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Joined May 2016

A book in one hand, and three more in my bag. ramblingsofaredheadedsnippet.com • instagram.com/catebutler
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War and Peace (Revised) by Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy
Near Neighbours | Molly Clavering
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Here are the options for the July 2024 #FurrowedMiddleBrowClub. Both sound charming, both are books we haven't read yet, and both are a little further back in the FM publishing list. The description for 'The Native Heath' will be tagged in the comments.

elkeOriginal Litsy is a big fail for a Near Neighbors description! 8mo
elkeOriginal Native Heath sounds charming and I need to read an Elizabeth Fair so that is my vote! 8mo
See All 21 Comments
jlhammar Tough choice! I think I‘ll go for 8mo
willaful Annoying that you can add books but not amend them. 8mo
catebutler Here‘s a description for Near Neighbours. https://www.deanstreetpress.co.uk/pages/book_page/419 8mo
Ruthiella Both sound charming! I have flipped a coin and will vote for 8mo
Kimzey I‘ll vote for Near Neighbors, although both sound interesting! 8mo
quietjenn I'll throw my vote to Native Heath. 8mo
LeahBergen I haven‘t read anything by Elizabeth Fair yet so I‘ll vote for 8mo
CarolynM I want to read both. Impulse choice 8mo
Aimeesue I‘d also like to try an Elizabeth Fair, so 8mo
julieclair Oh wow, I want to read both. But I guess I‘ll vote for 8mo
batsy Both sound so good! I'll vote for 8mo
kwmg40 If it's not too late to vote, I'll cast one for 8mo
LeahBergen It looks like The Native Heath is the winner by one vote. Correct me if I‘m wrong! 😆 8mo
catebutler @LeahBergen Yes, by one vote! I have a feeling it‘s going to be close on a lot of the choices - so many good options! 8mo
LeahBergen @catebutler Exactly! And I would willingly read ANY of them. 😆 8mo
39 likes21 comments
Interpreter of Maladies | Jhumpa Lahiri
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Yesterday was an almost perfect day. Mr. S & I went to a café so I could read, write, & study. It‘s located at the mouth of a canyon - in between writing & reading, I would look out the window at the pockets of fall foliage on the mountain side. Though the peak color has come & gone (the last 2 weeks have been breathtakingly vivid), there are still vibrant splashes of red, orange, & yellow to admire, sigh over, & tuck away into memory.

jen_the_scribe That really does sound like the perfect day 😍 9mo
catebutler @jen_the_scribe It was nice to be out, I don't know why, but studying in cafes is one of my favorite things to do. 🍁 9mo
jen_the_scribe @catebutler I love doing that too. But I haven‘t done it in a while. I‘m studying for a couple of certifications right now, I might have to take myself to a coffee shop soon. 9mo
catebutler @jen_the_scribe What a perfect reason to do it! I look forward to hearing about your upcoming cafe adventure. ☺️ 9mo
43 likes4 comments
Clothes-Pegs | Noel Streatfeild, Susan Scarlett
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I loved getting a look at the workings of a fashion house, including wonderful descriptions of clothing in the making, fitting & modelling. But, my favorite scenes in the book were those featuring Annabel‘s family. Her mother & father, in particular, were fabulous characters! There were lovely descriptions of family life: meals, a garden, stories, jokes & laughter. It was a delightful read & perfect for the weekend.


Ruthiella Yes! The comfort and security of Annabel‘s home life was a great contrast to the stresses of the design house. 2y
catebutler @Ruthiella I loved how down to earth her family was. It really showed why and how Annabel was so unique and special, and different from the other models. 2y
Tamra Fabulous review and photo! Seems this one was a hit all the way around. 😃 2y
See All 19 Comments
catebutler @Tamra Thank you! And it was - the perfect book choice to start the new year. ☺️ 2y
quietjenn Yes, it really was the coziest of reads and a most enchanting, yet grounded family portrait. And, your teacup is lovely. 2y
LeahBergen Lovely review! I wanted to pop by George and Ethel‘s for tea. 😊 2y
CarolynM I loved the family scenes too. 2y
catebutler @quietjenn Thank you so much, I‘m always on the hunt for vintage teacups. 2y
catebutler @LeahBergen Thank you! Me too! What a lovely way to spend the day. 2y
catebutler @CarolynM They reminded me quite a bit of my own family growing up. We are always laughing, joking and telling family stories. 2y
jlhammar Lovely photo and review. I agree, it really was delightful! 2y
batsy Beautiful tea cup and lovely review. The family scenes were my favourite bits. 2y
Cathythoughts Lovely review and beautiful pic 👌🏻👌🏻 2y
Jess_Read_This Lovely review and gorgeous photo! 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Hey! How are you? 2y
catebutler @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I‘m doing well, staying busy with grad school! How are you? I need to catch up on some letter writing. 🫣 1y
shawnmooney Co-signing this! I was really drawn, pretty much equally, to the dress shop setting and the home setting. Do you know anything about the whole mannequin/model thing described in the book? I was surprised by and interested in the fact that customers would want to see clothes modelled by shop staff rather than try them on themselves. 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks ❤️❤️❤️ 1y
LeahBergen Happy Birthday! ❤️❤️❤️ 1y
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This Rough Magic | Mary Stewart
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Today has been deliciously slow, so I‘ve been tucked up in my favorite reading chair, traveling (via armchair) to the aquamarine coast of Corfu. This book has been a delight to read - beautiful descriptions, intrigue, mystery and a hint of romance. Perfect summer read, which I recommend pairing with ripe summer fruit, and an iced beverage of choice.

P. S. Did I mention the book has a tie to Shakespeare‘s, ‘The Tempest‘.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Pretty ❤️ 2y
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Today, Mr. S treated me to a day at a café. Laptops for work to do‘s, a fabulous alpine view, iced lattes, a current read & afternoon thunderstorms - sheer bliss!

This year, I‘ve been participating in an online group read of Richardson‘s 13-volume masterpiece ‘Pilgrimage‘. It‘s too little known, hard to find copies of and has the reputation of being difficult to read, but it is so worth the effort!

Liz_M I enjoyed reading those! 2y
batsy I really want to read these! Lovely Virago edition 😍 2y
Leftcoastzen Yay! Virago! 2y
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catebutler @Liz_M I feel like I‘m really finding my stride, now that we‘re half way through. 2y
catebutler @batsy You should! I have been so glad I‘ve had this group to read with. I know they‘re planning on doing another one next year or the following year. And everything is archived from this year‘s readalong. I‘m including a link to the group page: https://readingpilgrimage.com/category/start_here/ (edited) 2y
catebutler @Leftcoastzen I wholeheartedly agree!! 🥰 2y
44 likes6 comments
The English Air | D.E. Stevenson
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Dear #FurrowedMiddlebrowClub readers,
Here are the choices for July 2022. I went with a summery/holiday theme. 🕶☀️The English Air is one of the latest FM recent releases, I adore Stevenson and her writing, so I‘m sure this won‘t disappoint. And, Seaview House sounds perfect with a family hotel, a peaceful setting and a dash of romance. It‘s also been on my FM TBR for ages! I‘ve linked the synopsis for SH below in the comments.

Ruthiella Both seem perfect picks for the summer. I‘ll vote for the D.E. Stevenson title. 2y
Kimzey The English Air would be my choice, but both sound good. 2y
See All 20 Comments
batsy I've had my eye on both! My vote is for 2y
LeahBergen I love DE Stevenson but I‘ve yet to read any Elizabeth Fair, so my pick goes to 2y
LeahBergen Oh, and the way we‘ve been doing our voting is to have the core group of members vote on the options that the other members offer up. We all get our chance to propose reads in sequential order. I think it makes it easier and quicker for tallying votes! I see other people voting here (which is very welcome, of course, and anyone can read along with us!). If you would like to “join” 😆 the group, just let me know and I‘ll add you to our rotation. 2y
LeahBergen @EvieBee and @Kimzey This message ☝️ is for you as I see you are both avid Middlebrowsers, too. 😆😆 Let me know if you‘d like to be added to the rotation. 2y
CarolynM Since I have a copy thanks to @LeahBergen I'll vote for 2y
quietjenn I love both authors! My vote is for 2y
Kimzey @LeahBergen I‘ve only been in on the last two selections, but plan to keep going. Feel free to assign me a month and I‘ll check what‘s been read previously and come up with two new choices. 📗📕 2y
elkeOriginal I love DES and have not yet read this one so my choice is 2y
LeahBergen @Kimzey Great! We‘ve finished our first rotation and will be starting from the first person again, so I‘ll tack you on to the end. Is that okay? 2y
Kimzey @LeahBergen Sure, that works! Thanks! (edited) 2y
rubyslippersreads I own this one, so I pick 2y
Cathythoughts … I‘m off to order both 😃 , but I‘ll vote for 2y
Jess_Read_This Count me in! I‘m happy reading either one! 2y
LeahBergen The votes are all in and it looks like The English Air has won! As I said on @elkeOriginal ‘s book choice post, I‘ll write out our new rotation for picks and make a post. @erzascarletbookgasm @rubyslippersreads @quietjenn @CarolynM @Cathythoughts @Ruthiella @batsy @Kimzey @Jess_Read_This 2y
CarolynM @LeahBergen 👍 Thanks again. 2y
LeahBergen @CarolynM 😘😘 2y
42 likes20 comments
Untitled | Unknown
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Happy Easter to all those who celebrate! 🐣 I woke to a eggshell blue sky, and birds singing merrily outside my bedroom window. It‘s been a deliciously slow day, hot cross buns from a local bakery, a pot of tea, poached eggs on toast and a good book.

LeahBergen Gorgeous, as always! Happy Easter to you. 🐰 2y
Ruthiella Beautiful photo! Happy Easter. 🐣 2y
catebutler @LeahBergen Thank you, Leah! I hope your weekend was wonderful! 🌷 2y
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catebutler @Ruthiella Thank you, Ruth! Happy new week!! 🥰 2y
JazzFeathers What a beautiful pic! I love it 🤩 2y
catebutler @JazzFeathers Thank you, Sarah!! 💓 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Beautiful 💛 2y
LeahBergen Happy Birthday!! ❤️❤️ 2y
tpixie Lovely photo! Happy Easter & now Happy Birthday! 2y
47 likes9 comments
The Road from Coorain | Jill Ker Conway
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A busy Saturday, including picking up hot cross buns from a local bakery for Easter tomorrow. 🐣 It‘s been moody & rainy all day, & now that I‘m home, I‘m sitting down with a cup of tea, two cheeky dk. chocolate Milano cookies & my current read. A fascinating memoir about growing up in Australia during the 1930‘s & 40‘s. I had this recommended to me, by a friend - lingering on my shelves for far too long. It‘s brilliant!

jlhammar I loved this book! Her follow-up, True North, is also wonderful. 2y
EvieBee Very nice! I recently picked up both this and the follow up at a little free library. Looking forward to revisiting them. 2y
quietjenn I got this and the follow-up at a used bookstore ages ago but haven‘t read them. Perhaps you will inspire me! 2y
See All 12 Comments
catebutler @jlhammar I just added the follow up to my cart. I‘m really love this memoir. 🥰 2y
catebutler @EvieBee I think you‘ll really enjoy them! Such an interesting life and personal story. 2y
catebutler @quietjenn I‘m kicking myself for taking so long to pick it up. It took me a chapter or two to get into but then I haven‘t wanted to put it down. I hope you do give it a go soon!! ❤️ 2y
LeahBergen Ah, lovely. I‘ve been eyeing this one for a long time. 😊 2y
Cathythoughts Beautiful post! Your book and cup 💫💫 2y
quietjenn @catebutler ok, I'm officially interested - just have to remember where I shelved them! 2y
catebutler @LeahBergen You would love this!! 2y
catebutler @Cathythoughts Thank you, Cathy! 🌷 2y
catebutler @quietjenn Can‘t wait for your thoughts and review. ☺️ 2y
49 likes12 comments
Untitled | Unknown
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Those who touch our lives stay in our hearts forever.

#rememberSharon @sharread #LitsyLove

kspenmoll Gorgeous. She would love it. 2y
catebutler @kspenmoll I‘m so glad we could honour her memory in this way! 🕯🌹 2y
TheBookHippie So pretty! 2y
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Chrissyreadit Beautiful ❤️ 2y
HeathHof Gorgeous 💖 2y
Cathythoughts Beautiful 2y
Wife ❤️ 2y
Nute Beautiful🤍 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Beautiful 🕯❤️ 2y
UwannaPublishme ❤️ 2y
64 likes10 comments
Mudwoman | Joyce Carol Oates
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Quite a long day for me, so it‘s a late dinner this evening. Well worth the wait though, homemade minestrone soup.🥣 I‘m pairing it w/ one of my current reads. I‘ve been back & forth between the physical book & the audio - it‘s crunch time, since my book group is Thursday!! I‘m loving the world of academia, & Oates always has the best descriptions especially for the absurd/grotesque. There was one part, in particular, that made me laugh out loud!

LeahBergen That looks so good! We had minestrone this week, too. 😊 2y
catebutler @LeahBergen Thanks Leah! Great minds, indeed! 🥰 2y
Cathythoughts I find Joyce is a hit or miss for me ... this sounds good. Stacking 👍❤️ 2y
catebutler @Cathythoughts I 💯 agree, with your observation about Oates. I‘m actually part of a JCO book club, we‘re working our way through all of her works. Which is quite a feat, considering she is such a prolific writer. I would say on average we give her works a 3-3.5 star rating, so an average/good read. 2y
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My ideal Friday evening. A stack of current reads, and homemade pizza (caramelised onions, bacon, goat cheese, arugula tossed with olive oil, fresh squeeze of lemon and a crack of pepper and salt, topped with a drizzle of balsamic glaze) baking in the oven. Once I make a full round in each of these books, I‘ll be watching a movie with Mr. S and stitching on my current WIP, I showcased yesterday. Happy Friday! 📚🍕🎥🍿

Leftcoastzen That pizza sounds great! 3y
LeahBergen A perfect Friday evening, indeed! 3y
catebutler @Leftcoastzen It is a firm favourite and so simple to make! 3y
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catebutler @LeahBergen It has been heavenly!! 💫 3y
Cathythoughts Lovely evening 💫and lovely picture 💫 3y
Catsandbooks I'm drooling over that pizza 🤤 3y
Ruthiella Sounds perfect! 😃 3y
batsy That pizza sounds amazing! 3y
BookBabe I agree, sounds like a perfect evening! 😃 3y
catebutler @Cathythoughts Thank you so much Cathy! I hope you‘ve had a laid back weekend. 3y
catebutler @Catsandbooks I honestly crave it all the time. 🤤 3y
catebutler @Ruthiella Thank you! It was the perfect start to the weekend. 3y
catebutler @batsy It is so good! I love mixing up different kinds, but I come back to this combo regularly. I highly recommend! 3y
catebutler @BookBabe It was a delightful evening. Hope you had a great weekend too! 💓 3y
61 likes14 comments
Cat Among the Pigeons | Agatha Christie
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Doing a bit of audio-stitching this evening.🪡🧵
I‘m listening to the tagged book, and working on a year long stitching project (each month, part of the pattern is released). It‘s a pleasure to stitch up, and I love that it‘s based on an original 19th century sampler from the Netherlands. 🇳🇱 If you‘re intrigued, I‘ve included a link to the maker and project below:



StayCurious I love your old fashioned scissors 💙 3y
Johanna414 Everything about this picture... the scissors, the needle minder, the pattern. Love it!! 3y
catebutler @StayCurious Oh thank you! I love them too! They work perfectly for embroidery and cross-stitch projects. ✂️ 3y
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catebutler @Johanna414 You are so sweet, thank you!! I always have so much fun putting together my notions for a particular project, so I‘m so pleased you like them too. ☺️ 3y
wanderinglynn Love this! Those scissors are awesome! 💜 3y
catebutler @wanderinglynn Thanks Lynn! Hope you‘re having a cozy evening. 🥰 3y
Librarybelle That is incredible! 3y
BookBosomed1 Beautiful! 3y
Leftcoastzen So beautiful! 3y
catebutler @Librarybelle Thanks Jess! 💓 3y
catebutler @BookBosomed1 Thank you, Lindsey!! 🤗 3y
catebutler @Leftcoastzen Thanks Linda! ❤️ 3y
LeahBergen Ohhh, it‘s beautiful. I love blackwork like this! 3y
Cathythoughts Beautiful picture💫 3y
readordierachel Lovely! And those scissors 😍 3y
catebutler @LeahBergen I do too! I‘m very excited to see how this stitches up!! 3y
catebutler @Cathythoughts Thank you, Cathy! 3y
catebutler @readordierachel I love them too! ✂️ 3y
Freespirit That‘s lovely Cate💗 3y
BookBabe Lovely stitching! 😍 And those scissors too! 3y
catebutler @BookBabe Thank you, Jen! It is such a relaxing way to end the evening. 🧵 3y
catebutler @Freespirit Thank you!! ❤️ 3y
BiblioLitten Those scissors are a work of art! 3y
UwannaPublishme Wow! Beautiful! 3y
60 likes24 comments
Murder After Christmas | Rupert Latimer
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It‘s been a crazy month!! End of the semester - papers, projects and finals all last week. This weekend was the first chance I‘ve had all month to do something for myself. So it‘s a slow day today, with some of my favourites. A beautiful snowy mountain view at a cozy café, a new BLCC Christmas mystery and a piping hot latte, with festive latte art (can you see the Christmas tree and star ? on top?)

Chelsea.Poole Cute little scene! ☕️ 📖 3y
BiblioLitten Your festive latte art looks lovely 🥰 3y
catebutler @Chelsea.Poole Thank you! Aren‘t these book covers so pretty!! Hope you‘re having a quiet and relaxing Sunday. ❄️ 3y
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catebutler @BiblioLitten The barista was so excited when she handed me my latte and pointed out what she had done. I love little details like this!! ☕️🎄💫 3y
LeahBergen Ooo, I‘ve been eyeing this book. I hope it‘s good! 3y
catebutler @LeahBergen I‘m about 70 pages in, and really enjoying it! It‘s quite funny and quirky. I think you‘d really enjoy it, Leah. 😊 3y
Nute I can see the tree and the star!🌲🌟 Perfect for this just-right moment.📖☕️ I hope that you enjoyed yourself and are still in relaxation mode.☺️ 3y
catebutler @Nute I thought the barista did an excellent job - so festive! It has been a deliciously slow day, which I have loved. I hope you‘ve found some rest this weekend too! 💫 3y
kspenmoll Sounds heavenly and so well deserved!!! 3y
catebutler @kspenmoll Thank you!! It‘s just what I needed. 🥰 3y
UwannaPublishme Glad you‘re getting some time for reading and YOU! Happy Holidays! 🤗🎄❤️ 3y
61 likes11 comments
Still Life | Sarah Winman
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It‘s been moody & overcast all day, & just started raining. Perfect weather to work on a few to do‘s on my list, & of course sneaking in a chapter or two of my current read, during lunch. I chose this for my IRL bookclub, which meets next week. I can‘t wait to discuss its many themes: art, what constitutes art, humanity, simple pleasures, living in the moment, & a fabulous cast of memorable characters. Is this book on your radar?

BarbaraBB Yes it is. Just about to start it. 3y
catebutler @BarbaraBB Love to hear your thoughts when you finish! We had such a stimulating convo about this book at book club earlier this week. So I‘d love to hear your opinion. ☺️ (edited) 3y
BarbaraBB I‘ll tag you in my review! It seems like a good book club book! 3y
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BookBabe Well, it‘s on my radar now! 😊 Beautiful photo as always ❤️ How are you? 3y
catebutler @BookBabe It was so lovely to have your message pop up! How are you!? 👋🏼 We had an amazing discussion with this book. I wish it would have had more art but it was such a feel good book, and had incredible characters. I‘m doing well, I just finished my first semester, pre-requisites for a Master‘s program in Literature. It‘s been crazy returning to school after 10 years. But I love it! Love to hear how you‘ve been!! 🥰 3y
BookBabe Wow, congratulations on going after your Master‘s in Literature! 😃🙌🏻 As for the book, feel-good with incredible characters sounds good to me. ☺️ I‘m doing well, enjoying my new life as a Mama! Definitely cut into my reading time 😂 but sooo worth it! 3y
55 likes6 comments
Untitled | Unknown
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Happy Halloween!! 🎃💫

Mr. S and I have a few spooky traditions each year for All Hallows‘ Eve. A bubbling and boiling pot of something delicious to eat - this year, a creamy tortellini, spinach and chicken sausage soup. Pumpkin carving, board games and watching Hocus Pocus. ✨

I hope each of you are enjoying your Halloween treats with very few tricks!! 👻🦇🕸

kspenmoll Soup sounds & looks delicious! 3y
catebutler @kspenmoll Thank you!! It was a hit, so I think it will be a keeper for future meal planning. ☺️ 3y
38 likes2 comments
Untitled | Unknown
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Book mail!! 📚📮 @LeahBergen highlighted this newly published short story collection from the British Library Crime Classics, a few weeks ago, and upon seeing her post, I immediately ordered a copy from Blackwell‘s. It showed up today!

I already have a toppling pile of current reads on my nightstand, but I think I‘m going to have to dip into this immediately (it‘s not listed in the Litsy database quite yet).


LeahBergen 🤣🤣 Doesn‘t it look good!? 3y
Cathythoughts Yes , looks good ! @LeahBergen has a lot to answer for 😂 but her taste is impeccable 3y
catebutler @LeahBergen Yes! And I‘m positive I‘ll be using the hashtag I included from here on out!! 😂🥰 3y
catebutler @Cathythoughts So true! 😂😂 3y
55 likes4 comments
Fortnight in September | R C Sherriff
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A little audiobook baking on this Sunday afternoon. Ripe bananas🍌called for a quick and simple old fashioned banana bread - (the smell as it baked was heavenly)! ✨ I‘m listening to a wonderful production of the tagged book on BBC Radio 4. I always love reading seasonal books, and a book set in September, neatly ticks this box. If you‘d like a listen, I‘ve included a link to the programme below:


Tamra Always a good day for banana bread. 😋 3y
catebutler Very true! It‘s always nice when bananas are just too ripe for anything else. ☺️ 3y
AmyG My favorite. Yum. 3y
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catebutler @AmyG I wish I could send you a slice. 🥰 3y
MoonWitch94 Yummy! 3y
AmyG I wish that more. Ha! 3y
BookBabe Yum, banana bread 😋 hooray for #audiobaking! 3y
52 likes7 comments
Table Two | Marjorie Wilenski
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Encouraging autumn to make an appearance with a pot of homemade chicken soup. It‘s been bubbling away in the crockpot all afternoon, so I hope my efforts pay off and autumn shows up! 🍂 I‘m pairing it with sunflower seed toast and a new read. I always try to add a Furrowed Middlebrow title to my monthly TBR. This one has been sitting on my nightstand for two months - high time to pick it up!

BarbaraBB That soup looks delicious! 3y
LeahBergen This was such a good read (and your soup looks delicious!). 3y
catebutler @BarbaraBB Thank you, Barbara. It‘s just a simple recipe, but so good! 🥣 3y
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catebutler @LeahBergen Thank you! I‘ve been trying to follow along with the #FurrowedMiddleBrowClub when I can, but this one got away from me. Everyone‘s reviews made me stick it on my nightstand so I‘d get to it sooner than later though! 3y
CarolynM Enjoy! 3y
Cathythoughts Oh that looks so good ! Yes , bring on the Autumn 🍂… it‘s so good this book 👍🏻❤️ 3y
catebutler @CarolynM Thank you, Carolyn! So far, I‘m loving it! 3y
catebutler @Cathythoughts Thanks Cathy! It must have worked, because we have a significant dip in temps starting next week, huzzah! And so far, I‘m loving this book!! 🧡 3y
BiblioLitten That‘s a cosy autumnal meal🥰 Enjoy! 3y
36 likes9 comments
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Stopped at a favourite café to study - I‘m sneaking in a chapter or two of my current read. A soon to be published historical fiction novel, which follows the story of Lady Evelyn Herbert (daughter of the Earl of Carnarvon), the woman who took the very first step into the tomb of Tutankhamen, who lived in the real Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle & supposedly experienced long after effects of the curse of the pharaohs. It‘s a thrilling read so far!

rubyslippersreads This sounds right up my alley. 3y
LeahBergen That‘s a lovely bag! 3y
brittanyreads Beautiful photo 📸 3y
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catebutler @rubyslippersreads Can‘t wait to hear your thoughts if you pick it up! 3y
catebutler @LeahBergen Thank you! It‘s from Portland Leather Goods. It‘s the perfect Mary Poppins bag. ☺️ (edited) 3y
catebutler @BrittanyReads Thank you! 🥰 3y
BookBabe I was going to ask about the bag! It is beautiful. Thanks for sharing where it‘s from. Gorgeous photo too! 😍 3y
47 likes7 comments
Untitled | Unknown
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My September #BookSpinBingo card. 🍂

#bookspin: The Curse of the Pharaohs by Elizabeth Peters
#doublespin: The Ghost and the Dead Deb by Cleo Coyle

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! So pretty!!! I hope you enjoy the Peters book - I really love that series, although I don't remember much about that one specifically haha 3y
catebutler @TheAromaofBooks Thank you!! And yes! I read the first book ages ago, and then got sidetracked! I‘m trying to get back to the series since I love Amelia, and the setting. 3y
29 likes2 comments
Untitled | Unknown
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One of my favourite aspects of a new month, is putting together my reading list. Pictured is my TBR for the month of September. 🍂 I have quite a few book club, buddy read and read-along titles on my list. And, a few carry overs from last month, I wasn‘t able to get to, but really want to read. I‘m always amazed how quickly my TBR list fills up each month!!

#BookSpinBingo #bookspin #doublespin

alisiakae Pretty photo! 3y
catebutler @4thhouseontheleft Thank you Alisia!! Happy September! 🍂 3y
BookDadGirlDad You're writing brings to mind Elvish runes a la Tolkien. Are you secretly an Elf? 3y
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LeahBergen I spy the newly republished Mabel Esther Allan. 😍 3y
catebutler @BookDadGirlDad Ha! What a fabulous compliment. 😊 I‘d love to say I‘m of the noble elven race. But alas, I think I‘m more suited to being a hobbit. I do enjoy my creature comforts. 📚🍃🫖🧦 3y
catebutler @LeahBergen Yes! Good eye!! It just showed up in the post. Perfect end of summer read. 🌾 3y
BookDadGirlDad @catebutler I have a desire to take this off the rails with foot and food jokes, but I've learned in marriage to avoid talking about those with women.....😳😳😳😁😁 3y
catebutler @BookDadGirlDad You‘ve been trained well! 😂 3y
TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! 3y
marleed Your list is so beautifully written! 3y
catebutler @marleed Thank you, Marlee! 🧡 3y
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On Friday‘s, Mr. S and I have a movie/pizza night 🎥🍿🍕 But, before we get started this evening, I‘ve been cosied up with my current read (tagged above), and a pot of (late) afternoon tea. Today‘s steep features, ‘Bears Like Marmalade‘ by the lovely tea company, Bird and Blend Tea Co. It is the most fragrant tea 🍊, and I was delighted when it poured out in a beautiful pinkish tint. Happy Friday!

Tamra Very pretty! 3y
catebutler @Tamra Thank you! Happy Friday, Tamra!! 3y
Tamra @catebutler you too! 3y
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EvieBee So beautiful, Cate! TGIF! 3y
kspenmoll Your cup & saucer is lovely- and the pinkish tea! 3y
catebutler @EvieBee Thank you! I hope you‘re enjoying your evening. 💫 3y
catebutler @kspenmoll Thank you! It‘s always fun to break out the special tea cups!! ☕️🍃 3y
LeahBergen That tea sounds delicious! 3y
UwannaPublishme Gorgeous! 3y
Cathythoughts Lovely post 💫 3y
Liz_M Beautiful picture and terrific book. 3y
catebutler @LeahBergen I love their tea blends. Next time, I think I‘ll steep this as an iced tea. 3y
catebutler @Cathythoughts Thank you, I hope you‘re enjoying your weekend! 💫 3y
catebutler @Liz_M Thank you! And yes, I‘m really enjoying it. I can‘t wait to discuss on Monday with my book group. 3y
Nute Lovely photo! Delightful evening! The color of the tea is perfect! 3y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I love you pics!! ❤️❤️❤️ 3y
BookBabe Lovely! Beautiful photo. Now I want a cup of tea (in a delicate china cup!) 😍 3y
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My goal for the #AwesomeAugust Readathon, hosted by @Andrew65 is to read the following books: ‘Ceremony‘ and ‘The Copenhagen Trilogy‘ are for IRL book groups this month. And, ‘The Swiss Summer‘ is an end of summer treat for me. I love to read seasonally and this one has been on my TBR wish list all summer long. All three books are also on my #BookSpinBingo card for the month of August.


Andrew65 Looks some interesting choices, good luck. 3y
catebutler @Andrew65 Thanks Andrew! Always enjoy these readathon‘s you host. 🤗 3y
Cathythoughts These look good 👍🏻❤️ 3y
catebutler @Cathythoughts Thank you! It‘s quite the variety, which I always enjoy in my reading. 3y
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My filled out #bookspinbingo card for August! 🍉 I‘m already off to a great start and looking forward to seeing what I can read and check off by the end of the month.

#bookspin : Death Before Dessert by A. E. Radley
#doublespin : The Copenhagen Trilogy by Tove Ditlevson

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! Looks great!! 3y
catebutler @TheAromaofBooks Thank you!! 💕 3y
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It‘s been MONTHS since I last participated in #BookSpinBingo - (lot‘s going on in life, so my reading took a steep nose dive). But, I‘ve missed it, and the nudge/challenge it gives me to read more each month. Usually I do a fancy graphic, but @EvieBee posted her handwritten list (she has the most beautiful handwriting), and I decided to break out a new journal and follow suite. I hope you don‘t mind, dear Eve!! 🥰

#bookspin #doublespin

Freespirit You have beautiful writing Cate💕 3y
Cathythoughts Yes ! What @Freespirit says … your writing 💫 3y
TheAromaofBooks Yay!! Glad to see you back!! 3y
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EvieBee Cate, I love your handwriting! And we have the same notebook 💕💕🤗 3y
catebutler @Freespirit Thank you, Sally! 🥰 3y
catebutler @Cathythoughts Oh thank you! How very kind, Cathy! 💕 3y
catebutler @TheAromaofBooks Thank you! When I was creating my new bingo card for this month, I realised it‘s been 8 months since I last participated - far too long! 3y
catebutler @EvieBee Thank you!! I always call it my chicken scratchings. ☺️ And we really must be kindred spirits! I love that we both have Rifle Paper Co. journals. I just love them!! 🌸 3y
EvieBee @catebutler Kindred spirits for sure! 3y
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Lorna at Wynyards | Elinor M. Brent-Dyer
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It‘s dark and moody this evening - summer thunderstorms are my favourite. ⛈ As the wind rattles the windows and thunder rolls outside, I‘m indulging in a decadent hot chocolate with whipped cream (already mixed in) and this fantastic vintage school story recently republished by one of my favourite publishers, Girls Gone By.

LeahBergen Ooo, I recently bought this one! And I‘m also currently reading a #GirlsGoneBy book, too. 😊 3y
EvieBee I‘ve missed you! As always, beautiful photo. 🤗💕 3y
catebutler @LeahBergen I think you‘ll love this one! It‘s one of her more grown up novels. Which one are you reading right now? 3y
catebutler @EvieBee Thank you! I‘ve missed you too! I was so thrilled to see you back! We have a lot to catch up on, don‘t we!! 🥰 3y
LeahBergen @catebutler I‘ve been so certain that I‘ll love this one that I just hunted down a copy of the sequel to buy. 😆😆 I‘m currently reading Stepmother by Gwendoline Courtney. Have you read that one? 3y
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My tea choice this evening. 🫖🍃 I love how soothing and fresh this is - comfort in a cup. That slow ritual of tea making always relaxes and calms me, so it‘s perfect for a evening/bedtime ritual. Not pictured...a sneaky Girl Scout Lemon Ups cookie. ☺️

UwannaPublishme Gorgeous tea setting...and the perfect calming ritual. Enjoy! 3y
LeahBergen Lovely photo and the tea sounds delicious! 3y
Cathythoughts Very meditative , soft post ... 3y
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BarbaraBB Gorgeous picture 🥰 3y
marleed Such a gorgeous pic! 3y
Freespirit Looks perfect❣️ 3y
LeahBergen Happy Birthday, friend! Enjoy your day. 📚❤️📚❤️ 3y
catebutler @LeahBergen Thank you, Leah! 🥰 3y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I miss your photos and letters! I hope you are doing ok 💗💗 3y
catebutler @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Misty! I‘m sorry it‘s been so long, a lot of stuff has been occurring this past year. I owe you a letter, and I‘ll start posting again soon! Things are finally going a bit better. xx 3y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @catebutler no worries! I‘m glad you are ok 💗 3y
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It‘s been a luxuriously slow day. This morning, I broke out a new puzzle - perfect for Spring 🌸, whilst listening to Daphne du Maurier‘s ‘The King‘s General‘. Later in the afternoon I had the cutest FaceTime convo with my niece who turned three today. She‘s currently obsessed w/ Paw Patrol, & had to show me all her new toys & sing a song about each of the characters. Now, I‘m tucked up w/ a pot of tea & a stack of current reads. Happy Saturday!

mhillis Cute puzzle!! 3y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks So pretty 💗💗💗 3y
catebutler @mhillis It caught my eye - perfect for this time of year! 🌷 3y
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catebutler @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Thank you, sweet friend! 3y
Cathythoughts Magic 💫 3y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @catebutler you‘re very welcome 💞 3y
MaureenMc I have that same puzzle. 😊 It was so fun to put together! 3y
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The Highland Falcon Thief | M. G. Leonard, Sam Sedgman
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Starting the weekend off a little early today. It‘s been one of those weeks, so an especially laid back and relaxing weekend is needed. I just made a pot of tea, a Darjeeling with tropical notes, a rainy 1870‘s London ASMR in the background, and this adorable #MiddleGrade book, featuring a train trip across the UK, and a mystery involving stolen jewels.

Amiable What a gorgeous photo! 3y
catebutler @Amiable Thank you, Amy! You‘re so kind!! 🥰 3y
LeahBergen Ah, I love a good Darjeeling! Enjoy your weekend. 💗💗 3y
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catebutler @LeahBergen It is such a lovely tea. This one was very good, it‘s by the Upton Tea Co. I hope you have a lovely weekend too, Leah! ♥️ 3y
Tamra This looks like my kind of Friday night! Enjoy. 😃 3y
catebutler @Tamra It‘s always nice to have a cozy Friday evening. Enjoy yours. ☺️ 3y
Cathythoughts Beautiful picture! That cup is divine 3y
catebutler @Cathythoughts Thank you, Cathy! I‘m always on the hunt for vintage teacups. They make tea time so special. 🫖🍃 3y
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#NYRBBookClub A Month in the Country Discussion

Question 6/6:

What are the similarities of the original painter and Birkin? How are they connected to each other?

merelybookish I guess they are both outsiders and artists. One of my favorite aspects of this book was the depiction of Tom's craft, how that kind of immersive, attentive work was conveyed as good and worthwhile. 3y
vivastory I agree with @merelybookish Again despite their religious differences I think it was more about finding common interests-in their case art 3y
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Liz_M @vivastory The painter might not have been religious. And I think Birkin found hints of religious skepticism in the painter in the not-so-pious depictions of the various people in the painting -- they were individualized, given expressions not usually seen in religious paintings. 3y
vivastory @Liz_M That's true. I was wondering about that, esp as he kept comparing the style to Bruegel 3y
sarahbarnes @merelybookish I like that. And also in some ways under-appreciated for their craft (although maybe that‘s true of many artists). But no one hesitated to cover over the painting in the church. And then some folks in the story don‘t seem to understand how much talent Birkin has - why he can‘t just rush through the project and finish. 3y
Billypar To be honest, this was the part I understood the least, even at a basic comprehension level. At first I thought the artist committed suicide and the discovery of the body on the grounds might mean the figure with the crescent was a self -portrait, maybe the suicide was due to feeling ostracized/ judged. But then..am I making waaay too many assumptions? The artist just knew the crescent figure and fell accidentally? Can someone enlighten me? 😅 3y
GatheringBooks This q reminded me of this quote: “But she‘d put the ax to the very roots of my self-esteem: surely we shouldn‘t be required, even by worthy Ellerbecks, to justify the ethic of our labor? Our jobs are our private fantasies, our disguises, the cloak we can creep inside to hide.” Perhaps like the painter, Tom took refuge in his occupation, his means of avoiding the drama and war-torn nature of his life. 3y
vivastory @GatheringBooks That quote jumped out at me too 3y
quietjenn I think it's difficult, since we know so little about the original artist and what we think we know is really the characters speculating! Do you actually know the artist, through their work (and/or their grave)? 🤷‍♀️ 3y
youneverarrived Good question! Maybe I‘m not thinking deep enough but I can‘t think of many similarities other than they both worked on the same painting with real attention to detail. I think Birkin felt a real connection to the painter, and made assumptions about him based on the painting but like @quietjenn says, it‘s difficult to say because we don‘t really know anything about the artist. It‘s all Birkins idea of him. 3y
KVanRead @Liz_M @vivastory I wondered about that too and like @Billypar about the connection with crescent in the tomb and on the mirror. I agree with @merelybookish and accidentally already commented on this idea over on question 5, but think there‘s something interesting going on emotionally with Tom in his resistance to considering himself an artist and his hours alone on the scaffold with ancient artist start to ‘un-numb‘ him and break down that⤵️ 3y
KVanRead ...resistance. 3y
batsy Nicely put @merelybookish and @KVanRead. I also wonder if part of that connection is simply the feeling of comradeship he felt through the ages with this artist, whose work is the thing that gave Tom a sense of grounding and a place from which to recover. In that sense, he perhaps simply felt a sense of communion with the artist. 3y
Billypar And now it's after 1 am and I seem to not be able to stop thinking about this @KVanRead @batsy @merelybookish 😂 I think he did feel a sense of comradery with the artist, maybe because he learned about the idea of a private hell of harboring a secret through the artist and what we find out about Moon. The reason has to do with a new theory I have about the artist's identity. I'll lay it out in the next post Bear with me... 3y
Billypar 1) The body they find at the end is Piers Hebron who Moon was hired to find and who was excommunicated. 2) Piers Hebron is the falling man in the portrait with the crescent scar. Moon identifies the necklace as his converting to become a Muslim, the reason he was excommunicated. 3) This is more of a guess: Piers was the artist. If the artist just knew Piers, his painting him in the picture would be a judgment on him, so why... 3y
Billypar would the rest of the church paint over just that figure before the rest? They were all judging him too. 4) Piers committed suicide by falling off the scaffold. After returning from his expedition and converting, he was excommunicated, and his last act of despair was to paint himself falling to hell before actually 'falling' off the scaffolding to his death. 5) After the rest of the church found him, they saw what he painted and painted over it 3y
Billypar If you've read this far - thanks for humoring me 😁 The one other thing that occurred to me is Moon's name and Piers' crescent are connected because they were both harboring painful secrets. Birkins never really considered these hidden sides of people before but by the end felt more connected to Moon and the artist, and considered that his job wasn't just a technical career - art contains stories buried inside it. Whew - ok, I'm done, I swear! 3y
KVanRead @Billypar intriguing!! I need to think on it some more but you may be onto something there. I really like the connection between Moon and the crescent- seems obvious now but I totally missed it. Also many of the characters seem to have a secret that is their private hell. Moon says sex is hell, Alice seems to have a secret about her marriage that is her hell, and her husband too we‘re told is not how he seems - he has a secret that makes things ⤵️ 3y
KVanRead ...difficult for him. I actually considered that perhaps he might also be gay but that might just be me trying too hard to connect the dots. I do like that so much is left for us to ponder on our own. (edited) 3y
batsy @Billypar I did not make that connection between the name Moon and the crescent, and now I'm intrigued. I also find the manner of the artist's death interesting and do wonder if we were meant to think about that a bit more or just accept the "fall" (but the meaning of the fall, in scriptural and life terms, adds another layer...) 3y
Billypar @KVanRead It's true that there's a sense of mystery regarding the Keaches that could be more than just a bad marriage. This makes me want to do a full reread! 3y
Billypar @batsy Yeah, the Biblical "fall" imagery does fit. Part of me wondered why Birkin was so convinced it was a fall - surely there are any number of things that could quickly kill him in medieval times without the brush strokes being affected. He does note that he had to use a stool, so maybe that's why? If it was accidental, it could still be the case that the church noticed the hidden portrait later and painted it over. 3y
Billypar @batsy @KVanRead I also noticed on rereading that the hairs Birkin found on the portrait indicated the artist was 'fair-headed' and earlier he described the falling man saying "his bright hair streamed like a torch." So even if that's not proof positive that the artist was Pier, I think Carr wants us to consider that possibility. 3y
merelybookish @Billypar I feel you are finding the ambiguity you were craving. 🤓 I think I did assume by the end Piers was the artist. I don't know why exactly. I will write more later. Time for a Zoom meeting. 🙁 3y
Billypar @merelybookish Ha, I certainly did! ☺ 3y
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#NYRBBookClub A Month in the Country Discussion

Question 5/6:

A transformation of the main character takes place over the span of the novel. What was Tom Birkin like when he arrived in Oxgodby? How does he change and what causes these changes?

merelybookish Well, I can't help but view Tom through a trauma lens. When he arrives in Oxgoodby, he is still struggling with the effects of trauma. What he finds there are all the things that we know help people heal: nature, community, purpose, art. 3y
sarahbarnes @merelybookish I agree with that. When he arrives he seems closed up, closed off and protecting himself. He comes looking forward to solitude. But by the end he has let the people he meets there into his life, and he allows himself to appreciate the experience of being there. In a different way than he originally intended I think. 3y
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vivastory When Birkin first arrived he was suffering from shell shock & seemed uncertain. Although the effects of shell shock had not entirely left by the time he had left, they had been greatly reduced. He seemed much more sure of the future, even if he didn't know what it would be for him. 3y
vivastory @sarahbarnes Completely agree. I really appreciated how Carr didn't have Birkin leaving Oxgodby after a month magically cured either. This felt like a genuine look at trauma to me. 3y
GatheringBooks @merelybookish love this view of Tom from a “trauma lens.” More than anything, he struck me as removed from his experience, like an outsider to his own life even. I wonder if he truly allowed people into his life, too @sarahbarnes with all the missed opportunities as captured in this quote: “for a few of us there will always be a tugging at the heart—knowing a precious moment gone and we not there” (edited) 3y
arubabookwoman I think Tom was changed, and the healing was beginning. In some ways he didn‘t recognize this himself, and needed Moon to point it out to him. 3y
quietjenn The trauma is so important. I'm not quite sure how to say it without sounding very hokey, but I feel like Tom is on a healing journey, trying to figure out how to exist again in the normal, not-at-war world and process the changes that have happened within himself. And his time in the country doesn't cure all, but it helps him take the steps he needs to take at this moment. 3y
readordierachel @arubabookwoman Yes, and I think that's very true to life. Others see us better than we see ourselves. It makes sense that the change would be more obvious to Moon 3y
readordierachel @quietjenn Yes, exactly. And I don't think that sounds hokey :) 3y
Leftcoastzen He definitely arrived closed off , the trauma lens is a good way to look at what is going on in the novel.The slow progression of the task and his connecting with others, and seeing humor in situations lead you to believe he‘s healing and could make a life for himself. 3y
youneverarrived @quietjenn exactly this. The trauma is an undercurrent running through the story. It felt like a healing journey/novel to me. 3y
KVanRead @merelybookish “nature, community, purpose, art”—that‘s beautiful and sums it up perfectly and also what I really love about the book. @vivastory @sarahbarnes I also really appreciated how it‘s not all wrapped up at the end. I did quite like the way his relationship with the ancient artist is somewhat resolved. All the way through he outwardly refuses to identify himself as an artist- he‘s a workman, a professional- but he keeps having these⤵️ 3y
KVanRead ...moments of deep connection with the ancient artist, and yet at the end he still tries to hold fast to this notion that it‘s no different from a pile of bricks but then “the numbness went” and he goes back and allows himself to feel a kinship with the artist. I think there‘s a great metaphor in there for his emotional journey through the book. He has been numb and has slowly begun to allow himself to feel. 3y
vivastory @KVanRead Very well stated! It really was an epiphany, but much like the rest of the book it was handled so well & nuanced 3y
KVanRead @vivastory Yes he conveys so much with so little and it‘s also such a pleasure to read! 3y
Billypar @KVanRead You captured his progression perfectly - I completely agree! 3y
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#NYRBBookClub A Month in the Country Discussion

Question 4/6:

Carr titles the novel, A Month in the Country. What is the importance of the country in the story? Why do you think Carr sets the story where he does?

vivastory I really liked @billypar idea that the month is a sort of heaven for Birkin. It's restorative for him after his war experience, although not completely & it is of course transitory. 3y
Liz_M The idea of country is the opposite of war. It is quiet and empty, surrounded by nature. And there is an idea of country people as being more friendly, open and accepting aaaaannd inquisitive. It would be too easy to hide in the city - both anonymity as one person amongst many other strangers and hiding from oneself amid the hustle and bustle of a city. (edited) 3y
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sarahbarnes Yes, agree with all of this. Birkin couldn‘t have had this restorative experience in another type of place where staying busy and distracted means he could avoid the healing he did here. 3y
vivastory @Liz_M Brilliant point, Liz! I didn't think about the inquisitiveness! The forced sociability of villages made Birkin connect with people again which was def beneficial 3y
merelybookish Carr wrote this in 1978 and I definitely felt nostalgia for an English countryside that is no more. Another loss in a way. Another place to which you cannot return. 3y
vivastory @merelybookish I smiled a bit when I reached the final page because he finished it the month/year I was born 3y
youneverarrived It‘s a place where he knows nobody and has no past experiences there so he can basically retreat (while doing his work on the painting). I can‘t imagine it being set in a busy city. The setting is a huge part of the novel; he finds a sort of peace and happiness in the surroundings and in the people he meets. 3y
youneverarrived @merelybookish that‘s an excellent point. 3y
GatheringBooks @sarahbarnes i love the notion of the title as being “restorative” and “healing.” One of the quotes I highlighted in the ebook I borrowed from Overdrive was this: “This is what I need, I thought—a new start and, afterwards, maybe I won‘t be a casualty anymore.
Well, we live by hope.” The fact that his wife also left him may have made him regard the month in the country as more than just an occupation, but a respite from everything else.
sarahbarnes @GatheringBooks I love that - that this was more about respite from everything he‘d been through and less about the job he went there to do. 3y
vivastory @sarahbarnes @gatherinbooks A lesser writer would have def bogged down the narrative with technical details of wall painting restoration. I feel like Carr provided just enough details. 3y
readordierachel @Liz_M Great point! It's funny that with more space there is less room for him to hide from people. And it ends up engaging him in ways he probably wouldn't have in a different setting 3y
arubabookwoman I connected the country with the side of judgement paintings showing the “saved,” those who will be admitted to Heaven. They are often shown in a beautiful pastoral setting, greenery, trees and flowers, surrounded by beautiful angels. 3y
quietjenn @Liz_M yes - country as the complete antithesis to what he experienced in the war. And that "forced sociability" that @vivastory notes - he is Dresden back into life almost accidentally and in spite of himself just by way of being there. 3y
Leftcoastzen I love everyone‘s comments! In a sense I wonder irl the loneliness/ self imposed isolation in a city can lead to self medicating. There are just enough inquisitive people around to let him become himself again. A task like art restoration does have a quiet zen like quality that could be therapeutic.The country is quiet/beautiful/ slower paced. (edited) 3y
sarahbarnes @vivastory that‘s such a great observation. I almost kept thinking that would happen when I was reading it. And it reinforces @GatheringBooks point that the work is secondary to the restorative experience. 3y
KVanRead Love all these comments! @Liz_M that‘s brilliant about how the country people draw him out and force him to connect with others. @Leftcoastzen I definitely thought a lot about the healing meditative aspect of his job. Two other things struck me: the nature and the quiet especially as he mentions being distance even from country noises way up in his belfry. What a contrast that would be to the noise of the battlefield and also the brutal⤵️ 3y
KVanRead ...destruction of nature by man that war produces. He spends a lot of this slim volume describing natural beauty. While still having nightmares of drowning in the mud, I can see how nature and art would be a balm. 3y
KVanRead @vivastory that‘s so cool about your birthday. I love those kind of reading coincidences. @arubabookwoman thanks so much for explaining more of the connections to the art. I am going to have to Google some of those! 3y
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#NYRBBookClub A Month in the Country Discussion

Question 3/6:

Many critics have described A Month in the Country as a quiet novel. What do you think of when you hear that term? Is it accurate for Carr's book?

vivastory I think it was completely accurate. When I think of the term quiet novel I usually think of a book where as far as plot not much happens, but something emotionally & psychologically significant occurs for the characters by the end of the book. I feel like I know characters better in books that are described as quiet. 3y
Billypar The short answer for me us 'yes', but it's the kind of quiet that comes after a lot of noise given its proximity to the war. If the same events happened to a different character, it wouldn't feel the same, I think? Like they wouldn't have even remembered this month to begin with. 3y
merelybookish @vivastory Well said! Calling a book 'quiet' makes me want to read it! I like books about ordinary characters where not much happens. So yes, I do think this book is quiet and that is why I liked it so much. 🙂 3y
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sarahbarnes Yes! Nicely put @vivastory - you described the type of book I gravitate toward for sure. I think that‘s why I enjoyed this one so much. 3y
vivastory @sarahbarnes @merelybookish I feel like Quiet Novels is a LitHub list waiting to happen 3y
youneverarrived Same @merelybookish. It‘s the type of book I gravitate towards. 3y
sarahbarnes @vivastory yes!! 🎉 I think it‘s also why when I love a book I read and someone inevitably asks me what it‘s “about” I always struggle a bit and end up just saying, it‘s about [insert character name]. 😂 3y
LeahBergen I‘m with @merelybookish here - I love a quiet novel. I loved this book when I read it a couple of years ago and was hoping I‘d be able to reread it this month. Alas, no, but I sure am enjoying revisiting it through all your comments here! 3y
LeahBergen And your definition of a quiet novel is spot on for me, @vivastory 👌🏻 3y
Liz_M @Billypar builds excellently on @vivastory point above -- it is Birkin's experiences in the war and troubles at home that allow for the significant emotional and psychological growth. (edited) 3y
Liz_M Are quiet novels also about what doesn't happen? Tingled with nostalgia and regret? 3y
vivastory @Liz_M I think quiet novels def have at least a sprinkling of nostalgia & regret for sure. 3y
Billypar @Liz_M That's true - I think this captured the feeling of nostalgia perfectly without becoming sentimental. And he couldn't have done that as well if not for the quiet I think. 3y
Billypar @Liz_M @vivastory The aspect of regret is interesting. The romantic aspect didn't have the all-consuming focus that it takes on in most novels. Like maybe he regretted not acting on his feelings, but it wasn't a tragedy and it didn't affect his memory of this time as a happy one. 3y
vivastory @Billypar @Liz_M Exactly. It wasn't a “My one true love lost forever“ narrative. It was that he met someone memorable at a special place & during an important time in his life. It felt very true to life in that way. 3y
GatheringBooks @Liz_M great Q. If quiet novels are about what doesn‘t happen - then this description is spot on with this book where the very core/essence is grounded on what-might-have-beens. I like quiet novels, too, @vivastory. While my eyes usually glaze over largely-plot-driven novels, the quiet-slow-burn ones generally sustain my interest more and make me think long after I have finished reading the book. I like the lingering aftertaste of the story. 3y
vivastory @GatheringBooks “Lingering aftertaste“ Well said! They really do stick with me longer, & I tend to remember more about them, than the more plot-driven stories. 3y
quietjenn Ha, I have to smike at this, because my original Goodreads review of the book is "quiet and lovely," so safe to say I would agree! For me, quiet novels are ones that are more about character and settng, as opposed to action, which is certainly the case here. They are also probably my favorite type of novels. 3y
quietjenn @vivastory I would be all over that listicle! 3y
Leftcoastzen There are so many subtle aspects of this novel , I tend to think Carr was rolling it around in his mind for a long time .NYRB seems to publish lots of quiet novels. Thought of 3y
readordierachel @Billypar That's a great point re the contrast of the quiet after the noise of the war. It's quiet, yes, but that's something the character really needs. 3y
vivastory @Leftcoastzen No list of Quiet novels would be complete without Stoner 3y
KVanRead @vivastory @Billypar @Liz_M you‘ve built a great description of a quiet novel and this one in particular! Quiet on the surface but very noisy underneath, tinged with nostalgia and regret. I also love the way he uses the quiet at time to lull you along and smack you with a sudden shift from quiet narrative to profound and somewhat shocking statements. 3y
KVanRead Like the little meditation he goes in after the first scene with Colonel where he tells you btw, this guys not important: “he might just as well have gone round the corner and died” and that‘s true for most of us with most people. Dark. Bit of a velvet hammer he wields from time to time. Love it. 😍 3y
vivastory @KVanRead Def a velvet hammer. What a great description!! Yes, there are a lot of great psychological insights in this rural setting 3y
emilyhaldi I love @vivastory ‘s description of a quiet novel! I agree this is exactly that- which is why I loved it 💙 I enjoy books where the every day interactions and thoughts are where the “action” happen. 3y
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#NYRBBookClub A Month in the Country Discussion

Question 2/6:

Class is briefly explored when Birkin accompanies the Ellerbecks & Mr. Dowthwaite to shop for a new pipe-organ. Should Carr have explored class more?

vivastory I don't feel like it was nec. to explore class more. I loved this scene. I thought it was hilarious. I think that a lot of class commentary would have felt a bit forced. 3y
Billypar For such a short novel, I thought there were enough examples of class differences to provide that kind of context. I do wonder if the snobbishness about the thick dialect of the uneducated townspeople is just the characters or if Carr shares that perspective. 3y
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merelybookish Class difference is there, it's present and it affects relationships. Carr acknowledges that with subtlety but I don't think he needed to do more. Much like Moss being gay, another brief acknowledgement of difference that is introduced in the novel. It can influence how we relate and understand one another, and yet, none the characters in the novel are reduced to merely their class, sexual orientation, or occupation. 3y
vivastory @Billypar I DO wish he had explored a bit more the antagonism between the different provinces. Another part that I thought was very amusing was when he first arrived at Oxgodby & he was talking about carelessly stepping on their shoes 3y
vivastory @merelybookish Yes, well said! He doesn't gloss over the intolerance that they face but he shows them as full characters. It's really remarkable. 3y
Liz_M No, I think focusing on class more would have been a different novel. As an outsider to the town, in someways Birkin is outside of class, outside of society as whole, not just rubbing up against particular class boundaries. 3y
youneverarrived No, I don‘t think it would have added much to the novel. @Billypar I think Carr was a Yorkshireman himself so he might have had a similar thick accent. (edited) 3y
vivastory @youneverarrived Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you live in Yorkshire? 3y
Billypar @youneverarrived That would be interesting if he did. I feel like some people avoid picking up their local accents based on the company they keep - i.e. educated people hang out with educated folks and have similar accents, whether they're rich or poor. But based on the Holroyd's intro, seems like Carr valued hanging out with all kinds of people - I liked what he said about his funeral and no one recognizing anyone else. 3y
Leftcoastzen It was a great scene! I think Carr wanted a little scene like that in there , but didn‘t want to focus too much on class.You can almost see salespersons eye roll, here‘s some hicks from the sticks who have no money. 3y
vivastory @Leftcoastzen Right?! When he went back over & started yelling 😂 Such a vivid humorous scene 3y
Billypar Speaking of that introduction...I'm curious what people thought. There was some reference to class by his adoption of a butcher's persona to bestow a fake literary prize (how bizarre was that just in general btw? 😅). And his personality as a teacher kind of reminded me of Robin Williams' character in Dead Poet's Society. 3y
vivastory @Billypar Hahaha! Have you listened to the Backlisted episode they did about him? They talk more about some of the strange antics he pulled. I def thought about DPS reading the intro 3y
youneverarrived @vivastory I do! In York. Not many people speak thick Yorkshire like in the book though, it‘s definitely an older generation/rural thing. @Billypar that‘s true. From the intro it seemed like parts of his life went into the novel. 3y
Billypar @vivastory I haven't, but they sounds fantastic: I'll have to give it a listen! 3y
vivastory @Billypar I think you'd really like them. The Carr episode is the inaugural episode & although it took them a couple of episodes to really kind of find their feet it's def worth checking out. It's pretty well done. 3y
GatheringBooks @Liz_M great point about Birkin being an outsider - and also outside of class issues actively experienced by the townsfolk. I am also in agreement with everyone else that the portrayal of class and even sexuality as @merelybookish also astutely mentioned was just right. Hence, it didn‘t struck me as an issue or themed-laden novel busy with its own sense of self-importance. It simply told a story that was riveting in its own right. 3y
quietjenn I really appreciate that class issues were acknowledged, without necessarily being the focus. I thought this scene was hilarious. 3y
quietjenn The dialect question is interesting and I sort of wonder about the moments when it was used, since I assumed other characters had accents (less strong?) that weren''t explicitly depicted, just like the stutter is mentioned but not written into the text. 3y
arubabookwoman I don‘t think the book as a whole should have focused on class. He was just presenting the world as it was, so class issues come through. I enjoyed the scene with the snooty organ salesman-I mean how much does an organ salesman have to be snobby about. I could see the same scene taking place today in a shop on Rodeo Drive if a scruffy-looking customer walked through the door. 3y
Billypar @vivastory I always confuse Backlisted with another one... Maybe Overdue? I've listened to one episode about We Have Always Lived in the Castle - I remember it being good. I read Dud Avocado and Bloody Chamber last year, so I'll of course have to try those too, in addition to this one's! 3y
KVanRead I agree with @merelybookish It‘s there well beyond that one scene but he weaves it in with nuance ans subtlety like so much else in this book. He‘s a real master of the show don‘t tell school. I actually thought class was all over the place: in the accents, the homes, jobs, the rhythms of daily life, especially in the difference between Church and Chapel — who preaches, and their relationship with their flock. It really comes out in how the town⤵️ 3y
KVanRead ...views the Keaches, how they don‘t fit in. Having said all that, I also loved this scene, very funny and charming but also kind of poignant. (edited) 3y
merelybookish @Billypar @vivastory I am a total Backlisted convert (and generally don't like literary podcasts much). The episode on A Month in the Country wasn't as good as some others I've heard but it had lots of interesting info on Carr. 3y
batsy @Billypar I read the Penguin edition that didn't have an introduction, sadly. But Carr's Wikipedia page has an anecdote interviewing for a teaching job and saying he wanted the job because being a teacher "gives you time to do other things". (He didn't get that job.) 3y
batsy I didn't feel like it was necessary to include more class context because I do agree with the others in how it was woven in neatly into the narrative. The characters are all richly drawn and their interactions with each other are delicately observed, so you can see the role it plays in subtle ways. 3y
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#NYRBBookClub A Month in the Country Discussion

Question 1/6:

Do you think that Carr was effective at comparing & contrasting the religious hell depicted on the wall painting & the hell that Birkin endured in WWI?

vivastory I think he was. I don't think it was explored in depth, but it kind of lingered in the background. 3y
Billypar Maybe he was, but not in the usual way you'd expect. That comparison is noted explicitly by Birkin, but the entire novella strikes me as a description of what a certain kind of heaven is like. When the war is referenced you almost get a sense that it's the complete antithesis to what Birkin is currently experiencing, without actual hearing much of it described. The painting references that stark contrast between heaven and hell. 3y
vivastory @Billypar That's really interesting re: that it's like the idea of heaven. Like an atheist's idea of heaven. The painting does seem so alien to what his own idea of hell was, his own experiences were I'm sure in some ways much more grim. I think that the battle that Birkin survived was when mustard gas was first used 3y
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merelybookish Like other aspects of this book, I felt religion and religious belief was handled with such nuance. Birken has experienced hell on earth and it's easy to appreciate why he has lost faith (if he ever was a believer.) Somehow uncovering the painting and its depiction of hell helps him process his own trauma without, as @billyparr said, being totally explicit about it. 3y
Leftcoastzen It was kind of lingering in the background, I thought he may have been recognizing his submerged feelings while uncovering the work.It was definitely an era where men who saw & survived such horrible things they questioned or abandoned faith if they ever had it. 3y
youneverarrived If I remember rightly doesn‘t Birkin say that his hell was nothing like that depicted in the painting? Or something along those lines? I just got a sense that he didn‘t really believe in the religious type of hell after experiencing what he did. Like @vivastory said the idea is there, but not explored in depth. 3y
vivastory @Leftcoastzen I think that uncovering the art also allowed him to communicate his experience in a way that wasn't really socially acceptable at the time 3y
youneverarrived @Billypar yeah, I agree with this. His life in the village is depicted as idyllic (heavenly) and the snippets we get of his time in the war are hellish. 3y
vivastory @youneverarrived I think you're right. He refused the comforts of religion after his war experience & it seems like he wanted to say that the religious hell & the hell he had suffered were distinct. But I wonder if he was still able to take comfort in it. I think he was also excited by the painting artistically because he realized the importance of it 3y
Liz_M Yes, I think Carr effectively contrasted religious and real-world hell, fairly explicitly -- Alice asks Tom if he believes in hell @youneverarrived I liked Tom's answer: “Hell's different things to different people and different things to the same person at different times.“ (p. 95 of nyrb edition) (edited) 3y
vivastory @Liz_M @youneverarrived Yes! I've had the same thought, just not in such memorable phrasing 3y
Billypar @youneverarrived You're right - I just found that part. Moon draws the comparison to a battle in France, and Birkin recalls "I didn't see it like that. No doubt I didn't want to." At times it seems like he tries to emphasize the professional aspects of the painting if it's too painful to contemplate what the hellish images might bring up for him. 3y
Leftcoastzen @vivastory totally agree ! It was the era of stiff upper lip you survived it so just move on. (edited) 3y
youneverarrived @Liz_M I loved that quote. So true. 3y
GatheringBooks The question made me revisit aspects of the book that didn‘t even occur to me as significant. Like what everyone else said, there was great subtlety in the way the war was referenced that it almost catches the reader off guard. The link to the painting and what Birkin endured during the war, whether explicit or otherwise, was not something I even noticed nor paid attention to. It was def alluded to, but not fully realized as everyone else noted. 3y
GatheringBooks @Liz_M great capture of this quote. 👌🏽💕👏🏼 3y
arubabookwoman I‘ve been studying art history with friends for several years, and we recently spent about 6 weeks on Fra Angelico, who painted several “Judgements.” The hell portion of medieval/renaissance Judgements frequently resembles Hieronymous Bosch paintings—demons inflicting torture, flames of hell, monsters. 3y
quietjenn I think so, and very much like what @Billypar and @merelybookish note - that the exploration is done in a way that is nuanced and unexpected. I feel like he makes a lot of points and comparisons throughout the novel, without then being Points and Comparisons. 3y
quietjenn @youneverarrived idyllic is the exact right word choice for it! 3y
arubabookwoman I‘ve recently been studying the paintings of Fra Angelico, who did several Judgement paintings. The hell depicted by many medieval/renaissance artists often resembled the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch-demons and monsters and flames and all kinds of torture. But the people suffering were also usually depicted as evil and deserving of this treatment. I was being too literal and just thinking of these paintings rather than the WW I battlefields.👇🏻 3y
vivastory @quietjenn Yes, def not heavy handed at all 3y
arubabookwoman While the battlefields were Hell, I don‘t think of Birkin or any particular soldier of deserving that hell. Also, we can think of the life afterwards, remembering the horrors, as Hell. I also think of the one particular victim in the painting with the scar on his face that Birkin seemed to identify with, wondering whether the medieval artist was depicting a real person the paintings viewers would recognize. 3y
vivastory @arubabookwoman That's a good point that life after war can be a type of hell too & I think that's where the trauma of Birkin plays out. I really appreciated how Carr handled this issue 3y
KVanRead Spot on @Billypar Oxgodby really is a kind of heaven for him and I think that‘s underlined by the ending- the whole book has an aspect of longing reminiscence for a moment in time you wish you could return to but of course you never can it‘s perfect because it‘s preserved in time, like the painting was behind its lime wash. 3y
KVanRead On the hell side, I was also quite struck by how subtly he introduced a third kind of hell, not of religion, nor of battlefield but one which Alice seems to spend time in, the hell of a bad marriage, or life, or maybe of the mind/anxiety/depression...”But even as I spoke, I knew she wasn‘t answered. It was neither that nor a bible hell had made her ask.” 3y
KVanRead @arubabookwoman that‘s so interesting about the judgment paintings. That idea of deserved punishment really highlights the contrast and maybe reinforces him as a non believer because yes nobody deserves the hell of war so how to makes sense of biblical hell after experiencing that. 3y
youneverarrived @KVanRead yes, I‘d forgotten about that part. There‘s lots of subtlety like that scattered throughout the book which I really admired. We‘re never shown or told exactly what the Keachs‘ marriage is like, we only have hints and glimpses like that. 3y
KVanRead @youneverarrived yes, I love how he says more with less by these hints and glimpses 3y
Billypar @youneverarrived @KVanRead I thought the part where she compliments Birkin's listening skills was a really good way of dramatizing what she was missing in her own marriage. It seems like a universal quality of bad relationships, just as relevant in 1920, 1980, or 2021. 3y
KVanRead @Billypar That‘s an excellent point. She does seem to relate a lot to his aloneness perhaps because she doesn‘t feel much seen or heard in her marriage or the village for that matter. 3y
youneverarrived @Billypar yeah I picked up on that too. @KVanRead that‘s a good point aswell, and maybe because he was an outsider she felt she could talk to him/gravitated towards him. 3y
KVanRead @youneverarrived Yah, I think so too. 3y
Suet624 @Billypar @vivastory What a beautiful way of describing this. I agree. I actually didn't compare and contrast the painting with what Birkin had experienced - my bad. But what Birkin experienced during his time with the painting was restorative and the surroundings that he lived in were heavenly. Even I felt the euphoria of the summer spent there. :) 3y
Suet624 @KVanRead Really good point about the hell of a bad marriage being a third possibility within the book. 3y
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Collected Stories | Willa Cather
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Catching up on the #CatherBuddyRead this afternoon. I‘ve fallen a bit behind, so I‘m getting a jump start on this week‘s section and then playing catch up with previous sections. Every time I read Cather, I‘m quickly reminded why I adore her. She‘s brilliant with describing the beauty of nature in particular the American frontier and developing sketches of human lives and why we think, do and pursue.

CarolynM The stories are great and so is the discussion but we've missed your input🙂 3y
Graywacke Lovely picture. I‘m really happy you‘re joining in this week. 3y
catebutler @CarolynM That‘s so kind of you to say. 😊 I can‘t wait to catch up on the discussion - everyone has great insight! 3y
catebutler @Graywacke Thank you! I don‘t know how I seem to fall behind so quickly! 🤷‍♀️ I guess I should blame my inability to read just one book at a time. 3y
Graywacke @catebutler it‘s a good problem 🙂 ... and we are kind of flying through Cather‘s stories (edited) 3y
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Valentines Day | Julie Murray
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Happy Valentine‘s Day dear readers! 💘 Today, I‘ve been reading, talking to loved ones and watching the Valentine‘s Day movie. Just a short while ago, while on the phone talking to my brother, the loveliest blooms and charcuterie board showed up. A gift from my sweet Valentine. May your day be filled with lots of love!! 💝

MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm Omg, that looks absolutely delicious! ❤️🤤❤️ 3y
LeahBergen Ohhh, that‘s lovely! 💗💗 3y
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catebutler @MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm It was such a thoughtful gift, and so fun to try a local artisan‘s creation. Happy Valentine‘s Day! 💝 3y
catebutler @LeahBergen It‘s been a lovely day, filled with lots of love. I hope yours has too!! 💘 3y
MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm Happy Valentines Day to you too! ❤️🤗❤️ 3y
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A quiet evening - laundry tumbling in the dryer, a current read for #SundayBuddyRead (I‘m enjoying immensely), shortbread cookies and a cup of mint verbena tea. I find I usually sleep better, when my day ends like this. ☕️📖 🛌 Although, this book does have a bit of the spook factor. Reader be warned! 😳

vivastory Hey, what would be the best way to get in touch to discuss date/time for Feb discussion & the discussion questions? Are you on GR? 3y
catebutler @vivastory I do have GR, https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2064042-catie If you want to shoot me a DM, on there we can figure out the best way to discuss. 3y
vivastory Great! Thanks 3y
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Untitled | Unknown
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Happy New Year fellow #NYRBBookClub members! 🎊Please see my nominations for February 2021. I have so many NYRB editions on my shelves I want to read, so it was hard to narrow down to these three. If any have been read in the past, I do apologize. Since I‘m new, I‘m not familiar with all the previous titles read. Please vote below.

arubabookwoman I vote for A Month in the Country. 4y
merelybookish These are great and all new @catebutler My vote is for Elizabeth Taylor because I loved the other one we read by her! 4y
catebutler @arubabookwoman It has been on my TBR for ages! 4y
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Suet624 I‘m voting for Elizabeth Taylor. Like @merelybookish, I loved the other Taylor that we read. Of course the January selection that I ordered weeks ago hasn‘t arrived yet, so who knows if the February selection will ever get to me. 4y
catebutler @merelybookish Phew! 😅 I was going back through posts, but being over 700 for the tag, I lost a bit of steam. 😂 Taylor is a favourite of mine, so one of her novels was an easy choice. ☺️ 4y
catebutler @Suet624 My copy for January is showing up Monday.🤞🏼I‘m so sorry I didn‘t get my choices to everyone sooner for February - I know the post is extremely slow right now. 4y
arubabookwoman @catebutler Me too. And I haven‘t read that particular Elizabeth Taylor, but even though she‘s an author I really like, I wanted to pick someone new. My copy of A Month in the Country was a gift from someone who described it as one of his all-time favorite books. 4y
sisilia I vote for Voltaire in Love as I have read the other two 😃 4y
Billypar Tough choice, as they all sound good, but I'll vote for Voltaire in Love. 4y
LeahBergen Ooo, nice picks!! I‘ve read two of them. Is it bad of me to pick one I‘ve already read? 😬 I‘m going to opt for this one because I‘d LOVE to discuss it with you all ... 4y
Suet624 Oh! This is the perfect time for posting choices! It‘s just the mail that‘s giving me the issue. 🙂 4y
readordierachel I would be happy to read any of these. But I think I'll vote for A Month in the Country 4y
emilyhaldi Lovely choices!! I‘ve had this one on my shelf for a while now so it gets my vote! 4y
Leftcoastzen They all look so good! 4y
batsy Great choices! I'm in a bit of a Mitford mood and craving some nonfiction so I'll go with 4y
Liz_M I actually own the tagged book. I'm voting for 4y
sarahbarnes Good picks! My vote is for A View of the Harbour. (edited) 4y
GatheringBooks Hello all! Thank you for putting this up early. I vote for 4y
KVanRead They all sound good!! Tough choice but I‘m voting 4y
quietjenn My vote is for A View of the Harbour. 4y
vivastory Great choices! I pick the Elizabeth Taylor. Thanks for posting 4y
BarbaraBB Great choices! I already read A Month in the Country (it‘s great!) and I‘m voting for 4y
Tanisha_A Nice choices! I am having a difficult time choosing, but I'll go for 4y
Cathythoughts I loved A View of the Harbour ❤️ 4y
youneverarrived I‘ve been wanting to read this one 4y
sprainedbrain All of these look interesting, but I‘m going to vote for 4y
Theaelizabet A Month in the Country is one of my favorite books and I‘ll happily read it again. In fact, these are great choices, but I think I‘ll go with 4y
mklong Sorry y‘all, I‘m not getting Litsy notifications for some reason 🤷🏻‍♀️ I vote, 4y
Reviewsbylola It‘s probably way too late for me to vote—I apologize for missing the notifications on this one. I‘m not sure if I never got them or if I was so deep in my covid haze that I missed them. @vivastory @catebutler If it‘s not too late, my vote is for 4y
vivastory @Reviewsbylola Sorry you missed the notifications! It was a close vote but A Month in the Country won. 4y
Reviewsbylola Ok, thank you! @vivastory 4y
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Last night, right before bed, I finished this short, bittersweet prequel/retelling of ‘A Christmas Carol‘. The nature of Dickens‘ original story, (including the sad fate of Marley) and the author‘s death before completing the novel, made ‘Miss Marley‘ even more poignant. It‘s left me to contemplate redemption, second chances, and most importantly our influence on others and consequence of our actions. #OverbookedClub

Final Rating: 4 Stars

LeahBergen I‘ve been meaning to buy this one! Lovely review. 😊 4y
sblbooks Agreed. I love the graphic! 4y
catebutler @LeahBergen It‘s a lovely little book, and perfect for this time of year! I especially loved reading it after a re-read of, ‘A Christmas Carol‘. 4y
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catebutler @sblbooks Such a fun choice, I‘m so glad I got to read it. 🤗 4y
Freespirit Lovely review and picture Cate. Merry Christmas ❤️ 4y
catebutler @Freespirit Thank you!! And a merry Christmas to you! 🎄I can‘t believe it‘s a week away!! 4y
UwannaPublishme Great review! 4y
Cathythoughts Beautiful pic ❤️ 4y
batsy Gorgeous photo! 😍 4y
BiblioLitten Such a festive picture♥️🎊 4y
Pageturner1 your photos are so pretty 4y
catebutler @Pageturner1 Thank you so very much!! 🥰 4y
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Two children‘s books I‘ve been loving. The Little Dancer‘ is based on Degas artwork & tells the story of a young girl who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer (the illustrations are truly stunning). Readers will also learn more about Dega‘s intriguing artwork. And, ‘Claris: Holiday Heist is a lovely Christmassy tale featuring an adorable mouse who moves to Paris to follow her fashion dreams. If you‘re a fan of Eloise & Olivia, you‘ll love this book!

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An early Christmas present from Mr. S. 🎁 When they say big book, they‘re not kidding, this one is a wrist breaker! I‘m excited to dip in and out of this festive book this year (and several future ones with its heft). I love a good mystery, especially classic mysteries - this edition stars detectives like, Poirot, Marple, Morse, Rumpole and Cadfael. First up, The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie.

Synopsis in comments.

catebutler Synopsis:
From Victorian detective stories to modern mysteries, police procedural to pulp fiction, comic gems to cozy crime, there‘s something for every festive mood in this must read collection starring sixty of the world‘s famous detectives.
LeahBergen Gorgeous! I‘ve been eyeing this one, too. 😊 4y
catebutler @LeahBergen You should get it!! It has a great line up! 4y
BiblioLitten 😍 4y
Freespirit It sounds brilliant! 4y
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Redshank's Warning | Malcolm Saville
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A fun, light mystery/adventure featuring a quirky family of 4 (a father & his 3 children), who stumble across a mystery whilst on holiday. The characters are fun, the story hooks, & the setting (the salt flats of Norfolk) is a true delight. This book was particularly relevant for right now - the beginning opens with an end of a quarantine, due to measles. Thus the holiday & adventure, after being cooped up for several weeks. (cont. in comments)

catebutler The edition on the left is by a fantastic publishing company, called Girls Gone By Publishing, who re-publish popular fiction from the 20th century, usually with a focus on children‘s literature. They recently republished the second in this series, ‘Two Fair Plaits‘, which I‘ll be picking up soon. 4y
catebutler Sadly, RS is out of print again, so the title is a bit difficult to find. I was able to hunt down a vintage abridged edition (on the right), which is what I recently read. Then two weeks ago, I came across the GGBP edition, which showed up in the post yesterday. Happy happy day! (edited) 4y
LeahBergen Gorgeous! ❤️💙 4y
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catebutler @LeahBergen Thank you, Leah! Have you read this author? 4y
LeahBergen I haven‘t but he‘s been on my “vintage hunting radar” for ages. 😆 4y
catebutler @LeahBergen I know how that goes... So many books to find. 😂🤓📚 4y
rockpools I haven‘t heard of these! I used to love Malcolm Saville‘s series set in Shropshire- Lone Pine, possibly? - and had no idea he‘d written other stuff. I only ever got my hands on a few old library copies - that was the first time I‘d heard that things can go out of print- I remember being most put out! I‘ll have to look for these 😊 4y
catebutler @rockpools I want to read the Lone Pine series too! I believe LP was his most famous series. But the Jillies (pictured in my post) is well loved too! GGBP has been republishing most of his books, so do check them out and keep their reprints in mind. 4y
batsy I've never heard of these books and they sound delightful! Plus, those covers ❤️ 4y
catebutler @batsy They are so fun, especially if you enjoy vintage children‘s books like the Chalet School, and Enid Blyton. Highly recommend. 😊 4y
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A Christmas Carol | Charles Dickens
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I pick up this festive novel every few years for a re-read, and usually watch an adaptation of it each year, (there are so many great one‘s to choose from)! This year, I‘ve been listening to the audio version of, ‘A Christmas Carol‘ whilst I put up decorations, bake festive treats, clean and cook. The narrator, Simon Prebble is fabulous and truly brings the spirit of this book alive via his narration.

MsMelissa Such a lovely photo 🥰 4y
LeahBergen I reread it every few years, too. ❤️ 4y
Cathythoughts Beautiful pic ! I bought 2 copies today for Christmas presents 🎁❤️✨ 4y
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catebutler @Book_Fiend_Melissa Thank you, Melissa! 4y
catebutler @LeahBergen I just finished the audiobook this morning, whilst making breakfast, I might have to consider this format as my new way of reading this, it was such a treat! 4y
catebutler @Cathythoughts Thank you! And perfect book to give as a gift. 🎁 4y
TEArificbooks Great photo. I love that edition 4y
BiblioLitten Such a cosy picture🥰 I love it!💙 4y
catebutler @mdm139 Thank you!! These are the Wordsworth Children‘s Classics. They‘re all stunning. 😊 4y
catebutler @BiblioLitten Thank you!! 🥰 4y
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Some might say there‘s not much to a Miss Read novel, but I disagree. They are warm, cosy, & a feel good read - perfect for the holiday season. This year, I‘ll be buddy reading, ‘No Holly for Miss Quinn‘. I was so pleased when I found both of these lovely vintage copies. I don‘t know why, but vintage copies always make my heart sing & make the reading process even more enjoyable. Plus the covers and illustrations throughout are lovely.

LeahBergen And now I REALLY need my copy of No Holly For Miss Quinn to arrive. 😆 I also ordered The Christmas Mouse. 4y
catebutler @LeahBergen Ha! I laughed because your comment came in right after I had posted this one!! I‘m still on the hunt for, The Christmas Mouse. I definitely want that one too, it‘s a bit harder to find. 🐭 4y
LeahBergen 😆 And gorgeous photo, by the way! I read Village Christmas last year and it‘s just plain lovely. 🥰 4y
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batsy Those vintage copies are beautiful 💖 4y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Beautiful 🧡 4y
catebutler @batsy Thank you! I always get so excited when I can find them. 😊 4y
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My December BINGO CARD, filled out and ready for #BookSpinBingo. 🎄

#BookSpin: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
#DoubleSpin: Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year by Beth Kemptom

LeahBergen I hope the copy I ordered of No Holly For Miss Quinn arrives before Christmas! 😆 4y
catebutler @LeahBergen I do too!! 🤞🏼 Did you find a vintage copy?? 4y
LeahBergen I did! Did you, as well? 4y
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 4y
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My festive and cheery December TBR for #BookSpinBingo. I learned a few years back not to read all Christmassy books, I seem to burn out a bit when I overindulge on seasonal reads. 🙊 I‘ve had a really great year of reading (a highlight in such a dreary and difficult year) so I wanted this month‘s TBR to be especially fun and bright. #bookspin #doublespin

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 4y
Freespirit Some fabulous books Cate! 4y
catebutler @TheAromaofBooks So excited!! 👏🏼 4y
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catebutler @Freespirit Thank you, Sally! I‘ve been thinking of you, hope you‘re well, dear friend. xx 4y
Crazeedi Midwife book is so good. Love your list 4y
catebutler @Crazeedi I‘m so glad to hear this! I‘ve had this series on my TBR for ages. And thank you!! Happy December reading. 🎄 4y
Crazeedi @catebutler I enjoyed the first one if I remember the most 4y
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Another amazing reading month, although I can‘t seem to close that Bingo Blackout!! 😂 I started a new reading setup two months ago, and it amazes me how I have been reading over 20 books a month, without a burn out. Both my #bookspin (The Return of the Soldier) and #doublespin (Dark Tides) were favourites this month too, so I count November a solid win. 🌟

TheAromaofBooks Sooooo close!!! And what's your new setup that's inspiring you to read more? 4y
catebutler @TheAromaofBooks Well, *deep breath*. First, this bingo card challenge has been a BIG help, I am quite competitive with myself, so this is the perfect challenge to motivate me to read more. But, I also started a new way of tracking (kind of a bullet style journal) I‘ll pull together the 25 books I‘d like to get to each month for the BINGO card, then I calculate how many pages I can average each day to read. I figured I can comfortably (edited) 4y
catebutler @TheAromaofBooks read about 200 pages a day. I also read multiple books at a time about 4 max, comfortably. So in my bullet journal, I set up a page for the entire month, with the dates, a circle to check off when I‘ve done my reading for the day, and then with each book, and a legend, I mark down how many pages I read in each book for each day. Then I tab all my books 50 pages each section. I‘m sure this is super confusing, written out, maybe 4y
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catebutler @TheAromaofBooks I‘ll share in photos what I‘m talking about, ha! 🤣 But, seriously the planner in me loves it, because it allows me the structure I need to make it happen, but I also can mood read, with the extra slots on the bingo card, etc. If you want to set up something similar, I just recommend being super honest about how much you can read each day, and then plan from there. Oh! I also have sticky notes in each of the books, with the title, 4y
catebutler @TheAromaofBooks page count, and then I write down and mark off what I read each day for each book too. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but once it‘s all set up for the month, it‘s super slick, and like I said above in my post, I have NEVER read this much before, so something must be working. So sorry for the rambling.... *deep exhale* 4y
TheAromaofBooks So planning and tracking my reading is basically as much fun for me as actually reading 😂 I'm way into what you're doing haha Definitely tag me if you decide to post some pictures, or you can even email them to me if you want (itsthegoodlife15 at gmail). I've started setting an average daily page goal for the month & tracking if I'm ahead or behind on that really motivates me, so this sounds like that plus extra!!! 4y
catebutler @TheAromaofBooks Yes!! We are SO kindred spirits!! Ha! I‘m so glad you get me. I seriously was stressing when I was trying to put it all into comments, ha! 😂 I kept thinking, she is going to think it sounds like torture and way too much work!! 😆 I‘ll get some things together and shoot you and email. Game changer!! 👍🏼 4y
TheAromaofBooks No rush, just whenever you have time. But I really do love the planning/tracking aspect of reading. Just ask @kimmypete1 who kindly shared her book-tracking spreadsheet with me & now has to deal with all my questions about modifying it for my own use 😂 4y
catebutler @TheAromaofBooks Ha! I may have to see if I can find her post(s) about this book tracking spreadsheet. It sounds heavenly! @kimmypete1 4y
kimmypete1 @catebutler So the regular book tracking one isn‘t in a post, but I can certainly share it with you! Send me an email to kimberly.midnightbookgirl@ gmail.com 4y
kimmypete1 @catebutler the winter games one is in that google drive folder. 4y
kimmypete1 @TheAromaofBooks You can ask all the questions you want! I love spreadsheets so much and enjoy geeking out over them with others who share the love! 4y
TheAromaofBooks @kimmypete1 - You're definitely helping to increase my already bountiful spreadsheet love 😂 4y
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I have a thick list of books I‘d like to get through this month, pictured are some of the Christmassy books I‘ll be reading. I learned a few years ago, not to pack my entire December TBR with festive books (I seem to get burned out a bit), but these fill me with joy when I look at them, and since I can dip in and out, they‘ll be perfect to keep the Christmas spirit alive and well for the entire month!

LeahBergen I recently received Midwinter Murder in the mail, too. 👏🏻 4y
catebutler @LeahBergen Isn‘t it such a lovely book!! I‘m so excited to read it this month. 🎄 4y
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Piranesi | Susanna Clarke
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This book isn‘t like anything you‘ve probably read before, unless you‘re familiar with Clarke‘s writing. In some ways it‘s reminiscent of Erin Morgenstern‘s world building and writing style in, ‘The Night Circus‘ (another novel I adored). I also loved the reference to ancient myths and legends of the labyrinth. It wasn‘t quite as good as Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell but it‘s a solid pick for me.

Cathythoughts I really enjoyed this too. I must go back & finish Johnathan Strange , I abandoned it years ago 4y
Cathythoughts You preferred Johnathan Strange & Norrell ! ..... I think I‘ll return to it soon ... I wasn‘t in a great reading place when I tried it first 4y
catebutler @Cathythoughts I think if you go back to it, especially with this one read and enjoyed you‘ll enjoy it more. It definitely does require some patience and concentration. But I loved it! Let me know how you get on with JS&MN. 🤗 4y
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