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Joined June 2017

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Afterlives by Abdulrazak Gurnah
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Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
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The Book of Flights by J. M. G. Le Clzio, J.M.G. Le
Middlemarch | George Eliot
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Finally, I finished. 57 days. I would love to say something profound after finally reading one of the most famous Victorian novels. It‘s a smart insightful novel on community, family and marriage with some carefully worked out structure. It‘s playful, humanizing the hero and everyone else with humor. I loved Dorothea. I think Rosamond might have been a key inspiration for Edith Wharton‘s Undine. For some reason I just didn‘t fully take to it.

Graywacke Some thoughts on my mind: it has less literary power than Austen or Dickens, less foundation than Austen (but much more than Gaskell). It‘s gently feminist, but less so than Austen or Wharton, IMO. It‘s a thoughts-out-front sort of novel, another link to Wharton. I suspect Wharton was very much a student of Eliot. It‘s a novel that I enjoy thinking about much more than i did reading it. #george 2w
kspenmoll Sorry I had to bail on rereading this with you! 2w
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Graywacke @kspenmoll no worries. Maybe you‘ll get back to it at a better time. 2w
sarahbellum Great job! I‘m still plugging away, just rather slowly. Life‘s been throwing me some major curveballs lately, so my reading has taken a nosedive the last few weeks. My plan is to finish by the end of the year- less than 300 pages to go! 2w
erzascarletbookgasm Congrats!👏 🎉Thank you for the insight/comparisons to the other authors. I‘ve only completed Book 1, and somehow find it difficult to pick up again. Not because of the book, but my state of mind lately. I‘ll probably continue the journey after the holiday season. 2w
Graywacke @sarahbellum @erzascarletbookgasm i wish you both some life peace and mental zen soon. Sarah - I found these later pages easier reading than everything before. 2w
bnp Congratulations! I loved this the first time I read it, but have tried a couple of rereads since and not been able to get into it. 2w
Graywacke @bnp thanks and interesting. I‘m not sure how a reread would go if i were to start soon. It might be better but might not. (edited) 2w
Ann_Reads Nice review! Maybe you've already read it, but if not, do you think at some point you might tackle 2w
Graywacke @Ann_Reads I would like to, yes. I haven‘t read it. Middlemarch was my first by Eliot. 2w
vivastory Impressive 👏👏 I've enjoyed your posts & I hope to read it in the next year or so (there is a Middlemarch street that I drive by a couple of times per week and it always makes me smile) 1w
Graywacke @vivastory thanks! Hope you find the right time. It‘s a little funny that you have a weekly reminder. 1w
49 likes13 comments
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A series of lessons on writing, and they were thoroughly enjoyable and fascinating. I really enjoyed his comments on art in general, how an artist should put the biggest things up front and basically create problem without a solution, and how the artist resolves the problem in unintended ways. But also the stories are good, his commentary is wonderful, and he‘s such a warm reader. A lovely way to spend some time.

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Uncle Tom's Children | Richard Wright
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A day in San Francisco and a first time visit to City Lights Books…

vivastory 💙 Pocket Poets. I used to almost always carry a different volume around with me. 2w
sarahbarnes It was so cool to visit that bookstore! I hope to get back there sometime. 2w
Leftcoastzen Probably my favorite bookstore in the world! I‘d buy a couple books and go get an Anchor Steam or cocktail at Vesuvio. Used to live there SF, not City Lights! I can almost smell the slightly musty basement. 2w
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Graywacke @vivastory i was just looking for something by Ferlinghetti, who founded the store. No clue about that book. ☺️ ( Ferlinghetti is the editor) (edited) 2w
Graywacke @sarahbarnes I‘ve wanted to visit it for probably 12 yrs now, when I first heard about it online. It was a nice stop 2w
Graywacke @Leftcoastzen SF is special. Reminds of the movie Barcelona. Something like: BARCELONA MODEL: “I heard NY is the most beautiful city in America.” AMERICAN: “no, that‘s San Francisco” 2w
Tamra Oh, so envious! 😄 2w
Graywacke @Tamra definitely a little life goal checked off. (Next Powells, or, better, Shakespeare‘s in Paris…) 2w
BarbaraBB Lovely! I went there too when visiting SF! 2w
Graywacke @BarbaraBB cool. A much longer trip for you. And, yeah, lovely. 2w
arubabookwoman My 1st visit there was in 1969 when I visited my now husband who was going to summer school at Stanford & I was on my way back to Tulane from visiting my parents in Singapore. The store was much smaller then, & Ferlinghetti was sitting in the back, reading I think, but also conversing with various customers, while we were browsing. I was awed. I bought 2 of his poetry books, which I still have. 2w
Graywacke @arubabookwoman That‘s a wonderful story. And what a series of places 2w
Bookwomble @arubabookwoman What s wonderful memory to have 💖😊 2w
bnp Woo hoo! 2w
Graywacke @bnp ☺️ 2w
67 likes15 comments
Afterlives | Abdulrazak Gurnah
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New audiobook. So far is a perfect follow-up to George Saunders lessons in A Swim in a Pond in the Rain. And rebellious German controlled eastern Africa is an interesting background.

Bookwomble I'll be interested for your take on this one 🙂 2w
Graywacke @Bookwomble i‘ve been traveling, so not listening much. But i‘m 20% through. It‘s slow, but I‘ve really enjoyed that 1st 20% regardless of that. 2w
Bookwomble @Graywacke Hmm, it does meander. 2w
Graywacke @Bookwomble one chapter Elias joins the army. Next chapter follows a new recruit, but not Elias, some character we haven‘t met yet! I was so confused. 🙂 2w
Bookwomble @Graywacke That's pretty much how it continues. Some threads are pulled together, others not, but that's like life, so... 🙂 2w
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Summer: A Novel | Edith Wharton
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Summer, a novel of sexual awakening, but this is Wharton and it really goes its own way. It‘s uncomfortable, compelling, and powerful. A parallel, oddly, to Ethan Frome, this is a tightly crafted short novel on impoverished small town New England. We‘ve just moved from ice to flowers everywhere, and added a rogue mysterious community hiding in a hard-to-reach backwood mountain. I adore Wharton. This feels new, like fresh loosening of her work.

Graywacke And another rewarding and terrific set of chats with #whartonbuddyread 4w
CarolynM It does feel closer to Ethan Frome than to the other novels we‘ve read, doesn‘t it? But I agree, it feels odd to say that. I‘m struggling with how to review it. 4w
batsy Lovely review! That last sentence—great way to describe it. I read this awhile back but the point about it being a parallel to EF in a way is somehow accurate. 4w
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Middlemarch | George Eliot
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“Having silenced Objection by force of unreason… “

And a happy Sunday morning to all.

Middlemarch | George Eliot
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(There‘s a little black kitty hidden in there)

I finally finished Book IV (Three Love Problems). It was a bit of a struggle and took 3 weeks, not one. But it certainly has its purpose…well, I imagine. Starting Book V, which has a really fun 1st chapter. #george

Tamra I see that kitty! 😸 (edited) 4w
Ruthiella That kitty is well camouflaged! 😻 4w
Ann_Reads Is this a new addition to your kitty family? 4w
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AlaMich I see one green eye! 😻 4w
Graywacke @Tamra she says you don‘t 🙂 and @Ruthiella she says exactly, thank you. 🐈‍⬛ 4w
Graywacke @Ann_Reads hmm, I think we got her in 2013…?? No, not new. (edited) 4w
Graywacke @AlaMich she opened both eyes for me just a moment, but my snap was too slow. So I only got one (probably slightly irritated) eye. 🙂 Her eyes are yellow in RL. 4w
batsy Nope, no kitties visible! (😍) 4w
Graywacke @batsy you‘re now on her good list. 🙂 4w
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Summer: A Novel | Edith Wharton
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A possible inspiration for the North Dormer library.

Summer - chapters XV-XVIII - the end of the book

I finished a few days ago and I‘m still in the “what just happened?” mode. Charity seems to make a decision and it‘s not one any of us would have chose for her. But she has made her peace. Did she really make this decision freely? Why did W once say, of Judge, he‘s the book? Have you made your own peace? Share your thoughts.

Graywacke One prominent thought on my mind - what did Lucius think when he got that last letter? 4w
Currey No, even on the second reading it is a strangely disconcerting ending. Did Charity have a choice? She had so few options and the fact that Mr Royall showed some goodness while getting what he always wanted, made me feel as if it was a better ending than Charity living on the mountain. It nevertheless left me feeling so sad for her. 4w
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Currey @Graywacke Lucius, not knowing of Charity‘s condition, probably thought she had simply succumbed. However, did he also feel relief? 4w
Aimeesue The pic threw me for a loop - my grandparents' house is across the street from that library. My cousins and I grew up climbing all over the war memorial cannon that sits in front of it. 😄 4w
Lcsmcat I‘ve been sitting with this book for days now, and I‘m still not sure how I feel about that ending. The cynic in me @currey says that Lucius was relieved. But he was probably sad too. Kind of like, “I couldn‘t marry her, but I want to think she‘s out there for me if I changed my mind” type of sad. My sympathies are with Charity and Royall. Both know the marriage is a “make the best of a bad situation” thing. 4w
Lcsmcat Charity has so few choices available to her, and none of them good. So to answer last week‘s question 😄 this does feel like a feminist novel to me. But why did Wharton feel the need to make the abortionist SO horrible! Taking all her money when it was four times the agreed rate was the final Salt in the wound for me. 4w
Graywacke @Aimeesue whoa. Wow. How cool? I‘m asking myself, what are the chances? Wharton had her home in Lennox, MA, and drove around looking for story ideas. So she took in a lot of stuff. This town is one of the small towns she probably spent time in. (edited) 4w
Graywacke @Currey I‘m feeling my way through the Judge‘s actions. I feel he found a way, but I‘m not sure how much of the web was woven by him. And I‘m simply not comfortable with his actions. He could support her as her dad, as he should. The rest is uncomfortable to me. My brain is asking, was Charity maneuvered into this decision or is it more like @Lcsmcat put it, the best move, all things considered. 4w
Graywacke @Currey @Lcsmcat on Lucius. If we assume his feelings for Charity were genuine, then…? Perhaps he first thought was, “goodness, so fast. You didn‘t give me enough time.” But if we imagine he had already turned away, still he knew the Judge was an improper creep. So, was he horrified? Was Charity salting her own wound on him? Of course, he doesn‘t know of his child. (edited) 4w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat I‘m not sure how I feel either. I admire Charity‘s strength of character, but not her solution. Oye. But anyway I cook it, i have to admire it was her conscious decision. It‘s hers to judge, not mine. (Is Judge judging anything here? Or only everything?) 4w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat I was right pissed over the practitioner. ☹️ 4w
Daisey @Lcsmcat @Graywacke I hated how the woman charged Charity so much, but at the same time, I felt it was more to make a point of how much Charity would still sacrifice to have the brooch back in her own possession. Even with the child, she wanted this other physical memento of their relationship. 4w
Graywacke @Daisey yes, I completely agree. It doesn‘t express how deeply she wanted the brooch and memory and how valuable that fling was to her. 4w
Aimeesue @Graywacke I've been to her home there, The Mount, several times. The Berkshires were pretty lit - heavy- Herman Melville's home there (Arrowhead) is now a museum, and he was supposedly inspired to write Moby Dick by his view of one of the hills. Hawthorne spent a lot of time there (music venue is Tanglewood.) Emily Dickinson, of course, was The Belle of Amherst, where I went to school. Thanks for the article! 4w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke @Currey I agree Royall is creepy. But _could_ he support Charity, with a child, as her dad? He might be thinking only that he would be assumed to be the father, but he might also be thinking of her being able to continue living in the town. And where else could she go? Not that the mountain was a good solution, but with her mother‘s death it ceased to even be a viable one. 4w
Lcsmcat I‘m angry with Lucius too because while he might not know about the baby, he knew that a baby was a possibility. And he gets off with no consequences. 😡 4w
Graywacke @Daisey oye. Sorry. It *does express… 4w
Graywacke @Lcsmcat yup, Lucius walks away free. And he never risked anything 4w
Leftcoastzen I ended up not commenting last week , finished the book soon after. I admired Whartons skill of letting us know what happened w/o running afoul of censors! Poor Charity had few choices, the fact she married that man makes me shudder. It was a nasty twist that the provider was an awful , greedy person, as if Charity‘s situation wasn‘t punishment enough.Yet , I can see why she wanted the brooch.Sometimes a fleeting moment of passion seems worth it. 4w
Graywacke @Aimeesue ❤️ Melville. The literary history in that area is special. 4w
Graywacke @Leftcoastzen Do you also feel a little abused by Wharton here? Or just me? She certainly makes her point quite powerfully (although I can‘t say exactly what that point is. There‘s a lot of nuance) … (I imagine Wharton had a love hate relationship with her readers… 🙂… mind you, I admire her. And this story leaves me admiring her more. I think she we went deeper here into uncharted territory, more than in any previous story) (edited) 4w
Currey @Graywacke @Leftcoastzen I do feel as if Wharton twisted my sympathies certainly. She has Charity being very clear that she does not want out of her situation, she came to it with eyes wide open, but she wants to bring her child up in a place where the child will not be ostracized and she herself be judged by a set of morals she does not subscribe to. The ending is one solution to that problem, but is it the only one? Moving away with “Dad”? 4w
Leftcoastzen It did seem a bit abrupt.Yet , if it is about the judge, he got what he wanted. Eeewww.I think in a way,by not making a more tidy ending it might signify how the adventure is over. Especially for women . Because using a goddess reference maiden , mother ,crone? 4w
Leftcoastzen Funny I‘m reading a book about Sedgwick family who‘s home in Stockbridge dates from 1785, there‘s comments about the Gilded age invasion of Lenox.Here is what Hawthorne said about Tanglewood weather.”This is a horrible,horrible, most hor-ri-ble climate;one knows not,for ten minutes together,whether he is too cool or too warm;but he is always one or the other,and the constant result is a miserable disturbance of the system.I detest it!” 4w
Louise @graywacke and our lovely group, I apologize for being absent these past two Saturday mornings. I‘m going through a rough time with new treatments for chronic pain while also caregiving. I‘ll try to catch up with comments before we move on to the next book! 🤦🏻‍♀️ Will try to be more consistently here. 😌 4w
Graywacke @Currey I think there are other solutions, but not any she could know. Certainly the mountain turned out poorly. Maybe she needed to give it more of a chance. But I think that rocked her confidence. Well, maybe. 4w
Graywacke @Leftcoastzen re Chastity: that‘s so sad. I have wondered if that‘s the theme. Poor Minerva. Re Hawthorne: this, on the other hand, was very entertaining. NH needed to discover layers for his clothing. 🙂Thanks. 4w
Graywacke @Louise I‘m really sorry to hear about all you‘re going through. Wish you well. And I hope you find more time, and physical peace, to read to your mom. 4w
Leftcoastzen @louise hugs to you ! Care giving is hard & having pain is such a struggle. Hope things improve. 4w
Louise @Graywacke Thanks so much for your kind words, Dan. 4w
Louise @Leftcoastzen Thank you, Linda. Much appreciated! 4w
CarolynM I was not expecting that conclusion and it actually made me feel slightly sick. I understand the point about making it ok for her to be pregnant in North Dormer, but surely any decent person would be revolted by what is, in effect, incest. Does anyone believe that he was never going to touch her? I‘m afraid I don‘t. I am equally appalled by Lucius‘s behaviour. His treatment of both Charity and his fiancée was abhorrent.? 4w
CarolynM 👆I understand C giving in to the situation considering the emotional & physical trials of early pregnancy & her trip up the Mountain, but I wonder how long it would be before her old spirit returned & what she might do then. I think it would be ugly. @Lcsmcat I believe some abortionists genuinely wanted to help, but there were plenty whose only motivation was exploiting the vulnerable. Dr Merkle adds to the feminism of the novel for me. 4w
CarolynM @Louise I‘m sorry you‘re having a difficult time. I hope you have the time and inclination to keep up with this group because you add so much to it. Sending love and hugs💕 4w
Lcsmcat @CarolynM No, I don‘t believe that Royall will never touch her. I think he will take full advantage of her vulnerability. And C may or may not return to her feistiness, but she won‘t be happy. It‘s such a recipe for disaster! And the poor child is in for a difficult life too. So yes, @Graywacke I feel a bit beat up by Wharton! 4w
Lcsmcat @Louise I‘m sorry you‘re dealing with so much! Hugs and prayers. 4w
Graywacke @CarolynM @Lcsmcat - I think we‘re all a little repulsed and feeling beat up by W … 🤕 … And yet I think we will persist on reading her 4w
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Hey, the next one is set in WWI. How bad could it get? 😂 4w
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Anything is Possible | Elizabeth Strout
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Hmm. Well, it wasn‘t anywhere as strong to me as My Name is Lucy Barton. But I‘m still tempted to give it a pick. Strout basically fleshes out all the stories from MNiLB. So this is a collection of 3rd person narrative stories. She does this contrast where generally normal people do or get involved in really out-there non-normal stuff. I found it very readable but also I found it a bit much. Perhaps I should give it more time. ( #Booker2022 )

Graywacke It has led me to appreciate My Name is Lucy Barton more. Lucy is relatable and has a powerful voice. And she‘s developed and compressed and maintains a single narrative, and every word in that book has a purpose. Nothing wasted. And I loved the Lucy talking to me in that book. (All that is missing here, by design) 1mo
Ruthiella I agree. Lucy Barton really affected me emotionally. Anything Is Possible was fine, but personally I didn‘t need the follow up or the gaps filled in. 1mo
BarbaraBB I agree with both of you. Don‘t give up on Lucy though! @Ruthiella 1mo
Graywacke @Ruthiella i feel the same. @BarbaraBB I won‘t! (Well, I can‘t if I want to still read that Booker longlist) 1mo
BarbaraBB That‘s a relief 😅 1mo
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Braiding Sweetgrass | Robin Wall Kimmerer
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Kind of cool that the book we just finished in #naturalitsy refers our next book. I‘ve started this one, Braiding Sweetgrass - although I haven‘t figured out what it actually is yet (if that even makes sense).

AllDebooks It really is a bit of a everything, isn't it? 1mo
Caterina Wait what is Naturalitsy, I want in!! 😍🌳🍄 I have started Finding the Mother Tree and Braiding Sweetgrass and love what I've read of each, but haven't finished them! 1mo
Graywacke @AllDebooks going a lot of different ways, definitely. 1mo
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Graywacke @Caterina - for #naturalisy - Follow the hashtag. It‘s @AllDebooks project and it‘s been terrific. We‘re only on our second book, and we have our first discussion Saturday (on part 1). 1mo
Caterina Amazing, thank you! I'll try to join in! 😊 @AllDebooks 1mo
GingerAntics Loved Braiding Sweet Grass! It is hard to classify. In some ways it‘s a memoir. In others it‘s ecology. It‘s also something else I can‘t quite name. 1mo
Graywacke @GingerAntics I‘m happy to know that. Yeah, it‘s a lot of things so far. 1mo
Ann_Reads @Graywacke - I've read the Planting Sweetgrass section and very much get where you are coming from in yours thoughts about the book so far. 1mo
GingerAntics @Graywacke it‘s lovely and a great read. I hope you‘re enjoying it as much as I did. 2w
Graywacke @GingerAntics probably not as much, but I‘m happy with it. I‘m calling it a collection of personal essays. 2w
GingerAntics @Graywacke that‘s probably the most succinct description. I like that. I‘ll second that categorisation. 2w
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Houston Astros: Deep in the Heart | Bill Brown, Mike Acosta
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I‘m a huge baseball fan. Congrats to my Astros after a terrific World Series win against an impressive Philadelphia Phillies team. Cheers all.

MoonWitch94 It was a tough day for us PHILLY sports fans! First the Union‘s loss & now the Phillies 😞 But like you said—-it was an impressive run & Houston had a helluva season & it‘s not surprising they won. 1mo
Graywacke @MoonWitch94 yeah, tough day. Great Phillies team. I think they‘ll be better next year. (My Brother-in-law is a lifelong Phillies fan. Really passionate. He‘s a great guy too. I‘m not saying anything to him for a bit.) 1mo
Susanita I‘m happy for Dusty. 1mo
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Graywacke @Susanita yes! Finally, for him. I remember that Giants he almost won with. 1mo
Leftcoastzen Meant to tell you congrats even though I was rooting for the underdog!😁This SF Giants fan is glad as well that Dusty got his ring! 1mo
Graywacke @Leftcoastzen it‘s about time for him. I suspect a lot of Giants fans are quietly happy. Also thanks. 1mo
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Summer: A Novel | Edith Wharton
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Was there a movie? This image is from summerthemovie.com

Summer - chapters XI XIV #whartonbuddyread

Charity tries to run away to the mountain, and ends up in a romance in an abandoned mansion. She is in love and denial. It‘s such a blind beautiful tragic love of full abandon (and symbolisms). Thoughts? Anyone else seeing variations on (*gasp*) Undine? How about on Minerva (Athena)?

Graywacke “She understood now the case of girls like herself to whom this kind of thing happened. They gave all they had, but their all was not enough : it could not buy more than a few moments. . . .” 1mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke That quote! We all knew what was going on, but I enjoyed seeing how Wharton made sure the reader knew without falling afoul of the censors. 1mo
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Lcsmcat This one also resonated with me: “The first fall of night after a day of radiance often gave her a sense of hidden menace: it was like looking out over the world as it would be when love had gone from it.” 1mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat that‘s a really powerful line 1mo
Currey @Graywacke @Lcsmcat Yes, powerful quotes. I am seeing hints of Undine. I also understand now why on first rereading the book I felt as if Charity had lost all her charm. She was wild and raw and ignorant. Now I realize the masterful writing of Wharton is slowly evolving Charity into someone who can give her all and who can see through her ignorance to a place where her all is not going to be good enough but she will gain something… 1mo
Currey @Graywacke @Lcsmcat I don‘t think she will gain charm, that is not the right word, but something that makes her more fully herself….clay in a kiln so to speak. 1mo
Lcsmcat @Currey @Graywacke Yes, she‘s going to gain something more than “experience” from this. - character, maybe? 1mo
arubabookwoman Agree about the quote.It was one I had marked too. I admit that I did not finish Custom of the Country--I was behind & too late for the discussion, and I really disliked Undine, so it looks like I've just abandoned it for now, but I'm not seeing Undine in Charity. Charity is naive, yet all too knowledgeable about the ways of the world at the same time. Deep down Charity knows the perils of her relationship with Lucius, but I think she's 👇🏻 1mo
arubabookwoman willfully blinding herself to how badly this will probably end. I like and pity Charity at the same time. 1mo
Graywacke @Currey ( @Lcsmcat ) I‘m really interested in your rereading perspective. For me, i don‘t see Charity gaining anything for herself other than experience and tough life lessons. She may be learning. i do think she‘s gaining reader sympathy. I like her better the more we see her. 1mo
Graywacke @arubabookwoman I totally see that. The relationship I see with Undine is that each has an instinctual nature that‘s impervious to influence. The natures of each character is different, but each has a powerful sort of lower brain set that goes up against the world. In my head, Wharton winds them up (I mean creates them) and lets them go. 🙂 ( @Currey ) 1mo
Graywacke Curious symbols i have in mind: white dress, Balch-used shoes, bicycles, abandoned mansion. Also interesting to me was the Evangelist and C‘s response (dropping all her stuff without realizing it. She was stunned) 1mo
arubabookwoman @Graywacke Yes that is a good description of how they are alike (of what I read of Undine). both have a fairly strong sense of self (maybe even a very big ego), think they know better than anyone else as to how to handle matters. 1mo
Currey @arubabookwoman @Graywacke And pride…they are both full of pride. “You say you don‘t care but you‘re the proudest girl I know…” 1mo
Graywacke @arubabookwoman @Currey - huh, I hadn‘t thought about it that way - ego and curious versions of pride. (Terrific quote) Does that put a feminist tilt on each? The non-submissive women 1mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Yes, I think there is a feminist angle to both women. Charity isn‘t going to play by the rules, even if she ends up getting hurt, because on some level she sees that the rules aren‘t there to protect her, but to protect the patriarchy? 1mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat i see that. The social rules are ropes that tie her to 3rd class dependent isolated quiet misery or poverty. (But it‘s still funny that she started by taking out her frustrations on the library) 1mo
CarolynM I completely agree with @arubabookwoman about Charity and I also agree about her pride @Currey I think Charity is a lot more realistic about the world than Undine, who seemed to think she could bend it to her will. I don‘t think it‘s going to end well for Charity. 1mo
arubabookwoman @CarolynM @Graywacke Yes pride is a word I thought of in connection with Charity--maybe what I was thinking of when I said "big ego." And now I think of the old saying, "Pride goes before a fall." 1mo
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Summer: A Novel | Edith Wharton
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Eek, I just realized I had the dates wrong. I had originally listed our discussion for tomorrow. But I meant to keep the Saturday schedule. Corrected dates above. We‘ll discuss chapters XI - XIV on Saturday (Nov 5) #whartonbuddyread

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Middlemarch | George Eliot
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It‘s just that this summarized my last couple years of reading… #george

batsy Less conversation and more sonnets, I say! 🙂 1mo
Graywacke @batsy you‘re a classicist at heart 🙂 1mo
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Summer: A Novel | Edith Wharton
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Summer: chapters VI-X #whartonbuddyread

Lucius and Charity are friends. It just happens that their friendship leads her creepy father to kick Lucius out of town (to protect her). But there‘s is a charged friendship that persists into a courtship, and explodes during 4th of July fireworks in Needleton. What your thoughts on this section? And on Charity‘s character, and her background?

Graywacke How much of what Charity is doing is sort of by planned intent, and how much innocence? 1mo
llwheeler I didn't pick up that much on Charity as animal in the last section, until you brought it up in the discussion, but I definitely see that strongly now. So I might use instinct for her, rather than innocence or intent. 1mo
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Currey @llwheeler Yes, I at first thought Lucius was interested in Charity as an “exotic” but now I am seeing how her swings from fierce pride to out of control crying would be very alluring. I do not think that he was intentionally out to snare her (animal) but I can also see how he would begin to think he does not have to treat her as he would treat a young lady of his class. (edited) 1mo
Currey @Graywacke. If I had not read all the other Wharton‘s I would no doubt have missed the theme of communication. The two friends communicate without words. Mr Royall attempts to communicate with Charity and it causes her for the first time to see him as an actual human being rather than a force meant to constrain her, but she doesn‘t actually understand the message. She can barely communicate with herself. 1mo
Graywacke @llwheeler oh, an enlightenment moment. Instinct! That‘s the word i was missing. Thanks! I noticed, but didn‘t note where, Wharton uses the word “animal” in one her descriptions of Charity in these chapters. 1mo
Graywacke @Currey great point. So frustrating for them. A lot of miscommunication. And whatever is said, changes meaning for the hearer. 1mo
Graywacke @Currey regarding classes - it struck me that $10 bought her a whole outfit with hat. And L spent &10 on a horse and buggy ride without hesitation. Such different order of magnitude on their financial perspectives 1mo
Lcsmcat Instinct is a good word for it. And she was obviously right to not trust Royal! Talk about creepy! 1mo
CarolynM I was really struck by the way everybody judged Charity for doing nothing more than spending time with Lucius. Why is the assumption that something improper is happening rather than assuming an innocent friendship? I sincerely hope they are not going to be forced into marriage. Julia Hawes and the house on the corner with the big black sign feel topical right now. 1mo
Leftcoastzen I think instinct is a good word for her.Having to fend off her step father & the feelings she must have about the limitations of her current situation kind of open her up to the attention of an outsider & someone above the local class.For Lucius ,there is more temptation to maybe not be a gentleman, since he is away from his friends & social circle (what happens in the boonies stays in the boonies) 1mo
Leftcoastzen And I agree with @CarolynM Everyone jumping to conclusions about Charity , so much a sign of the times , harder on the woman . I got so mad at Royall the obvious double standard , calling Charity a whore when he‘s clearly cavorting! 1mo
Graywacke @Leftcoastzen double-standard extreme 1mo
jewright I feel so sorry for Charity. She really hasn‘t done anything wrong, and yet everyone is accusing her. And she has another offer of marriage from Royall. Yuck. I did love the descriptions of the fireworks in this section. I can also empathize with how they felt at a festival in the summer. It‘s fun but so hot and loud and crowded, and then there are too many people trying to leave. 1mo
Graywacke @jewright that festive crowd chaos is tangible. ( I‘m picturing something along the lines if Dante‘s circles) 1mo
27 likes15 comments
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I‘ll start this on audio tomorrow. (I have a note suggesting @merelybookish inspired me to try this)

batsy It's on my list because of @merelybookish as well 🙂 Look forward to your thoughts. 1mo
merelybookish Oh, I was just thinking about this book the other day. I also did audio but need to get a hard copy to revisit. I hope you enjoy and like @batsy am excited to hear what you think! 1mo
Graywacke @batsy @merelybookish Saunders talks a little like I think. He was trained in geophysics#, and i work in geophysics. I like that. But anyway I‘m looking forward to this. His introduction was lovely. I want my moon!! (Moon = inspiration) 1mo
Billypar I read it on audio - you're in for a treat. I found every essay brilliant, regardless of how much I liked the Russian story it focused on (though I liked most of the stories as well). 1mo
Graywacke @batsy @merelybookish oops. Moon = enlightenment ☺️ @Billypar thanks. Now I have two great recommendations! Feeling motivated 💪 1mo
47 likes5 comments
Trust | Hernan Diaz
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A carefully crafted oddity. A novel about a man who shorted the 1929 stock market crash becomes a novel within a novel. And the book moves on the other literary documents and scraps, each altering the perspective of everything before. An interesting look a capitalism too. But I‘m not entirely sure it will hang around. #booker2022

BarbaraBB Great review. I admit I enjoyed it but forgot most about it already! 1mo
Graywacke @BarbaraBB yes! Exactly. What do we with it, other than shoot more spitballs at today‘s most obnoxious tycoons? 1mo
Suet624 @Graywacke haha. A town square event - shooting spitballs at obnoxious tycoons. @barbarabb I feel as if I keep coming back to this book with you. 1mo
Graywacke @Suet624 could be cathartic 1mo
BarbaraBB @Suet624 You‘re right! We keep talking about it, which says a lot too! 1mo
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Finding the Mother Tree | Suzanne Simard
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A memoir with a lot real science - with pioneering research tracing nutrient sharing between different and competitive tree species, creating a kind of symbiosis through specialized fungi, and later on how old large “mother” trees support their own young. A theme here is everything is connected and we to manage climate change with this knowledge.

A fun group read with #naturalitsy - our first one.

Chelsea.Poole Great review and image! 1mo
Ann_Reads You summed up the book well. I'm glad to have read it, mostly for the research related stuff. That part was fascinating and also frustrating. 1mo
AllDebooks Great review, particularly the science summary. It was fun reading it alongside you all. 😊 1mo
Graywacke @AllDebooks thanks and ditto. I enjoyed the whole group read experience. 1mo
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Anything is Possible | Elizabeth Strout
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I started this on Kindle almost two weeks ago, but I‘m just reading it here and there. So I‘m about half way through this very short book. It‘s not as powerful as My Name is Lucy Barton, but I find I get into it easily enough. Part of my road to the #booker2022 longlist.

Middlemarch | George Eliot
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Personal update: Finished Book III (chapter 33), which ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. I feel only now I‘m beginning to have enough background to appreciate these characters within the plot.

I‘ve been paying closer attention to the chapter epigrams, which are terrific (when I get them). I enjoyed the one pictured, from chapter 31. The key chapter plot is in there. #george

sarahbellum I agree- when I get them, the epigraphs are great additions 👌 2mo
kspenmoll Sorry, I am way behind. Reading it but not at pace you all are. Just finished intro. Will check in periodically. 2mo
Graywacke @kspenmoll no worries. No set pace. My copy doesn‘t have an intro, but it has an afterword. 1mo
johncadams I love this book so much! 1mo
Graywacke @johncadams I‘m only moseying through right now. I‘m enjoying it, but not able to really attach yet. ☹️ 1mo
41 likes5 comments
Summer: A Novel | Edith Wharton
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Summer: Chapters I-VI

Welcome to tiny North Dormer, in the shadow of Eagle Mountain. Charity Royall is a terrible librarian and ready to bail, and outsider Lucius Harney may provide an opportunity. She recently rejected a marriage proposal from her adopted dad(!). She‘s from “up the mountain”, and doesn‘t know her parents. We‘re starting to learn what this all means. The mountain is a little spooky at this point. How are you getting along?

Graywacke #whartonbuddyread (i was actually worried about reading Summer in October. But, if it stays this spooky, maybe our timing is perfect) 2mo
Currey This is my seconding reading but after having read so much other Wharton I am finding it to be more haunting. Also Charity is rawer and rougher than my recall. Where are her remembered charms? What does Lucius see in her? An exotic? Or is it “even the devil‘s daughter is beautiful at nineteen” and why did the elderly Royall save Charity from the mountain? For himself? Yuck!! Okay, all questions rather than answers. 2mo
See All 48 Comments
Currey Really loved the whole page about smells at the beginning of V. 2mo
Currey “…and wondered if he felt any deader in his grave than she felt in his library” 2mo
arubabookwoman @Currey It's also my second rereading, and I also did not remember Charity being so raw, uneducated, and dare I say vulgar. I remember her having aspirations for a higher social status. 2mo
arubabookwoman I don't really have much to say so far. It seems to be pretty much setting the scene for the main story. And I hadn't really remembered Lawyer Royall's attempted incursion into Charity's bedroom, tho' something like that seems to have been anticipated by (lady that owned library-forget the name) with the talk of sending Charity off to boarding school. 2mo
Graywacke @Currey @arubabookwoman so interesting to see your reread perspectives. Your combined memory/revisits of Charity is a little different from my first time take. I see her as a bunch of conflicts and un-worked out deeper issues. She‘s as much animal as human - sheltered, selfish, uneducated, uncurious. Her lolling on the ground in grass or flowers is - well, a lot of things. Sexy, sensual, connected to nature, weird, and again, a little animal. 2mo
Graywacke He dad is not a good guide, but Lucius (almost luscious) clearly is not revolted. I think he might like that she‘s a little wild. What a weird place and weird people. What weird names! 2mo
Graywacke Wharton wrote this during WWI, where she was very active in support of the French (in the war where they were as Germany, and everyone else). I‘m curious about the relationship. To me, this seems like an escape from that, but maybe with elements of it. Like war reveals, she seems to be cutting down towards base humanity. 2mo
Lcsmcat @curey @arubabookwoman My second reading too, and my memory of Charity was “softer” than she seems this time. 2mo
Lcsmcat I wonder about her name. Was she always Charity, or did they change her name when they “adopted” her? 2mo
Lcsmcat And did anyone else get hints that Lawyer Royall had a scandal behind him that was keeping him in this small town? (Not a spoiler - I honestly can‘t remember.) 2mo
Louise @Lcsmcat I seem to recall a line about Charity‘s name and how it seemed to go well with their gesture in taking her in, but I can‘t find that passage at the moment. 2mo
Louise Reading this book aloud to my mom, we often found passages we wanted to hear again. Sometimes, it‘s the use of a particular word; other times it‘s a whole passage. I‘ll just post a few here. 2mo
Louise “Entering her prison-house [the library]…she took off her hat and hung it on the plaster bust of Minerva.” Did the evocation of Minerva strike you as symbolic? Goddess of “strategic war”, courage, justice, law, etc., as well as, oddly, poetry, the arts, trade. (edited) 2mo
Louise In one passage, Lucian‘s indifference as he went about looking at books in the library “nettled her”, a clever reminder of Nettleton and how Lucian arrives as a kind of representative of the world beyond North Dormer. 2mo
Louise The second paragraph of chapter five and another passage later on brought the beginning of The Canterbury Tales to mind. In both books, the burgeoning of Spring is described with desire and passion-filled beauty that mirrors the awakening of sensual/sexual desire in the people who observe and experience it. A small example from chapter 5, par. 2: “All this bubbling of sap and slipping of sheaths and bursting of calyxes was carried to her on… 2mo
Louise “…mingled currents of fragrance.” 2mo
Louise Compare to the Middle English of Chaucer: Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote,
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licóur
Of which vertú engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye, That slepen al the nyght with open ye, …
(edited) 2mo
Louise …So priketh hem Natúre in hir corages,
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages…
Louise @Currey @Graywacke Your comments earlier allude to this theme as well. Lucius/Luscious—interesting observation, Dan! Also interesting, your comment about Charity being part human/part animal in her connection to Nature when she rolls about in the grass. Perhaps not yet fully developed as a person. @Lcsmcat Your idea about a scandal in Lawyer Royall‘s past would explain a lot! (edited) 2mo
Currey @Louise thank you for the comparison to Canterbury Tales. That was lovely. 2mo
CarolynM I can‘t say I like Charity very much so far and I don‘t know what Lucius sees in her. I‘m interested to see where this is going, but hoping it‘s not the “promising young man ruined by obsession with unsuitable girl” trope. 2mo
Lcsmcat @CarolynM 😂🤣 love it! 2mo
Lcsmcat @Louise I love the quotes you posted! And the Canterbury Tales connection is spot on. Sometimes reading aloud really brings things out in the text, doesn‘t it? 2mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat @Louise very interesting idea about a Royall scandal. Creepy guy. (edited) 2mo
Graywacke @Louise i love that you‘re reading this out-loud to your mom. I know you have done that before. But especially nice with the Canterbury Tales. Chaucer will be a 2023 theme for me. I recognize that opening, but I haven‘t read Chaucer before. 2mo
Lcsmcat I went looking for the passage that hinted of scandal and couldn‘t find it, but I did find the quote that shows they renamed Charity. 👇🏻 2mo
Lcsmcat “She knew that she had been christened Charity (in the white church at the other end of the village) to commemorate Mr. Royall‘s disinterestedness in “bringing her down,” and to keep alive in her a becoming sense of her dependence;” 2mo
Louise @CarolynM I have a bit of the opposite trepidation: small-town girl heartbroken after promising young man moves on from summer romance. Either way, we both know this is Edith Wharton, so sadness is on the way! 🙁 2mo
Louise @Graywacke You will love Chaucer! I took a course at uni on The Canterbury Tales, and it was like attending a stand-up comedy show at every class, as the professor brought out Chaucer‘s humor so brilliantly! You‘ll soon get used to the Middle English. It‘s earthy and somehow charming. (edited) 2mo
Louise @Lscmcat @Graywacke Yes, reading aloud to another person is a beautiful way to share a text. One becomes even more aware of the lyricism in Wharton‘s prose. It‘s so different from reading silently and simply hearing the story in one‘s head. Voicing it puts it “out in the world” and kind of tests the text‘s mettle. 2mo
Louise @Lcsmcat Wow, that quote you found about naming Charity takes on a sinister tone in light of today‘s discussion. It‘s like Royall wants to control her from childhood onwards with a sense of obligation and inequality. Arrgh! 2mo
Louise @Currey Glad you enjoyed the Chaucer connection! 2mo
Leftcoastzen Wow such great comments, love referencing Canterbury tales @Louise 2mo
Leftcoastzen Charity does seem rough around the edges , I love the foreshadowing. I feel that she‘s going to find disturbing facts up on the mountain! Stepdad just ewwww!😖 2mo
Graywacke @CarolynM @Louise I‘m wondering where it‘s going too. @Lcsmcat that quote! Phew 2mo
CarolynM @Louise Yes, I‘d prefer it to avoid that one too😆 2mo
llwheeler I'm enjoying this one so far, and everyone's comments. I'm finding it a bit slower to start than some of her others, though maybe that's just me 2mo
Daisey I just finished these chapters on a first read, and I‘m intrigued. The previous comments definitely got me thinking more about the names. Edith Wharton is a bit of a hit or miss author for me, but I‘m hopeful about this one as I tend to prefer her shorter works and think the group will give me a better appreciation of what I read. 2mo
jewright Mr. Royall is just yucky. Unfortunately, everyone seems to acknowledge what‘s happening, but they plan to ignore it. Lucius seems intrigued with her because she‘s different, but he doesn‘t seem overly surprised she‘s from the mountain. Charity strikes me as smart and strong enough to force what she wants. She is a little manipulative. I‘m intrigued thus far. 2mo
Graywacke @Louise the Minerva statue has me wondering. Does putting your hat on it mean you‘re like that, or your wearing that aspect? Putting your hat on a chaste warrior goddess famous for her shield. Hmm. Not sure what it means. But I won‘t take Charity lightly. 2mo
Graywacke @Leftcoastzen the foreshadowing… I sense it too, but of what? I don‘t know. And what is up with that mountain? 2mo
Graywacke @llwheeler Definitely slower than the longer Wharton novels. The style is a lot like Ethan Frome, carefully crafted and compact, with a heavily built-in subtext. 2mo
Graywacke @Daisey Some of the weird names:
Miss Hatchard
Annabel Balch
Honorius Hatchard
Ally Hawes
Lucius Harney
Orma Fry
Eudora Skeff
Verena Marsh
Carrick Fry
Ida Targatt (hmm)
Bill Solas
Liff Hyatt
Dan Targatt
Bash Hyatt
Graywacke @jewright Lawyer Royall is awful yucky - but Charity does control him. That‘s interesting. Something to her character. Perhaps a Minerva/warrior… Now that you mention it, how Lucius responded to learning Charity is of the mountain of note. Glad you highlighted it. He was curiously intrigued yet nonchalant. I wonder how that plays into who he is/what he‘s doing. 2mo
Louise @Graywacke Seeing all those strange names in a list is really funny! Yes, the Minerva statue must mean something. . . I wonder if Charity‘s manner of tossing her hat on the goddess‘s head shows a disrespect or ignorance of the strong forces at work in her life. Minerva as goddess of law and justice could evoke Royall‘s profession, yet Charity knows her own strength regarding him (sometimes). So who can guess Wharton‘s purpose there! 🤔 (edited) 2mo
36 likes48 comments
Summer: A Novel | Edith Wharton
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Just a reminder - we‘ll discuss chapters I-V Saturday. (I‘m traveling but I think I can still host ok)

Hanna-B Thanks. What time is the discussion? 2mo
Leftcoastzen I need to get on it. 2mo
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CarolynM All set🙂 2mo
Daisey Thanks for the reminder! I had the 22nd in mind but as a start date rather than first discussion. I just downloaded the first issue/chapter on Serial Reader. 2mo
Graywacke @Hanna-B um … well… 🙂😁☺️… I‘ve never promised a time before. I‘ll try for early (US Central time). 2mo
Hanna-B @Graywacke ok cool. I may not be able to join in with the time difference 2mo
batsy I was keen to join in until my mother's health issues flared up again 3 weeks ago. I loved this when I first read it but I'm too wiped out at the moment to do a sustained group read, unfortunately 😟 Hope to be able to join you for the next book. 2mo
Graywacke @batsy oh, goodness. I‘m sorry about your mother and wish her well. (edited) 2mo
Graywacke @Leftcoastzen you do! 🙂 @CarolynM 👍 @Daisey cool that you‘re using Serial Reader. I don‘t know much about it, but it always sounded like a nice way to read classics. 2mo
Graywacke @Hanna-B you don‘t need to post at any specific time. Any time is fine. It‘s ok to wait a day or more. It‘s a somewhat global discussion group, so there are a variety of time zones to accommodate. We‘ll find your comments (you can tag specific people to whom you‘re directing your post so they get a notification.) 2mo
CarolynM @batsy Sorry to hear that, hope your mother improves and you get some rest💕 2mo
batsy @Graywacke @CarolynM Thank you. She's getting better bit by bit; your good thoughts mean a lot 💜 2mo
Lcsmcat @batsy I‘m sorry to hear about your mother. I hope she continues to improve and you can also get some rest. 2mo
batsy @Lcsmcat Thank you so much 💕 2mo
MicheleinPhilly Sending you ❤️ Suba. @batsy 2mo
batsy @MicheleinPhilly Thank you, Michele ❤️ 2mo
Graywacke @Hanna-B hi. I thought it might help you to see an earlier discussion post, to get a sense how this works. If you would like to do that, try this link - which should go to the first post about The Custom of the Country - our previous book. Lcsmcat's post on Litsy https://litsy.com/p/M0RHYVNvVndv (note that it will pull you out of the App and into a browser). 2mo
johncadams Hope you enjoy this one! 1mo
Graywacke @johncadams thanks! It‘s good stuff so far. 1mo
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Trust | Hernan Diaz
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I‘ll start this tomorrow. #booker2022

johncadams What an amazing cover. 1mo
Graywacke @johncadams yeah. 🙂 it‘s somewhat explained in the book (if I‘m understanding the book correctly). 1mo
50 likes2 comments
Nightcrawling: A novel | Leila Mottley
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The 4th I‘ve finished on the #booker2022 longlist, all on audio so far. I was into this the whole way.

Mottley is a little famous for being the youngest Booker nominee, at age 20, and for being really charming in televised interviews. She reimagines Oakland underlife from the perspective of a 17-yr-old prostitute. (Based on a nonfictional unprosecuted Oakland police-run prostitution ring).

TheBookHippie Sold. I‘ve stacked it! 2mo
Graywacke @TheBookHippie 😍☺️👍 2mo
Hooked_on_books This book is so good. She‘s an extraordinary talent! 2mo
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Middlemarch | George Eliot
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Another personal update: I finished Book II - Old and Young. Lydgate‘s awkward politics and Dorothea‘s unromantic honeymoon (and her singular way of not taking to the classic arts)

#george @vivastory @kspenmoll @erzascarletbookgasm @sarahbellum

sarahbellum I‘m a bit behind: work this week was 🍌. I just started chapter 17 and am hoping to finish book 2 this weekend. I‘m really enjoying all of the mentions of reading, knowledge, wisdom, equating reading with experience, different intelligences, etc. 2mo
Graywacke @sarahbellum have you (re)caught up to the waddle comment? If not, you must be close. I had to smile when i came across it…and it‘s a terrific line. 2mo
Leftcoastzen Happy Caturday! 2mo
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sarahbellum @Graywacke I only have about 15 pages to go, then I‘ll be forging new ground 😱 2mo
vivastory I am farther behind than I would like, but I hope to catch up in the next couple of weeks, I am just a bit into book 2 so far but I am greatly enjoying it! 2mo
Graywacke @Leftcoastzen to those 6 little pounds, everyday is caturday. 🙂 2mo
Graywacke @sarahbellum go boldly beyond! 2mo
Graywacke @vivastory @sarahbellum I didn‘t mean to set the pace. Sorry guys. I think I‘m actually a week ahead (for now). Glad we‘re all enjoying. Seems Sand was having fun. 2mo
vivastory I don't think you're ahead as much as I'm lagging behind 😂 I'm enjoying the audiobook during my commute but for some reason when I'm home lately the only thing that is appealing are short stories 2mo
sarahbellum @Graywacke no worries! It‘s a fine pace, work/life just got in the way last week. Sorry to be dense, but why do you refer to Eliot as Sand? 2mo
Graywacke @sarahbellum no…not Sand. Eliot. Just a (braindead) typo. 😑😐 (edited) 2mo
sarahbellum @Graywacke gotcha. Just wanted to make sure I wasn‘t missing anything 🙂 2mo
51 likes12 comments
Middlemarch | George Eliot
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Personal update: I finished Book 1 : Miss Brooke
Some 1st impressions: the prose is slow but striking, smart and delightful. Tons of references I‘m not picking up. A zillion characters introduced, and Sand has fun with them all. An interesting touch of 1st person in chapter X. I do hope Dorothea Brooke finds happiness in all this. But, “since prayer heightened yearning but not instruction”, she doesn‘t seem to know what she‘s done. #george

Graywacke I looked up some references. One in particular was Sappho‘s apple. Sir Jame “was not one of those gentlemen who languish after the unattainable Sappho‘s apple that laughs from the topmost bough.” (Ch 6) I found this: https://middlemarchin2019.wordpress.com/2019/04/05/sapphos-apple/ 2mo
kspenmoll Thanks for reference. I am catching up this weekend. 2mo
vivastory I'm a bit behind as I had to order a new auxiliary cord for my car, but I'm enjoying what I've read/heard so far!! 2mo
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vivastory Thanks for the link 2mo
erzascarletbookgasm I am catching up too. Thanks for the link 2mo
Graywacke @kspenmoll @vivastory @erzascarletbookgasm - you all have me feeling proudly ahead, but I don‘t think we have an official pace. So no one is behind. 🙂 Good luck with your car Scott. 2mo
vivastory Thanks 👍 I do a lot of driving for work and so I usually play Spotify through my phone. 2mo
sarahbellum I also made it through book 1 this week. I‘ve really enjoyed seeing my old annotations- I had also noticed the authorial intrusion in chapter 10 🙂. I‘m enjoying Celia‘s grounding nickname for Dorothea, Dodo, too much. I‘m thankful for my Penguin‘s footnotes, but there have been plenty more references that I‘ve had to look up (like Murr the cat that I posted about this week). Overall very enjoyable so far! 2mo
Graywacke @sarahbellum woot! Dodo is really funny. (My old edition has no notes 🙁) I find myself relating to Celia the most, even when I don‘t want to. 2mo
Liz_M @sarahbellum I hope it's a reference to ETA Hoffmann's Tomcat Murr! (Not that I've read that book yet. I just love the idea of it) 2mo
sarahbellum @Liz_M it is indeed! 😸 2mo
Hanna-B We did this for book group. I had to give up. 2mo
Graywacke @Hanna-B it‘s a pretty demanding brick. 2mo
Graywacke Retyping the hashtag #george because this post isn‘t (well, hopefully wasn‘t) showing up. 2mo
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Summer: A Novel | Edith Wharton
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Reminder - after a bit of a break, our next #whartonbuddyread is coming soon, two weeks away. ⛈ 🌈 ☀️ 🌷🌻🌼🌸🌺

Graywacke If you‘re tagged above, I have some sort of confirmation you wanted to be tagged for this specific buddy read 🙂 (certainly, let me know if that has changed) (edited) 2mo
Lcsmcat I can‘t believe how fast this fall is going! 2mo
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Graywacke @Lcsmcat yeah, zooming along! 🙂 2mo
Graywacke If you‘re tagged immediately above, I _think_ you want to be tagged, but I‘m not sure. So if you have a preference, please let me know. 2mo
Cathythoughts Thankyou! I‘ve read sumner. I might read again or wait till the next book. Thanks for the tag 👍🏻 2mo
Leftcoastzen Yay! 2mo
sarahbellum I‘m going to sit this one out, but will probably jump back in for Age of Innocence 2mo
Ann_Reads I'm also going to sit this one out but am very interested in reading The Age of Innocence in 2023. Thanks for the tag, Graywacke. 🙂 2mo
Graywacke @sarahbellum @Ann_Reads yes, I remember you both mentioned that. I‘ll keep tagging you so you can follow. I think we‘ll do The Marne next and Age of Innocence after. 2mo
Graywacke @Cathythoughts sounds good! 👍 @Leftcoastzen you sound ready! 💪 (I‘m excited too ☺️) 2mo
llwheeler Thanks for the tag! I knew we were getting close to the next read but forgot exactly when it was 2mo
jewright I was just thinking today we should be staring the next Wharton book soon! I‘m ready! 2mo
Hanna-B I‘ll try and get a wriggle on. Been stuck on Crossroads 2mo
CarolynM Looking forward to it 🙂 2mo
Sparklemn This month is already getting away from me. I'm going to pass on Summer but may join you for the next! 2mo
Graywacke @llwheeler @jewright @CarolynM oh good, sounds like we‘re ready. 2mo
Graywacke @Hanna-B this should be somewhere around 3 hours a week (of course we all read a different speeds and Wharton usually slows down readers, so add time). But maybe you could use this as a Franzen break? 2mo
Graywacke @Sparklemn no problem. Have a good October. Let me know if you want me to keep tagging you. 2mo
arubabookwoman I read this (for 2nd time after reading it 1st in my 20's I think) within the last 5 years ir so (and reviewed it on LT. But it's one of my favorite Whartons, so I think I will try to read it again and join in. Are we going to do The Children, another of my favorite Whartons, which is devastating in a different way than her usual in that it focuses on the children of these high society people and how they are bounced about & ignored? 2mo
arubabookwoman For some reason I'm still stuck about 3/4's through The Custom of the Country and having a hard time making myself keep reading. I dislike Undine so much! 2mo
Graywacke @arubabookwoman so happy you‘re joining! The Children is a later book, 1928. There are 7 longer works of fiction between Summer and The Children. (We can always consider that we (or I) might be a little too stubbornly committed to reading in publication order, and adjust.) 2mo
Graywacke @arubabookwoman I completely understand about disillusioning Undine. 2mo
arubabookwoman I don't mind going in order. I've never read one author this systematically before. It's interesting to follow how the author develops over time. 2mo
Hanna-B @Graywacke going to buy it on my iPad and get started. Finished the Franzen today. Started a non fiction read today too 2mo
Lcsmcat I didn‘t even notice. 🤦🏻‍♀️ 1mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat i was have skipped to December 🤦🏻‍♂️ 1mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke An easy mistake. Once Halloween is past the retailers all think it‘s Christmas, so . . . 😂 1mo
CarolynM I just assumed Saturdays (or Sunday my time) thanks for clarifying. I‘m going to be away this weekend so I‘ll probably be later than usual with my comments. 1mo
Graywacke @Lcsmcat 🤣🤣 I‘m in tune with my inner Target. 1mo
Graywacke @CarolynM enjoy your weekend (hopefully it‘s a good kind of traveling) 1mo
Lcsmcat @Graywacke 😂🤣😂 1mo
CarolynM Yep, it‘s wine bottling and Bendigo Blues Festival weekend. Can‘t wait to get started😁 1mo
Graywacke @CarolynM I don‘t what Bendigo blues are, but enjoy! Drink great wine! 1mo
CarolynM Bendigo is a city in central Victoria where there‘s a blues music festival on the weekend after Cup Day. Our wine is pretty good, but “great” might be stretching it😂 1mo
36 likes37 comments
My Name is Lucy Barton | Elizabeth Strout
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“Sarah Payne said, If there is a weakness in your story, address it head-on, take it in your teeth and address it, before the reader really knows. This is where you will get your authority, she said, during one of those classes when her face was filled with fatigue from teaching.”

I adored Lucy Barton and her Pearl Tull mannerisms, her juxtapositions, and hospital-bed views. A wonderful lead-up to Oh William! for the #Booker2022 longlist.

Graywacke Pearl Tull is Anne Tyler‘s main narrator in 2mo
Graywacke For what it‘s worth, I really didn‘t like Olive Kitteridge and have avoided Strout since. So it was an especially welcoming surprise to find myself enjoy this so much. 2mo
Deblovestoread I have been curious about the Lucy Barton books as I am not a fan of Olive as well. This gives me the push I needed to try Strout again. Thanks 😊 2mo
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Graywacke @Deblovestoread The free sample on Amazon covers 3 chapters and is quick reading. I used it to see if I really wanted to read the book (I obviously decided yes 🙂) You might try it when you‘re ready. 2mo
BarbaraBB You should also read 2mo
BarbaraBB There‘s a bit of Lucy in there too and it‘s great too. 2mo
Graywacke @BarbaraBB i definitely will! I‘m working my way to Oh William, and with more enthusiasm now. ☺️ 2mo
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My Name is Lucy Barton | Elizabeth Strout
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My Name is Lucy Barton | Elizabeth Strout
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Started this today. Part of my path to Oh, William! on the #Booker2022 list.

I didn‘t like Olive Kitteridge and I haven‘t read Strout since then, so I was worried I would hate this. I‘m relieved at how much i enjoyed the 1st 25 or so pages.

Ruthiella I also didn‘t love Olive Kitteridge but I loved Lucy Barton. Clearly Strout is hit or miss with me. I also really liked Abide With Me. 2mo
BarbaraBB I love anything Lucy - more than Olive! 2mo
Graywacke @Ruthiella interesting. I‘m glad it‘s not just me. @BarbaraBB noting! I have at least two more for the Booker, and a new one is out. (fwiw: I liked the character Olive, it‘s the book i had issues with) 2mo
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Middlemarch | George Eliot
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@vivastory @kspenmoll @erzascarletbookgasm so, remember our little conversation about starting this giant in October, the one we never followed up on? 🙂 Not sure if anyone is still up for it. I‘m planning to start this beat up copy (from 1964 with a 1973 receipt inside) today and try for 100 or so pages a week. Perhaps I can hashtag it #george

kspenmoll I would like to join in. 2mo
vivastory I'm definitely still interested! I will be doing a combination of print/audio (I have heard great things about the Stevenson audiobook) 2mo
Graywacke @kspenmoll 👍🙂 I don‘t have a plan yet. Page 100 for me is through Chapter 11. 2mo
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Graywacke “…so much subtler is a human mind than outside tissues which make a sort of blazonry or clock-face for it.” 2mo
erzascarletbookgasm 😎 I‘m in. I don‘t have a plan either. 2mo
erzascarletbookgasm I‘ll be reading from a Signet Classics, too though a newer edition 🙂 2mo
Graywacke @erzascarletbookgasm i may need a backup plan if my copy falls apart. (It was a library book sale purchase…in 2009, one of 25 books I brought home that day. But I‘ve only read two of them.) 2mo
Graywacke @erzascarletbookgasm @vivastory @kspenmoll wow, we‘re all still in! Perhaps we should formalize something? Or maybe it‘s better yo leave it loose ended? 2mo
sarahbellum My black spine Penguin edition from college, abandoned about 200 pages in, is currently yelling, “Me, me, me! Put me in, coach!” from my bookcase😂 2mo
vivastory @sarahbellum Yes! Please join us 👏 👏 2mo
vivastory @Graywacke @erzascarletbookgasm @kspenmoll If I recall we had initially discussed an informal read along of approx 80-100 pages per week with a goal of finishing by Dec 1. I think if we use a hashtag as we post & then use spoilers as needed, an informal post as you read would be good with maybe a final discussion of the book at the beginning of Dec? (Also tagging @sarahbellum ) 2mo
Graywacke @vivastory sounds great for me. @sarahbellum yes, please join, and appease that poor forlorn abandoned copy. 🙂 2mo
sarahbellum @vivastory @Graywacke so tempting! 😬 I remember enjoying the beginning and feeling bummed that I had to bail (I think I had a competing assignment that needed my attention more at the time). Keep me in the tag list for now- I‘m going to mull it over this weekend and will let you know 2mo
vivastory @sarahbellum Sounds good! I plan on starting on Monday 2mo
sarahbellum @Graywacke @vivastory *takes deep breath* Okay, I‘m going to join you all on this Middlemarch journey. I‘m going to aim to read 10-20 pages a day🤞 2mo
Graywacke @sarahbellum Glad you‘re giving it a go. It‘s been fun for me so far, but i did get a little lost at least once in Dorothea‘s mental wanderings… 2mo
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Nightcrawling: A novel | Leila Mottley
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My next audiobook, based partly on a true story. I‘ll start tomorrow.

Mottley is 20 and made the #Booker2022 longlist. I enjoyed her interview by Trevor Noah in July: https://youtu.be/eHg9M80GThA

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My 3rd from the #Booker2022 longlist

Lia is a beautiful character. I was worried this would be too much like Sophia Ward‘s applied philosophy in Love and Other Thought Experiments (another 1st novel from the English screen world). But as Lia, still a young mother, faces uncertainty and terminal illness, revisiting her past, I just found I really enjoyed spending time with her, which disarmed my inner critic. It‘s a sad, but still enjoyable novel.

BarbaraBB Excellent review. I rooted for Lia too in this fight she couldn‘t win 💔 2mo
Graywacke @BarbaraBB I would have rooted for her too, if hadn‘t all felt so certainly hopeless. But, she kept me curious through the end, through to the last word. Very interesting ending…the blending of voices. 2mo
BarbaraBB Extremely well done indeed. The voice that took over. 2mo
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squirrelbrain Great review - I loved this one. 2mo
jlhammar Lovely review. Glad you enjoyed it. 2mo
Graywacke @BarbaraBB completely agree 2mo
Graywacke @squirrelbrain @jlhammar thanks. I don‘t know why, but I‘m always so pleasantly surprised when I actually like a book on the Booker longlist. Anyway, I‘m glad this was enjoyable. 2mo
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I finished Part 3, the shortest of the 4 volumes. Narrated in April-May-June 1968 New York, with the assassination of Robert Kennedy told through its press lens on TV and in the New York Times. With the backstory now in post-WWII Soviet Germany. What does a communist country do when it conquers a wealthy capitalist country? It‘s a very strange story. The first two parts were easier reads. History is just a little too messy here. #Uwe

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Vol 1, 775 pgs, completed

An unfinished novel of ideas. Musil used satire on Austria before WWI to pursue rapidly changing values & lost foundations, his art/rational divide, and desire. He started in 1920, published these 1st 2 parts in 1930; but to a changed world. It‘s difficult & slow. It gets better as it goes, but I never found it gripping. I imagine I‘ll appreciate it more down the road. But for now I‘m happy I made it through.

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Anna (Seldon) Leath has this rural French Chateau in this novel, with servants and no financial worries. No one in the novel likes it, but i‘ll gladly keep in lived-in for them. #sundayfunday @ozma.of.oz

ozma.of.oz That sounds really relaxing right now! 😅 Thank you for posting! 2mo
Graywacke @ozma.of.oz Doesn‘t it? fun question 🙂 2mo
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By Night in Chile | Roberto Bolao
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A playful/serious look at Bolaño‘s home country and the legacy of Pinochet. The whole short novel is the deathbed raving of a poetic Catholic priest, and literary critic, who found himself, at one point, teaching Communism to Pinochet (who deposed Communist-supported Allende). It‘s oddly real/surreal except that its most surreal moments are factual. It also has some obscure aspects. So I can‘t say I understood this well, but I enjoyed it.

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A snapshot of cultural irrationalism, circa 1930. Happy Sunday.

Hanna-B Makes my brain hurt 3mo
Graywacke @Hanna-B out of context, it is a very difficult quote to grasp. Sorry. All his stuff is. But in his mindset, it becomes very clear. 3mo
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My current audiobook, from the #booker2022 longlist. I‘m already 5 hours in, and it‘s very intimate so far, in a variety of ways.

BarbaraBB I was deeply impressed by this one. On audio and in print. 3mo
Graywacke @BarbaraBB i found myself really resistant to the style (so much like Love and Other Thought Experiments, and similar to Light Perpetual) But I‘ve found I really liked Lia, and really like spending time with her. So I‘m into it now. 3mo
BarbaraBB Glad to hear that. I also really liked Lia and her character in both timelines. 3mo
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Glory | NoViolet Bulawayo
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My second from the #booker2022 list was a tough one. A heavy satire on Zimbabwe history that I really enjoyed for the 1st 2 hrs. But it‘s 16 hrs, and by 4 hrs I was exhausted and ready to bail. @squirrelbrain encouraged me to keep listening, and I‘m glad I did and glad I met Destiny. It‘s a creative and important work, both moving and exhausting, and a lesson on Zimbabwe and the seriously awful legacy of Robert Mugabe.

BarbaraBB I still don‘t dare trying this one. I really think I won‘t like it… 3mo
squirrelbrain Great review - and I‘m glad you persevered (and liked it in the end - I‘d have felt terrible if you didn‘t! ) @BarbaraBB - I think you‘ll feel the same as Dan and me. I really didn‘t want to read it, it was OK to start with then dipped in the middle, then got much better at the end. I think physical maybe better than audio as you could skim read the middle bits! 3mo
batsy I've been feeling quite nervous about this one and Seven Moons from the longlist, but I appreciate your review. I'm somewhat prepared for what might be a slog (in parts) but that might also surprise me, in a way! 3mo
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BarbaraBB @batsy I am a bit nervous for Seven Moons too but am starting it when I have finished my current book 🤞🏽 3mo
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain Thanks, I‘ll read it that way! 3mo
Graywacke @BarbaraBB yeah, what @squirrelbrain said. For what it‘s worth, the beginning is better than you might imagine from these comments. 3mo
Graywacke @batsy well, it sounds like you have the right impression. But also you might have a very different reaction. I don‘t know anything about The Seven Moons, so I‘m carelessly curious. I‘m hoping to read it in…January 😁 3mo
jlhammar Planning to start this (in print) and Seven Moons soon, but am not overly excited for either. Hoping to be pleasantly surprised. Thanks for the great review! 3mo
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By Night in Chile | Roberto Bolao
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Started a new book.

Ann_Reads I like the bookmark, too. 3mo
vivastory This was the first Bolano I ever read 3mo
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Graywacke @vivastory it‘s only my second. I read The Third Reich several years ago. I found it oddly endearing. 3mo
Tamra Wow, the blurb makes it sound fascinating! I‘m anxious to find out what you think. If you like it, I‘ll stack. 3mo
Graywacke @Tamra 50 pages in, I‘m happily flushed with Dante and references to major figures in Chilean literature who, outside Pablo Neruda, I‘ve never previously heard of. 3mo
vivastory I need to revisit this one. I recall not being terribly impressed by it when I read it but Bolano went on to become a favorite. Savage Detectives is one of my favorites of all time. 3mo
Graywacke @vivastory Well this one seems both playful and obscure so far. I‘m enjoying. I definitely want to read more by him, including Savage Detectives. 2666 is so long… 3mo
vivastory 2666 is long. I have it in the 3 volume set which helped somehow, but it still took me weeks to read. It's also difficult bc of the subject matter. I also like his short stories. 3mo
60 likes9 comments
Me and My Cat | Michael Dahl
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I lost my reading buddy last night.

This chunky cat with beautiful paws and green eyes harassed me every morning for years, attacking my bookmarks and my phone, and sitting on my books. He was there for most of my Shakespeare Sonnet reading recently, and I would read them out loud to him, while he sat on my lap, the book, of course, held out at some weird angle. I miss him. 💔

MicheleinPhilly ☹️ I‘m so sorry. 3mo
vlwelser I'm very sorry about your reading buddy. 😢 3mo
xicanti I‘m so sorry. 3mo
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Jari-chan Sorry for your loss. Feel hugged if you need to. 3mo
IuliaC I am so sorry for your loss 😢😔 3mo
Simona So sorry … 3mo
AmyG Oh no. I am so very sorryfor your loss. 😢 3mo
DaveGreen7777 Oh, no! I‘m so sorry for your loss! 😢 3mo
Susanita 😢 3mo
Liz_M I'm so sorry to hear this. I am going to miss his litsy presence. 3mo
Leftcoastzen So sorry for your loss , beautiful boy! 3mo
jlhammar So sorry to hear that. My heart goes out to you. 3mo
Tonton So very sorry for your loss. 3mo
Deblovestoread I‘m so sorry! 3mo
batsy Oh no. I'm so sorry 💔 3mo
JenReadsAlot I'm so sorry for your loss 3mo
squirrelbrain So sorry for your loss 💔 3mo
sarahbellum I‘m so sorry! Sounds like he was very lucky to have lived such a comfortable and literary life with you 3mo
Ann_Reads I'm so sorry you lost a dear pet and reading pal. What a sweet way to remember him, with a post on Litsy. 🐾 3mo
AnneCecilie I‘m so sorry for your loss 💔 3mo
psalva I‘m sorry for your loss. 3mo
BookwormM So sorry for your loss 3mo
Bookwomble What a handsome fellow he was, Dan. Looks like you gave him a happy and contented life 💖 3mo
JessClark78 I‘m so sorry for your loss. 💔❤️ 3mo
BarbaraBB I am so sorry for the loss of your lovely companion. He will be missed 🤍 3mo
Graywacke @BookwormM @JessClark78 @Bookwomble @BarbaraBB thank you, it means a lot to me, especially those who remember his appearances here. @Bookwomble - he was always dressed for the occasion. 🙂 3mo
Graywacke @Liz_M that was a really sweet comment. I‘ll miss him when reading and when taking pictures for posting here. 3mo
Graywacke @Ann_Reads thanks. He has been part of Litsy posts my whole time here, so it made sense. (I have a lot of pictures of him with books. 🙂) 3mo
Graywacke @batsy he was such a part of our sonnet reading! 3mo
batsy He was. I'll miss seeing him in your pictures ❤️ 3mo
Reggie I‘m so sorry. 3mo
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego 💔 I'm so sorry 3mo
CarolynM I'm so sorry💔 I always enjoyed seeing him, he looks like a sleeker version of my Leo who is a very old man cat these days. 3mo
rabbitprincess I‘m so sorry for your loss. He was a handsome boy 💔❤️ 3mo
Currey Oh, I am so sorry. I am sure that you gave him the best life. What cat worth the name wouldn‘t love being read sonnets. 3mo
Graywacke @Reggie @StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego @rabbitprincess @CarolynM thank you for these comments. @Currey he would completely agree. 3mo
stretchkev Sorry to hear about diesel sounds like a great companion. 3mo
Graywacke @stretchkev thanks Kevin. It‘s almost crazy how difficult losing a loved pet is. 3mo
vivastory I'm very sorry to hear about your loss. 3mo
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Hmm - plotless classic?
Yes and no. It‘s a little difficult to get into and I waver. But it‘s better now, 500 pages (and six weeks?) in than anytime earlier.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I hope you like it!! 3mo
Graywacke @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks me too! I hope it turns out worth it. 3mo
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#littenswanttoknow @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks

I don‘t reread much, but I do actually enjoy it the rare times i do. This stands out because it was my first by Cather, a book I randomly picked up, and which won me over. And then I read it again with the #catherbuddyread, after having read lots of her novels. This second time, with all this Cather behind me, I saw it as absolutely brilliant. Is there anything else out there like it?

Finding the Mother Tree | Suzanne Simard
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Started Finding the Mother Tree today for #naturaLitsy

AllDebooks Yay 🙌 thank you for the tag. Also, I have The Puma Years, you'll have to let me know what you think 😁 3mo
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Another book from my TBR I‘m trying out because I‘m just not really getting into anything. This, however, has been a pleasant surprise - on-sight reporting mixed with history. (And some clueless initiation for me. I thought it would be about India. The Indus is, of course, in Pakistan. 😊☺️😁)

The Book of Flights | J. M. G. Le Clzio, J.M.G. Le
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Struggling to get into any book lately, I‘m trying out some, including this. I love Le Clézio, but this has no plot so far. It‘s his ecstatic writing without any clarity on what he‘s going on about. Not a great fit, but I‘ll press a bit more. I‘m only 50 pages in.

Sparklemn Is this fiction or non-fiction? It's difficult to tell just based on Litsy's summary. 3mo
Graywacke @Sparklemn it‘s purely fiction (but maybe Hogan resembles the author a little?) 3mo
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All the Sonnets of Shakespeare | William Shakespeare
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After I finished the Sonnets, I kept reading this book, rereading the Sonnets in the odd ordering here, but at a rapid pace. I finished this week. #shakespearereadalong

This edition deconstructs the narrative under the sonnets, reordering them in what might be the order of actual composition. And adding sonnets from the plays. It's terribly destructive, but also forces us to look at each sonnet differently, which is actually really nice. 👇

Graywacke The editors do two wonderful things: For each poem they give a one-line explanation/synopsis. And then in the back they present the whole poem in plain words. This is crazy helpful. But, oddly, their notes on specific words and phrases are terribly done. Anyway, I'm glad I had this version, but very grateful I also had a different version too (with the correct ordering and with high-end notes). (edited) 3mo
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Some pearls for this one.

Wharton created a magnificent villain. Undine Spragg is a stunningly beautiful young girl who cannot be satisfied. She is relentless in pursuit of whatever she thinks she wants. And it‘s never enough; and nothing, nor anyone, is sacred. But what does she wants and why? And why doesn‘t there seem to be anything underneath? She is an allegory of our financial world, the perfect goddess of soulless economy. 👇

Graywacke The novel isn‘t perfect IMO, but Undine is a Wharton masterpiece. 3mo
CarolynM Great review, and wonderfully appropriate picture. I won‘t forget Undine in a hurry! 3mo
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batsy Undine is a fantastic creation, from what I recall. Nicely put in your review! 3mo
Ann_Reads @Graywacke Great review and I agree with much of your thoughts, especially the comment about a 'soulless economy.' Well said!

Wharton is a great character driven writer. On the other hand, I was incredibly put off by 99% of the characters, so this was a tough reading experience for me. I don't mind flawed characters but I'm also one of those readers who needs someone to cheer on. Anyway, I hope that makes sense.
Graywacke @Ann_Reads completely understand. I‘m trying to think of any Wharton characters that are likable and not abused by her. Fruit of the Tree is maybe the least brutal in character attacks from what i‘ve read…but still the subtext is very critical. 3mo
Cathythoughts Brilliant review! Undine is indeed a masterpiece of a character, well said 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 3mo
Graywacke Thanks. ☺️ Undine is such a memorable force of nature. 3mo
47 likes9 comments
The File on H. | Ismail Kadare
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I‘ve wanted to read Kadare for a while. An off-site conversation about the oral tradition behind Homer led me to finally read one of his novels with a Litsy buddyread. #homerinalbania

It‘s a novel on Harvard scholars bringing their first tape recorder to the Albanian highlands to record and study traditional saga singers, their minds on Homer. But it begins so strangely, and then does lots of oddball fun stuff. A strangely terrific little novel.

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