Jan 3, 2023Liked by Gayla Gray

Thanks for the heads up on these. They look great!

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Gayla -- I just asked ChatGPT to write a short poem in the style of Maya Angelou about you and your newsletter, to start off our new year. -- Cheers, Mike

As we anticipate 2023

Our hearts are full of cheer

For Gayla Gray's recommendations

Have brought us joy all year

We trust her guide for reading

For she always leads us right

To books that are so delightful

And filled with endless delight

So bring on 2023

And all the books it brings

We'll read them all with gusto

Thanks to Gayla and her wings

We are enthusiastic readers

Eager for each new find

Thanks to Gayla's guidance

Our love of books is intertwined

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Love to see your newsletter back in my inbox, Gayla. Here's hoping you have a better reading year in 2023!

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Welcome back!

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The Dream Builders sounds awesome. Writing a great novel seems challenging enough on its own. It just makes it all the more impressive when someone pulls it off the first time around.

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Welcome back! I had a nice reading year on 2022 and hopefully yours will be better on 2023 :)

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I picked up "Your Table is Ready" based on your suggestion and it's been really good if vulgar. I'll do a review in the coming months.

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The greats I read this year more than make up for the mediocres and bads. I’m just going to hold on to those few experiences and tell myself: this is why I read.

It’s so hard to predict what will strike a chord - sometimes people tell me I’ll love something and I end up not even liking it. Which means sometimes I have to read things others didn’t like as much because maybe I’ll love it. The only way to know is to try.

AND THEN theres the dnf thing. I almost DNFd Donna Tartt’s The Secret History but I finished and oh my goodness, what a reading experience. I feel like I was in the hands of a master without even realizing it.

I’m taking this year one book at a time.

Glad you’re back! On to the next book!

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I absolutely MUST read The Mitford Affair. The lives of the Mitford sisters are fascinating. I'm a member of a book club at Heywood Hill book shop in London and during WWII, Nancy Mitford worked there as she wrote her first novel. Last year they sent us a collection of her 5 novels, which are fun to read even now. Thanks for the heads up!

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Picture in the Sand sounds incredible. Once I push through the 3,000 books I’m currently reading, I’ll get to it!! Happy New Year 🎈🎊

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Great post as always!

I saw you are looking to get to know India more and Indian authors. I am just reading The White Tiger, which is an engrossing read.

I separately have a question for you, would you be up for exchanging personal emails? I just switched over to substack and haven't figures out yet how to exchange personal messages!

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Good to have you back, Gayla! I welcome all your suggestions, particularly The Mitfords as I’m fascinated with that family. I’m mixed about The Spare, but maybe... I’ve read--more accurately, listened to--a number of novels and true-life stories. The best of the latter was A

Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purcell, about Virginia Hall, an American spy during World War II.

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So nice to find your newsletter in my inbox this morning. I’ve popped a few new books on my TBR including the new Kate Clayborn book. For some weird reason my library doesn’t stock her books, which is annoying as they are great for when you need something fun and light.

I’m sorry to hear your reading year wasn’t as good as you hoped. I had an unexpectedly good year due to my new policy of being super-picky and letting go of any ideas about what I ‘should’ be reading. I frequently abandon books that are not for me, keeping in mind that it’s more about bad timing than it is about the book.

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Greetings, Glad we found each other!

I managed to 'read' a lot this past year by doing audiobooks while performing mundane chores (cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc.) I still enjoy actual books-in-hand and save those for my bedtime reads. Sometimes I only get a chapter done, but it enables me to do two books at once, something I couldn't do before. Anyway, love these recommendations...I have Spare lined up on Audible and there are others that are going on my list, so thank you!

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