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Great Circle
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
144 posts | 97 read | 3 reading | 63 to read
"After being rescued as infants from a sinking ocean liner in 1914, Marian and Jamie Graves are raised by their dissolute uncle in Missoula, Montana. There --after encountering a pair of pilots passing through town in a beat up Cessna--Marian commences her lifelong love affair with flight. At fifteen, she drops out of school and finds an unexpected and dangerous patron in a wealthy rancher who provides a plane and subsidizes her lessons, an arrangement that will haunt her for the rest of her life, even as it allows her to fulfill her destiny: circumnavigating the globe and piloting her plane over the Arctic Circle. A century later, Hadley Baxter is cast to play Marian in a film that centers on Marian's disappearance over the South Pacific. Vibrant, canny, disgusted with the claustrophobia of Hollywood, Hadley is eager to re-define herself after a romantic film franchise has imprisoned her in the grip of cult celebrity. Her immersion into the character of Marian unfolds, thrillingly, alongside Marian's own story, as the two womens' fates--and their hunger for self-determination in vastly different geographies and times-- collide. Epic and emotional, meticulously researched and gloriously told, Great Circle is a monumental work of art, and a tremendous leap forward for the prodigiously gifted Maggie Shipstead"--
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JillR
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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The above are my very favourite reads this year. Highlights✨accepting I can read and love Bridgerton as much as I want✨yet still finishing and loving the Women‘s Prize for Fiction shortlist - a huge achievement for this girl who has always been afraid of #booksthatwinprizes✨being part of my first book group; this year‘s choices have brought vampires, Japanese work culture, time travel, flesh-eating and more, and I‘m all for it!✨Happy New Year✨

TrishB A great picture 👍🏻 the books match wonderfully and great choices. 4w
JillR @trishb the photo is very pleasing but I promise I picked the books based on my true favourites and not the aesthetics 😆😉. Happy New Year! 🥂 4w
squirrelbrain Love this picture and your summary! I‘ve read all of these (some this year, some last year) and really liked all of them. (edited) 4w
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JillR @squirrelbrain thank you! Loved all of these obviously, although there were also lots of average reads this year. Excited about new books to come in 2023 as I‘m impatiently awaiting lots of new paperback releases! Happy New Year 😊 4w
Cathythoughts I‘ve read three of your lovely stack. Happy New Year Jill 🥳 4w
JillR Happy New Year @cathythoughts x 4w
35 likes6 comments
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TheKidUpstairs
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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#12Booksof2022 On the fifth and sixth days of Christmas, my reading gave to me...a pair of multi-linear reads.

Multiple characters and timelines can be confusing if done poorly, but fantastically engaging when done well. And both of these were done very, very well.

@Andrew65

Andrew65 Two good choices, and both are on my TBR 🙈 4w
57 likes2 comments
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Frankie00
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Pickpick

The storyline, the characters and the brutal honesty that makes up this book are just a few of the reasons it enticed me so much. Marian Graves is an extraordinary brave woman who‘s tale is one I recommend everyone reading. This is definitely a book that I will think about for a long time coming … 🧭

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fredthemoose
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Question for those who‘ve read this… I‘m a quarter of the way through the book and there‘s been more than enough abuse and neglect of the female characters for my liking. Marian is just meeting the benefactor for the first time. Should I be bailing? I‘d rather not listen to 450 more pages of women being treated like objects and shown no actual care…

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Hooked_on_books
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Pickpick

Great Circle follows two women who are separated in time but have a connection. Marian is an orphan of sorts who strives to be a pilot in an age that found this unacceptable for women, and Hadley is an actress in the current era. I thought this was great with a superb ending to Marian‘s story, though I would have liked to see a bit more for the ending of Hadley‘s.

Cathythoughts Nice review! I have this on my kindle, I must get to it some day. 2mo
Sophronisba I really loved this, although I agree that Shipstead seemed much more interested in Marian than Hadley. 2mo
58 likes2 comments
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NovelNancyM
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Pickpick

This is an amazingly complex book that endeared me to the characters. Marian Graves is a strong female protagonist and I loved her twin brother Jamie. So many concepts about identity, sexuality, gender roles and a great read overall. Highly recommend!

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AlizaApp
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Pickpick

Historical fiction about a badass female aviator in the first half of the 20th century, and then a later storyline featuring the train wreck actress playing her in a biopic in 2015. I liked the historical storyline better but the whole novel came together well. A high recommend.

Soubhiville Nice Henna! 5mo
AlizaApp @Soubhiville thanks it was from my friend‘s wedding! 5mo
39 likes2 comments
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Marialou
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Pickpick

I really didn‘t like this at first. I didn‘t feel connected to the main characters and was irritated by the tangents and very long description and background for everyone and everything. But as the book progressed I did start to really invest in the two leads, I cared for and worried about them. By the end i loved these characters and the book. I accidentally adored it.

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AnneCecilie
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Cinfhen Ohhh, I forgot about this book!! Good pick 🫶🏼 6mo
AnneCecilie @Cinfhen That‘s the thing when it comes to these games, you remember all the books you forgot to think about, at least I do. 6mo
Cinfhen Truth!!! 6mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Thank you for playing! 6mo
37 likes4 comments
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katcalvin
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Bailedbailed

I signed up to read a book about a daring aviatrix and instead I got a boring Twilight actress character written with every Hollywood cliché the writer could think of, so much child sexual content that I question how this book is even legal, and tired, trite prose. And it‘s like eleventy billion pages. I refuse to finish. There are other books out there. I will read literally any other one. The Booker committee, it turns out, is not infallible.

SamAnne My book club just signed up to read this one for August. 😬😳😳😬😬 6mo
6 likes1 comment
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Robotswithpersonality
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
This post contains spoilers
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Pickpick

I stay away from most historical fiction, because the prevalent abuse of minorities: i.e. misogyny, homophobia, chokes me with rage and despair, recognizing it is completely factual that such atrocities, still present in modern society, were that much worse in earlier times. (Look up trigger warnings). However Marian Graves came to life on the page as a human who just kept trying to live their own life despite imposed limits. Worth it.

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Robotswithpersonality
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Current favourite word: "...lolloped..."

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Monica5
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Pickpick

Wow! An EPIC Book! I enjoyed everything, except for the actress that was playing Graves. Don't expect a quick read. It's not.

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JillR
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Pickpick

I spend my reading life searching for books like this one. Books that completely consume me and I can‘t put down. Marian Graves is our main character; an aspiring aviator in the 1930s, who has a complicated and troubled background. Her story is interspersed with that of film star Hadley who is to play Marian in the biopic of her life. That little summary doesn‘t do the epic scope or intensity of the story and characters justice; I loved it!

Cathythoughts Great review 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 8mo
TrishB Great review 👍🏻 I loved it too. 8mo
Freespirit It looks great!! 8mo
42 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Donna1980
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Pickpick

This book was epic, all 670 pages of it but I‘m so glad I chose it to be a holiday read so that I could be fully absorbed in it. A book with layers like this needs to be given the time it deserves to be truly loved. Marian Graves dreams of being a pilot and to circumnavigate the globe. So the story is set in motion as the author traverses the 20th century through the lives of 2 women predominantly but many other beautifully written characters. 5🌟

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Donna1980
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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What a recommendation this was. If you are looking for where to start with the nominees for the women‘s prize for fiction this year, then I can think of no better place to start. This book is a gem!

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charl08
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Not going to arrive in time to drink out of this during watching the shortlist events this week.

New challenge to see if I've read something by all the winners 🏆?

Nute Whoa! I love that mug! 8mo
vivastory I thought about ordering this. I have the journal, which I love 8mo
charl08 @nute @vivastory I wanted the journal as well! 8mo
humouress I foresee a merger … 8mo
78 likes4 comments
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Butterfinger
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Pickpick

Manipulation, heartbreak, adventure, love. This epic has it all. I got so lost in the reading, I could swear it was Ken Follet. And Jamie. Swoon. Reminded me of Anne Blythe's Walter. Interspersed between the chapters, you are treated to historical snippets of real aviators. This is my favored contender for #WomensPrize2022 No, wait. I forgot about The Sentence.

54 likes2 comments
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thewallflower0707
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Mehso-so

Okay, I‘m done with what feels like a very long book. I usually love historical fiction, but I just could not get invested. It‘s beautifully written though.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️,75/5

#WomensPrize #novel #historicalfiction

Suet624 Agreed. 8mo
19 likes1 comment
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AnneCecilie
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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vivastory I almost chose this one for today's prompt. I'm really looking forward to reading this one! 10mo
Eggs Well done 👍🏼 ✈️📚 10mo
AnneCecilie @vivastory One of my favorite reads from last year. Hope you enjoy it 10mo
63 likes3 comments
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PhilipE
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
Pickpick

Pretty good book. The last hundred pages were really well written. Beautiful writing.

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sophies_little_library
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Happy Sunday!

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Cathy_J
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Pickpick

The epic story of a fictional female aviator Marian Graves. I really enjoyed traveling through history over such a great length of time with characters who became so familiar to me. I loved many sections of the book but there were others I thought were not entirely necessary. It is a long book but it does span a long and interesting life. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

sprainedbrain Loved that one! 12mo
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Ncostell
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Pickpick

I have mixed feelings about this book which contains dual timelines. As is often the case when I read this type of book I am usually drawn to one storyline over another. The story of fictional pilot Marian Graves was compelling as I enjoyed reading her journey and learning of the role of women pilots during WWII. The secondary timeline of a modern day actress playing Marian in a movie about her life was less engaging and felt unnecessary to me.

Aims42 I bailed because I couldn‘t get into the book because of Marian‘s timeline. I think I only got maybe 50 pages in - Is it worth trying again? 12mo
Ncostell @Aims42 It is a pretty big commitment as it‘s so long. I was glad that I finished it as I felt that it had a satisfying resolution. Marian‘s timeline does take up much more of the book though so if you‘re not as interested in her story I would keep that in mind. I didn‘t feel very connected to her at first but she grew on me as the book progressed. 12mo
Aims42 @Ncostell Thank you, sounds like maybe another try in the future 👍 😃 12mo
63 likes3 comments
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Chelsea.Poole
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Pickpick

Such a beast of a book! Marian Graves, fictional female pilot, has a difficult go of things from infancy (1914) and throughout most of her life. Not only do we get the intricate details of her life from birth to the end of her life, but also her parents‘ lives and others in her orbit jump off the page. The time periods and sense of place, just amazing! This epic journey is pierced by present-day chapters about an actress playing Graves in a film.

julesG I especially felt that last sentence. The story could have done without the dual timeline. 13mo
Chelsea.Poole @julesG I‘ve read a bunch of reviews with the same sentiment and I can see it could have been left out. For me, it felt like a refreshing return to Marian after tabloid, Hollywood drama. Kind of a juxtaposition that enhanced Marian‘s story for me 🤷🏼‍♀️ 13mo
100 likes2 comments
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Suet624
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Pickpick

I‘m giving this one a pick but I have to say that of the 600 pages, it was the last 200 pages that finally connected me to the characters. They had felt very distant before that. I think I‘ll appreciate it more after it settles in a bit. Well researched with great detailed storytelling.

Cinfhen I loved this one!! I was convinced Marian was “real” / not sure the current day story was necessary 13mo
Suet624 @Cinfhen I know! I saw your review. Current day story really wasn‘t necessary. 13mo
Ncostell I‘m about a third of the way through this book now and know what you‘re saying about feeling disconnected from the main characters. Despite that, I feel it‘s a propulsive story but am glad to hear that the characters may grow on me as the book progresses. 13mo
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Suet624 @cinfhen @ncostell I think my main issue was that this was on the Booker Prize short list. There was much to praise about the book, but I expected more because of being on that list. Like I said, with time it's probable I will recognize more of what I liked about it. 13mo
Cinfhen I‘ve stopped putting my faith in all of these prizes / but I get why your expectations would have been high!! I just loved all the historical detail and I felt the author didn‘t rush her story but gave us time to really live alongside Marian. I loved it right from the start and stayed engaged throughout the pages ( well audio hours 😉it was LONG!!!!) 13mo
Suet624 @Cinfhen I completely agree on its length! 😂😂 13mo
67 likes6 comments
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sophies_little_library
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead

‘Circles are wondrous because they are endless. Anything endless is wondrous. But endlessness is torture, too. I knew the horizon could never be caught but still chased it. What I have done is foolish; I had no choice but to do it.‘

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sophies_little_library
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Pickpick

This was extraordinary: spanning continents and centuries, introducing distinctive, wonderful characters. I adored Marian and her twin Jamie, who are real, flawed, and who grow. Most of this novel is set in the past, so the film-making storyline is primarily to complement Marian‘s journey. This didn‘t bother me, as Marian was the character I cared about, but it could bother some. This is such a bold, sweeping novel and a careful character study.

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StellaB
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Pickpick

I can see how this is wonderful storytelling. I personally didn‘t really connect with the main characters and so became less and less interested in their stories. But the different story strands are very convincing, and beautifully human.

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AnneCecilie
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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#September #9thbookof2021 was another month with several amazing reads, but I landed on this as the best of the month.

Honorable mentions: Ace by Angela Chen, The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld

#12Booksof2021

Suet624 In the midst of this right now. 13mo
AnneCecilie @Suet624 How do you find it? 13mo
Suet624 @AnneCecilie I‘m enjoying it but wishing it weren‘t quite so long. 😀 13mo
Andrew65 Looks good. 13mo
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Cinfhen
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Feels weird to still be dishing about 2021 but I‘m still sharing my #12BooksOf2021
This was my favorite read for September @Andrew65
An epic story of a fictional female aviator spanning 100 years. It was a chunky read but I enjoyed the journey. Audio narration was excellent.

WanderingBookaneer This was my favorite book of the year. 13mo
Cinfhen Oh wow @WanderingBookaneer it was really special. So good. 13mo
Andrew65 Sounds brilliant. Stacked. 13mo
92 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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melissajayne
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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The only book I read for #july this year #12booksof2021

Andrew65 Easy choice. 13mo
16 likes1 comment
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Beatlefan129
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Thank you for the amazing #jolabokaflodswap package @ReadingEnvy The extra bonus books are a great surprise.
Thanks also to @MaleficentBookDragon for hosting the best swap of all

ReadingEnvy I can't remember if I added a note but I saw that I had two more books from your Goodreads TBR and decided I might as well send them too. 13mo
75 likes1 comment
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jenniferw88
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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@Cinfhen here's my #top21of21 (including tagged book as I couldn't fit it on the collage 🤣!)

Last one on the bottom is The Strode Ventura by Hammond Innes.

Tagging @Librarybelle (as 9 of these came from #readingasia2021) and anyone else who wants to join in!

Cinfhen So good!!! Thanks for posting and sharing 🥰 13mo
Librarybelle Thanks for tagging me, and I think this list looks amazing! 13mo
merelybookish I have been meaning to read The Red Tent for years! 13mo
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TrishB Some great ones on there Jenny 👍🏻 13mo
Nute Fantastic reading this year! Yay…The Red Tent! It‘s been a long time, but it‘s not forgotten. I am discovering so many new books because of everyone‘s choices. Reading through these posts is like a Saturday morning heavenly literary smorgasbord from some of my most favorite people on the planet! Such a delight!💕 13mo
BarbaraBB What a great list. I am happy ReadingAsia was such a source of inspiration 🤍🤍 13mo
Deblovestoread Great list of books! 13mo
77 likes7 comments
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perfectlywinged
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Excited to start this epic historical fiction about a female pilot who will disappear Amelia Earhart style.

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jenniferw88
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Pickpick
Susanita 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 1y
BarbaraBB Wow. 5⭐️ 1y
jenniferw88 @BarbaraBB if you're thing of doing next year 's #52Booksin52Weeks it would definitely work for the 'set on at least two different continents' prompt. I'm using it for this year's 'dual timeline' prompt. 1y
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BarbaraBB Thanks, that‘s a good suggestion. I read this one for dual timeline 1y
BarbaraBB For next year‘s two continents prompt (as well as for #ReadingAfrica2022) I‘ve been thinking of 1y
BarbaraBB That one sounds good too. I love tripling up! 1y
76 likes2 stack adds7 comments
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TheEllieMo
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Mehso-so

I was a little underwhelmed by this book. With the reference to aviation in the title, I think I was expecting more about the the flying. Too much back story on minor characters for my liking, too.

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MinnieTimperley
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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At the Booker Readings 2021. Very excited.

julesG Enjoy! 1y
DrexEdit 😲 Nice! 😀 1y
BarbaraBB So cool!! 1y
53 likes3 comments
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rachaich
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Pickpick

Wow, what a read.
I became rather absorbed in the plot, all the characters were detailed enough to keep me reading.
I'm interested in how much of it might be fact...

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HillsAndHamletsBookshop
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Pickpick

I loved this incredible epic novel, definitely making my top 10 list for 2021! Some reviewers didn‘t like the modern thread of the historical/modern dual narrative, and it isn‘t as strong as the historical thread, but I still enjoyed it all. Definitely my favorite of this year‘s Booker nominees. The fictional tale of the lives of aviator Marian Graves and her artist brother Jamie makes for a damn fine yarn. Thanks to Libro.fm for the ALC!

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Lindy
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Pickpick

I enjoyed the characters & broad sweep of this dual timelines novel. Interspersed snippets about women in aviation history—which may be fictional; I didn‘t check—added to my pleasure. Still, it doesn‘t seem worthy of a Booker prize. (I feel the same about Bewilderment & A Town Called Solace.) 25 hours in #audio, expertly narrated by Cassandra Campbell & Alex McKenna, who speak so clearly, 1.75 playback didn‘t sacrifice listening comprehension.

TrishB It definitely didn‘t have the Booker vibe. But I loved the story! 1y
Lindy @TrishB A vibe is a good way to describe the nebulous quality that infuses award-worthy literature. 👍 1y
squirrelbrain Yes, I agree; not sure why it was picked for the Booker, it‘s a fairly ‘standard‘ story, certainly not award-winning. (Although would maybe work for the Women‘s Prize for Fiction, due to its storyline) 1y
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Lindy @squirrelbrain Good point about suitability for the Women‘s Prize. 👍 1y
Suet624 I read this because it was on the booker list. Just barely a pick for me. 13mo
Lindy @Suet624 It‘s not a bad book, but I don‘t feel like it changed me in any way, so in hindsight, I wish I had used my time to read something else. 13mo
Suet624 My feeling exactly 13mo
41 likes7 comments
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Lindy
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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There should be an Antiques Roadshow for memories, and I would sit behind a desk and explain that while your memory might be lovely and have tremendous sentimental value, it was worth nothing to anyone but you.

Tonton 😂😂😂 1y
tpixie 😂 1y
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rmaclean4
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Mehso-so

Well written sweeping epic with two dual narratives. Yet it left me unmoved. 3 🌟

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Bookboss
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Pickpick

This was quite an adventure. The story follows Marion Graves from birth to death. We see her through Prohibition, the Great Depression, WWII, and beyond. Her story is interlaced with that of the actress who is portraying her in modern times, which was engaging but unnecessary. I was engrossed in the plot, and interested in the fully formed characters. This is the first book by Shipstead that I have read, and I look forward to reading more.

Lindy I can recommend 1y
45 likes1 comment
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Lindy
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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While #audiowalking today, I kept a close eye on this coyote, who was more interested in something else.

squirrelbrain Ooh he‘s a bit scary! How are you liking the book? 1y
Lindy @squirrelbrain I‘m nearly at the midpoint. Mildly enjoying, I would say; nothing objectionable, yet nothing exceptional either, so far. 1y
squirrelbrain I really liked it when I read it, but it soon went out of my mind and it was definitely over-long. (edited) 1y
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Suet624 Ummm…hello pretty coyote. 1y
Lindy @Suet624 Coyotes are well camouflaged, aren‘t they? 1y
Lindy @squirrelbrain So, I just read the part where the actress meets the son of the author who imagined the pilot‘s life, and I‘m thinking wait a minute, is the older storyline actually what his mother wrote about the pilot? Because that storyline seems pretty romantic and larger than life. Hmmmm 🧐 1y
squirrelbrain Hmmmm indeed….! No further comment 😁 1y
35 likes7 comments
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Lindy
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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I finished my reversible housecoat while listening to the tagged audiobook. Many other audiobooks were in my ears while I dyed the pieces of fabric (over the past two years). Sewing pattern is my own design and I am very pleased with the results.

Lindy @Crazeedi Here it is! 1y
Tianarose Wow! That‘s amazing! Great work! 1y
Soscha I would love love love to learn this! 1y
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Leftcoastzen So beautiful! 1y
Nute Amazing talent! Looks so well made. 1y
xicanti It looks great! 1y
Lindy @Soscha I took an online beginner clothing design course last month. The instructor Christi Johnson is great! https://www.mixedcolor.net/soft-work-details 1y
Lindy @Tianarose @Leftcoastzen @Nute @xicanti Thanks so much to all of you 🥰 1y
julesG Wow. It looks wonderful. Love the colours of the dyed fabrics. That's quite the achievement. 1y
Lindy @julesG Thanks! I‘m really happy with it. 1y
Crazeedi @Lindy it looks awesome, love the various fabrics. I was a professional seamstress for many years, and it makes me so happy to see people creating their own clothes. I think the art of sewing might be making a comeback! I have so many patterns, fabric that I'll probably never use. But I love it all. I made my clothes and my girls clothes for years. Keep up the wonderful work 1y
Lindy @Crazeedi Thank you! Being experienced, you‘ll understand my neophyte dilemma about how to finish the reversible sleeve hems. Initially, I sewed them the same way I did the bottom hem, but when I turned them right side out, the rest of the garment was so tangled I panicked and ripped out the seams. (Now I realize I should have been more patient.) In the end, I finished them by hand using a blind stitch. 1y
Crazeedi @Lindy I would have done the blind stitch too, great job!! 1y
41 likes1 stack add13 comments
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rachaich
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Now this is a good read so far.
Not as keen on the Hollywood star chapters but made up by the Marian chapters.

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charl08
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead

The Japanese flew over sometimes, strafing and bombing, usually not doing much damage. The tundra swallowed their bullets and bombs. "We do better than that, don't we?" Jamie said to an army photographer after an attack.

The man gazed after the departing planes. “Yeah, their mud is probably much more shot up than ours."

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