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2016-19 Activities & Challenges > Buddy Read Discussion The Last Watchman Of Old Cairo: A Novel- Hide Spoilers

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message 1: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6893 comments This is the buddy read discussion for The Last Watchman Of Old Cairo: A Novel. So far the following members are in, but feel free to join:

Me(booknblues)
Amy
JGrace
Southwest Zippy
Robin
HayJay


message 2: by Hayjay315 (new)

Hayjay315 | 254 comments I'm really looking forward to what I anticipate will be a lively discussion on the book and getting to know all of you better! As a newer PBT member I'm glad to be part of such a large buddy read!


message 3: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6893 comments Hayjay315 wrote: "I'm really looking forward to what I anticipate will be a lively discussion on the book and getting to know all of you better! As a newer PBT member I'm glad to be part of such a large buddy read!"

Glad to hear that Hayjay, it looks like we have a good group.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

This book looks very intriguing! Is this for July! Count me in!


message 5: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6893 comments Rachel wrote: "This book looks very intriguing! Is this for July! Count me in!"

Adding Rachel to our group. Welcome!


message 6: by Amy (new)

Amy | 9384 comments Love it!


message 7: by SouthWestZippy (new)

SouthWestZippy | 1016 comments Hello everyone.
I ordered the book and it is on its way. Fiction has not my normal read for most of my life but I am finding myself reading more and more of it. This looks like a good book. Looking forward to reading it. Looking forward to quick feedback on the book and discussions.


message 8: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6893 comments I've started this. One question, how do you feel about books with shifting perspectives as this one has? Do you enjoy these?


message 9: by Jgrace (new)

Jgrace | 3112 comments Booknblues wrote: "I've started this. One question, how do you feel about books with shifting perspectives as this one has? Do you enjoy these?"

I usually do like it. And I always like the historical perspectives best. So far Joseph's romantic storyline isn't doing a thing for me.


message 10: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6893 comments Jgrace wrote: "Booknblues wrote: "I've started this. One question, how do you feel about books with shifting perspectives as this one has? Do you enjoy these?"

I usually do like it. And I always like the histori..."
I'm still getting a feel for all the characters. I'm not sure how I feel about Joseph yet.


message 11: by Jgrace (new)

Jgrace | 3112 comments I've finished with the audiobook, but I'm still waiting for a text copy that will be easier to reference for discussion. I was a bit disappointed with the wrap-up of the storylines. I'm hoping that having the text in front of my eyes will give it more depth.


message 12: by Robin (new)

Robin A I picked up book from library and hope to start it soon


message 13: by Amy (new)

Amy | 9384 comments Just finished 50% of the hearts invisible furies. This one is next on my list. I’m thinking about 3 or 4 days to start.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Amy wrote: "Just finished 50% of the hearts invisible furies. This one is next on my list. I’m thinking about 3 or 4 days to start."

I've just started Chapter 8.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Booknblues wrote: "I've started this. One question, how do you feel about books with shifting perspectives as this one has? Do you enjoy these?"

I don't mind the shifting perspectives as long as they don't become too convoluted. I don't feel like this one does. But I am only starting Chapter 8 so we will see.


message 16: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6893 comments I've finished and have been waiting for others. If you are reading it, is there one story line you prefer over others?


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

I’m intrigued by the many manuscripts and how the sisters play a role in this. But the storyline that has me the most fascinated is that a Muslim is selected to be the watchman. This has added some mystery and intrigue for me. I’m still not sure about.


message 18: by Jgrace (new)

Jgrace | 3112 comments Do you need to ask? I would have loved an entire book of the earliest historical story.


message 19: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6893 comments I enjoyed the earliest one as well as the sisters.


message 20: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6893 comments So Michael David Lukas, the author is going to be speaking at my NPR station in Sacramento next week on the 19th. I've reserved space for two to go see him.

Now I just need to convince hubby, a non reader to go with me.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Wow!! This will be amazing!! I hope you can convince the non-reader to go.:) And I hope you glean some great things to share here.


message 22: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6893 comments Rachel wrote: "Wow!! This will be amazing!! I hope you can convince the non-reader to go.:) And I hope you glean some great things to share here."

I think there may be food and wine there which I hope will be enough of a hook. I will need to call and double check that. I went to one other event there and saw Anthony Marra. They had a nice spread of food for that. It was great.


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

That’s awesome! This will be so much fun for you. Can’t wait to hear about it.


message 24: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6893 comments I've just got word from hubby and it all depends on the food, as I predicted.


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Ha!! Oh man that has me laughing!! Food will always get them.:)


message 26: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6893 comments He is quite a foodie.


message 27: by Hayjay315 (new)

Hayjay315 | 254 comments I've had a more difficult time than I thought I was going to have getting a copy of this book but should have it by the end of next week and will plan to jump in with my thoughts next weekend!


message 28: by Amy (new)

Amy | 9384 comments I’m with you, HayJay!


message 29: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6893 comments Thanks for checking in, I was getting ready to send a message. I'm good with waiting until next weekend to move forward.


message 30: by Amy (new)

Amy | 9384 comments Hopefully starting this tomorrow... last 10% of hearts Invisible Furies. And hatefully, I need to start my dystopia book at some point too...


message 31: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6893 comments Amy wrote: "Hopefully starting this tomorrow... last 10% of hearts Invisible Furies. And hatefully, I need to start my dystopia book at some point too..."


I like dystopia, but I am putting it off this month.


message 32: by Amy (new)

Amy | 9384 comments Just finished the amazing HIF! Starting LWOOC today!


message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

Amy wrote: "Just finished the amazing HIF! Starting LWOOC today!"

I slowed down in that reading so others could read but I am into Chapter 9 now and I really like this book.


message 34: by Jgrace (new)

Jgrace | 3112 comments I finished Last Watchman and now I'm reading The Weight of Ink. So fascinating. I'd never heard of the Jewish custom of saving documents, and here are two books about geniza.
I'm also reading The Book Thieves: The Nazi Looting of Europe's Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance.

None of this was planned. I just fell into these perfectly themed books because of the buddy read challenge.


message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

Jgrace wrote: "I finished Last Watchman and now I'm reading The Weight of Ink. So fascinating. I'd never heard of the Jewish custom of saving documents, and here are two books about geniza.
I'm a..."


I've got The Weight of Ink on my bookshelf to read. I'm anxious to hear your review. I almost joined your group for The Book Thieves but I don't have enough time this month to fit everything in. Interesting how all these books feel into place for you.


message 36: by Amy (new)

Amy | 9384 comments The weight of ink is actually on my list for this year as well, and it does fit one of my listopia challenges. I’ve just been intimidated, because it’s just so big and thick. And I have a Knouff of those big and thick books that I’ve had to read this year. And I feel really behind on getting to so many titles that I wanted to, that I think I need to knock off a few more before I get there. But I’m always interested in everybody’s reviews of that book. Maybe I find the perfect month to do it.


message 37: by Amy (new)

Amy | 9384 comments Like 25% through this thing and I’m so loving it. I can see myself whipping through this in the next day or so. I was entranced the first pages.


message 38: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6893 comments Jgrace wrote: "I finished Last Watchman and now I'm reading The Weight of Ink. So fascinating. I'd never heard of the Jewish custom of saving documents, and here are two books about geniza.
I'm a..."


That is very cool. I love when I read several books regarding the same subject.

The Weight of Ink was a 5 star read for me.


message 39: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6893 comments Amy, I am glad you are liking the Last Watchman.


message 40: by Amy (new)

Amy | 9384 comments Already halfway through! I want to cancel everything else on my to do list tonight and finish the thing! I am indeed loving it.


message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

I’m so glad! I plan to spend my evening reading this book.


message 42: by Amy (new)

Amy | 9384 comments 4.5 stars. I really super enjoyed this read about a half Jewish half Muslim, 100% Egyptian young man who is the son of the Last Watchman of Old Cairo, a tradition spanning hundreds of years and centuries. Written from three perspectives in time, this gem of a book intertwines questions and situations and tensions from each time period that culminate in the mysteries of the present. So looking forward to hearing what others think about its interesting end. Just loved it!


message 43: by Jgrace (new)

Jgrace | 3112 comments Just finished The Weight of Ink. Absolutely a 5 star book. It had the depth that I was looking for in Last Watchman, and that I think was lacking.

Some of that may be that I identify more with a scholarly heterosexual female character more than I can identify with a homosexual directionless male character.

But despite my personal bias, I can't get away from my belief that the writing in Weight of Ink was far better.


message 44: by Amy (new)

Amy | 9384 comments I’m sure it was, and I’m very much looking forward to reading it myself. I think comparing the two, my best guess without having read the weight of ink, Is that maybe you just Kaina have to take a book for what it is. I sort of wasn’t expecting 265 page book with three different storylines to compare it to a weightier one. Pun intended. But maybe that’s the difference between four and a half stars and five stars. I’m going to plan in advance to love them both


message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm almost done Amy and we can talk about it. I fell asleep last night reading it, then the book hit my face.:) I decided I had better put it down.


message 46: by [deleted user] (new)

Just finished this book and I love it!! I'm holding off writing a review for now until the group reads it. I love that Muslim and Jewish were interwoven together so well. This was a rich story.


message 47: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6893 comments I think we can start a discussion as we are half-way through the month and four of us have finished it. We have Southwest Zippy
Robin, and HayJay who will catch up with us and add to the discussion.


message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

There are a few different storylines that led me in this book. I am one that even when reading historical fiction can go off on a rabbit trail doing research on something I read about. Colonialism is one of those things. No matter how many books I have read this one always sticks out to me. How colonialism was in some ways good but in so many ways bad and we still see the effects in modern day.
The Cairo Geniza is very real and scattered throughout the world in different universities and libraries. In fact Westminster college sold the collection that it had from the twins in order to "refurbish" the college. As one who loves history I sat shaking my head. What will be done for money.....but at the very least it is still preserved in another place and that is what is most important. I am not sure why the colonist part of this story is what I am thinking about as there are also other rich storylines in this book. This one just bothers me I think. I could go on and on about all the artifacts from this time period were taken and never returned to those places after the end of the colonies. It is vast and for me disheartening for all those countries.


message 49: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6893 comments Rachel wrote: "There are a few different storylines that led me in this book. I am one that even when reading historical fiction can go off on a rabbit trail doing research on something I read about. Colonialism ..."

Egypt certainly suffered when it came to their artifacts.

Interesting that the Cairo Geniza that the twins secured was recently sold, because that makes the ending to Joseph's story somewhat impossible, even though I did like the idea of it.


message 50: by Amy (new)

Amy | 9384 comments Most specifically wanted to hear what everyone thought of how it ended. I rather liked it myself


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