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Wow! All I can say is Wow! And comparisons to Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell are apt.

sarahbarnes Just got this one from the library - I‘m looking forward to it. 7d
arubabookwoman @sarahbarnes It's very bleak, even devastating, at the beginning. Just be forewarned. But overall I found it hopeful, and entirely original. 7d
merelybookish That's exciting! I just started it but already feel a confidence in the writing. 7d
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arubabookwoman @merelybookish Like Cloud Atlas, there are many subtle connections among the characters/events in the chapters which at first may seem unconnected. I went back and reread/skimmed after I finished, and it was so cool to see how it all tied together. 7d
Megabooks I found it dark but hopeful too. Great review! I hope you join us for the #CampLitsy discussions. (edited) 7d
Cathythoughts Sounds good , I‘m looking forward to reading soon. 6d
32 likes6 comments
A School for Fools | Sasha Sokolov

I won't be able to join our #NYRB Book Club discussion this week, but pictured is my review from when I read the book a number of years ago. Several members have commented on the difficulty of figuring out what was going on, and I found the intro to my edition very helpful. @batsy @BarbaraBB @sarahbarnes @vivastory ETA For some reason the pictures of my review is not posting. I will try to type it into the comments below:

arubabookwoman My review: To describe this book, I can do no better than to quote this passage from the introduction: 'A School for Fools is a journey through the mental landscape of a nameless, schizophrenic adolescent which he relates with the assistance of an author figure who may be the boy's older self. Through the kaleidoscopic prison of the teenager's schizoid mind, we share his bizarre perceptions and attempts to come to terms with the surrounding world. 1mo
arubabookwoman The boy, who refers to himself as 'we', perceives himself and several other characters as two distinct but related persons, each with his or her own name. Much of the narrative is interior dialogue between the two halves of the boy's mind, or interior monologues ostensibly directed toward often unidentified characters. Nor can the boy perceive time, or events in time, in any fixed order; past, present, and future are random and .... 1mo
arubabookwoman ...intermixed. These aberrations determine the unorthodox form of the novella. There is, in the ordinary sense, no plot, but rather an ever swirling verbal collage." My review then quoted the opening part of the first paragraph of the book, and read in the light of the above--that it is a dialogue--it sort of became understandable, My review ended with the following: 1mo
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arubabookwoman [U]nderstanding that the narrative is primarily an interior dialogue between the two characters the narrator believes himself to be, the novel became a little easier to comprehend. While I think I understood substantial sections of the book, there were still many parts that went over my head. However, I still enjoyed the book, and the journey it took me on. I would recommend the book if you enjoy unconventional, difficult books, and... 1mo
arubabookwoman ...you don't mind being puzzled by what you've read when you finish the book. 1mo
sarahbarnes Thank you for posting this! I will say that I also enjoyed the book although I didn‘t fully understand what was happening at times. And I do love a Russian unreliable narrator and this book was a great example of that. 1mo
vivastory Thank you so much for taking the time to post this! This is helpful, for sure. I typically avoid the introductions until after I finish the book. But I find it helpful to read them beforehand if I feel lost. 1mo
BarbaraBB Thank you so much Deborah, it is very helpful and makes me understand better what the author means to do. 1mo
batsy Thank you for sharing your review! I'm in the 3rd section now and I appreciate the bit about it being a dialogue between selves/characters. I wonder if a key part of this book is just "letting go" the need to understand or for things to make sense and instead just succumb to the wacky journey. (The notes at the end are also really interesting for all of the layers and allusions, metaphors and wordplay... That I'd definitely otherwise miss out on) 1mo
merelybookish Thanks for sharing this! I'm about 40% in and finding it hard. If I get into a rhythm, I'm okay and I start seeing the repetition of images,.etc. but if I lose that, I feel lost again. But plan to soldier on! 1mo
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Brooklyn | Colm Toibin
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I'm in NYC for a couple of weeks, right now staying at my son's apt in Brooklyn where we walked over to visit this iconic library. My Seattle friends are arriving tomorrow for a week of museum visits. My son will be visiting his wife's family in Israel and they have graciously lent us their apt for the week. ETA the top got cut off, but it's the Brooklyn Public Library.

LeahBergen It sounds like you have a lovely holiday ahead of you! 2mo
CarolynM How lovely! Enjoy your time with your friends 💖 2mo
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The Unseen | Roy Jacobsen
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My first 5 star read of the year, this novel is the first of a trilogy set on the harsh, bleak, cold, rocky islands of the northern Norwegian coast. Life is hard, but the taciturn islanders are resilient and ingenious. I loved this book, and have gone on to read the 2nd in the trilogy, White Shadow, which I also loved.

Liz_M For some reason, this succinct review made the book more tantalizing than your longer LT review. In any case, it's been added to my library wishlist! (edited) 4mo
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I 1st read Solzhenitsyn in college-One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch--and I read The Gulag Archipelago shortly after it was 1st published in English. A few years ago a revised, expanded, updated version was issued in 3 volumes. I wanted to make sure I read the whole thing, so I've just purchased all 3 volumes of the new edition, 1000 or so pages each. Now to find time to read.

Suet624 I hadn't realized it was republished. I'm so glad you told us! 4mo
Leftcoastzen Wow , that‘s a commitment. 4mo
bnp You can do it! 4mo
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It finally came! I rarely preorder books, but I did this one. An artist made one painting a day depicting the day's headlines through-out 2020, a very eventful year to say the least. Am I ready to relive 2020? We'll see.

SRWCF How cool! 4mo
BiblioLitten Interesting! 4mo
Megabooks Neat! 4mo
Amiable Wow. I‘m not sure if I can revisit 2020 just yet. Although I love the idea of this. 4mo
readordierachel This sounds so interesting, and a little intense 4mo
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Sunset Park: A Novel | Paul Auster
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Another gorgeous sunset!

In the Freud Archives | Janet Malcolm
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Here's what happens when you haven't bought books in awhile, and you go online to buy the next book for the #NYRB Book Club.

vivastory Nice! Looking forward to your thoughts on them 4mo
MicheleinPhilly This is why I‘ve stopped trying to do book buying bans. Because when I inevitably fail 3 weeks in, I go whole hog and spend way too much money. 4mo
LeahBergen 😆😆 I love your loss of control! 4mo
BarbaraBB That is a great haul! 😍 4mo
bnp What an interesting mix! 🧵✴️❣️ 4mo
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I have a question--on your profile page if you click the book symbol there is a list of books you've added or noted over the years-a "wishlist" of sorts.
How do you remove a book on this list? I'm trying to update and want to remove books I've now read or am no longer interested in. Thanks!

Nute Go to the actual page for the book and change the symbol to “read” or if wanting to delete touch the “to read” symbol so that it clears and then save. That should remove it from your Litsy Wishlist. 6mo
arubabookwoman Thank you @Nute ! So simple and yet (for me) so difficult to figure out! 6mo
Nute I got you, Girl!💕 6mo
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Embarking on reading this #20thCenturyClassics. @Butterfinger @jmofo @sprainedbrain I 1st read it in college freshman English class in 1968. I can't imagine reading it the 1st time w/o some sort of guidance. Pictured is my shelf copy of the book, acquired in 1968 for my class. In it I found the chronological guide the prof provided us (on the right), and my handwritten family genealogy for the Compson family (left).

arubabookwoman I've reread The Sound and the Fury 3 times since 1968, so this will be a 4th reread. It's a favorite. I also love most of the other Faulkner's I've read, esp. the other novel of the Compson family, Absalom, Absalom. 6mo
peacegypsy I love that you have your college notes! 4mo
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Poldark. Jeremy Poldark | Winston Graham
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#ThoughtfulThursday @Eggs Again, apologies for the delay.
1. I like unreliable narrators, as long as they are believable and ring true. Hate it when they make no sense.
2. I don't collect bookish items (other than books), but I do have a few mugs from famous bookstores I have visited.
3. I loved the Poldark series.

Sunset Song | Lewis Grassic Gibbon
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#wondrouswednesday @Eggs Sorry to be so dilatory in responding to the tag-too much going on, but better late than never. 1. Recent photo-since moving to Fl last year we have enjoyed many wondrous sunsets, & I've taken dozens of photos. Here's a recent one.
2. I just returned from Tex for a visit with my Mom-1st time seeing her in 3 years, due to husband's transplant and then covid.
3. Grateful for family.

Cathythoughts Beautiful picture! That‘s a long time waiting to see your Mom ❤️ 6mo
Eggs Thanks for joining in 🥰 6mo
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A Little Princess | Frances Hodgson Burnett
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I haven't been posting much this year-will try to do better. Back in March I posted a pic of the newest addition to our family, Dulci. Here she is today, resting from her arduous job of ruling the roost around here.

Cathythoughts Lovely! Ruling the roost indeed! These adorable creatures certainly have the power 🤔 😁 7mo
CarolynM 👋 Nice to see you 7mo
LeahBergen Sweet girl! ❤️ 7mo
batsy Aww 😍 7mo
charl08 👋👋👋 gorgeous pic. 6mo
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Howards End | E M Forster
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@Butterfinger @sprainedbrain @jmofo #20thcenturyclassics After much delay on my part, I have finally mailed 2 books to you Tammy, Howard's End and Ceremony, both great reads. I have The Sound and the Fury, and hope to finish it by November's end. You should receive the books Tuesday-I have tracking # if needed.

sprainedbrain Glad to hear from you! ❤️ 7mo
Butterfinger Been missing you. 7mo
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The Makioka Sisters | Jun'ichiro Tanizaki
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I am finally, very belatedly, and with many apologies sending my #20thCenturyClassics book onto you Tammy @Butterfinger . This was a lovely family saga of life in pre-WW II Japan, as a family tries to marry off the third daughter so that the youngest (and 4th) daughter can marry her fiancee. It should arrive Thursday. @sprainedbrain @jmofo

Butterfinger That is totally fine. I mailed Jessie's yesterday. I'm looking forward to it. 10mo
BarbaraBB Hi Deborah, good to see you again. I hope you are doing well 🤍 10mo
vivastory I'm glad to see your posts. Hope you are doing well 10mo
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Skylark | Dezso Kosztolanyi
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6. Chapter XIII is partially titled "the novel is concluded without coming to an end." Skylark has recognized that something has changed in her during her week away. Mother has expressed hope for change, but Father burns the "incriminating" theater stub. Miklos sees clearly the family's "suffering collected like unswept dust," yet he believes that from the greatest pain will be born the greatest happiness. Do you agree? ??????

arubabookwoman Cont'd: What is the future for this family? Will they choose life over death? Photo: Hungarian Goulash @vivastory 13mo
LeahBergen I had the feeling at the end that Skylark had just fully given up on any sort of happiness coming her way in life. I also think that Mother and Father blindly took all their cues from her, possibly from parental guilt at her “ugliness”, and there is no happy ending for this family. That burning of the theatre ticket was very telling; they chose death over life. 13mo
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LeahBergen And now I want some Hungarian Goulash. 😆😆 13mo
vivastory @LeahBergen The scene when they first at Goulash in this book... I ended up having stew & wine for dinner that night 😂 13mo
vivastory @LeahBergen Yes the burning of the ticket did feel like a final decision, symbolic as it was 13mo
BarbaraBB @vivastory @LeahBergen And that Mother left her new crocodile bag behind when they went to pick up Skylark. They knew their rebellious weeks were over and there wouldn‘t be another escape from death. 13mo
LeahBergen @vivastory It‘s a stew day here now. 😆😆 I fully realized the ugliness of Skylark‘s personality in the section where they discussed that she didn‘t season their food. What a monster. 😆 13mo
LeahBergen @BarbaraBB Oh, I found everything about that much-coveted crocodile bag so poignant! 13mo
vivastory @LeahBergen That sounds amazing! Right?! I think I even literally said out loud “Not even pepper?!“ 😂 😂 13mo
BarbaraBB @LeahBergen That not seasoning was a blow for me too! I stopped sympathizing with Skylark 😀 13mo
LeahBergen @vivastory @BarbaraBB 😆😆 I love that this was the final straw for all of us! 13mo
Suet624 Speaking of seasoning, everything about Skylark seems to be very bland. 13mo
vivastory @Suet624 🔥🔥but so true 13mo
Suet624 Also, let's not get another NYRB with such an ugly cover!!! This cover creeps me out. LOL 13mo
Leftcoastzen @LeahBergen love what you said about the family giving up so to speak & your comment about the 🐊 bag! 13mo
vivastory @Suet624 It's not one of their best. Did you see the thread of creepy NYRB covers on my review for 13mo
Suet624 @vivastory Those are so funny/creepy. Nothing but the Night's cover reminded me so much of Skylark's cover.
Suet624 @vivastory Those covers are so funny/creepy. I also remember seeing Nothing But The Night's cover and thinking it reminded me so much of Skylark's cover. 13mo
vivastory @Suet624 It was like a more emo version of Skylark 😂 13mo
youneverarrived I just see them as continuing on as they were. That‘s the feeling I got from it. Exactly what @LeahBergen said. 13mo
Tanisha_A I'd say there is no end to their misery 😂 13mo
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Skylark | Dezso Kosztolanyi
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5. On meeting Miklos Ijas Father thinks, "How children suffer for their parents, and parents for their children." Father marvels that Miklos can speak so openly of his pain. Do you think Father and Mother have buried themselves in the "bottomless pit" of their pain with no way out? As Miklos and Mother discuss Skylark, Father hears voices within him "louder than those without. He did all he could to drown them out." What do you think ??????

arubabookwoman Cont'd : the voices were saying, and why did Father want to drown them out? Photo: Emperor Franz Josef #NYRBBookClub @vivastory 13mo
Leftcoastzen @vivastory all the tags didn‘t take 13mo
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Leftcoastzen I think most people have experience with this to a smaller or greater extent . We all have friends/relatives that may have something about them we don‘t like but we ignore it for the good of the relationship.For Mother & Father it seems they have submerged a lot ! 13mo
vivastory @Leftcoastzen Thanks for letting me know. I just looked at Litsy on my phone & noticed that. I entered everyone manually on the first question, so everyone has been tagged once & should find the discussion.
This is very well stated. I think this was a case of where after years of ignoring problems it finally just reached a crisis point for them.
BarbaraBB I missed this question indeed. I have to think about this one because I must admit I don‘t remember the voices Father heard ☺️ 13mo
Reviewsbylola I think the voices father heard are the same thoughts that eventually came out when he was drunk off his ass. Father wasn‘t ready to admit how he truly felt about skylark. 13mo
arubabookwoman @Reviewsbylola I think Father has been thinking these thoughts for a long while, but blocks them out when he can because he doesn't want the consequences of admitting the pain, and maybe trying to change. Father seems to have isolated himself from even Mother and Skylark, in his study researching genealogy, and waiting for death. 13mo
emilyhaldi I‘m eager to hear other takes on this scene as I‘m struggling to interpret the meaning behind this interaction. Obviously the father is stricken by Miklos‘ openness about his pain bc he and his family avoid truth and honesty at all costs. But I found it interesting that Miklos immediately saw the father‘s pain when speaking of Skylar... perhaps Miklos is so familiar with feeling shame as it relates to his father, he can also see it in others? 13mo
emilyhaldi I agree with you both! @Reviewsbylola @arubabookwoman I also believe that is the reason that the Father quit drinking years ago... he feared that he couldn‘t keep his true feelings buried while uninhibited. 13mo
arubabookwoman @emilyhaldi @Reviewsbylola on the one hand I saw Miklos as offering a glimmer of hope for the family. He is able to carry on despite the painful events in his past. He says out of great pain great happiness can be born. Miklos is why I felt the ending is more open-ended than many here. I just keep hoping they will change, despite all indications to the contrary. 13mo
emilyhaldi I like your bright outlook ✨ @arubabookwoman Maybe the father is at least hopeful that when he and the mother are dead and gone, Skylark will be able to live a decent life on her own. I‘m too cynical to believe either of the parents will ever change... I‘m not sure they could ever be honest without hurting Skylark in the process, which they refuse to do. 13mo
BarbaraBB Well said @emilyhaldi I guess that‘s why Father quit drinking indeed. And I‘m afraid nothing will change too but I hope you are right @arubabookwoman 13mo
Billypar I'm sorry I missed this discussion - I finished it a little too late! I'm enjoying reading the discussion. I didn't notice that quote about the voices when I first read it, but now I wonder if he's having the same thought as Mother, whether the empathy Miklos displays means he could finally be the suitor for Skylark they've been waiting for. But they've also been disappointed so often before and they know how unlikely it is given his young age. 13mo
arubabookwoman @Billypar My first thought (hope?) when Miklos appeared was also that he could be a suitor for Skylark, but then he turned out to be so much younger, and already had a girlfriend. I think Father already recognized the hopelessness, and the voices he hears were saying the things he ultimately verbalized to mother during his outburst. 13mo
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Skylark | Dezso Kosztolanyi
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4. Did Father's drunken outburst surprise you? Do you think he really believes the things he says? Mother tries to convince him that they love Skylark, but does she actually agree with Father? Do you think Father's characterization of Mother's response as "cheerful absurdity" is accurate? Deborah Eisenberg says the reader must accept that Skylark is ugly, and "not the sort of ugliness familiar from so much wishful literature, that is to ????

arubabookwoman Cont'd "eventually disclose a disguised beauty." Could you accept that Skylark's ugliness could cause so much pain and turmoil? Photo: Engraving of Dobozy fleeing the Turks. Mother and Father have a painting of this scene in their parlor. #NYRBBookClub @vivastory (edited) 13mo
BarbaraBB @arubabookwoman I love your illustrations! 13mo
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BarbaraBB In Dutch there is a saying that ‘drunk people tell the truth‘. In this case I tempt to agree. What Father says he can‘t make up I think. Those words are too harsh. And I think Mother agreed. They share the shame of feeling something parents are not allowed to feel. 13mo
arubabookwoman @BarbaraBB "the shame of feeling something parents are not allowed to feel." A great way to express that. 13mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB That's a great saying! I agree. Even if he & mother never discuss the words he said it will always be there between them. 13mo
Suet624 I agree 100% with @BarbaraBB. Firstly, you have to be drunk to be able to say those truths. Secondly, they share the shame. Another piece I found to be sad was the fact that Mother had to hide her piano playing. What was that all about?
vivastory @Suet624 I forgot about the piano playing! This was such an interesting book because it seemed like such a great take on the strict parent trope, but in this case the parent is the child 13mo
arubabookwoman @Suet624 We're told Skylark wasn't very good at the piano. Maybe Mother didn't want to show her up. 13mo
LeahBergen Yes, I think this is very much a case of “in vino veritas” (in wine there is truth). Father said what he never had the nerve to say before. 13mo
LeahBergen Ah, yes! The piano that was locked away!! 13mo
Suet624 @arubabookwoman Oh! I forgot that Skylark wasn't good at it. You're right. 13mo
Leftcoastzen I‘m so glad you found that image ! The piano locked away ! You could see how resentment could fester though they made a decision to lock it up cuz she wasn‘t good at it. 13mo
BarbaraBB @arubabookwoman That must be It indeed! They don‘t want to offend Skylark. But it is the other way around too, like @vivastory states, that the parent becomes the child. What a book 🤍 13mo
youneverarrived I think he was telling his true feelings towards Skylark and it felt as though the mother shared those feelings to an extent but was shocked that he actually spoke about it and feels guilty/harsh for feeling that way about her own daughter so of course she tries to deflect it. 13mo
emilyhaldi @arubabookwoman yes absolutely, I believe they explained that they eventually let Skylar quite piano as she wasn‘t talented and that was when they hid it away, so as not to be reminded. It seems the family lives their lives trying to bury truths but I absolutely think the father was being honest in his drunken outburst. Perhaps that‘s why he quite drinking for many years... as it was bringing truths to the surface that he didn‘t want to confront. 13mo
Suet624 @emilyhaldi wow! That‘s an interesting thought that that was why the father quit drinking. 13mo
Reviewsbylola I believe they were both being truthful. I think there is a duality beneath the surface where parts of skylark disappoint and disgust them. They love her because she‘s their child but they don‘t actually care for her as a person. 13mo
Reviewsbylola I think you‘re exactly right @youneverarrived Mother doesn‘t want to acknowledge her true feelings so she deflected. 13mo
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Skylark | Dezso Kosztolanyi
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3. The foreword discusses the "babbling surface" as opposed to "silent depths" in literature. Is this book more about the "babbling surface" or the "silent depths"? How do the antics of the Panthers and the thumbnail sketches of the townspeople and their lives in a provincial town contribute to the book? Are we reading a comedy or a tragedy?
Photo: Gentlemen's Drinking Club
#NYRBBookClub @vivastory

vivastory I think it alternates between the two. It felt very genuine in that sense as I feel like that's how most people live. I loved the interactions that Mother & Father had with their community members. 13mo
BarbaraBB I read it more like a tragedy. The ending unavoidable however hard they tried to deny it. Also Father never fitted in, he couldn‘t any longer be the man he used to be. 13mo
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LeahBergen This is a great photo! I found the sections with the Panthers to be some much needed comic relief in an otherwise quite grim little novel. 13mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB It def ended as a tragedy for sure. I think that until father's drunken outburst it was a bit of a mixture between comedy & tragedy. That scene was def pivotal 13mo
Suet624 Great photo! To me the book dealt with the silent depths - clearly outlining the emotional desert of the parents. This book managed to be both a comedy and a tragedy. The presentation of the story and the characters made me chuckle but the life that the parents have lived was a tragedy. 13mo
Leftcoastzen I love the Panthers scenes. I believe it was a way for these middle class gents to cut loose a bit .I think that‘s why the community takes it in stride.Such silent depths! Deflect, deny, make due , don‘t offend, then you end up where Father and Mother are. 13mo
Reviewsbylola I think the babbling surface is the way Skylark and her parents live their lives day in and day out, not acknowledging their true feelings but instead putting on a false face. And then the deeper surfaces are obviously how they truly felt about each other. 13mo
vivastory @Reviewsbylola I completely agree. It was fascinating to watch it swing between the two poles. 13mo
GatheringBooks Like @Suet624 i thought it was comic/tragic and as @Reviewsbylola noted - both surface/depth captured fully. I felt that the strength of the narrative lies in its subtlety. It is a quiet novel and perfectly captures provincial/daily/bucolic existence. The drunken episode referenced by @vivastory def brings to light the unarticulated/implicit that drives the complicated parent-child interactions that pretend to be accepting but truly isn‘t. 13mo
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Skylark | Dezso Kosztolanyi
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2. Deborah Eisenberg wrote about Skylark that "we encounter lives that contain no hidden exits or negotiable margins, and we come away from the book feeling that we have experienced the inalterable workings of destiny." Do you agree? The author wrote, "I will always be interested in just one thing: Death. Nothing else....For me, the only thing I have to say...is that I am dying." Is Skylark about death?
Photo: Taroc cards

vivastory I def agree with the first part of Eisenberg's statement, but I'm not so sure about the second half. Family obligations are complicated now, it's hard to imagine what they would be when Skylark is set 13mo
vivastory I do think that Skylark is about death, but I find the author's statement to be a bit glib & reductive. Death is only meaningful when contrasted with other themes. 13mo
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Leftcoastzen It does seem to have death as a underlying theme. Life expectancy was shorter, a married daughter with children perhaps is like a spring or new beginning in a sense for grandparents. Skylark is staying, not pleasant, but making herself useful. 13mo
Leftcoastzen I also wondered no matter how they feel about their daughter they are worried what will happen to her when they are gone. 13mo
vivastory @Leftcoastzen Good point about having grandchildren. 13mo
vivastory @Leftcoastzen I think it's mother & father trying to come to terms with their own regrets & the things that they have sacrificed & missed out on, but also as you said having to worry about Skylark's future as well. 13mo
arubabookwoman I found the book to be permeated with references to death. The priest on the train with Skylark is "already nearing the grave." P.16; For Father, "all the future seemed to hold for certain was the prospect of his approaching death." Pp26-7. Bells rang constantly for funerals, there were 3 coffin makers in town, and " seeing all these funeral concerns, the unsuspecting visitor might have imagined that people...???????? 13mo
BarbaraBB I‘m not sure about this question. I did notice how Father and Mother are referring to Skylark as their little girl while she is 36, so maybe they are denying that they are aging. Skylark‘s absence opens an unexpected possibility to go back to the persons they once used to be. With her return there is no escaping death any longer. 13mo
arubabookwoman "...didn't live inSarszeg at all, but only died there." And Father has the recurring dream of finding Skylark dead. And so on. Their whole restricted life is a sort of death. 13mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB I think that's true. I was actually really disappointed when she appeared at the end bc it seemed that with her absent they had a chance at a second life, even if short lived. 13mo
vivastory @arubabookwoman That's def true, yet for me what made all of those images so effective was contrasting it with all of the parties & dinners etc If mother & father had just remained at home the week that Skylark was absent this would have been a far less impactful book I think 13mo
arubabookwoman @vivastory Definitely the contrast of the lives Father and Mother lived while Skylark was away made a great impact. 13mo
BarbaraBB @vivastory Exactly! How clever of the author that even we readers wish Skylark gone. I felt ashamed when I noticed that feeling in myself! 13mo
Suet624 @arubabookwoman “Their whole restricted life is a sort of death.“ Perfect. That's the feeling that I carried throughout the book. 13mo
Leftcoastzen @vivastory agree with you that Mother and Father are elated with their adventures and have regrets of what they had missed over the years 13mo
youneverarrived I do kind of agree with the first bit, when Skylark comes home there is an inevitability about it - like they just go back to normal, you can tell they will settle back into the same old routine and I guess that goes hand in hand with what @arubabookwoman says - their restricted life is a sort of death. 13mo
Reviewsbylola I had a college professor say once that every piece of literature is either about sex or death. That really stuck with me! I absolutely think this book touches on death very subtly. Father especially seems desperate over his own mortality. Skylark also gives hints when she references the monotony of life at the end, when she referencing waking up to another day of the same household chores and duties. 13mo
Reviewsbylola Lolol @vivastory! Totally found myself wishing for a blazing train wreck so the parents could be free of skylark. 🤣🤣 13mo
GatheringBooks @arubabookwoman appreciated how you took note of all death references in the novel - now that you mentioned it, there is definitely a YOLO vibe that Skylark‘s parents were exuding with Skylark away. However, it just struck me that the parents‘ alienation was largely self-imposed and also a decision they made on their own, ostensibly as brought about by their embarrassment about Skylark - which as the story progressed seems to be unfounded 👇🏼 13mo
GatheringBooks Cont: esp since the neighbors didn‘t seem all that concerned about Skylark‘s presence/absence much less her appearance. It made me reflect how our decisions as human beings are often driven by perceived responses/dis/approval of people that only happen on in our heads - and we are chained by said expectations notwithstanding its being based on actual facts/reality. As a result, the characters in this story are unable to live fully. 13mo
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Skylark | Dezso Kosztolanyi
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1. The title of the novel is Skylark, but we spend most of it with Mother and Father. During her week away, Skylark writes a long letter to Mother and Father. What does her letter reveal to us about What kind of person Skylark is? What does Father learn reading between the lines of the letter? Why does the letter's "every word [cut] him to the quick"?
Photo: Theater in Subotica, Serbia, town on which Sarszeg is based.
#NYRBBookClub @vivastory

arubabookwoman @vivastory Scott you seem to have an easy way to tag all members. I'm hoping you will do this on the other posts??? All questions are now up. 13mo
vivastory @arubabookwoman I just manually tagged them, but I'm using my laptop now so I'll see if I can copy & paste 13mo
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arubabookwoman I can do it manually-I was just waiting till all questions were up. Let me know if you want me to do the tagging. Thx. @vivastory 13mo
vivastory I honestly feel like I never had a sense of who Skylark was as a person. This was def a story where the absence of a character was as impactful as their presence, but all we really learned about her was what others said about her. 13mo
arubabookwoman I felt, reading between the lines of the letter, that Skylark's was very judgmental of others, and as to Father and Mother, very controlling. I felt she saw herself as "martyr-like." That's why I liked the Eisenberg quote. Skylark was not just an ugly duckling, ugly on the outside only. She was also maybe not such a nice person. @vivastory 13mo
Leftcoastzen I love that Father prefaced the reading of the letter with how she was educated to put out a certain type of letter. Then you wonder as @arubabookwoman notes her judgmental side and how she plays the martyr . I also remembered that the mother and father were invited, yet turned a trip down & sent Skylark instead.wondering if Father has regrets about not taking the trip. 13mo
vivastory @arubabookwoman I did get the sense that she was controlling, esp with her comments about the King of Hungary restaurant. I think that she might have liked having people rely on her, as you noted her controlling side. I read the ugliness that was talked about as more metaphorical than in a literal sense. 13mo
vivastory @Leftcoastzen It makes me wonder if he regrets not taking the trip bc he feels like with her being gone & enjoying their new found freedom wasn't worthwhile since it was shortlived. 13mo
BarbaraBB I was surprised at the tone of voice of the letter. I went along with Father and Mother and assumed Skylark was as nice a person as described through them. It was refreshing to discover she had a mind of her own. A controlling one indeed! 13mo
BarbaraBB Also I think Father dreaded reading the letter because deep in his heart he knew of course that she would be her critical self in the letter - something he hadn‘t thought about while missing her. 13mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB That's a good point about being reminded of her criticism. For me at first the letter read a bit neutral in tone but the more I have thought about it the more that her controlling nature really creeped in. I often found myself thinking of Iza's Ballad while reading this, although they are vastly diff in several ways I think there's quite a few similarities 13mo
Suet624 @BarbaraBB I like the idea that he dreaded reading the letter because he didn't want to hear her judgments and critical nature. I wondered how he lost the letter. He didn't throw it away, so what happened to it? And @arubabookwoman, you're right that she was ugly on the outside as well as the inside. (It's funny how hard it is for me to say she's “ugly“.) 13mo
vivastory @Suet624 I was uncomfortable with the discussion about her being ugly, but it did seem like it was figurative. We know that at one point she was potentially courting someone but stopped bc he was late once (if I recall correctly). 13mo
BarbaraBB @vivastory @Suet624 Yes! It‘s hard to use that word but I agree with you both that it seems to be more about her personality as a whole. 13mo
LeahBergen @Suet624 I, too, wondered what happened to that letter! It seemed odd that he so quickly lost a letter that they had (supposedly) been so looking forward to. 13mo
vivastory @LeahBergen @suet624 I was wondering if I had remembered correctly that he said he lost it. It was a really strange detail! 13mo
arubabookwoman @Suet624 @vivastory @BarbaraBB I definitely did not think Skylark's ugliness was a symbol-I thought it was very real. However, from my 20th/21st century outlook, I had a hard time accepting that ugliness (at least physical) would cause such pain and turmoil. That's why the Eisenberg quote resonated with me. To fully appreciate the book, we have to accept Skylark's ugliness in the context of her society. 13mo
BarbaraBB @arubabookwoman I think you are right about that. 13mo
BarbaraBB @vivastory @Suet624 @LeahBergen I think he didn‘t want Mother to read it to protect her from what he himself felt when he read it. I don‘t think he lost the letter, he made that up. 13mo
LeahBergen @BarbaraBB I think you‘re correct here! 13mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB Good point. That makes sense that he'd make it up. 13mo
Suet624 @BarbaraBB @vivastory @Leahbergen I just checked the section on the letter and it seems as though he genuinely thought he had it in his pocket. They looked all over for it and Father tried to suppress his irritation. I assumed he was irritated because he couldn't find the letter. But maybe he was just irritated by the letter? 13mo
vivastory @Suet624 Interesting...my guess is that he was irritated by the letter 13mo
Suet624 I have a question... The next to last paragraph of the introduction talks about Skylark's ugliness not being a symbol. It was unnameable anxiety. It was eternal. There was no deliverance. This paragraph really threw me and changed my idea about the book. Did anyone else have the same experience? 13mo
arubabookwoman @Suet624 I took Skylark's ugliness to be very real, as opposed to merely symbolic. Here is the full Eisenberg quote that really resonated with me, the reader must accept society's edict that she is ugly, and "not the sort of ugliness, familiar to us from so much wishful literature, that is to eventually disclose disguised beauty to the sophisticated, original, or morally gifted..." ?????? 13mo
arubabookwoman @Suet624 Nor is the reader to find in Skylark " a redemptive and beautiful soul. She doesn't have one. Her character--formed or deformed by her appearance and the response to it--is largely graceless." 13mo
Reviewsbylola I haven‘t finished yet, so I will join the discussion later today, but I think Skylark is just as stifled by her parents as they are by her. Or perhaps just stifled by her “ugliness,” which is why she refuses to open up, such as refusing to go to the ball. Also, she seems to use taking care of her parents as a crutch. By acting like they need her so badly, she can ignore the fact that she has no place in society. 13mo
arubabookwoman I also sometimes wondered whether Father and Mother misread what people thought of Skylark's looks. You know how when you're a teenager you think everyone is noticing everything that's wrong about you, while in actuality most people aren't even paying attention. 13mo
vivastory @arubabookwoman Your last point above. I def got that vibe 100% 13mo
vivastory @Reviewsbylola That's a fantastic point. I do think that Skylark uses her parents as an excuse. Although mother & father enjoyed their period of freedom while she was absent, it did feel like a terribly co-dependent relationship between them. I do think that Skylark is controlling, but I think that they manipulate her as well 13mo
youneverarrived @Reviewsbylola this is the feeling I got too. The scene where she looks at herself (through a train window if I remember rightly?) and is so upset by it and then her crying alone at night at the end of the book - you can tell she‘s not happy as she is, and she most likely knows how society sees her so she hides behind her parents in a sense by taking care of them to the extreme. 13mo
BarbaraBB @Reviewsbylola Yes! That‘s it of course. Her parents legitimate her presence. How sad. 13mo
Reviewsbylola I literally just finished, and I was even more convinced of it by the end where she‘s wondering what will happen once her parents are dead. @vivastory @youneverarrived @BarbaraBB 13mo
emilyhaldi I just reread Skylar‘s letter and even more so than when I read it the first time, the whole thing felt artificial. I believe Skylark feigned happiness and joy and peace throughout her stories while her father read it as transparent. He knows she‘s faking happiness and in reality is as miserable as he is. I imagine that without her parents around her she must come across even “uglier” and more awkward to others. 13mo
vivastory @emilyhaldi That's really interesting! When I read her letter at first she came across as a little neutral, but I could def see what you mean about her pretending to be happy 13mo
Tanisha_A Such an interesting discussion! I definitely think she was controlling, remember her mother saying Skylark didn't like going to theatre, or to restaurants, etc and that creeped up in her parents life too. But then, there is definitely truth behind her creating a wall of her parents to protect her from society's eyes. 13mo
GatheringBooks Apologies for being late to the #nyrbbookclub party. Loved reading all of the comments here and resonated deeply with @Reviewsbylola comments - particularly about skylark being “just as stifled by her parents as they are by her.” I feel that much of their interactions as parent and child organically feed into and respond to each other, taking their cues from each other‘s responses, which would be a sign of codependency as everyone here noted 👇🏼 13mo
GatheringBooks Everything i read here, ably moderated by @vivastory and @arubabookwoman reminded me ever so slightly of the disturbing picturebook by Danish husband and wife tandem Oscar K and Dorte Karrebæk about a dying mother who eventually took her son‘s own life for fear that no one will take care of him when she dies. While not “ugly” like Skylark, this story depicts an “idiot” (as title says) adult son with nowhere else to go and no one to care for him. 13mo
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Another new book came today. This one has been on my Wishlist forever!

Suet624 Looks great! 13mo
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A lot of eye candy awaits me in my new book!

mcctrish Oh I love everything Kaffe does 13mo
ValerieAndBooks Any quilts in there 😊? 13mo
arubabookwoman @ValerieAndBooks There are a few, but it's mostly photos of his home, studio and things that inspire him. V. beautiful. He says that in quilts he likes to use simple patterns (no intricate sewing which I like) and make the quilts all about color. Also photos of his needlepoint and knits. 13mo
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Don Quixote | Cervantes
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I've been busy. Almost 2 years post-transplant we can have pets again. Meet Dulcinea, aka Dulci. And apparently today is my 3rd Lisyversary. Time flies.

LeahBergen Ohhhhh!! What a darling! 💗💗💗 1y
JanuarieTimewalker13 So sweet!!! 1y
CBee How absolutely precious 🥰🥰🥰 1y
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Liz_M Adorable! And a lot of energy, I bet. 😂 1y
Leftcoastzen Awww! Congratulations on all of the things! 1y
TrishB Aww, a great day 👍🏻 1y
BarbaraBB Time flies. And what a cute doggie 🐶! 1y
Cathythoughts What a dote 💕 1y
BookwormM Congratulations 🥳 what a cutie 🥰 1y
MsMelissa Is Dulci a miniature schnauzer? 🥰🥰 1y
MicheleinPhilly 😍😍😍 1y
Come-read-with-me What an adorable puppy!!! Is Dulcimer a mini schnauzer? We have two of them! 1y
CarolynM What a sweetie!🐶💕 1y
arubabookwoman Thank you all! @MsMelissa @Come-read-with-me She is a Havanese, a breed from Cuba that nearly went extinct after the 1958 Cuban Revolution, but was saved by Cuban refugees to Florida. We wanted give her a name with Hispanic connotations. Dulce is sweet in Spanish, which led to Dulci, which led to her formal name Dulcinea. Yesterday my sister told me that her daughter's husband's grandmother, who is from Cuba is named Dulcinea. 1y
Come-read-with-me @arubabookwoman She is beautiful! Thanks for the lesson about the breed and the wonderful naming story! 1y
BookNAround What a precious snuggle puppy! 1y
kspenmoll Too cute! 14mo
Suet624 Oh my gosh. How sweet. 💕💕💕 14mo
ValerieAndBooks So cute 😍 ! 14mo
charl08 I'm late to say it but adorable! 14mo
vivastory I somehow missed this post. How adorable! I need to get in touch with you regarding the discussion date & questions for NYRB. I'm on GR, but I don't know if you are. Otherwise we can email one another. Let me know! 14mo
arubabookwoman @vivastory I'm not on GR. I am on Librarything under same name as here. You can leave a message on my profile page there and we can exchange email addresses. If that doesn't work, I'll try to figure a way to get my email address to you. 14mo
vivastory @arubabookwoman Cool. I just posted to your comment wall on Library Thing. 👍 14mo
arubabookwoman @vivastory Hi Scott-just left you a message on LT. 14mo
vivastory Hey Deborah, I just sent you a message on LT 13mo
arubabookwoman @vivastory Hi Scott-Just left msg on LT. 13mo
vivastory @arubabookwoman Got it! I just replied 👍 13mo
arubabookwoman @vivastory Hi Scott-just left another message on LT. 13mo
vivastory @arubabookwoman Thanks. I just replied 13mo
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I read this for Black History Month, and was blown away, tears rolling down my face at the end. Definite 5 star read, and recommended for everyone!

LeahBergen This was an amazing read. ❤️ 1y
SqueakyChu I have this book that someone donated to my #LittleFreeLibrary. I‘ll have to see if I can find it so I can keep it to read. Thanks for the recommendation! 14mo
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February | June Makle
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These are the books I read in February. The Sympathizer and The Tunnels of Cu Chi were for #FoodandLit #Vietnam @Butterfinger . Between the World and Me for Black History Month (and I‘m almost finished with Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody, which is wonderful).

Butterfinger I really hope you are enjoying this challenge. 1y
charl08 I've not heard of the Mississippi one. Tempting! 1y
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Skylark | Dezso Kosztolanyi
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sisilia 😍 I vote for the one that I haven‘t read: The Child 1y
batsy All of these sound really interesting! Tough choice but I'll go with 1y
arubabookwoman I am trying to tag sarasmoore, but she is not coming up. Do I have the wrong tag? ETA-fixed it. (edited) 1y
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Suet624 Oh boy, I would be really happy with either Skylark or Transit. 1y
Leftcoastzen These all sound great! My vote 1y
merelybookish Intriguing choices! I'm going with 1y
BarbaraBB Thank you Deborah! I have already read Transit (it‘s a great choice) but I really want to read 1y
readordierachel Happy to read any of these, but I'll vote for Skylark 1y
Billypar Great choices! I'm going with Transit, but also very intrigued about Skylark. 1y
vivastory What a great selection! Voting for Transit 1y
vivastory @catebutler @daena @quietjenn The nominations are live 1y
emilyhaldi Great choices! I‘m going for the one that I already own 😉 1y
KVanRead Great choices! I‘m voting for 1y
GatheringBooks Thank you soooo much for putting this up early! Deeply appreciated. I vote for 1y
sprainedbrain I vote for 1y
sarahbarnes Great choices! I‘ll vote for 1y
Liz_M I'm also going to vote for 1y
LeahBergen Oh, this is a toughie. My vote goes to 1y
Reviewsbylola I‘m so torn but I think I‘ll go for 1y
quietjenn Not an easy choice, but I vote for 1y
daena I‘m going with (edited) 1y
mklong Great choices! I vote for 1y
Theaelizabet Tough choice! I go with 1y
catebutler For some reason, the tag didn‘t show up until just now. But, my choice would have been 1y
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Go, fly a kite | Betty Modaressi
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Beautiful weather this weekend, and the beach has been more populated than usual. Today people are flying kites.

Annie1215 What a view 😍 1y
Cathythoughts ❤️ 1y
batsy Lovely. 1y
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For our #NYRBBookClub this month we read the tagged book. The edition I read was not a NYRB edition, but was from a British publisher. It was illustrated with lovely pen and ink drawings like the above, which enhanced my reading, I think. This depicts the wagon ride to the church picnic.

charl08 That looks really lovely! 1y
merelybookish How lovely! It seems like a book that should have illustrations! 1y
batsy I agree with @merelybookish it's a book that deserves illustrations! So pretty. 1y
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Stormy Weather | Debi Gliori
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Rough seas and high winds today in Florida. And NYC where 3 of my 5 kids are is experiencing a blizzard.

BarbaraBB I‘d never believed this is Florida if you didn‘t say do. Hope your kids are safe. Take care 💜 1y
BiblioLitten Stay safe💕 1y
Liz_M NYC is great fun right now (says the woman that works from home and doesn't have to drive or shovel). It looks like the MN of my childhood. ☺️ (edited) 1y
arubabookwoman @Liz_M my kids are texting pictures, 1 from Brooklyn, 1 from Queens, and 1 from Msnhattan--all, like you, working from home these many months. I've always loved how the snow magically muffles the sounds of a latge city and makes everything so quiet and peaceful. 1y
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Turn of the Century | Kurt Andersen
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Among quilters at the turn of the century 1999-2000, the fad was to make a quilt with at least 2000 different fabrics in it. I made this quilt completed in Jan. 2000, with more than 2000 1 inch square, in all different fabrics, entirely handpieced and quilted. (I later discovered 1 fabric I had accidently used 2x). @ValerieAndBooks

arubabookwoman I think I photographed it upside down, but it works either way. (edited) 1y
LeahBergen That is AMAZING! 1y
Chelsea.Poole Wow!! Beautiful! 1y
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ValerieAndBooks Wow, I love it 😍 . You did a phenomenal job!! I do remember that fad. But I didn‘t do it; at that time had two little ones and a baby on the way 😊. Thanks for sharing. 1y
Centique That is incredible! What a work of art 🙌 1y
sisilia Omg this is awesome!!! 1y
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And Still the Earth | Ignacio D Brandao, Ignbacio De Loyola Branddao
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This dystopian Brazilian novel of a future Sao Paolo was written in the 1970‘s or 80‘s, I think, but it‘s absolutely chillingly conemporary, and makes 1984 look like child‘s make believe. Enter a world ravaged by climate change and unfettered environmental pollution and disaster. The rainforest is gone and is now the world‘s 9th wonder, a desert larger than the Sahara. And all governed by multinationals and “self-enrichers.” #foodandlit #Brazil

batsy Oof. So close to home. Sounds well worth reading, I just have to prepare myself for it... 1y
Butterfinger Yay! I'm glad you enjoyed it. It is so sad to know what we are doing to these wonders (forests). 1y
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Sea of Death | Jorge Amado
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The love story of Guma and Livia, and the lives of the people of the dockside in Bahia, Brazil. I‘ve read several books by Amado, and have liked them all. He writes of poor people, but people enthusiastic for life. His characters are real, but also mythic and heroic. “It‘s the certainty that the end will be death at sea unexpectedly some night, suddenly some night.” Recommended. #foodandlit #Brazil

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I‘d heard of Clarice Lispector before but never read anything by her. I was blown away by this short book: original, poetic, moving and ironic. It tells the story of Macabea, young woman “incompetent for life.” I‘ll be looking for more by Lispector, and hope you do too! #foodandlit #Brazil

ValerieAndBooks One of your quilts?? Lispector does look interesting! 1y
arubabookwoman @ValerieAndBooks Yes it is. It is a quilt made at the turn of the century-1999-2000. The idea was to include at least 2000 different fabrics in the quilt. This one includes more than 2000 different fabrics (I knew the exact # at one time, it‘s about 2100) in small squares a bit less than 1 inch in size, almost entirely hand pieced. I think I‘ll post a photo of the full quilt. 1y
BarbaraBB I read this one too and have just bought a copy of 1y
Butterfinger I enjoyed the Hour of the Star. 1y
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Family Matters | Rohinton Mistry
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I posted a pic of my mom‘s grad picture for her 90th b-day a few days ago. My sister had obtained the picture from the school. The school contacted her a few days later—my grandmother, my mom‘s mom, had graduated from the same school 21 years before my mom, and they sent along my grandmother‘s picture! My grandmother was also yearbook editor, so they sent pictures of that too.

Butterfinger Beautiful and how wonderful for you and your sister. 1y
arubabookwoman @Butterfinger Thx-and make that 5 sisters (and 1 brother)! (The sister who obtained the photos is seriously into genealogy and has uncovered all kinds of gems.) 1y
LeahBergen How wonderful!! 1y
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Centique Oh she is beautiful. How lovely to now have both pieces of that history - and what strong bright women they must be. 😍 1y
Leftcoastzen Nice! 1y
batsy 💜 1y
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Happy Birthday! | Ariel Books
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Today is my Mom‘s 90th birthday. She has COPD, but is otherwise sharp as a tack. She has always been a reader (as was my Dad), and there were always stacks of books around her chair. She doesn‘t read as much nowadays, mostly watching old cowboy movies, but I think I got my love of reading from her and Dad. Weekly trips to the library helped. This is her H.S. Graduation picture, Class of 1948.

BiblioLitten 💕 Happy birthday to your mom. 1y
ErinSueMreads Happy birthday!!!!! 1y
Hooked_on_books Wow, 90! Happy Birthday, mom! 1y
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bnp Happy birthday to your mom! 1y
Megabooks Happy birthday to her!! 🎉🎉 1y
Tanisha_A Love this post! 🎉 1y
LeahBergen 💗💗💗 1y
batsy This post is so lovely. Happy birthday to your mum 💕 1y
readordierachel Happy birthday to her! 1y
ValerieAndBooks Happy birthday to your mom! 💖 1y
Crazeedi A late happy birthday to your beautiful mom, you are blessed to have her in your life💞 1y
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I'm reading one story a day by Anton Chekov from my 13 volume set of Chekov's Collected Stories. I loved this description of a reader "An Artist's Story" in Volume I. Does reading ever "exhaust your brain"?

bnp Yes - when I'm reading something dense, or trying to figure out what is going on. 1y
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I‘d really like to read this, all 1950 pages. I‘m sure it will do great damage to my TBR list!

RebL For sure! Good luck! 1y
bnp I'm sure it will! 1y
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Got the first shot of the covid vaccine today, and scheduled for the second shot 2/4, where I saw this beautiful old oak tree outside the clinic. Can seeing my grandkids again be far behind?

Prairiegirl_reading I truly hope it‘s sooner rather than later. 💜 1y
Liz_M 🤸💃👏👍 1y
BarbaraBB That would be wonderful. I am so happy for you 🤍 1y
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BookNAround My parents got their first shots today too. 1y
bnp Congratulations Deborah! I know you are looking forward to seeing those grandkids! 1y
Suet624 Congrats!! 1y
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A coolish cloudy day today, with no one on the beach. Still beautiful.

BiblioLitten Happy New Year to you! 😊💕 1y
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And Still the Earth | Ignacio D Brandao, Ignbacio De Loyola Branddao
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#foodandlit #Brazil Here are a few of the books off my shelf from Brazil. I have others as well as several on my Kindle, including the tagged book, a near-future dystopian. I will try to read a few, but will in reality probably only get to 2 at most. Most likely, the Amado and Lispector or And Still the Earth. But I also really want to read the 2 by Donoso, which have been on my shelf for years. They‘re long tho‘ & I‘m ‘overbooked‘ for January!

bnp I hear you Deborah. I'm also overbooked, so will be c inventing myself with a few stories from Lispector's collection. 1y
vivastory I read the Donoso many many years ago, like 15 years, & still think about it. 1y
Leftcoastzen Nice! 1y
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On the left is my 2020 reading journal, rather worse for the wear. It was not very well bound, & I lost the front cover in Jan or Feb. The back cover fell off about a month ago. Nevertheless, it has plenty of space for thoughts and comments, no prompts (which I don‘t want), tho‘ there are a few literary quotes here & there, & most of all lots & lots of pages. So I purchased the same journal for 2021, pictured in the right.

Suet624 I love this post! 1y
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I wasn‘t planning to start a new book this morning, (I need to finish my last book of 2020, 150 Glimpses of the Beatles), but in checking out a new library book, I read the intriguing first paragraphs of this memoir and had to keep reading.

Suet624 Wow! 1y
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Happy New Year Littens. 2021 can only be better than 2020.
This is the view this morning from our dining room in our new home in Florida.

batsy Happy new year! A gorgeous photo; fills me with a sense of hope 💙 1y
Cathythoughts Beautiful! Happy New Year ... the sea ✨✨✨💙 1y
kspenmoll What a wonderful view!!!! Thanks for sharing your ocean. Happy New Year! 1y
bnp Awesome view! 🌊🌊🌊🌊 1y
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Salvation of a Saint | Keigo Higashino
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I loved this Japanese crime novel where the primary suspect is a famous quilter. I‘ve really liked the other books I‘ve read by this author too. And if you‘ve never seen any Japanese patchwork, it‘s usually exquisite, not to mention extremely intricate (and usually sewn by hand).

ValerieAndBooks I‘ll have to check this out! Since I‘m a quilter (but not famous 😂)! 1y
BarbaraBB I love his books! 1y
arubabookwoman @ValerieAndBooks I'm a quilter too, which is why this struck me! 1y
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ValerieAndBooks @arubabookwoman awesome. I started quilting 30 years ago but in the last few years kind of stopped. Now, I‘ve picked it up again (2019) but focusing on finishing UFOs and/or using my existing stash (which I had not added to in 10 years)! How about you? 1y
arubabookwoman @ValerieAndBooks Sorry for the delay in answeing. Life has a way...I started quilting about 1990, and have kept it up. At 1st I made bed quilts for the kids etc, but for the last 15 yrs or so I mostly do art quilts (maybe not even quilts b/c they often don't have a 3rd layer. ) They're all by hand, heavily embroidered/stitched and usually abstract. Recently I've started making bed quilts again for grandkids👇👇 (edited) 1y
arubabookwoman For bed quilts I love scrappy quilts, as well as wonky African-American patterns and piecing. How about you? 1y
ValerieAndBooks 1990 is the year I started :-) ! That was before kids. Lap quilts, bedquilts, wall hangings, with hand quilting (with machine piecing mostly). When they got older and I got a newer sewing machine I started doing machine quilting more but physically struggled with it for bigger quilts. So I started doing more “art quilts“ but then after yet another move due to husband's career and having to pay for kids' activities (and later college), just (cont) 1y
ValerieAndBooks sort of stopped doing anything quilt-related at all for a few years. I started up again a couple years ago, but back to traditional roots, and for the most part only pulling from my fabric stash. I recently finished a Christmas quilt for the guest bedroom with this very simple pattern :-) . https://cluckclucksew.com/2013/06/finished-scrappy-summer-and-pattern.html Machine quilting (straight lines) it was tough! Hope in a few years can pay (cont) 1y
ValerieAndBooks people to do it professionally for me. After my last kid is done with college, maybe :-). My mom is also a quilter (totally traditional) and I have many of hers too :-) .

Sorry that got long...no need to reply to all that :-) .
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Strange, but in a very good way. Comparisons to Shirley Jackson and some of the darker Grimm‘s Fairy Tales are apt, but the novel is also somewhat Faulknerian. I was also reminded of The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski. I don‘t like horror, and this doesn‘t quite go there, but flirts with the macabre. The writing is delicious. Recommended!

Cathythoughts Sounds like a good one 👍🏻 1y
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Library Book | Susan Orlean
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Here are the books I currently have out of the library. Have finished A Small Indiscretion, and am almost finished with Valentine. The Dogs of Riga and Ragtime wld be rereads. I can possibly read 5 more books before 12/31. In 2021 I‘m going to try to read more from my own shelves, less library books (maybe only 1-2 per month). Any suggestions on choosing 5?
Also, I really need help on photo collage. Can any suggest a good free app?

arubabookwoman And did I mention such good free photo collage app also needs to be EASY? Thx. 1y
TrishB I just started using PICFY, I‘ve found it easy and I‘m rubbish at such stuff! 1y
BookNAround I use Pic Collage the most. You do get a pic collage overlay in the bottom right corner if you don‘t pay to remove it but I‘m unbothered by it personally. And yes, it is dead easy to use. 1y
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BarbaraBB Pic Collage is easy and free. I also love Over, but I can‘t remember if I payed for it. 1y
Megabooks Also I use pic collage as well 1y
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#wondrouswednesday (on Thursday) @Eggs And thanks for the tag @zezeki 1. I would love to visit eastern and northern Canada--Newfoundland, Novia Scotia, Labrador, Prince Edward Island, St. Lawrence River, Quebec and Montreal.
2. Trying to finish all the library books I have out.

arubabookwoman Next year I want to read more of my own books instead of 95% from the library. 1y
Eggs Canada 🇨🇦❣️ Thanks for joining in 👏🏻📚🤗 1y
charl08 Good luck with your challenge. I always have good intentions re my own books... 1y
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Summer | Ali Smith
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Just finished this, and it will be one of my best reads of 2020, probably 5 ⭐️. Of the quartet, the only other one I‘ve read is Winter, which I liked but wasn‘t blown away by, so I wasn‘t sure I‘d follow through with the entire series. Now I want to read the other 2 (Autumn and Spring) and maybe reread Winter.

CarolynM Summer will be in my top 10 for the year too. I loved all of them, but Winter is my least favourite. 2y
charl08 I still have this on the shelf. I was going to read it on holiday, but I guess that's not going to happen? 2y
batsy @CarolynM Is this best read in the order of publication? I've been meaning to read it, but was wondering if it's fine to just start anywhere. 1y
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CarolynM @batsy Yes, I think so. Summer, in particular, would benefit from being read last because it brings in some things from the earlier episodes. 1y
arubabookwoman @CarolynM @batsy I agree-read them in order(even tho‘ I didn‘t). I had heard each was independent, & could be read in any order, so I was quite surprised when characters/circumstances from Winter showed up in Summer. Not having read Autumn or Spring, I‘m not sure if there were other references to the prior books in Summer that I missed. 1y
batsy @CarolynM @arubabookwoman Thank you! I'd like to read the quartet next year; let's hope I get to it 😅 1y
CarolynM @arubabookwoman @batsy I was surprised by that too because the first three seemed quite separate. 1y
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Until Hiroshima appeared, “Most of the reporting...had to do with the power of the bomb & how much damage it had done to the city. In choosing to focus on individuals, Hersey was influenced by Thornton Wilder‘s Bridge of San Luis Rey, choosing the pov of victims as they came to their “moment of shared disaster.”