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jfount

jfount

Joined June 2016

review
jfount
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Pickpick

Loved it. My only question at the end was, will we get more Winter and Sommer adventures, or will the next novella be in France? As usual I am up for anything in this series.

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jfount
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Pickpick

First of all, let's all just appreciate the publisher bringing out a special timely paperback of this dissertation book. Very interesting, and full of striking parallels to the present. It felt good to read an academic book again too!

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jfount
The Wych Elm | Tana French
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Pickpick

I finally succombed to all the articles I kept seeing about how great Tana French is, and holy crap. This book was astonishing. The murder mystery element is firmly in the back seat to a gripping tale of trauma and self-knowledge. I was honestly expecting it to be "great, for an airport book" but no, one of the strongest books I've read this year.

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jfount
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin | Roseanne A. Brown
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Pickpick

I think it was around page 20 that I first thought, "there is a LOT going on in this book." There is indeed, and every chapter is packed with rich ideas and people and settings and details. I loved it, and will be looking forward to the next installment in Malik and Karina's stories.

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jfount
Absent in the Spring | Mary Westmacott
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Pickpick

I flew through this -- picked it up after work and finished it at 10pm. This was a Shedunnit-inspired purchase and a fascinating read. I'm not surprised that Agatha Christie was proud of this book, it's quite something.

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jfount
Before the Coffee Gets Cold | Toshikazu Kawaguchi
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Pickpick

The bookseller who rang me out with this book told me he'd been disappointed by it - I guess I was already committed to buying it 😂 I on the other hand was not disapointed. It's a thoughtful and whimsical sort of book, so maybe he was hoping for something a little more plot-heavy. At any rate, well worth spending the weekend with it.

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jfount
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Pickpick

Dark and thrilling - it's interesting to read that this book was kind of a whim for the author; I imagine her next book will be very different. The ending was not what I expected!

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jfount
The Satapur Moonstone | Sujata Massey
Pickpick

A very good follow up to the first book -- less of the historical fiction aspect but the mystery itself is handled in much the same way, so you'll like this one if you liked the first one I think.

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jfount
Pickpick

Good fun as ever.

blurb
jfount
Hamilton: The Revolution | Lin-Manuel Miranda
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As we watched the musical last night I knew this was how I was going to be spending today. We saw the show live in London last year and now I‘m quite happy to read about the original cast since I‘ve seen them perform now!

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jfount
Magpie Murders | Anthony Horowitz
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Pickpick

I thought this was just delightful. I was a bit concerned at the length when it arrived and I was equally concerned that it might be a bit too self-involved, but in practice I enjoyed it thoroughly and devoured it quickly. The interplay of fiction and reality (book-reality and real-reality) was well done and interesting without being too contrived.

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jfount
Stay With Me | Ayobami Adebayo
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Pickpick

Couldn‘t put this one down; deception, desperation, love, family, and good intentions. I loved the way the story got deeper and more human as it went on, as you start to see psychology mingling with social pressures. And the ending was wonderful.

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jfount
The Hunting Party | Lucy Foley
Pickpick

First intrigued by the piles of books in Eason, picked it up when I saw it recommended on a list of contemporary crime fictions for classic murder fans. Pure entertainment; I enjoyed the layers of secrets, twists, and red herrings and thought the whole thing felt surprisingly un-contrived.

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jfount
Little Women and Good Wives | Louisa May Alcott
Pickpick

Can you believe I‘d never read this before? Growing up I always heard about it as a great book about sisters, which didn‘t feel relevant to me. Anyway, now that I‘ve read it I can see why it‘s a classic, although I was not expecting how overtly preachy it is!

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jfount
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Bailedbailed

Bailing on Wodehouse?! Yeesh, that‘s grim. I picked this up mostly in a glow after the 1920s advertising setting of the last book. But while Psmith is always rough going for me, it turns out the combination of Psmith and Wodehouse‘s utter fascination with American gangland is my personal poison. I ADORE this cover though. It‘s nice to see a Wodehouse scene realistically rather than a goofy cartoon.

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jfount
MURDER MUST ADVERTISE | DOROTHYL. SAYERS
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Pickpick

Absolutely priceless for the depiction of interwar advertising, and the mystery is pretty good too.

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jfount
A Judgement in Stone | Ruth Rendell
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Pickpick

A perfect book-in-a-day binge read for a particularly quiet, grey lockdown day. I ordered this after seeing someone post the first page on twitter and the book lived up to all expectations. Really gripping. (Pictured here with the two (two!) calming knitting projects have on the go. Be calm!!!!)

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jfount
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Pickpick

Come for the historical and cultural importance, stay for the charming story! I was reminded a bit of Les Miserables, in the strong, heartfelt emphasis on mercy and forgiveness.

nanuska_153 I love this book and it's due a re-read! I found it very interesting from a historical point of view. Manzoni's grandfather was Beccaria, who wrote a philosophical treaty outlining the cruelty of the criminal laws that re-shaped the system. I remember I thought his grandfather's influence was quite obvious 2y
2 likes1 comment
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jfount
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Pickpick

I was so impressed by the interview with the author of this book on 99PI I had to order it. I‘m a dedicated public transit user, and this was an interesting look at why bus systems might be crap and what can be done, technically and politically, to improve them — and who and what benefits when they improve. Really interesting.

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jfount
Pickpick

This is definitely a book best read in a contemplative mood but I appreciated it despite just chugging through.

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jfount
Pickpick

Phenomenal! So well researched and presented!

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jfount
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This cover strikes me as far too bland and boring for the excellent book inside. Maybe I‘m too harsh?

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jfount
Such a Fun Age | KILEY. REID
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Pickpick

👏 Lived up to my high expectations. It‘s as good as the premise suggests; the complexities of race and class and modern culture, together with an almost rom-com/chick lit compulsive readability. And I loved the ending.

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jfount
Girl with a Pearl Earring | Tracy Chevalier
Panpan

Not for me. Maybe I was a little colored by having read the (much inferior) Miniaturist? The weird sexual tension between Griet and Vermeer never made sense to me, and therefore none of the other tensions in the story, I think. It probably doesn‘t help that the titular painting is not one that particularly interests me.

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jfount
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Pickpick

My first time reading something for the Shedunnit book club 😱 Loved it!

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jfount
The Corset | Laura Purcell
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Pickpick

Not my usual thing (Christmas gift from a sister in law) but a cracking read nonetheless! Ruth‘s story of abuse and horror is interspersed with the earnest Dorothea‘s reforming zeal and marital ambitions. Lots of secrets and a perfect supernatural whiff (or is it?). I was particularly charmed by Dorothea‘s self-assurance and the way it unravels. Great read! [Different title in the US I think, FYI]

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jfount
A Complicated Kindness | Miriam Toews
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Pickpick

My first book to start and finish in 2020. A teenage girl dealing with family tragedy precipitated by their repressive religious community. Sad and funny and honest.

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jfount
Overstory | Richard Powers
Pickpick

I was about 75% of the way through this before I realized that probably the way to describe it was “about people who discover the importance of trees” rather than “about trees.” But it‘s definitely a book about trees. 🌲🌳🌳🌲🌳🌲🌲🌳

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jfount
Bailedbailed

Read about half the stories but need to be reading other things....!

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jfount
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Pickpick

First finished book of 2020, and a fine Christmas read. I enjoyed the selection and range of these stories, and appreciated the background on each author.

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jfount
Overstory | Richard Powers
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“There are a hundred thousand species of love, separately invented, each more ingenious than the last, and every one of them keeps making things.”

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jfount
Small Island: A Novel | Andrea Levy
Pickpick

Another WWII novel, sneaking in under the cover of a postwar novel... entertaining and heartbreaking and interesting. Definitely a “would recommend”.

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jfount
Daughter of Time | Josephine Tey
Mehso-so

I guess I can see why this is a classic, but it wasn‘t necessarily my thing.

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jfount
Dear Mrs Bird | AJ Pearce
Pickpick

You‘re going to stop believing me about disliking WWII novels. This was very cute, with an enormously likable main character. A fairly light read but not dumb or melodramatic. I enjoyed it and barely put it down once I started.

Clutterbucks_Queen I read it twice within a week haha! Was a lovely story! 3y
6 likes1 comment
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jfount
Tiger in the Smoke | Margery Allingham
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Pickpick

A slow start for me, being the first of these books I‘ve read and there were a lot of characters from previous stories who I didn‘t really know. That said, once I got into it I found a thrilling, surprising, suspenseful book that makes the most of a postwar setting. It made for an excellent companion by this fire in Mayo, certainly.

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jfount
Hold | Michael Donkor
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Pickpick

Billed as the story of two (or three) Ghanaian girls, really it‘s Belinda coming to terms with herself and how others might see her (I thought, anyway). Some of the physical description of life in a female body didn‘t quite ring true to me, and some sequences were hard to picture. But I appreciated the perspectives on race, sexuality, culture, etc, and found the characters interesting and engaging.

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jfount
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Pickpick

This was very good as a Victorian murder book, but outstanding as a story about storytelling about crime. I found it very interesting as a kind of historical parallel to present-day concerns about the craze for ‘true crime‘ today. I would definitely recommend it.

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jfount
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Pickpick

I was only in the library to return books—REALLY—but was to excited to see this not to take it home. It‘s been on my list for years. A fascinating tale of a Victorian scammer, although I have to say the storytelling is not as good as some historical crime books I‘ve read. Stay tuned for the other library find I didn‘t mean to get ☺️

thegirlwiththelibrarybag Hahaha. The books the library throws up at you when you are not looking are always great ☺️ 3y
4 likes1 comment
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jfount
Sittaford Mystery | Agatha Christie
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Pickpick

Another Shedunnit read - I thoroughly enjoyed this and gasped at the solution. Absolutely fantastic golden-age mystery with a hilariously self-assured young woman doing much of the sleuthing. 📚 A very satisfying book to be my 50th of 2019!

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jfount
The Maker of Swans | Paraic ODonnell
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Mehso-so

There were bits of this where I thought I knew what was going on, but definitely not as much of it as I could hope 😕 Not for me in the end; although I‘m told his second novel is a little more straightforward so I don‘t rule out reading more.

blurb
jfount
The Maker of Swans | Paraic ODonnell

I‘ll be the first to admit this was a very slow starting book for me. The language seemed unspeakably precious, especially for a book set in the... 60s? 70s? The poncy faux-Jeeves butler was not endearing either (or believable given he‘s apparently meant to have a rough, seedy past). That being said, I‘m halfway through and enjoying it much more.

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jfount
Panpan

Will this be the book that finally breaks the spell and teaches me that I don‘t actually enjoy translated crime fiction?? 😂 This book was 60% the inspector lusting over young women and lamenting his age, 30% post war Italian politics and society, and 10% mystery. I chugged along with it steadily enough but the ending was brutal and upsetting, hence the big thumbs down. Che triste!

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jfount

So, I picked this up at the library because I wanted something light. Turns out the central crime is the gang rape and murder of a child. Caveat lector, I guess; and if you want an Agatha Christie just check out an Agatha Christie!

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jfount
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Pickpick

The best review I can give this is that it inspired me to pick up my knitting again after several months of slump...! As with any collection, the essays are uneven; the best ones are concrete stories rather than generalized musings. There‘s enough texture in the collection not to get (too) samey. A nice read and would make a good gift.

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jfount
French Exit: A Novel | Patrick DeWitt
Mehso-so

An odd, dark book about a deeply dysfunctional family. Probably a little better than “so-so” to be fair. Very funny in places and eminently readable.

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jfount
Pickpick

This is such a funny book - and informative. There are a few letters from her advice column but mostly this is a primer on cleaning everything in your life. It‘s all very practical, with brand names galore (ironically not practical for me living outside the US but oh well).

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jfount
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Pickpick

Roughly 60% historical fiction and 40% mystery, this book kept me engaged to the end. It‘s not a hardcore mystery written as a puzzle, which I appreciate; although I think the clues were there, it‘s much more focused on storytelling. I would happily read the next one in the series. This was my “souvenir” from visiting my brother in Minneapolis, where we stumbled across this great little shop.

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jfount
The Western Wind | Samantha Harvey
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Mehso-so

Kind of an inside out and backwards murder mystery, really cleverly written; but I have to say it felt less historical the more I read of it. “So-so” is probably too harsh but this was ultimately a little meh for me.

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jfount
The Infatuations | Javier Maras
Mehso-so

Between this and “Via Merulana” I‘m starting to think paragraphs are not valued on the continent. This is a pretty much as described - a kind of mediation on murder, love, and what we know and can‘t know about other people. There is a lot of ruminating going on, so if you‘re like me and just want a plot, you‘re probably missing the point.

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jfount
A house in the country | Jocelyn Playfair
Bailedbailed

Time to admit that this is on the back burner. I will probably try to circle back later in the year.