Home Feed
Add Review, Blurb, Quote


Joined September 2016

Ghost in the bookshelf 👻 Malaysia | http://www.goodreads.com/subabat
reading now icon
The Drift by C. J. Tudor
reading now icon
The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker
Untitled | Untitled

It's been an incredibly difficult few days for us. My beautiful mum, the constant in all our lives, our rock, passed away early Thursday morning. She's been battling a mystery tumour in her brain since 2021 (biopsies were not viable due to her age, so we've relied on scans) & the doctors concluded in March that it was glioblastoma. Words are so useless in the face of grief. I'm happy we gave her all we had in recent years & she passed on at home.

batsy Litsy is my safe space & books are a comfort; I'll likely be back soon. Just wanted to explain my silence in the meantime. Take care and keep your loved ones close ♥️ 3d
WorldsOkayestStepMom I'm so sorry for your loss. 3d
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I‘m so sorry 💔 3d
See All 69 Comments
ErikasMindfulShelf I‘m so sorry for your loss. 3d
Bookwormjillk I‘m so sorry 💔 3d
merelybookish Oh Suba! 😔 So sorry for your loss. Lots of love, peace and grace to you and your family! 💕 3d
RowReads1 That‘s very difficult 😞. I look forward to your return. 3d
CindyMyLifeIsLit So sorry for your loss! I lost my mom in April. Wishing you strength and peace. 3d
Ruthiella I‘m so very sorry to hear that. You have my condolences. ❤️❤️❤️ 3d
LeahBergen Oh, Suba. I‘m so sorry to hear this. Sending you so much love. ❤️ 3d
Deblovestoread I‘m so sorry for your loss. We are here when you are ready. 💔 3d
JessClark78 I‘m so sorry for your loss. 💔❤️❤️ 3d
Bookzombie I‘m so sorry. ❤️❤️❤️ 3d
Librarybelle I am so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you and your family at this time. ❤️❤️❤️ 3d
FashionableObserver I am so sorry for your loss. May her memory be a blessing. ♥️ 3d
Jas16 I am so deeply sorry for your loss. 3d
Aimeesue So so sorry for the loss of your beautiful mom. Holding you in my heart ♥️ 3d
Suet624 Oh my, Suba. Glioblastoma is nasty. I‘m so very sorry. We‘ll be here thinking of you. 3d
mariaku21 I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My condolences to you and all who knew her. 3d
BookmarkTavern I am so sorry for your loss. ❤️ 3d
dabbe You're right. There are no words except sorry to hear of such a devastating loss. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts. 💙🩵💙 3d
Tamra Take care, this is a difficult time. ❤️ I wish there was a way to help you through it. (edited) 3d
JamieArc Light to you and your family. May comfort find you during this time ❤️ 3d
AnnCrystal 💔😢🙏❤️‍🩹. 3d
Kristy_K So sorry for your loss. 💔 3d
Leftcoastzen So sorry for your loss.Illness is so unrelenting, I will keep you and your family in my thoughts. 💔 3d
GingerAntics I‘m so sorry. 3d
Cathythoughts I‘m so sorry Suba. My thoughts are with you and your family. I‘m so glad your mum was at home through it all and in the end. Sending love to you my friend, Cathy X 3d
willaful Holding you in my heart. 3d
BarbaraBB I am so sorry for you Suba, this must be so hard. I am glad you could be with her. You‘re so right about keeping your loved ones close. I hope you find consolation in that. Sending love 🤍 3d
TalesandTexts I‘m so sorry for your loss. May she rest in peace. 3d
TheBookgeekFrau Condolences to you and your family 💔 3d
squirrelbrain Oh Suba, I‘m so sorry to hear this. Sending love to you and your family. 3d
Kenyazero I hope that you and your loved ones are able to be close to each other for support ❤️ 3d
zuzia I am so sorry for your loss. May her memory be a blessing and may she rest in peace. 3d
Cupcake12 I‘m so sorry to hear this. Sending love to you and your family xx 3d
julesG I'm so sorry for your loss, Suba! Sending love and virtual hugs to you. 3d
youneverarrived I‘m so sorry Suba. Sending love to you and your family. 3d
IndoorDame I‘m so sorry ❤️ 3d
zezeki I am so sorry for your loss, sending love to you and your family 💕 3d
quietjenn I'm so terribly sorry. Sending lots of love to you and your family. 💙 3d
LeeRHarry So sorry for your loss Suba. Thinking of you and your family 🤍 3d
Anna40 My heartfelt condolences. May her memory be a blessing. 3d
andrew61 I'm sorry the hear your sad news Suba. I will be thinking about you and your family. 3d
Lesliereadsalot So sorry. I know words don‘t mean much right now, but your mom had a life filled with people she loved who loved her back and she will always be in those hearts. 3d
Julsmarshall I am so sorry for your loss. Sending my love to you and your family. 3d
RaeLovesToRead I'm so sorry 🫂🫂🫂🫂 3d
Chelsea.Poole I‘m so sorry for the loss of your mum ♥️ 3d
llwheeler I'm so sorry, my condolences to you and your family 3d
PurpleyPumpkin Sending you hugs and comfort during this difficult time. I hope your many good memories help to ease the pain of your loss. Mom‘s really are everything. 💜 3d
TrishB So sorry to hear this. Sending condolences to you and your family. ♥️ x 3d
LiteraryinLawrence I‘m so so sorry that happened to your mom. Thinking of you. 💗💗 3d
BookWrym So sorry for your loss 3d
erzascarletbookgasm Dear Suba, I‘m so sorry to hear this. Stay strong, sending love to you and your family. ❤️ 3d
AnneCecilie I‘m so sorry for your loss 💔 3d
sarahbarnes I am so sorry. Sending you my thoughts and love. 🩵 3d
DaveGreen7777 Subashini, I am so sorry for your loss! 😢 You are such a kind and thoughtful person, I‘m sure your mother was extremely proud of you, and that you were a comfort to her while she was battling cancer. Sending healing energy to you and your family at this tragic time. Please be sure to take care of yourself during this time! 🙏 3d
Dilara I am so sorry for your loss. Love and condolences. 3d
Jess_Read_This I am so sorry for your loss. Words are never adequate, but know I am sending my thoughts and love to you and your family. 🩵 3d
MaureenMc I‘m so sorry for your loss. 💗 3d
jlhammar So sorry for your loss. 3d
Crewgurl <> 2d
mrp27 My deepest condolences to you and your family. 2d
Caryl I‘m so sorry for your loss. I can hear your great love for her in your post. Thinking of you. 💕 2d
The_Book_Ninja I‘m sorry to hear this. My condolences. Nothing can be said that helps when you lose your mum so I feel your pain😔 2d
TieDyeDude 🩷 Condolences. Best wishes to your family. 2d
rwmg So very sorry to hear this, Batsy. Condolences to you and yours 😰 2d
CarolynM I‘m so sorry for your loss, Suba. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. Thinking of you with love💙 2d
Reggie Suba I‘m so sorry to read this. Sending all my love and good thoughts to you. 18h
54 likes69 comments
post image

Objectively speaking, not a very good book (or mystery), but hilariously campy, silly, and hysterically gothic. I had great fun reading #FurrowedMiddlebrowClub reviews prior to starting, and everyone's comments on Cynthia really prepared me for her inability to understand what is happening right in front of her eyes 🙈 One is tempted to give her a copy of Northanger Abbey; better to be a Catherine Morland than a Cynthia! 🤣 Justice for Spot, btw.

batsy I almost screamed when having heard Gillman and Sybil discuss what can only be nefarious plans that involve her, Cynthia took a sip of the coffee that was brought to her and was like, "This tastes so weird, Sybil!" Then eats the rest of the breakfast like, "Hmm, all of this tastes so weird!!!" ? Even Spot, may he rest in peace, would have known better and barked at the toast. 1w
CarolynM Justice for Spot! Our new club motto🤣🤣🤣 Great review. 1w
See All 11 Comments
batsy @CarolynM Thank you! Lol Spot 4eva 🐶♥️ 1w
Tamra 😆 Yes, poor Spot! 🐾 1w
quietjenn Spot was by far the smartest character in the book 😅 1w
jlhammar 😂 Yes to all of that! Great review. 1w
batsy @Tamra @quietjenn He was definitely the sharpest knife 😂🐶 1w
batsy @jlhammar Thanks! 😁 The group reactions and reviews definitely heightened the fun lol 1w
LeahBergen Poor Spot deserved better! 😆😆 1w
Ruthiella #JusticeforSpot ❤️🐶 The parrot and the dog were doing their darndest to tell Cynthia the truth. 1w
93 likes1 stack add11 comments
Untitled | Untitled
post image

A throwback to the 2010s with School of Seven Bells' Ghostory album: an ethereal, shimmering, haunting soundscape. #TuesdayTunes @TieDyeDude


Aimeesue That is a very difficult look to pull off! 1w
Rissreads Just what you don‘t want……a jellyfish on your head! 🪼 🤣 6d
58 likes2 comments
Baking With Kafka | Tom Gauld
post image

Tom Gauld's latest ... Straight out of my Litsy bio 😁👻

jlhammar 😂 2w
vivastory 😂 😂 2w
Aimeesue TG is the best! 💜 2w
See All 22 Comments
vivastory I've (half) jokingly told my loved ones that my headstone should read “I have that on my TBR (edited) 2w
batsy @Aimeesue He gets it!! 2w
batsy @vivastory That is too good! This sounds bad but I'm going to have to steal it for mine, as well 😂 2w
Tamra 😂 perfect 2w
Ruthiella @vivastory 🤣🤣🤣 2w
Velvetfur Haha this is so cute! And it's all of us, really 😂 2w
UwannaPublishme Love this! 😂 1w
Bookzombie I love “My library card still works…” 😂 1w
LeahBergen 🤣🤣 1w
AnnCrystal 😂📚💝. 1w
Bookwomble 😄👻📚🤍 1w
charl08 Love it. 1w
merelybookish Perfect! 👩‍🍳💋 1w
sarahbarnes Spot on. 1w
batsy @Velvetfur So true 😁 1w
batsy @Bookzombie Me too 😂 1w
TieDyeDude 🤣👍 1w
Sace I fear my inevitable demise a little less now. 😂 1w
batsy @Sace Right?? 😂 1w
71 likes22 comments
The Children | Edith Wharton
post image

I didn't quite like this, but it's Wharton—the novel is interesting & unsettling. It seems like it takes the themes that were satirised in Twilight Sleep (irresponsible parents blown about by every wind) & gives it a darker turn. In this one we see the children as fully-fledged characters & the costs of bad parenting hit hard. The other thing is the character of Martin: predatory, genuine, or wayward Peter Pan? All very disturbing to think about.

batsy I suppose what made it bleak is the spectre of Doll Westway haunting this narrative. #WhartonBuddyRead @Lcsmcat 2w
Cathythoughts Great review! Wharton is Wharton indeed. 2w
BarbaraBB Wharton is Wharton. Love that. Also great edition 2w
See All 10 Comments
Lcsmcat Doll Westway really does haunt it. It made me wonder if Wharton experienced a child‘s suicide. Great review! 2w
batsy @Cathythoughts Thank you! There's something about Wharton—it's rarely a wasted moment. 2w
batsy @BarbaraBB Was very happy to find this Virago edition a few years back 🤩 2w
batsy @Lcsmcat Thank you! I was wondering the same re: her experience. Marilyn French in her intro says that this was one of Wharton's own favourites. 2w
cindyash @Lcsmcat I was shocked by this then shocked that her friend witnessed it, then shocked that her mother didn't seem to care two hoots about it. I wonder two if she experienced it 2w
CarolynM I‘ve just finished reading. Still processing. Looking forward to discussing it with you and the others. 2w
batsy @CarolynM Look forward to your thoughts, Carolyn. There's a lot to mull over. 2w
83 likes10 comments
post image

I wanted to like this! I didn't want to overthink the cheesy teen slasher horror and tried to go with the flow (of gore). Alas! Thoughts invaded. The killer's motive was the most nonsensical thing. I mean? What is even going on there? This makes me sound horrible but the book is best when it's fast-paced and slashy and bloody and at its worst when it spends way too many pages on teen angst and romance. Granted, I'm not the target audience, but.

Mimi28 Yikes I wish there was an un-stack option, you hardly ever give bad reviews, 😳😱 3w
sarahbarnes 😂😂 Fantastic review. 3w
BarbaraBB 🤣🤣🤣 3w
See All 12 Comments
batsy @Mimi28 It's a bit of mindless fun if you're in the right mood, but quite a bit of gore (sorry I realise that gore isn't actually fun for many people 😭🙈) 3w
batsy @sarahbarnes Haha thank you! 3w
bookandbedandtea "Alas. Thoughts invaded." Made me laugh! 3w
Aimeesue Go with the flow! 😂 3w
vivastory I did like this one, but I could have done without the teen angsit/romance. The egg timer scene at the beginning though... (edited) 3w
batsy @vivastory That scene creeped me out! I enjoyed all of the "there's someone inside your house" scenes ? And liked the bits from other characters' POV. Thought Makani was just a bit too woe is me and thus, boring. 3w
5feet.of.fury I just finished this one, totally agree with the motive, nonsense. also there was no tension/investigation as to who the killer was. The MCs just see his face… that for me was such a let down. The build up was so wasted on “what Makani did”. It wasn‘t good, but she didn‘t set up the hazing. The weird epiphany in the maze was also too much 😂 5d
88 likes1 stack add12 comments
post image

My expectations were high. I thought I'd be snort-laughing at the wit while also being blown away by how intricate the mystery was. None of that happened. It doesn't make this a bad book; more that as @BarbaraJean notes this type of book works when the tone of the narrator is something that gels with you, & for a good part of the novel Ernest (the narrator) annoyed me. But it all perks up quite nicely towards the end, so it's a 3-star pick!

BarbaraJean I'm glad to know I'm not alone in my annoyance towards Ernest! 3w
UwannaPublishme Whenever you do find that witty novel which induces snort-laughing, please let me know. I love those! 😁 3w
See All 10 Comments
batsy @UwannaPublishme I highly recommend this (very short) series by Sarah Caudwell 🙂 3w
batsy @UwannaPublishme This was also something I read in they last couple years that was quite ridiculous in a good way lol 3w
UwannaPublishme Yay-Thank you! I‘m on it! 3w
rubyslippersreads I felt the same way. I was supposed to read the second book for my IRL book club, so thought I‘d read this first and kind of regretted it. I‘m happy to say the second book is better. 3w
CarolynM This was smiles rather than laughs for me, but I did enjoy it. 3w
batsy @rubyslippersreads Happy to hear the second book is better. I'm still interested in reading it since I did like how the first book wrapped up, quite Christie-esque. 3w
batsy @CarolynM Glad you enjoyed it! It had its moments and I like the way it all came together. 3w
106 likes2 stack adds10 comments
Island Witch | Amanda Jayatissa
post image

A feminist gothic horror set in the sweltering island of Sri Lanka in the late 19th-century, during British colonialism. The writing was a tad purple prose-y at times, but the story conjured a spell, & the dark, ominous mood worked well. The clash of ancient religious & spiritual beliefs with modernising "Western" religions made for a tense read. I was fascinated in seeing how Sinhala folk beliefs share similarities with South(East) Asian ones.

batsy What was especially cool was encountering the cross-cultural female ghost commonly referred to as Mohini. She's "popular" in Malaysia too (lol)--here, a feminist reclamation of the (partly misogynist) fascination with the alluring woman who enchants men only to terrify them later by revealing her true self. I liked how the author combined the ghostly elements with the religious element of folk Hinduism; it's a rich & creative mix. 1mo
CarolynM Great review. 1mo
batsy @CarolynM Thank you 🙂 1mo
See All 6 Comments
RohitSawant This sounds fantastic. Awesome review! 1mo
BiblioLitten Interesting! 4w
batsy @RohitSawant Thank you! Not particularly good prose but something about the dark, oppressive atmosphere of it has stuck with me @BiblioLitten 4w
78 likes6 stack adds6 comments
Station Eleven: A novel | Emily St. John Mandel
post image

I liked this well enough—it's thoughtful with interesting character studies, but not enough to get the total hype that surrounded this book upon its release. I guess my main issue was that it seemed like it was about the power of art, but not enough about that power was conveyed through the narrative, & it seemed to be about the menace of the unexpected end of the world, but not enough menace was conveyed about that. I wanted to be unsettled.

batsy It's still a pick because I enjoyed the experience of reading it and didn't want to bail, but I think because of expectations I kept waiting for something more to happen. 1mo
batsy Certain bits stood out: Jeevan's mad rush felt eerily similar to our pandemic lockdown panic; Miranda's obsession with her art. Other parts felt flimsy, cryptic, or underdeveloped. Like the prophet! I wanted to know more about how he came to be that kind of person, and how Elizabeth produced a son that would be that kind of person. Also, you get the sense his reign of terror was immense, but he was dispatched with pretty easily. 1mo
vivastory I agree. I liked this one, but I didn't fully get all of the hype around this #unpopularopinion I did love Mandel's Glass Hotel & plan on reading her other works 1mo
See All 16 Comments
batsy @vivastory I'm glad to have someone on team #unpopularopinion 🙂 Have you watched the TV series? I'm interested to see how it's been adapted. I am curious about Glass Hotel & Sea of Tranquility and do want to get to those eventually. 1mo
vivastory @batsy I remember liking the adaptation, although feeling like it was a bit too long. I have also heard very good things about 1mo
Ruthiella I liked the Glass Hotel of the three books best, but was also nonplussed by the hype around this book. My favorite thing about it is that it quotes an episode of Star Trek Voyager. (edited) 1mo
LeahBergen I felt the same. It was an enjoyable enough read for our bookclub but it didn‘t blow me away. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 1mo
Lesliereadsalot Lola Quartet is excellent. Also tv series of Station Eleven is very good. @vivastory (edited) 1mo
BarbaraBB I agree Suba, this was my least favorite. I think I liked The Glass Hotel best too. 1mo
Aimeesue The first time I read this one, I was . . Nonplussed. I reread it after reading The Glass Hotel and Sea of Tranquility and enjoyed it a lot more because of the resonances between them and characters popping up in different books. 1mo
batsy @Ruthiella I see Glass Hotel coming up a lot so will definitely check that out. 1mo
batsy @LeahBergen @BarbaraBB Glad to know that I'm not alone 😊 1mo
batsy @Lesliereadsalot Looks like I'll be checking out her other books, including Lola Quartet! Thanks for the rec for the TV series; it does look good. @vivastory 1mo
batsy @Aimeesue Your comment helps, so thanks! She's got a way with structure that I enjoy, so it's nice to know there's resonance between these books. 1mo
Leniverse I've read the following in this order, almost back to back: Station Eleven, The Glass Hotel, The Sea Of Tranquility. I thought the first was overhyped and unrealistic, I liked the second better but it's the one I remember the least, Sea of Tranquility was really good (maybe especially because I had all the links to the other books). 1mo
batsy @Leniverse That definitely helps! I appreciate seeing everyone's comments on the other books, I'm very keen to read it. 1mo
101 likes2 stack adds16 comments
Death's End | Cixin Liu
post image

Reached the end & wow, was it a wild ride. I don't read a lot of SF (I should fix that) so I can't compare, but suffice to say this blew my mind (enough that I should do a reread). I love the vastness of the ideas explored here, & the realism & beauty of the human endeavour: we are always both everything & nothing all at once. Also makes you think about bleak stuff like ethnic-cleansing (species-cleansing!) & the inherent violence of the universe.

Centique I cant wait to read this one! But i have already started the tv series because my son couldnt wait for me to read all the books 😂 Its good so far. I think there are a few changes but my memory might be off 1mo
Cosmos_Moon Intrigued! Going to check these out. 1mo
Lesliereadsalot Just started rereading book one of the series and have the next two ready to go. Great review! 1mo
See All 14 Comments
batsy @Centique I heard there's been changes so it'll be interesting to see if it bothers me or not! But yes, I do need to watch it soon before I forget stuff 😆 1mo
batsy @Cosmos_Moon Hope you like it. 1mo
batsy @Lesliereadsalot Are you reading the 2nd and 3rd for the first time or is the whole trilogy a reread for you? The 2nd one escalates in such an unexpected way! 🤯 1mo
Lesliereadsalot Reading 2 and 3 for the first time. My son says book 3 is amazing! I loved the tv series and recommended it to everyone. (edited) 1mo
batsy @Lesliereadsalot 3 is good! There is once again so much going on, especially in terms of ideas, but it feels calmer than book 2 😆 1mo
Lesliereadsalot Really looking forward to reading the next two! Will keep you posted 😀 (edited) 1mo
Cathythoughts Great review 👏🏻 1mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Thanks, Cathy! 😘 1mo
Lindy The vast scope is one of the things I enjoyed most about this series too. It‘s been a while since I read it and that‘s the aspect that has lodged in my memory. Oh, and the aliens being suitably alien. 1mo
batsy @Lindy Right? It's just so vast and mind-bending in a way that it should be, considering the themes. And you're so right about the aliens; they feel so alien-y and not like a twee human version of aliens, if that makes sense 👽 1mo
Lindy @batsy Indeed. 😊 1mo
74 likes5 stack adds14 comments
post image

Loved seeing everyone's nominations for #camplitsy24 and here are mine. Focused on books in translation for my picks. Thanks again for hosting @BarbaraBB @Megabooks @squirrelbrain ! 📚🏕️

batsy Under the Storm 1mo
batsy A Woman of Pleasure 1mo
See All 24 Comments
batsy Verdigris 1mo
BarbaraBB Wow. I love Scandinavian thrillers, I enjoyed The End of Eddy and I am a sucker for Japanese fiction… I need to stack at least three of your choices! 1mo
TrishB That Change is going to be 🥲 isn‘t it…. 1mo
squirrelbrain I was looking forward to your choices and now I need to read them all! 😃 1mo
Ruthiella These all sound great. I would love to have a mystery on the shortlist. I also really appreciated (but was also horrified by) 1mo
Cathythoughts These all look good ♥️ ♥️♥️ 1mo
Cathythoughts Under The Storm … I‘m getting that one 👍🏻♥️ 1mo
TheKidUpstairs These look so good. I'm especially intrigued by A Woman of Pleasure and Verdigris. Stacking both! 1mo
Megabooks I knew I could count on you for some very cool choices! Thanks! 1mo
batsy @BarbaraBB I need to read the End of Eddy! And happy to be of service for our favourite types of books 😁 1mo
batsy @TrishB Definitely seems like it 😢 1mo
batsy @Cathythoughts He has a previous book that I'm also interested to check out 💜 1mo
batsy @TheKidUpstairs Yes, those two feel like must reads! Such interesting concepts. 1mo
batsy @Megabooks Thank you 😁 1mo
Cathythoughts I‘ve ordered Under The Storm 👍🏻 I‘m stacking Blaze ❤️ 1mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Fab! Look forward to your thoughts (you'll definitely read it before I do 😁) 1mo
Cathythoughts I started Blaze … I love those Swedish names. So far so good 👍🏻❤️ 1mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Very nice. Hope it maintains the quality till the end 💜 1mo
sarahbarnes I love this list! Thanks for adding to my TBR. 😁 (edited) 1mo
74 likes24 comments
Twilight Sleep | Edith Wharton
post image

This was like a satirical Fitzgerald; depressing & amusing all at once. Characters that needed to be more thoughtful were a tad underdeveloped, as such (Nona). But I felt for her & almost wish there was a sequel where she gets her own version of a "happy ending". A 3-star pick because it didn't quite stick the landing as I expected it to, but it's astutely Whartonian in how it exposes the vacuousness of the capitalist elite. #WhartonBuddyRead

Graywacke Glad you gave it a pick. Not my favorite Wharton either, but I‘m certainly glad i read it. Maybe a different ending ties it better. 2mo
batsy @Yuki_Onna It's so well-suited to the book 🙂 2mo
See All 6 Comments
batsy @Graywacke I'm glad I read it, too. You can sense her discomfort with modern norms; it gives this book more of a cynical edge than her other works. 2mo
Leftcoastzen It felt Fitzgerald-y to me as well. 1mo
batsy @Leftcoastzen It's very interesting! Considering that Gatsby and this one were published within a few years of each other. 1mo
90 likes6 comments
The Lost Library | Wendy Mass, Rebecca Stead
post image

A very cute middle grade mystery about a libraries and the love of reading and sharing knowledge. I enjoyed all of the characters here, but I have to say that this book needed more of Mortimer the orange cat and his smaller non-feline acquaintances, the mice. I do think a sequel is in order for a glimpse of the potentially fruitful (and artistic!) connection between cat and mouse 😺🐭

Cathythoughts Lovely review 😁. Great cover. 2mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Thank you 😘 2mo
merelybookish I have liked anything I've read by Rebecca Stead so this intrigues me. 2mo
See All 6 Comments
batsy @merelybookish I just realised I've been meaning to read this one 2mo
sarahbarnes This is a great review. ☺️ 2mo
batsy @sarahbarnes Thank you! 😁 2mo
87 likes6 stack adds6 comments
Untitled | Unknown
post image

Been listening to this PJ Harvey album a lot lately. The controlled rage and irony of the line, "What if I take my problem to the United Nations?" in The Words That Maketh Murder is probably the most apt and relevant song for 2024 https://youtu.be/U4E6sbyIee0?si=ZKXA11MiMmj966CF

#TuesdayTunes @TieDyeDude

BarbaraBB Wow yes, PJ Harvey 💜💜 2mo
TieDyeDude It sounds like that line is borrowed from The Who's “Summertime Blues;“ the cadence is almost exactly the same, but the meaning is much more poignant here. Thanks for sharing! 2mo
Billypar This is my favorite of her later career albums. Something about the vocal register she sings in combined with the lyrical content gives me the chills, even just thinking about it 🖤 2mo
See All 10 Comments
batsy @BarbaraBB Love her! 2mo
batsy @TieDyeDude Oh yeah! That's awesome. Love the lyrics. 2mo
batsy @Billypar Yes, chills! That's exactly it 🖤 2mo
vivastory I am always in the mood for PJ Harvey. She has so much range. 2mo
Rissreads Thanks for sharing. I just had a listen. 2mo
batsy @vivastory A true artist! 2mo
batsy @Rissreads My pleasure 😊 2mo
64 likes10 comments
Heidi | Johanna Spyri
post image

I haven't quite read Heidi before; I think we had an abridged picture version when I was younger but I wasn't moved to seek it out again. Reading it now, I think I know why—Heidi is so impossibly good, & the moral & religious message kind of overtly hammered home. It's a sweet story & I love the descriptions of nature but found it cloying, as well. Reading it in short installments on Serial Reader helped! #ChildrensClassicRead2024 @TheBookHippie

BarbaraBB That is interesting! I often reread it while I was a child but I didn‘t see beyond the plot - of course! 2mo
TheBookHippie Reading bits every morning definitely better than all at once. 2mo
batsy @BarbaraBB Yes, I think it would have imprinted on me differently if I read it as a kid! 2mo
See All 9 Comments
UwannaPublishme I love your way with words and reading your candid reviews. Even as a fan of these overly sentimental classics. 😉 2mo
RohitSawant I absolutely loved the anime growing up and picked up the book because of it back then, although I don‘t recall if I gave it a fair read or simply dipped and skipped (I was more obsessed with comic books at that age and didn‘t get into reading fiction until much later). Have been meaning to check this out properly for a long time, so appreciate you bringing it back on my radar! 2mo
Suet624 I just remember at a very young age thinking she was nothing like me and too good to be true. 2mo
batsy @UwannaPublishme Thank you! You're too kind. I'm sure I would have loved this more at a different time or if I read it when I was younger—timing seems to be the thing with books, quire often 😁 2mo
batsy @RohitSawant I wasn't aware of the anime so went to look it up. It looks adorable 🥹 2mo
batsy @Suet624 Right! I think she's an adult's fantasy of the ideal, perfect child 😂 2mo
89 likes1 stack add9 comments
Pet | Catherine Chidgey
post image

A disturbing & riveting tale of coming-of-age amidst grief, racism, people who are deeply unwell, religious conservatism, & the dangerous ways the delusion & the "madness of crowds" can work, in all stages of life. The narrative & writing brought to the surface all of the subterranean fears & anxieties of childhood, especially the sense that adulthood is not all that it's cracked up to be. A tad overlong but the writing is good & worth the effort.

Tamra Awesome review! Anxious to read it. 2mo
Megabooks So excited for this! 2mo
TrishB Great review 👍🏻 2mo
See All 22 Comments
sarahbarnes Great review! I agree, I really liked this one, too. 2mo
RohitSawant Fantastic review! 2mo
batsy @Tamra @Megabooks I hope you guys enjoy it! 2mo
batsy @sarahbarnes Thanks! I love that she doesn't reveal too much to the reader but just enough that we know more than the young narrator and are left internally screaming all the way. 2mo
squirrelbrain Great review! 2mo
sarahbarnes @batsy completely agree. And as you said, such a great way to illustrate the fact that adults are sometimes actually terrible. 2mo
Ruthiella This was at times too tense for me. I had to read ahead, get the worst of it over and then go back and read the middle. 2mo
Cathythoughts Great review! I‘m glad you liked it. I really enjoyed too X 2mo
BarbaraBB Glad you liked it too! 2mo
batsy @Ruthiella I know what you mean, I was so tempted to do that! 2mo
batsy @Cathythoughts @BarbaraBB Well-written books with that sense of menace and danger—maybe I'm predisposed to liking them 😆 Can understand why it's gotten so many positive reviews! 2mo
Cathythoughts Menace and danger !!! Bring it on 😂 2mo
jlhammar Great review! One of my favorite reads so far this year. 2mo
Lesliereadsalot Really liked this one. Great review! 2mo
batsy @Cathythoughts You get it 😂 2mo
Suet624 One of those books I could not put down. As usual, you‘ve written a perfect review. (edited) 2mo
batsy @Suet624 Thanks so much 😘 It was incredibly compelling and unnerving! 2mo
93 likes22 comments
post image

Devastating, searing, deeply urgent reading. Written with a moral and political clarity that is utterly and absolutely necessary for this present moment. Structured in such a way as to break your heart because it brings the reader close to the texture of everyday life for Palestinians under occupation and leads up to the inevitable aftermath that, as is clear from the title, is a tragedy. I wish this wasn't our world.

TrishB I thought this was a heart breaking read too. So much detail about the frustrations of ‘everyday‘ life. 2mo
Tamra 😔 2mo
BarbaraBB I had it stacked already. Must read it. 2mo
See All 9 Comments
batsy @TrishB @Tamra Feels so hopeless 😔 2mo
batsy @BarbaraBB Definitely recommend it! 2mo
Cathythoughts Beautiful review. Stacking , I must read it too ❤️ 2mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Thank you, Cathy. I'm sure you will appreciate this one. 2mo
DimeryRene Oh my god. I read the blurb. Definitely will read this soon. 💔 2mo
batsy @DimeryRene Heartbreaking but a good, necessary read 😔 2mo
87 likes5 stack adds9 comments
Untitled | Untitled
post image

What I've been listening to lately: two albums that meld classical sounds with the contemporary.

Susheela Raman, Love Trap (love her voice): https://youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_mEJstnS1OP-Q4HcOJW5JJQzBdl_rYwvSI&si=k...

DJ Cheb i Sabbah (who sadly passed away in 2013), Devotion. Electronica, trance, with classical Indian & Arabic influences: https://youtu.be/Ex-Dg_oi8j4?si=o5JSh3fz136GgY3x

#TuesdayTunes @TieDyeDude

TieDyeDude Heck yeah! Both new to me and both excellent. Thanks for recommending. I don't seek it out, but I always enjoy Indian music when I come across it 2mo
Suet624 Oooh, thank you for these suggestions. 2mo
batsy @TieDyeDude @Suet624 I hope you guys enjoy ❤️ It's good music to tune out the world and escape... 2mo
62 likes3 comments
Anna and Her Daughters | D.E. Stevenson
post image

I'm sorry to be a bit cranky about this #FurrowedMiddlebrowClub but I enjoyed the first half & loved the bits about Jane finding herself & becoming a writer. I also liked her relationship with Mrs Millard & was hoping for more of it. The 2nd half got a bit too silly at points, & maybe sort of escaped reality altogether (though I understand that's the point of a fluffy feel-good book like this one!) I found it pleasant enough but not quite a pick.

batsy Just a tad twee. Anna got her man with big feet 😳 (okay, mum!) but then sort of vanished from the narrative. Helen was a bit too awful; no one ever set her right, then she just died & we didn't hear about how it affected Anna or Rosalie. The narrative bizarrely shrunk to make the story wholly Jane's. I like Jane & don't mind that, but it just felt oddly developed after the start. Was there supposed to be some backstory with Anna & Mrs Millard? 2mo
Cathythoughts Lovely cover all the same ♥️ 2mo
See All 33 Comments
batsy @Cathythoughts I wasn't able to purchase this FM title on Kindle, and thought I wouldn't be able to read it. Then found it in my Kindle library with this cover, with no recollection of having bought it 😆 2mo
jlhammar Love your cranky review 😆 I enjoyed it more than you did, but had many of the same thoughts/issues. 2mo
Ruthiella I couldn‘t get the FMB cover/edition for this one on Kindle either. A conspiracy! 😆 I agree with your criticism. The first half was fun enough for me to give it a 👍 overall, but it was odd that Stevenson went in the direction she did when the field was wide open. 2mo
batsy @jlhammar Thank you! It wasn't bad, it's just that we've read some good FMs that set the bar high 🙂 2mo
batsy @Ruthiella Yes! She was pretty prolific so perhaps felt tired writing this one 😆 2mo
elkeOriginal Great point about not even hearing how Helen‘s death affected Anna - especially since no one even travelled to the funeral! She was ONLY her daughter🤦🏼‍♀️ (edited) 2mo
Aimeesue I liked this one more than you did, but I agree that there were quite a few WhatTheHeck? moments! 😂 I think I‘m less critical of these light romances in general because I know what the ending‘s going be anyway, so I like to look at what the author had to do to her characters to get them there. 🤣 2mo
LeahBergen Yes to all your points! The first half was super enjoyable and then it went off the rails a bit. I just wanted Jane to stay a spaniel-breeding author in that nice little cottage. 😆 2mo
quietjenn @batsy Yes, to all this, but especially the point about Anna and Mrs. Millard. Why were they both so keen not to meet each other?!? 2mo
quietjenn @batsy @Ruthiella I am so curious - but I guess not curious enough to have read it yet - about The Empty World, which is apocalyptic science fiction? Talk about wanting to write something different! 2mo
Ruthiella @quietjenn Well you hooked me! I just bought it for $3.99 on Kindle. 2mo
quietjenn @Ruthiella oops! Sorry? That said, I'm pretty sure I've also bought it for the Kindle at some point, so if you want to read together, just let me know. 2mo
batsy @elkeOriginal Exactly! Thought that was a bit of a glaring plot hole towards the end. 2mo
batsy @Aimeesue That's definitely the best way to approach these books! On that level, somewhat amusing about how some characters are dispensed with 😅 2mo
batsy @LeahBergen Yes, me too! That was so engaging. She and Mrs Millard pottering about their research for yet another juicy, scandalous biography and falling down a bizarre rabbit hole... I think I was hoping for a Doris Langley Moore novel 😆 2mo
batsy @quietjenn Right?? I for sure thought their very overt avoidance of each other was leading up to some revelation 😆 The Empty World sounds fascinating. Unfortunately Malaysia doesn't have a regional Amazon so we use the US one and this one (like quite a few number of Kindle editions) isn't available to purchase for me, based on location. Boo 😕 @Ruthiella 2mo
CarolynM Great review. It did go off in an odd direction. I was expecting Helen to die in order to clear the way for Jane & Ronnie (why did we not hear about his feet?) but I wasn‘t expecting her disgrace & apparent excommunication from the family. But Val was sweet so maybe Ronnie was worth it @LeahBergen ? How could I resist buying that book on Kindle too @quietjenn @Ruthiella ? 🤣 2mo
batsy @CarolynM "Why did we not hear about his feet?" Exactly ? I agree, Val seems like a sweet little guy and hopefully redeems "I'm so awestruck by beauty I can't think straight and who knows I might do it again Jane lol just kidding" Ronnie. 2mo
CarolynM All that “he couldn‘t help it” made me sick. And , yes, I thought there was the distinct possibility he‘d do it again. (edited) 2mo
monalyisha It‘s my first time encountering the #FurrowedMiddlebrowClub tag. Can you tell me more about it? 🤓 2mo
elkeOriginal @batsy @CarolynM I agree about Val! SO glad he turned into a sweet guy after having such a shit mother and being so weird on first meeting him. He was a highlight in the end. 2mo
batsy @monalyisha We pick a book from the Furrowed Middlebrow imprint and read one every other month! The members each post a choice of books and everyone votes on it. I'll try to find the post of the list of titles for 2024 and tag you 🙂 2mo
rubyslippersreads @batsy @Cathythoughts @Ruthiella It seems like some DES Kindle books have a different publisher, at least in the US. I‘ve gotten quite a few for free, but not the FM editions. (edited) 2mo
rubyslippersreads @elkeOriginal @batsy @CarolynM I credit Chairley with a lot of the change in Val. 😄 2mo
batsy @rubyslippersreads He deserves that credit! Every Val needs a Chairley lol 2mo
batsy @rubyslippersreads Ah! I have to use Amazon via the main site (US) so it's entirely possible I grabbed this when it was a free offer for my location (free or discounted for locations outside of the US are becoming rare these days, sadly) 2mo
rubyslippersreads @batsy It looks like The Empty World is in the US store, although since I apparently got it free a couple of years ago, maybe it‘s just showing it to me for that reason. 😏 2mo
rubyslippersreads @quietjenn @Ruthiella @CarolynM @batsy I realized I have The Empty World on Kindle, so if you‘re doing a group read, I‘d be interested. 🪐 2mo
Jess_Read_This All cranky musings on this book are entirely accurate in my opinion. The first half was great. I think because I liked that half so well, it made me forgiving in my review 😂 2mo
batsy @Jess_Read_This It's cute overall, but it just got a bit structurally loose towards the end! I think I'm partial to the "young writer comes of age" angle and would have loved more of that and less of Ronnie ? 2mo
79 likes33 comments
post image

A mini #bookhaul from the remainders/discount bookstore. I was super excited to find these as 3 out of 4 were on my wishlist for years.

Clockwise from top L:
1) Stream System - Collected Short Fiction of Gerald Murnane
2) Territory of Light - Yuko Tsushima (I think the cover is pretty but it doesn't show up well in the pic)
3) Looking for Mr Goodbar - Judith Rossner
4) The Fortnight in September - R.C. Sherriff

Tamra The Sherriff is 💙💙 2mo
batsy @Tamra Was so thrilled to find it having seen lots of Litsy love for it 😊 2mo
Ruthiella I loved A Fortnight in September-such a gentle story. I read Mr Goodbar in the last century. Good but disturbing, as I remember. 2mo
See All 10 Comments
batsy @Ruthiella I've heard that about Mr Goodbar! Apparently it was also made into a movie with Diane Keaton. 2mo
LeahBergen I think you‘ll love A Fortnight. And I read Mr Goodbar back in the last century, too, @Ruthiella 😆 2mo
marleed I loved A Fortnight. In case you aren‘t aware of its origins, I think it enhances the reading experience to know when and how the book was written. 2mo
batsy @LeahBergen Fortnight seems to be quite universally loved 🙂 2mo
batsy @marleed Don't know too much about it, but thanks for the tip. Will look it up before I start reading! 2mo
Cathythoughts Nice haul. I‘m going to look up Territory of Light. ♥️ 2mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Thanks 😘 I've heard lots of good things about Territory, so I'm hoping it is 🤞🏾 2mo
77 likes10 comments
The Broken Girls | Simone St James
post image

One of the better books I've read in this genre; a mix of supernatural & crime that's written with skill, with a strong plot that builds up convincingly and doesn't rely on any type of ridiculous big reveal or twist. I thought the tension & mystery were really well done, the horror believable. The dual timelines intersected well & powered the narrative forward. Plus it's well-written with interesting characters. Want to read more by St. James!

lazydaizee Sounds like my sort of book, I will have to look out for it. 3mo
KathyWheeler This is my favorite St. James book. 3mo
batsy @lazydaizee Please do! And I hope you enjoy it. 3mo
See All 10 Comments
batsy @KathyWheeler It's good! I'm keen to read a couple of others. Have you read her latest one, Murder Road? 3mo
KathyWheeler @batsy I‘m reading it now. So far it‘s good. 3mo
batsy @KathyWheeler That's good to hear 👍🏾 3mo
Cathythoughts Great review. I thought this might be a series, but seems like stand a lone ?! Stacked 👍🏻❤️ 3mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Thank you! 😘 Yes, it's a standalone which is great. I'm so bad at keeping up with a series 😆 3mo
RohitSawant I‘d stacked this one a while back. Definitely moving this up my TBR after your review! 2mo
batsy @RohitSawant It's a good one, and one I think you'll like! 2mo
93 likes1 stack add10 comments
post image

Very silly, funny, & OTT. This, about the menace of the quaint English village, is not to be taken seriously at any point. The Gorey-esque illustrations add to the charm. The village police station being described as "just a mug of tea in a cupboard" nearly made me choke on my coffee. Those of us who love our little English village mysteries will enjoy this tongue-in-cheek bit of fluff. Danger lurks everywhere & I failed the Manor Quiz ?

CarolynM Sounds like my cup of tea. Stacked 3mo
bthegood I loved this too - anyone who reads cozy mysteries will love it - glad you enjoyed it too. 🙂 3mo
batsy @CarolynM A comedic picture book for adults that can be read in one sitting! 3mo
See All 13 Comments
batsy @bthegood It was cute and made me chuckle 😊 3mo
Ruthiella Sounds great. I do love Miss Marple and her village sleuthing. 3mo
LeahBergen I‘ve been wanting to read this! 3mo
BookWrym Sounds really good I wouldn‘t want to move to Midsummer as you are going to get murdered and it seems this is a spoof on this. 3mo
batsy @Ruthiella @LeahBergen It's very short, a picture book really, and perfect to unwind with in one sitting! 3mo
batsy @BookWrym Yes, that's exactly what it is! It's made me want to rewatch all of those early Midsummer episodes 😆 3mo
Cathythoughts This looks great. The pictures must be fun. Would you look at the two legs sticking out 😂 3mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Yes, the illustrations are great 😁 3mo
AvidReader25 I thought this one looked so funny! 3mo
batsy @AvidReader25 It made me laugh! It helps to be in a silly mood 😁 2mo
99 likes10 stack adds13 comments
The Dark Forest | Cixin Liu
post image

Just finished the 2nd book in Cixin Liu's trilogy & does that dog's expression depict how I feel right now? Yes. Did that get in the way of me enjoying the heck out of whatever this was? No! So much of the science stuff went over my head, but it never bothered me. It's dense, it's wacky, it's got a number of different ideas & concepts rattling around in a way that makes this such a refreshing read from my usual fare. The last third ups the ante

batsy in such a heart-pounding & horrifying way that I might have let out a yelp. I need to go look at some Reddit threads for this book, but I also think I need to power through the 3rd one so that I can fully immerse myself in theories & speculations & questions. I kind of regret not reading much SF while growing up; I think it would have prepared me better for the state of the world now & what's to come. Maybe? Lol. Anyway the truth is OUT THERE 3mo
cariashley I‘m so intrigued by these books. Do you think they would be good via audio, or too dense? 3mo
batsy @cariashley I think it might be too dense for audio. If there's a way to try a sample from the first book, it might help to give you an idea...both books are pretty heavy in parts, where it gets conceptual and sciencey. 3mo
See All 14 Comments
vivastory Just wait until you get to book 3 🤓 3mo
SpellboundReader Ha! I had to lol at your canine analogy. Sadly, I more go with the 'trust no one' maxim now. I'm not convinced 'the truth is out there' anymore, even in sci-fi land. 3mo
Lesliereadsalot Tv show on the way! 3mo
LeahBergen I love that dog. 😂😂 3mo
batsy @vivastory 🤯🤯 3mo
batsy @BeeCurious I hear you. This book made me temporarily hopeful but I'll be back to my usual "Trust No One" setting soon lol. 3mo
batsy @Lesliereadsalot Hoping to get to the third soon before I watch it! 3mo
batsy @LeahBergen That face is the best 😆 3mo
Cathythoughts Great review 👏🏻loving the dog ❤️ 3mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Thanks Cathy ♥️ Dog is famous from a bunch of memes 😁 3mo
Suet624 I would not want to run into that dog. 2mo
76 likes14 comments
Scarlet | Marissa Meyer
post image

This is the 2nd book in the Lunar Chronicles series, & I enjoyed this more than the first, Cinder. The first one had to set the scene of the futuristic interplanetary realm & dragged a bit, though Cinder herself was an intriguing character. This one was all fast-paced plot plus new characters. I think Scarlet was meant to be tough & feisty, but to me she was kinda bratty (I'm showing my age 👵🏽). But it's a fun concept & a great popcorn read.

Ruthiella Scarlet annoyed the bejeezus out of me. The next book (your mission, should you choose it Jim😉) is probably the best one of the four. 3mo
batsy @Ruthiella 😂 She was aggravating. I agree with your review—Wolf is likeable 🐺 I do want to continue the series so I'm happy to hear the next one is good! 3mo
Centique @batsy i agree with @Ruthiella !!! (Always do!) Cress is the best one. I dont know WHY this series is my particular flavour of escapist YA romance, it just is. Might have to read them again soon. 😝 3mo
batsy @Centique They're fun and easy, aren't they? 😆 I'm keen to get through the whole series! 3mo
95 likes4 comments
The Dark Forest | Cixin Liu
post image

Started Cixin Liu's The Dark Forest in anticipation of finishing the trilogy before The Three-Body Problem airs on Netflix and came across this passage and paused, because I *just* finished Marissa Meyers' Scarlet earlier today, which is a YA alternate reality riff on The Little Red Riding Hood.

Maybe our books do talk to each other? 😅

Cathythoughts Very good. My little granddaughter is obsessed with the fairy tale at the moment. She can‘t believe the wolf is going to ‘ eat the cakes ‘ in Red riding hoods basket. She‘s shocked at the prospect 😳😂 3mo
batsy @Cathythoughts That's so adorable 🥰 She has her priorities right with regards to keeping the cakes away from the wolf 😁 3mo
Tamra @Cathythoughts that would be incredibly rude! 😆 3mo
See All 9 Comments
Cathythoughts @Tamra I know 😂 never mind what‘s happened or in store for the Granny , my granddaughter is not even asking any questions about that. As long as he doesn‘t‘ eat the cakes ‘ oh no 😂 3mo
CarolynM @Cathythoughts Priceless🤣 3mo
vivastory I loved this trilogy, but after seeing the trailer.. 3mo
Centique I loved the first book in the trilogy and now MUST get to this! 3mo
batsy @vivastory @vivastory I've not watched the trailer and I so hope they don't ruin it 😭 Apparently there's a Chinese production as well and perhaps that might be worth watching (though I'm not sure if it's easily available). I'm happy to know you enjoyed the trilogy. The second one is so out there and intriguing. 3mo
batsy @Centique I'm really enjoying it. So much is going over my head but it doesn't get in the way of how it makes me feel. Genuinely curious about how it all pans out and the bizarre, super intriguing ideas! 3mo
64 likes9 comments
Of Mice and Men | John Steinbeck
post image

An almost-perfect novella, really. But it's got a bleakness to it that made me feel like I wanted to take off into the woods & never find civilisation again. It's a pick, if you want to ponder why it is people do the things they do to each other. Was there a time when people were intrinsically valued for just being, instead of whether they were of any use? An objectively good book but now I feel like shit (well, more than usual). Thanks, John 😢

BarbaraBB I read it as a teenager and wasn‘t impressed at all. Then again in my thirties and I was devastated. So I guess I feel you 😌 3mo
Ruthiella Not read it but familiar with the story. I‘ll keep it in mind for when I want my soul to be crushed. 3mo
batsy @BarbaraBB My first time reading it. The way Steinbeck gets the loneliness and futility, gosh. 3mo
See All 30 Comments
batsy @Ruthiella Yes 😂😭 Whenever you are in the mood for that, this will do it—short and sweet. 3mo
quietlycuriouskate Well I've stacked it... for a time when I'm feeling more emotionally robust. 3mo
Tamra 😢This is a hard read! Have you seen the film adaptation with Malkovitch & Sinise? It‘s very good. Not too long ago I tried to rewatch it and couldn‘t!! 3mo
TrishB Great review. This book doesn‘t really leave you. 3mo
batsy @quietlycuriouskate Definitely. But it's short, which is a plus. 3mo
batsy @Tamra No, I haven't! I don't know if I'll be able to get through a film version, either. I bet it's very good, though. Maybe after some time has passed 😢 3mo
batsy @TrishB Thank you. I'll be thinking about it always, probably. 3mo
Doppoetry I've read this for school (years ago) and that's how Steinbeck became one of my favorite writers. 😅 He had such a deep understanding of humans and each of his books are sad in different ways. 3mo
UwannaPublishme Another great review as always. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 I do love Steinbeck‘s writing and how he brings us deep into the soul of humanity. This one was tough… 3mo
Reggie Yikes!!!!! Great review! 3mo
batsy @Doppoetry This is my first time reading (and only my second Steinbeck after East of Eden). I'll have to tackle Grapes of Wrath next. 3mo
batsy @UwannaPublishme Thank you! Your description is perfect. I think the length of this was also its strength; the reader is dropped into this world and then left reeling at the ramifications. 3mo
batsy @Reggie Thanks, Reggie! 3mo
Amiable I feel like the news is already accomplishing that for me these days. 😖😬 3mo
Amiable @batsy I highly recommend Steinbeck‘s nonfiction if you are up for another go with him: 3mo
batsy @Amiable I totally hear you re: the news. On many levels it's all quite bleak. Thank you for the nonfiction rec; definitely planning on reading more Steinbeck. Just need to space it out 😅 Feel like Grapes of Wrath is one of those that I must get to. 3mo
Amiable @batsy I read “Grapes of Wrath” years ago and loved it. Look forward to your review when you read it. 3mo
Suet624 I have so many thoughts after reading the comments here. This review captures everything about this book. I think Grapes of Wrath will also give you a run for the hills feeling but nevertheless it's a must read. And I agree that you may want to grab Travels with Charley for a bit of relief. 3mo
batsy @Suet624 Thanks for your thoughts, Sue. I read East of Eden sometime back thanks to a Litsy buddy read and it was also pretty devastating. 3mo
CarolynM I‘ve always avoided this one because I fear feeling the way you‘ve described. 3mo
batsy @CarolynM I totally get it. It helps that it was short. 3mo
Centique I know what you mean! For me, Grapes of Wrath was the one that made me want to step off into an abyss. Make sure you are in a stable place when you tackle it 💕 3mo
vivastory I've had Steinbeck on my mind a lot lately for some reason. I think it's because I've always seen him as a good substitute for Hemingway (who I don't esp care for). Last yr I read The Moon Is Down & thought it was great, Was it groundbreaking political allegory on the scale of Orwell of Huxley? No. But, it was a substantial, quick read & I def want to read more of his novellas. I think he should be rated HIGHER than Hemingway (edited) 3mo
batsy @vivastory I'm not familiar with Moon and I'm making a note to add it to my list. I don't care for Hemingway either; I had to read both Hemingway and Steinbeck for an intro to American Lit class and couldn't get into both then, but definitely glad I gave Steinbeck a chance again with a buddy read here on Litsy for East of Eden. I'll have to tackle Grapes of Wrath next. 3mo
mabell I hear you on your comment about feeling like crap (more than usual) - that‘s why I just can‘t take downer books. 😆 3mo
batsy @mabell I know, I find myself going for YA and mysteries at the moment! 3mo
Rissreads I just read Grapes of Wrath not long ago and it floored me! I have this on my shelf looking at me and will get to it soon. I‘m glad it‘s short! 🤣 2mo
85 likes3 stack adds30 comments
post image

This was a truly eye-opening read; although I was vaguely aware of Rodrigo Duterte's fascist policies & his "war on drugs" & its immense costs, this book put that war into stark context. Grim & utterly brutal. The violence is shocking, but the thing that is most chilling is how people voted for him, & for the most part, took the killings in stride & somehow even lauded it. Evangelista highlights how there was a breaking point for some; but the

batsy fact of the matter is that many people supported him & welcomed his threats of killing people off because the undesirables, the poor, the underclass, were considered fair game. It really drives home how fascist policies gain traction all over the world. Some lines that stand out: "Maybe those who had voted for death thought they had voted for a metaphor". Or, "The truth was simpler: It takes longer to type a sentence than it does to kill a man". 3mo
vivastory Terrific review. It was chilling to see support for Duerte (although sadly not entirely surprising) among far right in the states. 3mo
batsy @vivastory Thank you. It's a super tough and essential read. Just can't stop thinking about how easy it is for many people to support this. 3mo
See All 8 Comments
squirrelbrain Great review - I‘ll get to this one soon…. 3mo
batsy @squirrelbrain Thank you. Look forward to your thoughts! 3mo
Suet624 Thank you for this review. It's unreal how people in the US seem to be moving in that direction. 3mo
GatheringBooks Reading this enraged me, and left me feeling utterly helpless. 2mo
batsy @GatheringBooks Super hard to come to terms with the fact that many people were on board with Duterte's kill tactics until it affected someone who reminded them of a person they know. It's like, how did you get to a point where you can casually dehumanise groups of people? 2mo
73 likes1 stack add8 comments
The Rachel Incident: A novel | Caroline O'Donoghue
post image

I enjoyed this warm, witty, big-hearted novel about Rachel & her best friend James, & how rooted it is in time & place (Cork truly comes alive). The characters are so well-drawn, & the relationships & fuck-ups that happen during the early-20s are realistic while being entertaining enough to power a whole novel that I didn't want to stop turning the pages. Many of the lines made me laugh out loud, especially in the first half. The writing is fab.

batsy I thought the cover of the Australian edition is cute. And references one of my favourite scenes 🙂 3mo
BarbaraBB Great cover indeed! And I really enjoyed this one too. 3mo
batsy @BarbaraBB Yes, I remember you and many others enjoying it. A lovely book 💚 3mo
See All 15 Comments
Cuilin Cork you say?? My home town. Now I really have to read it. 3mo
AmyG I like this cover. I will say….I enjoyed the second half of this book way more than the first. 3mo
sarahbarnes Agreed! Great review. 3mo
Lesliereadsalot This book got better and better with a really cool ending! 3mo
batsy @Cuilin I hope you do! I look forward to seeing your thoughts 🙂 3mo
batsy @AmyG I thought the second half dragged just a bit especially toward the end, but it did have a cool ending I agree @Lesliereadsalot 3mo
batsy @sarahbarnes Thank you! 3mo
HOTPock3tt I enjoyed this book too! 3mo
Cathythoughts Great review ❤️ I‘m looking forward to it. 3mo
Reggie If I could stack this again I would have after your review. 3mo
batsy @HOTPock3tt It's a good read! 3mo
batsy @Cathythoughts @Reggie Thank you, I hope you both like it if you give it a go ❤️ 3mo
84 likes8 stack adds15 comments
Untitled | Untitled
post image

These past few days I wanted only sparkly, sugary pop that made me temporarily escape real life. And Carly Rae Jepsen's The Loveliest Time more than delivers on that front 💖 https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6n7xOfvov7DwbR4Gm23Pfsf9O9uoMS5w&si=yiM1ke9h...

#TuesdayTunes @TieDyeDude

BarbaraBB I can so relate to that feeling 🤍 3mo
TieDyeDude I haven't listened to much of her later work, but I'm glad she's been able to grow out of the shadow of “Call Me Maybe.“ I hope she's bring you some good vibes! 3mo
merelybookish My daughter is a big fan, and so am I by extension. She is under-appreciated. 3mo
See All 13 Comments
Reggie I‘ve heard Call Me Maybe but because of Canada‘s Drag Race, Juice Boxx and Lemon had to lip sync to I Really Like you by her and it‘s such a good poppy song. Sadly Juice Boxx lost and had to sashay away. 3mo
youneverarrived I‘m going to give this a listen 🤍 3mo
vivastory Have you ever read Hanif Abdurraqib's essay on Jespen? It's pure genius 3mo
batsy @BarbaraBB ❤️ 3mo
batsy @TieDyeDude She's matured in her work while sticking to her pop roots, which is really nice to see! 3mo
batsy @merelybookish I agree! 3mo
batsy @Reggie Haha! Her album Emotion is pretty damn good (give a listen to the title track) but the two most recent albums she's put out have been on heavy rotation. 3mo
batsy @vivastory Is it the one on watching her live? I thought it was so lovely and captures the essence of her songs. 3mo
vivastory That's the one. Abdurraqib is so great at capturing the magic of live performances. Without fail I think about his piece on Prince's super bowl halftime performance every year. 3mo
65 likes13 comments
post image

Thank you Michelle for the personalised notebook and memo pads... So very sweet of you! Loved the cards ❤️ Thanks so much for thinking of me and sending this my way. Hope you're doing well. @Mimi28

BarbaraBB 😍 3mo
Mimi28 You‘re welcome 🩷I‘m glad you liked everything!! I hope you are well also 🫶🏽😊🤗🩷 3mo
54 likes2 comments
The Essex Serpent | Sarah Perry
post image

I've been meaning to read this for years & I'm glad #LiteraryCrew gave me the push I needed. I greatly enjoyed it. Perry's writing is exquisite; loved her eye for detail & the lush, abundant descriptions of nature. I appreciated the complex characters & how invested I was in how things turned out for them. I loved the chilly beauty of Aldwinter & the strange sense of unease that permeates the book. All of it was right up my street. @Librarybelle

Librarybelle Beautiful review! So glad you were able to join us this month! 3mo
erzascarletbookgasm It‘s been on my shelf for a long time. Glad you enjoyed it! 3mo
Tamra I enjoyed the audio version. 😄 3mo
See All 16 Comments
batsy @Librarybelle Thank you for the opportunity! It's such a nice feeling to read something I already own 😆 and to find that I really like it. 3mo
batsy @erzascarletbookgasm I hope you like it when you get to it. A slow burn and a moody kind of book, but a good one imo 🙂 3mo
batsy @Tamra Nice! 3mo
Balibee146 This has been waiting and looking gorgeous in my shelves for years also. 3mo
LeahBergen I liked this one, too! 3mo
Centique I really enjoyed this too! And i may have already mentioned that the tv adaptation is worth watching as well 😍 3mo
batsy @Balibee146 It's a pretty book, isnt it 🙂 3mo
batsy @LeahBergen I am looking forward to checking out her other books! 3mo
batsy @Centique Yes, I remember! I'm hoping to be able to watch it. I want to remain in that world a little longer... 3mo
Cathythoughts Great review ❤️ The tv series is good too. 3mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Thank you, Cathy! I'm excited to check out the series 🤩 3mo
Rissreads What a gorgeous cover! 💛💚 3mo
batsy @Rissreads It's very pretty 😍 3mo
94 likes1 stack add16 comments
One of Us Is Next | Karen M. Mcmanus
post image

The follow up to One of Us Is Lying is the perfect palate cleanser. McManus writes well for young adults, & doesn't attempt to write YA to cater to adult tastes that inadvertently insult both young & adult readers. The characterisation is believable, the pacing is generally good & the mystery is decent. In fact, the two books I've read in this series are stronger than some of the absurd & downright silly thrillers for adults that I've read.

Ruthiella Good to know for when I want a satisfying thriller. 👍 3mo
rockpools That‘s really interesting- we‘ve got a stack of her books at work. I‘ll have to give them a go. 3mo
batsy @Ruthiella @rockpools Well-written and engaging popcorn reads, worth a try if you don't mind YA 🙂 I watched the first season of the show on Netflix as well and it was surprisingly quite well done. 3mo
Cathythoughts Hi Suba. My Instagram is down 🤷🏼‍♀️. Hopefully back soon X 3mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Hey Cathy, I hope it's back working soon. Keep me posted if it's not 😘 3mo
81 likes5 comments
All Gates Open: The Story of Can | Rob Young, Irmin Schmidt
post image

#TuesdayTunes @TieDyeDude

Was sad to hear of Damo Suzuki's passing on February 9. He was one of the vocalists for Can, and I've been listening to the Ege Bamyasi album again in particular. The track Vitamin C still rocks so hard and Sing Swan Song is so lovely. Love me some Krautrock 💚 You can hear the influence of this on bands like Pavement, Sonic Youth.

Bookwomble Sorry to hear about the passing of one of the band. I've only got the odd track by Can on compilation albums, and have long been meaning to rectify the gap. I also love Krautrock, though mainly represented in my music collection by Neu! 3mo
BarbaraBB Never heard of this band. But I am now listening to the album! 3mo
The_Book_Ninja It‘s the drums and bass on Vitamin C for me 3mo
See All 10 Comments
TieDyeDude Thanks for the recommendation. I had not heard of them before, but Vitamin C is good! 3mo
merelybookish New to me! 3mo
batsy @Bookwomble Neu is fantastic, too. I loved what little I've listened to—was more familiar with Kraftwerk. I'm looking forward to giving their albums a listen now 😊 3mo
batsy @The_Book_Ninja @TieDyeDude It's just the epitome of cool, that song 😁 3mo
vivastory Not familiar with this band but you 100% sold me with your comparison to two of my fave bands of all-time. Def checking out 3mo
Suet624 I‘m so sorry. I‘m not aware of this group but will have to check them out. 3mo
65 likes10 comments
A Shining | Jon Fosse
post image

A man goes into the woods on a cold day. Things are strange. Is it a dream or a nightmare? Is it a spiritual awakening or a kind of religious allegory? It's a novella that's easy to mock, & I did roll my eyes at one point, but it also exerts a kind of force. I wanted to laugh it off, but couldn't. It's a tad hackneyed, but also unnerving & mystical. Something compels you to want to linger in these woods, but you also want to get away from it.

BarbaraBB Intrigued by your review! 3mo
sarahbarnes Wow, very intriguing review! 3mo
Tamra I‘ve wanted to try Fosse, but haven‘t taken the plunge yet. 3mo
See All 14 Comments
KathyWheeler What an interesting review! 3mo
lil1inblue Interesting.... 3mo
Ruthiella But a novella length, which is wise IMO. I‘m thinking of DNFing Dhalgren because that kind of fever dream narrative should not go on for 800 pages. 3mo
batsy @Tamra I've only read this prior to A Shining, and I'm keen to read the whole sequence (Septology) but it's the kind of writing that needs minimal interruptions 😬 3mo
batsy @BarbaraBB @sarahbarnes @KathyWheeler @lil1inblue It's a tough book to review so I tried my best to sum up the experience of reading it 😅 3mo
Billypar Great review! I can sympathize with your ambivalence - sometimes I think I enjoy novels that are ambitious yet flawed more than the safe and 'perfect' variety. 3mo
batsy @Ruthiella Oh yes, this one couldn't have gone on any longer, in the sense that it has no plot. Dhalgren is something I would like to read... I want to try Delany but I'm so intimidated. And if you're struggling with it I'll put it on the back burner for a few more years 😆 3mo
batsy @Billypar Thank you! I think I do, too 3mo
batsy @Billypar (whoops, hit send too soon). There's something admirable about writers trying to achieve some sort of transcendence in their writing, even if I might not get it at the time. 3mo
vivastory I ALMOST checked this out recently & your review is making me wish I had, I completely understand what you mean though about somewhat hackneyed religious allegory bc that is exactly how I felt reading Coetzee's “Childhood of Jesus“ last yr. Still going to check this one out 3mo
batsy @vivastory That's a Coetzee I haven't read but the only one I did read, Disgrace, I found fully unnerving and can still remember bits of how fearful it made me years later. I think Fosse is an interesting writer and I found the first two books of the Septology very compelling. I need to read the rest! 3mo
80 likes6 stack adds14 comments
The Mother's Recompense | Edith Wharton
post image

Once the book passed over a certain juncture in the narrative, it was hard *not* to keep reading! I just had to see how it was all going to pan out. High drama and psychological acuity—it's what Wharton does best. The ethics of the situation are grey in the sense that Wharton makes you question which outcome is the most just and to whose benefit? Wharton is so good at showing you the costs: both of being in society and out of it. #WhartonBuddyRead

Suet624 Great review. You hit the nail on the head. 3mo
CarolynM Great review. I‘m only half way through, but I‘m looking forward to seeing where she takes it. 3mo
batsy @Suet624 @CarolynM Thank you! I'm looking forward to to seeing everyone's thoughts during the discussion. 🙂 3mo
See All 6 Comments
BarbaraBB I must read this one too 3mo
batsy @BarbaraBB It's a good one! Lots of brewing internal drama and her usual fantastic prose. 3mo
BarbaraBB Yes she writes so well, I loved every book I read by her 3mo
81 likes4 stack adds6 comments
This Other Eden | Paul Harding
post image

I went into this book not knowing much about it, & learned that Harding took the real life story of the eviction of the Malaga residents & fictionalised it in this story about Apple Island & its people. The result, to me, is a beautiful & grim story about race & eugenics & colonisation, though the story itself isn't "about" those issues. It's a slim book that packs a punch. The POV shifts between individual voices & it gives the residents of the

batsy island a way to insert themselves into the story, granting them the dignity of a complex interior life removed from the modern, racial categories & its attendant anxieties (the islanders have different worries, different fears) while also showing from the perspective of the outsiders the unbearably racist world that operates in "civilisation". I thought this was incredibly sophisticated in terms of how Harding pulled it off. 3mo
batsy In reading up on the real facts of Malaga I found this article. Harding's book has its critics for its social allegory & their arguments should be noted: https://www.pressherald.com/2023/11/12/amid-literary-praise-for-this-other-eden-... 3mo
Tamra Fantastic review! I enjoyed it as well. Love the cover of your edition! 3mo
See All 10 Comments
batsy @Tamra Thank you! I read the ebook but this cover is super pretty, isn't it 😍 3mo
jlhammar I also thought this was very good. Love his writing. Great review! 3mo
erzascarletbookgasm Stacking 3mo
batsy @jlhammar Thank you! His writing is quite stunning... I will have to check out 3mo
Cathythoughts Nice review, I have this book. Must read it one day 😁♥️ 3mo
batsy @Cathythoughts A quiet novel, sort of like Emma Donoghue, with lush prose and heavy themes. Hope you like it when you get to it 😘 3mo
90 likes3 stack adds10 comments
This Other Eden | Paul Harding
post image

Everything that happened before happens again. The colonial past is always the present.

Graywacke 😔 3mo
Mimi28 Yikes!! I am@going to try to send your package tomorrow 😊 3mo
batsy @Graywacke Depressing. (The book is so much better than what I expected, though!) 3mo
See All 6 Comments
batsy @Mimi28 No worries at all, whenever is good for you ☺️ 3mo
Graywacke @batsy that prose. No? 3mo
batsy @Graywacke Yes! 3mo
60 likes6 comments
Untitled | Unknown
post image

It's already Wednesday here, but I love @TieDyeDude 's idea for #TuesdayTunes & seeing everyone's picks. Tori's Under the Pink turned 30 this year; I've been feeling old & rediscovering my obsession with this album 💙

Two songs I've been listening to nonstop because of True Detective: https://youtu.be/SM8PU-mTSaI?si=0XLikNInh5ikaak4 (Seven Devils, Florence+the Machine) & https://youtu.be/04J0ihSeIuI?si=X9MMc04PCih6mb2h (Into Dust, Mazzy Star)

merelybookish For some reason, Tori Amos passed me by when she was big. 🤷Maybe I should try her now. 🙂 As for True Detective, I think the show is kind of awful 😬 but the music is fantastic! 3mo
BarbaraBB All the love for Tori! I also loved her album Little Earthquakes 3mo
batsy @merelybookish Are you watching the latest season? I agree, the writing especially kind of sucks but I'm also unable to stop watching 😆 I feel like it should have just been its own weird horror thing (like Fortitude) instead of a True Detective thing. The result is an awkward mishmash—and terrible dialogue. 3mo
See All 13 Comments
batsy @BarbaraBB It's a masterpiece 💜 3mo
Billypar Amos is definitely a gap for me in my 90s music fandom. I maybe Spotified Little Earthquakes once? But definitely not this one, so it's going on the list. 3mo
batsy @Billypar I think her first 5 are great, the 6th is not for me, 7th and 8th albums a mixed bag but I'm fond of them. After that I haven't been really been keeping up 🙂 3mo
TieDyeDude I love Tori, but I don't know if I've listened to a full album. Crucify and Cornflake Girl very popular with my hometown nonprofit station. I'll have to check out the other songs, but I'm always down for Florence. I've only watched the first season of True Detectives, but I've been hearing some good things about the new season. 3mo
vivastory I saw Tori fall of '97. To this day it remains one of the best concerts I've been to. When I created my Spotify account years ago & started thinking of albums to add off of the top of my head, the first two I added were Boys For Pele & Little Earthquakes 💙 Love your 2 other song choices. I really like the next Mazzy Star album after So Tonight etc (Among My Swan). There's a few tracks on there that I think are as good as “So Tonight etc) 3mo
sarahbarnes I love her music and this album is one of my favorites. And echo @vivastory that I saw her perform in college and it was an amazing show. Those dual pianos. 3mo
batsy @TieDyeDude Hope you enjoy discovering Tori 😊 True Detective is interesting this season in terms of the weird horror aspect but pretty disappointing in terms of its writing, imo. But the soundtrack and setting is great. 3mo
batsy @vivastory Among My Swan is a fantastic album but it's been too long since I've listened to it (Mazzy Star always brings out the feels) and I need to. I envy you and @sarahbarnes having seen Tori live 🤩 It must have been magnificent. 3mo
merelybookish @batsy We are watching it and I keep wanting it to be better. Cool location, cool premise, Jodie Foster. Why does it have to be bad? The last episode may have done me in. 😳 3mo
batsy @merelybookish I hear you. Jodie Foster remains amazing; she has managed to deliver some cringe lines in a way that made me snort 😆 (I've yet to watch the most recent one... And there's only six episodes, I think. I've watched 4 and I have no idea how they're going to wrap it up) 3mo
73 likes13 comments
Parable of the Sower | Octavia E. Butler
post image

Bleak, grim, & all too real. Butler was prescient in how dystopia comes to be; it's emerging in pockets of societies all over the world as a culmination of fascism & the capitalist climate crisis. Reading this was hard & it gave me nightmares. Reading it right now is too much. Butler's writing is both beautiful & matter-of-fact. I found myself wanting to debate Earthseed with Lauren. I find myself wanting to ask Butler how to get out of this mess.

quietlycuriouskate Yes to all of the above. 😟 4mo
Itchyfeetreader Beautiful review 4mo
IndoorDame Great review! 4mo
See All 15 Comments
erzascarletbookgasm Well said! This reminds me, I should read Parable of the Talents 4mo
sarahbarnes Great review. 💔💔 4mo
Tamra I‘ve been meaning to read this for so long, I have to bump it up now! 😍 4mo
batsy @quietlycuriouskate I'm quite stunned at how she managed to see exactly how things play out 😔 4mo
batsy @erzascarletbookgasm Yes, I wanted to read it right away but also felt like it might be much too heavy too soon. 4mo
batsy @Tamra I very much recommend it. And also be prepared 💔 4mo
Ruthiella I love Butler‘s straight forward writing style and her fearlessness to address divisive issues. None of her books are easy to read, in that respect, for sure. 4mo
jlhammar So good, but such a tough read. I still need to get to Parable of the Talents. 4mo
batsy @Ruthiella @jlhammar I need a bit of time before Talents but definitely want to read it soon. Yes, tough and uncompromising writer but so necessary right now. 4mo
Rissreads I loved this! 3mo
batsy @Rissreads So good! 3mo
89 likes2 stack adds15 comments
Breasts and Eggs | Mieko Kawakami
post image

Having read all of Kawakami's novels translated into English (just the novella, Ms. Ice Sandwich, to go), I can say that I'm a big fan. I was surprised by the depth of Breasts and Eggs, the level of scrutiny it employs in dissecting age-old norms taken as human truths. But I shouldn't have been surprised; she does the same in Heaven & All the Lovers in the Night. A book that I'll be thinking about for a long time. Brilliant & uncompromising.

batsy I feel suffocated when mainstream media tries to equate womanhood with all things "girly" as decided by corporations & embodied by celebs, so reading actual literature by women writers that give an unsparing, unsentimental look into what it means to be a "woman" in a particular society is always a gift, a lesson, & a revelation. The solitary aloneness of Kawakami's characters get to me; her novels wrestle with the contradictions of modern life. 4mo
youneverarrived Brilliant review! 🤍 I rated it a so-so but it‘s still vivid in my mind. 4mo
batsy @youneverarrived Thank you! It raises so many points, some that I disagree with, some that challenge my own beliefs. I feel like I'll be thinking about it for a long time, as well. 4mo
See All 12 Comments
Ruthiella Agree with @youneverarrived ! I liked the first part; found the second part tedious but still have strong memories of it. 4mo
Megabooks I loved this! It is so rare that aspec people get good representation in literary fiction. 4mo
BarbaraBB Such a good book. Good to see it again, it‘s been a while! 4mo
batsy @Ruthiella The second part is quite a bit more ruminative, in a sense. I can see why it might feel too long. 4mo
batsy @Megabooks Yes, I definitely appreciated that! It's very good. 4mo
batsy @BarbaraBB I hope there's many more English translations in the works! 4mo
BarbaraBB Me too, she‘s so good 4mo
Centique Such a great review! This book got under my skin and i put it down for a while. But im so glad i picked it up again. I can still picture the three of them in the flat and in the train station. I must read it again. I loved Ms Ice Sandwich - but have to read more from her! 4mo
batsy @Centique The relationships depicted, between sisters, aunt and niece, mother and daughter, and between friends, were so real and unsentimental. That was a standout for me. I've seen good things here about Ms Ice Sandwich so I'm looking forward 💜 4mo
94 likes3 stack adds12 comments
The Paris Apartment | Lucy Foley
post image

I sense that maybe this shouldn't have been my first Lucy Foley—the previous two sound like it's more my speed. This felt way too long; protracted & melodramatic to the point of tedium. Multiple POVs can work so well in a thriller but you have to pull it off. All of these characters were incredibly irritating people. I love "unlikeable characters" but they must have some sort of depth or charm to pull you in. The resolution is pure fairy tale ?

Smarkies Her other book - the guest list was decent for me. Do try that one! 4mo
BarbaraBB This author never appealed to me and your review confirms my hesitation! 4mo
batsy @Smarkies That's good to know. I can't help but be drawn to the locked room concept and her first two still sound appealing 🙂 4mo
See All 17 Comments
batsy @BarbaraBB It's getting harder to find a good popcorn 🍿 thriller these days 🥲 4mo
Ruthiella I don‘t want to discourage you from trying more from her but I felt that same about the one book I read from her 4mo
batsy @Ruthiella Ah that's a bummer, the setting and premise of that one is intriguing. 4mo
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego I liked the Guest List best so far. 4mo
BarbaraBB Yes it is! Have you tried John Marrs? 4mo
erzascarletbookgasm The other 2 I‘ve read - The Guest List, The Hunting Party- was alright; better than this at least. 4mo
Hooked_on_books I really like her books, but this is my least favorite of hers, so definitely try others! 4mo
batsy @BarbaraBB No, I haven't! Not a name I've come across. Should I give him a try? 4mo
BarbaraBB Definitely! He has recently become my go-to thriller author. Try 4mo
BarbaraBB Not your usual thriller but gripping from page one and with lots of twists! 4mo
batsy @BarbaraBB Oh, great! Thank you. These sound a bit different from the usual, which is nice! 4mo
99 likes1 stack add17 comments
Old God's Time: A Novel | Sebastian Barry
post image

"There was emergency and difficulty everywhere, and he was no doubt terrorised by it, but with emergency and terror comes a test. He wondered could he pass it?" This strange, shapeshifting novel, that puts us directly in the mind of one aging police officer Tom Kettle, seems particularly apt for our present moment. A novel about memory & time, not just on an individual level but collective. A dark, bleak novel shot through with macabre humour—

batsy the Irish are of course masters of this. In the midst of sympathising and feeling deeply for Kettle I was also pulled in another direction as he remembers, and struggles with, the memories of the murders he committed in Malaya as part of the British counter-insurgency. (Recently, Frank Kitson died https://rb.gy/l5io24 and our present moment is a stark reminder of colonialism as a process that still endures, and not a past "event"). A tough book. 4mo
batsy I took from the epigraph and the quote about being tested that perhaps Kettle is a kind of Job-like figure, but it did test my belief in the world Barry created when we got towards the end and found out that his son is also dead (and how). A catalogue of trauma that seemed forced. But in thinking of Kettle's own (reluctant) colonial crimes, perhaps Barry was making a case for what is owed in a life. I'm not sure. 4mo
CarolynM Great review, as always. I agree with you about the son, it was a bit much, but, yes, I did think there was a suggestion that it was a final reckoning and Kettle was coming out about even. 4mo
See All 21 Comments
batsy @CarolynM Thank you, Carolyn. My instant reaction re: the son was "this might be laying it on too thick", (and I had found it a beautifully subtle/mysterious novel up to that point). But on further thought, it did feel like Barry was presenting it as a reckoning/settling of scores. The "test", as Kettle said. I'll be thinking about this book for awhile. 4mo
Tamra I listened to the audio edition and really enjoyed it. I think it will be even better in print, which I intend to get! 4mo
Cathythoughts Great review 👍🏻❤️ it‘s on my list. 4mo
batsy @Tamra I tend to have trouble focusing with audio books but yes, I can see how this narrative would fit audio so well! Especially with a really good narrator. 4mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Thanks Cathy, I would love to know what you make of it. 4mo
LeahBergen I always love some macabre humour. Great review! 4mo
batsy @LeahBergen Thank you! It's got that humour and it's also deeply sad. 4mo
Suet624 A great review of this one. I felt so much for Tom. 4mo
kspenmoll Great review! 4mo
Mimi28 You could write reviews for a living they are so smart and descriptive and well constructed and witty!! Keep up the great reading I guess, lol 🩷 4mo
Mimi28 I still have your personalized stationery. Once I get some birthday money from my mom‘s income tax check, I want to send it to you. Do you remember my email address? It‘s Michellemiddleton28 @ outlook.com or slickbutterfly76 @ aol.com the outlook is almost full. I still have the small package you sent me also. Thanks for always liking all my posts and being such a good friend. It‘s 💔💔that everyone I bond with is so far away. 4mo
Mimi28 Take care of yourself!! How are you? 4mo
batsy I'm good @Mimi28 thank you for always thinking of me and for your kind words. Please don't ever worry about sending me anything, you should treat yourself with all of the good things 💜 I will drop you an email. My mailing address is still the same and I'll just need to check yours again and I'll try to drop a card in the mail soon ✉️😊 4mo
Mimi28 Glad you‘re good 🩷my address is different from the one you sent the package to. I can‘t put that in the spoilers, lol. 4mo
batsy @Mimi28 Sent an email to your aol :) 4mo
Rissreads @CarolynM @batsy I agree with you and feel it was kind of a reckoning. I loved this book. Great review! (edited) 4mo
batsy @Rissreads Thank you! 4mo
92 likes1 stack add21 comments
post image

I studied John Donne in college & was unprepared for how his poems surprised & delighted me. It's been years since I've read him but Rundell's lovely biography has given me the itch to rediscover him. Just like Donne's subject matter was perfect for him, the way in which he transformed feeling & bodily experience to thought, so is Donne the perfect material for Rundell. Her style is playful, fluid, thoughtful, always compelling. This was a treat!

jlhammar Looking forward to this. Glad to hear you enjoyed it! 4mo
Aimeesue Excellent review! Made me want to read this, and poets and poetry are. . .not what I‘m usually drawn to. Stacked! 😁 (edited) 4mo
Ruthiella Do you listen to On the Road with Penguin Classics podcast? The January 18 episode was with the author and I found it fascinating. I really want to read her book now and maaayybe read some Donne poetry. 4mo
See All 9 Comments
Lcsmcat I love Donne‘s poetry so this sounds interesting to me. Stacked. 4mo
batsy @jlhammar @Aimeesue I loved her writing in this and she that she's written some children's books that I need to check out! 4mo
batsy @Ruthiella No, thank you for mentioning it! This would be a perfect episode to check out after the book 🙂 4mo
batsy @Lcsmcat Great! I definitely recommend it. 4mo
RobES I'm reading this at the moment and loving it! I just finished Impossible Creatures and I think I spy inspiration from this book in that one!!!! 💕 4mo
batsy @RobES Oh, lovely! I'll add that to the list. I just realised that a book I've stacked sometime ago is by Rundell, too, so lots to discover 🙂 4mo
81 likes6 stack adds9 comments
The Rescuers | Margery Sharp
post image

This was such an adorable story! #ChildrensClassicRead2024 I can't believe I haven't read this before or watched the Disney animation. I found it very witty and charming, and just an all-round delight. It's always a good time when animals get existential 😆 Loved the illustrations by Garth Williams. I should check out more of her adult novels, as well—I enjoyed Four Gardens, which we read for #FurrowedMiddlebrowClub @TheBookHippie

DinoMom This is a great one! 4mo
TheBookHippie I loved it so much. 4mo
BarbaraBB Tempting review. I havens read it either not watched the movie. 4mo
See All 14 Comments
willaful Some of my favs of adult books: Cluny Brown, The Nutmeg Tree, Something Light. 4mo
UwannaPublishme Agreed on all counts! 🙌🏻 4mo
batsy @BarbaraBB It's just so darn cute 🐭 4mo
batsy @willaful Thanks! I remember others here also mentioning Cluny Brown. 4mo
batsy @UwannaPublishme 👍🏽🙂 4mo
Rissreads I‘m about to start this! 4mo
batsy @Rissreads Enjoy! 4mo
kspenmoll I had no idea she wrote for adults. This is such a charming story. 4mo
batsy @kspenmoll It is! So witty, as well. 4mo
tpixie @batsy it was so witty!! I do love animals as starring characters! I may have to check out her books for adults!! 3mo
84 likes14 comments
post image

This was hypnotic & quietly compelling. A speculative dystopian novel about a woman who tells us her story of having grown up in captivity in a group of 40 women. I found the images of the barren inner & outer landscape quite surreal, like a Dali painting that was transforming in front of our eyes. Through the young narrator's circumstances the novel asks deep questions about the purpose of personhood, womanhood, existence. Are we always waiting?

batsy Reading up on Harpman we learn that she was born in Belgium and that her father was Jewish, and that the family had to flee to Morocco to escape the Nazis. I feel like that adds to the profound sadness, about the novel wrestling with the idea of captivity; how it is imposed, how it can become a state of mind, and what is the cost and value of freedom and why must it come at the expense of others? How is freedom truly measured and valued? 4mo
Chelsea.Poole I‘ve wondered about this one. Fantastic review! 4mo
batsy @Chelsea.Poole Thank you! It's the kind of book that lingers. 4mo
See All 20 Comments
Aimeesue Excellent review! Compelling. 4mo
sarahbarnes Oh wow, sounds very intriguing. 4mo
batsy @Aimeesue Thank you! 4mo
batsy @sarahbarnes Yes, this and The Wall are two speculative dystopian novels that will stick with me 4mo
BarbaraBB I loved the wall too so I really need to read this! And that cover 😍 4mo
TrishB This looks interesting 👍🏻 4mo
tpixie What a great review! 4mo
sarahbarnes I bought a copy of The Wall this summer (I think based on your review) and hope to read it soon. Good to know you loved it too @BarbaraBB ! 4mo
batsy @BarbaraBB The Wall has become one of my all-time favourites. 4mo
batsy @TrishB Yes, a really intriguing concept. Particularly of aloneness. 4mo
batsy @tpixie Thank you! 4mo
UwannaPublishme Wow! Wonderful review! 👏🏻👏🏻 4mo
batsy @UwannaPublishme Thank you 😊 4mo
Rissreads I have this and The wall on my tbr shelf looking at me. Think I‘ll get to them sooner than later! Great review ♥️ 4mo
batsy @Rissreads Thank you! I hope you like it. Lots of food for thought. 4mo
Cathythoughts Love your review, stacked. X 4mo
108 likes15 stack adds20 comments
Learned by Heart | Emma Donoghue
post image

Yet another quiet, tender novel by Donoghue that I loved & found very affecting. It tells the story of Anne Lister ("the first modern lesbian", as she has been called) & her friend & lover Eliza Raine as they room together in a girls' school in their teens. The detailed author's note at the end made me feel especially sad for Eliza, who was Anglo-Indian & wholly in love with Lister. Donoghue depicted Eliza's inner life with sensitivity & care.

LeeRHarry Have this on my shelves - looking forward to getting to it. Nice review. 😊 4mo
CarolynM Interesting! Have you seen the TV show based on Anne Lister‘s diaries Gentleman Jack? It‘s good. 4mo
BarbaraBB Interesting! 4mo
See All 7 Comments
LeeRHarry @CarolynM I loved that series. 4mo
batsy @LeeRHarry Thank you and I hope you like it. Donoghue has a way of tugging at the heart. @CarolynM I've heard of it but never watched it. Will definitely do so soon! 4mo
LeahBergen @CarolynM @batsy I really enjoyed the tv series and then read a biography of her right after watching it. And I received this book for Christmas! 👍 4mo
batsy @LeahBergen I'm really keen to watch the series! The Lister bio must have been pretty fascinating. Donoghue writes about doing a lot of digging around to get some details on Raine, which is fascinating in itself. 4mo
101 likes9 stack adds7 comments
Murder While You Work | Susan Scarlett
post image

This isn't a murder mystery, but a Susan Scarlett romance with a heaping dash of Celia Fremlin-esque domestic peril. It starts off cute then escalates fast 💀 Like @CarolynM says it made me feel sad about the conditions of life for vulnerable older people; it felt contemporary in that it reminded me of pandemic lockdowns & post-pandemic life in terms of isolation & abuse in the home. Quite dark compared to the usual #FurrowedMiddlebrowClub fare!

batsy I was quite unnerved by Desmond & also felt bad for him. I was a little troubled by how a child with some issues who just needed a guiding hand was instead made out to be a little Omen-ish, but that's to be expected with fiction from this era I guess. I was also like WHAT is everyone's problem with "clever girls" especially if they wear glasses? My god. Do they think girls with glasses turn into owls at night or something ? 5mo
Tamra Fantastic summary! 5mo
Tamra @batsy yes, the “clever” girl thing was an annoying theme. 😏 5mo
See All 22 Comments
batsy @Tamra Thank you! I got a bit defensive over the whole girls with glasses thing 🤣🤓 5mo
rubyslippersreads @batsy I wear glasses, and now you‘ve given away my secret! 🤣🦉 5mo
batsy @rubyslippersreads You and me both 😆🦉🦉 5mo
Ruthiella Great review! I totally missed the clever girl stuff, though, so thanks for pointing it out. It‘s funny what a reader will pick up on (or not in my case)!😂 5mo
LeahBergen The old “men don‘t make passes at girls who wear glasses”. 😂😂 (as I sit here in my big honking thick specs!) 5mo
jlhammar Yes, so glad you mentioned all that clever girl stuff! I felt the same. 5mo
willaful @batsy that was one of the things I really didn't like. I'm pretty sensitive about disability representation. 5mo
Cathythoughts Celia Fremlin-esque … I‘m even more interested now 😁 5mo
batsy @Ruthiella Thanks! It just came up in an off-handed way a few times about the girls who are right for marrying... And towards the end it was mentioned that Mr Former couldn't bear Clara because he "destested clever women" and I was like good god! ? 5mo
batsy @jlhammar @willaful Yes, it's among the many weird to downright offensive things that can crop up in books from this era. 5mo
batsy @Cathythoughts That's right! That was meant to further tempt you 😁 5mo
Cathythoughts @batsy You divil , you ! 😂 it worked. 5mo
CarolynM Great review. I found myself feeling a very small amount of sympathy for Clara when the stuff about her curtailed education came out. There‘s no excuse for murder, of course, but it did give some explanation for the warping of her personality. 5mo
batsy @CarolynM Yes, well put. I did find her circumstances quite sad, as well. There seemed to be a lot going on at the social level (people having tough lives with no real help forthcoming) that made it feel all too contemporary. 5mo
Amiable This title makes my laugh every time I see it. Because it describes my feelings every Monday morning when I have to get up and go to work. 😄 4mo
batsy @Amiable Exactly! A very relatable title in a sense 🤣 4mo
86 likes22 comments
post image

I admit that I'm probably the ideal reader for this book; I was absolutely willing to fall under its spell. It's the time of excess, moral lassitude, lasciviousness, masks, & debauchery in 18th-century Venice, & also the time of art, beauty, music, & Vivaldi. Set at the Ospedale della Pietà, it has queer undertones, & sets the friendship of two young girls against the patriarchal norms of Venetian society as well as the deep & dark mysteries

batsy of a city married to the sea. The writing is sumptuous, & you can feel the author is absolutely enchanted by historical Venice & all of its glittery promises & tawdry betrayals. I felt transported while reading it; it's dense & poetic, with an undercurrent of dread throughout. This is no happily-ever-after fairytale. I now want to read everything about Venice during this era. And it was fascinating to learn about the Pietà & its female musicians. 5mo
rockpools Well, OK! Fantastic review @batsy - and (possibly) my first stack of the year. 5mo
TheKidUpstairs Oooh, sounds good. Stacked! 5mo
See All 15 Comments
TrishB Great review 👍🏻 5mo
sarahbarnes Great review! 😍 5mo
batsy @rockpools @TheKidUpstairs I hope you enjoy it! 5mo
batsy @TrishB @sarahbarnes Thank you! 😘 5mo
Cathythoughts Great review 🩷 5mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Thanks, Cathy 💜 5mo
Reggie You had me at debauchery. lol, great review! 5mo
batsy @Reggie Haha! Thanks Reggie, though I'm sorry to let you down in the sense that the debauchery is more implied than written about. But still a lovely book 😁 5mo
Reggie Sometimes implied is better. 5mo
batsy @Reggie For sure. Especially because the writing is beautiful. And it will also break your heart. 5mo
Rissreads Can you stop making me stack books please! It‘s getting out of control! 🤣🤣 4mo
batsy @Rissreads Haha! Every Litten's proud duty 🤣 4mo
92 likes8 stack adds15 comments
post image

After seeing Miyazaki's The Boy and the Heron I wanted to prolong the feeling I had while watching it, & I found it in this novel translated from the Japanese by Avery Fischer Udagawa. Like the film, the book stages the aftermath of a disaster (the 2011 earthquake & tsunami in Japan) as a time where boundaries blur between this realm & other realms, where folklore & magic mingle with daily life to help people find support & persevere.

batsy It's delicate and tender and beautiful, and much like Miyazaki it never veers into the cute or twee, but instead balances the mystery and menace of folklore with its healing and life-affirming aspects. I learned quite a bit about the types of different Japanese folkloric beings or mystical entities, and found the gorgeous illustrations to heighten the effect of the mysterious, calming atmosphere of the book. An excellent final read of 2023. 5mo
batsy The Miyazaki connection makes sense because I just learned that Sachiko Kashiwaba's The Marvelous Village Veiled in Mist had an influence on Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli production Spirited Away. And I'll have to read Temple Alley Summer next! 5mo
Ruthiella Awesome way to end your reading year. Happy New Year to you! 5mo
See All 9 Comments
LeahBergen This sounds lovely! 5mo
batsy @Ruthiella Happy New Year! 💜 5mo
batsy @LeahBergen Just the kind of book to give you a little bit of sweetness and hope! I think you'll enjoy it, too. Happy New Year! 💜 5mo
Suet624 Oh wow. This sounds like something I need to read. Stacked. 5mo
batsy @Suet624 It's lovely! I felt so bad that just after I finished Japan had to greet the new year with another earthquake. 😟 5mo
erzascarletbookgasm Cool! I‘ll look this up. I liked Temple Alley Summer. 4mo
71 likes2 stack adds9 comments
post image

Thanks for the tag @BarbaraBB this is my #Top23of23 ! I downloaded a new photo app on my phone that somehow doesn't go up to 23 grids (doesn't it understand our Litsy needs?!) so I gave up on the photo collage 😆 And I feel bad for not including the translators above. 2023 was a fantastic reading year 💜 I even had to leave out so many, like the Edith Wharton rereads & some of the Furrowed Middlebrow & Golden Age mystery club titles that I liked.

squirrelbrain Great list! 5mo
IndoorDame Great list! Dear Senthuran was one of my top reads this year too! 5mo
Megabooks Great list! 📸 5mo
See All 14 Comments
TrishB Great list 👍🏻 and much easier to screen shot! 5mo
LeahBergen Great list! And you‘ve reminded me that I need to read A High Wind in Jamaica. It‘s been on my shelves for ages! 5mo
Centique Im excited to see Greek Lessons on your list. Im very keen to read it soon! 5mo
BarbaraBB Another year and another great list by you! Screenshotting of course! 5mo
batsy @squirrelbrain @Megabooks @TrishB @BarbaraBB Thanks 💜 Loved seeing everyone's picks. 5mo
batsy @IndoorDame It's such an excellent book! 5mo
batsy @LeahBergen It's so wonderfully odd and kind of eerie! It's definitely it's own thing and I look forward to what you think. 5mo
batsy @Centique I hope you like it! I found it very moving. 5mo
Aimeesue Great list! 5mo
batsy @Aimeesue Thanks! 🙂 5mo
Suet624 Ah, you reminded me of the fun of reading Big Swiss. 5mo
60 likes14 comments