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What Is the What
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
40 posts | 79 read | 60 to read
What Is the What is the story of Valentino Achak Deng, a refugee in war-ravaged southern Sudan who flees from his village in the mid-1980s and becomes one of the so-called Lost Boys. Valentinos travels bring him in contact with enemy soldiers, with liberation rebels, with hyenas and lions, with disease and starvation, and with deadly murahaleen (militias on horseback)the same sort who currently terrorize Darfur. Eventually Deng is resettled in the United States with almost 4000 other young Sudanese men, and a very different struggle begins. Based closely on true experiences, What Is the What is heartbreaking and arresting, filled with adventure, suspense, tragedy, and, finally, triumph.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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MargaretPinardAuthor
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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I read this many years ago but coming across this Xerox‘d copy of one page, the quote jumps out and makes my heart shudder still.
“...the pain is not great, but the symbolism is disagreeable.”
#humankind #beboth #endracism

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JMEdwards
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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"...and it is my right and obligation to send my stories into the world, even if silently, even if utterly powerless. "

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karajay
What Is the What | Dave Eggers

“I will not wait to love as best as I can. We thought we were young and that there would be time to love well sometime in the future. This is a terrible way to think. It is no way to live, to wait to love.”

sprainedbrain Great book! And welcome 😃 11mo
BookBabe Excellent quote! 🙌🏻 11mo
8 likes2 comments
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SleepyDragon
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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Book: What is the What by Dave Eggers - Everyone should read this book.
Author: Wells, H. G.
Movie: Wedding Singer, The
TV show: WKRP in Cincinnati
Food: Wheat Thins
#manicmonday #letterW @JoScho

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sprainedbrain
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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Pickpick

Not a spooky book, but it was my turn for my awesome #LGPOG book club, and I‘m so glad!

The whole concept of this book is fascinating: a fictionalized autobiography about a real Lost Boy of Sudan. I really enjoyed Valentino‘s story, and the way his experiences in Africa are told parallel to his experiences in the US. Heartbreaking, funny, and inspiring. I listened to part on audio, and the narrator was amazing.

Great pick, Georgia! ❤️

⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

JamieArc This one had me trying to hide my tears in the break room at work! 1y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Loved this book! I was just thinking about it today! It crosses my mind quite often. 1y
Tamra Such a great book! 1y
137 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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Bookworm83
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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I read this book as a part of my postal book club (#litsygoesposalOG) and am so glad I did. I didn‘t know anything about the Lost Boys of Sudan until reading this one. Thanks for sharing this one @ApoptyGina69 🙌🏻

#24in48 #HourTwelvechallenge #awholenewworld

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Christine89
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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Hour 12 Challenge. This book definitely changed my world view. It is so effective in describing the horrors of having to flee your home and try to build a new life in a new country. #24in48

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Lola
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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Super long day at work so I missed dinner with the fam-this will have to do. Not complaining. #bookandwine #bookanddinner

DivineDiana On the #TBR! 😀 1y
pgh.femme Yum! 1y
Lola @DivineDiana It‘s really good so far! 1y
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Lola @pgh.femme My favorite kind of meal! 1y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa I have this book sitting on my shelf. 1y
Lola @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I started this a thousand years ago and never finished it (I actually barely started it) for some reason. It came back into my life via a postal book club and I‘m so glad it did! 1y
rjsthumbelina I LOVED this book when I read it in undergrad! 1y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Lola I picked it up on a whim at a used book store, last year a believe... I just haven‘t gotten a chance to read it yet. 1y
51 likes2 stack adds8 comments
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BookArt
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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Pickpick

I highly recommend this book. The way Dave Eggers tells Valentino's story by jumping between America and Africa is well done. The book was easy to read and I learned a lot about Sudan and the Lost Boys. After checking out Valentino's website I looked up a satalite picture of Marial Bai to see the buildings he was able to build and its a heart warming site. #educational #goodread

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BookArt
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
This post contains spoilers
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I'm furious at Valentino for giving up on Maria so quickly. She's clearly in a terrible situation and has been torn down by her awful adopted family. The irony of him leaving Maria in the dust after she picked him up years before is extremely depressing and infuriating. #rant

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BookArt
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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A friend lent me this book and I started it during lunch today. So far I'm enjoying it. #newbook

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BookaholicNatty
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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I wanna hear your thoughts on this if you have read it, ready, set, GO!!!! ❤️

StephBengtson This book changed my life. 2y
Lcsmcat My book group read it years ago, and then met with some young Sudanese men (they don‘t like the term “lost boys”) to talk about their personal experiences. It was amazing and eye opening. What they went through! 2y
EKonrad I loved this book. Thought it was excellent! 👍🏼 2y
SleepyDragon Loved this book, though it breaks your heart. If everyone read this book, there would be less opposition to helping as many refugees as we can. 2y
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shaynarae
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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JGadz11 😂 2y
6 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Andrea313
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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Tom Cat, epically photobombing my copy of What is the What, given and inscribed to me by my husband for my #26th birthday. #twentysix #novemberbythenumbers #catsoflitsy

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Cinfhen
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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#SeptemBowie I haven't posted about these books in a long time...both Valentino & Ishmael could certainly #LookBackInAnger at the cruelty and brutality they endured as lost boys/boy soldiers, yet each persevered. These accounts are both heartbreaking and inspiring. The Eggers is "fictionalized" which bothered me slightly because it leaves the reader wondering how much was inaccurate or embellished.

TrishB Not read either of these. Look interesting, though very sad. 2y
Tamra @TrishB They are both eye opening! 2y
TrishB @Tamra I bet! 2y
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4thhouseontheleft I've read both! Tough, but important topics. 2y
Billypar Beah's book is definitely on my list once I can steel myself enough to read it. I've heard an interview / TED talk excerpts from him...such an important story to tell. 2y
DivineDiana I have Egger's book on my TBR! (edited) 2y
Cinfhen @DivineDiana @TrishB @Billypar both are incredible stories of perseverance and it's still happening today 💔 (edited) 2y
Lcsmcat I knew a group of young Sudanese men (they don't like being called Lost Boys) when I lived in Salt Lake. Their story telling tradition is to take what happened to several people and tell it as if it happened to one. Kind of like the Jewish tradition of speaking about the Exodus as if it happened to each one personally. So in Western tradition What is the What is fictionalized, but in their tradition it's just how you tell a story. 2y
Cinfhen Thanks for the insight @Lcsmcat how wonderful that you got to meet some of these young men. 2y
DGRachel I have Beah's book in my TBR. @Lcsmcat - that's fascinating. Thanks for sharing that insight! 2y
DivineDiana @Lcsmcat Very interesting! Thank the for sharing! 2y
Lcsmcat @Cinfhen @DGRachel @DivineDiana I don't claim to speak for the South Sudanese people in any way other than what my friends told me. They were all from the Dinka tribe and there are many tribal differences in culture. They were fascinating men who brought much to our community. 2y
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EKonrad
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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Pickpick

After 3 books, I'm officially a Dave Eggers fan (especially given how diverse his topics are!). This semi true story of a Sudanese Lost Boy is both heartbreaking and inspiring, as we learn of the immense tragedies and danger this youth faced. My only criticism is that it jumped around too much with the timeline. Otherwise: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Ksvz
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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Pickpick

2017 #132 fictionalized memoir audio I didn't read the blurb and was surprised to learn that this is a fictionalized true story of the main character. I have really enjoyed Eggers other works and have found the creativity behind them amazing. This didn't feel that way and maybe it was because he is giving an oral history written words. I almost gave up but the very, very last chapters made it tolerable. Not a favorite but intriguing.

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Tamra
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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Yes, I do enjoy reading to experience other lives and worlds.
https://quiz.tryinteract.com/#/59381abcc8379100114191cb/q/1

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Bookzombie
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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#junebookbug Day 19 I added this one to my TBR recently. #refugees

ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Lovely book - the audio was really good 2y
Bookzombie @ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Thanks! I will look into the audio. 🙂 2y
60 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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DivineDiana
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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Belated photo of my Mothers Day bounty from the barn! You should see my daughter's stack! Twice as tall! #bookhaul

Cinfhen Some great titles there!!! 3y
batsy That's a nice haul! I had no idea Susan Hill wrote a Rebecca follow-up, that sounds interesting. 3y
LeahBergen Nice!!! 3y
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ValerieAndBooks What barn? Baldwin's Book Barn? And what's the title of the one with the black spine? Nice haul! 3y
ValerieAndBooks @SusanInTiburon ah yes! That's why it looked so familiar to me. Good book, but I don't have my copy any more (only so much room!). 3y
DivineDiana @batsy Neither did I! Just stumbled upon it! 😀📚 3y
DivineDiana @ValerieAndBooks It was another Barn out near Kennett Square. Only open for limited hours on the weekend. Run by the Lion's Club. Just happened to see a road sign coming back from Mother's Day brunch. I'll tag you in my previous post, so you can see! 3y
DivineDiana @SusanInTiburon Good to know I picked a good one! And you're right about the black spine! @ValerieAndBooks 3y
cathysaid Ozeki and Larson 👍👍 3y
DivineDiana @cathysaid 😀👏🏻📚 3y
67 likes13 comments
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Blaire
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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One of my favorite books about the lost boys from Sudan seeking asylum in the United States. Incredibly moving story. #immigrantsong #rockinmay

Cinfhen This story was incredible! Read it in book club years ago but I haven't forgotten Valentino's story 💕 3y
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LauraBeth
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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For today's prompt, #africa: What happens when a person goes through so much atrocity in life and still perseveres, holds out hope and continues to see kindness in others? One of the best testimonies I've ever read that shows the darkness of humanity and also the light that is capable of escaping. Pair with the album Everything That Happens Will Happen Today by David Byrne as it was actually inspired by this book. #lyricalapril

Cinfhen Such a heartbreaking yet triumphant story 🙌🏻 great choice 💖wasn't David Byrnes part of Talking Heads?!? I 3y
LauraBeth Of course he was @Cinfhen! At an interview once, a person asked me a question and after I answered it he asked, "qu'est que c'est?" and I responded with pscho killer and he hired me based on that reference ?? (edited) 3y
Cinfhen Awesome!!! Love that song 🎵🎵🎵You have the BEST stories😜😜 3y
Tamra Both tragic and amazing how resilient people can be. 3y
AlaMich You do have really good stories. 👍👍👍 3y
155 likes8 stack adds5 comments
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Sharpeipup
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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@RealLifeReading I am truly stumped for an #autobuyauthor so my husband has generously and easily answered Dave Eggers as his. #marchintoreading

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Bookworm83
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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Pickpick

Such an incredible book! I had never heard of the Lost Boys of Sudan before reading this, and it was at times gutting and absolutely heartbreaking to hear their stories. I found this book so relevant to the many issues facing our country right now.

BookInMyHands This is a good one for elementary kids: 3y
Bookworm83 @BookInMyHands Thats's great! 3y
Lcsmcat These young men are amazing. My church in Salt Lake City sponsored a congregation of Dinka men, many of whom went back to get married and brought rides to the US. And the stories in What is the What are their stories. Also read 3y
Bookworm83 @Lcsmcat Wow...That's great! I was absolutely fascinated by their stories. I will definitely check that one out! 3y
110 likes5 stack adds4 comments
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Bookworm83
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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Afternoon plans!

MrBook I do enjoy your view. 3y
Bookworm83 @MrBook Thank you! It's my favorite place to read. 3y
Lmstraubie Spectacular view! 3y
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ValerieAndBooks The Colorado Front Range 😍 3y
mcctrish Gorgeous view? Where are you? ( can I ask?) 3y
Bookworm83 @Lmstraubie Thank you! @ValerieAndBooks Yep! Home sweet home ❤ @mcctrish Denver! 3y
kspenmoll Gorgeous mountains. Still too windy & cold here for outdoor reading. 15 degrees. 😥 3y
ValerieAndBooks @bookworm83 we lived in Monument for 6 years and those mountains sure were beautiful to look at! 3y
Cinfhen Such a gorgeous view🙌🏻❤️ 3y
mcctrish I thought it looked like it could be. We skied at Snowmas for many years and we had a similar view. We flew in and out of Denver on a couple of occasions. One summer we went to see it all ( Aspen, Denver, Snowmas ) in green and it continued to take my breathe away 3y
Bookworm83 @Cinfhen @mcctrish It's such a great place to live. I don't ski, but I know that people come in from all over the country to do so! 3y
Graciouswarriorprincess Beautiful view! 3y
Tadkins I love visiting Colorado. It's not hard to find a beautiful place to read a book. I stopped at a Starbucks on my way to Boulder and decided to sit and read just so I could enjoy the view. Go Broncos🏈 3y
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ashlinisme
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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"All the while, I will know that you are there. How can I pretend that you do not exist? It would be almost as impossible as you pretending that I do not exist."

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ashlinisme
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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"I am tired of this country. I am thankful for it, yes. I have cherished many aspects of it for the three years I have been here, but I am tired of the promises. [We came here] contemplating and expecting quiet, peace and college, and safety."

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Blaire
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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#readjanuary #from2000s #refugees This is my favorite Eggers' book. I don't remember the specifics, but I do remember the story of the lost boys and the difficulties of adjusting to life in America - the classes they took to adjust, the culture shock, etc...

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Mtroiano
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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Published in 2006 which is the year of my first/second year of college. This is the year when I really started to love reading again. This was one of those books that helped me to love reading again. #publishedinthe2000s #readjanuary

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heidifriend
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
Pickpick

Very moving book about a struggle that we Americans hardly hear about. I feel so changed having read about this man's experience.

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Cinfhen
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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So I woke up to this?!?😱😱😱 Not sure I have words, but I think it's important to note we are all in this together ❤️💙❤️💙

scripturient 😢 3y
DeborahSmall Frightening! ❤️️💙 3y
Suet624 Very scary times. 3y
44 likes3 comments
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Kinzuabeth
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
Pickpick

Heartbreaking true story of a Lost Boy. He tells his story from the time he escapes his village as a child and struggles to survive finally reaching the United State.

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badnorthern
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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Immigrant stories for #booktober:

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
The Russian Debutante's Handbook by Gary Shteyngart
The Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
What is the What by Dave Eggers
Native Speaker by Chang-Rae Lee
Zeitoun by Dave Eggers.

Some of my fave writers and books here!

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Eliza-beta
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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Pickpick

This one is in my top 20 of all time. Such an amazing read.

Marie_KN I loved this book!!! 3y
11 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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GinaAnderson
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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I'm going to cheat a little on my #nonfictionlove because while this is a memoir, it is technically fiction. This is a book that stays with me.

Mamashep It really is a book that tetters between fic and nonfic. So compelling! 3y
38 likes4 stack adds1 comment
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Eliza-beta
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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Pickpick

What a book. In the top books of all time. Not typical Dave Eggers.

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Dylangrrl
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
Pickpick

Wow, what a narrative. The collective tale of the Sudanese "lost boys" told in the voice of one member of that horrendous and devastating chapter in history. I very seldom will say a book is 'uplifting' or a 'triumph of spirit' (maybe I'm reading the wrong books!), but this definitely qualifies. I listened to this and the narrator did characters and accents seamlessly. I have not been a fan of Eggers in the past, but this is a must-read.

CaitlinSiem I read and really enjoyed A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Eggers. One of my writing professors in college had read a piece of this in class and then I had to buy it and read it myself. 3y
Dylangrrl @CaitlinSiem -- I'll have to try that one again. Couldn't get through it the first time. Just remembered he wrote The Circle. I did like that one. 3y
5 likes2 comments
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SoniaC
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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So in a clear desire to avoid reading the Beast I have hit two separate bookstores today! Here is my used bookstore finds 💗💗💗💗

Reviewsbylola I own A Novel Bookstore but I haven't read it yet. I loved The Elegance of the Hedgehog. 3y
SoniaC I am so excited about them both. The Europa editions are so pretty! 3y
BookishFeminist ❤️❤️ Willa Cather 3y
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SoniaC @BookishFeminist I know! And that beauty was only $6.50 I couldn't believe my luck. 3y
scripturient The novel bookstore is so great (but keep your tissues close-by). :) 3y
SoniaC @scripturient oh no! Thanks for the warning. 3y
22 likes1 stack add6 comments
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misslisha3
What Is the What | Dave Eggers
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Current read.

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