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Hamlet

Hamlet

Joined December 2016

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review
Hamlet
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Pickpick

This collection of stories was my first foray into the writing of Lahiri; when I neared the end, I headed to my favorite Boulder book store for more by her. These tales of immigrant families are humane, complex, & riveting. This book became a book-club pick because there is so much to discuss: a richness of relations & moments that made me set aside other story collections I was reading as dun colored in comparison. I enjoyed every page.

IuliaC Stacked! I read "Interpreter of Maladies" by the same author and loved it 2mo
Hamlet @IuliaC I‘ll put it on my TBR list! She‘s a wonderful writer. 2mo
7 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Hamlet
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Pickpick

I‘ve heard about Ferrante‘s writing prowess for a long time, and this offering did not disappoint. Two very different girls in a small Italian village become friends, with the adventurous and mercurial Lila pushing, defining, & challenging our reminiscing narrator, Lenú. I became immersed in the world of their childhood & adolescence each time I picked up the book, so rich is Ferrante‘s storytelling & character development. It‘s a rewarding book.

IuliaC Great review! I liked the entire tetralogy 2mo
10 likes1 comment
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Hamlet
Salvage the Bones | Jesmyn Ward
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Ward‘s story moves quickly with bloody dog fights, candid (even upsetting) sexuality, & a Black family‘s struggles with poverty. The honesty of the author‘s insights propels the story as powerfully as the threatening hurricane surging towards the gulf coast. Ward is an author with a strong voice and loads of potential. The protagonist Esch lingers in the mind when the story ends. This is a fast and worthwhile read.

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Hamlet
To the Lighthouse | Virginia Woolf
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In a quiet summer-home setting, Woolf paints a portrait of inner character and relationship dynamics through the language of thought. Sublime work! How can distinct, limited persons find unity, love, & buried purpose? Woolf shows the way in her greatest novel. The “Time Passes” section is daring and transcendent. The portrait of a struggling artist moves me with its truth. This is one of my very favorite books: kind, trenchant, artful, beautiful.

IuliaC I read this one many years ago on a vacation by the sea and I remember I enjoyed it very much 👍 2mo
8 likes1 comment
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Hamlet
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Pickpick

Imagine a pile of stones, Tolkien once suggested, with great minds measuring & analyzing them, speculating on their origins. Yet they miss the key notion that they once made a tower from which one could glimpse the sea. I usually turn from the closet industry of origin speculation. If I were to select one such book, it would be this one. Garth did his homework, discounting popular notions while offering the complexity of ones worth considering.

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Hamlet
Mrs. Dalloway | Virginia Woolf
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I think Virginia Woolf is one of the best and most important half-dozen writers ever to have written in the English language. Mrs. Dalloway is a masterpiece: moving, complex & nuanced, rich with ideas & insights, humane & heartfelt. I love this novel. It‘s both immediately accessible and yet rewards endless rereadings. One can see the book also as her response to Joyce‘s Ulysses & its novel-in-one-day modernism, and she gloriously bests his best.

Branwen This is my favorite book of all time! 💕📚💕 8mo
Cathythoughts On my shelf .... must read 👍🏻 8mo
EvieBee Must resolve to read this summer! 8mo
See All 7 Comments
Hamlet @Branwen I‘m so glad to hear you love it too! 8mo
Hamlet @Cathythoughts you‘re half way there by just having it on your shelf! 8mo
Hamlet @EvieBee It‘s set in June, so your timing is great. But even if you read it much, much later, I hope you‘ll enjoy it when the moment comes. 8mo
SamAnne I agree. I‘m planning a reread of her books this fall. 8mo
16 likes7 comments
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Hamlet
Lacuna | Barbara Kingsolver
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Barbara Kingsolver is a talented writer. I was more interested in the historical characters & depictions at first than with the narrator, which seemed to be by design. The detail and sensory appeal in this story; the connections between Mexican, U.S., & international history; the inventive layers of storytelling; and the shifting notions of identity all work together seamlessly through meditations on art. My first Kingsolver read won‘t be my last.

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Hamlet
Music at Long Verney: Short Stories | Sylvia Townsend Warner
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Pickpick

Much as I enjoy & admire the novels of Sylvia Townsend Warner, I think I like her stories even more. The characterizations are rich, the ideas thought-provoking, the writing elegant & economical. Five tales of Mr Edom & his antiques gallery center the collection. It‘s a fertile place for story-telling, but STW goes much further. Stories of childhood, passionate romance, & old age complement tales of artists & non-ordinary regular folk. Wonderful.

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Hamlet
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Pickpick

There‘s a certain kind of pleasure in the work & discovery of reading Ulysses, & I found it. Don‘t be daunted by the density of Stephen‘s thinking in the opening 3 chapters; the story‘s focus is Bloom, an ordinary, kindly man full of fetishes & faults. This epic of the body (oh yes) dishes up new styles for each chapter of Bloom‘s journey around Dublin as he avoids heading home to his wife, Molly, having an affair that afternoon. (See comments)

Hamlet (1) It can be tough reading because of the many references to Irish history, Dublin landmarks, and 1904-&-earlier events, not to mention the wild word play & cross referencing of Joyce. It‘s also quite a satisfying arena of language play, & the characterization of Bloom is as rich as your understanding of Dublin & Irish concerns will be. The combination of lofty ideas & base, even crude sexual & bodily function portrayals is strange but works. 10mo
Hamlet (2) In the end, I think Joyce paints a bleaker picture of human nature and a particular marriage than he wants to confront himself. The darkness isn‘t in any quirky sexuality (do what you want); it‘s in how bleakly they can punish themselves & how coldly power, control, & transactional sex are rooted deep in the psyches here. I just came away with that sense, though ostensibly things are more hopeful, especially in the famous ending. For history.. 10mo
Hamlet (3)...of literature in English, this book is one you should know. It was groundbreaking in style, subject matter, & legal challenges. Published in 1922, it‘s part of the experimentation across the arts in the early 20th C. I suggest holding off reading it until one one is full of life & reading experience: over age 40 or 50. It was work to read, but a rich experience in the hands of a word lover & stylist. For accessible Joyce, read Dubliners. 10mo
See All 11 Comments
BarbaraBB Great review and kudos for actually finishing it! 10mo
TiminCalifornia Excellent review of this book and I agree on the value of reading it later into one‘s life. Or re-reading if one is up to tackling the book more than once! 10mo
Hamlet @BarbaraBB Thanks! Reading it took me several months. (edited) 10mo
Hamlet @TiminCalifornia Thanks. I did attempt it in my college days. I see now that my understanding then was so cursory that it didn‘t shape my 2021 reading at all. 10mo
Suet624 Great review!! 9mo
Hamlet @Suet624 Thanks so much! 9mo
Nute Excellent review! Way to go, getting through it! 2mo
Hamlet @Nute Thanks! I like a challenge. 2mo
15 likes11 comments
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Hamlet
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Pickpick

If you only know Ursula K. Le Guin‘s great fiction, I suggest you treat yourself to some of her essays. Rather late in life she decided to try blogging, and many of the pieces in this collection began on her blog. From essays on literature like “Papa H” about Homer to the more frequent musings about language, traditions, & experiences, Le Guin‘s candor and charm convey her thought-provoking insights with swift surety. I enjoyed the collection.

16 likes3 stack adds
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Hamlet
The Door | Magda Szabo
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A troubling, important book. Peasant worker Emerance beats her dog & in parallel berates, belittles, & insults the writer Magda. E & M don‘t understand each other, but for once the working-class person has the upper hand. In a bizarre dance of frustration, they come to accept each other & open up, bringing love but little understanding. The crucial door is the one Szabó opens for us to E, respecting & not patronizing a harsh, pitying laborer.

BarbaraBB Such a good book. If you want more Szabo, I thought this one was even better 10mo
Hamlet Thanks for the Szabó recommendation! 10mo
Suet624 Great review of this book. I agree with @BarbaraBB‘s book recommendation. It‘s quite good. 9mo
10 likes3 comments
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Hamlet
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Pickpick

I‘m a bit mixed in my responses to this one. It‘s a charming, descriptive look at Cotswolds life after WWI; I liked reading the idioms & slang of the era & tales of his eccentric, troubled mother. Heavily nostalgic, this memoir keeps from being too rosy-colored by revealing darker events & impulses of everyone. It gets brutally honest at the end with a failed assault on a girl, the valley‘s “in house” acceptance of incest & manslaughter.

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Hamlet
Housekeeping: A Novel | Marilynne Robinson
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Robinson‘s writing had me calling my niece (who read this novel with me) to swoon over passages. It‘s elegant and luxurious prose, like moving at dusk through long garden walks. Long scenes feel short; they resonate & leave me musing. 2 orphaned sisters welcome an itinerant aunt to their house. Trust, belonging, & memory all come into question. Ruthie feels pulled between her clashing sister & aunt. The language entranced me as much as her story.

Suet624 Read this book when it first came out. Such a great story. Have you seen the movie? Here‘s a trailer from 1987. Looks goofy but I saw it in the theatres when it was released and it was great. https://youtu.be/XJ80uKQdIYU 11mo
Hamlet I just the film version on the Criterion Channel. While the magic of the prose and its musings couldn‘t transfer, I really liked Sylvie & especially the actor who played Ruthie. 11mo
Suet624 Yeah, that‘s the bummer of books turned to movies, but I loved the actors. 11mo
15 likes3 comments
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Hamlet
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Agnes has spent most of her life as Father Damien, living on an Ojibwe reservation. I love how Erdrich uses this premise to explore notions of gender, identity, spirituality, friendship, & more. The pronouns for this character switch back & forth; he & she enjoys having both Ojibwe beliefs & Christian ones give him & her fulfillment & understanding. It‘s a great story, too, with fascinating characters, actions, & mysteries. I‘ll seek more by L.E.

Tamra In my top 10 of novels! 😍 12mo
Hamlet @Tamra I‘m glad to hear of another appreciative fan! 12mo
Suet624 Erdrich can do no wrong. 11mo
Hamlet I can‘t believe I‘ve come to Erdrich so late! What an enormous talent... your comment makes me even more eager to read more of her work. 11mo
Outermostslp1 Love Erdrich. She was married to Michael Dorris, they had a fascinating relationship. 10mo
12 likes1 stack add5 comments
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Hamlet
Underland: A Deep Time Journey | Robert Macfarlane
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Sometimes life feels like the hurried pace of an errand one isn‘t too interested in doing anyway; but in Underland, Macfarlane invites us to step onto nature‘s path, slow down, breathe, and look around. The writing is beautiful and heartfelt. He takes us through catacombs, tombs, mines, tunnels, through time, memory, mythology, and spirit, through explorations of subcultures, trips with friends, meetings with characters. I really enjoyed it.

Suet624 I have this stacked already, but your review would have certainly inspired me to do so. 11mo
12 likes1 comment
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Hamlet
All Among the Barley | Melissa Harrison
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The book portrays in details, tone, & language life on an English farm in the 1930s. 14 year-old Edie works more on the farm just as she‘s becoming aware of her body, finding her voice, & exploring what could be a maternal witch lineage. Enter Connie, a forthright city women writing about the fading rural traditions of England, but with a more insidious agenda lurking in her enthusiasms. Lovingly portrayed but unsentimental, the tale delighted me.

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Hamlet
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Pickpick

I took a shine to this author right away. She‘s no-nonsense & unsentimental in the kitchen, filling each chapter with anecdote and tale that lead to a recipe. Her tiny apartments & kitchens (once only a burner) and her lack of kitchen devices harken back in my memory to a grand-aunt‘s minuscule kitchen and the delights that she sent forth from it. I so enjoyed her voice each morning that I was taken aback & grieved to find she had died in 1992.

Hamlet This book was recommended by a dear friend of mine new to Litsy: outermostslp1 13mo
Outermostslp1 So glad you liked it! 13mo
Suet624 I keep thinking I‘ve read some of her novels, but my records don‘t reflect that. I know I own some and they‘re probably tucked away in one of my many boxes of books. 11mo
11 likes3 comments
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Hamlet
A Mercy | Toni Morrison
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This is a complex book that addresses, starting in the 1680s , the history of labor & human trafficking (slavery, indentured servitude, ‘buying brides‘); the cruel history of capitalism in America; and the partnerships & sacrifices many make to endure. The characters are vivid & diverse; female bonds & the degradation, the displacement of not being valued are at the heart of the story. Complex & rich, this novel would be great to teach & discuss.

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Hamlet
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“Toni Morrison, his fellow Nobel Laureate, wrote that she read Faulkner to ‘find out about this country and that artistic articulation of its past that was not available in history, which is what art and fiction can do but history sometimes refuses to do.‘” (Quotation from an 8/25/2020 NYTimes review by Ayana Mathis of a Faulkner biography. The picture is by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders for Morrison‘s novel “A Mercy.”)

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Hamlet
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Pickpick

I decided to reread this book after noting Toni Morrison‘s comments on it. It portrays the dissolution of white-persons‘ plantation mentality through the decline of one family. The experimental writing has circling, layered mysteries. I admire his attempt to show the mind of a mentally handicapped man. Faulkner has his own racism though, & a troubling lack of focus on Black characters & (ironically) the female lead. A troubling, important book.

Suet624 It‘s sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. 11mo
10 likes1 comment
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Hamlet
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Pickpick

Fun book: I jumped around a lot. Along with the romance and nostalgia comments, Polt emphasizes that 20 & 30 year-olds love typewriters for rebellion against today‘s norms, for feeling unplugged. I enjoyed the guides to brands of typewriters and their strengths, & the inroads presented to this and other analog communities (type-ins sound like fun.) I‘ve written untold papers & letters on my typewriter, the clatter redolent of childhood memories.

Suet624 I use the typewriter at work whenever possible. And I‘m pretty darn old. 😀 13mo
Hamlet @Suet624 Three cheers for those of us old enough to know their value! 13mo
Outermostslp1 *ding!* 13mo
4 likes3 comments
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Hamlet
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“Put a computer in front of people and they‘ll probably gravitate to their usual sources of messages, updates, and entertainment. Put a typewriter in front of people and they‘ll want to write from within. The typewriter doesn‘t push ‘content‘ at them; it draws words from them.”

Suet624 Lovely quote and lovely typewriter. 13mo
7 likes1 comment
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Hamlet
Great Plains | Ian Frazier
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Mehso-so

This book was interesting & troubling. Published in 1989, it has some cringe-worthy assertions & some racist generalizations. The author alternates stories of his own travels with the sort of old yarns by whites that he disparages in his notes. I suspect he‘s trying to be clever & deadpan, but often I‘m just put off. Still, it has its merits and it prompted me to seek more works on this fascinating part of America & its rather ugly history.

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Hamlet
My Own Words | Ruth Bader Ginsburg
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Reading this book and sharing it with all of you feels like a fitting tribute to the great Ruth Bader Ginsberg. It‘s a pleasure to read her crisp prose and follow her reasoning and observations. I was particularly intrigued by her description of how the Supreme Court‘s workday & work week are run. With key cases discussed, historical background that‘s lively, and a personal touch, her writing moves quickly & is throughly enjoyable. Thank you, RBG.

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Hamlet
Fire Next Time | James Baldwin
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James Baldwin is a personal hero of mine. With clear reasoning, profound insight, & emotional candor, Baldwin holds nothing back in spelling out root cause of racial troubles & the mindset of whites (including liberals) that created & perpetuate it. That this book is as powerful, necessary, & on-point in 2020 as it was in 1963 is both tragic and compelling. Baldwin will amaze you. He is a first-rate writer who demands attention. Give it to him.

Hamlet I also recommend watching “I Am Not Your Negro,” a documentary based on his notes for an unfinished autobiography. 1y
Suet624 I listened to the audiobook and kept thinking about folks in the 1960‘s must have responded. Such powerful statements throughout! 14mo
14 likes2 comments
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Hamlet
Beloved | Toni Morrison
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I bow before the author of this masterpiece. Morrison reveals the the anguish of the enslaved, even after achieving freedom. What drives the tale is giving voice to the dead through the character Beloved & all she evokes for good or ill in others. Memory, storytelling, generational trauma, endurance, self-love...& much more. It is the obscenity of slavery & its consequences transformed by art into something transformative for our world. Read it.

Outermostslp1 Love this one. 14mo
21 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Hamlet
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Pickpick

This novel is really more a portrait of immigrant life in late 19th C Nebraska than a traditional novel. From native red grass stretching endlessly & marked by occasional sod houses to the coming of wooden homes, roads, and cars we see an important transition in the land & life of the American prairie. Ántonia & the working girls are fascinating. The narrator is a judgmental ass, but Cather‘s storytelling & descriptions make the book a wonder.

erzascarletbookgasm Great review 👍. Putting this up my tbr. 1y
10 likes1 comment
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Hamlet
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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I very much liked this post-WWII mild-mannered comedy. Pym is insightful and kind about “excellent women,” those single persons who both defend & endure the repressions & expectations of their British society. Mildred is wonderfully dead-pan in her remarks & observations. The story advances at a stately pace, but I so enjoyed the company of Mildred Lathbury and her take on her friends that I felt no impatience about the plot‘s pacing. Lovely book.

Cathythoughts Excellent book ✨ recently read as my first Pym & I loved it 1y
batsy Great review! I loved this. 1y
Hamlet @Cathythoughts This is my first Pym too! (but not my last.) 1y
See All 8 Comments
Hamlet @batsy Thanks! It has such nuanced, humorous insights. I love how much Pym loves her characters; that aspect reminds me of Wes Anderson‘s work. 1y
erzascarletbookgasm Splendid review! 1y
Hamlet @erzascarletbookgasm Thanks so much! 1y
Suet624 I haven't yet read Pym and I keep meaning to. (edited) 14mo
Hamlet @Suet624 I just bought Some Tame Gazelle as my next Pym, though I don‘t know when I‘ll get to it. 14mo
8 likes1 stack add8 comments
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Hamlet
Corner That Held Them | Sylvia Townsend Warner
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This novel set in the 1300s amid the plague years has particular resonance to our own corona-virus times. Warner is a delightful writer, full of insight & gorgeous phrasing. Don‘t be put off by the time period. Warner‘s portrays the characters in the Oby Nunnery with all their flaws, humor, & vitality. There is no single protagonist, but it works. The personalities & intrigues of these women (and a few men) had me racing through the book.

BarbaraBB Sounds very good. The one I am reading is about pestilence too and may appeal to you because of your Litsy handle 💚. 2y
Hamlet Oh, thanks for reminding me of that one! 2y
Suet624 I have this one on my shelf. Thanks for nudging me closer to it. 1y
Hamlet @Suet624 Happy to do so. I hope to read more STW myself. 1y
12 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Hamlet
Lolly Willowes | Sylvia Townsend Warner
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I love Warner‘s writing. This story shows us the Victorian & Edwardian ideal of a spinster that lingers into the 1920s; then it undercuts this “ideal” brilliantly. Dutiful Aunt Lolly has a sort of vision, feels a call. She leaves her brother‘s family to live alone and become a witch. Her feel for the natural world & her own power come alive with her conversations with the Devil. It works as pure story and as a metaphor for female empowerment.

batsy Fab review! One of my faves 💜 2y
Hamlet Thanks! 2y
Outermostslp1 Did enjoy this. Not sure why but something about it reminded me of I Capture the Castle, or one of Elizabeth Goudge's works. 1y
Hamlet @Outermostslp1 I haven‘t read that one. I‘ll put it on my list. 1y
13 likes4 comments
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Hamlet
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Pickpick

This book of a free-thinking teacher in 1930s Scotland whose radical ideals both win-over & trouble her select pupils is an insightful character study. Miss Bodie- in her prime as she reminds everyone- picks & tries to enhance defining characteristics of the “Brodie Set, while creating a kind of cult of personality for her own ego. The story is rich & complex, yet still an easy read. The Maggie Smith film is significantly different, but wonderful.

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Hamlet
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Mehso-so

This 1740 novel was so popular that fans wrote theater & opera versions and fan fiction to carry on the story. It‘s a bit dull, moralizing, & didactic to modern eyes, but foundational in the rise of the novel. A maid fends off a rakish gentleman until her virtue alters him & they marry. “Sensibility,” an 18th C literary movement, gains moral authority here; Austen‘s 1811 novel is partly Jane‘s response to its ideas & forms.

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This is a mind-spinning, radical, funny book, one way ahead if its time. Many 20th C experimental writers cite this 18th C book as an influence. It‘s most definitely not for everyone. Sterne largely tosses plot out the window because while Tristram tries to describe his own conception & birth, he gets lost in digressions; but soon we see that making digressions on thinking is the point.This book takes work, but it‘s rewarding & fascinating.

Hamlet Time jumps are a big feature: while telling a story, his uncle pauses to look at his pipe & almost fifty pages later, he rattles his pipe again... in between Tristram tells stories & musings until one forgets one is in a digression. Crazy! 2y
4 likes1 comment
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Hamlet
The Oatmeal Stories | Robert R. Stevens, Catherine A. Serrao
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This is a harrowing, compelling book about growing up in desperate poverty in rural Maine of the 1940s & early ‘50s. The father did the odd jobs amid hunting & stealing (& a time as a hated Constable) to get by. The mother beat on her son to vent her frustrations & ended life saying she hated her family. The book is raw & bleak, but matter-of-fact in tone. It‘s an unvarnished tale of grinding poverty & its harsh effects. It‘s an awakening.

Suet624 Gee whiz, that mother looks fearsome. 1y
8 likes1 comment
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Hamlet
Time of Gifts | Patrick Leigh Fermor
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In the winter of 1933 a young man started a walk from Holland to Constantinople. This adventure hooked me right away. Fermor conveys the immediacy of his experience along with learnèd musings on the medieval history of the land (& some sad post WWII notes). His lively encounters along with his walker‘s perspective drive the book. His erudition can be dense at times—I have a new journal of ideas for him—but the joy of the trip makes it all work.

charl08 One of my favourites. 2y
Hamlet I hope more people discover it in this NYRB edition. 2y
10 likes2 comments
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Hamlet
Middlemarch (Revised) | George Eliot
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Long ago I started & then set aside this book, daunted by the length. What reading pleasure I postponed! Eliot has such rich characterizations, such thoughtful asides that I‘ve been re-examining my conscience & sympathies as I read. I loved this book. It stirred me to have many thoughtful conversations about it. Now I know why Eliot is considered one of the all-time greats in English literature. This book is well worth your time. It‘s marvelous.

TiredLibrarian I loved this. Beautifully written, and so many of life's experiences in it. 2y
batsy Lovely review! This is one of my all-time favourites 💖 2y
Hamlet One day of my all-time faves too! I can understand how rereading it at different stages of life would be so rewarding. 2y
Outermostslp1 Loved this one too and wondered where it had been all my life, or rather, why I had never taken the time to read it. 1y
15 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Hamlet
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Pickpick

Tara Clancy‘s deadpan delivery on the radio is a delight, & her book is just as great. Her characterizations of crazy relatives ring true, & the author‘s own vitality drives the tale. She‘s a defiant and affectionate rogue. This fast-moving memoir was a fun and funny break from my other reading, but it‘s much more. Clancy‘s book is a barrier-breaking, brash tale of a strange childhood and the roots of a strong-voiced woman I admire.

TheBookHippie I so enjoyed this !!! 2y
10 likes1 comment
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Hamlet
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Pickpick

Norris‘ memoir of her love for Greece and the Greek language is intriguing and entertaining. She writes well. Along with having many “a-ha!” moments about the language, I found myself making book lists and looking up ideas, persons, and histories. This book stoked my curiosity about many things, and that proved to be a good portion of my delight in it... and I was delighted; I read thirty pages before leaving the library.

batsy I love it when a book does that! Sparks multiple curiosities/ideas and sends you in different directions :) 2y
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Hamlet
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Pickpick

This is a short, light book. It presents observations on Chinese culture through efforts to learn the language. The book “makes for a kind of reality check on what we consider the givens of language.” From the use of East-West for orientation in town to a distaste for pronouns, Chinese views contrast with English-speakers‘ assumptions . This book serves as a taste of a new subject to whet my appetite for more.

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Pickpick

“Most people only like what they‘re good at,” a teacher once told me in back-handed compliment. I was never too great at it, but I‘ve always found math (and its history) to be irresistible. This book is wonderful. It explains why the study of prime numbers is central to so many other ideas in our world. The author crafts lucid explanations of complex ideas & his enthusiasm energizes the whole book. He makes this subject human & accessible.

k.reads Same! I was never great at math, but I love reading about it. 2y
Hamlet That‘s great. There are a lot of books out there for the likes of us. I have a couple of shelves of them. 2y
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Hamlet
The Wake: A Novel | Paul Kingsnorth
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Give Kingsnorth credit for his creativity with language. With the underlying premise that the Norman invasion of 1066 was the worst event to happen to England & the English language, the author creates a “shadow tongue,” a modified and accessible language that uses & invokes Old English. Reading it is a challenge at first, but a worthwhile one to convey Buccmaster‘s tale with the right feel & flavor: a disdain for the coming changes to his world.

Hamlet I‘d also add that setting a post-apocalyptic novel 1000 years in our past is a cool idea. 2y
charl08 I've got this on the kindle. One day I will read it! 2y
batsy The concept of his books intrigue me! This and Beast. Need to get around to them someday. 2y
Hamlet Great tip! I hadn‘t heard of his other book. Thanks! 2y
9 likes4 comments
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Hamlet
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This book can be read for pleasure or it can serve as a desk-reference. The writing is informative and stilted. Dreyer so often breaks the flow of his sentences by means of parentheses, dashes, and footnotes that his writing style moved in my mind from annoying to comic & thence to oddly endearing. I‘m glad to add that Dreyer is quite funny. This book can serve as a thorough guide for editing one‘s own writing. Good stuff.

Nute I downloaded the sample of this on my Kindle and fell in love with his humor in the first paragraph. It is his comedic approach to writing that endears the reader. I didn‘t purchase it at the time, but your review has increased my interest. 2y
Hamlet Thanks. Yes, writing about grammar and language with humor makes all the difference. 2y
6 likes2 comments
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Hamlet
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Pickpick

With the San Juan Mtns in Colorado at 7 1/2 times their normal snowpack, I‘m taking a break from my CDT hike after the NM section & this book welcomed me home. Her humor & insights into copywriting at the New Yorker made it a lively read that I finished quickly. Norris explains grammar & punctuation well, evincing her care and rather strict approach while remaining open-minded and kind to others; the book is not a Truss-like venting, to my relief.

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Hamlet
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Pickpick

Hamlet is one of my three favorite books; I‘ve read it at least once a year for all my adult life. Reading it recently with a pal & colleague in our Reading Group of Two was an exceptionally rewarding experience, savoring the poetry, dynamic characters, & haunting themes. We also explored the “good” & “bad” Quarto versions as well as looking at my photo-facsimile of the First Folio. Language has seldom been crafted with more beauty & power.

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Hamlet
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Pickpick

The King James Version of the Bible was published on this date in 1611; for a rewarding look at all the idioms that entered the language from the work of those translators, check out “Begat.” Examples include filthy lucre, rod of iron, drop in the bucket, rise & shine, skin & bones, salt of the earth, see eye to eye, & at wit‘s end. Along with Shakespeare‘s work, the KJV Bible had the greatest influence creating English idioms.

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Hamlet
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Pickpick

This novel about a woman serving as an ambulance driver in France during WW1 manages to convey the tedium & nastiness of her job alongside the outrage, poignancy, humanity in the experiences she faces daily. It‘s another great anti-war war book from a woman‘s perspective, one that deserves to be read & remembered. A bonus is the terrific Afterward essay by Jane Marcus. The books she mentions or recommends have formed a new reading list for me.

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Hamlet
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Pickpick

Although this book was too expensive for me to buy, I found myself reading it for a long time in the bookstore & then ordering it from the library. Its short biographies of great writers are rewarding, always pulling me to look at one more. It‘s fascinating to see whose life & works merit a big spread & whose only get a brief note in an era‘s “directory.” Paging through this is a lot more fun than reading Wikipedia bios on a computer screen.

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Hamlet
The Kalevala | Elias Lnnrot
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Pickpick

I loved that characters in The Kalevala had fights with songs rather than with weapons. As the epic at the heart of Finnish national identity, this book of adventures is important cultural heritage. Wholly distinct from Norse mythology, this work focuses on the singer Vainamoinen & a wealth/fortune-creating device called The Sampo. While patriarchal as expected, these rhythmic tales, rooted in the land & a love of song, are fun & beautiful.

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Hamlet
Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth | Catherine McIlwaine
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Pickpick

This book was made as part of the Tolkien exhibition (summer & fall 2018) at the Bodleian Library. It‘s terrific. With short essays by the best writers on Tolkien & images (some never-before published) from Oxford‘s archive & the Tolkien estate, it‘s a wonderful summary book of JRRT‘s life & work. I‘m excited now for Christopher Tolkien‘s stand-alone release of his father‘s 1st major story of the Elder Days: The Fall of Gondolin.

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Hamlet
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Pickpick

This book offers a great study of post-WWI England. From disillusionment of life in the trenches mixed with imperial idealism to a portrait of the racism & arrogance of the British Raj, the book slowly points to the Everest quest as a generation‘s hope for redemption. There‘s too much detail, but that‘s okay. I had my own welcome disillusionment after the gloss & appeal of that era as seen in shows like Downton Abbey. It‘s a fascinating read.

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