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A History of Loneliness
A History of Loneliness: A Novel | John Boyne
34 posts | 19 read | 80 to read
The riveting narrative of an honorable Irish priest who finds the church collapsing around him at a pivotal moment in its history Propelled into the priesthood by a family tragedy, Odran Yates is full of hope and ambition. When he arrives at Clonliffe Seminary in the 1970s, it is a time in Ireland when priests are highly respected, and Odran believes that he is pledging his life to "the good." Forty years later, Odran's devotion is caught in revelations that shatter the Irish people's faith in the Catholic Church. He sees his friends stand trial, colleagues jailed, the lives of young parishioners destroyed, and grows nervous of venturing out in public for fear of disapproving stares and insults. At one point, he is even arrested when he takes the hand of a young boy and leads him out of a department store looking for the boy's mother. But when a family event opens wounds from his past, he is forced to confront the demons that have raged within the church, and to recognize his own complicity in their propagation, within both the institution and his own family. A novel as intimate as it is universal, A History of Loneliness is about the stories we tell ourselves to make peace with our lives. It confirms Boyne as one of the most searching storytellers of his generation.
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This story is about the sexual abuse of children by the Catholic Church in Ireland so, for that reason, it will not be a book for everyone. However, I thought Boyne handled the subject with sensitivity and courage. He writes so beautifully💔

Tanisha_A Never read Boyne, he is super on my list. Ugh, time. 😭 Also, can I park myself in your chair for the rest of December? It's lovely! 4d
JennyM @Tanisha_A he‘s really great, I have no doubt you‘d enjoy his books. And you can come and sit in my chair anytime. How is work...any relief from it in sight? Hope you are looking after yourself 😘😘😘 4d
Tanisha_A @JennyM Hi love! Aw, you are the sweetest. I am definitely visiting Australia sometime, and i shall sit in that chair then. ❤️ Work is better now, waiting eagerly for 19th 'cause that's when i start my holiday which goes on till Jan 1st. Eeeee! 2d
Tanisha_A Hope all is well there! 💙 2d
JennyM @Tanisha_A yey!!! I‘ll start counting down to your hols with you. Hang in there! 😘😘😘 2d
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Plans for the #weeklyforecast ☝️

I‘ve been saying I‘ll read Loving Frank since January, but this week I WILL read it!

Have a good week everyone 📚

emilyhaldi Loving Frank is so good!!! 5d
JennyM @emilyhaldi I‘ve had a weird resistance to reading it and have put it off all year! No idea why, as I only ever hear good things. 5d
CarolynM I'll be interested to see what you think of You Belong Here. 5d
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Megabooks I‘m interested in your thoughts on Boyne‘s! 5d
JennyM @CarolynM I got it out after your review - it sounds great! 5d
Cinfhen Good luck with Frank 💚🍀I‘ve only heard good things 5d
JennyM @Megabooks at halfway I‘m really enjoying it. Not my favourites by him but he tells a great tale, so it‘s still fantastic! (edited) 5d
JennyM @Cinfhen thanks Cindy! Will be good to knock this off the pile. And even better if I enjoy it 😊 5d
LeeRHarry I loved Loving Frank!!! Hope you do too 😊 5d
Cinfhen I wasn‘t too Gaga over the Boyne ~ it was just ok for me. And I‘m not familiar with 5d
BarbaraBB I loved Loving Frank too. So much that I bought another book about him but that has turned out to be one I have a weird resistance towards! 5d
Kalalalatja I have never even heard of Loving Frank, but I‘ll look forward to your review! It sounds interesting 🤞 5d
JennyM @LeeRHarry I know...so I‘m extremely hopeful as you know how synced we usually are 😘 5d
LeeRHarry @JennyM 🤞😘 5d
JennyM @Cinfhen it‘s not my favourite by him, but I do love his writing style, even though this is a tough subject 💔 The other is #ozfiction and one that @Carolynm recently read. (edited) 5d
JennyM @BarbaraBB it‘s weird when we have these resistances to certain books. One thing that has put me off though is that the print in my copy is quite small and dense, so it is literally hard to read. I‘m really hoping I‘ll love it🤞 5d
JennyM @Kalalalatja there is so much love for it. I‘m hoping I share some of it 😊 5d
Cathythoughts Thanks! Have a good one you too 👍🏻❤️ 5d
JamieArc Loving Frank is a book I will never forget... 5d
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This book is all about the priesthood, specifically child abuse in the Catholic Church.

Cinfhen This was a tough but good read 3w
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#history #redroseseptember
Some history on my kindle 😁
Home, my liver needs a detox and I need sleep!!
Not much reading has been done....

arlenefinnigan Hehehehe 😉 3mo
Cinfhen Glad you‘re home safe & sound xx from what I‘m told a liver can regenerate / just give yourself 48 hours 😜 3mo
TrishB @Cinfhen it will well have a break for 48 hours! 😘 3mo
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BarbaraBB So you had a bliss in Portugal? Well deserved, you‘ve been working hard! Now rest ❤️ 3mo
TrishB @BarbaraBB 😘 I definitely need a little rest now! 3mo
gradcat Poor liver...I know just what you mean. No Portugal for me, though, just too much box-wine 🤢! 3mo
Caroline2 I bet it feels good to be home. I hope the hen do went ok. 👍🏻 3mo
TrishB @gradcat @Caroline2 ready for my own bed definitely! 3mo
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Unpopular opinion. And, I do love Boyne‘s writing. But. .... I need a plot. Listened to this on audiobook and some great scenes, but after 3 hours, it‘s just not taking off (although I can see where it‘s going). I just DNF‘d. #MountTBR

Beholderess A lot of authors forget about the importance of the plot 3mo
Cathythoughts I love a plot too 👍🏻 3mo
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A History of Loneliness is a fiction book that follows the main character through his journey from childhood into priesthood. Whether he is naive or chooses to ignore the happenings within the Catholic Church is for the reader to decide. This is a wonderful story about an Irish man and his experience with the Catholic Church that is an important read for all.

#Ireland #letstraveljuly #historicalfiction @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @OriginalCyn620

OriginalCyn620 Sounds like a good read! 🇮🇪 5mo
Jess861 @OriginalCyn620 I would definitely recommend it. Although it was slow at times - it was well written and an important story to be told. (edited) 5mo
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John Boyne has easily become one of my favorite authors. While I didn‘t love this novel as much as the previous two I‘ve read, I still found this book brave, compelling and thought provoking. I‘m sure many were uncomfortable and not pleased with his take on the Irish Catholic Church but i felt he painted an honest portrait of the life and struggles one experiences when he enters the priesthood.

Penny_LiteraryHoarders This one is my very, very favourite of his. This one and The Absolutist. 5mo
crazyspine He's really good. 5mo
Cinfhen @Penny_LiteraryHoarders @crazyspine The Absolutist & House of Special Purpose are both high up on my TBR! Have you read 👉🏾 (edited) 5mo
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DebinHawaii Pretty flowers. 🌺 5mo
Cinfhen Thanks @DebinHawaii they‘re still from my birthday but...they are starting to get “wilty” looking 😢 5mo
crazyspine No, I haven't. Just added to my TBR 5mo
TrishB The Absolutist is my fav too @Penny_LiteraryHoarders 5mo
Reviewsbylola He‘s one of my favorites too! I own this but haven‘t read it yet. 5mo
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#summersantagoespostal @TrishB @BookishMarginalia

What more can I say?! Thanks Trish for everything - I love it all & can't wait to dig into the books and chocolate!

Fun facts: the 'You are my sunshine' song is the one I associate most with my parents, so I'm probably going to be singing whilst reading 'My sunshine away'!

As soon as I saw the title of 'The Reckoning' I guessed Jane Casey (I hadn't even looked at the next book in the series!)

TrishB Awww so glad you haven‘t got the books! Always keeping our fingers crossed 🤞🏻🤞🏻 enjoy and it was great fun buying for you 😘😘 6mo
squirrelbrain What an amazing box! 💕 6mo
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#summersantagoespostal @TrishB @BookishMarginalia

OMG! Thank you so much Trish for all the Governess/Chase extras - there's a very HYPER Jenny in Broadstone right now! 🤣 I'm currently having Chase withdrawal symptoms because of the racing so these have cheered me right up!

As a family we do a lot of charity quizzes, so the notebook is going to be used for that as it's rather appropriate!
Part 2 coming shortly! Sending lots of virtual hugs!

RachelO How perfect! 6mo
TrishB I couldn‘t resist these! So glad you like them 😘😘 enjoy! 6mo
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Is John Boyne even capable of writing a bad book? This is the 7th by him that I‘ve read, and each one has been marvelous. This one tackles the very difficult topic of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church through the eyes of Odran, a priest from Dublin. Highly recommend.

Samplergal He is not. Unless you want to read his children‘s books, which I‘ve found not as good. ❤️ him. 7mo
Amiable @Samplergal I‘m not normally a YA reader, but I have read two of Boyne‘s kid‘s books and I found them to be emotional gut punches as well. They weren‘t as sophisticated and structured as his adult novels, but I don‘t expect that from YA. 7mo
Samplergal @Amiable The Dare was amazing but the one I didn‘t like was 7mo
Amiable @Samplergal Haven‘t read those two —I read “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” and “The Boy at the Top of the Mountain.” As I said, I rarely read YA, so I only read those two to expand upon my understanding of Boyne‘s entire catalogue. Since I don‘t read YA as a general rule, I guess I have no comparison to know if his children‘s books are really all that great? But I liked them! 😀 (edited) 7mo
Samplergal @Amiable I‘ve yet to read the Boy at the top of the Mountain. It‘s actually on my nightstand as one of my reading goals is to read all his work. I‘m getting closer. 😀 7mo
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1. I‘m a sucker for a light beach read. It‘s my popcorn! 2. We are taking the RV into the Everglades 🐊🐊🐊3. I loved the tagged book. Its about the Catholic Church crisis in Ireland. 4. I do a lot of animal impressions. 🐎🐑🐈🐂. Well. Came in handy working with 2-4 yr olds. 😂 5. 🙋🏻‍♀️ #friyayintro

Susanita 🖐🏻 10mo
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Wow, thank you @jenniferw88 what a lovely thing to come home to along with the next #whodunituk book! I‘m so happy with the book, love that I have some more John Boyne to read! Thank you so much!
Isn‘t Litsy a lovely place?? 🥰

Penny_LiteraryHoarders This John Boyne is my absolute favourite. Love it so much. That and The Absolutist. I have his latest to get into and I'm hoping for great things. 10mo
LoveToReadLiveToRead @Penny_LiteraryHoarders That‘s good to hear! I‘m a new fan, I read The Heart‘s Invisible Furies last year and loved it so much. I‘ve recommended it so many times since then! 10mo
jenniferw88 😊 Hope you enjoy both - I really enjoyed this #whodunituk! 10mo
Nidhi_Ashok Would really love to pick up the history of loneliness. Seems really deep. 10mo
TNbookworm Bluebird, Bluebird is an amazing book! 10mo
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This is a fictionalization of the priest coverup within the Irish Catholic Church. It‘s quite good, almost as good as the others of his I‘ve read. Just a sad topic.

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1. Boston still is a favorite. 2. Dublin, but all over Ireland. 3. London. 4. If I had money I‘d be a big city person. 5. Fort Lauderdale Fl USA. #FRIDEAS

SailorMoon Thanks for playing! I've never been to Boston, but I hear it's beautiful! 11mo
Sharpeipup Always wanted to visit Boston but my husband wants to qualify for the marathon first... 11mo
saguarosally The architecture is really fascinating in Boston, but go in the summer and fall, not the winter. 11mo
Samplergal @saguarosally We love winters there. Summer and fall are best but I‘m okay hopping into a warm pub on the North End to find some comfort. 😁 11mo
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Squee! I love a Sunday surprise delivery! It‘s bad though, despite my best efforts, this was a purchase. My promise to hubs for this year: no more books. In my defense, it‘s John Boyne. When I opened it up, he said “is that a book you won?” I think he might be on to me.

RebL We will neither tell nor judge. 11mo
Crazeedi Lol, 😁😉😊 11mo
Reviewsbylola The answer is for sure yes. 😂😂 11mo
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#alittlepriest #musicalnewyear
Boyne takes on sexual abuse within the church in this novel that follows Ordan Yates, a young Irish boy, from a tragedy in childhood through his life as a priest. As an old man, he reflects on his life and what he could have done, or should have known, as the church grapples with sexual assault. Though he is not an abuser, he must face what others are doing. The audio has a killer Irish accent in narration, too!

peaknit This was wonderful on audio. Heartbreaking but so good. 11mo
emilyhaldi I‘ve almost picked this up so many times over the past few months! Must get to it!! 11mo
TrishB I was thinking about this one too. A good read 👍🏻 11mo
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Cinfhen Somebody borrowed this book from me and I can‘t remember who!! I was dumb to loan it before I read it!!!!! 11mo
vivastory I have yet to read Boyne 😬 11mo
Hollie @Cinfhen oh no! I hope they return it! 11mo
Hollie @peaknit @trishb @emilyhaldi definitely a good read 😍 11mo
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Lindy 😂 13mo
kspenmoll 🤣🤣 13mo
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The title of this book screams #misery to me, although I haven‘t actually read this so I can‘t say for sure.

The narrator finds his calling as a priest, but 40 years later the catholic priest sex scandal rocks the world and suddenly his position is not respected and revered in the way it once was. He finds the life he has always known crashing down around him. And also, the author is John Boyne. Need I say more?


Kalalalatja NEED! 1y
Samplergal I‘m on a mission to read everything by him. 1y
Cinfhen I have this one too and I‘ve loaned it at least 4 or 5 times already!!! Everyone LOVES it but I haven‘t read it yet 1y
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BarbaraBB I‘ve got a copy too waiting for me. I really want to read it. 1y
emilyhaldi Ohhhhh @Cinfhen that motivates me!!! 1y
Cinfhen Of course at the moment it‘s out on loan and I can‘t track it down @emilyhaldi 😫 1y
emilyhaldi No worries!! @Cinfhen I've already snagged this one for myself (super cheap from #bookoutlet 😉) it's just sitting in my tbr mountain 😅 1y
Mdargusch Sounds like a good one! 1y
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The History of Loneliness by John Boyne was an interesting book to be reading right now because of the Pennsylvania grand jury report. Boyne is best known for The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, and like that novel, it is told from the point of view of an “innocent” on the side of the guilty - in this one an Irish Catholic priest. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


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Current read - a recommendation from my mum. If it‘s anything as heart-wrenching as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, I‘m going to be a mess by the end...

#weekend #currentread #johnboyne

Soubhiville I really want to read more by this author. 2y
Ashley85 This looks good. 2y
RachelAmphlett @Soubhiville Before I started this I read through the blurbs for his other books at the back, and I agree - there‘s at least two more of his I‘m going to look out for 2y
RachelAmphlett @Ashley85 It‘s a slow burn, but achingly good - a great change of pace for me in between the crime and thrillers I usually read 2y
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I just can‘t get enough of John Boyne. This novel is about the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. As with all his books, he presents a difficult subject and tackles it frankness and fairness.

MinDea Didn't know about this book. Crazy that I hadn't heard of John Boyne til The Heart's Invisible Furies. He is an amazing writer! 2y
ephemeralwaltz Looks very interedting!! I've only read this one by him. 2y
suvata @MinDea @ephemeralwaltz He‘s fast becoming my favorite author. 2y
Jess7 @MinDea I have this one! I got it on #bookoutlet - I‘m adding it to our possible list 2y
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I‘m on a mission to read John Boyne‘s entire catalog.

Tove_Reads Me too. 2y
suvata @Tove_Reads His books are so good! 2y
Jess7 I want to read all of his books too 2y
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suvata @Jess7 👍🏻 2y
TrishB I am doing that too! I‘ve read this one, it‘s as sad as it sounds, 2y
Tove_Reads I‘ve decided that I need to marry him. I hope John‘s husband won‘t mind 😹 I would just love to have access to that brain on a daily basis. 2y
LauraJ A worthwhile mission! 2y
suvata @LauraJ I thought so too 2y
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1. The Girl on the Train 2. The Underground Railroad 3. The tagged one - John Boyne. 4. The Edible Woman - Atwood What about you? Let me know! @Tove_Reads

MommyWantsToReadHerBook Oh no, it's so sad that you're not reading Atwood because of The Edible Woman! Not a great book of hers, I agree 2y
Prairiegirl_reading I didn‘t read Atwood for many years because of Edible Woman! 2y
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Wow. This book has rendered me speechless, I don't even know what to say but wow. John Boyne has truly mastered his craft - this book is painful, and oh so powerful. It's outstanding!


Tamra Oh goodness, need to push up on the TBR. The lovely @Cinfhen sent it to me. 😁 2y
Natasha.C.Barnes Yay! It's on my TBR! 2y
Jinjer Well damn girl! Stacked! 2y
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emilyhaldi Oh good! Recently bought this from book outlet 😄 2y
Zelma I keep eyeing this one at the library. 2y
Cinfhen I need to read it too!! So glad you enjoyed it! We should do a buddy read @Tamra @emilyhaldi (edited) 2y
BarbaraBB @Cinfhen I am in! Just bought it too! 🙋🏻‍♀️ 2y
Cinfhen Yay @BarbaraBB can we all wait until March or end of February....I‘m already a bit overwhelmed with all my Litsy commitments for February @emilyhaldi @Tamra 🙏🏻😬 2y
emilyhaldi Yes let‘s do it in March!! @Cinfhen @Tamra 2y
swishandflick Yasss! Can't wait to see what you all think! This is good for a buddy read, a lot of things to discuss, for sure. @Tamra @emilyhaldi @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB 2y
Tamra Want to join in @Natasha.C.Barnes @Jinjer @Zelma ?? 2y
Natasha.C.Barnes @Tamra @Cinfhen @emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB YES!! Thanks for the invite, I would love to join you! 😍 2y
swishandflick @Natasha.C.Barnes Yay! I love watching this come together, haha. I'll be on the lookout for your discussions! 2y
Tamra @Natasha.C.Barnes 👏🏾 2y
Cinfhen Fabulous @Natasha.C.Barnes @tamra @emilyhaldi I'll keep everyone in the loop and feel free to post for others 2y
Jinjer @Tamra possibly! Please keep me in the loop! (edited) 2y
BarbaraBB @Cinfhen great! Let me know if I can help! 😘 2y
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YOU GUYS!!! I bought this at @strandbookstore ages ago, and I'm just now discovering that it's been signed by John Boyne! I had a bit of a fangirl moment and now I'm even more settled on this as my first physical book for #24in48 🙌🏽

AmyG Ooooo lucky! 2y
mrp27 That's awesome! 2y
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I'm still not sure where exactly I want to start, and this stack is completely subject to change, but I think I'm getting warmer! #24in48 📚

melyndarae Ooo I want to read Year One! 2y
Bianca I want to read Year One too! @melyndarae 2y
WhatStaceyReads Start with Red Clocks! Also shout-out to @FrostbeardMPLS my home!! 2y
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Djspens I have their "Old Books" scented candle! 2y
emilyhaldi Oooohh we both have Mrs Fletcher in our stacks 👯‍♀️ 2y
swishandflick @WhatStaceyReads @Djspens I‘m obsessed with their candles!! 2y
swishandflick @emilyhaldi I keep trying to pick up other things that have been on my shelf longer, but I‘m so drawn to that one it‘ll probably rise to the top of the list soon! 2y
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Okay maybe I overdid it a bit this time, but I am so happy! 😍💕 Some for the #ToB and some just because you told me so! #bookhaul

BarbaraBB @batsy The Weiner book I ordered before I read your review and knew about the author... 2y
erzascarletbookgasm Great stack! A few o my wishlist 😊. What‘s the fourth book from the top? 2y
batsy Fab haul! So many on my radar, as well. Yeah the Weiner book was a weird one, it was like there was another layer of unconscious themes working through the writing that fits what he was accused of 😕 Look forward to hearing your thoughts. 2y
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Dulcinella Love this! Enjoy the read:-) 2y
BarbaraBB @Dulcinella Thanks 😘 2y
britt_brooke Nice!! 2y
Kalalalatja I look forward to your review of the Boyne book! And I really hope you like Pachinko 👏👏 2y
AmyG That is a great pile of books! 👍🏻 2y
Simona Very nice pile❣️My next book will be Pachinko. 2y
tricours Beautiful stack! 2y
Thousand-Lives Wow!! Awesome haul! 😍 2y
bedandabook Amazing pile of books. Enjoy them! 2y
Liz_M Wow, I have heard of none of these! And I'm disappointed that Gide's Immortalists isn't one of these. #1001overload :-D 2y
emilyhaldi Great stack!!! I just bought this one too ❤️ 2y
emmaturi The only one I read was Magpie Murders and I enjoyed it a lot! 2y
BarbaraBB @Kalalalatja I think I will. It‘s just the kind of book I love! 2y
BarbaraBB @Liz_M My #1001overload shows here! All modern fiction... I know, I have some 600 books to go, but I‘m taking a little break from The Immoralists & co :-)) 2y
BarbaraBB @emmaturi I am looking forward to that one! 2y
mrozzz Ooooohhhhhh such a good stack!!! 2y
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I‘m going to do a little #audiobaking while the object of my #desire is at drill today. We are going to have “better than sex cake” with some lasagna and garlic bread tonight for supper while we watch the KU v TCU game. 🥃🏀. I just downloaded this Boyne novel and I‘m super pumped because the narrator has an Irish accent. I‘m a sucker for a good accent. #nuyear

BookHermit There is something very pleasant about listening to a book narrated by someone with an accent that matches those of the fictional characters. 2y
Cinfhen Your plans for the day sound 🙌🏻🙌🏻and I hope the cake lives up to its name 💕😉 2y
TrishB Great post 👍🏻 and great read 💜 2y
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tpixie Oh my! I should have driven across Kansas to eat this delish sounding food! 2y
sammisho My grandma made a "betterthansex" cake but refused to call it that so it was "betterhananything" cake at our house!? 2y
Hollie @sammisho that‘s funny 😂 2y
Hollie @tpixie you‘re always welcome 😀 2y
Hollie @BookHermit yes! Agreed! 2y
Hollie @Cinfhen it looks yummy...I wonder if he‘d notice if there was a corner missing when he gets here 😋 2y
Hollie Thanks @TrishB 😀 2y
tpixie @sammisho lol 😆 2y
tpixie @Hollie 😊 2y
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What did I think of the book? Do I like John Boyne? Find out: https://theworldisourstoread.wordpress.com/2017/12/24/ireland-the-holy-grail-of-...

TrishB I did want to shake him several times during the book though! A great read 👍🏻 2y
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The last book I gave 5 ✨ to. Congratulations @Booksandcooks #7777giveaway

Megabooks Thanks! I enjoyed his most recent book. 👍🏻 2y
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15 books in September. 11 fiction, 4 nonfiction. Authors from 7 countries. 4419 pages. This was my favourite!

TrishB A sad, poignant read 💜 2y
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I'm fifth in line at the library for our Heart's Invisible Furies, so in the meantime........also this hardcover was three bucks 😮😮😮😮 I like leaving the price tag on to remind me that I made a good decision

TrishB Bargain 👍 a good, sad read. 2y
Augustdana @TrishB those are usually the best. I love being miserable 😆 2y
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This book..... seriously so good.

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#LibraryHaul I finished Heart's Invisible Furies last night and loved it so much, had to pick up another Boyne. Only one today, but I put holds on the others!

Tove_Reads Me too! Finished it last week, and A History of Loneliness a minute ago. Looooved them both. John Boyne is now my fave contemporary Irish author! @Libraryhaul (edited) 2y
SaraBeagle @Tove_Reads I just finished the first chapter and I know it's going to be so good! 2y
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