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Cortg

Cortg

Joined June 2016

So many books, so little time
review
Cortg
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Pickpick

Fantastic graphic novel memoir about gender identity. I learned some new to me things and feel it‘s an important read to understand differences and to understand our LGBTQIA+ community of friends.

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Pickpick

Former figure skater turned college hockey player, Bitty vlogs and tweets his way through college life as a gay, pie baking fiend and life with his hockey bros. I thought this was a good story of college life and athletes. Another popular book in the challenged books saga.

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Cortg
Cloud Cuckoo Land | Anthony Doerr
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Starting this one before heading to work on a Saturday. At least I feel appreciated this morning!

squirrelbrain I loved this book! 1w
Cortg @squirrelbrain Yay! I‘m hearing great things about it! ❤️ 1w
40 likes2 comments
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Billy Summers | Steven King
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Pickpick

This gave me serious Dexter vibes! You know, when you‘re rooting for the good guy who is also a killer but it‘s ok because he only kills bad guys. Seriously though, this is a great book, I loved Billy Summers, an ex-marine sharp shooter with a past. He‘s hired to do a last hit job before “retiring” when things go astray. Fast paced, page turning, high adventure and identity changes! This one will keep you up late at night.

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A Thousand Ships | Natalie Haynes
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Pickpick

I loved this mix of stories about the women of the Trojan War. The premises reminded me of The Red Tent, a long time favorite. It‘s always refreshing to hear the women‘s stories. I suck at Greek Mythology and who‘s who which put me at a disadvantage but still a fun read. *disclaimer: Wikipedia was my friend during this read

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Billy Summers | Steven King
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A quiet Friday night. Just me, the pup and Billy Summers. I‘m really enjoying this book!

AmyG Wonderful book. Enjoy! 2w
Soubhiville Looks like someone would like you to try to take the ball. 💜🐶 2w
Cortg @Soubhiville Yep! We played for about 20 minutes! 2w
40 likes3 comments
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This Is How It Always Is | Laurie Frankel
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Pickpick

My first thought after finishing this story is how refreshing it is to read a book about a close family with strong morals and unconditional love. This is the story of Rosie and Penn and their family. Their youngest, born Claude, identifies as Poppy and how Poppy affects their family, friends, and lifestyle and how, in the end, it all comes down to family, love and embracing who you are ❤️ I‘m looking forward to discussing this one at book club!

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Velvet Was the Night | Silvia Moreno-Garcia
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Pickpick

This was a slow read with a great ending. Political Mexico City, 1970. When Leonora goes missing after taking pictures during an attack on students, her neighbor, Maite, begins asking questions and diving deeper into her disappearance. Elvis, is put on surveillance to find Leonora. The story of Leonora‘s disappearance slowly unveils itself as the mystery unfolds. Bonus: The author created a Spotify playlist to accompany the book and times!

StaceGhost I‘ve been rocking out to that Spotify playlist ever since I finished this! Great review and read :) 2w
39 likes1 comment
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The Breakaways | Cathy G. Johnson
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Mehso-so

Catching up on some recently challenged books. I was not impressed with this one about middle school misfits on a losing soccer team and the friendships that form during the season. I thought it was choppy and skims the surface on many topics without enough detail or emotion.

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Lawn Boy | Jonathan Evison
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Pickpick

This is a coming of age story about a 22 year old Mexican kid, Mike Munoz, living at home with his mom and special needs brother on an Indian reservation. He works as a lawn boy but is trying to figure out where he fits in the world and what the American dream means to him and how to go about reaching for it. Good read with some great characters and quite entertaining.

38 likes1 stack add
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October reads were pretty darn good!

marleed And they coordinate so well! 4w
28 likes1 comment
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Gold Diggers: A Novel | Sanjena Sathian
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Pickpick

This magical realism story is about Neal, and Anita, the girl across the street. When Neal stumbles upon an old alchemy brew Anita and her mom create using gold, things go awry. A decade later, Neal and Anita‘s paths cross once again on the other side of the country and plans for a gold heist begin to form. The want for a longer life and cheating time, folklore, teen pressure, and Indian/Asian cultures make this a unique read.

36 likes1 stack add
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Harlem Shuffle: A Novel | Colson Whitehead
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this heist story and visiting 1960‘s Harlem! The characters were great, a lot of depth to them with different backgrounds and I‘m a sucker for characters. The neighborhoods and the cultures during this time period were much like the characters; lots of layers and growth. Great story and well written!

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Malibu Rising | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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Pickpick

The perfect read for my California vacation! We spent a couple days in LA and the week in San Diego. I loved the characters and enjoyed the way this story is told, all on the day of the big Riva party, but also going back in time to learn about the characters pasts and history. 🌊

35 likes1 stack add
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Dune | Frank Herbert
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Pickpick

Great story but I didn‘t love the writing. The first 130 pages were really slow and lacked world building IMO. I would have liked the appendixes at the end to have been part of the story at the beginning. I did really like how the reader read the thoughts of the characters throughout as the thoughts were in italics, sometimes quite funny! I can see why this is in the top lists for sci-fi books and I‘m glad I finally read it!

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Pickpick

This book wasn‘t really about one thing. It was about the times, the place, and the people in this particular neighborhood of Brooklyn in the late 60‘s and how one event ties them all together. It‘s about neighbors, family, friendships, camaraderie and cheese?! Cultures and people make this story. This was a lovely read with fascinating characters. The audio was great but I may pick up a physical copy to reread at some point.

HeatherBookNerd Loved this book. So thoroughly entertaining. The audiobook was terrific. 2mo
Lauram My book club met virtually to discuss this book last week. We all loved it! 2mo
Cortg @Lauram This would be a great one for book club! 2mo
44 likes3 comments
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Not a great reading month, especially considering three of my finished books were audio BUT I‘m enjoying the gorgeous weather; camping, kayaking and hiking! Got to get it in before the weather gets too cold. 🚣‍♂️🥾🏕

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Dune | Frank Herbert
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Halfway through! The first 1/4 was super slow to me but things are picking up! This has been on my TBR for so long. I‘m not a big sci-fi reader so this is a bit of a challenge.
PS; I‘m looking forward to the new movie, I hope it‘s good 🎬

BookwormAHN I loved the book and also had put it off for the longest time. And I can't wait to see the movie 😺 2mo
46 likes1 comment
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Little nature audio walk with the pooch this afternoon. ❤️

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The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War | The Washington Post, Craig Whitlock
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Pickpick

I‘ve been wanting to understand the war in Afghanistan better. I tried to read a friend‘s books from a Dept. of Defense masters course but they were over my head. This book does a terrific job of painting a picture of Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Afghan civilians. It covers each of the presidencies throughout the war and where things went wrong. It was a great listen that helped put things into perspective and well researched journalism.

34 likes2 stack adds
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Seven Days In June | Tia Williams
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Pickpick

Steamy, complicated, and dark at times, Eva and Shane‘s story was a roller coaster of a ride. Romance type books are not my go to, but I enjoyed the story for the most part.

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Pickpick

This was a fun and strange book, for sure. It‘s a slow-burn kinda read (my favorite) about a 1/2 Vietnamese, American who goes to Saigon to get away from her family and/or find herself. The book goes back and forth in time as the story and characters slowly reveal themselves and how they interconnect about two girls who go missing decades apart. Throw in the supernatural, Vietnamese Folklore and snakes and you‘re in for an interesting ride!

Jee_HookedOnBookz I enjoyed this book until the very end. Did you get the ending about The Fortune Teller? Pray help! It‘s bugging me! 😅 2w
Jee_HookedOnBookz Ok went back to it again to try figure it out. The last chapter, the fortune teller I was referring to above, is she the First Assistant? 2w
Cortg @Jee_HookedOnBookz It's been a couple months since I've read this but now I want to listen to the audio book because I'm sure I missed a few things! Honestly, I'm really not sure. There was the fortune teller that works for the Saigon Spirit Eradication Co. (along with a 1st and 2nd assistant.) Is this the same forutne teller with the lottery ticket that changed the course of Winnie's future? I just downloaded the audio, time for a reread! 2w
Jee_HookedOnBookz You mean the woman sitting in a wheelchair who sold her the lottery ticket? I don‘t think she was referred to ask The Fortune Teller 🤔 Throughout the book the Fortune Teller had been a man until the last chapter which was what confused me and got me to thinking maybe First Assistant might have assumed his identity. 2w
40 likes4 comments
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Pickpick

I feel like it‘s been a while since I‘ve finished a book 🤔 This one was good, very different from Homegoing which I like in authors. This book was about growing up with immigrant parents, addiction, mental health and more or less finding yourself and where you fit in, in the world. It was enjoyable and I liked how the narrator compares her work and her life throughout the story but not a favorite.

39 likes1 stack add
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Cortg
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My next book has a list of characters AND 3 maps! 😳

wanderinglynn I love books with maps! 💜🗺 3mo
Cortg @wanderinglynn Me too! Books with maps AND a character list is a little daunting, but I‘m diving in this morning! 3mo
26 likes2 comments
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Monday's Not Coming | Tiffany D. Jackson
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Pickpick

I feel like an emotional train wreck after this one! Wow. I wanted to read this after hearing about some parent drama in a nearby county with lots to say against this book and trying to get it removed. Plus, it‘s a Coretta Scott King winner and tackles some real heavy topics. The story is about Claudia, who leaves to spend the summer at her grandmothers only to come back to find her best friend has disappeared and no one seems concerned by this.

Cortg If parents are upset that their 9th grader could choose to read this in honors English, they‘re in for a rude awakening in the upcoming years, thinking back on some of the books my kids read in high school over the past 5 years 😂 3mo
Zoe-h When I read this one, I couldn‘t keep track of the time changes, and that twist at the end didn‘t help. It was also much more grim than I was expecting (not that that‘s a bad thing). 3mo
Cortg @Zoe-h Yeah, the “before, before” the “before” and the “after” chapters plus each consecutive month was tricky, but it kept me wondering what the big event was that caused the before and the after. The twist was great and opened the whole mental health aspect of the story. So many layers and topics! I knew going in it would be grim from the nearby school drama. (edited) 3mo
megnews When it comes to censorship I always feel like if there are kids who have lived through something, other kids can read about it. Sometimes with guidance. Parents would do better for their children if they read along too and discussed instead of trying to ban. I loved this book and I love Tiffany Jackson. (edited) 3mo
Cortg @megnews Absolutely! And the book was a choice read, choose one of these 5 books to read and discuss. By high school, let the kids read. It creates empathy and understanding. (edited) 3mo
36 likes5 comments
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Pickpick

Finished this big ‘ole audio book on my drive to visit my parents this weekend. I like each book in the series a bit better but it‘s not my favorite series. I‘m going to keep going with it but I‘m just reading a book or two a year.

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Monday's Not Coming | Tiffany D. Jackson
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A little beach therapy this afternoon with my mom ❤️

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Bunny: A Novel | Mona Awad
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Pickpick

Hmmm. This one is going to be on my mind for a while. I do love quirky, odd books and this one takes the cake. A mix of Mean Girls meets Heathers meets Stepford Wives, then throw in magical arts and conjuring of animals, mostly rabbits to make a very bizarre story. I have questions! Overall, I did enjoyed reading this, mostly because I wanted to see where it was going 😳

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Bunny: A Novel | Mona Awad
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TGIF! It‘s been a long week! New county mandate means masks in county buildings regardless of vax status and not all of our patrons have been on board. Throw in temps in the triple digits, real feel was 107 yesterday, and I need a break. I‘m going to hang around the house and read this bizarre book in between our book club meeting this afternoon. Take it easy out there today and be kind to yourself!

Soubhiville Your meal looks perfect, I hope you enjoy it and have a relaxing stress free day. 3mo
britt_brooke Life is just hard right now. 😔 At least there are books … and those eggs looks amazing. Enjoy! 3mo
Cortg @Soubhiville Thanks! So far so good! 3mo
Cortg @britt_brooke Yes! I have more than my usual amount of books checked out and of course my growing piles of books cluttering my bookshelves that are screaming to be read ❤️ Have a great weekend! 3mo
46 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Hit the trails behind the house before the rain. It‘s hot and humid out there. Lots of kindness rocks left to find on the trail, a nice surprise! Book IV of the Dark Towers series.

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Pickpick

Vietnam war. This book, though labeled a work of fiction, is also very real. Not so much one long story, but shorter, essay style stories about members of a platoon. It‘s about experiences and the aftermath of war, death and the haunting that never leaves the souls of those that make it home alive.

lynneamch I finally read this last year when it was required reading for my 16-yr-old granddaughter. Made for a good discussion. 4mo
Cortg @lynneamch Nice! I read it for book club and I‘m looking forward to the discussion. My daughter read it last year for AP Lit and we chatted about it quite a bit as I made my way through the stories. The book was very well done! 4mo
43 likes2 comments
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My July reads! I‘ve been keeping busy on the weekends hiking and kayaking but thankfully I‘m still finding time to get lost between the pages of books ❤️

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Pickpick

This was a delightful listen this weekend while I tackled the weeds in the yard. Leslie Jordan is funny and genuine, just a wonderful little addition to this world. I‘ve just started following his Instagram page. Better late than never. 🏳️‍🌈 Thanks @britt_brooke for bringing this lovely audio to my attention.

britt_brooke Delightful is the perfect word for this! So happy you enjoyed. 💚 4mo
42 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Pickpick

Nora suffers from depression and when she feels as if all hope is lost, this book brings you into the realm of quantum physics and sliders as Nora finds herself at the stroke of midnight in a library full of books. Each book represents one of her regrets in life (and there are many) or a choice she‘s
made that either slightly or dramatically changes her life and lifestyle.
I‘ll look at my “regrets” in a different life after reading this one!

55 likes1 stack add
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I hear it‘s National hammock day today! This is by far my favorite reading spot during the warmer days and I love that I can take it with me so easily! Also, I‘m loving this book ❤️

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Pickpick

Part Genealogy, part American History, and part Geography this is an excellent book! Jerkins does some thorough research into her genealogy and history dating back to slavery in the United States, how her family came to be where they are located today and what her culture and race means to her. ❤️ I‘ve done some genealogy but my family hasn‘t been in the US long enough to get very far and I haven‘t looked into genealogy in other countries.

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The Four Winds: A Novel | Kristin Hannah
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Pickpick

I loved reading about the dust bowl and the migrant “Okies” survival in California during the Great Depression. This book reminded me a lot of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn but I liked the take on the Great Depression in the west, something I haven‘t read or learned as much about. Going in, I thought this would be a generic kind of story and I was pleasantly surprised!

38 likes1 stack add
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Rodham | Curtis Sittenfeld
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Panpan

I found this book to be cringy. I was really looking forward to it after reading American Wife years ago and I liked that AW was based loosely on the Bush‘s but names were changed. I hated that Hillary & Bill‘s names were not changed and I thought it was unsettling to say the least.

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Once and Future Witches | Alix E Harrow
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Mehso-so

There was a lot I liked about this book; the retelling of fairy tales, suffragettes, and witches but for some reason the story fell a little flat for me. It was borderline YA and adult and I hoped for more layers, more oomf, I think? I spent the morning finishing up the last 125 pages before the meeting but alas non of the other book club readers finished before the meeting so maybe it was just not our story.

46 likes1 stack add
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My June reads. I was a couple books under my monthly average, but it‘s all good!

38 likes1 stack add
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Pickpick

This is my pride read for June and, wow!
I love how Vivek‘s story is told. It‘s a beautiful story and so sad. The story takes place in Nigeria and begins with Vivek‘s mother finding his body on her front doorstep. As the story unfolds, you learn about Vivek and what he was like growing up until his early death. You hear from friends and family members and slowly, the events around his death unfold. I loved listening to this story. 💔

BookBelle84 I loved this book when I read it and still think about it regularly over a year later. 5mo
33 likes1 comment
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Once and Future Witches | Alix E Harrow
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Getting some outdoor reading and snuggles in before the triple digit heat index kicks in! It‘s my late day at work today 😉

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Pickpick

This is a fantastic NF graphic novel about the Central African Republic. Photojournalist Marc Ellis dives into crime, poverty, education (or lack of,) refugee camps, street kids, domestic violence, diamond mines, and conflicts that are found here. Photographs paired with drawings by Didier Kassai make for a beautiful and heartbreaking book of people.

44 likes1 stack add
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Lisey's Story: A Novel | Stephen King
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Pickpick

Stephen King‘s version of a love story? Yes please! I really enjoyed this one. I acquired an older copy last year and decided to tackle it in case I decide to watch the Apple TV adaptation. I stayed up a little past the pupper‘s bedtime to finish it up.

Lifeisasnap I went off SK for decades because i scared myself as a little kid reading Cujo and PET Semetary! Lisey‘s Story is the first book i went to to get back into the SK reads. I‘m glad I did. It was so different and yet, so Stephen King. Glad you like it too! 5mo
Cortg @Lifeisasnap I honestly haven‘t read many SK books. My first was 11/22/63 and since then I‘ve read The Shining, 1/2 of the Dark Towers series, Gwendy‘s Button Box and The Institute. There are quite a few more I‘d like to read and some that I‘ll pass on because, quite frankly, I‘m afraid. 5mo
Lifeisasnap @Cortg i loved 11/22/63! Did you see the Tv series of it starring James Franco? Yeah, a lot of his books are scary!! 5mo
Cortg @Lifeisasnap OMG! I remember wanting to watch it and completely forgot about it! I don‘t watch much TV so I have to make notes of things to watch. I‘m going to try to track it down! 5mo
41 likes4 comments
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Modern Lovers | Emma Straub
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Mehso-so

I needed a beach listen and downloaded this one. I thought I‘d enjoy it more but I found the characters stories a bit dull and boring.

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Modern Lovers | Emma Straub
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A new reading (hiding) spot! I‘m super excited 😜

Soubhiville That‘s great! 5mo
Tamra Nice! 😍 5mo
44 likes2 comments
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Know My Name | Chanel Miller
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Pickpick

I can‘t begin to imagine how difficult this book was to write. It makes me nervous for my daughter to leave for school in the fall but she has a good head on her shoulder. She read a similar story in The Washington Post for AP Lang (I think?!) that left her fuming. So grateful for the teachers to tackle these difficult topics to prepare these kids for the world and grateful for Chanel Miller for telling her story and not making it ok!

42 likes1 stack add
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Lisey's Story: A Novel | Stephen Book
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Just finished what I hope is our last virtual book club meeting, we read Nothing to See Here. Now getting some personal reading time in with some extremely loud cicada noise going on all around me!

AlaMich It‘s insane how loud they can be!! 6mo
Cortg @AlaMich They are SO loud! I can hear them driving down the road with my windows up and music playing! 6mo
47 likes2 comments
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Mooncakes | Suzanne Walker
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This is my May wrap-up. It was a pretty good month!

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Nothing to See Here | Kevin Wilson
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Pickpick

This was a quick read about a set of 10 year old kids who spontaneously combust into flames. The story itself is a sweet one when Lillian comes to take care of them for the summer. All three have had rough lives and they all learn to trust each each other and be there for one another. This is my book club‘s June pick.

46 likes1 stack add