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Some Luck
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
34 posts | 43 read | 45 to read
Longlisted for the 2014 National Book AwardFrom the winner of the Pulitzer Prize:a powerful, engrossing new novelthe life and times of a remarkable family over three transformative decades in America. On their farm in Denby, Iowa, Rosanna and Walter Langdon abide by time-honored values that they pass on to their five wildly different children: from Frank, the handsome, willful first born, and Joe, whose love of animals and the land sustains him, to Claire, who earns a special place in her fathers heart. Each chapter in Some Luck covers a single year, beginning in 1920, as American soldiers like Walter return home from World War I, and going up through the early 1950s, with the country on the cusp of enormous social and economic change. As the Langdons branch out from Iowa to both coasts of America, the personal and the historical merge seamlessly: one moment electricity is just beginning to power the farm, and the next a son is volunteering to fight the Nazis; later still, a girl youd seen growing up now has a little girl of her own, and you discover that your laughter and your admiration for all these lives are mixing with tears. Some Luck delivers on everything we look for in a work of fiction. Taking us through cycles of births and deaths, passions and betrayals, among characters we come to know inside and out, it is a tour de force that stands wholly on its own. But it is also the first part of a dazzling epic trilogya literary adventure that will span a century in America: an astonishing feat of storytelling by a beloved writer at the height of her powers.From the Hardcover edition.
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review
jewright
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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Pickpick

I love how this shows the process of raising a family over the years. Parts were in the voices of the kids at different ages. My favorite Smiley book so far.

Cathythoughts My favorite series of hers. ♥️ 6mo
TrishB I have the last one still to read - as I like knowing it‘s there ready! 6mo
TrishB And @Cathythoughts brought this one to my attention by buying it for me! 6mo
8 likes3 comments
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Eva2
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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Pickpick

When I started this book I was a bit disappointed and was thinking I would not finish it. I am really glad I stuck with it! I ended up really enjoying it. It is a slow meandering story of one family. Each chapter is a snap shot of a year between 1920 and 1952. I ended up loving the way it was written and the descriptions of farming life. Not action packed but a lovely read

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Eva2
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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Goodreads tells me that this has been on my ‘To Read‘ list for the last four years! It‘s time to get it started then! 😀

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Lcsmcat
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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March stats. My #favoritesofMarch were the tagged book, Loose Ends, and Becoming. #literaryluck @vkois88 @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 🙌🏻📚 10mo
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Great reading! 📖💖 10mo
51 likes2 comments
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Lcsmcat
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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Pickpick

This is a book to savor. Not a page turner, it won‘t keep you up at night to read just one more chapter. What it will do is settle into your heart and live with you. You get to know the characters so well that you anticipate their reactions and think “That‘s so like Frankie to do that.” They become family in that “I know all your stories and that embarrassing thing you did when you were 5” kind of way. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Erinreadsthebooks Great review! 👍🏼 11mo
Lcsmcat @Erinreadsthebooks Thanks. Have you read Smiley? 11mo
Erinreadsthebooks @Lcsmcat I haven't, but your review makes me think I should 😃 11mo
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Lcsmcat @Erinreadsthebooks She‘s written so many good books, and in many different styles. She‘s one of my favorites. 11mo
Itchyfeetreader Wonderful review 11mo
erzascarletbookgasm Lovely review. I haven‘t read this author but I know what you mean about books that we take our time with. 11mo
Cathythoughts Loved this one too ... great chracters👍🏻♥️ 11mo
60 likes5 stack adds7 comments
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Lcsmcat
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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1. Tagged book, plus Henry IV part 1, The House by the River, and Glass Houses;
2. Either;
3. “They hurried back to the carriage to close the windows lest the smuts should get into Harriet‘s eyes.”
#weekendreads @rachelsbrittain

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Lcsmcat
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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“And, boys, if you have to go to Texas for something, you don‘t need it.”

46 likes1 comment
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Lcsmcat
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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I know some people have described this as slow, but I‘m loving the character development. Especially the baby Frank!

Cathythoughts I loved this one too ... the characters are great 11mo
62 likes1 comment
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Lola
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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The face is not because of the book (although at about 70 pages in, I am finding it to be a slow go) but because I left my Kindle at work yesterday (Some Luck! 😉) and so I have to get my morning reading done on my phone-doable but not my fave. This first of a trilogy is clearly a set-up book so I‘m trying to be patient, but I definitely won‘t finish it in time for bookclub tonight 🤷🏻‍♀️

TrishB I really loved this book, but it is a slow burn introduction. I have the second ready! 12mo
Lola @TrishB So glad to hear this from you! I am definitely sticking with it and plan to read them all at some point. 12mo
nomadreader I really loved this, but it is a slow start. The second is my favorite, but I also listened to them all, and I listened to the first one while driving around Iowa with my infant on maternity leave, so...I was feeling a lot of family and "holy crap, I'm raising an Iowan" feelings... 12mo
Lola @nomadreader I love when books come into your life at just the right time. Your experience with these books sounds perfect :) 12mo
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TrishB
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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Pickpick

This was a great read - all American family saga! Thank you Cathy as I‘d probably never have read this otherwise!
Enjoyed it so much have already brought the next one....#booksbroughtfromyourbed

saresmoore Ooh, another option for a reading challenge prompt! 14mo
AmyG Is this the first one? I loved it, but haven‘t read the next two. 14mo
TrishB @saresmoore cool 👍🏻 14mo
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TrishB @AmyG it is, never been on my radar before and got it for my birthday! Kept me engrossed today! 14mo
Oryx This is sitting on my shelf - one I'd forgotten about - maybe I should bump it up the list. 14mo
LauraBeth I‘ve had this on my shelf for years! 14mo
Chelsea.Poole Loved this one! 14mo
Joyfulmimi Great news! I just found this at a thrift store. 14mo
TrishB @Oryx @LauraBeth definitely a snuggle down, get warm, winter afternoon read 😁 14mo
TrishB @Chelsea.Poole me too 👍🏻 14mo
TrishB @Joyfulmimi a great find 👍🏻 14mo
Cathythoughts Oh I‘m so glad ! I loved this trilogy ... I still think about the characters. I hoped you‘d enjoy it too 👍🏻♥️ 14mo
TrishB @Cathythoughts tucked up in bed, tea, raining banging on the window and a great read! A great days reading 💕 14mo
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rachaich
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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Pickpick

Loved it!
I've ended up dashing to the library to get the next two in the saga!
There's history, romance, birth and marriage and death. It really kept me reading.

Quirkybookworm I have several of her books in my tbr pile downstairs. Lol 1y
Lcsmcat This one‘s waiting on my shelf. I should read it soon. 1y
rachaich @Quirkybookworm @Lcsmcat it really was great. It's not my usual pick. 1y
16 likes3 comments
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rachaich
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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This has been on my pile for a few months.
I think I've slipped over it as it's a hardback and therefore tricky to carry around with me 😆
Excuses!
It recounts the story of a farming family in USA on the 20's, their lives and the community.

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Suelizbeth
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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Day 5 challenge: unfinished book or series. I want to finish this series, but I can‘t even get through the first book. I like it quite well, but I‘m stalled. Some day. #BoB23IGPhoto

Cathythoughts I read this series.... & I loved every minute of it. Unforgettable ❤️❤️❤️ 1y
57 likes1 comment
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thea-block
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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Any favorites/recommendations in this stack? I‘m looking forward to reading Jane Smiley‘s The Last Hundred Years trilogy! #bookhaul

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SincerelyStacie
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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Find an author from your state and go check out one of their books from your library. Support your libraries and local authors. Jane Smiley is from Iowa and we have all her books at our library!

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Cathythoughts
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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#MarchIntoOz #IShouldBeSoLucky I‘m afraid it‘s Jane Smileys book again. ☘️☘️☘️

Cinfhen Haven‘t read this author yet but I know she‘s much loved 💚 2y
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Cathythoughts
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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#AlltheRightStuffGiveAway
Thankyou so much for your #alltherightstuffgiveaway & congratulations on your milestone 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

I loved this trilogy by Jane Smiley , I remember it fondly. ( wasn‘t ALL fuzzy though) I remember the characters warmly.

robinb Thanks for entering/sharing! I‘m not familiar with this trilogy but am familiar with Smiley. Thanks for the recs! 😊❤️ 2y
Cathythoughts @robinb I bailed on any other books of hers I tried ..... but this trilogy is excellent I think 👍🏻 2y
robinb @Cathythoughts thanks! 👍👍😊 2y
33 likes3 comments
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Lcsmcat
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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Some #green books from the downstairs shelves. #readingResolutions @Jess7

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Cathythoughts
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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#NuYear #mylastday @Cinfhen @TrishB I remember Rosanna dying in Jane Smileys One Hundred Years Trilogy. I‘ll never forget the words she spoke to her son Joe. ( can‘t repeat / Spoiler) I read this years ago & the characters have stayed with me. Loved this trilogy ❤️. (Mind you I bailed on any other book I tried of hers. But I did get The Greenlanders lately, that‘s Meant to be good. ) Last Days , last words. I‘m no good at goodbyes ❤️

Cinfhen Gorgeous photo...I‘ve heard wonderful things about this trilogy...I can‘t do goodbyes either 😞 2y
TrishB Not read these 💔 2y
Cathythoughts It‘s sooo good. As for the pic 🙏, Just 🙄trying to dress up a kindle for its Litsy picture!! @Cinfhen @TrishB (edited) 2y
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Blaire I also want to read this trilogy - have never read any smiley! 😬 gap in my reading for sure. 2y
Cathythoughts @Blaire I really loved this trilogy ✨❤️ 2y
Centique I loved her Thousand Acres book but couldn‘t get into Horse Heaven. Will have to try this! I went to a writing workshop she gave here which was really good too. She is one SMART woman 👍👍 2y
Cathythoughts @Centique I must get A thousand Acres , based on King Lear. Sounds good ! I have just got Greenlanders & will give it a go too. I tried Ten Days in The Hills & bailed- it was awful 🙄. I think she tries to write in all genres ???!!! But the hundred years Trilogy was unforgettable ( for me anyway). That‘s interesting to have gone to a writing workshop with her 👍must have been great. I saw Horse Heaven around too & gave it a miss. She is hit & miss 2y
Centique @Cathythoughts I think you‘re spot on about that 👍 2y
47 likes2 stack adds8 comments
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dixi_e
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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Started listening to this today. Not sure I care enough to keep going but, I‘m going to keep going. 😬😴

Lindy It‘s slow, but the characters grow (literally!) and I love the epic scope of this, and the way the chapters advance one year at a time. I enjoyed the entire trilogy. 2y
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Ubookquitous
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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Trying to make my series reads challenge before the new year!

Cathythoughts I loved this book & the next 2 parts. Really my favorite kind of book. 💫 2y
Ubookquitous The other two are on will be read before the end of the year. Smiley is one of my favorite authors. I love that there is no great plot but that it is all about the characters and their relationship with each other and how they fit into the larger world. Distinct voices 2y
21 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Sarahandhella
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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Book Haul. The whole trilogy was at Goodwill today. Haven't ever read it so I said might as well. I've also never read a Jane Smiley book. We'll see...

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kspenmoll
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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#90sInJuly #NoRain
Some Luck, the first book in a trilogy, covers the 1930s depression & drought in Iowa & the effect this decade has on a farm family. The saga covers 1920 to early 1950s.
@Cinfhen @Robothugs
Including NYT review that is mixed. I do recommend the book despite some flaws, & plan to read the next two in the trilogy. Read other work of hers.
https://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/11/09/books/review/jane-smiley-some-luck-review....

Cinfhen I've only seen praise for this trilogy- it just sounds depressing 😫 3y
Freefallinmissy I could not get into this book 3y
kspenmoll @Freefallinmissy I understand. Slow pace, not most engaging characters, ( one or two not likable). I have read other books of hers & enjoy the history, tome period that runs through it. 3y
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kspenmoll @Cinfhen Some of characters, events, time period do make it depressing at times. My neighbor finished all three & felt that generational, broad perspective helped. I have yet to read the next one though I intend too. 3y
Suet624 I was surprised by my feelings about this book. I had no desire to read the next two. Let us know what you think. 3y
kspenmoll @Suet624 Will do. Was both repulsed and fascinated by Frankie. Not sure when I will start next one- 3y
40 likes4 stack adds6 comments
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cathysaid
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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Starting this one on audio. I loved A Thousand Acres. Hope it's good!

Has anyone read it? I'm quick to bail on audiobooks if they don't grab me pretty quickly, thus I always checkout audio from the library. Yay for libraries! 📚👍📚👍

(5 minutes later)

UPDATE - NOPENOPENOPE. Annoying narrator, but I'll give it a shot in print.

#audiobook #currentlyreading #fiction

cariashley This is a great post 🤣 3y
cathysaid @cariashley What's even worse...I bailed on the next one, too. To be fair, I gave that one an hour. 😁 Thank god I'm not so bad with printed books! 3y
cariashley @cathysaid good for you! Too many books, too little time! 3y
cathysaid Agreed! 👍👏 3y
Cathythoughts Yes I read this & the next 2 of this trilogy. I loved it. There are characters & moments & quotes that will be forever in my memory ❤️ 3y
27 likes5 comments
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Viji
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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This is like Seinfeld, the show about nothing. It is the book about nothing. Don't know if I will read the other two books.

mdhughes72 So slow getting out of the gate, but ultimately rewarding. 3y
heatherkaz Seinfeld is hilarious and still relevant 20+ years later😜 so does this novel have any redeeming qualities? 3y
Bookquilter I actually enjoyed this series ( family saga ) in audiobook... until the end of the third book and it totally went off the rails and turned into a climate cautionary tale. 3y
Viji @heatherkaz, the comparison to Seinfeld was tongue-in-cheek. This is definitely not a comedy. Smiley's writing is smooth and graceful but the characters seemed one-dimensional to me. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more in print. 3y
heatherkaz @Viji , I read a few Litsy reviews of this after seeing your post and others basically said the same. Someone said she didn't even know what *exactly* she liked about it, considering the lack of plot, but it was such good writing. I have been drawn to family sagas in the past, I may put it on my TBR for a rainy day 3y
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Viji
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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Midwestern family saga? I'm in! #andawaytheygo

Hazel0303 Omg I loved this trilogy. It was sooo good. 🌳🌱🌲🚞🚜🗽🌆🌃 3y
Mdargusch Sounds like a good one. 3y
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mdhughes72
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
Pickpick

Not a particularly long book, but a full one. One Iowa farm family rides the wave of history for three consequential decades of the early twentieth century. Reminds me a bit of Dos Passos in its effortless ability to capture the zeitgeist. I love how her characters remember something that happened hundreds of pages earlier but I'd already forgotten in the endless cascade of human events. Can't wait to start book two!

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bookopen
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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Woah! As a writer I am totally blown away by this book. There is no plot to speak of. 7 POV characters and no discernible desires for any of them. It's so good! Can't put it down. Why?

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jspencer
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
Pickpick

The first, and in my opinion, the best book of this family trilogy.

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Jilanna
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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Pickpick

Good book. I'll miss some of the characters.

I love the ever so slightly 'off' lettering on the cover.

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kspenmoll
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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Slow to get into but now can't put book down. Characters drew me in-

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awonderinglife
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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Love me some Smiley 😊

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kdwinchester
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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Pickpick

First in a trilogy, SOME LUCK's chapters each cover one year in the life of the Langdon family. The series covers a century. From the family farm to all over the U.S., the Langdon's experience history generation by generation. If you adore family sagas, this is the series for you. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

NikkiDolson Yay! An audio book! 4y
kdwinchester @NikkiDolson I love audiobooks! About half of my reads I listen to; I assume you're a fan too? 😄 4y
NikkiDolson Yes I am! Love them. Makes my 8 hrs in front of the computer much more fun. :) 4y
17 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Julsmarshall
Some Luck: A novel | Jane Smiley
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I am one of these people 😃