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The Final Revival of Opal & Nev
The Final Revival of Opal & Nev | Dawnie Walton
A poignant fictional oral history of the beloved rock n roll duo who shot to fame in the 1970s New York, and the dark, fraught secret that lies at the peak of their stardom. Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, Afro-punk before that term existed. Coming of age in Detroit, she cant imagine settling for a 9-to-5 jobdespite her unusual looks, Opal believes she can be a star. So when the aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville Charles discovers her at a bars amateur night, she takes him up on his offer to make rock music together for the fledgling Rivington Records. In early seventies New York City, just as shes finding her niche as part of a flamboyant and funky creative scene, a rival band signed to her label brandishes a Confederate flag at a promotional concert. Opals bold protest and the violence that ensues set off a chain of events that will not only change the lives of those she loves, but also be a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women, especially black women, who dare to speak their truth. Decades later, as Opal considers a 2016 reunion with Nev, music journalist S. Sunny Shelton seizes the chance to curate an oral history about her idols. Sunny thought she knew most of the stories leading up to the cult duos most politicized chapter. But as her interviews dig deeper, a nasty new allegation from an unexpected source threatens to blow up everything. Provocative and chilling, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev features a backup chorus of unforgettable voices, a heroine the likes of which weve not seen in storytelling, and a daring structure, and introduces a bold new voice in contemporary fiction.
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emmaturi
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this book, which sadly didn't make the shortlist for the Women's Price for Fiction. I liked the format of interview style and thought Opal was really fantastic. I enjoyed the history of how the band got together and the family relationships too.

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AnneCecilie
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Pickpick

In the 70s Opal and Nev were THE Punk duo. A fierce African American woman and a white British male. This is their story to fame and potential reunion.

Looking at racism, sexism, white male entitlement and doing what you believe is right.

66 likes1 stack add
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AnneCecilie
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#BookReport

I finished Summer, read The Final Revival of Opal & Nev and have just started Flamingo.

Not much reading done this week, but on Tuesday I was at a Whitney Houston tribute and Thursday my work had its Spring Party. Sometimes you have to be a little social too.

Cinfhen Sounds like a great week 😁and yes, sometimes you need to people 😂 3w
60 likes1 comment
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TaraTLK
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Totally understandable why this won the Audie award. The full cast reading is perfect for a story told as an oral history about a music duo who lost a band member to racial violence at an event and the different ways that affected their lives.

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emmaturi
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The tagged book already started and loving it. Next will start The Great Godden, it is a short read.

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TiminCalifornia
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Pickpick

Strong pick for me. Really unique organization of the novel, from POV of MC who‘s an investigative journalist. Refreshing approach when you read as much as I do. Walton excels at suspense, twice building towards a pivotal scene, tension so taut I read late into the night. Such a good story and one that puts a spotlight on black and white personal and professional relations over the course of 40 years.

44 likes2 stack adds
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RealLifeReading
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Book and breakfast: pulut hitam (black glutinous rice) with a drizzle of coconut milk. And this book about a fictional interracial Afro-punk band. I‘m still waiting for my hold on the audiobook to come in but thought I‘d start reading the ebook first. What are some books about music and musicians that you‘ve loved?

AWahle I loved Daisy Jones & the Six. I really couldn‘t get into Opal & Nev, but I am in the minority. 2mo
UwannaPublishme Loved Daisy Jones plus many memoirs by women who rock like Carole King, Tina Turner and Cyndi Lauper. 🎸🎼 2mo
ChaoticMissAdventures I really enjoyed Opal and Nev! The audio is so good. I don't read a lot of fiction of music/bands but I loved Elton John's 2mo
See All 7 Comments
rwmg Now I'm feeling hungry 2mo
VioletBramble I loved Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau. 2mo
JamieArc I second the tagged book. I enjoyed the audio of it. 2mo
Kitta I have Opal and Nev on my TBR! Glad to hear it is good from others in the comments here. I‘d recommend (edited) 2mo
84 likes1 stack add7 comments
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Sophronisba
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The Women's Prize longlist was released this morning _and_ the Morning News Tournament of Books starts and still, for some reason, this is not a national holiday and I must go to work.

This is an outrage, obviously, but for now here is the Women's Prize longlist:

* The Bread the Devil Knead, Lisa Allen Agostini
* Salt Lick, Lulu Allison
* Careless, Kirsty Capes

(continued)

Sophronisba * Remote Sympathy, Catherine Chidgey
* The Paper Palace, Miranda Cowley Heller
* Flamingo, Rachel Elliott
* The Sentence, Louise Erdrich
* Build Your House Around My Body, Violet Kupersmith
* Sorrow and Bliss, Meg Mason
* The Exhibitionist, Charlotte Mendelson
* The Book of Form and Emptiness, Ruth Ozeki
* This One Sky Day, Leone Ross
* The Island of Missing Trees, Elif Shafak
3mo
Sophronisba * Great Circle, Maggie Shipstead
* The Final Revival of Opal and Nev, Dawnie Walton
3mo
charl08 Why is it not a national holiday? Why? 🤣😱 3mo
See All 6 Comments
Chelsea.Poole Also outraged 3mo
BkClubCare 🥰😍❤️🙋‍♀️💪 3mo
marleed Indeed - a holiday is needed! And can I just scream The Island of the Missing Trees! 3mo
14 likes6 comments
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Lindy
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Pickpick

Opal, the Afro punk singer at the heart of this novel, is an unforgettable character. Utterly unique and ahead of her time. If you enjoyed Daisy Jones and the Six, check this out because it‘s even BETTER! Multiple viewpoints are interpreted in the audio production by a full cast of 17 readers, with Janina Edwards and Bahni Taupin narrating the lead roles.

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Lindy
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I relied greatly on audiobooks, graphic novels and picture books this month, since I'm still having vision issues from a concussion in December.

Penny_LiteraryHoarders I managed 3 books in February! That‘s it! I started and stopped so so many. But Heather O‘Neill‘s was a great one. Truly wondering if it‘s the kind of book this year‘s crop of Giller judges will put on the Longlist? 3mo
Lindy @Penny_LiteraryHoarders Sorry to hear that February wasn‘t a satisfying reading month for you, but also happy to hear that Heather O‘Neill‘s is great. You‘ve spurred me on to pick it up today! 3mo
Penny_LiteraryHoarders @Lindy it‘s definitely classic O‘Neill in my opinion. 3mo
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AvidReader25
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Pickpick

It's impossible not to compare this one to Daisy Jones if you've read both. Whichever one you read first (Daisy for me) will stick in your mind as the more original. I felt like this one delved deeper into serious issues, race & addiction, but wasn't as fun to read as Daisy. Taken on its own, I liked this one, but I think it could have been edited down a bit. The plot gets bogged down, but I loved the character of Opal and her journey to maturity.

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Suzze
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I have the worst memory! I hit an online book sale in July. When the box came I pushed it into a corner unopened. Guess what? I just opened it! Glad I hadn‘t bought any of these again in the meantime.

StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego 😆 That's a fun surprise. 5mo
Suzze @StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego It was! I wondered about the box a couple of months ago. Then got busy and forgot again. 5mo
Kangaj1 Fun! I really liked Pretty Things. 5mo
kspenmoll What a wonderful surprise! Some great choices there! 5mo
56 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Mitch
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🎉So the tagged book is on my TBR after listening to the author on The Stacks as is Harlem Shuffle. Good list, sir! 🎉. #blitsyswap

Chelsea.Poole I love his list every year 🤍📚 5mo
squirrelbrain I‘ve read 5 of these, and have Du Bois as a #netgalley ARC. 5mo
Prairiegirl_reading I had decided Matrix wasn‘t for me but it keeps popping up and now I‘m torn! 5mo
See All 11 Comments
AmyG I love his lists. I am always amazed how many books I have also read. (edited) 5mo
Mitch @AmyG you‘re clearly presidential material Amy xxxx 5mo
Mitch @Chelsea.Poole me too! 5mo
Mitch @Prairiegirl_reading After a slow start, the second half really got me hooked! 5mo
Prairiegirl_reading @Mitch maybe I‘ll try the audio. I find it easier to push through a slow bit that way. Hopefully my libby will have it in the new year. 5mo
Mitch @Prairiegirl_reading good strategy! 5mo
AmyG Ha! That I am not. 5mo
67 likes1 stack add11 comments
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squirrelbrain
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Pickpick

This one is a pick for me, but not ‘amazing‘. Seeing as everyone else compares it to Daisy Jones (and it *is* very similar) I will too…. There were aspects of this one I preferred; in particular there was a strong message, but that weakened towards the end. The characters were more 3-dimensional and, as a result, more interesting. I think Daisy Jones was more of an engrossing read though, I felt detached from this sometimes.

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Mitch
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I could listen to Traci Thomas talk about books forever! And every episode leaves me frantically adding a stack to my TBR. I wouldn‘t have gravitated towards the tagged book - but after Traci‘s interview it‘s rocketed up my TBR!

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sprainedbrain
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Pickpick

I‘m in to my September reviews now!

This one needs to be experienced on audiobook… a full, awesome cast (including Bahni Turpin and Steve West, two of my faves), but it‘s of course nothing without the strong storyline and Walton‘s great writing. I love, love, love Opal, the feelings this book gave me, and all of the social commentary. Since everyone is comparing it to Daisy Jones, I suppose I should too: loved this one even more.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Kammbia1 My favorite read in 2021 so far! 7mo
Jemgirl2014 I loved it more than Daisy too! ❤ 7mo
MallenNC I enjoyed this one too, and I agree that it‘s better than Daisy Jones. 7mo
82 likes3 comments
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MallenNC
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Pickpick

Catching up my September reviews! I wasn‘t into this book at first because I don‘t really like fictionalized oral history but I ended up really enjoying it. I think this was better than Daisy Jones & the Six, which it is of course compared to, because the story was deeper. I want to know who inspired these characters. I wish Opal were real.

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Victoriahoperose
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Panpan

I wanted to like this book, but the style just didn‘t work for me. It reminded me a lot of Daisy Jones and I‘m one of the very few who didn‘t care for that one either. I just found the style to be hard to follow or connect with the characters and I got very confused in parts and bored. I love the idea for this story, but the way it was written just killed it for me.

RaeLovesToRead Awww that little face 🥰😸 8mo
hannah-leeloo Your kitten looks like my mum's cat 😍 7mo
Victoriahoperose Awww I love my tortie kitten! 7mo
36 likes3 comments
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ChaoticMissAdventures
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Pickpick

I listened to this on audio even though I bought the book and I highly recommend it. There is a cast of characters, one voice actor being Ms Bahni Turpin who is always fantastic.
The ending came a bit abruptly, and I wish there was one loose in in particular that had been wrapped up but overall the balance of present and past was well done and the pacing was good.
I hope this and Daisy is the beginning of these VH1 type books I love them.

Kammbia1 This one is my favorite read of 2021 so far! 8mo
23 likes1 comment
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ChaoticMissAdventures
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This is going to annoy white liberals 😂

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mom2bugnbee
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Pickpick

I'm a sucker for an epistolary novel. (This one wasn't letters, but transcripts of fictional interviews, so same vibe.) Add in historical fiction, & I'm hooked. Like Daisy Jones, I had to make sure that this band was fictional. The comparisons are inevitable, & this one holds up.

Foe those who have read it, how much did you love Virgil? Far & away my fave character - one of my all-time fave "sidekicks".

⭐⭐⭐⭐✨/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⬇️

TheKidUpstairs Loved this one. The author put together a fantastic Spotify playlist for it, definitely worth checking out! 8mo
mom2bugnbee @TheKidUpstairs Ooooo, thanks! ☺ 8mo
4thhouseontheleft Great pick! 🎶 🎸 8mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage Perfect choice! 8mo
31 likes5 comments
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TrishB
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Mehso-so

Somewhere between a pick and a so-so. I loved Opal and I liked the social commentary. Some bits dragged but it was better than Daisy Jones which it seems to get compared with.
#booked2021 #musicalinstrumentoncover

Cinfhen Felt exactly the same way!!! 10mo
TrishB @Cinfhen 100 pages less would have been good! 10mo
Cinfhen Yup!! I skimmed chunks of the story and feel like I didn‘t miss anything 10mo
83 likes3 comments
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jackilynn
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Pickpick
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rachelm
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I‘m loving this but seriously, it would be a completely different experience on paper. The audio is incredible. Multi voice and I cannot even imagine not listening to this one

ChaoticMissAdventures That is what I thought! I got the hardback from BOTM but then realized I probably need to listen to it! On a library wait-list now. 10mo
rachelm @ChaoticMissAdventures I think you‘ll really really enjoy it in that format 10mo
54 likes2 comments
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Nute
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Sunday afternoon.
Someone (here) told me to read this. I can‘t recall the precise wording of the recommendation, but I am listening to the guidance.
So far, it seems like you know me well.

TrishB I‘ve just got this. Will await your review 😁 10mo
Nute @TrishB It‘s off to a good start.🙂 10mo
Eyelit Ooh, I loved this one! 10mo
113 likes3 comments
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Mdion1993
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Pickpick

Told as a fictional oral history, narrator S. Sunny Shelton reflects on a moment of civil disobedience in music history, only to reveal a more complicated truth. I expected this book to be a knock off Daisy Jones and the Six, and instead found a layered and thoughtful reflection on the performative nature of allyship (during the 70s and in present times) and what the responsibility of speaking your “truth” can do to marginalized groups of people.

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Kimberlone
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Solid end to the #LittenListen Audiothon hosted by @aperfectmjk . This was a great way to prioritize audiobooks in June, although I didn‘t make as much of a dent in my Audible titles as I wanted to. Thank you again Malina for hosting! I would definitely be interested in doing this again if you wanted to host another audiobook event.

My total for the whole event was 1465 points.

aperfectmjk Very nice job! Thank you so much for participating. 😘 11mo
38 likes1 comment
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Kimberlone
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Pickpick

The comparisons to Daisy Jones & the Six are warranted, but this one did leave wanting a little bit something. While the full cast narration was excellent, if my mind wandered at all while listening I would forget who was speaking or miss the name being introduced. I might have appreciated the story more if I had read the print version. That said, I did really enjoy the peek into 1960s-70s NYC music scene. Opal was definitely a badass. 3 ⭐️

48 likes1 stack add
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Samary
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this. As much as the actors did a great job on the audiobook I would have rather read it physically than listened to it. The format, for me, would have been better. But like I said the VO was great!

9 likes1 stack add
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Kimberlone
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Here is my final #BookspinBingo board. I ended up with two bingo lines, not too bad for my first time. And I read my main #Bookspin book - Strange Planet. Looking forward to continuing with playing in July!

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Lillie
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Haven't been on here this year but I've still been reading. I recommend these 4 books without reservation. Just fantastic reads!

Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall - non-fiction about the women forgotten by the feminist movement
Quiet In Her Bones by Nalini Singh - thriller by one of my fav authors
The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton - historical about a musical duo in the 1970's
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir - sci-fi (need I say more?)

BookishMarginalia Looks good! 11mo
11 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Melismatic
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Pickpick

This had a slow start & the interview style grated on my nerves (mainly bc people don‘t really talk like this conversationally) — but the political bend/Editorial aspects gave the story real life.

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Kdgordon88
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#JoysofJune Finished all my planned books and one other. Thanks for hosting @Andrew65

46 likes2 stack adds
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Annie1215
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I am holding off on putting up a “bailed” review of this one as this is simply a “pause”

So far I can tell the characters are interesting, but the format is not what I‘m in the mood for right now I guess. I made it to chapter ten and decided to take a break on this one for now.

For now it‘s a DNF. For my #bookspin book for June.

TheAromaofBooks I do love the Litsy term of “hibernating“ a book - sometimes it just is the right book but the wrong time! 11mo
Vansa I didn't much care for this book either. It should have been interesting,but it felt very forced- like someone hitting me over the head yelling " Ally! Empower! Fierce" in my ear! And Nev as a character wasn't even needed. I think an actual biography of Grace Jones would be more interesting than this!! 11mo
Tiffiney 40% in and I bailed...I was just so bored 11mo
52 likes3 comments
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Eyelit
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Pickpick

I loved this book and it was exactly what I needed this week! Kinda low key obsessed with these characters and am totally digging the playlist the author has up on Spotify. All the wins today! 🤩🎶😍

ChaoticMissAdventures Any book that has Janelle Monaeon their play list is a book I need to read! 11mo
69 likes1 stack add1 comment
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triplem80
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Pickpick

I thought this book was good, but not as good as I wanted or thought it would be...honestly, it was a bit of a slog for awhile. That said, it's still a pick for me. Plus, it's my #bookspin read for the month AND knocks off a #booked2021 prompt: #musicalinstrumentonthecover

@TheAromaofBooks @Cinfhen @BarbaraTheBibliophage @4thhouseontheleft

Cinfhen Yeah, it did draggggg in parts. I had similar feelings about this book 11mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 11mo
13 likes2 comments
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TheKidUpstairs
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Pickpick

So good. I highly recommend listening to the Spotify playlist Dawnie Walton created to go along with this one. It gives life to the sound, music, and legacy of Nev&Opal, and definitely heightened my experience of this read. I was struggling to understand the duo's "proto-punk" sound before I found it, which made it harder to invest in the book. But once I "got it", I couldn't put it down.

Eyelit I just finished this today and went straight to Spotify cause I was SURE there had to be some playlists for it - so happily surprised there was one from the author! 11mo
78 likes2 comments
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LeslieO
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Soooo good. #summerreading

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TheKidUpstairs
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All good music books should have a soundtrack! I'm loving this one, but was having a hard time imagining the sound of Opal and Nev's music. I just discovered that Walton put together a Spotify Playlist for the book, so I know what I'll be listening to for the next little while! Here's the link if you're interested: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0a6MAK1ycbv8oetTEbOwdo?si=FqXOC36rQDC-adlh08_W...

Prairiegirl_reading Love it when there is a playlist!!! 💜 12mo
thewallflower0707 Interesting, thank you for sharing! 12mo
Tera66 I love that, Im following so many book playlists on Spotify right now! 12mo
TheKidUpstairs @Tera66 @Prairiegirl_reading @thewallflower0707 I never knew book Playlists were a thing! This one is really good, I'll have to check out more! 12mo
70 likes4 comments
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Annie1215
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Here‘s my board!

I have a really busy month ahead of me so I will probably lean on audiobooks more that usual.

I have a good amount of personal/professional development books on the grid this month. Interested to see what I get to!

#bookspinbingo #doublespin

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! Looks great!!! 12mo
53 likes1 comment
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LeslieO
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Woo-hoo! Annual pic of the first summer reading on the deck. My happy place! #SummerReading #ReadingOutsideisanOutdoorActivity

peanutnine Lovely spot 🙂 Enjoy! 12mo
LeslieO @peanutnine thank you! I‘m ready for summer! 12mo
38 likes2 comments
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veebib
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"H?? ??? ? ??? ???? ??? ???? ??? ?? ????? ?‘? ?????, ? ???‘? ??????? ??? ???? ????, ??? ??‘? ??????? ???? ????. ? ??????? ?? ?????? ????? ???."
?????? ??????, ??? ????? ??????? ?? ???? & ???

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FelinesAndFelonies
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Mehso-so

This is between a pick & a so-so for me. I'm going with a so-so because the interview/article/memoir approach for this novel was too much. I also found the "Author's Note" every few chapters disruptive to the narrative. Whenever I finally found a groove that worked in the interview style an Author's Note would be inserted & throw me off. While the underlying story & message were powerful, I think they got lost in the style. ⭐⭐⭐?

Q84 I hate when a style diminishes the book 12mo
SamAnne I just started this one....Going to give it a shot. 12mo
FelinesAndFelonies @Q84 me too. I think if it had been presented differently I would have really enjoyed it because Opal was a captivating character. 12mo
FelinesAndFelonies @SamAnne I struggled with the style but hopefully it works for you! I really liked Opal as a character. I liked her immaturity and watching her develop a sense of awareness and responsibility, even of it was misplaced. 12mo
SamAnne @FelinesAndFelonies part of my issue is that I read Daisy Jones and the Six and Utopia Avenue, so feel a bit like been there, done that. Except that this one sounds like it deals with interesting issues of race, power etc in the music business. And that interests me. (edited) 12mo
71 likes1 stack add5 comments
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MaggieCarr
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Mehso-so

While the accolades are well deserved for Opal Jewel standing true to herself, I just don't think I personally felt a connection to any of the story since I lacked any context to either Nev or Opal, their music, or history. For the readers whom it does resonate with, it's well researched and mimics the writing style of the fictional account of Daisy Jones and the Six.

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MaggieCarr
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For all the same reasons it is important for readers to see themselves in books!!!

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Larkken
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Pickpick

Examines a fictional, 70s (?) Proto-punk duo that pushed racial boundaries of the time through a series of faux-interviews. Very similar in structure and feel to Daisy Jones and the Six, so check it out (especially on audio!) if you like that book. I also enjoyed the inclusion in this of allyship and performative allyship and how they might lead to art and career, while still being exclusionary.

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ICantImReading
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Walton‘s provoking oral history shows how racial injustices repeat over time and calls out for necessary change. The unique voices of the characters shine; I felt like I could actually hear them telling me their stories. The multiple editors notes made it hard for me to get into a good rhythm with this book. Although I enjoyed it, I found myself wanting to pick up other books instead, so it took me awhile to read. #BOTM

28 likes1 stack add
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marleed
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Pickpick

The comparisons to DJATS are evident , but there are plenty of directions to go when recording the fictional oral history of wild 70s rock-n-roll lives! However, considering the powerful voice of a black woman making her way in the 70s music industry and also how she feels at the age of 67 watching 2016 unfold makes this an unique telling.

Prairiegirl_reading Did you do this audio? 13mo
marleed @Prairiegirl_reading Yes. I love a full cast audio. I wished I‘d had the hard copy too. I think the format lends itself to reading and listening simultaneously. But I was in transit and the audio was simpler. Crazy canceled flight in Bozeman MT so I flew from Bozeman to Seattle to Chicago (red eye) to Kansas City! 13mo
Prairiegirl_reading @marleed I bought the paper and I regretted it as soon as I opened it figuring it would probably suit audio. 13mo
See All 8 Comments
Prairiegirl_reading @marleed sounds like a travel nightmare to me! 13mo
marleed @Prairiegirl_reading I was returning to my house after the honor of sitting bedside my sister in her final days. I had a bit of her ashes with me. My brother passed in his beloved Seattle so I was convinced she wanted me to join their spirits there. And then there is her Beloved Cubs! So I felt it as a flyover with her over Wrigley Stadium. I just felt her asking me to fly with her to those 2 cities - it seemed somehow okay. (edited) 13mo
Prairiegirl_reading @marleed awwwww 🥲 meant to be. Sorry for your loss 🤗 13mo
kspenmoll What a trip- and what a sister you are. So sorry for you loss - I am glad you were able to be with your sister during her last days. 💕 13mo
marleed @kspenmoll Oh thank you, I cannot imagine my world without her in it, but I‘m convinced her spirit remains. I mean she took me to Seattle then a flyover of Wrigley in Chicago - what more proof do I need! 13mo
76 likes1 stack add8 comments
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Johanna414
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Pickpick

I absolutely loved this book!!! Honestly, I kept forgetting that Opal was not a real person and wanting to look her up on YouTube and Spotify... I'm so glad I picked this up on a whim because it was unlike anything I've read before. I did listen to much of it on audio, which was full cast and brilliantly done!

40 likes2 stack adds