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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
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Bailedbailed

I tried it for book club but I dumped the book halfway through and hit up a summary site to know how it ended. Definitely not my jam. Vapid narcissists with the luxury of time and money having to work around their sexual lusting after each other only to end up back with their original partners. The end.

rockpools I absolutely don‘t need to read this now. Thank you! 2d
CampbellTaraL @rockpools I felt a twinge of guilt thinking I was being harsh, then I re-read the synopsis and nope, nothing at all intelligent about this group of characters. Saving readers prescious reading time! 🤪 2d
36 likes2 comments
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CampbellTaraL
The Eidolon | Libby McGugan
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Panpan

I tried to finish but this book just wasn't for me. I got to 88% and gave up. The premise was interesting, but the execution felt like it was a YA style in need of refinement: choppy writing, sudden jumps to conclusions, and cliche dialog. The digital version was also full of line edit mistakes. I wouldn't dismiss this author entirely, though, good potential in future work.

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CampbellTaraL
Third Place Books | Lake Forest Park, WA (Bookstore)
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I joined an in-person bookclub last weekend and this is the book the group had selected for next month's discussion. I'm excited to finally be in an IRL bookclub!

This book is not something I would normally read, in fact the from the blurb alone I'm sure this is not my thing, but I'm going to read it anyway. Who knows, might not be that bad. I'm purposely hiding the Litsy rating from myself, trying to be open minded.

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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

A good book but dark themed with unlikeable characters who are definitely flawed. Translated from Norwegian, this is the third book of fiction based on our environmental crisis but each one is independent of the others so you can pick up any one to get started. In this case, the story is three different timelines of people doing what they can to preserve the Przewalski horse.

ErikasMindfulShelf I absolutely loved all 3 books in this loosely connected series. 4w
CampbellTaraL @ErikasMindfulShelf great to hear! I'm definitely going to check out the other two books. 4w
Tamra @ErikasMindfulShelf I am interested! What are the other two titles? 4w
ErikasMindfulShelf @Tamra The History of Bees and The End of the Ocean. 4w
36 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

Language bias, it's a thing. And as the book points out, it's often unconscious, but worse, uncontested as far as discrimination goes. I didn't know that multilingualism is viewed by many as a detriment to intellect (a false and persistent myth). I also didn't know how deeply linguistics set us up for in/out grouping behavior. A lot of information in this book from babies to race to the legal system.

32 likes4 stack adds
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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

I really like this book. It's a collection of short stories that intertwine to make a bigger narrative based on a modern take of Japanese mythologies. The stories flow but there's no big finale or story resolution which is fine because it just works. My only criticism is the bland cover; it doesn't do anything when there's so much it could draw from the stories.

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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

Okay, everyone talks about agriculture and economic systems as big drivers of advancing civilization. Turns out that we have collectively forgotten the biggest influence dating well before "civilized" existence: Textiles.

There are so many things covered in this book throughout the ages that my short blurb just won't cut it. You'll give your jeans & t-shirt a respectful not by the end. Some parts get dry and technical but still worth reading.

37 likes3 stack adds
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CampbellTaraL
Sno-Isle Libraries (Lynnwood Branch) | Lynnwood, WA (Library)
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😲 maybe this is standard elsewhere but this is the first time I've come across anything like this from a library. Super cool!

brittanybooks That is AWESOME!! I can‘t imagine what my total would be for all time library savings 🧡 2mo
LiteraryinLawrence My old library did that and I think it‘s a great idea! 2mo
CampbellTaraL @brittanybooks Ha! That'd be an eye opening monthly or yearly statement... 2mo
CampbellTaraL @LiteraryinLawrence Definitely love this feature. I mean, imagine investing all that money instead of the impulse book buying 😬 (maybe don't imagine that) 2mo
Ruthiella One of my libraries does that and I love it! 2mo
31 likes5 comments
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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

Added to my To Buy, Already Read list.

Premise: We the people must stop viewing the US Federal government in the same lense we use for our individual, business, city, county, and state budgets. The US is a fiat system, it issues currency, and therefore cannot run out. No material dependency is tied to our currency. Taxes only serve to keep inflation in check. The book dives deep into the way government money works and it's worth everyone's time.

30 likes3 stack adds
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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

A pretty good read. I struggled to get into it but then found the rhythm and enjoyed the way the story was woven together.

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CampbellTaraL
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Mehso-so

A decent backfill story that wasn't bad but it didn't grab me either.

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CampbellTaraL
Lessons from Plants | Beronda L. Montgomery
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Pickpick

Picked this one up on a whim and so glad I did. The selection of essays on plants are a mix of science, personal experience, and thoughtful commentary that inspires the reader to look to plants as a way to improve society. I loved the book design, too.

31 likes1 stack add
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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

(Between a Pick and a So-So) A pretty good retelling of stories based on Jewish, Russian, and Ukrainian folklore. I struggled a bit with a lot of details I didn't think were necessary for the story, and frustration with some of the characters' behaviors. Overall though, a decent read with YA age group set in early 1900s.

37 likes1 stack add
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CampbellTaraL
Barnes & Noble Booksellers - Alderwood | Lynnwood, WA (Bookstore)
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Ended up at a different bookstore that didn't have the books I wanted, but I managed a great find anyway.

💛 Plants, life
💛 Lara Croft, Tomb Raider

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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

Between a So-So and a Pick. If you want to learn about mosses, this is a good place to start if you can't get outside to explore the real deal. A lot of biology and science, the essays all start out with a strong story hook but most go all in on science, leaving the story part behind. I didn't get a strong sense of cultural history the way there was in the author's later book, Braiding Sweetgrass.

mandarchy I loved this book when it came out and haven't read Braiding Sweet Grass yet. I couldn't get over how a book about moss could be so interesting. But the I love in a very mossy place. 3mo
CampbellTaraL @mandarchy I too love in a mossy area and that was partially the reason I wanted to check this out. Essays and experiential stories like Kimmerer's makes learning about them so much more enjoyable. 3mo
38 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

We need a return to reverence for the soil that nourishes us. More humility and respect in order to see how little we actually understand about soil science, even today. Evans dives into the science without getting dry. We are at a dire point in what's left of growable soil (shockingly little) but there is hope which he ends the book on with the advancements of people all over the world.

CampbellTaraL Gripe: chapter 3 he drops the alarmist "autism!" that so many non-neuroscientists and non-neurodiverse people latch onto as a call-to-action to illustrate urgency. It's BS and a terrible detriment to the autistic community. I'm so tired of it. I set the book aside for a week in order to come back with a cool head because the book otherwise is packed full of great information. 3mo
Butterfinger Great review! 3mo
CampbellTaraL @Butterfinger thank you! 💛 3mo
35 likes3 comments
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CampbellTaraL
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Bailedbailed

I feel guilty for not liking this book. Rec'd by authors of other books I really liked (e.g.: Katherine Arden) but I just couldn't get past how contrived the obstacles were, the flakiness of the main character, and I'm not in the mood for the plight of wealthy Victorian era women whose only option is marriage. I think the protagonist was about to escape that fate but it took too long to get there and I lost interest.

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CampbellTaraL
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Panpan

I got to a little over halfway and decided to set this one aside. It's not a bad book, and the topic is interesting, I'm just not in a space where I want to listen/read about the wealthy and their disturbing animal fetishes. Chapter 6-7 dived into the lives of "explorers" (my read: exploiters and poachers) and that was enough for me.

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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

Book 2 did not disappoint. At all. But it leaves on a cliffhanger that I can't do anything about until book 3 is out ...fall of 2023. I'm gently shaking my fist with impatience, but I know the finale will be worth it due to the amount of research that Pike puts into each book. I'm waiting for this series to hit it's popularity stride, it's really quite good.

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CampbellTaraL
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Happy New Year! I'm trying to pace myself with this book, but I don't have to tell any of you how that's going...

Wishing all the care and kindness to everyone in 2022. 🤗💛

Ruthiella Happy New Year! 🥳🥂 4mo
CampbellTaraL @Ruthiella Yay! 📚🎈 4mo
PaperbackPirate Happy New Year! 📚 4mo
36 likes1 stack add3 comments
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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

If you need a bit of hope in all the madness right now, but want to roll through someone's rough realities, I recommend this book. Watch out though, by the end you'll be pumped to become a sea greens restorative farmer.

DannyDan This seems so interesting!😃 4mo
39 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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CampbellTaraL
Black Sun | Rebecca Roanhorse
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Pickpick

Whoa, I loved this book and immediately sought out the next in the series. I had the same reaction with S.A. Chakraborty's The Daevabad Trilogy and Katherine Arden's The Winternight Trilogy. I'm hooked.

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CampbellTaraL
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Panpan

I'm really bummed about this book because the premise was so good, the execution just didn't hold up. I made it about 3/4 in before setting it aside. The dialog is disjointed and everyone sounds the same. The characters are not fully developed and the main ones do things that make zero sense. The biggest complaint is that you start to think it's your lapse in attention or your failure to keep up with the story but that's not the case.

CampbellTaraL Basically, all the problems should have been caught and corrected during editing and then this book would have lived up to it's promise on the cover. 5mo
37 likes1 comment
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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

Good info that makes you want to chuck yours and your kids' devices in the bin and head to the hills. I'm in the transition generation where I grew up free range roaming the woods while also experiencing the joys of technology, but I can say the loss of quiet wilderness is having a deeper impact the older I get. I'm glad I drug my own kids out while they were growing up.

CampbellTaraL Audiobook Note: I set this aside originally last year, gave it another go this year and actually finished the audio version, but still did not like the narrator. I'm sure she's fun to listen to with children's fiction, that style of overly acted perky just didn't do it for me with this topic. I recommend the print edition though, for sure. 5mo
30 likes1 stack add1 comment
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CampbellTaraL
Leviathan Falls | James S. A. Corey
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Pickpick

A great ending to a complex series. There's a dozen or more thoughts, of course, but they're all spoilers and really, after this ending, some of us are compelled to keep them to ourselves, safe from the hive mind... Anyway, I'm a satisfied fan and am looking forward to a series reread soon.

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CampbellTaraL
Edmonds Bookshop | Edmonds, WA (Bookstore)
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Got a chance to visit another one of the indie bookstores nearby and spend a brisk but beautiful day along the sound.

mabell 😍 5mo
Crazeedi So beautiful and soul fulfilling 5mo
CampbellTaraL @Crazeedi Yes, exactly this. 💛 5mo
31 likes3 comments
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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

A lot of good information but much of the science is preliminary and should not be taken as conclusive. The author's experience (4x pregnant, the book written during her last) provides a lens but she is very much cis, white, in a stable partnership, and of upper middle-class means. Last chapter is deeply critical of the US's terrible standards for maternal care (strong agree).

Between a so-so and a pick (I rounded up).

Tamra Does she address adoptive moms? 5mo
CampbellTaraL @Tamra Yes! And dads, biological and adoptive. Encouraging data that shows physiological changes do occur in the non-pregnant parents, it just requires intentional work to get it kick-started. 5mo
Tamra @CampbellTaraL I‘d believe it! It seems to be hard wired in certain species. I recently watched a video about a cow that is believed to have adopted a leopard as a kitten and they enjoyed a parent/offspring bond even when the leopard grew into adulthood. Personally, my maternity kicked in before my kids even physically arrived home! 5mo
CampbellTaraL @Tamra It would be interesting to see studies on what triggers that motherly/nesting deal before birth in some but not in others. My first kid I didn't have it at all, my second though, man I was on overdrive. 5mo
Tamra @CampbellTaraL ha! I can believe it. 😃 5mo
29 likes5 comments
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CampbellTaraL
She Who Became the Sun | Shelley Parker-Chan
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Pickpick

Wow this was good. Carefully crafted with brutal and complex characters, it's hard to imagine this story didn't actually take place long ago. You don't even know who you're rooting for because the second you pick one, the character reveals something truly unexpected, good or bad. Looking forward to the next book when it comes out.

36 likes2 stack adds
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CampbellTaraL
Lavinia | Ursula K. LeGuin
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Pickpick

A voiceless character from Vergil's The Aeneid, Lavinia, is given a whole novel to herself, and it's good. Greek and Roman mythology is hardly believable, but in this very human take, it felt so much more like history than a carefully crafted fable inspired by an ancient epic. I struggled with the first quarter of the book but it picked up fast after that.

31 likes2 stack adds
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CampbellTaraL
Braiding Sweetgrass | Robin Wall Kimmerer
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Pickpick

A collection of essays by a person who is both scientist and indigenous, the latter of which is the primary lens used to understand our world. There are many takeaways that move you to do something, namely starting with a hard look at the materialistic worldview of our (dominant) culture. Reverence, gratitude, reciprocity, respect; not just for humans, but every thing, the inanimate included.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I really liked this one too. 6mo
39 likes1 stack add1 comment
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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this origin story of Merlin (Lailoken) and his twin Languoreth, the woman and prominent queen we wouldn't know had existed without Pike's years of dedicated research and wonderful storytelling. Once you've finished reading, be sure to check out the author's notes for more details about the work that went into developing the story. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

33 likes3 stack adds
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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

Thankfully, this was not an in depth examination of what it's like to quit showering for extended periods of time. Instead, an illuminating look at the history of our excessive fixation on "clean." The classist, racist, and residual ideology of purists has left us in the west with a host of health problems that are exacerbated by too much soaping up.

(Continued in comment)

CampbellTaraL On top of that is the gross marketing practice, and zero regulation, of the entire body care industry that leaves us feeling compelled to add yet one more product to our daily regiment. The chapter on pre- and probiotics in relation to eczema and allergies is eye opening. And the point that we in the US "clean" the dirtiest part of our bodies with dry paper is really funny but so disgusting. 6mo
32 likes1 stack add1 comment
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CampbellTaraL
The Empire of Gold | S. A. Chakraborty
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I needed to do something after work... I've read this one already but love the series so much, finally got the third book in my favorite format. All set for a reread now.

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CampbellTaraL
Braiding Sweetgrass | Robin Wall Kimmerer
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I started reading Braiding Sweetgrass and this passage got me thinking about how we treat gifting. The passage is about so much more than just gifts, but in light of the supply chain problems as we enter the holiday season, it stood out for me today as a reminder of what a gift really is about: "a feeling-bond between two people."

Crazeedi Parts of this book were beautiful, parts I wasnt as crazy about, but this passage is very true 7mo
28 likes1 stack add1 comment
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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

There's a lot of societal and medical BS surrounding menopause, and I didn't even know half of it until I read this book. By no means a light read but it's accessible and written with honesty and a bit of wry humor. I highly recommend it regardless of where you fall in proximity to menopause.

Also, it's left me eager to learn more about the grandmother hypothesis.

mandarchy I found the grandmother hypothesis fascinating. It makes a LOT of sense. 7mo
CampbellTaraL @mandarchy It does! I'm going to spend some time looking into it over the next few months. 7mo
mandarchy @CampbellTaraL are you saying what I think you are saying? 👶? 7mo
CampbellTaraL @mandarchy Hahaha, oh no, not yet. But I am looking forward to being a grandy one day. 🤗💛 7mo
36 likes4 comments
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CampbellTaraL
Third Place Books | Lake Forest Park, WA (Bookstore)
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My first bookstore trip in the new location. Not only is it a neat indie new/used place with space for gathering (bookish get togethers, what?) it also has a chocolate shop next door. Now to save my pennies for every rainy day because there are a lot of rainy days here. 🤓

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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

A complex range of intersecting conflicts (generational, regional, racial, familial, etc.) but the author pulls it all together with expert ease. I liked the complicated characters that were both likable and loathsome, it really forced you to look at the situation to empathize with their perspective.

36 likes1 stack add
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CampbellTaraL
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On sexist medical terms used with menopause:

"In describing menopause it's not uncommon for textbooks and articles to use the word "exhausted" when there are no more follicles capable of ovulating, but the ovaries aren't exhausted, tired, or used up."

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CampbellTaraL
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I just started this book today and woo-boy, I'm stoked already. I listened to Dr. Gunter on a podcast (WHYY's The Pulse) episode and she's the kindest, gentlest sounding being ever. Here I am now in giddy awe of her fierce straightforwardness on the BS treatment of (or lack thereof) ovary-having persons going through menopause. And I only just finished chapter 1 this morning.

*settles in* This is gonna be good.

22 likes1 stack add
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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

A must read for the base premise which is society is so saturated with alcohol culture that non-drinkers are cast as extremists or fundamentally broken. The author is incredibly candid about her experiences, and I agreed with so much of what she writes. Even if you have no interest in an alcohol-free existence, this book forces you to reckon with uncomfortable truths about alcohol.

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CampbellTaraL
The Hobbit | J.R.R. Tolkien
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Pickpick

I don't know what number on the re-read I've reached with The Hobbit but I'm not sorry for adding another year to the count.

🍁🍂📚🎉 Let's get going with fall now!

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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

A short read (the book is over half recipes and references) but fun nonetheless. Since this is a self-published work, it's meant for those who are pumpkin fanatics and not too worried about editing, style, or perfection. Go in like you're reading an account (and a recipe book) handed down by grans, generation after generation.

31 likes1 stack add
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CampbellTaraL
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Pumpkin season, ah yes! I first heard about Anne Copeland and her obsession with pumpkins on the Ologies podcast a couple years ago. I finally got Copeland's book last year but didn't read it during the garbage that was 2020. This year, however, I'm feeding my own pumpkin obsession and finally reading the book. Also, I'm making pumpkin chilli today /hi5 self.

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CampbellTaraL
The Hobbit | J.R.R. Tolkien
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Happy September! It's re-read time 🤓🍁📚🍂

In two weeks, I'm moving back to WA where I'll finally get to call the Puget Sound area home. Rather than risk further damaging my delicate little copy of The Hobbit, I'm reading the book on my Kindle. I'm super thankful for technology, changing of the season, and any excuse to bust out hot beverages and baked goods, as one does with Septembers and Dwarves and Hobbitses.

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CampbellTaraL
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Mehso-so

I struggled to get into this one, immediately put off by the YA aspect but I kept going, and while not completely rewarded for the effort, it was a good story overall. Some sections I was annoyed and skimmed while in others I was hooked. A lot tried to resolve all at once at the very end.

32 likes1 stack add
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CampbellTaraL
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Bailedbailed

I'm bummed I had to bail on this one because a) PNW outdoors fan who loves learning about trees, and b) Douglas Fir trees are remarkable--wide spread but also not a fir tree.

The book reads like a slog through a boring history text. The authors are deeply committed scientists with decades of experience in their field. They really ought to have sought an expert storyteller for their life's work on Douglas Fir trees though.

mandarchy They should have hired Robin Wall Kimmerer. Have you read her books. I have only read Moss and I was shocked how fascinated I was about moss - I haven't read Braiding Sweetgrass yet, but I keep hearing about it and I am not surprised it's a Kimmerer book. Also, I am in and from the PNW. I am only a few miles from a stand of Douglas firs full of Douglas squirrels. 8mo
CampbellTaraL Hello fellow PNWer! I haven't read Wall Kimmerer yet. I'd bought Braiding Sweetgrass as a gift for my kid and meant to borrow it but I'm thinking I need to get my own copy instead. I'll check out Moss while I'm at it, too. 8mo
28 likes2 comments
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CampbellTaraL
A Thousand Ships | Natalie Haynes
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Mehso-so

Not a bad telling of the fall of Troy from the women's perspective. The horrors inflicted are hard to get through, so go in prepared. The bravery and absolute dedication to vengeance is impressive. My least favorite was Penelope pining over Odysseus, I skipped a chapter or two when she came up.

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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

Between a So-So & Pick. Pollan writing about his experiences cultivating and using licit and illicit plants: poppy seed tea (opiates), caffeine, and mescaline. I appreciate the care taken to respect the religious aspect of indigenous use, and its eye-opening just how convoluted the laws are regarding plant cultivation in order to work it into the now failed war on drugs. Good audiobook read by the author.

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CampbellTaraL
They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the Civil War | DeAnne Blanton, Lauren M Cook, de Anne Blanton
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Picked up a couple books from the library today. I've been looking forward to this one for awhile.

Reggie How interesting! 10mo
27 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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CampbellTaraL
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Pickpick

I think my last running book read for awhile, this one was strongest with it's experiential and mental aspects. The author writes as though you arrived on location for a week of training. Unusual but neat. There are clearly defined guidelines on how to get started wherever you're at with running. A pretty good balance to other more textbook options.

4/5 ⭐