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monalyisha

monalyisha

Joined January 2017

Head in the clouds, book in my hand, coffee in an I.V. ☁️📖☕️ (R.I. 🌊)
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monalyisha
Oh, No! | Candace Fleming
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Does anyone have the scoop about Litsy‘s frequent outages? I‘m in the Beta group & “Onward Litsy!” but I haven‘t gleaned much from those pages lately. While it seems we‘re all being pretty diligent about reporting (and I know the team‘s doing their best!), there hasn‘t been a lot of communication about WHY access has been so spotty.

I have to admit…I‘m a bit worried about our future.

What are your plans if the decision is made to sunset the app?

jen_the_scribe I was wondering why the app doesn‘t seem to work for me around the same time every night. I would be so sad if they decided to call it quits on the app! I have a Goodreads account but it doesn‘t hold a candle to Litsy, in my opinion. 3d
Librarybelle It has me worried, but I‘m also trying not to think about it. Naive of me, I know. There have been reassurances that there are no plans to sun set the app; I do feel bad for the Android users since the Google Play store no longer supports the app, so it makes me wonder if it will just be inevitable. This is my favorite app by far and has become such a huge part of my life—so many great people here! Let‘s hope things stabilize! 3d
Jess_Read_This Agree with @jen_the_scribe and @Librarybelle . I saw the post about the outage on FB and got concerned. I love the authenticity and genuine love of reading that can be found here. I hope it‘s not going away due to lack of tech support. I feel bad for the Android users too. 3d
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Leftcoastzen I agree with @Librarybelle I keep my old iPhone mostly for Litsy ! I had android before , went iPhone, went back to android . I say I hate this phone to the android every day! 3d
Tamra Now I‘m worried. 😧 3d
KadaGul Noo 😱 !! I like 😍 Litsy more than Facebook. I don't think 🤔 they'll ditch it. They might end up getting bought by a company that can handle the increasing number of user👥 3d
monalyisha @Tamra @KadaGul Don‘t be too freaked out! It‘s entirely possible that there‘s nothing to worry about & I‘m being an alarmist. It just seems like users & developers have both hit a new level of frustration. 3d
BarbaraJean Weep. I would weep if they were to sunset the app. 😭 That said, I haven‘t been worried because I‘m assuming outages are due to heavy usage messing with limited server capacity. It‘s usually down in the early evening for me (Pacific Time)—I‘d guess that‘s peak usage time across the US. Seems like a limited resources problem. As others have said, staff have frequently reassured users that there are no plans to shut it down anytime soon.🤞🏼 3d
Lunakay If there is an app I'd be happy to pay a subscription fee for, it's most definitely Litsy.🥺 This is probably the kindest and most positive place on the internet 🥰 3d
monalyisha @Lunakay Same! 👯‍♀️ 3d
monalyisha @BarbaraJean @Librarybelle You‘ve gotta be right; outages are due to heavy use. I just get so nervous when I see folks criticizing the team responsible for keeping it running…because I think I‘ve also seen that same team say they‘re mostly volunteers. I‘m concerned they‘ll decide it‘s not worth the grief or the hassle. But hopefully, at the very least, there‘d be some notice so we could all put our heads together for a think. 3d
julesG I'm with @Lunakay. I'd be happy to pay a subscription fee for Litsy. There hasn't been an update for the Android app in years and you have to install the Android version yourself, since it's no longer in the Google app store. I am so worried it just won't work one day. 3d
Librarybelle @monalyisha Completely agree with your thought regarding the team. I‘d pay a subscription fee too, @Lunakay @julesG . 3d
Meshell1313 Devastated is the word. Hopefully they try paid subscription or it gets sold to company that can handle the growth and invest in it more before shutting it down. There‘s nothing like it. 🤞 3d
yourfavouritemixtape @Lunakay that‘s exactly how I described Litsy recently: it‘s the happiest and kindest place on the internet. I‘d be very sad if it didn‘t exist anymore. I‘d be willing to pay a subscription fee too… Let‘s hope for the best. 3d
BarbaraJean I'm encouraged by how responsive and kind the team seems to be, and confident that if it DID come to an end (shhhh, don't say that out loud), they'd give users ample notice. I don't know of anything that could replace Litsy, though. I'd pay a subscription fee rather than letting it go, that's for sure! 3d
peaKnit Oh I pray it makes it, I enjoy the readers here so much! 2d
41 likes17 comments
review
monalyisha
Ghost Moth | Michle Forbes
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Can I take a moment to brag about how commendably cultured I felt when I realized, almost immediately, that this novel is a direct homage to Joyce‘s “The Dead”? Go me! 🥳😅

The parallel is gorgeously wrought, with white moths in the dead of a summer‘s night acting as the snow and The Troubles supplanting the political unrest of the early 1900‘s (“Fenian” taking the derogatory place of “West Briton”). 👇🏻

monalyisha 1/2: I‘ll admit that I picked this up at a used bookstore because I liked the title and cover, and the first few pages detail swimming in the sea alongside a seal. I thought it smacked of Irish selkie lore. While I was wrong about it having a bit of a magical bent, the story does focus on metamorphosis, how we (especially women) can feel (or be) trapped, and the ways in which we harbor multiple selves. (edited) 7d
monalyisha 2/2: I was jarred by an instance of casual, racist slang which places the narrative in time (1940‘s - 1960‘s). And I still can‘t decide if I think it was a wise choice that Forbes didn‘t attempt to create her own version of Joyce‘s famous, alliterative, onomatopoeic last lines — or if I‘m disappointed. It‘s true that there may be a few too many similes. Otherwise, this surprise of a debut novel (from 2013) took my breath away. (edited) 7d
52 likes2 comments
review
monalyisha
Malibu Rising | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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While I‘ve never had to drop out of high school to raise my 4 siblings by myself, I am HERE for the eldest daughter vibes that Nina Riva brings. I, too, would like to finally set everything down (except for a wheel or two of brie — one for each hand), leave the world & my responsibilities behind, and live by myself in a tiny shack by the ocean. See ya never, everyone! 😅 A quick read with compelling characters & lots of heart. Keep tissues handy.

LeeRHarry This was my favourite book of the year when I read it. Glad you enjoyed it. 😊 1w
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review
monalyisha
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While the 7th book in the series has just as much to love as previous installments, there are some consistent problems that are starting to get to me. First, too much is crammed into one book. I‘d prefer something shorter with less going on (maybe Wayward Children-style). Secondly, & most frustratingly, Taylor seems to struggle to embrace body positivity. Bigger bodies are beautiful, too. The repeated fat-shaming is becoming hard to overlook.👇🏻

monalyisha 1/1: Still, the cast of characters is one of my favorite groups of *any* series. I can‘t bring myself to give any of these novels a so-so rating…especially not one that features King Arthur‘s sword, Stonehenge, and The Wild Hunt. A lot hinges on Book 8. 1w
julesG I didn't have the impression it's fat-shaming. In most cases Max talks about herself, or repeats that the medical section thinks she should lose some weight for health reasons (bum knee, ankles,...). 1w
monalyisha @julesG There‘s also the whole first bit about Caroline of Brunswick. 1w
julesG Oh. Yes. I had forgotten about that part. You're right. That could have been done better. Especially from the POV of future historians. The contemporaries are allowed to be unkind, they don't know better. (I hope you understand what I mean) 1w
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monalyisha
Malibu Rising | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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“Nina breathed in deep and then picked up the entire plate of cheese, ready to carry it with her. She set out to alert her siblings that their father was there, like she was a surfer girl Paul Revere. ‘Mick is coming.‘”

This is a ridiculous piece of writing. Thank you to Taylor Reid Jenkins for penning it, and to her editors for allowing it to stay. 😆

vivastory 🧀 😂 2w
Amiable 🤦🏼‍♀️😄 1w
50 likes2 comments
review
monalyisha
Monsters: A Fan's Dilemma | Claire Dederer
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I absolutely loved this. Dederer set out to write an ambitious book & she achieved her goal. Not only that, but she came off as being the kind of “cool” that I‘ll only ever aspire to be. Her musical references range from Joni Mitchell to PWR BTTM with all the (plumbed) levels of complexity that implies. Ironically & infuriatingly, the effect is that I now want to watch/read/listen to all of the media she questions the morality of consuming. 👇🏻

monalyisha 1/7: I want to (re)watch Annie Hall. Remembering how much I loved Rosemary‘s Baby, I want to dive into Polanski‘s catalog. Of course, these creators are men who have committed terrible deeds (e.g. anal rape of a 13-year-old). Do we just forget that? 2w
monalyisha 2/7: Dederer says no. She also doesn‘t tell her readers NOT to watch/read/listen. Like any good thinker, she gives us more questions than answers. This isn‘t a guidebook. Dederer won‘t solve your ethical dilemma. She will ask you to lay bare your own reasoning and emotions, your insecurities, your doubts, your loves, your biases. 2w
monalyisha 3/7: She‘ll do it by modeling this behavior on the page. She doesn‘t let herself squirm away; she questions whether she is, herself, a monster. She unflinchingly tells you why she sometimes worries she might be. 2w
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monalyisha 4/7: Ultimately, she‘ll tell you not to discount beauty or community. She‘ll advise you not to place an undue emphasis on individual consumption. She‘ll focus on systemic evils. She‘ll tell you that “the way you consume art doesn't make you a bad person, or a good one. You'll have to find some other way to accomplish that.” She‘ll encourage you not to forget about these other ways. 2w
monalyisha 5/7: I do have a single criticism, which comes in the form of two words: “The Stain.” This is a concept Dederer introduces early on in the book and it‘s something that she returns to repeatedly: how an artist‘s biography can “stain” their work (spreading backwards and forwards through time), like wine spilled on linen. Unfortunately, this metaphor spills out of her in the chapter about Michael Jackson. 2w
monalyisha 6/7: She writes, “The image of the stain immediately took hold of my brain (an especially poignant image in the context of Michael Jackson and the bleached anti-stain of his skin).” Following this logic, blackness becomes “the stain.” I don‘t for one second believe that Dederer intended to equate the two. But I wish she‘d introduced the metaphor in the chapter about Picasso, when talking about his paints. 2w
monalyisha 7/7: For me, this single line about “the stain” became a stain on my total & unabashed enjoyment of her book. But I‘m trying to convince myself that it was more a quick & clumsy fumble with a cup of coffee than a shattering of a full glass of Cabernet. It might come out in the wash. 2w
Clare-Dragonfly Beautiful review! 2w
kspenmoll Wow. Well thought out review. I am intrigued. 2w
TrishB Great review, though we have very different opinions about the book! 2w
youneverarrived I really want to read this now. Brilliant review 🤍 2w
TheKidUpstairs I keep looking at this one on Libby, you've convinced me! It's unfortunate that it's always a timely issue. 2w
Chelsea.Poole I‘m going to prioritize this one next month, thanks for a thoughtful review! 1w
monalyisha @youneverarrived @TheKidUpstairs @Chelsea.Poole I‘ll be interested to find out what you friends think! My book club was very divided. 1w
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review
monalyisha
Wicked Wonders | Ellen Klages
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Ellen Klages is a new favorite! 🤩 I kept thinking, “These stories capture girlhood (especially queer girlhood) in the same way that Ray Bradbury captured boyhood in Dandelion Wine.” Lo and behold, in the notes for “Amicae Aeternum,” Klages celebrates the fact that a reviewer once compared her writing to Bradbury‘s, which she says, “thrilled [her] beyond belief.” See? It‘s not just me! It‘s just simply - & gloriously - true. 👇🏻

monalyisha 1/2: I came to Ellen Klages by way of an incredibly funny Instagram video, which shows her telling the true story of “The Scary Ham” while a contestant on Jeopardy. Her name struck me as vaguely familiar and I realized I‘ve had this collection on my bookshelf for ages! As it turns out, the final story is “The Scary Ham.” 2w
monalyisha 2/2: My favorites in the collection are “The Education of a Witch”, “Echoes of Aurora”, “Caligo Lane”, and “Woodsmoke.” She promises to continue the characters‘ stories in the last on the list; I hope she does them justice and that they find a progressive, inclusive, and affirming ending. I can‘t wait to find and devour more of her writing! (edited) 2w
monalyisha *Possibly some concerns about cultural appropriation. Without knowing more about Klages‘ bio, I can‘t really say. I‘m also willing to give her a bit of a pass; sensibilities have changed rapidly since 2017, and I get the impression that she‘ll strive to keep up. 2w
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monalyisha
Turtle Diary | Russell Hoban
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Seeing all of my favorite fiction reads of the year (so far) all together like this just makes me smile.

BarbaraBB Looking great! 3w
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monalyisha
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The second half of the year has begun; time to share my favorite reads (so far)!

In my mind, I “almost always” consume nonfic via audiobook…but I actually read 3/4 of these in print! While I don‘t mean to denigrate audiobooks (they‘re both valid and equal to other formats), I can‘t help but feel like I‘ve leveled up…if only because I see it as proof that my reading experiencing is opening & becoming more fluid.

vivastory I've had “Monsters“ on my TBR but was not aware of “Muppets In Moscow.“ Am very intrigued! 3w
JamieArc I‘m just started listening to the tagged. It‘s a fun history of Sasquatch, with some interesting commentary. 3w
monalyisha @vivastory It definitely takes a while to pick up…but overall, it‘s fascinating! I‘m also very pro-puppet (vocational hazard: Children‘s Librarian), so I was bound to take a keen interest. 😉 Obviously, I‘d still recommend it! 3w
vivastory Adding to my TBR, will probably go the audio route which is how I finish most of my NF. Although my fave NF read this year was without a doubt Riker's: An Oral History which I read in print 3w
monalyisha @vivastory It‘s actually the one out of the four that I listened to! I support your choice. 3w
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monalyisha
Monsters: A Fan's Dilemma | Claire Dederer
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Confession: I still have one chapter left to read but Monsters was far & away my favorite read in June.

Also…this was really hard! I reserve the right to change my mind and reconfigure the grid. For now, though, it stands! 🐢📔

#ReadingBracket2024
#2024ReadingBracket
@CSeydel

vonnie862 Same! I kept going back and forth between my favorite read. I may change my mind as well. 3w
CSeydel I always second guess my picks as well! I think reconfiguring the grid at a later date is every reader‘s right! 3w
38 likes2 comments
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monalyisha
Monsters: A Fan's Dilemma | Claire Dederer
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Do I have other responsibilities I should be worrying about right now? Yes.

Is it the perfect day for reading outside? Also yes.

TheKidUpstairs Love your socks! 3w
marleed Same same! 3w
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monalyisha
Monsters: A Fan's Dilemma | Claire Dederer
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“Everyone who was a girl…knows this feeling: running your hand along the spines of biographies in the school library, looking for any title at all about a woman & winding up reading about…Clara Barton? Fine, okay. Clara Barton. If that‘s all there is.”

OMG! 😂

Clara Barton‘s hometown was right next to mine. My first library job was in Oxford, MA. So, even though I grew up two decades after Dederer, you better believe I know this feeling!

REPollock I loved this book. So much of it is so relatable. 1mo
monalyisha @REPollock I also just learned that Dederer‘s brother was in the band The Presidents of the United States of America. 🍑 What an obnoxiously cool family! 😆 (edited) 1mo
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monalyisha
Every Heart a Doorway | Seanan McGuire
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I‘m obnoxiously picky about the kind of Fantasy I enjoy…but I‘m finding myself in a particular ~mood.~ So, I‘m seeking recommendations! Help me out if you love a challenge!

Some series that‘ve hit the right spot recently-ish are featured. I‘m not big on High Fantasy battles, politics, or character names. Adult fiction preferred (though younger protagonists are okay, and even encouraged!).

shortsarahrose I love a challenge! I‘m going to tag two books, both that I would describe as more about the vibe/atmosphere than plot/character and both novella length. 1mo
brittanyreads In a similar vein to Red Sister....you may enjoy this series.. 1mo
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shortsarahrose Also, both tagged are the start to series 1mo
monalyisha @shortsarahrose Oh, I‘m good with lots of character-development…I just don‘t like when the characters have High Fantasy-style names. 😅 1mo
brittanyreads And I've not read this yet, but this sounds reminiscent of the Wayward Children's series.. 1mo
monalyisha @shortsarahrose A Psalm for the Wild-Built was one of my favorite books of the last few years, so you‘re spot-on about my taste, in general! I think I want something *slightly* darker & edgier at the moment, though. Normally, hope is my JAM. Don‘t know what that says about my current state of mind but…😵‍💫🤷‍♀️ 1mo
shortsarahrose Got it! The Gunslinger is definitely darker if you want to go down that route. It does have some solid character development, too, getting into the backstory of the MC Roland. I just emphasize the vibe with it because that‘s the thing that seems to make it or break it for others who‘ve read it. 1mo
monalyisha @shortsarahrose I‘ve actually had The Gunslinger recommended to me a few times over the years! I tried a couple of other Fantasy/Westerns that I liked, so it was a natural segue. I tried it on audio and it didn‘t do it for me (I bailed)…but it absolutely could‘ve just been a case of narration! 1mo
monalyisha @brittanyreads The Lost Story might have potential! Thanks! 1mo
shortsarahrose I started it on audio, but switched to ebook for it, so for me it made a difference. I haven‘t read the next book in the series yet, either, but it‘s on my TBR. 1mo
Zuhkeeyah For a more involved fantasy, I highly recommend N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy 1mo
monalyisha Thanks, @Zuhkeeyah! Both have been on my radar. Maybe I should bump the Jemisin back up. I remember considering bringing it home once. I read the first few pages and decided against it. But I know the series is well-loved and the synopsis appeals! I‘ll take a peek again when I‘m at work tomorrow. 1mo
monalyisha @TheKidUpstairs Yes! Not for a long time — and I‘ve thought about rereading it because of his new one. But I loved it! I think it was probably 2008? 2009? 1mo
CoffeeK8 I‘m going to second Broken Earth and also recommend 2 more. I love a good fantasy (but most of mine are romances). I‘ll suggest Clockwork Boys by Kingfisher & Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews (urban fantasy) 1mo
TheKidUpstairs I figured you probably had. Are you a Gaiman fan? Either Ocean at the End of the Lane, or Neverwhere might fit what you're looking for? 1mo
monalyisha @TheKidUpstairs Ocean at the End of the Lane is another long-time favorite! Neverwhere I couldn‘t get into. 🙈 1mo
archaeolibrarianologist Beyond the Wayward Wall by A Deborah Baker (Seanan McGuire pen name) 3w
34 likes20 comments
review
monalyisha
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Mehso-so

I don‘t know why but I wasn‘t super captivated by this one. Mostly just a list of cognitive biases with some personal musings about her past (emotionally abusive) relationship sprinkled in, which makes it feel more intimate. The most interesting section to me was about the Halo Effect & how it applies to our relationship with our parents (specifically our mothers).

I‘d love to explain my underwhelm more clearly. Might try her next book in print.

ReadingRachael I loved Cultish, so I originally intended to purchase this new one as soon as it came out. I have been reconsidering rather to buy it though as I am very familiar with cognitive biases and CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) training/teachings. I like to underline and write in my non-fiction books but I am not sure whether this will have enough significant new information to make it worth the purchase for me. 1mo
monalyisha @ReadingRachael Honestly, I don‘t think it would be worth it! I‘d borrow rather than buy. 1mo
Booksbymybed I‘m about half way through and feel the same- underwhelming 1mo
ReadingRachael @monalyisha @Booksbymybed Thanks, good to know! I was beginning to lean towards borrow not buy. I will add it to my library list! (edited) 1mo
monalyisha @ReadingRachael You‘re welcome! Regardless of how much you end up liking it, I do think you‘ll know a lot (if not all) of the factual content. 1mo
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monalyisha
Clear: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Fellow Campers (#CampLitsy24):

Please imagine that I played this song for you, beautifully, on my acoustic guitar around the campfire while the stars twinkled above us. It‘s one of my favorite rainy day songs…and it fits the story perfectly!

https://open.spotify.com/track/2DGSdO00NzACW56iJ2FjNm?si=-K-E0RmKSB2u0IdunGt2IA

*This is an exercise in imagination due to our scattered geography AND my utter lack of musical talent. 😅

kspenmoll Thank you thank you for this musical experience. 1mo
monalyisha You‘re welcome, @kspenmoll! 🩶 1mo
Meshell1313 Yes!!! Perfect soundtrack for this atmospheric novel! 1mo
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monalyisha
Clear: A Novel | Carys Davies
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A short, queer, atmospheric novel set in 1843 during the Great Disruption in the Scottish Church & the Clearances, when rural inhabitants in the Highlands & Islands were forced by wealthy landlords to leave their homes.

The title is fitting; it‘s a quiet but powerful exploration of what is clearly important in life (& how that‘s conveyed) and what‘s a little more foggy & nuanced (eg. sexuality, morality, spirituality, multiple intelligences).👇🏻

monalyisha 1/1: What makes this book so poignant is the gray area - literally (in terms of the setting) and metaphorically. Absolutely everything in Davies‘ tale is in transition. (edited) 1mo
monalyisha Thanks, #CampLitsy24 for putting this book on my radar! And thanks to @BarbaraBB for leading the discussions. 🩵 1mo
Suet624 Great review! 1mo
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BarbaraBB Very well said 🩶 1mo
squirrelbrain Great review! ❤️ 1mo
sarahbarnes Great review! 1mo
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monalyisha
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I learned recently about a mistake that my mother made, something that‘s had reverberations throughout my family. While I‘m just as disappointed and heartsick as my siblings, I‘m also keenly aware that our time is not unlimited. We can‘t punish her for not recognizing that which is precious and irreplaceable in her life, by not recognizing that she is.

This passage is both timely and poignant.

lil1inblue 💗 💗 💗 1mo
Tamra Indeed! 1mo
Chelsea.Poole ♥️ 1mo
38 likes3 comments
review
monalyisha
Cloistered: My Years as a Nun | Catherine Coldstream
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Mehso-so

I struggled through this memoir. The author converts to Catholicism, seeking the peace of the Heavenly Father after the death of her beloved earthly one. She joins an order of contemplative Carmelite nuns, anticipating a life of quiet simplicity and radical love. Instead, she finds a cult of personality, which leads to a decade of emotional (and eventually physical) abuse. Though I imagine it was cathartic to write, it wasn‘t easy to read. 👇🏻

monalyisha 1/1: I‘m hesitant to admit that I did not connect with Coldstream. Though I have empathy for her, she presented as sanctimonious. I suspect I‘d experience many of the same emotions in her position: disappointment, disillusionment, sadness, anger, and betrayal…but her story needed more mastery and variation in its telling. Aside from a few beautiful passages, it just felt stuck and bogged down: too much of one thing, not enough of another. 1mo
Texreader Amazing review 1mo
monalyisha @Texreader Thank you! That means a lot. I actually rewrote it a bunch of times, and my Goodreads & Storygraph reviews are much longer. It‘s hard sometimes! 1mo
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monalyisha
Other Birds: A Novel | Sarah Addison Allen
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Mehso-so

I know that SAA is prolific & well-loved; this was my first time reading her writing. It was…sort of a mixed bag. I liked her characters. I thought they were sweet. I enjoyed the magical elements (especially the ghosts) & the light romance. It bothered me that Charlotte, blonde & boho, supported herself by doing henna (cultural appropriation). The worst of it, though, was the sheer number of similes & metaphors per page. It was a little absurd. 😬

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monalyisha
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One of my favorite (adult) patrons at the library will definitely never look at me the same way again after learning that I loved this one…but it was worth it. 😅

Weird? Yes. *Obviously.*
Captivating? Also yes.

To be fair, she hadn‘t gotten very far…but she was pretty sure she was going to bail. 🤷‍♀️🦈🩵

#ReadingBracket2024 #2024ReadingBracket

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monalyisha
The Sea, The Sea | Iris Murdoch
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Though she be stormy, she is beautiful. 🩵

dabbe 💙🩵💙 2mo
kspenmoll 🌊🌊🌊 2mo
Suet624 💕💕💕 2mo
JamieArc And strong, holding up those boats! 💪🏼💪🏼⛵️ 2mo
81 likes4 comments
review
monalyisha
The Offing | Benjamin Myers
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A reserved pick.

The Offing reminds me of the 1970‘s cult classic Harold & Maude, updated for modern sensibilities & ironically set in the past (1940‘s England, post-WWII).

A coal-miner‘s son leaves home in search of adventure & finds it in unexpected ways in Dulcie, a worldly, unconventional, & grieving septuagenarian tucked away in her home in a coastal meadow. She introduces him to poetry, wine, & simple luxury, & shows him what could be.👇🏻

monalyisha 1/3: In turn, he reminds her of what it feels like to have life open in front of you. She‘s keen to make sure he fights for the right to that openness. This novel is langorously slow… & I say that as someone who brags about being a reader who doesn‘t need plot to keep her going! Remarkable, then, that‘s its being turned into a movie (starring Helena Bonham Carter). I suspect it‘ll be a gorgeous film, hinging on character, mood, & scenery. 2mo
monalyisha 2/3: I think the *very* ending, just the final page, struck a bit of a false chord, if we‘re updating for modern sensibilities (and the novel was penned in 2019). Myers writes, “The way of life has changed, of course. The small-scale fishing industry barely exists and most of the houses down bay are second homes that fill up only during holidays. It doesn‘t bother me.” And, “Nature always wins.” (edited) 2mo
monalyisha 3/3: Given today‘s housing and climate crises, both sentences sound wrong and hollow. Still, it‘s a gorgeous, wise, & lovely book…if sometimes a little on-the-nose! 2mo
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monalyisha
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“We are gentle with the toads. They are soft as a great-grandmother you can hold in your hand.”

batsy Why is this so unexpectedly beautiful 🥺 2mo
lil1inblue 💙 😍 💙 2mo
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monalyisha
The Offing | Benjamin Myers
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I took a much-needed vacation day today to recharge…and it ended up being such a beautiful day! I even dipped my toes in the sea. 🌊🩵🌤️

Suet624 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2mo
Soubhiville It looks rejuvenating 🙂🩷 2mo
KadaGul My Kinda DAYYY 🙂‍↔️🫶🥰 2mo
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dabbe 🤩🤩🤩 2mo
LeeRHarry Love to see someone reading one of my favourite books! 😊 Enjoy! 2mo
monalyisha @LeeRHarry Such a good feeling, right? Who knows? I may have even gotten the idea to read it from you once upon a time! 2mo
Tamra Nice!! 2mo
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monalyisha
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Pickpick

I knew this debut novel had a lot of love. I‘m not sure what I expected but it wasn‘t what I got.

I, like others, LOVED what I got.

Despite first impressions, bears only a surface resemblance to The Lobster (2015). I kept thinking, “This is like The Lobster except…” less self-consciously artsy, more intimate, more feminine. Eventually, the “excepts” piled up. The only real similarity is animal transmutation in an otherwise mundane world. 😅👇🏻

monalyisha 1/2: I‘m genuinely still in awe that this is Habeck‘s first novel. It‘s hard to write past that but I‘ll try. 😅 This is the kind of magical realism I‘m always craving in my (human, and therefore animal) heart of hearts. The fantastical is accepted; the rest is contemporary fiction. The focus is on the characters: their yearning, their struggles, their joy, their connection with their larger community and with themselves. 2mo
monalyisha 2/2: If you‘re a fan of nature writing, it‘s got more than a dawn‘s blush of that, too! If you don‘t mind crying at the beach (just wear big sunglasses & you‘ll be golden), I‘d definitely recommend tucking this into your bag with your towel & sunblock this summer. 🦈 It‘d also be a great book club choice! Anticipate discussions about love, caretaking, & formative childhood experiences. I‘m still ruminating on the “why” behind so many details. (edited) 2mo
Amiable Fabulous review! 2mo
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa Stacking!! 2mo
monalyisha I should also say that this is the THIRD recently published book I‘ve read in under a year that specifically names Our Town by Thornton Wilder — in the text itself & in the acknowledgements — as a hugely impactful & relevant work. It‘s officially a trend! 2mo
Crazeedi Excellent review 2mo
marleed @monalyisha Kind of related to your noting Our Town…. I went through a couple years were I couldn‘t believe how many book I read made some mention of Earnest Hemingway. I wished I‘d documented every reference I read. 2mo
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monalyisha
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Pickpick

I stayed up reading until 1am. I couldn‘t help it! Ozeki is a singular writer; her imagination is vast & she‘s so well read: everything from Jorge Luis Borges; to the eclectic German-Jewish philosopher & theorist Walter Benjamin; to Marie Kondo. She knows about jazz, religion, politics, & current events. The dual nature of this (both sprawling & specific) can be overwhelming. Don‘t be daunted. Pursue what you want & let the rest wash over you.👇🏻

monalyisha 1/3: In this tale, Benjamin Oh, a boy on the cusp of adolescence, begins to hear the voices of inanimate objects after his father dies in a tragicomic accident. This oddity is exacerbated by his mother‘s grief-fueled hoarding. In the hospital and at the public library, Benny meets an intimate cast of characters, unhoused artists and revolutionaries, who become his found-family. 2mo
monalyisha 2/3: I understand the justified critique that the plot is hard to find. Ozeki‘s writing isn‘t one thing. Though, if pressed, I‘d say the “one thing” she‘s focused on here is tenderly exploring grief. Unexpectedly, she incorporates the grief, anger, & joy of objects as one family works through it to discover what must be tidied & what must remain essentially messy. For me, this is metafiction at its finest: watch the writer writing - but also FEEL. 2mo
monalyisha 3/3: I couldn‘t wait to read this when it was published. And then I did wait. For three years. I think I was afraid because I loved A Tale for the Time Being so much. This one won‘t occupy the *same* space on my shelves, in my esteem, or in my heart. It hasn‘t become one of my Favorite Books. But I still think it‘s a work of art. Thanks to @tkimsal for hosting the giveaway that finally gave me the push I needed! 2mo
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Tkimsal Yay! I‘m so happy I was able to share this book! 2mo
monalyisha @Tkimsal I don‘t know if you remember details but I think the two moments that will stay with me are both Annabelle-specific: when she gets the massage, and when the crows cover her body to keep her warm. 🖤 Thank you, again! (edited) 2mo
Tkimsal I do remember! I had recently suffered the loss of my sister when I read this and it helped me a lot to read it. I love the idea that we are all the author of our own story. 2mo
monalyisha @Tkimsal I‘m sorry for your loss and I can completely understand how this would have been a cathartic read. If objects have any sort of “life,” this print copy has certainly been imbued with something special by its readers. 💓 2mo
Tkimsal 💜 2mo
69 likes8 comments
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monalyisha
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This might be the most “me” combination of books I‘ve ever been reading at the same time. 😅

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monalyisha
Cloistered: My Years as a Nun | Catherine Coldstream
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🌖🌿🤎

Amor4Libros I read this one and it was very interesting! 2mo
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monalyisha
Good Material | Dolly Alderton
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Pickpick

Good Material is about a break-up. Except for the last chapter, it‘s from Andy‘s perspective. He‘s a struggling stand-up comedian in his mid-30‘s who‘s just been dumped. It‘s got real High Fidelity vibes. The last chapter grants the reader access into Jen‘s mind. I‘d never read Dolly Alderton before & almost *immediately* became a devotee. Her writing feels so natural. The way her characters think, OVERthink, speak & act is modern & true-to-life.

StephLeeson How was this? 2mo
monalyisha @StephLeeson I really enjoyed it! I think she writes dialog (& internal monologues) really well. It just flows. 2mo
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monalyisha
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I‘m not typically 1) a joiner, or 2) a person who spends big.

That being said, Katherine May is hosting a retreat *in the US* this coming October and I‘m seriously considering dropping everything to go. Details will be released this Wednesday. You can sign-up to receive them here: https://katherine-may.co.uk/retreat-waiting-list?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=...

Any Littens want to be (quietly) wild with me?

Chelsea.Poole Um, wow! 👀 I‘d LOVE to but not sure it‘s realistic for me to entertain this 🧐 3mo
monalyisha @Chelsea.Poole Admirable of you to be considering reality at this time. 😅 3mo
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JamieArc @monalyisha I am *highly* intrigued. I‘ll look at my calendar, budget! 3mo
monalyisha @JamieArc I love that! I still need to know how much it‘ll cost and see how fast tickets sell…but I‘m also earnest about my interest! 3mo
monalyisha @JamieArc I‘m sadly out. No lodging‘s a pretty big deal at that price point. If it were in New England, it‘d be a different story! 2mo
JamieArc Honestly, I haven‘t looked into to this, but between flight, lodging, and retreat cost, I‘m sure it‘s pretty pricy. We are going on a fairly pricy bucket list trip in September to Red Rocks for a Brandy Carlile concert, so I would probably be out as well. Thanks for letting me know though! 2mo
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monalyisha
Funny Story | Emily Henry
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#5JoysFriday

1. Kai, my ridiculous 4-year-old niece
2. The Merlin Bird ID app
3. (Re)discovering the band Mazzy Star
4. Blossoming trees
5. The tagged book

Previously, I‘d only used the Merlin app on-demand, to ID a specific bird call. This week, I started opening it just to capture the chorus of birdsong around me. The variety thrilled my heart every time! And I love that it highlights each bird as it sounds, which helps you learn as you smile.

monalyisha Podcast episode (from 60 Songs That Explain the 90‘s) about Mazzy Star & “slowcore”: https://open.spotify.com/episode/3ALHvIuHf8046K06W541kC?si=P3fNhGqrSfWyREozYphw0... 3mo
monalyisha Merlin Bird ID: https://merlin.allaboutbirds.org/ 🐦‍⬛ 3mo
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ncsufoxes I haven‘t listened to Mazzy Star in a while but I was obsessed with her music in high school/college. I must have listened to that cassette endlessly…I probably still have it somewhere 3mo
monalyisha @ncsufoxes Time to dig it out…along with something to play it on! Maybe just pull up Spotify. 🙈 3mo
dabbe 🤩🤩🤩 3mo
Chelsea.Poole LOVE the Merlin app! 3mo
DebinHawaii A wonderful list of joys! 💛💛💛 I love that pic of your niece & I‘m going to have to check out the Merlin app for all the birds around my yard. Thank you for sharing & spreading the joy! 🤗 3mo
monalyisha @DebinHawaii I‘d love to know what kind of birds you hear, Deb! (edited) 3mo
DebinHawaii @monalyisha I put the app on my phone & I‘ll try it tomorrow morning when all the vocal birds come out & let you know! 🐦🩵 3mo
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monalyisha
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I‘ve read some truly phenomenal books this year. The tagged by Sabrina Imbler & Ann Patchett‘s Tom Lake are April‘s winners. 🪼🌸🍒

For those (like me) who sometimes struggle to see:

January: Turtle Diary
Feb: The Book of Speculation
March: Greta & Valdin
April: How Far the Light Reaches

Bonus 1: Tom Lake
Bonus 2: The Unselected Journals of Emma M. Lion (Volume 6)

#ReadingBracket2024 #2024ReadingBracket

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monalyisha
Funny Story | Emily Henry
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Pickpick

I really enjoy Emily Henry‘s books…but when I learned that the protagonist of her newest romance was a Children‘s Librarian, I have to admit I was a little worried. Given that it‘s my day job, I knew I was going to be on high alert for inaccuracies. Fortunately, she did her research! Aside from a couple of tiny nitpicks, she really got it right. Add to that a bearded love interest (ahem, like my husband)? This is my favorite E.H. since Beach Read!

monalyisha Note: I couldn‘t tell if the ending felt a little rushed…or if I was just rushing because I was up way past my bedtime! 🙈 3mo
JamieArc We‘re reading the same books! First, Tom Lake. Now, this one 😂 3mo
monalyisha @JamieArc That tracks! 😆 3mo
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monalyisha
Tom Lake: A Novel | Ann Patchett
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I finished Tom Lake and was left wondering if I should read Our Town.

On my commute the next day, I remembered that I‘ve been meaning to dive into Iris DeMent‘s catalog. A friend introduced me to her song “Let the Mystery Be” (linked below) & I was instantly hooked.

Guess what I found upon listening? Her most popular song on Spotify is called “Our Town.” Another, from her newest album, is “The Cherry Orchard.”

OK, okay. I‘ll read Our Town! 😅

LeeRHarry I don‘t know who put me on to Iris DeMent but I‘ve enjoyed listening to her music for a while now. 😊 3mo
monalyisha @LeeRHarry Do you have any favorite songs? So far, I‘ve only found a few others to love (“Hotter Than Mojave in My Heart”, “Sweet is the Memory”, and “Mama‘s Opry”)…but none so much as “Let the Mystery Be.” Her voice is great, though! 3mo
LeeRHarry @monalyisha Let the Mystery Be is definitely my favourite 😊 3mo
62 likes5 comments
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monalyisha
The Ghost Orchard | Helen Humphreys
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🍎 Important Update ( for @5feet.of.fury ) 🌸

I‘m no longer waiting. My favorite tree has blossomed.

It‘s adjacent to a wooden footbridge built over a small stream on the library grounds at work. It‘s surrounded by daffodils and…there‘s just something about it.

Soubhiville Gorgeous! 3mo
5feet.of.fury 🌺🌺🌺 so pretty! 3mo
Gissy 😍👌❤️❤️❤️ 3mo
56 likes3 comments
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monalyisha
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I‘ve been struggling a bit lately. A lot of people I love are *really* going through it. I‘m feeling burned out, candle‘s going at both ends, compassion fatigue is at an all-time high. But this morning (after getting labs done and dealing with bridesmaid responsibilities), I sat in front of my house for a brief moment in time and just listened to the birds. It helped.

Thanks to:
•The song sparrow
•Coffee
•A hermit cookie
•Fat bumblebees
•Azaleas

wanderinglynn {hugs!} I hope your people find some solace & that you are able to reset and rejuvenate yourself. 💚 (edited) 3mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks ❤️❤️❤️ 3mo
dabbe 💙🩵💙 3mo
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LiteraryinLawrence 💗💗💗 3mo
BarbaraJean Sending hugs and a wish for more of those kinds of moments, for you and the people you love. 💜 3mo
Aims42 💕💕💕💕💕 3mo
5feet.of.fury Your azaleas bloomed already? Mine is just a bush, the azaleas & big fat bumble bees are my favorite part of reading on my porch 🌺 3mo
DaveGreen7777 Sending healing energy to you and your loved ones who are going through a tough time! 💖 3mo
monalyisha @5feet.of.fury It‘s weird how being just a tiny bit more southern makes a difference! They‘ve been poppin‘ off for weeks! Still waiting for my favorite little apple tree at work to bloom, though (but see? That‘s 45 minutes north)! 3mo
Chelsea.Poole I feel this. Glad you got a moment of peace. Hope things calm down for you and yours ♥️ 3mo
82 likes12 comments
review
monalyisha
Tom Lake: A Novel | Ann Patchett
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Pickpick

Ann Patchett once said, “That moment when you write a single, perfect sentence is worth more than an entire box of biscuits.” In Tom Lake, she writes her sentence: “Sweet cherries must be picked today and every day until they‘re gone.” Simple & mundane on the surface, it‘s also the wisest counsel. In her novel, she shines a soft, springtime light on the juxtaposition & interplay of joy & sorrow, the sweet & the tart (& how both require work).👇🏻

monalyisha 1/2: This is true when she writes about the pandemic; Lara acknowledges that she can‘t pretend it‘s not happening nor can she pretend “that all of [us] being together doesn‘t fill me with joy. I understand that joy is inappropriate these days and still, we feel what we feel.” She writes, “Turn your head in one direction and it‘s hopeless despair…Turn your head in the other direction” — I pointed to the explosion of white petals out the window.” 3mo
monalyisha 2/2: This is also true when she writes about romance, and, more profoundly for me, about mother-daughter relationships. She captures the tender and precious nature of the bond, the deep understanding and the deep misunderstanding. She perfectly & acutely grabs onto the sharp, sticking points, as well as the unmatched comfort of a head in a lap and of a soft hand brushing hair off of a forehead. I end in awe, as we should end all books & our lives. (edited) 3mo
Julsmarshall I agree completely with every part of your amazing review! Well said! 3mo
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tpixie Great advice 🍒🍒🍒 3mo
Amiable Wonderful review! 3mo
Caryl What a beautiful, insightful, perfect review of this book that I also loved. Thank you! 3mo
monalyisha @Caryl What a heartwarming comment to take in! Thank you so much. 💓 3mo
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monalyisha
Tom Lake: A Novel | Ann Patchett
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“If we‘re going to be miserable and cry, let‘s do it in the lake.”



“Swimming is the reset button,” Pallace used to say. “Swimming starts the day again.”

monalyisha 📸 Photo cred: @mermazons on Instagram (the wonderful group of wild swimmers in my area) 3mo
JamieArc I loved this quote. I call time in the water an attitude adjustment. And I especially loved this quote because I have done it in this exact water… 3mo
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monalyisha
Tom Lake: A Novel | Ann Patchett
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“I walk past the kitchen garden. The lettuce and tomato plants and zinnias are already straightening up from the beating they‘ve taken. Those tiny periwinkle butterflies are working their rounds. Where do the periwinkles go in rain like that? It‘s not that I‘m unaware of the suffering and the soon-to-be-more suffering in the world, it‘s that I know the suffering exists beside wet grass and a bright blue sky recently scrubbed by rain.”

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monalyisha
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Mehso-so

Would it be wrong if I just posted a screenshot of @Chelsea.Poole ‘s review? I agree wholeheartedly! It took me a long time to settle into Iyer‘s narration. He speaks very deliberately & also very haltingly. His British accent feels remarkably posh.

Iyer travels to places that lay some claim to being “paradise” on Earth: Kashmir, Sri Lanka, Jerusalem. Of course, these places are also known for being “circled by violence & terrible poverty.” 👇🏻

monalyisha 1/2: Ultimately, the author finds comfort in the words of teachers like the Buddha, Thomas Merton, and the Dalai Llama, who have all worked to find joy amidst suffering, who deny nothing and endeavor to find paradise in the wonder of a moment and in becoming human. 3mo
monalyisha 2/2: None of these conclusions were expressed in a new way, unfortunately. One positive result of listening was a desire to learn more about Kyoto‘s Bridge to Heaven. Iyer‘s description of the silence of the place resounds. I‘d skip this one…or maybe try it in print. I plan to listen to Katherine May‘s interview with Iyer to see if that lends me a different or heightened perspective. 3mo
Chelsea.Poole I‘m glad I wasn‘t the only one who felt this could be a skip. Though I do think you got more out of it than me! 3mo
monalyisha @Chelsea.Poole I almost abandoned it entirely. I honestly don‘t know why I kept going. 😅🙈 I think it‘s because he was a new-to-me author and it was so short (though it didn‘t feel that way), that I figured I should give it the fairest shake I could! 3mo
monalyisha @Chelsea.Poole Just finished Tom Lake, which, ironically, got Pico Iyer‘s whole point across much more effectively than he did in his nonfiction text (where he states it plainly)! 😆 3mo
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monalyisha
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Pickpick

I read Imbler‘s blend of memoir & science journalism slowly, & I think that‘s exactly right. Their essays are beautiful, aching, & hopeful; informative, uncomfortable, & probing. They write through their questions & don‘t settle for easy answers or metaphors.

Favorite essays: “Pure Life”, “Beware the Sand Striker”, & “We Swarm.” They‘re about: the yeti crab, queer joy, & safe spaces; sexual abuse & predation; salps & being buoyed by community.

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monalyisha
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The penultimate essay in Samantha Imbler‘s connection opens, “Imagine you are something like a snail.”

…I don‘t have to imagine. 😅 I like to live life in the slow lane.

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monalyisha
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#ThreeListThursday #TLT

“Fast Car“ by Tracy Chapman
“The One I Love“ by REM
“Hallelujah“ by Leonard Cohen
“Stop Draggin' My Heart Around“ by Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty
“Push It“ by Salt-N-Pepa

Listen, math isn't my strong suit.

Also, I was reminded recently (by Rob Harvilla) that “Push It“ had a choreographed dance routine that went with it. I found a tutorial and my mind is BLOWN. In the words of S&P, “Let's Talk About“...a recovered memory!

monalyisha Thanks, @dabbe for the prompt! I'd also like to engage in a respectful moment of silence for the high school version of myself who would be ABSOLUTELY FUMING that Billy Idol isn't on this list! (edited) 3mo
Prairiegirl_reading 🤣🤣🤣 3mo
Chrissyreadit 🤣🤣🤣 3mo
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BarbaraBB So many memories when listening to Fast Car, Push It and The One I Love. I see myself growing up! 3mo
dabbe Added to our new Spotify Playlist: LITSY SONGS OF THE 1980s! Thanks for sharing! 🤩🎶🤩

Click below for the playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5sZRAAKVORN1SRh7S6l60g
3mo
monalyisha @dabbe That‘s fun! Great idea. And props to the Litten who contributed "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"! 3mo
dabbe @monalyisha I can't believe I forgot that one! 🤩 3mo
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monalyisha
Tom Lake: A Novel | Ann Patchett
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In the span of a dozen pages, Ann Patchett‘s referenced Sandra Boynton‘s “Hippos Go Berserk” and Melville‘s “Bartleby the Scrivener.”

I didn‘t know it was possible for my already abundant estimation of her to grow. Yet here we are.

JamieArc I‘m reading this right now 😊. We spend a lot of time getting away throughout the year where this is set. 3mo
CBee Oh, I adore Sandra Boynton, and this makes me want to read Tom Lake next! 😊 3mo
monalyisha @JamieArc One of my closest childhood friends moved to Michigan after college (initially working with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps) and she never left. I still give her shit about it. 😅 I‘m thinking it might be time to sit down and plan a visit. The one and only time I flew to see her, we went floating out on the Lake and ate the best pie I‘ve ever had. Even without the cherry trees calling to me, I was due a repeat. 3mo
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lil1inblue My sister got so many Boynton books at her baby shower this weekend! 😍 3mo
Aimeesue My kids loved this one. So much so that I still know it by heart 😂 3mo
monalyisha @lil1inblue @Aimeesue @CBee I think the true moment that I fell head over heels for her was when I learned about the tagged. 3mo
CBee @monalyisha oh my goodness this is everything 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 3mo
CBee @Aimeesue our favorite was 3mo
Aimeesue @monalyisha Brilliant! 3mo
Aimeesue @CBee Awww, I like that one too. 💜 3mo
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monalyisha
All Fours | Miranda July
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Hyperfixation and voting for #CampLitsy24 complete!

Prairiegirl_reading I voted for clear and bear too. 3mo
Megabooks Yay! Thanks for voting! Five of those are ones I‘d like to read, too! 3mo
BarbaraBB @Megabooks I was about to say exactly the same thing! Thanks for voting @monalyisha 3mo
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monalyisha @Megabooks @BarbaraBB Well, now I need to know if the same book failed to do it for both of you! And was it Mother Doll? That one felt like a bit of a wild card. 3mo
BarbaraBB No I‘d like to read Mother Doll! For me it was The Lark although it does sound interesting! 3mo
squirrelbrain Thanks for voting! 3mo
Chelsea.Poole Great choices!! 3mo
70 likes7 comments
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monalyisha
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#BookHaul from The Book Barn in Niantic, CT. Can you believe I visited exactly one structure in their sprawling, 3-location empire before my hands got too cold and I quit? 😅🥶 My wallet gives thanks to Mother Nature.

JamieArc Have you read the tagged? If not, you‘re in for a treat. I really loved it, and while I rarely reread, this is one I definitely want to. 3mo
monalyisha @JamieArc I haven‘t! And yay! You know I take your endorsements seriously. 😉 While browsing, I sat down in a worn orange chair and read the first few pages to make sure I liked the writing. I was sold. 3mo
JamieArc I read it at the height of the pandemic and it was just lovely. I have an orange chair in my office that I use to take reading breaks 🧡 3mo
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slategreyskies I received The Collected Poems of May Sarton as a gift a few years ago. It was a used copy, and when I opened it up to begin reading, we were both surprised to find out that it was signed! I treasure it now, even more so than I would have otherwise. Also, I have so many of her journals as well. Her writing calms me. 3mo
AmyG Other Birds was so lovely. 3mo
monalyisha @slategreyskies That‘s all so wonderful! I know nothing about her, actually. Good to know my instincts can be trusted. 😊 3mo
Tamra The Last Report is one of my all time favorite novels. 💙 3mo
Hooked_on_books You found some good ones! An Immense World is phenomenal. 3mo
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monalyisha
Bear: A Novel | Julia Phillips
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Well, #CampLitsy, I've only gotten through the B's on the longlist & there are already 5 books I want to vote for. This is going to be a *process.* 😅

I'm so excited about the tagged, though, which I didn't nominate and which I am ABSOLUTELY selecting. I loved Disappearing Earth so much and I didn't realize she had a new book coming! Thanks to the nominator!

Bookwormjillk I think that‘s a must for me too! 3mo
jlhammar I also loved Disappearing Earth so can‘t wait for Bear. This is going to be impossible! 3mo
squirrelbrain It‘s so difficult to choose isn‘t it?! I ended up with 28 books on my first round of highlighting. 3mo
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ChaoticMissAdventures I am planning on taking allllll week to the very last day to vote. There are so many options! 3mo
monalyisha @ChaoticMissAdventures That sounds like a healthy and reasonable plan! I'll probably just hyperfixate all morning while drinking endless cups of coffee. 😉 3mo
squirrelbrain So funny that you have entirely opposite approaches to this! @monalyisha @ChaoticMissAdventures 3mo
ChaoticMissAdventures @squirrelbrain monalyisha I easily get “Overwhelmed paralysis“ or what I wlike to call, “This is too much I am taking a nap Syndrome“ LOL I took one look at the list and went and took a walk 😂 😂 I am so cuper excited though! My TBR is already growing. 3mo
monalyisha @ChaoticMissAdventures @squirrelbrain What was it that Tolstoy said? “All obsessive readers are obsessive in their own way“? 3mo
BarbaraBB I love this! I was super hyped too! I am still in the midst of narrowing it down! But Bear will definitely get my vote (I was one of the people norminating it!) 3mo
BarbaraBB @ChaoticMissAdventures I love your approach too and how in real life I know no one who would react to a longlist like we do, in all our different ways. And that is what I love about Litsy 🩵 @squirrelbrain 3mo
monalyisha @squirrelbrain After making my way through the whole list, I've got 24. I wondered how near my number would be to yours! I'm going to pause for a little road trip but I'm both looking forward to and dreading narrowing it down later. 😊 3mo
Megabooks I'm so excited for Bear as well. I've signed up to see her on book tour at Parnassus! 🎉 🎉 🎉 Glad you're enjoying the longlist. 3mo
squirrelbrain It‘s the difficult bit next Alyisha… 🫤🤪🤣 3mo
52 likes13 comments
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monalyisha
The Material: A Novel | Camille Bordas
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Nominations for #CampLitsy24 are as follows:

•The Material by Camille Bordas (tagged)
•Followed by the Lark by Helen Humphreys (👇🏻)
•Bite by Bite by Aimee Nezhukumatathil (👇🏻)
•Get the Picture by Bianca Boskek (👇🏻)

My first choice is tagged in the header of this post. The following three are tagged in the comments below. I went with two fic & two nonfic - hopefully neither too heavy nor too light.

Exciting! 🥳🏕️📚

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TheKidUpstairs I almost put Bite by Bite on my list, too! And I'm really excited for the Humphreys, a former coworker of mine just read it and said it's her best to date! 3mo
monalyisha @TheKidUpstairs I almost waited for other people to post first so that they‘d hopefully nominate some of my choices so I didn‘t have to. 😅🙈 But I just went for it. 😉 3mo
squirrelbrain Four books I‘ve not even heard of…I love #camplitsy24 for this exact reason, even though it‘s so bad for my TBR! 3mo
BarbaraBB You couldn‘t resist nominating 😀😉? Glad you did, for the reasons @squirrelbrain mentions. All seem good to be honest 🤦🏻‍♀️ 3mo
monalyisha @BarbaraBB I‘ve got no self-control! And it‘s a wonderful event. 🌞 3mo
TrishB A new Humphreys 😱 3mo
Megabooks I have almost checked out Get the Picture twice! Thanks for nominating it. 3mo
monalyisha @Megabooks It‘s possible I have it checked out *right now.* 😅 Gonna have to return it & save it, just in case. 3mo
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monalyisha
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“I didn‘t want to be at the party, but I couldn‘t bear to be alone, so I turned on Blue Planet.”

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monalyisha
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Pickpick

Based on my reading experience to date, I don‘t think Japanese Literature is 100% my jam. I enjoyed guessing who the Librarian character, Sayuri Komachi, was meant to represent, however. I got the impression that she was an incarnation of some goddess or deity: my best guess is White Tara. I liked the message about how important it is to feel like you belong, though as one character observes “belonging is an ambiguous state.” 👇🏻

monalyisha 1/3: Another character who serendipitously finds the library notes, with *obvious* relief, “It‘s okay for me to be in this place.” Working in the field, as I do, this warmed my heart. The library is a sanctuary; a free and welcoming place for outcasts. We‘ve got you. 💓 3mo
monalyisha 2/3: It‘s difficult to pinpoint exactly what didn‘t work for me. I think it‘s that the characters all feel so *painfully* awkward. It‘s almost as if they‘re ALL neurodivergent — to the last. And maybe there‘s something intentional to that, e.g. no one is normal. Not a single one of us. That might be a relief. But it‘s uncomfortable to *always* be in that place, no matter the story… 3mo
monalyisha 3/3:..even if it‘s concurrently heartwarming to witness the characters‘ first tentative steps toward the finding of self & community — & the reassurance that the “self” isn‘t fixed & is always evolving. The more I reflect, the more positive I feel. I think I just don‘t enjoy that constant state of cringe. Often, I read to escape. I cringe internally at my own interactions too often to openly extend that discomfort into my reading life! 🙈 (edited) 3mo
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BarbaraBB I love Japanese literature and although this one very much is, I agree with your review. Books like this one and The Coffee gets Cold series didn‘t really work for me. Most other Japanese books I read I loved! 3mo
monalyisha @BarbaraBB I think I probably just haven‘t read enough of it. I‘d happily investigate some personal recommendations! 3mo
BarbaraBB That‘s hard. I‘ll recommend two: a novel and a thriller (of which there are so many and who have that typical Japanese atmosphere): 3mo
BarbaraBB Oh and I loved this one: 3mo
monalyisha @BarbaraBB That‘s perfect! Thrillers are never my chosen genre but I‘ll definitely add the other two to my TBR. Thanks! 3mo
monalyisha Oh, @BarbaraBB, I actually loved The Memory Police! I don‘t know how I forgot about that one! (As I know you know, it was also written by Yoko Ogawa.) 3mo
BarbaraBB Yes! And this one is just as good as The Memory Police! 3mo
vivastory Although I have yet to read “Housekeeper etc“ I def second @barbarabb rec of Ogawa. I think that you might like her collection of stories 3mo
vivastory I think you also might like “Breasts & Eggs“ by Kawakami. IMO it reads more as two linked novellas, rather than a cohesive novel but I thought it was interesting 3mo
BarbaraBB @vivastory Yes! That one is so good too. And by Kawakami I also loved 3mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB Heaven sounds terrific. It's on my TBR 3mo
batsy Adding to the Kawakami love and in addition to Breasts and Eggs and Heaven, I also recommend 3mo
monalyisha Thanks @vivastory @batsy @BarbaraBB - I‘ll try Kawakami. Sounds promising! 3mo
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