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Graywacke

Graywacke

Joined June 2017

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As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
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The Books of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk
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A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
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Graywacke
As I Lay Dying | William Faulkner
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Whoa! Just getting going on this

BarbaraBB Such a fabulous read. 4d
Graywacke @BarbaraBB i really get lost in it. Goes really slow, but I‘m all in. 4d
Hooked_on_books I read this my senior year in high school and really liked it (and am reminded that was a very long time ago). 3d
See All 6 Comments
Graywacke @Hooked_on_books surreally long ago, right? Cool high school assignment (or voluntary reading?) 3d
Hooked_on_books I read it in AP English, which I think was a good thing, as we talked a lot about writing dialect. It added to the book for me, which was a little challenging to read because of how it‘s written. 3d
Graywacke @Hooked_on_books i finished late yesterday. Still processing. It is something absolutely fantastic. 2d
49 likes6 comments
review
Graywacke
Asphodel | Hilda Doolittle, Robert E. Spoo
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Pickpick

A gem, but a tough one. This 1920‘s novel was a long a ghost text, unpublished until 1992, but often quoted.

An interesting work. Wonderfully playful here, deeply pained there. In the broken stream of conscious fictional H.D. is always searching and never settling, and captures her own strains of the moment. The reader must latch on deeply, go into reader trance, or put the book away. It becomes an experience, demands it of your brain.

49 likes1 stack add
review
Graywacke
Roman de Silence | Sarah Roche-Mahdi, Heldris (de Cornulle.)
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Pickpick

🤫 don‘t wake Nikki.

This is a delightful 13-century Arthurian romance with a female knight, Silence, forced to hide her identity and act a man. Jealous kings, slain dragons, female healers and a wild-man version of Merlin. It was discovered in 1911, a single manuscript in Old French verse in a box marked “old papers - no value”.

dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 4d
Leftcoastzen 👏😻 4d
55 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
Graywacke
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Pickpick

I was a little worried about listening a bunch of essays I might not be interested in, but this turns out to be good stuff. There are simply some lightning essays in here. Many are about the Tudors and the Wolf Hall trilogy. Some are on overlooked women authors, really great stuff. She was an excellent writer, able to make her essays playful in a writerly way. She loved her sentences. Overall, I loved the collection and its richness.

BarbaraBB Wonderful review 🤍 5d
Graywacke @BarbaraBB ☺️ Thanks. I want to read A Place of Greater Safety now. But… I might need a French Revolution prep course first! 5d
53 likes2 comments
review
Graywacke
The Children | Edith Wharton
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Mehso-so

It‘s Wharton, so I should probably just give it a pick, but it‘s not my favorite of hers.

We spend this book waiting to see how Martin will manage his unacknowledged attraction to 15-yr-old Judith, while he tries to help her and her 6 siblings-plus-“steps”, stuck 👆 - Cortina, IT in the Dolomites. We might put it down wondering whether it was J who managed M. But the rest I found ok, but less interesting.

#whartonbuddyread

Ruthiella I‘m think it‘s ok to adjust your scale based on expectations. Makes sense to me. 5d
Lcsmcat Just because someone is a “great author” doesn‘t mean every try is a hit, or connects with every reader. I think she was trying to do something important, I‘m just not sure how successful it was in its day, nor how much staying power it has. 5d
Crazeedi This picture ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 5d
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Graywacke @Lcsmcat well, it was a bestseller. But i agree with you. And i don‘t sense much staying power. 5d
Graywacke @Ruthiella thanks. I‘m always hesitant to hit those Litsy percentages. 🙂 5d
Graywacke @Crazeedi yeah, right. Take me there! Please! 5d
47 likes6 comments
review
Graywacke
The Years | Annie Ernaux
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Pickpick

Power back since Monday and we‘re all happy again.

I always enjoyed this, but didn‘t really get into it until the mid-1980‘s. Maybe that‘s when I began to be aware of world events myself and could begin to relate. Anyway, after that i was all in, deeply in. This is a terrific translation and terrific personal trip through time. (Side note - she‘s basically my parents' age.)

Leftcoastzen Awww cute! I‘ve only read one of her books. 5d
dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 5d
Graywacke @Leftcoastzen this was my first. But also it‘s clearly different from her other books. So…I still feel blind to her regular writing. 🙂 5d
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Leftcoastzen I read this one about an affair, her level of obsession leads me to believe I don‘t have a clue about her writing style either 😂 4d
Graywacke @Leftcoastzen and, did you like? Seems she had affairs to down to an art. 3d
Leftcoastzen I did , but I could see how some people wouldn‘t. All the circular thinking & obsession , some people would say oh get over it already! She took it about as far as you can go ! 😁I will be trying another one. 3d
Graywacke @Leftcoastzen hmm. I‘m going to trust you on this one. Sometimes circular reasoning drives me nuts, but sometimes authors really make it work beautifully. 3d
51 likes8 comments
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Graywacke
Hudson River Bracketed | Edith Wharton
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#whartonbuddyread

Thinking way way ahead on the book that has an architectural style names after it. I would like to hold off on our next Wharton novel until August.

CarolynM No problem. I might even be able to keep up with the reading schedule by then🙂 5d
See All 23 Comments
TheBookHippie Perfect. 5d
Lcsmcat Works for me! (But I hope that it‘s not that long before your power comes back on. 😀) 5d
Graywacke @Lcsmcat we got it back Monday evening. Four days of no power. I‘m still in recovering. 😁 I committed to a group read on fb in June and one of Possession by AS Byatt here on Litsy in July. That‘s why i pushed to August. 5d
Graywacke @TheBookHippie 👍 perfect is good 🙂 5d
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Glad to know it‘s back! I read Possession decades ago (I feel so old!) and LOVED it. I hope you have a similar experience. 5d
Leftcoastzen Yay! 5d
Suet624 4 days feels endless. 5d
Graywacke @Suet624 it was endless 5d
Currey Glad to hear your power is back and happy to push Wharton‘s next to August 5d
dabbe Just the thought of losing power at this time of year makes me like this: 😱. Glad you have it back, and August sounds doable. 5d
Graywacke @Currey thanks! I‘ll miss our group till then. 5d
Graywacke @dabbe i‘m kind of freaking out about an August in Houston without power. Hurricane season expected to be intense, so it‘s a real possibility. 5d
dabbe @Graywacke Oh, man, that is horrible to even remotely contemplate. Houston has certainly gone through some MAJOR weather fiascos. I'll keep my 🤞 for you! 5d
Graywacke @dabbe I appreciate that 5d
jewright Works for me. I‘m not ready to think about August though. School is just ending. 4d
Graywacke @jewright oh, i get that. Same for my wife. 4d
39 likes23 comments
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Graywacke
Possession | A. S. Byatt
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#byattbuddyread

I‘m looking for a reading plan for Possession and finding poetry everywhere. Had no idea.

Ok, plan idea A:

July 7: chapters 1-5 (102 pages)
July 14: chapters 6-10 (118 pages)
July 21: chapters 11-17 (111 pages)
July 28: chapters 18-21 (114 pages)
August 4: chapters 22-28 (109 pages)

What do you think? This is just a suggestion. I‘m open to what might work better for anyone.

LapReader Can I join please? 5d
Tamra Looks reasonable to me - thank you for your organization! 5d
Graywacke @LapReader of course! 5d
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Graywacke @Tamra 👍 great! 5d
sarahbarnes Agreed! Looks great to me. Thanks for figuring it out! 5d
Graywacke @sarahbarnes oh good. 👍 5d
slategreyskies Sounds good! Thanks! 😊 5d
Graywacke @slategreyskies almost everyone 👍 5d
KathyWheeler I read this when it first came out and loved it. Coincidentally, I recently felt the need to reread it, so I downloaded the audiobook. Id like to join in this buddy read. 5d
LeahBergen Oh, how I loved this book when I read it years ago! It‘s such a favourite. 5d
Librarybelle That works for me! Thanks for organizing this!!! 5d
Graywacke @Librarybelle ok, that settles it! 👍 I‘ll post reminders 5d
Graywacke @KathyWheeler please do join! 5d
Graywacke @LeahBergen I‘m excited to finally read it! 5d
Currey @Graywacke May I join also? 5d
Graywacke @Currey yay! Of course! 5d
38 likes17 comments
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Graywacke
The Years | Annie Ernaux
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Power outage reading. I‘m at a YMCA. …

Ruthiella Hope you get your power back soon! 🤞 1w
LeahBergen Yikes! 1w
Bookwomble I hope you're soon back in the comfort of your own home 🏡 1w
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Graywacke @Ruthiella @LeahBergen @Bookwomble thanks all. We got power back tonight, after four days without. 1w
Bookwomble @Graywacke Good news - what a relief for you! 1w
LeahBergen Four days?? I‘m so glad it‘s back! 1w
batsy Oh goodness, that must have been tough. Glad the power is back. My next Ernaux book should be this one! 1w
Graywacke @Bookwomble @LeahBergen @batsy I missed all things. Thank you! And @batsy, what Ernaux should i read next? I finished this one today. 5d
47 likes8 comments
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Graywacke
The Books of Jacob | Olga Tokarczuk
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New audiobook, merely 35 hours of it. I was told this was an especially well done audio production and so far (30 minutes in) that seems true.

The_Penniless_Author They've discussed this one on Backlisted. I'm tempted to give it a go, but given that I currently have 17 books in the on-deck circle and that it's taken me a month to get halfway through Portnoy's Complaint, maybe now isn't the best time to embark on a thousand-page odyssey. 😂 2w
Crazeedi I started this book, never finished, don't know if I could do 35 hrs, but a good narrator may make it a possibility! 2w
sarahbarnes I started this in print and still haven‘t finished it… 2w
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Graywacke @The_Penniless_Author sorry, missed all these. That‘s funny. Maybe for the next time you need a 35 hour audiobook… 🙂 5d
Graywacke @Crazeedi it feels slow for me so far, but i‘m just a little ways in. 5d
Graywacke @sarahbarnes how far along are you?! 5d
49 likes1 stack add6 comments
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Graywacke
Asphodel | Hilda Doolittle, Robert E. Spoo
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I‘m working to get into this. It‘s a charming mess of text, a jumble of commentary, conversations, 1st and 3rd person (on the same character in adjacent lines), playful lazy classical attributions and references. It‘s a little exhausting and demanding. But she‘s quite fun. Written 1921/1926, published posthumously in 1992.

Leftcoastzen Awww 🐶 3w
Hooked_on_books At least you have an adorable reading companion! 🐶💙 3w
dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 3w
59 likes4 comments
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Graywacke
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On the #Booker2023 longlist

I've been reading the longlists since 2019 and this was a really good year in that small window. I gave five stars to four different books. I really liked that there was a lot of value given to poetic prose, not purple, but poetic and rhythmic, often personal and always generating reflection. Many of the authors are also published poets, and it shows.

I finished last week. My personal rankings are in the comments

Graywacke My five-star reads
1. Study for Obedience** by Sarah Bernstein (Canada)
2. Prophet Song** by Paul Lynch (Ireland)
3. In Ascension* by Martin Macinness (Scotland)
4. Western Lane** by Chetna Maroo (England - Kenya-born British Indian)
3w
Graywacke Other fantastic reads - still highly recommended
5. The House of Doors* by Tan Twan Eng (Malaysia)
6. All the Little Bird-Hearts* by Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow (England)
7. How to Build a Boat** by Elaine Feeney (Ireland)
8. Pearl** by Siân Hughes (Wales)
3w
Graywacke Great reads - still recommended
9. This Other Eden** by Paul Harding (USA)
10. A Spell of Good Things by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ (Nigeria)
11. Old God's Time* by Sebastian Barry (Ireland)

Good, but mixed - YMMV
12. The Bee Sting by Paul Murray (Ireland)
13. If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery (USA - Jamaican descent)
(edited) 3w
See All 12 Comments
Graywacke * means I really liked the prose style and it has a really nice rhythm to it
** means I thought the prose was poetic in spirit
3w
BarbaraBB Wow thank you for sharing this. You had a great reading experience, so many you thought fantastic! 3w
TrishB Thanks 👍🏻 I still have a few of these on the pile to get to. 3w
Graywacke @BarbaraBB 11 of 13 is pretty good. And the other two made the short list and have plenty of fans. Yeah, it was a fun year. 🙂 3w
Graywacke @TrishB thank you. Do you have any favorites? 3w
TrishB I‘ve read 2, 5, 6, 11 & 12 so far. I enjoyed them all except Bee Sting which I found numbingly boring! I have 3, 4 & 7 still on the pile to get to. 3w
Graywacke @TrishB well, i loved those three you have waiting. How to Build a Boat is actually uplifting. 🙂 The other two, Western Lane and In Ascension, give them time for narrative flow to kick in. 3w
rockpools I really like your approach to this. It‘s ridiculous, but I tend to think I‘ve missed the chance, if I haven‘t read the bulk of a list before the winner is announced. Will stop being daft and actually tackle this year‘s International Booker - thank you! (edited) 3w
Graywacke @rockpools Awesome! I‘m working on the international booker. Less enamored, unfortunately. But it calls. And nothing had been bad so far. 3w
55 likes12 comments
review
Graywacke
Western Lane: A Novel | Chetna Maroo
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Pickpick

I found this to be a novel of wonderful rhythmic hypnotic prose. It took me a few sittings, but I found myself swept up in Gopi's world of grief and squash.

It‘s unassuming, on a grieving family of Jains in England. After Ma dies, dad gets his three daughters into squash, and one of them really takes to it, embracing the sounds and rhythms of the play and the game flow and its strategies.

This finishes the #Booker2023 longlist for me

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Graywacke
Roman de Silence | Sarah Roche-Mahdi, Heldris (de Cornulle.)
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Now that I‘ve finished Chaucer, I‘ve made the Roman de Silence my morning book. This is a 13th century Old French Arthurian romance in verse. And so far, in translation, it reads a lot like the Lais of Marie de France - that is to say, light and charming.

Texreader 🐈‍⬛❤️ 3w
Suet624 Impressive 3w
dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 #lebeauchat 3w
See All 6 Comments
Graywacke @Texreader @dabbe she would thank you but, well, she has that goddess attitude cat thing (edited) 3w
Graywacke @Suet624 it‘s easy, fun reading. 🙂 3w
Dilara Ooh, I have seen that Silence is in my anthology of medieval love and chivalry writings but I haven't read it yet! Looking forward to your opinion on it 😁 3w
52 likes6 comments
review
Graywacke
Lost on Me | Veronica Raimo
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Mehso-so

My experience was on audio, in translation. It‘s autofiction about growing up in Rome with some issues. Fictional Veronica speaks with a false confidence, her anxieties sort of exposed in how she lies constantly, often for no apparent reason. It seems lying and imagined alternative lives are an escape. She tells her unreliable story with a self-deprecating humor. I liked it enough, but in hindsight I‘m glad to be past it. #Booker2024

sarahbarnes I will probably skip this one. 3w
Graywacke @sarahbarnes it‘s maybe one to skip. Of course you might feel differently from me. 3w
55 likes2 comments
review
Graywacke
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Pickpick

This was a nice step into Faulkner's best stuff. I loved the book, and was enraptured by the Benjy section.

He's mute and mentally compromised and can only moan. But he observes everything. He watches and feels, but can't interact or express his feelings. He's like a reader. And he floats through time, weaving the present and past in meaningful ways. He catches everything essential, and much that is beautiful and he senses all this.

Graywacke Note: When you open this book, you can vaguely sift out golf in the distance, but suddenly Luster, Bengy‘s caretaker, is gone and there are other people around and Benjy seems different. It's confusing and can be frustrating. Timelines are changing. Confused and intrigued I looked up some guidance online and got this very simple set of guidelines 👇 3w
Graywacke
1. Pay attention to Benjy's caretaker. When Versh is taking care of Benjy, he is around 3 to 5 years old. When it's T.P., Benjy is a teenager. When it's Luster, Benjy is 33
2. There are two Quentins - Benjy's suicidal brother and his promiscuous niece.
3. Bengy is named Maury at birth, after his uncle, but his mother insists that they change it after discovering his mental disability.
3w
Graywacke So I had read 30 pages, amused and confused. After finding these guidelines, I went back to the beginning, and what I got was magical. Some of the best reading I've ever had. 3w
See All 11 Comments
AmyG I read this-was SO confused-then read it again with sparknotes-and was blown away. 3w
Graywacke @AmyG yes! That‘s like the same experience i had. Once it clicks, it‘s really gorgeous 3w
sarahbarnes I remember being blown away by this in a class in college, and I‘m guessing I only grasped a fraction of it then. 3w
SamAnne I was glad to read this one in a Goodreads group with some Faulkner aficionados. 3w
Suet624 I own this and have put off reading it. So glad to get your notes. Clearly they‘ll be helpful. 3w
Graywacke @sarahbarnes I definitely only got some things, some impressions. Faulkner often isn‘t friendly to single readings. But i loved what i got. 3w
Graywacke @SamAnne nice. I want to read with that kind of group. Adds so much. 3w
Graywacke @Suet624 you know, you have to stumble through about 80 pages. There‘s no other way. Actually i stumbled through 30. Then googled and restarted. That worked nicely. But forgive yourself for that first lost attempt. The second time through (part 1) can get some magic 3w
56 likes11 comments
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Graywacke
Not a River: A Novel | Selva Almada
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Not a River arrived today, the day of its US release. That‘s the last of the books i ordered for my birthday last month. Here are the 18 books I‘m calling my birthday books. (I‘ll list the titles in the comments.) So far I‘ve read one - Undiscovered by Gabriela Wiener, which i finished today

Graywacke Top to bottom

Not a River by Selva Almada
Undiscovered by Gabriela Wiener
Simpatía by Rodrigo Blanco Calderón
Knife by Salman Rushdie
The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald
Treasures of Time by Penelope Lively
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight translate by Simon Armitage
3w
Graywacke Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
Sanctuary by William Faulkner
A Backward Glance by Edith Wharton
Master George by Beryl Bainbridge
Possession by A.S. Byatt
The Sunset Limited by Cormac McCarthy
There but for the by Ali Smith
Hotel Du Lac by Anita Brookner
Midnight‘s Children by Salman Rushdie
Giving Up the Ghost by Hilary Mantel
3w
Ruthiella Fantastic stack with at least two all time favorites of mine: Possession and 3w
See All 40 Comments
Graywacke @Ruthiella there‘s a story behind The Blue Flower. I joined this facebook group run by the Booker committee. Recently someone has been posting quotes by one judge from each year - recent quotes in hindsight. Three separate judges complained that The Blue Flower was overlooked in its year. So, now we have a group read planned there. 🙂 Possession is a hole in my reading. I need to fix that. 3w
slategreyskies I agree with you about Possession. I actually own a copy of it (three copies, if I‘m honest), but I haven‘t read it yet. I need to fix that. 3w
batsy Very impressive stack of which I've only read one and loved—Possession. 3w
CarolynM Great stack. I‘ve read 3 - Hotel du Lac, Possession and Midnight‘s Children - none of which I liked very much. I started The Heart is a Lonely Hunter once, but didn‘t get very far with it. I want to try again. Both Penelope‘s are on y TBR. 3w
Librarybelle Great book stack! 3w
Meshell1313 Ooh a Haply Birthday indeed! 🙌 3w
BarbaraBB Such a great stack! My favorite of the ones I read is definitely Midnight‘s Children, followed by Posession and Hotel Du Lac. (edited) 3w
Graywacke @slategreyskies yes! But when? 🙁 That‘s funny you have three copies. 3w
Graywacke @batsy yay, Possession. 🙂 3w
Graywacke @CarolynM oh no 🙈 Four misses. But yay on the Penelopes. I‘ve never read Penelope Fitzgerald. 3w
Graywacke @Librarybelle @Meshell1313 thanks! Any you recommend to start with? 3w
Graywacke @BarbaraBB yay. those three and the Carson McCullers will fill in some gaping holes, once i read them. 3w
sarahbarnes Great birthday stack! I have wanted to read Possession forever. And also have a copy of There But. I love her books so much and try to ration them out. I loved Hotel du Lac very much. 3w
Tamra Bday Books! 👏🏾 Like @sarahbarnes I‘ve been meaning to read Possession. (edited) 3w
Librarybelle I‘m echoing everyone else that Possession has been on my to read list for a long time. Hotel du Lac has been on my tbr for awhile too. 3w
dabbe 🤩🤩🤩 3w
Meshell1313 @Graywacke everyone is raving about Knife! I also loved midnight‘s children. 3w
Graywacke @sarahbarnes Ali Smith is so clever and fun. I need to read more of her stuff. Ioved How to Be Both. And, yeah, Possession… 3w
Graywacke @Tamra @Librarybelle @sarahbarnes @slategreyskies - does Possession need some group read motivation? Just offering. It‘s a little project. 3w
Graywacke @Meshell1313 i‘m so excited to read Knife. When it arrived I had to sit down and have a talk with my squirrel brain about reading practicalities. So, it‘s impatiently still awaiting me. It‘s liked a book from Hogwarts - it‘s gives off little sparks, calling me. 3w
Tamra @Graywacke @Librarybelle @sarahbarnes @slategreyskies absolutely! I would join in for sure! 3w
Librarybelle @Graywacke @Tamra @sarahbarnes @slategreyskies I‘d be interested in doing a group read! 3w
Aimeesue What a great stack of books! Enjoy! 3w
sarahbarnes Yes! I would definitely join in on a group read of Possession! @Tamra @Librarybelle @slategreyskies 3w
Graywacke @Aimeesue thanks! 3w
Graywacke @slategreyskies @Tamra @Librarybelle @sarahbarnes great, let‘s do this. I have July in mind. Any thoughts on that? Too soon, too far away? 3w
Graywacke @dabbe thanks 🙂 3w
sarahbarnes July works for me! 3w
slategreyskies July sounds good to me as well. 3w
Librarybelle July works for me as well! 3w
Tamra Yes, July! 😁 3w
Graywacke @sarahbarnes @slategreyskies @Librarybelle @Tamra great! This is such a good group. Looking forward to this. I‘m giving us a hashtag - #byattbuddyread - and i‘ll post on this a couple times between now and July in anticipation. 3w
Librarybelle Yay!! 3w
Tamra Woot! 3w
sarahbarnes Woohoo! 3w
slategreyskies Sounds great! I‘m looking forward to it! 3w
54 likes1 stack add40 comments
review
Graywacke
Undiscovered: A Novel | Gabriela Wiener
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Pickpick

I just finished Undiscovered and feel rewarded. This is a work of personal reflection, of family and cultural and historical reflection, historical uncertainties and miscellany and crimes, the colonization of Peru, racism, and variations of unfaithfulness, with some lines perhaps designed to shock. This is on the International #Booker2024 longlist, a Peruvian author based in Spain.

dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 3w
55 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
Graywacke
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Pickpick

Four months. I started Aprill shoures soote on January 1, and finished last week. I read from this almost every morning during that time. Once i was into the language, I adored this so much (except when he switched to dull prose). The stories were fine. The storyteller‘s wonderful, and interactions so entertaining, and Middle English verse and its freedom of expression, always drawing me in and unexpectedly charming.

MrsMalaprop Great achievement 👏😊 4w
Graywacke Thank you! I‘ll miss Chaucer. 4w
50 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Graywacke
Western Lane: A Novel | Chetna Maroo
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My next book. I finished The Sound and the Fury tonight and started this. It‘s my last left from the #Booker2023 longlist.

BarbaraBB I hope you‘ll share your personal shortlist with us! 1mo
Graywacke @BarbaraBB sure! I have a full list, minus this one. 1mo
42 likes2 comments
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Graywacke
Lost on Me | Veronica Raimo
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My current audiobook, care of my library. Another from the International #Booker2024 longlist. The cringing face on the cover makes me cringe.

38 likes1 stack add
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Graywacke
The Children | Edith Wharton
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Reading with the #whartonbuddyread Actually, i started a week ago, just never posted.

cindyash Hi, found you. really looking forward to this discussion. Ive finished it, but will not spoil anything.... 1mo
Graywacke @cindyash hi. I‘m holding off reading your review until we finish. 🙂 1mo
cindyash @Graywacke yeah I was going to delete it but you can probably avoid it. I could put spoiler notice up!
1mo
Graywacke @cindyash no need to delete it. I know. 1mo
38 likes4 comments
review
Graywacke
Crooked Plow: A Novel | Itamar Vieira Junior
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Pickpick

My 5th on the International #Booker2024. Quilombos history - communities of free black escapes slaves in Brazil - is central to contemporary Brazilian politics. Here we get a story of black tenants farmers living in mud huts and their history with their landlords. What makes this book special to me was the look into the mythologies - African-originated encantados mixed into Catholic mythology and martyrs. This is worth a read.

batsy I want to read this! 1mo
Graywacke @batsy i‘m not as enthusiastic as many readers, but i enjoyed this a lot. Hope you can find a copy. 1mo
batsy The nice thing about Verso is that their books are easily available as epubs and kindles :) 1mo
Graywacke @batsy 👍 that works! 1mo
45 likes2 stack adds4 comments
review
Graywacke
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Mehso-so

Japan medieval history is very confusing and Clements makes it more confusing by giving the reader too many compressed details and not enough clear analysis. Still, lots of interesting stuff here. I was entertained to learn the origins of sushi and kabuki theater.

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Graywacke
The Silver Bone: A Novel | Andrey Kurkov
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Pickpick

Read this mystery for the setting - Kyiv, Ukraine in 1919 during a brief Bolshevik occupation. The book opens as Cossacks randomly attack citizens on their way out of town, completing a white army retreat. Samson, our young orphan hero, has to manage this chaos having lost an ear and his entire family. He joins a nascent Bolshevik police force with no veterans or experience, and gets a firearm.

review
Graywacke
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this curiosity, found it wonderfully done, found the writing, which focuses so much on the sound, always interesting and terrific, with its own rhythm and life. And I say this even I didn't really get it. (I missed a lot, as I discovered afterwards reading online reviews) This maybe should have won the Booker (and I loved the winner, Prophet Song)

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review
Graywacke
Kairos: Roman | Jenny Erpenbeck
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Pickpick

My 3rd from the International #Booker2024 longlist, now on the shortlist. 1980‘s East Berlin. A young woman, 19, falls for a married man, age 53. It starts out somehow romantic before getting darker. What‘s interesting, and what i thought about while listening, was how this relationship reflects the state of the dying GDR. It‘s, if you like, a romantic look at a lost, stifled but stable East Berlin. It makes for interesting read.

Hooked_on_books I wasn‘t a fan of this one because the central “romance” gave me the icks immediately. And then of course it just got worse. What I did like was a look at East Germany from a non-western lens. I found it fascinating. 1mo
Graywacke @Hooked_on_books yeah, it‘s way icky. I had to adjust my perspective. 1mo
BarbaraBB Interesting is the right word. I liked it but not as much as her earlier works. 1mo
Graywacke @BarbaraBB I haven‘t read anything else by her to compare. I do have this sense that it‘s missing something that could make it really special, beyond just “interesting”, although I couldn‘t put my finger on what that might be. Still, I think it‘s a really nice thing, as is. 1mo
BarbaraBB Yes I felt similar. It is missing something. 1mo
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Graywacke
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Started today. And after reading a couple notes…looks like I‘ll need to read that part over again.

dabbe Kudos to you. I‘ve never been able to make it through the first chapter. 😂 1mo
Graywacke @dabbe well, let‘s see how it goes. 🙂 1mo
vivastory I haven't read this one, but I read Light In August a couple of years ago & still think about it a lot. 1mo
Graywacke @vivastory i‘ll get there! 🙂 I‘m fascinated by the opening here 1mo
43 likes4 comments
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Graywacke
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Looking for audiobooks and indecisive, I found this free on audible. I‘m fascinated, all of 20 minutes in.

BarbaraBB Stacked! 2mo
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review
Graywacke
Twilight Sleep | Edith Wharton
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Pickpick

This finally comes across as a playful satire on 1920‘s NY moneyed culture, mocking supposed progress and 1920‘s shallowness, spiritual fads, bad parenting and human frailties. But there are real weighty elements here. The youthful 1920‘s are represented in Lita and Nona. Clear-sighted Lita wants to be admired, maybe a movie star, disowning responsibility for consequences. Nona quietly sacrifices herself to manage her family‘s failures.

batsy "manage her family's failures" is so accurate! (and bleak) 2mo
45 likes2 comments
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Graywacke
The Silver Bone: A Novel | Andrey Kurkov
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A little tough to photograph the super-reflective public library cover. But my model did good. I peaked into this yesterday and seems I‘m reading it. Easy reading. (Reminds me of Gogol‘s The Nose in tone) #booker2024

Suet624 Your dog 💕💕💕 2mo
dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 2mo
BookmarkTavern So cozy! 💖 2mo
54 likes3 comments
blurb
Graywacke
Twilight Sleep | Edith Wharton
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Twilight Sleep was originally released in a series in Pictorial Review with this cover, before the book was released and temporarily became a bestseller.

So, what did you think? Did you understand the end? (If not, Wikipedia has it laid out in the plot summary.) Like The Glimpses of the Moon, I think this was a Wharton having a little fun with satire, but here also playing with perspectives. #whartonbuddread

See All 33 Comments
Currey @Graywacke I, more or less, understood the ending or certainly as much as Wharton wanted me to. Of course, it is ambiguous as to whether Nona went upstairs to the rescue or went up to confirm her own suspicions but her stepping in the way of the bullet or stumbling into the room at the right time leaves us with the same sense of “waste”. What I was surprised about was Lita traveling with her husband. I don‘t think she would have any remorse 2mo
Lcsmcat I think their life was described well in this quote about Pauline: “Her whole life (if one chose to look at it from a certain angle) had been a long uninterrupted struggle against the encroachment of every form of pain.” 2mo
Lcsmcat So perhaps, @currey Lits felt the need to get out of NYC and away from the pain of being involved in such a sordid situation as quickly as possible. Or perhaps they forced her because they didn‘t trust her to stick to the story. (edited) 2mo
Lcsmcat Poor Nona. All the way through I felt for her. It was like she was born into the wrong family. 2mo
Currey @Lcsmcat Wrong family and wrong era. 2mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat @Currey Nona was an unlikely hero, or “hero”. But maybe she should have let the bullet find its proper target… 2mo
Graywacke @Currey on Lita and Jim: i think Lita was sent as far from Hollywood as possible. Assuming Pauline still lives in denial, and believing that money solves all human problems and pains, she is still working to solve the marriage problem and keep Lita away from movie stars or other men Lita might like. 2mo
Currey @Graywacke @Lcsmcat well Dexter was truly guilty but it would have been Arthur who would be punished. I thought Wharton‘s depiction of quick thinking Bowden, the butler , was wonderful. Before anyone else had even grasped the situation, he had a solution to “how it looked”, and didn‘t think twice about who was guilty and who should be punished (edited) 2mo
Graywacke @Currey yeah, he was clever (Powder in my edition ) Pauline‘s staff is fantastic. I had to like all of them. (edited) 2mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat i think that quote does sum up Pauline especially well. She‘s really intent on avoiding psychological pain. 2mo
Currey @Graywacke oh, yes Powder, misremembered. 2mo
Currey @Graywacke Lcsmcat regarding Pauline and psychological pain. It was very ironic that she had no idea of how much she was inflicting psychological pain on others 2mo
Lcsmcat @Currey Yes, she pushed all of hers on to someone else. I think that was even made explicit when Nona was talking about visiting Maisie‘s mother in the hospital. I‘ll have to look for it. 2mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke I don‘t think Nona could have done anything but what she did. She seemed to spend her whole life taking care of other‘s issues. 2mo
cindyash
@Ldsmcat and it was horrible how she didn't listen to anyone and totally ignore their feelins. esp poor masie and poor nona. And then thet just all go off as if nothing had happened

2mo
Graywacke A long quote from an essay about TS. Should take several posts. Begins here: The rather disturbing reversal of roles in The Mother‘s Recompense - Anne Clephane‘s ‘mothering‘ of the woman who abandoned her at the age of three and Chris Fenno‘s desire to marry the daughter after having had an affair with the mother – becomes translated into obviously dysfunctional relationships in Twilight Sleep. Nona takes on the cares and responsibilities 👇 2mo
Graywacke 👆 of her family, while her workaholic father seeks escape from the boredom of marriage in an affair with his stepson‘s wife, and her mother rushes from pillar to post pursuing the latest fads, unaware that her family is malfunctioning around her. To drive home her point about inadequate parenting, Wharton also presents Kitty Landish and Amalasuntha as predatory parental figures 👇 2mo
Graywacke 👆 who hope to make a fortune, respectively, out of Lita‘s and Michelangelo‘s cinematic careers. 2mo
Graywacke That quote is from Edith Wharton: Sex, Satire and the Older Woman by Avril Horner and Janet Beer @Lcsmcat @Currey @cindyash or others - any thoughts in that? 2mo
batsy Yes, that quote really summed it up @Lcsmcat ! 2mo
batsy I like Nona but wanted her to be more developed; more of her POV would have been nice. I keep thinking about Pauline's narcissism & how her parenting is actually damaging to Nona so that's a very interesting quote about "predatory parenting" @Graywacke Not to mention Dexter's total self-involvement. It's interesting that Wharton keeps mentioning the "Taylorized" wellness solutions; both Dexter and Pauline submitted themselves to automated lives. 2mo
batsy And what's shown as the frivolousness of youth is actually a rejection of that rote life of productivity by both Nona and Lita in very different ways, because different characters. 2mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke I think the essay gets the role reversals right, but stops short in my mind. Why was Wharton focusing on near-incest, for lack of a better word? Is she trying to say that capital S Society is incestuous? I feel like I‘m missing something. 2mo
Lcsmcat @batsy I agree that Lita and Nona are rebelling. I think Nona‘s is a more mature rebellion, but they are both a bit more reactive than proactive in their lives. 2mo
Graywacke @batsy @Lcsmcat interesting to compare Nona and Lita as parallel rejectors, in a way. My instinct is to not to see Lita as immature, because she seems very clear about what she wants. She doesn‘t have genetic baggage, no ties to any moral codes. So she sets her own. Nona is, in a way, tied down by expectations of decency. But i‘ll have to think on that more. Not sure it holds up 2mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat so interesting, lovers pursuing parent and child in two successive novels. Did i say interesting? It‘s weird and disturbing. But…where did it come from? Clearly philandering was common in her world, but that this particular trait common? !! 2mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke My vision of Lita as immature is the way she doesn‘t care how her actions affect (and hurt) others. (Toddlers are usually clear about what they want in a given moment. 😂) Pauline is similar in this respect. As well as being hypocritical in thinking Lita getting a divorce is unthinkable, yet she‘s on her second marriage. (edited) 2mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat all true! But Lita is willfully indifferent of other people. They are there only to amuse and admire her. It‘s a developed skillset. 🙂😁 2mo
jewright @Graywacke—Do you like Lita is having a bit of a midlife crisis? She got married and had a baby and then freaked out about missing out on fun. I mean honestly who wouldn‘t want a chance to star in movies? 2mo
Graywacke @jewright i wouldn‘t want a Lita anywhere in my family. !! I wouldn‘t want to deal with her. Phew. But, you know, we have them anyway - in every family and elsewhere in life. 2mo
38 likes33 comments
review
Graywacke
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Pickpick

Offbeat 1990‘s Stockholm. This reads a lot like Rachel Cusk, but it‘s a study of relationships, lovers, friendships and mom. It has a lovely tolerance of personal oddities and failures, and a warmth in appreciating the whole person. I enjoyed it. (And it‘s short. Took this slow reader 3.5 hours to read these 137 pages) #Booker2024

BarbaraBB Glad you liked it so much. I did not get that much out of it. 2mo
Graywacke @BarbaraBB i saw your review. I admit it has grown on me. I like her relationships. I‘m charmed by Niki‘s contradictions. Just curious, any chance you made it to Stockholm in the 1990‘s? Or any other time? I spent a day there in 1997 (far from home). It was gorgeous and super unfriendly. 🙂 2mo
BarbaraBB I was there in 2007 and I liked it a lot too. Real Scandinavian: clean and easy-going. I loved the references to the city but didn‘t recognize them 2mo
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BarbaraBB Wait! Yo say UNfriendly! Really? That wasn‘t my experience but people do keep to themselves I think, especially compared to the US. Or were you treated badly? 2mo
Graywacke @BarbaraBB yes, UNfriendly. 🙂 I was mostly ignored as i was with a girlfriend and some other people. So no one was rude, it was just the feeling we all got. 2mo
BarbaraBB That is strange. I wouldn‘t know if it‘s typical for Sweden, I just was there that once and it was for work so I met some people who had to behave correctly 😀. Some years later I was in a Swedish village in winter and there everyone was really nice but I thinks that incomparable to Stockholm. 2mo
Graywacke @BarbaraBB i was in Sweden a week, all vacation but unstructured. I stayed in Gothenburg. Stockholm was distinct. Every where else was, to me, normal. 2mo
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review
Graywacke
A Dictator Calls | Ismail Kadare
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Pickpick

I really like Kadare. He‘s playful and serious and very critical of the Albanian Stalinist state he lived most of his life in. Here he looks at one phone call, when Stalin called Boris Pasternak without warning and asked him about the recent arrest of fellow Jewish poet Osip Mandelstam, Pasternak basically failing this impossible call. Around this is Kadare‘s experience under the rule of this kind of tyrant. It‘s an odd, curious, readable book.

44 likes1 comment
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Graywacke
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She‘s like, “yeah, right” 🙄 But it‘s my next read and I‘m looking forward to it. #booker2023

RaeLovesToRead Kitty 🥰🥰🥰 2mo
Jari-chan 😻😻😻 2mo
Aimeesue What a pretty cat! 2mo
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Cathythoughts Great picture 👌🏻 2mo
dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 2mo
Graywacke @RaeLovesToRead @Jari-chan @Aimeesue @Cathythoughts @dabbe I appreciate your comments. Nikki, well please forgive her neglect, she‘s a cat after all. 2mo
dabbe @Graywacke And a gorgeous one, too! 🤩🐾🤩 2mo
47 likes7 comments
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Graywacke
Twilight Sleep | Edith Wharton
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The image is from a 1916 documentary of the Twilight Sleep birth process (women only)

Book II - #whartonbuddyread

Characters develop. Mostly the Pauline satire (and the Alvah Loft frustration cure), but also a lot more on Lita, Dexter, Nona, and Stanley. We meet masked Aggie Heuston and Kitty Landish. And learn of Cleo Merrick.

Does Lita have issues, or Pauline offended by the lack of appreciation? Any thoughts on this transitional section?

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Lcsmcat Some quotes I liked. “But when she had to compose a speech, though words never failed her, the mysterious relations between them sometimes did.” 2mo
Lcsmcat “Perhaps, after all, her own principles were really obsolete to her children. Only, what was to take their place?” and “They seemed, all of them—lawyers, bankers, brokers, railway-directors and the rest—to be cheating their inner emptiness with activities as futile as those of the women they went home to.” 2mo
Lcsmcat It all points to a feeling that the lives of the privileged class were frustrated with pointlessness. And they don‘t even quite know that they‘re searching for meaning. 2mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat on Pauline “Sternly she addressed herself to relaxation” 2mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke 😂🤣😂 2mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat on the pointlessness: there is a link between the blindness of Pauline and clear-sighted blindness of Lita. (One of my takes: Pauline holds the NY culture values even as she breaks them. Lita‘s ignorance of these values comes from believing what she sees.) 2mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke That‘s a good way to look at it. 2mo
Currey @lcsmcat oh that is good. I was moving this week. I did the reading, but not sure I did the thinking. 🤔 2mo
Graywacke @Currey it‘s kind of a transition section. More of the same. 🤷🏻‍♂️ Not really a conversation sparker. 2mo
Graywacke @Currey i just processed “moving”. That‘s consuming. Hope it went well and you‘re settling in ok. 2mo
Currey @Graywacke I know where the coffee is but not much else, but it will get better 2mo
Graywacke @Currey coffee helps! 2mo
CarolynM I‘m behind. I‘ll come back to the comments when I catch up🙂 2mo
Lcsmcat @Currey If you know where the coffee and the spoons are you‘re half way there. 2mo
cindyash @Graywacke I really got a chuckle from that whole paragraph 2mo
batsy I just caught up with the reading, but I'm not sure what I think yet! Mainly I feel an awful sense of emptiness contemplating Lita's boredom and Pauline's cultivated sense of denial—perhaps akin to the present day "wellness" obsession. If one can control and submit oneself to potions and therapies and enforced relaxation, one can hope to avoid one's life? 2mo
Graywacke @batsy your question seems to be theme so far. And emptiness 2mo
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Graywacke
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Started this, a library loan. Getting Rachel Cusk vibes. #booker2024

review
Graywacke
How to Say Babylon | Safiya Sinclair
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Pickpick

A treasure highlighted by the Women‘s Nonfiction Prize longlist. This is a memoir of a difficult impoverished childhood in Jamaica with a domineering Rastafarian father who becomes abusive. It‘s, first, gorgeous, with a poetic prose throughout (brought out especially on audio), but also intense and fascinating. Recommended!

squirrelbrain Great review! One of my favourites from the list. 2mo
Cathythoughts Nice review, stacked 👍🏻♥️ 2mo
Graywacke @squirrelbrain thanks. It‘s all i‘ve been able to get to, but I‘m interested in others. The library lent me Wifedom 2mo
Graywacke @Cathythoughts yay! Hope you can get to it. 2mo
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Graywacke
A Dictator Calls | Ismail Kadare
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I seem to be reading this. Library loan that is taking this slow reader about a minute a page. #Booker2024

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Graywacke
Twilight Sleep | Edith Wharton
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Twilight Sleep : Book one
#whartonbuddyread

Flapper shocker? 🤷🏻‍♂️ What are your thoughts on Nona, Lita, Pauline and her men?

We are in Wharton‘s later books. She‘s experimenting, and she‘s bringing middle aged women to life. So as we sigh at her Pauline satire, also take a moment to think why Wharton spends so much time on her.

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Currey @Graywacke Both Pauline and Lita were closer to caricature than Wharton usually goes. Pauline‘s defense of the “dark” man because she wants her retreat made me very uneasy. (I know, I know….the time it was written in). However, I am liking Nona and of course simply reading Wharton‘s prose. (edited) 2mo
TheBookHippie I love the prose. I had to remind myself several times the time it was written in because 😬… however I think it makes you think, and makes you feel the characters and did it when it was written as well? She writes flawed very well. 2mo
Graywacke @Currey Pauline‘s ability to rationalize all contradictions, even contradictory public speeches, was quite interesting. I‘m puzzling about Wharton and Lita - Wharton‘s controlled prose and her intention that might be counter to our understanding (or misunderstanding). 2mo
Graywacke @TheBookHippie i agree, she does do flawed writing well. I‘m trying to remind myself of the time and perspective too, but she‘s making me question what i do and don‘t understand of the era. 2mo
TheBookHippie @Graywacke I agree, has me wishing my grandma was alive to ask her questions. 2mo
batsy This is so different and so Wharton at the same time. The way she deftly satirises the busy days of the wealthy who don't have to work for a living—Pauline has days filled in order to assure herself that her days are filled. I also have to read up more on "twilight sleep" births because I vaguely knew it was a thing, but didn't realise the extent of it being an early 20th-century trend. The Dexter and Lila situation is ringing alarm bells?! ? 2mo
Graywacke @batsy I‘m wondering about those ⏰s. And the births, which is new to me. However, I‘m quite intrigued with what Pauline fills her days with. Non-Christian spiritual stuff, very, you know, 1970‘s. Also, what she and Lita are doing have parallels. 2mo
Lcsmcat @batsy The Dexter situation made me wonder what happened to Wharton that she was exploring these pseudo-incest scenarios. 😱 2mo
Lcsmcat The prose is excellent, and the wit sharp. I highlighted several quotes, of course. But this one made me laugh out loud: “Yet what did Episcopal Bishops know of “holy ecstasy”? And could any number of Church services have reduced her hips?” 2mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat that‘s interesting about Dexter. Wonder what Hermione Lee says. 2mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat Pauline, right? That quote. I kinda understand Dexter‘s affection. She‘s entertaining. 2mo
batsy @Graywacke Yes, great point. Who knew there was a precursor to the 60s and 70s mysticism? It's fascinating that these ideas were circulating among the rich earlier on in the US. Also loved that Pauline described her regimen as "Taylorized effort against the natural human fate". The Taylor system being implemented in late 19th-century I think. Wharton's incorporating quite a bit in this book. 2mo
batsy @Lcsmcat Right. It also made me wonder exactly what was going in upper crust NY society at the time (perhaps a tale as old as time and maybe no less different now? Idk 🤢) 2mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Yes, that was Pauline. 2mo
Lcsmcat @batsy @Graywacke I think we tend to see religion /religious fervor as something that was stronger in “the old days” (whenever that was) whereas in reality it comes and goes, is displaced by various fads, then something bad happens (war, economic crisis) and we scuttle back. The founding fathers were not so Christian as today‘s far right would have one believe, for example. (Jefferson rewrote the Bible to include only the bits he liked.) 2mo
batsy @Lcsmcat So true. I'm not as well versed in American history so that is interesting indeed about Jefferson! 2mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat I think education and religion have a poor track record everywhere always. Not completely contrary, but rarely hand-in-hand. Wharton seems to present a very casual relationship with religion in her writing. 2mo
jewright @batsy I was surprised by the twilight births too. My grandma had them in the 50‘s and 60‘s, but it sounds as if this was only specially available to the wealthy maybe because most people would have been having home births. 2mo
Leftcoastzen I forgot to start it! Not looking at comments. I‘ll be back! 🫤😁 2mo
Graywacke @Leftcoastzen you can catch up! 🙂 2mo
Leftcoastzen Whartons writing is just so good! Being over scheduled seems like an avoidance tactic somewhat for Pauline . I love the debates about what to do about Michelangelo! Pay his debts , which would lead to bad behavior again .That marrying money is a career choice or Dexter can just hire him, like you can just say, yep, now I‘m a lawyer! 2mo
Leftcoastzen Actually, there is a lot of history of Theosophy, Yoga, eastern religions in those years. It did take the place of more traditional religions for some people, & some , just a fad.But usually with the rich & comfortable , regular people worked too hard for a living. Like anything else, there were serious scholars of these traditions, and people just out to make a buck. 2mo
Leftcoastzen And Lita ! I get the impression she is not going to be tied down to the trappings of adulthood, a husband,a baby. Being a flapper can nearly be a modern “religion”too. 2mo
Graywacke @Leftcoastzen you caught up! 🙂 great comments. Pauline has evasion of introspection down to art of sorts. I didn‘t know anything about this 1920‘s fad. Very interesting! And Lita… oh, Lita…At least she knows what she wants 2mo
cindyash @Lcsmcat not sure anything happened to her to write those scenarios. Ido agree with batsy that this is ringing alarm bells. Really like Nona,she is so sure of herself. hope she'll be ok 2mo
Graywacke @cindyash is this Club Read‘s Cindy? Welcome to Litsy. To tag a person, is the @ key => @cindyash Also, I‘m worried about Nona. 2mo
cindyash @batsy I knew about the mystism in the late 1800s wwonder if its an offshoot. Shades of the 70s “new age movement. what was that group the was so popular, EST I think? yeah the more things change the more they stay the same (edited) 2mo
cindyash @Graywacke yes sir! a little confused but Im here! is there a way I can get back to the discussion at the beginning of book 1? 2mo
Graywacke @cindyash yay! nice to see you here. You need a tutorial. You‘re in the discussion for book 1 here. To find all posts, click on this hashtag: #whartonbuddyread 2mo
Lcsmcat @cindyash I‘m crossing my fingers for Nona also. She seems to have it a bit more together than her contemporaries. 2mo
44 likes33 comments
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Graywacke
Twilight Sleep | Edith Wharton
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Suet624 Jeepers, I really appreciate Wharton. 2mo
batsy Her satirical eye is unforgiving 😆 2mo
42 likes2 comments
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Graywacke
Kairos: Roman | Jenny Erpenbeck
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Just downloaded this morning. It may the only international booker longlist book i will read on audio. It‘s also the first from the list that I‘ve started. #booker2024

BarbaraBB It‘s one of two I read before the longlist was announced. Curious about your thoughts 2mo
Graywacke @BarbaraBB certainly opens a little odd. Is there an analogy between the old* man and the GDR? Too simple? (*he‘s about my age) 2mo
Hooked_on_books I wasn‘t a fan of this one. Hopefully it works better for you than for me. I just couldn‘t get past the ick factor of their age difference. 2mo
Graywacke @Hooked_on_books totally understand. It already has that. 2mo
41 likes4 comments
blurb
Graywacke
Twilight Sleep | Edith Wharton
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Getting going #whartonbuddyread

review
Graywacke
Flags in the Dust | William Faulkner
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Pickpick

Faulkner‘s 1st book set in his fictional Yoknapatawpha county MS. It sets the backdrop most of his other work going forward. His postage stamp. It was rejected by publishers for having no plot or character development.

And yet I enjoyed it. I took in these characters and I closed it with real affection - the myth of Colonel John Sartoris, his brother, son, great grandsons all a short paths to glamorous bad ends, or haunted by the prospect.

Tamra Are you embarking on a Faulkner quest? My husband and I were just talking last week about perhaps reading his work in succession. 2mo
Graywacke @Tamra yes! I‘m reading a book on month, and started in January. 2mo
43 likes2 comments
review
Graywacke
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Pickpick

A young adult biography that serves as an excellent introduction into who Wharton was. It‘s a library book that I picked up to scan through and found myself wanting to keep reading. I liked that it's a nice efficient take that covers the essentials of Wharton's very complicated life. It explained a lot of stuff I was only loosely aware of or didn't know at all. #whartonbuddyread

Graywacke Things I found interesting:

- Wharton met her husband when she and her family were in a rush to get her married before their own financial problems became apparent. But she was always much wealthier than her husband.

- Wharton's marriage was happy until he started having mental health issues that were inherited, and neither understood nor treatable. The book suggests he had later-stage bipolarism.
2mo
Graywacke - Wharton surrounded herself with bachelors. She avoided married men to keep from jealousies and scandals, even if these relationships were not romantic but friendships.

- Her closest relationship was with Walter Berry, an American diplomat who she once expected to ask for marriage, but he didn't. Unmarried his whole life, he read every one of works before they were sent to publishers and was with her during most of her difficult times.
2mo
Graywacke - I knew about Wharton's extra-marital affair and how it was only found out years after her death. What I didn't know was that she left a love book about this affair with her papers, written to "you". So for years there was a mystery about who this lover might be. (Until his own letters were found in the 1960's)

- She needed the money from her book sales, and she made a lot from her books.
2mo
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Graywacke - she hated James Joyces's and Virginia Woolf‘s stream of consciousness writing #, considering it a bunch of novel elements that weren‘t actually put together as a novel (and she thought Ulysses was vulgar with too much low-level humor) 2mo
CarolynM How interesting! Thanks for sharing. 2mo
Graywacke @CarolynM you‘re welcome. Anything surprise you? 🙂 2mo
46 likes6 comments
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Graywacke
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Leftcoastzen Interesting! 3mo
Graywacke @Leftcoastzen i really love that we have this sketch. 🙂 2mo
40 likes2 comments
blurb
Graywacke
Twilight Sleep | Edith Wharton
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A little prep for our next #whartonbuddyread - Twilight Sleep. We discuss Book One on March 23.

These are all library books I checked out today

Graywacke Left stack, top down

After the fall: The Demeter-Persephone Myth in Wharton, Cather, and Glasgow (1989) by Josephine Donovan
Edith Wharton: matters of mind and spirit (1995) by Carol J. Singley
Edith Wharton‘s prisoners of consciousness: a study of theme and technique in the tales (1994) by Evelyn E. Fracasso
Felicitous space: the imaginative structures of Edith Wharton and Willa Cather (1986) by Judith Fryer
Edith Wharton (2007) by Hermione Lee
3mo
Graywacke Edith Wharton: An Extraordinary Life: An Illustrated Biography (1994) by Eleanor Dwight 3mo
Graywacke Right stack - left to right

The brave escape of Edith Wharton: a biography (2010) by Connie Nordheim Woolridge
Edith Wharton: sex, satire and the older woman (2011) by Avril Horner and Janet Beer
Edith Wharton in context (2012) edited by Laura Rattrey
The gilded age: Edith Wharton and her contemporaries (1995) by Eleanor Dwight
Edith Wharton: Revised Edition (Twayne‘s United States authors series) (c1976, 1991) by Margaret B. McDowell
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Graywacke not in sisterhood: Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, Zona Gale, and the politics of female authorship (2001) by Deborah Lindsay Williams 3mo
TheBookHippie Wowie!!! 3mo
Lcsmcat Impressive stack! 3mo
dabbe Yowza! 🤩🤩🤩 3mo
batsy Whoa 🙌🏾 3mo
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Graywacke
Flags in the Dust | William Faulkner
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My past week. I finished Ammonites, started Faulkner‘s Flags in the Dust - which will take me most of March. Chaucer and How to Say Babylon continue. (I finished Sir Tropas in Canterbury Tales)

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Graywacke
Flags in the Dust | William Faulkner
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Started Faulkner‘s 3rd novel yesterday. The publisher felt it was too long, and only published it in a cut form in 1929. The full version wasn‘t released until 1973. There were corrections made in 2006.

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Graywacke
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Mehso-so

I know it‘s on me, but this just wasn‘t what I was looking for. I was hoping for a memoir, but this is a collection of five personal essays on somewhat random topics. It's all written with her sharp intelligent prose, and reads beautifully. And, reading her essay on being 80, you can't help but be struck by how mentally sharp she is as a writer. And she does have some lovely quotes. See comments.

Graywacke On writing versus life:
You are looking to supply the deficiencies of reality, to provide order where life is a matter of contingent chaos, to suggest theme, and meaning, to make a story that is shapely where real life is linear.
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Graywacke On memory:
We can make a choice from accessible memories...but we can't choose what to remember. There is something disturbing about the thought that, if some other, hither to unavailable retrieval system were activated, I might find myself with a series of entirely unfamiliar memories - an alternate past that happened, but of which I had ceased to be aware.
3mo
Graywacke On Reading:
What happens to all this information, this inferno of language? Where does it go? Much, apparently, becomes irretrievable sediment; a fair amount, the significant amount, becomes the essential part of us - what we know and understand and think about above and beyond our own immediate concerns. 👇
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Graywacke 👆 It becomes the life of the mind. What we have read makes us what we are - quite as much as what we have experienced, and where we have been and who we have known. To read is to experience. 3mo
CarolynM What an absolutely marvellous quote about reading! 3mo
sarahbarnes I‘m reading Moon Tiger right now and her writing really is brilliant. 3mo
Graywacke @CarolynM isn‘t it?! I do love that 3mo
Graywacke @sarahbarnes oh, I‘m vicariously happy knowing that. It‘s one of my favorite novels of all time. 3mo
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