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Joined September 2016

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You Don't Know Us Negroes and Other Essays by Zora Neale Hurston, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Genevieve West
George & Rue | George Elliott Clarke
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It's a grey day on the St. John River. Fitting ambiance for this book about Black brothers convicted and hanged for killing a taxi driver in Fredericton, NB in 1949. Clarke, an acclaimed Cdn poet, uses his poetic license to re-imagine this historical event. He fleshes out the sad history of these two men and the poverty, racism, violence of their world, writng with "sympathy but not sentimentality." It is a bleak but beautifully written book. ?

merelybookish The language is gorgeous! Sentences are jam-packed with image, rhythm & soul. It may be a novel but Clarke still writes like a poet! And it shows how Canada has its own abhorrent history of anti-Blackness. Definitely an important work of Canlit! 6h
vivastory That's wonderful that you live so close to the river! 6h
merelybookish @vivastory Yes, I love it! And we are far enough away we don't have to worry about flooding. 5h
LeahBergen You have such a lovely view! 4h
merelybookish @LeahBergen Thanks! I feel pretty lucky. 4h
42 likes5 comments
Four Treasures of the Sky | Jenny Tinghui Zhang
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Four hours into this audiobook and I'm bailing. If the book was shorter, I would have stuck with it but I still have 8 more hours to go. Life is too short, as they say.
It tells an important story (about the Chinese immigrant experience in the 1880s. The MC eventually lands in Idaho) But it's plotty in a way that gets on my nerves. I think that's a me problem, not a problem with this book. I suspect fans of historical fiction might enjoy it more.

merelybookish The narrative has fairy tale qualities but I wish the writer had leaned into them more because they felt at odds with the historical realism. The result is a lot of implausible events that took me out of the story. 11h
49 likes1 comment
Poems | William Carlos Williams
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William Carlos Williams 💜

#plum #poetrymatters @TheSpineView

TheSpineView 💜🫐💜 14h
Vansa He really likes fruit, no?!! 13h
merelybookish @Vansa Plums in particular! 😁 2h
48 likes3 comments
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An immersive collection of stories that centers community. They focus on various intersecting inhabitants of an unnamed southern neighborhood beginning in the early 90s up to Obama's presidential run in 2007. Rich individual stories create a complex picture of the issues faced by the Black middle class in what the author calls the "post-civil rights era". It's an ambitious project & structure but I was engrossed by it.

62 likes1 stack add
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Here 👏 For 👏 It 👏

King John | William Shakespeare
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What do you think #shakespearereadalong? Accurate?
W Shakespeare (II) is "Very much like reality TV programme Wife Swap, but set in Italy." ?
From an article "All Possible Plots By Major Authors" https://www.the-fence.com/issues/issue-4/all-possible-plots-by-major-authors
@Graywacke @GingerAntics

Graywacke perfect 🤣🤣 (that whole page is terrific) 4d
merelybookish @Graywacke Yes! Thought Cormac McCarthy was especially good. 🤣 4d
batsy Ahahaha! Yep. Also the Trollope one 😂 4d
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Vansa This is SO FUNNY. The entry for Scott Fitzgerald and the one for Harold Pinter, so spot on. My sides are literally hurting from laughing at this 😂Thanks for sharing! 4d
Graywacke @merelybookish McCarthy was perfect. (The Gaskell has a spoiler of the book I‘m reading ☹️…but it‘s still funny.) 4d
sarahbarnes 😂😂 These are so good!! 4d
merelybookish @batsy Yes, that one made me laugh too! 4d
merelybookish @Vansa I'm glad you enjoyed! The Pinter is pretty 🔥🔥🔥😂 4d
merelybookish @Graywacke Oh bummer. Didn't think of spoilers. 4d
merelybookish @sarahbarnes The Woolf is also pretty accurate! 4d
LitStephanie I actually don't get this article at all. Guess it is over my head. 4d
Centique Brilliant. DH Lawrence and Thomas Hardy made me cackle 🤣 4d
merelybookish @LitStephanie That's a-okay! 4d
merelybookish @Centique Yes, liked both but appreciated how pithy Hardy's description was. 😂 4d
sarahbarnes It really is pretty spot on! 😂 3d
35 likes15 comments
Modern Life: Poems | Matthea Harvey
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There's a zaniness to this poem that I love!
#plaza #poetrymatters @TheSpineView

TheSpineView I get that! 🤩🤩🤩 4d
32 likes1 comment
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The trouble with happiness, according to these stories, is that it's elusive, fleeting, and perhaps even unattainable. Situations that are supposed to bring happiness (love, marriage, parenthood, a new home, a trip to the mountains) usually disappoint. Women and children are particularly vulnerable, but men suffer too. There is a fait accompli about it all. Not so much a why bother as a why would one expect otherwise? In spite of this bleak 👇

merelybookish Outlook, I enjoyed this collection. Ditlevsen's writing is plain but nuanced. Her simple descriptions capture so much. And she speaks honestly about how institutions like marriage and the nuclear family can leave people lonely, hurt & sad. 6d
Nute It‘s the exact type of writing that I enjoy. 6d
vivastory I see my library has a copy of this. Placing a hold on it immediately. Plain but nuanced writing is some of my favorite. Would you say that her style in the stories is similar to the style in The Copenhagen Trilogy? 6d
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merelybookish @Nute Then you should definitely check it out! 6d
merelybookish @vivastory Yes, I would say the style is similar (also has same translator I believe). She writes plainly about brutal things. It appears so simple, almost artless, until you remember how difficult that kind of simplicity is to achieve. 6d
vivastory It's interesting that she is having a moment right now. I think it's fantastic, but it always catches me off guard a bit when a translated author takes off. I remember when Bolano hit it big with The Savage Detectives (which I still prefer over 2666 & interestingly is apparently considered his masterpiece in LA countries) 6d
merelybookish @vivastory I guess new translations and a round of reviews help! And some creepy covers. 😆 But I believe Ditlevsen has always been pretty popular in Denmark, both during her lifetime and after her death. 6d
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Basic Black with Pearls | Helen Weinzweig
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Shirley has an international affair with a spy lover who she finds by deciphering obscure clues to their next renderzvous location. An article on elm disease leads her to Toronto where she undertakes a search to find him. Toronto is her hometown, so as she crisscrosses the city, she recalls memories & collects new stories. Shirley is observant, imaginative, sensitive & alert. I enjoyed being inside her head even if she's 'unreliable.' She 👇

merelybookish still speaks truth about the precariousness of women's lives and finding ways to subvert male domination. 7d
merelybookish A good one to discuss, as usual! #nyrbbookclub @vivastory 7d
merelybookish Also, I will add it was fun to read this underappreciated work of Canadian literature! I had never heard of it before . 7d
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Suet624 I have this on my shelf and always mean to read it. 6d
merelybookish @Suet624 We are discussing at the end of the month. You'd be welcome to join in! 6d
Suet624 I‘m just about to jump into So Much Blue by Percival Everett. After that, definitely! 6d
sarahbarnes I‘m enjoying this one, too! 6d
batsy I haven't started, but I'm looking forward to it even more now. I didn't realise she was a Canadian writer! 6d
BarbaraBB @Suet624 Enjoy So Much Blue 💙! I am having one more book to read too and then will start this one! 6d
vivastory I'm glad to hear that you liked this one. I'm really looking forward to reading & discussing. Definitely an underrated work. I think I stumbled upon it when it was included in the NYRB noir flash sale & then I saw someone on Twitter endorse it. 6d
vivastory @Suet624 Looking forward to your thoughts on the Everett & you will have plenty of time before the NYRB discussion. Due to Memorial Day weekend the discussion will be the first weekend of June. Feel free to join! 6d
merelybookish @Suet624 I read and enjoyed that a few years ago (whenever it was in the TOB). 6d
merelybookish @sarahbarnes Oh good! Will be interested in comparing notes! 🙂 6d
merelybookish @batsy I had never heard of her and she didn't publish a lot. Her husband was a famous Canadian classical composer who I also had never heard of. 🤷 6d
merelybookish @BarbaraBB This feels like a very NYRB book! Kind of weird and perfect for discussion! 6d
merelybookish @vivastory That's interesting it was classified as noir. 🤔 6d
Suet624 @vivastory I think I bought my copy during the same noir flash sale. 😀 thanks for the heads up on the timing of the group discussion. 6d
Suet624 @BarbaraBB thanks, Barbara! 6d
Suet624 @merelybookish I‘ve become a big Everett fan and can‘t believe I‘ve missed so much of his writing. Looking forward to reading this one. 6d
BarbaraBB Looking forward to it! 6d
LeahBergen Great review! I‘m looking forward to it even more now. 6d
merelybookish @LeahBergen Thanks! I think you'll especially enjoy it if you've spent much time in Toronto. (I have not but still got a lot of the street references.) 6d
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Library holds keep coming in, and it's stressing me out. 😬

Chelsea.Poole I can relate! 😬 it‘s a good problem to have though! 😊 1w
sarahbarnes I feel like it‘s a full time job to manage my library holds list these days! 😬 1w
Leftcoastzen Seems like they all come at once sometimes.🙄 1w
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LeahBergen I‘ll keep an eye out for your thoughts on the Monica Ali. I loved Brick Lane. 👍 1w
Bookwormjillk Oh my gosh, same. I need a month off to get my library hold manageable again. 1w
marleed Same here. I finally decided to give priority to my library holds and treat them as though they are sitting on my own physical shelves. I‘m realizing books published in the spring of the year call to me, and maybe I should just enjoy what the library presents to me! 1w
marleed @Bookwormjillk I‘ve been prioritizing my library holds this whole month, but I‘m still juggling 16 holds with more to come. It really is a good problem - why couldn‘t all my problems be like this!? And why do I bother paying for television services because my library has all my attention! 1w
merelybookish @Chelsea.Poole Definitely not the worst problem. 🙂 1w
merelybookish @sarahbarnes @Bookwormjillk So true! It's a lot of effort to keep on top of what you reserved. And why! Sometimes I forget why I reserved a book in the first place. 🤦 1w
merelybookish @Leftcoastzen Feast or famine. 1w
merelybookish @marleed That's s good approach! I have also started to borrow several at once because...who knows what one will strike my fancy! 1w
merelybookish @Leftcoastzen Two more just became available today. 😬 1w
merelybookish @LeahBergen I loved Brick Lane too and this one seems to be getting good reviews. 1w
Bookwormjillk @merelybookish haha yeah. And then I ask people did you tell me to read this? 1w
Leftcoastzen 😱😁 1w
Centique Oh I know what you mean! Also I loved Brick Lane too so interested on your thoughts on her new one 4d
68 likes16 comments
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vivastory Top 5 poet for me 1w
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merelybookish @vivastory The more you read, the better he gets! 1w
vivastory Couldn't agree more. I'm planning on ordering the new volume of Letters to a Young Poet with the other side of the correspondence included. I've had my eye on it & Nunez talks about the book in The Friend. 1w
merelybookish @vivastory Oooh, that sounds tempting! 1w
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Thought of you @vivastory I'm currently reading the Bone books with my son. In this scene, Smiley suggests Fone Bone read (his beloved) Moby Dick aloud to put their predators to sleep. 😁 And it works.
I read this series with my older son and am now re-reading it with my younger. And I've enjoyed it both times! It's quite funny.

Leniverse I just can't get my kids to be interested in this. They're just totally judgemental from the start: "Why is that character smoking?", "Ugh, is he in love with the human girl now?" ?‍♀️ 1w
merelybookish @Leniverse It was a hard sell with my younger one too. He's so fussy, but he's into it now. When my oldest was young, graphic novels for kids were still pretty scarce so he was pretty game for anything in that genre. 1w
RaeLovesToRead I LOVE Bone! ☺☺ 1w
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vivastory That's neat that you are able to share this with your youngest. I read several volumes of Bone when I was in high school. A few years ago I picked up an omnibus at HPB, but haven't looked through it yet. One of the things I'm most looking forward to tomorrow is my weekly Moby Dick reading 👏 1w
merelybookish @RaeLovesToRead It's pretty great! 1w
46 likes6 comments
Late for Work | David Tucker
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"A Day Off" by David Tucker. A #plain poem about books & reading. ?
#poetrymatters @TheSpineView

TheSpineView Excellant! 🤩 1w
42 likes1 comment
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Next up! I've loved her nonfiction and poetry, so excited to read some of her fiction. Opening sentence of 1st story bodes well: "Helga had always, unreasonably, expected more from life than it could deliver."

ManyWordsLater Is this the same woman on the cover as the Daisy Johnson book? 1w
merelybookish @ManyWordsLater Oh, not sure! Similar effect for sure. I believe it is the author as the same face was also on her trilogy of memoirs. 1w
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sarahbarnes I just finished a book by Olga Ravn who apparently edited some of Ditlevsen‘s work and helped bring attention to her writing! 1w
merelybookish @sarahbarnes What a fun coincidence! I will add Ravn to my list! Ditlevsen 1w
EvieBee I have this out from the library too! Enjoying. 1w
ManyWordsLater @merelybookish yes!! That‘s what I was thinking of. 1w
vivastory I want to read her work. I think I will start with this one as the cover of Copenhagen freaks me out 😬 1w
merelybookish @vivastory Yes, I traumatized my kids with those covers. 🤣 1w
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Red Notebook | Antoine Laurain
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Bookstore owner Laurent finds a stolen handbag and -- based on its contents -- becomes obsessed with finding its owner. Like a bad rom-com, this book aims for charming but is closer to cheesy, cringey, and downright creepy. Reading it on audio probably made it worse. It was short, so that was fortunate.

Libby1 I didn‘t like this one either, but I loved his book The President‘s Hat. 1w
merelybookish @Libby1 Good to know! 1w
65 likes2 comments
Basic Black with Pearls | Helen Weinzweig
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Hung out a coffee shop for first time in forever today. Got to read and people watch while waiting for my daughter. Started the May #NYRBbookclub book and enjoying so far!

vivastory I miss coffee shop reading. It was one of my favorite activities when I lived downtown. I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying the book! 2w
71 likes1 comment
The Red Notebook | Antoine Laurain
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"The hotel employee stared at the woman's bare breasts waiting to see if her chest rose and fell."
The kind of sentence only a (cishet) male author could write. ?

marleed Haha! That is so weird! 2w
merelybookish @marleed I know! Totally unnecessary. 2w
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RidgewayGirl I also suggested Either/Or. 2w
sarahbarnes Yes! I am on the list for Either/Or at the library and am excited for pure color, too! 2w
merelybookish @RidgewayGirl I would think it and Candy House both have a good chance for making it. 2w
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merelybookish @sarahbarnes I pre-ordered a copy back in the fall. 🙈 2w
thebluestocking Ooh. I want to read Either/Or! This looks like a great list! 2w
sarahbarnes Good for you! And this is such a good list - I‘m adding some of these to my TBR! 2w
vivastory Great list! 2w
batsy Great list! I'm so keen to read Disorientation and Pure Colour. I also want to read Either/Or but after getting to The Idiot... 2w
Cinfhen I‘m loving all these potential reads and I‘m certainly adding to my TBR 🤓 2w
Ruthiella Great list. 👍 OMG, how could I overlook the Batuman book! I LOVED 2w
Hooked_on_books I loved Disorientation and am excited for Either/Or! 2w
BarbaraBB Such a great list. I want to read all of them now! 2w
merelybookish @thebluestocking @vivastory @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB Thanks! Nothing's more fun than making a book list! 😀 2w
merelybookish @batsy Yes to reading the Idiot! but I wonder if Either/Or will stand on its own. Either way, love Batuman! 2w
merelybookish @Ruthiella I adored The Idiot as well. Tempted to re-read it! 2w
merelybookish @Hooked_on_books I saw your review of Disorientation! I had it on my list but your review convinced me. 2w
Megabooks Disorientation would be a great choice. I‘m excited about Either/Or as well. 2w
64 likes17 comments
Henry VIII | William Shakespeare
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Oh my, this play is terrible. 😆 The final act...Cranmer faces a plot against him by nobles for religious unrest. But it is defeated by the King's loyalty to the Archbishop. (The CoE prevails!) There's a strange scene in palace gates with some bawdy wordplay. But what matters most is the birth and christening of Elizabeth. What a queen she will become! Oh, and her heir is pretty awesome too. A wooden epilogue ends it all.

merelybookish Sorry to be so negative about this play. But it just seems kind of empty to me. Even the "drama" feels manufactured and swiftly resolved. No problems here. ? My intro describes the play as a series of pageants (trials, coronations, christenings). And that feels accurate and why all the other scenes feel like padding. 2w
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merelybookish Anyhoo, I believe this is my final #shakespearereadalong hosting gig! 😮 We have read some awesome plays together! And some not-so-awesome! 🤣 I've enjoyed it! 2w
Lcsmcat I agree. This seems like a vehicle for grand costumes and marching about and not much else. 2w
merelybookish Next up is King John with @Graywacke Sure to be a winner! 🤞😂 2w
merelybookish @Lcsmcat "Lots of marching about!" ?I hated it. Lol. There was no plot just the inevitable unfolding of divine law. 2w
Graywacke @merelybookish your last sr post! 🥲 Thank you for being such a great host and for inspiring this group. 2w
vlwelser It's like they're just sucking up to the CoE. This didn't exactly do it for me. But I'm glad I read it anyway. Mostly because of the discussion with all of you. 2w
Graywacke I didn‘t care too much for this anticlimactic act but I enjoyed the play a lot. Katherine and Wolsey were terrific characters for me. And I appreciated the plays clarity. It‘s a pretty complex story, but I never felt lost. 2w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke There we‘re some good speeches given to Katherine. But did you feel she stayed true to character? Her seeming to change her mind without clear motivation bothered me. 2w
merelybookish @vlwelser You joined us just as we were getting into yhr dregs of his catalogue. You are a trooper! 2w
merelybookish @Graywacke Definitely not complex 😛 But some oddities..what did you make of the crowd in palace gates? To add some colour to the pomp? And thank you! Exciting you will be leading us in our final play. We all deserve a pat on the back! 2w
merelybookish @Lcsmcat It's pretty amazing how all conflict was removed from this play. Even the "losers" are at peace with events. 2w
vlwelser ? Pericles caught my attention. Reading 1 act a week even when the play is bad isn't much of a "chore." 2w
merelybookish @vlwelser It's true. Once you get into the rhythm, it's pretty easy. 2w
vlwelser Thank you for hosting! I have no idea how you're pulling discussion/talking points out of some of these. 2w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat well, I see consistency in this Katherine. She‘s savvy and strong willed, but not suicidal (and she has a daughter to protect). I think she fought when she was able to and relented when she needed to stay in Henry‘s good graces. (And never compromised her safety line - the Spanish royal connection that made physically harming her politically impossible. Anne didn‘t have that safety line. But that‘s not really this play.) 2w
Graywacke @vlwelser if you can get through Pericles you get through anything (except maybe Coriolanus) 🙂 2w
Graywacke @merelybookish maybe you‘re right, but I struggled with all these names and their ups and downs in Henry‘s and others‘ eyes. I thought the dialogue was clear and paved out for me what was happening. (Usually I struggle to make out exactly what‘s going on with Shakespeare.) (edited) 2w
merelybookish @Graywacke oh Im sorry. I was dismissive. I get what you're saying and actually there were times I wasn't sure who was on who's side until the end of themscene 2w
Graywacke @merelybookish i appreciated your honesty. 🙂 Certainly it challenged my thinking and that‘s always a good thing. 2w
batsy That sums it up! It was pretty awkward all around and definitely felt like a PR vehicle for the Tudors. Henry VIII definitely appears really benevolent and wise... Which seems, well 🧐😆 Also, your last post as SR coordinator! Thank you for all of your work and for inspiring good discussions 💖 2w
GingerAntics This was definitely all about getting on the good side of the queen. Not my favourite at all. 2w
jewright I just thought there would be more drama. There‘s more drama in the history than we get here. The christening also seems like just a big time to suck up to the queen. 2w
TheBookHippie I am so very disappointed in this play. It could have been so great! Or I had my opinions beforehand! 🤣🤷🏻‍♀️I did however like Katherine very much and enjoyed that bit way more than anticipated ! As always thanks for leading us through!!! I back read discussions as I caught up! Phenomenal as usual! I look forward to King John!! 2w
TheBookHippie @Graywacke Katherine was my favorite part! I think I was expecting more drama or something, I was thinking this play would be more exciting 🤷🏻‍♀️🤣. 2w
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No Title | None
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TheSpineView Perfect! 🤩 2w
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Bewilderment | Richard Powers
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This is the second novel by Richard Powers I've read, and probably the last. What he is trying to accomplish with his fiction is noble, to write urgent stories of climate crisis that operate on both the individual and planetary level. What he writes is heartbreaking, horrifying & beautiful. But his tone bugs me. It feels self-important & the characters feel idealized.
I understand why people love this book. Truly a case of just not right for me

merelybookish View from my beach. River slowly going down. 2w
rockpools Oh interesting! Powers is on my ‘must try‘ list but it‘s good to hear a different opinion. 2w
merelybookish @rockpools Yes, check him out! For whatever reason, he doesn't work for me, but I'm in the minority. 2w
RidgewayGirl That was my take of The Overstory. 2w
merelybookish @RidgewayGirl Fortunately this one is shorter than Overstory! 2w
69 likes5 comments
Grown Ups | Marian Keyes
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I love cats and books but don't always want cats on books.

RaeLovesToRead 🤣🤣 2w
sarahbarnes Not moving though. 😂😂 2w
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wanderinglynn 😆😆😆 2w
4thhouseontheleft 😹😹 2w
LeahBergen 😆😆 2w
Patchshank Kitty is the only thing worth looking at, and don't you forget it 😂 2w
Leftcoastzen Mine do that so often!😄 2w
Ruthiella A not so subtle hint from the cat to get your priorities straight! 😹 2w
batsy What if books are the best place, though 😹 2w
merelybookish @sarahbarnes Not without incentive. 2w
merelybookish @Patchshank @Ruthiella Absolutely! What was I thinking?! 2w
merelybookish @Leftcoastzen He also loves the keyboard. 2w
merelybookish @batsy He's no dummy! 2w
72 likes15 comments
Bewilderment | Richard Powers
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I'm about halfway through this and . . . Something about it is bothering me, but I can't quite say what. Something about how the boy is written? Or the tone? I don't know. Anyone else struggle with this one?

EvieBee You‘ve got me thinking. I discontinued it about 10% in and thought maybe I‘d revisit. Figured it was my mood. 2w
merelybookish @EvieBee Could be my mood too. I didn't like this last book much (The Overstory) so maybe I just don't like his writing style. 2w
EvieBee @merelybookish Funny! I had the same experience with The Overstory! It may be that I don‘t care for his writing style either. 2w
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merelybookish @EvieBee I think maybe I just find his writing kind of pompous. 😬 2w
Ruthiella @merelybookish @EvieBee I read this and The Overstory and I don‘t like his writing style either. It‘s not just you. 😐 (edited) 2w
EvieBee Okay, good to know! At least we tried, right?! LOL! @merelybookish @Ruthiella 2w
merelybookish @Ruthiella @EvieBee I'd say we are in good company! 2w
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Anne of Green Gables | L.M. Montgomery
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1. Maybe? I have some pretty crazy dreams.
2. Anne of Green Gables & Emily of New Moon
3. Finish Middlemarch. Read my book club books.
Thanks for the tag @TheSpineView
@eggs #wondrouswednesday

TheSpineView You're welcome! 🌞 3w
Eggs Thanks for joining in 🥳 2w
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An early Mother's day gift: A new book for my Montgomery collection.

Jas16 Lovely! 3w
daisyheadmaesie Wooowww that‘s beautiful! 3w
LeahBergen Love it! 👏 3w
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batsy Aaaah 😍 3w
Cathythoughts That‘s a great cover 😁❤️ 3w
jewright I love it! 3w
Centique Oh beautiful! 😍 2w
61 likes7 comments
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In interviews, Ford is candid, funny & smart so I had high expectations for this. Maybe too high because I found it kind of tedious in places, dull even.
Ford describes her childhood, complicated family, traumatic experiences & journey to love her whole self. At its heart this a story about the lack of safety Black girls face in their homes and wider society. That is an important story to tell. Some sharp editing would have made it better.

Middlemarch | George Eliot
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My current reads which have more in common than one might expect based on appearances.

Bookwormjillk Interesting. I‘m reading Middlemarch now too. 3w
merelybookish @Bookwormjillk How far are you? I just started "Waiting for Death" volume. 3w
AmyG Ha! 3w
Bookwormjillk @merelybookish I just started book 4 - Three Love Problems 3w
62 likes4 comments
Henry VIII | William Shakespeare
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Act VI. We get accounts of Anne's coronation, Wolsey's death & legacy, and Katherine's final wishes. As well as a strange vision/dream dance to reassure us Katherine will end peacefully? I won't lie. This act had me rolling my eyes #shakespearereadalong. If everyone is an angel and a saint, who is responsible for anything? It feels like the whole play is written in the passive voice. Would love to hear your thoughts! Am I alone in my skepticism?

TheBookHippie I‘m catching up!!! 10 days of influenza for each of my family and it‘s members and in the middle of it my daughter and her son had to move into their first home from their apartment -all healthy people moved them . Healthy people= me, I‘m the only one who didn‘t get influenza b 🤯😷😳. 3w
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merelybookish @TheBookHippie Yikes! Good you didn't catch it but sounds like that left you with all the work to do. 😬 Take your time and take care of yourself! We'll be here when you get time! ❤️ 3w
Graywacke I think I was more tolerant than you with the patronizing of the ancestors of their patrons. At least today I was. Gotta protect your company from those nutty royals. But it‘s a thin act. Felt to me like it was all for one memorable line by Katherine: “O my good lord, that comfort comes too late. ‘Tis like a pardon after execution.” 3w
Graywacke @TheBookHippie glad you didn‘t get sick. But tough reward. 3w
merelybookish @Graywacke That is a good line! I also noted "Men's evil manners live in brass, their virtues we write in water." What there was to the act was in that scene. 3w
batsy I thought it was a strange act, a little flimsy, and my Signet intro suggests it was entirely written by Fletcher. The lines that stood out for me were those that you both highlighted @merelybookish @Graywacke It did read a bit like a PR exercise on behalf of Wolsey 😆 3w
batsy Oof, that's tough about your family being sick though I'm glad you're OK. It is stressful so take care 🌻 3w
Lcsmcat @merelybookish @Graywacke Those quotes stood out to me too. Sometimes it feels like the best quotes come from worse acts. They can be so easily pulled out because the text isn‘t organic. 3w
Lcsmcat @TheBookHippie I‘m so sorry! Take care that all the extra work doesn‘t make you fall ill! 3w
vlwelser I also felt this act was a bit flimsy. The dream dance thing was just weird. This also doesn't seem to follow the normal Shakespeare format. And it's a bit lame all around. 3w
GingerAntics This seemed so short. It didn‘t feel like it did much as far as moving the story along. 3w
merelybookish @vlwelser The dance was definitely weird lol. What did you make of it? I figured it was supposed to make the audience feel ok about Katherine's fate. 3w
merelybookish @Lcsmcat That's a good theory. Certainly arent overwhelmed by beautiful lines in this act! 3w
merelybookish @batsy Blame it on Fletcher! Lol. 3w
merelybookish @GingerAntics So few of the main characters even spoke in this act. So much was from a 3rd party. It's all very distancing. 3w
GingerAntics @merelybookish we really could have done without this act. It just didn‘t add anything to the storyline or plot. 3w
jewright @TheBookHippie So sorry everyone has been sick. 3w
jewright I just feel this play has taken pretty dramatic events and sanitized them. There‘s not nearly enough drama. 3w
vlwelser @merelybookish not totally sure where the dance is leading other than maybe she's crazy now so ignore her. 3w
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April was a solid reading month, although my pace has slowed now that it isn't snowing every other day. I finished 10 books and the first 2 volumes of Middlemarch.
Muriel Spark was the definitive star but also really enjoyed O Caledonia and Foreverland.
On to May! 🌼🌺🌸

vivastory I hope to read O Caledonia soon. I was sad to hear about her recent passing. 3w
55 likes1 comment
Grown Ups | Marian Keyes
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I needed something easy-ish on a Friday night, and I know lots of people love Marian Keyes for her big-hearted, witty stories. Sounded about right.
So far, so good except one character is.depicted with major internalized fatphobia. Like 2 pages on her yo-yo dieting, guilt, shame, and "being good" by not eating the bread. ? I plan to keep reading, but may have to bail if it continues to be this character's defining trait. Now that I'm ⬇️

merelybookish to fatphobia and working to challenge it in myself, these kinds of 'norms' really bother me. 3w
batsy Haven't read Keyes, but I remember bailing on a number of books that were part of the "chicklit" trend (?) back in the day because there was often a lot of that internalised fatphobia and the obsessive dieting. 3w
Oryx I would say stick with it, because she is going somewhere with that character. I don't want to spoil it, but Marion does tend to hide bigger issues in what initially looks like it's superficial. Her books can be a bit darker than people expect. 3w
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merelybookish @batsy Part of my interest in reading Keyes is to challenge some of my other biases about so-called 'chicklit? Women's fiction? Whatever it's called now as I have been dismissive of it. But I guess there can be problems with the genre. 3w
merelybookish @Oryx That's good to know. Thank you! I plan to keep going. Do you have a favourite Keyes novel? 3w
batsy I hear you because I have those biases, too. Probably because I picked the wrong ones. I've heard a lot of good things about Keyes so I hope this gets better in that sense. 3w
56 likes6 comments
A School for Fools | Sasha Sokolov
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There is a method to this madness along with wordplay, allusions, digressions, repetitions galore. Because what is time after all? And what is sanity? OccasionalIy, I fell into the rhythms and followed the threads (Who me? Yes me!) Other me (what there's two?) got frustrated, irritated, and bored. I absolutely believe this is a work of genius AND I absolutely believe most of it went over my head. (But which head?) 😂 Definitely one to discuss!!

merelybookish As happens sometimes when I read works in translation, I was very aware of how my ignorance of culture that produced this book affected my ability to understand it. This writer was responding to something and while I *know* it was social realism, that still wasn't enough to fully appreciate what that meant and what he was doing. 3w
vivastory I love this review 👏 Yes, definitely one you have to be in the right headspace for. And, I think a good discussion book. Despite being plotless. Interesting that both of the Russian novels that we read in our group this year were at least in part a response to social realism, albeit in two different directions. 3w
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merelybookish @vivastory Yes, The Slynx did come to mind as I read this. They are different for sure but some overlap as well. And I felt adrift and a bit clueless reading both of them. 3w
GingerAntics Oh my. It‘s quite philosophical from the sounds of it. 3w
merelybookish @GingerAntics The narrator has schizophrenia (I think) and all storytelling conventions are pretty much chucked. There is a philosophy driving the aesthetic but the experience of reading isn't heady so much as disorienting and destabilizing. 3w
arubabookwoman Great review! 3w
GingerAntics @merelybookish that does not sound pleasant! Congratulations on getting through that mine field. 3w
batsy I love this review! ❤️ The two mes had a similar response 😆 3w
sarahbarnes Love this review - perfect. 😂 And I agree. So many times I was lost, and it was a strenuous read from start to finish, but I think I‘m glad I hung in there until the end. Gave me a lot to think about. 3w
52 likes10 comments
Eleutheria | Allegra Hyde
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Nothing horrendous about this cli-fi tale about a young woman who heads to a small island to join an environmental group/cult. But I just listened to two Muriel Sparks' books back to back, and her crisp, witty, sharp writing is a hard act to follow! By comparison, the writing here felt belaboured and amateurish, and so much more noticeable on audio. So 👋

MicheleinPhilly I just finished this the other day. It had promise but felt undercooked. 3w
merelybookish @MicheleinPhilly Undercooked is a great description! 3w
58 likes2 comments
Edna St. Vincent Millay: Selected Poems | Edna St. Vincent Millay
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An excellent love poem! I so enjoy Millay's poetry.
"Ungemmed, unhidden, wishing not to hurt."
#pearl ? #poetrymatters @TheSpineView

TheSpineView Beautiful poem! 3w
Centique Ah… this put a sparkle in my heart today 💕✨thank you! 2w
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More excellent advice from Mrs. Hawkins. 😁

Graywacke Noting! 3w
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Rose: Poems | Li-Young Lee
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Lesliereads Thank you! 🍑 4w
TheSpineView Another great poem! 👍 4w
merelybookish @Lesliereads My pleasure! ☺️ 4w
34 likes3 comments
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This book is a hoot. Mrs.Hawkins is fount of good advice. (Although truth be told, not sure a cat has ever helped me write. 😸)

Ruthiella My cats often actively disrupt my working from home activities! 4w
Vansa Love this book. It's so wickedly funny 4w
GingerAntics That is, until the cat lays on the paperwork, book, or project you‘re contemplating. 🤣😂🤣 4w
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merelybookish @Ruthiella @GingerAntics So true! They distract more than they inspire. 4w
merelybookish @Vansa Absolutely! 4w
GingerAntics @merelybookish but you gotta love them anyway 4w
Leftcoastzen 👏😻 4w
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Henry VIII | William Shakespeare
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We get two scenes in Act III. The first in the Queen's bedchamber where she continues to speak her truth against plotting cardinals before acquiescing? In the second, the downfall of Wolsey. Cromwell is introduced. Oh, and we learn the King has married Anne. Apparently Shakespeare changed the timeline as the marriage occured 3 years after Wolsey's fall. I wonder why. (Does it make Anne look better?) Thoughts so far? #shakespearereadalong

merelybookish Anyone feel bad for Wolsey in the end? Curious how Cromwell will come out in this as he is believed to be behind the fall of Anne. Also, a big THANK YOU to @GingerAntics for taking over hosting duties last week! 😘 4w
Lcsmcat I couldn‘t decide if Catherine was acquiescing or just pretending to, to get them to shut up. It‘s not like they made any cogent arguments. 4w
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merelybookish @Lcsmcat I was also uncertain about the shift at the end of that scene: whether she was pretending or giving up. I feel like it's better for Shakespeare if she eventually sails off into the sunset without complaint. It seems more pleasing to Elizabeth I. 4w
Graywacke I really enjoyed this act. It‘s all laid out so clearly and I‘m kind of fascinated (even though it‘s not fully true to history.) On Scene1: I think Katherine understood everything. It seemed she knew Wolsey needed to her to acquiesce for _his_ sake and she didn‘t cooperate. But she also understood her power over H8 was nil. And she also understands how to survive. She came across to me as very savvy. 4w
Graywacke @merelybookish @Lcsmcat i don‘t think she gave in to what Wolsey really wanted and needed. 4w
Graywacke On Scene 2: I really like how Wolsey was handled. He‘s no clear villain, but moving and human. He‘s caught in a vice and got exposed trying to have it both ways. I can‘t help thinking Mantel had this by her side when she wrote Wolf Hall. 4w
Graywacke Sorry, one last comment. I was thinking about authorship. It‘s a nicely written play, I think. It‘s not so poetic and compressed … and ambiguous… as we‘re used to with Shakespeare. It felt to me in this act particularly that the more traditional Shakespeare touches are elegantly incorporated into a different style. 4w
batsy I agree @Graywacke I kind of read it as Katherine realising she had to play the situation a certain way and being savvy. I'm wondering if my reading of that scene is coloured by how I remembered the characterisation of the Queen in The Tudors 😅 4w
batsy I thought it was interesting that the play made Wolsey sympathetic; I was all ready to fully hate him and then I was like, "oh no, poor guy, everything sucks". I'm also curious about the timeline of the marriage to Anne—no clue atm why the change was made but maybe some clarity in the next few Acts. And when Cromwell finally made his entrance I was excited and then disappointed to realise this wasn't Mantel's Cromwell. 4w
Graywacke @batsy @merelybookish The relationship between the Boleyn marriage and the break from the church is messy and Wolsey‘s part is complicated. I thought the timeline change was about simplifying and making the marriage a symbol of H8‘s break with Wolsey and the church in one go. ?? Not sure where this play is headed, but I think in Shakespeare‘s time Anne Boleyn was perceived as the hero of the founding of the Church of England. 4w
merelybookish @Graywacke @batsy That makes sense. I did wonder if it offered some narrative expediency. Also, it feels like all the characters are being treated with some generosity. No one is a simple villain. Although Anne is rather good in this version and no schemer (unlike in The Tudors. 🤣) 4w
merelybookish @Graywacke and interesting observation about the authorship! I agree that it is easy to read. 4w
vlwelser @batsy I also felt sympathy for Wolsey. Which was just weird. Everywhere else he's portrayed as the villain. But maybe he's the fall guy here. 4w
vlwelser I thought this was odd in the sense that I'm not used to there only being 2 scenes per act. But that may be because I haven't read enough Shakespeare. 4w
merelybookish @vlwelser Im pretty sure Wolsey was legit corrupt and power-hungry but he was inadvertently responsible for Anne & Henry meeting and marrying. Perhaps he is granted some grace to acknowledge his role in Elizabeth's birth? 4w
vlwelser @merelybookish this whole play so far has Shakespeare looking like a sychophant. 4w
Graywacke @merelybookish @vlwelser in Wolsey's historical defense, he was notoriously tolerant of critics. In an era of inquisition and torture and constant executions of heretics, he was not part of this bloodiness and strove to avoid it. Some of the people he could have gone after, and forgave, would help bring him down. My source is Diarmaid MacCulloch's 4w
merelybookish @Graywacke That seems like a better source than a tv show. 😂 I do think it's interesting Wolsey was not noble-born (and there's a reference to that in this play.) I'm sure it drove the nobility crazy for a butcher's son to have such power & influence. 4w
GingerAntics Cromwell is a douche and I wish he could be beheaded right now before he causes problems for my ancestors, but it was AWESOME seeing Wolsey going down. He was no a particularly pleasant character either. I did feel like Catherine sort of went into the sunset in a way. “Oh okay, cool, I‘ll move into this nunnery. The scenery around the convent is nice at least.” 🤷🏼‍♀️ 4w
GingerAntics @merelybookish Anytime!!! I hope you had a wonderful time at the birthday party. 4w
batsy @merelybookish @Graywacke Narrative expediency seems to be the thing here, I agree. Also, that's an interesting point about Wolsey and yes, I probably should get my info from actual historical texts instead of TV shows 😆 4w
merelybookish @batsy To be fair, it was as a good tv show. 🤣. 4w
batsy @merelybookish So fun and gossipy! Lol 4w
Graywacke @batsy @merelybookish I clearly need to watch more tv 4w
merelybookish @Graywacke Yes, that clearly is the takeaway here. 😆 4w
35 likes26 comments
A School for Fools | Sasha Sokolov
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Started the #NYRBbookclub pick. 🤨🤯🤔 It's a bit intense? 🤣 And one way to subvert the style of Soviet social realism. And definitely a good one to discuss. 😅
@vivastory @sarahbarnes

sarahbarnes @merelybookish Intense is one way to describe it 😂 I‘ll definitely be interested to discuss it! 1mo
merelybookish @sarahbarnes Have you finished it? 1mo
sarahbarnes @merelybookish I did. Making it through the first part was rough; it got better after that. (edited) 1mo
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merelybookish @sarahbarnes ok. That's good to hear! I am still in the first section. 1mo
BarbaraBB I‘m about to start too. 4w
merelybookish @BarbaraBB Good luck! 😅 4w
BarbaraBB Sounds if I might need it 😁 4w
54 likes7 comments
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Carrying on with more Muriel Spark!
In other news, feeling very relieved that Wallace the cat came home after being outside all day. We were worried!

Ruthiella Glad to hear Wallace is OK! Silly kitty. 🙀 I‘ve only read three Sparks titles but this is my favorite. It has a definite Barbara Pym flavor to it. Remember “Pisseur de Copie”, it is a funny rallying cry in the book. 😂 (edited) 1mo
CarolynM This was the first Muriel Spark I read. I hadn't thought of the Pym comparison, but I think I get what you mean @Ruthiella 1mo
CarolynM And I'm very glad to hear Wallace is home safe 😸 1mo
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merelybookish @Ruthiella @CarolynM He's my daughter's cat and she was pretty distraught. He was fine, of course. 😸 And I like the Pym comparison! 1mo
kspenmoll So happy your daughter‘s cat returned home! 1mo
GingerAntics Oh no! I remember one of our cats staying out overnight once. We thought he was gone when he didn‘t come home for bed. Shortly before sun down on the second day he came trotting up to the door, ready for dinner. We were so relieved. It‘s like they all have to do something crazy just once to give us a near heart attack, then come back like nothing happened. lol I‘m so glad Wallace came home. 1mo
Graywacke Cats. Grrr. Glad he‘s ok. I‘m hoping to read this book this year (in September in my original plan) 1mo
LeahBergen Eek! That‘s so scary. 🐱 1mo
batsy So glad Wallace is back safe! This is why I think I can't handle having a cat—it's clear that lots of cats need the freedom to roam, but I'd be freaking out every minute I don't see them around 😥 1mo
youneverarrived I‘ve just started my first by Spark 1mo
merelybookish @kspenmoll @LeahBergen We very are relieved! 😅 1mo
merelybookish @GingerAntics They do like to give the occasional heart attack! Lol. 1mo
merelybookish @Graywacke Im on a bit of Spark binge and this one seems to be a favourite. And yes, cats. 🙄 1mo
merelybookish @batsy We don't worry at all about our other cat but Wallace hasn't ever gone very far and is....maybe not the brightest cat? 😬🤣 So we had no faith in his ability to wander and find his way home. Although to his credit, he proved us wrong. 1mo
merelybookish @youneverarrived I havent read that one! Will be interested to hear what you think. This is my 3rd Spark. Love Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Memento Mori 1mo
GingerAntics @merelybookish they do. I guess they think they‘re keeping us on our toes. 1mo
sarahbarnes I‘ve still never read her! And I‘m so glad Walllace returned. ❤️ 1mo
merelybookish @sarahbarnes It's definitely worth reading Prime of Miss Jean Brodie! And yes, Susie was beside herself. 1mo
Sparklemn @merelybookish I love the name Wallace for a cat. Is there a story behind it? 4w
merelybookish @Sparklemn It's my daughter's cat and she came up with the name. I'm not sure where she got it. The other contender was Dracula so I was relieved when she chose Wallace. 😁 4w
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The Sea House: A Novel | Esther Freud
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1. Yes! I have a few IRL book clubs & and a few virtual ones #nyrbbookclub and #shakespearereadalong Enjoy both formats!
2. I generally dislike too many rules or specific prompts. But do enjoy tackling #mounttbr or reading all of Virginia Woolf's novels.
3. A few on the go including tagged book
Thanks for the tag @eggs #wondrouswednesday

Eggs I too like total immersion into one writer‘s books. Thanks for playing 👏🏻👏🏻 1mo
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Cathythoughts ♥️ 1mo
TheSpineView Love!❤ 1mo
33 likes2 comments
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Inspired by On the Road with Penguin Classics, I'm re-reading Muriel Spark's masterpiece. It is so well done! Recommend the book and the podcast. https://shows.acast.com/on-the-road-with-penguin-classics/episodes/the-prime-of-...

vivastory How was your trip? 1mo
andrew61 Yes I listened to this and it's an excellent series. I haven't read Jean brodie since my early 20s so I may revisit it soon. I also finally watched a sky arts documentary that I had recorded in which Ian rankin explores her life which I'd recommend if you have access. 1mo
merelybookish @vivastory It was good, bit of a whirlwind! But my friend was very surprised and got to see some other friends. But it was cold in KC! I went expecting it to be warmer than where I am. 🥶 1mo
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LeahBergen This book surprised me. Loved it! 1mo
merelybookish @andrew61 Thanks for the recommendation! I will see if it's available somewhere over here. (Funny things pop up on Amazon.) And I recommend a re-read! 1mo
merelybookish @LeahBergen I know. It shocked me the first time. And enjoying it a second time now that I know what happens. 1mo
vivastory Yeah. this is how the weather has been here for the past month or so. 70 degrees one day, 30 the next. It's kinda driving me crazy. I'm glad you had a good weekend! (edited) 1mo
CarolynM Such a good book! Enjoy the reread. Thanks for the tip about the doco @andrew61 I'm going to have a look for it. 1mo
batsy I've yet to read it, and I really must! It'll be good to have the podcastd & docu as supplementary material once I'm done so thank you to you and @andrew61 ! 1mo
merelybookish @CarolynM It really is wonderful! And so much packed into a rather slim volume! 1mo
merelybookish @batsy I think you'd love it! The writing is brilliant! 1mo
56 likes11 comments
The Sea House: A Novel | Esther Freud
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Airport reading. I made a last minute, somewhat hare-brained, decision to fly to Kansas City this weekend for a friend's 50th surprise party. It's a lot of travel for a short visit BUT I just couldn't resist.
Picked this book up at Goodwill yesterday. I'm curious about the author so dipping into her backlist.
Fingers crossed I don't get stranded in Newark! 🤞

LeahBergen Safe travels! 1mo
BiblioLitten Happy journey! 1mo
mabell Sounds fun! 1mo
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Ruthiella I‘m sure your friend will appreciate it! Have a great trip. 😃 1mo
BarbaraBB Have fun! 1mo
CarolynM Those last minute travel decisions are often the best and even better when you catch up with old friends. Have a great time! 1mo
batsy So fun 🎉 Safe and smooth travels! 1mo
merelybookish @LeahBergen @BiblioLitten @mabell @Ruthiella @BarbaraBB @CarolynM @batsy Thanks everyone! Made it there and back without issue..and my friend was VERY surprised! 😄 1mo
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Brown Girl Dreaming | Jacqueline Woodson
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TheBookHippie One of my favorites. 1mo
merelybookish @TheBookHippie Yes, such a special book! 1mo
LeahBergen Happy, happy birthday!! ❤️📚❤️📚 1mo
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batsy Happy birthday, Margot! ❤️💐🧁🎈 1mo
TheSpineView 😍😍😍 1mo
merelybookish @LeahBergen @batsy Thanks friends! 🥰 1mo
vivastory Happy belated birthday 🎈🎉📚 I hope it was a good one! 1mo
46 likes7 comments
Henry VIII | William Shakespeare
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Welcome back #shakespearereadalong! Off to the Tudor court of Henry VIII where we are warned about a sad tale a ahead. In Act I, we see the treachery of Cardinal Wolsey, the arrest of Buckingham, hints of civil unrest, Queen Katherine disagreeing with her husband, and the first meeting between the King & Anne 'Bullen'. There's a lot packed in! What are your initial impressions?

merelybookish I will admit most of my knowledge of this era comes from The Tudors (TV show) & Mantel's Wolf Hall. 😬So far, Shakespeare's Cardinal Wolsey fits with both of those sources. Also am assuming Anne Boleyn will fare pretty well in this version since she's Queen Elizabeth I's mother. 1mo
jewright I was a tiny bit obsessed with Henry VIII and his wives in high school and read a couple of gigantic books on them. I will be interested to see Shakespeare‘s take. 1mo
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Lcsmcat When I was 14 my family went to England. At one museum (the Tower?) there were about six sets of armor for Henry VIII, from his youth to his final girth. My sister and I were giggling over it and a guard showed up and said “Are you pulling faces at Henry VIII?” So that‘s my introduction to Henry VIII. 😂 1mo
GingerAntics @Lcsmcat 🤣😂🤣 he was a rather large man… and then he got rather rotund as well. Apparently he was most proud of his manly calves. He probably would have had you beheaded for pulling faces at him. 🤣 1mo
GingerAntics Oh Cardinal Wolsey. I have a feeling things are going to end badly for him, no matter who‘s doing the writing. 1mo
batsy @merelybookish My points of reference are also The Tudors and Wolf Hall! 😆 Also, I forgot we start this week... Oops. I'm gonna catch up on Act I asap and get back 🙈 1mo
merelybookish @jewright Yes, let us know how he differs from other sources! 1mo
merelybookish @Lcsmcat That's a great story! 😄 1mo
merelybookish @GingerAntics I think he was pretty corrupt, by anyone's measure. 1mo
merelybookish @batsy That's funny! Henry is definitely not rotund in the TV version. 😆 And it's my fault. I forgot to post a reminder last week. Was shocked yesterday when I realized we started today. ☹️ 1mo
jewright I like the prologue at the beginning of the play. I wonder what was his motivation for including it in just a few plays? 1mo
GingerAntics @merelybookish oh I totally agree! The fact he was basically pandering to a Protestant Queen and Wolsey was Catholic, that‘s not going to help his cause either. 1mo
merelybookish @jewright I feel like everything about this version is connected to Elizabeth. So maybe it's sad in retrospect that her mother was beheaded? 1mo
vlwelser In the fist scene I was feeling bad for anyone who had to memorize all these crazy lines. The speeches are mega long. But maybe that's an indication that this wasn't sparking my interest. I'm assuming also that this is going to be biased toward pleasing Elizabeth I. It'll be interesting to see how this goes. 1mo
Graywacke @vlwelser i found the lines tough. Well, it varies. I‘m confused and then i sorta get it again. (Anyway, i was able to follow that there‘s lots of corruption around Wolsey.) 1mo
Graywacke @merelybookish @batsy I‘m reading while thinking about Mantel. All those complicated deadly court battles. Seems it‘s kind of captured here. Where‘s Cromwell? 1mo
Lcsmcat @jewright I particularly liked the Prologue too. (edited) 1mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke I think Cromwell comes in Act 3. If I remember correctly his rise to power coincides (sort of) with Anne‘s. So we have always to go. 1mo
LitStephanie @Lcsmcat that is hilarious! He had a kingly appetite. 1mo
LitStephanie Is anyone else a little puzzled as to why is scene 1, Buckingham is SO MAD that Cardinal York/Wolsey organized the summit between Henry and Francis and is such a good event planner? 1mo
Lcsmcat @LitStephanie I believe it‘s because it was a big waste of money for no gain, and caused Charles, Holy Roman Emperor, to turn against England. 1mo
LitStephanie @Lcsmcat oh OK, so he is blaming Wolsey for the event itself, saying he is the one who instigated it rather than just being the person who made it really lavish after others decided to do it in the first place. That makes more sense. I was just seeing Wolsey as the one who was appointed by the king to organise it. 1mo
Graywacke @LitStephanie I think he‘s blaming Wolsey for instigating it primarily for his own personal profit. (I don‘t know the true history behind it.) 1mo
LitStephanie @merelybookish @GingerAntics regardless of Wosley's true history, in this act he already seems so corrupt that I was picturing a Disney villian grinning and rubbing his hands together greedily, muttering about how everything is going exactly as he planned. 😆 1mo
merelybookish @vlwelser Agreed on the long speeches. I assumed there was political nuance I was missing. 1mo
merelybookish @LitStephanie In the other sources I mentioned (a tv show & novel 🙃) Wosley is depicted as self-interested and lacking in morals. He's a priest with a mistress and a penchant for the finer things in life. But smart! 1mo
GingerAntics @LitStephanie 😂🤣😂 that is a great description of him (in this act and possibly in real life). 1mo
batsy The intro to my Signet edition divides the Acts into bits written by Shakespeare and those by his co-writer, Fletcher. Scenes 1 & 2 by Shakespeare, 3 & 4 by Fletcher, so probably because I read that I felt the "difference" & wonder if I'm being biased in thinking scenes 3 & 4 seem more blunt & less poetic (language-wise) ? But most of all my main impression was that Katherine seems like the most reasonable & thoughtful human among this lot. 1mo
batsy @LitStephanie I absolutely picture Wolsey as the grinning Disney villain twirling his moustache & whatnot 😆 Like @merelybookish says the pop culture & literary depictions of him that I'm aware of already paint him that way (Sam Neill was particularly good at conveying his clever, sly smarminess in The Tudors!) 1mo
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My son had to do a report on James & the Giant Peach. He said he would recommend it to me "cause she likes long adventures of someone and she [likes] less pictures, more words."
Cracked me up. ???

Lindy Excellent! 1mo
Suet624 solid points 1mo
batsy "long adventures of someone" is too good (also an excellent memoir title ?) 1mo
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TheBookHippie ♥️ 1mo
LeahBergen 🤣🤣 1mo
merelybookish @Suet624 He also made some solid points about why the book was better than the movie. 🙂 1mo
merelybookish @batsy Makes me sound like such a discerning reader. Lol. 1mo
vivastory 😂👏 1mo
Smrloomis 😂💗 1mo
MaureenMc Pithy and perceptive! 😁 1mo
Cathythoughts I love it 🥰 1mo
Traci1 That's adorable! ❤️ 1mo
BarbaraBB That is so cute, that he recommends it to you! And true of course 🥰 1mo
GingerAntics 😂🤣😂 how cute!!! 💙💙💙 1mo
Megabooks Adorable!! 😂😂💜💜 1mo
Jess861 Oh this is just adorable! 1mo
sarahbarnes Omg I‘m just now seeing this. So freaking cute. 😍 1mo
BiblioLitten Awww 🥺🥰 1mo
82 likes19 comments
Middlemarch | George Elliot
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Spending April rereading Middlemarch. I have always found Dorothea pretty irritating but this time around I feel real pity for her.
Illustration from Folio Society edition.

Jhullie I haven‘t read that since A Levels…I wonder if I still have it. 1mo
BiblioLitten I have been wanting to reread Mill on the Floss. I haven‘t read Middlemarch yet. 1mo
Ruthiella I liked Dorothea but her impulse to marry Cassubon definitely frustrated me! 1mo
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DrexEdit I've got Middlemarch cued up on @SerialReader, but haven't started it yet. 1mo
batsy She's got a bit of a goody two shoes in her 😆 1mo
merelybookish @Jhullie It's a chunkster but worth revisiting! 1mo
merelybookish @BiblioLitten I'd like to re-read that too! 1mo
merelybookish @Ruthiella He seems even worse to me now! 1mo
merelybookish @DrexEdit I look forward to your thoughts. I do love it but it's also a bit of a commitment. 1mo
merelybookish @batsy Indeed! 🤣 Better than Rosamund tho!! 1mo
67 likes10 comments
The Complete Poems | Anne Sexton
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"Welcome Morning" by Anne Sexton ???
#paint #poetrymatters @TheSpineView

TheSpineView Lovely! 💞 1mo
Leftcoastzen I love Sexton! 1mo
batsy This reminds me that I should be reading more Anne Sexton 💕 1mo
jlhammar Love this! 1mo
53 likes4 comments
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Thank goodness winter is (almost) over because my book buying has been out of control. Spring means no more browsing at Book Outlet!!

sarahbarnes I loved Good Morning, Midnight! 2mo
merelybookish @sarahbarnes Oh good! I like what Rhys Ive read! 2mo
58 likes2 comments
Kimonos in the Closet | David Shumate
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"you #paddle out in some dingy and scoop its reflection from the waters and drink it down" ???
#poetrymatters @TheSpineView

TheSpineView 😍😍😍 2mo
41 likes1 comment