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Creme_de_la_them

Creme_de_la_them

Joined December 2018

Queer stoner bookworm ❤️ my bird eats my book covers 🙄
review
Creme_de_la_them
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This isn‘t your typical read. Zolbrod translated existing Diné writings, used 100+ year old recordings, and worked with Diné elders to build the most complete and accurate version of their creation story possible. There‘s a brilliant pronunciation guide, explanations of Diné oral tradition style, and lots of additional notes to better explain each part. An incredible and deeply important work.

3 likes2 stack adds
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Creme_de_la_them
Braiding Sweetgrass | Robin Wall Kimmerer
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Book #20 of the year: “Braiding Sweetgrass” by Robin Wall Kimmerer

I‘ve been reading this one for a while, as evidenced by the worn cover. “Braiding Sweetgrass” is the kind of book that nourishes the soul and makes you a better person. It made me feel so many things—it made me feel. I took this book in sips, a chapter at a time, and savored it. If you read one book this year, make it “Braiding Sweetgrass”.

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Creme_de_la_them
The Blood Trials: A Novel | N. E. Davenport
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Book #19 of the year: “The Blood Trials” by N.E. Davenport

It is, unsurprisingly, bloody. This YA fiction follows the just-turned-18 Amari as she deals with the loss of her grandfather, the bigotry of her nation, a gift from a goddess, and impending war. It‘s good, if a little long.

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Creme_de_la_them
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Book #18 of the year: “Better Allies” by Karen Catlin

If you aspire to allyship with any marginalized or excluded group(s), read this. It‘s quick, well-researched, well written, with concrete actions everyone can take. Reading through examples of and research into biases against women/women-read people, disabled people, and LGBTQ+ people hit home on a personal level, too. A+, do recommend.

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Circe | Madeline Miller
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Book #17 of the year: “Circe” by Madeline Miller

This was a really good book. I loved the writing, the story, the feminism. I wasn‘t the biggest fan of the ending but still recommend giving it a read!

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The 100 Unwritten Norwegian Social Laws | Egil Aslak Aursand Hagerup
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Book #16 of the year:

“The 100 Unwritten Norwegian Social Laws” by Egil Aslak A. Hagerup. This was a quick read and hilarious.

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Creme_de_la_them
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Book # 15 of the year: The Mermaid of Jeju” by Sumi Hahn. Beautiful and sad, it tells the story of a young haenyeo who comes of age during the US invasion of Korea. I highly recommend reading this.

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Donal Grant | George MacDonald
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Book #14 of the year:

“Donal Grant” by George MacDonald. I loved this book as a young teen and finally got to reread it. It‘s complicated, written in the late 1800s, with lots of Scottish-English and swathes of religious philosophizing, but I still really enjoyed it. It‘s a good story, sweet and sad.

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Creme_de_la_them
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Book #13 of the year: “China Rich Girlfriend” by Kevin Kwan

I didn‘t like it as much as “Crazy Rich Asians” but still recommend giving it a read! This one focuses much more on Rachel‘s father and his family, including her brother‘s China Rich Girlfriend. Very entertaining and mostly lighthearted ❤️

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Circle of Gold | Diana Palmer
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Book #12 of the year: “Circle of Gold” by Diana Palmer.

Yep, it‘s a harlequin romance 😂 I got several boxes of free books (again) and this was one! I have to say, skip this one for sure. It didn‘t even have gratuitous sex scenes 😩

My mamaw had a bunch of these and I used to love sneakily reading them as a pre-teen. It wasn‘t a good book but I loved the nostalgia that came with it.

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Creme_de_la_them
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Book #11 of the year: “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

A great book. Easy, light fiction with a positive message and happy ending ❤️ Definitely give this a read.

6 likes1 stack add
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Creme_de_la_them
The Dutch House | Ann Patchett
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Book #10 of the year: “The Dutch House” by Ann Patchett

I found this one on a table at JFK in New York! This fictional work follows two siblings through the decades of their lives after their mother leaves and father remarries. Dealing with themes like abandonment, loss of security, resentment of parents, and sacrifice, it‘s a good read that‘s not overly sad or emotionally gripping.

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The Trial of Martin Luther King | Alan F. Westin, Barry Mahoney
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Book #9 of the year:
“The Trial of Martin Luther King” by Alan F. Westin and Barry Mahoney.

This was truly a great book. It focuses on MLK‘s civil rights work in Birmingham leading to the Walker v. Birmingham Supreme Court Case, how the case impacted other civil rights efforts, and the work he was doing when he was murdered. I‘m too tired to do it justice, but if you like civil rights and legal history, this book is for you.

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The Water Dancer: A Novel | Ta-Nehisi Coates
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Book #8 of the year: “The Water Dancer” by Ta-Nehisi Coates

It wasn‘t my favorite but still a good book. Normally I like a good fantasy and historical fiction, but this one was slower and a little more meandering than I expected. It has a generally happy ending.

Featuring: Jake the Dog

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Creme_de_la_them
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It‘s not as bad as it looks. Published in the 80s, this compilation of survivor poems and stories was focused on ending the silence and shame around CSA. These women wrote to heal and to reclaim their voices. As a CSA survivor who benefitted greatly from sharing my story and being open about my trauma, I found an unexpected bit of healing in being reminded how far society has come (though not far enough) and that I‘m not alone.

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Book #6 of the year: “Eloquent Rage” by Brittney Cooper

The kind of book everyone should read. Excellent explanations of patriarchal violence, toxic masculinity, intersectionality, personal growth , and misogynoir. Cooper hits a perfect balance of educating and engaging.

3 likes1 stack add
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Creme_de_la_them
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Book #5 of the year: “Call Us What We Carry” by Amanda Gorman

So many of her poems are about COVID and some of them hit hard. What isn‘t about COVID is about racism or the political landscape of the US. Gorman‘s poetry is incredible but/so be prepared to feel.

My favorites were “_ _ _ _ _ [GATED]”, “Fury & Faith”, and “The Truth in One Nation”.

Picture of my current reading situation ❤️

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Creme_de_la_them
Let's Be Weird Together: A Book About Love | Brooke Barker, Boaz Frankel
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Natalie gave this to Michael and me for Christmas and we‘ve been reading a couple of pages most nights before bed. This book is an absurd and adorable tribute to those of us who embrace the weird in our relationships. Maybe you have a weird ritual for washing your face (like me) or maybe you put globs of various foods in a bowl and eat it with a spoon, but if you‘re reveling in mutual weirdness, this one‘s for you. Bonus: temporary tattoos 😍

4 likes2 stack adds
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Creme_de_la_them
For love of the dark one: songs of Mirabai | M?r?b??, Andrew Schelling
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Book #3 of the year: “For the Love of the Dark One”

I found this in the back corner of a bookstore in Leavenworth and couldn‘t resist. It‘s a book of poems/songs by an Indian princess, Mirabai, in the 1400s-1500s. Mirabai rejected her husband‘s family, status, and wealth to pursue her love and worship of Krishna. This collection is erotic, devout, and an interesting look at one woman‘s rebellion.

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Madam Bovary | Gustave Flaubert
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Book #2 of the year: “Madame Bovary” by Gustave Flaubert

Flaubert is certainly verbose. I probably would have enjoyed it more if he‘d been a little less florid. It was, like many classics, fine but not extraordinary.

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Book #1 of 2022: “Cats‘ ABCs” by Beverley Nichols

It‘s terrible. Don‘t read it. In addition to being pompous and pretentious, the dude ends with talking about his fantasy of owning “innumerable slaves” who could build gardens for him and his cats. It‘s just a mess.

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Book #28 of the year, and my final book of 2021: “Mediocre” by Ijeoma Oluo

What an amazing book. It‘s extremely well researched and detailed (y‘all know I‘m a sucker for some citations) but not dry. I recommend it for everyone, and I thank Parable for making this autographed copy possible 😍

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You Better Be Lightning | Andrea Gibson
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Book #27 of the year: “You Better Be Lightning” by Andrea Gibson

I had to wait to write this until I stopped crying. Their poetry is complex and beautiful, often painful, always honest. They inspire me to write and open to the beauty and creativity just waiting for me to stop being afraid. If you‘re queer, read Andrea Gibson. If you‘re not, probably read them anyway.

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The Spy: A novel | Paulo Coelho
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Book #26 of the year: “The Spy” by Paulo Coelho

This was a fast and easy read. It‘s okay, but not great. Definitely entertaining and perfect if you‘re looking for something to get through in a day.

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Book #25 of the year: “The Little Book of Hygge” by Meik Wiking

I READ A HAPPY BOOK! Go, me! Michael got this for me last winter and I finally got around to reading it. It‘s delightful and I loved it. With insights into Danish culture and the science of happiness, Wiking created a warm welcome into hygge for the rest of the world. I look forward to incorporating these guidelines and recipes into my life, and just in time for julehygge!

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Creme_de_la_them
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Hendrickson focused on the sheriffs in this picture, taken in 1962 as James Meredith fought to integrate Ole Miss. Using personal interviews over years, FBI documents and recordings, and court records, Hendrickson digs into the history of police corruption in MS, collaboration between John and Robert Kennedy and the governor of MS, and targeting of civil rights activists.

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Book #23 of the year: “Memoirs of a Disgruntled Attorney” by Marc Sherman

Marc and I met on *LiveJournal* back in 2007 or 2008. This book is a collection of parodies, satire, and reflections on life after being diagnosed with Parkinson‘s Disease. It was a quick and mostly funny read. Thanks for writing it, my friend ❤️

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Giovanni's Room | James Baldwin
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Book #22 of the year: “Giovanni‘s Room” by James Baldwin

I need to start reading some less painful books. The story centers on a white American man in Paris as he‘s forced to face his sexuality, his understanding of morality, and how deeply we hurt and are hurt by the people we love. It‘s very well written and I enjoyed it, but there is no happy ending.

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Sappho In Levkas And Other Poems (1915) | William Alexander Percy
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This was a delightful surprise. The poetry was beautiful AND it turns out Mr. Percy was gay/queer. He was a lawyer, poet, and planter from Mississippi, openly opposed the KKK, supported Black authors, and was unabashedly involved with men. I had no idea he existed until now & have to do a deep dive into his writings. As a queer Mississippian, learning more about our often-erased heritage is always an emotional but uplifting experience.

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What a beautiful, complicated, hard book. This autobiographical novel is a letter to the author‘s mother. It covers topics like racism, immigration, war, imperialism, inter generational trauma, opioids and youth overdoses, sexuality, the intersection of race and sexuality, poverty, addiction, mental illness, abuse, and the way decades of manual labor break down a person‘s body. I highly recommend reading it.

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Creme_de_la_them

“Sometimes, when I‘m careless, I think survival is easy: you just keep moving forward with what you have, or what‘s left of what you were given, until something changes—or you realize, at last, that you can change without disappearing, that all you had to do was wait until the storm passes you over and you find that—yes—your name is still attached to a living thing.”

—Ocean Vuong

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Under the Udala Trees | Chinelo Okparanta
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Book #19 of the year: “Under the Udala Trees” by Chinelo Okparanta

The story starts in Nigeria during the Biafran War and follows the main character as she falls in love with a woman and faces the homophobia of her family and community. It does have a happy ending (relatively, given Nigeria‘s criminalization of homosexuality) so give it a read!

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Book #18 of the year: “The Stone Sky” by NK Jemisin

This is the final book in the Broken Earth trilogy. I highly recommend giving the series a read.

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The Odd Women | George Gissing
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Book #17 of the year: “The Odd Women” by George Gissing

Like if Pride and Prejudice had been written by a man. Meh.

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Empty Bottles Full of Stories | Robert M. Drake, R. H. Sin
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I wasn‘t a huge fan. The first half was uninspired and a lot of the poems felt like Facebook statuses with some line breaks. There was too much hoping for a woman to come save him for my taste. The second half, by a different poet, was better but still leaned heavily into being friend-zoned. It alternates between telling women they deserve more and complaining that women were with assholes when they could have been with him.

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“The mere thought of a free Africa frightens many Europeans. Europeans do not and cannot look upon Africa objectively. Back of their fear of African freedom lies an ocean of guilt! In their hearts they know that they have long tried to murder Africa…And this powerful Europe…is haunted by visions of an eventual black revenge that has no basis in reality. It is this…that makes the West brutally determined to keep Africa on a short chain.”

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Book #15: “Black Power” by Richard Wright

In honesty, I struggled with this book. Wright was a product of his time and very dismissive of indigenous African cultures. He portrayed all Africans as naïve, transparent, superstitious, and in desperate need of modernization (though he does reflect on this Western perspective a few times. Worth reading for the history and criticisms of colonization. As always, Wright was a powerful writer.

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Book #14 of the year: “The Obelisk Gate” by N.K. Jemisin

This is the second in a trilogy (and I‘m actually reading it in order for once). The first one was intriguing but this one…it‘s been a long time since I‘ve stayed up until nearly 2 to finish a book. I tried to stop a few times but couldn‘t. If you‘re looking for incredible sci-fi/fantasy, here you go!

SamAnne Have read the first one and can‘t wait to get to this one. 13mo
Creme_de_la_them @SamAnne I liked the 2nd one so much more! 13mo
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Creme_de_la_them
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Book #13 of the year: “The Grumpy Guide to Life” by Grumpy Cat (RIP)

This was a gift from a friend and a lovely, light-hearted read after 4 days of nothing but meetings! I‘m looking forward to reading again after a few months off to focus on finding a new job 😄 Cute and quick!

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The Fifth Season | N. K. Jemisin
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Book #12 of the year: “The Fifth Season” by N.K. Jemisin

Sci-fi/fantasy written by a Black woman AND it‘s a trilogy! This series takes place on earth in the distant future. Some people have developed the power to control rock and earth, and they‘re either enslaved or executed. It‘s an intriguing book that keeps you wondering what happens next.

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Book #11 of the year: “Effin‘ Birds” by Aaron Reynolds

Gifted to me by a friend ❤️ This hilarious book reimagines birds as annoying personalities, complete with lots of swearing.

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Book #10 of the year: “Stamped From the Beginning” by Ibram X. Kendi

This one took me a long time to finish for so many reasons, and Elvis managed to get to the cover.

This is the history we aren‘t taught. This is history with the whitewash scrubbed off so the bloodstains and truth show through. This is the history we should be teaching.

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Freedom: A Novel | Jonathan Franzen
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Book #9 of the year: “Freedom” by Jonathan Franzen.

Depression stole March from me so this is the first thing I‘ve finished all month. I‘m still too mentally blah to write an actual review but I liked it. 4 stars.

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The Abide Guide: Living Like Lebowski | Oliver Benjamin, Dwayne Eutsey
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Book #8 of the year: “The Abide Guide” by Oliver Benjamin & Dwayne Eutsey

As a fan of the Dude, I was excited for this one but it fell a little short. It's part religious text (Dudeism), part film analysis, part Zen guide, and part gender discussion. While sometimes funny and solid on TBL trivia, it was just okay. And that‘s cool, man. That‘s cool.

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Dear Black Girls | Shanice Nicole
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Book #7 of the year: “Dear Black Girls” by Shanice Nicole, illustrated by Kezna Dalz

How beautiful and wonderful. I‘ll be ordering copies for work and friends, because every Black girl deserves to know that she is perfect, loved, and important.

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I bought this book in a little book store in Albuquerque last March, just as COVID was starting to become a concern. The author was there and even signed my copy. The story is loosely based on the author‘s family history, a relative who ran away from home in the 20s to become a dancer in Chicago. I can‘t say I enjoyed it...the writing wasn‘t great, there were a number of historical inaccuracies, and lots of things just didn‘t make sense.

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Elvis got to the cover but the art is still intact. What is even happening here? Why are the oxen so small? I have so many questions.

But this book was SO good. If you like history and economics, give it a read. It‘s fascinating the way Christianity influenced early European economics, from the prioritization of cereal crops to make bread to the role of monasteries as creditors. It‘s not an easy read but it‘s chock full of knowledge 😁

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Book #4 of the year: “Stuff You Should Know” by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant

Michael got this for me at Costco and it was the best gift. Every day I‘ve read it, I‘ve thanked him. It‘s 27 chapters on 27 topics, all really well researched and seasoned with bad jokes. I learned so much about Mr. Potato Head, Dr. Kevorkian, why dog feet smell like corn chips, and the history of demolition derbies. For a nerd like me, an absolutely perfect read! ❤️

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The Handmaid's Tale | Margaret Atwood
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Book #3 of the year: “The Handmaid‘s Tale” by Margaret Atwood.

An absolutely incredible book and I‘m glad I finally read it! Atwood is an engaging and unique author. I loved how she wove the story, the imagery she used, and the world she created. I didn‘t like the ending because it was open and I prefer closure, but I would still recommend it.

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Book #2 of the year: “The Triumphant Cat” by Marmaduke Skidmore, Esquire (and human)

A collection of poems, prose, quotes, short stories, etc., on cats! Always a favorite topic 🙂