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Donna1980

Donna1980

Joined January 2022

review
Donna1980
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Pickpick

Loved this book! It is Hollywood glamour from the outset and such an enjoyable read. I laughed, cried and felt so much for the characters in this book. Its beautiful story telling and it has confirmed I‘m a big Taylor Jenkins Reid fan. Highly recommend! 5 🌟

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Donna1980
Apples Never Fall | Liane Moriarty
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Pickpick

This was a real page turner. Told through a series of flashback and current events it cleverly weaves together the pasts of each characters. The result being that you are swept along in their mystery of Joy Delaney‘s disappearance, never being quite sure who may be involved. Twists and turns along the way meaning I often found myself thinking about this book during the day. I‘ve enjoyed most of Moriarty‘s books but this one more than most.

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Donna1980
Sorrow and Bliss | Meg Mason
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Pickpick

Martha sees all her flaws but is powerless to do anything about them. She is looking at herself in a mirror screaming at herself to get it together but her reflection just keeps fading away. Countless prescriptions have dulled the edges of her life and include the advice not to have children. Once properly diagnosed at the age of 40, she realises that to be a mother is all she has ever wanted. The revelation is heartbreaking.

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Donna1980
Wish You Were Here | Jodi Picoult
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Mehso-so

I‘m a fan of many of Jodi‘s books but this one wasn‘t for me. Based on the pandemic, it is clever, well researched and I imagine very true to life for many who lived through it. The twist in the middle is quite a shock and definitely added a dynamic to the story that I wasn‘t expecting. However this one just recalled too many memories of a time I don‘t wish to relive in a book. I‘m sure for many this will be therapeutic, I‘m just not one of them.

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Donna1980
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Pickpick

I‘m glad I‘ve read this book and would highly recommend but be ready to deal with the honest depiction of this horrific period of history. The author is on a mission to make you see and feel it all.
Cora‘s escape on the Underground Railroad is a non- stop ride of fear and danger. She is never able to feel truly free, haunted by a past that nips at her heels the whole way through. A richly developed character who you will hope for endlessly.

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Donna1980
An American Marriage | Tayari Jones
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Pickpick

I think what resonated most with me in this book was how accurate I felt it‘s portrayal of marriage was. A marriage that is pushed up against the ropes, when all feels helpless. Celestial and Roy are separated by prison, Roy accused of a crime that Celestial knows he didn‘t commit. Devotion, shown through letters starts to wain as one goes forward in life and the other is incarcerated. It‘s heartbreaking but honest. Deserving of its rave reviews.

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Donna1980
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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Pickpick

This book was epic, all 670 pages of it but I‘m so glad I chose it to be a holiday read so that I could be fully absorbed in it. A book with layers like this needs to be given the time it deserves to be truly loved. Marian Graves dreams of being a pilot and to circumnavigate the globe. So the story is set in motion as the author traverses the 20th century through the lives of 2 women predominantly but many other beautifully written characters. 5🌟

blurb
Donna1980
Great Circle | Maggie Shipstead
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What a recommendation this was. If you are looking for where to start with the nominees for the women‘s prize for fiction this year, then I can think of no better place to start. This book is a gem!

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Donna1980
Anxious People: A Novel | Fredrik Backman
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Pickpick

I stumbled upon this book whilst looking for a book club recommendation by the same author and oh my goodness what a find. I adored this book from the first page, it‘s clever, beautifully written and such a thoughtful and sympathetic insight into the many struggles people have. This beautiful quote ‘He was my echo, everything I do is quieter now.‘ Speaks of a love we all dream of. So happy to have found this author. 5 stars 🌟

blurb
Donna1980
Anxious People: A Novel | Fredrik Backman
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Off on holiday and looking forward to 7 days of uninterrupted reading time, pool side 😎 Starting with this little gem which had me hooked from the first page.

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Donna1980
The Accidental | Ali Smith
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Panpan

I like a clever book and multiple narratives often captivate me, however this just felt like a bad case of repeated deja vu. The character of Amber is instantly unlikeable and her cocky arrogance is really irritating! The other characters do little to ingratiate themselves to you, although I did find Magnus‘ narrative more honest than the others. I‘m sure there are many who loved this book but for me it tries to be clever and just falls flat.

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Donna1980
Silver Sparrow | Tayari Jones
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Mehso-so

This book felt personal to the author and I wasn‘t surprised to read at the end that it was loosely based on her own experiences. Both of the female voices are strong and easily distinguishable as they tell the same story from their perspective. I felt immersed in their stories and therefore parts were uncomfortable to read. It is the talent of the author to evoke these feelings in the reader and I think for Jones this is very much her intention.

3 likes1 stack add
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Donna1980
The Four Winds | Kristin Hannah
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Pickpick

I have long since learnt that Hannah doesn‘t really write happy endings, more often bitter-sweet and often heartbreaking. Set during the Great Depression, the rich story telling transports you back in time to the Great Plains where you feel deeply the hardship and struggle so many endured. The character of Elsa is so tenderly written that I found myself desperately hoping she‘d get her happy ending. If only Hannah wrote those now and again. 4/5🌟

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Donna1980
The Mothers: A Novel | Brit Bennett
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Pickpick

Having read the Vanishing Half last year, I was really looking forward to this and it didn‘t disappoint. I really loved the book and found the carefully woven tapestry of the different types of mother fascinating and insightful. To be a mum, to want to be, to not being able to be . Each story is told in such a clever thoughtful way that it evokes so many different feelings in the reader. A book full of soul, I‘d highly recommend it to others. 5 🌟

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Donna1980
The Shadow King | Maaza Mengiste
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Pickpick

This book would not be for everyone, the blurb leads you to expect a different narrative than the one you end up getting. I kept waiting for Hariut to be captured and each time I thought it was about to happen the narrative switched again and it felt quite disjointed. Despite this I enjoyed the multi-layering of voices and the different perspectives gave a richness to the historical aspect of the book. Not an easy read but worth the effort.

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Donna1980
Plainsong | Kent Haruf
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Pickpick

This book is like a gentle breeze on a summer‘s day. It leaves you with a deep seeded contentment that only the most special books can. Offering a window into the soul of small town America, I was mesmerised by the beautiful storytelling from the first page. This is a book that will stay with you long after you have carefully placed it on your bookshelf. To be read again multiple times in the future.

blurb
Donna1980
Plainsong | Kent Haruf
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Blue skies, a beautiful book and a long weekend. Book lovers bliss 😍

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Donna1980
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Mehso-so

This book was reasonably enjoyable and the plot twists were just enough to keep me intrigued until the end. However I felt it lacked another voice and the choice of Hannah as the sole narrator meant you didn‘t get the opinions and thoughts of Owen and his daughter. An interesting choice considering the story centred around their lives. If you like thrillers it‘s not a bad choice. 3/5 stars.

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Donna1980
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Current stack. Struggling to decide which to read next. Any recommendations?

jlhammar Plainsong is wonderful. Love Kent Haruf. Enjoy! 8mo
Donna1980 @jlhammar I‘m really looking forward to this one. 8mo
2 likes2 comments
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Donna1980
The Wolf Den | ELODIE. HARPER
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Pickpick

A sisterhood exists in one of Pompeii‘s most notorious brothels where the brutalities of life as a slave are shared in intimate detail with the reader. Amara, once a doctor‘s daughter struggles more than most with the life she finds herself in. Despite her loyalty to the other women in the brothel she is not prepared to settle with what fate has dealt out to her and her journey to becoming a freed woman is captivating in places. An enjoyable read.

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Donna1980
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Pickpick

The 10th book towards my target of 50. Every time I read this book, I take away something new, whilst many reviews focus on the religious element of the narrative, this book is so much more to me. Friendship, love and loss are the prevailing factors I feel. This quote sums it up perfectly ‘When someone you love dies, and you're not expecting it, you don't lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time.‘ Such a beautiful book.

kspenmoll Wonderful wonderful book! 8mo
ItsAnotherJen Oooh, I need to move this up on my tbr list! 8mo
6 likes2 comments
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Donna1980
Sixteen Horses | Greg Buchanan
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Mehso-so

Utterly gripping says The Guardian, not so much say I. I really struggle when I don‘t like any of the characters in a book, you don‘t root for them and you don‘t care what happens to them. Set to the backdrop of a small rundown seaside town, this book is bleak! Slowly it winds its way to a conclusion with so many characters who are never really developed, that when the killer is finally revealed it all feels a bit flat. 2/5 stars for me.

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Donna1980
The History of Love | Nicole Krauss
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Pickpick

This book hurt my heart in places. Beautifully written but at first I struggled with how the stories would link (for I felt sure they had to). When they do it‘s one of those moments when you pause on the page and a wave of emotion hits you. Leo Gursky is instantly likeable and you find yourself wishing throughout the book his life would have a different end but it seems just to have had a great love was enough. The world needs more Leo Gurskys. 5*

7 likes1 stack add
blurb
Donna1980
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This year I have challenged myself to read 50 books, most of which will be first time reads but this book has to be added to the list. Words can‘t really express how much I adore this book. Picking it up is like a conversation with an old friend. If you haven‘t read it, I highly recommend you do so and soon.

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Donna1980
The Mercies | Kiran Millwood Hargrave
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Pickpick

The imagery in this book is so vivid, it felt like I was there. Definitely a book that will sit with me for some time to come. After a horrific storm, wipes out the island of Vardo‘s men, the women left behind have to learn how to survive. The storm however is to be only the beginning of the troubles these women come to endure. Based on actual historical events the depiction of the witch trials during this time is chilling and heartbreaking.

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Donna1980
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Pickpick

A bit of a lighter tone. I have to admit that Karen Swan‘s books always give me a warm feeling but the ones set around Christmas time are my favourite. Midnight in the snow mixes the slopes of Austria with a tragic story of the lows that can come with competitive sport. A light, easy read but hugely enjoyable.

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Donna1980
Hamnet | Maggie O'Farrell
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Pickpick

Wow, the good reviews are well deserved. I found myself thinking about the characters in this book all the time. Your heart will ache at the end but the carefully woven timelines are so beautifully written you won‘t want to stop. Hamnet tells the story of the tragic life of Shakespeare son, alongside presenting a rich tapestry of the lives of himself and his wife. The author describes this book as her ‘idle speculation‘ it is far from that.

GarethSouthwell Just started! :) 10mo
marleed This book had me crying such that I had to take care tears didn‘t hit my pages. 10mo
14 likes2 comments
review
Donna1980
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Pickpick

I love a good origin story and was curious as to how Collins would portray a young Snow. Surely the arch villain was always evil, right? Well yes but also no, at times I found myself feeling some sympathy towards him but ultimately his choices made it hard to feel this for long. The book lost its way in places but I enjoyed it for the most part & I loved the ending which hinted at just what the future Snow would become. Snow lands on top!

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Donna1980
Midnight Library | Matt Haig
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Mehso-so

Read this after several rave reviews. I can see why this book has struck a cord with so many and the theme of dealing with depression is dealt with sensitively. Parts of the book were uncomfortable to read and it definitely played on my emotions throughout. However as the book progressed and the main character‘s journey continued, I felt parts were rushed and the ending became quite predictable. I‘m sure many will disagree but i didn‘t love it.

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Donna1980
Small Pleasures | Clare Chambers
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Pickpick

My second read of the year, recommended by a good friend. I really enjoyed this and found myself making time to read it (always a good sign). The characters are a rich tapestry of human life, love and interaction. and I loved how well the author conjured up what life was like in Kent and London in the 1950s. The ending was a bit of a surprise and perhaps my least favourite part, but I decided to be hopeful for all the characters involved. 4/5

Cathythoughts Nice review! I enjoyed this too 11mo
6 likes1 comment
review
Donna1980
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Pickpick

A boy finds a red moleskin notebook in his favourite bookshop in New York, curious he opens it to find a message encouraging him to fill in the blanks by following a set of clues. What follows is a delightful read about 2 people who connect through the words they share in the little red notebook. Set to the backdrop of New York at Christmas the book creates an atmosphere of hope and possibility and you can‘t help but route for them to find love.