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Joined June 2017

Speed-reader who's trying to slow down...
Brainwyrms | Alison Rumfitt
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I really couldn‘t decide whether to give this a pick or a so-so. A pick because I have huge respect for the author writing a book like this, but a so-so because who on earth would I recommend it to. (Even fellow Littens who have much broader minds than the general public 😬).

It really is the most disgusting book I have ever read, from both a sex and worms POV.

Take heed of the CW at the front, and there‘s even a point in the book, as ⬇️

squirrelbrain ….@Reggie pointed out in his review, where the author suggests you, the reader, takes a break to prepare yourself for what‘s coming next. If you didn‘t like what came before this, take heed and give up. 2d
Suet624 This is on the TOB list? How strange. 2d
Ruthiella 😐 um, I think I will pass. Thanks for taking one for the team! 2d
See All 27 Comments
BarbaraBB Wow this sounds tough. 2d
Deblovestoread Appreciate your review because I was leery about it before and now know it should be a hard pass. You are a braver reader than I! 2d
Deblovestoread Appreciate your review because I was leery about it before and now know it should be a hard pass. You are a braver reader than me! 2d
TrishB Thanks Helen👍🏻 2d
willaful Not touching this with a ten foot pole. I can't even stand looking at the cover.
Megabooks Wow. Sounds like a difficult read. Kudos for finishing. 💜 2d
quietlycuriouskate You've convinced me I don't even want to look at this one through binoculars, Helen! 2d
MicheleinPhilly NOPE! I don‘t care if this wins the TOB - you couldn‘t pay me to read it. 2d
Hooked_on_books Wow! That sounds…dreadful! If it makes the shortlist, I‘ll give it a try, but based on this, I won‘t read it if it doesn‘t. Thanks for taking one for the team! 2d
BkClubCare Oh dear. 🤔🫣 2d
Reggie I am shocked that you read this. Super shocked…😮😦😲😵funny enough even though I said I didn‘t like it, I‘ve been thinking about it a lot since I read it. The radicalization of that mother. Oof. 2d
Chelsea.Poole Sounds like “yikes” but also, I‘m always curious about just how bad things can get. But then the other side of me doesn‘t want icky scenes worming around rent free in my brain. Didn‘t plan for that reference but there it is 😉 2d
The_Book_Ninja Sex worms? Not gonna lie…I‘m intrigued 2d
Anna40 This sounds original but also extremely gross. Not for me. 2d
GondorGirl @The_Book_Ninja I'm really glad that I'm not the only one who feels that way. 😅 1d
Addison_Reads I just started this one today. We'll see how it goes. 1d
batsy I'm both intrigued and grossed out. I've got another one of Rumfitt's books on my tbr 1d
The_Book_Ninja @GondorGirl yeah but that playful comment just cost me 5 followers!😂 1d
squirrelbrain @Reggie - I‘m rather shocked that I read it too! 🤣 23h
squirrelbrain @Addison_Reads - good luck! Can‘t wait to hear what you think. 😬 23h
squirrelbrain @Chelsea.Poole @batsy - if either of you *does* want to read it, I can send it to you. I mean, what else am I going to do with it? I don‘t want to keep it, and I think if I sent it to a charity shop I might get charged with indecency! 🤣 23h
batsy @squirrelbrain Thank you for the kind offer, but it's OK 💜 If I decide to read it I'll get it on the Kindle because I'm not sure it's a book I'll hang on to and need as a physical copy 😅 Perhaps you can casually leave it behind at a cafe or something for some lucky soul to chance upon it? 😂 22h
61 likes1 stack add27 comments
Lone Women: A Novel | Victor LaValle
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What an odd book! Was I supposed to be scared by it?

I started this when it was in #campToB earlier this year, but it didn‘t seem to be going anywhere so I hibernated it.

I actually really liked the storyline *without* the ‘monster‘ - hence why I‘m giving it a (soft) pick. For me, it would have worked a lot better had it just been Adelaide vs. Mrs Mudge and her brood. (And Adelaide vs. the privations of life alone as a homesteader)

BarbaraBB Agree, it had some good ingredients but went a bit over my head as well. The monster didn‘t really work for me. (edited) 4d
Hooked_on_books I liked this one more than you did—I just loved it! But I definitely wasn‘t scared by it. 4d
TNbookworm Perfectly said! 4d
Larkken I generally love this author but I kept waiting for the “why” / the allegory for this monster, I think, so I think I know what you mean. (edited) 3d
65 likes4 comments
Lovesick Blossoms | Julia Watts
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Another #ToB book that I really liked (although not as much as Idlewild and Vintage Contemporaries)

Samuel has changed her name and wears men‘s clothes, but no-one questions her identity as she‘s married to Boots, a flamboyantly dressed Professor who still lives with his Mama. But once Samuel meets and falls in love with Frances, another Professor‘s wife their carefully-built world threatens to fall apart around them.

Addison_Reads I just got this one from the library. Now I'm excited to start it. 4d
squirrelbrain My only quibble would be the inclusion of race (in the Deep South) as a theme too - there wasn‘t really ‘enough‘ of this so it felt like an add-on. The author should have made more of this, or left it out entirely. 4d
BarbaraBB It does sound good! 4d
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Deblovestoread Great review. I don‘t have a free option for this one so will probably wait to see if it makes the shortlist. 4d
Ruthiella Sounds interesting and the Lambda Award also gives it heft. 4d
Gissy Yes! It sounds so interesting! It goes to wish list👌 4d
Chelsea.Poole You‘re on a roll! 4d
Hooked_on_books Nice! I picked up the ebook for this one, as it was a reasonable price, so I look forward to diving in! 4d
59 likes2 stack adds8 comments
Blackouts: A Novel | Justin Torres
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I didn‘t really ‘get‘ this rather experimental book - too clever for me!

Based loosely on a true story it follows the unnamed MC as he arrives to take care of a dying man, Juan Gay. He‘s also meant to be taking on a project that Juan has been working on for years, the much-redacted Sex Variants report from the 1940s. (Which is the true story part)

I found the redacted pages rather poetic, but didn‘t feel connected to the rest of the storyline.

Megabooks Agree! 5d
rmaclean4 Good to know. I have been curious about this since it won the National Book Award. 5d
Hooked_on_books Yeah, this one‘s definitely unusual. I listened to the audio and the stories of each of the men as well as their connection captured me. I was less sure about the experimental bits. 5d
sarahbarnes I‘m interested to try this one, but your review is noted. 😁 4d
batsy I'm curious about this, but I also get the sense it might not be to my taste. (Same sense I get from Catherine Lacey's Biography of X, which is why I've been putting that off, too!) 4d
71 likes5 comments
Idlewild | James Frankie Thomas
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Another #ToB longlister that I loved and wouldn‘t ever have read otherwise.

Idlewild is a small Quaker school in Manhattan. Nell is gay and is obsessed with Fay who, in turn is obsessed with gay men. During rehearsals for the school play they notice two sexually ambiguous boys who they encourage to join their Invert Society.

If you love academia novels you‘ll love this, and if you read and liked Cyclorama, I think this is even better.

erzascarletbookgasm That‘s a lovely view! 6d
Hooked_on_books Sounds good, plus, beautiful picture! 6d
batsy This sounds interesting! And agreed, that's a lovely backdrop 😍 6d
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charl08 Beautiful setting. 6d
RebelReader My library only had the audiobook and it a 24 week wait! 😫 Hopefully it makes the shortlist! 😝 6d
Megabooks Oh wow! So excited for this now!! 🤩🤩 Have a great holiday! 6d
Chelsea.Poole I‘m intrigued! 6d
sarahbarnes I‘m very interested in this one and even more so now! I love academia novels and really liked Cyclorama. 6d
Suet624 Thanks for the recommendation. I have it on hold at the library. 6d
MicheleinPhilly Just borrowed from the library! 🎉 6d
Ruthiella That‘s a ringing endorsement! Stacked! 6d
BarbaraBB That‘s quite the recommendation! My expectations are now sky high and I am going to look for a copy immediately 🤣 6d
Well-ReadNeck Aaaaaaah! Must read now! 4d
76 likes4 stack adds13 comments
The Lost Journals of Sacajewea | Debra Magpie Earling
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I‘m pausing this #ToB longlister for now. I will return to it if it makes the short list, but I‘m struggling with it.

It‘s a tough read, not only for its content, but also stylistically. It is lyrically rather beautiful in places, but a lot of it is written in language where you have to deduce meanings.

Also, a few reviews have said you need to know Sacajewea‘s story for context, and also Lewis and Clark, and I don‘t know either story at all.

BarbaraBB Thanks for the warning. I won‘t try unless it makes the shortlist 1w
Hooked_on_books Oh, that‘s too bad. I may still give this a try, but will go in warned now. 1w
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Jas16 Good to know. Thank you. 1w
BkClubCare Don‘t worry about it; you have a plan and that is a wondrous thing. 🤩 1w
Megabooks I‘m on the fence about this one. I imagine you didn‘t get Lewis and Clark a million times in elementary school! 😂😂 1w
squirrelbrain We certainly didn‘t! @Megabooks - I wonder if it will mean more to you, @Hooked_on_books and other US readers as a result? 1w
Hooked_on_books Probably so. I lived for several years (and intend to again) at their end point along the Pacific, and the area embraces their stories. I think for sure I‘d get more out of it as a result. 1w
60 likes8 comments
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This is the final BBC Between The Covers book for this series. I went into this almost expecting not to like it, so I think that coloured my view a bit.

I actually found it a compelling read and I wanted to know what was going to happen next, but I couldn‘t connect with the MC. The MC, Professor Eustacia Rose, is a (neuro-diverse) poisonous plant expert, who witnesses troubling things from her secret roof garden.

Just a soft pick for me.

TrishB Getting some great reading time in 😁 1w
BarbaraBB You‘re reading a lot! Good for you 🧡 1w
Caroline2 Yeah I bailed on this one. 1w
squirrelbrain @TrishB @BarbaraBB - I only brought 5 physical books with me, and I‘ve read 2 of them already. 😬 I‘ll mix it up with Kindle books too…. I also bought a book today from a bookshop in Whitby (a #ToB book) 1w
TrishB There‘s always a bookshop 😁 1w
66 likes5 comments
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I loved this #ToB longlisted book, one I had never even heard of beforehand, so I very much doubt I would have read it, if it weren‘t for the ToB.

Em makes 2 friends in NYC in 1991, one who lives in a squat and one who was at college with her mum, and we follow their lives over a few years and also years later, in 2006.

It‘s one of those ‘quiet‘ books where there is no particular story arc, no big reveal, and no twist; just how I like my books!

tpixie Then you might like this author and book 1w
TrishB Sounds good 👍🏻 1w
squirrelbrain Thanks @tpixie - I‘ll look out for those. 1w
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BarbaraBB Great review. I got my copy today too. 1w
youneverarrived Great photo and the book sounds like one I would love too! 1w
Megabooks Agree! Great review!! 💜💜 1w
Hooked_on_books I‘m not very far in and am loving it too. This is why I enjoy the TOB! 1w
squirrelbrain I think you would really enjoy it @youneverarrived 1w
77 likes6 stack adds8 comments
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Reading with a view on the wild and woolly Yorkshire Coast.

Been out for a walk on the beach and a scone; now to spend the rest of the day cosied up with a pile of books, a blanket and maybe a jigsaw.

Started the tagged book last night and loving it so far.

TrishB Looks great 😁 enjoy your break. 1w
batsy Gosh, that view! 😍 1w
AmyG Lovely! 1w
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Caroline2 Looks so lovey. Enjoy. 👍 1w
Tamra Ooooo reminds me of one of my most beloved novels, Wuthering Heights. Do I have the setting right? (edited) 1w
eraderneely Where were you? We were at Saltburn by the Sea and it was *brisk* today for sure! 1w
squirrelbrain @tamra - we‘re at the edge of the Yorkshire Moors, but Wuthering Heights is further inland. We‘re in Dracula country - in fact I can see Whitby Abbey from my sofa. 1w
squirrelbrain @eraderneely - ah, I hope you had a lovely, if blustery, birthday day out! We‘re in Sandsend, so not far away at all! We may nip up to Saltburn for a trip out, weather dependent! 1w
Tamra @squirrelbrain 🧛🏾‍♀️🦇 be safe! 1w
TheBookgeekFrau What a view!! 😍 1w
julesG Wonderful view! Enjoy your break! Get some garlic bread, for just in case. 😁 1w
Deblovestoread Lovely view and great stack of books. Enjoy! 1w
Ruthiella Sounds perfect. Enjoy! 📚☕️🛋️ 1w
eraderneely Ah, love Sandsend. Have a great trip. My birthday day out was lovely, thanks! 1w
squirrelbrain @tamra @julesG - will curry work as well as garlic bread do you think?! 🤣 🧛‍♀️ 1w
Tamra @squirrelbrain 🤣 Go with curry! 1w
BarbaraBB That looks and sounds perfect! Enjoy to the max ❤️ 1w
Megabooks Looks beautiful! Have a great time!! 🫶🏻 1w
Centique That looks wonderfull! Enjoy! 💕 1w
70 likes19 comments
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From the blurb, I feared this would be rather high-brow and impenetrable, but it wasn‘t at all.

Classed as a ‘long-form essay‘ this memoir links the author‘s mother‘s illness with constellations, astronomy, family history and Chile‘s dictatorship history.

I find it very difficult to compare NF with fiction though when it comes to prizes / competitions like the #ToB.

Ruthiella Agree that it‘s too difficult to compare NF to a novel. I also don‘t like it when they toss a short story collection in, unless they are linked short stories. But that messiness is the beauty of the TOB I guess. 2w
Chelsea.Poole I completely missed this one from the list. I need to look it up to see if I can get ahold of it! I agree it‘s difficult to compare fiction and nonfiction. 2w
BarbaraBB I missed this too. It does sound good indeed. I‘ll wait until the longlist with buying new books though 🤷🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ 2w
Hooked_on_books I‘ve read and enjoyed a couple of her fiction books, so I look forward to this one. 1w
Suet624 Jeepers, I missed this too! 1w
64 likes2 stack adds5 comments
Idlewild | James Frankie Thomas
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I promise I won‘t buy any more books from the ToB long list; I have enough already….oops! 🤣

These are two where I really liked the sound of them from the blurbs, plus I‘d never heard of them before. (Maybe American rather than UK?) They‘re used copies from Amazon but both in good condition. They‘re also quite chunky compared to many of the other longlisters.

Anyone else read these or planning on reading them?

JamieArc These both seem really interesting. 2w
BarbaraBB I have them both on my to read list too! 2w
Ruthiella Not heard of either. I‘ll be interested to hear what you think. 2w
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Deblovestoread I plan to borrow Idlewood from the library but can‘t find the other from any of my free options … will be interested in your reviews. 2w
Megabooks I‘ve been eyeing vintage contemporary! I still need to go through the list! I‘m having a crazy time catching up with online stuff now that I can look at screens. And replying to your email is on the list! 💜💜 2w
TrishB As always with these lists I will await your reviews 😁 2w
Hooked_on_books I‘m going to try to read as many as possible from the list. I have a digital copy of VC from the library now. 2w
sarahbarnes I did read VC. I thought it was just alright, but I seem to be in the minority on that. 2w
merelybookish I enjoyed Vintage Contemporaries. One of the few times I've differed from @sarahbarnes 2w
squirrelbrain Interesting to get two different views on VC! @sarahbarnes @merelybookish I‘ll let you know which side I fall on! 😃 2w
squirrelbrain @JamieArc @BarbaraBB @Ruthiella @Deblovestoread - I‘ll hopefully read both next week when we‘re away on holiday so I‘ll let you all know. 2w
squirrelbrain @Megabooks - looking forward to hearing which books you‘ll choose once you‘ve had chance to go through the list. 2w
Megabooks I‘m reading this one rn that I had already checked out from the library. It‘s surprisingly good. 2w
squirrelbrain I can get that one on Audible @Megabooks but not much time to listen to books at the mo, so it might have to wait to see if it makes the shortlist. 2w
jlhammar 😆 Those both sound promising! I'm just waiting until the tournament picks are announced before I really dive in. Might get to a longlist title or two that I already own before then if I'm lucky. 2w
73 likes1 stack add15 comments
This Is Not Miami | Fernanda Melchor
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Another interesting read from the #ToB longlist. I can see it making the shortlist, due to the unusual style. These are ‘crónicas‘ a word which apparently has no direct translation into English. The nearest definition would probably be narrative non fiction.

I worried that this would be similar to the Booker-nominated If I Survive You, which I didn‘t really connect with, but this felt a lot warmer, involving and engrossing, with only ⬇️

squirrelbrain …one or two places where the storytelling felt like it veered into journalistic reportage and it lost me a bit. (edited) 2w
squirrelbrain I seem to be picking all the short books so far, but just had a copy of Idlewild delivered that is a bit of a chunkster! 😃 2w
sarahbarnes Great review. Stacking this one from the list. 2w
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BarbaraBB This sounds like my kind of book! 2w
Jas16 I think you and I picked up the same books from the long list to get started with! 2w
squirrelbrain Great minds think alike! @Jas16 2w
Hooked_on_books I liked this one, too. I found it really intriguing. 2w
72 likes2 stack adds7 comments
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I‘m often not keen on anthropomorphism so I was nervous, but the lion‘s narrative voice at the start was so witty that I fell in love with him.

In the second half there were some ‘out there‘ storylines that I felt spoilt it a bit. (I know; what isn‘t ‘weird‘ about a sentient lion living in the hills above ‘ell-ay‘ and being sarky about all of the hikers, but hey-ho!)

Still a (strongish) pick though, just for the social commentary alone.

BarbaraBB Great review, thanks for the tag Helen 2w
Jas16 Just checked this one out from the library. I was feeling iffy about it but your review makes me less wary. 2w
rockpools Ok, I‘m intrigued! Great review, Helen. 2w
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Deblovestoread I was on the fence about this one but love your review. Thanks for the tag! 2w
Larkken Interesting… I was torn about this one, seemed a bit precious almost. But you make it sound quick and painless 2w
squirrelbrain @BarbaraBB @Jas16 @rockpools @Deblovestoread @Larkken - I‘d love to share my thoughts more if any of you do read it. Firstly I had an ‘actual‘ lion in my head to start with - mountain lions are much smaller I think. 🤦‍♀️ Then, I hated the tagged book SO much I was worried this would be the same and, for the most part, it wasn‘t, but I wondered if it veered into that territory towards the end. 2w
batsy I'm intrigued! 2w
Ruthiella I‘m also wary of books told from an animal‘s point of view. How could a human even come close? 2w
Chelsea.Poole I just finished this as well and I agree with your review! 2w
squirrelbrain @Chelsea.Poole - I‘ll tag my ‘queries‘ in a spoiler post below… 2w
squirrelbrain Firstly, I thought when the lion was trying to put out the fire in tent city was a bit silly, although maybe the humans assumed he was attacking the man not trying to rescue him. Then the whole episode with the Slaughters…just didn‘t work. Would someone really be able to take a mountain lion to Disney?! 2w
Chelsea.Poole I agree! I do think the humans thought it was an attack. Also, the Slaughter daughter…yeah, I think it could have been more impactful if the relationship between the two had more time to develop. But in such a short novel it had to be quick. Also, Disney: the mountain lion seemed to wonder as well until spotting all the other tall, fuzzy creatures there😆 2w
72 likes1 stack add12 comments
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Today‘s ToB haul. White Cat, Black Dog is from the library - rather annoyingly I went along with a list of 4 books that were supposedly on their shelves, but could only find 1. (The others apparently had been returned to other libraries in the network but not shipped back to the main library 🙄)

The other 3 are purchases - the tagged will take all of 30 minutes to read; it‘s only 150 pages long and has lots of white space on the pages!

BkClubCare I had heard that Open Throat was a quick read, I might just read it at the library and return it immediately 🤣 2w
BkClubCare Also… if you are anyone wants to share books, I am open to buy-read-ship as an exchange program. I have already got Blackouts going to a friend as soon as I read it. (edited) 2w
BkClubCare PS I am digging the White 🐈 Black 🐕 stories! 2w
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BkClubCare Sorry, I seem to have lots to say. Is Voyager in Spanish?! 2w
squirrelbrain I have actually nearly finished Open Throat already @BkClubCare - you could definitely read it in the library. I couldn‘t get it from the library. 2w
squirrelbrain I‘d love to share books @BkClubCare but I‘m in the UK, and most ToB Littens are in the US I think. Books are cheaper than cross-Atlantic postage right now! 🙄 (edited) 2w
squirrelbrain I managed to get an English version @BkClubCare - found an audio on Scribd / Everand but that turned out to be Spanish and my Spanish isn‘t good enough, as it looks to be rather intense. 2w
Megabooks I bailed on WCBD earlier this year. I‘ll go back if it makes the shortlist. I‘m glad you‘re making such great progress!!! 2w
Megabooks Thank you for the email!! 💕💕 I‘ve been dealing with migraines and haven‘t been able to look at screens much this week. Being able to use a phone/computer is the first thing to go and last to come back when I have a week like this. I did get the video of stinky sloth earlier and loved it!!! I‘m glad Henry likes it! 💜💜 2w
Hooked_on_books I‘m super curious about the tagged book. It sounds like an interesting premise. I just got my hold on the audio for the Link stories today. And I‘m glad you mentioned the Everand audio of the Fernandez is in Spanish! I hadn‘t realized! 2w
squirrelbrain @Megabooks - ugh sorry to hear about your migraines. I look forward to hearing from you whenever you feel up to it. 😘 2w
squirrelbrain I just finished Open Throat @Hooked_on_books - I need to collect my thoughts! 🤔 2w
sarahbarnes I just checked out White Cat from my library as well. Sounds like a fun one! 2w
BarbaraBB Intriguing choices! 2w
squirrelbrain Many of the others I can get for free from libraries etc @BarbaraBB 2w
Suet624 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2w
67 likes16 comments
Falling Animals | Sheila Armstrong
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Loved this, which I read because it features on the BBC‘s Between The Covers.

An unidentified man is found sitting serenely, but lifeless, on a beach in Ireland. The book is a series of vignettes of the lives of the villagers and other people who may have known the man previously.

It‘s a beautifully written, lyrical book; one of those that‘s very quiet but impactful.

@TrishB - I hadn‘t realised until now you also read (and loved!) this one.

TrishB I‘m glad this one is getting some more love ♥️ a little gem. 2w
Caroline2 Oh sounds fab! Stacked. 👍 2w
Tamra I have this TBR - it does sound great! 2w
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rockpools Ooh. This came in at work the other week. Noticed because the writing on the spine is upside down just to annoy me! Maybe I should read it 😁 2w
LeahBergen Lovely review! You‘ve made me even more excited to get to it now. 😊 2w
squirrelbrain I noticed that too straight away @rockpools - very upsetting! 😬 2w
69 likes6 stack adds6 comments
Disobedient | Elizabeth Fremantle
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Thanks to @TrishB for putting this on my #readersradar as I don‘t think I would have picked it up otherwise.

Even so, I found it rather slow in the first couple of chapters and, as I‘m a bit fed up of ‘feminist retellings‘, I considered bailing.

Then I suddenly became engrossed and wanted to learn all about the life and art of Artemisia Gentileschi at the start of the seventeenth century in Italy - a wonderful book!

LeahBergen What a cosy setting! 😊 2w
Caroline2 Oh I‘m glad you liked it! 👍 I‘m still stuck on my current read (birdsong) I‘ve had so little reading time lately, it‘s taking me agessssss! 2w
TrishB I‘m so glad you stuck with it! 2w
70 likes1 stack add3 comments
Wellness | Nathan Hill
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I finished this two days before the ToB longlist was published and hoped it would be on there.

It‘s a difficult book to review as it‘s so intense ( but fabulous); we follow Jack and Elizabeth as they first meet, and then look back to different parts of their lives and their (dysfunctional) childhoods. You‘ll recognise yourself in areas of this book, as well as your own relationships.

I liked the detailed offshoots about culture, pyschology ⬇️

squirrelbrain …art and much more, apart from one that lost / bored me a little bit. (Algorithms!) Tagging all of the ToBers from @barbarabb‘s post yesterday. (edited) 2w
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squirrelbrain And thanks to @megabooks for putting this on my #readersradar to enable me to request it from #netgalley, as it‘s not out in the UK until the end of January 2w
JamieArc I just started this and am really enjoying it. 2w
Ruthiella I hope this gets chosen for the shortlist because I need that kick in the pants. I really liked his debut and it sounds like this is more of the same-a big story with lots of moving pieces. 2w
MicheleinPhilly Maybe I‘ll read this after Boat. 2w
jlhammar Looking forward to this - loved The Nix! 2w
sarahbarnes Ohh, happy to see your review. I was curious about this one when I saw it on the list. Stacking. 2w
squirrelbrain Yes, that‘s just right @Ruthiella - a big story with lots of moving parts. I haven‘t read The Nix though, although I‘ve heard so many good things about it. @jlhammar 2w
squirrelbrain I think you‘ll like this one @MicheleinPhilly 2w
Hooked_on_books For a split second when I first saw your post I thought, dang, she‘s really dedicated to this list! But turns out you didn‘t crank out this long book in less than a day. 😂 I have the audio of this on hold from my library, so hopefully I like it as much as you did! 2w
Flaneurette I am currently reading this and as a GenXer I really feel seen, and not always in a good way! The audiobook is really great and I struggle with audiobooks in general 2w
MicheleinPhilly I really liked The Nix so I have high hopes for this. 2w
Deblovestoread Like @Hooked_on_books I‘m waiting on my Libby hold. Your review makes me doubly glad I put in my hold in after reading @Megabooks earlier review. 💜 2w
squirrelbrain @Hooked_on_books - I might be a swot but I‘m not that bad! 🤣 I think you‘ll all love it when you get to it @Deblovestoread @sarahbarnes 2w
squirrelbrain It is (embarrassingly) on point in many ways, isn‘t it? @Flaneurette 😬 2w
BarbaraBB Wonderful review! I bought it after @Megabooks review but haven‘t read it yet. Will now soon! 2w
Readerann Thanks for the tag! Now is when I pay close attention to the reviews on here to help me pick a few ToB longlisters to read. (I haven‘t read..a..single..one. 😔) 2w
Suet624 Loved the Nix. Can‘t wait to get to this. 2w
Jas16 I have it on hold at the library. It had a long wait and your review has made mw more impatient. 2w
merelybookish Another great review! I was feeling resistant but @Leftcoastzen made me reconsider. Although @Flaneurette comment is giving me pause. 😆 2w
youneverarrived Great review! I‘m looking forward to reading it when it comes out here. 2w
Megabooks This was such a good, twisty book. I did like the algorithm part, but I find that really interesting. You‘re in for a treat with the audio narration @Hooked_on_books ! Just fantastic! 2w
74 likes3 stack adds24 comments
Finnegans Wake | James Joyce
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Love this article from The Guardian!


Particularly this bit…. 🤣

Fialka, who started the group in his early 40s, is now 70. “I don‘t want to lie, it wasn‘t like I saw God,” Fialka said, of reaching the book‘s end. “It wasn‘t a big deal.”

TrishB I just read this too! Some perseverance there! 3w
squirrelbrain Did you see the Orwell article too? @TrishB I seem to recall you didn‘t love the book anyway. 3w
Ddzmini 🤣🤣🤣 3w
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TrishB I did and would totally agree with the criticisms tbh. I enjoyed the horror article too esp as I‘m in the middle of reading one of the Argentinian authors. 3w
squirrelbrain I don‘t think I‘ll bother with the Orwell book @TrishB 3w
Ruthiella I read it with an online group on Goodreads and it took about a year. I got absolutely nothing from it, except maybe the answer to a pub quiz some day! 3w
BarbaraBB This is so funny. I read Ulysses a few years ago and decided I‘ll never try Finnegan‘s Wake! 3w
TrishB No I wouldn‘t really recommend on reflection! 3w
squirrelbrain Only a year?! @ruthiella 3w
squirrelbrain I‘ve still to try Ulysses @BarbaraBB …. One day! 3w
Ruthiella I just read the words without trying to comprehend. I also read a reader‘s guide. It was almost all gobbledygook to me. (edited) 3w
BarbaraJean On the one hand, I love this level of passion. On the other, there‘s this: “[Joyce] once described the perfect reader of Finnegans Wake as ‘suffering from an ideal insomnia,‘ and said: ‘The demand I make of my reader is that he should devote his entire life to reading my works.‘” Hahahaha nope. 😂 3w
squirrelbrain @BarbaraJean - can you imagine devoting your life to reading *any* author‘s works, never mind one so difficult to read as Joyce?! Not for me! 3w
Leniverse This just reinforces my impression from reading Joyce's other works, that the man himself must have been insufferable. 3w
LeahBergen 😆😆 3w
SamAnne Visited Dublin this summer. Grabbing lunch at the pub Wilde frequented, ran into a group of passionate (obsessive?) Ulysses devotees. They curate the apothecary across the street where Joyce was a customer and bought the lemon soap mentioned in Ulysses. Now it is a shrine to Joyce and they host daily out loud readings in multiple languages. I‘ve not read it, but at least had my copy of Dubliners along! 3w
squirrelbrain @SamAnne - people certainly seem to get rather obsessed don‘t they?! 3w
sarahbarnes 😆😆😆 3w
65 likes18 comments
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Visited my local library fundraising book sale this morning. (They‘re part of the county library network but volunteer run since threatened with closure a few years ago).

All books were 50p (!) apart from the tagged, which was a whole Q9 because it was on the special ‘posh‘ table. Inordinately flattered to find a fair few of the books that I donated earlier in the week on that same table!

Mostly for hubby but top and bottom for me.

squirrelbrain I already have the Kukafka on Kindle but for 50p a hard copy is always preferable. 3w
charl08 Nice haul! 3w
squirrelbrain @youneverarrived - I got the Angela Marsons for you, as I recall that you really liked the first one. This is number 2. If you already got it on Kindle, don‘t worry but, if not, I‘ll pop it in the post for you. It‘s not often you see physical copies of these out in the wild; in fact, I‘m not sure I‘ve ever seen one! 3w
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BarbaraBB Did you read the Kukafka yet? It‘s so good!! 3w
jlhammar Wow, great finds! 3w
squirrelbrain No not yet @BarbaraBB - it‘s one of those that I‘ve been ‘meaning to get to‘ on Kindle, but I‘m sure a hard copy will give me more incentive! 3w
Ruthiella Awesome haul! What a bargain. 👍 3w
julesG Nice haul! 3w
Megabooks High was so good! Nice to support your local library! 3w
youneverarrived That‘s really thoughtful of you to get it for me, thank you! 😘 I don‘t have it I only have that bundle of books that was on offer on kindle from book 4-6 so it‘s much appreciated! ❤️ 3w
squirrelbrain Oh good, I‘m glad you haven‘t got it! I‘ll send it sometime this week @youneverarrived - when I get chance to go to the PO. 3w
67 likes11 comments
The Light of Day | Graham Swift
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I read this as it was part of the BBC‘s Between the Covers new series - they choose 6 new books and, this series, 6 recent Booker nominees. This was the only Booker nominee I hadn‘t already read, and I‘m not sure I could recommend it. It‘s a stream of the MC‘s innermost thoughts, within constantly shifting timeframes, so all rather confusing.

Of the new books, I‘d only read the Faulks when the list was announced, but have now read four.

Caroline2 Think I‘ll skip this one… 3w
65 likes2 comments
Family Meal | Bryan Washington
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I pre-ordered Family Meal from the library, following Meg‘s @Megabooks great review.

When I went to pick it up today I *may* also have perused the ‘New In‘ shelf, and couldn‘t resist Disobedient, which comes highly recommended by @TrishB . ☺️


BarbaraBB Great haul 🥰 3w
Megabooks Yay! I hope you love it, too! 3w
TrishB Hope you enjoy 🤞🏻 I‘ve got the other one on potential Christmas list! 3w
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Caroline2 Oh I have disobedient on my kindle. Let me know if ya fancy a buddy read! 😃 3w
squirrelbrain Of course @Caroline2 - always up for a buddy read! I‘ll be starting it this weekend though, in case someone else reserves it at the library and I can‘t renew it. 3w
Caroline2 Ah yeah, of course, you‘ve got a defo deadline with a library book. I‘ll try and catch up asap. 3w
73 likes6 comments
Zoo Quest in Paraguay | David Attenborough
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Final book for #readingtheamericas23!

I borrowed the book from my Mum, which includes Zoo Quests in Indonesia and #guyana too, but #paraguay is also available in a stand-alone book, tagged.

I loved this book, which is David mostly looking for armadillos in 1958.

In fact I‘ve loved this whole challenge - thank you Barbara and Jess for hosting! I cheated a little bit this year, and two books did a lot of the heavy lifting, covering a number ⬇️

squirrelbrain …of countries each. Those books are tagged below, and were amongst my favourites of the challenge. Also, two fiction books were my top and bottom. The Violin Conspiracy was my favourite, and I hated Really Good, Actually. Weirdly, I read both right at the start of the challenge in January / February. 4w
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Librarybelle Yay!! Congratulations on completing! Thank you for joining us!! 4w
Amiable Nice job! 4w
BarbaraBB So very good Helen! You‘re the first to finish, congratulations 🎉. I think you‘ve read almost all countries in the world now! 4w
squirrelbrain Woohoo, am I the first?! @BarbaraBB 🎉 4w
Megabooks Congratulations!!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉 4w
Hooked_on_books David Attenborough is such a treasure! What a great guy to end your challenge with. Congrats! 🍾 3w
71 likes9 comments
The Future | Naomi Alderman
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I liked The Power; I thought it was a clever idea, told simply (in a good way). Conversely, The Future, has a LOT of ideas and the narrative jumps about chronologically and also between characters.

There were also forum extracts that didn‘t work for me (badly formatted on the ARC) and a lot of comparisons with Lot in the Bible so I skipped those bits.

It sounds like I hated it, but I didn‘t; it‘s still a soft pick.

#netgalley #thefuture

Caroline2 I really liked The Power too. I‘ll add this to my look-out-on-kindle-deal list 😂 4w
BarbaraBB I hated the Power (but I enjoyed the tagged one)… not sure about reading this one after your review 🤷🏻‍♀️ 4w
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Deadly Deceit | Jean Harrod
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I wasn‘t hugely looking forward to this; it was just to tick a box for #turksandcaicos for #readingtheamericas23. And then, when it arrived, it was the second in a series. 🙄

However, it was really quite good. Jess works for the UK Diplomatic Service (it helps that the author did too, I think) and arrives on the islands to find that the Governor has been in a serious car crash, then there is a murder and no-one is who they seem.

BarbaraBB That does sound good indeed! 1mo
Librarybelle Sounds interesting! 1mo
Megabooks Sounds interesting! 1mo
68 likes3 comments
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Another book featuring on the upcoming BBC series of Between The Covers. Set in India, Adi is 12 and wants to find out why his mother keeps disappearing. Assisted by a talking vulture he learns about her past, from the time of Partition onwards, as well as facing up to his own fears.

It took a few chapters for this to have any impact, but then it really did and I loved it.

CW re the treatment of women and girls, in the worst possible ways.

rockpools I don‘t think I‘ve ever met a book that hasn‘t been improved by the addition of a talking bird, so stacked! Also, have you read Tomb of Sand? Similar themes, although I‘m sure that‘s all - a mother‘s partition history, and talking crows (amongst other stuff). Loved that one! 1mo
squirrelbrain That sounds good too @rockpools - stacked. 1mo
60 likes1 stack add2 comments
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This book is in two parts; the first tells the story of the 1972 Andean plane crash, which the author survived and then trekked across the mountains for help.

The second part is about how the doctor used his experience, alongside pioneering discoveries, to treat unborn and very young babies with heart conditions.

I‘m using this for #Uruguay for #readingtheamericas23, as that is where the doctor is from; it would work for #Argentina too.

BarbaraBB Uruguay! A difficult country to find books from 1mo
Librarybelle I bet this was a tough read! 1mo
squirrelbrain It was tough but in a different way to what I expected @Librarybelle. Parts of the story were told by Canessa‘s parents and girlfriend, with the second half including testimonies from the parents of the children he treated, so all quite emotional. 1mo
squirrelbrain It is a difficult country to find books from @BarbaraBB - luckily I borrowed this from my Mum! 1mo
72 likes4 comments
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This was a fascinating true crime read, about the murders exactly 5 years apart, of Natalee Holloway, who many will have heard of, and Stephany Flores, who I had not heard of.

This guy truly is a monster.

I‘m using this for #aruba for #readingtheamericas23, but it would also work for #peru and #chile.


BarbaraBB He is Dutch and continuously talking to Dutch journalists. He‘s crazy as hell. And stupid. He just confessed the murder of Natalee but his story seems a lie once again 1mo
squirrelbrain I read all about that recent ‘confession‘ @BarbaraBB - but I don‘t think he can be trusted at all. 1mo
Librarybelle @squirrelbrain @BarbaraBB This whole case has been bizarre and such a long struggle for justice. I‘m kind of curious to read it, only because of reading the story for so long. 1mo
robinb I can remember so vividly where I was when I first saw the news about Natalee‘s disappearance. I was out eating dinner with my family. It was big news nationally but even more so here in Alabama where she lived. It‘s been heartbreaking to see what her family has had to go through over the years. 😔 1mo
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Julia | Sandra Newman
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I read 1984 again before reading this feminist re-telling, as I hadn‘t read it since I was a young teen, and probably too young to appreciate it. I‘m really glad it was fresh in my mind as there were many subtle links between the two, outside of the main themes.

In both books I preferred the first half before they get to the Ministry of Love but I felt this was a worthwhile companion to 1984 and added more depth and interest.

#julia #netgalley

BarbaraBB Didn‘t @TrishB read a feminist version of 1984 recently too? 1mo
squirrelbrain Yes she did @BarbaraBB , and also one about Orwell‘s wife. @trishb 1mo
TrishB @BarbaraBB I‘m going to need a space before this one- still getting through Wifedom! 1mo
ju.ca.no Good to know! I might revisit the original too then 1mo
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The Square of Sevens | Laura Shepherd-Robinson
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This was going to be a so-so as I found most of it quite confusing and a little boring; too many characters who were all related and a complicated legal case. Oh, and not a single character had any redeeming features; they were all awful.

The last few chapters completely changed it though - fabulous! My advice; concentrate from the start and don‘t skim read it like I did!

Henry liked it but prefers his new 🦖 toy!

quietlycuriouskate Henry is clearly a being of discernment and taste! 🦕 1mo
LeahBergen It looks like Henry doesn‘t massacre his toys like my Johnny does. 🙄 1mo
Amiable What a sweet face! 😍 1mo
See All 21 Comments
TrishB That dinosaur looks fab! 1mo
squirrelbrain @LeahBergen - he used to do, and still does to some extent with smaller toys, so he has those under supervision. We‘ve learned the bigger the better now; soon the toys will be bigger than him! 🤣 1mo
squirrelbrain @TrishB - it‘s just from Pets at Home. 1mo
Leftcoastzen 👏🐶 1mo
MicheleinPhilly Glad this one turned around for you! Hi Henry! Pickles sends kisses! 1mo
Caroline2 Ohh so glad to hear it picks up! I‘ll make sure to concentrate and not skim. 👍 1mo
dabbe Hello there, Sir Henry! 🖤🐾🖤 1mo
LeahBergen @squirrelbrain 😆😆 We only buy this one type of spikey ball for Johnny now. He is obsessed with them and brings one to everyone who comes over (like a grand prize). 😆 1mo
squirrelbrain @LeahBergen - Henry brings prizes too, but with lots of different things, including all of the blankets out of his bed! 🤣 1mo
julesG Hello Henry! 👋 Yeah, no skimming with this book, made that mistake, too and had to go back a bit. 1mo
LeahBergen Johnny does that, too, and sometimes his whole bed. 😆 1mo
BarbaraBB Hi Henry 👋🏽 1mo
squirrelbrain Hi Pickles! Henry sends licks and kisses. @MicheleinPhilly 1mo
batsy Henry is far too handsome! 😁 1mo
Gissy 🐶 🖤🖤🖤🖤 1mo
robinb Henry is such a handsome boy! 💜 1mo
Suet624 That pup is elegant. 1mo
squirrelbrain Thank you @Suet624 -he‘s a good boy! 1mo
79 likes21 comments
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I only requested this from #netgalley as it features on the upcoming BBC series of Between The Covers. I thought from the cover that it would be a fairly standard crime novel and wasn‘t overly inspired to read it. (But #listcompletist here! 👋)

Once I started it though, I couldn‘t put it down. Based on a true story (don‘t Google it though…spoilers!) we see Zina, a recent Cypriot immigrant to London who hardly speaks any English, accused of a ⬇️

squirrelbrain ….terrible crime. Eva, also an immigrant Greek speaker, becomes her translator and starts to grow closer to Zina. Both women have traumas in their past which we learn about as we follow the court case right through to its conclusion. Highly recommended. 1mo
squirrelbrain Published in the UK 9th Nov. #unspeakableactsofzinap 1mo
TrishB Looks good 👍🏻 1mo
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BarbaraBB Definitely looking good! 1mo
Cathythoughts Sounds good. Stacked 1mo
Caroline2 Looking forward to getting to this one!! 😀 1mo
59 likes5 stack adds7 comments
Water | John Boyne
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As ever, another enthralling read from John Boyne, tackling a very dark subject.

It‘s only a short read and, whilst this means it packs a heavy punch, I do wish there had been space to explore some areas a bit further.

Willow Hale arrives on a tiny Irish island from Dublin, having changed her name. What is she hiding from and can she really ever escape?

#netgalley #water

Published in the UK 2nd Nov.

TrishB I was worrying you weren‘t reading 😁 1mo
BarbaraBB Lol @TrishB me too! 1mo
squirrelbrain @TrishB @BarbaraBB - not reading as much as usual but I‘m trying! 🤣 1mo
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TrishB Same here! I now have the lurgy everyone else has had so even less reading happening. 1mo
squirrelbrain Oh no @TrishB 😞 Everywhere I‘ve been this week, someone has had it so I wouldn‘t be surprised if I get it too. 🙄 1mo
TrishB It‘s very hard to avoid! I‘ve just got out of bed and eaten a sandwich and no have no energy, fun times 😁 but I‘ve finished a book. 1mo
squirrelbrain Ugh, hope you feel better soon @TrishB - I prescribe a whole week off work! 1mo
61 likes3 stack adds7 comments
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A few reviews incoming as I haven‘t had time to do any for ages….

Another fabulous instalment in the Kim Stone series; Ms Marsons never puts a foot wrong! This one very much focuses back on the personal lives of the detective team, with the continuation of a storyline from the last book, although of course there are still crimes to solve. As ever, the perfect mix between the two.

#netgalley #badblood Published 15th November in the UK.

TrishB Thought I had pre-ordered but it seems not! Now rectified. 1mo
BarbaraBB I don‘t these series. I think I should? 1mo
squirrelbrain They are fabulous books @BarbaraBB - they‘re nearly always cheap on UK Kindle though and I‘m not sure if you get that? Worth paying full price for though, I think. 1mo
55 likes3 comments
Wrong Place, Wrong Time | Gillian McAllister
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Thank you for my lovely gifts, Jenny! @jenniferw88

The book sounds great, I love the little extras (always a fan of stationery!), and of course the 🐿️ card is gorgeous!


jenniferw88 I'm just sorry it's so late! 🤣 2mo
squirrelbrain No worries @jenniferw88 - I forgot to say thank you for the book for my Mum too. 2mo
BarbaraBB Thanks for your lovely email! Will reply tomorrow 🩷 2mo
Caroline2 Oh I really enjoyed this one. Keeps you on your toes. 2mo
54 likes4 comments
The Book of Cold Cases | Simone St. James
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#aam #authoramonth

This was…. fine. I enjoyed the crime aspect of it but the ghost element did nothing for me. (Was I supposed to be scared? Cos I wasn‘t)

It‘s still a soft pick and it kept my interest on audio whilst I was driving to and from work but I‘m not particularly inspired to read any more by this author.

Caroline2 Yea I felt the same about my read. It started off so good, 1919 in a haunted mental hospital!! A nurse with a past pretending to be a nurse! Yay! Then halfway through, with the ghosts (not scary ghosts really) and the love story, it went right down hill. (edited) 2mo
Megabooks Yeah, I enjoyed this book, but it was def more of a #LikeNotLove situation. 2mo
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Swimming Home: A Novel | Deborah Levy
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Thank you so much for my lovely gift Katie! @youneverarrived

I‘m so excited to read this book as I loved Hot Milk. I‘ll definitely let you know what I think when I‘ve read it.

I love a proper leather bookmark too. Oh, and the wrapping paper was gorgeous, but Henry took a liking to it too (after I‘d opened the gifts, thank goodness!), so not fit to include in the photo any more! 🤣

quietlycuriouskate Ooh, Waterstones bookmark! 😍 Yes, I'm vegan: yes, I still have a thing for leather bookmarks. What can I say? Nothing. I'll just have to cite Walt Whitman. 😉 2mo
sarahbarnes I loved this one! Hope you enjoy it! 2mo
Caroline2 I loved HotMilk too but I‘ve given this a so-so?! I don‘t even remember reading it?! 😆 🤦‍♀️ 2mo
youneverarrived You‘re welcome 😘 glad both you and Henry liked the wrapping paper 😂 2mo
54 likes4 comments
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I just love this series, and they get better with each book.

With this one though, I had to try not to snivel and sniff whilst sitting in the silent Gladstone‘s Reading Room. 😢

charl08 Such a lovely setting 📚😍 2mo
Cathythoughts Enjoy your Gladstone trip ❤️ 2mo
emz711 ooo it just came out. i'm waiting for it from the library. 2mo
BarbaraBB Are you okay Helen? You‘ve been so quiet lately? 🩷 2mo
squirrelbrain Hello Barbara, thank you so much for checking in. 😘 I‘ve just been working non-stop (12 hour days, every day) since Gladstone‘s. I was actually going to email you today but didn‘t get chance so I‘ll drop you a message over the weekend. And I‘m just about to post here on Litsy too. 😃 @BarbaraBB 2mo
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Gladstone's Library: A Short History | St. Deiniol's Library
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All of the fabulous books from our Blind Date with a Book swap at Gladstone‘s Library #readingretreat.

Are there any you‘ve read and would recommend?!

Tamra Anxious to read Belle Greene - but will have to wait until December 2024 for #Europacollective buddy read. 😭 (edited) 2mo
squirrelbrain @tamra - lucky for me that‘s the one I picked! I will wait too…. December‘s not that far away now is it?! 2mo
Tamra @squirrelbrain next year 😫 2mo
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Cinfhen Ohhhhh….good!! I wanted to see all the book titles 🤩 2mo
squirrelbrain Oh no @tamra - I didn‘t notice the 2024! 🤣 Not sure I can wait that long! 2mo
JenReadsAlot Oh I love the snow child!! 2mo
LeahBergen Fun! 👏👏 2mo
nanuska_153 Momo is ❤️❤️❤️ 2mo
jlhammar I also loved The Snow Child. Looking forward to reading Belle Greene next year! 2mo
Caroline2 I loved The Snow Child and I have the river one on my kindle, I‘ve heard it‘s good but I‘ve not read it yet. 2mo
LeeRHarry Loved The Snow Child and Go As A River is on my TBR. 2mo
squirrelbrain @LeeRHarry @carolines2 - Go As A River is very good. (edited) 2mo
74 likes12 comments
The Squirrel and the Lost Treasure | Coralie Bickford-Smith
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Thank you to @julesG ‘s kids for my lovely gifts!

Pingu is very tired after his loooong trip from Germany to North Wales so he‘s having a quick snooze before joining his friends on the #readingretreat.


Clwojick Pingu! ❤️ 2mo
Centique Pingu was such a favourite of my daughter‘s. He will always be so precious! 2mo
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Gladstone's Library: A Short History | St. Deiniol's Library
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Unpacked my book pile at our #readingretreat.

I‘ve not had one of the rooms with the posh book wallpaper before!


rockpools ❤️❤️❤️ I‘m quite jealous of your book heap. I think I ended up taking most of my ‘real‘ books out. Except the Wombles. If anyone needs to borrow the Wombles this weekend, just let me know! 2mo
rockpools Also 🎉Wallpaper & Roberts Radio🎉 2mo
squirrelbrain You can borrow one if you wish! @rockpools 2mo
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squirrelbrain And WHY the Wombles?! @rockpools 2mo
rockpools @squirrelbrain And there was me planning to read all of my ARCs I‘ve ever acquired since the dawn of time 😘 2mo
rockpools @squirrelbrain Heading to Scotland after. Not for me, honest guv! 2mo
TheKidUpstairs Enjoy!!! If I win the lottery one of these years, I'd love to fly over and join you all on retreat 😁 Great reading stack! 2mo
Cinfhen Wonderful stack! Enjoy 💚 2mo
squirrelbrain We‘d love you to join us @TheKidUpstairs ! 😃 2mo
squirrelbrain I‘m looking forward to starting it @Mitch although I‘ve gone in with the new Richard Osman first…. 2mo
BarbaraBB Looking so good! That wallpaper and that radio. And the books of course. Enjoy to the max! Next year @Cinfhen and I will join you 🤞🏽🤞🏽🤞🏽🤞🏽 2mo
MicheleinPhilly @BarbaraBB @Cinfhen I‘m planning on it too. ☺️ 2mo
Cinfhen Yay!!! That would be awesomesauce @MicheleinPhilly - I‘ve been thinking of you xx ohhh, another reason to make it happen @BarbaraBB 🩷🩷🩷 2mo
RaeLovesToRead @BarbaraBB @Cinfhen @MicheleinPhilly Look forward to meeting you all next year!! 🥰🥰 2mo
MicheleinPhilly @Cinfhen I‘m surviving. 😘😘 2mo
squirrelbrain @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB @MicheleinPhilly - we‘ll decide on dates very soon and let you all know! 2mo
Cinfhen Thanks so much Helen xx just hoping the Jewish Holidays won‘t interfere 💜🙏🏻 2mo
Cinfhen @MicheleinPhilly all the love 💕 💕 💕 2mo
squirrelbrain Ohhh of course @Cinfhen - I think we might not have much choice on weekends, due to other Littens‘ commitments, but when are your Holidays next year and we‘ll see what we can do? (edited) 2mo
Cinfhen Obviously do what‘s best for you guys but luckily the Jewish Holidays don‘t fall out until the first week of October next year🤩 so I think early/mid September should be fine 🥰 2mo
squirrelbrain @Cinfhen - we‘ll try not to do October then! 😘 2mo
squirrelbrain @cinfhen - the only weekend we can do is the same one next year, so it will be Thurs 26th Sept until Sunday 30th. Does that work for you? I‘ll drop you an email later this afternoon anyway with more info. 2mo
Cinfhen RH begins Wednesday October 2 so it might be too close as there‘s a lot to prepare 🥺 im not ruling it out - I‘ll check flights and speak to my husband and see what he thinks. Thanks so much, Helen xxxx 2mo
squirrelbrain Oh no! You could always leave late on the Saturday maybe. Most of us leave after lunch on Sunday so you wouldn‘t miss much then. @cinfhen 2mo
squirrelbrain Leave it with us though @Cinfhen - we‘re going to have a chat, see if we can do it 2 weeks earlier. 😘 2mo
Cinfhen So sweet but you all come first 😘😘😘 2mo
BarbaraBB @MicheleinPhilly You‘re really thinking of coming? That would be awesome! (edited) 2mo
BarbaraBB Let‘s know the final schedule Helen and I‘ll see if I can come. Would love to! @Cinfhen 2mo
CBee @squirrelbrain would you let me know as well? Right now I don‘t know if it‘s even possible for me to come, but I want to so badly! 2mo
squirrelbrain Hi @CBee - we‘ve picked Thursday 10th October next year, for 3 nights. Drop me an email to helenharrogate at gmail dot com and we can discuss further, if you wish. I hope you can come! 😘 2mo
CBee @squirrelbrain will do! 😊 2mo
LeeRHarry I‘m always hoping to make it one day too 😊 depending on when I‘m over in the UK visiting the family - the 10th is actually my birthday so if I was to come I might come for another day that weekend as my brother lives in North Wales so I could 🤞make it work. 😊 2mo
squirrelbrain That would be fab @leerharry - even if you only stay a night or two, or just pop in for the day! 2mo
Megabooks How cool! 2mo
76 likes35 comments
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Smog has destroyed most of the world‘s crops and food has become scarce. A young chef joins a mysterious mogul in his mountain eyrie in Italy, where seeds and crops are brought back to life and rich food is plentiful. She builds a relationship with the mogul‘s charismatic daughter, but what happens when she is asked to give more than expected.

This book really made me think, covering dystopian themes of scarcity and greed at the end of ⬇️

squirrelbrain the world. The descriptions of food made me hungry at times, and utterly revolted at others. There‘s a lot to think about in this book. (CW for animal cruelty) 2mo
squirrelbrain #netgalley Published Thursday 28th Sept in the UK 2mo
BarbaraBB I preordered this one too! Your review makes me want to read it even more! (edited) 2mo
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squirrelbrain I think you‘ll really like it @BarbaraBB - looking forward to hearing your thoughts. 2mo
batsy Nice review! Sounds really intriguing. I'm also interested in her first book 2mo
squirrelbrain @batsy - I‘m intrigued by her first book too, although I understand they‘re very different. 2mo
Hooked_on_books I just started this one today and it‘s very interesting so far. This is one of those rare occasions where I prefer the US cover to the UK one. 2mo
squirrelbrain I agree @Hooked_on_books - the US cover is better, although neither is amazing! 2mo
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Remote Control | Nnedi Okorafor
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I forgot to review this when I read it earlier in the month, and I‘ve already forgotten it, hence why I‘m giving it a so-so.

Classed as Afro-futurist (yes, there are drones), it read more like a fable of folk-take to me. Sankofa, a young girl, gains special powers and is ostracised by the community.

It‘s a very sad tale and somehow not futurist, dystopian or fable-y enough, falling down the middle and losing out as a result.

#aam #authoramonth

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Clayton Byrd Goes Underground | Rita Williams-Garcia
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As soon as I heard that October‘s #titlesandtunes was #blues I knew my song straight away. Mr Bluesman is Richie (former Bon Jovi guitarist) Sambora‘s tribute to the blues, and even features Eric Clapton. (And I love me some #hairrock!)

I have a book called The Blue on my Kindle, tagged below, but didn‘t really fancy it. The tagged book sounds so cute and is set around Washington Square Park. I listened to an audio sample too - wonderful!

squirrelbrain We went to see Richie at the O2 Blues Festival in 2016; he played this amongst many other of his own and BJ favourites. ❤️❤️❤️ 2mo
Cinfhen Ohhhhh, Richie Sambora 😍and your book looks adorable! Excellent additions to our October #TitlesAndTunes 2mo
BarbaraBB Great choices!! 2mo
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I need to choose an audiobook for a long(ish) drive next week. (To the Gladstone‘s Library reading retreat x woo hoo!).

I‘ve been meaning to read a Cosby book for aaages and now feels like the time.

Is there an order I should read / listen? If not, which would you recommend is the best?

Thanks for your advice!

Tiffiney I really enjoyed Blacktop Wasteland 2mo
fredthemoose Me too! Also Razorblade Tears. And I‘ve heard nothing but great things about All the Sinners Bleed, but I‘m saving that for when work is calmer and I can afford to be totally engrossed in a book I can‘t put down. Basically I don‘t think you can go wrong. 2mo
Decalino They are all really good. Razorblade Tears is probably my favorite, but I agree you can't go wrong! 2mo
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BarbaraBB I loved Sinners and Razorblade but for me they work better in print, because of the dialect/use of language. But that probably won‘t be a problem for you (edited) 2mo
TrishB I‘m bringing All The Sinners to Gladstone‘s (at the moment!) 😁 2mo
squirrelbrain You have a week to change your mind eleventy seven times! @TrishB 2mo
jlhammar I enjoyed both Razorblade Tears (print) and All the Sinners (audio). I think you could start with either one. 2mo
Hooked_on_books I think they‘re all really good, and Adam Lazare-Smith is a great audio narrator for all the books. I don‘t think you‘ll go wrong with any of them! 2mo
squirrelbrain Thank you! @Tiffiney @fredthemoose @Decalino @jlhammar - I‘ve gone with Blacktop Wasteland to start with. 🤞 2mo
squirrelbrain @barbarabb @Hooked_on_books - a neighbour listened to one on audio and said the narrator was fabulous, which is why I wanted to go down that route. 2mo
fredthemoose Can confirm—the narration is excellent 2mo
Suet624 It looks like you‘ve selected one already but I‘ve read three of his and Razorblade was spectacular. I hope you can eventually check that one out. 2mo
squirrelbrain I‘m sure I will @Suet624 - I just got All The Sinners Bleed on a 99p deal too! 2mo
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Man Booker Prize | Frederic P Miller, Agnes F Vandome, John McBrewster
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Here‘s my own shortlist for the #bookerprize, in order of favourites.

I‘m cheating a bit by having TWO lists as, whilst these are my faves, I don‘t think they‘ll all make the list.

Bird-Hearts, In Ascension and Prophet Song should make the list. Study for Obedience will be on there because I hated it (!). And I think This Other Eden and Western Lane are more Booker-y than some of those above.

Looking forward to the *actual* list tomorrow!

BarbaraBB You make me curious about In Ascension! I have my copy ready! We have many shared favorites but I agree they probably won‘t all make the shortlist. I am almost sure This Other Eden and Obedience will be on it… unfortunately! 2mo
JamieArc I‘ve only read 3 Longlist books, but looking forward to seeing the shortlist so I can determine what‘s next. Hoping for Little Birds and the Eng book, which doesn‘t come out in the US til mid October anyway. 2mo
Cinfhen I watched a few BookTubers today and they seem to be all over the place with likes and dislikes so who knows what tomorrow will bring🤷🏼‍♀️Hopefully it‘s not a total bust 2mo
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AnneCecilie I‘ve haven‘t read many from this year‘s longlist, but I will be very happy if The House of Doors make it. I bailed on This Other Eden and have hardly seen any positive reviews of Obedience so won‘t rush to read that. 2mo
squirrelbrain I‘d love House of Doors to make it @JamieArc @AnneCecilie , but I‘m just not sure it‘s ‘Booker‘ enough. Ie it‘s not that weird! 🤣 2mo
squirrelbrain @BarbaraBB - In Ascension seems like the right mix of slightly weird and a great storyline. (To me anyway, others have found it boring!) 2mo
squirrelbrain @Cinfhen - I‘m sure it will be the exact opposite of what I think! 🤣 2mo
BarbaraBB I have high hopes! 2mo
Cinfhen Definitely makes for an exciting announcement!!!! 2mo
TrishB I also may bring The House of Doors to Gladstone‘s 😁 2mo
squirrelbrain I think you‘ll like it @TrishB 2mo
sarahbarnes I‘m happy to see your shortlist! 2mo
jlhammar Great to see your faves! Excited for the shortlist announcement. 2mo
Cinfhen Is Gladstone‘s this weekend?? @TrishB I REALLY want to join one day- lmk your next meetup!!! 2mo
squirrelbrain @Cinfhen - it‘s a week today! We‘ll probably book next years dates before we leave. It‘s likely to be a similar time next year but we‘ll let you know for sure! @TrishB 2mo
Cinfhen Yay!!!! I hope it works out 🙏🏼 2mo
TrishB @Cinfhen that would be cool 😁 I‘m so excited about next week! 2mo
TrishB @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB even better! Barbara - they fly Amsterdam to Liverpool 😁 2mo
BarbaraBB @TrishB @squirrelbrain @Cinfhen That would be so fantastic! Let me know the dates and see if we can make this work 🤞🏽🤞🏽😘 and yes Trish I‘d fly to Liverpool! Love to see it! (edited) 2mo
Cinfhen I‘m dying to visit Liverpool too @BarbaraBB @TrishB 2mo
squirrelbrain Ooh ooh @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB - that would be so exciting! 🎉🎉🎉 2mo
Cinfhen Right… it would be AWESOME @BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain 2mo
BarbaraBB Let‘s really consider this! @Cinfhen @squirrelbrain @TrishB 2mo
Cinfhen @BarbaraBB @TrishB @squirrelbrain when do you think your next meet up might be? Winter time or Spring? 2mo
squirrelbrain @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB @TrishB - probably the same time next year, but we‘ll let you know once we‘ve decided. 😃 2mo
Cinfhen Ok - thanks @squirrelbrain for some reason I thought you guys meet twice a year 🤪 2mo
squirrelbrain Gladstone‘s is once a year @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB @TrishB but of course we can do something else at a different time of year / different place if it suits you guys better. #litsymeetup in Amsterdam?! 😃 (edited) 2mo
TrishB Now you‘re talking Helen 😁 @BarbaraBB @Cinfhen you‘ll probably have a whole years notice to plan! 2mo
Cinfhen Hahaha @TrishB @BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain - Helen…we‘ll let you and Trish discuss next week where & when our international meetup should take place! 2mo
Cinfhen Also, the shortlist is AWFUL! 2mo
squirrelbrain Yep, terrible! @cinfhen Although my guess at what would make the list (rather than what I liked) wasn‘t that bad! 2mo
BarbaraBB @Cinfhen @Squirrel super frustrated by the shortlist. And yes Helen, you and @trishb discuss it next week. Amsterdam is fine of course, you‘re very welcome but man, I‘d love to see Liverpool 😂 2mo
squirrelbrain Maybe a Northern England tour?! We could do Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and York. @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB @TrishB 2mo
BarbaraBB Is that including Gladstone? It would be great to combine it all! 2mo
squirrelbrain @BarbaraBB - we could include Gladstone‘s too! 2mo
quietlycuriouskate I've concluded I would much rather read the Squirrel Prize Shortlist than the Booker Prize one. 2mo
ClairesReads What did you think of the Shortlist in the end? 2mo
squirrelbrain @ClairesReads - I really didn‘t like it; mainly (4) my least favourite books! What did you think? 2mo
squirrelbrain Lol @quietlycuriouskate - maybe I should launch my own annual prize! 2mo
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Well, I quite liked this one but what the heck is wrong with everyone at the moment, with these unresolved endings?!

@TrishB had seen a review that said if you can get through the first 560 pages, the last 60 are great. I actually found the last part to be very OTT and I hate a pathetic non-ending. Make a decision for your characters and run with it FFS! (Spoiler below, Trish!)

Granted, it could have been shorter, maybe one character less ⬇️

squirrelbrain …I could have done without PJ. I found Dickie‘s back story really interesting once it got to his college days. That‘s my last Booker longlister; I‘ll post my shortlist tomorrow. 2mo
squirrelbrain @TrishB long story short…. Dickie (the Dad) went all doomsday prepper and ended up building a hideout in the woods. He was also being blackmailed, as was Big Mike.(by someone else). At the end he had arranged to meet the blackmailer in the woods, and he was going to shoot him. All of the other characters (Mum, kids etc) were also crashing through the woods in the dark and the rain for various reasons and that‘s the end….(no-one got shot, yet) 2mo
TheKidUpstairs Congrats on getting through them all! This hold came in at the same time as How to Build a Boat. I decided to start Boat and wait on this one. So Boat will be the last I'll get to before the short list is announced! Still waiting on a couple holds because of later NA publishing dates. It's been a pleasure reading the list with you, @BarbaraBB and @BookwormM 😄 2mo
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BarbaraBB Wow you read that fast!! Kudos for finishing them all in time. I am at 75% now and liking it too. And I just started How to Build a Boat. Probably won‘t finish them both before Thursday! 2mo
squirrelbrain You‘ve not got to the annoying end bit yet then @BarbaraBB ! It is quite compelling, but very over the top, I felt. 2mo
squirrelbrain I‘ve really enjoyed reading along with everyone too Megan. @TheKidUpstairs 2mo
Caroline2 Argh, the current trend for non-endings needs to stop already!!! 🤬 2mo
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It arrived, at last! Thanks, Waterstones for being (predictably) rubbish with your delivery again.

Still, at least it‘s got pretty edges and it‘s signed.

Now to decide whether to read it now or save it until Gladstone‘s. Hubby just looked at my Gladstone‘s pile (which granted, is about knee height!) and said ‘Are you *really* going to read all of those books in one weekend?‘.

No, but I might read a bit of all of the books!

julesG Knee high? Henry's knee? J's knee? Yours? 😜😁 2mo
AmyG Nice!!! 2mo
JamieArc One needs choices! 2mo
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BarbaraBB You must be prepared for anything. Knee high sounds about right 😂 2mo
squirrelbrain Henry‘s knee would only be a book or two @julesG -definitely not enough! 🤣 2mo
Caroline2 Waterstones seriously need to sort out their delivery issues for preordered items, don‘t they. It really bugs me when I preorder and it doesn‘t arrive on time. Then you see it in the shops!! 🙄 2mo
Megabooks Very cool copy!!! 🤩🤩 2mo
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The Covenant of Water | Abraham Verghese
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OMG Cindy @Cinfhen - you have no idea how close I was to getting the Verghese for myself! I got some vouchers for my birthday and *nearly* ordered it this morning, but I got distracted with work! 😮‍💨

Thank you so much for your beautiful gifts; the other book looks fabulous too.

J just said that he thought the choc looked ‘husband-friendly‘ so I told him I thought not! 🤣

And your note is so sweet too! 😘🥰

Cinfhen Oh yay!!! Im so glad you didn‘t buy the book - I was hoping no one else had purchased it for you!!! Happy belated birthday xx 3mo
TrishB I‘m bringing my copy to Gladstone‘s 😁 3mo
squirrelbrain Ooh, good thinking @TrishB ! Good job I‘m driving and not catching the train; my ‘possibles‘ pile is already huge and I‘m thinking about adding Mr Osman to it as well. (If I can wait until next weekend to read it. 🤔) 3mo
TrishB I know what you mean! And I am on the train 😁 3mo
Megabooks Nice gifts! 3mo
78 likes5 comments
The Postcard | Anne Berest
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A great opportunity for North American Littens! (Not so much for the rest of us! 🤣)


tpixie I‘ve heard so much about this book! I need to read it. To bad I‘m not close to Chicago! 3mo
squirrelbrain @tpixie - we‘re buddy reading it in March next year if you‘d like to join us; @jlhammar is hosting the #europacollective. 3mo
LeahBergen And I‘m out of town when she‘s here in my city. 😆 3mo
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TracyReadsBooks Loved this book! It‘s been one of my go-to recommendations this summer. 3mo
squirrelbrain Typical! 🙄 @LeahBergen 3mo
tpixie @squirrelbrain thanks! Maybe I‘ll wait until March! 3mo
jlhammar So excited to read this one! Too bad she isn't stopping in the Twin Cities. I haven't been to an author event in ages. @tpixie We'd love to have you read along with us in March, Teri! 3mo
tpixie @jlhammar thanks! I put it in my calendar 📅 2mo
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Arrived back from or camping trip with 4 books on the go, 2 physical and 2 on Kindle. Then realised I was part-way through The Bee Sting before we went away. Oh, and I‘m listening to Thirst for Salt on audio too, so that makes 6! 🤦‍♀️

So these make up my #weeklyforecast for this week, although I‘m also still waiting for the new Osman to arrive. (Waterstone‘s delivery service playing up again; it was only dispatched yesterday)

vlwelser You must be nearly through the Booker longlist. I'm looking forward to your predictions/ranking. 3mo
squirrelbrain This is my last one @vlwelser ! 3mo
vlwelser 😍🎉🎉🎉 3mo
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Cinfhen Nice!! Hope you had a good camping trip and hoping my package arrives this week!! 3mo
squirrelbrain @Cinfhen - we had a lovely trip, thank you! I hope you have had a wonderful weekend and wishing you health and happiness for the year to come. The postie tried to deliver a parcel on Sat, just before we got home and they will re-deliver tomorrow; it maybe yours, it may not! 😃 3mo
BarbaraBB Great plans. Happy your trip was lovely 🤍 3mo
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Radium Girl: Stories | Sofi Papamarko
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Thank you so much Megan @TheKidUpstairs for this lovely package that was here when we got back from our camping trip today.

I‘m so excited to have some #canadalit to read and, judging by the reviews on here, it sounds like a great collection! ❤️

TheKidUpstairs Oh, it got there so quickly! I hope you enjoy :) 3mo
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego This book is so good. 3mo
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