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ImperfectCJ

ImperfectCJ

Joined May 2019

Home educator, reader, autodidact, dilettante. * Blog: http://imperfecthappiness.org * GR: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/424546-charity
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Less: A Novel by Andrew Sean Greer
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Odyssey by Homer
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ImperfectCJ
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Birthday greetings ready to head out, some late, some early, maybe one on time. 🥳

I love that #litsylove gives me an excuse to buy stationery!

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ImperfectCJ
Untitled | Unknown
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❤️ San Diego, CA
🧡 Old enough to know better. (42)
💛 Libraries, libraries, libraries! (And book sales.)
💚 Married
💙 No particular preference, but I'm accustomed to she/her/hers.
💜 It's a combo of the name of my blog and my childhood nickname. It's also my name on LibraryThing.

@JoScho #gettingtoknowyou

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ImperfectCJ
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When the text description doesn't match the map. I suspect someone just didn't catch that one "Southwest" should have been a "Southeast." This kind of thing bugs me, but I wonder if it were my job to edit books if I would actually catch these mistakes or if I only see them because I have the luxury of reading at my own pace.

On a positive note, I think I'm finally getting my bearings in this novel. Only took 250+ pages...

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ImperfectCJ
Circe | Madeline Miller
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1. Circe seems appropriate here.
2. Bare feet (unless I'm somewhere with scorpions, in which case, hard-soled slippers).
3. Not counting airplane travel, probably ~10,000 feet while hiking near Salt Lake City.
4. American cheese. *shudder*
5. Not likely.

#friyayintro @howjessreads

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ImperfectCJ
The Changeling | Victor LaValle
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“But let me tell you what I see instead. The neediness of it. The begging to be applauded. As if the praise of a thousand strangers would ever make up for the fact that you didn‘t feel loved enough as a child. Oh, you poor thing. You were begging to be devoured.“

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ImperfectCJ
The Changeling | Victor LaValle
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Mehso-so

A quick read exploring the role of myths and fairy tales in our lives and culture. The story is clunky at times and there are enough inconsistencies and inaccuracies to keep me from being drawn in completely, but it was spooky enough to make me hesitant to walk to the bathroom through the dark house so there's that going for it. Are people really as knee-jerk violent as so many of the books I'm reading now suggest?

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ImperfectCJ
Ohio | Stephen Markley
Panpan

The first section was annoying, the second and third were promising (if gory), the fourth was just ridiculous, and the coda was unnecessary. I'm perhaps a little sensitive about people dumping on Ohio (it's like how no one's allowed to pick on your siblings except you), but if you're going to do it, at least make the story believable (or so fanciful it becomes magical realism, which could still be emotionally believable).

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ImperfectCJ
The Wednesdays | Julie Bourbeau
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1. Not really Halloween, but my favorite scary film is Rosemary's Baby.

2. Watching my kids address challenges and get frustrated, then seeing their triumph when the lightbulb goes off.

3. Best job was as an editor at a drug company, but my vocation is being a parent. It's the very best fit for me at this point in my life and the most meaningful and satisfying (and challenging) work I've ever done.

4. ❤️❤️❤️

#wondrouswednesday @Eggs

Eggs #2 and #3 🧡👏🏻🤗👏🏻🧡 5d
23 likes1 comment
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ImperfectCJ
Ohio | Stephen Markley
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The depressing book about Ohio that I'm listening to just mentioned the college I went to for undergrad. I'm not sure whether to woohoo or to cringe.

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ImperfectCJ
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This book is a challenge, both in style and in content. I'm 138 pages in. I'm going to give it my full attention during two hours of downtime this afternoon, but I'm really not sure I'm up for the violence.

I'm reading Steven Markley's Ohio at the same time; it's possible the combination is compounding the feeling of despair. I might need to add something light-hearted into the mix.

SamAnne I had the same experience with it. So mixed. I panned it because I didn‘t think I could recommend it to anyone. So violent. I‘m glad I read it but have no plans to read the other books planned in the trilogy. 1w
ImperfectCJ @SamAnne I had no idea it was/is going to be part of a trilogy. It would have to change quite a bit for me to want to read more in a trilogy. Does the story eventually feel worth the violence? There are elements I appreciate, it's just so unpleasant. If it weren't a National Book Award finalist, I don't think I would be trying so hard. 7d
30 likes2 comments
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ImperfectCJ
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1. I don't read a lot of series, but I like Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad.

2. I don't watch a lot of TV, either, but I like The Office and Catastrophe.

3. The only time I watched was in 2004 when the Red Sox ended the Curse of the Bambino.

4. Caribbean beans and greens wraps, which are "best" mainly because my spouse makes them while I sit around.

5. Yep. He introduced me to Heinlein, Bradbury and Asimov.

#friyayintro @howjessreads

ImperfectCJ Oh no! I just realized that I left out the serial comma in 5! Cue identity crisis. (edited) 1w
19 likes1 comment
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ImperfectCJ
The Farm: A Novel | Joanne Ramos
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Pickpick

No, not that kind of farm, although there are alpacas. Ramos offers an interesting portrayal of privilege (racial, economic, educational) within a system that sees women and women's bodies as commodities. I quite enjoyed this book even though it pissed me off. Especially Mae. It brought back the objectification and powerlessness I felt while pregnant, even as it highlighted just how relatively not-objectified and not-powerless I was.

marleed Great pic. I was a so-so on this one. I really liked the story but found the characters I engaging. Is it weird then that I want this adapted to screen? I just think with a little tweaking there‘d id like these women. 2w
ImperfectCJ @marleed I could see this being really effective as a film. There's a lot a filmmaker could do with atmosphere/mood, I think. I connected fairly well to the main characters, I think. But at least two fell off the map, which I always find annoying, and some (Becca, Geri, Ethan) I kept mixing up or forgetting about. 2w
34 likes1 stack add2 comments
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ImperfectCJ
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Emily at Build Your Library isn't putting together new family reading crates at the moment, but some of the previous boxes are on sale. In honor of the season, we ordered last year's Books that go Bump in the Night box, with spooky books for all ages. We can't keep up with a monthly box, but we like to get them every now and then. They always introduce us to new titles!

ImperfectCJ I just looked at the reviews for the books in the box and my excitement is tempered a bit. Still excited about the middle grade book, though (The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street). 2w
TalecArashi How can you say no to 2000 stickers?? 😝 1w
24 likes2 comments
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ImperfectCJ
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I scored a giveaway copy of Ninth House at book club last night, so I celebrated by treating myself to The Fountains of Silence. Er, I mean I bought my daughter a copy of The Fountains of Silence. But I'm sure she'll share.

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ImperfectCJ
Ohio | Stephen Markley
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Audiowalked during my kids' P.E. class, listening to a book about Ohio in a decidedly non-Ohio landscape. I spotted a scrub-jay, some found art, and a camera-shy bunny (not pictured) while circling round and round (and round) the playing fields. The green of the grass belies the desert climate and the Santa Ana wind set to arrive later this week.

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ImperfectCJ
Untitled | Unknown
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1. No. I always think I ought to do a theme costume with my family, but I'm pretty lazy. Plus, I don't really go anywhere that someone would see me dressed up anyway. Seems like a lot of work for Trader Joe's shopping and the kids' music lessons.

2. I dressed up as "Your Mom circa 1975" in 2003. Had a great jumpsuit from the thrift store.

3. Cinnamon pinecones.

4. @Eggs #WondrousWednesday

Eggs Thanks for playing 🎃 2w
22 likes1 comment
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ImperfectCJ
The Farm: A Novel | Joanne Ramos
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Why, yes! That is another book I've started that's not on my TBR!

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ImperfectCJ
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Pickpick

Shlain presents some good arguments and practical suggestions for instituting a tech fast one day a week. I enjoyed this book more than I expected to. My family and I are using it as a starting point for discussions about how we use tech and how that supports (or doesn't support) our priorities as a family and as individuals.

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ImperfectCJ
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My spouse pointed out the irony of my using this book as a phone stand while I scrolled through Instagram. (I have since set the phone aside and actually opened the book.)

sharread 🤣 I read it, it's actually quite good but very hard to do. 2w
29 likes1 comment
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ImperfectCJ
Chime | Franny Billingsley
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Pickpick

This novel moves quickly and Briony's voice is interesting and as confusing as one would imagine her voice to be (ie, confusing in a good, narratively consistent way). The main characters are well developed; I love Rose. Some pieces of the story are kind of silly and overly YA (eg, self-guided cognitive-behavioral therapy), and I downgraded it for dropping two characters. Overall, though, this is a fun one that I might recommend to my teenager.

29 likes1 stack add
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ImperfectCJ
Inland | Ta Obreht
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1. See above. The more I think about it, the more I like it.
2. Teal.
3. My son's baritone lesson, at which his teacher encouraged him to take up tuba or trombone in addition to baritone. I raised one eyebrow and tried to envision a tuba in the trunk of my car.
4. Yes to both (although the snap with my left hand is pretty lackluster).
5. ❤️❤️❤️

#FriyayIntro @howjessreads

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ImperfectCJ
The Wednesdays | Julie Bourbeau
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1. We visited the rose garden and, as usual, I ended up with a few dozen photos of flowers.
2. Sit at the open patio door and breathe in the rainy smell. Then bake something.
3. Hitting the beach!
4. @UwannaPublishme - Do you play these memes?

@Eggs #wondrouswednesday

Eggs I do that too!! Can‘t ever get enough 🌹 3w
UwannaPublishme Thanks for the tag. The day just slipped by me.🤪Enjoy your beach weekend. I‘m doing the same. 🏖 2w
22 likes2 comments
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ImperfectCJ
The Great Believers | Rebecca Makkai
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Pickpick

This novel isn't just about HIV/AIDS, and it isn't just about the gay community in Chicago in the 1980s. Through characters that are real, distinct, and flawed moving through vivid settings, Makkai offers a story of friendship, love, and redemption. There's a sense of eternity, of time folding in on itself that brings a timelessness to this story. This novel is what A Little Life could/should have been.

AmyRebecca Good review 💜 3w
26 likes1 stack add1 comment
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ImperfectCJ
The Great Believers | Rebecca Makkai
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Final #24B4Monday numbers:

Hours read: ~14
Books finished: 2 (and started a third)

Not too shabby for a readathon I started at the last minute and never told my family about (it probably says something that me reading fourteen hours in a weekend doesn't register as noteworthy to them).

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ImperfectCJ
The Great Believers | Rebecca Makkai
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My cat loves this book. Or this Kindle. Or both. Or neither. Really, I have no idea what he's thinking. Aside, perhaps, from, "Sit down, woman, so I can curl up on your lap. That bathrobe's not going to claw itself."

I also have almost no idea what this book is about. I picked it up because it's a One Book, One San Diego selection. We'll see how it unfolds.

Crazeedi Curious your opinion, I've been wanting to read! 3w
QuietlyLaura 😻☺️ 3w
33 likes1 stack add2 comments
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ImperfectCJ
The Testaments: A Novel | Margaret Atwood
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Mehso-so

I'm at roughly 11 hours for #24B4Monday, which is more than I expected to have by Saturday night.

While I enjoyed seeing where Atwood takes the story of Gilead, the writing isn't what I'd hoped.Too much plot, not enough nuance. The voices aren't distinct enough considering the different backgrounds of the three narrators. The feel reminded me of Atwood's The Penelopiad, lacking in subtlety/finesse. Still, worth a read for the sake of closure.

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ImperfectCJ
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Pickpick

Snyder argues that the US, as a country of increasing inequality, has made itself ripe for oligarchy and vulnerable to foreign influence toward the destabilization of our democracy, as seen by the ongoing cyberattacks by Russia and the complicity and complacency of US elected officials who stand to gain from such attacks. This book puts into context the history we're living right now and provides a general roadmap towards recovering our democracy.

ImperfectCJ The butterfly is just to help provide counterbalance to the desolation lurking in the background as I read this book. 3w
24 likes1 stack add1 comment
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ImperfectCJ
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Restless and not enjoying The Testaments, I have turned to audio-crocheting, with the book-book by my side for underlining purposes. This one isn't technically in my #24B4Monday stack, but it's the audiobook I have at hand. Dystopian nonfiction instead of dystopian fiction.

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ImperfectCJ
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"The greater and the more obvious the lie, the more his subjects demonstrate their loyalty by accepting it..."

17 likes1 comment
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ImperfectCJ
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1. 80/100 completed for my GR challenge so far

2. Fishers (North American member of the mustelid family) are one of the few predators of porcupines. They flip the porcupines on their backs to get to their undefended bellies. Porcupines probably don't consider this a "fun fact."

3. I listen widely, but most often Alt Rock/Indie

4. October = 20 years married

5: ?️?️?️?️?️?️

#friyayintro @howjessreads

howjessreads Lol at porcupine fun facts. 😂🤣 3w
28 likes1 comment
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ImperfectCJ
Chime | Franny Billingsley
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I've been seeing posts about #24B4Monday and when I realized that I have much of Saturday to myself, I figured I'd jump in. I'm not a very fast reader, so I'll just see what kind of progress I can make on these books. I doubt I'll get in 24 hours, but we'll see how it goes. 🤞📚

@TheReadingMermaid @Andrew65 @jb72

TheReadingMermaid Welcome! We are so glad to have you join us! ❤️ 3w
Andrew65 Good luck with whatever time you get to. 3w
27 likes2 comments
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ImperfectCJ
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Bailedbailed

You might find this surprising, but this book is kind of a downer. Joking aside, the darkness here could be instructive for those who don't share these thoughts, but read with caution if you're prone to depression/dark ruminations.

There's some good information here, myth-busting around suicide, suggestions for how to respond, but it's a challenge to access because of the writing style. It's from 1999, so some data/terminology is outdated.

AmyRebecca Good review 4w
26 likes1 comment
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ImperfectCJ
The Handmaid's Tale | Margaret Atwood
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Pickpick

This novel didn't have the impact it had for me when I was 19. Part of this might be that Atwood's skill as a writer has grown since then, and I compare this one to her later novels. It's like a warm-up to her MaddAddam trilogy. I also don't find it as relevant/prescient as I did when I was younger. So many stories from Gilead are left untold. We hear from one white, college-educated, heterosexual woman. I crave more voices. Maybe in the next one?

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ImperfectCJ
Pen Pals | Alexandra Pichard
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Can't sleep, so I'm prepping some #litsylove to go out in tomorrow's mail. My kids' gel pens are getting a lot more use since I started writing to you all. :-)

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ImperfectCJ
Handmaid's Tale | Margaret Atwood
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Re-reading The Handmaid's Tale at the beach. The sunshine helps balance out the darkness and the sea breeze makes it a little easier to breathe when the story is especially claustrophobic.

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ImperfectCJ
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Pickpick

Reynolds provides an enjoyable and data-rich take on what science tells us now about exercise and fitness. Often authors of this kind of book insert themselves into the text too much, but Reynolds includes just enough to provide some levity. Thanks to this book, my children and I are running intervals, brushing our teeth while balanced on one foot, and doing homeschool in 20-min increments to avoid being too sedentary.

28 likes3 stack adds
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ImperfectCJ
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I tried to pick out a shorter passage to quote, but I love this entire image. It very much reflects my feeling of connection between my baby and myself while pregnant and even after. Does this synchronization continue after birth? Studies suggest that mom and baby synchronize their breathing when they sleep in close proximity to one another (see James McKenna), but I'm not aware of studies of waking mother-baby dyads.

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ImperfectCJ
The Annotated Brothers Grimm | Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm, Maria Tatar
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#7days7covers #7covers7days #covercrush

Day 7! It's been fun looking through my books and seeing others' favorite covers. Makes me want to rearrange my bookshelves to make room for some of the books to face out. Of course, it doesn't take much to make me want to rearrange my bookshelves. :-)

30 likes1 stack add
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ImperfectCJ
The Overstory: A Novel | Richard Powers
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Another Overstory cover, especially for @Caroline2 🙂

Caroline2 Ohhhhhh 😯 what a lovely edition!!! 😍 thanks for posting! 😀 1mo
Caroline2 I think I prefer your edition thinking about it. 🤔 1mo
ImperfectCJ @Caroline2 Until your post, it's the only version I'd seen, but I like it, too. It seems almost like it's camouflaged. 1mo
37 likes3 comments
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ImperfectCJ
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#7days7covers #7covers7days #covercrush

One cover you love each day for seven days, no explanation.

22 likes1 stack add
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ImperfectCJ
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#7days7covers #7covers7days #covercrush

A favorite cover each day for seven days, no explanation.

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ImperfectCJ
The Wednesdays | Julie Bourbeau
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#wondrouswednesday @Eggs

1: I live in the US, and I've visited Canada and Spain, so 2. (Presumably a layover in Heathrow doesn't count as visiting the UK.)

2: Mountains, but why choose one? California coast and Acadia National Park = mountains and coast in one go.

3: I want to visit all of the places, but especially South America (Chile is at the top of my list, but Argentina would also work.)

4: Anywhere I've lived or visited frequently.

Eggs #2!!!👏🏻👏🏻 1mo
23 likes1 comment
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ImperfectCJ
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#7days7covers #7covers7days #covercrush

A favorite cover each day for seven days, no explanation. Tag someone new each day... which I'm not good at.

Tex2Flo This is such a good book. Before I went into Art History studies, I used this book to figure out why I like some works so much--why did they impact me? 1mo
ImperfectCJ @Tex2Flo It's a great overview. I got it to go with my kids' history curriculum, but I think I've looked at it more than they have so far. 1mo
25 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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ImperfectCJ
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According to this book, research suggests that the best recovery meal after a strenuous workout is a glass of chocolate milk. My children are glad that I'm reading this book, and I'm glad that it's given me something with which to bribe them through running intervals.

Hestapleton My husband reminds me of that fact after every single run we go on! 1mo
Caroline2 Yes! I‘ve read that milk is the best thing after a workout too. 👍 1mo
ImperfectCJ @Caroline2 Apparently the protein of the milk and the sugar in the chocolate are supposed to be in the perfect proportions to replenish from vigorous exercise. Reminds me of peanut butter on whole wheat bread being a complete protein. Real food...who knew? :-) 1mo
28 likes3 comments
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ImperfectCJ
The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary | Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Caner K. Dagli, Maria Massi Dakake, Joseph E.B. Lumbard, Mohammed Rustom
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#7days7covers #covercrush

A cover you love each day, no comment. You're also supposed to tag someone new every day, but I never know whom to tag.

Megabooks Muslim/Arabic art/calligraphy has always been so beautiful to me. 1mo
ImperfectCJ @Megabooks To me, also. I went to Spain a couple of years ago, and it was interesting to see the Muslim influence on art and architecture fade as we traveled north from Madrid. I don't have as good an eye for art as I'd like to have, but some of it I catch. 1mo
25 likes2 comments
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ImperfectCJ
The Children of Jocasta | Natalie Haynes
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#7days7covers #covercrush

I can't keep track of who's been tagged yet, so no tags today, just the cover.

sudi 😍 1mo
25 likes1 stack add1 comment
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ImperfectCJ
The Illustrated Mahabharata | Dorling Kindersley Publishing Staff
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madamereadsalot1 That is a lovely cover! I read parts of that for world lit class many years ago. Id love to get my hands on that copy! 1mo
ImperfectCJ @madamereadsalot1 I rarely buy books for their covers, but my kids are studying ancient history this year, and I thought that was a great excuse to buy this one. I mean, this is my children's education; I'd be selfish NOT to buy this gorgeous book, right? ;-) 1mo
madamereadsalot1 @ImperfectCJ ha! Absolutely!! And it's really is a neat story! 1mo
31 likes3 comments
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ImperfectCJ
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Panpan

The premise: Women are moody by nature, and that is a strength rather than something to be medicated away. I was hoping for practical suggestions for managing moods, but instead found disproven assumptions about differences between "male" and "female" brains and a too-heavy reliance on the author's personal experience and opinions (e.g, she ignores the risks of cannabis for those with underlying psychiatric issues and stereotypes SAHDs as lazy).

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ImperfectCJ
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"You can avoid overtraining by under-training...but then you won't win."

pigeonsandcrows And you can avoid undertraining by overtraining, but then you get injured and can't run...such a vicious cycle!
1mo
17 likes1 comment
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ImperfectCJ
Untitled | Unknown
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1) Yes, and I also have one (or several, organized by year) on GR.
2) Bookmarks, journals.
3) Grudges and time zones (i.e., nothing that one can purchase).
4) Chocolate, 85% or darker. Maple sugar candy.

#litsylovewinterswap

Thanks so much for hosting, @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @TheBookHippie !!

20 likes2 comments