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Currey

Currey

Joined January 2017

blurb
Currey
The History of Palau: From Prehistory to the Present | Einar Felix Hansen, Elias Adalbert Chin
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#readingoceania2024 #palau Looking for something from or about Palau and saw this. Now I am just posting to warn others. This was written by AI and is a truly horrible example of AI. It is repetitive and goes into no detail. The phrase “significant impact” or “significant changes” is in every paragraph without sharing what those impacts and changes were. I read it as it was very short but highly recommend that others stay away.

Texreader Thanks for the warning. I‘ve gotten one or two of those the past few years and they‘re horrible 2mo
Librarybelle Good to know!!! 2mo
15 likes2 comments
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Currey
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#readingoceania2024 #antartica I selected this for my Antarctica reading as it has some amazing black and white photographs taken during Shackleton‘s failed expedition to the South Pole by photographer Frank Hurley. Shackleton‘s story of amazing leadership and perseverance comes alive in all its brutal cold conditions in the photographs. The book, sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History, is also fairly well written.

Librarybelle I‘ve heard good things about this one. 2mo
Suet624 I read Lansing‘s book, not this one, but the story is so amazing. 2mo
24 likes2 comments
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Currey
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#Readingoceania2024 #Marshallislands Although this book falls squarely in the travel genre known as “my one year in______”, unlike most books from Peace Corp volunteers, this author has a lovely sense of humor, is capable of some self insights and knows how to write. We spend a year with him in a very small outer atoll island village and learn with him much about their language, culture and way of life. Thoroughly enjoyable and informative

Librarybelle This sounds great! Stacking! 2mo
Hooked_on_books That sounds really interesting! 2mo
20 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Currey
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#Readingoceania2024. #Micronesian This novel is one disturbing read that not only challenges the myth of tropical paradises but shows a glaring light on western scientific greed. There are two narrators, the main character and his editor who writes in the footnotes. Both are unreliable and morally suspect. Although a slow read, and chilling, it is worth the effort.

BarbaraBB I am going to read this one too for that prompt! 2mo
Librarybelle Great review! 2mo
Aimeesue Nice review! 2mo
19 likes3 comments
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Currey
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#readaroundtheworld #libya Bookwormy has exited Litsy. I will miss her. This book is both a memoir of the author‘s search for his father who had been kidnapped by Qaddafi, but also a careful look at the politics surrounding Libya‘s historical revolutions, and finally how one grieves when one can not be sure of the death of the person you mourn. Slightly chronologically confusing but otherwise well written.

BarbaraBB I didn‘t know and am very sorry to hear that about Book wormy 4mo
TorieStorieS Oh dear— thanks for letting us know! 4mo
26 likes2 comments
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Currey
Mister Pip | Lloyd Jones
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#readingoceania2024 #Papuanewguinea A story about the inspiration of teachers and their ability to open horizons through the love of a good book, in this case Great Expectations. However, set in the middle of an horrific and brutal civil war. Moving read.

Librarybelle Nice photo! 5mo
BarbaraBB I enjoyed this one too. Can‘t remember the setting in Papua New Guinea or I would have saved it for the challenge 😀 5mo
Currey @BarbaraBB Yes, the author never actually mentions the name Papua New Guinea but he does names the towns, the cooper mines, and the civil war 5mo
BarbaraBB Clever choice!! 5mo
20 likes4 comments
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Currey
The Manila Rope | Veijo Meri
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Mehso-so

#readaroundtheworld #finland Published in the 1950‘s, but set during the WWII when Finland found itself trapped between Russia and Germany. Their stories are told from the point of view of the common soldiers who were undisciplined, starving and wearing rags while their German partners had nice uniforms, were very disciplined but nevertheless considered fools. Each war story is a kind of folktale and all are chilling in an off center way.

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Currey
The White Guard | Mikhail Bulgakov
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#readaroundtheworld #ukraine I love Bulgakov‘s The Master and Margarita and this is not quite up to that. The novel reads almost like a cinematic script with the city of Kiev playing a leading role. It is 1918 and there are White Russians, Red Bolshevik's, Ukrainian national socialists, Germans and our title group; the White Guard who are Ukrainians loyal to the memory of the tsar. A flowing easy read and a wonderful history lesson.

BookwormM My book still hasn‘t arrived from library 😱 6mo
rockpools You‘ve made me actually want to read The Master and Marguerita! It‘s on the one-day list… 6mo
18 likes2 comments
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Currey
The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman | Andrzej Szczypiorski, Klara Glowczewska
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#ReadAroundtheWorld #Poland Not a holiday read, but a good one. Our Mrs Seidenman is not so much the main character as the pivot point around which a dozen or so players are introduced to us as the Warsaw ghetto crumbles in 1943. We see the impact on them now, but then the author shows us their whole life‘s trajectory and sometimes their death. In this way we are shown the threads of everyday people‘s lives in the web of historic moments.

21 likes1 stack add
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Currey
Italian Backgrounds | Edith Wharton
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Onward Wharton readers - one of my favorite Correggios….

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Currey
Augustown | Kei Miller
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#readaroundtheworld #jamaica A near allegorical telling of the people‘s lives in a low down neighborhood of Kingston and their desire to fly free. The tale travels back and forth in time as we learn about Ma Taffy, her daughter by upbringing but not birth Gina and Gina‘s son Kaia. The author almost teases with young adult fare and then turns around and slaps us for falling for that. I learned a lot about Rastafarian and Bobo Shanti beliefs.

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Currey
Adventure at Brimstone Hill | Carol Ottley-Mitchell, Ann-Cathrine Loo
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Mehso-so

#ReadingtheAmericas2023 #Stkitt If desperate to find a St Kitt and Nevis book, this children‘s book which takes less than an hour to read, might do. A boy, a girl and a monkey find themselves time traveling to a key historical moment for St Kitt. With their help they change history. The British win instead of the French. Strange way to teach history to children though, but with goggle‘s help I learned a bit.

Librarybelle That does seem strange! 9mo
21 likes1 comment
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Currey
Mosquito Coast | Paul Theroux
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#readingtheamericas2023 #honduras What starts out as an allegorical tale of western man‘s relationship to nature slowly turns into a psychological thriller. The narrator is a young teenaged boy and his relationship with his egotistic father careens from worship to loathing as the father‘s hubris brings destruction to his family and as nature does what she does best - surprise!

Librarybelle I really need to read Theroux‘s books! 9mo
BarbaraBB I read this too, a long time ago. I should have reread it for the challenge! 9mo
18 likes2 comments
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Currey
Miramar | Naguib Mahfouz
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#readaroundtheworld #egypt A story of multiple romances and a murder told through the eyes of 4 separate character‘s narrations. Mahfouz, the Nobel Prize winning author, manages to give us a lens into these characters lives while reflecting the romance and betrayals of the Egyptian Revolution. However, Zohra, the strong willed and beautiful young woman who is at the center of the plot does not get her own narration. Alexandria sounds wonderful

BookwormM I haven‘t started mine yet several library holds arrived at once 9mo
BarbaraBB I really enjoyed this one! 9mo
18 likes2 comments
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Currey
The Diviners | Margaret Laurence
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#readingtheamericas2023 #canada Wonderful character study of a young orphan who struggles to build a life for herself of her own design. The main character becomes a mother and a writer and the nature of storytelling in both these roles provides rich layers on top of her simple outer life, her deep inner life and her complicated loves. Plus she lives by a river that flows in two directions.

BarbaraBB Yes, such a gorgeous read. And I love the photo 😍 10mo
Librarybelle Great review! 10mo
batsy It's a fantastic book. And love this photo! 10mo
24 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Currey
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Mehso-so

#Guadeloupe #ReadingtheAmericas2023 I should have started with a different book by Condé as her latest and last book is a parody of the life of Jesus who is born a bastard in Guadeloupe. I did not have the background for it either in her voice or humor. The telling comes very much from the verbal story sharing tradition and there are persistent sneers at history and religion written by colonials but it was slow and pointless to my ears.

Currey I should add that this book was short listed for the International Booker Prize this year, so clearly others did hear her voice 10mo
BarbaraBB I didn‘t like this one at all unfortunately 🤷🏻‍♀️ 10mo
rockpools Yup. I just did not ‘get‘ it. Felt I was majorly missing the point. 10mo
Librarybelle I do like the photo! 10mo
18 likes4 comments
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Currey
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#readingtheamericas2023 #colombia This memoir recounts the author‘s traumatic childhood in Colombia. It captures a totally non western perspective on her family‘s interactions with ghosts, water spirits, and being able to foresee the future. Coming from a long line of healers, our magical realism is simply realism to this author. All people and places have their stories and this is a unique and powerful perspective on their ability to heal.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks So pretty 🧡 11mo
Librarybelle Pretty picture! 11mo
Suet624 Loved this book. I wish I could read it for the first time again. 6mo
21 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Currey
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#readaroundtheworld #democraticrepublicofthecongo After reading my last Congo book I really wanted to learn more of the history of that region. This non-fiction well researched book provides great information about the atrocities the Belgian king and his henchmen visited upon the people of the Congo River watershed and the brave journalists and advocates who fought to make it known to the world. To paraphrase Kurtz: “the horror, the horror”

23 likes3 stack adds
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Currey
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#readaroundtheworld #democraticrepublicofthecongo #zaire A short novel that starts as a relationship between a prostitute and a high level minister in the government and ever so slowly reveals itself as something more. Both our main characters have ties to their tribal culture and both believe that certain acts must be done to free themselves from uncertainty. Ultimately a metaphor for a country struggling with self determination.

BookwormM Sounds interesting 12mo
21 likes1 comment
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Currey
Joe and Azat | Jesse Lonergan
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Mehso-so

#readaroundtheworld #turkmemistan Not badly done graphically and it did have some insights but I was put off by the author gently mocking the Turkmenistans for their assumptions about Americans. It was humorous and I am sure that they did believe all Americans were rich and routinely got into gun fights but nevertheless…

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Currey
Joe and Azat | Jesse Lonergan
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#readaroundtheworld #turkmenistan I found this graphic novel for Turkmenistan. It looks interesting.

TorieStorieS I‘m headed out shopping in a few minutes and am hoping to find a book for this month‘s country at our HPB! 🤞 13mo
Currey Good luck! HPB stores are very dangerous… 13mo
16 likes2 comments
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Currey
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#Readingtheamericas2023 #monserrat A bit of a cheat given this is a YA adaptation of the original autobiography but it is what the library delivered. I will go back and look for the original to read. Meanwhile this was quite impactful as a first hand narrative of the horrors of slavery. Only partially taking place on Montserrat but there are very few books about Monserrat..

Librarybelle I didn‘t know there was a YA adaptation of the original! 13mo
BarbaraBB Such a hard country to find a book for. Well done! 13mo
19 likes2 comments
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Currey
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#readingtheamericas2023 #haiti Although the ghost of Haitian hardships permeates this short book, the story is a story of mother / daughter relationships. The pain of one generation is handed down to the next. The love of one generation gives strength to the generations that follow. Still, one generation‘s memories become the weight that the next generation must carry.

BarbaraBB Very good review. I haven‘t read this one but I loved all the books that O read by Danticat 13mo
Librarybelle Wonderful review! 13mo
14 likes2 comments
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Currey
Pynter Bender | Jacob Ross
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#readaroundtheworld #grenada I read a book about contemporary Grenada history not long ago so looked for a book that was less historical. This selection was a long slow read with little driving plot but I fell into it and enjoyed the family interactions. Pynter is a boy born blind who regains his sight and participates in the country‘s revolt. However, what captivated me was his relationship with his father, mother, aunts, twin and nephew.

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Currey
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Librarybelle Sounds interesting! 14mo
16 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Currey
Texaco | Patrick Chamoiseau
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#martinique #readingtheamericas2023 Remarkable story of an island people and how they came to build a small place of their own, a shantytown named after the fuel tanks. It is the memories, writings and narrated stories as told to an urban planner by a woman of incredible strength. Translated from French but full of Creole dialect. A rambling, messy wonderful book.

Librarybelle Hooray!! 14mo
20 likes1 comment
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Currey
Palace of the Peacock | Wilson Harris
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#Guyana #readaroundtheworld #readingtheamericas2023 A prose poem of no western logic. An indigenous woman who was abused by her master, kills him before fleeing. It is only one of his deaths. A boat, crewed by dead men who struggle to grasp life, chases after her. Our narrator is the dreamer. Our captain is a metaphor for colonial exploitation. The images are of the wilds of 16th century Guyana. I didn‘t understand it but it was still good.

BarbaraBB Cool, it‘s not easy to find books for Guyana 1y
Librarybelle Litsy says this was published in 1960, and I can tell that by the cover art! 1y
27 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Currey
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#Ecuador #readaroundthewotld #readingtheamericas2023 Set in the time of the first cacao bonanza of the early 1900‘s in Ecuador, this murder mystery has our main character disguised as a man to find the killer. It was difficult to credit that she could pull that off given her character but it was an entertaining read. Plus as a chocolate lover I find anything to do with chocolate is appreciated.

Librarybelle I agree - this was an entertaining read! 1y
14 likes1 comment
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Currey
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#readingtheamericas2023 #DominicanRepublic Fictionalized account of four sisters who tell their story of growing up under Trujillo‘s ruthless dictatorship. The tale begins with the one surviving sister reflecting back on their relationship with their parents and each other. The pace quickens when they speak of their husbands, their fears, their children, surviving in prison and standing up for freedom. “The Butterflies” still evoke 👇

Currey passions. The day of their murder is honored as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. (edited) 1y
BarbaraBB I learned a lot from this book 1y
Librarybelle I‘ve heard so many good things about this book 1y
29 likes3 comments
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Currey
An Island Away: A Novel | Daniel Putkowski
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#Readingtheamericas2023 #aruba Beautiful, smart prostitute with heart of gold and the men (on Aruba) who loved her. Slow and at 490 pages seemingly endless. I skipped over sex scenes and it was still endless. Some of the characters well drawn, some two dimensional. The good thing was it really did give me a look at Aruba. The bad thing was it felt like a waste of time. Ah well, on to Ecuador..

Librarybelle Oh dear! 1y
BarbaraBB I love your review 🤣🤣 but won‘t read the book! 1y
batsy 😆 1y
17 likes3 comments
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Currey
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#readingthamericas2023 #argentina Turning the masculine gaucho stereotype on its head, this love song to the pampas tells of Martín Fierro‘s wife and her traveling companions. The myth of Empire as progress clashes with our characters traveling back to a better time within a traditional Indigenous culture. Gender roles are fluid, mushrooms abound, and sexual encounters are described with modern detail. Booker International short list

BarbaraBB Sounds quite original! Thanks for bringing it to my attention! 1y
batsy Great review! It sounds fascinating. 1y
Librarybelle Great review! 1y
21 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Currey
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Mehso-so

#readaroundtheworld #seychelles I‘m not a fan of short stories but this was so much better than Seychelles Idyll I was delighted. Many of the vignettes are simply the author reminiscing about some of the events, lore and characters on the islands where he lived for 20 years. The islands themselves with their beautiful and dangerous lagoons are the main character. The stories were uneven but I did learn a lot about the culture and history.

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Currey
Seychelles Idyll | Ronald Austin
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Mehso-so

#ReadAroundTheWorld #Seychelles Written by a London policeman who was seconded to the then Crown Colony of the Seychelles right before their independence. It is supposed to be fiction but it is written as if it was notes taken on his trip: beautiful beaches, odd characters, mating giant turtles, and many British career civil servants with much drinking. I think I better find another option for the month. Has anyone else found anything good?

rockpools I couldn‘t find anything by a local author, so I‘m reading Island to Island by Sally Mills. She and her husband have both worked for the RSPB in the UK for many years, setting up bird sanctuaries. They take up a post on Aride in the Seychelles, running a nature reserve on a remote island. So far it‘s well/written but not thrilling. 1y
Currey @rockpools I will look for that. Thank you 1y
BookwormM Haven‘t started mine yet couldn‘t get native so went with someone who lived there a while 1y
14 likes3 comments
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Currey
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#readingtheamericas2023 #nicaragua Rushdie visits Nicaragua in 1986 when the FLSN are still idealistic after their election victory in 1979 but fighting a civil war with the Contra insurgents. He admits to only capturing a moment in time but the personal insights he brings to that moment are well presented.

BarbaraBB I read this one long ago. I don‘t remember much. Maybe I should reread it for the challenge! 1y
Librarybelle Oh! I may have to look into this one! 1y
azulaco This is one of my possibles for #nicaragua. I‘m intimidated by Rushdie‘s writing, but it does sound good. 1y
Currey @azulaco This is pretty easy reading for Rushdie and short! 1y
15 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Currey
Angel | Merle Collins
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Mehso-so

#readingtheamericas2023 #grenada. Difficult read as all the dialogue is in Creole and the Revolution and US invasion is told through the voice of individuals experiencing it in the confusion of the moment. Hard to completely connect with the characters but nevertheless an interesting read.

Librarybelle Glad it was an interesting read! 1y
19 likes1 comment
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Currey
Young Mungo | Douglas Stuart
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#readaroundtheworld #Scotland The streets and housing schemes of Glasgow are once again the setting forStuart‘s second novel about a young man finding a place for himself with an alcoholic mother, a capable older sister and a violent older brother. The detailed descriptions, the realistic secondary characters and the tension of the plot combine to enhance the love story amidst extreme violence.

BookwormM I couldn‘t face this book too bleak glad you appreciated it 1y
rockpools You‘ve *almost* made me want to give it a go! 1y
Currey @BookwormM @rockpools I put it off until after the holidays and then it aligned with February read. However, it is bleak and violent so I don‘t recommend unless you are in the right mood for it. 1y
24 likes3 comments
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Currey
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#readingtheamericas2023. #uruguay Not the poetic, multi-voice brilliance of Memory of Fire but nevertheless an interesting history of the whole world through small vignettes of key people. Like all history, this one comes with a point of view. We hear about the enslaved as well as the enslavers, we hear about South and Central America, not just Europe and North America. Plus, who knew, the history of the world is full of women.

Librarybelle Stacking! 1y
BarbaraBB Great review 1y
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Currey
The Sentence | Louise Erdrich
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I thought I should read an indigenous author for the US prompt for #ReadingtheAmericas2023 Erdrich is a Chippewa from Minneapolis and owns a bookstore. Our MC works in Louise‘s fictional bookstore and struggles with her own sense of self and with a ghost. The story takes place in the early days of the pandemic when we were all a bit haunted. The sentence of the title is both a grammatical language construct and a time of incarceration.

BarbaraBB Great choice! 1y
Librarybelle Great choice, indeed! 1y
27 likes2 comments
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Currey
The Murmur of Bees | Sofa Segovia
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#Readingtheamericas2023 #Mexico I have not read many Mexican authors but the ones I have read tend to make the peasants and tenant farmers the heroes of the revolutionary story. Here we have a story about owners holding onto their land. Truly the book is a touch slow, a touch too sentimental, a bit too much magical realism with sentient bees. However, there is a fully realized female character and a simple reading style that I loved.

TorieStorieS I‘m planning on listening to this one this month! 2y
TorieStorieS I‘m planning on listening to this one later this month! 2y
BarbaraBB Fab review. I am super intrigued now! 2y
rockpools Oh, this sounds good! And it happens to be on my kindle… 2y
BookwormM I love magical realism and sentimentality 🤣🤣 2y
20 likes5 comments
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Currey
Simone: A Novel | Eduardo Lalo
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#Readintheamericas2023 #puertorico A love story to a city and a woman that could never be held onto. The author captures both the love and bitter despair as he walks the streets of San Juan. The argument about authors from Spain not being the center of Hispanic literature unbalances the ending but otherwise I thought it unique and worthy as it captured the in between and confused state of Puerto Rico while giving me a lusty love story.

Librarybelle Great review! 2y
15 likes1 comment
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Currey
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#ReadingtheAmericas2023 #Barbados An example of how different a reading versus listening experience can be. The beautifully lyrical accents of the narrators creates a light mood but the content is not at all light. The stories reflect sex trafficking, domestic abuse, and broken homes. The voices are often of children or innocents and their naïveté really caused a chill. An interesting book to be able to hear the warmth and feel the chill.

BarbaraBB Beautiful review ❤️ 2y
Librarybelle Great review! 2y
19 likes2 comments
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Currey
John Crow's Devil | Marlon James
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#ReadingtheAmericas2023 #Jamaica James‘ debut novel illustrating the extremes of religious fervor in Jamaica in 1957. The good versus evil paradigm significantly shifted here with some obeah and magical realism thrown in. The writing holds up though. It is violent and graphic so it didn‘t go well with my holiday spirit but better to end the year with this than begin a year with it. My first #ReadingtheAmericas2023

BarbaraBB I didn‘t know about his debut novel. It sounds like a tough starter of the challenge! 2y
14 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Currey
Kava in the Blood | Peter Thomson
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Mehso-so

#ReadAroundTheWorld #Fiji The author delivers a detailed and personal look at both the military coup of 1987 and of his growing up in Fiji. Although in-depth, I hungered for some broader background as I didn‘t have the basics of life in Fiji. I did learn a huge amount including their Melanesia ethnicity (not Polynesian), tribal cannibalism, and the political polarization between the Indian and Indigenous people. Plus all about Kava.

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Currey
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Mehso-so

#readaroundtheworld #armenia The son of the Main Character, is the author of this book taking us from his mother‘s deportation and exile from her Armenian home in Azizya through multiple refugee camps to her eventual betrothal in Greece. Along the way she loses her parents and siblings to massacres and despair. Written in a straight forward style with little emotional overtone it is nevertheless an important book about the Armenia diaspora.

Currey The picture is of the fire set by Turkish troops to the Armenian quarter of Smyrna, a Greek city on the Mediterranean. The city is obviously no longer ‘Greek‘ and is part of Izmir 2y
rockpools I‘m definitely going to have to come back and learn more about Armenian history. Devastating. 2y
17 likes2 comments
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Currey
Beka Lamb | Zee Edgell
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#readaroundtheworld #belize Another debut novel from Belize, but this one parallels the breaking free of the colony from Britain with a coming of age story of a young Creole girl learning to stand on her own. Hurricanes feature in this one also. I suspect that one can not learn about Belize without learning about hurricanes.

rockpools Oh interesting! I still haven‘t got there, but you‘ve made me want to actually pick the book up. 2y
BookwormM Glad you enjoyed this one 2y
18 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Currey
Cry Among Rain Clouds: A Novel | John Alexander Watler
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Mehso-so

#readaroundtheworld #belize The first novel in a detective series, the author had not yet found his feet. Some great history lessons, some interesting characters but the telling was too chunky, the dialogue too thin. Great dip into the highly mixed population and cultures though.

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Currey
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#catherbuddyread #whartonbuddyread After reading Wharton it is cleansing to read Cather again. Her descriptions, her faith in her flawed characters, and her eloquent prose add up to something purer than Wharton. This was not my favorite Cather but I still really appreciated it. One more Cather to go as I joined the buddyread late. And back to Wharton and her cruel, greedy, broken but oh so delightful to read about characters.

CarolynM I haven‘t known how to express my feelings about the comparison between Cather and Wharton, but I think you‘ve nailed it👏 2y
Graywacke Glad you enjoyed this. I still think about Claude all the time (and his curious wife). 2y
21 likes2 comments
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Currey
The Dutch House | Ann Patchett
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#whartonbuddyread I now see what you meant about Patchett having already written the sequel to Custom of the Country. Character driven family saga but also a particular insight into how economic motivators cause wedges between people, how the inability to communicate effectively is a communication nevertheless and how an author can dress someone up in a role, keep them largely offstage and yet have them be the pivot point of the book.

Graywacke Such a great book. And great review…that unspoken communication. The absent-mom/saint has stuck around for me as much as Danny Conroy (in Tom Hanks‘s voice for me). Glad you enjoyed! The material focus connects to Undine; also the unhappy sense of dilapidated lost wealth is maybe the likely trajectory of Undine‘s inheritance. 🙂 2y
24 likes1 comment
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Currey
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Mehso-so

#ReadAroundTheWorld #Tonga I thought this book was about the author‘s travels to Tonga. Well yes, however the author is an ethnographer and this is an in-depth 30 year ethnographic case study on how globalization is impacting traditional Tongan culture. Fascinating. I learned a huge amount BUT it was slow going with many discussions about the changing nature of ethnography as well. Phew. Of the 220,000 Tongans in the world 50% live overseas.

rockpools Sometimes we end up reading *really* unexpected things for this challenge! 2y
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Currey
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Here is another option for The Gray Boy by Van Dyke - although I guess it is more of a gray dog…he at least looks more lost in a way that Paul could identify with.

Lcsmcat I think you found it! Good job!! He looks just like I picture Paul. 2y
16 likes1 stack add1 comment