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CaramelLunacy

CaramelLunacy

Joined October 2016

only the unimaginative can fail to find a reason to drink champagne
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Almost a Scandal by Elizabeth Essex
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CaramelLunacy
The Devil to Pay | K.C. Bateman
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Northern Italy, 1492. Cara di Montessori's only hope at avenging her murdered father and reclaiming the home her uncle seized from her is to secure the services of the mercenary known as Il Diavolo. But his services don't come cheap. And what he wants is for her to act as his hostess (and preferably his mistress...)

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CaramelLunacy
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Left to its own devices, the world will never transform into words...

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CaramelLunacy
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I am not versed in Alabama law, but the author's explanation of the difference between accessory and accomplice seems backwards to me...

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CaramelLunacy
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Pickpick

I found this really fascinating. I picked it up as a companion to The Dropout podcast and enjoyed the more in depth version here. The sordid story of a massive fraud perpetuated by charisma, secrecy, harassment and threats - not only an expose on the breakdown of regulation, but also an indictment of the tactics used by prominent lawyers to "aggressively defend" clients perpetuating fraud by having whistleblowers followed and intimidated.

LeeRHarry I think she goes on trial next year - I will be watching with interest that‘s for sure! 2w
CaramelLunacy @LeeRHarry Agreed, will be keeping an eye on that! 2w
13 likes2 comments
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CaramelLunacy
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After listening to The Dropout podcast, I decided to give the book about entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes and her mess of a biotech start up a try. It is fascinating how much of a mess they managed to make through bad corporate culture and bullying to ruin what seems like a great underlying idea...

10 likes1 stack add
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CaramelLunacy
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Pickpick

George decides to create a better medicine to "cure" his grandmother of her nastiness. He goes through the house throwing in anything runny, powdery or gooey.

Oh George, making this "medicine" sounds like so very much fun (though also as Dahl notes in the disclaimer, incredibly dangerous in real life).

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CaramelLunacy
Bridal Boot Camp | Meg Cabot
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Pickpick

A short little novella that follows Sheriff's deputy Ryan as he mistakenly shows up for fitness instructor Robbie (short for Roberta) bridal boot camp workout. Not as laugh out loud as I've found other Cabot stories, but fun and a bit steamy. Am looking forward to the others in the series!

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American Panda | Gloria Chao
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Taiwanese-American Mei has just started MIT and is trying to navigate school, not disappointing her parents, a crush on an unsuitable boy and her love for dance. That is not doing it justice... it is funny and sad and relatable and it doesn't talk down to its readers or translate Mandarin that you can get the gist of from context. Really enjoying so far.

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CaramelLunacy
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I recognize that! It is the Coronet near Notting Hill tube station. I may need to rewatch Notting Hill.

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Little Blog on the Prairie | Cathleen Davitt Bell
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Instead of spending the summer at soccer camp or at the pool with her friends, 13-yr-old Genevieve is stuck at frontier family camp in a dank one room cabin living as if it was 1890. No technology, no indoor plumbing, lots of chores, no real guidance. Angry chickens. At least there is a cute boy suffering on a homestead nearby - but Gen is up against the camp hosts' daughter Nora who is also interested...

6 likes1 stack add
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The Perfect Rake | Anne Gracie
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Gideon, Lord Carradice attempting to entertain the heroine's youngest sister, Grace. Also - Gideon, I enjoy observing ducks...

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The Coral Thief | Rebecca Stott
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On his way to study medicine and natural philosophy in Paris immediately post-Napoleon, young Daniel Connor has his letters of recommendation and priceless fossils stolen by a mysterious mesmerizing woman when he falls asleep on the mail coach. But what can she want with them?

7 likes1 stack add
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CaramelLunacy
Once and for All | Sarah Dessen
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As a bit of a balance to all the far too real and frustrating insights from my current two nonfiction reads, thought I would pick up a Sarah Dessen.

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CaramelLunacy
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Rings true on many levels

2 likes1 stack add
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CaramelLunacy
Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle | Emily Nagoski, PhD, Amelia Nagoski, DMA
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Last one for now! But seriously, these chapters are making me feel so seen. The first three, I struggled with a lot because it seemed like they were just saying I needed to change my "mindset", but this quote...it is so very real

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CaramelLunacy
Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle | Emily Nagoski, PhD, Amelia Nagoski, DMA
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Articulating how I have felt and what I have struggled with.

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Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle | Emily Nagoski, PhD, Amelia Nagoski, DMA
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THIS. You aren't being treated the same because you should have to fight for basic parity. And then not be too exhausted from that to demand and justify with extensive evidence why you are being uppity. but also we'll flatter you as we pile more on your plate than anyone else (without any increase in recognition or compensation) because "you're so much better at it".

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CaramelLunacy
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This feeling is so incredibly my life right now...

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CaramelLunacy
The Austen Playbook | Lucy Parker
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Pickpick

She is a Hufflepuff theatre legacy forcing herself into dramatic theater roles instead of the bubblier ones she prefers for love of family.

He is a Slytherin theater critic with a penchant for sharpening his wit on her and a crumbling estate in dire need of a cash injection.

His brother has a get-rich-quick scheme to host an Austen character cozy mystery choose your own adventure play at the estate.

Sparks and historical family drama ignite.

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CaramelLunacy
The Trouble with Flirting | Claire LaZebnik
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Just starting this YA retelling of Mansfield Park set at a theater camp (as I am also listening to the BBC radio play of Mansfield Park). Contemporary Austen + theater setting = catnip

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Pirate Latitudes | Michael Crichton

So I was listening to a podcast recap of this book, talking about all kinds of piratical things on my way to work and a man with a scarlet macaw on his shoulder walked past me through the train station!

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The List | Siobhan Vivian
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Having some long workdays, so needed something a bit more straightforward than Dickens, so have picked up The List. I am just meeting the prettiest and ugliest girls - I have a feeling this is not going to go well.

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CaramelLunacy
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Never realized this was 880 pages! Working my way through my first Dickens in quite some time. So far, everything seems to be going *too* well. The scandals are bound to start soon.

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Origin | Dan Brown
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Tearing through this Robert Langdon story - my main complaint is that there seem to be fewer puzzles packed in. Which leads to fewer irritating lectures from Langdon, but also less to keep me guessing with our protagonists. But I am very much enjoying "seeing" bits of Spain!

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CaramelLunacy
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Seems like a good choice for February...

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CaramelLunacy
A Match Made in Duty | Meara Platt
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Pickpick

The Heroine: Sophie Wilkinson - her cousin has tossed her out and instead of setting her up with genteel employment, her fallen brother's friend has decided to honor his promise to marry her.

The Hero: James, Earl of Exmoor, was jilted by his beautiful fiancee when he returned from the Napoleonic Wars heavily scarred, but Sophie has no interest in a marriage as a business arrangement nor in letting him stew in self-pity.

Charming, though short

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Again (Hometown Memories, Book 4) | Kathleen Gilles Seidel
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The Hero: Alec Cameron is an experienced and talented daytime soap actor whose star vehicle just crashed earning him a reputation as difficult.

The Heroine: Jenny Cotton is the creator and head writer for a new historical soap, My Lady's Chamber who takes a chance on Alec for the character of the Duke of Lydgate. She also has a long term boyfriend who plays the butler on the show and who is beginning to cause trouble on set...

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CaramelLunacy
Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal | G. Willow Wilson
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Sick today, so thought I would give the first volume of Ms. Marvel a try. Enjoying it so far!

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The Help | Kathryn Stockett
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Saw parts of the movie last autumn and had just read a lovely review, so when this was prominently on display at the library, I figured it was a sign...

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CaramelLunacy
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Just starting this mystery/thriller set in the middle of Southern California fire season

2 likes1 stack add
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CaramelLunacy
Life among the Savages | Shirley Jackson
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An enjoyable anecdotal memoir about keeping the house and observing (and occasionally attempting to manage) the savages that are her children. I very much enjoyed her turns of phrase and couldn't help but sympathize when she allowed herself the occasional snide remark when the children were too obnoxious or condescending.

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CaramelLunacy
Life among the Savages | Shirley Jackson
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Oscillant chipmunk!! Shirley Jackson's way with words amuses me to no end.

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CaramelLunacy
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Pickpick

A memoir of an undercover FBI agent who infiltrated a terrorist cell seeking to blow up a rail bridge. I originally picked this up after hearing the agent interviewed on a podcast I listned to and found him interesting. At times, like the work, a bit repetitive, but an interesting read. He takes great pains to remind the reader that the jihadists' views are a perversion of Islam.

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CaramelLunacy
Death Below Stairs | Jennifer Ashley
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Pickpick

Haven't read the prequel novella that introduces the characters (will go back and do so), but if you like historical mysteries with strong romantic elements and no-nonsense competent heroines (and believe me I do), this is a fun series. Mrs. Kat Holloway gets a new position as a cook in a Mayfair household and in-between keeping the household well-fed investigates the death of a staff member, helped by handsome jack-of-all-trades, Daniel McMann

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CaramelLunacy
David | Mary Hoffman
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Historical fiction set in Renaissance Italy. Our main character is the beautiful (though naif) stonecutter, Gabriele, who comes to find work with the man raised as his brother in childhood Michelangelo and who works as the model for his famous David. Soon Gabriele finds himself embroiled in the complex web of Renaissance politics and art.

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CaramelLunacy
Dominion | C.J. Sansom
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Mehso-so

Most of the way through, I was fascinated with this thriller/alternate history. Britain is closely allied with the Nazi regime. Civil servant David joins the Resistance & winds up helping to spirit an old schoolfriend with dangerous knowledge away from those seeking his secrets as the Gestapo and British Special Branch chase them. But the end lost my interest when too much was made of every woman loving David for no discernible reason...

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Killer Critique | Alexander Campion
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So... Commissaire Capucine Le Tellier has a series of killings of restaurant critics on her hands, but her investigatory efforts are being hamstrung by the juge d'instruction who is intent on leading the investigation his way. The food sounds great, and the stakes are higher as Capucine's husband is a critic and may be on the list of targets. But her weird play-lewd interactions with her spy cousin are distinctly off-putting

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CaramelLunacy
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Panpan

Very, very short and not really focusing on "adulting". The graphics were funnier than the "advice", but didn't love either

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CaramelLunacy
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These are the books selected for The Song of the Lioness heroine Alanna of Trebond. I can vouch that the top one which I read in elementary school is pretty much a perfect pick

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CaramelLunacy
The Moon and More | Sarah Dessen
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Pickpick

I love reading Dessen's stories - It is the summer before Emaline moves away to college. She is working for the family realty business, working through her relationship with her biological father and is roped into to assisting a documentary crew seeking to interview a local artist. I wish Dessen had gone a bit more into Emaline's tendency to say yes to helping everyone, but man, did I relate. A lovely YA story.

7 likes1 stack add
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CaramelLunacy
True Grit | Charlie Portis
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Not available for inquiries!

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True Grit | Charlie Portis
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I just love the tone of Mattie's narration... I have seen the Coen Brothers movie (not the John Wayne) and delighted in the speech, so thought I should give the book a shot.

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Night After Night... | Kathy Lyons
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Reasons I am already enjoying this book:
1) Hawaii
2) a heroine suffering from chronic pain trying to have a break from other people setting limits for her instead of letting her make her own decisions
3) a Marine hero trying to remember important info for his unit
4) Shared Erotic Dreams

1 like1 stack add
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CaramelLunacy
Love à la Mode | Stephanie Kate Strohm
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Just started this cute story about an international celebrity cooking boarding school for teenagers. In Paris. It is adorable and funny so far, like watching a teen Top Chef, maybe. I am loving it so far!

3 likes1 stack add
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CaramelLunacy
Dauntless | Jack Campbell
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Thus far, an enjoyable military sci-fi. Captain John Geary is found in a rescue pod nearly a century after the battle that destroyed his ship, only to discover that his "last stand" has become the stuff of legend and he is invoked as a hero by every Alliance schoolchild.

Deep in enemy territory, in command of a fleet that is weary, limping and inexperienced, Geary will have to live up to his own legend to bring his ships home...

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CaramelLunacy
Camino Island | John Grisham
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Panpan

What started as a fun rare book heist turned into a strangely waffling story with an obnoxious middle-aged man inexplicably attractive to a struggling young author who has accepted money to keep an ear out for information on his involvement with the stolen goods. The resolution doesn't make any sense (see spoiler below) and just reinforces the fact that his charm is all tell and absolutely zero show (author insert?)

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CaramelLunacy
Camino Island | John Grisham
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Mr. Grisham, why are you ruining my heist and spy story by making your main character act like a creep? Staaaaaaaaahhhhhhhp

RestlessFickleBookHoarder Is it just me or do male authors do this a lot. I just finished a book and there were so many scenes interrupted by pointless sex, boobies or (I swear) pubic hair references. 8mo
CaramelLunacy @RestlessFickleBookHoarder It definitely seems to come up way more often than I find realistic. Also. Icky! 8mo
RestlessFickleBookHoarder So so icky. It rarely works so I wish authors wouldn't do it. 8mo
CaramelLunacy @RestlessFickleBookHoarder Agreed! I am also amused when the male love interest is a thinly veiled self-insert that is a fictional Casanova with some sort of off-putting quirk (in this case an oft-described penchant for wearing "dirty buckskins" with no socks) 8mo
2 likes4 comments
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CaramelLunacy
Camino Island | John Grisham
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My Dad said to me: I saw a Grisham book that involved a book heist of F Scott Fitzgerald manuscripts.

Readers, I purchased it...

3 likes2 stack adds
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CaramelLunacy
Holding Court | K.C. Held
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So far we have a lot (A LOT - 11) of blurted prophecies with very little follow-through (2). The pacing seems off for that as this reader can't really keep track of them...

But there has been a dastardly murder! Except nobody but Jules saw the body...

RaimeyGallant Dastardly! Such a great word! 9mo
2 likes1 comment
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CaramelLunacy
Holding Court | K.C. Held
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Just started this one - the set up is teenager Jules Verity has Psychic Tourette's - she is compelled to blurt out odd predictions at awkward moments. But she needs a summer job, so she applies to play psychic at the local Medieval Times/ren faire mashup called Tudor Times modeled after Henry VIII and his wives (not least so she can watch her crush)