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Beccacraft

Beccacraft

Joined December 2018

review
Beccacraft
The Crooked Branch | Jeanine Cummins
Pickpick

This book jumps back and forth between 1847-48 during the Irish famine and present day New York, following Ginny trying to keep her family alive without much food, and Majella trying to wrestle through postpartum anxiety and fear. Their stories both hold sadness and strength, the joys and fears of motherhood, and the connections we need from those closest to us. Recommend.

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Beccacraft
Mehso-so

This audiobook was enjoyable and likeable but not a favorite for me. A single, high achieving woman loses her mom in a plane crash and then changes her life trajectory to try to save her late mother‘s quaint bookstore. I definitely was rooting for Natalie and enjoyed the secondary characters but felt like the plot was very predictable and somewhat mediocre (as in, feels like it followed the generic story arc of most romantic books/movies).

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Beccacraft
Replica | Lauren Oliver
Mehso-so

This story is told from two perspectives, the first, a clone (“replica”) at a secret research facility, and the second, a girl who begins to uncover many secrets from her past that brings her to the facility and in contact with the replica. While the plot is interesting and creative, I had some difficulty with the actual flow of events, the unrealistic outcomes (while knowing it‘s an unrealistic fictional plot), and the character relationships.

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Beccacraft
Have You Seen Luis Velez? | Catherine Ryan Hyde
Pickpick

I LOVED this book. An awkward and lonely teenager stops to help an older blind woman one day and his life, purpose, self-understanding, and confidence are all changed in the journey that ensues. This book is heartwarming, unexpectedly deep, heart-wrenching, and charming. Highly recommend for an easy, fast, enjoyable read.

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Beccacraft
Pickpick

I really enjoyed and had fun with this collection of essays, which ranged in topics from faith, coming out, discovering oneself, suicide, love, and disappointment. R. Eric Thomas was entertaining, funny, thoughtful, and seemingly genuine about his strengths, flaws, and character.

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Beccacraft
Mehso-so

This book attempts to change the way women view their bodies and flip their outlook on beauty. It reads like a self-help book and while maybe not as helpful as I wanted, it definitely had some solid ideas and strategies for self-talk regarding one‘s own body. I have used the “nope” self-talk when beginning to compare or find flaws, and I genuinely think it‘s made a difference.

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Beccacraft
Winter's Bone: A Novel | Daniel Woodrell
Mehso-so

This story about a young girl trying to take care of her younger brothers and her ailing mother while tracking down her missing father shows how life can be awful, complicated, messy, and beautiful all at the same time. It took me awhile to get into the book and feel a connection to the characters but it was a quick and good-enough read to me.

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Beccacraft
Deacon King Kong | James McBride
Pickpick

What a fun, interesting read! The humor and connections entwined throughout the weaving character storylines made this even more of an enjoyable experience. Life is hard in the Cause, and Sportcoat doesn‘t realize how much of a mess he is truly in, but friendship, faith, and redemption, despite the difficulties of life, make these characters and the story a worthy read.

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Beccacraft
The Poet X | Elizabeth Acevedo
Pickpick

Second book by Acevedo and it didn‘t disappoint. I love that‘s it‘s written in verse, especially because the main character, Xiomara, learns confidence and self-acceptance through writing in verse. It‘s very poignant for a teenage girl but I immediately passed the book on to my sister and mom to read as it touches all ages.

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Beccacraft
The Incendiaries | R.O. Kwon
Mehso-so

The writing style of this book is unique and took some getting used to for me. The book is written from the perspective of a boyfriend of a girl who joins a cult while in college. The idea behind the book intrigued me, but I never felt fully invested with the characters and always felt a little like I was trying to catch up to where I was supposed to be in understanding.

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Beccacraft
Malibu Rising | Taylor Jenkins Reid
Pickpick

Not quite as good as “Daisy Jones and the Six” (but really, what is?!), but I still thoroughly enjoyed this book about a family living in Malibu and the hours leading up to a pivotal moment. I loved the background on the characters (especially the parents) and the sibling relationships. I admire Nina and the sacrifices she had to make for her family. Such a fun and entertaining book!

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Beccacraft
Mehso-so

I have mixed feelings about this memoir. First, I love that the author is confident and healthy enough to share her journey through therapy. It is inspiring although some of the details she provided in her book were graphic and/or unsettling. Second, I think group therapy (and more specifically this type of group therapy detailed in the book) works for some people but some of the details and sessions made me feel uneasy while reading the book.

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Beccacraft
Pickpick

While some of this storyline felt inauthentic and unbelievable, I still enjoyed listening to this audiobook and didn‘t want to put it down. The mystery surrounding the disappearance of Hannah‘s husband, leaving her with his teenage daughter, allowed for suspense, character development, and an entertaining plot line.

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Beccacraft
Pickpick

This was a slow build of a book for me but I enjoyed it regardless. The book was centered on two brothers who must move throughout the Northwest to find jobs. There was some great secondary character development throughout the book and strong women depicted in varying roles. It was interesting and also devastating to see the impacts of free speech and union organization battles during that time.

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Beccacraft
The Rose Code | Kate Quinn
Pickpick

This novel was intriguing, entertaining, and fast-paced. It follows three women who work for the British government in secret code-breaking operations during World War II. I enjoyed the mystery, the relationships, and the spy work itself.

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Beccacraft
Clap When You Land | Elizabeth Acevedo
Pickpick

I LOVED this book so much that I immediately went to get her other book from the library upon finishing. It‘s a story written in verse about two sisters in different countries with different lives, cultures, and upbringings who share so much despite being so different. Very quick read. Highly recommend.

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Beccacraft
The Library Book | Susan Orlean
Pickpick

This book was a bit slow for me but I really enjoyed learning little known facts about libraries and librarians throughout the book. I learned a bunch and am putting it as a “pick” because I love books, reading, and libraries so much.

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Beccacraft
Pickpick

This was a funny and great read. I read it in one day - it is quick, witty, interesting, and eye-opening. Anyone in the medical field will especially love it, but I think it‘s a great read for anyone. It takes a look at some of the journal entries of a junior doctor in the UK working for the NHS. Highly recommend.

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Beccacraft
Pickpick

This book is segmented into 5 year increments from 1619-2019, telling the story and journey of African Americans over 400 years, written by more than 80 different Black authors. It‘s wonderful, insightful, heartfelt, and important. A must read for everyone.

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Beccacraft
Things You Save in a Fire | Katherine Center
Pickpick

I really enjoy this author‘s writing- engaging and heartfelt. This book is about a woman firefighter with a tough and unstoppable exterior- she‘s one of the best, strongest, and effective firefighters on her shifts. Yet, inside she‘s struggling to grasp the effects of rape, abandonment from her mom, and sexism within her field. She is an example of a strong woman who must hide her true self to “make it”. Loved it despite some predictable moments.

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Beccacraft
Freedom: A Novel | Jonathan Franzen
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This book is long and constantly winding between characters, but does a brilliant job of showcasing the messiness of life and the difficulty of navigating love, friendship, marriage, family, job, society, and internal struggles. The characters feel realistic and make both poor and true-to-themselves decisions, sometimes at the same time. I found myself feeling conflicting emotions throughout- which is most of what real life happens to be.

SamAnne I really enjoyed this novel. The only Franzen I have read. I work in conservation and I loved the backdrop of allowing the mining of an area to “save“ it. I've run into those folks in my work..... 14mo
2 likes1 comment
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Beccacraft
Lucky Boy | Shanthi Sekaran
Pickpick

This book follows the lives of two women: one an undocumented Mexican, the other an Indian-American. Their love for the same child is heart-wrenching and leaves the reader with conflicting sympathies. I really enjoyed this book, although it took me awhile to really become invested.

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Beccacraft
How to Walk Away | Katherine Center
Pickpick

This book follows a young girl after a devastating plane crash, her recovery, her relationships, and her progress in her own understanding of herself. I really enjoyed this book (although there were some unrealistic plot turns) and didn‘t want to stop reading. Overall good read with likable characters and engaging plot line.

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Beccacraft
The Secrets of Midwives | Sally Hepworth
Pickpick

I LOVED this novel that follows 3 generations of midwives, their unique experiences, secrets, and difficulties. I didn‘t want to put it down, felt connected to the characters, and was invested in their well-being. Highly recommend.

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Beccacraft
Mehso-so

This book looks at how Christianity as a religion has harmed all people, Christians and others, with its views and teachings on sex. It‘s interesting, thought-provoking, and bold. I resonated with much of the book with some difficulty in formulating what my thoughts are based on my upbringing and background.

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Beccacraft
The Push | Ashley Audrain
Pickpick

This book looks at a young woman, Blythe, who has it all until she becomes a mother to Violet and motherhood is nothing like she thought it would be. It is intense, thrilling, and creepy and I didn‘t want to put it down (or stop listening since I read via audiobook). Explores nature vs nurture regarding parenting kids who show evil tendencies.

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Beccacraft
Mehso-so

Felt a bit like a cliché read about a grumpy old man whose ways are changed by a fearless and spirited young woman. I enjoyed the historic background of sharing news by traveling village to village reading papers from around the world. Listened via audiobook and found it interesting but not fully fleshed out.

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Beccacraft
Anxious People: A Novel | Fredrik Backman
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Another unique and entertaining book by Blackman. The book starts with the aftermath of an attempted bank robbery, but provides a look at the preceding events, the robbery attempt, the investigation, and the hostages themselves. I loved the writing style, the direct wit and engagement with the reader, and the overall plot and message.

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Beccacraft
Girl, Woman, Other | Bernardine Evaristo
Pickpick

This is one of my favorite books this year. It follows the lives of 12 characters, mostly women and Black, as they experience love, joy, heartbreak, abuse, enlightenment, and trials. I loved how each character had a unique and complete background and development arc. I felt connected and changed by each one.

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Beccacraft
Pickpick

This book looks at the historical contexts and cultures that influenced the Bible & sheds light on what the Bible is and how it is meant to be read. This perspective provided me a platform for engagement in and with the Bible and fellow believers again, leaving space for doubts, interpretations, and debates. I not only learned a lot about ancient literature and cultural norms that influenced the Bible‘s writers, but also renewed a deadened faith.

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Beccacraft
Pickpick

I listened to this highly entertaining and convicting book about the ways God works through ordinary or unlikely people. Bolz-Weber does a fantastic job showing how grace and understanding often come from people and places we don‘t expect and maybe even from those that we don‘t like. I enjoyed her vulnerability, openness, and genuineness about her struggles in life and faith, sometimes leaving me with questions and reflections in my own life.

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Beccacraft
The Nickel Boys: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
Pickpick

This book provides a glimpse of the devastating effects of a Southern reform school during the Jim Crow era through the eyes of two black boys sentenced there. Based on a real school, this book follows the stories of the two boys and the horrors they witnessed and endured at the reform school and what happened after they left. Well-written, eye-opening, and beautifully tragic.

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Beccacraft
Panpan

This book is about an adult daughter learning about her Korean immigrant mother‘s life following her death. The story is also told from the mother‘s perspective which is intertwined with the daughter‘s narrative. The plot felt forced, the connections between characters seemed disingenuous, and the characters themselves were poorly developed so that their actions and thoughts seemed contrived and varied from their “background” story.

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Beccacraft
Concrete Rose | Angie Thomas
Pickpick

I listened to the audiobook version and I highly recommend! This book about a teenager whose life and path is irrevocably changed when he learns he is a father to a baby boy. Maverick is a wonderfully developed character (albeit maybe too mature for his age at times), whose journey encompasses grief and loss, perseverance in difficulty, importance of mentors, temptations difficult to shake, and overcoming despite the odds.

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Beccacraft
The Bluest Eye | Toni Morrison
Mehso-so

A powerful book that is meant to have readers reflect on our role in the ongoing issues with racism, classism, sexism, and white beauty standards. The story was excellent, albeit heartbreaking, but the organization of the narrative made this book feel unnecessarily complicated to understand and took away from the potential power of the story.

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Beccacraft
Parable of the Talents | Octavia E. Butler
Pickpick

This sequel was interesting (especially the parallels between Jarret and Trump) and wonderfully written. The book follows the Earthseed community as they encounter a world overflowing with religious extremists, and the effects on Lauren and her daughter. It explores difficult topics including rape, murder, and trafficking. Overall, this book was less compelling than Sower and had too many religious undertones for me, yet still a recommended read.

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Beccacraft
Dear Edward: A Novel | Ann Napolitano
Pickpick

This book follows a young boy (Edward) who is the sole survivor of a plane crash that kills 191 other people, including his family. It is so interesting in the way the story is told incrementally - jumping back and forth between present-day Edward and his forever grief journey; and a deeper look at passengers on the plane, their backgrounds, thoughts, and experiences as the plane flies and as it crashes. Beautiful character development throughout.

8 likes1 stack add
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Beccacraft
The Fire Next Time | James Baldwin
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This book includes a letter to Baldwin‘s young nephew and an essay to the American people on the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation. It explores Baldwin's experiences with and thoughts about race, religion, racism, and the country and American people as a whole. It is so sad and convicting that much of what he denounced and of what he hoped for are still relevant in our country decades later. Short and well written.

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Beccacraft
East of Eden | John Steinbeck
Pickpick

This book is a beautiful and wonderful read that takes time and patience (the plot is not streamlined or linear) and is well worth the effort. It follows a plethora of characters that all intertwine and connect in some way, all of which have some impact on the reader in large and small ways, as they seek love, acceptance, identity, glory, worth, money, revenge, and passions.

CuriousG I have read this book at least 4 or 5 times, and each time I take away something a little bit different. 1y
Beccacraft I can see how that would happen! I will definitely read it again in the future. 1y
8 likes2 comments
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Beccacraft
Pickpick

This tragic and beautiful memoir offers a candid view of the horrific crime committed against the author‘s brother and cousins. Cummins does a wonderful job of providing a complete look at the crime, both the immediate and infinite aftermath, the roles of law enforcement and the media, and the importance of acknowledging and remembering the victims. Worth the read, even though it‘s hard to read about and stomach the revolting crime.

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Beccacraft
Hannah Coulter: A Novel | Wendell Berry
Panpan

This book is written through the perspective of a widow in her late seventies, reflecting on her life, memories, family, war, and the work of her farm. While I thought the overall sentiment was endearing, I did not ever fully engage with the characters or the plot. I found myself zoning out on a frequent basis (while listening to the audiobook) because it was slow and somewhat boring.

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Beccacraft
Parable of the Sower | Octavia E Butler
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I couldn‘t put this audiobook down! A young girl, growing up in a world filled with fear, danger, and chaos, must find a way to a safer place using skills, smarts, and faith, while battling her affliction of “sharing” other people‘s pain. The book shows a scary potential reality of people choosing murder & pillage to survive in a deteriorating world, while also showing how people can come together to show kindness and mercy in the midst of chaos.

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Beccacraft
Mehso-so

This book details the author‘s exploration of the meaning of family, genealogy with all of its good and its bad, and the hope that people will treat others more kindly if we realized we are all related in some way. Jacobs writes in a journal format, outlining his learned knowledge and comical anecdotes while describing his preparation to plan the largest family reunion of all time. It was funny and interesting but not a must-read for me.

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Beccacraft
Pickpick

I flew through this book about a young black woman struggling with her identity and purpose, her idea of God, the relationship with her mother, mental health and its stigmas, and the effects of her brother‘s drug use on her family. It is wonderfully written, deep and heartbreaking, despairing and also hopeful.

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Beccacraft
Rooms | Lauren Oliver
Mehso-so

This book takes place in a house, with each chapter centering on a room. The story is told through multiple point of views, from the ghosts who live within the house and the family members who come to bury their estranged father/husband. The book is ethereal and looks at difficult and real situations from an interesting perspective, but it took awhile for me to feel invested and it just wasn‘t my cup of tea.

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Beccacraft
Piranesi | Susanna Clarke
Pickpick

There is no fulfilling or encompassing way to describe this book. It is strange, other-worldly, confusing, and wonderful. This is not my typical genre but I‘m so glad I read this. While at moments I was utterly confused, the author did a fantastic job of presenting new information in a manner that kept me intrigued and engaged and constantly altering my hypotheses of who and what was happening to Piranesi.

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Beccacraft
Fish in a Tree | Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Pickpick

A wonderful young adult book that is worth the read for children, teens, and adults alike. Ally struggles in middle school, with classwork and making friends, acting out and getting in trouble to divert from her true struggle to read and learn in the typical way. When a new teacher arrives and chooses to value her abilities instead of trying to fit her in the typical mold, Ally discovers she can grow and learn and “set the world on fire.”

LiteraryinLawrence I like this author a lot. This book was excellent! 1y
4 likes1 comment
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Beccacraft
Pickpick

This book looks at the differing definitions of justice, how the Old Testament and New Testament discuss the idea of social justice, and the tangible ways of “doing justice” for the poor and downtrodden in our society today. It is convicting and worth the read, demonstrating a wonderful Biblical calling to be generous in all ways. The liberal/conservative views were a bit overgeneralized and limiting but the overall idea was on point.

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Beccacraft
Pickpick

This book takes a deep look at the Galvins, a family of 12 children, 6 of which develop schizophrenia. It paints a terrifying realistic view of the disease, its effect on those around the affected, and the scientific and medical advancements made over the last 70 years, many in part due to the Galvins. The book sheds light on the hard truths and family turmoil caused by the disease and the hope for future generations.

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Beccacraft
Pickpick

I really enjoyed this book, learning some new truths of our country‘s history and exploring how racism has been perpetuated over time to look different but to remain in place to support those in power. I really wanted to delve in more to many of the topics but thought this was a great short and easy read that covered so much in an enjoyable and informative way!