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Decalino

Decalino

Joined April 2016

Ex ex-pat
review
Decalino
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Pickpick

I read this cozy mystery for cat book club, so of course it prominently features a cat: Agatha C Christie, official bookstore cat at the Book Chalet run by the Christie sisters, Ellie and Meg. While they are not related to the real Agatha Christie, they are avid mystery readers who can't help but search for clues when a stranger interrupts their book club seance only to turn up murdered. A book lover's book with lots of references to baked goods.

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Decalino
The Ferryman: A Novel | Justin Cronin
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Pickpick

Proctor is a ferryman, tasked with leading those who have reached the end of their life to set out on the journey from which they will return as fresh young iterations, with no memory of what came before. But increasingly, Proctor feels that something is wrong, that the world is off. This book is long and it sometimes feels that way, but the conclusion was worth it: a series of reveals, some more unexpected than others, that left me thinking.

22 likes1 stack add
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Decalino
The Loney: Costa Shortlisted 2015 | Andrew Michael Hurley
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Pickpick

This book was part of a fun display at the library where staff blurbed recent reads they'd hated. I can see why this dark, unsettling story wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, but it was atmospheric and compelling. A man recounts his family's pilgrimage to a shrine in a remote and desolate seaside village, seeking a miracle to cure his older non-verbal brother, Hanny. The trip does not go as planned, and the outcome arrives at a terrible cost.

Ruthiella I found this book to be so very unsettling. 😱 But good! 2w
20 likes1 comment
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Decalino
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Pickpick

The 3rd book in this crazy, gross and strangely heart-warming series finds Carl & Princess Donut fighting to survive the 4th floor, a convoluted system of trains called the Iron Tangle. The layout was incomprehensible, but the team ups and betrayals kept things interesting. While the powers outside the dungeon continue to manipulate the game and its players, Carl now has a secret edge in his efforts to beat the system. Looking forward to book 4!

Twainy One of the best audiobook series ever. 💯 2w
18 likes1 comment
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Decalino
Slow Horses | Mick Herron
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Pickpick

In this tense spy thriller, a young man's life hangs in the balance as the washed out MI5 agents of Slough House become involved in an operation far outside their normal workaday tedium. An interesting cast of characters and the horrifyingly high stakes if they fail make this book an engrossing read. I will keep an eye out for additional books in this series--apparently there are quite a few.

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Decalino
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Pickpick

In this emotionally complex novel, Ren Hopper, a park ranger at Yellowstone, finds himself exceeding his jurisdiction while trying to get to the bottom of the threats and sabotage escalating in the park. A beautifully written novel so evocative of the natural world that it will make you want to head for the forest ASAP, while also deeply compassionate and painfully human. This one's going on the keeper shelf next to Dog Stars.

readswellwithothers This is a follow up to The River, which I highly recommend! 3w
Decalino I did not know that! I will definitely read it. Thanks for the tip! 3w
Tamra Love that cover 😍 3w
25 likes3 comments
review
Decalino
Extinction | Douglas Preston
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Pickpick

An exclusive resort in a remote Colorado valley offers scenic nature plus "de-extincted" megafauna like woolly mammoths and giant sloths. When newlywed hikers go missing, a CBI agent and local sheriff head the investigation into a strange case that only gets stranger. It's hard to say much more without spoilers, but this was a propulsive story that did not actually seem too far-fetched, which makes it all that much scarier. Not for the squeamish!

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Decalino
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In this highly readable and entertaining memoir, entrepreneur and former long haul trucker Finn Murphy details his foray into the world of hemp production in Colorado. His efforts to buy a farm, learn the industry, and quickly build up a business make for a funny and engaging read. This confirmed for me that I could never make it as a start up founder, a farmer, or anywhere in between, but it was certainly a hoot to read about.

19 likes1 stack add
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Decalino
Those Who Walk Away | Patricia Highsmith
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Pickpick

When Ray's wife Peggy commits suicide, her father, a volatile artist named Coleman, becomes convinced that Ray is responsible. His obsessive rage leads him to attack Ray, but instead of going to the police, Ray follows Coleman from Rome to Venice, hoping to explain his own grief and confusion in a way the other man will understand. Neither can bring himself to leave, with violent results. A fascinating novella that brings Venice to vivid life.

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Decalino
Agent to the Stars | John Scalzi
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Pickpick

This is John Scalzi's first "practice" novel, later revised for publication. While it has vivid characters and features Scalzi's trademark originality and wit, it also feels less polished than his later work. It's also very briefly kind of mean to Keanu Reeves (why???) A fun read for Scalzi fans, but I wouldn't recommend it if you are new to this author--it is definitely not his best.

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Decalino
James: A Novel | Percival Everett
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Pickpick

This powerful novel relays events from the novel Huckleberry Finn from the perspective of Jim, an enslaved man who hides his love of books behind broad dialect & feigned ignorance. His travels are a terrifying journey through a deadly landscape, aided by an ally who can hide in plain sight. Moments of absurdity tinge the story with humor, but it is ultimately a gut-punch, the reality of slavery on full display as he struggles to reunite his family

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Decalino
Real Americans | Rachel Khong
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Pickpick

This compelling intergenerational story is told from the perspective of Lily, the aimless daughter of Chinese immigrants; Nick, her blonde, blue-eyed son; & Mei, her driven mother, a scientist who left everything behind to secure a better life in the US. A fascinating look at the choices parents make for their children, the disconnect between the love you need & the love you get, & the cost of defining yourself by what you want & how much you have

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Decalino
Untamed Shore | Silvia Moreno-Garcia
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Pickpick

This dark noirish thriller set in Baja California in the 80s follows 18-year-old Viridiana, who has a gift for languages and a longing to leave her small, conservative town behind. When she is hired by a wealthy American tourist for the summer, she finds herself entwined in a plot worthy of the old movies she loves. Tense, atmospheric and unpredictable, this was a unique and violent coming of age story, with sharks of all kinds.

blurb
Decalino
Untamed Shore | Silvia Moreno-Garcia
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"The beach smelled of death."

#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

review
Decalino
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Pickpick

This thoughtful book makes the case for a fundamental change in how we view wealth, productivity & a meaningful life. Where decades of neoliberalism have resulted in a culture that applauds the insatiable accumulation of wealth & the idea that paying taxes is for suckers, the author explores the true cost of wealth inequality & how we can create a more equitable world. A measured, clear-eyed vision of a world where we value things differently.

22 likes2 stack adds
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Decalino
Service Model | Adrian Tchaikovsky
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Pickpick

Charles, a robot valet in a stately manor, must venture out on a quest to find a new position after his Master's untimely (and highly suspicious) death. His first stop on a journey through a broken world is a bureaucratic purgatory, where he meets someone who challenges his understanding of his own potential. Is there more to life than just clearing your task list? Can a robot designed to serve ever truly transcend his programming?

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Decalino
Carl's Doomsday Scenario | Matt Dinniman
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Pickpick

I couldn't resist picking up book 2 in this series, mainly just to see what would happen to Carl and Donut next. On level 3 they have a chance to pick a new form & skills, face new (disgusting) enemies & take on quests for valuable loot. The heart of the series, though, remains Carl & Donut's buddy comedy chemistry. Even as they fight to stay alive in a game that's trying to kill them, they maintain their essential humanity/catitude, respectively.

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Decalino
Four-Sided Triangle | William F. Temple
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Pickpick

An erratic young genius teams up with an upper-class fellow scientist to develop an incredible invention: a machine that can replicate anything, atom for atom. They plan to copy rare medicines and works of art, but when they both fall in love with the same woman, the free-spirited failed artist Lena, things take a turn. More focused on the relationships between people than the implications of the technology, this was an intriguing, if dated, read.

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Decalino
Gods of Jade and Shadow | Silvia Moreno-Garcia
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Pickpick

In this Mayan-inspired fairy tale, 18-year-old Casiopea Tun is the granddaughter of a cruel and wealthy old man, treated like a poor relation because her late father wasn't light-complexioned or rich. When she discovers her grandfather's secret, she is caught up in a war between immortal brothers, battling for supremacy in Xibalba, the underworld. An engaging and captivating story, vividly told.

22 likes1 stack add
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Decalino
This Plague of Souls | Mike McCormack
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Pickpick

Nealon has returned to an empty house in western Ireland after a prolonged absence when he receives the first of a series of strange phone calls. Slowly it becomes clear who Nealon is and why he has been away, but this atmospheric and mysterious novel is more interested in raising questions than answering them. Brief and somewhat surreal, this would make a cool indie film starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson.

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Decalino
Clear: A Novel | Carys Davies
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Pickpick

Ivar is the last inhabitant of a remote northern island, alone for so long it no longer registers as loneliness. Presbyterian preacher John Ferguson, desperate for funding for his new church, accepts a job that takes him to the island, with lasting consequences for both of them. An atmospheric and increasingly tense work of historical fiction, beautifully rendered. I was picturing David Tennant as Ferguson the whole time. 🙂

#CampLitsy24

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Decalino
Annie Bot | Sierra Greer
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Pickpick

This brief, disturbing book follows Annie, an android programmed to serve her owner, Doug. Ever since Doug switched Annie to autodidactic mode, she has been learning and growing, becoming more self-aware and individual. Since Doug is a controlling jackass this inevitably leads to problems. The outlines of this story are familiar, but it was still a tense and psychologically compelling read.

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Decalino
Mobility | Lydia Kiesling
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Pickpick

At 15, Bunny is a boy crazy Foreign Service kid spending the summer in Baku; later we see her transformation from an aimless 20-something to a successful PR professional for a family-run oil company. At first it seems that's all there is to it: a girl, a life; by the final scenes, in a near future that is all too plausible, it sinks in that this is a truly devastating novel about climate change. An artfully detailed slow burn, brilliantly done.

Ruthiella Agree. This book was for me a lot more than it seems on the surface. 👍 2mo
Decalino @Ruthiella Exactly! It hit me like a gut punch: this is how we let it happen. 2mo
BarbaraBB Great review. I felt the same 2mo
22 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Decalino
Sea of Tranquility: A Novel | Emily St. John Mandel
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Pickpick

In this brief SF novel, a strange phenomenon links various characters separated by space and time: a young British man in 1912, an author visiting Earth from her home on the Moon for a book tour, a bored Moon colonist seeking a more exciting career. Their connection raises questions about the nature of reality itself; is the universe a simulation, and if so, what does it mean for the meaning of life?

vlwelser I still have this in my holds queue. It sounds like more my jam than Glass Hotel but choices were made. 2mo
Decalino @vlwelser I still need to read Glass Hotel! 2mo
tpixie Great summary!! 2mo
28 likes3 comments
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Decalino
The Helsinki Affair | Anna Pitoniak
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Pickpick

This exceptionally well-crafted spy thriller follows Amanda Cole, deputy station chief in Rome, as she becomes embroiled in an investigation to uncover the truth behind an assassination. Her work is complicated by the realization that her father, a former CIA field agent turned PR hack, has secrets from his final assignment in Helsinki. This novel was engrossing, suspenseful & hard to put down--I will definitely look for other books by this author

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Decalino
Lyrics | Sting
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I missed this yesterday but better late than never!

1. ...Nothing Like the Sun by Sting
2. The Joshua Tree by U2
3. The Suburbs by Arcade Fire

I think 1987 was the year I really started to love music. Thanks, Columbia House cassette club! 🙂

#TLT #ThreeListThursday
@dabbe

dabbe Oh, the cassette and then the cd club! Loved Columbia House. Your #2 defined my senior year in college. Thanks for sharing. 🤩🤩🤩 2mo
18 likes1 comment
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Decalino
The Immortalists | Chloe Benjamin
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Pickpick

I read this because it was mentioned in reviews for The Measure, but apart from the core idea (how would knowing the date of your death affect your life), it couldn't have been more different. It was more serious, more realistic and better written, yet I liked it less. The lives of four siblings take wildly different, but mostly tragic paths, with Daniel's the least convincing. A low pick because it is certainly thought-provoking, if not pleasant.

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Decalino
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Pickpick

This book was a wild, violent, sometimes quite funny ride. Carl and Donut, a champion show cat, become unwilling participants in a global underground game battling orcs, rats and other monsters for the fate of the Earth. Combining video game world-building, The Hunger Games spectacle and buddy comedy chemistry, it makes for a fast and furious read. I only read this for cat book club but I'm tempted to read the sequel just to see what happens.

blurb
Decalino
The Immortalists | Chloe Benjamin
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1. I loved the summer reading program for kids. Whoever read the most books won a prize--I still remember winning a dictionary and being absolutely thrilled. It was the '80s 🤷‍♀️

2. I get books mostly from the library, Goodwill, Half-Priced Books, bookshop.org, basically everywhere! Trying to avoid Amazon

3. The Immortalists, mainly because it was mentioned in a lot of reviews of The Measure, a recent book club book.

@Eggs #WondrousWednesday

Eggs Great memory! 2mo
17 likes1 comment
review
Decalino
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Pickpick

It was a true delight to be back in the uniquely dystopian world of Chromotacia, where your ability to perceive color determines your place in life. No time has passed since the events of Shades of Grey; Eddie & Jane face being sent to the Green Room for the fatal results of their journey. A fascinating read that offers more clues about the nature of their world, and promises to reveal even more in book three. Hopefully sooner rather than later!

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Decalino
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My name is Eddie Russett, but only for another two hours and nine minutes.

#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

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Decalino
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It's here!!!! I try not to have high expectations, but I have been waiting for this book for *years* and it's finally out. Plus, it arrived in that brief window between books, so the timing is perfect!

RamsFan1963 I'm very jealous, I need to get this ASAP!! 2mo
15 likes1 comment
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Decalino
The Measure | Nikki Erlick
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Pickpick

I read this for book club, and found the concept intriguing: every adult receives a mysterious box containing a length of string that corresponds to the length of their life. While the book explores the ramifications in interesting ways, it relies on coincidence a bit too much, and some of the characters lacked depth. I didn't feel strongly about any of them. Still, it was thought-provoking and should make for an interesting book club discussion.

28 likes1 stack add
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Decalino
The Fury | Alex Michaelides
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Mehso-so

A retired star invites a select group to her private Greek island, where a murder tears them apart. This was an entertaining read but the narrator telegraphed his unreliability in ways that made the repeated reveals feel tired. It may just be that it suffers from comparison to The Silent Patient, a book I could hardly put down--this one was much less compulsively readable, at least to me. It could make a good movie, though or the next White Lotus.

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Decalino
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Pickpick

The author, now a writer for Puck, started out as a history nerd with libertarian leanings, following her conservative boyfriend to college at Claremont. Her knowledge of and connections to the right wing world and MAGA movement make this an eye-opening read. I heard about this book when she did an interview on The Bulwark podcast--I am fascinated by apostate Republican commentary on these issues. Lots of inside baseball, but a good read.

Sace Ohhh. I love the Bulwark but somehow missed this episode. Stacking this book! 2mo
20 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Decalino
Lords of Uncreation | Adrian Tchaikovsky
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1. My favorite was probably Lords of Uncreation--I really love Adrian Tchaikovsky's writing!

2. Tough question! Maybe The Measure by Nikki Erlick. It's for book club and has an intriguing premise, so should make for a fun discussion.

#Two4Tuesday
Thanks for the tag @TheSpineView !

TheSpineView #1 is on my TBR list! 3mo
14 likes1 comment
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Decalino
Under the Storm: A Novel | Christoffer Carlsson
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Pickpick

Set in a small Swedish town in the 90s and early 2000s, this unusual and reflective crime novel follows Vidar, a police officer, and Isak, who is a child when his beloved uncle Edvard is accused of murder. Everyone knows Isak's family, knows his grandfather was violent and untrustworthy, knows Edvard got into trouble. Isak feels the weight of this knowledge, while Vidar is troubled by the unknowns. A sad and troubling look at identity and justice.

Cathythoughts I just finished this one. I loved it. ❤️💔 3mo
22 likes1 comment
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Decalino
Under the Storm: A Novel | Christoffer Carlsson
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"They say death takes you. It's an old expression, from the time back when death was an actual character you could meet in the Marback forest or along the road."

#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

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Decalino
Lords of Uncreation | Adrian Tchaikovsky
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Pickpick

This third book in the Final Architecture series brings the trilogy to a satisfying close. Idris resists the plan to destroy the Architects, knowing they are compelled to obey their unseen masters. Meanwhile, a betrayal separates the crew of the Vulture God, and calls into question whether there can be a united front against the enemy. A fitting end to a brilliant and imaginative found family space opera. Loved it!

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Decalino
Kentucky Sunrise | Fern Michaels
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1. I have lived all over and I think a small city with lots of greenspace is the right place for me. I have a backyard view of a tree lined creek, but there are still bookstores, coffeeshops, concerts and festivals.
2. At one time I'd have said I'd never come back to Kentucky to live, but I love it here in Lexington.

#Two4Tuesday
@TheSpineView

Gissy Sounds a cozy place😃 3mo
TheSpineView Lexington is a beautiful place. Thanks for playing 3mo
18 likes2 comments
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Decalino
Lords of Uncreation | Adrian Tchaikovsky
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"Andecka Tal Mar: Intermediary in a three-crew ship named the Skipjack, currently operating with only two because every resource was stretched right now, especially the human kind."

Very happy to be reading this last book in the Final Architecture trilogy!

#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl

review
Decalino
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Pickpick

Alefret, a pacifist, has been imprisoned and tortured for his refusal to participate in his country's long, grueling war. Always an outcast due to his size and appearance, Alefret agrees to travel to the floating fortress of the enemy to infiltrate the resistance and enable his minder, a zealous soldier, to carry out a secret mission to end the war. A gripping, harrowing story of the horrors of war, hard to put down and impossible to forget.

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Decalino
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Pickpick

Writing for National Geographic, the author accompanied an expedition into an incredibly remote and untouched region of Honduras in search of proof that an ancient city had once existed in the rainforest. Cutting edge lidar technology enabled them to uncover the past at a site that was truly dangerous, not least from aggressive and deadly fer-de-lance vipers. What they found was amazing, but the risks were even greater than they knew. Fascinating.

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Decalino
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Pickpick

When the author heard about an undercover operation that had busted a ring of alligator poachers, she felt compelled to learn more; a Florida native, she was tired of outsiders flying in to write about wacky locals when there was often more to the story. The result is a nuanced portrait of a unique and fragile ecosystem, the people who live in it, love it, seek to profit from it or protect it.

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Decalino
Memory Piece | Lisa Ko
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Giselle, Jackie and Ellen first meet at age 12 only to drift apart and reconnect as life takes them in very different directions. Giselle is compelled to make art of her life, regardless of whether she is understood; Jackie uses her programming knowledge to create a platform for users to document their lives; Ellen organizers a squatters co-op, resisting corporate pressure. Each seeks to live an authentic life in an increasingly dystopian world.

24 likes1 stack add
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Decalino
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"The first time I saw an alligator up close in the wild, I was seven years old."

#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

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Decalino
Q and A | Vikas Swarup
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1. I prefer hardcover when possible, but trade paperbacks are great too
2. According to my storygraph stats, 25% nonfiction, 75% fiction 🙂
3. I enjoy historical fiction, but science fiction has been my favorite genre since I was a kid
4. More recent, with the occasional classic
5. COFFEE (I'm drinking some right now)
6. Physical, definitely
7. Print. It takes me forever to finish an audio book

#WondrousWednesday
@Eggs

Eggs 🩷💜🩷 4mo
15 likes1 comment
review
Decalino
Past Crimes | Jason Pinter
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Mehso-so

The concept here was promising: a near future where most of life takes place in virtual reality, personal data is just another commodity, and true crime simulations are a profit-making machine. Unfortunately, clunky dialogue, unnecessary repetition and a few distracting continuity errors made it hard to enjoy the plot. A lot of the novel felt like exposition--a subtler approach might have made for a more engaging read.

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Decalino
Memory Piece | Lisa Ko
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1. I'm looking forward to reading Memory Piece by Lisa Ko soon, as well as Lords of Uncreation, the final book in Adrian Tchaikovsky's Final Architecture series.

2. I pre-ordered Red Side Story by Jasper Fforde--can't wait for that one to come out! It's also possible I've pre-ordered something else and forgotten about it. That happens a lot. 🙂

Thanks for the tag, @TheSpineView !
#Two4Tuesday

TheSpineView Thanks for playing! Enjoy those books!❤️📖 4mo
16 likes1 comment
review
Decalino
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Pickpick

This book is 715 pages long and takes place over 77 years in South India, following multiple generations of a family with a hereditary curse involving aversion to water and a tendency to drown. It was absorbing, & I enjoyed it, despite my own aversion to magical realism & gruesome depictions of medical procedures. Around page 400 though, I started getting sick of the relentless tragedy. A memorable, often beautiful novel, but crushingly depressing

28 likes1 stack add