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Vansa

Vansa

Joined September 2016

To paraphrase that ABBA classic, “Mother said I would read long before I could talk!“
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Vansa
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#Two4Tuesday @TheSpineView
1.Something that describes the dark underbelly of cities!
2. Is Frank Miller quite sexist?Well, yes. I really enjoyed Sin City though,specially Marv!

TheSpineView Thanks for playing! 4d
9 likes1 comment
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Vansa
Good Behaviour | Molly Keane
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Pickpick

#nyrbbookclub I read this book just this year,and I had never heard of the writer earlier, which is a travesty! Fascinating, compelling book and if you want to read about complicated women trying to survive, ignore the overhyped books coming out this year, and return to this classic. My full review here:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4725361918

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Vansa
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#WondrousWednesday @Eggs
1.Ireland!Fintan o'Toole's blistering and deeply personal account of 6 decades from 1958 on,when he was born.The personal is always political,exemplified by this book.
2.Brother of the more famous Jack.Witty,romantic, heartbreaking.Full review:https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4779189530
3.Cannot wait to read this,first in a planned trilogy on Suleyman the Magnificent.

Eggs Well done! 2w
11 likes1 comment
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Vansa
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#Two4Tuesday @TheSpineView
1.I think a writer is anyone who engages in the act of writing,and an author is someone who is published!My definition basically seems to involve payment,or the lack of it for a writer!
2.I write reviews! I would love to be an author but I don't have the talent😀I post reviews of podcasts I listen to here:https://medium.com/@vansadee
Thanks for the tag!

TheSpineView Thanks for playing! 2w
9 likes1 comment
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Vansa
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@ozma.of.oz #sundayfunday
1.Litsy and Goodreads.
2.Litsy on a practically...hourly basis?Goodreads every time I want to post a review.
3.Litsy-only about the books,not people trying to perform book reading.And the lovely,lovely people.Tagged book was a gift from the super kind @Barbara ,I loved it.
Sometimes on Goodreads I find that reviews are much better than critic reviews!
Review:https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4736821470

Vansa Also Netgalley and the wonderful Internet archive 2w
ozma.of.oz I love the variety of reviews on GoodReads! Thanks for answering! 💜 2w
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Vansa
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#Two4Tuesday @TheSpineView
1.Definitely an accurate reflection of Carter's off kilter writing!
2 . Not really, I love this book so I re-read it anyway! But I do like eye catching book covers!

TheSpineView Thanks for playing! 3w
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Vansa
Love in a Cold Climate | Nancy Mitford
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😂😂😂My husband and I are both bankers. I love how Mitford sends up the ludicrous snobbery of the English upper classes.

CarolynM I love Lady Montdore - she‘s dreadful but hilarious🤣🤣🤣 3w
Vansa @CarolynM she's so completely hilarious. I love how Mitford sends up the pretensions of the aristocracy through her character 2w
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Vansa
Love in a Cold Climate | Nancy Mitford
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Absolutely delightful

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Vansa
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What an unexpectedly moving, sensitive, empathetic paragraph,in an otherwise rollicking , hilarious conversation

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Vansa
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This entire conversation. Made me wince and let out a shout of laughter. What sharp writing

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Vansa
Good Behaviour | Molly Keane
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I've subjected the kind people who follow me on Litsy to a series of rant-tweets about Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason.What do I recommend people read instead,though,about complex women trying to make sense of life?Here's a list,(scribed for me by my husband,his handwriting is much better).

In_the_stacks I have some Molly Keene on my shelf that I‘ve been meaning to read for awhile. Another author I‘ve heard lots of good things about 1mo
BarbaraBB Thanks!! 1mo
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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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OH MY GOD someone please get these girls out of that school immediately, they're going to be getting a boring clueless narcissist to give them advice on something that could affect their lives. Also really? Is it that easy to get jobs in England?? Incredible.

BarbaraBB I don‘t have the impression you‘re enjoying the book 🤣. Kudos for not giving up! 1mo
Vansa @BarbaraBB ??" not enjoying" is a huge understatement for just how obnoxious I find this book! I have finally finished it, much to my husband's relief, since he no longer has to listen to me ranting about it!! 1mo
BarbaraBB Haha you made that clear! I‘m in no hurry to read the book now! 1mo
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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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😂😂😂This is so completely untrue about Martha. She doesn't fight for anything, she doesn't bother to listen to anyone, she's selfish and condescending and patronising and utterly boring. This is all tell and not show, something female writers of the last 5 years love doing.She has literally no friends,so she's definitely not the life and soul of the party

In_the_stacks YES. When I read this I thought, Have I completely misread this book? Because this doesn‘t seem to describe Martha at all. I am into reading about complicated characters, but Martha didn‘t seem particularly complicated or nuanced to me. The first 2/3s of the book did not portray this side of Martha at all. 1mo
Vansa @In_the_stacks not at all.Also it really annoyed me that just when she needed it,her mother suddenly did a 180 degree character turn and was amazingly supportive-I wish things like that would happen in real life,but they don't.If you are unfortunate enough to have a narcissistic parent, they will not suddenly change-it's not in their mental makeup to even want to change.And that's all it took for her to stop being an alcoholic?Again,if only! 1mo
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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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WHAT??? Where did this even COME from?Have authors forgotten that character development is an integral part of writing?This facet of this completely banal protagonist is not developed AT AlL throughout the book,and is now suddenly dropped on the reader.Till now,she has shown no sympathy to her(bafflingly)constantly pregnant sister,never helps her with her children,shows absolutely no interest in anyone else-none of which indicates(1/2)

Vansa (2/2) in motherhood. Further, I cannot for the life of me understand why authors in 2022 have characters who do not even vaguely consider adoption as a viable alternative for those who do not want to get pregnant but want to be mothers.This nonsensical book.How are people able to enjoy it. 1mo
Karons1 @Vansa it‘s a huge hit over here 👈 uk 🇬🇧 we seem to like unreliable narrators 😆haven‘t read it myself yet but lots of reviews And podcasts say it‘s fantastic and opens a door into the world of Someone struggling with mental health issues or maybe 🤔 they‘re just narcissist, sounds like my sister in law we didn‘t hear a thing from her last year when my dad died now she‘s having relationship issues and won‘t leave us alone? (edited) 4w
Vansa @Karons1 I was conned into buying the book by all the rave reviews from the Guardian!!I like unreliable narrators too,but this narrator isn't an interesting character with much inner life-it reads more as one long whine.I just finished the stellar tagged book,and I felt Meg Mason ripped off the..vibe of that and failed utterly at it.It doesn't work as a sympathetic portrayal of mental health because it's so badly written.(1/2) 4w
Vansa @Karons1 oh i have a lot of experience with people with narcissistic personality disorder-my mother and a very close friend and I can only offer you sympathy, they're very hard to deal with! 4w
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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Slightly confused. A doctor literally gave her the right diagnosis when she was 18, only for it to be dismissed by her mother. A doctor has given her the right diagnosis again. Other doctors, who are not psychiatrists or mental health experts are now to be castigated for not diagnosing her correctly?? How did not a single editor find this completely ridiculous?

In_the_stacks This idea of the “right” diagnosis suddenly fixing everything is also very strange to me. I feel like anyone who has spent any time undergoing assessment/ treatmentfor mental health issues knows how fluid and imprecise diagnosis can be, especially over many decades, and how even good doctors and good therapists can disagree on a diagnosis. I don‘t think diagnosis is as clear cut as this book seems to assume. 1mo
Vansa @In_the_stacks could not agree more.It's also a bit of a disservice being done in the guise of a book dealing frankly with “mental health“-for people with chronic,debilitating issues,it's not so easy as waving a magic wand and getting one perfect diagnosis.Further,a sustained course of medication can help alleviate symptoms to some extent,which Martha does not adhere to at all,and then blames the doctors. 1mo
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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Find me a more patronising, condescending sentence that thinks it's profound. Confusing narcissism with profundity and depth is ironically enough, one of the most shallow ways to write.

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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Really? Swipes at In Our Time now? I've listened to more than 50 episodes and to dismiss this always thoughtful, well researched radio show just for a bit of virtue signalling, when the narrator herself absolutely never listens to anyone or cares about anyone else's opinions, is such bad, again, banal (clearly a word I'm going to over use while talking about this book)writing.

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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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How edgy. How subversive. How completely juvenile and more fitting for a 16 year old to say to her parents than a woman who's over 30.🙄🙄

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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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I am in complete awe of a woman who is so entitled, clueless, ignorant of history and completely un-self aware, that she can toss out an adjective like "Stasi-like" so casually, completely oblivious to the very real historical connotations.Its not cheeky Brit humour.Its just sheer banality.

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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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What?? Why?? Literal DESPAIR from a hotel restaurant?? Seriously? What are these sentences? Is this book a joke being played on the reader? I am being driven into a state of existential despair when I contemplate the state of book publishing that sentences like this make it through editors.

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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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One of the most historical, artistic places in the world, and this is all Meg Mason has to say about it. After page after page of railing against banal tourists. Is there something completely wrong with book critics and the literary establishment that they're willing to reward this drivel? Am I secretly a masochist that I'm willing to plough on with this drivel?

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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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One more gibe at tourists. What have they done to Meg Mason, herself a non-Londoner from New Zealand, I wonder. Also if tourists are so completely awful for the city, I wonder why London is so actively courting them ,post covid.

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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Wow. No sign of the protagonist showing the slightest interest in literature or reading, but of course she must condescend to paying customers. Why not. Also is it this easy to get a visa and stay in Paris for 4 years if one is a white British person? Wow. Nice work if you can get it. Presumably Brexit will make things harder. One can only hope.

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Vansa
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Is this book meant to be a fairytale??? Whom do things like this happen to? You're depressed and your boss gives you his flat in Paris to stay in? The more I read this book, the more shocked I am by it's utter mediocrity and unself-awareness and the rave reviews.

In_the_stacks I just finished Sorrow& Bliss as well, & it was a definite pan for me. I‘m surprised by all of the rave reviews- everyone I know who‘s read it loved it. But I found the author‘s treatment of mental illness & its fallout completely unrealistic- I couldn‘t relate to any of the characters- I didn‘t even like the characters I think I was supposed to like!- & Ididn‘t find it very funny. Glad to hear that I‘m not the only one who didn‘t warm up to it! (edited) 1mo
Vansa @In_the_stacks terrible book. None of the characters were developed at all!Everyone was one-note,and the author seems to think that's enough to suggest great character depth.I have literally read Harlequin category romances with more insight 😂After a point I continued with it to see just how banal it could get,and it didn't disappoint.I got no sense of who Patrick is-what is his inner life?Does she want to stay married to him because it's easy?! 1mo
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Vansa
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Pickpick

#WondrousWednesday @Eggs
🦋5 🌟so far,nuanced,complex and deeply personal account of the authors growing up in Ireland during the Troubles.
🦋Michael Ignatieff's On consolation,Richard Cohen's Making History and Abi Morgan's This is not a pity memoir.Links to my reviews in comments!
🦋We have an appointment FINALLY for our vaccine booster this Saturday,very relieved!

Vansa Excellent work on the writers of history, not restricted only to the Western European historical tradition and how in many instances, how they viewed things affect how we talk about the past. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4662023414 1mo
Vansa This is a beautiful, thoughtful book on how human beings have responded to sorrow and trouble over the years, and how the means in which we seek solace have evolved. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4589339589 1mo
Vansa THis book was a devastating, moving account of Morgan's husband, Jacob Krichefski's severe reaction to the withdrawal of a test drug, that affected his MS, the effect on the family, with Abi's memories of their meet-cute and life to that point, interspersed between.https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4742098340 1mo
Eggs Thanks for joining in 💜🦋💙 1mo
kspenmoll Thanks for your post. Stacked! 1mo
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Vansa
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Pickpick

#Two4Tuesday @TheSpineView
1.I loved all the supporting characters in this excellent book!Her sister, Cecy, their guardian, all fascinating and subverted tropes. Full review here https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4646622926
2.Definitely a strong supporting character! Some of my favourite characters are supporting characters-Iorek Byrnison,Lee Scoresby,Lady Salmakia in his dark materials.
Would love to see everyone's responses!

TheSpineView Sounds good! Thanks for playing! Stacked! 1mo
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Vansa
Lab Girl | Hope Jahren
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#wondrouswednesday @Eggs
🌷When i was around 5 years old,my parents took a lot of effort and got me 5 potted Rose plants to take care of-I soon lost interest and the weather didn't co-operate so they all died!Have only lived in cities after in flats,so no space for one!
🌹The tagged book isn't exactly about a specific garden but a spectacular book on plants and trees in general,and the research that goes on. Wonderful.

Eggs Book sounds great 👍🏼 1mo
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Vansa
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#ThoughtfulThursday @MoonWitch94
💠The tagged immersive book,a collection of short stories about early 20th century Russia,the beliefs of the people and the uneasy coexistence of rationalism and strong folk beliefs and superstition.
💠Gorgeous physical book,a gift from the very kind @BarbaraBB !
💠5 definitely.
💠I read out to my husband,then I take a photo and share on Litsy!

BarbaraBB Happy you‘re enjoying it 🤍 1mo
jlhammar I have that book. Can't wait to get to it! Sounds excellent. 1mo
MoonWitch94 Thanks for playing 📚☺️ 1mo
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Vansa
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#Two4Tuesday @TheSpineView
1.Definitely a voracious reader, you require quite a bit of privilege to be a bibliophile in a world where space is increasingly at a premium!
2. Bibliophiles like the physical act of holding a book as much as the book itself!Would be nice to be one,but can't live in a city and have a house large enough for it!
Highly recommend the tagged book,a gorgeous bibliomystery about collectors and books

TheSpineView Thanks for playing! 💙📚💙 1mo
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Vansa
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#WeekendReads @rachelsbrittain
1.Teffi's Other Worlds,an evocative collection of short pieces on Russia-combining memoir,folklore and history.
2.Tagged book, absolutely lovely on the shrinking treeline, full review here-https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4616895626
3.Indias going through a heatwave ever since Covid numbers reduced,so no chance of reading outside!

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Vansa
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#Sundayfunday #Blameitonlitsy @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
Reading this book right now, that @BarbaraBB kindly gifted me!! Excellent writing, immersive and deeply evocative of place and time.

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Vansa
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This memoir is heartbreaking. This describes my Saturdays, so lovely.

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Vansa
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#WondrousWednesday @Eggs
1.All couch potato activities-watching the latest Brit comedies,listening to Bbc radio dramas/podcasts!
2.I do!I review actively on Goodreads,here's me latest:https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4719432323
I find GR reviews and people's reviews in Litsy really useful,apart from reviews on The Guardian,The Critic.
3.My spot on my couch,with my husband next to me so I can read out interesting bits to him!

Eggs Love these responses ~ thanks for joining in 🤩 2mo
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Vansa
Thud! | Terry Pratchett
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#ThinkPositivebepositive @Eggs @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
Have always loved this quote. So much more profound than abysses staring back at you.

Eggs Love this❣️ 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks ❤️❤️❤️ 2mo
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Vansa
The Bucharest Dossier | William Maz
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Wow. Domino theory worked in a...reverse way.

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Vansa
The Lion House: The Coming of A King | Christopher de Bellaigue
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#Two4Tuesday @TheSpineView welcome back!
1.These 3!Mohsin Hamid is one of my favourite writers,so his latest is definitely one I want to read.This volume of Richardson's magisterial life of Picasso is about a period I'm interested in.The Lion House is about Suleyman the Magnificent,and given my interest in the Ottoman Empire,perfect for me!
2.I do,but I have to pick it! Specifically either 70s or 80s music 😀

TheSpineView Love 70s and 80s🎶. Thanks for playing! 2mo
BarbaraBB I love Hamid too. Must check out his newest! 2mo
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Vansa
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#WeekendReads @rachelsbrittain
1.Doing a concurrent read of Joe Moshenka's beautiful,swirling biography of Milton and Paradise Lost-each enhancing my appreciation of the other.
2.My collection of flowery rings-have circled my favourite flower,we call it vadamalli,Globe amaranth in English,I think!
3.Veg out,read,listen to BBC radio dramas!

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Vansa
Micromegas | Voltaire Voltaire
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This is so unexpectedly hilarious

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Vansa
Micromegas | Voltaire Voltaire
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Vansa
Mythago Wood | Robert Holdstock
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#WondrousWednesday @Eggs
1*So I read the tagged book last year,and would tell my husband the story everyday,to the extent of what I read,and both of us would end up dreaming of stuff from the book-mythic warriors,druids,battles and so on,which means the book totally works.Full review:https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3819223404
2.Comfort romance reads, Georgette Heyer,Julie James,Nora Roberts
3.Rest!Busy month filled with work travel

Eggs 👏🏻👏🏻 Well done! Have a great month!! 2mo
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Vansa
About That Night | Julie James
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#Two4Tuesday @TheSpineView
1.I take my Kindle along,and usually fill it with romance novels to read on the flight-not a good flier so they help calm me down!
2.My husband and I always look for independent bookstores wherever we go on holiday,so never take physical books along- we know we'll be bringing back quite a few!

TheSpineView Thanks for playing! 👍📖 2mo
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Vansa
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What a beautiful paragraph. And so completely true

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Vansa
Paradise Lost | John Milton
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What incredible imagery. And what a thrill to read the lines that serve as the epigraph to Northern Lights.Clearly Milton was using the advances in astronomy when he thought of this?God creating multiple worlds from the Chaos of space-beautiful.

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Vansa
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Seriously, that's the name of the book? Full marks to you for that masterful blending of pop culture and scholarship, sir!!!

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Vansa
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Exactly what's happening in my country right now. Plus ca change....

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Vansa
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So beautiful

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Vansa
Paradise Lost | John Milton
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I'm reading Joe Moshenka's sublime biography of Milton,and decided to make an attempt at Paradise Lost. I did not know that these really famous lines are said by Satan!

Ruthiella I think Satan gets all the best lines! I 2mo
Vansa @Ruthiella I had heard that,but dismissed it because Milton is so religious but so far,Satan and Beelzebub have excellent lines! 2mo
vivastory I read this years ago & it remains one of my favorite epics. I agree with @Ruthiella I think it was Blake who said something to the effect that Milton was of the Devil's party 2mo
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Vansa
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#WondrousWednesday @Eggs
🌺I would say anything that's a different perspective,and makes you think,and is a fun storyline.Also romance novels that just make me feel happy and are good for my brain after a long workday!Tagged book is a beautiful exploration of how humans have sought hope.Review here https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4589339589
A great romance novel I read recently:https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4684367611
(1/2)

Vansa (2/2)🌺Book recommendations,the prompts that make me engage with reading in a fascinating way,the ability to share quotes I like from books 2mo
Vansa 🌷Can't wait to read my birthday gift book:The Velvet Mafia: The Gay Men Who Ran the Swinging Sixties
by Darryl W. Bullock
2mo
Eggs Great post! Enjoyed your reviews too💕 2mo
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Vansa
The Golden Bowl | Henry James
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#Two4Tuesday @TheSpineView Lovely prompts, really made me think
1. I do! Some writers do it better than others, of course
2.These two are among my favourites-both with fascinating antiheroines-the complicated,tormented Charlotte Stant,and femme fatale par excellence-Milady de Winter.

TheSpineView Great choices! Thanks for playing! 2mo
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Vansa
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This book is so lovely.