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The House of Impossible Beauties
The House of Impossible Beauties | Joseph Cassara
"A gritty and gorgeous debut that follows a cast of gay and transgender club kids navigating the Harlem ball scene of the 80s and 90s, inspired by the real House of Xtravaganza made famous by the seminal documentary "Paris is Burning""--
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MicheleinPhilly
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Pickpick

This book gutted me. Less about the House of Xtravaganza and more about how this group of black and brown and gay and transgender and queer people found one another and formed a family. I had to set it aside for several weeks because it is HEAVY with racism, discrimination, homophobia, addiction, etc. but I ultimately found its message beautiful. 4⭐️.

64 likes3 stack adds
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MicheleinPhilly
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TRUTH!

saresmoore Yes and amen. 3mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage I‘m going to start saying that in public. A lot. 🤪 3mo
LeahBergen Ain‘t that the truth. 3mo
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britt_brooke Amen. 3mo
Tanisha_A That is it! 3mo
Cathythoughts Great quote 👍🏻 3mo
Cinfhen Yup, I think that‘s about right!! 3mo
59 likes7 comments
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JSW
Pickpick

This book is full of heart: life, love, tenderness, tragedy. As a debut, it does tend to ramble a bit at times, but these queens are fierce and vulnerable and strong and honest. #queerbooks #hispanicheritagemonth

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TrishB
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Pickpick

The writing takes a bit to get into, felt very ‘choppy‘ , lots of POVs and timelines. But worth it for the story which was good and sad 😢
Last book of September, squeezed in.

MicheleinPhilly I bought this ages ago because of the cover. I really should make it a priority. 4mo
TrishB @MicheleinPhilly I think you‘ll like it 🤞🏻 4mo
MicheleinPhilly Have pulled it from shelf. Need to finish one of the three books I have ongoing. 🤦🏻‍♀️ 4mo
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Cathythoughts Nice review 👍🏻♥️I see I have it stacked already 4mo
TrishB @Cathythoughts I do that a lot! 4mo
MicheleinPhilly I‘ve read the first 120 pages. Loving it. 4mo
Cinfhen I‘m glad you liked this one ☝️ I don‘t think it‘s for me 4mo
TrishB @MicheleinPhilly great news 😁👍🏻 4mo
TrishB @Cinfhen I can see it‘s not for everyone 😘 4mo
93 likes2 stack adds10 comments
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TrishB
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With permission I opened last nights wrapped books - look at these!! 😁😁
Thank you Cindy - I‘m soooo looking forward to these!! 😘♥️ ♥️#litsyfriendships

Cinfhen Enjoy!! I was happy to see a NF on your TBR 🤓 4mo
TrishB @Cinfhen lol 😁😁 4mo
96 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Lindy
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Pickpick

It‘s taken me several months to get through this, even though it‘s compelling, mostly because I read the entire chunkster on my phone. Chosen family provides nurture and support for queer Latinx aspiring to be their truest selves in 1980s NYC. If you love tragic character-based fiction like A Little Life, this is for you. #LGBTQ

TrishB Stacked. 👍🏻 6mo
41 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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WhatWouldJaneDo
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Pickpick

I loved this moving fictionalized account of the House of Xtravaganza, the first all-Latino House in the NY ballroom scene in the 80s. The novel switches POVs between several characters from a few generations, and Cassara gives them all district voices, hopes, and dreams along with showing the various traumas they've endured as LGBTQ individuals of the period. He also has a wonderful flare for dialog and I look forward to more from him!

Karisa Sounds like Pose! 😍 7mo
WhatWouldJaneDo @Karisa yes, very similar! The book is based on some real people from the Ballroom. It was a great read while Pose was on break this week. 7mo
39 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Lindy
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Now they were both crying, but she knew they were crying for different things. She couldn‘t ever say why another person was crying at any given time, because she couldn‘t read minds. That seemed to her one of the most heartbreaking things about being human.

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Niso
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Pickpick

Poignant and powerful history of queer lives in the 1980s New York during the early days of the AIDS crisis.
Heartbreaking beautiful book that will stay with me for a long time.
#goodreads #favourites #lgbtq #debut #historicalfiction

overtheedge Definitely gotta read this! 7mo
52 likes6 stack adds1 comment
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Lindy
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“The ironic thing is this,” Venus said. “She says she doesn‘t want anyone dressed in drag [at the funeral]. But if she asks me to dress like a man, it‘s basically like she is asking me to show up in drag. I don‘t even know how to act like a man.”
(Internet photo)

44 likes2 stack adds
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Niso
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Wonderful reading week with two 5 stars brilliant books: The House of Impossible Beauties and Bad Blood.

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thebookbutterfly1
Pickpick

Wow. What can I say about this book? I loved it. It is the kind of story that makes you go through all of the feels. Learning about the different characters and their back story helps you find out how they became the people they became. I was heart broken when two of my favorite characters passed. However, this story is based in the reality of that time. That is what makes it so authentic.

Nute Nice review! 7mo
16 likes1 comment
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thebookbutterfly1
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Can‘t sleep 😴 so I‘d thought I‘d read 📕

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thebookbutterfly1
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14 likes1 stack add
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Lindy
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Life isn‘t about the Cinderella bullshit and I wasn‘t there to give her a set of glass heels and send her on her way. Hell no. I taught her the practical things. How to sew, how to select fabrics and make a gown, how to suck a cock so that you‘ll never starve.

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Lindy
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LeahBergen That sounds tasty! 8mo
Lindy @LeahBergen It‘s delicious. Light and bright. 🍺 8mo
50 likes2 comments
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Lindy
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Another snowy morning in Edmonton. I‘m going to stay inside, compiling my April reading stats. ❄️😐

GondorGirl Whoa! 9mo
merelybookish Snowy in Denver too. May it melt soon!☀️ 9mo
ShyBookOwl Ahhh! Stay warm inside with a book! 9mo
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wanderinglynn 😳 stay warm! 9mo
batsy Oh dear 😯 9mo
CouronneDhiver 🤭 Eek 9mo
Lindy @GondorGirl @ShyBookOwl @wanderinglynn @batsy @CouronneDhiver Thanks for your comments. As @merelybookish says, May it melt soon! 9mo
51 likes1 stack add7 comments
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thebookbutterfly1
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Lindy
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“Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.”
—James Baldwin, Giovanni‘s Room

The theme of this year‘s poetry festival was ‘home,‘ so it resonates even more deeply as I read the word in Baldwin‘s quote this morning, which is an epigraph in the tagged novel that I have just begun.

saresmoore Lovely serendipity. 9mo
35 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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TheBookHippie The picture is so cool!!! 9mo
bedandabook What a beautiful picture! 9mo
87 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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BooknerdsLife What a gorgeous photo 😍 9mo
kspenmoll Beautiful photo! 9mo
46 likes4 comments
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bookishkris
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I‘m writing a Thing. My first published fandom piece since 2016. It feels really good to be writing again; let‘s see if I can keep it up.

LauraJ Good job! Writing is hard work. 9mo
LibrarianJen Awesome! What‘s your piece about? 9mo
bookishkris @LibrarianJen it‘s a fanfic for the tv show Pose, which is about the queer ball scene in NYC in the ‘80‘s. Right now I‘m focusing on Pray Tell (OMG Billy Porter is SO SO good in this role) and my head canon for his backstory. 9mo
LibrarianJen Sweet! I‘ll go check it out! I haven‘t seen the show yet, but I‘ve heard great things about it. 9mo
23 likes4 comments
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hissingpotatoes
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Bailedbailed

1/5⭐ This book started out so well, and then it just...flatlined. The narrative bounced around a bunch of characters and became confusing. Nothing happened, either plot- or character-wise. A story basically retelling the real-life 1980s NYC drag scene should never be described as boring, but that's what happened. #projectnew

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thebookbutterfly1
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thebookbutterfly1
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thebookbutterfly1
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cherryembassy
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Stocking up on queer reads for 2019 and drinking genmaicha 🍵

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lycomayflower
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Chasing_Pages
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@PomegranateMuse
Thank you so so much for everything!! I love it all, so excited to read these and I can‘t wait to use the wax tarts (my first book scented wax 😍) yay!!! I love having signed books, thank you so much, so awesome of you!! I hope you like yours as well!
#MyFavoriteBookSwap #MFBS

PomegranateMuse Yay so glad you‘re happy! Those tarts are the best! I had my fingers crossed they wouldn‘t melt in this ridiculous AZ heat. Frostbeard has tons of amazing book themed scents🙌🏻 I LOVED everything in mine and will hopefully get to posting a pic soon! the girl with all the gifts is already stashed in my purse half read ❤️ 1y
Chasing_Pages @PomegranateMuse Yay, so glad you liked everything! 1y
41 likes2 comments
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kristinshafel
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I‘m visiting my family right now and I never get any reading done on these visits! Still slowly working my way through this one.

JenReadsAlot Yay the union!! 1y
Reviewsbylola So bright and colorful. 😍 1y
27 likes3 comments
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cocomass
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I‘ve been SO into the new show Pose on FX and I wanted to find a readalike book with a similarly diverse cast. THIS IS THAT BOOK 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽 Same locale and time period, same community!! I‘m only 25 pages in but I‘m so excited! Hence all the exclamation points 😂

38 likes2 stack adds
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kalinichta
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Mehso-so

I wanted to love this book, but I didn't quite. I did love the characters (based off real people profiled in the doc "Paris is Burning"), especially the fierce Angel. But I don't feel the shifting perspectives or the detachment caused by finding out about major events after the fact via time jumps helped the story. But it's still definitely worth a read.

Be warned: it's especially brutal toward the end.

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Briget66
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Up next!! So excited about this one 🤗

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cocomass
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Picked up a few more #LGBTQ books from the library 📚 ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜📚

#pridereads

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emilyjwhit9
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Finished up this book last night for @Samplergal #13inthree. Didn‘t quite make the 13 but got to about 10. I did finish up three books that I have been waiting to finish for quite some time! Goal accomplished!

Samplergal That‘s great! You got most of it in on a very busy weekend for most. 2y
4 likes1 comment
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MrBook
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#TBRtemptation post 3! Released this year. In 1980s NYC, 17-year-old Angel comes into her own in the Harlem ball scene and drag world. She falls in love with Hector and they form the House of Xtravaganza, the first-ever all-Latino house in the circuit. When he dies of AIDS, she must continue alone. To help, she recruits Venus, a daydreaming trans girl; Juanito, a quiet boy who loves fabrics; & Daniel, a butch queen. #blameLitsy #blameMrBook 😎

SassyPants617 I just finished this book not even 5 minutes ago, and I‘m fighting tears in public transit. Great book. 2y
64 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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CindyE09
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Mehso-so

Set in a drag house in the 80s during the height of the AIDS crisis in New York City, the book follows four main characters in the House of Xtravaganza. The book is incredibly sad, especially at the end, to the point of feeling overdone. There were very graphic sexual encounters through much of the book, and though I don‘t mind explicit sex in books, the characters are 13-15 at the time, making it a little harder to stomach.

DebinHawaii Welcome to Litsy!! 🎉📚👍Hope you enjoy it here! 2y
Tiyas7 Welcome To Litsy!! 2y
Chelleo Welcome! Checkout #Litsytips: http://bit.ly/litsytips and #LitsyHowTo videos: goo.gl/UrCpoU. They‘re great and should help you get settled in. Follow @LitsyHappenings to find out about various challenges, buddy reads, meet-ups and swaps taking place. #LitsyWelcomeWagon 2y
See All 11 Comments
Eggs Welcome to Litsy 👋🏻😊 2y
ValkyrieAndHerBooks Welcome to Litsy!🎉📚💕 2y
DarcysMom Welcome to Litsy! 🤗 2y
DivaDiane Welcome to Litsy! Great review! 2y
Purrfectpages Welcome to Litsy! 2y
jouleian Its actually an easier read on audiobook, I'm sorry it was an 'eh' for you. I tried thinking about some of the books I listen too and I couldn't imagine in a million years sitting to read them bc to me without the narrator they wouldn't have any life and fall flat. 2y
RaimeyGallant Welcome! 2y
PurpleyPumpkin Welcome to Litsy! I hope you enjoy it here. It‘s a great community. Looking forward to seeing more of your posts!👍🏽 2y
61 likes11 comments
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SassyPants617
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SassyPants617
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TheLibrarian
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A bunch of great deals on Kindle eBooks today. #ebookdeals

JoScho Oh goodness! I might need a few of those. Thanks for sharing 💕 2y
Karkar This is when I wish I liked reading on a ereader. Such good deals on new books! 2y
Soubhiville Ooooohhhh, thanks! Gotta go check these out! 2y
See All 7 Comments
TheLibrarian @JoScho @Soubhiville You‘re welcome! 2y
TheLibrarian @Karkar I‘m not the biggest fan of ereaders but I got one because of the great deals on books (plus I‘m running out of physical space). 2y
Ashley85 Omg most of these are on my TBR list. Thanks for sharing! 🤗🤗 2y
TheLibrarian @Ashley85 You‘re welcome!! 2y
88 likes7 comments
review
2BR02B
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Pickpick

This is one of the hardest reviews I've tried to write in recent memory, let alone keep it succinct enough to comply with Litsy's standards. I went into this book with a love for Rupaul's Drag Race, but no knowledge whatsoever about the Harlem ball circuit of the 1980s. I was excited to discover this important era of LGBT history that so influenced of my favorite shows. However, by halfway through the book I realized I was still clueless about 👇

2BR02B what terms like "ball," "house," and "walking." Meant in the context of this culture. It isn't until two thirds of the way through that a character actually participates in a ball, providing some much-needed context but still leaving a lot of questions unanswered. I'm not a fan of info-dumps in novels, but I still think there were plenty of opportunities to work the broader cultural zeitgeist into the narrative. 2y
2BR02B Immediately after finishing the novel I watched the documentary Paris is Burning on Netflix (and you should, too) which clarified things perfectly for me. I really wish I'd done things in the opposite order by watching the documentary first for broad background knowledge and then reading the novel for a narrowly focused look at the fictionalized lives of a few of the characters portrayed in the documentary. 2y
2BR02B If you are thinking of reading this book, I can't recommend highly enough that you watch the documentary first- even though it does spoil some plot elements. Even so, I don't feel I can rate this as less than a pick, because of how attached I became to these characters and how emotionally wrecked this book left me. It takes a tremendous amount of skill to create a work of art that tugs the heartstrings without coming off as manipulative or mawkish 2y
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2BR02B and that the author achieved this in his debut is quite an achievement in my reckoning. I'll look forward to his future works with great anticipation. End of long-winded review. ☺ 2y
Soubhiville Thank you for your review and recommendation! I‘m interested in both the documentary and the book! 2y
rohit-sawant Thank you for the thoughtful and detailed review! 2y
AmyG How cute ❤️ 2y
Kimberlone Recommend watching the documentary Paris is Burning 2y
LiteraryinLititz Wonderful review! Thanks! 2y
rubyslippersreads Your cat is impossibly beautiful. 😻 2y
readordierachel Excellent review! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 2y
AlaMich Your beautiful cat looks glum...😿 2y
Reggie That ball circuit scene is where voguing came from. 2y
batsy Great review! 2y
2BR02B @AlaMich That was me when I finished this book! 😅 2y
81 likes4 stack adds15 comments
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jouleian
Pickpick

Omfg....I LOVED the dialogue, the realness, and I cried at the end..."Not tonight Hector, I'm tired." ❤

SassyPants617 Just finished in the bus on my way home from work. All the tears. It was so hard to keep it together. That ending. 💔 2y
jouleian I know....#AllTheFeels.... 2y
1 like2 comments
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BookMaven407
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Happy Friday, Littens! 👯

Soubhiville Yay, tacos! 2y
Li_21 How are you liking the book so far? 2y
BookMaven407 @Li_21 I‘m enjoying it. I watched Paris is Burning and couldn‘t resist reading this book. 2y
111 likes3 comments
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mdemanatee
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Just started and already wish I could experience this in real time with my old roomies like when we‘d binge Drag Race seasons in the order they believed I needed to experience them.

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Nitpickyabouttrains
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Pickpick

I liked how this book broke up time, allowing it to pass. It enabled the author to cover a larger swath of time, sometimes in detail, but skipping to important moments. The story of drag queens in the 1980s touched on aids, as it had to, but was about so much more.

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BookMaven407
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“On a scale of One to Betty Ford Blackout, his level of drunk was, say, Half-Finished Martini Glass at Liza Minelli‘s.” 😂

dsfisher Wow! 😂😂😂 2y
93 likes1 comment
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BookMaven407
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Sunday goodness before watching soccer ⚽️

CoffeeNBooks That looks delicious!! 2y
Pamwurtzler Yum that looks good! 2y
106 likes2 comments
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kalenski
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Saturday morning.

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MMenefee
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This is gonna take forever to get through. 50 pages in and I‘ve had to look up Saga nishiki, bochinchera, and Larry Levan and Saturday Mass at the Paradise Garage. That last one sent me on a discovery of the most incredible dance music. #houseofxtravaganza #parisisburning #thelibraryisnowopen #readingisfundamental

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Li_21
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Pickpick

Thank you for hosting the #coffeecoffeecoffee giveaway @hermyknee .Here's my favorite book of 2018 and my go to Rae Dunn mug.

If you're a coffee lover head on over to @hermyknee profile for details on how to enter the giveaway! Although I secretly want it all to myself 😂.

hermyknee Love this! 🙌🏽 Thanks for entering! 🧡☕️ 2y
Li_21 Thank you for hosting! @hermyknee 2y
20 likes2 comments