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BlueMonday42

BlueMonday42

Joined April 2016

Nyctophile. Pluviophile. Hodophile. Isolophile. Bibliophile.
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BlueMonday42
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This has to be the most bizarre and unique book I‘ve ever read. Written after the trial of a snake-handling preacher who tried to kill his wife, this is the perfect example of faith that borders on obsession. I won‘t soon forget this one.

britt_brooke This is in my TBR! Sounds crazy. 2w
BlueMonday42 @britt_brooke It really was. 2w
7 likes2 comments
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BlueMonday42
Death Without Company | Craig Johnson
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Walt Longmire‘s dealing with the poisoning death of a Basque woman in the depths of a Wyoming winter. Add some humor, a little meth, and some typical mountain west weirdness, and you have an awesome story. I love this series.

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BlueMonday42
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Edward Lee has long been one of my favorite food personalities. Now he‘s one of my favorite food writers too. In this well-thought travel memoir, he makes the case that American food is both cultural touchstone and national treasure, and also that what we consider American food isn‘t what we think it is. It‘s what‘s being cooked and eaten in America, by Americans, right now.

7 likes1 stack add
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BlueMonday42
Mudbound | Hillary Jordan
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We have such a long way to go before we cast off the chains of hatred and division. This took place 75 years ago, but it‘s just as relevant now. This was the hardest book I‘ve read so far this year, but what a journey it was. Hillary Jordan is absolutely a writer to watch.

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BlueMonday42
A Wrinkle in Time | Madeleine L'Engle
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It‘s been a long time since I last read this, and reading it as an adult lends a new dimension of my understanding of the power of evil and the power of love to counteract it. One of my favorite children‘s novels.

7 likes1 stack add
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BlueMonday42
Contact | Carl Sagan
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The late great Carl Sagan was an expert at understanding the stars, and also at helping us to find meaning among the complexities of the cosmos. This is a story I will revisit again.

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BlueMonday42
Winter's Bone: A Novel | Daniel Woodrell
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This was a tough one. As much an allegory for the roughness and self-reliance of rural America as it is the story of a gutsy Ozark teenager‘s quest to save her family‘s home, this felt like an extension of Cormac McCarthy‘s Southern trilogy. Ree Dolly is the most memorable character I‘ve met so far this year.

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BlueMonday42
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James Baldwin, for me, has always been one of those writers who shows me what other sides of life might look like for people I don‘t know. This powerful story of love, race, injustice, and perseverance is my new favorite of his.

10 likes1 stack add
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BlueMonday42
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Bailedbailed

So dry. So hard to follow. So tonally inconsistent. It‘s interesting but I just can‘t keep up with it.

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BlueMonday42
Farmer | Jim Harrison
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Classic Harrison. A teacher from my home state, torn between two women, and caught in a constant battle between his memories and his future. I related to Joseph on several levels, and loved the brief journey home.

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BlueMonday42
The Little Prince | Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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I realize this is technically a children‘s book, but the lesson is timeless and deeply important: friends are necessary for happiness. The most important things are from the heart. I should‘ve read this years ago.

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BlueMonday42
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Frederick Douglass was a hero to millions and is now an American icon. His story is the stuff of legends, and now that I‘ve finally read this, I understand why.

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BlueMonday42
Homegoing: A novel | Yaa Gyasi
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Yaa Gyasi‘s debut novel is a powerful story of the effects of slavery, colonialism, and racial tension. Told over the course of 8 generations, beginning in Africa and ending in the US, this was a revelation. It is poetic, hopeful, heavy, and beautiful.

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BlueMonday42
Art Matters | Neil Gaiman
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I‘ve always loved Neil Gaiman, and this really spoke to me. It‘s a series of short essays, punctuated by illustrations, about the power of art, creativity and literacy. There are some really quotable passages here, and I‘ll come back to this anytime my art (writing) becomes hard and I feel uncertain about it.

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BlueMonday42
Silence | Shusaku Endo
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This was a hard one. As much historical fiction as allegory for intolerance, Endo‘s masterpiece challenges everything we know about missionary work. It is also commentary on society‘s acceptance or rejection of ideas that are not our own.

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BlueMonday42
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I‘ve spent some time in the Delta. Life there is a series of contradictions, challenges, struggles, and uncomfortable truths. Richard Grant immerses himself in a largely unknown and misunderstood part of the US and addresses these things tactfully, intelligently, and with humor and compassion. He also reminds me of just how much I love it there.

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BlueMonday42
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I watched the Longmire television series before I knew it was a series of mysteries, and also before I knew that the town where the novels are set is based on a northeastern Wyoming town I‘ve visited. I have long loved Walt Longmire as a television character. Now he‘s my favorite crime novel protagonist. This was the most fun I‘ve had with a mystery since I met Philip Marlowe, and I‘ll be seeking out the other 14 books in the series.

9 likes1 stack add
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BlueMonday42
Lincoln in the Bardo | George Saunders
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I‘ve never read a book like this. Part historical record and part ghost story, this tells as much about the days after Lincoln‘s son Willie died as it does about the nature of grief and loss.

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BlueMonday42
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My last book of the year, my wife recommended this to me. It‘s a great story of love, learning, growth, family, and trying again after tragedy strikes.

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BlueMonday42
Norse Mythology | Neil Gaiman
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Mythology is usually interesting but also kind of dry. Gaiman managed here to make it interesting and also fun.

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BlueMonday42
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This hit even closer to home than “Five People.” And it only took me five hours to read the whole thing. Even when I burst into tears on no fewer than three occasions. Mitch Albom remains one of my favorite authors, and this is the perfect sequel to the original.

rather_be_reading he is so great! 5mo
BlueMonday42 @rather_be_reading I met him at a signing for “Five People.” It‘s one of my all-time favorites, and he‘s really a nice guy. 5mo
12 likes1 stack add2 comments
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BlueMonday42
Pachinko | Min Jin Lee
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This was a dense, emotional, beautiful story. It reminds me in several ways of “East of Eden” and “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” but at its core, it‘s the story of immigrants and outsiders who are just trying to build lives for themselves in a land that doesn‘t want them there. It‘s the best book I‘ve read so far this year.

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BlueMonday42
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I wish I could write like he did. There could be no better sequel to “Kitchen Confidential,” and no better epitaph for his life, for a man who lived as much as he did. Rest easy, Tony.

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BlueMonday42
Fire in the Hole | Elmore Leonard
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“Justified” was my favorite television series of the past decade. The story it‘s based on, by the same name as this book, is amazing, though that isn‘t the only reason why I liked this collection. Leonard was a genius, and his short stories always demonstrate that.

Ericalambbrown Oooohhh! I haven‘t read this one. I absolutely loved Justified. I‘ll have to find this. 7mo
12 likes1 stack add1 comment
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BlueMonday42
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As a temporary resident of the southwest, I realized that I knew very little about the native peoples of this place. This was the perfect introduction to the 19 Pueblo tribes of New Mexico. I hope I can pay some of them a visit on my next trip to the region.

Quirkybookworm Oooh! I‘ve got to get this! I‘ve lived in the areas by rio grande for a long time. Love colorful history there. Used to see their celebration also. 7mo
9 likes1 stack add1 comment
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BlueMonday42
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As much love letter to the southwest as book of philosophy, this has been a great summation of what I‘ve experienced living here in the southwest. I‘m leaving in just over two weeks, and this will be something I revisit when I find myself missing it.

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BlueMonday42
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Bailedbailed

I don‘t know why this isn‘t holding me. I know it‘s a classic and I know it‘s one of the best anti-war books out there, but it‘s begun to irritate me more than anything else. Maybe I‘m just in the wrong frame of mind for it right now.

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BlueMonday42
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This was such a crazy story. Brazen, smart, and necessary then just as it is now. I‘d really love to see the movie now.

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BlueMonday42
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I married an Alabama girl and she‘s been talking about this since we met, so I figured it was time. This was the most fun I‘ve had with a book this year. It was funny, sweet, nostalgic, and revealing about so much of my adopted second home state. Oh, and there are authentic southern recipes at the back, which I‘ll be using.

13 likes1 stack add
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BlueMonday42
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I‘ve long had an abnormal obsession with the English language. I read the dictionary when I was 7 and have loved them since. This was an incredible look into how Merriam-Webster makes it, told hilariously and brilliantly by one of the people who writes it. This is one of my favorite nonfiction books in recent memory.

15 likes1 stack add
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BlueMonday42
Sing, Unburied, Sing | Jesmyn Ward
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This was a complex, mystical family story, told from multiple points of view. It‘s a beautiful story of love, loss, and the effects of intolerance.

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BlueMonday42
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I‘ve been living on the other side of the country from where I‘ve spent most of my life. I‘d be lying if I said that I wasn‘t homesick. This was a perfect visit home. Every story was alive, with diverse characters and situations, and references to my favorite city in the Great Lakes. I‘ll be revisiting this anytime I feel the need to visit Detroit.

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BlueMonday42
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I moved to New Mexico a couple months ago, and came in almost blind to what the place is like. The history, natural and human, of this place (as told by Dan Flores, a U of Montana professor who used to live here and still vacations here in the summer) is loaded with blood, upheaval, and disaster, but also beauty and inspiration. If you‘re a resident or traveler in the Near Southwest, you must read this. It might show you your home in a new light.

Quirkybookworm Born and raised near and in Southwest area. Love it! 10mo
9 likes1 stack add1 comment
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BlueMonday42
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Before Raylan Givens, there were men like Charlie Martz. Charlie only appears in two of the stories in this collection, but this book shows the evolution of a master. Most of these were written long before Elmore Leonard became the king of crime fiction, just before he found his strong, spare, Hemingway-esque voice. It‘s a rare treat to watch a master begin to grow into himself.

9 likes1 stack add
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BlueMonday42
Empire Falls | Richard Russo
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Richard Russo is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers for character development. Miles Roby is certainly one of the best characters I‘ve met in quite some time.

14 likes1 stack add
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BlueMonday42
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This man was remarkable. He had a reverence for the past that so many find difficult today, and his story is as relevant as ever. What a journey.

9 likes2 stack adds
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BlueMonday42
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This gave me the heebie-jeebies.

13 likes1 stack add
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BlueMonday42
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BlueMonday42
Deadeye Dick: A Novel | Kurt Vonnegut
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Reading, my wedding, and my honeymoon collided right about the time I started this. Thankfully it‘s a quick read. This is Vonnegut‘s parable about the loss of innocence, and it‘s classic Vonnegut.

12 likes1 stack add
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BlueMonday42
Deadeye Dick: A Novel | Kurt Vonnegut
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I give you a holy word.

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BlueMonday42
Songs of Unreason | Jim Harrison
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There‘s so much beauty here.

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BlueMonday42
Songs of Unreason | Jim Harrison
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Life doesn‘t strangle on ironies.

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BlueMonday42
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Wedding planning and McCarthy don‘t mix. This took me a while, but as always, the payoff is spectacular. Haunting, beautiful, mythical, and expansive, this is vintage McCarthy.

15 likes1 stack add
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BlueMonday42
A Man Without a Country | Kurt Vonnegut
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Thank you, Mr. Vonnegut.

12 likes1 stack add
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BlueMonday42
A Man Without a Country | Kurt Vonnegut
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Preach.

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BlueMonday42
A Man Without a Country | Kurt Vonnegut
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Busy busy busy.

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BlueMonday42
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Jim, you never cease to amaze.

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BlueMonday42
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Reading this reminded me a lot of “Twelve Years a Slave.” It took me a little longer than I expected, but a story like this isn‘t easy to take. There are still scars in every facet of American life from the Antebellum era, and this brings them to the fore. Well-written, honest, empathetic, and necessary, this rendering of slavery is one of the most important books I‘ve read in a while.

britt_brooke I read this recently and it blew me away. 5⭐️ 1y
15 likes1 comment
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BlueMonday42
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David Mitchell is a genius. He usually specializes in stories with unique formats or common connections between characters or eras, but here, he just tells a spectacular story. I‘ve always had a deep fascination with Japanese culture, and this was wonderful in many ways. Mitchell remains one of my favorite authors and this has become my favorite of his work.

15 likes1 stack add
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BlueMonday42
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I‘ve read this once all the way through and in passages multiple times. It‘s balm for my soul when I need a reminder that everything does not suck and that sometimes the journey is hard but the reward is far beyond anything we could expect. I can‘t recommend this enough, as a spiritual journey and as a road trip memoir. It‘s in my top five for nonfiction. It‘s poetic, profound, funny, and beautiful.