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Small Country
Small Country | Gael Faye
111 posts | 72 read | 3 reading | 124 to read
Already an international sensation and prize-winning bestseller in France, an evocative coming-of-age story of a young boy, a lost childhood and a shattered homeland. Burundi, 1992. For ten-year-old Gabriel, life in the comfortable expatriate neighborhood of Bujumbura with his French father, Rwandan mother, and little sister, Ana, is something close to paradise. These are happy, carefree days spent sneaking cigarettes and stealing mangoes, as he and his mischievous gang of friends transform their tiny cul-de-sac into their kingdom. But dark clouds are gathering over this small country - and their peaceful idyll will soon shatter when Burundi, and neighboring Rwanda, are brutally hit by war and genocide. Small Country describes an end of innocence as seen through the eyes of a young child caught in the maelstrom of history. A luminous novel of extraordinary power, it is a stirring tribute not only to a dark chapter in Africa's past, but to the bright days that preceded it.
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review
Andrew65
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Pickpick

A good read, but another sad book set in an African country that descends into war and chaos with an overspill of the genocide that occurred in neighbouring Rwanda. Seems even worse when told through the eyes off a child. Nevertheless an important read. #Burundi #ReadingAfrica2022

@Librarybelle @BarbaraBB

Librarybelle Great review! 5mo
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Andrew65
Small Country | Gael Faye
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I really don‘t know how this story began.

#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

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Andrew65
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Starting this book which takes me to #Burundi for #ReadingAfrica2022. This will be my 22nd country for this challenge.

@BarbaraBB @Librarybelle

DrexEdit I read this one for Burundi as well. I liked it even though it was also horrifying. 5mo
Andrew65 @DrexEdit This seems to be a recurring theme for some of the books for the challenge whether it Burindi, Rwanda, Sudan, Eritrea etc… 5mo
BarbaraBB I was sorry I read this one before the challenge started but I enjoyed it a lot 5mo
Librarybelle Great progress!! 5mo
59 likes4 comments
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Hooked_on_books
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Pickpick

Gaby is a relatively carefree boy in #Burundi, but then the country descends into war. He initially remains a bit sheltered from it until the Rwandan genocide begins (his mother is from there) and killing creeps into both his family and home city. I‘m not big on stories of children, so I didn‘t love the first half, but it‘s needed to juxtapose the brutality to come.

#ReadingAfrica2022

BarbaraBB I agree. I‘m not too fond of children‘s pov either but it worked out well in this harsh story. 7mo
Librarybelle Great review! 7mo
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DrexEdit
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Pickpick

I read this book for the #Burundi prompt for #ReadingAfrica2022. This is a poetic and heart-breaking story of a young boy and his friends just before and at the beginning of the Rwandan civil war and genocide which coincided with a political and military coup in neighboring Burundi. A semi-autobiographical story that makes you feel a small part of the terror and anxiety the people must have felt as their world collapsed.
4⭐️

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Simona
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Pickpick

Heartbreaking story about civil war, genocide in #Burundi and #Rwanda told through the eyes of a growing up boy who is dealing with his family falling apart, his gang of friends started to be more interesting in different things than he is, his country becomes more and more dangerous … Sad story, but at the same time - very warm.
#ReadingAfrica2022
#19822022 #2016

Cinfhen Sounds good!! #Stacked 10mo
Librarybelle I love that cover! 10mo
Simona @Librarybelle Me too, because this cover really well represents one important moment from Gabriel life. 10mo
Simona @Cinfhen I think that you will actually like it 😘 10mo
Cinfhen Oh, yay!! Thanks xx 10mo
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Simona
Small Country | Gael Faye
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“I really don‘t know how this story began.
Papa tried explaining it to us one day in the pick-up truck.
“In Burundi, you see, it‘s like in Rwanda. There are three different ethnic groups. The Hutu form the biggest group, and they‘re short with wide noses.”
“Like Donatien?” I asked.
“No, he‘s from Zaire, that‘s different. Like our cook, Prothé, for instance. There are also the Twa pygmies…”. #FirstLineFridays

DrexEdit I just finished this book the other day. I really liked it. 10mo
BarbaraBB I liked this one a lot too. Do you? 10mo
Simona @DrexEdit @BarbaraBB Yes, I like it a lot too …. I was really surprised by the ending 🥺 10mo
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ChaoticMissAdventures
Small Country | Gael Faye
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So close yet so, so far.
No bingos this month, but not surprised at the lack of reading as real world life was a lot this month. 9 books off my TBR and both #bookspins read though. Not the worst month ever!

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ChaoticMissAdventures
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Pickpick

Beautiful, heartbreaking, poetic and tragic. The Rwandan genocide was a horror that the entire world stood by and ignored. Small Country is a well written, small and impactful book that lets you meet a few of the types of people who were effected, giving faces and families to the terror. Shocking but also not as heavy as I thought it would be because much of the book is watching Gabby grow up as the war is coming.

ChaoticMissAdventures @thearomaofbooks forgot that this was my April bookspin! That is both my bookspin and double finished this month! I am getting barely any reading done so it is exciting that I did get to these two :) 2y
TheAromaofBooks Great review!!!! 2y
13 likes2 comments
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ChaoticMissAdventures
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Listening on audio, this book is heartbreaking, and poetic.

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rockpools
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Pickpick

I‘m not too sure what to say about this one. A semi-autobiographical look at a young boy‘s joyful childhood growing up in Burundi, and its rapid descent into horror as war and genocide tear his world apart.

I loved the depictions of his childhood friendships and some of the writing is quite beautiful, never laboured, and evocative. And then devastating. And it leaves you with so many questions.

rockpools This is from my backlog when I first joined #Netgalley, with thanks to Hogarth for the ARC and apologies for the horribly late review.

And another for #Booked2020 #AboutGenocide #CrushtheRush and my first for this month‘s #BookSpinBingo @TheAromaofBooks @Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick @Cinfhen @4thhouseontheleft @BarbaraTheBibliophage
2y
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2y
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick Sounds interesting. 2y
Cinfhen Beautiful review 2y
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cajunsyd
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Pickpick

I found this small book to be incredible. I loved the lens through which we learn about the Rwandan and Burundian genocides and wars. What a unique perspective from the eyes of a boy coming of age during this terrible time. This gem really elucidates the many ways that war affects individuals directly and for decades after a war is over. I strongly recommend this one!

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cajunsyd
Small Country | Gael Faye
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This was one of many gems gathered in my library book haul yesterday. I needed a large bag to get them all to the car! 🤦‍♀️📚📚📚❤️

readingjedi This is a great read! 3y
cajunsyd @readingjedi it seems that many people loved it but I also see that it may be gut-wrenching. Preparing myself! 3y
Carolyn11215 This is an amazing book. And yes, gut-wrenching! 3y
cajunsyd @Carolyn11215 loving it so far! 3y
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Carolyn11215
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Pickpick

Heartbreaking book about the impact of civil war in Burundi and genocide in Rwanda on a young boy growing up in Burundi. I purchased this beautiful basket at the International Folk Art Market here in Santa Fe from a Rwandan woman who was representing a collective of Hutu and Tutsi women who started weaving and selling baskets as a means of supporting their families as most of their men were killed during the war/genocide in Rwanda.

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Carolyn11215
Small Country | Gael Faye
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6 pages in and oh my gosh...this coming of age book set against the backdrop of Rwanda genocide and Burundi civil war is likely to tear my heart out I fear. “So...why are they (Tutsis and Hutus) at war? Because they don‘t have the same nose.” Sometimes hatred is nonsensical to those outside the conflict. And this...”Poetry may not be news. But it is all that human beings retain from their journey on this earth.”

StellarDoc Such a good book! 3y
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TheLibrarian
Small Country | Gael Faye
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This coming-of-age story that was a previous #BOTM selection is currently on sale for the Kindle for only $1.99!

#kindledeals

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Buechersuechtling
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Mehso-so

Phew. For me this is a “should” book.
I should have liked it more. It should have touched and moved me more.

But it didn‘t. Only the last 20-40 minutes left a mark in me that will last a while. It‘s not that Faye can‘t narrate, it‘s just that the plot felt so distant to me despite of his flowery tone.

I had problems keeping the characters apart until the very end.

Yes, an important book, especially for the author. But it‘s not for me.

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Buechersuechtling
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I read good things about this here on Litsy and was eager to be the next in my library‘s row. I‘m in now about 1,5 hours – and until now I just can shrug 🤷🏽‍♀️. It‘s not bad at all. But I‘m not hooked at all, either.

Might just be me. Given the fact that it surely deals with in important topic I think I just expected it to grip me more and from the beginning.

But it has about 3 more hours to convince and move me.

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alisonrose
Small Country | Gael Faye
Pickpick

This is a harrowing read, one that doesn‘t shy away from the horrific truth it sets out to tell. It‘s an incredibly important one too, both for the people represented by the book to see the reality of their lives given voice and for many of us around the world who ought to know more about it. The writing is often beautiful, too. But I did find that at times it felt more like an essay than a novel, & being so short it felt pretty rushed. 3/5 ⭐️

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alisonrose
Small Country | Gael Faye

“Of course a book can change you. It can even change your life. It‘s like falling in love. And you never know when such an encounter might happen. You should beware of books, they‘re sleeping genies.”

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alisonrose
Small Country | Gael Faye

But the Rwanda of milk and honey had disappeared. It was now a mass grave, open to the skies.

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alisonrose
Small Country | Gael Faye

Beneath the calm appearance, behind the facade of smiles and optimistic speeches, dark underground forces were continuously at work, fomenting violence and destruction that returned for successive periods, like bad winds: 1965, 1972, 1988. A glowering, uninvited ghost showing up at regular intervals to remind us that peace is merely a brief interlude between two wars.

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alisonrose
Small Country | Gael Faye
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[Here is an example of why I really want the character limit increased on Litsy: when you want to post a long quote and it goes from one page to the next and you have to do some shitty cobbled together pic where you can‘t get the brightness to match no matter what you do.]

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alisonrose
Small Country | Gael Faye
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I usually don‘t like child narrators, but I imagine it might work well in a story like this. #nowreading

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theshrinkette
Small Country | Gael Faye
Pickpick

Oh this was so good. I don't actually know much about Rwandan and Burundi history and civil war strife but it was so illuminating to follow the main character's arc as shit falls apart around him.

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theshrinkette
Small Country | Gael Faye
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theshrinkette
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Hoping being in Chicago restores my reading mojo.

kim.guernsey yay Chicago! 3y
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shawnmooney
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Bailedbailed

Some fascinating geographical and cultural detail, but the writing/translation was just subpar. Decided not to continue after the 15% mark.

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readtheworld
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this short novel set in 1990s Burundi. Though its plot is set against the war and genocide in neighboring Rwanda, Small Country uses its young narrator to balance the horror and tragedy with childhood adventure.

#readtheworld #botm #bookofthemonth #readdiversely #readdiversebooks #marchreads

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readtheworld
Small Country | Gael Faye
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As soon as I got home from work, I settled in on the deck with my book. Feels like spring today!

#springreads #botm #readingoutside #novel

mrsthilkey I really enjoyed this one! 4y
readtheworld @mrsthilkey I‘m almost done and love it! 4y
72 likes2 comments
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JamieArc
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Still drooling over my weekend #bookmail from FRANCE 🇫🇷Sent by a generous acquaintance who is teaching there. I‘m needing to brush up on my french for my upcoming trip in May. You may recognize a few titles: Small Country (Faye) and The Perfect Nanny (Slimani).

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MsLeah8417
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Pickpick

🌟🌟🌟🌟

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MsLeah8417
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Appreciating this via audiobook...love my public library...#bookbudget

Gezemice Looks like a great book. And my library has it, too! I love my library as well. 4y
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Marco66
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Pickpick

How does the lighthearted universe of an 11 year old, full of laughter and play, come tumbling down because of political turmoil and ethnic violence? Small country describes the 1993 and 94 terrible events in Burundi and Rwanda (a bloodshed coup and a genocide) as seen through the eyes of Gabriel. Not sure the moods of Bujumbura evoked in the book can be felt as vividly by someone who has not been there, but this is definitely worth the read.

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razmanda
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Pickpick

A beautiful novel written by a survivor of the Rwandan genocide in 1993, both autobiographical and fiction, Small Country illustrates perfectly how slow to boil a danger can be, and then suddenly the pot is spilling over. It‘s a chilling reminder, just a few days after Holocaust Remembrance Day and as our country slides into deeper tribalism with each passing moment. Or at least that‘s how it feels. It‘s a really hard fucking read. Read it anyway.

Jee_HookedOnBookz Stacked! 4y
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BarbaraBB
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Pickpick

In this little book Gabriel tells about how he was “exiled from his childhood” by the war between Hutu‘s and Tutsi‘s in his country, Burundi. A war I remember so well from the 90s but know so little about. The genocide based only on etnic differences. An impressive, sad read based on a true story.

Thanks again for choosing this book for me, @Moray_Reads , I am really glad to have read it 😘

Moray_Reads I'm so glad. The author did an amazing event at the Edinburgh Book Festival this year. It was fascinating 4y
BarbaraBB @Moray_Reads You saw him? He seems like a really nice man. 4y
Moray_Reads @BarbaraBB he was fascinating and extremely talented 4y
BarbaraBB @Moray_Reads I think so too. You should read this book yourself too - or maybe you already did? 4y
Moray_Reads @BarbaraBB I read it reality this year. I had an arc from netgalley 😊 4y
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BarbaraBB
Small Country | Gael Faye
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ElishaLovesBooks I love this!! ♥️♥️ 4y
robinb Wow, so great! ❤️ 4y
Kalalalatja 🙌🙌🙌 4y
youneverarrived ♥️ 4y
56 likes4 comments
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RealLifeReading
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Came across this at the library. Didn‘t borrow it but definitely going on my tbr list. Have you read it?

merelybookish Not yet. But it's on the Tournament of Books long list so may try to read it! 4y
Samplergal I really liked it. 4y
DannyOlda I enjoyed it. There were some topics I wish it touched on a bit more (e.g. race and especially privilege) but still really a compelling read and short enough to really make it worth the time. 4y
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Lauren_reading
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Pickpick

So short and so good. Genocide and war in less than 200 pages, it was heartbreaking. #botm

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Cadyly
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Pickpick

I gave this book 4/5 stars.

Some years ago, I had the privilege of meeting someone who lived through the Rwandan Genocide. I was able to hear her speak and give her a hug after the talk. So, when I heard about this book as one of my Book of the Month options, I had to pick it up.

Gael Faye speaks with a compelling voice and really has a gift for making you feel the burgeoning horror. It was moving and heartbreaking and beautiful.

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Schlinkles
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Pickpick

This book was small and immensely, heartbreakingly beautiful.

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Schlinkles
Small Country | Gael Faye
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This one looks small but powerful.

LiteraryHedgehog It is. Wow it‘s stuck with me. 4y
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emilyhaldi
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Panpan

This story is so meandering and detached that I couldnt connect with any of the characters and was bored out of my skull! The writing is very simple and almost reads like YA. Perhaps I picked it up at the wrong time...
#booked2018
#diverseNF

Cinfhen So glad I skipped this!!! It was a #BOTM choice 4y
Reviewsbylola Not to mention his one leg looks like a big dick to me. I see it every time. Am I the only one?? 4y
Mdargusch Great cover though. 🙃 4y
Mdargusch I can see that @Reviewsbylola 4y
Buechersuechtling Thanks for your review. Although I didn‘t rate it “Pan” but “So-So” I‘m so glad that I‘m not alone with my mixed and definitely not-enthusiastic feelings towards this. 3y
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amma-keep-reading
Small Country | Gael Faye
Pickpick

Such a tragic story in beautiful prose.

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Lola
Small Country | Gael Faye
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A really nice day with lots of walking-couldn‘t wait to sink into the bath with my current read and an Aperol Spritz. #saturdaynight #bookandbath

emilyhaldi Aperol spritz for the win 4y
Lola @emilyhaldi I love them 😍 I buy those half bottles of Prosecco and have a Rabbit Champagne sealer to keep the leftovers (in the event there are any 😉) bubbly so I‘m always Aperol Spritz ready 😛 4y
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Bookishgal71
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Mehso-so

Just finished this for #LMPBC #GroupQ. A journey unexpected. I knew nothing of Burundi, nor Rwanda, before this. An interesting take on what war can do to a soul. Heading your way soon @mklong

mklong I got it today. Thank you so much!! 4y
Bookishgal71 @mklong wait! Was I supposed to send that to you? Are you sitting this round out? Sorry if I messed up... 4y
mklong Yes, I am sitting this round out, but this one was mine from the last round. I think you have, or maybe will have soon, Jen‘s book from this round. I think you‘ll send that to her with your pick for the new round. Right ladies? @JenlovesJT47 @sweetpealsd 4y
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JenlovesJT47 @sweetpealsd @Bookishgal71 @mklong I just sent LaToya‘s book back from this last round along with my new pick for this round. She will send hers to Mindi (she usually sends to you, right?) and Mindi will send yours to me. Correct me if I‘m wrong, I have baby brain at the moment! 😩 4y
Bookishgal71 Yes and I received the gospel singer book at the same time as Small Country, so I am quickly reading that one to send on to you, Jen. Along with it I will send my next pick. (edited) 4y
Buechersuechtling Thank you for your review. I‘m so glad that I‘m not alone with my mixed and definitely not-enthusiastic feelings towards this. 3y
21 likes6 comments
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Sue
Small Country | Gael Faye
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I was pretty stoked to be part of the roll out for Book Riot‘s new initiative MyTBR. Answer a few questions and you‘ll be assigned a bibliologist who will tailor books recommendations just for you. These were mine - spot on for my reading life and none were on my radar. You can check it out here http://mytbr.co/friendsandfam

#getTBR #bookriot #readinglife #amreading

Beckys_Books I just finished Trail of Lightning, so good!!! 4y
8little_paws Small country is amazing 4y
Peddler410 I looked into it — cool concept. 4y
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Lola I just signed up for this today! I really don‘t need another way to get books on my radar, but I couldn‘t resist 😂 4y
Lola @8little_paws I‘m reading it now :) 4y
8little_paws @Lola great! It was mentioned last night at roscoebooks rep night too! 4y
Lola @8little_paws Yes! With lots of enthusiasm, too! I tried to catch your eye last night (I was sitting on your side, toward the front) but was unsuccessful :/ You also rec‘ed this to me at Read Harder via GR so I had to dive in already ;) I have the hard cover but I also downloaded the audio yesterday. Dominic Hoffman reads it and I love his voice. (edited) 4y
8little_paws @Lola I thought I saw the back of your head 🤣 4y
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Erin01
Small Country | Gael Faye
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just started this one & enjoying it so far - will definitely be able to finish it over lunch tomorrow (if I don't end up bringing it home tonight) 📖

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Bookishgal71
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Received these in the mail today @sweetpealsd ! So exciting! #LMPBC #groupq

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LiteraryHedgehog
Small Country | Gael Faye
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Loving my new hat and my new book. Any other #BookNerds here?!

rmaclean4 Love the hat!! 4y
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