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Mindelan

Mindelan

Joined January 2017

Former scientist turned Lumberjane. Lots of cozy mysteries, queer books, science fiction, comics and a dash of everything else. Bi, she/they.
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Mindelan
Boyfriend Material | Alexis Hall
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I was so disappointed to hear that Alexis Hall‘s next book was delayed a month that I immediately went out and got both books in this series. It‘s been great to come late to the party on Hall, there is so much to get through! I‘m struggling to focus right now as I‘m having a bad patch of migraines and fatigue, but these books are so engaging and funny that I can stick with them even when I‘m completely worn out. They are definitely laugh out loud

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Mindelan
Pride and Prejudice | Austen Jane
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Just finished my lesson plan for tomorrow and feeling run down, so I am catching up on Austen Mondays while I work on a sweater. This is only the second episode, but I am already looking forward to them! I‘m looking forward to learning more about the context of the book!

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Mindelan
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Was in the yard this morning and found two newly-emerged monarchs in my prairie patch! I‘m so excited to see that the planting is starting to support native critters, and hoping it is the beginning of many more to come. I used this book and a few others to plan the garden, highly recommend if you are in the American midwest and looking for ideas.

GondorGirl We've started planting native plants (and, much to our neighbors' ire, "weeds") and it's been really cool to see the bugs and rabbits appearing in our yard! 1d
11 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Mindelan
Penguin and Pinecone | Salina Yoon
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Doing some book shopping for a cousin of my spouse, who is expecting her first child shortly! Our resource person at my preschool is great at finding wonderful books, and I love to make baby book gift bags with some of my favorites.😊

Linsy We love Giraffes Can't Dance over here! 1w
6 likes1 comment
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Mindelan
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Pickpick

Finally able to sneak in some time with my last summer book now that school is calming down a bit. I really liked this one- it was fun and steamy and I will be on the lookout for more Anita Kelly! The drama didn‘t feel manufactured like it can in some romances. It felt like a little bit of resolution was missing in one of the conflicts (spoilers below), but overall I thought the ending was good, and the cast of characters was very lovable.

Mindelan I felt the plot with Lizzie was just a little underdone- we never got a full picture of what her deal was. I know in life sometimes people are just dicks, but I guess I was looking for either a little more development or a resolution because it was a romance novel. It just felt a little uneven. Still liked it though! 1w
6 likes1 comment
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Mindelan
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Feeling exhausted after my first week back at school and my coivd booster yesterday. On the bright side, I finally don‘t have a migraine, so I can maybe pick up my library holds today and walk the dog. Starting slow with the Fellowship audiobook and some Stardew Valley. I‘ve just made it to Bree and I‘m really enjoying the hobbit antics, especially all of his friends being on to Frodo‘s plan because of his sadboy comments everywhere they went 😂

ozma.of.oz What a great combination! 3w
Mindelan @ozma.of.oz truly it is! I haven‘t played in a long time and want to get into some of the new content, and I think Fellowship is going to get me there all by itself! 2w
7 likes2 comments
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Mindelan
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Looking through these on Hoopla because I‘m hoping to use the GNs to pull in my reluctant reader nibling. The art is throwing me off a bit though. I know the realistic drawing is an established style in comics, but it‘s not really doing it for me. It feels too gritty for Percy Jackson, and some of them just look stuck together, like Annabeth‘s hat in this picture. Maybe it gets better in future volumes?

Clare-Dragonfly I had to look a couple times to find the hat! I agree, it looks like a photo that was pasted in! 4w
5 likes1 comment
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Mindelan
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Just starting this. I‘m working a ton extra right now as we are beginning the school year, and it has been such a restful break. I‘m really enjoying the meandering and tangents that drove me off as a tween. The playful but kind of withdrawn tone reminds me of Jane Austen (also Bilbo‘s insult gifts 😆), and I can see why people reread these often. I‘m already looking forward to coming back and having different details jump out on the next reading.

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Mindelan
The Hobbit | J.R.R. Tolkien
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Pickpick

I can‘t believe that I had never read this until now. What a fun, goofy romp. I‘d love to write more about it, but my brain is mush from running the gauntlet of prep week/orientations at preschool, so I‘ll just say it lived up to the hype, is better than the movies, and I liked the Andy Serkis audiobook.

Picture is the headboard we‘ve been working on this summer, almost done. It will always make me think of the Misty Mountains!

Cortg Love the headboard! I read The Hobbit a few years ago and loved it. I haven‘t read LOTR yet, but plan to eventually! 1mo
Mindelan @Cortg Thanks 😁 I‘m so thrilled with it. It was a really fun summer project 1mo
Blueberry Beautiful 1mo
18 likes3 comments
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Mindelan
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Pickpick

What a wild ride. It is just unbelievable how long investors and the health care industry continued to nod along when basic fact checking/peer review would have revealed huge problems. Interesting, exasperating, sad and occasionally funny from the sheer audacity. At one point Holmes uses the phrase “a chemistry is performed” to describe one of the processes of her machine in in an interview, and I am still reeling.👇🏻

Mindelan All of the perspectives were a bit hard to follow in the audiobook, might be a better experience to read. TW for suicide.

Pic is goldfinches eating seeds in my prairie patch. Thrilled to see some native species using the garden!
(edited) 1mo
Chelsea.Poole Good job attracting goldfinches!! I have been trying to establish a garden for pollinators…we have monarch caterpillars for the first time! 🐛 1mo
Mindelan @Chelsea.Poole Thanks! I planted a few kinds of purple coneflowers and the goldfinches are going nuts for them. Congrats on the monarchs! I‘ve been trying for those, but not much luck so far. If they don‘t come and eat soon the 1 swamp milkweed I planted is going to take over! 1mo
13 likes3 comments
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Mindelan
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This book is such an interesting but frustrating experience. It is massive red flag after massive red flag, then they check in on the date/year and you realize it will be years before it starts to fall apart.

If you‘re a McElroy fan, it is like the longest, most frustrating episode of Sawbones you can imagine (Justin not included).

Things are getting wild and I still have 4 hours left, I imagine I will be yelling in my car on the way to work 😆

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Mindelan
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Pickpick

I loved this even more than the last one. Chambers continues to explore the human experience and validate the idea that it is okay to just exist. I love a “robot/alien explores humanity” trope, and this one touches on some big experiences/feelings in little anecdotes. I read this one slowly with breaks to sit back and digest, and I think I enjoyed it more than when I read the first one in a day.

Mindelan Also, did not know about crown-shy trees despite studying plants in college! Probably because my local forests are being taken over by maples and buckthorn, which do not share nicely. Included one of my favorite under-appreciated nature moments: grass blooming. Big Bluestem, for those who are curious (edited) 1mo
Kenyazero This one is my next physical read. I don‘t usually keep a functioning tbr but I‘m so excited about it. I‘m glad you enjoyed it! 1mo
8 likes2 comments
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Mindelan
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Becky Chambers is so good at capturing the little moments and feelings that make up life! As a preschool teacher, this interaction really resonated with me and made me laugh.

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Mindelan
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Pickpick

This book is exactly what it sounds like: a fun scifi romp with giant monsters. It‘s got all of the Scalzi hallmarks: laugh-out-loud goofs, fun banter, and a single debilitating punch to the feels. The acknowledgements say he wrote it during lockdown as an escape, and he somehow did a great job of doing that while gently poking fun at some of the stressors of the last few years.

Picture is the kaiju of our prairie garden, the 8ft+ cup plant!

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Mindelan
A Lady for a Duke | Alexis Hall
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Pickpick

Alexis Hall and regency romance, what‘s not to love? Hall‘s books have such a wonderful kindness and acceptance at their core, and it had a lot of my favorite regency tropes: friends-to-lovers, fancy parties, etc.
I guess I need to read Boyfriend Material next!

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Mindelan
Circe | Madeline Miller
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Pickpick

Just finished this, and wow. I don‘t usually read books this dark (I‘ll put some CW below), but it was engrossing with a very satisfying ending. The descriptions are so vivid you can feel the atmosphere, and as a kid who was kind of a big Greek myth nerd, I enjoyed seeing how the stories shaped up & compared to other readings.
I don‘t have a picture of an island like Aiaia, so this picture of Devil‘s Lake will have to do!

Mindelan CW for lots of violence, including domestic violence and sexual assault. Pretty consistent with other Greek myths, but the author does not always gloss over 1mo
15 likes1 comment
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Mindelan
Circe | Madeline Miller
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Doing some reading while we wait for some home repairs to finish. I read about 200 pages of this book in about a day last week while we were on vacation in the northwoods. It‘s definitely darker than my usual, but the style is so captivating and vivid-it just sucks you in. I read a lot of Greek myths when I was younger, it‘s been fun to see how the bits I remember play out. I don‘t remember Telegonus, though, so we‘ll see how the next part goes…😬

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Mindelan
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Needed some lighter reading after zipping through ~200 pages of Circe in a few days. I‘ve been having a hard time getting into YA lately, but I‘m delighted to find how easy it was to get back into Mackenzi Lee. Adrian is such an anxiety bean, and man is it relatable. I cannot wait for him to meet his hot mess of a brother. I love Monty; I once made a D&D character based on him and he was the most fun character I‘ve ever played 😆

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Mindelan
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I think I might actually be over my reading slump. I‘ve got a nice stack I can‘t wait to work through, hopefully mostly before school starts again!

Dottie literally wiggled her way into the picture asking for belly rubs 😂

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Mindelan
The Hobbit | J.R.R. Tolkien
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Y‘all, Gandalf the wizard frantically doing a headcount of the dwarves as they are fleeing goblins, briefly losing Kili and Fili before realizing that they are right in front of him has such teacher energy. I relate 😂

Had fun listening on and off throughout the day, now enjoying lap cuddles from a sleepy pupper ❤️

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Mindelan
The Hobbit | J.R.R. Tolkien
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Finally getting around to giving Tolkien another try. I bounced off LOTR in middle school and have been meaning to try again as an adult. It is my middle nibling‘s current read aloud, and apparently she is loving it. I can‘t think of a better reason to try again! I just listened to the first bit and found it very cozy and fun. Posting a pic of my prairie garden blooming, because apparently Bilbo is very fond of flowers, like myself.

16 likes1 stack add
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Mindelan
Northanger Abbey | Jane Austen
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I‘ve been working my way through Austen‘s works on audiobook again this summer while my spouse and I work on a headboard. Lately I‘m finding I am picking them based on the antagonist. I love Northanger; It does such a good job of capturing that feeling of uncertainty when you are young and learning not to displace your own judgement in favor of others. Also, I think “listening to Jane Austen while woodworking” is my new favorite gender.

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Mindelan
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Pickpick

It took me a few chapters to settle in, but I really liked it. I am a huge bakeoff nerd and I loved all of the references. The cast of characters is true to the bakeoff vibe and generally really likable, except the antagonist. It does a great job of having a bi main character in a straight-presenting relationship without erasing her queerness. I‘ve marked my calendar for the sequel this fall, and will be reading more Alexis hall in between!

Mindelan Pictured are my grey-headed coneflowers just beginning to bloom! 2mo
CarolynM I love Alexis Hall. 2mo
9 likes2 comments
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Mindelan
A Lady for a Duke | Alexis Hall
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Doing some backyard reading in the evening shade. So excited to start this one- I grabbed it because it looked good and I‘d seen good reviews, and I didn‘t even realize that it was by Alexis Hall. I absolutely tore through Rosaline Palmer the other week and was in a bit of a slump after. I can‘t wait to read another book by the same author about another, and regency one to boot! Truly it is summer

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Mindelan
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Pickpick

Overall, I had fun. The author clearly loves the characters and is trying to extend what she knows about them rather than idealizing. A couple felt off, but most of them were fun to revisit. Johnathan Darcy is strongly hinted to be neurodiverse, which I thought made sense and fit, and I loved getting to see him a friend who accepted him. The mystery definitely drove me to keep reading, though I was able to guess it as we closed in on the end.

Mindelan Was not a big fan of Edmund during the subplot with Fanny‘s brother. I think we were supposed to feel like they were reaching acceptance at the end but felt too much like “love the sinner, hate the sin,” which is pretty gross. 3mo
4 likes1 comment
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Mindelan
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Trying to finish my #currentread before jumping into new ones. I‘m having fun with it, though I hope it fills out some of the less outgoing characters more as it goes on (yes, I am talking about Fanny and Edmund). One thing I am loving is Mr. Knightly‘s continued distaste for Frank Churchill, and the fact that he takes pot shots whenever he can get them. Burn him to the ground, Knightly 😆

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Mindelan
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Ran to the bookstore tonight to get a stack of cozy mysteries for my Grandma‘s birthday and oops I found the pride display. Don‘t worry, I got books for her too 😆 I can‘t decide what to start first! Fortunately it is a bojillion degrees in the midwest right now, so there should be plenty of time to read tomorrow. #queerbooks

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Mindelan
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Pickpick

I‘m so glad I got a chance to rediscover this comic after seeing it years ago. The author is a Black woman who loved magical girl stories growing up, and wanted to write a story where other Black girls could see themselves represented. It was fun to see the chosen ones/ alternate dimensions storyline playing out on a college campus, and I loved the friendships that were starting to build by the end of the volume. I‘ll definitely read V2!

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Mindelan
Bloom | Kevin Panetta
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I‘m not crying, you‘re crying

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Mindelan
Bloom | Kevin Panetta
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Pickpick

Catching up on GNs I missed during my pandemic slump, I hope they are all this good! I wasn‘t too into the main character at first, but Ari grows a lot through the novel and Hector more than makes up for it. There are some touching reflections on relationships and finding your path in life, and so many tasty-looking foods. I don‘t know how to use bread starter but I‘m tempted to ask my mom for help making the famous Kyrkos rolls from the recipe.

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Mindelan
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Happy Pride, littens! It is also my first day of summer break! I am starting as I mean to continue: with a glass of iced coffee and a queer comic!

My spouse surprised me with this one and I‘m thrilled- I found this comic online a bunch of years ago, and was wondering how it turned out. Can‘t wait to dig in! #queercomics #queerbooks

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Mindelan
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Having some hammock and book time after weeding the garden a bit with my #1 garden and nap helper. I am going to live in this hammock once school is over, y‘all.

Aims42 A perfect looking reading spot!! Enjoy!! 5mo
18 likes1 comment
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Mindelan
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I knew Agatha Christy was Queen of the Cozy Mystery, but it also has kind of a society drama meets McElroy goofs vibe that I am very much here for.
Sick burn, Hercule. 😂

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Mindelan
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I‘m reading while Emma *gently reminds me* that she had not had breakfast yet. I‘ve been watching the old 90s Poirot TV show with my spouse, and after viewing the absolutely bonkers recent remake of Murder on the Orient Express, I had to see how the book was better. I don‘t know why I waited so long! The cast of characters is fun and a little ridiculous, the style is more modern than I expected and the humor is surprisingly goofy!

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Mindelan
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Listening to this book while I do some audio-gardening. Like every other teacher I know, I am feeling massively burnt out while still trying to support my students, who have greater needs right now than they have in the past. I‘ve been trying to set aside time to rest and recover, and having this book as a literal voice in my ear has been a great way to validate those needs and remind me that I need to make time to slow down.

Mindelan Picture is prairie smoke in the garden, getting ready to bloom! 5mo
akaGingerK I‘m on my second listen of the audiobook. The reminder not to frame actual limitations as a failure of willpower is really helpful to me 5mo
Mindelan @akaGingerK Absolutely! And the idea that you need to do nothing sometimes to let your brain reset. It‘s funny how we are trained to actively fight against things we need! 5mo
7 likes3 comments
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Mindelan
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For some reason, my pandemic brain will only focus for a few seemingly random things- this month Donna Andrews is one of them. She‘s so good at her cast of characters, and I am enjoying the new ones in this book! Less than halfway, so I don‘t have a prime suspect yet, but there are several I want it to be 😂

Making some progress while I try to re-acclimate Dottie to the bedroom crate with a peanut butter kong.

Mindelan Out of curiosity- any Littens who have small dogs, that have them sleep on their own in winter? She is my first Chihuahua (Boston/Chi, we think) was a pro until it got cold, and then she started crying. She‘s been sleeping in the bed, but I‘m trying to make the crate cozy and appealing again now that it is getting warmer. 6mo
6 likes1 comment
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Mindelan
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Still trying to kick the same cold. Too tired to move, but it is so nice today! Enjoying the fresh air and happy bulbs while I read the next Meg Langslow and the dog putters around.

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Mindelan
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I just had a migraine kick in very fast after school, so I‘m waiting for my medicine to kick in enough for me to get up, fill the bath tub and finish this book! Not wild about my 2nd headache this week, but really looking forward to watching the final pieces fall into place and seeing if my suspicions pan out.
My bulbs are going crazy today (the must know we have snow coming tomorrow 😵) and I came home to find the irises had doubled!

5 likes1 stack add
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Mindelan
Murder at the Mena House | Erica Ruth Neubauer
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Dottie is helping me start some dahlia seeds for our containers today while I listen to my latest audiobook. For a tiny shiver dog, she is all about being outside lately even if the temps are below 50! I get it, I am eager for spring too.
The book is good so far. I really liked Elizabeth Peters‘ Amelia Peabody series, and this is a similar time period and location. I‘d love to have a new series that plays around with similar elements in a new way.

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Mindelan
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I swear, I cannot just be reading one book at a time. I needed something easy and fun for our trip to Starved Rock last week, so I grabbed a #cozymystery from the library. It has been a while since I‘ve read a Meg Langslow mystery, and I‘m enjoying jumping back in. Donna Andrews is great at both the small town of recurring characters and fun gimmicks. Looking forward to reading it until Emma tells me it‘s time for dinner- she is very punctual.

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Mindelan
Kamila Knows Best | Farah Heron
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Pickpick

I really liked this retelling! I think Emma retellings can suffer if the author is not sympathetic enough towards the main character, but this was a very loving take. Kamila is multifaceted, likable, and the author does a good job of considering how her drive might play out in modern times. The father/daughter relationship is spot-on, and Rohan is an excellent Mr. Knightley. I listened to the audiobook, and it was a great compliment to puzzling!

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Mindelan
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My spouse and I are on a short trip to Starved Rock State Park for a few days. Started listening to the title book while cooking dinner, and true to form Scalzi made us both laugh out loud in the first few minutes!
We didn‘t get to hike today (it has been raining all day and there is flooding), but yesterday we got to explore some of the canyons and had an amazing time. Dottie came along too and did well!

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Mindelan
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Pickpick

Of course I loved this book.The romance is sweet and steamy, it has LGBTQIA+ representation coming from a bunch of places, and it takes on mental health in a respectful way.The author does a great job of making the cast of characters lovable and memorable.The only thing I was disappointed by was a B-plot that went in a different direction than I expected (spoiler below) but I think the author‘s resolution was just as good!

Mindelan I was hoping that Daphne would come out during the show and Angie and Daphne would fall in love and leave together. I‘m into Daphne having her own season though, I would definitely read it as a sequel! 6mo
xicanti I spent the whole book rooting for Daphne and Angie to fall in love! 6mo
Mindelan @xicanti right?! It would have been so cute! 6mo
5 likes3 comments
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Mindelan
Kamila Knows Best | Farah Heron
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Still feeling wiped out, but I think I‘m almost over the cold. Taking it slow today while I listen to audiobooks, catch up on some cleaning, and build strength for the last day before spring break! I love a good Austen retelling, and I am excited to start this book. So far it is doing a good job of making Kamila very likable but just the right amount overconfident.

Pictured is Dottie, very bored from several days of sick parents and rain.

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Mindelan
Witchy | Ariel Slamet Ries
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Too tired to walk the dog today (busy day at work and trying to get over a nasty cold) so letting Dottie putter around the yard while I read comics. I‘m rereading this one to refresh myself before I jump in to volume 2. V1 is a lot of setup, and I‘m interested to finally see some of the payoff. The characters are likable and I love the artist‘s style. The world reminds me a bit of Avatar, but not as goofy.

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Mindelan
Harrow the Ninth | Tamsyn Muir
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Starting off the morning slow with a book, some breakfast and a mug of tea 😊

rachelsbrittain Can't decide which I love more, the book or the mug! 6mo
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Mindelan
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Going to try to finish The Charm Offensive today while I enjoy the good weather (until the temperature drop and rain comes this afternoon ☹️). Still loving the book. The coming out and mental health conversations are so kind.
My crocuses just started blooming in the warmest part of the yard, I hope they pull through!

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Mindelan
Harrow the Ninth | Tamsyn Muir
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Big library trip today! Put together a spring-themed book rug for my preschool class, picked up some DVDs for my poor spouse, who has had a terrible cold for several days, and got myself the next Locked Tomb book. We‘re enjoying the Poirot, which I have not seen since I was a teen. I forgot what a grumpy old man he is! I‘m looking forward to starting Harrow after school tomorrow, when I am exhausted from chasing 4-year-olds.

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Mindelan
Gideon the Ninth | Tamsyn Muir
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Pickpick

I really liked it! Gideon is such an engaging character, and once the pace picks up it doesn‘t stop. I‘m a baby about scary stuff, and I ended up making a point of not reading it at night, but more because of little jump scare moments than anything else. I was a little disappointed that so much of the ending was a surprise, but it makes sense that a book with sequels would introduce new elements. Can‘t wait for the next one!

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Mindelan
Gideon the Ninth | Tamsyn Muir
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Well, I couldn‘t stop reading, and now I‘m 30 pages from the end and I *have* to stop and make food or my body will punish me. Also, the cats and dog are hungry.

I haven‘t been this engaged with a book in a long time, which is nice, but damn!