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Graywacke

Graywacke

Joined June 2017

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Graywacke
Light In August | William Faulkner
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My cover of Light in August, one of some 200 books a downsizing neighbor (and published poet) gave me almost 20 years ago. It‘s a very beat up Modern Library edition without a date, but with a 1950 copyright on the introduction. I‘m finally about to start.

Tamra Lovely! 23h
36 likes1 comment
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Graywacke
Possession | A. S. Byatt
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Possession - Chapters 6-10 #byattbuddyread

I fell behind this week, care of Hurricane Beryl. But have just finished chapter ten and am staring down the title Swammerdam, knowing something of its consequences. I haven‘t read on yet.

Roland is charmingly humbled by our author, and our compassionate hearts maybe lie with Maud (mine does). But that was before we were showered with these passionate letters. You in? Overwhelmed? Share how it‘s going.

Librarybelle Those letters! Wow! You can feel the passion. I like that we‘re reading through this slowly…so much to unpack between the narrative and the stories and poems and letters. Also, did everyone else feel the cold of the house as Roland and Maud read through the letters??? 7d
Graywacke @Librarybelle i felt that cold, even in our sweltering July. 7d
See All 19 Comments
Librarybelle @Graywacke Yes! Who knew this would be a good time of year to read this book, especially those of us living through the heat right now. 7d
Currey @Graywacke Exactly…99% humidity and hot but I was feeling the cold. I am feeling very empathetic to Maud and have some confused feelings about the two lovers although those love letters!! Roland has so little going for him except I am appreciative of his perseverance. 7d
Deblovestoread @Librarybelle Yes! The heat of the letters against the cold of where they are reading and the perceived coldness between Maud and Roland as they read. 7d
Graywacke @Deblovestoread ooh. I hadn‘t thought that contrast through. What a beautiful perspective. 7d
Graywacke @Currey I‘m intrigued how interesting Roland and Maud are, especially how endearing Roland‘s meekness is. 7d
Graywacke @Librarybelle did you see those letters evolving as they did? I was thinking it would all play out innocently. No… 7d
Librarybelle @Graywacke This is where seeing the movie before reading the book did not help! Movies do not always follow the book, and it‘s been so long since I‘ve seen the movie, but I remember enough from the movie not to be surprised by the letters. For them to be hidden away had to make them special for some reason, and the romance angle is a good reason to hide them away. 7d
Graywacke @Librarybelle yes, maybe it needed to be dramatic. Otherwise why have them. 7d
kspenmoll This novel has been slow going for me but I am totally immersed in its storyline-I had to write down all the characters & their connections to help me with this dense read.The letters became so passionate which I wan‘t expecting.I like the idea of the contrast between cold & the heat wave here @Deblovestoread @Librarybelle I have not read thru Swammerdam yet, daunting! 6d
sarahbarnes Sorry to be late to the discussion this week! I agree with you @Librarybelle that there is so much to unpack through the different narrative pieces. I love how they‘re all connected - the story of the whiteladies and the correspondence about the poem for example. 6d
sarahbarnes I was also thinking the letters escalated quickly! 😆 I love how long and formally they started out, and then became so much more abrupt and urgent. I love that we read about Maud and Roland reading the letters and then they are all presented to us firsthand. 6d
sarahbarnes I will say I absolutely loved the passage about Maud and Roland outside the bathroom. What a fantastically written moment. 6d
sarahbarnes And what is happening in the last two letters in Ch 10?? 6d
Graywacke @sarahbarnes last two letters of chapter ten - maybe Cristabel doesn‘t like microscopes? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Swammerdam 6d
Graywacke @kspenmoll i‘m so happy you‘re immersed and going slowly! Me too! And i have lots of notes. I keep seeing names and wondering -who was that?- Notes have saved me so far. … I did read Swammerdam twice this morning, but it was pretty straightforward once i got the gist. 6d
Graywacke @sarahbarnes glad you joined. No worries on timing. And - yeah - those letters took a sudden leap of … passion? 6d
32 likes19 comments
review
Graywacke
Night Watch: A novel | Jayne Anne Phillips
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Mehso-so

This year‘s dark horse Pulitzer winner, on post-Civil War West Virginia.

Overall, for me this novel has some good aspects, but also problems. I liked the slightly difficult prose, and the various aspects of history and place. The plot seemed flawed to me, full of aspects that I couldn't make sense of. Slightly disappointing, maybe. 🤷🏻‍♂️

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Graywacke
Lost & Found: A Memoir | Kathryn Schulz
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My semi-appropriate hurricane reading…

To be clear, I‘m still trying to fly home to my hurricane struck house…. 🙁

Bookwormjillk Oh no! I Hope there‘s not damage. 2w
dabbe 🤞that everything's okay. 🙏 2w
Graywacke @Bookwormjillk @dabbe thanks. I only just found out, but house and cat at ok. 2w
See All 8 Comments
AllDebooks So glad your house is ok and all are safe x 2w
Bookwormjillk @Graywacke whew, that‘s a relief. I hope you get home soon. 2w
dabbe Whew! 😅 2w
Crazeedi Glad everything is OK, things are really bad some places! 2w
Aimeesue Glad the house and cat are OK! Scary stuff. 2w
46 likes8 comments
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Graywacke
Possession | A. S. Byatt
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Possession - chapters 1-5

We have met Roland, our knight, and his research on Randolph Henry Ashe that he performs for someone else. And his discovery of the link to Cristabel LaMotte, thanks to help and family connections of Maud Bailey. Poetry, stories and letters.

How goes it? Are you struggling, completely infatuated and in love with Byatt like me 😁, or some, hopefully positive, place between?

Graywacke The painting is: The Return of Persephone (1891) by Frederic Leighton - referred to on page 3. 2w
Graywacke (I‘m traveling today. Apologies ahead of time for my lack of response to comments) 2w
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Currey @Graywacke I have read The Children‘s Book and knew I would love Byatt‘s writing but less sure I would like the story and characters. However, so far, so wonderful. Even Val and Blackadder (our snake?) who are not likable, are well drawn and one hopes for some positive evolution of Val to compliment the quick descent of the first chapters. 2w
Graywacke @Currey i feel so bad for Val. I‘m so happy you‘re smitten too. I‘m enjoying beyond anything I imagined. I haven‘t read Byatt before. The whole set up - i get curious and then everything plays into exactly what i want to know. The poetry is better. The fairy tale is better. The letters - i‘m so curious now. 2w
sarahbarnes I too was quickly immersed. I agree @Graywacke the poetry and fairy tale are brilliantly written. Like you @Currey I want to see some redemption for Val. I was maddened by Sir George and them having to leave without the letters! This is my first Byatt and her writing is exquisite. I‘ve had this book on my shelf for decades (!) and am so glad to finally be reading it. 2w
Librarybelle This is my first Byatt as well. I saw the movie loosely based on this book many years ago, and I grabbed my copy upon seeing the movie. I‘m enjoying the inclusion of multiple types of writing to allow the story to unfold. I too wonder about Val and how her story progresses (or doesn‘t). Enjoying it so far! 2w
Deblovestoread It started slow for me but by the end of Ch. 5 I am fully interested. Loving the poetry and fairy tale. On the fence about Val. Curious about the letters and where they will end up. 2w
sarahbarnes I read an interview with Byatt where she said she conceived of this book in its entirety before she wrote it and wrote it largely without interruption. Imagine being able to create such a story in your mind! 2w
Graywacke @sarahbarnes @Librarybelle @Deblovestoread so glad you all are enjoying too! 2w
Graywacke @sarahbarnes that‘s really cool that could write all this straight through. It feels like years of work and planning. But it flows really nicely. 2w
Graywacke @sarahbarnes so, I haven‘t had my copy for decades. I only bought it in April. Congrats for dusting your copy off. I have kind of thought about reading Byatt for ages. But it was getting involved with a Booker Prize group that really got me motivated. That led to me finally buying a copy. 2w
Graywacke @Librarybelle it‘s pretty amazing she can just mix in a poem here, and a wonderful reference to other poetry (and art) there, while writing her prose. I haven‘t seen the movie. Should i consider it? 2w
Graywacke @Deblovestoread glad you‘re in and enjoying this poetry. I think Val‘s research getting essentially destroyed because of association with her husband is just tragic. 2w
Librarybelle @Graywacke I remember liking it, but I have not seen it in at least 15 years. I do plan to rewatch it after finishing the book! 2w
jewright I always love books about people who enjoy reading and research. I‘m enjoying all the poetry. 2w
KathyWheeler This is a reread for me. I loved it so much when it first came out, that I was afraid it wouldn‘t live up to that, but it does. 2w
Graywacke @jewright especially when they provide all that research to you in a timely manner, just for reading. I‘m happy you‘re enjoying too. 2w
Graywacke @KathyWheeler yay! Anything feel different this time? 2w
Graywacke So, I live outside Houston, currently getting hit by hurricane Beryl. My traveling yesterday involved going to the airport, checking in, having our flight, due to land 12 hours before the Hurricane‘s arrival, cancelled, and then getting a place to stay with my sister outside Philadelphia. No flights home right now. 🙁 2w
sarahbarnes Oh no @Graywacke - thinking about you and hoping you can get home soon. 2w
Graywacke @sarahbarnes thanks. Much closer now. We have to drive a few hours from the nearest airport that actually had flights 2w
Graywacke I shouldn‘t post these while traveling. I was reading on my flight this am, and at the of chapter 7 theres a Porsche and some jealousy … and this painting is described. I got the location wrong. Oops. 😬😁 2w
37 likes24 comments
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Graywacke
Possession | A. S. Byatt
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Ok. I‘m on page 7. But I‘ve begun #byattbuddyread

Tamra I‘m on chapter 6 and I can say it‘s going to be a challenge for me because I‘m not terribly fond of poetry or fairy tales. 😅😂 Hopefully the mystery keeps me hooked. 3w
Graywacke @Tamra I think that was her gimmick - the mystery to hook us into what she actually wanted to write. But - I‘m totally in love with this at p7. Just need time to read more. 3w
Kimberlone Once upon a time I was supposed to read this book for my Modernism to Postmodernism in college, but I hated that professor and avoided reading most of the assigned books in that class out of spite. Alas, this has been on my TBR for over a decade, and I know it's right up my alley if I ever picked it up again. 3w
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Graywacke @Kimberlone classes just don‘t often seem to lead to reading joy. If you read it, i promise, no essay questions. 3w
jewright I like it so far. I‘m about to start chapter 4. 2w
Tamra I am going to bow out on this buddy read. After reading the first section (thru chapter 6) I‘m not digging it. 😏 (edited) 2w
Graywacke @Tamra that a lot of slow pages to read and not enjoy. Sorry it isn‘t working for you, but glad you‘re not tormenting yourself further. I‘ll miss you, though. 2w
42 likes7 comments
review
Graywacke
Not a River: A Novel | Selva Almada
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Pickpick

A short book with a message, but what message? Three men have a drunken vacation on an island they have had a troubled history with, and touch on the sore tensions of the also drunken locals. I was thinking colonialism, but the Argentinian author says it‘s an attack on conservative “neo-liberals”. Whatever it is, it‘s entangled within in an interesting way and open to interpretation. Lots to think about after only 2.5 hrs of reading.

Ruthiella 😻😻😻 3w
BookmarkTavern So cozy! 3w
Leftcoastzen 👏😻 3w
53 likes3 comments
review
Graywacke
Sanctuary | William Faulkner
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Mehso-so

This is both a sick work and a striking set of cultural contrasts. Faulkner, back in regular prose, has his town college graduates show off to drunken rum runners with loaded guns and opaque complex minds. It‘s weird and creepy in an interesting way. But like that movie, the story of Temple Drake is most memorable, but not in a good way. And it‘s really disturbing that Faulkner wrote it as he did. Some kind of trigger warning applies.

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Graywacke
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Pickpick

This is a short book and a nice quick reminder that I still like this stuff. Part of the Rincewind series, the magician finds himself pre-pubescent Eric's conjured demon, doing Eric's wishes. The demons themselves are very upset about this, at least the head demon is. The Luggage isn't too happy either. Pratchett takes on Dante, Goethe, Aztecs, Homer, and the beginning and end of time, care of Rincewind and the Luggage. Fun stuff.

Leftcoastzen Aawww!🐶 3w
dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 3w
50 likes2 comments
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Graywacke
Night Watch: A novel | Jayne Anne Phillips
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Trying to get into it. But the magical feelings and herbs that always fail to prevent the bad stuff are bothering me. I‘m only on page 82.

Ruthiella I‘ve heard mostly negative things about this and that she won more for her body of work than this particular book. I look forward to your review if you finish it! 👍 4w
Graywacke @Ruthiella I was excited to see a dark horse win the Pulitzer. I‘ll keep at it for now. (edited) 4w
45 likes2 comments
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Graywacke
Possession | A. S. Byatt
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Two weeks and one day out

Our plan

July 7: chapters 1-5
July 14: chapters 6-10
July 21: chapters 11-17
July 28: chapters 18-21
August 4: chapters 22-28
#byattbuddyread

jewright Could I join this, please? 1mo
Librarybelle Looking forward to this! 1mo
See All 18 Comments
Tamra 👏🏾👍🏾 1mo
slategreyskies I‘m excited about this one! Thanks! 1mo
Graywacke @jewright of course! 1mo
Deblovestoread I‘d like to join in if this is ok? 1mo
sarahbarnes Very excited! Headed to NYC today and it‘s in my bag! 1mo
Leftcoastzen Oh you and your smart people books! 1mo
Graywacke @Deblovestoread absolutely. I‘ll tag too going forward. I‘m getting excited for this. 1mo
Graywacke @Librarybelle @Tamra @slategreyskies @sarahbarnes - I‘m excited too. I joined the sort of official Booker Prize Book Club on facebook and this comes up a lot. I know i‘ve missing something special. Let‘s go! 🙂 1mo
Graywacke @Leftcoastzen oh, stop. Mean! ☹️ … are you joining too? 🙂 1mo
PageShifter I have this on hold now but let's see what happens 😃 I should get this tomorrow 1mo
Daisey I really enjoyed this when I read it. I wish I had time for a reread with discussion, but I don‘t think I can fit it in. I may still check out the posts. 1mo
Graywacke @sarahbarnes @slategreyskies @Librarybelle @Tamra @LapReader @KathyWheeler @Currey @jewright @Deblovestoread hi all. A little reminder that we‘ll chat Sunday on chapters 1-5. I‘m flying home Sunday. So my comments will be limited. But I should be able to get a discussion post out. 3w
Librarybelle Sounds good! 3w
sarahbarnes Sounds great, thank you! Loving it so far. 3w
Graywacke @sarahbarnes oh good to know! I‘m enraptured. I had no idea how much I would enjoy this. 2w
37 likes18 comments
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Graywacke
Sanctuary | William Faulkner
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My next book

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Graywacke
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Terry Pratchett‘s Helen of Troy (well, Elenor of Tsort)…

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Graywacke
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Well, that might be an odd quote from introduction, but i was stunned reading the one line out loud and seeing the alliteration that i completely missed reading silently. So it stuck.

Anyway, i started this today and just read Amitage‘s introduction and kind of fell in compositional love. It‘s a quietly perfect and beautiful and an enlightening introduction to the poem and to all poetry in translation.

dabbe Probably the best alliterative poem every written (IMHO). 1mo
Graywacke @dabbe !! I‘m very excited to actually read it. 1mo
dabbe @Graywacke It was an absolute joy teaching it to my sophomore honors students. 🤩 1mo
vivastory Def a favorite (esp in this translation) 1mo
33 likes4 comments
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Graywacke
Pearl: A New Verse Translation | Marie Boroff, Marie Borroff
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Pickpick

14th century Christian dream vision. A parent loses a child and then, broken, has a dream where he sees her across a river in heaven‘s paradise, and she lectures him. I used this translation by Marie Boroff, which i thought was well done. It reads quick. Took me about an hour.

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Graywacke
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My next book

Ruthiella 😻😻😻 1mo
Leftcoastzen 👋😻👏 1mo
dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 1mo
See All 7 Comments
Graywacke @Ruthiella @Leftcoastzen @dabbe i appreciate the comments. But, please understand, my kitty assumes praise and worship. She doesn‘t understand feelings of appreciation. 1mo
dabbe @Graywacke I bow to her meow. 🙇‍♀️ 1mo
Graywacke @dabbe oh, you have the makings of a good cat mom! 1mo
dabbe @Graywacke 🤩🐾🤩 1mo
47 likes7 comments
review
Graywacke
Wandering Stars | Tommy Orange
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Mehso-so

I loved his 1st novel, There There (2018) This 2nd novel is more of the same, but this time it‘s not new. And he never changes style. Several characters all written in the same style. Oye. It works for one character, Orvil. For the rest, well, so so or worse for me.

Hooked_on_books I wanted to love this but couldn‘t get into it at all. 1mo
Graywacke @Hooked_on_books I never did really get into it… 1mo
46 likes2 comments
review
Graywacke
The Blue Flower | Penelope Fitzgerald
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Pickpick

This is a gem. (17% Litsy rating be damned 🙂) I was so taken by this that I‘m having trouble with my next books. They‘re too wordy. Fitzgerald was so concise and evocative. She opens the windows and lets in fresh thoughts. I know nothing about German romantics in the age of Napoleon, except this, which only inspires us to want to learn more. And i‘m so fascinated and curious now.

TheKidUpstairs Consider it stacked! I've only read one of Fitzgerald's, but I loved it: 1mo
Graywacke @TheKidUpstairs ❤️ This was my first by Fitzgerald. Want more 🙂 1mo
Ruthiella Isn‘t this book amazing? She conveyed so much with so little! 1mo
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Graywacke @Ruthiella yes. I so agree. It‘s special 1mo
Leftcoastzen I haven‘t read her. Suggest one somebody!😄 1mo
Graywacke @Leftcoastzen this one! 🙂 It reads quick. 1mo
Leftcoastzen 👏🐶stacked 1mo
Graywacke @Leftcoastzen ❤️ 👍 1mo
dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 1mo
Hooked_on_books What a cute pup! 🐶❤️ 1mo
Graywacke @dabbe @Hooked_on_books she sends thanks (need a tail wag emoji) 1mo
dabbe @Graywacke Oh, man, we do, don't we? 🤩 1mo
52 likes3 stack adds12 comments
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Graywacke
Wandering Stars | Tommy Orange
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I haven‘t tried this local (and significant) book club before. It‘s free to join online. I started the book last night.

(For the curious: https://inprinthouston.org/event/inprint-book-club-discusses-wandering-stars/ )

BarbaraBB Very interesting. I am going to read this for #CampToB 1mo
Graywacke @BarbaraBB 👍 I got the summer ToB email yesterday and saw this was on there. 1mo
Liz_M @Graywacke @BarbaraBB FYI over on LT, Ridgewaygirl strongly recommended (re)reading There There before this one 1mo
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BarbaraBB @Liz_M Oh really? I highly value her opinion so I probably will then. @RidgewayGirl (edited) 1mo
Graywacke @Liz_M @BarbaraBB nope. Not doing that. 😁 (but i value her opinion too! @RidgewayGirl ) 1mo
39 likes6 comments
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Graywacke
Pearl: A New Verse Translation | Marie Boroff, Marie Borroff
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Getting started on this 14th century Middle English poem

Cuilin A beautiful cover. 1mo
44 likes1 comment
review
Graywacke
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Pickpick

The attack on Rushdie I think hurt all of us. But he survived. And this is his response. That the book exists is important by itself. And I‘m glad I bought a copy (pre-ordered) and glad I read it. It‘s not the most profound book I‘ve ever read. But it‘s reflective and interesting and it‘s nice to hear his nonfictional voice.

(His wife took this photo. It‘s mentioned in the book.)

47 likes1 stack add
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Graywacke
As I Lay Dying | William Faulkner
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Pickpick

I can‘t capture this. It's just doing a whole lot of stuff, from many different approaches, and it all works. Sometimes it‘s really funny. But mostly I was absorbed. I was reading at a crawl, slowly wading through words that were demanding to me that I slow down and wade through them, and experience them, think of their sound. It‘s just…something. In some non-emotional but deep way I find myself very attached to this. Quite a book.

dabbe The one chapter I remember: “My mother was a fish.“ Your picture says it all. 2mo
jewright It‘s my favorite Faulkner! 2mo
39 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Graywacke
The Blue Flower | Penelope Fitzgerald
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My next book, reading with the Booker Award Book Club on Facebook (because it did _not_ make the shortlist in 1995 🙂)

rubyslippersreads That mug! 😻 2mo
Leftcoastzen Cute mug 2mo
Tamra Love the mug! 2mo
Graywacke @rubyslippersreads @Leftcoastzen @Tamra - I can only blame my daughter. It was a gift. She has a sense of perfectly fitting humor… 🥰 2mo
47 likes4 comments
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Graywacke
As I Lay Dying | William Faulkner
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Whoa! Just getting going on this

BarbaraBB Such a fabulous read. 2mo
Graywacke @BarbaraBB i really get lost in it. Goes really slow, but I‘m all in. 2mo
Hooked_on_books I read this my senior year in high school and really liked it (and am reminded that was a very long time ago). 2mo
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Graywacke @Hooked_on_books surreally long ago, right? Cool high school assignment (or voluntary reading?) 2mo
Hooked_on_books I read it in AP English, which I think was a good thing, as we talked a lot about writing dialect. It added to the book for me, which was a little challenging to read because of how it‘s written. 2mo
Graywacke @Hooked_on_books i finished late yesterday. Still processing. It is something absolutely fantastic. 2mo
49 likes6 comments
review
Graywacke
Asphodel | Hilda Doolittle, Robert E. Spoo
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Pickpick

A gem, but a tough one. This 1920‘s novel was a long a ghost text, unpublished until 1992, but often quoted.

An interesting work. Wonderfully playful here, deeply pained there. In the broken stream of conscious fictional H.D. is always searching and never settling, and captures her own strains of the moment. The reader must latch on deeply, go into reader trance, or put the book away. It becomes an experience, demands it of your brain.

49 likes1 stack add
review
Graywacke
Roman de Silence | Sarah Roche-Mahdi, Heldris (de Cornulle.)
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Pickpick

🤫 don‘t wake Nikki.

This is a delightful 13-century Arthurian romance with a female knight, Silence, forced to hide her identity and act a man. Jealous kings, slain dragons, female healers and a wild-man version of Merlin. It was discovered in 1911, a single manuscript in Old French verse in a box marked “old papers - no value”.

dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 2mo
Leftcoastzen 👏😻 2mo
55 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
Graywacke
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Pickpick

I was a little worried about listening a bunch of essays I might not be interested in, but this turns out to be good stuff. There are simply some lightning essays in here. Many are about the Tudors and the Wolf Hall trilogy. Some are on overlooked women authors, really great stuff. She was an excellent writer, able to make her essays playful in a writerly way. She loved her sentences. Overall, I loved the collection and its richness.

BarbaraBB Wonderful review 🤍 2mo
Graywacke @BarbaraBB ☺️ Thanks. I want to read A Place of Greater Safety now. But… I might need a French Revolution prep course first! 2mo
53 likes2 comments
review
Graywacke
The Children | Edith Wharton
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Mehso-so

It‘s Wharton, so I should probably just give it a pick, but it‘s not my favorite of hers.

We spend this book waiting to see how Martin will manage his unacknowledged attraction to 15-yr-old Judith, while he tries to help her and her 6 siblings-plus-“steps”, stuck 👆 - Cortina, IT in the Dolomites. We might put it down wondering whether it was J who managed M. But the rest I found ok, but less interesting.

#whartonbuddyread

Ruthiella I‘m think it‘s ok to adjust your scale based on expectations. Makes sense to me. 2mo
Lcsmcat Just because someone is a “great author” doesn‘t mean every try is a hit, or connects with every reader. I think she was trying to do something important, I‘m just not sure how successful it was in its day, nor how much staying power it has. 2mo
Crazeedi This picture ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 2mo
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Graywacke @Lcsmcat well, it was a bestseller. But i agree with you. And i don‘t sense much staying power. 2mo
Graywacke @Ruthiella thanks. I‘m always hesitant to hit those Litsy percentages. 🙂 2mo
Graywacke @Crazeedi yeah, right. Take me there! Please! 2mo
47 likes6 comments
review
Graywacke
The Years | Annie Ernaux
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Pickpick

Power back since Monday and we‘re all happy again.

I always enjoyed this, but didn‘t really get into it until the mid-1980‘s. Maybe that‘s when I began to be aware of world events myself and could begin to relate. Anyway, after that i was all in, deeply in. This is a terrific translation and terrific personal trip through time. (Side note - she‘s basically my parents' age.)

Leftcoastzen Awww cute! I‘ve only read one of her books. 2mo
dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 2mo
Graywacke @Leftcoastzen this was my first. But also it‘s clearly different from her other books. So…I still feel blind to her regular writing. 🙂 2mo
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Graywacke @dabbe 🙂 2mo
Leftcoastzen I read this one about an affair, her level of obsession leads me to believe I don‘t have a clue about her writing style either 😂 2mo
Graywacke @Leftcoastzen and, did you like? Seems she had affairs to down to an art. 2mo
Leftcoastzen I did , but I could see how some people wouldn‘t. All the circular thinking & obsession , some people would say oh get over it already! She took it about as far as you can go ! 😁I will be trying another one. 2mo
Graywacke @Leftcoastzen hmm. I‘m going to trust you on this one. Sometimes circular reasoning drives me nuts, but sometimes authors really make it work beautifully. 2mo
51 likes8 comments
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Graywacke
Hudson River Bracketed | Edith Wharton
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#whartonbuddyread

Thinking way way ahead on the book that has an architectural style names after it. I would like to hold off on our next Wharton novel until August.

CarolynM No problem. I might even be able to keep up with the reading schedule by then🙂 2mo
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TheBookHippie Perfect. 2mo
Lcsmcat Works for me! (But I hope that it‘s not that long before your power comes back on. 😀) 2mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat we got it back Monday evening. Four days of no power. I‘m still in recovering. 😁 I committed to a group read on fb in June and one of Possession by AS Byatt here on Litsy in July. That‘s why i pushed to August. 2mo
Graywacke @TheBookHippie 👍 perfect is good 🙂 2mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Glad to know it‘s back! I read Possession decades ago (I feel so old!) and LOVED it. I hope you have a similar experience. 2mo
Leftcoastzen Yay! 2mo
Suet624 4 days feels endless. 2mo
Graywacke @Suet624 it was endless 2mo
Currey Glad to hear your power is back and happy to push Wharton‘s next to August 2mo
dabbe Just the thought of losing power at this time of year makes me like this: 😱. Glad you have it back, and August sounds doable. 2mo
Graywacke @Currey thanks! I‘ll miss our group till then. 2mo
Graywacke @dabbe i‘m kind of freaking out about an August in Houston without power. Hurricane season expected to be intense, so it‘s a real possibility. 2mo
dabbe @Graywacke Oh, man, that is horrible to even remotely contemplate. Houston has certainly gone through some MAJOR weather fiascos. I'll keep my 🤞 for you! 2mo
Graywacke @dabbe I appreciate that 2mo
jewright Works for me. I‘m not ready to think about August though. School is just ending. 2mo
Graywacke @jewright oh, i get that. Same for my wife. 2mo
40 likes23 comments
blurb
Graywacke
Possession | A. S. Byatt
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#byattbuddyread

I‘m looking for a reading plan for Possession and finding poetry everywhere. Had no idea.

Ok, plan idea A:

July 7: chapters 1-5 (102 pages)
July 14: chapters 6-10 (118 pages)
July 21: chapters 11-17 (111 pages)
July 28: chapters 18-21 (114 pages)
August 4: chapters 22-28 (109 pages)

What do you think? This is just a suggestion. I‘m open to what might work better for anyone.

LapReader Can I join please? 2mo
Tamra Looks reasonable to me - thank you for your organization! 2mo
Graywacke @LapReader of course! 2mo
See All 17 Comments
Graywacke @Tamra 👍 great! 2mo
sarahbarnes Agreed! Looks great to me. Thanks for figuring it out! 2mo
Graywacke @sarahbarnes oh good. 👍 2mo
slategreyskies Sounds good! Thanks! 😊 2mo
Graywacke @slategreyskies almost everyone 👍 2mo
KathyWheeler I read this when it first came out and loved it. Coincidentally, I recently felt the need to reread it, so I downloaded the audiobook. Id like to join in this buddy read. 2mo
LeahBergen Oh, how I loved this book when I read it years ago! It‘s such a favourite. 2mo
Librarybelle That works for me! Thanks for organizing this!!! 2mo
Graywacke @Librarybelle ok, that settles it! 👍 I‘ll post reminders 2mo
Graywacke @KathyWheeler please do join! 2mo
Graywacke @LeahBergen I‘m excited to finally read it! 2mo
Currey @Graywacke May I join also? 2mo
Graywacke @Currey yay! Of course! 2mo
38 likes17 comments
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Graywacke
The Years | Annie Ernaux
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Power outage reading. I‘m at a YMCA. …

Ruthiella Hope you get your power back soon! 🤞 2mo
LeahBergen Yikes! 2mo
Bookwomble I hope you're soon back in the comfort of your own home 🏡 2mo
See All 8 Comments
Graywacke @Ruthiella @LeahBergen @Bookwomble thanks all. We got power back tonight, after four days without. 2mo
Bookwomble @Graywacke Good news - what a relief for you! 2mo
LeahBergen Four days?? I‘m so glad it‘s back! 2mo
batsy Oh goodness, that must have been tough. Glad the power is back. My next Ernaux book should be this one! 2mo
Graywacke @Bookwomble @LeahBergen @batsy I missed all things. Thank you! And @batsy, what Ernaux should i read next? I finished this one today. 2mo
47 likes8 comments
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Graywacke
The Books of Jacob | Olga Tokarczuk
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New audiobook, merely 35 hours of it. I was told this was an especially well done audio production and so far (30 minutes in) that seems true.

The_Penniless_Author They've discussed this one on Backlisted. I'm tempted to give it a go, but given that I currently have 17 books in the on-deck circle and that it's taken me a month to get halfway through Portnoy's Complaint, maybe now isn't the best time to embark on a thousand-page odyssey. 😂 2mo
Crazeedi I started this book, never finished, don't know if I could do 35 hrs, but a good narrator may make it a possibility! 2mo
sarahbarnes I started this in print and still haven‘t finished it… 2mo
See All 6 Comments
Graywacke @The_Penniless_Author sorry, missed all these. That‘s funny. Maybe for the next time you need a 35 hour audiobook… 🙂 2mo
Graywacke @Crazeedi it feels slow for me so far, but i‘m just a little ways in. 2mo
Graywacke @sarahbarnes how far along are you?! 2mo
49 likes1 stack add6 comments
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Graywacke
Asphodel | Hilda Doolittle, Robert E. Spoo
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I‘m working to get into this. It‘s a charming mess of text, a jumble of commentary, conversations, 1st and 3rd person (on the same character in adjacent lines), playful lazy classical attributions and references. It‘s a little exhausting and demanding. But she‘s quite fun. Written 1921/1926, published posthumously in 1992.

Leftcoastzen Awww 🐶 2mo
Hooked_on_books At least you have an adorable reading companion! 🐶💙 2mo
Graywacke @Leftcoastzen @Hooked_on_books she is flattered 🙂 2mo
dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 2mo
59 likes4 comments
blurb
Graywacke
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On the #Booker2023 longlist

I've been reading the longlists since 2019 and this was a really good year in that small window. I gave five stars to four different books. I really liked that there was a lot of value given to poetic prose, not purple, but poetic and rhythmic, often personal and always generating reflection. Many of the authors are also published poets, and it shows.

I finished last week. My personal rankings are in the comments

Graywacke My five-star reads
1. Study for Obedience** by Sarah Bernstein (Canada)
2. Prophet Song** by Paul Lynch (Ireland)
3. In Ascension* by Martin Macinness (Scotland)
4. Western Lane** by Chetna Maroo (England - Kenya-born British Indian)
2mo
Graywacke Other fantastic reads - still highly recommended
5. The House of Doors* by Tan Twan Eng (Malaysia)
6. All the Little Bird-Hearts* by Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow (England)
7. How to Build a Boat** by Elaine Feeney (Ireland)
8. Pearl** by Siân Hughes (Wales)
2mo
Graywacke Great reads - still recommended
9. This Other Eden** by Paul Harding (USA)
10. A Spell of Good Things by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ (Nigeria)
11. Old God's Time* by Sebastian Barry (Ireland)

Good, but mixed - YMMV
12. The Bee Sting by Paul Murray (Ireland)
13. If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery (USA - Jamaican descent)
(edited) 2mo
See All 12 Comments
Graywacke * means I really liked the prose style and it has a really nice rhythm to it
** means I thought the prose was poetic in spirit
2mo
BarbaraBB Wow thank you for sharing this. You had a great reading experience, so many you thought fantastic! 2mo
TrishB Thanks 👍🏻 I still have a few of these on the pile to get to. 2mo
Graywacke @BarbaraBB 11 of 13 is pretty good. And the other two made the short list and have plenty of fans. Yeah, it was a fun year. 🙂 2mo
Graywacke @TrishB thank you. Do you have any favorites? 2mo
TrishB I‘ve read 2, 5, 6, 11 & 12 so far. I enjoyed them all except Bee Sting which I found numbingly boring! I have 3, 4 & 7 still on the pile to get to. 2mo
Graywacke @TrishB well, i loved those three you have waiting. How to Build a Boat is actually uplifting. 🙂 The other two, Western Lane and In Ascension, give them time for narrative flow to kick in. 2mo
rockpools I really like your approach to this. It‘s ridiculous, but I tend to think I‘ve missed the chance, if I haven‘t read the bulk of a list before the winner is announced. Will stop being daft and actually tackle this year‘s International Booker - thank you! (edited) 2mo
Graywacke @rockpools Awesome! I‘m working on the international booker. Less enamored, unfortunately. But it calls. And nothing had been bad so far. 2mo
55 likes12 comments
review
Graywacke
Western Lane: A Novel | Chetna Maroo
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Pickpick

I found this to be a novel of wonderful rhythmic hypnotic prose. It took me a few sittings, but I found myself swept up in Gopi's world of grief and squash.

It‘s unassuming, on a grieving family of Jains in England. After Ma dies, dad gets his three daughters into squash, and one of them really takes to it, embracing the sounds and rhythms of the play and the game flow and its strategies.

This finishes the #Booker2023 longlist for me

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Graywacke
Roman de Silence | Sarah Roche-Mahdi, Heldris (de Cornulle.)
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Now that I‘ve finished Chaucer, I‘ve made the Roman de Silence my morning book. This is a 13th century Old French Arthurian romance in verse. And so far, in translation, it reads a lot like the Lais of Marie de France - that is to say, light and charming.

Texreader 🐈‍⬛❤️ 2mo
Suet624 Impressive 2mo
dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 #lebeauchat 2mo
See All 6 Comments
Graywacke @Texreader @dabbe she would thank you but, well, she has that goddess attitude cat thing (edited) 2mo
Graywacke @Suet624 it‘s easy, fun reading. 🙂 2mo
Dilara Ooh, I have seen that Silence is in my anthology of medieval love and chivalry writings but I haven't read it yet! Looking forward to your opinion on it 😁 2mo
52 likes6 comments
review
Graywacke
Lost on Me | Veronica Raimo
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Mehso-so

My experience was on audio, in translation. It‘s autofiction about growing up in Rome with some issues. Fictional Veronica speaks with a false confidence, her anxieties sort of exposed in how she lies constantly, often for no apparent reason. It seems lying and imagined alternative lives are an escape. She tells her unreliable story with a self-deprecating humor. I liked it enough, but in hindsight I‘m glad to be past it. #Booker2024

sarahbarnes I will probably skip this one. 2mo
Graywacke @sarahbarnes it‘s maybe one to skip. Of course you might feel differently from me. 2mo
55 likes2 comments
review
Graywacke
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Pickpick

This was a nice step into Faulkner's best stuff. I loved the book, and was enraptured by the Benjy section.

He's mute and mentally compromised and can only moan. But he observes everything. He watches and feels, but can't interact or express his feelings. He's like a reader. And he floats through time, weaving the present and past in meaningful ways. He catches everything essential, and much that is beautiful and he senses all this.

Graywacke Note: When you open this book, you can vaguely sift out golf in the distance, but suddenly Luster, Bengy‘s caretaker, is gone and there are other people around and Benjy seems different. It's confusing and can be frustrating. Timelines are changing. Confused and intrigued I looked up some guidance online and got this very simple set of guidelines 👇 2mo
Graywacke
1. Pay attention to Benjy's caretaker. When Versh is taking care of Benjy, he is around 3 to 5 years old. When it's T.P., Benjy is a teenager. When it's Luster, Benjy is 33
2. There are two Quentins - Benjy's suicidal brother and his promiscuous niece.
3. Bengy is named Maury at birth, after his uncle, but his mother insists that they change it after discovering his mental disability.
2mo
Graywacke So I had read 30 pages, amused and confused. After finding these guidelines, I went back to the beginning, and what I got was magical. Some of the best reading I've ever had. 2mo
See All 11 Comments
AmyG I read this-was SO confused-then read it again with sparknotes-and was blown away. 2mo
Graywacke @AmyG yes! That‘s like the same experience i had. Once it clicks, it‘s really gorgeous 2mo
sarahbarnes I remember being blown away by this in a class in college, and I‘m guessing I only grasped a fraction of it then. 2mo
SamAnne I was glad to read this one in a Goodreads group with some Faulkner aficionados. 2mo
Suet624 I own this and have put off reading it. So glad to get your notes. Clearly they‘ll be helpful. 2mo
Graywacke @sarahbarnes I definitely only got some things, some impressions. Faulkner often isn‘t friendly to single readings. But i loved what i got. 2mo
Graywacke @SamAnne nice. I want to read with that kind of group. Adds so much. 2mo
Graywacke @Suet624 you know, you have to stumble through about 80 pages. There‘s no other way. Actually i stumbled through 30. Then googled and restarted. That worked nicely. But forgive yourself for that first lost attempt. The second time through (part 1) can get some magic 2mo
56 likes11 comments
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Graywacke
Not a River: A Novel | Selva Almada
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Not a River arrived today, the day of its US release. That‘s the last of the books i ordered for my birthday last month. Here are the 18 books I‘m calling my birthday books. (I‘ll list the titles in the comments.) So far I‘ve read one - Undiscovered by Gabriela Wiener, which i finished today

Graywacke Top to bottom

Not a River by Selva Almada
Undiscovered by Gabriela Wiener
Simpatía by Rodrigo Blanco Calderón
Knife by Salman Rushdie
The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald
Treasures of Time by Penelope Lively
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight translate by Simon Armitage
2mo
Graywacke Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
Sanctuary by William Faulkner
A Backward Glance by Edith Wharton
Master George by Beryl Bainbridge
Possession by A.S. Byatt
The Sunset Limited by Cormac McCarthy
There but for the by Ali Smith
Hotel Du Lac by Anita Brookner
Midnight‘s Children by Salman Rushdie
Giving Up the Ghost by Hilary Mantel
2mo
Ruthiella Fantastic stack with at least two all time favorites of mine: Possession and 2mo
See All 40 Comments
Graywacke @Ruthiella there‘s a story behind The Blue Flower. I joined this facebook group run by the Booker committee. Recently someone has been posting quotes by one judge from each year - recent quotes in hindsight. Three separate judges complained that The Blue Flower was overlooked in its year. So, now we have a group read planned there. 🙂 Possession is a hole in my reading. I need to fix that. 2mo
slategreyskies I agree with you about Possession. I actually own a copy of it (three copies, if I‘m honest), but I haven‘t read it yet. I need to fix that. 2mo
batsy Very impressive stack of which I've only read one and loved—Possession. 2mo
CarolynM Great stack. I‘ve read 3 - Hotel du Lac, Possession and Midnight‘s Children - none of which I liked very much. I started The Heart is a Lonely Hunter once, but didn‘t get very far with it. I want to try again. Both Penelope‘s are on y TBR. 2mo
Librarybelle Great book stack! 2mo
Meshell1313 Ooh a Haply Birthday indeed! 🙌 2mo
BarbaraBB Such a great stack! My favorite of the ones I read is definitely Midnight‘s Children, followed by Posession and Hotel Du Lac. (edited) 2mo
Graywacke @slategreyskies yes! But when? 🙁 That‘s funny you have three copies. 2mo
Graywacke @batsy yay, Possession. 🙂 2mo
Graywacke @CarolynM oh no 🙈 Four misses. But yay on the Penelopes. I‘ve never read Penelope Fitzgerald. 2mo
Graywacke @Librarybelle @Meshell1313 thanks! Any you recommend to start with? 2mo
Graywacke @BarbaraBB yay. those three and the Carson McCullers will fill in some gaping holes, once i read them. 2mo
sarahbarnes Great birthday stack! I have wanted to read Possession forever. And also have a copy of There But. I love her books so much and try to ration them out. I loved Hotel du Lac very much. 2mo
Tamra Bday Books! 👏🏾 Like @sarahbarnes I‘ve been meaning to read Possession. (edited) 2mo
Librarybelle I‘m echoing everyone else that Possession has been on my to read list for a long time. Hotel du Lac has been on my tbr for awhile too. 2mo
dabbe 🤩🤩🤩 2mo
Meshell1313 @Graywacke everyone is raving about Knife! I also loved midnight‘s children. 2mo
Graywacke @sarahbarnes Ali Smith is so clever and fun. I need to read more of her stuff. Ioved How to Be Both. And, yeah, Possession… 2mo
Graywacke @Tamra @Librarybelle @sarahbarnes @slategreyskies - does Possession need some group read motivation? Just offering. It‘s a little project. 2mo
Graywacke @Meshell1313 i‘m so excited to read Knife. When it arrived I had to sit down and have a talk with my squirrel brain about reading practicalities. So, it‘s impatiently still awaiting me. It‘s liked a book from Hogwarts - it‘s gives off little sparks, calling me. 2mo
Tamra @Graywacke @Librarybelle @sarahbarnes @slategreyskies absolutely! I would join in for sure! 2mo
Librarybelle @Graywacke @Tamra @sarahbarnes @slategreyskies I‘d be interested in doing a group read! 2mo
Aimeesue What a great stack of books! Enjoy! 2mo
sarahbarnes Yes! I would definitely join in on a group read of Possession! @Tamra @Librarybelle @slategreyskies 2mo
Graywacke @Aimeesue thanks! 2mo
Graywacke @slategreyskies @Tamra @Librarybelle @sarahbarnes great, let‘s do this. I have July in mind. Any thoughts on that? Too soon, too far away? 2mo
Graywacke @dabbe thanks 🙂 2mo
sarahbarnes July works for me! 2mo
slategreyskies July sounds good to me as well. 2mo
Librarybelle July works for me as well! 2mo
Tamra Yes, July! 😁 2mo
Graywacke @sarahbarnes @slategreyskies @Librarybelle @Tamra great! This is such a good group. Looking forward to this. I‘m giving us a hashtag - #byattbuddyread - and i‘ll post on this a couple times between now and July in anticipation. 2mo
Librarybelle Yay!! 2mo
Tamra Woot! 2mo
sarahbarnes Woohoo! 2mo
slategreyskies Sounds great! I‘m looking forward to it! 2mo
54 likes1 stack add40 comments
review
Graywacke
Undiscovered: A Novel | Gabriela Wiener
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Pickpick

I just finished Undiscovered and feel rewarded. This is a work of personal reflection, of family and cultural and historical reflection, historical uncertainties and miscellany and crimes, the colonization of Peru, racism, and variations of unfaithfulness, with some lines perhaps designed to shock. This is on the International #Booker2024 longlist, a Peruvian author based in Spain.

dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 2mo
56 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
Graywacke
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Pickpick

Four months. I started Aprill shoures soote on January 1, and finished last week. I read from this almost every morning during that time. Once i was into the language, I adored this so much (except when he switched to dull prose). The stories were fine. The storyteller‘s wonderful, and interactions so entertaining, and Middle English verse and its freedom of expression, always drawing me in and unexpectedly charming.

MrsMalaprop Great achievement 👏😊 3mo
Graywacke Thank you! I‘ll miss Chaucer. 3mo
50 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Graywacke
Western Lane: A Novel | Chetna Maroo
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My next book. I finished The Sound and the Fury tonight and started this. It‘s my last left from the #Booker2023 longlist.

BarbaraBB I hope you‘ll share your personal shortlist with us! 3mo
Graywacke @BarbaraBB sure! I have a full list, minus this one. 3mo
42 likes2 comments
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Graywacke
Lost on Me | Veronica Raimo
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My current audiobook, care of my library. Another from the International #Booker2024 longlist. The cringing face on the cover makes me cringe.

38 likes1 stack add
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Graywacke
The Children | Edith Wharton
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Reading with the #whartonbuddyread Actually, i started a week ago, just never posted.

cindyash Hi, found you. really looking forward to this discussion. Ive finished it, but will not spoil anything.... 3mo
Graywacke @cindyash hi. I‘m holding off reading your review until we finish. 🙂 3mo
cindyash @Graywacke yeah I was going to delete it but you can probably avoid it. I could put spoiler notice up!
3mo
Graywacke @cindyash no need to delete it. I know. 3mo
38 likes4 comments
review
Graywacke
Crooked Plow: A Novel | Itamar Vieira Junior
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Pickpick

My 5th on the International #Booker2024. Quilombos history - communities of free black escapes slaves in Brazil - is central to contemporary Brazilian politics. Here we get a story of black tenants farmers living in mud huts and their history with their landlords. What makes this book special to me was the look into the mythologies - African-originated encantados mixed into Catholic mythology and martyrs. This is worth a read.

batsy I want to read this! 3mo
Graywacke @batsy i‘m not as enthusiastic as many readers, but i enjoyed this a lot. Hope you can find a copy. 3mo
batsy The nice thing about Verso is that their books are easily available as epubs and kindles :) 3mo
Graywacke @batsy 👍 that works! 3mo
45 likes2 stack adds4 comments
review
Graywacke
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Mehso-so

Japan medieval history is very confusing and Clements makes it more confusing by giving the reader too many compressed details and not enough clear analysis. Still, lots of interesting stuff here. I was entertained to learn the origins of sushi and kabuki theater.

review
Graywacke
The Silver Bone: A Novel | Andrey Kurkov
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Pickpick

Read this mystery for the setting - Kyiv, Ukraine in 1919 during a brief Bolshevik occupation. The book opens as Cossacks randomly attack citizens on their way out of town, completing a white army retreat. Samson, our young orphan hero, has to manage this chaos having lost an ear and his entire family. He joins a nascent Bolshevik police force with no veterans or experience, and gets a firearm.

review
Graywacke
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this curiosity, found it wonderfully done, found the writing, which focuses so much on the sound, always interesting and terrific, with its own rhythm and life. And I say this even I didn't really get it. (I missed a lot, as I discovered afterwards reading online reviews) This maybe should have won the Booker (and I loved the winner, Prophet Song)

50 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
Graywacke
Kairos: Roman | Jenny Erpenbeck
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Pickpick

My 3rd from the International #Booker2024 longlist, now on the shortlist. 1980‘s East Berlin. A young woman, 19, falls for a married man, age 53. It starts out somehow romantic before getting darker. What‘s interesting, and what i thought about while listening, was how this relationship reflects the state of the dying GDR. It‘s, if you like, a romantic look at a lost, stifled but stable East Berlin. It makes for interesting read.

Hooked_on_books I wasn‘t a fan of this one because the central “romance” gave me the icks immediately. And then of course it just got worse. What I did like was a look at East Germany from a non-western lens. I found it fascinating. 3mo
Graywacke @Hooked_on_books yeah, it‘s way icky. I had to adjust my perspective. 3mo
BarbaraBB Interesting is the right word. I liked it but not as much as her earlier works. 3mo
Graywacke @BarbaraBB I haven‘t read anything else by her to compare. I do have this sense that it‘s missing something that could make it really special, beyond just “interesting”, although I couldn‘t put my finger on what that might be. Still, I think it‘s a really nice thing, as is. 3mo
BarbaraBB Yes I felt similar. It is missing something. 3mo
49 likes1 stack add5 comments