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LizKay

LizKay

Joined May 2016

Poet, editor, novelist. My debut novel, MONSTERS: A LOVE STORY, is out from Putnam. It's funny and feminist and a little fucked up.
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LizKay
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From the first poem “Why I Can Dance Down A Soul-Train Line In Public And Still Be Muslim,” this collection is a marvel and a necessary examination of what it means to inhabit multiple identities in America.

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LizKay
The Pisces: A Novel | Melissa Broder
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Okay, this book was so well done. Exquisitely uncomfortable read.

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LizKay
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Pickpick

This is a book full of characters driven by the certainty that there's just not enough love to go around. In the first chapter, I didn't blame April for wanting this kid out of her house. As the book wore on, I didn't blame the kid for growing up to be the kind of woman she is. Or I did. I blamed them, and then I forgave them, and then I blamed them all over again. But I never doubted them. Not for a minute. A definite pick.

31 likes1 stack add
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LizKay
Be Frank With Me: A Novel | Julia Claiborne Johnson
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I inhaled this book. Inhaled it. It's just wonderful. And next week I'll get to see the author at #VaBook2017! I cannot wait!

tpixie Awesomeness! 2y
54 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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LizKay

I've bailed on this twice but I'm halfway through and I'm going to finish this time. The writing is great and I'm generally enjoying the characters but I have to talk myself into reading each night. It feels like a book I'll end up admiring without ever falling in love with it.

Kshakal I admire you for sticking to it... I bailed on that book and have no desire to go back! 3y
ephemeralwaltz Kinda of the same situation as me. I stuck with it and greatly enjoyed some parts of it. I was glad when I finished but I'm also glad I read it :) 3y
Imagineannie I love it a lot, except for one part. I say it's worth the effort. 3y
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Louise I think it's worth the effort. The book as a whole has a great impact, as the threads of trauma become more visible in their subtle and not-so-subtle weaving through these two young people's lives. In a way, that long sequence in Nevada puts the reader through the bleakness of that experience-- drawn out, pointless, hopeless, lost. Form and function really meet in such places in the writing. 3y
BookishFeminist I did the opposite with this book. It's not for everyone but I blasted through this one in a couple days, during grad school finals no less. 😳 it really stuck with me. 3y
Jodie I enjoyed it as an audiobook. I think I would have had a similar problem if I had read it as a hard text. 3y
Centique I got mired in the Nevada section for a while but it was definitely worth sticking with it. This is one of those books where I so loved the initial setting I wanted the story to stay there! (Wouldn't have helped the plot much though 😂) 3y
sisilia I enjoyed this book very much, although I prefer The Secret History 3y
Theresa I had a similar experience to you & @ephemeralwaltz . It took me over a year to get through this but in the end, I'm glad I did. It was my 1st & is still my only Tartt read, though. It was such an ordeal to get through this one & I'm nervous that her other books will be the same way for me. 3y
51 likes1 stack add9 comments
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LizKay
Bailedbailed

I'm out. There's nothing sharp or funny or lyrical at the sentence level to keep me invested and I've started zoning out for paragraphs at a time.

Dogearedcopy I bailed after only a few chapters! I figured it wasn't a good sign when I wanted Dodo to die! :-/ 3y
Dogearedcopy (Maybe I'll try again some time later... When I'm retired?) 3y
LizKay @Dogearedcopy Ha! Dodo was annoying but also flat. I didn't care enough one way or the other about what happened to any of them. 3y
annahenke I couldn't get through this one either. 3y
44 likes4 comments
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LizKay

Okay, how long is it going to take me to get into this one? I'm maybe a dozen chapters in and not feeling completely charmed yet. Or at all charmed. I'm very bored. Keep going?

Dylangrrl It took me a minute on this one, but I loved it. I have a soft spot for oversized period pieces though! 3y
27 likes1 comment
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LizKay
The Ghost Bride | Yangsze Choo
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I stayed up until 2:30 to finish this and now I have a headache. I loved the concept and the mythology and the characters. My only complaint was that sometimes there were lines (mostly in dialogue I think) that felt jarringly contemporary in tone. Still worth the headache.

LaurenReads I really liked this book too! 3y
LauraBrook This is one of my more recent favorites! 3y
48 likes2 comments
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LizKay
The Ghost Bride | Yangsze Choo

Technically what I'm reading tonight are student papers, but I want very badly to get back to this novel. So many unexpected moments and I'm only halfway through.

shawnmooney Wow, does this one ever sound intriguing! 3y
LizKay It really is @shawnmooney! 3y
Zelma That sounds really good! 😀 3y
Witchy_Book_Dragon Loved this book! The imagery is surreal and haunting 3y
PurpleyPumpkin I really enjoyed this book. The concept of "ghost brides" was new to me and really interesting. 3y
39 likes6 stack adds5 comments
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LizKay

Happy to get my hands on an early copy of this. Absolutely riveting so far.

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LizKay
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Loved: the depiction of the world of ballet with its beauty and grit, its passions and obsessions. The central question of the novel, how ballet prodigy Mira became withdrawn academic Kate was less interesting to me. More meditation than mystery which made for a slower read than I'd been hoping for. Still, sharp writing and deftly drawn characters make this a pick.

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LizKay
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My son is obsessed with these books and desperately wants me to catch up so we can talk about it. Pretty damn grim but I dig it.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa This reminds me, I promised myself I'd catch up with these before the new season starts....guess that means I could start it soon since they are so large. 3y
prowlix I'm debating about starting these around Halloween. My brother gave my electronic copies and swears I will love them 3y
LizKay @Riveted_Reader_Melissa They are massive! But my son just tears through them. I love seeing him so excited about any book. 3y
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LizKay @prowlix You should definitely give them a try. They are different enough from the series that neither feels like it spoils the other. We really like the. 3y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @LizKay I've read the first two compendiums already. I started them because my nephew loved them and would insist on telling me, 'you know who's going to be introduced next on the show, it's X and in the comics they are the one who kills Y'. And I just got tired of telling him, 'don't tell me'...and having him tell me anyway. And then debating whether the show would go the same way or not, so I started reading them. But they do take me awhile to 3y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ...get through, they are just too big to cart around and read. 3y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @prowlix go for it! And electronic versions, so nice of him! 3y
59 likes6 stack adds7 comments
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LizKay
Cumberland | Megan Gannon
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Gannon is a poet and it shows in this book both through the language and through the deep exploration of the novel's themes. A deeply atmospheric novel with rich, vibrant characters. Highly recommend.

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LizKay
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So my novel is coming out in Sweden this fall and I'm so in love with the cover I can't even tell you.

Cinfhen Congrats! How exciting 3y
MysticCat Congratulations! 3y
Haweller Totally agree. Congrats! 3y
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LeahBergen Congratulations. That's a great cover! 3y
Anneblythe Congratulations! I love the cover. 3y
KVanRead Wow. Love the cover and what a great title too. Congrats! 3y
55 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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LizKay
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Travel day yesterday and this got me through two (delayed) flights. Very hungry when I landed.

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LizKay
Dept. of Speculation | Jenny Offill
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This is another of my favorites from recent years. A slim novel, but with so much depth and weight. I read this in a few short hours but then felt like I carried it with me for weeks. Highly recommend it.

kspenmoll Well put/ lived with this book too - disassembling of a marriage, "the wife" haunting. 3y
LizKay Haunting is a good word for it. It lingers. 3y
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LizKay
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"She would show the portfolio to the group of men waiting for her in the Herald offices, and they would decide if she could make of herself a writer."

kspenmoll Sounds like a fascinating read; thx for sharing it. To add to my TBR that is toppling all over my bedroom floor! 3y
LizKay It really is, @kspenmoll. Woolson is a writer I'd never known much about before this book. 3y
40 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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LizKay
Ragtime: A Novel | E.L. Doctorow
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This book is for me a reminder of how much depends on my frame of mind. The first time I started it, I couldn't get into it. A year later, couldn't put it down. It's such a rich, full novel.

LeahBergen It's funny how that works. I'm the same way. 3y
Lcsmcat Listen to the soundtrack from the musical inspired by the novel for s multi-sensory experience. 3y
LizKay Great tip @Lcsmcat! 3y
51 likes7 stack adds3 comments
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LizKay
Hausfrau: A Novel | Jill Alexander Essbaum
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Ridiculously excited to be at Austin's BookPeople with the gloriously talented Jill Alexander Essbaum next week. Hausfrau is one of my absolute favorite books in recent years. Sept. 1, 7pm

Lauren.Archer I'm in Austin, but out of town Boo 3y
marixa Yay! I want to go! 3y
LizKay Are you in Austin, @marixa? Because that would be awesome! 3y
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LizKay
Wonderland | Stacey D'Erasmo
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Another book I'm surprised more aren't talking about. There's a grittiness to this come-back tour, a realness to Anna herself that I found so compelling. Nothing cliche about this one, and I loved seeing a female character with such raw artistic ambition.

GuiltyFeat I read this last year after a strong recommendation but found it a little disappointing. Disjointed and detached. It never really came together for me. 3y
31 likes5 stack adds1 comment
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LizKay
An Untamed State | Roxane Gay
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The violence that is done to Mirielle is shattering to read. It is graphic and necessarily so for us to understand the depths of her betrayal, her isolation, how impossible for her to return to herself even after her return. This is a magnificent, significant book. Highly recommend.

librariankris Agreed. I ❤️ Roxane Gay! 3y
53 likes10 stack adds1 comment
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LizKay
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Loved this. Funny and smart which is my favorite kind of book. Richard is kind of (ok very much) an asshole but you end up rooting for him anyway.

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LizKay
Difficult Women | Roxane Gay

Obviously pre-ordered this the minute I learned of its existence. It seems like Roxane is known more for her (outstanding) essays but if you haven't read her fiction yet, you should fix that. I'll add reviews of An Untamed State and Ayiti soon.

WordWaller 🙌 love her stuff 3y
35 likes6 stack adds1 comment
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LizKay
The Virgins: A Novel | Pamela Erens
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Slowly adding reviews of my favorites and I see that I'm the first to post about this one, which is exciting but also ridiculous because this book is stunning. How is everyone not talking about it? The love affair of a young boarding school couple as imagined/told by an obsessed third party.

Mayread I thought it was fantastic. High five! 3y
tricours Never heard of, adding it to my stack! 3y
LizKay Yes! One of my faves, now I'll have to stalk your recommendations, @Skiles since you clearly have great taste! 3y
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LizKay You won't regret it @tricours. 3y
Mayread @LizKay Haha. I just did the same. 🙂 3y
LeahBergen I've never heard of this. Added! 3y
megt Sounds intriguing! I'll have to check it out! 3y
LizKay I cannot wait to hear what you think of it @LeahBergen and @megt 3y
Hoopiefoot I'm such a sucker for boarding school books. Can't wait to read this! 3y
LizKay Oh! Oh! Oh! Then after The Virgins read Gossip of the Starlings, @Hoopiefoot. That's another great boarding school book. 3y
Hoopiefoot @LizKay Oooh--thanks! 3y
AmandaV This looks good! Stacked it! 3y
30 likes10 stack adds12 comments
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LizKay
Russian Lessons | Catherine Texier
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To start, just how sexy is this cover? So this book is complicated & dark. A French divorcee begins an affair with a younger man. She's as physically drawn to him as she is put off by his behavior, his demands. She's embarrassed by him, threatened by him. She can't seem to give him up.

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LizKay
The Lost Girls: A Novel | Heather Young
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Lucy's secrets from the long ago summer when her sister went missing have reverberated through two generations. Now, her great-niece comes home to the lake to reclaim the future. Rich characters and relationships throughout.

[DELETED] 2232195534 Really want to read that one!! Nice to hear your thoughts! 3y
LizKay Thanks, @kaysreadinglife! I don't often read mysteries, but this book makes me feel like I should. 3y
36 likes7 stack adds2 comments
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LizKay
Beside the Sea | Veronique Olmi
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I read this a few years ago but found myself thinking about it again after recommending it to a friend this weekend. It is in my top 10 of most powerful, important books and there are scenes that will haunt me forever--the smaller moments, the accumulation of disappointments and minor failures.

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LizKay
I'm Glad About You | Theresa Rebeck
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I absolutely loved this novel. Read it in one long gulp. The characters are a mess, but in a way that's so true to life, and there's a real sweetness to them. The dialogue is first-rate!

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LizKay
The Do-Right | Lisa Sandlin
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Not my usual kind of story but the characters of Delpha and Phelan were well-drawn. A very atmospheric story. Some humor in the smaller cases but a lot of grit overall.

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LizKay
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Almost bailed early on. Initially, it felt too close to the original, almost anachronistic in a way, but then the stories diverged enough that this book became its own thing and it was a lot of fun.

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LizKay
Modern Lovers | Emma Straub
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Picked this up at the recommendation of Kathleen at A Great Good Place for Books in Oakland. (I love this store!) Perfect summer read with some really smart human observations. I feel like Emma Straub should be about a dozen years older though. How does she know this stuff?

SarahRotenberry Definitely! She writes with the maturity and insight of someone older - glad you said that - so true 3y
17 likes1 comment
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LizKay
Ophelias War | Alison McLennan
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Heard Alison read at Booked on 25th's opening day in Ogden this morning. Adding Ophelia's War, the story of Mormon turned Madam, to the to-read stack.

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LizKay
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I had the good luck to read with Seema in LA last week and she was stunning. Such a phenomenal reader. I'm so excited to start this.

shawnmooney The descriptive phrase "non-linear narrative memoir" makes me apprehensive – could be incredible, could be annoying or just downright awful – but boy do I ever love that cover! I shall be curious to read your review in due course… :-) 3y
MrBook A very flowing cover. 3y
5 likes2 comments
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LizKay
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Really love this one, a perfect combination of smart and quick and funny.

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LizKay
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Definitely more literary than thriller, but paced nicely to keep you turning the pages. I was most drawn in by the exploration of the weird allure of Mr. Wick. The relationships/manipulations progress slowly enough to feel believable and even relatable at times.

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LizKay

Really drawn into this. It's slowly unraveling the story of what happened when a young girl and her friends were drawn into this cult-like group of misfits. Decades later the leader is in prison and his followers are intermittently threatening her and dancing on the graves of her dead friends.

ramblingsofareader this sounds intriguing! 3y
LizKay I'm really liking it @ramblingsofareader 3y
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LizKay
The Weird Sisters | Eleanor Brown
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Bought a bunch of books at The King's English last night (such a great store if you're ever in SLC). Most were books the kids wanted, but this one's for me. My road trip read.

Lcsmcat I loved The King's English! 3y
LizKay It's a great store, @Lcsmcat! I love the layout. It really feels like a place to explore. 3y
14 likes5 stack adds2 comments