 🐶 😷 1mo
Megabooks Wow! So beautiful! Hope his elderliness is okay. 💜 just saw your continuation. I hope he has a safe and uneventful operation and smooth recovery. 💕 (edited) 1mo
AlaMich Glad to hear he is so chipper! 1mo
Cinfhen Wow, spring looks heavenly by you!! Sorry your dad needs another surgery but I‘m so happy you were able to spend time with him today!!! 1mo
AmyG Hope all goes well with His Elderliness (ha). 1mo
Smrloomis Wishing him a safe operation & smooth recovery! 1mo
MaureenMc 💗💗💗 1mo
LeahBergen I love his dog comment! 😆 I hope everything went well for him today. ❤️❤️ 1mo
Reggie Lol, HisElderliness. Hoping nothing but good things for him and you, my friend. ❤️. Lovely spring pic! 1mo
Bookzombie Love how green everything is. I hope all goes well for His Elderliness and you as well! 💕💕 1mo
Centique @Reggie thank you Reggie! Hey I sent you an email yesterday, did you get it? 💕 1mo
Centique @Bookzombie thank you Margie 😘 1mo
merelybookish Beautiful! 💚Such a contrast to the brown around me. Have wondered about your dad so glad to get an update! 1mo
84 likes20 comments
Aue | Becky Manawatu
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Whoa. That was brutal. This debut novel is full of heart and terrific characters but it is not for the faint hearted.
Arama and Taukiri have lost their parents. Taukiri drops his little brother to live at their aunties and disappears. We then follow Ari and Tauk‘s journeys - and also jump back to the past to Toko and Jade whose stories will eventually converge with the young boys. This is a story of gang violence and domestic violence and ⬇️

Centique The difficulties of escaping. It‘s written in a simple language suited to the young protagonists but carries an emotional impact far weightier than that. Both a propulsive read and a thought provoking one - Manawatu peers with bright eyes into dark places and shows us the unravelling of some very violent minds. 1mo
Cinfhen What a gorgeous review and photo 1mo
TrishB Fab review 👍🏻 1mo
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Cathythoughts Great review ! Sounds really good 1mo
Centique @Cinfhen thank you lovely 😘 and lovely @TrishB 1mo
Centique @Cathythoughts I think you might like this one Cathy - heart breaking though 💕 1mo
squirrelbrain Great review - sounds like a great read, if tough. 1mo
CarolynM Great review, as always. How are things where you are? 1mo
Centique @CarolynM well in the weirdness of the world, we‘ve got more Covid than we‘ve ever had before but we‘re beginning to relax restrictions a bit 🤷🏻‍♀️ Auckland‘s doing pretty well with vaccinations so we‘re hoping to get retail open next week. The real worry is some of the communities with low vax rates - so crossing all the fingers etc that the outreaches will make a difference. But in ourselves we‘re doing ok. How are you going? 1mo
Centique @squirrelbrain thank you Helen 😘 Hope you are well in your corner of the world 1mo
CarolynM It's been nice to be a bit social again, but I'm still feeling apprehensive about being around too many people! 1mo
squirrelbrain All good here thanks for asking Paula! Although, pretty similar to you; more COVID cases than there‘s *ever* been but hardly any restrictions now…. 🤷‍♀️ 1mo
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Owls Do Cry | Janet Frame
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Frame didn‘t think of this as a novel, she called it a collection of scenes. You have glimpses into the lives of the Withers family, poor and chaotic but kind and loving. Living on the edge of society, fossicking in the local dump for a treasure of a book or a toy. We see them as children and again as adults, post trauma, when one sister, Daphne, has been institutionalised. It‘s a book of brilliant and startling writing. ⬇️

Centique But it is difficult at times - each character is at times overcome by sensation and metaphors of pain and loss leap up to overwhelm us and them. Some of the saddest, most human moments I‘ve ever read and worth persevering through the harder to comprehend pieces. ⬇️ (edited) 1mo
Centique This was her first book and this is my first edition that my husband bought me as a birthday gift many years ago 😍 Very precious 💕 1mo
TrishB Lovely review ♥️ 1mo
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LeahBergen Great review and what a lovely cover! 1mo
Ruthiella How autobiographical do you reckon this is? 1mo
Centique @Ruthiella she would always say it wasn‘t autobiographical but it was close enough to upset her brother and sister a bit 😬 It is really moving when you read it knowing her background, it feels like she was exorcising some of her own demons 💔 1mo
Reggie This sounds rough. Great review, though. 1mo
CarolynM Lovely review. You gifted me a copy some time ago. I'm resolved to read it soon🙂 1mo
Centique @CarolynM I hope you enjoy it - although enjoy might be the wrong word! 1mo
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Emma | Jane Austen, James Kinsley, Adela Pinch
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In an attempt to make lockdown weekends more interesting my daughter and I had an English themed afternoon, watched Emma and drank Pimms and ate cucumber sandwiches. This adaptation of Emma was really good I thought - a great way to introduce a teenager to Austen. I‘m not sure our Pimms cocktails were authentic though! We mixed it with lemonade and mint and sliced strawberries- let me know if you‘re a Pimms drinker how you would do it?

CarolynM That sounds delightful! Pimms is delicious but dangerous🥴 It's been a while since I made it, but I used to put in slices of orange, lemon and apple and bruised lemon balm leaves. 1mo
wanderinglynn For the traditional, along with mint (or borage) and strawberries, I add orange slices and cucumber. You can also try it with carbonated lemonade or Sprite/7UP/lemon-lime soda, Ginger ale or ginger beer, or lemon juice (with our without sugar). Pimm‘s is great in that it‘s easy to try different flavors. I‘m also a fan of the blackberry & elderflower Pimm‘s and the cherry Pimm‘s punch. 1mo
LeahBergen That sounds like a lovely day! 1mo
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Centique @CarolynM @wanderinglynn excellent! I am screenshotting those ideas so I can try them! 1mo
Cathythoughts That sounds perfect 👌🏻 I‘d love to see the movie 1mo
TrishB Orange, cucumber and strawberries 😁 that sounds like a fab day! 1mo
TrishB I love that you had cucumber sandwiches! You‘ll be ready for Buckingham Palace! 1mo
Centique @LeahBergen @Cathythoughts thank you lovely ladies 😘 1mo
Centique @TrishB orange would be fantastic I reckon 😍 Yes although my cucumber sandwiches were not very dainty! 1mo
MaureenMc Wish I could have joined you! 😁 1mo
Reggie This sounds lovely. And I had no idea what Pimms was. I had to Google it. Lol nice. 1mo
Centique @MaureenMc me too! 1mo
Centique @Reggie we used to be so English leaning in our sensibilities here that id hear of all the English delicacies and imagine them long before I ever saw them in a shop! This was so different to what I‘d imagined. Almost has a cola taste to it. I‘m going to enjoy experimenting! 1mo
80 likes13 comments
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So I did a chat with Shawn about this book on his YouTube channel if anyone is interested in watching me gush and gesticulate 😄. (You should also follow Shawn, he has strong opinions which makes for interesting reviews but he‘s also smart and kind and thoughtful) @shawnmooney


rockpools Oh that‘s fun! And so nice to see you 😊. I‘m quite sold on the book as well… 1mo
Centique @rockpools thank you! I‘m getting braver in my old age 😜 1mo
LeahBergen Oh, that @shawnmooney ! ❤️❤️❤️ I can‘t wait to watch. 😘 1mo
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Reggie Paula, you‘re such a great guest. This was interesting and I can‘t wait to hear about the Frame on the podcast. 1mo
batsy Ooh! I'm looking forward to watching ❤️ 1mo
Centique @LeahBergen I asked him when he‘ll get you on there! 😘 1mo
Centique @Reggie thank you my friend! It‘s funny to see myself pulling faces as I speak 🤪😂 Yes I have to prep for my talk with Jenny on that one! 1mo
Centique @batsy and Margot is on there too! I just watched her talk about A Jest of God and she‘s inspired me again to read it @merelybookish 1mo
merelybookish It was so fun to see you Paula! It's like @shawnmooney is bringing us all a bit closer together! 🥰 And @batsy, I mentioned #spinsterlit and felt afterwards I should have credited you with coining the term. 1mo
merelybookish @Reggie I listened to you on Reading Envy. I have no interest in horror but it was fun to hear you talk about it. 🙂 1mo
Reggie @merelybookish ☺️thanks! I‘m sorry I didn‘t even know you were on here because I saw Centique and just fast forwarded to watch her only. Lol, but I went back now and you did great. I like that you mentioned Scott and Suba. Even though reading Laurence isn‘t my thing I like to read ya‘lls comments for the passion of reading something ya‘ll have. Same with the reading the Shakespeare read along. Same with Sprainedbrain and her pemberlitten crew👇🏼 1mo
Reggie I may never have read Jane Austen but seeing DebinHawaii make a meme collage and a haiku chapter roundup because she feels passionately about it makes my day. Such is the allure of Litsy for me. Lol great job, Margot, is what I meant to say. 1mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage Love it!! We both got to be his guest. I need to do better about BookTube listening! 3w
Centique @BarbaraTheBibliophage I am going to go watch yours too! I struggle to keep up with book tube and podcasts, but now that I‘ve kind of “met” Shawn, and liked him so much, I‘m trying to watch all of his. 2w
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Centique #thestruggleisreal Now that I‘m not driving as much, my podcast / audiobook time is limited. And BookTube even more so … not enough hours in the day!! 2w
55 likes15 comments
Howards End | E.M. Forster
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It may be timing and my mood but in the middle of this book I was finding Forster sanctimonious and heavy handed in his philosophising. And of course the unchecked imperialism can make you cringe. But the writing is glorious, the setting and characters spell binding and then the ending is quite wonderful when he upturns the apple cart. Then Forster shows he does have insight into misogyny and the perils of patriarchy. ⬇️

Centique He shows that he sees the problems of class and poverty, recognises some of the injustice and the ineffectiveness of charity - but it feels he comes down on the side of upholding the system. Poor Leonard who Forster thinks cannot raise his mind without the full background of education and intellectualism of the Schlegles. 1mo
Centique Anyway - just a few immediate thoughts. Anyone who has done a deeper read please enlighten me if I‘ve missed something 🙏 1mo
TrishB Great review 👍🏻 1mo
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Ruthiella I reread (on audio mostly) this last year because I wanted to compare it to On Beauty by Zadie Smith. What I noticed was how the Schlagels are also criticized in the text. I didn‘t remember that from my first read (which was probably over 20 years ago). 1mo
Centique @Ruthiella yes! In my head they had been perfect. But I think my memory was probably based on the movie and not the book. (Over 20 years ago too!) 1mo
Centique @Ruthiella it was the perfect cast though. Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins! 1mo
Centique @TrishB thank you Trish 😘 1mo
batsy Great review. I love this book quite a bit because it's beautiful, but you're right in that the underlying imperialism and maybe a kind of traditional class consciousness? makes it somewhat problematic (but interesting stuff to mull over!) 1mo
Centique @batsy you‘re so right about the class consciousness. And yes I enjoyed mulling it all over too! I think I‘ll read it again next time and be able to glide through it a bit better knowing I‘ve had some conversations about those things. When you love historical fiction (like we do!) it‘s inevitable I know. 1mo
Cinfhen Hi!!!! I just got to see you on @shawnmooney #BookBites 😍🥳🤩Such a treat!!! You‘re beautiful and so endearing!!! That was FUN!!! 🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰 1mo
Centique @Cinfhen oh you‘re so sweet to me! My hub helped me set the zoom so it was kind on wrinkles 😜😜😜 Are you going to go on Shawn‘s channel? I hope so!! 1mo
77 likes2 stack adds11 comments
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I‘ve spent two weeks inside this book, two weeks in Janet Frame‘s life and I‘m going to miss walking alongside her. An incredible woman, a sensitive, imaginative writer - her story has bleakness and then vibrant joys and loves. As a biography is it THOROUGH. Written with her permission, King is careful not to indulge in his own analysis,but quotes from miles of correspondence with others, where she, and they, comment on and critique each other.

Centique Illustration of Jacob wrestling with the Angel by Gustav Dore. 2mo
rockpools Lovely review. 2mo
LeahBergen What a great review! 2mo
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Ruthiella Oooh! I‘ll have to check this out. 2mo
Centique @Ruthiella there is a lot about moving house (she moves about forty times in her life) and catching planes and complaining about street noise etc etc. And a lot about her friends and family. Very little about the times inside institutions. Just so I haven‘t misled you! I think the first half has the really interesting parts. 2mo
Ruthiella @Centique Thanks for the heads up! I‘m not that interested in her time spent in the hospital, so that‘s OK. I just find her an interesting person. I‘d like to think we could have been friends, though I‘m not half as smart as she was! (edited) 2mo
Centique @Ruthiella oh yes I‘m sure you would have been friends! She was so annoyed at the grim fascination people had with her hospital time - especially book reviews and journalists tying it to her “genius” - I think that‘s why King wrote the book to show how much more there was to her life. 2mo
Reggie From the comments I gather I‘m not suppose to get stuck on her institutionalizations but she was scheduled for a lobotomy that got cancelled because she won an award for her debut fiction! (Wikipedia) That‘s wild. Nice review. 2mo
Centique @Reggie it is amazing isn‘t it? I think I‘m going to talk about this with Jenny myself in a few weeks. 💕💕 2mo
batsy Lovely, thoughtful review! I've been interested to read Frame since I read a fantastic essay about her a long time ago in Poets & Writers. 2mo
Centique @batsy I think you‘d like her! I‘m just rereading Owls Do Cry, her first novel, which is so full of metaphor and imagery 😍 2mo
Suet624 I‘m embarrassed to say I don‘t know who this woman is but now you‘ve made me want to know her! 2mo
Cathythoughts I‘ve never heard of this writer either. Great review.. wonderful title 💫💫💫 2mo
Centique @Suet624 @Cathythoughts oh I‘m glad I piqued your interests. She‘s actually most famous for her autobiography of which a film was made (it‘s a trilogy but is often collected into one volume) 2mo
Suet624 Oh, apparently I stacked your recommended book already, probably due to your intriguing review four years ago. 🥰 2mo
74 likes16 comments
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Currently reading this #chunkster. I‘m loving it though; I love Janet Frame and she had an incredible life, spending most of her twenties in mental hospitals - around 1945 - 1955 which was a dark time for treating mental health issues.

PS an update on #hiselderliness. I still can‘t see him as we are in lockdown but he is well cared for in his village. He isn‘t able to read since his latest hospitalisation unfortunately. ⬇️

Centique He can‘t concentrate he says. He is still causing mischief though and offering to race the other residents on walkers to the lunch room 😜 2mo
Trashcanman 😘❤️ 2mo
Centique @Trashcanman 😘 love back at ya George 2mo
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LeahBergen And he probably beats them there, too! 💗💗💗 2mo
Centique @LeahBergen 😘 he probably does! 2mo
Ruthiella I really enjoyed my slow read of this earlier this year. 😀 2mo
Centique @Ruthiella oh my goodness! I didn‘t think anybody else here was a fan of Janet Frame. So glad to hear it 💕 2mo
MaureenMc Happy to hear your father is doing well. 💕😊 2mo
Ruthiella I don‘t think I would like her fiction but I did love her autobiography. 2mo
Megabooks Sending love to you and His Elderliness! 2mo
Anna40 Read all her books in my 20s. Loved her 😊 2mo
batsy Must be tough to be unable to see your dad but I'm glad to hear he's in high spirits 💕 2mo
CarolynM Sending love to you, fellow sufferer in lockdown💕 I don't know about you, but I'm so over it. I'm glad to hear your dad us keeping his spirits up. Hope we can all see family again soon. 2mo
Centique @Megabooks thank you Meg! 😘 2mo
Centique @MaureenMc thank you Maureen! 😘 2mo
Centique @Anna40 yay another fan! I still have three or four books to get to 💕 2mo
Centique @batsy thank you Suba. He went for his first walk outside in the village grounds today (he had a toe amputated 7 weeks ago to add to his ailments) so that was positive. 👍💕 2mo
Centique @CarolynM oh I know right?! 💕 We‘ve had a little bit of a loosening so we can get takeaways now and we‘re allowed to catch up with one other bubble outdoors for a “socially distanced picnic”. That‘s made this past week better but who knows what next week will bring? Certainly not getting out of lockdown anytime soon. Hopefully things improve for you guys 🤞🤞🤞 2mo
batsy @Centique I'm sorry to hear he had to go through that. I hope he continues to improve and feel better ❤️ 2mo
AlaMich I‘m glad to hear your dad seems to be adjusting well to his new home. Fingers crossed that you can see him soon! 1mo
Centique @AlaMich thank you Lainie. How are you doing? I miss seeing your posts lately but I‘m glad you‘re still popping in 💕 1mo
AlaMich @Centique I‘m fine, thank you. But I envy you your impending warmer weather…Chicago in winter does not joke around. 🥶 1mo
Centique @AlaMich ive heard that! I visited Chicago a couple of times in late summer and it was one of my favourite places. I‘d love to see it in snow - but maybe from inside a heated car! 1mo
65 likes23 comments
Ancillary Sword | Ann Leckie
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AI, space stations, interplanetary gates, a world weary soldier disgusted by the privileged society that has colonised most of the known universes - what‘s not to love? This is the sequel to Ancillary Justice and its great. Great world building, great characters, you can feel the chess pieces moving into place for the big finale but it‘s still highly enjoyable. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Reggie I love that you live sci-fi. I hope to tackle the Becky Chambers quartet at the beginning of the New Year. 2mo
Centique @Reggie I‘m such a rebel going from history to sci fi and back again 😂😂 I hope you like the Becky Chambers. I love them - I think the first one has a bit of work to do to set up the universe and the various species - then after that it‘s like Chambers just has fun creating stories and great characters all over her universe. So much found family joy in them 😍 2mo
Reggie Hey Paula, just checking in. Ya‘ll doing ok? His Elderliness ok? Hope you‘re doing ok and reading some good stuff. 2mo
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Centique @Reggie thanks for checking in Reggie! 💕 We just sold Dads house so I‘ve been busy getting that cleared out. He‘s doing ok but getting too frail for the part of the village he‘s in and so he‘s on the waiting list to go into the full care side of the village. 2mo
Reggie That‘s a lot of stuff to do. I hope it goes by quick for you. And I hope His Elderliness is making friends and not being lonely. Although from everything you‘ve told us he sounds like a social creature. ❤️sending good thoughts. 2mo
Centique @Reggie 😘💕 2mo
75 likes6 comments
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I really enjoyed this - it‘s a fairly simple mystery where the beauty is in the setting and the telling. A Benedictine monastery in medieval times is a comforting escape at these moment! Cadfael is a wonderful character and an innovative sleuth - he doesn‘t have modern tools or theories and I enjoyed the way Peters uses other things like community and shared beliefs to flush out clues. I have coincidentally read two books in a row set in Wales. ⬇️

Centique Funnily enough ancestry.com also just updated my results to let me know I‘m a third Welsh. More Welsh than anything else so I should read some more books from Wales! 2mo
batsy I really enjoyed this and the subsequent Brother Cadfael mysteries I read 💜 I keep meaning to continue 😆 2mo
merelybookish Lots of fun Welsh folklore to explore! 2mo
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Ruthiella I also really liked this book and meant to continue in the series....but haven‘t yet. So many books, so little time. 2mo
LeahBergen I enjoyed this, too (and the following 4 or 5 that I read)! 2mo
Centique @batsy @LeahBergen I have so many series that I get 5 books into and no further - something about the number 5 maybe? 😝 with tv series it‘s more like two seasons. I am #notacompletist 2mo
Centique @Ruthiella that should be our Litsy anthem! So true. 2mo
Centique @merelybookish yes! I will be looking for good books so if you come across anything, do let me know 😘 2mo
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416 pages is a break neck speed at which to cover 500 years of history, so I‘m still getting my Maximillians mixed up with my Ferdinands (so to speak) but this was a great overview of a part of history I knew little about. I‘ll definitely need to follow this up with other European history books in years to come - hopefully some of it will bed down in my brain until then.

LeahBergen Those Hapsburgs were a crazy bunch, weren‘t they? 😆 2mo
Centique @LeahBergen I‘m thinking George R R Martin was inspired by a few of them! 😳😳 2mo
LeahBergen I think you‘re right! 😆 2mo
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Owl Service (UK) | Alan Garner
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I loved this. It‘s a kids book, but also an enjoyable couple of hours as an adult read. Just the right amount of spooky for me so this could be a good Halloween read. The characters are the stars here, and their changes and interactions drive the narrative more than a propulsive plot. Events are less neatly explained than usual for a children‘s book which is part of its delight. Do we really know what is happening? ⬇️

Centique Gwyn is wonderful, his humor upending haunted house stereotypes and keeping things unpredictable. I‘d need to explain some of the jokes and tensions to my 11yo (eg the class differences) so it may be a book better read together with your kids. 2mo
Centique That‘s a native NZ owl, called a ruru. 🦉🦉🦉 2mo
Texreader What a great review and a darling owl! 2mo
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CarolynM I read this as a child (probably 10 or 11) and loved it. Even then it wasn't my usual sort of book (I've never been into spooky, and I left magic behind with the Faraway Tree) so I think that goes to show how good it is. 2mo
LeahBergen I first read this only a few years ago and thought it was wonderful! Great review. 🦉 2mo
rockpools This might have to be my nod to October spookiness. Thanks Paula 🦉 2mo
Centique @CarolynM it‘s so good. I liked Gwyn so much, I can easily see myself reading this many times, a bit like The Summer Book. 2mo
Centique @Texreader thank you! They are lovely owls and they are often called “morepork” as that‘s what their call sounds like they‘re saying! 2mo
Centique @LeahBergen thank you Leah 😘 2mo
Centique @rockpools oooh I hope you like it! 😘 2mo
Jeg I read this many many years ago and I remember I loved it. 2mo
batsy This is one of my favourites! So glad you enjoyed it 💜 It has a great unsettling atmosphere. 2mo
Centique @Jeg I‘m among a wonderful group of fans here😍 2mo
Centique @batsy it sure does! I do love a good creepy atmosphere 💀💀💀 2mo
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Bug Week: & Other Stories | Airini Beautrais
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I don‘t often read brand new fiction or short story collections but this just won a major NZ fiction prize so I thought I would give it a go. Beautrais writing style really appeals. Her stories are character driven and within moments of each story I was captivated. The people, places and stories felt strangely recognisable - maybe that‘s the impact of reading a NZ writer for a change. Behind the seemingly ordinary are themes of ⬇️

Centique misogyny, power and abuse, broken relationships and personalities who don‘t quite fit in. While most are quirky and tender, a few are deeply disturbing. There are minimal amounts of bugs 😋 3mo
Centique I was thinking this is the sort of book @ClairesReads would read and there you are stacking it ☺️👋👋 I‘ll be so interested to hear your thoughts when you get to it. 3mo
CarolynM Definitely stacking this one🙂 3mo
Reggie This sounds good. 3mo
ClairesReads @Centique haha how about that! I‘ve got a copy sitting on my shelf- you reminded me about how much I want to read it! 3mo
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The Line of Beauty: A Novel | Alan Hollinghurst
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It‘s the 80s and Nick Guest is a young intellectual and discerning aesthete, fresh from Oxford, awed by his friend Toby‘s family and upper class home filled with art and antiques where he is a lodger. Toby‘s father is an MP in the Thatcher government and the home hosts many of the privileged and powerful. Nick seems to be appreciated by the family for his wits and his homosexuality is known and he hopes, accepted. We follow Nick through his ⬇️

Centique relationships with the family and his lovers, where he is always walking a line between desire and deference to others. A book about identity, class and sexuality, power and greed. Hollinghurst does an amazing job of capturing the tone and detail of this time and this group of people. So many odious characters pinned to the page in all their awfulness. ⬇️ 3mo
Centique This won the Booker in 2004. The additional picture is an example of the Ogee line used in architecture - one of a few references to a “line of beauty” in the book. 3mo
Megabooks Great review! 3mo
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Ruthiella This has long been on my list! 3mo
Centique @Megabooks thank you! 3mo
Centique @Ruthiella you‘ll need to be in the mood for a chunkster, I should have mentioned that! I do like a good 500 pager now and then though 😋 3mo
LeahBergen Fab review! 👏🏻 3mo
Ruthiella @Centique Good to know! I don‘t mind long, however, if the contents justify the length. 3mo
Ruthiella @Centique Good to know! I don‘t mind long, however, if the contents justify the length. 3mo
Reggie Have you seen the series made of this book? I remember watching it and being destroyed in the end. I‘ve always wanted to read him but I get the sense he writes mood-killer, queer, books. 3mo
shawnmooney My favorite of his! 3mo
Centique @Reggie I haven‘t watched the series but I looked at the cast and it looks pretty good! Yes, the last scene just hurt 😣 this is the first book of his I‘ve read. I‘d definitely read more but it is slow moving and there are so many awful people, it could be hard going. I think if you haven‘t experienced the whole English class thing (like me) it‘s pretty fascinating from an outsiders point of view. 3mo
batsy Brilliant review. I've always wanted to read him and to start with this one. 3mo
Billypar Great review! I really liked "So many odious characters pinned to the page in all their awfulness." I've definitely read novels with that description, with maybe more of them taking place in the 80s than would be expected by chance? ? 3mo
Centique @batsy thank you 😘 3mo
Centique @Billypar thank you Vinny! I was trying to figure out why I can enjoy a novel full of awful people and I think it‘s because they have been captured and are now shown to everyone. What is it about the 80s huh? The decade of hypocrisy I guess. 3mo
CarolynM Great review. I loved this too, one of my favourites in the year I read it (3 years ago, maybe?) I want to read all his books, I've only read this and the latest one 3mo
Centique @CarolynM ooh I see I already have it stacked. It looks very good! 3mo
Rissreads It‘s on my shelf staring at me but I‘m not sure why I never get to it? @MrsMalaprop liked it if I remember right. Sorry I haven‘t been in touch, have been off social media for awhile. Lots going on which I will tell you about when I get to writing you a proper letter! Sorry to hear your Dads not doing great. Much love xxx 1mo
Centique @Rissreads I have missed seeing you around! I can understand the need for a social media break though. These are crazy times. It would be so lovely to get a letter 💕 Hope you and your family are doing ok xxx 1mo
MrsMalaprop @Rissreads Yes, I loved this. We did it for Book Club years ago. The other of his I read is 1mo
77 likes1 stack add21 comments
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Currently reading a history book, a modern classic and an MG adventure - so of course the pleasure of reading about Morrison Crow (and Fenestra the Magnificat!) won the race.
The bizarre thing about this third book in the trilogy is that it was written pre Covid and yet includes an epidemic, quarantines, public protests and community divisions. Prescient much? 😬 But such a fun ride. This world is a lovely place to spend a couple of days.

CarolynM Oh dear! That sounds a bit too much like real life😬 3mo
Centique @CarolynM the benefit here is that a bit of magic and some plucky kids Solve Everything. That felt quite cathartic. 🙂 I hope you‘re going ok Carolyn. 💕 3mo
Reggie I don‘t know why I find that so funny. I shouldn‘t because hospitals are so full in some places here they‘re turning away people. And then I started a pandemic book earlier where they gave the U.S. credit for taking it serious. To which I thought, Oh this MUST be fiction. Please forgive the sarcasm. The world could use some plucky, magical, kids about now. 3mo
Centique @Reggie I get ya 💕 You get to a point you either cry or get sarcastic. And I‘ve done both. 😬 I should clarify that the epidemic in the book is entirely different and of course it‘s MG so everything can be solved. I wish for a fantasy world myself where things were so easy. 3mo
72 likes1 stack add4 comments
Chronicle in Stone | Ismail Kadare
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I chose something random from my TBR and this was a FIND. Ismail Kadare won the inaugural Man Booker International for his body of work. This is from 1977.
The structure moves from a boys description of his life in a stony city in Albania, to pages that are random sentences from the local paper (Chronicle). You get this dreamy boy communing with the city and nature while he mentions glimpses of the adult world. They often don‘t make sense, ⬇️

Centique he often misinterprets them. His home is a hub of activity with local characters coming and going who can be very funny. But the adult world grows more and more macabre as WW2 enters.
This is genius, it‘s like watching a quirky dreamy coming of age novel warp and twist and morph into a horror novel. DARK but enlightening.
Centique @Reggie this might appeal to you. It‘s not all that historical, no explanations of what‘s actually happening - just this child‘s view of how things around him get stranger and stranger. 3mo
BookwormM Sounds great 3mo
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Freespirit Sounds interesting! 3mo
Reggie Sounds great. Stacked and I doubt I‘ll find it but am going to a couple of bookstores in the next couple of days and if I find it I‘ll pick it up. 3mo
Cinfhen Just thinking about you💕💕How‘s my favorite reviewer, #HisElderliness feeling??? 3mo
Centique @Cinfhen he‘s doing better thank you lovely. We can‘t see him yet as we‘re in our highest lockdown level but he‘s back in his village, hobbling about with a bandaged foot. He‘s not allowed to leave his apartment (really just 3 rooms) so he‘s bored silly at the moment. But we can ring him now thank goodness. Hopefully next week we‘ll get to a lower level and he can get out into the common areas and meet people. 3mo
Centique @Cinfhen how are you doing? 3mo
Cinfhen I‘m glad to hear your dad is physically improving but so sorry to hear about your current lockdown situation 😔sending much love ❤️ 3mo
Cinfhen No complaints xxxx 3mo
Centique @Cinfhen #hiselderliness would say “can‘t complain. Cos nobody listens” 😘😘 3mo
Cinfhen 😜Truth , but luckily I‘m seeing brighter days and feeling more like myself 🙏🏻 3mo
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The Ruby in the Smoke | Philip Pullman
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A random find in a charity shop called to me from my shelves this week. Its an engaging easy read and just what I needed. They call it YA historical fiction. It‘s a mystery with a great creepy Victorian feel and some really grim villains - published in 1985 - there are a few cringey moments but it feels like Pullman was trying to pull away from cultural stereotypes (not quite making it) Highly enjoyable - would make a light creepy October read

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Latecomers | Anita Brookner
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So it seems the books that best fit my mood right now are very introspective and philosophise about family and relationships. I loved this. I think @Cathythoughts put this on my radar years ago!
Hartmann and Fibich were orphans evacuated from Germany in WW2. We meet them as old men examining their lives. Although opposites in temperament and outlook they have been bonded in friendship, leant upon each other for life. ⬇️

Centique Brookner has a way of examining small lives and weaknesses as well as strengths while giving her characters dignity and purpose. Although a lot of this book is about coping with depression, it is ultimately hopeful. Do be aware there is no plot or excitement, it really is like a psychological study of friends and family. ⬇️ 3mo
Centique The sculpture in the background is from our naval museum - depicting a WW2 catastrophe at sea. (Not happy but befitting!) 3mo
EvieBee I just love Anita. She‘s so quietly loud. 3mo
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LeahBergen What a lovely review. I‘m feeling the urge for an Anita Brookner in my near future. 😁 3mo
Soubhiville Wow that sculpture gives me chills. 3mo
Centique @EvieBee what a perfect way to describe her! 😍 3mo
Centique @LeahBergen thank you Leah. I think Brookner and Pym have become my quiet book saviours for dark times. They give me that light breaking through 🌤 3mo
Centique @Soubhiville me too - it‘s so sad and it‘s right at the end of walking through all this WW2 memorabilia in a quiet contemplative space. 3mo
Cathythoughts Yes I remember loving this one … I‘ve always felt like a bit of a ‘ latecomer‘ myself… such a poignant story ❤️ 3mo
72 likes9 comments
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Hi @Reggie just for your amusement at my list obsession. 🤪 So this is TBR Book Number 2 which I started writing in 2007. It has 98 pages with about 28 books per page. I stopped adding books to it when I started using Litsy. The first book I had for my TBR was larger and I wrote smaller and it had 70 books per page 😳😳😳 I had about 35 pages left but I went through and revised it by at least half and put them on Litsy.

Suet624 That‘s fantastic! 3mo
AlaMich I had nowhere near as many on mine. I started putting them into an old app I used called Notebook, and now I use a spreadsheet. 3mo
LeahBergen Love it! 😆 3mo
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Ruthiella Such neat hand writing! I currently have a spreadsheet but that‘s not quite the same as a written artifact. I wish I had something physical. 3mo
Centique @AlaMich a spreadsheet is far more sensible and useful! The number of double ups I found in this was incredible. I remember one book was in the list 8 times! 😂😂😂 3mo
LauraBrook Love this!!! 3mo
Reggie This is amazing! Holy wow! 3mo
Rissreads I wish I had kept a list of books I‘d read during the years. But better late than never! I‘m so grateful for Litsy! 1mo
64 likes8 comments
The Last Life: A Novel | Claire Messud
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Once again I‘m scouring the oldest part of my handwritten TBR. This was published in 1999. Most of it I really enjoyed but there were a couple of scenes that felt unnecessary.
Sagesse is a grandchild of the well known La Basse family. Her grandfather left his beloved Algeria in the 1950s to try and create a family dynasty back in France. Sagesse is 14 and trying to discover her true self while her family‘s secrets crumble around her. A lot of ⬇️

Centique introspection and wondering aloud as the family stories are told by the adult Sagesse recounting their lives and she sometimes skips ahead and back, or refers in an aside knowingly to the future before the reader gets there. Messud is incredible at capturing time and place and character ⬇️ 3mo
Centique so this is a very literary coming of age story with moments of intense beauty - but there is much more philosophising than plot so it is a meandering read ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3mo
Centique PS the fronds in the picture are called “toe toe” (pronounced toy toy) It is a cousin I guess to pampas grass but prettier I think. 3mo
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Centique PS2 the blurb for this book is a little off and it has one spoiler in there imo. There are no literal ghosts in this story. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 3mo
AlaMich I used to have a handwritten TBR. It didn‘t take long to realize that it wasn‘t a sustainable system. 📚📚📚📚📚📚😂 3mo
Michael_Gee The toe toe is beautiful! 3mo
Centique @AlaMich you‘re so right! My handwritten one started in 1990 though so it was a long time before I had my Goodreads one 🤪 It took up two books and got up to 5000 titles. Eek! 3mo
Reggie @AlaMich Lol @Centique I‘m in awe of the 5000 titled, handwritten TBR. Wow! 🤩 3mo
LeahBergen I have a handwritten (decades old!) TBR, too. 🤣 3mo
Cathythoughts Lovely picture 💫 3mo
Centique @LeahBergen I do believe we are kindred spirits if not long lost cousins 😉😘 3mo
Centique @Michael_Gee @Cathythoughts thank you - it was in a vase at a cafe I love to visit 😘 3mo
LeahBergen I really think so! 3mo
61 likes13 comments
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I picked up this book thinking it would be good for my #natureandoutdoors reading challenge but also that it would be rather a chore to read. I mean letters written by a “lady” in 1865? Well I was wrong. Lady Barker writes amazing letters - full of the sights and sounds of the natural world and lots of pioneering escapades. And they‘re not overly long or wordy! Yes she‘s privileged, and yes, part of the colonising wave of settlers - ⬇️

Centique so definitely read some Maori POV of this time first -but she also really pushed the boundaries of what a gentlewoman was expected to do, which was one positive aspect. Also getting a feel for the changing landscape and birth of towns in the South Island is catnip for me as a history buff. 3mo
Megabooks Sounds really cool! Great review! 💜😘 3mo
Cathythoughts Beautiful picture 3mo
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Centique @Cathythoughts I should have credited Google images 😂 But it is of a Canterbury sheep station. 3mo
Centique @Megabooks thanks Meg 😘 3mo
shawnmooney This. Sounds. Fascinating! 3mo
shawnmooney Do you know about my new series (called Bite-sized Book Chats) of short chats with readers on my BookTube channel? The playlist is here: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLU-61cZp1pQdBH5V0Zb9q-2ujl4PY8nhf. I would LOVE to have you come on Zoom and chat with me about this book for an upcoming episode! 3mo
Centique @shawnmooney wow Shawn that‘s a lovely offer 💕 I will go and watch some and see if I could manage to sound intelligent about it - ill get back to you! (edited) 3mo
81 likes3 stack adds8 comments
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I love that one of the first things this English woman does when arriving at her new home in 1865 New Zealand is figure out how her book club is going to be run. 🙌 The club members are mostly farmers and shepherds do the books are being spread far and wide.

59 likes1 comment
LIFEL1K3 (Lifelike) | Jay Kristoff
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I have to explain the photo first. @Reggie I opened up a drawer at my dads house and look what was staring up at me! 😳😳😳 I would say I was shocked, but honestly I have learnt to expect ANYTHING.
Anyway this book. It‘s YA Sci Fi and I‘d heard it was reminiscent of Cinder which I loved so I had to jump in. The world building was brilliant, wonderful robots, AI and tech. A couple of great characters (Lemon!), surprisingly not the protagonist, ⬇️

Centique then a romance that felt abysmally Insta, but an ending that completely redeemed the book for me. So a pick but you need to like YA sci fi / fantasy to start with I think. 4mo
BookBelle84 Love this trilogy! 4mo
Centique @BookBelle84 at the end I thought NOW I see what you were doing! 4mo
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GondorGirl Big nope on the creepy clown! 😳 4mo
Centique @GondorGirl thank god I never knew this was in the house when I lived there! 4mo
Christine 😳🤡🤣 4mo
TrishB That made me laugh so much 😂😂 4mo
Centique @TrishB *bows* 😘 4mo
TheBookHippie 😂😂😂😱 4mo
MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm Aww, I love clowns! ❤️ 4mo
rockpools Even by creepy clown standards, that‘s… something! Absolutely the best!! 4mo
AmyG Just NO. 😬 4mo
HeyT Lol that drawer find reminds me of when I was volunteering in the Library's History Room and the librarian was doing an audit and found these really creepy and racist (there was a script with them) puppets. 4mo
Centique @rockpools I reckon! 😘 4mo
Centique @HeyT that sounds so scary! Like properly evil puppets 😳😳😳 4mo
ravenlee Story from a friend‘s husband: his mom thought he loved clowns as a kid. He did not. He had this one that she bought him that he kept hiding but mom kept finding it and putting it out in his room. He finally took it away somewhere to dispose of it. She thought he‘d lost it and would be distraught, so she replaced it. He came home and the clown he thought was gone for good was back! Talk about nightmare fuel. 4mo
HeyT @Centique Yeah they were hand made and from like the 50s or 60s so that type of aesthetic. 4mo
Centique @ravenlee oh my god. I would have had a heart attack! The bizarre thing is we had a different doll in our house that gave me nightmares. It was this 2 foot high handmade cloth doll with huge skirts. I used to imagine it was climbing the stairs to get me (and all the time this clown was somewhere in my parents room!) 4mo
Reggie @ravenlee Lolol that poor guy. 4mo
Reggie Oy, Paula!!! That is a little crazy. I wonder why he had it. Was it a toy from when you all were younger? My friend hates clowns and anytime I read about clown sightings I always send the article to her. And the book sounds good too! 4mo
Centique @Reggie we definitely never played with it 😳 but my older sisters remember seeing it when they were little. He must have bought it in the fifties or sixties I think. I will ask him when we get out of lockdown! 4mo
merelybookish Good lord! 🙈 3mo
Rissreads 🤣🤷‍♀️♥️ 1mo
69 likes23 comments
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Hey @Reggie thank you so much for this book! It was the perfect distraction in lockdown. Easy to read and absorbing 😍I had no idea craft beer was so complicated. I really appreciated the serious tones to the novel too, (I couldn‘t do anything light and frivolous right now) and the underlying message about grace in difficult times was one I needed at the moment. I‘d recommend this to anyone who likes a family saga - really enjoyed it.

Reggie I actually thought of this book because one of the guys I work with is a beer snob and I thought of the grandma and her (is it blueberry?) fruity beer and the review that guy writes. I loved how that guy catches Diana but instead of punishing her helps her instead. I think the world needs more of that right now. I loved when he tells her how her beer was ready after the 3rd time but he wanted her to get the process. Lololol I‘m really glad 👇🏼 4mo
Reggie you liked this book, Paula. I‘m so sorry to hear about Hiselderliness‘s infection. I hope his recovery is swift and that lockdown ends as soon as possible so ya‘ll can see him. Sending you all nothing but good thoughts. ❤️ 4mo
Centique @Reggie thanks Reggie. I got such a surprise when it turned out Edith had given Helen that pail of 4 beers. It was such a good twist that this hard working survivor that Helen had trodden upon turned out to be the one who had showed her such love. 4mo
Reggie Hey Paula, just checking in on you and HisElderliness. Hope ya‘ll are ok. His toe and him being in the home. And you all packing up his house and now back in lockdown. I just hope everything is going okay for you and your family. Just know we‘re all thinking about you. 3mo
Centique @Reggie aw you‘re so lovely Reggie. He just got released back to the retirement village today and we‘ll be able to talk to him by phone now! Hopefully now the drama is over he can start to acclimatise to the new place and the new schedule. 🤞🤞Hope things are going okay for you and your family xxx 3mo
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The Birchbark House | Louise Erdrich
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A perfect middle grade book which made me feel immersed in nature and living in the outdoors. What an important book - giving a voice and narrative to indigenous ways of life that were nearly eradicated by colonisation. This would be a very good book just for detailing that life - but it is so much more - Omakayas is such an engaging character, her adventures and sorrows pull you completely inside her world and her heart. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Centique Also we are in lockdown now - joining our Aussie cousins. We had it lucky for a long while with no community cases, but unfortunately our vaccine rollout has been slow. We‘re only about 20% vaccinated so having a very hard lockdown until we can get this outbreak (our first Delta cases) ringfenced. It happened the day after #hiselderliness finally moved into the retirement apartment. He‘s very confused but the staff are looking out for him. 4mo
Centique Luckily I had just brought him in some new library books @Cinfhen @Megabooks @Reggie @TrishB @Cathythoughts 💕🐛📚 4mo
Tamra Wishing you a speedy and safe exit out of lockdown! 💜 4mo
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Centique @Tamra thank you Tamra 😘 4mo
Megabooks Ah what a change for your family on both counts! I hope delta is under control soon. As for His Elderliness, I will keep him in my thoughts as he makes this transition. After having my dad in the nursing home for three months during Covid last year after his stroke, I understand how difficult this can be especially now. 💜💜 4mo
TrishB Thinking of you all. ❤️❤️ 4mo
Cathythoughts Oh Paula , thinking of your Dad , and sending love to you all. I hope he settles in , my heart goes out to him. Take care … ❤️ 4mo
Cinfhen I‘m very sad to hear that Delta has made it‘s way to your region😞Of course sending much love to you and your family, especially dad. I‘m glad he‘s not alone during this time. Keeping you all in my thoughts. Lovely review ♥️ 4mo
Reggie I hope all of you all stay healthy and that your dad adjusts to his new surroundings. ❤️ 4mo
MaureenMc Thinking of you and yours 💗🙏💗 4mo
GingerAntics I loved the twist/surprise at the end. By that point, I‘d completely forgotten about that little bit at the beginning. I love how she brought this one full circle. 4mo
Centique @Megabooks @Cinfhen @Cathythoughts @Reggie @TrishB thank you all for your kind words. It‘s a bit of a train wreck here, now dad has been rushed to hospital with a raging infection in his leg. Which is probably why he was so confused. Of course we can‘t visit him and he can‘t use a phone so we‘re just a bit lost in knowing how he‘s getting on with just a phone call from a nurse each day. Appreciate all your love and kindnesses to him 💕 4mo
Cinfhen Oh no 😢prayers and love xx 4mo
Megabooks I am so sorry, Paula! I will continue to keep you all in my thoughts. 💜💜 (edited) 4mo
TrishB Oh no, so sorry to hear. I hope he‘s on the mend soon, not being able to see him is really hard. ❤️❤️ (edited) 4mo
Michael_Gee @Centique ❤️ Thinking of you, Paula. 4mo
AlaMich I hope your dad is on the mend soon so he can get adjusted to his new home! (edited) 4mo
Centique @Cinfhen @Megabooks @TrishB @Cathythoughts @Reggie just an update on dad for you kind folks. He gets out of hospital tomorrow. He had stents put in his leg arteries and a toe amputated 🤢 but his retirement village can supply him with full care while we‘re still in lockdown and we can‘t visit him. I imagine his apartment will seem palatial to him after getting out of hospital! Thank god we had already shifted him 🙌 3mo
Megabooks Oh Paula! I‘m sorry he‘s going through such a difficult time, but I‘m glad he‘s receiving excellent care! 💜 3mo
merelybookish Oh I'm so sorry to hear about your Dad! I can only imagine how heartbreaking it is not being able to see him. Hugs! 3mo
TrishB Oh that must be so hard for you and him. At least he‘s getting the best care possible ❤️❤️ thinking of you all again in lockdown. 3mo
Reggie Oh, Paula, I hope nothing but the best for him. I hope he recovers well enough. Sending ❤️❤️❤️. 3mo
Cinfhen I‘m glad to hear your dad is on the mend although I can only imagine how difficult these past few weeks have been. Sending MUCH LOVE & SUPPORT♥️ 3mo
74 likes23 comments
Cloudstreet | Tim Winton
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There‘s something about a chunky family saga that I love - following the ups and downs of multiple family member‘s lives over a generation or two. And this one has a wider cast of characters than most - two working class families with money troubles end up sharing a big old colonial “mansion” in a small town. Each family brings their own ghosts and brokenness and the house has some of its own too. Winton can really write and there are some ⬇️

Centique unforgettable scenes and characters in here. It is a chunkster however and the pace meanders at times, much like real life! A memorable read. 😍 Thank you so much @Rissreads for gifting me this book! 💕 4mo
TrishB Lovely review ❤️ 4mo
Freespirit Such a great book!! 4mo
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Clare-Dragonfly I love family sagas too. This sounds really interesting! 4mo
Rissreads I‘m so happy you loved it! 👏🏻♥️☺️ 4mo
AlaMich This sounds like it might be right up my alley! 4mo
Reggie She gave this to me for Xmas, too. I need to get to it. 4mo
CarolynM Even though I've liked other Tim Winton books I couldn't even make it to the 100 page mark with this one. #unpopularopinion I know most people love it. Oh well... 4mo
Centique @CarolynM it did drag a bit in the middle but I didn‘t mind. Fitted my mood! I‘m bailing on lots of things this year. Any other Tim Winton reccs? 4mo
Centique @CarolynM there are so many NZ classics I have bailed on. I have yet to read any Maurice Gee or CK Stead 😬 4mo
Centique @Reggie it starts off with a hiss and a roar but it does get slow after that - so wait till you‘re in the mood for something slow I reckon. 👍 4mo
shawnmooney Great review of a fantastic novel! Hello and long time no see, by the way! 4mo
Centique @shawnmooney hello Shawn! Lovely to see you back on Litsy. I‘ve missed seeing your quotes here although I‘ve watched your channel a few times in the interim. Hope you are well 💕 4mo
Rissreads Just heard the news of your lockdown. Sending hugs and stay safe my friend 😘 4mo
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Remembered | Yvonne Battle-Felton
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This book is brutal. Unforgettable and brilliant but All The Trigger Warnings. A mother sitting at her son‘s hospital bed with the ghost of her sister begins to tell him their family history on Walker plantation. The story she recounts is violent and traumatic but the characters are rich and complex and the “cursed” nature of the plantation is fascinating.⬇️

Centique I felt this part was stronger than the framing story in the present which could have done with a few more chapters. 4mo
TrishB Great review 👍🏻 4mo
Centique @TrishB thank you Trish 😘 4mo
ValerieAndBooks I actually bailed on this one because some of it was too hard for me to read. I could tell it was well-written, though. 4mo
Centique @ValerieAndBooks I can understand why, it was extremely brutal. There are times when I would bail on this too 😥 4mo
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Lincoln in the Bardo | George Saunders
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As I‘m resting (to help an infection heal), I had plenty of time to read today - and finished this in one sitting. I loved it. Entirely in my wheelhouse - some history, a lot of fantasy, an unusual structure - almost like a play - with a huge variety of characters speaking. While Lincoln and his son are main characters, I hadn‘t realised that other ordinary men and women would steal the spotlight so wonderfully. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Centique Have you read this @Reggie ? I wonder if you‘d like it. It‘s a great ghost story at heart, if you don‘t mind the snippets of history. 4mo
squirrelbrain This has been on my physical TBR shelf for a while - I really should give it a go soon. Look after yourself and feel better soon 😘 4mo
Oryx Hope you feel better soon. Thanks for the review. I've had this on my shelf a while, so it might encourage me to bump it up the list! 4mo
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Tamra 👏🏾👏🏾 I‘m so glad you liked it! 💜 My favorite characters are the obscene couple - they are a riot on audio! 4mo
Megabooks Get well soon, friend! 💜😘 I loved this in print, but kind of surprisingly for me, I didn‘t enjoy the audiobook. Completely unique storytelling! 4mo
SamAnne I loved this one.... 4mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage I loved this one. It‘s just so unique and the emotion is intense. Hope your infection gets squashed soon!! 4mo
Reggie When I first was on Litsy, this book was all the rage, but I told myself, nah, I don‘t do historical fiction. After my last book, I‘d probably be open to giving it a try. 4mo
LeahBergen I hope your arm is healing up well! 😘😘 4mo
Centique @squirrelbrain @Oryx @LeahBergen thanks guys! I am resting and healing 🙏 4mo
Centique @Tamra they were my favourites too! 4mo
Centique @Megabooks I‘m so fussy about audiobooks. So far I can only listen to readings with a single voice. If there‘s a cast or sound effects it jolts me out of the story - so I imagine this complex book would be an aural cacophony for me 🤪🤪 4mo
Centique @SamAnne @BarbaraTheBibliophage it is gorgeous and so emotional. 4mo
Centique @Reggie I even listed it as Fantasy on my reading record rather than Historical. And when he does use history it‘s like he cuts it up and makes a collage to create something entirely new from pieces of the past. Just so clever. But I think the emotion of it would really move you 💕 4mo
90 likes14 comments
Piranesi | Susanna Clarke
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This was a delight. Two of my favourite genres are fantasy and mystery and this is a delicious blend of both! Piranesi is writing a journal of his life in The World but the one living inhabitant he shares it with is acting strangely.
I loved trying to figure out where this was going - as I also loved trying to figure out Stuart Turton‘s The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. This is quite different but you start out just as lost. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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A Single Thread | Tracy Chevalier
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Just a light pick for me on this one, although on a different day I‘d probably have rated it more highly. A quality historical fiction about Victoria Speedwell, left a spinster by WW1, she gets involved with the “broderers” at Winchester Cathedral. I have read some great #spinsterlit this year and this didn‘t quite live up to others like Barbara Pym, but it did have more plot. Some fascinating historical details and great ambience and setting.

The Talented Mr. Ripley | Patricia Highsmith
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Well Tom Ripley had a lovely European holiday alright!
This book absolutely engrossed me and I didn‘t want to put it down. Just what I needed at the moment. I did find myself feeling a little anxious as I went about some chores today and had to remind myself that I wasn‘t the character in the book! That‘s some good psychological writing when you‘ve been in a character‘s head and start feeling the weight of his problems.⬇️

Centique I‘m going to try the next one of these soon. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4mo
Megabooks I keep meaning to read this. I have the audiobook! 4mo
eeclayton It's one of my all-time favourites 😊 4mo
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Centique @Megabooks I hope you enjoy it. I imagine it will be a quick read for you 😘 4mo
Centique @eeclayton so good! 4mo
BarbaraBB I loved this one too 4mo
Reggie I loved Matt Damon in the movie but never have read the book. Have you watched the movie? 4mo
Centique @Reggie I think I caught a little bit of the movie when it was on TV so I had Matt Damon in my head playing the part which was pretty cool. I must watch the movie properly now! 4mo
Centique @Reggie I think you‘d like the book. It‘s not thrilling really - but just clever how you‘re so much in Ripley‘s mind that his actions don‘t seem all that wrong. And just a great psychological study of how a mind like his works. 4mo
rohit-sawant I'm hoping to check this out soon! 4mo
Centique @rohit-sawant I‘ll be so interested in what you think! I‘m finding it‘s got real staying power in my brain. 4mo
Rissreads She is so good at writing ‘anxious‘! I loved her book 4mo
Rissreads How are you doing? How is your hand? Sorry I haven‘t written. I‘m taking one step forward and then 2 back at the moment! X 4mo
Centique @Rissreads thanks for the recc, I will definitely read that one! My arm has recovered thank you - well as much as it can for lymphodema. I‘m trying to wear a glove when I cook and clean because it‘s the cuts and scrapes on the hand that start infections. So hope I can avoid a recurrence for a while. 4mo
Centique @Rissreads thank you for thinking of me. How are you doing? Are your parents still living with you? You‘re very much on my mind at the moment as I‘m reading Cloudstreet that you gave me 💕 4mo
Rissreads Yes my parents are still with me but not for much longer. Ooooooo, what do you think about Cloudstreet so far? I‘m glad your hand is on the mend x 4mo
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The Book of Not | Tsitsi Dangarembga
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The second book in the Nervous Conditions trilogy, Dangarembga‘s semi-autobiographal series of novels set in Zimbabwe. The first book ended as Tambu achieved entry into a prestigious Catholic school (entirely white except for 6 girls). This book covers Tambu‘s high school years during the war for independence and her first job in the post independence world. It opens on a truly harrowing and terrifying moment. ⬇️

Centique But much of the rest of the book is slower moving with Tambu trying to be “good” and accepting of the injustices meted out to her. This is eye opening to me, I keep expecting her rage. Another lesson about the impossibility of rage when everything is weighted against you. I‘m looking forward to the third one but this one took some deep breathing to get through! 4mo
LeeRHarry I have only read the third book as it was on the Booker shortlist - are the other two in second person too? 4mo
Centique @LeeRHarry no these are in first person. How interesting - that will make the third one very different! 4mo
Gogobooks Just finishing this now. I m a fan of this trilogy 😀 4mo
Gogobooks I m reading the last book in trilogy now. Brutal. In 2nd person. An all encompassing trilogy about one exceptional Zimbabwean female. Kudos to TD. 4mo
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South Sea Vagabonds | Johnny Wray
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#hiselderliness #bookreport

Well we are halfway through cleaning out His Elderliness house that we all lived in since 1981! The second hand shop is coming today to hopefully buy some “treasures” after the family has all selected their own finds to take home. Dad is finding it all very saddening and he is more confused. However we have a book report!
1) he LOVED South Sea Vagabonds so I‘ve bought him his own copy ⬇️

Centique 2) Off the Road - “it was just okay” 3) Mountain Rescue - “I suppose it was pretty good” then he wrinkles his nose in disgust “it was always the same bloody mountain though” (edited) 4mo
Centique Stoopid humans always getting stuck in the same places! 4mo
TrishB I hope the move goes ok ♥️ 4mo
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Reggie I hope he feels better once he gets settled in the new place. ❤️ 4mo
Centique @TrishB @Reggie thanks guys! Yes I‘ve got my fingers crossed that it will be a relief when he gets there. 4mo
BookishMarginalia Big hug 💜 4mo
Ruthiella Such a huge adjustment for all of you! Best of luck to you. ❤️ 4mo
MicheleinPhilly ❤️❤️❤️ 4mo
rockpools Oh wow, big changes. Hugs to all of you. And yup, those humans really can be stupid at times… 4mo
Lindy Best wishes during this period of adjustments. 🍀 4mo
batsy Lots of love to His Elderliness and all of you as you undergo these changes. I hope he settles in well to his new surroundings 💕 4mo
BarbaraBB Lots of changes. Wishing you all the best 🤍🤞🏽 4mo
Tamra Take care of yourself too😌 4mo
Cinfhen I feel for your dad and the rest of the family. Change, especially after living somewhere for so long is not easy. Sending lots of love💕💕I‘m sure once your dad gets settled he will appreciate and enjoy his new situation 😄 4mo
Cinfhen Love to see the #ElderlinessBookReport 4mo
AlaMich I‘m glad that you were able to convince he needed to move. You hear so many stories about folks who refuse and the situation deteriorates quickly. Fingers crossed for a smooth transition! 🤞 4mo
Jeg Thinking of you. I remember having to move my dad. My dad settled in well to his new surroundings. We took photos of his favourite things that he couldn‘t keep. Even when his dementia was progressing he would sit and look at the photos and sometimes talk about them. 4mo
Centique @Jeg thank you Joy. What a great idea about the photos! We just moved his vintage car and vintage motorbike into a storage unit because he couldn‘t bear to part with them yet. And there are all sorts of other bits I could photograph too. 💕 4mo
Rissreads I hope your Dad will be ok in his new place. Such a hard time for you all. Xxx 4mo
67 likes19 comments
Blue Nights | Joan Didion
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It‘s official - I am a Joan Didion fan and want to read everything she‘s written. 💕
This is almost stream of consciousness as she remembers her daughter‘s life (she died at 39) and tries to come to grips with her own ageing and frailty. It was very timely for me to read this while I‘m dealing with my dads frailty.
There are elements in here that are poetic, ways in which the structure reflects and refracts memories, ⬇️

Centique possibly recreating for the reader some of the blurring that came with Didion‘s own neurological damage. The language is simple but heavy with grief, broken as Didion breaks and fades herself.
I just love the way she writes, love the way she holds ideas up to the light. Not for everyone, but perfect timing for me.
Cathythoughts Great review! I need to read this one . I learned so much from 5mo
Eggs Huge Didion fan here...my first was Year of Magical Thinking which I read the year my husband died 💔 5mo
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Ruthiella Fantastic review. I think I love Didion too, though I‘ve only read The Year of Magical Thinking and The White Album. 5mo
Centique @Cathythoughts I should have read that one first as this follows on from there! I‘ll rectify that soon. 5mo
Centique @Eggs oh gosh Sherri that was brave of you to read it that same year. 💕 I hope there was something in there that helped you in that very hard time 😔 5mo
Centique @Ruthiella thank you! 😘 I‘ve only read two as well. I have to get on to Year of Magical Thinking soon! 5mo
Reggie 1. Thank you for the romance reca. 2. I have not read Didion but I love her brother in law, Dominic Dunne. He wrote these gossipy novels based around real life crimes he covered while working for Vanity Fair. Also, his daughter was the older sister in Poltergeist who was killed in real life by an abusive bf. He works the aftermath of her death into an arc of the books and it‘s always sad when they show up. Still got to try Didion. Great review! 5mo
Centique @Reggie she mentions Dominique‘s death in here too! It‘s quite astounding how many of her friends and relatives have died sudden, early deaths 😣 I must try Dominic Dunne too. Any favourites? PS that first romance I mentioned is very YA so far, sweet but I‘m not sure there‘s much to it yet. 5mo
Reggie People Like Us which has to do with new money into high New York City society right before the 1987 Wall Street crash. Another CityNot My Own which has to do with OJ Simpson which for the time I read it, it was wild. Both are great. 5mo
Centique @Reggie thank you! Adding them to my stack 😘 5mo
CarolynM Her writing is fabulous. I loved this one 5mo
MrsMalaprop I haven‘t read Didion - this post & comments are very helpful 🙏🏻. Look after yourself. I‘ve been in similar circumstances with both parents over the past few years. It‘s tough, but important and a privilege too I think. 💕 4mo
Centique @MrsMalaprop thank you for your wise words. You are right, it is a privilege. Giving service to those who have given so much to you 💕 4mo
75 likes14 comments
The L-Shaped Room | Lynne Reid Banks
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I‘ve been meaning to read this 1960 book for years as it was a favourite of my late mother. It‘s about Jane, a 27 year old woman living at home with her father, who is thrown out when she announces she is pregnant. She goes to live in a dilapidated London boarding house. The people she meets are unexpectedly supportive and that‘s great BUT my god the racism in here is So Bad. I think that Banks was emphasising ⬇️

Centique How much Jane‘s “class” of people looked down upon the people in the boarding house, but holy cow it‘s rough to read. Still a reminder of the kind of hateful speech that was widely accepted in 1960. On the other hand the maligned characters are the best and most supportive to Jane. ⬇️ 5mo
Centique I think for a modern reader this reads more as an indictment of attitudes of the time than a story of Jane overcoming hardship although the friendships made are really lovely. 5mo
Reggie I stacked it because you make it sound good but I don‘t think I could read it any time soon. 5mo
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Centique @Reggie you‘re right I think. It‘s kind of like take a sweet story about finding friends in a rough time and then add The Most Racist Comments made by multiple characters 😳😳😳 But hey my eyes are opened a bit wider now. 5mo
Centique @Reggie it would be kinda fun to buddy read it with a friend and get horrified together at the language used. 5mo
CarolynM It's a long, long time since I read it, but I think I thought part of the point was the wrongness of judging social outcasts for being outcasts. 5mo
Centique @CarolynM yes I think she made that point really well. Interestingly though she was interviewed decades later and said that on rereading it herself the level of racist language she‘d used shocked her. I guess she intended it to be obviously unfair at the time but it‘s worse than that. 5mo
andrew61 I do like 1960's kitchen sink dramas. I have a 2nd hand copy this somewhere so may give it a go . 5mo
LeahBergen I‘ve had a copy of this waiting on my shelves for years. I‘ll give it a go one of these days. 5mo
Centique @andrew61 @LeahBergen I hope you both enjoy it. It certainly is a good read and has a lot to take from it. 5mo
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The Women In Black | Madelaine St. John
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I really enjoyed this light little book - thank you @CarolynM for sending it on to me. It is just a short look at the lives of four women working in a big department store in Sydney in the 1950s - and while each of them have their struggles, it‘s an uplifting little book.
Also a school ball photo - very very lucky to have a school ball this year, most of them were cancelled last year. So girls in “evening frocks” a little like the book!

Cathythoughts Such a book ! I loved it 🥰 5mo
CarolynM Glad you enjoyed🙂 Lovely photo too. 5mo
73 likes2 comments
After the Armistice Ball | Catriona McPherson
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This is another read from the bottom of my TBR. (I mean are the oldest books at the bottom or at the top? 🤷🏻‍♀️) anyway it was a soft pick. I liked the writing and the characters but the denouement was pretty unbelievable and I‘d figured out the murderer much earlier than the sweet but bumbling amateur investigator. Still very enjoyable and as this is the first in a series I‘d forgive those tiny weaknesses and head to the next one for sure. ⬇️

Centique PS these are geese I saw yesterday flying in formation. I‘ve never seen that before (I don‘t think we have a lot of geese here?) There were hundreds of them and they were as noisy as heck! 5mo
Ruthiella I‘ve got books I‘ve been schlepping around, meaning to read, from the last century. I have no idea where the top or bottom of my TBR is! 😆 5mo
LeahBergen What @Ruthiella said. 🤣 5mo
Centique @Ruthiella @LeahBergen I feel ya! Maybe instead of a pile it‘s an amorphous blob of books following us around, a sad cloud of books, or in the most extreme cases (me!) a list that is a doorway to a universe of flying spinning books, expanding ever outwards, the edges unknowable 🪐💫☄️ 5mo
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On a break from our beachside town to this blustery, windswept beach in Coromandel. 💕 I just devoured this book of short stories from 2010. They‘re set around a small international newspaper published by a bunch of Americans living in Rome. The author was once a reporter and editor and the setting and work details feel authentic. Each story exposes the life of a different person working on the paper or related to it.⬇️

Centique They‘re so sharp and affecting. I usually stall reading short stories but because these are linked you‘re not being jolted out of the world continually. There is sadness and bitterness sitting in many of the office chairs, but the tone here isn‘t too acerbic, the characters feel fallible rather than despicable, and not without hope. 5mo
Cinfhen Beautiful photos and fantastic review!!! #stacked 5mo
Centique @Cinfhen thank you lovely! I think you would like these 😍 Hope you‘re enjoying your son‘s visit xxx 5mo
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Cinfhen It‘s been very hectic but in the best way!!! How‘s your dad??? 5mo
TrishB Beautiful review and pics ♥️ 5mo
Centique @Cinfhen he‘s doing okay. It‘s busy working out what‘s going into storage, what‘s being sold, what‘s being donated etc. He‘s perversely insisting that he has to keep his car and he‘s planning on starting driving again so we‘re trying to avoid that somehow. (Though I doubt he could even get it out of the driveway) 😳😳😳 (edited) 5mo
Centique @TrishB thank you Trish 😘 5mo
Cinfhen Hahaha! Your dad is a live wire 🙌🏻💥✨💥 5mo
Reggie Short stories are my jam and you make these sound great. Also, lovely pics! 5mo
Suet624 I really enjoy stories that are linked. Stacked. And your photos!!! 💝 5mo
Centique @Reggie I think you‘d like these. There is one that just.... broke my heart. Thanks re the pics 😘 5mo
Centique @Suet624 thank you Sue 😘 5mo
Reggie Update: I am halfway through them and….today I had to give this kid a break in our gallery and I finished the story about the friend who realizes his old friend isn‘t who he thought he had built him up to be all these years. When the kid came back I couldn‘t tell him what it was about cause I had a lump in my throat. There‘s these fantasies that keep getting popped in these stories that just dishearten me a little. It‘s a great book, just sad. 😞 2mo
Reggie And now Betty moved back to New York and never went back to Rome! 2mo
Centique @Reggie oh wow it really cut you up so you couldn‘t speak to that kid about it 😭 I can so picture you doing that! I hope it isn‘t too sad for you. For me that first story (I think it was) with Arthur interviewing the woman - whoa. 2mo
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Stravinsky's Lunch | Drusilla Modjeska
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I found myself reading a book about the lives of two Australian artists I‘ve never heard of - and it was fantastic. I picked this up because I loved Drusilla Modjeska‘s The Orchard many years ago but I thought this wouldn‘t grab me. I was so wrong. Modjeska is looking at the difficulties of being a woman artist in the early twentieth century - and she draws in other women artists of the time.⬇️

Centique Her subjects are Stella Bowen (famously the mistress of Ford Maddox Ford) and Grace Cossington Smith. One tried to juggle her art alongside her “Great Artist” lover in Europe, the other led a more isolated life back in her native country as a spinster (possibly with a hidden love). So readable, thoughtful and insightful without being too academic, it is as much about Modjeska‘s own musings as an artist herself. ⬇️ (edited) 5mo
Centique Painting is “Jug with Fruit in the Window” 1960 by Grace Cossington Smith (edited) 5mo
thegirlwiththelibrarybag Ooh, I love all the GCS paintings I‘ve seen but I‘ve only heard of her recently when the “how many women artists can you name” trend in art really picked up on social media (I‘m still annoyed at myself for missing the first half of this exhibition : https://knowmyname.nga.gov.au ) 5mo
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Cathythoughts Beautiful post 💫 5mo
Centique @thegirlwiththelibrarybag that exhibition looks fantastic - and much needed. Amazing how women‘s art had been ignored/actively repressed all over the world. I am so keen to visit Australian art galleries when the borders reopen. 5mo
Centique @Cathythoughts thank you lovely! 5mo
CarolynM I love Grace Cossington-Smith's work. It's good to see some previously under appreciated women artists getting more recognition. There was an absolutely wonderful exhibition of Clarice Beckett's work in Adelaide earlier this year, I'm really hoping it comes to Melbourne @thegirlwiththelibrarybag The NGV did a good job with Nora Heysen recently too. 5mo
Centique @CarolynM look at me up to my eyeballs in all things Aussie! I should be an honorary ambassador 😂😂😂 5mo
CarolynM But will you be cheering for the Wallabies against France tomorrow?😂 Meanwhile, I'm reading a book by a Kiwi resident of Melbourne set in a small town somewhere near Dunedin😂 5mo
Centique @CarolynM well I won‘t be watching but I will wish you luck! The French rugby team have broken my heart before 😂😂 I‘m glad you‘re reading a Kiwi book. My mother‘s family is from Dunedin and some nearby small towns. A great area! Tag me when you review it if you remember 😘 5mo
thegirlwiththelibrarybag @CarolynM, i must have missed that one 🤭😭 but yes please to art travelling around the country! 5mo
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