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Litsi

Litsi

Joined March 2017

I‘m an odd one. I like the classics and experimental fiction. So, tell a good story or advance the art form and you have me at page 1.
review
Litsi
Spare | Prince Harry the Duke of Sussex
Pickpick

Ignore the backdrop of palace grounds & you can hear dreadful music that‘s familiar to many. The Spare. The Plan B. The Extra. You are not enough. You were born not enough. Play the game and know your place. For sure people have it worse than Harry, but there‘s power in the universal story of the underdog. Anyhow a B actress and a palace misfit meet and the shoe fits. We never really believed things would be happy FORever after, did we?

review
Litsi
Touch | Olaf Olafsson
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Pickpick

During what looks like the end of the world, a 70 yr old is determined to learn whether his memories were worth the lifetime of longing. Nostalgia is low on society‘s heirarchy of feelings. It sits on the border of silly and useless. But in this novel it‘s a force of nature as the character quests to actually touch his past. Faulkner told us that the past is not even the past. Olafsson adds that it is worth a visit.

BarbaraBB Lovely review 1w
4 likes1 comment
review
Litsi
Pickpick
blurb
Litsi
Untitled | Untitled
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review
Litsi
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Panpan

These two were hyperactive, prolific, highly sexual, artists who went on to become their own genre. The connection stops there. The cover art shows that this connection is not as close as Hornby would like us to believe. The guitar & hat images do not reflect back on each other, blend or look like they belong in the same space. https://www.facebook.com/1082882538/posts/pfbid0RrCeJsSphwTV6QupTwjNK8AqjreknuJi...

review
Litsi
Black Buck | Mateo Askaripour
Panpan

Could it be true that while you‘re talking about office seating charts your black colleague is summoning her ancestors to manage her rage over your freshest microagression? I am here to tell you “ yes”. So is Askaripour. But even a satirical novel with a message needs to be a successful novel and this one is not. https://www.facebook.com/1082882538/posts/pfbid023MF9Mcpdo1mG3D3X1WWetiNCLfLsFqH...

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Litsi
End We Start from | Megan Hunter
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Pickpick

The prose whispers itself into poetry. A sail boat becomes a “ diversion of cloth, wind and wood”. The sunset & the flood waters that have obliterated all become “The shimmering green- gray-blue terror. Orange in the evening then gone.” Every sail boat & every waterview sunset are just those things. That‘s all the new mother can absorb so that‘s all the text there is. After the flood, everything is subtextual, subliminal, submerged. Ambitious!

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Litsi
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Pickpick

Bright and breezy bio that will tell you things you didn‘t want know. Hint: his fake teeth were not made of wood.

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Litsi
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Pickpick

This is about black people but is not about racism. The first half, tinged with deep memory, is really strong. The rest fails to connect events with meaning. Nevertheless, this packs an emotional wallop & will boomerang readers into their childhood. That friend who moved away, the bright cousin who inexplicably failed to launch, the long gone neighborhood hangouts; they haunt our adult lives as we wrestle with the impact, why & how of it all.

review
Litsi
Pickpick

Marie Kondo says to clear clutter & improve our life by keeping only things that spark joy. But what if you are amongst those who find it hard to experience joy? This is for the clinically, chronically or temporarily depressed. Davis‘ motto is “good enough leads to a good life”. Do as much laundry as is needed. Those not dirty but not quite clean clothes you threw over the chair back? Leave them there or re- hang them in the closet! EZPZ.

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Litsi
Theophilus North: A Novel | Thornton Wilder
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Mehso-so

It‘s the 1920s and a new Yale grad finds himself working for the rich in Newport RI over a summer. He‘s no Nick Carraway & so this book stays in the shallows. I read it while on vacation there. Fun to walk the town with the characters & learn stuff. While there I saw that Newport has a big variety of trees. For centuries the residents planted trees from around the globe. There‘s even a colonial tree walk! A pretty good book in a great setting.

review
Litsi
Mehso-so

Another book about an abandoned wife remaking her life with another man. I can‘t complain about the plot that I knew when I chose to read it. But I was hoping for more originality. Maybe just once we can have a woman pick the same type of man.

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Litsi
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Panpan

This could have been a short story. The ending with the “I love you” was weirdly cheesy. Not sure why I kept reading.

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Litsi
Transit | Rachel Cusk
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Mehso-so

Not the groundbreaker that Outline was. But also not a great follow up bc all the characters have Faye‘s voice. While that may have been intentional, whatever magic Cusk wrought before was missing here, though there was the usual accumulation of sharp observations. Will probably read Kudos, but not looking forward to it. Full review https://www.facebook.com/1082882538/posts/pfbid02LNZaWxG4GoZnKrrm1ZkreQhPxaFqCGh...

7 likes1 stack add
review
Litsi
Rules for Visiting: A Novel | Jessica Francis Kane
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Pickpick

A botanist who has spent her life mourning her mother‘s death & doing her job, one day realizes she‘s out of touch with friends. She embarks on a plan to spend a fortnight with a few of them in an effort to share their ordinary lives. It‘s a story that rambles gently through sensitive & alarming features of aging. I came across this novel at a time when I felt compelled to buy luggage. Sometimes you pick the novel; sometimes the novel picks you.

jlhammar I really enjoyed this one. Touching and funny. And I loved how it made me stop and really pay attention to the trees around me! 5mo
4 likes1 comment
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Litsi
Mehso-so

This book about poets Sylvia Plath & Anne Sexton was not well written & I don‘t care much for poetry. But my entry into it the examination of the struggle to be a woman & a poet in 1960/50 America. They could not be selfish artists because they had to be proper and mothers and cooks and hostesses. But the wild, absorptive heart of a poet wants what it wants. These two were no doubt mentally ill, but they were also talented & angry. A sad read.

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Litsi
The Wintringham Mystery | Anthony Berkeley
Pickpick

At an old estate being headed by a cranky rich woman, a woman goes missing from a closed room with 11 people in it. How? Cupboards, sofas, priest holes and ice houses all play a part. The amateur detective is a bankrupt, bon vivant who becomes involved because he has had to take a job at the estate as a footman. This is a pleasing tangle of theft and romance and stock manipulation. See if you can solve what Agatha Christie could not.

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Litsi
The Hand of Ethelberta | Thomas Hardy
Pickpick

This is my 13th Hardy novel and what a pleasure to read something that has his usual realism but also a brighter outlook.

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Litsi
Faking It | Jennifer Crusie
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Pickpick

If you‘d like “It Takes a Thief” with more sex, more twists, more feminist femmes, two handsome and dangerous heros, many more con people & a rescue dog, you‘ll like this comic romance. No character is who others think they are; no character is even who they think they are. By the end they tumble nicely into the version of themselves that fits who they want to be. Highly recommended for those who like a little literature with their romance.

blurb
Litsi
Untitled | Untitled

Is it just me, or is it correct that Litsy has far fewer creative images than it used to? I miss them, though I am guilty too I still think we should get a chance to show appreciation for the post image separately from the review. 2 cents.

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Litsi
They Came to Baghdad | Agatha Christie
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Pickpick

Christie leaps into the spy thriller genre. The plot involves many people - some are professional spies, some are bystanders & some are adventurous & smart women who by happenstance are brought together in Baghdad to undermine a Fifth Column - style plot to wreak worldwide chaos. I never tied her to politics, but this was written near the start of the Cold War & writers write what they think about, so. The engaging characters make it a good read.

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Litsi
Waiting | Ha Jin
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Pickpick

Married man & single woman fall in love. Or so they think. So begins a period of waiting. Waiting for divorce, waiting to be deflowered, waiting to avoid spinsterhood, waiting & waiting. In the West, the common advice is to follow your dreams. This novel suggests that we should take care not to be drowned by them. Full review here https://www.facebook.com/1082882538/posts/pfbid0wTm1YnJ8xujqaeUxTgHr7ZEvKZ8nk79t...

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Litsi
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Pickpick

Obviously, this is not a book for everyone, but these old books show that the the human condition is universal across time. I mean, really, “I want a windowless room,” said no one ever. There are many principles here about living the aesthetic life. “It‘s is all very well to plan our ideal house or apartment, our individual castle in Spain, but it isn‘t necessary to live among intolerable furnishings just because we cannot realize our castle.”

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Litsi
These Precious Days | Ann Patchett
Mehso-so

I found I could closely predict her words. That‘s either a mark of authenticity or the mark of a writer who is smoothing her life into a … memoir. I‘m focused on the form factor because above all an essay has to be honest - from concept to purpose. These have the whiff of narrative. Which is ok - for a memoir. FR here https://www.facebook.com/1082882538/posts/pfbid0TU8SUbtrLTyhPyEFiKAydXQzq5zXtrJr...

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Litsi
Mehso-so

A standard tale that‘s unfortunately too replete with tropes to be a pick. It was enjoyable to read about competitive musicians.

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Litsi
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Pickpick


If you like this picture, you will like this book. It‘s a light memoir about how a regular person settles into a happy life after a challenging childhood with the help of what she learns from seeing how others handle their relationships with dogs. It gets repetitive, but is nice to see how an average person‘s life evolves.

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Litsi
Ninth House | Leigh Bardugo
Pickpick

So many good parts, but also many parts that were confusing. The magic and genre blending in this novel was novel and so it is a pick. Not sure I‘m up for the sequel. How about you?

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Litsi
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Mehso-so

The gist of this book is that JP Morgan‘s librarian was both super successful and passing as white. Here‘s her photo. Honestly, she is obvs not white to me. I think she passed despite her appearance because people couldn‘t believe that a black woman could be so capable and not only out negotiate men but understand and cherish the whitest of things: 12th-17th c European art. Full review https://www.facebook.com/1082882538/posts/10224799137740767/

review
Litsi
Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Mehso-so

The gist of this book is that JP Morgan‘s librarian was both super successful and passing as white. Here‘s her photo. Honestly, she is obvs not white to me. I think she passed despite her appearance because people couldn‘t believe that a black woman could be so capable and not only out negotiate men but understand and cherish the whitest of things: 12th-17th c European art. Full review https://www.facebook.com/1082882538/posts/10224799137740767/

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Litsi
My Monticello: Fiction | Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
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Pickpick

Black people chased by whites in the dystopian aftermath of the Charlottesville riot make a last stand in the abandoned Monticello estate. 2 are Jefferson‘s descendants. They, though are on shifty ground. Monticello‘s exacting architecture is both a solid representation of order, principle and equality & a house of hidden horrors. Will they fare better than their ancestors? Full review https://www.facebook.com/1082882538/posts/10224729051588657/

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Litsi
In a Kingdom by the Sea | Sara MacDonald
Pickpick

This novel centers around family secrets. Not only the big, shocking kind, but rather the many, unknown unknowns. We have all had those conversations about past family events where no one can agree on the time line, someone unearths a “fact” you never heard before & everyone has a theory about what they can never actually know. MacDonald takes a thorough look at that third act thing & asks whether the first two acts even matter.

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Litsi
Pickpick

No other Founding Father cared for the average American the way he did. Full review https://www.facebook.com/1082882538/posts/10224548532035781/

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Litsi
Clark and Division | Naomi Hirahara
Pickpick

There is a mystery to be solved in this novel, but it takes second seat to the tale of a Japanese American young woman whose life was severely disrupted by the WW2 internment. Some have complained that there‘s too much history, but there is quite a bit of heart too. Full review. https://www.facebook.com/1082882538/posts/10224460537235966/

review
Litsi
Pickpick

How does the kidnapping of the daughter of a folk hero change the course of the American Revolution? This is truly a gripping tale of the desperate measures everyone took on the eve of the war. Read the full review here. https://www.facebook.com/1082882538/posts/10224360043363682/

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Litsi
Custom of the Country | Edith Wharton
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Pickpick

Put Age of Innocence and Ethan Fromme down right now. Now! And pick this up. If you want to know why Fitzgerald admired Wharton or want to see my full review go here. https://www.facebook.com/groups/spbookdiscussion/permalink/363344881795995/

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Litsi
The Widows Guild | Anna Castle
Pickpick

This quirky series features the real life 16th C Francis Bacon (an original Renaissance man of philosophy who‘s credited with inventing the scientific method) and repurposes him as a sleuth. He & his merry band of law students from all levels of society uncover crimes that just keep happening around them. A fun take on a cozy mystery with a bit of history. Who in history would you like to see repurposed? Me? Charles Dickens, serial killer.

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Litsi
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Pickpick

This is another review of a book about thinking but it‘s really wonderful. And a grand defense for broad, liberal arts education and experience even in this increasingly technological world. Highly, highly recommended.

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Litsi
The Last Book Party | Karen Dukess
Pickpick

You have to care about the Ivy League, books, the east coast & I think to be a certain age of reader to appreciate this. But appreciate I did! It was like a rom com and coming of age story with your college and childhood reading list threaded throughout. Deceptively simple & charming. Would love to adapt this into a play.

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Litsi
Fortnight in September | R C Sherriff
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Pickpick

This novel is about the freedom of mind & spirit that blooms when one is not working. In this case it‘s a family in what is probably their last family vacay in 1931 England. It‘s not for everyone, but it has earned space on my shelf. This novel shows that the person next to you isn‘t processing the “same” scene the same way you are. For ex, the mother thinks the daughter has found a new boyfriend, but she‘s actually discovered a new way of life.

marleed I loved this book. It felt the original publication date but at the same time it felt relevant to today. And that cover! 13mo
10 likes1 comment
review
Litsi
Untitled | Unknown
Pickpick

My top picks so far this year. ASSEMBLY by Natasha Brown. If Rachel Cusk & Virginia Woolf had a baby, she ( because it certainly would be a she), would have written this. SUBTRACT by Leidy Klotz - you won‘t ever make a decision the same way again. THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY by Matthew Haig - regrets, if you‘ve had a few, read this. Two classics - Romance of the Forest by Anne Radclife and The House on the Strand by Daphne DuMaurier. Reviews below!

Centique They sound so good. Subtract looks fascinating. 14mo
6 likes1 comment
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Litsi
The three clerks | Anthony Trollope
Mehso-so

Interesting to read about a time when your worth was measured by which government office you worked for. For the record, the office of Weights & Measures was the bomb; Internal Navigation not so much. I‘ve read 4 of his novels. They haven‘t had as much fun & criminality as a typical Dickens novel, but they provide a window on the anxieties & calamities of the time. Think I‘ve had my fill of his take on stocks and broken wedding plans.

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Litsi
Pickpick

I love Jean Brodie! But she is an avowed fascist. When does a charming person with a clear point of view that challenges the weaknesses of the norms become a dangerous and divisive demagogue? That is one of mind bending questions posed here. It‘s also a book about feminism, loyalty, global responsibility, revenge, the primacy of art, the strange heirarchy of female society, sexual aggression, unconscious lesbianism &religious devotion.

Centique I loved this one too! 1y
9 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
Litsi
Wessex Tales | Thomas Hardy
Mehso-so

A long time ago in a blue bedroom far away I pledged to read every novel Hardy wrote. (12 down, 2 to go). A great novelist he is for sure, but probably not a great short story writer. Something about the short form reveals his crutches & obsessions. These stories seem like workshop exercises. What‘s baffling is that he wrote Madding Crowd & Return of the Native before this. He had to know these stories weren‘t good. I guess a writer‘s got to eat.

Centique Brilliant last sentence there 😂 I loved Return of the Native and need to get back to him again. Not this one though! 1y
5 likes1 comment
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Litsi
Mehso-so

For the Love of Books by Graham Tarrant
A compendium of fun and not so fun facts about books, writers, publishers and booksellers. Probably only interesting to big readers who also like to play Trivial Pursuit.

Book 36

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Litsi
The Rosie Project | Simsion, Graeme
Pickpick

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Such a fun and touching read about a man with high functioning autism looking for a wife and learning how to connect.

Book 37

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Litsi
Pickpick

A great take on how less can be more. Klotz is to thinking what Marie Kondo is to decluttering. A perspective changing book for sure.

4 likes1 stack add
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Litsi
Pickpick

A good read for lovers of old Hollywood.

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Litsi
Pickpick

Have read 3 books Vanderbilts. The special sauce here is that it‘s told by an honest family member. There‘s something to be said for how family memory stretches the narrative with little details that aren‘t deemed worthy of being placed into history but which provide the background fabric for the embroidery of Big History moments. A good read if you like this topic, otherwise details of the Vanderbilt ball that broke the Astors will be a snore.

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Litsi
Lives of Houses | Kate Kennedy
Panpan

Started strong, but the essays for the most part were off the mark. I did learn things about the history of moving. But since my minimum demand for a book is to give me at least one idea, I must pan this.

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Litsi
Assembly | Natasha Brown
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Pickpick


A 103 page masterpiece
A+
I have settle down to write a review but don‘t wait for me - read it!

Book 32

10 likes1 stack add