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Joined June 2016

Hamnet | Maggie O'Farrell
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I‘ve seen heaps of praise for this one but it‘s just not working for me right now. The illustrative writing style feels overindulgent and my reading time is too scarce these days 🙃

brittanyreads Beautiful baby ☺️ 3y
Cinfhen OMG!!! He‘s GORGEOUS 💙 3y
Cinfhen I did love the writing but it was a bit of a chore to read…I can imagine you have MUCH better ways to spend your days xxxx 3y
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Tamra Super cute! 3y
LeahBergen I missed his big arrival when I was on holiday!! He‘s SO BEAUTIFUL! Congratulations and lots of love to you both! 😘😘😘😘 3y
Traci1 That sweet little face. 😍 3y
CarolynM ❤️ I think I read one book in the first few months of my firstborn's life (he didn't sleep...at all😩) and it was a very light escapist romp. Time and concentration returned eventually... (edited) 3y
BarbaraBB He IS beautiful 😍😍. I can imagine why this one doesn‘t work for you at the moment! 3y
batsy Look at that sweet face 💕 3y
Cathythoughts Beautiful baby boy 3y
Nute What a sweet sweet darling face! 3y
DivineDiana You have other things on your mind! Adorable. ❤️ 3y
Reviewsbylola Totally bad timing on this one imo. No way could I have focused on this type of writing with a newborn. 3y
BarbaraBB Good luck starting your new job Emily! It‘s tough leaving Hank but he will enjoy the company of other babies too I‘m sure! Thinking of you 🤍 3y
kspenmoll Lots has changed since I checked in with you! What a sweet baby! 2y
84 likes15 comments
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Finally feeling up to a little bit of reading since baby Hank‘s arrival… although my book choices look a little different these days 😆

IamIamIam Congratulations!!! 👏👏👏 3y
TrishB Awww , congrats ❤️ 3y
merelybookish That's a beautiful little profile! Congratulations!! (And sleep>read!) 3y
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emilyhaldi Oh yes @merelybookish sleep trumps all!! It is amazing though how the body can function on so little sleep isn‘t it? 😅 3y
merelybookish @emilyhaldi Absolutely! And you'll sleep again...someday! 🤞 3y
Leftcoastzen Awww!so sweet ! 3y
Laughterhp Congrats! I love the title of that book. 3y
BarbaraBB He looks sooo cute 🥰 3y
kspenmoll What a little sweetie! So happy for you sleep deprived mama! 3y
sarahbarnes Congrats! ❤️ 3y
Bookzombie So cute! 3y
Gissy Adorable!❤️❤️❤️ 3y
marleed Ohhhhh! 3y
CarolynM ❤️ 3y
saresmoore So, maybe I‘m in the cynical phase of starting a grad program with a sporadically sleeping 1yo, but I call bullshit on both of those titles. 😜 But seriously, congratulations!!! 3y
emilyhaldi @saresmoore that‘s a fair assessment… however desperate times call for desperate measures 😂 3y
saresmoore Amen to that! Best wishes for health, happiness, and rest to the three of you! ♥️♥️♥️ 3y
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It's a Boy!: Your Son's Development from Birth to Age 18 | Michael Thompson, Ph.D., Teresa Barker
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Just popping in to share that baby Hank Wells Haldi joined us on 8/14/21 💙 He‘s a tiny 5lb bundle of cuteness. And while he proves to be a bit of a distraction from reading, we‘re quite fond of him!

Birdsong28 Congratulations 🎊🎉 3y
Desha Congratulations! 🎉 3y
Bklover What a cutie pie! Congratulations!! 3y
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BarbaraTheBibliophage Aww. Great picture. Enjoy the distraction!! 🎉🎉 3y
AmyG Congratulations! He is so precious. 🎉❤️ 3y
Oryx Congratulations! 3y
vivastory A good distraction! Congrats 👏🎉🎉 3y
Smrloomis Congratulations! So adorable ❤️ 3y
mrp27 Congratulations! 3y
DivineDiana What wonderful news! 🎉👏🏻❤️ And I must say that Baby Hank and you are looking well! ❤️ 3y
TheLudicReader Congrats. So sweet. ❤️ 3y
MsMelissa Congratulations!!! 3y
Reviewsbylola Precious little guy. 3y
zezeki Congrats!! 🥂💕💕 3y
Amiable Congratulations and welcome to the world, Hank! 3y
youneverarrived So precious ♥️ he‘s adorable! Congratulations 💙💙 3y
alisiakae Congratulations! 3y
SamAnne Congrats!! 3y
Reggie Congratulations!!!! 3y
DGRachel Congratulations! 3y
MaureenMc Congratulations! So precious. 🥰 3y
MidnightBookGirl Congratulations!!!! 3y
Tamra So wonderful! Enjoy!! 3y
JenReadsAlot Congrats!! 3y
MicheleinPhilly LOVE! Congratulations! ❤️ 3y
CoverToCoverGirl Congratulations ‼️ 3y
Liz_M Wow, congratulations! 3y
quietjenn Congratulations! 💕 3y
Jas16 Congratulations!!!!💕 3y
mom2bugnbee What a cutie! Congrats! 3y
eanderson Congratulations!!🎉 3y
Megabooks Many many congratulations Emily!! So happy for you!! 💜💜 3y
Librarybelle Congratulations! 3y
Bookzombie Congratulations!!! 💕 (edited) 3y
kyraleseberg Congratulations! 3y
JessClark78 Congratulations! 3y
andrew61 Congratulations. A beautiful picture, enjoy these special days. 3y
BookishBelle Congratulations! 3y
batsy Congratulations!! ❤️❤️ 3y
BarbaraBB So precious 🥰! You both look wonderful. Congratulations🤍🤍 3y
Cathythoughts Beautiful baby boy 💕 3y
Cinfhen He‘s GORGEOUS!!! Congrats to you, and all the wonderful Dargusch gang xxxxx much love ❤️ Thanks for tagging me @Reviewsbylola was baby Hank born on your bday?? Or G‘s??? Enjoy this little bundle of sweetness 💙 3y
Nute Congratulations! Such a joyous moment!💕 3y
Reviewsbylola Nope, he has his own birthday! I was really advocating for my birthday but he couldn‘t wait that long apparently. 😂 @Cinfhen 3y
Gissy Congratulations !💙💙💙💙 3y
CarolynM Congratulations again! 3y
Chrissyreadit Congratulations!!!! 3y
WJCintron Congratulations! 😃 3y
BookBabe Wow, I missed this! Congratulations! 😃👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 I have one too now 😄 Becoming a mom is such a blessing. Happy for you! 3y
109 likes50 comments
Reunited | Shiloh Walker
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Not the most exciting holiday backdrop, but I had to share a photo from this past weekend seeing friends in New York. We finally reunited after 1.5yrs - a long time for us to go without a visit!! We spent hours at this dinner catching up and laughing and having the best time 🥰

squirrelbrain Gorgeous, happy photo! ❤️ 3y
TrishB Lovely ❤️ 3y
Cathythoughts Happy days 3y
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BarbaraBB Oh that must have felt so good! Great picture 🤍 3y
Bookzombie ❤️ 3y
kspenmoll Wonderful!!!‘ 3y
Megabooks How nice!! 3y
britt_brooke So fun! Great pic. 💚 3y
Cinfhen This makes me SO HAPPY!!! And you look gorgeous, mama to be xxxx I can‘t imagine a better #HolidayEscape ❤️ 3y
LeahBergen How wonderful!! You look beautiful. 💖💖 3y
CarolynM So good to catch up with old friends💕 Lovely photo. 3y
batsy Fantastic ❤️ 3y
Reviewsbylola ♥️♥️♥️ 3y
Suet624 💕💕💕💕 3y
71 likes14 comments
Orkney | Amy Sackville
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This started with such promise, especially as I read it during a rainstorm, befitting the mood of the book better than if I had been on a sunny beach 🌧 However, the writing quickly became repetitive and lagged on far too long. I am eager to discuss the mysterious ending though 🧐

Cinfhen I think everyone had similar feelings about this one/ at least it was short 😉 3y
Reviewsbylola I‘m officially skipping it. 😬 3y
62 likes2 comments
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Question 6: What do you make of the non-chronological sequence of the book? Why might Chase present the story this way? Did this make you feel outside of the clan or part of it?

vivastory I greatly appreciated the way Chase constructed her story. The non-linear telling of it enhanced it. Although I was never sure where it was going next I found it very effective. 3y
vivastory Also, fantastic choice with the paintings, Emily! 3y
emilyhaldi @vivastory I think the non-linear storytelling also contributed to the dreamlike quality of the book and agree that it enhanced the reading for me. And thank you! I had a lot of fun picking out paintings for each question 👩🏻‍🎨 3y
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BarbaraBB I bailed on the book as you know and I feel sorry now after reading the discussion. I also love the paintings you chose! 3y
GatheringBooks Despite the non-linearity of the narrative, i still felt it was structured and coherent in its presentation, with episodes and memories inserted here and there like when your grandmother or favourite aunt tells you a story. I thought it was melodic, even. 3y
GatheringBooks And yes, super apt art work paired with the questions @emilyhaldi - very thought-provoking. 3y
emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB no need to feel sorry!! I can understand why you would bail on this book- I think it takes a certain mood and patience… 🙃 3y
vivastory @GatheringBooks I think the melodic aspect is important. There were multiple references to music throughout the book & it did seem to play an important role for Chase. 3y
quietjenn It felt very right to me. When you're sitting around weekend family or a close group of friends and reminiscing, chronology just isn't that important. And while that is for sure not what this book is seems appropriate. 3y
quietjenn @emilyhaldi also chumming in to say I love the art choices! 3y
batsy It worked very well, and I thought the combination of the first-person we with the shifts in time very effective in terms of trying to tell the story of a large family. And it works like collective memories do: it's never chronological and people remember things differently. To capture all of the details in this way, it makes sense that there's a "we" observing all of it, and that it moves back and forth. 3y
batsy I agree with everyone, clever use of Rockwell paintings @emilyhaldi it definitely adds a unique dimension to the discussions! 3y
Reviewsbylola Agree, your art choices are 👌🏻. I don‘t love the back and forth of this style narrative but Chase did it expertly and in this case it didn‘t bother me. 3y
36 likes13 comments
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Question 5: What does this book tell you about dependence and independence? Gram clearly values being self-sufficient (see page 70, for example), but she also opens her doors to her daughters and their families, buys them houses, and generally sets up a lifestyle in which very few people actually have to work. Is there any way in which she teaches her family independence?

Liz_M This is harder to answer, given the viewpoints of the narrators, but I think Gram must have taught her daughters independence. Elinor moves to New York and becomes a successful Ad Executive ( in the age of Mad Men!). May runs a hotel. Rachel divorced and seems to managing well on her own and her remarriage doesn't seem to be one of necessity. Grace seems to be the only one that stayed in a bad marriage. 3y
Liz_M And this is in a time where women weren't really allowed monetary independence, usually needing a male relative or husband for bank accounts, credit cards, land ownership. And didn't one of the girls have to lie about being married to keep a teaching job? (edited) 3y
vivastory @Liz_M I also thought of Mad Men 😂 I agree about Gram teaching her daughters independence. I think that she has always been a support system for her family when they needed it, someone that they know they can rely on when they encounter challenges & hardships. She would rather do so than having them wind up in bad situations with men. 3y
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vivastory @Liz_M If I remember correctly it might have been Grace who had to lie...or Libby... 3y
sarahbarnes @vivastory I agree - it seems like she would rather have her daughter there than in bad situations, as well as her granddaughters. And it‘s interesting that at the same time she models a type of independence in the way she refuses to go out of her way cooking or anything. And in some ways through the deal she made with her husband in their relationship. 3y
vivastory @sarahbarnes I appreciated her independence, but also how she was willing to change her mind too (I'm thinking of Grace's will & the house at the end) if it became impractical or seemed too harsh 3y
GatheringBooks I was also amused not just by Gram‘s refusal to cook as @sarahbarnes noted but how religiously she would leave for her card games come hell or high water. I thought that it was independence she taught her kids and grand-kids, while also showing them tough love. And she had no patience with the free-loading men. 3y
merelybookish I felt the character of the grandmother and the donkey Queenie were linked. (Some of the heavy handed imagery I didn't love about this book.) But Queenie wanders but can never completely leaves. Just a general stubbornness and will-to-survive. 3y
quietjenn I do think the girls learned independence by watching Gram and knowing that "the homestead" was there and that they could always come back to it (even if it wasn't the farm, by the end of the book), is what partially have them the ability to try and go, be it to NY, Chicago, or anywhere else. 3y
34 likes9 comments
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Question 4: In her NY Times review of Chase's book, Atwood called it, "a Norman Rockwell painting gone bad." Do you think that this is an upending of domestic fiction, or a realistic portrait of the lives of the characters?

vivastory I think Atwood also said that menace hangs over the entire novel & I def agree with both statements. I think it is a frank, & refreshing, portrait of the lives of the characters! I loved how Chase treated their lives with this degree of frankness while also crafting memorable characters for a great story. I tend to gravitate towards stories in urban & cosmopolitan settings & this was a wonderful reminder that great fiction can take place anywhere 3y
merelybookish This book reminded me of Alice Munro and her idea that everyone's lives are "deep caves covered in linoleum." Part of storytelling is peeling back the veneer to see all that complexity that lies beneath. 3y
vivastory @merelybookish Although I have only read a couple of Munro stories that quote has always stuck with me 3y
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Liz_M I wonder if it is both? I'd be curious to know what influenced Chase and what was popular at the time. 3y
GatheringBooks I googled Rockwell‘s paintings - very bucolic and pastoral and wholesome. I suppose what also makes the art even more fascinating is the inherent/implicit knowledge we all carry that there is always an undercurrent of negativity running alongside the polished positivity. Same thing with cheerful IG photos on social media. Chase merely exposed those undercurrents and disentangled them for everyone to see. 3y
merelybookish @vivastory Me too. One of my favorites! 3y
Billypar @vivastory It's so true what you said about great fiction - this is 3y
LeahBergen @merelybookish @vivastory Yes! I love that Alice Munro quote and this novel reminded me of some of her writing, too. I was also reminded of Margaret Laurence, another Canadian known for writing “farmhouse noir” (to coin a phrase 😆😆). 3y
emilyhaldi I‘m digging the term “farmhouse noir”! @LeahBergen perfect descriptor for this novel 👩🏻‍🌾 3y
vivastory @LeahBergen I'm curious about Laurence, are there any in particular that you would recommend? 3y
Billypar @vivastory I'm the same way - slow to pick up stories in rural/Midwest settings. But it's true - no place has a monopoly on good fiction. 3y
Billypar @merelybookish I love that Munro quote! 3y
merelybookish @vivastory The Stone Angel or The Diviners are good places to start, imo. 🙂 3y
merelybookish @LeahBergen Farmhouse noir. 👍 3y
vivastory @merelybookish Thanks, I just added both to my TBR! I noticed Atwood reviewed Laurence's Jest of God in 3y
merelybookish @vivastory There is also The Fire-Dwellers. They're all good (well I thought so in my early 20s when I read them). They are all part of the Manawaka Series, all set in the same town with some connected/overlapping characters. I would like to re-read so let me know if/when you decide to read one and I might join you. 3y
vivastory @merelybookish I'm going to order The Stone Angel now. Want to plan on starting the beginning of July? (Would you be interested in joining us @LeahBergen ) 3y
LeahBergen @vivastory Yes to @merelybookish ‘s suggestions! I would definitely start with The Stone Angel. I will skip reading along with you two on this one as it‘s pretty fresh in my memory but I‘ll jump in for any other Laurences you may read. 👍🏻 3y
vivastory @LeahBergen Okay, I'll tag you before starting any future Laurence novels. Really looking forward to trying them out! 3y
merelybookish @vivastory Sounds good! I will order a copy. 3y
quietjenn @merelybookish thank you for those Laurence suggestions. You and @LeahBergen mentioning her definitely made me curious! 3y
quietjenn I for sure felt like this was realistic. Just personally, I was very strongly reminded of families that I knew growing up, who lived in a similar setting. We were in the city, but I had country cousins we'd visit over the summer and, yeah. I recognize some of the dynamics here. 3y
vivastory @quietjenn Feel free to join us! 3y
quietjenn @vivastory I'll see if I can hunt down a copy. I told myself I was going to take a break from book buying, but that never last very long ... 3y
batsy @LeahBergen Farmhouse noir is perfect! 👌🏾 3y
batsy I love the "Norman Rockwell painting gone bad" description. It did feel kind of like a lowkey American Midwest gothic, at times. One of my favourite lines in the Grace chapter is, "The house was open to all the spirits; gravestones were shifting". I think this is very much the reality of the best kind domestic fiction. Dig deep enough to tell the truth about any family and you'll find all of this. 3y
Reviewsbylola Uh first of all, the term farmhouse noir is AMAZING @LeahBergen , second, how harsh of Atwood! 3y
35 likes27 comments
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Question 3: How are male characters treated in this book? Are they well-rounded characters with nuanced motivations and conflicts, or are they merely supporting actors, propping up the real work of the female characters? Does this change section to section?

vivastory I liked what I read on The Millions. “This novel is unique in that its single-gender point of view is not coalesced around a subject of the opposite gender.“ We do get glimpses of the men, but this is not their story & that's okay. I found it to be remarkable for an inversion of how much of an insight we get into the women's perspective, rather than the men's. Here's the link for the millions first person plural novels where I read the above: 3y
Billypar I thought they were as well-drawn as the women. A pet peeve of mine for many novels that have violent or emotionally abusive male characters is how there is barely a character apart from that violence. Not so for Grandad and Neil - they have complicated and three dimensional awfulness. 3y
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vivastory @Billypar Yes! There were major incidents that were related over a couple of paragraphs & then never really addressed again, although they seemed significant. Like Grandad running the Amish buggy off the road. It felt true to the way that families will ignore or barely acknowledge emotional & physical violence at times.. (edited) 3y
emilyhaldi I found Uncle Dan to be a sympathetic character… this quote struck me- “Uncle Dan counting the years, planning that one day he would take another job, would move, that his life would begin.” It‘s so deeply sad and poignant and relatable. While we don‘t hear as much directly from the male perspective in this book, it‘s clear that the men all struggle with the hard lives they live and take it out on their family in different ways. 3y
vivastory @emilyhaldi I forgot about Uncle Dan. I completely agree that he was a sympathetic character, I liked how he'd make popcorn & sit with them at night. 3y
Liz_M The men were secondary characters, but not two dimensional. We see Dan, Grandad, and even Neil at different points in their lives and under different circumstances. We see how they are hurt by the various women in the family and also moments of tenderness. 3y
GatheringBooks My initial response to the question was how female-centered the novel is, but reading @Billypar and @emilyhaldi ‘s responses reminded me of how “nuanced” the male characters are in all their hatefulness & normalized forms of abuse & violence. Even the male cousin had this streak & it was taken as a matter of course. Yet despite this nuance, they were peripheral, a “prop” to the storytelling, like anecdotes/back-stories that are good to know :) 3y
Billypar @emilyhaldi Absolutely agree about Uncle Dan. He felt like such a real person to me, especially his understated sense of humor. 3y
LeahBergen @emilyhaldi @vivastory Oh, yes! I momentarily forgot about Uncle Dan, too. He had such a sweetness about him that none of the other male characters had. 3y
youneverarrived @Billypar this is one thing I really liked in the novel. Neil comes across at first very one dimensional, not a very likeable person but as the novel progresses you get more glimpses of him as a real person. I wouldn‘t say I warmed to him but I definitely saw him from a different angle. 3y
quietjenn @youneverarrived @GatheringBooks @Billypar I really appreciated that about this book as well. It would've been so easy to portray these men as one-dimensional stereotypes or define then completely by their worst action or characteristic. 3y
quietjenn I felt like the men were a thread, woven in and out of the book as necessary, but it's not their tale to tell. Although yes, Uncle Dan was the best of them! 3y
vivastory @quietjenn I really like your analogy of them as a thread. I think that's really accurate! 3y
batsy @quietjenn That's a lovely way to put it! 3y
batsy I found the male characters well-drawn and complex, though they are secondary figures during the Queen of Persia's reign. Grandad was a very compelling malevolent figure—those sudden bouts of violence & aggression, then retreating into the background with his usual odd eating habits, etc. Feel like the formation of Gram's adult character was in response to the kind of man she had married, & it was well depicted in the book. 3y
Reviewsbylola Definitely supporting characters. And I think that was intentional for multiple reasons. One reason is that men can often be seen as supportive characters in general when it comes to the running of a household. Our society, as well as many others, is steeped in the tradition of men not being involved in the running of a household and the child rearing. 3y
28 likes17 comments
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Question 2: Chase tells the story using the first person plural. The narrative “we” adjusts throughout the book. For example, Celia is sometimes a part of it and sometimes not. Do these adjustments and
separations make sense to you? What do you make of the very end of the book in relation to the separation and cohesion of the narrative voice?

vivastory The use of the first person plural is so striking, it's what first drew me into this book. I found it to be very effective, although the girls at the center of the story are at different ages they are close enough to feel a common bond. 3y
Billypar It felt authentic to me - it was less of a showy literary style than what it really feels like to be part of a family when someone does something at odds with 'the rest of us.' 3y
vivastory I also loved this quote from O'Rourke's intro “The collective first-person narration could easily feel mannered, but here it is essential, a device that allows the book to move forward and backward in time fluidly, in an almost Faulknerian manner, foregrounding sensual perception over the rational armature of recollection, and underscoring the novel‘s preoccupation with memory. The book has a dreamlike quality of immersion, as if time were not a 3y
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vivastory (cont.) river but a pool.“ 3y
emilyhaldi I love that quote! @vivastory 3y
vivastory @emilyhaldi I was reminded of Virgin Suicides while reading the book & this quote makes me think of VS too 3y
merelybookish Lots of great points! It feels appropriate to adolescence in a way, when what your peer group thinks is so important, that you think as a group. This is doubly reinforced in this scenario when the peer group consists of relatives. I also have been thinking about the concept of a 'reign' and the royal we, although that usually applies to the monarch. 3y
vivastory @merelybookish Your last point about the concept of a “reign.“ Do you feel like Chase explored the concept of her title satisfactorily in the book? (edited) 3y
sarahbarnes Yes! Love all of these thoughts. I was fascinated by the narrative voice, too, and how it showed the collective. It felt intentional that you can‘t tell who is talking about different events - it doesn‘t seem to matter. 3y
sarahbarnes I also think the point about Cecilia is interesting. She acts as though she wants to be separate from the collective at certain points in the story. And then at the end you see that Cecilia also needs the connection to the family collective. 3y
vivastory @sarahbarnes If I remember correctly Celia is only 2 years older than the next oldest but when you are younger it does seem like the oldest, even if it's only by a couple of years, always feels significantly older. I agree about Celia needing the connection. 3y
Liz_M Given that Grace's death is at the heart of the story, the first person plural is an effective method for both telling the story of the closeness of the family and its eventual dissolution with emotion, but also with enough distance to be only heartbreaking rather than devastating. 3y
vivastory @Liz_M I completely agree. I was deeply moved by the passages towards the end dealing with this 3y
GatheringBooks Love reading all your thoughts. I didn‘t even realize Celia was disentangled from the “we.” Initially, I thought it was jarring, but as @Billypar pointed out, it felt authentic and real. Like a chorus of voices sharing stories of bygone years, where one and another are perceived as indivisible. Or as the profound quote shared by @vivastory says, like a collective “pool” of memories or if we were to go Jungian: a collective consciousness of sorts. 3y
GatheringBooks @Liz_M this is so spot-on. There is grief, yes, but as you pointed out “only heartbreaking rather than devastating.” There is always a sidestep, a counter-move, that seems to protect both reader and author from fully losing one‘s self in despair. Yet the anger and barely-reined-in hysteria can be discerned in the occasional outbursts and sibling attacks that seem near homicidal - but also a form of self-annihilation, with the collective “we” 3y
vivastory @GatheringBooks I def got the sense of a collective consciousness from this perspective 3y
LeahBergen I really thought I‘d find the first person plural narrative annoying at first but I rapidly found it imperative to the strength of this whole book. I can‘t imagine it being written any other way now! 3y
merelybookish @vivastory I felt like the reign was over at the end, and a way of life was over. The land sold, ready to be developed into a strip mall. Individualistic, capitalistic, patriarchal society has taken over. 3y
vivastory @LeahBergen This is such a great point! I think that a unique narrative voice does make it impossible to imagine the story being told in any other way. 3y
vivastory @merelybookish Agreed. It felt a little wistful since it was being narrated from the pov of the younger characters, but Gram who was older felt relieved to not have quite as many responsibilities. Such a wonderful balance between the two! 3y
quietjenn @merelybookish ah, that royal we is such a good point! 3y
quietjenn Great points, everyone! Like @LeahBergen I thought I'd find the plural narrative a bit irksome initially, but it really is essential and I can't imagine any other way to tell this story. 3y
batsy @merelybookish Great point on the royal "we", the monarch's reign, the citizens' collective power in numbers (I think I'm getting this book mixed up with our Shakespeare read ?). But yes, especially the passing of an era with what becomes of the house and the land and neoliberal modernisation. 3y
batsy It took some getting used to at first & I felt it a bit jarring when we first entered the Grace and Neil section. But as @LeahBergen points out it was essential to the book & I found the use of that perspective very clever in a subtle way. It also maybe raises some points about how their togetherness—though it could be harmful (those fights!)—actually gave them strength. Celia was somewhat unmoored, being older & mysterious, but it came at a cost. 3y
Reviewsbylola Omg @vivastory my mind immediately went to The Virgin Suicides too! I kept imagining the five sisters (mothers) as being the grown up versions of Eugenides‘ five sisters! 3y
Reviewsbylola I‘m sure I would have been put off by a collective narrative had I known about it going in. Like @LeahBergen said, I can‘t imagine it being written any other way. 3y
vivastory @Reviewsbylola I googled to see if Eugenides commented on the book & haven't been able to find anything, but for me the resemblance was too striking for him not to have read it at some point. Also, now I feel like rereading Virgin Suicides 😂 (edited) 3y
Reviewsbylola The movie was my absolute favorite as a teenager. I liked the book too! @vivastory 3y
26 likes28 comments
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Question 1: The book presents a cohesive clan, with Gram at the head. What do you make of the way Chase presents motherhood and mothering in this book? Does daughterhood ever take importance over motherhood?

Liz_M It's certainly a different view of motherhood (Parenthood) than modern, urban America. Knowing that my 12 year old nephew isn't allowed to bike to the park on his own, the freedom these young girls seem to have is strange. But I also remember long summer days of running wild with the neighborhood kids for hours on end, seemingly unsupervised, but mom always knew if we had really been misbehaving.... 3y
Liz_M More to the point of the question, Gram was a force of personality and everyone is loyal to her -- the girls feel like they are betraying her when they spend time with grandad or their own father. 3y
vivastory @Liz_M That's a really interesting point (rural vs urban childhoods). I grew up in a less urban setting & def had a lot more freedom than I would have had I grown up in a city. Gram's personality def was one of the most striking for me in the book. 3y
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sarahbarnes Motherhood feels like a burden in many ways, and daughters are a source of stress, or they are held at a distance. Among them, the daughters have their own dynamics, which take precedence over the dynamics between daughters and mothers. 3y
vivastory @sarahbarnes "daughters have their own dynamics.." this is such a great point & I think it's one of the things that makes it such a unique book 3y
Reviewsbylola Ok, so I‘m only halfway through the book but I plan to finish tonight. I think it‘s a very accurate portrayal of motherhood. There is a burden involved that is especially heavy when all of the household responsibilities fall on the woman‘s shoulders. I think this family has a very close relationship, yet they‘re also separate due to societal familial distinctions. The women bind to the others in their “tier”. 3y
Reviewsbylola And Gram is especially jaded, having lived the longest and having possibly the heaviest burden. 3y
vivastory @Reviewsbylola That's a great point about Gram being jaded 3y
arubabookwoman I'm dealing with some medical issues with my husband, and haven't been able to read much or participate on Litsy much. Sorry to miss this month's discussion. Hope things are resolved by next month's discussion. 3y
GatheringBooks I really like this question. I thought that the sisterhood and daughterhood were definitely highlighted more than motherhood per se. i felt much more keenly the bonds among females/sisters/girl-cousins/aunts-nieces, more than mother and child. I also like @Liz_M‘s insights about diff types of childhood as defined by places/spaces. The childhood depicted in the novel is one that is definitely uncommon in this day and age. 3y
arubabookwoman P.S. I love the paintings too! (edited) 3y
DrexEdit I think the author presents cohesive sets of females rather than a family clan. The men never really seem to be part of the family, even when they are part of the family. And there are divisions between mothers and daughters with each age group not really understanding the others. I don't think daughterhood ever takes precedence over motherhood in the novel. Each mother generation thought they had life figured out best. 3y
vivastory @arubabookwoman I'm so sorry to hear about the medical issues! Hope that things improve & I look forward to your posts! 3y
GatheringBooks @arubabookwoman sending you lots of light and positive energies! 💕💕 3y
LeahBergen @arubabookwoman So sorry to hear this! Sending ❤️❤️❤️. 3y
emilyhaldi @arubabookwoman Hope that things improve for you soon ❤️ 3y
quietjenn @arubabookwoman sending good thought your way. Hope things get better soon. 💙 3y
quietjenn @GatheringBooks I very much felt this! The connections between mothers and daughters felt almost incidental, and the collective we def. contributed. The most significant relationships felt like those between the sisters (especially of the "middle" generation). But I did feel like the younger girls learned to define what it means to be a woman by observing their moms, aunts, and Gram. 3y
Leftcoastzen @arubabookwoman hope things improve soon! 3y
batsy Some really interesting points here! I thought the depiction of motherhood was a fraught one; certainly the loyalties between sisters & cousins, & between daughters/granddaughters & Gram, took precedence. The most "visible" form of mothering was Libby's intervention in Celia'a burgeoning romantic life. Because of how enmeshed they all were, it seemed like the mothering was collective...reminded me a lot of Asian extended families, in that sense. 3y
batsy @arubabookwoman I'm sorry to hear about your husband's medical issues. I hope things improve very soon ❤️ 3y
25 likes21 comments
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Taking a moment to share the reason my reading has been a bit lacking the past several months... Baby boy is coming at the end of summer 💙

Any relevant book recommendations are welcome!

julesG Congratulations!!! 3y
LeahBergen Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 Congratulations!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉 3y
SilversReviews Congratulations!!😀 3y
See All 45 Comments
Erinsuereads Congratulations! 3y
Cinfhen Sooooooo exciting 💙💙💙💙💙love to the WHOLE family 3y
Leftcoastzen Wow! congratulations!🎉 3y
squirrelbrain Congratulations! ❤️❤️❤️ 3y
MicheleinPhilly SQUEEEEE! Congrats! ❤️ 3y
Librarybelle Congratulations! 3y
vivastory Congratulations 🎊👏🎉 3y
youneverarrived Congratulations!! 🥰🥰🥰 3y
AmyG Congrats! How wonderful!!! 3y
AkashaVampie Aww congrats. 3y
OrangeMooseReads Congratulations!! 🎈🎉🎊 3y
Copwithabook Congrats!! 3y
Graciouswarriorprincess Congratulations! 3y
Megabooks Congratulations!! 🎉🎉 3y
sprainedbrain Congrats! ❤️ 3y
JennyM Congratulations 🎉 3y
quirkyreader Congratulations 🎆 3y
Jas16 Congratulations!!! ❤️ 3y
dylanisreading Congratulations!! 3y
quietjenn Congratulations!!! 3y
kyraleseberg Congratulations 💙 3y
MaureenMc Congratulations! ❤️ 3y
JenReadsAlot Congrats!! 🎉 3y
batsy Congratulations! 💕 3y
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick 💕Congratulations!💕 3y
CarolynM Congratulations! That's lovely news. Look after yourself. 3y
emilyhaldi Thank you 🥰 @Cinfhen This will be the first boy in my family so we‘re not quite sure what to do!! 😅 but very excited 3y
britt_brooke So exciting! Congratulations! 3y
BarbaraBB OMG, I just read this. What a wonderful news!! And due so soon! Are you showing yet? I‘m super happy for you and hope you are feeling well ❤️❤️ (edited) 3y
BarbaraBB Oh and boys are much easier than girls. 😀 (edited) 3y
Cinfhen That‘s right!!!! That‘s SO AWESOME 💙💙💙I‘m really excited for @Mdargusch and the whole family ~ hope you‘re feeling well, Em xxxx 3y
emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB Thank you! I‘m definitely starting to show now- officially in the 3rd trimester this week! Love hearing that boys are easier than girls… I usually just hear how loud and rough they are 😅 but I‘m hoping to make him a mama‘s boy 🥰 3y
BarbaraBB I am hoping for a silhouette picture of you one of these days ❤️ Boys may be loud but as baby‘s they are just that: a baby. While girls are girls from day one. And you know how complicated that can be 😀. But your family will be thrilled with a boy finally! So exciting! Enjoy these last months 🤍🤍 3y
merelybookish How wonderful!! Congratulations! 3y
Reviewsbylola Sweet baby 😍 3y
ValerieAndBooks Congratulations 💙! One thing I learned from my first boy baby is this: you must have a cloth on his privates while changing diapers, or you might be surprised with a little fountain happening 😂 . Something I wasn‘t warned about by my mom, as I only have one sister. 3y
emilyhaldi @ValerieAndBooks I‘ve heard that piece of advice from several friends with boys 😂 I‘m from a family of all girls too so this is very new to me! 😅 3y
ValerieAndBooks I‘m glad you‘ve been informed 😂! None of my friends who had kids already warned us 😆. 3y
Nute Delightful news! So much joy with every new child. Congratulations!!!💕 3y
Bookzombie I‘m a little late to hear the news. Congratulations!! I‘m so happy for you! 💕 3y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I‘m very late seeing this!! Congratulations 💙 3y
BarbaraBB How are you doing Emily? Looking forward to what probably can happen any day now? Wishing you all the best 💖 3y
81 likes45 comments
Rabbits for Food | Binnie Kirshenbaum
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My best reading buddy, Herbie 🐶

LeahBergen Come ON! I can‘t take it. ❤️❤️ 3y
MicheleinPhilly 😍😍😍 3y
eanderson This picture is perfect. 3y
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charl08 Aw. So cute. Do you need a dog sitter? 3y
Simona Casual enjoying life ... ♥️ 3y
Megabooks 💜💜💜 3y
KarenUK Just gorgeous 😍😍😍😍😍 3y
BarbaraBB So cute. Wonderful picture again! 3y
Leftcoastzen How cute! 👏🐶 3y
Gissy Ahhh🐶❤️❤️❤️ 3y
batsy Aww! 😍😍 3y
Kalalalatja 😍😍😍 3y
Reviewsbylola He‘s probably lower maintenance than your upcoming reading partner. 😂 3y
78 likes13 comments
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Dreaming of warmer days in Florida last week... still chilly back here in Ohio 😣
I loved this book! Compelling and unexpected and perfect for a day by the pool ⛱
Thanks to @BarbaraBB for inspiring this purchase!

vivastory Hope you enjoyed your vacation! I need to touch base with you about the NYRB discussion. Is your email address still the same? 3y
emilyhaldi Yes it‘s still the same! @vivastory reach out anytime- I‘m just starting the book today 🤗 3y
BarbaraBB I‘m so happy you liked it. This book needs more praise 😉! And how wonderful to have been to Florida and the sun. I‘m aching for some summer too. Netherlands are probably as chilly as Ohio. Waiting for sun and a vaccin 😀 3y
vivastory Great! I messaged you. 3y
emilyhaldi I agree!! @BarbaraBB I was totally surprised by how much I loved this book- the writing was less cheesy than I for some reason anticipated. I hope she comes out with more books. And hope you get that vaccine & sunshine soon 🙏🏻✨ 3y
68 likes5 comments
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A little dry in parts, but entertaining enough to listen mostly on audio. Hard to believe somewhere around 12,000 Londoners were killed by the great fog of 1952 😵


BarbaraBB Great pic again 😍 3y
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 3y
Reviewsbylola Such a great book! 3y
Reviewsbylola And I know, isn‘t it nuts?! I assume this incident is well known in Europe, but I had no idea! 3y
60 likes2 stack adds4 comments
Death in Her Hands | Ottessa Moshfegh
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This was a slow burn but the ending has lingered with me for a while... It reminded me a lot of Drive your Plow over the Bones of the Dead, but I preferred this. Written beautifully and with just enough creepiness & quirk.

This checks off my April #bookspin pick for #bookspinbingo

BarbaraBB Yes! I felt the comparison between those two too. Both are so good 💚 3y
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 3y
Reviewsbylola I didn‘t realize she had a new(ish) book. Not sure how I missed it! 3y
78 likes1 stack add3 comments
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What‘s happier than book mail on a lazy Wednesday! 🤗 Thank you Cindy for sending this my way... even if I‘m not sure how excited I should be to read it 😆

Cinfhen Ugh, I really hated this book...sorry xx but the book cover is awesomeness 3y
BarbaraBB Fun post ❤️ 3y
Reviewsbylola Oooh I want to borrow! All I can think of when I hear “dog walkers in NYC” is that crazy lady who called police on the black bird watcher saying he was threatening her because he told her to leash her dog. 😣 3y
51 likes3 comments
Sisters | Daisy Johnson
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10 days into April and I‘ve read... 1 book. This tale of 2 sisters deeply intertwined in each other‘s lives was a slow burn. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

MicheleinPhilly I hear you. My reading this year has been 💩. I still have this one on my shelves. 3y
JenReadsAlot Same... maybe finishing another today 🤷‍♀️ 3y
BarbaraBB I‘m glad it was a 4 star read nevertheless! 3y
sarahbarnes I loved this one too! 3y
Reviewsbylola This one intrigues me. 3y
74 likes5 comments
Sisters | Daisy Johnson
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Current read influenced by @BarbaraBB 😊 I‘m enjoying the creepy mood so far...

Megabooks It took awhile for me to get into this, but I ended up really enjoying it! 3y
BarbaraBB I liked it a lot indeed but I have forgotten by now why or what it was about 🤦🏻‍♀️ (edited) 3y
LeahBergen Who put Baby in the corner? 😆❤️❤️ 3y
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emilyhaldi LOL @BarbaraBB wasn‘t it a favorite of 2020?! 3y
emilyhaldi @LeahBergen 😂😂 I promise not me! He loves sleeping in that corner by the porch door, I think bc it‘s cooler and he‘s hot with all that fur 🐶💦 3y
MicheleinPhilly He looks like he is in time out. 😂 3y
BarbaraBB Yes it was... 🤣 3y
Cathythoughts Is he guarding you ? Good boy 3y
75 likes8 comments
Rabbits for Food | Binnie Kirshenbaum
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Ready to go 🤓

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 3y
BarbaraBB Such a great list of books! 3y
65 likes2 comments
Spring | Ali Smith
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Well I didn‘t get to my #bookspin choice 🤨 (tagged) but I did read the #doublebookspin as well as a few others... I had a hard time concentrating this month 😣 but going to try again for April!

TheSpineView Still a very good showing! 👍 3y
CoverToCoverGirl Well done!👏🏻 3y
TheAromaofBooks Yay!! Great month!! 3y
Reviewsbylola You did awesome! 3y
emilyhaldi LOL I thought March was bad!! @Reviewsbylola I‘ve read 1 book so far in April and might just be able to start a second one today... 🥴 3y
60 likes5 comments
My Friends | Emmanuel Bove, Janet Louth
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Ok friends, I‘ve pulled 3 NYRB classics off my shelf as nominees for May‘s #NYRBbookclub selection 🤓 Vote away!!

arubabookwoman I'm going to vote for During the Reign of the Queen of Persia. 3y
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Leftcoastzen Wow again I will not be disappointed by any of these but my pick is 3y
merelybookish A comparison to Marilynne Robinson? Yes please! 3y
GatheringBooks Thank you so much for having this up early! 💕💕📚📚📚🧚🏼‍♀️🧚🏼‍♀️🧚🏼‍♀️ 3y
sarahbarnes Such great picks off your shelf! I vote for 3y
LeahBergen Ooo, this is a toughie. 🤔 I‘ll vote for 3y
daena Great choices! I‘ll got with 3y
Liz_M I don't any of these, but they all look good! I am voting for the title I have almost bought several times: During the Reign of the Queen of Persia (edited) 3y
BarbaraBB Somehow that Williams cover reminds me of Skylark! However, my vote goes to the one I‘m having on my shelves too: 3y
vivastory Stellar choices!! I'm going with During the Reign of the Queen of Persia 3y
catebutler These were so hard to choose from! My vote is for, During the Reign of the Queen of Persia. 3y
emilyhaldi Wow, the vote seems to be unanimous so far... 😯 3y
Reviewsbylola 100% Persia! 3y
saresmoore I would vote for Persia, but I‘m intrigued by the Williams debut, so just to be obstinate... 3y
youneverarrived Looks like a clear choice already but I love the sound of 3y
quietjenn Oh, I've been eyeing Persia for ages, so will vote for 3y
Billypar I was on the fence between the Chase and the Bove, but seeing the votes is helping my choice! 3y
Suet624 Queen of Persia!!!!! 3y
sprainedbrain I‘m going to vote for Queen of Persia too... peer pressure! 😉 3y
sisilia I‘ve read all of them, but curious to know what you all think about Queen of Persia. So I vote for that 3y
batsy Nice picks! Yay for Queen of Persia as it's already one I own 🎉 My Friends sounds really interesting, too. 3y
52 likes25 comments
Little Weirds | Jenny Slate
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First quarter of #booked2021 complete! I tried to stick to Winter prompts only but got off the beaten track for 1 🙃 Clockwise from top left:
1. Set in Australia
2. Authors first name starts with A, B, or C
3. NF Science by a Woman
4. Translated into English
5. Baked Goods on Cover
6. #Covidheroes: Dr or Nurse MC

Thanks as always to our lovely hosts for the reading inspo!!

Reviewsbylola 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 3y
EvieBee Nicely done! What did you think of ... 3y
emilyhaldi @EvieBee I had such high hopes for it! Unfortunately, I really didn‘t enjoy the story and finally bailed about 70% of the way through 🥱 3y
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EvieBee @emilyhaldi Me too!! But I didn‘t get that far. 🤣🤢 3y
Cinfhen I bailed on Boy too @EvieBee and way before 70% mark 3y
Cinfhen Woohoo ❣️❣️❣️You have until midnight, April 3 to fill out the first quarter form to be entered in our drawing ?
50 likes6 comments
Breasts and Eggs | Mieko Kawakami
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I think I‘ve read 50 pages in the last week. Lately I just cannot find the concentration to sit down and read!!! Trying to park myself here on the side porch and make some progress.. 🥴

Adventures-of-a-French-Reader It happens sometimes... My advice would be to create the moment: set up a nice reading place, with a nice drink, and disconnect from the digital world, while trying to prepare your mind in advance to that set time of reading. It helps me, especially when life happens. But it is also important sometimes to just be kind to oneself, and not feel guilty about things we end up not doing. 3y
TheLibrarian 100% what @Bookish.juju said! 3y
BarbaraBB I wonder if this book will tempt you back into your reading mojo 🤷🏻‍♀️ 3y
emilyhaldi Love this advice! @Bookish.juju It definitely helps me to establish a cozy area with an allotted time and a nice drink doesn‘t hurt ☕️ I made a little progress yesterday, doing to try again today! 3y
Reviewsbylola I had that problem too. Good luck! 3y
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Piranesi | Susanna Clarke
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My favorite of all the #tob reads! I loved getting lost in the magical world of Piranesi ✨

Kalalalatja I was so surprised by it! 3y
BarbaraBB Wow! Your favorite! I loved it too and keep visualizing those spaces. 3y
BarbaraBB You want to make a change on your form? 3y
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Megabooks It is a unique book! 3y
batsy It's so good ❤️ 3y
emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB I actually picked this as the winner when I did my form (at least I thought so...)! Finished it beforehand, just late to posting my review 🤪 3y
BarbaraBB Yeah you‘re right! 3y
Reviewsbylola Really?!? You liked this??? Would I?!? 3y
emilyhaldi You might! @Reviewsbylola I thought it was the perfect escape from reality 🤩 give it a try! 3y
70 likes9 comments
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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60% of the way through and I am still bored out of my mind! It‘s a bail for me...
Still counting it! ✅ #booked21 #setinAustralia

MicheleinPhilly It‘s a real shame cause it‘s so pretty! 3y
Kalalalatja I‘m loving the cover, but too bad about the content! 3y
LeeRHarry I bailed after 30 pages - some people really like it some don‘t- I had been putting off reading it since it came out but as it is this month‘s irl bookgroup pick I thought I‘d better give it a go 🤷🏼‍♀️ 3y
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Reviewsbylola 60% is admirable! 3y
CarolynM I would have bailed before that point except I was reading it for my book group. I agree about it being boring. I just never believed in it at all. People love it and I really don't understand why😬☹️ @LeeRHarry 3y
LeeRHarry @CarolynM me neither - I‘ll be interested to hear what the rest of my bookgroup thinks ! 3y
CarolynM @LeeRHarry One person in my group felt the same as me, everyone else really liked it😳😩 I'd love to know how your group feels. 3y
72 likes7 comments
Boy Swallows Universe | Trent Dalton
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I love to read in the morning with my cup of coffee, but these knuckleheads are quite the distracting duo today 🐶😼 They‘re always going at it- wrestling, rolling around, batting each other on the head... it‘s a blossoming friendship 😆

batsy Great photo 😆 3y
MsMelissa Love this photo 🥰 3y
Readergrrl That is so cute! 3y
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squirrelbrain Love it! ❤️ 3y
Julsmarshall Such cuties! 3y
Soubhiville I love a good cross species wrestling match 🤣. Great photo! 3y
TrishB Great pic ❤️ 3y
MaureenMc 😂😂 3y
nanuska_153 The dog's face 😂😂😂😂 3y
sarahbarnes That looks intense! 😂 3y
Eggs What a great photo 🐶🐱🐶🐱 3y
mdemanatee This picture is gold. 3y
Simona Perfect captured moment! 3y
LeahBergen This is the best 😆😆 3y
youneverarrived 😂😂 brilliantly captured 😆 3y
Magpiegem That picture made me laugh out loud 😂 3y
Cathythoughts Great picture 3y
Bookzombie What a great photo! 💕🐈‍⬛🐶 3y
Reviewsbylola Yeah, Winky sure looks like she‘s feeling friendly. 3y
89 likes19 comments
Spring | Ali Smith
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March Bingo card ready to go! Really excited to read the tagged book for #bookspin 🌷 as well as #doublebookspin , Breasts and Eggs, once it arrives from book depository 😅 And I‘ve finished one very strategically placed book yesterday 😉

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! Looks great!!! 3y
Reviewsbylola Omg I hope you get to When Breath Becomes Air. I‘ve read it three times. ❤️ 3y
emilyhaldi @Reviewsbylola I started it this morning 🥲 3y
48 likes3 comments
Milkman | Anna Burns
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I‘m going to go ahead and give this #bookspinbingo a try for March and see if it inspires more reading! Excited to see how many books I can cross off this list 🤓

merelybookish If you only read The Milkman off this list, it will be a good reading month! 3y
vivastory I think you should go for all 20 3y
MeganAnn You have lovely handwriting! Looks like a great list 😍 3y
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TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! Glad to have you along!! 3y
LeahBergen A Persephone? 👏🏻 3y
emilyhaldi It felt like a necessary addition @LeahBergen 3y
emilyhaldi That‘s what I hear!! I‘m looking forward to it 🤩 @merelybookish 3y
Reviewsbylola I‘m ready to see your bingo card!! 3y
nathandrake1997 MILKMAN ❤️ 3y
65 likes9 comments
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Oh this book! 😭 One that requires some underlining of passages and a moment at the end to really soak it in. Poignant ✨


vivastory Lovely flowers! I agree, it's a short but memorable read! 3y
catebutler I‘m so glad you enjoyed it! I can‘t wait to discuss on Sunday!! 3y
LeahBergen Right? 😭 3y
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Come-read-with-me Sounds like a good read! Stacked! Love the tulips. They seem fitting for a poignant story. 3y
BarbaraBB Wonderful pic. I read this book so long ago I unfortunately remember hardly anything anymore 3y
Tamra It‘s definitely a keeper! 3y
batsy Gorgeous photo 😍 3y
Reviewsbylola I think I‘m going to start this tonight. 3y
catebutler Yes, I agree completely with your comments. ☺️ 3y
84 likes1 stack add9 comments
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Taking a little break from my #tob reading list to get to this month‘s NYRBBookClub pick 😊

Maria514626 This sounds amazing! 3y
kspenmoll Lovely cover! 3y
vivastory I hope you like this one! 3y
83 likes3 comments
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This totally worked for me! The format and humor felt fresh and still very insightful. My favorite of #tob so far 🏆

vivastory I really liked this one. His screenwriting experience from Westworld really seemed to have paid off here 3y
BarbaraBB One of my two favorites too so far. We really are in sync! 3y
Cathythoughts Oh good to hear ! Ordering later 👍🏻😁 3y
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emilyhaldi @vivastory I didn‘t know about the screenwriting experience!! That makes so much sense 3y
emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB which other one is your current fav!? 3y
BarbaraBB But I just started Transcedent Kingdom and that is very promoting too! 3y
emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB Well were only somewhat aligned then I guess 😬 I just gave Tender is the Flesh ⭐️⭐️ it just didn‘t work for me! I am halfway through Transcendent Kingdom at the moment- I think I like it?? But I‘m not dying to pick it up again 🥴 3y
BarbaraBB Oh no! Then you‘ll probably like Shuggie Bain which I have mixed feelings about 😉. And I am really enjoying TK. 3y
BarbaraBB Oh I just read your comment on my review. We‘re back in sync lol 😂 3y
Reviewsbylola If you bought this then I‘ll borrow it. Thx. 3y
emilyhaldi Yes you can borrow!! @Reviewsbylola 3y
87 likes2 stack adds13 comments
A Children's Bible | Lydia Millet
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Nope 🙅🏻‍♀️
If I had known the premise of this book I would never have picked it up at all... just doesn‘t work for me!

Lindy Too bad. I thought it was great! To each her own… 3y
emilyhaldi I know so many loved it! @Lindy but I know what I like and this ain‘t it 😆 I‘m glad you enjoyed! 3y
Kalalalatja I wouldn‘t have picked it up if it wasn‘t for the #ToB21, either 3y
See All 8 Comments
BarbaraBB It‘ll probably be my next read #ToB21 book but your review is another one quite discouraging. 3y
BarbaraBB By the way those playlists are awesome 💃 3y
emilyhaldi So many people loved this one @BarbaraBB so it could just be me... The Bible references just didn‘t help me get past the outlandish premise 😏 I‘m glad you‘re enjoying the playlists!!! 🎶🎶🎶 3y
Reviewsbylola I do like post apocalyptic novels a lot but this sounds a bit preachy. 3y
Cinfhen This was weird AF and it DID get preachy @Reviewsbylola / at least it was short 3y
66 likes1 stack add8 comments
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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I love music, but my husband is the real enthusiast. He listens to just about everything, but since he worked for DefJam for years, hip hop is his true passion. ?
When we first started dating about 10 years ago he wooed me by making me playlists every few months- 1 hip hop and 1 “other". At the end of last year we made it to his 50th round of playlists for me ? He was quite excited as you can see in the title ?
#galentine #bestbuddyread

charl08 Aw, this is such a cute story. 😍 3y
emilyhaldi What‘s better than a mix tape from your crush?? 🥰💽 (damn no cassette tape emoji!) @charl08 3y
CocoReads That‘s awesome! 😍 3y
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Cinfhen That‘s awesome!!! And DefJam is serious business 🙌🏻🎶lucky u 3y
LeahBergen Aww!! 😍😍😍 3y
TrishB That‘s so cool ♥️ 3y
Reviewsbylola Lolol he‘s cute 3y
BarbaraBB It‘s über cool. Girls love DJs! The playlists look fantastic. Can you share a link or are they really intimate ??? And what does MiHo mean? Or am I asking way too many questions ?? (edited) 3y
Kalalalatja Such a cool and sweet thing to do! 👌 3y
batsy Aww! I love this 💖 3y
Tanisha_A Sooooo sweet! 😍 3y
emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB would love to share!! Definitely not too intimate 😆 I‘ll copy the link for the most recent playlist but then you can go to my husband‘s profile and check out the others too if you‘re so inclined (he would love it 😉). As for Miho... it‘s a character from Sin City and I have no idea why my husband sometimes uses it as my nickname 😂 https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4P9dwEqz3nZl7oByejsElQ?si=0kHG7wNYQm6sL_b7DKp2... 3y
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick How awesome! I love a good mixtape/playlist. 3y
BarbaraBB Thanks so much and your husband too - this is awesome!! Really really like them! ❤️❤️ 3y
Suet624 This is what is so cool about Litsy... now I get to follow your husband‘s mixes! 3y
63 likes16 comments
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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I‘m a day behind but joining in for #galantine #bestbuddyread anyways!!
Some of my favorite peeps starting at the top... my best friends at my wedding👰🏻‍♀️, my hubs and me on our last vacation exactly 1 year ago 🥲, sisters!, mom & dad, my sweet nieces, and of course little Herbie 🐶

Yearning for the days when I can travel again to see all of my friends, most of whom are still in NY ❤️

TrishB I hear you ♥️ vacations and friends I‘m really missing!! 3y
Cinfhen Ahhhhhh, THE FAM 🥰🥰🥰and awesome wedding photo 3y
Cinfhen And I really hear ya on the traveling and visiting friends 😢😢😢 and family @TrishB 3y
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MicheleinPhilly Ah, vacations - I remember them well. ☹️ 3y
AmyG Beautiful! 3y
TrishB @Cinfhen @MicheleinPhilly I find it‘s best not to think about what you‘re missing because it‘s a steady downward spiral! But I‘m definitely fed up of Groundhog Day! 3y
LeahBergen So lovely!! ❤️💗❤️💗 3y
Cinfhen Ha, TRUTH @TrishB 3y
Cathythoughts 💫💫💫 3y
Reviewsbylola Those are cute pics! 3y
BarbaraBB What a great pics! Always good to see your family and you and your friends look like they would fit in our Italian bar 😉😘 3y
CarolynM Lovely photos😍 3y
Kelly_the_Bookish_Sidekick Great photos Emily! 3y
kspenmoll Love your photos! I hope travel happens soon- maybe summer? Fall? 3y
65 likes14 comments
The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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Feelings are very mixed on this one 🥴
I loved the atmosphere of 1930‘s NYC and found some of the character storylines fun to follow... but boy were there a LOT!
I skimmed through much of the second half, but the ending almost made me wish I hadn‘t 😆 Eager to discuss this weekend!
#galentine #bestbuddyread

BarbaraBB I felt the same. It suddenly made sense but I had a hard time getting there! 3y
TheBookHippie I read this quite a long time ago I remember feeling that way and went back and reread the second part. Enjoy your discussion! Also I kept notes while reading ! BHAHAHA. 3y
Cinfhen Seems like everyone had a similar reading experience ~ discussion should be really good 3y
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Cinfhen Do you want us to tag you for discussion @TheBookHippie ??? 3y
TheBookHippie @Cinfhen ha sure I‘d love to see what you guys thought ! (edited) 3y
Kalalalatja Echoing @BarbaraBB ☝️ 3y
Cinfhen Great @TheBookHippie I‘m tagging @BarbaraBB so she can add you to the list 💜 3y
Reviewsbylola I never got around to this one. 🤷🏼‍♀️ 3y
emilyhaldi @Reviewsbylola you didn‘t miss much IMO 😉 3y
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The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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When I picked this book up at the library a few days ago, the librarian told me she always has a laugh when she sees it... when she was a little girl (in the 1960‘s) her mother had a book club and let her read whatever books she brought home-including this one. She recalls this book taught her all she ever needed to know about the birds and the bees 😂 And now 2 chapters in, I can see what she meant!
#galentine #bestbuddyread

Cinfhen Right!! I‘m sure this was SCANDALOUS back in the 60‘s!!!!! 4y
LeahBergen Ooo, dirty business. I can‘t wait to start. 😆😆 4y
emilyhaldi Totally scandalous!!! @Cinfhen 4y
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emilyhaldi @LeahBergen it‘s labeled as “Romance” by my library, which I only now realized... very dirty business 🔥😆 4y
LeahBergen 😆😆 4y
Reviewsbylola I need to borrow when you‘re done!! 3y
Reviewsbylola NM, just saw it‘s a library book. 🤦🏼‍♀️ 3y
85 likes1 stack add7 comments
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I wasn‘t sure about the premise of this book, but I‘m one story in and hooked!!! Thanks for the recommendation @Reviewsbylola ☺️

TrishB Awwwww 🐶💜 4y
Librariana I'm not gonna lie, @emilyhaldi... I am *especially* distracted by that incredibly adorable ball of floof and cuteness that is next to your book 😍🥰❤🐶 4y
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aa_guer2021 ❤️😻 4y
TheLudicReader That puppy! 4y
emilyhaldi @Librariana I‘m quite distracted by him most of the time as well 😂 4y
LeahBergen Nope. I can‘t. 😫😫 I LOVE HIM. 4y
Simona 😍😍😍 4y
batsy You might be talking about a book, I think? All I can focus on is that ridiculous ball of fluff 😆😍😍 4y
keithmalek What an adorable puppy!!!!! 3y
88 likes11 comments
The House Behind the Cedars | Charles W. Chesnutt
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Sweet birthday drop-off from @Reviewsbylola 😍

Crazeedi Happy birthday!!🎉🎁🎊📚 4y
BarbaraBB Wonderful gift and a gorgeous picture 💕 4y
Kalalalatja Lovely photo 👌 hope you had a great day 💕 4y
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Reviewsbylola I did a good job. 😘 4y
Megabooks Enjoy!! 🎉📚 4y
MicheleinPhilly Happy Birthday!!! 4y
68 likes6 comments
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Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes yesterday! It was one of my favorites... thanks to this new member of the family 🐶
Meet Herbie the mini Bernese mountain dog. He makes reading a tad difficult at the moment but he loves a good snuggle 🥰

Oryx He's gorgeous 4y
Kalalalatja That face 😍😍😍 4y
Booksnchill What a handsome fella!!! 4y
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Cathythoughts Gorgeous 💕 4y
squirrelbrain How cute is he?! 4y
LibrarianRyan He is going to be such a big baby. 4y
TheSpineView Adorable! 4y
mcipher We had a Bernese growing up - best dogs ever!!! Congrats and happy birthday!! 4y
suvata Too cute 🥰 4y
AmyG Adorable! Happy Birthday 🎂 4y
TrishB Gorgeous 🐶♥️ 4y
BarbaraBB Happy birthday 🎈 and what a cute doggie 🐶 4y
UwannaPublishme Awwww!❤️ 4y
MicheleinPhilly AAAH! I literally just screamed out loud. I love him. Happy Belated Birthday! 4y
mom2bugnbee Berners are AWESOME! So happy for you! 4y
Erinreadsthebooks So cute! 😍🤗 4y
candority Oh my goodness, he is precious! 😍🐶Happy belated birthday 🥳 4y
Lcsmcat Awww! I‘m a cat person but even I think he‘s adorable !!! 4y
Amandajoy He‘s so cute! 4y
OrangeMooseReads OH MY GOD HE‘S ADORABLE!!! Sorry for the caps I love Bernese. Happy Birthday!!! 4y
LeahBergen Whaaaaaat???? Omg, I can‘t stand it!!!! I love him, I love him, I love him!!!!! 4y
sblbooks That has to be the cutest puppy I've ever seen! Happy belated birthday! 4y
Laughterhp Oh my goodness. How adorable! One of my favorite dogs 💚 Happy belated birthday! 4y
Megabooks Congratulations Emily!! What a cutie!! ❤️😍 4y
batsy Omg Herbie!!! 😍😍 4y
Reviewsbylola God could he be any cuter?! 4y
ValerieAndBooks So cute 😍! And happy birthday!! 4y
mrozzz 😍😍😍😍 4y
101 likes29 comments
Telephone | Percival Everett
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This really speaks to me 😆

LeahBergen Yep. 😆 4y
Reviewsbylola 😂😂 I can‘t tell whether I agree or find it a tad too pessimistic. 4y
Megabooks Great quote! I‘m still thinking about this book. 4y
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batsy Same 😂 4y
BarbaraBB I hope you like the book. I did enjoy it a lot although the ending felt a bit hasty. 4y
LeahBergen Happy Birthday, my friend! I hope you have a lovely day! 📚❤️📚❤️ 4y
batsy Happy birthday! Have a fabulous one 🎈🧁📚📚 4y
emilyhaldi Thank you both sweet friends!!! ❤️ @LeahBergen @batsy 4y
cariashley I just started this and SAME. Happy belated! 3y
81 likes9 comments
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Currently reading...and trying to decide if it‘s the right book for my current mindset. It‘s a bit too real 😷

Soubhiville Wow, crazy cover! 4y
BiblioLitten What @Soubhiville said! 😮 4y
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ChasingOm This sounds amazing!!! 4y
mdemanatee I read an ARC right after first Chicago lockdown like “whelp this hits different than it was probably meant to“ 4y
emilyhaldi Right?? @mdemanatee this book was published in May 2020, which is still a bit early considering some of the points re:pandemic that the author hits on quite accurately... it‘s easy to imagine that things could start getting as scary as the book (underground markets, mandatory government health tests, etc...) 😦 4y
MicheleinPhilly That cover is wild! Naturally, I‘m intrigued. 4y
Reviewsbylola I may need to borrow this when you‘re done. I LOVE pandemic books and the cover is 😍😍 4y
emilyhaldi Lol I‘m done @Reviewsbylola skimmed through a lot of it so that I could get it over with today 😂 i will drop it at your house sometime this week! 4y
Reviewsbylola So are you saying it sucked? 4y
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Shuggie Bain | Douglas Stuart
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Did not live up to the hype for me...
And while Shuggie is certainly an endearing character, I‘m not clear on why he was chosen as the book‘s namesake. His mother Agnes is the center of the story and actually I think I would have preferred if she had remained the sole focus throughout. Still a pick!

vivastory I def agree that the focus is on Agnes. This is one I have appreciated more now that more time has passed since I read it. 4y
BarbaraBB Oh, interesting that you are not as blown away as everyone else. I wasn‘t attracted to this book at all but read so many raving reviews. Now I‘m am hesitating again... 4y
8little_paws I also really liked it, and consider it a pick, but I can think of many, many books I read this year that I favored more.
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Reviewsbylola So you didn‘t hate it? 4y
emilyhaldi No I liked it... just too hyped @Reviewsbylola (edited) 4y
britt_brooke Fair review. Def overhyped. 4y
82 likes6 comments
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Was able to snag this one on audio as well, so I am listening while I take down the tree 🎄🙃

Cinfhen Ohhhh, this sounds good! Another book I‘m adding to my #AudioTBR 4y
BarbaraBB I have to take down my tree too. It always makes me a little sad. Yours still looks great by the way! 4y
Reviewsbylola Damn take that tree down! 4y
emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB Thanks! It‘s very bittersweet for sure 🥲 4y
emilyhaldi @Reviewsbylola some of us don‘t have to share the living room space with mountains of children‘s toys 😂 and enjoy keeping the tree up ✨ 4y
60 likes5 comments
The Sisters Brothers | Patrick DeWitt
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Finally narrowed down my #20best2020 list 🎊
There are a couple that I can‘t believe were read THIS year!! I devoured Into Thin Air in January during my beach vacation... back when I was young and naive and life was good 🍹🏝
We did get a lot of reading time this year though, didn‘t we! 😅

Cinfhen Oh wow!! This is a very scholarly list 🙌🏻love it!!! So many NYRB editions😁And yes, Covid gave us more indoor time, which definitely upped my reading year ☺️ 4y
LeahBergen Ooo, some of my faves are here! 👏🏻👏🏻 4y
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BarbaraBB We love such similar books! I have read 12 of these so will have to tackle the others! Especially interested in Lucy Gayheart, Wish her Safe at Home and Begin Again. 4y
Jess Wow, what a great reading year for you! French Exit really surprised me and I can‘t wait for the movie. 4y
emilyhaldi @Jess when I think back on my favorites, French Exit is really up there & Sisters Brothers is in the top 3!!! If you haven‘t read that one yet give it a try. 4y
emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB I agree we seem to have similar reading tastes! I will be reading several of your recommendations over the coming weeks 🤗 4y
BarbaraBB Looking forward to another year comparing books with you. Have a happy new year Em 💚🍾🍀 4y
batsy To the Lighthouse, Persuasion, Lucy Gayheart and Jane Eyre 😍 Wonderful selection here. 4y
emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB Happy New Year to you!! 🪅🍾🎊 4y
emilyhaldi @batsy I tried to get some good classics in the mix this year 🤓 To the Lighthouse was a surprise fav!!! 4y
Reviewsbylola Into Thin Air was phenomenal! 4y
65 likes12 comments
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That feeling when all of your library holds come in at once 🥴

Bottom 3 books from @Reviewsbylola #newyearwhodis recommendations.
Everything else for ToB... I‘ve got some reading to do!

LeahBergen Oopsie. 😆 4y
BarbaraBB Great stack! I loved 4y
Kalalalatja I enjoyed this 👉 4y
Reviewsbylola 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 4y
Cinfhen Wowza!!!! Im curious to hear your thoughts on 4y
70 likes5 comments
The Liar | Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
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And with my final book of 2020 finished today, I completed #booked2020 🎉
✅Makes you LOL- My Family & Other Animals
✅About Genocide- Ordinary Men
✅Animal on Cover- Owen Meany
#wineorwhine- The Liar
✅Gothic Horror- Dracula
✅Bottom of your TBR-Frog Music

BarbaraBB Did you like Owen Meany? 4y
emilyhaldi @BarbaraBB Can I be honest?? I don‘t hate many things but I hated Owen meany 🤭 It seems to be very loved on Litsy but Owen drove me nuts!! I alternated between audio and print and the audio squeaky voice was too much for me....perhaps if I did print only I would have felt differently??? (edited) 4y
Cinfhen Woohoo 🎉 🙌🏻
congrats on completing #Booked2020 💗This is your #OfficialFinalEntry 🎊WELL DONE 😁🌈🥳
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Cinfhen I LOVED Owen but THE LIAR was HORRIBLE 😖😫 4y
BarbaraBB Owen on audio must be horrible! That voice! In print it already drove me crazy (all those capitals!). My husband literally threw the book in a corner and I couldn‘t blame him. But I ended up loving the book. That was a long long time ago though. 🤷🏻‍♀️😀 4y
emilyhaldi I think I threw the book at one point too!!! I was certainly yelling obscenities 🤣🤣 @BarbaraBB 4y
emilyhaldi @Cinfhen something we can agree on!!! I think The Liar is my most hated book EVER!!! It makes you wonder how some books make it to publishing?!?!? 🤮 4y
BarbaraTheBibliophage Great job! Sorry it was such a mixed bunch! 📚♥️🎉 4y
Reviewsbylola The Liar was truly incredible, as far as how bad it was. 4y
58 likes9 comments
My Family and Other Animals | Gerald Durrell, Jocelyn Potter
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Gerry‘s tales of growing up on the island of Corfu are delightful and almost too crazy to be true. But the real hero of the book is his Mother, who I can only imagine must have been taking a steady stream of quaaludes in order to take in stride the antics of her moody teenagers while simultaneously allowing her house to be overrun with wild animals as pets 🐸🐶🦅🪱🕷🦂🐍🐢

LeahBergen I loved this book (and its sequels)! 4y
BarbaraBB Need to get this! It‘s on your best of 2020 list right? 4y
emilyhaldi Yes!!! Going to publish my list tomorrow @BarbaraBB 😅 4y
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emilyhaldi @LeahBergen I will definitely be picking up the sequels!! Need to know more about where these bizarre individuals ended up... 4y
vivastory I'm looking forward to your best of the year list! 👏👏 4y
Cinfhen Gorgeous edition 4y
Reviewsbylola Is this a folio?! 4y
emilyhaldi Yes it‘s really beautiful!! @Reviewsbylola 4y
57 likes8 comments
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3 lovely Christmas 🎁 and 1 mischievous outdoor cat (who is scheming how else to terrorize the house and it‘s inhabitants in revolt against icy snow & freezing temps 😼)

Mitch What a beauty xxxx 4y
Cinfhen Great photo 🥰 4y
emilyhaldi @Cinfhen the tree makes everything prettier so I‘m making good use while I have it! 🎄✨ 4y
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emilyhaldi Oh and the cat is ok too 😉 @Cinfhen 4y
jeannasser Kitty!! 😍 4y
batsy Lovely photo. And the Persephone Sylvia Townsend Warner 😍 4y
Reviewsbylola What a lovely stack of goodies! 4y
Reviewsbylola My tree is already on the curb. 🤣 4y
LeahBergen Wonderful book haul! 💗 4y
Liz_M Beautiful cat 😻 4y
vivastory I also received the Kakutani. It's such a wonderfully designed book! 4y
75 likes11 comments
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A lovely story that expertly contrasts the dependability and truth of math with the fleeting and precarious human life ✨ Definitely making it to my #20best2020 list!! Thanks @BarbaraBB 😘

BarbaraBB Oh so happy you liked it! One of your top reads even, yay! I hope you‘ll like the others just as much! 4y
BarbaraBB Also: are you going to make a #20best2020 list? I‘d love to see your favorite as you are my influencer too 👯‍♀️ 4y
emilyhaldi You‘re too kind @BarbaraBB I keep putting off my list bc each i keep reading books that I think will be ON the list 😂 including the one I started yesterday... 4y
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emilyhaldi But yes I will post my list next week!! @BarbaraBB it‘s already well underway 4y
BarbaraBB That one sounds funny! 4y
sarahbarnes I need to get to this one soon! 4y
emilyhaldi It‘s laugh out loud funny @BarbaraBB perfect to cap off the end of this year!! 4y
vivastory Well, after @barbarabb rave review & yours, there's no way I can resist this. Will def be picking it up soon! 4y
emilyhaldi I hope you like it!!! @vivastory 4y
vivastory I'm sure I will. Memory Police is on my best of the year list 4y
emilyhaldi Yes that one is high on my tbr now!! @vivastory 4y
vivastory You're in for a treat! Revenge is great, too. I'm actually thinking of rereading it in the next couple of months 4y
Reviewsbylola Yeah, I need that list. 4y
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