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The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell
The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6' 4 , African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama's Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian | W. Kamau Bell
86 posts | 61 read | 88 to read
You may know W. Kamau Bell from his new critically acclaimed, Emmy-nominated hit show on CNN, United Shades of America. Or maybe you've read about him in The New York Times, which called him, "the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years." Or maybe in The New Yorker, fawning over his brand of humor, writing, "Bell's gimmick is intersectional progressivism: he treats racial, gay, and women's issues as inseparable." After all this love and praise, it's time for the next step: a book. The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell will be a humorous, well-informed take on the world today, tackling a wide range of evergreen issues, such as race relations; fatherhood; the state of law enforcement today; comedians and superheroes; right-wing politics; failure; his interracial marria? his upbringing by very strong-willed, race-conscious, yet ideologically opposite parents; his early days struggling to find his comedic voice, then his later days struggling to find his comedic voice; why he never seemed to fit in with the Black comedy scene . . . or the white comedy sce? how he was a Black nerd way before that became a thing; how it took his wife and an East Bay lesbian to teach him that racism and sexism often walk hand in h? and much, much more.
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Ellen_C
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Pickpick

Excellent collection of essays, part memoir, part cultural and political critique. Blends humor with keen observations and ultimately challenges those of us who fancy ourselves “progressive” to put our money where out mouth is. https://cannonballread.com/2019/09/the-awkward-thoughts-of-w-kamau-bell-elcicco/

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RestlessFickleBookHoarder
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Pickpick

I love W. Kamau Bell and he can do no wrong in my book.

PS- Notice this is not in my June TBR. Why would I do something crazy like read from my TBR? 🤣

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flying_monkeys
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“When art sets racism in the past, no matter how good it is, it allows white people in the audience (and others) to say to themselves ‘Wow! That racism sure was bad way back then!‘ It's what happens when people go see 12 Years a Slave. My response is always, ‘Yeah, you wanna know another time when racism was bad? Earlier today.‘” from The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell

#QuotsyMar19 #awkward @TK-421

(yeah, I‘m a day late on this one.)

gradcat Oh, my dear, how I love Kamau...so who cares if you‘re late! 6mo
10 likes2 comments
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FreeReadAndWrite
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Pickpick

#24in48 Hour 18 #WNDB challenge: Kamau is local to The Bay & I have been watching him do stand up & live discussions for years (you can catch his specials on Showtime & Netflix). This book is part memoir & part questioning where we all fit in society with all of our differences. Hilarious and moving, I can‘t recommend this book enough. (I also like that this pic makes it look like he‘s giving my book flowers the side eye 😂)

20 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Bookjunkie57
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Bookjunkie57
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##FriyayIntro
1. Teleport.
2. I‘ve been reading this since November but I switched to the audiobook and I‘m actually making progress this week.
3. Nope. New year, same me.
4. NCIS I stopped watching years ago but decided to pick it back up from the beginning.
5. 👍🏾

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Bookjunkie57
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I‘m going to use this weekends #24B42019 readathon to finish up the books I‘m currently reading. I especially need to focus on the tagged book as I‘ve been “reading” it for over a month.

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Bookjunkie57
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I might have reared up at the passage about Doc McStuffins (or maybe it was allergies)

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MandaMT
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Pickpick

A tad slow in places, but overall some really thought provoking work. He covers everything from Doc McStuffins to the KKK. All with a sense of humor and sincerity that keeps you hooked. I‘ve never seen Bell‘s shows, but now I want to binge watch them.

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Jacobwakeup
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I loved “Totally Biased” and “Politically Reactive” so it was just a matter of time before I picked this up.

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peacegypsy
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LOVE this guy and his show, The United Shades of America. Excited to read this to hear more of his perspectives. ✌️

BlameJennyJane Watching the Hawaii episode at this very moment! Love Kamau! 1y
peacegypsy @BlameJennyJane I‘m addicted! He just makes so much sense to me, and I like his kind heart. Enjoy—that‘s another great episode! 😊😊😊 1y
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JoyBlue
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Day 3: Favorite Title—My first take on today's theme was "title of my favorite book." How's that going to work? Just one? Instead, I'm interpreting the prompt as "best title." I'd be hard-pressed to find a book (sub)title cooler than this. [The book was pretty terrific, too.] #RiotGrams #FavoriteTitle

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FreeReadAndWrite
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I finally chose this week to pick up Awkward Thoughts, written by one of my favorite humans ever, W. Kamau Bell. While definitely NOT the most important part of the book, he talked about how he always thinks about When Harry Met Sally as the ideal way for a relationship to progress. This Saturday I‘m going to marry my friend of 10 yrs, fiancé of 2, in the Oakland redwoods. We watch that movie every NYE. Feels like book fate.

4 likes1 comment
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b.olsenboblitt
Pickpick

I‘m a big fan of W. Kumau Bell. I listened to this book over a few days, and it was really enjoyable. I wasn‘t expecting as much of a memoir/autobiography as it was, but it was entertaining and interesting. He has a more unique story and point of view than most comics who‘ve written books, and it was definitely worth the listen.

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FreeReadAndWrite
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FLASH SALE. He‘s one of my favorite humans.

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TsundokuAleax
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Pickpick

This was a book that I stumbled upon thanks to a friend. It is such a great read. I enjoyed the many musings of life and people that Bell does in this book. When he talks about being the only POC in TV situations, I can relate to it so much. As a crew member, I am often the only female and POC and it can be just as exhausting as he describes.

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kiminreverse
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Pickpick

This is a man who gets intersectionality. I listen to his podcast occasionally but I had no idea he's also done TV shows and stand-up! I really liked this one. #audiobook #nonfiction #readingblackout

Scfreads His show on CNN “United Shades of America” is really good 2y
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JoyBlue
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Pickpick

I'm typically stingy with 4- and 5-star reviews; but, I just don't have anything bad to say about this book. I can't withhold any stars. Mr. Bell is funny, serious, thoughtful, and interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed my reading experience. This was my first exposure to him. Now, I'm hoping to take in more of his work.

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KathyWheeler
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Enjoyed this on my walk today. Bell reads his own book and is entertaining and funny. As an awkward person, I can relate to the awkward part. Bell‘s father also lives where I live, so I can relate to those parts too. #audiowalk

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Alicia
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Pickpick

Omg this book was wonderful!!! I honestly don‘t know if I would‘ve picked it up without such a great review from @SkeletonKey and I am so glad I did. If you spend any amount of your life thinking about the state of the world and more important the state of people of color in the world, this book is for you. Also if you want to have some good chuckles. Thank you W. Kamau Bell for sharing your thoughts with the world!

SkeletonKey So glad you liked it too!! 2y
everlocalwest I have this on audio...Thanks for pushing it up the TBR! Now if I could just finish 2y
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Hooked_on_books
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Pickpick

I looked at this book and said, “I don‘t know anything about this man. I should probably just return this and read my own books.” Well, I‘m glad I ignored myself. Bell tackles weighty subjects, primarily racism, with humor and an unwillingness to look away. He makes very good points and has tremendous respect for his Mom, who sounds awesome. I suspect his show is good, too.

bridge12 He also has a great podcast called Politically Re-active that I love! If you get a chance to hear interviews with his mom and him they are so entertaining! 2y
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Hooked_on_books
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I‘m pretty sure this book is a total #blameitonlitsy for me and it‘s off to a very promising start!

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lowellette
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Pickpick

Highly recommend the audiobook to fully capture Bell‘s voice. Interesting point of view by a guy trying to continually improve.

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amma-keep-reading
Mehso-so

Although I liked the book, I really wanted to love it. I enjoyed his commentary on past and current social events and his reflections on life both personal and professional. I listened to the audiobook but it may have had a better impact if I'd read the book instead.

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kalinichta
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Pickpick

I am behind on my reviews. Oops.

I have started a habit of reading essays on my Kindle between calls at work. Slightly humorous essays are best for their ability to be stopped and started repeatedly without taking much away from the reading experience. I appreciated Bell's meditations on being a blerd (and could really relate to his experience of being an only child) and his battles to make his t.v. shows diverse and inclusive. 👇🏽

kalinichta But as with most books by comedians that I've read, I felt like this book touched lightly on big issues, and I was left wishing he had delved deeper. Still, Bell is smart and kind and has the knack for being able to find a way to laugh about terrible things. 2y
SkeletonKey I enjoyed this one too! Balancing the comedic insight people expect and the depth of these issues is really tough and I thought he achieved a good balance. 2y
kalinichta @SkeletonKey You make a good point about balance. Something I need to keep in mind when reading comedians' books. 2y
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theshrinkette
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Mehso-so

It was okay, but it didn't blow my mind. There's so many other essay collections by funny WOC that did a far better job tackling a lot of the same topics (see Luvvie Ajayi, Samantha Irby, Scaachi Khoul)

#NonfictionNovember

moranadatter I loved Scaachi Khoul‘s exchanges with her father in One Day We‘ll All Be Dead... 2y
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SkeletonKey
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Pickpick

Memoirs read by the author are some of my favorites. This was a great, meandering set of essays about his comedy career, interests and thoughts on social justice. I especially loved how he address his own bias and works towards educating himself and others. Definitely someone who's not afraid to have the hard conversations, which is EXACTLY what we need right now, from everyone.

#memoir #nonfiction #nonfictionnovember #comedian #socialjustice

Alicia I️ was on the fence about this one because I‘m not familiar with this work but now I️ am definitely going to read it! 2y
SkeletonKey @Alicia - I haven't seen/heard some of his work but still got a lot out of it! Planning on looking up more now :) 2y
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SkeletonKey
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On to my next audiobook!! I really love memoirs read by the author. They're my favorite things to listen to.

#memoir #wkamaubell #nonfiction

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kristinshafel
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Pickpick

I loved this! Funny, observant, interesting, even moving essays on his work, interracial marriage and raising mixed-race daughters, race, being an ally to women and LGBTQ+ in showbiz and life, and more. There were things I identified with (being a lazy kid, getting pumped about kids shows) and lots of things I learned. I want to be Kamau‘s friend, he seems awesome 😊

kristinshafel TBH, all I knew of Bell was his name & that he‘s a comedian; never heard any of his comedy or shows. This was in my recs after reading Trevor Noah & Phoebe Robinson‘s books earlier this year. 2y
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UrsulaMonarch
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😂❤️kamau 's mom!

charl08 Great quote. 2y
6 likes1 comment
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Bookzombie
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I'm currently listening to and enjoying Bell's book in the car. I blame him for my binge watching Doc McStuffins. I don't have children but after listening to Bell talk about the show, I had to check it out. #iloveit #myfavoritetoyisHallie

[DELETED] 3803335244 My daughter loves Doc McStuffins! 2y
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razmanda
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Pickpick

Finished this one on my way to work this morning! Interesting, funny, moving, important - very impressive! I was a fan of the short lived Totally Biased so was excited to delve into the mind of its creator.

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Owlizabeth
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this audiobook! It made me want to be friends with Kamau. Since we're on opposite sides of the country, I'll settle for bingeing United Shades and his Politically Reactive podcast. 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

hyacinth Yay! Another fan of that podcast! 2y
readordierachel I just read this as well and have been binging United Shades. Good stuff. 👍👍 2y
41 likes2 comments
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Misamille
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Finally have time to read a book instead of just hoarding them in my iBooks!!! ❤️

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Booksnchill
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Pickpick

W.Kamau Bell is a social activist and comedian host of United Shades of America on CNN. This book is a series of essays on his life, his interracial marriage and 2 daughters and race in america including the incident pictured here when he was outside a SF coffee shop speaking with his wife and her 3 friends showing them a book he had gotten for their daughter and told by 2 cafe workers to leave. Google Elmwood Cafe and Kamau Bell. #litsypartyofone

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Booksnchill
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"My roommates and I definitely were not acting our respective ages...one time, my shelf-that had my entire CD collection on- collapsed, strewing hundreds of CDs all over the floor of my room...Well for about two months, I learned I could jump from my doorway to my bed if I got a good running start. I was thirty-four years old at the time."

41 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Booksnchill
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Owlizabeth
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I learned his cousin is N. K. Jemisin!! #currentlylistening

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I said the same when I got to that part,cool isn't it! 2y
44 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Booksnchill
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@MinDea #HumpDayPost 1. Whiskey sulking. 2. Spaceman of Bohemia 3. 77 and raining(why Whiskey is sulking) 4. The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell 5. Finishing up some paintings

BarbaraTheBibliophage Aww. That face! 2y
Booksnchill @BarbaraTheBibliophage he does not like the 🌧 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage Can't blame him. I don't like rain either! 2y
RebelReader Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig is my recommendation. It will be 80 and sunny here today. I'm currently reading an advanced copy of Never Coming Back by Alison McGhee(loving it so far) and going home this weekend to visit my Mom and my sister. 2y
34 likes4 comments
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Booksnchill
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Fun fact W. Kamau Bell is N.K.Jemisin's cousin

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Booksnchill
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Taking advantage of the #Libby app and downloaded this library book- good read for waiting in lines!

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mischa
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Pickpick

Full disclosure - I'm a huge fan of The Politically Reactive podcast and that is what drew me to this. I really liked it; it was laugh-out-loud funny. A little bit too much about stand-up comedy that I would have liked, but it is to be expected bc he is a comedian. One thing bugged me - the addition of another A to LGBTIQA+: adding another A for Ally is something that I, as a queer woman, personally don't believe belongs.

Notafraidofwords Perhaps he added the a for asexuals ? 2y
mischa @Notafraidofwords No, he used LGBTIQAA, and specifically called out the second A as being for Ally. 2y
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readordierachel
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BooksForEmpathy 👏🏻👊🏻! 2y
mrozzz Wow! 2y
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mischa
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I'm baaaaack! Been out of touch for the past few months partially due to an epic book slump but also due to a minor Michelle slump. But it seems I got my mojo back a week or so ago so here I am.

Currently waiting for some files to download so thought I'd sneak in some of my current read (laugh out loud funny, you guys), and food of champions!

I've missed you all and can't wait to get back into the groove. 😍😘🖤🖤

Smrloomis Welcome back! 🎉 2y
mischa @Smrloomis thank you! So happy to be back. 2y
Julsmarshall Good to see you! 2y
mischa @Julsmarshall 🤘🏼🤘🏼 2y
20 likes4 comments
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Smrloomis
Pickpick

Listened to this and mostly really enjoyed it. Some laugh out loud moments and some "of course!" shouting at the recording ?. His comedy doesn't always strike me as funny, so I was glad I wanted to finish this. Glad he read this himself but in some spots his delivery was wooden. Overall, a pick for me.

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JSW
Pickpick

I've read a lot of memoirs/books of famous people's thoughts, but this one blows them all away. funny, thoughtful, wry, and a unique voice - plus razor sharp observations on culture, politics, and -isms. Woke AF. Read it. #readdiversebooks #diversevoices

readordierachel Yay! Just picked this up on audio. 2y
JSW @ReadOrDieRachel please tell me W. Kamau Bell is reading it? That would be awesome. 2y
readordierachel @JSW He does! 2y
14 likes3 comments
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JSW
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This is going slowly because I'm distracted by the view. 😍

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Smrloomis
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Starting this one today 😁

WhatDeeReads So insightful and funny. 2y
Smrloomis @WhatDeeReads so far I'm enjoying it! 😁 2y
ptkpepe98 His show on CNN is too funny, even when it's awkward. He's got a great sense of humor. 2y
Smrloomis @ptkpepe98 I need to watch that show! 2y
ptkpepe98 @Smrloomis -- absolutely! He uses humor with skill to make some wonderful points. 2y
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cdreincarnate
Pickpick

Excellent. Funny. Inspiring. Educational. Unabashed. Proud. Sentimental. I think it's a must read.

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JSW
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Hello from the Gulf! Mr. JSW captured this. 🌊🌊🌊 This is a great vacay read.

Laalaleighh 💙 your swimsuit! 2y
JSW @Laalaleighh thank you! Amazon has some great suits. Who knew?! 2y
39 likes2 comments