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DreesReads

DreesReads

Joined May 2016

Instagram: DreesReads | Goodreads: Dree Morris Literary fiction, memoir, history, 1001 books list
review
DreesReads
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Pickpick

I am honestly surprised this book and author have not gotten more attention. These stories are weird! Not surreal exactly, but they all have some kind of flip that is clever and unusual, and good. And they are SHORT stories—the novella is closer to what I usually think of as a short story. And that novella? It‘s a Lizzie Borden choose-your-own adventure. #shortstories #librarythingearlyreviewers

29 likes2 stack adds
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DreesReads
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Pickpick

I enjoyed all of these stories, and listened without realizing this was volume two of three, though I‘m not sure it matters. I definitely want to start with volume one—on paper—and then possibly read this one on paper as well. I really missed having a Table of Contents. #shortstories

Lcsmcat You can read them in any order, and they‘re all good! 2d
21 likes1 comment
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DreesReads
Sight Lines | Arthur Sze
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Pickpick

The 2019 National Book Award for Poetry winner—and now I have read all of the finalists. This was not my favorite among the finalists, but it is solid. Sze lives in New Mexico, and most of the poems in this collection bring up the desert—the weather, flora and fauna, fire, seasons. Some focus on urban life, others on Sze‘s Chinese heritage. Mushrooms, peonies, and spotted towhees come up several times. #poetry #nationalbookaward

TiredLibrarian What was your favorite of the finalists? 2w
DreesReads @TiredLibrarian Deaf Republic! It was unlike any poetry collection I‘ve read before (though I am pretty much a poetry novice, I‘ve read more in the last 6 months than in the previous 6 years). 2w
TiredLibrarian @DreesReads I'll have to check it out; I know we have it at my library. I used to read a lot of poetry, but haven't read it much in the last few years and would like to get back into it. 1w
DreesReads @TiredLibrarian do! I also really liked the more typical 1w
DreesReads More typical meaning it‘s more personal poems from a lifetime of work. I struggle to classify poetry and edited my book riot spreadsheet to have fiction/nonfiction/poetry because so often poetry feels like memoir or nature writing or current events. I fits into that. Deaf Republic is as much fiction as I‘ve ever felt poetry to be. Though it could be an allegory that went over my head. 1w
32 likes5 comments
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DreesReads
Sabrina and Corina: Stories | Kali Fajardo-Anstine
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Pickpick

Book 5 of 2020. I liked this story collection, but I was expecting more. Between the award nomination and all the raving I have seen about this book, I expected a standout. Instead it was just a decent collection. I liked the Colorado connection, but wanted more about landscape, flora/fauna, weather. About what makes Colorado unique. #shortstories

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DreesReads
Nobody Move: A Novel | Denis Johnson
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Mehso-so

Book 4 of 2020. Johnson‘s version of a hard-boiled detective novel, but with no detective. These are all criminals working on a variety of double-crosses of each other. Quentin Tarantino would direct the movie.

BarbaraBB The cover is awesome but I think I‘ll skip the book! 2w
DreesReads @BarbaraBB I expected more from Johnson! Totally not my kind of book. 2w
20 likes2 comments
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DreesReads
Deep Code | John Coletti
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Mehso-so

Book 3 of 2020. A few poems in this collection felt like they referenced the chaos and exhaustion of parenting young children (under 5s). But the bulk of these poems just felt like someone else‘s in jokes. Sure they might be great if you get them, whether the cohort is friends, family, co-workers, other poets, residents of a certain place, people of a certain age. To me they were just lists of nouns and random words. 🤷🏻‍♀️ #poetry

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DreesReads
The Roman Hat Mystery | Ellery Queen
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Mehso-so

Book 2 of 2020, listened on Hoopla. This is the first Ellery Queen book, com 1929. So it‘s dated, and is also not the kind of mystery that the reader can solve due to info not being shared with the reader. I was on the right track though, wondering why they weren‘t taking a certain line of inquiry! The exact motive I was nowhere near—it is very 1929. I may listen to book 2 some time. #classicmystery #mystery

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DreesReads
Eye Level: Poems | Jenny Xie
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I loved this poetry collection! There is a section on her parents‘ lives as immigrants and her own experiences growing up in an immigrant community. Also lots of Nature and travel poems. This was a finalist for the 2018 NBA for Poetry. #poetry #nationalbookaward

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DreesReads
Crossing | Pajtim Statovci
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My last finish of 2019! This NBA Finalist for Translated Lit comes from Finland. The main character has fled Albania‘s stifling social mores and poor economy for a variety of countries, but he can‘t find what he‘s looking for. Good, but a bit confusing at times, read it to find out why! #lgbtq #intranslation

24 likes1 stack add
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DreesReads
2019 on Goodreads | Various Various
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Pickpick

My goal was 90! I set 2020 to 90 as well, I‘m usually right around there. I‘ve only gone over 100 books twice before—at least as an adult, I probably did in elementary school lol.

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DreesReads
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Top ten fiction reads of 2019! Favorite is tagged. #toptenof2019 #top10of2019

BookishTrish Great list! 4w
25 likes1 stack add2 comments
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DreesReads
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Pickpick

Another 2019 National Book Award for Poetry finalist. This book is full of excellent poems a about Derricotte‘s life: as a child, as an adult, as a black woman who can accidentally or intentionally pass for white and how that makes her feel. Because this is an anthology of her work over time, it is not always as cohesive as a typical collection, but it‘s good. #poetry #nationalbookaward

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DreesReads
The Tradition | Jericho Brown
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Another National Book Award for Poetry 2019 finalist. I found some of these poems to be very powerful, others are over my head. Perhaps due to lack of shared experience? The focus here is his life as a gay black American man/son. His father is in many of these. Definitely worth the read. #poetry #nationalbookaward

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DreesReads
Baron Wenckheim's Homecoming | Lszl Krasznahorkai
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Winner of the 2019 National Book Award for Translated Fiction! The writing takes some getting used to, but I enjoyed this 550-page chunkster. It‘s funny and farcical, with lots of characters and a lot of misunderstandings. And then it turns apocalyptic at the end, and I admit I didn‘t understand The Who it the why. I have different ideas and thoughts but no one to discuss with! I now want to read this authors other three books.

24 likes1 stack add
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DreesReads
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Pickpick

In Syria, and elderly man has died. One of his sons promised to bury him in their hometown. And he and his estranged brother and sister head off with the body. Only Syria is in the midst of Civil War. They cross territories occupied by three different groups, they bribe, they wait, they are constantly under suspicion and held. They also talk and remember and think about their childhoods. #nationalbookaward #intranslation

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DreesReads
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Panpan

I have no doubt there is a market for this book—the “history buff” crowd. But I majored in history and geography, and this book is sloppy. There is no original research, there are significant and silly errors, and the book is all over the place. Donner Party? Comstock Load? Buffalo Bill? None really had anything to do with the brief existence of the Pony Express, but they all have plenty of coverage in this book. See my GR review for more details.

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DreesReads
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Pickpick

Pick with reservations—this is actually a YA book, which I did not know. This story follows Maribel, a Mexican girl with a TBI. Her parents have waited for a work visa to get her into an excellent school for kids like her. Her family lives in a small apartment building with Spanish speakers from a variety of countries. The story focuses on her friendship with Mayor, the stories of the other residents, life in America, and the boy harassing her.

BarbaraBB Hey, did you change your Litsy handle? 1mo
DreesReads I did! I changed it to match my bookstagram because I‘m on there more. 1mo
BarbaraBB That is good to know! I am on Instagram but not about books but I‘ll look you up! 1mo
DreesReads @BarbaraBB do! I‘m much more on top of reviewing and sharing there. 4w
BarbaraBB Just did and see that you still read the books I want to 😀 4w
30 likes1 stack add5 comments
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DreesReads
West of the West: Imagining California | Leonard Michaels, David Reid, Raquel Scherr, Raquel L. Scherr
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Mehso-so

This anthology of California literature and essays is from 1989, and it‘s been on my shelf nearly that long! And I waited too long to read it. It focuses on 1945-1989, so there is nothing from the last 30 years, obviously. I also felt SF, LA, and the film industry are over-represented. The Central Valley and Santa Clara County, the far north, many ethnic groups are not here at all. The individual selections are mostly fine, but more is needed.

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DreesReads
The Heap: A Novel | Sean Adams
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Book mail! Received this ARC today. It sounds very dystopian-ish, totally my thing! Thanks to @LibraryThing and @WilliamMorrowBooks

LauraJ Dark humor and satire...sounds great! 2mo
20 likes1 comment
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DreesReads
Deaf Republic: Poems | Ilya Kaminsky
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Pickpick

Excellent collection of connected poems. In an unnamed town, residents become deaf when occupying forces kill a boy. They use signs and puppets to communicate, while the puppet master‘s girls kill soldiers one by one. A parable of current events—how so many pretend nothing is happening, going deaf to news. A #nationalbookaward finalist for #poetry

15 likes1 stack add
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DreesReads
The Farm: A Novel | Joanne Ramos
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Pick with reservations! I thought this was going to be a great dystopia, but then it didn‘t go there. Instead it normalizes the farm—which is for pregnant surrogates to live at and be monitored, see the cover artwork. So, yeah, actually not a dystopia but I found it somewhat creepy. I wonder if such a place exists today? Maybe it‘s likely.

marleed I just did not like the character development in this one. I think a film adaptation could actually be better than the book. 2mo
28 likes1 comment
blurb
DreesReads
The Virgin Suicides | Jeffrey Eugenides
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✨November Wrap-Up✨
8 books read
4 audio
1 ARC
1 1001/1000 list book
1 500 great books by women
1 in translation
0 nonfiction for nonfiction November 🙄🤣
Favorite of the month is tagged.
#wrapup #monthlywrapup #novemberwrapup

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DreesReads
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Mehso-so

Set on an isolated island in WWI England, Kate and Donovan are attending a seance weekend. Their assignment is to identify the German spy believed to be in attendance. The story was fine, but personally I prefer the kind of mystery where the author lays out all the clues and the reader can solve the mystery. This is not that kind of story, and I‘m note sure the sabotage was explained? Audio was fine. #audiobook #mystery #hoopladigital

JazzFeathers I was quite disappointed with this one too. I liked it a lot in the beginning, but halfway through, it started to crumble for me. 2mo
DreesReads @JazzFeathers I know exactly when it crumbled for me, maybe the same place as for you! In the stables. But I don‘t want to spoil for anyone who might still read/listen! 2mo
14 likes3 comments
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DreesReads
The Virgin Suicides | Jeffrey Eugenides
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Excellent writing with a Dream-like quality. The narrator, now an adult, reminisced about his time with a group of boys who were fascinated by the 5 Lisbon sisters. About memory, loss of innocence, coming of age, and more. #1001books

35 likes1 stack add
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DreesReads
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Pickpick

Pick with reservations—I don‘t know that I would enjoy this book on paper, but it was easy to follow on audio. After a family tragedy one Easter, the Bird family drifts apart, as each reacts differently. Divorce, affairs, hoarding, fleeing the country, avoiding discussion—they do it all. Decades later the surviving family members are together again, finally talking about the events of that past Easter. #audiobook #hoopladigital

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DreesReads
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Pickpick

I struggle with audiobooks—whether I am doing basic database stuff, walking, or crocheting I accidentally tune out. So I need books that are easy to follow, keep me interested, and have a narrator I don‘t even notice. This one hit all those points. Unreliable narrator, fast moving story, twists and turns—yes please! I don‘t usually read thrillers but I‘ll have to try more on audio! #thriller #audiobook

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DreesReads
Isolde | Irina Odoevt?s?eva
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This 1929 novel is the first to appear in English. Liza (14) and her brother Nikolai (16) and their mother Natasha are Russian exiles in France. They seem hedonistic (a la Bonjour Tristesse), but really they are lonely, a burden to their mother who abandons them in Paris. Liza desperately wants and needs her mother‘s love. Kolya and Andrei make desperate plans. #intranslation #WIT #russianlit

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DreesReads
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Pickpick

Fabulously researched and written nonfiction work looking at the kidnappings of free black people in Philadelphia, who were taken to the south to be sold as slaves. Bell traces the story of 5 boys and 2 women, 5 of whom were free, and the hard work of many people that brought them home. Using court records, newspapers, letters, minutes, and more, he is able to trace their journey. Pub date 10/15/19 #netgalley #history #nonfiction

20 likes2 stack adds
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DreesReads
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✨September Wrap-Up✨
I am super late and still haven‘t even posted reviews for all of these! 9 books, 1 nonfiction, 6 novels, 2 short story collections. Three in translation (from Danish, Spanish, Korean), plus authors from Nigeria and Australia, and one modern classic. All were by women! Favorite fiction title is tagged; the Speckled Monster was also an amazing read! #wrapup #septemberwrapup #septemberreads

BarbaraBB The tagged one sounds good indeed. #stacked 4mo
25 likes1 comment
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DreesReads
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Pickpick

Excellent narrative nonfiction that covers the introduction of inoculation into London and Boston in the 1720s. Carrell follows two people—Lady Mary Worley Montagu in London and Dr Zabdiel Boylston in Boston—both survivors of bad cases of smallpox, both worried parents, both intense record keepers. Those records—letters, notes, case records—as well as official government minutes, newspapers, and the records of others—are fabulous sources.

20 likes1 stack add1 comment
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DreesReads
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Pickpick

This interesting little book is a dystopia. I think. Or maybe a man‘s descent into mental illness? Or maybe it‘s really an allegory that went over my head, as I definitely don‘t know enough about Korean history or current events to pick up on an allegory. But this was interesting and unusual. The main character is not named, and his story makes odd sense—until it doesn‘t. #intranslation #koreanlit #dystopia

25 likes1 stack add
blurb
DreesReads
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Book Mail! Received this ARC this week, from LibraryThing‘s Early Reviewers August list. At least I think August 🤔 I have one other nonfiction ARC to read first. I love folktales of all kinds, so I expect this will be a good read! #folktales #earlyreviewers #librarything #ARC

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DreesReads
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Pickpick

This novel is a mystery, a family saga, and an immigration story all wrapped in one great package. There are multiple viewpoints that go back and forth in time, until they converge. Very well done, with the loose ends all tied up. A page turner! #familysaga #immigration #mystery

27 likes1 stack add
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DreesReads
Sing to It | Amy Hempel
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Mehso-so

Short stories featuring people who are sad—an animal shelter volunteer, someone missing their deceased dog, a woman who gave a baby up for adoption decades earlier. “Cloudland” is the standout, is half the book, and is one of only two stories not previously published. #shortstories

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DreesReads
The Dinner Guest | Gabriela Ybarra
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Mehso-so

Autofiction—not my favorite. In this short and quick read, Ybarra looks at the kidnapping and killing of her grandfather by Basque separatists (6 years before she was born), and her mother‘s decline and death from colorectal cancer 30-odd years later. But this isn‘t a memoir, it‘s a novel. By it doesn‘t read like a novel, it reads like a memoir or essays. What‘s real what‘s not? Why didn‘t she just write a memoir? Longlisted Booker intl 2018.

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DreesReads
Baboon | Naja Marie Aidt
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The short stories in this collection all feature people whose regular day goes awry. It may be minor, it may be major, it may be infuriating and upsetting or easily forgotten. Aidt is a very well-regarded Danish author and this is the first of her books to appear in English. #intranslation #shortstories #womenintranslation

30 likes2 stack adds
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DreesReads
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Mehso-so

I was hoping the title would not be a true depiction of the book—but it is. Longlisted for the Booker Prize and a short fast read, but just not my thing. I loved the depiction of Nigeria, did not like the sociopathic family. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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DreesReads
Bunny: A Novel | Mona Awad
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✨August Wrap-Up✨
I read 10 books this month, for 2475 pages. 4 ARC/galleys, 2 short stories, 1 nonfiction, 1 poetry, and 3 in translation (from Spanish, Swedish, Tibetan—but only the Spanish fits #witmonth 😕), and 1 from the Booker longlist. 7 by women. My two favorites are on the left. #augustwrapup #monthlywrapup

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DreesReads
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US release date November 5! This novel manages to combine dystopia, current events, and time travel. I loved it! In near-future Sweden a poet/author is invited to meet with a young terrorist who 2 years earlier stopped the terrorist attack she was part of. She now lives in a psychiatric facility. She claims to actually be from Sweden‘s dystopian future—10-15 years away. There are 3 stories/times/places intertwined. Very well done! #intranslation

21 likes1 stack add
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DreesReads
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Pickpick

Very well researched book looks at the indigenous fight for environmental justice, from an American perspective—examples from other countries are mentioned but are not the focus. Key points: Natives have a fundamentally different world view (not linear, people are a vital part of nature and not the only part with agency), Native land is actually held in trust by the govt and managed to their desires, Natives and environmentalists (cont below)

DreesReads Have historically not worked well together due to different world views, the need to learn to work together using different partners‘ skills and abilities, the need to get different worldview recognized in legal ways. 5mo
DreesReads Excellent, lots of examples, well researched and cited, a slow read. I learned a lot. 5mo
Tamra Sounds really interesting 5mo
26 likes1 stack add3 comments
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DreesReads
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Pickpick

The standard immigrants‘ children struggle with expectations story, with a crime and a romance thrown in as well. Set in Yucca Valley outside Joshua Tree NP, which is different, and Laramie nails the heat and empty spaces. I was frustrated that several storylines were just dropped and not resolved (I really hate that!), and a mid-identified bird.

ImperfectCJ I just bailed on this one and was looking through reviews, and I wanted to say how relieved I am that someone else mentioned the darned bird! (edited) 2mo
DreesReads @ImperfectCJ (sorry I am so slow in responding). The bird! Mid-identified birds are a huge pet peeve of mine in literature, or anywhere really. It‘s just so easy to get it right!! 2mo
27 likes2 comments
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DreesReads
Bunny: A Novel | Mona Awad
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Pickpick

This book is weird. I loved it. Is it fantasy, magical realism, magic, or just about the power of loneliness and the human mind? I don‘t even like those genres, and this was totally not what I expected.

BarbaraBB Great review! 5mo
Book_Fairy_Mary Agreed! At one point I thought about putting it down bc it's not my typical read, so I assumed it'd just go downhill for me. I was hooked, though! 5mo
23 likes2 comments
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DreesReads
Microfictions | Ana Mara Shua
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Flash fiction—these stories range from 4 lines to 3 pages in length. Most take an odd twist or perspective on everyday things. Telling an entire story—giving the reader something to think about—is an art. Stories are grouped by topic. This is a quick read, and though I doubt I‘ll truly remember any of the individual stories, I will certainly remember the odd twists used to flip the narrative. #witmonth #witmonth2019

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DreesReads
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Pickpick

Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2019.

This novel has an original structure, as we meet Tequila Leila, Istanbul prostitute, after her death. Her brain continues to function for 10 min 38 sec, and we learn her history from birth to death, how she came to be an Istanbul prostitute, how she met her husband and her 5 best friends. The story then turns into a madcap caper morning of them giving her the sendoff she wanted. #bookerlonglist #booker2019

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DreesReads
The Body Lies | Jo Baker
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This thriller was a random pick from the library New Fiction display—and I don‘t normally read thrillers. This turned out to be great though—fast, not particularly violent and with a low body count, and not horrible suspenseful. No nightmare fuel! A young mother and new professor in a small English town struggles with her graduate students—and how to manage their struggles with each other. Then one‘s submissions get creepy. #thriller #2019release

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DreesReads
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Pickpick

The stories in this collection all look at life in modern Tibet—nomads, Buddhism, marriage and kids—with the ever-present reality of Chinese occupation in the background when it‘s not in the foreground. Dondrup is smart, witting, and a bit scathing in some stories. I really enjoyed this book, my favorite stories were A Show to Delight the Masses and Black Fox Valley. #intranslation #shortstories #tibet

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DreesReads
The Years | Annie Ernaux
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My completed #readingenvysummerreading . Tagged book was my favorite, but they were all very different. Short stories, novel, memoir/essay, history. Settings of rural England, Mexico, France, the Netherlands.

17 likes1 stack add
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DreesReads
Fen | Daisy Johnson
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The stories in this collection take place in England‘s fens. Most of the stories focus on the boundary between people and animals. They are unsettled, a little creepy, and not quite resolved. #shortstories

28 likes1 stack add
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DreesReads
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July Wrap-Up🎉🎉🎉. Tagged book was my only 5⭐️ read of the month. 4⭐️ for Dutch Girl, American Spy, and Princess Bari. The rest were 3⭐️. Gotta live a month with no duds! 8 books, 2 nonfiction, 2 in translation (from Korean and Swedish), 3 #camptob, 2 ARC/Galley, 4 by women, 5 diverse reads. #wrapup #monthlywrapup #julywrapup

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DreesReads
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Mehso-so

So I managed to read this entire thing—all 600+ pages. It was fine. I don‘t love fantasy, and this book is full of witches, shape shifters, trolls, etc. You find out some things, there is lots of violence, and it all sort of circles back around to the beginning. Just not my thing. #camptob #tournamentofbooks #fantasy