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squirrelbrain

squirrelbrain

Joined June 2017

Speed-reader who's trying to slow down...
review
squirrelbrain
In the Blink of an Eye | Jo Callaghan
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Pickpick

I‘ve been on the fence about this, but the author is at the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival in July and I‘m trying to read as many authors as I can before I go.

It was the AI Detective in this that was putting me off, and to start with it made the book feel quite YA, with it being a hologram. After a while though, the twisty storyline overtook that element, and the AI became less ‘obvious‘.

There is a sequel, which I now think I‘ll read.

julesG It sounds interesting. I'll stack it. 6h
squirrelbrain It‘s a bit 🙄 in places @julesG but I think you‘d like it. 5h
julesG As long as I don't sprain a muscle 🙄🙄 😁😁😁 5h
squirrelbrain @julesG - you might wake the cats by tutting very loudly! 3h
julesG 🤣🤣 2h
31 likes1 stack add5 comments
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squirrelbrain
Long Island | Colm Toibin
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We were supposed to be going away today for a few days camping, but there is a weather warning for torrential rain for all 3 days we were planning to be away. A tiny campervan and a wet Labrador don‘t really mix so we cancelled.

Went to the shops instead! The Alternatives is for #camplitsy of course! I‘m going to re-read Brooklyn before Long Island. TM Logan is one of the authors at the Harrogate Crimewriting Festival in July.

Tamra Been there done that with wet dogs. 😜 Bookshops are way more fun! 6h
julesG Staycation camping? 6h
squirrelbrain We can cope with rain showers @Tamra, or a day or so of rain in a week, but not 3 days of biblical rain in a 3 day holiday! 😬 5h
See All 8 Comments
squirrelbrain Chilling out today @julesG but then back to work tomorrow - might as well not waste holiday days! 5h
Tamra @squirrelbrain totally! Once we were in Northern WI and it POURED for a week. I thought for sure the campground would have to close for flooding. We had to take the kids (very young like 3-5) shopping just to get out! Boo hiss 5h
AmyG Oh well. Enjoy your books! 4h
BarbaraBB That‘s a pity, if your camping trip. You were right to buy some books instead! 4h
squirrelbrain @Tamra - I recall having to leave a campsite when I was a kid, and they had to get a tractor to tow all the vans out as they were all stuck in the mud! 3h
33 likes8 comments
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squirrelbrain
The Postcard | Anne Berest
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Hey, #europacollective Littens - this looks great! And it‘s free!

Hopefully the link below works:

https://www.bookpassage.com/event/anne-berest-postcard-online

Unfortunately the timing doesn‘t work for me (it‘s way past my bedtime here in the UK!) but hopefully some of you can make it.

BarbaraBB That must be great indeed! Thanks for sharing yet way past my bedtime as well 🥱 1w
CSeydel Oh how exciting - thanks for sharing this! 1w
tpixie @squirrelbrain thanks!!! Some of book passages author interviews are on you tube- hopefully they will tape this one!! I‘ve got it on my calendar just in case Work is slow… 1w
See All 14 Comments
jlhammar Thanks Helen! I‘m hoping Book Passage &/or Europa Editions will end up adding a video of the conversation to their youtube channel🤞 1w
squirrelbrain Hopefully they will put it on YouTube! @tpixie @jlhammar 1w
squirrelbrain Yes, even further past your bedtime @BarbaraBB as you‘re an hour ahead of us! 😴 1w
Aimeesue Thanks for sharing! I might actually be able to see it! 1w
LeahBergen Thanks for sharing! 1w
Cathythoughts Thanks for the tag Helen ❤️ 1w
tpixie @squirrelbrain yes!!! That is what I was just going to post! ** I registered for the Postcard event with 2 different emails & never received a link. Hopefully it will end up on YouTube, since at least some of their other interviews do. 1w
squirrelbrain Oh no, that‘s a shame @tpixie, that you can‘t get on. 😞 1w
squirrelbrain Thanks @tpixie - I‘ll have a look later. 1w
tpixie @squirrelbrain you‘re welcome! It was interesting- and they used an interpreter who did a great job. 1w
69 likes14 comments
review
squirrelbrain
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Pickpick

Yet another fabulous Kim Stone book from Ms Marsons. I always think there‘s got to come a time when one book isn‘t as good as the previous one, but they‘re always better.

This one is particularly twisty-turny, in both the cases featured. The titular storyline concerns young girls competing in beauty pageants and, of course, anything to do with mothering brings up issues for Kim.

Published at the end of the month.

#netgalley #guiltymothers

Tove_Reads Loved it! 1w
TrishB Yay! Already pre-ordered 😁 1w
BarbaraBB I never read her but now I ordered the first in the series! 1w
See All 12 Comments
Crazeedi Not sure if I started this series! Need to check!! 1w
Crazeedi And no I haven't read any! I've heard but not picked up, thanks!! 1w
squirrelbrain It‘s a great series @BarbaraBB @Crazeedi - one of those that just gets better and better as it goes on. 1w
TrishB @MicheleinPhilly I have a 5 hour train journey on publication day 😁 1w
squirrelbrain @TrishB - you can read this and at least 2 other books then! 🤣 1w
TrishB 😂 It will be worth the 5 hours! 1w
sarahbarnes I‘ve never heard of these! I may have to check them out! 4d
squirrelbrain They‘re very good @sarahbarnes - UK-set though so a different type of policing. They‘re often 99p / 99c on Kindle. 4d
65 likes12 comments
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squirrelbrain
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Pickpick

We‘ve been watching the Netflix series Homicide: NewYork, which features Butcher in her role as a Death Investigator in the city and hubby said ‘I bet she could write a good book‘. So of course, I looked it up!

This is a tough read, covering some very gruesome discoveries and 9/11, as well as the author‘s own mental health struggles, but I flew through it in a couple of hours. Highly recommended, if you‘re not squeamish.

julesG And stacked. I'm not squeamish 🤣🤣 2w
BarbaraBB Stacking! I‘m not squeamish either 😀 2w
squirrelbrain Not sure if either of you has Netflix @julesG @BarbaraBB - if so you should definitely watch the series as well. 2w
julesG Yes, I have Netflix. I'll add it to the list. 2w
BarbaraBB I have it too. Sounds good. 1w
74 likes2 stack adds5 comments
review
squirrelbrain
V?: Stories by Women of the Moana | Lani Wendt Young, Sisilia Eteuati
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Pickpick

This is a collection of over 50 short stories and poems, by women from various #readingoceania24 countries, including #newzealand, #fiji, #tonga, #papuanewguinea and, the one I‘m going for, #samoa.

Thank you so much for sending this to me Holly @Hooked_on_books - I really enjoyed it and also felt like I‘d learned a lot about the different cultures. I did prefer the more ‘modern‘ storytelling rather than the fables but there was a great mix.

Librarybelle Great photo! 2w
Hooked_on_books Oh wonderful! I‘m glad it worked out. The store I found the books in is terrific for Hawaiiana (and apparently Oceania), so I‘m completely delighted! 2w
70 likes2 comments
review
squirrelbrain
Martyr!: A novel | Kaveh Akbar
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Pickpick

On the face of it, the blurb of this book made me think I wouldn‘t like it, but I was also weirdly drawn to it. I thought, as it‘s a library book, I could bail (me, bail?! Ha!) but I ended up loving it.

The MC, Cyrus, is a recovering alcoholic who decides to write a book about martyrs and spends time talking to an artist whose last installation is her dying days in the Brooklyn Museum. I loved Cyrus, despite and because of all his weirdness. ❤️

Ruthiella Nice review! I also want to read this one, though I‘m not sure why. 😂 2w
TrishB Great review 👍🏻 2w
squirrelbrain I think you‘d both really like it @Ruthiella @TrishB 2w
See All 6 Comments
sarahbarnes I have this one on my TBR - very glad to see you liked it! 2w
BarbaraBB Such a great and intriguing review. I now definitely want to read it (have been on the fence about it). 2w
squirrelbrain Definitely one for both of you @sarahbarnes @BarbaraBB ! 2w
78 likes4 stack adds6 comments
review
squirrelbrain
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Thanks for putting this on my radar @Megabooks - I loved it!

This time the author looks at the biases caused by our own over-thinking brains, particularly in this social-media obsessed age. Although I don‘t do that much social media, I do more than my fair share of over-thinking so I felt very seen, and also very re-assured.

As usual, I loved the author‘s narration on the audio.

Oryx This was one of the ones I ordered yesterday 😍 2w
squirrelbrain We‘re currently reading ALL the same books! @Oryx 2w
Oryx @squirrelbrain and I read sleepwalkers last week too. Agree with you review too ❤️ 2w
squirrelbrain We‘d better decide on what‘s next then 🤣 @Oryx - I‘m thinking I may go with (edited) 2w
Megabooks Glad you loved this, too! 2w
82 likes2 stack adds5 comments
review
squirrelbrain
Stone Yard Devotional | CHARLOTTE. WOOD
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I loved this, and it may even make my top picks of the year.

I couldn‘t imagine that a book about a woman giving up life to live in a convent retreat would be very interesting and, really, not much happens but I still adored it and didn‘t want it to end.

This is the first book I‘ve read by this author and I definitely want to read more - luckily the friend that gave me this one also gave me another, although she didn‘t think it was as good.

Oryx Adding to my Waterstones basket... It fills up quickly 2w
Tamra I can‘t wait to read it! 2w
squirrelbrain @Oryx - you‘d better make sure it doesn‘t overflow…maybe you need to take some books out of it? 🤣🤣🤣 Or maybe just buy *all* of the books, then it will be empty again. 🤔 2w
See All 9 Comments
Oryx @squirrelbrain I actually just saw a secondhand copy on eBay for a decent price, so have ordered already 😬 2w
squirrelbrain How funny - was just about to post that there is a used copy on Amazon for £.74! @Oryx 2w
LeeRHarry Glad you enjoyed it 😊I only have a couple left to read so I‘m eking them out slowly. 2w
sarahbarnes I haven‘t read her, but this sounds very interesting. Stacking! 2w
Cathythoughts Great review Helen. Stacked 👍🏻❤️ 2w
batsy This does sound very intriguing! 2w
70 likes6 stack adds9 comments
review
squirrelbrain
The Sleepwalkers | Scarlett Thomas
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Pickpick

A rather intriguing style, with unreliable narrators and unfinished sentences. I rather enjoyed trying to decipher the audio recording, written as heard so you almost had to read it aloud.

I think the reason that I liked it, not loved it, was there was too much going on. I really enjoyed learning about the protagonists‘ weird relationships, but the background plot on the island itself felt like a step too far. (Trying not to give spoilers! 🤪)

Ruthiella Glad to hear you liked it. I‘m a Scarlett Thomas fan, but she does tend to be a little weird. 3w
BarbaraBB Intriguing review! I have a copy of it so will read it soon too! 3w
74 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
squirrelbrain
Whale Fall | ELIZABETH. O'CONNOR
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I liked this but, like @TrishB , I didn‘t love it as much as I thought I would.

Even before I started it, I felt like the premise was very similar to Audrey Magee‘s The Colony. Although some of the writing was beautiful, the story fell far short of Magee‘s book. For me, there was little tension in comparison and there were a few points where there was a disconnect in the story - even the whale itself didn‘t quite draw everything together.

TrishB I also got Pity vibes. The working class v academia theme. Had potential but fell short. 3w
BarbaraBB The Colony was so good!! 3w
79 likes2 comments
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squirrelbrain
Let's Go Camping! | Jan Mader
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After announcing the 6 fabulous books for #camplitsy24, Meg, Barbara and I thought you might like to see the 10 books that ‘nearly‘ made the list. (In no particular order)

James was by far our runaway winner, with 4 in 10 Littens voting for it. Next were Bear and Clear, with around a quarter of you voting for each one.

The other 3 winning books gained just a few more votes than these 10, so a close-run race!

We‘d love to hear your thoughts!

See All 44 Comments
ChaoticMissAdventures Greta and Valdin has been one of my favorites of the year, I hope this post gets more to check in out!! Thank you hosts for all your work on Camp! 3w
TheBookHippie Knife I‘m reading asap now 🙃 . 3w
RaeLovesToRead I got Warm Hands of Ghosts, The Familiar and Book of Doors on my TBR.... looking at these covers though... I need to investigate the book with the trippy blue trees! 3w
Kimberlone lol all but one of the books I voted for were on this list 3w
Susanita Three of these were on my list! 3w
squirrelbrain It‘s one of my favourites too @ChaoticMissAdventures - I wonder if it didn‘t get more votes because a lot of us have already read it? 3w
dabbe Only one of my choices made the summer list. I'm a horrible picker! 😂 3w
squirrelbrain @TheBookHippie - I have a #netgalley ARC of Knife. I was saving it just in case it got nominated (along with *many* other books 🤣) so probably need to get to it now. 3w
squirrelbrain It‘s a fab cover isn‘t it?! @RaeLovesToRead 3w
squirrelbrain @Kimberlone @Susanita @dabbe - there were SO many great books, though, the votes were bound to be reasonably spread out. 3w
Leniverse I loved Greta & Valdin, but didn't vote for it since I've already read it. Two of my nominations are on that runner-up list, so I definitely have to read them! 3w
BarbaraBB Great collection of books! I couldn‘t resist purchasing 3w
TrishB @BarbaraBB I‘ve brought that too. And Whale Fall. 3w
Meshell1313 Ooh I‘ll def pick up a few of these to read soon. I‘m hearing fantastic things about Knife! 3w
Hooked_on_books An interesting mix! I‘m glad the Emily Henry didn‘t make our list because I have zero interest in it. And I clearly have weird tastes, as nothing I voted for (or nominated) made it on here. 🤷🏼‍♀️ 3w
youneverarrived Interesting to see what almost made it! None of these were on my list but I do want to read Greta and Valdin. 3w
JamieArc Whale Fall is one that only got on my radar because of the nominations. I‘m super intrigued by it, so I‘m sure it‘s going to make its way to my summer reading list. 3w
BarbaraJean This is so interesting to see! Several of these I thought (or hoped) would make it onto the final lineup, and several I‘m glad didn‘t 😂 Greta & Valdin is on my list to read. 3w
Roary47 Aww so close. 🥰💛 3w
Karisimo Several of these were my picks! 3w
Suet624 @Hooked_on_books I‘m with you. 3w
Suet624 Thank you for letting us see all of these. Really interesting. (edited) 3w
Ruthiella Nice! I voted for the Leigh Bardugo because I wanted a good excuse to finally try one of her books! 😂 3w
julieclair Thank you for this! And for ALL the work that goes into Camp! 3w
Larkken Very cool! I love seeing what everyone is excited about this year! 3w
Chelsea.Poole I was hoping the tagged would make the list. Really look forward to reading 3w
Caroline2 These all sound so good. I want to read all the books!! I may swap Warm Hands for Bear if it proves too difficult to order it here. There‘s a long wait on Amazon at the moment. 😬 3w
squirrelbrain @TrishB @JamieArc @chelsea.poole - I just finished Whale Fall. I liked it but not as much as I thought I would. And I‘m not sure how much discussion we would have had, as it‘s very short. 3w
squirrelbrain @leniverse @youneverarrived - Greta is so good, but I also didn‘t vote for it as I‘d read it. I think you‘ll love it too, Katie. 3w
squirrelbrain @Meshell1313 - I‘m going to read Knife soon as well. 3w
squirrelbrain @Hooked_on_books @suet624 - not weird tastes, just eclectic! 🤪 3w
batsy I've got Irena Rey on hold and am excited to read it! 3w
sarahbarnes Thanks for doing this! 3w
Bookbuyingaddict They‘re all great 👍 thank you for organising ☺️looking forward to reading 📖 around the camp 🏕️ fire 🔥 starting 1st June 🙂 are posting our progress ? 😀 3w
Bookbuyingaddict They‘re all great 👍 thank you for organising ☺️looking forward to reading 📖 around the camp 🏕️ fire 🔥 starting 1st June 🙂 are posting our progress ? 😀 @BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain @dabbe @TheAromaofBooks @TrishB @Kimberlone @Chelsea.Poole @Megabooks (edited) 3w
squirrelbrain Hi @Bookbuyingaddict - we‘ll post the schedule soon. We read 1 book over 2 weeks and the host for each book posts some questions each weekend for us all to discuss. Looking forward to getting started! 🏕️ 3w
97 likes44 comments
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squirrelbrain
Stone Yard Devotional | CHARLOTTE. WOOD
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Just about to start this (it jumped to the top of my pile @Oryx so not next year like I thought!). 🤣

I always like to match my bookmarks to my books, and this one is particularly pleasing so had to post it - it makes me happy! 😜

Oryx 😁 3w
LeahBergen That‘s a lovely match! I‘m a bookmark matcher, too. 😆 3w
youneverarrived That is a great match! 💚 3w
TrishB Has to be done 😁 3w
Cathythoughts Lovely match 💚 3w
67 likes5 comments
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squirrelbrain
Stone Yard Devotional | CHARLOTTE. WOOD
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Two books given to me by a friend / neighbour. Stone Yard is brand new - she loved it but ‘never keeps books‘. Great for me! 😃

That inspired her to get the other book, which she found rather depressing and didn‘t enjoy as much, but it‘s a free book, so….

(We did just give them our barely-used travel crate for their new puppy so a fair exchange I think! ☺️)

Tamra Lucky you! I‘d really like to read Stone Yard. 3w
jlhammar An author I‘ve been meaning to try. I really like that Stone Yard cover. 3w
charl08 Stone Yard's on my list too - waiting for the library hold! 3w
See All 9 Comments
squirrelbrain @Tamra @jlhammar @charl08 - it was first on my radar as a possible for the #womensprize and then I *nearly* nominated it for #camplitsy24. 3w
LeeRHarry I‘m seeing Charlotte Wood at the Melbourne Writers Festival next month - I have really enjoyed her earlier books. Looking forward to Stoneyard Devotional. 3w
BarbaraBB I read The Natural Way and have another of her books on my shelves 3w
squirrelbrain These will be the first I‘ve read by this author @LeeRHarry - enjoy the Festival! 3w
Oryx Stone Yard Devotional high on on my mental tbr list - looking forward to hearing what you think of it. 3w
squirrelbrain I‘m hoping to get to it soon @Oryx …story of my life though so maybe next year sometime….! 🤪 3w
74 likes9 comments
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squirrelbrain
You Are Here: A Novel | David Nicholls
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Bought this on Saturday morning at The Stripey Badger bookshop in the Yorkshire Dales but couldn‘t post about it until now, for two reasons:

1. To celebrate #camplitsy24 launch weekend, we actually went camping and had no phone or Wi-Fi signal.

2. Can you imagine if I (as a camp host!) had actually posted this longlisted book yesterday before most of the camp books were revealed?! There would have been rioting in bookshops around the world! 🤣🤣

RaeLovesToRead I vote this as the Camp WILD CARD haha 💃💃 3w
MicheleinPhilly Another one I had in my Waterstones cart! They lost a pretty penny from me. 3w
76 likes5 comments
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squirrelbrain
Let's Go Camping! | Jan Mader
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I‘m thrilled to be hosting your August #camplitsy24 books!

First, we‘ll be heading off to Ireland to read about 4 gifted sisters in The Alternatives, then heading to the Pacific Northwest to read Bear, which was our second most voted for book, after James.

We‘ll confirm all of the dates for each book shortly.

That‘s all 6 books revealed now, what do you think of our final two, and of the full selection for camp? 🏕️

See All 64 Comments
jenniferw88 I'm surprised Knife isn't on there! 3w
Soubhiville I‘m excited for these two! 3w
julesG Looking back at the longlist, I'm surprised we don't have six one word titles this year. That would have been awesome 🤣🤣 3w
Bookwormjillk Yay Bear! I‘m excited that so many of these books aren‘t on my radar, but am happy this one made it. Can‘t wait for summer reading! 3w
Hooked_on_books It‘s an interesting list! Like last year, I‘ve already read 2 (Clear and James) and the rest look promising! 3w
Bookwormjillk @julesG ha! That does seem to be the trend this year. Thank goodness it has seemed to replace “The Girl” 3w
BarbaraBB @Bookwormjillk 😂 ‘The Girl‘ 3w
BarbaraBB @jenniferw88 Knife had many votes too. @squirrelbrain will share the runner-up‘s later this week! 3w
squirrelbrain @jenniferw88 @julesG - look out for the ‘nearly-theres‘ later this week! 3w
squirrelbrain @Bookwormjillk - it‘s great to have a mix of known and hitherto unknown books, isn‘t it?! 3w
squirrelbrain @Soubhiville - glad you‘re pleased about these two! 3w
squirrelbrain @Hooked_on_books - I‘ve also read James, and would have probably read Clear as well, but I had insider information about how well it was doing in the voting, so I saved it. ☺️ 3w
Caroline2 Oh intrigued by these two!! 😃 👍 3w
Meshell1313 Exciting! Can‘t wait! 3w
monalyisha I‘m thrilled! This went much better than when my book club (or ahem, my whole country) votes! 3w
kspenmoll I am thrilled to be part of this group- some books I was aware of, some not. I have not read any of them. ❤️ 3w
TrishB Brilliant ❤️ looking forward to them all. 3w
CBee Yay! 3w
JamieArc I‘m truly looking forward to reading all of these, and I believe 4 of them I either nominated or voted for. Though my own votes don‘t reflect this, I do with there were a nonfiction. Looking forward to the discussions! 3w
AmyG Yay! I am so excited. Thank you all. 3w
charl08 I have a feeling this is going to add to my wishlist... 3w
batsy Don't know much about these two and look forward to finding out! 3w
Suet624 Just broke down and ordered several books yesterday. I usually cross my fingers that a library will have the books but none of them did. I‘m very excited! 3w
jlhammar Awesome! Beyond excited for both of these. 3w
peaKnit Very excited to read some new book this summer! 3w
squirrelbrain @monalyisha - we‘re a good group here, as far as voting for the right things goes! 🤣 3w
squirrelbrain @kspenmoll - I think we had a lot more ‘new to everyone‘ books this year, whereas last year some Littens had already read a few. 3w
squirrelbrain @JamieArc - non-fiction didn‘t do so well in the voting this year. 🤷‍♀️ Only Knife ever really troubled the top 6. 3w
squirrelbrain @charl08 - my TBR always explodes at this time of year! 3w
squirrelbrain @batsy - I don‘t know much about these two either, that‘s the beauty of #camplitsy! 3w
squirrelbrain Which ones tempted you? @Suet624 3w
Suet624 Butter and All Fours 3w
Megabooks So excited for these!! 🏕️🎉 3w
squirrelbrain @Suet624 - glad you can join us for those two. Hopefully your library may get some of the others in soon. 3w
Suet624 Thanks! Somehow or other I‘ll get the others. 😊 3w
sarahbarnes These are two more great choices! I love camp this year!! 😁 3w
Ruthiella These two are completely off my radar! I‘m so happy to be discovering them! 3w
BarbaraJean These were nowhere near my radar until nominations—I‘ll be crossing my fingers for those library holds! 3w
CBee @Suet624 I can‘t find Butter either - might have to order it! 3w
Deblovestoread Ireland and the PNW 🙌🏼. Love camp!⛺️ 3w
youneverarrived They sound interesting! Besides from All Fours none were on my radar, but I‘m looking forward to reading them all ❤️ 3w
squirrelbrain @sarahbarnes - glad you‘re loving camp! ❤️ 3w
squirrelbrain @Ruthiella @BarbaraJean - these two weren‘t on my radar either until they were nominated - the beauty of camp! 3w
squirrelbrain @Deblovestoread - we‘ve got 6 fabulous books this year! 3w
squirrelbrain @youneverarrived - I‘m looking forward to all of them too! ❤️ 3w
Christine What a great bunch of books - summer can‘t come fast enough!! ❤️ 3w
squirrelbrain I know @christine - I can‘t wait either! 3w
Jess I am so excited about these selections! 4 of the 6 are either on my TBR or I was already planning on buying. The other 2 new to me picks sound great. Can‘t wait to get started! 3w
Bookbuyingaddict Haven‘t heard of either of these two always love ❤️ a surprise 😮😆happy camp 🏕️ reading 📖😀 3w
squirrelbrain It makes me happy that you‘re so excited! @jess 3w
squirrelbrain @Bookbuyingaddict - these were new to me too, before Camp! 3w
julieclair Looks like August will be Sisters Month! We really have a great selection lineup this year. None of the winners were on my radar, and that‘s what I love about camp! 3w
GatheringBooks Thank you so so much for the tag! Great picks for #CampLitsy24 already bought 4 books out of 6. 📚📚📚📚 (edited) 3w
squirrelbrain Great spot! @julieclair Glad you‘re pleased with the lineup! 3w
squirrelbrain They are all fantastic picks aren‘t they? @GatheringBooks 3w
101 likes64 comments
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squirrelbrain
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Here‘s my #womensprize shortlist, in approx order, although I can‘t choose between the first two.

I have to say I‘m slightly disappointed in the longlist this year. Usually there are at least 5 / 6 books that would make it onto my personal favourites list for that year - this year only 2. (Defence and Brotherless Night)

I‘m not a completist, as I bailed on The Blue Beautiful World, which means it will make the shortlist, along with Hangman! 🤣

Leniverse Nice! Will finish Enter Ghost today and then do a shortlist, although there's two I haven't had the time to read yet 😬😮‍💨 😩 River East is one of them. 1mo
Deblovestoread Our top two will be the same. Hoping to read Soldier Sailor before Wednesday. I‘ll be posting my short list tomorrow but will not have read them all. 1mo
charl08 Great! So interesting to see the overlaps. 1mo
See All 14 Comments
ChaoticMissAdventures Very similar to my list! I would not doubt it about Hangman on the shortlist I went back to remember what made the shortlist last year remembered most of us hated this one but it for some reason made it 1mo
jlhammar Oh fun, love seeing your personal shortlist. I‘m hoping Brotherless Night and Ordinary Human Failings make it. Hoping to start Enter Ghost soon. 1mo
BarbaraBB Mine is almost the same. I‘ll post tomorrow. Oh and I guess this one will be in the official shortlist too 1mo
Hooked_on_books Mine will be pretty similar to yours, thought my clear winner is BN thus far. And I can‘t read Soldier Sailor until June, as that‘s when it comes out here. But I‘ll have 13 read before the shortlist announcement. Not bad! 1mo
AnneCecilie I also have Brotherless Night, Ordinary Human Failings and Soldier Sailor on my list of books I would love to see on the shortlist. And since I don‘t see the fuss about Western Lane, but it seems to be a judge favorite, I‘m sure it‘ll make the shortlist 1mo
squirrelbrain Pretty good Holly! And it‘s not your fault if they don‘t come out in time. (Sorry I forgot to tag you! 😳) 1mo
squirrelbrain I don‘t see the fuss about Western Lane either @AnneCecilie - so, we‘ve nearly guessed at the whole *actual* shortlist, the ones we don‘t want to be on there! 1mo
squirrelbrain @ChaoticMissAdventures - Pod was the last book I truly hate-read. In a way it was good- it taught me that I really ought to bail sometimes! 1mo
AnneCecilie It tend to be that way. But there‘s always a first time for everything 😊 1mo
Cathythoughts I have your two personal favourites stacked 👍🏻❤️ 1mo
LeeRHarry I‘m hoping I‘ll have some time to read more of the shortlist once it‘s announced as I haven‘t got very far with the longlist. Will see how you go when I watch the announcement- for once it is at a decent hour for us over here. 😊 1mo
72 likes14 comments
review
squirrelbrain
In Defence of the Act | Effie Black
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Pickpick

This is one of those books that you feel you can‘t say you loved, because of the subject matter (suicide). But I did love it.

It‘s very dark but also darkly humorous in places. Looking back on it now I can also see a sense of hope there too.

I can‘t wait to what this author writes next.

#womensprize

slategreyskies There‘s a part of me that wants to read this, but there‘s another part of me that thinks maybe it would hit too close to home and be a dangerous read for me. It does look really good, though. 💕 1mo
squirrelbrain I‘d hate to recommend it @slategreyskies if you think you would find it tough, but it is strangely positive. Check out @leniverse ‘s review today too. 1mo
TrishB I‘ve ordered this one due to everyone‘s reviews 👍🏻 1mo
BarbaraBB Great review Helen. Glad you felt the same as I did about it. 1mo
78 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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squirrelbrain
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Looking forward to celebrating with our May birthday babies soon!

If you‘d like to be added to the list to receive #birthdaylove on your special day, just email your Litsy name and birthday to litsybirthdays@gmail.com and the Birthday Fairies will do the rest!

🎉📚🎉📚🎉📚🎉📚🎉📚🎉📚🎉📚🎉📚

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squirrelbrain
Let's Go Camping! | Jan Mader
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I‘m so excited that we‘ve launched #camplitsy24 - here are my 4 nominations.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else picks, and to my TBR list growing exponentially!

If #camplitsy24 is new to you, take a look at @BarbaraBB ‘s post from earlier today and make your own 4 nominations. We‘ll then all vote for 6 books from the long list and discuss them throughout the summer here on Litsy.

BarbaraBB I was thinking about The Sleepwalkers too! 1mo
Megabooks I‘m on the list at my library for Clear! 1mo
batsy Yes to The Sleepwalkers and Clear! 1mo
See All 13 Comments
Bookwormjillk The Coast Road has such a good cover 1mo
sarahbarnes Ohh fun picks! 1mo
AmyG I almost added Clear to my list. Good list! 1mo
squirrelbrain It‘s gorgeous isn‘t it? @Bookwormjillk 1mo
squirrelbrain I‘m glad you all like my picks - praise indeed! @batsy @sarahbarnes @AmyG 1mo
TrishB Oh look at that cover on Clear! I want to read it now and know nothing about it. 1mo
Chelsea.Poole I just read about The Coast Road last week I‘m glad to see it nominated 😊 1mo
JamieArc The Sleepwalkers and Clear almost made my list too. 1mo
squirrelbrain Oh, I‘m glad it‘s being talked about in the US too. @Chelsea.Poole 1mo
squirrelbrain There are too many great-sounding books to choose from, aren‘t there?! @JamieArc 1mo
77 likes13 comments
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squirrelbrain
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Thank you Emma @Oryx for my notebook and bookmarks from your trip to Colorado.

Stationery and bookmarks are my favouritest things… alongside books of course! 🤪

BarbaraBB Great designs and colors 🤩 1mo
sarahbarnes Ah, the Tattered Cover! I live in Denver and have spent a lot of time there. 1mo
LeahBergen The Tattered Cover is a lovely bookshop! ❤️ 1mo
68 likes3 comments
review
squirrelbrain
Earth | John Boyne
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Pickpick

The next book, after Water, in the ‘four elements‘ set by John Boyne.

This one, about a gay footballer caught up in a sexual assault scandal with a 19-year old girl, is as compelling as the first book. I couldn‘t put it down and read it in one sitting (it is only short though!)

There was one bit that just seemed a bit OTT! But then what do I know about this murky tabloid world?! Be interested to hear what others think…

Out 18th April in UK.

AmyG Ooooo can‘t wait to read this one. 1mo
TrishB Just finished it. Which particular bit? Personally, walking into a professional footie team at 19 is a bit OTT! 1mo
TrishB My Waterstones order must have come early (yesterday!). 1mo
See All 6 Comments
squirrelbrain @TrishB - Amazon still says release date of 18th. 🤔🤪 1mo
squirrelbrain @TrishB that bit too, but more the part where he had his arm broken. 1mo
TrishB Oh yes! Bit weird. Some bits definitely a bit more compelling! I‘d have liked 50 pages more to see the after the ending. 1mo
70 likes5 stack adds6 comments
review
squirrelbrain
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Pickpick

A lovely book, about what lessons we can learn from the books taught in the UK school system.

Many of the books were ones I *hadn‘t* studied, or even read so, beware, this book if full of spoilers!

I really liked that though - the plot spoilers and the author‘s explanations and analysis drew me to the books and made me want to read them all!

#netgalley Published last week in the UK

Cupcake12 This sounds intriguing! 1mo
70 likes1 comment
blurb
squirrelbrain
Portico Library | Manchester, United Kingdom (Library)
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Just arrived in Manchester ahead of the Percival Everett author event this evening.

Meeting @TrishB and @Oryx later - currently having a lovely lunch in The Portico Library cafe. (Sweet potato, peanut and chilli soup) 😋

The library itself is over 200 years old - most of the books are ‘out of bounds‘ but still wonderful to sit amongst them.

Oryx That looks lovely! See you soon 😊 1mo
batsy Fun! So exciting that you guys are gonna see Everett. 1mo
CarolynM Lovely😍 Hope you all enjoy the event. 1mo
See All 15 Comments
Suet624 Oh my gosh. How wonderful! 1mo
jlhammar So lovely! Hope you all enjoy the event. 1mo
quietlycuriouskate Oh, that sounds like a lovely day! 1mo
TrishB On my way 😁❤️ 1mo
Soubhiville Have a great time! 1mo
erzascarletbookgasm Sounds wonderful! 😍 1mo
Ruthiella Beautiful bookish environment. 😍 1mo
kezzlou85 Oh wow looks amazing. 1mo
Cathythoughts Looks amazing ♥️ 1mo
youneverarrived Ah wow 😍😍 have a lovely time! 1mo
BarbaraBB What a great day!! 1mo
kspenmoll What fun!!!! 1mo
75 likes15 comments
review
squirrelbrain
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Pickpick

I rather liked this #womensprize long lister to start with….but then the perspective changed to a second-person narrative, the chronology jumped (I think?) and it all got a bit magical-realism.

On reading GR reviews, this seemed to confuse other reviewers too, but then they all said it came together at the end. 🤔 Well, it didn‘t for me so please can someone who‘s read it let me know what on earth went on?! 🫤 (In spoilers below please!) 🙏

BarbaraBB Intrigued! I haven‘t read it yet! 1mo
See All 14 Comments
charl08 I took it that the narrator was struggling with her MH and had a psychotic break but was also experiencing voices from "out of time", including from her family visiting from the future. Is that what you meant? 1mo
squirrelbrain Thanks @charl08 - although unfortunately I can‘t access the article. I kind of understood that some of the family was from the future, but lots of people referred to a ‘twist‘ or at least an event at the end, but I didn‘t see that. Did we find out what happened to Alice or was it a non-ending like so many books have at the moment? 1mo
charl08 That's weird about the link - I don't have a subscription. Sorry it doesn't work. 1mo
charl08 For me the twist was the jump into the future and the time travel. So in the final (non myth story) pages Edie says that Alice survives the overdose and eventually gets divorced and back to the rez, with her friends' support for the ongoing mh issues - but no more than that. I took it that the previous mentions of the success of the podcast still stood (but that might just be me reading in!) 1mo
TrishB I haven‘t got to this one yet! 1mo
squirrelbrain Ah, that‘s really helpful thank you @charl08 - I went back and re-read some parts and now it makes more sense. I think I was confused by the ‘you‘ voice. 1mo
Lindy @squirrelbrain I‘m glad @charl08 jumped in because I read a library copy 5 months ago and the details are now fuzzy. But I agree with Charlotte. 1mo
Caroline2 Yeah I hated it when it shifted perspective to you. So hard to keep track. But I think Charlotte explained it well. The ending was her surviving, getting divorced and moving home. All the weird shenanigans were all in her head. Then it jumps forward to her daughter‘s perspective with the you youing. 1mo
Hooked_on_books I just finished this one and I would guess that if people are saying there‘s a “twist,” they likely mean that the voice/woman Alice has been hearing all her life was her granddaughter Edie all along. I wouldn‘t personally call that a twist, but I could see it being characterized that way. 1mo
squirrelbrain Makes sense, Holly! @Hooked_on_books 1mo
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review
squirrelbrain
Day One | Abigail Dean
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Pickpick

Clearly this is a tough subject to read about (a primary school shooting) but it‘s more about the aftermath than the event itself.

Was Marty actually in the hall at the time - was she running to escape or was she running towards the school? And what effect will all the truthers and conspiracy theorists have on the village?

It‘s a very similar style to Girl A - quite steady with a slow reveal rather than twisty-turny edge of your seat stuff.

LeahBergen Stacked! 2mo
jlhammar Looking forward to this! I thought Girl A was really good. 2mo
tpixie Another ‘ good‘ ( I just realized what I said) school shooting book 😔 😢 2mo
See All 14 Comments
BarbaraBB It sounds good. Is it YA? 2mo
JillR I‘m really looking forward to this. Shall wait years for the paperback in my usual stubborn fashion though 2mo
batsy Nice review! I liked Girl A a lot—didn't quite expect it to be an emotional punch in the gut—so I've got this on my list. 2mo
Cathythoughts Nice review 👍🏻♥️ Stacked 2mo
squirrelbrain It‘s not quite as dark as Girl A I don‘t think @jlhammar @batsy which is a weird thing to say about a book about a school shooting. (edited) 2mo
squirrelbrain Mine was an ARC @JillR - I‘ve enjoyed both her books, but wouldn‘t pay for a hardback. 2mo
squirrelbrain Definitely not YA @BarbaraBB , although not as disturbing as her first book 2mo
squirrelbrain I get what you mean @tpixie - always trying to find different words to describe ‘good‘ books that are tough to read. It also feels wrong to say you enjoyed such a book. 2mo
BarbaraBB I haven‘t read Girl A either. Should I read that first? 2mo
squirrelbrain @BarbaraBB - no, no need to read Girl A first - they‘re both stand-alone books. I think I liked Day One slightly better. 2mo
tpixie @squirrelbrain 🩵🩵🩵 yes! But I understand what you mean! 🩵 2mo
61 likes4 stack adds14 comments
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squirrelbrain
Untitled | Unknown
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These are my choices for the Women‘s Prize for NF short list. TBH, I‘ve liked everything I‘ve read, but these just edge it. I don‘t think they‘ll all be in the actual shortlist, as I‘ve included 3 memoirs.

I‘ve hibernated 2 - VC and Britannias and haven‘t yet read enough of Shadows and Young Queens to include them in my list but I‘ll continue on regardless with those two, even if they don‘t make the shortlist.

Leniverse I don't really want to read Intervals, but other than that I'd be happy to read that shortlist. 2mo
Cathythoughts 👍🏻❤️ I‘m looking them up. 2mo
charl08 I thought this one was brilliant: hope it makes it. 2mo
See All 8 Comments
Hooked_on_books I was disappointed to see Eve not make the shortlist, but looks like half your picks did! I won‘t be reading Babylon or Matrescence, but I‘d like to eventually read the rest of the longlist. If B&N has a deal for Easter this weekend, I plan to pick up the Shadows ebook. (edited) 2mo
squirrelbrain Eve not making the list is the big disappointment for me too Holly @Hooked_on_books. What is it about Babylon that‘s putting you off? It‘s not dissimilar in theme to A Flat Place, just in case you‘re thinking of reading that one. 2mo
Hooked_on_books I tend to avoid childhood abuse memoirs. I read The Glass Castle, for example, and things like that just infuriate me. Especially when the abuse is the focus of the book. If it‘s an element, that‘s fine. Who knows, I may love Babylon, I‘ve heard it‘s incredible, but I just don‘t want to read it. 2mo
youneverarrived I‘ve not read Eve yet (still waiting on it from the library) but I‘ve heard so many good things I‘m surprised it didn‘t make the shortlist. 2mo
squirrelbrain @Hooked_on_books - yeah, I‘d avoid Babylon then. Although there are issues with her father in A Flat Place, there is no explicit violence so you may be OK with that. 2mo
66 likes8 comments
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squirrelbrain
Wellness | Nathan Hill
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Not so much of a big win in today‘s LitsyToB24 semi-final - 60/40 in favour of Wellness.

The Rachel Incident has been storming through the brackets up until now, but appears to have finally met its match in Wellness. Which did you vote for and are you sorry to see Rachel go?

Look out later today, when Barbara will be posting the results of our zombie 🧟‍♀️ votes - who will Wellness go up against?! 🤔

AmyG No, I am not sorry to see Rachel Incident go. I liked both but Wellness just a bit more. (edited) 2mo
See All 15 Comments
Megabooks Wellness was a #top23of23 book for me, so I am definitely happy with this result!! 2mo
Bookwormjillk Somehow I didn't get to either of these! Soon! 2mo
fredthemoose Unpopular opinion, but ugh. Wellness. The Rachel Incident was fine, but Wellness drove me batty with all of the super long tangents that seemed to be ways for the author to show off more than to support the story. 2mo
sarahbarnes This was a tough choice for me! I really liked them both, but I‘m happy with this outcome. 2mo
BarbaraBB I liked them both too but am sorry to see Rachel go! 2mo
squirrelbrain Lol @fredthemoose - you‘d best get voting for the zombie against Wellness! 2mo
squirrelbrain @Bookwormjillk - now you know how much they are both liked by Littens! (I think we‘re a pretty good representative sample. 🤔) 2mo
squirrelbrain Glad you‘re both happy with the result! @AmyG @sarahbarnes 2mo
Hooked_on_books I didn‘t much like either of these, but ended up voting for Wellness because I hated the first half of Rachel so much and didn‘t hate any of Wellness. Here‘s hoping it gets knocked out by the zombie. 😬 2mo
squirrelbrain You‘d better go vote quick-sharp then! @Hooked_on_books (I see you already did! 😃) 2mo
Ruthiella I liked both books a lot and am happy to see either advance. 👍 2mo
KarenUK I loved both, found it hard to pick, but for chapter one alone, Wellness was a favorite… 2mo
61 likes15 comments
review
squirrelbrain
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Bailedbailed

It‘s official…I‘m going to be a non-completist of this year‘s #womensprize for fiction!

The first 20% of this was OK then it lost me completely. I looked it up on GR to see if I could glean any clues, only to learn that it‘s book 3 in a series. (Although some called it a ‘companion piece‘ not a sequel and others said it stood alone just as easily).

I also read that there was a glossary of characters in the back so I thought that might be ⬇️

squirrelbrain …helpful. Still makes no sense to me - see the pic above and there were over 80 names listed in this manner, although some appeared to be worlds rather than people and some were repeated with slightly different information. 🤯 I‘m also not keen on books that include ‘world-building‘ (not a fantasy fan - sorry! 😬) and when the world has apparently been built in the previous books, then no! 2mo
TheKidUpstairs I just returned this one unread because I wasn't going to get to it any time soon. Now I don't feel bad about prioritizing other reads! 2mo
Centique That sounds like a sensible choice! 2mo
See All 11 Comments
BarbaraBB Thanks for making clear that I don‘t need to read this one! 2mo
TrishB I don‘t like space stuff so this wasn‘t looking promising to me! Bail away 😁 2mo
youneverarrived Sounds like you made the right choice in bailing 😬 2mo
Deblovestoread So glad to know the particulars. Thank you! 2mo
Hooked_on_books Oh wow, book 3? That‘s challenging for sure. 2mo
ChaoticMissAdventures I have been curious to see how this one goes with everyone. I love Lord, but her writing is very difficult. I have found her short stories to be much more readable. I have tried the 1st in this series a couple of times and have never finished it. 1mo
Leniverse The cast of characters in the back is from all three books, and yes several of them have multiple identities or titles. The books span 40 or so years. I find it so odd that they put this on the WP longlist, because why would they encourage people to jump straight into book three?! 😂 1mo
squirrelbrain @ChaoticMissAdventures - I was going to reply to you saying that @Leniverse was reading / has read the first 2 books then, lo and behold, Leni commented too! Leni, I was interested to hear what you thought about book 3 - seems an odd to choice to put on the list, as you say! 1mo
62 likes11 comments
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squirrelbrain
Hello Beautiful | Ann Napolitano
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Hello, fellow #LitsyToB24 Littens! We‘re getting close to the end now…Today‘s semi-final result is a clear win for Hello Beautiful, with 75% of the vote.

I‘m sure this is what most of us expected, or are you surprised by this result? Tomorrow we‘ll find out the other semi-final result, along with which Zombie this one will go up against. Which Zombie are you hoping for to go up against HB, or should that be which do you hope HASN‘T been picked?!

AmyG I absolutely loved Hello Beautiful….so I am not surprised at all! 2mo
See All 11 Comments
sarahbarnes Very happy with this outcome! 😀 2mo
Megabooks Another HB fan here although I enjoyed both books! 2mo
Ruthiella Definitely not surprised! I didn‘t like HB but am an outlier. Also, while I liked VC better, I found it to be a little unfocused plot wise. 2mo
BarbaraBB I am very happy too, I didn‘t like VC much. I‘d love an unexpected outcome of the zombie match though! 2mo
Jas16 This book will stay with me while Vintage Contemporaries I started forgetting as soon as I finished it. 2mo
Bookwormjillk I liked both books, but thought HB was better. Not surprised! Looking forward to the zombies, although I don't want one of my favorites to go against HB. 2mo
BarbaraBB @Bookwormjillk That‘s how I feel too. Voting will be hard I think, in the zombie round. 2mo
Hooked_on_books This was a hard choice for me, as I really liked both these books. I ultimately chose VC, as it has stayed with me more, so I‘m sorry to see it go but not sorry to see HB advance. 2mo
65 likes11 comments
review
squirrelbrain
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Pickpick

I chose to read this #womensprize nominee next as I didn‘t think I‘d like it, and I‘m saving the ‘better‘ books for later… 🤪

I haven‘t read any of Enright‘s other work, but I understand that women‘s intergenerational trauma is a theme in her writing. This book also includes a male POV as we hear from an impoverished poet who abandons his family, his daughter Carmel, and her daughter Nell.

Won‘t be my fave on the list but better than expected!

Hooked_on_books That‘s great! Sometimes it‘s good to have low expectations going in! 😉 2mo
Megabooks This was just okay for me. Maybe my expectations were too high! 😆 😆 2mo
76 likes2 stack adds2 comments
blurb
squirrelbrain
A Suitable Boy | Vikram Seth
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Went out last week to an Indian street-food restaurant. (Not in India - we were on holiday in the English Lake District!).

The food was fabulous (the owner / chef had spent some time in India), dogs were welcome and, best of all, I got to try nimbu pani!

Their version was a mix of lemon and lime juice, with a hint of spice. I could definitely taste cumin in there - delicious!

kassandrik *writing myself a note to make Nimbu Pani once I am back to Finland 😀 2mo
jlhammar Yum! Sounds like a great place. 2mo
squirrelbrain Have you been here yet Jess? @jhod It‘s called Barua and is in LRB from Weds - Sat evenings. Definitely worth a visit! 2mo
See All 12 Comments
fredthemoose Sounds fabulous! 2mo
bekakins Oooh amazing!! I‘m in the lakes in a few months so may have to check it out! 2mo
TrishB Sounds fab! 2mo
squirrelbrain @bekakins - it‘s in Keswick, at Lake Road Brunch. You‘d have to book - we only just squeezed in, and it was still low season. 2mo
Lindy Nimbu pani! That‘s exciting. 😁 2mo
Tamra Lucky you! 2mo
LeahBergen Yum!! 2mo
jhod No, thanks for the tip! X 2mo
Megabooks Yum! And look at Henry being a good boy! 2mo
75 likes12 comments
review
squirrelbrain
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Pickpick

This #womensprize long listed novel apparently started life as a series of short stories and, part-way through the book, this was an issue for me and I even considered bailing.

The ‘8 lives‘ are arranged non-chronologically which makes for a more challenging reading experience and the initial set-up seemed rather tacked-on.

However, towards the end, everything drew together satisfactorily and my opinion changed to a pick.

BarbaraBB You‘ve got all the books I think? Enjoy! (edited) 2mo
80 likes2 stack adds1 comment
review
squirrelbrain
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Pickpick

I actually really liked this, which surprised me as there had been some mixed reviews on Litsy, so I had considered waiting until the #womensprize shortlist came out before reading it.

I particularly liked where the author pointed out all of the omissions in Orwell‘s work, where he‘d left out Eileen to suit his own narrative.

I didn‘t like the author infrequently inserting her own life into the book - either go all in or not at all!

Hooked_on_books I really liked this, too, and fully expected not to! 2mo
75 likes1 comment
review
squirrelbrain
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Pickpick

Another #womensprize long listed book that I really liked.

It follows the lives of two people in Shanghai. Alva, a teenager in 2007 is disgruntled when her white American mother marries a Chinese man. Lu Fang is her new stepfather and we see how his life was affected by Mao‘s Cultural Revolution.

None of the characters are likeable and it‘s really rather a sad book, (I‘m not selling it, am I?!) but I do recommend it.

BarbaraBB Great review! Guess I‘ll read it too 😀 2mo
Reggie You had me at none of the characters are likable. Lolol stacked. 2mo
TheKidUpstairs I was reading this one, and my e-loan just returned on me. I enjoyed it when I was reading it, but kept reaching for other books instead, it wasn't quite drawing me in. I think I'll try again if it gets shortlisted. I feel like it may have just been the wrong timing for me! 2mo
squirrelbrain @TheKidUpstairs - yeah, it‘s not completely gripping, rather a ‘quiet‘ book. 2mo
70 likes2 stack adds4 comments
review
squirrelbrain
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Pickpick

I was worried that this #womensprize for NF long lister would be a bit dry but it wasn‘t. (I‘d tried to start Vulture Capitalism which I found difficult to get into so thought this may be the same).

The author uses real-life people and their stories to discuss the impact of AI, both good and bad, which makes it an interesting and accessible read.

Covering areas such as facial recognition, health apps and crime statistics I‘d recommend it.

Balibee146 Stacked and love your pupper 😍😍 2mo
Hooked_on_books Sounds interesting! This one doesn‘t come out here until shortly after the prize is announced. Plus, hi Henry! ❤️🐶 2mo
squirrelbrain @Balibee146 @Hooked_on_books - we‘re on a camping trip (a bit cold and wet!) so lots of reading time and Henry gets lots of cuddles. 2mo
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julesG Enjoy the cuddles and the reading time. 2mo
Soubhiville What a sweet photo. 💚 2mo
Leftcoastzen Awww!🥰 2mo
Balibee146 Sounds like a perfect setting to get cosy with doggo and books.... Hope you enjoy a relaxing break despite the weather 😁 2mo
AmyG Awwwww ❤️ 2mo
Ruthiella Nice book rest you‘ve got there! 😂🐶❤️ 2mo
Megabooks Stacked! Hi Henry! 2mo
83 likes6 stack adds10 comments
review
squirrelbrain
James: A Novel | Percival Everett
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Pickpick

This is a ‘re-imagining‘ of Huckleberry Finn, from the POV of the slave, Jim, or James as he calls himself. I read HF before this and I think it‘s worth doing so.

The first half of the book faithfully follows the original and is satirically funny. The second half becomes a lot darker and is where Everett gets his message across about slavery.

Looking forward to seeing the author next month with @TrishB and @Oryx

Published 11/04 in the UK.

Oryx I wonder if I can remember enough of HF. I did read it a couple of times when I was young. Do you think a Wikipedia refresher might be enough? Or is it the details that are important? 2mo
sarahbarnes This is on my list! Glad to see you liked it. And so cool that you are going to hear him speak! 2mo
squirrelbrain @Oryx - I must have read it when I was young, but didn‘t recall it. There is some detail in the first half but I don‘t think you‘d miss out by not re-reading. The second half is quite different, as that is when Huck and Jim are apart in the original so Everett had free rein. 2mo
See All 14 Comments
Deblovestoread So excited about this one. I may start with Huck as it‘s been too long to have much memory. When I was a kid we had an Irish Setter named HF. 😀 2mo
Ruthiella Really looking forward to this one and will also reread HF beforehand. 👍 2mo
batsy Thanks for this review. Thinking about reading HF before I get to this. And so very exciting about hearing him speak! 🤩 Look forward to everyone's updates from the event 😁 2mo
TrishB Will be trying to get to a couple more before we see him. 2mo
Hooked_on_books You lucky dog getting an advanced copy! I‘m first in line for the audio and fully intend to drop everything when my hold comes in. 2mo
squirrelbrain I was very surprised to get it! @Hooked_on_books 2mo
rmaclean4 Cant wait to read this! 2mo
tpixie @squirrelbrain Oh! The UK cover reflects the connection between HF more! The US cover hints to no theme. Great review. I was compelled to read HF first and am glad I did. It just brought the story a little closer. I‘m listening to it now and am about halfway through. That‘s amazing you will get to see Everett at an author event! 2mo
tpixie @Deblovestoread @Oryx I‘m glad I read HF first, but I think it‘s not necessary if it creates a burden for you to read James. But I like complementary book reading. (edited) 2mo
squirrelbrain The UK cover is definitely better isn‘t it @tpixie? Looking forward to seeing Everett - a week on Wednesday. I‘m going to try to read Erasure before we go. 2mo
tpixie @squirrelbrain yes- I almost always think the UK covers are better than the US covers!! This is my first book of his. I do think I need to read more. It will be fun for you to read another book of his before you see him! 2mo
71 likes5 stack adds14 comments
review
squirrelbrain
Hangman: A Novel | Maya Binyam
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Mehso-so

That was…. different. 🤔 My least-liked book on the #womensprize long list so far.

An unnamed man returns to unnamed country (in Africa) to find his brother, who may be dying. Along the way he meets many people, who aren‘t named and who he should recognise but doesn‘t, who all want to tell him their stories.

I liked the stories at the start but they became very repetitive and the way of naming characters was frustrating ⬇️

squirrelbrain …‘son‘s mother‘s brother‘ is very wearing after a while. I also got the ‘twist‘ / concept of the book fairly early on. A bit too clever-clever for me, or maybe I‘m not clever enough for this book. 2mo
Deblovestoread Just reading that blurb made my head hurt. 😂 That‘s a pass for me. Thanks for taking one for the team! 2mo
MicheleinPhilly Ugh. Pass! 2mo
See All 6 Comments
jlhammar This one wasn‘t really calling to me. I‘m in line for the audiobook so might give it a try and bail if I‘m not feeling it. 2mo
BarbaraBB I am reading this one too and kind of waiting for where it goes 2mo
youneverarrived Wow I don‘t think I could read a full book written like that 🙈 2mo
64 likes6 comments
review
squirrelbrain
Brotherless Night: A Novel | V. V. Ganeshananthan
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Pickpick

My favourite so far from the #womensprize long list. Set in Sri Lanka during the civil war, from the 1980s onwards, it follows 16 year old Sashi as she tries to train to be a doctor against a background of fear and violence.

Powerful and raw, this feels like non-fiction at times. So much so that I looked up whether the author had direct experience of the war and she hadn‘t.

The audio narration was also fantastic.

jlhammar Oh good, this is one of the handful I ordered to start with. Looking forward to it! 2mo
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blurb
squirrelbrain
The Rachel Incident: A novel | Caroline O'Donoghue
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Our final first round bracket for #LitsyToB24, and The Rachel Incident wins, with a 60/40 split. Both of these books were looking back at your younger self - did you identify with either / both of them?

Thank you for all your comments on the first round - now is the time to vote for the quarterfinals! Here‘s the link - please vote this weekend and Meg will take over on Monday with the next round‘s results.

https://forms.gle/BnGAYebiyBjwiGuGA

Chelsea.Poole I liked them both! The Rachel Incident was more of a page-turner for me so it edged out Idlewild. Great job matching these two, as always! Off to vote! (and likely have no clue what I actually voted for in a few days 😆) 2mo
See All 21 Comments
BarbaraBB I loved them both, this was the hardest bracket for me. I hope Idlewild will make a 🧟 return! Thanks so much for hosting the Opening Round Helen ❤️❤️, I am off to vote now 💃 2mo
kwmg40 I liked both these books, and they both resonated with me, though it wasn't always comfortable thinking back to my earlier self! 2mo
BarbaraBB @Leniverse @MicheleinPhilly @Readerann @CatLass007 Now that we‘re entering the quarter finals you might want to jump in and vote! 2mo
AmyG I bailed on Idlewild…I think I‘m too old (and wasn‘t in the mood). The RI….I also felt old but I wanted to just find out what the incident was. Once I did, I enjoyed the book. 2mo
sarahbarnes I really liked both of these books, but I‘m happy with this outcome! A great pairing! 2mo
Ruthiella This was also a hard choice for me to make. I really liked and identified with both. I am old but remember a lot of the indecision and confusion of my younger years, for sure. I picked Idewild but am pleased with Rachel moving forward instead. Both books are good depictions of intense friendship which can remain a bond in later life or can go completely sour. 2mo
Deblovestoread Great pairing! I liked both books but saw a bit of my younger self in Rachel so a bit more memorable 2mo
Megabooks Idlewild stuck with me more and I related to its queer themes a lot, so it got my vote and my 🧟‍♀️ vote so 🤞🏻🤞🏻! 2mo
squirrelbrain I think this might have been the most difficult bracket for everyone! @Chelsea.Poole @BarbaraBB @kwmg40 @sarahbarnes @Ruthiella @Deblovestoread 2mo
squirrelbrain I loved both, but also preferred Idlewild @Megabooks 2mo
squirrelbrain @AmyG - I liked the twisty-turniness (is that a word?!) of the incident in RI. 2mo
AmyG @squirrelbrain Yes…it wasn‘t a blatant incident. I liked that, too. (edited) 2mo
Kitta I only read Idlewild, so can‘t have much of a say in the vote! It reminded me too much of being an awkward teenager and honestly I don‘t want to remember those days haha 😆 Being a queer teenager was really hard, even in an accepting place like Canada. The novel brought up a lot for me, and not all of it good so I had a hard time with it. 2mo
Hooked_on_books I loved Idlewild. I found it really moving and lovely and I so wish it had won. Especially since for the first half of the book I hated Rachel and found her wholly unredeeming. I frankly would have bailed if not for this tourney. The second half was better, but in no way was this book better to me than Idlewild. 2mo
BarbaraBB @Kitta I can understand how it made you feel uncomfortable. I hadn‘t thought of that, I read it with a nostalgic view of my teens and couldn‘t really relate so I read it with some distance and loved it. 2mo
BkClubCare I can‘t say that I would have voted for Rachel but I loved the audiobook. I didn‘t get to Idlewild. It seemed like I was only able to get to one side of the brackets! PS I voted 🗳️ 👏 🎉 2mo
Kitta @BarbaraBB I was invested in the characters but briefly considered DNFing it, I‘m glad I persevered! I can see why people loved it, it was just my own emotions and memories that made it a more difficult read. 2mo
KarenUK I really loved the Rachel incident. Such a surprise his warm and funny it was… 💕 2mo
56 likes21 comments
blurb
squirrelbrain
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A significant win for All The Sinners Bleed in today‘s #LitsyToB24 bracket - by 17 votes to 4, meaning Sinners had the most votes of any book in our first round. Are you surprised by this outcome?

We put these books together due to the element of mystery in them, and also the question of whether crimes had been committed. Did you feel that either book was a typical mystery or crime novel?

We‘d love to hear your thoughts on both books!

Ruthiella Not surprised at all. ATSB was a much more traditionally structured mystery novel and was paced and plotted accordingly. For me it was a more satisfying read. I did like how HF shown a light on the differently abled and prejudices and associations can be unfairly made. 2mo
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MicheleinPhilly I‘m about 50% through Happiness Falls now and am finding it to be a definite case of the sophomore slump. I haven‘t read a Cosby yet that I haven‘t rated 5 stars. 2mo
Deblovestoread I would have been surprised if the vote were the other way around. Cosby‘s books are so tight they snap along. HF took more work to get through. 2mo
Chelsea.Poole I am a fan of both of these novels. Great pairing with the theme, but so hard for me to choose. I can‘t even remember which I voted for. I still think of Happiness Falls — of the idea that happiness can come from expecting the worst and avoiding that outcome. Happiness “at rest” is fine but then can be “turned up” when something bad *doesn‘t* happen. 2mo
Bookwormjillk Loved ATSB but kind of kicking myself for using my zombie vote on it now that I see how popular it is 🤣 2mo
BarbaraBB I was surprised about how much I liked Happiness Falls. I voted for ATSB because Cosby is such a good writer. I don‘t remember much about the book itself. I read it last summer! 2mo
AmyG I loved ATSB…fast paced, myster thriller, serial killer! But HF…I liked the premise but got bogged down by the daughter. I didn‘t hate it but I didn‘t love it. 2mo
Megabooks @AmyG 💯💯💯 agree with you!! 2mo
fredthemoose Dark, violent murder mysteries are not usually my thing, but Cosby writes such compelling MCs that I‘ve lived all of his books I‘ve read. I appreciated that HF made me think about disability in new ways, and it ended up fine, but like @AmyG I struggled with the daughter/narrator, especially at the beginning and the end. 2mo
squirrelbrain @Chelsea.Poole - you were one of the four Littens who voted for Happiness Falls. 😃 2mo
squirrelbrain That‘s the beauty of doing the Zombie vote first @Bookwormjillk - we have no idea what‘s going to be the favourite of everyone else! One of my zombie votes was also a waste as it got through easily. 🤷‍♀️ 2mo
squirrelbrain @AmyG @Megabooks @fredthemoose - I too struggled with the daughter, particularly her extensive ‘footnotes‘ which were rather confusing on audio. 2mo
Hooked_on_books I really liked both of these books, so this was a hard choice for me. I snatch up each new Cosby book as it comes, but found this one less memorable than his previous two. And I really liked Kim‘s book, which I found much more memorable. I think I ultimately voted for Cosby, but I would have been happy with a verdict either way on this one. 2mo
Chelsea.Poole @squirrelbrain thanks for the reminder! 😆 I really could go either way with this one but I‘m glad I voted for the one that stands out more to me after awhile! And I agree with @Hooked_on_books I found this one of Cosby‘s less memorable than another of his — Razorblade Tears. (edited) 2mo
squirrelbrain @Chelsea.Poole @Hooked_on_books - I haven‘t read Razorblade Tears yet, only Blacktop Wasteland and this one of course! I do own Razorblade on Kindle so need to get to it soon. (edited) 2mo
Hooked_on_books I‘ve just finished reading the judgement in the official TOB and am absolutely disgusted. Brainwyrms knocks out Chain-Gang? I don‘t have enough expletives for that! I realize Chain-Gang isn‘t for everyone, but it‘s phenomenal for those it works for. I feel like I need a shower. 🤬 2mo
Kristy_K @AmyG Yes! I would have enjoyed it a lot more if not for the daughter. 2mo
BkClubCare @Hooked_on_books - yeah…. I was astounded, too. But that kinda is the Tourney. It‘s wild. 2mo
Bookpearl Cosby pulled me in as if I was one of his officers trying to solve the case. I was invested starting at page one and took off running(reading) at full speed once I realized he was speaking about a town I‘m quite familiar with. 2mo
squirrelbrain Not only do they put most of the wrong books forward to the shortlist, then they make weird decisions like that! 🙄🤔 @Hooked_on_books 2mo
squirrelbrain I love that you felt like a police officer! @Bookpearl and how fascinating that you knew the town as well. 2mo
BkClubCare For both of these, I skim-skipped through to read the end rather than right out DNF‘d. HF just did not capture me - I disliked the MC‘s voice and the repetition over and over again. And unfortunately, I ran out of time for AtSB before it disappeared from my Libby app. 2mo
kwmg40 I loved All the Sinners Bleed. Very glad to see it move to the next round. 2mo
60 likes26 comments
blurb
squirrelbrain
Birthday Party | Laurent Mauvignier
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These were the two #litsyToB24 books that were left over when our matching fairy (aka Meg!) had finished her magic. Therefore we don‘t have a common theme for these two - unless anyone has any bright ideas?! 💡

Also, we had another draw today, with 7 votes each. (The lowest voter turnout of any bracket!)

This time, we chose The Birthday Party to continue on because it gained more Zombie votes than Julia. Do you agree with our decision?

Bookwormjillk I bailed on Julia but never got to the other one. So I think I agree but will have to read it first 🤪 2mo
See All 23 Comments
Megabooks Julia was my favorite of the two. The birthday party was an incredibly frustrating read for me both because of the binding and how he structured the story. It was the only one I strongly considered bailing on. I liked Julia herself and the inner life Newman gave her. Plus the ending was good, too! 2mo
Chelsea.Poole The Birthday Party was such a singular reading experience for me! I can see how it would be frustrating for some but also, it is likely to stick with me…it‘s as if I lived those characters‘ experiences in the novel myself! Slow going thriller, I suppose? Anyway, Julia was a pleasant surprise for me as well. I‘m trying to think of a connection with these two. They‘re both “menacing”, full of dread…? 2mo
BkClubCare I support your decision! 🧟‍♀️ 🗳️ I did not get to either 😔 but was able to sample The Birthday Party and can‘t recall why exactly it didn‘t light a fire 🔥 before it went back to the library. I was looking forward to Julia but . . . 2mo
BkClubCare @Chelsea.Poole - Hmmm, “menacing and full-of-dread” might be THE genre I am glad not to read. (American politics gives me enough of that.) 2mo
Chelsea.Poole @BkClubCare oh for sure. I can‘t believe we are back at the same place again 😩 2mo
BarbaraBB I am very happy with this outcome since I loved The Birthday Party (I know what you mean @Chelsea.Poole i feel like I lived on that farm!) and was annoyed and underwhelmed by Julia though I must admit I didn‘t reread 2mo
Karisimo I didn‘t get around to reading to either of these 🙁 2mo
merelybookish I havent read Julia but absolutely loved The Birthday Party and so I wholeheartedly approve this decision. 🤓 2mo
Ruthiella I haven‘t read either. I DNFed The Birthday Party. I don‘t want to read 500 pages of a home invasion, regardless of the motives or beautiful writing. I skipped and skimmed, got the revelations and was glad to return it to the library. Funny since in some ways it is not too different from Ducks Newburyport, which I loved. I haven‘t got to Julia yet. I only just finished my reread of 1984. 2mo
AmyG Haven‘t read either book. 2mo
squirrelbrain @Chelsea.Poole - perhaps we could have matched them up as ‘people being held captive‘ - also not a genre I would rush to read @BkClubCare 😬 2mo
squirrelbrain @BkClubCare - I tried The Birthday Party in September last year and didn‘t get past the first few pages. Once I tried again and pushed through I was hooked. 2mo
Hooked_on_books I liked both of these books, but felt TBP was better, even though it‘s a more challenging book. Which for me ultimately made it more satisfying and impactful, so I‘m glad it won! And maybe “people in peril” for the theme? 2mo
sarahbarnes I‘ll admit I didn‘t read Julia, but I absolutely loved The Birthday Party and so like @BarbaraBB and @merelybookish I am very happy with this outcome! 😁 2mo
kwmg40 I've not read The Birthday Party and I stalled on Julia. Not sure I will continue with it, especially now that it's out of our tournament. 2mo
Tamra LOVED The Birthday Party, though it drove me nuts! 2mo
fredthemoose Late to the party. These were my 2 DNFs. I got halfway through Julia and felt it going in a direction I wasn‘t up for, I kept meaning to get back to it but haven‘t. I‘m an audiobook person and couldn‘t find The Birthday Party on audio. I just got a hard copy but haven‘t read it yet, but based on some of the comments here, I‘m more excited to get into it! 2mo
BarbaraBB @fredthemoose I hope you will. It‘s worth it! 2mo
squirrelbrain Good choice for the theme Holly! @Hooked_on_books 2mo
squirrelbrain Birthday Party was sooo good, although very stressful, wasn‘t it? @sarahbarnes @Tamra Definitely give it a go @fredthemoose 2mo
60 likes23 comments
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squirrelbrain
Wellness | Nathan Hill
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Another very close-run vote for today‘s bracket in #LitsyToB24, but Wellness just wins it by 11 votes to 9.

We chose to bracket these books together due to their unique storytelling about a couple. What did you think about each portrayal - did they ring true for you?

Both could also be classed as a depiction of American life. Were there any parallels here between the two books, or did the dystopia in Biography make them completely different?

sarahbarnes This was such a tough bracket for me! I loved both books. I like the pairing theme, though! I also see some parallels around the power of belief about someone/something you‘ve held for a long time. 2mo
See All 16 Comments
BarbaraBB I found this one hard too, like @sarahbarnes. I am not even sure which book I ended up voting for but I can live with this outcome. Wellness is such a rich book and I loved the part about the algorithms (which you didn‘t @squirrelbrain 😀). 2mo
fredthemoose I found a lot of Wellness absolutely infuriating while reading it (you‘re springing separate bedrooms on your partner in front of someone else? Why do we need so much excruciating detail of parenting a toddler? And so many tangents?) but by the end I liked it and it was one of the most memorable of the ToB for me. X was a fine version of a book that was never really going to be for me. Edge to Wellness. (edited) 2mo
Bookwormjillk Didn‘t read Wellness yet, and I thought X was just ok. So looking forward to adding something new to my list. 2mo
Ruthiella Like @sarahbarnes and @BarbaraBB , I liked both. I picked Wellness because I quite like Hill‘s wordy and tangential style. He‘s like a modern version of the 19th century novel and I have a fondness for that. Bio. of X surprised me. At first I found it pretentious, but got gradually into the greater mystery of both who X and who the narrator were. I think the portrayal of coupledom rang true for me in both books, though they‘re both different. (edited) 2mo
AmyG I only read Wellness and at one point I considered bailing. What redeemed this story for me was Jack‘s youth…his growing up, his sister, his parents, the land he lived on. I found parts of this quite beautiful. 2mo
KarenUK Wellness had one of my favorite first chapters I can remember reading, so it was an easy win choice for me… 2mo
squirrelbrain I too liked them both @sarahbarnes @BarbaraBB @Ruthiella - I think Wellness just edged it for me but I wouldn‘t have minded either way. 2mo
squirrelbrain I found parts of Wellness annoying too @fredthemoose - I think because of the verbosity. (as @BarbaraBB points out, I disliked the algorithm section and wished he‘d just shut up! 🤣) 2mo
Hooked_on_books While I didn‘t dislike either of these books, I didn‘t like them all that much, either. So in that sense, this was a hard pairing for me. I ended up voting for X because I thought the author created an amazing dystopian world that I really enjoyed. It made it much more memorable than Wellness to me (which I read much more recently and barely remember). But I wasn‘t attached to either one advancing. 2mo
squirrelbrain It‘s funny, Holly @Hooked_on_books - I can hardly remember any of Wellness now either, even though it made my favourites list for 2023. 🤷‍♀️ 2mo
Megabooks Why did I put two books I gave 5⭐️ to in the same bracket?? 😩😩 lol. That said, I voted for Wellness. I‘ve already read it a second time, and I‘m not sure I‘ll ever reread X even though I loved it. 2mo
Chelsea.Poole LOVED Wellness! Some of the sections that are mentioned here that annoy some commenters I found to be excellent observations of the topic (feeding a toddler!!, social media). I‘m with @AmyG though—the scene in Jack‘s youth: the land, fire, his family dynamics…I still think of that often. V vivid in my mind. I agree w @Ruthiella ‘s initial reaction to X —pretentious 😝 and I couldn‘t get past that. 2mo
kwmg40 I've started Wellness and am enjoying it, but I loved Biography of X and am sad that it lost this round. 2mo
56 likes16 comments
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squirrelbrain
Hello Beautiful | Ann Napolitano
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Today‘s #litsytob24 bracket has another runaway winner!

Hello Beautiful gained 16 votes, with only 3 (Ruth, Holly and Debra)voting for Lovesick Blossoms. Personally I liked both of these books, but we had to pick just one, didn‘t we?! How difficult a decision was it for you?

We put these two books together due to their portrayal of entangled relationships - how do you think each book dealt with this theme?

Megabooks It was no question for me that Hello Beautiful was a better book. I think Lovesick really missed some opportunities to develop excellent secondary characters. Plus, I was just more moved emotionally by HB. 2mo
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Chelsea.Poole I also liked both of these but I had much more of an emotional reaction to Hello Beautiful so it got my vote. Lovesick Blossoms was also memorable for me. Well done to the hosts for pairing these two with “entangled relationships“. Hello Beautiful's entanglement was a bit more morally questionable for me, and the characters in Lovesick Blossoms had few choices due to the time and place they lived. 2mo
AmyG I haven‘t read Lovesick Blossoms. Hello Beautiful was my favorite book of last year. Oh how I love a good, damaged character and a dysfunctional family….and HB had it all. 2mo
fredthemoose I also enjoyed both of these, but also give Hello, Beautiful the edge. My reactions to LB were more about the restrictions based on the time and place the characters were in where for HB it was more about the choices they made and the family and interpersonal dynamics in play. 2mo
Ruthiella I am an outlier. I didn‘t believe any character‘s motivation in HB, so I was never invested emotionally. Lovesick Blossoms was a simpler story, but it at least rang true for me. 2mo
Deblovestoread I liked both books with Lovesick Blossoms getting the edge due to memorability. It stuck with me a bit longer than HB did. 2mo
Bookwormjillk I didn‘t get to LB but I really loved HB so happy to see it moving on. 2mo
BkClubCare @Bookwormjillk - Same 🙋‍♀️ I absolutely loved Hello Beautiful but didn‘t get to Lovesick Blosssoms - so many not available in time or not at all from the library. 😢 2mo
Bookwormjillk @BkClubCare same! I‘m waiting to see what makes it to the next round before I buy anything. 2mo
BarbaraBB I was underwhelmed by LS and loved HB so this was my easiest choice of all brackets! 2mo
squirrelbrain That‘s a great way of looking at it @chelsea.poole - thank you! 2mo
squirrelbrain It‘s interesting @Ruthiella @Deblovestoread - reading these comments I can actually recall LB more easily than HB, even though I voted for HB and it made my best of 2023. 🤷‍♀️ I wonder if it‘s because of the simpler storyline? 🤔 2mo
squirrelbrain @AmyG @Bookwormjillk @BkClubCare - do you think you‘ll read Lovesick Blossoms in the future after seeing reviews on here? Or is it a case of #toomanybookstoolittletime?! 2mo
squirrelbrain @fredthemoose - I agree - I loved all of the different interpersonal dynamics in Hello Beautiful, and also you never knew what was coming next, whereas LB was a bit more predictable, probably because of the social limits, as you point out. 2mo
AmyG @squirrelbrain Honestly, probably not. I have so many other books to read. 2mo
BkClubCare @squirrelbrain - I have it requested from the library so we will have to wait and see. If it comes as an ebook,yes, I will sample and see if I am hooked. If I see it FREE anywhere (like in a LFL or a friend offers, likely a YES) (edited) 2mo
squirrelbrain Yes, I think it‘s a #borrownotbuy @BkClubCare and I don‘t blame you! @AmyG 2mo
fredthemoose @squirrelbrain I‘m having the same experience! I read LB more recently, and it was a simpler and more predictable story, but it‘s definitely much clearer in my mind than HB. 2mo
Hooked_on_books I really liked both these books, so this was a hard choice for me. I read HB back in the early fall and loved it, but it hasn‘t stuck with me much. I thought LB was such a sweet story and its simplicity made it really beautiful. I figured it would likely be the underdog and wanted to give it my support. 2mo
squirrelbrain A great description for LB, @Hooked_on_books - sweet and simple! 2mo
kwmg40 I'm about halfway through HB and enjoying it. I've not gotten around to reading LB yet. 2mo
65 likes1 stack add24 comments
review
squirrelbrain
Restless Dolly Maunder | Kate Grenville
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Pickpick

I liked this, but not as much as the other HF that I‘ve read from the #womensprize longlist.

The novel is based on the life of the author‘s own grandmother, living in Australia at the end of the 1800s, up until just after WWII.

Dolly moves around a *lot* and this lends a restlessness to the book as well - it almost felt a little rushed in places as we were never in one place long enough to learn about it, or the people that lived there.

LeeRHarry You‘re on a roll with the WP books! 😊 2mo
Hooked_on_books Look at you with your longlist stack! I actually just finished a different book by this author today. 2mo
squirrelbrain It‘s all I‘m reading at the moment! (Fiction and NF) @LeeRHarry 2mo
See All 6 Comments
squirrelbrain @Hooked_on_books - that one is supposed to be good - did you like it? 2mo
Hooked_on_books I did, but it didn‘t blow me away. I wanted more of a character arc for the main character. (edited) 2mo
charl08 Interesting. I've loved some of her others. Tempering expectations! 2mo
98 likes2 stack adds6 comments
review
squirrelbrain
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Pickpick

This #womensprize for NF long-lister is still a pick, but I chose the wrong format (audio).The author describes so many paintings and I wanted to see them - not the best idea when you listen whilst driving, as I mostly do. 😬

Even when I was at home, as all of the artists are Dutch, I couldn‘t find many of them as I didn‘t know how to spell their names. I‘ve reserved the (digital) print copy so I can re-read but it‘s not available until ⬇️

squirrelbrain ….the end of April. I also felt that the book was more weighted towards Fabritius and Dutch art whereas there should have been more about her father. 2mo
rockpools Ohhh, interesting. I actually just started this last night on ebook, and I‘m surprised how much I‘m loving it. (C17th Dutch Art is NOT one of my pet subjects!) But yes, you definitely need the pictures. I‘m also going in not having read anything else by her, so I think my lack of expectations is maybe a help. 2mo
squirrelbrain @rockpools - I didn‘t notice so much at the start, but she introduces more and more artists as she goes along, and not well-known ones either. I love her narration though, so maybe would have also felt like I was missing out if I‘d done print. I listened to On Chapel Sands too - I think you‘d really like it. 2mo
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rockpools @squirrelbrain 👍I‘ve wishlisted that on audio, for later. Thanks for the recommendation. I think I mentally filed it as True Crime when it came out, so ignored all the glowing reviews. Will definitely take a listen. 2mo
BarbaraBB Interesting. Some 17th century Dutch painters were real masters. 2mo
ChaoticMissAdventures This is so good to know, thanks! Going to make sure I have the physical book on hold. 2mo
Hooked_on_books Oh, that‘s good to know. I have access to the audio through Everand, but clearly that‘s not the way I should go. 2mo
youneverarrived As much as I‘m enjoying the audio I agree it would be better in print (I saw the hardback in a bookshop I was in yesterday and had a quick look through 😍). 2mo
squirrelbrain Ooh, did it have pictures? @youneverarrived 2mo
youneverarrived It did, full page pictures of the paintings - it would be a beautiful book to own 😍 2mo
squirrelbrain Ohhhhh…I don‘t need any more books…I don‘t need any more books. Just tagging you both in @ChaoticMissAdventures @Hooked_on_books - sounds like you definitely need a ‘real‘ book with this one. Thanks Katie! @youneverarrived 2mo
ChaoticMissAdventures @squirrelbrain my library has a copy! There is a wait-list, but I think I will take the time to wait on it. I am trying to be so much better this year about not buying things unless I read and loved them but it is so hard with the Women's Prize! 2mo
Hooked_on_books I‘ve already put the print book on hold at my library. 😬 I‘m slowly succumbing to reading this list soon rather than waiting! 2mo
squirrelbrain @ChaoticMissAdventures @Hooked_on_books - I‘ve also put the print book on hold at the library…. 2mo
71 likes1 stack add14 comments
review
squirrelbrain
Soldier Sailor | Claire Kilroy
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Pickpick

The MC talks to her young child as she struggles through the change in her life since giving birth to him, along with coping with a seemingly absent husband who prefers to work long hours.

I don‘t have kids so can‘t speak to the veracity of this novel but I certainly found the MC‘s stream of consciousness thoughts really stressful to read, but incredibly compelling.

Another great read from the #womensprize long list.

BarbaraBB Sounds great Helen 2mo
Reggie What a great review, stacked. 2mo
youneverarrived Stacking! 2mo
77 likes4 stack adds3 comments
review
squirrelbrain
The Maiden | Kate Foster
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Pickpick

My first book from the Women‘s Prize for Fiction since the long list was announced (although I had read 2 previously) and I really enjoyed it.

I‘m not a huge fan of HF, although I‘ve enjoyed similar books based on re-tellings in previous years of the list, such as Hamnet and The Marriage Portrait.

In my view, this holds its own against such exalted authors - it really rattled along and I didn‘t want to stop reading.

ChaoticMissAdventures I had to order this one so I am watching my mail box! Glad to hear you enjoyed it! 2mo
Deblovestoread Great review! I bought this one based on other Litten reviews and was excited to see it on the longlist. 2mo
BarbaraBB Encouraging that you enjoyed it! I am not much of an HF reader too. 2mo
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CatLass007 What does HF mean. 2mo
rubyslippersreads 💜💚 that cover! 2mo
Tamra I was a sucker and ordered it this week! It was the only one on the prize list that spoke to me. Glad to know you liked it! 2mo
squirrelbrain @CatLass007 - HF is historical fiction. 2mo
CatLass007 Thank you. 2mo
Balibee146 I picked this up in January for #99ponkindle and need to get to it soon 😁 2mo
batsy I was surprised by how much I liked this. Glad you enjoyed it, too. 2mo
Caroline2 I‘m looking forward to reading this one next 👍 2mo
jlhammar Looking forward to this one. Glad to hear you enjoyed it! 2mo
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review
squirrelbrain
Mobility | Lydia Kiesling
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Pickpick

Welcome to Day 3 of #LitsyTob24!

Our winner today is Mobility, with two thirds of the vote!

Both books had female MCs who were navigating their way through life, alongside unique storytelling about families, but each book had a distinctive style.

What did you think of the storytelling? Did you like both Belle and Bunny?

We‘re looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the books and today‘s result!

Bookwormjillk I bailed on Rogue, and liked Mobility. Although I didn‘t think it was the coming of age story it was made out to be. 2mo
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Chelsea.Poole I didn‘t love either of these two 😬 But I did appreciate them both a bit more after reading reviews and I‘ll look forward to reading the comments from you all in this thread! 2mo
BarbaraBB I struggled through Rouge and appreciated Mobility much more. It felt so on point, about climate change and how we integrate it into our lives in a way that feels fitting and maybe reassuring as if we do what we can and should do. It‘s way too little though, Kiesling seems to implicate. 2mo
sarahbarnes I may still have to give Mobility a try after this vote! I am a shameless Awad fan and I did love Rouge. 😊 2mo
AmyG I didn‘t read either…..so waiting patiently for the books I DID read. 2mo
Deblovestoread Awad is not for me. I thought Mobility was good and the ending was definitely on point. 2mo
kwmg40 I liked Mobility very much. I'm still working on Rouge. Finding it hard to get into it, but I really liked All's Well so will probably continue. BTW, is it a complete coincidence that Awad has a book called Bunny and that's also the name of Kiesling's main character. Was this a fated pairing? 😂 2mo
Readerann I loved Kiesling‘s The Golden State, so I will definitely get to Mobility. Rouge was meh for me. 2mo
squirrelbrain I agree @Bookwormjillk @BarbaraBB @Deblovestoread - I fought my way through Rouge (list-completist here 🙋🏻‍♀️) but liked Mobility. 2mo
squirrelbrain @kwmg40 - I though exactly that about the ‘Bunny‘ thing when I wrote this post earlier! 2mo
squirrelbrain @sarahbarnes @Readerann - I think you‘ll like Mobility. It‘s rather a quiet book, in my view, but seems more impactful because of that. 2mo
squirrelbrain @AmyG - hopefully soon! 🤞😃 2mo
squirrelbrain @chelsea.poole - at least we had better books, in general, than the real ToB! 🤪 2mo
BarbaraBB @Readerann I loved The Golden State too! 2mo
Ruthiella I was neutral on both Belle and Bunny, though I recognized a lot more of myself in Bunny than Belle. I am an Awad fan, but found Rouge disappointing. It was too rooted in the fantastical for me to enjoy. I liked Mobility a lot. As @squirrelbrain notes, it‘s quiet but it does have a kick to it if you look for it. 2mo
Hooked_on_books After liking each of Awad‘s books less than the one before, I refused to read Rouge, the only book of ours I didn‘t read. Then I hated Mobility and bailed on it. So, this pairing was a bit of a wash for me. 2mo
squirrelbrain That was all a bit rubbish then, wasn‘t it?! @Hooked_on_books 2mo
Larkken @kwmg40 I wondered the same thing about the Bunnies! 2mo
Larkken Awad has my heart. Her kind of weird just get me 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2mo
fredthemoose I liked Mobility, although realized that if it wasn‘t for ToB I don‘t know I would have ever thought about it again. Rouge was a hard no for me. The MC was so dopey it was like being sober and trying to follow your drunk friend‘s stories for HOURS without any payoff or even a funny anecdote by the end. 2mo
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review
squirrelbrain
Intervals | Marianne Brooker
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Pickpick

This was an incredibly tough read, from the Women‘s Prize for NF long list but vitally important and I felt that I learned a lot.

The author‘s mother has MS and decides she cannot continue so undertakes to end her life by Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED). I had no idea that this is legal in the UK, and many medical practitioners have not come across it before so there many challenges over and above the decision itself. ⬇️

squirrelbrain Please do consider carefully before reading this book - it won‘t be for everyone. 3mo
MicheleinPhilly Yikes! There has to be a better way. 3mo
BarbaraBB I‘ve heard about this in the Netherlands too 2mo
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ChaoticMissAdventures Interesting, they also have a fiction book on that long list about suicide. Heavy but important stuff. 2mo
squirrelbrain That‘s the only one on the long list that I‘ve *had* to buy @ChaoticMissAdventures - the others I‘ve managed to get from libraries etc. 2mo
ChaoticMissAdventures @squirrelbrain lucky! I think I ended up needing to buy 5. But I save up money specifically for this list to drop so I feel okay about it! 2mo
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