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Liz_M

Liz_M

Joined September 2017

Eliz_M on LT. Somewhat obsessively reading the 1001 books list. When I'm not reading I'm visiting museums or cooking.
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Liz_M
Storm King | Brendan Duffy
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Not book related.

I spent a lovely, exhausting the day at Storm King Art Center yesterday.

Graywacke Nice! 2w
SRWCF Cool! 2w
Billypar That place is the best - it's huge and there's so many interesting works. 2w
Liz_M @Billypar Huge is right! My feet still hurt. 😆 Have you every been to Grounds for Sculpture in NJ? That is another AMAZING outdoor sculpture garden. (edited) 2w
Billypar I have and you are correct - also amazing! I've been to both places multiple times. I think it would also be difficult to imagine two sculpture gardens that are more different from each other. But both are a lot of fun in their own way. 2w
19 likes5 comments
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Liz_M
Colombia | Sarah Woods, Richard McColl
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I had a late, but lovely #Colombia lunch while running errands last weekend:

A soursop drink, arepa con queso, a salad with plantain chips and unusual sauces, and yucca fries. The only disappointment was I was way too full to have the coconut flan. 😢

#FoodandLit @Texreader, @Catsandbooks, @Butterfinger

Chrissyreadit It all looks amazing! 2w
Catsandbooks Looks delicious! 2w
BarbaraBB Looking good 😋 2w
33 likes3 comments
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Liz_M
Subdivision: A Novel | J. Robert Lennon
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Pickpick

A woman arrives at a guesthouse, as a first step in moving to the town. But why exactly is she moving…? The owners insist she work on a puzzle in the lobby and somebody does, but who….? Is the reappearing crow watching her…? The town is isolated, and something odd happens on the outskirts…. This ethereal novel follows dream-logic with only the barest hints of the reality the narrator might be escaping. I am not sure what I read, but I loved it.

Liz_M 4.5⭐ 3w
33 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Liz_M
Havana Year Zero | Karla Surez
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In 1993 Cuba is in its worst economic crisis. In desperate times Julia, a young math professor whose career is stuck, hears of a lost scientific document which she believes can bring her renown. Julia‘s search reveals others who seek to rescue themselves with this document. Julia says she is thinking mathematically but I didn‘t see that. Although the plot device is ridiculous, Suárez expertly sets up a fascinating world and realistic characters.

35 likes1 comment
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Liz_M
Untitled | Anonymous
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It's been a while since I've done a collage, so here's one for June #BookSpinBingo!

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Liz_M
Untitled | Anonymous
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Once again I'm using #BookSpinBingo to help me choose what to read.

@TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 1mo
17 likes1 comment
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Liz_M
Basic Black with Pearls | Helen Weinzweig
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“Lola” is living her best life. Having left a husband and two children, she travels the world directed by coded messages interpreted from magazines for assignations with her spy lover. But does she?

As she waits, she reminisces about past meetings and her past life. The narrative is fully interior and dreamy, with a nebulous timeline and hints that not is all as it might seem and the narrator might be even wholly unreliable. Quite fascinating.

Liz_M Digression: The most unreliable omission for me is where does the money coming from to pay for all this travel? 1mo
kspenmoll Sounds intriguing! 1mo
BarbaraBB I was wondering too about the money! 1mo
39 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Liz_M
No One Is Talking about This | Patricia Lockwood
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I an so looking forward to trying these recipes, @Julsmarshall! I love icebox cookies and risotto! And I;m excited to try some new-to-me Texan food. 😍

I've had my eye on this book for a while, and (if I can wait that long) might save the it for my next plane ride .

#RecipeSwap @Bennett

LeahBergen Those recipes sound fun. 👍 1mo
Julsmarshall I‘m so glad you like everything! I just got home from spending the weekend my my college age daughter and so I‘m about to open mine! 1mo
30 likes2 comments
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Liz_M
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I did it! It worked! I applied for Public Service Loan Forgiveness and after 5 months and much bureaucracy and angst, the balance of my outstanding student loans has been forgiven! 🥂💃🎉🤸

https://studentaid.gov/pslf/

wanderinglynn Congrats! 🎉🙌🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2mo
LiteraryinLawrence Congratulations!! That‘s so exciting!! 2mo
ManyWordsLater Wow!! Go buy that book you wanted! You deserve it! 2mo
See All 9 Comments
Soubhiville That‘s wonderful congratulations! 2mo
BarbaraBB That‘s fantastic! Go buy a book. Treat yourself! Join #CampLitsy for some inspiration!! 2mo
Liz_M @ManyWordsLater @BarbaraBB Oooh, I was just going to go out for drinks with coworkers, but that is also a good idea! 😁 2mo
MaureenMc 🙌🥳🙌 2mo
ManyWordsLater @Liz_M do both! But responsibly. ;) (edited) 2mo
Leftcoastzen Yay! 2mo
31 likes9 comments
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Liz_M
Recipes: Blank Recipe Book | Cookbook Publisher
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@Julsmarshall It's here! Now to keep it out of reach of the plastic-chewing cat until the 15th. 😼

#recipeswap, @BennettBookworm

Julsmarshall I‘m so glad! 2mo
24 likes1 comment
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Liz_M
Recipes: Blank Recipe Book | Cookbook Publisher
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I don't do swaps very often, so of course I forgot to take a photo of the package before mailing it. And it didn't occur to me to wrap the book before putting it in the mailing envelop. 🤦

The good news, @Julsmarshall, is that USPS should be delivering it on Friday.

29 likes2 comments
review
Liz_M
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Pickpick

I hoped this much-beloved author would be an engrossing read. It‘s a loose narrative of a small team of astronauts tasked with the survey of four distant planets. This novella has unique ideas and inventive descriptions - each planet vastly different and alien - but the characters are underdeveloped. With the necessary jumps in time and place, the plot is tenuous, but I appreciated that the story ended with the possibility of two or three futures.

Liz_M 3⭐ 2mo
BarbaraBB I haven‘t read this author and wonder if I should. 2mo
27 likes2 comments
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Liz_M
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Got on the subway to head to the airport and upon opening my e-reader discovered it had crashed. Once at the airport, I discovered I can't use wifi to reinstall the software AND I forgot to bring its charging cord. $20 and 30 minutes later, it's still very slowly syncing content through the laptop. 🤞🙏

Graywacke Well that stinks 2mo
Leftcoastzen Gggrrrr! We love them , we hate them. Sorry , it‘s exhausting! 2mo
BarbaraBB That is frustrating! Did you buy a book instead? Safe travels! 2mo
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Liz_M @Graywacke @BarbaraBB It's an inconvenience. I mean I do have two physical books (but wanted the library scifi book) and I can get the library books on my phone, but I prefer the larger screen of the ereader. 2mo
Liz_M @Leftcoastzen Exactly. And I'm stubborn and want to solve the problem NOW rather than waiting until I get to where I'm going. 😂 2mo
vivastory That's frustrating! I hope you have a good trip, e reader difficulty aside 2mo
24 likes6 comments
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Liz_M
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Photo taken from a hill across from the picnic house in Prospect Park.

BarbaraBB That is so cool!! 3mo
27 likes1 comment
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Liz_M
Untitled | Unknown
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So looking forward to Spring, with its longer, warmer days!

@TheAromaofBooks here is my March #BookSpin and #BookSpinBingo list.

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 4mo
24 likes1 comment
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Liz_M
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I finally got around to eating an Argentine meal today. I found a cute little restaurant in Chelsea that served something other than empanadas de carne, steak, blood sausages, and sweat breads 😆

This place had a couple of vegetarian empanadas, Torrontés wine, grilled calamari, and dulce de leche flan.

#FoodandLit #Argentina @Texreader, @Butterfinger, @Catsandbooks

Texreader Fantastic! I‘m anxious to try one of our Argentinian restaurants 4mo
BarbaraBB It looks amazing and I love Torrontés if it‘s not too sweet! 4mo
Dilara It all looks so enticing! 4mo
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Liz_M @Texreader I hope you do!
4mo
Liz_M @BarbaraBB The wine was lovely, no where near as sweet as the complimentary dessert wine! 4mo
Liz_M @Dilara Yes, the presentation is beautiful! And I love dulche de leche. 4mo
Catsandbooks Wow yum!! 4mo
40 likes7 comments
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Liz_M
Weather: Bringing it Home | Weather Channel
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Sunny and 57 F (14 C) to snowing and 30 F (-1 C).

BarbaraBB How extreme. 4mo
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Liz_M
H(a)ppy | Nicola Barker
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Just a visually fun book.

BarbaraBB I had no idea! I obviously didn‘t once crack it open to find out! 4mo
vivastory I ordered Barker's book Darkmans last year (still TBR) after reading this amazing profile of her
https://lithub.com/nicola-barker-is-our-great-post-punk-novelist/
4mo
31 likes2 comments
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Liz_M
H(a)ppy | Nicola Barker
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After they banded together and saved us from the Floods and the Fires and the Plagues and the Death Cults, the Altruistic Powers actively discouraged The Young from thinking about God.

#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

Liz_M Look at the colored font! 🥰 5mo
BarbaraBB That‘s awesome. That sentence too by the way 😱 5mo
Liz_M @BarbaraBB It's going to be an interesting dystopic read! 5mo
BarbaraBB I hope it‘ll be good! 5mo
23 likes4 comments
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Liz_M
The Two Gentlemen of Verona | William Shakespeare
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Perfect Saturday morning.

#CatsofLitsy

kspenmoll Sweet!!! 5mo
40 likes1 comment
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Liz_M
Untitled | Anonymous
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Well, that's my February reading sorted. #BookSpinBingo

#BookSpin = H(A)PPY a book from the 1001-list
#Doublespin = The Last Brother for #ReadingAfrica2022

Also on the board, but not contributing to any bingos 😜
#nyrbbookclub = Katalin Street
#FoodandLit = Heartbreak Tango
real life book club = The Soul of an Octopus

merelybookish My Struggle! What volume? 5mo
Liz_M @merelybookish Vol 1 I've been putting it off and putting in off because it is an awful lot of book (esp. vol 6!) and there are so many other things I want to read.... 5mo
merelybookish @Liz_M I understand! The good news is that you'll know after Book 1 if you want to continue or not. 5mo
BarbaraBB I have H(A)PPY on my shelves too, but it‘s intimidating. Looking forward to what you‘ll think. And My Struggle is soooo good, especially volume 6 😉 5mo
31 likes4 comments
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Liz_M
Girl, Woman, Other | Bernardine Evaristo
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In twelve interconnected vignettes, Evaristo explores ways to be British-African. The stories reward close reading-- besides the obvious connections, details from one character play out in another‘s story. It also plays with form; each story has moments of fractured prose breaking into fragments of poetry. The one downside of the creative structure is not all characters are well-drawn and the similarly structured stories began to feel repetitive.

41 likes2 comments
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Liz_M
Untitled | Anonymous
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My #BookSpin and #BookSpinBingo list for February! @The AromaofBooks

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Liz_M
Untitled | Unknown
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I think I'll stay inside and read today.

kspenmoll Good choice!!! I am too! (edited) 5mo
Cathythoughts Sounds like a plan 😁👍 (edited) 5mo
maich Good choice. I'm doing the same😊 5mo
Chrissyreadit Hi friend- just sent you an email. 5mo
40 likes4 comments
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Liz_M
Migrations: A Novel | Charlotte McConaghy
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Pickpick

The environment has been irreparably harmed and mass extinction is underway with more and more species vanishing. Franny Stone, as damaged as the world in which she lives, is on a mission to observe the last migration of Arctic Terns. The journey and Franny's past are told in flashes, moving back and forth in time. McConaghy brilliantly builds tension through a slow reveal of the past and her word-prefect descriptions of nature and people.

Liz_M 4.5⭐ #NYWD22 @staci.reads @monalyisha
@TheAromaofBooks This is my January #BookSpin
(edited) 5mo
staci.reads Glad you liked it! 5mo
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! 5mo
Liz_M @staci.reads Best read so far this year 😊 5mo
39 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Liz_M
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I had a very lovely meal from this cookbook for #FoodandLit #Egypt! A little fancier prep than I would normally do, but all delicious.

Mom's Lentil Soup (amazing!)
Three Pepper Baladi Salad (very good)
Dehydrated Tomato Tabbouleh (tasty)

@Texreader @Butterfinger @Catsandbooks

LeahBergen I‘ve been wanting to buy this cookbook! 5mo
Tamra Ooooo, need to check out! 5mo
Liz_M @LeahBergen I'm lazy, so this cookbook is a touch fussy for me (really the tabbouleh salad could have been made with regular tomatoes, rather than dehydrating and blending them and spreading as a sauce beneath the salad....). But only a touch. 5mo
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BarbaraBB It does look quite professional! 5mo
LeahBergen I can be a pretty lazy cook at times, too. 😆 5mo
Catsandbooks Looks tasty! 5mo
Cathythoughts That‘s the kind of food I love best, I can‘t seem to get lentil soup right !stacking ! (edited) 5mo
43 likes1 stack add8 comments
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Liz_M
The Queue | Basma Abdel Aziz
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After “the Disgraceful Event“, Yehia queues outside The Gate to ask for treatment for an injury received. Told from multiple viewpoints, mostly Yehia a doctor, but also Yehia's girlfriend, and other people in the queue. Inspired by post-Arab Spring events, it‘s a clever blend of dystopia, absurdism and Kafka. But it is conveyed dispassionately. We hear the character's thoughts, but don‘t feel their emotions. An intriguing, if not compelling read.

BarbaraBB Clever but dispassionately, that is so true. I wish I could have said it like that! 5mo
Librarybelle Great review! 5mo
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vivastory Wonderful review 👏 Between yours @BarbaraBB review I think I'm going to try to squeeze this one in this week 5mo
Liz_M @vivastory 👍 5mo
37 likes6 comments
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Liz_M
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Pickpick

Bennett writes about a complicated situation simply. The story is told through many different viewpoints and while it could have been soap-opera dramatic the it feels true. But, the problem with a multi-view, multi-generational work is how to end. This just petered out; it stops rather than concluding, which I appreciated and yet was disappointed. Very well-written but I expected more - I wanted to feel more, to think more, to be surprised. 3.5⭐

BarbaraBB I assume you‘ve read Passing. That was so much better don‘t you think? 6mo
43 likes1 comment
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Liz_M
The Latecomer | Sarah Aldridge
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Although I had my #BookSpin and #BookSpinBingo lists all prepared, I completely forgot to post them. 😳

@TheAromaofBooks

BarbaraBB I‘m gonna read The Queue too! Coincidence 🤍 6mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 6mo
Liz_M @BarbaraBB It's like we both wanted to read an Egyptian novel that is not by Mahfouz. 😉 6mo
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BarbaraBB That‘s absolutely true. I DiD enjoy Mahfouz though, how about you? 6mo
Liz_M @BarbaraBB I liked the tagged best, but I've only read three of his books. Just wanted a new perspective. 6mo
Liz_M @TheAromaofBooks Please add me to your tag lists for #BookSpin and #BookSpinBingo 5mo
TheAromaofBooks I've added you to the list!! 5mo
35 likes8 comments
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Liz_M
No Title | None
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Please share to spread the word!

LitsyEvents is a sort of Litsy town hall, managed by a group of thoughtful Littens who want to be sure no one misses any of the awesome community activities available.

Follow @LitsyEvents and be sure to tag the account in any Litsy goings-on that need to be amplified. The account will signal boost #ReadingChallenges, #BuddyReads, #Readathons, #LitsySwaps, and any other inclusive, Litsy community-building events.

Chelseabillups30 I didn‘t even know I was already following this page…but I am!! Hopefully that means I‘m gonna feel more in the know about Readathons in the future….I already feel like I miss out on them all!! 6mo
Liz_M @CatsandBooks Hi! I hope it is you that picked up the LitsyEvents posting today. I think you're the only person monitoring the account for March. If you need help a day or week off, let me know & I can step in! 💞 4mo
Catsandbooks @Liz_M yes that was me! Going well so far! Thanks! @Chrissyreadit also offered to help if I need it. I will reach out if something comes up. ❤️ 4mo
31 likes5 comments
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Liz_M
Migrations: A Novel | Charlotte McConaghy
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As soon as I get that pesky book club book out of the way, I am looking forward to starting a book from the #NYWD22 list I received from the incomparable @staci.reads.

Thanks for this wonderful event, @monalyisha!

BarbaraBB Oooh, Migrations! Looking forward to your review! 6mo
25 likes1 comment
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A belated picture of my (ahem) modest book haul. These past few pandemic years, it has become a birthday ritual to walk to a half dozen Brooklyn bookstores, tagged below. My favorite was closed for the holidays, so I didn't get a chance to visit until today.

Liz_M The Old Drift at 6mo
Liz_M Passage of Tears and Transparent City at 6mo
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Liz_M From the tiny store Cups and Books (not in the database), 6mo
Liz_M Corregidora and Migrations 6mo
Liz_M And the rest from 6mo
LeahBergen What a wonderful ritual! 6mo
vivastory Happy belated birthday 🎉📚📚 6mo
batsy That's a great ritual! And fantastic haul. 6mo
Billypar Very nice! I should be reading Kintu this month or next. And I miss NYC bookshops after moving to NJ - I hope to visit more on weekends once Covid cases start going down. 6mo
Liz_M @Billypar I hope you do get a chance to visit soon! 6mo
39 likes14 comments
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Liz_M
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The novel ends with a descriptive listing of Felicia's vision of hundreds of things, calling back to several mentions of “the old heathen lament...for one who has just died. 'The hundred things' was the name of the lament-the hundred things of which the dead one is reminded, which are asked him, told him.“ What are some of your hundred things?

Liz_M (Litsy or the internet is painfully slow, but here goes) Books, of course. Evie and Bert (my former and present cats). Bite-sized cookies. The pens stuck in my ponytail. Glasses. Sunset photos. The smell of lilacs from my childhood home. 6mo
readordierachel @Liz_M What a lovely list. I particularly like the pens in your ponytail :) 6mo
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Leftcoastzen My grandparents farm, Books, Mendocino , Musso & Frank , how San Francisco cable car brakes smell, grandmas fried chicken & her canning jars filled with good food in the basement, how antiquarian bookstores smell, citrus blossoms.always the cats. 6mo
Liz_M @Leftcoastzen nice! I had no idea that cable car brakes have a specific smell. 😊 6mo
arubabookwoman I'm going to say the wind in Aruba, the smell of coffee roasting in the French Quarter in New Orleans, the creative energy of London in the late 60's (Beatles, Stones, Donovan, Mary Quant, Portobello Road), the mist and greenery of Puget Sound, quilts/fabric/threads, books, and a couple of puppies and kittens. 6mo
Billypar @Liz_M @Leftcoastzen @arubabookwoman I think I could make the list entirely of childhood smells: the cedar from my one grandparents' condo, linoleum and cigar smoke from my other grandparents' house. Vats of olives in an Italian market. Coppertone sunscreen. My friend's basement where we spent almost entire days playing video games. My mom sautéing crushed garlic in oil for tomato sauce. 6mo
arubabookwoman @Billypar Yes! The empty dresser drawers at my grandparent's house had such a distinctive smell, I remember it vividly 60+ years on. 6mo
Liz_M @Billypar Impressive! 6mo
Liz_M @arubabookwoman I loved the energy of London that I felt as a student a few decades later. 😊 6mo
Leftcoastzen @Billypar that coppertone sunscreen iconic scent! 6mo
Leftcoastzen @Liz_M it‘s a wood block grabbing cable so a woodsy, smoky, scent . 6mo
GatheringBooks What a privilege to read your hundred things - all of you - the scents, smells, tastes, imagery - all so evocative. Very much like 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year? How do you weigh the value of the hundred things that will forever remain with you in this life and in the next? 💕💕💕 6mo
23 likes15 comments
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Liz_M
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5) Publisher's weekly states, “Dermoût beautifully depicts the idyllic setting and handles the darker aspects of the story—ghosts, superstition, even murder—with equal skill.“ What image, either beautiful or unsettling, has remained with you?

arubabookwoman Having grown up on a tropical island the descriptions of the setting really spoke to me. But b/c Aruba (in the Dutch W. Indies, unlike this island in the Dutch E. indies) is a desert island, I connected more with the sea images--the coral woman, the octopus, the giant clam shell. And surprisingly, many of the beautiful images were also of danger and death. (edited) 6mo
arubabookwoman The professor expressed his fear of dying in the sea, and that is where he ended up. The professor was drowned. So beautiful as it is, many of us fear the sea. (Due to a near drowning experience when I was 6 I do). I know of several people my parent's age who requested that there ashes be spread into the waters off of Aruba, and the thought of that for me fills me with angst. Sorry if this is not relevant, but it's how the book got me thinking. 6mo
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Liz_M @arubabookwoman I think a lot of the imagery that I found most memorable (like the professor) was the ones that foreshadowed death. For me it was Bibi tempting Himpies with shells that traditionally we're with by the native tribe that (presumably) killed him. 6mo
vivastory @arubabookwoman Thank you for your perspective. I think that it's easy for some people to think that island inhabitants might have only affection for the sea, when it is a real force of nature. 6mo
readordierachel For some reason the idea of the pearls of the sea as tears we will have to cry and the pearls of the earth, tears others have already cried and been buried with, has really stuck in my mind. 6mo
Leftcoastzen @readordierachel I thought that was memorable as well. 6mo
Leftcoastzen I think Island dwellers do have great respect for the sea. Dangers and abundance to be had from it. 6mo
vivastory @readordierachel That was one of my favorite images from the entire book. So striking! 6mo
DrexEdit For me it was the “fleet“ of jellyfish. 6mo
Liz_M @DrexEdit That was such a lovely description! I wanted to find a sketch of those to use for a question background, but couldn't in my quick search. 6mo
Billypar @arubabookwoman I definitely feel the same about the sea images - both beautiful and deadly at the same time. I've always assumed my anxiety about the water and swimming was due to not having a lot of experience around it growing up, but it definitely makes sense that greater access to the sea also means more exposure to the risks and even first hand near-death experiences. 6mo
Billypar How about the palm-wine manniken? I totally thought that thing was coming alive and going on a killing spree at some point 😱 6mo
arubabookwoman @DrexEdit and @Liz_M And jellyfish are another thing from the sea both beautiful and dangerous. 6mo
readordierachel @Billypar Oh yes! Very unsettling, lol 6mo
emilyhaldi For me it has to be the 3 girl ghosts… they were woven through the story so frequently and seemed to have such impact on the people of the island. I would love to hear some analysis on what they represent 🪦🪦🪦 6mo
merelybookish Me too @emilyhaldi I also found the lampshade with the three girls in pink really evocative. But the most beautiful part of the book for me was the opening. And the setting up of memory and the past. It really set the dreamy tone for the book. 6mo
GatheringBooks One of the unforgettable moments for me was when Himpies came back and his mother initially did not recognize him and probably mistook him for his father - so much so that her heart stopped for an instant. Another thought provoking aspect was Himpies‘ love for the married woman who simply up and left, leaving him forever heartbroken. 6mo
batsy Loved seeing all of the answers here, but the image that stuck with me was that evening with Pauline's quietly growing disquiet and how she suddenly shook the child Sophy. The sense of unpredictability, danger, and dread that underlies the whole novel came to the surface here. 6mo
19 likes19 comments
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Liz_M
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4) Is this book a “colonial“ novel? What aspects of colonialism are represented? Or, how does it transcend being a representation of colonialism?

BarbaraBB To me it‘s a real colonial novel. Indonesian people accept the Dutch presence as naturally and don‘t even question it. What space is left for their own culture and traditions they use, but it‘s always subordinate to that of the colonialists. 6mo
Billypar I agree @BarbaraBB - every story contains that tension, where despite the indigenous population having become used to the colonial presence being dominant, it's a society as haunted by its history as it is by the spirits. 6mo
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BarbaraBB @Billypar You can express it much better that I did but that‘s indeed exactly what I mean! 6mo
Leftcoastzen Great way to express it @Billypar colonialism in general is such a hovering presence.At best native peoples go on with their beliefs and systems, but you can bet if it‘s in conflict with the commerce of the colonials it will be put down. 6mo
DrexEdit I think it's a colonial novel because it centers the colonizers and their story. Even if their influence is waning or changing in the region. 6mo
Liz_M @Barbarabb @Billypar this is helpful. The translator note said she wrote not as a Dutch woman or as a Javanese and she disdained the dividing lines (badly paraphrased) which got me thinking about colonialism and how it is part of the culture, implicitly if not explicitly. 6mo
Liz_M @DrexEdit And this is also a good, concise definition 6mo
Billypar @BarbaraBB Well, I don't agree with your last statement but I think we agree on how the novel approaches colonialism 😉 6mo
Billypar Great observation @Leftcoastzen - there's definitely a 'we're fine with all of your beliefs, until they're inconvenient for us' mentality at play. 6mo
Billypar That's interesting @Liz_M - it does seem like after so long colonialism becomes deeply embedded in al 6mo
Billypar *all of the cultures of the island inhabitants and impossible to separate in some ways 6mo
merelybookish Agree with @DrexEdit and @Billypar And I did wonder, after I finished, what this story would be like if the writer had been indigenous and not white. The effects of colonialism are here (e.g. the story of the 3 sisters who were killed and how the slave girl was punished) but it does have an inevitable feeling to it all. And the character of the professor is sympathetic, even as he is also exploiting the people and land. 6mo
GatheringBooks The “colonial presence” as @Billypar phrased it is the dominant voice here - the Indonesians have always been framed as something exotic, the “other” in this narrative, the source of the strangenesses and the mysterious and the lurking danger, too (I am thinking of the professor‘s death as well as that other man with the exotic wife). The subjugated remains silenced or “othered” in this narrative. 6mo
batsy It is a colonial novel, yes. I did find myself wanting more of a voice given to the indigenous people. The sense of fate, of inevitability, feels a bit like a justification for the way systems of power work. Like the professor telling Suprapto that racism/xenophobia can be found in every society. Well, yes, but that doesn't erase how colonialism as a force works to impose a dominating system over local practices. It raises interesting questions. 6mo
18 likes15 comments
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Liz_M
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3) Several reviewers of Ten Thousand Things have noted the role of Fate in Dermoût‘s novel. Do you think that Fate is present, or is something else at work in the characters' lives?

BarbaraBB It might be fate but more important, it‘s something you can influence. It‘s kind of (what we call here) ‘a quiet power‘ 6mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB I love that! 6mo
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vivastory Dermout addresses Fate without deciding in it's favor. As when the great-grandmother tells Felicia to not let Himpies put on a uniform & then Himpies died while serving. Could Felicia have been able to stop him? He was determined to be in the army, but he didn't have a convincing reason why which gave it a strange sense of it being fate. 6mo
arubabookwoman I don't believe in fate, but I think many, if not most, of the characters in this book believed in fate, and believed that whatever happened was "fated." 6mo
Liz_M @arubabookwoman @vivastory I didn't notice the force as fate, but rather thought of it as foreshadowing -- the author emphasizing the moments that would echo in the future. (edited) 6mo
emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB I love that idea.. It‘s comforting to think that we have some power to ever so slightly influence our fate ✨ 6mo
merelybookish @BarbaraBB I like that phrase too. I didn't think of it as fate so much as mysterious forces beyond our control. Magic, curses, charms - all these things had influence or were believed to have influence. 6mo
GatheringBooks I am with @Liz_M here - i did not perceive it as well as fate but more like the inevitability of consequences brought about by choices made by people. The characters seemed to have a clear sense of agency, but the narrative flow makes it seem that their decisions were amorphous or cursed or simply looping into itself, like a cycle of sorts, hence the repeating names - which on hindsight now makes me appreciate dermout more. 6mo
batsy Nicely put @BarbaraBB @arubabookwoman and @GatheringBooks ! I agree that the narrative itself exerted that quiet power—characters acted with agency, but she was able to depict how things happen beyond our control. Himpies' death, or the professor's end, Constance and Pauline. Maybe underlying that question is what motivates people to act in certain ways? Fate, being cursed or charmed, or simply the basic irrationality underlying human experience? 6mo
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Liz_M
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2) Who is your favorite minor character and why?

BarbaraBB This is horrible, I read the book a few weeks ago and can‘t even remember the names of the minor characters 🤷🏻‍♀️ 6mo
arubabookwoman I think if we are supposed to have a favorite character, it would have to be Felicia, but 1. I think this is a novel of place, not character, and 2. Most of the characters had deep flaws, and I didn't fall in love with any of them The sone (Hiemes??) seemed a decent sort. 6mo
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vivastory I'd say my favorite minor character would be either Himpies or Bappa (the man who died his hair blue). I was also a bit intrigued by the bibi that is banned from the house. 6mo
Billypar I think it's Suprapto - I was interested in how he responded to the racist condescension on the part of the Europeans, even as they appeared to respect his noble background. 6mo
readordierachel @arubabookwoman "this is a novel of place not character" totally agree. That's very well put. The characters seemed secondary to the setting. 6mo
readordierachel @BarbaraBB don't feel bad. I finished the book this morning and I can't even remember all the characters names 🤭 6mo
Leftcoastzen I liked Suprapto too , for the reasons @Billypar noted. 6mo
Liz_M I In a way I found the murder victims' stories easier to read -- they were less amorphous and didn't require as much concentration. I was fascinated by the Commissioner and his 'exotic' wife and the uncertainty of how much the women of his household helped his drowning. 6mo
Liz_M I also really enjoyed Bibi, Evan though we only know her through other's eyes 6mo
vivastory @Billypar @leftcoastzen I forgot about Suprapto! He was def a favorite minor character. 6mo
BarbaraBB @readordierachel I am glad you say so! 6mo
Liz_M @readordierachel @BarbaraBB And it doesn't help that many of the minor characters didn't even have names. 😄 6mo
DrexEdit I liked the mysterious bibi with her mysterious wares. 😉 Also the three dead girls who may or may not have been poisoned and were or were not also on the lamp--Elsbet, Katie, and Marregie. 6mo
readordierachel @Liz_M good point! 6mo
vivastory @DrexEdit Yes! The three dead girls! For me they were one of the most mysterious aspects of the entire book with their graves being frequently passed & mentioned in passing in conversation. Haunting the story in many ways! (edited) 6mo
arubabookwoman Just noted the word "minor" before character, so yes, the bibi is an interesting character, and would also like to have known more about the three little girls. (edited) 6mo
emilyhaldi @Liz_M I would read another small novel on the Commissioner and the women of his household!! A lot of mystery surrounding those characters… 6mo
Liz_M @arubabookwoman Perhaps not the best word choice -- I was mainly thinking of any character other than Felicia 😄 6mo
GatheringBooks I think it is a toss-up between constance and Raden Mas Suprapto for me - his passive aggressiveness matched with Constance‘s murderous/fiery nature made this a curious read for me 6mo
GatheringBooks And yay for the three dead girls, too @DrexEdit - so mysterious and haunting 6mo
batsy I'm with @Billypar I found Suprapto quite fascinating for those reasons. The professor was also interesting because he seemed to be a bunch of enigmatic contradictions, and kind of reminded me of a Graham Greene character. That whole segment did, on the whole! 6mo
batsy @emilyhaldi I agree! 6mo
Billypar @batsy You're right: that story definitely had a Graham Greene feel, which is odd because nothing else in the novel really did. I liked your point about the quote from the professor in the other thread about racism being present among all cultures: it's maybe a situation where the author captured the character accurately, even if she failed to see herself why that statement is an oversimplification? Or who knows, maybe she did - it's tough to say! 6mo
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1) Several of us have commented on the narrative shift(s) in the novel. Does the novel‘s unusual structure work for the story being told? Why or why not?

vivastory It did not work for me. As @billypar mentioned I did not find the stories in the At the Outer Bay section interesting. I was really enjoying the novel & I found the shift jarring & it felt like too much time was spent on this section. 6mo
BarbaraBB I had a hard time not losing interest in the middle of the book and picking up in the third part. So no, it didn‘t work for me. 6mo
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arubabookwoman It ultimately worked for me, but when the story of Felicia seemingly ended, and we were into, the professor, the colonel, and Constance, I thought the book was actually a novella and short stories. I think the end tied it all together fairly well 6mo
Billypar Agreed @vivastory - of all of the shorter tales I liked The Professor the best because it had more interesting narrative twists that were missing from the others. No matter how short any story is, I think they need a certain amount of developments and these seemed a little too static for me, as haunting as they were. 6mo
Billypar That said, I don't mind the structure by itself - @arubabookwoman I like that way you described it as a novella and short stories woven together. 6mo
vivastory That's an interesting way of thinking about it @arubabookwooman I think that I might at some point reread this bc I did love the first part & it was a quick read. If I do I think I'll use that mindset of it being more of a novella & short stories. I find that these categories matter bc they help express expectation, at least personally (ie IMO Kawakami's Breasts & Eggs is a disaster as a novel but as 2 linked novellas is pretty impressive) 6mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB I found myself wishing that part 4 was longer as well 6mo
readordierachel It didn't work for me on this read. Like @BarbaraBB I started losing interest. But like @vivastory I think I'll revisit the book some day in the future. Now that I know what to expect, maybe I can enjoy it for what it is on a reread. 6mo
Leftcoastzen I did like the professor part , but overall I was feeling the first part , not as interested in the middle and wanted the end to last longer.I could feel the pressures of colonialism through the entire book & kept wanting to dig into nonfiction about colonialism there. 6mo
Liz_M @readordierachel @vivastory I was less bothered by the shift to other stories. But I also think it will work better on a second read. I want to see if there are hints in the first section that we will hear other stories, because it was so clearly necessary to know them for the final section to have a rich meaning. 6mo
vivastory @Leftcoastzen I found myself googling after I finished to learn about the colonialism 6mo
vivastory @Liz_M @readordierachel I also should have paid closer attention to the third section. I was a bit impatient to get back to the other narrative, but I am curious if there were hints as you said. 6mo
Leftcoastzen @vivastory Yes! My reading is often slowed down by googling. It‘s a blessing and a curse.I think I liked it better when I took notes to look crap up later. I get pulled out of the story. 6mo
DrexEdit @arubabookwoman I like this way of looking at it. Otherwise, I have to think that Ms. Dermout just needed a stronger editor to talk her out of including section 3.

For my part, I was left just wondering why those stories were in there at all. I mean I guess there was an attempt to wrap those characters into the small garden at the end, but since they were never really part of the small garden it didn't make sense to me.
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vivastory @Leftcoastzen I feel like there ought to be a specific word (there probably is) for the amnesia when you pick up your phone to google something while reading & then put it down 30-45 minutes later & realize you didn't even look up what you originally intended. So much time lost.... 😂 6mo
LeahBergen Sorry, fellow bookclubbers! I didn‘t get around to this month‘s read but I‘m enjoying reading all about it here. 6mo
GatheringBooks While I found the shift jarring, I simply “went with the flow” as people say, trusting where the author will lead me to. Thankfully, it was tied neatly and somewhat coherently towards the end. 6mo
merelybookish I had read @vivastory's review so I knew about the shift ahead of time which made it less jarring. I think there is something important about the inner AND outer, and that you can't talk about one without that other, and even things that don't seem connected, are. I didn't love the structure but I found it interesting and I did enjoy thinking about why it was structure this way. 6mo
Liz_M @merelybookish That is rather astute. Of course the inner Bay and outer Bay were chosen as chapter headings to highlight the symbolic dichotomy. 6mo
quietjenn Like @GatheringBooks and @merelybookish, I think I was able to enjoy the shift and just go with it, in part because I knew from other comments that they were coming. I actually enjoyed them, but I do wish there was more there at the end bringing it all together. 6mo
batsy I think I was expecting it as others mentioned because I saw the other reviews first. For some reason I didn't find it jarring at all and it's interesting to me that I'm in the minority 😁 This felt like a hazy dreamscape where normal rules didn't apply, which I think kind of mirrored Felicia's experiences, especially wrt the superstitions and rituals and myths that abound. I felt like I was being guided along by a strange logic. 6mo
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My last completed book of 2021 was A Burning and the first book I need to read (for bookclub) is The Vanishing Half.

#lastfirst @BookNAround

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Year in Review | United States International Trade Commission
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Thanks @BarbaraBB! For now, this is my #Top21of21. Roughly in order of date read (with adjustments to make the graphic work) and the higher rated works are larger.

I'm tagging @Q84, @Butterfinger, @Chrissyreadit, @catsandbooks, @staci.reads, @labfs39, @dilara, @bnp, @stretchkev, @charl08 to share their top books.

vivastory It makes my heart happy to see a few NYRB on here. This is a spectacular list. I have checked out Celestial Bodies so many times from the library, I really do need to read it. I've been thinking of rereading the Ogawa, too. 6mo
charl08 Just 21? That's hard! 😫 6mo
LeahBergen Great list! I see some of my favourites of the year on here, too. 6mo
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Liz_M @LeahBergen So when do we see your list? 😉 6mo
Liz_M @charl08 Or break into categories: top 21 translated, top 21 non-fiction, top 21 mysteries.... 😁 6mo
LeahBergen I‘m still narrowing it down. 😆 6mo
BarbaraBB Great list!! With surprisingly few #1001books ?! 6mo
Chelsea.Poole I‘ve been curious about this one 6mo
Catsandbooks Excellent list! Thanks for tagging me! 💕 6mo
sarahbarnes Wow, such a great list! Infinite Jest is one of my all time favorites, and I love In the Dream House. 6mo
batsy Fever Dream! I love that book so much. Queen of Persia was close to making mine, as well. There's bits in there that still affect me months later. 6mo
staci.reads Thanks for the tag! I'll definitely do mine, but probably next week. I'm taking some vacation days around Christmas and hope to get some more reading in 🤗 Never know...could have some new favorites 😁 6mo
Butterfinger Thanks for the tag. I will work on my list. 6mo
Liz_M @vivastory I bet Revenge would reward rereading -- seeing connections between the stories that might have been missed the first time. 6mo
Liz_M @BarbaraBB 4 from the list plus two that part of as series for a list book. 😊 6mo
Liz_M @Chelsea.Poole it's compelling. And short -- I reread it immediately after finishing it. 6mo
Liz_M @sarahbarnes I hope to see your list as well! 😁 6mo
Liz_M @batsy It was a good'un. I see a lot of nyrb on your list! 6mo
Liz_M @staci.reads I hear that! I usually read a dozen books in the end of December, but I had the time now to make the graphic 😊 6mo
Liz_M @Butterfinger looking forward to seeing it! 6mo
Chrissyreadit I‘m going to work on a list and hopefully post soon - thanks for the tag 😁 6mo
stretchkev Great List! Fever Dream was such a strange but memorable read. Some others i hope to read soonish. 6mo
Cinfhen Love all the genres you covered 🥰 6mo
vivastory I know GR has been glitchy lately, just a heads up I messaged you about the discussion 6mo
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Liz_M
In a Lonely Place | Dorothy B. Hughes
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I loved her The Expendable Man and am really looking forward to reading this one. Thank you so much @BarbaraBB! 🤗

HollyBolly Bert is absolutely gorgeous! 6mo
WorldsOkayestStepMom I love Bert. 😻 6mo
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Liz_M @WorldsOkayestStepMom You want to adopt him for Christmas? I'm sure he'll only be sick on the carpet three times a week at your place. 🙄 😂 (edited) 6mo
Liz_M @HollyBolly Yes he is and he knows it. 😁 6mo
WorldsOkayestStepMom @Liz_M 🤣🤣🤣🤣 6mo
BarbaraBB It‘s a delicious noir read and I hope you‘ll enjoy it as much as I did! Bert is adorable! What‘s the story behind his name? 6mo
LeahBergen Handsome Bert! ❤️ 6mo
Liz_M @BarbaraBB I'll have to ask. Bert was my best friend's cat for 12 years, but when she had her baby he started acting out. So when she asked me to cat sit while they were visiting her folks and I suggested I take him for two weeks, as a trial adoption period. Three days in, she called and admitted that, although she missed him, it was a relief not to worry about him attacking her ankles or his being around the baby. I've had him ever since. 6mo
BarbaraBB It‘s a very old fashioned Dutch name (which makes it so funny and great imo) and I was wondering if there‘s a link with that old Dutch name. But of course it‘s a name that‘s used in more countries. 6mo
Liz_M @BarbaraBB Truthfully it might have been inspired by Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie 😁 6mo
BarbaraBB That seems quite possible haha I should‘ve thought of that! 🤦🏻‍♀️😂 6mo
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Untitled | Anonymous
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December - the month to frantically catch up on all the challenges. Can you tell I'm woefully behind for #ReadingAsia2021?

Gratuitous picture of Bert in his Christmas sweater. #catsoflitsy

@TheAromaofBooks This is my #BookSpin and #BookSpinBingo list.

rabbitprincess Bert looks so handsome! 😻 7mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 7mo
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And finally a #BookSpinBingo!

BarbaraBB Hi Liz, on Saturday a little something should have been delivered at your place in Brooklyn. Have you received it? #NYRB🎄 7mo
Liz_M @BarbaraBB Oh, how exciting! 👏 It must be in the package rom -- I'll check with the doorman when I get home tonight. 7mo
BarbaraBB 🤞🏽😘 6mo
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Liz_M
Blonde: A Novel | Joyce Carol Oates
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“There came death hurtling along the Boulevard in waning sepia light.“

@ShyBookOwl

arubabookwoman Oooh-you're reading Blonde! Belated Happy Thanksgiving! 7mo
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BarbaraBB Super cool but so frustrating: I read only three!!! 7mo
Liz_M @BarbaraBB I've read 1. 😂 I think they are trying to differentiate themselves from the NY Times notable list. 7mo
BarbaraBB Yes I thought of that too. And I do like that. 7mo
vivastory Thanks for posting. I added a few to my TBR 📚📚 7mo
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Girl, Woman, Other | Bernardine Evaristo
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Thank you @monalyisha for mentioning the spam folder -- sure enough, that is where my match's #NYWD22 list of books ended up!

@staci.reads has good taste -- I've read, and loved, three of the books on the list. I'm most excited about the three pictured above (one of which I was gifted in last year's #jolabokaflodswap and haven't read yet 😬 ). Now off to research the three lesser-known titles!

monalyisha I love, love, love Circe! And Migrations is on my TBR, too! I hope you enjoy! 💖 7mo
squirrelbrain I loved all 3 of these! 7mo
staci.reads Thanks 😊. I read some great ones this year!I am excited that so many of your titles are new to me! I've been researching them this afternoon and have my first choice narrowed down to five possibilities. I am so very intrigued by the Murderbot series, though, that may be where I start. 7mo
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staci.reads Curious...Which 3 have you read already? 7mo
Liz_M @staci.reads My bookclub read the tagged book and I enjoyed it immensely. Even though I spent far too much of the book speculating the _exact_ neighborhood in which it was set (I wanted to figure it out from the book, not google it). 😁 7mo
Liz_M @staci.reads I had heard so many good things, for years, about Jemisin and finally picked up the tagged book. Honestly it was struggle -- I wanted it to be more Tolkienian. But it kept tugging at me and 5 months later I picked up the second and read it and the third in less than a week. 7mo
Liz_M @staci.reads I read the tagged book a very long time ago and loved it. How not to love a magical mystery book about books? 7mo
staci.reads @Liz_M Deacon King Kong was so unexpected for me! I went into it expecting something really heavy, and while there was heavy content, the humor was a wonderful surprise for me! And he absolutely brought his characters to life, which is essential for me. I've learned I gravitate toward character-driven novels. Have you read anything else by James McBride? I want to try more of his work in the new year.
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staci.reads @Liz_M I picked up The Fifth Season for #AuthorAMonth last January and really liked it - enough to pick up the second book and read it a few months later. I actually am terrible about continuing to read series. I read a lot of first books and never get back the rest. I thought The Obelisk Gate was even better! I have not read the third book yet. 7mo
staci.reads @Liz_M I just read The Shadow of the Wind a few weeks ago, and fell in love with it. I agree, I'm a sucker for books about books. I was surprised that the language was so beautiful. I think I expected too much would be lost in the translation. I noticed a few on your list are translated. I'm curious if you read them for a challenge of some type or is that usual for you to read so widely from other cultures? I look forward to branching out. 7mo
BarbaraBB I loved Migrations and Circe. Girl, Woman, Other is good too. You'll have a good month!
7mo
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Untitled | Anonymous
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Ready or not, here I come, #BookSpinBingo!

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Animal Handler | Alix Wood
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Onboarded a new colleague at work today. She's kind of an (adorable) #$$.

BarbaraBB More information please 😃 8mo
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Untitled | Anonymous
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I've run out of room on my physical TBR shelves so this month is all about unburdening them. #BookSpin, #BookSpinBingo, @TheAromaofBooks

Suet624 Oh boy. Good luck! 8mo
rabbitprincess I have This Is How You Lose the Time War on my list too 😊 8mo
TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! 8mo
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Untitled | Unknown
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And finally, I splurged on several books published by smaller independent presses, which is the main reason why I love the Brooklyn Book Festival.

BarbaraBB You‘ve been quiet. All well? 🤍 8mo
Liz_M @BarbaraBB All is busy. We opened a new season, from practically a dead stop, at the end of Sep. I've not been reading much lately, but work should slow down next month. 😊 8mo
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