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Billypar

Billypar

Joined February 2017

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In the Name of Salome by Julia Alvarez
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The Red Parts: A Memoir by Maggie Nelson
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Howards End by E M Forster
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Paperbacks from Hell by Grady Hendrix
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Billypar
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#luckystar #MOvember

Careful, don't look directly at it 😎

@Cinfhen

Cinfhen Why have I never heard of this book before??? Sounds amazing #stacked 1d
batsy Well played! And a brilliant book ⭐ 1d
Billypar @Cinfhen I hadn't heard of the book or Lispector until I was looking for stuff to read around the world for @GatheringBooks 's challenge last year. It was okne of my favorite discoveries ☺ 23h
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GatheringBooks awesome!! :) 23h
Billypar @batsy I don't think I remember a single thing about what happens in the book even though I read it last year. I just remember being so invested that I put off sleep to keep reading (not typical for me!) 23h
Cinfhen The beauty of reading challenges!!! Discovering all the new authors 23h
42 likes1 stack add6 comments
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Billypar
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#trueblue #MOvember

Some shades of blue from my shelf 💙

@Cinfhen

Cinfhen Pretty 💙blue is my favorite color 3d
35 likes1 comment
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Billypar
The Border Trilogy | Cormac McCarthy
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#borderline #MOvember
I try not to repeat myself as much as possible, so for those of you who have already heard my tired Cormac McCarthy sermon, I apologize. But here it is again. The Road and Blood Meridian are fine novels, but books 2 and 3 of The Border Trilogy, The Crossing and Cities of the Plain, are his best (imho).
Do you all have favorites that get overshadowed by other works from the same author? I'd like to hear them!
@Cinfhen

BarbaraBB Great question. I have to think of that. 3d
Cinfhen Hmmmm, that‘s interesting.i need to think as well 3d
Billypar @BarbaraBB @Cinfhen It is hard to think of examples. I also don't have very many authors where I've gone deep into their catalogues- I usually just read the bigger hits, so I wonder what I'm missing out on. 3d
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Cinfhen I‘ve been thinking all day but haven‘t really come up with any good examples 3d
Taylor As someone who takes the time to read deep into authors‘ catalogues, I can answer this pretty well. “Just Above My Head” is Baldwin‘s best novel probably; DeLillo‘s “Point Omega” is incredible, as well as his newest one, “Zero K,” which is better and more profound than a lot of his older famous ones; Toni Morrison‘s last novel, “God Help the Child” is superb and I way prefer it to “Song of Solomon” or the “The Bluest Eye.” 3d
Taylor Pynchon‘s “Bleeding Edge” is better than any of his other novels besides “Gravity‘s Rainbow”; Faulkner‘s Snopes trilogy ought to be talked about as much as his earlier stuff because it is phenomenal; Bret Easton Ellis‘s “Lunar Park” is his second best novel IMO; and “Demons” is one of my favorite Dostoevsky novels! That‘s about all I got, that I can think of. (edited) 3d
Billypar @Taylor Wow, thanks for all these examples: I've read all of these authors and almost none of these selections ☺ Lunar Park is the exception - really enjoyed it, probably about as much as Glamorama or Rules of Attraction 2d
Billypar @Taylor I didn't like either of the Delillo novels I tried - White Noise and Running Dog- but they were still interesting enough that I'd try one of the two you mentioned (provided they're shorter than Underworld!) 2d
Taylor @Billypar Yes well you might not like DeLillo in general, and in that case I doubt you‘d like “Point Omega” or “Zero K.” Just hard to tell. Either way they‘re both really short, especially Point Omega. Anyway it‘s a really cool question you asked, and one that I never hear discussed much. It‘s tough to point out examples because it takes a huge time commitment to read deeply into an author‘s catalog. 2d
Taylor @Billypar Personally, I‘d rather know an author really well rather than have read one or two hits a bunch of famous authors have written. The result is I have big gaps in my reading, like huge authors I haven‘t read a word of. (Marquez, off the top of my head.) But on the other hand I kind of consider only knowing one or two books by an author to be a gap in its own way, so...there you go. 😂 (edited) 2d
Billypar @Taylor Since I started reading more in the past few years I feel I've been driven to do exactly what you mentioned- read only 1-2 works and move on in a drive to find new authors. But I think that's changing and I'm craving deep dives into a few authors - Morrison, Erdrich, Calvino, and Oyeyemi are a few I'm targeting. You're right though - too much out there not to have gaps of some kind! 2d
Taylor @Billypar Yeah it‘s a give and take. I guess one way to do it is you could read one author in depth, but take breaks in between their books to read a book by a different author, then get back to that first author. Maybe I‘ll do that more actually. 2d
Reggie Everyone who has ever heard of Julia Alvarez always says that In the Time of Butterflies and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent are her best but they‘re not!!!! That honor goes to In the Name of Salome followed by Yo! 2d
Billypar @Reggie This is perfect because I haven't read Alvarez yet and I would have definitely gone with one of the first two you said. I'm stacking Name of Salome & Yo! 1d
39 likes14 comments
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Billypar
Howards End | E M Forster
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#humannature #MOvember
My #currentread is not letting me forget that I missed yesterday's Madonna song prompt 😃
@Cinfhen

batsy Love when that happens! 4d
Cinfhen Hahaha!!! Perfect 👌🏾 4d
Billypar @batsy I know - I implicitly believe the words are shifting around within the pages just to stay relevant with my daily life 😁 4d
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Billypar @Cinfhen This month is really making me aware of how many mid to late career Madonna hits I've never heard (at least based on the titles). I need to check out the spotify list- might have that be my soundtrack while working today ☺ 4d
Blaire Hope you‘re enjoying Howard‘s End. I loved it. 4d
Cinfhen Oh good!!! A little Madonna never hurt anyone 💋 4d
Billypar @Blaire It's so good: I'm about halfway through and really enjoying it. I don't pick up British classics very often, and this is not at all what I was expecting. 4d
35 likes1 stack add7 comments
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Billypar
Einstein's Dreams | Alan Lightman
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vivastory I loved this one 4d
Cinfhen Well played ☃️☃️☃️ 4d
Billypar @vivastory Me too. I read Invisible Cities earlier in this year and it felt like that was a similar form (e. It feels wrong to call them 'novels ' - I wish there was a different name for it so I could seek more out. 4d
29 likes3 comments
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Billypar
The Kingdom of the Wicked | Anthony Burgess
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#LikeAPrayer #MOvember
A few from my shelf with religious themes and characters. My favorite is probably Satanic Verses, with Gilead and Meany as runners up. Siddhartha and Oranges are still TBR. Not sure if I liked the tagged book- some interesting historic/Biblical storylines, but also many gut-churning accounts of Roman emperors like Tiberius, Caligula, and Nero... pretty violent and horrific all around 🤢
@Cinfhen

BarbaraBB So many good ones! 6d
Cinfhen Hmmmm, I‘m morbidly intrigued by your tagged book 😜 6d
45 likes2 comments
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Billypar
Housing Works Used Book Cafe | New York, NY (Bookstore)
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#bookshopping #KeepLitsyActive
#2. Author is most: usually buy authors I've been wanting to try or those I already like.
#5. Price is next when used book shopping- it's fun to find good deals.
#3 Title and #4 length occasionally - a really good title makes me take notice, but less likely to buy doorstops.
#6 I never read professional reviews, but if I'm new to an author I'll look at Goodreads ratings.
#1 Cover yes, but unconsciously.

Billypar Great question @ljuliel ! I always wonder this about other readers. Plot and reading the first page are my other main factors, along with author and price. 1w
ljuliel Thank you for the detailed explanation. It‘s interesting to see what attracts a person to a book. I always notice the title first. It doesn‘t mean I‘ll definitely buy it just due to that fact, but I like unusual or funny titles . I also don‘t read the super thick books any longer. I used to like them, but the older I get, the more daunting they seem. 😊 1w
Billypar @ljuliel I tend to remember my buys where title was a special factor. Dana Spiotta's 'Eat the Document' and Jeanette Winterson's 'Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit' come to mind. Will definitely be picking up the tagged collection mostly due to the title. 1w
ljuliel I‘ve not read that. I hope it‘s a good one for you ! 1w
21 likes4 comments
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Billypar
Ghost Story | Peter Straub
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When a #beautifulstranger comes to Millburn, the place becomes a literal #ghosttown as a once dormant horror terrorizes the imaginations of its residents, with special ire directed towards a group of old friends who form a club of sorts to trade stories of the supernatural (some of which might be true).
Not Madonna pictured here, but I was listening to this old favorite and it seemed to fit. 😱😨
@Cinfhen

Cinfhen Definitely getting Madonna vibes 👍🏻🎶🥰 1w
twohectobooks I‘ve been wanting to read this book for years but keep not getting around to it 😳 1w
Kimbono Ooooh, listening to Down by the Water and reading Ghost Story makes for a creepy pairing. I like it! 1w
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Billypar @Cinfhen Right? Seemed like this album cover worked for both performer and book. 1w
Billypar @twohectobooks I liked it: I picked it up for last year's Halloween season and it was exactly what I was looking for in a horror novel. 1w
Billypar @Kimbono That would be a great pairing! Last night I was listening to it while reading E.M. Forster's Howards End, which doesn't work quite as well 😁 1w
34 likes6 comments
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Billypar
Cloud Atlas | David Mitchell
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#laislabonita #MOvember
Two of the six narratives in Cloud Atlas take place on pretty islands. I'm a fan of The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing, even though it seems like the least discussed storyline. Even though it's the quietest, Mitchell nails the classic British novel style, and the island has a mysterious quality that is fun to explore.
@Cinfhen

vivastory Ah, great choice. I didn't even think of this one. I need to read 1w
Billypar @vivastory Yeah, me too, and just more Mitchell in general: the only other one I've read is Slade House. 1w
Cinfhen I bailed early on this book with regrets. I think I would have enjoyed more if the timing was different. I read Slade House but wasn‘t such a fan 😞 1w
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Billypar @Cinfhen I think it's one I would recommend trying again when the time is right. He has a style that carries over to Slade House, but they're such different books that I wouldn't say opinion on one would predict feelings on the other. 1w
Taylor I read this once hella long ago but I loved it. 1w
Billypar @Taylor It's definitely one of those books you remember no matter how long ago you've read it- I loved it too. 1w
Taylor @Billypar I feel like I could read it again and I‘d still like it.... 1w
30 likes7 comments
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Billypar
Money | Martin Amis
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#expressyourself #MOvember
Apparently John Self expresses himself by making a movie about money, while "living money, talking money, and spending money on all the excesses 20th-century culture has to offer: drink, dope, sex, fast food, and love."
On my TBR shelf but from that description...sounds like a terrible novel! On the other hand, Amis hasn't let me down yet, and this is probably his most famous, so I can't not read it ?‍♂️
@Cinfhen

Leftcoastzen I haven‘t read that one either. He‘s excellent though. 2w
BarbaraBB I had a hard time finishing this one. 2w
batsy Read it for a uni class maaaany years ago and thoroughly enjoyed reading about a character I absolutely loathed, so I'm not sure what that says about me 😅 2w
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Cinfhen Some books just aren‘t for me....this is probably one of them 😬 2w
Billypar @Leftcoastzen Yeah, he's a favorite of mine- it's been awhile since I read one of his though. 2w
Billypar @BarbaraBB @batsy @Cinfhen I was more attracted to this kind of narrative in college- @batsy like you mentioned, I hated the characters like Self, but I think I hoped they'd have a quiet epiphany by the end or something like that. 2w
Liz_M I loved this book! As an added incentive some of it takes place in the seedy NYC of yesteryear. 😁 1w
Billypar @Liz_M Good to hear! Seedy NYC is so interesting to see in old books and films - hard to believe the change in just a few decades. 1w
29 likes8 comments
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Billypar
The Blind Assassin: A Novel | Margaret Atwood
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#iconic #MOvember
I think Atwood is one of our most iconic living authors. One of my early favorite authors when I started getting into reading as an adult.
@Cinfhen

readordierachel Yes! Great choice. 2w
Cinfhen Aside from this Testaments debacle I agree, she is iconic and deserves all the accolades but not this year‘s Booker Prize 🤪 2w
Billypar @readordierachel Definitely a literary rockstar 🙄🎸 2w
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Billypar @Cinfhen She's probably my second-most read author but I feel disconnected from all the hype - I want to read it eventually, but there are probably still a few older ones of hers I'd read first. 2w
Cinfhen I need to read Alia Grace this year!!!! 2w
readordierachel @Cinfhen You do! Alias Grace is so good. 2w
Cinfhen @readordierachel hoping to fit it into a challenge box this year!‘maybe #BottomOfYourTBR #Booked2020 2w
Billypar @Cinfhen @readordierachel Weirdly, I'm not a huge Alias Grace fan - I liked it, just not compared to her others (but I'm definitely in the minority on this!). I think my top three are Blind Assassin, Oryx & Crake, and Cat's Eye. 2w
readordierachel Interesting! I've not read Blind Assassin or Cat's Eye yet (I know, I know, and I call myself a fan). I do love the MaddAddam trilogy, def more than Alias Grace, but I still thought the latter was really good. It has a different feel though. Maybe because it's based on a true story? 2w
Billypar @readordierachel Oh, I'm jealous - you've got two really good ones in store! I read all my Atwoods close together (around 2009-2013) so I mostly just remember my broad impressions and not a ton of specifics to back them up. Though maybe the same could be said about what I read last year, lol 😶 2w
readordierachel Ha! Same. 2w
Cinfhen Cat‘s Eye is on my list too and The Blind Assassin was fantastic @readordierachel 2w
Leftcoastzen Nice! 2w
46 likes13 comments
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Billypar
An Untamed State | Roxane Gay
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I don't plan my next reads too rigidly: I usually have a few candidates that have been on my shelf for awhile, and when I finish a book I bring them out and see which I #crave in the moment. Usually I have a one word prejudice in my head - e.g. devastating, innovative, difficult, intellectual, etc. But it's not until I read the first sentence or two that I really know what I want. One of these four will probably be next 🤔
#MOvember @Cinfhen

vivastory My Name is Red is stellar 2w
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego An Untamed State is one of my all time favourite books. Heavy, but worthwhile. I wish Gay wrote more fiction. 2w
Kdgordon88 An Untamed State is devastating and so damn good! I‘m with @StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego I wish she would write more fiction as well. 2w
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Tamra I have Freshwater coming up soon on my audio holds list. 🤞🏾 2w
batsy Nice! I haven't read the Gay; I read the Smith in college & loved it a lot then. The Pamuk & Emezi are recent reads & both are quite brilliant. 2w
merelybookish OMG I love On Beauty! 2w
jillrhudy Every time I plan my next few reads all my holds come in at the library at once, digital and print! 2w
Billypar @vivastory It's been on my list for awhile even before I bought it, so I'm pretty excited. 2w
Billypar @StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego @Kdgordon88 This is great to hear because this will be my first time reading her fiction - I loved both Hunger and Bad Feminist. 2w
Billypar @Tamra I'm so curious based on the reactions I've read! 2w
Billypar @batsy Nice - it looks like I can't go wrong: I have a good feeling about all four of these. It will be a tough choice! 2w
Billypar @merelybookish I'm reading Howard's End now in anticipation of it. I've been struggling with whether to read them back to back, or just somewhat close in time. It will be my first Smith, only read her essay collection so far. 2w
Becker Untamed state is very intense. I loved it. It packs s punch. 2w
Billypar @jillrhudy That happens to me all the time with audio holds. I just had two come in recently- I was going to listen to a podcast tonight, but I feel pressure now, lol 2w
merelybookish @Billypar It's my favorite of her novels! 2w
Tanisha_A I loved reading My Name is Red! Super haul! 2w
Cinfhen Untamed State was brutal!!!! But I loved it!!!!!!! 2w
Billypar @Becker @Cinfhen For a book to be both brutal and still get such positive reader response tells me it must be a good one: looking forward to it! 2w
Billypar @Tanisha_A MNIR hooked me from the first sentence in the bookstore, so I'm already intrigued! 2w
youneverarrived The two on the right are both AMAZING reads 💙 2w
Billypar @youneverarrived Nice- I'm looking forward to both very much! I feel like I can't go wrong with what's coming up 🙂 2w
39 likes1 stack add21 comments
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Billypar
The Secret History | Donna Tartt
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#sorry #MOvember

Self-explanatory I think...☺

@Cinfhen

vivastory Ha! 👍 2w
Cinfhen Hahaha 2w
33 likes3 comments
review
Billypar
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Pickpick

Review in the style of Thomas Ligotti 👇

Billypar As I considered my Litsy review of this chilling collection, I became aware of a presence outside my window. I looked out to see a pale figure in an overcoat staring at me with dark eyes that radiated a purplish glow. I drew back instinctively—surely this was the visitor Veldt had warned me of earlier. I walked outside, and as I approached, he produced an object from under his coat. It was an orb of swirling colors, ones I‘d never seen before👇

2w
Billypar I looked closer, noticing demonic figures within the colored mists, tormenting their unlucky victims in ghastly ways. Then all within the orb abruptly vanished into darkness. As I stood perplexed, I became aware of some motion in my periphery. I looked up with a start to find the night sky replaced with those same awful, swirling colors. The man stared directly at me, and in a cross between a hiss and a growl, uttered a single word: “PICK”.

2w
Billypar @vivastory I couldn't resist writing bite-sized Ligotti fan-fic, lol. These collections were great - really enjoyed them over two Halloween seasons. 2w
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vivastory 🙌🤘 I love this review! I almost picked up some ligotti last month, I think I'll have to reread a few sometime over the next week or so. I borrowed this one from the library, but I'm planning on buying a copy as I do think I'll dip into it from time to time. 2w
merelybookish This is excellent! 2w
Billypar @vivastory Thanks ☺ Yes I wouldn't recommend what I attempted and trying to read two collections straight through just because they're packaged together. Perfect for dipping in and out when you're in the mood for something quietly terrifying. 2w
Billypar @merelybookish Thanks! I wrote it last night and was having way too much fun 😁 2w
Reggie Lol, at 2a.m. This review gets a Pick!!! 2w
batsy I've not read Ligotti but I love this review! 2w
Billypar @Reggie Thanks! Btw I recently listened to your Reading Envy episode: really enjoyed it! Book of Night Women is pretty high on my TBR, but wasn't familiar with the other two- they both sound great. 2w
Billypar @batsy Thanks! I can't do justice at the sentence level in two Litsy comments (they're wonderful- long but meticulous), but I tried to pack in as much Ligotti-esque content as I could. 2w
readordierachel Fantastic review 👍🏼 2w
Billypar @readordierachel Thanks! ☺ 2w
Leftcoastzen 👏👏👏👏 2w
Billypar @Leftcoastzen Thanks 😁 2w
40 likes1 stack add15 comments
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Billypar
The Wilds | Julia Elliott
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#girlgonewild #MOvember
This story collection is on my TBR, partly because of the good things I've heard, and partly because this is one of my favorite covers in the last few years.
@Cinfhen

merelybookish That cover is 🔥🔥 2w
emilyhaldi 😍😍 2w
Tamra Oh jeeze, that is a cover! 2w
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batsy Gorgeous cover & so apt for this prompt! 2w
saresmoore Ooooh! 2w
Cinfhen Totally #CoverCrush 2w
Billypar @merelybookish @emilyhaldi @Tamra @batsy @saresmoore @Cinfhen Right? Any time I land on it, I have to keep staring for a bit. 2w
JazzFeathers It is a brilliant cover. 2w
44 likes1 stack add8 comments
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Billypar
Swamplandia! | Karen Russell
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#RescueMe #MOvember
It's that time of year where I'm going over my favorite reads of 2019, and I know Swamplandia! will be high on my list. I was rooting for one character's rescue so intensely that I was almost surprised when I set the book down and found that I wasn't wandering in the Everglades with her. Narratives about being lost in the woods generally freak me out more than other situations - it's so easy to picture it happening.
@Cinfhen

Cinfhen I haven‘t thought about my top reads of 2019 yet but I have a feeling MOST are NF!!! 2w
Billypar @Cinfhen I'm the opposite - I think I know my top 5, and all are fiction. But I've had some really good NF this year too. I almost always have a non-fiction going on audio now - a few years ago my reading diet was 100% fiction. I have Litsy to thank for that! 2w
Cinfhen Ohhhhh, I can‘t wait to see your faves!!!! I love this time of year with all the best of lists!!!!!! 2w
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Billypar @Cinfhen Me too!! Bring on all the subcategories and honorable mentions to squeeze more in! Even if I panned every single book from now until New Year's, this would still be an incredible reading year- that's how enthusiastic I am about my top picks 😅 2w
Cinfhen It‘s also the end of a DECADE !!!!! So that‘s gonna be HUGE 2w
Billypar @Cinfhen I wasn't even thinking of that! Time to break out my Goodreads list and look at my 5 star 2010--2019 reads.. 2w
36 likes6 comments
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Billypar
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#Music #MOvember
Some music books or music-themed fiction. Didn't have as many as I would have guessed...odd.
@Cinfhen

Cinfhen A few look well loved 😊that‘s the way I like my books to look!!! 2w
Billypar @Cinfhen Yup, definitely have a few Velveteen Rabbits in the collection 🙄 2w
Leftcoastzen Lester Bangs!Tom Waits ! Yay! 2w
40 likes3 comments
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Billypar
Pale Fire | Vladimir Nabokov
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This is one book I #cherish both because it's a favorite and remembering how I picked it up. I was browsing in a Borders (gives you an idea how long ago this was) and started flipping through it. Never read any Nabokov, never read anything that played games with form (wasn't a huge reader at the time in general). I started thinking 'what IS this?' I took it to the reading area, read it until the place closed, and took it home.
#MOvember @Cinfhen

Blaire Nice! I‘ve owned this Nabakov forever and not read it. You‘ve inspired me to move it up my tbr. 3w
Billypar @Blaire Hope you like it when you get to it! I love it when I finally read one of the elderly members of my tbr shelf- it feels like an accomplishment somehow. 3w
BarbaraBB I recognize that, the feeling of an accomplishment. My most recent read had been on my shelves from 2014. Anyhow, Pale Fire is on my tbr and your review is really inspiring. 3w
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Reggie Insert some other titles, insert Hastings ( a wonderful book and dvd/game rental place that has also now been closed for a while) and I know exactly what you mean. 🙂 3w
Cinfhen Love the back story for this book 💕thanks for sharing 3w
Cathythoughts I love this story too ❤️👍 3w
Billypar @BarbaraBB I'm due for another one- I started 2019 with The Idiot, which had been languishing since 2009. Maybe I'll make it a New Year's tradition - out with the old TBR ☺ 3w
Billypar @Reggie Yeah I still hope to find sea change reads that change my entire perspective on what a book can do. But there's something special when it happens when you're completely new, whether it's books or any other hobby. 3w
Billypar @Cinfhen @Cathythoughts It's fun to think of your favorite reads where you actually remember where you were while reading it and how the book was affecting you. 3w
Cathythoughts @Billypar it is !! The one I most remember is Lord of The Rings .. over 40 years ago ... in college then - In a bedsit - reading it at night on my own ... terrified 😳 3w
Billypar @Cathythoughts Yes- definitely have a few reading memories of being scared. House of Leaves on a family vacation in Florida while everyone is asleep and there's a thunderstorm 😨 3w
47 likes1 stack add11 comments
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Billypar
Rimbaud Complete | Arthur Rimbaud
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Three cheers for dancers disembowled!
There's room to writhe on the killing floor.
Is it a battle... or is it a dance? Who cares:
Mad Beelzebub fiddles, evermore.

Happy Halloween everyone!!💀☠💀☠

Cathythoughts Happy 👻 Halloween to you too 3w
readordierachel Love this 🎃 3w
29 likes2 comments
review
Billypar
The Other | Thomas Tryon
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Pickpick

Parts of this kept reminding me of other books or films (some of which came after the book, so not Tryon's fault) that I didn't feel completely immersed in what would have creeped me out even more than it did. Even if you can get many of the events elsewhere (with a few memorable exceptions), Tryon is an expert at creating a thick, eerie atmosphere when he describes scenes, and has a gift for depicting mad, spiraling thoughts in his characters 👇

Billypar It's also a very meticulous novel - lots of themes and motifs that are carefully woven throughout, so there's a lot of layers to appreciate as you go. Speaking of which, I need to give a late response to the discussion question 5, in the next comment under the spoiler mask. #nyrbbookclub 3w
Billypar My interpretation of the end was the same as @vivastory and @Aimeesue But @batsy and @LeahBergen your theory had me doubting that, so I spent at least an hour flipping back through parts of the book to try to get more insight. There's the ring (gifted to Holland) and the mark from Russell on the finger to consider. But then, the magic theme is sort of irresistible - what if those are the parts of the trick the magician shows you to throw you off? 3w
Billypar I'm still in the insanity camp - just by the way the last page was written and the lack of any hints during any of the well incident recollections. And what @Aimeesue said about the whole double-reversal thing being improbable. But not as confident as before.. 🤔 3w
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vivastory Excellent review! I agree. I want very much to think it was Holland tricking Niles, but the way the ending is written I just can't get there. As Chaon points out in the afterword, by the end of the book you realize how disillusioned & pathetic his life has become. 3w
LeahBergen What a great review! And yes, I did waffle back and forth (and really wanted a twin switcheroo) but the little dribbled clues all point to a irrevocably mad Niles. Too bad! 😆 3w
erzascarletbookgasm Great review. I think your initial interpretation of the ending is more plausible although like you, the other theory had me flipping back some pages to see what clues I may have missed. 3w
BarbaraBB Fab review! I was blown away too by @batsy and @LeahBergen interpretation but I can‘t allow myself to go there 🙈 so am sticking to the insanity camp as well 😉 3w
batsy Nice review! And you guys are very right in pointing out that certain clues lead to it being Niles. That he has completely lost his sense of self is also pretty damn terrifying, in its own way. But I still like to go... What if? Like you said, what if there was a certain dark art to Holland conjuring up what people can and can't see? (it's a theory I can't let go off 😆😬) 3w
Billypar Thanks everyone for the thoughts- @batsy I agree that even the insanity end is pretty scary by itself! Thanks @LeahBergen for leading the discussion of this strange and memorable book, and I enjoyed reading everyone's comments from the discussion! @vivastory @erzascarletbookgasm @BarbaraBB @Aimeesue @Liz_M 3w
Aimeesue @Billypar It was a fun discussion! I'm still going to be wondering about who survived and what that means for a while, I think. 3w
Billypar @Aimeesue Yes, me too! Poor Niles. Poor Holland. 😁😁 3w
Liz_M Nice pic, btw! 3w
Billypar @Liz_M Thanks - couldn't resist a mirror pic for this 😮😮 3w
38 likes13 comments
review
Billypar
White is for Witching | Helen Oyeyemi
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Pickpick

Beware if you enter Oyeyemi's world. Not all who choose to stay at this eerie bed and breakfast with the Silver's will be scared. If you've read this author before, you'll already know this isn't really a horror novel all the time- she's got about 5 pots of thematic stews boiling at any point. But if you're like me and ideas and images are what scare you, then come in, make yourself comfortable. Don't worry about the whispers. And have an apple 🍎

batsy Nice review! You've already made me a bit nervous. No apple for me, thanks 😅 1mo
Billypar @batsy Thanks! And, yeah, probably wise to decline 😁 1mo
vivastory What a stellar review. I loved this one. I really need to read more Oyeyemi. 3w
Billypar @vivastory Thanks! I just started reading her this year, this one and Mr. Fox. I usually pace myself and read a single author gradually, but I think I'm going to make an exception and just keep buying and reading her stuff until I'm caught up. 3w
34 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Billypar
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Thanks to @Emilymdxn for recommending this one. Wallace-Wells makes a perfect case for why it's not enough to believe in climate change, vote appropriately, and make individual green choices. He writes eloquently about why we need unprecedented global action to reduce carbon emissions, even if it won't prevent much of what is in store in a 'best case' scenario. Not easy to hear what's coming, but crucial that we all develop a sense of urgency.

Emilymdxn I‘m so glad you liked this one too! 1mo
33 likes1 comment
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Billypar
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#NameChallenge
Thanks for the tag @Aimeesue !
@Leftcoastzen if you want to play, spell your name with the titles of books 🙄

Cathythoughts Nice one Vinny 👍🏻♥️ 1mo
Billypar @Cathythoughts Thanks Cathy! ☺ 1mo
Aimeesue Very nice! Excellent picks. 1mo
46 likes3 comments
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Billypar
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Pickpick

This might be the most popular book on Litsy that I hadn't read until now, which seems ironic at first glance considering this is a work about social outcasts. But maybe it's not so incongruous: as readers in an increasingly non-reading world, it's tempting to want to retreat into our worlds of imagination. We are all of us Constance, wanting to make the effort to connect to others, even as our inner Merricat tempts us to withdraw. Loved it 🖤

Lcsmcat Love that cover! 1mo
Aimeesue "Our inner Merricat!" ? Great review! The Backlisted podcast did an episode on Jackson that made me want to reread a lot of her stuff. 1mo
erzascarletbookgasm I‘ve not seen this cover! 👌 Nice review! 1mo
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LeahBergen Great review! And I just posted about this book (again) the other day. 😆 1mo
Billypar @Lcsmcat Right? I'd never seen it before. I really like the more common b&w drawing, but this one is pretty nice too. 1mo
Billypar @Aimeesue Thank you! I really like Backlisted- I will definitely check that out. And I need to read more Jackson - I haven't read anything else besides 'The Lottery' in high school. 1mo
Billypar @erzascarletbookgasm Thank you! Yeah it was new to me too- it might be what gave me the extra push to finally pick it up. 1mo
Billypar @LeahBergen Thanks! I had to seek out your post and it looks like we had similar ideas for the staging (I don't actually eat blackberries - I bought them special anticipating the review post 😁) 1mo
LeahBergen Haha! That‘s awesome! 😆😆 1mo
ReadingEnvy See it‘s no wonder I kept thinking they were cats and not people, with covers like this around,.... 1mo
Billypar @ReadingEnvy Ha- I can understand that. In the beginning I was wondering if a talking cat would show up, like Master & Margarita. 1mo
Suet624 With this review you‘re the first person to actually make me want to read this book. You‘ve enticed me. 1mo
Billypar @Suet624 Great! I'm still thinking about it. It's more complicated of a book than I was expecting. Not in terms of the reading experience so much, but in terms of what to take away from it. Curious to hear your thoughts when you get to it. 1mo
rubyslippersreads Best cover ever! 😻 1mo
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Billypar
Comemadre | Roque Larraquy
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This strange gem begins in a Buenos Aires asylum in 1907 where a bunch of the doctors are creeping on the head nurse as a series of horrific experiments are undertaken to probe the boundaries of life and death. Not weird enough? Then we flash forward a hundred years to glimpse the life of an artist obsessed with integrating the human body and its various parts into shocking exhibitions. Dark and funny, with a sharp wit underlying the strangeness.

Billypar Photo is from an event at the Community Bookstore in Brooklyn. The author and translator were asking questions of each other, a format I haven't seen before but really enjoyed. 1mo
Liz_M I like their shelves by publisher 1mo
Billypar @Liz_M Definitely- I actually picked up 'The Other' from their considerable NYRB collection. 1mo
33 likes3 comments
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Billypar
Friday Black | NANA KWAME. ADJEI-BRENYAH
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Panpan

#unpopularopinion
I'm not a fan of the kind of satire used in this collection: once I saw what each story was driving at, they just seemed more like dreary exercises, no matter how much violence, fantasy, or dark comedy was piled on. The ones with less overt satirical elements and fantasy were oddly dry, as if they'd been edited to death. I liked one story: 'The Hospital Where', which reads like a real nightmare: wish more were like that one!

ReadingEnvy I bailed on this one. 1mo
Billypar @ReadingEnvy I should have. But it's rare that I don't like a story collection. I kept finishing stories and thinking 'but maybe I'll like this next one...' 😁 1mo
41 likes2 comments
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Billypar
Bel Canto | Ann Patchett
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Sometimes when words like 'beautiful' get used too often to describe books or movies, I get a little nervous. Is it 'beautiful' because the writer cheated? Bel Canto doesn't cheat: I believed the beauty in this novel. Most are probably familiar with the plot: terrorists take over a private opera performance in the VP's estate in an unnamed South American country. When the takeover gets protracted, a routine establishes itself and...just read it!

ValerieAndBooks Okay, this has been in my TBR for a while— should move it up! If those words sound familiar, it‘s basically what I said about The Secret History when you reviewed it 😂! 1mo
Billypar @ValerieAndBooks It was my first from Ann Patchett - I had a feeling I'd like her writing based on all the Litsy love she gets. Can't wait to read more from her! 1mo
Suet624 I‘ve liked each of the books I‘ve read by her. 1mo
Billypar @Suet624 There's certain authors you get the feeling that you'll need to read everything they've written and I have a feeling she's one for me. 1mo
45 likes4 comments
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Billypar
The Little Prince | Antoine de Saint-Exupry
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Um...okay Goodreads, I guess I'll just have to trust your algorithms on this. Maybe there was some nuance in The Little Prince that I missed?

Chrissyreadit 😆😂🤣 1mo
Aimeesue Hahahahaha! 1mo
Tanisha_A 🤪 Gosh! 1mo
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Bookwomble Ok, let's see what we can do here ... You read "The Little Prince", which is one of David Bowie's top 100 books, so there's a connection to David. David's final album is "Black Star"✴, on which track 2 is " 'Tis a Pity She was a Whore". Loop closed! ??‍? 1mo
batsy I am never not curious about how the Goodreads algorithm works 😂 1mo
Zelma @Bookwomble 🤔👏 1mo
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Are they referring to the rose on asteroid B-612? 1mo
LeahBergen Snort! 😆😆 1mo
Billypar @Bookwomble I'll bet that makes about as much sense as the actual set of links between the two 😆 1mo
Billypar @batsy Yup- there are many that are logical to the point of not being helpful. And then there's ones like this...🤷 1mo
Billypar @ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Ha- I hope she's not the missing link! She's so devoted to the prince and depends on him...unless it's Goodreads'/Amazon's misogyny coming through? 😸 1mo
Centique That is strange! Plus I studied this play in Medieval English in university many years ago and this is the first time I EVER saw anyone mention it since. 😂😂 1mo
Billypar @Centique Maybe a Goodreads staff member who just read something a bit obscure goes on a power trip and takes down the algorithm for an hour to make every recommendation for that book 😏 1mo
Centique @Billypar I love that idea 😂😂 I‘m picturing some dude rubbing his hands in glee about his literary anarchy. 1mo
Billypar @Centique Ha- exactly! It all makes sense now.. 1mo
28 likes15 comments
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Billypar
The Little Prince | Antoine de Saint-Exupry
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Absolutely delightful: its classic status is well-earned. It reminded me of an inverted Alice in Wonderland: instead of traveling to an imaginary world, the Little Prince comes from a far-away land to look at what hides beneath the surface of our own world. There are great lessons about the power of empathy, devotion, and why you must never catch yourself thinking like a grown-up.

batsy Lovely review! 💙 It's got a strangeness about it that I love, but it's also deeply moving. 1mo
Billypar @batsy Thanks! Yeah, it's not easy to be both strange and moving, but I completely agree. The prince's viewpoint is so interesting and you get to know him more than the average children's book character. 1mo
Tanisha_A Great review! It's so deeply moving like @batsy said, and definitely something to read over and over to keep in mind the basics of life ('cause sometimes I forget). 1mo
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Cathythoughts Beautiful picture & review.... oh I love that little man ♥️ 1mo
Billypar @Tanisha_A Thanks! Yes- good way of summarizing the book's wisdom- things that are among the most important in life and still most easily forgotten. 1mo
Billypar @Cathythoughts Thank you... Yes, he is still very popular even 7 and a half decades later! 1mo
ValerieAndBooks I remember reading this as a child and my dad taking me to see the movie 🥰. — still have our copy from the 70s! 1mo
Billypar @ValerieAndBooks I didn't even know there was a movie, though it makes sense given the popularity. Sounds like a childhood treasure to hold onto ☺️ 1mo
ValerieAndBooks Yep, it was made in 1974 (I‘m old 👵🏻) and when I looked up the exact year, found that an animated version was made much more recently. 1mo
Billypar @ValerieAndBooks Interesting- I was assuming film adaptations would be animated because of the book artwork. But that makes the 1974 film even more interesting- I'll have to check it out. 1mo
Suet624 I could have sworn that I had read this book but your description makes me think I haven‘t. How odd. 1mo
Billypar @Suet624 That's how I feel about The Phantom Tollbooth. I thought I read it until hearing a description about it, and I've been unsure ever since. 1mo
Suet624 Oh good. I‘m not alone in this phenomenon. 1mo
52 likes13 comments
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Billypar
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Not what I was expecting, but I still enjoyed it. I thought the humor landed somewhere between Bill Bryson and David Sedaris (but closer to Bryson). But it was also serious at times, reflecting on what it means to be financially successful, male, and white, while living in Maine (evidently not known for its diversity). It felt honest rather than for show, and for all his talk of being a narcissist, the tone is pleasantly self-deprecating.

Suet624 He‘s always been more of a Bryson kind of guy for me. 1mo
Billypar @Suet624 The next time he goes cairn-making with Jonathan Coulton, they should really invite Bryson to join them 😁 1mo
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Billypar
Blue Nights | Joan Didion
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This is superficially similar to Year of Magical Thinking, both in content, this focusing on her daughter's death 2 years after her husband's, and in style, obsessive spirals of thoughts & memories. But her focus here is new: she searches her memories of Quintana to understand her wisdom. What did her precociousness as a child say about her upbringing? Her comments about death? And what do the answers reveal about her own views on aging and dying?

Cathythoughts Sounds really good. I loved Magical Thinking ♥️stacked 2mo
Billypar @Cathythoughts Both are really good, but I think I liked Blue Nights slightly better. Interested to hear your take if you pick it up. 1mo
27 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Billypar
Sleepless Nights | Elizabeth Hardwick
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Mehso-so

Excited to join the #nyrbbookclub this month! I did enjoy this almost-a-pick. As others pointed out, Hardwicke's writing sparkles and made me consider, what does a collection of memories of others say about the memory owner? Or is it a riff on the act of remembering, how it creates these characters, like an author of fiction might? The end struck me as no different from the beginning and the flatness kept it from a pick- otherwise I was intrigued.

vivastory Great review! I agree that the end fell a little flat, but there was enough observational brilliance to make it work for me. 2mo
Billypar @vivastory Thanks! Yes, 'observational brilliance' is a good way to describe her writing. I do regret how I read this: too many short sessions where I kept getting interrupted. I think I would have liked it more if I had just a few long, quiet sittings to be more immersed. 2mo
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mklong Great review! Looking forward to the discussion. I‘m tagging @youneverarrived since she is September‘s co-host. We take turns each month to co-host with @vivastory 2mo
Billypar @mklong Thanks! And whoops...thanks for clarifying- after seeing all the posts for Black Wings Has My Angel I decided I needed to join in the fun ☺️ 2mo
mklong So glad you did! 2mo
youneverarrived Great review! Interesting you say that about a collection of memories of others because as I was reading it it made me think of how much our memories and the stories we tell really do involve other people. 2mo
Billypar @youneverarrived Thanks! And that is very true: given how common this is, you have to wonder what the particular memories we've held onto, even after years have gone by, says about our relationships with those individuals. 2mo
BarbaraBB Great review! Will you be joining in the discussion tomorrow? 2mo
Billypar @BarbaraBB Thanks! It's looking doubtful unfortunately, but I will if plans change. Is there a link sent out for the discussions via email? If not tomorrow, I definitely want to for a future month. 2mo
BarbaraBB I just tagged you in @vivastory ‘s post about the discussion! 2mo
Liz_M @Billypar Yes, this is not a good subway book! I could never remember where on the page I stopped reading and inadvertently read many bits over again. 2mo
Billypar @Liz_M Yup, same with me, and I did read some of this on the subway. I tend to be stubborn about reading challenging novels on the subway against my better judgement. It's free time, and I want to finish it faster, so I trick myself into believing I can avoid distractions with enough determination 😁 2mo
49 likes13 comments
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Billypar
Comemadre | Roque Larraquy
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#brooklynbookfestival #bookhaul
I've always been resolving to try out small presses, so I'm really excited about this haul. Two of these were on my radar- Vesaas' The Birds from Archipelago (and put on my radar by praise from @BarbaraBB ) and Apostol's Insurrecto from Soho. Also picked up Kincaid's Party: A Mystery (Akashic) for my 2-year-old niece, and Larraquy's Comemadre (Coffee House Press), which I am trying to resist reading immediately.

Liz_M I love Archipelago's books. The square size, the covers, the nice paper. 2mo
Billypar @Liz_M Agreed- this was my first experience with them- gorgeous books. And great to browse translated literature without needing to look for a specific title or author. The only other place I've done that is McNally Jackson's shelves by country. 2mo
Tanisha_A I have never heard of these. Wow! 👏 2mo
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batsy Nice haul! All three of these are on my TBR. And I'm sure you'll get to them before I do so I look forward to your thoughts 😆 2mo
Billypar @Tanisha_A I hope they're as good as I'm expecting! 🤞 2mo
Billypar @batsy Larraquy is giving a reading in NYC on 10/4, so I may expedite that one and read beforehand (it's pretty short too). Insurrecto sounds like a challenge though, so that may take longer (I seem to keep buying these difficult books, so there's a bit of a TBR queue for those 😬). 2mo
41 likes6 comments
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Billypar
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Lovely day at the #brooklynbookfestival Took advantage of some small press sales, got to see Edwidge Danticat talk about tragedy & trauma in her work (and 2 new to me authors- David Chariandy & Maria Tumarkin) and ended up in the gorgeous church shown here to see Joyce Carol Oates and Marlon James in conversation about a range of topics relevant to their work. Sorry for the lack of corroborating author photos- you'll have to take my word for it 😉

Aimeesue Hope you could hear Oates - at the National Book Festival she was very soft spoken and mumbly. No one could tell what she was saying! Maybe she was just tired? it was at the end of the day. 2mo
Billypar @Aimeesue Ugh, that's the worst - you get a soft-spoken author with a low mic and it's very frustrating. Luckily there weren't problems hearing either one. 2mo
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Billypar
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#7covers7days #covercrush Day 7
@merelybookish

Last one: a book of stories that listens back.

This was fun- I didn't really know what my favorite covers in my collection were before choosing them.

@Geeklet feel like playing? Post 7 covers in 7 days, no explanations necessary, and tag a new person each day.

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Billypar
Mr Vertigo | Paul Auster
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#7covers7days #covercrush Day 6
@merelybookish
@JacintaMCarter want to join in? Post 7 covers in 7 days, no explanations needed, and tag someone new each day.

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Billypar
Steppenwolf | Hermann Hesse
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#7days7covers #covercrush Day 5
@merelybookish
@Susanita if you want to play, 7 covers posted in 7 days, no explanations & tag someone new each day.

Cathythoughts Great cover. I remember I read this over 40 years ago .... would definitely need a reread 👍🏻 2mo
Billypar @Cathythoughts I love this book: probably read it 6 or 7 years ago but it really stuck with me. 2mo
merelybookish What a striking cover! (And maybe creepy? 😬) 2mo
merelybookish @Cathythoughts It's been a while for me too! Would be interesting to re-read! 2mo
Billypar @merelybookish It is a bit creepy. I think it's the effect of it taking up the entire cover and maybe that you have 'wolf' in your brain, but it's the wrong color. So you don't really know what you're looking at. 2mo
51 likes5 comments
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Billypar
The Keep | Jennifer Egan
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#7days7covers #covercrush Day 4
@merelybookish
@GripLitGrl want to play? Post 7 covers in 7 days, no explanation needed, and tag a new person each day.

Leftcoastzen Nice cover. 2mo
47 likes1 comment
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Billypar
The Tenant | Roland Topor, Francis K. Price
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#7covers7days #covercrush Day3
@merelybookish
@Kimberlone feel like playing? Post 7 covers over 7 days, no explanation needed, and tag a new person every day.

Leftcoastzen Pretty cool 2mo
batsy Wow, that's a cover! 2mo
Cathythoughts Wow 😮👍🏻 2mo
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Billypar @Leftcoastzen @batsy @Cathythoughts I think this is the most disturbing cover in my collection. I can't even say exactly why it unnerves me- I guess it speaks for itself 🤷 2mo
Cathythoughts If definitely speaks for itself 2mo
merelybookish Creepy! 2mo
Kimberlone @Billypar thanks for the tag, I was expecting someone would tag me for this before long! I will post when I get home from work tonight :) 2mo
Kimberlone Also, great cover! 2mo
Billypar @Kimberlone Yeah it's really taken over Litsy 😃 I like it- interesting to see the great variety of favorite covers. 2mo
42 likes9 comments
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Billypar
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#7days7covers #covercrush Day 2
@merelybookish
I know @Squidapus enjoys a lot of sci-fi and fantasy books with pretty covers- he's tagged if he wants to post one cover per day, no explanations needed and tag someone new each day.

Squidapus Oooo, this is a pretty neat idea. I'll see if he's up for it! It'll give him something to post since Children of Time is a brick 2mo
55 likes1 comment
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Billypar
White is for Witching | Helen Oyeyemi
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#7covers7days Day 1

Thanks @merelybookish for the tag!

@tournevis not sure if you've already been tagged, but if you want to play, it's 7 covers in 7 days, no explanations needed, & tag someone new each day.

Leftcoastzen Pretty! 2mo
merelybookish Her books always have beautiful covers! But this one is so striking! 2mo
Billypar @merelybookish I have it slated for an October read, and the cover is making me extra excited for it, in spite of the popular advice ☺️ 2mo
49 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Billypar
The Nest | Jon Klassen, Kenneth Oppel
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After his newborn brother is diagnosed with a life-threatening genetic condition, a boy begins having dreams where an angel appears, saying they can fix his brother. He is relieved until discovering the 'angels' are actually wasps from a new nest in his backyard and the promise may not be all it appears. As creepy and unnerving as the illustrations suggest. And this is a middle grade book, so parents take note with Halloween coming up 🐝🎃🐝

Billypar Full disclaimer: I am not a parent- the book says ages 10 and up, though I could see it causing nightmares in children as young as 10, 11, or um, 37 😨 2mo
vivastory 😂😂 2mo
saresmoore Ahaha! Love this review! 2mo
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Billypar @saresmoore Thanks! I would be interested to hear a parent's perspective if you ever pick it up. 2mo
erzascarletbookgasm Haha! We have this book but maybe as a parent I should read it first, before my 11 yr old! 2mo
saresmoore I will see if my library has it! @erzascarletbookgasm I think it would scare the pants off of my almost-11-year-old. 🙀 2mo
Billypar @erzascarletbookgasm @saresmoore Yeah, a look through beforehand isn't a bad idea. Their level of insect phobia is probably a big factor- i.e. comfort with reading about bees crawling on a character and stringing, not to spoil anything.. 2mo
ReadingEnvy I heard about this on a podcast where they said it was the scariest book they had ever read 🧐 2mo
Billypar @ReadingEnvy I can definitely see that- it's a pretty frightening concept! 2mo
Suet624 Yikes, I think I‘ll skip this one. 2mo
Billypar @Suet624 If you're not a fan of either bees or scary books, that would be wise! 2mo
51 likes1 stack add11 comments
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Billypar
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Mehso-so

Tough book to rate. Starts with a bizarre true crime story from 1970s Alabama involving a reverend who killed spouses and family members after taking out life insurance policies in their names. Then...a biography of Harper Lee. Eventually it gets to her work on what would have been her 2nd book, the true story of the murders. But the quick murder mystery start halts too abruptly: I enjoyed learning about Lee's life, but less would have been more.

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Billypar
The Little Prince | Antoine de Saint-Exupry
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My rule for the Cup of Unread Authors is I can't draw a new name until I've read one work from the previous name drawn. And the latest author could not be more different from the last pick of Hunter S. Thompson.
Never came across the tagged book growing up, but looking forward to it from all the love it gets.

thegirlwiththelibrarybag Love the idea! But personally not a fan of the Little Prince. 2mo
Billypar @thegirlwiththelibrarybag It's only my 4th pick, but I haven't had the best luck with my first three. My favorite was Pablo Neruda, and that one was good, not great. 2mo
chaoticgoodhufflepuff I like The Little Prince, but I love it more for the memories of my grandfather reading it to me and seeing the opera with my father. 2mo
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Tanisha_A Oh, yayyy! You will love it! 2mo
Billypar @chaoticgoodhufflepuff That's one of the great things about favorite childhood reads- you remember the experience along with the book. 2mo
Billypar @Tanisha_A I'm looking forward to it! 2mo
tournevis Little Prince is wonderful, but he's written so many others. I also like : 2mo
Billypar @tournevis Thanks for the rec! I'm always torn about whether to start with an author's most famous work. 2mo
tournevis @Billypar I think most of his works were translated. I think. 2mo
CaitlinR I love the idea of the Cup of Unread Authors! 2mo
Billypar @CaitlinR The bags from the Strand are covered in famous authors, so I cut one of them up and put maybe 90% of the ones I haven't read into the cup. I'm looking forward to seeing what it chooses for me! 2mo
tpixie @Billypar that‘s a great idea! If I ever get to strand maybe I‘ll try this technique!!! 1mo
tpixie @chaoticgoodhufflepuff oh! The opera!!! I didn‘t know it existed!! This is my favorite childhood book it still warms my heart even just thinking about it. I‘m not certain why it touched me so and why it still does but it just so moves me. 🤴🏻 ✈️ ☄️ 🦊 🐍 🌹 1mo
Billypar @tpixie I actually just finished it an hour ago! It's a beautiful book, I really enjoyed it. There is so much wisdom contained in the Little Prince's story. 1mo
tpixie @Billypar I‘m so glad you enjoyed it!! Always remember what is essential! ✈️☄️🤴🏻🌹🦊🐍 1mo
59 likes15 comments
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Billypar
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Panpan

Thompson was 22 when he wrote this but couldn't get it published until he tried again nearly 40 years later in 1998. The sentences aren't bad, but they are put to poor use. The MC gets a job with the only English-language paper in Puerto Rico, and befriends two other talented yet underappreciated young journalists with violent tendencies. They are bonded by their contempt for the paper, Puerto Rico, and other people. Sexist, racist, and angry 👎

saresmoore Eww. 2mo
batsy Ugh. On the bright side, I love a great pan like this one 😁 2mo
Billypar @batsy Thanks! I won't lie, as I was finishing it, I was looking forward to writing the pan 🙄 2mo
43 likes3 comments
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Billypar
Swamplandia! | Karen Russell
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Pickpick

Swamplandia and The World of Darkness are two Florida theme parks in this novel, both given unflattering, behind the scenes portrayals, and somehow I still wanted to visit both. I think Russell's novel explores why we like places like this- how much our imagination can fill in the gaps of what is obviously phony. It's a coming of age novel focusing on the gator-wrestler children of Swamplandia, often funny but also equal parts disturbing 👇

Billypar The funny parts are very funny and the disturbing parts very disturbing (TW's under the spoiler mask below). This contrast highlights how drastically a child's world of imagination can clash with harsh reality. Russell also has a keen sense of how kids speak to each other and how they think. This book is a true journey- I finished it a week ago and I still feel like I'm in the Florida swamp with Ava. In my top 3 favorites of the year. 2mo
Billypar TW: a rape scene 2mo
Chrissyreadit Yes- I thought well written, but overall it was too disturbing for me to enjoy. 2mo
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Cathythoughts To stack 🤔or not to stack ... not sure 2mo
Billypar @Chrissyreadit I definitely get that- a rough read in many spots, but it doesn't seem like that starting out. 2mo
Billypar @Cathythoughts Unfortunately, I don't know if this is one you can know ahead of time if it's for you. Opinion is pretty divided and I can see why you can like her writing and even her stories but not this novel. Not to undermine my gushing opinion, but I don't want to mislead either ☺️ 2mo
ReadingEnvy I was first introduced to the characters in this via 2mo
Billypar @ReadingEnvy I've only read Vampires in the Lemon Grove, but look forward to trying St. Lucy's and the new one. Swamplandia is a great one to discuss and unpack- lots to digest! 2mo
52 likes4 stack adds8 comments
review
Billypar
The Waves | Virginia Woolf
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Pickpick

A completely unique reading experience. We meet six friends as children and the perspective wanders between each of them, who think in poetic soliloquies about what they see in nature and how they see their own personalities compared to the others. We follow them into adulthood for select scenes and they do the same sort of thing with adult subjects. The title is well-chosen: Woolf is fascinated by the rhythms of daily life and its repetitions 👇

Billypar It's got some interesting observations about how different individuals respond to social expectations. The more extraverted characters wonder why they only feel like themselves around others, and the more withdrawn are alienated by social experiences- they immerse themselves in their work or imagination. I won't pretend I understood everything- I had to give up on some passages that weren't clicking- but i loved everything I could decipher. 2mo
JenniferP I also loved this book. I‘ve read all of Woolf‘s novels and I think it is the one I connected with most. Agree that I didn‘t understand every passage but the overall book still really worked for me. 2mo
Billypar @JenniferP This was my third- Orlando is one of my favorite novels, so that will be tough to top, but this was a close second. I hope to read them all eventually- will probably go with Mrs. Dalloway next. 2mo
JenniferP I‘d say To the Lighthouse and Mrs. Dalloway are my other favorites. Enjoy! 2mo
49 likes4 comments
review
Billypar
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Pickpick

Although this technically follows a linear timeline starting with the night her husband dies, Didion writes it in spirals, returning over and over to thoughts and memories she had at the time. In doing so, she captures the mental life of grief in exacting detail--all the guilt, detachment, and fantasies that the death is somehow temporary. That Didion was able to write with such insight and clarity about this experience is pretty incredible.

Cathythoughts Great review! You explain it very well 👍🏻♥️ 3mo
Tanisha_A Gosh! This is also super on my list. Love your review! 3mo
Leftcoastzen What a wonderful review of an amazing book. 3mo
52 likes4 comments
quote
Billypar
Swamplandia! | Karen Russell
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Is it possible this is the first time I've seen 'Na-uh' in print?
I have so many questions:
1) I'm not around kids much...do they still say this?
2) If the answer to #1 is yes, is there common advice to writers to avoid kid-slang? Is there even much other kid-slang that isn't just errors in grammar? I was trying to think of examples but I'm drawing a blank.
3) Is the accepted spelling for the common reply, 'Ya-huh'? Or 'Yuh-huh'?

blurb
Billypar
Swamplandia! | Karen Russell
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#Star #AyUpAugust
Hilola Bigtree was a star alligator wrestler and the biggest draw for the gator island theme park of the title. But her death from cancer left the novel's 14-year-old protagonist Ava without a mother and the family's park in danger of bankruptcy. I'm only 77 pages in, but loving this one so far. A little uneasy about the somewhat low Litsy & Goodreads ratings though- hope it doesn't lose steam as it goes 🤞

Cathythoughts Sounds good. And great pic 👍🏻 3mo
saresmoore Love the photo, hated the book. I can‘t remember why, exactly, but it felt sort of contrived and gratuitous to me. Or maybe I was just resentful, being a Floridian. 🙃 3mo
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Cinfhen This book is odd, but wonderful all the same! I‘m glad you‘re enjoying 😊great pic 3mo
Billypar @Cathythoughts @saresmoore @Cinfhen Thanks- the photo is courtesy of my fiancee/commuting companion/personal paparazzi 📸😎 3mo
Billypar @saresmoore Ah, good to know- I think I'm through enough that I know I won't hate it, but it could still turn south, and I get what you mean about how it could be contrived in some ways. I do like a good polarizing book! 3mo
squirrelbrain Ooh personal paparazzi makes you sound soooo important! Great pic though! 3mo
saresmoore I do, too! Actually, how much you‘re enjoying it makes me want to give it another go. 😂 It‘s been a long time since I read it. 3mo
Billypar @squirrelbrain Ha- I know, makes me feel special. 3mo
Billypar @saresmoore I reread so rarely that I've never given a book I didn't like a 2nd chance, but I'd like to try that one day. One reading goal among so many though 😬 3mo
LeahBergen @saresmoore I didn‘t like it either. 🤫 3mo
44 likes13 comments