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Joined September 2016

Ghost in the bookshelf 👻 Malaysia | http://www.goodreads.com/subabat
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The Housemate by Sarah Bailey
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Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley
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Selected Poems by Walt Whitman
The Knights | Aristophanes
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Going from the tragedies to the comedies is always such a trip. This is an utterly irreverent & impudent play that, as a satire of political life, mocks the pro-war Cleon through the allegorical character Paphlagonian. Paphlagonian is humiliated by a random sausage-seller who outwits him at every turn. This also gives us plenty of "sausage" jokes, if you catch my drift. I won't lie, I laughed—like the child I am—at stuff like "King Happy-arse".

batsy I read the translation by Alan Sommerstein. 2d
UwannaPublishme Another great review! 😆🙌🏻 2d
batsy @UwannaPublishme Thank you 😁 22h
63 likes1 stack add3 comments
The Lark | E. Nesbit
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Jane & Lucilla leave school & assume they'll embark on a life of independent means, but are informed by their guardian that he has gambled away their money & they will have to make do with the house+500 pounds. Jane declares that instead of seeing it as hardship, they're going to see this as A Lark. There's a touch of fairy tale magic to this tale, which reminds me of the charm & optimism of Nesbit's children's books. An utter frothy delight.

Tamra Fairy tale magic is spot on! 😊 5d
Ruthiella Great review! It was a frothy delight! With an undercurrent of reality as @CarolynM pointed out elsewhere. 5d
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batsy @Tamra I like that it kind of wove those elements into the story without sacrificing characterisation 🙂 5d
batsy @Ruthiella Thank you, and yes, agreed @CarolynM there's not really a point where the book turns away from reality too much and I appreciated that. 5d
LeahBergen Lovely review! And yes, I too appreciated the light touch with the fairy tale aspect of the plot. 5d
quietjenn Perfectly said (and oh how lovely your accompanying treats look!). 4d
CarolynM Lovely review💕 4d
batsy @LeahBergen Thank you! Once again this group read delivers the kind of comfort read I needed 🥰 4d
batsy @quietjenn @CarolynM Thank you! 😘😘 4d
Kimzey Nice review! 1d
batsy @Kimzey Thank you! 22h
Cathythoughts Lovely review♥️👍🏻 18h
batsy @Cathythoughts Thanks, Cathy! 😘 15h
batsy I meant to tag you @Centique — I hope you enjoyed it, too! 25m
102 likes2 stack adds15 comments
Excellent Women | Barbara Pym
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Saw on Twitter that Virago is re-issuing some of Barbara Pym's books and these covers got me hyperventilating about wanting to own ALL of them 😆

https://twitter.com/lucy_martin20/status/1524764991760613377?t #GimmeAllOfThePyms

Liz_M Beautiful! 1w
Ruthiella I like these better than the rom-com cartoons from the previous re-issue but my favorites are still the original wallpaper-pattern ones. 1w
batsy @Liz_M 😍 1w
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batsy @Ruthiella Those patterned ones are so lovely! 1w
Tamra Ooooo so pretty! 1w
Nute Quite lovely! 1w
LeahBergen I saw these, too, and 😍😍😍 1w
Caroline2 Ohhhh pretty 🤩 1w
Cathythoughts They are so nice 👍🏻♥️ 1w
EvieBee Man! I need these. 1w
SayersLover Wonderful news! Thanks for the heads up @batsy 1w
Centique This is my type of news 😍😍 I‘m in love with them! 1w
rwmg Maybe it's time to get a consistent set 🙂 1w
CarolynM These look fabulous! I‘m going to have to start my collection again😆 1w
batsy @EvieBee @rwmg @CarolynM Totally planning on getting the whole set 😁 7d
batsy @SayersLover My pleasure! 🙂 7d
Hamlet Barbara Pym forever! 7d
kspenmoll Thank you! Love Pym 6d
charl08 Those covers are gorgeous! 6d
batsy @Hamlet @kspenmoll I must really make it a point to read more of her! 6d
batsy @charl08 Yes! 😍 6d
85 likes22 comments
Hecuba | Euripides Euripides
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Hecuba was just tragic from start to finish, with anguish visited upon Hecuba that certainly seems more like a person can bear, & that is the heart of the philosophical question in this play & in most Greek tragedies: how much can a person bear, why do people have to bear it, etc. There's also an angry aside about the gods causing destruction so that they can remain relevant (!). Hecuba herself is a fascinating character & dare I say it, bad ass.

batsy The chorus of angry women was genuinely quite chilling & the way Hecuba & her band of women take revenge on Polymestor for the murder of her son Polydorus is kind of seared into my mind. I mean it's obviously blood & violence, the stuff of tragedy, but the way the violence unfolded had me 😩 (I read the translation by William Arrowsmith.) 1w
batsy Image: "Hecuba Blinding Polymestor", Giuseppe Maria Crespi (1665–1747) 1w
76 likes2 comments
Lady Susan | Jane Austen
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“Your husband I abhor, Reginald I despise, & I am secure of never seeing either again. Have I not reason to rejoice?” Lady Susan is a cold, brutal novella of a narcissist in search of her next prey. There are no murders, but this one reads like Gillian Flynn doing Jane Austen. Her short/unfinished fictions continue to take me by surprise. It makes me think that her published works had to be worked on & polished until it was suitably respectable.

batsy Thanks for being a great host @sprainedbrain and as always it was a blast to read this with the #pemberlittens 1w
sprainedbrain Great review! I think you‘re right that her published work was probably very polished. She was savage. 😅 1w
batsy @sprainedbrain Thank you 😘 And yes, she was! She had to blunt that sharpness to make it palatable, it seems like 😆 1w
Emilymdxn I'd love to join in with Pemberlittens - I love reading all the posts 1w
batsy @Emilymdxn You can check @sprainedbrain 's posts, but we've finished the main novels and now taking votes for books to read over every two months. We finished Lady Susan, but we're also currently reading Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley, hosted by @jenniferw88 and we're only about 5 chapters in so there's time to catch up 🙂 1w
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Henry VIII | William Shakespeare
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Henry VIII feels like one of the forgettable filler tracks that come on at the end after a slew of hit singles on a chart-topping album. It reeks a bit of mushy Tudor propaganda, & is so far from the standards Shakespeare set for himself that the Globe theatre caught fire & burned down in 1613 during this play's first performance. Lol. But yeah, it's widely accepted that this was a collaboration between Shakespeare & his successor John Fletcher.

batsy The Signet intro is quite comfortable in breaking down the scenes that were written by Shakespeare & Fletcher but I'm not sure if this is a widely-accepted view or if Fletcher was mainly editing & revising as he went along. The highlight for me was the scene between Anne Boleyn & her pal the Old Lady that was apparently written by Shakespeare. I felt some irritation at Katherine getting the short-shrift in this; she went from 🦁 to 🐑 & it was 🤔 2w
merelybookish Great review! It's a terrible play. LOL. And absolutely the worst cut on the album. 👍 2w
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batsy @merelybookish Thanks! Here I am blatantly giving Shakespeare a pan... 😆 2w
merelybookish @batsy I guess we could blame John Fletcher. Although I do think you've earned the right to give the Bard a pan! 😀 2w
TrishB Great review 😁 2w
sarahbarnes Love this! 😂 2w
batsy @TrishB @sarahbarnes Thank you both 😁 2w
GingerAntics I can see how this play make the globe go up in flames. That is a legit hypothesis to me. 1w
kspenmoll Great review! 1w
batsy @kspenmoll Thank you 😘 1w
UwannaPublishme 😄🙌🏻 1w
80 likes13 comments
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I enjoyed last year's #CampTOB so I'm hoping to be able to join in this year. These are my #summercampsuggestions for #CampTOB2022 based on titles that I've been dying to read for awhile now and some new ones that came to my attention from PW.


Cathythoughts These all look interesting 👍🏻♥️ 2w
thebluestocking Nice list!! 💙 2w
rockpools …and beautifully colour-coordinated as well! 🌸 2w
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vivastory Moshfegh 👏🤘 2w
Ruthiella @rockpools Yes! Totally impressed by the color coordination. 👍 Now if only someone would give me $$$ so I can quit working and read all day. 😂 2w
squirrelbrain Some really interesting-sounding choices there… ! 2w
BarbaraBB Oh no, I really want to read all six of these. And I‘m so happy with a new Moshfegh! 2w
merelybookish Wow, I'm so intrigued! All new to me save one. Also, I think you win best collection of titles! 2w
Megabooks So excited for the moshfegh! 2w
batsy @Cathythoughts @thebluestocking @squirrelbrain Nothing like nurturing and growing that TBR 😆 2w
batsy @rockpools I was quite surprised at how these covers complemented each other 😁 @Ruthiella Now that's living the dream! 2w
batsy @merelybookish Aww thanks! 😆 2w
batsy @vivastory @BarbaraBB @Megabooks The Moshfegh sounds so dark and weird and good! 2w
85 likes13 comments
The Acharnians | Aristophanes
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Produced at a time when the Peloponnesian War was in its 6th year, this play in the style of Old Comedy tells the tale of Dikaiopolis, who brokers a private peace treaty with the Spartans. It's sharply satiric & absurdist, though requiring a lot of footnotes to get the gist of the local jokes. None of the Athenian elite get away with their dignity intact when Aristophanes' wields the pen. It's also extremely bawdy & the phallus reigns supreme 🍆😶

merelybookish Great review! I'm so impressed you're reading Shakespeare & Ancient Greek drama! 2w
kathedron You've just taken me right back to my A-levels! 😆 2w
batsy @merelybookish Thanks 😊 The plays are surprisingly very readable and something I've started to look forward to each week—like Shakespeare some of their norms make my mouth hang open, but some of it is all too familiar! 2w
batsy @kathedron Nothing like Greek drama to inject a bit of youthful nostalgia 😁 2w
75 likes4 comments
The Lark | E. Nesbit
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I've started on The Lark, going very slowly, and truly relishing every sentence. "Bacon is an admirable brain tonic". ?

I've noticed that after a breakfast involving bacon, it really does feel like everything can be conquered and the world is your oyster ?


rubyslippersreads I‘m loving this so far (and now craving bacon 🤣🥓). 2w
batsy @rubyslippersreads I'm really enjoying it, too! And I also have bacon on my mind 😆 2w
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Tamra Looking forward to starting! Yes to bacon 😋 2w
batsy @Tamra I hope you enjoy it! 2w
LeahBergen Mmm… bacon. 😆 And now I‘m looking even more forward to starting this in a day or two! 2w
Ruthiella I‘ve not started yet, but am glad to hear the writing is good! 👍 2w
quietjenn So happy to hear that people are enjoying it. And as far as life philosophies go, I've heard worse! 2w
CarolynM 🤣🤣 2w
batsy @LeahBergen @Ruthiella I hope you both like it! I'm very much enjoying how one Lark spins off into multiple larks 😆 2w
batsy @quietjenn Indeed! One formed while consuming bacon can't be all that bad 😂 2w
batsy @CarolynM 😁🥓 2w
Kimzey Now I know what to eat if I need inspiration! 😊 2w
Cathythoughts Sounds good ! Now I‘m hungry for bacon 🙂 2w
batsy @Kimzey @Cathythoughts Perfect excuse to indulge 😁 2w
UwannaPublishme 😂😂😂 2w
kspenmoll 😂😂😄 1w
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Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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My first book by Mieko Kawakami, & now I want to read everything else by her. This book about bullying & the two teens who strike up an unusual friendship over their shared condition of being victimised is deeply philosophical—interviews with Kawakami suggest an exploration of Nietzsche‘s concepts of power. It is the coolly detached bully-by-association, Momose, whom I found disturbing. He‘s the libertarian bro we find everywhere in our spaces.

batsy I found Kojima fascinating; completely devoid of the trappings of usual notable female characters. It‘s not about beauty/sex appeal/a sassy personality, just someone with a single-minded devotion to a principle. A kind of martyrdom, to counter Momose‘s self-centredness. But maybe Kojima‘s & Momose‘s principles are two sides of the same coin of individualism? Perhaps the narrator‘s passivity is his way of saying no to those moral systems. 3w
batsy By refusing, he's thinking his way into a moral system that considers not only the individual making those choices, but their responsibility to others. I like that Kawakami reminded me about how teenagers can be: lots of thinking going on about the systems & values that order the world. It might be simplistic, but there's often a useful clarity. It's nice when adult writers treating young characters with respect. #InternationalBookerPrize2022 3w
erzascarletbookgasm Insightful review 👍 3w
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sarahbarnes Great review. I completely agree with you that I love the way Kawakami didn‘t patronize or oversimplify the young characters in the book. I really liked Breasts and Eggs, too. 3w
batsy @erzascarletbookgasm Thanks! 😘 3w
batsy @sarahbarnes Thank you! I'm so pleased to hear you liked it, too. I really can't wait to read Breasts and Eggs and her new (in translation) one also sounds really good 3w
sarahbarnes Yes, I‘m excited to read the new one, too! I‘m anxiously waiting for the library to get it in. 3w
ErikasMindfulShelf I loved Breasts and Eggs. Didn‘t know about this one but definitely want to read it! 3w
vivastory Wonderful review. If you do read Breasts & Eggs, I found it's helpful to think of it as 2 linked novellas rather than 1 novel. Def worth reading & I hope to read Heaven soon. 3w
BarbaraBB Wonderful review. I kept thinking about this book for a long time. The characters are so authentic. Same goes for Breasts and Eggs. I just preordered the new one. (edited) 3w
batsy @ErikasMindfulShelf I highly recommend it; it's quite short, as well 🙂 3w
batsy @vivastory @BarbaraBB Thank you! I am so looking forward to Breasts and Eggs. She has a way of writing about really difficult topics without losing the substance of the matter. 3w
BarbaraBB And without the drama. That is what I really admire: that she gives the reader their choice of emotions. 3w
batsy @BarbaraBB That's a really astute point! 3w
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A School for Fools | Sasha Sokolov
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A so-so rating doesn't feel fair, because it suggests this book is mediocre when it's not. I didn't go with a pick because I didn't quite enjoy it. I went through it. I sort of lived with the novel. I usually tend to enjoy the weird, disconcerting novels written in stream of consciousness, featuring fractured narratives, & this one has plenty of sentences that are profound, wry, clever, & funny. Yet I found myself wanting it to be over sooner.

batsy I was alternately bored/frustrated & captivated. Maybe I would feel differently about it had I read it at a time when I could read it almost all in one go, in a dream state, without having to stop & start. I agree with @merelybookish in that I appreciate that it was written in response to socialist realism, & as such was staking a claim in art & aesthetics as a counterpoint to the dominant ideology. #NYRBBookClub @sarahbarnes @vivastory 3w
Emilymdxn I‘d love to join in with nyrb book club! Is there someone who could tag me in posts about it and let me know what the next read is? 3w
batsy @Emilymdxn Yes, @vivastory is our coordinator and we can start tagging you in discussions from the month you want to join 🙂 For May, we're reading this 3w
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batsy @Emilymdxn This is what we're reading in June 3w
Emilymdxn Thanks @batsy and @vivastory - I‘ll get reading basic black with pearls! 3w
batsy @Emilymdxn No worries! Our discussions usually take place on the last Sunday of the month (or the first Sunday of the following month depending on schedules). 3w
merelybookish I think our experiences of reading this were similar. And I also feel unqualified to "rate" it. Initially I gave it 2 ⭐s on GR but that felt unfair since who am I to judge this book?! (So I just left it blank.) 3w
batsy @merelybookish I left it blank for the same reason! (I was initially going to give it 2 stars, as well 👯‍♀️) 3w
Graywacke Your thoughtful review again makes me want to join these nyrb group reads (even if you were mixed on the book). Noting those next two titles. 3w
batsy @Graywacke Yes, please do join in if you feel like it! I love the #nyrbbookclub and our discussions 🙂 3w
sarahbarnes I couldn‘t have said it better myself! I think I‘m glad I read it, but it was a more strenuous experience than I thought it would be, even though I too usually like these types of narratives. 3w
batsy @sarahbarnes Thank you! I'm glad I stuck with it, in a way, but yes I feel confused about why I didn't like it more 😆 3w
vivastory @Emilymdxn I'm looking forward to your thoughts on the book 👏 3w
vivastory @Graywacke Yes, please join! Our group started a few years ago & it is still such a joy 3w
vivastory I think that I might have liked this one more than most, but I will say I had a few false starts with this. I picked it up a few times earlier this month & could only read a few minutes before I had to switch it for something not quite as demanding. Once I was able to devote my attention to it, I really enjoyed it. There were def aspects that went over my head but I have already reread a few passages. Great review! 3w
batsy @vivastory Thank you! It does seem like a book that would have to be read with very little breaks in-between to get into the flow of it. 2w
93 likes16 comments
Andromache | Euripides,, Susan Stewart, Wesley D. Smith
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What was interesting about this is that it‘s rife with misogyny, to the point where misogyny is placed into the mouths of the female characters, but the way Andromache acts, argues, & stands up for herself runs counter to the dominant ideology of ancient Greek society. This is one of Euripides‘ lesser known plays but it portrays the fates of a host of well-known characters. The chorus here is so Dramatic Mean Girls & is the highlight of the play.

batsy Image is a detail from Frederic Leighton's painting, "Captive Andromache" (1888). I read the translation by Deborah Roberts. 3w
vivastory If there's one character that you'd like to see receive the Madeline Miller retelling treatment, who would it be? 3w
BiblioLitten ‘Dramatic Mean Girls‘ 😄😄 3w
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batsy @vivastory Oooh! Great question. I'm gonna go with Heracles but I want a retelling specifically from the sequence of events in Alcestis, where he goes from a drunk guest at Admetus's palace, completely oblivious to the Tragic Events taking place in there, to someone who confronts Death and seemingly wins. 3w
vivastory Yes, please! I'd 💯 read this. For some reason I felt some overlap between Heracles and Ajax when I binged the tragedies. 3w
batsy @vivastory That's a good point; it did feel thematically similar in a way. (I'd love a retelling of Prometheus, too. One that goes into his thoughts as he's bound to the rocks with nothing else going on. Why do I feel like Dostoevsky could have written a Notes-like novella about this? 😅) 3w
vivastory That's a great point about Dostoevsky. Prometheus is supposed to be inspiring, but there is an undeniable existential aspect present. 3w
68 likes8 comments
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By the end of this I was wishing for a Parker Pyne of my own, hoping to see his ad in the classifieds. These stories read like fairy tales by way of Golden Age British middle-class sensibilities: Parker Pyne is a portly fairy godmother who solves ALL of your problems. Well, all except for the one of the discontented husband! These are Christie‘s psychological stories with a twist. Some are enjoyable, some are OK; all are mostly forgettable fluff.

batsy As it turns out, I'm still making my way through the #agathachristieclub reads in chronological order. I go for months without reading a Christie & when I get the hankering for one I just look at the list & pick what's next 😆 3w
Smarkies Enjoyable but forgettable fluff. 😁 3w
batsy @Smarkies And sometimes it's just what's needed 😊 3w
charl08 I'll take a Parker Pyne in my life! How have I never heard of him? 3w
batsy @charl08 They're not her usual mysteries. But worth checking out if you're a Christie completist! 3w
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I've read this before but I'm appreciating anew how it feels like a play that comprises so many “modern” genres, like the detective story (the plot & the whodunnit), police procedural (the Q&A between the characters as they piece together the truth), & memoir (Odysseus narrating his life story prior to ending up at Thebes). It reads like a tragedy that is so assured in its construction; despite the subject, it just glides along.

batsy Being a tragedy it's full of DREAD of course, which is my favourite mood in literature & movies (not in life though, lol). The play feels perfect in tone, style, & execution. If I was Sophocles & I only wrote one thing & it was this tragedy, I‘d be tooting my own horn way into the afterlife. I read the fluid & easy-to-follow translation by David Grene. 1mo
nichollinlove I have a relatively new interest in Greek Mythology and hadn't heard of Oedipus until I read Children Of Jocasta by Natalie Haynes. I read up about his story and the Sophocles original but wasn't sure about wanting to read it until your review. Thanks for giving such a thoughtful and in depth review! 1mo
batsy @nichollinlove Thank you! 🙂 This is one of those plays that in the Grene translation kind of reads like a page-turner, so I definitely recommend it if you're interested. I've heard a lot about Haynes's Greek retellings; I would like to read those novels at some point. 1mo
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Cathythoughts Excellent review..and that picture 👍🏻💫 1mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Thanks, Cathy! I found the picture really arresting, too. Got it off Google from what I think is the Audible version. 4w
Graywacke Sophocles could write powerful movie scripts today (even straight out if Bill and Ted‘s machine). 7d
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Tomb of Sand | SHREE
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I can't summarise my thoughts; it's a book that I'll be thinking about for a long time. I love the way it flows & how the narrative takes its time & wanders. Much like Mataji herself, it makes no apologies for where it goes. It makes me think I've not read enough big, vast, & deep books by women writers & that I must remedy this. It feels very “free” & uninhibited & I love the idea of (older) women taking up space like this in life & on the page:

batsy “The page is a stage”, to quote from the book. I don‘t know Hindi but this reads like the translation was an immense labour of love, what with the references to myths, scripture, other works of literature, as well as the imagery & the wordplay, the freewheeling style that also needs to be disciplined because all of the threads can‘t just be left to unravel but must be pulled taut & woven into this complex tapestry. #internationalbookerprize2022 1mo
DivineDiana Wonderful review! Stacked. 1mo
Lindy Okay, I‘m wowed. Must read this. Great review! 1mo
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batsy @DivineDiana @Lindy Thank you! I hope you both like it if you read it—it's different, unique, & requires a bit of persistence, but worth it in my opinion 😊 1mo
Lindy @batsy It looks like it‘s not readily available here, but I had already marked it “want to read” on Goodreads and I will keep an eye out for it. 1mo
Suet624 My computer is glitching a bit, so I hope this comment comes through. Your note that you love the idea of an older woman taking up space rings so many bells of “I must read“! It's hard as an older woman... you start to become more and more invisible to kin and strangers. So off I go to find this one. 1mo
batsy @Suet624 I hear you! I love that the International Booker shortlist has two older/ailing women staking their claim ... Elena Knows is the other one. 1mo
batsy @Suet624 (I think Litsy is a bit glitchy atm? It's being weird on my phone, as well.) 1mo
AnneCecilie Loved your review. This was already on my reader, but will definitely read it now. 1mo
LeahBergen Great review and gorgeous fabrics! 1mo
BarbaraBB You were looking so much forward to this one and apparently you were right. I love your review and want to read it now too. But I‘m still struggling with 1mo
batsy @AnneCecilie Thank you! I hope you like it. 1mo
batsy @LeahBergen Thank you! I used a saree ... The things we do for a Litsy photo 😆 1mo
batsy @BarbaraBB Yes, I'm really happy it was worth it. This year's list is super intriguing. I'm looking forward to Jacob, too. Hope to start it next month. I also hope it improves for you! 1mo
nathandrake1997 Stunning review ❤️ I was contemplating about reading the original Hindi version, but after reading this exquisite review, I might read the English translation first ❤️ 1mo
batsy @nathandrake1997 Thank you! I look forward to your thoughts 💕 I'm sure it'll be an amazing experience to read the English translation and compare it to the original. 1mo
rohit-sawant This sounds like such a fascinating read! Stacking! 4w
sarahbarnes Love your review. ❤️ This is the one on the shortlist I want to read, but that is not published yet in the US so can‘t get it from the library. I‘m trying to decide if I should buy it…. 4w
batsy @rohit-sawant I hope you'll give it a go! 4w
batsy @sarahbarnes Thank you! It's tough to make call on who will like this book; some of the people I thought would like it thought it was just OK. I hope it finds a US publisher soon! 4w
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Hippolytus | Euripides
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Reached a point in my readings of the Greek tragedies where I'm taking the gods' manipulations personally & getting mad at them? Like, hello. It's a gaggle of Mean Girls up there in Olympus toying with human lives willy-nilly. Turning stepmothers into predators! Young men into misogynist incels! Fathers into murderers! By the time we get to the end, everyone realises they've been played & lives in agony or is dead & the gods are like, "Told you".

batsy Art: "Phaedra and Hippolytus" by Pierre-Narcisse Guérin (1802) 1mo
kspenmoll Love love your post! 1mo
batsy @kspenmoll Thanks 😊 1mo
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CarolynM I'm enjoying your reviews of the Greek tragedies far more than I would enjoy reading them😆 1mo
batsy @CarolynM Ha, thank you 😆 1mo
vivastory Christopher Logue "adapted" the Iliad into a book called War Music. It's very cinematic & he stresses the pettiness of the Gods. Ditto Simon Armitage's radio play version of the Odyssey. Good stuff. 1mo
batsy @vivastory Thank you @vivastory I've long had War Music and never got around to it. I'm going to have to add Simon Armitage to the list. I also think life isn't complete until I read the Anne Carson versions; don't know if you've read those? 1mo
vivastory @batsy I have been meaning to read the Carson versions! One of my recent orders (still TBR) is the following by Carson which looks *very* intriguing 1mo
batsy @vivastory Thanks again because I haven't heard of this by Carson. It definitely sounds interesting! I've not read the play by Euripides, as well and I'll have to try to order the Carson version. I'm following this for the year; it's going chronologically in terms of when it was written/staged http://wutheringexpectations.blogspot.com/2021/12/the-ancient-greek-plays-in.htm... 1mo
Centique I love that you labelled them “mean girls” - that is so apt. Here I am giggling at the gods now 😂😂😂 (if you‘re ever in the mood for MG fiction - or need a read aloud for a kid - it‘s quite nice to see Percy Jackson get the better of them occasionally) 1mo
vivastory @batsy Thanks for the link. I bookmarked it! Your posts have me itching to revisit the tragedies. They are a highlight of my reading life & I often think about them. It would be interesting to revisit them in chronological order. 1mo
batsy @Centique Thanks for the rec, P! I meant to get around to it because a young cousin was really into it at one point so it sounds like a fun series that both kids and adults can enjoy 🙂 1mo
93 likes14 comments
Giovanni's Room | James Baldwin
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Everything I said about Greek tragedies giving me nightmares applies to this: it was my "bedtime book" & it was the stupidest choice; it wrecked my sleep. Though a slim novel, I dragged it out over 10 days. It's a hard book not because of its prose, which is beautiful, or its plot, which is straightforward, but because of what it contains: shame, rage, denial, anguish; the stuff that is the bedrock of toxic masculinity & (internalised) homophobia.

batsy What more can I say? I found myself yearning for redemption for David & a "happy ending" for him & Giovanni, which of course, will never come. Why do you destroy me, James Baldwin ? 1mo
batsy I feel like this photograph really captures the mood of the novel. It's from a series of photos by John Edmonds to illustrate this excellent essay by Hilton Als https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/05/t-magazine/james-baldwin-giovannis-room.html 1mo
CarolynM Fabulous review. Not a good choice for bedtime reading! 1mo
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Cathythoughts Brilliant review & picture 👍🏻 1mo
Nutmegnc Great article and great review. Thanks for sharing! 1mo
erzascarletbookgasm Aargh I can‘t read the article! Excellent review and great pic! (edited) 1mo
Tamra Terrific review! 😊 1mo
batsy @erzascarletbookgasm I know! I try to read articles on my laptop where the browser's Readability extension can sometimes bypass the paywall 🙊 1mo
andrew61 Great review, I must reread this as I didn't get on with it the first time but know it was me not the book. 1mo
vivastory Baldwin is def an author who I plan on eventually reading everything he wrote. As always a fantastic review 👏 Books that gave me nightmares should be a reoccurring feature 1mo
nathandrake1997 Exquisite review ❤️❤️❤️❤️ One of my all-time favourite books ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 1mo
batsy @andrew61 Thank you; I can understand not getting on with it because it is a bit of a bleak one. 1mo
batsy @vivastory Thank you! Lol yes the nightmare-inducing ones stick with me the longest, evidently 😆 1mo
batsy @nathandrake1997 Thank you!! 💜 I'm really glad I finally read it but whew it really takes something out of you 💔 1mo
Centique I have this on my TBR but I‘ve been too afraid of it! I will, I must, I can ….. just not today. 😬 1mo
batsy @Centique Oof, I know! That's exactly why I kept putting it off for so long 😆 1mo
Graywacke My favorite Baldwin. Glad you enjoyed this. 7d
batsy @Graywacke Amazing book, but Baldwin never lets the reader off easy. I want to read his other works but I also need to be prepared, in a way! 2d
Graywacke @batsy no he doesn‘t. I imagine letting a reader go unchallenged would be counter to his purpose. 🙂 2d
Graywacke He was my 2019 theme. But I couldn‘t get to everything he wrote. 2d
batsy @Graywacke Oh yes, of course. It's the same ethics of holding the reader accountable that informs some of his nonfiction writing that I've read. (I like that you have a yearly theme. I'm so undisciplined as a reader. But maybe this could be my resolution for next year 😅) 2d
Graywacke @batsy The one reading through all the classical Greek plays is undisciplined? 🙂 So if you chose an author for next year, who would you chose? 2d
batsy @Graywacke Ha 😆 That's a good question, btw... Haven't thought about it but I've been wanting to go through all of Muriel Spark, or Anita Brookner, or Barbara Pym. 2d
Graywacke @batsy Two authors i need to read and one I need to read more of (Spark)! 1d
100 likes2 stack adds25 comments
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This book sounds great and something of interest to #pemberlittens @sprainedbrain

The piece on the author is lovely. I found the excerpt above particularly inspiring 💕 https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/apr/10/rereading-jane-austen-has-transfor...

Centique Thank you for posting this. What a life affirming interview! I love the idea of reading arcs too, that fits so well with how I feel reading books that really move me. This has really painted a vision of how I want to live my 70s and 80s! #goals 1mo
batsy @Centique Exactly my feelings 💕 I love that she is still so curious and engaging with reading in a way that challenges perceptions. Also the doctorate 🙌🏽 1mo
DivineDiana This is fascinating! Broke my buying ban, and just ordered it! 😞 1mo
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Sophronisba I love this so much. My go-to different-every-time book is Great Expectations but now I'm feeling the urge to reread Austen. (Also, I honestly believe that a love of reading is one thing that can take you into a happy and fulfilling old age. I am only 50 now but I am happier than I have ever been and when I think of my later years I imagine myself curling up on a comfortable couch with a glass of wine and Middlemarch or Trollope or Willa Cather.) 1mo
batsy @DivineDiana A ban meant to be broken? 😁 1mo
batsy @Sophronisba I love this for what it says, too. And maybe I'm simplifying it too much but the people I know who seem to have a tendency to nurture their inner life (either through reading/writing/art or doing absorbing things that is both work and pleasure) seem more fulfilled, or maybe less likely to expect others to fulfill their needs. If that makes sense. Perhaps that helps as one gets older, too. It's a lovely piece that gives hope 💕 1mo
sprainedbrain Oh, I love this! Thank you for sharing. ❤️ 1mo
batsy @sprainedbrain So inspiring 💜 1mo
60 likes2 stack adds8 comments
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I hadn't heard of this play prior to reading it, and I understand why. It's instantly forgettable, with little to redeem it in its language or construction. Like the Suppliant Women, it focuses on the theme of refugees (children, in this case) and justice, but we also have a virgin sacrifice thrown in for the well-oiled Athenian social and religious structure to continue operating. All in all, it felt like Euripides himself grew weary of his play.

batsy I read the translation by Mark Griffith.

Statue: Heracles and his child Telephos. Marble, Roman copy of the 1st–2nd century CE after a Greek original of the 4th century BCE. Found in Tivoli, Italy.
Lindy I like your review. I won‘t be tempted to tackle this play. 😉 1mo
batsy @Lindy Haha, thank you! You aren't missing much 😁 1mo
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Suet624 This photo is fantastic though. 1mo
batsy @Suet624 It's such a fascinating depiction of a father and child, isn't it. 1mo
Suet624 It sure is. 1mo
81 likes6 comments
To Each His Own | Leonardo Sciascia
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batsy To Each His Own is a Sicilian small town unconventional detective story with a dash of noir. Good Behaviour is billed as a dark satire of 20th-century Irish society and, true to my brand, seemingly with a dash of #spinsterlit vibes. Two Young Wives is a 19th-century epistolary novel of two best friends from a convent who go on to live two very different lives of duty vs. decadence. 1mo
vivastory Great selections! My vote is for Good Behavior 1mo
Hamlet I‘ve always wanted to read some Balzac, plus I like the “duty vs. decadence” idea. 1mo
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erzascarletbookgasm I‘m not in the club, but these all sound great. Will look them up 👍 1mo
tsarin Hey everyone! I have created a group chat on telegram for book lovers. This group is open to all fellow readers or anyone looking to become a reader. Feel free to join if you wanna discuss books, recommend new books to others or simply talk about your favorite books. Here's the link:
BarbaraBB Great choices Suba! I‘ve read and loved two of them so my vote goes to the one I haven‘t read: 1mo
GatheringBooks Awesome picks, dear @batsy - my pick goes to 1mo
LeahBergen I love the sound of all of these but you KNOW I gotta vote for that spinster lit. 😆 1mo
sarahbarnes Ooh, fun choices! Spinster lit for me as well, please - I‘m voting for Good Behaviour. 😁 1mo
quietjenn Ah, you are not making it easy! But my vote is for 1mo
Leftcoastzen They all look great but spinsters win ! 1mo
Billypar These sound great! I never read Balzac before and this one sounds really interesting, so I'm going with 1mo
arubabookwoman I'm voting for the Balzac, #TheMemoirsofTwo YoungWives. I have read the other 2, both very good. 1mo
Liz_M I've had my eye on the tagged for a while - love the cover - so that is my choice 1mo
youneverarrived I‘m due in June so don‘t think I‘ll be able to join in the reading or discussion but these all sound great! I would have voted for Good Behaviour 🤍 1mo
vivastory @youneverarrived How exciting! Do you know wat it will be, or are you waiting? 1mo
vivastory *what 1mo
Suet624 I might have to order Good Behavior just from your description. 1mo
Suet624 Well that was quick. I couldn‘t wait. Ordered it. 1mo
batsy @Hamlet It does sound really good. I like the concept of a study of two contrasting personalities via correspondence. 1mo
batsy @erzascarletbookgasm They're always so tempting, aren't they 😆 1mo
batsy @Cathythoughts @arubabookwoman Happy to hear you both enjoyed Good Behaviour, as that's what the group voted for. Really looking forward to it 🙂 1mo
batsy @Suet624 We're always happy to enable each other's eager book-buying over here 😁 1mo
batsy @youneverarrived That's wonderful! 🙂💕 1mo
Suet624 So I ordered it and then 10 minutes later, after organizing my shelf of NYRB book, I discovered that I already had a copy. I quickly sent the company an email to cancel the order. Five minutes later they responded that they would cancel it. All on a Sunday evening. I‘m exhausted now. But at least I have the book in hand. LOL. 1mo
batsy @Suet624 Oh no! I would be exhausted too, hahaha. With thanks to the book gods that it all ended well 😆 1mo
Suet624 @batsy Now the Order Department is joking with me through email. :) Gotta love the personal touch. 1mo
batsy @Suet624 😁 1mo
youneverarrived @vivastory I decided to wait to find out, I like the surprise of it. 1mo
70 likes33 comments
Elena Knows | Claudia Pieiro
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I felt like this book reached into my chest & clutched at my heart. I sat sobbing after I was done. The other Litsy reviews have elegantly summed up what it's about. The force of this book speaks personally to me & I'm sure it will to many others. It's cleverly constructed; the novel is organised according to how Elena's ailing body responds to her meds, & in doing so, reconstructs time. Bodies, carework, mothering as a choice/duty. Unforgettable.

Simona Yes, yes and yes❣️It is incredible touching story. 1mo
sarahbarnes Great review! I can‘t wait to get to this one. 1mo
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batsy @Simona So unsparing and yet so moving ❤️ 1mo
batsy @sarahbarnes Thank you! I hope you find it to be a good read. 1mo
Cathythoughts How can I not stack after this review ❤️💔 1mo
erzascarletbookgasm Stacking! 1mo
batsy @Cathythoughts @erzascarletbookgasm I think you'll both appreciate this one! (Or maybe I'm just trying to get everyone to read it 🙂) 1mo
BarbaraBB I know what you mean. Such a hard and loving read. It touched my heart too. 1mo
Megabooks Stacked!! Fantastic review!! 1mo
batsy @BarbaraBB Elena is unforgettable 💔 1mo
batsy @Megabooks Thank you! 1mo
BarbaraBB Rita too, in her way! 1mo
batsy @BarbaraBB Oh yes! That landed hard. 1mo
Amiable Excellent review! I‘m intrigued. 1mo
batsy @Amiable Thank you! I love discovering books that surprise me. 1mo
Centique This sounds amazing! 🙌🙌 1mo
batsy @Centique It is; I think you'll appreciate it 💜 1mo
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Love in the Big City | Sang Young Park
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I love when I have a good feeling about a book going into it & it proves to be true. This book is exuberant & messy even while being deeply rooted in protagonist Young's trials & tribulations with love, sex, his creative calling, & caring for his ill mother who's devoutly religious & against his sexuality. The tone is irreverent, witty, & funny, but the book morphs into something deeply moving & tender by the end. I really enjoyed it.

batsy Translated by Anton Hur, who also did Cursed Bunny. Though I know not a word of Korean, I'm assuming that Hur did a great job because the style of both authors really came through in the prose. I will miss Young & his perspective, especially his running commentary on the city, his mother, his friends, & the people he meets & falls in obsession/love with. #internationalbookerprize2022 1mo
CarolynM Sounds great. Stacked 🙂 1mo
nathandrake1997 Exquisite review ❤️ I've been wanting to read this book for so long, being queer myself. The synopsis reminds me a bit of BOX HILL by Adam Mars Jones, a book I absolutely loved. But, it is so expensive here 😭💔 since Tilted Axis press doesn't have a local distributor in India 😭💔 1mo
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batsy @CarolynM 😊 1mo
batsy @nathandrake1997 Thank you! 💜 I haven't read Box Hill though I want to, and maybe this might be lighter in tone? But it's a book that's easy to become fond of. And I know, Tilted Axis titles are expensive in Malaysia, as well 😢 We have practically no local distributors for most imprints & a very unsatisfactory library system. I don't like it but I often turn to Kindle titles because of accessibility/cost (though they're not cheap, either!) 1mo
erzascarletbookgasm Stacking 👍 1mo
Cathythoughts Great review 👍❤️ so glad I‘ve stacked it already ! 1mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Thank you! 💜 1mo
rockpools I‘m so glad you liked this one! It surprised me. 1mo
batsy @rockpools Yes, me too! It was never quite predictable; somehow sweet but also sad/melancholy. 1mo
BarbaraBB What a wonderful review again Suba. I just read this one too and really fell for Young and his view on life. 1mo
AnneCecilie I‘m currently reading this and know you had me curious about the ending. 1mo
TrishB Sounds great- lovely review 👍🏻 it‘s also expensive here!! 1mo
batsy @BarbaraBB Thank you, B! 😘 He's definitely a memorable character. 1mo
batsy @AnneCecilie It's not a major twist or revelation, but the subtle shift to a more emotional tone was touching ❤️ 1mo
batsy @TrishB Thank you, Trish! As for books, I wish there was a way that it was affordable for everyone whilst authors are also paid generously. A dream world! 1mo
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After the Sun | Jonas Eika
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A tough one to review. I didn't like it, but I was interested. The stories are strange & surreal, or hyperreal—that disorienting space where reality & simulation are indistinguishable. Each one left me feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. There's always a sense of alienation—a persistent mood throughout. The ideas embedded in the stories are intriguing, but the execution of those ideas were often less than satisfactory.

batsy It does justice to the term weird fiction & what I did admire was the dissolving of boundaries within it; between human & animal, people & space, & of rigid gender & sexual boundaries. But it also left me frustrated. I felt like I was grasping at something that was just out of my reach. Maybe that was the intention, but if so, as a piece of writing it leaves me with very little to hold on to. #internationalbookerprize2022 2mo
batsy Translated from Danish by Sherilyn Nicolette Helberg. 2mo
Simona I really disliked that one, but I do like your review 😘 2mo
BarbaraBB What @Simona says. 2mo
batsy @Simona @BarbaraBB Thank you, I read the reviews and thought I might bail, but somehow I kept turning the pages despite it. 2mo
81 likes5 comments
Medea | Euripides
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When I was doing a university course on Greek tragedies I remember having disorienting dreams for that entire term. The week we read Medea was the worst; some version of her kept entering my unconscious as I slept. The dreams were NUTS. I'm happy to report that reading it again (this time in the Philip Vellacott translation) remains a disturbing experience. Her rage & single-mindedness is chilling, even as she knows she's doing something horrific.

batsy "Oh, what an evil power love has in people's lives". Her conversations with Jason shake you to the core. You can't help but root for her until you realise what she means to do with her rage. As for Jason, he's a Grade A jerk but gets to have the moral high ground because, well, he doesn't kill anyone. The way in which the experience of sexual betrayal effects women within a system where they are lesser beings is enough to put anyone off "romance". 2mo
squirrelbrain Wow, that‘s some review! Not sure I‘ll rush to read it though…. 😁 2mo
andrew61 Great review, im tending to come the classics in modern retellings but always mean to read more of the originals. 2mo
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batsy @squirrelbrain Ha, yes I can understand why 😁 2mo
batsy @andrew61 Thanks! It's great to be going through the originals after a long time, and as a bonus each play is pretty short 🙂 2mo
Centique Oh wow that‘s a compelling review! I must read this 🙌 2mo
batsy @Centique I hope you "enjoy" it when you get to it though that's probably not the best choice of words ? 2mo
vivastory Stellar review! The Greeks were definitely the original unlikeable characters! Poor Medea...I recall enjoying the Von Trier movie, although it's been many years since I've watched it. 2mo
charl08 Yikes. Might pass if she comes with crazy dreams... 2mo
batsy @vivastory Thank you! And I've not watched the movie, and will try to. 2mo
batsy @charl08 I understand that it's not everyone's idea of a good time 😆 2mo
sudeepkumar Mo number 2mo
AvidReader25 Medea‘s story is so heartbreaking. 1mo
batsy @AvidReader25 It is! Really makes me ache because her agony is made very palpable. 1mo
BiblioLitten I was wondering about Medea the other day. I loved it when I first read it years back. Time for a reread soon! 1mo
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Apples Never Fall | Liane Moriarty
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I'm actually mad at the book and that's rare. Lol. Like Big Little Lies, I quite enjoyed the juicy, gossipy tone of the novel. It's Moriarty's style and it's fine if you want a light, relaxing read. However, it's not the ending itself which I disliked—I quite liked that bit—but the ending before the ending, so to speak. Will clarify in spoilers. I felt like I was invested in the book and its characters, only for a lazy whimper of a conclusion.

batsy I thought that after all that build-up about the Delaney family and Joy's story, which was quite revealing about the costs to women's lives, especially women of a particular generation, it was all wrapped up in a giant bow. They are just your average dysfunctional but loving family and nothing was lost; everyone is good. That felt like a giant cop out. A Hallmark card ending. I wish she'd given us a novel about Savannah and her mother instead.
CarolynM I've decided not to read any more of her books. I liked Big Little Lies, and The Husband's Secret was OK, but I was seriously annoyed by Truly Madly Guilty. 2mo
batsy @CarolynM My sister liked The Husband's Secret and loaned me a copy ages ago, so I might get around to that sometime 🙂 But otherwise, yeah, I don't think I'll seek out her books anymore. 2mo
EvieBee I read this for book club and the ending was a letdown for me. I even gave the book away, which is not something I normally do. 2mo
batsy @EvieBee Yes! I'm surprised that none of the rave reviews in the media alluded to how silly the resolution was. 2mo
80 likes5 comments
North and South | Elizabeth Gaskell
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So good. I'm glad I finally got around to reading this thanks to the #pemberlittens! There are many similarities to Charlotte Brontë's Shirley, but it also has shades of Middlemarch. The effects of the Industrial Revolution, workers' rights, gender relations, family ties, & characters that grow over the course of the novel. The ending was a tad abrupt & kept it from being a 5-star read. I want more out of Margaret & John's burgeoning relationship!

truthinfiction Oh, gosh! Yes! I just finished it and the end was quite underwhelming. I have been so in love with Mr. Thornton and in a way the anticipation of how their relationship blooms kept me reading but.. 2mo
Suet624 I keep meaning to read this. You‘ve spurred me on to finding it. 2mo
batsy @truthinfiction Right? I definitely needed more on that front 😆 2mo
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batsy @Suet624 It's a good one and I hope you feel the same if you do read it 🙂 2mo
LeahBergen I just finished it yesterday and thought the very same about the ending. My edition had notes that explained a bit how she was constrained by word count as it was serially published in Dickens‘ Household Words. I enjoyed it, though, and gave it 4 stars as well! 👍 2mo
batsy @LeahBergen Yes, she struggled with the serial format! I found that quite interesting because on the whole the story flowed well, but it's funny to think that perhaps when she was wrapping it up she forgot that not much interaction had taken place between Margaret and John 😁 2mo
LeahBergen Ha! That‘s true. 😆 2mo
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Cursed Bunny | Bora Chung
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This story collection is described as "genre-defying", & I get it, but it also feels like a collection that contains multitudes, & thus all of the genres. Fables, fairy tales, ghost stories, sci-fi, fantasy, horror: everything is represented, & everything feels like it grows organically out of our own weird, horrific, beautiful, & terrifying world. It shifted my sense of reality, kind of like reading Jeff VanderMeer. Disorienting & disturbing.

batsy Big props to Korean writer Bora Chung & to translator Anton Hur, because I'm usually wary of story collections. This one is solid & strong, with every story offering something different. Body horror makes me nervous because I don't like shock for the sake of it (my beef with Mariana Enriquez's Smoking in Bed), but all of these stories tap into the underlying sadness that comes with pain, loss, grief, & suffering. #internationalbookerprize2022 2mo
Ruthiella Excellent review. I‘m sold! 2mo
vivastory I've had my eye on this, but you completely sold me! I was a bit hesitant because I had similar issues with Smoking in Bed & I worried this would be similar. Ordering now 📚 2mo
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Simona Indeed, it is extremely strong short stories collection … I loved it too. 2mo
batsy @Ruthiella Oh, good! I hope you like it if you decide to give it a try 🙂 2mo
batsy @vivastory I'm glad! It's hard to determine who to recommend this book to, but I do get the sense that you might enjoy it! 2mo
batsy @Simona Yay! I'm happy to hear that 🙂 2mo
readordierachel So intrigued by this one. And I love that trippy cover. 2mo
batsy @readordierachel It's such a great cover! And despite my general aversion/fear of rabbits in life (😅) I seem to do well with Bunny books (this and Mona Awad's). 2mo
BarbaraBB Love your review. I just started this book and get what you‘re meaning. 4w
batsy @BarbaraBB Thank you! I hope you continue to find it enjoyable/worth reading 💜 4w
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The Overnight Guest: A Novel | Heather Gudenkauf
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Hits all the right buttons as a popcorn thriller. Told in plain, serviceable prose that's all about the plot, which I think the author handled deftly with multiple different timelines & POVs. The narrative moves back & forth & culminates in a satisfying ending in terms of not being an illogical, bananas big reveal. The first half was creepy enough that I sat up one night while reading before bed & turned on all the lights. Not my finest moment 😂

DivineDiana Turned on all the lights! Now that‘s a great recommendation! 👏🏻😊📚 2mo
LeahBergen Ooo! Great review. 👍 2mo
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rubyslippersreads Sounds great! Sometimes a good popcorn thriller is just what you need. 🍿😬 2mo
batsy @LeahBergen Thank you! 💜 2mo
batsy @rubyslippersreads Oh, yes! 🍿 I love thrillers/mysteries as a palate cleanser but with the former there seems to be more and more of a push towards ludicrous twists. And a bad ending can ruin the whole thing. 2mo
TLC49steps Sold! After your wickedly written description; 👌🤭will be adding to the spooky 👻 stack. Try reading Communion by Whitley Strieber; a different context altogether, however this takes creepy to another level - therefore I would weight for the energy bills to drop first!💡💡💡😂 2mo
batsy @TLC49steps Hahaha! Thanks for the rec; though it is quite different from what I usually read 😁 2mo
75 likes6 stack adds8 comments
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It's probably because I'm reading Bora Chung's Cursed Bunny at the moment, but this is 100% true.

DivineDiana 😂🤣😂 2mo
sprainedbrain This strategy works for me. 🤪 2mo
5feet.of.fury Yesssss that is the key! 2mo
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batsy @DivineDiana @sprainedbrain @5feet.of.fury For our own safety the TBR monster must be appeased! 2mo
GingerAntics This is true. 2mo
Amiable Who would want to test the truth of this? Not me! Better to just feed the beast. :) 2mo
AnneCecilie You have to feed the monster 🤣 2mo
sarahbarnes I just started Cursed Bunny last night! So bizarre! 2mo
batsy @GingerAntics @Amiable @AnneCecilie I'm glad we're on the same page 😆 2mo
batsy @sarahbarnes It's so wild! And these stories are kinda getting under my skin a little. Definitely memorable. 2mo
DrexEdit Totally agree! 😊 👍 2mo
LeahBergen 😆😆 2mo
Centique Well now I‘m looking at my TBR in a whole new way!! 😂😂 2mo
paperwitchs 😂😂 2mo
readordierachel Bahaha 😂 2mo
BooknerdsLife Hahaaaa The best advice! 👍😂😂😂 2mo
103 likes17 comments
Alcestis | Euripides
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This play features a fierce & deeply disconcerting exchange between Admetus & his father, which goes something like:

Admetus: "You're old & my dad & you're not offering yourself in my place to die?"

Admetus' Dad: "Whoever said that parents had to do that? It's not written anywhere in our laws!"

Admetus: "But...you're old? You've lived enough?!"

Admetus' Dad: "Oh ho! I gave you life, you jerk! It's you who has to die; yet, you plan to live!" ?

batsy So, the wife offers herself to Death. This had a bit of a metaphysical plot twist, which makes it kind of a tragedy, & not quite a satyr play (a tragicomedy) but more of a problem play. The way Heracles goes about his business is wild. Somewhat batshit. I'm all for it! He pretty much steals the limelight away from the so-called "grieving" husband, Admetus. Since we're in Aries season, I will say that it's big Aries energy from Heracles here. 2mo
batsy I read the Richmond Lattimore translation. The painting is Hercules (Heracles) and Alcestis, by Eugene Delacroix (1862). 2mo
bthegood Love your paraphrase and your summary - thanks 🙂 (edited) 2mo
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DivineDiana Now, that‘s a crazy story! 😜 2mo
batsy @bthegood Thank you! 😁 2mo
batsy @DivineDiana Yup, nutty as only the ancients could be 😆 2mo
81 likes6 comments
Coriolanus | William Shakespeare
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I think like most of us doing the #ShakespeareReadAlong I was glad to get to the end of this. There's not much to say because it feels all-too familiar: greed, power, corruption. What's interesting is that Coriolanus seems like the perfect machine of power & authority, but when he finally shows some feeling it leads to his literal end. His mother Volumnia is also a fascinating "stage mother"-type character, but she can't really rescue the play.

batsy The bitter political rivalry between Aufidius & Coriolanus takes centre-stage. But while all of this is going on amongst the elite, ordinary people were left with nothing & were trying to set their own price for the grain supply: "Suffer us to famish, & their storehouses crammed with grain [...] If the wars eat us not up, they will". Sound familiar? The Signet supplementary material points to Shakespeare taking inspiration from the Midland Revolt. 2mo
TheBookHippie This was a struggle ! You‘ve captured it beautifully. 2mo
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batsy @TheBookHippie Thank you! 💜 2mo
Cathythoughts Brilliant picture 💫 2mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Thanks, Cathy 😘 2mo
97 likes6 comments
Turtle Diary | Russell Hoban
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At the start, this book & I almost didn't make it. I began reading it when multiple things were taking up my attention & all I could manage was a few pages before bed at night before crashing. Nothing about it really stuck in those early pages. I thought I would bail. But then, turtles & people collide. There's a lot said about this book: it's about middle-age, it's about loneliness. But I think of that Weeknd song I have stuck in my head:

batsy "I hold you through the toughest parts / When you feel like it's the end / Cause life is still worth living / Yeah, this life is still worth living" & I think, yes. This book is like that. It will hold you through the toughest parts when you feel like it's the end & remind you that this life is still worth living. I am so glad I stuck with it ? #NYRBBookClub @readordierachel @vivastory 2mo
Lindy I hope things are going more smoothly in your life now. 🌻🐢🌻 2mo
MommyWantsToReadHerBook This sounds lovely 💜 2mo
See All 32 Comments
merelybookish Great review! I've haven't finished yet (life has interfered) but I already feel like it's a book I will want to return to. 2mo
TrishB Lovely review❤️ 2mo
readordierachel What a great review. I am still making my way through the book, but I know what you mean ❤❤ 2mo
batsy @Lindy Thank you, Lindy! It wasn't anything in particular, but this book is life-affirming without being sentimental 2mo
batsy @Lindy I hit send too soon but meant to say it's the kind of book that slowly works its way into your heart 🙂 2mo
batsy @TrishB Thank you! ❤️ 2mo
batsy @merelybookish @readordierachel Thank you! ❤️ I look forward to seeing how you feel about it. 2mo
Cathythoughts I love your review ❤️ 2mo
Tamra Okay, this sounds great! Stacked! 2mo
Lindy @batsy Life-affirming books are the best. ❤️ 2mo
BarbaraBB Life affirming. So true! 🤍 2mo
Leftcoastzen I just started it . 2mo
batsy @Tamra 😊 2mo
batsy @BarbaraBB At no point did it feel predictable, either! 🙂 2mo
batsy @Leftcoastzen I hope you like it! 2mo
youneverarrived Ah brilliant review! 🤍 I‘m really looking forward to reading it. 2mo
BarbaraBB I was looking for the point most of the time (pun intended) but in the end decided there was no need for one! 2mo
batsy @youneverarrived Thank you! 💜 2mo
batsy @BarbaraBB Yeah, I felt the same at the beginning then realised the point is no point, in a sense 🙂 2mo
vivastory Life-affirming without being sentimental. You really hit the nail on the head, Suba! Great rey! Glad to hear that it ultimately worked out for you. 🐢 2mo
batsy @vivastory Thanks, Scott! The books we read for #nyrbbookclub continue to surprise me in the best ways. 2mo
sarahbarnes The further along I get in the book, the more I agree with you! I‘ve gotten distracted a few times, but the story is definitely working its way into my heart, too. ❤️ 2mo
batsy @sarahbarnes Yes, it takes awhile to get into and work its eccentric charm but then it just won me over 🤍 2mo
nathandrake1997 This was a stunning review ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Also, a huge Weeknd fan ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 2mo
batsy @nathandrake1997 Thanks, friend! 💜 And yay, The Weeknd! I love how melodic his songs are. 2mo
Centique Wow, this sounds so good. I do love a book that is life affirming without being sentimental - perfectly put! 💕 2mo
batsy @Centique I think this is one that you will enjoy 🙂 It takes awhile to grow on you but then it slowly works its charm. 2mo
101 likes3 stack adds32 comments
The Lark | E. Nesbit
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Hi #furrowedmiddlebrowclub gang, it's time to pick the May read & I was thinking youthful hijinks 🌞

Would you prefer The Lark, about two young cousins who try to make their way in the world after their inheritance is squandered, or Visiting Moon, a kind of middlebrow British Brady Bunch? 😆 I'll keep voting open till Sunday.

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

batsy Please let me know if I missed out on tagging anyone! 2mo
catebutler Great choices! I read and adored, The Lark, so my choice is for, Beneath the Visiting Moon. 2mo
Tamra Oh, squandered riches sounds like fun! 😆 I‘ll be adding both to my TBR! 2mo
See All 31 Comments
LeahBergen Ooo! I have both of these and haven‘t read them so I‘d be pleased with either. Let‘s see… my vote goes to 2mo
LeahBergen @Tamra @catebutler @elkeOriginal Would you all like to be added to our voting rotation (where you offer up a couple of picks for our next read)? We‘ve finished our first round with @batsy ‘s pick so we can add you if you like. I‘ll make a post after this voting is complete. 😊 2mo
rubyslippersreads I have both and haven‘t read either, but I think I‘m leaning toward The Lark too. 2mo
StaceGhost I really enjoyed the lark! Perfect anxiety battling comfort read 2mo
Ruthiella Tough choice! I love the Brady Bunch concept but also want to try Nesbitt! I literally flipped a coin and got Squandered Riches! 😂 2mo
elkeOriginal My vote is for The Lark! 2mo
elkeOriginal @LeahBergen I would love to join the rotation - THX!! 2mo
catebutler @LeahBergen Yes please! I‘d be happy to be added to the rotation. ❤️ 2mo
CarolynM Both sound good to me but if I have to choose I'll go with 2mo
Cathythoughts Exciting choices , I‘ll probably get both for myself 😍.. but I‘m voting for 2mo
quietjenn I'm in the same boat as @CateButler - I've read and adored The Lark, so will vote for 2mo
Tamra Given my obligations, I want to follow and read along with whatever is chosen. It‘s always a fun selection no matter! 😁 2mo
LeahBergen @elkeOriginal @catebutler Perfect! We‘ll tack you two on to the end of our list here. So, Cate will offer up our choices for July. Elke, you‘ll be September. Does that work? @Tamra we‘ll keep you in the loop by tagging you. 😊 (edited) 2mo
Tamra @LeahBergen thank you! 👌🏾 2mo
elkeOriginal @LeahBergen Sept is perfect for me! 2mo
batsy @StaceGhost So glad to hear it! Look forward to reading it 🙂 2mo
Ruthiella Excellent! 👍 Looking forward to it. 2mo
catebutler @LeahBergen July works for me! 🤗 2mo
CarolynM 👍 Now let's see if I can manage to avoid ordering a whole pile of others to go with it🤔🙄🤣 2mo
erzascarletbookgasm @CarolynM 😂 Always a happy ‘accident‘ 2mo
erzascarletbookgasm 👌 Will order the book soon 2mo
batsy @CarolynM I'm rooting for you NOT to! And look forward to seeing your haul 😂😈 2mo
rubyslippersreads @batsy I would feel remiss in my duties if I didn‘t encourage @CarolynM to order more books. 🤣 2mo
batsy @rubyslippersreads We're just trying to be #GoodLittens 😆 @CarolynM 2mo
LeahBergen Perfect! 👍 And, yes. I‘m looking forward to that haul photo, @CarolynM !😆 2mo
CarolynM @batsy @rubyslippersreads @LeahBergen Ha! It's only money... 😒😆 2mo
63 likes1 stack add31 comments
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The authorship of this play is contested, & no one knows for sure if Euripides wrote it. It takes a scene from the Iliad during the Trojan War that despite the title isn't really about Rhesus—he's despatched off pretty quickly—but about Athena preventing Odysseus from killing Hector & allowing him to kill Rhesus instead, & the subsequent shenanigans involving the stealing of horses & the rage of one of the Muses, who was Rhesus's mother.

batsy I can understand why no one really knows for sure who wrote it or why they're reluctant to attribute it to Euripides. It's a short, weirdly-structured play that feels a bit like a writing exercise. Despite that I still found it good. As befits a tragedy, it takes a dark view of human endeavours, but an even worse one of the gods' intentions. As always, there are some memorable lines & passages. I read the version translated by Richard Lattimore. 2mo
79 likes1 stack add1 comment
Four gardens | Margery Sharp
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An utterly pleasant, soothing read—Sharp's wit is always gentle & incisive without being too biting. There are some notions of marriage that one must get around for a book set in the 1920s, but there are also subtle ways in which Sharp draws attention to gender roles & class. The epitaph Sharp chose for the book comes from Jane Austen: "Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery" & it is perfectly apt. I'm interested to read more of her work!

Cathythoughts Lovely review 💫I found it pleasant as you say.. I am interested to read more of her too. Aren‘t we having a great time with these furrowed middle brows 👍❤️ 2mo
Cathythoughts And soothing is the perfect word for this 👍 2mo
See All 17 Comments
batsy @Cathythoughts We are having a wonderful time 😁 I love that the books are almost always guaranteed to end somewhat happily; I need books like that to balance out the dark, gloomy ones I tend to read 😂 2mo
Tamra Sounds like this one is going to be a comfort read. We could all use a bit of comfort now. 😌 Love the birds! 2mo
batsy @Tamra It is, & a welcome one! And thank you; I used a scarf as a Litsy photo prop 😆 2mo
Ruthiella Agree! This is was a soothing read. 👍 2mo
LeahBergen Lovely review! And yes, isn‘t it nice to know we can always count on these FMs for a bit of a comfort read? Oh, and you have our next selection … I‘m looking forward to seeing your options! 👏👏 2mo
Dragon I love her book 2mo
batsy @Ruthiella What I needed this week, to be honest 🙂 2mo
batsy @LeahBergen Thank you! And ooh, it's my turn 😆 I'll post by this weekend if that's OK? 2mo
batsy @Dragon Glad to hear it, I've got my eye on that one! 2mo
LeahBergen Oh, definitely! I‘m excited! 😆 2mo
kspenmoll Your review was comforting, so stacked! 2mo
CarolynM Great review! Caroline and Henry seemed to lead almost totally separate lives - they certainly didn't communicate very much! Not sure how much that was a product of the time and how much it was their particular personalities. 2mo
batsy @kspenmoll Oh, goody! It's lovely for when you need just this type of book. 2mo
batsy @CarolynM Yes, it seemed a combination of both! Its interesting that Henry remained largely mysterious to the reader right up until the end. 2mo
86 likes4 stack adds17 comments
North and South | Elizabeth Gaskell
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Today in Terrifying Mothers: I was planning on reading some Euripides after this N & S chapter, but feeling Mrs. Thornton's stern glare of disapproval for having too much leisure to read the classics 😳😂

I'm not sure how many people doing the #ShakespeareReadAlong are also reading this for #PemberLittens but on the next page Mrs. Thornton talks about her ambitions for her son to be the best among the country's merchants—strong Volumnia vibes 💀

BiblioLitten 😂😂 2mo
Suet624 You have our permission to read whatever classic you so desire. 2mo
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MicrobeMom 😂😂 2mo
batsy @Suet624 Take *that*, Mrs Thornton! 😂 2mo
batsy @MicrobeMom She genuinely scares me 😂 2mo
LitStephanie 🤣🤣🤣 You might need a little distance from this conversation first. 2mo
LitStephanie @Suet624 but how will she do anything productive aka make money! 2mo
batsy @LitStephanie I will never be one of the nation's best merchants, that's for sure! All of my leisure time wasted on leisure 😂 2mo
LitStephanie @batsy hahaha, nation's best merchants, you are killing me! 2mo
86 likes10 comments
Four gardens | Margery Sharp
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Came across this on p. 190 of my copy and wondering if anyone else's edition is like this? Did a quick search on Twitter and apparently there's no text missing, just a weird layout error.


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

CarolynM Mine looks like that too. I wondered about missing text because of the dash at the end of the page, but I was too lazy to follow up😆 2mo
batsy @CarolynM I hear you 😂 Luckily it appears we didn't miss out on anything! 2mo
Cathythoughts Mines the same 🤷🏼‍♀️ all good , We didn‘t miss anything.. I wondered about it too , but just read on. Thanks for checking, I was too lazy too @CarolynM 😁 (edited) 2mo
See All 14 Comments
erzascarletbookgasm Ooo, you‘re near the end. Yup, mine‘s like that too. 2mo
batsy @Cathythoughts It's all good! I'm a bit obsessive about stuff like this 😂 2mo
batsy @erzascarletbookgasm Yes, I just finished! It was the comfort read I needed at this point 🙂 2mo
Ruthiella I have it in ebook, so can‘t compare. How odd! At least there is no text missing! 😅 2mo
batsy @Ruthiella Blank space on the page! Terror and anxiety! 😂 2mo
quietjenn How is and disconcerting! Glad nothing is missing. 2mo
LeahBergen Yes, mine was like this, too! I find odd little errors every once in a while in these Furrowed Middlebrow reprints. 2mo
batsy @quietjenn Yes! Glad that it wasn't missing text. 2mo
batsy @LeahBergen Oh, OK! Good to know. I don't mind these little irregularities as long as no actual words are missing 🙂 2mo
elkeOriginal Mine too. Just bad typesetting by the publisher 😕 2mo
batsy @elkeOriginal Yeah, but I was glad that nothing was missing at least 🙂 2mo
74 likes14 comments
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I enjoyed this rehabilitation of Mary Bennet, the much maligned, bespectacled sister of the Bennet family in Austen's Pride & Prejudice. My main issue with it was that it was far too long & went over the same path repeatedly, & I felt like I could do without some of the mawkish sermonising in places. But otherwise it was absorbing & entertaining. I wouldn't have minded a single, revolutionary Mary Bennet, though! However, Marriage Is Everything.

LeahBergen Nice review (and I agree on all points)! 2mo
BiblioLitten I agree! I bailed on this halfway hoping to pick it up later but I had the same thoughts. 2mo
batsy @LeahBergen Thank you 😘 2mo
batsy @BiblioLitten I can understand bailing, I almost thought I might not continue during the initial bit (the rehashing of P&P events through Mary's eyes). But the author builds on that to show Mary's development as a character so that worked out in the end :) 2mo
100 likes5 comments
Sanditon | Jane Austen
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A gentleman & a lady are overturned in their carriage while toiling up a "long ascent of half rock, half sand". This rocky beginning to an Austen novel is indication enough that "Sanditon will be unlike any other novel Austen wrote", as Kathryn Sunderland says in her intro. I'm sad that this remains uncompleted because Austen died too soon. There is a wild energy to this story: irreverent, uncompromisingly satirical, & weird, like a comic caper.

batsy At a mere 12 chapters, I couldn't resist reading ahead. It also brings home the point that the novel barely got going. It doesn't seem right to rate it, but it's a pick because I'm just going to regret forever that we never got the full thing. For the 21st-century reader, it might seem prescient about the contemporary wellness industry complex, but it also suggests that it has its roots in the 19th century. An odd little delight. #pemberlittens 2mo
Cathythoughts Great review… I want to read it 👍❤️ 2mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Thanks, Cathy 😘 It made me want lots MORE Austen 😢 2mo
See All 18 Comments
Chrissyreadit That cover! 2mo
batsy @Chrissyreadit Truly captures the essence of the book 😆 2mo
Tamra What a crazy cover! 😆 2mo
sarahbarnes Omg that cover is amazing. 😂 2mo
batsy @Tamra @sarahbarnes I love it 😂 2mo
quietjenn I 💜 this cover so much. 2mo
LeahBergen The bathing machine on the cover! 🤣🤣 I loved this and sooo wanted it to be finished. 2mo
readordierachel Adding to the cover love. Amazing. 2mo
staci.reads Omg, that cover! 😂 2mo
batsy @quietjenn @readordierachel @staci.reads It's so good 😁 2mo
batsy @LeahBergen I feel like this is how I would end up in the sea if I was to use one of those fashionable bathing huts/wagons they did back then 😂 2mo
batsy For anyone interested, the cover illustration is credited as "Venus's bathing (Margate) A fashionable dip", Thomas Rowlandson c. 1800 2mo
inthegreensandblues Dang, I bought the wrong cover 😆 2mo
Suet624 Um….that cover! 2mo
102 likes1 stack add18 comments
Sanditon | Jane Austen
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Austen doesn't hold back from skewering the sensitive litbro archetype & his capacity for "great Taste & Feeling" ?

#pemberlittens #Chapter7

Karons1 On my TBR pile 📚are you enjoying it ??? 2mo
batsy @Karons1 Yes, I am! It's quite odd in that it's a bit of a departure in style (more overtly satirical and sharp than any of her other novels) and I'm sad she never got to finish it. 2mo
70 likes2 comments
The Eumenides | Aeschylus
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The Eumenides is the third of the linked plays that brings Aeschylus' The Oresteia to an end. Orestes is pursued by the Furies after he slays his mother, & the voice in his ear doling out advice comes from Apollo, who both encouraged Orestes to kill his mother & now tells him to purify himself of his mother's blood. Wise Athena shows up, the Furies are made to consider, & democracy & the process of justice start to take shape. An engrossing finale

batsy & one that makes a case for the "old gods" being increasingly unable to properly adjudicate on human matters. Yet, it takes a god to put in place mechanism that is still the bedrock of modern methods of justice in most societies. I keep saying this about all of the "older" stuff I read, from Shakespeare to Greek tragedies, but the questions they ask have never stopped being relevant. 3mo
batsy Painting: "Orestes Pursued by the Furies", John Singer Sargent (1921) 3mo
nathandrake1997 Exquisite review ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 3mo
See All 8 Comments
batsy @nathandrake1997 Thank you! 💜 3mo
Suet624 Your reviews are always so informative. 2mo
batsy @Suet624 ❤️ 2mo
vivastory Your posts on the Greek tragedies have been bringing back great memories of when I binge read them years ago. I just stumbled upon the following in my library database while searching for NYRB Books. Thought you might be interested,... 2mo
batsy @vivastory Thanks for the rec! I've had my eye on his memoir The Odyssey. I'm greatly enjoying going through the Greek plays & this is a reading challenge I hope to see to its completion this year! 2mo
102 likes8 comments
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I lived with this book for a few months & I don't know how to describe what Rilke means to me. I read one poem a week every morning & night (& at times during the day), somewhat like a prayer, from the Duino Elegies & I feel like he saved my (inner) life. It's philosophical & transcendent, but also vivid, impressionistic, & spiritual. The foreword & notes by translator Stephen Mitchell are illuminating. In a letter to a friend, Rilke writes:

batsy "What we call fate does not come to us from outside; it goes forth from within us." In that sense who else but Rilke was fated to write this series of poems? The first line from The First Elegy in Duino Elegies, as Mitchell explains, came to Rilke in late January as though in the voice of an angel, calling out from within the raging wind as he took a walk: "Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels' hierarchies?" ❤️ 3mo
ProudBookNerd I absolutely love Rilke's "Letters To A Young Poet". I keep a copy beside my bed and every so often just pick it up and read a random passage. Even his letters are beautifully written. 3mo
batsy @ProudBookNerd Me too! I first discovered that when I having a bit of a hard time in life and I went back to it over and over. I loved Rilke for so long because of that one without having read his poems but his poems are brilliant ❤️ 3mo
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UwannaPublishme Another wonderful review. I need more Rilke in my reading life. 🙌🏻 3mo
batsy @UwannaPublishme Thank you! And I wholeheartedly agree; I do, too ❤️ 3mo
kspenmoll Love your review- 3mo
nathandrake1997 Beautiful.... beautiful review ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Can't wait to read Rilke ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 3mo
batsy @kspenmoll Thank you! 3mo
batsy @nathandrake1997 Thanks so much; I think you'll enjoy Rilke 🙂 3mo
BiblioLitten What a heartfelt review❤️ 2mo
Suet624 Sounds like a book I have to find! 2mo
batsy @BiblioLitten Thank you ❤️ 2mo
batsy @Suet624 Yes! You'll have no regrets :) 2mo
Centique This is such an inspiring post. Thank you Suba! I think I need some more Rilke in my life and what a great way to do it with reading a poem or two a day 💕 2mo
batsy @Centique Thanks, Paula ❤️ I can wholeheartedly recommend Rilke. His poetry has transformative effects, I feel. Always yes to more Rilke 🙂 2mo
Lesliereads I love that you experienced these poems as prayers.💕 2mo
101 likes4 stack adds16 comments
An Old-fashioned Girl | Louisa May Alcott
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Published in 1869, this reflects the ideals of the time, but it's a fascinating insight into Alcott's feminism & her discomfort with capitalism. There's a great chapter where Polly & Fanny hang out with their bohemian female friends & have a "wild" lunch, propriety be damned. I loved the underlying idea that men & women should be held to the same moral standards. It's a sweet story about valuing one's inner life over external trappings.

batsy It's also pretty interesting for situating the Shaw's family riches amidst the boom & bust cycle & what happens when bankruptcy hits. Being a children's book, the fantasy here is that life can be fixed amidst the financial rubble, which is a nice comfort read in big 2022. Thanks for bringing this little gem our way @TheBookHippie ! #ChildrensClassicRead2022 3mo
Cathythoughts Great review ❤️👍 3mo
Suet624 I love the sound of this one. 3mo
See All 22 Comments
TheBookHippie YAY💙💙💙 it was definitely a zen read for my mornings! 3mo
PurpleyPumpkin Great review!😉 3mo
bookandbedandtea This is my favorite Alcott. Probably because I was exactly the right age a million years ago when I first read it and every reread over the years has brought me back to that time. 😊 3mo
LeahBergen I‘ve actually never read this Alcott but have always meant to. 3mo
batsy @Suet624 @LeahBergen It's kind of like Little Women in that people who didn't have the patience for that might not like this one, too. But it was exactly the comfort read I was craving. (And might, in a way, be less saccharine and more interesting than LW!) 3mo
batsy @paulfrankspencer The lyrics are fantastic. 3mo
batsy @bookandbedandtea Oh, how lovely! Fave children's reads are so special for that reason 🙂 3mo
erzascarletbookgasm Nicely said! 👏💛 3mo
batsy @erzascarletbookgasm Thanks, J! It was a nice comfort read 🙂 3mo
UwannaPublishme Love your reviews! Well said! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 3mo
batsy @UwannaPublishme Thank you! 😊 3mo
Amiable I love this cover—it reminds me of a favorite painting by Childe Hassam. 2mo
batsy @Amiable I was particularly drawn to this cover when I was looking up different editions, as well! I'm not familiar with his paintings so thank you for the reference—it'll be nice to discover new art 🙂 2mo
Amiable @batsy He was an American impressionist painter in the late 1800s-early 1900s. I have a special fondness for his work “Boston Common at Twilight“ --- my husband and I met at college in Boston and he gave me a reproduction of the painting when we were dating. It's still hanging in our bedroom now, more than 30 years later. :) (edited) 2mo
batsy @Amiable Oh, I love stories like that 💕 I just looked it up and it's a beautiful scene, tinged with melancholy. (Also, I've always wanted to visit Boston :) 2mo
Centique I have such fond memories of reading this book as a kid. I remember the bit about the honestly made gingerbread crumbling in her pocket as she sat eating one of the fancy ices. And the high speed phaeton accident. I am keen to reread it, but I know it won‘t feel quite the same! 2mo
batsy @Centique I'm so glad I finally got to read it! I think I might even prefer it to Little Women a bit? Though it's been awhile since I read that and I remember it so fondly as well and am a little nervous to re-read it now. 2mo
116 likes7 stack adds22 comments
Katalin Street | Magda Szabo
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This was a cryptic read at the start; it was a little hard to get my bearings. Then the story began to take shape & the characters became alive. When I finished I went right back to the beginning & to re-read Blanka's chapter. It's an incredibly sad story; just quietly devastating. There's no easy hope being peddled here, no redemption. Just the grim realities of lives upended from war & occupation & the steep costs of living 💔 #nyrbbookclub

youneverarrived It took me a while to get my bearings at the start too, and I went back and read Blankas chapter at the end 🤍 3mo
batsy @youneverarrived Yes, it somehow feels like coming full circle to go back and read that chapter. But even more heartbreaking. 3mo
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merelybookish Beautifully said. No hope or redemption. This is a beautifully told story but it isn't meant to reassure you. 3mo
vivastory Wonderfully stated. Szabo really is great at these narratives that don't soften difficult realities. 3mo
Leftcoastzen Great review. I‘m not done yet , it‘s intense. 3mo
sprainedbrain I did the same thing… right back to the beginning when I finished. 💔 3mo
batsy @merelybookish Thank you! I appreciated the total lack of sentimentality even while she could depict how important these people were to each other. 3mo
batsy @vivastory Thanks! I'm really keen to read The Door at some point. 3mo
batsy @Leftcoastzen Thank you! Intense sums it up. 3mo
batsy @sprainedbrain I'm intrigued to hear that some of us did the same! Somehow it invites us to go back to the beginning. 3mo
arubabookwoman I did the sane (back to reread the beginning after finishing the book). I loved it! (edited) 3mo
GatheringBooks Love all the comments here - they all reflect exactly how I feel about the book. Looking forward to our Litsy book party discussion in a few! I know it‘s a bit late for you, @batsy time wise, but really keen to hear your thoughts once you find the time. 💕💕💕 3mo
batsy @arubabookwoman It's pretty brilliantly structured. I loved it too. 3mo
batsy @GatheringBooks Thank you! I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's thoughts, as well. I might get to it late but I hope to join in when I can 💜 3mo
vivastory I def plan on reading both The Door & Abigail. She's a new favorite for me. 3mo
102 likes2 stack adds16 comments
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"No man can go through life & reach the end unharmed. Aye, trouble is now, & trouble still to come." The Chorus' comments on the human condition are beautifully & disturbingly realised in the second play in Aeschylus' The Oresteia. In this play, Orestes & Electra try to avenge their father's death at the hands of their mother & it all predictably takes a turn for the worse. The dark depravity inherent in the social order needs to be set right.

batsy This will be addressed in the third play, The Eumenides. I'm greatly looking forward to it and also terrified about what else could possibly happen, which I think sums up the effect of the Greek tragedies. Painting: Bernardino Mei, Orestes slaying Aegisthus and Clytemnestra (1654). 3mo
BiblioLitten I‘m itching to pick up the plays again🙂 3mo
batsy @BiblioLitten I've been meaning to for so long! When I saw someone I follow on twitter doing the challenge of reading all available plays this year I decided to jump in :) 3mo
90 likes3 comments
Agamemnon | Aeschylus
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"Dear gods, set me free from all the pain, the long watch I keep, one whole year awake ... propped on my arms, crouched on the roofs of Atreus like a dog." The play opens with a watchman lamenting fate, who then says of his queen, "That woman--she manoeuvres like a man". You know you're in for something quite dreadful. The first play in the trilogy known as The Oresteia hits hard with violence, murder, & Cassandra uttering chilling prophecies.

batsy I read the translation by Robert Fagles, & the whole cacophony of dread & lamentation--by the chorus of elders, Cassandra, & Clytemnestra herself before she transforms into an assured, single-minded, revenge-driven murderer--imbues the play with so much atmosphere. Fagles also chooses to dedicate this tragedy to his parents, which is quite the nice touch. 3mo
TrishB Lovely review ❤️ 3mo
batsy @TrishB Thank you! 😘 3mo
nathandrake1997 Exquisite review ❤️ 3mo
batsy @nathandrake1997 Thank you! 💜 3mo
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A book that let me down, because I started it thinking it will go one way, and midway through I thought maybe it would go another way, and because I think Rooney is talented and smart, the ending feels like a capitulation. Explained myself better in my GR review, I hope: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4536317963

A so-so instead of a pan because for large parts of the book I was invested.

BiblioLitten I remember reading Normal People, enjoying it and then I had to return the book. I picked it up later to discover that I didn‘t like it at all. 🤦🏻‍♀️ Anne of Green Gables might have distracted me 😅 3mo
batsy @BiblioLitten I liked Normal People; found it quite moving but I do understand what you mean—if I'd put it aside for another book I might not have felt the same about it later. This one though was disappointing in how it ended. 3mo
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Subtle Blood | KJ Charles
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This was a fitting end for my two favourite flawed & broken romantics, Will & Kim, but I'm sad that this series is over. I dream of getting a follow-up one day that doesn't have them fighting nefarious forces & the awful people in Kim's aristocratic family, & instead has them both chilling out for the entire book, being absolutely & disgustingly in love with each other. The thriller aspect was fine, but their relationship is what makes this.

CarolynM Totally agree. 3mo
batsy @CarolynM They are so 🥰🥰🥰 3mo
BiblioLitten I‘ll start Slippery Creatures then! The series sound charming 🙂 3mo
batsy @BiblioLitten It really is! It's fluffy but not sugary fluff, if that makes sense. There's depth & a bit of darkness. 3mo
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The Two Gentlemen of Verona | William Shakespeare
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I enjoyed it more than I expected to, but it's more a hodgepodge of themes that will show up in later comedies, & with a final scene that has Proteus not getting his just desserts & instead having everything handed back to him. The language was better than I expected going into this—a strange thing to say since it is Shakespeare, after all—but it was more sophisticated than the form/context of the play, if that makes sense. #shakespearereadalong

batsy A proper ending would have been a merry ménage à trois of Valentine, Silvia, & Julia, with Launce & his dog rounding up the household, but alas it feels like Valentine's one true love remains the unworthy Proteus. My ideal ending would also include Proteus being banished to an island far away with no other living beings on it besides some shrubs. I was inclined to forgive him being a caricature at the start, but the last act? Get rid. @Graywacke 3mo
Sophronisba Ha, @batsy, I always wanted to see a production of this that makes clear that Silvia and Julia are just Valentine's and Proteus's beards. 3mo
vlwelser Yes! 💯 3mo
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batsy @Sophronisba Yes, that would be very welcome if someone decided to interpret it that way. I feel like that's the real underlying story here! 3mo
batsy @vlwelser 🙂 3mo
UwannaPublishme I remember seeing the musical when I was in high school way back when and loving it. I must revisit this. 3mo
batsy @UwannaPublishme That sounds fun! 3mo
104 likes7 comments
Prometheus Bound | Aeschylus
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This is another one of those plays where there was most likely another one after it (Prometheus Unbound) & there also seems to be some quibbling about the authorship. I wish there was a follow up! This is such a strange, powerful play where nothing happens & everything is bound up in the force of character & charisma of Prometheus, chained to the craggy rocks for the crime of defying Zeus & "loving humans too much" by giving them the gift of fire.

batsy The rocks, the wind, the waves of the ocean, the beating of wings, & the scent of the sea: it's all very elemental & incredibly vivid. Prometheus states his case convincingly: "all human arts come from Prometheus". He has some great lines: "For humans in the beginning had eyes but saw to no purpose; they had ears but did not hear. Like the shapes of dreams they dragged through their long lives and muddled everything haphazardly." I loved it. 3mo
batsy I read the version translated by David Grene. Painting by Theodoor Rombouts (Antwerpen, 1597-1637 CE). 3mo
DivineDiana Great review. Disturbing painting. Pondering the quote. Excellent post! 👏🏻📚👏🏻 3mo
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KathyWheeler I have seen that painting so often but never looked to see who the artist was. Thanks. Love your review. 3mo
BiblioLitten Superb review. This is the only book I read by Aeschylus. The painting captures the drama so well. 3mo
batsy @DivineDiana @KathyWheeler @BiblioLitten Thank you! I love the painting too, and it captures the essence of the play so well. 3mo
93 likes6 comments