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Bookboss

Joined May 2016

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Bookboss
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Pickpick

I love Prince, and I like Dickens, so I picked this up in the store to read the first few pages. Hornby began by recalling a story that circulated when he was growing up that listed all the uncanny similarities between Abraham Lincoln and JFK. I yelped in the bookstore because I had been slightly obsessed with that story when I was a kid. Prince and Dickens did not share a long list of similarities, but both were gifted and prolific. Enchanting!

40 likes1 stack add
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Bookboss
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Pickpick

I expected this story of a Nazi war criminal hiding in London in 1965 to be a fast-paced thriller. Instead the book is more of a slow psychological study. I kept expecting the protagonist to be overcome by guilt, but he was a case book of rationalization and self preservation. The author lost his mother and other relatives at Auschwitz. I am amazed that he could bring himself to write from this perspective.

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Bookboss
Mountain in the Sea | Ray Nayler
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Pickpick

Fascinating book that explores consciousness, language, oppression, corporations, and the environment. Although the short chapters are told from alternating points of view, the book is not fast-paced. This book requires some reflection. In the near-future Dr. Ha is investigating the possibility of sentient octopuses. This novel is about other minds and cultures, not an action-packed first contact story. Once I settled into the pace, I enjoyed it.

53 likes1 stack add
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Bookboss
Freshwater | Akwaeke Emezi
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I spent last weekend in NYC! I had a fabulous time visiting The Strand and Book Culture, where I picked up these lovely books! I also visited the NYPL on 5th Ave., and attended the Virginia Woolf exhibit and the Treasures exhibit! Lovely literary trip!

Ruthiella Nice stack! 👍 2w
vivastory I heard about the Woolf exhibit. Sounds incredible!! 2w
Bookboss @vivastory It was fabulous! 2w
See All 8 Comments
DivineDiana How fantastic! I want to see the Woolf exhibit too! 2w
batsy What a fabulous stack! And the Woolf exhibit—how I wish I could see it 🤩 2w
TheLudicReader Jealous. I love The Strand and NYC in general. 2w
Bookboss @TheLudicReader The Strand is amazing, but I really loved Book Culture! 2w
TheLudicReader @Bookboss …not sure when I will ever get to NYC again, but I will add Book Culture to my list of places to visit. 2w
54 likes8 comments
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Bookboss
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Pickpick

I am not a big romance reader. I understand that many readers find comfort in the predictability of the romance plot, but I just get restless. I decided to try this book because I loved the author‘s previous work, The Death of Vivek Oji. Reader, I loved it! The setting is beautiful, and the language is fabulous. The characters are well-drawn and interesting. The plot is somewhat predictable but the other elements made the whole story lovely.

dabbe Want to kiss that snuggly and beautiful kitty face! ❣️🐾❣️ 3w
Bookboss @dabbe He is a good boy! 3w
45 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Bookboss
Foster | Claire Keegan
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Book mail! I used my gift certificate to order this one! Small Things Like These was one of my favorites in 2022, so I am looking forward to this book!

Suet624 Can‘t wait to hear what you think of it. 1mo
Cathythoughts I love what David Mitchell thinks of it 👍🏻♥️ 1mo
jlhammar Great choice! It is absolutely wonderful. 1mo
49 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Bookboss
The Lost Daughter | Elena Ferrante
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Pickpick

I finished my first book of 2023 yesterday! I enjoyed Ferrante‘s My Brilliant Friend, but I was not compelled to continue the series. I read Days of Abandonment and loved it. She is excellent at writing brief, incisive, insular novels that convey the intense emotions of the protagonist. The protagonist in this novel is a middle-aged woman who is grappling with the decisions she made when parenting her now grown children. Tense and brutal.

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Bookboss
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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I read (or listened to) 129 books this year! My top 12 are:
1. Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan
2. Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout
3. Fellowship Point by Alice Elliot Dark
4. Babel, Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators‘ Revolution by RF Kuang
5. How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water by Angie Cruz
6. Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson
7. Mercury Pictures Presents by Anthony Marra
Rest in comments

Bookboss 8. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
9. Fairy Tale by Stephen King
10. Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
11. The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O‘Farrell
12. The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki
1mo
Jas16 Great list 1mo
Bookboss @Jas16 Thanks! It was a great reading year! 1mo
34 likes3 comments
review
Bookboss
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Pickpick

This novel is composed of a woman‘s interviews with her caseworker. The caseworker‘s side of the conversation is not recorded, so the text reads almost like diary entries. It is an utterly brilliant look at parenting, survival, family, and the stories we tell ourselves. The narrative is immersive and propulsive, and the language is perfectly rendered. I loved it.

Megabooks Stacked! I‘d been wondering about this. 1mo
NovelNancyM One of my favorites of the year too!
1mo
47 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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Bookboss
The Book Eaters | Sunyi Dean
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Pickpick

This is not the book for those who need characters that they like. This is a story about monsters surviving when they are pushed to interact with humans. I found the premise interesting, and the characters intriguing, but the plot wasn‘t very compelling. Overall, I am glad that I read it for the world building and the engaging perspective.

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Bookboss
Dead Silence | S.A. Barnes
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Pickpick

This science fiction-horror novel is a mash-up of Alien and The Titanic. A small space ship discovers a luxury passenger ship that had gone missing years ago. I enjoyed the setting and descriptions, but I found the characters a bit flat, and only defined by a single trait. I was also disappointed at the solution to the central mystery of why the luxury ship went missing. If you want ghosts in space, at a fast pace, this will do.

Leftcoastzen 👏😻 2mo
Rissreads Awwww love your cat 🐈‍⬛ (edited) 1mo
Bookboss @Rissreads Thank you! He‘s a good buddy! 1mo
40 likes3 comments
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Bookboss
Tender Is the Flesh | Agustina Bazterrica
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Pickpick

The setting is a dystopian near-future where animals have been eradicated because of a virus, so the populace has begun to raise humans as a source of meat. The protagonist works at a processing plant, and is having some problems with his work and family. This novel has some truly horrific scenes that demonstrate man‘s capabilities for compartmentalization and violence toward people and animals. This is not a book for the sensitive reader.

Reggie Oh man, I let 2 coworkers borrow this and one of them this week said he hasn‘t eaten meat yet. Lol I loved this book. 2mo
BkClubCare Yes, one of the books I am glad to have read only because I now know what happens in it! But I didn‘t quite “enjoy” it. 😳 2mo
38 likes2 comments
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Bookboss
Demon Copperhead: A Novel | Barbara Kingsolver
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To celebrate Small Business Saturday I visited three independent bookstores! Fellowship Point was a free book! The store had a giveaway box for Small Business Saturday!

BkClubCare 👏 2mo
BkClubCare Devil House! Memorable on many points 2mo
46 likes2 comments
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Bookboss
Daisy Darker | Alice Feeney
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Pickpick

Interesting take on Agatha Christie‘s And Then There Were None. Parts of the story are in flashback to the eighties, which was fun. The twists were not difficult to figure out, but overall I had an enjoyable reading experience.

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Bookboss
The Wonder | Emma Donoghue
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Pickpick

I heard a positive review of the Netflix film, then discovered that it was based on a novel, so I had to read the book first! In 1862 an English nurse is sent to Ireland to watch a girl who supposedly has not eaten in four months. Her partner is a nurse who is a Catholic nun. This is a claustrophobic novel that delves into religious extremism, parenting, and oppression. The writing is excellent, but this is not for sensitive readers.

EKonrad Loved this book! So fascinating! 2mo
Bookboss @EKonrad I liked the movie, but the book was much better! 2mo
EKonrad I‘ll have to check out the movie for sure! 2mo
36 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Bookboss
Our Missing Hearts | Celeste Ng
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Pickpick

Our Missing Hearts had a dystopian setting, which I like, so I picked up the audiobook. Ng is a skillful writer, I appreciated that Bird, who is twelve, is written like a twelve-year old rather than a middle-aged man. The story is a warning of the evils of fascism and prejudice, which is important. At times Ng didn‘t trust the readers to pick up the themes, and became repetitive and heavy handed. The story of Bird and his parents is a good one!

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Bookboss
Liberation Day: Stories | George Saunders
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Pickpick

I signed up for the Zoom event with George Saunders through Parnassus Books in Nashville! I watched a fabulous interview with Saunders, and received the book in the mail a few days later. The collection contains nine short stories, and I enjoyed all of them. The stories discuss oppression in its various forms: fascism, classism, inequality, and even parenting. Saunders‘s writing is always purposeful and spare, yet conveys so much meaning.

Tonton Following him on Substack👍🌟 3mo
Bookboss @Tonton Do you enjoy Substack? I have been tempted, but haven‘t signed up yet. 3mo
Tonton @Bookboss still getting used to it; there‘s free and paid subscriptions levels. Need to explore more! 2mo
45 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Bookboss
Black Cake | Charmaine Wilkerson
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Pickpick

I listened to the audiobook, and the narration is excellent. An estranged brother and sister meet after the death of their mother to settle her estate. They find that their mother has left a recording for them. She reveals the origins of their family and exposes many secrets. This is a lovely novel of family, love, heartbreak, and survival. I highly recommend!

43 likes3 stack adds
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Bookboss
Shrines of Gaiety | Kate Atkinson
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Pickpick

Kate Atkinson has become an auto-buy author for me. I love her Jackson Brody series, and I have enjoyed several of her other books. Shrines of Gaiety focuses on Nellie who owns several nightclubs in London during the 20s. Atkinson develops a fascinating cast of characters who participate in the nightlife. The chapters are short, which helps to propel the story. As always, Atkinson‘s writing is superb. Loved it.

mcctrish KA is an auto buy for me too ❤️❤️❤️ 3mo
CarolynM I love Kate Atkinson and I loved this❤️ 3mo
48 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Bookboss
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Pickpick

I love polar exploration stories, and I had not heard of this one. This book recounts the Belgian mission to find the magnetic South Pole. Sancton‘s descriptions had me reaching for my blankets and hot coffee. The ship is stuck in the ice for a year, and men have to survive the dark and cold. This is a fascinating tale of the men who take on years-long journeys at great risk to health and life. Absolutely absorbing.

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Bookboss
The Hacienda | Isabel Caas
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Pickpick

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier is one of my favorite books, so I was intrigued by the comparisons to The Hacienda. While both novels begin with a young bride arriving at an ancestral mansion with a husband she hasn‘t known for long, the comparisons end there. The Hacienda is a horror novel, not a gothic suspense. The characters, setting, and descriptions are very well done and kept me turning the pages.

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Bookboss
Shutter | Ramona Emerson
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I hope this will be the first in a series. Rita is a police photographer who grew up on the nearby Navajo reservation. She is burdened with the gift of seeing the spirits of the dead. Rita‘s character is engaging and complex, and the setting is well-drawn. I would love to see what comes next for Rita. The only weak spot is the plot. The mystery is easily solved, and not as interesting as Rita. I look forward to more from the author.

jlhammar Totally agree. Great review! 3mo
Bookboss @jhammar Thank you! 3mo
SamAnne I heard the Fresh Air interview with the author and got on my library website ASAP. Can‘t wait to start this one. Loved the Fresh Air interview. 3mo
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SamAnne I highly recommend the Fresh Air interview with the author last week. I immediately went to my library‘s website and reserved it! Just arrived and can‘t wait to dive in. 3mo
jlhammar @SamAnne I didn‘t know about that interview. Thank you! Definitely going to give that a listen. Hope you enjoy the book! 3mo
Bookboss @SamAnne I have the episode downloaded, but I haven‘t listened to it yet! Thank you!! 3mo
48 likes1 stack add6 comments
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Bookboss
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Pickpick

Kuang has constructed a world where magic lies within translation. Oxford recruits multilingual students to study at Babel, and eventually work for the university. The book follows a cohort of four students as they continue their study of languages and translation. The novel exposes the horrors of colonialism, racism, and misogyny, while displaying the enchantment of language. I loved the well-drawn setting, the characters, and the footnotes!

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Bookboss
Fairy Tale | Stephen King
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Pickpick

The cover shows a boy and a dog at the top of a spiral staircase that seems to go down forever. I felt like I went down that staircase myself — I was transported into another world. Charlie is a high school senior who starts helping out an elderly man. He finds a portal to a fairy tale world complete with giants, curses, and a princess. King is a master at building worlds that are both familiar and fantastic. I enjoyed every minute of this story.

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Bookboss
Lucy by the Sea: A Novel | Elizabeth Strout
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Pickpick

Elizabeth Strout has become one of my favorite authors. Lucy By the Sea is the fourth in the Lucy Barton series, and it is the best. Strout takes Lucy through the early days of the pandemic, detailing Lucy‘s anxieties, fears, and comforts. She is excellent at capturing all of the small moments and thoughts that make up a life. After finishing, I immediately re-read My Name is Lucy Barton. Just fabulous!

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Bookboss
Fellowship Point: A Novel | Alice Elliott Dark
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Pickpick

I haven‘t been able to stop thinking of this book, and I finished it weeks ago. The language, characters, and setting are beautifully constructed. All of the small moments that make up a marriage or a friendship add up to complex relationships. The book is long and slow-paced, but it is rich and layered. The story of two life long friends approaching the end of life may sound sad, but it is so worthwhile.

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Bookboss
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Pickpick

I love the Thursday Murder Club. Although the mysteries in this series are well done, I come back to spend time with these delightful people. The third in the series is an admirable edition, and Osman shows no signs of lazy plotting or writing. Looking forward to the next installment!

SarahBookInterrupted Can‘t wait to read it. I didn‘t realize a 3rd book is out. So exciting. I love the Thursday night murder club characters! (edited) 4mo
Bookboss @SarahBookInterrupted I just love hanging out with the Thursday Murder Club! 4mo
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Bookboss
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I went on a short vacation and visited four bookstores! I managed to restrain myself to only five book purchases. I just finished Lucy By The Sea, and decided that I needed a copy of My Name is Lucy Barton for my shelves, since I had read a library copy. Shutter is up for the National Book Award!

BkClubCare I have no idea who I gave my Lucy Barton book to but I just bought Olive Kitteridge and the Barton Boys so I can reread them 😉 4mo
31 likes1 comment
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Bookboss
Just Like Home | Sarah Gailey
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Pickpick

Vera returns home to care for her dying mother. When Vera was a child, her father was imprisoned for killing a number of men. Her mother preserved the home as an attraction to true-crime fans. This is a slow haunted house story. Gailey is masterful at describing cold middle-of-the-night terror and complex relationship terror. She also explores the complex relationships between Vera and her parents. Slow, spooky, and gruesome, but well done.

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Bookboss
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Pickpick

This is the fourth book of O‘Farrell‘s that I have read. I can now officially say that she is one of my favorite authors. Her descriptions of the time period and place are wonderfully evocative. The characters are well rounded and compelling. This novel deals with the expectations of women by society, and the goals of women as individuals. I was captivated by the story, and I didn‘t realize until the author‘s note that it was based on real people.

Chelsea.Poole Currently reading this and loving it! 4mo
Bookboss @Chelsea.Poole It‘s so good! 4mo
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Bookboss
The Measure | Nikki Erlick
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Pickpick

This has one of the best premises I have heard in a long time. One day everyone in the world awakens to a box with a string inside that determines the length of the person‘s life. The author glides over the how and why the strings appeared, and gets right to describing the fallout from this information. The book shifts between the various characters‘ perspectives and raises many questions. Excellent for book club discussions.

BookwormM Intrigued 5mo
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Bookboss
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Pickpick

This is an enjoyable tale of a woman cursed to be a mermaid and what happens after she is caught by fisherman. The island setting is beautifully drawn, and the cast of characters are well rounded and vivid. The book explores the relationships between men and women, as well as relationships among women.

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Bookboss
Fairy Tale | Stephen King
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I returned home from vacation to find these waiting for me in the mail!

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Bookboss
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Pickpick

This is fascinating reporting on the sport of free diving and the animals that live at the great depths of the ocean. While we might believe that the Earth‘s surface has been fully explored, we really have little knowledge of life at the ocean depths. The author references the women divers of Japan and Korea, so I highly recommend pairing The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See with this book.

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Bookboss
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I went to three bookstores today, and bought a book at each. I am proud of my restraint!

Ruthiella Nice haul! 👍 6mo
33 likes1 comment
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Bookboss
Acts of Violet | Margarita Montimore
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Pickpick

This is a fabulous audiobook. I almost wonder if the author had the audio adaptation in mind while writing. Violet, a famous magician, disappeared on stage 10 years ago, and her fans have only grown more obsessed. Her sister is trying to live a normal life and avoids the publicity. The story is told through true crime podcast episodes, emails, and letters with some traditional narration. The characters are layered and the mystery captivating.

39 likes2 stack adds
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Bookboss
Our Wives Under the Sea | Julia Armfield
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Pickpick

This gorgeous novel tells the story of Miri and her wife Leah. Leah goes on a deep sea research mission and returns changed. The mystery of what happened to Leah is compelling, but what Leah‘s traumatic changes mean for her marriage is equally suspenseful. What does trauma do to a person and her relationships? How do those who love her continue to best love her? The book alternates between the two women‘s perspectives, giving insight into each.

Cathythoughts Nice review 👍🏻♥️ 7mo
BarbaraBB Fab review. I can‘t wait to read it for #CampLitsy! 7mo
44 likes2 comments
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Bookboss
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Pickpick

I did not enjoy the author‘s previous novel, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, so I hesitated picking up this one. I am glad I did. The novel explores friendship, creativity, mental health, and the power of stories. Sadie and Sam meet as children and go on to design video games together in college. They start their own company, and the novel follows them through their lives. They are fully drawn characters who will stay with me for a long time.

52 likes2 stack adds
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Bookboss
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Stopped at one of my favorite bookstores today!

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Bookboss
Happy-Go-Lucky | David Sedaris
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Pickpick

I listened to the audiobook read by the author, and my husband read the hardcover. If you have read the two volumes of David Sedaris‘s diaries, you will find many repeated stories in this collection. I didn‘t mind, because I enjoy his work. While I am sure many of his anecdotes are exaggerated for comic effect, his reflections are brutally honest. I highly recommend the audiobook so you can hear the work read by the author.

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Bookboss
Happy-Go-Lucky | David Sedaris
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My husband and I went on a short trip, and we visited four bookstores along the way!

Ruthiella Nice haul! 👍 7mo
Chrissyreadit So much fun! 7mo
39 likes2 comments
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Bookboss
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Pickpick

I have been a Benedict Cumberbatch fan since the first Sherlock series, but this is not a book about the actor. It is a book about embracing the things in life that bring you joy. As long as your passion doesn‘t bring harm to others, revel in it without shame or embarrassment. I learned this lesson in my mid-thirties, and stopped trying to dismiss my love for Star Trek, Star Wars, comic books, and literature. Joy is rare; appreciate it.

Karisa Hear! Hear! 👏👏👏 8mo
45 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Bookboss
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Pickpick

Reading this novel reminded me of watching black and white films from the 1930s with their snappy dialogue and glamorous set pieces. I enjoyed the language and the plot, but I found the character of Katey to be rather flat. I never felt that I really knew her, but perhaps that was intentional. Overall, this was an enjoyable read.

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Bookboss
Machinehood | S.B. Divya
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Pickpick

This was the Sword and Laser pick for May. The idea of AI becoming sentient is intriguing. At what point does an AI deserve the same rights as a human being? This novel explores many ideas, but I felt this idea was not explored as well as I had hoped. Machinehood is definitely a novel of ideas and world building rather than a novel of characters and relationships. I enjoyed the world, but wished for more storytelling and less information.

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Bookboss
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Pickpick

I almost ditched this mystery twice, but I am glad I kept going. The ending had me wanting to read the next in the series. Finlay is a single mom and struggling author who is mistaken for a hired killer. Twice the plot became so implausible that I came close to not finishing. I enjoyed the characters and the madcap tone, so I kept going. This is great fun as long as you can suspend your disbelief.

KathyWheeler I had an issue with the implausibility of it too but decided to just go with it. Both books were a lot of fun. (edited) 9mo
47 likes1 comment
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Bookboss
The Children on the Hill | Jennifer McMahon
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Pickpick

I have been wanting to try a Jennifer McMahon novel for a long time. The premise of this one involves a podcaster who hunts monsters, so I it sounded perfect for me. The story alternates between Lizzy, a monster-hunter in her fifties in 2019, and Vi, a child in 1978 who is being raised by an increasingly creepy grandmother. The two timelines merge at the end. Although I enjoyed this novel, the ending was not satisfying.

Bookzombie Great review! My first McMahon was The Winter People and I remember really liking it. I have read one other. I always mean to pick up more and just never get back to her. 9mo
47 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Bookboss
Verity | Colleen Hoover
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Pickpick

Colleen Hoover has become quite popular lately, and I wanted to see why. She seems to mostly write romance, which doesn‘t interest me, but I saw this one described as a mystery/thriller. It is propulsive and engaging, but the characters are thinly drawn. I enjoyed the reading experience, but I found it unsatisfying. I understand her appeal, but I am not in a hurry to read more from her.

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Bookboss
A Master of Djinn | P. Djeli Clark
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Pickpick

This was the April pick for the Sword and Laser book club. The world building was excellent. The author constructed a steampunk magical Cairo in 1912, where Djinn live alongside humans and magic is everywhere. The author wrote several short stories in this setting before writing this novel. I read one of the stories, but it‘s not necessary to do so. Although I found the plot predictable, I enjoyed being in the world.

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Bookboss
Sea of Tranquility: A Novel | Emily St. John Mandel
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I attended my first in-person author event since Covid! Emily St.John Mandel was a delight! This book is a gripping novel about time and reality. It had me thinking about the various lives I have lived throughout the years, and how unknowable the future is. This book will stay with me for a long time.

charl08 Love the glass! Does it have a story? 9mo
Bookboss @charl08 Thank you! No story behind it. I bought it in a little arts and crafts shop. 9mo
BarbaraBB Beautiful picture indeed! And I loved the book too. 9mo
63 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Bookboss
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Pickpick

The book cover captures the true be of this novel: sharply humorous and light. It does not reflect the subjects addressed: sexual assault, misogyny, child neglect and abandonment, and devastating grief. The overarching theme is having hope and confidence in yourself and those you love. I enjoyed it, even though I have a low tolerance for children portrayed as extreme geniuses. The dog is delightful.