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review
BarbaraBB
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

“… the worst that could have happened was already behind him; the thing not done, which could have been…”

I had neve heard of the so called Magdalen Laundries, institutes usually run by Catholic orders, housing “fallen women” who were forced to labor there. The last one was shut down in 1996!

This little novella is set during Christmas and while also being quite atmospheric, packs a punch.

Copying @squirrelbrain tags for the #BookerPrize2022

Cathythoughts The Magdalen laundries were a terrible crime committed in this country. 2mo
BarbaraBB @Cathythoughts I researched a bit after finishing the book and am shocked by its scope and how long it went on! 2mo
Cathythoughts It‘s awful, the pain will go on for a long time. 2mo
See All 23 Comments
batsy I think the first time I heard of such an institution was in a James Joyce short story. The book sounds harrowing but very good; I've seen nothing but praise. Lovely review and picture! 2mo
TrishB I definitely wanted this to be longer! 2mo
BarbaraBB @TrishB Yes I could have read much more about the convent and the family too. 2mo
Cinfhen Agreed, for such a slim book it packs a powerful punch. Also GORGEOUS sea & sky💙💙💙 2mo
JamieArc Lovely photo. There is a film about it (fiction) called The Magdalene Sisters. It came out in 2002. That‘s where I learned about it. 2mo
Tamra I loved this one too! 2mo
BarbaraBB @JamieArc Thanks! I‘ll look for that one! 2mo
squirrelbrain Great review Barbara! Tagging @Hazel2019 too, who is also reading the #booker longlist. 2mo
jlhammar That water! Gorgeous. I'm glad it was a pick for you. I am just in awe of her writing. What she can manage with so few words. I read this one back in March and it will be among my favorite reads of the year. 2mo
charl08 A wonderful book. I'm trying to catch up with her other writing, so many lovely stories. 2mo
BarbaraBB @jlhammar I want to read Foster too now! 2mo
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain @Hazel2019 Thanks! I‘ll remember that, planning to read many more nominated books! (edited) 2mo
Hazel2019 It is so heartbreaking how these women and children were treated and the thousands that perished 💔 2mo
Ruthiella Next to The Trees, this is the only other Booker 2022 longlister I have already read. It is a harrowing read, especially knowing that it is based in fact. 2mo
sarahbarnes Great review and pic! I have this one from the library and am looking forward to it. 2mo
BarbaraBB @Hazel2019 It really is heartbreaking. How could I not have known about this? 2mo
BarbaraBB @Ruthiella I read The Trees too, of course (ToB) and loved it. I also read Oh William, which I loved too. Are you planning on reading the longlist? 2mo
Ruthiella @BarbaraBB I don‘t think I will tackle the longlist but maybe the short list? It‘s a good list though. I might just see what‘s available at the library? 2mo
BarbaraBB @Ruthiella It‘s such a good list it reminds me of the #ToB 😉 2mo
69 likes3 stack adds23 comments
blurb
alisiakae
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Starting the first #CampLitsy book, but my heart may be too heavy for this one right now.

It‘s also my choice for #RememberingJenny. @ReadingEnvy gave it 5 ⭐️ in February, but the last sentence of her review has me 😢: “There is a lot in death and dying in here, so treat yourself with care, as it might not be the right time.”

BeckyWithTheGoodBooks Could you fill me in on #CampLitsy? What is it and who is leading it? 4mo
squirrelbrain That‘s a heartbreaking quote, isn‘t it Alisia? 💔 It is a tough read, I think the second story is the most difficult. 4mo
squirrelbrain @BeckyWithTheGoodBooks - #camplitsy is our version of the mini Tournament of Books that takes place each summer. This year, Littens voted for the 6 books that we wanted to read. @BarbaraBB runs the Litsy #ToB each year, and this time @Megabooks and I are assisting. Here‘s a post telling you more about it. https://www.litsy.com/web/tag/camplitsy I‘ll tag you on the schedule too. Let us know if you want to be included on the tag list. (edited) 4mo
See All 11 Comments
squirrelbrain @BeckyWithTheGoodBooks just realised the link didn‘t work; try this one instead https://litsy.com/p/UzVHWHNSSWFN I‘ll post the schedule next. (edited) 4mo
squirrelbrain @BeckyWithTheGoodBooks June - How High We Go in the Dark and True Biz. July - You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty and This Time Tomorrow. August - Either / Or and Our Wives Under the Sea 4mo
Christine It‘s impossibly heavy, but I‘m also loving it (and sitting with the heavy is working for me right now, I guess). I had that exact same experience this morning of reading Jenny‘s review and being heartbroken by that last line. 4mo
Cathythoughts 💔 4mo
batsy I just saw Jenny's review on GR too 💔 4mo
Centique Oh that review is heart breaking 😥 4mo
BeckyWithTheGoodBooks @squirrelbrain Thank you! I will plan to join! 😀 4mo
BiblioLitten 💔 3mo
84 likes11 comments
blurb
thebluestocking
The Tournament | Matthew Reilly
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Here are my suggestions for this year‘s #camptob. I went with nonfiction published in 2022 both because they will not be eligible for the actual #rooster and because I loved the year they did nonfiction for camp. #camptob22

Chelsea.Poole Oh I love your nonfiction choices! I adore NF and didn‘t know if we could select it for camp. I‘m a noob at #ToB! Really looking forward to 5mo
thebluestocking @Chelsea.Poole I love NF too! It may not be what they were looking for, but they said they wanted to shake it up and not have books that would otherwise be in the actual tournament. 🤷‍♀️ 5mo
See All 12 Comments
Cinfhen I‘m soooo excited you chose to focus on NF!!!! 5mo
vivastory That's a good idea about NF. I almost included the following on my list 5mo
squirrelbrain Great idea to choose NF and some great choices! It‘s all new to me too @Chelsea.Poole so I didn‘t know they‘d had NF in the past either. 5mo
Ruthiella Fantastic idea! I would love it if this were the real list. I don‘t read enough Nonfiction and need challenges like this to encourage me. 5mo
Amiable Love the suggestion for NF. Because I love NF. Currently reading “Ancestor Trouble” right now, in fact! 5mo
BarbaraBB I love that you went with NF. It would make me go completely out of my comfort zone but I‘d love that. 5mo
ReadingEnvy Great idea! I nominated 5 novels I already had eARCs of. 🤭 5mo
merelybookish That would be an excellent way to keep the two tourneys separate! And I'm dying to read Ancestor Trouble. I'm also curious about The 90s although worried the nostalgia might kill me. 🙈 5mo
Megabooks Great choices! I‘d like a NF option. 5mo
57 likes12 comments
blurb
BarbaraBB
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What do you think of the new way of selecting books for #CampToB22?

I see why the overexposure of some books makes them want to try a different approach but I‘m not sure if we readers can come up with the right books. I mean that part of the fun is that #ToB always comes up with obscure books I‘d never heard of. I am a bit scared that we‘ll be reading bestsellers this summer. What do you think?
And will you send in suggestions?

Ruthiella Hmmm. Can they be published ANY year? Or just in 2022? 5mo
Cinfhen I think it‘s a cool idea but definitely will probably feature bigger named authors 😔I‘m curious though! And I‘m trying to come up with some suggestions- are you?? 5mo
BarbaraBB @Ruthiella I assume 2022 but am not sure! 5mo
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BarbaraBB @Cinfhen Me too! Can‘t wait to see your suggestions! Will you post them? 5mo
Cinfhen Ohhh, I will!!! That‘s a fun idea!!!! 5mo
Cinfhen I accidentally deleted the email 🫣can you please send me the link ( if it‘s possible) 5mo
BarbaraBB @Ruthiella Yes they should be published in 2022, I just read! 5mo
BarbaraBB @Cinfhen I‘ll post mine too, that‘s fun indeed! 5mo
Cinfhen Thanks SO MUCH xxx 5mo
Hooked_on_books Yeah, I don‘t love their plan. I agree about them finding obscure or small press books I may not otherwise find. I think they should instead make a rule that, say, the top 4 finishers in CampTOB are automatically ineligible for inclusion in TOB. Then they could still pick unusual stuff and not end up with the same winner of both or overexposure. 5mo
BarbaraBB @Hooked_on_books I thought in the past only the winner of Camp was included in the real tournament. That worked well I thought. But you read so many books: what 6 books would you suggest for this year‘s camp? 5mo
Hooked_on_books Oh gosh, I‘m bad at the “most anticipated” thing. I‘ll have to think about it a bit! 5mo
Hooked_on_books Ok, I‘ve thought of two: Either/Or by Elif Batuman and Unlikely Animals by Annie Hartnett. 5mo
Hooked_on_books Also, Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anastine and Nuclear Family by Joseph Han. (Maybe I‘m better at this than I thought.) 5mo
BarbaraBB @Hooked_on_books Of course you are! I need to check them out immediately 😀🤍 5mo
merelybookish I guess a lot of TOB fans were disappointed about Klara winning both tourneys! I will be interested to see how this goes. I have my reservations but don't care much if they muck about with Camp TOB as long as they don't change the official tournament. 🙂 5mo
ImperfectCJ Totally new to Camp ToB, so no particular opinion about the change. I'm not great at picking (or even being aware of) books out during the current year. I rely a lot on stumbling across reviews and don't keep up well with new releases (there are only two 2022 books on my TBR right now), so I'm most likely just going to sit back and watch what other people pick. :-) 5mo
Soubhiville I‘m really just a lurker on all your ToB discussions, but always love seeing all of your reviews. I feel like I might jump in on it? And I‘m adding a bunch of all of your suggestions to my TBR seeing your posts this morning! (edited) 5mo
Larkken I‘ve only recently started paying attention to ToB (by working through the 2021 bracket, lol) and I‘m loving that it‘s bringing to my attention books I hadn‘t thought of before, instead of making me choose 😂 but I‘m still happily following and stacking these books! Yay new books!! 🥰 5mo
RidgewayGirl The one thing this new rule did is made me scour the “most anticipated” lists. 5mo
sarahbarnes Great idea! I will be posting mine! 5mo
thebluestocking I loved the year they did nonfiction for Camp, so that‘s what I recommended! It‘ll be interesting to see what they do. I‘m fine with mixing it up. I didn‘t find the “double exposure” but I didn‘t like Klara. 5mo
vivastory I like this idea. I do think there is a bit of a problem with overexposure. I'm going to do some digging & see what I find. 5mo
cariashley This is interesting! I like that they‘re changing it up - I was definitely one of the people peeved about Klara. And the overexposure problem is real for me personally, at least when it comes to picking a zombie so early, before I‘ve read most of the books. I‘ll put some thought into what books I‘d like to see for the summer! 5mo
BkClubCare I will be looking at the suggestions offered on the almost last day of March‘s TOB; everyone offers their next anticipated TOB books. I wrote them all down but not sure where I put it (tho my added-to-gr around that time could be a guide) I am reading Devil House now because it seems something TOB-ish. I might offer it. I also want to suggest Joan is Okay. 5mo
BarbaraBB @Soubhiville You are very welcome to jump in! I‘ll tag you when the summer tournament starts! And if you like to share your most anticipated reads that you hope will make it to #CampTob we‘d love that! 🤍 5mo
BarbaraBB @merelybookish totally agree! Don‘t mess with the real ToB! 5mo
BarbaraBB @Larkken I know what you mean. So many great books! 5mo
BarbaraBB @RidgewayGirl I did too! And they are quite comparable! Do you have any favorites for the summer tournament? To me, you are definitely the expert! 5mo
BarbaraBB @thebluestocking A non fiction camp? I don‘t even remember! 5mo
BarbaraBB @BkClubCare oh really? That must be such an interesting list! I hope you will find and share it. In the mean time I will look out for both books you suggest! 5mo
BarbaraBB @sarahbarnes @vivastory @cariashley Very curious of your most anticipated reads! 5mo
Addison_Reads I'm loving everyone's posts/suggestions. This will be my first CampToB and I'm excited to see what books make it in. I'll try and see if I can come up with books I'd like to see included. 5mo
BarbaraBB @Addison_Reads So many great suggestions in everyone‘s posts, you‘re right! I am looking forward to your choices if you find them! 5mo
thebluestocking @BarbaraBB I just went back to find it. It was not a tournament-style thing, just a discussion. https://themorningnews.org/article/welcome-to-the-rooster-nonfiction-popup 5mo
BkClubCare @thebluestocking - I really enjoyed that Nonfiction TOB! 5mo
BarbaraBB Super interesting Jessica! @thebluestocking 5mo
alisiakae I kind of like this idea, as long as we don‘t end up with the typical bestsellers! 5mo
Readerann @BarbaraBB I will have to be a lurker for CampToB as I am focusing on my old TBR for awhile. But please keep me tagged so I can keep adding new books to replace the ones I‘m reading - thereby ensuring my TBR remains ridiculously long and unmanageable. 🤣 (edited) 5mo
BarbaraBB @Readerann haha I know what you mean! Will keep tagging you! 5mo
Well-ReadNeck How do we send in suggestions? Does anyone have a link? 5mo
BarbaraBB @Well-ReadNeck I have posted the link above, in the comments! (edited) 5mo
Well-ReadNeck @BarbaraBB OMG! yes! Thanks. Didn‘t scroll back far enough. Felt like I was missing some of the convo. Sorry! 5mo
BarbaraBB @Well-ReadNeck I hope you‘ll post your suggestions too. We‘re planning to make a longlist of all suggestions and play our own #CampLitsy 😀 5mo
54 likes45 comments
blurb
BarbaraBB
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The first quarter of the year I‘ve read 20 books for #pop22, including 4 of the advanced prompts. They are randomly pictured so not corresponding with the numbers of the prompts, I was too lazy to figure out how to do that 🤷🏻‍♀️

Cinfhen Hahaha 😝 I hear you about organizing the collage 💕 6mo
Cinfhen Looks great!!! 6mo
squirrelbrain You managed to get most of the #tob books in there - well done on the #doubledipping! 6mo
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Suet624 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 6mo
Cortg Impressive 😆 6mo
KarenUK What Helen said! Excellent #doubledipping and great progress… Any favorites? 6mo
Megabooks Fantastic! 👍🏻👍🏻 6mo
BarbaraBB @KarenUK I think you read most of them?! Many were good but the one that comes to mind now is 6mo
61 likes8 comments
review
Chelsea.Poole
The Trees: A Novel | Percival Everett
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Pickpick

Absolutely dynamite! I won‘t be able to offer anything more than what has already been said about this one-of-kind novel, but will add my name to the list of those blown away by it. I think someone has said this here, but it‘s all I can come up with — the funniest book about racism and injustice I‘ve ever read. This is a testament to the author‘s skill. I must read others by Everett. Read this for the Tournament of Books which has broadened ⬇️

Chelsea.Poole (⬆️cont.) my reading horizons. I am going make a point to read the #ToB titles every year since I‘ve discovered some amazing books this year. 📚 ♥️ 6mo
BarbaraBB Glad you got a chance to read it and I am happy you loved it too! 6mo
Bookboss I just bought this! 6mo
92 likes4 stack adds3 comments
blurb
Chelsea.Poole
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#BookReport
Cost - decent
Real American - great memoir!
The Sentence - loved it! Finally read for #ToB

#WeeklyForecast
Really looking forward to what I have lined up for this week! All 3 I‘ve been looking forward to— I am is for #booked2022

Currently
The Trees is just as excellent as everyone has been saying (I‘m only about 25% in)!
LOVE The Murder Book!! Probably will finish today.
Ballerinas - halfway and meh.

jlhammar Yes, Murder Book is great! I just about died laughing at the First Wives Club part. Glad to hear you are digging The Trees. You have a great reading week ahead of you. Scoundrel is very good. 6mo
BarbaraBB I hope you‘ll keep on loving 6mo
vivastory I picked up The Trees from the library the other day. Looking forward to it 6mo
Cinfhen So much GOOD STUFF here!!! #screenshot 🤩 6mo
74 likes4 comments
review
Chelsea.Poole
The Sentence | Louise Erdrich
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Pickpick

I had written off this book but the universe kept throwing it back to me in different ways. Totally makes me question if my “book picker” is broken 😱 Read this for #ToB which I‘m so grateful for because this was just great. Down to earth, knowable, lovable, real characters experiencing the pandemic, George Floyd‘s murder, all the horror of our times. MC, Tookie, on top of it all is being haunted, in the bookstore she works, by a ghost. Cont ⬇️

Chelsea.Poole As much as I loved it, I do wonder if Erdich had began writing the book, then when COVID hit included that, then when the BLM movement amplified included that, and so on and so forth….? It didn‘t seem to be planned/necessary for the plot with the ghost story. But maybe that‘s why I enjoyed it — more like real life when things happen and characters/people react/adapt. Idk just some thoughts but wow! Also, a very bookish-book ♥️ 6mo
FelinesAndFelonies I tried reading this one because it sounds so good! But I couldn't get into it. I expected to be sucked in right away and I wasn't. Did you feel this way? When did it pick up for you? 6mo
Tamra It did feel like the story unfolded in an organic way, the way we experienced both traumas. 6mo
vivastory I agree with your thoughts on it. It felt like when the pandemic hit & George Floyd's murder, these overwhelmed the narrative much like they overwhelmed all of us IRL. I think it would have been disingenuous of her to act like everything was fine & we could carry on being very bookish with everything happening. Especially with her being in Minneapolis. This was a great surprise for me, too. One of my faves of the year. 6mo
BarbaraBB That could be very well true, her being overwhelmed with reality while writing the book. It worked well indeed even though it wasn‘t necessary for the storyline. 6mo
112 likes7 stack adds5 comments
review
sarahbarnes
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Pickpick

I was happy this finally came in at the library so I could read it, and was glad it made the first #ToB cut. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It sucked me in and I liked the blurred lines between fact and story. The ending was pretty phenomenal.

Chelsea.Poole Also loved the end! 6mo
BarbaraBB That first chapter was so good too! 6mo
batsy I loved it too! And that ending was truly something. 6mo
sarahbarnes @BarbaraBB yes, the first chapter pulled me in immediately! 6mo
30 likes2 stack adds4 comments
review
merelybookish
Trees | Percival Everett
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Pickpick

This book blew me away. Lynching & other gruesome murders do not seem the topic of a fast-paced, funny, entertaining novel. And yet this book manages to achieve that. The brutal legacy of lynching is not trivialized & somehow is made readable. It's pretty amazing! And almost perfection but things fell apart for me in the last 20 pages. Still, an impressive feat! This is Everett's 3rd time in the #TOB. I won't be sad if he finally wins it all 🐓

Addison_Reads Great review! I think this book has a good chance of winning it all. 7mo
Jas16 This book blew me away too. 7mo
Ruthiella Loved this one. It‘s been a while, but I thought it ended well. I just didn‘t quite understand why the scene where Dinah /Gertrude and Agent (Jim?) are locked in the walk in freezer. (edited) 7mo
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merelybookish @Addison_Reads Thanks! Yes, I think it does too. 7mo
merelybookish @Jas16 It is really an achievement! 7mo
merelybookish @Ruthiella Yeah, Jim let Gertrude off the.hook. But the Trump speech and other things felt heavy handed. I knew it was going to be a tricky story to end successfully. 7mo
76 likes2 stack adds6 comments