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Our Country Friends
Our Country Friends: A Novel | Gary Shteyngart
"It's March 2020 and a calamity is unfolding. A group of friends and friends-of-friends gathers in a country house to wait out the pandemic. Over the next few months new bonds of friendship and love will take hold, while old betrayals will emerge among this unlikely cast of characters, each richly drawn and achingly human: a Russian-born novelist; his Russian-born psychiatrist wife; their precocious child obsessed with K-pop; a struggling Indian American writer; a wildly successful Korean American app developer; a global dandy with three passports; a young flame-thrower of an essayist, originally from the Carolinas; and a movie star, The Actor, whose arrival upsets the equilibrium of this chosen family"--
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blurb
TrishB
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I brought this as I thought it would fulfil the pandemic prompt for #booked2023 should have read the reviews first Trish!! At least it was only 99p cos nothing is making me read this now.

LeahBergen I just checked and it only rates a 17% on here. 😆 4w
BookHoarder32 You could return it if you havent read it yet? To 10% maybe? 4w
RaeLovesToRead Me the first 2/3... "this is really good... I don't understand why everyone is hating on it..." Me the last 1/3: "what the heck is this nonsense?" ? Starts well enough but disappears up its own arse by the end 4w
See All 11 Comments
RebelReader I bailed on this one awhile back! 4w
Ruthiella I didn‘t like it much either. 4w
TrishB @LeahBergen 😁 I only looked after I‘d pressed buy! @RaeLovesToRead @RebelReader @Ruthiella @BarbaraBB 4w
TrishB @BookHoarder32 I can‘t see how to do that? But I‘m not too worried for 99p 😁 4w
BookHoarder32 I think maybe it‘s in your amazon account when you filter your order type by digital and click on it, it‘ll ask you if you want to return for a refund (if that option‘s available). I usually dont return ebooks either, but wanted to throw out the option to you 😇 3w
TrishB @BookHoarder32 thanks- it let me do it on the web version but not the app 🤷‍♀️ 👍🏻 3w
BookHoarder32 👍 awesome 3w
69 likes11 comments
review
RaeLovesToRead
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Mehso-so

For the mostpart, this was a decent drama with a cast of unlikeable but intriguing characters. For the first 3/4 I was at a loss as to why the reviews were so universally lukewarm.

The last quarter, however, was a complete slog. The set up wasn't strong enough to support the meandering, messy, incoherent, dull and rambling denouement. It disappeared up its own arse and cemented itself a so-so rating from me.

⭐⭐⭐ 3 stars

Cinfhen Great idea for prompt and I totally agree, this book was #MoreMehThanYeah 7mo
BarbaraBB I was disappointed too! 7mo
See All 13 Comments
RaeLovesToRead @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB The ending was such a slog to get through. It's a shame because there was a lot that I liked about the first 3/4. Also, what was with the black truck? I feel I must have missed the explanation for that (amongst other things). Writing was quirky but clumsy, I would say. 7mo
BarbaraBB I remember that black truck but not sure about its function. And yes, the beginning was okay but later on it got boring. 7mo
Ruthiella The black truck was Chekhov‘s proverbial gun. Only it didn‘t go off. I agree with you, this book disappointed me too. 7mo
RaeLovesToRead @BarbaraBB @Ruthiella Trying too hard to be clever, I reckon. I still like Shteyngart as a writer. He's got an unusual way of writing that I generally enjoy. 7mo
squirrelbrain I was going to read this as it was on the #longlist for something - Booker maybe? I couldn‘t get hold of it cheaply enough so didn‘t bother and I‘m glad I didn‘t! 🤣 7mo
RaeLovesToRead @squirrelbrain Would you like my copy? I can bring it to Gladstone's? (Not that I've been selling it very well 🤣🤣) 7mo
squirrelbrain That‘s a very kind offer, Rae, but I‘ll pass this time….I haven‘t seen many (any?!) good reviews for this one. Thanks anyway! 😘 7mo
Megabooks Def disappointing! 7mo
Ruthiella I haven‘t written him off yet. I definitely still want to try 7mo
KarenUK I was definitely lukewarm on this too… 7mo
54 likes13 comments
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RaeLovesToRead
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Unintentionally co-ordinated with my book today 💙👗👕🩴📘 And the sky is a glorious blue too!

I'm going into this one with low expectations, because a lot of the reviews have been lukewarm / disappointed.

I have read a couple of Gary Schteyngart's books before. Absurdistan was OK and I remember being impressed by Super Sad True Love Story (although I was quite young when I read it and I don't trust my younger self's taste 🤭😋)

Off we go...

Branwen So perfectly blue! 😃💙💙💙 7mo
RaeLovesToRead @Branwen 🦋🌊💙💎 7mo
vivastory I also liked Super Sad etc but I've heard a lot of mixed reviews on his latest 7mo
RaeLovesToRead @vivastory I'm about a hundred pages in and intrigued by it so far... hopefully it won't go down hill 😶 7mo
vivastory 🤞At least it's a great cover! 7mo
52 likes5 comments
review
BookishTrish
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Panpan

This shortish novel started with such promise: a group of friends and acquaintances decamp to a country estate to wait out COVID. People were hooking up, old jealousies resurfaced, I enjoyed it - even if the characters were Unlikeable. By the end I didn‘t care at all - it was a slog to get through.

rubyslippersreads 😻😻😻 10mo
57 likes1 comment
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CleverGirl
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I just realized I‘m reading a book set during the pandemic, using a mask as a bookmark.

review
ImperfectCJ
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Mehso-so

I didn't dislike this one as much as a lot of people seemed to, but it's not one of my favorites, either. With his created family and idyllic country getaway in the midst of the pandemic and nationwide unrest, Shteyngart seems to be trying to do something similar to what Lockwood does in No One Is Talking About This, juxtaposing the banal with the realest parts of real life. I'm not sure his effort is as effective as it could be, though. #ToB2022

ImperfectCJ I empathize with his aging GenX cast of characters while at the same time finding them fairly vacuous and self-absorbed. I mean, I guess that's the point, but it doesn't really inspire me to care about what happens to most of them. 11mo
BarbaraBB Great review. I didn‘t care much about what would happen to most characters either. 11mo
BkClubCare “seems trying to do what Lockwood” attempted. Huh. 🤔 I appreciate your idea here. 👏 11mo
50 likes3 comments
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cariashley
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Mehso-so

I‘m with others on this one - it was meh. I was initially excited about a pandemic book, with New Yorkers! Escaping from the city for a cosseted stay in the country! As a New Yorker who basically did just that in 2020, I thought this would be at least a little relatable, but wow no. There was a laugh out loud sex scene that I thoroughly enjoyed, though.

Book 12 of #tob22, as an audiobook. I doubt this one will move past the play in round.

Ruthiella I also felt the premise was great but didn‘t jive with the results. 12mo
BkClubCare I was looking at all the brackets entered, and saw some one had this losing in the final round. 😲 11mo
42 likes2 comments
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thebluestocking
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Mehso-so

I enjoyed this a little more than I expected to, but the last third kind of went off the rails for me. I liked the idea of exploring dynamics among house guests during lockdown. But ultimately I did not connect with any of the characters and got a bit bored.

Megabooks This was definitely a weird one! 12mo
Ruthiella Yeah, it was the third part that lost me too. 12mo
See All 8 Comments
cariashley I think I‘m right about to start the last part and am not sure what to expect based on all the reviews! 12mo
Cinfhen This felt like an EXTRA LONG episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Some parts were actually really entertaining but overall more annoying than enjoyable. 12mo
thebluestocking @Megabooks @Ruthiella I can‘t see it making it out of the play-in round. 12mo
thebluestocking @cariashley I‘ll be interested to hear what you think! 💙 12mo
thebluestocking @Cinfhen I think “overall more annoying than enjoyable” is the perfect way to sum up this book! 12mo
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review
Ruthiella
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Panpan

Like Vinod in this novel, I‘m just glad it is over. 7 adults and a child shelter in place at compound somewhere in the Tri-State area. Hijinks ensue amid the 2020 pandemic with love triangles, parenting woes, nostalgia for the ‘90s and lost youth, the US immigrant experience in the late 20th century, betrayal and affirmation of friendships and commitment, fears about right wing movements... I found it effing exhausting to read. #Tob #Tob2022

Megabooks 😂😂 great review! 12mo
Megabooks Exhausting is a good word 12mo
BarbaraBB Exhausting is the word indeed. Way too much it was. 12mo
See All 26 Comments
Suet624 We‘re coffee cup twinsies!! 12mo
Cinfhen I didn‘t care for this one either. Great review 12mo
squirrelbrain I‘m glad I decided not to read this one! 12mo
Ruthiella @Megabooks Thanks! 12mo
Ruthiella @BarbaraBB @Megabooks I wonder if the author was trying to mimic the 19th century novel in the 21st century? That might account for the overstuffing! 🤔 12mo
Ruthiella @Suet624 I love my TOB mugs! ☕️ 12mo
Ruthiella @Cinfhen Thanks! I really expected to like it more. 😕 12mo
Ruthiella @squirrelbrain Wise decision! 😂 12mo
RaeLovesToRead I have this on my TBR... did ANYONE like it? 🤣🤣🤣🤣 12mo
Megabooks True…I hadn‘t thought of that. 12mo
kwmg40 Great review. I liked this book a little better than you did (I gave it a so-so instead of pan) but I think you summarized it pretty well. 12mo
Mindyrecycles Oh dear. I have this freshly downloaded on Audible. 🤦🏻‍♀️ We‘ll see how it goes. 12mo
ReadingEnvy Oh I'm glad to see this review. I didn't get very far at all, and I've previously been a fan! 12mo
Ruthiella @RaeLovesToRead 😂😂😂Maybe you will LOVE it! 12mo
Ruthiella @kwmg40 It was the interminable dream sequences at the end that forced my thumb down. 😅 12mo
Ruthiella @Mindyrecycles Hopefully you will enjoy it more than I did. Maybe audio is the better medium for it. 12mo
Ruthiella @ReadingEnvy I still want to try A Super Sad Love Story some day, but I thought this one was a stinker. 12mo
ReadingEnvy @Ruthiella I read The Sentence last of the three in the playin round and I'm confident it is the book supreme. 12mo
RaeLovesToRead If I do love it then I'll be on my own, haha. 🙈 I thought Super Sad True Love Story was good (although it was ages ago that I read it) and Absurdistan was OK. 12mo
sarahbarnes This does sound exhausting. 😳 12mo
Ruthiella @sarahbarnes It tuckered me out and took forever to read, despite only being 300 odd pages. 12mo
Chelsea.Poole My thoughts exactly!! 12mo
Ruthiella @Chelsea.Poole I can‘t say I wasn‘t warned! 😅 12mo
62 likes26 comments
review
Chelsea.Poole
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Panpan

As shocked as I was at how much I enjoyed Klara (see previous review), I‘m equally surprised at how much I disliked this one! Just goes to show that expectations really do influence me as a reader. I thought this would be such a great read but I found it to be such a slog. Pretentious. I didn‘t care about any of the characters. I was intrigued about the pandemic setting. I tortured myself to the very end to finish it. #tob22

Suet624 I‘ve decided to pass on this one as your opinion seems to be in the majority. 12mo
Megabooks Part four was pretty terrible 12mo
Megabooks @Suet624 I was really glad this was a library book. 12mo
thebluestocking Pretentious is definitely the word! 12mo
83 likes4 comments
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Sophronisba
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Are there references to Russian literature that I'm just not getting because I haven't read enough? I keep feeling like I'm missing something. #morningreads

Ruthiella I read the synopsis of Uncle Vanya on Wikipedia and maybe there are parallels? Especially when he calls Sasha “The Landowner”. (edited) 12mo
Sophronisba @Ruthiella Maybe so? It's been years since I've read Uncle Vanya. I definitely had the strong feeling there were allusions I just wasn't getting. 12mo
11 likes2 comments
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Sophronisba
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he had to think like a character in a Chekhov play, forever taunted by desires but trapped in a life much too small to accommodate the entirety of a human being. That was why Chekhov was eternally beloved. There were no dashing personages in his works galloping toward an end point like the Actor‘s renown or Karen‘s algorithm, only vanishing horizons, only overgrown meadows from which one could look above and try to discern misted landscapes.

BarbaraBB Just finished this book! 12mo
9 likes1 comment
review
BarbaraBB
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Mehso-so

I‘m not sure what to make of this book. It has all the ingredients I‘m looking for at the moment. Friends spending time together, romance, dealing with a new pandemic reality. And yet I never felt drawn in. The characters felt too flat, their storylines too thin and the final scenes made we just want to get it over with. Definitely not my favorite for the #ToB22 play-in round.

#Booked2022 #IncludesARecipe #pop22 #QuoteFromFavoriteAuthorOnCover

squirrelbrain I still can‘t get hold of this one for ‘free‘ (or cheap!). Your review suggests I should even stop looking for it. 12mo
TrishB But a great pic ♥️ 12mo
BarbaraBB @TrishB Reataurants opened again so we treated ourselves to some cool Mexican! 12mo
See All 20 Comments
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain Regarding the ToB I can‘t imagine it‘ll even enter the tournament 🤷🏻‍♀️ 12mo
Cathythoughts I agree with @TrishB Yes ! A great pic 12mo
Cinfhen Such a cool photo 🤩Did not like this book at all 12mo
Suet624 I recently received it from the library but all indicators are that it‘s not worth the time to read it. I have another book of his about his life that I thought I would really like but I only got through 50 pages because I felt too removed from it. 12mo
KarenUK I felt the same! Gave it a so so…. 12mo
Megabooks I felt the same way you did. 12mo
RaeLovesToRead I've bought this because I've read some others by Gary Schteyngart and the premise sounded good... not hearing a lot of great things about it though 😬😬😬 12mo
thebluestocking Hmmm. I‘ve got this one from the library right now. While I kind of want to be a shortlist completist, I‘m leaning towards skipping this one and Copeland. 12mo
Ruthiella I‘m still plugging away at it, but I suspect it‘s not going to be a favorite. 12mo
BarbaraBB @Suet624 I read and was underwhelmed by another book by him too so I won‘t read him again. 12mo
BarbaraBB @KarenUK @megabooks @Ruthiella It‘s just not a good enough. I think it shouldn‘t even have made the play-in, there were much better books on the longlist. 12mo
BarbaraBB @thebluestocking I‘d read Copeland if I were you! 12mo
sarahbarnes I think I‘m going to skip this one for sure. 😁 12mo
sarahbarnes And good to know about Copeland - I haven‘t read that one yet either. 12mo
BarbaraBB @sarahbarnes Me neither 😂 and yet I‘d read that one 12mo
Hooked_on_books I had a very similar reaction to this one. 12mo
kwmg40 Your feelings about the book seem very similar to my own. The setup was promising but I just didn't get drawn in. 12mo
72 likes20 comments
review
kwmg40
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Mehso-so

My daughter is a huge fan of Terrace House, the Japanese reality show that this novel mirrors. I loved this line describing Ed's obsession with it:

“How could this man without entanglements be so taken by a show where an entire thirty minutes could be spent discussing a slight rebuff over a bowl of soba noodles.“

That kind of summed up how I felt about the book too. #ToB22

#BookSpinBingo @TheAromaofBooks

Ruthiella I‘m reading it now and not loving it. But I don‘t quite know where it‘s going yet... 12mo
kwmg40 @Ruthiella I found the first half very slow but much more happens as the novel proceeds. Despite my mixed feelings about the book, I am still eager to hear the ToB commentary (and our own Litsy commentary) about it. 12mo
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! 12mo
BarbaraBB Great review. I wish I had known that Japanese show. I just finished and am not sure what to think. 12mo
kwmg40 @BarbaraBB I'm not sure if being familiar with the show affects your enjoyment of the book. It simply made me understand better why the author wrote all those long passages in which the characters overanalyzed every thought, emotion and reaction they had about rather ordinary events 😄 12mo
30 likes1 stack add5 comments
review
janeycanuck
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Mehso-so

Well, I liked the first half. The first four sections, actually. The fifth went off the rails for me, I just wasn‘t into the shift in perspective.

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BarbaraBB
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#WeeklyForecast 04/22

I‘m in a bookclub! Finally! Each month a Dutch author chooses their favorite books and will discuss it with the participants of the bookclub on Zoom. Out of Mind is this month‘s choice, an old favorite of mine. I‘ll reread it and am also starting another one for the #Tob22. Maybe some Africa later in the week.

Megabooks Good luck with Friends! I wasn‘t a fan. I‘m so excited you‘re enjoying your book club! 💜 12mo
LeahBergen Congrats on the new book club! 👏 12mo
sarahbarnes Yay for book clubs! I‘ll be interested to hear what you think of Country Friends. I haven‘t read that one yet. 12mo
See All 8 Comments
thebluestocking Yay for a new book club! I hope it goes well. 12mo
Cinfhen Yay!!! An author bookclub sounds fabulous!!! Can‘t wait to see the titles you‘ll be discussing 😍 12mo
CarolynM That sounds great🙂 12mo
Simona Ohh … discussions with authors must be very interesting! I‘m a little envious 🥺 12mo
Suet624 Have fun! 12mo
77 likes1 stack add8 comments
review
peta86
Panpan

Erm I don't quite rightly know what to say about this one.
Except that for such a relatively short novel it seemed to feel like I was wading through a book about the size of "War and peace!"
The most half hearted and mundane piece of writing I have come across in quite a while
It's the start of the pandemic and Senderovsky has rounded up a group of friends to share his country manor and hole up at his country manor.
Gossip sniping and sex abound.

BkClubCare Ty, I might just do a tasting & skim of this. 12mo
4 likes1 comment
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RaeLovesToRead
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#sundaysoapbox @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks

I've just found out they are releasing The Diaries of Alan Rickman in October 💕

I've already bought or ordered To Paradise, The Sentence, A Lesson in Vengeance and The Twyford Code (all released in Jan/Feb in the UK).

Also quite interested in reading Gary Schteyngart's new novel: Our Country Friends which is released later this month.

rabbitprincess Alan‘s diaries will be so interesting! 12mo
RaeLovesToRead @rabbitprincess I know right?!! 🥰🥰🥰 I feel a pre-order coming along 😁 12mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Great choices!! 🎉📚🙌🏻 12mo
RaeLovesToRead @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Thanks! 😄😊 This year there are so many books I've got my eye on ❤ 12mo
40 likes1 stack add4 comments
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SteveWJones
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I‘m already loving this one, only 20 pages in, and hoping to make a real dent in it during today‘s snow and playoff games.
#pandemic #thebubble #bobos #shteyngart #newyorkers

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Sara_Planz
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I‘m only a few pages in and I‘ve laughed out loud like 50 times already.

38 likes2 stack adds
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lazydaizee
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https://discover.hubpages.com/literature/Our-Country-Friends

This is what happened when a group of friends spent lockdown together.

#friends
#lockdown
#fiction

review
Cinfhen
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Mehso-so

BTS, Covid, George Floyd …it‘s all here, but I wasn‘t here for it. Between a so-so and pan. A group of friends leave the city to wait out the pandemic at a summer estate in upstate New York, but the idyllic setting isn‘t enough to keep trouble away. I‘m just not clever enough to appreciate this book 🤷🏼‍♀️#ToB22PlayIn

TrishB That was a bit of a head wreck seeing BTS pop up!! C‘s a big fan! I‘m well versed in k pop. 13mo
BarbaraBB According to your review it sounds quite good.. 13mo
Cinfhen Hahaha…. I‘m SUPER IMPRESSED @TrishB 🙌🏻 13mo
See All 11 Comments
squirrelbrain Hmmmm.. it seemed a bit clever-clever when I read the first chapter. Not really looking forward to it. 😬 13mo
Cinfhen The premise was so promising @BarbaraBB but it was too cerebral for me 13mo
Cinfhen Yesssss @squirrelbrain clever,clever!!! 13mo
Ruthiella I‘ve never read any Shteyngart... I always meant to start with 13mo
sarahbarnes I tried to read Absurdistan by him years ago and didn‘t finish it. I may skip this one based on reviews. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 13mo
Megabooks I probably should‘ve given this a so-so, but I mostly enjoyed it until that last act! Not going to be near the top of my list. 13mo
Cinfhen @Ruthiella I own that book on my Kindle and two others but never read any, I have a feeling they might sit there a little while longer @sarahbarnes I think it‘s perfectly acceptable to pass on this book if it isn‘t calling out to you - I‘d be surprised if it advances @Megabooks 13mo
BarbaraBB @Ruthiella I bought that one just for its title but it didn‘t really deliver. This one sounds a bit similar. 13mo
76 likes11 comments
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Cinfhen
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#ToB22PlayIn - I‘m getting Larry David Curb Your Enthusiasm vibes from this book….it‘s kind of funny, in a NY sort of way. I‘d be surprised if this book makes it in, though. Another pandemic book - is this the new trope?!?! Do authors need to include a reference to Covid in order for the book to be realistic?!? I‘m not sure how I feel about the inclusion of Covid in my fiction. Thoughts?!??

Cathythoughts I don‘t like covid in books … I‘m in denial … makes it so real. Makes me sad. 13mo
Cathythoughts Lovely picture 💫 13mo
TheAromaofBooks I feel like in some ways it is still too soon... like I read one the other day that kind of mentioned the pandemic in passing, as though it was something that had already happened and now they were just doing things regularly, and that hasn't really happened yet, so it felt weird. I understand trying to keep current books current... but I'm not a fan. 13mo
See All 13 Comments
Suet624 Did any of you listen to the author‘s interview on Fresh Air? He was also going through recovery from a botched circumcision as he was writing it. 13mo
squirrelbrain I read this first chapter of this when bidding for an ARC, but didn‘t win it. It doesn‘t come out here until next month. 13mo
sarahbarnes Yes! I‘ll say I‘ve been avoiding this one because do I really want to read about the pandemic IN the pandemic?? 13mo
Megabooks I‘m loving Covid fiction…so far…I‘m sure I‘ll get tired of it. It‘ll be like trump getting elected. So many books set in 2016 for several years!! I think 2020 is the new 2016. This book gets weird AF in the final act. Interested to read your final thoughts. 13mo
Megabooks @sarahbarnes I can read fiction so far, but I REALLY don‘t want to read nonfiction. I read a couple then I was like…no. 13mo
Ruthiella I haven‘t read enough to an opinion. I think Copeland Cane is the first time I‘ve encountered it in fiction... 13mo
Flaneurette @Suet624 I read an essay in the New Yorker about his experience and it was devastating, I will have to listen to this interview 13mo
Flaneurette @Megabooks in my neck of the woods it seems everyone but me and my immediate fam has decided the pandemic is over and I like to have validation that I‘m not in an alternate reality.. so yes I have been seeking out pandemic novels 13mo
Cinfhen Agree so much @Megabooks 2020 is the new 2016 in terms of fictional stories setting / like late 80‘s early 90‘s was the setting for all the books written about the AIDS epidemic but like @Cathythoughts @TheAromaofBooks and @sarahbarnes it‘s still too real and raw for me, I don‘t want to see it written so heavily into my fiction. I‘m waiting for a time @Flaneurette when it doesn‘t seem so present. Masked are still mandatory in my part of the world 13mo
Cinfhen Thanks for sharing the interview and article @Suet624 @Flaneurette / I read the article…WOW, it was very traumatic - really terrifying but still didn‘t help me appreciate or enjoy the book @Ruthiella @squirrelbrain this was a miss for me 🤷🏼‍♀️ 13mo
66 likes1 stack add13 comments
review
SweetP1967
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Pickpick

First fiction novel I‘ve read that was set in the current pandemic. Pretty interesting, although some things were resolved a little too perfectly.

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Pinta
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Much cleverness to 💜 in this one—c‘mon, a story about friends from the city escaping to the country during the plague & the ingenue is “Dee Cameron”? All the references, writerly asides, cultural references. Mantra “You have a lovely family and a lovely home.” Security taken for granted. Thick with snark, then a sudden tenderness or turn of phrase. Class, property. 139 “In accordance with the rules of Russian novels, each thought about another.”

review
Pinta
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Mehso-so

Narrative falls off a cliff…builds to 3/4, then lost. Borrow more plot points from Chekhov—Black Monk maybe?—to maintain momentum? Shteyngart‘s signature snarky snobby tone, but I remained curious how the petty intrigues & gossip resolved. 2nd-gen Americans, fame, entitlement, jealousy, family, friendship. Chekhov: privileged squabbles while the country burns. Best=omniscient narr smoothly turns to close 3rd per for all—tricky & beautiful. 2021

review
kbuggle
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Mehso-so

This was an interesting take on addressing the last two years of pandemic and COVID life. I didn‘t love it, but thought it was done fairly well.. but I don‘t want to read any more pandemic books for a while.

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LatrelWhite
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🎧trying to finish before the discussion today Barnes and Noble Book club pick:

In the rolling hills of upstate New York, a group of friends and friends-of-friends gathers in a country house to wait out the pandemic. Over the next six months, new friendships and romances will take hold, while old betrayals will emerge, forcing each character to reevaluate whom they love and what matters most.

13 likes1 stack add
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GHABI4ROSES
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TheSpineView 👍🤩📖 14mo
Clwojick Amazing job! Way to go! ❤️‍🔥❤️‍🔥❤️‍🔥 14mo
DieAReader Awesome job🎉👰🏻♥️ 14mo
8 likes4 comments
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GHABI4ROSES
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#readathon #mistletoemaniacs #csreadathon #potteraday #dailycheckin

Here is that TBR, not all of the 9 books can be seen. My theme is magic, and DieAReader and I will host some fun for that🙏🏾

Thank you to our Team Captains, you have brought new meaning to the end of the years🥳

DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES 😏📚You bet we will! I‘m thinking some planning is in order this weekend🧐🤓🎦 1y
Clwojick Oooooo! Can‘t wait to see what you ladies cook up for us! 🪄🧪🧙🏼‍♀️⭐️ 1y
GHABI4ROSES @DieAReader and @Clwojick only FUN allowed. November was not the finish that Amanda and I expected! (edited) 1y
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DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES 😂😭That my girl, is putting it mildly!♥️ I am looking forward to kicking December‘s arse out into the bloody cold where it belongs! 1y
Andrew65 Some great books, good luck. 14mo
GHABI4ROSES I love how I cannot even correct my typo. November was a weirdo, period @DieAReader. @Andrew65 I looked at my stack and I do agree with you on the titles! Thank you! 14mo
10 likes6 comments
review
Hooked_on_books
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Mehso-so

I have mixed feelings about this story of a group of affluent friends who come together at lockdown to wait out the pandemic. I love that it was pandemic-set, which made it feel so real, and the relationships between characters and humor was great. The downside is that the characters were rather flat and undeveloped and the final section belongs in an entirely different book.

Megabooks Agree re: final section!! 1y
51 likes1 comment
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Howseldomtheydo
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Pic from March 2020 #currentlyreading Weird to be reading about the Pandemic while it‘s still not over #getvaxxed

melissajayne Honestly that‘s the message here in SW BC due to the flooding in Abbotsford. 1y
Howseldomtheydo @melissajayne Stay safe 🙏🏼 1y
75 likes3 comments
review
KristiAhlers
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Panpan

This is the third B&N book club book with the same dang trope. Friends gather, relationships that seem ok are dodgy, drama, awkward sex scenes. The difference here it‘s set during a pandemic. Ugh I‘m still living in a pandemic, I don‘t need to read about one. Why can‘t we just have books that are fun and an escape? Or if you‘re picking book club books find a new trope!

Smrloomis Darn, this has gotten some good hype but that sounds super boring to me 🤷🏻‍♀️ 1y
KristiAhlers @Smrloomis yeah I went out to GoodReads and it‘s averaging 3.5 as far as reviews go. I haven‘t read him before so not sure I want to check out his backlist. Rather frustrating to be honest. 1y
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review
HettyG
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Pickpick

I had my issues with act 4, and the critiques of it I have seen are valid, but this was overall still a beautiful book about the transcendent power of friendship. I very much enjoyed it.

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HettyG
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I‘m on to act 3, a thing I‘m really enjoying about this book is the cultural contrasts and critiques, it‘s really a beautifully diverse set of characters, I both love and hate all of them.

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HettyG
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I have twice already laughed until I cried listening to this book, it is really so delicious and I‘m only on act 1. The structure of the novel is delightful, a play that I cannot help but imagine the stage, the lights and what actors would play what characters (confession: nothing will convince my brain that anyone except Yakov Smirnoff should play Sasha). Love this novel so far 💜

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HettyG
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My weekend audio book! I spent an audible credit since there was a 10 week library wait and this book is on all the lists and y‘all…. So far it‘s living up to the hype!

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Megabooks
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Pickpick

Ever since 56 Days (tagged ⬇️), I I‘ve been excited for more pandemic-set fiction. This novel, broken into four acts, centers around a group that settles into a commune during the first few months of the pandemic. It features various amusing romantic entanglements in the first three acts, and if it stopped there, it would‘ve been a 4⭐️ book, very good for me. However the (spoiler reason) fever dreams in act four knocked this down to a low pick.

BarbaraBB I am intrigued since it‘s a pandemic book ( and I loved 56 days) but I‘ve been disappointed by this author before. 1y
Megabooks @BarbaraBB the first three acts, I thought “Barbara would love this!” but then after act four, I thought, “I‘m glad this was a library book!” 😂😂 kinda reminded me of this until that last act. 1y
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BarbaraBB I‘m on the fence but I think I‘ll wait for a bit. 1y
Cinfhen This author has a knack of going just a bit too far… I‘m gonna wait to @BarbaraBB and I‘m definitely going to #BorrowNotBuy !!!! Thanks for your review, Meg!!! 1y
Megabooks @BarbaraBB @Cinfhen yeah I think it is smart to wait for paperback or borrow. Okay to good, but definitely not great, IMO. 1y
69 likes1 stack add6 comments
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Well-ReadNeck
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Sasha, Masha, and Natasha?! He‘s taking this Russian novel thing to the extreme, no? 😂😂😳

HettyG I think there‘s a line in the book saying something like that, it made me laugh and laugh. The character Ed says their names and then says “these Russians don‘t even bother trying” or something like that 😂 1y
63 likes1 comment