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Cloud Cuckoo Land
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of perhaps the most bestselling and beloved literary fiction of our time comes a triumph of imagination and compassion, a soaring novel about children on the cusp of adulthood in a broken world, who find resilience, hope, and story. The heroes of Cloud Cuckoo Land are children trying to figure out the world around them, and to survive. In the besieged city of Constantinople in 1453, in a public library in Lakeport, Idaho, today, and on a spaceship bound for a distant exoplanet decades from now, an ancient text provides solace and the most profound human connection to characters in peril. They all learn the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to the paradise of Cloud Cuckoo Land, a better world. Twelve-year-old Anna lives in a convent where women toil all day embroidering the robes of priests. She learns to read from an old Greek tutor she encounters on her errands in the city. In an abandoned priory, she finds a stash of old books. One is Aethon's story, which she reads to her sister as the walls of Constantinople are bombarded by armies of Saracens. Anna escapes, carrying only a small sack with bread, salt fish--and the book. Outside the city walls, Anna meets Omeir, a village boy who was conscripted, along with his beloved pair of oxen, to fight in the Sultan's conquest. His oxen have died; he has deserted. In Lakeport, Idaho, in 2020, Seymour, a young activist bent on saving the earth, sits in the public library with two homemade bombs in pressure cookers--another siege. Upstairs, eighty-five-year-old Zeno, a former prisoner-of-war, and an amateur translator, rehearses five children in a play adaptation of Aethon's adventures. Konstance, encased on a spaceship decades from now, has never lived on our beloved Earth. Alone in a vault with sacks of Nourish powder and access to "all the information in the world," she knows Aethon's storythrough her father. Like Marie-Laure and Werner in All the Light We Cannot See, Konstance, Anna, Omeir, Seymour, the young Zeno, the children in the library are dreamers and misfits on the cusp of adulthood in a world the grown-ups have broken. They through their own resilience and resourcefulness, and through story. Dedicated to "the librarians then, now, and in the years to come," Anthony Doerr's Cloud Cuckoo Land is about the power of story and the astonishing survival of the physical book when for thousands of years they were so rare and so feared, dying, as one character says, "in fires or floods or in the mouths of worms or at the whims of tyrants." It is a hauntingly beautiful and redemptive novel about stewardship--of the book, of the Earth, of the human heart.
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review
Robotswithpersonality
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Pickpick

A breathtaking, heartbreaking, timescaping adventure, and yet, not, because most of the characters' real journeying leading to growth is internal, is a recognition of the immutability of their paths and at the same time, the value of them as such. Escapism vs acceptance.
As much about the emotional connection each person made to a certain recurring text, as the contents of the book itself. 1/?

Robotswithpersonality The crucial roles of preservation and translation, of libraries and librarians, in making works through the ages accessible, always going to love books with such themes.
Love of nature running through, also a beloved theme.
Captivating writing but not too flowery
Key to long books: short chapters. 2/?
3w
Robotswithpersonality So so, many ways for war, conflict, conquest to be destructive

I could guess that others might object to the rep involved in Seymour's character, but I think it's important to recognize the portrayal has more to do with nurture than nature. He's not a naturally/brain-chemically bad seed, but someone who didn't have many sources of solace, who was neglected, or at the very least not provided with the kind of resources that would allow him to thrive, and then misguided, manipulated, and that could happen to any kid. 3/?
3w
Robotswithpersonality Historically I'm sure it's just thought of as overworking work animals, but the sensitivity shown in the portrayal of a boy's relationship to the oxen in his care, and modern sensibilities and ethics mean that I want to add a warning for animal abuse - fellow vegans, you're gonna cry.
3w
Robotswithpersonality Touches on unethical company practices around data manipulation, connected to slave (below legal minimum wage) labor in prisons.
Also likely to spike your climate anxiety.

⚠️ Homophobia, internalized homophobia, POW experience, PTSD?, ableism, internalized ableism (how boy with facial abnormality was treated in medieval times)
3w
SamAnne My best read by far in 2023. While I was reading this an unscrupulous developer logged the hillside above my house. Acres that I came very close to raising the money to add to the adjacent city park. I felt for Seymour. 3w
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Robotswithpersonality
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Here's to the best kind of fool.

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ImperfectCJ
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Pickpick

Yep, this is a good one. Much as I expected from the author of All the Light We Cannot See, Doerr brilliantly weaves together storylines stretching over vast distances of space, time, and understanding. I alternated between audio and print on this one, which helped with some of the Greek and gave me a chance to hear Marin Ireland again, someone who's fast becoming a favorite audiobook narrator for me.

SamAnne My favorite read of the year so far. Just beautiful. 3w
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Robotswithpersonality
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Who WRITES such things? The use of language, the discussion of etymology, I'm hooked.
Were it not for the fact that basically every character in this book is in jeopardy, I would be having a wonderful time! 🙎🏼‍♂️

SamAnne Just finished this last month. Loved, loved loved it. 3w
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Robotswithpersonality
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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"You're gonna need a bigger boat." ??

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Robotswithpersonality
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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And people WONDER why I don't want to go to space! 🫣

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SamAnne
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Hands down the tagged. Best read of the year so far. For March: it‘s my birthday month! It‘s been yet another year where me and my partner wonder what minor deities we‘ve offended. It‘s just been hit after hit. But we are still blessed in this universe and Spring is coming. I plan to read a lot and take part in all the readathon. And hike and camp in eastern WA State‘s beautiful desert, watch sand hill cranes, see the first flowers. ⬇️

SamAnne Read in front of the campfire. And avoid ticks….😂😐. @TheSpineView 3w
TheSpineView Hope March beings you all good things! Thanks for playing 3w
kspenmoll Your goals sound wonderful- I hope for a March of peace for you! 3w
Crazeedi I hope your March is the beginning of a clean slate! And that it brings only good things!! 3w
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ImperfectCJ
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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I didn't audiohike today, but I did listen to the tagged on the drive to and from the trail. And I have the print book to enjoy while I wait for my kid at his class this afternoon.

RaeLovesToRead Great view 😍 3w
51 likes1 comment
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SamAnne
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Pickpick

Five star read for me. I loved how Doerr wrapped all the story lines together perfectly. Loved the themes of choosing life on earth over “in the clouds” despite the grief and hardship that comes with love and beauty. I loved how the novel reflected the power of words and story and how they have helped people over millennia weather life and make sense of it. The power of handing stories down and the value of libraries! ⬇️

SamAnne Seymour‘s storyline hit me in the gut on many levels. While reading this I watched bulldozers and chainsaws take down acres of forest above my house, forest that I came close to protecting as parkland, but didnt pull it off. The natural area is what has helped me weather all the challenges of living in a low-income neighborhood. A bit broken-hearted. I‘ve lost a few TrustyFriends this month too. 4w
Bookwomble It must have felt awful to see the devastation of those trees 😔 4w
Jeg I loved it too. 3w
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SamAnne
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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I am sucked into this novel!! I love a novel about the power of story and word. Can‘t wait to see where this one goes! A good companion with a glass of wine on a day that has been a rough transition from vacation back to the home world.

ImperfectCJ My spouse and I are planning to listen to this one together on a little road trip we're taking next week! We probably won't finish it (it's not that long if a road trip), but I'm excited to start it with him, at least. 1mo
SamAnne @ImperfectCJ It might be a hard audio. Lots of changing POV and side snippets. Loving the print, maybe others can weigh in on the audio. 1mo
ImperfectCJ @SamAnne Thank you for this insight! I'll make sure we have a backup audiobook in case this one doesn't work out well in that format. 1mo
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ashleyn
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Pickpick

I wanted to love this but I struggled with the disconnect between storylines for most of the book. Zeno's story was the only one I felt truly invested in throughout. I will say I loved how the pieces came together but still felt like I needed more from the ending and the characters' destinies. Overall, I'd still recommend.

2/2023

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Jenken1998
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Pickpick

This is a speculative fiction book that takes time to read. Multiple views with multiple timelines. A book within a book. None of this was my cup of tea. I can, however, appreciate the talent of the author weaving this all together. 3 🌟 I almost did not finish, but i got wrapped up in 1 or 2 of the storylines, but they ended vaguely. I still say it's a pick, though.

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BookNAround
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Pickpick

There are five different stories in this tale the very human need for stories and for the people who cherish and pass them through the ages. The different threads take a while to come together but they eventually do, rewarding the reader who perseveres with a complex and ambitious novel. Full review at http://booknaround.blogspot.com/2022/12/review-cloud-cuckoo-land-by-anthony.html...

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cottagelantern
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
Pickpick

3 stars: meh, but still worth reading.
I have been so excited about this book for so long, but ultimately, it was a disappointment. The story follows 5 characters, and there were only 2 I was truly interested in fully. The ending is not well explained (it appears the author did not himself know what happened) and the book that the book centers on is not as all-encompassing and epic as I would have hoped.

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smalldogs_bigbooks2419
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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This has been on and off of my TBR since it came out. Hubby promised to buy me a book since he needed to pick up one while I was at work. I was able to convince him to wait, but he kept his promise of buying the book. 2 trusted bookish friends have recently said it was better than All the Light We Cannot see, so I decided to see for myself. ☁️

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Jeg
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Pickpick

Finished last night. Excellent . ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.

CarolynM I‘ve not been drawn to this in the past, but if you‘re giving it 5 stars I might need to reconsider 🙂 2mo
MrsMalaprop Didn‘t Veronica rave about this one? A book you both loved is a rarity! 2mo
Jeg @MrsMalaprop yes and she gave it at Xmas and I got it. I‘m surprised she liked it actually. When I think about it , I‘m surprised I liked it so much. Not a book I would usually read from the blurb and it‘s thickness. 2mo
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Jeg
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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I‘m loving this book. I‘m nearly finished. Much has struck a chord with me, but this particularly said “ isn‘t that the truth” .

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jen_the_scribe
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Pickpick

I almost DNFed this, but it grew on me. It became a so-so for a while, as it was incredibly strange & it took way too long to connect all of the characters. However, I ended up caring about each character so much that I wanted to know what happened in their individual stories only to be more & more delighted by the end. Ultimately, it‘s a scholarly, fantastical, beautiful ode to stories & how they connect us all. The narrators were fantastic too.

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MommyWantsToReadHerBook
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Pickpick

I couldn't put this down! At times it absolutely broke my heart but I couldn't stop reading. I love this man's writing. Beautiful, thoughtful, just wonderful. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Jeg It‘s on my TBR shelf. My gift from book club Xmas. The person who gave it has raved about it for sometime. Might just read it next. 2mo
Megabooks 💯💯💯💯 2mo
MommyWantsToReadHerBook @Jeg you won't regret it! 2mo
Jeg I‘ve nearly finished 2mo
MommyWantsToReadHerBook @Jeg 🥳🥳🥳 2mo
60 likes1 stack add5 comments
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MommyWantsToReadHerBook
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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I had a good long walk through parts of the Botanical Gardens I didn't know existed, and now coffee and my amazing book.

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PaperbackPirate
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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In random order:

🌾 Braiding Sweetgrass
✊🏾 Why We Can‘t Wait
🌞 The Hill We Climb
🐠 Unfamiliar Fishes
🏴‍☠️ Born to Be Hanged
🔪 A Good Girl‘s Guide to Murder & Good Girl, Bad Blood
👻 Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts
🧠 The Institute
🚪The Ten Thousand Doors of January
🦻🏻 Book of Extraordinary Tragedies
🧙🏼‍♀️ The Change
🌊 The House in the Cerulean Sea
☁️ Cloud Cuckoo Land - my favorite of the year
🎺 Wild Women and the Blues

GinaKButler We read Tuesday Mooney for our book club! Have you ever seen the Expedition Unknown episode about The Secret book? This book reminded me so much of it…you should check it out! 2mo
PaperbackPirate Thank you for the recommendation @GinaKButler ! I‘ve never heard of it. 2mo
54 likes2 comments
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staci.reads
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Here are my #Top22of22. It was a great reading year, but even though I read the most books I've ever read in a year, I didn't have too much trouble choosing my favorites. @Cinfhen

LeeRHarry Malibu Rising and This Poison Heart are in my top reads list too 😊 3mo
jlhammar So many good ones! Looking forward to Take My Hand. 3mo
TrishB Great choices 👍🏻 3mo
See All 6 Comments
Cinfhen Fantastic!!! There are a few I‘m looking forward to reading in 2023😄 3mo
dabbe The Thirteenth Tale creeped me out, but I absolutely loved it! You gave me other ones to consider too; thanks! 3mo
Centique I loved Murderbot too and the John Green! Need to get to some of these others. 😍 3mo
61 likes6 comments
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staci.reads
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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#12Booksof2022 June was a great reading month. I enjoyed many of my books that month, but this one was by far the standout. I am not much of a rereader, but I know I will revisit this one. @Andrew65

Andrew65 An excellent author. On my TBR and I really need to get to this. 3mo
dabbe @Andrew65 Ditto exactly what you said! 3mo
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PaperbackPirate
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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I also read my #February favorite with my book club.
This might also be my favorite for the year.
#12BooksOf2022

Thanks for asking @Andrew65 !

Andrew65 A wonderful author. 3mo
PaperbackPirate Agreed @Andrew65 ! 💯 3mo
52 likes2 comments
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LisaLovesToRead
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Pickpick

This was a strange book with multiple time periods. It was sometimes tough to follow, but I enjoyed how Doer pulled all of the stories together.

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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

A beautiful story within a story within a story within a story. Vivid details and heart wrenching themes that transcend time, this is an ode to books, storytellers, and what it is to be human. It'll make you want to find and treasure that one old dilapidated and quirky book you hold dear.

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Caroline2
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Thank you so much @Oryx 😀 I had just added this to my Christmas wish list so perfect timing! I can‘t wait to read it. 👍

Oryx You're very welcome. I love your little gingerbread person! 4mo
Caroline2 @Oryx Thanks. He‘s cute isn‘t he. Wish I could say I made him but we bought him at a craft fair last week!! 😆 4mo
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TrishB
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Pickpick

I liked All the Light…but didn‘t love.
This is on another level entirely for me and I absolutely loved it. (Started yesterday and just finished and I worked 7-6 today, couldn‘t put it down).
Epic, wonderful story telling.

MicheleinPhilly 7-6 is obnoxious! 4mo
KarenUK I have no idea how you read this in two days!!! It‘s so good though…. But took me a week! 4mo
GondorGirl I started this book and was very unimpressed... then I almost DNFed it... then I somehow couldn't put it down... and then it was a five star read. I read it months ago and still find myself thinking about the ending. 4mo
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Jas16 I felt the same about both All the Light and about this book. 4mo
SamAnne I highly recommend his book of short stories Memory Wall. Very different stories….the title story is phenomenal with a sci fi bent. 4mo
Cathythoughts Great review! I bailed on All the Light…I might try this one after your review 👍🏻♥️ 4mo
TrishB @MicheleinPhilly it‘s horrendous run up to Christmas 4mo
TrishB @KarenUK I wanted to finish on Sunday- got to 450 pages and has to sleep. So only has 150ish to finish last night. Yes, so good. 4mo
TrishB @GondorGirl yes, I thought a very good ending! 4mo
TrishB @Jas16 👍🏻 4mo
TrishB @SamAnne I‘ll keep my eye out. 4mo
TrishB @Cathythoughts I thought they were very different. This one had David Mitchell vibes to me- but slightly easier! 4mo
Addison_Reads I loved this one too. The way all the storylines came together was pure perfection. 4mo
SamAnne I started this one months ago but had too many chunksters going at once. I want to read this one without other reading distractions. I love the premise. And all of Doerr‘s writing. 4mo
TrishB @Addison_Reads yes agreed 👍🏻 4mo
TrishB @SamAnne hope you love when you get to it! 4mo
BarbaraBB Thank for the review. I think it‘s not for me. 4mo
103 likes4 stack adds17 comments
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Megbert
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Pickpick

There‘s always one gem that stands out above the rest and this year it‘s Cloud Cuckoo Land (followed tightly by Trent Daltons All our Shimmering Skies). Visually rich and chronologically layered this is a transportive journey through time and place that channels the art of myth, love, loss and great hope for our planet.

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jen_the_scribe
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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My next listen…

23 likes1 stack add
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bookishdawg
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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“The world as it is, is enough.” ❤️🦉☁️

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TJAhearne
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Pickpick

This was an extremely entertaining book. I don‘t think it was nearly as good as All the Light We Cannot See, but we‘ll written and tied together well. Just the knowledge that one story could link hundreds of years and what happens with that story was so wonderful and intriguing. I loved every person‘s story; they were all exciting in their own way.

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CallMeIshmael
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Pickpick

I loved the beauty and heartbreak in this book, it will hold a special place in my library forever. A book that requires recovery is a book worth reading

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Lesliereadsalot
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Pickpick

I highly recommend this book. Five story lines are happening, two hundreds of years ago, two in the present, and one in the future, with the common thread of an ancient tale. The characters are so vividly drawn and so interesting that I didn‘t want the book to end. The story that takes place in the future had a real twist and I‘m still thinking about it hours later. I love books like this where you really feel like you‘ve read something.

SamAnne Oh, I've been wanting to get to this one! November.... 6mo
13 likes1 comment
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Sapphire
Pickpick

I am sitting in awe having finished this beautiful brutal and bewitching book. The authors note says it is a paean to books. It is the story of a tale, a book and three loners who find meaning and connection to humanity because of their interactions with it. Four people, really. Intricate and brilliant, this one will stay with me in images. Some of the simplest and most complex ideas have already shaped my thinking about my own life and choices.

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Sapphire
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He that knows all that Learning ever writ, knows only this-that he knows nothing yet.

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CallMeIshmael
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Sapphire
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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I bought this when it was first released and am just now getting to it. I am utterly amazed at its brilliance and it‘s readability. Everything I hate about the overdone shifting timelines and narrators, is done here so beautifully. Once again, Doer‘s work takes something familiar (like WWII in atlwcs) and reinvents it and we say, now that is how the tale should be told; that is how writing works.

Sapphire 183 pages in and loving every word. 6mo
Megabooks 💯💯 agree with your assessment! 6mo
31 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Sapphire
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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TheRiehlDeal
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Panpan

😑😑😑 I should‘ve bailed. This was a book that I wanted to go in completely blind and I guess that wouldn‘t have helped regardless. The multiple timelines and characters were all too much for my brain to handle. This is a book you‘ll love or you‘ll hate. For me, it was the latter.

2⭐️
9/17/22

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TheRiehlDeal
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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I‘m not really understanding what is going on in this, but I‘m going to finish this because the narration is really good. I hope his previous book is easier to follow.

I also can‘t believe there is a character named Omicron. 😳🤦‍♂️ Others will make sure to stay FAR away from you with a name like that. 😆

Megabooks It takes quite a bit of time to see how it all relates but it was 💯💯💯 worth it for me! 6mo
32 likes1 comment
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Creadnorthey
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Bailedbailed

I was listening to this as an audiobook and it was just horrible. Already Doerr‘s descriptions can be overly saccharine, but the narrator took this to a whole new level! How many soft spoken, affected and breathy dialogues can I listen to? Only 39% of CCL apparently. Might read this in print at a later date, but for now my ears have bailed.

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TheRiehlDeal
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Right now, I‘m listening to Cloud Cuckoo Land. It‘s historical fiction and I think it‘s alright.

#currentlyreading
#littenswanttoknow

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I‘ve heard it‘s good! 6mo
kelli7990 I‘m reading The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. The genre is nonfiction. I‘m enjoying it. It‘s interesting but sometimes, it‘s hard for me to understand what is being talked about in this book. It talked about synergy before and I don‘t know what that word means. I‘ve never heard it before. 6mo
25 likes2 comments
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Decalino
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Pickpick

I wasn't sure about this book at first; the beginning introduced multiple characters separated in space and time, mostly children in danger or dire circumstance, and I was worried it would be too grim. Luckily I kept reading. The ancient fragmented story threaded through these seemingly disconnected lives brings everything together in the end, in a deeply satisfying way. It's a chunkster, but ultimately worth it.

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Cazxxx
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Bailedbailed

I‘ve tried twice with this and just can‘t get into it at all. Found it totally boring and had no connection to the stories or characters. Life is too short!

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rebbyj
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
Pickpick

Do it. Even if it is hard

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Jnnlb
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Pickpick

Slow start but worth the read

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AmyK1
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Pickpick

Wow. I loved this.

There have been tons of reviews for this book so I‘ll just leave it at that 😉 This was my August #doublespin @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! 7mo
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Mdion1993
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Pickpick

An epic novel that follows the preservation of a manuscript over three different points in time - 15th century Constantinople on the brink of war, a present day Idaho town, and a future space expedition on a ship called the Argos.

Expansive ✨ Survival ✨ Rediscovery

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Blackink_WhitePaper
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My favourite book among 2022 reads😻💐

#LetterC #alphabetgame @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Thank you for playing!! 8mo
Blackink_WhitePaper @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks you are Welcome 🤗. It‘s a fun game & great idea. I am stacking up books whenever I check Litsy 😅 8mo
42 likes2 comments