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blurb
merelybookish
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Current reading mood. Bright 🟡 🟡 🟡 🟡 covers.
These books are VERY different but enjoying both so far.

vivastory I just looked at the description of the Jemc & am intrigued. I remember liking Grip Of It 2d
merelybookish @vivastory I'm not quite done but will review when I am. Part of my curiosity is what led her to write it. (Seems a random topic.) I had never heard of her before. 2d
45 likes2 comments
review
merelybookish
Enter Ghost | Isabella Hammad
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Pickpick

Sonia, a London-based actress of Palestinian descent goes to Israel to visit her sister. While there's she agrees to participate in a West Bank production of Hamlet. The result is a complex novel about how art can be both a personal and political force. I found it slow but gripping.
Reading this now, it provides insight into the plight and mistreatment of the Palestinian people by Israel since 1948. And now things are so much worse. 😔🍉

BarbaraBB So much worse 🥹 3w
batsy 😔 3w
Cathythoughts Great review, I must read this one. ♥️💔 (edited) 3w
57 likes3 comments
review
merelybookish
Hotel Du Lac | Anita Brookner
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Pickpick

It comes as no surprise to me that I loved this book! Especially since @leahbergen @vivastory @sarahbarnes @Centique @Cathythoughts all love it too. 😃
Brookner creates an uncomfortable, close world at an off-season Swiss hotel that caters to the just-so. It takes a while to understand why Edith has gone there to get away, and for her to figure out how she can leave with dignity. As in the best novels, nothing happens, everything happens. ❤️

merelybookish I love seeing different covers for novels. I really hate the bottom left. It's entirely too cheery for this book. 3w
BarbaraBB Great these covers. I read this a long long time ago and think I had yet another one because I read one which my mother bought when she was young! 3w
sarahbarnes Ah, glad you loved it, too! I had yet another cover from these as well! 3w
See All 8 Comments
vivastory I'm so happy that you liked this one! I agree with you about the best novels,, too. I need to add Brookner to my reading plans for the year. That's a def miss with the cover design from Penguin. (edited) 3w
Cathythoughts That‘s great you enjoyed it so much. You‘re making me feel like a reread … 👍🏻❤️ 3w
batsy Definitely need to move this up the list! Fun seeing all these covers. 3w
LeahBergen I‘m so glad you loved it, too! 👏 3w
Centique I love your description that nothing happens and everything happens. I love books like that! 2w
60 likes1 stack add8 comments
blurb
merelybookish
Hotel Du Lac | Anita Brookner
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Monday morning. Would love to stay here with my cat and my book. (Which is so good so far!!)
Also, rarely do I read a book and feel my vocabulary is lacking. But Brookner! She has me looking up words constantly! 😅

intothehallofbooks This one sounds really good! I‘d never heard of it before. Thank you for your posts. I‘ve just put it on my reading list. 😊 1mo
mcctrish I think I have this on a TBR shelf somewhere 🤔 1mo
sarahbarnes I loved this one! I still want to get to another book of hers soon. 1mo
See All 8 Comments
Tamra That‘s one of the few times I appreciate my Kindle. 😆 1mo
LeahBergen This book is brilliant! ❤️ 1mo
dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 1mo
Cathythoughts This book 👌🏻❤️ 1mo
Dragon 😻 4w
67 likes8 comments
blurb
merelybookish
Hotel Du Lac | Anita Brookner
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A messy March storm (snow, freezing rain) is here for the weekend so happily hunkered down with this book that's been languishing on my TBR for eons.
Encouraging to see how many of my favourite Littens love it!

vivastory Hope you like it! 1mo
Cathythoughts I loved it. I love her. Look forward to your thoughts X 1mo
55 likes2 comments
review
merelybookish
How You Were Born | Kate Cayley
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Pickpick

An excellent collection of short stories by Canadian Kate Cayley. (Originally published in 2014, this new edition is coming out soon with 3 additional stories.) Each story is a little gem, a careful observation of human behavior. Indeed in many of the stories, characters are observing others, and figuring out their own reliance on/distance from/ connection to other people. #netgalley

57 likes2 stack adds
blurb
merelybookish
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I've been missing Proust in the morning, so decided to return to Woolf. I read the first two volumes of her diary a few years ago, so starting with Volume 3. There was immediate comfort to be back in her prose.

Leftcoastzen 👏🤩 1mo
batsy I love her diaries. 1mo
Suet624 That sounds like a great idea 1mo
60 likes3 comments
review
merelybookish
Woods in Winter | Stella Gibbons
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Mehso-so

Kind of soppy and overly nostalgic for bygone days. Some pretty descriptions of nature.

LeahBergen I‘m often overly nostalgic for bygone days. 😆 1mo
TheLudicReader @LeahBergen same and the older I get, the worse it gets. 🤣 1mo
merelybookish @LeahBergen @TheLudicReader Fair! I am not immune either. (Oh the 90s!) Still, this book was mediocre at best..😉 1mo
TheLudicReader Haha, the 90s. I was thinking of the 70s @merelybookish 1mo
60 likes5 comments
review
merelybookish
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Pickpick

This book landed more as a memoir than a history (which I guess is what "intimate" in the subtitle means.) While each chapter is dedicated to the work and ideas of an influential Black theorist, most of the book focuses on how these ideas helped the author make sense of her own life and experiences. A worthy project but I guess not what I was expecting. Definitely learned lots but I was left wanting to read more BY these women & less about them.

blurb
merelybookish
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Bookoutlet strikes again! 😬🙈💸

LeahBergen Oopsie! 1mo
59 likes1 comment
blurb
merelybookish
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I'M DONE!! 🎉🎉 After 15 months, I wrapped up #morningswithmarcel.
It was a journey and there were some rough spots, but overall, I loved it. Brilliant! 🌸💗🌸

AlaMich Which translation did you read? I haven‘t read Proust but I read a very interesting collection of essays by one of his translators, Lydia Davis. She described in great detail her process and the problems that came up while translating him. It was fascinating. (edited) 1mo
sarahbarnes Wow!!!! That is amazing. Congratulations - that has to feel like such an accomplishment! 1mo
merelybookish @AlaMich I did the Modern Penguin Library edition. Each volume has a different translator but Lydia Davis did the first one. I can imagine he's challenging to translate! His vocabulary is rich! (I googled so many words!) But there's a lot of word play and he notices when people use idiom or local dialects. 1mo
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squirrelbrain Well done! 🎉🎉🎉 1mo
Librarybelle Congratulations! 1mo
batsy Amazing! 🙌🏾 Someday I hope to get there 💫 1mo
BarbaraBB Wow, you did that pretty fast! Glad you loved it and kudos for finishing 🏆🤍 1mo
julieclair Congrats! That's an achievement! 🏆🎉 1mo
Ruthiella Congratulations! 👏👏👏 1mo
dabbe Yowza! 🤩🤩🤩 1mo
Cuilin Congratulations 🎊🎉🎈 impressive. 1mo
Billypar Oh my 😮 ...nice job! I always think maybe I'll read the first volume someday but never imagined reading them all. 1mo
LeahBergen Woohoo!! 🥳 1mo
jlhammar Impressive! 1mo
Tamra Amazing! 👏🏾 1mo
MaureenMc 👏🎊👏 1mo
Leftcoastzen Kudos! 1mo
merelybookish @Ruthiella @dabbe @Cuilin Thank you!!! I figured you guys would understand! 😊 1mo
merelybookish @Billypar if you read the first one, you might want to keep going! 1mo
Centique You are truly a legend! 1mo
Suet624 That's amazing. Such dedication! 1mo
vivastory 🤘 🤘 👏 👏 👏 👏 👏 3w
merelybookish @vivastory thanks Scott. I feel like when I saw you in December I was at a low point. But I managed to get through it. 3w
vivastory I will attempt it at some point in the future, but have no idea if I'll make it through. I'd like to read at least the first couple. Do you have any more big projects on the horizon? 3w
merelybookish @vivastory Not really. I am reading Woolf's diaries again. There's Zola 20 book series but not quite ready to commit to that. 😂😱 3w
71 likes26 comments
review
merelybookish
Nelly's Version | Eva Figes
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Pickpick

Picked this up at a used book shop on a whim & glad I did. It opens as Mrs Dean (an assumed name?) checks into a hotel. She has a suitcase full of cash & no memory of who she is or how she got there. She spends her days wandering the town, having awkward conversations & avoiding any attempt at deciphering her identity even though people show up claiming to be friends and family. Part of the fun was having no idea what was happening or how it 👇

merelybookish It would turn out. Figes was a minor feminist writer of the late 20th century. This book is about the stultifying lives of middle class women and the desire for escape. Not exactly a new theme but executed in an interesting way. 2mo
56 likes2 stack adds1 comment
blurb
merelybookish
The Woods in Winter | Stella Gibbons
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My #weeklyforecast. A bunch of rando books in progress. 😁

The Woods in Winter by Stella Gibbons - from my ebook shelf
Fire & Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones - fairy tale reread
Nelly's Version by Eva Figures - hard copy off my shelf
Black Women Taught Us - nonfiction audio

review
merelybookish
Behind You Is the Sea: A Novel | Susan Muaddi Darraj
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Pickpick

My reading has been slow & erratic lately but I managed to finish 3 books this weekend.
📗Away by Jane Urquhart. Beautiful, lyrical story about an Irish family's immigration to Canada.
📗A Stranger in my Grave by Margaret Millar. Mid-century noir set in an affluent suburb of LA. Spotty plot but love how it tackles racial/ class issues
📗Tagged book. Excellent linked stories about the Palestinian community in Baltimore. Last story about 👇

merelybookish about a son taking his father's body back to Palestine to be buried was devastating. 💔 2mo
batsy I have Millar and the tagged book on my list 2mo
batsy And remember reading Away a long time ago and thinking it was lovely. I need to look up her other books! 2mo
See All 8 Comments
Cuilin I have the tagged book on hold on Libby. Glad to see many want to read it!! 2mo
merelybookish @batsy Millar is interesting! I want to read more by her! And tagged book is good...and important. And yes, Away was gorgeous. I guess this one is good 2mo
merelybookish @Cuilin Yes. Maybe it will help! I imagine it's devastating for author to be promoting a book while there is ongoing genocide in her ancestral land. 💔😓 2mo
Cuilin @merelybookish I hope it brings awareness. 🍉 It‘s absolutely heartbreaking. 2mo
BarbaraBB Glad to hear Away was gorgeous. Stacking that one! 2mo
57 likes8 comments
blurb
merelybookish
A Short History of Music | Alfred Einstein
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I've been listening to Maggie Rogers's new single "Don't Forget Me." I loved her 2019 album Heard it in a Past Life. Didn't love her 2022 album Surender.
But based on this single, feeling hopeful for the one out in April! ?
@TieDyeDude #tuesdaytunes

BarbaraBB A new to me artist! Cool! 2mo
sarahbarnes Agree with all of these sentiments! 😃Her new song is great. 2mo
CBee Totally agree! Love her music 😊 2mo
See All 14 Comments
Billypar I still have to try the new single but agreed on her past albums. For me, it's not that 2022's was bad so much as Heard It in a Past Life is one of my favorite albums of the past 5 years or so. 2mo
batsy What @BarbaraBB said. I'm keeping a list of artists to discover thanks to this tag 🙂 2mo
TieDyeDude Aww, Maggie! Surrender was definitely different, but I still enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to the new record. For anyone new to her (@barbaraBB @batsy), she broke out by making Pharrell cry 😄 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAM1N1APk80 2mo
BarbaraBB Oow @TieDyeDude that‘s interesting 2mo
merelybookish @BarbaraBB @batsy She is worth a listen! And had no idea about the Pharrell story @TieDyeDude 2mo
merelybookish @sarahbarnes Well I'm not surprised we agree! 👯 2mo
merelybookish @CBee @Billypar I listened to Past Lives to the point where I almost can't listen to it anymore. Which is a bummer. 2mo
vivastory Heard It In a Past Life was the 5th album I added to my Spotify library. 💙 (edited) 2mo
CBee @TieDyeDude that‘s how I discovered her! I downloaded “Alaska” as soon as it was available ♥️ 2mo
CBee @merelybookish so I LOVE the new single. I‘ve listened to it a bunch today ♥️ 2mo
sarahbarnes 😁 👯 2mo
56 likes14 comments
blurb
merelybookish
Fire and Hemlock | Diana Wynne Jones
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One of my intentions for 2024 was to do more re-reading, and now in mid(late) February, I've finally started one.
I read this back in 2018. I don't remember much except feeling confused. 🙃 It's Wynne Jones's retelling of Tam Lin, a fairy tale I apparently am drawn to.

review
merelybookish
Misty of Chincoteague | Marguerite Henry
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Pickpick

Spent a lovely Saturday morning doing some laundry and baking while listening to this #childrensclassic2024 pick. It's a simple story but the writing has depth and nuance. Even the horses (Phantom and Misty) have excellent character development. I was never a horsey girl but I might have been had I read this when I was young. 🤎🐎 @TheBookHippie

TheBookHippie ♥️🐴♥️ 2mo
audraelizabeth This is one of the few books ive reread in my life. My copy is quite worn out from my childhood reading. 2mo
57 likes2 comments
blurb
merelybookish
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My daughter is discovering Aimee Mann so we have been listening to a lot of her music in the car. This is our favourite album.
Always love sharing and seeing what people are listening to. 🙂
#tuesdaytunes @TieDyeDude

vivastory Have you seen this Portlandia skit?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rw7Jy1ZFBUY
2mo
BarbaraBB Oh wow, Will check it out! 2mo
batsy Loved her back in the day! Need to listen again 💜 2mo
50 likes3 comments
blurb
merelybookish
Away | Jane Urquhart
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My #bookreport
?Away - finally reading this #Canlit classic from the 90s #192025
?A Great Deliverance - listening to the first volume in the Inspector Lynley series
?Hagitude - my "workish" listen (This will take me forever ?)
?️Behind You is the Sea - new ebook of short stories about Palestinian immigrants in Baltimore.

BarbaraBB Did you enjoy the Urquhart? I loved her 3mo
merelybookish @BarbaraBB I'm not done yet (I guess I should have indicated they are all in progress) but yes, I am enjoying it. Very lyrical but not so poetic that I'm losing the story! 3mo
BarbaraBB I am looking forward to your review! 3mo
55 likes3 comments
review
merelybookish
Family Family: A Novel | Laurie Frankel
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Pickpick

Gawd I love snow days! I managed to finish 2 books! India Allwood is a successful actress, single mother of 2 adopted children when she causes a stir by criticizing the representation of adoption in a movie she's starring in. Things escalate, especially when it's discovered young India placed two children with adoptive homes. Family is complicated y'all! I ended up liking this but the structure felt constrictive & the book is too long. Frankl 👇

merelybookish Is working to expand upon traditional narratives about adoption as always ones of sadness, loss or desperation. It is compelling, just could have been 50 pages shorter. 3mo
63 likes1 comment
review
merelybookish
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Pickpick

Rebecca grows up listening to her grandmother's retelling of Briar Rose. And on her deathbed, she claims that she *is* Briar Rose. Rebecca then travels to Poland to discover the truth behind her beloved grandmother's fairy tale. Yolen skillfully weaves together Sleeping Beauty with the history of the Holocaust. It's a bold take and shows why fairy tales continue to help us make meaning out of our experiences.

review
merelybookish
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Pickpick

A collection of melancholic, meandering stories, many set in Maine. I liked the drift of them. Loosely plotted, loosely connected. The title story was particularly effective, and more then a few sentences that gave me pause.
A book that's been sitting on my Goodreads TBR for years, and part of my most recent Book Outlet delivery. Glad I finally got to it.

monkeygirlsmama Somehow sounds right my alley. Missing my love, love poetry, and we were supposed to move to Maine this summer. 💙😢 3mo
merelybookish @monkeygirlsmama I live in NB, across the border from Maine and so there are a lot of similarities. Sounds like a book you might like and like you might need a happier read right now. 🙂 3mo
monkeygirlsmama @merelybookish Yeah, happier might not be a terrible idea, but since even the happy books make me sad in some way or another it may not make much of a difference. LoL Either way, I'll be sure to check this one out at some point, if not now. (PS sorry for the typos earlier.) 3mo
64 likes4 stack adds3 comments
blurb
merelybookish
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Current listen. Part of the same series of fairy tale reimaginings as Pamela Dean's Tam Lin (which I LOVE.)

Aimeesue This one was powerful. I remember it vividly. 3mo
JamieArc I read this in a young adult lit class in college and was fascinated by it. it put me down a rabbit hole of fairytale retellings. 3mo
batsy Look forward to your review. Think I've also mentioned my love for Tam Lin; I've been meaning to check out the Yolen for a couple decades 😆 3mo
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merelybookish @Aimeesue Good to hear! 3mo
merelybookish @JamieArc Interesting! It's feels YA-ish but also not in another. 3mo
merelybookish @batsy Lol. I don't know if anything can beat Tam Lin. This one is very different but is doing something interesting with adapting a fairy tale. 3mo
55 likes1 stack add6 comments
review
merelybookish
The Guest: A Novel | Emma Cline
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Pickpick

This is a very good book & a very distressing book. Alex is a young woman who survives on sex work and street smarts. Most of the novel she floats around the Hamptons, trying to avoid one guy, waiting for another guy's party. Homeless, penniless, friendless, she is the outsider who find ways inside, exposing the empty world of personal assistants, country clubs, lonely kids, uneven marriages, false friendships & unhappy families. Alex is 👇

merelybookish never safe and neither are you as a reader. It makes for a very uncomfortable reading experience. It feels like the kind of book people could read in 100 years to understand something about current culture. The ending didn't bother as much as I knew from reviews it was considered disappointing. And in some ways, I think it points to the inevitable that might have been too much to read. 3mo
merelybookish My #bookspin book and one of the #tob24 titles ticked off. 3mo
sarahbarnes Great review - you make me want to read it. 3mo
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Suet624 I agree with @sarahbarnes 3mo
batsy Great review. You sum up how I feel about it. The underlying sense of dread still comes up strongly when I think about it. I was let down by the ending but in retrospect I think any ending would seem incomplete because of the nature of the story and the style. 3mo
merelybookish @sarahbarnes @Suet624 Definitely worth reading! Maybe not when you're in the mood for something cosy. 😉 3mo
merelybookish Thanks @batsy I was prepared for a vague ending so that softened the blow. But all indications were the things she has managed to avoid were about to come crashing down, a reality she would not have been able to narrate. 3mo
61 likes2 stack adds7 comments
blurb
merelybookish
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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For all the Margaret Laurence fans, The Stone Angel is featured on the most recent episode of Backlisted. Highly recommend! @vivastory @batsy @LeahBergen @BarbaraBB #manawakans https://www.backlisted.fm/episodes/203-margaret-laurence-the-stone-angel

batsy Nice! Thanks for letting us know. 3mo
Ruthiella Agree, it was a great episode and I was so happy to actually have read the book this time. 3mo
BarbaraBB Oow, thanks for letting us know! 3mo
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merelybookish @Ruthiella Yes! Because they are so thorough I tend to only listen to episodes about books I've already read. 3mo
merelybookish @batsy @BarbaraBB My pleasure! 😊 3mo
LeahBergen Yes, I spotted that and have been saving it for a nice relaxing listen! 👏 3mo
vivastory Wonderful! Thanks for the heads up 💙 3mo
batsy This is the one I haven't read yet, sadly. I'm reminded now to get to it because I have a Backlisted episode waiting for me 🙂 3mo
50 likes8 comments
blurb
merelybookish
A Nail, a Rose | MADELEINE. BOURDOUXHE
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Like @TheAromaofBooks I might have a Book Outlet problem. 🙈 All purchased before 2024... Because this year, I'm serious about the book buying ban. 🤪

Tamra Love a stack of new books! 😍 3mo
BarbaraJean 😂 I usually do some Christmas shopping on Book Outlet and inevitably several for me end up in my cart. They get me every time with their free shipping threshold. “I can pay for shipping or I can get some books for me, and then get free shipping… so it‘s like those extra books are free!” 😆 3mo
TheAromaofBooks Oooo I got The Time of Green Magic, too. I couldn't resist that cover and @BarbaraJean gave it a warm review! 3mo
See All 20 Comments
jlhammar Battleborn is really good. Hope you enjoy! 3mo
sarahbarnes A good looking stack though! 3mo
janeycanuck The Knausgaards look like a series, though, so that only counts as one book! #bookmath 3mo
merelybookish @Tamra The best! 3mo
merelybookish @BarbaraJean Oh I know! It's hard not to keep piling in the books. 💸 3mo
merelybookish @TheAromaofBooks Yes, I just discovered Hilary McKay! And the cover is beautiful. 💚 3mo
merelybookish @jlhammar so glad to hear that! I've had it on my TBR for eons! 3mo
merelybookish @sarahbarnes Thanks! I have a thing for Knaussgaard. 🙈 3mo
merelybookish @janeycanuck Excellent math skills! 😁 3mo
sarahbarnes I just got The Morning Star from the library. The review from @batsy intrigued me. 3mo
batsy I really liked the tagged book! Hope you find it worthwhile. 3mo
batsy @sarahbarnes I hope you like it! It was such a strange and disconcerting read, in the best possible way. I've placed a hold on the follow up 3mo
sarahbarnes @batsy I‘ll be interested in what you think of the follow up! 3mo
BarbaraJean I hope you enjoy The Time of Green Magic! I was enticed by its cover... on Book Outlet... probably at last year's after Christmas sale. 😂 I LOVED Hilary McKay's Casson family series, and this one has a similar feel. 3mo
merelybookish @BarbaraJean Looking forward to it! I just finished her collection of fairy tales 3mo
merelybookish @batsy @sarahbarnes I haven't read any of his fiction outside of My Struggle which is auto fiction. So maybe I d never read any of his fiction ... 3mo
sarahbarnes I read this one years ago and liked it 3mo
61 likes20 comments
review
merelybookish
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Mehso-so

Oh Mon dieu! I finally finished Volume 5 & it was a struggle. It's the longest of the six volumes and was the most tiresome. So much jealous ranting. It improved near the end, once the narrator stops fixating on Albertine (first in life, then in death.)
I went into this project pretty ignorant & so have no idea how the story unfolds or what the critical reception is. I am curious to see if others struggle with this volume too.
On to Volume 6!

Liz_M This volume was the worst. And I loved volume 7 even more than volume one, so in my opinion it's worth it to carry on 3mo
merelybookish @Liz_M You don't know how relieved I am to hear that! 😅 3mo
Ruthiella Félicitations ! ? 3mo
See All 8 Comments
vivastory You're so close to the end! 👏 3mo
BarbaraBB I agree with @Liz_M it is so worth the read, and it gets better again from now on! 3mo
merelybookish @vivastory So close... 3mo
merelybookish @BarbaraBB That is heartening! 3mo
67 likes8 comments
review
merelybookish
Jazz | Toni Morisson
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Pickpick

Book 5 by Toni Morrison that I've read with @HardcoverHearts Author Spotlight series. Set in NYC in 1926, the book opens with a 50 year-old married man shooting his young lover. That's the opening event but not the story. The book explores the stories & back stories of the constellation of people affected by this event. The City looms large as does the music that gives the book its title & its rhythm. There's a sense of play amidst the violence 👇

merelybookish Black lives are still brutal and haunted by slavery in 1926 but there is a shift. And it feels like Morrison had some fun playing with the style as she wrote. As always with her novels, I am left with questions and the feeling like it would probably benefit from a re-read. 4mo
Billypar I was scrolling through the Litsy reviews trying to remember when I read this, and I'm surprised it was 7 years ago (!) It must have been shortly after I joined. Seems like I was pretty wowed by it, and I think i had the same response to the other two in this trilogy. 3mo
86 likes2 stack adds2 comments
blurb
merelybookish
Tom Lake: A Novel | Ann Patchett
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Friday night vibes. 😴
Enjoying the tagged book on audio.

IndoorDame 😍😍😍 4mo
dabbe 🖤🐾🖤 4mo
vivastory See it's narrated by Meryl Streep. I typically only listen to nf on audio, but this one is tempting 4mo
See All 7 Comments
batsy Sweet little face! 4mo
merelybookish @vivastory Meryl is very good and pretty sure her narration is elevating an otherwise inoffensive book. 4mo
merelybookish @batsy Thanks. He was pooped from taking down the Xmas decorations. 4mo
Darklunarose The perfect reading companion. 4mo
77 likes7 comments
review
merelybookish
Dayswork | Chris Bachelder, Jennifer Habel
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Pickpick

Book 1 of 2024. I loved it. A book about Melville, yes. AND not a book about Melville. Also a book about Nathaniel Hawthorne, Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Hardwick, & "the biographer" of Melville. It's a book about making art, marriage, literary partnerships, literary reputations, literary scholarship. Oh, and the male ego. ? And about words, language, connection & why we read. No plot, weird, discursive, witty & self-aware. ☑️☑️☑️ So many of my ?

merelybookish boxes ticked. It has zero chance of winning the #tob24 but that's okay! So glad I read it. And it has made me eager to revisit Elizabeth Hardwick 4mo
kspenmoll This sounds intriguing! 4mo
Suet624 I thought I had stacked this already. Guess not. I‘m fascinated by those authors. 4mo
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batsy This sounds great. I haven't read Moby Dick and was wondering if that would make a difference in reading this. (I loved Sleepless Nights!) 4mo
squirrelbrain Great review! I really wasn‘t interested in this one, but you may have changed my mind…. 4mo
BarbaraBB Like @squirrelbrain I wasn‘t interested but you review is 🔥! And like @batsy I‘m curious if I should have read 4mo
merelybookish @kspenmoll It definitely is that! An odd book but I really enjoyed it. 4mo
merelybookish @Suet624 Then this is totally up your alley! 4mo
merelybookish @batsy @BarbaraBB I don't think you need to read Moby Dick to enjoy this. All his works (including ones I'd never heard of) are discussed and it didn't make me feel like I needed to read them. 😉 Quite the opposite actually. 🤪 4mo
merelybookish @squirrelbrain I can totally understand not wanting to read and/or enjoying this novel. But it's quite short and I found it quite amusing in places. I think it's worth a try. 4mo
batsy @merelybookish Lol! Thanks, that's good. I'm definitely likely to get around to this before Moby Dick 🐳 4mo
sarahbarnes That settles it, I‘m going to read this one. 😃 4mo
merelybookish @sarahbarnes Oh good! Curious if you will agree with the Ducks, Newburyport comparison. 4mo
65 likes7 stack adds13 comments
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merelybookish
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I haven't set any reading goals for 2024, but have identified a few reading directions. I'd like to do more re-reading, dig into fairy tales, and tackle the unread books on my shelf. (A Book outlet order is enroute as I write. 🙈)
I used those 'directions' to create my January 2024 #bookspin list. I have lots of #TOB books to get to as well.
Here's to kicking off another great year of reading!
@TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 4mo
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The Way Home | Elizabeth Brewster
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I read a lot of poetry in August for #thesealeychallenge. I loved many volumes but highlighting this one by Canadian poet Elizabeth Brewster. It was my "least shelved book" in my Goodreads wrap-up and so want to show it some love. I have a soft spot for Brewster and her work as she grew up in the same small town as my mother.
#12daysof2023.
@Andrew65

Andrew65 Always good to see poetry getting a mention. 4mo
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The Rachel Incident: A novel | Caroline O'Donoghue
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My pick for July is this excellent story about the messiness of young adulthood. It was a perfect summer read!
#12daysof2023
@Andrew65

Andrew65 Sounds a good read. 4mo
Suet624 This one was an unexpected delight. 3mo
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merelybookish
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My plan for 2023 was to tackle Proust's masterpiece, to spend my #morningswithMarcel. I figured it would be slow-going and that it might take me longer than a year.
And I was right.
I have about 100 pages left in Volume 5 (the hardest to get through BY FAR). Then one more volume.
It has been an enriching, stimulating, moving, and at time, dull and/or infuriating reading experience thus far. Will be sad & happy when I finally complete it.

BarbaraBB So great you kept doing it! It‘s a rewarding experience 💜 4mo
Ruthiella This is definitely something I want to achieve in my reading life. Maybe when I retire.🤞 4mo
merelybookish @BarbaraBB Thanks! It's not a quick read. 😛 4mo
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merelybookish @Ruthiella It's well worth doing! I just read in the morning with my coffee. Sometimes I only manage a few pages but it keeps me in it. 4mo
batsy I saw this and it made me think of your Proust reading project. Requires a sub but I think you can register with an email for two free articles per month https://libertiesjournal.com/articles/reading-and-time/ 4mo
Suet624 Impressive goal. 3mo
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Lost Garden | Helen Humphreys
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My picks for #12daysof2023
May - The Lost Garden
June - Miss Buncle's Book
@Andrew65

julieclair Ooohhh… I have wanted to read Miss Buncle‘s Book for ages! (edited) 4mo
LeahBergen Two of my faves, side by side! 😆 4mo
Andrew65 Great choices. 4mo
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Aimeesue Miss Buncle! ❤️❤️❤️ 4mo
merelybookish @julieclair It's charming! 4mo
merelybookish @LeahBergen Lol. I'm not stalking you, I swear. 😉 4mo
merelybookish @Aimeesue A delight! 4mo
merelybookish @Andrew65 thanks! 🙂 4mo
batsy The Lost Garden is so good! And I should push Miss Buncle further up the TBR. 4mo
TheLudicReader I love The Lost Garden so much. 4mo
merelybookish @batsy Miss Buncle is the quintessential cozy read. Like Miss Marple without a dead body. 4mo
batsy @merelybookish Perfect 😆 4mo
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Moon Tiger | Penelope Lively
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My pick for April is this classic by Penelope Lively. What she manages to pack into this tight novel is impressive.
I read it around the same time as The Shell Seekers (another favourite) and the parallels were striking. Both examine the long shadow of WW2 on women's lives in the UK.
#12daysofChristmas
@Andrew65

Andrew65 An excellent author! 4mo
BarbaraBB It‘s my favorite by her, I loved it too. 4mo
TheLudicReader I read this book years ago and loved it. 4mo
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merelybookish @Andrew65 I want to read more by her! 4mo
merelybookish @BarbaraBB Would you recommend any of her other books? 4mo
merelybookish @TheLudicReader I had it on my tbr for years and it lived up to the hype. 4mo
BarbaraBB Not as much as this one 4mo
sarahbarnes Looking forward to reading this one in 2024 after getting a copy from @BarbaraBB! Very glad to hear you loved it as well. 😊 4mo
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Beauty | Robin McKinley
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Took a walk and saw a beaver!
Also started Jazz by Toni Morrison in print and tagged book on audio. Maybe I'll finish one more book before 2024.

dabbe Beautiful! 🤩🤩🤩 4mo
LeahBergen Cool! 4mo
TheLudicReader The weather sure has been great for being out and about, hasn‘t it? 4mo
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Reggie Nature‘s engineers!!! How exciting. 4mo
merelybookish @Reggie It was!! Know they are around but it's rare to see one. 4mo
merelybookish @TheLudicReader Except for a few days, it has been! Bracing for January! 4mo
merelybookish @LeahBergen Felt like a little blessing. 🤎 4mo
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merelybookish
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My pick for March, a collection of linked stories by my all-time favourite writer. Called The Beggar Maid outside of Canada.
#12daysof2023 @Andrew65

Andrew65 Looks a good choice. 4mo
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Pickpick

A soft pick for book 6 of the Thumps Dreadful water series. Thumps is a suitably cranky misanthrope with a gigantic soft spot (a subplot finds him caring for a litter of kittens) but the mystery was kind of meh and the small town of Chinook might have surpassed the acceptable quota of quirky locals. Still I liked it enough to keep going, appreciated the subtle incorporation of racial politics, and I love kittens! 🤪 I might go back and try book 1.

merelybookish This was my final FINAL #cloakanddaggerchristmas read. For Last Christmas. One take away from doing the challenge is that it helps to read a series in order. 😉 @Ruthiella 4mo
Ruthiella I‘m glad you learned a valuable lesson from this! 🤣 Nice work! 🎄💀🔪🎅🏻 4mo
merelybookish @Ruthiella lifelong learner! 🙋‍♀️🤪 4mo
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BIRTHDAY PARTY. | LAURENT. MAUVIGNIER
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My pick for February (and one of my top books of 2023) is Laurent Mauvignier's The Birthday Party. I listened to it on the indie audio platform Spiracle. And it was FABULOUS. It's a master class in building suspense.
#12daysof2023
@Andrew65

Andrew65 Sounds excellent. 4mo
sarahbarnes Yess!! 👏 On my top 2023 list as well! 4mo
BarbaraBB And on mine! 4mo
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Linnets and Valerians | Elizabeth Goudge
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My pick for January is the first book I've read by Elizabeth Goudge. This story of four children going to live with their grandmother combined good characterization with English folklore in a satisfying way. I can see why she is so beloved! I hope to track down more of her novels.
#12daysofChristmas
@Andrew65

Andrew65 Looks good. 4mo
BarbaraBB I haven‘t heard of this one 4mo
batsy I'd heard about this but didn't know there's there's folklorish elements! It's moved further up the list 🙂 4mo
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merelybookish @BarbaraBB Goudge has a devoted following of readers but I only learned of her recently. 4mo
merelybookish @batsy I think you'd love it! Have you read any Goudge? 4mo
batsy @merelybookish No, I haven't! I've got her on my tbr; she seems to write the kind of books I'd enjoy. 4mo
rubyslippersreads I ❤️ Elizabeth Goudge! My favorite is The Little White Horse, but L&V is a close second. 4mo
jlhammar Sounds good! I enjoyed 4mo
BarbaraBB I‘ll have to look into her! 4mo
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merelybookish
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Headed to our 3rd family gathering in 24 hours and felt a need to bring my book. While I'm grateful to spend time with family, part of me is craving some alone time. 🙃

tpixie Here! Here! Sister! The trials of a social introvert! 4mo
Tamra Oh my gosh yes! 4mo
merelybookish @tpixie @tamra I figured some people on here would understand! 😄 4mo
tpixie @merelybookish 🌺📚🌺 4mo
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merelybookish
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I couldn't manage a #top23of23. My collage skills just are not up to the task, so here's some of my favourite reads from the past year. There are a few missing but The Birthday Party, Forbidden Notebook, Girls of Slender Means, and Run Towards the Danger were my absolute stands outs!
@BarbaraBB @Cinfhen

Ruthiella The Fortnight in September is one of my favorite all time books. 😍 (edited) 4mo
squirrelbrain I loved Sorrow and Bliss; in fact, it was my favourite book the year that I read it. 4mo
merelybookish @Ruthiella It's a lovely book. Cosy but not saccharine. 4mo
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merelybookish @squirrelbrain It does such a good job of depicting having a mental illness and loving someone with it. 4mo
Tamra Fortnight was wonderful! 👍🏾👍🏾 4mo
BarbaraBB I loved Birthday Party and Fortnight in September too. Looking forward to Sorrow and Bliss! 4mo
LeahBergen Loved Fortnight and The Shell Seekers! 4mo
CarolynM ❤️I love The Shell Seekers 4mo
batsy The Shell Seekers is lovely, isn't it! And a number of others are on my list! 4mo
merelybookish @Tamra I imagine I might want to re-read it some day. 4mo
merelybookish @BarbaraBB I was surprised by how good Sorrow and Bliss was. 4mo
merelybookish @LeahBergen @CarolynM @batsy It was a lovely, expansive read. Made me want to read more by Pilcher. 4mo
jlhammar Yes, Forbidden Notebook! I think that may end up in my tops as well. 4mo
Megabooks Great list! The Mason and Polley made mine in past years! 📸 4mo
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Small Pleasures | Clare Chambers
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After a very busy, peoply day such a treat to come home to my #jolabokaflod parcel. Thank you so much @thebacklistbook for the thoughtful selections. Small Pleasures looks like the perfect book to curl up with on a wintery afternoon.
Thank you to @MaleficentBookDragon for running this excellent swap.
Peace and joy to all. ❤️🕊️🌟

LeahBergen I enjoyed this one! Merry Christmas! 😘 4mo
merelybookish @LeahBergen Oh good! And yes, Merry Christmas to you!! 4mo
jlhammar Hope you enjoy the Chambers. I loved it! 4mo
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Traitors Purse | Margery Allingham
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Pickpick

Albert Campion wakes up in the hospital with a sense of danger & without his memory. Slowly, he starts to piece together his identity (secret agent) and the name of his assignment (Minute Fifteen), but he is forced to fake it until he can learn/remember more. Set in early days of WW I I, Campion realizes he must succeed or England's war effort is doomed.
Book 5 in the Albert Campion series but my first, so I knew as little as he did about 👇

merelybookish About who he was and his relationships to other characters. (The book assumes the reader knows more than Campion.) Still, I enjoyed it. Made me curious to read what he's like when he does know who he is. 😄 Probably my final #cloakanddaggerchristmas book for 2023. Managed 5/8 prompts. Thanks for hosting @Ruthiella 🙌 4mo
Ruthiella Nice work! I‘ve never read any of the Campion books nor have I seen any adaptations. Thanks for participating! It‘s been fun. 🎄💀🔪🎅🏻 4mo
Billypar This might be the first time I've seen a blurb from Agatha Christie... high praise indeed! 4mo
merelybookish @Ruthiella Id like to read another. It was well-written and short which is turning out to be what I like in a mystery. 😁 4mo
merelybookish @Billypar I know! Not too shabby. 4mo
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merelybookish
Crocodile on the Sandbank | Elizabeth Peters
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Pickpick

In spite of the obvious Scooby-Doo mystery and pervasive racism, it was hard not to love the formidable Amelia Peabody.
Read for the So They Know It's Christmas? prompt for #cloakanddaggerchristmas
@Ruthiella

Ruthiella Glad you liked it. The books become a little less racist with time. Amelia is still in the 19th century but the author is progressing through the end of the 20th and into the 21st century and I think it tells in the writing. (edited) 4mo
batsy I loved this series years ago and own most of it (still) but when I tried to revisit it recently I had a hard time with the racism. But you're right @Ruthiella it does decrease as the series goes on. 4mo
merelybookish @Ruthiella @batsy I understand it's historically accurate for a Victorian woman to have racist views about people who live in Egypt. And I think at times Peters was trying to satirize that English master race stuff. But not enough for me to be sure that was what she was doing. So I'm glad to hear the series improves. 4mo
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A poem for Winter Solstice. ⚫🖤⚫

IndoorDame 🖤🤍🖤 4mo
BiblioLitten Beautiful! 4mo
batsy Love it! I should probably read more Wendell Berry... 4mo
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The Milk of Dreams | Leonora Carrington
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My heart is full. ❤️ Got to travel to Kansas City this past weekend where I lived for 10+ years. I was spoiled by my girlfriends there AND I had the immense pleasure of spending an afternoon with @vivastory. After being friends on Litsy since 2016, it was so great to finally meet Scott in person. ☺️ The two cool books are from him. So thoughtful! My only disappointment was that I missed seeing Taylor Swift. Next time! 😀

kspenmoll Sounds beyond wonderful! So happy for you! 4mo
Ruthiella Fantastic! 😃 4mo
LeahBergen Aww, that sounds wonderful! 4mo
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BarbaraBB That sounds wonderful! Happy for you - and Scott! 4mo
batsy How wonderful! 💜 4mo
squirrelbrain How lovely! ❤️ 4mo
Reggie Scott is wonderful! So glad you got to spend time with him. 4mo
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Song of Solomon | Toni Morrison
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Pickpick

Finished the third book in the Toni Morrison author spotlight series mid-flight. My first time reading and I found it dense, and different from her other novels I've read. Wordier somehow. Not sure how to capture it. The story of Milkman who needs to shed what he knows to discover who he is. A simplistic summary of a very complex book. Glad I read it, but feel left with lots of questions. @HardcoverHearts

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Christmas Mail | Euphrasia Emeline Lewis Cox
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Mailed a #Jolabokaflod parcel off to L'Anse au Loup this morning. (It must win for best place name in this swap! 😀🐺) Should arrive by early next week. 🤞 @BookishMadHatter @MaleficentBookDragon
No post office pic so here's my little office tree instead. 🙂