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A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel | Anthony Marra
New York Times Notable Book of the Year * Washington Post Top Ten Book of the YearIn a small rural village in Chechnya, eight-year-old Havaa watches from the woods as Russian soldiers abduct her father in the middle of the night and then set fire to her home. When their lifelong neighbor Akhmed finds Havaa hiding in the forest with a strange blue suitcase, he makes a decision that will forever change their lives. He will seek refuge at the abandoned hospital where the sole remaining doctor, Sonja Rabina, treats the wounded. For Sonja, the arrival of Akhmed and Havaa is an unwelcome surprise. Weary and overburdened, she has no desire to take on additional risk and responsibility. But over the course of five extraordinary days, Sonjas world will shift on its axis and reveal the intricate pattern of connections that weaves together the pasts of these three unlikely companions and unexpectedly decides their fate. A story of the transcendent power of love in wartime, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a work of sweeping breadth, profound compassion, and lasting significance.Now with Extra Libris material, including a readers guide and bonus content from the author.
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review
EmilieGR
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Mehso-so

I can acknowledge that Marra is a beautiful writer and that this is a heartfelt story, while also admitting that I had trouble staying engaged. It‘s written in a particular style that I have trouble connecting with.

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CBee
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Pickpick

A beautiful, absolutely heartbreaking book. I highly recommend it, but it did take me longer to read, what with everything in Ukraine (the parallels are scary), plus this isn‘t a book that you can really speed through. I loved it and I‘m so glad I read it.

HeatherBookNerd So so good. Brutal at times, but worth the emotional investment. 7mo
Megabooks 💯💯 7mo
CBee @HeatherBookNerd I agree 100%!! 7mo
65 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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Megabooks
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Pickpick

This novel set during the Chechen wars is beautifully heartbreaking. It‘s a book that sticks with you.

Ahmed saves a girl from Russian patrols and brings her to Sonja, the last doctor in a beleaguered wartime hospital. Ahmed trained as a doctor but has no skill. There is a lot of flashing forward and back to complete the characters‘ stories, which is confusing in the #audiobook, however Sonja‘s search for her sister Natasha shone through. ⬇️

Megabooks I wanted to get my hands on a print copy, but they don‘t exist except secondhand and the few I found were very expensive! #AnnisfieldWolfAwardWinner #pop22 @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB @KarenUK @Kalalalatja @4thhouseontheleft @Laughterhp @RaeLovesToRead @Cortg @jenniferw88 @squirrelbrain 8mo
CBee This is on my bingo board for April! I have it on Kindle. 8mo
Cortg This sounds good and I was curious so I looked and my library system has 6 print copies. I placed a hold but not 100% I‘ll get around to reading it. 8mo
See All 25 Comments
Readerann I love this book SO much! 8mo
sarahbarnes I loved this one. ❤️ 8mo
DGRachel I love this book so much!! 8mo
DGRachel Also, B&N online has the paperback for $15.99, if you still want a hard copy. 8mo
BarbaraBB I enjoyed this one a lot too but it‘s stupid how little I remember now 🤦🏻‍♀️ 8mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB yeah, there are a few books I feel that way about too. I remember the love but not the plot/characters. 8mo
Megabooks @DGRachel ah, I can‘t believe I missed it on bn! I‘ll see. I‘m having HUGE space issues atm. 😞 the book is fantastic though. 8mo
Megabooks @sarahbarnes for sure 💜💜 8mo
Megabooks @Readerann it was excellent! 8mo
Megabooks @Cortg yeah, It has been on my TBR forever since I loved his story collection. I‘m glad it fit the prompt. I hope you get around to it. Story collection 👉🏻 8mo
Megabooks @CBee enjoy! 🤩 8mo
BarbaraBB @Megabooks Only a few I think, in your case. You always remember all plots - quite impressive, especially considering the amount of books you read! 8mo
Megabooks @BarbaraBB thank you for the vote of confidence, but I don‘t think that‘s always true! And I can NEVER remember characters‘ names. As in I have to look them up to write the review the next day. 😂😂 I did remember Sonja in this book because they discussed the anglicized spelling of her name with a j instead of a y or i. But usually I don‘t remember them at all. 8mo
squirrelbrain Ooh, I might give this a go. I can get this one or the story collection on Audible - which would be best do you think? 8mo
Megabooks @squirrelbrain I read the story collection years ago and it was brilliant - 5⭐️. This is more 4.5⭐️ so both are excellent. I read the story collection, so I don‘t know about narrators. This narrator was amazing, but the nature of the telling with the frequent time jumps made it hard to follow. So maybe the short stories if you like the narrator. 👍🏻👍🏻 8mo
DGRachel I hear you on the space issues. I now have stacks around my house and I have to figure out what to do with them because I literally have no shelf space anymore and nowhere in my house to put more bookcases. 😭😭 8mo
Cortg I placed a hold for this one as well 8mo
Lesliereads I really enjoyed this book! 8mo
Megabooks @DGRachel most of mine are in a single room and it is FULL! I‘m culling every quarter now. 8mo
Megabooks @Cortg I hope you enjoy them! 8mo
KarenUK I‘m going to read this one for this prompt too! Glad you enjoyed it! 💕 8mo
83 likes3 stack adds25 comments
review
vlwelser
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Pickpick

This book is really very good. It's about the war(s) in Chechnya and what people will do when faced with impossible situations. I heard about this one on the NPR book of the day and definitely glad I tried it out. (Basically everything pales in comparison to the Malaysian garden book.) I definitely recommend this. I learned things.

#BookSpinBingo @TheAromaofBooks

EvieBee I thought this was such a good book. Hard to read at times but completely worthwhile. 8mo
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! 8mo
44 likes2 comments
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ClairesReads
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Pickpick

This took my breath away even more on a reread. on reflection I realised that what is so resonant about this novel is it‘s timeless observations about humanity. Although Marra does shed light on the Chechen War, at its heart this story is about many of the things that make us universally human; resilience in the face of unspeakable horror, betrayal, forgiveness, and the unforgivable, and most significantly human connection.

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azulaco
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Pickpick

This book was so good! I highly recommend it as a realistic portrait of life in Chechnya during the time of the wars for independence in the late 20th/early 21st centuries. It was intense, at times gruesomely detailed about torture and war injuries, and informative about modern Chechen history. This book was eye-opening about the human cost of the wars in Chechnya. I liked how the characters‘ stories wove together, and I loved the writing.

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KimM
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Pickpick

A very raw depiction of life during the post Soviet Union Chechen conflict.

“In her darkest moments, Sonja sees her life as “an uneven orbit around a dark star, a moth circling a dead bulb,” but against that image is the textbook definition: “a constellation of vital phenomena — organization, irritability, movement, growth, reproduction, adaptation.”

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Honeybeebooks
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Pickpick

This was a revelation to me. Sadly I had little knowledge of the complex politics and wars in Chechnya before listening to it. However, it has inspired me to learn more. This novel and the events that inspired it were heartbreaking. The characters are richly drawn and Marra strips them down to their most basic and base selves. Their horrors and scars will stay with you as will their love and joy. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️+

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BarbaraBB
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Pickpick

Against the background of the Chechen wars against post-Soviet Russia, there is this immensely sad story of love and loss, of friendship and trust, of grief and hope.
The lives of Akhmed, Sonja and Havaa are intertwining in many and surprising ways. Great storytelling!

Megabooks I keep meaning to read this. I loved 2y
BarbaraBB @Megabooks That is one I keep meaning to read. I am sure you‘ll love this one too! (edited) 2y
daisyheadmaesie Sounds like a great book! 2y
BarbaraBB @daisyheadmaesie It is, the plot is amazing and it‘s a real page turner despite the heavy subject. 2y
69 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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bookishdawg
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TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 3y
17 likes1 comment
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DGRachel
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#7days7books. @JaclynW tagged me for this and I‘ve seen it done with or without comments, so I‘m not sure of the rules or how to limit it to 7, but here goes. 7 books that left an indelible mark on me. This is a bit of a cheat, but I read these two back-to-back and they were similarly inspiring. I‘ll leave it at that for now. 😉 #Day1

JaclynW I haven't read either! They both look good. 3y
Cathythoughts Oh I‘ve read both of these ... and I loved both 👍🏻❤️ 3y
DGRachel @JaclynW They are! Constellation was recommended by someone here on Litsy and totally got me out of a massive funk. 3y
JaclynW @DGRachel Yay! Funks are no fun. I added the book to my list. (Ever growing! 😄) 3y
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Jess861
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Pickpick

This book is a top pick for me. It is well written and to the point which goes well with the subject matter. I really enjoyed the one or two sentence descriptions on where characters ended up after the wars - even about the ones we just meet in passing. All the characters have good and bad in them which helps make them believable. You learn about Chechnya history (mainly the Chechen Wars) throughout the book.

#HistoricalFiction #MillenialAuthor

Lauram I had this book on my tbr for a really long time. I‘m so glad I finally got around to reading it last year. 3y
Jess861 @Lauram - I hear you, it was on my TBR for a few years and I'm so happy I finally got to it. Makes me wonder what other great books are lurking on my TBR. 3y
39 likes2 comments
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Jess861
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Just over half way through and am thoroughly enjoying this book. A very to the point story with some well rounded characters. Also learning about the history of Chechnya through the lives of the characters as it gives you a look into the Chechen wars with Russia. I don't want to put this book down. Need to complete in the next week as it is due back at the library at the end of the weekend.

#CurrentlyReading #HistoricalFiction #LibraryBook

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IamIamIam
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Pickpick

Not an easy read by any means but a wonderfully woven web detailing life in Chechnya during the second Chechan war. I loved the way all the characters related to each other, similar to Station Eleven. Even with the heartbreaking details of everyone's lives, I didn't dislike any of the characters, which is saying a lot.
#Booked2020 #MillenialAuthor #Winter
@Cinfhen @BarbaraTheBibliophage @4thhouseontheleft

BarbaraTheBibliophage Great pick! 👊🏻📚♥️ 3y
52 likes1 comment
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Cuilin
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Pickpick

Finished this today on a snow day. I mentioned in an earlier post how this book was about loss and it is, loss of people, country, power, self, love, hope, name, faith and humanity. It‘s also about redemption, rescue, survival and recovery. I knew nothing about Chechnya before I read this and that‘s what I love about a novel, because now I feel something for a place I‘ll probably never visit.

Follow.my.read I loved this book!!!!! 3y
Cathythoughts ❤️👍🏻 3y
35 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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IamIamIam
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Aside from the heartbreak of war, I've learned a ton about Chechnya and its location. I truly have very little understanding of how expansive Russia is, even though I know you can't hold the western Russian front in a game of Risk! I've been doing a lot of research simply because I'm totally unfamiliar with the area.

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Cuilin
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This book is so much about the process of loss and grief. Over halfway through.

“It was that hope, lingering in the slimmest margins of possibility, that hurt her more than the loss”
“This is the hardest part , she could have told him, before time dulls the loss to a manageable ache”

Cathythoughts I loved this one 💔 3y
23 likes1 comment
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Cuilin
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At lunch and about to delve into tagged book.

rmaclean4 I have owned this book for years and have not read it yet! I will be interested to hear your thoughts. 3y
15 likes1 stack add1 comment
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IamIamIam
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Getting this started for #Booked2020 #winter #MillenialAuthor after Gingerbread was too much for me.
@Cinfhen @BarbaraTheBibliophage @4thhouseontheleft

Cinfhen I own Gingerbread too but so far I‘m batting zero with Oyeyemi and I‘m too nervous to give it a go 😬 3y
IamIamIam @Cinfhen I tried listening to it and I was so lost. After 45 minutes, I decided it was okay to give up. Not every book will be for me! Lol, try it and don't hesitate to pass it on to someone else!! 3y
Cinfhen I should have done that MONTHS ago but the cover is SOOOOOO beautiful I still want to stare at it 😁😂 3y
See All 11 Comments
IamIamIam @Cinfhen 😂😂😂😂 3y
Suet624 I hope you love this book as much as I do. 3y
IamIamIam @Suet624 🤗❤ That's really reassuring!!! Thanks so much!!! 3y
DGRachel This was such a wonderful book!! 💖💖 3y
IamIamIam @DGRachel Now I'm really excited! 🤗💜 3y
DGRachel I think I read it in 2017 at @Suet624 recommendation and it was one of my favorite books that year. It helped me out of a reading funk. 3y
IamIamIam @DGRachel @Suet624 You guys must be part of the Anthony Marra fan club 😂 Honestly, you both made me really excited to get through this! I'm only about an hour and a half in and it's already tough going. 3y
Suet624 I read it, didn‘t listen. I don‘t know how it works in audio. But I am definitely in the Marra fan club. I love everything he writes. 3y
35 likes11 comments
review
Cathythoughts
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Pickpick

This is a dark & beautiful book. Searching the depths of human feeling ... the characters are wounded physically & emotionally. Speaking of those they had lost to wartimes , Sonja says “ maybe we try to find them in other people, in kindness & generosity “
Such truthful & brilliant writing.
I will use for #millennialauthor #booked2020

Cinfhen Beautiful review! Not an easy book to get through 3y
Cathythoughts @Cinfhen thanks! I so agree , it‘s not easy to get through 3y
batsy Lovely review ❤️ 3y
See All 13 Comments
Cathythoughts @batsy Thanks Suba ❤️👍🏻 3y
TrishB Great review 💜 3y
Cathythoughts @TrishB Thanks 🙏❤️💔 3y
DGRachel One of my favorite books of 2017. I‘m eternally grateful to Litsy for the recommendation, as it got me out of a slump. 3y
Billypar Great review: glad you stuck with it! I kept putting myself in the characters' shoes, which is terrifying given the violence described, but it gave me a new appreciation for what it must mean to be brave in a situation like that. 3y
Cathythoughts @DGRachel A great book. I‘m eternally grateful to Litsy too ... almost all the books I read now are Litsy recommendations ❤️❤️❤️ 3y
Cathythoughts @Billypar Thanks Vinny, , it took courage to put yourself in their shoes ...💔. I loved the way life& love were seen as always having been here before we were born & will always be here after we are gone .. I loved that 3y
andrew61 Great review cathy, makes me want to reread as a while since i put it down. 3y
Cathythoughts @andrew61 Thanks Andrew ! It‘s a memorable book for sure 3y
Suet624 Great comment @billypar this book will always stay with me. 3y
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Cathythoughts
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Reading by my fire , I want to bail , but the writing is waking up a part of me that wants to hear this/these stories - of war & the people who lived through this time - 2004 the second Chechen war , I‘ve become very invested in the characters now , it‘s too late to bail , a woman curved like a comma , an eclipse, metaphors that cut to the truth 👍🏻💔❤️ Thankyou #booked2020 I‘m reading books I might never have #millennialauthor

TrishB Looks like a gorgeous reading spot ❤️ 3y
Tamra So comfy! This one is on my shelf so I‘m curious. 3y
Cathythoughts @TrishB there‘s nothing like the fire 👍🏻❤️ 3y
See All 16 Comments
Cathythoughts @Tamra it‘s not an easy read ... not the content or the writing process... but I‘m persevering because I picked it for the challenge & I‘m hooked now 👍🏻❤️ 3y
Cinfhen This book is so dark and I almost bailed so many times but like you the writing was so powerful I felt the need to persevere. Im glad I did. 3y
JennyM Cozy fires! It sounds like a book to push through with 3y
Cathythoughts @Cinfhen yes! That‘s exactly it. Powerful writing 👍🏻❤️ 3y
Cathythoughts @JennyM yes, I love the winter & the fire ! My favorite time & definitely a book to push through with👍🏻❤️💔 3y
Cuilin I can smell that fire. Briquettes, miss those. I‘m adding the book to my TR pile. I‘ve heard the writing is wonderful. 3y
Amiable This book was one of my very few 5-star reads the year I read it . The writing just blew me away. I still think about it . 3y
readordierachel Love this post ❤ 3y
Cathythoughts I hope you‘ll like it 👍🏻❤️ the briquettes are great , they light up well X 3y
Cathythoughts @Amiable yes, the writing is brilliant! ❤️❤️❤️ 3y
jenniferw88 Hi, just letting you know that #lmpbc arrived safely today - thanks for the extra book - and I hope you enjoy The Butcher's Hook when you get round to it! X 3y
Cathythoughts @jenniferw88 thanks Jenny 👍🏻😘 3y
Cathythoughts @jenniferw88 Snap was on your TBR .... l really loved it ! 3y
70 likes16 comments
review
Nebklvr
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Pickpick

This book is a conundrum. A confusion of shifting timelines, locations, and points of view. Wonderful writing used to describe events so hard they steal the breath from your body and blank your mind. Did I love this book? No. But I will certainly remember its melancholy message and unrelenting bleakness.

Tamra Ohhhhh, unrelenting bleakness. I like that phrase! Sounds up my alley, unfortunately. 😏 3y
Nebklvr @Tamra The writing is fantastic. 3y
Tamra @Nebklvr I‘ve heard that and haven‘t managed to pull it off the shelf. Just a matter of too many books! Your post is a good reminder. 3y
See All 15 Comments
Nebklvr @Tamra It isn‘t an easy read but it sounds like that shouldn‘t be a problem. I would be interested in your thoughts on it. 3y
Hidie I loved this book! 3y
Nebklvr @Hidie Have you read his other book? 3y
Cathythoughts Reading this one now .... 👍🏻❤️ 3y
Becker The writing is impressive 3y
Nebklvr @Cathythoughts Excellent! Look forward to your review 3y
Nebklvr @Becker Very impressive 3y
Hidie @Nebklvr no, I haven't 3y
Nebklvr @Hidie It sounds more like short stories. I have it but will wait a bit before reading. 3y
Suet624 I‘ve read his other book. You‘re right - they are short stories but they tie together. It is the same subject matter as well. While Constellation will always be my favorite, Techno was quite good. 3y
Nebklvr @Suet624 I have it but need to wait a bit before delving back into that place and time😳 3y
Suet624 I totally understand. 😬 3y
56 likes1 stack add15 comments
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Cathythoughts
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“ The people who have the bullets , have the bandages”
........ Sonja trying to get supplies for her one-doctor poor war torn hospital
This book is so surprising... I didn‘t know what to expect , but the writing is so good & insightful & different

MaureenMc This book is so wonderful! I find his writing amazing. 3y
Cathythoughts @MaureenMc yes!! I agree ❤️👍🏻 3y
eshchory This is one of my favourite books of all time. It made be cry because I love all the characters so much. 3y
See All 7 Comments
Cathythoughts @eshchory yes! Lovely characters! Beautiful book 3y
Suet624 @eshchory I‘m with you. An absolute favorite of mine. Have you read the tagged book? That‘s good too. 3y
eshchory It's on my shelf waiting to be read!! 3y
Reagan I agree! This book was a real surprise and it was lovely. 3y
56 likes1 stack add7 comments
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Cathythoughts
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#Booked2020 #millennialauthor Starting this challenge today with this book 👍🏻❤️📚

rockpools I‘ve heard do much good about this one. Happy New Year, Cathy! 3y
Cathythoughts @RachelO Happy New Year Rachel ❤️ 3y
TrishB Enjoy 👍🏻 happy new year ♥️ 3y
See All 14 Comments
Tanisha_A Have fun! Happy new year. 🎉🎈 3y
Centique This is a title that I keep hearing about! It‘s like it‘s calling to me! Will look forward to your thoughts 😍 Happy New Year Cathy! 3y
JennyM Happy new year, Cathy! 😘 3y
Andrew65 Happy New Year Cathy. 🥳 3y
squirrelbrain Happy New Year! 😘 3y
Cathythoughts @TrishB @Tanisha_A Happy New Year 🥳🥳😘😘 3y
Cathythoughts @Centique Happy New Year ❤️. The book is very good so far .... 3y
Cathythoughts @JennyM @Andrew65 @squirrelbrain and many happy returns friends 😘😘😘 3y
Cinfhen Happy New Year!!! You‘ve chosen a beloved book on Litsy to kickstart 2020!!!! Well done 👍🏽 3y
Cathythoughts @Cinfhen thanks! Happy New Year to you. The book is really good too 😁 3y
IamIamIam Just chose this too after I had a hard time listening to 3y
61 likes14 comments
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Nebklvr
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“He was losing her incrementally.”.... This passage is the most beautifully written and tragically apt description of dementia.

Blueberry Such a good book. 3y
Nebklvr @Blueberry Enjoying it so far. 3y
33 likes2 comments
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nofutureparttwo

“History writes itself. It doesn‘t need my assistance.”
“But it‘s your life‘s work.”
“Your life‘s work could be scrubbing piss from a toilet bowl. Work isn‘t meaningful just because you spend your life doing it.”

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heylaurenmack

Finally finished this one tonight. Any narrative that ties up several characters all clever like always makes me all gushy inside. The war in this book felt like it was unfolding in front of you without detailing much battle. What a treasure.

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heylaurenmack
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Finally have a day off and it‘s Wimbledon and Reading for me. And laundry. But we‘ll ignore that last part.

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heylaurenmack

The things in his life that caused him the most sorrow were the things he‘d lived with the longest, and now that everything was falling they became the pillars that held him: had he a thirty two year old toothache rather than a thirty two year old son, he would have treasured it the same.

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Tashreads
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Pickpick

This book is a marvel. It made me laugh out loud and sob like a baby. It‘s both harrowing and hopeful. A haunting story of war and love set in Chechnya. There are books you read for entertainment and to escape. Then there are books that matter. This book matters.⁣

52 likes2 stack adds
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Cathythoughts
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#MayMovieMagic In Spain 💃🏾🇪🇸View from our balcony 👍🏻📖 and Spanish wine 👍🏻 and #younevercantell who you might meet : a woman on the flight was reading a book ... I had to ask her what it was ( tagged book) I see lots of Litsy love & I love this quote from the book .. my next step is to get this one asap

Reggie Lovely!! 4y
Cathythoughts @Reggie thanks. The sun is powerful here ... we don‘t get this kind of weather at home .. loving it 4y
erzascarletbookgasm I have this on tbr , got to get to it soon. Like you said, lots of Litsy love. And looks like great weather in Spain ☀️ 4y
See All 37 Comments
rohit-sawant Wonderful post! 💕 4y
Cathythoughts @erzascarletbookgasm the same woman recommended the author Rose Tremain !! I was thinking of you ♥️👍🏻 (edited) 4y
Cathythoughts @rohit-sawant Thanks 👍🏻💕💕 4y
eraderneely That is doing holiday right! ☀️ 4y
Cathythoughts @eraderneely I think so too 😀 ☀️ 🌞 4y
batsy Gorgeous views 😍 And you look beautiful ❤️ 4y
Cathythoughts @batsy ahh Thankyou ! It‘s so good to relax ♥️♥️ 4y
saresmoore Lovely—the view and happy you! It is a wonderful, remarkable book. 4y
Amiable This book is amazing. And I don‘t toss that word around lightly. 4y
Freespirit Enjoy Spain...such a vibrant country❤️ 4y
Cathythoughts @Freespirit thanks 😀♥️great country alright 👍🏻 4y
Cathythoughts @saresmoore thanks! Yes I‘m looking forward to this book ♥️ 4y
Becker Loved this book. 4y
Cathythoughts @Amiable yes ! I‘ll get it soon now. Sounds great. 👍🏻♥️ 4y
Cathythoughts @Becker great to hear such positive feedback on this book ♥️ 4y
Billypar I read it a few months ago and it's still a frontrunner for my favorite of the year. 4y
Cathythoughts @Billypar oh man !!! I‘ll have to get this one soon 👍🏻😀 4y
Tanisha_A Ah! Lovely collage. Enjoy Spain! 4y
Cathythoughts @Tanisha_A thanks 🌞all good here in the sun 😘 4y
MaureenMc Enjoy! And yes, the book is wonderful. 😊 4y
BarbaraBB Enjoy Spain! ❤️ 4y
Cathythoughts @MaureenMc this book is getting so much love 👍🏻♥️ 4y
Cathythoughts @BarbaraBB ♥️👍🏻 4y
GripLitGrl How great enjoy!💕 4y
Cathythoughts @GripLitGrl thankyou 😘 4y
TrishB Lovely 💕💕 4y
bedandabook Hope you have a fantastic holiday! 💕 4y
Cathythoughts @TrishB ♥️👍🏻 4y
Cathythoughts @bedandabook so far it lovely 😊🙏🏻X 4y
youneverarrived Gorgeous 💖 4y
Cathythoughts @youneverarrived thankyou Katie X 4y
LeahBergen Aww, look how pretty you look! 💕💕 4y
Cathythoughts @LeahBergen thankyou Leah XXX 4y
andrew61 Great photos, have a great time cathy. 4y
63 likes37 comments
review
GeekGrl82
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Pickpick

The first half of this really dragged for me, but it was made up with the second half when Marra really brings the story together. I knew nothing about Chechnya or Chechen history, & it is far too complex to understand in this story, taking place between 1994 & 2004. But it is a beginning. This is a story of every day people & survival. What will you do to survive? What is moral in times of war? This is one I will think about for a while.

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Lauram
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Pickpick

“You mean Ronald just stepped down after ten years?‘ he asked. She had to be putting him on.
‘He just stepped down and George Bush became President.‘
‘And then George Bush shot Ronald Reagan to prevent him from seizing power?‘
‘No,‘ she said. ‘I think they were friends.‘
‘Friends?‘ he asked. ‘It makes me wonder how we lost the Cold War.‘
‘Good point.”

I loved this sad and wonderful book. #LitsyAtoZ

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Billypar
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Pickpick

I loved it: Marra is a wonderful storyteller: the characters are painted with such nuance and tenderness. The circumstances they face couldn't be more bleak, but it's an inspiration to see the resiliency and even humor in their responses. The writing is poetic in an organic way: Marra knows when to reflect on a moment of significance and when to continue the story. I'd recommend this to anyone: it's good for the soul without any false notes.

Megabooks You‘ve sold it to me! Great review! 4y
Billypar @Megabooks Hope you enjoy: I had high expectations going in and it didn't disappoint! 4y
Blaire One of my favorite reads of the last few years. 4y
Billypar @Blaire Yeah I could see it becoming a modern classic, even though that's always hard to predict 4y
SqueakyChu This is a great book which should be more widely read! (edited) 4y
51 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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Billypar
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#EverythingIsMovingSoFast #TimbitTunes
#currentread
At that point in a good novel where you cross the halfway point and you are extra eager to find out what happens and even indulge thoughts about the next book. But at the same time you think how much you're going to miss the characters and writing when it's over!
@TheKidUpstairs @Cinfhen

Becker I thought the writing was excellent. 4y
TheKidUpstairs I feel like there needs to be a word for that feeling... 4y
Velvetfur @TheKidUpstairs I agree! The halfway point is a thing of beauty to observe 😁 4y
See All 7 Comments
Cinfhen This was a heavy read but I agree, magical writing ❤️ 4y
Suet624 This is the book I recommend and buy as a gift more often than any other. An absolutely amazing book. 3y
Billypar @Suet624 Very true: it's tough for a book to have so many outwardly depressing things happen and still manage to be warm without cheating on the realism. 3y
Suet624 Yes, perfect description. 3y
59 likes7 comments
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Billypar
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Started this one today: the writing is beautiful- already seeing why this gets such enthusiastic praise.

Cathythoughts Amazing quote 4y
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cariashley
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Pickpick

I‘m mad at myself for taking so long to read this book; it sat on my TBR shelf for years. I knew it would be intense and sad, and it was, but it was just as damn good as I‘d heard. It devastated me but was worth it.

Crazeedi I can't read devastating right now, too much going on in my life 4y
cariashley @Crazeedi I totally get it, that‘s why I put it off for so long! Definitely needs to be the right time. 4y
DGRachel This was a #blameitonlitsy book for me. I asked for something that would suck me in and it did! Such a fantastic book. 4y
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Amiable
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Pickpick

Set in a small rural village in Chechnya, this book follows the lives of three characters over a five-day period (with flashbacks as well) and tells the story of how they all are intertwined. The novel is so good – especially the last 100 pages or so, when you won‘t be able to put it down. The writing is gorgeous--there's a page-long sentence on page 139 (paperback edition) that just takes your breath away.

Day 10: #adventrecommends

ReadingEnvy Still one of my favorites 4y
Suet624 @readingEnvy Yup, still one of my favorites too. 4y
74 likes8 stack adds3 comments
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BkClubCare
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Finally getting to my second Anthony Marra read. I adored The Tsar of Love and Techno. I don‘t have wifi access at the moment so this screenshot shows my latest Kindles.

Amiable Oh my goodness, this book has all the feels! It's an amazing work of literature. 4y
BkClubCare @Amiable - I‘m 10% in and already feeling it will be amazing. 4y
DMC_run8 I read them in the opposite order but adored them both! 4y
BkClubCare So good. 4y
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Dolly
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This is a hard book to read but so beautifully written. Very possibly my best book of the year.

Congratulations @TheLibrarian on your huge Litsy number 💃🏼🕺🏼and thank you so much for sharing the Litsy love by sharing with your#70kgiveaway

9999 I loved this book!! 4y
Amiable Such a wonderful book 4y
TheLibrarian Thank you for entering. I haven‘t heard of this book but it sounds really interesting! 4y
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emtobiasz
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Pickpick

This book is beautiful and brutal, describing at once a very small story of a Chechen village and city hospital, and yet communicating the full extent of ongoing war in Chechnya. Marra gives us glimpses of the past and future of nearly every character we meet, folding the war into everyday life until it becomes everyday life. We‘ll have lots to discuss at #under40bookclub this week, but in the meantime I need to read the fluffiest book I can find.

Jas16 Great review 4y
HeatherBookNerd I loved this book. It is indeed a brutal story at times. But it blew me away. 4y
57 likes2 comments
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emtobiasz
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#24in48 update: Started this ebook this morning for my #under40bookclub, but at 20% in I think this is a bit too heavy for me to read all at once. Which means I‘m starting a 3rd book to work on simultaneously during this readathon... 📚📚📚

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Dolly
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Good news! It means more new books! Thanks @Mommamanzi for the giveaway.
My favorite book so far this year is The Constellation of Vital Phenomena. Difficult times but beautifully written.
Tagging @OrangeMooseReads

Mommamanzi Ooooh have I got a book for you! Go ahead and send me an email nicoleorlando@hotmail.com with your name and mailing address! 4y
Dolly Woohoo! @Mommamanzi Thank you! Thank you! Email with address sent. 4y
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Kimbono
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This one has been on my nightstand for way too long. Currently reading: A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. #onmynightstand

Mdargusch You have a great selection there! 😁 4y
Kimbono @Mdargusch Thanks! So many books, so little time... 4y
25 likes1 stack add2 comments
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GinEyre22
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Good Reads has a summer reading challenge!

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GinEyre22
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May's reading stats

mrozzz 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 5y
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GinEyre22
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June's TBR and Read planner bookshelf

Reviewsbylola Wow, that‘s quite a list. 😍 5y
ladym30 Beautiful! 5y
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GinEyre22
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May's TBR and Read planner bookshelf