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TheExpatFiles

TheExpatFiles

Joined May 2016

I prefer books (and coffee) to people. South African / in Japan / @theexpatfiles 📷
review
TheExpatFiles
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Pickpick

Releasing the screenplay the same time as the film was a stroke of genius. I loved being able to read Rowling's (flawless) script before seeing the movie - really made the whole experience more magical.

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TheExpatFiles
Persuasion | Jane Austen
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Pickpick

Oh man, I loved Anne. Loved that for once, an Austin heroine was older, mature, and turned a man down. My Jane Bennet funko agrees.

ReadingEnvy Yes yes yes. 6y
14 likes1 comment
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TheExpatFiles
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Pickpick

This was beautifully written and the prose was breathtaking, but it was also a bit ... boring? A book with so much talent (and WOWZERS so much sex) really had no excuse to be so dull in places. I'd have felt differently if I'd sat and read it in a day, but because I could only grab a chapter or two at a time, it definitely dragged more.

angrylilasian I'm having a similar problem. I've started it twice but because I have to keep stopping, it doesn't seem to be moving. But I love the writing so I'll keep trying. 😄 6y
13 likes1 comment
blurb
TheExpatFiles
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Spent the weekend with Newt, drinking Butterbeer in Hogsmede. He was a complete gentleman, didn't even try to cop a feel.

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TheExpatFiles
The Passenger | Lisa Lutz
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Panpan

Bad bad bad. Ridiculous plot. Bad writing. Just really bad. At least my cake was good. Always trust in the cake.

ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Id heard mixed reviews, so this cinched it for me!! 6y
Bakingbookworm I had to bail after 70 pages. It didn't grab me at all and I couldn't have cared less for the main character. 6y
11 likes2 comments
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TheExpatFiles
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Pickpick

My first Christie and I loved it! Watching the new BBC adaptation right now too and it's so well done. (Also: might have a small crush on Aidan Turner!)

9 likes2 stack adds
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TheExpatFiles
In the Woods | Tana French
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Pickpick

A little more wordy, and a little less thrilling than expected, but still a cracking read. Will definitely be spending more time with the Dublin murder squad.

the_hibernator I'm hoping to get a chunk out of this book for the #readathon 6y
20 likes1 comment
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TheExpatFiles
You | Caroline Kepnes
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Pickpick

The pick for our October book club, You surprised me by being 50% a creepy thriller but also 50% light porn haha. Let's just say that I had an interesting time reading it at my education conference last weekend.

11 likes1 stack add
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TheExpatFiles
Frankenstein: ; Or, The Modern Prometheus | Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
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Pickpick

My Halloween / October 2016 TBR pile! It's my busiest work month though ... Will I get through them all? // also, the most adorable mummy tea bags because Japan has the cutest stuff.

rachelm Those tea bags!! 6y
12 likes1 stack add1 comment
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TheExpatFiles
Miss Peregrine Trilogy | Ransom Riggs
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Panpan

Unpopular Opinion Alert : I did not love this trilogy. It started off okay, but instead of building on experience and momentum, it ended on a very weak note. There was something forced about the writing, and something extremely juvenile and undeveloped about the two protagonists, which made some of the slightly more adult things they thought and did really creepy ... And not in the way Riggs intended it to be. The covers were great though.

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TheExpatFiles
Radio Girls | Sarah-Jane Stratford
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Pickpick

I LOVED this book. It has everything that turns me on : the fascinating history of a major media conglomerate (the BBC), the true story of a queer feminist icon (Hilda Matheson), the social insecurity of Britain as it hung between two World Wars, suffragettes and the men who feared them, and a plot that effortlessly balanced fiction and fact. Someone make a movie about Matheson ASAP please. (Edit : deleted this by mistake hence the repost)

angrylilasian Sounds interesting! I hadn't heard of this book before. Thanks! 6y
14 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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TheExpatFiles
Dark Places: A Novel | Gillian Flynn
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Pickpick

This was one of my picks for my Halloween reading list last year! Busy compiling my 2016 October TBR and need suggestions! Any recent thrillers you couldn't put down?

JackieSmith Have you read City of Mirrors (the new Justin Cronin) yet? I'm hoping my library copy comes in by the end of the month. 6y
TheExpatFiles @JackieSmith I've never read any of his! To be honest, I'm not a fan of vampires. Are his books good? 6y
7 likes2 comments
review
TheExpatFiles
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Mehso-so

I'm definitely in the minority here, but I didn't love this. Granted it was a million times better than Eat, Pray, Love (Gilbert isn't a bad writer - pity she'll forever be judged by that tragedy) but Alma was insufferable and at the end I was left thinking 'so what?' -- a death knell to a book of 600 pages.

Marchpane That latte art is kawaii!! 6y
Smrloomis I have an allergy to Gilbert but I do love ❤️ that latte art. @Marchpane is right. Super cute 😁 6y
TheExpatFiles @Marchpane isn't it?! I wish I could do this with a pencil ... I wouldn't even attempt it on foam ha 6y
TheExpatFiles @Smrloomis I do too! She's not my favourite. 6y
11 likes4 comments
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TheExpatFiles
Wolf by Wolf | Ryan Graudin
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Pickpick

Anybody else getting really excited for the publication of Blood for Blood?? It's coming sooooon! Also excited for : snow. It can't come soon enough, this summer has been a killer!

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TheExpatFiles
Homegoing: A novel | Yaa Gyasi
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Pickpick

What a riveting, heartbreaking debut novel on slavery, antiblackness and heritage. One of my favourites of 2016 // Read on a roadtrip through the Japanese mountains.

read.run.travel I love the cover! 6y
TheExpatFiles @read.run.travel both the editions are stunning. 6y
13 likes2 comments
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TheExpatFiles
Dark Matter | Blake Crouch
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Pickpick

The perfect summer book! Fast paced, crazy plot twists, enough new pop-science to keep it fresh. Loved it! Want this as a movie ASAP.

review
TheExpatFiles
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Mehso-so

Tess! Buck up gurl, stop throwing stones at yourself. Life isn't that bad! Yes, you live in extremely patriarchal times with double-standard landmines under every step,but you're not making your own existence any easier. (This book required the ingestion of A LOT of ice cream, it was no light and lovely Madding Crowd).

rachelm Poor Tess! 6y
12 likes2 stack adds1 comment
review
TheExpatFiles
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Pickpick

Halfway through and LOVING it. Also, ate 1/3 of my chocolate frog before having to give up ...that thing is solid!

ClairesReads Good to hear, I've been feeling a bit ambivalent about this...not sure about the format, not sure about the fact that JK didn't actually write it etc. will look forward to your final verdict 😄 7y
21 likes1 stack add1 comment
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TheExpatFiles
Behold the Dreamers | Imbolo Mbue
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Pickpick

The blurb compares this to Americanah & while I see similarities, it feels a lot lighter. Behold the Dreamers is the story of a Cameroonian couple trying to make it in New York & has a whole cast of interesting, well-drawn characters. I love reading novels about the African diaspora,there are so many experiences & viewpoints yet untold. But while I enjoyed Mbue's beautifully written debut, it lacked a bit of heft -the ending left me wanting more.

tpixie Fun! 7y
ReadingEnvy Im trying to read a book from every country in Africa and I was excited about this one! Then I realized I read a book of lake myths from Cameroon. Was there a lot in there about the original culture? 7y
7 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
TheExpatFiles
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Pickpick

3.5 / 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Beautifully written, but the plot lagged in parts (probably because I'm not really interested in art and can spend max 10 minutes in an art gallery). Sara was a wonderful character though, would love an entire book on her. Also : more Japanese latte art - my favourite kind.

13 likes2 stack adds
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TheExpatFiles
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Pickpick

Can't WAIT for the movie! Ps. I'vs been sorted into Ravenclaw and Horned Serpent. You?

ValerieAndBooks Yes me too! To seeing the movie and being in the same houses as you. 7y
11 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
TheExpatFiles
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Pickpick

Much better Austen adaptation than the messy Eligible, in my opinion. This was breezy and funny, nothing massively impressive but far from the drivel that rewrites of classic novels usually bring about.

JackieSmith That foam art! Wow! 7y
10 likes2 stack adds1 comment
review
TheExpatFiles
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Pickpick

This was so fun - I really want my own clockwork octopus now, someone make one for me immediately. The writing wasn't perfect, and the characters were a bit 1D at times, but the world building was great and the cover sublime.

13 likes1 stack add
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TheExpatFiles
Anne of Green Gables | L. M. Montgomery
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Pickpick

Photo taken at the abandoned Anne of Green Gables theme park called Canadian World in Hokkaido, Japan.

BeckyRenner So pretty! But a Canada theme park? Add that to the list of things I never knew existed. 7y
CherylDeFranceschi Amazing! I love abandoned parks! They're very special places. 7y
EricaReads Wow! I used to live in Japan an am from Nova Scotia (close to PEI ) and I never knew this existed! 7y
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TheExpatFiles @BeckyRenner well it's defunct and creepy now but the buildings are somewhat well maintained, and it's pretty interesting! 7y
TheExpatFiles @EricaReads where in Japan did you live? I've been here in Sapporo for 9 years. 7y
EricaReads @TheExpatFiles Mie-ken, about an hour south of Nagoya. I lived there for 4 years 😍 I miss it! 7y
24 likes7 comments
review
TheExpatFiles
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Pickpick

Phenomenal piece of research packaged up in a compulsively readable history of just how exactly human beings have managed to destroy everything.

11 likes3 stack adds
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TheExpatFiles
Mehso-so

This was just okay. There were some shining moments and paragraphs that made me yell 'YES!' but many essays were similar and there wasn't a lot of insight added to the feminist discourse (apart from the stunning final essay). If you're looking for a feminist read, pick Bad Feminist.

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TheExpatFiles
Bad Feminist | Roxane Gay
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Pickpick

I recently reread Bad Feminist and We Should All Be Feminists, both of which were even stronger and more amazing the second time around! Now on : The Geek Feminist Revolution. Coupled with some tea and a salted caramel baumkuchen cake finger, this feminist spread is delicious.

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TheExpatFiles
Longbourn | Jo Baker
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Pickpick

My 2016 Austen kick has seen me reach for quite a few adaptations and spin-offs to accompany my rereading of the original novels. While most have proved quite disappointing (ahem, Eligible), this was surprisingly great! The Downton Abbey take on Pride and Prejudice added a whole new level.

LA_Mead Sounds interesting! 7y
11 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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TheExpatFiles
Euphoria | Lily King
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Pickpick

Everyone stop what you're doing and read this! It's phenomenal! Historical fiction based on the life of Margaret Mead, it has everything - adventure, moral upheaval and a love triangle!

ClairesReads I have a copy of this waiting to be read, will bump it up the list 7y
ReadingEnvy Loved this one! And all anthropology novels! 7y
peggyriley I adore this book. 7y
Susannah Totally agree! I think this is the best book I've read so far this year. 7y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled I studied anthropology in grad school - this is one of my favorite books ever!! 7y
13 likes7 stack adds5 comments
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TheExpatFiles
Breakfast at Tiffany's | Truman Capote
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Pickpick

A brilliant character sketch of a deeply flawed and scandalous Holly Golightly -an egocentric racist who somehow managed to win me over despite all her awfulness.I loved the feeling of Holly's New York, her utter lack of self restraint, her tactless candidness.

L_auren Recently read this for the first time! Wonderful! 7y
NickyT I also loved her even though I knew I shouldn't 😂 7y
15 likes4 stack adds2 comments
review
TheExpatFiles
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Mehso-so

I read Middlemarch last year & I'm still exhausted by it - it was a marathon! It's one of those books touted as genius and so I feel like I'm too stupid to have fully understood it because it left me feeling a bit meh. Maybe I'll wait another 10 years, maybe I'll come to appreciate it when I'm 40.

Spiderfelt I read Middlemarch last summer while listening to Rebecca Mead's My Life In Middlemarch, and participating in a Twitter bookclub moderated by a lit prof. Those two additions rounded out my understanding and appreciation. 7y
TheExpatFiles @Spiderfelt I actually read Mead's book after I reach Middlemarch, but didn't really enjoy it either. I think listening to a lit prof dissect it would be great though - get some super intelligent opinions on it. Good idea! 7y
NickyT Say it ain't so Sar, day it ain't so! It is a marathon though, that is true! I read this incredibly slowly, but finished it feeling revitalised! 7y
TheExpatFiles @NickyT I'm so embarrassed / sad that I didn't love this. But I've realised I'm a pretty late bloomer when it comes to classics. I'm only really starting to love Austen now, so I'll reread this when I'm 40 and will hopefully love it. 7y
NickyT Nah, you should never be embarrassed! I wanted you to love it too, but my sister, one of my favourite reading buddies, hated it too! Maybe it's me!!🙈 7y
10 likes2 stack adds5 comments
review
TheExpatFiles
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Pickpick

This is one of my favourite nonfiction books, if not my favourite. It reads like a thriller, made even scarier by the fact that it's all happening around us. I have a definite brain crush on David Quammen.

3 likes2 stack adds
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TheExpatFiles
Me Before You | Jojo Moyes
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Pickpick

Surprised by how much I enjoyed this. Much better than the other Jojo Moyes I've read but that might be because I was picturing Sam Claflin the whole way through.

14 likes2 stack adds
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TheExpatFiles
Northanger Abbey | Jane Austen
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Pickpick

LOVED this! A meta gothic Austen that broke the heck out of the fourth wall. My only complaint : The ending was way too rushed.

tpixie This was a fun book. When I started commuting to work, the first thing I made myself do was listen to the audio books of all of Jane Austen's books. Now I need to do that with the Brontë sisters. 7y
TheExpatFiles @teriann yes! I'm on a long-ass commute to my current job and I'm loving audio books. I love Thandie Newton's Jane Eyre on audible. Her voice is phenomenal. 7y
tpixie ❤️🚙📚 7y
15 likes3 stack adds3 comments
review
TheExpatFiles
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Pickpick

PKD! What an imagination! The end of this was a bit confusing, but it wouldn't be a true PKD experience if you didn't feel a bit 'huh?!' at the end.

the_book_wench My class read Ubik in high school. "Huh?" Was probably the most common phrase during that portion of class. Loved it though! 7y
TheExpatFiles @the_book_wench haha, I love how PKD invokes that reaction in high schoolers worldwide. No matter what country, if you were reading him in class, you were confused. 7y
8 likes3 stack adds2 comments
blurb
TheExpatFiles
Slade House | David Mitchell
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I'M SO MAD RIGHT NOW. HOW COULD YOU, DAVID.

ClairesReads So angry!!!! 😡 7y
9 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
TheExpatFiles
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Pickpick

I know this is getting mixed reviews, but I loved it! Fun, fast paced, and completely tongue-in-cheek, I'm hoping it gets made into a movie ASAP.

7 likes1 stack add
quote
TheExpatFiles

"...What strange and thrilling times we live in. A world you felt, at one point, might be full of nothing more than reality singing competitions and Donald Trumps and Kardashians and Angelina Jolie's cute ethnic kids and Carson Daly, a world that hardly seemed worth saving,worth all of this effort."

ClairesReads This book sounds fab! 7y
TheExpatFiles @ClairesReads it was a lot of fun! 7y
4 likes2 comments
review
TheExpatFiles
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Pickpick

I've been blessed with above average scaredy-cat tendencies so if you're someone who handles creepiness well, ignore me when I say : THIS IS A TERRIFYING TRILOGY. It's well written and imaginative as hell, but also chilling.

8 likes1 stack add
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TheExpatFiles
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Pickpick

I loved The Moor's Account for being unlike any book I have ever read before. Many novels are reconstructions of stories already told- well known plots seen from different viewpoints. This however, was a story of exploration that was itself a bold,adventurous piece of imagined historical fiction.

7 likes5 stack adds
blurb
TheExpatFiles
The Portable Veblen: A Novel | Elizabeth Mckenzie
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Twee cupcakes to go with the ridiculous tweeness that is this book. I'm struggling to finish it so hopefully the sugar high will push me across the finish line.

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TheExpatFiles
When Breath Becomes Air | Paul Kalanithi
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Pickpick

One of 2016's must reads, When Breath Becomes Air made me cry like a baby. I recommend you read it alongside Gawande's Being Mortal to fill in the few academic gaps that Kalanithi leaves. Both books are essential for mortals of all kinds.

8 likes5 stack adds
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TheExpatFiles
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Pickpick

After reading Marra's wonderful debut last year, I was worried that he'd experience the Sophomore Slump. However The Tsar of Love and Techno is superb, with stories that go down like shotglasses full of Russian history- just a mouthful, but oh so strong.

Spiderfelt Exactly! I owned this book for more than a year before my husband pulled it off the shelf and brought it to me. I was scared it wouldn't be as good, but I think it might be better. 7y
3 likes1 comment
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TheExpatFiles
The Nest: A Novel | Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
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Mehso-so

Technically very well written but lacked the heart and biting wit that would've made it a winner. There were too many POV with very few I was willing to root for.

LA_Mead Gorgeous picture! 7y
4 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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TheExpatFiles
The Girls: A Novel | Emma Cline
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Pickpick

I was lucky enough to get an arc from Random House on Netgalley and I spent all weekend engrossed-couldn't put it down! Cline is an amazing writer and while the creep cult factors were high, the real marvel of the book is how she manages to portray the angst of being a teenage girl. Wonderful debut.

L_auren The angst was spot on!! Such a great read 7y
5 likes1 stack add1 comment
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TheExpatFiles
Little Life | Hanya Yanagihara
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Pickpick

Phenomenal writing about characters I can't seem to stop thinking about, even though I finished it a month ago. The kind of book that sticks to your bones.

3 likes4 stack adds
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TheExpatFiles
Eligible | Curtis Sittenfeld
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Mehso-so

I'm a Sittenfeld lover (Prep!) and a devoted Janeite so thought this would be a match made in heaven. It wasn't. Might be a good beach read for someone else, but was just a disappointing Saturday for me.

3 likes2 stack adds