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review
4thhouseontheleft
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Mehso-so

I really enjoyed Rooney‘s first 2 books, but It took me forever to work my way through this one. I‘m not sure why, but I found myself just not caring nearly as much, which didn‘t exactly Lori ate me to finish the book! But finish i finally did. Third person omniscient is not my favorite POV, and parts felt like it was straight out of a script instead of a novel. Yet, there was enough I liked to hang in there till the end. #tob2022 #tobshortlist

squirrelbrain This was my least favourite of Rooney‘s books too. 4mo
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BarbaraBB Mine too. 4mo
Cortg I haven‘t read her yet but I have a book of hers on my nightstand 4mo
4thhouseontheleft @Cortg If I remember, a lot of her books have parties in them, so you might be able to use it for the same #pop22 prompt as I did for this one! Normal People is my favorite one 4mo
4thhouseontheleft @squirrelbrain @BarbaraBB I guess I‘m not alone! One of the things that really irked me is the zero consequences for some of Felix‘s behavior. I felt he had some major emotional abuse flags going off. 4mo
Cortg Ah, good to know! 4mo
thebluestocking I didn‘t love this one as much as her others either. And it has been enough months since I‘ve read it that I can only remember vague details. 4mo
Ruthiella Yes, it did seem oddly scripted, didn‘t it? I also felt little interest in the characters or their outcome. 4mo
96 likes10 comments
blurb
4thhouseontheleft
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Two non-spoilerish thoughts so far:

1. I want to put on my HIV educator hat and give all of these characters a safe sex talk.

2. All this talk of travelling to Rome, London, Paris, etc is frustrating, as we‘ve tried multiple times since 2019 to plan both a European and Middle East trip and Covid keeps interfering. #jealous

#tob #tobshortlist

BookNAround COVID has managed to tank at least two trips for me too. ☹️ 4mo
Susanita Yep. COVID has messed up the same trip for me twice (original and rescheduled). 4mo
81 likes2 comments
review
4thhouseontheleft
The Echo Wife | Sarah Gailey
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Pickpick

What a strange and twisty story! The Echo Wife follows Evelyn, a scientist whose husband steals her research to clone himself a “better” version of her. The consequences are dire and a bit outlandish, but I like how Gailey ties in themes of identity, grooming and abuse. My second Gailey book, and I‘m now hooked on reading everything they write!

#tob22 #tobshortlist
#pop22 reflected image on cover

squirrelbrain Great review! 4mo
Suet624 This sounds really interesting. Now I guess I actually have to hunt it down. 4mo
Cortg Sounds like a fun read! 4mo
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sarahbarnes I haven‘t read this one yet, but maybe I‘ll have to check it out! 4mo
Ruthiella I didn‘t get the grooming overtones until I read the author‘s note at the end. I liked this but it was maybe a little too outlandish for me ultimately. 4mo
4thhouseontheleft @Ruthiella I feel like what Nathan was doing with his programming/conditioning would be considered grooming, in a sci-if futuristic way 4mo
thebluestocking Great review! I liked this one too, though I felt like it lost control near the end. 🤷‍♀️ 4mo
102 likes4 stack adds7 comments
blurb
4thhouseontheleft
The Echo Wife | Sarah Gailey
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My hubby was so sweet to make homemade chicken noodle soup last night, which was just what I needed.

Day 3 of Covid, and each day I feel worse, but getting by. I have started my next #TOB2022 book. Although I will probably spend more time watching TV than reading today. #tobshortlist

4thhouseontheleft And I just realized this is the same author that wrote Upright Women Wanted, and now I am a lot more excited to read it! 4mo
Suet624 Oh gosh. I'm so sorry to hear this. Please take gentle care of yourself. 4mo
4thhouseontheleft @Suet624 Thanks! I‘m grateful to have a spouse and daughter who are both quite self-sufficient, making it a lot easier for me to focus on rest and getting better! 4mo
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BarbaraBB I am sorry to hear you've got it bad. Take care, wishing you a speedy recovery 🍀 4mo
4thhouseontheleft @BarbaraBB thank you! I qualify for the monoclonal antibody therapy so I have an appt for that this afternoon. 4mo
BarbaraBB Good luck, I hope that'll help!
4mo
thebluestocking I hope the therapy helps and that you feel better soon! 💙 4mo
TrishB Take care ❤️ I felt worse until about day 5, then started to feel a bit better each day. Hope you‘re on the mend soon. 4mo
slategreyskies Hope you‘re feeling better soon!! Also, those donut shaped noodles are so cool! I‘ve never seen ones like that before! :) sending hugs!! 💕 4mo
Branwen Oh no! So sorry to hear you are sick, friend! *hugs* I had covid at the beginning of the month and it felt like it was never ending- but hang in there; you will get better a little bit more every day! 💕 Sending lots of love and healing thoughts your way! 4mo
squirrelbrain Sorry to hear you‘re suffering so much - hope you turn a corner soon…. 4mo
NovelGirl82 I‘m so sorry. I hope you‘re feeling better soon 4mo
4thhouseontheleft @slategreyskies I buy them at our local Italian grocery, but it‘s the same brand as these on Amazon: Primeluci Anelletti Durum Wheat Semolina Pasta - 1 lb (Pack of 4) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01D0F0U0Q/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_CAAXCW5MRBP3KCAGR3... 4mo
slategreyskies Oh, thank you so much!! I‘m going to try them out next time I make chicken noodle soup! 🥣 💕 4mo
jessjess I'm sorry you're not feeling good!! 4mo
CarolynM Hope you're well again soon💐 4mo
87 likes16 comments
review
4thhouseontheleft
All's Well | Mona Awad
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Mehso-so

The surrealism in this #tobshortlist novel is what I would imagine coming down from a bad high feels like. Certain aspects are expertly done. Awad really captures the experience of being a chronic pain sufferer, the misogyny that still exists when trying to seek treatment, and the disbelief by friends and family faced by many with chronic pain. The first 100 pages was fantastic. Then the book became a bit unmoored, in a WTF did I read kinda way.

Prairiegirl_reading After bunny I expect “unmoored, in a wtf did I read” from Mona Awad. 🤣 4mo
4thhouseontheleft Also fills #pop22 quote from favorite author on cover of Amazon page (Margaret Atwood) 4mo
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4thhouseontheleft @Prairiegirl_reading I haven‘t read Bunny! 4mo
Zuhkeeyah @Prairiegirl_reading I felt the same by the end of Bunny. It started off great…then just drifted aimlessly. 4mo
vivastory Did you see that you can pre-order igned copies of Atwood's upcoming book on B&N 4mo
vivastory *signed 4mo
Cinfhen This one was VERY Bunny-ish @Prairiegirl_reading but I liked it more. It‘s DEFINITELY odd & quirky 4mo
4thhouseontheleft @vivastory 😍😍 I didn‘t. Thank you!! 4mo
4thhouseontheleft @Zuhkeeyah the ending of All‘s Well kind of redeemed itself, there was a very vivid sequence that I thought was done very well. The middle part though, really started to drag. 4mo
4thhouseontheleft @Cinfhen the Miranda after the golden drink, and how awful she became, really bothered me. But it is a book that makes you think! She definitely ranks up there on the list of most unreliable narrators. 4mo
Cinfhen The parts you highlight in your review are the reasons I really enjoyed this book / I‘m not familiar enough with Shakespeare to understand all the hidden messages/ identities. I LOVE the cover design ❤️not a favorite for the shortlist - surprised it advanced 4mo
squirrelbrain I‘m not sure if I‘ll read this. I didn‘t like Bunny at all and I don‘t know much Shakespeare. It‘s also not published over here until Feb. 4mo
Suet624 I gave this a so-so as well. She captures the chronic sufferer aspect perfectly but the rest was a mess. 4mo
Megabooks This was a low pick for me. Eh. I agree with much of what you‘re saying. 4mo
Ruthiella I loved the messy, magical part of this one. @squirrelbrain I think you won‘t like this one much if you didn‘t like Bunny. It‘s equally bizarre. 4mo
thebluestocking I usually don‘t go for this kind of weirdness, but it worked for me. I agree that the first 100 pages were the best. 4mo
BarbaraBB Still need to read this one but love how different we all react to it! 4mo
sarahbarnes Great review. I did love the weirdness even though I got a little lost in it. 4mo
BkClubCare Honestly, I do not look forward to this one. 4mo
Mindyrecycles I really liked it even though I didn‘t understand it completely. Still mulling it over but I was into it from beginning to end. 4mo
79 likes21 comments
blurb
4thhouseontheleft
All's Well | Mona Awad
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This book is a bit bonkers. Usually I love the weird stories, but I am really struggling here. I‘m definitely getting deep into the surreal section, and I don‘t like it.

Can someone tell me if it just keeps going down a rabbit hole? Miranda has turned into a major asshole. I‘m going to finish, because it‘s a #tobshortlist book that also fills a lot of prompts. But I may start skimming.

ChaoticMissAdventures Oh no! I loved this, but it is for sure going to be a decisive read because it is so surreal. 4mo
vivastory I was just thinking that I need to read this because my current read reminds me of Bunny, not because it has a similar story but bc it's also conceptually unusual 4mo
4thhouseontheleft @ChaoticMissAdventures I think I just need to accept the surrealism and go with it ☺️. I keep trying to make sense if it 😜 4mo
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cariashley So funny, I‘m at EXACTLY the same point in the book, chapter 18. I‘m liking it but you‘re right that it‘s bonkers. I‘m just going along for the ride, wouldn‘t say I‘m loving it, but am finding it entertaining even if I don‘t know where it‘s going. 4mo
Addison_Reads I just finished this one and I usually really enjoy the weird and surreal, but I'm not sure how I feel about this one. I'm going to have to sit with it a little before I review it. 4mo
ChaoticMissAdventures @4thhouseontheleft I think that is the best way! Just read through and don't think much about it until you are done, then sit with it for a bit. But of course not all strangling books are for everyone! 4mo
80 likes6 comments
blurb
4thhouseontheleft
All's Well | Mona Awad
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Well, I did not end up reading next to the cats earlier today, but now I am settled in to my favorite chair next to the fireplace, with my new cozy sweater and favorite socks!

About 100 pages into this one and still on the fence about how I feel. As someone who dealt with chronic pain from endometriosis for years, I hope this book does justice to the subject of the obstacles chronic pain sufferers face.

#tob #tobshortlist

4thhouseontheleft And I had to laugh that at the top of my Litsy feed is a lot of cozy blankets! @Soubhiville @Amiable 🤣 looks like a cold night for many today! 4mo
Amiable @4thhouseontheleft It‘s January in New England. There aren‘t too many nights that don‘t call for my trusty fleece blanket! 😀 4mo
4thhouseontheleft @Amiable I‘m in NC. It was almost 80 a week ago. Expecting snow this weekend. I‘m excited to finally be able to wear sweaters! 🤣 I do NOT miss the Northeast winters though. 4mo
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Amiable @4thhouseontheleft I‘m a New England gal to the core. I can‘t stand the heat and humidity—I could never live in the south. If I could encase myself in fleece all the time I totally would! 😀 But that‘s why we have 50 states —there‘s one that‘s just right for everyone. 🙂 4mo
4thhouseontheleft @Amiable I do very much miss New England culture! Southerners are still sometimes confusing to me 🤣 4mo
Soubhiville Honestly it‘s not that bad here in TX. Low 70‘s today. I‘m just a wimp. Plus the hairless cats, they always want blankets, even in the summer. 🤣🤷‍♀️ 4mo
Amiable @4thhouseontheleft Are you from these parts up here? Where? When did you move to NC? My oldest son is stationed at the Marine air station in Jacksonville. He lives not too far from Topsail, I think? He‘s not a huge fan of NC—or at least, the part where he is. (He did like visiting Asheville, though.) (edited) 4mo
4thhouseontheleft @Amiable I grew up in PA, but I've also lived in MD, NY, and NJ! Moved to Charlotte from NJ in 2011 once my hubby finished residency. We do like it here but there are some things I really miss! If we ever move back, it would probably be to MA, it's one of my favorite states. Asheville is one of my favorite little cities! 4mo
Amiable @4thhouseontheleft I love MA, too! That‘s where my husband and I met in college and lived for almost 14 years. I‘d go back there in a heartbeat, too. 4mo
95 likes3 stack adds9 comments
blurb
Suet624
The Trees: A Novel | Percival Everett
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I love when a book knocks me sideways. I love finding an author I've never read who moves & intrigues me so much that I need to find all of their previous books immediately. This just, for now at least, rocketed to the top of my favored #TOB22 shortlist. An ultimate revenge novel for the sins of this country's past served with just the kind of humor that I like. I went in knowing nothing about the story and I'm happy I did. (Who did I not tag?)

BarbaraBB Exactly that! Great review. Tagging @thebluestocking @Flaneurette @sarahbarnes @Ruthiella 🤍 (edited) 4mo
thebluestocking @BarbaraBB Thanks for the tag! 4mo
thebluestocking I loved this one too, though it was a little graphic on the violence for me. I hope it has legs in the Tournament! 4mo
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Suet624 @BarbaraBB Thanks for tagging those folks, Barbara. I'd lost track! 4mo
4thhouseontheleft Yes!! After I get through the #tobshortlist books, I really want to read more of Everett‘s. 4mo
Megabooks I cannot believe this is in such a strong quadrant. But a truly excellent book. Telephone made me think last year, and now I‘ve ordered another of his books. 4mo
Flaneurette @BarbaraBB thanks for the tag! Yep, I loved this one too. So far this and Intimacies are my favorites in the TOB that I‘ve read. 4mo
Suet624 @Megabooks @4thhouseontheleft I just saw that my library has Telephone, so I'll be seeking that once I finish more of the TOB books. :) (edited) 4mo
Suet624 @thebluestocking The book I read before this one had quite a few violent scenes so this one felt a bit tame in comparison. :) 4mo
BarbaraBB @Flaneurette Mine too. And Subdivision! 4mo
Cinfhen Great review! This book has a good chance of making it into the finals!! You do know the whole mystique of Telephone, Sue?? He wrote & published the book with 3 different endings. So last year part of the fun was comparing endings. I can‘t remember if we found all 3 @BarbaraBB @BkClubCare @Ruthiella ??? 4mo
Cinfhen Definitely 2/3!!! And they were quite different 4mo
Ruthiella @Cinfhen I think we only got 2/3! 😢 4mo
BarbaraBB @Ruthiella @Cinfhen I think we got all three! 4mo
67 likes4 stack adds15 comments
review
BarbaraBB
The Echo Wife | Sarah Gailey
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Pickpick

A solid read about a female scientist, renowned for her work in the field of cloning, who meets a clone representing herself. This woman is her ex husband‘s new lover. A great start, an engaging middle and a weak ending make for a soft pick. I don‘t think it should have made the #ToB22 shortlist. I do think that of several books this year 🥴

#pop22 #OnomatopoeiaInTitle

Laughterhp Yeah, this one was a low pick for me as well. 4mo
4thhouseontheleft I didn‘t even think to use this for the onomatopoeia prompt! I‘ll do that too, although All‘s Well just won out over The Echo Wife as my next #tobshortlist read 4mo
Suet624 Smart idea for a story. Too bad it seems it didn‘t quite hit the mark. 4mo
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squirrelbrain I agree - I enjoyed it but it just wasn‘t ‘enough‘ to make the shortlist. Love your pic! ❤️ 4mo
BarbaraBB @4thhouseontheleft I was pretty pleased with myself for using this book for the onomatopoeia prompt 😉 4mo
BarbaraBB @Suet624 No it didn‘t. It‘s definitely an entertaining read but the ToB? No… 4mo
Cinfhen Awesome use of prompt challenge!!! I liked this book, wayyyy more than Klara but I agree, not best book to make the shortlist. Also gorgeous photo!!!!!! 4mo
Megabooks That prompt 💯! I was just okay on this, too. Low pick for sure 👍🏻 4mo
BarbaraBB @Cinfhen I think I liked Klara better. I am a bit annoyed by the ending of this one. 4mo
BarbaraBB @Laughterhp @squirrelbrain @Megabooks too many low picks on this year‘s shortlist if you ask me 🤷🏻‍♀️ 4mo
Megabooks Yes, I either loved them or they were just blah. Not many middle of the road. 4mo
julesG Great picture. This book is on my #MountTBR. I don't understand what part of the title makes it onomatopoeic though, but I might be a bit nitpicky. Don't want to criticise, just curious. 4mo
Ruthiella Let‘s see what the judge says...a few readers on Goodreads are noting that the author intended the book to reflect how young women are groomed by their abusers. But this isn‘t something I picked up on when reading it. (edited) 4mo
BarbaraBB @julesG I thought (though am not sure, English is not my first language) that it‘s a word that‘s written the way it sounds? Well, the word echo echoed is echo… I was quite pleased with it but maybe I‘m interpreting it wrong 🤷🏻‍♀️ 4mo
BarbaraBB @Ruthiella In her afterword the author emphasizes to stand up against domestic violence indeed. But I didn‘t pick that up while reading either. 4mo
Cinfhen I think it works as onomatopoeia 😘😘and I was MORE annoyed by the ending of Klara. Regardless, I agree, too many meh or so-so books made the final 16! 4mo
sarahbarnes Great review. I‘m definitely on the fence about reading this one. 4mo
4thhouseontheleft @julesG @BarbaraBB @cinfhen well, echo is an onomatopoeia if you yell echo! 😂 But it also works for the mirror image on cover prompt. 4mo
julesG Barbara, yes, you are right. I thought more along the lines of 4mo
julesG @4thhouseontheleft I was way too far off thinking about stupid words you can yell in a canyon to get a slur as a reply than to actually realise "echo" was onomatopoeic. 4mo
thebluestocking I agree with you in the ending of this one. I also just felt liked it pushed up against (and maybe past) my willingness to suspend disbelief that some of the shenanigans weren‘t discovered. 🤷‍♀️ 4mo
Chelsea.Poole I finished this last week and just now getting to my review. I felt the same way you did 😊 4mo
Sharpeipup I bailed in the middle and feel better knowing it has a week ending. Thank you for that! 4mo
kwmg40 I agree with your assessment of the book, but I did really enjoy this one despite the flaws. 4mo
BarbaraBB @thebluestocking @Chelsea.Poole @Sharpeipup I found it so improbable that someone who was living solely for science would throw that all away for someone who she despised in the first place. I could get over that because I liked the way their relationship developed but after that ending also being improbable I feel a bit let down! 4mo
BarbaraBB @kwmg40 That is true, it certainly is enjoyable! 4mo
Mindyrecycles I liked it but am surprised it‘s in the tourney, too. Not what I would consider literary. Interesting premise, though, and kept my attention. My husband read it, too, after I told him a little about it. That‘s never happened before with a tob contender! 4mo
BarbaraBB @Mindyrecycles That‘s true, it kept my attention too. What did your husband think of it? 4mo
Mindyrecycles He liked it but didn‘t love it. 4mo
Readerann @BarbaraBB I totally agree about the start, middle, and weak end. 1mo
BarbaraBB @Readerann Do you think it was Tob worthy? 1mo
93 likes1 stack add32 comments
review
BarbaraBB
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Pickpick

This book made me laugh out loud. It is so recognizable to me. Slack, the use of emojis, the attitude towards the clients: it's really like the typical office culture within creative agencies. I enjoyed how the whole book was written in Slack channels and I liked the storyline, even though I'm not sure how it ended with Gerald and Slackbot. A fun read, but not really memorable and I doubt if it's worth the Rooster! #Tob22 #pop22 #SocialHorror

Cinfhen Still need to pick this up/ how many books do you have left from the #ToBshortlist? 5mo
Cinfhen Ohhhh, nice use of #pop22 🙌🏻😊💕 5mo
Megabooks Agreed! But I gave it more stars than you. 😉 (storygraph) 5mo
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KarenUK Agree too! Definitely a fun read…. 💕 5mo
BarbaraBB @Megabooks Wow, you gave it 4.5 stars! That‘s quite high! 5mo
BarbaraBB @Cinfhen I am ambit to start my eleventh, how about you? 5mo
Cinfhen I‘m picking up Intimacies this weekend (( thank you 😘) and then I‘ll have 5 or 6 more. 5mo
BarbaraBB @Cinfhen After Subdivision I‘ll have 7 more but I‘m not sure if I‘m going to read Confession (very expensive) or the Ozeki (such a chunkster) 5mo
Cinfhen I think I‘m able to borrow all the books I‘m missing except for the Ozeki, but it might show up in the next few weeks. I‘m very open to bailing on any of them though 😆 5mo
squirrelbrain I‘m torn with this one. I can‘t get it on any of the ‘free‘ sites yet. I could use an Audible credit but it‘s very short and, because it‘s so short it seems expensive to buy. ((c9). Do you think it will work on audio? (@megabooks did you do audio?) Is it worth paying (c9 for? 5mo
thebluestocking Lovely review! Like @squirrelbrain I‘m torn about this and some of the others I still need to read. This one, In Concrete, and Nervous System are books I would have to pay full price for. I‘m leaning towards buying this one and bailing on the other two. 5mo
Megabooks @squirrelbrain I did do audio. It was a full cast recording and very funny! I did buy it but it was only $13 (credits here are worth $11.50) so it didn‘t feel too bad. I‘m not sure it is worth (c9, though. 5mo
Ruthiella I‘ve only read the first chapter but also found it very humorous and recognizable after two years of using a similar application at my work. I agree, it probably won‘t win. But a fun read tucked in among the rest! 5mo
squirrelbrain I think I‘ll just use my Audible credit on it then - sounds fun! Thanks @Megabooks 5mo
BarbaraBB @thebluestocking I‘d choose this one above In Concrete but I haven‘t read Nervous System yet. In Concrete starts good but went over my head later on. @Megabooks recommends audio for Several People. 5mo
94 likes2 stack adds15 comments