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Transcendent Kingdom
Transcendent Kingdom | Yaa Gyasi
Yaa Gyasi's stunning follow-up to her acclaimed national bestseller Homegoing is a powerful, raw, intimate, deeply layered novel about a Ghanaian family in Alabama. Gifty is a fifth year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford University's School of Medicine studying reward-seeking behaviour in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after a knee injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her. But even as she turns to hard science to unlock the mystery of her family's loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith, and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive. Transcendent Kingdom is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief--a novel about faith, science, religion, love. Exquisitely written and emotionally searing, this is an exceptionally powerful follow-up to Gyasi's phenomenal debut.
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Cazxxx
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Pickpick

I often struggle when a book doesn‘t have a strong plot to keep me engrossed but this was so well written that wasn‘t the case. Reads like a memoir and covers lots of topics including science and religion, I was surprised how much I enjoyed this one

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Kitta
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Pickpick

Beautiful novel.

It‘s the story of Gifty; her brothers addiction, her scientific research to understand him, and her relationship with God. The combination of religion and science is one that fascinates me. I grew up without religion but many of my questions are also asked by Gifty.

The science is accurate, something I appreciate when an author takes the time to do. Took me a long time to read, it reminded me of those I‘ve lost to addiction. ❤️

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Kitta
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Thanks for the tag @EadieB and @Eggs

#wondorouswednesday

1. Wordle and quordle!

2. Planting and cleaning. Starting something anew.

3. Currently reading Transcendent Kingdom and loving it. As a scientist I relate a lot to the main character. The science is pretty accurate from what I can tell too, although it‘s a different field from me.

Eggs Agree #2! Thanks for playing 🌼 2mo
4 likes1 comment
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SweetP1967
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Pickpick

This was a really powerful novel, able to tackle topics that can be difficult to handle in a meaningful, nuanced way. Now one of my favorite authors.

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Leelee.reads
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Pickpick

I think Gyasi is an incredible writer. This novel is as amazing as Homegoing, but totally different. This reads like memoir and there isn‘t really anything in the way of plot. More of reflections, questions and reminiscing. I don‘t think it would be everyone‘s cup of tea (given the lack of driving plot line) but I loved it.

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Kitta
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Does anyone else‘s cat do this? Every time!

I wanted to read that! 😸

#littenkitten #catsoflitsy

Bklover Definitely!! 2mo
20 likes1 comment
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LiteraryinLawrence
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My first few days of vacation from work have involved visiting 2 indie bookstores! Here is my haul. 💗 I think Greenwich Park is one I‘d typically borrow from the library but I was in a book-buying mood. The other 4 I‘ve heard really good things about. I‘m starting with the tagged one!

BekaReid @LiteraryinLawrence I look forward to hearing your thoughts on 2mo
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Kitta
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Nala looked like she was pondering my current read so I had to take a picture 😸 I loved homegoing and as a scientist I‘m very excited for this one.

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Julsmarshall
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TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! 3mo
42 likes1 comment
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Ncostell
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Pickpick

I was blown away by Yaa Gyasi‘s ability to so beautifully write about reconciling religion and science, mental health issues and addiction, racism and immigration within 266 pages. She is such an incredible talent and I can‘t wait to read whatever she writes next.

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SantieWantie
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💔

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notreallyelaine

Nothing teaches you the true nature of your friendships like a sudden death, worse still, a death that‘s shrouded in shame.

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Nikki_E
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Best book of April 2021

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Hannah_11
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Pickpick

I have so much love for this! When people ask “what‘s your book about?” I found it impossible to explain in a few words. There are so many themes and layers to this novel it could be about religion, race, addiction, culture, science..I could go on and on. Fundamentally it is a beautifully written book about what it‘s like to be human 💜 #pick #transcendentkingdom

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Oryx
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Pickpick

Thought this was was superb. I loved it. I loved that main character was a scientist, and the book's exploration of science, religion, family, guilt, love, addiction.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks On my shelf! I‘ve heard great things! 5mo
squirrelbrain I loved this one too! ❤️ 5mo
Soubhiville I loved it too. I think this is my favorite version of the cover, too. 5mo
DivineDiana On my shelf too! It will be read in 2022! 5mo
63 likes4 comments
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Rachel.Rencher
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Pickpick

I finished this one today, too. I'm not going to lie, it hit a little close to home as I grew up with an older sister who struggled with addiction. I always felt so alone in my feelings toward it, but this book changed that for me.

Erin.Elizabeth10 @Rachel.Rencher I read this one this year too! 5mo
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Jemgirl2014
Mehso-so

This book was on my shelf for a little over a year and it could have stayed there a little longer. A bit too philosophical for my taste. I really disliked my philosophy course when I was in college. I'm glad I'm done with this book so I can move on to something else. Praise the Lord.

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Jemgirl2014
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2 hours read. #EndofYearReadathon #WapitUpReadathon 2×15×2 =60pts + 39 words found ×10=390
Total points= 450
#2021Wintergames #TeamMistletoeManiacs @Clwojick

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IuliaC
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Pickpick

Rarely do I finish a book and feel like I don‘t need to say a word about it, in a good way, to just interiorize the narrator's confession. The emotions it triggers are simply overwhelming. It is indeed a story about the harsh reality of immigrant life, opioid addiction and depression, love and loss, about turning to science for answers, but most of all it seems to be an exploration of the extent to which faith is able to ensure transcendence.

BeaG I enjoyed this one too! 6mo
IuliaC @BeaG me too 👍I found out about it here on Litsy 😊 6mo
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IuliaC
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"I had to try to understand, to extrapolate from that limited understanding in order to apply it to those of us who made up the species Homo Sapiens, the most complex animal, the only animal who believed he had transcended his Kingdom... That belief, that transcendence, was held within this organ [the brain] itself. Infinite, unknowable, soulful, perhaps even magical. I had traded the Pentecostalism of my childhood for this new religion [science]"

mackelie I really want to read this book! It‘s on my TBR! 6mo
IuliaC @mackelie It's been on my TBR for a long time and I've just started it 😃 I like it so far! 6mo
BarbaraBB I so loved this one. 6mo
IuliaC @BarbaraBB 👍 I'm about halfway through it and love it! 6mo
61 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Rachel.Rencher
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Next up 🤓

BarbaraBB Enjoy! 6mo
Libby1 I loved this book. 6mo
87 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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MeganLindell
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ • Tackles a lot and is so well-written. Religion, race, addiction, depression, science — could be messy but isn‘t. As others have noted, very different from Homegoing.

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bekakins
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Pickpick

Beautifully written, but very melancholy. Looking forward to discussing this one at my book club next week!

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Erin.Elizabeth10
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Pickpick

So good! Such a moving and powerful story filled with detail, emotion, and meaning. Loved it!!

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Lesliereads
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Pickpick

I realize, now, that when I began reading this, I may have been in need of a “warmer” book, or one that makes more beautiful use of language. Gifty‘s sorrow and loneliness and grief are so palpable, even while she tells her sensitive story from a kind of clinical distance. The questions that she poses - about God and science and personal agency and religion and faith - are lingering and mighty. 4/5 ⭐️s.

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bibliobliss
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>> 𝙶𝚘𝚘𝚍 𝚊𝚏𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚗𝚘𝚘𝚗, 𝙻𝚒𝚝𝚜𝚒𝚊𝚗𝚜 🙂🍁
𝙸 𝚑𝚘𝚙𝚎 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚢𝚘𝚗𝚎 𝚑𝚊𝚜 𝚊 𝚏𝚊𝚗𝚝𝚊𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚌 𝚂𝚊𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚍𝚊𝚢! 𝙶𝚘 𝙶𝚊𝚝𝚘𝚛𝚜 (𝙵𝙻) & 𝚃𝚒𝚐𝚎𝚛𝚜 (𝙰𝚄) 🏈

I hope to spend some more time with the tagged book this afternoon/evening during my downtime. I am halfway thru & while it prob won‘t be a fave of the year, it‘s good on audio & holding my interest.

Wʜᴀᴛ ᴀʀᴇ ʏᴏᴜ ʀᴇᴀᴅɪɴɢ ᴛʜɪs ᴡᴇᴇᴋᴇɴᴅ?

#currentlyreading

LatrelWhite Yes Gators & AU😉 8mo
LatrelWhite The Silent Patient! 8mo
See All 8 Comments
bibliobliss @LatrelWhite it‘s on my tbr. Are you enjoying it? 8mo
LatrelWhite @bibliobliss Yes, I had the ebook a while but I loved “The Maidens” oh yeah by the way… I‘m from Huntsville, AL (Yaa Gyasi) (edited) 8mo
bibliobliss @LatrelWhite Small world! I‘m in Alabama, a few hours from Huntsville. It‘s neat that this talented bestselling author is from this state!! 8mo
LatrelWhite @bibliobliss Yes definitely small world! So proud of her.☺️ 8mo
48 likes8 comments
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vivastory
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True to my word, I have to say this is one of the most extreme things I have done for books in awhile.

kspenmoll 🙌🏻🙌🏻 8mo
KathyWheeler Transcendent Kingdom was just beautiful. I loved it. 8mo
Jas16 I thought about you when they winner was announced. 8mo
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JamieArc I need to move this up my TBR. 8mo
Laughterhp I own this one but haven‘t read it yet! 8mo
Ruthiella The things we‘ll do for our devotion to literature. I‘m sure Yaa Gyasi appreciates it! 👏👏👏 8mo
Megabooks Oh Scott! That‘s commitment. I was a bit surprised by Piranesi as well. I liked it but preferred TK as well. 8mo
Hooked_on_books I love Homegoing like you love TK, so I have mad respect for Gyasi and want to see her recognized as well. Kudos for putting your beard on the line! 8mo
Kimberlone Kudos on the commitment! 8mo
squirrelbrain Woah, that‘s commitment! 8mo
marleed That‘s great! 8mo
LeahBergen Hahaha! You look great! 8mo
rwmg Aaaah but did you inform the jury so they knew what the consequences of a wrong decision would be? 8mo
youneverarrived I love that you actually did it 😂 8mo
BarbaraBB You did it! I remember that post. Looking good!! 8mo
Reggie Lolol, looking smooth, buddy! Sorry bout the loss. 8mo
74 likes16 comments
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Oryx
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Finally got my penguin bookmarks free book @squirrelbrain

The book I originally picked never arrived, so I got to pick from a new selection, and they had this one. ❤️

Soubhiville I love this cover. 9mo
Caroline2 Awesome! I‘m dying to read this book. I absolutely loved her first one. 👍 9mo
squirrelbrain Oh great book! Probably a good thing that you ended up having to choose again! 😁 9mo
Oryx @squirrelbrain it was. I remember the first one was the best of a bad bunch, and I wasn't that interested in it. Can't remember what it was, but it worked out well! 9mo
57 likes4 comments
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callielafleur
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Pickpick

I have now read all of the Women's Prize shortlisted books for this year, and this one was as excellent as the rest. TW for substance abuse.

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BooksMcD
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A nice day to start a new book❣️

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staci.reads
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Pickpick

@Hestapleton Thanks for choosing this amazing book for your #LMPBC selection! This is a powerful book with gorgeous writing. I was blown away by how smart and vulnerable the writing is. I loved it, and I loved reading your thoughts on it!
Sending it your way soon @Mynameisacolour ! @LiteraryinLawrence #groupv

65 likes1 stack add
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behudd
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“Whenever I think of my mother, I picture a queen-sized bed with her lying in it, a practiced stillness filling the room.”

#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

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AlysonCE
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Panpan

I feel guilty for 'panning' this considering the subject and the fact that Homegoing was one of my favourites last year, but I just didn't like it. Main character, Gifty, didn't grow until the last 2 pages when the whole of her future was wedged in with no explanation. Just felt like rambling pages of religion vs science, with what could have been a very interesting story about loss, depression, religon, race and addiction badly woven within it.

StellaB I didn‘t get very far with this either. 9mo
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DanaManiac
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Pickpick

5 ⭐️

I can‘t find enough words to explain Joe much I love this book.

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sharread
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Pickpick

5 big stars 💫💫💫💫💫 This was a heartfelt soulful read about family, love, life and how God strengthens us. This reads like a memoir but is a piece of fiction. Gifty the main character tells her story from the first person divulging secrets about her family, career and personal relationships. Definitely a feel good read.

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BarbaraBB
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#midyearfaves

The upcoming days I will be posting 1 of my 10 favorite books of the year so far - with a few thoughts on them.

Gifty is one of my favourite characters of the year. She is a scientist so she tries to make sense of it all: death, religion, grief, addiction, her sexuality, het Ghanaian descent. I loved all about her. And about Gyaasi for that matter. Her writing is fantastic.

Addison_Reads One of my faves too. I read it this month and fell in love with the writing and Gifty. 11mo
vivastory 💯 So brilliant 11mo
erzascarletbookgasm Homegoing was very good..will put this on my radar. 11mo
74 likes3 comments
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Yahui07
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Mehso-so

I can relate to the conflicts with mother and the questions about God. However, I like “Homegoing” more than this book. Probably my expectation was too high.

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Addison_Reads
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#CuriousCovers @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Eggs #LittenListen @aperfectmjk

My favorite read so far this month and one of my favorites of the year too. Such a great book. 💞

Eggs 🌸🌷📚 11mo
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Kdgordon88
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#CuriousCovers Day 16 #Pink

Another book I‘m anxious to read this year.

Addison_Reads I used this one today too. I finished it recently and loved it. 11mo
Eggs Great choice 🌸🌷💗 11mo
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BekaReid
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Pickpick

This book was compelling with plain prose that just contains so much - science, religion, addiction, depression, grief, hope and wonder. I was fully absorbed.

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vivastory
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The '21 Pulitzer Prizes were announced today. Congrats to the winners!! I was particularly pleased to see Natalie Diaz win for Postcolonial Love Poem. It's still on my TBR, but I loved her last book. I have to say that I was a bit disappointed that Transcendent Kingdom didn't win. I know it was a longshot, but I was hoping so much that I *almost* said that if it didn't win I'd completely shave. With the Women's Prize around the corner, time is 👇

vivastory running out for acknowledging this masterwork. If Gyasi doesn't win the Women's Prize on July 7, I will go beardless for the first time since '03. 11mo
Kristin_Reads Transcendent Kingdom is my very favorite... I hope Gyasi wins, too! 11mo
readordierachel Postocolonial Love Poem is on my tbr as well. Loved her other collection. 11mo
See All 14 Comments
Hooked_on_books I‘m loving your protest via facial hair approach. 😂 11mo
BarbaraBB I do hope it wins too but if it doesn‘t I now have something to look forward to 😉 11mo
Reggie Love this protest. Lol 11mo
Cathythoughts What @Reggie says 👍🏻😁 11mo
vivastory @Kristin_Reads It's brilliant & frustrating that it's not getting recognition 11mo
vivastory @readordierachel I might have to push it up my TBR 11mo
vivastory @Hooked_on_books 😂 I might regret it 11mo
vivastory @BarbaraBB I will post pic of proof if it loses 😬 11mo
vivastory @Reggie @Cathythoughts It will be interesting.. 😂 11mo
Hooked_on_books No, it‘s great, cuz it‘ll grow back and meanwhile people will ask you about it, which lets you proselytize about the book! I felt this way about her first book, so I‘d love to see her get some props. I really believe in her. 11mo
BarbaraBB I almost wish for it to happen 😉 11mo
85 likes1 stack add14 comments
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Addison_Reads
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Pickpick

#BookSpinBingo @TheAromaofBooks #LittenListen @aperfectmjk

I loved this book! 💚 Its gorgeous writing and the exploration of grief, addiction, and religion were fascinating to me. Gifty's struggle with her education and her beliefs reminded me of similar conflicts I had in college, trying to make sense of how God and science fit in the same world.

I really have to read Homegoing now. 😁

TheAromaofBooks Yay!! Great review!!! 12mo
aperfectmjk You're making great progress! 👍 12mo
32 likes2 comments
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sarahquinn
Pickpick

Gave me the happy sadness.

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Peaceful_Reader
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Pickpick

I loved her first book Homegoing so was anxious to read this one and it was quite good. Gifty struggles with her family history as her depressed mother comes to live with her. Gifty is in a doctoral program working with lab mice to discover more about the brain. She questions her family‘s history with religion and faith and what she is doing with her life. How can one be happy with so much tragedy around you? #depression #immigration #addiction

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Kristin_Reads
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Pickpick

5⭐️ || Why did it take me so long to pick this one up? I loved the interweaving of faith and grief and science and wonder. This will stay with me for a long time; it‘s easily one of my top reads this year.

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Simona
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Pickpick

I love the prose in this story, I love the depiction of the clash between science and religion, I love the characterisation of Gifty and her struggle to understand the world, first through the faith and later through the science. So many heavy topics are constructed ‘effortlessly‘ into coherent narrative ... until the end. Last chapter is so out of the place, so lame that it almost ruined my reading experience. But yes, still strong pick.😁

vivastory Wonderful review! I think this one hasn't received it's due recognition yet 12mo
BarbaraBB Yes to all @vivastory says ⬆️ 12mo
Simona @vivastory @BarbaraBB Thank you😊 Although, I haven‘t read any others from Women‘s Prize for Fiction shortlist, I think that this book is a winner. 12mo
kspenmoll Want to read- I look forward to all your reviews. 12mo
50 likes4 comments
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Simona
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Saturday afternoon with my reading buddies ...

LeahBergen So cute! 💖💖 12mo
Leftcoastzen Adorable! 12mo
BarbaraBB Hope you enjoy the book 🤍 12mo
BarbaraBB And that picture is too cute 🥰 12mo
Simona @BarbaraBB I‘m halfway through and so far I like it 👍 12mo
46 likes5 comments
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SW-T
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Pickpick

Incredible writing. Such a great book to read. Race, poverty, religion, depression, addiction, mother-daughter relationships, and of course, science...so much covered and so deftly handled. Really like this and Homegoing and they‘re both very different from each other. I‘m hoping Gyasi writes a lot more books, because I want to read them all.

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Ruthiella
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The Shortlist for the 2021 Women‘s Prize was announced today. The tagged book has a good chance of winning according to many readers like @vivastory and @BarbaraBB 😃. My favorites didn‘t make the cut, so I‘ll be rooting for Piranesi for now and will definitely read the Lockwood title soon. Maybe I‘ll even try to read the other two that I‘ve not yet read.

Any other Littens following the prize? 😀

Soubhiville I‘ve only read the bottom three in the stack. I loved all three of them. I think my favorite was 13mo
Ruthiella Of the bottom three, I haven‘t read The One Armed Woman. Good to know you loved it. 😀 13mo
BarbaraBB The Lockwood is so good, looking forward to your thoughts. I think I‘ll pass on the Fuller but want to read The One Armed Sister after reading @Soubhiville and @squirrelbrain ‘s reviews! 13mo
See All 13 Comments
vivastory I def plan on reading the Lockwood. I might just read the Fuller & the Jones while I'm at it since I've read the other 3. But the Lockwood is a def & I'm intrigued by the Jones 13mo
Ruthiella @BarbaraBB I put The One Armed Sister on hold and the wait is 7 weeks so I might actually get to read it before the winner is announced. 13mo
Ruthiella @vivastory Other than the ToB, I‘ve never completed a book prize shortlists, but since I already have three under my belt, I just might go for it! 13mo
vivastory @Ruthiella I just checked & they aren't going to announce the winner until July, so I'm def going to read the other 3 before the announcement. I see you haven't read the Jones. What is the other one you haven't read? 13mo
batsy I have one book under my belt (Piranesi) and so it feels like I'm one step ahead than where I usually am when shortlists are announced! 😆 I might try to read the shortlist... What books that you liked didn't nake the cut? 13mo
Ruthiella @vivastory I would need to read the Clair Fuller book too to be a completist. 13mo
Ruthiella @batsy I loved both Luster and Detransition, Baby but sadly neither made the shortlist. Normally I would not have read so many from the short/longlist but there was a lot of crossover with the TOB this year! 13mo
batsy @Ruthiella Ooh, those two are on my TBR! I'm surprised that Detransition, Baby didn't make it. The reviews have been so interesting. 13mo
squirrelbrain I read 13 of the 16 books on the longlist. Of the shortlist I haven‘t read the Fuller, which I have on audio and will be up next. I got 4 right in my predictions, maybe 5. (I say that as I didn‘t pick TVH as a fave, but thought it would make the shortlist) 13mo
Ruthiella @squirrelbrain Wow, 13 from the longlist is amazing! I just checked and the Fuller won‘t be released in the US until May 17. The ebook isn‘t available from the library but I‘ll check tomorrow for a hard copy. 13mo
46 likes13 comments
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emmaturi
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Pickpick

So I enjoyed this one, although it took a while to get into it. I am glad I didn't stop! I really liked Gifty and felt for her and the family situations they went through. It has been short-listed with the Women's Price for Fiction, which am pleased about. #book