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The Things They Carried
The Things They Carried | Tim O'Brien
A classic work of American literature that has not stopped changing minds and lives since it burst onto the literary scene, The Things They Carried is a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling. The Things They Carried depicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and the character Tim OBrien, who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three. Taught everywherefrom high school classrooms to graduate seminars in creative writingit has become required reading for any American and continues to challenge readers in their perceptions of fact and fiction, war and peace, courage and fear and longing. The Things They Carried won France's prestigious Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize; it was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
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TheWhiteHatter
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It was a beautiful morning yesterday to sit in the yard with a fantastic book.

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TheWhiteHatter
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This is a great paragraph that speaks to such a foundational truth of war. It is why I think war is one of the most complex yet simplest human experiences I have ever had.

SauerPatch This is beautiful. I‘m not totally sure it‘s supposed to be, but it is. 3w
TheWhiteHatter @SauerPatch you're right. Later in the paragraph he speaks about the beauty but also the horror that is war. It's a section focoused on the dichotomy of war. 3w
27 likes2 comments
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Louise
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Isn‘t it wonderful when books arrive in the mailbox completely unexpectedly? As if they had simply materialized out of thin air? Today‘s delightful #bookmail came wrapped in a Thrift Books envelope without a clue as to the sender. I‘m guessing I owe this lovely surprise to @robinb ! Am I right? Thank you so much! 😘

robinb You guessed right, @Louise ! 😊🤣 Sorry, but I couldn‘t find a way to send along a personal message with it. 😜 Not to spoil the surprise, but there should be one more package lagging behind. You are most welcome, and apologies for the tardiness! 😊💕 2mo
Louise Oh, wow! The abundance continues! It‘s nice to stretch my birthday out a little. Thank you for your generous and well-chosen gifts, @robinb! 2mo
Louise P.S. Have you read either of these books, @robinb? They both look excellent! 2mo
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robinb @Louise I have not read either of these, but the next one coming, I have read. I enjoyed it and hope you will as well! 😊 BTW, both my kids read the tagged book in high school as required reading. My son said it‘s about what soldiers carry with them (both physically and mentally) as they go into battle. 2mo
Louise @robinb How interesting that this book was required reading. I‘ve dipped into it a little, and the writing is excellent. Plus the way it‘s organized is fresh and different from the usual war memoir books. It has an emotional immediacy one doesn‘t often find. Looking forward to reading it! 2mo
robinb @Louise I‘m glad to hear it! I need to get around to reading it myself sometime. I think I recall my daughter talking more about it than my son. Not surprising, as she is more of a reader, and he is more geared to math/science. 2mo
Hollie I loved this book- the writing is so beautiful 2mo
Louise Good to hear, @Hollie! I‘m really looking forward to reading it, not just for the story but also to study how the author crafted the book. 2mo
Louise @robinb The other book arrived! Thank you so much! Looks like a fun read! 💕 2mo
robinb @Louise Glad to hear! It‘s a fun one...I‘ve got the second one that I need to get to. 😊 2mo
Louise @robinb It‘s great to have a new series to read! 🎉 2mo
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Eggs
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We had no cameras
To shoot the landscape
We passed the hash pipe
And played our Doors tapes
And it was dark
So dark at night
And we held onto each other
Like brother to brother
We promised our mothers we'd write
And we would all go down together
We said we'd all go down together🎶
#goodnightsaigon #wanderingjune @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB

Cinfhen Such a moving song and novel. 💔 3mo
BarbaraBB This novel 😌 3mo
ClairesReads This book 💔💔💔 3mo
Eggs Agree with you all 💔💔 I was a teen at the time of this war, we lost young men in our small town, and my cousin was wounded and paralyzed. It was unthinkably tragic. @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB @ClairesReads (edited) 3mo
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Hestapleton
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Pickpick

Guys idk how I graduated with two English degrees without coming across this book! It‘s incredibly well written (I literally want to curl up in O‘Brien‘s words) and deeply unsettling. It‘s not a comfortable or easy read, but the language makes it easy to encounter and it‘s an important story to be told. A great started to my summer Vietnam research. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

annahenke There was some controversy when this book came out about how much is truth and how much is fiction, but the quality of the product can't be denied. 3mo
Amiable I was mesmerized by this book, too. 3mo
Hestapleton @annahenke yes I think that very blurry lobe made it even more compelling. 3mo
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BookNAround Not long after this came out, O‘Brien was the writer in residence at my college and he sat in on my creative writing class for a couple of days. It was pretty cool. 3mo
Tamra My husband just finished it too and liked it. I then stumbled across this one about Vietnam that seems to be well regarded too. 3mo
DGRachel @Tamra Matterhorn is amazing. I read it back in 2012 and was just blown away by it. 3mo
Tamra @DGRachel good to know because he‘s looking for another camping trip read! 3mo
79 likes1 stack add7 comments
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Hestapleton
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So my hubby is big into Vietnam and Pacific WWII history and in an effort to be A Good Wife, I‘m doing some research this summer and wading in slowly with this tagged book. I AM DEVASTATED WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME ABOUT THIS BEFORE? 😭

hjreviews I read the book last summer and it was heartbreaking 3mo
Hestapleton @hjreviews I‘m just sitting here at my desk crying and hoping no one notices I‘m not working lol (edited) 3mo
paulfrankspencer Read it in high school and read it again a couple years ago cause I remembered it being good. And it was so, so good. 3mo
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AmberWB This is another great book about Vietnam 3mo
Hestapleton @AmberWB quite a few people in Facebook group I‘m in recommend this! It‘s on my list! 3mo
marleed Well now I have to stack this! 3mo
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leeloo13
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Just had to take a picture in the library of the Battleship New Jersey! The only active battleship during the Vietnam War. #battleship #battleshipnj #memorialday #thankyouforyourservice #camden #books

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erzascarletbookgasm
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The characters in these stories carry lots of emotional baggage..💔

#BeatleMaynia #carrythatweight

Eggs 💗this book❣️ 4mo
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jenniferw88
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#gimmeshelter #maymoviemagic

However, the song's inspiration was not initially Vietnam or social unrest, but Keith Richards seeing people scurrying for shelter from a sudden rain storm. According to him: ⬇️

jenniferw88 I had been sitting by the window of my friend Robert Fraser's apartment on Mount Street in London with an acoustic guitar when suddenly the sky went completely black and an incredible monsoon came down. It was just people running about looking for shelter – that was the germ of the idea. We went further into it until it became, you know, rape and murder are 'just a shot away'.

4mo
Cinfhen Interesting tidbit ❤️ 4mo
rohit-sawant 👏🏼👏🏼 4mo
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Eggs
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Cinfhen Those lyrics and this book 😭😭😭brilliant 6mo
gradcat Sad book. 😔 📖 6mo
Eggs @gradcat Sad decade... 6mo
Eggs @Cinfhen Thank you sincerely 😔 6mo
83 likes4 comments
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Eggs
Things They Carried | Tim O'Brien
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#heroes #marchintothe70s @Cinfhen @Lizpixie
My heroes-they went to war even when they disagreed with war-so young-many of them under 20.

Texreader Heartbreaking. I‘ve been so fortunate to give my respects at the wall a few times including taking my kids for the first time last summer. We must never ever forget our heroes 6mo
Lizpixie My uncle is a Vietnam Vet & it‘s affected both his life & the lives of my aunt and cousin immensely. We learned to never wake him when he slept, it was too dangerous. I feel so much sorrow for all the young boys scarred by this futile war💔 6mo
gradcat This book was so great, imho. 6mo
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eevon50
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They carried the soldier's greatest fear, which was the fear of blushing. Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to. It was what had brought then to the war in the first place, nothing positive, no dreams of glory or honor, just to avoid the blush of dishonor. They died so as not to die of embarrassment.

Eggs Welcome to Litsy 🌺 7mo
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britt_brooke
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This is not exactly a novel, but rather a semi-autobiographical essay collection strung together to thoughtfully describe O‘Brien‘s infantry experience in Vietnam. He wants us to feel what he felt, the intimacy of love & of death. How it felt to be young & scared. How war becomes faceless. It‘s a tough read, but brilliant. I first read this, If I Die in a Combat Zone, & Going After Cacciato about 12 years ago. They are all worthy reads.

AshleyHoss820 I am so glad you posted about this! This book has been floating around my peripheral for a while! I need to pick it up! 😊 8mo
merelybookish That title story is so good. Just such good writing. 8mo
britt_brooke @AshleyHoss820 It‘s such a great read. Hope you enjoy when you get to it! 8mo
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britt_brooke @merelybookish Completely agree! 8mo
Moray_Reads Such brilliant, powerful writing 8mo
Blaire Incredible book! 8mo
BarbaraBB Great book. I also loved his 8mo
britt_brooke @BarbaraBB I have that one, but still need to read it! 8mo
arubabookwoman That one has stayed with me forever! I need to reread it. 8mo
britt_brooke @arubabookwoman I loved it even more the second time. Such an impactful read. 8mo
Reviewsbylola I remember reading this in school and liking it. And that‘s it. 😆 7mo
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VinceReads
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Pickpick

Another one that took me far too long to get around to. Such a wonderful writer. I‘m not sure there is any book that can really make a civilian understand what it was like to fight in a war, but surely this has to be pretty close.

5/5

megzlynn I loved this book so much. And if you enjoyed this I would highly recommend Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes. 8mo
Suet624 @megzlynn I completely agree. Matterhorn was an astonishing read. I‘m so glad I dove in. 8mo
48 likes2 comments
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ashley_gilman
Panpan

Everyone I have ever talked to loved this book, but I just didn‘t... What‘s one book everyone else seems to love and you don‘t?

Victoriahoperose Pride and Prejudice for me 9mo
ashley_gilman @Victoriahoperose I can‘t seem to get into that one either! 9mo
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Allthebookclubs
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Pickpick

So, first of all Cranston should stick to movies. This book could stand on its own and didn‘t need his name tagged. O‘Brien admits that all he can write about are war stories but he does such a great job because he was there. He tells it like it is, raw and without sugar. Vietnam wasn‘t a vacation and the brave service members who made it home endured so much. This is a great first hand account.

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Bookmarkie
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Eggs ❤️❤️❤️ 10mo
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Howseldomtheydo
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Amiable
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I think that "story-truth" works better in a book format than in a speech given by a sitting president. But maybe that's just me.

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BookNAround
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These are the books my high school junior will be reading for class this year. He is completely disgruntled by The Crucible since he played John Proctor in the play two years ago and hated the story passionately.

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BrenaJo
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Pickpick

Great read!

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DMC_run8
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Pickpick

This was a book club pick and I wasn't sure I would enjoy it. I tend to read more about the Revolutionary War and WWII. The writing is just so incredible! The characters in this book are as real to me as the men in Band of Brothers. I found myself going back to re-read certain passages because they were so well written. Now I need to watch Ken Burns' Vietnam.

CatLass007 Beautiful cat!😻😻😻 14mo
YouReadMyEyes One of my all time favorite books. 14mo
DMC_run8 @CatLass007 Aw, thanks! 14mo
7 likes3 comments
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BrenaJo
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Trying out a different genre

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AJBowers
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@24in48 This is my pick for a book that expanded my world. I first read this in high school. My teacher was a Vietnam war veteran and while reading it, it made me realize how little we know of other people's experiences. It's now one of my favorite books to recommend and reread.

Victoriahoperose This is one of my favorites. Tim O‘Brien is a fantastic writer. If you haven‘t, you should definitely read In the Lake of the Woods by him. 14mo
74 likes1 comment
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starwolf
Pickpick

Amazing.

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jenniferw88
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Panpan

Jimmy wanted more than #OneDance with Martha. #HeatofJuly @BarbaraBB @Cinfhen

I know I should appreciate this book more, but I think it's because I'm UK based.

BarbaraBB This is a book everyone loves! But I am kind of happy with your review as I was a bit disappointed too, especially after loving 1y
Cinfhen It must be a culturally thing because I LOVED this book! I thought it depicted the trivial and mundane lunacy of war 1y
Cinfhen But great quote for this prompt!!!!! 1y
jenniferw88 @BarbaraBB it was my first book by this author as it fulfilled a challenge prompt. @Cinfhen thanks! 1y
Hollie @Cinfhen I loved this book, too! 1y
79 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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Qchambers
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Reminiscing about undergrad reads that are soon to be rereads.

#litsy #pick #books #fiction #historical

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SomedayAlmost
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Pickpick

Excellent novel about the lasting power of memory & the legacy of war. Teaching a section of it in my next writing workshop. #vivid #tellingdetails #warfiction

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Moray_Reads
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GatheringBooks
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#QuotsyJune18: What is #Obscene is caring neither for truth nor justice.

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actuallyalison
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Pickpick

This book was totally out of my usual genre comfort zone, but it was so worth it. The perspective, the timeline, and the narration all come together to make a powerful statement on PTSD and the experiences of a veteran. I laughed, I got chills and I cried. I'm so satisfied having read this book.

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Patrella
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In honor of Memorial Day, I'm reading The Things They Carried.

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britt_brooke
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✨ DEAL ✨

This book is so good, you guys.

#ebookdeal #historicalfiction #stackit #snagit

KimHM One of the all time best pieces of American fiction ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ 1y
SledgeReader Moving it up my stack! 📚 1y
britt_brooke @KimHM Absolutely! 1y
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britt_brooke @SledgeReader 💚🙌🏻 1y
JenP Yes! Great book 1y
Johanna414 Our 11th graders are reading this right now and loving it! 1y
britt_brooke @Johanna414 That‘s so fantastic!! 1y
104 likes4 stack adds8 comments
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Bookmarkie
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Deal alert. If you haven‘t read this one and Kindle, today‘s a good day to pick up I book I‘d recommend to everyone.

britt_brooke Such a great deal! I just posted about it too. 🙌🏻 1y
TheRomantiCate This is such a fantastic read!! (Thanks Senior English teacher!!) 1y
39 likes2 comments
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KatieanneF
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Pickpick

I had quite forgotten exactly why this book left an impression in my high school mind. As an adult, it‘s an impression in my soul and I‘m glad to have revisited it. The stories Tim tells are dim and without ornament, and yet an early chapter ends with him promising another vet that he won‘t tell “that” story- I feel somewhat haunted by what “that” story may be #thethingstheycarried #timobrien

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KatieanneF
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Having Walter White read this book to me presently. It‘s exactly as excellent as it sounds. Happy to be revisiting a story that caught my attention when I was in high school. #thethingstheycarried #audiobooks #timobrien

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kspenmoll
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peacegypsy I adore this book; it‘s unquestionably in my top twenty. I frequently wrote about this book in grad school, where my emphasis was on war literature. You‘re in for some moving prose—enjoy! 😊 2y
kspenmoll @peacegypsy What other war literature do you recommend? 2y
SaraBeagle The top two are among my favorite books of all time! 2y
peacegypsy @kspenmoll I focused on contemporary war lit, much of which dealt with the American Indian war experience. Another of my favorites is Mason‘s In Country, Herr‘s Dispatches, Hemingway‘s A Farewell to Arms, anything by O‘Brien, O‘Nan‘s The Names of the Dead, Frazier‘s Cold Mountain, Momaday‘s House Made of Dawn, and the heart wrenching Shrapnel in the Heart (letters left at the VN Wall). I can get you more, too. 😊 2y
SqueakyChu @kspenmoll All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque, Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah (edited) 1y
71 likes5 comments
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Bookmarkie
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YouReadMyEyes
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GingerAntics I have this book, but I've never read it. I may have to add this to my ever growing March Reading List (I think I need to start calling it a wish list). 2y
SaraBeagle One of my all time favorites! 2y
92 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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TheRomantiCate
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#bookhaul day 3... got all of these for just $10!!

YouReadMyEyes Nice haul! The Things They Carried is one of my favorite books. 2y
TheRomantiCate @YouReadMyEyes mine too! I read it the summer before my senior year and it really resonated with me! 2y
bookish_wookish Wow! Great score! 2y
13 likes3 comments
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ElisabethRose
Mehso-so

I can't say that I necessarily enjoyed this book, I'm not a huge fan of war stories, however I think it gives and important perspective on the Vietnam war. The narrative style is interesting because you have "Tim" the character and you also have Tim the author who's voice breaks through at certain parts.
It's both fiction and nonfiction at the same time. All and all an interesting read.

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razmanda
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Pickpick

Oof. What a tough but impactful read. Our city chose this as our “one book, one community” read for this year, and while I‘m not sure why it was chosen, the writing is impeccable and will stay with me. I am honestly shocked that this is read in some high schools, though. Heavy and brutal stuff.

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razmanda
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Great book. Great eats. My library opened a cafe on their first floor and it‘s the most exciting thing in my life right now.

Ashley85 That sounds so awesome! 2y
34 likes1 comment
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razmanda
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Reading this for #onebookonecolumbia and while it‘s not one I would have picked myself, the writing is excellent. The material? Deeply disturbing. But this passage is great.

britt_brooke This is such a fantastic book. 💚 2y
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ElisabethRose
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There were numerous such poses. Some carried themselves with a sort of wistful resignation, others with pride or stuff soldierly discipline or good humor or macho zeal. They were afraid of dying but they we're even more afraid to show it.

TheRomantiCate I read this my senior year of high school and loved it... I don‘t know why but I just loved it! 2y
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ElisabethRose
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Home sick from classes :( not all is lost though, now I have plenty of time to start my reading for class. I've got my honey lemon tea and my cozy bed. Hopefully I don't fall asleep reading!

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Kmatti
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DivineDiana
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I found this book about the Vietnam War at a used book sale. A One Book/One Philadelphia choice. It was some time ago because the Mayor of Philadelphia is no longer John F. Street! 😉 #TBR #warriors #nuyear

Cinfhen Loved this book❤️and I'm digging the sticker 2y
DivineDiana @Cinfhen I thought you would appreciate the reference! 😉 2y
TrishB Not one I‘ve heard of! 2y
peacegypsy A must-read! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 2y
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Asthecroweflies
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Pickpick

Touching and graphic. You really see how little Vietnam soldiers had to hold on to to keep them going and just how horrific the war was.

ipreferlush I need to read this book. It's been on my list for years. 2y
9 likes2 stack adds1 comment