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batsy
School for Love | Olivia Manning
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Pickpick

This book felt old-fashioned in the best possible way, like the pinnacle of a realist novel. The depth of characterisation & the assured pull of the narrative voice make it hard to put down, & it feels a very wise novel in how it charts a young boy's coming of age in a both a turbulent political & social landscape. I love how Manning depicts extremely flawed characters & no simple resolutions with regards to life's hardships. Riveting & moving.

batsy This feels like a fitting year-end #nyrbbookclub read @Leftcoastzen @vivastory 3h
Leftcoastzen What a beautiful review! 2h
erzascarletbookgasm Lovely review. I want to read this. 👍 54m
See All 6 Comments
Cathythoughts Great review.. I want to read this now , stacked 42m
batsy @Leftcoastzen Thank you! I'm looking forward to the discussion. 41m
batsy @erzascarletbookgasm @Cathythoughts Thank you! I do think you'll both like this one 🙂 40m
49 likes1 stack add6 comments
blurb
batsy
Book Nerd | Holly Maguire
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Mailed my #jolabokaflodswap today and I received mine yesterday from @Smarkies ! Thank you 🙂

@MaleficentBookDragon

Smarkies 🎉🎉🎉 3d
60 likes1 comment
review
batsy
The Diviners | Margaret Laurence
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Pickpick

I'm the slowest poke that ever poked for this group read but it felt like the book set the pace for me & I had to follow! I first read this as an undergrad in Winnipeg & appreciated it a lot, but reading it now made me understand just how ambitious & wide-ranging it is on the subjects of motherhood, writing, sexuality, & how narratives are constructed both for the individual & a society. Thanks #manawakans for this Laurence deep dive. I loved it.

merelybookish Beautifully said! This book is ambitious and so much of it feels contemporary like her representation of colonialism and her frank portrayal of women's sexuality. 4d
LeahBergen Ahh, lovely review. I‘ve often wondered why The Stone Angel has been required reading in some Canadian high schools; I know I wouldn‘t have appreciated her writing and ideas nearly as much then as I have now (coming to her first as an ‘older‘ woman 😆). 4d
See All 10 Comments
Suet624 Hahaha. The slowest poke that ever poked. 4d
BiblioLitten I love your review! Stacked! 4d
JennF13 I read this many years ago as a kid in high school, such a great read! 4d
batsy @Suet624 😆 3d
batsy @BiblioLitten I think you'll enjoy making your way through the whole Manawakan sequence! I joined the group a bit later so missed The Stone Angel which I hope to read early next year 😊 3d
batsy @JennF13 It's so rich and layered! 3d
batsy @merelybookish @LeahBergen Thank you, both! Reading and Romeo and Juliet with the Shakespeare group recently convinced me that most high school / early uni reading should be revisited in our later (wiser) years 😁 3d
73 likes3 stack adds10 comments
blurb
batsy
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I think this is my #CloakAndDaggerChristmas list! I'm a slow reader so this is rather ambitious 😅

Golden Age+amateur sleuth: Kitchin or Berkeley (or ideally both if I am attempt to be good & not cheat & combine prompts 🧐)
Translated/set in a different country: Bandyopadhyay, Indian/Bengali
Team/duo: Hammett
Victorian: Collins
Village: Bellairs
Mystery TV show: My current fave, Rosemary & Thyme (British mystery series)

@merelybookish

batsy The full list of prompts is here for anyone interested https://www.instagram.com/p/CWTbYSFrp2B/ 5d
merelybookish These look great! And ambitious! I loved Collins when I read him as an undergrad (but avoided an actual Victorian mystery myself.) I love the title of Death of a Busybody. (I imagine many people wanted that person dead. 😛) Even if we don't read any of these books, it has been fun making the list. Here's to death at Xmas! 😄 5d
Cathythoughts Great post ! These look good 👍🏻❤️ 5d
See All 19 Comments
batsy @merelybookish Hahaha, yes! Here's to all of that 🥂🎄 5d
batsy @Cathythoughts Thank you! Join in if you have the time; even just for one prompt! It'll be fun 😁 5d
TheBookHippie Oooo this looks wonderful! 5d
batsy @TheBookHippie Isn't it just! Something about murder+Christmas is just irresistible 😂 5d
Jee_HookedOnBookz I‘m a super slow reader too! And what a great list! Happy reading! 5d
quietjenn Oh, I don't know Crime at Christmas and have never read Kitchin. Might have to add that to my list of possibilities! 5d
LeahBergen Ooo, these all look fun! 5d
Angitron This is the first time I‘ve seen someone mention Rosemary & Thyme!! Also a favorite of mine! 😊 5d
batsy @quietjenn I'm pretty sure I only heard of him because of something I read on crimereads.com 😆 They're responsible for my TBR expanding to infinity! 5d
batsy @LeahBergen I'm excited! 😁 5d
batsy @Angitron Yay! Nice to meet another fan 😊 Love the cosy elements of the show mixed with the gardening theme and two sharp female characters. 5d
Jee_HookedOnBookz And thanks for letting me know about #SlowReadersUnite ! 😄 2d
charl08 This looks like a fun list! I definitely plan to be reading plenty of murders over the holidays. 2d
batsy @charl08 Tis the season 😆 1d
95 likes19 comments
review
batsy
Snoopy: Party Animal | Charles M. Schulz
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Pickpick

All of the stars for Snoopy, our esteemed comrade (puprade?) 🌟

The title made me think this was Snoopy living it up, but I should known it was ironic; it's Snoopy, after all! Alternative title: My Year of Rest and Relaxation.

eeclayton That's my kind of party, too 😂 6d
batsy @eeclayton Absolutely same 😆 6d
See All 8 Comments
Centique Gotta love Snoopy.😍 (My daughter is a Lucy somewhat inspired by Schulz) 6d
Reggie Lol, puprade! And the alternate title-lolol. 6d
batsy @Centique Awww 💕 5d
batsy @Reggie 😆 5d
87 likes1 stack add8 comments
review
batsy
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Pickpick

I've never read this before & didn't know much about this legend; it only sprang to life for me when I saw the trailer for The Green Knight. This retelling by Morpurgo for children is beautifully-written & illustrated (art by Michael Foreman). I read a bit each night before bed & it created a suitably magical dreamscape as I drifted off. What I didn't expect was that it's a bit racy for the kids! Lol 👵🏽#ChildrensClassicRead2021 @TheBookHippie

Cathythoughts ‘ Magical dreamscape‘ sounds wonderful 💫 We did it in college ( but I think I might have missed some of those lectures 🙊.. I‘d like to go now though 1w
Lindy I like Morpugo‘s simple, elegant style, although I don‘t think I have read this one. Your post reminds me of another retelling of Gawain that I liked: 1w
batsy @Cathythoughts Yes, I want to read a proper adult version and have the Armitage translation 😁 Really want to watch the movie because it looks gorgeous. 1w
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batsy @Lindy Thanks for the rec! That looks really good. 1w
TheBookHippie I love it so much and yah… OOOPS 😂😅 1w
LeahBergen Lovely! I have the Armitage translation and should really pick it up soon. 1w
batsy @TheBookHippie Lol I'd be blushing reading along with kids 🤣 1w
batsy @LeahBergen Me too! It's really such an oddly intriguing legend. 1w
TheBookHippie @batsy Right …Oy. 1w
erzascarletbookgasm I love Michael Morpurgo 💜 but haven‘t read this book. 1w
batsy @erzascarletbookgasm It's quite dreamy and delightful 💚 6d
86 likes2 stack adds11 comments
review
batsy
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Mehso-so

Continuing on my quest to gently wade into some general readings on philosophy before going for the hard-hitting texts at some point (hopefully within the decade ?). The premise for this is that key philosophical concepts are explained in bite-sized nuggets in 30 seconds, but this was way too vague & the style of writing was aggravating. The "metaphorical image" accompanying each concept have captions that are basically just extreme Dad Jokes.

GingerAntics Ugh. Would you like to join the Dead Philosophers Society?! 1w
Graywacke Maybe check out the Oxford Press Very Short Introduction series… ?? 1w
batsy @GingerAntics Thanks for the invite! Do you have a reading list already worked out or do you guys pick books as you go along? I'm in way too many reading groups on Litsy 😅 but I'd love to join in if I'm able to for a particular month. 6d
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batsy @Graywacke Yes, I think that series of books is much better based on experience with some other titles. Will look for the philosophy title 🙂 6d
GingerAntics @batsy we actually go by the length of the books, not by month. We had the next two books picked, but we didn‘t like Tao of Pooh so much we‘re passing on Te of Piglet. We‘re going to decide on our next book this week or next. Originally, the next book after Pooh and Piglet was 6d
Hamlet @batsy You might check out “Sophie‘s World” by Josten Gaarder. It‘s playful novel that gives a great introduction to many, many philosophers. 6d
batsy @GingerAntics That one looks good! Dense but really interesting. 6d
batsy @Hamlet Yes! I really enjoyed it. The book that kicked off my philosophy obsession and had me taking as many phil courses as I could at uni 😁 6d
71 likes1 stack add8 comments
review
batsy
My Caravaggio Style | Doris Langley Moore
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Pickpick

Can't resist a novel about literary fraud & its ensuing shenanigans. In this one, Quentin, a bookseller & writer (variously described by fellow #furrowedmiddlebrowclub readers as a dweeb, a manipulator, & not a peach) attempts to "find" Byron's lost memoirs by forging it. He's not prepared for the clever curiosity of his model girlfriend, however! I enjoyed this & it was smartly set up, but found Quentin sadly somewhat dull in his nefariousness.

Ruthiella I think Quentin‘s haplessness was to keep the reader from seeing him as an all out villain. But it was difficult at first to get used to the tone of this book...so different from previous selections. 2w
Cathythoughts Nice review! I‘m almost there … and agree 👍🏻. What a great idea for a book … it‘s brilliant ! ( I better finish up quickly now .. 2w
See All 13 Comments
LeahBergen @Ruthiella Yes! I was a little surprised by this one when I started it. The tone is very different from other FM reads. 2w
Ruthiella @batsy PS I see Don Juan peeking out there in your photo. Have you read it? Would you recommend? I‘ve never read any Byron. 2w
batsy @Cathythoughts Thank you, Cathy! Look forward to your thoughts 👍🏽 2w
batsy @Ruthiella @LeahBergen That's true about it being different in tone from the others I've read by DM. It reminded me a bit of Kingsley Amis' Lucky Jim and Muriel Spark's Loitering With Intent. I just needed Quentin to be all out unlikeable in an enjoyable way 😆 Good point though @Ruthiella he was probably meant to be seen less as an outright villain, but sadly had no real redeeming qualities. 2w
batsy @Ruthiella I'm ashamed to say that I've still not read it and basically used it as a photo prop 🙈 I've not read any Byron, either. 2w
LeahBergen @batsy I‘ve only read bits and pieces of Byron‘s poetry over the years. I must confess to finding his actual life more fascinating. 😆 2w
batsy @LeahBergen I think I might be the same! I paged through Don Juan and I don't know if I'll be able to read the whole thing 😂 2w
CarolynM @Ruthiella I've not read all of Don Juan either, but I've read a lot of his shorter poems and extracts from DJ and Childe Harold. A lot of what I found moving and romantic as a teenager strikes me rather differently these days, but I still love Growing Old https://www.poetsgraves.co.uk/Classic%20Poems/Byron/growing_old.htm 2w
batsy @CarolynM I've not come across this poem before! Thank you for sharing. 2w
Ruthiella @CarolynM Thanks for the tip! Interesting that your perception changes as you grow and age with Byron. I know this has happened to me with fiction, but I don‘t know enough about poetry to judge. 2w
84 likes1 stack add13 comments
review
batsy
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Pickpick

I've been meaning to read a lot more philosophy, + a lot more nonfiction in general, but after reading Spillover at the start of the pandemic last year the muchness of life became too much & I retreated to fiction. Though not all of the fictional books I've picked have been consoling 😂 Anyway, this was a great overview of key philosophical thoughts & systems laid out in a comprehensive & engaging manner. Very thinky & conducive to contemplation.

erzascarletbookgasm These Big Ideas books have good summaries and great visuals for easy understanding. 👍 2w
batsy @erzascarletbookgasm Yes, I borrowed a digital version of this but I've browsed the physical books and they're very nicely done! 2w
GingerAntics I‘ve been using this book to help with philosophy students for a few years now. I haven‘t read all of it, yet. I‘m hoping to in the new year. 2w
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rabbitprincess I loved DK‘s The Medicine Book and am glad The Philosophy Book is good too! 2w
Cathythoughts Nice review 👍🏻 2w
batsy @GingerAntics It's a good one to go over slowly and revisit! 2w
batsy @rabbitprincess That sounds really interesting, too! 🙂 2w
batsy @Cathythoughts Thanks, Cathy! 2w
Graywacke Cool 1w
86 likes4 stack adds9 comments
review
batsy
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Pickpick

What's not to love about a lighthouse story? There's always something inherently creepy, alienating, & unsettling about the conditions of life in a lighthouse. In this one, three lighthouse keepers disappear in 1972; they are never found. A writer emerges in 1992 to interview the former wives/partners of these men. The situation is mysterious & eerie; the fragmented narrative reveals secrets, heartaches, & pain—as well as the uncanny.

batsy I enjoyed it for how it melds different genres: psychological realism, locked-room mystery, ghost story; & for doing so with strong writing & characterisation. If I was let-down, it's to do with the ending; maybe reading stuff by the likes of Shirley Jackson & Samanta Schweblin have spoiled me a bit about stories that exist in the in-between space of the banal & the unexplainable: I just wanted this book to allow itself to go totally OUT THERE. 3w
MrsMalaprop We are halfway through watching the 2019 film The Lighthouse. And man it‘s disturbing! 😱 3w
batsy @MrsMalaprop Oooh, I've been meaning to watch it! 3w
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Cathythoughts Great review 👏🏻.. I‘ve been on the fence .. stacking now 👍🏻❤️ 3w
batsy @Cathythoughts I think you might like this one, Cathy! And best enjoyed during the chilly fall/winter nights 🙂 3w
Nute I‘ve never heard of this book, but you mentioned so many key phrases that intrigue my interest. Is this new? 3w
batsy @Nute Yes, fairly new in that it came out earlier this year! It's an intriguing book :) 3w
92 likes4 stack adds7 comments
review
batsy
The Vet's Daughter | Kathryn Davis, Barbara Comyns
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Pickpick

This is like a dark fable, a self-contained nightmare of decay, disease, doom, & death. There's an undercurrent of witchy energy & a sly, winking humour that makes it worthwhile, despite it being a tough read because it's very grim. This is my first book by Comyns, & it's like if Flannery O'Connor & Angela Carter had a baby. The Virago edition has an intro by the author that made me love her instantly; the same energy infuses the narrative voice.

batsy Thanks for hosting a fantastic discussion @LeahBergen @vivastory I could only catch up this morning but enjoyed seeing all of the comments! #nyrbbookclub 4w
merelybookish Wonderful review! The FO + AC= BC is so smart! 4w
batsy @merelybookish Thank you! I owe it to Lucy Scholes for comparing her to Carter and it's spot on; a minimalist Carter, in a way. And the domestic Gothic tone of O'Connor kinda present... Just from a writing POV I admire how Comyns crafted the narrative voice. 4w
See All 27 Comments
merelybookish @batsy I love Lucy Scholes. I am going to listen to Backlisted today where she's the guest talking about this book. 4w
batsy @merelybookish Yes! She's great. I love her Re-Covered pieces for the Paris Review. 4w
GatheringBooks This is the edition that I also have! 💕 4w
batsy @GatheringBooks I love NYRBs and Viragos 💚 4w
Reggie You had me at undercurrent of witchy energy. Lol great review. 4w
Cathythoughts Great review! I‘ve started this one .. and I‘m interested to see what happens next … I‘m reading on 4w
LeahBergen Wonderfully reviewed! 😍 And “witchy energy” … yes! There‘s was something in the feel of it that gave me slight Lolly Willowes vibes. 4w
batsy @Reggie Thank you! It's pretty bleak but I think you'll like it :) 4w
batsy @Cathythoughts Thanks Cathy, I hope you find it a worthwhile read! 4w
batsy @LeahBergen Thank you! Yes, there's a little bit of Lolly in there 🖤 4w
vivastory A stellar review. Thanks so much for your contributions to the discussion. Great insights as always & the O'Connor + Carter comparison is spot on. I can't wait to read more Comyns. 4w
vivastory @LeahBergen Agreed! Both writers were fascinating individuals 4w
batsy @vivastory Thank you! And yes to more Comyns 💜 3w
kspenmoll Love your review! 3w
Reviewsbylola That is such a lovely cover!! 3w
BiblioLitten I love everything about this… your review, the cover! 3w
batsy @kspenmoll @BiblioLitten Thank you! 🙂 3w
batsy @Reviewsbylola I love it, too 💚 3w
DivineDiana Agree with @BiblioLitten 🙂 3w
Nute I hate when I miss your reviews. There is something so exquisite about them! 3w
Centique A baby of O‘Connor and Carter? That is the most enticing comment ever! Also I‘m a bit scared😳😳 Definitely stacking 💕 3w
batsy @Nute Oh, thank you! That's lovely of you to say ❤️ 3w
batsy @Centique Haha, yes! It is grim! But also kind of great! My exclamation marks maybe indicate that Comyns is a super interesting writer 😁 3w
101 likes1 stack add27 comments
review
batsy
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Pickpick

Plague, romance, puns about sex, family feuds, honour, fate, death: all the good stuff of comedy *and* tragedy. This is another one of those plays where I remembered it being about one thing when I read it decades ago (and not being so impressed by it) and finding myself utterly surprised by it this time. Juliet remains an outstanding character, though Mercutio, Tybalt, Nurse, and Friar Lawrence all emerge as fascinating supporting characters.

batsy And the language! The language is sublime; the ideas and images vivid and masterful. "True, I talk of dreams, which are the children of an idle brain, begot of nothing but vain fantasy"--oof, Mercutio; don't hurt me or the playwright #ShakespeareReadAlong @GingerAntics 1mo
erzascarletbookgasm I, too, find it very different on reread..and gain so much insight from the #shakespearereadalong group. Great review. 👍 1mo
batsy @erzascarletbookgasm Thank you! Truly, love the discussions and the way the conversation branches off into different areas 🤩 1mo
See All 8 Comments
GingerAntics It seems a lot of us found this play to be much different as adults than as teens. Should we try presenting the language and characters to teens as opposed to the “moral of always listening to your parents” that‘s not actually there? Then again, most teens probably wouldn‘t pay much attention to that anyway. 🤷🏼‍♀️ 1mo
nathandrake1997 Exquisite review ❤️ You are the writer I someday aspire to be ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 1mo
batsy @GingerAntics Yep! It just seems like one of those texts that are best appreciated when we age (like fine wine 😆) 1mo
batsy @nathandrake1997 Thank you, friend!! You are always too kind ❤️❤️ 1mo
GingerAntics 😂🤣😂 4w
96 likes3 stack adds8 comments
review
batsy
The Little Stranger | Sarah Waters
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Pickpick

This book did subtle menace & creepy in all the ways that hit right. Families, burdens, responsibilities, class difference, property, & what Karl Marx said: "The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living". I took as long as I did to read this because while the book is very good, it's also deeply unnerving & uncomfortable in how it brings to light the aspects of human nature that transcend the empirical.

AlaMich I love that retro cover! 1mo
erzascarletbookgasm It‘s so good, right? Very well-put review 👍 1mo
batsy @AlaMich It fits the atmosphere of the book so well! 1mo
See All 17 Comments
batsy @erzascarletbookgasm Thank you! I really enjoyed it and just realised there's also a film adaptation, which is fun 🙂 1mo
LeahBergen I thought this was just so well done (and creepy 😬)! 1mo
BarbaraBB This should be my next Sarah Waters! 1mo
batsy @LeahBergen Yes! I'm still thinking about it. She combined creepiness and the underlying sadness so well. 1mo
batsy @BarbaraBB I absolutely recommend it! 1mo
johncadams It sounds very intriguing. 1mo
batsy @johncadams It really is! 1mo
Hamlet Wonderful review! I‘ve only read one of her novels so far; I think this will be my second. 1mo
Centique Great review Suba! I‘m looking forward to this 💕 1mo
batsy @Hamlet @Centique Thank you! 💜 I hope you both give it a go and that you find it worthwhile... It's a slow burn that gets under one's skin. 1mo
Cathythoughts Great insightful review… I really enjoyed this book 4w
batsy @Cathythoughts Thanks Cathy... This one was just so subtly creepy. 4w
BiblioLitten Yet to get to this one. Looking forward to it now. 😊 3w
batsy @BiblioLitten It's a nice one to have waiting for you! ❤️ 3w
94 likes4 stack adds17 comments
blurb
batsy
The Little Stranger | Sarah Waters
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I'm about a 100 pages in and there's already been a pretty unnerving scene that kind of hits you out of nowhere. There's a bit of that subtle menace underlying everything but it still made me feel 😰

Sarah Waters knows how to set a scene...

LeahBergen I thoroughly enjoyed this one! 1mo
Cathythoughts I loved this one 👏🏻👏🏻😁 1mo
Michael_Gee Yes! Omg I know exactly what scene you are talking about because I read it last night 😳 1mo
See All 12 Comments
Ruthiella This book was so good. My first Sarah Waters I think. So creepy. 1mo
batsy @LeahBergen @Cathythoughts I'm really enjoying it so far 💜 1mo
batsy @Michael_Gee I've read on a bit since then and 💔and also 😨 1mo
batsy @Ruthiella I love her! I'm not sure why it took me so long to get to this but I'm glad I got here 🙂 1mo
Centique I love Sarah Waters but I haven‘t got to this one yet. It‘s on my shelf eyeing me creepily now! 1mo
Lindy So atmospheric! I was at an event where Bill Richardson interviewed Sarah Waters and he said all her books featured lesbians, so, in this book, the house is obviously the lesbian. 1mo
batsy @Centique It's so well done, the creepiness. I also have a weakness for the haunted house trope done well! 1mo
batsy @Lindy OK, that is so fascinating to think about! I need to come back to this comment once I'm finished. 1mo
BiblioLitten Subtle menace is just the right way to put it. 💙 1mo
78 likes2 stack adds12 comments
review
batsy
The Sanatorium | Sarah Pearse
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Panpan

Probably should have bailed. But for reasons unknown to myself, I persisted. Maybe I hoped that the set-up, setting, & atmosphere would pay off. Snowed in, locked room-type concept in a stark minimalist hotel in the Swiss Alps? Good stuff, right? No. Nothing worse than contemporary thrillers where the formula is: hackneyed writing + unconvincing plotting + "big reveal" involving Serious Social Issue treated in the most asinine manner imaginable.

RaeLovesToRead Thanks for the heads up... from the set up sounds like all the things I'd love 😅 1mo
batsy @RaeLovesToRead Ticks all of the boxes in terms of what I love in a popcorn thriller, so I was disappointed, too! I don't ask for much, just guilty pleasure entertainment that isn't tedious and silly 😅 1mo
vlwelser I had the same issue. And then it kept getting worse! It had such potential. 1mo
See All 21 Comments
RaeLovesToRead @batsy Totally!! Must remember not to buy it... especially with that tempting cover 😂 1mo
batsy @vlwelser Yes, it did! Such a shame. 1mo
TrishB I didn‘t even bother with this one on the 99p offer as there were so many bad reviews! Very glad now. 1mo
batsy @TrishB You're definitely not missing out on anything! 1mo
LeahBergen Good to know! I thought the setting sounded so appealing when I read a blurb about it. 1mo
erzascarletbookgasm Okay this one to ignore. 1mo
BookBosomed1 This is exactly what I thought about the book. I have no idea why I kept reading it. 1mo
Cathythoughts What a pity .., great name & sounds promising… I‘ll be giving this a miss 👍🏻 1mo
kplovesbooks This was my most disappointing read this year. 🤷 1mo
kezzlou85 I didn't like this either. The premise sounded good but it just didn't deliver. 1mo
BarbaraBB So on point this review. Utterly forgettable book. (edited) 1mo
Reggie Yowzas- I love a good pan review. 1mo
batsy @LeahBergen @erzascarletbookgasm @Cathythoughts So many books on the shelf! You can safely ignore this one in my view 😁 1mo
batsy @BookBosomed1 @kplovesbooks @kezzlou85 @BarbaraBB Glad to hear I'm not alone 🙌🏾 1mo
batsy @Reggie 😆 1mo
Nute I was so close to buying this book because the cover was lovely. Thank goodness you are my friend, Ms. Subashini, and was there to set me straight!🙂 3w
batsy @Nute Lovely cover and a pretty inviting description! I was sucked in 😅 Sadly, it let me down. 3w
batsy @Nute Also, I feel bad, but you're welcome! Haha. Plenty of other books to read, imho. 3w
84 likes21 comments
review
batsy
Guardians of the Louvre | Jir? Taniguchi
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Pickpick

Part of a series of graphic novels commissioned by the Louvre, this manga tells the tale of a Japanese artist visiting Paris who enters the feverish dream-space where art & his unconscious mind meet. The episodic nature of the book highlights individual artists displayed in the Louvre, & the chapters cover the Japanese links to Camille Corot & Van Gogh, for example, while another deals with the transportation+preservation of artwork ahead of WWII.

batsy Although there is not much in the way of a plot, & the narrative arc itself can be a bit cheesy or sentimental, the art in this manga is gorgeous & something about the pace of the book is calming & nourishing. It was exactly the kind of book I wanted to lose myself in over the weekend. It has some pretty traditional views about art, but even within that sentiment there's a lot that can be true & beautiful, depending on your mood. I enjoyed it. 1mo
Suet624 Sounds lovely. 1mo
batsy @Suet624 A pleasant, undemanding read with beautiful art :) 1mo
See All 7 Comments
Cathythoughts Lovely review ❤️ 1mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Thank you 💕 1mo
Lindy This one wasn‘t on my radar and it turns out there‘s a copy at my library. Yay! Thanks for your review. 1mo
batsy @Lindy I hope you like it 🙂 1mo
86 likes1 stack add7 comments
review
batsy
Gothic Tales | Elizabeth Gaskell
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Pickpick

For several years now I've meant to join in for #Victober (which started out on booktube). This year I managed to squeeze in the group read and enjoyed it! These are stories of dread, menace, and the quotidian terror of patriarchy. As a collection of stories, some are simply better than others. Yet I think anyone who's read Gaskell before and knows of the ways in which she can pull a reader in will find lots to think about and take pleasure in.

shawnmooney I love Gaskell, but not gothic stuff. Right now I am delighted by listening to the audiobook while reading the text of her novella Cousin Phillis. 1mo
Cathythoughts Great review 👍🏻 love this cover & stacked 1mo
batsy @shawnmooney I'll add that to my list! I realise I've gone far too long with too little Gaskell. I loved Cranford. 1mo
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batsy @Cathythoughts Thanks, Cathy! Yep it's an appropriately spooky cover and the stories are lovely to get into on a cold night (I'm counting the slight dip in temps here brought on by tropical thunderstorms as "cold weather" ?) 1mo
JazzFeathers I never knew of the existence of Victober! 😱 1mo
tenar I‘m reading this for #Victober as my first ever Gaskell! A weird place to start, but I‘ve been enjoying it. We‘ve been reading it aloud, and it comes to life. Would Cranford be a good choice next? 1mo
Centique I haven‘t read Gaskell yet! It‘s a hole I plan to fill soon ☺️ Great review 💕 1mo
batsy @JazzFeathers It seems like such a fun challenge that I keep missing out on each year 😂 1mo
batsy @tenar @tenar Cranford is totally different in style, theme, and tone, so you might be disappointed if you're looking for more of the same dark vibes. Otoh it's a fun, witty, satirical book that gives you a good picture of the breadth of Gaskell's style 🙂 1mo
batsy @Centique Thank you! I'm glad there's a lot more of her to discover. 1mo
rubyslippersreads This looks nice and spooky. I‘ve only read North and South, so I need to catch up on my Gaskell. 1mo
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batsy
A Bird in the House: Stories | Margaret Laurence
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Pickpick

This book is a series of interconnected stories told from the POV of an adult looking back at her childhood. The way these quiet stories unfurled reminded me a bit of Alice Munro's Lives of Girls and Women or Joan Chase's During the Reign of the Queen of Persia. I missed the wit, anger, idiosyncrasy & uncompromising vision that characterised the protagonists in A Jest of God and the Fire Dwellers, but these stories exerted a subtle, tender power.

batsy I found Isabel Huggan's Afterword thoughtful in how it outlines the "writerly eye" that Vanessa has, a character that partly reflects Laurence's own life. The way Vanessa, as a child who is largely alone with no particular confidante, absorbs the circumstances of her life & the people around her, & then sifts through the moods, emotions, & experiences to create stories out of them is an extended metaphor of the writer's creative coming of age. 2mo
batsy But otherwise as @BarbaraBB and @vivastory have mentioned this one didn't quite hit the mark as the previous two I read with the group! @LeahBergen @merelybookish #manawakans 2mo
Butterfinger I love reading your reviews. If you are not already, you should be professional. 2mo
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LauraBeth Agree with @Butterfinger! 2mo
batsy @Butterfinger @LauraBeth Thank you, you're very kind 💜💜 2mo
nathandrake1997 Exquisite review ❤️❤️❤️❤️ I wish I could write even half as brilliant as this someday ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 2mo
BarbaraBB You should, Suba, your reviews are always so on point! 2mo
LeahBergen Lovely review! I‘m the slow poke reader of the group for this one. 😆 2mo
CarolynM I agree with @Butterfinger too. Your reviews are always thoughtful and so well expressed. I wish I could put my thoughts into words the way you do. 2mo
batsy @nathandrake1997 @BarbaraBB @CarolynM Thank you so much 😘😘😘 2mo
batsy @LeahBergen Thank you! And I'm surprised at not being the slow poke this time 😁 #SlowPokesUnite 2mo
merelybookish Great review! I just finished (count me with the slowpokes!) I didn't think of her as a writer when I was reading but agree the Huggan afterword made me reconsider. 1mo
batsy @merelybookish Thank you! Yes, I found the afterword helpful in thinking through some of the stories; I went back to reread some passages because of it. 1mo
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batsy
Cassandra at the Wedding | Dorothy Baker
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For my #nyrbbookclub buddies (great inaugural pick hosted by @BarbaraBB @vivastory ) and fellow Cassandra aficionados! I'm not much of a podcast person but Backlisted is one of the few I keep turning to. I'm looking forward to this episode.

vivastory This is wonderful. I love Backlisted! They also have an episode about our current selection Vet's Daughter“. It was so wonderful that I immediately ordered after listening:
https://www.backlisted.fm/episodes/14-barbara-comyns-the-vets-daughter
2mo
batsy @vivastory Yes! That's the one that made me feel I have to read all of the Comyns! 2mo
Cathythoughts Thanks Suba !! I‘ll try & listen , I loved this book. ❤️ 2mo
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LeahBergen Yes! I saw this on Twitter today! 👏🏻👏🏻 2mo
BarbaraBB Oh that is interesting, I will listen to that episode. Thanks for bringing it up Suba! 2mo
CarolynM I'm not big on podcasts either, but every now and then something catches my attention. This sounds very interesting. Thanks for the heads up 😘 2mo
batsy @LeahBergen They always hit it out of the park with their choice of books 🙌🏾 2mo
Suet624 Such a great book. 2mo
batsy @Suet624 When I'm brave enough I'll attempt to read it again. 1mo
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batsy
Little Witch: 60th Anniversay Edition | Anna Elizabeth Bennett
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Pickpick

My first time reading this! Fun, with some unexpected humour that genuinely made me chuckle. It's a book of its time in terms of how it presents its good fairy women vs bad witchy women and I wanted some justice for the class of witches in general 😆 I was also a bit stressed out by how cruel the witch mum was 😩 *All of that* aside, this was mostly enjoyable 🙃🧚🏼‍♀️ Thanks for putting it on my radar @TheBookHippie #ChildrensClassicRead2021

AmyG This was the first book I fell in love with. I was in maybe 3rd grade? ❤️ 2mo
batsy @AmyG I've seen a lot of people say the same and I'm amazed I hadn't really heard much about it before this! But better late than never 😊 2mo
TheBookHippie I ALWAYS have to put myself in the time to read these older classics 😂 I agree with everything you said! 2mo
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Nute This seems to be a popular book, but I‘ve never heard of it. I‘m hoping to read more holiday/season-theme books during their time. I think that might be fun. I picked up a couple of horror fiction books last week which I hope to read in October. Glad that I caught this review!🙂 2mo
batsy @TheBookHippie It requires a bit of a mental shift 😁 2mo
batsy @Nute I'm pleased to have helped 😁 It's a sweet, undemanding Halloween read to balance out some of the horror you might be reading! 2mo
LeahBergen Look at that cute Scholastic cover! 2mo
batsy @LeahBergen I read the Kindle edition that has the 60th anniversary edition cover but I had to go search to see if there were other cute older covers 😄 2mo
tpixie @LeahBergen @batsy I do like this older cover!! 2mo
rubyslippersreads This is adorable! 🧹 2mo
batsy @rubyslippersreads Have you read it? It feels like it might be your kind of thing 🙂 2mo
rubyslippersreads @batsy I haven‘t read it yet, but it‘s going on my October TBR list. 😊 2mo
BiblioLitten Going into my TBR too🙂 1mo
batsy @BiblioLitten It's a short, cute read! 🙂 1mo
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batsy
Sugared Game | KJ Charles
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Pickpick

This is the second book in the Will Darling Adventures and all I can do is squee. These books so far tick all of fun and pleasure and page-turner boxes, and I'm WHOLLY invested in Will and Kim. The first book set the pace with the intrigue and the physical desire, and the second book ups the emotional stakes with more intrigue and desire that's turning into something more than lust. The dynamic between the two lovers is my favourite bit. 😍

erzascarletbookgasm Sounds fun and🔥❤️‍🔥! Never read this author. What‘s the first book in this series? 😁 2mo
batsy @erzascarletbookgasm This is the first one! It's a bit steamier than the second, but still very well done and never excessive. Just right, which is the way I prefer my romance novels 👵🏽 2mo
CarolynM 2mo
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batsy @CarolynM I adore them 😆 2mo
bookandbedandtea Sounds right up my alley! I just downloaded the first one. 2mo
batsy @bookandbedandtea I hope you enjoy it! 2mo
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batsy
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Pickpick

I'm continuing with the Sandman comics, but I might have to take it slowly because I'd honestly forgotten how grim and gruesome it can be. For some reason I remember it as being dreamy and speculative, but there's a lot of elements of crime, noir and pulp fiction cleverly incorporated into the comics. This volume brings us close to some of the worst of humanity; though, at the same time, Gaiman never loses sense of how people become fucked up.

nathandrake1997 Concise yet eloquent ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Brilliant review ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ 2mo
batsy @nathandrake1997 Thank you so much 💕 2mo
sarahbarnes Someone gave me a copy of one of these, and I still haven‘t worked up the courage to read it. 😳 2mo
batsy @sarahbarnes I do recommend it! But yes, it's dark 💀 2mo
87 likes4 comments
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batsy
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Pickpick

I got into Gaiman's Neverwhere & Sandman comics in a big way when I was in college. There was something dark, subversive, mysterious & enigmatic about the worlds he created, but I was nervous about revisiting it & whether I'd feel the same. While some of the writing & plotting seems a bit derivative now, I still enjoyed the weird & twisted journey of the 1st volume. It was also more violent than I remembered! Look forward to re-reading the rest.

Emilymdxn I just did a complete reread this year and loved it so much! I was about 17-18 when I read it the first time and I feel like there was so much I didn‘t pick up on 2mo
batsy @Emilymdxn I'm really looking forward to continuing the deep dive! I'm appreciating different aspects of this too compared to before. 2mo
Kammbia1 I read the entire Sandman series back in the 90s when it first came out. I was a huge comic book reader back then and Sandman was different than the typical stuff. It would be interesting to re-read the series myself. 2mo
batsy @Kammbia1 It was indeed! Just out of the box from the usual comics stuff. I'm only at the 2nd volume re-read now but it's holding up well :) 2mo
76 likes4 comments
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batsy
The Slynx | Tatyana Tolstaya
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Pickpick

I was on board with this on a purely aesthetic level—the gallows humour, the carnivalesque absurdism, & the utterly irreverent tone of a dystopic future in a place that used to be Moscow, with humanity resembling some of the creatures that one imagines might have been lurking in the primordial soup. I think that a better knowledge of Russian history & culture would have enabled me to "get" this book in a way that would have made the satire click.

merelybookish Great review! I'm about halfway.and have no clue where it will end but I get what you're saying about knowing more about Russian history...presumably each group in the book Is based on some facet of Russian society. Like the inlaws. 😬 2mo
batsy @merelybookish Thank you! And yes, I had the same thought. Felt like different groups or political affiliations were being skewered in those depictions but it went over my head 😶 2mo
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youneverarrived Brilliant review 🖤 2mo
batsy @youneverarrived Thank you! 💜 2mo
vivastory For some reason I didn't receive your tag notification, so I didn't see your review until now. Wonderful review! I agree with your point about Russian history, esp. when the Oldeners have arguments they are def frequently talking about Russian politics/culture 2mo
batsy @vivastory Thank you! Yes, I felt a bit sad that quite a lot of the satire was passing me by in that aspect 😅 2mo
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batsy
Measure for Measure | William Shakespeare
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Mehso-so

There are caveats reading Shakespeare, or any piece of literature from another historical epoch: the values & worldview are obviously going to be removed from those of the present. That said, despite this being a play constructed from the ethics of the Gospels or medieval mores or a combination of both, something that hinges upon the sexual humiliation of women that culminates in a "happy ending" is always already a problem & a tragedy in my eyes.

batsy A shoutout, as always, to @Graywacke and the #ShakespeareReadAlong crew for fascinating discussions. 2mo
Graywacke Well put and quotable. If I could memorize your review… 2mo
GingerAntics Very well said. I hadn‘t thought of the hinge being sexual humiliation of women, but that is absolutely accurate. In some senses, this play feels absolutely current. 2mo
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TheBookHippie Fantastic summary. I agree with @GingerAntics that the humiliation part is what it was. So current to today, awful. 2mo
GingerAntics @TheBookHippie it‘s so sad that sexuality for men has always been power, and sexuality for women has always been humiliation and submission, at least in Western society. Clearly Rome brought us all “civilisation.” 🙄 2mo
TheBookHippie @GingerAntics gah Rome 😫 2mo
batsy @Graywacke Thank you 🙂 2mo
batsy @GingerAntics @TheBookHippie Thanks, guys! The "problem" of Isabella is hard to get over (what she experienced, then being effectively silenced in the end) and the general worldview of sexuality in this one is so bleak. It doesn't seem like the men are enjoying themselves much, either, but they do get to use sex as a means of power, coercion, etc. ? 2mo
GingerAntics @batsy I get that impression, too. Sex the “wrong” way is really no fun for anyone. It‘s interesting the men I‘ve heard talking about sex where everyone enjoys themselves talk about how sure it could be used for power, but what fun would that be? Apparently enjoying it is better than the power trip, but so many men, and even some women, just can‘t give up the death grip on the power trip. It‘s sad, really. 2mo
batsy @GingerAntics It is sad and quite grim; seems to be the logic of how the world operates. Power over everything. 2mo
GingerAntics @batsy totally agree 2mo
GatheringBooks Sex and shakespeare! 💕 2mo
LitStephanie I was bothered by Angelo presumably getting to keep his post at the end. I get that the Duke thinks really highly of him and was testing him and now hopes his character will improve, but really, not even a demotion? His "punishment" was having to be in Claudio's shoes and fear for his life for a whole ten minutes and marry a woman who against all reason dotes on him and has eyes for no one else. 2mo
batsy @LitStephanie That's true, I was unhappy about that as well. I do wonder if the deeper meaning is that Angelo has to live with the knowledge that his reputation has taken a hit, because his idea of morality is tied to his self-regard. Now he knows he can succumb to temptation just like anyone else. What kind of a husband does this make him? I dread to find out! 2mo
91 likes14 comments
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batsy
The Fire-Dwellers | Margaret Laurence
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Pickpick

This book is formally inventive, searing & uncompromising in its depiction of the drama & banality of everyday life for a mother & wife. I love the way it depicts the way consciousness works, & while it initially took me some time to adjust to the style, it made Stacy's experiences feel immediate & true. There's no sugarcoating the struggles & limits everyone faces in terms of trying to live a life on one's own terms. Laurence isn't here to play.

batsy Thanks for all of your lovely insights and reviews @BarbaraBB @LeahBergen @merelybookish @vivastory #manawakans 2mo
BarbaraBB So true. I feel we #Manawakans could have been true friends in real life. and have Laurence visiting us. Great insights below @merelybookish post ❤️ 2mo
merelybookish Laurence is not here to play! 😉 Which makes one wonder again why she is not better known. Also, the afterword to my edition suggested this book did not fare well with (male) reviewers. And I agree @BarbaraBB we would make a great group of real-life friends, but grateful for the virtual friendship too. 2mo
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batsy @BarbaraBB @merelybookish We would all definitely get on like a house on fire 💕 (the fire-dwellers 😉) 2mo
batsy @merelybookish Why am I not surprised about how male reviewers responded to it? 🙃 2mo
BarbaraBB That‘s why I‘m so glad we have @vivastory 😃 (edited) 2mo
vivastory @batsy @merelybookish @barbarabb I am very dismayed, but not terribly surprised to hear that it wasn't received as well as it should have been by male reviewers. Laurence excels at creating memorable female characters, but so many of the anxieties & concerns feel universal 2mo
vivastory & I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment that we'd be great friends irl, & am thankful for the virtual friendships 2mo
LeahBergen @BarbaraBB @merelybookish @batsy @vivastory yes, indeed! #ManawakansFOREVER 👏🏻👏🏻 And another great review, @batsy ! 2mo
rubyslippersreads Another interesting cover for this one. 2mo
Cathythoughts I havnt read … but your review is sober & serious in the best way 2mo
batsy @LeahBergen Thank you! Love that tag 💜 2mo
batsy @rubyslippersreads Not sure whether I like it, but it's a very evocative cover that suits the book. 2mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Thank you Cathy, I highly recomn Laurence 👍🏽 2mo
Cathythoughts Stacking 😁 2mo
nathandrake1997 Exquisite review ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 2mo
batsy @nathandrake1997 Thank you! ♥️ 2mo
Centique Lovely review Suba! I have got a Margaret Laurence coming up on my TBR and I know now that it will be good 🙌 2mo
SherryJones This is a new author for me — thank you so much! 2mo
batsy @Centique Thank you! I think you'll find her very much worth reading ❤️ 2mo
batsy @SherryJones Thanks for reading! 🙂 2mo
SherryJones Thank you! I‘ve just stacked this book and I‘m going to order some Margaret Laurence asap 2mo
SherryJones It‘s so telling that she‘s not a household name. So many terrific authors are not famous. I‘m delighted to discover her! 2mo
batsy @SherryJones Yes! It's sad to think about how many are soon forgotten if they aren't consistently championed and republished by bigger publishers. 2mo
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batsy
Slippery Creatures | KJ Charles
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Pickpick

This was a delight. It started off slow & I took some time to warm to it but then it got going. Described as "A 1920s m/m romance trilogy in the spirit of Golden Age pulp fiction", this made me read with full attention & a keen interest to get back into its world whenever I put it down. It's also pretty hot. I feel like writers should take lessons on how to write sex scenes from KJ Charles: this is how it should be. I am so rooting for these two!

CarolynM Love Will and Kim. I'm hoping she makes this a series not just a trilogy. Have you read this standalone of hers? (edited) 3mo
batsy @CarolynM No, I haven't! This is my first KJ Charles. I'm hoping we get more than a trilogy, too; I don't want to part with them after the next two 😢 Thanks for mentioning the tagged book...I'm going to have fun exploring her work :) 3mo
CarolynM There's lots of fun reading ahead for you🙂 3mo
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Centique I‘ve loved the KJ Charles I‘ve read but haven‘t got to this one yet. I‘ve been reading her magicians series which is also 🔥🔥🔥 2mo
batsy @Centique I've had my eye on that one! Glad to know that it's also 🔥 I think you'll enjoy Slippery Creatures, too! 2mo
betsyhaddox Thanks for the review! Definitely going on the to-read list :) 2mo
batsy @betsyhaddox I hope it's one you enjoy! 🙂 2mo
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batsy
Apricot Sky | RUBY. FERGUSON
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Pickpick

This is set in the postwar 1940s Scottish Highlands, & is the bookish equivalent of a warm blanket & cup of hot cocoa. The MacAlvey family & their friends were a bunch of people I was happy to spend time with, & I also appreciate that this story was a low-key children's adventure tale in disguise. I also very much wanted to read a sweet but spiky story that ended on a hopeful note, & this delivered. Steeped in atmosphere & quite delightful 🌸

Tamra I‘m so glad you enjoyed it too - definitely a comfy cozy! Such fun characters. As we discussed, the children‘s adventures made me uneasy! 😅 3mo
LeahBergen Lovely review! It was very Swallows and Amazons in those chapters, wasn‘t it? 😆 I‘m almost done, too! 3mo
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quietjenn I'm way behind, but really enjoying it so far! Happy (but not surprised) to hear that it was another satisfying #furrowedmiddlebrowclub pick! And yes! As @LeahBergen notes, total Swallow vibes with the kids. 3mo
Ruthiella I‘m going to probably finish tonight. This was fun but it lacked a little tension somehow...well, maybe the end will WOW me? 😀 3mo
CarolynM Great review. I'm only up to chapter 5, but I'm loving the world it's taking me into. 3mo
batsy @Tamra Yes! Just a really sweet comfort read. 3mo
batsy @LeahBergen @quietjenn Yes, that's a great comparison! Very Swallows and Amazons 💙 3mo
batsy @CarolynM Thanks and I hope it's as satisfying for you till the end 😊 3mo
kspenmoll Your review makes me want to read this on a cold day! 3mo
batsy @Ruthiella I get what you mean. It's more of a slice of life thing but it suits my mood at the moment and I just felt comfortably pulled along by the narrative 🙂 3mo
batsy @kspenmoll It'll be perfect for cozying up under the blankets on a cold day! 3mo
erzascarletbookgasm Lovely review 👌. I‘ve just made a little start and am liking it very much. Glad to see many are enjoying it! 3mo
Cathythoughts Oh perfect review.. it‘s pure comfort & lovely writing 3mo
batsy @erzascarletbookgasm @Cathythoughts Thank you 💜💜 I love how this book provided a perfect escape! 3mo
Centique This review is perfection 😍 Sounds so good. How are you doing Suba? 3mo
batsy @Centique Thank you, Paula! ❤️ I'm doing OK; life feels kind of pause right now because I'm caring for my elderly mum who's diagnosis isn't quite clear yet (a brain lesion that required hospitalisation in July). Trying to do the "one day at a time" thing. How are you and your family? 3mo
Centique @batsy I‘m sorry to hear about your mother and hope she recovers well. Many years ago I looked after my mother following a brain injury so I feel for the kind of difficulties you might be going through 💕 We‘re all ok thank you. Full lock down here but my dad is safely back in his retirement village (following surgery) and is allowed to interact with the other residents now so that‘s a big relief xxx 3mo
batsy @Centique Thank you so much ❤️ I didn't handle it so well at the beginning but talking to others who have cared for people with similar issues has helped. And I'm glad your dad is back in his place and I hope he is doing well and continues to get better! 3mo
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batsy
Apricot Sky | RUBY. FERGUSON
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Dreaming of a vacation in the Scottish Highlands 😍🌤️
I'm savouring this slowly and enjoying it so far. A perfect escapist read.

@erzascarletbookgasm @CarolynM @Cathythoughts @quietjenn @LeahBergen @rubyslippersreads @Ruthiella @Tamra

#furrowedmiddlebrowclub

TrishB Lovely graphic ♥️ 3mo
Tamra Yes - escapist! 💜 3mo
merelybookish Gorgeous! 3mo
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Ruthiella I‘ve only read the first chapter but for sure enjoying the vicarious visit to costal Scotland. 😀 3mo
JamieArc My father-in-law is leaving very soon for Scotland and Ireland. I‘m dreaming of a Scottish vacation too! 3mo
Cathythoughts Beautiful Suba ! 3mo
nathandrake1997 The prose is so delightfully atmospheric ❤️ 3mo
LeahBergen I wanna go, too! 😩 3mo
batsy @TrishB @Tamra @merelybookish @Ruthiella @JamieArc @Cathythoughts @LeahBergen Isn't it gorgeous 💛 I've been wishing so hard to magically transplant myself there 😆 3mo
batsy @nathandrake1997 It is a fluffy comfort read so far! And her love of the place definitely comes through in the descriptions. 3mo
erzascarletbookgasm 😭 the description!🤍 3mo
batsy @erzascarletbookgasm Let's go there one day 😁 3mo
BiblioLitten Scotland has always been on the top of my vacay list🙂 3mo
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batsy
Why Didn't They Ask Evans? | Agatha Christie
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Mehso-so

I continue to make my way through the #agathachristieclub reads in chronological order, & this surfaced as one of the Christies I don't think I've read before. It's a standalone mystery--no Marple, Poirot, or Tommy & Tuppence--& it's pretty fun. Irreverent, lively, with a fizz & zest about it as befitting a novel featuring amateur detectives of the "bright young things" era. However, the mystery itself was a bit of a dud & did nothing for me.

shawnmooney This was the last Agatha Christie I read, and the last I will ever read; in fact, let‘s go out on a limb and say it was the last murder mystery I shall ever, ever read! 🤣🤣 3mo
batsy @shawnmooney Definitely not your cup of tea 😆 3mo
Ruthiella I‘m not a huge fan of this kind of Christie where the crime is less solved than stumbled upon by perky young folk. Still, I enjoy the ride. 😀 3mo
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Billypar I've never even heard of this one! It's an odd title - I can't tell whether I like it or not. 3mo
batsy @Ruthiella "stumbled upon by perky young folk"—that's a perfect description! 3mo
batsy @Billypar It is! I think that's why I've avoided it all this while 😂 3mo
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batsy
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Pickpick

Following the completion of the #pemberlittens readalong of the six complete/major Jane Austen novels, I wanted to dip into some nonfiction to maintain the Austeny vibes. This one fit the bill very nicely. It's a very readable account of the social and political 18th-century English environment that provides context for Austen's work, as well as being a kind of reading list of other lesser known works that addresses similar issues and themes.

Graywacke I‘m so curious about this and have wondered whether it‘s actually good. And here you‘ve reassured me. Noting. 3mo
batsy @Graywacke I found it a worthwhile read! I didn't agree with all of his interpretations but the context was illuminating as well as the bibliography. 3mo
Graywacke @batsy good to know. Thanks! 3mo
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batsy
Free Day | Ins Cagnati
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Pickpick

Grim, dark & unsettling. Typically this would seem like the kind of book I'd absolutely love, but something about the prose style was off-putting for me at the beginning. The book only started to click about three-quarters of the way in, by which I felt for Galla & her young, abandoned, isolated self, but also tired of the way the book presented her to me. The translator's intro made me wonder if this will hit differently in the original French.

batsy The story twists a knife into the heart, & despite my resistance to its style or to its *something*, it has left quite an impression on me. Not an easy book to review or sum up at all, but it did kind of remind me of Ananda Devi's Eve out of Her Ruins. Although the books are wholly different, it lays bare the stark realities of how class shapes lives, & the costs of poverty; or rather, the costs of a world in which poverty works as a prison. 3mo
mklong Beautiful review as always! We definitely have a discussion question about the translation planned. Looking forward to more of your thoughts on it. 3mo
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BarbaraBB Beautiful review indeed. I am glad it is a pick for you in the end. The book has stuck with me for a few days now. 3mo
batsy @mklong Thank you! And thanks for organising a fantastic discussion. I'm a bit late to the party but I enjoyed reading the comments! 3mo
batsy @BarbaraBB Thank you! It was a tough read for me but it is a book that sticks with you, for sure 💔 3mo
merelybookish Why do I never see your posts?! Great review! You ended in a better place with this book than I did. I never really got past that initial discomfort/resistance. 3mo
batsy @merelybookish Thank you! It was a pretty tough read and I might have even bailed at a certain point but the way it ended really got to me. 3mo
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batsy
Persuasion | Jane Austen
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Pickpick

Persuasion is one of my favourite Austen novels, and rereading it again with the lovely #pemberlittens has just cemented its place in my personal canon. Everytime it just gets a little bit sadder, so the ending where Anne Elliot does indeed triumph over family and circumstances and has a taste of genuine happiness always feels like a gift. The older I get the more understanding I am about how the people around you can make life so restrictive.

batsy Thank you once again @sprainedbrain for hosting and fellow group readers for all the comments and insight 💕 3mo
BarbaraBB One of my favorites too. 3mo
Libby1 This is an insightful review, @batsy . 💜 3mo
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TrishB What @Libby1 said! 3mo
TheBookHippie It‘s my new favorite Austen and I love your review, so true. 3mo
AshleyHoss820 I identified with Anne so much! Persuasion is also my favorite Austen! Lovely review!! (edited) 3mo
batsy @BarbaraBB It's a quiet book that lacks Austen's usual sparkle, but packs a punch. 3mo
batsy @AshleyHoss820 Thank you! And yes I relate a whole lot to Anne 💜 3mo
IsiBel53 Thanks for make me to read this classic! 😊 3mo
Cathythoughts Lovely review ❤️ 3mo
nathandrake1997 Exquisite review ❤️ Your writing inspires me to improve my writing ❤️ Your exquisite prose is honestly an inspiration ❤️ 3mo
ageeta Lovely book 3mo
batsy @IsiBel53 I hope you enjoy! 3mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Thanks, Cathy! 3mo
batsy @nathandrake1997 You're too kind, friend. Thanks so much for your lovelt words... It made my day 💕 3mo
batsy @ageeta It is ☺️ 3mo
erzascarletbookgasm Beautiful review 💖 3mo
batsy @erzascarletbookgasm Thanks, J! Hope you've been well ❤️ 3mo
AvidReader25 My absolute favorite Austen! 3mo
batsy @AvidReader25 Yes! 💕 3mo
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review
batsy
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Pickpick

Galchen reimagines the story of Katharina Kepler, astronomer Johannes Kepler's mother, who was accused of witchcraft in 1615. It's a bleak, horrifying subject, but Katharina & her neighbour Simon's voice are suffused with wit, dry humour, & intelligence. I kept highlighting every other line. Most of all, I appreciated the expansive, generous view of humanity during a particular historical period minus the sentimentalism or romance. #CampTOB

TrishB Great review 👍🏻 3mo
vivastory Wonderful review! Did you read all of the #camptob selections? Which one is your favorite? 3mo
batsy @TrishB Thank you! 3mo
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batsy @vivastory Thank you! I've read them all except Peaces, and I think this one is my favourite of the lot :) 3mo
vivastory @batsy I will def read it then! 3mo
squirrelbrain Fab review! 3mo
batsy @squirrelbrain Thanks! 🙂 3mo
nathandrake1997 Brilliant review ❤️ 3mo
batsy @nathandrake1997 Thanks, friend 💜 3mo
rubyslippersreads Your review definitely makes me want to read this! 3mo
batsy @rubyslippersreads I hope you enjoy! 3mo
Puig Loved this book. 3mo
batsy @Puig So good! 3mo
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batsy
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This book is lowkey striving for #spinsterlit status and I respect it 🧙🏾‍♀️

#CampTOB

saresmoore THIS IS WHAT I‘VE BEEN SAYING 🙃😜 4mo
Lindy She‘s such a great character! 4mo
Suet624 Darn it. Now I have to read it. 4mo
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batsy @saresmoore I know right 😅 4mo
batsy @Lindy She's fantastic! I enjoy being inside her head. 4mo
batsy @Suet624 Yep! 😆 4mo
Cathythoughts Brilliant 4mo
batsy @Cathythoughts I love the writing! 3mo
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review
batsy
A Jest of God | Margaret Laurence
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Pickpick

Rachel is an unforgettable protagonist. Her voice is sharp, self-effacing, astute, & clever. Through a very careful depiction of an interior life, Laurence delves deep into the lives of an ordinary woman with breathtaking intimacy. Through her thoughts & fantasies & actions, we get a sense of how restrictive life can be for a single woman living with an overbearing mother in a small town, & the burdens of simply trying to exist as a Normal Person.

batsy I'm so glad I read it with you guys @leahbergen @merelybookish @vivastory and I have to deem it a new #spinsterlit classic! 😆 4mo
merelybookish Lovely review! It seems many #spinsterlit classics are not about ordinary women or they cope by being eccentric or extraordinary. Whereas Rachel really is a very normal person! 4mo
nathandrake1997 Brilliant review ❤️ Can't wait to read this! 4mo
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BarbaraBB I definitely want to read this now, after your review and having just finished 4mo
vivastory I'm so glad you liked it & it is def a #spinsterlit classic IMO Are you interested in joining @merelybookish & @leahbergen & I for The Fire-Dwellers? (edited) 4mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB I will be reading The Fire-Dwellers in September. Feel free to join! 4mo
batsy @merelybookish @nathandrake1997 Thank you! ❤️❤️ 4mo
batsy @BarbaraBB I'm a bit bummed that I didn't read it in order. I've got The Stone Angel high on the tbr 🙂 4mo
batsy @vivastory Yes, I can't wait! I've ordered my copy and I hope it arrives on time 🤞🏾 4mo
vivastory @batsy I think that I am going to push it back a bit. I know that @merelybookish is going to be busy getting settled into her new place. So, I was thinking maybe starting around the 13th? @leahbergen @barbarabb 4mo
BarbaraBB @vivastory I‘m in! Thanks for thinking of me. Now I just need to get a copy ij time! 4mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB Wonderful! Glad that you will be joining us 4mo
batsy @vivastory No problem at all! I'm happy to start when we're all ready. 4mo
shawnmooney Lovely review! I read it as a precocious teenager and all I remember is that I liked it. I want to read the entire Manawaka series in sequence one of these days! 3mo
batsy @shawnmooney Thank you! And I regret not reading it in order, as well. I read The Diviners for a CanLit course years ago. I want to read the whole sequence too. 3mo
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batsy
A Jest of God | Margaret Laurence
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Oh, Rachel 💔

I'm almost towards the end but I don't want to finish it tonight—I'm a bit nervous about how it'll end. It turns out I'm getting softer with age and need my #spinsterlit anti-heroines to thrive 😭

@LeahBergen @merelybookish @vivastory

vivastory Same, same ...it looks like you're almost at the end 4mo
merelybookish Her situation feels impossible at times! 4mo
LeahBergen I know!!! 😩😩 4mo
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batsy I finally finished and like @LeahBergen said I didn't see that ending coming! A triumph for Rachel, imo—plus what she said to her mother 🙌🏾 @merelybookish @vivastory 4mo
merelybookish @batsy I'm glad you finished and had your fears are put to rest. The ending is great and makes so much sense for Rachel but didnt even seen like a possibility until the very end. So yes a triumph! 4mo
vivastory @batsy @merelybookish @LeahBergen Over the past year I've noticed more & more how tricky a good ending is, especially one where there's a change for the MC & it's convincing. The more I think about it, this is my favorite ending of the year 4mo
merelybookish @vivastory Most good books have okay conclusions. A good conclusion is rare, and one that actually makes the book better is even more rare. I think the ending to Jest of God is that rare exception! 4mo
batsy @vivastory @merelybookish I agree! My main issue with Moshfegh's Eileen was the ending. Laurence just pulls it all off in a very realistic and low-key way and it feels totally *right*. 4mo
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batsy
All's Well that Ends Well | William Shakespeare
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Mehso-so

The title is intriguing, because I don't think it ends well for most characters (or the reader!). In fact, I wanted to whisk Helena away into a different reality altogether where her standards for a husband become vastly different. Like others have said, I wonder if Shakes was being particularly cynical & ironic with this play. Maybe all that glitters isn't gold & what you want & fooled yourself into thinking is good is utter crap? Much to ponder.

MayJasper Much to ponder. 4mo
merelybookish Great review! This one is a real puzzler! Maybe Shakespeare was tired to pretending marriage is a happy ending? 4mo
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batsy @merelybookish Thank you! And I definitely got the impression that Shakespeare was tired of *something*, here 😅 4mo
TheBookHippie Utter crap 😂👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 4mo
batsy @TheBookHippie 😆😆 4mo
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batsy
Persuasion | Jane Austen
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Happy birthday to Anne Elliot, my favourite Austen heroine. And it finally dawned on me during this read that she and I are both Leos 😋

#pemberlittens

Cathythoughts I‘m really enjoying this one … & your favourite Austin heroine 👍🏻❤️ I will be looking more closely at Anne now (edited) 4mo
batsy @Cathythoughts There's just something about her... Older & wiser & sadder than the other Austen heroines ❤️ 4mo
TheBookHippie 🤍🤍🤍 4mo
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Tanisha_A Love this one! And I have the most beaut copy from you ❤️ 4mo
batsy @TheBookHippie This quote ... I felt it 😆 4mo
batsy @Tanisha_A ❤️❤️ 4mo
79 likes6 comments
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batsy
The Go-Between | L.P. Hartley
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Pickpick

I enjoyed the beautiful writing, but I was probably less enamoured of this book than most & I can't quite figure out why. This novel explores nostalgia & memory in evocative ways, but though the events are dramatic--especially as seen through the eyes of an adolescent caught up in forces too big for him to understand--I felt at a strange remove from the plot & the upper class characters. What I found intriguing was Leo's obsession with Marian.

batsy It felt like a standard heterosexual coming of age, but at points this novel felt interestingly queer in its subtext, & Marian seemed like an acceptable feminine placeholder for Leo's perhaps burgeoning interest in the boys & men around him. I don't know if this is me reading too much into things, but it did make me wonder if this contributes to older Leo's cynicism & melancholy. #nyrbbookclub @vivastory @sprainedbrain 4mo
Hamlet Wonderful, insightful comments (yet again!). 4mo
rubyslippersreads @batsy I felt that Leo‘s crush on Marian helped to sublimate his fascination with Ted, especially Ted‘s physicality. 4mo
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DrexEdit Great review! 4mo
Leftcoastzen Nice review! 4mo
charl08 Reviews like this make me want to reread books I've completely forgotten. Gorgeous cover too. 4mo
batsy @rubyslippersreads Yes, well put! Felt there was quite a bit of that going on. 4mo
batsy @charl08 It's a great cover, isn't it? It looks ordinary from afar and then you look closer and it's hard to look away. 4mo
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batsy
Tender Is the Flesh | Agustina Bazterrica
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Thank you Jessie @erzascarletbookgasm for your lovely present! This is definitely some potentially gruesome reading I'll be looking forward to sometime soon 😆 It was a lovely surprise to receive this today! You're very kind😘❤️

erzascarletbookgasm You‘re welcome. Happy birthday! 😘 4mo
nathandrake1997 Happy Birthday ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 4mo
batsy @erzascarletbookgasm Thank you so much again ❤️ 4mo
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batsy @nathandrake1997 Thank you!! 💕 4mo
LeahBergen Happy Birthday, my friend!! 😘😘 4mo
batsy @LeahBergen Thank you, Leah ❤️ 4mo
Reggie Happy Birthday!!! And I can‘t wait to hear what you think about Tender is the Flesh! 4mo
Bookzombie Happy Birthday! I also can‘t wait to hear what you think about Tender is the Flesh! 🧁🎉🎈 4mo
batsy @Reggie @Bookzombie Thank you!! ❤️❤️ 4mo
merelybookish Happy belated birthday! Hope it was fab. And I hope you enjoy your new books, although I do not want to hear about Tender is the Flesh. 😬 4mo
Cathythoughts Happy Belated birthday 🎉… lovely gifts , I‘m looking forward to your thoughts on Tender Is … ( I really liked it ) 4mo
batsy @merelybookish @Cathythoughts Thank you!! ❤️❤️ And i love your opposing reactions to Tender 😁 4mo
rohit-sawant Belated Happy Birthday, Suba! 🎉🎂🎉 Hope you had a wonderful time celebrating. 4mo
batsy @rohit-sawant Thank you, Rohit! 💜 I hope you've been well. 4mo
Suet624 Oh shoot. I missed your birthday. I know life is feeling a bit wonky for you right now. I hope you found some time to celebrate the delightful being that you are. 4mo
batsy @Suet624 Thank you, dear Sue ❤️ I hope you've been well! 4mo
Suet624 @batsy Summer and weddings in Vermont have been a wonderful way to emerge from our homes without masks. While things are starting to slowly heat up with the Delta variant, me and my family are doing well. 4mo
batsy @Suet624 I'm so glad to hear it! Those times with family the best. The Delta variant has been leaving a trail of destruction here... I'm hoping with increased vaccination, the hospitalisation and death rates will go down. 4mo
Suet624 @batsy please stay safe. 💕 4mo
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review
batsy
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow | Washington Irving
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Pickpick

I've never read this, and I'm glad the #ChildrensClassicRead2021 for July gave me the opportunity! A fun slice of cheesy Gothic "horror" that was less scary than I expected but still pretty atmospheric and gripping. I would have liked more of the Headless Horseman, though ??

@TheBookHippie

TheBookHippie MEEE TOO! I did really enjoy it as well. 4mo
mabell I LOVE this! It‘s fun to read just the beginning for the atmosphere - such a cozy setting. 🍂🍁 4mo
mabell Poor disillusioned Ichabod. But you had it comin‘ pal. 🤣 4mo
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batsy @TheBookHippie Glad to have read it 😁 4mo
batsy @mabell Yes to the atmosphere! And I agree that he had it coming 😂 4mo
tpixie Yes the atmosphere was great! I wanted more headless horseman also. I‘m not certain exactly what I thought the book was going to be, but it was different than what I expected. But I loved reading it. @mabell @TheBookHippie @batsy 4mo
TheBookHippie @tpixie Me either as it scared me as an 8 year old child I had no real memories but this was a very good read for me and I agree with you all, he had it coming! The atmosphere was done just splendid! 4mo
UwannaPublishme My sentiments exactly! Not as scary as expected, but still quite eerie. 4mo
batsy @UwannaPublishme Yes! Quite enjoyable but would liked a bit more of a fright 😆 4mo
rohit-sawant Feel likewise! I reread this some months ago as research for a story and was struck by how well crafted it is in terms of atmosphere. 4mo
UwannaPublishme You‘re braver than I am! The spooky level was fine by me. 😆 4mo
batsy @rohit-sawant It was extremely well-crafted! I liked that aspect of it. 4mo
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batsy
Whereabouts | Jhumpa Lahiri
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Mehso-so

What I liked:

1) A writer of South Asian heritage who previously wrote diasporic fiction about the immigrant experience now writing a plotless novel about an unnamed woman in an unnamed city.

2) The way the narrator filters her perceptions & love of solitude through the lens of her relationship to her parents.

What I didn't like:

1) The lack of personality, wit, or humour. The narrator's tone felt flat; the style generic. I'll forget this soon

batsy Now I know why I read contemporary litfic several years after their release ... apparently I'm a curmudgeon who expects quite a lot from books that gain instant praise 😆 #CampTOB @BarbaraBB 4mo
TheKidUpstairs I've seen a number of people who have been left with the same feeling. It's unfortunate, Lahiri is generally so adept at forging connection between her characters and readers, it's why I love her writing so much. I'm sure I'll still read this one, but I'm not as excited about it... 4mo
TrishB 😂😂 fair review though! 4mo
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batsy @TheKidUpstairs Yes, there's something missing here that left me feeling quite empty. I did see that some people really liked it, though, so hopefully it works for you as well 😊 4mo
batsy @TrishB 😁 4mo
nathandrake1997 Brilliant review ❤️ Prior to its release I was really looking forward to read this since I haven't read Jhumpa Lahiri yet and the synopsis sounded like exactly the kind of books I usually love. But after its mixed reception, with common criticism being about its rather flat prose, I'm not so sure anymore. 4mo
Ruthiella Good point about her breaking out of the emigrant lit-fic mold here! 4mo
BarbaraBB Wonderful review. I enjoyed it a lot but I do agree with you that I doubt it‘ll have a lasting impact. 4mo
Flaneurette Soon after finishing this I thought ok fine but not too memorable but now that I have more distance I find myself thinking about it. It seems to circle around the terrible emptiness at the center of her life without ever specifically addressing it. I think the flat prose mirrors her flat life 4mo
batsy @nathandrake1997 Thank you! It was a very quick read and it went down easy, so perhaps you could still give it a go when the mood hits. People get something different out of books like these so it could surprise you 🙂 4mo
batsy @Ruthiella I did like that she broke out of her usual mold! 4mo
batsy @BarbaraBB Thank you! And I would have preferred a stronger voice/POV but you raise a really interesting point @Flaneurette and it's true that the prose mirrors life. 4mo
Graywacke @batsy appreciate your take. I didn‘t like Namesake - just felt flat…and I don‘t think she‘s normally a flat writer. I was worried this might be like that. Still, I‘m curious. 4mo
batsy @Graywacke It's an interesting read, I think. But there was just a fundamental bit missing from it. I did like The Namesake but I read it when it came out—I might feel different about it now. 4mo
AvidReader25 I absolutely loved both of her short story collections, but most of her other work has felt flat to me. I‘m not sure I could put my finger on why. 4mo
batsy @AvidReader25 Tbh I think that's how I feel about her work, too. I liked The Namesake well enough when I read it years ago but I do wonder if I'd feel the same about it now. 4mo
86 likes16 comments
review
batsy
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Mehso-so

I wanted so much to like this because I adore Aiken's Wolves Chronicles & think she's a splendid writer. But this largely fell flat. It started off promising, but the thing about remaking Austen is that you're inevitably held to her high standards. I found Jane judgmental & lacking in humour & wit. Perhaps Aiken would have written a different book if she could imagine the characters differently. In trying to make them Austenesque, she stumbled.

batsy Also Jane & Frank's relationship in this depiction somehow felt worse than in the original, & that just largely left me feeling both icky & sad about the whole thing. I did find Rachel quite an interesting character & would have liked her to have a less generic storyline & maybe become the political cartoonist she wanted to be?! 😆 #pemberlittens @sprainedbrain 5mo
LiteraryinLawrence Great review! 5mo
rubyslippersreads I thought it was odd that Jane had a crush on Mr. Knightley and more than a crush on Matt Dixon, but still liked Frank Churchill well enough to enter into a secret engagement. 5mo
batsy @LiteraryinLawrence Thank you! 4mo
batsy @rubyslippersreads I found it odd, as well. I had a hard time understanding what exactly motivates Jane and what kind of man she'd be drawn to—it all seemed so random, because Aiken already had a cast of characters to work with and just had to fit them into slots. 4mo
99 likes5 comments
review
batsy
Table Two | Marjorie Wilenski
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Pickpick

This 1940s novel of women working as translators for the Foreign Intelligence in London during the Blitz was intriguing & unexpected. The focus is on Elsie & Anne; both from different age groups & class backgrounds, & thus operating differently on the social scale. Elsie is older & jaded, a "spinster" who's had to work for her living all her life, while Anne is pretty, privileged, & has just recently come into working life. With bombs raining down

batsy on them, Elsie & Anne & the other women they work with try to get on with life as much as they can. I found the atmosphere sharply drawn & appreciated the details of how the ladies clung to normal habits & came in to work after a night of bombing, having spent it with the ceiling caving in & being flooded in sooty water, or in random people's houses. The resilient spirit of the 1940s British working woman is on display here. I really liked this. 5mo
rabbitprincess Ooh, a books about translators? I‘ll have to track this down 😊 5mo
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batsy @rabbitprincess That aspect of their work was not depicted in too much detail, unfortunately. But the office vibes & politics were really interesting :) 5mo
Ruthiella The unexpectedness of the story was a plus! There was something about the volatility of Elsie‘s relationship with reality coupled with the random possibility that any character could be killed in a bomb attack on the next page that kept the tension taut. 5mo
LeahBergen I had such a sense of foreboding for much of this read! I even thought that all of Table Two might be hit by a bomb. 😬 @Ruthiella 5mo
LeahBergen Lovely photo and review, @batsy ! 5mo
Ruthiella @LeahBergen Me too! I thought for sure either Anne or Elsie were going to die that way. The actual end was anticlimactic! 5mo
quietjenn @Ruthiella @LeahBergen I was so sure that Elsie and Seb were going to be killed when they went off together in the taxi! 5mo
quietjenn Wonderful review! So glad that people are liking it. I always with when it's my pick ? These book did a great job, I thought, of depicting characters who were "keep[ing] calm and carry[ing] on" 5mo
Cathythoughts Excellent review Suba & that “ get on with it “ “ no nonsense “ vibe was certainly the order of the day 👍🏻 i agree It really did show resilience and @LeahBergen @Ruthiella @quietjenn I thought some of them would be struck down too, Very nervous there for awhile. What a great read , very enjoyable ! (edited) 5mo
batsy @Ruthiella @LeahBergen @quietjenn @Cathythoughts I had that sense of foreboding throughout, as well. And I was convinced that it was going to end badly for Elsie; I'm so glad it didn't! 5mo
batsy @LeahBergen @Cathythoughts @quietjenn Thank you! 💜 This was a great pick, though I get the sense we can't quite go wrong with most books by this publisher 😊 5mo
CarolynM Can't wait to finish so I can read the spoilers😆 5mo
nathandrake1997 Brilliant review ❤️ Also, how charming is that cover ❤️ 5mo
Cathythoughts @batsy I‘d say you‘re right there … that we can‘t go wrong by most books with this publisher 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 great 😊 5mo
CarolynM @Ruthiella @LeahBergen @quietjenn @Cathythoughts I'm not entirely sure it did end well for Elsie. She tells Anne she's got that job, but how much can we rely on he word? After all, she's not telling the truth about the gas. She would have missed the interview, did they want her that much? And even if she did get it, she'd have been out of work again once the men came back from the war and reclaimed the jobs. 5mo
batsy @nathandrake1997 Thank you! And yes, these covers are so lovely 💕 5mo
batsy @CarolynM That's true. All is not rosy, in that sense. I do hope things work out for her though. I expected the book to end with her death whilst reading the gas incident; that's probably why I felt like she was given a second chance. 5mo
Ruthiella @batsy @CarolynM Maybe I was reading the ending with rose colored glasses! It didn‘t occur to me that Elsie could have been lying about the job. 😬 5mo
LeahBergen @Ruthiella @batsy @CarolynM I never suspected she could be lying about that job! I think I was just totally invested in the idea of her ‘happy ending‘ after thinking that she was for sure going to die by that suicidal attempt. 5mo
LeahBergen @Cathythoughts @batsy I have certainly liked some titles more than others but I can definitely say that I‘ve enjoyed every Furrowed Middlebrow book I‘ve read. So far! 🤞 5mo
Cathythoughts @LeahBergen @Ruthiella @batsy @CarolynM Oh no , I never thought that job wouldn‘t happen .. I thought she had the job 😢. Oh Elsie . I thought she was like Cinderella dressed up for the ball after her makeover & just before she met Benno for the first time .. only not with Cinderella ending. She stands out in my mind though .. 5mo
Tanisha_A Sounds very interesting! ❤️ 4mo
batsy @Tanisha_A I think you'll like it 💕 4mo
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batsy
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Mehso-so

A bit of a strange one. My first Ishiguro & I wanted desperately to jump on the bandwagon as all the cool people with good taste love him ? Unfortunately, I found this a bore. Kind of a slog, & maybe a lot of nothing. I found everything so overdetermined: the class differences between the kids who "had" what Josie had, as well as the costs that came with getting that. Klara's pure yet naive voice was interesting, but not enough to elevate this.

batsy I wanted to understand this world better, or at least *feel* the world that the novel depicts, but largely found myself removed from everything that was going on. I found myself wanting something to happen to shock me out of the inertia of this book, like the Sun suddenly speaking or something. Sadly that did not happen. The world we exist in now is already way more shocking than the dystopia of this novel. #CampTOB @BarbaraBB 5mo
Anna40 I LOVED The Remains of the Day but any attempt to read his other books failed. I did read Never let me go, but didn't like it much, didn t really understand it, I think. 5mo
Liz_M An Artist of the Floating World is very good and The Remains of the Day is fantastic (but the latter might be inflated by the wonderful movie with Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins). 5mo
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Moray_Reads I agree with @Anna40. Remains is a masterpiece and the others I've read have been...lacking. I disliked this one and the Buried Giant, it felt like Ishiguro couldn't be bothered with real world-building and just left everything wishy-washy and poorly-defined. I loved Never Let Me Go when it came out and then HATED it when I reread it a couple of years ago. I've come to the conclusion that he's not for me 5mo
Tamra I‘m in agreement with not being satisfied with anything other than Remains. 5mo
MicheleinPhilly I‘ll come sit at this table with all of you. 5mo
batsy @Liz_M I love the movie! I haven't read it yet and do want to, especially based on everyone else's comments! Floating World is also one that I'm interested in. 5mo
batsy @Anna40 I've avoided Never Let Me Go for that reason—feels like a book that I might not quite get, in a sense. 5mo
batsy @Moray_Reads It's funny how that is! Klara had the same wishy-washy aspect. I don't mind at all a writer doing that (not quite focusing on detailed world building) if it's to create a certain tone or atmosphere, but here it felt flat. 5mo
batsy @Tamra I am definitely keen to give him another try (or two) and Remains is the priority! 5mo
Tamra @batsy I hope you love it! Have you seen the movie? It‘s one of my favorites and honestly I think the is better than the book! 😲 5mo
batsy @Tamra I love the movie! And now I really want to watch it again; it's been aaaages :) 5mo
Tamra @batsy My husband and I watch it nearly every year! 😊 5mo
Bianca I have never been able to get into an Ishiguro novel. Then there's the fact that he called his wife "hysterical" in an interview he did for a paper after receiving news of winning the Nobel. I eventually gave up. 5mo
BarbaraBB I completely agree with your review. I kept waiting for something to happen. Remains is my favorite too but I also loved Never Let Me Go. It was my first dystopian book ever and I wouldn‘t reread it because I fear I might be disappointed now too. I liked The Unconsoled, Artist of a Floating World and The Buried Giant when I read them I‘m one of the cool people 😎😜 I guess (edited) 5mo
batsy @Bianca Oh, I didn't know about that incident tbh! 5mo
batsy @BarbaraBB You're definitely one of the cool people 😎✌🏽😁 I'm glad to hear you felt somewhat similar reading this. It left me wanting more. 5mo
BarbaraBB Haha 😎!! If you‘re willing to, I should read Remains. It‘s completely different. 5mo
Neen32 the book for me was like Kalra, just fading off at the end… 5mo
batsy @Neen32 Yes, it did seem to fade into an end. 5mo
nathandrake1997 While overall I liked the novel a lot (it is one of my favourite books of the year so far 😅) this indeed is one of Ishiguro's more lighter outings (kind of explained by the fact that Ishiguro had started writing this as a children's book). Or maybe when I read this I was in the mood for something light and that along with being admittedly a bit starstruck by Ishiguro was probably the reason I liked it so much 😅 Brilliant review as usual ❤️ 5mo
batsy @nathandrake1997 Thank you! I'm glad it was a much better reading experience for you 💜 I'm definitely intrigued by some of his earlier novels and will give him a try again when I'm in a much better headspace :) 5mo
PaperbackPirate Another non-fan of Ishiguro here. You‘re not alone! 😴 4mo
batsy @PaperbackPirate I'm glad :) 4mo
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batsy
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Pickpick

A rather fun, fluffy romp that's perfect escapist reading. My brain didn't have to go beyond "idle" mode ? There was some dry, snappy British banter; characters being all manner of silly; and a 1920s Golden Age detective fiction vibe that's perfect for bedtime reading.

LeahBergen Fun! 👏🏻 5mo
batsy @LeahBergen it was! :) 5mo
Suet624 Idle mode. I like that description. 5mo
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charl08 Sounds good to me 👍 5mo
batsy @Suet624 😁 5mo
batsy @charl08 Where would I be without my cozy reads 🙂 5mo
Cathythoughts Sounds good 👍🏻❤️ 5mo
batsy @Cathythoughts A nice bit of fluff 🙂 5mo
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batsy
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Pickpick

This is a tough book to review & sum up, but I'm very glad I read it. From the initial pages I felt it reach into my mind & shake things up in there in terms of my perspectives on gender presentation, feminism, & sexuality. My main issue is that the writing was sometimes awkward & overdetermined, & in the second half Katrina & Ames seemed like vessels for Peters' ideas instead of fully-fleshed characters. But I understand why, on one level.

batsy I get why the novel has more "telling" than showing & I don't mind it because an author's style is one that best suits the book they're writing. Hard & fast fiction-writing rules are usually pretty restrictive. But here you could sense that underlying the novel, Peters has a bit of a polemic or a manifesto in her, one that could be pretty amazing in exploring trans perspectives on gender. If she ever writes something like it I'd love to read it. 5mo
sarahbarnes Great review! I hope to read this one soon! 5mo
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nathandrake1997 Brilliant review ❤️ This was the book I was the most interested in from the longlist and I was waiting for the paperback to release because the hardcover is quite expensive 😅 but after reading your review I want to read this right away ❤️ 5mo
batsy @sarahbarnes Thank you! I look forward to your thoughts 🙂 5mo
batsy @nathandrake1997 Thank you, friend! I would love ti know what you make of it. It's an intriguing and extremely necessary book, imo. 5mo
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batsy
Emma | Jane Austen, James Kinsley, Adela Pinch
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Pickpick

This chapter-a-day deep immersion into Emma allowed me to appreciate facets I overlooked before. In the past, I could only remember that I found Emma slightly aggravating, & thus I avoided revisiting it often. This time though I loved seeing how Austen charts Emma's growth, the way the plot serves to enhance understanding of character, & the detailed way social ties & obligation shape & mold a person. It's also, as far as novels go, quite perfect!

batsy Thank you @sprainedbrain and #pemberlittens for a lovely group read, as always 🌻 5mo
Cathythoughts Lovely review & picture 💫I must post up mine too. 5mo
nathandrake1997 Brilliant review ❤️ Also, one chapter per day sounds like a great idea for classics ❤️ Also, it's about time I finally start reading Jane Austen! Is EMMA a good starting point? 5mo
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Lesliereads “quite perfect”😍 5mo
Smarkies I liked Emma to begin with but gained so much more with this reread especially the social class understanding. 5mo
SamAnne Great review. @nathandrake1997 Emma is my favorite. The humor, wit and developed characters. Other prefer Pride and Prejudice! 5mo
LeahBergen Lovely review! And yes, I appreciated Emma much more on this read, too. 5mo
sprainedbrain Awesome review, as usual! ❤️ 5mo
nathandrake1997 @SamAnne Thanks 😄 I'll start with EMMA 😄 5mo
batsy @nathandrake1997 Thank you! And yes! I think you can start anywhere with Austen and Emma is a great one, or P&P, or Persuasion. I love them all but Mansfield Park is my least fave, so I don't recommend MP to start with but it's purely a personal preference 🙂 5mo
batsy @Lesliereads It is just such a well-constructed novel ❤️ 5mo
batsy @Smarkies Yes, me too. Also the way class really shapes their social networks. 5mo
rubyslippersreads Perfect review and lovely cover. I get so much more reading a chapter-a-day (although I already liked Emma). 5mo
rubyslippersreads @Smarkies That‘s exactly how I felt. 5mo
batsy @rubyslippersreads Thank you 💜 5mo
Centique What a beautiful edition and a beautiful review! It‘s about time I revisited this one. Like you I found her annoying originally - but I have a different perspective these days ☺️ 5mo
batsy @Centique Thank you! The reread was a wonderful way to get to know the book better. I was surprised by how much more I liked it this time around 🙂 5mo
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batsy
Richard III | William Shakespeare
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Pickpick

Dark, wicked, & psychologically-complex. It's quite obvious how this was written to be a propaganda tool, but at the same time you see that Shakespeare himself seems to have been seduced by the idea of Richard that he had in his mind. Richard exists as a person, stealing all of the best lines, & the dude who brings peace & joy at the end, to "unite the White rose and the Red", is just some dude giving a platitudinous TED Talk. (I forget his name.)

DivineDiana Great review! 5mo
batsy @DivineDiana Thank you! 🙂 5mo
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Graywacke Yeah, who is that dude? Fun review and group read. 5mo
Centique I‘ve just been listening to the BBC HistoryExtra series about the Princes in the Tower with a bit of reference to this play! Apparently there are very fervent conspiracy theorists who blame Shakespeare almost solely for Richard‘s bad reputation. It‘s a good short series 👍 (edited) 5mo
batsy @Graywacke 😆 And yes, fun discussion as always! 5mo
batsy @Centique Ooh that sounds good! I'm going to look it up. And I can understand why they'd blame Shakespeare; he has crafted a particular persona for Richard that's very captivating but hard to shake off. 5mo
LitStephanie Strong agree on the dude at the end. Ted Talk platitudes! 🤣🤣🤣 5mo
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