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Billypar

Billypar

Joined February 2017

review
Billypar
A House and Its Head | Ivy Compton-Burnett
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Pickpick

#nyrbbookclub
If you asked Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde to write a sitcom, this might be the result. You can hear the laugh track after Nance counters her father's rudeness with sardonic barbs, or after the dopey commentary of curious neighbors who react to the soap opera plot twists. The comic banter isn't a diversion, it's the core of the novel: dialogue is all we have, which gives it a lightness, even as it probes the darker sides of society.

Liz_M That is a brilliant picture! 16h
Billypar @Liz_M Thanks! It's a compulsion I have with certain covers... https://litsy.com/p/WjM3TlNna2lP 15h
See All 10 Comments
LeahBergen Great review and photo! 👏🏻 14h
readordierachel Clever photo! 12h
vivastory Wonderful review, & echoing others, a great picture! 12h
Cathythoughts Great pic 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 11h
saresmoore This review is on point! 🔥 10h
BarbaraBB Very good review! 9h
36 likes10 comments
review
Billypar
On Beauty | Zadie Smith
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Pickpick

Smith's update of Howards End is a big novel with rich characters who grapple with weighty societal controversies involving race, class, justice, and family dynamics. Lots to unpack, but I enjoyed seeing the tradition of old novels about grand ideas applied in a modern context. The characters were all equally fascinating and her writing in dialect made them more real (even when it's not perfect). I also found the drama multilayered and intense.

Billypar Also: for all of Howard's problems, I found his art history theories intriguing: I want to learn more about real-life art historians who share his views. 4d
Taylor I always used to think this was a book of essays for some reason.... 4d
Billypar @Taylor I can see that - so many essay collections are titled 'On x'. The title is taken from a poem of the same name by Nick Laird 4d
youneverarrived Glad you liked it 👍 4d
43 likes4 comments
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Billypar
On Beauty | Zadie Smith
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I kept rereading this over and over. It's just an ordinary moment between and elderly father and his adult son, but...wow. So much in so few words.

OrtizReads1 Wow, what a passage. 💔 1w
merelybookish I loved this book! 1w
BarbaraBB Wonderful and painful quote 💔 1w
See All 10 Comments
Cathythoughts Heartbreaking quote ... and seemingly done so easily ... stacking 1w
batsy This is one of my favourites by her. I waver back and forth about how I feel about ZS but this book really stood out. 1w
youneverarrived Now I want to read this again. 1w
Billypar @merelybookish @batsy @youneverarrived I'm very excited to finish it this weekend. Could be my first 5 star read of 2020 🤞 1w
Leftcoastzen ❤️❤️❤️ 1w
Suet624 That‘s so touching. 4d
45 likes4 stack adds10 comments
review
Billypar
Ghost World | Daniel Clowes
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Pickpick

So many angles are explored in these episodes of high school friendship: tensions brought on by a looming graduation, dealing with assholes, romantic insecurities, coping with soul-crushing suburban conformity and the joys in finding exceptions. The artwork highlights the cynical humor and brooding emotions perfectly. I still like the movie better, but it's a favorite, so it would have been tough to top. Thora Birch's Enid is the best 🖤

batsy Thora Birch is so brilliant! I read the comic first before seeing the movie and both have a special place in my heart. 2w
Billypar @batsy Right? One of my favorite film performances/ characters. I like how different the two versions are. I wish more film adaptations took this approach- imagine a different story that is faithful on a deeper level to the original rather than stick to the main plot but dumb things down and oversimplify the characters. 2w
44 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
Billypar
Case Histories: A Novel | Kate Atkinson
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Pickpick

The mysteries were a little thin, as were some of the characters (Brodie included). The heteronormative and racial humor (i.e. the whole cat thing) was cringey. Some of the end resolutions were implausible to the point of absurdity. So why did I like this? I think the dark humor that did land was very funny but also blended with the sadder moments surprisingly well. It was also very self-referential, which I always enjoy 👇

Billypar And unlike most 'literary mysteries' this seemed to fall squarely in between the two genres, which makes it hard to pin down and rate, but fun to watch as it subverts either genre's expectations. Looking forward to the discussion! @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB 2w
BarbaraBB You are just in time! Another great review! 2w
See All 14 Comments
readordierachel Yes, that cat part was awful! 2w
Billypar @BarbaraBB Thanks! I'm glad I finished in time: great discussion! 2w
Billypar @readordierachel Yeah, I know what she was going for, but I can't go along. There are plenty of other good jokes to enjoy! 2w
Cinfhen Great review!!! But all your “negative” points only reenforces why this book didn‘t work for me 😉😂 2w
Billypar @Cinfhen Lol - it's tough one to review 😁 A pick with reservations, which isn't far from the 'so so' you want to like more. 2w
batsy What @Cinfhen said 😂 The cat part legit made me want to throw my book (with the hideous cover) out the window 🙃 @readordierachel 2w
readordierachel @batsy I was listening to the audiobook and thought I must have misheard! Then she just kept going back to that well for a cheap laugh 🙄 2w
Billypar @batsy @readordierachel You'd think it would have raised eyebrows somewhere in the editorial process. Ali Smith was mentioned twice in the acknowledgements - I wonder if she raised any concerns? Maybe there's an awkward email exchange between the two authors about it...🤔 2w
readordierachel @Billypar @batsy I would pay good money to read that exchange. I read that Atkinson almost never reads her negative reviews and thinks that authors reviewing their colleagues work is "a callous art," so perhaps criticism is unwelcome. 2w
Billypar @readordierachel Interesting - I've heard that perspective before: maybe if you've got Ali Smith and a few trusted editors, that's enough. I haven't heard of her trafficking in ill-advised racial humor elsewhere, so hopefully this was a weird one-off thing. 2w
readordierachel Yes, hopefully. I certainly don't remember anything like that in Life After Life 2w
39 likes14 comments
blurb
Billypar
N.P. | Banana Yoshimoto
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#bookhaul 2/2
A two-bookstore day is a rare treat and it led to these choices. Homes is the only author I've read before (May We Be Forgiven was one favorite from 2018). I've wanted to try Yoshimoto for awhile and can't resist a plot like N.P.' s. Bradbury is another long on my list, and I made sci-fi short stories a 2020 reading goal. Never heard of Ashour until a Book Riot list of top works by Egyptian authors, and the first page sold me.

Reggie I really liked N.P. Very strange. Hope you enjoy it! 2w
Billypar @Reggie I'm curious about where she'll go with the basic set up. I want to read Kitchen too because of all the attention and positive reactions it got, but I couldn't pass NP up after reading the jacket. 2w
Suet624 I swear I read Homes other book but I can‘t remember. Grrr... Old age strikes. 2w
See All 6 Comments
Billypar @Suet624 Was it a story collection? I feel like she's most known for The Safety of Objects. 2w
Suet624 I‘m thinking of May We Be Forgiven. But I‘m sure now that I haven‘t read it. I think it‘s sitting in a box in one of my closets waiting to be read. This year! I swear! I‘m diving into those boxes. 😳😀🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️ 2w
Billypar @Suet624 That's the one I read! You are in for a treat when you pick it up. 2w
36 likes6 comments
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Billypar
The Lit. Bar | Bronx, NY (Bookstore)
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#bookhaul 1/2
In 2016, Noelle Santos joined protesters to try and save the last bookstore in the Bronx (a Barnes & Noble) from closing. It did close, and then Santos decided to open her own: the Lit Bar, a fabulous book store + wine bar that opened in 2019. Loved it - interesting shelves, gorgeous artwork and overall aesthetics, friendly staff, and a comfy couch where I got to read with a glass of Merlot. And I walked away with these ☺📚🍷

vivastory Sounds like heaven! 2w
vivastory 🍷📚🍷📚 2w
Leftcoastzen Both great choices! 2w
See All 13 Comments
LeahBergen I still need to read Their Eyes Were Watching God 2w
Lcsmcat I loved TheirEyes Were Watching God! 2w
Tanisha_A @LeahBergen Me tooooo! 2w
merelybookish Sister Outsider is 🔥🔥🔥 2w
youneverarrived That sounds like the perfect place! And excellent book choices 🙌 2w
batsy Both brilliant reads! 2w
Liz_M Excellent book choices! 2w
Billypar @vivastory It was really nice - and unlike other bars, no one asks why you're reading 😁 2w
Billypar @LeahBergen @Lcsmcat @Tanisha_A It's one of a few titles I carry around in my head when I visit bookstores - feels good to finally get to it! 2w
Billypar @Leftcoastzen @merelybookish @youneverarrived @batsy @Liz_M I'm very excited for both based on all I've heard! 2w
50 likes13 comments
blurb
Billypar
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#BelowZer00s
The early 2000s were a decade of both undergrad and grad education, but not the greatest either with a failed 3-year marriage and disappointing job prospects after the financial crisis. It also had a poor soundtrack: I was not into music much and unaware of contemporary stuff. That changed in 2009: I made some new friends who introduced me to everything I'd missed- they and the music made a huge difference in lifting my spirits!

Billypar Not pictured but equally influential: The National, OutKast, Camera Obscura, Mos Dec, The Kills, PJ Harvey, and Nick Cave. 2w
Cinfhen Modest Mouse 🖤my son and daughter love them Float On is amazing 😉 2w
See All 17 Comments
readordierachel Fabulous choices 👍👍 2w
batsy Neko Case and The New Pornographers! 💜 And I can't believe I forgot PJ Harvey for my playlist 😱 2w
Leftcoastzen Yay, Decemberists 2w
DebinHawaii Nice! Modest Mouse (Float On) made my list too! 👍 2w
Billypar @Cinfhen @DebinHawaii Yeah, Float On was the first one I heard: that entire album is fantastic- it and two others (Moon & Antarctica and We Were Dead Before the Ship Sank are pretty perfect! 2w
BarbaraBB The Yeah Yeah Yeahs 💜 2w
Billypar @batsy And I forgot OutKast until I saw your post ☺ 2w
Billypar @Leftcoastzen Yeah, they have so many strong albums in the 2000s. 2w
Billypar @BarbaraBB They're incredible 🖤🎸 2w
Suet624 OutKast! My kids and I used to drive hours to soccer tournaments and OutKast was played loud and often. 2w
Billypar @Suet624 Nice - great pre-game music! Even with all the great artists in hip hop since, they're still my all-time favorite. 2w
Suet624 Me too. Still play them a lot. Honesty, I‘m having trouble finding music I like these days. 2w
Billypar @Suet624 I can recommend the artists on this playlist from when I co-hosted the music challenge if there's anything you haven't checked out. Noname is one of my favorite hip hop discoveries lately: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0qZ84FwC9GOo0cGBTQ7Esp 2w
Suet624 Oooh. Thank you! On it! 2w
34 likes17 comments
review
Billypar
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Pickpick

What an odd little story collection (Rixdorf Editions). The stories are written in 2nd person plural and often involve a group of travelers who encounter a possibly supernatural figure, someone who might be a revenant, a hallucination, a psychic...or maybe just eccentric? Reventlow herself was a rising feminist/bohemian icon in pre-WWI Europe until her life ended in a bicycle accident: that and the war led to her work being all-but forgotten.

saresmoore What...?! Stacked! 2w
vivastory What my friend @saresmoore said!! 2w
readordierachel I'm so intrigued! 2w
See All 7 Comments
mklong Whoa, this sounds awesome. Stacked! 2w
Billypar If any of you want it - let me know! This is one I'd like to pass along. @saresmoore @vivastory @readordierachel @mklong 2w
mklong That‘s so nice of you! I impulsively added it to my Amazon cart about 3 minutes after reading your post. 2w
Billypar @mklong Wow, that was quick ☺ Hope you like it! 2w
45 likes4 stack adds7 comments
review
Billypar
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Pickpick

If you read Sapiens as just a more interesting textbook, you might enjoy it less. We're not accustomed to scientific books that place things as varied as human rights, capitalism, and religion in the same bucket of human myths. But if you read Sapiens as the attempt to tell humankind as an interesting story, one informed by science but not boxed in by it, it's a creative bird's-eye view of human history that is weirdly thrilling in a way.

41 likes2 stack adds
blurb
Billypar
Mr. Fox | Helen Oyeyemi
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#19in2019
Classics: Beloved, We Have Always Lived in the 🏰 Howards End, The Waves, ❤ Medicine, The 🌍 According to Garp
Future Classics: Constellation of Vital Phenomenon, Station 11, Swamplandia
Non-fiction: The Red Parts, Blue Nights, Stiff, I Am I Am I Am, The Uninhabitable 🌍, The Fire Next Time
Defies Categories: Pastoralia, Invisible Cities, White is for Witching, and my favorite book of the year 🥁🥁....

🦊Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi🦊

BarbaraBB ‘Future classics‘ 😀, I love that! 3w
Cinfhen Excellent year end summation 💜🎉🙌🏻 Happy 2020, V!!! 3w
See All 18 Comments
Nute Wonderful post! Excellent reading accomplishment for 2019. Slight surprise about Mr. Fox, but I like it! 3w
Cathythoughts I read Station Eleven this year too. What a brilliant book Must check out some more of these 👍🏻📚 3w
Centique Wow, what a list! I love the classics you‘ve picked - Love Medicine is so good! Which makes me think I‘m bound to love your other picks - so keen to read the Oyeyemi and Swamplandia in particular. 😍 3w
Billypar @BarbaraBB I figure if we say it enough about our favorites after a little time has passed, who knows, maybe it will become true? 3w
Billypar @Cinfhen Thanks Cindy - this was a great idea for an end of year list. Happy 2020 to you as well!! 3w
Billypar @Nute Thanks! I was thrilled to discover Oyeyemi this year - the only author to appear twice on this list, and I'm pretty confident I'll be reading more of hers in 2020 - definitely an instant favorite! 3w
Aimeesue Saunders and Oyeyemi! ❤️❤️❤️ Great list! (edited) 3w
Billypar @Cathythoughts That was one that definitely lived up to the hype. I'm excited there's a sequel coming! 3w
Billypar @Centique Erdrich, Russell, and Oyeyemi are all authors that I've vowed to read everything they've written (will take much longer in Erdrich's case - I've only read 3 so far!). Interested to hear what you think of the latter two- I've seen lots of varied responses to both. 3w
Billypar @Aimeesue Thanks! I'm very happy with how the year worked out: so many 5-star reads ☺ 3w
readordierachel Love your choices! 3w
Billypar @readordierachel Thanks! I like your list as well - we have a few authors in common, and there's some more on yours it's high time I pick up, like Whitehead and Rooney. 3w
Suet624 I‘m so happy you included Love medicine and Constellation. Two of my absolute favorites. And why don‘t more people know about Anthony Marra? 2w
Billypar @Suet624 Cause they're not on Litsy? ☺ It's not my only book media source but definitely the biggest one - either for introducing to new authors or pushing me to read the ones I'm dimly aware of. 2w
Suet624 @Billypar I guess you‘re right. Maybe I should start tweeting about him but I‘m a novice at Twitter. Litsy has expanded my reading options SOOO much. It‘s been a huge blessing. 2w
57 likes18 comments
review
Billypar
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Pickpick

This terrific debut has a wonderful variety of stories in different genres and time periods where adventures might include a mysterious cave, a mermaid, or an alien invasion to name a few. Similar themes run through the tales: characters are bored by their daily lives and embrace experiences that, while dangerous, shake them out of their malaise. Recommended for those who aren't usually short story fans: a little something for everyone here.

Suet624 Oh! That cave story! 😳💕💕 2w
Billypar @Suet624 One of my favorites of the collection. The title story and the Milton one were standouts too, but I liked them all, a strong collection. 2w
43 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Billypar
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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Pickpick

Impressive debut: it uses an interesting narrative structure to dramatize the main character's identity. Even though it was avant garde in some ways, it also felt very authentic to look at identity as being ruled by a collection of personas that emerge in different situations. I also loved how Emezi explores difficult moral questions without simplifying what occurs into any kind of message. I'm excited to see where her career takes her!

Suet624 Did you hear it‘s going to be a tv show? I really liked this book. 4w
Billypar @Suet624 I hadn't heard - that's pretty cool. I don't watch a lot of tv but that's one I would check out. 4w
MegCaldwell I LOVED this book. I‘m not sure how they‘ll make it a successful show 2w
Billypar @MegCaldwell Yeah I'm curious too: it didn't have a lot of plot, which was fine for a novel, but might be tough for a show, so the storylines will be important. 1w
35 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Billypar
The Metamorphosis | Franz Kafka
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@merelybookish Thanks Margot for the Christmas card and super cool bookmark! I love the Kafka bean 😃 Hope your holidays have been good!

MatchlessMarie This is great 😆 1mo
BarbaraBB But first Kafka 😂, how great! 1mo
batsy That's a fab bookmark! 4w
merelybookish Holidays have been good, and pretty relaxing. I've managed to read 4 books! Somehow I knew you'd appreciate a Kafka joke. 😀 4w
42 likes4 comments
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Billypar
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#lastfirst
Great idea @BookNAround - thanks for organizing this giveaway.
The tagged book from Rixdorf Editions wasn't going to be my last of the year but an alligator on a leash just feels right. I'd never heard of Reventlow, but she was an early 20th century German author who sounds like she was ahead of her time based on her bio. Then it's On Beauty to kick off 2020!

BookNAround I chose quirky to start this last year and it totally paid off so I get it! 1mo
Billypar @BookNAround That one sounds great! 1mo
BookNAround @Billypar I thoroughly enjoyed it. 1mo
34 likes3 comments
review
Billypar
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Mehso-so

If you're a fan of indie rock in the early 2000s, this is a must-read, especially if you're like me and found out late about the NYC explosion launched by bands like the Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Interpol. But for all of the work Goodman must have done to select the best material from the source interviews to tell the story, it still feels overlong with a lopsided focus on scene aspects (i.e. drugs, partying) rather than the music itself 👇

Billypar It also would have been nice to speak to some of the gender transitions in bands over the decade: the YYY's are one of the few female -fronted bands interviewed in the book, yet there were plenty notable ones in the decade - seems like a missed opportunity to tell that story. But there is lots of good stuff about the collapse of the big record labels and the shift in how the public consumed music once the internet gained prominence. 1mo
35 likes1 comment
review
Billypar
The Expendable Man | Dorothy B. Hughes
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Mehso-so

Interesting time capsule of a novel: Hughes writes with gritty realism about taboo subjects of her time: undisguised racism on the cusp of the Civil Rights era and the world of back-alley abortions. It was intense to see the MC forced into the detective role to protect both his freedom and reputation. I only wish I enjoyed the mystery itself, which seemed a little flat. I might have liked the ending more if I wasn't reading it as a mystery novel.

Billypar Looking forward to tomorrow's discussion! #nyrbbookclub @Liz_M @vivastory 1mo
vivastory Great review 👍 1mo
Reviewsbylola This is probably my favorite NYRB book I‘ve read thus far. I‘m really enjoying it, but I can see what you mean about it being a bit flat. 1mo
See All 9 Comments
Billypar @vivastory Thanks! 1mo
Billypar @Reviewsbylola Glad you found a new favorite! I was definitely hooked for most of it. 1mo
Leftcoastzen @Reviewsbylola @Billypar I like this one but loved the other one by Hughes even more 1mo
Billypar @Leftcoastzen I saw the film probably over a decade ago but remember zero about it, so that's perfect for picking up the novel. 1mo
Reviewsbylola Thanks, just stacked it! @Leftcoastzen 1mo
Suet624 Definitely a time capsule. 4w
40 likes9 comments
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Billypar
The Expendable Man | Dorothy B. Hughes
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#nyrbbookclub
I never heard of this phrase, but I like it and may begin using it 😁

Cathythoughts Nice one 👍🏻❤️ 1mo
TrishB Never heard that, but you instantly know what it means! 1mo
vivastory I love incorporating new phrases 😂 How are you liking the book? I'm halfway through & I think it's fantastic so far 1mo
Billypar @TrishB Exactly- no explanation required! 1mo
Billypar @vivastory I'm intrigued, but still a little early (page 46). I'm with family for the holidays, so not too conducive to reading, but hopefully I can find some time to sneak away 🙂 1mo
39 likes5 comments
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Billypar
An Untamed State | Roxane Gay
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Pickpick

I've read plenty of books that include scenes of rape or torture, but this is the first that is primarily about the effects that rape and torture have on body, mind, and relationships. Gay's prose gives a glimpse into the sizable gap between familiarity with traumatic events and the experience of a survivor. There are no easy answers or cop outs: the novel faces the reality of sexual violence, its roots, and all the ugly societal implications.

StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego This book is one of the best book I've ever read. I wish Gay wrote more fiction. 1mo
Billypar @StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego I still need to read Difficult Women. I like her non-fiction too- she's multitalented. I can see why Untamed State would be on an all-time list: there's little else I've read with that level of intensity. 1mo
39 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
Billypar
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Pickpick

The next time you need a laugh, give this one a try. The entire book is transcripts of email conversations from responses to gag internet ads the author placed, mostly for paid gigs ranging from an actor to recreate a recurring nightmare involving a murderous spider to contactor for an in-ground apartment pool to human piñata. I highly recommend the audio version as the conversations are more acted than narrated, which adds to the comedy.

BeaG I need this kind of read right now. LOL 1mo
Billypar @BeaG It's a lot of fun - guaranteed to cheer you up ☺ 1mo
BeaG @Billypar cool, I just downloaded it. Thanks! 1mo
Billypar @BeaG Hope you enjoy! 1mo
26 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Billypar
Brown Girl Dreaming | Jacqueline Woodson
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#top10ofthedecade #nonfictionedition

Unlike my fiction list, there are plenty of favorites from the second half of the decade (I listen to NF on audio which helps- no waiting for paperback releases). Half of these are memoir, which is what I read most often. I think my two favorites are Brown Girl Dreaming and H is for Hawk, but Hunger, Secondhand Time, and Blue Nights are all pretty close.

@Cinfhen

Bookwormjillk We Crossed a Bridge sounds really good 1mo
Julsmarshall Some great books here! 1mo
readordierachel The O'Farrell and the Smith would probably be on my list too! Now you've got me thinking about it... 1mo
See All 8 Comments
Billypar @Bookwormjillk It's a tough read, but very worth it. Hearing directly from Syrian people who were the victims of these atrocities is very moving and it goes much deeper than traditional news stories. 1mo
Billypar @Julsmarshall With non-fiction I never know how I'll respond, but these were all excellent! 1mo
Billypar @readordierachel My first read for both authors but not my last. I probably had my mouth open all through 'I Am...' And Smith is brilliant in those essays. Interested to see your NF picks if you're tempted to make a list! 1mo
Cinfhen I‘ve taken the beloved screenshot because there are a bunch of titles I want to check out 💕 1mo
Billypar @Cinfhen I think there's many here you will enjoy! 1mo
42 likes8 comments
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Billypar
Mr. Fox | Helen Oyeyemi
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#top10ofthedecade #fictionedition

This was interesting to compile. I'm such a backlister that this list was half of all my 5 star reviews of the decade, none are more recent than 2015, and I read all of them except one in the past two years. But...they are all amazing: no slackers here!

@Cinfhen

RachelO I seriously considered doing a #backlistedition for this! Meantime, I headed over to stack The Blazing World from your list, and discovered I already stacked it from your review. 2mo
Cinfhen Great titles!! And I‘m pretty sure most of these books if not all were published between 2010-2019 2mo
Cinfhen I‘m not familiar with this one 2mo
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Aimeesue Oyeyemi ! Mr. Fox is my favorite of hers. 2mo
BarbaraBB I must read the Marra! So happy you love The Luminaries too! 2mo
Liz_M Again pleased to see Brief History! And I do want to read a more recent Hustvedt. (edited) 2mo
youneverarrived The Luminaries seems to be on a few people‘s list - shall have to try and get to it next year! 2mo
merelybookish Ooh great list! You seem to have a penchant for the whimsical! 2mo
Billypar @RachelO Ah, trying to stack what is already stacked: that happens to me so much - my brain knows what it likes ☺ 2mo
Billypar @Cinfhen Yup, they are all 2010-2019: I just thought it was funny that none of my top ten were from the last 4 years. But I think that's just because I've read the least from the second half of the decade so I haven't found my favorites yet! 2mo
Billypar @Cinfhen MWBF is an experience - probably the oddest of all (or maybe 2nd oddest behind Mr. Fox). I loved it - but you have to be ok with a longish black comedy that juggles lots of smaller episodes instead of just one main plot. My only Homes so far but can't wait to read more! 2mo
Billypar @Aimeesue It might be my favorite read of 2019. I thought it managed to combine the best parts of a novel and story collection. And such a great last sentence 🦊 1mo
Billypar @BarbaraBB I had high expectations for Constellation going in from what I heard, and it still managed to exceed them. Luminaries was well worth the wrist cramp I got from reading it on the subway. I think you will enjoy it @youneverarrived - great to see it on multiple lists! 1mo
Billypar @Liz_M What a head trip Brief History was: I can't even think of another book I was more immersed in. And I hear you about Hustvedt - she's one of those authors where just about any of her novels sound interesting enough to try. 1mo
Billypar @merelybookish Ha- I do enjoy some good whimsy 😁 1mo
Taylor I loved Brief History 1mo
readordierachel I've only read 2 of these! Love Kelly Link. Her imagination is incredible. 1mo
Billypar @Taylor Yeah, it's good to see it on some of these decades best lists. 1mo
Billypar @readordierachel I'm so excited to read more Link after Get in Trouble. Each story was so intricate and weird - fun to watch unfold and great dialogue throughout. 1mo
ReadingEnvy The Marra is on my list too. Also for my end of the year episode I‘m doing a list of the best reading experiences of 2019, and meeting Marra is also on there 1mo
Billypar @ReadingEnvy Guessing which contemporary books will continue to be read and remembered in another decade or two is tricky but I think Constellation has a good shot. Interested to hear about meeting him - I never really know what an author's personality will be like just from reading their novels. 1mo
49 likes21 comments
review
Billypar
Pastoralia | George Saunders
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Pickpick

I'm not sure why it took me so long to read George Saunders : I wasn't sure I'd like him based on what I'd heard. I was very wrong: each of these stories cracked me up--the dialogue was hilarious. They were also touching in spots. I enjoyed how he dramatized the imaginations of his characters: it gave you insight into what they desired and how they saw themselves. Pastoralia and Sea Oak were my favorites.

tournevis That one has been sitting on my Kobo since it came out. 2mo
Billypar @tournevis Ha- I think it's time! 2mo
Liz_M I loved Tenth of December best out of the three of his books I've read (this and also Lincoln in the Bardo). 2mo
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Billypar @Liz_M Good to know: that's the one I was thinking of reading next. Lincoln sounds daunting to me - I might read all his collections first. 2mo
Graywacke A reminder I need read more Saunders... 2mo
Liz_M @Graywacke I read the audio book of 10th Dec and enjoyed it immensely. 😋 2mo
Graywacke @Liz_M ooh, noting! (The Lincoln book was quite an audio production.) 2mo
34 likes7 comments
review
Billypar
The Red Parts: A Memoir | Maggie Nelson
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Pickpick

I'm not usually a true crime fan, but I think this one is different than most. For one thing, Nelson already wrote a book about her aunt's cold case murder -- now having an arrest and trial made Nelson look back on her time working on the first book. She describes having 'murder mind': the effects of constant attention to the details of a violent crime and contrasts that experience with seeing the grisly details of the case in court 👇

Billypar She also describes how her focus on the case stirred up memories of her father's death in his sleep when she was a kid. Her account is cerebral but she isn't afraid to go after something complicated about emotions when she considers how death can fracture familial and romantic relationships. In the end, she is repulsed over more than just the brutal murder as she details how the judicial process dehumanizes and oversimplifies all it touches. 2mo
batsy Nice review! It's on my TBR. I loved her writing in Bluets. 2mo
Billypar @batsy Thanks! I'd like to try Bluets, and I should reread The Argonauts - I was too distracted the first time. I multitask with audio books, but it's tougher to do that with Nelson's stuff- you can miss a lot. 2mo
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Aimeesue I love Maggie Nelson. ❤️ 2mo
readordierachel Great review. I found this book very affecting. It must have been so hard to write. 2mo
Billypar @Aimeesue Me too - the way her brain works is pretty incredible. 2mo
Billypar @readordierachel Thanks! Agreed: and she never was pulling for emotion or tear-jerking: it's affecting because of its honesty and the level of insight into some complicated psychological territory. 2mo
40 likes7 comments
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Billypar
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Pickpick

Much better than Vol 1. The same mesmerizing artwork, but this time the story arc is more cohesive and stoked my curiosity as it went. I also thought the stories within each issue were stronger: I'm not a big fan of serial killer horror stories, but the 'Cereal Convention' was a creative take on this genre. I enjoyed the trip through time in 'Men of Good Fortune', even if it had little to do with the main story. And The Corinthian... 😨

review
Billypar
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Mehso-so

An 'almost-pick', this first volume of the series provides an excellent glimpse into the nightmarish Sandman world, with creepy and imaginative artwork to match. Not easy for me to review comics or graphic novels (still pretty new to me), but the various conflicts all seemed to lack a dramatic edge. Maybe it was the absence of a villain to match Sandman's formidable presence and mystique? But I'm definitely looking forward to reading more.

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Billypar
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#Amazing #MOvember

It's been so much fun trading music and book connections these past few years. Thanks for organizing such an amazing challenge, Cindy! It was a great way to meet so many people and see everyone's creativity. Not to mention the songs themselves - I had the daily song stuck in my head many times. I'll miss it, but looking forward to sharing in future Litsy events with everyone! 😃🎵🎸🎹🥁🎶👏👏👏
@Cinfhen

erzascarletbookgasm Haha! 👏 2mo
CarolynM Very good 👏👏👏 2mo
Cinfhen Thanks so much Vinny!!! Your posts always sparked a level of creativity and I really loved that!!! 2mo
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BarbaraBB So creative indeed! We‘ll keep in touch! 2mo
Cathythoughts Brilliant post ! Love it 👍🏻❤️ 2mo
Suet624 💕💕💕👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 2mo
24 likes7 comments
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Billypar
A Collection of Essays | George Orwell
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#IllRemember #MOvember
Just read the Orwell essay 'Such, Such Were the Joys' about the horrors of attending an English boarding school before the first World War. The living conditions were deplorable, but he also talks about the importance of remembering how children see the world to put the psychological impact of the authority his teachers wielded, and other aspects of the class divide into context.
@Cinfhen

Billypar Great essay, though weird to see 'it' used as the pronoun of choice for a child. 2mo
Cinfhen That is disturbing!!! But it‘s Orwell 😉 2mo
Cinfhen Vinny, I just wanted to just say how much I‘ve enjoyed your posts over the YEARS!!! I‘m stepping down from hosting the daily challenges but I‘m still here on Litsy😁My TBR thanks you for taking the journey with me ♥️ 2mo
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Suet624 I‘m always surprised that adults can‘t relate to the horrors of childhood and put themselves in the child‘s situation. 2mo
Billypar @Cinfhen Thanks Cindy: I've had so much fun with this challenge. It was the first activity I tried on Litsy and it was the main thing that introduced me to all the fantastic people here. I also had a great time seeing everyone in person at the Philly meet-up and co-hosting #Nofemmeber Looking forward to participating in future Litsy events with you, starting with #BelowZer00s in January! 2mo
Billypar @Suet624 Definitely. Orwell describes a lot of horrific conditions, but towards the end he speculates that even if those have improved over the years, it's likely that a lot of the social aspects of exclusion and discrimination still persist. Unfortunately he's probably right for the 1950s or 2019. 2mo
Suet624 Agreed. 2mo
Cinfhen It‘s been a fun ride and we‘re still going strong 💪🏼 2mo
41 likes1 stack add8 comments
review
Billypar
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Pickpick

#nyrbbookclub
It's difficult to watch Judith's hopes for a traditional family life dissolve in such a short period of time. Her subsequent crisis of faith is developed in heartbreaking detail and serves as the soul of a novel with few sympathetic characters to soften its stark realism. The way everyone talks about Judith in her absence disturbed me most, casual cruelty no less common today than in 1955. Looking forward to tomorrow's discussion!

vivastory Very perceptive review. I was also struck by how many people stood by & just watched her self-destruct. 2mo
youneverarrived It made me feel bad for her when she got excited to see the family but then knowing they were all taking the mick out of her. Brilliant review 🙌 2mo
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Billypar @vivastory Yeah, it made me dislike many of the people in her life, even though they all seemed to have reactions that were sadly believable. 2mo
vivastory Unfortunately I have seen people behave similarly. I think that is one of the reasons it felt very contemporary, for me anyways. 2mo
Billypar @youneverarrived Ugh, I know! She was aware of some of it from overhearing the kids, but they all seemed to share the same opinion of her. 2mo
Billypar @vivastory Agreed: gossip and schadenfreude seem to thrive in any society, no matter the culture or time period. 2mo
batsy @youneverarrived That bit broke my heart. Perhaps the reader can see it coming because of how deftly Moore depicts character & like @Billypar points out, you know that people have it in for the likes of Judy, but it still made me so sad 💔 2mo
Leftcoastzen Casual cruelty, I‘m sure I will witness some today. 2mo
Billypar @Leftcoastzen Yeah, all too common unfortunately. Nice job with this month's pick: very good choice and discussion! 2mo
39 likes10 comments
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Billypar
Invisible Cities | Italo Calvino
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#holiday #MOvember

A few books I've read while on a holiday. The top three were from this year 📆🕶🎒🛩

@Cinfhen

vivastory How many books by Hustvedt have you read? I keep meaning to read more by her 2mo
Billypar @vivastory The Blindfold was my third - it wasn't bad, but I liked What I Loved and Blazing World a lot more. I definitely want to read more - not sure which I'll pick up next. 2mo
vivastory I've heard great things about 2mo
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Cinfhen Our book club is readingWhat I Have Loved for January! 2mo
Billypar @Cinfhen Hope you like it - it's a perfect book club choice- lots to discuss! 2mo
Leftcoastzen Show off! Those are smart people books.😁👍👏 2mo
Billypar @Leftcoastzen Ha! I did look at the stack and think, 'no real beach reads here, huh?' 😁 2mo
47 likes7 comments
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Billypar
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#nyrbbookclub

My library hold came in just in time - a Thanksgiving miracle! My fiancee who had a half day today was awesome enough to pick it up from the library so I could have it for the holiday.

Now to see if I can finish by Saturday for the discussion..🤞

vivastory Do it! Grab a turkey leg, a bottle of wine & ignore the world for a few hours for Judith's company. It's 💯 worth it! 2mo
merelybookish Nice old school copy! I hope you can get it done on time! 2mo
Billypar @vivastory Sounds like a perfect plan. I cracked it open tonight and I'm enjoying it already. I'll have Judith in my head while I'm attempting awkward conversation with friends and family- I should start gathering interesting topics to talk about now 😁 2mo
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Billypar @merelybookish I'm liking the shade of green. I hope so too- I like it so far! 2mo
Aimeesue Enjoy! Moore is so good! 2mo
BarbaraBB She is sad but wonderful company. I‘m sure you‘ll manage before Saturday! 2mo
batsy Love that vintage-y cover! And I hope you enjoy. I just finished and I'm kind of devastated by this book. That comment about gathering interesting stuff to talk about...I feel the same 😆 2mo
Billypar @Aimeesue @BarbaraBB I'm not great with reading books quickly, but so far it's really good so I'm going to go for it. 2mo
Billypar @batsy I'm only 40 pages in, and I can already see it being devastating. And on the conversational end, I don't know why 'So what's going on with you?' manages to surprise me every time 😕❓ 2mo
batsy @Billypar Me too, always! I feel you. And I really felt for Judy when she endures moments with horrible manbaby sons just to have topics to talk about with others 😣 2mo
youneverarrived I really like this edition 😍 looking forward to seeing what you think. 2mo
Billypar @youneverarrived I made good progress today so should be able finish it tomorrow. Interested to see how it wraps up - definitely not holding out hope for a happy ending! 2mo
Suet624 @Billypar @Batsy what‘s going on with you? Always makes me feel like there‘s a spotlight shining in me and I have to start taking all my clothes off. Excruciating. (edited) 2mo
Billypar @Suet624 Ha! So true. 'Oh you know, working hard, living my life..' 😁 2mo
batsy @Suet624 Ha, so true! Excruciating is exactly it. 2mo
44 likes15 comments
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Billypar
Baltasar and Blimunda | Jos Saramago
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#fever #MOvember

🎶He gave her fever..

@Cinfhen

Cinfhen Ohhhh, I love books about The Inquisition #Stacked 2mo
vivastory @Cinfhen Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!! 😂 2mo
Cinfhen So true!!! Your comment made me think of Mel Brooks https://youtu.be/NUMkcBctE7c 2mo
37 likes3 comments
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Billypar
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#rayoflight #MOvember

I still need to read Ray Bradbury one of these days. I keep seeing all these glowing Litsy posts about his work, and it's the time of year to reading resolutions for 2020, so I'm going to make this my first. #readingresolutions @Cinfhen

BarbaraBB Haha! Good one! 2mo
30 likes2 comments
review
Billypar
Paperbacks from Hell | Grady Hendrix
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Pickpick

Thanks @LeahBergen for recommending this fantastic trip through the weird world of 70s and 80s horror books. I think Hendrix made a critical decision for this project: even though there's some attention to why certain themes became popular and publishing industry trends, the crazy plot summaries are the focus. And the audio narrator reminded me of a movie trailer voice for heartwarming family films, which worked really well for some reason 😁

Nute I always enjoy reading your thoughts on books. I guess now I‘m interested in formulaic considerations for 70s and 80s horror books. Weird world stuff!😂 2mo
Billypar @Nute Thanks! Yeah, it's funny there were so many books mentioned that I probably wouldn't read but loved hearing about in synopsis form. 2mo
LeahBergen The audio narrator! 😂😂 Yes, that does sound somehow fitting. 2mo
Billypar @LeahBergen At first I thought it was an intentional thing to be funny, but I think it was just that narrator's style. Which is even better 😃 2mo
30 likes4 comments
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Billypar
The Player | Michael Tolkin
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#Hollywood #MOvember
The Player is one of my favorite movies, and I've always been curious to try the novel. Griffin Mill is a big-time Hollywood exec who listens to pitches from writers to find a very special few to turn into dull and cliche feature films. When he starts getting death threats he assumes they're from a writer whose script he passed over, but there's far too many to narrow it down. What follows is black comedy gold.
@Cinfhen

BarbaraBB Great choice for the prompt 2mo
Cinfhen This book sounds awesome 😎 2mo
33 likes2 comments
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Billypar
This Is Pleasure: A Story | Mary Gaitskill
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Yes it is ☺

I can't believe it took me this long to visit The Center for Fiction in Brooklyn. I was there for a reading by Mary Gaitskill from the tagged book with actor Ron Rifkin. Great discussion on the complicated nature of some Me Too situations that the novella delves into. And of course, I left with some books... pretty perfect night!

BarbaraBB Wow. How to reach those upper shelves?! 😍 2mo
merelybookish Wow! I take it you'll be going back! 2mo
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Billypar @BarbaraBB Other rooms had those sliding ladders, but i didn't remember seeing them in this one, so...🤷‍♂️ 2mo
Leftcoastzen I would definitely check that place out . 2mo
Billypar @merelybookish Oh definitely - it's got a cafe too 🙄 2mo
Billypar @Leftcoastzen It's great: the building opened earlier this year, but apparently it's a nonprofit that's been around since 2008, and they have a private library collection dating back to 1820 before the public library system was put into place. 2mo
57 likes7 comments
review
Billypar
Howards End | E M Forster
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Pickpick

"It was, however illogically, the good, the beautiful, the true, as opposed to the respectable, the pretty, the adequate. It was a landscape of Bocklin's beside a landscape of Leader's, strident and ill-considered, but quivering into supernatural life."
The contrast of the life of ideas led by the Schlegal sisters to the respectability of the Wilcoxes is explored in shrewd observations and sweeping musings on the changes in early ?

Billypar 20th century England. That sounds...boring. But it's not! Forster is not what I was expecting: way ahead of his time - nothing seems safe or dull. He lets himself get carried away with a line of thought, but never so much that he loses coherence. The Schlegals are compelling characters as we watch them rebel against some #papadontpreach characters that love technological progress and fear progressive ideas. @MOvember #ThoughtIWouldntLikeButDid 2mo
twohectobooks EM Forster is so good. His books read like they were published much later. 2mo
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Cinfhen Images are gorgeous and book sounds wonderful too! #MaybeOneDay 2mo
batsy I love this book so much 💜 Great point about how nothing seems safe or dull in his writing. 2mo
Billypar @twohectobooks Agreed! He kind of seems like someone who was born into the wrong time. 2mo
Billypar @Cinfhen I never would have picked it up if I didn't have Zadie Smith's On Beauty that is supposed to be inspired by it. 2mo
Billypar @batsy Yeah, there were some passages that did all this wild stuff, and I was almost surprised when I reread them and it seemed like he was onto something. 2mo
Leftcoastzen ❤️❤️❤️More people should read him. 2mo
Billypar @Leftcoastzen Definitely! 🙄 2mo
Anna40 Read almost all of Forster's books. My favorites are Howard's End, Maurice and A room with a view. But also loved Where angels fear to tread and Passage to India 2mo
Billypar @Anna40 Thanks for those recommendations - I'm looking forward to reading more of his! 2mo
Anna40 Yes. He's a wonderful author. But your post made me want to reread some of his books. I was in my 20s when I read them. Would be interesting to see how I feel about them now, especially the Schlegel sisters :) 2mo
Billypar @Anna40 I don't reread much, but I do wonder about the favorites I read in my 20s- I'm just nervous they won't live up to how I remember them. But I think you'd still enjoy Howards End and the Schlegals. 2mo
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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 2mo
batsy Well played! And a brilliant book ⭐ 2mo
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 ☺ 2mo
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GatheringBooks awesome!! :) 2mo
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!) 2mo
Cinfhen The beauty of reading challenges!!! Discovering all the new authors 2mo
43 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 2mo
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. 2mo
Cinfhen Hmmmm, that‘s interesting.i need to think as well 2mo
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. 2mo
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Cinfhen I‘ve been thinking all day but haven‘t really come up with any good examples 2mo
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.” 2mo
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) 2mo
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 2mo
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!) 2mo
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. 2mo
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) 2mo
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! 2mo
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. 2mo
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! 2mo
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! 2mo
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! 2mo
Cinfhen Hahaha!!! Perfect 👌🏾 2mo
Billypar @batsy I know - I implicitly believe the words are shifting around within the pages just to stay relevant with my daily life 😁 2mo
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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 ☺ 2mo
Blaire Hope you‘re enjoying Howard‘s End. I loved it. 2mo
Cinfhen Oh good!!! A little Madonna never hurt anyone 💋 2mo
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. 2mo
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Billypar
Einstein's Dreams | Alan Lightman
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vivastory I loved this one 2mo
Cinfhen Well played ☃️☃️☃️ 2mo
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. 2mo
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! 2mo
Cinfhen Hmmmm, I‘m morbidly intrigued by your tagged book 😜 2mo
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. 3mo
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. 😊 3mo
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. 3mo
ljuliel I‘ve not read that. I hope it‘s a good one for you ! 3mo
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 👍🏻🎶🥰 3mo
twohectobooks I‘ve been wanting to read this book for years but keep not getting around to it 😳 3mo
Kimbono Ooooh, listening to Down by the Water and reading Ghost Story makes for a creepy pairing. I like it! 3mo
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Billypar @Cinfhen Right? Seemed like this album cover worked for both performer and book. 3mo
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. 3mo
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 😁 3mo
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 3mo
Billypar @vivastory Yeah, me too, and just more Mitchell in general: the only other one I've read is Slade House. 3mo
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 😞 3mo
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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. 3mo
Taylor I read this once hella long ago but I loved it. 3mo
Billypar @Taylor It's definitely one of those books you remember no matter how long ago you've read it- I loved it too. 3mo
Taylor @Billypar I feel like I could read it again and I‘d still like it.... 3mo
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. 3mo
BarbaraBB I had a hard time finishing this one. 3mo
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 😅 3mo
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Cinfhen Some books just aren‘t for me....this is probably one of them 😬 3mo
Billypar @Leftcoastzen Yeah, he's a favorite of mine- it's been awhile since I read one of his though. 3mo
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. 3mo
Liz_M I loved this book! As an added incentive some of it takes place in the seedy NYC of yesteryear. 😁 3mo
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. 3mo
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. 3mo
Cinfhen Aside from this Testaments debacle I agree, she is iconic and deserves all the accolades but not this year‘s Booker Prize 🤪 3mo
Billypar @readordierachel Definitely a literary rockstar 🙄🎸 3mo
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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. 3mo
Cinfhen I need to read Alia Grace this year!!!! 3mo
readordierachel @Cinfhen You do! Alias Grace is so good. 3mo
Cinfhen @readordierachel hoping to fit it into a challenge box this year!‘maybe #BottomOfYourTBR #Booked2020 3mo
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. 3mo
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? 3mo
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 😶 3mo
readordierachel Ha! Same. 3mo
Cinfhen Cat‘s Eye is on my list too and The Blind Assassin was fantastic @readordierachel 3mo
Leftcoastzen Nice! 3mo
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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 3mo
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego An Untamed State is one of my all time favourite books. Heavy, but worthwhile. I wish Gay wrote more fiction. 3mo
Kdgordon88 An Untamed State is devastating and so damn good! I‘m with @StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego I wish she would write more fiction as well. 3mo
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Tamra I have Freshwater coming up soon on my audio holds list. 🤞🏾 3mo
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. 3mo
merelybookish OMG I love On Beauty! 3mo
jillrhudy Every time I plan my next few reads all my holds come in at the library at once, digital and print! 3mo
Billypar @vivastory It's been on my list for awhile even before I bought it, so I'm pretty excited. 3mo
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. 3mo
Billypar @Tamra I'm so curious based on the reactions I've read! 3mo
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! 3mo
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. 3mo
Becker Untamed state is very intense. I loved it. It packs s punch. 3mo
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 3mo
merelybookish @Billypar It's my favorite of her novels! 3mo
Tanisha_A I loved reading My Name is Red! Super haul! 3mo
Cinfhen Untamed State was brutal!!!! But I loved it!!!!!!! 3mo
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! 3mo
Billypar @Tanisha_A MNIR hooked me from the first sentence in the bookstore, so I'm already intrigued! 3mo
youneverarrived The two on the right are both AMAZING reads 💙 3mo
Billypar @youneverarrived Nice- I'm looking forward to both very much! I feel like I can't go wrong with what's coming up 🙂 3mo
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Billypar
The Secret History | Donna Tartt
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#sorry #MOvember

Self-explanatory I think...☺

@Cinfhen

vivastory Ha! 👍 3mo
Cinfhen Hahaha 3mo
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