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Mogoeg

Mogoeg

Joined September 2019

Geographer, disaffected academic, GenXer. Black lives matter. Trans lives matter. Always, unequivocally, anti-fascist.
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Pure Heart Enlightened Mind by Maura Soshin O'Halloran, Ruth O'Halloran
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Mogoeg
The Expected One: A Novel | Kathleen McGowan
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Bailedbailed

I was totally down for this ridiculousness but I just couldn't...

2000 year old conspiracy? YAAAS. Lost gospel of Mary Magdalene? ABSOLUTELY. Cathers persecuted in France? OF COURSE. The holy grail? BRING IT. Templars? Honestly not sure if they show up or not (didn't read that far), but WHY NOT?

Plus a MC named 'Maureen'*?! Chef's kiss!

But this book is TERRIBLE. I mean the writing is truly god-awful (haha), plus Maureen is a TOTAL Mary Sue**.

Mogoeg * in my experience, 'Maureen' is never the name of the main character. She is always the weird aunt, or the co-worker with a drinking problem.

**apparently this is true on a whole other level - the author, who physically matches her protagonist very closely 🙄, believes that she is a descendent of Mary Magdalene and these novels are her way of getting the 'truth' out into the world. Gotta love those Magdalena conspiracy theorists - they COMMIT!
3d
BethM Wow just wow 3d
67 likes2 comments
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Mogoeg
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Pickpick

Wait, this is the end of the series?! NOOOO!!! OK, I understand that Chambers no doubt has other projects & other worlds to create, but I am a little sad there will be no more Wayfarers novels. Each one is like a warm hug from an old friend and this one is no exception. A Closed and Common Orbit remains my favorite, but they are all great, and this one was lovely too, & I'll gladly reread them all whenever I need some comfort & some good vibes.

charl08 I'm hoping she changes her mind... 4d
LeeRHarry Love this series - saving the last one as a birthday treat later in the year 😊 4d
shanaqui Yeah, I felt like that when I learned about this being the last book. :( I have so many things I still want to know about in this world, and so many characters I'd be happy to see more of! 4d
underground_bks She switched publishers and now has a novella series with Tordotcom publishing! 4d
79 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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Mogoeg
Rabbits for Food | Binnie Kirshenbaum
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Pickpick

A pick, but with reservations.

Bunny is hard to love, & by her own admission, even harder to like, particularly in the grip of her (severe) mental illness. Yet she never gives up on herself & never stops trying to find her way back to the world.

The novel (& Bunny's personality) really starts to sing once she has her New Year's Eve breakdown & she is hospitalized. But then the book just sort of... ends. And I get it, but still, it's jarring.

merelybookish This made me LOL in spite of the subject matter. 7d
67 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Mogoeg
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Pickpick

Stories that are sad, beautiful, and suffused with light. Stories that will make you glad to be alive. Happy to discover this author.

79 likes1 stack add
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Mogoeg
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Pickpick

I listened to this as an audio book & the narration was fantastic!

Always so satisfying - Aaronovitch keeps the plots fresh & the history lessons engaging while keeping the fans happy. Such a snappy writer, with lots of wit & a great ear & warm heart for his characters. This chapter contains possibly the funniest Monty Python reference I've ever come across (I lol'ed!) & my girl Beverly gets her time in the spotlight - as is only right. LOVE.

Dragon Peter Grant and Beverly- one of my favourite couples 💚🐉 1w
68 likes1 comment
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Mogoeg
Fauna | Christiane Vadnais
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Mehso-so

Hmm, well. This was very... squelchy. And squicky.

I enjoy experimental fiction, & I enjoy climate fiction, & I get what she's going for here, but it didn't really do it for me. Maybe because biology scifi/body horror stuff is not my cup of tea (tho you DEF shouldn't drink tea made w/ the water in Shivering Heights!).

It wasn't boring though. I'll give it that (& it's pretty short too, so if you think it might be your thing, give it a whirl).

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Mogoeg
Matrix | Lauren Groff
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Pickpick

In this reimagining, Marie - royal bastardess - is brilliant, passionate, ambitious & ferociously ugly. Sent by the queen in 1158 to an abbey, Marie carves out an empire of abundance for herself & her fellow nuns - a place to thrive in safety.

Groff achieves something quite amazing here: not one male character is named, appears, or has a line of dialogue through the entire book. This is entirely a world of women & for women. Utterly engrossing.

Sparklemn Wow, you are absolutely right about the male characters. I didn't catch this when I read it. 2w
75 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Mogoeg
False Inspector Dew | Peter Lovesey
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Pickpick

A clever and eminently readable ‘between the wars‘ mystery set on a 1921 ocean liner voyage across the Atlantic. Really scratches that Agatha Christie itch, if that‘s what you‘re craving.

67 likes1 stack add
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Mogoeg
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Pickpick

This is the one! The 'time management' book we all need AND deserve! Get it, read it, and free yourself from the tyranny of 'productivity culture' for good! (or at least make inroads in that direction - it's a process, at least for me)

“The peace of mind on offer here is of a higher order: it lies in the recognition that being unable to escape from the problems of finitude is not, in itself, a problem.“

Mogoeg A couple of years ago, I wrote in my review of Burnout (also great!) that I'm not much for self-help books. That was a lie (if only to myself)! I'm a sucker for a certain kind of self-help; the kind that skirts right up the edge of 'time management.' And my 'personal journey' over the past few years has been to fully reexamine my relationship with time and my unrelenting & unrealistic expectations for what I could & SHOULD be accomplishing. 3w
DogMomIrene Looks like a book I really need to read. About 16 weeks for this hold to come to me. 🙂 3w
80 likes5 stack adds2 comments
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Mogoeg
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Pickpick

For a book about booksellers seeking to find and sell a book about sex magic, there is only a very modest amount of sex, and only slightly more magic in this horror(?) thriller(?). Still I enjoyed it - mostly for descriptions of: delicious meals at fancy restaurants, dinner parties in old houses with interesting people, and long walks around glamorous cities - Paris, New Orleans, New York, etc. Now that's my idea of escapist fiction!

Mogoeg Although at times this novel resembled a cross between a mid-budget prestige cable show, the Red Shoe Diaries, and an old-school gothic romance, the situation that compels Lily, our protagonist, to pursue the book and seek to change her life is genuinely wrenching. And because the stakes are both high and utterly believable in a very personal psychological sense, Gran really nails the ending, in my opinion.
(edited) 3w
82 likes1 comment
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Mogoeg
The Cartographers | Peng Shepherd
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Mehso-so

I really debated with myself on how to rate this book because I DID enjoy it, but the more I think about it, the more ambivalent I feel about it. The thing is, I wanted to love it but, at the end of the day, I just … didn‘t.

I found Nell as a main character somewhat lackluster & some of the character motivations were confusing, but my complaints are far more nitpicky, so read on in the comments if you wish, but take it with a grain of sand.

Mogoeg So here‘s the thing - a. I‘m a geographer & b. my specialty area is not remotely cartography adjacent. Not even close. So when Felix (specializing in modern cartography) has to explain to Nell (specializing in historical cartography & who is apparently cartographic royalty🙄) what a ghost settlement is - I don‘t buy it. Even if Nell didn‘t have to sully herself TAing geography 101 like a common grad student, there is NO WAY she wouldn‘t know that. (edited) 4w
Mogoeg Also, in contemporary geography grad programs the fields of cartography and geographic information systems (GIS) are one in the same. And in the book there is a huge Google-esque company but MAPS - that is 100% a GIS company. Yet the term GIS never appears once in the book. I can‘t adequately explain how maddening that is - it‘s like a novel about anthropologists that never mentions ethnography - it‘s truly bizarre. (edited) 4w
rockpools The more I read about this one, the more I feel I should find a copy to nitpick/hate-read along with you and @julesG The quibbles are so specific- but so OFF! 4w
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julesG @rockpools Do you really want to go there? You could read so many other books instead. 4w
KristiAhlers People are truly all over the map with this one. Makes me want to go pick up a copy…probably from the library so I‘m not financially invested. 4w
TracyReadsBooks I really wanted to like this book, the premise is so good, but in the end I was underwhelmed. It didn‘t leave a lasting impression, that‘s for sure. 4w
81 likes6 comments
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Mogoeg
Unconquerable Sun | Kate Elliott
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Pickpick

So I signed up for the winter games, then promptly disappeared from Litsy for the last 6 months because fate chose to hand me several major life changes - good & really NOT good, quickly, in succession, & I've just been keeping my head above water.

Anyway, Elliot is great at her job & this book slaps (as the kids say). An audiobook for me & I was enthralled all the way through. Space Opera Excellence for sure & looking forward to the sequel!

Mogoeg Also, did not realize it was a retelling of Alexander the Great's history until I read an author interview afterwards. That made it all the more fascinating in retrospect! (edited) 4w
Bookwomble I hope life is smoothing out for you a little 💖 4w
batsy I hope things are little easier now for you 🌻 4w
Dragon Sounds good 👍 stacking 💚🐉 4w
MaureenMc 💗💗💗 4w
74 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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Mogoeg
My Year Abroad | Chang-rae Lee
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Pickpick

Here's a sample of my inner voice while reading this: 'wow!amazing!...erm.what?ok...WTF!?...brilliant!...hm where is this going?...W.T.ACTUAL.F just happened!?'

Lee is a beautiful & brutal writer & there is no one better at capturing a certain flavor of 21st century experience. But oh boy, there's A LOT to unpack here. Whiteness, masculinity (& white masculinity), orientalism & particularly Asia as a stage for adventure & 'finding yourself.'

Mogoeg In the end I admired this novel more than I enjoyed it. But yeah, Lee is the real deal - he's going to win all the prizes by the time he is done writing. (edited) 6mo
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Mogoeg
Malibu Rising | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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Pickpick

It took a bit to win me over, but the ending was so damn satisfying that I have to stan. This is going to sound like a diss - it is 100% *not*, I assure you - but I think that Reid may the best middlebrow literary fiction author of her generation.

And I'll eat a bug if this isn't adapted to HBO within 2 years. Are you kidding me?! This has White Lotus Big Little Lies energy all over it! It's set in Malibu. In 1983. Don‘t even try to resist.

Soubhiville Oh this totally should be a movie or a series. 6mo
Cinfhen Good call!! 6mo
marleed And since at least 3 of her books are already in production, you know Hollywood is eyeing this effort! 6mo
PaperbackPirate Haven‘t read this one yet but plan to because she is a new favorite author! 6mo
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Mogoeg
The Keep | Jennifer Egan
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Pickpick

Egan is a polarizing writer, but I thought this was terrific. I liked it from the start & I liked it all the way through, but the whole time I was semi-consciously measuring it in the back of my mind against 'A Visit from the Goon Squad' (which is one of my favorite books) & it wasn't quite measuring up. But I finished it a couple of days ago & I can't stop thinking about it. It is still not my favorite of hers, but it's pretty damn good.

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Mogoeg
Pretty as a Picture: A Novel | Elizabeth Little
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Pickpick

I absolutely adored everything about this novel & now I desperately want a sequel. It doesn't even have to be a mystery, just Marissa & Amy making their movie & Isaiah & Marissa carefully finding ways to bridge the neurodivergent divide to gently flirt with each other.

It's funny, it's touching, it's biting, & it is on-the-nose about the movies & #metoo in a way that seems like it would be too obvious, but is actually, exactly, perfect.

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Mogoeg
Magpie Lane | LUCY. ATKINS
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Pickpick

Expertly written thriller/domestic drama that has a surprising amount of emotional heft. Very creepy and atmospheric as well - great for this time of year. Loved the use of Dee, the nanny, as the first person narrative voice telling the story.

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Mogoeg
The Atlas Six | Olivie Blake
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Pickpick

This book is everything that my inner 16yo craves in one place, and fortunately, considerably older me is just satisfied enough to call it a pick. Despite starting off like a cross b/w Gossip Girl and The Magicians, it quickly settles into something considerably more intriguing & thought-provoking. Very angsty, very dark academia by way of K-Drama, by way of well, the Magicians again. Not loving the sorta-cliffhanger ending though.

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Mogoeg
The Scholars of Night | John M. Ford
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Bailedbailed

If you are looking for a good (now) old-fashioned Cold War spy novel in the manner of LaCarre, this book will delight you. For me, reading it was nostalgic & atmospheric, right down to the double & triple crosses & the multiple overlapping spy characters.

But ultimately, it didn't hold my attention, and I think I was expecting something slightly different with the Kit Marlowe angle - my fault for not reading the description carefully enough.

Mogoeg This is a reissue (the original came out very much of-the-time in the 1980s) with an new introduction from Charles Stross. I may use the intro when teaching about US foreign relations and the Cold War. If you want to explain what the atmosphere was like living under the shadow of the Cold War & possible nuclear annihilation, Stross does a terrific job evoking those troubling times. (edited) 7mo
75 likes1 comment
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Mogoeg
Hearts of Oak | Eddie Robson
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Pickpick

First of all - THIS COVER!!! 😍 Second, this book! Unfortunately it is almost impossible to say anything meaningful about the plot of this novella without spoilers, and spoiling anything about it takes away from the singular pleasure of reading & puzzling through it. I will say that it reminded me of a Ted Chiang story crossed with a pulp paperback from a bygone era. Lots to enjoy here, and both the big reveal and the ending are stunners.

Texreader I love this cover!! 8mo
BekahB Oh wow - that‘s gorgeous! Would definitely be a cover buy for me 😀 8mo
85 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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Mogoeg
Dying Day | Vaseem Khan
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Pickpick

A soft pick. I greatly enjoyed the window into a very specific time & place - Mumbai/Bombay around 1950 when India was still newly independent - & the treasure hunt aspects were also fun. But altogether it sometimes felt a little flat; it‘s hard to put my finger on exactly why. Still, if you enjoy historical mysteries, this is an intriguing world to explore.

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Mogoeg
The Last Emperox | John Scalzi
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Pickpick

A satisfying ending to a fun trilogy. Not to get too meta here, but if this series were a tv show, it is the kind of thing that Murderbot would watch repeatedly as one of its entertainments/distractions. It's pure capital S, capital O, Space Opera and the betrayals & twists just keep coming & coming. Honestly I could have used a bit more science/space battles, and a little less scheming/double-crossing, but overall, I'm very satisfied.

Mogoeg And with the new DUNE movie just around the corner, and Foundation premiering on Apple+, I'm pumped! (I don't even really care if Foundation is good - it LOOKS amazing and I am all about that space empire swag). And I probably have time for one more novel to round out 'Space Opera September' - what should it be? 8mo
Traci1 I just finished book 2 and am loving this series. It may be my favorite Scalzi so far. I assume you've read the Expanse books? 8mo
Lucy_Anywhere I really enjoyed this series! Have you tried The Prefect by Alastair Reynolds? 8mo
65 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Mogoeg
The Consuming Fire | John Scalzi
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Pickpick

Although I was still enjoying it greatly, up to about halfway through this - the middle book of the trilogy - I was thinking that it was suffering from a serious case of book-two-itis. But then some unexpected plot developments came out of left field, and things suddenly got a whole lot more interesting. Still tons of fun with lots to say - and so much intrigue and so many plots within plots - but definitely don't start with this one.

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Mogoeg
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Pickpick

Just great. Newitz is an excellent science journalist: rigorous, accessible, never condescending. I read this slowly - a little before bed each night - & it was both engaging & relaxing.

I loved learning about all 4 cities, but my favorite was probably Cahokia because while I'd heard of this ancient North American metropolis & Mississippian culture, I never learned anything about it. It's crazy, but not surprising, given US history! (cont.)

Mogoeg I also greatly enjoyed their section on Angkor (pictured, but not one of mine sadly) - the only one of the 4 I have visited (it's incredible!) & also because I teach a course on SEA religion & life. Newitz gets their facts right about the culture & economic/political system & I learned a lot about recent archeological theories & discoveries & I appreciate their focus on ordinary people in all 4 cities. (continued more!) (edited) 8mo
Mogoeg The sections on Pompeii and Çatalhöyük are also fascinating, but for different reasons. Pompeii because it is SO recognizable, the Roman Empire really is the blueprint for modern state bureaucracy - the parallels are incredible! It is very easy to imagine yourself experiencing city life in 90 or so CE on the bay of Naples. Çatalhöyük is the opposite, a Neolithic proto-city, I appreciated their efforts to bring this very foreign world to life. (edited) 8mo
71 likes5 stack adds2 comments
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Mogoeg
Collapsing Empire | John Scalzi
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Pickpick

Scalzi is consistently a fun writer, & this series is his best yet, imo (so far - only read the 1st!). Space opera writ large - a reluctant emperox, dueling noble houses, space mutinies, &, naturally, political intrigue up the wazoo! Scalzi (always hilarious) keeps the parts moving & the zingers coming, which makes the meta-commentary here (which is very pointed) go down more smoothly even as the parallels to a certain other 'empire' pile up.

AutumnRLS I've only read through Zoe's Tale. I need to go back and read the rest in this universe. 8mo
Traci1 I've only read the first one too but really enjoyed it. I'm thinking about getting the second one audible and letting Wil Wheaton read to me. 😁 8mo
78 likes2 comments
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Mogoeg
A Matter of Oaths | Helen S. Wright
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Pickpick

A very strong Space Opera - it feels very contemporary, & aside from the tech which seems a bit quaint now, it's hard to believe it's from 1988. And much like Becky Chambers, who wrote an intro to the reissue, I also wish that I had discovered it back in the day - it would have been a revelation to me then. Now, it is just a well told story with tons of political intrigue and some nice character work. (continued below)

Mogoeg It deserved a much larger audience, but it's clear that the (quite lovely) m/m relationship at its center would've been enough to keep it out of the mainstream sci-fi lists at the time. Much like my favorite sci-fi author of that period, (the also very overlooked) Melissa Scott, it seems that Wright was committed to portraying queer relationships in her work. Also the cover for the initial publication is god-awful (and whitewashed to boot!). (edited) 8mo
rwmg Wishlisted 8mo
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Mogoeg
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Pickpick

😍💚💜💛🧡🤖A lovely fable and a love letter to a future and a way of life that can be real. I really wish tea 🍵 monks were a real thing, that‘s for certain.

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Mogoeg
Sleeping Giants | Sylvain Neuvel
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Pickpick

Lots of fun! A strong, tightly paced sci-fi thriller. Very high concept & cinematic. Looking forward to the sequels & to answers to such questions as: who is the mysterious narrator/interviewer? who is the mysterious stranger that contacts the interviewer & how do they know what they know? And other stuff I won't spoil here.

My unofficial reading theme for September is BIG science fiction (space opera, big ideas) & this kicked things off nicely.

73 likes3 stack adds
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Mogoeg
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Pickpick

There is a scene in the 1st season of Ted Lasso where Roy finally asks Keely out, & when asked why, answers, 'because I like you more than I hate him [Keely's ex - the delightfully assholeish Jaime Tartt].' He then adds, 'I mean barely, it's very close.'

That's how I feel about this novel. It's a pick because in the end I was charmed, & even moved, more than I was annoyed & bored by its astonishing pretentiousness. But barely, it's very close.

KathyWheeler I think I fell on the other side with this book. Everyone I know loved it, but I was overwhelmed by how boring and pretentious it was. 8mo
Mogoeg @KathyWheeler - I get it! It's a real razor's edge for me. Plus it is hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that it is a book aimed at skewering the pretensions of the French elite that is, nevertheless, itself relentlessly pretentious - almost comically so. That has to be on purpose, right? The writer is in on the joke? Or maybe not? I honestly could not tell! 8mo
JamieArc @KathyWheeler I‘m glad I‘m not alone. I‘m a Francophile so I thought I would obviously love this book, especially after so many sung it‘s praises. I just don‘t get it. I was incredibly bored as well. 8mo
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KathyWheeler @Mogoeg The writer doing it on purpose would at least make it better. 8mo
KathyWheeler @JamieArc I don‘t get it either. Absolutely everyone I know just loved it, which is why I kept reading it thinking I‘d eventually stumble on the part where it finally got interesting — never happened. 8mo
Ruthiella Great review! I also found it pretentious and a little dull. If one were to take away all the philosophical musings, there was only thin, maudlin story with an ending engineered to bring tears. 8mo
Larkken “Astonishing pretentiousness” 🤣 no, thank you 8mo
Angeles I loved this novel! It is absolutely pretentious. Eurpean and especially french "literary" authors go for pretentious the way american serious authors go for social issues and melancholy and trauma. It is a lazy, easy way to signal: this is not JUST entertainment. I am very a very serious thinker.... 8mo
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Mogoeg
In the Woods | Tana French
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Pickpick

I can‘t believe I hadn‘t read this one yet! I liked it a lot & it kept me guessing most of the way through. French is a beautiful writer, & her descriptions of childhood are evocative, but I agree with the reviews that note she could use a more ruthless editor - it does drag a bit in the middle.

On reflection, I think I enjoyed The Likeness more, even though it‘s wildly implausible, but then I‘m a sucker for anything in the dark academia genre!

Susanita The Likeness is my favorite. 9mo
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Mogoeg
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Pickpick

Wonderfully creepy interlocking stories that twist into each other like mobius strips. Ogawa conveys a lot of information with few unsettling details, a turn of phrase, a slip of dialogue - it all adds up to an atmospheric post-modern gothic tale.

Reggie The one where the woman who drives over tomatoes and gets lost but witness the tiger‘s passing is my favorite. 10mo
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Mogoeg
The Summer We Ran Away | Jenny Oliver
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Pickpick

A feel-good book that delivers the goods. I DO feel good after reading it, and now I REALLY want to go to France!

This is a summer by the pool (or sitting on your deck/fire escape/roof) book - gentle life lessons will be learned, croissants will be eaten, annoying instagram influencers will be muted, everyone will find their way back to each other and to their best selves. Just what I needed.

BookishBelle That sounds good! Maybe just what I need right now too. 🤔 10mo
Cupcake12 I love Jenny Oliver books, a great way to escape. Enjoy x 10mo
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Mogoeg
City of Girls | Elizabeth Gilbert
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Pickpick

This was so good! Somehow the Eat, Pray, Love moment passed me by, so I was only vaguely aware of Elizabeth Gilbert & didn't know anything about her as a writer. What a great storyteller!

It's hard not to compare this with Rules of Civility (also great). Towles gets credit for writing a fully dimensional female MC, but Gilbert, wow, Gilbert KNOWS what it is to live as a woman. There were more than a few scenes that took my breath away.

Mogoeg So many moments & situations & lines that have the ring of lived experience - for example this aside: “He and I had been talking about jazz (which is to say that HE had been talking about jazz, and I had been listening, because that is how you talk to a man about jazz)....“ The truth & the SHADE of it all! Who told Ms. Gilbert about my 20s?! 10mo
Leftcoastzen Lovely review! Need to move it up the pile 10mo
esurient Nice! I also passed by Eat, Pray, Love, but I loved her first novel : 10mo
BkClubCare I love her writing (I read Eat Pray Love *BEFORE* everyone started to hate it!) - The Signature of All Things is great, too 9mo
91 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Mogoeg
Agency | William Gibson
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Bailedbailed

Sigh. Gibson is an important author for me & Pattern Recognition holds a special place in my heart & my life, but is anyone else finding his Jackpot novels... really boring?

Part of the problem is that Agency makes zero sense if you haven't read The Peripheral, which I have, but it's been a minute, & I can't muster the energy to remind myself who all these people are & why I should care.

Meh. Hopefully the rumored Amazon series will be good!

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Mogoeg
Walkaway | Cory Doctorow
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Pickpick

Hard to review because Doctorow doesn't really write novels, he writes thought-experiments & manifestos in novel-like forms. As an intellectual experience, Walkaway is exhilarating & deeply thought-provoking. The world of the novel is scarily prescient - the logical (and horrific) continuation our current societal path of deepening inequality & kleptocapitalism. Doctorow is the Black Mirror of writers in this regard. (continued)

Mogoeg But the real power of the book is in Doctorow's exploration of what building a truly different type of economy & society, one based on mutual aid and abundance (rather than zero-sum competition, false scarcity & a carceral state) would entail. Here Doctorow doesn't shy away from how difficult it would be, or how necessary it WILL be. At it's best Walkaway will have you questioning your basic values & understandings of the world. (edited) 10mo
Mogoeg (continued some more!) That said, as a novel, it suffers from a lot of problems. Flat characters, clunky 'dialogue' (hope you like monologuing & exposition dumps!) & a few excruciating sex scenes that go on FOREVER. It is not that these sex scenes are, on the face of it, bad, they are just weirdly clinical in a way that drains them of any actual sexiness. So yeah, a mixed bag for sure, but worth checking out if this sort of futurism interests you! 10mo
RamsFan1963 I will have to give this one another try. It's the only book by Doctorow, I've read about 6 others, that I had to DNF. I didn't feel like the story was going anywhere after 100 pages. 10mo
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Mogoeg
U Up? | Catie Disabato
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Pickpick

I think that Disabato is the kind of writer you either click with or you don‘t - I‘m a fan but it takes a while to settle into her style. I think U Up? Is a significantly more mature work than The Ghost Network (which I also enjoyed) & once it gets rolling it packs quite an emotional punch.

This novel is about the all-consuming intensity of friendships in your 20s. And about ghosts. Actual ghosts. Ghosts who text (because of course they do).

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Mogoeg
Unity | Elly Bangs
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Bailedbailed

This novel should be right in my sweet spot: a post-apocalyptic cyber-punkish thriller described as somewhere between Mad Max & Sense8. But at about 1/3 in, it was too grim even for me (so grim!), so I decided to bail. I guess I was hoping for more Sens8* and less Mad Max. I need my dystopian wasteland future-punk mixed with a little more hope & joy apparently, and maybe an occasional dance party/orgy thrown in for good measure!

Mogoeg * A brief sidebar on Sens8 (the Netflix show created by the Wachowskis - mostly Lana). It is, of course, over-the-top & utterly ridiculous and if you spend more than 5 minutes thinking about the plot, your brain will explode. It is also wonderful & magical and emotionally perfect (& full of the MOST beautiful people you have ever feasted your eyes on) & you should watch it and treasure it if you haven't already. Gone too soon, but not forgotten! (edited) 10mo
xicanti I miss Sens8 so much. 10mo
Kimberlone @Mogoeg I loved the first season of Sens8 (watched it multiple times!) but for whatever reason didn‘t like the 2nd as much and never even finished the series… 10mo
Mogoeg @Kimberlone - I ended up loving the 2nd season as well, although the plotting went completely off the rails (tbf it was never exactly ON the rails, but you know what I mean!). Mostly because I loved both Lito & Capheus's arcs (& I really liked the new Capheus) & the Sun stuff was hella fun. The finale movie is a complete mess (obviously put together in a hurry with spit & chewing gum) but I don't really care - Nomi & Amanita 4eva! (edited) 10mo
68 likes4 comments
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Mogoeg
A Desolation Called Peace | Arkady Martine
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Pickpick

I think I liked this one better than the 1st one! Martine's meticulous work in 'A Memory Called Empire' really pays off. This follow-up has multiple POVs, introduces some great new characters and has plenty of action. Throw in fascinating & terrifying aliens, a meditation on the meaning of 'self,' an intrepid 11 year old emperor-to-be, & the continuation of Mahit & Three Seagrass's love story, put it all together & you have a great Space Opera!

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Mogoeg
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Pickpick

Loved it! I‘m a huge fan of the Machineries of Empire series, but it is dense and confusing & Lee never lets up with the (amazing, mind blowing) world building in the main trilogy. This prequel short story/novella is an amuse bouche - a delightful snack - action, innuendo, military space-stuff. Just what I was hoping for.

69 likes2 stack adds
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Mogoeg
The Au Pair | Emma Rous
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Pickpick

Solid thriller. I figured out the general outline of the twist/reveal about halfway through, but there were a lot of details that still surprised me in the end.

The writing is competent, but isn't going to win any awards (lots of descriptions of dilated pupils - weird, but whatever). Still, it was enjoyable way to pass the time as I sat in the jury pool room for a few hours on a cloudy Wednesday morning!

SilversReviews Ohhhh….this was good. 10mo
69 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Mogoeg
Rules for Visiting: A Novel | Jessica Francis Kane
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Pickpick

This is a very quiet book about a very introverted person & about halfway through I wasn‘t sure if it was going to be a so-so or a pick. But then the book, like its MC & narrator, seemed to find its footing & I enjoyed it more & more. So a solid pick although it took me a while to get there.

A book about friendship, the families we have & the families we make, what makes a home, and trees 🌲🌳🌲🌳🌲.

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Mogoeg
Questland | Carrie Vaughn
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Pickpick

The last few days here in the PNW have been awful - just brutally hot with temperatures of 115F/45C both yesterday & today. I needed something pulpy & not too challenging to read & this was perfect. I really enjoy Vaughn‘s writing & this is obviously her love letter to fantasy fandoms 🦄🧝‍♀️🏰🐲. A lot of fun 🤩

CW: the main character has PTSD from gun violence, & while it is handled well (& realistically), it is a major part of the plot.

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Mogoeg
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Pickpick

The English-language marketing of this book really leans into the 'Weird Japan' stereotype, which is too bad IMO. The story of a woman who takes on a series of random jobs does have its moments of 'weirdness' but I would I would describe it less as 'surreal & unsettling' & more as quirky & life-affirming. At most, it exudes a gentle air of magical realism - particularly the end. Anyone who has had much work experience knows, work is weird! (cont.)

Mogoeg I once worked for at a hobby farm and one of my jobs was to use a dentist drill & bicycle pump to blow out ostrich & emu eggs to sell to diorama hobbyists. My husband briefly worked at a toy store where the owner conducted the job interview with the 'help' of a giant stuffed gorilla. Weird coincidences & strange co-workers are a part of most people's working lives! In any case, I loved this book & do recommend it! (edited) 11mo
erzascarletbookgasm Interesting jobs. That bagel head trend is really weird! 11mo
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Mogoeg
Piranesi | Susanna Clarke
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Pickpick

This was lovely and haunting. Scholarship and madness. British Magick like only Clarke can do it. I thought the ending was beautiful and very satisfying. Although her reputation as a master fantasy novelist is sealed with Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, I hope she continues to write more (short) fiction.

Ruthiella I would love for her to continue writing books about other worlds accessible via The House. 11mo
NikkiM5 I loved Piranesi too and I am looking forward to the other books you mentioned 11mo
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Mogoeg
Fugitive Telemetry | Martha Wells
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Absolutely DEVOURED this one in a single sitting - so whoever's next in the library queue - you're welcome!

In this novella we get to know Preservation Station &, by extension, the wider universe both inside & outside the Corporation Rim, a bit better.

And while this chapter wraps up neatly, things are increasingly ominous in the background & around the edges. Murderbot senses it & knows that the sh*t's going to hit the fan sooner or later.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I LOVE this series! 11mo
Ruthiella Plenty of stupid humans to keep our favorite SecUnit busy! 😂 11mo
rachelm I‘m in line for this!!! 11mo
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Mogoeg
Fresh Water for Flowers | Valrie Perrin
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Pickpick

This book starts off gently and almost dreamily & while it never really loses that quality, the emotional stakes build & build until you are fully invested in Violette's emotional life & those around her.

It's a story about death & grief & coming to life again after the death of those we love & it is beautifully written & oh so very French (I don't know how else to describe it, but it is a very distinct quality of the writing).

Mogoeg There is also a mystery at the heart of the book that is slowly peeled away until - unexpectedly - it becomes a page-turner towards the end. I don't want to give anything away, but CW for death, lots of death (as you might expect, given that the main character is the caretaker of a cemetery). I found it to be quite a cathartic and meditative read as the fourth anniversary of my father's death approaches in a couple of weeks. (edited) 11mo
TrishB I loved this book. And you‘re spot on about still being very French, the translation was excellent. (edited) 11mo
runswithscissors007 I was just about to post about this book. Anchored in grief was all I could come up with. A hard milestone for you take care @Mogoeg 11mo
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Mogoeg
The Echo Wife | Sarah Gailey
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This is a hell of a book. Not only is it an incredible thriller, but somewhere the ghost of Mary Shelley is pumping her fist & saying ‘YES!‘ A story of monsters & the monsters they create - this is the best riff on Frankenstein I‘ve read in ages.

I‘m not surprised the film rights were snapped up - with the right cast & a female director (please) it has the potential to be a future sci-fi classic.

Absolutely searing. Highly recommended.

Cinfhen Wonderful review!! #stacked 12mo
eeclayton Sounds intriguing! Stacked. 12mo
ElizaMarie Also had to #stack this one!!! Thanks for posting it! 12mo
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Mogoeg
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I treated myself to a COVID-safe book browse and splurge at the Eastside Powell‘s today. Excited about all these but especially the tagged book!

I have a TBR pile a mile high right now, but a few more won‘t hurt! 😁📚

Ruthiella They don‘t have an expiration date! 😅 13mo
TrishB @Ruthiella that‘s always one of my excuses! 13mo
PurpleTulipGirl I missed my February staycation in Portland, with my annual trip to Powell‘s and Voodoo Donuts. 😒 Maybe next year… 13mo
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Mogoeg
Heartburn | Nora Ephron
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Out of the blue last night my husband turns to me and asks “Would you rather have dinner with Woodward or Bernstein?“ (great random question BTW)

My answer: Woodward, because if I had dinner with Bernstein I wouldn't be able to stop myself from asking him if he was as horrible as he seems in this dishy book!

Now I have to dig out my copy (with this cover) and read this gem again!

Leftcoastzen 👏😄 13mo
Ruthiella I only saw the movie, but he must have had something charming about him that she fell for in the first place? 13mo
Mogoeg @Ruthiella I'm sure he was (and is) very charming! It is more a comment about my innate inability NOT to ask one half of the Watergate duo about the bestselling Roman a Clef that his ex-wife - one of America's most beloved humorists & screenwriters (RIP) - wrote to skewer him for being a cheater (and a pompous self-righteous one at that)! 13mo
Ruthiella @Mogoeg 😂😂😂 13mo
Vansa I absolutely LOVE this book. I don't know many other books that combine heartbreaking poignancy and humour as well as this does. 13mo
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Mogoeg
Palimpsest | Catherynne Valente
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Pickpick

This book is extremely weird & cool & also kind of terrifying. Rarely have I read something that so accurately captures dream geography - in this case a beautiful, opulent, pitiless & terrifying city of sex and dread - the eponymous Palimpsest. If that sounds appealing to you, it is definitely worth checking out. I guess I've been sleeping on Valente - her imagination is 🔥 I'm excited to read more of her work. Let me know if you have any recs!

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