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review
Anna40
Suddenly, Love: A Novel | Aharon Appelfeld
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Mehso-so

I hate to rate this book not as a pick because it is exceptional and the title is misleading. It is a love story but an unusual one. The character of Ernst is very well developed and his life story (Jewish communist / Russian soldier hunting down Nazis but also rich Jews) is extremely interesting BUT the female character Irina's devotion and submission are irrititating. She is the servant, nurturer/ caretaker with no life of her own. :(

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Anna40
I Lost My Tooth! | Mo Willems
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I volunteered at my son's school book fair today and bought two books for him. It was amazing to see how many kids came in and bought books! And how excited they were :)

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Anna40
The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia: From Abraham to Zabar's and Everything in Between | Liel Leibovitz, Stephanie Butnick, Mark Oppenheimer
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Another book from the New section at my library: this encyclopedia includes food, people, movies, religion, culture, history, politics and more written in a humorous tone. Everything you wanted to know about Judaism and more. So, "pull up a chair, grab a pickle." ... :)

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Anna40
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I found this in the New books section of my library. It is a collection of essays by Arab female journalists. Media coverage of the Middle East and Arab world seems to be dominated by men or reporters from the outside, so this collection is extremely interesting. I wish I had more time to read at the moment...

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Anna40
Mr. Squirrel and the Moon | Sebastian Meschenmoser
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Pickpick

This is the funniest children's book my son and I have ever read. We were both laughing from page 3 to the end. The illustrations are wonderful too.

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Anna40
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Pickpick

I loved this book and I wish I could sit down with a group of friends and talk about it, revisit/share paragraphs that made me laugh and that made me sad. An insightful, intimate autobiography/family history. Certainly not a book you can rush through.

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Anna40
Gershon's Monster: A Story for the Jewish New Year | Jon J. Muth, Eric A. Kimmel, Ba?al Shem ?ov
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Pickpick

Great book when you start teaching children about choosing between good and bad, reflecting about past mistakes and becoming a better person.

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Anna40
Boy | Phil Cummings
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Pickpick

Beautiful, funny book with a great message. My son and I loved it.

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Anna40
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A tale of Kindness and Love for Books and their Owners: I left this book on my car, then drove off, forgot that it was on the trunk. Later I looked everywhere but couldn't find it. At 7pm someone rang the doorbell. An elderly gentleman handed me my Amos Oz copy and told me, he had found it on the interstate. My bookmark was a post card that had our address on it which is how he knew where the owner of the book lives. :)

Nebklvr Lovely man!!! Betting he is a reader 1mo
MrsMalaprop What a great story 😍🙏. 1mo
5 likes2 comments
review
Anna40
Greatest Hits | Laura Barnett
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Mehso-so

Awww. I loved the premise and its originality but the story was a bit too light and I lost interest in the main character and her life. Another issue is when the author tries to pack too much info into one sentence and it ends up being a paragraph... it was not for me but I want to read her other book. The author has a lot of potential and should definitely be read!

LoveToReadLiveToRead I have a copy of this to read but haven‘t gotten to it yet but LOVED Versions of Us. 2mo
Anna40 @LoveToReadLiveToRead I didn't hate Greatest Hits but it started off so strongly and then drifted off into a story that couldn't really hold my interest BUT I think Ms Barnett is definitely an author that deserves to be read and should be read and am very interested in Versions of Us. 2mo
6 likes2 comments
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Anna40
Greatest Hits | Laura Barnett
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The album of songs is real - the memories that make up the story of the book and the songwriter are fiction. Love this idea. @Cathythoughts @TheSpineView @abbsinwonderland

6 likes1 comment
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Anna40
Testaments | Margaret Atwood
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I couldn't resist, I bought it today

Graciouswarriorprincess It's so good! Happy reading! 2mo
10 likes2 comments
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Anna40
The Singing Sands | Josephine Tey

They were all wrong about hell, he thought. Hell wasn't a nice cosy place where you fried. Hell was a great cold echoing cave where there was neither past nor future; a black, echoing desolation. Hell was concentrated essence of a winter morning after a sleepless night of self-distaste.

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Anna40
My Cousin Rachel | Daphne Du Maurier
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Pickpick

The tension builds slowly, Du Maurier only drops clues here and there, but I was drawn in from the start. Is the narrator reliable? Is Rachel manipulative and powerful or is she the real victim?

The movie is entertaining but has taken quite some liberties and fails to do what Du Maurier accomplished with her excellent writing and plot.

13 likes1 stack add
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Anna40
Such Good Work: A Novel | Johannes Lichtman
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Mehso-so

Jonas moves to Sweden to get his s...t together and after 150 pages he becomes proactive and volunteers, helps refugees, because he has to vomit after reading the news. That's it. In between he goes to parties, writes his thesis and tries to find a girlfriend or not? I. Don't. Care.

Yes, it is well written, yes, Jonas is a relatable, well developed character, yes, it does address serious issues, but why this story?

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Anna40
Grandad's Island | Benji Davies

Where the magic happens - children's book illustrators open their studios:

https://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/gallery/2015/sep/04/the-bookmak...

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Anna40
Wilde Lake: A Novel | Laura Lippman
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Gorgeous historical part of Ellicott City, MD, mentioned in Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman. It feels like being in France or England :)

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Anna40
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Pickpick

Wonderful collection of Lore Segal's writing. My favorite are The Fountain Pen and Translating the Olden Times.

Anna40 @Faibka I think you would like this book! 3mo
Faibka Added to my list :) thanks Anna! We miss you :( 3mo
7 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Anna40
History of God | Karen Armstrong
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Pickpick

I highly recommend this book on how God has been perceived throughout the centuries in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Ms Armstrong posseses the rare gift of presenting and explaining complex theories and ideas in understandable, readable language.
"Human beings cannot endure emptiness and desolation; they will fill the vacuum by creating a new focus of meaning." Let's hope the substitute is not fundamentalism or despair.

Zeb One of the finest book by a finest author 2mo
11 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Anna40
Wilde Lake LP | Laura Lippman
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Centennial Park, Columbia MD
Wilde Lake is set in Howard County and Columbia, MD.
I'm learning about the city's history and street names: " ... the names quickly became more fanciful and literary. Faulkner's Run, Hobbit's Glen, Longfellow."
It's funny to read a book set so close to a place that I have just moved to and explore it in real life and through the historical background provided in the novel.

Anna40 @andrew61 started it today. It's a book I would normally read on a long journey or holiday not really when I'm at home but it fascinates me that it's set so close to where we live now. The writing and story are engaging - so far :) never would have discovered the author if you hadn't posted your review :) 3mo
andrew61 Great photo. Who are the statues? 3mo
Anna40 @andrew61 I've been unsuccessful at trying to find that out online. Didn't look at the names on the plaque when I was there. Will check when I'm in centennial park again because I'd like to know too! 😊 3mo
Anna40 @andrew61 ahhh I'm in a reading rut. This book can't lift me out. Am bailing :( 3mo
6 likes4 comments
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Anna40
Murder in Georgetown | Margaret Truman
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Lunch at Martin's Tavern in Georgetown today and read that Margaret Truman was a mystery fiction writer. Had the worst book store experience! Nearby is an Amazon bookstore. Awful. No fun browsing because it only carries bestsellers. Apparently there is a used bookstore a bit further down, called Lantern Bookshop, but it was too hot, so we headed back home. Wish we had looked for Lantern instead of wasting our time in the Amazon bookstore :(

5 likes1 stack add
review
Anna40
Pickpick

I loved 'Language, Truth and Lockjaw' by Bernard MacLaverty and 'Walking Away' by Philip Ó Ceallaigh.

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Anna40
Chesapeake | James A. Michener
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This is Oxford, Maryland. A sleepy, small town where Michener outlined his book Chesapeake. Quiet and relaxing, but not sure if it has the same atmosphere during foggy fall or cold winter. The only book store in town is open Saturday to Monday (closes at 2pm).

walryan5 Very well said on your narrative of Chesapeake it was one of the best books I‘ve ever read. 2mo
6 likes1 comment
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Anna40
A History Of God | Karen Armstrong
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"Civilization could lead to universal peace when a generous, liberal society was created by a ruler like Akbar who made bigotry impossible."

Instead of dividing people with a rhetoric of hate for and fear of 'the other', this is what we should work towards: a generous, liberal, unified society, in which we don't force each other to be, believe and live in a certain way, but respect each other's differences.

Aimeesue I'm with Akbar. There's more than one way to get to God. 3mo
Anna40 @Aimeesue 👍 3mo
5 likes2 comments
review
Anna40
Born a Crime | Trevor Noah
Pickpick

I liked it, but I didn't love it. However, Trevor Noah is a gem, highly intelligent, his stand up is hilarious and his mother seems to have been an impressive woman. Brace yourself for the last essay. A man beating his wife and children and almost killing her, is hard to read about.

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Anna40
Say Say Say | Lila Savage
Bailedbailed

I wanted to like it, the premise was intriguing, but I didn't. Not for me

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Anna40
Midwinter Break: A Novel | Bernard MacLaverty
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Pickpick

I loved and devoured this book, could not put it down. A married couple, Gerry and Stella, travel to Amsterdam for a long weekend. We accompany them on this journey that takes us to Amsterdam, but also into each character's inner life, memories, dreams / hopes. We learn about their life together, their love for one another. A wonderful book and the writing is excellent. I LOVED it.

rachaich I actually visited Beginhof today purely because of this book. It was worth it. 4mo
Anna40 @rachaich Wow! It's a place I'd be interested to visit too because of the book. :) 4mo
rachaich I was in awe of the quiet and the atmosphere. I'm not at all religious but moved by the church. 4mo
Anna40 @rachaich if I ever make it to Amsterdam, I'll make sure to visit it as well. Have a great trip! 4mo
6 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Anna40
Midwinter Break | Bernard MacLaverty
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I'm still recovering from the sadness in the last book that I read. These two do not sound like 'happy' books either, but I was drawn to both, am looking forward to reading them and exploring Amsterdam in Midwinter Break through the eyes of the protagonists ...

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Anna40
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Bailedbailed

At page 211 I bail, something I don't think I've ever done so far into a book, but I can't take any more of this inner struggle, the sadness and oppression. It's stifling. I might return to this book or read one of her novels, but right now this is not for me.

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Anna40
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Anna40
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Anna40
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Pickpick

Two Public School Teachers by Winold Reiss (c. 1925).

The beautiful catalogue / book accompanying The Columbus Museum of Art exhibition 'I Too Sing America: The Harlem Renaissance at 100' features artwork (paintings, sculptures, photographs) by artists of the Harlem Renaissance.

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Anna40
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Pickpick

This gorgeous coffee table book presents paintings, drawings, photographs (taken on a journey to the US - from New York to Texas - in 1898 to 1900!) by Gabriele Münter and short essays about her work. Münter was a remarkable, adventurous woman and a gifted artist.

The photo is called A Woman in Profile and Münter took it in Arkansas in 1899 or 1900.

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Anna40
Memoirs of a Book Thief | Alessandro Tota
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Pickpick

Story was engaging, quite original. I liked the historical setting and the artwork. Wouldn't buy it, but if it's available at the library, I would recommend borrowing it.

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Anna40
Art of Leaving: A Memoir | Ayelet Tsabari
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Pickpick

Recurring themes are her struggle to belong, the loss of her father, her heritage and insecurities. The way she captures her feelings and puts them into words/ makes them palpable, is what drew me in. Her travels/drug experiences were too 'adolescent' for me, but I loved the essays written from a more mature perspective: her grandmother, her mother's cooking, Yemenite Jews in Israel, the way she comes to terms with who she is/where she comes from.

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Anna40
Art of Leaving: A Memoir | Ayelet Tsabari
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5 likes1 stack add
review
Anna40
Levels of Life | Julian Barnes
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Pickpick

Barnes starts his book with two essays on his metaphors: ballooning (love and grief) and photography (memory). I almost felt lulled in by the historical context and love story between Sara Bernhardt and Fred Burnaby. But then came the last part of the book: a very intimate, personal and insightful look at his own grief, love for his wife and his Sehnsucht for her. I saw that the book received a low rating on Litsy and cannot understand why.

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Anna40
White Book | Han Kang
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Pickpick

Reading this book is like walking through a museum and looking at an exhibition of photographs, each depicting a place, animal, landscape, snow or people (white being the predominantly used color) and looking at the exhibits through the eyes of the author. Each 'photograph' also depicts grief, death, birth, physical pain, life. An extraordinary collection of masterpieces, not for everyone, but I loved it.

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Anna40
Pickpick

I got this graphic novel / graphic memoir from my sister and read it on the plane back to Bmore. It is an insightful and honest look at pregnancy, women's bodies, miscarriages, motherhood and being a new parent.

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Anna40
Stoner | John Williams
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Pickpick

"... as if those studies were life itself and not specific means to specific ends."

It is one of the best books I have read. Underneath Stoner's indifference and compromising, lies a deeply complex and passionate character. I have felt anger, sympathy and yes love for William Stoner and never has the depiction of loneliness felt more intriguing than in Stoner by John Williams.
Others might disagree, but for me this is a must- read again.

Izai.Amorim Great review. Will give a try. 5mo
Anna40 @Izai.Amorim oh thanks! I think you will like or even love it :) 5mo
17 likes2 comments
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Anna40
Stoner | John Williams
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Brilliant.

Cathythoughts 👍🏻♥️ 5mo
8 likes1 comment
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Anna40
Stoner | John Williams
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Am I getting this wrong or is the main character only referred to as Stoner or William Stoner until page 60 (that is when Edith calls him William for the first time) and only after page 60 as William. If yes, I find that a clever way of establishing a growing intimacy between reader and main character.

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Anna40
Stoner | John E. Williams
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Izai.Amorim That's a beautiful passage. You can feel his loneliness. 5mo
Anna40 @Izai.Amorim yes! And also his love for books 5mo
12 likes2 comments
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Anna40

Professor Wiesel says, "I don't like the word tolerate. Who am I to tolerate you? I prefer the word respect. I must respect you even if I do not agree with you. In fact, my disagreement may be an expression of my respect for you. If I truly respect you, don't I owe you my honesty?"

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Anna40
Berg | Ann Quin
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Bailedbailed

I bailed, not because this is a horrible book - the writing is exceptional, poetic, provocative - but it's not for me.

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Anna40
Ash Falls | Warren Read
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Pickpick

A book I chose randomly, glad I stumbled across this fine novel by Warren Read. Set in the 1990s (?) in a small town in the Pacific Northwest, it centers around Ernie Luntz's prison 'escape', but focuses on and is told from the perspective of the people in the town Ash Falls whose lives are connected with Ernie's. Not a thriller but a portrait of different characters. Beautiful writing, wish it had been edited better.

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Anna40
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I bought The Hill to die on at Books in Bloom, Columbia, MD. It's an annual book festival with panel discussions, book signings and family activities. Not sure how I will 'cope' with the book. Frankly, I don't know much about Congress and US politics but since election is coming up, it's crucial to learn as much as possible.

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Anna40
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Go to the peak! Once you started going, proceed to the very end. Don't stop in the middle of the road.

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Anna40
Test | Sylvain Neuvel
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Pickpick

Wow! I read this book in one hour. Very powerful. Highly recommend it.

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Anna40
Moving House | Anne Civardi
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The first three things you need to do when you move to a new city/state: 1) supermarkets 2) doctors/health care 3) library card. Check, check and check. :)