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cariashley

cariashley

Joined May 2016

Reader, traveler, eater, New Yorker 📚🛫🍷🍝🗽🐱
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Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez
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Tell No One by Harlan Coben
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cariashley
Independent People | Halldor Laxness
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Pickpick

I now understand why a nearly 500 page book about sheep and coffee is such a classic. One definitely needs to be in the right headspace to focus on this type of novel, but once you give over to it, it‘s rewarding. It has many themes but the one that resonated with me most was resilience in hard times. Because wow, the times were so often hard in this kind of life. Bjartur is one of the most infuriating and memorable protagonists I‘ve come across.

batsy Great review. I really enjoyed this, too. It's definitely an experience. 2d
BarbaraBB This was so good indeed. 1d
37 likes2 comments
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cariashley
Grief Is for People | Sloane Crosley
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Pickpick

A wholehearted and enthusiastic pick for this excellent memoir. Read to moving effect by the author on audiobook.

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cariashley
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Pickpick

I generally liked this one but felt the second half dragged a bit and it felt longer than it should have been (and it‘s not a long book). Definitely an interesting framework and provocative theme; would say it‘s a low pick for me. I really love the purple, though.

BarbaraBB Great review though I loved it more than you did 💜 4w
46 likes1 comment
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cariashley
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Pickpick

Kate Atkinson can do no wrong in my book, and I loved her latest collection of linked stories. It was really fun to read her work in a new type of format. I‘ve been watching the BBC adaptation of the Jackson Brodie novels and am getting myself really psyched for the new one coming out later this year!

BarbaraBB It seems summer where you are 😍 1mo
cariashley @BarbaraBB it‘s up to 55 degrees Fahrenheit here today (Long Island, NY) and it‘s such a treat! Definitely a bit of false spring, but I‘ll take it 🥰 (edited) 1mo
Ruthiella There‘s a new Jackson Brodie novel coming out?!?!? Fantastic news! 🤩 1mo
55 likes1 stack add3 comments
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cariashley
Let Us Descend | Jesmyn Ward
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Loved the prose in this book, which was just gorgeous. The first half was excellent but the second half lost me a little, but still appreciated this for its beautiful writing about truly horrific things. #LitsyTOB24 #botm

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 💛💛 great review! 2mo
Megabooks Nice review!
2mo
BarbaraBB I agree, the ghosts took over a bit too much for me. 2mo
62 likes3 comments
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cariashley
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Pickpick

Really enjoyed this memoir by a longtime NYC medical examiner. It was sometimes hard to listen to - she doesn‘t hold back on the detail. She tied in her own mental health struggles in a really effective way. Definitely recommend.

44 likes3 stack adds
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cariashley
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Pickpick

I really liked Rooney‘s debut novel, which I finally got to after reading her newer ones. The characters frustrated me a good amount of the time, but I expected that. There were a few parts that snuck up on me and took my breath away with the realness. And that ending - I loved it.

BarbaraBB My favorite Rooney! 2mo
batsy @BarbaraBB @sarahbarnes The Rooney I've yet to read! So now I'm extra looking forward to it 🙂 2mo
Reggie That ending, lol. Very- the heart wants what the heart wants!!!! Loved this book. 2mo
54 likes1 stack add4 comments
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cariashley
First Lie Wins: A Novel | Ashley Elston
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I found this to be very entertaining, once I suspended my disbelief and stopping quibbling with plot inconsistencies. It was good, page turning fun. Can‘t wait for the inevitable screen adaptation. #botm

51 likes1 stack add
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cariashley
Hello Beautiful | Ann Napolitano
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I liked but didn‘t love this one. It started out very strong and I love deep character studies, but the way some of the relationships developed (or degraded) just didn‘t always feel true to life to me. I‘m glad I read it, though. #litsytob24

TheLudicReader This book seems to be universally adored, though not by me, so I always feel a little vindicated when I read a review like yours. 🙂 2mo
cariashley @TheLudicReader right? I thought I‘d be more impressed based on all the positive reviews. 2mo
54 likes2 comments
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cariashley
More: A Memoir of Open Marriage | Molly Roden Winter
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#audiorun views today on the East River. Just started this audiobook and the subject matter is shocking and fascinating, as advertised. But I‘m finding the main thing I can‘t get over so far is the fact that this woman ate an enormous, messy corn muffin during her first therapy session and had to be asked not to bring food to future sessions because she got crumbs everywhere. Truly psychotic behavior 😆

squirrelbrain Sounds utterly bonkers! 🤪 2mo
cariashley @squirrelbrain it could seriously be a Seinfeld episode 🤣 2mo
Graywacke Goodness, I want a corn muffin 2mo
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cariashley @Graywacke right??? I can‘t remember the last time I had one 2mo
Bookish_Viking Your posts and pictures of the City are envy inducing. Do you know a good alley I could move into there? Preferably a covered one (lots of fire escapes and stuff to block the rain) 2mo
cariashley @Bookish_Viking 🤣🤣 NYC housing truly is insane. My very first apartment after college was so compact, I could open the fridge from my bed. It was still $1500 a month in 2005, but worth it!! 2mo
Bookish_Viking I‘m still wanting to move there someday. Though as time goes, I run out of “somedays”. I used to have a contact there that I went to school with, she was helping me with moving. But then Covid hit. I don‘t suppose you know anyone that could use a random quiet book nerd of roommate? 2mo
cariashley @Bookish_Viking you should! I just met someone who lived in other cities for years and moved to NYC a couple years ago and has zero regrets. She‘s loving it. I don‘t know any potential roommates at the moment but will keep it in mind! 2mo
37 likes8 comments
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cariashley
Day | Michael Cunningham
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Really liked this novel, which tells the story of a family through a unique structure of three specific days one year apart (2019-2021, so you know where that‘s going). The writing is impeccable.

Also taking the chance to show off my orchid, which I‘ve managed to keep alive for over a year and it‘s blooming again! 🤗

Ruthiella Beautiful orchid! I‘ve never managed to make one last more than a few weeks. 2mo
TrishB Loved this too- funny how the US and U.K. covers are very subtly different. (edited) 2mo
cariashley @TrishB oh interesting, just saw your post with the UK cover! 2mo
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cariashley @Ruthiella it‘s a true miracle. I definitely don‘t have a green thumb! I just tried to listen to my mom‘s advice and watered 1/4 cup once a week! 2mo
TrishB Both lovely though! 2mo
squirrelbrain Definitely need to read this book - and well done on the orchid! 2mo
Tamra Gorgeous! 2mo
MicheleinPhilly Good job! I actually have fake orchids because I can never keep them alive. But I have one that someone gifted me last summer that is starting to sprout buds again. 🤞🏼 Also, I loved this book! 2mo
58 likes8 comments
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cariashley
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Pickpick

Claustrophobic and enraging, and overall pretty well done. But man, is it bleak. A soft pick.

50 likes2 stack adds
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cariashley
Fourth Wing | Rebecca Yarros
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A little all-tell-no-show, but I get the hype. This was totally addictive and fun and made me want to take martial arts classes 🤪

LazyLibrary I think these books are super fun too. Gave us alllll the tropes and I was here for it 😎 3mo
48 likes1 comment
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cariashley
The Guest: A Novel | Emma Cline
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A perfect one-day vacation read, but man is it stressful. Cline really leans in to the problematic, reckless and self destructive protagonist theme to the point that it‘s hard to watch, but impossible to look away. I loved the snarky take on the Hamptons - as a lifelong (admittedly, mostly seasonal) resident it‘s completely warranted and not far off the mark.

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cariashley
The Fraud | Zadie Smith
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This is one of the best audiobooks I‘ve ever experienced - Smith‘s narration is such an incredible performance. The book itself started out strong then meandered a bit too much, but I could happily listen to Smith read another several hundred pages with her impeccable accents. Truly wonderful.

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cariashley
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Pickpick

A nice, light one day read - perfect for the beach! This was very cute and a good reminder to read more Tessa Dare. #romantsy

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cariashley
A Court of Silver Flames | Sarah J. Maas
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Pickpick

I absolutely love Nesta as a character and her journey to redemption was so satisfying. Great, spicy vacation read. 🌶️

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cariashley
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Christmas book haul! 🎅 Very excited about all of these. Which one should I read first?

Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday week!

CBee Notes on an Execution and Tsar of Love and Techno are both AMAZING. I was looking at The Wren just yesterday - hadn‘t heard of it but it looks intriguing 🤔 4mo
Ruthiella Awesome stack! 😃 4mo
Tamra I enjoyed Notes on an Execution, I hope you do too! 4mo
TheLudicReader I have three of those books on my own tbr shelf. 😂 4mo
49 likes4 comments
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cariashley
Oryx and Crake | Margaret Atwood
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I hit my reading goal with this one!

Chilling and bleak with George Saunders vibes. I‘d had this on my shelf for years and glad I finally read it as Atwood is a master of dystopian fiction. I wish there was a little more depth to the relationships though.

ChaoticMissAdventures Congrats on hitting your goal!!! 🎉 4mo
Deblovestoread Well done 🎉 4mo
40 likes2 comments
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cariashley
The Half Moon: A Novel | Mary Beth Keane
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Oof, this is a tough review to write as it‘s very close to home. Keane writes about the world I grew up in and it‘s almost eerie how familiar it is. My dad has been a Queens bar owner my whole life and she really nabs the challenges of the restaurant industry, down to its shady dealings and side hustles. Even more personally, she captures the desolation of IVF and its impact on relationships in a way I haven‘t read before. Highly recommend. #botm

Christine Thank you for sharing that. Though I didn‘t have that personal connection to it, I really loved this one too. 4mo
BarbaraBB That must have been a hard read for you. I am happy it was a pick ❤️ 4mo
52 likes2 comments
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cariashley
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I was actually surprised when I checked my #botm stats as I thought I‘d have more in the “liked” category. Also wow, that‘s a lot of books 😅

Twainy Ugh you made me look … 75. How did I acquire so many! 😆👍🏻 5mo
cariashley @Twainy it‘s scary how quickly they add up!! 4mo
33 likes2 comments
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cariashley
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Panpan

Not a fan of this one. I found it slow aside from ~50 promisingly exciting pages in the first half, after which things went back to a snail‘s pace. The “reveals” were entirely predictable and the fantastical elements were flimsy. The relationships weren‘t well drawn and the southern country theme was grating. Just not my cup of tea. #botm

mdemanatee Sounds like my issues from Spells for Forgetting so I won‘t get FOMO skipping this one 5mo
cariashley @mdemanatee think you‘re in the clear. 5mo
49 likes2 comments
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cariashley
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I really liked this book, which is character study, gay coming of age story and cultural history all in one. It‘s ambitious and maybe trying to do too much, but Farrell and Nate‘s relationship is so charming and tenacious that it really won me over. If not for my Strand fiction subscription I wouldn‘t have heard of it.

Fun note, my dad is named Farrell and I‘ve never seen the name anywhere else! It‘s Irish (which this Farrell is not, weirdly).

Bookish_Viking I completely envy your view out your window. How I would give up the Midwest for it. Been to the City twice and never liked leaving. 2mo
cariashley @Bookish_Viking aw! Feels like everyone is hating on NYC these days so love to hear that. It‘s the only place in the world for me 🥰 2mo
Bookish_Viking NYC is my favorite place in this entire country, not favorite city, favorite place total (specifically Manhattan). I spent several years trying to move there and I still really want to. I was planning to go back this September but it‘ll probably be postponed to next year. 2mo
Bookish_Viking Do you have an Instagram full of NYC photos? 2mo
cariashley @Bookish_Viking I don‘t actually! I have an insta but rarely post (and my old posts are mostly cats and food 😆) 2mo
31 likes1 stack add5 comments
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cariashley
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View from today‘s #audiorun here on Long Island. This is a really interesting read. Was a little challenging to muster the wherewithal to pick it up as my own womb has caused me tremendous stress in the past year. The tone is both clinical and compassionate however, and I find knowing more about the science is only helpful.

wanderinglynn Gorgeous view! 7mo
Bklover Beautiful! 7mo
38 likes2 comments
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cariashley
An Untamed State | Roxane Gay
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Pickpick

One of the most harrowing books I‘ve ever read. The word “unflinching” is in all the blurbs but this is truly a book that does not look away, not for one second. I read it as quickly as I could to just get through it. I‘m glad I read it and I‘m amazed at Gay‘s ability to write this story, but this was tough. Don‘t go into this lightly.

Deblovestoread This book stays with me. I wish she would write more fiction. 7mo
Ruthiella I also found so much of this book difficult to read. 7mo
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Love this book. 7mo
44 likes1 stack add3 comments
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cariashley
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Mehso-so

A fluffy, super easy read about rich New Yorkers, but with a Brooklyn twist. A decent palate cleanser but pretty mediocre in terms of writing and character development. #botm

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cariashley
Penny | Karl Stevens
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Pickpick

Entertaining one sitting read imagining a house cat‘s existential musings. I picked this up at a David Sedaris event last year. Recommended for cat parents 🐱

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cariashley
The Days of Abandonment | Elena Ferrante
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A quick but not easy read. It was painful to observe the protagonist‘s unraveling and the one section in the second half really felt like a horror novel, it was so disturbing. A low pick as I‘m glad I read it, but it gives me a shudder to think about.

32 likes1 stack add
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cariashley
It's In His Kiss | Julia Quinn
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Summertime reading at its finest, with rose 😎

SheReadsAndWrites Love Julia Quinn! 9mo
BarbaraBB Looking good 😊 9mo
48 likes2 comments
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cariashley
Monsters: A Fan's Dilemma | Claire Dederer
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Pickpick

Absolutely loved this examination of reconciling the art and the artist, something I think about a lot. Superbly written and observed. I loved the veering into memoir. Dederer is also a great audiobook narrator, which isn‘t always the case when the author reads their own book.

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cariashley
Black Cake | Charmaine Wilkerson
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Panpan

Brace for an #unpopularopinion - did not like this one. It wasn‘t a dense read but it felt like a real slog to get through. The narrative flitted over the (many) characters so superficially, it didn‘t feel like any of them were really fleshed out. The plot also took some real sensational turns for apparent shock value, especially near the end. #BOTM

TheLudicReader You are not alone. I didn‘t like it either. 9mo
cariashley @TheLudicReader glad it wasn‘t just me. I‘m seeing more mixed reviews now, actually! 9mo
44 likes1 stack add2 comments
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cariashley
Hamnet | Maggie O'Farrell
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Pickpick

Achingly beautiful and wrenching. I‘m not usually a fan of historical reimagining but this was done perfectly. Just wow.

julieclair I‘m reading this right now and loving it! 10mo
56 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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cariashley
Human Croquet | Kate Atkinson
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I pulled out a bunch of random titles from my towering TBR to reacquaint myself. I love reshuffling my stacks from time to time! Are there any titles here I should move to the top of my list?

Ruthiella I need to read that Atkinson title myself! I‘ve owned it for over a decade. 😳 10mo
sarahbarnes I loved Conversations with Friends and it‘s a quick read! 10mo
cariashley @Ruthiella I think that‘s definitely the one I‘ve had the longest 😅 10mo
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ErikasMindfulShelf History of Love is one of my all time favorites. Maame is excellent. Lots of good books in your pile. 10mo
LiteraryinLawrence I‘m currently reading the Makkai and loving it. I remember loving History of Love! 10mo
peanutnine I really enjoyed Oona Out of Order! 10mo
cariashley @sarahbarnes it‘s the only one of hers I haven‘t read yet! 10mo
cariashley @ErikasMindfulShelf History of Love has been on my list forever! Really need to get to that and Maame too. 10mo
cariashley @LiteraryinLawrence that‘s good to know, feel like I‘ve heard mixed things on the Makkai! 10mo
36 likes9 comments
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cariashley
Liberation Day: Stories | George Saunders
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Finally got around to reading this. The stories did start to feel a little same-y but I‘m a big Saunders fan, so really enjoyed them anyway.

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cariashley
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This audiobook was the perfect companion for my morning runs last week on a London work trip! Love staying in the city center and being able to run up the Royal Mall 😊🇬🇧

BarbaraBB Fab pic! 10mo
Amiable I love the word “snackery!” 10mo
cariashley @Amiable me too, it‘s such a great book title! 10mo
43 likes1 stack add3 comments
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cariashley
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Pickpick

Really interesting mix of science writing and memoir. Especially good on audio as there is a carefully curated soundtrack and lots of audio clips of real conversations.

rockpools Sounds fascinating! 11mo
42 likes1 comment
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cariashley
Olive, Again | Elizabeth Strout
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I adore Olive and I loved returning to her in this follow up. The poignancy of the writing just did me in. Cheers also to the return of summer poolside reading! 😎

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cariashley
Romantic Comedy | Curtis Sittenfeld
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Loved this smart, super entertaining literary romance. I‘m a huge SNL fan so the first half was a bit of catnip, while the second half went deeper on the character development in unexpected ways. #botm

BarbaraBB Glad you liked it! I‘m saving it til August for #CampLitsy23 but am looking forward to it! 11mo
55 likes1 comment
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cariashley
A Man Called Ove: A Novel | Fredrik Backman
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Finally read this one, might be one of the last people on earth 😅 I liked it! It was a little feel-goody and contrived, sure, but the Swedish locale helped. I probably would have hated it if was set in the US (I won‘t explore that thought more right now 😬). This author clearly also doesn‘t have a cat, but I was entertained by this Disney version of a feline.

Curiouser_and_curiouser Cool. I've just this minute finished Olive Kitteridge and Ove is next on my nightstand. I look forward to reading it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts 😊 10mo
42 likes1 comment
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cariashley
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Pickpick

I love Frank Bruni‘s nonfiction. This was a lovely and thoughtful meditation on aging, illness and disability, resilience, what matters in life - all the things. Really enjoyed it.

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cariashley
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Mehso-so

Didn‘t love the madcap, over-stylized tone or the scatological elements, but it was short and I powered through. I‘m finding I don‘t love fiction about musicians in general, for some reason (The Ground Beneath Her Feet by Rushdie is an exception 🤷🏼‍♀️). A disappointing Strand fiction club pick.

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cariashley
Romantic Comedy | Curtis Sittenfeld
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No brainer #botm pick for me! Can‘t wait for this one, I love Sittenfeld!

charl08 Ooh, I didn't know she had a new one! 🤩 13mo
BarbaraBB I can‘t wait to read this one either! 13mo
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cariashley
Hell Bent | Leigh Bardugo
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Loved this follow up to Ninth House! Alex Stern is an excellent heroine - flawed, complicated and reckless but wildly entertaining to follow. The action started from page one and kept up a breathless pace to the last sentence; I blew through the second half of this in a day. Can‘t wait for the third book. #botm

StaceGhost Loved the detective‘s character development in this one 13mo
cariashley @StaceGhost me too, and the other characters as well! Really well done. 13mo
42 likes2 comments
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cariashley
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Pickpick

And with that, I‘m a #tob23 completist! (Well, except for the one I bailed on halfway through 😅)

I really enjoyed this. It was all over the place in a good way, and I loved following all the threads. This sort of rambling, character driven writing is right up my alley. It didn‘t always work perfectly but it‘s really impressive for a debut. A strong contender for the tournament but still second to Sea of Tranquility for me.

Ruthiella 🥳 Congratulations! I was also really impressed by this debut and I loved the writing too. 13mo
Hooked_on_books Congrats on completing! 13mo
BarbaraBB Well done!! 13mo
jlhammar Wow, that is impressive! Glad you enjoyed this one. Really hope it makes it through the next round. 13mo
37 likes1 stack add4 comments
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cariashley
Heart That Works | Rob Delaney
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One of the saddest, most honest memoirs of grief I‘ve read. It‘s brutal and devastating, but it doesn‘t wallow. Delaney narrates beautifully. It‘s excellent, if your heart can take it. As he quotes at the outset, a heart that hurts is a heart that works.

32 likes1 stack add
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cariashley
A Court of Mist and Fury | Sarah J. Maas
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Pickpick

After thinking book one was good but not great, I‘m now totally in on this series. Maas writes a really compelling romance and it‘s just what I needed right now. It got me through most of my waking hours on a 15 hour flight so that‘s saying something! There was way more action vs the first book, and though the plot left me scratching my head at times (did they really think through their plans sometimes??), it was all very entertaining.

Liatrek My current read and loving it so far🙂 13mo
40 likes1 comment
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cariashley
Manhunt | Gretchen Felker-Martin
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Bailedbailed

I tried… but I couldn‘t. Bailed at around 45% of the audiobook. I just found I didn‘t want to keep listening. I respect the author for the boldness of the subject matter, though! Second to last #tob23 book for me, sadly I won‘t be a full completist since I couldn‘t finish it.

squirrelbrain I think that‘s about where I bailed too. I think it may have been better to read in print rather than audio - it was a bit too ‘in your face‘ on audio. (Or ‘in your ears‘ maybe?!) 13mo
cariashley @squirrelbrain totally agree, and I really debated about the format before starting, but I was too tainted (sorryyyyyy) to switch at that point 😅 13mo
Ruthiella I could not have experienced this in audio. I needed the freedom to look away from the page! 13mo
36 likes3 comments
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cariashley
The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida | Shehan Karunatilaka
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Pickpick

There‘s a lot going on in this Booker prize winning novel. Sometimes too much, especially with so much brutally gruesome material. Once I got used to the style it did flow better for me, and I did like the surprisingly hopeful way things were wrapped up. Still took me a couple weeks to get through, though. Will definitely be interesting to see how this does in #tob23!

Ruthiella I didn‘t like this too much when reading it, but I have to admit, it has stuck with me! 14mo
BarbaraBB I enjoyed this one too despite my initial doubts about it. 14mo
Cinfhen Cool photo 14mo
57 likes3 comments
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cariashley
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Pickpick

I liked this well enough, but it feels like an unusual choice for #tob23. I liked the section about the narrator‘s adult life the best, but that was just a part of the final third. An interesting portrait of how deep grieving affects one family, and a surprisingly easy read given the content.

Chelsea.Poole This is next up for me. I‘m not looking forward to the heavy subject matter. 1y
squirrelbrain Great review. I‘m skipping this, unless it suddenly comes out in the UK at a cheaper price than it currently is. 1y
Ruthiella I had trouble with the first third, but once I got past that, I was really caught up in it. 1y
BarbaraBB I really liked this one but am still wondering what makes it tob-worthy! 14mo
43 likes4 comments
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cariashley
The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida | Shehan Karunatilaka
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Trying to manage some anxiety around some medical stuff I‘m in the middle of (nothing dire, still stressful), so I did the logical thing and went to The Strand. The walk combined with picking up these two books definitely helped! Seven Moons is for #tob23 and Liberation Day is a signed copy that jumped in my bag - am a huge Saunders fan and had been meaning to pick it up ☺️

Soubhiville Totally logical! I support your therapy! 1y
Tamra Hang in there with a good read! 1y
squirrelbrain The Strand would make most things better…hope you‘re OK. 1y
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SamAnne Hope you head on an upswing! 1y
Ruthiella Retail therapy! 👍 1y
TheBookHippie ♥️ I do this too! Sending light. 1y
BarbaraBB Wishing you the best, and hope you‘ll like the book. Still need to read it. 1y
batsy Sending good vibes! Where would we be without our bookish retail therapy ❤️ 1y
cariashley @Soubhiville @Tamra @squirrelbrain @SamAnne @Ruthiella @TheBookHippie @BarbaraBB @batsy thank you so much for the kind words and positive thoughts!! ❤️❤️ 1y
sarahbarnes Hope all is well. ❤️ I‘m glad you are taking care of yourself. 📚 I just finished Seven Moons and I liked it. 1y
51 likes10 comments