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BarbaraBB

BarbaraBB

Joined June 2017

Books | Travel | Art | Music
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James: A Novel by Percival Everett
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Evil Games by Angela Marsons
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BarbaraBB
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Question 3 of 3

Here is our third question. Back to sun and fun afterwards! For dinner tonight we‘ll have rice with soy sauce and butter, anyone interested?

To be continued next week! #CampLitsy24

See All 28 Comments
GatheringBooks It seems that Reiko has found a purpose beyond the confines of her home. Despite her distaste of kajji, rika is right in noting uncanny resemblances - particularly with the snobbery in relation to food and how it is prepared. Reiko also finds Rika to be her “prince” - and may be justified in her worry of Rika falling deeply into the charm or spell of Kajji. Reiko also spoke of jealousy - that and the “prince” element portends something deeper. 22h
BarbaraBB @GatheringBooks That is a good point about Reiko being jealous while she, in theory, is the perfect Japanese woman. 21h
ChaoticMissAdventures I felt that Reiko was running away from home and Rika's trip (which she basically invited herself on) was a way for her to escape her failing domestic life, which is an interesting juxtaposition to Kaji's views about the feminine "perfect" life being the end all be all. 21h
Kitta Agreed with @GatheringBooks and @ChaoticMissAdventures the trip for Reiko is about escaping home and her domestic life and problems with her husband. I feel like for being her best friend a lot of their conversations are surface level and as Rika evolves she starts having more in depth conversations with people in her life. Like she was just existing before and now she‘s starting to live for the first time. Agreed about the jealousy too! 19h
Bookwormjillk Maybe it‘s just me but I don‘t fully trust Reiko. I‘m worried she‘s somehow going to take credit for Rika‘s work or sabotage her somehow. 19h
Kitta @ChaoticMissAdventures as a feminist, I found Kajii‘s hatred of feminists and her views on the “perfect life” very difficult to read. It was interesting to know Reiko previously was a feminist and was very dedicated to work but easily gave up her job to stay home. Obviously both are options but it seems that Reiko isn‘t happy and is in denial, which is why she decides to go with Rika. She needs to find something to fill the void in her life. 19h
Hooked_on_books I think Reiko‘s choice to go on the trip was a combination of trying to escape her unhappy home life along with concern that her friend was falling too far under the influence of Kajji and wanting to help moderate that happening any further. 19h
Kitta @Bookwormjillk oh interesting! I didn‘t get that sense at all. I‘ve read ahead so I won‘t spoil it but Reiko is definitely an interesting character. 17h
JenReadsAlot @Hooked_on_books I agree with you! 15h
Meshell1313 @Hooked_on_books yes! That‘s exactly what I think! In Reiko‘s mind she probably thinks she‘s helping her friend get back to “normal.” In the process maybe Reiko is finally beginning to question her own situation and see another way to live. 13h
Prairiegirl_reading I also think Reiko was escaping home and keeping an eye on her friend. I am so curious about the significance of the bugs/flea bites. Rika didn‘t notice until reiko pointed it out but then she saw them at the end of the chapter. Stopping at the end of chapter 8 was hard!! 13h
DGRachel @Bookwormjillk I don‘t trust Reiko at all! I get a real “mean girl” vibe from her. 13h
sarahbarnes I agree that it felt like a distraction from the pressures of Reiko‘s life. I also like the thoughts from @GatheringBooks about there being some jealousy at play - I think that‘s very likely true. I‘m definitely looking forward to rice with soy sauce and butter around the campfire tonight! 🍚 11h
Megabooks @Prairiegirl_reading Yes, I thought it was so strange that both women saw such different things in the house. Reiko made it sound like an episode of Hoarders, and Rika made it sound like a normal home. Who is right? @squirrelbrain and I talked in our counselor chat about how fleas don't like human hosts in general and that there must be a continued animal source they're feasting on, which is a different level of gross! 10h
Megabooks I agree with the many here that say Reiko was having a bit of an escape from her daily life. She was so focused on pregnancy. It was probably driving her nuts to have nothing else to do. 10h
squirrelbrain @Prairiegirl_reading - it will be interesting to return to the fleas next weekend, when you‘ve read the whole book. Can‘t comment any more 🤐 as I have read it all! Do you agree @Megabooks ? 10h
squirrelbrain I felt that a bit too @Bookwormjillk - I didn‘t trust Reiko and wondered if she was in cahoots with Kajii somehow. 10h
Prairiegirl_reading @Megabooks @squirrelbrain I suspected that there would be something gross! I was thinking about how we see things differently based on other things we believe. Like reiko believes Kajii to be guilty and reiko isn‘t sure so she might give the house a pass while reiko would be sensitive to everything. We shall see next week! 8h
BookWrym I think she was escaping home but also that she wants to win her friend back she is concerned about Kaji‘s influence and the change she sees in Rika. Also theses names sound really different in the audio version so forgive the spellings 🤣🤣 8h
CogsOfEncouragement I'm getting an unreliable narrator vibe from Rika. To me Reiko is the voice of reason. I feel she is worried about Rika. The fact she quit her job to have a baby, but is still not pregnant certainly adds to all of the other themes - but it gives her the ability to go w/Rika at a moment's notice. I fear Rika is falling into Kajii's deranged web. I thought it before, but especially by the end of Ch 8. @Bookwormjillk @Hooked_on_books @DGRachel 8h
25 likes28 comments
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BarbaraBB
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Question 2 of 3

#CampLitsy24 is the place for making new friends and we are so pleased that @Bookwrym and @PrairieGirl_reading now have become bookish bff‘s thanks to Butter!
They are on the “love it” side of the book but we‘ve noticed many mixed reviews as well. We‘d love to hear what you think!

See All 34 Comments
GatheringBooks I enjoyed reading the contrasts between reiko and rika‘s perception of kajji‘s character. Kajji herself is unperturbed by everything- embracing all things delicious with some degree of obliviousness that is almost pathological. The premium on women needing to be paper thin was also explored fully, along with the masculine gaze of “applying one‘s self” ostensibly to “look good” as framed through the famous girl group was particularly illuminating. 22h
ChaoticMissAdventures @GatheringBooks I agree it was really interesting to see Reiko confront Rika as they went to visit Kaji's family. I don't think I realized just how differently the 2 women understand the situation until that point. 21h
ChaoticMissAdventures It has been funny as an American to read this, I am a Grn x'r who lives through the prime Heroin Chic era where we needed to be sickly thin to be considered attractive. It is interesting (and sad) to see the obsession of weight in another country. The way they talk about how some think Kajji could not have attracted men because of her size has really drawn me and I want to read articles about the woman the story is based on for comparison. 21h
squirrelbrain I‘m currently listening to a NF book, about a guy who goes to Japan to teach, in 2012. It‘s interesting to compare his comments about weight - he says it is normal that a colleague would point out that you have put weight on and no offence would be taken. 20h
Kitta @ChaoticMissAdventures I agree it‘s interesting to compare to North American standards in that era. I spoke with a Japanese friend and she said that Japan is changing now and that models need to be a certain weight and even clothing sizes have changed to reflect international standards. Honestly I personally found the beginning very hard to read and triggering as I had an eating disorder which I‘m mostly recovered from. It was tough reading. 20h
Kitta @squirrelbrain that‘s so interesting, I was reading it definitely with a western view and got very offended for Rika when they made weight comments but maybe it‘s normal and not malicious? When I was living in Thailand many people commented on my weight and called me fat (I was very small at the time, almost underweight, but I was bigger than them) but they meant it as a compliment! Like oh you look well fed and healthy! I found it hard to grasp. 19h
Kitta @ChaoticMissAdventures @GatheringBooks Agreed it was really interesting to see Reiko‘s take and how differently it differed from the narrative we‘d been given about it from Rika. It was also interesting that all the men Kajii was with said she was too big but also fawned over her and were attracted to her. Like societal pressure to be with someone thin differed from their actual desires. I‘ve read a bit farther but I think it‘s in the first half. 19h
Bookwormjillk It was interesting how everyone accepted Rika‘s weight gain when they started telling themselves it was for work. 19h
Bookwormjillk Also I am on team Love It. It‘s long but I had a hard time stopping at chapter 8. Today I‘m looking forward to buying rice and diving back in! 19h
Hooked_on_books I hesitate to say too much here, as I feel this is part of Rika‘s character arc and there‘s more to come on it in the second half. I did love Kajii looking down her nose at dieting, focusing on the pleasure of food, and happily being larger than what society would find acceptable for her as a woman. 19h
mcctrish I found the whole exchange with Makoto when he came over and she whipped up some noodles for him bizarre. On the one hand it was awesome he acknowledged she works as hard as him so must have the same level of energy at the end of the day so it‘s not necessary BUT if she has never cooked before why not ask about it ? Say thank you ? We know the recipe was easy so why not talk about her cooking learning curve ? 14h
DGRachel I didn‘t even consider the fact that I was looking at this from a Western perspective, but I found (what I felt to be) all the misogyny and patriarchal attitudes horrible. I just kept getting angrier as I read. Also, as someone who graduated college at 5‘ 10” and 111 lbs (177 cm/50 kg) and who, nearly 30 years later, is significantly heavier, and who feels shame around it still, I found the comments on Rika‘s eating and weight painful to read. 14h
DGRachel @mcctrish YES! Why not be curious? That whole scene had me seeing red. 14h
mcctrish @DGRachel we need more Ted Lasso in the world 😆 14h
Prairiegirl_reading @mcctrish be curious not judgemental! Absolutely. 13h
Prairiegirl_reading @BookWrym 🤣💙 so far definitely team love it!! I‘m having some trouble putting my thoughts together in a concise way for this discussion however. I will say at this point I have never put so many bookmarks in an audiobook!! I wish I had a paper copy! (edited) 13h
sarahbarnes I did feel a lot of parallels with messages for women and girls in the US around food and eating from when I was growing up (and still in some ways). I found it interesting though how matter of fact the comments were about weight in the book. In the US it feels more passive aggressive. 😂 11h
Megabooks @Hooked_on_books Yes, I loved that Kajii derived pleasure from her weight and bucked societal expectations, especially in continuing to live without trying to lose. There was SO MUCH talk about dieting. 10h
Megabooks @mcctrish Their relationship (Rika and Makoto) struck me as really bizarre. It's like they had just met, but they were supposed to have been dating for years! 10h
Megabooks @DGRachel Same. I've had a lot of weight gain through my adult years after being really skinny in high school and college, and I found the weight talk to be one of the most challenging parts of the book. 10h
dabbe @DGRachel Agree 💯! 9h
BookWrym I like the fact that through Kaji and Rika the author is highlighting the hypocrisy of societal standards. I appreciate the highlighting of the way that women are blamed for the fact that the single men neglect themselves and that society finds it acceptable to blame the women for removing that care particularly when it comes to providing nutrition. 8h
BookWrym Kaji is a appealing to men in my view because she mothers them and because she doesn‘t let them dictate her weight which is rare in that society. Also who deep down doesn‘t appreciate the act of care that is home cooking. 8h
CogsOfEncouragement Love It.
I enjoy how these are weaving together: butter, body image, gender roles, misogyny, fertility issues, family dynamics. I was surprised how the same issues ultra conservative americans have w/gender roles: men have to be in charge of the family, obeyed etc yet at the same time they are babies who require a wife to take care of them & women r blamed for so much. Cultures are unfortunately familiar in these negative ways round the world.
8h
BarbaraJean @squirrelbrain @Kitta So interesting about cultural standards on comments about weight, when it‘s seen as SO rude in the US! I lived in South Africa for a few years; people would comment on others‘ weight and it wasn‘t seen as mean or rude. One friend told me it was so odd that I was white but “had the butt of an African.” She didn‘t mean to be rude, but that‘s not how I took it! I hadn‘t thought to apply that lens here—it makes a lot of sense. 3h
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BarbaraBB
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Question 1 of 3

After Clear we‘re now continuing #CampLitsy24 with a completely different one. But that‘s what makes Camp so fun, right ?!

Today we discuss Butter, chapters 1 to 8. No spoilers please about the second half. I‘ll post three questions again. Thanks for joining!

See All 45 Comments
GatheringBooks I love the coherence in the entire narrative with the title setting the vibe for the storytelling, the unfolding of each character‘s lives and motivations, and the undeniable sense of place. It isn‘t just any food - it is japanese food with its celebration of rice and mochi and all the tiny details that surface identity entangled with body image issues, societal expectations of what constitutes femininity, and gastronomic delights. 23h
GatheringBooks I managed to find echire butter in the only place that sells it here in the uae - and now including it in my 88 year old mother‘s staple dish (rice). Haven‘t tried it yet myself but looking forward to savoring its taste. 22h
ChaoticMissAdventures I am not a foodie, and rarely cook but I have found myself making rice with butter and soy sauce a couple of times while reading! The author is doing an excellent job creating a foodie vibe, and I am absorbed by it, which is really surprising I am not normally into food based stories. Her writing on the topic is very engaging though! 21h
squirrelbrain Like you @ChaoticMissAdventures I‘m not drawn to food-based stories but, for me, in this case, it was all a bit much. I found myself skimming a lot. 21h
squirrelbrain But your comments @GatheringBooks make me want to go back and re-read with a more positive viewpoint and to see how the food is inextricably linked with all of the other themes of the book. This is why I love #camplitsy so much - all of the comments can make you see a book in a new light. 20h
Kitta I think the food and the increasing complexity of the recipes Rika cooks is a reflection of her own self discovery. They start simple introducing her to what she didn‘t even know she was missing and as they get more complex she starts to better understand herself and the complexities of her own life. I think it also really helps set anchor the narrative in Japan too! Like @GatheringBooks I‘m looking to find some echire butter to try it with rice! 20h
Kitta I think it‘s hard to answer this question without touching a bit on the second one: the food culture and societal expectations in Japan. Agreed with @GatheringBooks that it also helps bring up themes of body image issues and femininity but I‘d also add self control. It seems to be a very restrained society and gaining weight is associated with losing control of yourself. Rika seems to defy that later on, but in the beginning it was hard to read. 20h
Bookwormjillk There seems to be an element of self care to Rika‘s discovery of food. As she feeds herself she gets more confident about herself. (I am out of both rice and butter and it‘s killing me a little. Need to shop today.) 19h
Hooked_on_books Everyone eats, but not everyone approaches food the same way, so having these 2 characters connect through food and Rika‘s changing attitude to food was interesting. I also felt like the author was strongly equating enjoying food to sex, which didn‘t really work for me, but I feel like she hammered at it with the language and constant references to people‘s glistening lips. 19h
Laughterhp So I ended up having to skip this one. I thought my library had a copy, but it was in German when I went to go check it out. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️ and I couldn‘t find another copy. 16h
Suet624 I wonder how many of us felt a yearning for rice, butter and soy sauce as they read the first half of this book. I sure did. I also don't like to cook and as I read I found myself checking out recipes and experimenting a bit. This has never happened that a book has inspired me to do this. 16h
AmyG I am sorry. I bailed. See you in July! 16h
mcctrish @Suet624 oh I ABSOLUTELY did and if there wasn‘t such a heat wave on I‘d be cooking and baking up a storm 15h
DGRachel I am with @squirrelbrain on this one, although it may have bugged me even more. I had to switch to audio, so I didn‘t skim, but I just kept thinking “enough with the food already” and I never want to see another stick of butter, see a recipe with it, or hear the word. It seemed like just when we started to get real character interaction, there‘d be another 20-30 minutes of just food details. 🤬 14h
Texreader All I want is butter!! Love this book! 14h
Meshell1313 @Suet624 me!!! 🙋🏼‍♀️I‘m on the hunt for that butter brand too- it sounds sooo good! 🤣 13h
Meshell1313 So interesting to me how it really becomes about gender roles- the role of the perfect wife, the perfect woman. Def a comment on society‘s expectations of women- not just the household duties but how they should look in what is a very restrictive society. I found myself angry for the women in this book and wanted them to defy all of the “norms!” 13h
sarahbarnes Love all the comments here. I love to cook and really enjoyed the MC‘s starting to change the way she thinks about food. For me it is a very emotional thing. Agree that the overwrought connections to sex were a bit over the top for me at times. 11h
Megabooks @Kitta Yes, I liked that Rika was on a journey of self-discovery through food. I felt the dishes really fit the character arc. @gatheringbooks I'd love to get ahold of that butter! @bookwormjillk She definitely seems to care for herself more as she discovers a love of cooking. I know I feel better about myself when I've taken the time to make a meal rather than eat something more convenient. 10h
Megabooks @sarahbarnes Love that you pointed out that food is tied to emotion both in the book and life! But I think the whole equating food to sex is a bit reductive and tiresome in all literary incarnations. @hooked_on_books 10h
Karisa @Meshell1313 Yes, that‘s what I kept thinking too. It‘s seen as women‘s work, cooking and food in general. Definitely tangled up in what is expected of them as women and what happens when someone trying to be more modern like Rika (hungry for success) is swayed by someone who‘s a true believer in it (M). It‘s like she‘s being converted 😂 and those of us craving rice with soy sauce and butter are right there too! @Suet624 it is sounding so good! 10h
dabbe I'm between @AmyG and @squirrelbrain on this one. I'm reading, skipping, and almost close to bailing. As someone who has had to lose weight to control her diabetes, all of the food stuff is hard to take. And to find herself by gaining weight but having others admonish her for it is also hard to take. I'll give it a try one more time for next week. It also could be a lot shorter, IMHO. 9h
BookWrym Love the food descriptions I love butter and cooking with butter so I was captured by the food aspect but it also strongly links to gender stereotypes and the different expectations for men and women. Men are allowed to enjoy food but women must be restrained in what they consume. Love the fact that Rika acknowledges she is still searching for the balance that is right for her, in life as well as in food. 8h
CogsOfEncouragement My husband is a foodie. Eating at places that are doing an excellent job at their specialty is fun & adds another experience to what we are doing that day. He also tries recipes I wouldn't like homemade marshmallows. We gotta eat, but Rika has been starving herself, working long hours, rushing around w/out much to show for it. Enjoying food and nourishing herself is good. Getting caught up in Kajii's views on other things is problematic. 8h
TrishB @AmyG I did too! 8h
Prairiegirl_reading @BookWrym “the right amount for me”. I keep going back to this thought. The right amount of food, sex, how much effort we put in. And that takes me to your comment about enjoyment and gender stereotypes and how men don‘t have to worry about these unrealistic beauty standards, the way to a man‘s heart and all that. I agree with other people that this is difficult, It‘s definitely been scrambling my brain a bit. I can‘t wait to find out what happens 8h
Prairiegirl_reading I‘m also a foodie. I love to cook, eat, try new recipes and new wines. I also struggle with body image. I‘ve been every size and back again over my adult life. I am loving the food descriptions and struggling with the beauty standards and fat phobia. 8h
BarbaraBB @Laughterhp @AmyG @TrishB That‘s too bad! Hopefully you‘ll join us in July for (edited) 7h
BarbaraBB @sarahbarnes Yes to all you say. I feel the same about cooking and the emotions related to it. 7h
BarbaraBB @Suet624 I do like to cook but I have never before felt inspired by a book to do so. Those simple dishes sound delicious! (edited) 7h
BarbaraBB @Prairiegirl_reading I‘m with you completely. I love food and wine and feel so guilty when enjoying one or the other or both 🤦🏻‍♀️ 7h
Soubhiville I decided to skip this one. Be back in July 🙂. (I am enjoying reading all of your responses though!) 7h
TrishB I definitely will be! 7h
Larkken @dabbe @AmyG @squirrelbrain i think I‘m with you. I liked the food descriptions at first but they started to feel over the top and tending almost to gross? I was fascinated a bit with what feels like a focus on western foods and recipes tho - I do not associate butter with Japan but maybe that‘s me being unfamiliar! I feel like there might be something there about the western food and western impacts on gender roles in Japan? 6h
BarbaraJean @Kitta I love the insight that the recipes mirror Rika‘s self-discovery—almost guiding her as she navigates an increasingly complex view of herself & life in general. I think it also reflects the increasing complexity of the story Rika is pursuing, Kajii herself, and of the narrative overall. @Hooked_on_books @DGRachel @Megabooks @Larkken The repeated references to glistening lips etc. were off-putting & turned me off to the food descriptions. ⬇ 4h
BarbaraJean I did think it was interesting HOW the author made connections between food & sex, though. I wonder if some of it is cultural. In American culture, I think sex is served up as the main dish. Food would be the appetizer or side dish! But here, it felt the opposite: the emphasis wasn‘t on sex, but on food, almost as a replacement for sex—sex was the appetizer or side dish, food was the main attraction. 4h
AmyG @BarbaraBB I am reading James now and really enjoying it. Just skipped this one. I was also on a cruise and busy so that didn‘t help. @TrishB 👊🏻 (edited) 1h
28 likes45 comments
review
BarbaraBB
Nonfiction: A Novel | Julie Myerson
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Pickpick

It‘s a thin line between fiction and nonfiction and when life is hard and you are a writer you might need to write fiction just to deal with reality. Or maybe nonfiction would be the way to tackle real life. I am not sure, but I loved this book about motherhood, although it was a harsh one. I felt for the mother (the writer) who has a daughter destroying herself and a cold, judging mother. She herself isn‘t perfect either - of course. ⬇️

BarbaraBB This is her story and although I am not sure what was fiction or nonfiction for the narrator (or Julie Myersson herself for that matter): it doesn‘t really matter. The message came through loud and clear. 3d
sarahbarnes This sounds intriguing. Great review! 3d
CarolynM Great review. Stacked🙂 2d
64 likes3 stack adds3 comments
review
BarbaraBB
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Pickpick

I can‘t say too much about this book, which we will discuss the next two Saturday‘s at #CampLitsy24.

It is a light pick for me. I loved the butter, the recipes, the Japanese atmosphere and most characters. However, so much is happening, so many sidelines and sometimes I lost track and noticed myself skimming. Leaving me with many unresolved questions, so I am looking forward to our discussion!

(Photo: Canal St Martin, Paris)

Chelsea.Poole I am feeling similar with this. I do love the food descriptions but…so many threads to follow. Gorgeous canal photo! 5d
TrishB I‘m definitely struggling…. 5d
squirrelbrain Yes, I skimmed quite a bit too! 5d
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BookWrym I am really enjoying it especially the social commentary 5d
BarbaraBB @BookWrym I am very happy to hear that 5d
tpixie I missed the Canal when I went- I really need to go back! 4d
Prairiegirl_reading @BookWrym I‘m in agreement with you again! (edited) 4d
BarbaraBB @tpixie You should ? it‘s an upcoming neighborhood filled with small shops and cafés 4d
BarbaraBB @Prairiegirl_reading I am glad you do! 4d
tpixie @BarbaraBB sounds lovely! Great you got to go to Paris before the Olympics! 4d
BookWrym @Prairiegirl_reading best book friends forever 😀 3d
Prairiegirl_reading @BookWrym we‘ll have to make matching friendship bracelets! 3d
GatheringBooks Oohlala paris! Love it! 💕 3d
BarbaraBB @GatheringBooks me too 🇫🇷 3d
sarahbarnes I felt the same. Looking forward to seeing what everyone thinks this weekend! 3d
93 likes1 stack add15 comments
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BarbaraBB
Nonfiction: A Novel | Julie Myerson
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#WeeklyForecast 26/24

I will finish Butter this week and have started the tagged book too. Just one chapter in but is already grabbed me. I‘ll also try another Lennon.

AmyG I am so struggling with Butter. 😞 6d
BarbaraBB @AmyG I know what you mean. It picks up pace though 6d
AmyG Well, that‘s good to know. Thank you. 5d
60 likes3 comments
review
BarbaraBB
The Road to Dalton | Shannon Bowring
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Pickpick

#EuropaCollective

What a great read. To me The Road to Dalton read like a soap opera, in a very good way. I felt a connection with most characters and loved to follow how they interacted. Well written too. I can‘t wait for the sequel, I want to learn more about them, especially about Greg, Nate and Alice!

(Photo: Sacre Coeur, Paris)

squirrelbrain Beautiful pic - hope you‘re having a lovely time! 7d
LeeRHarry Enjoy! 🇫🇷😊 7d
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain thank you. I am. I hope you too! 7d
See All 10 Comments
sarahbarnes Glad you liked it! Great pic and review! 7d
Megabooks I'm glad you're enjoying Paris! 7d
BarbaraBB @Megabooks I certainly did. Now I am in the train bound for home again 7d
Megabooks All good things must come to an end. Travel safe! 💜💜 6d
youneverarrived Ahh Paris 🩷 this book sounds great 👍 6d
jlhammar Awesome photo! Happy to hear you enjoyed it. I‘m eager to get back to it! 6d
Cathythoughts Sounds good. I have it stacked already. Paris 🥰 2d
93 likes2 stack adds10 comments
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BarbaraBB
Clear: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Question 3 of 3

With our third question we‘ve finished the Clear discussion. We hope you‘ll be back next week to discuss the first half of a completely different book: Butter.
Until then, enjoy the beach and the sun and your books and this lovely space to spend time together: #CampLitsy24

See All 82 Comments
Hooked_on_books I LOVED the ending. The fact that Mary simply accepts this love story between John and Ivar and chooses to have all of them together is just beautiful. I felt like the love story was likely to open up to be all three of them, which I tend to think doesn‘t really work, but I‘d like to see it work here. 1w
Bookwormjillk Like @Hooked_on_books I loved that Mary saw what was happening and accepted it. I feel like the three of them have a shot. 1w
Deblovestoread The ending was perfect and hopefully they found a place to live and thrive. 1w
CarolynM It was very abrupt. I‘m not sure that I completely buy Mary‘s acceptance and I can‘t see how John could continue in the Free Church living in a throuple. I think he‘s in for a major attack of conscience, or crisis of faith, once they‘re back in their community. 1w
BarbaraBB I loved the ending too. I think many people didn‘t though. I‘ve been wondering about John‘s future at the Free Church too @CarolynM (edited) 1w
Ruthiella Like @CarolynM , I found the end way too pat and unlikely. The whole book is leading up to a betrayal of trust. I would have accepted some relief, but not sex, Mary‘s acceptance, the Wedgwood tea pot AND the pony? 1w
willaful I also loved the ending. I honestly think it's *brave* to give literary fiction a happy ending! So many people think only tragedy has real meaning. I'm not surprised by Mary's acceptance because I felt that strength of character in her all along but I do wonder about how easily John let everything go, and how well Ivar will cope in a new environment. 1w
CarolynM @Ruthiella It felt like a modern ending to a story that had been previously very much rooted in a particular moment of the past. 1w
squirrelbrain I expected a sad / traumatic ending so was pleasantly surprised. I‘m not sure they would be a throuple @CarolynM ( I think Mary would find someone else) but I do agree that John couldn‘t continue on in the Church. 1w
LeeRHarry I found the ending pretty abrupt but I like that it was left quite open ended. I feel like they all went their separate ways. 1w
RaeLovesToRead The ending was a curveball after the cheeky misdirection with the gun. I agree with @CarolynM - bit abrupt, felt like a modern ending and a bit contrived. Still made me smile but don't 100% buy it. I'm happy the author took that direction though. 1w
Jess I really liked the ending. Given the expectation of violence, I was surprised to see where things ended up. 1w
Susanita It was a surprise! At the same time, Mary had little choice but to accept the situation after how she came to the island. Like others, I‘m curious / concerned about how they will make their way forward. 1w
Soubhiville I agree the ending was a surprise! I really expected a tragedy. I loved the way the author chose to end it. I hope the three of them found a way to live happily together, but I agree that John isn‘t likely to have continued with the church. IMO that‘s not a bad thing, as it sounds like the “new church” was not going to offer John and Mary any kind of secure and comfortable life. 1w
AmyG I loved the ending. Mary could either reject what she saw and live alone…or accept it and find a way to go forward. I think Mary loved John plus did not want to go it alone. I am curious which one came into play the most….love or fear. I am a big fan of a book ending that makes the reader think about how the story will continue. 1w
kspenmoll The ending was a huge surprise to me! I loved it. 1w
JenReadsAlot I was ready for something terrible to happen so loved the ending. 1w
DGRachel I‘m with @CarolynM and @Ruthiella with this one. I didn‘t mind the ending at first, but the more I thought about it, the more I disliked it. While I didn‘t need a tragic ending, this one felt too neat, like the author hit her word count and had to wrap things up with a tidy bow. I don‘t buy Mary‘s acceptance, and I agree that John is in for some long sleepless nights because of a crisis of a faith. 1w
Laughterhp I was listening to this one on audio, so I didn‘t realize we were nearing the end of the book. So I was quite surprised with how abruptly it ended. I agree with what the others said, where I thought it was going to end in violence. 1w
Chelsea.Poole I‘m typically fine with tragedy/disappointment and prefer realistic any day over a “happy ending”, but I was just thrilled with the way this ended. My mind had planned out such horrible scenarios (and probably more realistic) but to see all three leave together (no one shot!) was just so shocking that I couldn‘t be mad about it. Almost like a twist! Sure, they‘ll have their struggles off the island but hopefully together they‘ll find a way. 1w
Chelsea.Poole I agree the ending was rather brave of the author as @willaful mentioned above. Literary fiction is so often tragic but the story doesn‘t have to be in order for the work to have merit. Maybe it‘s easier to write tragedies?? 1w
mcctrish Mary is unconventional so I think she could handle going off on her own ( there was a passage where she was wishing for more intimacy with John so maybe she does find a new person, I hope so.) Ivar is certainly self sufficient so he could live anywhere ( I forget what the expectation was for him off the island) John is the one most likely to struggle 1w
CogsOfEncouragement It is the mid 1800s and Mary is in her 40s. She is incredibly poor and yet Mary does all she can to get to John because she is so concerned for his safety. Her love and loyalty and bravery are repaid with John's unfaithfulness. I think she's in shock, not acceptance. She just needs off the island right now. They all do. I didn't read this as a HEA. 1w
Megabooks @Hooked_on_books @Bookwormjillk that‘s a big reason I fell so in love with Mary as a character. Her openness and bravery astounded me! 1w
Megabooks @CarolynM @BarbaraBB agree that his future as a minister was very uncertain. Could he handle that? Would the church accept him once again? HUGE unknown!! @squirrelbrain (edited) 1w
Megabooks @RaeLovesToRead yes, contrived and modern but still lovely! 1w
Megabooks @Laughterhp agree there was definitely foreshadowing that had me expecting violence. 1w
MicheleinPhilly The ending really bowled me over as my black heart thought “Surely, someone is gonna die.” I didn‘t foresee Ivar leaving willingly. For me it was less about a potential romantic future for any of the parties as it was about Ivar recognizing the joy to be found in connection and intimacy. 1w
sarahbarnes Agree with many others here that given the books I usually read I definitely expected a tragedy and loved the beautiful twist at the end. It seems like much of John‘s and Mary‘s lives have been unconventional for the time (married later, leaving the church) and now they are bringing Ivar into their lives. I think the book is really a love story to the power of relationship and love. 1w
JamieArc This was my dream ending, which I thought was impossible, so I was pleasantly surprised by the ending and loved it, particularly when Mary says “Instead of two, we could be three.” 1w
JamieArc I love the literary idea of palimpsest, the washing away of words on a document to make room for a new story. This book is the best of that. If I were still studying literature, I would write a paper on this. 1w
JamieArc Lastly, as much as I love how it ended, I can‘t imagine life for them is going to be easy. Thanks for hosting this discussion @BarbaraBB ! We chose a great book to start off #camplitsy24 with! 1w
Nessavamusic I love the hope the ending has, even if it might not be easy for them, it is hopeful. 1w
Kitta I honestly didn‘t really consider John‘s future in the church. I kind of assumed he‘d distanced himself from those beliefs after meeting with Ivar and building intimacy with him. We hear less and less mention of the church and I doubt they‘d be able to return to their home with Ivar and the horse. I saw them as sailing for a new land or at least a new part of the country where they would settle as a family. I liked the ending although its unlikely 1w
Kitta Agreed with many others here that I expected a tragedy though. I thought for sure Mary would be shot at the end or assaulted on the boat or something. I was surprised (in a good way) that it worked out so well. Agreed with @JamieArc that I loved the line “we could be three”. Overall it‘s not a believable ending but it was satisfying and interesting to wonder about their future together. 1w
TheBookHippie I just finished and still pondering. I don‘t like HEA endings tied up neatly, ever.. but this was also open ended.. is it realistic, possibly.. because of Mary‘s character. I did think it would be a brutal ending. I‘m glad it wasn‘t that. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 1w
dabbe To me, the book ended on hope: hope that the three could make a life together, hope that society would accept them, hope that it would all work out. But ... I can't help but think of the movie THE GRADUATE--when Hoffman (Benjamin) and Ross (Elaine) are riding away on the bus--both of them thrilled and full of hope--but then their ecstatic smiles turn into neutral expressions as they ponder their future life of uncertainty. 1w
Meshell1313 I thought for sure Mary was going to drag John‘s butt back to the mainland alone so I was SUpEr surprised by the ending. I hope they live happily ever after as a throuple! I like to think John builds his own church with new modern ideas and Ivar adapts to city life! 1w
yourfavouritemixtape I also felt like something tragic has to happen and then when it didn‘t I was very relieved. It kind of wouldn‘t have fit. At first I didn‘t really like this very open ending, not knowing what‘s going to happen with the three of them. But the more I thought about it, the more right it felt, to end this story like that. 1w
Suet624 I love all the responses. I‘m with those who were surprised and delighted by the ending. Actually, I really needed that ending. 1w
BookWrym I disliked the ending for me this would have been better as a story of an unlikely friendship. Ivar could still live with Mary and John as a friend not a lover. That whole storyline felt out of character, out of time and so unlikely I just couldn‘t get on board with it. The ending didn‘t need to be tragic but it did need to be realistic. 1w
willaful @RaeLovesToRead cheeky is a good word for it! It annoyed me, but not really. ;-) 1w
willaful @sarahbarnes well put. 1w
willaful @Suet624 I know just what you mean! 1w
GatheringBooks Like @Suet624 i also needed this kind of ending, notwithstanding its supposed lack of credibility. I think more than a happy ending, it was an ambiguous sort of ending. There is no guarantee they will be happy all living together with all that entails, but at least as the song goes, there are three less lonely people in the world - and perhaps that‘s all that matters in the end. Easing the sense of aloneness and sharing one‘s life with others. 1w
TheKidUpstairs I loved the ending. But I find it interesting that so many describe it as a happy ending, maybe bittersweet, but I didn't really see it as happy. It was, to me, more a sign of Mary's determination to make her life and love work for her. That she would make such a large compromise in order to move forward with John. Like @GatheringBooks mentioned, there really is no guarantee of happiness in this ending... cont'd in next comment 1w
sarahbarnes @Suet624 ♥️♥️♥️ 1w
TheKidUpstairs ...cont'd from previous comment... The ending may be a bright moment, but there is difficulty and trouble coming for these three (as some have pointed out, John is likely to face a lot of difficulty from the church). I think the abruptness of the ending allows them to have their moment of promise, without having to promise us that they'll live happily ever after. 1w
TheKidUpstairs @dabbe what a great comparison! I totally agree. That combination of elation and uncertainty for what comes next. 1w
Suet624 @TheKidUpstairs I appreciate your idea that the ending allows for their (and our) moment of promise. 1w
DebinHawaii I missed the discussion last week & I‘m starting with the last question this week.🤷🏻‍♀️ I am with the liked/loved the ending brigade. Thinking one of the three was going to die & wondering which one I would be most “okay” with dying, I was happy with the resolution. I agree that it isn‘t a HEA ending & more bittersweet & foresee struggles ahead for the trio (no church for John) but my heart likes to think they will find some happiness together. 1w
CarolynM @CogsOfEncouragement Shock, yes, that makes sense to me. @MicheleinPhilly It‘s a story about connection and intimacy so it also makes sense to me to see the ending in that way. @JamieArc I like your idea for a paper! 1w
monalyisha @TheKidUpstairs I found it bittersweet, or tentatively, delicately hopeful, as well. I‘d love to imagine them as a happy throuple (a la my favorite literary throuple: Lindy West, Ahamefule J. Oluo, & Roya Amirsoleymani). But I know that‘s likely far too optimistic! I think Mary‘s a smart woman with a big heart, & I think she weighed her options. 👇🏻 1w
monalyisha Mary‘s experience with Alice might have made her more open-minded than others in her position. We have to remember that she calls the situation a “terrible surprise.” While she acknowledges that sometimes, “terrible surprises can lead to great and unanticipated happiness,” it would be irresponsible to ignore that word: “terrible.” 1w
monalyisha The truly devastating bit for me was that Ivar had to leave his island. It‘s the historical truth (as it was and is in so many places); painful as it was to read, anything else would have rung false. Going in, I knew nothing about The Great Disruption or The Clearances. Im grateful to have come to it in this way! 1w
monalyisha The more I think about the ending, the more I‘m convinced that it WASN‘T tied up with a bow…and the more I like that. 💝 1w
willaful @TheKidUpstairs “ I think the abruptness of the ending allows them to have their moment of promise, without having to promise us that they'll live happily ever after. “ Well put. 1w
willaful @monalyisha Yes, I think finding a way for Ivar not to leave would have been historically impossible, so I'm glad the author found a way to bring him joy anyway. 1w
Karisa @Laughterhp Exactly what I was going to say! I loved the audiobook—narrator‘s voice was perfect! I also did not expect the sudden, happy ending. It didn‘t seem to match the mood. 1w
Prairiegirl_reading @BookWrym I agree with you! 1w
Prairiegirl_reading @Karisa I wish I would have done the audio instead of paper. I kept thinking I wish I could hear these words. I think I would have connected with this book better that way. 1w
Daisey I don‘t see this as a happy ending. It‘s bittersweet and hopeful, but I also see struggle in the future, especially for John. Mary and Ivar both seem more resilient to me, but I see John facing a major crisis of faith when he gets back to the “real” world. I usually don‘t care for open endings, but somehow this one worked for me. 1w
CBee I was surprised at the ending, and very relieved! I did get a bit worried for a moment. I doubt it will be easy, and what saddened me was Ivar having to leave the other animals and the only place he‘d ever known as home. But I like to think they‘ll figure it out ♥️ 1w
dabbe @TheKidUpstairs 💙💚💙 1w
BarbaraBB @CogsOfEncouragement I think you are right. I agree with @TheKidUpstairs that the ending was bittersweet, they are not facing an easy future in either way. I can‘t imagine Ivar living on the mainland for example. Did he leave his animals behind? I can‘t remember 1w
Leniverse I found the development between Ivar and John a bit unbelievable. I find Mary's pragmatic acceptance of it more probable than John's. I know that his life was turned upside down, and he had to revise a lot of notions, but to go from "dancing is sinful" to basically proving what dancing leads to and not have a religious freakout seems odd. That bi-awakening came way too easy for the times. 7d
Leniverse I liked that the ending wasn't sad and horrible. I like to think that they decided to stay in Norway. Found some craggy coastal village where life wouldn't be too alien for Ivar. I've heard this story about how Norwegian (Lutheran) immigrants in the USA in the 1800s were shunned by the strict Calvinist British immigrants because even their ministers liked a spot of dancing and fiddle play. I figure John could change denomination again 😂 7d
peaKnit I like to imagine that the ending offers a glimpse at a new hope for kindness, acceptance and love. I imagine a platonic threesome mostly. I want it to work. I worry about my fictional friends, the times and reality on a mainland may not be kind to them. 🤞🏻 7d
peaKnit @Prairiegirl_reading audio might be wonderful to listen to - great suggestion. Worth another go. 7d
Maggie4483 I think the “Happy Ending“ is an illusion in this one. First and foremost, Ivar is going to really struggle with losing the only home he's ever known, regardless of his new connections. And Mary is clearly not thrilled about the nature of the relationship between John and Ivar. When she talked about the three phases of her life, she said the third with John was the happiest (continued) 6d
Maggie4483 ...but feared she was about to enter the fourth and FINAL phase if she lost John. I think she's compromising more than she really wants to so that she can keep John, because she fears losing him would kill her. I hope I'm wrong, though. There IS, after all, the matter of Mary's picture that Ivar found and felt such a connection to. It's entirely plausible that the two of them form their own unique connection. 🤞 6d
BarbaraBB @Maggie4483 That is a very insightful way of thinking. I think you are right and I hope so too, re Ivar and Mary! 6d
Roary47 I complete agree with @hooked_on_books I liked that Mary was accepting of the bond that Ivar and John had formed. I think that John would do well to continue to help Ivar adjust to his new home, and Ivar could help Mary and John to form a farm so they could be self sustaining and not have to worry about money so much anymore. The dance made them look more like a couple then as just friends, but I really saw their relationship as a friendship. 5d
Caryl Very interesting answers here! I liked the ending, especially this part, from Mary's perspective: “You never knew in advance if a decision was the right one. All you could do was try to imagine the future and use that to help you make up your mind in a difficult situation, and if you couldn't imagine the future, well, you had to make up your mind anyway.“ (p. 182) And I'm realizing that I don't really need to know what happens next. 2d
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BarbaraBB
Clear: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Question 2 of 3

We have another birthday to celebrate at Camp: @Rockpools is celebrating! So it‘ll be another busy and festive day at #CampLitsy24!

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CarolynM Happy birthday @rockpools 💕 I think Ivar. There is something about his simplicity and innocence and also his self possession that is very appealing to me. 1w
Hooked_on_books I liked all the characters (of the main 3), but if I had to pick one, I would say Mary. She‘s so steady, clearly loyal, and also open-minded in a way I would not have expected for the era. I can probably also relate to her the most, which draws me to her. (And I tend to be more drawn to women and our stories.) 1w
Bookwormjillk HBD @rockpools 🎂 I didn‘t have a favorite so maybe the animals or the island itself. Both of the main characters were hiding something pretty significant from each other and I didn‘t love that. Understandable because of the circumstances and language barrier, but it made it hard for me to connect with them. (edited) 1w
Deblovestoread Hard to choose a favorite. I admired Ivar‘s ability to just live his life but I loved Mary‘s gumption. 1w
rockpools Thank you @BarbaraBB @CarolynM @Bookwormjillk ☺️. I‘m hoping to catch up and join in tomorrow. 1w
BarbaraBB I‘m with you @Hooked_on_books and @Deblovestoread although it‘s hard not too love Ivar too! 1w
willaful @Hooked_on_books I also really liked Mary, perhaps because I could relate the most to her point of view. And I was pleased that she didn't let me down but stayed strong and sensible. 1w
Ruthiella Happy Birthday to @rockpools ! 🥳 I liked Mary the best- her no nonsense attitude. 1w
squirrelbrain I agree @CarolynM - I liked Ivar‘s simplicity and also the way he grew throughout the story. 1w
LeeRHarry I liked Mary the best, pretty gutsy to go heading off to see what had happened to John. 1w
Jess I have to go with Mary. I love her take charge attitude. 1w
Soubhiville Happy Birthday @rockpools ! I loved Ivar, because of his contented nature living in solitude and his surprise and depth of feeling first with the portrait of Mary and then developing new feelings with John. 1w
AmyG Happy Birthday @rockpools 🎂 I felt a connection to Mary, perhaps because I am a woman. I found her and her relationship with John fascinating. I saw her as a woman trying to survive in this world. Women had their own set of challenges back then. 1w
kspenmoll I do love Mary for all her grit, devotion to her marriage, ability to weather change. But Ivar was my favorite- such a fleshed out character who experienced transformation 1w
DGRachel Happy Birthday @rockpools! I don‘t have a favorite character. This was the kind of quiet book where no one person really stood out over any others to me. 1w
JenReadsAlot I have to go with Ivar! 1w
Laughterhp I don‘t think I had a favorite character. I‘m with @DGRachel where no one really stood out to me over others. 1w
Chelsea.Poole Happy Birthday @rockpools 🌻 I loved Ivar. He‘s such a singular character. I did appreciate both John and Mary as well but for me, Ivar was the most interesting and just lovable. 1w
mcctrish Happy Birthday @rockpools I‘m with most you, Mary and Ivar were my favourites 1w
MicheleinPhilly I couldn‘t pick just one as they were all rendered so masterfully. So I‘ll go with Pegi. 😉 1w
Megabooks Happy birthday @rockpools !! Sending a virtual cake! 🎂 1w
Megabooks Like many have said, I loved Mary‘s bravery and steadfastness while remaining open to a very unconventional experience. 1w
sarahbarnes I loved them all, but would probably say Mary, for her independence and unconventional love for John. 1w
JamieArc I don‘t have a favorite either, but what I loved about each of them is that while they were all very different characters, they each had this ability to accept change in an empathetic way. They were strong, but not stubborn, and could make room for change to come. 1w
Nessavamusic I liked all of the people, could I choose the island as a character? The environment/setting was such an important part of the book. 1w
Kitta Agreeing with most people here that I like Mary the best. Sailing off after her husband would be a very unusual thing to do, for a woman alone at that time (I think?). And her acceptance of Ivar as well. @Deblovestoread used the word gumption and I agree! Great word by the way. (edited) 1w
rockpools @ruthiella @Soubhiville @AmyG @DGRachel @Chelsea.Poole @Graciouswarriorprincess @mctrish Thank you! I really do need to get back to reading more books. I miss you guys! And thanks for the cake @megabooks 😘 1w
TheBookHippie @AmyG I agree women in that age the choices not too many. I admired her. 1w
TheBookHippie I liked the atmosphere & the setting the most. If that can be a character. 1w
dabbe I'm with the ones who chose the setting. Without the isolated setting, there would be no story. For ex., would this story have worked if John lived on the mainland of Scotland? It is the isolation itself that makes Ivar who he is and created the need for communication between John and Mary and himself. It also creates the classic conflict of man vs. nature and then man vs. man and then man vs. society as the three are going to go back to humanity. 1w
Meshell1313 Happy birthday @rockpools ! Did no one pick John. 🤣 funny how he seems to be the villain in all of this. I also admire Mary the most for her dedication and decision to go and find her husband. She could have just started a new life on the mainland but her loyalty is impressive. 1w
yourfavouritemixtape I am also with @TheBookHippie the atmosphere was what struck me the most (and also what I will remember for a long time) 1w
Suet624 @Meshell1313 I was thinking the same thing about John. Funny that no one picked him. I was very impressed with Mary‘s courage and ability to adapt to the possibility of all three being together. (edited) 1w
BookWrym Happy birthday @rockpools I am joining those who chose the setting. 1w
GatheringBooks Happy birthday, @rockpools. I will join all the others who mentioned Mary as their favourite. The no-nonsense, casual, intuitive way she sensed how her husband changed with Ivar, how she delicately assessed the situation, and basically took charge through the invitation of where there used to be two, there is now three. More than generosity of spirit, it was also taking charge of her life and knowing exactly what she can live with. Such clarity. 1w
squirrelbrain Interesting that no-one picked John @Meshell1313 @Suet624 - I don‘t see him as a villain though, just not as interesting, even though everything revolves around him 1w
DebinHawaii For me it was also the island which did seem its own character & was so vividly drawn I could see, hear, taste smell & feel it, followed by Ivar. I smiled the most when I read his chapters & liked his joy in simple things. He had great heart that touched mine. Mary is right up there too with her grit & strength. I felt sympathy for John but he didn‘t draw me in as a character nearly as much. 1w
monalyisha I‘m not sure about favorite character…but favorite scene might be the passage when Ivar quietly speaks with his old blind cow, “telling her what he could see.” Never mind that the gorgeous fact that there‘s a word for “a big dark cloud with a whitish top through which the sun was shining,” but the tenderness that this scene conveys is beyond touching! How heartbreaking that he was forced to leave this relationship behind. 1w
monalyisha I wouldn‘t choose John as a favorite character but I found his love of language especially endearing. The scene where he breaks down and cries, too, after their dance, and when he takes Mary‘s photo to the hermit‘s cave to speak with her. I think it‘d be difficult to see him as a villain, though it‘s equally perplexing to imagine why everyone seems to be so immediately enamored! His “bony, Presbyterian face” must‘ve cast a VERY strong profile! 😅 1w
CBee Ivar - even more so after he told his blind cow about what he was seeing ♥️ 1w
CBee Agree about the island and setting being a character! 1w
BarbaraBB I agree @sarahbarnes that she was so unconventional and I loved that too about her. And what @JamieArc points out is true as well, that all three of them were willing to accept change, which makes Ivar and John quite unconventional too. (edited) 1w
jenniferw88 Ivar was probably my favourite. Probably because LGBTQ issues are very close to my heart, I hated Mary and wanted her to die on the boat voyage over so that Ivar and John could have a HEA. It's obvious to me that John now thinks Mary is interfering and ruining the budding friendship (relationship?) with Ivar. (edited) 7d
peaKnit Ivar was my favorite, he is so simple, gentle and self sufficient. He knits. 🧶 I enjoy Ivar‘s in my real life when possible. They can teach you so much. (edited) 7d
peaKnit @CBee yes, his care for his animals is so special. 7d
Maggie4483 It was definitely hard to pick a favorite - there's a lot of kindness in all of them. But Ivar was so sweet and genuine in his simplicity, and I really respect Mary's tenacity. I'd guess that the reason John didn't top anyone's list is because he made Ivar cry - he definitely lost points with me on that one. But then, I sympathized with him and the guilt he clearly felt immediately after, and the steps he took to apologize redeemed him for me. 6d
Roary47 I would say that my favorite is Ivar. I enjoyed reading his sections the most. I think I like him the most because I didn't have many friends growing up so I would talk to my animals and care for them a lot like he did. 5d
Caryl I enjoyed reading everyone's answers here! Today, I will choose Mary as my favorite character, mainly because I expected this to be a story just about Ivar and John. The inclusion of Mary's backstory, the decisions she made when she feared for John, and the graceful and loving way she moved into the next part of her story all surprised and delighted me. 2d
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BarbaraBB
Clear: A Novel | Carys Davies
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#CampLitsy24 question 1 of 3

What a great discussion we‘ve had last week. Thank you all for adding so much to the book by sharing your insights, feelings and thoughts. The second half of Clear is where the action was so lots to discuss again! I‘ll post three questions again.

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Hooked_on_books I didn‘t see it as a love letter to language, though I like that read. I felt more that their learning of one another‘s language was a piece of getting to know each other and it fit the place in the sense of being a slower process for a slower way of life. I liked that reflection. 1w
CarolynM I‘ve literally just finished reading the book so I‘m thinking very hard about that relationship. The forced proximity and isolation must be a big part of it, but communication strengthens connection and because they both had to work so hard on communication by learning each other‘s language I think they would have created a deeper connection than if communication had come easily. 1w
Deblovestoread I also didn‘t see it as a love letter to language but did feel their connection grow along side their ability to communicate with each other. 1w
BarbaraBB @Hooked_on_books @CarolynM @Deblovestoread Agreeing with you all. It made them feel more equal I think, both reaching out to understand the other. (edited) 1w
willaful I think the authors own use of language was... a bit tricksy, manipulative even. I don't really mind because things turned out better than they were being foreshadowed. Everything seemed to be leading to horrible tragedy. 1w
Ruthiella I see the love letter aspect of it. There is a real thrill when one starts to understand the nuances of a language not their own and appreciate the nuances of their own language which they may have previously taken for granted. Both John and Ivar (and vicariously the reader) get a taste of this in their ad hoc language immersion program. (edited) 1w
squirrelbrain Interesting thought @willaful - I‘d love to know more about why / how you think the author was being manipulative. 🤔 1w
willaful @squirrelbrain Among other things, it was strongly suggested that Mary would be shot and killed. 1w
LeeRHarry I like storylines where language or lack of plays a large part in the narrative - how characters get around not being able to communicate well verbally. 1w
RaeLovesToRead I don't really agree with the love letter to the power of language statement. I suspect the majority of John and Ivar's communication was non-verbal. The fact that John was enthusiastic about learning was probably helpful to their bond, and the author obviously loved researching it, but I didn't see it as the overarching theme of the book. 1w
Susanita I can see the love letter aspect in how they both enjoyed going over the word lists as John refined some of the nuanced meanings. He understood that learning another language is about more than vocabulary lists. 1w
Soubhiville I agree @RaeLovesToRead . I thought it was an interesting part of the story, but not one of the most important parts. I‘d say the author was more excited about rediscovering old language than I was about reading all of the words in Iva‘s tongue. 1w
AmyG I also agree with @RaeLovestoRead. I think the learning of language to communicate bonded the two. Before the words they both had to rely on “non-words”….body and facial language. Knowledge of that first truly connected them….there was an intimacy there. They could read each other well before John even learned the language. 1w
kspenmoll @AmyG Yes, agree with all- non- verbal body language began their bond. The words/ meaning John collected satisfied his natural curiosity & love of language/translation. This did interest me but I agree, not a central theme. 1w
DGRachel As many have said, I don‘t really see the novel as a love letter to language, although I can see a point being made for a reflection of the author‘s love for languages. I think the struggle to communicate and the effort John and Ivar went through to communicate definitely increased the intimacy between the two. 1w
JenReadsAlot I think their non verbal communication to start understanding each other was powerful. 1w
Chelsea.Poole @willaful I was bracing myself for that! Something to happen to Mary that is. I was actually delighted that this book ended so happily. 1w
Chelsea.Poole I can see why a reviewer would point out the emphasis on language in this novel. But I do agree with many who think Ivar and John had a connection regardless. 1w
mcctrish @willaful I agree that I felt a strong sense of foreboding in the beginning but for John at Ivar‘s hands or both when the ship came back ( Ivar was certainly expendable so tossing John in with him doesn‘t seem a stretch to me as far as Lowrie was concerned) 1w
mcctrish I think I do agree it‘s a love letter to language - yes Ivar and John can communicate non-verbally but John‘s methodical, list making attempt to understand Ivar‘s language shows intent to learn and document it and Ivar. For John it‘s just his way of understanding and sorting an unknown but for Ivar it‘s being valued, seen and accepted. Language in current times is being used the opposite way. 1w
peaKnit I think learning one another‘s language showed the curiosity they had in one another, like any two people showing that deep interest in the beginnings of a relationship. Some learn lived experiences and in this case they show that spark through learning to communicate. 1w
Megabooks @RaeLovesToRead that‘s a great point. I felt the verbal communication between the two happened more quickly than it likely would‘ve irl. @Soubhiville it seemed like a love project in studying that old language. @amyg agree that communication by gesture has an intimacy to it. @kspenmoll I love the curiosity and wonder both showed towards each other. 1w
Megabooks @peaKnit I think the interpersonal and intellectual curiosity between the two was one of the best parts of the book! 1w
CogsOfEncouragement I did find it interesting that John brought his work with him when he really should not have brought it to such a place, and it was all washed away. Literally. He then used the same paper to learn Ivar's language. One work of translation was erased and the same paper was used for translation of another language. 1w
sarahbarnes I agree with what many here have said, in that John and Ivar had a strong nonverbal connection regardless of language. I also agree that it put them on more equal footing for John to try to learn Ivar‘s language @BarbaraBB - it showed vulnerability on John‘s part and a respect for and interest in Ivar (even if initially it was in order to be able to deliver the terrible news). 1w
JamieArc While I agree about the non-verbal connection, I can see how this is a love letter to language. I feel like it was this interest in language, and the nuances, that deepened their time with one another. But I‘m a language person, and reading the meanings of the words, just how many words there are for different types of most, was fascinating and endeared me to Ivar‘s world. 1w
JamieArc @CogsOfEncouragement I thought this was interesting too. There‘s a literary word for when this happens: palimpsest. The scraping or washing away of words on a document to make room for other words. I thought about this a lot while reading the story. 1w
Kitta @JamieArc that‘s a wonderful word! 1w
Kitta @Megabooks agreed about the pace at which Ivar learned English, it seemed incredibly fast to me as someone trying to learn a second language. It takes a lot of repetition and my brain often feel too full to continue sometimes haha 1w
Kitta @Megabooks I also read the tagged after this, which includes a woman learning English quickly (though not as quickly as Ivar) which was an interesting juxtaposition. Her grammar was all wrong, but she was understandable quite quickly. I wonder how long it was that he was with Ivar? I can‘t get a sense of the timeline although I know it was mentioned. (edited) 1w
TheBookHippie One, survival makes you learn a language more quickly as does being dropped somewhere and you must communicate -so the time it took didn‘t seem off to me as I‘ve seen it and experienced it IRL. My first experience walking beside Pakistani kids who had come from a refuge camp in Afghanistan I switched to Spanish without realizing it I wanted to communicate so badly. Fun fact it was Yiddish they knew besides Farsi 🤯 .. ⬇️ 1w
TheBookHippie ⬆️ I didn‘t see it as a love letter to language but I see how one would think that. The non verbal and the time spent intimately and what that does/did and the reasoning for them being in that position in the first place and one being of the church was more fascinating to me personally. 1w
dabbe I saw the term “language“ as being both nonverbal and verbal, a semiosis where ANY form of activity is used to produce meaning to one another. Once John and Ivar moved past just the symbols and signing to one another, then the learning of the actual words began. It reminded me of the ancient cave paintings on the wall as the beginning of understanding one another to the actual forming of words. John and Ivar simulated that same process to me. 1w
Meshell1313 @CogsOfEncouragement I love this point! His work is still about translation. His important documents didn‘t matter anymore and instead the paper was used to make stronger connections in a place where rules and laws are non existent. 1w
JamieArc @dabbe Yes, I agree that language here is more than just words. 1w
dabbe @JamieArc 💚💙💚 1w
Megabooks @Kitta interesting! I have Sweet Sting on my shelf, and now I want to pick it up soon. I think the timeline was weeks, and I know some people can pick up language quickly, but Ivar, as an adult who had only spoken one language previously, would presumably take a bit more time to master it just from a brain development standpoint. But each of us is unique so who knows! 1w
Suet624 I saw it as a love letter to love. 1w
youneverarrived It‘s Naomi‘s birthday today so haven‘t been able to join in but I‘ll catch up when I get the chance 🩵 1w
BookWrym For me the discovery of language and building communication was the best part of the book. I liked the slow pacing that matched the setting completely. 1w
willaful @Chelsea.Poole Oh, I absolutely was too! 1w
willaful @mcctrish I felt foreboding all around! But it was a little too deliberate around Mary at the end. I don't really mind though. 1w
GatheringBooks I love how it is framed as a “love letter to language” - it seems apt. Admittedly the glossary at the end with so many terms intimidated me a little bit and i thought it would be cumbersome to read but it wasn‘t. I agree with what @Megabooks says about the intimacy of “communication by gesture”. For me it was the nuance of the language that rendered the sensations evoked immutable and heightened the connection between two lonely people. 1w
squirrelbrain Great point @RaeLovesToRead and @dabbe about the non-verbal communication! 1w
squirrelbrain @JamieArc - I love the word palimpsest - thanks for highlighting it in this context! 1w
dabbe @squirrelbrain 💚💙💚 1w
DebinHawaii @JamieArc I think palimpsest may be a new favorite word! 💛 Beautiful. I agree that while I didn‘t read it thinking of it as a love letter to language, language both verbal & non-verbal played an important role & helped forge the intimacy. I loved the glossary & all the different words & took pictures of my library e-book. (I may have to buy a copy just for that). I think “nombrastom” (very thick mist) is my favorite. 🤗 1w
monalyisha @Suet624 I saw it as a love letter to place! I think it‘s fascinating to think about how deeply language is tied to place. What‘s happening to our own language as we so thoroughly lose our connection to place? How does “virtual” place (online) tie into this discussion? 1w
monalyisha I absolutely agree that the book is a “love letter to the power of language.” However, the word “scorching” has no place in the Scottish Highlands! We learned the words for “a big, heavy, snow-laden cloud”, “a dark cloud in frosty weather”, “a cold northerly wind”, “a cold, keen wind,” etc. “Scorching?!” Get right outta here with that misplaced adjective! 😅 1w
Suet624 @monalyisha …a love letter to place. Yup! I agree. 1w
Daisey @CogsOfEncouragement This is a really great point to emphasize about John‘s work with translation. 1w
Daisey I agree with @monalyisha that it seems to be more a love letter to place. I do see it as expressing love of language, but more in the way of love and value of the uniqueness of each language more than the power of language in general. 1w
CBee @Chelsea.Poole I was very worried and then, that beautiful ending ♥️♥️ 1w
Chelsea.Poole @monalyisha great point about the relationship of language and place! 1w
Chelsea.Poole @CBee my cynical heart was happy. 😊 1w
CBee @Chelsea.Poole yesssss I understand 100% 😂😂♥️♥️ 1w
BarbaraBB I love your point @CogsOfEncouragement 1w
BarbaraBB @youneverarrived congrats on Naomi 🩵 1w
BarbaraBB @Soubhiville Yes to your remark about the author being more interested in learning an old language than we! 1w
BarbaraBB @TheBookHippie I can see how that‘d work. A beautiful example 💖 1w
BarbaraBB @willaful The foreboding was everywhere indeed. The power of language 😀 1w
Maggie4483 I'm late to the party, but I have to agree with @willaful - while part of me appreciated the happy(ish) ending, the false foreshadowing made it feel very anti-climatic.
And I think the author intended it to be a love letter to language, especially after reading the author's note. But while that may be the seed the story grew from, I think it evolved into something else.
6d
Roary47 I'm with you @maggie4483 in being a little late. Everyone made excellent points. I think it is a love letter of language as many of you noted the author really had a passion in bringing this old language back into light through this book. There is something powerful in communication. My mother is extremely hard of hearing and because she cannot hear verbally she feels isolated and often angry. As John learned Ivar's words Ivar seemed happier. 5d
Roary47 @willaful I too felt cheated (even though I liked that it was a happy ending) that nothing extreme happened to the characters. However, I also feel after reading the authors note that the loss of Ivar's home because he was being forced to leave, and leaving the poor blind animal to fend for itself was really depressing as I likely would have felt if a character died. 5d
BarbaraBB @Roary47 That comparison is quite fitting indeed. My mother is hard of hearing too and feels the same. I can very much see how feeling ‘heard‘ makes Ivar happy. 5d
BarbaraBB @Roary47 In the end the ending wasn‘t as happy as it seemed I think. I loved that about the book and what the author did! 5d
youneverarrived To learn each other‘s language was a form of mutual respect I think. It helped their relationship form beyond gestures etc. so I feel like it was an important part of their relationship. It did feel to me like a love letter to language - I listened to it on audible so maybe that made it more prominent. 3d
Caryl @youneverarrived - Good point about showing their mutual respect for each other by learning each other's words. The audiobook just came in for me from my library, so I think I'll listen/reread it. I'd love to hear how the words are pronounced. 2d
Caryl @CogsOfEncouragement and @JamieArc - I didn't catch onto the beautiful significance of John losing his translation work, and then using those pages to work with Ivar's words and his language learning. Thank you for mentioning that, and the word “palimpsest,“ which is the name of this graphic memoir I loved and was my first encounter with this beautiful word. 2d
Caryl @monalyisha - All of Ivar's words that John was learning definitely helped me understand the setting. I loved that about this book. And I was puzzled by the use of “scorching“ as well -- misplaced adjective, indeed! 😄 2d
44 likes82 comments
review
BarbaraBB
Wandering Stars | Tommy Orange
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Panpan

“Lony feels worse because he doesn‘t even care about being Native or Indian and would rather just have a normal life and not have to always feel so heavy, have to carry more than it feels like he should have to carry.”

And heavy it is, this prequel/sequel to There There. Tommy Orange dedicates his second book to ‘everyone surviving and not surviving this thing called and not called addiction‘. ⬇️⬇️ #camptob

BarbaraBB And indeed, it seems everyone is addicted to something in this book and it‘s always so repetitive, reading about it.

I feel like Orange could have made much more of the potentially very interesting characters. I didn‘t enjoy the book half as much as I did There There.
(edited) 1w
Soubhiville Thanks for your honest review. I‘ve wondered how this one is. 1w
BarbaraBB @Soubhiville I am a minority here and I know it‘s probably based on true stories. I feel for them but it‘s not written in a way that engaged me 🤷🏻‍♀️ 1w
See All 9 Comments
dabbe #fanofthepan! 🤩🤩🤩 1w
Anna40 I agree. I liked the first half a lot though! 1w
BarbaraBB @Anna40 Yes, I think too that the first half was better! 1w
Graywacke @BarbaraBB - your 1st comment here is spot on 1w
BarbaraBB @Graywacke I didn‘t reread There There either but I remember it as a much better worked out book. 1w
tpixie @BarbaraBB @Soubhiville I agree. With both books. Lots of characters, lots of depressing stuff, which I understand, but not my favorite writing. 4d
64 likes9 comments
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BarbaraBB
The Road to Dalton | Shannon Bowring
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#WeeklyForecast 25/24

I am reading (combining audio with print) Butter for #CampLitsy24 and Wandering Stars for #CampToB.
The third read is the tagged one, this month‘s #EuropaCollective choice. All seem so good!!

squirrelbrain I‘m loving The Road to Dalton, and Butter seems to be getting better! I have Wandering Stars as an ARC and really ought to get to it soon. 2w
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain We‘re totally in sync! 2w
sarahbarnes I felt the same way as @squirrelbrain about both! 2w
BarbaraBB @sarahbarnes That‘s good news!! 2w
GatheringBooks We are reading 2 out of 3 books at the same time! Looooveit! 1w
73 likes5 comments
review
BarbaraBB
An Empty House | Marga Minco
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Pickpick

A poignant read about life in the Netherlands shortly after WWII. The narrator is a young Jewish woman who lost her whole family. She wants to look forward and adapt to this new world and new reality. Her friend Yona, also Jewish, has a much harder time adapting. This book has no answers or judgments, just observations which makes it even better.

Megabooks Sounds interesting! 2w
Bookwormjillk Pretty picture 🤩 2w
Librarybelle The sky is such a pretty color! Looks like a beautiful day! 2w
BarbaraBB @Librarybelle It was 🌞 2w
BarbaraBB @Megabooks It is very interesting and feels timely somehow even though it was written in 1966. I heard about it in a podcast and am glad I picked it up. 2w
69 likes3 stack adds5 comments
review
BarbaraBB
The Weekend | Charlotte Wood
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Mehso-so

Three women gather one last time in the house of a fourth one, who died earlier. They are all in their 70s and have been friends for over 40 years. You‘d say there is enough to reminiscence and talk about while cleaning the house. Yet I don‘t believe there‘s one decent dialogue in the book. They hardly speak at all, each too busy with herself to care for the others. This may be what Wood wanted but to me it felt a bit too shallow.

squirrelbrain 👋 Hi! But the book sounds a bit meh.🫤 2w
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain S says 👋🏽 indeed 😎 2w
CarolynM I was disappointed in this one too. 2w
sarahbarnes Great pic! 😁 2w
BarbaraBB @CarolynM I read your review and can very much relate to it. 2w
83 likes5 comments
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BarbaraBB
Clear: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Question 3 of 3

Our final question for today. While we‘re enjoying Camp and discussing books, life took over for @batsy and @Suzze and @Suet624 . They are not here for now but know that we‘re thinking of you and sending love!

We‘ll continue next week with the second half (and ending 😉) of Clear!

See All 60 Comments
Leniverse I wondered at that. I don't think Strachan is the best person to rely on for evaluating other people. He clearly doesn't have a high opinion of labourers, tenants, or women. Ivar strikes me as a simple soul, without necessarily being "simple". I mean, he has survived alone for, was it 12 years? He's clearly capable. 2w
BarbaraBB It‘s so easy and even predictable for Strachan to say that. But Ivar seems like a sensible person to me, being able to survive all those years yet lacking any intellectual stimulation. (edited) 2w
Megabooks @Leniverse good point that he‘s a survivor. I think Strachan under appreciates and probably looks down quite a bit on Ivar. Strachan strikes me as only seeing his own best qualities as valuable. 2w
sarahbarnes I think he‘s less an idiot and more stubborn and not interested in a life away from the island. Sending you love @Suet624 @batsy @Suzze ♥️♥️ (edited) 2w
JamieArc I was wondering this, if there is some cognitive impairment, but from what we get from Ivar, I don‘t see it. I think he just has a different, simpler way of existing in the world. I agree that Stachan is not who I would rely on for an accurate evaluation of a person. 2w
Kitta I think the language barrier probably plays a role, along with Ivar preferring a pastoral life, not interested in making money or doing the things Strachan sees as desirable/valuable. Strachan can‘t see the value in this kind of life and therefore assumes Ivar is incapable of functioning in Strachan‘s world. 2w
TrishB Just because people prefer a different life style, doesn‘t make them idiots. As Leni says he‘s been alone and survived for 12 years! 2w
Nessavamusic I think it is just that far to often assumptions that different means lesser. Which is only slowly changing in human opinions. 2w
squirrelbrain @JamieArc - when Strachan first made the comment I thought there may be a cognitive impairment too, but you really don‘t see it. @Leniverse - I agree that Strachan isn‘t the best person to rely on. He struck me as having an over-inflated sense of his own importance, and looks down on nearly everyone. 2w
Oryx I think he, and many people, see people who live differently as simple, or that they have something wrong with them. 2w
peaKnit I think Ivar was simple not necessary limited, his lifestyle could certainly stump a more worldly person for sure. But doesn‘t it sound lovely to steal away to an island, maybe just briefly?☺️ 2w
CogsOfEncouragement I‘ve been waiting to gather more info from John‘s observations on this. I‘ve been holding off on a judgement. 2w
Jas16 I think the comment tells us more about Strachan than it does Ivar 2w
CBee My impression of Strachan is that he‘s a small man who looks down on anyone who doesn‘t have his elevated “status.” He‘s a jerk 🤷‍♀️😂 I like Ivar very much! 2w
peaKnit @Jas16 yes! 2w
mcctrish I think the only thing Ivar might be is socially awkward due to language and lack of socialization, @CBee @Jas16 @Kitta are all right that the comment says more about Strachan than Ivar 2w
JenReadsAlot @TrishB exactly! 2w
Deblovestoread I think Strachan knows very little about Ivar and used the terminology to make the task seem easier to John and if he‘s wrong here‘s a gun just in case. He obviously thinks little of the lower class and what happens to Ivar after is insignificant. 2w
DGRachel Everyone else has covered this so well - simple doesn‘t equal cognitive impairment. Strachan is a petty man who degrades others to make himself look or feel important and superior. Ivar has different values and since they don‘t revolve around money, Strachan cannot comprehend them. 2w
Karisa @mcctrish Yes! Agreed. Ivar has a different language, socialization, and priorities to Strachan but it doesn‘t make him less than. @cbee I like him too! He‘s honest, strong, and steady. 2w
TheKidUpstairs I think Strachan sees a man who lives a different life than himself, and who speaks a doesn't language and equates those things with "simple" and "idiotic" It's like so many colonizers looked at indigenous populations as "barbaric." Ivar doesn't live or speak as Strachan or his contemporaries do, and therefore he must be less than. Ivar does live a simple life, but as many have stated that doesn't mean he is in any way impaired. 2w
Meshell1313 @peaKnit I totally agree! That‘s my thoughts exactly- someone more “worldly” might look down at Ivar‘s simple life with lack of luxuries! And an island all to myself sounds like paradise! 2w
squirrelbrain @CBee - definitely a jerk! 🤣 2w
RaeLovesToRead No. And you have to have incredible survival skills to manage on an island by yourself for so many years. I suspect Strachan has to look down on Ivar, otherwise it wouldn't be as easy to eject him from the land and replace him with sheep. 2w
RaeLovesToRead @Meshell1313 It's funny you say it sounds like paradise... when I was reading I was thinking how much I l'd hate it... the food, the cold, the lack of amenities... I wouldn't survive a day 🤣 2w
willaful @RaeLovesToRead @Meshell1313 Yes, I'll take the deserted island with the warm sun and the hidden servants who provide everything you want. 😂 2w
dabbe @Deblovestoread That's how I saw it, too--as a class issue where Strachan clearly sees himself in a more flattering light and thinks anyone who'd stay alone on an island must be an idiot. Or maybe I'm giving the jerk Strachan too much credit for being able to think at all. 😀 2w
BookWrym No he doesn‘t come across that way to me he is living and supporting himself with limited resources and he understands the need to care for John. I would say simple in that he lives a simplistic life not that there is any impairment. 2w
kspenmoll No, agree with you all. He could not survive the way he has if he was an “ idiot” That is a sign of the times to see someone uneducated or living the land as “ less than”- felt he saw his as a beast,non human. 2w
Karisa Reading through everyone‘s ideas, it‘s making me realize that Ivar and John are both “true believers” in a way. When someone like Strachen doesn‘t share the same blind devotion, it can feel like the other is being idiotic. Ivar‘s devotion is to the place and way of life found there. It feels like he‘s the one actually converting John to his belief in a deep appreciation of this place 2w
Maggie4483 There was never any point when reading the chapters from Ivan‘s POV where I got the impression that he had any kind of intellectual impairment. But, speaking from personal experience, people tend to underestimate the intelligence of quiet people in general. Add in a language barrier and unconventional way of life, and I can see why someone (especially an elitist like Strachan) would jump to that conclusion. 2w
BkClubCare @squirrelbrain @Jas16 - Stracken is a jerk! Worse words come to mind, actually. But let‘s look at this from both John‘s impressions/ initial expectations AND what the author wants us as readers to bring to the unfolding! Very clever way to start introducing us to what is really going on here. I, too, thought John would be encountering a simpleton. Shame on me. 2w
Chelsea.Poole The language barrier undoubtedly played a role in Strachan‘s opinion of Ivar. I‘m he had a little curiosity, unlike John, in learning/translating his language. It‘s much easier (and more asshole-ish) to count someone out as ignorant than to work to get to know them. I‘m sure he has little interest in anyone or anything if it‘s not something lining his pockets. (edited) 2w
Hooked_on_books @Jas16 Exactly! You nailed it! Strachan is a jackass. His attitude reminds me of how (too) many people think of migrants in our current era. Plus, you can only truly diminish someone into a pawn or worse if you first “other” them. And @Karisa I like your true believers thought. This hasn‘t struck me and it‘s an interesting viewpoint. Though it could be argued that Strachan is a true believer in money. 2w
Megabooks @Chelsea.Poole yes! 💯💯 2w
LeeRHarry It‘s that age old I don‘t understand your language, history or the way you live your life, it‘s different so it must be inferior to mine - if Strachan was able to look at himself in the mirror he‘d find that he was the idiot not Ivar. (edited) 2w
Karisa @Hooked_on_books That‘s so true! Each of the men believe in something different and that‘s their main focus. What about Mary? She seems to be different/more modern and is important to two of them 2w
Soubhiville @Jas16 I think you said it perfectly as well. 2w
squirrelbrain @LeeRHarry - definitely! 2w
squirrelbrain I love that @Karisa , about them both being true believers - beautiful! 2w
AmyG Strachan didn‘t understand Ivar as a person…they were completely different. Hence his arrogance and judgemental attitude…he calls him an idiot. Basically Strachan is an assh***. 2w
Ruthiella Just finished the first half today and am now reading the discussions. Great questions and such thoughtful responses. 😃 2w
youneverarrived Just echoing what others have said - Strachan is the type of person who is narrow minded and equates worth with ambition, wealth etc and because Ivar lives by different values it‘s too easy for Strachan to dismiss him by saying that about him. 2w
Caryl Another great question, with lots of great answers here! Strachan is definitely trying to set up John Ferguson's expectations. I'm not sure Strachan really believes what he tells John about Ivar; I think he's the kind of guy who'd be comfortable lying to get what he wants. @BkClubCare -- I love what you said about the author's awareness of what to reveal to readers and when. She's piecing the story together for us beautifully! 2w
Roary47 You all took the words right out of my mouth. He‘s has a different lifestyle and motivations. That does not mean he‘s unintelligent. 2w
BarbaraBB @Caryl I hadn‘t thought of that but you‘re right; Strachan could well have been lying 2w
julieclair Well put, @BookWrym ! 2w
GatheringBooks Loved reading all these, even if I am exceedingly late to camp. One evidence of Ivar‘s “intelligence” is his capacity to use language to describe the subtlest nature of everyday life, as he taught John the nuances of his language. Such exquisite attention to detail, it‘s borderline poetic! 2w
BarbaraBB @GatheringBooks That is so true!! 💯 2w
Bookbuyingaddict @youneverarrived 👏🏻totally agree . 1w
monalyisha Just saying hi! I‘m here and reading through. I hadn‘t realized how long it‘s been (over a decade) since I‘ve been asked to have a discussion about a book *before* finishing it! I‘ve been in a book club since 2012 but haven‘t been in school in a long while. It feels so immediately uncomfortable to comment on something/anything without having all of the information that‘s provided by the full narrative at my disposal. Having a very meta moment! 😅 1w
BarbaraBB @monalyisha Tomorrow we‘ll be discussing all of the book 😀 1w
49 likes60 comments
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BarbaraBB
Clear: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Question 2 of 3

Not sure if you have arrived at Camp yet @Soubhiville but have a wonderful birthday! We‘ll celebrate around the camp fire tonight 🧡

See All 64 Comments
Megabooks Happy birthday @Soubhiville !! Enjoy your day!! 🎉🎉 2w
DGRachel Happy Birthday @Soubhiville 🥳 2w
sarahbarnes Happy Birthday @Soubhiville! I‘ve been thinking about this too. I wonder if it also has something to do with his loneliness. Maybe he expects John to leave like everyone else and he wants to be able to keep the picture so he has someone with him. 2w
Graciouswarriorprincess Happy birthday @Soubhiville ! 🎉🎂🎈 2w
Kitta I would guess because he wanted to keep it for himself subconsciously. Or because He doesn‘t want to think about John having a wife. (edited) 2w
Megabooks Maybe he wants John to live in the present moment with him on the island. Since he was so lonely, maybe he wanted all the attention on himself. 2w
Leniverse At first he hid the picture because he didn't want to lose his fantasy of her by giving her back to John. But John is there in the flesh, which makes him better company. Ivar is so starved for companionship that the picture, the idea of Mary as someone John has a connection to, becomes a threat. John is all the human company he has, and he wants to be all that John has. 2w
DGRachel This was odd to me. Doesn‘t he say that he hides her because he doesn‘t want to share her with John, like Mary belongs to him now, and as he gets to know John, he feels like he would lose John‘s attention if he gives the picture back? 2w
sarahbarnes I think you‘re right @Kitta @Megabooks @Leniverse that he doesn‘t want John to think of her or focus on the picture instead of Ivar. That he wants all of John‘s attention, and perhaps irrationally thinks he can keep him there that way. 2w
BarbaraBB @sarahbarnes @Kitta @Megabooks @Leniverse I didn‘t think of that at that moment. My simple me thought he never met a woman himself except family and he just wanted one for himself - even though she was just a fantasy. 2w
JamieArc I also think it‘s about forming a connection that he doesn‘t want to lose and wants to keep to himself. Super interested in seeing where the story goes… 2w
Nessavamusic Unconscious jealousy perhaps? He has this friend/maybe more and he doesn‘t want to lose him to his life off the island 2w
TrishB I think he doesn‘t want share- but also maybe that he wants a singular relationship at that point with John and the picture is a distraction 🤷‍♀️ 2w
Kitta @BarbaraBB while that‘s true, he hasn‘t met many, if any, other women - why hide the cenotaph? He could‘ve deduced that it belonged to John, given how it was found, and I think that the fact that he stopped thinking about it after talking to John suggests at first he didn‘t want to lose it, then he didn‘t want John to find it and remember his old life. Just my thoughts though. 😆 2w
BarbaraBB @Kitta I think you‘re right. After he met John he became the companion he looked for in Mary and then he didn‘t want to share John with Mary. How human 😀 @TrishB (edited) 2w
squirrelbrain Happy Birthday @soubhiville! I thought at first that Ivar was attracted to Mary, and didn‘t even realise that she was important to John. But then, it did seem that he was trying to keep her away from John. 2w
Oryx I think he initially didn't want to share, but then maybe as the relationship with John grew, he didn't want to remind him of another life. Talking about the picture might break the spell. 2w
BarbaraBB @Oryx Break the spell. I think that‘s exactly it! 2w
peaKnit @Oryx I agree. At first I thought he wanted to keep Mary to himself but then I realized he didn‘t want John to long to go away and hiding that picture seemed simple for Ivar, out of sight out of mind. 2w
Karisa It‘s so human to want to keep something that reminds us of others and entertain. Photos must have been such a novelty then and without access to media, I can‘t imagine the solitude! The photo thing made me a little sad for them both and for Mary too. Why wouldn‘t John bring her? She seemed ready for an adventure. 2w
CBee Don‘t have much to add 😊 Agree with everyone! 2w
mcctrish I‘m with @CBee and @DGRachel I thought initially the combination of the interesting style of photo and Mary is an attractive woman that Ivar wanted it for himself #prettythings like the teapot, there are no luxuries on the island but also by not showing John ( it wasn‘t really hidden) it doesn‘t fuel John‘s desire to leave 2w
JenReadsAlot I agree with the comments already made! 2w
Deblovestoread The novelty of the photo was really interesting. It is easy to assume Ivar had never seen one before and it captivated him immediately. The only thing more captivating was a live person, photo might spoil that so needed to be hidden away. 2w
Meshell1313 I loved this- jealousy and collecting beautiful things maybe? I saw it as if John is reminded of her he‘ll always be trying to leave and get back to her. Ivar wants John to forget her and stay with him. 2w
BarbaraBB @mcctrish I love your comparison to the teapot. He wanted to cherish beautiful things and the teapot even made it to the cover of the US edition - it must mean something 🫖 2w
Megabooks @Oryx great point about not wanting John to remember another life. 2w
Megabooks @mcctrish I know! That broke my heart how he had to hide any nice thing on the island. He seems to have lost so much. I don‘t think he could bear to lose more. 2w
RaeLovesToRead I don't think he fully knew why he did it and I think his reasons changed as their relationship developed. 2w
squirrelbrain @karisa - it made me sad too. I think probably John couldn‘t bring Mary as ‘society‘ would have frowned on it. (Or maybe John himself was too traditional to consider it as Mary seemed to push through societal norms when she decided to go by herself) 2w
TheKidUpstairs @RaeLovesToRead I totally agree. I think it was a mystery to him. Kind of like the other quote we're discussing, how he didn't know the depth of his solitude until John came, I think he's only starting to explore the reasons for taking and hiding the picture. I think the two are connected. The picture and John are the first two connections he's felt with people since his family passed/left, so a part of himself that he hasn't explored is awakening 2w
dabbe Could it be too that it was simpler to hide the picture than to try to explain to John (where language is still a barrier) why he kept it in the first place? Maybe he fears John will not understand or be angry with him and that he would then take the picture and leave and Ivar would be left with neither the picture or John in complete solitude again--only now it truly would be a lonely one. 2w
kspenmoll @mcctrish Agree with you on both counts- so few pretty things in his life & he certainly would not want John to leave- he realizes the woman means something special to John, someone to go back to. 2w
Maggie4483 Maybe Ivar realizes that he‘s the “third wheel,” that John and Mary have a much stronger bond than he will ever have with either of them, so he is trying to keep them separate. 2w
BkClubCare Excellent points, I agree. Especially the subconscious jealousy and once hidden, how to explain WHY when language communication is difficult AND I think there is guilt, uncomfortable feelings, and not wanting to confront even within Ivar‘s own self. 2w
Hooked_on_books I‘m with @mcctrish —well put! I didn‘t get any sense of jealousy or of him trying to keel John and Mary apart. He knows nothing of their relationship other than that she‘s probably special to him (she could be his sister or mother, after all), but for Ivar the photo is a luxury in and of itself. 2w
Chelsea.Poole Everyone has such great points here! My heart grew like 5 sizes for Ivar when he found that photo of Mary. Can you imagine how that would feel—to see a human face after so many years without seeing another soul?? Even if it‘s not a living, breathing person, just the reminder that others are out there is something to cherish. I think I would hold on to that photo too, in Ivar‘s position. 2w
Megabooks @Chelsea.Poole that is true that he hadn‘t seen another soul in any way in years. I think that‘s hard to understand in current times. Just in this room, I have all your photos on this thread and Top Chef on the TV. We are saturated in images now!! 2w
dabbe @mcctrish 💙💚💙 2w
LeeRHarry Great comments! 😊 I don‘t think I have anything to add. Just that I think that why Ivar hid the photo changed as time went on; from keeping Mary to himself, wanting to keep John to himself and then possible guilt that he had it and had hidden it in the first place. 2w
CarolynM I think @Leniverse has hit the nail on the head. 2w
Soubhiville Thanks for the birthday wishes @BarbaraBB ! I spent the day hiking so I‘m just arriving now😁. 2w
Soubhiville Everyone has said exactly what I thought- at first he felt the picture was the best thing he had, then he begins to feel John is the best thing in his life. 2w
AmyG I saw him hiding her picture perhaps out of shame. Shame that he had it, not wanting to explain why he had it and didn‘t return it, perhaps shame that he had feelings for a man. 2w
GatheringBooks Happiest of birthdays, @Soubhiville - sorry for being a day late to camp!!! 2w
GatheringBooks Love reading all the thoughts here - i agree most with @BarbaraBB with the fantasy bit. I think it was just human nature to want to keep something that brings you life and beauty - light to his drab and lonely existence. 2w
youneverarrived I thought the same as @dabbe 2w
Caryl So many great thoughts here! I agree that it's a bit of a mystery, even to Ivar himself. Like @dabbe shared, I think Ivar felt uncomfortable about giving John the photo now, after John's gone through his own things and not found it there. I love how much this photo adds to the story, not only giving us an understanding of the time period and insight into character relationships, but also nudging the narrative to John and Mary's backstory. 2w
dabbe @youneverarrived 🤩😀🤗 2w
dabbe @Caryl Love how you worded this, especially this part: “nudging the narrative“. 💚💙💚 2w
Caryl Thank you, @dabbe 😊 2w
Roary47 I was thinking along the same lines as @Megabooks where he wants John and himself to live if the present moment. The picture could remind John that he should eventually head back and like @Leniverse said it‘s better to have someone physically there than a picture. Everyone has such great thoughts. I‘m excited to continue reading with you all through camp. 🥰 2w
julieclair Excellent thoughts! 2w
Bookbuyingaddict @Chelsea.Poole totally agree ☺️and beautifully said . He almost became mesmerised by the photo - I wondered if Mary was the only other woman he‘d ever seen not his grandmother , mother or sister . All excellent comments 🙂 @BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain 1w
squirrelbrain Good point @Bookbuyingaddict that he‘d maybe never seen another woman other than family. 1w
BarbaraBB @Bookbuyingaddict COVID… Will it ever stop? Glad you‘re feeling better and stepped by ❤️ 1w
51 likes64 comments
blurb
BarbaraBB
Clear: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Question 1 of 3

Here we go! We‘d love to hear your thoughts on Clear. Please be respectful to each other and no spoilers please about the second half: we‘ll get there next week! Have fun camping and chatting ☀️ 🏕️ 📚

See All 88 Comments
Megabooks I find this particularly interesting because he did have family there before. I think it‘s a testament to how new ideas/new sensations can energize a person. I don‘t think he felt intellectually or maybe emotionally stimulated until John arrived. 2w
Leniverse I thought that was a really telling comment. He had been alone for so long he had forgotten what it was like to have company. The hunters and travellers that had briefly visited had felt like an invasive disruption, but having someone stranded there reminded him of having family. 2w
DGRachel I think it‘s like coming out of Covid lockdown. I now WFH full time and rarely leave the house. I thought I was fine with this new normal, as I can order nearly anything online. I started going out on the weekends a month ago and it was both weird and wonderful. I hadn‘t really thought of myself as lonely, but interacting with strangers made me realize how untrue that was. 2w
Graciouswarriorprincess I think it‘s because you don‘t realize how lonely you are when you are alone but then someone comes into your life. And that‘s when you realize the loneliness. 2w
BarbaraBB @DGRachel That is a great comparison I think - and so true. And I am happy for you making this discovery too 2w
BarbaraBB @Megabooks @Leniverse @Graciouswarriorprincess I agree with all of you. He just forgot about how life could be with others. Meeting John stimulates him indeed and gave him a new perspective on his own life I think 2w
JamieArc This conversation is interesting because it seems like solitude is being equated with loneliness, and I don‘t see them as the same… are we saying he didn‘t realize his loneliness until JF arrived? 2w
Kitta I was thinking about how you can feel more aware of your loneliness around other people, like it shows you what you‘ve been missing. I think Ivar has been existing without really living. 2w
Nessavamusic I think I agree with @JamieArc, Ivar was just surviving day to day until John visits. He is actually noticed for the first time in a long time, if maybe ever, which gives him a new viewpoint of the necessity of human interaction. 2w
BarbaraBB @JamieArc to me as a no native English speaker I can‘t really explain the difference between the words. They feel the same to me but in other words I think that being alone is not the same as being lonely if that makes sense. And I don‘t think Ivar is lonely when he‘s alone, just when he‘s no longer. (edited) 2w
BarbaraBB @Nessavamusic That‘s what I tried to say in the comment above 😀 but couldn‘t as well as you just did. Thanks 🙏 2w
TrishB I think the lockdown comparison by @DGRachel is a good one- we didn‘t know what we missed until then. Ivar didn‘t realise he was missing a relationship (of any sort!). 2w
Kitta @BarbaraBB I would say solitude is being alone but loneliness is feeling alone. You can feel lonely even surrounded by people for instance, or content in solitude. But you could also feel lonely while in solitude. The Oxford dictionary uses lonely in the definition of solitude “a lonely or uninhabited place” but I don‘t think that‘s right. (edited) 2w
BarbaraBB @Kitta Thank you! I will remember that from now on! 2w
squirrelbrain I agree @JamieArc - solitude and loneliness are not the same, but I don‘t think Ivar realised he was lonely until John arrived. Great explanation @kitta! 2w
peaKnit The completeness of falling into a routine with a friend or partner where words don‘t need to be said. It‘s as though Ivan did not know how deeply lonely he was until til he settled in with complimentary company. 2w
peaKnit @JamieArc without looking up a definition I think of solitude as contentment and he seemed to feel complete when John was with him. (edited) 2w
Karisa I had the feeling that Ivar was just working so hard that he didn‘t often take the time to stop and think about it all. It‘s like Sisyphus and the rock. I can‘t imagine staying when everyone leaves. Ivar‘s connection to the place is so strong. I see what you mean though, things are different for us too when we begin to see through another‘s eyes. 2w
Leniverse Good point about solitude Vs loneliness. I was thinking that it's ironic that John's presence has such an impact, because they cannot communicate and John is completely passive to begin with. Ivar talks more to his horse! Maybe it's more that John's quiet presence and dependence on Ivar creates the space for Ivar to contemplate these things. 2w
CBee Agree with all of these comments! I think Ivar is happy to be seen again, despite John not being stuck there by choice. His reaction to the picture of Mary also struck me - he‘d gotten so used to the daily monotony of life and didn‘t realize how lonely he was until he found the picture and then John. 2w
mcctrish I was thinking during this part about that saying “better the devil you know” for Ivar, he knew the island and how it worked so he stayed, you can‘t miss what you don‘t know. I agree with @Megabooks why John‘s arrival could change that - John‘s methodical attempt to understand him opened his eyes to friendship/connection on a level different from his family/shipwrecks/landlord 2w
Deblovestoread I don‘t think Ivar was lonely before John‘s arrival. I think parts of him were dormant. Those parts were awaken with the finding of Mary‘s photo and then the strange man. (edited) 2w
JamieArc @BarbaraBB Yes, I agree with you completely. 2w
JamieArc @Karisa Yes, I think so too - that he was so busy living day to day life that he didn‘t think about it. 2w
TheBookHippie Still waiting 😵‍💫🤪for my library hold. 2w
Meshell1313 I love everyone‘s comparisons to the Covid lockdown. It‘s amazing how much we are able to adapt to anything. This has just become Ivar‘s normal life- living in solitude and he probably could have kept on living like that forever and would have been fine. John‘s arrival reminded him of what it‘s like to be around a friend and not just someone who comes to collect money from him. 2w
BarbaraBB @Karisa That is so true. He stayed when the other left. His connection to the island is so strong he didn‘t even think about being or feeling alone at all because he was where he wanted to be. James‘s arrival disturbed his equilibrium. 2w
Roary47 @Leniverse @DGRachel @Graciouswarriorprincess @Kitta @Nessavamusic @CBee I had a similar thought to all of you. I feel like he was in survival mode. The loss of his family did not alter the fact that there was work and life that needed to continue. Actually seeing John and just enjoying someone else‘s company was a thought that didn‘t cross his mind so he himself could keep going I really like all the reflect on loneliness vs solitude it wasn‘t⬇️ 2w
Roary47 Something that even crossed my mind, but makes a lot of sense in Ivar‘s situation. Thank you for your thoughts! 🥰💛 2w
Kitta @peaKnit I agree that solitude has a feeling of contentment with it (at least that how I think of it and use the word!), although technically there can be a lonely solitude, that‘s not what I generally think of! (edited) 2w
Megabooks @Deblovestoread very good point. He hadn‘t flexed his companionship “muscles” in a long time, and he enjoyed it in a way I don‘t think he thought was possible. 2w
Kitta @TheBookHippie you‘re still waiting for it? Oh no! I hope it comes soon! 2w
willaful @DGRachel I'm also reminded of lockdown and how special it felt to see a friendly face, even if it was just waving at your neighbor across the street. 2w
dabbe I see more of a positive connotation with the word “solitude“, almost like the joy of being alone. “Loneliness“ connotes to me the negative pain of being alone. I believe Ivar was content in his solitude, not even being aware of it until John reminded him that he was lonely for human contact. 2w
CBee @dabbe agree 💯 2w
TheBookHippie @Kitta yup 😵‍💫😵‍💫😵‍💫 2w
BookWrym I am with @dabbe Ivar didn‘t consider himself to be missing anything until John arrived. I think the role of carer also contributed to this as he was needed by someone else. 2w
kspenmoll @dabbe I agree with your assessment. Ivar seemed content with his life due to his love of place. I wonder if it would be a huge shift when/if his horse & cow died, as they were his companions. 2w
Maggie4483 I agree with the comparisons to Covid lockdowns. I am extremely introverted, but Spring of 2020 was probably one of the hardest times in my life. And I found that the hardest times were the hours immediately after a virtual meeting (whether it was our weekly work check-ins, or a family Zoom hang). When I was hanging out alone all day, I could distract myself, but the “together-but-separate” made my isolation more intense. 2w
kspenmoll I do think John‘s slow entry into consciousness , his gradual awakening, physical dependence on Ivar allowed for ivar‘s attachment to grow. His letting go of James wife‘s picture was a defining moment. (edited) 2w
Maggie4483 I also agree with @JamieArc et. al. about “Solitude vs. Loneliness). You can be alone and not lonely, and you can feel lonely in a room full of people. I do believe that people need people. But they have to be the RIGHT people. Something about John is right for Ivar. 2w
kspenmoll @TheBookHippie Do u know where u are on list? So difficult with new books. 2w
TheBookHippie @kspenmoll was at 36 now at 3! 😆😅😂 2w
BkClubCare Agree with everyone‘ comparison of alone vs. lonely, and emerging from “Covid confinement”. Was also going to mention the feeling of being needed when I saw @BookWrym ‘s comment 😊 Plus, things that are new, do tend to awaken new feelings and unexpected reactions. 2w
BarbaraBB @Maggie4483 Thanks for sharing. Covid has had such an impact on all of us. Your example of feeling isolated seems so me a bit similar as I suppose Ivar felt. 2w
Chelsea.Poole Great question and quote to start off the discussion! I really had a soft spot for Ivar. I couldn‘t decide, initially, if he was content in his solitude or if he put much thought into being alone at all. I felt that he just accepted his lot in life. I did wonder how he came to be alone and the explanation in the next half of the book made sense to me. John certainly had quite an influence on his quiet life. 2w
Chelsea.Poole @kspenmoll yes! Re: cow & horse. I appreciated how tender he was with those animals. Definitely his companions. (edited) 2w
Hooked_on_books Even before he was alone, Ivar was part of a teeny community. So when John arrives and is truly trying to make a connection with him, as well as requiring his care, I‘m not sure Ivar has ever had a relationship like that. I think it opened his eyes to possibilities he may not have known even existed. 2w
JenReadsAlot @dabbe I love how you said that. 2w
willaful @Maggie4483 That reminds me of my daughter. I thought she would have an easier time, as an introvert, but she desperately missed the small amounts of daily contact she had with others via school, riding the bus etc. 2w
dabbe @CBee 💙💚💙 2w
dabbe @BookWrym 💙💚💙 2w
dabbe @BarbaraBB 💙💚💙 2w
dabbe @JenReadsAlot 💙💚💙 2w
dabbe @kspenmoll Excellent point. I often wonder if we as humans must have HUMAN contact or if contact with a sentient being is more than enough. 💙💚💙 2w
Soubhiville @dabbe you worded that perfectly for me as well. 🙂 2w
dabbe @Soubhiville 💙💚💙 2w
LeeRHarry Being in his own solitude Ivar had his own routine and order to how he lived his life so when John arrived that completely changed. Ivar had to adapt to this and I guess realised that he‘d missed having that human contact. 2w
CBee @Chelsea.Poole possibly the main reason I like him so much 😊 2w
BarbaraBB @Hooked_on_books So true! I think you‘re right about it being all new to him. This may have made him realize how lonely life had been until now with only the (very important indeed @kspenmoll !) animals as his companions. He must have feared losing them so much. (edited) 2w
squirrelbrain @dabbe - that‘s a great explanation of loneliness and solitude. 2w
AmyG I think Ivar was alone for so long it became comfortable, what he knew. He had animals for company. He didn‘t realize what he had, or didn‘t, until John showed up. Well said @dabbe about solitude and lonliness. 2w
youneverarrived I‘m going to go through the comments but my initial thoughts on the question are that Ivar was just accustomed to living in solitude so he wasn‘t really aware of wanting or needing connection with other people. It was just his way of life. Not until John turned up and he had human connection did he realise the solitariness of his life. 2w
GatheringBooks I am late to the party but happy to see everyone‘s musings on solitude, loneliness, parallels to the pandemic. I am reminded of the picturebook Pete and Pickles by Berkeley Breathed - inspired by the author/illustrator‘s daughter‘s doodles about a pig who is sad - only he doesn‘t know it. 2w
dabbe @squirrelbrain 💚💙💚 2w
dabbe @AmyG 💚💙💚 2w
youneverarrived @DGRachel that‘s a great comparison. That‘s how I see it too. Also agree with @deblovestoread about parts of Ivar being dormant - so he was content in his solitary life, I think, because he didn‘t have company to make him think otherwise, it was just his way of life. 2w
Caryl Wonderful thoughts on solitude & loneliness, all. Davies‘s use of language is brilliant; as I read these comments I remembered her description of Ivar being walloped with feeling when John Ferguson first looks as him, like “what happens when a rock is covered by the sea—when, briefly, the water rises up and submerges it completely before it falls away again and reveals it” (p. 68). That whole passage is beautiful. 2w
Caryl I also recalled this story I heard on the radio about a book recently published on the science of solitude: https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2024/06/03/power-science-solitude-alone-creativity-... 2w
BarbaraBB @Caryl that is a wonderful quote! And so on-point indeed! 2w
squirrelbrain Lovely quote @Caryl - and thanks for the link! 🙏 2w
dabbe Fascinating link, @Caryl. Whether we're introverts/extroverts/combination of both, we can all benefit from solitude. 💚💙💚 2w
kspenmoll @Caryl Thanks- great article. Friday night since HS has always been my solitude night, to recharge myself. Otherwise the next week would go downhill… 2w
julieclair @kspenmoll I wondered about the horse and cow, too, especially when I read that he had been given the horse in his teens, and now he‘s 40-ish. I worried what would happen when the horse died. I think he would feel true loneliness then. 2w
kspenmoll @julieclair Yes, his animals are his family- just like so many of us! 2w
Bookbuyingaddict Question 🙋‍♀️ 1- sorry for delay Iv had covid again !! @BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain @Megabooks - when he was alone he was content 😌 in his own world with his animals ( in also did worry about them ) and it wasn‘t until he had a human companion he realised just how lonely / alone he had been . 1w
Megabooks @Bookbuyingaddict sorry you‘re dealing with Covid! Great point! 1w
squirrelbrain Oh no @Bookbuyingaddict - hope you‘re feeling better now! 1w
54 likes88 comments
review
BarbaraBB
Silent Scream | Angela Marsons
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Pickpick

Another detective Kim Stone book. Not sure yet about these series but I will try another one.
A lot is happening around a former orphanage, lots of dead bodies, old and new. I liked the plot, I think Kim and her team have to grow a bit more on me. So far they seem a bit too cliché. A light pick.

youneverarrived I liked this but I‘m reading the second at the minute and it‘s better than the first 👍 2w
BarbaraBB @youneverarrived That is good to know. I love the idea of having to read the whole series! 2w
squirrelbrain The team really grow on you as the series goes on - keep at it! 2w
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain I believe you!! 2w
62 likes4 comments
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BarbaraBB
Let's Go Camping! | Jan Mader
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Are you ready for #CampLitsy24? Get your bags, don‘t forget your sunglasses and we‘ll meet at Camp later today to discuss the first half of Clear. I‘ll post three questions, we are looking forward to all of your thoughts on them.
If you‘ve finished the whole book, no spoilers please, next week there‘ll be another three questions.

The 3rd and 4th Saturday in June we‘ll be discussing Butter after which Meg will take over for July ☀️ 📚 ⛺️

See All 35 Comments
Hooked_on_books Putting my sunscreen on now! 2w
BarbaraBB @Hooked_on_books That‘s the spirit 😎 2w
Ruthiella Due to the vagaries of library holds, I will quickly have to read Clear this Sunday. 😅 Luckily, it‘s short! 2w
Megabooks So excited to read what the campers think!! 😁🏕️ 2w
BarbaraBB @Ruthiella It is indeed! We‘ll be waiting for you! 2w
Graciouswarriorprincess I‘m so excited! 😆 2w
Kitta So ready!! 2w
TrishB 👍🏻 see you there. 2w
AmyG All set! 2w
Bookwormjillk A camping we will go! 2w
Suet624 I‘m serving as a death doula and helping my friend who is in the final stage of his dying process so I‘ll check in later. 💕 2w
squirrelbrain Very much looking forward to this! 2w
squirrelbrain @Suet624 - I‘m sure you‘ll be a great support to your friend and we‘ll see you when you‘re able to join us. 2w
Roary47 Yay! I managed to get halfway through E‘s playtime. If he could talk baby E could probably join in. 🤣 2w
TheKidUpstairs So ready! I whipped through the first half in less than a day. Can't wait to discuss with you all. 2w
TheKidUpstairs @Suet624 sending love to you and your friend ❤️ ♥️ 💕 2w
Meshell1313 Ready! Can‘t wait! ⛺️ 2w
Suzze I sorry to say that life has thrown a lot in my way and I will have to not participate in camp after all. I did buy Clear and hope to read it some time. Sorry, 2w
BarbaraBB @Suet624 Oh no my poor friend. Wishing you strength and a goodbye as good as possible. I will think of you 🩷 2w
BarbaraBB @Suzze No need to apologize. Wish you the best dealing with life and hope you will soon have the headspace to read again ❤️ 2w
peaKnit @suet624 I‘ll be thinking about you, also what an amazing way to support your friend. Take care. 2w
squirrelbrain @Suzze - hope you are OK and sending love. 2w
CBee @Suet624 oh Sue - what a beautiful thing to do for your friend ♥️ May his passage be peaceful and full of love ♥️ 2w
Suet624 @squirrelbrain @Thekidupstairs @BarbaraBB @peaknit @CBee Thank you for your kind words last weekend. My friend died late Tuesday evening after 5 days of lingering so close to death. I was there night and day and there is so much I will remember from being with him and his family, assisting in supporting each and every one of them. It was a holy experience that I was humbled to be there for. I am still processing it all. Again, thank you. 1w
squirrelbrain @Suet624 that sounds beautiful and rewarding, as well as tough. I‘m sure they all appreciated you being there. 1w
BarbaraBB @Suet624 That must have been such a consolation for them and hopefully for you too. Wishing you strength with your loss 🤍 1w
CBee @Suet624 ♥️♥️♥️ 1w
78 likes35 comments
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BarbaraBB
Pantone: Colors | Pantone
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#Pantone2024

Four more Pantone matches. Almost there!

Crazeedi Silent scream is the next book up for me 2w
BarbaraBB @Crazeedi I am almost finished with it. It‘s entertaining 2w
Crazeedi @BarbaraBB good to know 2w
Crazeedi @BarbaraBB and where do I find the pantone prompts? 2w
53 likes4 comments
review
BarbaraBB
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Pickpick

Thrillers are my go to genre when I am in need of a palet cleanser of just in the mood for something quick and engaging. They are hardly ever satisfying however. This one got me hooked from the start. So many twists that I didn't expect. I probably wont' remember much in a week time but for now it did the job.

MicheleinPhilly Barbara, you don‘t look a day over 75. 😉😘 3w
erzascarletbookgasm What? Who‘s turning 80? 3w
Ruthiella 80 is the number of books Barbara read last week. 🤣 3w
See All 13 Comments
Caroline2 Yeah I like a good junk food thriller between courses too 😂 2w
Mpcacher I think this is my favorite book by this author. I still remember some of the twists.
2w
TheLudicReader I really liked this one. 2w
BarbaraBB @MicheleinPhilly @erzascarletbookgasm @Ruthiella 🤣🤣🤣🤣 My mother‘s birthday 🤣🤣 2w
BarbaraBB @Mpcacher @TheLudicReader Have you read any other? I‘ve been tempted to read (edited) 2w
TheLudicReader I have also read . Not as good, but entertaining. 2w
BarbaraBB @TheLudicReader Thanks. So good to know! 2w
Centique @MicheleinPhilly ha 😂 that made me laugh out loud! @BarbaraBB hope your mother had a great birthday. 2w
CarolynM @MicheleinPhilly @Ruthiella 🤣🤣 Happy birthday to your mother, Barbara. The book sounds good too🙂 2w
77 likes13 comments
blurb
BarbaraBB
Een leeg huis: roman | Marga Minco
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#weeklyforecast 24/24

This will be the week of Butter for #CampLitsy24 and the tagged Dutch one but first I need to finish The Kind Worth Killing which is a fast paced palette cleanser!

Megabooks Oh no! I have to get to butter this week, too, then! It may be towards the end of the week that I finish it. I hope that‘s okay. It‘s a crazy week for me! 3w
BarbaraBB @Megabooks Of course, we still have lots of time. You can wait another week if you like, no problem at all 💛 3w
Megabooks I‘ll definitely start it this week. Hope to finish it, too, but we‘ll just have to 🤞🏻. 💜 3w
squirrelbrain I‘ve just started Butter, but don‘t know how much I‘ll get read, as work is as crazy as ever! 3w
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain Of course! Take your time 🩷 3w
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BarbaraBB
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#MayStats

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Bitter Herbs

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨
Is Mother Dead
People who Knew me

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Wall
Parkeren in Hilversum (Dutch)
Clear
The Spinoza Problem

⭐️⭐️⭐️✨
The Good Samaritan
Six Stories
Dark Across the Bay
The Amusements
First Blood

⭐️⭐️⭐️
Restless Dolly Maunder
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
The Infatuations

⭐️⭐️✨
Claire of the Sea Light

DNF
8 Lives of a Century Old Trickster

Texreader That‘s a huge number of books! Wow!! 3w
Gissy Fantastic month😃🤩📚📚📚📚👏👏👏 3w
BarbaraBB @Gissy @Texreader Thank you! I had a real good month indeed! 3w
49 likes3 comments
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BarbaraBB
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#BookReport 23/24

My favorite this week was the tagged one. Kim Hooper is a great author (thanks for introducing me @Megabooks !) and I already found another one by her, about Japan!
I also made a start with the detective Kim Scott series, which is promising.
The Spinoza problem is a fascinating read about philosophy and anti semitism. Only the Danticat didn‘t meet my expectations, otherwise a great week.

TrishB A good week 👍🏻 3w
Megabooks So glad you love Hooper, too! 2w
64 likes1 stack add2 comments
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BarbaraBB
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Pickpick

Alfred Rosenberg, one of the Nazi elite during WWII, was fascinated by the philosopher Spinoza, even though Spinoza was a Jew and Rosenberg a thorough anti-semite. Yalom describes the philosophical ideas of Spinoza in the 17th century and reflects ons the effect they had on Rosenberg in the 20th century. Fiction, of course, but super fascinating. Yalom makes philosophy sexy like no other author can imo.

sarahbarnes Great review and pic! 🩵 3w
67 likes1 comment
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BarbaraBB
Claire of the Sea Light | Edwidge Danticat
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Mehso-so

This Edwidge Danticat, who I usually love, didn‘t work for me. The story is told in a way that you hardly get to know the characters and, as opposed to her other books, it could have been set in a lot of countries, it wasn‘t as Haitian as, for example, Everything Inside.

#52BookClub24 - Features the ocean.

61 likes3 comments
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BarbaraBB
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Pickpick

I read this fast. I was hooked pretty soon. And although who turned out to be the murderer was a little disappointing, I liked the style of the book and I want to get to know Kim Stone and her team a bit better. So on to the next… 20 installments if I am correct 😀🤣?!

MicheleinPhilly 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 Kim basically got me through Covid. The latest one is being published this week and I am very excited for it! 4w
80 likes1 comment
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BarbaraBB
The Searcher | Tana French
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Which of these series is the best?

Asking for a friend 😂

CBee I recently checked out the Armstrong from the library but didn‘t get a chance to read it - I‘ve heard the series is great! 4w
squirrelbrain I‘ve only read one. 🤪 4w
Ruthiella Maybe your “friend” should flip a coin? 😂 4w
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TrishB The Michael Wood series!! Of the others I‘ve only read French and I‘m not a fan but I‘m loving the Wood series so far, think I‘m up to 6. 4w
CatLass007 You are too cute! Borrow the first book in each series and make a more informed decision. If you like all of the series, then maybe it‘s time to roll the dice. If I find a series I like or an author I like, I tend to binge until I‘m ready for a break, then binge something else. I‘ve recently fallen in love with William Kent Krueger and all but one of his Cork O‘Conner series, plus a few standalone novels are free on Audible. 4w
BarbaraBB @CatLass007 ❤️❤️ 4w
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain I liked Kim a lot! 4w
BarbaraBB @Ruthiella I guess so 🤣 4w
Centique I like Tana French - but ive noticed that most people who like thrillers dont like this series. Its slower moving i think - more about the back stories of the police person involved than the murder. So maybe when youre in a slower mood? 4w
Centique But i havent read this new one yet! 4w
BarbaraBB @Centique I‘ve been very curious about her. Thanks for pointing out what to expect! I think I might like that. 4w
sarahbarnes I don‘t read a lot of this genre, but I did read The Searcher and really liked it. 3w
65 likes13 comments
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BarbaraBB
Claire of the Sea Light | Edwidge Danticat
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#WeeklyForecast 23/24

I couldn‘t resist and bought the first Kim Stone book (looking at you @TrishB @MicheleinPhilly @squirrelbrain and some others!) Or actually the prequel to the series. We‘ll see! On audio and print I am reading The Spinoza Problem, which is fascinating. I also plan to read another Danticat, whose books I always love.

squirrelbrain Ooh I hope you enjoy! We‘ll get you hooked yet…. 😜 4w
rockpools I‘ve only read Claire by Danticat - I do keep meaning to find more though. Which would you recommend? 4w
TrishB Hope you enjoy 🤞🏻 4w
66 likes4 comments
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BarbaraBB
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Pickpick

You were right Meg, this is a great read and Kim Hooper a new favorite author. Thank you for sending me this book Jo!

Just after 9/11 Emily leaves NYC and starts over again in California where she raises her baby. Thirteen years later the past catches up when Emily is diagnosed with breast cancer. A very sad and utterly human read of not very perfect people - which I loved!

squirrelbrain Sounds great! 4w
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain Your kind of book too! 4w
squirrelbrain Stacked it! 😃 4w
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Itchyfeetreader Oh gosh - I had t realised it was so sad but glad you enjoyed xx 4w
sarahbarnes Stacking! 4w
Cathythoughts Stacking 👍🏻 4w
Megabooks This is one of my favorites by her! Glad you liked it, too. 3w
78 likes4 stack adds7 comments
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BarbaraBB
The Amusements | Aingeala Flannery
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#BookReport 22/24

Great week with four completely different but all very good reads!

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BarbaraBB
Butter: Roman | Asako Yuzuki
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Our second #CampLitsy24 book is Butter. We‘ll discuss it after Clear, in the second half of June. Our reading schedule is as follows: we‘ll discuss chapter 1 to 8 on June 22 and chapter 9 to the end on June 29.

Looking forward to the book, I hope it is just as good as Clear, that we will discuss on June 8 and 14!

See All 31 Comments
Ruthiella I got lucky and have this from the library now. Perfect timing. 1mo
squirrelbrain That‘s perfect timing @ruthiella! I‘m just about to start this…. 1mo
monalyisha I‘ll be skipping this title but if it‘s easier to continue tagging me, that‘s fine. 😉 Hope you all enjoy! 1mo
BarbaraBB @Ruthiella That‘s perfect! Looking forward to your thoughts! 1mo
BarbaraBB @monalyisha I think it is… but i‘ll try to think of untagging you when adding the tags…! You‘ll join for Clear, right? 1mo
mcctrish I‘m hoping for my library hold to come in otherwise I will buy the e book 1mo
monalyisha That‘s my plan! For the second half of the discussion, anyway! 1mo
AmyG I‘m all set! 1mo
GatheringBooks Yayyy! Super grateful for the tag. I was wondering about the order in which the books need to be read. 💕🤗🥰😘 1mo
ChaoticMissAdventures I am 41st in line at my library so caved and ordered a copy, hopefully one of them gets to me in time! We have picked very popular books at my library! 1mo
BarbaraBB @GatheringBooks did you miss the posts we shared about the order? In July we‘ll read All Fours and James, in August Bear and The Alternatives! 1mo
BarbaraBB @AmyG Yay!🙌🏽 1mo
BarbaraBB @ChaoticMissAdventures I hope it‘ll work out! 1mo
BookWrym Eeek 10 week wait at the library for this one might be late to the discussion 🤣 1mo
jhod Bought at Hay today! 1mo
BarbaraBB @BookWrym But you do have the audio right? 1mo
BarbaraBB @jhod Yay 🤍 1mo
GatheringBooks Hello hello! Thank youuu for the tag and sharing this. Do we also have the order of books to be read for july and august? I have five book clubs so making sure i prioritize the reading of the titles. 💕💕💕 3w
BarbaraBB @GatheringBooks Hi Myra we do! We‘ll read James followed All Fours in July and The Alternatives followed by Bear in August. For the exact reading schedule I am tagging @Megabooks and @squirrelbrain 3w
GatheringBooks Perfect! Thank you so much! 💕💕💕 3w
squirrelbrain @GatheringBooks - we‘ll be discussing The Alternatives on Aug 7th and 14th, then Bear on Aug 21st and 28th. 3w
Kitta Ooo I‘m on chapter 8 now. Just came by to check where we were reading to for this weekend! 5d
BarbaraBB @Kitta You‘ll be all set by Saturday! 5d
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BarbaraBB
Clear: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Pickpick

I can‘t say too much about this first #CampLitsy24 book because we‘ll discuss it in June but let me tell you that I kind of loved it 🤍

It took some time to pick up pace (I know it‘s a quiet novel but still I felt like waiting for something to happen during the first half) but the second half more than made up for that!

Wonderful characters, wonderful setting. And that ending…

I hope you‘ll all be there on June 8 to discuss chapters 1 to 23!

sarahbarnes I‘m so glad to see you loved this! Can‘t wait to start it soon. 🩵 1mo
squirrelbrain I‘m so looking forward to our #camplitsy24 discussions! 1mo
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain I just emailed you and @Megabooks some possible questions for the CampLitsy discussion! (edited) 1mo
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squirrelbrain Ooh… dashes off to check email. 🏃 1mo
Bookwormjillk So excited for #CampLitsy and #HashtagBrigade starting again in June! It‘s going to be a great reading summer 📚🏝️ 1mo
Megabooks Great review B! We‘ll have a great discussion! 1mo
BookWrym Ok just downloaded the audio from the library👍 1mo
CarolynM Looking forward to reading this and discussing it at camp🙂 1mo
BarbaraBB @BookWrym Perfect! 1mo
BarbaraBB @CarolynM Yes me too. There‘s a lot to talk about considering that it is such a slim book! 1mo
79 likes2 stack adds10 comments
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BarbaraBB
The Amusements | Aingeala Flannery
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Pickpick

I so enjoyed this collection of interrelated stories, all connected to the Irish seaside town of Tramore.

The Amusements is an original book of the towns residents, both permanent and fleeting, and the ways in which their lives intersect over the course of the years. It is a book about roads taken and not taken – and a wonderful portrait of a small-town community.

Thanks for sending me this one Sarah, I can‘t wait to see what she writes next!

sarahbarnes A beautiful review! I‘m really glad you liked it. 🩵🩵 I agree that I‘m very excited to see what she writes next. 1mo
Suet624 Any book based in Ireland must be stacked! 1mo
BarbaraBB @Suet624 It‘s definitely a book for you! 1mo
77 likes6 stack adds3 comments
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BarbaraBB
Tuesdays Like That | Carina Taylor
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“There's a world outside,
And I know 'cause I've heard talk.
In my sweetest dream,
I would go out for a walk.
But I don't think I'm ready yet.
I'm not feeling up to it now.
Just not that steady yet.
And I don't need you telling me how.”

These lyrics read like a book and I love the album artwork. This Eels song is so sad and creepy. Love it!

https://open.spotify.com/track/33ui1NJRBO8ExaJncNGvXJ?si=1NyN1YF5S5-m7blSXI6Xvg

TieDyeDude Good stuff! Thanks for sharing. 1mo
Deblovestoread I like this. Look forward to exploring more of his music. 🎶 1mo
Jess Wow. Haven‘t listened to this in some time. Thanks for the reminder. 1mo
47 likes3 comments
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BarbaraBB
Dark Across the Bay | Ania Ahlborn
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Pickpick

Poppy has booked a desolate getaway for her husband Ezra, daughter Lark, and son Leo on a small island in Maine to salvage their relationships. They are surrounded by their own demons, as well as some new ones. Within the odd rental house, nothing is what it appears to be.
It is gory, it‘s a thriller, is it horror? It definitely is Ania Ahlborn. Not her best one but engaging nevertheless.

Megabooks I‘ve never read her! 1mo
youneverarrived Lovely photo 😍 the book sounds interesting! 1mo
BarbaraBB @Megabooks She‘s one I got to know by @vivastory ! 1mo
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vivastory @Megabooks She can really get under my skin! If you want to be creeped out, I recommend starting with either Seed or The Devil Crept In 1mo
vivastory I haven't read this one yet. I have a copy signed by Ahlborn & Josh Malerman (he did the intro in my edition). I recall it being compared to Cape Fear. 1mo
BarbaraBB @vivastory It definitely has Cape Fear vibes! 1mo
Cathythoughts Nice review. I‘ve never read this author. But I‘m going to try one 👍🏻❤️ I‘m not a fan of horror though. Maybe some of her books aren‘t too horrific 🤞🏻😁 (edited) 1mo
Reggie I‘ve been curious about this one. 1mo
BarbaraBB @Cathythoughts It‘s more thriller than horror imo. You might like it, it is totally out of my comfort zone and yet I love her books! 1mo
BarbaraBB @Reggie Not her best but engaging as hell! 1mo
Centique Your photos are always the best! 4w
BarbaraBB @Centique Thank you! I try my best 😊 4w
71 likes13 comments
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BarbaraBB
Dark Across the Bay | Ania Ahlborn
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#WeeklyForecast 22/24

Looking forward to all three of these. I already started The Amusements, which is engaging from the start. A new Ania Ahlborn is always a treat and it‘s time to start reading our first #CampLitsy24 book so @Megabooks @squirrelbrain and I can think of some questions for our discussion about it on June 8 and 15 (plenty of time, I know, we just can‘t wait 😀).

squirrelbrain I already finished Clear, but not posting my review of course! 🤪 1mo
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain Can‘t wait to hear it! 1mo
Megabooks I just posted that it‘s a pick for me, but no more. 🤫🤫 1mo
60 likes3 comments
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BarbaraBB
Parkeren in Hilversum: roman | Detlev van Heest, Detlev Helge Hans Heest
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Pickpick

This is the 3rd installment in a Dutch autobiographical series about a cynical man who feels like a failure in life. He is intelligent yet he doesn‘t manage to find a real job. He despises the system and ends up as a parking attendant. He sardonically enjoys giving fines and discussing with the drivers about all their excuses for not paying the parking costs in the first place. It sounds boring I guess, but I enjoyed it.

LeahBergen What a fantastic photo! 😍 1mo
BarbaraBB @LeahBergen Thank you Leah 🙏 1mo
Cathythoughts Yes , great photo 👍🏻♥️ 1mo
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BarbaraBB @Cathythoughts Thanks 🩷 1mo
batsy This sounds really interesting! A dash of Dostoyevsky about it. 1mo
BarbaraBB @batsy Yes, you‘re right! 1mo
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BarbaraBB
The Wall | Marlen Haushofer
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#BookReport 21/24

I was underwhelmed by the Trickster but enjoyed the tagged one a lot and I LOVED Is Mother Dead. So I had a very good week!

sarahbarnes 🎉🎉🎉 1mo
59 likes1 comment
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BarbaraBB
Is Mother Dead | Vigdis Hjorth
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Pickpick

Johanna is back in Norway after a long absence. She hasn‘t been in touch with her family for years but now that‘s she‘s back the past catches up with her and she wants to talk to her mother. It becomes an obsession, she continuously imagines what goes in on her mother‘s mind but can‘t understand why her mother doesn‘t want to reconnect. ⬇️⬇️

BarbaraBB Johanna is an unreliable narrator yet we only have her point of view. We don‘t know what‘s true and what isn‘t, just how big the impact is of a mother on her daughter and vice versa.

A fabulous sad read that I‘ll be thinking of for a while.
(edited) 1mo
Cathythoughts Great review ❤️ I have it stacked already. 1mo
BarbaraBB @Cathythoughts You‘ll definitely love it. @batsy and @sarahbarnes did too 😀 1mo
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sarahbarnes Oh gosh yes, I loved this one. I‘m glad to see you did, too. It really had an impact on me. Great review. 🩵 1mo
batsy @BarbaraBB @sarahbarnes So good and will stick with me for a long time. @Cathythoughts 1mo
PuddleJumper 🎉🎉 1mo
73 likes2 stack adds7 comments
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BarbaraBB
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Bailedbailed

There are so many books I‘d rather read than this #womensprize longlisted books in which some short stories are rather artificially sold as a novel. Too far fetched, maybe entertaining but man, why this nomination? There are so many books much, much better than this one. It‘s a fast easy read but I just don‘t bother enough to finish it.

squirrelbrain This did get better as it went along, but I can see why you would bail. 1mo
ChaoticMissAdventures I wish I would have bailed. It was so disjointed, I kept waiting for the stories to build on each other or connect in some way, and they (in my opinion) didn't. I think it had potential but the way it was laid out diminished the impact. 1mo
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain I was more than halfway through and I did like some stories but I was annoyed by the disjointed chapters, like @ChaoticMissAdventures 1mo
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Deblovestoread You didn‘t miss much. I finished but remember next to nothing. So many better books out there. 1mo
dabbe #hailthebail! 🤩🤩🤩 1mo
vivastory I saw a review of this several days ago and was intrigued but after your review & the consensus on the comments I think I'll be sitting out this one 1mo
75 likes6 comments
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BarbaraBB
The Amusements | Aingeala Flannery
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Thank you so much Sarah for sending me this book! I have no doubt that I‘ll love it, our taste in books is so similar! Can‘t wait to read it! You made my day 💕

LeahBergen This does sound good! 1mo
squirrelbrain A lovely gift! ❤️ 1mo
sarahbarnes So glad it made it! 😃 I‘ll be interested to hear your thoughts when you get to it! 🩵 1mo
61 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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BarbaraBB
Tuesdays Like That | Carina Taylor
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#TuesdayTunes

This Tuesday I am listening to jazz saxophonist David Sanborn who passed away yesterday. I used to listen to this album a lot. Especially this song, featuring Marcus Miller on bass guitar. I LOVE the bass!

https://open.spotify.com/track/26QE9Tvw8lhsXRBz2VPfq2?si=1F73adQeTdKLt7xtW_KkTg

Megabooks I saw that on Insta. Very sad. 1mo
TieDyeDude One of those guys who you don't know how much you know him until you look up what he's done. Thanks for sharing! 1mo
54 likes2 comments
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BarbaraBB
Is Mother Dead | Vigdis Hjorth
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#WeeklyForecast 21/24

I didn‘t get to the Old Trickster last week but am reading it now. I also started the tagged book and am loving it. The third one is by a favorite Dutch writer.

lauraisntwilder Your tagged book is in a giant stack on my bedroom floor. I hope to get to it soon! 1mo
BarbaraBB @lauraisntwilder I know what you mean, it‘s been on mine for a while too. But I am very glad I picked it up! 1mo
batsy Loved the tagged book. It brought up so many feelings! 1mo
63 likes3 comments
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BarbaraBB
The Wall | Marlen Haushofer
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Pickpick

A woman in the Austrian Alps is suddenly surrounded by an invisible wall. Behind the wall the world seems to have come to an end. She lives on in her own little world, surviving with her animals. Despite the apocalyptic setting this book felt somehow soothing. I loved how the woman lives with nature and her animals. Thanks for bringing this to my radar @batsy

sarahbarnes Great review. I loved this one too and felt the same. 🩵🩵 1mo
BarbaraBB @sarahbarnes I loved your review and couldn‘t wait to read it too! 1mo
BarbaraBB #52BookClub24 - Land-locked country #ATY24 - Relates to “Raining Cats and Dogs” (edited) 1mo
See All 16 Comments
Hooked_on_books Oooo, that sounds good! 1mo
Lcsmcat Sounds intriguing. Stacking. 1mo
Librarybelle Sounds interesting! 1mo
Tamra I enjoyed the screen adaptation. 1mo
BarbaraBB @Tamra I need to check that out 1mo
Cathythoughts Sounds good. Stacking. 1mo
Anna40 I love Haushofer! She also wrote short stories. I even translated one but the Austrian publisher didn‘t want to give me permission to send it to a literary magazine for publication. Unless they translate her whole collection it will probably remain untranslated :(. She was brilliant. 1mo
batsy Nice review! Yes, there was something soothing and ultimately hopeful about it in a way. Happy you liked it. 1mo
BarbaraBB @Anna40 That is so cool! And such a pity you couldn‘t publish it. I‘d love to read more by her. 1mo
jenniferw88 This was my #blinddatewithabook book last year from Gladstones! 1mo
Rissreads I think I‘ll bump it up my list! Great review! 1mo
81 likes9 stack adds16 comments
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BarbaraBB
Wild Dark Shore | Charlotte McConaghy
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Still so long until McConahgy‘s new book 😬

ErikasMindfulShelf I didn‘t know she was coming out with a new book!!! You made my day. 1mo
BarbaraBB @ErikasMindfulShelf I am so looking forward to it as well! 1mo
squirrelbrain That‘s a LONG time! 1mo
Hooked_on_books What a great cover, though! 1mo
sarahbarnes Oh wow, I didn‘t know this and am very glad to hear it. 1mo
60 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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BarbaraBB
The Good Samaritan | John Marrs
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#BookReport 20/24

An eclectic mix of books this week. A thriller, A literary novel, a horror/ true crime and a historical fantasy! It felt good to stir things up a bit.
This weeks favorite is Six Stories.

review
BarbaraBB
The Infatuations | Javier Maras
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Pickpick

This is a book with very little plot and lots of stream of consciousness. A woman is intrigued by a couple she doesn‘t know but meets every day in a breakfast place in Madrid. One day the husband is killed and she can‘t stop herself from talking to the woman.
Not much more happens yet it is an engaging read with some interesting thoughts.

#FoodAndLit 🇪🇸

Librarybelle Hooray! I‘m still contemplating what to read for this prompt 1mo
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Texreader Interesting. Not sure this one is for me. 1mo
Dilara I am reading A Heart So White by the same author - there are definitely similarities in themes... 1mo
Catsandbooks Fantastic! 🇪🇸 1mo
Hooked_on_books Sounds really interesting! 1mo
sarahbarnes This sounds very intriguing. I remember reading another book by the author years ago, and now can‘t remember the title. 1mo
BarbaraBB @Dilara I tried that one once but it is such a chunkster and I didn‘t dare to continue! 1mo
Dilara @BarbaraBB My version has 360 pages, so not too bad but still a commitment. I did have to push myself a little bit to finish it though 😚 1mo
BarbaraBB @Dilara i must be remembering another of his books then 🤷🏻‍♀️ 1mo
eeclayton I read this a few years ago but hardly remember anything 😐 1mo
youneverarrived Sounds like my kind of book. Stacking 🩷 1mo
BarbaraBB @eeclayton I think I won‘t either! 1mo
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BarbaraBB
Six Stories | Matt Wesolowski
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Pickpick

Right up my alley, a book in the form of a true crime podcast, a cold case set in the woods and marshes of England. Throw in some folklore and a great twist and you have a great read. At least I think so. Thanks for the heads up @Reggie 🖤

Suet624 You and Reggie recommend? Stacked. 1mo
BarbaraBB @Suet624 you know what you‘re getting yourself into right 🤣?! 1mo
Librarybelle Looks like a lovely reading spot! 1mo
See All 14 Comments
Suet624 👍👍🙏🙏 1mo
sarahbarnes Beautiful pic! 1mo
jlhammar Sounds like one I‘d enjoy. Adding it to my to-get list! 1mo
BarbaraBB @jlhammar I think so! 1mo
vivastory I love the twist in this 1mo
Reggie I‘m so glad you liked it. That whole last section I was like whaaaaaaaaat?!!!! Lol 1mo
BarbaraBB @Reggie @vivastory That twist was unexpected!!. I‘ll be definitely reading the next one! 1mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB There are a few entries in this series that really creeped me out. I esp remember Changeling & the last 2 Deity & Demon being especially good 1mo
BarbaraBB @vivastory Thanks. Are they all stand alones or should I read Hydra first? (edited) 1mo
vivastory They're all stand alones. There is one plot point that happens in one book that is referenced in later books, but IMO it's not necessarily significant enough to have to read them in order. I read them in order & I did enjoy the others, but #1, 3, 5 & 6 were my personal favorites. 1mo
BarbaraBB @vivastory Thanks for taking the tuneup share all of this. I will remember when reading the series 1mo
94 likes11 stack adds14 comments
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BarbaraBB
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Mehso-so

France, 1714. When Adeline LaRue has to marry someone she doesn‘t want to, she begs for a life of freedom. Her wish comes true, but at a price. Addie will live forever, and is doomed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
She travels across continents and through centuries and learns to live an invisible life. Until someone remembers her. That changes everything.

It‘s a sweet read. A bit too much so to my taste.

TieDyeDude I loved this story, but I've seen a lot of mixed reviews, and I understand how it wouldn't appeal to everyone. 1mo
sarahbarnes I‘ve suspected this and your review confirms it. 1mo
Suet624 Yeah, I agree with the so-so rating for the same reasons 1mo
80 likes3 comments