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review
jlhammar
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Pickpick

This was a real page-turner! A murder investigation leads to a convent and the heartbreaking history of the Magdalene Laundries. I think fans of Louise Penny‘s Inspector Gamache will find a lot to like in DI Tom Reynolds. Definitely interested in continuing with the series. #NunLit

CBee This looks great!! 14h
kspenmoll I like your detective Gamache comparisons. The next in the series is also a complicated surprise set in Leinster House,where the Irish parliament works. (edited) 14h
Cathythoughts Great cover too 👍🏻♥️ 11h
41 likes3 comments
review
jlhammar
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this comprehensive biography. Rachel Carson lived an interesting and inspiring life. Good choice for Women‘s History Month.

Looking forward to our #NaturaLitsy discussion!

review
jlhammar
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Pickpick

Really fascinating. The story of a 1987 cold case investigation and how genetic genealogy played a role in solving this case and others. He also examines the continuing debate surrounding this issue.

61 likes2 stack adds
blurb
jlhammar
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O‘Toole time! I‘ve been reading a chapter or two of this brilliant book each day this month. Only midway, but likely to be among my top reads of the year.

Cheers! Wishing you all a wonderful weekend 🍻

SamAnne I‘m reading this right now—not far in—and loving it. Headed to Ireland in August and it‘s one of my prep reads! (edited) 5d
jlhammar @SamAnne Wow, that is something to look forward to! I‘d love to travel there someday. Glad to hear you‘re also enjoying this one. 5d
67 likes1 stack add2 comments
blurb
jlhammar
Im a Fan | Sheena Patel
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Friday #bookmail! A few more from the #WomensPrize longlist. I much prefer this UK edition of Demon. So pretty and bonus, has cool endpapers and a ribbon bookmark. I need to get reading!!!

Aimeesue I just returned my copy of the US edition on Atwood‘s latest because I loved the endpapers in the UK edition and ordered that one to replace it. 😂😂😂 5d
jlhammar @Aimeesue 😂 Love it! 5d
61 likes2 comments
quote
jlhammar
Factory Girls | Michelle Gallen
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“Maeve Murray was just eighteen years old when she first met Andy Strawbridge but she knew he was a fucker the minute she laid eyes on him.”

#FirstLineFridays

Soubhiville 🤣 Sometimes you just know. 5d
KathyWheeler What a great first line! 5d
LeahBergen You‘ve reminded me that I still need to buy this. 😆 5d
marleed Oh that‘s a good line! 5d
54 likes2 stack adds4 comments
review
jlhammar
Trespasses | Louise Kennedy
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Pickpick

Really good. Complex and tragic. Stellar writing. I did not like Cushla with Michael at all. Decades older and married? No and no. Thankfully, this story is so much more than that. Deserving, I think, of its place on the #WomensPrize longlist.

squirrelbrain I really liked this one too. 5d
Tamra 👏🏾 I really enjoyed this listening experience. 4d
80 likes4 stack adds2 comments
review
jlhammar
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Pickpick

💚PRK! Glad I finally got around to reading this one (I bought it right when it came out, months ago). Some of the pieces in this collection (all originally published in The New Yorker) grabbed me more than others, but all are examples of outstanding journalism. The Amy Bishop story, A Loaded Gun, was the stand-out for me.

Prairiegirl_reading I will read anything he writes! 1w
71 likes1 comment
review
jlhammar
Wine of Honour | Barbara Beauchamp
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Pickpick

An interesting look at village life, particularly at the challenges facing women, in the immediate aftermath of WWII. The long-awaited peace brought difficult adjustments for many. I appreciated how Beauchamp highlighted several different personalities and situations.

Anyone else find the switch from first-person POV with Helen to third-person for the others to be an unusual choice? I think it ultimately works given how she bookends the story.

jlhammar Some good quips in here as well. “Faithfulness was unfashionable during the war“ was one of my favorites. #FurrowedMiddlebrowClub 1w
Ruthiella Yes, I wondered at that switch in perspective as well. An artistic choice? To make the reader more sympathetic toward Helen? I did like the bookending, however. The end was an interesting echo of the beginning. 1w
batsy I just started today and will come back to this review when I'm done 🙂 1w
See All 9 Comments
LeahBergen I just finished it and yes… I was wondering about that singular first-person narration, too! And like you and @Ruthiella I ultimately found it worked with the bookending of the first and final chapters. (edited) 1w
LeahBergen And did anyone else think Helen might end up with Brian? I thought there might be more to their relationship as he was SO “two souls meeting” but … nope. 😆😆 I was also hoping for a bit of romance for poor ol‘ Laura (maybe Michael?), especially when she showed up to that boozy cocktail party in a new frock but, once again … nope. 😆 (edited) 1w
Ruthiella Funny enough, I didn‘t consider that! I did did think there might‘ve been a confrontation with her husband at some point or a confession. But nope, neither happened. 1w
jlhammar @LeahBergen @Ruthiella After Helen‘s “I love you, but I‘m no longer in love with you” reply to her husband, I wasn‘t expecting things to end up where they did either! Nice that they found their way back to each other and we got a happy ending of sorts. I, too, was hoping for something more for Laura. I really felt for her. 1w
batsy Great review! Finished last night and was also thinking about the switch in pov but like you said, the bookending of Helen's pov chapters made it quite satisfying. I'm still not sure why it was done—I suppose it was an authorial intention to make Helen the protagonist while also giving the reader an Austen-esque view into the village. 1w
batsy @LeahBergen Me too! I was so hoping that the party would be the start of something for her. Feel like there was a whole missed opportunity with making either one of Michael or Brian more interesting male characters who fell for Laura 🙃 1w
65 likes1 stack add9 comments
blurb
jlhammar
Memphis | Tara M Stringfellow
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The first part of my #WomensPrize order has arrived. So excited for all of these!

ChaoticMissAdventures So excited to hear what everyone likes! I got Memphis on audio and have Bandit Queens ready to read, I love how different they all sound. 2w
squirrelbrain I just got Bandit Queens from the library, and Homesick on Scribd. Looking forward to both of them. I loved Memphis when I read it last year. 2w
MicheleinPhilly LOVED Memphis! 2w
68 likes3 comments
quote
jlhammar
Wine of Honour | Barbara Beauchamp
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“Group commander! What a lot of nonsense you women got up to during the war. I can‘t think how the army got along at all with a pack of women dressing themselves up as soldiers, strutting about giving orders and poking their noses into a lot of matters that didn‘t concern them”

Laura‘s father is a real piece of work. This part had me fuming 😡

#FurrowedMiddlebrowClub

Tamra Ya, though I haven‘t gotten very far into the story, I don‘t have a favorable impression of him. 2w
Ruthiella Agree, he‘s an ass. But I suspect his opinion wasn‘t uncommon at the time, unfortunately. 2w
LeahBergen I‘ve only just started reading the book and I can already tell he‘s going to be a piece of work. 🙄 2w
Cathythoughts Yes , Laura definitely has her hands full with him. 2w
52 likes4 comments
quote
jlhammar
Seven Steeples | Sara Baume
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“The mountain was full of miniature eyes.”

#FirstLineFridays

Tamra This is a good one! 2w
52 likes1 comment
review
jlhammar
Wisconsin Death Trip | Michael Lesy, Charles Van Schaick
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Pickpick

It‘s the 50th anniversary of this cult classic. So glad I finally got around to reading it. A fascinating, disturbing and often heartbreaking mix of newspaper accounts and striking photographs from small-town WI 1890-1910. Look forward to watching the 1999 documentary soon!

review
jlhammar
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Pickpick

“It was the one where she walked around in her skin and her bones for the rest of her life but her body was never recovered. You know the one.”

This was one compelling and satisfying read. A slow- burn mystery that thoughtfully examines so much—true crime, misogyny, systematic racism, privilege, memory, the stories we tell ourselves. Another great Makkai! I‘ve read and enjoyed all of her books, all quite different from each other. #BOTM

willaful I loved The Borrower but for some reason haven't read any more of her. But she's on my #bookspin list! 2w
TrishB Glad you enjoyed 👍🏻 2w
68 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
jlhammar
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Pickpick

A wonderful and moving close to the Harold Fry trilogy. Audiobook is perfectly narrated by Penelope Wilton. She is also starring as Maureen in the upcoming film!

Just read a good article by Rachel Joyce on these books yesterday (LitHub). I‘ll include a link to that and the film trailer in the comments for those interested.

JamieArc Oh, I can‘t wait for this!!! 2w
Cathythoughts Sounds lovely ❤️ 2w
BkClubCare A favorite author - look forward to this 2w
69 likes3 stack adds5 comments
review
jlhammar
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Pickpick

I‘ve read several of Alexievich‘s books (all except Zinky Boys, I think) and am such an admirer of her work. Her oral history style is so powerful. This one is looking at life following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The subject matter is difficult (as with all of her books), but worth it for the incredible insight it provides into the Russian psyche.

thebackyardgnome She is sych an amazing writer 💕💕💕💕 I feel likr I will havr to return to her books soon. 2w
Hooked_on_books I agree. I think she‘s a visionary. I‘ve gotten so much from each of her books. So glad she‘s putting them out into the world. 2w
76 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
jlhammar
The Body in the Library | Agatha Christie
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Pickpick

“Downstairs in the lounge, by the third pillar from the left, there sits an old lady with a sweet, placid spinsterish face, and a mind that has plumbed the depths of human iniquity and taken it as all in the day‘s work. Her name‘s Miss Marple…and where crime is concerned she‘s the goods, Conway.” 😆

💙Miss Marple! Enjoyed this second installment enormously. Delightful (though the crime revealed is quite dark) and just a pleasure to read.

batsy This is a dark mystery, indeed. It's one of my faves but I remember being just a tad spooked when I read it as a kid. 3w
81 likes2 stack adds1 comment
review
jlhammar
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Pickpick

This was great. Completely fascinating true story of Tetris, the world‘s most popular video game. If you like graphic novels, definitely recommend.

Can‘t wait for the Apple TV+ movie starring Taron Egerton (out March 31)!

Twainy 🙋🏼‍♀️ Team TETRIS! 😉😁 3w
booklover3258 I just put it on hold at my library! Super excited about the show as well. 3w
dariazeoli Ooooohhh… I love Tetris. When I was playing it a LOT, I‘d see the tiles in my head and mentally try to clear the board. (edited) 3w
71 likes4 stack adds3 comments
blurb
jlhammar
Wine of Honour | Barbara Beauchamp
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I knew that Queen Elizabeth II served in the ATS during WWII, but not much else. Love this recruiting poster. There‘s some interesting history and photos on the National Army Museum site. Also enjoyed this BBC Radio 4 Seriously… episode where a few of the women still alive “tell their extraordinary stories of the Auxiliary Territorial Service and how it changed their lives.” Links to both in comments.

#FurrowedMiddlebrowClub

Cathythoughts Thanks ! I must have a look. I‘m hoping to start just as soon as I finish my present book. 👍🏻❤️ 3w
See All 6 Comments
LeahBergen Thanks! I‘m saving this for when I start the book! 👏 2w
CarolynM Just getting started. So far so good🙂 2w
Jess_Read_This Thanks for sharing! I have the book on order and will check back into this. I love the artwork on the poster. Just stunning! 2w
59 likes6 comments
blurb
jlhammar
Wisconsin Death Trip | Michael Lesy, Charles Van Schaick
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The universe has been telling me I finally need to read this book and watch this documentary. Earlier this week, I came across the NYT article about the book 50 years on (my library still has the 1973 edition). And then, I turn to the first page of Stella Maris by Cormac McCarthy yesterday and there it is, Black River Falls, WI.
#LibraryHaul

Cinfhen I love when I get #BookKismet ✨⚡️✨ 3w
62 likes1 stack add1 comment
quote
jlhammar
Wine of Honour | Barbara Beauchamp
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“I, Helen Townsend, am going to have tea with Laura Watson.”

So excited to get started! Love this cover. #FurrowedMiddlebrowClub
#FirstLineFridays

JamieArc All these covers…. 😍😍😍 3w
batsy Lovely photo! I hope to get started next week. 3w
Cathythoughts I‘m looking forward to it too 👯‍♀️👍🏻❤️ 3w
LeahBergen I‘m so looking forward to this one, too! 👏 3w
63 likes1 stack add4 comments
blurb
jlhammar
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Okay, #ToB23 wrap-up time! Looks like I‘m team Goose & Rabbit this year.
5⭐️ LOVED Pictured
4⭐️ REALLY LIKED The Passenger, TomorrowX3, The Violin Conspiracy, Sea of Tranquility
3.5⭐️ Dinosaurs, My Volcano
3⭐️ LIKED Nightcrawling, Mercury Pictures Presents
2.5⭐️ Olga Dies Dreaming, Mouth to Mouth
2⭐️ IT WAS OKAY An Island, Seven Moons
BAILED Manhunt, Notes, 2 AM
IN PROGRESS Babel (enjoying, but will probably end up in the liked category)

squirrelbrain Love your wrap-up! ❤️ 3w
Ruthiella Going with animal titles as winners! 😂 I‘m still reading My Volcano, but I think your top two will make my top five. 👍 3w
BarbaraBB Great stats! I‘m with you on 🐇 3w
See All 11 Comments
Cinfhen Love your rating system!! I‘m also enjoying the diversity of our faves!!! 3w
Hooked_on_books Very interesting rankings! I‘m so glad you ranked My Volcano well I just loved that one! 3w
ashw21 How great was book of goose.. very much like the Ferrante novels.. glad you liked it.. I still have to read rabbit hutch 3w
kwmg40 Thanks for sharing your ranking. Rabbit and Goose are among the ones I haven't got to yet, but I'm thinking I should at least give them a try before the tournament starts. 3w
Readerann Great wrap-up! I wish I had read more of them, but it‘s fun to see everyone‘s reviews. 3w
sarahbarnes Yes!! Love your two top picks! 3w
batsy Nice! I didn't get to Rabbit (among a number of others) but I'm intrigued it's in your top two. I will try to get to it at some point. 3w
BkClubCare Great list! I am still slowly making it through Seven Moons. 3w
71 likes11 comments
review
jlhammar
My Volcano | John Elizabeth Stintzi
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Pickpick

Well, that was a wild ride! Supremely weird, frenetic, polyphonic, impactful—I enjoyed this more than I was expecting to. I especially liked the storylines with Angel and Old Otherwise. Hope this wins the #ToB23 play-in match.

squirrelbrain I (rather surprisingly) really enjoyed this too. 3w
sarahbarnes Yes! 3w
batsy I haven't read this though all of the reviews have piqued my interest. I just finished An Island and I'm rooting for that one. It's a quiet, sad book 💔 3w
68 likes3 comments
review
jlhammar
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Pickpick

Jesus, Jessica! What did I just read? I feel like I‘ve awoken from a strange and very sad dream.

I completely understand where McCarthy‘s critics are coming from, but his writing really works for me. I finished The Passenger this morning and immediately felt the need to dive into Stella Maris. I was hoping for some clarity, but ended up with even more questions (which I kind of dig). I think my admiration for this pair may grow upon reflection.

jlhammar The Passenger is definitely towards the top of #ToB23 for me (though I feel like the judges will be missing out by not reading Stella Maris). If you haven't read McCarthy before and are interested, I would also recommend The Road (my favorite, I think), Outer Dark and Blood Meridian. I own and plan to read his Border Trilogy someday. 3w
Leftcoastzen Nice review! I have the set , need to get to it. 3w
Megabooks 💯💯💯 agree!! Great review! 3w
See All 8 Comments
paulfrankspencer Pretty Horses is great! (as is most of his writing...) 3w
Ruthiella I figured there wouldn‘t be any answers in Stella Maris! 😂 3w
BarbaraBB So envious! It does sound fantastic but I couldn‘t do it 3w
batsy Nice review! Something about it, isn't it? It envelops you in this fog of sadness and rumination. I'm so glad I read Stella Maris, as well. I found it quietly devastating. 3w
65 likes8 comments
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jlhammar
The Passenger | Cormac McCarthy
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“Where he walked the tideline at dusk the last red reaches of the sun flared slowly out along the sky to the west and the tidepools stood like spills of blood. He stopped to look back at his bare footprints. Filling with water one by one. The reefs seemed to move slowly in the last hours and the late colors of the sun drained away and then the sudden darkness fell like a foundry shutting down for the night.”

batsy It's lovely that when I imagined this quote I saw something like this picture in my mind. 3w
54 likes1 comment
blurb
jlhammar
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Filled my box this month. Very excited for all of these! I‘ve been eagerly anticipating Makkai‘s newest so hoping to get started on that this weekend. #BOTM

65 likes1 stack add
review
jlhammar
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Pickpick

Whew, Marra did a ton of research for this book and it really shows. Hollywood during WWII—the politics, the propaganda—wasn‘t something I knew much about. I liked how the dialogue was often sharp and witty, much like the films of the era. I also appreciated how the questions he is asking are equally relevant today. How can the stories we tell be used for good? How might they be manipulated to harmful ends?

#ToB23 #BOTM

jlhammar I loved A Constellation of Vital Phenomena and The Tsar of Love and Techno. This one was just a like for me. I‘ll still be reading whatever he writes next. 3w
Karons1 Iv heard great things about this book it‘s now on my mountain ⛰️ TBR pile 👍😀 3w
Megabooks Excellent review! This wasn‘t my favorite of his either, but it was good. 3w
See All 7 Comments
batsy I wasn't quite drawn to this one, but your thoughtful review has made me reconsider! Those are interesting themes. 3w
Ephemera Now read The Day of the Locust 1w
jlhammar @Ephemera Oooh, good idea! I've had that on my TBR for ages. Going to have to give it a try one of these days. 1w
Ephemera The darker side of Hollywood and movies 1w
71 likes7 comments
quote
jlhammar
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“At the intersection of Hollywood and Highland no one went by their real name. There were the marquee stars and matinee idols, the tubby comedians in tight suits, the actresses in bumper bangs and evening gowns, the jubilantly costumed, haphazardly sober, the unrecognizably transformed…The tragic immortals: Jean Harlow, Peg Entwistle, Carole Lombard, Rudolph Valentino. All the beautiful ghosts are out. They line the street. They welcome you home.”

review
jlhammar
Infused | Henrietta Lovell
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Pickpick

I already loved tea, but now have a whole new level of appreciation. Lovell‘s passion is infectious! I started this back in December and it turned out to be ideal for dipping in and out of during the cold winter months. Very cozy and comforting. I‘d recommend this not only to my fellow tea lovers, but to anyone who enjoys travel &/or food writing.

Aimeesue Lovely cover, too! 3w
55 likes1 stack add1 comment
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jlhammar
Infused | Henrietta Lovell
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“Together we huddled around warm cups of rescue and comfort…It made me think of the wagons bringing tea to bombed-out cities in the Second World War. If I ever have fortunes to blow, I‘d like to take tea to refugee camps. I‘d like to have a tea disaster-recovery unit, with special planes and equipment so we could be there, on the scene, giving out tea. Proper tea to make the heart glad, so that all is not lost when all seems lost.”

Lovely idea.

Sparklemn Beautiful 3w
41 likes1 comment
review
jlhammar
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Pickpick

I‘ve never been fond of this cover (I prefer the UK edition), but upon finishing I have to admit that it is quite apt. It captures both St. Teresa of Avila‘s Transverberation of the Heart and the way this book made me feel, piercing my readerly heart.

What a debut! Messy and unsettling, but also touching and brilliant. And so singular. I‘d never think to put all these elements together, sounds a bit crazy, but it just works. Loved it.
#ToB23

Leftcoastzen Nice review! I‘ve been interested, now adding to the stack. 3w
squirrelbrain Great review! 3w
Tamra Anxious to read - glad to see you enjoyed it! 3w
See All 6 Comments
Suet624 I can‘t wait to read it. 3w
Ruthiella Agee! It is messy but it worked for me too. 3w
Cathythoughts Great review ❤️💔 3w
76 likes4 stack adds6 comments
blurb
jlhammar
Knstlers in Paradise | Cathleen Schine
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New BookPage! Tagged novel (out March 14) sounds good as does the bookseller memoir featured on the cover, Once Upon a Tome. Forager: Field Notes for Surviving a Family Cult by Michelle Dowd was another memoir that caught my eye.

LeahBergen I‘ve been looking forward to Once Upon a Tome for ages. And (oddly for me) I prefer the North American cover! 😮 4w
56 likes1 comment
review
jlhammar
Whose Body? | Dorothy L. Sayers
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Pickpick

“it was a cruel shame a girl couldn‘t ‘ave a bit of fun without a nasty corpse comin‘ in through the window to get ‘er into difficulties.” Poor Gladys 😂

My first Sayers and for the most part I enjoyed it. Very dialogue-heavy! The courtroom scene was my favorite—the serious Coroner opening windows, the testimony quoted above, the commentary from the Dowager Duchess—funny stuff. I also really liked Wimsey and Bunter as a dynamic duo.

jlhammar Thought I'd join Lord Peter in some celebratory brandy. Looking forward to our #GoldenAgeCrimeClub discussion on Sunday! 4w
jlhammar Given that this was published in 1923, it unsurprisingly does portray characters with antisemitic and classist attitudes. For those of you who may have missed my comments on previous reviews, I found this to be an interesting read:
https://momentmag.com/curious-case-dorothy-l-sayers-jew-wasnt/
4w
batsy Sayers was having a lot of fun with the character of the Dowager! 4w
Ruthiella Glad you liked it! I think the later books are even better! 😃 4w
67 likes4 comments
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jlhammar
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“On a hot night in Apartment C4, Blandine Watkins exits her body.”

#FirstLineFridays

review
jlhammar
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Bailedbailed

20% in and calling it quits. Not for me. #ToB23

merelybookish Sometimes you just have to bail. 1mo
BarbaraBB Especially this year it seems 😀 1mo
squirrelbrain Meh, I didn‘t read this one. Mostly because of the so-so reviews and also it‘s still expensive over here. 1mo
batsy Yeah, this is among quite a number on the shortlist that isn't really calling out to me. 1mo
74 likes4 comments
review
jlhammar
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Bailedbailed

#ToB23 double bail. I‘ve read enough of these to know I‘m headed for so-so reviews at most so back to the library they go!

Ruthiella That‘s fair! As @Cinfhen writes #Allhailthebail 👍 1mo
kwmg40 I managed to get through 2AM (but didn't especially like it) and I too bailed on Manhunt. 1mo
BarbaraBB Echoing @kwmg40 1mo
See All 6 Comments
Cinfhen Good call! If you‘re not feeling it, don‘t waste your time #AllHailTheBail it‘s so liberating @Ruthiella 😂😂😂 1mo
squirrelbrain What @kwmg40 and @BarbaraBB said! 😬 1mo
batsy Sorry Manhunt wasn't for you but totally understandable! I'm kind of intrigued by the Kalfus premise, but a lot of reviews have been not enthusiastic 🙂 1mo
73 likes6 comments
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jlhammar
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#bookmail to brighten my Monday! My library holds weren‘t shaping up to come through anytime soon so treated myself to a little #ToB23 order. Planning to start The Rabbit Hutch and The Passenger ASAP. I have high hopes for both!

merelybookish Always fun to get #bookmail! 1mo
71 likes1 comment
review
jlhammar
Charlotte Sometimes | Penelope Farmer
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Pickpick

Wonderful! And quite haunting. This book has so many elements I am drawn to—questions of identity and belonging, ghosts, time travel, boarding school, WWI, the 1918 flu pandemic.

Another great NYRB pick. Wish I‘d known about this one as a 10-12 year old! Better late than never. I still enjoyed it thoroughly as an adult.

Cathythoughts Sounds really good 👍🏻 1mo
jlhammar Oh, and for those who might be interested, looks like today (Feb 20) is the last day of NYRB's Winter Sale. 40% off four books or more:
https://www.nyrb.com/collections/2023-winter-sale
1mo
BarbaraBB Now I know where The Cure based the title of their song on! Sounds really good! 1mo
LeahBergen I love this book. 🥰 1mo
66 likes2 stack adds4 comments
review
jlhammar
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Pickpick

Late to the party with this one, but happy to report that I really enjoyed it. I can see why it is beloved by so many. Absorbing story with a ton of heart. A very nice way to spend a Saturday! #BOTM #ToB23

BarbaraBB Happy you loved it! 1mo
sarahbarnes Still on a long list at the library for this one! 😐 1mo
ashw21 One of my favourites from last year!
1mo
Hooked_on_books I really liked this, too. We don‘t see enough M/F friendships depicted in books and this is a great one. 1mo
98 likes1 stack add4 comments
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jlhammar
Biography of X: A Novel | Catherine Lacey
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New bookmarks! I was reminded that we‘ll have a new Catherine Lacey soon (tagged, out March 21). I thought her previous novel, Pew, was very good so looking forward to it.

Bookpearl I absolutely love this magazine and have had a hard time finding it! 😩 Definitely will have to do a subscription. 1mo
RowReads1 😍 1mo
jlhammar @Bookpearl I subscribed a few years back and always look forward to finding a new issue in my mailbox! 1mo
59 likes1 stack add3 comments
review
jlhammar
River Sing Me Home | Eleanor Shearer
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Mehso-so

Well, I seem to be in the minority here (so far anyhow), but this was disappointing. She‘s trying to tell an important story, but something about this did not work for me. I didn‘t really get on with the writing and the characters did not feel real. What should have been moving and powerful, given the subject matter, just left me cold. It is a quick and somewhat propulsive read though and I cared enough to finish. #BOTM

Tamra What an awesome cover through - too bad. 1mo
77 likes1 comment
review
jlhammar
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Pickpick

Gripping story about a shocking, violent and somewhat perplexing act of environmental protest in British Columbia. Great read!

#NaturaLitsyBingo2023 #Trees

AllDebooks This sounds amazing 1mo
71 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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jlhammar
The Night Flowers | Sara Herchenroether
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Some fun mail today. Such a lovely cover on this new issue! Tagged mystery/thriller caught my eye in the New and Upcoming section (out May 2). Two women, one a librarian with an interest in genealogy and the other a veteran detective, pair up to investigate a decades-old murder. I like the sound of that!

vivastory It's interesting how genealogy is being used to solve murders. Like with the recent Idaho University murders. 1mo
jlhammar @vivastory Yes, I was just reading about that case! So fascinating. 1mo
64 likes2 comments
review
jlhammar
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Pickpick

A short and interesting read. I‘ve never given much thought to seahorses so was happy to learn about these fascinating creatures. I found the first two chapters more engaging than the rest, but still enjoyed overall. #NaturaLitsy

63 likes2 stack adds
review
jlhammar
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Pickpick

I knew nothing of the Love Canal environmental disaster prior to reading this. An infuriating and heartbreaking tale featuring some incredibly strong and inspiring women. When they voiced their well-founded concerns for the health of their families and community, it was dismissed as “useless housewife data.” The site was deemed safe in 2004, but residents living beside it report unusual health problems. Scary.

Link to 2018 PBS news segment below.

Suet624 I‘m glad this book was written. This is a piece of history that‘s infuriating and important to know. 1mo
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jlhammar
A Judgement in Stone | Ruth Rendell
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Pickpick

So good! I was hooked from the very first sentence and loved Rendell‘s writing. Will definitely be trying more of her work.

Thanks to @Cathythoughts for putting this stellar crime novel on my radar!

Tamra Well, I must check it out! Lately I‘ve been adding to the TBR at a ridiculous rate. 🙃 1mo
LeahBergen I love Ruth Rendell. You must try her Barbara Vine (another name she wrote under) novels, too! 1mo
Cathythoughts Oh great ! I‘m so glad you enjoyed it. She‘s a reliable one 👍🏻😁 1mo
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Ephemera I love her work. Try Adam and Eve and Pinch Me, it‘s really good 1w
jlhammar @Ephemera Thanks so much for the rec! She has so many books, it's great to have some ideas of which to try next. 1w
Ephemera She also wrote under the name Barbara Vine. The one I recall most in that series is No Night is Too Long 1w
jlhammar @Ephemera Thank you! Adding that one to the list as well. 1w
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jlhammar
Revelations | Mary Sharratt
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Pickpick

Margery Kempe was such a fascinating figure. Her autobiography, The Book of Margery Kempe, was lost to the world for five centuries! In 1934 it was found, entirely by accident, in a country house cupboard.

I added several books to my TBR while reading this novel and its fantastic historical afterward. Sharratt knows her stuff and I was immersed in the turbulent medieval times in which Kempe lived. Really enjoyed.
#NunLit

Aimeesue This one's on my TBR ❤️ 1mo
Librarybelle I really liked this one! 1mo
batsy Great review! I'm even more eager to get to it. 1mo
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jlhammar @Aimeesue @batsy I wouldn‘t say it really crosses over into literary fiction as books like Wolf Hall and Matrix do (and Corner was very literary), but it is really solid historical fiction. Hope you enjoy whenever you get to it! 1mo
kspenmoll Wonderful review! 1mo
jlhammar @kspenmoll Thanks, Katherine! 1mo
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jlhammar
Revelations | Mary Sharratt
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“Her book was called The Mirror of Simple Souls…There was not a single unorthodox word to be found in those pages. Yet she was considered dangerous. How dare a mere woman look to the authority of God within her heart rather than in those flawed men who would be her superiors?”

So fascinated by the beguines and French mystic Marguerite Porete. Love the idea of these medieval women forming their own communities. More info below. #NunLit

Suet624 This is why I love Litsy. I learn so much about so many things. The website Know Your mothers is fantastic. Thank you for introducing me to it. 1mo
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jlhammar @Suet624 You're so welcome, Sue! I feel the same way. 1mo
kspenmoll Thank you for the amazing website! I loved Illuminations & this book is just as fascinating. 1mo
jlhammar @kspenmoll I also loved Illuminations! Glad you‘re enjoying this one so far. 1mo
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jlhammar
A Judgement in Stone | Ruth Rendell
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“Eunice Parchman killed the Coverdale family because she could not read or write.”

What provoked a modern-day St. Valentine‘s Day massacre? I can‘t wait to find out!
#FirstLineFridays

Cinfhen Ohhhhhh, GREAT first line! I‘m intrigued 🤓 1mo
jlhammar @Cinfhen It is really good so far. Look forward to finishing today! 1mo
Cinfhen I‘ve stacked 😊 1mo
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jlhammar
Revelations | Mary Sharratt
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A little Margery this morning before the work day begins. Crazy to me that by the time she was 40 (a bit younger than myself), she had given birth 14 times! Can‘t even imagine. And then she dictates what is likely the first autobiography in the English language. I‘m only five chapters in, but enjoying it so far. You do not want to be considered a lollard in medieval England! Related In Our Time episode and Electric Lit article below.
#NunLit

batsy Oh, I do want to read this! But I might not be able to this month. I hope I can fit it in before our April read 🤞🏾 1mo
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BookishShelly I've been reading this as well and that's wild. Thanks for the links. I always like to see what's fiction and what's fact with these kind of books. (Though I'll wait to read the linked articles til I finish just in case it might affect my reading of the book.)
1mo
jlhammar @batsy I hear you, where is this month going? Can't believe it is already the 9th. Hope you are able to squeeze it in eventually! 1mo
jlhammar @BookishShelly Yay! Glad to hear you've started. I'm up to chapter 8 and look forward to finishing this weekend. 1mo
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