Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
Nuwanda

Nuwanda

Joined May 2016

Free-range reader.
blurb
Nuwanda
A Place Called Winter | Patrick Gale
post image

Top 6 reads for the year!

Cinfhen Two of these are on my #2019TBR 9mo
Reviewsbylola Loved Calypso! 9mo
25 likes2 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
post image

Okay, Littens. I have been trying to find the name of a book for WEEKS now. I feel like maybe Stone is in the title and it is sort a fake biography of a man‘s life. The cover might have an old-timey looking portrait of a guy (I think with glasses) on it. I know that‘s not much to go on, and I haven‘t posted forever, but I figured the hive mind of Litsy could help!

8little_paws Pretty sure it's this 9mo
Nuwanda @8little_paws YES! That‘s it! Thank you!! 9mo
Tamra Stoner is my favorite novel! 9mo
14 likes3 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Question 4: Had the novel gone on one more chapter, how do you think Lily might have reacted to her father‘s letter about the farm sale?

Make sure to check out @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks for questions 1, 3, and 5. Thanks to those who participated! I think we had a great discussion this month!

kspenmoll I was wondering if she would try & get the bodies out or something .... or leave the country! 1y
mrp27 I wonder who she would kill next. 1y
CoffeeNBooks @kspenmoll and @mrp27 Those all sound like possible things Lily might have done! I'd be curious to see her thought process on that entire situation. 1y
5 likes3 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Hello! Welcome to our last week of discussion for The Kind Worth Killing! I‘ll have questions 2 and 4; check out @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks for 1, 3, and 5.

Question 2: How might the story have been different if perspectives like Detective Kimball‘s had been introduced earlier? Do you think you would have predicted the ending if those POVs had occurred sooner?

#thebelljarinas

rjsthumbelina I don't think it would have changed the story much. I felt like Detective Kimball fell into the stereotypes the author put forward the entire book. He was stalking her; he wasn't a good guy, either. But he was seen as a total innocent, who couldn't be smart enough to outsmart evil Lily. I liked the idea of the final ending- that they might find the remains during construction. But was disappointed with every single character. 1y
kspenmoll @rjsthumbelina No because Kimball‘s character, although one dimensional & stereotypical seemed well developed to me. The stalking was creepy & his poetry. 1y
mrp27 I don't know if it would have changed much. If anything Kimball would have just been killed by Lily early on. He was too careless. 1y
CoffeeNBooks I don't think it would have made much sense to include Kimball earlier, because I don't think he really figured anything out until he talked to that bartender who identified Lily as having been there after Ted died. 1y
6 likes4 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Question 5: What else do you have to say about this section? Post it here! Be sure to check the rest of my page for questions 1 and 3 and Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks for questions 2 and 4!
#thebelljarinas

mrp27 After this section I read ahead and finished the book. I'm afraid to add anything else to the discussion, in fear of revealing any spoilers. 😁 1y
rjsthumbelina Really, my only comment is that this felt like an ending to me and so I have NO IDEA where the plot will go from here! 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @rjsthumbelina my thoughts exactly!!!! 1y
CoffeeNBooks I just really want to know what Lily's goal in doing all of this is! Maybe Ted's not really dead, he was actually wearing a bullet-proof vest, because he figured out that Miranda was going to kill him. Maybe it was all a ruse to get Miranda and Brad caught in their web of lies. 🤔🤨 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @CoffeeNBooks this actually crossed my mind!!! 1y
7 likes5 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Question 3: The two female leads of the novel center their evil actions around the men in their lives. How do you feel about this? Do you think the story/characters would be different if the author were female? If so, how so?

Make sure to check out Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks for questions 2 and 4!

#thebelljarinas

rjsthumbelina First off, I love this picture! This is a topic I have talked and thought a lot about with this book. It feels like the women are all evil and trying to kill all the men and the men are clueless and innocent, even when they are partaking in being immoral themselves! (Which they definitely are-no one is innocent here). But I am super annoyed with the femme fatale theme here: I think a woman would have written a totally different book! 1y
Nuwanda @rjsthumbelina I totally agree! Even though it‘s a fun read for me, the stereotyped characters are a bit annoying at times and I wish the author had branched out a bit more. I picked the image because in ancient cultures, snakes often symbolized femininity because of their association with rebirth, so the femme fatale/snake image seemed appropriate on a few levels! 1y
kspenmoll @Nuwanda agree with you & @rjsthumbelina - fun read as thriller/mystery but characters are very stereotyped in negative ways, rather one dimensional. 1y
5 likes3 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Welcome to Week 3 of our discussion of The Kind Worth Killing! I will have questions 1, 3, and 5, while @alwaysbeenaloverofbooks will have 2 and 4.

Question 1: What do you think Lily‘s ultimate motive is? Is there something more she‘s after that she hasn‘t revealed yet?

#thebelljarinas

mrp27 I definitely think Lily has motive and a plan. Lily's motive always seems to be about her inflicting pain upon the people who have hurt her. (edited) 1y
rjsthumbelina @mrp27 I agree with you. Lily's motive is always to destroy people that she thinks devalue society. These always happen to be people who have hurt her personally. But I don't know what her plan is from here - it doesn't seem to me like there's anyone left to hurt! 1y
CoffeeNBooks @rjsthumbelina @mrp27 I agree with both of you. Surely Lily has a plan of some sort, but I can't figure out what her ultimate goal is. 1y
kspenmoll @CoffeeNBooks As far as it seems, she wanted to avenge Ted by still carrying out his plan to murder Amanda. But then there is the School connection between she & Miranda. 1y
6 likes4 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
Kind Worth Killing | Peter Swanson
post image

Week 3 is nearly upon us! Join me and Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks (sorry, it still won‘t let me tag you!) for a discussion of the epic twists and turns of this week‘s reading. See you at 3 EDT/2 CDT!

#thebelljarinas

blurb
Nuwanda
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Question 4: How much do you think Detective Kimball knows/suspects?

Make sure to visit @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks for questions 1, 3, and 5 this week!

#thebelljarinas

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I definitely think he‘s suspicious, but doesn‘t know anything yet. Love the graphic!! He will figure her out!! 1y
mrp27 Hard to say but detectives always seem to know more than we think they do. 1y
Nuwanda @mrp27 And in this book it seems like almost everyone knows more than they‘re letting on! 1y
See All 7 Comments
mrp27 @Numanda Yes they do! 1y
CoffeeNBooks Surely he knows more than he's letting on. Isn't it suspicious that Miranda just happens to be out of town when her husband gets killed? And surely someone knows, or suspects, that something's going on with Miranda and Brad. 1y
kspenmoll I think he has suspicions but needs proof. 1y
rjsthumbelina @alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @mrp27 @nuwanda @coffeenbooks @kspenmoll it's interesting that you all think he knows something - bc I genuinely thought he was clueless. Miranda seems to think she can make him fall for her. I think he is doing due diligence bc something seems off about Ted's death, but I don't get the feeling that he knows what's up. Maybe bc I think the final showdown will be between Lily and Miranda - but I think shell get away with it 1y
6 likes7 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Welcome to week 2 of our discussion! I will have questions 2 and 4 this week, while @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks will have 1, 3, and 5.

Question 2: Lily says after killing Eric, she planned to “be the only person responsible for my happiness.” However, she says she developed feelings for Ted. Were you surprised by this? Do you think it will cause her to slip up in whatever else she has planned, especially considering Ted‘s death?

#thebelljarinas

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I was surprised considering psychopaths have a lack of deep emotional attachments... Maybe I‘m wrong! I do think she may slip up trying to avenge his death! We shall see!! 1y
mrp27 A little surprised but I'm unsure if these feelings are real or fleeting. I get the impression Lily cares more about having a reason to scratch her murderous itch. 1y
CoffeeNBooks I was surprised by it, and I don't know if I completely believe her. I definitely think something is going to happen between Lily and Miranda. 1y
See All 7 Comments
kspenmoll Agree with both @CoffeeNBooks & @mrp27. Thinking maybe her “feelings” for Ted would be fleeting. Imagine she is angry Miranda kills as she does. 1y
mrp27 @kspenmoll I totally agree! 1y
rjsthumbelina @coffeenbooks @mrp27 I agree that I don't think Lily really had feelings for Ted. She walled that part of herself off after killing Eric, I think. @alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I don't think she will seek revenge for Ted's death, but I do think there will be a showdown between the two. I think, though, it will be bc Lily is angry that Miranda outsmarted her! And Miranda will be angry that Lily is moving in on her men, yet again. Not that Miranda (cont) 1y
rjsthumbelina ...cares about the men she uses, but more that they are her property and this isn't the first time Lily has stepped on her toes. I have a feeling that Miranda won't like that 1y
6 likes7 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Question 5: What else are you thinking about for our reading this week? What are your burning questions? Post them here!

Check out questions 1 and 3 on my page and 2 and 4 on @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks page!

#thebelljarinas

kspenmoll I am really wanting to know what Lily‘s murder plan is- she alludes to it but even Ted has no clue. 1y
mrp27 Great questions! Curious to see how it all plays out. 1y
CoffeeNBooks @kspenmoll I agree, and wonder why Ted isn't asking more questions. He doesn't seem to be the kind of guy who let's others take charge. 1y
See All 6 Comments
CoffeeNBooks Also, how is Ted able to act around Miranda like he doesn't know anything about the affair? I feel like he would have confronted her. And why doesn't he have any hostility toward Brad? It seems like he would. 1y
rjsthumbelina @CoffeeNBooks I agree that I would expect more hostility toward Brad. But I disagree with him not being the type of person to let others take charge. To me, this seems exactly like him - orchestrating toward his end goal, but letting others do all the actual work until it's time to take the credit for it! I hope it ends badly for him. 1y
rjsthumbelina I am wondering about how much Miranda and Brad think he knows. I feel like planning a week-long trip after never taking any interest in the whole thing was too much of a tell 1y
4 likes6 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Question 3: Why does Ted leap to the idea of killing Miranda instead of confronting her or asking for a divorce, especially when he says money is not an issue?

Check out @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks for questions 2 and 4, and enjoy the week 1 discussion!

#thebelljarinas

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Maybe for revenge after all he has given her... idk it really surprised me because I think he was joking with his initial statement. (edited) 1y
Nuwanda @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I thought he was joking at first too. I do wonder if he‘s meeting with Lily because he wants to kill Miranda or more because he wants to sleep with Lily... 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Nuwanda I‘m thinking the latter... 🙄🙄 1y
See All 11 Comments
kspenmoll I agree with you both-he totally was joking, no true intent until Lily made it sound so normal! 1y
kspenmoll He is attracted to her definitely & do think he wants to sleep with her. 1y
mrp27 He gave his reasons about money, shame, embarrassment and the hassle of it all but it feels like a flimsy excuse. I don't know if it's a bad joke that took on life of its own it if he is truly a killer. 1y
CoffeeNBooks I think it was a statement made somewhat in jest, a way to get a pretty woman to continue talking to him and maybe feeling sorry for him? Not related to this question, but he doesn't seem to have any major hostility toward Brad, which seems odd. 1y
rjsthumbelina @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Nuwanda @kspenmoll @mrp27 agreed. I'm thinking he thought of it as a joke (although what kind of person even jokes about that??) until she normalized it. He flipped on to the idea pretty easily though. And I don't particularly like feeling like she is the one fully orchestrating it - feels like a harmful stereotype come to life. I can't decide if the author has done it on purpose, bc it seems almost sexist 1y
Nuwanda @rjsthumbelina Agreed. I think it‘s meant to be taken as the femme fatale role in film noir, but that in and of itself can be problematic. 1y
rjsthumbelina @Nuwanda I'm hoping that the author is using the femme fatale role to trick us into thinking that we know what's going on, and that it's going to be subverted in some way. Otherwise, it seems in poor taste. I'll be disappointed if it isn't actually more complicated than that! 1y
Nuwanda @rjsthumbelina I agree—I hope there‘s more to it. I think since it‘s so early in the book there will be some twists that lead us away from stereotype. 1y
5 likes11 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Hello and welcome to our first week‘s discussion of The Kind Worth Killing! I‘ll have questions 1, 3, and 5, and @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks will have 2 and 4.

Question 1: How reliable are our two narrators? Can we trust that they‘re telling the “absolute truth,” as they claim to be telling each other?

#thebelljarinas

kspenmoll I don‘t Trust either. Wondered if Ted actually saw his wife w the contractor or if it was someone else & he saw what his rage wanted him to see. Lily‘s story is troubling. How easily she resorted to murder at a young age. Planned every detail. Chilling. I wonder what she really wants. (edited) 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I think Ted is more reliable than Lily at this point... she is definitely a psychopath... 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @kspenmoll I hadn‘t thought of that... When she killed the cat so easily I thought yep she‘s got issues... 1y
See All 8 Comments
Nuwanda @kspenmoll Agreed. I don‘t find either trustworthy, and I also wondered if Ted was telling the truth about Miranda and Brad! @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks The cat and the dude she supposedly killed as a young child... 😳 Definitely messed up but I still also wonder if she‘s telling the truth or the whole story. I‘m suspicious of everyone right now! 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Nuwanda me too!!! She definitely has issues!! 1y
mrp27 I don't trust either of them or their so called "truths". I don't trust Miranda either and its early still but I wonder if she knows Lily. 1y
CoffeeNBooks I don't think I trust either of them. I think Ted would have confronted Miranda about the affair instead of pretending everything was fine. I'm not sure what to think about Lily. Her story is pretty crazy. I don't know if I should trust Miranda either, though. 1y
rjsthumbelina @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @kspenmoll @Nuwanda @CoffeeNBooks agreed- I don't trust either of those! I think it's very interesting though, that I believe they both think that they are fully reliable. @mrp27 I hadn't thought of that somehow! Will now be looking for clues that maybe that's the case 1y
5 likes8 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
Spinning Silver | Naomi Novik
post image

Decided to skip this month. Just renewed last month, too. 😕 I didn‘t like Uprooted and haaaaated Final Girls, and the others did not interest me; I felt like I would be picking just to pick. Oh, well, maybe I‘ll like the choices better in August.

#botm

blurb
Nuwanda
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Question 4: What statement about “chosen family” does Kate Quinn make with this last section and the book as a whole? What lessons can readers take away?

Be sure to check out @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks for questions 1, 3, and 5! It‘s been a pleasure discussing this wonderful book. We hope you will join us in July for Peter Swanson‘s The Kind Worth Killing!

#thebelljarinas

janeycanuck There‘s something about exposing the worst you‘ve been through, the parts of you that you aren‘t proud of, and someone still being there after that really cements a bond. Family are the people who are there for you no matter what - so of course our trio became a family, they were more family for each other than any blood relative any of them had. 1y
kspenmoll Again, agree with @janeycanuck - So well said! Experience friends as family in real life. Exposing all of who you, warts & all, does as @janeycanuck says “cements a bond.” 1y
Nuwanda Agreed! There‘s something about such a traumatic experience or really baring your soul that can bond you for life. I was so glad to see these characters happy and together at the end. Agree that it makes sense for the three (plus baby Rose) to be a family of their own. 1y
See All 6 Comments
rjsthumbelina @janeycanuck @kspenmoll @Nuwanda I agree with you all that there is such a strong bond after what they have been through, that the family they have chosen is the essential one for them. But I do think the author makes an interesting point by bringing Charlie's family back in at the end. Charlie wanted to see them and wanted a relationship with them. So maybe the ties between blood are less important, but they are still there and should be honored 1y
CoffeeNBooks I absolutely agree with what everyone else has said! Family are those who love and support you, regardless of whether or not they're actually related to you. 1y
kspenmoll @rjsthumbelina I forgot about Charlie‘s wish to see her family in the end! 1y
7 likes6 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Welcome to our final discussion of The Alice Network. What a ride! I will have questions 2 and 4; make sure you visit @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks for 1, 3, and 5!

Question 2: Do you agree more with Evelyn‘s idea of vigilante justice or Charlie‘s notion of legal justice for Rene? Why? What did you think of Rene‘s end?

#thebelljarinas

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I love this pic!!! 1y
janeycanuck Dude had it coming. But I agree with Charlie that shame was the way to really get to Rene. Death was too good for him, but I get why Eve felt it was the only way she could be free. 1y
Nuwanda @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks It was so perfect! It was like fate! 1y
See All 11 Comments
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I agreed with Evelyn!! He deserved what he got plus some!!! 1y
kspenmoll There was satisfaction in knowing she faced him off & he knew she was there to kill him. He tortured her & wrecked so many lives. A disposable greedy selfish opportunist. It did free her; a trial would have let her wounds fester longer. 1y
Debiw781 I agreed with Charlie. Someone I think that sort of revenge scars your soul just a bit more, not that I don‘t understand the motivations especially in Rene‘s case as there just aren‘t words for how awful he was. 1y
Nuwanda I have to say I think my natural instinct is to side with Eve! I‘m not a forgiving person, and I‘d want to know he died by my hand. But I do understand Charlie wanting Eve not to be haunted by it. I loved how it ended up with the bust of Baudelaire. So perfect! 1y
rjsthumbelina @Nuwanda @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @kspenmoll I agree that he deserved it, and I think his continuing to live would have tortured Eve until the end. But, I also agree with @Debiw781 and @janeycanuck that I think Charlie's plan would have kept them all out of trouble and shamed him the way he deserved. I SO wanted for all the world to know about what a terrible excuse for a human he was, and I didn't get that satisfaction 1y
CoffeeNBooks I understand Charlie's perspective, and I know she was also looking out for Eve and Eve's future, as Charlie very much wanted Eve to remain a part of her life. But, I also understand that Eve had wanted this revenge for so many years, that probably no one was going to stop her. 1y
Nuwanda I think too that, just thinking about how many Nazis and collaborators did evade punishment, I side with Eve in fearing Rene would have weaseled his way out again. I feel like this might have been the only way to make sure justice was served. 1y
Debiw781 @Nuwanda good point!! 1y
6 likes11 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Question 5: Lots happening in this week‘s section. What else are you wondering about, #thebelljarinas?

Be sure to check out questions 1 and 3 from me and 2 and 4 from @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks !

janeycanuck I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO RENE!!!!! Man, did Eve turning out to be a spy ever mess him up. When he shot that boy in the back - yikes!! 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks What happened to Lili?? 1y
See All 12 Comments
JaclynW @janeycanuck @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Nuwanda I've already finished the books weeks ago, so I am trying to be careful not to spill the beans about future events. Also, I missed the first weeks of discussion sorry! (I was traveling and had guests at my house.) What I'm dying to know though is how much, if any, of this is based on real events. Do you know? 1y
Nuwanda @JaclynW There were some notes at the back of my copy (Kindle edition) that explained what was historical and what wasn‘t. The Alice Network and some of the characters are based on real events/people, but be careful Googling just yet as you may run into a few spoilers. 1y
JaclynW @Nuwanda I've finished the book, so there won't be any spoiling. I listened to it on audio. That's the drawback of audio....sometimes they don't include the extras! Grrr! I will have to get an actual copy from the library. Thanks! 1y
Nuwanda @JaclynW I...may have also finished the book! 😂 It was too hard to stop reading after the section for this week, and I had to know! 1y
JaclynW @Nuwanda Yes! 🤣 1y
rjsthumbelina @janeycanuck @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks both of those are very good questions! 1y
rjsthumbelina @JaclynW @Nuwanda it took everything I had not to finish the book after finishing this week's section! 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @rjsthumbelina thank you!!! 💗💗 1y
CoffeeNBooks There is so much I want to know!! I had to stop myself from reading ahead. 😬 1y
10 likes1 stack add12 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Question 3: Despite their differences and the nature of their work, Eve and Lili care deeply about one another. Why do you think the author chose to highlight this friendship?

Fellow #thebelljarinas, make sure to check out @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks for questions 2 and 4. Lots to discuss this week!

janeycanuck In Charlie‘s perspective, Eve is so jaded and scarred - I think we needed to see a softer side of Eve, to see she wasn‘t always like this and to know she was capable of more. Lili was just one of those people who was friends with everything so of course she‘d develop a friendship with Eve. Plus, Lili was all Eve had in Lille, it gave Eve something, some normality, to cling to. 1y
Nuwanda @janeycanuck Agreed. I think the closeness and trust required in spying would also create friendship where there might not otherwise be any. 1y
janeycanuck @Nuwanda yeah, they couldn‘t trust anyone else and HAD to trust each other. 1y
See All 12 Comments
JaclynW @janeycanuck @Nuwanda Agreed. But how dangerous to make friends!! You never know who to trust. Anyone could turn on you. Aren't spies told NOT to have friends?? Not having a friend seems horrible, I couldn't do it. Life would be awful without friends. So empty. I liked their relationship and I liked seeing different sides of each of the women besides the tough spy side. 1y
Nuwanda @JaclynW I guess they had to trust they wouldn‘t betray each other if they were spying for the same side. It does seem they limit their conversations to current events with no personal histories attached. It would be hard if you thought you couldn‘t trust anyone or be close with anyone at all! I‘m glad they had an outlet with each other. 1y
JaclynW @Nuwanda Yes, I'm sure that made their difficult job a bit more doable. They definitely has each other's back. 1y
rjsthumbelina @Nuwanda @janeycanuck @JaclynW I agree- being spies, they needed to stick together. They were the only people who could know what they were doing. Also, a sense of comraderie would develop between them bc of working so closely together in a territory surrounded by enemies. I think it's more interesting that she didn't develop a relationship with Violette than that she developed one with Lili 1y
CoffeeNBooks I think the friendship between Eve and Lili is important so that we see what Eve used to be like, what she's capable of. Charlie doesn't have the benefit of knowing this, but she's sticking with Eve anyway. 1y
JaclynW @rjsthumbelina @Nuwanda @janeycanuck @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I too found the relationship between Violette and Eve interesting. I think Violette was extra cautious and protective about getting close to others. But in her own way, I do think she still cared. What do you think? 1y
JaclynW @CoffeeNBooks I like how Charlie stuck with Eve too. 1y
rjsthumbelina @JaclynW I think that Violette may have just been starting to care about Eve when she was taken. But, I also think that she saw Eve as a rival for Lili's friendship and admiration of her work, which made it difficult for her to learn to care about and respect her 1y
JaclynW @rjsthumbelina So competition. Hmmm. Quite possibly! Women are always trying to out-do each other aren't they? There is that need to be recognized as the best so they can be chosen. Interesting to think about! 1y
7 likes12 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Welcome to week 3! We hope you can join us for our discussion. I will have questions 1, 3, and 5, and @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks will have 2 and 4.

Question 1: What was your reaction to reading that Rose is dead? Do you think Eve will be successful in her revenge mission?

#thebelljarinas

janeycanuck I was surprised - mostly because I was convinced that Rose was part of the Alice Network and was off spying somewhere. And I was sad - for Charlie, she was putting so much into her vision of a future with Rose and their children. My heart broke for her. I don‘t think it‘s in Charlie‘s character to seek vengeance but we‘ve already seen some drastic personality shifts in her. I think it‘ll come out of grief for Rose‘s baby more than anything. 1y
Nuwanda @janeycanuck Yes, I could see her wanting vengeance for that, although I think you‘re right it‘s not really in her nature. I was somewhat surprised by Rose‘s death as well. 1y
janeycanuck @Nuwanda standing up to her mother wasn‘t either, though, and she did that. So I think there‘s good reason to think we‘ll see more from her that‘s out of character. 1y
See All 15 Comments
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I was so sad!!! I really believed she would be alive and in The Alice Network!! I definitely think Charlie will help Eve seek vengeance against Rene! 1y
Nuwanda @janeycanuck Great point! She had grown a lot as a character so far. I love her, Eve, and Finn! 1y
JaclynW @janeycanuck @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Nuwanda I too was surprised that she'd died. I had high hopes that she was alive and had also been working as a spy (she really was, was not she?). I could totally picture Rose and Charlie raising their kids together. What a horrific event though. Oh my. The soldiers were ruthless. I just can't understand this. 1y
janeycanuck @JaclynW @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I‘m holding out hope that Rose was secretly a twin but her mother sent the twin away to work as a scullery maid because of a terrible birthmark covering half her face but she came back, took over Rose‘s life & plotted with Rene & the Germans. Rene betrayed her when she told him she was in love with the sous-chef (which is the real reason Rene killed him.) And Rose will be found safe and sound. Plausible, right? 1y
JaclynW @janeycanuck Haha! Totally! 😁 1y
rjsthumbelina @janeycanuck that doesn't sound too realistic.lol. @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @JaclynW I was really sad too. But I think I saw it coming, I just didn't want to believe it was true 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @janeycanuck I‘ll go with that!!! 🤣🤣 1y
CoffeeNBooks I agree with everyone- I didn't foresee Rose's death, thought she'd been part of the Alice Network, and she & Charlie would live happily ever after raising their children together... I don't think Eve will be able to get revenge on Rene, because for some reason I think he's already dead. She, too, is chasing a ghost. 1y
JaclynW @CoffeeNBooks If Eve were indeed chasing Rene's ghost....how would you think the story would end/wrap up? 1y
CoffeeNBooks @JaclynW Perhaps she would have to channel her energy into something more productive, and ultimately more positive to her well-being... maybe help Charlie raise her baby? 1y
JaclynW @CoffeeNBooks I like that idea! 1y
Debiw781 @janeycanuck I had thought the same thing! I was sure she was part of the Network. 1y
6 likes15 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Question 4: Do you think Lili is a double agent? Do you think Eve will be able to keep up appearances with Monsieur Bordelon?

Check out @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks for questions 1, 3, and 5!

#thebelljarinas

Picture: the real Louise de Bettignies!

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I don‘t... I think she probably had to put on a an act to cover herself at some point that explains how she knew the officer. 1y
Nuwanda @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I hope not, but I think there are definitely some twists and turns ahead! 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks As to Eve... it‘s going to get harder for her as she becomes more intimate with him!! 1y
See All 12 Comments
janeycanuck @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks whatever happens between her and Rene must be explosive if she‘s got such bad PTSD afterwards... 1y
janeycanuck @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I don‘t think she‘s a double agent, either. I got the impression, though, that she knew that officer from long before the war, not that it was one of her many identities used as a spy. 1y
CoffeeNBooks I don't think Lili's a double agent. It did raise the question, though, as to whether with so many different identities, she's going to get caught in her web of lies at some point. 1y
CoffeeNBooks As for Eve and Rene, I think it's going to become increasingly difficult for her to keep secrets. I think she would be able to, because I don't see her falling for Rene, but I think he's going to start demanding more from her, including wanting to know more about her. I think maybe he knows she's a spy. Or he at least knows there's more to her story than she's telling him. 1y
Nuwanda @janeycanuck I got that impression as well. Wonder how they know each other... @CoffeeNBooks I definitely think Rene knows something‘s up. Too many little hints for him not to know something‘s up. 1y
rjsthumbelina @CoffeeNBooks @Nuwanda I think Rene is trying to get her to slip up somehow so he can use it against her - I have a feeling that he is already pretty sure she's a spy, and that there is something that he will want from her in return for his secrecy. @janeycanuck I agree that Lili knew him from before the war, but as someone mentioned above, I think that's foreshadowing that she is going to get caught in all her different identities 1y
rjsthumbelina Also: I LOVE this pic! I didn't realize she was a real person! 1y
6 likes12 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Welcome to week 2 of our discussion of The Alice Network!

Question 2: What did you think of Charlie‘s decision to keep her baby and continue on with Finn and Evelyn?

Check out @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks for questions 1, 3, and 5!

#thebelljarinas

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I‘m happy about this decision... I‘m curious to see how her future will pan out of course! I wanted to tell her mother to f$&@ off!!! 🤣 1y
Nuwanda @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I was glad she stood up for herself and made her own decision! 1y
janeycanuck @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks yeah, the mother is a piece of work. I loved when Charlie realized her mother was going to be in trouble if the Appointment wasn‘t kept! 1y
See All 13 Comments
janeycanuck I was surprised - but I guess a few days with Eve and Finn made her feel like she could take on anything? But it didn‘t feel like she was really wanting to have the baby, just more like she wanted to defy her parents. It‘s not like she had been resistant to the idea of terminating the pregnancy, more resistant to it being her parents‘ solution. 1y
Insightsintobooks I think it was a good decision on her part. I feel like she is finally speaking for herself rather than just doing as her parents want. She is finding herself. 1y
CoffeeNBooks I think that since Charlie has probably always been around people like her parents, she's always been told what to do, even if she didn't agree. She didn't realize that women like Eve existed, but being around Eve has given her a new sense of independence, bravery, and boldness. And knowing that Finn isn't judging her gives her even more freedom to live outside the confines of what her parents deem socially acceptable. 1y
rjsthumbelina I felt like the decision is probably what's best for her. I thought her plan with the ring and the made up husband was a pretty smart way to get herself out of trouble. But I did wonder why she didn't just give her fictional husband her last name, so she wouldn't have to go by an alias. @janeycanuck I do kinda feel like she has become attached to the idea of the child. She talks to it now frequently, which we didn't see in the beginning.(cont) 1y
rjsthumbelina So I don't think that her decision was about defying her parents. I think that she wants to find Rose and raise their kids together 1y
janeycanuck @rjsthumbelina yeah, I think now she wants it - but I don‘t think she did in the moment she made the decision. And I suspect that maybe she actually wants that life with Rose - and the baby fits into that life nicely. 1y
kspenmoll @janeycanuck @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @rjsthumbelina @CoffeeNBooks @Insightsintobooks @Nuwanda I am glad she finally stood her ground; agree with @CoffeeNBooks that she had never met someone like Eve in her social circle-after Finn asked her “What do you want?” She was uncertain, then later grasped at his question to help her decide. But I also wonder if her mother had agreed to look for Rose if she would have gone along with her appt. 1y
CoffeeNBooks @rjsthumbelina I wondered the same thing about the last name- wouldn't it be easier to remember if she just used her own last name? No one would know any differently. But, I also got the sense that she thought having an entirely new name was exciting, like Eve having a different name when she was a spy. 1y
6 likes13 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
post image

Join me and @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks tomorrow at 2C/3E for our week 2 discussion (chapters 10-20). It‘s getting good!

#thebelljarinas

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Can‘t wait!!! 🙌🏻🙌🏻 1y
SheReadsAndWrites So, so good!!! 🤓📖 1y
20 likes2 comments
review
Nuwanda
Calypso | David Sedaris
post image
Pickpick

I kept startling my father with how loudly I laughed at this book, and I probably worried the neighbors while snorting through it in the back yard. Fellow Littens, procure a copy and enjoy. You won‘t regret it.

mrozzz This is great to see. I love Sedaris. 1y
27 likes1 comment
blurb
Nuwanda
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Question 5: What other questions do you have about chapters 1-9? Post these burning inquiries in the comments, and be sure to check out @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks for more discussion!

#thebelljarinas

Nuwanda Why do you think the author might be setting up so many parallel storylines? What purpose might they serve later in the story? 1y
sammisho I have read ahead, already on chapter 20..oops! So I decided to skip the other questions since I know too much. But I am really, really enjoying this book! 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Nuwanda to connect them all to The Alice Network ?? 1y
See All 8 Comments
Nuwanda @sammisho @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I‘m looking forward to seeing what all the connections are! I‘m up to chapter 12 now! 1y
sammisho @Nuwanda @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I have a feeling we won't see how all the storylines connect until the very end. I find Eve's story fascinating. I could have read a book just about her and been happy. 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Nuwanda I‘ve been so sick today that I can‘t read... ughhh 1y
rjsthumbelina I am wondering: What Finn did to go to prison, if the Alice Network still exists in Charlie's timeline since the war is over, what happened to Eve, and what Charlie's decision will be about her "little problem". In addition, of course, to whether or not Rose survived! So many questions to this narrative! ? 1y
7 likes8 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Question 3: “Rose plus me equaled happiness.” What statement has the book made so far about the importance of friendships between women? How do the different relationships among the female characters reflect different aspects of this idea?

Make sure to check @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks page for questions 2 and 4! I‘ll post the open-ended discussion shortly!

#thebelljarinas

janeycanuck I think the only friendship we‘ve seen is Charlie & Rose. The other relationships are not friendly at all - Eve is not friendly to Charlie nor are Lili or Violette friendly to Eve. I think the latter relationships are out of obligation - Eve because she knows more than she‘s saying about Rose, Lili and Violette because Eve is now one of their colleagues. 1y
rjsthumbelina I think that this book talks about the importance of female relationships, but we haven't seen much evidence yet of these relationships turning into friendships. It may say something important that the relationships between women don't have to be friendships in order to be important 1y
Nuwanda I sense that there will be friendship between Eve and Lili, and yes, we do see Charlie and Rose. I think Charlie and Eve will forge a friendship as well. I like that the relationships among the women are supportive even if they don‘t like each other (or at least *say* they don‘t like each other; I have my doubts about that!). 1y
kspenmoll @Nuwanda @rjsthumbelina @janeycanuck I think Lili & Eve may forge a friendship even if its based on obligation originally. Eve & Charlie may become friends after traveling together because although they irritate each other, their seems to be a growing respect between them. Violette seems to not lime Eve at all, but is protective of Lili. Female friendships are a focus & they do support one another. 1y
6 likes4 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Welcome to week 1 of our discussion of The Alice Network. Please join me for questions 1, 3, and 5 and @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks for questions 2 and 4.

Question 1: “She might not like me, but she spoke to me like an equal, not a child or a slut.” Why do you think Eve takes a risk for Charlie and decides to help her, even though she allegedly does not like her?

#thebelljarinas

rjsthumbelina I love this question, even though I'm not sure of the answer! I think it's possible that Eve sees something of herself in Charlie - that spirit that won't allow her to sit quietly and be told what she needs to do in life. Their senses of needing to do things their own ways, for their own reasons, kind of make them kindred spirits. 1y
janeycanuck @rjsthumbelina I‘m inclined to agree, something about Charlie reminds Eve of her days before she was a spy. Or maybe knows much more about Rose than she‘s letting on and feels an obligation? (edited) 1y
rjsthumbelina @janeycanuck I hope she knows more than she is letting on! I can't help but feel very sympathetic for both main characters in this one, so I really want Charlie to at least be able to find out what happened! 1y
See All 9 Comments
SheReadsAndWrites I think Eve knows much more about Rose than she is letting on (which I'm dying to find out) and I agree that she sees a glimpse of her younger self in Charlie. 1y
rjsthumbelina Okay, so I'm finally catching up on this week's reading, and I am sure that Eve must have known Rose, what with the talk of her interviewing at the cafe that Rose went to work at! I still feel like Charlie is very much like Eve, but before Eve was battered by what happened to her during the war 1y
Nuwanda I agree that Eve sees some of herself and her own spirit in Charlie, and I‘m also dying to know what she knows! 1y
CoffeeNBooks I was at a charity event & I'm just getting to this... but like many have said, I think Eve sees a lot of herself in Charlie. Also, Eve is an extremely independent woman for the time period, who doesn't live by society's rules. She doesn't seem to feel the need for herself or other women to conform to society's rules. Therefore, I think she likes Charlie even more because Eve can sense that Charlie seems to be fighting those expectations. 1y
kspenmoll @CoffeeNBooks @Nuwanda @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @rjsthumbelina @SheReadsAndWrites @janeycanuck I also think Eve sensed Charlie‘s spirit & admired her quest. I hope she does know about Rose- wondering if Rose spied for the Alice network? (edited) 1y
5 likes9 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
post image

Week 1 pp 1-122 Ch 1-9 (June 3)
Week 2 pp 123-250 Ch 10-20 (June 10)
Week 3 pp 251-379 Ch 21-31 (June 17)
Week 4 pp 380-494 Ch 32-Epilogue (June 24)

Join me and @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks for a new read-along!

#thebelljarinas

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 🙌🏻👏🏻📚 1y
20 likes1 comment
blurb
Nuwanda
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

What other questions or commentary do you have about this section of The Bell Jar or the novel as whole? Share in the comments, and thanks for reading along with me and @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks ! Be sure to join us next week for our first discussion of The Alice Network!

#thebelljarinas

Valeka The more I read this book, the more I like it and appreciate Sylvia Plath‘s prose. 1y
Nuwanda @Valeka I hadn‘t read it in years—it really held up for me! 1y
mrp27 This was my second time reading and I agree, holds up well. 1y
See All 15 Comments
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks This was my first time and I‘m glad I read it like this! It would have been too much for me at one time... 1y
Sg1224 @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks & @Nuwanda 👏 thank you for consistently putting together questions and providing the group with a place to discuss this wonderful piece of literature. I‘ve really enjoyed the experience! 1y
Nuwanda @Sg1224 ❤️ This was my first time cohosting! It has been a pleasure! 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Sg1224 you‘re very welcome!! I hope that you will continue with us for future buddy reads! Loved reading everyone‘s input!! 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Nuwanda thanks so much @Nuwanda !! I think we make a great team!! 🙌🏻🙌🏻 1y
Nuwanda @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Agreed! I‘m so glad you asked me to cohost! 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Nuwanda ❤️😘💗🙌🏻👍🏻 me too!!! 1y
eeclayton This was my first buddy read here on Litsy, and I enjoyed it a lot. Though I didn't always comment, I read each post and appreciated the insight everyone was providing. Thank you @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks and @Nuwanda for the thought-provoking questions! 1y
vkois88 This book was a difficult read for me. Many parts of it hit way too close to home, yet I loved it. It's one of the very few books I've read that has so perfectly described falling down the rabbit hole of Mental Illness and trying to climb back out. My only issue with it is that it ended where it did. I would have liked to further explore the time in between leaving the asylum and what led to her spiraling downward again. 1y
Nuwanda @vkois88 It hits very close to home for me as well, and I agree that I would have liked to see more of what happened to Esther after. She seems to be in a better place by the end, though still wary of the bell jar‘s future recurrence. 1y
vkois88 Agreed, which is totally understandable. It's the never ending reality of your illness chasing you. 😢 1y
lynneamch I was at Jammin' at Hippie Jack's music festival this weekend w/o cell service, so missed participating, but so appreciate you two hosting this. I hadn't read this since many years ago for an Images of Women in Lit class. This line reminded me how far ahead of her time she was: "Irwin had a queer old-world habit of calling women ladies (ch. 19). 1y
10 likes15 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Question 3: “Those girls, too, sat under bell jars of a sort.” How does the society in which Esther exists function as its own sort of bell jar?

Check out @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks for our other discussion questions!

#thebelljarinas

kspenmoll Society at the time was a bell jar- had very defined & rigid roles for women- in how they dressed ate,behaved sexually & what jobs they could hold (as unmarried secretaries, teachers, nurses, some publishing jobs in big cities). Feminists such as Betty Friedan, Robin Morgan, Gloria Steinem, were barely starting to shake women‘s lives up. 1y
Valeka I agree with @kspenmoll - that time period was one in which people adhered to traditional gender roles. So many limitations! 1y
Nuwanda @kspenmoll @Valeka Totally agreed. I think in some ways Esther‘s experience has allowed her to see life inside and outside this societal bell jar. I do wonder if she ultimately found happiness. 1y
See All 8 Comments
mrp27 Agreed, society during that time period was its own bell jar and without her mental illness I feel Esther still would have struggled with a bell jar. She wanted to be a poet and her mom didn't take her seriously. 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I agree with everyone!! I‘m late to the party! 1y
Sg1224 If this was written in modern times, would Esther consider ‘social media‘ as a bell jar? 1y
vkois88 @sg1224 I believe she would. People are so caught up in social media, and how it reflects them and their lives. Especially since there's a vastly more broad audience versus just people in your town, school, etc. 1y
Nuwanda That‘s a fascinating way to modernize it! I think you both are right that social media has become a bell jar of its own for many. Look at all the studies on FOMO and how social media leads to depression and anxiety symptoms for so many, especially teen girls. 1y
10 likes8 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

It‘s our final week of discussion, #thebelljarinas! Make sure to check this page as well as @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks so you can respond to all the questions!

Question 1:
“Whether she knew it or not, Philomena Guinea was buying my freedom.” What does this section imply about Esther‘s security in her own identity versus the beginning of the novel?

Sg1224 I think with more resources ($) she had a new found freedom. Previously, her mind was the unlimited resource that provided freedom. 1y
eeclayton It's interesting that both the first experience in the book and the last are sponsored by someone else. 1y
vkois88 @eeclayton agreed. It's sad that she depended on other people to open the door to opportunities of freedom and happiness. Unfortunately, that seems to be a common thing in life. Not just for people with a mental illness, either. 1y
Nuwanda @eeclayton @vkois88 I also wonder if because of her position in society in the time period the book was written, especially being a woman AND having a mental illness, that extra help would have been a necessity. (edited) 1y
6 likes4 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
post image

Join me and @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks as we wrap up our discussion of The Bell Jar tomorrow at 2C/3E!
#thebelljarinas

review
Nuwanda
Full Circle | Michael Thomas Ford
post image
Pickpick

This was the love child of A Little Life and The Heart‘s Invisible Furies that I stumbled across by accident and didn‘t know I needed until I read it. What a beautiful story spanning the decades of a friendship. I will remember this one for a long time.

bookishkris I love Michael Thomas Ford. If you liked this one, try his 1y
JennyM You had me at A little life! 1y
Nuwanda @JennyM The epic friendship in this book is very reminiscent of ALL! @bookishkris I plan to read all his books now! 1y
25 likes1 stack add3 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
Full Circle | Michael Thomas Ford
post image

Heaven!

TheBookKeepers ❤️ ☀️ 1y
30 likes1 comment
blurb
Nuwanda
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Question 4: “I wanted to tell her if only something were wrong with my body it would be fine.” Esther‘s symptoms seem largely misunderstood by people around her, including medical professionals. How is this statement a reflection of the stigma surrounding mental illness?

Check out @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks for questions 1, 3, and 5!

#thebelljarinas

Sg1224 This part was hard to read because it is still true for a large part of society today. If you can see something physically wrong you know what precautions to take and what accommodations are needed. Unfortunately, when there are no visual cues, it‘s easily overlooked and not well understood. 1y
Nuwanda @Sg1224 Yes, definitely. Any invisible illness can be so hard for others to grasp. I have a dear friend with lupus, and she struggles so much with getting people to believe she is really as sick as she is. It‘s heartbreaking. 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks And many medical professionals just want to give out pills to “fix” the problem and that can cause worse problems... 1y
See All 21 Comments
Nuwanda @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Yep. I‘m all for medication that helps, but it shouldn‘t be the only solution or hastily prescribed without getting to the root of the problem. 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Nuwanda exactly... Therapy and counseling are very important! 1y
BookNerd9906 They are so quick to put her in an institution and shock therapy, but no one ever talks to her. No one explores her trauma history or gives her tools to process. Even her own mother wants her to just get over it. (edited) 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I researched people who had received shock therapy and I was amazed!! 1y
BookNerd9906 @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks me too!!! Was your mind completely blown by Paul Coelho and Kitty Dukakis?!?! And not surprisingly Sylvia Plath. 😔 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @BookNerd9906 yes!!!!! I couldn‘t believe it!! 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @BookNerd9906 I didn‘t know Carrie Fisher had it either! 1y
LaraReads @Sg1224 @Nuwanda @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @BookNerd9906 Yes to all of this. These are things that make this book so terribly sad & hard to read. These are all people that should be helping her (mother, doctors, benefactors, friends, etc) and yet no one is truly helping at all. Mental illness is still so hard for others to understand and treat, most people just want to brush it under the rug. Even when people a crying out for help, like Esther. 😥 1y
Sg1224 @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I had no idea. That list was eye opening and I hadn‘t looked into this prior. 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @LaraReads you are so right.... I see it everyday unfortunately 😢 1y
lynneamch I think she felt that if something was wrong with her body, it could be fixed. While that isn't always true, she knew that attempts to fix her mental health were not working. 1y
mrp27 I admit I'm ignorant about shock therapy but it boggles my mind that it was ever even used as anything other than torture! Sadly, I agree with everyone here. I feel like we are just beginning to scratch the surface of mental illness. So hard to treat and understand something we can't see. 1y
mrp27 @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks fascinating list! 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @mrp27 ikr!!! I was shocked!! Guess I shouldn‘t say shocked! 🙄 (edited) 1y
eeclayton Also, even today, many people think the problem can be stopped by decision. Sufferers of mental illness are told to "get a grip already" -- which does more harm than good. 1y
vkois88 It was perfection. It summed up most every person with a MI's experience. There is so much stigma attached to Mental Illness, and Doctors (& friends, acquaintances... basically everyone) seem to be judging you because it's easier to believe someone is suffering if they can physically see something wrong with you. Most times, people with MI are told to just change their way of thinking. As if it were that simple. 1y
kspenmoll Wonderful discussion re MI & stigma. I am also finding that I am reading this book more slowly as so much if it is heartbreaking & painful. 1y
11 likes21 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Hello, #thebelljarinas, and welcome to our week 3 discussion. I will have questions 2 and 4; be sure to visit @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks for 1, 3, and 5!

Question 2: “I didn‘t know why I had never bought any of these papers before. They were the only things I could read.” Why do you think Esther has little trouble reading these tabloids, and what connection, if any, do you see with her experience of mental illness?

TheBookHippie Escapism ?? Taking a break from reality? Creating an alternate world ?? I'm not sure either just lots of thoughts.. 1y
Nuwanda @TheBookHippie I kind of took it as seeing the world in its gory detail—no one is sugarcoating like the other characters seem to do for Esther. 1y
TheBookHippie @Nuwanda Ha being a non sugar coat type person myself I totally missed that 🤣you're right of course. I always say...if you don't want to know the truth don't ask me ! 1y
See All 12 Comments
Sg1224 @TheBookHippie @Nuwanda I was wondering if either of you felt like she was foreshadowing or envisioning what her potential headline/gory story? 1y
Nuwanda @Sg1224 I do think the setup is deliberate since she‘s talking about her suicide attempts. 1y
Sg1224 @Nuwanda I feel the same way even though we know the story will not end in death. 1y
lynneamch I think she had been more focused on complex reading as an A student. She says now these tabloids are the only thing she can read. This could be a symptom of her increasing mental illness--an inability to focus and think rationally. 1y
Lcsmcat @lynneamch I agree. She can‘t concentrate on anything requiring mental vigor. 1y
Nuwanda @lynneamch @Lcsmcat Agreed on that as well. It‘s probably too exhausting to focus on dense text for her. 1y
mrp27 I agree. She is drawn to the tabloids due to her inability to focus and to the gory details of it all. I also agree that she is drawn to the truth so to speak of the tabloid stories, of nothing being sugar coated. 1y
vkois88 It's a definite escape from her life, and all the emotions she tries to suppress. It's easier to get lost in reading, especially when it's about other people's lives. 1y
10 likes12 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

#thebelljarinas , use this space for any other comments or questions on this week‘s reading of The Bell Jar! Be sure to check out questions 1-4 on my page and @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks and add your responses there as well!

TheBookHippie Thanks ladies!! 1y
mrp27 Anyone have insights about all the food? Does she have an eating disorder or is she simply forgetting to take care of herself and eat? Also what's with everyone being fat? Am I just being too politically correct? Is Esther just overly critical? The food and calling people fat just keeps jumping out at me. 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @mrp27 I‘ve noticed it too!! I think she has an eating disorder. It would definitely fit with all of her other problems... 1y
See All 16 Comments
Nuwanda I would say she has some issues with food, but she‘s also in NY, and she mentions everyone is “trying to reduce,” so I think she‘s already having issues with self-image and depression and then other people‘s issues might be causing her to project a certain image of her own relationship to food. Like, she overeats as a response to others‘ undereating and so on. She mentions she can eat and never gain an ounce, so I‘m not sure here. 1y
Nuwanda I will say I can kind of relate to Esther somewhat with food because I work in a place where it seems like everyone is always on the fad diet of the week, which makes me want to eat a big piece of cake in response because I‘m so tired of hearing about everyone‘s calories, food groups they are no longer eating, etc. I think Esther vacillates between wanting to stand out and wanting to fit in, which is reflected in her relationship to food. (edited) 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Nuwanda me too!!! And ask them how many “points” was my piece of cake!! 🤣 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Ok!! Thank you everyone for participating!! I‘m sorry I was in and out! I had 3 Mother‘s Day things to attend!! Question does everyone live in the US??? @mrp27 @Sg1224 @lynneamch @kspenmoll @Lcsmcat and @TheBookHippie I know most of you do and have your addresses, but I‘m not sure on a few! Did I leave out anyone who participated today? 1y
mrp27 @alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Nuwanda I nearly forgot she is working in the magazine business where the emphasis is high on physical appearance so that kind of goes hand in hand. I've never struggled with anxiety or depression so it's difficult for me to weed out the symptoms of her illness to her personality. I also wonder when I read older books where the language is not so pc if I'm being hyper sensitive or if that's just the way people spoke. 1y
mrp27 @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I forgot, Happy Mother's Day! 🌺 1y
Nuwanda @mrp27 Understandable! The different era does make it harder to discern. So many issues with food and body image often go back to issues of control, which is often part and parcel of anxiety or depression—feeling out of control, hopeless, fearful, etc., plus it‘s the magazine industry, so all those issues are compounded, I think. 1y
Lcsmcat @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Happy Mother‘s Day! It‘s hard to fit it all in when you‘re in the “sandwich generation” isn‘t it? But I‘m so grateful to still have my mom with me that it‘s worth the scheduling issues. 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @mrp27 thank you 💗💗💗 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Lcsmcat thank you!!! You too ❤️ 1y
Sg1224 @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I do. And I look forward to catching up on everyone‘s comments today. Thank you 🙏 @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks & @Nuwanda I really enjoy the selection and weekly post of questions. 😁 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Sg1224 thank you for participating!!! ☺️ 1y
DrexEdit I've been keeping up with the reading but not the commenting. I love all of what you all have to say though. Very interesting insights! 1y
10 likes16 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Question 3: “I saw the years of my life spaced along a road in the form of telephone poles, threaded together by wires.” Esther is presented with numerous opportunities but seems to pass on almost all of them. What do you think holds Esther back from taking advantage of the opportunities she is given?

#thebelljarinas , be sure to check in with @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks for questions 2 and 4 this week! Happy Mother‘s Day to all celebrating!

Valeka I think it‘s a fear of the unknown. A fear of venturing out and taking chances. I‘ve been there! Fear is a powerful and controlling thing. 1y
Nuwanda @Valeka Agreed! Sometimes it‘s easier to think you can‘t than to take a chance, and I think that‘s some of what‘s going on here. 1y
TheBookHippie @Valeka It's definitely fear. She just can not. 1y
See All 11 Comments
Sg1224 It feels like the anxiety over making life decisions are paralyzing her to the point of being debilitating. 1y
mrp27 She's clearly apathetic, fearful and indecisive. She doesn't know herself or what she wants. As she said herself she is neurotic. To take advantage of opportunities you gotta know what you want. 1y
lynneamch Yes, mrp27 and, as you said in the previous post, even opportunities are limited in the 1960s. Her view is that marriage would mean wasting 15 years of straight A's to cook and clean, to "flatten out underneath his feet. . . like being brainwashed, and afterward you went about as numb as a slave." Choosing to be a wife and having a career was still pretty rare. She only knows what she doesn't want. 1y
Tamra @mrp27 very true 1y
Tamra @lynneamch that is very sad, depressing in itself. My only frame of reference are the women in my family and they took 60s evolving feminist freedom and ran with it. Is this set prior to the mid-60s? Are we told? I can‘t recall. 1y
mrp27 @lynneamch Exactly. 1y
amber_ldsmom @mrp27 Agreed! 1y
8 likes11 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Welcome to Week 2, #thebelljarinas !

As always, @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks and I will be hosting and posting some discussion questions about chapters 6-10 of The Bell Jar! Here‘s question 1: “I thought a spectacular change would come over me the day I crossed the boundary line.” Esther is constantly concerned with proving that she belongs wherever she is. Why do you think Esther feels this need to “perform”?

Valeka I think she was putting on airs because it may have seemed easier to be what people wanted or expected than to be herself. She wanted to live up to expectations than to cause disappointment. 1y
Nuwanda @Valeka She almost seems to be dealing with some imposter syndrome. 1y
TheBookHippie @Valeka I was trying to figure out if she actually doesn't know who she is -loathes who she is or is afraid of who she is so she just acts how she believes people think she should be ... 1y
See All 10 Comments
Nuwanda @TheBookHippie I think it might be a mixture. She doesn‘t seem to have a lot of self-confidence and so tries to rely on others‘ expectations of what she should be, but of course those do not necessarily make her happy because they don‘t necessarily reflect her actual desires. 1y
TheBookHippie @Nuwanda HOT MESS. Yes probably ...just be yourself girl! Is what I told the Book 😂 1y
Valeka @Nuwanda @TheBookHippie Yes to all of that! She‘s confused about herself and her place in the world. 1y
Lcsmcat This was when she lost her virginity, right? (I finished this week‘s chapters on Tuesday.) If I‘m right, then the extreme emphasis put on girls‘ purity made it feel like a bigger deal than she felt it was. You expected that you would look different, and everyone would know. 1y
mrp27 I don't think she knows her self well and she is incredibly indecisive. I've never struggled with depression but is this a symptom of it? An inability to know or be yourself? 1y
Nuwanda @Lcsmcat That‘s a good point—different era with different expectations for women especially. @mrp27 Speaking from the perspective of anxiety, I feel like it‘s not so much not knowing yourself but being terrified of all the possible consequences of your choice, and depression can be paralyzing in a similar way. 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @mrp27 I agree... she has no idea who she is...and I agree with @Nuwanda depression can be brutal. 1y
9 likes10 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Open discussion: post any other questions or comments about chapters 1-5 in the comments!

Visit @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks for questions 1 and 3!

#thebelljarinas

hissingpotatoes I'm interested in the theme of awkward learning. E.g. tipping, fingerbowl, etc. And how the things she didn't know/did wrong compare to the things people pretend are correct, e.g. eating salad with fingers. Of course when she doesn't tip/drinks fingerbowl she doesn't know it's incorrect and probably did both seeming confident. But learning after the fact contributes to how out of place she feels in NY/upper crust. 1y
lynneamch I love that quote. It must be true for authors, in general. Everything that happens in their lives can find its way into a story. 1y
Sg1224 I wonder if it was widely known that depression to this magnitude was hereditary- would Ester have chosen to have a child knowing the inherent risk? 1y
See All 9 Comments
Nuwanda @hissingpotatoes That bit about doing awkward things with confidence, even if they‘re “wrong,” has always stuck with me! 1y
Nuwanda @lynneamch I dabble a bit in writing myself, and it‘s fun to look back at old work and remember what from my life inspired it! 1y
Nuwanda @Sg1224 That‘s an interesting point, definitely! It would be fascinating to see how the events of the book would play out today. (edited) 1y
vkois88 The standout quote for me so far: "The silence depressed me. It wasn't the silence of silence. It was my own silence." 1y
18 likes1 stack add9 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Question 4: Discuss Buddy and Esther‘s relationship. What do you think happens at the end of chapter 5? How do you think the fig tree pertains to Esther and Buddy?

Visit @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks for questions 1 and 3!

#thebelljarinas

kspenmoll I think their relationship spoke to the times- although Esther did not come from a privileged world, she entered it though college. My sister went to Mount Holyoke at the tail end of the white gloves, afternoon tea & dances with Amherst & the like. Seems as if Esther fit a certain “type” despite her background; mothers were friends- he was intrigued when she mentioned more dates- relationship involved “games” etc. 1y
kspenmoll Wondering what he did that made her think he was hypocritical- she seemed to be very black & white about certain things. No clue what fig tree means! 1y
Valeka Their relationship is interesting to me. Almost as though it was arranged or expected for them to be together. They really knew so little about each other. And the fig tree? Maybe it represents different choices ahead for her and Buddy? (edited) 1y
See All 13 Comments
Nuwanda @Valeka Yes, it almost feels to me like she dates Buddy because she feels it‘s socially expected of her. She seems to me to have a similar attitude toward the internship she‘s talking about—it seems like the gateway to where she wants to go rather than a thing she really wants to do. 1y
Lcsmcat I‘m withholding judgment on the fig tree until I read more, but I‘m “on alert” so to speak for a biblical allusion - loss of innocence or something like that. 1y
LaraReads I feel like the relationship with Buddy is just another example of the Black & White of Esther‘s thoughts. She originally thinks he‘s the most wonderful boy in the world, but then something happens and he is now a hypocrite. Maybe this is egregious or maybe something perceived that way? Who knows? The fig tree... I don‘t know yet. Maybe something else comes up? 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Lcsmcat I agree with this.... 1y
Sg1224 I think the fig story was a universal struggle of mostly women of the time, and is relatable by all people now. Buddy is a manifestation of a fig and since it was strongly suggested to take it, naturally she wants to asses all other options. I think it‘s a wonderful way to give life to the anxiety & depression she was feeling about this pivotal juncture in her life. She felt pressure from all sides, knowing the harshest ‘judge‘ was herself. 1y
TheBookHippie @Sg1224 I could not have said this better. I absolutely agree with you. Anxiety and depression etc all magnifies the self loathing she has with her decisions . The relationship is odd.. 1y
kspenmoll @Sg1224 Thanks for your insight! You put into words what I could not. 1y
Nuwanda @Sg1224 Agreed! Well-stated! 1y
vkois88 @sg1224 👍👍👍 Spot on 1y
mrp27 I wonder if it weren't for her depression how she would really feel about Buddy or if she even would have dated him at all. After the whole baby thing she just seems to settle. 1y
11 likes13 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
This post contains spoilers
show me
post image

Question 2: We get a brief indication that Esther does have a baby and has hopefully recovered from her depression mentioned in chapter 1. Why do you think she tells the story after the action has taken place? Does this change how you read the novel?

Visit @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks for questions 1 and 3!

#thebelljarinas

kspenmoll Yes , at first I thought she was narrating in the present; it did change perspective for me to know she was looking back on that summer. 1y
Valeka The first time I read the book, I thought she was narrating in the present but on my second (and now third) read, I realized that she was mentally revisiting that summer and that there was a baby. Realizing that definitely changed my perspective on the book. 1y
See All 23 Comments
Nuwanda @Valeka Agreed! This is a re-read for me as well. Definitely alters the perspective of the rest! 1y
eeclayton It might indicate she's not exaggerating. She's telling the story after having recovered, with a clear head: this is what happened, as it was. 1y
LaraReads Agreed. When I heard the word baby, I realized that she is looking back. It changed my thoughts to ‘maybe she‘ll make it through this & come out healthier on the other side.‘ 1y
hissingpotatoes Yeah I think knowing she's recovered enough to tell her story gives a sense of hope. 1y
Sg1224 I think she uses this as a quick PSA to give a small sliver of comfort to individuals who might not be self aware & may struggle in a similar vein. 1y
DrexEdit This is my first time reading this book, but that bit of information, that she's retelling events from memory, does cast a sense over the story. The whole thing feels a bit at arms length. She tells us embarrassing or hurtful stories but without a lot of emotion. Even so you can see the loneliness and confusion that must be there. 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I didn‘t know until I started researching for this buddy read that Plath‘s son also committed suicide by hanging at the age of 47... 😢 1y
Sg1224 @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I am not very familiar with the author, aside from the book. It‘s quite sad to hear of her son. 1y
Nuwanda @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I didn‘t know that either. Terribly sad. 1y
Sg1224 @Nuwanda @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @hissingpotatoes @LaraReads @DrexEdit @eeclayton @Valeka @kspenmoll @Nuwanda Since Ester is telling the story from the lens of the future, do you feel less concerned for her (fully aware she ‘made it‘ through the unfolding events)? 1y
kspenmoll @Sg1224 I do feel less concerned; we know from almost the outset she survived that summer. Less suspense. 1y
LaraReads @Sg1224 Hmm...I don‘t think so. It actually makes me feel more for her I think. Because she‘s looking back & describing them in such detail. And I guess mental illness isn‘t something you really ever recover from. 😥 1y
LaraReads Also, since we know that it is semi-autobiographical to Plath‘s life & we know what happened to her...it‘s still pretty painful. 1y
vkois88 I agree with @LaraReads ... Mental illness is a hard thing to struggle with even if you have it mostly under control. It's something you'll live with forever. I am looking at this as a reflection of earlier life, of a navigation through her illness (es). Esther is so disconnected (past & present) from the stories she's given, it's easy to see that shutting off most emotion is her way of coping. It's sad yet relatable to anyone who's ever struggled 1y
LaraReads Yes, very well said @vkois88 1y
Tanisha_A I am reading it for the first time, and yes it is changing my perspective, it keeps me hopeful of some happiness lying in her future. Although, there is this other side to it - she wrote about these events with such vivid detail which must have been like revisiting it all over again. But I guess, writing makes one feel better? 1y
Valeka @Sg1224 I go several years between readings but I always learn new things about Esther at the end of each of them. I feel her mental struggles and always uncover new layers with each reading. 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @LaraReads I agree with you... we know the outcome and it is very painful... 1y
mrp27 I too feel optimistic for Esther since she's telling her story after the fact. But it's still disheartening because of Plath's own struggles and the struggle of women during a time when depression wasn't as understood as it is today. 1y
10 likes1 stack add23 comments
blurb
Nuwanda
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
post image

Join me, @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks and the rest of #thebelljarinas as we discuss chapters 1-5 starting at noon CST/1 EST. @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks will post questions 1 and 3, and I will post questions 2 and 4 and the open discussion post.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 🙌🏻👏🏻🙌🏻👏🏻 1y
26 likes1 comment
blurb
Nuwanda
The Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
post image

Join me and @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks for discussion tomorrow!

blurb
Nuwanda
Bell Jar | Sylvia Plath
post image

Join me and @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks in May for a Bell Jar readalong! We will post discussion questions every Sunday in May starting at 12p CST/1p EST, and you can feel free to join the discussion whenever you are able! We are also taking suggestions for a group name, so comment below with ideas!

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 1y
28 likes1 comment
blurb
Nuwanda
post image

Liking this one way more than I thought I would so far!

CathyJ I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this one. 1y
Nuwanda @CathyJ I borrowed it from the library with very low expectations, haha! I‘m pleasantly surprised. 1y
25 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
Nuwanda
The Power | Naomi Alderman
post image
Pickpick

Fascinating commentary on the nature of power, who wields it, and how. Action-packed and gripping with an added dose of religious cult/mania. Loved it!

23 likes2 stack adds
review
Nuwanda
Bailedbailed

Her sob story about not making the dance team in high school being the great tragedy of her life was my first red flag. Things did not improve from there. This was decidedly not for me.

blurb
Nuwanda

Can someone help me find a book similar to Call Me By Your Name or A Little Life? I‘d love something with similar themes of deep friendship, first love, the bittersweet parts of life... Any ideas, Littens? ❤️

Notafraidofwords Oh and this one is so like call me by your name. 1y
Notafraidofwords This is one too. Can‘t you tell this is my wheel house 1y
See All 11 Comments
Nuwanda @Notafraidofwords Thank you! I‘ll take a look at these! 1y
Nuwanda @Notafraidofwords ❤️ So many possibilities! Love! 1y
Notafraidofwords @Nuwanda if i had to choose. I would choose guapa and Gustav sonata. 1y
mauveandrosysky Ugh I‘ve yet to find anything that compares to either of these 😩 1y
charl08 An older one, but v good 1y
20 likes11 comments
review
Nuwanda
post image
Mehso-so

I liked a couple of these stories very much (Killer of Kings and the title story). I didn‘t hate the rest of them, but many of the “dreamlike” elements felt randomly thrown in, and a lot of the stories seemed to follow the same ending of “And then a thing happened but no one really cared and it didn‘t matter. The end.” I‘m not huge on short story collections anyway, and I think I would rather have just read the couple I liked and left the rest.

review
Nuwanda
Every Heart a Doorway | Seanan McGuire
post image
Mehso-so

Thought I should update since I blurbed this the other day. It started out so well, but the ending felt so rushed. It almost seemed like the author reached a certain word or page count and stopped. Also, while I appreciated the diversity included, it felt a bit like the author was marking off a checklist rather than working in naturally diverse characters.