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Blaire

Blaire

Joined May 2016

“I cannot remember the books I have read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
review
Blaire
Song for a Whale | Lynne Kelly
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Pickpick

4.5 but rounding up because my son loves it so much. Beautifully told story of a Deaf girl who has a talent for fixing radios and goes on a quest to meet a whale whose song other whales either cannot hear or cannot understand. My son connected with it deeply as his sister is nonverbal and also communicates in a way others cannot understand.

Chrissyreadit It sounds beautiful ❤️ 7h
Cathythoughts It does sound beautiful ❤️ now
38 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Blaire
Devil in a Blue Dress | Walter Mosley
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This book took me from wheels up to wheels down Denver to Pittsburgh. Aside from a mystery it also got into what life was like for a Black man in Los Angeles in the 40s including issues of police brutality and systemic racism that felt very current. Glad I made time to read this classic of political corruption, murder, and lust in 1948 la.

TiredLibrarian I loved the immersion in the time & place of this one. 2w
paulfrankspencer Welcome to the neighborhood. 2w
EvieBee I‘ve been meaning to start this series, but never realized it was set so long ago. Makes it even more compelling! 2w
andrew61 Great review, I must read book 2 soon. 2w
52 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Blaire
Auraria Library | Denver, CO (Library)
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My daughter living her best life at the Meow Wolf exhibit I‘m Denver. 📚 📚 📚

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Blaire
Happy New Year! | Greg Roza
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@BarbaraJean so excited for this list! There are several on it that I‘ve read and loved, and it has a wonderful mix of NF, poetry, fantasy, ya, and literary fiction. I love the idea of starting the year with poetry so the Mary Oliver will be first and then likely one of the middle grade that I can read together with my son and then the Golem and the Jinni. @monalyisha #newyearwhodis

monalyisha Love this plan! Love Mary Oliver, & love The Golem & The Jinni. Perhaps I should go back & reread it so that I can read her newest one… (edited) 3w
TheKidUpstairs I've been meaning to read The Golem and the Jinni forever! 2w
50 likes2 comments
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Blaire
Embers | Sandor Marai
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I found the central tension in this novel to build throughout and I was continually surprised by where it went. There was an intensity to the friendship of Konrad and the General and the discussion of how their relationship formed and matured bore fruit later in the book. A lot packed into a short book. In a lot of ways it also reminded me of classic mysteries. Liked this much more than I expected. I think this is one you either love or hate.

Libby1 I loved it, too! 3w
Blaire @Libby1 were discussing it with my family at book club this afternoon and I think we‘re split on it‘ll be an interesting discussion. I liked the slow burn nature of it. 2w
Libby1 I felt there was a creeping sense of dread. Maybe dread is the wrong word, but something was definitely creeping! 2w
Blaire @Libby1 exactly. 2w
53 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Blaire
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Smith visits Monticello, a confederate burial site, Angola prison, and the Whitney plantation among other places to look at how enslavement impacts our history and present day. I found the Angola section to be particularly powerful and visceral. The epilogue about his own family made the whole book feel very personal. Highly recommend. And my 100th book of the year. ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

EvieBee 🎖#100 3w
BkClubCare 💯 woot! 3w
DivineDiana 👏🏻😲👍🏻 3w
60 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Blaire
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I switched to this audiobook bc the one I was listening to was way too stressful. This was the right antidote., Made me think more deeply about how to craft my at home yoga practice, that yoga music can and the importance of breath and meditation. I liked how she wove her personal experience as a black woman in a mostly white space and how that impacted her yoga journey and current practice. Listened while enjoying fall colors.

Chrissyreadit Is that a photo from your house? It‘s gorgeous! 4w
Blaire @Chrissyreadit yes! From the backyard 4w
Cathythoughts Stunning ! I love yoga 🧘‍♀️ 4w
RaeLovesToRead What a view! ❤🧡🤎💛 4w
BiblioLitten I thought it was a painting! Gorgeous 😍 3w
44 likes5 comments
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Blaire
Address Unknown | Kathrine Kressmann Taylor
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Wow. This short epistolary novel packs a punch. Correspondence between a Jewish art dealer in San Francisco and his former gentile partner in Germany, it tracks the rise of Hitler in the early 1930s and how easily self-protection and power overtake common humanity.

mom2bugnbee I LOVE epistolary novels. 1mo
48 likes1 comment
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Blaire
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This was the perfect book for me at the perfect time. I‘ve been feeling worn out and overwhelmed and reading this peaceful story of a tea monk and a robot was a balm. Recommend for a heart-warming read for the stressed out among us.

BiblioLitten I was pretty unsure about this book until I saw your review. Stacked! 😊 1mo
Blaire @BiblioLitten I hope you enjoy it! I didn‘t know if it would suit me bc I‘m not typically a sci-fi reader but it was so comforting. 1mo
Blaire @Chrissyreadit I think you‘d like this one. 1mo
Chrissyreadit Thanks! I stacked it! 1mo
61 likes5 stack adds4 comments
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Blaire
The Deep | Rivers Solomon
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I found this really fascinating, and the afterward is worth reading about how the project evolved from mostly instruments music to song to novella. It takes one of the horrors of enslavement - pregnant women thrown overboard from slave ships - and imagines a world where the children survive as a sea people. The study of collective trauma and memory and how to handle as an individual and community was really powerful.

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Blaire
Shanah Tovah, Grover! | Joni Kibort Sussman
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Wishing all of you a sweet, healthy, and happy new year filled with good books. 🍎 🍯 📚

AmyG L‘Shanah Tova! 3mo
Anna40 Shanah tova! 🍎🍯 3mo
63 likes2 comments
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Blaire
Crying in H Mart: A Memoir | Michelle Zauner
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I thought this memoir was beautiful. My stepdad is currently in hospice care so that made it particularly poignant. I loved how she interwove her food memories of her mother and the ways her mother helped shape her identity as she worked through her grief. Now listening to her album.

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Blaire
Hamnet | Maggie O'Farrell
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Life has been busy…have slipped in posting…but I am looking forward to starting this read for my family book club.

Cinfhen I thought the writing was really beautiful ♥️ 4mo
Cathythoughts I loved this one ❤️ 4mo
BiblioLitten Such a good read🧡 3mo
Blaire @Cinfhen @Cathythoughts @BiblioLitten I‘m really enjoying it so far…took me a bit to really get started but hope to finish it today. 3mo
Cinfhen Shana Tova 💕 3mo
59 likes5 comments
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Blaire
The Sympathizer | Viet Thanh Nguyen
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Told as a confession of a VC spy embedded with the South Vietnamese army, the story is complex and nearly all of the characters engaged in awful acts as part of war. First book I‘ve read about the Vietnam war from a Vietnamese perspective. Nuanced look at the war, American culture, and loyalty.

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Blaire
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Moscow mule and a good book while we wait out the rain for dinner.

Leftcoastzen Love mules ! 5mo
Blaire @Leftcoastzen me too! My local coffee shop is featuring one with cold brew this summer - very tasty. This is a traditional one made by my mom. 🍹 📚 5mo
60 likes2 comments
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Blaire
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Thoughtful novel about artificial intelligence, the emotional capacity of an AF (artificial friend), what makes a person who they are, and the quandaries of genetic engineering. Klara is an AF and as the novel unfolds we see how she perceives the world and how she learns emotions through observation and how her beliefs are formed. Beautifully written. (Perfect paired with an Amtrak ride and banana pudding from Magnolia Bakery.)

Ruthiella Great review! 😀 5mo
Blaire @Ruthiella thank you! 😊 5mo
Leftcoastzen Magnolia! 5mo
Blaire @Leftcoastzen it was so great to be in nyc for a short visit so picked up a little treat in the new Moynihan terminal. 5mo
60 likes4 comments
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Blaire
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Pickpick

Great choice for an airplane read. Fast-paced and quickly immersive. Law clerk Avery Keene must solve the puzzle left for her by Justice Wynn in order to prevent political machinations with a dark underbelly from upending a merger.

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Blaire
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Disclaimer: this book is written by a friend of mine who is the host of a wonderful podcast - death, sex, and money. A fast read in which I could clearly hear Anna‘s voice. It was interesting to learn from her experience about what works in how to listen and to how to discuss difficult topics. Knowing so many of the people in the book definitely added to the reading experience.

Jas16 I love that podcast and have been curious about the book. Going to have to add it to my TBR. 5mo
Blaire @Jas16 I think the book gives you a sense of Anna as a person. Reads very similarly to her podcast. 5mo
47 likes2 comments
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Blaire
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Told by a west point historian who grew up in Virginia and Georgia revering Lee, he takes a military historian‘s eye to Lee‘s legacy and confronts his own past as someone who held Lee up as a hero. Good perspective on how the civil war used to be taught, and shines a light on origins of confederate monuments, the myth of Lee, and southern military officials who chose to stay loyal to the union.

53 likes2 stack adds
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Blaire
Sunday's Child | Grace Draven
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My favorite way to start the day. Early morning light, huge cup of tea, and the book review. Wishing you all a peaceful Sunday.

erinreads The light through the trees is amazing! What a good reading view. 💕 6mo
Blaire @erinreads it makes me very happy - worth waking up early for. 6mo
Chelsea.Poole Lovely! 🌞 6mo
Cathythoughts Have a lovely Sunday ❤️ 6mo
Simona Beautiful❣️ 6mo
57 likes5 comments
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Blaire
Shuggie Bain | Douglas Stuart
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When I finished I wanted to learn the author‘s background as the characters and setting felt so authentic and clearly drawn. Living in WV, I have seen similar devastation and desperation in former coal towns. It felt so visceral and the characters‘ struggles were complex - I particularly thought it was strong in intertwining circumstances with outcome and showing how an addictive cycle can continue. Brutal in many parts. Palate cleanser up next.

Suet624 Beautiful reading spot. 6mo
BarbaraBB Gorgeous pic 6mo
Cathythoughts Nice review & beautiful pic .. I loved this book .. definitely a pallet cleanser to follow 💔 6mo
Blaire @Cathythoughts such a heartbreaker. But beautifully written. 6mo
58 likes1 stack add5 comments
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Blaire
Strawberries | Casey Bartsch
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Starting off my day with freshly picked strawberries and Transcendant Kingdom. This book has really drawn me in.

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Blaire
The Ministry for the Future | Kim Stanley Robinson
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Mehso-so

How I wanted to love this book, but I needed more well-developed characters. The start with the heat wave in India pulled me in but then it lost steam and felt like reading general theories on addressing climate change with interludes of Mary‘s story. Parts of it made me think but the style was not for me.

Reggie When he killed the guy off in Antarctica I laughed because I think he thought Oh the readers will be sad. But we hardly knew the guy. I don‘t think he married the fiction and the nonfiction part of this story all that well. 6mo
Blaire @Reggie exactly. The science and engineering and potential answers to climate change were interesting but the story didn‘t work. I was not invested in any of the characters. 6mo
41 likes2 comments
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Blaire
Shuggie Bain | Douglas Stuart
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Tfw you finally finish a book you were struggling through and prepare to start one that his come highly recommended. Hoping it lives up to the recs.

Moray_Reads I've also just started it. Tucked up in a holiday cottage in Mull with a stove and a cup of tea! 7mo
Blaire @Moray_Reads oh that sounds like a perfect reading setup! 7mo
49 likes2 comments
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Blaire
Exhalation: Stories | Ted Chiang
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Wow! I will be thinking about this book for a long time. I don‘t think of myself as a science-fiction reader but these stories really blew me away. Every story made me think differently about how we view ourselves and other people and about the way we make decisions and live our lives. Overarching themes of what free will means, morality, and truth. I think anyone who liked The Good Place would find themselves pulled in to these stories.

IuliaC I really enjoyed this one! 8mo
Blaire @IuliaC yes. They were the best kind of thought experiments. 8mo
61 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Blaire
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A little morning reading time.

Chrissyreadit 🙌😍👏 lovely 8mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Good morning 🌞 8mo
Cathythoughts Lovely picture 📚 💫 8mo
CaffeineAndCandy 💜💜💜 8mo
Blaire @Chrissyreadit @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Cathythoughts @CaffeineAndCandy thank you all. I couldn‘t sleep last night and it was a needed reset this morning. 8mo
69 likes5 comments
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Blaire
The Crossover | Kwame Alexander
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This was so well done. My 9 year old wanted a basketball book and this fit the bill, but is about far more than basketball. A coming of age story about identical twins, it sensitively looks at young teen emotions, sibling dynamics, and the importance of family. Beautiful and lyrical descriptions of basketball, love, and struggle. My child was in tears by the end but wanted to check out another Alexander immediately.

Lindy I‘m haven‘t the slightest interest in basketball and yet I loved this book. 😁 8mo
Blaire @Lindy so happy to hear that. I thought it was just beautifully done. 8mo
42 likes2 comments
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Blaire
Long Bright River | Liz Moore
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I couldn‘t put this one down. A mystery, family and sibling relationship saga, and impact of the opioid epidemic all in one. A cop story featuring a female police officer with multiple twists and turns. Some of my favorite scenes were small moments like the protagonist‘s son‘s bday party at McDonald‘s- the one with the indoor playground. It felt so real.

AmyG I recently read this and just loved it, too. 8mo
Cathythoughts Great review 👍🏻❤️ I really loved this one too 8mo
Blaire @AmyG @Cathythoughts yes - I loved how it covered typical mom things like struggling to find childcare that are often left out of details. Read it in about two days. 8mo
48 likes3 comments
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Blaire
The Overstory: A Novel | Richard Powers
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Mehso-so

Unpopular opinion. I wanted to love this but in the end it did not work for me. The first part where each character was introduced was the strongest and those short stories were beautiful, but as it moved into the long section it was too rambling and not compelling to me. The end didn‘t make sense given various statutes of limitations, I had a hard time suspending disbelief.

Ruthiella I totally agree with you! I‘m glad to have read it, however, because it was a message I needed to hear about the importance of trees environmentally. 8mo
Blaire @Ruthiella completely. A lot of what I‘ve learned about trees was encompassed here, I just wish the middle part of the book had been edited differently. I‘ve started this book which is a lot like what is described by Westerford. 8mo
53 likes2 comments
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Blaire
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These were the books that made me into a reader. I have loved sharing my original copies with my son. Ramona and her family and their problems are just so real. Beverly Cleary truly gave the world a gift.

emtobiasz That‘s definitely the copy of Ramona and her Father that I had, too 🥰 8mo
Blaire @emtobiasz the numbering on then was my way of identifying the order of the series for the library I often had going in the room. It makes me happy just to look at them. 8mo
53 likes2 comments
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Blaire
Blindness | Jos Saramago
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Reading a book about a worse pandemic in the middle of a pandemic was disconcerting at times. The epidemic of blindness and how humanity reacts and survives was moving and disturbing. The long unbroken narrative with shifting perspectives worked and heightened the sense of not knowing what was happening and why and how long it would last. The descriptions of the smells and deteriorating conditions and brutality were visceral.

sarahbarnes Great review. This book shook me when I read it. I can only imagine what it was like to read it right now. 9mo
67 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Blaire
Passing | Nella Larsen
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That was way more intense that I expected. Clare and Irene, childhood friends, meet again many years later and Irene learns that Clare is passing as white. Their lives become intertwined and the tension builds until the last seconds of the book.

suvata Very surprised by the ending!!!!! 9mo
Blaire @suvata same!! 9mo
Suet624 Same!! 9mo
See All 6 Comments
Blaire @Suet624 it‘s one of the few books that have truly made me gasp. 9mo
Tamra I loved this one! 9mo
Blaire @Tamra yes! 9mo
74 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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Blaire
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I‘ve been reading a lot but need to make time to post. Nice audiobook. One chair in a cafe allows customers to travel in time but only until their cup of coffee gets cold, and they may only meet others who are in the cafe at that time. I liked the moments each character chose to visit and the impact it has on how they view their present lives. Listened while making Hamantashen #audiobaking

AmyG Yum!!! 10mo
Blaire @AmyG this year‘s batch turned out so well - made me happy. 10mo
Blaire @BookwormM oh nice. I will check it out. It really suited my mood. 10mo
UwannaPublishme Yum! Books sounds great too! 9mo
63 likes5 comments
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Blaire
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Fitting book to read during the winter of a pandemic. Beautifully written and a lot of takeaways about allowing ourselves to have our winters and not to get over it but to learn how to experience and prepare for periods of sadness/anxiety and emerge from them. I found it very comforting.

66 likes1 stack add
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Blaire
Picnic at Hanging Rock | Joan Lindsay
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A group of girls sets off on a picnic for Valentine‘s Day. The events of that afternoon change the course of all the characters lives. Without spoiling there is a sense of the otherworldly that hangs over the book and adds to the tension. A few more loose ends than I‘d like and would have liked a deeper dive into Mrs. Applebaum. I felt most for young Sarah one of the boarders at the school. ⭐️⭐️⭐️#setinaustralia #booked2021

64 likes1 stack add
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Blaire
Sadie | Courtney Summers
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Trigger warning: sexual abuse. I listened to this book which is done by a full cast and I think it really added to the story. It is told in alternating chapters by Sadie and a podcast host of a true-crime podcast investigating her disappearance. Sadie takes off after her sister is murdered in search of the man she thinks killed her. If you listen to true crime podcasts those chapters hit all the tropes of that genre. #audiobook

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Blaire
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Fun rom-com set in Los Angeles and centered around a woman who works at an independent bookstore. Nothing particularly surprising, but a nice comfort read, with a sense of place and appreciation for people who love to read and how it‘s fine to center reading in one‘s life. It was predictable but that didn‘t bother me since it goes with the genre. 3.5 ⭐️

76 likes1 stack add
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Blaire
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My 8 year old recommended this book to me. He found it really moving. It depicts the difficult journey Black Americans took to earn the right to vote - from the auction blocks of enslavement, through to Selma and the voting rights act. It covers poll taxes and other barriers to voting.

Chrissyreadit 🙌👏❤️ 11mo
megnews Great recommendation! 11mo
AmyG This looks wonderful for my niece. Thanks for posting. 11mo
53 likes3 comments
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Blaire
A Death in Vienna | Daniel Silva
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This packed a more emotional punch than I expected. A right wing leader is about to be elected in Austria and a Jewish man who investigates war crimes has his office bombed. As Allon heads to Vienna, he realizes a deeply personal connection to the plot. His mother‘s story as a Holocaust survivor drives the book and reveals a lot about Allon and Shamron on their work. I needed a propulsive read like this one that I couldn‘t put down.

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Blaire
A Death in Vienna | Daniel Silva
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Some weeks call for a return to a favorite series and this is one of them. Happy to dive back into the world of Gabriel Allon.

BookishMarginalia Comfort reads! 11mo
Blaire @BookishMarginalia yep. I think it was I need until Biden is safely inaugurated. 11mo
BookishMarginalia Yes! Though the threat is not going to go away easily... 11mo
Chrissyreadit I have to study for comps and cannot focus on any of it. Plus I think the entire world has PTSD at this point. 11mo
Blaire @Chrissyreadit yes, it‘s scary when half the country is bought in to a false narrative. There needs to be fundamental change. 11mo
52 likes5 comments
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Blaire
Upright Women Wanted | Sarah Gailey
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Mehso-so

I wanted to love this but it felt a little slight to me. Insufficient world building to understand the dystopia and the role of the librarians and rebels. I liked the characters but was left with a lot of questions. Short and quick read but left me wishing there‘s been more development to the world and the women in it.

Mitch That‘s a frustrating feeling - left wanting more. 😞 11mo
Blaire @Mitch there was a lot of classic western stuff - horses and fighting sheriffs - but there wasn‘t enough substance for me to feel invested in the fights or to understand some of the choices that were made. 11mo
61 likes2 comments
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Blaire
Weather: A novel | Jenny Offill
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I loved Dept of Speculation and loved this one as well. she captures so well the daily life - the inner monologues that run through the mc‘s head felt so relatable as she ponders climate change, trumpism, and what the world will hold for her child‘s future. Through brief snippets she tells the story of her marriage, and her brother‘s struggle with sobriety and child reading. I found the intermixing of one liners delightful. Loved it on audio.

kspenmoll Nice review. Read & liked Dept of Speculation 11mo
Caryl This was my first read of the year. I enjoyed your review! I want to re-read Dept. of Speculation now. 11mo
Blaire @kspenmoll if you liked dept of spec you‘ll like this one too. Her style is not for everyone but it really clicks with me. 11mo
Blaire @Caryl thanks! I find her style and the thoughts of her characters really relatable. 11mo
73 likes4 comments
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Blaire
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Pickpick

With Wednesday‘s mob on congress it felt like an appropriate time to read this book about the caste system in the US. It looks at parallels between US, India, and Nazi Germany and the deep impact the caste system continues to have in both micro and macro ways. Lays bare horrors of Jim Crow and their continued manifestation. And highlights systemic discrimination and the inequities visible especially if looking from outside in.

sprainedbrain This book is on my 2021 learning list. 11mo
Blaire @sprainedbrain it‘s really good and made me even more aware of how racism is baked into our system. 11mo
79 likes2 comments
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Blaire
The Friend | Nunez Sigrid
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An unnamed narrator confronts the death of a good friend and how it impacts her life; especially after she ends up adopting his dog. She muses about grief, dogs, writing, teaching, and her relationship with her friend. There is also a lot of fun playing with writing and writing conventions. The plot is driven by her growing attachment to the dog she has adopted and its impact on her as well. Good one to listen to on audio.

Erinreadsthebooks I really enjoyed this one! 11mo
kspenmoll Read this & loved it. 11mo
Blaire @kspenmoll @Erinreadsthebooks yes, it was surprising and different in really good ways. 11mo
65 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Blaire
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This is me. So loud when I‘m trying to read sometimes. 😂😂😂.

kspenmoll 🤣🤣 11mo
BiblioLitten 😂😂 11mo
56 likes2 comments
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Blaire
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Couldn‘t sleep so made an early cup of coffee and curled up on the couch to enjoy some quiet time. Seeing the U.S. systemic racism framed in the context of nazi Germany and the Indian caste system can be quite jarring to read, but important recognition of the brutality of all these systems and their similarities.

Cathythoughts Beautiful picture ❤️ 11mo
69 likes1 comment
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Blaire
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This quote captured parenting in a pandemic for me. Trying to find some quiet. Another quote that hit me “the single human thinks I have never known such loneliness. The married human, in the country place with partner and children, dreams of isolation within isolation.”

BiblioLitten 💙 11mo
Magpiegem Yup 😭 10mo
50 likes2 comments
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Blaire
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Pickpick

The perfect book to end 2020 with - beautiful essays about the pandemic, racism, humanity, and community.

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Blaire
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Finishing up my #booked2020 just under the wire. 1. Pan-Asian - Aru Shah #1
2. Think Pink - The Switch
3. Bookclub - Normal People
4. New in 20- Vanishing Half
5. Bottom of Tbr- When a Croc Eats the Sun
6. Gothic Horror - Mexican Gothic

BarbaraTheBibliophage Great sticker and picks for you final group! ♥️📚🎉 11mo
Cinfhen Hi!!!! So happy to “see” ~ Happy New Year 🎊 ♥️ congrats on completing #Fall #Booked2020 💗This is your #OfficialFinalEntry 🎊WELL DONE
11mo
4thhouseontheleft Love the sticker! I‘m still so sad she is gone. 11mo
Bookzombie I love the sticker!!! 11mo
41 likes4 comments
review
Blaire
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My last book of the year and the #bottomofmytbr. This was a beautifully told memoir of life in Zimbabwe under Mugabe in the early 2000s as well as a story of his father‘s life. It painted the horrors of the farm occupations starkly while detailing the changes in Zimbabwe‘s politics and its impact on race relations. #booked2020