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HotCocoaReads

HotCocoaReads

Joined May 2016

Reading whilst sipping cocoa from teacups
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Remote People by Evelyn Waugh
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HotCocoaReads
Pet Sematary | Stephen King
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At the sentence level, it‘s average—but once King gets the story going, it‘s so intense! Pet Sematary will not disappoint if you‘re looking for something to keep you reading far into the night—and then it will keep you up freaked out about it when you finish. Yeah, it‘s pretty good!

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HotCocoaReads
Franny and Zooey | J D Salinger
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A college story about a girl (Franny) who‘s trying to figure out her place in the world and her relationship with the people around her; her brother Zooey is her ultimate lifeline and helps her out of a mental breakdown. It‘s mostly dialogue and a lot of smoking—but I think this is an important piece of literature.

(I didn‘t like the way Zooey treated his mother though. That bugged me.)

ManyWordsLater This book was everything to me in high school. 💞💓💗💕 4w
HotCocoaReads @ManyWordsLater I can see how it would be especially important during high school/college yeara 4w
22 likes2 comments
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HotCocoaReads
Down the Garden Path | Beverley Nichols
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What a delightful little book—part garden book, part memoir. Honestly, it had me laughing and learning about plants all at the same time. It also motivated me to get out there and do more gardening of my own. I‘ve never read a gardening book—sounds boring to me—but this definitely wasn‘t!

LeahBergen I have Merry Hall waiting on my shelf. 😀 4w
HotCocoaReads @LeahBergen I definitely want to read more of his work 4w
20 likes2 comments
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HotCocoaReads
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Such an interesting premise for a book—A slave woman (who looks completely white) has a baby at the same time as her mistress (who dies) and then switches them because nobody can tell a difference between the two. It‘s a mystery, entirely readable, and an interesting study in race at that time in Missouri. I loved Roxy‘s character and Pudd‘nhead. Very good!

Amiable Love your kitty! 😻 1mo
LeahBergen Your peonies are gorgeous 💕 1mo
HotCocoaReads @LeahBergen Thank you! They‘re exploding out in my garden. I‘m a little bit obsessed with them at the moment! 🤣 1mo
HotCocoaReads @Amiable Thank you! Pip loves to be near me when I‘m reading! 1mo
Lcsmcat 😻 3w
16 likes5 comments
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HotCocoaReads
Leave Me | Gayle Forman
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Definitely not Forman‘s strongest book, but I am glad I stuck with it—the beginning gives us a fairly unlikeable character Maribeth, who almost dies and then does some out of character things that makes me honestly despise her for a while. However, about 2/3 in, it all starts to come together and by the end, I was rooting for her and even cried a bit.

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HotCocoaReads
Canterbury Tales | Geoffrey Chaucer
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I read a prose translation of the Canterbury Tales (my book was titled The Story of the Canterbury Pilgrims) and it was very readable. This may have been the first stories within a story book (but maybe not) and featured stories the characters on their pilgrimage told to pass the time as they traveled on horses. My favorite was probably Patient Griselda or The Knight‘s Tale. I compared my version to the Middle English and can see value in both.

StayCurious lovely picture 💐 1mo
Caroline2 What a beautiful bag! 😍 1mo
HotCocoaReads @Caroline2 Thank you—it‘s my new Yoshi Bag and I love it!!! They have a whole line of Bookworm bags in different colors, displaying different books, and they‘re so perfect! 1mo
See All 8 Comments
HotCocoaReads @StayCurious Thank you so much! This was a really fun book—both to read and photograph! 😀 1mo
Amiable Love that bag!! 1mo
marleed Oh Canterbury Tales is the only book I saved from college. Why I, as a non lit major, took a class on Chaucer is beyond me. But I read the entire book in Old English and loved it. It didn‘t take long to get use to the prose. 1mo
HotCocoaReads @Amiable Thanks—I love my new bookworm bag from Yoshi! 1mo
HotCocoaReads @marleed I found it very enjoyable—and funny 1mo
19 likes8 comments
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HotCocoaReads
Transit: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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Another strong installment of Cusk's unusual style of writing where she observes life from being told stories, rather than being the protagonist of the story. I may not have loved this as much as the first book but it's still a very good book and I'll definitely be reading the next book right away.

LeahBergen Gorgeous photo! 1mo
HotCocoaReads @LeahBergen Thanks so much—these are wonderful books! 1mo
10 likes2 comments
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HotCocoaReads
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This story about how a girl narrowly avoids death so many times is not a light one; however, it's an important book about an immigrant from Italy, about strong women, and how they try to fight to protect themselves and each other.

Featured: Healthtea Book Crate May box

marleed I loved this book. And an earlier post from you was how I found out about the health tea bookcrate! 1mo
HotCocoaReads @marleed I just love their boxes—they choose the best books to include!!! 1mo
marleed @HotCocoaReads Thank you for giving them a shout out! 1mo
HotCocoaReads @marleed I‘m so glad you love them too 🥰 1mo
21 likes4 comments
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HotCocoaReads
The Unhoneymooners | Christina Lauren
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This was the perfect book to start summer off! Cute storyline, engrossing, fun characters--I seriously couldn't put it down!

marleed I loved the story every bit as much as I love that cover! 1mo
HotCocoaReads @marleed The cover is wonderful; the story too! 😀 1mo
19 likes2 comments
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HotCocoaReads
I Miss You When I Blink: Essays | Mary Laura Philpott
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Some of the essays really spoke to me, some were funny—all around, this was a fun book to read. I think this will appeal more to people who are mothers

marleed I love the title - and your cat! 1mo
HotCocoaReads @marleed Thank you—I love that Poppy just happened to blink at the right time! 🤣 1mo
9 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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HotCocoaReads
The Scent of Water | Elizabeth Goudge
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A woman inherits an old house in a small country village (from her Cousin she only met once as a child) and decides to leave her life in London to settle there. I loved the idea that the house was a character and that she grew to love her cousin from sharing it with her—and the other things she left there, like the tiny things. Some of the side stories in the village became a little lengthy for me, but overall, I really liked this one!

marleed Beautiful photo! 1mo
11 likes1 comment
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HotCocoaReads
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The Darling Buds of May is an outrageous, over-the-top comedy about a family who is trying to avoid paying taxes and confusing the tax guy by not letting him leave and feeding him and trying to push their daughter on him. Some parts were admittedly funny, while sometimes I felt like it was just too much. I could see how this book could rub some people the wrong way. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 💫

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HotCocoaReads
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Graphic memoir is quickly becoming a new favorite genre of mine. This books reads quickly, it‘s funny and is so important on so many levels. It‘s a strange world we live in and trying to make sense of it is still difficult for adults, not to mention kids (the questions her son asks is part of the brilliance of this book). All I can say is—read this book!

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HotCocoaReads
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Mostly I loved this book and the story definitely kept my interest, but sometimes Kya spouting off poetry randomly bugged me: I mean, I love poetry, but that whole part of the story didn‘t really make sense until the very ending. It does read like a YA love story and I‘m not sure which genre this fits into, but I still really liked it! Can‘t wait for the movie!

Lady_Tigana_20 I hated those poems, but its inclusion made sense at the end. 2mo
MrBook Great pic and review! 2mo
Cinfhen Stunning photo but your review makes me nervous for this book. I don‘t think im gonna love it 🙄 2mo
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HotCocoaReads @Lady_Tigana_20 The poems just seemed misplaced and didn‘t really do much for the story as it went along. I don‘t think that surprise at the end was really worthwhile 2mo
HotCocoaReads @MrBook Thank you! I still really liked the book! 😀 2mo
HotCocoaReads @Cinfhen You still should read it and decide for yourself. If you don‘t like poetry, just skip over the poems and it won‘t change the story at all. I promise it‘s still a good story! 😀 2mo
26 likes6 comments
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HotCocoaReads
Daisy Jones & The Six | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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The format in interview style was a surprise to me but it worked—and made for really quick pacing. I think all the hype about this book was worth it. I loved it—especially the ending!

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HotCocoaReads
The Overstory: A Novel | Richard Powers
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This book is brilliantly structured and very well written. It revolves around normal everyday people who have a history with the love of trees and affect each other whether they know it or not. Pretty much, it‘s a a lesson on loving the Earth done in the least preachy way. So many memorable things that I continue to think about after I finished. Highly recommended!

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HotCocoaReads
Outline: A Novel | Rachel Cusk
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I haven‘t read a book that felt so vivid and showed a true depiction of humanity in a long time. Outline was simple and beautifully written and is a new favorite! Someone had recommended it to me when I asked whether you‘d read a book that didn‘t contain a relationship—not love but any kind of relationship—but I disagree: This book was full of people telling their stories in an attempt at being understood by each other and themselves. Beautiful!

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HotCocoaReads
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Okay, this second book in the Corfu trilogy may have even been better than the first. I love these stories about animals and this hilarious family all living on the island of Corfu. I‘ll definitely be reading the third book as soon as I can get my hands on a copy! So delightful!

LeahBergen Aren‘t they wonderful?? ❤️❤️ 3mo
HotCocoaReads @LeahBergen Yes! I love his humor! 3mo
19 likes2 comments
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HotCocoaReads
Flight Behavior | Barbara Kingsolver
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This book reads slowly, but I was fascinated by the butterfly migration and global warming aspects of the novel. From a science standpoint, it captured me. While I didn‘t dislike Dellarobia as a character, I felt she was young and obviously immature and sadly (as she‘s explaining to her son at the end) she has a hard time seeing the big picture. I hoped she could find a way to balance her newfound love of science and try to love her husband.

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HotCocoaReads
Flush | Virginia Woolf
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I so enjoyed reading Flush—it‘s very readable (unlike some of her more stream-of-consciousness fiction). I liked also getting the beauty of Woolf‘s descriptions along with the biographical information about Elizabeth Barrett‘s and Robert Browning‘s courtship and early marriage. Plus, through a dog‘s unique perspective!

Severnmeadows I really loved this book! 3mo
HotCocoaReads @Severnmeadows It was wonderful! 3mo
20 likes1 stack add2 comments
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HotCocoaReads
A Novel Bookstore | Laurence Cosse
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This book has such an interesting concept—two bibliophiles create a bookshop in Paris that only includes “good novels.” There‘s a secret committee of writers who are behind the lists of books included that are eventually targeted and even hurt. The story focuses on trying to find out who is behind these attacks. An interesting concept but I felt the ending was a little weak. Great book for bibliophiles!

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HotCocoaReads
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I brought Corelli‘s Mandolin along with me to Greece because I love reading books “on sight”—they make me feel like the setting is coming alive. And I pressed wildflowers from the island of Mykonos into it as I took it along with me everywhere. The story is beautiful, funny and heartbreaking—and while the ending was romantic, it was a little frustrating too. Still, i cried through the last third of it which means it got me!

LeahBergen Perfect destination read. 👏🏻👏🏻 3mo
HotCocoaReads @LeahBergen Yes!!! I‘m so glad I read while in Greece—everything felt so alive! 3mo
20 likes2 comments
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HotCocoaReads
Stet: A Memoir | Diana Athill
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This is the memoir of Diana Athill who worked in publishing in London her whole life. She tells how she got into the publishing house, what things she had to do and how she was paid. The second half of the book was about her dealings with several big-name authors. It was interesting, but I didn‘t love it. I never felt completely absorbed in the book.

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HotCocoaReads
The Dean's Watch | Elizabeth Goudge
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Goudge is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers! Her stories are sweet and heartfelt and I love to see the growth happening in the characters, secondary and main. One of my favorite things about this book was the way the Dean opening his eyes to those around him mirrored his understanding of the inner workings of the clocks Mr Peabody worked on. It was such a beautiful metaphor for the entire book. At the end, I teared up, again. Lovely!

LeahBergen I‘m really going to have to buy this one. 👍🏻 4mo
HotCocoaReads @LeahBergen I really like Goudge‘s writing! 3mo
23 likes2 comments
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HotCocoaReads
This Rough Magic | Mary Stewart
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I like to read books set in places I‘m going before I travel there. This Rough Magic was recommended to me because it had so many parallels to Shakespeare‘s The Tempest and is set on a Greek island, Corfu which I didn‘t realize people speculate that‘s where The Tempest was set! The actual mystery storyline wasn‘t nearly as magical to me as the setting and the characters and all the Shakespeare talk!

18 likes1 stack add
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HotCocoaReads
A Shropshire Lad | A. E. Housman
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I‘ve been slowly working through A.E. Housman‘s poetry collection, A Shropshire Lad, and am finishing it up this morning, which is kind of perfect since it‘s World Poetry Day! I loved A Shropshire Lad—it‘s written simply but with an underlying darkness of death and the beauty of a boy‘s memories of home.

DivineDiana I didn‘t know that! Glad I started my day with some poetry! 4mo
29 likes1 comment
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HotCocoaReads
Weight of a Piano | Chris Cander
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What a beautiful book! It started off with two storylines seemingly in two very different places—a concert pianist in Russia and a 20-something girl mechanic in California. As the stories progress, they come closer and closer and you can see the similar thread in their stories, their shared love (almost dependence) on a particular piano. When the stories converge, it feels right—especially how it ends. A lovely book!

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HotCocoaReads
House of the Spirits | Isabel Allende
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Epic, beautifully written and brilliant—however, it was a little too political for me in parts (and some parts were just brutal to read—violence, rape, etc) so while I very much enjoyed this story—and wasn‘t bothered at all by the magical realism parts—it won‘t get 5 stars from me.

27 likes1 stack add
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HotCocoaReads
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This was an honest look into the life of a woman who suffers from insecurities while in college, then into a relationship, into marriage and ultimately into her family. Clearly Casale knows how to write. Some chapters were extraordinarily brilliant, and then sometimes I was thinking how I didn‘t like the main character. It felt a little disjointed at times but overall ended very beautifully.

27 likes3 stack adds
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HotCocoaReads
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There‘s something about Kate Morton‘s novels that speak to me! The houses that take on a life of their own, the mysteries and the natural elements. This book is no exception. It‘s another great story. However, there are a ton of side storylines that can get a little confusing because of the amount of characters, so don‘t expect an easy read. But this ended perfectly and her endings always remind me why I love Morton‘s stories so much!

catebutler She is one of my go to contemporary authors. I started this a month or so ago, but put it aside. Really need to get back to it! 5mo
HotCocoaReads She‘s one of my go-to‘s as well. Her story timelines are always complicated, but they all come together so nicely at the end! 5mo
26 likes2 comments
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HotCocoaReads
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This story is shockingly true and so heartbreaking. A born-free black man is drugged and sold into slavery in New Orleans and he details the horrible situation he endured while trying to get back to his family in New York in this book. Such an important story!

TheAliceEvers Lovely photo and nice review! 😃❤️ 5mo
HotCocoaReads @TheAliceEvers The sad fact that it‘s true is horrifying 5mo
26 likes2 comments
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HotCocoaReads
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I loved the three short novels found in Pale Horse, Pale Rider. All three of them packed a punch and were very different, but so well-written. I would recommend Porter‘s stories to almost everyone.

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HotCocoaReads
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We get a little more of the Sylvia Plath we love in this story—and it won‘t disappoint! It‘s dark and ominous and knowing what we do about Plath, you‘ll feel like you got a little more of her soul. I devoured it this morning! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Linsy Pretty! ☕️ 5mo
LeahBergen I‘m looking forward to this one. 👍🏻 5mo
31 likes1 stack add2 comments
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HotCocoaReads
Educated: A Memoir | Tara Westover
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I haven‘t read a book that took over my life so much for a long time. Once I started reading, I couldn‘t stop. It was heartbreaking to see the way Tara was raised, how manipulation was so much of her early childhood and even more heartbreaking when she started seeing what was real but couldn‘t quite break off from that horrible family situation. Sad and profound and I‘ll be thinking about this book for a while. 😢

22 likes1 stack add
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HotCocoaReads
The Proposal | Jasmine Guillory
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I think maybe it‘s been too long since I‘ve read a romantic comedy. This felt so light that I kept wondering when we were going to get to real life problems. 🤔 Maybe I should read more of these lighter books so it won‘t feel like such a jump in the future. Some of the dialogue felt a little too perfect—and perhaps Carlos was just a little too perfect 🤔

Aswenson Have you read One Day in December? That‘s a totally lighthearted romance (with some drama). I thought it was excellent! 5mo
HotCocoaReads @Aswenson I haven‘t but I want to! 5mo
19 likes1 stack add2 comments
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HotCocoaReads
The Music Shop | Rachel Joyce
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I haven‘t come across a contemporary book I‘ve loved this much in a while. I loved all the characters, the story revolving around a vinyl record shop in the late 80s, and the heartfelt ending—plus, music references throughout. Seriously, there‘s so much to love in this book!

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HotCocoaReads
The Green Years | A J Cronin
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An obscure but highly recommended book, The Green Years got off to a slow start but by the middle, I was completely absorbed in it. Robie doesn‘t have an easy time of it, becoming an orphan and being sent to live with his grand—and great-grandparents. But he works hard and perseveres through his challenges. It felt to be a very authentic coming-of-age story for an Irish boy in Scotland.

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HotCocoaReads
Art Matters | Neil Gaiman
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I was planning to quickly check out the illustrations in Art Matters this morning and ended up devouring the whole thing over breakfast. Now I‘ve got to get it into the hands of my daughter! It‘s simple advice about being creative and what Gaiman has learned on his creative journey! What an inspiration and a pleasure to read—plus, those illustrations! 😍

BookBabe I concur! 😍 Lovely photo. 5mo
LeahBergen Beautiful post! 😍😍 5mo
Smarkies Such a beautiful desk! 5mo
Linsy Beautiful pic! 💙 5mo
22 likes4 comments
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HotCocoaReads
The Reckless Club | Beth Vrabel
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A cute middle-school take on The Breakfast Club—five kids are sent to “detention,” helping out at a nursing home and they start to come together as they learn about each other‘s stories. I read this to my 11-year-old daughter and she laughed throughout. And I may have teared up a bit at the ending. (I gave it 4 stars, but my daughter says 5 stars and since she‘s more the target audience, you should probably go with her rating.)

26 likes1 stack add
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HotCocoaReads
Winter of Our Discontent | John Steinbeck
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This was nothing like any of the other Steinbeck novels I‘ve read, except that the characterization was really well done. I felt the foreboding throughout the entire book and I was hoping so much that things would work out for Ethan because I loved him. So much! He had such a good heart and wanted to make something of his life, but he went about it all wrong. I need to talk about the ending to someone!!!

17 likes1 stack add
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HotCocoaReads
The Grass Harp | Truman Capote
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I love Capote‘s stories that are so sweet and endearing and that take place in the south. The ridiculous but hilarious image of all those people up in the tree house was so perfect! Wonderful characters, well-written and charming!

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HotCocoaReads
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Part poetry, part prose, part newspaper articles. This was definitely a wild ride—all based on the real Billy the Kid and the stories (true or not) about him. A quick read and unique.

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HotCocoaReads
Nervous Conditions | Tsitsi Dangarembga
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This is the story of a girl who tries to break out of poverty by becoming educated in Zimbabwe in the 1960-70s. Clearly, this is autobiographical but it didn‘t feel too non-fiction, it felt like I was reading a novel. It may be a novel. I‘m not sure. I enjoyed the story a lot but it did lack an emotional element that would have made it a 5 star read.

Alfoster Lovely photo!😍 6mo
Amiable Gorgeous picture! 6mo
29 likes2 comments
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HotCocoaReads
If You Leave Me: A Novel | Crystal Hana Kim
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If You Leave Me is a historical novel that takes place during the Korean War and then covers the aftermath including the political upheaval. The story is really about a girl who loved a boy, but marries his cousin instead. I struggled a bit in that I didn‘t feel that any of the three main characters were likable. They said terrible, mean things to each other and then wondered why they were never happy. I wanted to root for one of them though 😓

TheAliceEvers Lovely picture and lovely review! 😃 6mo
34 likes1 comment
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HotCocoaReads
Putney | Sofka Zinovieff
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Putney is a Lolita-esque story but continues on as Daphne is an adult, looking back on what happened to her as a child. This book takes you to uncomfortable places and is an emotionally difficult book, but it makes you think. I‘ve not read many books as brave as this.

23 likes1 stack add
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HotCocoaReads
Once Upon a River | Diane Setterfield
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I loved this atmospheric, slowly unfolding mystery about a girl who is thought dead when she was brought in to The Swan on Winter Solstice, but then comes back to life. Slightly fairytale-ish and ends so perfectly--I couldn't put it down for the last 100 pages! Highly recommended!

Once Upon a River came in January‘s Healthtea Book Crate with all these cool self-care products!

LeahBergen I‘ve been eyeing that book crate subscription. 👀 6mo
HotCocoaReads @LeahBergen I think it‘s the best book box out there! The books are always great and the self-care products are so thoughtful! 6mo
20 likes1 stack add2 comments
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HotCocoaReads
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This is one of the most beautiful, heart-wrenching books I‘ve read in a while. To see the Holocaust from a child‘s perspective is what makes this book brilliant, the simplicity of his little mind as he tries to wrap his head around what‘s happening to his new best friend.

LeahBergen Yes! So good. 😭 6mo
24 likes1 stack add1 comment
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HotCocoaReads
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4.5 stars

I‘ve never read a graphic memoir before, but there was something about this book that I just got. I‘ve been thinking about what exactly the shadow in the story represented and it leaves so much to interpret and imagine. It was truly beautiful and even had me in tears several times. My 17-year-old daughter devoured (and loved) it too!

UrsulaMonarch Great review! 6mo
22 likes4 stack adds1 comment
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HotCocoaReads
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This book is heartbreaking, and everyone needs to read it. The stories of the girls and women need to be heard so we can truly understand the horrors these refugees faced in their home countries. I actually cried through one of the stories. This is a powerful, eye-opening book. Now what can we do?

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HotCocoaReads
Sister of the Angels | Elizabeth Goudge
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This is the sequel (yet, it‘s technically a children‘s book while the first was not) of City of Bells. Honestly, I loved them both. This story follows 11-year-old Henrietta as she learns about compassion from her father and grandfather. A wonderful Christmas story!

LeahBergen Beautiful edition! 6mo
18 likes1 stack add1 comment