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KiskyLuella

KiskyLuella

Joined May 2016

review
KiskyLuella
Binary Star | Sarah Gerard
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Pickpick

I devoured this book. It's unraveling, rolling prose flows like water as Gerard swiftly moves between her characters, internal and external thoughts. The sparseness of her words and the sentence structure, almost like a poem, generate the best and most disturbing insight into eating disorders I have read and for that, I thank her.

BookMusings I read this book all in one day too. So engrossing. (edited) 2y
4 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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KiskyLuella
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Pickpick

It took a bit longer for me to get immersed in Polly's story, one of the most powerful chapters I've ever read takes place from her perspective near the end of the novel. Read this book for Ko's engrossing prose and heartbreaking, human characters but mostly for her terrifyingly powerful depiction of Polly's time in an immigration camp and how it affected her mental state for years to come.

8leagueboot These stories are more important than ever before for us to seek out. Stacked. 2y
5 likes1 stack add1 comment
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KiskyLuella
Pachinko | Min Jin Lee
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Pickpick

A huge, sweeping novel that certainly pulls you into its current. While I didn't always enjoy Lee's writing style, choppy but not sparse, making it seem almost lacking, I did find myself anxiously awaiting my return to this family saga. As you can guess from my previous statement, Lee does not wax poetic or mince words, making her characters and plot points extremely vivid.

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KiskyLuella
The Infinite Future | Tim Wirkus
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Mehso-so

A meta book for meta book nerds. Wirkus spirals the reader deeper into an interconnected narrative that really makes you marvel at his skill as a writer. The second INFINITE FUTURE, the text by Salgado-Mackenzie, tried my patience near the end, I wish Wirkus had loosened his grip and immaculate control. I will say though, for all the pieces, I was surprised often, not just by the most recent plot development but by the way it seamlessly clicked.

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KiskyLuella
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Pickpick

Satyal's characters, Harit and Ranjana are so fully fleshed out and realized that the chapter format flows beautifully, especially as the novel draws to a close in a beautifully simple conclusion. A beautiful and at times hilarious tale of identity and friendship. I was fortunate enough to host Rakesh at @AstoriaBookshop if you have a chance to see him speak, take it!

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KiskyLuella
Himself: A Novel | Jess Kidd
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Mehso-so

I'm a sucker for a good Irish novel, Kidd is no exception. Full of Irish magic, love and good old revenge, Kidd's tale weaves and grows like the ivy Mahoney is wrapped in when left at the orphanage. The main characters were absolutely vivid but the supporting cast tended to melt together which was confusing in following the mystery plot line. And while I loved the mystical elements, the magic didn't seem to have defined rules within the world.

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KiskyLuella
Marlena | Julie Buntin
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Mehso-so

A book that grips you with all the suffocating power of your teenage years. I loved the way Buntin flipped between older Cat and the Cat flying towards destruction over the course of a teenage summer without losing any momentum in her storytelling. However, near the end I feel Buntin lapsed into the sentimental and harped on Cas' alcoholism as an adult in a way that felt overindulgent and overwritten.

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KiskyLuella
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Pickpick

An endearing, enduring father/daughter epic with perfectly paced chapters and an ending that will pull at your heart. Tinti weaves a beautiful coming of age tale without dipping into the overly sentimental and maintains a taught role of suspense as both characters move forward and become the people you catch glimpses of throughout.

5 likes1 stack add
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KiskyLuella
Suicide Blonde | Darcey Steinke
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Pickpick

Steinke douses her writing with the splashy neon and dirty chills Jesse is living. I was drawn in to Jesse's spiral and self deprivation, understood her hunger. I was disappointed however in the characterization of Bell as a stereotypical unhappy, sex hungry, suicidal bisexual. I was hoping for more from Steinke, although I found Bell captivating and his death powerful, I wish he didn't play into stale stereotypes.

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KiskyLuella
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Mehso-so

I was surprised by the stylistic differences between this novel and A Little Life. I am a huge fan of the former and was expecting a similarly gut wrenching novel. While Yanagihara certainly delivers, I was not left with as much of an impression. Yanagihara's writing forces the reader to rise to her level for the better and the novel crawls forward with intense detail and slow burning dread but the footnotes felt cumbersome and the ending hasty.

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KiskyLuella
Meddling Kids | Edgar Cantero
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Pickpick

A dark, twisted, grown up take on Scooby Doo and the gang that pays homage to all the twists and gags that still keep you on your feet and don't try to be anything else. Cantero writes in a decidedly cinematic style, utilizing both what seem to be stage directions and bulleted dialogue. It's a bit jarring but I'm not sure if that is intentional or meant to be ironed out in the finished book.

Pic of the gf meddling at the airport as we wait ✈️

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KiskyLuella
Difficult Women | Roxane Gay
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Pickpick

A really heart wrenching read, Gay does not hold back in her writing. These women are not designed to make you comfortable or written with the goal of orbiting around a man. I wish her dialogue had the same bite and nuance as her plot lines but in that same thread it did speak directly to the heart of what I think Gay was getting at. I am still thinking about these women and these stories and am thankful this book exists.

10 likes1 stack add
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KiskyLuella
A Separation: A Novel | Katie Kitamura
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Mehso-so

An interesting speculation on grief and marriage. Not the "literary Gone Girl" it is being publicized as but something much more nuanced. Kitamura gracefully spirals inward as the story progresses and although at times I found her repetitive and her observations a bit cliched, I do think it is worth the quick read.

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KiskyLuella
Broken Monsters | Lauren Beukes
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Pickpick

What a ride! I was completely hooked on this from the beginning. Beukes' timing is impeccable and her imagination astounding. A chilling and thrilling novel that delves deeper than a simple police procedural.

10 likes3 stack adds
blurb
KiskyLuella
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Yay book mail! Thanks @jcgoody 🤗

jcgoody Yeah! Enjoy 3y
7 likes1 comment
blurb
KiskyLuella
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I could read Hustvedt's essays all day, unfortunately I can only sip on one or two at a time with my morning coffee because I keep joyfully turning to my laptop to look up an artist, novel or scientific principle I'm not familiar with. Pick up this book, expand your view of art and science.

Dolly Oh, that's the kind on reading I like!🙂 3y
9 likes1 stack add1 comment
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KiskyLuella
Old Filth | Jane Gardam
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Pickpick

Gardam has created an unforgettable character in Old Filth, the upright but troubled aging barrister. Gardam's writing is rich in personality and it's difficult to tear yourself away from the emotional and complex depths of her world. Perfect for fans of A Gentleman in Moscow and The Patrick Melrose Novels.

9 likes1 stack add
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KiskyLuella
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Mehso-so

The concept of this novel is what first drew me to it. While the narrative is unsettling and full of many emotional twists and turns, the blows are softened by the repetitive use of symbolism and metaphor and the author-imposed barrier between Japanese and English. While it could symbolize Rio's status as "hafu" it instead comes off as clunky and uninspired. Worth the quick read but I was not invested the way I wanted to be.

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KiskyLuella
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Pickpick

This book is fascinating. Fischer does an amazing job researching an event that has been denied for years. His humor and pacing helped this history read like a novel which, for a reader like me, is always appreciated. Takeaway: North Korea is fucking bonkers.

8 likes1 stack add
blurb
KiskyLuella
Sweetbitter: A novel | Stephanie Danler
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Started holiday cards today! This is a handful of the authors I've had the pleasure of hosting at @AstoriaBookshop this year 🤗

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KiskyLuella
History of Wolves | Emily Fridlund
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Mehso-so

I found this a bit too padded for my taste. The flashbacks/flash forwards detracted from the main story's momentum as did the sort of half baked side plot. Fridlund's protagonist was sharp and well written and I wish the focus had been pulled in to allow her to take the reigns.

Lettters I agree with these points, though I still really enjoyed the book. 3y
15 likes1 comment
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KiskyLuella
Morte | Robert Repino
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Pickpick

I basically never read science fiction and am terrified of ants so on paper this was not a book for me but i couldn't put it down. Is it amazing literature? No. But the writing is tight, the pacing is quick and the plot is hyper original. I can't wait for D'Arc.

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KiskyLuella
Cloud Atlas | David Mitchell
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Mehso-so

I had a difficult time with this one. Mitchell is one of our most talented and original writers, it is extremely evident in each of his books. I love the way he unapologetically throws the reader into his wold(s) and forces you to rise to his text. However, the beginning and middle sections lost traction for me, the connections between lives fading in exposition. Mitchell's tendency to soapbox hit home at the end though.

Reviewsbylola Great mug! ☕️ 3y
8 likes1 comment
quote
KiskyLuella
Cloud Atlas | David Mitchell

"If we believe that humanity may transcend tooth & claw, if we believe divers races & creeds can share this world...if we believe leaders must be just, violence muzzled, power accountable & the riches of the Earth & its Oceans shared equitably, such a world will come to pass...Torturous advances won over generations can be lost by a single stroke of a myopic president's pen or a vainglorious general's sword."

Stay safe. Stay strong.

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KiskyLuella
Cloud Atlas | David Mitchell
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"If we believe that humanity may transcend tooth & claw, if we believe divers races & creeds can share this world...if we believe leaders must be just, violence muzzled, power accountable & the riches of the Earth & its Oceans shared equitably, such a world will come to pass...Torturous advances won over generations can be lost by a single stroke of a myopic president's pen or a vainglorious general's sword."

Stay safe. Stay strong.

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KiskyLuella
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Pickpick

I raced through this short novel and so wish there was more. I am not one for thrillers, but Vida's talent is palpable in the control she is able to maintain over her story while moving at a compulsively page turning pace. The neurotic unraveling of identity and the heartbreaking reveal of the inciting incident that lead the protagonist to Casablanca place this as a strong recommendation for me.

Booktrovert I love Vendela Vida's books haven't got to this one yet, but have really adored her previous ones. 3y
9 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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KiskyLuella
Shelter in Place | Alexander Maksik
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Mehso-so

I enjoyed that Maksik took this novel in a different direction than I was expecting. Near the end the narrator got a bit too indulgent and repetitive for my taste but the exploration of identity and mental illness was refreshing and kept me tearing through.

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KiskyLuella
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Great weekend at #NAIBA! Books for daysssss. Beyond excited for more Twin Peaks, Moonglow, Difficult Women, Mort(e), And Hannah Tinti's new novel. Now which to read first.... 🤔

Well-ReadNeck What an amazing stack!!!!!!! ❤️📚❤️📚❤️📚❤️ 3y
LauraBeth Awesome stack!! 3y
11 likes2 comments
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KiskyLuella
Widow Basquiat: A Love Story | Jennifer Clement
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Pickpick

An interesting and at times upsetting look into the turbulent relationship between Basquiat and Suzanne. I loved the way Clements interspersed her sparse prose with Suzanne's first person accounts. The writing style seemed to mimic the relationship and made for a quick but heavy read.

8 likes3 stack adds
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KiskyLuella
The Idiot | Elif Batuman
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Pickpick

WOW. THIS. BOOK. Batuman's voice is bitingly original & the character of Selin brings vitality to the pages through her odd, serious and slightly sardonic naïveté. The honesty of Selin's exploration along with the humor and pain of first love and freshman year struck quite a chord. Grab it in March!

jcgoody Super glad you enjoyed this! I've been talking up a storm with people who have read it. Can't stop thinking about it. Hopefully it won't be long before I see you again. Happy Reading! 3y
13 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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KiskyLuella
The Idiot | Elif Batuman
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❤️

7 likes2 stack adds
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KiskyLuella
Bailedbailed

I WANTED TO LOVE THIS SO BADLY. Anything comped to The Night Circus instantly has my attention. But, after 200 pages of stilted dialogue and useless exposition, I was sick of having the love story and magic explained to me instead of experiencing it. A cute fairy tale, but I wasn't moved.

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KiskyLuella
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Pickpick

McInerney is masterful in the way she weaves the lives of her characters together. With each new connection and relationship, I was pulled in deeper. I love complicated, dirty stories and this certainly fit the bill. I do wish she had been a bit more consistent with her use of dialect though.

13 likes1 stack add
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KiskyLuella
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Mehso-so

An extremely accessible and endearing read. I enjoyed learning the personalities of Karma, Kali and Guinevere and the aquarium as a whole came to life through Montgomery's heartfelt writing. However, there was far more emotion than science and I closed the book with more questions than answers.

jcgoody Bummer. On my shelf, and I was hoping for more. Still might be up for an emotional octopus story. 3y
9 likes1 comment
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KiskyLuella
Aliens & anorexia | Chris Kraus
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Mehso-so

This felt a bit more bogged down than I Love Dick. The section that really delved into Simone Weil in particular was difficult to get through. When Chris' own story is able to push through, she shines. Still heavily marked by my pencil, I recommend it as a follow up but it's a bit more of a slog.

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KiskyLuella
Commonwealth | Ann Patchett
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EEEEEEEEEE!!!

Oh my god Ann Patchett is a gift to humanity. She is so eloquent and funny and passionate. I can't wait to visit Parnassus if I ever get to Nashville, hearing her speak about independent bookstores made my heart sing.

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KiskyLuella
Commonwealth | Ann Patchett
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Outside waiting to see Ann Patchett at St. Joseph's! #BKBF #Bookends

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KiskyLuella
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Pickpick

Towles' strength lies in establish rich, dazzling settings that you never want to step away from. His characters boldly move through these gin-soaked pages as if at any moment they might step out and drag you along with them. Always a delight to read, and Gentleman in Moscow is out on the 6th!

9 likes1 stack add
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KiskyLuella
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Just started this morning! If you aren't planning on picking up A Gentleman in Moscow (still my favorite novel of the year) next week, you should re-think that. Amor Towles is a gift.

whelanmaria This book is one of my favorites! I read it the year I moved to NYC! 3y
12 likes1 comment
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KiskyLuella
The Mothers: A Novel | Brit Bennett
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Mehso-so

Oh dear I just can't decide how to feel about this book. I raced through it in a day. Its lyrical portrayal of the complicated trio of main characters is beautiful to read but the pseudo Greek chorus of Mothers seemed disjointed at times and the abrupt ending left me feeling lackluster.

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KiskyLuella
The Mothers: A Novel | Brit Bennett
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Moved straight to the top my my TBR shelf! Can't wait to dive into this buzz book and since I cannot shut up about A Gentleman in Moscow I am squealing with delight to read Towles' first novel.

Thanks!! @jcgoody

jcgoody Heck yeah! Can't wait to chat about them next time we meet up! Really great books there. 3y
Reviewsbylola Rules of Civility is fantastic. I can't wait to read The Mothers! 3y
12 likes2 comments
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KiskyLuella
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Pickpick

I can't believe it has taken me so long to read this book. The way Plath deftly navigates The descent into Esther's mind is familiar and painful to read. As the reader, and especially as a woman, I am left thinking about what tethers us to ourselves.

I am, I am, I am.

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KiskyLuella
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Be still my heart

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KiskyLuella
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
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Still true, Sylvia, still true.

mauveandrosysky 🙌🏻😂🙌🏻😂 3y
11 likes1 comment
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KiskyLuella
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Pickpick

I heard Nadja Spiegelman describe this as "an autobiography of a mother as told by her daughter" and I think that description is perfect. It is far more than a memoir. It's a flowing, curious love letter to mothers, daughters and identity.

LauraBeth ImI've followed Francoise Mouly's career so I can't wait to read this! 3y
14 likes1 comment
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KiskyLuella
Pond | Claire-Louise Bennett
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Pickpick

Reading more like the misanthropic memoir of an academic than a novel, Bennett's writing emulates an English fairy tale. Earthy yet ephemeral, her character's musings went straight to my heart.

Also, I think my vocabulary increased by 10% reading this.

8leagueboot The cover is absolutely stunning 3y
9 likes1 stack add1 comment
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KiskyLuella
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Pickpick

Solnit's writing is ephemeral and her ability to flit between topics is unsurpassed. Before her, I had never encountered a writer who can encompass so much. Always a pick.

A.Shari.A One of my favorites. 3y
9 likes1 comment
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KiskyLuella
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Pickpick

Compulsively readable. I found myself examining my own behavior, reactions and relationship to social media as I read Ronson's theories and stories. The afterward is especially poignant given the current news cycle; and while we may never tame the Twitter beast, perhaps we can work with it.

LauraBeth I can't wait to read this - great review 😀 3y
7 likes1 comment
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KiskyLuella
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Pickpick

For #Recommendsday (& a throwback to past Booker winners) I'm recommending Narrow Road. This novel ripped my heart open. You will feel physically ill, you will laugh, love and most likely cry. This is so much more than a war narrative, it's a glimpse into humanity and just wonderfully written.

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KiskyLuella
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"He'd sit at the head of the table with a bell at his side. If one of his guests said something he disagreed with, he'd pick up the bell and ring it relentlessly until the person stopped talking."

Jon Ronson on author of THE CROWD, Gustave LeBon

LOL