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Babs_book_obsession

Babs_book_obsession

Joined September 2016

Hoarding books prevents me from hoarding cats.
review
Babs_book_obsession
Extinctions | Josephine Wilson
Mehso-so

This one was interesting. My first thought on finishing was “Where's the rest of it?“. Mulling it over I guess it was an ending I wanted more.
The book starts out with the main character being so unlikeable it is almost unbearable. I think this is written well, even if it is hard to read. Then he meets another character that inspires him to change. The change itself happens really fast though so... not really the most believable?

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Babs_book_obsession
Indigena Awry | Annharte
Mehso-so

Lots of poems in this collection, some blew me away and some went completely over my head. Consider my 3 stars partially my inexperience reading and reviewing poetry. I loved her wicked sense of humour and biting commentary on how indigenous people have and are being treated in Canada.

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Babs_book_obsession
Vita Nostra | Sergey Dyachenko, Marina Dyachenko
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Pickpick

It is delightfully weird and Russian. I hope that isn't stereotyping but I mean it in the most loving way. It is chock full of weirdness and terrifying beauty and ideas, some understandable and many not? I can't imagine how it was written and I can't imagine changing a thing. What a translation too, unbelievable.

7 likes1 stack add
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Babs_book_obsession
Pickpick

My favorite one yet. Just those perfect quick easy reads you can't get enough of.

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Babs_book_obsession
Monkey Beach: A Novel | Eden Robinson
Pickpick

I am a bit sad to be finished. Eden Robinson is one of my favourite authors right now. This is her first novel and it is a bit choppy? A lot goes on and it jumps from around. Still, I really enjoyed it. I love the myths woven into the book and the ominousness. I love her characters and how she portrays relationships between family and friends. Well worth reading.

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Babs_book_obsession
Panpan

This book is based on the author's Massey lectures so I was hopeful it would be nice and accessible for plebians like me.

The book was ok, and I learned a few interesting tidbits of history but the format that worked for the lectures didn't work in the book. You get random people from random time periods thrown together. They are supposed to be connected by their traits like hubris or daring, but it all gets very confusing.



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Babs_book_obsession
Mehso-so

It was good. I enjoyed it but I wasn't blown away. I guess I feel like I have read similar books. It was unique in the setting and it was interesting in terms of what this area of Scotland may have been like at the time. Maybe I am becoming a book snob?

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Babs_book_obsession
river woman | Katherena Vermette
Pickpick

Some love poems, some sad poems, some political poems, but all are touching beautiful poems.

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Babs_book_obsession
Florida | Lauren Groff
Pickpick

I really enjoyed this.Get the audio version.

This book has a special shiny glow for me and I immediately looked up all her other stuff. Of course I liked some stories more than others but I got sucked in every time. This book has a certain weird factor. I know it is named Florida and we all think Florida is weird (right?), but it's not that. I get the impression the author is a little weird, in a good way. We could hang out, lol.

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Babs_book_obsession
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow | Washington Irving
Panpan

Yeah, I didn't feel the love for this one. I suppose it could have been the radio drama format but still not sure I would have liked it. Mehhh? I would say it was the times but The Wizard of Oz is from this era and it is excellent. Just not my cup of tea.

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Babs_book_obsession
Mehso-so

This book takes place over only a couple years and King Peggy doesn't mess around, she gets stuff done. But it is about more than a secretary from the Ghanian embassy becoming a king and improving the quality of life in her village. Oh the drama! Ghana, who knew?! Secret plotting, theft, sabotage, all kinds of crazy stuff. The book made me very angry at the entitlement and privilege of men, all men used to being in positions of power.

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Babs_book_obsession
Hopscotch | Julio Cortázar
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Mehso-so

The writing is beautiful. Pick this up if you want philosophy and beautiful prose. It is not always easy to understand and the main character is a dick. He drinks with his 'literary' friends, discusses music, philosophy etc. all with a disdain for everyone else's opinions, especially the women, whom they merely humor because they are so cute and frustrating when they are straining their inferior brains trying to understand the discussion. Grrrr.

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Babs_book_obsession
Pickpick

I read this in one evening. I really look forward to seeing more of this author in the future. I love the first nations take on an apocalyptic novel. They become increasingly isolated from the world to the south and the tension and fear builds. It is a story about community and how first nations people have survived and will continue to survive in some way, regardless of what colonizers or the world throws at them. It is not a action-packed.

6 likes1 stack add
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Babs_book_obsession
The Outsider | Stephen King
Pickpick

Well done. It had the required grossness and the creepiness and some good characters. There were occassions I thought things dragged on a bit long but it is still well worth it.

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Babs_book_obsession
Pickpick

I was sucked in pretty quickly, I mean you have mercs on motorcycles on a desert planet intersecting with a big scary corporation all sprinkled with mysterious magical witchy stuff. The characters are enjoyable and the story built up nicely. I still have a fair number of questions but it wrapped up enough. There is some cliche and corniness, but they keep it is pretty light considering they have western and sci-fi to choose from.

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Babs_book_obsession
Oryx and Crake | Margaret Atwood
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Mehso-so

Atwood playing with human greed, fear, loneliness and selfishness. Made me feel uncomfortable with the story and with humanity. She touches the truth and it doesn't feel good. She makes you think. Much of it isn't likeable. It isn't a horribly depressing, tear your hair out, post-apocalyptic novel though. She takes some of the sting out with humor, attacking everyone from capitalists to left wing hippies. It is hilarious and gets my hackles up.

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Babs_book_obsession
Deep Roots | Ruthanna Emrys
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Pickpick

Took a while for this one to get it's tentacles on me but once it did I was flying through it! I don't want to go into the plot for fear of spoiling things but the different types of humans and the Outer Ones keep you entertained while you chew on deeper questions like the idea of otherness, and how we treat those we see as different from ourselves. Similar to Winter Tide, I thought there were a few too many characters.

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Babs_book_obsession
The Seamstress of Ourfa | Victoria Harwood Butler-Sloss
Pickpick

A historical fiction about a family living through the Armenian genocide. The characters are interesting and suck you in and you get an idea of what it was like for Armenians at the time. I enjoyed it but you are essentially following a family through the ups and downs in their lives and there is no traditional story structure. I also thought the ending was a bit weak.
Thanks to Netgalley for providing me a copy in return for an unbiased review.

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Babs_book_obsession
THERE ARE THINGS I KNOW. | KAREN. B. GOLIGHTLY
Pickpick

Oooh, an abduction thriller novella. Pushes the mom panic buttons alright. Enjoyable little buzz of adrenaline rooting for this boy.
I received an ARC from Netgalley for an unbiased review.

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Babs_book_obsession
Blacksad | Juan Diaz Canales, Juanjo Guarnido
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Pickpick

Really enjoyed the first two stories but the third one lost me a bit. The illustrations are amazing and I love the personalities portrayed as animals. If you like old school private detective stuff you should pick this up.

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Babs_book_obsession
Multiple Choice | Alejandro Zambra
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Mehso-so

What a strange little book! The structure of the book is based on a multiple choice test that is used to get into Chilean Universities. It is hard to rate something this unique but it grew on me as I read it and I will probably remember it because of it's unique format.

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Babs_book_obsession
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Mehso-so

Yeah... it was good. I enjoyed it but am not wowed or filled with warm fuzzy feelings. Maybe I am too harsh today?

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Babs_book_obsession
Raw Colour with Pastels | Mark Leach, Angie Patchell
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Pickpick

A great book I would love to buy for reference. The artworks are beautiful and plentiful and the text was insightful and easy to understand. I have never read an art instruction book where the artist can so clearly explain why and how he does what he does. Really well done.

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Babs_book_obsession
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Pickpick

I have never read anything quite like this. This is some powerful poetry. So many concentrated emotions, it is like a poetry bomb.

readordierachel I loved this one too 10mo
5 likes1 comment
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Babs_book_obsession
Nobody Cries at Bingo | Dawn Dumont
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Pickpick

Her anecdotes are great and really true to rural Saskatchewan. The similarities between our childhoods make it even more sad to hear of the racism she experienced. Although I mentioned racism, that is not the focus of the book. It is about family and growing up, and has lots of humour. But the book has a bit of a jumpy, disjointed feeling as the chapters don't follow a particular order.

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Babs_book_obsession
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Pickpick

Her story is captured really well, what an interesting life she has lead. Some of the chapters about her youth bounce around so it would take me a while to put together how old she was and where she was living/going to school.



Insightful and frightening to hear how the Taliban wins over the general public with good deeds and being there for people while the government is letting them down. That and manipulating their religion.

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Babs_book_obsession
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Pickpick

An easy entertaining read with more interesting anecdotes and journalism than technical detail, especially compared to Shrinks which I read earlier this year. It is light and makes you think which I get the feeling is what the author was going for.

8 likes1 stack add
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Babs_book_obsession
In the Miso Soup | 村上龍, Ralph F. McCarthy
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Pickpick

Ummm yeah, creepy and gross for sure but there is more to it. It is short but you have interesting musings on culture and whatever the heck is going on with the main character Kenji. Something to disturb you well after you finish it. My husband thought it wasn't wrapped up enough for him, didn't answer enough of his questions, so if that drives you nuts it may not be for you.

7 likes1 stack add
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Babs_book_obsession
Panpan

It was ok but I can't help but feel not a whole lot happened and I didn't really get attached to any of the characters. Well, ok, I liked one goblin but that was partially the audiobook narrator doing a great job.

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Babs_book_obsession
HEX | Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Mehso-so

It was ok but definitely not stand out spooky like I was hoping for. Creepy witch in a town, some freaky happenings.

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Babs_book_obsession
Beforelife | Randal N. M. Graham
Pickpick

I liked the premise and I think the book delivered on it. I enjoyed it through to the ending and thought it did a good job of incorporating speculative fiction, satire, politics, and philosophy. Personally some of the comedy was just too over the top for me, it can be awfully cheesy at times but it is obviously intentional and I think whether you love it or it drives you nuts will be very personal. Still pretty impressive for a debut novel.

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Babs_book_obsession
BOTTLED GOODS. | SOPHIE. VAN LLEWYN
Pickpick

The frightening reality of life in communist Romania, which I admit to being largely ignorant about, plus some magical realism makes for a pretty fresh and unique novella. You also get some nicely complex, or in my mind, realistic, relationships developed too. There is something a little disjointed(?) about the chapters, they feel almost separate from each other in a way? I don't even think that is necessarily a bad thing but just different.

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Babs_book_obsession
Mehso-so

Took me a bit to get into but I did. What a strange guy. Can't say I feel a lot for him other than sort of understanding the disappointment of striving for perfection and failing. Actually, I am a lot more fascinated by his wives. Interesting graphic novel on the whole.

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Babs_book_obsession
Behind Her Eyes | Sarah Pinborough
Pickpick

A fun little thriller. All the more fun if you decide not to focus too much on the details. Does Louise make just too many dumb decisions to be realistic? Well, people can be pretty dumb, but maybe. Could someone completely rely on her making exactly all those decisions to make the story work out just so? Unlikely... but I say ignore that level of detail and have a fun time enjoying the story. A talented author I would read again.

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Babs_book_obsession
Mischling: A novel | Affinity Konar
Pickpick

I know some people are appalled by fiction about the Holocaust but anything that can give you even an inkling of how horrible the war was and help us to feel compassion helps us to remember. The genuine criticism of the book is that the language is almost too beautiful and flowery and that is true at times but still it was a very good audiobook.

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Babs_book_obsession
Beautiful Darkness | Fabien Vehlmann, Kerascoët
Pickpick

The sweetness and grim darkness of an old school fairy tale with great illustrations. Pretty and weird, what's not to like?

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Babs_book_obsession
Record of a Night Too Brief | Hiromi Kawakami
Pickpick

Three stories, beautifully written and bizarre. I thought the translation was well done. The stories were very dream-like and reminded me of Alice in Wonderland. While I enjoyed the oddness I would have liked a little bit more clear resolution to the stories.

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Babs_book_obsession
The Cage | Martin Vaughn-James
Pickpick

I had no idea what I was getting into other than a Canadian graphic novel from the 70s so I feel like I have stumbled upon an unexpected, bizarre treasure. It is hard to describe because it is something like I have never seen. It is more like visiting your own private art exhibit than reading a book. I can understand why many don't like it as it is very weird and doesn't honestly doesn't make sense? Enter at your own risk!

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Babs_book_obsession
Orphan Master's Son | Adam Johnson
Mehso-so

First I was bored, then I was confused, then I found myself really enjoying it. It is not easy to get into and it is very traumatic at times. Read it for a glimpse at life in North Korea, including the absurdity, and to reflect on the meaning of freedom. The story itself doesn't pick up for quite a while and is hard to take literally.

1 like1 stack add
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Babs_book_obsession
Monoceros | Suzette Mayr
Pickpick

Clearly with the suicide topic it is not going to be a happy book but it is a good book. I really liked the characters. I think people feel more real when they are flawed, have bad qualities as well as good. I like how the different characters process the suicide differently and I like how you can see the flaws in the school system in dealing with the suicide and with LGBTQ people. It does this without being preachy like an essay.

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Babs_book_obsession
Forbidden Fruit | Stanley Gazemba
Mehso-so

I enjoyed this book, particularly the interesting lives of different people in rural Kenya. The setting is very strong and interesting but I think the main characters could have used a bit more work. I didn't quite get a detailed feel for them or their motivations. Still, a good read overall and I would not be surprised to see Mr. Gazemba's work receive more positive attention.

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Babs_book_obsession
Pickpick

Weird is my genre of choice so this was perfect. So nice to find a really original story. I was never bored and was sad when it ended.

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Babs_book_obsession
Threats: A Novel | Amelia Gray
Mehso-so

Ummm, I am not really sure what happened but it sounded pretty. Apparently her writing is entertaining enough I don't need to know what is going on? So, not sure why I liked this but I kind of did. Most vague review ever? Maybe, maybe not. If you need a clear plot or likeable characters, back away.

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Babs_book_obsession
The Awakening | Kate Chopin
Pickpick

Chopin really has a way of capturing female characters that feel trapped in some way, women with complex emotions. Not to say you will like her characters, just that there is something real about them. I can see why her work was not appreciated at the time as the women in her stories have independent thoughts and feelings not concerning their husbands or children, how frightful! The white privilege is glaring but clearly part of the times.

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Babs_book_obsession
Fuzzy Nation | John Scalzi
Pickpick

Ok, this was fun, plain and simple. I enjoyed the story, characters, and the narration. Winner all around for me as I can't think of anything more I would want. I suppose it is not 'highbrow literature' but that should be pretty clear from the blurb/cover. There will definitely be more Scalzi in my 'to read' list.

3 likes1 stack add
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Babs_book_obsession
THETHINGWITHFEATHERS | Jennifer Fowler
Panpan

Wow, what a mess. I should have stopped reading when I realized the author doesn't understand evolution but I gave it a shot. That and it is kind of hard not to look at a trainwreck. The plot is absolutely bizarre. Muslims are compared to communists and nazis, and only worshipping God can save the day. Why would God put up years of warring, and a horrible dystopian society you might wonder? Well, apparently God works in mysterious ways. Ughhh...

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Babs_book_obsession
Dodgers | Bill Beverly
Pickpick

Enjoyed the characters, the prose, the audiobook narrator, an enjoyable experience all around. It's not a brainless crime novel, although I can like those too. The literary crime novel description is apt.

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Babs_book_obsession
March: Book Three | Andrew Aydin, John Lewis
Pickpick

Very highly recommended. Incredible insight into the civil rights movement. I can't imagine having the courage or intelligence (the planning, fundraising, and the politics!) to accomplish what they did. Sadly, this is also very topical considering how it is increasingly obvious, even for people with white privilege like me, that institutionalized racism and voter suppression are still very real problems.

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Babs_book_obsession
Hammers on Bone | Cassandra Khaw
Pickpick

Bizarre, hope you like eyeballs. You don't get to find out everything you want to so she's got me buying the next one.

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Babs_book_obsession
Pickpick

This was good, really good. I guess I just thought the ending was rushed and I wanted a bit more.