As the Page Turns (the Book Thread)

MacMadame

My G.O.A.T is better than your G.O.A.T.
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I sold / gave away pretty much all our books when we moved. I wasn't re-reading them anymore. I buy or borrow eBooks mostly now. (When I read books; like most people, I do most of my reading online in the form of articles.)
 

Prancer

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I am still on a book buying ban (which I've only broken twice since returning, I think), and the only downside is that I loooove books, and I also love supporting both authors and brick and mortar bookstores. I will be doing some xmas shopping at my favorite bookstore to hopefully scratch that itch.
This. I still buy books (usually electronic, but also print) because that's how authors make a living and I want to support that. I also buy things at local bookstores for the same reason--because I think they are important and if people don't support them, they will close. I buy books I will never read that were written by people I know because I think they should keep writing, even if I don't like their work. I subscribe to online publications I read a lot for the same reason--I want them to be able to afford to stay in business.

I am the same way about music. There are lots of free arrangements on the web, but most of them are not very good (there are exceptions). If we want people who are good at arranging music to be able to afford to spend the time it takes to write good arrangements, then we need to pay for arrangements.

It's easy for me to say this, however, given that I can easily afford books and music (although as my husband sometimes observes, even small amounts of money add up to large amounts of money when one buys too much :shuffle:).
 

Artistic Skaters

Drawing Figures
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7,180
I collect children's books so I still buy those. I have a real nice collection of books by my favorite illustrators, along with
the ones by my favorite writers like E.B. White and James Thurber that I like to reread.

I check out any adult novels I want to read from the library and usually won't buy them.
 

Japanfan

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My BFF once remarked to me that she “didn’t trust people who didn’t have books. How can you not have books around?” I agree 100% and I’ve got an apartment full of books to back up that statement.
What's strange to me is people who have the time to read books, but don't.

I have a friend who goes wilderness canoeing/camping in remote places. He brings a radio with him, and can usually access the one Canadian public broadcaster. But he goes out for more than a week at a time, sometimes. He is 70 and I doubt he has read a novel since high school. He loves to read on-line and to engage in political discussion, but there is no internet in the places he goes camping.

This baffles me. There is so much pleasure to be taken in reading books, for little or no cost.
 

gkelly

Well-Known Member
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I have no idea about your friend.

But for some people, reading may be less pleasurable because of dyslexia or other reading disabilities, or just poor eyesight.
 

taf2002

Fluff up your tutu & dance away.....
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23,676
Like @Prancer I sometimes buy books just to support or give pleasure to the author. An old man had a table set up in my grocery store & I stopped to talk to him & see what he was selling. It was a book about his experiences in WW2 & he was so excited about being published. How could I not buy his book after that?
 

Susan1

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5,667
Not to get back into this again, but I just happened to "read" our pitiful local weekly paper that came Thursday this morning.
This was the letter to the editor. That only happens maybe a couple times a year unless someone on the council writes in to ask people to vote for something.

~~The election results are in, and I wanted to take a brief moment to bring up just a few things that I think this new mayor and council should talk more about. Our water bills remain high, much higher than our surrounding communities. This negatively impacts our residents, especially our senior citizens on fixed incomes. High taxes and bills prevents money from being spent in the community. Additionally, I recently visited the West Carrollton library, which just like ours in Miamisburg has less books following the renovation. Yes, they both look nice, but lack the key substance of a library -- books. Let’s make the libraries not just a place to gather but a place to read. As all of our taxes remain high across the board, let us put them to good use while the levies and taxes remain active. ~~

I typed it verbatim, without correcting any grammar, etc. He writes better than the Managing Editor of the paper who writes most of the articles that I correct with a red pen every week and would like to send to them as a job application though. Ha ha

Anyway, I’m thinking he is probably a senior (more "senior" than I am). Maybe he is not that computer literate and doesn’t know you can reserve books online to read, after they travel around Ohio for two weeks. (Mine are up to shipped 10 and 11 days ago.) Maybe he should talk to one of those “helpful” library aides. Or go back to West Carrollton and have them reserve books for him.

And he is very right about the water bills.
 

genevieve

drinky typo pbp, closet hugger
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In the Dream House was interesting and thought-provoking, but also left me wondering why this was crafted into a book and not left a therapeutic journal. I mean, the book lays out its case for why it exists, but I don't know that it achieved its goal. And it ends with a quote that justifies its lack of resolution pretty conveniently. I'm glad I read it but I don't think it's upending the memoir genre as some of its accolades will have you thinking.

Currently on The Testaments. I was suspicious of a Handmaid's Take sequel coming so long after the original (and conveniently while there is a tv series), but it sure is a page turner. Setting the story 15 years later with different characters was a smart move.
 

rfisher

Let the skating begin
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61,000
I think reading library books instead of buying them is smart, not cheap!
(((((author))))) You know they don't get any royalties for library books.

I buy. I know too many authors who've lost their publishing contracts. I do set a monthly budget, but sometimes I forget that I preordered something months before the publishing date and then my budget takes a hit, but it's not keeping me from eating so I'm good.
 
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MacMadame

My G.O.A.T is better than your G.O.A.T.
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(((((author))))) You know they don't get any royalties for library books.
They get them when the library buys the book. For some books and some libraries, this could be multiple copies.

I'm not sure what they do for eBooks. I think it's more of a license so maybe the author gets continual payment as long as people are checking out the books. That's how music works when you listen to it on the streaming services.

Do you also not listen to the radio but buy all your music?
 

rfisher

Let the skating begin
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61,000
They get them when the library buys the book. For some books and some libraries, this could be multiple copies.

I'm not sure what they do for eBooks. I think it's more of a license so maybe the author gets continual payment as long as people are checking out the books. That's how music works when you listen to it on the streaming services.

Do you also not listen to the radio but buy all your music?
Actually, libraries get a discount rate from publishers and the authors get very, very little. It's a Catch 22 for them in that they want their books out there, but a single volume in a library doesn't pay but pennies and it doesn't count toward their sales records which are what the publisher looks at to continue contracts. Publishing is itself a problem and many authors try self publication which largely is a disaster for them as a career. But, then very few authors make a living off their writing.
 

MacMadame

My G.O.A.T is better than your G.O.A.T.
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It's like all the artistic professions. A certain amount of not-well-paid/free work can help get you paying customers but you can't do all of your work that way if you want to make a living at it.

I will still continue to check books out of the library and listen to streaming services, however. I need my money to pay my rent and my many, many vet bills.

I do know people who make a modest living self-publishing. But they are self-publishing non-fiction books that appeal to a passionate, if niche, audience.
 

Prancer

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Do you also not listen to the radio but buy all your music?
All of it? No. A lot of it? Yes.

My guitar teacher sells music on Spotify and Apple Music and all that. He gets about three cents per sale and only gets a check when his total gets to $20.

Another indy friend of mine who gets a lot of radio play and has songs on soundtracks for shows and movies gets checks for nine cents and 26 cents and other huge amounts like that.

Both of them used to make decent money from CD sales, but people don't buy CDs much any more.

Even the big names don't much money from music sales; the money is all in touring, which is why you see so many artists always on the road.

So yeah, I listen to the radio and get books out of the library. But what I can afford I buy. Yes, if you are an artist, you aren't going to make a lot of money. So if I like an artist, I try to do what little I can to help out.
 

puglover

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Has anyone gotten into the Barry Eisler books? He has several series with different protagonists but they do intersect. His main "hero" is a paid assassin who has, and sometimes does, work for the CIA. His latest (I believe) introduces a young asian woman sold by her parents from Cambodia to a trafficking ring as the "hero". I really don't enjoy a lot of violence in my television and movies but for some reason it doesn't turn me off quite as much in books. There is a lot of violence in these books, although I do enjoy his writing style.

Another book I read is "Wild Game" by Adrienne Brodeur. She chronicles her rough upbringing with a mother who is very selfish and while married to her ill and crippled second husband begins an affair with his best friend. She not only involves her 14 year old daughter in the subterfuge, but uses her as her confidante, for decades. Not even remotely an uplifting story but it certainly details the damage a mother can do to her daughter when the bonds of love that bind the child to the mother are used to manipulate and emotionally abuse.
 

Bunny Hop

Queen of the Workaround
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(((((author))))) You know they don't get any royalties for library books.
They get them when the library buys the book. For some books and some libraries, this could be multiple copies.
Do you have something like the public lending right in the US? It's a government scheme which compensates authors financially for books that are loaned via public libraries. I remember having to go though the card catalogue (yes, I'm old) in the library and ticking off a list of books for PLR. Pretty sure it exists in the UK as well.
 

Japanfan

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22,336
(((((author))))) You know they don't get any royalties for library books.
They get them when the library buys the book. For some books and some libraries, this could be multiple copies.
It's something.

Actually, libraries get a discount rate from publishers and the authors get very, very little. It's a Catch 22 for them in that they want their books out there, but a single volume in a library doesn't pay but pennies and it doesn't count toward their sales records which are what the publisher looks at to continue contracts.
What libraries offer an author is exposure. If a reader likes a certain book, she/he may seek out books by the same author. In some cases, that might lead the person to buy a book - especially if the book was one in a series and one didn't wait until it come into the library. Though I'll note that Margaret Atwood's 'The Testaments' was distributed to my library system shortly after it was released - of course it didn't hurt that she's a renowned Canadian author.

And I'm sure a publishing house would know if one of its books was getting a lot of attention from the public, even if that book was being distributed through the library.


Publishing is itself a problem and many authors try self publication which largely is a disaster for them as a career.
IIRC 'The Celestine Prophecy (Prophecies?) was sold out of the back seat of a car at first, going on to make millions. I wouldn't say self-publishing is always a disaster, providing that the person isn't expecting to make a lot of money or become a success. I would guess that it is usually the family members, friends and acquaintances of a self-published writer who buy her/his books.

But, then very few authors make a living off their writing.
This I know as one who has tried. When I was a free-lance magazine writer I couldn't make a go of it because I'm a perfectionist, and the pay is by the word. I dabbled in fiction, but really wasn't suited to the genre.

A fantasy writer - I have a read a number of his books in a series - wrote two 800 page novels before ever getting a chance of publishing.

My brother has been writing books since he retired. He had a bit of success with one, a children's book. It was because he had school kids do the illustrations. Of course everyone who knew those kids bought those books (or felt obligated to).

I buy. I know too many authors who've lost their publishing contracts. I do set a monthly budget, but sometimes I forget that I preordered something months before the publishing date and then my budget takes a hit, but it's not keeping me from eating so I'm good.
I don't buy new or new used books because I can't afford it. Mostly I use the library or second-hand book stores.

There are so many under-paid people in need of a boost (including myself an editor/writer)! This is not to say I don't think fictions writers should not get paid better. I do. Artists also. At least those who are aiming to earn income and providing work that is of value, at least in the eyes of some.

The library provides an important service to those who can't afford to buy books. Especially in the case of a heavy reader who goes through books like mad - and when a person just doesn't have space to store a lot of books in her/his home.
 
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quartz

uncultured pearl clutcher
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For about a year, we have had a local "author" hounding us at the bookstore to take her book of poetry on consignment. At the time she began to contact us, her book had not yet been published as she was in "publication negotiations". Eventually through numerous discussions, we discovered she was actually self publishing, or rather she was having a local print company do up her books. She repeatedly asked us to let her come and do poetry readings at our store, essentially using our business to promote herself, with no compensation to us.
A few times she got belligerent and accused us of not "supporting local talent". During one phone call I had with her, she started yelling out one of her "poems" as if to convince me of what I was surely missing out on. (something about a happy puppy?)

A couple of weeks ago she came in with her newly published book, requesting a book signing event and again, to take her book on consignment. The book is 6 pages long, and she has a total of 30 copies. The manager told her no, and do not ask again. I hope she has 30 friends and family members who are going to be getting a 6 page book of happy puppy poems for Christmas.
 

genevieve

drinky typo pbp, closet hugger
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What libraries offer an author is exposure.
Just what every person in an artistic/creative profession loves to hear.

Margaret Atwood does not need help in getting exposure these days :rofl:
(BTW, I am zipping through The Testaments. It's great and she's great. I'm ready to dive back in and read some of her older works that I've missed over the years. So, um, exposure......)
 

Zemgirl

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12,248
Margaret Atwood on libraries:

Neil Gaiman's take:

John Scalzi doesn't need exposure, either, but recognizes that libraries enable readers to access his books who might not be able to do so otherwise:

I've seen other authors express similar sentiments; here's a quote from romance novelist Courtney Milan, for instance:

Many authors grew up as voracious readers, and often without the resources to allow them to buy tons of books, or the knowledge of where to even start. They know what libraries mean to people.
 
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Prancer

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Just what every person in an artistic/creative profession loves to hear.
:lol: Yes, ask any musician how much they like being told that they shouldn't expect to be paid for performing because they are getting such great exposure.

Many authors grew up as voracious readers, and often without the resources to allow them to buy tons of books
I grew up that way. Books have been my salvation. I support libraries as much as I can, too, It's not an either/or thing. It's a giving back thing for me.
 

rfisher

Let the skating begin
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61,000
I support my local library by giving them donations of books once I've read them. I've given them probably a 100 copies or more over the last 10 years.
 

Japanfan

Well-Known Member
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22,336
Just what every person in an artistic/creative profession loves to hear.
I am in such a profession.


I'll add that my field (editing/some writing) is dominated by women who work from home. This may drive rates down. I've read that when women dominate a field, their monetary value tends goes down in comparison to men (e.g. doctors in Russia). The other issue is low barriers to entry. There are people in Indian working as editors, posing as a person in the US or Canada.

Magazine freelancing was even harder. It pays for the word and I couldn't earn a living, because I am a perfectionist and the pay is by the word. I did do well when I was able to recycle stories, but never did reach the point where I could feasibly survive on writing.
 
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ryanj07

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I just finished “The Book of Essie.” It tells the story of a 17 year old daughter of a televangelist, who is star of the family show “Six for Hicks.” When Esther Anne’s momager learns of her youngest child’s pregnancy, she meets with her PR team to determine if there will be a fake marriage, her daughter whisked out of the country for an abortion or attempt to pass the child off as her own miracle baby. It tells an exciting and heartbreaking story of a conservative family that has the perfect life if you’re to believe the glossy magazines and what’s on TV but if you look closely, is there a link between Esther Anne’s untimely pregnancy and the only other Hicks daughter leaving for Northwestern University four years prior and never returning to the family home?

It is hands down one of my favorite books this year! Heartbreaking and gut wrenching at times but all the same, it was hard to put down.
 

Erin

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9,365
I was on vacation, which means a lot of reading.

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren: I got it because it's set in Maui (and the Twin Cities @Erin). It's a romance-y beach read that's fun as long as you do't think too hard about it. There's some really unnecessary drama at the end. But it was a quick read and fairly enjoyable.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid: LOVED IT. I think I liked it better than Daisy Jones; Evelyn is a way more interesting character than Daisy. I think she Reid has such a knack for writing about pop culture stuff and if you love old Hollywood, you'll love this. I devoured it.
My turn to be on vacation and do a lot of reading, which included both of these. I agree that the drama at the end of The Unhoneymooners was unnecessary, but it was also a fun, breezy read and a good distraction on a long flight. I did appreciate all the Twin Cities reference spotting and I even live in the same neighbourhood as one of the main characters.

I didn’t love The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo the way some did here, but still enjoyed it. The framing story was really weak for the most part...I cared about the narrator so little that I can’t even remember her name a week later. I did appreciate the complexity of the characters in Evelyn’s world and there were lots of interesting bits in there.

The first one was Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan. I really enjoyed this book it was well thought out, I liked the descriptions of the entitled privately educated Oxford Uni bound set. I was reminded that during the time this was set was about 3 years before I went to Uni and the fact that despite being at a fairly good but state Grammar School we were basically told we'd never get accepted to Oxford or Cambridge even if we had straight As on our UCAS applications because we weren't at the right kind of school which seemed to be true and despite 5 or 6 guys that went to my school coming out with straight As none were accept by either uni. I'd also forgotten that at the time women were not allowed apply to certain colleges at Oxford or Cambridge (I haven't checked but surely that has changed now?). I liked the writing and story line and the not so veiled descriptions of the Bullingdon Club but I thought the big reveal of what the Prime Minster had done back in his Oxford days was a little anticlimactic. It just didn't seem to be the same kind of direct culpability as the
two rapes committed by the PMs friend
that are the centre of the main storylines. Anyway I did really enjoy the book
I liked this one too, although it took me a little while to get into it and I agree 100% about the anti-climax at the end. I thought it did a good job of portraying a realistic MeToo case. I did get a little distracted by confusing things about how things work in Britain (eg someone can be both defense attorney and a prosecutor, depending on the case, and what the legal definition of rape is in the UK).

Re Oxford and Cambridge and how women were treated there, I went on a tour in Cambridge in May and one of the things that stuck out was all the discrimination against women in the stories the tour guide told. I do believe that she said that women are allowed in all the colleges now but I have to imagine that a lot of those old boys club attitudes persist.

The mention of the picture with the PM and James at either Oxford or Eton reminds me of the one I have seen a few times of David Cameron and Boris Johnson.

Other recent reads:

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion - reminded me a lot of Eleanor Olyphant is Completely Fine, for the obvious reason of the main character. So those who enjoyed the latter will probably also enjoy this one, although I thought Eleanor Olyphant was more consistently good - this one was a bit more uneven, although I would still recommend it overall.

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid - story of a married couple having problems who decide to take a one year break. I was a little meh on it overall and will probably take a pass on Reid’s other similar books, although it was a lot better than Forever, Interrupted. I did feel like the scenes with the couple fighting were very realistic and reminded me (a little too much) of the path my last relationship went down. I did also enjoy that there was a character who was happily single and her reasons for why really connected with me.

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner - I know there were a few people here who read this one. I found this one to be a bit of a mixed bag too. I felt like Jo was the only really clearly sketched out character and did find her story and journey fascinating. Bethie’s story was also interesting but I had a harder time getting a handle on who she was. I got a little frustrated at some of the time jumps but I also can’t say I wanted the novel to be any longer. Also, there were a few random inconsistencies that irritated me because shouldn’t that have been caught in editing? It’s been a couple weeks since I read it so I can’t think of an example but one of them was really egregious.
 
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PrincessLeppard

Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple
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I just finished The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy. Um. So I checked it out of the library because it was supposed to take place in East Germany in 1988, and it does, sort of. Except it's an unreliable narrator and most of what happened there didn't happen (I don't mind unreliable narrators, and I figured something weird was up pretty early on). But the characters are a little TOO precious. Each has a very specific quirk, and I don't know. I was disappointed.
 

millyskate

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I’ve had a big reading week.

My Traitor - Sorj Chalandon
I can’t recommend this enough, best book I’ve read in a long time. I read it in French though, not sure of the value of the translation. The author worked as a journalist for 30 years covering Northern Ireland, but he's an excellent novel writer too.
A French violin maker gets swept up in the Irish Republican fervour and involves himself with the IRA. It’s very well researched and lifelike to the point it feels like a biography rather than a novel. I learnt a lot about the troubles through reading it.

A few days in the life of Tomas Kusar, by Antoine Choplin. Not sure if it has been translated into English.
A Czech railway employee meets Vaclav Havel and joins his cause, becoming part of his inner circle - it describes the times leading up to him becoming President. A good read too and again learnt a lot on what activism entailed at that period.

No Matter What - Sally Donovan. A real life story of a UK family adopting 2 children. One if the better ones out there, very moving and on point about the British system.
 
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Michalle

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I finished a book by the German journalist, Jens Muehling, called Journey into Russia. He's definitely drawn to the extreme, so I think it's important to keep that in mind, like he's not trying to represent the sort of ordinary contemporary daily life of your everyday person by any means I don't think, and there is an underlying focus on the Old Believer history and culture which might not interest everyone as much as me, but it's well-worth reading, really interesting, a couple of disturbing bits but an almost magical ending section.
 

cygnus

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Re Oxford and Cambridge- yes there was certainly discrimination against women for the first few decades after women's colleges were founded in the nineteenth century- women were not allowed to obtain degrees until the 1920s (at Oxford), although they could attend classes and sit exams before that. (I know, I know!) I think Cambridge was a bit later. All colleges were single sex until the 1960s- although now at Oxford all are coed, and women undergraduates now outnumber men. I have attended Oxford as a summer adult student for the past few years, and none of the female undergraduates whom I have talked to (they work for our program) has complained about discrimination, although I'm sure it exists somewhere, like everywhere else. The last to go coed was a women's college St Hilda's in 2008. Cambridge still has 3 women only colleges, but no men only colleges.

Remember that this was not unusual for the times though. Harvard did not go coed at the undergraduate level until 1969. Yale in 1968.
 

genevieve

drinky typo pbp, closet hugger
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I just finished The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy. Um. So I checked it out of the library because it was supposed to take place in East Germany in 1988, and it does, sort of. Except it's an unreliable narrator and most of what happened there didn't happen (I don't mind unreliable narrators, and I figured something weird was up pretty early on). But the characters are a little TOO precious. Each has a very specific quirk, and I don't know. I was disappointed.
A friend who's been on an insane reading binge this year is reading this now and I added it to me "to-read" list last night. Maybe now I'll take it off :shuffle:

I got two books from the library this week: Red at the Bone and Find Me - the latter is by the author of Call Me By Your Name, and it's sort of a sequel or at least a continuation. I never read the first one, nor did I see the film. Crossing fingers that it won't matter too much. I started both yesterday, but Red at the Bone is due first so I think I'll focus on that one. They are both short.
 

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