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LeahBergen

LeahBergen

Joined May 2016

Reader and collector. www.goodreads.com/LeahBergen
blurb
LeahBergen
Juliet, Naked | Nick Hornby
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Okay; I‘d best get cracking on my IRL book club read as our meeting is this week. Nick Hornby is always a speedy read, though. 👍

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LeahBergen
The Gazebo | Patricia Wentworth
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Charity shop find! 👍

“Although Althea Graham's hypochondriac mother rarely visited the gazebo on their property, she is found dead there one morning. So Althea and her longtime fiance are finally free to marry. They are also the chief suspects. Fortunately Miss Silver is a friend of Althea's.”

I‘ve been meaning to try a Miss Silver mystery for ages as she‘s been compared to Miss Marple. Are any of you fans?

quietjenn I am, although it took a few books and she doesn‘t come near to rivaling Miss Marple in my affections. But I totally binged on like a dozen of them in a row early in the pandemic, so 🤷🏻‍♀️. 1w
Cathythoughts Great cover 💛 1w
rubyslippersreads I‘ve been meaning to try one. 💛🖤 that cover! 4d
LeahBergen @quietjenn Miss Marple was one of my teenage loves so I can‘t see anyone rivalling her either. 😆 4d
LeahBergen @Cathythoughts @rubyslippersreads Isn‘t it great?? And the dead woman is a horrible, manipulative, hypochondriac mother. 🤣 4d
68 likes1 stack add5 comments
blurb
LeahBergen
School for Love | Olivia Manning
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Okay, since it‘s a little difficult to take my 700 page (hardcover!) history of the Hanoverians into the bath (I‘m blaming you, @shawnmooney ), I guess I‘ll make a start on this month‘s #NYRBBookClub pick. 😉

tpixie Lol 😂 Happy reading 1w
vivastory I too like to live dangerously. Last week I was reading a book while eating dinner (pork chop) & the edge of my my book fell on my plate, staining it 😬 Amazingly enough this is one of very few book casualties I've had over the years 1w
Leftcoastzen A wise choice! 1w
See All 7 Comments
BarbaraBB Living in the edge 🙃 1w
LeahBergen @tpixie @Leftcoastzen @BarbaraBB I do live dangerously. 😆 1w
LeahBergen @vivastory I‘ve always had good luck reading in the bath (touch wood ) but I DID fling red wine on my first edition of The Satanic Verses. 😮 1w
80 likes7 comments
review
LeahBergen
The Diviners | Margaret Laurence
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Pickpick

And we‘ve finished the Manawakan Cycle. ?

Thank you, #Manawakans, for finally inspiring me to read them all and what a moving conclusion to this deftly interwoven series! I loved the central notion that Morag‘s story is also the story of Canada in so many ways, especially the complicated relationships between the British settlers and the Métis of the prairie provinces.

Just brilliant.

LeahBergen Didn‘t you love how the series came full circle with Hagar‘s son, John Shipley, being the one who swapped the knife with Lazarus?? Gah! @vivastory @merelybookish @batsy 2w
vivastory Yes! That was so well done. Another parallel I noticed was the stone angel in the cemetery in book 1 & the unmarked pine crosses in the hills in book 5. 2w
merelybookish Lovely review! I hadnt made the connection to it as Canada's story, but of course, you're right. I did feel the treatment of Metis was more sensitive than I might have expected from a book written in 1970ish. She truly is one of Canada's greats! 🇨🇦❤️ And that is a lovely stack of books! 2w
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merelybookish Ooh good one @vivastory! 2w
vivastory I agree with @merelybookish I definitely want to replace my copies with some that are more aesthetically pleasing like yours. 2w
LeahBergen @vivastory Oh, good point about the crosses. 👌 2w
LeahBergen @merelybookish I was surprised at the sensitivity of it, as well, especially the whole “interracial” 🙄 aspect of the story. 2w
LeahBergen @merelybookish @vivastory I should, as a “collector” 😉 hunt down the Canadian first editions but most of them have pretty awful covers. I‘ve also thought I should buy The Stone Angel to match the rest of these but I have a fondness for this copy in the photo (I read it in Manitoba one summer 😁). 2w
vivastory I have seen that edition of Stone Angel at used bookstores & have been tempted. My copy of Stone Angel isn't too bad, but the rest of the series especially the final 2 don't have the greatest covers 2w
LeahBergen @vivastory I must admit to kind of wanting a first of The Stone Angel … preferably signed. 😆 1w
BarbaraBB This really is Canada‘s story and she‘s a fantastic writer. I will read the final one soon! 1w
LeahBergen @BarbaraBB I think you‘ll like it as much as the others, whenever you get to it! 😘 1w
Cathythoughts Great review ❤️ 1w
batsy Lovely review ❤️ I like that it's also a story of Canada, as you say. I'm still not done because for some reason it's just been one of those week (or weeks 😂) but I hope to soon and then to get to Stone Angel soon after. 1w
LeahBergen @batsy This one took me a while to read, too, even though I heartily enjoyed it. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 1w
BiblioLitten I want to read these books 💕 3d
69 likes1 stack add17 comments
blurb
LeahBergen
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I enjoy having an almanac next to my bed to dip into and my new one for next year has arrived!

The author is the daughter of Nicola Beauman, the founder of Persephone Books, and I‘ve spotted several of their books mentioned inside this one.

(This year‘s was the super enjoyable The Food Almanac by Miranda York. 👌)

Tamra I was looking at the Food Almanac and was iffy, but I‘ll put it on my TBR. 😁 2w
LeahBergen @Tamra It‘s pretty British-centric as to the seasonality of foods, etc but it has a nice mix of food essays and recipes. 2w
78 likes4 stack adds2 comments
review
LeahBergen
My Caravaggio Style | Doris Langley Moore
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Pickpick

Quentin Williams is a bookseller in 1950s London with a gorgeous model girlfriend and virtually no money. While trying to impress a book dealer, he inadvertently hits upon a ‘get rich scheme‘: he‘ll attempt a forgery of Lord Byron‘s lost memoirs (famously burned by his friends after his death).

I found this a bit slow to start but once it did, I couldn‘t put it down. More comments to come when everyone is finished!

#FurrowedMiddlebrowClub

batsy Lovely photo and review 💜 I finished it last night; it didn't quite work for me as I wanted because I found Quentin lacking a bit of personality 😆, but otherwise it was good fun! 3w
quietjenn I've only read a wee bit, but an hoping to devote some time to it tonight! 3w
erzascarletbookgasm I‘ve just made a little start 👌 3w
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LeahBergen @quietjenn @erzascarletbookgasm Like I said, I found it a slow start. Quintin‘s narration is (intentionally, I think) a bit plodding but plow on … it DOES pick up. 3w
batsy @LeahBergen Dweeb! Yes 😂 Agree with you, the topic of forgeries and literary society shenanigans is too good to resist. 3w
Ruthiella I‘m at 70% and hope to finish tomorrow with luck. It is slow to start and I kept feeling I should like Quentin but he‘s not sympathetic at all. Still, I have no clue how it will all pan out... 3w
LeahBergen @Ruthiella He‘s surprisingly unsympathetic, isn‘t he? 😆 And I was also (belatedly) struck by the fact that he‘s our first male narrator/male point of view for a Furrowed Middlebrow read, isn‘t he? 🤔 3w
Ruthiella @LeahBergen Yes! I was thinking that too. 3w
LeahBergen @batsy Wasn‘t he a dweeb? 😆 I think I was a bit predisposed to like this one as I have such a fascination for the workings of the world of rare books and forgeries, in particular. 3w
LeahBergen @batsy Oops! I edited a typo in my previous response to you and now my comment has shot to the bottom here, out of order. 😆 3w
Cathythoughts I‘ve just made a little start too .. @erzascarletbookgasm hopefully later today I‘ll get some read 👍🏻❤️ (edited) 3w
CarolynM I'm about halfway through. It was a bit slow to start but it seems to be hotting up now. I don't think I'd call Quinton a dweeb - he's awfully manipulative! 3w
quietjenn A little over a third of the way through now, and I can certainly understand all of your comments about Quentin! I found myself thinking exactly as @Ruthiella the whole time - “not the most sympathetic character, are you Quentin?“ And I actually had to remind myself once or twice that the author was not a dude, because there's something about the way he thinks/talks about Jocasta that irks me. 3w
Cathythoughts My son & 8 yr old granddaughter here today. I said .. remind me what a dweeb is … Sofia says .. Granny , even I know that , my Dads a dweeb 😁….. also the name Jocasta , had to check it out .. she was married to Oedipus , 🤔🤔🤔 interesting.. slow start , but picking up now 👍🏻 @CarolynM 3w
CarolynM I completely agree with you about the Quentin/Jocasta dynamic @quietjenn - most unpleasant. I bet your son isn't really a dweeb @Cathythoughts - the way our children see us🙄🤣 3w
CarolynM I started out hoping the hoax would succeed, now I'm hoping for a spectacular failure. 3w
LeahBergen @CarolynM Yes! I was rooting for him at first, too. As to the “dweeb” comment: I completely agree with you as to his manipulativeness. It‘s only as I got further on to the ending that I found him such a sad, pathetically verbose little man. If that makes sense? 😆 (edited) 2w
LeahBergen @quietjenn He‘s just so smug and overbearing. 🙄 2w
LeahBergen @Cathythoughts 🤣🤣 Oh, your poor son. Aren‘t children rotten and wonderful? And good association with the name Jocasta - I hadn‘t twigged on to that at all. 2w
Cathythoughts @LeahBergen @CarolynM My sons definitely not a dweeb … that‘s an example of the Irish sense of humour for you … slagging 😂. I hope to get more read today 🤞🏻 I‘m enjoying it 👍🏻 2w
LeahBergen @Cathythoughts That‘s exactly the sort of humour in my house, too! 😆 2w
rubyslippersreads I just started but am curious to see where it‘s going. 2w
76 likes1 stack add22 comments
blurb
LeahBergen
The Diviners | Margaret Laurence
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Look at this, #Manawakans

Morag‘s first day of grade one and we already know a couple of her other classmates. 😁

merelybookish Yes! She's scattering all the Manawaka characters in this one. I think her neighbor Vernon is the one who becomes Thor in The Fire-Dwellers. 3w
LeahBergen @merelybookish Oh, good catch! The “drip”. 🤣 3w
LeahBergen @merelybookish And there‘s that early house call by Dr. MacLeod, too. 3w
See All 8 Comments
merelybookish @LeahBergen I missed that initially. But it comes up again later. 3w
batsy Yep! It's exciting to meet old friends on the page 😄 3w
LeahBergen @batsy It is! 😄 3w
vivastory @merelybookish Good catch on Vernon! @LeahBergen The bowl haircut 💈🤣 3w
LeahBergen @vivastory That poor little drip. 😆 3w
52 likes8 comments
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LeahBergen
My Caravaggio Style | Doris Langley-Levy Moore
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My “currently reading and about to start reading” stack. 😄

#FurrowedMiddlebrowClub
#Manawakans

robinb Beautiful cup! 💙 4w
TheLudicReader I love that tea cup. 4w
LeahBergen @robinb @TheLudicReader Thanks! It‘s a real favourite of mine and makes a huge cup of tea. 😆 4w
See All 16 Comments
CarolynM Looks lovely😍 Testing my memory here - is the Chalet Girls on Camp one of the island ones? 4w
Tamra Ahhhhhhhh sigh of envy 4w
Centique That cup! 😍😍 4w
Cathythoughts Lovely stack & picture Leah 💫 4w
batsy Such an inviting photo 😍 4w
LeahBergen @CarolynM Close but they‘re still in the Tirol at this point. 😀 4w
kspenmoll I read the Diviners so so long ago! Love your teacup! (edited) 3w
rubyslippersreads ❤️ the stack and the cup! 3w
LeahBergen @kspenmoll It‘s one I‘ve been meaning to read for years! 3w
tpixie Great ambitions! Beautiful tea cup 🍵 3w
LeahBergen @tpixie Thanks! 😘 3w
103 likes16 comments
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LeahBergen
The Vet's Daughter | Kathryn Davis, Barbara Comyns
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Liz_M I was definitely surprised by the introduction of Alice's levitation in what I was reading as a realistic novel up to that point. I am not sure what “certain elements“ are made clear in the final section, though....? 4w
vivastory I have to admit that I was. I was unsure if this was a case where the levitation would be left as ambiguous or not. The sense I had when I first started reading it was someone who was escaping into an imaginary world due to trauma & I thought that the levitation might be a manifestation of it 4w
vivastory I love the graphics you used BTW 4w
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LeahBergen @vivastory Thanks! I had fun hunting them down. 😆 4w
LeahBergen @Liz_M @vivastory I initially thought the she might have been suffering from some sort of epilepsy; remember the first time she falls down/faints in the kitchen and hits her head? And then I thought it might be some sort of psychological dissociation from trauma that was making her feel as if she was floating. 4w
vivastory @LeahBergen @liz_m I was wondering if she had epilepsy too. I listened to The Backlsited episode about this months ago & immediately ordered it afterwards. I don't recall if they avoided saying if she literally levitated or not 4w
quietjenn @vivastory Yes - I knew from the back copy that something was afoot, but I suspected that the entire story from the time she leaves to stay with Mrs. Peebles would end up being a hallucination, and the levitation just an element of that fantasy. 4w
vivastory @quietjenn In one of the articles that I read after finishing when the BBC adapted it they tried to make the levitation as dream scenes & Comyns explicitly told them no. That they really happened & their adaptation needs to treat them as reality. I do think it puts the book in a different perspective knowing that it really happened. 4w
Liz_M @vivastory Ooooh, interesting tidbit. 4w
DrexEdit It took me by surprise too. I also thought it was an hallucination or fantasy of escapism until it wasn't. I wasn't even sure right up until the end if she would be able to levitate on command. @LeahBergen I also like your images. So many women levitating! 😀 4w
Leftcoastzen I was on that same page , that maybe hitting her head or Psychological detachment from trauma caused her to imagine she was floating, then the ending!😳 4w
merelybookish By the end, I also assumed it was really happening but I didn't understand why, or what Comyns was doing with it. Maybe her spirit was trying to fight against her downtrodden life? Like even though she is powerless, she has this weird power. But even that is eventually used against her. 4w
Leftcoastzen Yes ! What @merelybookish said . There was a part of me that was thinking her special power would end up being more positive for her,revenge on those people, but it was not to be. 4w
quietjenn @Leftcoastzen @merelybookish yes! I kept hoping that maybe she would just float away from them all. @vivastory thanks for sharing that! I wouldn't mind hunting down an adaptation. Kudos for the images, @LeahBergen and thanks to you both for the discussion! 4w
batsy It took me by surprise but I also appreciated how skillfully it was woven in; by the time it happened it didn't seem as out of place as all of ways in which life is grotesque, absurd & plain incomprehensible 🙃 I admire Comyns for how she balanced the elements of realism and magic/enchantment. I recently finished Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger which had a lot to say about the restless energy within people that escape physical boundaries & 4w
batsy that made me think of Alice & her special ability. 4w
merelybookish @batsy Gosh, you're on 🔥 with your comments! Given me more to think about and appreciate about this book! 4w
merelybookish @vivastory Thanks for mentioned the Backlisted episode. I am excited to listen and it's with Lucy Scholes whose criticism I really enjoy! 4w
GatheringBooks I loved the introduction of the levitation as a surreal, otherworldly, gothic component that rendered some “black mirror” elements to it. The sense of floating/flying away from all the undesirables on the ground, and this form of release was even used as a form of exploitation by the master abuser, the father. 4w
vivastory @merelybookish I will have to look into Lucy Scholes. Do you have a particular recommendation. That episode remains a favorite! 4w
LeahBergen @vivastory That IS an important bit of info! 👍 4w
LeahBergen @DrexEdit And there were even more levitating images I could‘ve chosen from. 😆 4w
LeahBergen @merelybookish @Leftcoastzen I was really hoping that there might be some sort of Carrie at the prom moment, à la Stephen King. ? 4w
LeahBergen @GatheringBooks Good points. And that “release” ended up being no release at all for her. 4w
LeahBergen @batsy I really like your comparison to The Little Stranger! 👌 4w
Reviewsbylola I actually was pleasantly surprised. I typically don‘t care for magical realism, try as I might, so the way the author paced it really worked for me and made me appreciate that aspect of the story. 3w
LeahBergen @Reviewsbylola I‘m not much for magical realism myself! 3w
39 likes1 stack add27 comments
blurb
LeahBergen
The Vet's Daughter | Kathryn Davis, Barbara Comyns
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Liz_M Well the sailor (especially the gleaming image of him riding the horse) is certainly a Prince Charming figure, even if Alice wasn't the chosen princess.... 😂 4w
vivastory I think that the presence of the animals, even if they were being terribly mistreated, added to the sense of it being a dark fairytale. Also, I couldn't help but wonder if Comyns didn't name Alice after Carroll's heroine. I couldn't find anything to support this, but the book had a through the looking glass feeling to it at times. (edited) 4w
Liz_M @vivastory I also wondered if using Alice was a reference to Carroll's work 4w
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LeahBergen @vivastory @Liz_M Ah, I never even thought of Carroll‘s Alice! 4w
quietjenn @Liz_M Even Blinkers has a bit of a Charming feel, in the way he sweeps in to “rescue“ Alice, at least temporarily. Even if he doesn't fit the mold in lots of other ways. 4w
quietjenn The caravan in the woods where escapes to dream has a little bit of a fairy tale feel to me. And the way that the evil or grotesque is often lurking below the seemingly good or normal elements, if that makes sense. 4w
merelybookish @vivastory Yes to the animals and especially the birds! The crow (raven?) that won't fly away even though he could. The poor parrot stuck shrieking then pecking away at the floor. Also, not a bird, but the seamstress friend who is deaf. The descriptions of them signing also felt bird-like. Also intrigued by the Alice in Wonderland idea 🤔 4w
batsy Yes, there's so many layers here and it's maybe hard for me to pinpoint specific fairytale/folklore elements but the whole feel of it had the energy of a dark, nightmarish fable. The animals, the beasts lurking (ordinary men), Alice herself being a kind of mistreated Cinderella figure, the gobliney Gowleys! 4w
batsy @vivastory I did wonder about that, too! Something about Alice's experiences (and her very self) being somewhat enchanted lends that through the looking glass vibe. 4w
GatheringBooks How about the nearly-stepmother, wicked in her entirety, setting up Alice to be raped. 4w
vivastory @GatheringBooks She definitely fit the role of the wicked step-mother! 4w
LeahBergen @batsy Good one! Cinderella and her drudgery. 4w
LeahBergen @GatheringBooks Yes! Rosa does seem to be a bit of a “wicked stepmother” archetype. 4w
Reviewsbylola This is a tough question for me but I‘m loving the comments! 3w
30 likes14 comments
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LeahBergen
The Vet's Daughter | Kathryn Davis, Barbara Comyns
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Liz_M I don't know about the first part, but I do agree that the novel is about the evil that can exist in ordinary people. 4w
vivastory Absolutely. It's rare that in lit fic that you meet characters who are outright villains, but Rosa & her Father definitely seem to fit the bill. Especially her father. 4w
LeahBergen @Liz_M @vivastory And Rosa DOES seem to redeem herself a little in the final chapter, unlike that horrific father. 4w
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quietjenn Yeah, the father is maybe the most casual evil I've encountered in a long time. And the “head waiter“ is a pretty good example of it too. But even the a character like Nicholas who initially seems like he might be a good guy, turns out to be a bit an arse (which, granted is not exactly evil, but still). 4w
Leftcoastzen I kept waiting for the father to be less evil , it never happened. when he tells her off when she‘s leaving, I was probably reading with my mouth open & a little gasp! I used to have a friend who had a constantly angry mother , felt sorry for her & wondered why , also wondered doesn‘t that just take too much energy? 4w
vivastory @LeahBergen There for a minute Rosa seemed like she might be the real villain, but that def passed. I also could never shake the images of what the father did to some of the animals. 😬 4w
vivastory @Leftcoastzen I'm sorry to hear about your friend & her mom. That would be so difficult 4w
DrexEdit Yep. Evil people are everywhere in this book! Ordinary, everyday evil people who only see others as a means to their own ends. 4w
merelybookish @vivastory @quietjenn @DrexEdit Men! Men are evil. In small.and big ways. Peebles might be the exception but he still fails to be a force of good. I came to feel sorry for Rosa by the end. Another woman stuck relying on men to get by. Although the married housekeeper at the Peebles house was pretty terrible. 4w
batsy Yes, I agree. The banal evil that the father embodies as @quietjenn points out was so hard to take! The enduring image is the one of Alice's mother climbing up the stairs. 4w
batsy The final scene is chilling in its depiction of how selfish people in search of a spectacle and who can't make sense of what they see spontaneously generate an evil social situation; a tale as old as time (people gleefully viewing burnings and hangings and beheadings in the past) or a metaphor for modern politics, in a way! 4w
GatheringBooks Agreed with all you mentioned here. All the men here, notwithstanding their best intentions, are evil in their banality - as @batsy pointed out - even the man who “hired” Alice as a companion for his mother - turned out to be passive and not much help in the end. (edited) 4w
vivastory @batsy Chilling is absolutely the perfect description for the ending. Comyns conveyed so much in just a couple of pages. 4w
Reviewsbylola I absolutely agree with Graham‘s assessment. Sometimes it‘s the people that appear most normal that are actually the most depraved and unfeeling. 3w
31 likes15 comments
blurb
LeahBergen
The Vet's Daughter | Kathryn Davis, Barbara Comyns
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Liz_M If the tone wasn't detached, it would have been too intense and emotional. And I feel like detached is a convention of the time (and the literature it harks back to). The hyper-emotional, hyper-personal seem more modern? (I am specifically thinking of, even though I have read neither 😁, A Little Life or the My Struggle series) 4w
vivastory I agree with this assessment & the narrative is actually one of the most unusual things about the book considering the ending. I think the detached voice is a way for Alice to keep her emotions under control. It's a coping mechanism for how she is handling her trauma. 4w
vivastory @Liz_M That's a good point re: it being a convention of the time. When I first heard about Comyns someone had compared her to Jane Austen. Having read Vet's Daughter I didn't really understand the comparison, but I do think that Comyns is part of the tradition. Even if she is working against it at times. 4w
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LeahBergen @Liz_M @vivastory Good points about the intensity of emotion and keeping it under control. Alice narrated in such a ‘flattened affect‘ way which seems understandable when we read the extent of her lifelong traumas. 4w
LeahBergen @vivastory I really don‘t get the Austen comparison (especially for this novel). I‘ll have to read more Comyns, I guess. 😆 4w
Leftcoastzen I agree with everyone, if she didn‘t have a somewhat detached storytelling technique we would be in the more modern unreliable narrator territory.Keeping the emotions under control & a more controlled narrative can put to an extent the emotions on us . 4w
arubabookwoman I thought the detachment was because she had so much to be afraid of. She also had such limited experience with life, she had no way of knowing which experiences/feelings were usual/normal and which were unusual/abnormal, so it was almost like she was afraid to say anything that might be a value judgement or opinion. I also don't get the Austen comparison (& I've read several other other books). 4w
quietjenn Yes to what everyone has said. It seems a very natural response to the trauma of pretty much her entire life. Detachment helps her cope and there is little in her life that has ever indicated that she's entitled or worthy of her own thoughts/feelings/destiny. 4w
quietjenn @arubabookwoman @LeahBergen @vivastory I've only read one other, but the Austen comparison makes no sense to me at all! 4w
vivastory @arubabookwoman The limited life experience was striking. Like when she asked another character if they ever levitated. 4w
vivastory @quietjenn @arubabookwoman @quietjenn The *only* part of the book that struck me as anywhere in the same vicinity as Austen was when she levitated in front of Nick (I think that was his name) & he became embarrassed & worried that someone would see her. 4w
DrexEdit @arubabookwoman Yes! I got this same impression. I felt like Alice had very low self-esteem and was afraid, mostly, of saying anything that would appear to be impolite or unconventional lest people think less of he for it. 4w
merelybookish Plot-wise, I don't get Austen but her ability to say a lot about a character in just a few sentences has an Austen flair to it. The scene where she was riding on the train and describes the other women in the car with her and how they shame her for trying to throw out her sandwich really struck me. I could immediately picture the woman dressed in lolly pink. 🙂 4w
merelybookish @arubabookwoman @DrexEdit Definitely! And I also feel like her detachment reflects her lack of agency. Why attach when you have no say in anything that happens to you? 4w
merelybookish @arubabookwoman Do you have another book by Comyns you'd recommend? 4w
arubabookwoman @merelybookish I read The Juniper Tree last year and really liked it. It's based on the fairy tale of the same name. I also liked Sisters by the River, semi-autobiographical about her childhood, and Our Spoons Came From Woolworths, semi-autobiographical about her young adulthood, 1st marriage. These two are more realistic, but still with lots of quirky elements.👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻 4w
arubabookwoman I also liked Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead, which is at least as dark,if not more dark, than The Vet's Daughter. These last 3 I read many years ago, so my memory might not be the best. 4w
quietjenn @arubabookwoman @merelybookish I just read Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead last month and quite liked it. It felt like a sort of British Flannery O'Connor. I love the sound of Sister by the River and think I'm going to try to get my hands on a copy. I have both of the others that you mention and may give them a go, as I really like the way she writes. 4w
batsy Love all the points made here and that's a really astute observation, @arubabookwoman . The detached voice is not just as aesthetic choice but makes sense for a young girl coming of age who seems utterly bewildered by what the world throws at her. An emotional or overly involved voice might have rendered this a true melodramatic Gothic, as opposed to the late modernist Gothic vibes it gives off. 4w
merelybookish @Liz_M @quietjenn Thanks for the recommendations! I think I have a copy of 4w
GatheringBooks Rather than a sense of detachment, I felt that it was more a reined-in terror conveyed with utter subtlety and simplicity and matter-of-factness that increased its surreal, otherworldly, but painfully-traumatic elements that has emotional abuse, domestic violence and exploitation as the cornerstones. 4w
Reviewsbylola I agree that the detachment is a defense mechanism. Alice couldn‘t cope otherwise. 3w
33 likes22 comments
blurb
LeahBergen
The Vet's Daughter | Kathryn Davis, Barbara Comyns
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Liz_M The ironworks house that suffered a fire, for sure. The creepy caretakers. The narrator's precarious position, both in her father's house and out in the country. 4w
vivastory I agree with @liz_m about the ironworks house. Also when she described one part of the house being burnt, that had a very gothic feeling. This often felt like an Edward Gorey book but I would be startled by some of the more dramatic elements that made it more gothic, more sinister 4w
LitStephanie What does NYRBBookclub stand for? 4w
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Liz_M @LitStephanie nyrb is a publisher: https://www.nyrb.com/ and this bookclub reads exclusively from their (extensive) catalog 4w
LeahBergen @Liz_M @vivastory Yes, wasn‘t that ironworks house something else? 4w
Leftcoastzen The grim description of her parents gave me gothic feeling , her mom scraggly hair , moving along the wall like a frightened mouse , and her father who seems intense & angry . I was already thinking this poor girl ! I think that a lot in this book club!😄 4w
LeahBergen @Leftcoastzen We‘ve certainly read some grim ones, haven‘t we? 😆 4w
quietjenn Agree about the ironworks house, particularly the burnt out portion of it, just locked up and left to further rot. I also think the tone, overall, is quite gothic, as is Alice's paranormal ability, which is just accepted, but not really explained or interrogated. 4w
quietjenn @Leftcoastzen excellent point about the descriptions! Very true. 4w
vivastory @quietjenn Good point about her ability not being explained/interrogated. 👍 4w
DrexEdit I don't have much to add to what's already been said. But I do think there was a rather sinister atmosphere through much of the book that felt gothic. Either through descriptions of locations or people's actions. The men in this book were all rather sinister too, from the very beginning and the man with the ginger moustache. 4w
LitStephanie @Liz_M thanks! 4w
merelybookish @Liz_M @vivastory @Leftcoastzen @quietjenn @DrexEdit Agree with everything that's been mentioned. Both the houses she inhabited felt dark and macabre. Also the menagerie of animals and animal skulls added to the gothic feel. They seemed trapped and as unsafe as Alice. 4w
batsy Yes, agree with what's said above and also wanted to mention as @merelybookish did that Alice's own home felt like a disturbing place; the shrieking animals, things out of place, the sense of Alice and her mum being held captive by a patriarch. Decay, darkness, etc. Lots of unsettling imagery: the ironworks house, but also early on when her mum is on all fours climbing up the stairs 😩 But also the heavier themes of abuse & male power. 4w
GatheringBooks Love what @batsy mentioned regarding abuse and male power. The ironhouse detail escaped my limited attention span, but it all felt very dark, with a sense of foreboding embedded thruout. 4w
Reviewsbylola Omg I‘m such a slacker Leah!! I read the book weeks ago and yet here I am, days late to the party. 😩 Answering the questions now! 3w
Reviewsbylola Def had a strong gothic feel for me too, for the myriad of reasons listed above. I remember as I was reading it thinking that it was a great pick for this time of year, with its creepy, gothic atmosphere. 3w
LeahBergen @Reviewsbylola Hey, no worries! Everyone gets busy. 😊 3w
34 likes18 comments
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LeahBergen
Sally on the Rocks | Winifred Boggs
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I think this is the Book Depository birthday gift from you, @erzascarletbookgasm ! ❤️

Thank you so very much, friend! You are always so thoughtful. 😘😘😘

rockpools And the author wins the Name of the Year award 🏆. How fantastic! 1mo
erzascarletbookgasm You‘re welcome! 😘 I know you‘re a big fan of the British Library Women Writers books. Enjoy! 1mo
LeahBergen @rockpools Right?? 👍 1mo
LeahBergen @erzascarletbookgasm I most certainly am! Thanks again! 😘😘 1mo
Cathythoughts A lovely gift 💫 4w
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LeahBergen
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My current “big fat royal biography buddy read” with @shawnmooney !

I‘ve flagged our check-in points. 😄

DebinHawaii That is a chunkster! 😉 1mo
TrishB Looks interesting 👍🏻 1mo
Leftcoastzen Lots of pages ! 1mo
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Leftcoastzen Wait, what !?!? 15 children! 1mo
Reggie Very cute! 1mo
Cathythoughts Nice looking book & little markers 💕 1mo
Desha Where did you find those book markers?! They are sooo cute! 💗 1mo
LeahBergen @DebinHawaii Right? 😆 1mo
LeahBergen @TrishB It really is, so far. 👍 1mo
LeahBergen @Leftcoastzen Yes, 15!! 😮 1mo
LeahBergen @Desha At a little local stationery shop. 😊 1mo
Desha They are soooo cute! You must have an awesome stationery shop!! 😊👏🏻♥️ 1mo
rubyslippersreads This looks great, and I ❤️ the little page flags! 1mo
ValerieAndBooks Stacking!! Looks like an interesting perspective. 1mo
LeahBergen @rubyslippersreads @ValerieAndBooks I‘m finding it really well done so far! 1mo
Centique This sounds so interesting. Stacked for sure! 1mo
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LeahBergen
Untitled | Anonymous
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Here‘s the “Summer Reading” tea towel that @CarolynM sent me for my birthday. Isn‘t it wonderful??

Thanks so much again, my friend! 😘😘

Ruthiella Perfect! I love it. 😍 1mo
LapReader She is a great gift giver. Gorgeous. 1mo
Leftcoastzen So cool! 1mo
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Bookzombie Love it! 1mo
TrishB Very cool 😁 1mo
Christine It is!! ❤️ 1mo
squirrelbrain Gorgeous! ❤️ 1mo
batsy It's lovely! 1mo
erzascarletbookgasm Very nice! I love it! 1mo
Gissy Love it! 1mo
CarolynM 👍 1mo
rubyslippersreads Adorable! 1mo
70 likes12 comments
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LeahBergen
A Few Right Thinking Men | Sulari Gentill
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Thank you so much, @CarolynM ! Your lovely birthday parcel arrived today. I‘m thrilled that you sent me this Australian 1930s mystery as I‘d had my eye on it ever since reading your reviews. The card and bookmark are lovely and the tea towel! The tea towel I‘m giving it‘s own post. 😆

You‘re a dear friend! 😘😘

vivastory Happy belated Birthday, friend! 📚🎉🎂 1mo
LeahBergen @vivastory Thanks, Scott! 😘 1mo
batsy So pretty 😍 1mo
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ShelleyBooksie Happy Belated Birthday! ♡♡ 1mo
AlaMich Happy Birthday! That is a beautiful bookmark! 1mo
CarolynM I'm glad it's arrived🙂 Hope you enjoy the book. 1mo
LeahBergen @batsy Right? 😊 1mo
LeahBergen @ShelleyBooksie Thanks! 😊 1mo
LeahBergen @AlaMich Thank you! 😘 1mo
LeahBergen @CarolynM I‘m sure I will! 😘😘 1mo
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LeahBergen
Untitled | Anonymous
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Thank you, @robinb , for the birthday wishes and lovely letter! It brightened my day. 😘😘😘

robinb You‘re most welcome, Leah! Hope your day was wonderful. 🤗 1mo
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LeahBergen
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Happy Halloween!

I spent part of my evening with a hot toddy and this interesting little read. 💚💚

LauraBrook Looks lovely! 1mo
rubyslippersreads Is the mug cover to keep your tea warm, or to keep bats out of it? 😂🦇 1mo
LeahBergen @rubyslippersreads Both! 👻🤣🤣 1mo
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LeahBergen
Deviant | Harold Schechter
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Thanks so much, @DinoMom , for this wonderful #AllHallowsReadSwap! I‘m super excited for the tagged book which you selected from my TBR and for your recommended reads, too (you sent me an extra one! 😍). I‘ve read another book by Kim Newman (English Ghost Story) and really liked it. 👍 I love the extra treats, too … especially the monster-heeled socks. 🤣🤣 I‘ll be wearing those today!

Thanks for hosting, @MaleficentBookDragon ! 😘😘

DinoMom Glad you like it. Happy reading and happy Halloween 1mo
TrishB Those socks are awesome! 1mo
FantasyChick I just got the audiobook for Deviant this morning! It's been on my TBR forever. Great picks! 1mo
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TheLudicReader The Ruins is sooooo creepy (and icky) Couldn't put it down 1mo
Hooked_on_books I love those monster socks! 👹 1mo
Leftcoastzen 😳😱that book! 1mo
LeahBergen @DinoMom I love it all! 😘 1mo
LeahBergen @TrishB aren‘t they? 😍 1mo
LeahBergen @FantasyChick I‘m thinking it might be pretty gruesome! 😬 1mo
LeahBergen @TheLudicReader Yes, it is! I‘ve actually read it before. Eek! 😱 1mo
LeahBergen @Leftcoastzen I know! 😮 1mo
kspenmoll Those socks are the best!!!‘ 1mo
76 likes13 comments
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LeahBergen
Minor Hauntings | J. Baker
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@cleoh ! Thank you for this AMAZING #HauntedHollowSwap package! You chose some perfect books from my TBR (I‘m DYING to get at the tagged one) and the ghost stories from your home town are such a nice added touch. 👻

My #JohnnyBergen dog has fully decided you sent that skeleton for him. 🤣 I love the stickers, Sasquatch socks, chocolate, tea and cool mug, too!

Thanks so much for hosting, @wanderinglynn ! 😘😘

#HHS

wanderinglynn Awesome! 🎃🧡 1mo
LeahBergen @wanderinglynn Yes!! 😍 1mo
cleoh Yaaay so glad you like it!!! I had so much fun shopping for you! @wanderinglynn thanks for putting together another awesome swap! 🎃🧡🖤 1mo
LeahBergen @cleoh I‘m so thrilled with everything! Thanks, again! 😘 1mo
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LeahBergen
Mrs. March: A Novel | Virginia Feito
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Oh, wow! Look at these birthday lovelies! 😍 Thank you so much, @Cathythoughts !

You guessed correctly with the Ferrante; I really liked the first book in the Neapolitan Quartet but told myself I wouldn‘t buy this one until I‘d read more of that series. 🤣 I‘m so looking forward to Mrs March and A Kiss Before Dying and I love the Irish chocolate and pretty card and pen, too.

Thanks so much, my friend! 😘😘

squirrelbrain Lovely gifts! The Ferrante is one of my favourites of this year, and I also really liked Mrs March. Happy Birthday! 😘 1mo
LeahBergen @squirrelbrain Oh, good to hear! 👏🏻👏🏻 I‘m very excited to get to them. And thanks for the bday wishes! 😘😘 1mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 🎊🎊🎊 1mo
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Cathythoughts You‘re so welcome! Happy Birthday my lovely friend X 1mo
mabell Happy Birthday, Leah! 🎂📚🎁🎉 1mo
TrishB Lovely ♥️♥️ 1mo
BarbaraBB Happy birthday friend! Make the most of it ❤️🎈 1mo
rockpools Happy Birthday Leah! 1mo
ValerieAndBooks Happy birthday Leah 📚💖 📚💖📚 !! 1mo
merelybookish Happiest of birthdays Leah!! 🥳🎁🎈🎉🦄 1mo
erzascarletbookgasm Another lovely package! Great titles! 💝 1mo
LeahBergen @Cathythoughts I love everything! You are so very thoughtful. 😘😘 1mo
LeahBergen @mabell Thank you! 😘 1mo
LeahBergen @BarbaraBB Thanks, Barbara! 😘😘 1mo
LeahBergen @rockpools Thank you! 😘😘 1mo
LeahBergen @ValerieAndBooks Thanks, Valerie! 😘😘 1mo
LeahBergen @merelybookish Thank you! 😘😘 1mo
batsy What a lovely assortment of gifts 💕 1mo
LeahBergen @batsy Yes!! 😍😍 1mo
69 likes19 comments
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LeahBergen
Chasing the Boogeyman | Richard Chizmar
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Eee! Thank you so much for this wonderful birthday book, @TrishB !!! 😘😘😘

I‘ve been so looking forward to reading this, especially after your wonderful review. Thanks for brightening my day with a boogeyman! 😆

Chrissyreadit Happy Birthday!🎁🎉🎊📚😘🎉 1mo
LeahBergen @Chrissyreadit Thanks, Christina! 😘😘 1mo
tenar I‘m delighted to see that we have close birthdays in addition to both being Leahs! I hope your day is absolutely marvelous! 🥳 1mo
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 🎉🎉🎉 1mo
Cathythoughts Oh this looks good 👍🏻😳 1mo
TrishB Woohoo 🎉🎉 happy birthday. Was keeping my fingers crossed you hadn‘t brought yet! 1mo
LeslieO Happy birthday! 🎂❤️🧁🥂 1mo
DebinHawaii This sounds like a great book! The happiest of birthdays to you from Max🐱 and me! 🎉🎂🎈❤️ 1mo
erzascarletbookgasm I almost ordered this one 😅. I‘m sorry my BD order did not arrive on time. 🤞 very soon. Happy Birthday! 1mo
LeahBergen @tenar Thank you! 😘 And we‘re almost like twins! 🤣 1mo
LeahBergen @Cathythoughts It does, doesn‘t it?? 1mo
LeahBergen @TrishB I‘ve been behaving myself around my birthday and the Halloween swaps. 😆 Thanks so much again! 😘 1mo
LeahBergen @LeslieO Thanks, Leslie! 😘 1mo
LeahBergen @DebinHawaii Thank you to both you and Max! 😘😘 1mo
LeahBergen @erzascarletbookgasm 😆 That‘s the trouble with these TBR lists! And no worries; I‘ll love whatever you sent when it gets here! 😘😘 1mo
batsy Oooh this sounds proper scary! And nice spooky cover. 1mo
BiblioLitten Happiest birthday wishes to you, Leah 🎉💕 1mo
LeahBergen @batsy I‘m so looking forward to it! 1mo
LeahBergen @BiblioLitten Thanks so much! 😘😘 1mo
britt_brooke Happy birthday, Leah❣️ 1mo
LeahBergen @britt_brooke Thank you! 😘😘 1mo
Suet624 Happy belated birthday!! 💕💕 1mo
74 likes22 comments
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LeahBergen
War Girls | Adle Geras, Melvin Burgess, Anne Fine, Sally Nicholls, Mary Hooper, Theresa Breslin, Matt Whyman, Berlie Doherty, Rowena House
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You‘ve spoiled me, @rubyslippersreads ! 😍 I haven‘t heard of the tagged book and it sounds so good. I had read a few of Haywood‘s Betsy book from my elementary school library but not this one … and a Folio Society edition of one of my favourite books! 😍 I‘ve eyed copies of it before but never bought it. The octopus socks are awesome! And I love the card, chocolate, and bookmarks (especially “I Am Quite Put Out” 🤣).

Thanks so much, my friend!

rubyslippersreads I‘m so glad you like everything! It was hard not to keep those octo-socks for myself. 😂 Hope you‘re having a lovely day. 🎂 1mo
squirrelbrain That‘s all so cute! 💕 1mo
LeahBergen @rubyslippersreads I love the colour of the socks… and his little monocle. 🤣 Thanks again! 😘😘 1mo
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LeahBergen @squirrelbrain Isn‘t it?? 😍 1mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Awesome gifts!! 🎉🎊🎉🎊 1mo
Cathythoughts That‘s a great cover on Pursuit of Love 💫 1mo
MaureenMc 😍 (especially those bookmarks!) 1mo
erzascarletbookgasm What a lovely package! 😃😍 1mo
LeahBergen @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Aren‘t they?? 😍 1mo
LeahBergen @Cathythoughts It is! 😍 1mo
LeahBergen @MaureenMc I know! 😍 1mo
LeahBergen @erzascarletbookgasm Isn‘t it?? 😍 1mo
batsy Gorgeous! That Folio edition of Pursuit of Love 😍😍 And those bookmarks! 😆 1mo
LeahBergen @batsy I think I‘ll just silently hold up that ‘I‘m Quite Put Out” one at my husband every once in a while. 😆 1mo
Centique Wow The Pursuit of Love is FABULOUS 😍 1mo
69 likes15 comments
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LeahBergen
Naomi's Room | Jonathan Aycliffe
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Okay. Let‘s squeeze in another scary one in the lead-up to Halloween.

👻👻👻

Cathythoughts I‘m scared even looking at that cover 😳 1mo
Reggie Lol I hope it‘s real scary! Love the bookmark. 1mo
Bookwomble That cover reminds me of the walk home from work I used to have. In the '80s, we rented a bedsit in an old country house and I had to walk through the wooded grounds in the evening. At the time, I was reading Dracula and was on a nervous lookout for blue corpse lights in the trees 🧛🏼‍♂️ 1mo
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LeahBergen @Cathythoughts Right? 😆 1mo
LeahBergen @Reggie It‘s getting creepy! 😬 1mo
LeahBergen @Bookwomble That sounds terrifying! 🤣 1mo
rubyslippersreads The bookmark alone is enough to terrify me! 😬 1mo
UwannaPublishme I‘m with you @rubyslippersreads ...That bookmark gives me the heebie-jeebies! 😱 1mo
batsy Happy birthday, friend! Here's to health, happiness, and lots of books (and time to read them all 😁) 💖📚🥂 1mo
MicheleinPhilly Happy Happy Birthday you sexy beast! 🥂 1mo
erzascarletbookgasm Happy birthday, love! 🥳🍷 1mo
LeahBergen @batsy Thank you! 😘😘 1mo
LeahBergen @MicheleinPhilly Thanks, darlin‘! 😘😘 1mo
LeahBergen @erzascarletbookgasm Thanks so much! 😘😘 1mo
BiblioLitten That bookmark! 😍 1mo
LeahBergen @BiblioLitten I love it! 🤣 1mo
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LeahBergen
Untitled | Anonymous
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It‘s here, @DinoMom !! Thank you so much! ❤️❤️

#AllHallowsReadSwap
@MaleficentBookDragon

DinoMom Yay!!! 🎃💀👻 1mo
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LeahBergen
Wuthering Heights | Emily Bront
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Well, now that @TrishB has opened her birthday bookmark I can show the one that I bought for myself at the same time.

The only problem is that I get the worst ‘ear worm‘ whenever I even THINK of this song. I‘ll now be warbling around the house:

🎶 Out on the wily, windy moors
We‘d roll and fall in green…🎶

🤣🤣

TrishB I know that feeling! These are very cool aren‘t they 😁♥️ 1mo
Palimpsest 😧I need a bookmark like that! I love that song. Lucked out finding it on vinyl in great condition at a second hand shop a couple of years ago. 1mo
mrp27 Love this song! 1mo
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Ruthiella Awesome! 😍 1mo
MaureenMc Have you heard The Puppini Sisters‘ version of that song? I find it quite catchy! 😁 1mo
leah152 Awesome! I participated in The Most Wuthering Heights Day ever earlier this year, it was so much fun 😊 1mo
CarolynM 1mo
BarbaraBB You had a temper like my jealousy, too hot, too greedy 🎶 Thanks Leah 😉 1mo
LeahBergen @TrishB I‘m kind of loving them. 😆 1mo
LeahBergen @Palimpsest Lucky you! I bought this from a crafter on eBay. 😊 1mo
LeahBergen @mrp27 Me, too! 1mo
LeahBergen @Ruthiella 😘😘 1mo
LeahBergen @MaureenMc No, I‘d never heard of it but I just listened to it! Very catchy with a snazzy, jazzy vibe. 😆 Thanks for sharing that! 1mo
LeahBergen @leah152 You did?? That must have been AMAZING. 😮 1mo
LeahBergen @CarolynM 😘😘 1mo
LeahBergen @BarbaraBB 😆😆 Oh oh… 1mo
leah152 @LeahBergen it was heaps of fun. I even managed to find the perfect dress at an op shop lol 😊 1mo
LeahBergen @leah152 I would SO be down for that! 😆 1mo
leah152 @LeahBergen it's done every year, check your local area for a local group 😊 1mo
Cathythoughts Brilliant 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 1mo
batsy Fab! 😍 1mo
Palimpsest @LeahBergen some people are so talented. Thanks for sharing this! 1mo
Bookwomble Oh my goodness! Seeing that record label gave me a flashback to my youth! I bought that single when Kate first released it. I had such a massive crush on her (not sure why I used the past tense!). I'd put it on for the 1000th that that day and my dad would shout up the stairs, "Turn that screaming witch off!" Happy days ? 1mo
Leftcoastzen I laugh when I still play it over and over with Kate singing notes only dogs can hear. 1mo
LeahBergen @Bookwomble That is just the BEST memory. 🤣🤣 I‘m going to think of your dad now whenever I listen to this song! 🤣 1mo
LeahBergen @Leftcoastzen Right?? 🤣 1mo
Leftcoastzen @Bookwomble 😂😂👏👏👍 1mo
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LeahBergen
Elizabeth and Her German Garden | Elizabeth Von Arnim
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I randomly plucked this one off my shelves and I‘m loving it as much as the other von Arnims I‘ve read. 😍

TNbookworm Gorgeous! 1mo
Cathythoughts What a great cover & title 😍 1mo
CarolynM 1mo
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batsy This photo 👌🏾 1mo
LeahBergen @TNbookworm @Cathythoughts @CarolynM @batsy It‘s such a pretty, colourful cover. 😊 1mo
erzascarletbookgasm I love the Vintage Red editions ❤️ 1mo
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LeahBergen
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And now for a creepy, seasonal read!

I love Susan Hill‘s ghost stories/novellas and this is one I haven‘t read yet. 👏🏻👏🏻

Karkar That bookmark is freaky! ❤️📚❤️ 1mo
KristiAhlers You‘re totally winning with that bookmark. I collect them so that‘s one I haven‘t seen before 😂 1mo
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego I love that bookmark. 1mo
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Julsmarshall Yikes! That bookmark! 1mo
vivastory This bookmark 🤣 1mo
CarolynM That bookmark is SO disturbing! (Shudders) 1mo
Sleepswithbooks That bookmark 😱😱😱😱 1mo
Cathythoughts Creepy bookmark indeed 😳.. I‘ve never read anything by Susan Hill.. I must investigate 1mo
batsy That bookmark genuinely gave me a fright 🤣 1mo
TrishB Just to let you know your parcel arrived today 😘 thank you. I have something on the way for you from a Canadian bookstore- they said delivery by tomorrow 🤞🏻🤞🏻 1mo
TrishB That bookmark is the best! 1mo
LeahBergen @Cathythoughts My favourite of hers is The Woman in Black. You might want to try that one! 1mo
LeahBergen @TrishB Yay! I was worried it wasn‘t going to arrive in time as I chose the cheaper shipping rate. 😆 And you sent something for me?? Thank you! 😘😘 1mo
61 likes14 comments
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LeahBergen
A Bird in the House: Stories | Margaret Laurence
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Pickpick

And book four of the Manawakan cycle is completed.

Much like my fellow #Manawakans, I feel this to be the slightest of the series thus far and I too think it must be due to the episodic nature of a group of interconnected short stories. That being said, I still found myself fully immersed in young Vanessa MacLeod‘s world and enjoyed keeping an eye out for any links to our previous reads in the series.

LeahBergen My father lives in this part of the world and I also had fun figuring out the real locations of places mentioned: Galloping Mountain = Riding Mountain Natl. Park, Diamond Lake = Clear Lake, etc. 😊 1mo
merelybookish Your collection is so pretty and fun to learn about the geography. I bet knowing the region adds to your reading experience! 1mo
LeahBergen @merelybookish It does! I‘ve visited the Margaret Laurence House Museum in Neepawa and it‘s a yellow brick Victorian as she describes in these books. Oh, and she and her mother moved there when Margaret was nine to live with her Grandfather Simpson. Hmm… parallels or what? 🤔 1mo
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merelybookish @LeahBergen Oh right. The afterword suggested this book was somewhat autobiographical. 1mo
vivastory I agree with @merelybookish Hopefully someday I can visit! Also, although this has been my least favorite there were definitely strong autobiographical elements as the group has pointed out 1mo
BarbaraBB Such beautiful editions 🥰. Looking forward to Diveners 1mo
batsy So cool that you've visited the house and can link to the actual places. Stuff like that really enriches the reading 💜 All of those covers are so pretty in a row! 1mo
LeahBergen @vivastory It makes me hate that grandfather a bit more just thinking that he might be based on a real person. 😠 1mo
LeahBergen @BarbaraBB I am, too! 1mo
LeahBergen @batsy I like the mid century colours that Penguin chose. 👌 1mo
TheKidUpstairs These editions are gorgeous! @BarbaraBB The Diviners is one all time favourite CanLit reads, I hope you enjoy! 1mo
BarbaraBB @TheKidUpstairs I have high hopes! 1mo
59 likes12 comments
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LeahBergen
Untitled | Anonymous
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My first birthday card of the year! You are WAY more on the ball than my family, Misty! 😆😆

There‘s even a little #JohnnyBergen on the card. 😊 Thanks so much for thinking of me and for the cute bookmark and sticker, too. 😘😘

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks You‘re welcome!! I hope you have a great one!! 🎊🎊🎊🎊🎊🎊 1mo
Cathythoughts How cute is that !! A little Johnny B 😁🥰 1mo
68 likes2 comments
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LeahBergen
A Bird in the House: Stories | Margaret Laurence
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Oh no, y‘all! It‘s the Tabernacle from A Jest of God! 😮

BarbaraBB I didn‘t notice since I haven‘t read that one yet but I love that name! 1mo
batsy Ooh! I didn't clock that reference 🙈 1mo
shawnmooney Surely she jests!? 😎 😎 1mo
vivastory Good catch! The father's response made me laugh 🤣 1mo
merelybookish I didn't catch that! But Noreen did make me like the church any more. 😆 1mo
46 likes5 comments
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LeahBergen
A Bird in the House: Stories | Margaret Laurence
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Okay, #Manawakans … I‘m diving in.

vivastory 👏👏 I read most of it today. Looking forward to your thoughts. I love your edition BTW 2mo
shawnmooney 🙌🙌🙌. Happy memories of studying this one at university! 2mo
LeahBergen @vivastory I‘m actually enjoying the design of these new Penguins a lot. 👍🏻 2mo
See All 7 Comments
LeahBergen @shawnmooney How many of the Manawakan series have you read? 2mo
batsy Those editions are fab! 😍 And sadly unavailable on Book Depository. 2mo
BarbaraBB I love your edition too. I‘m surprised it‘s Penguin, I haven‘t been able to find that one either! 2mo
AWildMandaPanda What a wonderful book and edition! 2mo
68 likes1 stack add7 comments
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LeahBergen
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My (very classy) Friday afternoon Happy Hour. 😉

MsMelissa Salt & vinegar chips don‘t go very well with white wine 😂 2mo
LeahBergen @MsMelissa Yeah, a beer would‘ve been better. 🤣 Luckily it was a mini Halloween pack and I actually snarfed it down before my first sip of wine. 🤣 2mo
Cathythoughts I thought this book very good 👍🏻 2mo
70 likes3 comments
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LeahBergen
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Today‘s book mail is this work of true crime with an intriguing subtitle: “Schoolboy. Poisoner. Serial Killer.”

Graham Young was obsessed with poisons from an early age and incarcerated at age 14 after poisoning some of his friends and relatives. He was released ten years later and started it all up again when he got a job as a factory ‘tea boy‘.😬

vivastory And this is why you should drink coffee ☕🤣 2mo
Ruthiella Is this what was in your mystery package you received today? 🤔 2mo
LeahBergen @vivastory I think you‘ve got a point. 😆 2mo
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LeahBergen @Ruthiella Nope! This was expected book mail. 😆 2mo
Leftcoastzen I vote coffee !😄But I always vote coffee. 2mo
LeahBergen @Leftcoastzen The wise choice. 😆 2mo
squirrelbrain Sounds fascinating - stacked! (We just visited the Poisons Garden at Alnwick Castle - learnt a lot! 😈) 2mo
Cathythoughts Stacking for sure 👍🏻😲 2mo
batsy @vivastory 😂😂 2mo
batsy Great cover, too! 2mo
LauraBrook Ooh, this one got me with a book bullet. Sounds good, and is making me glad I‘m more coffee than tea usually. 2mo
erzascarletbookgasm Sounds interesting! 👍 2mo
Tamra Fascinating! 2mo
LeahBergen @squirrelbrain The Poisons Garden?? That sounds amazing! 😮 2mo
LeahBergen @batsy I thought so, too! 2mo
squirrelbrain It was Leah, we had to go in with an escort even, so we didn‘t touch / eat anything! You should get yourself over here and we‘ll do a Litsy road trip around Northumberland! 🚐 2mo
LeahBergen Oh, sigh. That would be WONDERFUL. @squirrelbrain 2mo
78 likes8 stack adds18 comments
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LeahBergen
Untitled | Anonymous
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Hmm… I don‘t remember ordering this? Did someone send something to me from Book Depository?

I started to open it and then caught myself! 😆

Cathythoughts Oh it might well be me .. it‘s a pre- birthday present .. ( there‘s a little parcel coming too ) 2mo
erzascarletbookgasm Do expect another BD parcel over the next week or so . It‘s for your 🎂🥳 🤗 2mo
LeahBergen @Cathythoughts Ooohhh, you‘re too sweet! 👏🏻👏🏻 I‘ll save opening it until my birthday then. Thank you! 😘😘😘 2mo
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LeahBergen @erzascarletbookgasm Really?? How lovely!! 🥰Thank you so much! 😘😘 2mo
rubyslippersreads I mailed your birthday package at the post office this morning, so be watching for it in about ten days. 😊🎂 2mo
LeahBergen @rubyslippersreads You did?? Squeeee! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 Thank you, thank you! 😘😘😘 2mo
60 likes6 comments
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LeahBergen
Untitled | Anonymous
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Hello, @cleoh ! A lovely swap parcel arrived today but I don‘t know which of the two Halloween swaps I should tag. 😆😆

Thanks so much! I‘m off to hide it away from myself. 😘

cleoh Hello! So glad it arrived, it‘s for the #hauntedhallowswap! I realized I forgot to put a tag on it as soon as I dropped it off 🤦🏻‍♀️ @wanderinglynn 2mo
LeahBergen @cleoh 😂 I know how that goes! I‘ve had to cut open fully taped boxes because I forgot to add the card. Thanks again! 2mo
wanderinglynn Yay! 🙌🏻🧡🎃 2mo
Cathythoughts Exciting 👻😁 2mo
59 likes5 comments
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LeahBergen
Untitled | Anonymous
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I dropped off both of my Halloween swaps at the post office this afternoon. Here‘s hoping everything went into the correct box! 🤞

#HauntedHollowSwap #HHS @wanderinglynn
#AllHallowsReadSwap @MaleficentBookDragon

Christine Sweetest wrapping! 🧡🖤🧡 2mo
wanderinglynn Yay! 🙌🏻🧡🎃 2mo
Cathythoughts Gorgeous 👌🏻 2mo
77 likes4 comments
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LeahBergen
The Little White Horse | Elizabeth Goudge
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I‘m currently reading this fantastically whimsical little winner of the 1946 Carnegie Medal. It‘s wonderful! 🥰

DivineDiana I love this edition! 💗 2mo
Suet624 I love the books you read. 2mo
Chrissyreadit My kids and I loved this book. 2mo
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Leftcoastzen You have so many beautiful vintage editions!👏 2mo
rubyslippersreads We have twin copies! 😊 2mo
Centique Awww it‘s beautiful! 2mo
LeahBergen @Chrissyreadit I‘m loving it and wishing I read it as a kid! 2mo
LeahBergen @rubyslippersreads I think we have twin copies of MANY books. 😆 2mo
UwannaPublishme Beautiful edition! I loved this one. 🙌🏻 2mo
76 likes2 stack adds10 comments
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LeahBergen
Childgrave | Ken Greenhall
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I‘ve just started this buddy read with my best friend and we both have the same bookmark. It‘s double-sided and the other side says “VERY SCARY”. We‘re going to flip the bookmark to vote on the scariness of certain chapters.

😆😆

Ruthiella Excellent plan! 😱😃 2mo
Nerdy_Bookworm I need to know, where did you get the bookmark? I need one in my life! 😍 2mo
CarolynM That cover is too scary for me! 2mo
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Hooked_on_books I love that plan! 2mo
TrishB Very cool 😁 2mo
erzascarletbookgasm Ooooh perfect October read! 👻 2mo
Cathythoughts That‘s a great plan 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2mo
LauraBeth I‘m scared by just looking at the cover! 😂 2mo
LeahBergen @Nerdy_Bookworm From a very cool online company. They have LOTS of great bookmarks! www.astrangerdream.com 2mo
LeahBergen @CarolynM @LauraBeth It IS pretty creepy. 😆 2mo
rubyslippersreads That cover! 😳 2mo
82 likes3 stack adds12 comments
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LeahBergen
Hotel Du Lac | Anita Brookner
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I‘ve been spending a few hours of my afternoon with this book and MY GOD … it‘s brilliant. I always forget how much I love Brookner‘s precise and meticulous prose. 💚💙

MaureenMc This was my first Brookner. It‘s so amazing. 2mo
vivastory I was reorganizing earlier today & I was pondering reading this next wk. You've convinced me 2mo
quietjenn Oh, I've been meaning to read this forever. Maybe you'll inspire me 😉 2mo
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HardcoverHearts Absolutely exquisite! 2mo
EvieBee It‘s one of my favorites! Published on my exact birthday too. It‘s special. 2mo
slategreyskies I love that pencil! It looks like my favorite Blackwing 811! :) 2mo
erzascarletbookgasm My first Brookner too and I love it. Been wanting to read more by her. 2mo
youneverarrived Beautiful cover too! 2mo
Leftcoastzen I read it so long ago, all I remember is I really liked it . 😀 2mo
batsy Lovely photo! And you've reminded me that I definitely need to read more Brookner. I loved A Start in Life. 2mo
Cathythoughts I loved this book too .. 👌🏻 2mo
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LeahBergen
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I‘m starting off October with a story from this lovely book (an #AllHallowsReadSwap gift from @Read-y_Picker last Halloween).

👻👻👻

DrJAdMerricksson That was a fun read! The hardcopy is gorgeous. Haha, I just have a digi version 2mo
merelybookish With a mug to match! 👻 2mo
Read-y_Picker It is such a gorgeous volume! Can‘t believe tou waited all year! 2mo
Cathythoughts What a great cover .. you‘re getting in the mood ! 👻 2mo
76 likes1 stack add4 comments
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LeahBergen
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Here‘s an interesting article for Georgette Heyer fans … and did you know that the #FolioSociety is publishing a new edition of Venetia?? 😯

https://amp.theguardian.com/books/2021/oct/01/stephen-fry-on-the-enduring-appeal...

BiblioLitten GH is my go-to romance writer 😊 2mo
Cathythoughts I tried her before.. but couldn‘t get into her. Maybe I‘ll try a sample of Venetia on kindle 👍🏻 2mo
59 likes2 comments
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LeahBergen
Sally on the Rocks | Winifred Boggs
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Book Mail!

“You‘re not out for romance at thirty-one; it‘s business.”

The latest release from the #BritishLibraryWomenWriters series is this 1915 “spinster-lit” novel. Bohemian Sally (living in Paris) flees home to England from Paris during WW1 to live with her guardian, the Reverend Lovelady. She‘s determined to settle down but finds she has a dastardly rival for the affections of the village‘s “most eligible bachelor”. 😆😆

Leftcoastzen Yay, spinster lit! 2mo
Cathythoughts Stacked 👍🏻❤️ 2mo
Cathythoughts That rivalry sounds like some fun reading .. 2mo
batsy Yeah, I need this! 😂 2mo
rubyslippersreads Looking forward to this one. 2mo
93 likes6 stack adds5 comments
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LeahBergen
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I‘m so enjoying this 3rd installment of the Provincial Lady diaries. This 1934 novel takes our heroine from her small English village to America on a literary tour and it is just SO much fun.

Who else is a fan of the Provincial Lady?

Leftcoastzen I have always meant to read the series , but have not.Wonderful cover! 2mo
Cathythoughts Sounds good 👍🏻 I have ‘Thank Heaven Fasting ‘ stacked ( your influence 😁) .. not sure if it‘s part of a series.. I must investigate 2mo
batsy Adore that cover! 2mo
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Centique That cover is AMAZING. 😍 2mo
Lcsmcat I‘ve only read the first one. Now I have to find the others! 2mo
quietjenn Yes! I love her take on the various places she visits in this one. 2mo
Tamra I need to read the first! 2mo
MaureenMc I‘ve read the first and loved it. I keep forgetting it‘s a series! 2mo
Ruthiella I really enjoyed the first book! 2mo
76 likes4 stack adds9 comments
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LeahBergen
Company in the Evening | Ursula Orange
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My current read and the third Ursula Orange novel that I‘ve buddy read with @shawnmooney . This will be our last read by this author unless her other (2?) novels are republished. 😭 What shall we do, Shawn?? 😭

#FurrowedMiddlebrow

TrishB Beautiful pic ♥️ 2mo
LeahBergen @TrishB Thanks! 😘 2mo
CarolynM I vote we start lobbying Furrowed Middlebrow to publish the other two Ursula Oranges. I'd love to read them. 2mo
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batsy My eyes are drawn to those biscuits 😂 2mo
batsy Although now I've read the synopsis of the book and it sounds so good! 2mo
Cathythoughts Gorgeous picture 💫 2mo
LeahBergen @CarolynM I read somewhere that the other two are a bit weaker and the three they republished are her best … but I still want to read them! 2mo
LeahBergen @batsy Both the book and the biscuits are pretty tasty! 😆 2mo
LeahBergen @Cathythoughts Thanks! 😘 2mo
76 likes2 stack adds9 comments
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LeahBergen
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@AbigailJaneBlog !! Thank you so much for this wonderful and thoughtful #FallingForFallSwap parcel! 😍 The Dracula book sleeve is AMAZING and I‘m especially excited for the tagged book which has been on my TBR for YEARS. I‘m off to brew a cup of the tea right now but (full disclosure) I‘ve already crammed a few of the chocolates in my mouth. 🤣 I love it all!

Thanks to @Avanders for always being such a great host! 😘
#FFFS

AbigailJaneBlog Ahh I'm so glad you like them 😍 I really tried to go big on the English theme 2mo
LeahBergen @AbigailJaneBlog And you absolutely nailed it! And I‘m still eating the chocolates… 🤣🤣 2mo
LibrarianRyan I really like that book sleeve
2mo
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LeahBergen @LibrarianRyan Isn‘t it great?? 😍 2mo
vivastory Wonderful package! I love the book sleeve & I've been meaning to read the Levin 2mo
Cathythoughts Lovely gifts 💫 2mo
LeslieO That book sleeve is the best! 2mo
Avanders Ooh that book sleeve!! 😍😍🧡🍁🍂 2mo
batsy Lovely! I haven't heard of the tagged book and I'm intrigued. Also love that edition of the Levin 😍 2mo
rubyslippersreads @batsy I‘ve never heard of it either, but it sounds interesting. 2mo
LeahBergen @vivastory Me, too! I read Rosemary‘s Baby as a teen. 2mo
LeahBergen @LeslieO @Avanders Isn‘t it fab?? 😍 2mo
LeahBergen @batsy @rubyslippersreads This bio sounds so fascinating. There are SO many close parallels with Anne and Wentworth‘s lives! 2mo
UwannaPublishme 😍😍😍 2mo
77 likes1 stack add15 comments
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LeahBergen
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Today‘s book mail!

The author, a dealer in rare books for over 50 years, returns with this collection of anecdotes about the book trade (from missing first editions of Ulysses to Sylvia Plath‘s copy of The Great Gatsby). I read another of his books and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I just had to order this one.

#BooksAboutBooks

Cathythoughts Looks good 👍🏻❤️ 2mo
LeahBergen @Cathythoughts Here‘s hoping! 🤞 2mo
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LeahBergen
The Fire-Dwellers | Margaret Laurence
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Pickpick

Stacey is a stay-at-home 1960s Mum with 4 children, a silent husband, and an inner monologue that rails and jeers at the mundanity of her everyday life.

I initially thought I‘d find this narrative voice of simultaneous, rapid fire inner and outer observations a bit off putting but I rapidly embraced it. Stacey‘s thoughts on aging may have hit a little too close to home 😆 but I loved this third Manawaka novel as much as the first two.

LeahBergen A quote from a 1967 letter from Margaret Laurence while she was writing this novel: 👇🏻 2mo
LeahBergen “Thought I had discovered a sensational new narrative method the other evening—there was only one thing wrong with it; in practice, it proved to be unreadable. Thought of it in terms of the inner and outer going on simultaneously, side by side on the page—fine if you had a two-foot wide page and a reader with four eyes.” 2mo
BarbaraBB Well she did manage to combine them and make a very readable and relatable book. Great review too! ❤️ 2mo
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merelybookish Lots of railing! Well said. And that is a great quote. And mostly I found I could follow the two voices. I only got confused a few times when she was talking to someone else and there was dialogue as well as inner dialogue. 🙂 2mo
LeahBergen @BarbaraBB Yes, relatable is the word for it. 👍 2mo
LeahBergen @merelybookish Once I figured out that her thoughts generally followed an em dash it was smooth sailing. 😆 2mo
TrishB Great review 👍🏻 2mo
batsy It took me some time to adjust to the style, as well, but then it clicked and felt exactly like that—seeing the world from the outside and being inside her head. Thank you for sharing that quote; that was really interesting! 2mo
vivastory Stellar review, Leah! I love the quote from Laurence's letter. I agree with @merelybookish that the only time I had difficulty following along was on occasion when she was in dialogue with someone & it'd alternate between her inner voice & the dialogue. 2mo
Cathythoughts Excellent review ❤️ 2mo
rubyslippersreads Great cover! Think I‘ll have to add this to my TBR. 2mo
LeahBergen @TrishB @Cathythoughts Thanks, you two! 😘😘 2mo
LeahBergen @batsy @vivastory Thanks! Yeah, that quote by Laurence really gave me pause for thought and made me realize just how innovative her process was for the time. 2mo
LeahBergen @rubyslippersreads Have you read The Stone Angel? Or … have I bought it for you? 🤣 2mo
rubyslippersreads @LeahBergen No, but I think I may have a copy somewhere. Do I need to read it first? 2mo
LeahBergen @rubyslippersreads No, you don‘t. It‘s the first of the Manawaka books but they are all stand-alones. All five books deal with different women from the small prairie town of Manawaka, Manitoba. 2mo
Centique I realised I have a Margaret Laurence book coming up on my TBR to get read before the end of the year (I hope) and it‘s The Stone Angel. I‘m looking forward to it thanks to your great review 🙌 2mo
80 likes4 stack adds18 comments
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LeahBergen
The Chalet School and Jo | Elinor Mary Brent-Dyer
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Saturday night at my house!

📚🍷📚🍷

batsy Now that's a good time 🥂 3mo
Cathythoughts Nice one 👍🏻❤️ 3mo
catebutler Leah, if you don‘t mind, tell me about the journals at the back of the picture? I‘m searching for the perfect book journal, and seeing your row, I‘m curious! Obviously you‘ve found something you like to use!! 2mo
LeahBergen @catebutler I found my first one of these journals back in the ‘90s and then my pathologically ordered nature made me have to use the same ones forever. 🤣 They are no longer in print but I track them down used. They are very plain and straightforward; one page per entry with lines for title, author, date read, and room for your thoughts. Simpler is better, I think. I hope you find your perfect journal, too! 2mo
79 likes4 comments