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Angitron

Angitron

Joined August 2017

Books and other musings at www.abbottlane.com
review
Angitron
If They Come For Us | Fatimah Asghar
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Pickpick

Gorgeous poetry! Love, loss, family, friendship...Asghar is able to capture so much in so few words. I also learned a little about The Partition of India (1947), into India and Pakistan, and how this sudden split sowed chaos and ripped families, cultures and lives apart. An estimated 14 million people were displaced. I felt ashamed that I knew nothing about this part of history and am grateful to Asghar and others who do the labor of teaching.

22 likes2 stack adds
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Angitron
The Beauty | Aliya Whiteley
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Pickpick

One of the strangest books I‘ve ever read, and I read some weird stuff! In it, a fungal plague has killed all of the women, leaving only men. The story follows a small band of men in a village who come into contact with new life - mushroom women who emerge from the graves of those lost. This was VERY weird and very disturbing, but it‘s brilliant and the writing is stellar - absolutely LOVED this novella!

19 likes1 stack add
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Pickpick

Picked this one up because I realized I‘d only read and knew of a few Black women horror writers. Addison is the first Black winner of the Bram Stoker Award for horror writing. Some things in this collection were stronger than others. But overall I enjoyed the poems, and I thought the stories were interesting and had a unique perspective.

23 likes2 stack adds
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Angitron
Baby Teeth | Zoje Stage
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Mehso-so

Somewhere between a so-so and pan, but closer to a pan. Despite my seething hatred of every single family member in this book, I found it oddly unputdownable. But overall, it felt too long, and the writing in Hanna‘s chapters didn‘t feel age appropriate. One thing I did like was the honest depiction of the mixed feelings the parents had towards parenthood. I suspect many couples feel this way, but it‘s rarely portrayed in popular culture.

Drocchio03 Just finished the book and agree with every word of your review. Finished it in a day, and am left totally unsatisfied. Blech. 1d
25 likes1 comment
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Angitron
Husk | J. Kent Messum
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This was a fun, fast read! It reminded me a lot of Blake Crouch‘s Dark Matter in terms of compulsive readability - I couldn‘t put it down! The wealthiest of the dead can temporarily upload their consciousness into a “husk” - a living person who essentially puts their body up for rent. With this body clients can do (and DO do) just about anything. One husk finds himself at the mercy of a horrific client, and must race against time to stop him.

LauraJ Sounds good! 3w
16 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Angitron
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this short, creepy read! The question of whether Amanda‘s problems are of supernatural origin or otherwise was captivating (IMHO, its a little bit of both - sometimes very high emotional states or transitions can result in a rebirth of sorts...) Regardless of what side of the argument you fall on, all in all I thought it was a great look at female rage and desire, and how we don‘t really know how to deal with them.

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Pickpick

Perhaps it‘s due to my state of mind right now (feeling a lack of being seen and/or heard), but I related to a number of these stories. Many of them feature lead characters who are being stalked or tormented by something indescribable. What makes Davila‘s writing so haunting is her use of language - it‘s the language of concrete reality. So when the uncanny occurs, it feels all the more frightening and disorienting. Loved this collection!

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An Unkindness of Ghosts | Rivers Solomon
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Mehso-so

Unpopular opinion, but I had trouble with this one. The writing was fine, but the main plot was stretched out across the book in such a way that I lost interest. I also had difficulty envisioning the mechanics and layout of the ship, and being able to visualize things when reading SFF is hugely important, IMHO. I almost feel like this would‘ve worked better as a collection of short stories - vignettes of the various characters and their lives.

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Washington Black | Esi Edugyan
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Edugyan can write! Loved this one. The story revolves around Wash, a boy born into slavery in Barbados. He‘s taken under the wing of an English scientist, and from there we follow Wash as he travels around the globe, ultimately seeking a wholeness he realizes is missing. There‘s a tinge of magical realism to the story, giving it the feeling of an adult fairy tale, and I found it hard to put down.

AmyG I loved this, too. 2mo
20 likes1 comment
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The Lathe of Heaven | Ursula K Le Guin
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I remember seeing the PBS adaptation of this in high school and loving it. It‘s about a man named George who has “effective” dreams - in other words, his dreams actually change reality. George‘s interactions with a manipulative psychiatrist eventually leads to chaos and the book shows the dangers of having a God complex, even if one‘s intentions seem “good” on the surface. A great read!

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The Street | Ann Petry
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Bailedbailed

I read according to my mood, and this one isn‘t quite hitting the spot for me right now. I may return to it eventually when the mood strikes, but for now... bailing!

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In the Distance | Hernan Diaz
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Håkan is a young boy when he‘s sent to America with his older brother. Almost immediately they‘re separated and Håkan, who was supposed to land in New York, finds himself in San Francisco at the height of the Gold Rush. He traverses the US in search of his brother, crossing paths with strange people and finding himself in nightmarish situations. Reading this felt like being trapped in a fever dream. Some of the imagery will never leave me!

18 likes2 stack adds
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Angitron
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Second book of the trilogy. I liked this (only slightly) less than the first book, partially because it felt all over the place. But it was exciting to be back in Thompson‘s rich world, and learning more about the alien presence that has taken up residence in Rosewater. I can‘t wait to see how it all ends!

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An interesting trip (ha!) through the world of psychedelics, going back to their history as a class of drugs studied at universities for their therapeutic potential, to their downfall and rebranding as a menace to society, to today where they‘re slowly creeping back into the halls of psychotherapy. It was a topic I didn‘t know much about, but I thought this was really well-researched and written. Fascinating and I learned a lot!

janerzy I‘ve been wanting to read this book! 2mo
Angitron @janerzy I totally recommend it! 2mo
17 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Angitron
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Pickpick

Samantha Irby is one funny lady! I found her writing hilarious and heartbreaking and unflinchingly honest. Towards the end I did get a bit of memoir fatigue (generally speaking, memoirs aren‘t my thing, so there‘s some inherent bias there), but overall I liked this one.

JoScho Love this one. 3mo
MrBook Nice review! 3mo
SW-T Good review! Very accurate 😊 3mo
22 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Angitron
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Panpan

I couldn‘t emotionally connect with this one, and I found some stylistic things a bit grating. There‘s definitely an audience out there for this one, I‘m just not one of them. Not a terrible book, just one that‘s not for me.

IamIamIam At least you gave it a fair shake. Not every book can be phenomenal! #NEXT! 3mo
Angitron @IamIamIam Yes! I‘m glad I checked it out and supported a local author at least! 😊 3mo
14 likes2 comments
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Angitron
Rogue Protocol | Martha Wells
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Man. I just love the Murderbot series! This one takes us on another zippy adventure with everyone‘s favorite misanthropic robot. The ending of this one felt sadly abrupt, like there was a bit of unfinished business. At the same time, I couldn‘t have seen it end any other way. How is it possible to get such feels about robots?!??

SW-T Because Murderbot, Art, and Miki are all wonderful in their own way 💕 3mo
Angitron @SW-T They really are, aren‘t they? I love that Wells is able to give them such humanity! 3mo
13 likes2 comments
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Angitron
The Black God's Drums | P. Djeli Clark
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I‘m so impressed by Clark‘s writing. Nothing I‘ve read by him so far has been anything less than totally engrossing and magical! This novella is no exception and I‘m hopeful, once again, that he‘ll write more stories set in this universe.

Kammbia1 I just started reading this one. It has been on my list to read for awhile. 1mo
28 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Angitron
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This book is set in the same universe as The Haunting of Tram Car 015, a world I really love! This is actually the first story in the series, so I‘ve gone a bit backwards, but it didn‘t make *too* much of a difference. I really love Clark‘s writing and hope he sets more stories in this alternate history version of Cairo.

Ashley_Nicoletto I love this author. Did you read this one? It was fantastic. 3mo
DGRachel I downloaded this yesterday because I love the title. Looking forward to reading it! 3mo
Angitron @Ashley_Nicoletto I just started reading it the other day, right after I finished Dead Djinn in Cairo. It was like “Whelp, loved this...let‘s do another one.” 😂 Loving it so far! He‘s such a fantastic world builder! 3mo
Angitron @DGRachel Hope you enjoy it! 😊 3mo
26 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Pickpick

This book is insane. A scientist invents a process by which blacks can become white, and before you know it, scores of blacks in the US change their race, throwing the country‘s racial anxiety into high gear. Schuyler places the blame for racism in squarely in capitalism‘s hands, and thus skewers EVERYONE - white and black. No one is safe from his critical eye, and while funny the book is also uncomfortable. I enjoyed it but...YIKES. 😳😳😳😂😂😂

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This was so much fun! Wonderful world-building (an alternate history set in a never colonized, technologically advanced Egypt), a fun mystery and interesting characters. Hoping that Clark writes more stories set in this world!

21 likes2 stack adds
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Love love love Gay‘s writing! This is a gorgeous book of poetry focused on gratitude for the small things, which, when placed together, comprise the large arcs of our lives. I love the way his poems pivot - they often start at one point and meander, ending at a different place from where they started, but somehow maintaining a beautiful cohesiveness. Gay is definitely a new to me favorite writer!

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Pickpick

This book should be essential reading for anyone who identifies as a feminist. Cooper writers with intense clarity about the myriad ways in which mainstream feminism fails to address the unique hardships of Black women. I wish I had had this in college when, as a young woman minoring in Women‘s Studies, I often experienced discomfort and sometimes outright hostility - much of it at the hands of women who professed to be feminists. A must read!

TrishB Stacked 👍🏻 4mo
MicheleinPhilly GREAT review! 4mo
Angitron @TrishB 🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾 4mo
25 likes4 stack adds4 comments
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Angitron
We Cast a Shadow: A Novel | Maurice Carlos Ruffin
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Mehso-so

For some reason, this was confusing to me. Things happened that didn‘t seem central to the plot, it felt disjointed, and the middle lagged. The main story - a satire about a black man trying to save enough money for an operation that will make his son look Caucasian - felt lost in the shuffle. There were moments of clarity, so it wasn‘t a total miss for me, but yeah...it‘s a strange book! I think it might have worked better as a short story.

Nickinpa I‘m reading this one now and it‘s a struggle. I‘m trying not to DNF. On page 154 and not liking it, not even a little bit. 4mo
Angitron @Nickinpa I felt the same way - it is a struggle, isn‘t it? And I can‘t say that it gets much better as you go further along. I‘m glad I read it, in the sense that I was exposed to a new author. But yeah... 4mo
Nickinpa @Angitron I finished and felt that 3rd and 4th parts were vastly better than the first two parts. I liked Black No More by George Schuyler much better. Still We Cast a Shadow was a meh read for me. (edited) 4mo
Angitron @Nickinpa I agree! It‘s too bad that it took so long to get more momentum. Thanks for the Schuyler recommendation - I‘ll check it out! 😊 4mo
22 likes4 comments
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Angitron
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this collection of stories. I think Collins‘ writing is beautifully nuanced - there‘s a lot under the surface. It was interesting to read about middle class, highly educated Black women in the 1960s and 1970s, when the US was in the midst of so much upheaval re: civil and women‘s rights. A few of the stories didn‘t *quite* work for me, but the ones that did blew my mind. My favorites: The Uncle, Lifelines, and the title story.

27 likes1 stack add
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Angitron
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Pickpick

A solid collection of short stories, many of them focused on familial relationships. The title story was one of my favorites, simply for the fascinating/terrifying future presented (US and Europe are completely underwater, forcing white majorities to resettle in brown/black countries; a biological weapon that targets melanin; tattoos that denote class and restrict or expand where you travel), and I hope she develops them into a full-length story!

hermyknee Great review! 5mo
Angitron @hermyknee Thank you! 😊 5mo
32 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Angitron
The Changeling | Victor LaValle
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This book is a mixed bag. I found myself frustrated with a few threads that were left open, and some ideas that would have been fascinating if they were more fleshed out. I also didn‘t quite understand the purpose of a few plot points. But the writing is terrific and overall I enjoyed this one!

MrBook Great review! 5mo
Angitron @MrBook Thanks! 5mo
25 likes2 comments
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Angitron
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Pickpick

It took me a minute to get into the language of this book, and its various POVs. But in the end I was really impressed by the way Bolander was able to weave together three historically-based storylines to create an alternate history in which elephants and humans can communicate via sign language. Very inventive and well-written!

20 likes1 stack add
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Angitron
Bedfellow | Jeremy C. Shipp
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Bailedbailed

A short book but I‘m finding that I don‘t really care about the family at the center of the story, making it a slog for me. Bailing on this one...at least for now.

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Behold the Dreamers | Imbolo Mbue
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Mehso-so

This was *just* shy of a pick for me. While the writing was lovely, the story felt a bit bare bones and at times I was a bit bored. Had the story been a bit meatier, this would‘ve been a clear win. I‘m excited to see what the author does down the road (this is her debut), because I think she‘ll only get better and eventually produce something really special!

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Angitron
Friday Black | NANA KWAME. ADJEI-BRENYAH
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Mehso-so

Based on the strength of the first story in this collection, I thought I would love it. Unfortunately, the rest of the stories didn‘t grab me in the same way. Adjei-Brenyah writes beautiful prose but the stories, with a few exceptions, didn‘t work for me. That being said, I‘ll be interested to see where he goes from here as his craft develops.

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Pickpick

This was a short, mildly humorous book set in Lagos, Nigeria about the relationship between two sisters, one of whom is...any guesses??? 😂😂😂 I enjoyed this, though my attachment to the sisters felt a little more emotionally removed than I would‘ve liked. Still, a good read that questions how far one should go to protect those they love, flawed though they might be.

RaimeyGallant Great review! 5mo
28 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Angitron
Augustown | Kei Miller
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I‘ve been incredibly fortunate with my latest run of reads. Augustown is a moving portrayal of this (fictional, but based on the real August Town) town in Jamaica, and the people who live there. The story weaves back and forth through time and you come to understand how the past impacts present events in characters‘ lives in profound ways. I absolutely LOVED this one!

TheNextBook Intrigued! 5mo
Angitron @TheNextBook It is SO GOOD! 5mo
23 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Angitron
Convenience Store Woman | Sayaka Murata
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I‘m not sure what to think about this one. I keep seeing reviews where people thought it was cute and hilarious, but I actually found it dark, unsettling, and a bit sad. The book is essentially about a convenience store woman who goes on a journey of sorts to discover her place in the world. Despite the fact that my feelings are a bit conflicted about the book‘s message, I still found it to be a very quick and enjoyable read.

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Heads of the Colored People: Stories | Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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I was completely blown away by this short story collection. Loosely connected, each story focuses on the lives of middle class African-Americans. The stories are funny at times, but heartbreaking in equal measure, and there‘s not a bad one in the bunch. Amazing and highly recommended!

cocomass Oooh I have this my nightstand and am going to start it today! 6mo
Angitron @cocomass I literally had the chills when I finished! Hope you enjoy it! 😊 6mo
Tamra I need to bump this up! 6mo
Angitron @Tamra 🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾 6mo
26 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Angitron
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Pickpick

Loved this book! Light, sweet and heartwarming novel about three very different people who are brought together for a cross-country tour of America. I loved the humor peppered throughout, and how the characters‘ lives intertwine in ways that unexpectedly enrich each of them. Just the type of hopeful read I need during these dark times!

Well-ReadNeck Yay! This one is sitting on my kindle TBR!!! Moving it up the stack! 6mo
Angitron @Well-ReadNeck I thought it was lovely! Hope you enjoy it too! 😊 6mo
28 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Angitron
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1. Read 60 books, read more by POC, LGBT, and queer writers, or books featuring folx from those segments of society as the main character, and participate more on Litsy.
2. Nope!
3. Don‘t really have one.
4. March
5. Happy birthday!! 🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾
#friyayintro @howjessreads

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Angitron
Jackaby | William Ritter
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Normally I‘m not the biggest fan of urban fantasy, but the way the genre is combined with mystery made it enjoyable for me. Light, fun, highly readable! I‘ll definitely be picking up the other in the series.

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These were my favorite reads of 2018. Each of them changed me in some noticeable way, and I‘m so grateful that these books “found” me. Here‘s to another year of great reading Littens!

StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego 💕 The Broken Earth Trilogy & The Song of Achilles 💕 6mo
22 likes1 comment
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Angitron
Foe | Iain Reid
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Ooh! This was deliciously eerie and strange! Like a book version of an episode of Black Mirror. I couldn‘t put it down. It was my first Reid book, and I‘ll definitely be seeking out more by him. The book is a clever way to dive deep into questions of relationships, how well you can actually know someone, and how much of what you think you know is actually your projection of who you want or expect them to be.

vivastory I keep meaning to read this one! I loved 6mo
DoonTheGoon I loved this one too - it kept me guessing and was so eerie. 6mo
Angitron @DoonTheGoon Wasn‘t it though? I was riveted! 6mo
Angitron @vivastory I definitely want to read that now that I‘ve read Foe! 6mo
DoonTheGoon @Angitron Goosebump inducing for sure!!! 6mo
25 likes1 stack add5 comments
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Untitled | Unknown
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Another fun Christmas themed cozy British mystery. I love this series and the antics of Lady Hardcastle and her lady maid/sidekick Flo never fail to disappoint. The cast of characters in the town now feel like old friends. A fun, quick story for the holiday season!

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Pickpick

This was *exactly* what I was looking for! Totally charming cozy British mystery, with memorable characters and a fun mystery at its center. I‘ll definitely be looking to read all of the books in the series!

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Hounded | Kevin Hearne
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Mehso-so

Liked, but didn‘t love, this one. It was fun and had some genuinely funny parts. But overall I felt like the Druid had an answer for whatever problem came his way - a magical amulet, werewolves, vampires, power from the earth, goddesses who looked kindly upon him - it was all a bit too *easy* for our hero. There was no true struggle, so it became predictable. A fun, light read, and not at all bad, but I probably won‘t continue with the series.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I enjoyed these, but I listened to them on audio and the narrator was excellent, so that might have influenced me. If it helps any, this book sets things up for the rest of the series, all the favors he calls in here, are asked to be repaid throughout the series, usually with bigger and bigger consequences, which means more favors, which snowballs. You know that old saying about asking a god for a favor, you always owe one back and it‘s a big one. (edited) 6mo
Angitron @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Thanks for this - that‘s really good to know! That was really my only major quibble. Maybe I‘ll check out the next book in the series then! 6mo
Seekingtardis @Riveted_Reader_Melissa the audios are AMAZING!! I don‘t think I would have been able to get through them if I wasn‘t listening. 6mo
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Seekingtardis I know Luke Daniels the narrator did a fabulous job with them, I listened to other things since...solely because he narrated them. 6mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Angitron No pressure, sorry if I pressured you there. But yes, this series always had our Druid trying to repay one favor only to become further and further indebted to others...and the repayments get steeper and steeper until the conclusion of the whole series. I will say that I love mythology and I loved the way the series played with pantheons from a bunch of different cultures and had them interact, that part was very fun for me to read. 6mo
Angitron @Riveted_Reader_Melissa No pressure at all! I‘m glad you let me know that things get better. It would be a shame to miss out on something good because I didn‘t give it enough of a chance. I think I‘ll check out the audiobook version - it sounds fantastic! 😊 6mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Angitron Great! If you do, let us know what you think of it in that format. 6mo
18 likes7 comments
blurb
Angitron
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Got to meet N.K. Jemisin last week. Errrr...no big deal (Silent scream!!!! 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩)

TrishB Very cool pic 👍🏻 7mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Holy Moly! That is awesome! And a great picture too! I love her books! 6mo
26 likes2 comments
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Angitron
Vote! | Eileen Christelow
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Blergh! I can‘t even watch the returns, so maybe I‘ll settle in with a book (if I can concentrate). My local elections went well, but it‘s other parts of the country I‘m worried about. 😩

BookishMarginalia Florida sucks 8mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage I‘m in the same boat. On pins and needles for my local House district and also the House as a whole. Heartsick about FL. 8mo
23 likes3 comments
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Angitron
Prime Meridian | Silvia Moreno-Garcia
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Pickpick

Lovely novella about a young woman who dreams of leaving her life in Mexico City to live on Mars. The feeling that Morena-Garcia conjures in this story is familiar to many of us, namely the sense of being held back from achieving dreams. Sometimes these limits are self-imposed, other times they‘re the result of things beyond our control. This is a beautiful, wistful tale in which the main character attempts to navigate this confusion. Recommended!

23 likes1 stack add
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Angitron
The Nightingale | Kristin Hannah
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Bailedbailed

I just couldn‘t get into this one and had trouble connecting with the characters.

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Pickpick

Absolutely DEVOURED this one. It‘s a fascinating account of Elizabeth Holmes‘ medical scam, Theranos. At its peak the company was valued at 9 billion dollars. 9 BILLION! The lies and deception at the center of the company‘s success (and ultimate downfall) get more and more insane the further you read. I was riveted! 😮

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Angitron
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Pickpick

This was a fun read with memorable characters. It took me a bit longer than I expected to get into it, and I wasn‘t *insanely* in love with it (I think this was due to the fact that I‘d hyped it up in my mind, rather than the book itself), but once I got going I enjoyed it!

cocomass I‘m with you 100% on this one. I didn‘t love it, but I loved that it was unlike anything else I‘d read. 8mo
Angitron @cocomass That‘s the PERFECT way of putting it! 8mo
23 likes2 comments
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Angitron
Experimental Film | Gemma Files
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Here are my planned reads for October! My reading hasn‘t been as on target lately, so hopefully I‘ll be able to get through all of these, and maybe even add a few more! #screamathon