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CampbellTaraL

CampbellTaraL

Joined March 2018

I'm here for books as a reader. I write about Science, Technology, and Disability over here: https://taralcampbell.com
review
CampbellTaraL
The Way of Kings | Brandon Sanderson
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Bailedbailed

I tried hard to stick with this one but gave up at 8%. I'm not a big fan of medieval historical and/or high fantasy, both themes this story meanders down. I don't have any patience for damsels and the introduction of such as the secondary protagonist, I was done.

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CampbellTaraL
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When is the @Litsy app returning to the Google Play store for Android users? I had to factory reset my phone and the #Litsy app is no longer available for download. Tried directly with Play Store and through the various links here and at LibraryThing, no go.

The web app is okay for liking and commenting but it's terrible on mobile for editing pictures.

CampbellTaraL Also leaving that funny text prompt on the image because that's how clunky it is to try to use web version on mobile! 1mo
Librarybelle I‘m an Apple user, but I know other Android users on Litsy found a way to get the app on through means other than the Google Play store…hopefully they‘ll be able to help! 1mo
Ruthiella @julesG Has the answer. I can‘t remember the post anymore, however, where she gave the instructions. 1mo
See All 6 Comments
RamsFan1963 You can find the Litsy app on Amazon's app store also. I had to use that when my phone crash and I lost the app for Litsy. 1mo
julesG Download the APK file and open it. Here's the link: https://litsy.en.uptodown.com/android Open the APK file. Your phone might say it's from an unreliable source, but you can tell your phone it isn't. This should install the Litsy App on Android. 1mo
CampbellTaraL Thanks all. I'll do the alternative installation route but this still should be fixed if the plans are to sustain @Litsy long-term. If not, well... 1mo
22 likes6 comments
review
CampbellTaraL
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Bailedbailed

A romantasy that didn't hook me fast enough to endure. I picked this up on recommendation by a friend and because the premise and writing was great. Unfortunately, I don't connect with YA books that center on romance. I need a compelling "bigger story" which this book promised but didn't deliver soon enough.

For those of you who are into romance-centered stories, you will probably like this one.

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CampbellTaraL
Demon Copperhead: A Novel | Barbara Kingsolver
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Pickpick

A hard, hard read, but good. If the narrator hadn't been so dissociated from the experiences throughout his entire young life, I don't know if I could have hung on to the end. Fictional, yes, but every single problematic, traumatic, thing this kid went through is what too many have experienced. The accolades for this book are well-deserved.

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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

Well-written and researched, the story is wild and at times infuriating: subpar science + political agenda = federal classification of a drug that no one is addicted to while turning a blind eye to oxycontin and the subsequent opiate crisis we're dealing w/today.

Psychedelic therapy is helping the worst of trauma patients heal while giving recreational users a boost in interconnectivity and rejection of society's ugliness that's tearing us apart.

CampbellTaraL No, MDMA does not cause brain damage, that was the shoddy science using methamphetamine, not MDMA. 2mo
29 likes1 stack add1 comment
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CampbellTaraL
He Who Drowned the World | Shelley Parker-Chan
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Bailedbailed

I don't know what happened but I had to give up on this one. The shift in character of the main character was too much, and the story languishes far too long before getting anywhere. Disappointing because the first book was so good.

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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

A retelling of S. Holmes & Dr. Watson in an alternate reality/near future setting where the protagonists are two black women in the WA DC area. Gritty and dark, with a close look at what returning soldiers of war endure when they don't fit into society (PTSD, disability, etc). The characters are intriguing while the story is kind of clunky at times, like it needed another round of edits. Still, I liked this a lot and looking forward to the next.

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CampbellTaraL
One Dark Window | Rachel Gillig
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Pickpick

A good fantasy story that I'm on the fence about because of it's YA eye roll themes. But! If you press on, the plot is pretty good and it goes well beyond the immediate characters and the inevitable romance element. I enjoyed the deep mysticism and dark forces at play aspect, that's a pretty big hook for me.

33 likes1 stack add
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CampbellTaraL
Dark Matter | Blake Crouch
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Mehso-so

A decent spec-fic thriller. The narration is rapid and choppy which heightens the sense of urgency, but gets repetitive when used to describe scenes. A bit heavy on tropes (smart man motivated by gorgeous wife, tempted by beautiful companion-in-crisis, etc.) but the story moved on fast enough to let things slide. The premise is wild and thought-provoking, making this an entertaining read.

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CampbellTaraL
The Last Watch | J.S. Dewes
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Bailedbailed

Got 28% in and just couldn't connect. Part of it is that I'm so, so tired of: men failing up into achievement, the rejected rich kid reactionary twit, and obnoxious people getting a pass because they're just misunderstood geniuses. I think the "big secret thing" in the royal kid's past should have been revealed much sooner (didn't get to it by a third of the book in at least) to have a chance at connecting with such an off-putting character.

Reggie 🫰 snap! I work with people who fail up and whose mediocrity is fully supported. And I just don‘t get it. Snaps for bailing. 4mo
30 likes2 comments
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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

So well written, the prologue hooked with a terrible tragedy that could easily happen to any of us. We can't keep wasting time. People are unwittingly moving to areas that are growing considerably hotter with the expectation that we'll just keep cranking up the AC and pumping in water. It's not sustainable. With every area on the planet heating up, the impacts to the food supply and political stability are a nightmare already started.

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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

A great book on the maker movement. The first half drags a bit trying to fairly capture the breadth of interests: computing, engineering, food, laser, 3D printing, etc. But it picks up again when it gets into the info of how hardwired we all are for hands-on making and problem-solving, and the profound loss here in the US where K-12 has dropped this aspect from the curriculum.

BennettBookworm This book sounds SO cool! 4mo
CampbellTaraL @BennettBookworm Yes! If you're busy making, the audiobook version is really good, and just a wee bit meta 😜 4mo
24 likes2 comments
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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

Engage in social justice as you are and cast aside the "Activist Ideal". You don't need to be the person chaining yourself to trees or attending the 500k+ person marches. So much work takes place in the background that has monumental effects on change. Powerful movements have come not from violent confrontation but rather, the quiet, persistent individuals who operate in peaceful determination, carefully tending our energy to prevent burnout.

30 likes3 stack adds
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CampbellTaraL
The God of Endings: A Novel | Jacqueline Holland
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Bailedbailed

I hung on until halfway through. The story premise is good, and I liked the unique take on vampirism, but between the slow pace and trite modern day setting, I couldn't continue.

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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

This is my first conscious exposure to Adlerian psychology and I'm glad it was through a fictional presentation of the ideas passed between philosopher and student. While absorbing the points made by the elder, my counter arguments were voiced by the young student. Invariably, I came around the same time as the student. I need to read it again, but I definitely recommend this book as a starting point.

The audiobook was great.

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CampbellTaraL
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Mehso-so

Good for what it is: a glib take on dating with supporting studies and anecdotes. Not everyone has had good relationship modeling so a book like this that breaks it down is helpful. The first part borders on obnoxious, or at least the target audience falls into that group of selfish rich young prey people. But the second section redeems the book and gives helpful info. The final section was okay. I do like that it forces you to rethink things.

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CampbellTaraL
The Scorpio Races | Maggie Stiefvater
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Pickpick

A dark mythology set in relatively modern times, I enjoyed this story. It took a bit to get my bearings in this realistic fantasy world; it would have been helpful to have a key term's pronunciation established in a preface - (singular) capall uisce: CAPple ISHka (plural) capaill uisce: COPple OOSHka. That aside, an intriguing story that I didn't want to put down. Definitely looking at horses differently now.

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CampbellTaraL
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Mehso-so

The first half is good, going into detail about how we have become so anthropocentric that we can't recognize ourselves as a part of nature. The second half suggests ideas out of Eastern religion and philosophy, and then uses JRR Tolkien as a way to reconnect us to a modern mythology where humans are not the center of it all, and it's hard. I still recommend the book but be ready to set aside a lot of our hardwired science, logic, and reason.

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CampbellTaraL
Looking For Jane | Heather Marshall
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Pickpick

Well researched, well written, and heartbreaking historical fiction based on real events that took place less than 100 years ago. I cried. I was, and still am, enraged. We should not repeat this shit, but here we are in 2023, back sliding into the very environment that allowed it to happen. The story is expertly woven to capture the realities of motherhood, womanhood, and sisterhood. The author's afterward is harrowing.

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CampbellTaraL
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Mehso-so

I'm conflicted. A privileged middle aged white man with no kids/spouse/external responsibilities escapes to a Cap Cod town w/o a smartphone or internet access to reset his focus. Then he gets to resonating facts and anecdotes as he makes it clear that this is a systemic issue, not one of individual failing. He ends with the admission that he doesn't have it figured out; there is no "true path", no self help prescription for what we're up against.

CampbellTaraL (cont) In the midst of the good information, Hari drops the ball when it comes to ADHD. Goodreads reviewers with ADHD have expressed the problem better than I ever will, but the bottom line: too much cherry picking that makes it seem like ADHD is entirely an environmental cause of systemic failures. I recommend the book still, but beware of this problematic portrayal. 6mo
20 likes1 comment
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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

The protagonist stated he liked ambiguity in novels. The author of this book seems to enjoy them too. A good story with a lot of intertwining and meaningful connections. I like that some of the characters just won't know everything, and those withholding have their reasons, good and otherwise. I didn't like the main char much but he fulfilled the 'curmudgeonly man who does the right thing' role.

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CampbellTaraL
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Mehso-so

A lot of good information packed into too few chapters -- 60-90 minutes each. While I appreciate the underdog perspective of someone who is a visual thinker and thus subject to a lot of bias and exclusion, the book reads too much like an us vs them where one is superior (visual thinking). Not sure that's the intent but that's how comes across. Anyway, as someone who trends visual over verbal, it's nice to have such in depth discourse on the topic.

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CampbellTaraL
The Cloisters | Katy Hays
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Bailedbailed

Got about 16% in and just couldn't continue. Partly the skeezy dude path, partly the podunk awkward girl idolizing the rich pretty girl cliche, this wasn't for me.

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CampbellTaraL
Spells for Forgetting | Adrienne Young
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Pickpick

I like stories set in my home region, the PNW, and this one was good. Atmospheric and magical without going over the top. But also, reflective of rural settings where the unwritten and unspoken is a heavy factor to the order of things.

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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

You have to go into this prepared with the fact that the intro covers the history of how unbridled capitalism was sold to the world through the pseudoscience of econ 101. It's boring, infuriating, but necessary to know. Then we get to the counter culture of eco, feminist, and other non 101 economic theories (ones based in actual science). Finally, we end at today with movements setting the stage but the desperate need for all of us to act.

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CampbellTaraL
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Mehso-so

Though I was skeptical of the premise, I set aside my disbelief and was quickly hooked. For the most part, I enjoyed the story. The ending was a little weird, but in light of the real world events the story was based on, I wasn't entirely put off. A good, fast-paced read that avoided a lot of historical drama tropes.

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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

A pretty good follow up to the first book. Giving lots of room for the fact this takes place in the 1930s, written in the 1970s, I was let down by the lack of Helen in his stories. Another woman (married) had more presence than Herriot's wife which is sad. The first book set her up to be just as interesting as the main character. Anyway, the stories were still good, full of humor and dark realities.

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CampbellTaraL
Lucy by the Sea: A Novel | Elizabeth Strout
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Panpan

I struggled because I couldn't stand the protagonist. Petulant, navel-gazing wealthy white woman from NY is whisked away to idyllic rural Maine to avoid the pandemic. I think that was one point of the story; I'm not sure I got the others. There's too much for me to unpack here and I'm not invested enough to do so.

ETA: removed the Pulitzer remark I'd made in error.

CampbellTaraL Side note: I didn't connect the dots that this is the same author of the Olive Kitteredge stories, and I liked those. 8mo
Judybskt I don‘t think this book won the Pulitzer Prize. But the author is a Pulitzer Prize winner for another book. 8mo
CampbellTaraL @Judybskt Ah okay. The Goodreads cover wasn't clear about that. Thanks! 8mo
24 likes3 comments
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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

Another win for Rick McIntyre and the Yellowstone wolves he writes about. It's really weird how dry material taken from his years of non-stop observation translates into such fantastic stories. McIntyre does not embellish and yet by the end of each book, you feel the contentment of finishing another saga. I can't wait for his next one!

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CampbellTaraL
The Change: A Novel | Kirsten Miller
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Pickpick

Well then! All your fantasies of retribution and burning down the sick rich pricks are right here in The Change. Women over 40 doing what needs to be done, as we do, executing justice when the legal system fails because... patriarchy.

Some parts teetered on cliche but I didn't mind. The second I felt an eye roll, the next scene hit all the points every one of us over 40 has dealt with in some form and delivered a satisfying heck yeah moment.

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CampbellTaraL
The Exiles: A Novel | Christina Baker Kline
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Pickpick

A good story considering the brutal time period (penal colonization of Australia) following women (girls, really) and the way their lives intersect at the mercy of British patriarchal rule. An unexpected twist left me so mad but it was realistic of the times. One character I badly wanted a good outcome for but again, the story stayed true.

LoverOfLearning I listened to this audiobook for my bookclub.... and wow! What a powerful story. 5 stars 3mo
42 likes1 stack add1 comment
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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

"It's just a thickener." "It stabilizes the product." "It improves mouth feel." "It boosts protein content." We hear these kind of things, justifying the ever-increasing list of ingredients in packaged foods, and we are helpless to do anything about it because we're already hooked. Convenience, cost, availability, and the insidious rewiring of our brains that make us crave ultra processed foods that will never satisfy.

(cont)

CampbellTaraL We underestimate the resources corporations have at their disposal to ensure profits continue to grow. And the only way they do is if we buy more. Of course they're going to configure the product so that we want more of it, it's capitalism. The worst part is what is happening in poorer countries: displacing cultural food systems, indoctrinating people as babies, and leaving them entirely dependent food-like substances that are killing us all. 8mo
24 likes1 comment
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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

5/5 ⭐ An important read.

I'm bothered by the low rating on Litsy for this book. If you're upset by the author's call to end white supremacy, end capitalism, and end patriarchy, what are you even doing here?

Merriam-Webster's definition of white supremacy: the belief that the white race is inherently superior to other races and that white people should have control over people of other races.

This ideology must end.

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CampbellTaraL
Olga Dies Dreaming | Xochitl Gonzalez
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Pickpick

I was all over the place with how I felt while reading. So good! Why is it slogging? WTF. Cringe. Wow, how ignorant am I? Wait, no flippin' way... I love this book!

In the end, it's a recommend. Give it time to develop, the last third pulls everything together. Maybe a tad too neatly but I'll suspend my disbelief because the BS forced on Puerto Rico is appalling.

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CampbellTaraL
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Bailedbailed

This was more memoir than I wanted. I don't doubt the author's experiences or the impact of mental health problems, but I wasn't aware that this was how the information about crows was packaged in this book. I did not finish, got to chapter 6. Two stars because the info on crows that was available is good.

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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

I devoured this one. At first I was worried it'd veer into cliche historical territory but the story holds true. A reminder of how far medicine has advanced today: life saving interventions and the ability to practice regardless of gender.

Reading how diphtheria killed children in a slow, choking death, how tetanus spasms were so intense as to break the bones of the inflicted as it took its time to kill, there's no room for anti vaxx sentiments.

25 likes2 stack adds
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CampbellTaraL
Shutter | Ramona Emerson
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Pickpick

More than a thriller crime story, this one frames it through the lense of the generational, cultural, and social fallout from the erasure/genocide of Native Americans. The protagonist is a crime scene photographer who also can see and interact with ghosts, a major taboo in her family's culture but something she doesn't fully control. Overall a great story build up but it did feel a bit rushed at the end. Still highly recommended.

SamAnne Loved this one. Looking forward to what this author writes next. 9mo
28 likes1 stack add1 comment
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CampbellTaraL
The Light Pirate | Lily Brooks-Dalton
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Pickpick

Maybe don't read this at a moment of existential despair brought on by human-caused climate change we're not doing enough to minimize. Outside of that though, a haunting story that hits hard when we consider the effort and energy we pour into our current lifestyles. We weren't meant to live this way but sadly, only devastating crises will wake us up.

The story is rich in description and beautiful setting, but it slows the pace down.

Megabooks Agree! Great review! 10mo
31 likes1 stack add2 comments
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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

What an endearing story. Wonderful cast of characters, even the infuriating Siegfried and his tendency to gaslight his brother Tristan and James (MC). I listened to the audiobook version which was read by Nicholas Ralph, the actor who plays James Herriot in the PBS show if the same name, and I'm so glad I did. Highly recommend if you're looking for gentleness and earthiness with a fair shot of humor.

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CampbellTaraL
The Last Flight | Julie Clark
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Pickpick

A whim pick from Prime and it was a lot better than I expected. My first Julie Clark book and definitely not my last. The story has all the elements that could have lead to cliche women's fiction tropes but they did not happen. Instead, the story is an intersection of two lives at their critical breaking points, spinning off from one another to escape their realities and hopefully survive.

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CampbellTaraL
The Night Travelers: A Novel | Armando Lucas Correa
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Bailedbailed

This one just didn't have enough of a hook to make me want to slog through the slow build. The premise of the story is great. Execution, not so much. Also some eye roll on details in the beginning stemming from a man's perspective of pregnancy and birth. I tried to push on because of the positive reviews (made it 28%), but it's just not worth it to me.

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CampbellTaraL
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I needed something to help me through the final stretch of a very long knit project (summer dress, fingering weight bamboo yarn...) and decided to start this audiobook.

1. Where the heck has this book been my whole life?
2. How can I find a modern version of James Herriot to adore?
3. I'm only five chapters in; wth sorcery is this?!

(I'm in trouble when I get to the series in PBS, aren't I?)

Ruthiella I loved this book and the old PBS series from the late‘70s! 11mo
35 likes1 stack add2 comments
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CampbellTaraL
Ruin and Rising | Leigh Bardugo
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Pickpick

A good ending of the trilogy. At times a little drawn out and plot wrap ups a little too neatly, but overall good storytelling. I am not big on YA fiction so this is a refreshing reminder that there are great stories in the fantasy YA genre.

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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

Such a well written nonfiction story that refrains from embellishment, instead relying on source material that could have easily not existed and we would never have known of this remarkable Icelandic woman. Dedicated to historical accuracy while casting off the shackles of bigoted and sexist interpretations of the not-distant past, I am so impressed with Willson's meticulous research and storytelling. A great deal of thanks is owed for this work.

30 likes2 stack adds
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CampbellTaraL
Siege and Storm | Leigh Bardugo
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Pickpick

Overall a good story, but it wasn't as exciting as the first. YA relationship fixation bubbled over more than I'd have liked but wasn't the worst. The world building and cultural themes are fantastic.

Kindle ed: Excerpts from two other books makes it seem like the book will never end, compounding the dragging middle effect (the book itself as well as being #2 in the series). Keep track of the chapters so you don't give up right before the end.

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CampbellTaraL
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Mehso-so

I wanted so much more from this book. It's a very man-centric view and exclusive to Britain. The author ropes me in with statements like: "[...]we have become detached from making, and it isn't a good state for us to be in." But then slogs on and on, primarily about his experiences as someone with the wealth and time to dedicate to reenactment under the guise of research. Excellent points made throughout, just falls flat with delivery.

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CampbellTaraL
Third Place Books Lake Forest Park | Lake Forest Park, WA (Bookstore)
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Wow, I can't believe it's been five years, but I've no complaints! Very much enjoy my #Litsy time.

Happy #Litsaversary to my fellow March 20th book nerds 💛🤗

JamieArc Happy Litsyversary 🎉 13mo
julesG Happy Litsyversary! 13mo
Jas16 Happy Litsyversary 🎉📚 13mo
See All 8 Comments
TheSpineView Happy Litsyversary!🥳🥳🥳 13mo
AmyG Congrats! 🎉 13mo
JessClark78 Happy Litsyversary! 🎊📚🎉 13mo
Reggie Happy Litsyversary!!! 13mo
Ruthiella Happy Litsyversary ! 🥳🥳🥳 13mo
24 likes8 comments
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CampbellTaraL
A Half-Built Garden | Ruthanna Emrys
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Bailedbailed

I wanted to like this but it just didn't click. The weirdness of extraterrestrial life was fine. The extra weirdness of aliens trying to punt humans from their habitat out of the goodness of their heart (?) was meh. The thing that killed it for me though was the glib character narrative and the fact some everyday persons with an infant are allowed to make first contact is just... No. Not buying it. The blurb read great, the story not so much.

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CampbellTaraL
Shadow and Bone | Leigh Bardugo
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Pickpick

I am pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book. A much more global take on fantasy with politics of serious consequence, and magic with limits. *Almost* had a love triangle (bleh) but it didn't go there which is a relief. Strong, memorable characters with a fair amount of development.

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CampbellTaraL
The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story | Nikole Hannah-Jones, The New York Times Company
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Pickpick

I don't know what to say that will do justice to the work involved in this book, especially not in the short space of a review blurb. This should be required material for all US students, whether it's the original NYT mag work, the book/audiobook production, or the Hulu docuseries. I opted for audiobook and it did not disappoint.

Aimeesue The audiobook was stellar! 14mo
28 likes1 stack add1 comment