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LeafingThroughLife

LeafingThroughLife

Joined August 2016

Http://leafingthroughlife.blogspot.com
review
LeafingThroughLife
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Pickpick

I loved the writing in this book more than I loved the book itself. Marra‘s writing is clever and his turns of phrase stuck in my mind. A broadly scoped story about WWII refugees/immigrants making their way in 1940s Hollywood, this book perhaps spread itself too thin with too many characters and stories, but, honestly, the vivid and hilarious descriptions of the main character‘s Italian great aunts is worth the price of admission. March #bookspin

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 20h
19 likes1 comment
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LeafingThroughLife
The North Line | Matt Riordan
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Pickpick

I almost gave up on this one early. It‘s a realistic look at commercial fishing in Alaska from the perspective of Adam, who‘s trying to make enough for tuition to finish college. That comes with a level of unpleasantness that got to be a bit much at first, but I‘m glad I didn‘t bail. I came to appreciate the realism and Adam‘s testing and coming of age. An unexpected ending left me thinking about personal identity, who defines it and how.

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LeafingThroughLife
Untitled | Unknown
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Almost forgot to post my #bookspin list! Phew!

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 3w
19 likes1 comment
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LeafingThroughLife
Good Kings, Bad Kings | Susan Nussbaum
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Pickpick

This story of ILLC, a nursing home for disabled kids and teens, as told by its residents and staff is bleakly honest about the greed, abuse, and other systemic problems that plague the institutions that house the most vulnerable. Vivid characters put a human face on this story and temper its bleakness with the hope of people who really care. The full cast audiobook performance makes this powerful story even more affecting. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

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LeafingThroughLife
The Soulmate: A Novel | Sally Hepworth
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Mehso-so

I enjoyed this quick read while I was listening but have been surprised to find it very forgettable. The relationship between Amanda and Max is believable but Pippa‘s easy willingness to be misled by her untrustworthy husband despite his troubled history is a pretty unsteady pillar to build the suspense on. Not bad, but not great either.

Jilly6183 A thousand red flags from day 1! 1mo
24 likes1 comment
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LeafingThroughLife
We Were the Lucky Ones | Georgia Hunter
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Pickpick

It was a privilege to spend this rainy Saturday morning weeping my way through the end of this book, a brilliant novelization of the author‘s Jewish family‘s experiences living through World War II in Poland. I was captivated by this story of how one family navigated impossible times with courage, ingenuity, and love. What a story. All the stars. 🌟 🌟🌟🌟🌟

34 likes1 stack add
review
LeafingThroughLife
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Pickpick

I liked the heart of this one but wanted it to be a little more about the “feeling left out” of the subtitle than feeling actively rejected. Not a perfect fit for me in this season, but still worth reading. February #bookspin

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2mo
20 likes1 comment
review
LeafingThroughLife
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Pickpick

My February #doublespin was a reread because I want to finish this series this year. It‘s the story of girls at a creepy boarding school in Victorian England flighting to take back some power over their lives by accessing magic from a secret (and, of course, dangerous) realm. I loved it the first time and loved it again! Looking forward to the rest of the series.

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 2mo
27 likes1 comment
blurb
LeafingThroughLife
Untitled | Unknown
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Sure, I haven‘t reviewed either of my February picks yet, but let‘s pretend I‘m ready for March #bookspin 🤷🏻‍♀️😆

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 2mo
17 likes1 comment
review
LeafingThroughLife
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Pickpick

In a town founded by a sea captain who fell in love with a mermaid, humanity and myth meet. The present day citizens find their lives interwoven with the magic of mermaids but the characters are all too afflicted by the plagues of humanity: grief, hate, and loss. This book has a unique atmosphere, an interesting mythology, and characters who are more than they seem. A little repetitive but still a quick read about where magic and mundane meet.

25 likes1 stack add
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LeafingThroughLife
Gem & Dixie | Sara Zarr
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Pickpick

Loved this story of two sisters, the daughters of addict parents. Gem is barely holding it together as the responsible one and Dixie is desperate to believe their parents can be better. When their father unexpectedly returns, they have an opportunity to change things, but at what cost? This is a heartbreakingly realistic portrayal of neglect/abuse. The storytelling is so genuine and both girls so sympathetic, it had me in tears by the end.

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LeafingThroughLife
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life | Benjamin Alire Saenz
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Pickpick

Falls into the precocious kids coming of age genre. I struggle with this genre because it‘s hard to pull off while still seeming genuine. Sal, Sam, and Fito are great characters and so is Sal‘s adoptive father Vicente. The book shines as they patiently help each other navigate hard times, but Sal‘s narration reads more like a message Saenz is trying to get out than a real teenage boy‘s perspective. Sweet, if heavy-handed, I still give it a pick.

review
LeafingThroughLife
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Pickpick

Vasquez-Lavado‘s memoir is my favorite book of the year so far. She deftly weaves the story of her abusive childhood and self-destructive young adulthood with her journey to healing as she attempts to summit Mt. Everest. A story like hers could easily be told in an emotionally heavy-handed way, but Vasquez-Lavado‘s honesty and vulnerability make every last bit of her journey compelling and meaningful. January #bookspin catch up!

TheAromaofBooks Great progress!! 2mo
24 likes1 comment
blurb
LeafingThroughLife
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The library book sale has been good to me. Too good to me, one might say. Ergo, I give you “Breakfast in a Book Fort” with special cameo from a book I‘m actually reading because, yes, every once in a while I *do* take a break from buying books to read one. 🤪📚

StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Always love a good book haul. 📚 2mo
Crazeedi Nice book haul 2mo
sherrisilvera I looove Doig! 2mo
See All 6 Comments
dabbe 🤩 2mo
BkClubCare STD DEVIATION is awesome 👏 You have some excellent reads here. I think I counted 7 and all recommended. 2mo
LeafingThroughLife @BkClubCare Woohoo! That‘s one I didn‘t really recognize when I picked it up, but it sounded good. Glad to hear it‘s a winner! 😁 2mo
30 likes6 comments
review
LeafingThroughLife
The Vaster Wilds | Lauren Groff
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Pickpick

This is one of those books that I objectively know is a Good Book™️. A historical tale of a girl fleeing the starving Jamestown settlement, it seamlessly combines the visceral experience of surviving alone in the wild with the haunted inner life of the girl recalling her journey to that point. For the first half, I was heavily invested but I struggled with the end where its more dreamlike, spiritual bent left me a little unsatisfied. Still a pick!

LeafingThroughLife January #bookspin and February #authoramonth 🙂 3mo
Soubhiville I‘m glad it was still a pick. 3mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Pretty 😍 3mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 3mo
35 likes4 comments
blurb
LeafingThroughLife
Untitled | Unknown
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Still churning through my January #doublespin but it‘s time for a new list. Here‘s hoping something here will jolt me out of what has been a pretty mediocre reading year so far. #bookspin

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 3mo
15 likes1 comment
review
LeafingThroughLife
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Pickpick

Livy West is a trailblazing female aviator in the 1920s desperate for a chance to prove herself in the Dole Derby race to Hawaii. Wren Summers is a down on her luck artist who has unexpectedly inherited a piece of land on the Big Island in the 1980s. The chronicle of Livy‘s death-defying flight pairs nicely with Wren‘s journey of discovery of her past to make for a sweet story filled with adventure, healing, and unexpected love. Hits shelves 2/6!

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LeafingThroughLife
This Cursed Light | Emily Thiede
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Pickpick

This Vicious Grace was so good that its sequel had a good chance to disappoint, and it did. As Alessa and Dante turn their attention to saving the world, the emotional richness and plot urgency of the first book is overwhelmed by a lack of communication trope and surface-level flirtations for almost every side character. The end, however, goes a long way toward redeeming the whole. No spoilery details, but it did make me cry, in a good way. 🥲

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LeafingThroughLife
Remarkably Bright Creatures | Shelby Van Pelt
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Late is better than never! Managed to whittle my favorite reads of 2023 down to a respectable 15. 😀 #Bestof2023

Megabooks Dear Committee Members is so funny! 3mo
LeafingThroughLife @Megabooks Books rarely make me laugh out loud but that one had me *cackling*! 😄 3mo
27 likes2 comments
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LeafingThroughLife
Wild Awake | Hilary T. Smith
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Pickpick

The premise of this YA book is wild. Piano prodigy Kiri, whose older sister died in an “accident,” spends 6 weeks home alone while her parents go on vacation. She makes some bad decisions then some worse ones and ends up with a mentally ill boyfriend, a drunken friend, and the truth about her sister‘s death. As her mental health splinters, the people around her do little. Soft pick for the boyfriend‘s redemption arc and Kiri‘s unique voice, but 😯

blurb
LeafingThroughLife
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Happy New Year! In 2023, #bookspin helped me clear 20 books of my TBR, at least half of which had languished there for an embarrassing amount of time. Here‘s to another year of chipping away at the mountain! 🥂🏔️📚

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 4mo
BkClubCare I‘ve gotten away from the spin, maybe it is time to try again. 3mo
16 likes2 comments
blurb
LeafingThroughLife
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A big thank you goes out to audiobooks for making me the sort of person who can finally read more than 50 books in a year. 😆📚

Ladygodiva7 🙌🏻🙌🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻🎉 4mo
marleed Agree! I‘ve experienced so many more stories - fiction and nonfiction- because of audiobooks. I also save on multiple streaming services because I find I‘d often prefer audiobooks to television. 4mo
LeafingThroughLife @marleed I listen while I cook and watch TV while I eat, but recently I‘ve just continued listening while I eat. My streaming savings might just be on deck! 😀 4mo
marleed @LeafingThroughLife Haha. It‘s funny how I‘ve changed to prefer an evening with audio over my tv! 4mo
23 likes4 comments
review
LeafingThroughLife
The Nutcracker | E.T.A. Hoffman
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Mehso-so

This is a bizarre little book, possibly made more bizarre by translation. Am I glad I finally read it? Yes. Will it be on repeat in my holiday reading rotation? Probably not.

Ang203l At least it‘s a pretty edition?!? 🤷🏻‍♀️ 4mo
LeafingThroughLife @Ang203l It definitely has that going for it! Penguin sent me a whole adorable matching set of these little Christmas books back in my book blogging days. I ❤️ them! 4mo
27 likes2 comments
review
LeafingThroughLife
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Pickpick

I couldn‘t put down this story of high school misfit Bodie Kane returning to her boarding school alma mater as a teacher. As Bodie reflects on her time at school and finds herself re-investigating a classmate‘s murder, Makkai adroitly plumbs the depths of traumas big and small. I was captured by the mystery but it‘s the deep dive into violence against women, validity of trauma, cancel culture, and justice system bias that will stick with me.

LeafingThroughLife My last #bookspin of the year. Going out on a high note! 4mo
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!!! 4mo
27 likes2 stack adds2 comments
blurb
LeafingThroughLife
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Not getting much reading in today, but positive potato and I wish you a Merry Christmas! 🎄🎁🥔🙃

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LeafingThroughLife
The Nutcracker | E.T.A. Hoffman
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Merry Christmas Eve! I finished the other book I was reading yesterday which means I have time for one more Christmasy read before the holiday is passes. 😀🎄📚

22 likes1 stack add
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LeafingThroughLife
A Christmas Carol | Charles Dickens
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Pickpick

Spotify “tricked” me into an impulse audio reread of A Christmas Carol. No regrets. I love this story.

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LeafingThroughLife
Metropolis | Elizabeth Gaffney
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Pickpick

Bad reviews almost put me off my November #doublespin pick. Glad they didn‘t because I really enjoyed this immersive piece of historical fiction that brought late 19th century NYC to life. The pace was slow but I enjoyed following the hapless Harris as he stumbled from Barnum, to street gang, to sewer, to the Brooklyn Bridge in search of the elusive American dream or at least just a safe place to land in the growing chaotic city.

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 4mo
23 likes1 comment
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LeafingThroughLife
The Project | Courtney Summers
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Pickpick

Bea and Lo Denham lost their parents to a car accident that almost took Lo‘s life, too. Bea finds solace in The Unity Project, a religious cult. When Lo recovers, she only wants her sister back but is soon tangled in the web of the Project. An eerie atmosphere, slowly revealed truths, believably damaged main characters and perspectives on the cult and its leader from both inside and outside make this a compelling read.

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LeafingThroughLife
Untitled | Unknown
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I‘m still reading my November #doublespin but time marches on and it‘s already time for a new list! 😱#bookspin

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 5mo
17 likes1 comment
review
LeafingThroughLife
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Pickpick

This YA series has been a bright spot in my reading year. Artistic Marguerite, who has spent her childhood surrounded by scientists, travels the multiverse with technology developed by her parents and their two (of course) handsome research assistants. The world-building is a bit fragile at times but I loved the glimpse into each universe Gray created along with a romance angle that digs into fate, destiny, and ethics in tightly nested universes.

LeafingThroughLife Also, look at those covers. Who couldn‘t love a series with such beautiful covers? 😍😅 5mo
21 likes1 comment
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LeafingThroughLife
The Remains of the Day | Kazuo Ishiguro
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Pickpick

What a well-drawn character is Stevens! This is a bit of a somber, reflective story of a man in the twilight of his career who sacrificed everything to serve as butler in the house of a great man. As he takes an unusual vacation to reconnect with a former housekeeper, Stevens reflects on matters of dignity and greatness and wonders if it was worth it. This reads like a classic in the best kind of way. #authoramonth #bookspin

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 5mo
31 likes1 comment
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LeafingThroughLife
The Echo Wife | Sarah Gailey
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Pickpick

An eerie thriller that mixes science, bioethics, and murder - this scratched a fictional niche itch I didn‘t even know I had. What happens when a wife, famous for perfecting cloning technology loses her husband to a clone …of herself? How deep do secrets go when that tech is misused? Xe Sands narrates in an emotionless way that emphasizes the main character‘s predominantly analytical nature which adds to the eerie mood of the book. Excellent!

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LeafingThroughLife
The Portrait | Antoine Laurain
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Mehso-so

My pre-Paris read. I didn‘t love it. think maybe I was expecting it to go a certain way and the way it went was actually weirder. When Pierre-Francois Chaumont purchases a portrait of a man who bears a striking resemblance to himself, he is disappointed that his loved ones don‘t see the resemblance. Soon his life as he knew it unravels, but the portrait‘s secret may lead him into a different life altogether. Well written but a bit unbelievable.

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LeafingThroughLife
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November #bookspin

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 6mo
14 likes1 comment
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LeafingThroughLife
A Legacy of Bones | Doug Burgess
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Mehso-so

An interesting Hawaiian mystery with a main character who is a distinct callback to Miss Marple. While it did a good job of digging into indigenous issues and had a great suspicious cast of characters, the pacing of the plot felt a little off which made the mystery reveal a little unsatisfying. #netgalley #bookspin

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 6mo
22 likes1 comment
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LeafingThroughLife
Me Talk Pretty One Day | David Sedaris
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Pickpick

I actually switched the hard copy for audio and enjoyed listening to David Sedaris read. His humor is a little quirky and I think hearing it definitely adds something. At first I thought it was a little *too* quirky but by the time he arrived in France and began to struggle with the language, I was rolling. There will definitely be more Sedaris books in my future!

Megabooks He‘s fantastic! 6mo
19 likes1 comment
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LeafingThroughLife
Untitled | Unknown
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I‘m not ready! I still have 100 pages to go in my September #bookspin and it‘s already time for October! 😱 Anyhow, here‘s my list. Here‘s hoping I find a way to catch up in this busy month!

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 7mo
12 likes1 comment
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LeafingThroughLife
Binti | Nnedi Okorafor
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Pickpick

This novella featuring a girl from a reclusive, homebound people leaving home to accept a place at an intergalactic university has a sympathetic, unique main character and great world building. My only complaint is that the conflict seems to resolve altogether too easily. #authoramonth

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LeafingThroughLife
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Found a good reading spot in our vacation rental. 😁

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LeafingThroughLife
The Night Watch | Sarah Waters
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Pickpick

One of the characters mentions that people‘s pasts are more interesting than their futures, and this book is told with that in mind, introducing the characters after World War II and telling their stories in reverse. I had mixed feelings about this format, but Waters‘ writing is, as always, in top form, her many characters and often bombed late-war London are brought vividly to life.

22 likes1 stack add
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LeafingThroughLife
Untitled | Unknown
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Happy September! Here‘s my #bookspin list.

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 8mo
18 likes1 comment
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LeafingThroughLife
I Am Legend | Richard Matheson
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Mehso-so

My copy included I Am Legend and some short stories. I Am Legend is supposed to be the star, but I found Matheson‘s take on a vampire story to be kind of tedious. The short stories had some highlights including Mad House about a house that becomes so destabilized by its owner‘s anger that horror unfolds. Young girls conduct a war of the imagination in Witch War, and the narrator of Dress of White Silk is a perfect blend of innocent and scary.

review
LeafingThroughLife
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Pickpick

This is a quietly told story of an American professor and his Italian family who are living out their days in a dying town. Hugh, still grieving the loss of his mother and wife, welcomes his Italian sabbatical but finds himself pulled into family drama as the mystery of his grandfather‘s death reveals itself and the town‘s dark World War II legacy comes to light. A good story, but it‘s the subtle beauty of the writing that makes it sing. #bookspin

TheAromaofBooks Great review!!! 8mo
25 likes1 comment
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LeafingThroughLife
American Street | Ibi Zoboi
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Pickpick

This was OK, but I didn‘t love it like I expected to and I‘m having a hard time pinpointing way. The writing was good, the audiobook narration is great, but maybe there was just too much going on? It markets itself as an immigrant story and is one, but the focus quickly moves to Detroit, abuse, crime, racism, police violence, etc. so maybe it was just all a little much going on to make a cohesive, satisfying whole? Still a soft pick.

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LeafingThroughLife
Happy Litsyversary! | Special Events
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Aww, hey, look, it‘s my Litsyversary! 💗

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Happy Litsyversary 🎊📚🎊 9mo
LeafingThroughLife @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Thanks! Can‘t believe it‘s been so long. Time flies when you‘re reading good books. 😁 📚 9mo
19 likes2 comments
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LeafingThroughLife
Untitled | Unknown
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Somebody needs to slow this year down. How am I already posting a #BookSpin list for *August*??

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 9mo
14 likes1 comment
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LeafingThroughLife
Dark and Shallow Lies | Ginny Myers Sain
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Pickpick

Loved the premise of this one. The main character‘s best friend disappeared from her hometown, La Cachette, a bayou backwater that is the refuge of an enclave of psychics. Each character had a unique psychic power. Grey‘s return the summer after Elora‘s disappearance is welcome but also fraught with mystery and grief. Sain brings the town and its secretive denizens vividly to life, and I couldn‘t put it down until the mystery was revealed.

review
LeafingThroughLife
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Pickpick

Iris answers the phone one day to find that she is the family contact for her grandmother‘s sister, Esme, who she has never heard of and has been institutionalized for most of her life. From the points of view of Iris, Esme, and Esme‘s sister Kitty who is partially lost to dementia, O‘Farrell peels layer after layer from characters until their heartbreaking stories are laid bear. Love Maggie O‘Farrell and the way she tells stories. #authoramonth

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Beautiful photo! Sounds really good! 9mo
Soubhiville Cute succulents 🙂🦉 9mo
19 likes2 comments
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LeafingThroughLife
Clean Air | Sarah Blake
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Bailedbailed

My #doublespin for this month is a bail. Wooden characters and a weird attention to detail in describing bodily functions with no actual reason for it. 🤔 Next!

TheAromaofBooks At least it's off the list!!! 9mo
21 likes1 comment