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ChristieStratos

ChristieStratos

Joined February 2016

Author: ANATOMY OF A DARKENED HEART and BROTHERHOOD OF SECRETS.
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My Way of Life by Joan Crawford
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Mommie Dearest by Christina Crawford
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Myst: The Book of Atrus by Rand Miller, Robyn Miller
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ChristieStratos
An Anonymous Girl | Sarah Pekkanen, Greer Hendricks
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Pickpick

Wow! This book was even better than The Wife Between Us! I loved switching between two POVs that were played against each other, answering some questions and bringing up new ones all the time. I couldn‘t stop reading this book, which is a rare experience for me. The suspense was high and maintained that level, the character development was strong, and the plot kept moving, never lagging for a minute. I highly recommend this book.

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ChristieStratos
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Pickpick

I finished this books quite some time ago. It was totally brilliant in so many ways! Very dark, of course, but it delves into the relationship between mother and son from before birth, and how a parent‘s feelings can make such an enormous difference in their child. There are many ways to interpret - in fact I interpreted differently than the author herself! But that‘s the point of art. 100% recommend this book for its psychological insights.

4 likes1 stack add
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ChristieStratos
Clover | Dori Sanders
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Mehso-so

CLOVER gave great insight into a specific and delicate situation. The difficulties Clover faces in adjusting to the loss of her father, her new stepmother, the fact that her stepmother is of a totally different race and culture, and the rest of the family getting used to the new wife was excellent. The narrative did wobble into territory beyond the voice of a young child and what she could understand, which ruined some parts for me. Worth a read.

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ChristieStratos
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Pickpick

Another great read by Brandon Sanderson, this time a standalone. This was thoroughly enjoyable and had all the Sanderson trademarks, but it does come across as having slightly less finesse than the Stormlight Archive series. It‘s not surprising - this was first published in 2005 and the Stormlight Archive series started 5 years later. It‘s perfect to read this as part of Sanderson‘s career history and to analyze how a great author becomes greater.

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ChristieStratos
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I'm only one disc away from the end of this audiobook. There are no words. I love the book, it's brilliant, and now there is a moment of pure admiration for the author's ability to throw such a curveball... I won't spoil it. But...omg. I want to say so much, but words fail something like this. There's so much.

BooksForEmpathy The movie is also SO fantastic. 3y
ChristieStratos @BooksForEmpathy One of my author friends told me the same thing! 3y
8 likes2 comments
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ChristieStratos
The Dante Club: A Novel | Matthew Pearl
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Just got this book at a local library sale! I talked myself down from three books and just bought one. 😊 My bookshelves are overflowing, so I have to get picky at this point. I hate being a slow pleasure reader! Anyway this takes place in the 1860s, which is part of the time period I write in. Should be interesting!

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ChristieStratos
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Listening to this book based on horror author Michael J Elliott's great review of the movie version. So far it seems like a book I'll want to analyze deeper after I finish it. The writing style is heavily focused on developing the main character's personality, which I like. I can tell that when I finish the book I'll want to reread the beginning to pick up the foreshadowing subtleties.

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ChristieStratos
A Cup Of Tea | Amy Ephron
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Pickpick

I very much enjoyed this book in all its sparsity and character stereotyping. I flew through it, which is unusual for me with any book, and found myself excited to go back to it. It oozes with drama and pieces of the time period. It also explores a range of issues, some of which are enduring and some are more specific to the time period.

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ChristieStratos
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I liked this book at first- it seemed like a unique idea but one that could be brilliant or the opposite depending on how it was written. Well it has already gotten dry, dull, over explanatory, repetitive, and I just got through a huge, boring info dump that panders as if the reader is stupid. Ugh. Not even halfway through yet. I'll give it one more try and then I'm done.

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ChristieStratos
Bailedbailed

I read a couple of these stories but they were too simple and predictable. They were also a little too bland with no real sense of urgency. It just wasn't for me. I think Rankin's novels are supposed to be much better, so I wouldn't judge him on this anthology.

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ChristieStratos
Words of Radiance | Brandon Sanderson
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Pickpick

Absolutely excellent! It wasn't just equally as good as THE WAY OF KINGS, it was even better! There was one character I thought was too obviously "author's purpose", but it's easy to overlook that in a 1,000+ page book. The end was, as usual, about 1/4 of the book and mind blowing. 100% recommend.

6 likes1 stack add
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ChristieStratos
The Forest Lover | Susan Vreeland
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Bailedbailed

I bailed on this one. I got 3 discs in and found it hard to get through that much. The historical context and detail is not convincing nor is it present enough of the time. I don't buy the main character at all in the time period for many reasons, some of which are the lack of focus on actually painting or historical context there, the unrealistic conversations for the time, money (in general), etc. Overall I couldn't find a point to the book.

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ChristieStratos
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Pickpick

This is between a pick and a so-so for me. The style is fast-paced and the author wastes no time, but some of the descriptions are strange and don't go well together in my opinion. Sort of unpictureable. I also felt a fair amount that was left out of the movie was just for suspense and didn't serve too much of a purpose otherwise. I did enjoy it, though, and the characters are very sharp. Wilmer was even more brutal in the book version.

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ChristieStratos
Prince of Thorns | Mark Lawrence
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Just mentioned this book during a discussion panel I was on. Tonight The Writer's Edge discussed villains - how to write good ones, what makes them fascinating, where they come from, and a lot more, including audience questions. Watch it here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5sEC6MWLO_4
#writer #fantasy

11 likes1 stack add
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ChristieStratos
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New video today on fantasy author Joshua Robertson's channel. I talk about 3 novels that will improve your writing. They're all extremely different from each other and exemplify totally different things that can make a huge difference in your writing. They did in mine! 😊 Here's the link: https://youtu.be/39VPd4nfLIk. Let me know if there are books that you would recommend to improve writing.
#amwriting #writing #video #writersoflitsy

7 likes1 stack add
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ChristieStratos
The Inferno | Dante
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When the research for your #NaNoWriMo book rests solely on Dante's Inferno. 😈

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ChristieStratos
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Pickpick

HAPPY HALLOWEEN everyone! Edgar Allan Poe has some of my favorite stories to read at this time of year (so does Hans Christian Andersen). I like to read a bunch of them from a giant book of his works while I wait to hand out candy. You can't beat Mr. Poe! 🎃

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ChristieStratos
Words of Radiance | Brandon Sanderson
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Okay, I'm not too far into the book yet and already I'm impressed. All the details are dead on from the first book, we're picking up right where we left off. The personalities and speech patterns don't differ and we even get to see some of the best characters first. I'm so excited! Sanderson is such a master.

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ChristieStratos
Words of Radiance | Brandon Sanderson
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THE WAY OF KINGS is one of the best books I've ever read, and so many people say that this second book in the Stormlight Archive series is ever better than the first. I can't imagine - the first one blew me away. I'm listening to this on audiobook, just like I did for the first one. I actually waited a few months to read it to make sure Sanderson made progress on writing book 3 before I plunged into this one. Reading this is like returning home.

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ChristieStratos
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Lol at Humphrey Bogart's amusement when Peter Lorre tries to search his office. Twice. I spent the last week off from work, writing the second draft of my dark psychological historical fiction novel LOCKE AND KEYE, to be released fall 2016. It was pure heaven. I read some Maltese Falcon during that time and I'm really loving it! The movie stuck very close so far, even with some of the exact same dialogue. Really awesome. Spade is sooo perfect.

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ChristieStratos
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"He looked rather pleasantly like a blond satan." Not exactly a description of Humphrey Bogart, but the rest so far has jived closely. I'm impressed with how little they changed the movie! I'm still in the beginning, so let's hope it keeps up. I'm reading this tonight to cleanse my brain of I Love Trouble, a movie from 1948 categorized as film noir that was far from it and not at all my cup of tea. This book will wash all that away. ???

9 likes1 stack add
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ChristieStratos
After Alice: A Novel | Gregory Maguire
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I really doubt I'll finish this one. I'm listening to it in the car, and the CDs are sitting right next to me, and I keep reaching for music instead. Some parts with Ada are Wonderlandesque and in the right spirit, but the rest seems pointless and droning.

MrBook Yeah, I felt the same way 😕. 4y
ChristieStratos @MrBook It's unfortunate - so much opportunity but not enough effort put into creating something unique and significant, especially among the many Alice in Wonderland spinoffs and reinventions. ::sigh:: 4y
MrBook Yep. Quite shocking when compared with his earlier works. He's been roundly panned for this one. 4y
9 likes1 stack add3 comments
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ChristieStratos
After Alice: A Novel | Gregory Maguire
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"Father deplores the stage. Vice in three acts, he says."

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ChristieStratos
Only Human | J D Estrada
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Got this surprise package in the mail today! Signed with some lovely sentiments. If you don't know @JDEstrada he is a prolific indie author who writes a broad variety of genres and formats - poetry, novels, comics, and more. So excited for this book!

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ChristieStratos
Alice in Wonderland | Lewis Carroll
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In rereading Alice in Wonderland, I'm finding I forgot most of it! I thought I had it pegged, but it's much longer than I remember, and I mushed a lot of characters together in my head. I didn't remember the caterpillar's attitude problem and I didn't remember a pigeon at all!

9 likes1 stack add
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ChristieStratos
The Painted Veil | W. Somerset Maugham
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Pickpick

Awesome book about a woman's growth from superficial, selfish girl to kind, self-sacrificing woman. This was originally serialized and later written into novel format. Maugham has a real talent for bringing the reader into his character's changing emotions. It doesn't end predictably.

8 likes2 stack adds
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ChristieStratos
The Eyre Affair: A Novel | Jasper Fforde
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Bailedbailed

I really did make a good effort to finish this. Got maybe 3/4 of the way through and just could not take it anymore. I really didn't like it. I felt like the blurb wasn't a true impression of the book, and even the beginning made me think it would be much more interesting and active. Blah.

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ChristieStratos
The Yellow Wallpaper | Charlotte Perkins Gilman
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Pickpick

WOW this is an incredible study for writers and an amazing read in general! I've been wanting to read this story for years, and I'm 100% impressed. It's even better than expected. Suspenseful, creepy, and well written, especially for all it accomplishes in so few words. The perspective is natural.

CherylRussell I read that story years ago and it still sticks with me. 4y
ChristieStratos It's one that will definitely stick with me too! Very memorable and unique. 4y
12 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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ChristieStratos
Anatomy of a Darkened Heart | Christie Stratos
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Yesterday was #IndiePrideDay, so I wanted to take a moment to say how grateful I am to be living in a time when I can self-publish by choice. Under a year ago, I published my first novel, ANATOMY OF A DARKENED HEART, and now I'm gearing up to publish my second book. There is so much yet to come! ❤️

9 likes2 stack adds
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ChristieStratos
The Painted Veil | W. Somerset Maugham
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Listening to this brilliant book by a brilliant author read by brilliant voice talent. Well it can't get better than that!

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ChristieStratos
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Another food-related memoir that has me reading faster than usual. So far the writing is engaging and interesting, and it's off to a fast start even though it begins with Kate's childhood. Already loving it!

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ChristieStratos
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Search my name on YouTube to find my channel and watch me unbox the first Book Mail collab by @outofprint and @bookriot! I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this unboxing and how perfect the theme is for me. 😀

BooksTeasAndBookishThings I kind of expected more for $60. But, I am sure all of the food lovers loved it since I doubt any of the other subscriptions have ever had that theme. 4y
ChristieStratos @BooksTeasAndBookishThings I loved it, but I was a little disappointed there weren't a couple more things in it. It didn't seem like $60 to me either. 4y
7 likes2 comments
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ChristieStratos
Alice in Wonderland | Lewis Carroll
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Mustache not included. 😆 Okay, let's see how I do with the Serial Reader app. So far reading Alice in Wonderland has been a pleasure. I'm hoping to read many classic books this way, since I have lost the time I used to use to read. 😢 Installments and reminders are perfect for this emergency. 😀

Varshitha This app is great,, to read and re-read most of the classics 4y
ChristieStratos @Varshitha Yeah, I like it so far! We'll see if I still like it when I read longer, more serious works. I'm hoping it's going to be a game changer for my classic lit reading career. 4y
6 likes2 comments
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ChristieStratos
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Doing some research for my next book, LOCKE AND KEYE, the second book in the Dark Victoriana Collection. I have to say it's a lot of fun (though sometimes frustrating) doing research for historical fiction. Food and dining habits are a couple of my favorite things to research. 😉🍽🍷

8 likes1 stack add
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ChristieStratos
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Pickpick

This is my all-time favorite cookbook. It has such a fantastic variety of recipes, menus, even drinks, and much of it can be made gluten free if it isn't naturally already. The instructions are very clear. This is my go-to cookbook for both complex and simple recipes.

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ChristieStratos
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While I wait at the vet with my puppy (she's 6 years old but will always be a puppy to me) we're reading international Cinderella tales. I love reading different versions of the same story. You learn so much about cultural differences and understanding.

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ChristieStratos
The Eyre Affair: A Novel | Jasper Fforde
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I'm past this disc by now, but look at that CD rainbow! This book is not for me, but I'm still listening in case it turns itself around. It's cute and a mix of fantasy and mystery, but doesn't have enough depth or intrigue to keep my interest. Also too many tangents. It's falling flat for me.

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ChristieStratos
Ideal | Ayn Rand
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"She walked as if the carpets and the stairs and the sidewalks rolled softly, soundlessly, from under the suspicion of her foot's touch."

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ChristieStratos
The Eyre Affair: A Novel | Jasper Fforde
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Wuuuut? This is humorous fantasy that I'm about to start. Should be interesting. I'm listening to it as an audiobook, so it should go by fast. I just did a YouTube video on giving up reading challenges because they stress me out hardcore. Anyone else have trouble with them?

4 likes1 stack add
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ChristieStratos
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I loved the movie - one of Bogart's best- and I love noir films in general, so the next step is to read an original noir book! I'm excited to see how different it feels to read this particular character, ambiance, and story instead of watching it. And it was just $5 from one of my fave local stores!

LauraJ Seen the movie so many times. The Syndey Greenstreet & Peter Lorre pairing kills me. 4y
abhisynthe Classic American noir. I love so many dialogues from that film - I wonder how many of them are form the book vs the script. 4y
ChristieStratos @LauraJ they're great! 4y
ChristieStratos @abhisynthe that's exactly what I'm wondering! 4y
10 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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ChristieStratos
The Way of Kings | Brandon Sanderson
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To continue my love of this book, here's an example of illustrations & sketches with notes that appear randomly. Each chapter has a symbol, each part has a special page. Of course there's also a map. The time and thought that went into the paperback presentation matches the detail of the writing.

rynae I shall die of anticipation for the next book. 4y
ChristieStratos @rynae I know!!! 4y
Varshitha Wow.. I got to read this. 4y
See All 6 Comments
bookish.hummingbird I consume everything that Sanderson writes. His world building and magic systems are to die for. 🤓 4y
ChristieStratos @Varshitha It's worth it for sure! 4y
ChristieStratos @bookish.hummingbird This was my first venture into his work, but if other works/series are just as good, I want to try them! 4y
12 likes1 stack add6 comments
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ChristieStratos
The Way of Kings | Brandon Sanderson
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Pickpick

When you take selfies with your book as if it's a friend - because it is! This book is in my top 5 best books of all time, weighing in at 1,280 pages including illustrations and maps. I would call it literary fantasy, and if that didn't exist before it does now! So brilliant in all aspects!

rynae Agreed! I love that book so much. 😍 4y
ChristieStratos @rynae Top shelf! It's a rare treasure. 😀 4y
9 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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ChristieStratos
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Bailedbailed

In terms of worldbuilding this book was excellent. It's an A+ example of how to worldbuild in depth and alter our real world believably. There were too many tangents, too little plot development, and my attention could phase in and out and I still didn't miss anything. I bailed halfway through.

3 likes4 stack adds
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ChristieStratos
Handmaid's Tale | Margaret Atwood
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Got my Atlas Shrugged and The Handmaid's Tale shirts from Out of Print! Two visionary books on the way society will limit us in the future, two women with incredible talent and insight. Love them both!

8 likes3 stack adds
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ChristieStratos
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Everyone loves this book. Everyone. But for me... It's very engrossing and I love that. But it's also tedious in my opinion. There are lots of tangents, and I can fade in and out while listening and not really miss anything. To me, that's no good. I'm only halfway through but ready for it to end.

Chessa That's how I felt too. 4y
ChristieStratos @Chessa yeah, I'm bailing on it. I've lost interest! 4y
7 likes1 stack add2 comments
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ChristieStratos
Restitution | Courtney Frey
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Spotlighting this book for its raw, rough honesty about the effects of childhood abuse, neglect, and rape. It's nonfiction but reads like fiction. This is one of those rare important books that everyone should read to understand the psychological effects of such bad treatment.

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ChristieStratos
The Way of Kings | Brandon Sanderson
Pickpick

Out of 10 points, THE WAY OF KINGS is a 20. This is the ultimate fantasy book with depth, incredible character development, perfect pacing, no easy solutions, and all kinds of commentary. Absolutely brilliantly done. The audiobook was fantastic, and I'm going to buy the paperback to love and study.

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ChristieStratos
Mad Kestrel | Misty Massey
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Between the sheets. I've been terrible at making time to read lately. It's a dilemma I think about every single day. I owe the library a salary's worth of late fees by now. ANYWAY I like this book a lot, especially as swashbuckling fantasy with a female pirate lead, and it has only dragged a little.

3 likes1 stack add
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ChristieStratos
Mad Kestrel | Misty Massey
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It's so very true. It's a strange feeling when everyone else continues living their normal lives, oblivious to your crisis.

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ChristieStratos
People of the Longhouse | W. Michael Gear, Kathleen O'Neal Gear
Mehso-so

This was essentially a mystery with some good Native American historical facts, but I didn't think the book blurb described it properly. The middle of the book, maybe 20-30% of the book in general, didn't serve to move the story forward much. It could have been shorter and distilled down, leaner.