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Unlikely Animals
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
A lost young woman returns to small-town New Hampshire under the strangest of circumstances in this one-of-a-kind novel of life, death, and whatever comes after from the acclaimed author of Rabbit Cake. It was a source of entertainment at Maple Street Cemetery. Both funny and sad, the kind of story we like best. Natural-born healer Emma Starling once had big plans for her life, but she's lost her way. A med school dropout, she's come back to small-town Everton, New Hampshire to care for her father, dying from a mysterious brain disease. Clive Starling has been hallucinating small animals, as well as visions of the ghost of a long-dead naturalist, Ernest Harold Baynes, once known for letting wild animals live in his house. This ghost has been giving Clive some ideas on how to spend his final days. Emma arrives home knowing she must face her dad's illness, her mom's judgement, and her younger brother's recent stint in rehab, but she's unprepared to find that her former best friend from high school is missing, with no one bothering to look for her. The police say they don't spend much time looking for drug addicts. Emma's dad is the only one convinced the young woman might still be alive, and Emma is hopeful he could be right. Someone should look for her, at least. Emma isn't really trying to be a hero--but somehow she and her father set in motion just the kind of miracle the town needs. Set against the backdrop of a small town in the throes of a very real opioid crisis, Unlikely Animals is a tragicomic novel about familial expectations, imperfect friendships, and the possibility of resurrecting that which had been thought irrevocably lost.
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review
DebinHawaii
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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Pickpick

#BigJuneReadathon

Finished last night so it could go back to the library in time. Quirky & charming are the words I‘d use to describe this book. It made me laugh & made me tear up. The fantasy elements can get a little over the top, but I have to say that I loved the commentary from the denizens of the Maple Street Cemetery & Rasputin the fox & Moses the dog were fun too. The story touched on some heavier subjects like opioid addiction, death, ⬇️

DebinHawaii …grief, dementia, but didn‘t get bogged down in them & they made the family dynamics & friendshipsI more powerful. I adored Rabbit Cake & really enjoyed this one so I am looking forward to what Annie Hartnett writes next. 💙💙💙 2d
Clwojick I‘m definitely going to check this one out. 2d
58 likes2 comments
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MicheleinPhilly
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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Pickpick

Another winning novel from Annie Hartnett! People returning to their childhood homes and dealing with their quirky families seems to be an unintentional theme for me lately. There were some “too cutesy” elements but overall, I really enjoyed it.

Megabooks Great review! 4d
TrishB Stacked 👍🏻 4d
45 likes1 stack add2 comments
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ErikasMindfulShelf
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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Pickpick

This was a wonderful quirky novel full of love for people and animals. I‘m putting Rabbit Cake on my tbr. Definitely reading more by this author.

HeatherBookNerd I really enjoyed Rabbit Cake. I need to read this one. 1w
30 likes1 stack add1 comment
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FelinesAndFelonies
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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Pickpick

Where has Annie Hartnett been all of my life? I am so in love with this book. I am not usually a fan of books that have fantasy elements but this one incorporated the spectral elements so well that they became "real" characters in the story. They were the voice of the neighborhood which was its own character. She also tied in real places and historical figures into a modern setting in a way that was convincing and beautiful. 4.5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐?

Augustdana I‘ve got this on hold from the library RIGHT NOW 1mo
FelinesAndFelonies @Augustdana it's such a great book. It's quirky and emotional and all around loveable. 1mo
FelinesAndFelonies It reminds me of Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstances. 1mo
Ang203l Probably my favorite book of the year. How she wove it all together was magical! 1mo
61 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Kdgordon88
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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#BookReport I loved all of my books this last week with the tagged being 5 🌟 and the rest 4 🌟

#WeeklyForecast Hope to finish Say Nothing and just started All the Ways. So far I‘m keeping up on my buddy reads.

Cinfhen Yay!! So happy you had a great reading week!!! 1mo
46 likes1 stack add1 comment
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britt_brooke
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “It‘s unfair how the body crumbles while the soul still lives in it.“

This was almost incredible. Clive is suffering from a brain disease that causes entertaining hallucinations. Daughter Emma returns home to help watch over him. For me, this, the animals, and school kids were enough. Rasputin and Moses were nice touches, but the healer stuff, missing person, and cemetery commentary were TOO much. This needed reining in a smidge.

vivastory I have heard mixed reviews on this. I think I'm going to need to read it & make up my own mind. Good review! 1mo
britt_brooke @vivastory Thank you! Yes, definitely read it then let me know what you think! It‘s absolutely worth checking out. 1mo
vivastory @britt_brooke I received a drawing from Hartnett after I pre-ordered the book, so if nothing else I still have that! (edited) 1mo
See All 11 Comments
britt_brooke @vivastory Oh, that‘s cool!! 🤩 1mo
Alfoster Yes! So entertaining!❤️👏 1mo
britt_brooke @Alfoster Clive was my favorite! 1mo
Alfoster Yep! That‘s cause we‘re moms!😀👍 1mo
Cinfhen EXACTLY!!! 1mo
britt_brooke @Cinfhen I so love when we agree! 😚 1mo
Cinfhen Me too!!!!! XX 1mo
92 likes2 stack adds11 comments
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rabbitprincess
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
Pickpick

This was a delightful book. Funny but sad, as the Greek chorus—style narration describes it. I wasn‘t sure having the story told by the residents of Everton‘s cemetery would work, but it did, and very well. I liked this story of figuring out who you are and discovering new aspects of yourself, and I liked that some of it was based on true events. I still like Rabbit Cake better, but this is definitely worth reading.

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Alfoster
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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Pickpick

This was a weirdly wonderful book! Emma is a “healer” who returns to her hometown. That‘s all you need as every event seems to fly in the face of logic so let logic go and laugh, cry, hum to yourself if you like! Will give you all the feels!

rabbitprincess I‘m reading this right now and enjoying it so far! 2mo
Alfoster @rabbitprincess Yay! It‘s so different and cool!👍 2mo
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Christine
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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Pickpick

This was so lovable and witty that it could almost be TOO sweet, if it wasn‘t just perfectly salty and bitter, too. Annie Hartnett has a special knack for that, I think. Thoroughly enjoyed the audio version and was really touched by these words from the author's note at the end: “This book is about rooting for everyone“ - ❤️!

Alfoster Yay! Just started this morning so I‘m excited to read it!❤️👊 2mo
Christine @Alfoster Enjoy!!! 💙 2mo
Megabooks Great review! 2mo
Christine @Megabooks Thank you! I loved your review too, esp. the part about even the dead characters feeling so alive - perfectly stated! 2mo
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jlhammar
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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Pickpick

Delightful, whimsical, heartwarming and absolutely hilarious. I felt such affection for these characters. I liked this even more than Rabbit Cake. Highly recommend the audiobook. Mark Bramhall‘s narration was pitch-perfect.

Megabooks Great review!! 2mo
45 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Megabooks
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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Pickpick

This was such a brilliant book! I loved every character. Even the dead ones were so alive.

Emma has landed back in her small NH hometown and is roped into caring for her father, who is dying of a brain illness. This is no sad book though! Buoyed by a precocious class of 5th graders & a chorus of dead folks in the cemetery, her father manages to make a lot of trouble, including buying a tame fox & papering the town with flyers for a missing girl.

Megabooks I‘ve only covered a bit of the plot and characters in this wonderful web of stories about a special small town and extended family. READ THIS!! 2mo
jlhammar I'm listening to this one right now and loving it so far! 2mo
Cinfhen I thought this was a bit too zany but I did love her family dynamics and 5th graders (edited) 2mo
See All 13 Comments
squirrelbrain Stacked after such a great review! 2mo
Megabooks @jlhammar fantastic! 2mo
Megabooks @squirrelbrain I hope you enjoy it! 2mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen it hit just the right note for me! The whole thing worked for what I needed. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2mo
Cinfhen @britt_brooke is currently reading this one, im curious to hear her thoughts 2mo
Cinfhen I‘m glad you loved it!! 2mo
britt_brooke @Cinfhen I‘m almost finished. I‘ll tag you both when I review. I have at least four more to write first. 😩 2mo
Cinfhen Ohhh, can‘t wait @britt_brooke 2mo
Megabooks @britt_brooke lol! I have been behind and then writing 2 or 3 in a day as well. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I‘m glad you‘re still reading though. 👍🏻 2mo
britt_brooke @Megabooks I hate when I get behind like this. I need catch up today!! Plus I need to post a book club discussion (on Facebook). I had IRL book club today, too. Book things coming out my ears … but no time to pause and reflect. #booknerdproblems 😅 2mo
95 likes12 stack adds13 comments
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FelinesAndFelonies
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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Rainy day read. I won this finished copy in a Goodreads giveaway!
Living my best life. #catsoflisty #catsy #littenskittens

Soubhiville Aw kitties 🐱 💜 2mo
jlhammar I started this on audio. Really enjoying it so far. 2mo
57 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Soubhiville
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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Pickpick

I loved Hartnett‘s last book, so I was excited to see she‘d released a new one. Then I heard it took place in one of the towns where I grew up, and I was doubly so!

The way she captured memory loss and brain fog really hit home. I loved Emma‘s fifth grade class, what a pack of characters! And of course as a pet-mom, I love how important the animals were to the story. I really enjoyed this one a lot! 🦊🐶🐸

tpixie So glad this is good! @litsybookclub is going to read this in October. I loved 2mo
Hooked_on_books Oh cool! I‘m looking forward to this one. 2mo
83 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Branwen
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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Another week, another set of book recommendation videos! 😃 Please give them a view and a like! I really appreciate all the love and support! Unlikely Animals is on course to be one of my favorite adult books of the year, so I was really excited to talk about it! 📖 ❤

YA Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wa3LXDTn1MM

Adult:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tq-ncvovEv0

review
Lauren.Archer
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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Pickpick

I absolutely loved this book so much, You will delight in following this family especially Emma and Clive. There are serious moments in this book, but how these story lines are handled are perfection and never seem to drag this book down. Trust me, just go out and read this, you will not be disappointed.

Branwen I just finished this last night and I think it may be my favorite book so far this year! 2mo
Dragon Intriguing- stacked 📚 2mo
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Cinfhen
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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Pickpick

#ARC #AvailableNow If you enjoy oddball stories with quirky memorable characters this book is definitely for you!! I found it really fun & refreshing but a bit too much in parts. This book is a mashup of several genres which shouldn‘t work but somehow it does. Audio was delightful 🎧

britt_brooke Reading this now! I‘m so behind on reviews. Maybe one day, I‘ll get myself together. 😂😅 2mo
Cinfhen Are u enjoying?? For me it was not as good as 2mo
britt_brooke @Cinfhen Enjoying, but not loving. I think you and I have similar issues with it. Def not as good as Rabbit Cake, which I adored! 2mo
84 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Branwen
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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#wondrouswednesday @Eggs

⚘ I like buddy reading much better, especially if it's just with one or two people! I like the one on one a lot better, and I like having more choice in what's being chosen! That being said, I do love RUNNING book clubs - I manage three of them at my library! 😄

⚘ I'm more of a mood reader so I like to go with whatever I'm excited about at the time!

⚘ I'm reading the tagged book currently and am absolutely in love!

Eggs # 1: how wonderful!!! 2mo
31 likes1 comment
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Cinfhen
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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@anniehartnett has the most whimsical approach to storytelling ✨ 🪄 ♥️Her characters are quirky & magical and sometimes a little absurd but ALWAYS charming & memorable. This book is a little nutty but I‘m #HereForIt Alternating between digital copy & audio!! Narration is great but the print has photos!!!!

67 likes1 stack add
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Cinfhen
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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#ChangeOfPlans #UpNext #NetGalley #ARC #NowAvailable
I LOVED Rabbit Cake by @anniehartnett and I‘m super excited to read her newest book!!
Even though I received an advanced digital copy, I‘ve bought the audio for a full immersive experience 🎧♥️😁

Clwojick Oh! I loved Rabbit Cake too! Excited to hear your review. ❤️ 2mo
Cinfhen It was REALLY out there @Clwojick if you like whacky and screwball stories this one won‘t disappoint!! It was a bit TOO much for me by the end 2mo
62 likes2 comments
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Branwen
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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Hi and welcome to another episode of - 'I started reading this library book and then fell in love with it so hard I ordered my own copy to keep!' 😂🤣 It's the story of my life, honestly! 😄📚💕 I'm only about 60 pages in, but this story and its characters have completely stolen my heart! Also, this leftover Easter cake is DELICIOUS! 😋

vivastory I had apple pie on easter, but that cake looks amazing! I'm really looking forward to diving into the book & yes I think that it is the unofficial working title of my memoir 😂 2mo
Branwen @vivastory Apple pie sounds really good too! 😋🍎 Ha! 🤣😂 The book is, so far, really quirky and fun, with lots of emotional moments too - it's excellent! 2mo
57 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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vlwelser
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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Pickpick

This is fun. It's like an outsider's view of NH (a.k.a. The Shire). With some magical realism thrown in (ghosts). I did not read this author's other book. I thought this was fun and quirky. I'm definitely giving it a pick. I love this cover.

#BookSpinBingo @TheAromaofBooks

#ARC #Netgalley
Pub date was 4/12/22. I'm a little behind but only received this in March.

CBee Rabbit Cake was great! I have an arc of this I need to get to 2mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2mo
46 likes1 stack add2 comments
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JoyBlue
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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Mehso-so

This quirky piece of magical realism seemed like it would be right up my alley. Read my full review here: https://debbybrauer.org/#unlikely-animals

britt_brooke Hoping to get to this soon! 2mo
47 likes2 comments
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Susanita
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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I‘m tagging this book for no reason other than to get in onto my TBR list. 🤠

1. Yes. I will be singing in the choir and ringing handbells. We might go to dinner at our favorite restaurant owned by a Greek family who will celebrate next week.
2. Every month it ebbs and flows. This month seems especially so!
3. I‘m not gonna lie. This week I‘m grateful that there‘s no exercise class on Friday.

#wondrouswednesday

Eggs #3 LOL ! 2mo
32 likes1 comment
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TorieStorieS
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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Pickpick

Wow!!! I really can‘t get over how much I absolutely adored this book! Another #Top2022Read for sure!! Set in Everton, NH this book is a genuine delight to read! I laughed merrily out loud and found tears streaming down my face, too! I loved the narration from the town‘s omniscient dead and grew to love each of these characters that absolutely leapt off the page!! I haven‘t read Hartnett‘s debut novel but I can‘t wait to start it!! What a joy!!!

58 likes4 stack adds
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Ang203l
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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Supposed to be working from home but I can‘t put this one down! #catsoflitsy

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vivastory
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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My raven drawing from Annie Hartnett arrived!

Branwen OMG YAY! It's gorgeous! ❤❤❤ Also I can't wait for her new book to come out! It sounds amazing! 5mo
vivastory @Branwen Isn't it awesome? I'm really looking forward to her new book. I loved Rabbit Cake! 5mo
Cathythoughts Love it ❤️ 5mo
Branwen @vivastory Me too! 😃 5mo
83 likes4 comments
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DrexEdit
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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Pickpick

I was invited to read an #ARC of #UnlikelyAnimals by Annie Hartnett through Penguin Random House Ballantine Books on #NetGalley.

I must say PRH-Ballantine targets their audience pretty darn well. This was blurbed by Kevin Wilson who wrote my favorite book I read in 2020 Nothing to See Here.

Unlikely Animals is bound to appeal to anyone who likes Kevin Wilson books. A heartfelt story with just a bit of unreality attached. ⬇

DrexEdit Emma Starling was born with a healing charm. Nothing too big. She could clear up your skin condition, not cure your cancer. Still it made everyone around her treat her as special. We pick up her story as she returns to her small New England home having failed to become the amazing person everyone was always telling her she was. ⬇ 5mo
DrexEdit But also because her father is dying from a mysterious illness that causes hallucinations and lapses in judgment. He is haunted (or befriended) by the ghost of Ernest Harold Baynes and buys a fox from Romania for $18,000.
The narration switches from the 3rd person singular to the 3rd person omniscient collective, for lack of a better term. The collected souls in the Maple Street Cemetery fill in any missing background information for us. ⬇
(edited) 5mo
DrexEdit For the most part the shifts are smooth. This is the second book I've read recently with a collective 3rd person voice. It has a far more charming effect here than it did in the other book!
Overall I enjoyed this story of a young woman growing into her talents and finding out what's truly important to her very much.
5mo
See All 6 Comments
DrexEdit And I loved the frontispiece map (pictured above). 😊 💜 5mo
DrexEdit Oh! I'm so bad at this. I apologize! This book is expected to publish in April! 5mo
RaeLovesToRead Aww I love the map! 😍 5mo
59 likes1 stack add6 comments
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DrexEdit
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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🟣 Wolf Hall

🟣 The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

🟣 Fiction. Tagged. I guess you could call it literary fiction.

Anyone else want to play?
@peacegypsy @puzzledbooks @Ltrueblood @LeticiaToraci

DrexEdit Sorry @Eggs I completely forgot to tag you back and the hashtag! I blame my brain! 🧠🤪 #wondrouswednesday 5mo
BeaG I loved the Absolutely….of an Indian book. 5mo
Eggs No worries @DrexEdit 🤗 5mo
DrexEdit @BeaG me too! 👍 5mo
LeticiaToraci @BeaG Rich characterisation: Elder Race Genre I'm reading: Fantasy and Sci_fi. #wondrouswednesday 5mo
41 likes1 stack add5 comments
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DrexEdit
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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Today is#NationalThesaurusDay so I thought you all might like to play a little thesaurus game. I totally ripped this idea off from my employer's social media. 😊👍

Unlikely Animals --> Unconvincing Fauna

Post your new titles in the comments with a tag for the book or repost with #NationalThesaurusDay. Have fun! 🥳

ozma.of.oz Looks like fun! 5mo
johncadams I love that this a day. We need more days like this. 5mo
36 likes2 comments
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vivastory
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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I loved Rabbit Cake. This is an irresistible deal.

jlhammar I‘ve had Rabbit Cake on my shelf for years now. Need to finally read it! 5mo
Megabooks Cool! 5mo
rabbitprincess Ooh this is an auto-request. I LOVED Rabbit Cake. 5mo
See All 8 Comments
DrexEdit I have an ARC of Unlikely Animals I'm reading right now. I did not read Rabbit Cake. I'm about 1/3rd of the way through Animals and I love it so far! 👍😊 5mo
vivastory @jlhammar It was one of my favorites the yr it was released 5mo
vivastory @Megabooks I'll post a pic of my drawing when I receive it 5mo
vivastory @rabbitprincess I was unaware she had a new book being released until I came across this tweet yesterday, but last week I was thinking about Rabbit Cake 5mo
vivastory @DrexEdit Glad to hear that Unlikely Animals is good so far! I'll be curious to see what you think of RC if you read it. Judging from your tastes I think you'd like it! 5mo
68 likes8 comments
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DrexEdit
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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Maple Street Cemetery, Everton, NH.
43.3623°N, 72.1662° W
Years later, when people in Everton would tell this story, they would say it was Clive Starling who called the reporter, the way that man loved attention.

@ShyBookOwl
#FirstLineFridays