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JoyBlue

JoyBlue

Joined September 2016

LibraryThing member joyblue

TinyCat library

reader/photographer/knitter/activist/advocate/library trustee/https://www.goodreads.com/JoyBlue
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Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss by Rajeev Balasubramanyam
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JoyBlue
The Golem and the Jinni | Helene Wecker
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Bailedbailed

I think I'm actually further along, but my bookmarks aren't syncing from device to device. Anyway, I'm just not digging it (it's sooooo slooooow and boring, so far), so I'm bailing at 1:05:26 / 6%.

I'm actually pretty bummed about this—I've been looking forward to reading it for a long time. Maybe someday I'll try again.

Tamra I finished it and I didn‘t enjoy. 😑 1h
24 likes1 stack add1 comment
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JoyBlue
Magpie Murders | Anthony Horowitz
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Pickpick

This was very much what I expected based on the blurbs & reviews. It was entertaining, but overly long and not twisty enough, IMHO. Still, would rate it above average (maybe 3+/5)

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JoyBlue
A Velocity of Being: Letter to a Young Reader | Maria Popova, Claudia Bedrick
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I've exhausted my renewals and must return to the library. I read only the introduction and a smattering of letters, but I looked at all of the art at least twice through. It's impossible to pick a favorite—there's a lot of fun and gorgeous work.

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JoyBlue
A Velocity of Being: Letter to a Young Reader | Maria Popova, Claudia Bedrick
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". . . libraries are bastions of democracy and oxygen for the life of the mind, which, as my great-grandfather knew, is our single most ferocious frontier of resistance to inequality and injustice." [from the introduction]

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JoyBlue
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Pickpick

Didn't live up to the premise or my expectations, but not bad either. Would have liked a couple of supporting characters to have been further developed.

47 likes1 stack add
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JoyBlue
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Mehso-so

I'm torn about how to rate this numerically. I gave the first in the series a 3+. For much of this, second, installment, I might have rated the same. Ultimately, however, I'd rate it a 2+ or 3- because of graphic description of extreme violence, including a sexual assault. This is supposed to be entertainment! Sexual assault is not entertaining. Full stop.

39 likes1 stack add
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JoyBlue
The Vanishing Stair | Maureen Johnson
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Pickpick

Again, with the cliffhanger ending!!!! When the third book comes out, I'm buying it right away. No more jealousy because my bookish friends read it weeks ago. No more waiting for this mystery chick! 😉

ladym30 Love the duck!❤️ 2w
JoyBlue @ladym30 It cracks me up! I think this came from the kick-off of this year's summer reading program at our library [time flies so fast, it's hard to keep up with what happened when]. My husband let me pick his duck, too, so I have the science fiction duck, too. Its hat is a spaceship. 😂 2w
ladym30 @JoyBlue What a great idea from the library. Please post the science fiction duck some time. I would love to see it😍 2w
JoyBlue @ladym30 I will try to remember! 2w
ladym30 @JoyBlue Thanks!💕 2w
56 likes1 stack add5 comments
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JoyBlue
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“Oh, the snakes don‘t bother me none. I like them more than people sometimes.“ [1:31:05 13%]

🐍🐍 🐍 🐍 🐍
💙 💙 💙 💙 💙

[Milo is looking dry here because this was taken a couple days before he shed. Now he's all shiny and bright again! He's posing with my first-ever knitted gnome, Gnora.]

#PetsOfLitsy #SnakesOfLitsy #Milo

Aims42 He‘s so beautiful!! 2w
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks How did I not know you had a snake?!?! 2w
cobwebmoth 😍 2w
See All 12 Comments
LauraJ He looks very comfortable. 2w
JoyBlue @Aims42 Thank you! Right? Even when he's in blue, he looks wonderful. 😍 2w
JoyBlue @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks LOL—oops, I let the cat—I mean snake—out of the bag. When I write to my pen pals, I usually save Milo for the second letter. Now I've gone and ruined the surprise! 😂 2w
JoyBlue @cobwebmoth You can say that again! 😍 (edited) 2w
JoyBlue @LauraJ He's very chill. I call him my zen python. 🙏 2w
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @JoyBlue 🤣🤣🤣 Milo is pretty, but I would be scared 😱 2w
JoyBlue @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I used to be *really* afraid, too. Once I got a chance to learn about snakes, I started to appreciate and love them. He‘s my perfect pet—quiet, low-maintenance, and I‘m not allergic to him! 2w
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @JoyBlue I will admire him from afar ❤️🐍❤️🤣 2w
JoyBlue @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Perfect! 🥰😂 2w
48 likes12 comments
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JoyBlue
Red at the Bone | Jacqueline Woodson
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Mehso-so

Aspects of the writing were beautiful. Overall, I wasn't excited or wowed.

45 likes1 stack add
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JoyBlue
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Pickpick

As a family, we first read this in 2003. I still love it, years/rereadings later!

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JoyBlue
First Grave On The Right | Darynda Jones
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Panpan

While this book has a similar feel to Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series (one of my fluffier pleasures), I was dismayed by the violent portrayal of a sexual relationship. Aspects of the way it was written clearly qualify as sexual assault and rape, even though other interchanges are consensual. I might have been interested in continuing the series for character development and humor. I won't now.

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JoyBlue
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Pickpick

Loved the funny bits—you know, the ones that elicit a snort! 😂

54 likes1 stack add
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JoyBlue
The Rules of Magic | Alice Hoffman
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September reading recap: 19 (not including bailed: 2)

**********

*4-star reads (in order of reading)*
The Rules of Magic, Alice Hoffman
The Garden of Small Beginnings, Abbi Waxman
The Institute, Stephen King
The Innocent (Will Robie #1), David Baldacci
Midnight at the Blackbird Café, Heather Webber

**********

*honorable mention (3+/4-)*
The Keeper of Lost Things, Ruth Hogan

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JoyBlue
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Pickpick

I can't remember how I came across this relationship-heavy, multi-generational, small-town tale, but I'm so glad I did!

58 likes4 stack adds
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JoyBlue
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Panpan

I was hoping for a fun romp. Instead got a hot mess.

On the plus side: animals and fun new friends, including the local drag queen/pug parent (really, too minor a character).

On the minus side: poor judgment in the face of a hurricane, sexual assault, animal abuse, over-the-top family drama (can't detail this much for fear of spoiling), cavalier treatment of a gun incident, and general ridiculousness.

49 likes1 stack add
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JoyBlue
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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Bailedbailed

I can see that this is much admired, but I am not getting into it. I don't feel anything for these characters yet, and I suspect that there's a lot of "extra" description that isn't adding value. [bailing at 8% / 1:22:49]

mdm139 I connected with the mother in this book. And the end is from the fathers point of view, which was great cause it showed you he wasn‘t as emotional distant as I thought. 4w
JoyBlue @mdm139 I'm glad you were able to make those connections. 😊 4w
46 likes2 comments
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JoyBlue
The Innocent | David Baldacci
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Pickpick

Guessing the bad guy before the end didn't diminish my reading enjoyment. My first impression of Will Robie/this book was that it reminded me of a cross between the movie Wild Target and Lee Child's Jack Reacher character. I like both of those a lot, so this book was a pretty good pick for me.

[I thought this was my first Baldacci, but my log says I read one of his in 2006. 😂]

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JoyBlue
Machine Man | Max Barry
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Mehso-so

Having rated Jennifer Government highly twice, I was looking forward to Machine Man. What started out as a 4-star read for me, ended up a 2. The first (almost-)half was darkly funny and clever. Then, it just plodded on, becoming more and more ridiculous with no real progress or development. It was a chore to finish.

Addison_Reads I love Jennifer Government 💚 1mo
48 likes2 comments
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JoyBlue
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Pickpick

Fairly predictable and occasionally unreasonably convenient, and yet I really enjoyed it. There are a few nice relationships, and we get to hear some of the stories from different times and perspectives.

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JoyBlue
One Last Thing Before I Go | Jonathan Tropper
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Mehso-so

I've really liked everything I've read of Tropper's . . . until this one. For the bulk of this one, I was disappointed. Really close to the end, it started getting funny . . . until the very end, when it fell on its rump again. Sigh. I'll appreciate the chuckles I got. I guess I can't expect him to hit it out of the park every single time. 😉

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JoyBlue
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Mehso-so

TIL: dog-narrated mysteries are not my jam. Now I know! 😂 It was fine, but it could have been better (and/or shorter!) without all the dog commentary.

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JoyBlue
Love and Other Words | Christina Lauren
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Mehso-so

I really tried, y'all. Romance is not the genre for me.

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JoyBlue
The Institute | Stephen King
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Pickpick

Well, now maybe I'll be able to concentrate on real life again.

78 likes1 stack add2 comments
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JoyBlue
Dear Mrs. Bird | A J Pearce
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Mehso-so

I was underwhelmed. It was OK. If you‘re a fan, I‘d love to hear what was most appealing to you.

RaimeyGallant Good to know! 1mo
JenReadsAlot Okay for me as well.... 1mo
Laughterhp I currently have about 50 pages left. Right now it‘s a so-so for me, but I‘m hoping the end will save it... we‘ll see! (edited) 1mo
JoyBlue @Laughterhp Good luck—I‘m rooting for you! 😀 1mo
CarolynM Underwhelmed sums it up for me too. As I said to someone else just now, great premise, disappointing execution. 1mo
56 likes5 comments
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JoyBlue
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Pickpick

The illustrations are beautiful!

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JoyBlue
When Dimple Met Rishi | Sandhya Menon
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Pickpick

I wanted to like this more than I did. It was promising at times, but then would take a disappointing turn in the writing/plot. I'm unsure whether I'll continue reading the series. I liked the cultural aspects of the story (and the cover photo). Torn between Pick and So-So.

61 likes1 stack add
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JoyBlue
Truly Devious: A Mystery | Maureen Johnson
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I know that it looks like I haven't been reading for a few days. Crazy, right?! I *have* been reading; but, I've been in Washington DC doing annual Save the Children Action Network volunteer leadership training & advocating for kids with our legislators. It may take me a day or two to catch up my various reading logs.

I reread tagged book for virtual book club. Found a few new tidbits.

[Photo from Uber ride on the way back to the airport Tu pm.]

britt_brooke ♥️ 1mo
chaoticgoodhufflepuff Good luck! ❤️ 1mo
59 likes3 comments
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JoyBlue
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Mehso-so

I've had this on my TBR for ages, but was never really all that interested in reading it (I'm not a short story fan). I finally read it out of desperation (empty Overdrive pipeline), and I'm glad I did. Some of the stories were pretty funny. Others not so much. But, I'm glad to get out of my comfort zone occasionally.

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JoyBlue
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Pickpick

I didn't know what to expect (maybe I didn't expect much). Probably between a pick and a so-so. I'll err on the positive—I did laugh.

Overdrive can't keep my pipeline full because of its stingy hold limit, so I'm really reaching for things to read. DH conked out early tonight, so I had extra jigsaw and reading time to myself.

jb72 What is with that hold limit? I don‘t get it at all. It should be unlimited. 1mo
JoyBlue @jb72 I‘m glad I‘m not the only one who gets it! I mean, the loan limit is super-stingy, too. So, what difference does it make how many holds I have, since I can only check out 5 things at a time? It‘s not like I‘m hoarding books and keeping others waiting! Grrrr! Now I‘m rereading something I just read a month ago, since I‘m sort of at a loss [reading again for book club, but wouldn‘t really need to—it‘s still fresh in my mind]. 1mo
70 likes1 stack add2 comments
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JoyBlue
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Pickpick

Nice enough story about a single mom doing the best she can for her young son and herself. I especially liked the relationship development between Zoe and the three kids (besides her son) in her care. I was satisfied with the ending, despite its predictability.

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JoyBlue
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Pickpick

Having recently and thoroughly enjoyed The Bookish Life of Nina Hill *and* having received lovely mail from the author, I didn't hesitate to read Waxman's debut. Who knew that a story about a grieving young widow and her family could be so funny?! I especially enjoyed Lillian's relationships with her sister and her gardening teacher, as well as the antics of her 7- and 5-year-old daughters . Highly recommend.

LauraBeth I loved this book! I still need to read Nina Hill. 1mo
JoyBlue @LauraBeth I hope you love Nina Hill, too! 💙 1mo
62 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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JoyBlue
The Floating Feldmans | Elyssa Friedland
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Mehso-so

Meh. There were layers of story line, which was good; but, I wasn't engaged by the characters. Fairly predictable ending. Could have been shorter and more/at least as effective.

ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled I felt the same way 😕 2mo
56 likes1 stack add1 comment
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JoyBlue
Rules of Magic | Alice Hoffman
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Pickpick

I read/loved Practical Magic in spring 2007. I was just as entranced (at least according to memory, though a few things have happened since then 😂) with this prequel. It was neat to read the aunts' backstory. I can hardly wait to reread Practical Magic, and maybe watch the movie just for good measure (even though they aren't exactly the same).

61 likes1 stack add
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JoyBlue
Half of a Yellow Sun | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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August reading recap: 19 (not including bailed: 7)

*4-star reads (in order of reading)*

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, Abbi Waxman

Truly Devious, Maureen Johnson

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust (Flavia #7), Alan Bradley

The Salmon of Doubt, Douglas Adams

No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference, Greta Thunberg

Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (4+)

Not My Father's Son, Alan Cumming

JoyBlue *honorable mention (3+ or 4-)*

Slow Horses, Mick Herron

Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide, Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark

Armada, Ernest Cline

How to Be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi

La Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust #1), Philip Pullman
2mo
marleed That‘s a great list. I wish you could learn to bail! 2mo
JoyBlue @marleed I bailed on 7 books this month. I thought I was doing pretty well! 2mo
See All 7 Comments
marleed Haha. I meant I wish I could learn to bail. Geesh, how did I type you!! 2mo
JoyBlue @marleed ROFL! You were giving me a complex. 😉 It took me a long time to feel good about bailing. I finally realized that I was never going to finish my TBR (even though I read like a fiend!), so why waste time on books that don't float my boat? Let me know if you need a cheerleader—I gotchu! 💙 2mo
marleed @JoyBlue I need a cheerleader! And I really was impressed at your ability to bail! 2mo
JoyBlue @marleed I‘m all yours. Let me know when you‘re feeling meh, and I‘ll move you on! 😉 2mo
52 likes7 comments
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JoyBlue
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Mehso-so

Too much memoir and nice-nice bipartisan talk; not enough policy. It's not bad; it's perfectly fine. She's possibly the least charismatic/interesting politician I've read so far. Obviously, I won't disqualify her from consideration; she's just not at the top of my list *based on this book*. [I'll do more research on her if she's still in contention come voting time.] Apropos of nothing, I always enjoy a mention of one of my ex-boyfriends.

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JoyBlue
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Pickpick

It was a fine cozy mystery. Some funny bits. Thanks to other Litsy folk, have the first series (season) of the TV show waiting for me at the library. The book kept me company while I was puttering around the house today, culminating in starting a new jigsaw puzzle tonight.

KaylaD How many pieces is this???💜💜💜 2mo
rather_be_reading 👏👏 2mo
ReadingOver50 I didn‘t know this was a tv show. I need to look it up. 2mo
JoyBlue @KaylaD While they aren't all pictured, there are 1000. 2mo
JoyBlue @ReadingOver50 I didn't either! 😀 2mo
57 likes5 comments
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JoyBlue
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Pickpick

Wow! I recommend listening for Cumming's lovely Scottish accent; but, I'll also be borrowing the print edition for the photos and to revisit some passages that particularly spoke to me.

Lauranahe I love Alan Cumming!! I‘ll have to check this out. I love his accent. I don‘t like audio books, but for him I‘d make an exception! 2mo
JoyBlue @Lauranahe I love him, too. I put off reading this book for such a long time because of his relationship with his father. It was a tough read at times; a wonderful one at others.

I love audiobooks! I would recommend making a similar exception for any of Neil Gaiman's self-narrated works. I typically don't like authors to read their own works, but make exceptions for Neil Gaiman, Steve Martin, Jill Connor Browne, Billy Crystal, and the like. 💙😉
2mo
61 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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JoyBlue
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Bailedbailed

Bailing at 16%. Too much Mary. Not enough mystery.

CarolynM A friend of mine is a big fan of this book ( of the whole series, actually). I tried to read it once, but like you I bailed early. I will try again one day. 2mo
sprainedbrain I wasn‘t impressed with this book either. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2mo
51 likes2 comments
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JoyBlue
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Bailedbailed

I'm 55% in and I just can't be bothered anymore. I'm a tiny bit morbidly curious about what happens to Scarlett and her baby; but, it just shouldn't take this long for so little to happen. Moving on. . . .

Megabooks Me too!! 2mo
JoyBlue @Megabooks Misery loves company! 😂
2mo
57 likes2 comments
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JoyBlue
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Pickpick

I truly enjoyed the book & its narration by Michael Sheen. I didn't read far into The Golden Compass, because at the time that NOS was at that reading level, the content was not appropriate for him yet. We tabled it; I never returned. I may read the His Dark Materials series if I love the Book of Dust series.

Elements of La Belle Sauvage bring to mind Diane Setterfield's Once Upon a River, which I read in January and found even more captivating.

68 likes1 stack add
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JoyBlue
Lake Success: A Novel | Gary Shteyngart
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Panpan

Given the daily assault we've been living through since the start of the 2016 US presidential campaign, I don't need the insanity of either our temporary employee in the White House's or the 1%'s shenanigans in my fiction. If I choose to read nonfiction about the atrocities, that's on me; but, I need fun fiction to get through each and every day now. It's too soon to find humor in this bullshit.

Samplergal I didn‘t like it either. 2mo
Megabooks I bailed 2mo
JoyBlue @Megabooks I should have, too. 2mo
JoyBlue @Samplergal Thanks for letting me know that I‘m not alone! 😉 2mo
42 likes1 stack add4 comments
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JoyBlue
Half of a Yellow Sun | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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Pickpick

This. This is a rare exception to my “no historical fiction“ rule. Adichie is an amazing writer. Her writing is beautiful, heartbreaking, sharp, humorous—whatever is needed. [I am now exhausted! Time for some fluff.]

The_Real_Nani I admit, I returned this to the library without finishing it. I just couldn‘t get into it for some reason. 2mo
JoyBlue @The_Real_Nani It took me a while. 2mo
The_Real_Nani @JoyBlue I might tackle it again at some point, on Kindle next time. 2mo
68 likes1 stack add3 comments
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JoyBlue
How to Be an Antiracist | Ibram X. Kendi
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Pickpick

I'm glad to have been able to read this so soon after publication. More importantly, I appreciate the opportunity to learn a better framework and more accurate language/thought process.

It's too soon for me to “rate“ the book. I need to process. I may never actually quantify. The subject matter is critically important. The author is thoughtful and intelligent. Let's get to the work that needs to be done—on ourselves and our society.

54 likes3 stack adds
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JoyBlue
Armada: A Novel | Ernest Cline
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Pickpick

Slightly less awesome than Ready Player One, which is OK because it's its own thing. I was still mightily entertained. I'm still thinking about the ending (not sure I'm all in on that). I love, love, love Wil Wheaton narrating Cline's books!

59 likes1 stack add
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JoyBlue
Bailedbailed

put a pin in it @ 59:35 (10%)—not funny; just whiny

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JoyBlue
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Pickpick

I hadn't heard of Kilgariff, Hardstark, or their podcast before coming across the book. I'm not likely to start following their podcast now (not interested in more true crime in my daily life than we're already experiencing via our government). However, I whizzed through the book today. [It didn't hurt that I had a puzzle to work on, and that I made time for self-care tonight after a brutal day yesterday.]

54 likes2 stack adds
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JoyBlue
The Calder Game | Brett Helquist, Blue Balliett
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Pickpick

I don't remember much of the second installment; but, I remember not liking it as much as the first. I think this, the third, is slightly better again, though I wondered most of the way through when I would have liked to read this—maybe at age 6? So, it mightn't appeal to precocious readers. Given that it's targeted to middle-graders, there's nothing exceedingly sinister in the content.

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JoyBlue
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Tagged book was my birthday present (February) this year from NOS and DIL (as of June). Saturday (almost exactly six months later), Number One Son and I made The Saturday White Bread when we visited them. I was thrilled at how easy it was (having only used a bread machine previously). That NOS is a clever one! Now I have the confidence to try more of the recipes.

TheSpineView Looks yummy! 2mo
JoyBlue @TheSpineView It is! 😋 2mo
57 likes2 comments
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JoyBlue
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Pickpick

This tiny book of teenager Greta Thunberg‘s speeches packs a big punch . . . if only the “adults” in power will listen. We are dangerously close to the point of no return—when there will be no way to sustain life on the planet. I hope everyone will read these speeches and then call their legislators to demand that the greater good be served by drastically changing our destructive ecological behaviors. Listen to the scientists.

LogiKitty She wrote a book already? Whoa. 2mo
68 likes5 stack adds1 comment
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JoyBlue
Convenience Store Woman | Sayaka Murata
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Mehso-so

So many factors make this one difficult to assess/rate. It's translated from a language and culture about which I know essentially nothing. I believe I understand the point the author is making. What I don't understand is how it's being received by so many reviewers. I don't see this as a fun, quirky read—Keiko is mightily abused and oppressed. While there is some dark humor (one of my faves), overwhelmingly, the book is bleak.

Avidreader25 Completely agree with your review. I was surprised by seeing it frequently described as light and fun. 2mo
CarolynM I didn't find it funny either. 2mo
JoyBlue @Avidreader25 @CarolynM I‘m glad I‘m not alone in my assessment! Thanks for having my back. 😉 2mo
58 likes2 stack adds3 comments