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readordierachel

readordierachel

Joined September 2016

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readordierachel
Turtle Diary | Russell Hoban
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readordierachel I kept expecting it to be a love story, but I'm glad it wasn't in the traditional sense. I appreciated that even though Neaera is ostensibly in a relationship at the end of the story, she thinks about it ending and knows she will be fine if it does. It's a novel about loneliness, but the answer to that loneliness is not a romantic partner but finding something within yourself 3mo
vivastory @readordierachel I couldn't have said it better! I think that the realization that Neaera has reached is what William is striving towards at the end. My fingers are crossed that he gets to the same place. 3mo
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DrexEdit @readordierachel thanks for hosting this month! Great questions! 🙂 3mo
quietjenn @readordierachel I totally agree - both in the expectation and being glad that it didn't go that way. I love that she is so comfortable with herself at the end. 3mo
arubabookwoman @readordierachel Great comment about the answer to loneliness. I'm glad they didn't get together, even tho' I was expecting them to. It made for a better book. Has anyone seen the movie? I saw it many years ago & I remember them getting together at the end. That may just be wishful thinking or a false memory though. (edited) 3mo
arubabookwoman However, did anyone else just want to shake them sometimes and tell them to quit moping around? 3mo
Liz_M I am not sure about redemption, but both characters have given up the weight of the past -- Neaera throws her stone into the sea after releasing the turtles and William drops his into a fountain the day he realized the turtles would always be swimming in his mind, but they couldn't do his swimming for him. 3mo
BarbaraBB Well said @readordierachel I totally agree and am also glad it didn‘t turn into a love story. Thanks for hosting, fantastic questions ❤️ 3mo
quietjenn @Liz_M nice observation about the stones! I'd remembered Neaera's, but not William's. 3mo
Leftcoastzen @arubabookwoman I like your point of shaking them & saying quit moping around! 3mo
Leftcoastzen I like to think the experience flipped a reset button for them .Neaera seems to be progressing faster but I think William will get there too. 3mo
Leftcoastzen Great questions thanks for hosting! I‘ve been bouncing in and out of the dialogue. So many great points . I really liked the book . 3mo
merelybookish Redemption feels too strong perhaps. But it felt like they had weathered something and found some sun on the other side. @liz_m that's such a good image, getting rid of the stones, thanks for mentioning it. 3mo
batsy You put it wonderfully, @readordierachel I too expected a romance and the novel carefully subverting that was key. I think despite the loneliness and depiction of interiority, this is a novel about a kind of communion, if not redemption—and that it can be unexpected and happen almost fleetingly, but it's still strong enough to leave a mark. To know that there are people "like you", out there. Also the casting off of stones is well put, @Liz_M ! 3mo
GatheringBooks @arubabookwoman me!! Me!! Me!! I feel so relieved now that I am not the only one who felt impatient at certain points in time. 3mo
Suet624 Well shoot. Now I have to buy this book. 3mo
readordierachel @Suet624 Yes! It's a worthwhile read. Look forward to your thoughts if you do buy it :) 3mo
Centique Hi Rachel. Missing your posts! Hope everything is going ok 💕💕 1mo
rockpools Just dropping by to say hi. Hope you‘re doing well. 2w
BiblioLitten Hi Rachel…hope you are keeping well. 💕 2w
45 likes21 comments
blurb
readordierachel
Turtle Diary | Russell Hoban
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vivastory I do agree with this. I am at the same age as one of the characters in TD, so I think that it has something special to say for people at a certain time in their lives. But it doesn't read as a mid-life crisis novel, either. One of the fascinating aspects of TD is how it tackles themes (environmental disaster, romance, mid-life uncertainty) without becoming exclusively one of those type of novels. It's broader than that. 3mo
DrexEdit In places it started to remind me of Barbara Pym's Quarter in Autumn which I found very bleak for a "middle-age" novel. But this one always pulled back to a place of hope or at least possibilities. Middle-age seems to be where things settle in for a lifetime, or everything changes! 3mo
vivastory @DrexEdit I have been meaning to read Pym for awhile now. 3mo
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DrexEdit @vivastory I didn't warm to the Quartet, but the writing was lovely and many people here have assured me not all her novels are as bleak. I intend to give her another try. 3mo
vivastory @DrexEdit Thanks for the tip. I will keep it in mind. 3mo
quietjenn Yes, and I think being squarely middle age at the moment definitely impacts how I've reacted to the novel and makes certain aspects of it resonate in a way they wouldn't have otherwise. 3mo
arubabookwoman I didn't think it was so much a novel of middle-age as a novel for anyone who one day looks around and asks, "Is this all there is?" @DrexEdit & @vivastory Quartet in Autumn is Pym's darkest novel (& my favorite of the 5 or 6 I've read). I also think it's more a novel of old age rather than middle-age. But what is age? When I turned 70 I suddenly realized I could no longer call myself middle-aged any more. 3mo
Liz_M I also not so sure this is a novel of middle-age as it is a great novel for a subset of single middle-aged people and those that seem to have drifted into a life of subsistence rather than fullness. It is more hopeful than many of the “spinster lit“ novels we've read the past few years but more melancholy than some of the more family/relationship focused novels we've read. 3mo
BarbaraBB @arubabookwoman Exactly, the “is this all there is” theme is of all ages I think. Also I‘m not sure what age is meant with middle-aged, it‘s more a state of mind I think. Both William and Naera seemed older to me than I am myself though they are younger. Not sure what I want to say but the world middle-aged always confuses me because I don‘t know what it implies. 3mo
vivastory @arubabookwoman @drexedit It sounds fascinating. I have been meaning to read it for awhile & I am going to move it up my TBR especially after the endorsements. I just ordered it. 3mo
vivastory @Liz_M Very well stated. There was a recent thread on NYRB challenging someone to name a heartwarming story that they have published. Needless to say, it was tough. (edited) 3mo
Leftcoastzen I think as many of you do there are stages in life where you get stuck, where you think life is going in a positive direction that will hold then it stops , the “is that all there is” type moment . It tends to be in midlife , but it can be earlier or later. 3mo
vivastory @Leftcoastzen I think this is a great point. I also think that there can be events extraneous as to if an individual is truly “mid-life“ that can precipitate reevaluations. I can imagine that the events of the past 2 years have had such an effect. 3mo
batsy I agree that it's more a state of mind novel than anything else, and will speak to anyone dealing with these questions in their mind, but because I've "recently" entered my 40s and feeling pretty blah about life and society's expectations, the bit about it being a middle-aged novel really spoke to me, too. 3mo
GatheringBooks Loved reading the musings about what constitutes middle age: is it when you reach 40? 50? The book seems to suggest 40ish. While I did appreciate the subtlety in the language and the carefully executed turns of phrases and the surprise suicide towards the end which pulled the rug from under my feet as a reader, I felt a tad impatient with it, the slowness felt laborious to me which is probably is how it should be, but I suspect it may 👇🏼 3mo
GatheringBooks (Cont) Simply be where I am at in my life. While I recognize the allegorical nature of the turtle dilemma and all that it signifies, I did not feel as emotionally invested as I probably needed to be for the novel to work for me. Again I blame it on my inattentiveness and the crazy million and one things I am currently doing. (edited) 3mo
36 likes16 comments
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readordierachel
Turtle Diary | Russell Hoban
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vivastory I found it very intriguing that there seemed to be elements of himself in both characters. I was reminded a bit of Jansson's Fair Play. I read in a review online that Turtle Diary was Hoban's first adult novel, which I also find interesting. Especially reading Neara's passages about writing children's books & her struggles. 3mo
readordierachel It's interesting to know, but it doesn't change the way I interpret the novel. Writers often use their own life for inspiration. Write what you know and all that. It did make me wonder how many of the interactions in the novel may have happened to him personally. The new age rebirthing scene for instance 3mo
DrexEdit Yeah, I don't think it did. I did find it interesting that the guy that wrote this also wrote Bread and Jam for Francis, but I didn't really see a connection except in a superficial way. 3mo
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arubabookwoman I was aware that he was a children's book writer (with his wife), having read many of those children's books to my own kids. I also knew that he and his wife divorced shortly after they moved to London. Didn't know about the advertising work. But these biagraphical aspects he incorporated into the novel didn't bother me. 3mo
arubabookwoman I did enjoy reading about how Neara created her work for children and how seriously she took her animal characters. There is a similar respect for the characters in Hoban's children's books I'm glad to say, so probably a lot of that came from his own life and work. 3mo
Liz_M I was also going to use the write what you know adage. I struggle with how much to consider the author in how I think about a work. On one hand, the book should stand on it's own, but on the other hand I value "own voices" works. 3mo
quietjenn Not particularly, although I suspect that if I were to go back and read the Frances books now, it might make me view them a little differently (and I can't even imagine what I might think if I ever get around to reading Ridley Walker). 3mo
quietjenn @readordierachel Oh yes! I so want to know what reality that was based on! Every now and then there would be a moment in the book where I was very strongly reminded that we were in the 1970s! 3mo
vivastory @quietjenn I had to bail on Riddley Walker after a couple of pages. I am going to give it another shot, but I think it's one where I'll have to read it out loud for the first few pages to get into the swing of the lingo 3mo
quietjenn @vivastory I've never actually attempted it, although I know people who adore it. I think I'm a bit intimidated by it! 3mo
readordierachel @arubabookwoman I really enjoyed that aspect too, how seriously she took her children's books. The thoughts about madame beetle and such were very engaging 3mo
readordierachel @quietjenn @vivastory I was thinking about picking up Riddley, but I read some reviews that said it was pretty inaccessible so I'm intimidated as well 3mo
readordierachel @quietjenn Yes, so 70s! 3mo
BarbaraBB I didn‘t know the author wrote children‘s books as well and worked in advertising. So it didn‘t bother me but now that I know I recognize a bit of the copywriter in the book - especially in the humorous parts. 3mo
merelybookish I did find it kind of fascinating to think about as Bread and Jam for Frances is a pretty classic work of children's lit. Plus, I studied children's lit so Neaera's somewhat jaundiced views on it were interesting to me. I read/heard on a podcast (can't remember where) that Hoban considered himself an under-appreciated author. I suspect he blamed that somewhat on being perceived as a writer for children. 3mo
Leftcoastzen I was going to try Riddley too but a guy I knew who was a pretentious twit was really into it so I said nope . 😂Maybe someday. 3mo
vivastory @merelybookish I remember James Mustich cited Mouse & His Child as one of his favorite books in an interview. I always meant to read it. 3mo
vivastory @Leftcoastzen It's interesting how the audience of a work can shape our expectations of it. I avoided Baudelaire like the plague for YEARS because of goth kids I knew in HS. 😂 3mo
Leftcoastzen @vivastory that‘s funny ! 3mo
batsy It didn't particularly change how I saw the novel, but it was intriguing to learn the details of his real life because like @vivastory says it's cool to see that he sort of put himself in both characters. I thought Neaera was a particularly intriguing female character and unique; her voice really came through strongly and it was distinctive. I've also not read his Frances children's books (or anything else by him) and I feel like I must fix that! 3mo
readordierachel @batsy Totally agree about Neara's voice. She was so sharp and well drawn. I enjoyed being in her head. 3mo
GatheringBooks I have read a few of Russell Hoban‘s children‘s books which is why I was entertained by the supposed “biographical” elements of the narrative, which I could extrapolate from Neaera‘s musings which was aptly described by @merelybookish as “jaundiced” - not surprised at all that Hoban thought of himself as underappreciated, if this story is to go by, he strikes me as a cantankerous old man if he resembles William G (which I predict he does). 3mo
34 likes22 comments
blurb
readordierachel
Turtle Diary | Russell Hoban
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vivastory I loved the structure of the novel. As I mentioned in a post about the book I can have difficulty immersing myself in a work if there is little dialogue, but am able to latch on if there are observations by interesting characters. The alternating POV of 2 very interesting & flawed characters kept me engaged. 3mo
readordierachel I loved the structure as well @vivastory Greag point about the observations making up for the lack of dialogue. Their entries aren't just navel gazing. They are both constantly examining the world around them, even if it's just inside their own flats. And their thoughts are allowed to spin out, bouncing around to different topics, like real people's do. So even tho we're so close to them and their idiosyncrasies, there's something universal 3mo
readordierachel *Great 3mo
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vivastory @readordierachel I loved how their thoughts would move from topic to topic. I think it would have been easy for Hoban to have made it a dense, & somewhat dull, book about ideas. But I found it very lively because of their thoughts. As you point out. 3mo
readordierachel @vivastory Yes, lively is a good way to describe it! 3mo
DrexEdit @readordierachel what a terrific way to put it! Yes! 💯% agree! 3mo
arubabookwoman I liked the structure & it worked for me, & I loved the coincidences in their experiences and similarities in their thoughts both before and after they connected. (The dead cat at the end both saw for example (ugh)). As I noted before, I sometimes had difficulty telling their voices apart. Whether this was intentional on Hoban's part--I.e. their characters are so similar--or just because the writing style didn't change between them, I'm not sure. 3mo
quietjenn I really enjoyed the structure. The way their thoughts flowed seemed very realistic to me and I especially loved the bits where they would find themselves touching on the same ideas or objects, each from their own perspective. 3mo
vivastory @quietjenn I also really liked reading their perspective on the same idea/object. I thought that was interesting. 3mo
Liz_M Like @quietjenn and @arubabookwoman I also enjoyed the deliberate mirroring between the alternating chapters, especially in the beginning before they meet when one character seems to glimpse the other. It was an effective way to create a narrative drive. (edited) 3mo
readordierachel @Liz_M Yes, good point. That tension while we're waiting for their stories to converge is important 3mo
BarbaraBB Agree with you @Liz_M , very effective. I also enjoyed how little we learned about their lives up until now. We know the facts, not the impact, not the drama. Thar really stood out for me. 3mo
batsy I loved the structure and he used it so well; getting to the end of the book allowed me to appreciate just how well. Like you say Rachel he did so much within the form, so it wasn't just them navel gazing. Initially I had a hard time getting into the book because I was reading it in bits and pieces, and I almost bailed at the start. But when their paths crossed with the turtles the structure of the book clicked into place for me. 3mo
GatheringBooks Loved hearing about your thoughts which are starkly different from mine; the alternating pov didn‘t particularly work for me mainly because I found it challenging to distinguish between the two voices. I had to go back time and again to determine whose voice am I reading - because I couldn‘t tell them apart especially in the first half of the novel. I realize though that this may be deliberate to demonstrate the parallels across the two characters 3mo
GatheringBooks It could also be that my attention wasn‘t fully there while reading, hence the difficulty in differentiating across the two characters. 🥲😅 - it is tough being immersed in both their minds, so joyless. 😭😭😭 3mo
30 likes15 comments
blurb
readordierachel
Turtle Diary | Russell Hoban
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vivastory I do think that William G has also experienced a change but it will take longer to develop & is outside of the bounds of the narrative. I loved to see the hints that he was changing as a person at the very end when he visited Neaera. 3mo
readordierachel I agree @vivastory that he is developing more slowly. He did seem to be somewhat less melancholy by the end. I hesitate to say hopeful. Perhaps a little more resigned, but not in a sad way. He's not as explicitly self-reflective as Neaera, so it can't be as neatly measured. 3mo
DrexEdit See, now you're making me rethink my answer to the previous question. So Neaera ended up opening up to the possibility of an intimate relationship for herself, I think William did change enough to re-engage with everyday people and social relationships. 3mo
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vivastory @DrexEdit @readordierachel I think that William did mature in the sense that he ended a relationship that wasn't making him happy, but I think he is having difficulty in defining what will. I think he is looking for a sort of long-term guarantee, whereas Neaera has accepted that there is no such thing as the guarantees he is looking for & has instead decided to accept what she has in the moment. 3mo
arubabookwoman Yes William has changed. In his last entry he says nothing is different or better, but "I didn't mind being alive at the moment." He may have been changed more by Miss Neap's suicide than by the release of the turtles. 3mo
vivastory @arubabookwoman Good point about Ms. Neap's suicide & I think that is a good illustration of we are all minor characters in other people's stories. He was caught up in his own personal issues that he didn't notice that of his neighbors. 3mo
quietjenn I agree with @arubabookwoman - I think that the experience with the turtles did work on William, but it was really Miss Neap's suicide - and his interactions with his landlady/fellow lodges both in discovering it and being together afterwards - that really marks it. I think they both learned to “only connect“ but what connection looks like is different. 3mo
Liz_M @arubabookwoman I think the lines before the two you quote is the difference “And I could imagine good times why I don't know.“ It is his reaction to the connection he made to his neighbors in remembering Ms Neap. 3mo
BarbaraBB I too think that Ms Neap‘s suicide in the end has the biggest impact on William - and how it connected him to his neighbors. He suddenly remembered being connected I think - something he didn‘t really do with Neaera. 3mo
readordierachel @arubabookwoman Yes, great observation. He seemed to be floundering still after the turtles, and coming together with his neighbors after Miss Neap produced more of a change 3mo
readordierachel @BarbaraBB I agree. Even though their stories intertwined and they had a common goal and some interactions, they didn't "connect" that much as you say. I'd have thought they would be bonded after the experience, but they weren't 3mo
BarbaraBB I loved that they didn‘t really bond. It makes the story so realistic. They are both finding their way towards an happy ending but no cliché‘s here! 3mo
Leftcoastzen I think they both opened up from the experience. I remember William confronting Mr.Sandor about the cooker!Despite the fight they end up finding out a bit about each other.Remember at the beginning, Williams dad was a suicide, though they said it was an accident.Miss Neaps suicide makes him think a bit about boarding house neighbors being an accidental family in a way. 3mo
vivastory @Leftcoastzen I completely forgot about Williams' father. That is definitely an important detail in the context of what happens later w/ Ms. Neaps!! 3mo
batsy I agree about Ms. Neap's suicide being a turning point for William and there was that subtle change—he seemed more willing to take on whatever life has in store for him by the time we got to the end, or maybe that was my hopeful reading! But I think the experience with the turtles and the moments with Naera sort of laid the groundwork for that subtle shift in him too, if that makes sense. 3mo
GatheringBooks I think I like the fact that this aspect of the story has been left for the reader to envision/imagine; which is a testament to the author‘s craftsmanship and restraint in the storytelling. More could have been said or extrapolated, but no, it is left hanging - just like most of life is, in truth. But agreed with everyone‘s thoughts about the pivotal point of Miss Neap‘s suicide, that elevated the narrative for me into something more profound. 3mo
30 likes17 comments
blurb
readordierachel
Turtle Diary | Russell Hoban
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readordierachel Because we start and end with William G.'s entries and it felt like we got more of his backstory, I think the book leans into him just a little bit more. Even though Neaera H. does have equal weight in my mind. 3mo
vivastory This was one of my favorite lines in the book. I think that William G. is a minor character in Neaera's story, but she seems to be more of a presence in his life. What is interesting to me is how Hoban managed to give both characters an equal say in the narrative. 3mo
vivastory @readordierachel That is a good point about it opening & ending with William G's perspective. 3mo
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readordierachel @vivastory I really like your take that she is more of a presence in his life. She undergoes more of a change in my mind, has more of a trajectory 3mo
merelybookish Oh, I thought they were both minor characters in the turtle's story. Also that we are minor characters in multiple stories. 3mo
readordierachel @merelybookish Oh interesting! I love that idea. And that makes a lot of sense 3mo
vivastory @merelybookish That's a great idea! 3mo
DrexEdit I think we learned more about William Gs story, but Neara seemed to show more growth as a character to me, so I'm sightly leaning towards he's a minor character. Although for a minor character he's got a ton of influence. 3mo
arubabookwoman William was a minor character in Neara's story, but only because she (a writer no less) chose to make him a minor character. Weren't we all kind of expecting Neara & William to end up together? Their thoughts, actions, experiences were constantly mirroring, echoing, repeating each other's. They were so alike I often got their entries mixed up. (edited) 3mo
vivastory @arubabookwoman I was expecting them to get together. I was relieved that they didn't though. There was that wonderful line in I believe William's diary where he said something to the effect of he doesn't want to be with her because it'd be like being with himself. I thought that was really telling. 3mo
quietjenn For me, they have equal weight. Their stories parallel each other, although sometimes intersecting so it's a very wonky, zig-zag graph. And, I think it can all be true. We are the central character of our own story, but we are also a minor (and, for a handful, major) characters in the story of others. 3mo
readordierachel @arubabookwoman @vivastory Great points about the way they mirrored each other and that line about them being so alike. That's why she was so worried about him, I think, when she saw that image in her mind of the shark. She recognized something in him 3mo
youneverarrived Oh I didn‘t realise the discussion was this weekend 🙁 I‘ve only just started reading it but I‘ll catch up with comments when I‘m finished. 3mo
readordierachel @quietjenn So well put! Absolutely agree. 3mo
readordierachel @youneverarrived No worries. Look forward to your thoughts! 3mo
vivastory @youneverarrived No worries! Please chime in if you can. I always enjoy hearing your thoughts. 👏 3mo
Liz_M I thought William and Neaera were minor character's in each other's stories. William seemed to have a sharper interest in Neaera, but not as lasting while Neaera had a milder interest in William, but more drawn out. And while their stories have nearly equal weight (and pages), I actually thought I got to know more about Neaera than William. 3mo
BarbaraBB @arubabookwoman I like what you say about them being so alike! I mixed them up too but I‘m hindsight I feel like it was more William‘s story than Naera‘s. Probably because we start and end with him indeed @readordierachel and because he makes Naera more important than she makes him. 3mo
Leftcoastzen Agree with so many thoughts here . I‘m glad the author didn‘t go in the direction of William & Neaera becoming romantically linked.I also think both characters living a somewhat solitary existence gave the more time to ruminate on the turtle situation.I kind of give their stories equal weight . Now & then they were so alike I had to go back to the start of entry because I could get them mixed up occasionally. 3mo
batsy I love that they were both kind of minor characters in each other's stories, but I think the kind of effect they had on each other was major. That I think seems to the key juxtaposition that the novel was trying to show—we seem to be ships passing in the night, but unknown to ourselves the minor characters have left certain impressions. 3mo
GatheringBooks @merelybookish i love this idea! Of course, it‘s the turtle‘s story! 🐢🐢🐢💕💕💕i agree with most of the ideas shared here - i thought the stories have equal weight, and reminded me of the saying that we are the central characters in our own lives - everyone else is a minor/side character. 3mo
LeahBergen @readordierachel @vivastory I didn‘t read this one this month as I had tried it years ago and didn‘t get on with it. As usual, everyone‘s thoughtful commentary on here has me rethinking my choice! 3mo
vivastory @LeahBergen If it makes a difference it's a quick read! If you change your mind & DO decide to read please don't hesitate to chime in with your thoughts. I'd love to hear what you make of it! 3mo
LeahBergen @vivastory Thanks! I most certainly will. 3mo
27 likes24 comments
review
readordierachel
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Pickpick

Great collection. So much imagination. Such varied worlds and ideas. In the awesome foreword, Jemisin talks about using short stories to explore ideas, to see if they will work in longer fiction. The stories that birthed The City We Became and The Broken Earth trilogy are included. It was cool to see what those developed from. My favorite story in the bunch was "Sinners, Saints, Dragons, and Haints, in the City Under the Still Waters" (just ?).

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readordierachel
Assembly | Natasha Brown
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Drizzly day, so I made carrot cake while listening to the tagged book. #audiobaking

I was inspired by @Lindy and picked up a copy of Baking With Dorie. This is the carrot muffins recipe with a few modifications. Couldn't find my muffin pan, so here we are.

vivastory Looks delicious! I love carrot cake! 3mo
Libby1 I loved this book. 3mo
readordierachel @vivastory It turned out really yummy! Different from other ones I've had. Ginger-y 3mo
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readordierachel @Libby1 I am really enjoying it so far! The writing is fantastic 3mo
SilversReviews YUM….that looks delicious!! 3mo
EvieBee Looks so yumm! 3mo
batsy That looks really comforting and yummy! 3mo
Lindy Hooray! 🥕🧡 Wishing you many happy baking days with Dorie. 😁 3mo
readordierachel @EvieBee @batsy It was very warm and delicious 😋 3mo
readordierachel @Lindy Thank you for introducing me to her! 💕 3mo
62 likes12 comments
review
readordierachel
Turtle Diary | Russell Hoban
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Pickpick

A lovely read. Full of animal facts, strange & poignant interactions, & musings on what it means to be alive. It never went where I expected it to. One of the feats of this novel is that it manages to be both exuberant and bleak at the same time, never leaning too hard into either, which made it feel very true to life. A book I will reread, as I think it's the kind of book that can meet you differently at different points in your life. Loved it.

vivastory Wonderful review! I can imagine revisiting it as well. 3mo
Leftcoastzen Love your review! I‘m still reading it. 3mo
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batsy So elegantly summed up! Exuberant and bleak perfectly captures it. 3mo
readordierachel @vivastory @Leftcoastzen @batsy Thanks! I am looking forward to the discussion! Such an interesting book 3mo
merelybookish Well said! I also expect to reread this book! 3mo
Centique And that‘s a gorgeous blanket (I think?) in the background. Is that hand-made? 3mo
readordierachel @merelybookish It‘s such a good one! I think it will be lovely to reread it 3mo
readordierachel @Centique It‘s a rug actually! I found it at a local supermarket of all places. I like how colorful it is :) 3mo
Centique @readordierachel wonderful colours, that was a great find! 3mo
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readordierachel
Turtle Diary | Russell Hoban
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"I live alone, wear odds and ends, I have resisted vegetarianism and I don't keep cats."

This is off to a fantastic start. I'm only 15 pages in, and I've already underlined several passages.

vivastory I'm looking forward to reading it! 4mo
BarbaraBB Me too! 4mo
BiblioLitten Sounds good! 4mo
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readordierachel @vivastory @BarbaraBB I'm looking forward to the discussion! 4mo
readordierachel @BiblioLitten it is so far! 4mo
batsy That's a great line! 4mo
youneverarrived Great line! I‘m looking forward to it. 4mo
readordierachel @batsy @youneverarrived There have been lots of little gems so far! 4mo
rubyslippersreads This sounds interesting (although of course my cats object to the part about not keeping cats 😸). 4mo
readordierachel @rubyslippersreads Yes, nothing wrong with keeping cats! 4mo
vivastory I see you're reading the Jemisin story collection. Are you liking it? 3mo
readordierachel @vivastory I am! It's interesting and very varied. Not like any other collection I've read. She talks in the intro about using short stories to try out new worlds/ideas, and you can see that for sure. A lot of them feel like the beginning of something larger 3mo
readordierachel @vivastory (I had to pause on Turtle Diary, but I'm going to finish it up in the new few days) 3mo
vivastory @readordierachel That sounds wonderful! I know that The City We Became started out as a story. It's been years since I've read Jemisin & lately I have been itching to dive back in. No worries on the Hoban. I probably won't finish until Sunday/Monday. 👍 3mo
59 likes2 stack adds14 comments
review
readordierachel
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Pickpick

"Here is Mary. She's a dreamer. The kind of girl who wanders alone, who stares at clouds, who imagines things that never were..."

A bio of Mary Shelley and the birth of her famous novel, in the form of a picture book! The art is absolutely gorgeous. The writing is quite lovely and poetic. Highly recommend for Mary Shelley fans of any age.

BiblioLitten Yes! 🙌🏼 4mo
Cathythoughts Looks good 👍❤️ 4mo
EvieBee Wow! Looks gorgeous! 4mo
64 likes5 stack adds4 comments
blurb
readordierachel
Katalin Street | Magda Szabo
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This weekend, I've been reading the two pictured books, and a couple of stories by Rebecca Roanhorse for class. All good! #weekendreading

vivastory I hope you are enjoying the Szabo 👍 4mo
Addison_Reads Thanks for sharing. 💚 Happy Reading! 4mo
See All 7 Comments
readordierachel @vivastory I am! I read The Door and remember liking it, but it was a while ago. This is making me want to revisit it. 4mo
sarahbarnes I read Black Sun by Roanhorse and liked it. And I‘m really liking Katalin Street so far, too. I liked The Door a lot as well. 4mo
readordierachel @sarahbarnes I just picked up a copy of Black Sun not too long ago. Looking forward to it! 4mo
55 likes7 comments
blurb
readordierachel
Wide Sargasso Sea | Jean Ryhs
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Some good finds at the thrift shop today 📚🎉

vivastory Dig the cover of the Sargasso 4mo
readordierachel @vivastory It‘s great, isn't it? 4mo
CarolynM Very good finds👏👏 4mo
See All 13 Comments
youneverarrived Beautiful covers 😍 4mo
merelybookish Oh Rhys! Have you read Wide Sargasso Sea? I read it eons ago but it left an impression! 4mo
Suet624 That cover of Lahiri‘s book would be a wonderful painting on my wall. 4mo
readordierachel @CarolynM It was a lucky day! 4mo
readordierachel @merelybookish yes, same! I read it in college and have often thought of it. So I took it as a sign that I should reread it :) 4mo
readordierachel @Suet624 it It's striking, isn‘t it? Would make a lovely artwork! 4mo
EvieBee Oh, nice! 4mo
BiblioLitten The book by Rhys is on my TBR. Love the cover too♥️ 4mo
73 likes1 stack add13 comments
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readordierachel
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Was assigned this story in a class I'm taking: https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/skinned

It imagines a society where "unclaimed" women are required to be naked. It's very good and worth reading ?? Lots to think about. It's not in Litsy, so I'm tagging her book of short stories, which I read a few years ago and highly recommend!

BarbaraBB Thanks for sharing. That sounds great. 5mo
60 likes1 comment
review
readordierachel
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Pickpick

Fascinating and accessible. Montell examines the language and tactics used by scary religious cults, fitness "cults," and MLMs. Obviously, not all "cults" are created equal (Crossfit is not Jonestown). I appreciated that Montell took a compassionate view of the how and why people are drawn to certain groups. Very timely, and it weirdly made me feel a little better about the world, though I'm not sure I can pinpoint exactly why.

82 likes2 stack adds
review
readordierachel
Are Prisons Obsolete? | Angela Y. Davis
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Pickpick

Davis packs a lot into just 115 pages. An overview of the history of the prison system in the U.S, evidence and discussion of the way incarcerated people are routinely abused, the resources and rights that have been systematically taken away from them, and the way private companies have taken over and use them as free labor. She notes old punishments that we wouldn't think of doing today (e.g., a "gossip's bridle"). Someone had to fight..⬇️

readordierachel ...for those to stop. So why not the prison system, which is an inhumane and outmoded tool of capitalism? Davis asks why we so readily accept prisons as the only option. She helps us imagine something better. There are more than 2 milion people incarcerated in the U.S. right now. A number that keeps growing. We can, and should, come up with something better. 5mo
merelybookish Great review! And agree wholeheartedly! 5mo
BiblioLitten I have often thought about this while watching Orange is the New Black. I think I‘ll really like this book. Stacked! 5mo
See All 9 Comments
Reggie I read something awhile ago where instead of mail they gave the service over to something for profit where they charge per email and if you want to send a picture in the email it cost a dollar. It was crazy how much money they were making off of it. Great review, Rachel. Stacked. 5mo
batsy Fantastic review. I really must read this. 5mo
Suet624 Great review and just another example of the wrongs allowed in the U.S. There are just so many. Have you ever watched Michael Moore‘s movie Where to Invade Next? It‘s brilliant. One section is on the prison system in the US vs other more advanced countries. (edited) 5mo
readordierachel @merelybookish @BiblioLitten @batsy This was written nearly 20 years ago and is still sadly relevant. It's depressing how much hasn't changed and/or has gotten worse. 5mo
readordierachel @Reggie That is just appalling. And sadly not surprising 5mo
readordierachel @Suet624 Yes, so many. I try to remain hopeful that we can change. I've heard of that movie but haven't seen it. Will definitely check it out! 5mo
72 likes5 stack adds9 comments
review
readordierachel
The Between: Novel, A | Tananarive Due
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Pickpick

An impressive first novel. When Hilton's family is targeted by a white supremacist, the lines between reality and nightmare, between life and death, begin to blur. A scary, haunting story. Less so for the supernatural elements than the psychological ones.

I read an interview with Due from last year where she said "White supremacist terror is more relevant in 2021 than it was when I published this in 1995.” And I wish that wasn't true.

readordierachel Thanks for sending this to me @Reggie 5mo
Reggie I thought I was safe when at first the italics represented the dreams and then they all seemed to meld together and I couldn‘t tell what was what. I love this book. I‘m glad you liked it, Rachel. 5mo
readordierachel @Reggie Yes, she really blended it all so well. I'll be thinking about this one for a while. 5mo
Reggie Rachel, I got your package yesterday. Thank you so much and you are correct. I love the 2 authors and haven‘t read those books so it was perfect. Thanks so much! 😊 5mo
readordierachel @Reggie Oh good! You're welcome 😊 5mo
70 likes2 stack adds5 comments
review
readordierachel
Heartstopper: Volume 1 | Alice Oseman
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Pickpick

Am I almost 40 years old? Yes. Did this YA graphic novel about teen boys falling in love and navigating big feelings totally warm my heart and put a big smile on my face? Also, yes 🥰

Nutmegnc 100% 5mo
sarahbarnes 😍😍😍 5mo
mrp27 I‘m rounding the corner on my way to 50 and I love this series. 5mo
Reggie Awwww😊 5mo
74 likes3 stack adds5 comments
review
readordierachel
Longbourn | Jo Baker
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Pickpick

I really loved this. We follow the servants of Austen's P&P, but Baker doesn‘t rehash that iconic story. The Bennets and the plot points of P&P are in the background like Easter eggs, but this novel presents an original and satisfying plot of its own. It reflects the realities of the time: the grueling, seemingly unending work expected of servants and...⬇️

readordierachel ...the realities of the class divide, military service, and English politics of the time. I appreciated the depth this perspective added to the events of P&P. Don't go into this expecting Austen. This is a rich and often sad historical novel. If that's your jam, I highly recommend it. And the audiobook is beautifully read by Emma Fielding. I was sad when it was over.
5mo
Christine This has been sitting unread on my TBR (and bookshelf) for way too long. You‘re inspiring me to get to it! 5mo
EvieBee I so enjoyed Fielding‘s narration in this one. Made me feel like I‘d stepped back in time. 5mo
See All 9 Comments
LeahBergen I really liked this one, too! 5mo
readordierachel @Christine It was languishing on my tbr too. I was hesitant because of mixed reviews. So what a pleasant surprise it was. I hope you enjoy it! 5mo
readordierachel @EvieBee it is so well done! It has me searching for other books she's narrated. 5mo
readordierachel @LeahBergen I was hesitant because of the mixed reviews, but it's great! 5mo
Centique I loved this and yes, totally different than what I had expected going in. 😍 5mo
readordierachel @Centique It was such a pleasant surprise wasn't it! 5mo
72 likes3 stack adds9 comments
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readordierachel
Untitled | Unknown
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Thanks for the tag @Addison_Reads 💚

1. Yep. Probably more than I should for the sake of my eyeballs. But it‘s just so easy to pull out during a spare moment.

2. I have a kindle paperwhite that my friends all pitched in to get me for my 30th birthday. Which will be exactly a decade ago when my birthday rolls around this year (😳)

vivastory If it's any consolation I'm enjoying my 40s so far 5mo
readordierachel @vivastory It is! I feel like most people I know who have crossed that threshold are enjoying it. It's just such a milestone. 5mo
50 likes2 comments
review
readordierachel
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Bailedbailed

Was hankering for more historical fic, so I pulled this off my tbr shelf. A forthright woman "doctor to the dead" in the 12th century, called upon to solve some murders. I gave it ~50 pages, and it's OK but not grabbing me. It feels anachronistic, more focused on the crime aspect than on the historical context or character development. Crime fic isn't generally my bag, but I thought the historical setting might do it for me this time. Alas, no.

review
readordierachel
Hamnet | Maggie O'Farrell
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Pickpick

Wow. I inhaled this. It was beautiful and sad, and I was just mesmerized. All the stars 🌟

MrsMalaprop Agree, this is an excellent book. 👌 5mo
charl08 😍 5mo
Jas16 I loved this book so much. 5mo
See All 10 Comments
youneverarrived I need to get to this soon! 5mo
readordierachel @MrsMalaprop @charl08 @Jas16 It‘s just so good. And pretty to look at too 😍 5mo
readordierachel @youneverarrived I hope you love it when you get to it (I suspect you will 🙂) 5mo
sprainedbrain So good! ❤️ 5mo
BiblioLitten This was such a good book! 5mo
96 likes4 stack adds10 comments
review
readordierachel
Doomsday Book | Connie Willis
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Pickpick

Kivrin is an Oxford historian who travels back in time to the middle ages. Things don't go as planned. By the time I realized this was about the plague, it was too late, I was invested. I needed to know what happened to Kivrin. There's a parallel story of Kivrin's mentor in modern times, combating a virus outbreak and trying to figure out how to help Kivrin get back to the present. The story gets bogged down in the middle, becoming repetitive ⬇️

readordierachel ...with Willis withholding crucial information from the reader, seemingly just to draw out the suspense or for the sake of humor, which started to annoy me. I just wanted her to get on with it. The last quarter or so of the book I enjoyed very much.

Ultimately, this is a pick for me for the sheer ambition of this story and the emotional resonance of the ending.
6mo
vivastory I've been meaning to read this one for ages. Great review 👏 6mo
readordierachel @vivastory I can see why so many people love it, even with its problems. I'm gonna try the next book in the series too. 5mo
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vivastory I always forget that it's part of a series. Hopefully the next one is a little better 5mo
Centique I loved this but I can certainly see what you mean about the middle. The next one (To Say Nothing of the Dog) is different - it doesn‘t have the intensity of the Kirvin plot, but it relies on that academic humour a bit more I think. The last two are my favourites so even if you don‘t like number 2, do try number 3 because they‘re not really linked and you don‘t need to have read number 2. 5mo
readordierachel @Centique I do plan to continue. I was inspired to pick up Doomsday based on your review of these a while back actually! I have Say Nothing on hold at the library. I didn't mind the academic humor per se, but it felt like it belonged to a different book, if that makes sense? I think the modern story may not have felt as draggy if the Kivrin plot hadn't been so engrossing/high stakes. But maybe that was what Willis was going for? Contrast? 5mo
Centique @readordierachel oh I‘m glad you liked it then! Yes I reckon it was for contrast for sure. The comparison between a modern day crisis and a medieval one. (I read it pre pandemic 😬) The rest of them feel more internally consistent I guess - but different to each other. If that makes sense 😂 5mo
66 likes2 stack adds7 comments
review
readordierachel
The Collector | John Fowles
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Pickpick

Frederick collects butterflies. One day he decides to collect the beautiful woman he has observed from afar. He holds Miranda captive, admiring her like one of his pinned insects, fantasizing that she will fall in love with him. But Miranda is intelligent and strong-willed, and she won't be easily cowed. This book is disturbing, yes, but also a very interesting examination of class and art, which I was not expecting. 5⭐

Billypar Totally agree - I don't usually like narratives involving serial killers, but this went in a much more interesting direction than most. 6mo
LeahBergen I read this quite a few years ago and thought it was fantastic. Just last year I finally watched the 1965 movie and thought it captured the feel of the novel so well! 6mo
Ruthiella I love the cover! This has been on my list for a while. I have read this one, which is a bit of a head trip. 🤯 6mo
See All 17 Comments
Reggie Nice- sounds very creepy. 6mo
batsy Great review. This certainly sounds intriguing. I have this and The Magus on my TBR. 6mo
kathedron I read this book more than twenty years ago and I still remember how it creeped me the hell out! 😱 6mo
readordierachel @Billypar Yes, same! I was surprised (and pleased) by how philosophical it was, how much it didn't rest on salacious or violent details 6mo
readordierachel @LeahBergen I didn't know there was a movie! It looks and sounds great. Terence Stamp! I will have to watch it. 6mo
readordierachel @Ruthiella The Magus is on my tbr! Even higher now after reading this one. 6mo
readordierachel @Reggie It is. Especially cuz you're in Frederick's head a lot, and he starts to seem piteous and almost reasonable at times 6mo
readordierachel @batsy The Magus is on my tbr as well! I want to read it this year. But we'll see how that goes 😅 6mo
readordierachel @kathedron I can understand! I know I will remember this one for a long time. So unsettling 6mo
sprainedbrain Great review of a great book! 6mo
tpixie This was a disturbing book! But a great read. One of the original thrillers. 🦋🦋 6mo
readordierachel @sprainedbrain When I saw that you gave it 5 stars on GR, I knew I was going to love it! 6mo
readordierachel @tpixie It must have been so shocking and original when it was published in 1963! 6mo
76 likes2 stack adds17 comments
blurb
readordierachel
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Today's modest library haul 📚

I only get Once Were Wolves for 2 weeks, so I will start with that one. And I think I will dip in and out of Long Players, as the entries seem pretty bite-sized. I loved The Hunger by Alma Katsu, so I am looking forward to The Deep🤞🏼

ReadingOver50 I just got The Deep for Christmas. I‘m excited for it! 6mo
BarbaraBB I so hope you‘ll love Wolves! 6mo
See All 6 Comments
Reggie I didn‘t know this but Alma actually worked for the CIA as a secretary I think for many years and her last book had to do with a spies. She had to let them read it before she got to sell it. 6mo
readordierachel @BarbaraBB So far I am really enjoying it! 6mo
readordierachel @Reggie Whoa! That's wild. Makes me very curious about that book 6mo
62 likes6 comments
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readordierachel
Turtle Diary | Russell Hoban
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merelybookish That's easy! I've wanted to read this for ages! 6mo
merelybookish And so good to have you back Rachel! 🙂 6mo
vivastory Thanks for posting these! I am voting for a book that has been on my TBR for awhile 6mo
See All 19 Comments
mklong Yep, me too 6mo
GatheringBooks Thank you for having this early! I vote for 6mo
Leftcoastzen They all look great but I shall pick 6mo
batsy Great choices here ... I'm a bit of a Tove fangirl 😁, so voting for 6mo
emilyhaldi Ooohhh all good choices! I will be excited to read any of these!! But I‘ll give my vote to 6mo
BarbaraBB Great choices Rachel! I already read two of them so my vote goes to the one I haven‘t read yet and which sounds great: 6mo
saresmoore Ooh, I loved Fair Play! I‘ll vote for 6mo
BarbaraBB @saresmoore Hi! Good to see you!! 6mo
youneverarrived I own Chocky so voting for that 😁 6mo
arubabookwoman I have read them all, but read Turtle Diary eons ago, so I will vote for #TurtleDiary. 6mo
quietjenn Great options! Similar to others, I'll vote for the one that I've had sitting unread on my bookshelf and tbr pile for ages 6mo
LeahBergen And just like some of the others here, I‘ll vote for what I own! 6mo
daena Wow. Such a hard one. I want to read all 3. I‘ll vote for 6mo
Billypar These all sound intriguing for very different reasons! I'm going to go with 6mo
sprainedbrain I vote for 6mo
Liz_M I'll vote for the one I haven't read 6mo
60 likes1 stack add19 comments
review
readordierachel
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Mehso-so

"It was so hazy, it all ran together in her head"

This pretty much sums up how I felt reading this book. A vivid setting with some lovely descriptions but not enough of a narrative for me to grab on to. By the end, I was just reading to finish. That said, it's very layered, and I suspect this is the kind of book that will improve on a second read, when my expectations have been appropriately calibrated. #nyrbbookclub

vivastory It looks like a lot of us felt the same. Thanks for dropping into the discussion today. I enjoyed hearing what you thought about it! 6mo
batsy Great review. I can totally understand why it was a bit of a letdown for many people. 6mo
69 likes2 comments
blurb
readordierachel
Untitled | Unknown
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This year I started grad school, moved again, & struggled powerfully with my mental health, which led to a break from social media. I read a ton of picture books with my daughter & not nearly as many adult books as I usually do. Even so, I did squeeze in some good ones. They were comforting, informative, powerful, magical, thoughtful, strange, spooky, & swoon-y. I'm glad to have read them all.

Wishing everyone a happy & hopeful new year 🎉

CarolynM Happy New Year 6mo
Leftcoastzen Hang in there! Great reads ! Happy New Year! 6mo
Kdgordon88 Happy New Year! 🎆 6mo
See All 24 Comments
Ruthiella Happy New Year! 🥳🥂 I also loved Goodbye Vitamin and Luster. (edited) 6mo
LiteraryinLawrence 💗💗💗 Wishing you an easier road in 2022. 6mo
Jee_HookedOnBookz Happy New Year! 6mo
vivastory Some great reads in here! I especially want to check out Howl's Moving Castle & The Good House. Happy New Year 🎉🍾📚 6mo
BarbaraBB Happy new year Rachel. It‘s so good to see you here and I hope 2022 will be easier for you! ❤️😘 6mo
mrp27 Happy New Year! Glad to see you gain. 6mo
Simona Happy New Year 🥳 6mo
Christine Thanks for sharing those thoughts and these great books. Happy New Year! ❤️ 6mo
batsy Great reads squeezed in a year of new beginnings and changes. Hope you have an easier but equally fulfilling 2022 ❤️✨ 6mo
ozma.of.oz Congrats on grad school! 🎉🎉 And happy new year! 6mo
Jas16 Wishing you a better 2022. This is a great group of reads. 6mo
Nute Happy New Year, Rachel!💜🥳💜 It‘s good to see you posting again on Litsy. You found courage and strength to get through so many challenges last year. I hope that this year requires a different kind of tenacity…just a fast hold on peace, wonderful new ventures and so much happiness for you and your daughter. Take Care!💞 6mo
Reggie Luster and Freshwater❤️. I hope this year is better for you and all of us. 6mo
Bookzombie Happy New Year!🎆 6mo
Graywacke Sorry you had such a tough year. Wish you a great 2022 and it‘s really nice to get an update from you. That Saunders collection looks good. 6mo
readordierachel @Graywacke Thanks 🤗 The Saunders is excellent. I highly recommend it. 6mo
Centique Oh so good to see VE Schwab and Rainbow Rowell - I love those authors. And Boyfriend Material was fabulous. I‘m keen to read the Evie Dunnore series and the George Saunders and loads more! Well done you on climbing the mountain that was 2021! We have mental health struggles in my family too and I have to remind myself what we‘ve achieved should be celebrated. A round of applause for you my friend 👏👏👏👏 6mo
readordierachel @Centique Thank you so much, Paula! 🤗 The Evie Dunmore books are a delightful escape. I recommend! I love the angles she takes to her historical romance. And the Saunders is sooo good as well! Hope you're doing well 💗 6mo
kspenmoll So sorry you struggled so this past year. It‘s a crazy world right now! I am glad you had children s books for solace- lots of wisdom & gorgeous illustrations to warm the soul. I hope 2022 is a better year. 6mo
readordierachel @kspenmoll You‘re so kind ❤ And so right. I did find so much solace in children's books. There are so many great messages about kindness and acceptance and love, and yes the art! I hope you're doing well and that 2022 is a good year for you and us all) 🤗 6mo
74 likes24 comments
blurb
readordierachel
Doomsday Book | Connie Willis
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#audioknitting a baby blanket for my niece. Almost done. Really enjoying this book so far 👍🏼

Ruthiella Beautiful! 😍 13mo
AmyG It‘s gorgeous! 13mo
CBee So lovely!! 13mo
See All 38 Comments
Jas16 That is beautiful! 13mo
Kdgordon88 Beautiful colors and looks so soft 13mo
Tamra Amazing! 13mo
Megabooks Gorgeous! 13mo
Crazeedi So pretty and very unique! 13mo
Palimpsest Gorgeous! 13mo
GingerAntics That is beautiful!!! 13mo
kspenmoll Beautiful!!! 13mo
EvieBee That is so beautiful! So talented! 13mo
FlowerFairy Those colors and your stitch work are beautiful! 13mo
batsy So pretty and it looks wonderfully soft. 13mo
LeahBergen It‘s beautiful! 😊 13mo
Tera66 So beautiful! You are so talented! 12mo
BiblioLitten It‘s lovely 😊🥰 12mo
charl08 Love those colours. 12mo
AshleyHoss820 That is bonkers amazing!! 😍😍😍 12mo
readordierachel @charl08 Aren't they pretty? I wish I could take credit for putting them together, but it's all from the same ball of multicolored yarn 12mo
readordierachel @AshleyHoss820 Thank you! 😊 12mo
merelybookish Hey Rachel! Haven't seen you in a while. Hope all is well! 10mo
BiblioLitten Hi Rachel… how are you? Hope you are keeping well. 💕 9mo
Trashcanman Miss your presence 🙂💟 9mo
batsy Happy birthday!! 🎂💜 Miss you around here and hope you've been well. 9mo
readordierachel @merelybookish Hey! Sorry it's been so long. Hope all is well with you too! 6mo
readordierachel @BiblioLitten Hi! Sorry it's been so long. How are you? Hope everything is good with you 💕 6mo
readordierachel @Trashcanman Hi George 👋 I hope you're well 💛 6mo
readordierachel @batsy Thank you! 💜 I've missed you too. Sorry for being gone for wo long. Hope you've been well. 6mo
BiblioLitten Oh Rachel!! It‘s so good to have you back💕 You we‘re missed. How have you been? 6mo
readordierachel @BiblioLitten Thank you, I missed you too 💕 It‘s been a weird year. For everyone I'm sure. Haven't read many books at all. How have you been? 6mo
merelybookish @readordierachel So nice to see your name pop up! I hope you're doing well! 6mo
BiblioLitten @readordierachel Yes, weird is right. Books are the only constant. I hope the next year fares better.💕 6mo
rohit-sawant @readordierachel Great seeing you back on here! Hope you're doing well. 6mo
readordierachel @rohit-sawant Hi Rohit! Nice seeing you too 😊 Hope you've been well 6mo
87 likes38 comments
review
readordierachel
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Pickpick

Seven stories by four Russian greats (Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Gogol) are presented with critical essays from Saunders on each. In one essay, he writes that “A story is a frank, intimate conversation between equals. We keep reading because we continue to feel respected by the writer.” I would apply that same thinking to Saunders‘ essays. This is such a fabulous, engaging book...👇

readordierachel ...largely because he respects the reader. He assumes you are tracking with him, are capable of making the same leaps/connections. His analysis is thoughtful and detailed, but his tone is warm and quite funny. The book isn‘t inaccessible or overly academic, as some literary analysis/criticism can be, and it still feels so smart. I underlined so many passages. A truly special book. 13mo
vivastory What a wonderful review! 13mo
64 likes4 stack adds3 comments
blurb
readordierachel
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Saunders has created tables for analyzing Chekhov's story "The Darling." Tables! ??

64 likes1 stack add
blurb
readordierachel
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#currentlyreading this for my first graduate school class and it is so, so good. It's a whole class in itself.

EvieBee 👏👏❤️ 13mo
SamAnne Just picked up Pastoralia by him for a book club read. I‘ve only read Lincoln in the Bardo. 13mo
readordierachel @SamAnne This is the first I've read by him. Maybe a weird place to start since it's famous Russian short stories sandwiched in nonfiction analysis. But I'm curious to read his stories now. Did you like Lincoln? 13mo
SamAnne @ReadOrDie at first I was mixed on it. It felt overrated. But then the more I thought about it the more I loved it. Looking forward to diving in to his short stories. 13mo
64 likes2 stack adds4 comments
review
readordierachel
Howl's Moving Castle | Diana Wynne Jones
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Pickpick

A total delight! I had been curious about this book since seeing the Miyazaki adaptation (a favorite). It did not disappoint! Quite different from the movie, which makes some significant changes that give the story a darker tone. The book is much more whimsical, funny, and just all-around charming. A story I will revisit. 5⭐

I listened to the audio, expertly narrated by Jenny Sterlin. Pic above is the folio society edition, which I covet.

Trashcanman You're back ❤❤ 13mo
readordierachel @Trashcanman Hi! 👋❤ 13mo
MarriedtoMrT I love both the book and the movie with a passion despite (because of?) their differences. 13mo
See All 15 Comments
gossamerchild Oh, that's an incredible edition! And I agree, @MarriedtoMrT , somehow the differences work for this story 😁 13mo
BarbaraBB Hi! So good to see you 🤍 13mo
batsy Nice to see you back ❤️ And I adore this book! That Folio edition 😍 13mo
readordierachel @MarriedtoMrT @gossamerchild Yes, the differences really complement each format. One of the rare instances where book and movie are equally good! 13mo
readordierachel @BarbaraBB Good to see you too ❤ 13mo
readordierachel @batsy Nice to see you too ❤ Isn't it something? 13mo
BiblioLitten Good to see you back 😊💕 13mo
readordierachel @BiblioLitten Hi ❤❤ Hope you're well 13mo
EvieBee What a beautiful edition! Also 👋🏼 🤗 (edited) 13mo
readordierachel @EvieBee Hi! 👋🏼❤ 13mo
DivineDiana I covet many of the Folio editions! 13mo
readordierachel @DivineDiana They are generally gorgeous 😍 13mo
74 likes1 stack add15 comments
review
readordierachel
Luster: A Novel | Raven Leilani
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Pickpick

"In other words, all of it, even the love, is violence."

I felt such a push and pull with this book. The story feels both familiar and fresh. The characters lives are simultaneously too messy and too neat. Some of the situations required considerable suspension of disbelief, and others felt cringe-inducingly real. Leilani's voice is so sharp and compelling and I look forward to reading more from her.

merelybookish Great review! I also liked it AND doubted a lot of the things that happened. 1y
Ruthiella Yes! I loved this one too. I was afraid to read on and yet was compelled to read on, if that makes sense. (edited) 1y
Reggie I feel we got hooked on the side chick story but stayed for the relationship between the two women? I really liked this book. 1y
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readordierachel @merelybookish I would find myself thinking "Nobodoy would do that" and then quickly become completely absorbed in the story again. 1y
readordierachel @Ruthiella That makes perfect sense! It's such an uncomfortable read but there's also so much to pull you in. 1y
readordierachel @Reggie Yes, totally. And the daughter. 1y
readordierachel @Reggie I loved when they went to the concert, and when Edie painted Rebecca while she was working. Great scenes. 1y
vivastory Are you doing okay? It's been awhile since you've posted. Message me on GR if you need to talk 1y
BarbaraBB Rachel! Where are you? Missing your posts. I hope all is well 💚🍀 14mo
readordierachel @vivastory @BarbaraBB Hi! I appreciate you asking. I'm so sorry I've been MIA. I'm bummed I missed the last book club! It's been quite a month. Haven't read a single book that didn't have pictures in it. Hoping to catch up on everyone's posts soon. Hope you're well ❤❤ 14mo
93 likes2 stack adds10 comments
review
readordierachel
Bohemian Gospel | Dana Chamblee Carpenter
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Pickpick

Quite a page-turner, especially the last third, which turned very grim. Just brutal. In 13th century Bohemia, a 15-year-old girl known as Mouse saves the life of a young king, and the course of her life is changed. Part historical fiction, part slow-burn horror, with just a splash of fantasy (probably not the kind you are imagining). The ending definitely hooked me for the next book. And good god, I am glad I was not born in the medieval era. 4⭐

vivastory 😂💯 agree with you 1y
saresmoore Ooh, I‘m intrigued by your review! I have been in the mood for something like this. Do not ask me why, but here we are. 1y
readordierachel @saresmoore It was a surprise to me. I had zero expectations and it kept me steadily turning pages. Be warned though, it gets very, very dark. 1y
79 likes2 stack adds3 comments
review
readordierachel
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Pickpick

Loved this. Left me wanting more of these characters and world and magic. Looking forward to the rest of the trilogy 👍🏼👍🏼

Jas16 I really need to move these books up my TBR. 1y
readordierachel @Jas16 This one is really fun, and I've heard that they just get better. 1y
Nutmegnc I agree they get even better. I think she‘s going to continue writing in this world but not out any time soon. 😪 13mo
readordierachel @Nutmegnc Something to look forward to tho! 13mo
90 likes4 comments
review
readordierachel
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Pickpick

Wow. This was unique, hypnotic, harrowing, moving. I wouldn't know where to begin describing it, so I'll just leave it at adjectives. I know this will be echoing in my mind for a while. Just truly stunning.

CW: sexual assault, self-harm, suicide

MySharonaK After reading how you feel about it, I just put on hold on my library‘s app. Thank you ❤️ 1y
readordierachel @MySharonaK I hope you like it ❤ 1y
Erinreadsthebooks One of my favorites 🙌 1y
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MySharonaK @readordierachel thank you! 🌷 Sadly gonna have to wait until the end of May 😂 1y
readordierachel @MySharonaK That's so long! I suppose that means it's in demand 😊 I'd be happy to send you this copy if you'd like to read it sooner? 1y
MySharonaK @readordierachel wow you‘re so kind !!! 😍 1y
Reggie This book was so hard to read. You just wanted Ada to be ok. Great review, Rachel. 1y
batsy It's a brilliant book 💜 1y
youneverarrived Agree. I still think about this 🖤 1y
readordierachel @MySharonaK If you email me your address, I will pop it in the mail :) It's readordierachel at gmail. 1y
readordierachel @Reggie @batsy @youneverarrived Knowing it's somewhat autobiographical makes it that much more emotional 💔 I read they have a memoir coming out in the near future 1y
MySharonaK @readordierachel emailed you 💚 1y
Addison_Reads I loved this book. I'm so glad you did too. 1y
sarahbarnes This sounds amazing!! 1y
readordierachel @sarahbarnes it is! Highly recommend! 1y
83 likes2 stack adds17 comments
blurb
readordierachel
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You know that feeling when you're discovering a new (to you) author and it feels like falling in love and you realize they've already written a bunch of books for you to read? I'm having that feeling 💕

Also: I've seen this cover floating around for years and I just had it pointed out to me that it is not in fact an upside down wizard in a pointy hat, but is in fact a person walking with their coat flaring behind them 🤭

Nalbuque I LOVE her sm 1y
Centique So glad you‘re enjoying it! 1y
HeyT Dead at upside down wizard but I can kind of see it now that you've said it. 1y
See All 18 Comments
Addison_Reads I really loved this series. 💚 1y
HOTPock3tt Oh I was falling her love with her too when I read this book! Just a heads up, book 2 is even better 😉lol 1y
Jas16 That is the best feeling! 1y
Mrs_B Ohhhhhh it is a person with a cloak! Now I see it! 1y
readordierachel @Nalbuque I can't wait to read more by her! 1y
readordierachel @Centique So good 💕 1y
readordierachel @HeyT Ridiculous right? 😆🤭 1y
readordierachel @Addison_Reads I have a feeling I will too 💕 1y
readordierachel @HOTPock3tt Omg, I can't wait! 😍 1y
readordierachel @Jas16 The very best 💕 1y
readordierachel @Mrs_B Right?? My mind was blown when I finally saw it 🤯😆 1y
DogMomIrene I‘ve seen her books floating around too. May need to read her sooner... 1y
readordierachel @DogMomIrene I am really enjoying this one 👍🏼👍🏼 1y
JSW This is one of my favorite book series and you have such treats in store!! 😍 1y
readordierachel @JSW Yay! I'm excited 💕 1y
82 likes2 stack adds18 comments
review
readordierachel
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Pickpick

"We can ask and ask but we can't have again what once seemed ours forever...They've gone and you can only wait for the pain to pass."

A lovely, gentle read about a veteran who spends a summer restoring a mural in a quiet English village. I liked it very much.

batsy Nicely put and love the choice of quote. I'm towards the end and liking it very much, too. 1y
catebutler Great quote! There were so many throughout. Can‘t wait to discuss! 1y
vivastory Looking forward to the discussion. Glad that this one worked for you! 1y
78 likes1 stack add4 comments
review
readordierachel
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Pickpick

The fancy new cover seduced me. I was really hard on this book the first time I read it. This time I enjoyed it much more, maybe because my expectations were appropriately calibrated. Think I'll just go ahead and reread the rest of these now.

I have to say though, if I was playing a game and had to drink every time it's mentioned that Cinder is a mechanic and has grease somewhere on her person, I would probably die 🙄😆

AlaMich I hate repetitive things like that in books. I start to obsess about it and I can‘t stop thinking that some editor should have put a stop to it. 1y
Ruthiella There were certain tropes and tics that slightly bugged me in this series and yet I really enjoyed it as a whole. It was fun and Meyers does witty banter well, which is particularly exemplified by Capitan Thorn in the later books! 1y
readordierachel @AlaMich I know what you mean. It becomes all I can see. I think repetition is more forgivable in YA, but at one point I actually started laughing b/c it had been mentioned so many times. Still a fun book though. 1y
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readordierachel @Ruthiella Yes! Cress was my favorite the first time I read these, because of him. He gives me Han Solo vibes. And I totally agree that these work better and are very enjoyable when taken as a whole. They build on each other really well. 1y
SpiderGoddess Oooooh! I love this author. I need to read this! 1y
readordierachel @SpiderGoddess It's fun 👍🏼 1y
merelybookish Cover is pretty cool. I haven't read these but my daughter loved them. 1y
UwannaPublishme I must finish this series. 🙌🏻Only read Cinder and really enjoyed it. But your cover is much cooler than mine. 😁 1y
batsy Yep, it's one of those don't think too hard books! I enjoyed it on that level 😁 These covers are very cool. 1y
readordierachel @merelybookish They are a fun way to pass the time when you want to "think too hard" as @batsy aptly put it ?, and cool covers certainly don't hurt 1y
readordierachel @UwannaPublishme You must! The books get progressively better, so if you enjoyed Cinder, you're in for a treat 😊 1y
Centique I liked this one then enjoyed the second one even more and loved the third one. Like candy really 😂 Oh you‘re rereading! I reread Cinder on audiobook which was fun too. (edited) 1y
readordierachel @Centique I had the same progression with these books. Loved the third (rereading it now!) If I reread these again, I'll check out the audiobooks! 1y
80 likes1 stack add14 comments
review
readordierachel
Lakewood: A Novel | Megan Giddings
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Pickpick

To pay off family debt, a college student joins a research program, agreeing to live in the mysterious town of Lakewood and take various experimental treatments in exchange for a healthy paycheck. An eerie novel that calls out the history of U.S. medical experimentation on Black people. I do think there is some unrealized potential here, and I didn't connect with the characters so much as the situation. But overall a solid, thought-provoking read.

Come-read-with-me This sounds great. Have you read The Immortal Life if Henrietta Lacks? It deals with the topic of medical exploration /exploitation of people of colour. It was a great book. 1y
Crazeedi @Come-read-with-me I read that one a couple years ago, very good 1y
candority Great review! 💕 1y
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readordierachel @Come-read-with-me I'm familiar with the story but haven't read the book yet. It's on my list! I did read this one, which is a broader overview of the topic though 1y
TNbookworm Great review! 1y
Reggie When that one woman lost her teeth, when the kid shoots their parents, when Lena and her mom look for Charlie but can‘t find evidence of him. Ughhh, very creepy. I liked this book. Glad you liked it too! 1y
Cathythoughts Great review 👍🏻sounds good. 1y
readordierachel @Reggie Omg yes, that shooting part 💔 1y
readordierachel @Cathythoughts Thanks 💕 It was! 1y
83 likes5 stack adds12 comments
blurb
readordierachel
Untitled | Unknown
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HOTPock3tt A darker shade of Magic!!🙌🏽🎉❤️ 1y
readordierachel @HOTPock3tt I'm excited for that one! 1y
HOTPock3tt I love that series! 🤗❤️ 1y
See All 11 Comments
BookishMarginalia 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 1y
BookInMyHands Great haul! I loved the Brown sister books. I‘m so excited there‘s a new one coming out! 1y
readordierachel @BookInMyHands I really enjoyed the first one! 1y
Centique I hope you love A Darker Shade of Magic 😍😍 1y
batsy That looks like a fun stack 🤩 1y
readordierachel @Centique I dipped into the first chapter and was really liking it so I'm feeling good about it! 1y
readordierachel @batsy I clealry had an eye toward escapism 😄 1y
78 likes11 comments
review
readordierachel
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Mehso-so

Good gravy, this book has a lot going on, a lot of which I enjoyed: the descriptions of snow and of cooking and food, the interesting characterizations, the tidbits about Greenland. But the plot is all over the place. Some frankly unbelievable things happen. I got confused by the ever-increasing cast of characters---who was that again? why are they here? When it was good, I was enthralled. Wish it had been more focused.

Daisey I agree with a lot of your thoughts. I loved the setting and that description, the plot not so much. 1y
readordierachel @Daisey Yeah. It lost the thread. I think there were several interesting plots in there, all mashed together. 1y
83 likes2 comments
review
readordierachel
Red at the Bone | Jacqueline Woodson
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Pickpick

Woodson touches on many themes in this short novel. POVs shift, time jumps. Some parts were very moving, had me holding my breath. Others I wanted more from, more of. It was like flipping through an artist's sketchbook, admiring their incredible pencil sketches, longing to see them painted in full color.

Jas16 Great review. Very well put. I really liked this book but I know exactly what you mean. 1y
Librariana Fantastic way of illustrating the appreciation for the "work" along with a desire to delve a little deeper... to learn more. A true compliment to the author's skill! Excellent review ? 1y
BarbaraBB I looooved this one ❤️ 1y
89 likes2 stack adds5 comments
review
readordierachel
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Pickpick

Natasha is about to be deported to Jamaica and is frantically searching for a solution. Daniel is killing time until his Yale interview; his parents want it for him but he isn't so sure. They meet for one whirlwind day. Short chapters, alternating POVs, mostly of the two mains, with glimpses into the lives of ancillary characters (my favorite part!). The romance was the weakest part for me, but Yoon wrapped it up well. She's a great writer.

Reggie I know, especially about the guard who shows up as a flight attendant, the brother, and the lawyer and his secretary. The side character stuff in here was great. 1y
readordierachel @Reggie Yes! Loved those parts. That was the real strength of the book, I thought. All the characters had dimension. The ripple effects of each interaction. 1y
70 likes2 comments
review
readordierachel
The True Deceiver | Tove Jansson
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Pickpick

"But you trust people, don't you?"
"Yes, I suppose I do. Why shouldn't I? One sees and hears a great deal about the way people behave, but that's their problem. One doesn't want to make things worse by not believing that they mean what they say."

This was fascinating. Such interesting details and so much character development and nuance for such a short novel. Yes, people deceive others but just as often (maybe more often?) deceive themselves.

readordierachel Looking forward to the #nyrbbookclub discussion! @BarbaraBB @vivastory 1y
LeahBergen I‘m looking forward to the discussion, too. 👍🏻 1y
rachaich Love Tove 😍😍🤗🤗 1y
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BarbaraBB This quote sums it all up 🤍 1y
vivastory This quote definitely captures the book & you're right-its very nuanced. Looking forward to discussing more! 1y
Suet624 I love that you‘ve highlighted this passage. It‘s a good one. 1y
readordierachel @LeahBergen @BarbaraBB @vivastory Such a great discussion! So glad I was able to join, and really looking forward to the next one 😊 1y
readordierachel @rachaich This was my first of her books. Definitely not my last! 1y
readordierachel @Suet624 So many good quotes in this book! 1y
85 likes5 stack adds9 comments
review
readordierachel
Fangs | Sarah Andersen
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Pickpick

Cute love story between a vampire and a werewolf. Lots of puns, a few of which made me smile. Not much there there, but a pleasant way to spend 20 minutes. 3⭐

Reynosa8701 I loved it 1y
readordierachel @Reynosa8701 It was really cute. I like her artwork too. 1y
rubyslippersreads I would read this just for the adorable cover. 🦇 1y
readordierachel @rubyslippersreads I know! The binding is just lovely. 1y
88 likes1 stack add4 comments
blurb
readordierachel
Untitled | Unknown
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My mom is looking for Nordic noir recommendations. She reads a lot of US and UK mysteries but has exhausted all the authors she likes. I'm not much help, as it's not a genre I typically read. Anyone have any to recommend? Any favorites? Bonus points if it's a series. Thank you!!

Texreader My fave is Jussi Adler-Olsen and his Department Q series. It gets better and better as it goes along. Book one: (edited) 1y
vivastory I've heard great things about 1y
Texreader Chris Ould‘s Faeroe Islands books should be good. I read one and it was terrific. (edited) 1y
See All 28 Comments
vivastory I also recently bought Nesbo's latest. It's supposed to be one of his best 1y
Texreader Husband is from Norway and he loves Gunnar Staalesen. But I‘ve only found his series in English in London. But you may be somewhere where you can find them. 1y
Texreader Check out my review of this book by an Icelandic author: 1y
Texreader Also check out of my review of this book by a Finnish author, historical fiction rather than mystery, but I plan to read more from this author: 1y
mrsmarch I can ENTHUSIASTICALLY recommend (edited) 1y
Amiable I‘ve enjoyed Henning Mankell‘s Wallander series. (edited) 1y
Jadams1776 I love anything by Nesbo- and I recommended The Keeper of Lost Causes to several people when I finished it. (edited) 1y
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Jo Nesbo is popular, I've only read The Snowman though. But it was pretty good. 1y
Jari-chan Maybe something by Hjort & Rosenfeldt? 1y
readordierachel @Texreader Thank you so much!! Some of these sound right up her alley. She'll be thrilled. 1y
readordierachel @vivastory Oh yes, Nesbo! I have heard of him. And Snowblind sounds good. Thank you! 1y
readordierachel @mrsmarch Wonderful! I will definitely suggest it to her. Thank you! 1y
readordierachel @Amiable Oh, excellent. I know she's watched and loved the TV series. She'll be excited to learn it's based on novels she can explore. Thank you! 1y
readordierachel @Jadams1776 Fantastic, I will add that to the list. Thank you! 1y
readordierachel @StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Adding it to the list, thank you! 1y
readordierachel @Jari-chan I will check that out, thank you! 1y
Texreader @Amiable I second the Wallander series. I enjoyed the bbc TV show. The one book I‘ve read from the series was easily 5 stars 1y
batsy I read the first one, tagged, of the Martin Beck series and really enjoyed it. I keep meaning to continue, but, *distracted by all of the books*. It's socially-conscious Nordic noir; a slow-burn but good. 1y
Amiable @Tanisha_A That‘s a great list—thanks for posting! 1y
readordierachel @Tanisha_A That's perfect, thank you!! 1y
readordierachel @batsy Ooh, socially conscious Nordic noir. She will love that, I think. Thank you!! 1y
kspenmoll @mrsmarch What a great book! I just got the sequel 1y
Singout This isn‘t technically “Nordic,” but has she read the Edie Kiglatuk series set in the Arctic? From my white southern perspective they seem to address some important Inuit issues as well as being good yarns. 1y
readordierachel @Singout I don't think she has. Sounds great though. I'll pass your recommendation along. Thank you!! 1y
68 likes28 comments
review
readordierachel
We the Animals | Justin Torres
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Pickpick

I'm so torn. There is some truly beautiful writing in this novel, some moments that will stay with me for a long time. Through short chapters, Torres introduces us to 3 brothers and their lives with their Puerto Rican father and white mother. There is no plot to speak of, just connected vignettes, snapshots of a family. The first two-thirds of the novel are something special, but... 👇🏼

readordierachel ... Torres makes some decisions in the last act, introduces some subject matter that feels out of place, like he felt he needed more drama. I don't mind a sad book, but it began to feel forced. Still a pick but with caveats. 1y
Chelsea.Poole Have you watched the film adaptation? I read the book first and then watched it and I found it to be true to the book, and well done. 1y
readordierachel @Chelsea.Poole I haven't, but I definitely will. Glad to hear it's well done. 1y
84 likes3 comments
review
readordierachel
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Pickpick

In this memoir addressed to his mother, Laymon shares the weight of being a black boy and man in the U.S., childhood trauma, romantic and familial relationships, gambling addiction, body dysmorphia, and disordered eating/exercising. It feels rare to hear a cis man openly talk about their experiences with the latter. Not an easy read but I'm glad to have read it.

vivastory Stacking. Have been looking for more memoirs by poc since reading 1y
readordierachel @vivastory That one is on my list after your review! 1y
95 likes5 stack adds2 comments