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What Belongs to You
What Belongs to You: A Novel | Garth Greenwell
On an unseasonably warm autumn day, an American teacher enters a public bathroom beneath Sofias National Palace of Culture. There he meets Mitko, a charismatic young hustler, and pays him for sex. He returns to Mitko again and again over the next few months, drawn by hunger and loneliness and risk, and finds himself ensnared in a relationship in which lust leads to mutual predation, and tenderness can transform into violence. As he struggles to reconcile his longing with the anguish it creates, hes forced to grapple with his own fraught history, the world of his southern childhood where to be queer was to be a pariah. There are unnerving similarities between his past and the foreign country he finds himself in, a country whose geography and griefs he discovers as he learns more of Mitkos own narrative, his private history of illness, exploitation, and want.What Belongs to You is a stunning debut novel of desire and its consequences. With lyric intensity and startling eroticism, Garth Greenwell has created an indelible story about the ways in which our pasts and cultures, our scars and shames can shape who we are and determine how we love.
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Jari-chan
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Panpan

Maybe I should've read this book when I put it on my reader many years ago. But now my reading habits changed and I just couldn't understand what the narrator finds that fascinating about this Mitko guy. On the other hand I never was one for love stories so I might wouldn't have enjoyed it back then either. Who knows.

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balletbookworm
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Pickpick

4.5 of 5. Gorgeous and devastating. (But could I have a few paragraph breaks please? 😂)

20 likes2 stack adds
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sakeriver
Pickpick

‪This reminds me somewhat of Ishiguro, which I mean as a compliment since Ishiguro is one of my favorites. It is close throughout, intimate, yet somehow also reserved, though that reserve lies atop deep and complex and passionate emotion.‬ In Ishiguro, that reserve feels very Japanese to me. Here, I‘m not sure what it feels like, but it is beautiful and perhaps familiar still. Quite a remarkable novel, I think.

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sakeriver
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Wow.

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sakeriver
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Next

jenniferheidi I really loved this one. 3mo
4 likes2 comments
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REPollock
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Disorienting, dreamy, disquieting. Not a light summer read.

20 likes1 stack add
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REPollock
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The run-on style of this book is kinda stressing me out. I‘m reading this on vacation but it‘s not relaxing.

11 likes1 stack add
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CindyE09
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Pickpick

Devastating short novel about a man who has moved to Bulgaria to start a new life, and becomes obsessed with a male prostitute named Mitko. The novel centers on the relationship between the two men over a two year span, and gives us some background on the unnamed narrators childhood and life. Beautiful writing that is easy to follow, this is a haunting story that doesn‘t give all the answers, but will stay with me for years. #pridemonth #pride

marianese Such a beautiful novel. 1y
124 likes10 stack adds1 comment
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Emma24

Has anyone read What Belongs to You? I was thinking about ordering it but I‘ve heard it‘s pretty bleak, and I‘m not sure I can take another dark book after #alittlelife 🤔 #litsywelcomewagon

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CandycaneBelle
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@BookBabe you have such pretty handwriting. I saved my name from the bookmark I ordered from you and now it‘s in my planner!

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jenniferheidi
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Pickpick

I raced through this: an intense story of a gay man living out the consequences of a loveless childhood in a homophobic household and community. It left me feeling desperately sad.

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MicheleinPhilly
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While the language is beautiful this one is leaving me cold. Here's hoping I start connecting with it in Part 2. #BIRTHDAYSPACE

Reggie I bailed on this one, just found it depressing. 2y
Buddys_Momma I couldn't get into this one at all---may attempt again. 2y
MicheleinPhilly @Reggie @Buddys_Momma I'm bailing. Part 2 didn't do anything for me either. I don't understand the universal praise. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2y
Megabooks I've been putting this off.. 2y
50 likes4 comments
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GuiltyFeat
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Pickpick

Short, dense, melancholy. One man's discovery that he doesn't understand much about love, or himself, or how to love, or how to love himself. One of the saddest books I've read in a while despite the eroticism, despite the approximations of affection. It's all very transactionary and paid for. And I get that life was shit growing up, but we make choices about our own lives which we must take responsibility for and, mostly, this book made me sad.

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BooksGirlsCats
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Pickpick

Finished this over breakfast this morning!
A well written and heart-wrenching (and at times quite filthy) look at being a (not very nice!) queer man in Sofia.
Recommend for a quick and different read!

#queerbooks

27 likes4 stack adds
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BooksGirlsCats
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Nearing the end of my second book in one day in sunny sunny seattle. This place is awesome!

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TheLibrarian
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#bookmail today! Oh it makes me so happy!!

Reviewsbylola Looking forward to All Our Wrong Todays! (edited) 3y
TheLibrarian @Reviewsbylola Me too!! So many good books out there that it's hard to read them all! 3y
68 likes2 comments
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bedandabook
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Pickpick

This novel crept up and slowly stole my heart. Poetically beautiful, I needed long uninterrupted reading sessions to do it justice. It's the examination of the very heart of a gay man's emotional and sexual being, following his encounter with a hustler. Not an easy or a comfortable read, but an immensely rewarding one. I think I may have just read my book of the year.

BookishMarginalia Mmm, I've passed it over, but with this review, I might have to take a look at it. 3y
bedandabook @BookishMarginalia The first section is tough-going but persevere. It really does grow on you and is so beautifully written. If you liked A Little Life, you'll probably enjoy this. 3y
BookishMarginalia I admit I have yet to read A Little Life. I have it on Kindle, but haven't mustered the energy to tackle it yet. 3y
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bedandabook @BookishMarginalia Oh my goodness, what I'd give to have that still to look forward to! 3y
ReadingEnvy I have to admit I didn't get past the beginning. 3y
bedandabook Do go back to it @ReadingEnvy, if you get the time. I almost gave up too, but so glad I kept going. It does get easier and the novel grows on you slowly. 3y
bedandabook @ReadingEnvy That's one of the too many books I haven't got round to reading yet. Worth bumping up my huge TBR pile? 3y
ReadingEnvy @bedandabook I think it's a classic gay novel for sure 3y
17 likes1 stack add9 comments
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bedandabook
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Bed is predominantly #whereiread and through necessity spend a lot of my time, so I have tried to make it cosy. This book, by the way, is stealing my heart.

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Thekelburrows
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Squeezing one more short book in before the end of the month. Because priorities.

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SteveWJones
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Mehso-so

I liked it but didn't love it. I think my expectations were too high because of the accolades.

#bulgaria #sexuality

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Iben
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I've wanted to read this for quite some time, and now I'm finally getting around to it 🙆 I have extremely high expectations for this one.

Lauren.Archer I just finished today, thought it was beautiful. 3y
2 likes1 comment
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Lauren.Archer
Pickpick

What a beautiful novel. Very short but packs quite a punch.

Ilana YES GARTH IS AMAZING. 3y
Snakes6atx Loved this book! 3y
65 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Lauren.Archer
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It is a surprisingly bitter cold weekend in Austin, Tx. Going to snuggle up and get some major reading done.

Reggie I gave up on this one. 3y
96 likes4 stack adds1 comment
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Iben
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They finally arrived!!
Can't wait to get started, the only problem is, I don't know which one to read first 🤔

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jamaeca
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What would it mean to do enough, I wondered, as I had wondered before about that obligation to others that seems so clear and sometimes disappears altogether, so that now we owe nothing, anything we give is too much, and now our debt is beyond all counting.

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Blaire
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This is my last book stacked. Had never heard of it until the Litsy reviews. I tend to hand write what I really want to read and use GR for my comprehensive tbr, but Litsy is great for finds I'd never come across on my own. #lastbookstacked #blameitonlitsy #seasonsreadings2016

Lacythebookworm The Gloaming 😍🙌 3y
Blaire @Lacythebookworm yes! I think it is one in my stack that I'll actually get to next year. 🤗 3y
12 likes2 comments
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LastSplash
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Happy Holidays, Litsy folk! This is my Christmas Eve pick- I'm starting it tonight. I've spotted it on a few "Best of 2016" lists; apparently the prose is very beautiful. Have y'all read this one? ???

Megabooks It's on my TBR! 3y
8little_paws Yes and it was really good. Beautifully written, like stream of consciousness style 3y
BookishFeminist One of my favorites of the year, an excellent novel. I hope you enjoy it! 3y
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Alfoster Have this on my queue! Can't wait to hear what you think! 3y
ForestAvenuePress Some of my favorite readers have recommended it and it's on the Tournament of Books long list. It's on my list! 3y
LastSplash @BookishFeminist @ForestAvenuePress @Alfoster @8little_paws @Ebooksandcooks So...wow. This was just a breathtaking read. Greenwell's narrative style is incredibly immersive, and his ability to render even the most mundane, day-to-day life details into gorgeous, keenly-observed tapestries is amazing! I want to double back and read it again. I loved it! 3y
Alfoster Yay! Thanks!👏👏 3y
ForestAvenuePress I'd better move it up on my list! 3y
112 likes5 stack adds8 comments
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balletbookworm
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New Roxane Gay and Garth Greenwell ❤❤❤❤❤❤
*squeals* *runs around* *considers being sick tomorrow from work so I can read all day* #newbooks

LeanneAslin I've preordered "Difficult Women", can't wait to get it! 3y
45 likes1 stack add1 comment
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rachellayown
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Pickpick

Greenwell is a fantastic writer, no doubt. I will admit I struggled with the run-on sentences and paragraphs, but that might be because I had to read this in small chunks and this book doesn't really lend itself to that. It seems to be meant to be read in one long sitting. [3.5 stars]

67 likes2 stack adds
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Lindy
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Pickpick

I enjoy melancholic, interior novels about outsiders. This one fits that description perfectly: a gay American living in Bulgaria, struggling with dislocation and his desire for a street hustler. If that's the sort of thing you like, my guess is that you will like this audiobook very much. #queerbooks

39 likes5 stack adds
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Lindy
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A gay American teaching in Sofia is attracted to a Bulgarian hustler. I need to take breaks as I listen to this because I'm afraid it will end badly.

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AlexGeorge
Pickpick

One of the novels of the year for me. In elegant, composed prose Garth Greenwell paints a devastating portrait of longing and desire. This will haunt you long after you reach the final page. Highly recommended.

Alfoster Just bought this based on your rec! 3y
Alfoster Oh, and I just ordered your new one too! 3y
AlexGeorge Yay! Thank you! And I hope you love WHAT BELONGS TO YOU as much as I did! 3y
27 likes4 stack adds3 comments
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8little_paws
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#booktober post--my four best reads of October were three that I read for the #2016nbaficlonglist challenge plus my #botm October choice! I had a terrific reading month, finished 15 books!! I suspect I won't be quite as productive come November... it's knitting time!! @RealLifeReading

Zelma I haven't been productive since football started. I will get back to my normal reading amount as soon as the season is over. 😋 3y
GlitteryOtters I'm still deciding on whether to do NaNoWriMo again this November...if I do that, I definitely won't be reading too much! That always cuts severely into my reading time (but it's worth it!) 😂 3y
44 likes2 comments
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8little_paws
Pickpick

Book six of my #2016nbaficlonglist reading challenge. I've already returned it to the library, so no picture. This book is raw, beautiful, heartbreaking. I loved Greenwell's writing style of long sentences and paragraphs which makes you feel as if you're immersed in the narrator's brain. It's about rejection and connection, and of feeling disconnected from those you love. Really effective.

BookishFeminist I loved this book. One of the best things I've read this year. It keeps sticking with me even though I read it when it first came out. 3y
8little_paws @BookishFeminist I hope the author writes another novel!! 3y
25 likes1 stack add2 comments
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8little_paws
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"Making poems was a way of loving things, I had always thought, of preserving them...of bestowing on experience a richer meaning. But that wasn't what it felt like when I looked back at the boy... it felt like a loss. Whatever I could make of him would diminish him, and I wondered whether I wasn't really turning my back on things in making them into poems, whether instead of preserving the world I was taking refuge from it."

24 likes1 stack add
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8little_paws
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Amtrak reading haps.

Lesliereads 🚅🚂 3y
27 likes1 comment
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ReadingEnvy
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My library haul from the last month. Not pictured: half of the books I actually got from the library. See the entire list here http://readingenvy.blogspot.com/2016/10/library-books-mid-october-2016.html #bookhaul #librarybooks

WOCreads Excellent haul! Loved the Jackson book. Also Beyond Magenta looks really good✊📚 3y
ReadingEnvy @Ifyoucanreadthis_Bina Beyond Magenta was good, a quick read. 3y
bedandabook All look absolutely great. My copy of the Garth Greenwell arrived the other day, and am really looking forward to it. 3y
62 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Kkhalifeh
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Just listened to a great interview with Garth Greenwell on Bookworm podcast. Worth a listen!!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/kcrws-bookworm/id73330484?mt=2&i=370019875

BookishFeminist His book is so good. One of my favorites this year. 3y
shawnmooney I agree with @BookishFeminist ! It hit so close to home for me I haven't been able to string two coherent sentences together about it, though. :) 3y
19 likes2 comments
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Relaxed_Reader
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Mehso-so

I don't quite know how I feel about this book. I enjoyed the narration but I just didn't like the story line. Sorry guys!

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bedandabook
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Finally visited, quite simply, the most wonderful book shop I have ever been to - Mr B's Emporium - for a 'book spa'. Two hours spent with one of the most knowledgeable people I have ever had the pleasure to talk books with, cake and a cup of tea. A bibliophile's heaven!

RachelO Wow! Mr B's is just wonderful! Lucky you going for the whole book spa experience - it sounds amazing. 3y
Bookworm-Bobbie My friend was telling me about this. It sounds incredible. Definitely one for the bucket list. 3y
bedandabook @RachelO @Bookworm-Bobbie It's been on my bucket list for years. Am so glad to have finally been lucky enough to do it. Would thoroughly recommend! 3y
BookHermit But...but...we can't see the spines 😱 3y
bedandabook @BookHermit Ha! Check out my next post - it has my haul. 3y
31 likes5 comments
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Soubhiville
Pickpick

I've been in the position of wanting to help someone with substance abuse issues who wasn't ready to help himself. It's so difficult to want to make a difference and know that you can't. This book really brought back that feeling of helplessness.
It is written in very long paragraphs, with more commas than usual. Beyond that, I thought it was well written. Difficult subject matter. 4 out of 5 stars for me.

SarahKay I loved this one! I found it both unsettling and fascinating. 3y
16 likes1 comment
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Soubhiville
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Getting close to finishing my first book in #24in48
I'm about 4 1/2 hours in. My snacks are mostly fruit and veggies, but when the hubby gets out of bed I'll probably make pancakes 😊👍
@24in48

shawnmooney Oh, the scene with the bratty boy on the train! I remember it well! 3y
29 likes1 comment
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Soubhiville
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The current walls around me, although I did take a short audiobook dog walk break just a bit ago. It's already hot outside in Texas! #24in48
@24in48

Soubhiville More Windows than walls I guess 😊 3y
MrBook Nice! 3y
SusanInTiburon I like how your room is set up for the satisfaction of pets! Good job. 💖 3y
Soubhiville @SusanInTiburon no kids for us, just pets, so they get spoiled. 3y
19 likes4 comments
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Soubhiville
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Here I go! Starting my @24in48 now!

Notafraidofwords Interested to hear what you think about this one. I've heard some mixed reviews. 3y
28 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Linds
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Linds
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Kkhalifeh
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Next on the reading pile!