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sarahbarnes

sarahbarnes

Joined May 2018

“Books mean all possibilities.” - Ali Smith
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Assembly by Natasha Brown
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The Books of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk
review
sarahbarnes
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Pickpick

I love the way Kawakami writes the raw, often painful experiences of her characters in such a quiet way. She is so matter of fact in her descriptions that it makes it a more emotional experience for me to read her work than I think it would be if her style were more dramatic. I loved this story and Fuyoko in her loneliness and struggle to connect with other people.

IuliaC Great review! 1d
BarbaraBB Yours is the first review I read and I am happy you enjoyed it so much. Can‘t wait to read it myself too. Such a wonderful author! 1d
batsy So glad to see that you loved it! 21h
sarahbarnes @luliaC @BarbaraBB @batsy I hope you like it as well! Another beautiful book by this author. ❤️ 14h
24 likes3 stack adds4 comments
review
sarahbarnes
Basic Black with Pearls | Helen Weinzweig
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this interior story of a woman‘s search for meaning and happiness. I have so many questions about Shirley, her experiences in the novel, and her account of events. Which means I‘m really looking forward to the discussion! #nyrbbookclub @vivastory

vivastory I'm glad that you enjoyed this one! I'm looking forward to the discussion. 5d
merelybookish Yes, lots of questions! 14h
27 likes2 comments
blurb
sarahbarnes
Basic Black with Pearls | Helen Weinzweig
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Having fun reading this book alone at a bar tonight, just like the main character. 🍷

vivastory I like your style 🍷📚 6d
sarahbarnes @vivastory I‘m loving this book! 6d
BarbaraBB Great pic! I‘ll start this week too. 6d
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LeahBergen I‘ll be starting this soon, too! 🍷 6d
batsy Oh, nice! 6d
Megabooks I enjoy reading alone at restaurants/bars too. 6d
25 likes6 comments
blurb
sarahbarnes
Basic Black with Pearls | Helen Weinzweig
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Starting this month‘s #nyrbbookclub pick and was happy to see a quote from Ann Quin after reading so much about her in Checkout 19. Love these kinds of book coincidences. 😁 @vivastory

review
sarahbarnes
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Pickpick

An eerie, mysterious and mildly disturbing story told through a series of interviews of the inhabitants of a space ship, this book had been on my list since last year‘s international Booker. Very clever and entertaining.

BarbaraBB I have wanted to read this ever since too! 1w
vivastory Great review and this is a great cover 1w
26 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
sarahbarnes
The Fell | SARAH. MOSS
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Pickpick

I really enjoy Sarah Moss‘ writing style, and this book was no exception. Similarly to Summerwater, she zooms into the details of her characters‘ inner lives to tell a larger story, in this case the experience of the pandemic.

review
sarahbarnes
Checkout 19: A Novel | Claire-Louise Bennett
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Pickpick

This is a fabulous book!! There are stories within stories and such wonderful use of language. I loved it so much and am definitely going to need to read her collection of short stories now. Thanks for putting this one on my radar @Megabooks !

Megabooks You‘re welcome!! 👍🏻 2w
jlhammar Yes, so fabulous! One of my top reads this year so far. Hope you enjoy Pond. It‘s excellent. 2w
sarahbarnes @jlhammar it is for me as well! And great to hear you also enjoyed Pond - I‘m looking forward to reading it. 2w
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BarbaraBB I‘ve been wanting to read this too ever since @Megabooks review. Now I want to even more! 2w
Megabooks @BarbaraBB I think you‘d appreciate/enjoy this one! 😀 2w
merelybookish So good!! I feel like she pushes the boundaries of fiction. And I love that! 2w
26 likes1 stack add6 comments
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sarahbarnes
Either/Or | Elif Batuman
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Here are six books I‘d love to see in #campToB this summer! All are ones I‘m looking forward to reading. Thanks for the tag @BarbaraBB !

vivastory Excellent choices👏👏 I'm very curious about the Kawakami 2w
merelybookish I recognize two of these! The rest look great and the cover for Valleyesque is amazing! I feel we are.inevitably going to be disappointed by what gets pick. No way it will live up to any of our lists. 😆 2w
sarahbarnes @merelybookish it‘s so true!! We are setting ourselves up for disappointment. 😂 2w
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sarahbarnes @vivastory I‘m excited because I‘m picking it up this week! 2w
Sophronisba How Beautiful We Were would be so interesting to discuss. 2w
Ruthiella Yours is the third vote I‘ve seen for The Swimmers. I have added it to my list and will read it anyway, even if it doesn‘t get picked. So much good stuff out there. 2w
Megabooks I think The Swimmers will be chosen for the real camp. I just got the Kawakami from the library tonight! So excited to dive in this week. Great list! Will be glad to see your thoughts. (edited) 2w
squirrelbrain So many great books! I‘ve been wanting to read the Nolan for a while now. But you‘re so right @merelybookish - we‘re going to be so disappointed when we see the real picks! 😠 2w
BarbaraBB Great choices! Of course the Kawakami should be included! I forgot about that one. 2w
BarbaraBB @merelybookish @sarahbarnes @squirrelbrain I hope one of the TOB people is on Litsy and takes note of our lists! 2w
batsy I agree with @BarbaraBB I can't believe I forgot about the Kawakami 😅 2w
38 likes11 comments
review
sarahbarnes
Bread the Devil Knead | Lisa Allen-Agostini
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Pickpick

A gut wrenching story with glimmers of hope. I really enjoyed the narrative style and loved the main character so much, and really wanted her to find the freedom and healing she so deserved. ❤️

squirrelbrain Great review. I loved this and really glad it made the #womensprize shortlist. 2w
sarahbarnes @squirrelbrain I was happy it made it, too! 2w
jlhammar Hope the copy I ordered arrives soon! Look forward to reading it. 2w
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sarahbarnes @jlhammar I hope you enjoy it! 2w
BkClubCare Yes! Love to see these books on my timeline 2w
sarahbarnes @BkClubCare ❤️❤️ 2w
36 likes3 stack adds6 comments
blurb
sarahbarnes
A School for Fools | Sasha Sokolov
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merelybookish That's interesting to think about. @vivastory mentioned how the author wrote this knowing he couldn't publish it. So maybe he didn't censor himself at all. Maybe that is part of the excess - just writing with absolute abandon. 3w
vivastory There is the incident with Akatav being taken away for publishing an article about the insects living in a specific part of the plants. 3w
quietjenn I think the reluctance to “name names“ throughout is really indicative. 3w
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Leftcoastzen @quietjenn I agree , the reluctance to “name names “ was an element. 3w
Leftcoastzen @vivastory I found the insects living in plants & him getting taken away interesting.That science & literature can get you in trouble in this system.Now in our culture , they tweet & Facebook about” Alternative Facts “ 3w
sarahbarnes Yes to all of these observations. It seems like the exchange with the “author” at the end of the novel is a little bit of a statement about thumbing his nose at being censored - to the point about not intending to be published @vivastory @merelybookish 3w
batsy It's something I didn't consider too deeply so I appreciate all the thoughtful responses here. I like the idea that knowing in all likelihood he was to be censored, the author wrote with complete abandon. But it's also interesting that the fractured narrative in itself works as a kind of code, protecting the book from being interpreted in any one way. It's a book that defies censorship, in a sense, though I'm sure censors will always find a way! 3w
GatheringBooks I am grateful to this book club for enriching my understanding of books that simply are beyond me in content, message, meaning. Perhaps the utter incomprehensibility of the narrative is in itself an attempt to code an even more profound message to other spies that ordinary mortals are not ever meant to understand except for other Soviet spies or revolutionaries. 📚💗My facetious way of justifying my inability to understand what I just read. 3w
16 likes8 comments
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sarahbarnes
A School for Fools | Sasha Sokolov
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vivastory The 2 selves of the narrator were speaking to one another, but they were def often addressing others: teachers, parents, Veta etc. 3w
quietjenn It felt mostly like a conversation with the two selves, even when they seemed to be addressing others, for most of the book. Like, there's only one of me, but I constantly have conversations with others in my head, and that's what this seemed like in a very protracted way (and with another personality engaging). 3w
sarahbarnes Agreed @quietjenn @vivastory - I think it was mostly a conversation with his two personalities or selves. I read a review that posited the narrator had schizophrenia. 3w
batsy I agree @quietjenn it was addressed to the self, but the self as multiple (the imaginary audience we have in our head comprising people past and present). 3w
GatheringBooks Hahahhaa. I had no idea really what I read, so not sure how to answer this question at all. I honestly felt it was an arguably-intelligent (a tad self-indulgent) narrative with too many allusions that needed to be explained through footnotes that removed me from the pleasure of the reading experience as a whole. A book with references that needed to be explained every page or so may definitely be more difficult than Ulysses(!). 3w
14 likes5 comments
blurb
sarahbarnes
A School for Fools | Sasha Sokolov
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vivastory I read several conflicting ideas about the titular institution. Some reviews made it out to be a facility for people with mental health conditions, others said that it was a state run facility for IDD individuals. My guess is that it was a catch all day center, not specializing in one specific type of care. What I found intriguing throughout the book is how the faculty would remark that they too belonged to the school for fools. (edited) 3w
merelybookish Well I took it to mean the students were all the misfits who dont fit into/behave in Soviet society. And no one really cares about them. But a lot of the book didn't seem to take place at the school. 3w
vivastory @merelybookish I think you're right, especially considering the comments made by the teachers 3w
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Leftcoastzen It seems the Soviets always tried to institutionalize, or assign to a work camp those who couldn‘t fall in line. 3w
quietjenn I agree. Despite that director of curriculum or whatever, there didn't seem to be a lot of educational philosophy behind the school, beyond “keep them occupied“ and out of the way of the productive members of society. Actually calling themselves - be they students or teachers - the School for Fools just felt like a bit of black comedy. 3w
vivastory @quietjenn The part about the slippers was interesting. It was arbitrary but I think that might have been Sokolov's point, that a lot of rules at institutions like school for fools are arbitrary. 3w
quietjenn @vivastory yes so many arbitrary rules in many institutions! The thing about the slippers that struck me was how they acted as a physical marker that sort of advertised their affiliation with the School. 3w
sarahbarnes It did seem to be an institution for people who don‘t “fit in,” whether due to mental illness or other reasons. And ironically I think the main character was actually highly intelligent…in some ways similar to the way we don‘t recognize different forms of intelligence here very well. Even if we don‘t always institutionalize. 3w
vivastory @sarahbarnes I agree with your point about the main character being very intelligent & I def see parallels here 3w
batsy @sarahbarnes The narrator's voice is very intelligent, I agree. There's both wisdom and curiosity. The school itself seemed to function more as a metaphor, as in a condition of mind more than anything else. As a criticism of a repressive social order. 3w
GatheringBooks Agree here with @batsy about the metaphorical aspect of the “school for fools” - this book just went way over my head, but the less I understand the more entertained I was - I would even read certain parts aloud to my husband because it was just so nonsensical and absurd - but perhaps there is a deeper more profound aspect to the absurdity that I failed to capture and frankly did not really care enough to understand. 3w
13 likes11 comments
blurb
sarahbarnes
A School for Fools | Sasha Sokolov
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In the Spring '83 issue of The Slavic & East European Journal, future translator Alexander Boguslawski writes, "Sokolov's novel is essentially...showing the possibilities & capacities of artistic imagination at work; yet it may also be considered a passionate outcry against the norms & practices of socialist realism..." Do you agree with Boguslawski's statement?

merelybookish Well I agree it's not socialist realism ? and it does seem to push the limits of how deeply you can be within one character's perspective to write a stream of consciousness coming from a character with schizophrenia. Nothing can be read as "fact". 3w
vivastory Absolutely. If I recall correctly Sokolov didn't even bother with publishing the novel after he'd written it because he knew that it would get him in too much trouble. 3w
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quietjenn Meh? I feel like that overstates and overrates it for me, but I understand how it could be viewed as such, given the context of when and where it was written. 3w
Leftcoastzen Sometimes I found myself thinking is this just an airing of the grievances dressed up in crazy clothes? 3w
batsy It reads like it's definitely a counter-argument against social realism politically and aesthetically, but I'm on the fence about what a passionate outcry means. Like I do wonder if the book is overrated precisely because social realism is automatically seen as a restrictive narrative form because it's a political project, while novels like A School for Fools is by default seen as groundbreaking even though it's largely incoherent (to me). 3w
GatheringBooks I am with @quietjenn here - an overreaching of incoherent ramblings that have been elevated to art/high-brow literature. Perhaps I simply am not patient nor smart enough to truly appreciate it - and felt that I wasted my time doing so. That being said, I still felt the compulsion to plod through regardless, because there were pockets of beauty here and there that I can grasp. The footnotes took me out of the reading experience though. 3w
12 likes7 comments
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sarahbarnes
A School for Fools | Sasha Sokolov
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merelybookish I knew from the translator's intro that there were multiple narrators, although it didn't seem evident in the text to me till later when he started to distinguish between the engineer self and the botanist self. I think what helped me most was just trusting there was some kind of logic that would emerge. Certain things were repeated and eventually I pieced things together. Sort of. 3w
vivastory I think that it is narrated by multiple narrators. What makes it jarring is the switch from first person POV to a second person POV. This lent it a doppelganger feeling. Another interesting aspect is the lack of a “dominant“ personality that you typically find in books about multiple, or a split, personality. 3w
quietjenn I think multiple narrators. I initially skipped the translator's note, but some blurbs and other comments clued me in to expect it and I pretty quickly saw the back and forth of one self in dialogue with the other. My challenge was that, maybe because there wasn't a dominant self, the two didn't seem particularly different from one another. I don't even think that the botanist v. engineer self that @merelybookish mentions even really registered. 3w
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Leftcoastzen Sometimes I found the shifts difficult, I would think that I accidentally skipped something , I would go back & reread . I tried to not read it when I was tired !😁 3w
sarahbarnes I read a review that proposed the narrator had schizophrenia, so I was predisposed to thinking the multiple narrators are actually his different personalities. And I agree that the switches in POV was one of the things that made it such a challenging read. 3w
BarbaraBB I‘m sorry I can‘t participate since I didn‘t finish the book. I absolutely LOVE the illustrations you use. If they come close to the content of the book I should definitely give it another try 🤍 3w
batsy I kind of read it as multiple narrators, and because of the translator's intro I read it as the multiple selves. It all doesn't cohere into a proper narrative, though, but that's what made think that it was a fractured narrative reflecting the narrator's mental illness, so there were no easy threads or an overarching narrative to follow. 3w
GatheringBooks Half of the time, I have no idea what I was reading - which made me indifferent to whether there was a singular or multiple narrators - I just wanted to get it over and done with, like some form of required reading where I will not even get a grade or credit (lols). Love reading all your reflections here, though. As for mental illness, Neal Shusterman‘s “Challenger Deep” offers a more accessible, relatable opportunity to get into another‘s mind. 3w
11 likes8 comments
blurb
sarahbarnes
A School for Fools | Sasha Sokolov
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sarahbarnes Photographs used today are credited to Russian street photographer Alexander Petrosyan. 3w
merelybookish I can see the comparison to Ulysses, although years since I read it. But I guess both layer on subjective sights, sounds, smells, wordplay, etc. Although I think Ulysses is actually easier to understand. 😳 Because it has a more linear time frame (a day) whereas this one subverted any time line. If time & space are the two concepts that ground most novels, I guess this one was more rooted in space? But even that feels hard to say for sure. 🤣 3w
vivastory It took me a bit to find the rhythm of Sokolv's style, but once I did I really appreciated what he did . I read in a couple of reviews that there was a previous English translation which was largely panned because it failed to capture the linguistic intricacies. 3w
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vivastory I was unfamiliar with Petrosyan's work. Great choice! 3w
vivastory @merelybookish I have been intimidated to tackle Ulysses, but if it's easier than Sokolov's novel I feel a bit braver 😂 3w
Leftcoastzen I am a great fan of Ulysses & like @merelybookish think it‘s easier because of the linear time frame .I‘d seem to catch a wave so to speak with the writing & wordplay & be in awe of it . Sometimes I couldn‘t read it , my mind wanders off.love the photos! 3w
merelybookish @vivastory I'm sure you're up to th challenge! 😁 But you have a character walking around Dublin and so it has more structure than this book. I think. And when another voice takes over, it's clearly another voice. 3w
vivastory @Leftcoastzen Well, hearing you also say that it's easier has emboldened me to tackle it this year. 👍 3w
vivastory @merelybookish The narrative switches in Sokolov's novel were both really interesting & really jarring/frustrating. 3w
merelybookish @vivastory Bloomsday is June 16th 😀 3w
vivastory @merelybookish Just in time after I finish Moby Dick (I started that today) 🙃 3w
quietjenn I can certainly see the comparisons with Ulysses, although I agree with @merelybookish and @Leftcoastzen that the linearity of that book makes it easier to grasp and follow, in many ways. But with both books, I found them most pleasurable when I a) “just went with it“ and didn't try to make sense of everything and b) accepted that there were a billion allusions and references I wasn't getting. 😆 3w
quietjenn @sarahbarnes I love these images! 3w
Leftcoastzen @vivastory I read Moby Dick recently, was surprised it was so funny in spots . 3w
vivastory @Leftcoastzen I'm planning on reading at least 50 pages per day, but yes! I couldn't agree more. The first night that Ishmael is in the tavern & the innkeeper starts sanding down the bench for him to sleep on...that made me chuckle 3w
sarahbarnes I read Ulysses a long time ago, and I don‘t know that I would compare these reading experiences. 3w
LeahBergen I didn‘t read along with the group this month as I sampled a bit of the book and thought it wasn‘t for me. I‘m certainly enjoying reading through these discussion questions, though! “Ulysses is easier”??? 😆😆 (edited) 3w
batsy I agree @merelybookish Ulysses was "easier", in a way ? And yes @quietjenn this book worked for me best when I just went along for the ride without thinking too much. I definitely missed a lot of references, for sure. @vivastory I think you'd love Ulysses but it did help that I read it the first time during a two-semester seminar course, so we had lots and lots of supplementary reading material plus discussions ? 3w
batsy I love the images you've used! I think I can agree with it being called poetry, it feels like prose poetry with a lot of freewheeling allusions and connections that feels like layers of metaphor (as in the reader has to work to find out the meaning, but it also works as a "surface" reading in terms of just enjoying the language...there was a lot of beautiful sentences, I thought.) 3w
sarahbarnes @LeahBergen yes, definitely a ringing endorsement of the book. 😂😂 3w
GatheringBooks Haven‘t read ulysses yet - too daunting for me, plus it requires a measure of commitment I don‘t think I will be able to provide. There were poetic elements in this novel for sure, in its cryptic, coded, inaccessible form; not the emotion, affective, engaging nature of poetry that‘s for sure - at least for me. Sorry to be late to this party. 3w
16 likes21 comments
review
sarahbarnes
Nightbitch | RACHEL. YODER
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Pickpick

Two books that were fun to read in succession, as stories of women finding their power and wielding it in unexpected, at times uncomfortable, ways. Both were picks for me. 💪🏼

BarbaraBB This will please @Megabooks both are favorites of her 😀 3w
Megabooks I does please me!! 👍🏻💯 @BarbaraBB 3w
Megabooks Excellent observation about these books! Glad you enjoyed both. 3w
vivastory I read both of these in January as they were on my #NewYearWhoDis list that I got matched with @megabooks & I loved both 3w
sarahbarnes @Megabooks @vivastory glad to hear you both loved these as well! It was a happy accident that I read them together. 3w
27 likes5 comments
review
sarahbarnes
Elena Knows | Claudia Pieiro
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Pickpick

This book broke my heart. 💔 Elena is such an incredible character, and the painstaking account of her physical and emotional journey over the course of a day is why I read books. Based on the books I‘ve read on the Booker shortlist, I‘d love for this one to win.

Megabooks I had apparently already stacked this. I‘m always up for a good character driven novel! 1mo
vivastory I'm expecting to receive this one in the mail tomorrow 🙌 1mo
vivastory @Megabooks Just a heads up, this is on backorder everywhere but I was able to order it on B&N 1mo
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Megabooks @vivastory thanks for the heads up! 👍🏻 1mo
batsy It's so good ❤️ It's devastating but I love how it doesn't pull any punches. 1mo
sarahbarnes @Megabooks @vivastory Looking forward to hearing what you think of it! 1mo
sarahbarnes @batsy so good! ❤️ 1mo
BookwormM Me too I love this one 1mo
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review
sarahbarnes
After the Sun | Jonas Eika
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Pickpick

Very unsettling - I feel like I read most of the book on edge, waiting for something terrible to happen. Loosely connected stories that are bookended by two halves of the same story, exploring technology, human desires and how power dynamics impact interactions. I think he seems to want to keep the reader on her toes, and he definitely succeeded in doing that for me.

BarbaraBB I am glad you enjoyed this one. I couldn‘t get into it. 1mo
sarahbarnes @BarbaraBB it was definitely bizarre and pretty far outside of my comfort zone. 1mo
Megabooks Sounds interesting. I‘m stacking. 1mo
sarahbarnes @Megabooks I‘ll be interested to hear what you think of it. 1mo
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review
sarahbarnes
The Book of Mother: A Novel | Violaine Huisman
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Pickpick

Such a beautiful book. As a daughter and a mother to a daughter, I think this story depicts so well the complexities and heartache of that relationship - which seem universal even though the details are unique.

BarbaraBB Great review. I enjoyed it too. 1mo
25 likes1 comment
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sarahbarnes
Heaven | Mieko Kawakami
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Pickpick

This beautiful book was really difficult to read at times, although I‘m glad I did. Kawakami deftly captured the experiences of the young characters, and I think did justice to the complexity of thoughts and emotions of youth. She doesn‘t oversimplify. It is a heartbreaking story in many ways, and a solid pick.

BarbaraBB Great review, it says it all. An important book! 1mo
sarahbarnes @BarbaraBB ❤️💔 1mo
vivastory Terrific review! Looking forward to reading this 1mo
BkClubCare Stacked! 1mo
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sarahbarnes
Skin in the Game | Paulo Scott
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Pickpick

This was a fabulous read. I love the paragraph-long sentences that capture the thought and speech patterns of the characters so well. Time runs in loops and sometimes you can‘t tell immediately when in the past/present something is happening. But it works so well to build the story of the MC‘s grappling with his identity and his family‘s place in Brazil.

sarahbarnes I‘m not sure why this book is listed as Skin in the Game here rather than Phenotypes. 1mo
Lindy I wonder if Skin in the Game was an early title for this translation? 1mo
sarahbarnes @lindy that is very possible! 1mo
charl08 Just picked this up for #Borderless bookclub - looking forward to hearing more from the translator next week, intrigued re the title. 6d
30 likes4 comments
review
sarahbarnes
The Answers: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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Pickpick

Somewhere between a pick and a so-so. I was mildly annoyed by the first half of the story, but got much more interested in the second half. An interesting take on human relationships and what love is, exactly, or what it is motivated by.

review
sarahbarnes
The Sentence | Louise Erdrich
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Pickpick

I loved this book. ❤️ The weaving together of all the threads of identity, past, the uncertainty of the future, and how it might be best to just stay in it with each other and not give up on searching for humanity. I wasn‘t sure what it would be like to read a book set in part during the pandemic, but I actually found it strangely therapeutic. Now I‘m even more disappointed that this book didn‘t make it in the tournament.

squirrelbrain One of my favourites too; I didn‘t expect to like it so much either. 2mo
Ruthiella Had you read any Erdrich before? 2mo
sarahbarnes @Ruthiella I read The Round House and have had Love Medicine on my shelf forever. I‘m going to read it soon. 2mo
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Ruthiella @sarahbarnes I have The Plague Doves and The Last Report on the Miracle at Little No Horse, both also since forever! I‘ll hopefully read one of these next. 2mo
sarahbarnes @Ruthiella looking forward to hearing your thoughts when you do! 2mo
BkClubCare I love how many different books of hers are listed as people state their favorites. I will definitely read many more of her books and not sure which will be next for me! 1mo
32 likes6 comments
review
sarahbarnes
Cursed Bunny | Bora Chung
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Mehso-so

These stories are wild. I liked some of them and others felt like a bridge too far for me. The title story was one of my favorites. For me it was a mixed bag, but it was worth the read for the ones I enjoyed.

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sarahbarnes
Virginia Woolf in Richmond | Virginia Woolf, Leonard Woolf, Peter Fullagar
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I‘m pretty excited about my new Virginia Woolf phone case. 🤩

EvieBee So cool! 2mo
sarahbarnes @EvieBee it‘s so fun! 2mo
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readordierachel Oooh! 2mo
batsy Oh, that is fab! 😍 2mo
merelybookish Wow! I love it! 2mo
28 likes6 comments
review
sarahbarnes
White is for Witching | Helen Oyeyemi
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Pickpick

Oyeyemi writes my favorite kind of creepy fiction. I love the way the back of my neck tingled while I read this story of a haunted house and its doomed inhabitants. Can‘t wait to read more of her work.

readordierachel Yes! I loved this one, too. 2mo
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review
sarahbarnes
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Pickpick

I was happy this finally came in at the library so I could read it, and was glad it made the first #ToB cut. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It sucked me in and I liked the blurred lines between fact and story. The ending was pretty phenomenal.

Chelsea.Poole Also loved the end! 2mo
BarbaraBB That first chapter was so good too! 2mo
batsy I loved it too! And that ending was truly something. 2mo
sarahbarnes @BarbaraBB yes, the first chapter pulled me in immediately! 2mo
30 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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sarahbarnes
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Pickpick

An epic story. I was swept along by the interwoven story lines and loved the culmination of it all. I haven‘t read his other famed book, but I did love this one.

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sarahbarnes
Ghost Wall | Sarah Moss
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Pickpick

Moss drops us into the unexpected setting of an Iron Age re-enactment camp to tell a story of a young girl grappling with male chauvinism, disturbing family dynamics, and how to find her voice. Brilliant.

jlhammar Yes, totally agree! So good. 3mo
TrishB Loved this 👍🏻 3mo
batsy Brilliant indeed! ❤️ 3mo
37 likes3 comments
review
sarahbarnes
To Paradise | Hanya Yanagihara
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Pickpick

What can I say, I‘m a huge fan of Yanigahara and this book didn‘t disappoint. Despite the length I flew through it. I loved the clever threads woven through the three stories and the variations on themes of race, colonialism, sexuality. I think my favorite was book 3, set in a very believable future.

TrishB Book 3 was my fave too ❤️ 3mo
AmyG Yep, Book 3 was my favorite, too. 3mo
Minervasbutler Mine too. Charlie broke my heart 2mo
32 likes3 comments
review
sarahbarnes
Katalin Street | Magda Szabo
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Pickpick

I had to miss the discussion yesterday, but I loved this beautiful book that shows how tragedy and devastating loss can change the trajectory of our lives forever. I‘m a fan of both books I‘ve read by this author now. Thanks for the great selection @GatheringBooks ❤️

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sarahbarnes
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Pickpick

A phenomenal book. I feel like the blurb about this one doesn‘t do it justice and I almost skipped it. It‘s a powerful, incredibly written labyrinth of a story complete with disturbing asterisks and very accurate commentary on the state of America. #ToB2022

Megabooks This was a good one. Very creative. 3mo
BarbaraBB I haven‘t read this one and until now felt there was no need to. Now I want to! 3mo
BkClubCare Great review 3mo
34 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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sarahbarnes
A School for Fools | Sasha Sokolov
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batsy Looking forward! 3mo
vivastory These all sounded good. Looking forward to reading this one & co-hosting with you! 3mo
Liz_M Oh good, the one I forgot to vote for won. 😁 3mo
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youneverarrived Looking forward to it 😁 3mo
BarbaraBB Thanks Sarah! A great choice! 3mo
LeahBergen I‘m looking forward to it! 3mo
emilyhaldi Sorry I missed voting 🙃 sounds like a good pick! 3mo
34 likes7 comments
review
sarahbarnes
A Door Behind a Door | Yelena Moskovich
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Mehso-so

An interesting book. I appreciated the style the text was written in and the creativity of the story. I didn‘t love it but I‘m glad I read it.

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sarahbarnes
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Just starting this one from #ToB2022 and really liking it so far. Thanks @BarbaraBB for the tip not to skip this one!

squirrelbrain I really liked this one too! 3mo
BarbaraBB I haven‘t read it! I just thought it might be better than Our Country Friends if you had to choose! 3mo
sarahbarnes @BarbaraBB 😂😂 Well you‘re right! 3mo
30 likes3 comments
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sarahbarnes
A School for Fools | Sasha Sokolov
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Leftcoastzen Wow great selections 3mo
vivastory Thanks for posting! My vote is also for 3mo
LeahBergen Oh, good choices! Hmm, I‘ll vote for 3mo
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merelybookish These all sound delightfully weird! 😀 I'm going with 3mo
youneverarrived These all sound so good! Tough choice but I‘ll go with 3mo
readordierachel All sound great! I'm going to vote for 3mo
quietjenn These all sound interesting, but I'm going to vote for 3mo
arubabookwoman I've read School For Fools (very weird), so I vote for #WitchGrass. 3mo
Billypar I loved Invention of Morel - it was very memorable. I'm going to go with 3mo
batsy Fun! I vote for 3mo
GatheringBooks Oooh! I will vote for the one i already own 3mo
BarbaraBB Great choices! I vote for 3mo
sprainedbrain Love these selections. I will vote for 3mo
saresmoore Great picks! If it‘s not too late, my vote goes to 3mo
27 likes14 comments
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sarahbarnes
A Door Behind a Door | Yelena Moskovich
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Just picked this up from the library since it finally came off my hold list (from the TOB long list). I‘ll admit I‘m definitely intrigued by that description! 😁

BiblioLitten 😁 3mo
vivastory Your up next for nominating for #NYRBBookClub 👍 3mo
sarahbarnes @vivastory thanks for the heads up! 3mo
24 likes1 stack add3 comments
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sarahbarnes
The Factory | Hiroko Oyamada
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this slim work of fiction almost as much as her other book, The Hole. So weird, quite funny, and overall just a very entertaining read.

31 likes2 stack adds
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sarahbarnes
The Books of Jacob | Olga Tokarczuk
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“The usefulness of Latin is debated, gout is suffered, colds are caught, large breasts are fetishized, fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice quaffed. At a key moment, a character might wander off and weed the oregano. It‘s that kind of book.” Quote from review in the NYT. I‘m excited to dive into this book! Thanks @vivastory for the tip!

Suet624 Wow! It's the entire kitchen sink!!! And quite the challenge. Enjoy! 4mo
readordierachel That is a chunkster! 4mo
cariashley Wow that‘s a big guy!!! 4mo
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vivastory I received my copy last week. Looking forward to it 👏 4mo
Ruthiella Enjoy! 4mo
merelybookish Gosh, it's like another 4mo
sarahbarnes @merelybookish it truly is! 4mo
BkClubCare Hmmmm. I adored (and exasperated?!) by Ducks Newburyport 🤣 Maybe I should attempt this. 3mo
36 likes8 comments
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sarahbarnes
In the Freud Archives | Janet Malcolm
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“If Freud had continued his efforts in this direction, he would have become the inventor of a better condom, not the founder of psychoanalysis.” 😂

BarbaraBB I loved that quote too 😀 4mo
33 likes2 comments
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sarahbarnes
Intimacies | Katie Kitamura
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Pickpick

This book is quiet and beautiful and subtly intense. I loved the way the story illustrated the ways we seek connections and try to understand other people. It was a good time for me to read this book as I grapple with loss in my family. #ToB2022

Sophronisba I'm really looking forward to this one. (And sorry about the loss in your family.) 4mo
vivastory I've heard a lot of great things about this. Will definitely be checking it out. I'm so sorry about the loss in your family 💙 4mo
BarbaraBB You‘re having a loss in your family too? I‘m so sorry to hear that. Wishing you strength to deal with it and happy memories 💕 4mo
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squirrelbrain Looking forward to this, hopefully this week but it depends how much of To Paradise I get through. Sorry to hear about your loss. 4mo
sarahbarnes @BarbaraBB yes, my sister. And thank you so much. Wishing the same for you right now. ❤️❤️ 4mo
batsy I'm so sorry for your loss 💔 4mo
thebluestocking Lovely review, Sarah. I‘m so sorry to hear about your sister. 💙 4mo
BkClubCare Sorry for your loss {{{hugs}}} 4mo
readordierachel I'm so sorry for your loss 4mo
31 likes2 stack adds11 comments
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sarahbarnes
All's Well | Mona Awad
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Pickpick

Although I‘m not quite sure what happened at the end (🤷🏻‍♀️), I really liked this dark and sinister tale of the female experience with pain and the value placed on youthful beauty. I didn‘t read Bunny, but now I‘m going to have to check it out. #ToB2022

Booksarelifeaddict I just started bunny 🐰 4mo
sarahbarnes @Booksarelifeaddict I checked it out from the library today! 4mo
Booksarelifeaddict I just started bunny yesterday so I‘m only a few chapters in so far it‘s going good! Hopefully we both love it 😉 @sarahbarnes 4mo
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BarbaraBB Now I‘m actually looking forward to this one (I didn‘t like Bunny much) 4mo
sarahbarnes @BarbaraBB I‘m going to give Bunny a try. I remember hearing mixed reviews. Will be interested to see what you think of this one. 4mo
merelybookish I find her books tend to fall apart in the end but the first 2/3 is brilliant. 4mo
41 likes6 comments
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sarahbarnes
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Pickpick

Somehow this is the first of Ishiguro‘s books I‘ve read. 😳 I‘ve seen many folks comment that it isn‘t his best, so I‘m now really wanting to read some of his other work, because I did like this one quite a bit. #ToB2022

vivastory Never Let Me Go is one of my favorites of all time 4mo
sarahbarnes @vivastory that‘s great to know! Adding it to the top of my list. 4mo
Liz_M The tagged book is brilliant. 4mo
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sarahbarnes @Liz_M thank you! I‘ve always meant to read that one. Now I will definitely have to make sure I do. 4mo
BarbaraBB Totally agree with @Liz_M !! 4mo
BarbaraBB And @vivastory too. Those two are my favorite Ishiguro books. So good. Third is 4mo
vivastory @sarahbarnes @barbarabb @liz_m Remains of the Day has been on my TBR for....years 😂 (edited) 4mo
sarahbarnes Thank you @Liz_M @BarbaraBB @vivastory! Excited to read all of those now! 4mo
42 likes1 stack add8 comments
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sarahbarnes
In Concrete | Anne Garreta
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Pickpick

I found this book amusing and original, and actually more interesting after I read the translator‘s note at the end about how complicated the wordplay was to get right in translation. Fascinating. #ToB2022

Megabooks I bet this was even better in French! 4mo
sarahbarnes @Megabooks I‘ll bet you‘re so right! 4mo
thebluestocking I‘m reading this now, and my mind is boggled at how hard it must have been to translate it. 😳 4mo
30 likes3 comments
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sarahbarnes
Wayward | Dana Spiotta
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Pickpick

Sometimes a book really strikes a chord, and this book definitely did that for me. I was less taken in by the events of the story, but the main character resonated so much with me it was a little scary. But also beautiful - a gift of a good book is that it makes you feel less alone. ❤️📚 Tagging you @merelybookish - I loved it too!

merelybookish Oh I'm so glad you liked it! 🤗 Some of the plot goes off the rails but it was all about the main character for me too. I liked the daughter too. It was a good exploration of liberal middle-aged white women...like us. Lol. 5mo
Megabooks So relatable for middle-aged white women! Loved it too. (edited) 5mo
Leftcoastzen Made my best list. 5mo
BarbaraBB Oow. Stacked! 5mo
34 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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sarahbarnes
The Year in Review | Freedom Forum Media Studies Center
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Thanks for the tag @BarbaraBB ! Here is my #Top21of 21. It‘s been a good reading year - and two weeks still to go!

Suet624 I really liked so many of the same books! 5mo
Freespirit I loved Hamnet ❤️ 5mo
Ruthiella I really want to read The Light Perpetual. I loved Spufford‘s 5mo
See All 12 Comments
LeahBergen The Queen of Persia just might make my “best of” list this year, too. 😊 5mo
batsy Yay for Piranesi love! 💜 5mo
Megabooks Summerwater 👍🏻👍🏻 5mo
BarbaraBB This is a bit scary, so many of my favorites too! The ones that aren‘t on my list now were on it last year. And I forgot Summerwater, should have included that too. Thanks for sharing!! 5mo
CarolynM Some great books here. I loved Euphoria and The Vanishing Half 5mo
merelybookish This is a fabulous list! Some on here I need to read. I haven't read the new Toews but bodes well that you liked it. 5mo
Cinfhen A few here I MUST add to my 2022 reading #FutureInspiration 5mo
vivastory I somehow missed your list! It's fantastic. Taking a screenshot for future reference 📚📚 5mo
BkClubCare I loved a few of these, too 😊 4mo
37 likes12 comments
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sarahbarnes
Last Summer in the City: A Novel | Gianfranco Calligarich
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Pickpick

I loved this slow, beautiful, devastating story of Leo and his summer in Rome trying to find his way. I‘m so glad it was translated into English. I do wish it had made the #ToB2022 shortlist. It‘s definitely a book that is right up my alley.

BarbaraBB You saying so, I must stack now of course! 5mo
Megabooks Stacked! 5mo
sarahbarnes @BarbaraBB @Megabooks I‘ll be interested to hear what you both think of it! ❤️ 5mo
26 likes4 stack adds3 comments
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sarahbarnes
Last Summer in the City: A Novel | Gianfranco Calligarich
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Nice little evening with this book. I really love it. I think it should‘ve made the short list! #ToB2022

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sarahbarnes
Edie Richter Is Not Alone | Rebecca Handler
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Mehso-so

I still had this book from the library pre-TOB shortlist announcement. It was okay. It felt like there were several threads in the story that didn‘t quite come together.

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sarahbarnes
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Pickpick

This book will stay with me for a long time. Illness and death follow and haunt the unnamed main character of the story (ella), along with memories and indecision. The imprint of childhood experiences is long-lasting. Beautiful and unsettling. #ToB2022

Ruthiella Cool! Yours is the first unequivocally positive review I‘ve seen for this one! 5mo
sarahbarnes @Ruthiella It was definitely heavy at times, but I did really like it! 5mo
Megabooks I can‘t wait to read this! 5mo
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sarahbarnes @Megabooks I hope you like it! 5mo
BarbaraBB Great review 💔 5mo
Cathythoughts Lovely review 5mo
29 likes6 comments