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Joined June 2016

Hamnet | Maggie O'Farrell
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I‘ve seen heaps of praise for this one but it‘s just not working for me right now. The illustrative writing style feels overindulgent and my reading time is too scarce these days 🙃

BrittanyReads Beautiful baby ☺️ 2mo
Cinfhen OMG!!! He‘s GORGEOUS 💙 2mo
Cinfhen I did love the writing but it was a bit of a chore to read…I can imagine you have MUCH better ways to spend your days xxxx 2mo
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Tamra Super cute! 2mo
LeahBergen I missed his big arrival when I was on holiday!! He‘s SO BEAUTIFUL! Congratulations and lots of love to you both! 😘😘😘😘 2mo
Traci1 That sweet little face. 😍 2mo
CarolynM ❤️ I think I read one book in the first few months of my firstborn's life (he didn't sleep...at all😩) and it was a very light escapist romp. Time and concentration returned eventually... (edited) 2mo
BarbaraBB He IS beautiful 😍😍. I can imagine why this one doesn‘t work for you at the moment! 2mo
batsy Look at that sweet face 💕 2mo
Cathythoughts Beautiful baby boy 2mo
Nute What a sweet sweet darling face! 2mo
DivineDiana You have other things on your mind! Adorable. ❤️ 2mo
Reviewsbylola Totally bad timing on this one imo. No way could I have focused on this type of writing with a newborn. 3w
79 likes13 comments
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Finally feeling up to a little bit of reading since baby Hank‘s arrival… although my book choices look a little different these days 😆

IamIamIam Congratulations!!! 👏👏👏 3mo
TrishB Awww , congrats ❤️ 3mo
merelybookish That's a beautiful little profile! Congratulations!! (And sleep>read!) 3mo
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emilyhaldi Oh yes @merelybookish sleep trumps all!! It is amazing though how the body can function on so little sleep isn‘t it? 😅 3mo
emilyhaldi Thank you!! @IamIamIam @TrishB 🥰 3mo
merelybookish @emilyhaldi Absolutely! And you'll sleep again...someday! 🤞 3mo
Leftcoastzen Awww!so sweet ! 3mo
Laughterhp Congrats! I love the title of that book. 3mo
BarbaraBB He looks sooo cute 🥰 3mo
kspenmoll What a little sweetie! So happy for you sleep deprived mama! 3mo
sarahbarnes Congrats! ❤️ 3mo
Bookzombie So cute! 3mo
Gissy Adorable!❤️❤️❤️ 3mo
marleed Ohhhhh! 3mo
CarolynM ❤️ 3mo
saresmoore So, maybe I‘m in the cynical phase of starting a grad program with a sporadically sleeping 1yo, but I call bullshit on both of those titles. 😜 But seriously, congratulations!!! 3mo
emilyhaldi @saresmoore that‘s a fair assessment… however desperate times call for desperate measures 😂 3mo
saresmoore Amen to that! Best wishes for health, happiness, and rest to the three of you! ♥️♥️♥️ 3mo
77 likes1 stack add18 comments
It's a Boy!: Your Son's Development from Birth to Age 18 | Michael Thompson, Ph.D., Teresa Barker
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Just popping in to share that baby Hank Wells Haldi joined us on 8/14/21 💙 He‘s a tiny 5lb bundle of cuteness. And while he proves to be a bit of a distraction from reading, we‘re quite fond of him!

Birdsong28 Congratulations 🎊🎉 3mo
Desha Congratulations! 🎉 3mo
Bklover What a cutie pie! Congratulations!! 3mo
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BarbaraTheBibliophage Aww. Great picture. Enjoy the distraction!! 🎉🎉 3mo
AmyG Congratulations! He is so precious. 🎉❤️ 3mo
Oryx Congratulations! 3mo
vivastory A good distraction! Congrats 👏🎉🎉 3mo
Smrloomis Congratulations! So adorable ❤️ 3mo
mrp27 Congratulations! 3mo
DivineDiana What wonderful news! 🎉👏🏻❤️ And I must say that Baby Hank and you are looking well! ❤️ 3mo
TheLudicReader Congrats. So sweet. ❤️ 3mo
MsMelissa Congratulations!!! 3mo
Reviewsbylola Precious little guy. 3mo
zezeki Congrats!! 🥂💕💕 3mo
Amiable Congratulations and welcome to the world, Hank! 3mo
youneverarrived So precious ♥️ he‘s adorable! Congratulations 💙💙 3mo
4thhouseontheleft Congratulations! 3mo
SamAnne Congrats!! 3mo
Reggie Congratulations!!!! 3mo
DGRachel Congratulations! 3mo
MaureenMc Congratulations! So precious. 🥰 3mo
MidnightBookGirl Congratulations!!!! 3mo
Tamra So wonderful! Enjoy!! 3mo
JenReadsAlot Congrats!! 3mo
MicheleinPhilly LOVE! Congratulations! ❤️ 3mo
CoverToCoverGirl Congratulations ‼️ 3mo
Liz_M Wow, congratulations! 3mo
quietjenn Congratulations! 💕 3mo
Jas16 Congratulations!!!!💕 3mo
mom2bugnbee What a cutie! Congrats! 3mo
eanderson Congratulations!!🎉 3mo
Megabooks Many many congratulations Emily!! So happy for you!! 💜💜 3mo
Librarybelle Congratulations! 3mo
Bookzombie Congratulations!!! 💕 (edited) 3mo
kyraleseberg Congratulations! 3mo
JessClark78 Congratulations! 3mo
andrew61 Congratulations. A beautiful picture, enjoy these special days. 3mo
BookishBelle Congratulations! 3mo
batsy Congratulations!! ❤️❤️ 3mo
BarbaraBB So precious 🥰! You both look wonderful. Congratulations🤍🤍 3mo
Cathythoughts Beautiful baby boy 💕 3mo
Cinfhen He‘s GORGEOUS!!! Congrats to you, and all the wonderful Dargusch gang xxxxx much love ❤️ Thanks for tagging me @Reviewsbylola was baby Hank born on your bday?? Or G‘s??? Enjoy this little bundle of sweetness 💙 3mo
Nute Congratulations! Such a joyous moment!💕 3mo
Reviewsbylola Nope, he has his own birthday! I was really advocating for my birthday but he couldn‘t wait that long apparently. 😂 @Cinfhen 3mo
Gissy Congratulations !💙💙💙💙 3mo
CarolynM Congratulations again! 3mo
Chrissyreadit Congratulations!!!! 3mo
WJCintron Congratulations! 😃 3mo
104 likes49 comments
Reunited | Shiloh Walker
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Not the most exciting holiday backdrop, but I had to share a photo from this past weekend seeing friends in New York. We finally reunited after 1.5yrs - a long time for us to go without a visit!! We spent hours at this dinner catching up and laughing and having the best time 🥰

squirrelbrain Gorgeous, happy photo! ❤️ 5mo
TrishB Lovely ❤️ 5mo
Cathythoughts Happy days 5mo
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BarbaraBB Oh that must have felt so good! Great picture 🤍 5mo
Bookzombie ❤️ 5mo
kspenmoll Wonderful!!!‘ 5mo
Megabooks How nice!! 5mo
britt_brooke So fun! Great pic. 💚 5mo
Cinfhen This makes me SO HAPPY!!! And you look gorgeous, mama to be xxxx I can‘t imagine a better #HolidayEscape ❤️ 5mo
LeahBergen How wonderful!! You look beautiful. 💖💖 5mo
CarolynM So good to catch up with old friends💕 Lovely photo. 5mo
batsy Fantastic ❤️ 5mo
Reviewsbylola ♥️♥️♥️ 5mo
Suet624 💕💕💕💕 4mo
71 likes14 comments
Orkney | Amy Sackville
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This started with such promise, especially as I read it during a rainstorm, befitting the mood of the book better than if I had been on a sunny beach 🌧 However, the writing quickly became repetitive and lagged on far too long. I am eager to discuss the mysterious ending though 🧐

Cinfhen I think everyone had similar feelings about this one/ at least it was short 😉 5mo
Reviewsbylola I‘m officially skipping it. 😬 5mo
62 likes2 comments
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Question 6: What do you make of the non-chronological sequence of the book? Why might Chase present the story this way? Did this make you feel outside of the clan or part of it?

vivastory I greatly appreciated the way Chase constructed her story. The non-linear telling of it enhanced it. Although I was never sure where it was going next I found it very effective. 6mo
vivastory Also, fantastic choice with the paintings, Emily! 6mo
emilyhaldi @vivastory I think the non-linear storytelling also contributed to the dreamlike quality of the book and agree that it enhanced the reading for me. And thank you! I had a lot of fun picking out paintings for each question 👩🏻‍🎨 6mo
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BarbaraBB I bailed on the book as you know and I feel sorry now after reading the discussion. I also love the paintings you chose! 6mo
GatheringBooks Despite the non-linearity of the narrative, i still felt it was structured and coherent in its presentation, with episodes and memories inserted here and there like when your grandmother or favourite aunt tells you a story. I thought it was melodic, even. 6mo
GatheringBooks And yes, super apt art work paired with the questions @emilyhaldi - very thought-provoking. 6mo
emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB no need to feel sorry!! I can understand why you would bail on this book- I think it takes a certain mood and patience… 🙃 6mo
vivastory @GatheringBooks I think the melodic aspect is important. There were multiple references to music throughout the book & it did seem to play an important role for Chase. 6mo
quietjenn It felt very right to me. When you're sitting around weekend family or a close group of friends and reminiscing, chronology just isn't that important. And while that is for sure not what this book is seems appropriate. 6mo
quietjenn @emilyhaldi also chumming in to say I love the art choices! 6mo
batsy It worked very well, and I thought the combination of the first-person we with the shifts in time very effective in terms of trying to tell the story of a large family. And it works like collective memories do: it's never chronological and people remember things differently. To capture all of the details in this way, it makes sense that there's a "we" observing all of it, and that it moves back and forth. 6mo
batsy I agree with everyone, clever use of Rockwell paintings @emilyhaldi it definitely adds a unique dimension to the discussions! 6mo
Reviewsbylola Agree, your art choices are 👌🏻. I don‘t love the back and forth of this style narrative but Chase did it expertly and in this case it didn‘t bother me. 6mo
36 likes13 comments
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Question 5: What does this book tell you about dependence and independence? Gram clearly values being self-sufficient (see page 70, for example), but she also opens her doors to her daughters and their families, buys them houses, and generally sets up a lifestyle in which very few people actually have to work. Is there any way in which she teaches her family independence?

Liz_M This is harder to answer, given the viewpoints of the narrators, but I think Gram must have taught her daughters independence. Elinor moves to New York and becomes a successful Ad Executive ( in the age of Mad Men!). May runs a hotel. Rachel divorced and seems to managing well on her own and her remarriage doesn't seem to be one of necessity. Grace seems to be the only one that stayed in a bad marriage. 6mo
Liz_M And this is in a time where women weren't really allowed monetary independence, usually needing a male relative or husband for bank accounts, credit cards, land ownership. And didn't one of the girls have to lie about being married to keep a teaching job? (edited) 6mo
vivastory @Liz_M I also thought of Mad Men 😂 I agree about Gram teaching her daughters independence. I think that she has always been a support system for her family when they needed it, someone that they know they can rely on when they encounter challenges & hardships. She would rather do so than having them wind up in bad situations with men. 6mo
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vivastory @Liz_M If I remember correctly it might have been Grace who had to lie...or Libby... 6mo
sarahbarnes @vivastory I agree - it seems like she would rather have her daughter there than in bad situations, as well as her granddaughters. And it‘s interesting that at the same time she models a type of independence in the way she refuses to go out of her way cooking or anything. And in some ways through the deal she made with her husband in their relationship. 6mo
vivastory @sarahbarnes I appreciated her independence, but also how she was willing to change her mind too (I'm thinking of Grace's will & the house at the end) if it became impractical or seemed too harsh 6mo
GatheringBooks I was also amused not just by Gram‘s refusal to cook as @sarahbarnes noted but how religiously she would leave for her card games come hell or high water. I thought that it was independence she taught her kids and grand-kids, while also showing them tough love. And she had no patience with the free-loading men. 6mo
merelybookish I felt the character of the grandmother and the donkey Queenie were linked. (Some of the heavy handed imagery I didn't love about this book.) But Queenie wanders but can never completely leaves. Just a general stubbornness and will-to-survive. 6mo
quietjenn I do think the girls learned independence by watching Gram and knowing that "the homestead" was there and that they could always come back to it (even if it wasn't the farm, by the end of the book), is what partially have them the ability to try and go, be it to NY, Chicago, or anywhere else. 6mo
34 likes9 comments
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Question 4: In her NY Times review of Chase's book, Atwood called it, "a Norman Rockwell painting gone bad." Do you think that this is an upending of domestic fiction, or a realistic portrait of the lives of the characters?

vivastory I think Atwood also said that menace hangs over the entire novel & I def agree with both statements. I think it is a frank, & refreshing, portrait of the lives of the characters! I loved how Chase treated their lives with this degree of frankness while also crafting memorable characters for a great story. I tend to gravitate towards stories in urban & cosmopolitan settings & this was a wonderful reminder that great fiction can take place anywhere 6mo
merelybookish This book reminded me of Alice Munro and her idea that everyone's lives are "deep caves covered in linoleum." Part of storytelling is peeling back the veneer to see all that complexity that lies beneath. 6mo
vivastory @merelybookish Although I have only read a couple of Munro stories that quote has always stuck with me 6mo
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Liz_M I wonder if it is both? I'd be curious to know what influenced Chase and what was popular at the time. 6mo
GatheringBooks I googled Rockwell‘s paintings - very bucolic and pastoral and wholesome. I suppose what also makes the art even more fascinating is the inherent/implicit knowledge we all carry that there is always an undercurrent of negativity running alongside the polished positivity. Same thing with cheerful IG photos on social media. Chase merely exposed those undercurrents and disentangled them for everyone to see. 6mo
merelybookish @vivastory Me too. One of my favorites! 6mo
Billypar @vivastory It's so true what you said about great fiction - this is 6mo
LeahBergen @merelybookish @vivastory Yes! I love that Alice Munro quote and this novel reminded me of some of her writing, too. I was also reminded of Margaret Laurence, another Canadian known for writing “farmhouse noir” (to coin a phrase 😆😆). 6mo
emilyhaldi I‘m digging the term “farmhouse noir”! @LeahBergen perfect descriptor for this novel 👩🏻‍🌾 6mo
vivastory @LeahBergen I'm curious about Laurence, are there any in particular that you would recommend? 6mo
Billypar @vivastory I'm the same way - slow to pick up stories in rural/Midwest settings. But it's true - no place has a monopoly on good fiction. 6mo
Billypar @merelybookish I love that Munro quote! 6mo
merelybookish @vivastory The Stone Angel or The Diviners are good places to start, imo. 🙂 6mo
merelybookish @LeahBergen Farmhouse noir. 👍 6mo
vivastory @merelybookish Thanks, I just added both to my TBR! I noticed Atwood reviewed Laurence's Jest of God in 6mo
merelybookish @vivastory There is also The Fire-Dwellers. They're all good (well I thought so in my early 20s when I read them). They are all part of the Manawaka Series, all set in the same town with some connected/overlapping characters. I would like to re-read so let me know if/when you decide to read one and I might join you. 6mo
vivastory @merelybookish I'm going to order The Stone Angel now. Want to plan on starting the beginning of July? (Would you be interested in joining us @LeahBergen ) 6mo
LeahBergen @vivastory Yes to @merelybookish ‘s suggestions! I would definitely start with The Stone Angel. I will skip reading along with you two on this one as it‘s pretty fresh in my memory but I‘ll jump in for any other Laurences you may read. 👍🏻 6mo
vivastory @LeahBergen Okay, I'll tag you before starting any future Laurence novels. Really looking forward to trying them out! 6mo
merelybookish @vivastory Sounds good! I will order a copy. 6mo
quietjenn @merelybookish thank you for those Laurence suggestions. You and @LeahBergen mentioning her definitely made me curious! 6mo
quietjenn I for sure felt like this was realistic. Just personally, I was very strongly reminded of families that I knew growing up, who lived in a similar setting. We were in the city, but I had country cousins we'd visit over the summer and, yeah. I recognize some of the dynamics here. 6mo
vivastory @quietjenn Feel free to join us! 6mo
quietjenn @vivastory I'll see if I can hunt down a copy. I told myself I was going to take a break from book buying, but that never last very long ... 6mo
batsy @LeahBergen Farmhouse noir is perfect! 👌🏾 6mo
batsy I love the "Norman Rockwell painting gone bad" description. It did feel kind of like a lowkey American Midwest gothic, at times. One of my favourite lines in the Grace chapter is, "The house was open to all the spirits; gravestones were shifting". I think this is very much the reality of the best kind domestic fiction. Dig deep enough to tell the truth about any family and you'll find all of this. 6mo
Reviewsbylola Uh first of all, the term farmhouse noir is AMAZING @LeahBergen , second, how harsh of Atwood! 6mo
35 likes27 comments
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Question 3: How are male characters treated in this book? Are they well-rounded characters with nuanced motivations and conflicts, or are they merely supporting actors, propping up the real work of the female characters? Does this change section to section?

vivastory I liked what I read on The Millions. “This novel is unique in that its single-gender point of view is not coalesced around a subject of the opposite gender.“ We do get glimpses of the men, but this is not their story & that's okay. I found it to be remarkable for an inversion of how much of an insight we get into the women's perspective, rather than the men's. Here's the link for the millions first person plural novels where I read the above: 6mo
Billypar I thought they were as well-drawn as the women. A pet peeve of mine for many novels that have violent or emotionally abusive male characters is how there is barely a character apart from that violence. Not so for Grandad and Neil - they have complicated and three dimensional awfulness. 6mo
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vivastory @Billypar Yes! There were major incidents that were related over a couple of paragraphs & then never really addressed again, although they seemed significant. Like Grandad running the Amish buggy off the road. It felt true to the way that families will ignore or barely acknowledge emotional & physical violence at times.. (edited) 6mo
emilyhaldi I found Uncle Dan to be a sympathetic character… this quote struck me- “Uncle Dan counting the years, planning that one day he would take another job, would move, that his life would begin.” It‘s so deeply sad and poignant and relatable. While we don‘t hear as much directly from the male perspective in this book, it‘s clear that the men all struggle with the hard lives they live and take it out on their family in different ways. 6mo
vivastory @emilyhaldi I forgot about Uncle Dan. I completely agree that he was a sympathetic character, I liked how he'd make popcorn & sit with them at night. 6mo
Liz_M The men were secondary characters, but not two dimensional. We see Dan, Grandad, and even Neil at different points in their lives and under different circumstances. We see how they are hurt by the various women in the family and also moments of tenderness. 6mo
GatheringBooks My initial response to the question was how female-centered the novel is, but reading @Billypar and @emilyhaldi ‘s responses reminded me of how “nuanced” the male characters are in all their hatefulness & normalized forms of abuse & violence. Even the male cousin had this streak & it was taken as a matter of course. Yet despite this nuance, they were peripheral, a “prop” to the storytelling, like anecdotes/back-stories that are good to know :) 6mo
Billypar @emilyhaldi Absolutely agree about Uncle Dan. He felt like such a real person to me, especially his understated sense of humor. 6mo
LeahBergen @emilyhaldi @vivastory Oh, yes! I momentarily forgot about Uncle Dan, too. He had such a sweetness about him that none of the other male characters had. 6mo
youneverarrived @Billypar this is one thing I really liked in the novel. Neil comes across at first very one dimensional, not a very likeable person but as the novel progresses you get more glimpses of him as a real person. I wouldn‘t say I warmed to him but I definitely saw him from a different angle. 6mo
quietjenn @youneverarrived @GatheringBooks @Billypar I really appreciated that about this book as well. It would've been so easy to portray these men as one-dimensional stereotypes or define then completely by their worst action or characteristic. 6mo
quietjenn I felt like the men were a thread, woven in and out of the book as necessary, but it's not their tale to tell. Although yes, Uncle Dan was the best of them! 6mo
vivastory @quietjenn I really like your analogy of them as a thread. I think that's really accurate! 6mo
batsy @quietjenn That's a lovely way to put it! 6mo
batsy I found the male characters well-drawn and complex, though they are secondary figures during the Queen of Persia's reign. Grandad was a very compelling malevolent figure—those sudden bouts of violence & aggression, then retreating into the background with his usual odd eating habits, etc. Feel like the formation of Gram's adult character was in response to the kind of man she had married, & it was well depicted in the book. 6mo
Reviewsbylola Definitely supporting characters. And I think that was intentional for multiple reasons. One reason is that men can often be seen as supportive characters in general when it comes to the running of a household. Our society, as well as many others, is steeped in the tradition of men not being involved in the running of a household and the child rearing. 6mo
28 likes17 comments
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Question 2: Chase tells the story using the first person plural. The narrative “we” adjusts throughout the book. For example, Celia is sometimes a part of it and sometimes not. Do these adjustments and
separations make sense to you? What do you make of the very end of the book in relation to the separation and cohesion of the narrative voice?

vivastory The use of the first person plural is so striking, it's what first drew me into this book. I found it to be very effective, although the girls at the center of the story are at different ages they are close enough to feel a common bond. 6mo
Billypar It felt authentic to me - it was less of a showy literary style than what it really feels like to be part of a family when someone does something at odds with 'the rest of us.' 6mo
vivastory I also loved this quote from O'Rourke's intro “The collective first-person narration could easily feel mannered, but here it is essential, a device that allows the book to move forward and backward in time fluidly, in an almost Faulknerian manner, foregrounding sensual perception over the rational armature of recollection, and underscoring the novel‘s preoccupation with memory. The book has a dreamlike quality of immersion, as if time were not a 6mo
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vivastory (cont.) river but a pool.“ 6mo
emilyhaldi I love that quote! @vivastory 6mo
vivastory @emilyhaldi I was reminded of Virgin Suicides while reading the book & this quote makes me think of VS too 6mo
merelybookish Lots of great points! It feels appropriate to adolescence in a way, when what your peer group thinks is so important, that you think as a group. This is doubly reinforced in this scenario when the peer group consists of relatives. I also have been thinking about the concept of a 'reign' and the royal we, although that usually applies to the monarch. 6mo
vivastory @merelybookish Your last point about the concept of a “reign.“ Do you feel like Chase explored the concept of her title satisfactorily in the book? (edited) 6mo
sarahbarnes Yes! Love all of these thoughts. I was fascinated by the narrative voice, too, and how it showed the collective. It felt intentional that you can‘t tell who is talking about different events - it doesn‘t seem to matter. 6mo
sarahbarnes I also think the point about Cecilia is interesting. She acts as though she wants to be separate from the collective at certain points in the story. And then at the end you see that Cecilia also needs the connection to the family collective. 6mo
vivastory @sarahbarnes If I remember correctly Celia is only 2 years older than the next oldest but when you are younger it does seem like the oldest, even if it's only by a couple of years, always feels significantly older. I agree about Celia needing the connection. 6mo
Liz_M Given that Grace's death is at the heart of the story, the first person plural is an effective method for both telling the story of the closeness of the family and its eventual dissolution with emotion, but also with enough distance to be only heartbreaking rather than devastating. 6mo
vivastory @Liz_M I completely agree. I was deeply moved by the passages towards the end dealing with this 6mo
GatheringBooks Love reading all your thoughts. I didn‘t even realize Celia was disentangled from the “we.” Initially, I thought it was jarring, but as @Billypar pointed out, it felt authentic and real. Like a chorus of voices sharing stories of bygone years, where one and another are perceived as indivisible. Or as the profound quote shared by @vivastory says, like a collective “pool” of memories or if we were to go Jungian: a collective consciousness of sorts. 6mo
GatheringBooks @Liz_M this is so spot-on. There is grief, yes, but as you pointed out “only heartbreaking rather than devastating.” There is always a sidestep, a counter-move, that seems to protect both reader and author from fully losing one‘s self in despair. Yet the anger and barely-reined-in hysteria can be discerned in the occasional outbursts and sibling attacks that seem near homicidal - but also a form of self-annihilation, with the collective “we” 6mo
vivastory @GatheringBooks I def got the sense of a collective consciousness from this perspective 6mo
LeahBergen I really thought I‘d find the first person plural narrative annoying at first but I rapidly found it imperative to the strength of this whole book. I can‘t imagine it being written any other way now! 6mo
merelybookish @vivastory I felt like the reign was over at the end, and a way of life was over. The land sold, ready to be developed into a strip mall. Individualistic, capitalistic, patriarchal society has taken over. 6mo
vivastory @LeahBergen This is such a great point! I think that a unique narrative voice does make it impossible to imagine the story being told in any other way. 6mo
vivastory @merelybookish Agreed. It felt a little wistful since it was being narrated from the pov of the younger characters, but Gram who was older felt relieved to not have quite as many responsibilities. Such a wonderful balance between the two! 6mo
quietjenn @merelybookish ah, that royal we is such a good point! 6mo
quietjenn Great points, everyone! Like @LeahBergen I thought I'd find the plural narrative a bit irksome initially, but it really is essential and I can't imagine any other way to tell this story. 6mo
batsy @merelybookish Great point on the royal "we", the monarch's reign, the citizens' collective power in numbers (I think I'm getting this book mixed up with our Shakespeare read ?). But yes, especially the passing of an era with what becomes of the house and the land and neoliberal modernisation. 6mo
batsy It took some getting used to at first & I felt it a bit jarring when we first entered the Grace and Neil section. But as @LeahBergen points out it was essential to the book & I found the use of that perspective very clever in a subtle way. It also maybe raises some points about how their togetherness—though it could be harmful (those fights!)—actually gave them strength. Celia was somewhat unmoored, being older & mysterious, but it came at a cost. 6mo
Reviewsbylola Omg @vivastory my mind immediately went to The Virgin Suicides too! I kept imagining the five sisters (mothers) as being the grown up versions of Eugenides‘ five sisters! 6mo
Reviewsbylola I‘m sure I would have been put off by a collective narrative had I known about it going in. Like @LeahBergen said, I can‘t imagine it being written any other way. 6mo
vivastory @Reviewsbylola I googled to see if Eugenides commented on the book & haven't been able to find anything, but for me the resemblance was too striking for him not to have read it at some point. Also, now I feel like rereading Virgin Suicides 😂 (edited) 6mo
Reviewsbylola The movie was my absolute favorite as a teenager. I liked the book too! @vivastory 6mo
26 likes28 comments
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Question 1: The book presents a cohesive clan, with Gram at the head. What do you make of the way Chase presents motherhood and mothering in this book? Does daughterhood ever take importance over motherhood?

Liz_M It's certainly a different view of motherhood (Parenthood) than modern, urban America. Knowing that my 12 year old nephew isn't allowed to bike to the park on his own, the freedom these young girls seem to have is strange. But I also remember long summer days of running wild with the neighborhood kids for hours on end, seemingly unsupervised, but mom always knew if we had really been misbehaving.... 6mo
Liz_M More to the point of the question, Gram was a force of personality and everyone is loyal to her -- the girls feel like they are betraying her when they spend time with grandad or their own father. 6mo
vivastory @Liz_M That's a really interesting point (rural vs urban childhoods). I grew up in a less urban setting & def had a lot more freedom than I would have had I grown up in a city. Gram's personality def was one of the most striking for me in the book. 6mo
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sarahbarnes Motherhood feels like a burden in many ways, and daughters are a source of stress, or they are held at a distance. Among them, the daughters have their own dynamics, which take precedence over the dynamics between daughters and mothers. 6mo
vivastory @sarahbarnes "daughters have their own dynamics.." this is such a great point & I think it's one of the things that makes it such a unique book 6mo
Reviewsbylola Ok, so I‘m only halfway through the book but I plan to finish tonight. I think it‘s a very accurate portrayal of motherhood. There is a burden involved that is especially heavy when all of the household responsibilities fall on the woman‘s shoulders. I think this family has a very close relationship, yet they‘re also separate due to societal familial distinctions. The women bind to the others in their “tier”. 6mo
Reviewsbylola And Gram is especially jaded, having lived the longest and having possibly the heaviest burden. 6mo
vivastory @Reviewsbylola That's a great point about Gram being jaded 6mo
arubabookwoman I'm dealing with some medical issues with my husband, and haven't been able to read much or participate on Litsy much. Sorry to miss this month's discussion. Hope things are resolved by next month's discussion. 6mo
GatheringBooks I really like this question. I thought that the sisterhood and daughterhood were definitely highlighted more than motherhood per se. i felt much more keenly the bonds among females/sisters/girl-cousins/aunts-nieces, more than mother and child. I also like @Liz_M‘s insights about diff types of childhood as defined by places/spaces. The childhood depicted in the novel is one that is definitely uncommon in this day and age. 6mo
arubabookwoman P.S. I love the paintings too! (edited) 6mo
DrexEdit I think the author presents cohesive sets of females rather than a family clan. The men never really seem to be part of the family, even when they are part of the family. And there are divisions between mothers and daughters with each age group not really understanding the others. I don't think daughterhood ever takes precedence over motherhood in the novel. Each mother generation thought they had life figured out best. 6mo
vivastory @arubabookwoman I'm so sorry to hear about the medical issues! Hope that things improve & I look forward to your posts! 6mo
GatheringBooks @arubabookwoman sending you lots of light and positive energies! 💕💕 6mo
LeahBergen @arubabookwoman So sorry to hear this! Sending ❤️❤️❤️. 6mo
emilyhaldi @arubabookwoman Hope that things improve for you soon ❤️ 6mo
quietjenn @arubabookwoman sending good thought your way. Hope things get better soon. 💙 6mo
quietjenn @GatheringBooks I very much felt this! The connections between mothers and daughters felt almost incidental, and the collective we def. contributed. The most significant relationships felt like those between the sisters (especially of the "middle" generation). But I did feel like the younger girls learned to define what it means to be a woman by observing their moms, aunts, and Gram. 6mo
Leftcoastzen @arubabookwoman hope things improve soon! 6mo
batsy Some really interesting points here! I thought the depiction of motherhood was a fraught one; certainly the loyalties between sisters & cousins, & between daughters/granddaughters & Gram, took precedence. The most "visible" form of mothering was Libby's intervention in Celia'a burgeoning romantic life. Because of how enmeshed they all were, it seemed like the mothering was collective...reminded me a lot of Asian extended families, in that sense. 6mo
batsy @arubabookwoman I'm sorry to hear about your husband's medical issues. I hope things improve very soon ❤️ 6mo
25 likes21 comments
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Taking a moment to share the reason my reading has been a bit lacking the past several months... Baby boy is coming at the end of summer 💙

Any relevant book recommendations are welcome!

julesG Congratulations!!! 6mo
LeahBergen Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 Congratulations!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉 6mo
SilversReviews Congratulations!!😀 6mo
See All 45 Comments
ErinSueMreads Congratulations! 6mo
Cinfhen Sooooooo exciting 💙💙💙💙💙love to the WHOLE family 6mo
Leftcoastzen Wow! congratulations!🎉 6mo
squirrelbrain Congratulations! ❤️❤️❤️ 6mo
MicheleinPhilly SQUEEEEE! Congrats! ❤️ 6mo
Librarybelle Congratulations! 6mo
vivastory Congratulations 🎊👏🎉 6mo
youneverarrived Congratulations!! 🥰🥰🥰 6mo
AmyG Congrats! How wonderful!!! 6mo
AkashaVampie Aww congrats. 6mo
OrangeMooseReads Congratulations!! 🎈🎉🎊 6mo
Copwithabook Congrats!! 6mo
Graciouswarriorprincess Congratulations! 6mo
Megabooks Congratulations!! 🎉🎉 6mo
sprainedbrain Congrats! ❤️ 6mo
JennyM Congratulations 🎉 6mo
quirkyreader Congratulations 🎆 6mo
Jas16 Congratulations!!! ❤️ 6mo
Bianca Congratulations!! 6mo
quietjenn Congratulations!!! 6mo
kyraleseberg Congratulations 💙 6mo
MaureenMc Congratulations! ❤️ 6mo
JenReadsAlot Congrats!! 🎉 6mo
batsy Congratulations! 💕 6mo
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick 💕Congratulations!💕 6mo
CarolynM Congratulations! That's lovely news. Look after yourself. 6mo
emilyhaldi Thank you 🥰 @Cinfhen This will be the first boy in my family so we‘re not quite sure what to do!! 😅 but very excited 6mo
britt_brooke So exciting! Congratulations! 6mo
BarbaraBB OMG, I just read this. What a wonderful news!! And due so soon! Are you showing yet? I‘m super happy for you and hope you are feeling well ❤️❤️ (edited) 6mo
BarbaraBB Oh and boys are much easier than girls. 😀 (edited) 6mo
Cinfhen That‘s right!!!! That‘s SO AWESOME 💙💙💙I‘m really excited for @Mdargusch and the whole family ~ hope you‘re feeling well, Em xxxx 6mo
emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB Thank you! I‘m definitely starting to show now- officially in the 3rd trimester this week! Love hearing that boys are easier than girls… I usually just hear how loud and rough they are 😅 but I‘m hoping to make him a mama‘s boy 🥰 6mo
BarbaraBB I am hoping for a silhouette picture of you one of these days ❤️ Boys may be loud but as baby‘s they are just that: a baby. While girls are girls from day one. And you know how complicated that can be 😀. But your family will be thrilled with a boy finally! So exciting! Enjoy these last months 🤍🤍 6mo
merelybookish How wonderful!! Congratulations! 6mo
Reviewsbylola Sweet baby 😍 6mo
ValerieAndBooks Congratulations 💙! One thing I learned from my first boy baby is this: you must have a cloth on his privates while changing diapers, or you might be surprised with a little fountain happening 😂 . Something I wasn‘t warned about by my mom, as I only have one sister. 6mo
emilyhaldi @ValerieAndBooks I‘ve heard that piece of advice from several friends with boys 😂 I‘m from a family of all girls too so this is very new to me! 😅 6mo
ValerieAndBooks I‘m glad you‘ve been informed 😂! None of my friends who had kids already warned us 😆. 6mo
Nute Delightful news! So much joy with every new child. Congratulations!!!💕 6mo
Bookzombie I‘m a little late to hear the news. Congratulations!! I‘m so happy for you! 💕 5mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I‘m very late seeing this!! Congratulations 💙 4mo
BarbaraBB How are you doing Emily? Looking forward to what probably can happen any day now? Wishing you all the best 💖 3mo
81 likes45 comments
Rabbits for Food | Binnie Kirshenbaum
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My best reading buddy, Herbie 🐶

LeahBergen Come ON! I can‘t take it. ❤️❤️ 6mo
MicheleinPhilly 😍😍😍 6mo
eanderson This picture is perfect. 6mo
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charl08 Aw. So cute. Do you need a dog sitter? 6mo
Simona Casual enjoying life ... ♥️ 6mo
Megabooks 💜💜💜 6mo
KarenUK Just gorgeous 😍😍😍😍😍 6mo
BarbaraBB So cute. Wonderful picture again! 6mo
Leftcoastzen How cute! 👏🐶 6mo
Gissy Ahhh🐶❤️❤️❤️ 6mo
batsy Aww! 😍😍 6mo
Kalalalatja 😍😍😍 6mo
Reviewsbylola He‘s probably lower maintenance than your upcoming reading partner. 😂 6mo
78 likes13 comments
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Dreaming of warmer days in Florida last week... still chilly back here in Ohio 😣
I loved this book! Compelling and unexpected and perfect for a day by the pool ⛱
Thanks to @BarbaraBB for inspiring this purchase!

vivastory Hope you enjoyed your vacation! I need to touch base with you about the NYRB discussion. Is your email address still the same? 7mo
emilyhaldi Yes it‘s still the same! @vivastory reach out anytime- I‘m just starting the book today 🤗 7mo
BarbaraBB I‘m so happy you liked it. This book needs more praise 😉! And how wonderful to have been to Florida and the sun. I‘m aching for some summer too. Netherlands are probably as chilly as Ohio. Waiting for sun and a vaccin 😀 7mo
vivastory Great! I messaged you. 7mo
emilyhaldi I agree!! @BarbaraBB I was totally surprised by how much I loved this book- the writing was less cheesy than I for some reason anticipated. I hope she comes out with more books. And hope you get that vaccine & sunshine soon 🙏🏻✨ 6mo
68 likes5 comments
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A little dry in parts, but entertaining enough to listen mostly on audio. Hard to believe somewhere around 12,000 Londoners were killed by the great fog of 1952 😵


BarbaraBB Great pic again 😍 7mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 7mo
Reviewsbylola Such a great book! 7mo
Reviewsbylola And I know, isn‘t it nuts?! I assume this incident is well known in Europe, but I had no idea! 7mo
60 likes2 stack adds4 comments
Death in Her Hands | Ottessa Moshfegh
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This was a slow burn but the ending has lingered with me for a while... It reminded me a lot of Drive your Plow over the Bones of the Dead, but I preferred this. Written beautifully and with just enough creepiness & quirk.

This checks off my April #bookspin pick for #bookspinbingo

BarbaraBB Yes! I felt the comparison between those two too. Both are so good 💚 7mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 7mo
Reviewsbylola I didn‘t realize she had a new(ish) book. Not sure how I missed it! 7mo
77 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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What‘s happier than book mail on a lazy Wednesday! 🤗 Thank you Cindy for sending this my way... even if I‘m not sure how excited I should be to read it 😆

Cinfhen Ugh, I really hated this book...sorry xx but the book cover is awesomeness 7mo
BarbaraBB Fun post ❤️ 7mo
Reviewsbylola Oooh I want to borrow! All I can think of when I hear “dog walkers in NYC” is that crazy lady who called police on the black bird watcher saying he was threatening her because he told her to leash her dog. 😣 7mo
51 likes3 comments
Sisters | Daisy Johnson
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10 days into April and I‘ve read... 1 book. This tale of 2 sisters deeply intertwined in each other‘s lives was a slow burn. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

MicheleinPhilly I hear you. My reading this year has been 💩. I still have this one on my shelves. 8mo
JenReadsAlot Same... maybe finishing another today 🤷‍♀️ 8mo
BarbaraBB I‘m glad it was a 4 star read nevertheless! 8mo
sarahbarnes I loved this one too! 8mo
Reviewsbylola This one intrigues me. 8mo
74 likes5 comments
Sisters | Daisy Johnson
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Current read influenced by @BarbaraBB 😊 I‘m enjoying the creepy mood so far...

Megabooks It took awhile for me to get into this, but I ended up really enjoying it! 8mo
BarbaraBB I liked it a lot indeed but I have forgotten by now why or what it was about 🤦🏻‍♀️ (edited) 8mo
LeahBergen Who put Baby in the corner? 😆❤️❤️ 8mo
See All 8 Comments
emilyhaldi LOL @BarbaraBB wasn‘t it a favorite of 2020?! 8mo
emilyhaldi @LeahBergen 😂😂 I promise not me! He loves sleeping in that corner by the porch door, I think bc it‘s cooler and he‘s hot with all that fur 🐶💦 8mo
MicheleinPhilly He looks like he is in time out. 😂 8mo
BarbaraBB Yes it was... 🤣 8mo
Cathythoughts Is he guarding you ? Good boy 8mo
75 likes8 comments
Rabbits for Food | Binnie Kirshenbaum
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Ready to go 🤓

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 8mo
BarbaraBB Such a great list of books! 8mo
65 likes2 comments
Spring | Ali Smith
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Well I didn‘t get to my #bookspin choice 🤨 (tagged) but I did read the #doublebookspin as well as a few others... I had a hard time concentrating this month 😣 but going to try again for April!

TheSpineView Still a very good showing! 👍 8mo
CoverToCoverGirl Well done!👏🏻 8mo
TheAromaofBooks Yay!! Great month!! 8mo
Reviewsbylola You did awesome! 8mo
emilyhaldi LOL I thought March was bad!! @Reviewsbylola I‘ve read 1 book so far in April and might just be able to start a second one today... 🥴 7mo
60 likes5 comments
My Friends | Emmanuel Bove, Janet Louth
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Ok friends, I‘ve pulled 3 NYRB classics off my shelf as nominees for May‘s #NYRBbookclub selection 🤓 Vote away!!

arubabookwoman I'm going to vote for During the Reign of the Queen of Persia. 8mo
See All 25 Comments
Leftcoastzen Wow again I will not be disappointed by any of these but my pick is 8mo
merelybookish A comparison to Marilynne Robinson? Yes please! 8mo
GatheringBooks Thank you so much for having this up early! 💕💕📚📚📚🧚🏼‍♀️🧚🏼‍♀️🧚🏼‍♀️ 8mo
sarahbarnes Such great picks off your shelf! I vote for 8mo
LeahBergen Ooo, this is a toughie. 🤔 I‘ll vote for 8mo
daena Great choices! I‘ll got with 8mo
Liz_M I don't any of these, but they all look good! I am voting for the title I have almost bought several times: During the Reign of the Queen of Persia (edited) 8mo
BarbaraBB Somehow that Williams cover reminds me of Skylark! However, my vote goes to the one I‘m having on my shelves too: 8mo
vivastory Stellar choices!! I'm going with During the Reign of the Queen of Persia 8mo
catebutler These were so hard to choose from! My vote is for, During the Reign of the Queen of Persia. 8mo
emilyhaldi Wow, the vote seems to be unanimous so far... 😯 8mo
Reviewsbylola 100% Persia! 8mo
saresmoore I would vote for Persia, but I‘m intrigued by the Williams debut, so just to be obstinate... 8mo
youneverarrived Looks like a clear choice already but I love the sound of 8mo
quietjenn Oh, I've been eyeing Persia for ages, so will vote for 8mo
Billypar I was on the fence between the Chase and the Bove, but seeing the votes is helping my choice! 8mo
Suet624 Queen of Persia!!!!! 8mo
sprainedbrain I‘m going to vote for Queen of Persia too... peer pressure! 😉 8mo
sisilia I‘ve read all of them, but curious to know what you all think about Queen of Persia. So I vote for that 8mo
batsy Nice picks! Yay for Queen of Persia as it's already one I own 🎉 My Friends sounds really interesting, too. 8mo
52 likes25 comments
Little Weirds | Jenny Slate
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First quarter of #booked2021 complete! I tried to stick to Winter prompts only but got off the beaten track for 1 🙃 Clockwise from top left:
1. Set in Australia
2. Authors first name starts with A, B, or C
3. NF Science by a Woman
4. Translated into English
5. Baked Goods on Cover
6. #Covidheroes: Dr or Nurse MC

Thanks as always to our lovely hosts for the reading inspo!!

Reviewsbylola 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 8mo
EvieBee Nicely done! What did you think of ... 8mo
emilyhaldi @EvieBee I had such high hopes for it! Unfortunately, I really didn‘t enjoy the story and finally bailed about 70% of the way through 🥱 8mo
See All 6 Comments
EvieBee @emilyhaldi Me too!! But I didn‘t get that far. 🤣🤢 8mo
Cinfhen I bailed on Boy too @EvieBee and way before 70% mark 8mo
Cinfhen Woohoo ❣️❣️❣️You have until midnight, April 3 to fill out the first quarter form to be entered in our drawing ?
50 likes6 comments
Breasts and Eggs | Mieko Kawakami
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I think I‘ve read 50 pages in the last week. Lately I just cannot find the concentration to sit down and read!!! Trying to park myself here on the side porch and make some progress.. 🥴

Adventures-of-a-French-Reader It happens sometimes... My advice would be to create the moment: set up a nice reading place, with a nice drink, and disconnect from the digital world, while trying to prepare your mind in advance to that set time of reading. It helps me, especially when life happens. But it is also important sometimes to just be kind to oneself, and not feel guilty about things we end up not doing. 8mo
TheLibrarian 100% what @Bookish.juju said! 8mo
BarbaraBB I wonder if this book will tempt you back into your reading mojo 🤷🏻‍♀️ 8mo
emilyhaldi Love this advice! @Bookish.juju It definitely helps me to establish a cozy area with an allotted time and a nice drink doesn‘t hurt ☕️ I made a little progress yesterday, doing to try again today! 8mo
Reviewsbylola I had that problem too. Good luck! 8mo
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Piranesi | Susanna Clarke
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My favorite of all the #tob reads! I loved getting lost in the magical world of Piranesi ✨

Kalalalatja I was so surprised by it! 9mo
BarbaraBB Wow! Your favorite! I loved it too and keep visualizing those spaces. 9mo
BarbaraBB You want to make a change on your form? 9mo
See All 9 Comments
Megabooks It is a unique book! 9mo
batsy It's so good ❤️ 9mo
emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB I actually picked this as the winner when I did my form (at least I thought so...)! Finished it beforehand, just late to posting my review 🤪 9mo
BarbaraBB Yeah you‘re right! 9mo
Reviewsbylola Really?!? You liked this??? Would I?!? 8mo
emilyhaldi You might! @Reviewsbylola I thought it was the perfect escape from reality 🤩 give it a try! 8mo
69 likes9 comments
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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60% of the way through and I am still bored out of my mind! It‘s a bail for me...
Still counting it! ✅ #booked21 #setinAustralia

MicheleinPhilly It‘s a real shame cause it‘s so pretty! 9mo
Kalalalatja I‘m loving the cover, but too bad about the content! 9mo
LeeRHarry I bailed after 30 pages - some people really like it some don‘t- I had been putting off reading it since it came out but as it is this month‘s irl bookgroup pick I thought I‘d better give it a go 🤷🏼‍♀️ 9mo
See All 7 Comments
Reviewsbylola 60% is admirable! 9mo
CarolynM I would have bailed before that point except I was reading it for my book group. I agree about it being boring. I just never believed in it at all. People love it and I really don't understand why😬☹️ @LeeRHarry 9mo
LeeRHarry @CarolynM me neither - I‘ll be interested to hear what the rest of my bookgroup thinks ! 9mo
CarolynM @LeeRHarry One person in my group felt the same as me, everyone else really liked it😳😩 I'd love to know how your group feels. 9mo
72 likes7 comments
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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I love to read in the morning with my cup of coffee, but these knuckleheads are quite the distracting duo today 🐶😼 They‘re always going at it- wrestling, rolling around, batting each other on the head... it‘s a blossoming friendship 😆

batsy Great photo 😆 9mo
MsMelissa Love this photo 🥰 9mo
Readergrrl That is so cute! 9mo
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squirrelbrain Love it! ❤️ 9mo
Julsmarshall Such cuties! 9mo
Soubhiville I love a good cross species wrestling match 🤣. Great photo! 9mo
TrishB Great pic ❤️ 9mo
MaureenMc 😂😂 9mo
nanuska_153 The dog's face 😂😂😂😂 9mo
sarahbarnes That looks intense! 😂 9mo
Eggs What a great photo 🐶🐱🐶🐱 9mo
mdemanatee This picture is gold. 9mo
Simona Perfect captured moment! 9mo
LeahBergen This is the best 😆😆 9mo
youneverarrived 😂😂 brilliantly captured 😆 9mo
Magpiegem That picture made me laugh out loud 😂 9mo
Cathythoughts Great picture 9mo
Bookzombie What a great photo! 💕🐈‍⬛🐶 9mo
Reviewsbylola Yeah, Winky sure looks like she‘s feeling friendly. 9mo
89 likes19 comments
Spring | Ali Smith
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March Bingo card ready to go! Really excited to read the tagged book for #bookspin 🌷 as well as #doublebookspin , Breasts and Eggs, once it arrives from book depository 😅 And I‘ve finished one very strategically placed book yesterday 😉

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! Looks great!!! 9mo
Reviewsbylola Omg I hope you get to When Breath Becomes Air. I‘ve read it three times. ❤️ 9mo
emilyhaldi @Reviewsbylola I started it this morning 🥲 9mo
48 likes3 comments
Milkman | Anna Burns
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I‘m going to go ahead and give this #bookspinbingo a try for March and see if it inspires more reading! Excited to see how many books I can cross off this list 🤓

merelybookish If you only read The Milkman off this list, it will be a good reading month! 9mo
vivastory I think you should go for all 20 9mo
MeganAnn You have lovely handwriting! Looks like a great list 😍 9mo
See All 9 Comments
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! Glad to have you along!! 9mo
LeahBergen A Persephone? 👏🏻 9mo
emilyhaldi It felt like a necessary addition @LeahBergen 9mo
emilyhaldi That‘s what I hear!! I‘m looking forward to it 🤩 @merelybookish 9mo
Reviewsbylola I‘m ready to see your bingo card!! 9mo
nathandrake1997 MILKMAN ❤️ 9mo
65 likes9 comments
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Oh this book! 😭 One that requires some underlining of passages and a moment at the end to really soak it in. Poignant ✨


vivastory Lovely flowers! I agree, it's a short but memorable read! 9mo
catebutler I‘m so glad you enjoyed it! I can‘t wait to discuss on Sunday!! 9mo
LeahBergen Right? 😭 9mo
See All 9 Comments
Come-read-with-me Sounds like a good read! Stacked! Love the tulips. They seem fitting for a poignant story. 9mo
BarbaraBB Wonderful pic. I read this book so long ago I unfortunately remember hardly anything anymore 9mo
Tamra It‘s definitely a keeper! 9mo
batsy Gorgeous photo 😍 9mo
Reviewsbylola I think I‘m going to start this tonight. 9mo
catebutler Yes, I agree completely with your comments. ☺️ 9mo
84 likes1 stack add9 comments
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Taking a little break from my #tob reading list to get to this month‘s NYRBBookClub pick 😊

Maria514626 This sounds amazing! 9mo
kspenmoll Lovely cover! 9mo
vivastory I hope you like this one! 9mo
83 likes3 comments
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This totally worked for me! The format and humor felt fresh and still very insightful. My favorite of #tob so far 🏆

vivastory I really liked this one. His screenwriting experience from Westworld really seemed to have paid off here 9mo
BarbaraBB One of my two favorites too so far. We really are in sync! 9mo
Cathythoughts Oh good to hear ! Ordering later 👍🏻😁 9mo
See All 13 Comments
emilyhaldi @vivastory I didn‘t know about the screenwriting experience!! That makes so much sense 9mo
emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB which other one is your current fav!? 9mo
BarbaraBB But I just started Transcedent Kingdom and that is very promoting too! 9mo
emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB Well were only somewhat aligned then I guess 😬 I just gave Tender is the Flesh ⭐️⭐️ it just didn‘t work for me! I am halfway through Transcendent Kingdom at the moment- I think I like it?? But I‘m not dying to pick it up again 🥴 9mo
BarbaraBB Oh no! Then you‘ll probably like Shuggie Bain which I have mixed feelings about 😉. And I am really enjoying TK. 9mo
BarbaraBB Oh I just read your comment on my review. We‘re back in sync lol 😂 9mo
Reviewsbylola If you bought this then I‘ll borrow it. Thx. 9mo
emilyhaldi Yes you can borrow!! @Reviewsbylola 9mo
87 likes2 stack adds13 comments
A Children's Bible | Lydia Millet
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Nope 🙅🏻‍♀️
If I had known the premise of this book I would never have picked it up at all... just doesn‘t work for me!

Lindy Too bad. I thought it was great! To each her own… 10mo
emilyhaldi I know so many loved it! @Lindy but I know what I like and this ain‘t it 😆 I‘m glad you enjoyed! 10mo
Kalalalatja I wouldn‘t have picked it up if it wasn‘t for the #ToB21, either 10mo
See All 8 Comments
BarbaraBB It‘ll probably be my next read #ToB21 book but your review is another one quite discouraging. 10mo
BarbaraBB By the way those playlists are awesome 💃 10mo
emilyhaldi So many people loved this one @BarbaraBB so it could just be me... The Bible references just didn‘t help me get past the outlandish premise 😏 I‘m glad you‘re enjoying the playlists!!! 🎶🎶🎶 10mo
Reviewsbylola I do like post apocalyptic novels a lot but this sounds a bit preachy. 10mo
Cinfhen This was weird AF and it DID get preachy @Reviewsbylola / at least it was short 9mo
65 likes1 stack add8 comments
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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I love music, but my husband is the real enthusiast. He listens to just about everything, but since he worked for DefJam for years, hip hop is his true passion. ?
When we first started dating about 10 years ago he wooed me by making me playlists every few months- 1 hip hop and 1 “other". At the end of last year we made it to his 50th round of playlists for me ? He was quite excited as you can see in the title ?
#galentine #bestbuddyread

charl08 Aw, this is such a cute story. 😍 10mo
emilyhaldi What‘s better than a mix tape from your crush?? 🥰💽 (damn no cassette tape emoji!) @charl08 10mo
CocoReads That‘s awesome! 😍 10mo
See All 16 Comments
Cinfhen That‘s awesome!!! And DefJam is serious business 🙌🏻🎶lucky u 10mo
LeahBergen Aww!! 😍😍😍 10mo
TrishB That‘s so cool ♥️ 10mo
Reviewsbylola Lolol he‘s cute 10mo
BarbaraBB It‘s über cool. Girls love DJs! The playlists look fantastic. Can you share a link or are they really intimate ??? And what does MiHo mean? Or am I asking way too many questions ?? (edited) 10mo
Kalalalatja Such a cool and sweet thing to do! 👌 10mo
batsy Aww! I love this 💖 10mo
Tanisha_A Sooooo sweet! 😍 10mo
emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB would love to share!! Definitely not too intimate 😆 I‘ll copy the link for the most recent playlist but then you can go to my husband‘s profile and check out the others too if you‘re so inclined (he would love it 😉). As for Miho... it‘s a character from Sin City and I have no idea why my husband sometimes uses it as my nickname 😂 https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4P9dwEqz3nZl7oByejsElQ?si=0kHG7wNYQm6sL_b7DKp2... 10mo
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick How awesome! I love a good mixtape/playlist. 10mo
BarbaraBB Thanks so much and your husband too - this is awesome!! Really really like them! ❤️❤️ 10mo
Suet624 This is what is so cool about Litsy... now I get to follow your husband‘s mixes! 9mo
emilyhaldi So fun!!! @Suet624 9mo
63 likes16 comments
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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I‘m a day behind but joining in for #galantine #bestbuddyread anyways!!
Some of my favorite peeps starting at the top... my best friends at my wedding👰🏻‍♀️, my hubs and me on our last vacation exactly 1 year ago 🥲, sisters!, mom & dad, my sweet nieces, and of course little Herbie 🐶

Yearning for the days when I can travel again to see all of my friends, most of whom are still in NY ❤️

TrishB I hear you ♥️ vacations and friends I‘m really missing!! 10mo
Cinfhen Ahhhhhh, THE FAM 🥰🥰🥰and awesome wedding photo 10mo
Cinfhen And I really hear ya on the traveling and visiting friends 😢😢😢 and family @TrishB 10mo
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MicheleinPhilly Ah, vacations - I remember them well. ☹️ 10mo
AmyG Beautiful! 10mo
TrishB @Cinfhen @MicheleinPhilly I find it‘s best not to think about what you‘re missing because it‘s a steady downward spiral! But I‘m definitely fed up of Groundhog Day! 10mo
LeahBergen So lovely!! ❤️💗❤️💗 10mo
Cinfhen Ha, TRUTH @TrishB 10mo
Cathythoughts 💫💫💫 10mo
Reviewsbylola Those are cute pics! 10mo
BarbaraBB What a great pics! Always good to see your family and you and your friends look like they would fit in our Italian bar 😉😘 10mo
CarolynM Lovely photos😍 10mo
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick Great photos Emily! 10mo
kspenmoll Love your photos! I hope travel happens soon- maybe summer? Fall? 9mo
65 likes14 comments
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Feelings are very mixed on this one 🥴
I loved the atmosphere of 1930‘s NYC and found some of the character storylines fun to follow... but boy were there a LOT!
I skimmed through much of the second half, but the ending almost made me wish I hadn‘t 😆 Eager to discuss this weekend!
#galentine #bestbuddyread

BarbaraBB I felt the same. It suddenly made sense but I had a hard time getting there! 10mo
TheBookHippie I read this quite a long time ago I remember feeling that way and went back and reread the second part. Enjoy your discussion! Also I kept notes while reading ! BHAHAHA. 10mo
Cinfhen Seems like everyone had a similar reading experience ~ discussion should be really good 10mo
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Cinfhen Do you want us to tag you for discussion @TheBookHippie ??? 10mo
TheBookHippie @Cinfhen ha sure I‘d love to see what you guys thought ! (edited) 10mo
Kalalalatja Echoing @BarbaraBB ☝️ 10mo
Cinfhen Great @TheBookHippie I‘m tagging @BarbaraBB so she can add you to the list 💜 10mo
Reviewsbylola I never got around to this one. 🤷🏼‍♀️ 10mo
emilyhaldi @Reviewsbylola you didn‘t miss much IMO 😉 10mo
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The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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When I picked this book up at the library a few days ago, the librarian told me she always has a laugh when she sees it... when she was a little girl (in the 1960‘s) her mother had a book club and let her read whatever books she brought home-including this one. She recalls this book taught her all she ever needed to know about the birds and the bees 😂 And now 2 chapters in, I can see what she meant!
#galentine #bestbuddyread

Cinfhen Right!! I‘m sure this was SCANDALOUS back in the 60‘s!!!!! 10mo
LeahBergen Ooo, dirty business. I can‘t wait to start. 😆😆 10mo
emilyhaldi Totally scandalous!!! @Cinfhen 10mo
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emilyhaldi @LeahBergen it‘s labeled as “Romance” by my library, which I only now realized... very dirty business 🔥😆 10mo
LeahBergen 😆😆 10mo
Reviewsbylola I need to borrow when you‘re done!! 10mo
Reviewsbylola NM, just saw it‘s a library book. 🤦🏼‍♀️ 10mo
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I wasn‘t sure about the premise of this book, but I‘m one story in and hooked!!! Thanks for the recommendation @Reviewsbylola ☺️

TrishB Awwwww 🐶💜 10mo
Librariana I'm not gonna lie, @emilyhaldi... I am *especially* distracted by that incredibly adorable ball of floof and cuteness that is next to your book 😍🥰❤🐶 10mo
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aa_guer2021 ❤️😻 10mo
TheLudicReader That puppy! 10mo
emilyhaldi @Librariana I‘m quite distracted by him most of the time as well 😂 10mo
LeahBergen Nope. I can‘t. 😫😫 I LOVE HIM. 10mo
Simona 😍😍😍 10mo
batsy You might be talking about a book, I think? All I can focus on is that ridiculous ball of fluff 😆😍😍 10mo
keithmalek What an adorable puppy!!!!! 8mo
88 likes11 comments
The House Behind the Cedars | Charles W. Chesnutt
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Sweet birthday drop-off from @Reviewsbylola 😍

Crazeedi Happy birthday!!🎉🎁🎊📚 10mo
BarbaraBB Wonderful gift and a gorgeous picture 💕 10mo
Kalalalatja Lovely photo 👌 hope you had a great day 💕 10mo
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Reviewsbylola I did a good job. 😘 10mo
Megabooks Enjoy!! 🎉📚 10mo
MicheleinPhilly Happy Birthday!!! 10mo
68 likes6 comments
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Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes yesterday! It was one of my favorites... thanks to this new member of the family 🐶
Meet Herbie the mini Bernese mountain dog. He makes reading a tad difficult at the moment but he loves a good snuggle 🥰

Oryx He's gorgeous 10mo
Kalalalatja That face 😍😍😍 10mo
Booksnchill What a handsome fella!!! 10mo
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Cathythoughts Gorgeous 💕 10mo
squirrelbrain How cute is he?! 10mo
LibrarianRyan He is going to be such a big baby. 10mo
TheSpineView Adorable! 10mo
mcipher We had a Bernese growing up - best dogs ever!!! Congrats and happy birthday!! 10mo
suvata Too cute 🥰 10mo
AmyG Adorable! Happy Birthday 🎂 10mo
TrishB Gorgeous 🐶♥️ 10mo
BarbaraBB Happy birthday 🎈 and what a cute doggie 🐶 10mo
UwannaPublishme Awwww!❤️ 10mo
MicheleinPhilly AAAH! I literally just screamed out loud. I love him. Happy Belated Birthday! 10mo
mom2bugnbee Berners are AWESOME! So happy for you! 10mo
Erinreadsthebooks So cute! 😍🤗 10mo
candority Oh my goodness, he is precious! 😍🐶Happy belated birthday 🥳 10mo
Lcsmcat Awww! I‘m a cat person but even I think he‘s adorable !!! 10mo
Amandajoy He‘s so cute! 10mo
OrangeMooseReads OH MY GOD HE‘S ADORABLE!!! Sorry for the caps I love Bernese. Happy Birthday!!! 10mo
LeahBergen Whaaaaaat???? Omg, I can‘t stand it!!!! I love him, I love him, I love him!!!!! 10mo
sblbooks That has to be the cutest puppy I've ever seen! Happy belated birthday! 10mo
Laughterhp Oh my goodness. How adorable! One of my favorite dogs 💚 Happy belated birthday! 10mo
Megabooks Congratulations Emily!! What a cutie!! ❤️😍 10mo
batsy Omg Herbie!!! 😍😍 10mo
Reviewsbylola God could he be any cuter?! 10mo
ValerieAndBooks So cute 😍! And happy birthday!! 10mo
mrozzz 😍😍😍😍 10mo
101 likes29 comments
Telephone | Percival Everett
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This really speaks to me 😆

LeahBergen Yep. 😆 11mo
Reviewsbylola 😂😂 I can‘t tell whether I agree or find it a tad too pessimistic. 11mo
Megabooks Great quote! I‘m still thinking about this book. 11mo
See All 9 Comments
batsy Same 😂 11mo
BarbaraBB I hope you like the book. I did enjoy it a lot although the ending felt a bit hasty. 11mo
LeahBergen Happy Birthday, my friend! I hope you have a lovely day! 📚❤️📚❤️ 11mo
batsy Happy birthday! Have a fabulous one 🎈🧁📚📚 10mo
emilyhaldi Thank you both sweet friends!!! ❤️ @LeahBergen @batsy 10mo
cariashley I just started this and SAME. Happy belated! 10mo
81 likes9 comments
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Currently reading...and trying to decide if it‘s the right book for my current mindset. It‘s a bit too real 😷

Soubhiville Wow, crazy cover! 11mo
BiblioLitten What @Soubhiville said! 😮 11mo
IamIamIam 👍👍 Ditto, @Soubhiville @BiblioLitten !!!! 11mo
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ChasingOm This sounds amazing!!! 11mo
mdemanatee I read an ARC right after first Chicago lockdown like “whelp this hits different than it was probably meant to“ 11mo
emilyhaldi Right?? @mdemanatee this book was published in May 2020, which is still a bit early considering some of the points re:pandemic that the author hits on quite accurately... it‘s easy to imagine that things could start getting as scary as the book (underground markets, mandatory government health tests, etc...) 😦 11mo
MicheleinPhilly That cover is wild! Naturally, I‘m intrigued. 11mo
Reviewsbylola I may need to borrow this when you‘re done. I LOVE pandemic books and the cover is 😍😍 11mo
emilyhaldi Lol I‘m done @Reviewsbylola skimmed through a lot of it so that I could get it over with today 😂 i will drop it at your house sometime this week! 11mo
Reviewsbylola So are you saying it sucked? 11mo
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Shuggie Bain | Douglas Stuart
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Did not live up to the hype for me...
And while Shuggie is certainly an endearing character, I‘m not clear on why he was chosen as the book‘s namesake. His mother Agnes is the center of the story and actually I think I would have preferred if she had remained the sole focus throughout. Still a pick!

vivastory I def agree that the focus is on Agnes. This is one I have appreciated more now that more time has passed since I read it. 11mo
BarbaraBB Oh, interesting that you are not as blown away as everyone else. I wasn‘t attracted to this book at all but read so many raving reviews. Now I‘m am hesitating again... 11mo
8little_paws I also really liked it, and consider it a pick, but I can think of many, many books I read this year that I favored more.
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Reviewsbylola So you didn‘t hate it? 11mo
emilyhaldi No I liked it... just too hyped @Reviewsbylola (edited) 11mo
britt_brooke Fair review. Def overhyped. 10mo
82 likes6 comments
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Was able to snag this one on audio as well, so I am listening while I take down the tree 🎄🙃

Cinfhen Ohhhh, this sounds good! Another book I‘m adding to my #AudioTBR 11mo
BarbaraBB I have to take down my tree too. It always makes me a little sad. Yours still looks great by the way! 11mo
Reviewsbylola Damn take that tree down! 11mo
emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB Thanks! It‘s very bittersweet for sure 🥲 11mo
emilyhaldi @Reviewsbylola some of us don‘t have to share the living room space with mountains of children‘s toys 😂 and enjoy keeping the tree up ✨ 11mo
60 likes5 comments
The Sisters Brothers | Patrick DeWitt
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Finally narrowed down my #20best2020 list 🎊
There are a couple that I can‘t believe were read THIS year!! I devoured Into Thin Air in January during my beach vacation... back when I was young and naive and life was good 🍹🏝
We did get a lot of reading time this year though, didn‘t we! 😅

Cinfhen Oh wow!! This is a very scholarly list 🙌🏻love it!!! So many NYRB editions😁And yes, Covid gave us more indoor time, which definitely upped my reading year ☺️ 11mo
LeahBergen Ooo, some of my faves are here! 👏🏻👏🏻 11mo
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BarbaraBB We love such similar books! I have read 12 of these so will have to tackle the others! Especially interested in Lucy Gayheart, Wish her Safe at Home and Begin Again. 11mo
Jess Wow, what a great reading year for you! French Exit really surprised me and I can‘t wait for the movie. 11mo
emilyhaldi @Jess when I think back on my favorites, French Exit is really up there & Sisters Brothers is in the top 3!!! If you haven‘t read that one yet give it a try. 11mo
emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB I agree we seem to have similar reading tastes! I will be reading several of your recommendations over the coming weeks 🤗 11mo
BarbaraBB Looking forward to another year comparing books with you. Have a happy new year Em 💚🍾🍀 11mo
batsy To the Lighthouse, Persuasion, Lucy Gayheart and Jane Eyre 😍 Wonderful selection here. 11mo
emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB Happy New Year to you!! 🪅🍾🎊 11mo
emilyhaldi @batsy I tried to get some good classics in the mix this year 🤓 To the Lighthouse was a surprise fav!!! 11mo
Reviewsbylola Into Thin Air was phenomenal! 11mo
65 likes12 comments
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That feeling when all of your library holds come in at once 🥴

Bottom 3 books from @Reviewsbylola #newyearwhodis recommendations.
Everything else for ToB... I‘ve got some reading to do!

LeahBergen Oopsie. 😆 11mo
BarbaraBB Great stack! I loved 11mo
Kalalalatja I enjoyed this 👉 11mo
Reviewsbylola 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 11mo
Cinfhen Wowza!!!! Im curious to hear your thoughts on 11mo
70 likes5 comments
The Liar | Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
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And with my final book of 2020 finished today, I completed #booked2020 🎉
✅Makes you LOL- My Family & Other Animals
✅About Genocide- Ordinary Men
✅Animal on Cover- Owen Meany
#wineorwhine- The Liar
✅Gothic Horror- Dracula
✅Bottom of your TBR-Frog Music

BarbaraBB Did you like Owen Meany? 11mo
emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB Can I be honest?? I don‘t hate many things but I hated Owen meany 🤭 It seems to be very loved on Litsy but Owen drove me nuts!! I alternated between audio and print and the audio squeaky voice was too much for me....perhaps if I did print only I would have felt differently??? (edited) 11mo
Cinfhen Woohoo 🎉 🙌🏻
congrats on completing #Booked2020 💗This is your #OfficialFinalEntry 🎊WELL DONE 😁🌈🥳
See All 9 Comments
Cinfhen I LOVED Owen but THE LIAR was HORRIBLE 😖😫 11mo
BarbaraBB Owen on audio must be horrible! That voice! In print it already drove me crazy (all those capitals!). My husband literally threw the book in a corner and I couldn‘t blame him. But I ended up loving the book. That was a long long time ago though. 🤷🏻‍♀️😀 11mo
emilyhaldi I think I threw the book at one point too!!! I was certainly yelling obscenities 🤣🤣 @BarbaraBB 11mo
emilyhaldi @Cinfhen something we can agree on!!! I think The Liar is my most hated book EVER!!! It makes you wonder how some books make it to publishing?!?!? 🤮 11mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage Great job! Sorry it was such a mixed bunch! 📚♥️🎉 11mo
Reviewsbylola The Liar was truly incredible, as far as how bad it was. 11mo
58 likes9 comments
My Family and Other Animals | Gerald Durrell, Jocelyn Potter
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Gerry‘s tales of growing up on the island of Corfu are delightful and almost too crazy to be true. But the real hero of the book is his Mother, who I can only imagine must have been taking a steady stream of quaaludes in order to take in stride the antics of her moody teenagers while simultaneously allowing her house to be overrun with wild animals as pets 🐸🐶🦅🪱🕷🦂🐍🐢

LeahBergen I loved this book (and its sequels)! 11mo
BarbaraBB Need to get this! It‘s on your best of 2020 list right? 11mo
emilyhaldi Yes!!! Going to publish my list tomorrow @BarbaraBB 😅 11mo
See All 8 Comments
emilyhaldi @LeahBergen I will definitely be picking up the sequels!! Need to know more about where these bizarre individuals ended up... 11mo
vivastory I'm looking forward to your best of the year list! 👏👏 11mo
Cinfhen Gorgeous edition 11mo
Reviewsbylola Is this a folio?! 11mo
emilyhaldi Yes it‘s really beautiful!! @Reviewsbylola 11mo
56 likes8 comments
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3 lovely Christmas 🎁 and 1 mischievous outdoor cat (who is scheming how else to terrorize the house and it‘s inhabitants in revolt against icy snow & freezing temps 😼)

Mitch What a beauty xxxx 11mo
Cinfhen Great photo 🥰 11mo
emilyhaldi @Cinfhen the tree makes everything prettier so I‘m making good use while I have it! 🎄✨ 11mo
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emilyhaldi Oh and the cat is ok too 😉 @Cinfhen 11mo
jeannasser Kitty!! 😍 11mo
batsy Lovely photo. And the Persephone Sylvia Townsend Warner 😍 11mo
Reviewsbylola What a lovely stack of goodies! 11mo
Reviewsbylola My tree is already on the curb. 🤣 11mo
LeahBergen Wonderful book haul! 💗 11mo
Liz_M Beautiful cat 😻 11mo
vivastory I also received the Kakutani. It's such a wonderfully designed book! 11mo
75 likes11 comments
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A lovely story that expertly contrasts the dependability and truth of math with the fleeting and precarious human life ✨ Definitely making it to my #20best2020 list!! Thanks @BarbaraBB 😘

BarbaraBB Oh so happy you liked it! One of your top reads even, yay! I hope you‘ll like the others just as much! 11mo
BarbaraBB Also: are you going to make a #20best2020 list? I‘d love to see your favorite as you are my influencer too 👯‍♀️ 11mo
emilyhaldi You‘re too kind @BarbaraBB I keep putting off my list bc each i keep reading books that I think will be ON the list 😂 including the one I started yesterday... 11mo
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emilyhaldi But yes I will post my list next week!! @BarbaraBB it‘s already well underway 11mo
BarbaraBB That one sounds funny! 11mo
sarahbarnes I need to get to this one soon! 11mo
emilyhaldi It‘s laugh out loud funny @BarbaraBB perfect to cap off the end of this year!! 11mo
vivastory Well, after @barbarabb rave review & yours, there's no way I can resist this. Will def be picking it up soon! 11mo
emilyhaldi I hope you like it!!! @vivastory 11mo
vivastory I'm sure I will. Memory Police is on my best of the year list 11mo
emilyhaldi Yes that one is high on my tbr now!! @vivastory 11mo
vivastory You're in for a treat! Revenge is great, too. I'm actually thinking of rereading it in the next couple of months 11mo
Reviewsbylola Yeah, I need that list. 11mo
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