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World of Wonders
World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments | Aimee Nezhukumatathil
From beloved, award-winning poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil comes a debut work of nonfictiona collection of essays about the natural world, and the way its inhabitants can teach, support, and inspire us. As a child, Nezhukumatathil called many places home: the grounds of a Kansas mental institution, where her Filipina mother was a doctor; the open skies and tall mountains of Arizona, where she hiked with her Indian father; and the chillier climes of western New York and Ohio. But no matter where she was transplantedno matter how awkward the fit or forbidding the landscapeshe was able to turn to our worlds fierce and funny creatures for guidance. What the peacock can do, she tells us, is remind you of a home you will run away from and run back to all your life. The axolotl teaches us to smile, even in the face of unkindness; the touch-me-not plant shows us how to shake off unwanted advances; the narwhal demonstrates how to survive in hostile environments. Even in the strange and the unlovely, Nezhukumatathil finds beauty and kinship. For it is this way with wonder: it requires that we are curious enough to look past the distractions in order to fully appreciate the worlds gifts. Warm, lyrical, and gorgeously illustrated by Fumi Nakamura, World of Wonders is a book of sustenance and joy.
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JanuarieTimewalker13
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Pickpick

A booktuber mentioned this book and described it as a book of essays that could be a bedtime story for adults. He was right....these were enjoyable short essays talking about different creatures that roam, or swim this earth and how endangered they are. I learned about axolotls for the first time in my life! Had never heard of these adorable amphibians. She meshes stories about trees, lightning bugs etc, in with her own familial anecdotes.

JanuarieTimewalker13 Highly recommend for the nature lovers out there!! 4mo
JanuarieTimewalker13 2022 Book 3 4mo
TheBookHippie Isn‘t it wonderful!!! 4mo
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plemmdog
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Pickpick

This is an axolotl, one of the creatures illustrated and discussed in this charming amalgamation of memoir and natural history. Nezhukumatathil is also an accomplished poet. Someone suggested this very short collection of essays for my book club, and it‘s a perfect wintering read. Now waiting for firefly season (or as we say in the South, lightning bugs☺️)

Chelsea.Poole I love this book 🦚 4mo
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Simona
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Pickpick

It is true, our world is full of wonders and this book highlights a few miracles from the animal and plant world, the author connects them all to her own memories and sensations, but unfortunately, these links sometimes felt very forced and inorganic … otherwise - this is a nice collection of stories that can carry you in your own memory lane.
#NonFiction2022 #marvelous
#DoubleSpin
#19822022 #2020

SRWCF Beautiful cover! 4mo
Simona @SRWCF I have ebook, but the print version must be really beautiful. 4mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 4mo
Librarybelle I‘ve heard such good things about this book, especially how pretty the book is! 4mo
Simona @Librarybelle If you care about the world around you, you will like it. It is a sweet book and suitable as a gift. 4mo
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TheKidUpstairs
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I borrowed this one from OverDrive, but I'm going to be seeking out my own copy now. This was wonderful, and the type of book that demands rereading to absorb all its layers. These essays are part nature writing, part memoir, part social commentary. Exploring both the light and the dark in the world, they give you new eyes to see what's around you.

Thank you @monalyisha for this recommendation. I wouldn't have found this without #NYWD22

JanuarieTimewalker13 Stacking! 5mo
monalyisha I just loved everything about it, including the circular format where she begins & ends with fireflies. ✨ I‘m so happy you felt similarly! I rarely reread but you‘re right - this is definitely a candidate for dipping back in! With #NYWD, I do often wish I were reading all of my recs again for the first time. 💕 5mo
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TheKidUpstairs
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What is lost when you grow up not knowing the names for different varieties of fireflies? When you don't have these words ready to pop on your tongue: Shadow Ghost, Florida Sprite, Mr. Mac, Murky Flash-train, Texas Tinies, the Single Snappy, the Treetop Flashers, a July Comet, Tropic Traveler, a Slow Blue, a Tiny Lucy, the mischievous Marsh Imp, the Sneaky Elves and - in a tie for my personal favorite - the Heebie Jessie's and the Wiggle Dancer?

TheKidUpstairs (Some names removed for space) 📷: Tsuneaki Hiramatsu 5mo
BiblioLitten I love those names! Very pixie-ish🤩 5mo
Read-y_Picker Lol that's the desktop image of my work computer 5mo
SamanthaMarie Ugh, that hits me. ♡♡ 5mo
DrexEdit I once went to see the synchronous fireflies in Tennessee in the Smokies. I don't know what their name is, but during a certain part of the year (summer I think?) they all flash at the same time, then all go dark at the same time. It's an impressive display. 5mo
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TheKidUpstairs
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"Maybe that is the loneliest kind of memory: to be forever altered by an invisible kiss, a reminder of something long gone and crumbled, like that mountain in Lake Superior."

#NewYearWhoDis #NYWD22 @monalyisha

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TheKidUpstairs
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This cocktail sounds delicious...

#NYWD22 #Newyearwhodis @monalyisha

AlaMich I don‘t think I‘ve ever seen an actual dragonfruit. 5mo
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TheKidUpstairs
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@monalyisha my Kobo only shows Black and White, but that doesn't stop me from falling in love with these guys. I just might have a new favourite animal.

#Newyearwhodis #NYWD22

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TheKidUpstairs
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Here's my first two reads for #NYWD22 @monalyisha 😁 I actually started World of Wonder last night when everyone in my house went to sleep early and I'm already in love with it.

monalyisha Your house sounds like the place for me! 😆😴🥱 I really loved World of Wonders so much. I recommended it to my Library Director & she gifted it to so many people this past Christmas! It‘s both a critique & a balm. 🍃 5mo
TheKidUpstairs @monalyisha I borrowed it through OverDrive, and I've already got the sense that I'll be buying my own copy. Definitely seems like one to read more than once. The interplay between passages about the wonders and beauty of nature, and then suddenly you're reading about casual (and not so casual) racism or sexual assault, it really knocks you back. One that makes you notice both the light and the dark. 5mo
monalyisha @TheKidUpstairs Yes! That‘s exactly it! The print copy really is beautiful, too. I don‘t know if your Kindle displays anything in color…but the illustrations are certainly an added loveliness. 5mo
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Erinreadsthebooks
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Pickpick

What a sweet little book?! I‘m not surprised because my sweetest little friend picked it for our book club. This is a great mix of (readable) info about plants and animals and life and being human. And the drawings, y‘all! Such sweet drawings in this one. And it‘s super short. Swoon ❤️

Allyneedsbooks Jan ❤️ 8mo
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Soubhiville
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Pickpick

Part memoir, part nature essay, adorable drawings, lots of lesser known animals and plants. I really liked this little book.

Pictured with my little wonder, Igor. Venkman‘s ears just visible poking out of the blanket above him.

Chrissyreadit 😻😻😻 9mo
Leftcoastzen Wrinkle cat! So 🥰 cute!😻 9mo
Just_reading 🥰🥰🥰 9mo
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Augustdana
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In love with this book right now !!!

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Ang203l
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A simple but beautiful look at how nature writes its way into our stories.

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perfectlywinged
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Pickpick

A beautiful collection of vignettes that are part memoir, part examination of unique creatures and plants that argues that there is space for everyone out in nature.

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Branwen
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Pickpick

This book was incredible. Pretty illustrations, gorgeous prose, and lots of cool info! I'm not typically an avid nonfiction reader but I couldn't get enough of this book and was really sad to see it end. If you read just one nonfiction book this year, make it this one! 💕📚💕

BookishMarginalia 💜💜💜 10mo
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LikelyLibrarian
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The houseguests have left the building!!

FlowerFairy I love your elephants! 12mo
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Bookwormjillk
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Pickpick

I absolutely loved this book of nature essays and accompanying illustrations. Loved it. I need my own copy so I can flag and highlight.

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Bookwormjillk
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I confess, at first I wanted to be back in the air-conditioned hotel room- anywhere but on an isolated gravel path with the odd bullfrog clamor interrupting the dark. But now I think of my sister and I scattered in different homes as adults and am so grateful for all of those family vacations where we could be outdoors together, walking this earth.

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peanutnine
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Pickpick

This was such a powerfully evocative read. Aimee is definitely a poet, it shows in even these essays. I love how she weaves beautiful descriptions of nature phenomenons with personal stories. It is filled with imagery and metaphors that make you reminisce about the environment and how it affects us just as much as we do it.
This was my book club's pick for the month and I am looking forward to some great discussions.

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peanutnine
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Happy Earth Day! 🌎
I figured today was a good day to start our book club pick for the month. So far it is gorgeous and fitting.

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HillsAndHamletsBookshop
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Pickpick

As an avid reader of nature writing, I found World of Wonders a pure delight, and the beautiful cover and illustrations throughout don‘t hurt. Each bite-sized essay has a specific plant or animal theme, many drawn from the poet‘s experiences as a child. The writing is personal, tender, at times funny, always thoughtful, and tinged with a kind of prescient, soulful mourning for the looming collapse of species diversity on our tiny precious planet.

Chelsea.Poole I loved this one. Great photo! 🌿 13mo
HillsAndHamletsBookshop @Chelsea.Poole thank you!! 😊 13mo
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monalyisha
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Walt Whitman wrote, “Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons, It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.”

In World of Wonders, Nezhukumatathil admits to once licking a piece of quartz as a child. She reports that “it tasted like campfire smoke.” If that‘s not eating (with) the earth, I don‘t know what is. She‘s clearly one of these “best” people & her book reflects her superlative nature. Just gorgeous.

monalyisha My favorite chapters include: Firefly; Peacock; Touch Me Nots; Monsoon; Southern Cassowary (mostly because it gave me a chance to focus on the sheer strangeness of this bird); Monarch Butterfly; & Firefly [Redux]. 1y
KatieDid927 I tried Cara Cara oranges for the first time because of this book. They are indeed awesome. 1y
monalyisha Thanks to @catiewithac for including this book in my #Bestof2020Swap box! 1y
monalyisha @KatieDid927 Jealous! 😍🍊 1y
catiewithac 👏🏻 👏🏻 👏🏻 1y
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monalyisha
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“It is this way with wonder: it takes a bit of patience, and it takes putting yourself in the right place at the right time. It requires that we be curious enough to forego our small distractions in order to find the *world.*”

📸: Vincent Brady

Cathythoughts Beautiful 💫 1y
bethanybee Love this! 1y
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monalyisha
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Is it just me or would this drawing look adorable tattooed just above a plump, juicy butt cheek? 🍑

I‘m not going to do it. BUTT I‘m tempted.

Cathythoughts 😂love it ... one can butt try 🙃 1y
RebL Not just you... 1y
CBee I desperately want this book...... BUTT I buy too many already 🤪😂 1y
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Madelpadel
Pickpick

Aimee weaves her knowledge of the natural world with her own experiences- making this book perfect for readers who love to read about nature, people, or both. As someone who has long found solace and identity in nature, Aimee‘s way of relating to the natural world made my own personal relation with nature feel seen and valid.

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Madelpadel
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“It might take two to tango, but it only takes one to strut their stuff and shake their tail feathers, even a little bit.”

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Madelpadel

“What a wonder to have sons who unabashedly love to dance! Who aren‘t afraid to sway and shake to music whenever they encounter it- and to dance to music no one else hears but them. And so, I ask: when is the last time you danced like a superb bird of paradise?”

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Madelpadel
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Absolutely loving this so far!

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mhillis
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I was attracted to the cover of this book but there are many other interesting things inside. Like this, for example, from the chapter on Red-Spotted Newts: “These newts are one of the only amphibians to contain a ferromagnetic mineral in their bodies, and that, combined with their incredible capacity to memorize sun- and starlight patterns, make them an animal on par with salmon for their excellent homing capabilities.”

mabell I was attracted by the cover too! But it sounds fascinating! 1y
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ElleSkel
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Pickpick

I loved every minute of this. Such a beautiful book.
Some have found this book to be clumsy and contrived but I found it to be puerile (in the sweetest sense of the word) and raw. For me it felt like a grown woman was expressing her feelings about the world around us with the eloquence of a poet, but through the eyes of her child self. It seemed intentional and I loved it.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

SpiderGoddess This book is on my list....I should bump it closer to the top.... 🖤 1y
ElleSkel And again, forgot @TheAromaofBooks this was my #DoubleBookSpin 1y
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 1y
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ElleSkel
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The word narwhal comes from the old Norse word mar, which means “like a corpse,” due to the distinctive mottled skin that looks like the spotted skin color of drowned sailors.

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KatieDid927
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January reads #JanuaryWrapUp

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Lindy
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Pickpick

An uplifting combo of nature writing and memoir by poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil. Her father is from southern India and her mother is Filipina. Each brief chapter focuses on an animal, bird, insect or plant, linking it to her own life in some way.
Note: Available through the public library‘s #Hoopla collection.

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KatieDid927
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1. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah 🏔

2. Tagged! 🦩

3. I‘m partial to my String of Pearls and ZZ plants, but don‘t tell the other plants. 🤫 I love them too.🪴

#weekendreads @rachelsbrittain

rachelsbrittain I've had such bad luck with string of pearls. So glad yours are thriving! 1y
KatieDid927 @rachelsbrittain They‘re still fairly new, so we‘ll see how it goes! But they‘re thriving so far. I‘ve had the worst luck with English ivy. 1y
rachelsbrittain @KatieDid927 fingers crossed they keep it up! 1y
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KatieDid927
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Pickpick

I love nature, whimsy and India so this book was right up my alley.

HeathHof Gorgeous 🤩🤩🤩 Stacking! 1y
Sharpeipup What a pretty cover! 1y
Gissy I love that cover!😍 1y
KatieDid927 @Mynameisacolour @Sharpeipup @Gissy The cover might be a major reason why I bought it... 1y
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Lindy
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In this chapter of the book, the author records the questions asked by her half-white sons, age 6 & 9, during their participation in an Audubon bird count. It reminds me of Mira Jacob‘s book, Good Talk.

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Lindy
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When flamingos sleep, they tuck one leg under their feathers, alternating with their other leg to regulate body heat and keep one leg warm at all times. What we think of as a flamingo knee is actually its ankle. A flamingo‘s actual knee isn‘t visible through its belly feathers.
(Internet photo)

Cathythoughts Nature ✨ 1y
Lindy @Cathythoughts 😊🦩 1y
Tanisha_A ❤️ 1y
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Lindy
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Even though I spent almost a year studying whale sharks on my sabbatical, I wasn‘t prepared for the sheer size of one. I wasn‘t prepared for scores of other dangers: blacktip reef, spotted wobbegong, zebra, and sand tiger sharks. ‘All fed just before we entered the tank,‘ according to our dive master, ‘so no need to worry.‘ Of course I worried.

Hooked_on_books I‘ve seen whale sharks at The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. They are amazing! So beautiful and so big. I‘d love to see them in the wild. 1y
Lindy @Hooked_on_books Yes! That‘s exactly where the author was. 1y
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Kristin_Reads
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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ What a unique and beautifully illustrated memoir that weaves in lyrical nature writing. I love this one! Make sure to get the Milkweed Edition if you‘re purchasing it.

peanutnine This is on my book club's list for the year! Glad you liked it. Can't wait to read it! 1y
Kristin_Reads @peanutnine This is for you if you like nature and memoir genres! 1y
Chelsea.Poole I loved this one 🌳♥️ 1y
See All 8 Comments
ReadingOver50 Beautiful cover 1y
Kristin_Reads @Chelsea.Poole I loved learning about the interesting and unique creatures! 1y
Kristin_Reads @ReadingOver50 The illustrations inside are just as beautiful! 1y
Crazeedi Gorgeous cover! Welcome to litsy!!🎉 if you haven't seen check out @LitsyHappenings @LitsyWelcomeWagon ! 1y
Kristin_Reads @Crazeedi Thank you for the welcome! 1y
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Jen_Reads
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Mehso-so

This book bored me. It was well written, but my goodness. I had a hard time paying attention and following. I‘m glad it‘s over.

⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

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Well-ReadNeck
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Mehso-so

I enjoyed the essays that reflect upon nature well enough. But, I don‘t find them as great as all the hype.

KathyWheeler I liked this book, but I missed all the hype. I‘d never heard of it until someone on Litsy posted about it a few days ago. It was perfect for the mood I was in. Sometimes too much hype can really ruin a book. 1y
Redwritinghood I felt the same. 1y
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Redwritinghood
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Mehso-so

The author‘s love of the natural world is apparent in this collection of short essays. Unfortunately, her attempt to connect her understanding of the natural world with events in her life often seemed like she was really reaching. 3⭐️ #hoopla

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KathyWheeler
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I needed something quiet, short, and thoughtful. @ErikasMindfulShelf had written about this book, and it seemed perfect for that mood. I loved the connections she makes between humans and the natural world. The book is a combination memoir and nature writing., and the illustrations are lovely.

ErikasMindfulShelf I‘m so glad you liked it! 1y
KathyWheeler @ErikasMindfulShelf I‘m glad you reviewed it and mentioned that it was on Hoopla because I‘d never heard of it and would never have read it otherwise. My library did indeed have it on Hoopla so I got to read it right away. 1y
ErikasMindfulShelf They have one of her poetry collections as well. I started reading it already. 1y
KathyWheeler @ErikasMindfulShelf I saw that and thought about it. I think I‘m going to go back and check it out. 1y
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ErikasMindfulShelf
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Pickpick

This was an absolutely beautiful essay collection about nature and life. Highly recommend. Available on Hoopla.

PatriciaU What a gorgeous cover illustration! 1y
ErikasMindfulShelf @PatriciaU Yes!! And gorgeous illustrations throughout the book as well. 1y
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monalyisha
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@catiewithac Undoubtedly, some of your favorite things will become my favorite things, too. This is a beautiful, tasteful box; it‘s hard to believe that it‘s tailored to you as much as it is me — because it‘s perfect for me! From the vintage (dainty) mug, to the letterpress notebook (in my favorite, oceanic hues), to the heavenly-scented bath products! And the BOOKS! I‘m going to put on my new, cozy socks & just stare at everything some more. 😍🎀

monalyisha Thank you, @candority for organizing the #Bestof2020Swap! And thank you, @catiewithac for taking such care! I know it may feel like a professional hazard to care so much — but I hope you know how much I appreciate it (& I can only imagine how much your patients do). Here‘s hoping for an easier, more joyful 2021. ✨ 1y
monalyisha P.S. @catiewithac We‘re reading Nothing to See Here for my IRL Book Club this year, so I‘ll definitely put that one to good use! And, you couldn‘t have known this, but I *almost* bought World of Wonders for my mother-in-law for Christmas. She, in turn, DID buy it for my brother-in-law. 😆 And when he opened it via Zoom on Christmas Day, I was a little bit jealous! Ha! I‘m so happy to have my own copy to tuck into. Clearly, I‘m meant to read it! 1y
candority I love how excited about the swap package you are! It all looks fantastic 😊 1y
72 likes3 comments
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bookishdawg
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Happy New Year! 🎆🎈🎊

This year, my bookish plans are to...
- read every day
- read something uplifting every day
- read and cook from my cookbooks
- complete three reading challenges, including #foodandlit

Butterfinger Awesome goals! 1y
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Chelsea.Poole
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Pickpick

My last book of 2020 was my favorite nonfiction of the year. The author weaves facts about the natural world with vignettes from her own life to create a collection of brilliant essays. I loved this book. The short length was perfection. I loved the information about animals and plants in an easily digestible format. #bestof2020

JamieArc I eyed this today at Barnes and Noble and I should have gone ahead and bought it! 1y
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Chelsea.Poole
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Ending this year at home with my husband. A bath bomb, wine, candle and book make conditions perfect! 📖 🕯 🛁
He‘s cooking dinner and we plan to have a quiet evening while our boys are spending some time with his parents. Happy New Year‘s Eve, all! 🥳

Cupcake12 Happy new year. I love bath Bombs. Enjoy 💕 1y
Bookzombie Happy New Year!🎆 1y
Simona Happy New Year 🥂🍾 1y
Chelsea.Poole @Cupcake12 @Bookzombie @Simona thank you all! Hope your new year is going well 😊 1y
72 likes4 comments
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Jess
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My peeps were super generous this year with the book gifts. Here is my holiday book haul. The little house is actually a bookstore!

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Cinfhen
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Pickpick

I adored this blend of memoir, travelogue & nature essays. Author, Aimee Nezhukumatathil has the most delicate and sweet tone and her interconnected essays are equally enchanting. This would be a brilliant choice for #Booked2021 #NFscienceWrittenByAFemale
Thanks for this delightful recommendation @karenuk 💚💚💚 I almost wished I saved this for my last read of 2020. Really soothing.

KarenUK I‘m so glad you enjoyed it! It‘s very unique.... 💕 1y
Cinfhen It left me feeling rested and restored @KarenUK I really enjoyed the space Aimee created 1y
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