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kathedron

kathedron

Joined May 2017

Ink-thirsty bibliophile and marginal scribbler. Sometimes puts her book down for long enough to get on with her own writing. www.kathedron.co.uk
review
kathedron
The Lying Life of Adults | Elena Ferrante
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Mehso-so

Well, that was over-wrought! Granted, Giovanna is a teenager navigating a family break-up. And I've never really got the necessity that most women and girls seem to have, to be considered beautiful in the eyes of others. Given that this is the novel's inciting incident, this book and I were unlikely ever to be a good match. EF writes wonderfully, but so much unnecessary emotional drama gives me a headache. It's good, just not my cup of tea.

Tamra Yuck - not a fan of overwrought & emotionally manipulative drama. I‘ve not read any of her novels, so if this is representative I‘m not likely to pick one up. 2h
kathedron @Tamra I don't think she's trying to manipulate the reader (I hate that!). I just found it wearing how her characters consistently made a great big emotional splashy mess about all their interactions with each other. I've only read one other of her books: again, good but not really to my taste. 2h
Tamra @kathedron often why I don‘t care for coming of age novels, though there are the exceptions. 20m
25 likes3 comments
review
kathedron
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Pickpick

I can't say I *enjoyed* this quick read exactly; it made my blood boil (not that endemic misogyny is breaking news...). It's good, though. With its concise, bare facts only, writing style complete with footnotes, was I reading a novel? An academic report? A piece of journalism? It became clear later on! And as for the concluding paragraph! 🤬

KathyWheeler New or not, reading about endemic misogyny can still be infuriating. 1d
youneverarrived I felt the exact same way 1d
38 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
kathedron
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Mehso-so

How can I put this? The book might be an important document, but that doesn't necessarily make for a great read. It's a book of two halves: short stories (one in particular is gloriously, absurdly funny) and mini-essays recounting MS's experiences of growing up autistic (undiagnosed) and her perceptions of and responses to her daily life now. The chapters started out as blog and Facebook posts: I found them too brief and "choppy" to get into.

kathedron I know this is a particular bugbear of mine but, seriously, would the services of a competent proofreader have broken the bank? 2d
Texreader @kathedron I hate how everyone has cut back on proofreading. 2d
36 likes2 comments
blurb
kathedron
Matson Library | Gloucester, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom (Library)
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I'm going deep! (No surprises there, then.)
Some I bought, some I borrowed from the library.
#bookhaul

Cathythoughts Very good 👍 3d
41 likes1 comment
review
kathedron
Wolf Hall | Hilary Mantel
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Pickpick

This certainly kept me occupied ?. What a fascinating character Thomas Cromwell is! I had moments of confusion (does "he" refer to TC or the person he's talking to? I wonder if HM is deliberately wrong-footing me here.) and felt that something about the writing style was holding me at arm's length throughout (my default position for *people* but I like my books closer!) but it was thoroughly absorbing and I enjoyed it very much.

CarolynM The "he" thing got me too. Quite a few times I had to go back and reread whole pages because I thought she was talking about someone other than Cromwell? Great book, though, and I love Cromwell, so much so that I still can't bring myself to read the 3rd one?? 6d
kathedron @CarolynM I know! I'm largely ignorant about this period of history but I do know how it ends for TC and I'm in no hurry to get there! 4d
48 likes2 comments
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kathedron
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Pickpick

This book makes me happy! JZ is genuinely perplexed when birds become a source of compelling fascination to her after going through a difficult time in early middle age. (I'd say it happens to the best of us! 😉) She's a witty and self-deprecating companion: she might consider herself a perpetual beginner birder but, as she's based in Canada and I'm only familiar with UK birds, she's given me a lot to follow up. 🦆❤️

55 likes6 stack adds
review
kathedron
Hamnet | Maggie O'Farrell
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Pickpick

I heard Maggie O'Farrell say she'd wanted to write this book for years but couldn't do it until her son was past Hamnet's age. Now I know why. It's very moving. Agnes is a fascinating character, and I appreciated how the playwright is not once named: he's A's husband, the twins' father, the glover's son. I waited *ages* for this book to become available through the library: it was well worth the wait.

TrishB Loved it too ♥️ 2w
BarbaraBB I didn‘t know but do understand. Wonderful book. 2w
readordierachel I just started this and I'm completely enthralled 2w
59 likes3 comments
review
kathedron
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Pickpick

I appear to be gathering a shelf of books that might be subtitled "what other creatures taught me about being human". This time it's bees. It made for the perfect bedtime book. I especially delighted in HJ's propensity for consulting the dictionary whenever her perceptions and experiences of the bees and her keeping of them perplexed her.

TrishB I have this one on the pile 👍🏻 2w
40 likes3 stack adds1 comment
review
kathedron
All We Shall Know | Donal Ryan
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Pickpick

Wow! I am just in awe of Donal Ryan's ear for voice! Melody is a bitch, frankly, but DR did such a good job of getting inside her head (her loneliness, and the punishment-by-proxy she inflicts on her husband for an awful thing she did as a teenager) that it was impossible to hate her, even if I couldn't like her.
And, oh my word, can he turn a sentence!

39 likes1 stack add
review
kathedron
HANDIWORK. | SARA. BAUME
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Pickpick

A lovely, quiet and beautiful book exploring, amongst more emotive matters, the minutiae (the rhythms, precise bodily gestures, and specific domestic locations) of the various stages of the creative process. I wasn't expecting it to be quite so "birdy": that was a nice surprise! This is a book I will surely and gladly return to, especially if I am needing a moment of calm.

Cathythoughts Beautiful picture 💫❤️ 2w
35 likes1 comment
review
kathedron
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Pickpick

There are books that change how you see the world: every now and again there are books that change how you see yourself. I finished this weeks ago but haven't wanted to talk about it. It is GOOD but the thing is, almost everything she described (that led to her diagnosis of Asperger's) I recognised in myself. It was a shock to the system and I don't know what to think or how I feel about this.

LiteraryinLawrence It sounds like reading that book really made you see yourself in a new light. It makes sense that it would take a while to process that, I think. 💗 3w
squirrelbrain It will take a while to process something like this Kate; hope you can take the time you need. I‘ve stacked the book as it sounds really good. @rockpools - did you have this on your list when you were looking for books about this subject? 3w
kathedron @LiteraryinLawrence @squirrelbrain Thank you both for your kind words ❤️. I picked up the book because I enjoyed her other one (tagged) and because I didn't know anything about the experience of women on the spectrum... or so I thought! 3w
See All 6 Comments
rockpools Hi Kate. That IS lots to process - hang in there and take it easy on yourself! xx 3w
rockpools If you get the urge to read more, as @squirrelbrain mentioned (thanks Helen) I‘d asked a bit back for books about women our age with autism, as a friend is being steered towards diagnosis by mental health services. Obvs a totally different situation, but if you want to look back at the suggestions I was given at any point they‘re here (There are a lot - feel free to ignore!) https://www.litsy.com/web/post/2306343 3w
kathedron @rockpools Plenty to be going on with there, then! 😄 Thanks, Rachel, that's really helpful. (I hope your friend is getting on ok.) 2w
42 likes2 stack adds6 comments
blurb
kathedron
Bewilderment | Richard Powers
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Belated Christmas #bookhaul !
I hope that all who celebrate had a fabulous Christmas: I woke to a migraine so had to spend much of the morning sleeping it off (and was thus late getting the dinner under way). Mercifully I felt well enough by the afternoon to enjoy my lovely presents!

Bookwomble Pleased to hear you're feeling better 🙂 4w
Cathythoughts So glad you felt better. I‘ll be interested to hear your take on Bewilderment 📚😍 3w
43 likes2 comments
review
kathedron
Sword Song | Bernard Cornwell
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Pickpick

It's that time of year when Uhtred, son of Uhtred, comes to visit for a few days! 😆
He invariably brings an exciting plot, told at a cracking pace (and thus pretty much the antithesis of most of the books I choose to read). Good stuff!
(It's probably wise not to enquire into precisely what it is about Saxon-on-Viking sword action that puts me in a festive mood... but there we have it.)

blurb
kathedron
Matson Library | Gloucester, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom (Library)
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A book, a bake, a bevy, and a blaze: it's become a winter solstice tradition of mine 😄. So here's my naked heathen of a fruitcake, a lovely big #libraryhaul, and a bottle of Stone's ginger wine. There's a goodly fire in the wood-burner, too.
(I believe this means I am now officially stepping into Christmas! 😆)

TrishB That looks lovely ♥️ 1mo
squirrelbrain How wonderful! 1mo
BiblioLitten So cozy 💛 1mo
See All 6 Comments
LeahBergen It all looks perfect! 😍 1mo
batsy That looks splendid! 1mo
Cathythoughts I like the sound of all those B‘s … Enjoy Kate , Thankyou for your card & Happy Christmas to you & yours 🎄😘 1mo
46 likes6 comments
blurb
kathedron
Sword Song | Bernard Cornwell
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My sword arm is very tender today: I had my booster yesterday afternoon. Not feeling too bad, otherwise, except for being at half my usual energy level. So I am having tea with Uhtred. 😊

TrishB My kids are sat here with the sore arms! 1mo
Bookwomble Kate, you are now fixed in my mind as a sword- wielding warrior. ⚔😄 1mo
kathedron @Bookwomble I'd have to put my axe down first! 😉 1mo
36 likes4 comments
review
kathedron
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit | Jeanette Winterson
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Pickpick

I'm not sure how I hadn't picked this up before now.
JW tells of growing up as the adopted daughter - intended as a missionary - of the fiercely combative evangelist Mrs W... until J falls for one of her female converts. I guess it would be called auto-fiction these days: was it *really* shelved in the cookery section originally?! (That's a great story in itself.) I wasn't expecting the humour. Anyway, I wolfed it down!

Suet624 I had no idea about the shelving! 1mo
LeahBergen I‘ve been meaning to read this for years. 1mo
39 likes2 comments
review
kathedron
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Mehso-so

It begins by discussing four pleaser profiles: classic, shadow, pacifier, and resistor. Subsequent chapters explore, with numerous illustrative case-studies, various pleaser-roles: as child, parent, friend, partner, colleague etc. What lets the book down is the limited solution offered. It never really gets beyond "Notice how you are behaving. Try to trace it back to a pattern learnt in childhood. Now act differently." (See comment below)

kathedron Eg. If someone is a pacifier because the slightest whiff of conflict terrifies them, then even to mildly challenge another can cause their body to respond as if it's an actual threat to life and limb. This is not addressed. 1mo
GingerAntics What a let down. I got excited when I saw the title, but I guess it‘s not worth the read. “Just stop people pleasing” is not helpful advice. 1mo
25 likes2 comments
review
kathedron
Memories of the Future | Siri Hustvedt
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Mehso-so

Mature SH rediscovers a journal she kept as a young woman in New York, writing a first novel. Viewed through the lens of male violence (at times physical amongst the everyday micro-aggressions) I'm disappointed not to have found it more gripping. The proto-novel is uninspiring and while I loved the writing at the level of sentence and paragraph, at the level of chapter and book it left me cold. It was - dare I say it? - long-winded and a bit dull.

Suet624 That's a bummer. :( 1mo
BarbaraBB That‘s a bummer indeed. I mostly love Hustvedt 1mo
35 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
kathedron
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Pickpick

He's done it again, the old rascal!
Through lively retelling and discussion of two folktales, "The Lindworm" and "Tatterhood", MS invites us to embrace the wild twin, that aspect of ourselves that gets thrown out the window when we conform too strictly to societal norms. Here lies the key to recovering our lost (or at least compromised!) vitality and healing our relationship with ourselves, each other and the planet. Much to ponder. Much to enjoy.

Cathythoughts Great review! I love the idea of my wild twin 1mo
41 likes1 comment
blurb
kathedron
Weymouth Lending Library | Weymouth, Dorset, United Kingdom (Library)
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I've not been around recently as I needed to go back to Dorset to deal with personal/family stuff. In Gloucester again now (and feeling decidedly gloomy 😞).

squirrelbrain Hope all is OK, Kate. Sending love. ❤️ 2mo
AmyG Sending a hug. Hope things get better soon. 2mo
jenniferw88 Hope everything is OK. I know you probably won't have felt like it this time but if you're ever down in Dorset again & fancy meeting up feel free to drop me an email. ❤ 2mo
See All 10 Comments
TrishB Hope things feel better soon ❤️ 2mo
Lindy Sending sunny best wishes 2mo
Bookwomble 💗 2mo
Jas16 Sending ❤️ 2mo
CarolynM That's an eerily beautiful photo. Hope things look up soon 💕 2mo
Cathythoughts Take care Kate ❤️ 2mo
kathedron @squirrelbrain @AmyG @jenniferw88 @TrishB @Lindy @Bookwomble @Jas16 @CarolynM @Cathythoughts Thank you, all! 😙 I took this photo at first light, after a night of listening to Storm Arwen rattling the windows and roaring around the chimney pots. 2mo
33 likes10 comments
review
kathedron
Bunny: A Novel | Mona Awad
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Mehso-so

Well, that took a turn!
The problem I have with this book is that it indulges in precisely the kind of workshop-writing it purports to skewer. It's overblown. It has stereotypes in place of actual characters. The plot doesn't make sense. If this is accidental, then it's sloppy. If it's deliberate... well, I haven't the patience for that kind of empty 'cleverness'.
Did I like/enjoy it? No.
Could I put it down? No, I could not.

Caroline2 I couldn‘t agree more. I bailed on the end. 🙄 2mo
readingjedi I haven't read this book but I have read so many recently that would fit this review! 2mo
Samary Overblown is the perfect word! 1mo
34 likes3 comments
review
kathedron
The Fortune Men | Nadifa Mohamed
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Pickpick

I never did warm to Mahmood: petty thief, compulsive liar, belligerent, haughty. I bow to Nadifa Mohamed, then, for making a book that it hurt to think about (and think about it I surely did!) as Mahmood's confidence in the British judicial system is eroded and it dawns on him that he is likely to hang for a murder he did not commit.

review
kathedron
Pond | Claire-Louise Bennett
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Pickpick

I'm not sure how I feel about this. It's the interior monologue of a woman living alone but frequently encountering others (neighbours, workmen, men of uncertain import). Then there's the peculiar light her solitude casts upon ordinary objects. At times it was scarily relatable (the fountain pens; the porridge vs. oatcakes/banana) and I did enjoy it, but all in all it's a bit of a head-scratcher. One to re-read at some point, I think.

43 likes1 stack add
quote
kathedron
Pond | Claire-Louise Bennett
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I feel seen (and slightly embarrassed)!
I currently have blue-black, teal, merlot, and saddle brown on the go. Though I use bottled ink rather than cartridges. ✒️ 🖤

review
kathedron
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Mehso-so

It's ok, but not what I thought I was getting. I'd subtitle it "creating a more joyful life through longform journalling and the law of attraction". For those who a) don't consider themselves creative and b) haven't already done a shed-load of soul searching, it's a friendly hand to hold. For those who prefer a clear structure, or generally more to get their teeth into, I'd recommend The Artist's Way instead, which indeed JN frequently refers to.

27 likes1 stack add
blurb
kathedron
The Fortune Men | Nadifa Mohamed
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#libraryhaul
Hurray, I collected my reserved book (tagged) that I couldn't get on Friday. It's the first time I've been back inside the local library since it closed for a major refurb in the summer. So many new books! This is what I picked up after ten minutes of browsing. There are many more to return for!

Suet624 Fantastic books. 3mo
Cathythoughts Great stack 👍🏻❤️ 3mo
39 likes2 comments
review
kathedron
White Out | Danielle Girard
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Pickpick

Friday lunchtime I walked to the library to pick up a book I'd reserved: "Due to unforeseen circumstances the library is closed today". Oh well! I pored over my Kindle for something to tide me over: found this Amazon freebie. The poorly written opening paragraph almost put me off reading any further. The promised Bible verses were somewhat of a red herring. I didn't care for the closing scene. BUT it turned out to be quite the wild ride!

review
kathedron
Solar Bones | Mike McCormack
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Pickpick

Not for everyone, but it's a strong pick for me. A 260 page single sentence (but a doddle after "Ducks, Newburyport" - which I also loved), in which engineer Marcus Conway sits alone in his kitchen and reflects upon his life and all the tenuous stuff that upholds it. As I've said before, I like thinky books! I wasn't even bothered by the engineering-talk, nor the fact I guessed, fairly early on, the gist of what had brought him there on that day.

andrew61 Great review, I read this a few years ago and loved it so may try it again now I've been prompted. 3mo
32 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
kathedron
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Pickpick

Lovely, lovely book! Not that it's all sweetness and light (try "Birding While Black" on for size). It's a natural history of his family, their origins, and their South Carolina habitat that made him an ornithologist and poet. I first encountered J.DL on Krista Tippett's "On Being" podcast and warmed to him at once. It was a delight to "catch up" again with this book.

LauraBeth I‘m looking forward to reading this! 3mo
Tamra It really is a wonderful memoir! 3mo
35 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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kathedron
Xstabeth | David Keenan
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Panpan

WTF did I just read?! A young woman has a fling with her failed-musician father's louche friend. The father starts channelling music from an entity called Xstabeth. It reads more like notes for a novel than the novel itself. The faux critical essays between chapters are too similar in voice to be convincing. And it's all a bit sordid. I kept thinking, "What's the fucking point?" Is it me that's missing something here or is it the book? Not for me.

TrishB I don‘t think it‘s for me either! 3mo
The_Penniless_Author Is that Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth that gave the blurb on the cover? 3mo
30 likes2 comments
review
kathedron
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Pickpick

I had my hair cut earlier: my stylist has her first baby due at Christmas. I won't be recommending this to her! Set in a makeshift maternity ward in Dublin during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic this is, in a word, relentless. I'm all wrung out now. Totally worth it, though!

kathedron On a lighter note, I learnt that my wrong-way-round daughter was called a "stargazer". Funny, now, 'cause she's into astronomy these days! 3mo
Writeme I loved this book! 3mo
40 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
kathedron
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Mehso-so

Veggie since my teens & fully plant-based since Lent, I wanted to check I'm not missing anything vital. As ever with such things, the advice conflicts with other dietary systems (notably intermittent fasting). There's a generous section of recipes, based on GL, which sound nice and don't rely on weird ingredients. My main reservation is over the recommended supplements, many times in excess of the RDA. Guess what the author sells via his website!

RachelAmphlett Ugh. I hate it when they add all the supplements. When I‘m looking for plant-based, I want natural 😫 3mo
26 likes1 comment
review
kathedron
Transit | Rachel Cusk
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Pickpick

I like "thinky" books where not much happens, so I like Rachel Cusk. (Though her Booker long-listed one was a chore to read.) The sequel to "Outline", once again her MC is revealed more by the people she interacts with than by what she herself says and does. She buys a decrepit flat in London: cue run-ins with obnoxious neighbours, builders, professional colleagues, old flames... all stumbling along, figuring out what it means to belong. Or not.

sarahbarnes I also love “thinky” books where not much happens! I read Outline and have a copy of this one that I hope to get to soon. 3mo
CarolynM I'm with you on the "thinky" books. I liked Outline, haven't got to this one yet. 3mo
34 likes2 comments
review
kathedron
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Pickpick

"Use the universe's most powerful thinking tool to be more creative and successful than you ever dreamed possible."
Do you want fries with that hyperbole?
I gave it a pick as it's a good refresher (I've used mind maps for study before but not in a while), the use of colour and spacious layout are appealing, and it suggests uses for mindmaps I hadn't thought of. On the downside, I found it relentlessly self-congratulatory and so damn repetitive. ?

Moony Oh I love tony buzan! I was allowed to experience him live some years ago. 4mo
28 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
kathedron
China Room | Sunjeev Sahota
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Pickpick

Of the Booker titles I've read so far, this is the one I found hardest to put down. (It didn't make the shortlist.) Spirited girl-bride Mehar's story is staggering in its cruelty in the name of modesty and honour, and inevitable in its consequences. The 2nd narrative, of her great-grandson's recovery from addiction, was interesting, and shows the generational legacy of suffering, but felt under-developed and dare I say it, tacked on.

squirrelbrain I had hoped that this one would make the shortlist; like you, I couldn‘t put it down. 4mo
Cathythoughts I loved this one too ❤️ 4mo
37 likes3 stack adds2 comments
review
kathedron
Inland | Ta Obreht
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Mehso-so

I'm not sure what I expected from my first Western, but am fairly confident a camel train wasn't it! ?
This tells the (alternating) stories of homesteader Nora and outlaw Lurie, the connection between them being that they are both aware of the spirits of "the other living". I found Nora's story the more interesting of the two. Would I have liked more made of the supernatural theme? Possibly. It's a good book but it never quite takes off.

rockpools Your review has me intrigued though… 4mo
Cortg Try another western! I didn't like her book Tiger Wife much. 4mo
SamAnne I liked this read but yeah the camels! 4mo
BiblioLitten @Cortg Me neither. 4mo
41 likes1 stack add4 comments
blurb
kathedron
Bewilderment | Richard Powers
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Library haul!
I think I overheard one librarian telling another that yesterday they had over 100 reservations of the new Richard Powers book: I am no.18 in line.

EvieBee Same. I opted for the ebook and was stalking Libby yesterday for them to post it. No. 2 in line! (edited) 4mo
JamieArc I really enjoyed China Room. And I lucked out by getting notification this morning that Bewilderment is ready for me! It usually takes our library forever to process new books, so it was quite the surprise. 4mo
Cathythoughts I enjoyed China Room too 👍🏻❤️ 4mo
youneverarrived I‘ve just finished The Pull of the Stars. It‘s quite relentless but I really liked it. Look forward to seeing what you think of it. 4mo
37 likes4 comments
review
kathedron
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Mehso-so

I've been trudging through this for ages. I anticipated its being quite the TBR expander, but that's not how it turned out. I found it rather dry, while some of the book choices were just plain bizarre: The Celestine Prophecy? G.K. Chesterton's "Life of St. Francis" but not the saint himself? It reads like it was devised (commissioned?) as a project, rather than through genuine feeling for the genre. By no means terrible, but rather disappointing.

review
kathedron
Light Perpetual: A Novel | Francis Spufford
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Pickpick

It's very good, though the glorious opening chapter is tonally very different from what follows. I enjoyed the format: nicely observed slices of life down the years of Jo, Val, Alec, Ben and Vern. I don't think the premise adds anything; the lives they'd have lived had they not died as kids in the Blitz (in chapter 1). Oh, so, *imagined* lives, you mean? Of made-up people? Like they're characters? In a... what's it called now? A novel, perhaps?

Cathythoughts Great review Kate. I‘ve yet to give this one a try .. 👍🏻❤️ 4mo
BarbaraBB Great review indeed! 4mo
32 likes2 comments
review
kathedron
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Pickpick

A climate crisis parable, in which the parents' generation whoop it up like the last days of the Roman Empire and abdicate all responsibility for, you know, having to find a way to actually live with it, to their precociously mature kids. Yeah, it's as subtle as a tank blasting out Wagner at max volume, and the characters are from a privileged demographic, but I enjoyed it (and had fun playing 'spot the Biblical references').

TrishB I love that description! 4mo
rmaclean4 Great review! 4mo
Reggie Lady in the helicopter? She was God right? I liked the kids‘ interpretation of science. 4mo
35 likes1 stack add3 comments
review
kathedron
A Passage North: A Novel | Anuk Arudpragasam
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Pickpick

Very Booker-ish!
I'm happy with minimal plot. I am so here for philosophising about desire, yearning and memory, how they are acted upon by time. But. The juxtaposition of Krishan's romantic infatuation with a charismatic activist, and Rani's civil war trauma and funeral, did not sit well with me. Because I perceive the one as "real" suffering and the other as rather lightweight? (But then who made me the judge of the worth of another's pain?)

TrishB Lovely review ♥️ 4mo
kathedron Thanks @TrishB 😗 4mo
squirrelbrain I didn‘t like this one, but love your review Kate. 4mo
37 likes3 comments
review
kathedron
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Pickpick

My ancient kindle rides again!
I recently met the author, and then the 5-book series was #99ponkindle so I was curious... . I'm not really into easy reads but (a few pacing-related frustrations aside) this was fun, and I even learnt a bit about the Plantagenets!

Cathythoughts Looks interesting.. must check it out on my kindle 👍🏻 5mo
38 likes1 comment
blurb
kathedron
The Divine Comedy | Dante Alighieri
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Dante haul (with Virgil, naturally)! 😍
It took me thirty years to pick up Dante for a second time and now, less than a year later, I've gone all out. 😆
God, I'm middle-aged!

squirrelbrain That‘s a lot of Dante! I‘ve never read, should I?! 5mo
kathedron @squirrelbrain Everyone should read Dante! ? Seriously, though, he wouldn't be at the top of my "books to recommend to friends" list. I love him, but then I'm weird. 5mo
38 likes2 comments
review
kathedron
A Town Called Solace | Mary Lawson
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Pickpick

Of the Booker Prize titles I've read so far, this is the one I've most enjoyed. Goodness knows what it's doing on the list, though! It's a straightforward, good honest story written with compassion for it's characters: troubled 7 year old Clara, her elderly neighbour Mrs Orchard, and newly-divorced Liam. The sort of book that does a heart good. (That said I'd have skipped the formulaic romance: let's just leave after the ice-cream next time, yes?)

sarahbarnes I‘ve been trying to get this one from the library. Thanks for your review - it does sound like a strange book to have on the list. 5mo
Cathythoughts Great review Kate! I loved this book 😍 5mo
Tamra This sent me to get everything I could by her! 5mo
squirrelbrain My thoughts entirely Kate! I loved it too but no idea how it got onto the list… I know that the judges were going for ‘storytelling‘ this year but I still can‘t figure out why this and not so many other books. 5mo
45 likes4 comments
review
kathedron
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Pickpick

Thank you for this @Caroline2 !
Nuri and Afra are refugees from Syria, newly arrived in the UK and hoping to be granted asylum. I could call this book a necessary corrective for the headlines and rhetoric with which we are encouraged to harden our hearts against one another, but that would be to do CL a disservice. She hasn't written a polemic but a damn good story: compassionate, profoundly sad, hopeful.

Caroline2 Oh good! I‘m glad you enjoyed it. 😃 👍 5mo
43 likes1 comment
review
kathedron
Healing Next Time | Roy Mcfarlane
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Pickpick

I was recently at Swanwick Writers' Summer School where my highlight of the week was Roy McFarlane's course "Eliciting the past, present and future through poetry". On the last day he treated us to a 20 minute set: mercy, can that man deliver a poem!
This collection addresses institutional racism and black deaths in custody. It is a book of outrage (his sonnets buckle and threaten to break under it) but also of love and even hope.

KathyWheeler I really like the cover. 5mo
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kathedron
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Sorry, sorry, sorry! I haven't forgotten you, dear Littens: I've just been so damned exhausted. 😴
Mr K had an appointment in Bath earlier this week so I tagged along for an extensive browse in Waterstones. Look what I found in the poetry section. I have a poem in that handsome yellow one. Seeing it there on the table was a slightly surreal experience.

TrishB That‘s so cool Kate ❤️ 5mo
DivineDiana How wonderful! 👏🏻📚👏🏻 5mo
BarbaraBB Didn‘t you visit the new Persephone store in Bath? It‘s on my bucketlist! 5mo
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BarbaraBB And that book sitting there on that table is wonderful! Such an achievement 🤍 5mo
squirrelbrain How wonderful for you - congratulations! 5mo
Oryx Wow. That's so fabulous 5mo
GingerAntics I actually have some of these collections. If the collection with your poem in the tagged book? 5mo
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kathedron
Embroideries | Marjane Satrapi
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Pickpick

The women of an extended Iranian family "ventilate their hearts" over glasses of tea. In other words, they talk about sex. It's sharp, funny and subversive. (And put a different spin on my own tea break, that's for sure!)

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kathedron
Tiger Girl | Pascale Petit
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Feeling rather emotional today. Yesterday I had the last of the mentoring sessions I was awarded with the wonderful Pascale. She has really challenged me to become my best poet-self. Her support, guidance and well-judged arse-kicking have been invaluable. Now I just need to finish my damn book (she wants it done by the end of August)!

Traci1 Good luck. You can do it!! 6mo
Cathythoughts Sounds wonderful… looking forward to your book Kate 💫 6mo
DivineDiana I‘m excited for you! 👏🏻👍🏻👏🏻 6mo
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kathedron
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Pickpick

Thoroughly enjoyable! Lots of interesting snippets about life in space but what I liked best was the counter-intuitive astronaut mindset, e.g. sweat the small stuff, always look on the dark side, and ask "what's the next thing that could kill me?" (Cue the briefest of fantasies I could have been an astronaut. Errrm, no, Kate, no!) CH comes across as a likeable and thoroughly sensible person, the sort I'd want in charge when everything goes to ?.