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HeatherBookNerd

HeatherBookNerd

Joined May 2016

paper, audio, kindle. I love all the books
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The Reading List: A Novel by Sara Nisha Adams
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The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka
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HeatherBookNerd
Yolk | Mary H. K. Choi
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Mehso-so

I found myself struggling to care about these sisters. The blurb says “funny and emotional,” which is completely misleading. It‘s fairly depressing actually. It does handle some issues well - disordered eating, self loathing, and keeping secrets. The last chapters of the book are by far the best as they finally deal with some of the dysfunctional aspects of the characters. I didn‘t just love it, but it had it‘s good moments.

mcctrish My husband bought me this because of the blurb and it was more like My Year of Rest and Relaxation than anything imo. I‘d love to smack some of the people who write these blurbs 1w
LiteraryinLawrence I agree! I felt similarly misled when I read this one. 1w
HeatherBookNerd @mcctrish @LiteraryinLawrence I‘m fairly certain the blurb writer never read the book. I really like Choi‘s Emergency Contact and wanted to love Yolk, but I had mixed feelings 1w
34 likes3 comments
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HeatherBookNerd
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Pickpick

Hempel tells the story of her entire family. 4 of the 5 come out as LGBT over the years. There is dysfunction and difficulty, reunion and understanding, confusion and clarity -- all in fits and starts over decades of lives lived both together and apart. It is wonderful to be able to track the growth and change in the parents and the children. Interesting how they each hide and then embrace the things that make them who they are.

Megabooks Yes! This was quite interesting. 1w
35 likes1 comment
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HeatherBookNerd
Finding Me: A Memoir | Viola Davis
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Pickpick

What a life she has had. Glad to see after all she‘s been through and learned that she has such a positive, healthy outlook at this point in her life. And what a career. She is one of my favorite actresses and it is clear she draws from a deep well of experience when she‘s acting. Beautiful woman.

42 likes2 stack adds
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HeatherBookNerd
Priestdaddy: A Memoir | Patricia Lockwood
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Pickpick

Lockwood has a completely unique voice and this memoir crackles with her slightly nutty, bizarre, creative style. This focuses on a 9 month period when she and her husband moved in with her parents. Her father is a Catholic priest. (Yes, with a wife and five children. That gets explained.) A lot of it is hysterically funny, but also delves into some of the darker memories of her complicated family dynamics. Really enjoyed it.

Ruthiella I really loved this too. 3w
HeatherBookNerd @Ruthiella I haven‘t laughed so hard reading a book in awhile. But then it hit hard and deep too. Very unique. 3w
34 likes1 stack add2 comments
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HeatherBookNerd
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Pickpick

Edi and Ash have been best friends for over 40 years. When Edi is diagnosed with cancer, it is Ash who walks her through her last weeks. While it is about death, it is not at all depressing or overly heavy. Instead, the focus is on the memories of their friendship and the sacred, confusing, often beautiful process of saying goodbye. Such a lovely book.

squirrelbrain I just read this too..need to review it on here. (I liked it too!) 3w
marleed I just love this book and all the characters! 3w
HeatherBookNerd @squirrelbrain @marleed I just loved. Interesting that a book about death felt so life affirming. It was just beautiful. 3w
35 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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HeatherBookNerd
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Pickpick

Glad to drop in on Amy and her friends to sort out another Murder. Not quite as great as the first two, but a fun bookish mystery romp all the same. I like Willett‘s snarky humor.

31 likes1 stack add
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HeatherBookNerd
Flying Solo: A Novel | Linda Holmes
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Pickpick

Liked this a lot. A non traditional romance with a bit of a mystery thrown in. Lighthearted easy read. And Julia Whelan‘s audio narration is perfect.

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HeatherBookNerd
The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir | Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
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Pickpick

Even though the subject matter was distressing (pedophilia, murder, sexual abuse of children), I couldn't stop listening. It is the author‘s personal story of her own wrestling with her past, emotionally bound up in surprising ways with a murderer on death row. The discussion of the history of her family and of the murder sheds light on the complexities of human behavior and how difficult it really is to discover the truth of one's own stories.

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HeatherBookNerd
Liberation Day: Stories | George Saunders
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Panpan

These felt like hiking already-walked trails that are not near so interesting this time around. Some felt very rehashed, some I didn't really care for/understand at all. Narration for the audiobook was good, but overall, I didn't love it.

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HeatherBookNerd
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Pickpick

This lovely book is about belonging, about outsiders finding their people. Wilson's books all have an appealing strangeness about them. Even when the situations are entirely unique and odd, they still feel true and the characters are endearing in their weirdness. Really enjoyed this.

Wesleypaker Hello how are you doing today ? 1mo
43 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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HeatherBookNerd
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Pickpick

A beautiful memoir, focused on the relationship between the author and his mother. Black shares coming to terms with his sexuality having grown up in the south as a closeted, shy, gay Mormon young boy and blossoming into a filmmaker and LGBT activist. It also serves as a commentary on the state of discourse and division in our country and the benefits of building bridges and appreciating the beautiful diversity our nation holds.

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HeatherBookNerd
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Pickpick

A good YA historical fiction novel about two teenage girls falling in love in San Francisco in the 1950s during the Red Scare. Complicating things further is that one of the girls is Chinese American and her family is under particularly close scrutiny at this time. I‘ll definitely read the sequel to this.

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HeatherBookNerd
When in Rome | Sarah Adams
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Pickpick

A fun, flirty romance by a local Nashville author. A perfect little vacation book.

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HeatherBookNerd
Mad Honey | Jodi Picoult, Jennifer Finney Boylan
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Pickpick

Hard to talk about without being spoilery. Better to go in knowing nothing. The two authors collaborated, each writing one of the two main characters. Made for a good audiobook. It was a tad predictable at times, but well done, and offered a valuable view of identity and belonging, with interesting thoughts on privacy and secrets.

jpetrillivm I found Lily‘s voice on audible incredibly annoying- I had to return the audiobook and get a hard copy! 3w
45 likes1 comment
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HeatherBookNerd
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Pickpick

I love this series and this may be my favorite so far. The 4 elderly sleuths are a riot and I‘m so enjoying the supporting cast of characters that Osman is building around them. Witty, clever, and delightfully entertaining. Keep them coming!

40 likes1 stack add
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HeatherBookNerd
Shrines of Gaiety | Kate Atkinson
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Mehso-so

Sad to say I did not love this new novel from one of my very favorite authors. It‘s long-winded and a tad dull, which is surprising given that the entire book deals with nightclubs, gangsters, drugs, and murders in 1920s London. Bad cops, missing girls, and extravagant nightlife in the big city should have made for a real page turner. And yet.

I still adore Kate Atkinson, but this one is not at the top of my list.

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HeatherBookNerd
Nightcrawling: A novel | Leila Mottley
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Pickpick

17-year-old Kiara and her brother are barely surviving, and she is trying to shelter a young neighbor boy as well. All three are without parents, without help, without options. And as the situation becomes more dire, the siblings both slip into dangers that cannot be easily escaped. It is an impressive debut. The audiobook narrator was fantastic. Some of the prose at times is poetic, almost musical and listening really enhanced the experience.

36 likes1 stack add
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HeatherBookNerd
Intimacies | Katie Kitamura
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Panpan

I really had trouble connecting with this book. The characters just felt flat. I guess it‘s just not for me.

31 likes1 stack add
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HeatherBookNerd
Less Is Lost | Andrew Sean Greer
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Pickpick

Happy to follow Arthur Less as he bumbles through yet another adventure—this time a meandering cross country road trip in a camper van with a dog. It‘s fun, and a bit bizarre, filled with Less‘s own particular brand of white gay man worries/midlife crisis/existential angst. Greer‘s prose is witty and flamboyant as ever. Not quite as magical as the first book, but an excellent time was had by all.

Cinfhen Great review 😀 4mo
BarbaraBB How fun, a sequel! 4mo
CarolynM So looking forward to this! 3mo
38 likes3 comments
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HeatherBookNerd
Nora Goes Off Script | Annabel Monaghan
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Pickpick

A fun fluffy romance. Nice to read about 40-something‘s falling in love for a change. A quick, entertaining read.

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HeatherBookNerd
Nora Goes Off Script | Annabel Monaghan
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Really enjoying this so far.

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HeatherBookNerd
The Furrows: A Novel | Namwali Serpell
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Bailedbailed

I was over halfway done with this and had no interest at all in finishing it. Just not my thing I guess.

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HeatherBookNerd
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Pickpick

A compelling and immersive book about a 30 year friendship. Sam and Sadie meet when they are tweens and form a bond that is deep and lasting, but also complicated and sometimes tumultuous. They connect both personally and professionally, creating a gaming company together. Over the years they succeed and fail and fight and grow up, remaining tethered to each other even during periods of estrangement. Wonderful book. Just loved it.

Kimberlone Great review! 4mo
53 likes1 stack add1 comment
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HeatherBookNerd
Chemistry | Weike Wang
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Pickpick

Wang has a very unique voice that I really like. Her protagonist is a Chinese American woman with a difficult family history, making her resistant to committing to her boyfriend. She's also struggling to finish her Chemistry doctorate. As both her academic career and relationship start to crumble, she's left to sift through her memories of her childhood, her culture, and her parents' volatile marriage to find out who she is what she really wants.

Reggie Great review. If you haven‘t read it, Ling Ma‘s book, Severance, is like a great companion book to this because it deals with a 2nd generation American Asian at the end of the world also dealing with what her parents influence on her was. It was pretty good 4mo
HeatherBookNerd @Reggie thanks for the rec! 4mo
38 likes2 comments
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HeatherBookNerd
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Pickpick

Maggie O‘Farrell can do no wrong. I love everything she writes. This book is yet another triumph. You know from the beginning that things will not go well for the young Lucrezia. And yet O‘Farrell kept me completely enthralled, waiting to see what might befall the child bride of Duke Alfonso. The prose is just exquisite, the story is riveting, and the plot builds to a brilliant conclusion. So good.

squirrelbrain Great review! Hoping to start this at the weekend…. 4mo
thewallflower0707 The novel is waiting for me at home 🤩 4mo
43 likes1 stack add2 comments
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HeatherBookNerd
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Pickpick

A very helpful and accessible overview of asexuality, especially for people who do not know anything about it. Also lots of interesting observations on the value society places on sex as the ultimate experience and the ways people who do not have sex are presumed less than. My only complaint is that the author was incredibly repetitive, diluting her good points by beating them to death sometimes. But worth a read.

#readharder

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HeatherBookNerd
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Pickpick

Just delightful! Right up my alley with the actor life and audiobook insider stuff. And I doubt it needs to be said, but listening to this is a must because author Julia Whelan is such a fantastic narrator, and writer. All the many voices and accents really show off her skill set nicely. If you‘re an Emily Henry fan you‘ll probably love this.

31 likes1 stack add
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HeatherBookNerd
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Pickpick

How the Word is Passed
Remarkably Bright Creatures
Tru Biz
Book Lovers
Cloud Cuckoo Land
The Sentence

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HeatherBookNerd
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Pickpick

Price is a social psychologist and professor. He was an adult before he discovered he was autistic. Like those he describes in the book, Price could “pass” for neurotypical, masking his more noticeable autistic traits, but at great personal cost. He walks through several exercises to help autistic people unmask and find ways to live a healthier, more authentic life. This really helped me understand how I can support my autistic friends and family.

kathedron Stacking. I need this book. 5mo
HeatherBookNerd @kathedron it was excellent. And recommended by a few autistic friends of mine, so I felt like that was a good endorsement 5mo
39 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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HeatherBookNerd
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Pickpick

This book follows multiple immigrants that have come to work in Hollywood leading up to WWII. The perspective is interesting, but there are so many tangents off the main story that it gets a bit congested at times. But Marra‘s prose is beautiful and he is effective at creating a rich atmosphere for his characters. I highly recommend the audiobook as the different voices and accents help you follow the multiple characters and storylines.

32 likes1 stack add
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HeatherBookNerd
Unlikely Animals | Annie Hartnett
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Pickpick

This was delightfully odd and thoroughly enjoyable. A warm-hearted story about a messy family finding their way to each other in strange ways. It has a sort of barely contained wackiness to it that really is rather charming.

tpixie Oh good! We will be reading it for @litsybookclub for our October book!! Loved her other book 5mo
HeatherBookNerd @tpixie it has that same appealing quirkiness as Rabbit Cake. Really enjoyed it! 5mo
tpixie @HeatherBookNerd awesomeness 5mo
38 likes1 stack add3 comments
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HeatherBookNerd
Acts of Violet | Margarita Montimore
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Panpan

Unpopular opinion here. A total dud.

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HeatherBookNerd
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I have autistic loved ones and one of them recommended this book to me. I‘m not too far in but this passage seems is incredibly helpful already.

Christine I didn‘t know this book was out! Can‘t wait to read it, as the mom of an autistic son and having loved 6mo
HeatherBookNerd @Christine three different autistic folks have recommended it, and it is LGBTQ inclusive as well, so I was happy to pick it up. 6mo
Christine That's so good to know. Thanks for sharing (the book and that info)! 6mo
22 likes1 stack add3 comments
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HeatherBookNerd
Joan Is Okay | Weike Wang
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Pickpick

Joan has such a unique voice and experience. I loved her. She and her brother are children of Chinese immigrants, having opportunities never possible for their parents in America. Once the kids reached adulthood, Joan‘s parents returned to China. Now in her mid 30s, Joan is struggling to understand her relationship with her family, her place in society as a single, childless-by-choice doctor, and what it means to be Chinese in America. Very good.

ShyBookOwl Ooh. Sounds like a good rec for #alphabetgame (which is on J today!) 6mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Thank you for playing! 6mo
39 likes1 stack add2 comments
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HeatherBookNerd
Remarkably Bright Creatures | Shelby Van Pelt
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Pickpick

A big two thumbs up for the feel-good book of the year starring an elderly Swedish woman, a struggling 30-something, and an exceptionally clever octopus. A beautiful story of the ways grief and love can mold and change us, and the ways in which connection can heal. Such a delightfully surprising web of relationships in this gem of a novel. Marin Ireland and Michael Urie are spectacular on the audiobook, so treat yourself to a listen if you can.

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HeatherBookNerd
The Best American Travel Writing 2021 | Padma Lakshmi, Jason Wilson
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Pickpick

This is a terrific collection of travel essays, many touching on how the Covid pandemic has affected travel. Covers so many different places and cultures.

#readharderchallenge

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HeatherBookNerd
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Pickpick

Nicole Chung‘s memoir about being a Korean adoptee of white parents. She was raised in an entirely white area and had no connection to her Korean culture. As an adult, pregnant with her first child, she seeks out her birth parents to discover more about her history. An enlightening account of one woman‘s experience as a transracial adoptee.

33 likes1 stack add
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HeatherBookNerd
The Colony | Audrey Magee
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Pickpick

In 1979, an English painter and a French linguist spend one summer on a small Irish island, living among the islanders. The book explores the insidious nature of colonization and the ways one's identity is shaped -- from within and through the eyes of others. Very very good.

jlhammar Planning to start this soon. Can't wait! 6mo
35 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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HeatherBookNerd
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Pickpick

A love story about the bond between a father and daughter. Also, time travel. It‘s funny and moving and just wonderful. ❤️❤️❤️

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HeatherBookNerd
Seven Steeples | Sara Baume
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A very unusual book. No plot really, just the poetic documentation of the passing of seven years in an unconventional couple‘s isolated existence. Sigh and Bell have chosen to retreat with their two dogs to a life away from the ties of society. This book charts their habits, the minutiae of their days, and the nature that surrounds them. Such gorgeous prose.

HeatherBookNerd @Ruthiella I haven‘t read that one yet but plan to. I loved 7mo
30 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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HeatherBookNerd
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Mehso-so

I have mixed feelings. I am on board with the feminist message in this book and I enjoyed the audio just fine. But for the most part the book is lacking any sense of nuance. The characters feel very one-dimensional and extreme, with everyone either good or bad, and very little in between. I was longing for more depth.

Caroline2 Totally agree. 👍 7mo
33 likes1 comment
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HeatherBookNerd
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Pickpick

This is one young man‘s experience of being black, Christian, and American. Stewart really breaks open his heart to show you his own struggles and fears. He holds no punches as he shares what it is like to live in a black body in a country built on a foundation of white supremacy. He also tells of the importance of loving his own blackness and celebrating the black community. It is a book by and for black people, but it was helpful for me to read.

30 likes2 stack adds
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HeatherBookNerd
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A sobering and important book.

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HeatherBookNerd
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Pickpick

Heartwarming and sweet Cinderella-inspired graphic novel about a Prince who loves to wear dresses.

BookingitwithSandra Such a cute graphic novel. 7mo
34 likes1 comment
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HeatherBookNerd
All Boys Aren't Blue | George M. Johnson
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Pickpick

A powerful, candid memoir of a young black queer man‘s coming of age, written specifically to help other LGBT teens not feel so alone. George Johnson grew up knowing he was different from most other boys. But he had no guidance, no language, no peers to help him understand his queer identity. He shares his story so that other gay teens will see themselves reflected in it and recognize a friend on their journey.

24 likes2 stack adds
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HeatherBookNerd
Run, Rose, Run: A Novel | James Patterson, Dolly Parton
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Pickpick

Who doesn‘t love Dolly? Had to check this book out. Very entertaining and lots of fun Nashville references. A predictable premise: a pretty, feisty, resourceful heroine seeks her big break in Music City while running from her past. But it‘s a diverting, easy read with Dolly‘s fingerprints all over it.

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HeatherBookNerd
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Mehso-so

The opening and closing essays are pretty great. Klein shares the essence of motherhood as a hero‘s journey. She talks about many of the darker, daunting moments in motherhood that mothers rarely admit and I appreciated that. But somewhere in the middle she lost me a bit and I struggled to relate at all.
So some of it is great and some of it not as much? The writing had flashes of brilliance amidst a bit too much whining. I have mixed feelings.

27 likes1 stack add
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HeatherBookNerd
Ring Shout | P Djeli Clark
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Pickpick

This is speculative fiction/horror/fantasy/historical fiction (?) and very good. In his acknowledgements, the author says "Who says all the fantasies with sword-weilding heroes and heroines have to be in Middle Earth, Westeros, or even our dreams of African past?" He very effectively puts his sword-wielding heroine in Georgia in 1922 and the The Birth of a Nation-movie-inspired growth of the KKK. A chilling and quick read.

#readharder

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HeatherBookNerd
I Take My Coffee Black | Tyler Merritt
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Pickpick

Merritt shares his own story with great openness and vulnerability, inserting some historical/geographical context as his story intersects with larger themes. Got to love a man who loves theatre. Appreciate his self awareness and honesty.

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HeatherBookNerd
Yankee Tavern | Steven Dietz
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Pickpick

Reading plays for a committee I‘m on. Some of these older ones are really not holding up well to a 2022 reading. Yankee Tavern, These Shining Lives, and The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 get a 👍🏼. The rest, meh.